Monday, June 13, 2016

Interesting Facts About Watermelon.

A square watermelon? Don't worry, I explain below.

I (not so) graciously consumed a slice of watermelon earlier. It was quite delicious and definitely satisfying. Accordingly, I figured hey... why not drop some watermelon facts on my audience? Nothing hot and heavy here for you to process this evening, just some cool facts about a cool fruit... and a vegetable?

  • Yes, watermelons are both a fruit and a vegetable. They grow from a seed, making them a fruit. And yet, they are within the same family of vegetables as pumpkins, squash and cucumbers. The watermelon is a trans-food substance! How progressive!
  • The wild watermelon, which looks much different than the watermelon we typical eat, originated in southern Africa.
  • A watermelon is 92% water, making it a natural thirst quencher and great for your kidneys.
  • Watermelons also contain high amounts of manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamins B1 and B6, Vitamin A and potassium.
  • Watermelons are also packed with electrolytes, making them a much better choice for consumption over sugar-filled energy and athletic drinks.
  • Most of the world's watermelons are grown in China.
  • In China, the rind of the watermelon is eaten like a stir-fried vegetable.
  • Japan has the strangest watermelons of all. You can purchase higher-end square watermelons, which are seen as fashionable. How do the farmers do it? They grow the watermelons in square glass containers, in which the melons gradually take on the shape. We really need these in the USA!
  • The heaviest watermelon ever recorded was nearly 270 pounds.
  • You can carve a watermelon just like a pumpkin at Halloween. When you light it with a candle, the red interior takes on the spooky appearance of blood! I did this as a child many times and can verify that it works.
And now, for you viewing pleasure (and just because it's my blog and I can do what I want), here is a video of an exploding watermelon!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Draw Something: Chomper Ghost

I'll always give The Real Ghostbusters cartoon from the '80s credit for being inventive with their weekly creatures of fright and terror. Much of the time, the ghosts were meant to be silly or simply visually memorable. In the vein of those classic animated creatures, I decided to doodle a simple ghost design... something just as likely to be released in the accompanying action figure series as well. Just imagine this slimey fella with a button activated biting feature. CHOMP!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

In Plane Site.

I'm pregnant with your child.
Oozing bags of puss are weeping from my fingertips.
D.B. Cooper is my real name.
I own not one, not two, but three magic bullets.
The Bermuda Triangle is where I found Jimmy Hoffa.
My left foot has seven toes.
Oranges make me sneeze official Nickelodeon slime.
When I was seven, I conquered Mars with a pencil.
Green is really a futuristic camouflage to hide two dimensional butt pirates.
I can walk on water, but only when it's really cold.
There's a colony of stranded alien cow-probers in my tool shed.
Stonehenge is just a fancy toilet for druids.
Not only have I found Atlantis, but I sold it to mermaids.
Yes, I know mermaids.
Roswell was a cover up for an all-night rave hosted by DJ Boomin' Truman.
The Lost Roanoke Colony just got bored and went to play golf.
I like to play croquet at Redpath Mansion.
Drive-in theaters were invented by lazy, perverted slashers.
Your mom called; she wants you to meet your real father.
Numbers stations are where I find all of my best recipes.
Once in a lifetime you'll take a road to nowhere and find a psycho killer.
I always tell the truth when I'm lying.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Random Suds Review: Wells Banana Bread Beer.

Time to review an import. That's right... our random review this time around will be Wells Banana Bread Beer. Brewed by the UK based Charles Wells Brewing Company (aka Wells & Young's Brewing Company), it's a favorite of the British beer-drinking populace. It is 5.2% Alc. by volume and created with fair trade bananas as part of the brewing process. As such, it supposedly has a remarkable flavor not normally experienced in an adult beverage. Is it true or just a bunch of hocus pocus? I'm going to find out.

As with all of my reviews, I will taste test the beer at two different temperatures -- cold and at room temperature. Here we go!

