Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow Days Like The Old Days

22 clever quips

All this snow that's been relentlessly pelting us here in the neutral zone between New York and New England has made this 39(ish)-year-old feel nostalgic.

snow-drift-window So gather `round, kiddies, and let me tell you about the winters back when I was your age.

Oh, it was a golden time. Golden! The adults would just sit around all day, warming their hands around some brown dishwater they called coffee back then, complaining about how the weathermen had overhyped a storm that never materialized.

Yes, whippersnappers, I said "men." None of these zaftig chippies thrusting their occluded fronts all up in your face like today, no siree, Bob!

(What? You're name is Madison? Your folks name you after the mermaid in Splash or something?)

Back in the olden days - you know, the early 1980s - to be a TV weather prognosticator in you had to be male. You also had to be either portly or have a goofy nickname -- often both.

`Course we only had seven channels back then. Moreover, news was only allowed to be reported at meal times or right before bed. That's how we stayed so thin in those days: highly concentrated doses of media-induced agita.

After the weather liars frightened the bejeezus out us all, we'd scurry down to the Finast and purchase every last loaf of bread, carton of eggs and gallon of milk we could find. Why? Why to make the French toast, wisenheimer! Mounds of it!

What for? Why we'd toss it onto the streets so our rear-wheel-drive cars could get some traction. Yeah, you yungins don't know how lucky you are these days, what with your fancy 4x4s and your SUVs and your microwavable Aunt Jemima.

Broadcasters weren't always scaring us, though. Other times, they’d magically transmit through the air only the most wholesome entertainment like post-Somers "Three's Company" and pre-McGinley "Love Boat."

Huh? What do I mean “magically transmit”? Well, we had these oversized potato mashers screwed onto the roof that would transmogrify these invisible electrostatic streams of Technicolor down into a big honkin' cathode ray tube housed in a wooden crate the exact size, shape and weight of one of those Acme safes that were always dropping on Wile E. Coyote's skull. Ah, they don't oversaturate afternoon programming with genuine cartoon violence like that anymore, Junior. That's why you're so soft.

Then the cable TV came to town. That was the end of it. In came the HBO. The Cinemax. The sticking of the tin foil through the vents in the back of the box to sneak a peek of a partially descrambled Playboy Channel movie. Shocking. Literally. I've heard.

All the children started staying in at night. They were glued to the front of the tube instead of out loitering in the Friendly's parking lot, hopped up on hormones and strawberry Fribbles, or holding keg parties on one of the back holes of the golf course.

Bah, that's what passes for progress nowadays.

What's that? Oh, right. Winter when I was a kid.

After all that "storm of the century" talk on the airwaves, you know what? We'd get six flakes of snow. Six!

It'd stay so warm none of the ponds would freeze, not that they could anyway, what with all the chemicals from the old Big Mac clamshell containers we used to toss in there. But instead of thanking our lucky stars, we'd just grumble about those nincompoop forecasters who got us riled up for nothing.

Good times, good times.

Well, looks like another 18 inches has fallen outside. Now you kids -- get off my lawn! I mean it. Unless one of you wants to dig out the old Christmas tree I left there last week for the men to pick it up for recycling.

If you do, I'll give ya a shiny Susan B. Anthony dollar.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gimme 3 Steps (Away from that Crowded Gym)

21 clever quips

Time once again for me to put on my imitation doctor’s coat (and maybe some pants) to offer you dear readers a healthy dose of my reality when it comes to your health. Enjoy. – Dr. Uncool, Ph.D., D.V.M., M.I.S.S.I.S.S.I.P.P.I

Resolved to have a healthy 2011? Yeah, yeah, yeah -- get in line, pal.

exercise motivationNo, not that line six-deep for the elliptical.

Gyms crowded with the jiggling masses of resolute resolution-makers are the unhealthiest places to be in January.

Cardio equipment drenched in Staphylococcus-infested sweat!

Barbells bathed in rhinovirus-tinged mucous flakes!

Air heavy with guilt over the 17 pounds of homemade peppermint bark wolfed down during the annual New Year's Day Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy!

January should be all about making a better you, but within the safe confines of your own home. Considering the shape you're in, do you really want to wear those booty-hugging workout shorts in a public setting?

Thought not. So, don't worry -- I got your back.

And your ample backside.


You could start with the latest fad diet. (What is it these days? The Cookie Diet? The Cookie Puss Diet? The Cokie Roberts Diet?) However, the words "latest" and "fad" should clue you in that these are temporary solutions that will soon leave you in the McFatburger drive-thru lane off life’s highway.

