Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gloating Post

What does it feel like to be a winner? I’ll tell you – it feels fabulous! You are reading the words of a winner right now. That’s right, I won the Midday Quiz Question on Public Radio today, because I am a good guesser. The question was about a country that was named by Dutch mapmakers. Can you guess the answer? Scroll down for a hint:

There is a place in the Netherlands called Zeeland.

I happened to know this fact, and so I submitted New Zealand as my answer. As always, I listened to the radio to see what the answer was and how far off I was. Often I am right, and then this time when they announced the winner’s name, it was Famous Hat! Oh, happy day! I even won a coin from the 1920’s, which is awesome because I collect coins and have always loved stuff from the Roaring Twenties. Maybe it will have a little flapper on it. How cool would that be? Some people said I should try to sell the coin, but I think I’ll save it to remind me that I am a WINNER. I should add that of all the people who asked me what the question was that I could answer, only Toque McToque would have guessed the same thing, so she’s a winner by proxy.

Famous Hat

Monday, January 30, 2012

Geography Lesson

Agent Toque McToque is sending me information again, this time about an explosion in the chemistry building. Apparently one person was hurt, but not seriously, so this is good news. Toque and I discussed when we had taken chemistry classes, and how we always feared some of the not-so-bright people in our classes would take out the entire class with their misunderstanding of chemistry. Toque says she is not sure about the intellects of some of the students here on campus, she has seen more than one address a letter to Washington, DC this way: District of Columbia, WA. She claims Americans are terrible at Geography, we know nothing about Canada, and I said that may be true, but how much do Canadians know about the US? She said they would at least know the capital, but most Americans think the capital of Canada is Toronto. Now I may not be 100% sure how to spell Ottawa (I always think it’s Ottowa), but I at least know of its existence. I did a survey with a sample size of one (my office mate Light Bright) and asked her what the capital of Canada was. Her response? Montreal.

Famous Hat

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bookmark from Hedgehog Heaven

As promised, here is the bookmark with the hedgehog charm I mentioned in yesterday's post.

Famous Hat

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Message from Hedgehog Heaven

Here is a story about hedgehogs that I meant to blog about earlier, but I keep forgetting the charm at home. I had wanted to scan it and post it. Oh well, maybe that will be tomorrow’s blog post; meanwhile, here’s the story:

As my 6.3 faithful readers know, my pet hedgehog Sylvia died of old age on Martin Luther King Day. I was surprised by how hard it hit me, since she was not a particularly affectionate pet, but I missed having her around. Sunday at Mass a newish person in my church choir asked me if I were the one with the “strange little” creature for a pet, and I said yes, but she had just died. The new soprano handed me a small white box, and inside was a bookmark with a tiny hedgehog charm on it. She hadn’t known Sylvia was dead, so it seemed like a message from God that my little hedgehog was okay, wherever she is now. Hopefully Hedgehog Heaven.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pi Cake

I cannot take credit for this, but it's so clever that I had to post it.  Thanks to Agent Toque McToque for passing it along.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Does the Name Make the Man?

So currently the race for the Republican nomination is led by a glove and a salamander. Mitt and Newt? Come on, what kind of presidential nicknames are those? Romney always seems to want to come across as urbane, so maybe he should be Gauntlet. Or why not Boot? Is that not a manlier article of clothing? Boot Romney has a certain ring to it. And what’s up with Newt? There are so many animals that are tougher. What about Tiger? OK, maybe that one’s not so good at the moment because of Tiger Woods. What about Lion? Wolf Gingrich? Or maybe he should invoke the symbol of his party and call himself Elephant Gingrich. I’m not saying he has to stick with mammals – Falcon Gingrich would work – but I would avoid the amphibians. Frog is kind of silly and Toad has bad connotations, although if he changed his name to Axolotl Gingrich I just might vote for him. And Newt? Why not Gecko Gingrich? At least it has alliteration going for it, plus reptiles are more macho than amphibians. Except for turtles. Those aren’t macho at all, as Spanish speakers know. Tortuga and jicotea are both feminine words.

