Friday, June 29, 2012


It’s hot. So hot that a friend of mine has decided to bake cookies in his car on his dashboard. It’s pretty much genius. And delicious.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s blazing hot outside where I live.

So here are the top 5 things overheard regarding the ridiculously high heat:
1.     “Hot enough for ya?”
2.     “It’s hotter than Satan’s butt-crack and half as humid.”
3.     “They say it’s 108°, but I swear it doesn’t feel a degree over 107.”
4.     “Cool off with a Cold Cut Combo for only $6.95 at participating Subway® stores.”
5.     “Girl, you’re hotter than the weather.”

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Two (short) Films

IMAGINED SLIGHTS (A 48 Hour Film Project) from Boxing Clever on Vimeo.

One Small Step from VAMOOSE on Vimeo.

Two films created in part by two (or more) friends of mine for the STL 48 Hour Film Festival. Both entertaining and impressively done. Bravo. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Call you, maybe?* Doubtful.

Dear Ms. Carly Rae Jepsen,

I will not be calling you. Not now. Not ever. Not maybe.

I thought by not calling you, you would get the message.

But clearly you’ve built up this fantasy version of me**. So to leave no doubt in your mind, here are the reasons why I will not be calling you.

1. “I sold my soul for a wish”. See? Right there. How can I be with someone who is so frivolous with their Judeo-Christian soul? What’s stopping you from selling my car for an ab-flexor at 3 a.m.?
2. “Pennies and dimes for a kiss.” First of all, that sounds like a monetary transaction involving a part of my body. I am not a prostitute. Also, that’s an insulting offer. 11-cents? Try a buck.
3. “Ripped jeans, skin was showin’”. They’re called “Jorts”, short for
“jean shorts”. Clearly, you are too young for me if you don’t remember fashions from the 80s. 
4. “It’s hard to look right at you baby.” Look, I get it: I need to join a gym. No need to avert your eyes though.
5. “I just met you, and this is crazy.” Let me stop you right there: it is and you are.
6. “… but here’s my number. Call me, maybe?” Was that meant to be rhetorical? Because it seems like you meant “call me, or I’m going to write a song about you in a passive aggressive attempt to get you to call me.”
7. “I beg, borrow and steal.” None of those things are attractive.
8. “All the other boys try to chase me.” Hmmm. Is it because you’re a tease who hands out her number wily-nily?
9. “Before you came into my life I missed you so bad.” Before you came into MY life, I enjoyed not having to fill out restraining orders***.

Leave me alone, maybe?
That Tad Guy

*Oh, you didn’t know this song was about me? Clearly it is.
**You’re only human
***So bad

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Life! Edible Life!

Food. Good.
Okay, okay, okay. I'll stop posting news about my garden. But I'm as shocked as you are that anything survived and was actually edible. And, yes, the tomatoes are supposed to be yellow.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Selective Literacy

I don’t mean to brag, but I read words real good*. My eyes take in words like my mouth consumes cookies—quickly and aggressively. I’ve gotten so good at reading that I don’t even have to form the letters into words, I can just glance at a set of characters and—bam—they’re zapped into my brain and register in my consciousness as a word, phrase or sentence.

So it bugs me that TV shows and movies still insist on starting with elaborate credit sequences that spool out the names of the actors and the directors and the producers and the blah, blah, blah. Why is this a problem? My super-reading skills.

I can’t NOT read the words—they register too fast. So when a special guest start is present, they announce it in the credits. Which is fine for them, but bad for me if I know who they are or can guess what role they’ll play. This was particularly annoying on LOST when you’d see a long-gone character’s actor appear in the pre-roll.

And it’s not just TV shows. Movies do it too. And they now list out all of the good stuff in the ratings box. Violence? Check. Vulgar, filthy language and adult situations? Check and check. Nudity? Side boob? Nipple slips? No?! It’s PG-13! The Sandlot** 6 should at least have some side boob. Just sayin’.

Anyway, my point is … oh yeah: I wish they would get rid of all the pre-show ego stroking and just get to the damn story. Thanks for reading.

*And so can you. You’re reading this sentence. Good job!
**If you haven’t seen The Sandlot, you should see it. It’s cute and probably actually rated “G”. Or maybe “PG” with all of the “oiling and lotioning … lotioning and oiling!”

