Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Wa Pics - L.A. County Fair does not disappoint

What I love most about the Los Angeles County Fair is that you see things you just never see in normal life. For example...


Not wanting to be presumptuous, I asked him, "Your highness, may I get a photo?" I think he forgot he was not allowed to speak, because he grunted something and then caught himself. I do not know why he had a frog slave held captive in his crown, and I didn't ask. With royalty, there are certain things you just don't do.

Shave seven months off your life. You know you want to.


I do not know why this Native American was playing Scrabble.

Some people? ALL people find a chicken's behavior entertaining. I will fight anyone who disagrees.

Pimp hats 4 kidz.

Four words you will fall in love with: "plant based memory foam."

Hope nobody has an allergy to neon.

Fun House mirror gave me Nosferatu fingers!

 Pirate mannequins and zebras. Discuss.

 Why, for all your zebra needs, of course.

I guess the only other name choice for this donkey-zebra hybrid would have been "Debra." They made the right call.

Again, would anybody pay money to go see a "Hebra"?

Once again this year, we searched in vain for the giant cinnamon roll. A lady at the Information Desk told me that shop has been gone now a couple of years. But if you hear different, please let me know. The giant cinnamon roll is now my Sasquatch.

 . . .

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Paintball, and the state of our economy

They say the economy is at its worst since the Great Depression, and yet there are professional paintball leagues. There are enough people with enough money that they can afford to buy balls of paint for one-time use against the hindquarters of strangers.

I hear during the Great Depression they chucked dead squirrels at each other for fun. Then they cooked them for dinner. Just a little historical perspective.

Paintball is an expensive hobby; cost-wise, it ranks just above hang-gliding but just below self-publishing.

The fancier guns alone can cost a grand (and often are not even referred to as "guns," but as paintball "markers.") Unlike the "markers" which teachers use on dry-erase boards, these can fire a dozen .68 caliber skin-stinging balls per second.

Let me just say this: I know a few teachers who would like to have one of these babies.

As long as such hobbies thrive, we know we are not yet at the abyss. Economically, at least. Culturally? Well.

Fun paintball facts:

There is a World Cup of paintball. Yes, I said a World Cup of paintball.

Players hide behind inflatable bunkers. Yes, I said inflatable bunkers.

Last year, the Tampa Bay Damage won the Cup, beating out 270 teams. Yes, I said 270 professional teams.

Actual quotes from the rule book:

"A squeegee is not a barrel plug."

"Beaver tails are required for all Auto Cocker markers."

"A player who deliberately uses a non-participant as a shield will be eliminated."

Samples from a glossary of paintball terms:

"BYOP": bring your own paint

"Dorito": a pyramid-shaped bunker

"Guppy": a paintball refill canister

"Pants": an expression, meaning "cool," as in "Dude, the way you hosed that Dorito was totally pants."

"Shake 'n' Bake hopper": I don't really care what this means. I am in love with it.

Actual team names include Portland Uprising (which sounds like something which might happen if they ran out of sandals) and Omaha Vicious (because when one thinks "ruthlessly cutthroat," one thinks "Nebraska.")

There is a team named Chicago Aftershock (Possible motto: "Illinois. Earthquake capital of the United States.") Not to be outdone in the category of inexplicable references, landlocked Indiana has its own team, Indianapolis Mutiny.

Call your bunch of guys what you want, but to me all this means is there is enough disposable income around to prove we are doing O.K. We're gonna make it. In fact, I'll just say it: We're totally pants.

. . .

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Wa Pic - like a rug

 The perfect restaurant in which to confront somebody you suspect of an affair.

. . .

Sunday, September 16, 2012

10,000 steps, 10,000 hours, 0 patience

They say to be healthy you should walk 10,000 steps a day, although good luck trying to find out who "they" is. Perhaps "they" are out on that daily five mile walk.

They also say you should drink 10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day to be healthy. So maybe "they" are just in the bathroom.

The experts who put out this kind of advice are elusive. I have often wondered, in fact, if they are red pandas.

They say you should do a crossword puzzle every day, so your brain does not become addled as you age. (As if a crossword puzzle could possibly counteract the effects of all those political ads, not to mention "Jersey Shore.")

If you don't like crossword puzzles, they say, you can do a Sudoku, which is like a crossword puzzle for people easily irritated by demands for nine-letter words describing Charlotte Bronte's heroines.

They say you have to practice a thing 10,000 hours in order to master it. That is an awfully convenient, round number, a clear tip-off that it is nonsense, along with the 10,000 steps a day and the 10 glasses of water.

Arbitrary, repeatable hokum.

I would like the job of proclaiming how long a person needs to do something to be healthy/masterful/swell. In fact, I will claim that job right now.

Please post my proclamations to all social media far and wide:

In order to be healthy, a person needs to own 10 dogs in his lifetime. At least 51% of them must be brown. Otherwise it doesn't work.

To retain a supple skin, a person needs to exfoliate biweekly with a mixture of Coca-Cola, cucumber paste and whipped salmon. Rub this in using counter-clockwise motions only, for a period of one minute or until the flies become unbearable.