Your best approach to reforming your gluttonous ways and developing better habits, at least according to all the chick magazines my wife subscribes to, is by keeping a food journal.

(Aside: You women do realize these magazines just present new combinations of the same 23 tips about sex, diet and fashion every few months, right? The most groundbreaking thing in each article is usually the level of hyperbole in each headline like "Learn the Naughty Skill to Dress Thinner! So You Can Powerfood Your Way to a Tighter Tush!! That He'll Love to Discuss with Sensitively!!! FAT-FREE!!!!")

How does writing down every little sweet, salty, fat-enhanced calorie make you lose weight? I'm guessing self-induced embarrassment.

When you write down the fact that the half a box of Entenmanns's Rich Frosted Chocolate Donuts you devoured for breakfast meant you crammed 1,200 calories and 80 grams of fat down your gullet, you naturally start to re-evaluate your food choices. Gorging on a half box of Entenmanns's Crumb Donuts would have saved you 200 calories and 32 grams of fat, Porky! I just saved you like 6 sit-ups!

You may be tempted to share your food journal, thinking you'll get much needed support and admiration from others. Maybe. Or maybe it'll be like that time Arbitron sent you two shiny quarters to record your radio listening habits for two weeks and you somehow kept misspelling "Howard Stern" as "NPR."


You'd be surprised how much heart-healthy, calorie-burning exercise you can get just by doing the housework you've been neglecting or hiring others to do for you, you lazy elitist slob.

Let's start in the kitchen. When was the last time you:

  • Moved your refrigerator and swept out of the three feet of dust bunnies, lost takeout menus and fallen magnets from defunct dry cleaners?
  • Defrosted your freezer using only ball bearings and old toothbrush?
  • Scoured the burnt stuff off from under each and every pan with just elbow grease, a waffle and three jiggers of Nutella??

I thought so. Now, c’mon and get dirty so later you and your loved one can, you know, get dirty together.


Stress is the No. 1 silent killer in most U.S. households (though in ours, dried apricots hold a distinctive “Silent but Deadly” title of their own). The best thing you can do to relieve stress, you can do lying down. And by yourself!

That's right -- sleep.

A long-term lack of regular sleep has been linked to all sorts of evils, such as obesity, diabetes – even making out with Snooki from Jersey Shore. To prevent this, you should aim to get a minimum of seven solid hours of ZZZZZs a day, and yes -- you can count any time you spent catatonic from the mindlessness of watching TMZ, infomercials or any movie featuring Ashton Kutcher.

Follow these three steps and by Valentine's Day, you'll be rested, revved and raring to re-hire your cleaning service. Then, head to the nearest gym which should be fairly deserted because the other resolution makers have already given up, opting to burn calories through a Necco Sweethearts sugar frenzy.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Delurk and You May Drink My Milkshake (if You Don’t Mind Pepsi in it)

35 clever quips

What?! I stay off the Internet for a week to do some actual paying work (but mostly freebie stuff for the Things’ school because who has got the title “Yearbook Editor,” a masochistic streak and two thumbs? This moron!) and I almost miss Delurking Day?

image GRRRRR!

OK, here’s how we make amends.

You leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, and I’ll enter you in a drawing for some prizes courtesy of those wacky Pepsi Refresh Grant people:

FIRST PRIZE: A coupon for a free 12-pack of any Pepsi product (Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Mug Root Beer, or any of the many Pepsi formulations out there)!

SECOND PRIZE: TWO coupons for a free 12-pack of any Pepsi product!

THIRD PRIZE: Another coupon for a free 12-pack of any Pepsi product!

Leave a valid e-mail in the proper form window so I can notify (and your dentist) if you if you win.

I had 68 comments last time I did Delurking Day, and I only had about 250 subscribers then.

Considering I allegedly have 946 subscribers to this here blog, let’s be really ambitious and aim for … 104?

C’mon – I dare ya!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Words I Write Ain’t Big or Bright (or Even Here)

18 clever quips

Happy New Year, everyone!

While I’m still digging out our home from My Love’s annual overly ambitious holiday decorating work (I’ve rolled up 56 extension cords and unplugged 29 lighting timers in the two days since I started this project, and those laid-off British Royal Guardsmen she hired as live “nutcrackers” are not taking my pleas to stand down seriously), please take a click over to Kristine’s Wait in the Van blog to read “The Northeasterner’s Guide to Texas” I prepared for her before she heads to the Lone Star State this spring.

Anyone want some leftover candy canes? How about a few hundred white doves of peace?

Mmmm, squaaaaab!


My Uncool Past