Benefits of a Short Commute

I live a hop, skip and a jump away from work. It is an insanely short distance–about a mile–that has opened up a number of possibilities for me. For instance, if I lack motivation, I can sleep in and get to work at 9. If I am feeling supermotivated (or under the gun) I can get to work at 8.

What has dawned on me is the middle road. I can get up early, putz around the apartment, and get to work at 8:30. Like today: I am having a leisurely breakfast, complete with coffee and juice, before heading out the door. My putzing doesn’t have to stop at blogging and breakfast. Oh no. I can–and want to–start doing more physical activity.

I could bike to work. I could work out–whatever that entails–then shower and get to work at 9. I could, and should, develop a better routine. Given that my brother is looking to change his lifestyle, I figure I can do the same. The cool thing about my system of change? I have a triathlete on my side.

Beer in the Shower: Pick Your Shower Carfully

Did you ever hear about ThomasK. Paige? Probably not. He was a 21 year old physics student at MIT. He slipped and fell while enjoying a beer in the shower. Paige’s was working a theory of cold fusion, his unfinished notes have been tantalizing physicists for three years.

This could have been avoided if Paige had made sure his shower was appropriate for enjoying beer. Like most physicists, he led a wild and carefree lifestyle. He didn’t check the basics facts.

First, if the shower is a tiled shower, you can only use aluminum cans of beer. I have learned the hard way–as did my bottle of Berry Weiss–that glass and ceramic do not mix.

Secondly, ensure that there is a hand grip and non-slip rubber on the floor of the tub. Paige didn’t. Paige never stood a chance.

Third, make sure, that there is a place for your beer bottle, can or glass. Our shower has a spot clearly set aside for beer cans or bottles.

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Personally, I shy away from using a glass. The chances of spilling said beer or having soapy water containment the beer is just not worth it.

Tomorrow, we move on the important stuff: Beer.

Nothing Better than a Beer in the Shower

If we look back to all of inventions that humanity has created over the ages, two will head and shoulders above the rest. They are not the transistor, the wheel or the QWERTY keyboard. They are more important than fire or stone tools. The combustion engine, splitting the atom and algebra cannot compare to the simple glory of Beer and the Shower.

Humanity invented fire to brew beer. Shortly thereafter, humanity dreamed of standing the shower, cleansing themselves of soot, dirt and mammoth blood. Check out the Caves of Lascaux–its all documented there.

I came to this realization relatively late in life, while studying at Beloit College. One friend, who is now studying to be an architect, introduced us to the concept back in 1996. He was not the first in the world–that honor goes to Arthur Guinness–but he did introduce to us all the concept of showering and drinking beer at the same time.

This concept is genius. The relaxation induced by the shower and the beer allow for a transcendent state of being that brings one closer to the divine. It is a little known fact that Einstien developed his theory of general relativity while enjoying a glass of Pilsner in the shower. Marconi came up with the basis of his idea for radio transmission while enjoying Peroni in the shower.

Moore’s Law was conceived of while Moore was in the shower with a six pack of Schlitz.

Marie Curie discovered the properities of radium while she showered and enjoyed a Grolsch lager.

The list goes on and on.

This transcendent process is not as easy as it appears to be. Not only must the shower have the appropriate accoutrement for beer drinking, the beer must be appropriately chosen to match the showerer’s palate as well as accommodate the hygiene products that the showerer prefers.

It is uncouth to have a Hefeweizen with mango shampoo.

One cannot simply crack open an aluminum can and enter the shower willy-nilly. While we must credit Arthur Guinness with this discovery, it is also his fault for its obscurity. While showering with his beverage of choice in hand, Arthur did not think of how the water would ruin the taste of his delicious brew. His mistake set back Shower-Beer technology dozens of years.

To truly enjoy this process, one must choose their shower, their beer and their soaps with precision. This is my task for this week–to educate the masses on one of the most powerful developments in the history of the human race.

Tomorrow we will discuss the shower (what it needs, what to avoid ,etc ) itself. However, the floor is now open to any and all of your questions.