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Review: Imagine: How Creativity Works, By Jonah Lehrer

The Premise:
A half scientific/half anecdotal look at how the creative process works.

The Good:
From the title, you can tell that Mr. Lehrer has ambition. Creativity can mean any number of things and he explores an impressive array of factors that may or may not contribute to the creative process. Conventional things, like brainstorming and the use of drugs, to unconventional approaches, like the color of a wall or centralized bathrooms—Mr. Lehrer explores each in a light, sometimes, humorous manner and peppers in the science behind a good number of the phenomena. Throughout the book, he shares relevant anecdotes about persons, artists or entrepreneurs who had an “ah-ha” moment about a problem they were working on, or the creative process itself.

The Bad:
As someone who works in a creative field, a lot of the insights were things I already had discovered on my own. For example: Coffee makes me more creative. But learning why coffee, or rather caffeine, has that effect and why, is pretty fascinating. I just wish the scientific examples were applied more consistently throughout. Also, I’m not a Bob Dylan fan, so when the author cites Dylan’s creation of the song, “Like a Rolling Stone”, as an example of a song writing breakthrough, I just kind of shrug.

Plus, there is a startling amount of contradiction throughout. So much so that the book feels a bit unfocused at times. Part of the problem is that Mr. Lehrer doesn’t seem to want to focus on any one type of “creativity”. Songwriting stands next to surfing next to scientific research; these are vastly different skill sets requiring vastly different resources. He does try to break the process down into individual vs. collective pursuits, but the results are oftentimes unclear.

For a book that claims to know “how creativity works”, the answer provided seems to be “it does … sort of”.

The Verdict:
Read it. Maybe buy it. Pass it along. As an exhaustive treatise on creativity, it’s uneven. But as a means of sparking creativity when you’re in a rut, it works extremely well. There were many times when the book sparked an exciting moment of clarity as well as inspiration. As anyone interested in expanding their perception of creativity, it’s certainly worth a quick read-through.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Recent purchase.

For clothes and such.
Announcement: I've finally replaced my college dresser.

Unfortunately, as of yet, I haven't discovered any secret Soup Nazi recipes inside. I was really looking forward to some homemade tomato bisque.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I click. Therefore I am.

“Is this ad relevant to you?” Sure. Why not?
“Would you like to take a survey?” Absolutely.
“’Like’ us on Facebook?” Love to.

If you’re like me, you’re annoyed by all of the intrusive requests you get from advertisers on the web. Especially since they don’t actually give you anything for your time or effort. But unlike me, you probably don’t click on everything. Or if you do, you answer truthfully.


I love to click on things. And sign up for things. And get access to free things. Why? Because on the Internet, you can be anything and everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

According to the things I’ve clicked on, I am:
·      A teenaged girl
·      Menopausal
·      Suffer from Erectile Dysfunction
·      Making between $0 and $500,000 per year
·      Living in either Beverly Hills 90210 or deep within the Willamette National Forest, OR 00069
·      A cat lover
·      Spend over $100 on hair care products a year
·      A dog owner
·      “Strongly agree” with banning gambling
·      Wear a toupee
·      A father of 19
·      Currently a Professor/Doctor
·      The Mayor of Awesometown, USA
·      Diabetic
·      Really like gambling commercials
·      Voting for Donald Trump for President
·      Albino

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Popular cat names that also make for perfectly fine boy’s names

1.     Morris
2.     Garfield
3.     Heathclif
4.     Battle Cat*
5.     Leo
6.     Tom
7.     Thunder
8.     Panthro
9.     Mr. Tickles
10. Shadow
11. PanthBro
12. Whiskers**
13. Simba
14. Felix
15. Tigger
16. Puss in Boots***

*Seriously, I almost didn’t share this with all of you in the event that I have a son.
**Only at his Bar Mitzvah, when he is truly a man.
***Depending on the boots, obviously.

Yo-ga! Yo-ga! Yo-ga!

Do you like the smell of feet? Feet that have been crammed into sweat socks, like four college friends in a station wagon* with no money on a road trip they can’t afford? That kind of smell?

What about sweating? Do you like to drip sweat like rivulets of ice cream running down the side of a sugar cone on a hot summer’s day?

