Friday, February 27, 2009

The Apple/Doctor Corollary

A doctor a day leaves you with no time for eating apples.

Explanation: I got a call yesterday reminding me of a checkup with a doctor this morning. As nothing has changed (which is good) since my last appointment with this doctor, it was a fun appointment to go to:

Doctor: "How are you?"

Jeremy: "Fine."

Doctor: "Come back in six months."

Still, this is my second doctor's appointment in three days, which is just silly. How can I keep them away if I have no time for eating apples?

Special Blog Bonus: Enough of that. I've been catching up on my LEGO browsing. While it's a little late (thanks, Kari!) here is the Queen of Hearts's castle in honor of Valentine's Day:

You can see more images of this creation here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Say No to Canine Outerwear

If you find yourself putting outerwear on your pet, you might want to take a moment to reconsider things.

Explanation: On my big trip outdoors yesterday morning, I drove by a man walking a dog. Well, it was a bit more like an oversized rat, but regardless, the dog was wearing a big thick coat. The dog looked toasty warm and adorable as it lifted its leg to do its business on the neighbor's tree. I take issue with this.

A dog has fur. A dog's fur is designed to protect it from the elements. They walk on four legs, sniff each other's butts, and don't need clothing. Period. But wait. You say "I have a frail breed that cannot handle the harsh winters here." I ask you this. WHY? People in Florida don't buy pet polar bears. Perhaps you should have considered your local climate before making such a purchase?

Here's a simple quiz that will help you determine if your dog should be wearing clothing:

1) Is your dog capable of putting said clothing item on without assistance?

There. It's that simple. If the answer to each of the quiz questions is "Yes" then by all means, let your dog dress itself up in whatever clothing it wants. Otherwise, just let it be a dog. If you feel the need to dress little cute things, get a stuffed animal like this:

Oh wait... that's a real dog. Never mind.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Can I Return My Receipt?

I'm sorry, but I believe that a receipt should never be physically larger than the purchase it represents.

Explanation: I had my morning endodontist appointment and he believes that the issue is with a different tooth than the one I had the root canal in way back when. For the temperature "sensitivity" (which feels similar to the "sensitivity" one's skin feels against a chainsaw blade) he suggested I try Sensodyne toothpaste before pursuing any more radical treatment. This leads me to today's status message.

I stopped at Rite Aid on the way home and picked up a tube of Sensodyne. I paid for it and received a receipt which is almost twice the size of my tube of toothpaste:

Really? Is it truly that necessary to give me a receipt so large? It has my purchase information on it. It contains a bar code, which I'm sure makes returns easier. What more is necessary? The giant ad for their new online store? I think not. The huge plug for their Rx Savings Card? I don't think so. Their suggestion for internet refills? Nope. It strikes me as a little wasteful for companies to be giving out receipts that are so large.

Companies of the world, hear me now. If I buy a car from you, you can give me a receipt the size of an oriental rug. I won't even complain. Heck, you can give it to me in triplicate if you want to. Lord knows I got that much paperwork when I bought my house. But if I'm buying a package of Tic Tacs? I want a receipt smaller than that package... or no receipt at all. I don't care if I can't read it - they're Tic Tacs! There's no need to put your entire weekly circular on the receipt. I don't need to take any sort of survey on my Tic Tac purchasing experience. I don't care about your online prescription service. I just want Tic Tacs! Thank you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Even More Dental Fun!

I don't know what's going to be worse tomorrow - the endodontist or the fact that the appointment is at 8:00am.

Explanation: I made an 8:00am endodontist appointment (that's a doctor of painology, if you didn't know) for tomorrow. Now, first of all, you have to know that the only reason I would schedule an endodontist appointment is if I foresee the pain of the appointment as being less than the pain of not having an appointment. On a related note, I'm only chewing with the left side of my mouth today. It seems the root canal I whined about way back when still isn't right. That'll make for a fun visit, I'm sure.

