Monday, January 31, 2005

What Women Want, Part II

I need to apologize to my readers, as I may have led them wrong. In my post last week I told you about my plan to impress my wife, and presumably all other women in town, by wrestling and killing a zoo-elephant with my bare hands. I believe it's my obligation to report that my plan may have been illconcieved. Here are just a few of the things that I seem to have miscalculated:

1 - Have you seen an elephant? These things are frickin' huge. I couldn't even get my hands around this monster's throat, let alone strangle it to death in the hopes of getting my wife to love me more.

2 - When a giant zoo-elephant throws you headlong into a steel fence, the experience is worlds apart from the other painful things that I've endured in my life (e.g., sore throats, splinters, ice cream headaches, shoes tied too tight, etc.) This was pain on a whole new level that I, frankly, didn't even know existed.

3 - Most surprising of all, my wife didn't even seem impressed. But, I still wonder if that's because I failed to actually kill the animal. I may never know for sure on that one.

4 - Apparently it's a federal offence to kill a zoo-elephant in this country. But, honestly, I don't know why we needed to make that into a law. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think those things are pretty much un-killable. I mean right before he stepped on my rib cage for the second time I was squeezing his trunk as hard as I possibly could and it didn't even seem to phase him.

Anyway, writing with this key-poker strapped to my forehead is exhausting. I just wanted to apologize. I hope no one followed my advice before reading this.

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Theory of Relativity

The other day I was driving down the road with this guy I know when he saw a VW Rabbit driving along. He said, “I love those little cars”. I said, “Little? What if an ant was that size? Would it be little?” He was quiet for a few seconds (probably because he knew he couldn’t defend his position). Then he said, dryly, “Well, that would be a huge ant, obviously.”

I would have continued to pursue the point, but he had a change of plans and asked me to drop him off right there in the middle of town.

Another example: It took me two hours to write a one page document that a woman I work with needed. When I gave it to her she said, “What took so long?” I said, “Long? What if World War Two lasted for 2 hours?” She mumbled something about me being a jerk and about how someone should be fired – or maybe it was “tired”, I don’t know. I didn’t catch all of it. But my point is, people just don't want to discuss high level intellectual concepts, like the theory of relativity, anymore.

The Future Is Wild

Later this year a Stanford scientist plans to create a mouse with a 100% human brain. I understand this may seem a bit strange to people at first, but frankly I can see some potential advantages to being the first post-human mouseman.

For example:

  • hiding in the laundry basket to scare a human-bodied maid or little sister,
  • outsmarting over-confident cats using things like radar and the internet,
  • taking cheese from mousetraps and leaving sarcastic notes written in sloppy mouse handwriting in its place,
  • looking adorable in a tiny cowboy hat,
  • faking an English accent to pick up PETA chicks.

But, the obvious advantages are all outweighed, for me, by the part about having to live your whole life as a freakin' mouse. That's the part that would just be so totally lame.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

My Birthday

Sometimes I feel sorry for people because when they talk about their youth they refer to it as "The Old Days". Not me. I refer to my youth as "The Awesome Days".

My youth was so awesome that I'm tempted to spell "days" with a "z", as in "dayz". But, for now I'll resist the temptation.

My birthday is this week, and I'm realizing that I'm really starting to get old. Moving into middle age is a very strange experience that feels nothing like what I would have predicted it would feel like. The strangest part of the whole experience is how I feel just like I've always felt. I'm mean, sure, I may not know who the new saxaphone player for The Pearl Jams is, and I may not get all excited every time Aerosmith gets a new haircut; but deep down, I'm still just a kid at heart.

Hang Ten Everybody!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What Women Want

No cave man ever got the cave babe by showing her how gentle he could be with a paleo-duckling. But, if you paint your face and strangle a mastodon with your bare hands your genes will be getting passed on to the next generation, my pre-historic brother.

