Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year’s Resolutions for 2012

Let me propose something radical.  Sure, we know that the ancient Mayans had an advanced civilization.  They survived the Spanish Conquistadores.  They had psychic powers far greater than any seen today.  Their knowledge of herbal medicine allowed them to cure diseases from the common cold to advanced forms of cancer.  They had rocket cars.  They colonized Mars.  They invented a machine that would have stopped George Lucas from creating the Star Wars prequels.

The Movie Doctor: Sky High

In my continuing tradition of dredging up old movies that have been bugging me for years, I present to you a new installment of the Movie Doctor.  In these segments, I talk about a movie that I think I would have done a great job if they had hired me on as a movie doctor to massage the script.  Since they didn’t, their movie is destined to be remembered as “not as great as it good have been if they had hired Matthew to help out.”

As always, these are spoiler-heavy.  What else did you expect from an HMO?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fun with Freecycle: Curtain

Behold, the world’s greatest invention: the curtain with tension rod!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Et Tu Disney?

I used to have a great deal of respect for Walt Disney.  Sure, the man was an egotist who insisted that the company change its name from Disney Brothers Studio to Walt Disney Studio.  Sure, he strong-armed P.L. Travers, adding an anti-feminist message to the end of Mary Poppins.  Sure, he created sanitized, bland versions of fairy tales to the world.

No, wait, that's the wrong sleeping beauty.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Annual Christmas Tradition

This year, I am spending my Christmas Day the same way I do every year.  It is a tradition that I have taken part in for over a decade, ever since I worked at Oracle Corporation.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Heating and Air Conditioning, Part 5

I have discovered a vast conspiracy.  This conspiracy has infiltrated all levels of government, not only at the state, federal, and city level, but also the National Park Service, and the people who make Duraflame logs.

You heard that  right, bitches: Duraflame is in on it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Generic Alternatives

When I was a kid, someone invented the idea of Generic Food.  Generic was a cheaper, frequently more disgusting, copy of a name-brand product.

I only assume generic was cheaper to make because they saved money on label ink.
Generic became very popular.  My home town even had a generic bus.  Then, one day, generic disappeared.  I was puzzled by its absence, then realized what happened.  They didn't go away; they just got sneakier.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Comcast Doesn't Suck?

After the events of Friday's post, I didn't expect much from Comcast.  If you didn't want to read my last post but want to understand my experience, follow these steps:
  1. Call Comcast and ask them to take away their old cables.
  2. When they don't come by, call them back and ask again.
  3. Repeat for nearly a year.
Sure, there were some exciting moments, like when Comcast told me they were coming and then didn't, but mostly my experience stuck to the above script.  Anyway, out of frustration, I emailed the head of Northern California public relations and posted to my blog an appeal for both my readers to do the same.

Well, Comcast retaliated.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Comcast Sucks

What should I write about today?

Silliest pic I could find of him.
The passing of Christopher Hitchens?

Hm.  While I have never read any of his works and only have a peripheral idea of who he was, I know he was a great man because he pissed so many people off.

Nah, not narcissistic enough.  You two come to this blog to learn more about me, not some old guy with cancer.

"Daddy, I don't feel well."
 My son’s stomach flu?

While it was certainly harrowing for me to have to change the sheets five times last night (not to mention brushing his teeth, bathing him, and dealing with his other symptoms that kept me from sleeping), the details of it was a little gross.
Wrenching my back?

My actual x-ray.  Note the presence of radioactive particles in my spine.
Meh, not interested in physical humor today.

Comcast technical support being punk-ass bitches (whatever “punk-ass bitches” means).

"Give me a subscription service with frickin' lasers on it!"
 Oh, yeah.  BINGO.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sigma Phi Epsilon

Like all both of my readership, I was shocked to hear about the survey the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity sent to its members.  According to this news article, the survey included the question: “If you could rape someone, who would it be?”

First of all, it’s "whom would it be?"

Second, the question wasn’t nearly as shocking as what the recipients of the survey answered.  It turns out that the frat (who has an impressive set of alumni) has been giving out the survey to members for decades, although they only recently changed the word to “rape” from “screw over.”

The police seized the giant trove of completed surveys and read some of the answers at a press conference.  Here’s a sampling:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Time to Put This to Rest

Point being, real heroines aren't defined by their relationships with men.