The other issue is the time of the appointment. Now, I generally schedule all of my appointments for bright and early in the morning and have no issues with those times. Tomorrow, however, will be the first time I've ever done that with a newborn infant in the house. It's one thing to get up for an 8:00am appointment after going to bed at 10:00pm. It's another thing to do so after sitting up with a baby until 1:30 in the morning.

I'm thinking the bright side of this is that I might sleep through the procedure. Well, that and that the throbbing pain might go away sometime soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday to Us!

Our records indicate that your 2005 Accord may be due for service.

Source: These are the first words on the postcard I received from the Burns Honda dealership on Friday. This would not be such a bad thing in itself, except I got the mail out of the mailbox at 8:00pm, shortly after a dead alternator wrecked my night.

Explanation: A dead alternator reared its ugly head on the way home from an errand. Fortunately, I was at a gas station when the car wouldn't start, so the situation certainly could have been worse. A good samaritan helped us jump start the car and we had to get the car jump started and dropped it off at a service station. Now, let's get to the important part...


Happy second birthday to Jeremy's Status Message. Yes, that's right! Two whole years of statusey goodness. To celebrate, I have created a "Wordle" using every post ever made in this blog:

Note the prominence of the words "LEGO" and "Bacon." I couldn't be more proud. (You can make your own wordles here.)

According to the good people at google, this blog has had 66,734 page loads in its first two years of existence. Special thanks to my mom for 50,000 or so of them. Just kidding, my mom doesn't read the blog that much.*

Anyway, as we blow out our two virtual candles, we give thanks for our loyal readership. Without you, most of this still would have been possible. Happy Birthday to us!!!

*Thanks, Dad!

Friday, February 20, 2009

One Word

Yes, I believe there's an objection from the young woman in the pink?

Explanation: I keep joking to people that my daughter has only one word right now and you don't want to hear it. The word sounds something like this:


As you can see, she's clearly my daughter because she chose to start at the very beginning of the alphabet. I'm very proud of her for this, but I do constantly encourage her to explore the other vowel sounds. Anyway, the word means "I object!" She is like a disgruntled lawyer in this way, I think.

Furthermore, she can vary the length of her word to change the meaning. Here are a few examples:

"Excuse me? Yeah, you over there - I no longer wish to sleep in this cold flat contraption you call a bassinet. Come forth and present yourself as my new sleeping surface."

"I object! No, I strenuously object! I'm out of order??? This whole freakin' system is out of order!"

"Daddy, it's midnight, you have changed me, shushed me, swaddled me, burped me, rocked me, given me a pacifier, and broken down crying for my own amusement, but the issue I currently face is hunger, which can only be resolved by my sleep-deprived mother, who fed me a mere hour ago and happens to have just fallen asleep, leaving you in charge."

As you can see, my daughter is quite gifted.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm Baaaaack

So, which sounds better? "Air poopies" or "tushie burps?"

Before we go on, we at Jeremy's Status Message would like to apologize for the interruption in service over the past two weeks. As a thanks to you, our loyal readers, we will no longer be posting about pregnancy. Nine months is long enough! This blog will now return to the standards of high taste to which you have become accustomed.

Explanation: So, in case you haven't figured it out yet, I am now a dad. I have a beautiful baby girl and took the last two weeks or so to spend time with my family. Life is good.

As a new dad, however, it's important that I have a cute way of saying that my daughter has expelled noxious gasses from her hindquarters. It cuts some of the tension in the room when you refer to those occurrences as air poopies or tushie burps. Maybe I should just call them toots. Farts? Breaking wind? Cutting the cheese? Letting one rip? Flatulence? Pooting? Tummy bubbles? Busting a fluffy? Barking spiders? Stepping on a frog? Floating an air biscuit? Tuning a tuba? I have no idea. I need suggestions.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Time is Money

Were those five minutes of my time really worth the 20 cents?

Explanation: Last night I got a text message. It wasn't from someone I knew - it was some MP3 service sending me spam of some sort. I've never seen a text like that before. The details don't really matter. The important fact is that I have text messaging blocked on my phone... or at least I thought I did.