  • Very strong banana odor upon pouring it into the glass.
  • Light fizz.
  • No head to speak of.
  • Initial taste revealed a bold, but not overpowering banana flavor.
  • No bitterness at all to speak of.
  • The background of the flavor profile is both nutty and bread-like, as one would hope.
  • Much to my pleasure, the beer is not overly sweet or artificial tasting.
  • Quite enjoyable and easy to drink!
At Room Temperature:
  • Has developed a slight amount of bitterness, but nothing terrible.
  • The bread-like nature has become more emboldened.
  • The fizz has completely dissipated.
  • As to the flavor, the banana has mellowed and isn't as fruity.
  • Still perfectly acceptable to drink warm, just not as good as when cold.
And there you have it! A flavorful imported beer with an awesome taste. If you like banana bread, or just bananas, you will enjoy this beer from Charles Wells. Look for Wells Banana Bread Beer at your local specialty beer and wine retailer!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Crystal's Tips For Improving Baseball.

Crystal and I went to a Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league baseball game this evening. If you weren't already aware, I'm a massive baseball fan. Baseball truly is America's past time. Forget basketball or football... baseball is where it's at.

On the other hand, Crystal finds baseball to be dreadfully boring and a waste of time.

While watching the game, I had Crystal compose a list of ways to improve the sport for bored viewers like herself. As such, she gets credit for tonight's article. I'm merely the messenger. And now...

Crystal's Tips For Improving Baseball!

  • Fights - Let the players beat each other senseless, as they do in hockey.
  • Throwing money - Shoot coins at the fans, or onto the field.
  • Put obstacles on the field - Barb wire, mud pits, swinging chainsaws, etc. The more dangerous the better!
  • Rubber bullets - Give the players pistols to fire the non-lethal projectiles at opposing players.
  • Spiked balls - They'll make someone fielding a ball think twice about catching it! If the fans are lucky, the players will often catch the spiked ball with their face.
  • Flaming mascots - light them on fire and have them run a race around the bases!
  • Free ice cream for the fans - Sprinkles are absolutely mandatory.
  • Just not be a sport - Seriously, stop playing baseball. It sucks.
And finally, the number one tip that made me burst with laughter as we watched behind home plate...
  • Refunds for boredom - A full refund... every game, every time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

When I Was Really Fat: Ramen Noodles.

Earlier today while grocery shopping, I took notice of the ramen noodles on a random aisle and thought to myself...

"Boy, I sure do miss eating those."

You see, I haven't eaten ramen noodles in a very long time. Since I got my crap together and started losing weight in 2013, I've cut out all of the terrible food in my life and dropped 82 pounds. Ramen noodles were a priority target on my hit list. This got me to thinking... what a great little nugget of awesomeness to use as inspiration for an article series! And here we have, bursting with all of its lofty lipid glory...


When I was really fat, I would eat four packages of ramen noodles at a time. I would prepare the ramen as normal in a giant pot, taking care not to over-boil the noodles. Once the noodles were ready, I'd drain them from their soup liquid and put them in a large bowl. Now, here's where things got a little bit wacky. I'd put the noodles in the freezer to sit for five or ten minutes. This would not decrease the temperature of the still hot noodles too much. But, what it would do was make the noodles sticky and tacky. Thereby, they were perfect to eat with chopsticks. Oh boy, were they delicious. And yet, I failed to recognize the harm I was doing to myself. Four packages of ramen noodles equates to over 1,500 calories! That's more calories in one meal than what I eat in an entire day now! Even worse, all that ramen had over 7,000 mg of sodium and over 200 carbohydrates. What a terrible, terrible meal to put into your body. And yet, when I was at my fattest, I was doing that two or three times a week. It's a miracle I didn't die of a heart attack.

So, what do you think? Want to hear more stories about the most absurd food I would eat when I was really fat? Trust me... this ramen story is only the tip of the iceberg! I find these tales both comical and sad, but it's great to get it off of my chest. Drop a comment and let me know.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Visit From Horace's Duskywing.

