Thursday, May 27, 2010

Compunction Junction, what's your dysfunction?

As I try to get the screechings of Pauly Shore out of the back of my head (buuudddie!), indicating that I've seen the requisite 'too many' Pauly Shore movies, I find myself a week later than the last time I checked in with you kids. 

My indication last week that I might have the flu was, in fact, false.  Apparently, despite our childhood memories, the real Influenza virus is respiratory, and there is no 'stomach flu'.  So whatever still has a death grip on my GI tract is as yet unnamed.  Fun times.

But I'm so excited about the things we'll get to share, dear readers, once I get in the groove of Ohio-izing myself.  We took a great drive into Amish country this weekend, it's so nice to live somewhere with hills and curves in the countryside again.  Got to see little buggies racing along at rather impressive speeds.

And to a counter-point, there was the rambler (homeless or not) wearing a very real shiny metal pointy crown as he walked down the side of the on-ramp.  No cheap cardboard imitations for him, no sir.

Would that I had more to share, I feel bad.  Please feel free to read my old posts as though you've never seen them before, in particular, check out last August where comments are still ripe for the leaving.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm in an awful state here...

No, not Ohio.  I like it here very much.  No, the state of which I speak is the dreaded flu.  As in, 'my will to live flu out the window around 2 AM Tuesday...'.  This really took me out, big time.   

I'm still sick, but at least I'm not writhing in pain (at the moment), so I thought I'd beat a dead horse here ever so briefly.  Last week, I asked you to name three states other than Ohio mentioned in song over the years.  Didn't get many responses, which was sad.  As such, I have taken it upon myself to compile a list of states that I can recall being mentioned in song, even with my nutrition-deprived gray matter, all you have to do is come up with any of the songs for each state.

Bonus, one song mentions eight of them, that'll get you almost halfway there if you know it.

  • Alaska
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia

(Disclaimer - no dead horses were actually harmed in the writing of this post.  Which leads me to a thought that pops into my head from time to time.  In college, I once wrote "Walt Whitman beats his horse to death just so he can beat a dead horse." in reference to 'Leaves of Grass'.  Safe to say I'm not the man's biggest fan.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Whatever floats your motorboat

We here at CDS Enterprises, a division of Worldwide NFG, try our best to make Cheesehead Displacement Syndrome a mix of culture and humor.  A place where reading makes you smarter, gives you something to think about before you go to sleep at night, and something to discuss around the water cooler, if such things actually happen.

However, it would appear that our target audience and our actual audience don't overlap.  I give you stories about how poultry reproduces, or where SkeeBall came from, educational quizzes from film and music, or a myriad of well-thought rental car reviews, and all you want is this:
Children.  The lot of you.  (Yes, this depiction is in my basement.  No, I didn't draw them.  No, I didn't label them, either.)

I get a fair amount of traffic, maybe a hundred or so hits a day.  For my little corner of the interweb, that's a big deal to me.  But when news came out that Danica McKellar was posing in lingerie again, this time for Maxim Magazine, I couldn't keep up with the hits.  Hundreds an hour from all over the world. 
Do I think any of those viewers even bothered to read the pointed article attached regarding the Erdos-Bacon number?  Doubtful.

So that's it.  Do I take this lying down, accept that people come here for the boobies and nothing else?
Of course not.  That would be selling out, cheapening our message to suit the carnivorous yearnings of a few 12-year-old boys with Internet access.

And we have more moral fiber than that.

Danica McKellar Danica McKellar Danica McKellar.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Random Acts of Thursday - Road Trip Randomosity

As I may have mentioned, I had a lot of time to myself in the car on the drive from Florida to Ohio. This meant lots of time to devise quiz questions for the lot of you while taking advantage of my 90-day free trial of XM radio. Show your work, kids!