In conclusion, I would like to say you should vote for the man, not his name, but the front runners could have chosen better nicknames.

Famous Hat

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Rules for Skiing

I hope all 5.8 of my regular readers had an excellent weekend. I took advantage of the fresh snow and went cross-country skiing with Hardingfele yesterday. There are two rules I must always follow when skiing:

1. I must fall down at least once.

2. And it must be in front of an audience.

In that spirit, I was skiing down a small hill as two people walked up it, and as I swerved to avoid them, I totally fell down. Of course they were all worried: “Are you okay?” but the only thing injured was my pride. Then I heard Hardingfele holler from somewhere far ahead: “Are you okay?” so I had to holler back that I was FINE. Then I had some trouble getting back on my feet on the hill. Finally I skied over to Hardingfele, who asked if I broke anything. No, no, just fine. So we skied back toward the car, but I was really tired by then and BIFF I went down on a straight part of the path right in front of the road so who knows how many cars saw me. This truly mystified Hardingfele: “How did you fall THERE?”

I’m just that good, darn it.

Famous Hat

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Investment Advice

From the same choir member who sent me the ultimate bar joke:

The most successful investor ever was Noah. He floated stock while everything around him went into liquidation.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bat Cake

I realize many of the people who read this blog saw this cake in person, but I love posting photos of cakes to my blog. In this case, Richard Bonomo baked four 13x9” sheet cakes of a type called “black magic,” but two of them were half the thickness of the other two. The obvious solution was to stack the two short cakes, and then I was going to make a butterfly, using the stacked cakes for the body and the other two cakes for the wings. I cut off the edges of the stacked cakes to make antennae, but the creature looked more like a bat, which is easier to frost anyway since it just takes chocolate frosting to make a brown bat. A few gumdrops stood in for eyes, mouth, and fangs. When people asked me why a bat cake, I just said because I’m an old bat.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sad Sylvia News

My regular readers will remember my hedgehog Sylvia, who was often featured on this blog. Sylvia passed away yesterday at the age of five years, nine months. She fell asleep in her little house and simply never woke up, since her eyes were closed when I found her. I could tell the end was near because the last week or so she was acting very bewildered, hanging around out in the open, wandering around when the lights were on, and running right into Charlie the rabbit at one point, as he watched in disbelief. She was no longer curling into a ball and no longer hiding when I came into the kitchen while she was eating. She may have been totally blind and mostly deaf by the end. To commemorate her long hedgehog life, I am reposting the video of her bath from last year.

Famous Hat

Friday, January 13, 2012

Working Hard

My office mate Light Bright and I worked hard on a couple of joint projects this afternoon.

Famous Hat

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Aloysius: Best Christmas Present Ever

After watching this video, you will surely agree with me that Aloysius is the best Christmas present ever. My goal is to make him an internet sensation. Go to YouTube and like my video and maybe he can become the star he was meant to be.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Naked Candle

Thanks to those of you at my birthday bash on Saturday. I know a lot of you read this blog, like Hardingfele, Banjo Player, Luxuli, Anna Banana II, and Jilly Moose, and of course our wonderful host, Richard Bonomo. Isn’t he fantastic? Let me give a shout-out to his sous-chefs Anna Banana II and Luxuli as well. And thanks to everyone who brought food and gifts. It was a great time! I’ll admit certain people who do not read this blog did take the game “Man Bites Dog” a little too seriously, but most of us enjoyed it. And… a hot air balloon ride?!? Wow!! Thanks, everyone!

