Friday, October 22, 2010

Rhinos and Spare Change

As you all surely remember from my breaking news regarding Justin Bieber's pregnancy, I love seeing what kind of topics people happen to be looking for on the Internet. Last week, I noticed that "50 Cent Rhino" was a trending topic and felt that this must be addressed.

Clearly, there were two ways of interpreting this search. One: Someone is selling rhinoceroses at deeply discounted prices. (I blame The Great Recession.) OR Two: Rapper 50 Cent is looking to buy a rhinoceros. (How gansta is that?!? "Yeah, yeah. You come around here; I'll strike you with fear. Don't mess with my crew, or my rhino will shoot you. Wut, wut.")

Note to 50 Cent: Please don't steal my lyrics. They are under a completely legal and totally verifiable copyright -- as far as anyone knows -- and you can't use them... unless you pay me great sums of money. Yes, I'm willing to sell out. Think about how you'd be the first rapper to mention having his rhino bust a cap in some fool. Consider the possibilities and have your peeps get with my peeps and we can be peeps, as the late Notorious B.I.G. once kind of said. (Uh, I hope you weren't one of those guys who had a problem with Biggie. I don't know who was hating who and shooting each other because of where they happened to live and really important differences like that.)

Note to my loyal readers: I am nothing, if not an expert on what is "gansta." But I'm sure you've probably been able to figure that out for yourselves.

So I did some fact checking (for a change...). Apparently there is an organization -- eBlockwatch -- devoted to raising awareness over rhinoceros poaching. (Well, it is quite possible they are devoted to other things, as well.)

I have to admit that I love the fact that the name of the group is "eBlockwatch" and they are defending rhinos. I mean, how many rhinos are there on a typical block? Now, I live in the boring Midwest, so perhaps they are quite common in larger, more metropolitan areas.

Maybe they are fashionable pets for the social elite in Hollywood? (I believe Paris Hilton has a miniature one she dresses in pink and carries in her purse.) I read an article that centered on the fact that the auto industry is running into an issue that the younger generation is not seeing cars as much as status symbols as previous ones had. Perhaps these young punks are now displaying social superiority by how many rhinos they have?

Who knows? All I'm saying is that the name "eBlockwatch" makes me think of something similar to a local neighborhood watch. But I digress...

eBlockwatch has found a rhinoceros that had been shot nine times and is still standing. This is quite similar to our beloved 50 Cent. He was capped nine times and is still standing. (I believe that exhausts the list of "Things 50 Cent Might Have in Common with a Rhino," unless the rhino is a multiplatinum rapper who parties like it's yo' birfday. If that does happen to be the case, they are practically twins. Think Schwartzenegger and Devito in the classic '80's movie.)

As such, the group wants Fiddy (as his birth certificate reads…) to adopt this rhino.

Now, as has been previously established, I’m not one to tell someone to do something or how to go about living his life. In this instance, though, I’m breaking my own rule. (I tend to be rather rebellious to myself.) 50 Cent, just adopt the gansta rhinoceros, let him pack some heat, and then rap about it.

Do it for the rhino… Do it for your fans.... Do it for those who barely have any cents.

Just don’t forget my big royalty check!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Want to Win Me Some Cookies!!! (And so should you.)

Pre-pre-post note: I love the term -- that I probably invented -- "pre-post" because it seems like it should be a contradiction (pre-op and post-op are WAY different... ask any patient), but it makes complete sense -- to me, at least, which is important -- in a blogging context. It's what happens prior to the actual post, the meat and potatoes of what I feel the need to ramble about.

Pre-post note: Okay, the other day I ended my post with a disclaimer that "the next one will probably be better." Well, you know how they say that the best way to make God laugh is to tell Him your plans? I might have actually made mention of my plans and now they've changed. I'm still working on the other post, but there is a pressing matter that needs to be addressed...

I want to win me some cookies.

So I'm addressing the pressing matter in this post, which isn't the other one, the one you haven't read yet because it's not ready, but might very well be in the near future. Um, so anyhow...

One of your fellow Ducks readers is having a contest at her blog. Now, I don't "pimp" just any blog or contest that comes up. I mean, there are literally trillions of blogs out there, and literally quadrillions of people who don't know how to accurately use the word "literally."

(Note: There was a fantastic post at Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares about this topic. I'd recommend checking it out. I also recommend such things as: dancing in the rain, breathing and sending me lots and lots of money.) (Uh, I don't have time to find the actual post... but I did look at least a little bit for it.)

What is this pimp-worthy blog?, you are (probably) asking.

(Note: I think we should move to enter "pimp-worthy" into the common vernacular. Who's with me? *sounds of crickets chirping, as a lonely tumbleweed rolls by* And why is there a tumbleweed rolling through this office? Get me the facilities guy STAT!!)

Anyway, Karen G., resident blogger over at
Coming Down the Mountain: From Reclusive Writer to Published Author is having a contest (that link will take you to the post with the contest on it). I will give you three guesses what the prize might be...

Nope, not jam. Try again.

No, not a giraffe. That would be kind of cool, except for figuring out where to put the darn thing. (Also, if you have a dog or cats or mongooses -- mongeese? -- the other pets might get jealous of the fact that your newly-won giraffe can eat all the leaves that are really high up.)

