A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

24 January 2007

How Too Sweet It Is...For Me

The British are coming! The British are coming! Well, not really...but the first Dunkin' Donuts shop was indeed set up in Quincy, Massachusetts, which is literally a very short 'midnight ride' away from Boston...and they...not the British, but Dunkin' Donuts...has plans to 'invade' the South. And I, for one, am exceedingly glad.

Now I am well aware that Krispy Kreme Donuts has a stronghold here in the South...and incredibly sweet snacks seem to be the stuff that everyone runs on in this part of the USA. So, if you like your pecan pies saccharinely sweet and go 'ga-ga' over Little Debbie snack cakes, which have got to contain more sugar, parts per million, than pure cane sugar itself (personally, they make me go 'gag-gag')...well, then...who am I to judge? But, if you are like me and didn't grow up with that proverbial 'sugar-water IV drip' in your arm, you just don't know what it's like not to like your sweets...well, "overly sweet"...especially when you KNEW what it was like.

I'll be perfectly honest with you...a pint of ice-cream can and has been known to sit in my freezer for months - I didn't grow up with mandatory desserts after dinner...so I am really not in the habit of eating sweets. In fact it was very rare indeed for us to have cookies or ice-cream in the house...and pies were only consumed during Thanksgiving and Christmas when we visited my brother and his family. I remember drives to the beach a couple times a year where we'd stop at those soft-serve custard stands on the side of the road...what a treat! If you've never had real honest-to-goodness soft-serve custard you are definitely missing out and I haven't been able to find anything that even comes close, and not for lack of trying. But, as a child, I think everything is heightened in the memory of your senses...if you perceived it was bad, it was horrid...and if it was good...it was great! Dunkin' Donuts was no exception. Once in a while we would drive past one and then double back to get a dozen...and at ten-years-old, they were indeed the closest thing to fine French pastry I'd have ever tasted.

I don't know if you even had the commercials here...the "Time to make the donuts" guy, a Dunkin' Donuts baker who would have to get out of bed at the wee hours of the morning to start making those delicious delicacies...in fact, I believe Dunkin's deal was they made them fresh several times a day. And we're not talking just two kinds of doughnuts...we're talking 'kid in a candy store' here...and back when I was a kid (and even now)...choosing just 12 out of that vast array to go into the pack was akin to pure torture...no one human being should really be able to dole out that type of 'punishment' upon another.

So, when I read an article online at USA Today a few months ago stating Dunkin' Donuts was going to take those reins and head down south and possibly into my neck of the woods, I was in sheer bliss. Getting a doughnut that isn't sickeningly sweet in this town? One with taste...well, you know...besides 'sugar-flavoured'? One that, if you don't eat it within minutes out of the oven, doesn't turn into a sugar-glazed wad of cardboard? Oh, please tell me it might happen...please tell me it WILL happen. Please tell me that people here in the Montgomery area will give them a chance like they've done with Starbucks and Panera Bread...and, unfortunately, for us non-sweetophiles, the all too obvious, Krispy Kreme.

20 January 2007

The Last of the Comet

Well, the comet has come and gone and I didn't get to see anything due to it being hidden beneath days and nights of cloud cover...not that I would have stood out there braving 40 degree temperatures mind you...yes, we displaced New Jerseyites are the worst. Forty degrees in January in Jersey means we put on a long-sleeved shirt and take the coat off...get out our etiquette manuals (hey, New Jersey has ONE...we share it) and see when we can wear white again. But I've lived here for 17 years...now forty degrees means I am NOT going outside unless it's worth my while...and since it only snows in Los Angeles and not in Wetumpka this time of year...I have nothing to go outside to see...especially since the comet won that game of hide-and-seek with me...unfortunately.

And for those of you who were wondering: This now concludes our "comet trilogy"...we shall return to our regularly scheduled blogtalk any day now.

13 January 2007

Waiting For McNaught

I can't believe my ears...or eyes. I haven't heard or read word one about Comet McNaught here yet...and it's going to be gone in a flash. I even checked out the W.A. Gayle Planetarium site...and other than needing to be updated (c'mon, there has to be a bunch of amateur astronomers in the Montgomery area who can contribute some dialogue to this waning site)...there's only one photo displaying the comet (hiding under "Picture of the Day")...and just a tiny tidbit talking about it.

Well, I've been talking about it for some time...in fact, that's one of the reasons I bought my children the telescope...because of this...and, of course, to see all the other interesting night sky stuff. So, I have my "find it in the sky" program that is very nifty indeed...in fact we sped it up to the year 3000 today just for the fun of it. Anyway, it shows you where things are in your area...and I asked a neighbour if I could camp out on his lawn as they have a magnificent panoramic view of the evening sky. The comet is supposed to show up right near where the sun sets...only, as luck would have it, it was obscured by clouds tonight...or so I'm hoping. I'd much rather cloud-cover be the case than the alternative: Simply cannot been seen in our night sky. I admit we didn't try with the telescope...I was hoping it would be as bright as Comet Hale-Bopp was in 1997...that one was utterly amazing to me...and the first and only one I've seen. I'm hoping to see another.

So, I will steadfastly try again tomorrow and attempt to see it...perhaps we will bring the telescope on over to his overlook...after all, even if it's all for McNaught (bad pun intended)...there's still a whole lot of other celestial viewing material to pick from.

So, get out there before it's gone...and see it, too...and tell a friend or two...the astronomers are saying it's the best comet to come along in 30 years...don't let it pass you by.

07 January 2007

Tele...scoping Out the Skies

Be it ever so Hubble...there's no place like home. Okay, so it's not the Hubble...but we did get a huge telescope the other day...a late Christmas present for my kids. Okay..I confess...it was for me as well...I've always been fond of space things. Space things, Greek myths and dinosaurs to be exact...but I digress once again.

Now I've seen enough space documentaries to know that there are certain things I just couldn't wait to see "in person"...and I'd been waiting in anticipation to see Saturn for some time. And time is what it took for me to locate it...even with skymaps and a stargazing CD program at my disposal. But what a literal high it was to see...in all its resplendent glory...rings and all...just like, well, just like in those documentaries. Altho I have to admit it did look fake...it looked like a drawing...one of those "NASA animation" things you've probably seen on television. And I had to sit and wonder just how incredible it must have been for the first person to find that thing...there amongst the multitude of white dots on the sky like so many polka dots on a sundress...each one looking exactly like the other...and then to realize it wasn't.

So I've deduced a couple things: Spying into the night sky and locating a pinpoint object, even with an 8" scope isn't as easy as it sounds...and darnit, even when you do hone in on it, thirty seconds later it's out of view and you have to find it all over again. It's rather odd to realize that we actually zoom thru the sky that quickly. Oh, sure, I could have gotten the "go to" telescope where you hit a few buttons and it will automatically go and "fetch" what you tell it to, but first off I thought that was "cheating", secondly, it rather costs a bunch more.

Altho I do fear that my ability to find a nifty nebula or a glistening galaxy is akin to looking for a needle in the proverbial cosmic debris haystack, I also believe the more I stick to it and learn what's out there and where, the easier it will become. I'm kinda banking on that, so please, please don't tell me this is totally futile...yes, you can snicker at me from afar, like so many of those twinkling spots of light out there. But for now I will be content to lug my 50 pound black tube outside of my home and scour the night sky like a celestial detective hoping to capture the elusive culprit...and to get some dirt on them...even if that dirt happens to reside literally light years away from me.