1) Name four songs about Ohio
2) We drove through a lot of other states on our way here from Florida, but only one of those states features in 'classic' song lyrics (meaning song lyrics I've heard, or song lyrics that WEREN'T first released in the last year.) Name two songs that feature this state in the title.

3) Name three other states mentioned by name in song lyrics.
4) Name three television shows based in Ohio.

5) If you didn't come up with CSNY's 'Ohio' as one of the answers to Question 1, shame on you. This song commemorated a tragic event that passed its 40th anniversary on May 4th. What university is referenced in this song?
6) Speaking of four dead in Ohio, my new state is referred to as 'The Mother of Presidents', having produced eight out of 44 US presidents. All eight are dead. Name four of them.

7) One of those men was president while the events portrayed in the film 'Young Guns' took place. Another later president shares his first name and middle initial with an artist whose song sampled the film. Name the artist and song, along with both presidents.
8) Because the pinnacle of success for any musical artist should be a fine luxury automobile, name three songs that center around Cadillacs.

9) Which Ohio-born former president is the namesake of the elementary school in a holiday classic filmed, in part, in Cleveland, though based in another state entirely? I've told you once.  Go ask Mjenks, he knows.
10) Which movie based in Cleveland and featuring one of the stars of Young Guns was filmed, in part, in my home town of Milwaukee?

As always, I grade on a curve. Partial credit will be given for partial answers. No credit will be given for smart remarks, unless they're really funny.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Same As It Ever Was

As I woke this morning, bleary-eyed and still unsure of my surroundings, the day didn't feel any different from others. Cool, rainy, a perfect day to sleep in while the rest of the family goes off to do their things, while I loll about, eating cake for breakfast and wishing I could work on the projects around the home for which I took off the entire week.  Because we just moved, I did NOT take the second week of May as vacation this year.

It's almost always cold and rainy this week in May, I know this because for many, many years I have taken this week off, in an attempt to ignore our culture of celebrating the aging process so blatantly. I didn't do that this year, this year I faced my aging head-on, and it went remarkably well, I suppose. There were no balloons and confetti in my office, no gibes about my creaking bones as today I achieve the near pinnacle of agedness, I 'turned' 39.
This is not my beautiful car...

It really didn't click over like a cheap odometer, or a 1974 clock radio with the flappy numbers, it just kind of happened. It arrived like so many other days, and as I've passed the years, the days seem less and less significant.

Most recently, I celebrated my 30th. I actually made a point to plan an outdoor picnic for family and friends, a day spent in the park playing volleyball and grilling red meat. Prior to that, I may have celebrated my 12th birthday, with some minor fanfare for the 15th and an impromptu cake-and-candling by my college roommate at 20. Otherwise, I have made every effort to ignore the day, letting it pass like 364 of its brethren.

Today, I found it difficult to tie my shoes. One might blame this on age, but I doubt it. More than likely, I can't tie my shoes due to my mass. Weight, like age, is just a number. A much larger number.

When I was young I set goals and dreams based on age. I thought that by 25, I'd have a job I loved, a career. I'd have a wife and kids, a home in the country. Twenty-five came and went. That subsequent year, time passed and I wasn't sure how to handle that goal lost. I hit 26. No big deal, but when 27 rolled around, I was devastated. No family. Every day going to work was a crushing weight. And while I'd been in my apartment for a few years, that hardly passed for a country estate.
This is my beautiful wife...

Not quite eleven years ago, I met Lori. Shortly thereafter, I met her daughters. Our relationship grew slowly, ever slowly, and since I'd given up my expiration-dated dreams, I fought the relationship for a while. But now, I have a beautiful wife. Beautiful daughters. A large luxury automobile. (Where does that highway go to? Under the water, carry the water.) Six weeks ago, I started a new job, one for which I'm so excited by the possibilities I can hardly contain myself. No home in the country, but it is a beautiful house.
This is me, barely containing myself...