Scientist have proven what all boys learned by the 7th grade: Women love flashy, charismatic guys. In fact, women love flashy guys even when those guys represent a moderately elevated threat to their personal safety. Scientists say this is true because the superior genes that charismatic males have to offer trump all other mating currency.

Apparently, this is the kind of thing women are in to.

This explains why guys like Kid Rock have been propositioned by more women than every male pre-school teacher who has ever lived put together, multiplied by a million.

Never shy of new developments, Crapples has taken this new science into consideration. I’ve made an appointment with the local zoo for a tour this Saturday. But, little do they know, what I'm really going to do is jump the fence and try to wrestle an elephant to the ground and kill it with my bare hands. It's Crapples' turn to shine!

Some of my friends are saying that I haven't thought this through, but my prediction is that it will go really well. I’ll let you know.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Stone Cold Whoopi

I was reading my journal and I came upon this amazing event from about a year ago:

"Yesterday my 8 year old watch and (my wife's) 5 year old watch both broke on exactly the same day, about 20 minutes apart from one another. What are the odds of that? A hundred million to one?"

But, as my statistician friend was telling me just a few weeks ago, the fact that something is very unlikely to occur doesn't mean that it won't happen. In fact, it means that it will almost certainly happen given a sufficient number of trials. In other words, with all of the couples in the world who both own watches, the scenario that happened to my wife and I had to occur sooner or later to someone.

I said to him, "By that logic, assuming there are millions of trillions of rocks in the universe and each one has a randomly determined shape, one of them is bound to look exactly like Gordon Jump."

He said, "Yeah, probably. In fact, if we assume an infinite universe with infinite space and an infinite number of events, then every event that could possibly happen, has to have happened somewhere. This is true because if infinity is your numerator, everything possible becomes a sure thing."

Therefore, in an infinite universe, this freakishly improbable object (thank you photoshop) has to exist somewhere. Click to enlarge.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Crapples The Next Wonder Twin

Here's an interesting turn of events: It turns out that I might be a superhero.

I can't confirm this yet, but it's a distinct possibility. I was reading the Wikipedia definition of a superhero the other day, and, bingo! It dawned on me that I'm on my way to meeting the criteria.

I'm as surprised as you are, honestly. Here's what's needed to qualify:

1 - An origin story. I have one! Mine is that I was looking through Wikipedia one day when I realized that I might be a superhero.

See how it's all coming together? It's like a freakin' jigsaw puzzle.

2 - Either independantly wealthy or has a job that allows for a great deal of independance. Well, I write really stupid stuff in a blog almost every day for free even though 90% of the people who read it are complete strangers, right? I think it's obvious that I have some time on my hands.

3 - An arch-enemy. I have that too. (Read in deep, deliberate voice, and imagine Crapples narrowing his eyes in a sinister fashion.)

4 - A flamboyant costume. This one is a loose match at best, unless you think Members Only jackets and leather driving gloves are flamboyant.

5 - A secret identity. Well, everyone in the midwest regional dance clubs calls me "Dazzle Squared". I'm no expert on this stuff, but I think that might count.

6 - Special Powers, abilities, or equipement. I admit that this one is probably a partial match. I mean, sure, I can type, like, 60 words per minute and I have a sweet speedometer on my bike, but I don't know if those things really count as "Special" or not.

So, I'm not saying it's a sure thing. But, I was surprised to see how close I am. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Studs vs. Trolls

This is from a textbook I'm teaching from this semester:

"In a study of over 700 newly hired MBA graduates, men judged to be better-looking obtained starting salaries more than $2000 higher than men of below-average attractiveness. Once hired, women judged to be above-average in attractiveness tended to earn over $4000 more per year than women employees rated as less attractive. Studies of jury decision making have determined that jurors are less likely to find physically attractive defendants to be guilty, and tend to recommend less severe punishments for attractive defendants."

