Tuck the Kiddies in Bed First...

This is not really going to be a work friendly post...or at least it will be perceived that way.

Seems that the folks over a NASA have been busy thinking of ways to put skin on robots. Don't really know why. Don't really care.

What results is a funny (albeit bassackwards) pr campaign. And if you think someone on the Daily Show isn't about to eat this up...think again.

Just so you know...the following has the potential to offend (but what advance in progress didn't offend someone along the way).

Here's NASA's official story on the product.

And here's the video.

And, in the off chance that you needed incentive...here's a screen capture from the video:


Confessions of a Poser/Halloween Pt. 2

I'm a poser. Or at least I was until tonight.
In casual conversation anytime between yesterday and the month after I graduated high school, I had no problem letting slip to anyone in casual conversation that I "used to skate" in my teen days. Which, to be honest, was bulls**t. My "skating" amounted to the following: carrying around issues of Thrasher, being able to talk the talk, but being deathly afraid someone at somepoint would call me out. Luckily, a knee injury my senior year (on Ski Club) ended my pro career before it even took off.

I wanted to be a skater. They were cool. They listened to cool shit. Wore cool shoes. Got hot goth babes (Before anyone knew enough to call them goth) and had kick ass haircuts. I didn't listen to 'cool' music. My first exposure to DeadKennedies or Violent Femmes was on the car ride downtown to the anti-drug meetings with Kara Putinksy. She was a punk. She hung out with skaters (and other people who seemed out of place at an anti-drug rally). And I probably had a crush on her. But she was in high school and I wasn't. She knew all about the skater lifestyle. As did some of the people I attended school with.

The closest I came to this was a Variflex skateboard (complete with the little side rails and wussy plastic kick guard in the back) from K-Mart. I didn't dare ride this at home, lest someone think I knew more about skating than I really did. No, instead I rode this at my grandparents farm in KY. Truth be told, it really was not conducive to learning anything about skating. I learned how to do a kick turn (or was it really just a spin?) on gravel. And my papaw put a couple of sheets of plywood in the yard for me to skate on (he didn't know who Tony Hawk or Steve Caballero were but if his grandson wanted to be like them, it was cool by him). One summer, I came home. The board didn't. That was officially the end of my skating (my dirt bike days met a similar end, although I could hang a little better on a bike than a board).

Somewhere along in my 20's, my skating exploits seemed to be bigger in my memory than they actually were. The 3 sheets of plywood where a quarter pipe. And I was grinding and doing tricks like nobody's business. Of course I never really came right out and said I could do all that stuff. I just never said I couldn't. A few well placed nods completed the facade. Fact of the matter is, I couldn't (and still can't) even Ollie.

My stepson got a board (from Target) a couple weeks ago. The kids at the skate park are giving him shit because it's not a real board (real meaning from a skateshop). But the owners of the two skateshops that I've talked to said that the Target board is the best way to start. No sense spending upwards of $65 if he's going to get sick of it in 2 months. And it will be good for him to learn on a board like that. I told him this and told him to tell the kids at the skate park to stick it (only I said it in a nicer way than that). But I know how he feels. I had the equivalent back in the day of a Target Deck (only then, they were from K-Mart).

I, however, have a slightly sweeter deck now than I did in my youth. It's a Jones Soda Company branded deck (don't know who makes it, but it looks like it came from the skate shop-and since Bucky and Bam both ride for Jones, I'm guessing it's pretty decent). And I can't ride to save my ass. Tommy asked me to show him some tricks (since to him, a stepdad who hops on a board is pretty darn cool--cooler than a stepdad who just plays tony hawk on PS2)...and I had to tell him..."Dude. You are better now than I ever was. I have nothing to teach you on the board." Jen started skating tonight, too. I let her start out on the Jones deck. I wanted to see if she'd be into it before we get her her first board (from Target). She was, and she really seemed like she was having fun with it. Which was pretty cool. And she's pretty much up to speed with where I was when I was their age (meaning in another week or so, she'll pass me too).

When we were in the skate shop (OldSkool), I talked to the dude. He asked me why I didn't get the Jones deck set up for Tommy. I told him that my goal was to lose some weight and take up skating myself. He told me that skating again helped him lose 20lbs. He said he was just sitting around getting fat. I told him I know the feeling.

So, tonight the posing ended. Jen and I took turns on the board. I skated (a bit). I damn near pulled my groin. But it was fun-the skating, not the groin pulling. And it was really neat to see the look in the kids eyes when I was on the board. It didn't take long for it to all come back to me (since I really hadn't progressed much beyond my variflex days).

Maybe I had something to teach Tommy afterall. That it's never too late to go back and try it again. And 20 years isn't too long to be off the board...as long as you get back on.

I have no illusions of being any good at skating. I would like to get to the point where I could Ollie. Or where I could drop in at the skatepark or at Nash's 1/2 pipe and not be scared that I'm gonna kill myself. But I'm holding no illusions of grandeur. Nancy runs and works out. If I can skate and ride my bike and get the exercise I need, then I'm cool with it. Anything's better than sitting around getting fat.

