Friday Fives – the 5 bestest-est of everything edition

If you could only listen to 5 musicians for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, Guns & Roses

 If you could only read 5 books for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Alice in Wonderland.  Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Tropic of Cancer, anything by Hemingway, and Desolation Angels.  Google them.  Buy them.  Love them.

If you could only have 5 childhood memories to recall for the rest of your life, who would they be?

I had nothing but an amazing childhood and the world’s greatest parents.  There isn’t a single regret in the amazing way our parents loved and took care of us.  To pick only 5 moments would denigrate the decades they invested in us.  I am lucky enough to still have my mom around, and she is my favorite person in the whole world.  Don’t tell my wife I said that.

 If you could only eat 5 things for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Pad Thai, Carne Asada, Gyro sammich, sesame chicken, and coffee

If you could only have five words to describe the world what would they be?

Beautiful, selfish, magical, self-destructive


Friday Fives – not gonna say the word ‘hack’ any more!

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  • Do you have an automobile lifehack?

Yes, regarding snow.  You do your windshield briefly, but that is NOT enough.  MUST lift up your wipers and get ALL that out. That is where your wipers will get stuck or frozen.  Plus, most modern cars put a heating element there, akin to your rear window (thank you Subaru for pioneering that).  You gotta give it a chance to win, though. Clean that shit off. Seriously, this will change your winter life.

  • Do you have a great kitchen lifehack?

Yes, this thing.  Greatest thing in the world.  I have raved about it before. When I am going to cook, before I even know what I am going to do, I pull out this thing, my cutting board, and I sharpen my knives.

*** editors note – we think its called a ‘bench scraper’. Buy one quick, or the author will never talk to you again. Seriously, its that good. Btw… we are not even sure the technical official use for this. It may be for dough. Kevin Hart would say ‘that’s gay’!

  • Do you have a great bathroom/shower lifehack?

No.  This shouldn’t be a revolution, but I always have reading material there.  Usually multiple sources – a book, a magazine, and a longreads article. I spend every free second reading and learning.  Mostly about stupid rock news on my phone, but am still always learning. In fact, this goes up top at automobile hacks… books on tape!  I make my drive entertaining and learning. I listen to podcasts and books on tape, not music. Well, ok, some music. 40% music, prolly.

  • Do you have a great computer/entertainment lifehack

If I did, and I don’t… but if I did, it would be this computer here.  It’s a chrome book. $200, and it does everything my $800 laptop did, but play DVDs.   I don’t think I ever watched a DVD on my laptop. I was, for a brief and foolish period, a mac guy.  They make DOPE ass laptops. Their price point, though, starts WELL over a grand. So… fuck that. I went to windows, where I could get a great laptop for $600 to $800.   That computer started slowing to a glacial pace after just a couple of years (yes, I keep it scrubbed thoroughly with ant

  • What is your life change lifehack that everyone must know?

How about this, stop using that fucking term.  It is burned, cooked, over. Buzzfeed has ruined it for everyone.

Friday Fives – tech style

The Consumer Electronic Show starts next week.  In that light: 

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What is an electronic gadget/technology that you can’t live without. 

Since this is about cool electronic gadgets, am adding a bonus complication… not cell phone.  The answer to all these questions is cell phone.

With that said, I am going to say my new(ish) truck.  It’s a 2018, and its predecessor was a 2007.  A LOT has changed in the technology since then.  Some was available then, as well, but I didn’t have it.  This newer truck has remote start.  I know that has existed forever, but I didn’t have it.  I cannot express the value of being able to start my truck remotely.  I live outside of town, at 6200 feet, in Colorado.  The week around New Years and Christmas, it never got above freezing.  Also, my truck isn’t garaged ever.  It’s too big.  Being able to start my truck from the kitchen is just the most wonderful thing in the world.  Yes, I am a ‘puffer’, and it is illegal in Denver.  But, I am outside of Denver, and ‘puffing’ is NOT illegal for environment reasons (though maybe it should be).  It’s illegal for stolen car reasons.  I don’t worry about that for a couple reasons.  One is, I live outside of town and my truck is down a long driveway behind a gate.  PLUS… when you remote start the truck, it automatically locks the doors.

