November 1998

November 1, 1998
Yesterday was Halloween. My wife and I went around the block with our son as he hit our neighbors up for candy. Of course, being the protective parent that I am, I have to test each piece of candy to ensure that it isn't poisoned, and they make those candy pieces so small that there usually isn't anything left after I taste it, but at least I'm keeping him from harm.

November 2, 1998
A faithful reader once asked: How can I fix my camcorder with stuff around my house?
Our lengthy reply:
As for the camera, sounds very much like all you need is (and you KNEW a list was forthcoming): .25 ml Isopropyl alcohol, 2-3 cotton swabs (known is the business as Q-tips), one freshly sterilized rhino, a map of India with a scale of 1 cm = 10 miles, 2 pints chicken livers or gizzards, a bar of soap (travel size), scrapings from the left side of Jeff Gongaware's uvula, one pack stool softeners, 3/4 pounds of loose change. Okay, now, if you open up the camera where the tape goes in (using the Jaws of Life can help) you may or may not see tiny dwarves inside. Have the freshly sterilized rhino run into you until you see the dwarves. Put some of the isopropyl alcohol on the cotton swab and clean the head and, more importantly, the metal cylinders on either side of the head. These are both named Earl and like to have the tape to stick to them. Okay, after you've done that, stand four feet away from the map of India. Stare at the map without blinking for 14 minutes or until you get a hankering to eat the chicken entrails. Eat the entrails. Eat the soap. Throw everything else away.

November 3, 1998
Today I saw a sunset for the first time in over a year... I mean, just sat and really watched it. And it made me realize just how much I love mocking the people around me.

November 4, 1998
Never underestimate the ingenuity of the American employee when it comes to avoiding work. At my office, we have managed to implant a tracking device under the scalp of our ever-present super-toady administrative assistant (we don't have to worry about the manager because they are in meetings 86% of their time, the remaining 14% being spent in conference calls). Each employee is equipped with a sensor that lets us know when the toady is near, thus giving us time to log off the internet or close out of Solitaire.

November 5, 1998
We just got notice today of the "Holiday Gathering". Translation: Forced After-Work Socializing. I was unable to attend the function they had this summer which means that I will almost certainly have to attend this event. When I even suggested that I might try to beg off, a coworker gasped in horror. "NO ONE HAS EVER ATTEMPTED A DOUBLE OPT OUT BEFORE!" And sadly, I realized that it was true. Such greedy use of my personal time would not be looked up lightly here.

November 6, 1998
Once, long ago, in a land far, far away, during the rainy season, just after dinner but before Wheel of Fortune, next to the telephone and behind the eggplant dispenser, there was a little boy named Earl.

November 7, 1998
Sometimes things that happen in this world don't make sense to us humans. For instance, I've spent the past ten years trying to figure out what magical forces are at work inside my refrigerator magnets.

November 8, 1998
I'm not so sure that this will make me the most popular man in America, but I sure do love them Hanson boys.

November 9, 1998
I have strange feeling that I have written this before. It's sort of like that "day ja voo" stuff that the Psychedelic Friends Network gal used to sing about. Weird.

November 10, 1998
I have strange feeling that I have written this before. It's sort of like that "day ja voo" stuff that the Psychedelic Friends Network gal used to sing about. Weird.

November 11, 1998
Um, if I wanted to tell the world that I had a problem, do you think this would be a good place? (at least, for the five of you that occasionally read this) Ok, I'm going to do it....I'm addicted to postage stamp glue. I started out by volunteering to lick stamps for people around the office, and then it turned into a neighborhood thing. I now have a two truckloads of mail each day that I am responsible for. My DNA is now all over the world and there's nothing I can do about it. I refuse to send e-mail until they figure out a way to incorporate the stamp glue sensation into the experience.

November 12, 1998
I don't care what the tabloids are saying. I am NOT having an affair with Lisa Marie Presley! Laura, if you're reading this, come home to your honey bear! It was all lies! We only had coffee and talked about you!

