Saturday, February 25, 2006

From the "Oh, well that makes much more sense" department:

There's a follow-up to the story about the microwaved manhood I mentioned yesterday.

Turns out that the tidbit in question was fake. Apparently, "a man and a woman had inserted urine into a fake penis that the woman was planning to use to pass a drug test."

The whiz kids needed the microwave -- which has since been thrown away -- to heat the pee up to normal body temperature.

This, I think, illustrates the perils of drug use much more effectively than the episode of "Saved By the Bell" where Jessie gets hooked on caffeine pills ("I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so...scared!").

I mean, honestly, what series of decisions do you have to make before nuking a pee-filled mock member in a microwave seems like a logical thing to do?

Friday, February 24, 2006

"This isn't funny. What am I supposed to eat?"

Oh my.

Quite possibly the most disturbing thing I've read this week (and that's including plans for a new "Friday the 13th").

Apparently, some guy decided to forgo the Hot Pockets and opted to microwave a different kind of snack.

You know, maybe I was paying more attention to the Superfriends than to the news when I was a kid, but I don't think I ever read a story that had both "microwave" and "genitalia" as key words.

The worst part (don't read if you're about to eat): "After the clerk noticed a strange smell coming from the microwave..."

The article also mentions that there was blood found on the floor of the bathroom, which is actually a little more disturbing.

No Bagel Dog for lunch today.

(via Obscure Store)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lesson learned

Mine might be the last generation of students to have watched educational movies via an actual film projector. The switch to VHS was pretty much final by my junior year in high school. And even my sophomore year, we only saw a few in Drivers Ed.

When I was in elementary school, we had these filmloop cartridges that you plugged in to a small viewer. I only remember watching one about polar bears because the bear took a pretty nasty fall, and being 7, I thought that was pretty hysterical.

But it was one I saw in fifth grade that has always stuck with me. It was shortly after we moved to Tracy, and I don't even remember why we were seeing the movie.

It was to educate us about the perils of vandalism. The only part that I really recall clearly is a scene where two kids decide to hurl a rock (or brick or cinder block) off an overpass. It smashes through some guy's windshield, and we get to see him all cut up and covered in very unconvincing stage blood whining something like "I'm blind! Aaaaaaa!"

Cheesy though it was, I've never chucked a cinder block off an overpass.

I've bought a handful of discs from the Educational Archives series and I've perused the Prelinger and AV Geeks collections at The Internet Archive, but I have yet to find out what this is called.

I'm usually pretty good at finding these kinds of things, but so far, no luck.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A father-and-son moment

A sunny blue day in Tracy, California. Though relatively early in the day, the heat was already building, strengthening the already pungent aroma from the nearby dairies.

My dad was going to show me how to properly fly one of those little balsa wood gliders. Fortunately, on the other side of the mobile home park where we lived, there was a vacant lot. The lot has since become a shopping center complete with a grocery store, eateries and roughly 8 million nail salons.

On the other edge of the lot, there was a chain-link fence and some Dumpster-like containers. But there was plenty of room and enough mounds of dirt for most of the neighborhood kids to play and do a little dirt biking.

I'd tried flying the gliders before without much success. Since I was in the early stages of puberty my already deficient coordination level was now hovering somewhere between wingless albatross and drunken downhill skier.

My dad opened the package with the pair of scissors he always had with him. He worked for the phone company, and as a result, always carried the scissors -- his "snips' -- and a small blade on a little holster attached to his belt.

Any time there was packaging that was reluctant to open or errant tactical warheads that needed defusing, my dad was there to MacGyver it with his snips.

In recent years, probably due in no small part to teasing from my brother and me, he doesn't carry them all the time now.

We assembled the glider in short order. I awaited my aviation lesson.

My dad adjusted his Pacific Bell ball cap to block the sun from his eyes and gripped the glider with his right index finger and thumb. Then he made a few practice swoops to show me the arc I should use to throw it for maximum glide.

"Check this out," he said. He cocked his arm back and let the glider fly. It went up, seeming to float lazily over the vacant lot. It silhouetted against the bright blue sky, arced down and went right over the chain-link fence into a Dumpster, where it landed with a faint thunk.

"Oops," my dad said. "We'll, uh, have to get you another one."

I never got another balsa glider. Instead, we all went to the bookstore, where my anguish over the loss of my plane was alleviated by the stack of comic books my brother and I got.

Up, up and away, indeed.