So there you have it. Empirical evidence that 39 is the new 25.  Now I just need a giant suit.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again

Oh, dear reader, how I've missed you.  It's been a busy week at Chez NFG, what with the packing and the unpacking and the driving and such.  N'glavin. 

For anyone who doesn't already know, we're now Ohioans by residence, if not yet legally. (Still featuring America's Wang on the license plates and driver's licenses.  Can't do everything at once, you know....)  I've been working here, off and on, for the last six weeks, we're finally permanently ensconced.  No more hotel pillows for me, thank you.

Somewhere in the midst of this, I passed the 50-mark on subscribers to this little queso-centric world o' mine, so I thank each and every one of you kiddoes, my dear, dedicated readers.  You deserve so much better, you really do, so I'm gracious for every little word you choose to read here.  We'll get this train back on track soon enough.  I've been dreaming up new quizzes, and there are pictures and stories to share.  (And I'll be here when the day is new, and I'll have more ideas for you.)

Our movers were great, and ask and ye shall receive, we had the same driver that moved us to Florida back in '07.  Mike is a wonderful guy, and seeing that big white and yellow truck in front of the house brought back memories.  He recognized many of the boxes crushed by our previous move, boxes that never got unpacked in 2 1/2 years.  We even happened to pass him a few times on the road, and stopped at the same rest area for lunch so chatted for a little while.  Not that I could hear my phone ring in the car, but he also called to warn us about some impending road construction while he was ahead of us.  I have no desire to participate in another cross-country move any time soon, but he's the go-to guy if change rears its difficult head at us again.

Moving also meant new discoveries.  When Lori moved a shelf in our old living room, she found a mummified frog, a remnant of the frosty winter we had in Florida. 

We had a few stowaways, lizards that haven't quite come to terms with the sudden temperature shift.  One hitched a ride inside the rim of my potted rosemary bush, and the other managed to stow away inside Lori's desk.  It was 95 degrees the day our movers packed the truck down in Florida, and the last few days here have been in the low 40's with rain and hail.  Sucks to be cold-blooded, apparently.  Though I'll take lizards over cockroaches "palmetto bugs" any day.

Made our first meal in the new kitchen last night, herb-stuffed chicken breasts with a roasted beef marrow risotto.  Worked out very nicely, though I still need to fine-tune the location of some of the more popular utensils.  Oh, and we still need to find the box with all of our flatware. 

The dammit is transitioning as well as can be expected, he seems to recall quite well what the bark collar does.  He may have a few more bouts of collar-wearing until he figures out on his own that there's nothing to bark at (except the giant squirrels).  Hopefully he figures that out before he figures out the battery's been dead for three years.

And after more than a month spent sleeping in rented beds, air mattresses and the floor, I'm glad to be back in my own bed again, this time for more than a few days at a crack.  And despite Lori's flagrant use of earplugs for dramatic effect, I know she missed my snoring over the last month.  I'm sure of it.  Just ask her.  No, wait, don't ask.   Just trust me, she's fine with it.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Movin' movin' movin', keep them doggies movin'

When all is said and done, I think my hide may end up being raw, as well.  

This is the week of the big move.  The 'entrust all you own to someone who did a great job last time, but still worry that it won't get there' move.  The 'don't forget something, because you'll never see it again' move. 

And Florida's weather is cooperating nicely, achieving 95% humidity and 95 degrees every day.  The mutant Cuban tree monkeys frogs were out last night.  Thanks for helping me not miss you, America's Wang Sunshine State.  

We are, as I may have mentioned, Ohio-bound.  This will be a long but worthwhile week for us, as we caravan to the new home 1100 miles away.  

Talk amongst yourselves.  I'll be back soon, I've been working on a quiz for a while, but given as I don't have time to moderate my comments or reply to everyone's witticisms, it seems best to let that go for now.  Sad, since I've just hit 50 readers, and now there's no content-rich posts for them to read.

But hey, you could use the free time too, I imagine.  Consider it a gift.

Be nice and share!

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