November 13, 1998
I have been pondering some pretty important things in my mind these last few warming, the BATF, Medicaid, the balanced budget mascots. You know it seems to me that Christmas and Easter have a pretty good thing going with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, but there are a lot of other Holidays out there that don't have mascots or mythical figures. Currently I am drafting legislation to change all of this (forgive me for being a name dropper, but I know a guy who's a janitor at the Lincoln Memorial). I could use your support and your ideas to make sure that this important legislation gets passed. In fact, I'm hoping that this can be adopted into the newest version of the Contract With America--Contract II: With A Vengeance. My first targeted holiday is Memorial Day. This thing is right around the corner and here we are again without a mascot. What will the retail arm of our economy do during this dry period? Wal-Mart needs something they can stock their shelves with for boys and girls all across the country. I was thinking of "Memorial Guy". He's decked out in pastel fatigues, army boots and a big puffy pastel helmet that makes a squeaky noise. Kids love squeaky noises and they could associate the squeaky noise with the holiday. Parents could wake their kids up on Memorial Day morning with the squeaky "Memorial Guy" noise and then they would get up to eat the traditional Memorial Day breakfast (pepperoni-filled hot pockets and soup). Then the family would open up their Memorial Day coconuts to find yummy black licorice and pastel rock candy inside. Finally, the evening would be capped off with a glass of pastel colored beer (nonalcoholic for all the boys and girls, of course) and a big piece of Memorial Day fruit cake (they really need to sell more fruitcake in the summer months). With all of this celebrating and hoopla, maybe we will finally forget what Memorial Day is all about--just like Christmas and Easter! Enjoy the fruitcake and Happy Memorial Day! What can you do to help? Contact your legislators and tell them that you want Memorial Guy, today! Accept no substitutes!

Click here for the US. House of Representatives

Click here for the U.S. Senate

Click here if you actually contacted your Representative of Congressman on this important matter.

November 14, 1998
TODAY THE JOURNAL ASKED JAYZUN HUFFMAN ABOUT HIS "BIG PROGECT": My big project consists of researching the reporting needs to five lines of business in regards to quoting various types of insurance, conglomerate all that into one system, and write about what this system should do so that we can give the report to people in programming who will look it over and tell us how much they want to charge to program the system. Sure, it sounds high-level and that is the problem. It is well above my current skill/experience level but it fell to me regardless. I do plan to ask the programmers to put in a version of Dig Dug that only I can play. Otherwise, I spent the rest of my time trying to devise way to smuggle out office supplies.

November 15, 1998
I've never been big on the "sliced bread" thing. In fact, I wish I could buy Wonder Bread unsliced so that I could just tear it off in chunks. Furthermore, I'd like to open up a chain of sandwich shops where we'd use chunks of bread instead of slices. The name of it could be "The Knifeless Deli" and we'd stay true to our name by not cutting anything with a knife. Sure, the chunky, asymmetrical sandwiches, filled with messy bits of torn-up meat and bruised vegetables would fall all over your lap, but the gimmick would keep people coming back again and again and again. I'll make millions for sure.

November 16, 1998
I'd like to bring up yet another topic for on-line discussion, if you will--soup! Now, as many of you already know by now, I am a great fan of soup. I usually consume soup twice a day and occasionally as a snack. My shelves are lined with soup. I am a member of the “Soup 'O The Month Club”. I belong to several social clubs devoted to the preservation of our soup heritage. I have been known to inject soup directly into my veins (man, you've never had "soup" until you've had a "soup rush"). If there is soup about, I am there. This brings me to my question: In a recent add campaign, Campbell's warns us all to "Never Underestimate the Power of Soup". To some of you, that may seem like a pretty powerful statement, but in all of my years of "souping" I have never underestimated the tremendous power potential of soup. Face it, soup is lethal. To ask someone to never underestimate the power of soup is like warning a beaver about the dangers associated with the gnawing of certain hardwood trees (in particular, the walnut tree which can give even the toughest of beaver teeth a trip to the dentist or emergency room). This is soup we're talking about! Soup! I have seen some pretty scary things in my lifetime associated with soup. One boy, let's call him “Mr. Hoffman”, was devastated when he underestimated the addictive power of Campbell's Cream of Celery. Another young man, let's call him “Jason H.”, once got carried away with a 16 ounce can of Progresso that he purchased on sale (watch Wall mart--sometimes they have great prices on soup). What was supposed to be an innocent evening of dancing with elves turned into a violent elven bloodbath. Do we REALLY underestimate the power of soup? I, for one, do not!

