Strange things can happen…


Strange Men in Pinstrip Suits Blog Award

So…I was surprised to see that I had been given an award for my blog.  Lynn Rush was kind enough to list me as a recipient of The Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits Blog Award.  Thanks Lynn. 

Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits award

This award is based on the release of Cate Gardner’s short story collection, Strange Men in Pinstriped Suits. The book is available for pre-order and at a discount of $1.99 off of the cover price. To help celebrate this release, Cate and Strange Publications have a contest with two prize packages to choose from.

 The ‘Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits’ award is given to only the strangest of folk, and as the recipient of such you are deemed very strange indeed. Congratulations.

Now you must go forth and celebrate the strangeness of friends (and strangers – strangers are always allowed) by nominating blogs run by strange folk. *Beware, some people don’t like you to refer to them as strange…Try to avoid them if possible.

Some rules:

1. Add the logo of the award to your blog post.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you (don’t mess with strange people).
3. Nominate seven other blogs telling us why you think the recipient is strange enough to deserve the award.
4. Leave a message for those nominated on their blogs.
5. And, if you email catephoenix(at)gmail(dot)com and tell her you’ve received the award for your strangeness, she’ll enter you in the biggest kick-ass Strange Men competition ever. Details over at strangemeninpinstripesuits.com (click on the award link on the home page)

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The hardest part of this is getting together 7 blogs that I think are “strange”.  I don’t want to put anyone off by bestowing them with such a title, but I guess that I’m just going to hold my breath and jump into this one.  So, here goes:

Jeremy-This is probably the strangest guy that I know.  His very short lived blog is just another example of his strange ways.  You can check out his true talents by clicking on his Facebook Photography Site link in the right margins of my blog.

The Ignorant Bystander– I enjoy his strange range of topics and writing style. 

RD Carter– Mrs Carter has some very strange Titles for her blogs.  Very funny…

SelfProclaimedM…-Good blog about topics that are all over the charts.  Strange stuff indeed.

FreakCycle-Strange things going on over at FreakCycle. 

Danny-Some strange short stories on Danny’s blog.

KC-Kids say the stranges things sometimes.  This is a great blog about KC’s daughter, Max.

Well…that about wraps it up folks.  Thanks for reading.  Stay Strange!

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Economy devistates children all over the world: The Toothfairy files Chapter 13


The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000

Image via Wikipedia

Well, well, well….times sure are tough folks.  Here is a great example of just how tough they really are:

My son lost his first tooth this week and boy was he excited.  For once, we did not have to coerce him into going to bed.  We didn’t have to tuck him in or turn out his lights or read him a story.  Nope, not this time.  This time, he hit the sack like a champ.  Lights out, tooth under pillow, and a gapped grin spread across his sweet little face.  This was pay day-Tooth Fairy Day!

Our son is only six, but he knows quite a bit about life and it’s guarantees.  He knows that if he cusses, he gets a spanking.  He knows that if he is good, he gets to play Xbox.  He also knows that the Tooth Fairy pays top dollar for bottom teeth!  Unfortunately, our son woke up rather disappointed on Friday.

I heard him rummaging around in his room early Friday morning.  I could hear him talking to himself and I could also hear him tearing through his sheets looking for something.  Not one to miss out on his strange antics, I got up and made my way to his room.  He looked very disturbed; angry even.  I could tell that he had something on his mind, so I asked him, “Son, what’s the matter?”

“I got stiffed Dad,” he said.

“What do you mean, you got stiffed,” I asked.

“The Tooth Fairy…she didn’t leave me any money,” he shouted.  He lifted his pillow to lay proof to his claim and sure enough, there was no money to be found.  The only thing that lay under his spittle stained pillow were broken dreams.  The tooth was missing, and so was the money.

Shocked, I tried to muster up some encouraging words of wisdom to offer my sobbing child.  I had nothing.  Never in my 30 years on this earth had I heard of such an egregious circumstance.  The Tooth Fairy failed to make good on payment due!  There had to be a logical explanation.  So, like any good Father, I looked to Google for advice.

A quick search for instances of Tooth Fairy misconduct yielded astonishing results.  I clicked on the first link and found that a young couple in South America had suffered through a similar experience.  Dios Mio!  To add insult to injury, the tooth was not the only thing missing from their young Daughter’s room.  It seems that someone had also taken the poor child’s Ipod.  Despicable.