I just think I need to get some pads.

And, as promised, here are some of the remaining pix from the Halloween party that we went to last night:

Here's the whole family:

Here's me doing the "Hulk pose"--yes, I tried to tell them that Bruce Banner never actually did that, it was the Hulk (the TV Hulk) that did that, but I was overruled (although, after seeing this pic, I think I'm gonna go as the Hulk next year).

Here's one of Nancy and I (tell me you don't look at this and think King of Queens--I know!!) . She's such a hottie!

And that concludes tonight's post. I'm going to hit the sack now. Today was quite the full day (blowing leaves in the front yard, riding my bike around, going to my parents for my grandfather's birthday lunch, and then trying to ride a skateboard this evening)...and I'm tired.

Night all.


Halloween, Pt. 1.3

There are few holidays I enjoy more than Halloween. It plays in to my inherent sense of theatrics. Like the severed head. It looks a LOT creepier in photos and video than it does in real life (although it looks pretty damn good in person too).

Normally Halloween weekend would find us in Indiana for the annual Monster Nash. But due to some video work I'm doing for the church (and the fact that we had the kids this weekend), we found ourselves staying in Ohio. And, since we were here, we found our way over to our friends' family halloween party (a lot LOT tamer than Nash's, but still enjoyable in its own right.

Nancy went as a 'Pink Lady'-esque hottie from the Grease era. Tommy went as a ghoul of some sort. I was Bruce Banner (after having just changed back from being the Hulk) and Jen went as Darth Vader.

Later, another Vader showed up (along with a dude who fully committed to the Darth Maul costume complete with horns spirit glued to his head).

Here's Jen with mini-Vader:

Duane went as Dr. Ben Dover, proctologist. His wife went as a hemorrhoid. Here's a 'sample.'

And here's Duane, munching on the sample. It really was quite creative (and tasty, too).

My two favoritist costumes were Dan and Kenny. Dan went as white trash. Kenny was KegMan. And yes, the tap is fully functioning (it's quite bad-ass).

I'll probably post more pictures as I get them (for once I wasn't on the camera the whole night...I was just there having fun).

I'm also expecting some pix and footage from Nash's Bash. It'll be interesting to edit footage of a party that I didn't attend (and yet, I'm definitely up to the challenge).

Happy Halloween, y'all!!


Extra Crispy Thrift

Halloween is upon us and as the town where the 18th Amendment was drafted, we sure know how to party! We close the streets (well, some side streets), put up all of our Council "elect me" signs and throw a little party we call "Fourth Friday--Midnight Madness!!!"

After a satisfying run at the local pizza buffet, we hit the streets. First up was a vintage shop that we normally just walk past, but the siren song of hot cider and warm donuts was too much for me to take in my weakened condition (that condition being having just gorged myself on pizza and cinnamon rolls).

But...I WAS glad I had the camera. That way I'm not the only one creeped out by what we saw.

Starting the gore fest off is the parade of creepy dolls.

Starting with the Linda Blair "Exorcist Play-At-Home Game" (just add pea soup for a hellishly good time):

Linda Blair Doll

From that we go to the Baby-That-Had-Its-Eye-Gouged-Out:

EYE see you!!!

Joan Rivers must really be older than dirt. We found the rare Joan Rivers Doll (I'd say it's sometime after the 3rd plastic surgery but before the 7th time under the knife):

Joan Rivers Doll

From the creepy dolls we headed over to the $75 hat that everyone had to try on. First on deck was Tommy:

Tommy Hat

Then Jen gave it a go (and actually sported it quite well):

Jen Hat

I'm not sure what was in the coffee that Nancy had, but we had to cut her off after this one:

Nancy Hat

If you were a kid in the late 70's, early 80's you knew the name Ben Cooper. And you vowed that if you ever met him in the street, you'd kick his ever lovin' teeth in. Why? Because, he was the butt munch that made millions selling the boxed Halloween "costumes" (which amounted to little more than a mould injected plastic face with a white elastic band that ripped if you crossed your eyes, coupled with an art smock that loosely resembled whatever character was left on the K-Mart shelf by the time your mom remembered that you needed a costume for the Halloween party at school tomorrow).

Usually what was left was something like this. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you PsychoSmurf:

Creepy Smurf
Or, if you were really unlucky your mom came home with He-Man and never once questioned the sales rep who told her the reason they had 3 shelves of that was because it was SO popular that they ordered extra.

(s)He Man

This one deserves a closer look:

(s)He Man 2I have to say, though that if Ben Cooper had been on the ball, they could have cleared out the warehouses of the He-Man costumes by repackaging them as the "Dawson" costume.

VanDerStudEither way it was a gay costume. It was gay then. It's gay now. So, yeah, it would have been perfect as a Dawson re-issue. By the power of GaySkull!!

