Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Proliferating Productivity

I hate wasting time.  And I waste 30 stinkin' minutes every day driving to and from work, sitting in my car.  Valuable time that could be spent analyzing data.

That’s an hour a day! 5 hours a week! 260 hours of lost analytic opportunity per year.  Nearly 11 Days wasted

Think about the insights that have gone undetected.

Not no more. I've discovered an amazing new product that promises to bolster my productivity: the AutoExec WM-01 Wheelmate Steering Wheel Desk Tray - Gray.  

Before ordering my $19.98 AutoExec WM-01 Wheelmate Steering Wheel Desk Tray - Gray, I did my homework. There were 583 reviews on Amazon.com (some more helpful than others). 

In case you're interested in purchasing your own AutoExec WM-01 Wheelmate Steering Wheel Desk Tray - Gray, I have included some of the most helpful reviews.

You're welcome.

It didn't take me long to realize that the AutoExec WM-01 Wheelmate Steering Wheel Desk Tray - Gray is much more than a steering wheel desk!

This has been a total lifesaver. It allows me to prop my sheet music against the wheel, allowing me to play the guitar with both hands while driving.   

Wow!  I wonder if my High School Musical keyboard would fit on the AutoExec WM-01 Wheelmate Steering Wheel Desk Tray - Gray?

This one is not as positive:  

This is the worst ironing board ever. Why would it not come with the cloth cover? There are scorch marks all over it, melted plastic everywhere and my clothes are tearing between the iron and the board.

Uh-oh!   Plus, it appears that the AutoExec WM-01 Wheelmate Steering Wheel Desk Tray - Gray has a serious product flaw:.  

This thing needs to have non-slide padding or ridges. My peculator and butane stove slid off during a right turn and tossed everything into the passenger seat. My car seat is now completely stained and it ruined a perfectly good cup of coffee. Oh, and my wife got burned by the flames. We are considering litigation.

We live in such a litigious society.

I personally think this next review is a bit on the picky side:   

Kind of difficult to take a quick nap when stuck in traffic. I can rest my head on it but it's not cushy enough for me to feel comfortable.

Come on!  Recline your seat if you want to nap while you're stuck in traffic.

I'm still scratching my head over this next review:

I read some 4 and 5 star reviews by those who used this device successfully to change a baby while driving. On that basis, I bought one. I put my baby on it and drove for over an hour. It did not change. Same baby. I am glad it worked for some people but I will be returning mine. (The steering wheel desk.)

I don't know what to say about this:  

I bought this laptop. I have never been so disappointed in my life. This laptop has no screen and no keyboard. There is no slot for a floppy, no battery, no mouse, no printer, no camera and no loudspeakers. There was not even an instruction book or a parts list. Just a slab of plastic.

I was still pretty much sold on the AutoExec WM-01 Wheelmate Steering Wheel Desk Tray, despite those negative reviews. But when I read this next review, I realized that the product could pose a safety risk.

In several accidents that I have had whilst using this, the airbag causes the laptop screen to slam shut.  I've suffered several broken fingers because of this.  

What?  I can't risk breaking my fingers!  How in the heck could I analyze data with broken fingers? 

But I kept reading and, sure enough, other reviews offered solutions to the broken finger risk. 

One person suggested: "boxing gloves provide excellent finger protection and might just be the thing you are looking for."

I suppose that could work.

But as a back-up plan I could always disable my airbag.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Reluctant Turd

I probably shouldn't have taken Kevin for a walk right before the show, but I had my make-up on, my hair was done and we had 15 minutes before vocal warm-ups. What could possibly go wrong?

We were about 2 blocks from the theater when Kevin decided to poop.

He assumed "poop position" in the grass.  I waited patiently. Then he jumped out of the grass like he'd been standing in a fire ant hill and started running in a circle.



Kevin moved to the middle of the sidewalk and resumed his position.  I tried to be patient. Minutes passed. 

Nothing dropped.


I decided to lift his tail and take a peak.

Crap! (Literally.)

"Kevin-push it out!," I encouraged. I waited a few more minutes.  Nothing.

I took another look. He was giving birth to a reluctant turd.

All I could think about was the costumes. Three of the four people who hold him onstage are dressed entirely in white. This was serious! 

Plus the clock was ticking!

"We have vocal warm-ups in 5 minutes, Kevin!" I reminded him. He looked over his shoulder at me pathetically.

A man walking down the street stopped to look. "You can't rush him" he advised.  "Thank you," I said politely.

(and under my breath, "What are you, a stinkin' dog protologist?")

I took another look. It was so close to being delivered. All it needed was a little nudge.

Or some forceps.  

I considered using a stick, but reconsidered.  It couldn't be a messy delivery, with all those white costumes.  It had to be clean.