And then there is this package with the remote start.  If it is below 40 degrees out, the truck knows.  So it not only starts the truck… if it is below 40 it turns on all the defrosters, AND the heated seats, AND the steering wheel heater.  This truck is so online that it weekly sends me health reports to my email.   AND… the truck is smart.  If I am low on fuel, it won’t remote start.

What is an electronic gadget/technology that you can do without. 

My appliances.  We just bought all new appliances for the kitchen for the first time ever.  Got a black Friday deal to replace:  dishwasher, fridge, microwave, and stove.  We just installed it all last week.  Ourselves… for the record.  Here is what I don’t need:  the new appliances are all online.  Apparently, I can remotely track how my appliances are doing.  If a fridge fails, that might be good to know.  I don’t even know if that is part of the package.  But, do I really need to be able to check on my dishwasher’s cycle progress from 80 miles away?  I guess someone does.  I doubt I will bother, except maybe the fridge.

What is your favorite gadget

Since it didn’t say electronic, I am going with my Leatherman.  It is the greatest tool in the world, and I don’t leave the house without it.  Ever.  Its on me now in my corporate desk job.  It’s on me even if I walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail.  Its tiny, compact, and has about 8 different practical tools on it.  Even better?  It was invented by a guy named Leatherman!  Tim Leatherman, of Oregon, invented it.  With a name like Leatherman, dude was bound for greatness.  He invented the pocket ‘multi-tool’, but tons of folks make one.  However, I ALWAYS buy a Leatherman.  I not only want him to get credit and money for it, but because they are made in America.  Try that with your POS Gerber, ya commie!  They all cost the same (around $40, depending on features) so go get one now.  Actually, get 3.  Put them in your cars and backpacks.   * you can’t fly with them, though.  One of the things on every Leatherman is a knife.  Whenever we check bags (which is almost never… not even 2 weeks in Europe) I get excited because it means I can bring my Leatherman.

What needs to be invented but hasn’t 

I’ll give you a freebie idea.  Take this and run with it.  That ‘transition’ technology that turns your glasses into sunglasses in the sun?  put that into windows in cars.

When did you get your first cell phone?

Before you.  1997.  My first good corporate office job was working customer support for Nextel Communications.  One major perk was getting a free cell phone and free service always.  Was there for 20 years (it became Sprint), so I always had a free phone and it was great fun being on the cutting edge of the technology.  As you know, back then, phones weren’t online.  They didn’t do shit.  All they did was call, and not well.  No texting, paging, color, cameras, internet, color, or caller id.  Didn’t even have a clock.  You know… the clock on the cell phone that I probably invented?  True story.

*** forgive the jacked up formatting. WordPress has changed their interface and it sucks. it’s like the microsoft helpful paperclip that everyone resoundingly hated and had quickly removed.

I can help you sleep

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I can help you sleep.  I am dead serious. It’s a trick I use, and I am confident it will work for you.  Forget about ‘counting sheep’.   Never worked.  What I need is a way to turn off my brain.  I need to bore myself to sleep.  If you are over 40, odds are you have trouble sleeping.  If I cared to research it… and I just might… I would be able to tell you that 50 million Americans have trouble sleeping.  I bet that isn’t far off.

I give my brain fun and meaningless exercises.  For me, I use music arcana.  An example is, I will lay in bed and name early Bob Dylan songs by alphabet.  I can’t go on until I find one for that letter.  So, it would go like this. 

  1.  All along the watchtower
  2. Bob Dylan’s blues
  3. Chimes of Freedom

Etc etc etc.  I can do the same with a lot of bands.  Pearl Jam

  1. Angel
  2. Betterman
  3. Can’t find
  4. Dead man walking

Etc etc

Obviously, music is my jam.  You can do this with artists, or sports teams.  Then, I might do bands.  But, it has to be harder than that, of course.  So… maybe bands by alphabet that I do not like, and do not own a CD of.   Let’s start later in the alphabet

J. Joan Jett (ok, I dig her, but have no CDs)

k. the Kings of Leon

l. Lifehouse

m. meatloaf

n. ok… I am stuck here.  Wait… I got it!  Nada Surf

o. Oasis

p. pet shop boys

q.  queen (ok, I dig them, but have no Cds of them)

r. Rise against

try it, it works.  If it does, just share this with someone… and tell us your story in comments.