In order to retain mental sharpness, a person must entirely forego screens of any type, be they computer, television or smart phone, one day per week, using that time to read at least 50 pages from a book (minimum reading level, Sue Grafton, "A is for Alibi.")

Everyone everywhere must eat 20 pitted black olives per day. This ensures excellent digestion as well as entertainment, if you place them on your fingers first and make them "talk."

Ignore these rules at the peril of your sanity, health and longevity. Hey, and while you're on your long walk today, somebody bring me by a pizza, O.K.?

. . .


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Wa Pic - Colored growing

 Do not swallow your Colored Growing. Don't...hey, don't do it! 

I know you want to. It looks delicious. Don't.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Somebody toss me a (land) line!

Recently my phone service was mistakenly shut off. I called Customer Service on my cell.

Me: "We just need you to restart our land line phone service."

Customer Service: "When you say 'land line,' sir, do you mean 'analog?'"

Me: "Yes. We don't want voice-over-IP service."

CS: "And when you say 'yes' do you mean 'yes?'"

Me: "Yes."

CS: "One moment, sir. I am going to transfer you to someone who can cost you an hour you will never get back, I mean, who can set up installation."

I held for 20 minutes and was disconnected. I called back.

Me: "I'd like to reinstate my analog phone service. It got turned off by mistake."

CS: "I am sorry for your inconvenience, sir, and let me assure you that I will do my best to solve your problem. May I have the security code associated with this account?"

Me: "1776; it's symbolic of the freedom I hope to gain from this phone hell some day before my children are old enough to procreate."

CS: "Very good, sir. I see an order for high speed Internet service."

Me: "Yes, how about one to start up my analog phone service."

CS: "By 'analog,' sir, do you mean your land line?"

Me: "Yes."

CS: "I will transfer you to someone who can set up that installation."

Me: "Is his name Doctor Who? Because I feel like I'm in a time warp."

CS: "Very good, sir." (Hold music begins, while an invisible Pac-Man eats 30 minutes I will never see again.)

CS: "Hello, my name is Cynthia. How may I provide you with exceptional service?"

Me: "That ship has sailed, Cindy. But I wonder if you could schedule the installation of phone service to my house."

CS: "Certainly, sir. But first, for security purposes, can you tell me the name of your favorite restaurant?"

Me: "Porky's Ham Shack."

CS: "That's not what I have on file, sir."

Me: "I'm just sayin'. My wife set this up, so it's probably La Boheme."

CS: "Correct. Now, do you want everything to stay the same as on your prior account?"

Me: "By 'the same' do you mean 'the same?'"

CS: "Yes."

Me: "Then yes."

CS: "All right, the installation is set for September 14th."

Me: "That's in a week!"

CS: "Yes, it generally takes 7-10 days."

You may wonder why I want a land line at all. I may wonder that too.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Wa Pic - Quiet street, 4 BR, 2 BA, 1 RR

There was a time in Southern California real estate circles when a swimming pool could sell a house, and then, later on, the same could be said of a "great room." No more. 

Meet the new "must-have," people.

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© George Waters, The Wa Blog

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Political quiz pokes fun at both sides

It is an election year, and as a great American once said (I think it was either George Washington or Bobby Jindal), you can't have too many political quizzes.
Remember, there are no wrong answers, only wrong beliefs.

Finish the sentence: "When I choose a president, I look for..."

a) a regular Joe I feel like I could have a beer with.
b) a gazillionaire I feel like I could have a beer with.
c) I don't like beer.
d) I would vote for beer.

I would describe the current political climate as:

a) warming, unlike the planet.
b) chilly as Michele Bachmann's breath on a mirror.
c) hot, like that Elizabeth Warren.
d) stormy as Newt Gingrich's Civil War bodice-rippers.

How many delegates attended the Republican National Convention this week?

a) 2,286. Wait, do we count both Latinos?
b) I do not know. I was too busy dreamily mooning over that quintet of hunky manflesh known as The Romney Sons.
c) For the record—Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig. Woof!
d) I do not know the number, but I have not seen so many white people hopping around since that Devo concert in '81.

Fun fact: "Obama Biden four more years" can be turned into the anagram, "O dear me! Brainy, famous bore!"

Marco Rubio is:

a) the name of a summertime Cuban swimming pool game.
b) a famous fish taco baron.
c) merely a rising star in fish taco circles.
d) no Tagg Romney.

Fun fact: The letters in "Mitt Romney for president" give you the anagram, "Prettify tender moronism."

The biggest difference between Barack and Mitt is:

a) the ability to sink a fadeaway jumper from three-point range.
b) $190 million.
c) Barack has the weirdest name. Barely.
d) the number of African cousins.

What is the greatest problem facing our nation?

a) Four potential years of "magic underpants" jokes by standup comics.
b) Joe Biden continues to be one heartbeat away from the freakin' presidency.
c) Drone strikes are not allowed on members of Congress.
d) The "nanny state" has been extended so far into our lives that every American will soon be required to hire an actual nanny, and that nanny will belong to a nanny union, and her union dues will go into a fund supporting gay marriage for members of the Armed Forces.

There is no answer key. Much like in our democracy, the main thing is participation and, of course, the secret knowledge that you alone are right.

. . .