Friday, November 16, 2012

Blogs? Yeah I remember blogs...


I kind of feel like him today...


When's the last time you've even read a blog?  I rarely do anymore.  Remember when people kept up with people via blogs?  Then Facebook happened and we turned there.  Then Twitter.  I'm on both.  Who isn't?  Are we lazy? Will 140 characters and memes suffice now?   For me, the answer is usually yes, though I don't really know what a meme is or where that word came from.  Wait a second...

Okay, apparently, the word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins for his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, although his concept refers to a much broader category of cultural information.  Richard Dawkins is also an evolutionary biologist and atheist. Thanks Wikipedia!  I'm not either of those things though I do like large tortoises and marine iguanas. 


Follow me boys!


Do you mind if we hold hands?



One time I saw a show about lizards that looked like fish and lived in the desert.  Did anyone else see that?  It's been a long time.  Crazy fish.  I mean lizard.  Err sandfish lizard. Here's a picture:

I can swim in the sand. What can you do?


So, I've decided that I don't want to let this blog die.  Why?  Not sure.  But, I've decided to return.  Triumphantly?  Maybe... From the dead?  Kind of...  The question is whether you will?  If you are reading this, am I safe to assume that you have returned? 
 
Wait...  I know why I've returned.  It's because if I wasn't here, you wouldn't get to read posts that  inexplainably, to both the reader and writer, take unrelated topics and present them together.  For your enjoyment.  That's right.  Your enjoyment!
 
Anyway, thanks for coming by.  I think at least two people will look at this post.  Chime in if you do. 
 
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You can still comment or tag or retweet etc. as always.  Please do.  Follow me on twitter too. I'm @happychowjones
 
Oh, here's the link to read about that fish/lizard if you want.  I really did see a show about these guys years ago and haven't seen them since.  Thanks Google!  http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=a-lizard-that-swims-through-sand-2009-07-16.  They are pretty crazy. 
 
Read Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut for a crazy tale about those facinating isles.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hi There Somebody

Thanks to a four way tie in my last poll, I started doing research for a post on unusual names. You may not be able to tell this from the polls themselves, but they are completely random. I just pick topics out of nowhere without much thought. This may be hard to believe, but its true. I don't have anything planned for the post topics which its likely also hard to believe. Stop shaking your head. I will put the curtain back soon.

So back to the research. I just googled "unusual names" and thousands of options appeared. I clicked on a link with unusual place names to start. There sure are some interesting towns out there... If you're interested, some guy from Michigan did an article about it. Can you believe there's a town in Michigan named Hell? You can if you spent any time there in January. "Where you from fella?"
"Hell."
In certain parts of the country that might not go over too well.

There's a bunch of places called Hurricane. Most are in the south where they actually have hurricanes. The least likely place to have hurricanes called Hurricane is in southern Utah. Apparently they've got something called Laverricanes there though because that's the name of the next town over from Hurricane. I'm not sure how to spell Laverricane, but am pretty sure no one from there checks my blog too regularly to care. Laverricanians let your voices be heard!

In Washington we have a bunch of stuff named after Indians. Puyallup made the guy from Michigan's list. I was just there today buying milk and string cheese in bulk at Costco. The Puyallup Indians, and other local tribes, have fishing rights for clams called Geoducks pronounced gooeyduck. They are huge things. The size of a man's arm sometimes. If you've ever had clam chowder, you've likely had gooeyduck. Now that's an unusual name...

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Thanks for checking me out again. I'll be back again soon. Make sure to vote on the new poll. It's important, but I don't need to tell you that do I.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A New Look?

So I've simplified things a little. I hope you like it.

Also if you are Tweeps, you should check me out on Twitter. Can't you imagine how good my posts will be in 140 characters or less? I can. Wow...

Well, check back for more later. Who knows what's going to happen with the four-way tie in the last poll. Fun times to come...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Eclectic! Boogie Woogie Woogie

I don't know the electric slide. I may have done it once or twice. When I was in college my roommates and I created a far superior dance that goes with about any disco song, but particularly well with KC and the Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight". That's a classic track. The dance involved several standard disco moves including some particularly effective walking/strutting. It was easy to do and the dance crowds usually followed easily. I could teach it to you if you want me to. Just ask.

Here's the song. Let me know if you want to know more.



Now for more serious matters. A couple of questions for you. Do you know the difference between string and twine? Is there one? I think there is, but I'm not sure that's definitive.

This is the largest ball of string (not twine):


It's located in Weston, MO. That's Missouri. I'm not a huge fan. Why do you always want me to show you? Show you what? This ball is string. DO NOT confuse this ball with twine. It's 19 feet around, by the way. That's 5.7912 meters for my Canadian friends. Eh?



I guess this ball of string (not twine) is a collection of old packaging string (not twine) that was collected over the years. Are you wondering why they collected that much string (not twine)? Me too.