As a compassionate and egalitarian-minded person, I'm forced to ask the tough questions: What is it about the ugly that makes them so lousy at their jobs, and why do they tend to be such dirty criminals?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

One For The Ladies

The number of people who read this blog has increased dramatically in the last week or two. In light of this fact, there is now a statistical probability that at least some of my readers are... sexy ladies.

This post is for you.

I know that being a lady you often feel stressed, even harried. I understand that you have your shopping to do and you're always... oh... I don't know, picking out barrettes and stuff. As a result, you feel overwhelmed. You're looking for support, and some of you have already learned that Crapples understands what you're going through. But, it's important for you to also understand that Crapples can only be your friend.

Case in point: Just the other day I was working out with Rose (that's the name I have for my barbell) when the phone rang. I picked up the line and it was... you guessed it... a sexy lady.

She was like, "Hey Crapples, I need to talk to you about...", but I cut her off and said, "Whoa, slow down, baby. I'm flattered, but Crapples is taken!"

Then she was like, "What on earth are you talking about? I just need to give you a message from the school nurse."

I said, "Listen honey, call it whatever you want to call it, but I love my wife. I'm sorry to let you down, but I'm spoken for."

Then she mumbled something about "biggest jerk" and "police.... harass.." something. I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention.

But, the point is: You'll have to be patient. I'm sure there's someone else out there who is almost like me, in a few ways.

Love always: Crapples

PS: When I say "Love always", I mean it in a friendly way. Sorry again.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Paraprofessional Surgery

This report produced by Northwestern Memorial Hospital makes it clear that heart patients who are not treated by cardiologists are likely to get sub-par medical care.

I bring this up because it reminds me of the most hilarious story. You're going to love this. It seems that one of my neighbors needed bi-pass surgery, right? Well, in order to save a little cash, he decided to let his girlfriend, a cosmetology student, perform the surgery on the kitchen table.

You can see the punch-line already, can't you?

Well, picture this -- there he was laying on the table, his girlfriend opening up his chest with a pair of scissors, when all of a sudden he started screaming and blood started to spla...

... hmm

... You know this story is a lot less funny than I remembered it being.

My mistake. I'll try to pay more attention to topic-research before I post again.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Unholy Abominations That I Want For My Birthday

Jelle Atema, as reported in this article, is developing technology that will allow him to control a shark by remote control. Not a robot shark, but a real shark. He plans to map certain patterns of activity in the shark's brain, then reproduce those patterns artificially, and remotely, causing the shark to do his, presumably evil, bidding.

Of course, the ethical implications of research like this are nothing short of monumental. But, Atema says:

'The first thing we did was discuss the ethics of this approach, and we agreed that what we want to do is probably OK."

Well, alright then.

Now that the ethical considerations are out of the way, here are the remote control animals that I want for my birthday as soon as this technology is perfected:

  1. Two remote control monkeys; one to be my butler, and the other to assist with general comedic mischief.
  2. A single remote control bee for revenge purposes. (You better hope this never happens Mr. Jorgenson, my 7th grade guidance counselor.)
  3. Finally, a remote control crocodile, because if I had a remote control crocodile... oh, man!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Still Trying To Be Cool

Jon Miller of the Harvard Center for Astrophysics said this week:

"Black holes are such extreme objects that they can actually warp and drag the fabric of spacetime around with them as they spin. Gas whipping around the black hole has no choice but to ride that wave."

Sorry, Miller, it was a nice try, but astrophysics is not an X-Treme sport, and the cheerleaders still think you're a dork.

Freezin' Junk

It happens to be the coldest day of the year today (the high temperature is supposed to be zero). I had the day off, so I decided I would spend the morning freezin' stuff. I've been freezing all kinds of household items, wet t-shirts, toys, and more.

It's been a pretty good morning.