A bonus trick I use is from yoga.  Once you are in bed, comfy, lights are down… concentrate on your body.  From tip to tip, think about it, feel it… is it the most comfortable it can be.  I know this works for me because in college I took yoga (which I love, but back then it was just for ogling girls) and they would end each session with us laying down on a matt.  They would dim the lights and the instructor would go through this ritual.  I would fall asleep every time!

Friday Fives – watch where you sleep

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What’s the weirdest place you have ever slept?

On a hammock on the beach in Tulum, afraid to get out in the night because of all the creatures were heard below us.  The jungle came alive in the middle of the night, and wifey and I were freaked out.

What’s the worst place you ever slept?


What/where is the best night sleep you have ever had?

On a boat.  The gentle motion and noise is just awesome once you get used to it.

Are you a night owl or a morning person?

Night owl, cripplingly and debilitatingly so

What is one little noise that will always wake you up?

The dogs shuffling around the room, even on carpet. Means they have to go to the bathroom, so the clock is ticking on responsiveness.

Kids – give up now!

I think I might have found the headwaters of the fabled ‘school to prison pipeline‘. 

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*** update – like a week later – bottom

Public schools have been criticized for just creating mindless little automatons to feed the soulless corporate beast that is adulting.  Greatness is not encouraged, and certainly not developed.  You are taught to be quiet, sit down, and question nothing.  Oh, you do get to stand… to pledge allegiance to god and the flag.  Not sure if they still do that, but you know that we all started every single day like that.  Once I became xenophobic woke, I stopped participating.  It troubled me then, as it does now, that kids are taught to memorize and recite this even before they know what the words mean.  That is high level indoctrination.  This is more insidious than ‘school to prison’.  This is ‘school to mediocrity’ pipeline.   “There is something happening and you don’t know what it is… do you… Mr. Jones?”   That is a direct quote from a Dylan song, and I can only assume he is talking about his need to not end up a janitor in Hibbing, Minnesota.  No sir, a young Robert Zimmerman set out to New York City to be a janitor in the big leagues!  Do you know how Kris Kristofferson got his break in music?  He was the janitor for Sun Studios.  It was a bold ass move!  How to get in and spend your days with Elvis and Johnny Cash?

Basically, you can thank Melissa & Doug for ‘Me & Bobby McGee”.  Don’t worry, there is no threat of that happening with your little snowflakes.  Unless you are ready to go tiger mom on their asses… you are raising a houseful of servile tax burdens.  Are you one of those parents who says things like “We will always love you, no matter what!”?  Cut that shit out.  When little Francis brings you that hand turkey… don’t pin that up.  Look in his eyes and say “Is this the best you can do?  Go back and try again!”  Know who really needed a tiger mom?  Melissa & Doug!  Look at the fine print on the packing… real close.  It pretty much says “listen, we all know this is your children’s fate, why not get us rich in the process?”  If that isn’t in the text, it is most definitely in the sub-text.

I think America is great!  It’s my home team.  Know what’s great about America?  The freedom to not have to start your day with a Heil Hitler salute.  As for the god stuff, isn’t the myth that America was founded on freedom of religion?  Obviously, that wasn’t remotely the case.

Did your parents ever tell you that you could do anything?  Obviously, not if you are a girl… but I mean the rest of you.  You could be president!  You could be a great artist!  You could be the next _____.  I’ll tell ya; you could be the next janitor!  Odds are, you will.  Next step, let’s teach ’em to read with this.

Stock image of 'The serious little boy in ear-phones with a microphone in call center answers a call on a white background'
We were so proud of him.  I still remember his first words in the crib “Ma’am, I understand you are upset, but that is the package you chose.  Shall we select another that better fits your family needs?”

I am not here just to say ‘Give up Now!”   No sir, I am here to TELL you to give up now, and help walk you through the process.

But… how to prepare that little shining star for a live of servitude and broken dreams?  Only the “#1 Parent Recommended site for Creativity and Learning”

Learning what, you ask?  How to clean up after the White Devil like the servile monkey you will surely soon be.  I ain’t saying I am better than your kids (though… Maddox certainly is).  I have been a cubicle monkey in corporate America telecom for 22 years now, and I quite enjoy it.  Maybe the call center job is the janitor equivalent for the next generation.  “Pay attention in school, Timmy, or you’ll end up in a call center going nowhere in life like your pathetic failure of a man who calls himself your father.”