I checked another link…same story.  Tooth gone, no money, and items stolen.  Alarmed by the eerie coincidence, I rushed to my son’s room for a quick inventory of his belongings.  Sure enough, it seemed that he too was the victim of a looting.  His prized copy of Halo for the XBOX 360 was missing.  In it’s place, there was a note.  It read:

“Dear Young Man,

I regret to inform you that due to dismal returns on my investment portfolio and a string of poor choices of a personal nature, I am unable to reimburse you for your lost tooth.  I have, none-the-less, taken said tooth; as it is my inherant duty to ensure that it finds it’s way to it’s final resting place.  It saddens me even further to inform you that I have had to take the liberty of ascertaining one of your video games.  I do hope that I chose one that you don’t often play.  I pray that you hold no ill feelings towards myself or any other variety of fairy.  Our people are in dire financial straights, as we do not qualify for governmental assistance or any social recovery programs.  I did, however, petition President Obama to support a program entitled ‘Cash For Molars,’ but he laughingly declined.  Do not discount the resilient nature of fairy folk.  We will prevail through these difficult times.  My uncle, the Toenail Fairy, has already seemed to have  had some luck in emerging markets.  On a final note, I hope that you are not overly fond of the upcoming holiday, Halloween.  I hear that the Pumpkin King has been incarcerated for selling bootleg DVDs.  It seems that he is unable to make bail.  Best Wishes.  The Tooth Fairy.”

I hope that the economy bounces back soon.  I couldn’t live without Peeps!

I joined the e-reading bandwagon! I feel like a traitor, but it is still kind of cool…


A Picture of a eBook

Image via Wikipedia

Today, in a moment of weakness, I broke down and took a left down E-reader Blvd.  I know folks; I have been a staunch defender of antiquity when it comes to traditional reading, but things have a way of changing.  They certainly do.  Sometimes necessity breeds that change, and so it was in my situation.

I have an extended business trip coming up soon and I really want to get a few good books under my belt while away from the family.  Books kind of make the time fly by just a little quicker, but I only have a limited amount of space,  so I find myself at an impasse:

Do I buy more books that take up a lot of room?

or

Do I acquire an e-reader?

You guessed it!  I went the e-reader route.  I am famously cheap, so purchasing a kindle, sony e-reader, nook, or i-pad is out of the question.  The next best thing is anything free, so I searched the web for a bargain.  I found exactly what I was looking for right here.  Amazon has a Kindle application for PCs that works very well (according to the demo), so I downloaded the app and began my electronic reading journey.

I know that a laptop is fairly large, but don’t blow holes into my decision just yet.  I don’t expect to lug around my HP every time I want to do some reading, rather I intend to use it as a platform for a quick read while taking a break from work.  I can minimize anything that I am working on and pop open a good book; all in the matter of two mouse clicks.  Pretty cool huh?  I think so.

I’ve already downloaded a couple of titles from amazon and I’m pretty excited to check them out.  They have an extensive collection ebooks for sale, not to mention, a broad array of free ebooks!  Goes well with my frugality.  I’ve also packed about four “old school” paper books into my bag for the trip and look forward to immersing myself into those beauties each night prior to bedtime.

Well, I better wrap this up.  I have some e-bookin’ to catch up on.  See you on the information superhighway!

Share the Love (via Mark Steven Thompson)


I meant to post this a couple of days ago, but got sidetracked. The blogosphere can be a pretty small world. This was a great way to start the day. Thanks Mark, for the kind words. Best of luck with your writing and your blog.

I want to say thank you to a fellow blogger. As is the life of those who aspire to write, its only natural you'll take the odd knock and feel as though your not getting anywhere. Most will persevere, keep going, and rise above it, content in the knowledge that its all just part of the process. Yet it helps to have others who are in the same boat as you, perhaps on a similar journey offer a helping hand and some friendly encouragement. I want to e … Read More

via Mark Steven Thompson

Freshly Pressured


Wow…what a weekend folks. I survived another rejection notice, I went to the circus with my wife and kids, and one of my posts was featured on Freshly Pressed! I cannot tell you how excited I was (and still am) that the “Powers that Be” chose one of my posts to be featured! I felt like a rock-star. Still do. I know that my wife and children are probably tired of hearing about it. Thank you to all of the folks out there who visited my blog and all of those who left a comment. I truly enjoyed reading each of your remarks and I hope that you all come back soon for another visit.