So what's twine? Not sure. Apparently twine is a strong string or cord made of two or more threads twisted together. So twine is string, but string is not twine? Okay.



String is a cord usually made of fiber, used for fastening, tying, or lacing. I'm going to let you in on something. I think string and twine are pretty much the same thing. Here's the way I would describe them both from my experiences with each over the years: Twine is rough and unrefined, where string is typically softer and more suited for precise tying. Good enough?



I thought so.



You know that this topic won one of my polls in the past. It has been pending on the side of the blog for a while. Years maybe. I'm just here to serve after all.





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So, I'm back I guess. My wife told me that I should get back to the blog and I did. I have placed another pool on the top left. Take the time to vote. It's important. To me at least. But it should be to you. 'Til next time...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

5 Things I Hate About Oregon

My family and I recently took a short trip to Utah and Idaho. Both fine states. Unfortunately, we have to drive through Oregon to get there. Oregon is not my favorite place. Below are the five things I hate about Oregon:
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1. Could we go any faster?
During the oil embargo in the 1970s the government reduced the speed limits in states in an effort to use less gasoline. When that law was rescinded, most states increased their speed limits in order to allow weary travelers quicker passage through their respective states. Oregon only increased their speed limit to 65 miles per hour. This is not a bad speed to travel through highly congested areas, but for those of you who haven't been there, Oregon is mostly small towns and open spaces especially in the eastern part of the state. So as you pass through farmlands and barren wilderness you can only do so at 65 miles per hour. This would not be as bad if the enforcement was not there, but of course patrols are always vigilant.
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2. Full Service Gas...
I grew up in New Jersey which is the only other state besides Oregon that requires full service gas attendants. Growing up, I didn't mind other people pumping my gas. But, now with the use of credit cards at the pump etc. it just makes more sense to do it yourself especially when most stations have only one attendant. This weekend, in who knows where, Oregon, the attendant had me hold the pump myself because it wouldn't stay on automatically. I'm surprised I didn't get cited.
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3. What's this barren wasteland? Oh, its eastern Oregon.
Whenever I drive through certain parts of eastern Oregon, I almost expect to see caravans of nomads a la Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, or hillbilly, backwoods militia men high jacking people on the freeway. To date, I have not seen this first hand, but expect to any time now.
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4. Oregon stinks so bad I could only think of three things I really hate about it.
Well, this just goes to show how crappy it is. Since I live in Washington, I have an automatic distaste for Oregon. I'm not a fan.
.
2 Things I Like About Oregon...
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1. No Sales Tax.
That's pretty good. They must go through a lot of pennies though. If I didn't charge sales tax,
I would round things so there wouldn't be so much change involved. Typical Oregon.
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2. Pancakes.
There's a restaurant in Portland called the Byways Cafe that makes great breakfast. Especially the pancakes. Though they have great scrambles etc. as well. Thanks Oregon.
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Thanks for checking me out this week. Come back later for more great posts. Also, vote on the poll. Please? Don't make me beg... Hey, and if you follow me regularly why don't you get up on this crazy train?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mike or Ike?

Thanks to the democratic way that I allow the viewers of this blog to dictate post topics, today we will discuss Mike and Ikes. Or Mike and Ike. If you don't know the candy, go get some.




I like Mike and Ikes. Mostly at the movies. Sometimes at home. Rarely at work. Actually never at work. Maybe that's why work isn't that fun. I'll note that for later, but for now, our topic.




So, to start, there was never a Mike or an Ike. Never. There really isn't a good story or anything to go with it. That's what they tell us at least. Here's what Just Born, the company that manufactures Mike and Ikes, as well as many other fine candies, says about possible origins of the name: that it was a result of a company-wide contest, was named after a 1937 song titled "Mike and Ike (The Twins)" and/or after a Vaudeville act "Mike and Ike, We're Just Alike". Obviously none of those are suitable for such a delicious candy. So, I thought I would do some digging. As many of my long time followers know, my research team always excels in this type of situation.


Take a look at this picture from the early designs of their box:




It appears that Ike, on the right, was the son of an immigrant chocolatier. Determined to get out on his own, he came up with an idea for a soft chew candy, the opposite of something his father would favor. He slowly introduced the candy to his friends and family. As word spread, demand increased and Ike had difficulty satisfying the many new orders.

Conversely, it appears from the picture that Mike was from a wealthy family and, like Ike, was looking to make his own mark. They met after Ike's uncle met Mike at a mutual friend's party and told him about Ike's fledgling candy.

When they met, they didn't immediately hit it off, but Mike agreed to front Ike the money to expand the business. Mike got first billing. He had the money after all.