How about reaching for things that are just out of reach? Do you like the feeling of lying on the floor and straining and fumbling to get your shoe that’s just … almost … c’mon already … there?

Here’s one: what about being the fattest person in the room? I mean the only person with body fat at all? Is that fun? Does that sound like a good time?

Do you like paying money to lie down on the floor? Before you answer, what if I told you that the floor was covered with your sweat? A light sheen of exertion? Would you change your answer then?

If you answered, “yes”, to any of the above, congratulations, you’re ready for a month of hot, sweaty, stinky yoga.

Why? To get ready of the Kirkwood Triathlon, of course. I have about one month to get ready.

Mind. Body. Aroma**.

*The station wagon was the precursor to the mini van and more stylish than the SUV.
**Strangely, this is also the motto for the Secretary of Defense.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oklahoma? Okay.

Congrats to the Seattle Supersonics for making the NBA finals. Oh wait. I don’t care.

I have nothing against the fine folks in Oklahoma and the one time I visited there the people were very nice and welcoming. If any fan base deserves a team, it’s them. But, again, I don’t care. I don’t care because the NBA doesn’t care. If it wanted me as a fan, it wouldn’t have moved my team so unceremoniously. But it did and I haven’t watched a game since.  

Now, the St. Louis Rams are threatening to move the team if the city doesn’t build it a new stadium. And it’s the exact same situation: recently upgraded arena/stadium that’s not old enough to tear down, but too new to renovate just yet. Might I suggest … Oklahoma?

It’s like getting engaged to a girl who threatens to call off the wedding unless she gets a bigger diamond ring. After a certain point you just need to assess whether it’s worth all the crazy.

Because sports are supposed to be a distraction from daily life, not a cause for more stress. They’re supposed to give us things to talk about, not be the topic of conversation. Look, I like going to games and talking about this or that, but it’s not like there aren’t a million other distractions right around the corner.

Don’t like the NBA? I’d like you to meet the NHL.
Don’t like the NHL? How about the Olympics or NASCAR or, gasp, international soccer?

Like the song says: “Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack. I don’t care if I never get back.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

Missouri Mines State Historic Site

If you live in the Midwest or are planning a trip to the region soon, an interesting, out of the way place worth checking out is the Mine Museum a little north of Farmington, Missouri. Don’t roll your eyes at me; it’s actually quite fascinating. My parents and I originally planned to stay about an hour, but we got a private tour with a guide who couldn’t have been more knowledgeable or passionate about the mines’ history. Three hours later, we knew everything there was to know about lead mining in Missouri. Which is a lot.

Some highlights:
·      The region produced over 100 consecutive years of large-scale commercial mining—an unheard of feat
·      Silver is oftentimes a by-product of lead mining
·      The Rockefeller family had a monopoly on zinc and at one point sought to corner the market on lead as well
·      Superman can’t see through lead—this wasn’t on the tour, but it’s a fun fact I remembered while on the tour

Thursday, June 7, 2012

1987 Flopps

For a brief while, I collected baseball cards. TOPPS baseball cards. That was an important distinction. They were the ones with the faux wood paneling that somehow made them even more legitimate.

I loved learning players’ names, like Chet Lemon and Nick Esasky. I poured over the stats*. And I even enjoyed chewing the chalky gum with its faintly chemical residue**.

But there was a snake in the grass. A traitor in the midst of all the glory. A turncoat lurking behind every rectangle. The dreaded “Leaders” card.

Take this 1987 “Brewers Leaders” card. Who’s that on the front? If you guessed pitcher Jaime Cocanower in the last year of his professional career and back-up catcher, Charlie Moore, you’re right.

Were either of them Brewers Leaders in 1986? A quick look at the back says, “no”***.

Inaccurate photo. Dream effects around edges. And stats you can get from the actual player cards.

Ugh. Swing and a miss. Yer out!

*.277 and .238, respectively
**Fun fact: baseball cards were started by chewing gum manufacturers to increase gum sales
***Nice work by 20-game winner, Ted Hiquera, and Rob Deer with his 33 homeruns though

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Queue up for the Queen

Apparently the Queen of England is hosting a Diamond Jubilee this week. This important occasion is in celebration of her birthday, maybe? Or that she got selected to be an Olympic torchbearer, perhaps? Or that she bought a new boat and wanted to show it off, or something?