Parker Kay accused stood before the judge, with thick chains hanging between his wrists and neck.  Behind him, the crowd in the gallery jeered and laughed, waiting for justice to come crashing down on him.

“Mr. Kay,” the judge intoned, “you have been found guilty of inventing an unnatural, processed food product.  Furthermore, you introduced said food product onto an unsuspecting public without warning them of the dangers.  Uncounted numbers of men, women, and children have been stricken with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, infertility, depression and obesity because of your actions.  Do you have anything to say before I pass judgment?”

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reindeer Rentals

Yesterday, I went to the California Academy of Sciences for the first time.  As I wandered around with my children, I thought it seemed like a standard, well-rounded science museum with the obligatory IMAX theater, displays on global warming, fishtank with a guy in a SCUBA suit answering questions, and corral of reindeer.

Yeah, you read that right, they had reindeer in a corral in back.  As I walked up to ask what reindeer were doing in a science museum, I noticed the woman answering questions (while showing off a reindeer antler) wore a jacket that said “California Reindeer Rentals.”  She wasn’t with the museum, she was a reindeer specialist brought in for the occasion.  There are in fact, reindeer professionals.  You can rent reindeer.

Sensing a blog post, I began to ask questions.

Friday, December 9, 2011

War On Christmas

The War on Christmas is very real.  It takes place in our schools, our homes, and our shopping malls.  I know this, because I am a foot soldier in the war.  It is my mission in life to bring Christmas down.

I.  Hate. Christmas.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Search Terms 3

It’s time once again to look at the few meager search terms that people use to get to my site.  When I look at these terms I try to figure out if I can use them to change my site into something that gets more hits.

So, here’s what I got:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why She's Hot

I thought I'd settle this once and for all.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Heating and Air Conditioning, Part 2

I’m currently writing this from the toilet, which I made the mistake of sitting on earlier today.  Hopefully, the sun will eventually warm the house up enough to unfreeze me from the seat.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Heating and Air Conditioning, Part 1

There are a number of problems with buying a house.  Since the housing crisis, mortgages are insanely hard to get, it’s hard to get down payments together, and (if you live in California) Prop 13 will kill you with property taxes.  The worst thing about owning a house is that you are responsible for fixing everything that breaks.

My house breaks a lot.
There were only sixteen other bids!
On Saturday, between fixing the dishwasher, the kitchen drawer handles, the vacuum cleaner, and the bed (as well as scheduling my sons’ swimming and Mandarin classes, playdates, and doing everything else parents do) I noticed the furnace hadn’t turned on in a while.  I checked the thermostat, which said it was telling the heat to turn on but the furnace was refusing to comply.
My next thermostat.  "Raise the heat; you have fifteen seconds to comply."
I walked over to the furnace and checked it out.  Ten minutes later I realized I had no idea what I was looking for.  I called our contractor who took time out of his busy schedule of counting the money I paid him and sent over his friend who worked in heating and air conditioning.

First, he opened up the filters and explained that I had three filters for the furnace and I should have only had one.  Then he showed me the disturbingly thick mat of gunk that covered up the first filters.
“That’s your problem,” he said, “there’s several years of dust built up in there.”

I looked more closely at the gunk, not believing we could have had that much dust in the three years we had been there.  Then I noticed the composition of the dust.

It was all cat hair.  In one year, our two fuzzy cats had choked the furnace to death.  I considered returning the favor.
I don't care if my wife thinks you're "fuzzy wuzzy woo woo!"  You cost me three thousand dollars!
Once the filter was removed, the furnace kicked back in again, and he checked it out with his flashlight.  He was impressed that it had lasted so long (it had been installed in the mid-70s) and then whistled.  He pointed at some long brown lines in the back of the furnace.

They were cracks.  The furnace had been pumping carbon monoxide into the house.

“I’m sorry,” he said.  “Legally, I can’t just leave this thing on.”

Then he reached up and turned a handle.  Our furnace died one final time.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Fun With Freecycle: Knives

You might be wondering why these knives are sitting in my front yard.  I found them there this morning.  Once again, they made a run for it, and I had just managed to grab them before they got to the street to hitchhike.  When I picked them up, they made it very clear that they wanted to find a new home.

Then they stabbed me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Taking Kids to Dinner

Normally, I don’t do product endorsements.  It’s not that I have anything against being paid for doing ads.  It’s just that I’d need more than a thousand-fold increase in readership before I got one.

(By the way, if any of you have 49,955 friends, feel free to send them here.)