And if you were the unlucky pup that got stuck with the He-Man/Dawson costume, you were also probably unfortunate enough to get a plastic pumpkin full of the worst Halloween candy ever....the Peanut Butter chew in Festive Orange and Black Wax Paper:

Peanut Butter ChEWWWWWWWs

Happy Halloween y'all!


Thrifting With Todd: Episode 1:"High Plains Thrifter"

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's this: I dig going to the thrift store.

There's a few decent ones near my house and there there's this one:

When it was Builder's Square, I never went there (of course I was 14). But now? I'm there at least once a week.

It's basically my mecca.

On the last Wednesday of every month, everything (mostly everything) is 1/2-off. Needless to say it's usually a mad house.

Yesterday was no exception.

It was just nutty. Seriously. I have an hour for lunch, and this store is 5 minutes from where I work. If I actually buy something on these crazy Wednesdays, I'm late getting back to the office. So, I only really buy stuff on the crazy Wednesdays when my boss is out of the office.

I thought that you might like to step into the weirdness that is Thrifting With Todd --as soon as Blogger lets you associate theme music with text, there will be some there (and yes, this will be a regular feature as I frequently encounter weirdness at the thrift store).

Starting off the parade, we have....OLD SKOOL STERRYERRYOHHH...

I was kind of bummed that the lights didn't show up in this picture. This thing was SWEET!!. It had the obligatory 8-track player and the futuristic vibe from the 70's (which I guess now is more of a retro-vibe).

I don't know how they got a copy of our company handbook at the thriftstore.

Now I know what you're thinking. What is THAT doing at a thrift store (and for 90 cents, no less)?? Well....relax.
Turns out it's only a Carrot Avon Perfume thingie (the top was found on a subsequent trip---yes we went back again later the same day).

Sad because you can't relive the glory days of 1991? Weep silently no more. You can get another copy of your Color Me Badd album on cassette and go back in time.

I sincerely hope this has something to do with golf.

This is what the cover of this series looks like drunk. Which is what you'd have to be to listen to 12 tapes on effective negotiating. Face it, if you were any good at negotiating, you'd have gotten out of listening to the tapes in the first place.

I'm not sure which is worse-the fact that this book even exists at all or the fact that it was sold and purchased at a 'real' book store and then later discarded. Oh how the royal family must have wept.

Fancy Thanksgiving wall art...

...or stylish hat on hat action?

Dude. I was SO totally making the Hulk face underneath the mask!!

Oh Britney, what happened? Such a long way from the Mickey Mouse Club...

....these days, I think "time out with" Britney now comes standard with a visit to the free-clinic.

I guess the obvious question is what use do the Amish have for an electric coffee maker? (Although, I don't think she was really Amish. I didn't see any buggy in the parking lot).


Can you imagine what Christmas morning was like when this present was opened? I bet little Billy got his mouth washed out with soap for saying "What the hell?---I said LEGO's....LEG-OHHH."

See. I told you it was a carrot. Sickos. (Although I touched it on the first trip, I was nowhere near brave enough to smell what scent Avon associated with Carrot).

And on the way back to work, I only had 2 regrets...(1)I didn't buy the Hulk mask...and (2)I didn't have a chance to wash my hands after handling the carrot until WELL after I was back at the office.

As we were pulling out, I happened to get behind this van. Now, I don't really care about what cause your ribbon is tied to (my personal fave is the green ribbon that says "Support Magnetic Ribbons"), but...um...if you're ribbon is autism...don't you think you'd pick a nice soothing color? No. You pick EVERY color-like Rainman doesn't have enough to worry about without sensory overload on mommy's van. Wow.

And that concludes this week's "Thrifting with Todd." Be sure to tune in next week when we look at the fine literary selection, the aisle where naked dolls go to die, and some hot vinyl-on-vinyl action.


First Post (All Over Again)

I've been here before. A couple years back I had a blog named, originally enough, "Random Meanderings". So, this is not new ground to me.

What is new is a level of self censorship. When my daughter was younger, there was little chance that she would see what was in my blog. So, my colored commentaries on life, politics, driving in Ohio could spew forth in all their glory.

This is no longer the case. She surfs the web at her mom's house (or when she comes to work with me). And I know she has found one of my blogs and have no doubt that she'll find this one, too.

But that's OK. When I was a kid someone said 'never say anything you wouldn't want your mom to read.' Pretty good advice. And, I guess if I feel the urge to really let loose with profanities, I can always drop a little 'friends-only' action over in LJ land.

So where was I? Oh yes. Randomness.

That's the name of this blog.

Things that strike me as funny, odd, weird, sad, all of the above will most likely find their way here.

Today's fortune cookie says it best:

You are given the chance to take part in an exciting adventure.

Indeed, fortune cookie, indeed.

Failing NaNo - 4 Years and Counting

I looked, Dear Readers, and noted that the last time I saw fit to let the words fall from my brain bucket and onto these virtual pages was o...