The business quickly took off from there. My research team tells me that though Ike had creative control of the candy, Mike exerted significant pressure on him. This led Ike to step away from the business for months and sometimes years at a time. Little did anyone know that Ike's initial rebellion against his father was caused by this same type of pressure. Ike'd go on long trips throughout the world to clear his mind and sometimes sample new fruits. This led to the introduction of new flavors to the series. Other times, he spent time at recuperative facilities.

Mike, on the other hand, was made for business. He didn't just succeed in candy, but in real estate and dance studios. Mike never married.
Ike settled into family life and found some solace there, but never found his idea of true happiness.
So: Mike. Though I do feel kind of bad for Ike.
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Thanks for checking me out. This post has been festering for more that a month, but it's here now in all its glory.
Make sure to check out the poll! It's important. Don't just lurk. Let your voice be heard. Make it known where you stand on the important issues raised here. If you don't others might. Or might not. Anyway, GO VOTE ON THE POLL!!!!! Thanks.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Name.... That.... MARSUPIAL!!!!

Who doesn't love marsupials? I sure do. Some questions: How do those little baby marsupials have the strength and determination to make it from the womb to their mommy's pouch? And, how can the mommy marsupial stand having a little slimy creature climbing all over her on its way into her pouch?

I don't know the scientific answers to these questions, but I think we all know the real answer: LOVE! Those mommy marsupials love their little slimy creatures so much they don't mind that they climb all over them on their way into their pouch. And those little slimy creatures know there's good stuff in that pouch and that the only way to get there is to bear down and go for it. That's a good lesson for all of us to learn. Thanks marsupials!

Now here are some of our heroes! All of the marsupials pictured below were once little slimy creatures that climbed into his or her mommy's pouch, so they are already very accomplished animals from day one. Let me introduce you...


This is Eugene.




Here's Paco.




We call this rascal Scamp.




Here's Nancy.

And baby Willem.


This guy's name is Harold but everyone calls him Whitey.


Watch out for this next guy. The others don't let him around much for obvious reasons.

Oh... His name is Irving.


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Well I finally did one of the coming soon posts. See... I'll get to it. What you may not realize is that the poll topics are chosen on a completely random basis which consists of me coming up with them as I contemporaneously create the new poll. It's not rocket science... Anyway, I don't usually know what I'm going to do with a topic when I make it a choice. Thus, it sometimes takes a while before I feel up to it. Thanks for understanding.

Anyway a new unscientific poll is up for your vote. Make it count!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Is this Neverland?

Sometimes I walk a few blocks up the hill from downtown Tacoma to the county courthouse. Today while I was walking I suddenly entered what appeared to be Neverland. The Mad Hatter, the queen and those twin guys were there to welcome me. Here's a glimpse.

This was real! Just like those fields full of buffalo, longhorns and emu I used to see all the time.

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Check back soon for more posts.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Are we Human?

The term humanoid originated in the early twentieth century to describe things with human-like characteristics. I don't know what they called human-like things before 1912. Maybe they said things like: 'Boy, this here discovery reminds me of something, but I just can't place it' or 'Sure wish there was a word to describe this here fella'. You have likely deduced that the use of 'this here' was very common in the early twentieth century.
As you can imagine, humanoids come in all shapes and sizes. Well, as long as the shape has two arms, two legs, a torso and a head. I guess I should say they come in all sizes.


Early humanoids looked like this:

Hi. I'm Ardi!

and this:


I'm Lucy and Ardi ain't got nothin' on me!

Though the term fell out of favor in the scientific community after its initial introduction, the term humanoid has never fallen totally out of use. Some more recent examples of humanoids include these fine gentlemen:


They hope to one day understand you.

And these cross-over stars:

Nanu! Nanu! (some 2 year olds think the guy on the right is a cow. Be careful...)

Now... Humanoids can be man made as well. Just like these guys:

Hi there!.... Hi there!

And this gem:

Can you guess his weakness? Don't touch my handle!

Apparently, some people have trouble telling the difference between humanoids and actual humans.


Mom always said 'don't talk to strangers'

These humanoids have specialized head attire and one has a robotic arm:


But they do know how to rock!


Be particularly careful around this one:


Not sure what he's conjuring up here, but it doesn't look friendly.

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Well it's taken a while, but there you go. Was it worth the wait? I hope so. Anyway, check back in a week or so and there will likely be another post. I'm going to try to update at least two times a month. We'll see.

Check out the newest poll. This topic won the last one so the voice of the people does count for something here. Make sure to let your voice be heard!

Oh... and for those of you who regularly follow this blog, I know I have used Al Gore in a joke before in the Bankers post. He's just so versatile.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Umm...

So when you get an email on your Blackberry and want to forward it to your other email account, make sure that you select the proper account. In my quest to be more mobil with my blogging, I enabled email blogging. I forwarded the message below to what I though was my work account, which turned out to be my mobile blogging account.

Strange thing is, some of you saw this before I did.

More soon....