But, it turns out that the coolest thing to do is to soak a wash cloth, then freeze it while it's draped over various household objects. I tried draping it over blocks, Legos, cups, boxes, and some other things, but the best (and most frightening) object was a doll's head. Here's the result:

I didn't intend for it to look quite that spooky, but it's sort of cool nonetheless. If you set it on the table and watch it melt it's even spookier.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Super Morning

Thinking about superheroes has made me want to further emulate the behavior of my superhero idols in my every-day life. So, this morning when I handed my credit card to the guy at the gas station I said, “You can take that to the bank… the blood bank.” He was like, “Excuse me?” Then I said, “Your excused”, and round-house kicked him right in the face.

Oh man, it was sweet.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Thoughts On Superheros

The lamest superhero of all time is the boy Wonder Twin who could turn himself into things like a bucket of water with eyes.

I remember him getting in front of a car and turning into an “ice ramp” once. Another time I distinctly remember him turning into “steam”. How is that a superpower? Give me a pot and I can make steam in about 5 minutes, and I can keep my arms and legs while I do it.

More on this later.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Mouth Band Revival

One of the most improbable fads to ever occur was the short-lived Mouth Band craze of the early 80's. I fondly remember frosty fall evenings when my friends and I would gather around a flaming garbage can outside an office building in downtown Fresno and sing mouth-band renditions of 80's adult contemporary hits. We did an instrumental mouth-band version of "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong" that drew crowds every time.

One of my good friends, for convenience I'll just call him Potsy, did a world class mouth-guitar solo.

Anyway, I was thinking that it might be sort of cool to try a 21st century, online mouth-band jam. To my knowledge, this has never been tried before.

So, I'll take bass. You guys just join in whenever you start to feel the groove. OK, here we go!

Boom bop boom boooom -- Boom bop boom boooom -- Boom bop boom boooom -- Boom... bop...

... Guys? ... Hello?

... Is this thing on?

Monday, January 03, 2005

Different Guys

I’m a pretty sociable guy in the sense that I seem to be able to get along pretty well with most people. There are really only a few kinds of guys out there, and I seem to have at least one or two things in common with most of them. For example, I can talk to the sports-guy about basketball, tennis, and the Olympics. I can talk to the heavy-metal-guy about Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. I can talk to the academic-guy about literature, and science. I can talk to the outdoors-guy about fishing and backpacking. I can even talk to the depressed-guy about The Man.

But, a few months ago I found myself in a room with a cowboy-guy. Now, not only do I have nothing against the cowboy-guys, I actually think they are generally great and admirable people. However, I have found out that I have absolutely nothing in common with them whatsoever. When I’m with a cowboy-guy we just sit there and look at each other awkwardly. The conversation often goes like this: I say something stupid like, “Yeah, Holsteins kick butt, but when the chips are down I’ll take an Angus every time.” Then he’s like, “Really, why’s that?” And I’m like, “Huh?” Then he says, “I said, why’s that?” Then I’m like, “You say something?” Then he’s like, “Yeah. Why do you like Angus’s so much more than Holsteins?” Then I say, “OK, you called my bluff. I want my mommy.” It’s honestly the worst conversation imaginable.

So, one of my two New Year's resolutions is to get some topics under my belt so I can have conversations with the cowboy-guys. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Public Service Announcement

I don't know if you heard about it, but the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychological Association has recognized a new form of mental disorder: The Stankophile. It is characterized by obsessive thoughts that focus on things that are stanky. Next week 20/20 will be doing a piece on it. Salt, from Salt and Peppa, is one of the leaders in the race to find a pharmacological cure for the condition. It seems that Salt's sister suffers from stankophilia. She lost her job and her family because she couldn't stop obsessing about Courtney Love's armpits.

New Year Wish

Few people guess, when they look at my picture, that I'm somewhat of a role model in the hip-hop community. Back in my Fresno Hoop Days, when I was affectionately known as "Ivory Lightening", I often advocated for peace. So, I thought I'd take time out from my regular blogging schedule to leave you all with this message: Put down your gat. Please. It's whack.

Happy New Year