Definitely not Walter Mondale.

*sigh* Fine, I'll just tell you: Karen is giving away a dozen gourmet cookies that she makes fresh!! (Waaaay better than winning Walter Mondale.)

(Note to Wally M.: I assume you are an avid Ducks reader, so I should probably clarify that I mean no offense. You're probably a decent fellow and all -- uh, assuming you are still alive, which I didn't fact check -- but cookies is a better prize. I mean, I think I'm an alright guy -- generally kind-hearted, sort of bright, fantastic ability to ramble -- but I openly concede the fact that cookies are a way better prize than I'd be. So please, Wally, don't take offense. We still cool? Good. Peace.)

If you'll kindly take note, these are not just a package of Oreos or Chips Ahoy or what-have-you. These are gourmet. We're talking the real deal here, folks. As such, I simply must recommend that you stop by (link found
here) and enter the contest... even though it means more competition for me. (See, I told you I was generally kind-hearted.).

As you shall see, you receive one entry for being a follower (check!), one for leaving a comment (check!), one for posting about the contest (check!), one for Facebook posting or Tweeting the contest ("check!" coming soon), and one for adding up how many points you have ("check!" coming soon).

So you can earn up to five chances to win some deliciousness and how often does that happen in life?

Literally “never.”

Editor’s note: It is not often that our fearless writer finds himself needing to use the plural form of “mongoose.” Just thought that should be noted.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This is going to be a random one...

So earlier today I was rapping Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day" -- as I sometimes do -- when I was reminded of the job I used to have during the summers when I was in college.

I worked for a plumbing company and it was pretty much the most awesome job I've ever had.

(Note to Human Resources in the rather unlikely event you are reading this: I mean, "most awesome job besides the one I currently have." Of course.)

(Note to loyal readers: My feelings about my job haven't changed. Still a reputable position at a fantastic company... still not what I'm meant to do. To that end, though, I've actually submitted my resume and cover letter to the American Cancer Society and filled out their online application. Given that my mother was a cancer victim, I would be very enthusiastic about working for the ACS.)

My technical title for the summer job was "Shop Kid," but I preferred to think of myself as "Head of All Operations Not Being Performed By the Important People." My duties included: putting together "orders" of fittings and whatnot for the plumbers, loading up plumbers trucks in the a.m., delivering parts and whatnot to job sites, minor truck maintenance, and pretty much whatever needed to be done. (There was a fair degree of "whatnot" involved.)

There was also a lot of driving around the city of Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin, which was cool.

On my third day, I was riding shotgun with the "More Senior-ed Ship Kid" on our way back from a job site. We were on the freeway, about fifteen minutes from the shop, when MSSK asked me to look in my rear view mirror and see if I noticed anything. I saw the trailer, along with our skid mover (picture one of those construction vehicles that looks like a mini-bulldozer, only with wheels instead of tank treads...), but nothing out of the usual on my end.

MSSK looked back into his rear view mirror and saw sparks flying all over the place. So we pulled off to the side of the interstate. One of the wheels from the trailer had popped off.

Fortunately, no one was hurt and this could have been a lot worse. But it didn't stop me from asking "what am I getting myself into?"

Well, it turned out that was just a freak accident. The owner of the plumbing company quickly invested in a heavier duty trailer and no more wheels were lost on the interstate. (So that was good.)

Anyhow, somewhere along the line we had a couple of new Shop Kids enter the fray. One of them -- let's call him Andrew (because that was his name) -- was a good guy, but dude was kind of crazy.

Quick note to verify that last claim: On one occasion, we were in the yard behind the shop, breaking down a crate that PVC pipe fittings came in. Andrew accidentally got a little bit of dust or dirt in his eye and freaked out. By "freaked out," I naturally mean "took a wooden plank and smashed it in half with his forehead." All because he got something in his eye. (I'm no doctor, but I don't consider that to be normal behavior.)

Afterward, he mentioned that he was very sensitive about being able to see... because he felt that ants were positioning themselves to take over the world and he was going to need his vision to fend them off. (I wish I was creative enough to have made that up.)

Well, one day -- when Andrew wasn't busy smashing lumber with his head -- we were talking about music. Specifically, rap music.

I mentioned that I owned Ice Cube's "The Predator." (For those of you -- and this is probably a vast majority -- who are sitting there -- or standing or lying down, I suppose -- wondering what one thing has to do with another in this particular post, "It Was a Good Day" is one of the tracks on that album.) ("Oh," they all say in unison.)

Andrew immediately got out of the skid mover and started -- and I mean this in the most literal way possible -- ROFL'ing. (For everyone older than 17, that stands for Rolling On the Floor Laughing.)

"Cracker owns 'The Predator'," Andrew kept repeating, in between hysterical laughs. (I guess it probably wasn't apparent until now, but he was -- probably still is, I'd guess -- black.)

(I call myself "white," so hopefully no one gets their panties in a bunch about me not using "African American." I don't have a racist bone in my body.)

And you know what? This cracker did own "The Predator." Word.

On that note: "And today I didn't even have to use my A.K.* I got to say, it was a good day."

*A.K. is a reference to the AK-47 assault rifle. When I don't have to use one of those, you best believe my day was better than average.

p.s. This one was rather random, but I think my next one will be better.