This is the kind of thing that really drives me nuts. I'm supposed to have text messages blocked. I clearly don't anymore. There's no way I'm going to let Verizon charge me 20 cents for a text message that I shouldn't have received in the first place. No way. Plus, this message might be the tip of the iceberg. I had to nip it in the bud, so I gave Verizon a call.

After five minutes on the phone with Verizon, we established that my block had been removed for some reason. The block has now been re-applied to my account. They were unsure if the 20 cents would be refunded to me automatically, so I have to check my next bill and let them know if the charge is still there (more time and effort) to make sure I'm not paying for a text message I didn't want in the first place.

From a sheer economic standpoint, this drives me insane. My time is money. Now, how much money one's time is worth is a different debate, but I like to base decisions on an amount that I think I could easily earn in an hour's time. The New Jersey minimum wage is currently $7.15, so that's a safe place to start. I like to think I bring a bit more to the table, so I generally assume $10 an hour. Certainly I could make more than that if I was working harder, but I feel like that's a wage I could pull in without really exerting myself too much.

Once you have a dollar value, decisions are easier. Do I pay the neighborhood guy $30 each time he mows my lawn? Well, I can mow my entire lawn in about an hour, so I can consider that as $10 worth of time. Is it worth paying $30 to preserve $10 worth of time? No way. I'll mow my own lawn.

Now, obviously some experiences have some intrinsic value (or lack thereof) that you have to include as well. Would I spend $30 for the neighborhood guy to spend an hour removing the poison ivy from my backyard? Sure I would. My time is worth $10, and not spending an hour handling poison ivy is worth much more than $20 to me.*

On the other side of the coin, I wouldn't pay the guy $5 to wash my car for an hour on a hot summer afternoon. Sure, my time is worth $10, but spending an hour in the cold mist of the hose is worth way more than the $5 I'd save by letting him do it.

Now, let's consider my phone call. I spent 5 minutes of my time in an effort to save 20 cents. That's an hourly savings of $2.40. My time is worth about $10 an hour. You do the math. Even worse is the fact that A) you just know they're going to screw up my bill anyway, so I have to keep an eye on it and B) when they do screw it up I'm going to have to spend ANOTHER 5 minutes on the phone with them. That takes me up to about 15 minutes of total effort, taking the hourly savings down to 80 cents an hour.

So, in short, I hate Verizon. And now I have the math to prove it!

*Plus, I have to add value for the pleasure of knowing that guy is going to be itching for the next two weeks. That'll teach him to up his rates!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Kids Say the Darndest Things

"Why did you eat your baby?"

Explanation: On Tuesday morning a Pre-K teacher at Sarah's school called the school at the last minute and said she had a medical emergency. As the Pre-K aide had already taken a sick day, there was just a single substitute for the classroom. Since my wife's long term sub has already taken over third grade teaching duties, Sarah volunteered to cover the class. Keep in mind that Sarah is due on Saturday and looks the part.

As Sarah stood before the class for the first time, all eyes were on her belly. Then the questions started. I am not making this up. Kudos to Sarah for handling this gracefully.

Child 1: "Is she fat?"

Child 2: "No, she's having a baby."

Sarah: "That's right. I have a baby in my belly right now."

Child 1: "Can we see it?"

Sarah: "No, you can't see the baby. It's in my belly."

Child 3: "Are you having a boy?"

Sarah: "No, I'm having a little girl."

Child 3: "Why aren't you having a boy?"

Sarah: "You don't get to choose. You just get what you get."

Child 1: "Why did you eat your baby?"

Sarah: "No, I didn't eat my baby. She started growing inside me."

Child 4: "How did the baby get there?"

At this point I'm pretty sure Sarah played one of her magical teacher games where she avoided the question and distracted the student at the same time. After many years she is quite skillful at this. It's kind of like a Jedi mind trick.