November 17, 1998

Rat or dog? You decide! ANOTHER ONE FROM THE ROAD:
Yesterday I parked next to beat-up car with a bumper sticker that read, "IT'S HARD TO BE HUMBLE WHEN YOU OWN A TIBETAN SPANIEL". Well, I got to thinking about that last night. In fact, I spent several hours pondering it and came to the same conclusion. I'm not sure that I could live with myself if I owned one of those little stuffed rats. I'd be so filled up with egotistical hot wind that I'd have to look in a mirror 12 hours a day and then record my self while sleeping so that I could play it back later.

November 18, 1998
I stayed up late last night reading, "Peaceful Kingdom: Random Acts of Kindness by Animals". I went to bed full of newfound love and appreciation for the creatures that God allows us to share this earth with. I got up this morning and went downstairs, but before I could turn on the light, I stepped on one of those outlet safety covers that my cat loves to bat around. The two prongs went right into my foot, and my goodwill toward animals went right out the window. THEN, runs the legend about people who bring back stray dogs from places like Mexico only to discover that they are actually rats, not dogs. THEN we had a couple of good laughs about Jason's cat, String Cheese. THEN he forwards me the football story (and no, I'm not shouting at you). But I am more than happy to change the theme to gravy. I'll take my lumps.

November 19, 1998
The long anticipated Frog Sale is starting this week! The Red ones are 30% off!
Hop on in for big SAVINGS!These prices won't leave your face red!

November 20, 1998

A real-live reader! (one of three) ANOTHER READER KNOWS HOW TO WRITE (truly amazing!):
Just recently discovered the reason why we sneeze sometimes. Did you ever notice that along the middle division of your nose (septum) it is relatively flat? Somehow boogers that form on this flat plane are what we call "disc boogers". That is - they are roundish, thin, fairly flat and usually harder than the average juicy booger from the middle of your nose. When these "disc boogers" dislodge and start to orient themselves sideways................BAM!! You sneeze like crazy
. It's as simple as that.

November 21, 1998
Hey there. What's with the sad face? Pep up! That's an order. Pep up before I come over there and twist your goofy face into a pretzel. There. That's better.

November 22, 1998
One time as a child I can remember gazing at an apple orchard as we drove by. The sun was setting just below the tops of the trees and with my window cracked open I could smell the crisp apples like they were right under my nose. The red light barely pierced through the trees creating a silhouette of leaves and apples against the autumn sky. Then, dad flicked his cigarette butt out the window which managed to get sucked back into my lap. The hot ash burned right through my skin and I was rushed to the emergency room. To this day the smell of an apple pie has a one in five chance of throwing me into an epileptic seizure.

November 23, 1998
Today would be a good day to smack someone really hard. Then, look at them funny and say, "Oh my golly. What did I just do?" Chances are that if you know the person well enough, you'll get away with it. You can try this with a few different people as long as they don't have a chance to talk to each other that day. But here's a hint: don't try this stunt on the same person more than once. You're only asking for trouble.

November 24, 1998
It might not be a bad idea to keep a lamb liver around, just in case you need it.

November 25, 1998
Ok, so will somebody tell me what I'm supposed to do with SPAM/ Surely they don't expect me to eat this stuff....right?

November 26, 1998
In case you didn't figure it out, today is Turkey Day. Turkey Day always brings back memories of...turkey...for some reason. It's a little known fact that the Pilgrims did not actually eat turkey on the first Thanksgiving. Instead, they ordered out for Chinese food. I think they had General Tsau's Chicken.

November 27, 1998
I have decided to start my midlife crisis now, even though I'm only in my late 20's. The way I figure it, I can get away with more crap now that I'm still young and don't know any better.

November 28, 1998
The technicians that work here at The Journal, Inc. have been testing our site for Y2K problems. Rest assured, when January 1, 2000 finally rolls around you can all still read the journal, as long as you can read Mandarin Chinese.

November 29, 1998
If I could be any kind of butter I wanted, I would choose "salted".

November 30, 1998
November is one of those wacky months with only 30 days. I'll bet that extremely organized people have a big problem with our months. February is the toughest time of the year for the anal-retentive.