No More Bacon For Me…

…unless it is from a locally owned, humanely operated hog farm.  Given how rare that is, I also expect it to be staffed by magical gnomes.

Here’s why

via Swine Flu Ancestor Born on U.S. Factory Farms | Wired Science.

Scientists have traced the genetic lineage of the new H1N1 swine flu to a strain that emerged in 1998 in U.S. factory farms, where it spread and mutated at an alarming rate. Experts warned then that a pocket of the virus would someday evolve to infect humans, perhaps setting off a global pandemic.

At an environmental level, the conditions which shaped H3N2 and H1N2 evolution, and increased the variants’ chances of taking a human-contagious form, are well understood. High-density animal production facilities came to dominate the U.S. pork industry during the late 20th century, and have been adopted around the world. Inside them, pigs are packed so tightly that they cannot turn, and literally stand in their own waste.

Diseases travel rapidly through such immunologically stressed populations, and travel with the animals as they are shuttled throughout the United States between birth and slaughter. That provides ample opportunity for strains to mingle and recombine. An ever-escalating array of industry-developed vaccines confer short-term protection, but at the expense of provoking flu to evolve in unpredictable ways.

Factory Hog farms appear to be the best biological weapons factories we’ve ever created.  GO GO Agribusiness!!

Ask A Bastard: Fabricated Edition

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Another Monday, another series of (fabricated) questions.

Friend and WoW Blogger Anna asks, “What is the greatest cover song of all time?”

Funny, I was just thinking of this question, given the new album, War Child Heroes. This is an album of war protest songs,wherein the original artists hand select the band to do the cover. If you watched the Oscars last night, you would have heard Beck‘s cover of Leopard-Skin Pill-Box hat, originally by Dylan. This is an album I think I need to pick up.

My favorite cover is still Since U Been Gone by Ted Leo. I love the original but I can rock out to the cover 24/7.

Nathan Godfrey, from Shapes without Substance, asks, “Which is better: Sherbert, sorbet, ice cream or frozen yogurt?”

Personally, I’d go with a Tiramisu Gelato. However, since I don’t live in Atlanta, I’d have to go with Cherry Garcia ICE CREAM from Ben & Jerry’s. It’s wonderful.

Tune in next week when I answer of the questions you never thought to ask.

Ask a Bastard: Late Late Edition

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I hope everyone enjoyed whatever weekend they had. Now, onto life’s big questions!

MenD asks:
1) As a trainee pretentious bastard, what should I be drinking in public to cultivate my image? Obscure microbrews? Anti-anti-anti-ironic “lite” beers? Mongolian barleywine?

To be truly pretentious, one needs the appropriate beverage. However, keep in mind that one can be pretentious on the cheap. As wonderful as it would be to drink Mongolian Barleywine (a friend in Boston calls that Sam Adams), it might break your bank. Therefore, I would stick with Microbrews. Microbrews are fantastic for local economies and your image. Find one you can enjoy and find a bunch you want to try in front of people you can impress.

Lite beers are for private times such as deep cleanings, the shower or just before bed.

2) I am seriously considering a pilgrimage to the Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware in the next couple of years. You in?

Hell. Yes.

Kristin asks: Why do directors,writers,producer etc., INSIST on remaking horror movies and/or classic 80’s movies?

Are they lazy or just have no imagination?

People have been remaking stories forever (Pygmalion for instance), but this recent crop of 80s relaunches (I’m thinking of the new Friday 13 and the upcoming Nightmare on Elm Street) are particularly onerous given how the just seem to be so fucking terrible.

I believe the following: They’re out of money, they want to make more money, they’re lazy and they have no imagination.

Now I do think it is possible to update or reimage something from a previous era into something contemporary and fucking brilliant (see BSG). But that takes work, imagination and willingness to say “this aspect of the old series worked but how can it exist today?” Studio’s don’t want that. Studios want Big Bangs for Small Bucks. They already own the rights to the old versions, so it is cheaper to relaunch things this way.

Shannon wants to know: Who has the best blog out today??

This is. One of the authors is brilliant and hot.

That’s all for this week! Tune in next week when I get critiqued by my cousin for commenting on Dylan’s voice!