There are some definite benefits to being featured on Freshly Pressed. You get the satisfaction of knowing that your blog will be reviewed by more readers and you get a big boost in confidence. On the contrary, there is also an often overlooked consequence to being displayed on the WordPress homepage; pressure. I’m now lumped in with those who belong to the seedy underbelly of the blogosphere; the one time wonders of Freshly Pressed. I now feel super pressured to post better content. I know that quality trumps quantity, but what if I make a spelling error, or even worse, what if one of my blog post falls flat on its digital face? What then? I now know how the primates at the local zoo must feel about their situation. I feel terrible for all of the acclaim and recognition that I have lavished on those simple apes. How pressured they must feel to consistently outdo their last performance…what a shame. In the future I will be mindful of their strife prior to boasting of their over-the-top showmanship and their humorous antics. Perhaps that will allow them a fleeting moment of relief, at the least.

I guess that about does it for now. Again, thanks to those of you who read my blog, even the ones that did not like it. I know who you are, by the way. I hold no grudge, but next year I may forget to remind you of the dreadful day! In the meantime, stay classy!

Friday the 13th meets Cupcake Wars


You know folks, I didn’t even realize that today was Friday the 13th until I read through a few blog posts on the WordPress dashboard. Thank goodness that I have managed to survive. I consider this an amazing feat since I had no forewarning. Thanks FOX News. Thanks CNN. Thanks for nothing! Luckily I have escaped certain death and, being in Japan, I have already weathered most of the evil storm that you all in the states are going to go through over the next 15 hours. As long as I am able to hold it down for the next two hours over here, I should be good to go.

It would have been nice to have known a lot earlier today that somewhere out there lurks a masked killer poised to lob off my head at the drop of a fedora. That is the kind of information that I am looking for when I watch television, but there was absolutely no mention of this ominous date in the media today. Again, this could well be the fact that I am 13 hours ahead of EST, but that doesn’t excuse the media’s lackadaisical attitude towards the most notorious day of the year; not to mention their total disregard for my safety. Perhaps they should issue some sort of “Crimson Alert” type of thing when crazed psychopath killers are out on the loose, but instead of a cutting edge early warning system for serial murderer celebratory days, when I turn on the television, I see Cupcake Wars. Yep, you heard me folks; Cupcake Wars! I flipped on the tv and that is all I got. No warnings, no news, no political banter. Just Cupcake Wars.

For those of you who have never seen this ‘amazing’ television show, it goes a little something like this:
The audience is introduced to four sets of pastry chefs from all over the United States. Occasionally, the viewing public is surprised by an interesting import such as a French pastry chef or a Cambodian cupcake cook. Almost always, there is a contestant who is all tattooed up and is running an edgy bakery somewhere in Southern California. Probably pot cupcakes, but I digress.

These blowhards get all worked up competing against each other to create unique cupcake recipes that revolve around various themes, depending on the week. Unfortunately, there is only so much that one can do with a flipping cupcake. These “chefs” usually come off to me as self-indulgent windbags, especially the moron covered with tattoos that thinks that he is bringing something raw to the world of cupcakes. Newsflash dipstick. There is already something raw about cup-caking. It’s called eggs! Give me a break. You are an overrated caterer for children birthday parties and company potlucks. You make miniature cakes for crying out loud. You don’t even make big boy pastries!

The big shots that run network programming need to get a grip. How the hell is a cinnamon ginger jalapeno cupcake going to stop Jason Voorhees? Perhaps he is a sucker for red velvet, but I highly doubt it. The only red that he wants to see is the blood that he squeezes out of your jugular!

2010 Name That Twin Contest


Well folks, today marks the day for the first annual Name That Twin Campaign. The rules are simple. You must tag my twin brother Jeremy and I each with a fitting nickname. Sadly, most of you out there do not know us. In actuality, this is a post that is none-to-covertly aimed at getting under my dear brother’s skin. Either way, if you would like to play, please feel free to chime in. The contest will run for seven days and will be open to anyone who can bang out a coherent entry on their keyboard. I will announce the winner on my blog in seven days.

I have come up with my own entry to start things off. Don’t worry, I will try not to be biased when judging, but I am fairly certain that my entry will win.

Here is my entry:

Me: The Professor

Jeremy: The Chimp

***Disclaimer-my brother is not actually a primate, but in some circles I am considered a professor.***

What do you folks think? It is kind of catchy, huh? I imagine that it will make conversations regarding my brother and I much more interesting. For example:

“Wow, did you see the pictures that The Chimp took this weekend at Vikki’s wedding?”

“What? Vikki hired a Chimp to photograph her big day? I knew that she and Bill were struggling, but jeez louise.”

or

“Did you hear that The Professor is now living in Japan?”

“I did. I also heard that The Professor and his wife are expecting their third child.”

“The Professor is awesome.”

“I know. He is, isn’t he.”

I tell you what folks, nicknames sure can spice things up. I am looking forward to some interesting entries. Good luck and hope to hear from you soon. Let the fun begin!