Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Saw That Dildo, Bud Light

I'm surprised someone hasn't brought this up already.  I googled "bud light commercial dildo" and didn't see anything in the first five or so results, so I'm going to go ahead and officially take credit for this.  I'm sure you've seen this commercial, in which three aliens that look like hot chicks come to "shmeplicate" with human males in exchange for Bud Light.

I don't know about you, but every time I see this commercial, all I can think is that the girl on the right is holding a huge dildo. 

 Save us, FCC! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Late Afternoon on the Wissahickon

I woke up at about 9:45 AM to silence.  No alarm clock.  I had off from work; other than laundry and a run to the bank, I didn't have much to do.  I let my dog into the yard to go to the bathroom and put a bagel in the toaster.  It was nice, not having to rush my breakfast.  Rufus, my dog, peed quickly then ran back to the door wanting to escape the early December cold.  He ate his breakfast as quickly and as noisily as he always does.  He was endearingly goofy.  I let him back in the house, buttered my bagel, and sat down on the couch to eat and watch some TV.  Usually, I watch the news for the weather and traffic.  Not having any reason to leave the house, I started watching yesterday's episode of Dexter OnDemand.  Every Sunday, Dexter and Boardwalk Empire air from nine to ten on different channels, and I always go with Boardwalk Empire

After watching Dexter successfully toe the line between serial killer and regular guy for another hour,  I flipped through a few channels.  Finding nothing worth watching, I threw a load of laundry into the washer.  The thin metal door clanged shut and the hollow machine gave the sound of the water gushing in a hollow quality to it.  I went upstairs into the bathroom and turned on the shower.  A few minutes into my shower, I started singing the Christmas song I had just heard on TV.  "White Christmas".  I think The Santa Clause was on when I turned the TV off.  My attempts at imitating Bing Crosby's voice echoed off of the tiled walls.

After my shower and moving the wash into the dryer, I didn't know what to do.  As I sat on the couch wondering what to do, Rufus ran by, chasing a fly.  I decided to take him for a walk.  It had been awhile, and I enjoyed walking the trails along the Wissahickon.  Rufus always gets too excited to sit still whenever he sees me grab his leash, so I quietly grabbed it and snapped it on to his collar while he was distracted by the fly.  Forgetting the fly, he immediately bolted towards the door.  After what must have seemed ages to him, I opened the door and we made our way back the creek.  We walked along Ridge ave, then turned down Wise's Mill.

I saw no one else on the trail.  It was only about 3:30, so most people were still at work.  I suddenly remembered recently reading the essay "Morning on the Wissahiccon" by Edgar Allan Poe.  I began to wonder what it must have looked like back then.  From the way Poe spoke of it, it was still a fairly secluded area.  Not as traveled as it is today.  By this time of year, the trees are all but bare of leaves.  Maybe not as colorful as the Spring and Summer, but I liked it.  The view of the surrounding area was better without all the foliage.  I was standing on a smaller trail, going along a hill that overlooked the main path and the creek itself.  I stopped for a minute, just to take in the scene.  This was about as close to nature as it got in Philadelphia.  Having long ago learned to tune out the sounds of traffic, it was actually a nice moment.  Geese, presumably headed south, flew and honked overhead.  To my left was a rough patch in the water.  Rufus tugged me further down the path. 

I looked back toward the white swirl of water that caught my attention earlier.  Getting a better look at it, I realized my eyes had played a trick on me.  It was actually one of the heads of the street lights that lined the main path below.  From my higher angle, it looked like it was actually in, not above, the water.  Although the sun was beginning to fade, it was still too early for the light to turn on.  A sigh escaped my lips, and I went home.

This story was inspired by a walk I took back the creek.  I did think the light was part of the water, which was disappointing to me for some reason.  It made me think of Poe's essay, so I went home and read it and found that my experience seemed like a modern version of the narrator in Poe's story.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pennsylvania's Alcohol Laws Begin to Modernize

On Friday, Dec. 3, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the PA Liquor Control Board followed all laws and regulations in issuing a license for on-site consumption of beer and the sale of six packs to go at all Pennsylvania Wegmans.  The eat-in cafes at Wegmans gave the supermarket the right to apply for the license, despite a legal challenge by a trade group representing local beer distributors.

I understand the concern on the part of the largely locally-owned beer distributors, but this change is long overdue.  Pennsylvania has some of the most restrictive liquor laws I've encountered in my many travels.  Our bars, distributors, and liquor stores close too early and six packs are too often sold at ridiculous prices and can only be bought two or three at a time.  The limit on how much you can carry out is especially ridiculous, since it doesn't keep you from buying more than two six packs, it just forces you to have to make several trips in and out of the bar/store.

Tom Corbett, who recently won the race for governor, hopes to privatize liquor stores, which would be freakin' awesome.  I can't stand the short hours of the nearest Pennsylvania Wine & Spirits.  Not to mention the fact that it's being closed down.  Why shouldn't I, a grown-ass man, be able to buy a bottle of rum later than 7:00?

Unfortunately, there's at least one politician who sees fighting these changes as a way to get more votes.  State Rep. Paul Clymer will try to reverse the Supreme Court's decision because he feels the State should have control over the sale of alcohol.  Who the hell put this guy in office?  On what grounds should the State be so restrictive about alcohol sales?  We already have to pay a "sin tax" on alcohol because the government decided that drinking is immoral.  I don't know on what grounds the government of a nation that so highly values the separation of church and state can decide that something is immoral yet not illegal, but it managed to do it.

Hopefully, it won't be long before I can walk to 7-11 and buy a six pack whenever I want.  And while we're at it, I think it's high time to get rid of that arrogant Puritan statue on Kelly Drive.  Stuffy bastards.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Arsenic-Based Life

As it turns out, the Grinch's "three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce" might not be as deadly as we've been led to believe.  Previously, scientists have been unable to find any form of life that could replace any one of the six major building blocks of life: carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and hydrogen.  Earlier this week, NASA scientists announced the discovery of bacteria in Mono Lake, California that, due to a lack of environmental phosphorus, have been able to use the usually poisonous element arsenic in their cellular structure, DNA, RNA, etc.  Although some scientists believe this discovery overestimates how much arsenic these bacteria actually use in their cellular structure, it is still pretty damn interesting to say the least.

The day before this announcement was made, Nature announced that scientists now estimate that the universe contains 300 sextillion stars (300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000), three times the previous estimate.  With each star, the probability of extraterrestrial life increases, since each one could be the sun for another planet capable of sustaining life.  And of course, the discovery that at least one "big six" component of life can be replaced suggests others may be replaceable as well, further increasing the probability of life outside of Earth.  Many believers in alien life have long hypothesized that life on other planets may be based on different chemicals than life on Earth. 

Pretty interesting.