Thursday, December 20, 2007

How to Win the War on Christmas

In the yuletide season, I wish everyone I meet a jolly "Happy Christmas!" Some do not take kindly to this greeting, and protest, "I don't observe Christmas!" If you do not observe Christmas, that is your choice, but these people act as if I'm trying to offend them. I wouldn't be offended if a Muslim wished me a happy Eid al-Adha, for example, I know they're just trying to be friendly.

So, to those who go beyond simply not observing Christmas, to being anti-Christmas, I respond to them saying, "Do you want to have an un-merry Christmas? May you be devoured by a horde of wild boars on December 25!" This shuts them up quickly, when I wave my totemic staff and they discover that I am the High Shaman of the UMBC Wild Boar Cult.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pork rinds, also, the dentist.

There should be vegetarian "pork" rinds. I only ever had pork rinds once, but, right now, I have a hankering for them.

I went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago, and he told me that my wisdom teeth are impacted and need to be taken out, and that I grind my teeth. I hadn't really noticed either, or if I had, had just gotten used to them, but ever since then, they've been driving me crazy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

William Carey and the Star Trek Juror

Barbara Adams, one of the jurors for the trial regarding the Whitewater scandal, showed up dressed in a Star Trek officers' uniform. Her motivation, she said, was that this was an important trial, and she thought that the values of Star Trek ought to factor into the outcome of the trial. Who can argue with that? She specifically cited inclusion, tolerance, peace, and faith in humankind as important values she sees in Star Trek, and I think those are good things for a juror to keep in mind. And if the story ended there, that would have been super.

The kicker is that she got kicked out of the jury for talking with the press about dressing up in uniform for the trial. Jurors ought not talk with the press -- who can argue with that?

A lot of the people who go to Star Trek conventions, I'd wager, are not Star Trek fans. Sure, they may dress in embarrassing costumes. No, they do dress in embarrassing costumes:

The thing is, though, that the Star Trek fans that are busy learning Klingon and watching the original series in their mom's basement aren't being about what Star Trek is about.

William Carey was a Star Trek fan. The man went on missions to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to go where the church had not gone before. He violated the Prime Directive, trouncing the caste system, infant sacrifice, and suttee. At the same time, he tried to make the gospel applicable to the cultures of India, rather than forcing Indians to accept western culture to be Christian, and he put muscle behind this by learning many languages and translating the Bible into them. William Carey got the best of what Star Trek is about, and a couple of hundred years early. Who can argue with that?

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Product Idea: Pop-Up Textbook

When I was a child, I read oodles of pop-up books, and was mesmerized by them. There should be pop-up textbooks, where Isaac Newton springs up into your FACE and you can pull a tab and help him discover calculus.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Product Idea: Mini Combo Washer/Dryer

I hate it when I wake up in the morning, and I don't have any clean trousers because I forgot to do laundry the night before. When I do remember the wash, I hate it when I have to mosey on down to the basement, barely awake, to extract my trousers from the dryer, first thing in the morning. I hate it when I put on cold clothes in the winter.

If I had a Mini Combo Washer/Dryer, none of these problems would affect me. I wouldn't have a dresser, just a rather large hamper. Then, every morning, I would toss the clothes I would need for the day into the Mini Combo Washer/Dryer, which would have them ready for me, nice and fresh and clean and warm, right as I step out of the shower. (The clothes would get clean very quickly, because it's only like one shirt and one pair of trousers.)

No worries about forgetting laundry the night before! No moseying into the basement on a cold winter morning! No cold clothes!

Also: I could wear my favorite trousers a week straight and not smell funny.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

For the Grinch: How to Steal Christmas

If I were the Grinch, and I were to want to bring Christmas to a screeching halt, this is what I would do. Rather than sneaking down each chimney in Whoville to steal all of the presents and the Christmas tree and the roast beast, I would sneak down each chimney and deliver one puppy. Whovillian parents would wind up taking care of the puppy after a couple of weeks, and they would resent whoever gave their child a puppy. Then they would not have Christmas again, to prevent receiving any more puppies. (Alternatively, they would wind up liking puppies, which is okay, but, I would keep delivering more and more puppies each year. One can only handle so many puppies.)

Also, I intend to mail my parents a box with airholes this year for Christmas. (Now I'm talking about real life, not what would happen if I was the Grinch.) Have you ever gotten a package with airholes? If you get an unexpected package with airholes, you think, "Hey, I have a surprise animal that might be venomous, and I might not want to take care of it. Who would send me an animal as a present?" I'm not sure what I should put in the package, though. Any suggestions? Snacks are always good, but something that needs airholes might be even better.