Melissa and Doug think your kid sucks.  Listen up kids, don’t just aspire to clean… smile while you do it!  You are also thankful.

In fact, Melissa doesn’t think your kids are doing near enough adulting.

If Melissa and Doug really wanted to empower your kids… where is the little oval office set?  How about a set of Lincoln logs where they could assemble the resolute desk?  Man, I love this thing.  I think it may be the most important piece of furniture in America.  Seriously.  As important pieces of wood go, I put it up there with Trigger.  Here is some legislation for that desk – all your cracker kids are gonna spend 4 years cleaning up after minorities and protected classes.  Americorps, but with some good ole fashioned humbling thrown in.

*** update – I wrote this less than a week ago.  I just found this headline feting them as the heroes of the proletariat they apparently are.  Get to sweepin’, kiddos!

Friday Fives – and pigs will fly

What was that cool thing/brand that everyone wanted when you were growing up, but now you’d get laughed at for having?

I can’t give you that.  While I wasn’t terribly uncool, or spazzy… I wasn’t one of the cool kids.  Were I, think I would be writing this drivel for aholes?  No, I’d be out partying with my cool friends.  So, I offer you the opposite. In about 8th grade… so we are talking 1984-ish… I had Birkenstocks.  Those are the super comfy sandals… that soon came to be openly mocked and associated with dirty hippy losers (a la the perennial punching bag, patchouli).  They were AMAZING, but people just thought they were weird and dumb.  Plus, I had long hair at the time, so I was pretty much the stereotype that evolved.

Anyhow, what none of you know (who have never owned ‘Birks’) is the footbed was cork.  What this meant is that over time, your foot totally formed it.  What this meant is after about 6 months, your ‘birks’ were completely customer fitted to your feed.  Like a favorite pair of jeans, but 100 times better.

What website do you no longer go to, but was once a favorite?

Bert is Evil!  It was a novelty site from early in the internet.  The premise was stupid, and simple, and delightful!  Photoshopping Bert, from Sesame Street, into historic tragedies… implying the only common thread in man’s darkest moments is Bert.  The pictures still live on, god bless the internet.  Here are a few.

What food did you love as a child but hate it now?

Gosh, again I can only think of the opposite.  I was a very picky eater as a child, but am now more open to most things (except: olives and mushrooms).  Lastly… who says gosh anymore?  ME!  I am trying to swear less, fagsCripples!  Retard!  Midget!  um… Siamese Twin!   Jesus, can’t I say anything?

** editors note.  We really tried to take that those words out.  He knows to NEVER use them, and actually prefers gay folks to the breeders.  He agees these are words we should mostly move past.  Seriously,  he has even married them.  He just misses using the word in the 6th grade, South Park sense.  And if you don’t think 12 year old boys talk like that, you’re prolly anyway, come on!  We can’t use ‘midget’.  Is little person better?  Sounds creepier to me.  Easy for me to say, though, I ain’t no midget dwarf little person!

What’s a scam that people throw money at without knowing it’s stupid?


Television.  I likely don’t work or commute that much more than you.  When I get home, I have about 2 to 3 hours to hang out with wifey, make dinner, clean, laundry, garbage, and all the millions of other things that adulting requires.  That gives me about 2 hours a night max to watch TV.  And I LOVE tv.  But, not enough to pay $120 a month for it.  Last time I did that, I just lived in DVR debt®.  Yeah, I got all four seasons of ‘Rescue Me’ on the DVR (youtube it, that show was brilliant!)… when am I going to find a magical three days to sit and do nothing but watch it.  Now what about the other 7 shows I recorded season passes for? ****

I know I just talked about this, but our tv bill is about $120 a year.  Netflix!  Now, we have Amazon Prime for tv, but I don’t count that in the overhead… since we do it for the free 2 day shipping.  And… we have Hulu, but not an account.  We are simply using Ashley’s log in.  You should, too.

Pigs have sprouted wings and can now fly. How does this affect life as we know it?

 Bacon becomes a gold like commodity.  Remember, pigs are both very smart, and very mean.  Once they can fly, we are fucked!


*** the pinheads and narcs at WordPress would like me to know via spellcheck, that these are not words:  adulting, youtube, and wifey.  I nailed all that shit in one paragraph.  I gots an English degree, muthafuckas… so if I say a word… it’s a word.