Child 4: "How will the baby get out? Does your belly open like the engine of a car?"

Sarah: (Again, skillfully:) "No, my belly does not open. She'll find her way out."

Child 1: "Can we see the baby?"

Sarah: "No, it's inside my belly. You can't see it."

Child 3: "How do you hold it there? Can we see?"

Sarah: "No, the baby is inside my belly. There's skin over it. You can't see it."

Child 1 then tried (unsuccessfully) to lift Sarah's dress to find the baby. Needless to say, when she returned to her classroom that afternoon, her third graders seemed a lot more grown up.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Economics are Amusing

I know the economy is in the toilet, but the news was still really funny last night.

Explanation: I don't quite remember the exact words of the interview, but this is pretty much what I heard last night:

Interviewer: Thank you for joining me this evening, Mr. President. We know you have a limited time to speak with us, but we'd like to hear your thoughts on how your economic stimulus package is being viewed by Congress.

President: It's always a pleasure to talk to you, Mike, and I'm more than happy to discuss my package with you. Since the day I entered this office, there have been rumblings that I could not pass my package through the hallowed halls of Congress unscathed, but I feel my package is strong, robust, and can provide for all working-class Americans.

Interviewer: The House Republicans were quick to point out what they described as several shortcomings in this package. While Speaker Pelosi was quick to defend your package, this does not bode well for your package as it falls into the hands of the Senate.

President: Well, I'll be honest with you, Mike - It's always difficult to get something this big approved quickly, but I have every confidence that once the Senate gets some time to take in and appreciate the full scope of my package, they will agree with Speaker Pelosi that it is fully capable of providing just the stimulus America needs. Before you know it, I'm sure I'll be back in the Oval Office with my package before me on my desk, ready to set it into action.

Interviewer: Thank you, Mr. President. We appreciate you taking the time to be with us today.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Happy Hedgehog Day!

I don't quite understand how a groundhog seeing its shadow in Pennsylvania can mean that my wife has to be pregnant for 6 more weeks.

Explanation: Yesterday was Groundhog Day, and the groundhog saw its shadow, which somehow means that my wife will be pregnant forever. I don't quite understand it, but the people of Pennsylvania wouldn't steer me wrong. It's a national holiday, so I'm sure they have to be trusted.

Has anyone ever stopped to wonder how on earth this of all days managed to find itself on the calendar? Seriously? And what's so special about the groundhog? There's no Woodchuck Day, Badger Day, or Lemur Day.

Special Blog Bonus: Dilbert mocks stupid holidays here. Enjoy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Biggest Hyperbole Ever!!!

Best Super Bowl EVER! (Super Bowl's I-XLII not included)

Explanation: As you most likely know, last night's Super Bowl XLIII turned out to be a very good game with a very exciting finish. Of course, if you were rooting for the Cardinals like I was, you were a little bummed out, but you'll get over it.

This morning on Sportscenter, the game was hailed as (perhaps) one of the greatest Super Bowls ever! The final touchdown catch by Santonio Holmes was listed on their top Super Bowl plays of all time as number one. Yes, the number one play of all time, beating out Lynn Swann's spectacular sideline grab, beating out Adam Vinatieri's last second field goal, beating out the Rams' tackle of Kevin Dyson on the one-yard line, and, of course, beating the Helmet Catch (capital H, capital C) from last year, which came in at number two.

Now, I know it's the job of the sports media to hype the heck out of any current events and present them with enough hyperbole to sucker the general public into thinking they need to be involved in something as historically significant as what the network is showing, but come on! Last year's game was SO much better than this. LAST YEAR! Do they think the general public is that stupid? It was last year! An undefeated team was dethroned by an underdog at the very end of the game after one of the most spectacular and highly improbable plays anyone has ever seen. And it was last year!

Jeez. We're not that dumb. Frankly, I think it might have been a better move to publicize it as the first Super Bowl during the Obama administration. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm going to go buy an Obama Bowl I commemorative plate while supplies last...