So now life goes back to normal and I am no longer the Queen for the Day. How quickly today reminded me of that; I went to have a crown redone on my back tooth, and they decided it was too far gone and the best solution was to pull it. Believe me, I don’t like parting with teeth if I don’t have to – I put off having my wisdom teeth removed for years – but that’s how I got into this situation in the first place. A wisdom tooth I left in too long grew in sideways and put a dent in the root of the very molar I now no longer have, and that became decayed. Sad to think my poor tooth would not have suffered extraction if I had gotten the other ones removed promptly, but I have never understood why I would have teeth I didn’t need. They tell me I won’t need an implant since the upper molar meets up with the tooth in front of the extracted one. Yes, I have a very crooked bite. They talked about fixing it when I was a kid but ended up taking out my top bicuspids, so this is far from the first permanent tooth I have lost.

You may be saying to yourself, Famous Hat, none of this has anything to do with the title of your blog post. How right you are. That was a phrase Kathbert uttered Friday night at the Lutheran Cathedral Epiphany Potluck, Burning of the Greens, and Service. We each grabbed a small white candle in a plastic holder, but she insisted on taking hers out of the holder. “I want a naked candle!” she proclaimed. I said that would make a great blog post title, and so here it is.

Famous Hat

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mayor of Hell

People have been asking me what it was like to be Mayor of Hell, so I figured this would make a good blog post.

6:30 am – got a wake up call from Hell: “The dam water is running over! We’re up to our knees and the dam workers aren’t coming in to fix it! What should we do?” My only suggestion was to find some beavers to patch the dam, but apparently there are no beavers in Hell.

Morning: Rich gave me devil horns and a button proclaiming I was the Mayor of Hell for the day. Then he took a picture of me wearing them. He also gave me a Hell mug, a deed to a square inch of Hell (singed along the bottom) and some dirt from Hell, along with a chemical analysis showing it had high levels of sulfur.

Late morning: Tiffy and I were at a coffee shop when she gave me the Key to Hell.

Lunch: Hell called with another problem – it was cold there! Practically frozen over! What did I plan to do about it? I had no suggestions.

Things were pretty quiet in Hell the rest of the day, but that evening Hell called again to say that while I was having a pretty good day, it was just another day in Hell for them, and I was impeached. Rich gave me a certificate of impeachment (singed along the bottom) and a T-shirt proclaiming that I had been impeached. So that was how it was to be Mayor of Hell for a day. Thanks to all of you who were in on the planning!

Famous Hat

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Toner Pirates Goin' Down!

I have some very exciting news, unless you are a toner pirate: the government is now going after the toner pirates who scammed my office mate Light Bright! As you may recall, she was fooled by someone who called, claiming to be our regular supplier, and she agreed to have them send us a toner at a 625% markup. We sent the toner back, but they claimed we never got it, so she sent another toner, and then we heard nothing from them. We decided it was a learning experience and left it at that, but just yesterday Light Bright got a letter in the mail from the US Postal Service asking her to fill out an online survey about how Generic Company had scammed her. We were so happy to hear the Feds are now investigating the toner pirates! They knew their modus operandi too, because they asked questions about how the toner pirates misled Light Bright into thinking they were our regular suppliers. This must mean there are lots of toner pirate victims, and now someone is coming to wreak vengeance. That made our day!

Famous Hat

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Twice as Good as Twenty

Is forty twice as good as twenty? That remains to be seen, but my fortieth birthday was much better than my twentieth.  When I turned twenty, I had an ear infection and had to go to the doctor, and then I didn't feel like doing anything the rest of the day. Today I took the day off of work, since I was busy being mayor of a place called Hell. They called me at 6:30 this morning to let me know the dam water was backing up and the dam workers weren't showing up to do anything about it. Then Tiffy and I got some coffee (and I got a free flavor shot), and then we had lunch at one of those choose your stir fry grills. Hell called again to complain that it was cold as Hell, and what was I going to do about the temperature? After that Tiffy and I got massages, and then I got a free piece of dark chocolate infused with key lime for my birthday. And the fun isn't even over! I am going to Date Night with Jesus in a short while, and then Richard Bonomo is taking me out to dinner at a really nice Italian place. So far being forty is kind of fun!

Famous Hat