If it sounds like I don’t care, it’s because I don’t care. At all. 

But, apparently (again), this is all big news here in the United States of Not Great Britain*. And the fact that she stood for FOUR whole hours—in a row—is some sort of accomplishment worthy of a gold medal**.

Instead of why we should care***, I’m going to list the reasons why not.
1.     This is America. We fought a war because we didn’t want to worship a Monarch****.
2.     This is America. The Queen and her ancestors didn’t work to earn their wealth. We want our people with obscene wealth to have inherited it from a family member who did a lot of work at some point in the past.
3.     This is America. The economy is sinking, people are unemployed and we don’t really need any more reminders of the economic disparities that exist in the world.
4.     This is America. We are a youth obsessed culture. Give her a few Botox injections, a few implants and a makeover and then, and maybe then, will we talk*****.

*I do like your shows, Britain, but I’m not asking you to move in. Sheesh.
**Of which, of course, I would be the Champion of All Time—see: Standing vs. Sitting
***There are none
****I get that this is all very reductive—see: Fealty, non
*****Call me

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hear a sound? Turn around.

Recently, I did an 8-hour road trip with my parents*. At hour six and a half we heard a “thunk” below the car. At hour seven, while turning onto a major highway, we heard some vicious grinding as I used the brakes. At hour eight, one and a half miles from our destination, we came off the highway ramp and heard more grinding and then felt some violent seizing of the brakes. We were not going anywhere for a while, but thankfully we were off the highway and near some facilities.

Unfortunately it was late on a Friday night and the start of a weekend, so finding an open auto shop was going to be hit and miss. To make matters worse, my brake lights had been on for weeks and I assumed that it was just a bad sensor—I had even brought it back to the mechanic and he said it was nothing to worry about. So there was the inevitable second-guessing to add to the situation.

Luckily, I had a roadside assistance policy. Unluckily, they were only good for finding a tow truck and not for a place to actually tow to**. After asking around, we found a place that “might be, possibly be open on Saturdays”. It wasn’t, which I discovered that night on their website.

So the next morning it was another call, another wait, another tow and a lot more sitting around.

And what did they find? That “thunk” was a bolt that had gone missing like a blonde girl off a cruise ship. And the seizing of the brakes*** was the housing slipping down.

Total cost … now keep in mind, I’m a guy from out of town. This is the ONLY place open on a Saturday and if I don’t get this fixed, I’m renting hotel rooms and missing work days. They pretty much have me hooked like a trout on a line, dancing left and right.

$65. Total. For maybe an hour of time and a new bolt. Amen****.

*Yes, I am a saint.
**Exact quote “We can Google something”.
***Or, as the mechanic said. “Oh, you mean SEIZING. Not seizing.”
****Jesus re-built my hotrod.

Monday, June 4, 2012

This will be on the test.

Today is June 4th. And this ... is ... history!

According to Wikipedia

Ten Cent Beer Night was a promotion held by Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians during a game against the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Municipal Stadium on June 4, 1974. The idea behind the promotion was to offer as many 8 US fluid ounces (240 ml) cups of beer as the fans could drink for just 10¢ each ($0.47 in 2012 dollars), thus increasing ticket sales. Ultimately, the game was forfeited to Texas on the orders of umpire crew chief Nestor Chylak because of the crowd's uncontrollable rowdiness, and because the game could not be resumed in a timely manner.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Inspirational poster

A That Tad Guy Original
I visit quite a few graphic design sites and it seems like, after a while, people run out of ideas. I'm not talking about a lack of inspiration; I'm talking about not having an original idea whatsoever. What happens, it seems, is that the designer will take a well worn platitude and just reuse the same phrasing in a different design. Worse still, the new design isn't an interesting new take, but just ... different. It's a creation that mimics the act of creation without actually creating anything. Kind of like a Hollywood Summer Blockbuster. So very avant garde, wouldn't you say?

Which got me thinking ... I have plenty of platitudes rumbling around in my head. Why don't I find a photo, slap a phrase on it and, viola!, instant Internet inspiration! Before long, I suspect, it will be as unoriginal as anything else that was once original. To dare to dream.