I reached in my pockets in desperation.  I found a Kleenex.


I took a deep breath, lifted his tail one last time and removed the troublesome turd.

Kevin immediately started prancing back to the theater as if nothing had happened. He actually looked back at me as if to say, "Hurry up, we have vocal warm-ups in 3 minutes."

There I was, holding the leash in one hand and a Kleenex full of dog poop in the other.  I finally found a trash can and returned to the theater, a bit less composed than I had been at the start of the walk.

In contrast, Kevin was completely relaxed.

But most importantly, the costumes escaped completely unscathed.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oh What a Tangled Web

Linda said it was all my fault.  But it wasn't.

I mean, it's really not my job to remind her to bring a towel to the gym. And I did, in fact, come up with a scathingly brilliant Plan B: using her sweat pants to dry off after her shower. 

The problem was that she didn't want to use sweat pants to dry her hair.  So I suggested she use the B52-turbo powered hand dryer.  "Stick your head under this", I said, pointing to the most powerful hand dryer I have ever used.

Hold on to your head, though, or it will end up in the men’s locker room.”

I guess Linda stuck her head a wee bit too close to the hand dryer.   She ended up with a B52-turbo sized dreadlock.

And it would not comb out.

It reminded me of Kimmy, during her "cave girl" phase.  She was around 5 years old and had incredibly naughty, knotty hair which she refused to let me comb.  She insisted on combing her own hair every morning...or at least the top layer of it.  

I know.  What kind of Mom would let her daughter go to school looking like Cave Girl? 


Kimmy would leave the house every day with a perfectly combed, wispy layer of hair which rested atop of a rat's nest that took on a life of its own.  Her hair seemed to grow, both in height and volume, by the day.  

It would inevitably reach the point where she would not be able to find even a wispy layer to hide the growing ball of tangle.  Only then I was able to get near her crown with a comb (resulting in trauma and drama).  I would spend upwards of an hour unraveling wads of intricately entangled dreadlocks while she screamed for mercy. 

In my defense, I’d be as gentle as possible.  And I tried to keep things light, “Oh, here’s that barrette you’ve been looking for…. And look!  I just found the math homework you said you lost!”  Kimmy saw no humor in these moments.  And I was not always successful.  Sometimes  I would have to cut out the dreadlock.

(Her kindergarten bald spot was barely noticeable by 2nd grade.)

Although Linda's dreadlock paled in comparison to those harvested by Cave Girl Kimmy,  it was, in itself, quite impressive.   This picture really does not do it justice. 

I started unraveling the tangle.  The problem was that Linda’s hair is quite long, and this dreadlock incorporated hairs from every square centimeter of her scalp.  I tugged.  I pulled.  I unraveled.  

Truth be told, it was actually kind of fun (for me), not unlike the 5-star Sunday Soduku.

Except, unlike the Sunday Soduku, this mission was impossible.

After about 5-minutes Linda was in a near frenzy, exacerbated by my locker room bellow of, “Does anyone have a pair of scissors?

Someone from our Body Jam class had nail clippers which I used to removed the tangled tress.  Yes!!!

But Linda was not happy.   

"It could have been worse", I said, attempting to reassure her.  

 "At least I didn't need that chain saw I used to use on Kimmy."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Go Fish Face

I've blogged before about my inability to keep a Poker face.

I'm afraid it's gotten worse.

Tonight I couldn't even keep a "Go-Fish" face.

If you have ever read my blog, you may have picked up on the fact that I have a rather goofy sense of humor.  Well, the closing scene of "Anything Goes" contains some outrageously goofy dialogue. (Right up my alley.) 

And that poses a problem for me.

You see, I am supposed to be a passenger aboard the U.S.S. American, an ocean liner traveling from New York to England in 1934.  And when *spoiler alert* Billy and Moon Face run onstage disguised as Chinese men and stop about 9 inches directly in front of me and say things like "No can marwy... Pwum Bwossom...Wittle Pwum Pwudding... etcewa...etcetwa..etcewta" I have a VEWRY difficult time staying in character.

Tonight was opening night, and for the first time Billy and Moon Face were wearing their doo-rags with braids going down their backs. 

I found it extremely funny.  

Giggle worthy.

I bit my tongue. I knew I had to retain my composure.  I had to think about something sobering...utterly mournful.  So I flashed back to all those (8...count'm, 8) unsuccessful high school cheerleading auditions.

OK.... I had my composure back. I could once again pass for a passenger aboard the U.S.S. American in 1934: one who was very confused about the antics happening right in front of her.

That's when I made my critical error.  I looked at the actor standing one person down from me. 

She was trying desperately to contain her own laughter to the point that she had tears running down her face. I heard her whisper to the guy on my left,  "Don't let Lou look at me."

I had to look. (It sounded like a dare.)

That's when I lost my "Go-Fish" face.

We were like Tim Conway and Harvey Korman on the Carol Burnett show.

I needed to compose myself!  We had a sold out house!!!!  I looked away. I thought about the Holocaust:  Adolph Hitler. 
 It was nearly impossible to control my Go-Fish face.

Finally the Captain of the S.S. American brought Kevin on stage and handed him to his stage mom.

Thank God for my A.D.D.  I thought to myself, "what a cute dog!" 

And then it was curtain call.  Whew.

But I don't think I'm going to win any stinkin' Tony award for my performance.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Protecting My Investment

As you may have heard, I have recently invested in a new toilet seat for my home. It’s extremely high tech, with built in QSC ("Quiet Seat Close") capabilities.  

In an effort to protect my toilet seat investment (and increase my home value) I’m considering adding another feature to my high class bathroom: a Gold Man Toilet Attachment..  

This magical device “promises to turn an ordinary toilet into a urinal.”

It's simple to use.  You place the Gold Man Attachment onto the toilet,  aim, and go.  The attachment guarantees that the pee makes it into the toilet with little or no mess! 

(And is it me, or does anyone else think the Gold Man Attachment looks like a tea pot--instead of a pee pot?)

I know what you're thinking, girls.  Why should guys have all the fun?!! 

That's exactly what I was thinking!  Girls, you, too, can enjoy the Gold Man Attachment. All you need is your Go-Girl Portable Urinary Device (see blog: Wake Me Up Before You Go Girl-May 6, 2011). You simply pee into the Go-Girl, and (carefully) aim for the Gold Man Attachment.

Admittedly, using the Go-Girl/Gold Man combination is slightly more complicated than simply sitting on the QSC to Pee, but it’s twice the fun (and challenge)!

I would be remiss if I didn't point out another benefit to the Gold Man Attachment. It is extremely effective as a puke receptacle... especially if you have bad knees.

The Gold Man Attachment is very easy to clean.  It, like the Go-Girl, is dish washer safe.

Wait a minute!!! I just noticed that the www.goldmanworld.com website is no longer active. But guess what? I think I can make my own Gold Man Attachment!

All I need is a trash can and some scissors.

And maybe a little duct tape.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Toilet Envy

I was overwhelmed. It was worse than picking out a toaster.

"Look at all these toilet seats!" There were 8 rows of 6 toilet seats in the "Fashion Bath" aisle at Lowes. That's 48 stinkin' toilet seats!!   

I was with Dave, who has no appreciation for good blog material. "Just pick one out," he said.

"I have to find someone to help, me!" I said, beginning to panic. "They all look the same!"  I started looking for an employee.

"Come on, Lou,” Dave said, beginning to lose his patience. “Just pick one! The Brewers are on in 30 minutes!"

"Ok. I can do this," I said, taking a deep breath.  "I'll use a process of elimination.  Get it?"

Dave ignored me.

"I want a white one.

"That narrows it down to about 45," Dave groaned.

They had a few of those with cushiony seats. (You may have seen them in your grandparents' homes...they kind of feel like you’re sitting on a partially inflated inner tube... or a fresh bagel.)  One had a butterfly imprint. 

"No cushiony seats and no insects," I concluded.  "That leaves 41 to pick from."
I eliminated the wooden ones for obvious reasons (splinters).  Down to about 35.

Then I saw the latest in toilet seat technology: the QCS ("Quiet Close Seat"). You just give the seat a soft nudge when it’s in the upright position and it stealthily makes its way down...without a sound.


"I'll take this one," I announced. (Only the best for my hiney!)

I was so excited about our new high tech-toilet seat.  It was amazing!  In fact, I found myself lifting the seat before using it, just so I could observe the QCS in action.  

And you could literally hear a pin drop as the seat settled atop the toilet.

I couldn't have been prouder.

But then I heard about the Toto Washlet.  My stomach sunk as I read about this Japanese toilet:

Experience the ultimate in clean comfort with an automatic, hands-free flushing system and a sensor-activated lid that automatically lifts as you approach the toilet and lowers as you walk away.

Wait a minute!  I have to lift the lid on my QCS with my hand!  And nudge it to get it to close! I looked at my new toilet seat with disgust. 

As I continued reading, a bad case of toilet envy began to set in.

A convenient, easy-to-use remote control affords you effortless operation of our most luxurious Washlet model to date. The S400 offers the following features:
  • Auto Flush Activated by Sensors or the Simple Touch of a Button
  • Warm Air Drying with Variable Three-Temperature Setting
  • Automatic Air Purifier
  • Heated Seat with Temperature Control
  • Convenient Wireless Remote Control with Large LCD Panel
  • Docking Station for Easy Cleaning & Installation
I looked at my QSC accusingly.  "Why can't you heat my seat?"  
I kept reading:
  • Gentle Aerated Warm Water
  • Front and Rear Washing
  • Massage Feature
Wait a minute, I thought.  Is this a toilet or a sex toy?
  1. It gets it up without touching it 
  2. It massages your "front and rear".
Now that's one very perverted potty!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Fugitive

There's a fugitive loose. And this town ain't big enough for the both of us.

He's armed (in fact, he's got a lot of them) and he's dangerously disgusting and despicable.

On Saturday night I was driving to meet friends for dinner. It was when I was reaching to get something out of my purse that I noticed him (let's call him "Hannibal"). 

He was exiting my purse.  I screamed! 

He looked over his hideous shoulder and laughed, as he made his way toward the passenger door and down the side of the seat.

What could I do? I could not possibly get Hannibal out of the car! I had no weapons. I had no armor. All I had was my script and character shoes.

So I continued to the restaurant. I managed to form my body into the shape of a jellybean, with both feet on the seat, one arm wrapped around them protectively. My left hand did the steering (it was farthest from the crime scene) and the cruise control did the rest. 

One character shoe rested in my lap in the event of attack.

When I got to the restaurant, I grabbed my purse and emptied the contents onto the parking lot, checking for an accomplice. Hannibal was acting alone. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Then I looked through all the windows. "I'll be back." I threatened.

I went in the restaurant, with very little appetite. But a bottle of Bud Light helped me regain a smidgen of confidence. After the check came I said to my friends, "Let's go hunting!"

Unfortunately, it was dark and Hannibal is quite cagey. He was nowhere to be found.

The 25-minute ride home in my little Honda Civic was like a horror movie, knowing Hannibal was somewhere very close to me could attack at any time.  But in an attempt to outwit (and trap him), I put my to-go box on the back seat.  I imagined his hideous little jaws chewing away at the chicken.

Just to be safe, I resumed my fetal position in the driver's seat. I managed to get home without incident.

After pulling into the garage, I ran into the house and got my pot holder gloves. I lifted the styrofoam box off the back seat, laid it on the garage floor and slowly opened it.

Nothing but chicken.

I got the Raid. I practically emptied the contents of the Raid can into my car, spraying until the car looked like Linda's bathroom looks after one of her 35 minute showers. I screamed, "Go ahead, Hannibal...MAKE MY DAY!" and slammed the door shut.

The next morning I looked through all the car windows for Hannibal's remains. NOTHING.

I looked under the seats. I looked in the car pockets. I looked in the glove box.

He's a stinkin' Hannibal Houdini.

But I'm not done with him yet. I'll get his little reddish-brown-crunchy-ass one of these days... when he least expects it.

And in the meantime?

I'm really glad my car has cruise control.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Maid for the Office

Call me a dinosaur, but I always thought a computer case was something you put your laptop in. (Big duh for the nerdling). A Computer Case is the box that contains the computer's guts.  Mine looks like this:

And until today I had no idea how BORING my Computer Case is.

I've just now discovered that there are PC Computer Cases available that would be much more appropriate for my disability... I mean my personality.

Check out the Wall-E Computer Case

Imagine how much more fun I would have at work if I was analyzing data on a computer with bulldozer feet!

Another option is the Chardonnay wine bottle version of this Whiskey Bottle Computer Case.  Cheers!

Then again, how awesome would this Coffin Computer Case be around Halloween?!   I'd be dying to get to work!

But, the most unusual (and unsettling) Computer Case I have detected is the M4125 Maid Computer Case. According to the advertisement, "there is no better way to merge the otaku dual-loves of computers and sexy maids".


The M4125 Maid PC Case does just that by incorporating a Mini-ITX compatible case within the hips and legs, and covered by a choice of one of two maid skirts.

And it costs $649!

I was utterly befuddled. What the heck? Who would spend $649 for this.. this... data processing sex toy?

Since I'm not a man, I decided to get some feedback from my brother Tom.  I have a lot of respect for him and felt certain he would provide some keen insights related to the M4125.

Tom, a stinkin' marketing genius like myself, immediately began developing positioning statements for the M4125: "This is the ideal product for a man who wants a secure computer that will clean your house."

I rolled my eyes.

He offered one idea after the other, some better than others. (His suggestion that you move her to the closet during 'that time of month' was one of the "others".)  But he IS my brother, and I had asked for his opinion, so I kept listening.

Until his last suggestion: the market potential would be far greater if she weren't a desktop PC.  

"She would make an excellent laptop".