Whilst sitting on my back patio just a short moment ago, this affable little moth landed on my stomach. It didn't seem frightened of me, so I let it sit there. Much to my surprise, the moth continued to remain there for what seemed like an eternity. Somehow, I'd found a new buddy today. As the wind would randomly pick up and bluster against the tiny winged wonder, it would desperately grasp for my shirt and hang on tight. Using my hands, I cupped around the moth to provide shelter from the wind so it could rest. For a moment, it was safe and seemed thankful.

After doing some research, I discovered that is wasn't a moth at all! This was in fact a Horace's Duskywing (Erynnis horatius), a skipper-type butterfly from the family Hesperiidae. Its habitat ranges from the New England region south along the east coast. It also has spread as far west as Texas and New Mexico. By no means is the Horace's Duskywing endangered; their population is quite healthy and vivacious. Based upon the color pattern on its wings, I was able to determine that this specimen was a male. Most likely, this fellow was born in early spring. Yet, the sad part of this encounter soon set in... with tattered wings and it being the month of June, this Duskywing was probably tired and about to pass away. I was deeply saddened.

As I watched the insect rest there on my stomach and hold still, I wondered as to what the butterfly must think of me. Surely, it could see what I looked like. Was it not afraid of my immense size? Why would it think I was safe to land upon? Much less, to let me cup my large hands around its small stature? That's a measure of trust I wouldn't expect from nature.

I was sad to see it eventually go, but I hope it lives just a little while longer to enjoy the last few days of the passing Spring.

Monday, June 6, 2016

5 Tips For Being A Real American!

There sure are a lot of wimps out in the world today. I look around and wonder... what happened to my 'Murica?! Rest assured, I've got it all figured out. Immigrants aren't the problem. The media isn't the problem. Hell, politicians aren't even the problem. So what is the problem?

We've gotten too damn soft.

As such, here's a quick tutorial on how to be a real American!

Tip #1: Always wear a tank top. This applies to chicks just as much as dudes. Show your guns as much as virtually possible. Big guns. Little guns. Guns with crappy tribal tattoos. Guns with droopy armpit fat. SHOW 'EM! Bonus GI Joe points for accompanying side-boob or wicked scars. Bonus Bonus points for actually carrying a gun with your guns.

Tip #2: Use exclamation points at the end of every sentence! Doesn't matter what you're talking about! Grandma's dying of tuberculosis! You lost your foot in a freak lawnmower accident! You scored an 80 on your math final and passed the class with relative ease! It burns when I pee! You're an American, so everything you say is obviously important! Ex!clam!!!!atio!!ns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tip #3: Break the rules. See what I just did there? I broke my own rule from the previous tip. Rules are for sheep willing to do whatever they're told. Don't be a sheep. Wait, screw that... be a sheep. Breaking the rules is cool.

Tip #4: Everything is better with hot sauce. Quit letting your tongue be a limp coward. Put hot sauce on your eggs, tacos and fish. Douse it over your mashed potatoes and broccoli. Hell, you're not even livin' if you haven't placed a fat ol' drop of hot sauce in your favorite cocktail. Burn that mother up! See that baby up there drinking the hot sauce straight? Yeah, 100% commander-in-chief material. I'm gonna write in 'Bad Ass Toddler' for President.

Tip #5: Condoms are for foreigners. You've got the blood of Uncle Sam pulsating through every pore in your body. As such, you need to spread your freedom-lovin' genetics as much as virtually possible. Making babies is quintessentially American. You get a fetus! You get a fetus! You get a fetus! Point, aim and fire your flag-flyin' baby maker at every womb or flesh salami that'll allow you to. Sure, you might catch the HIV (rhymes with give) or some other disgusting case of crotch rot, but that's the price you pay to live in the greatest god damn country on Earth. Your genitals might fall off, but your patriotism will live on forever!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Draw Something: Punk Duck

Ducks are already pretty bad-ass. This duck is bad-asser-er. Is that even a word? It is now. BAM!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Upside To A Lost Cause.

Gulls fly overhead, silently mocking.
Sitting along the boardwalk, sand between my toes.
A cold receiver on the pay phone around the corner.
Anticipation is dreadful.
Disappointment is worse.
Being strung along is a funny thing.
You're not going anywhere, that much is guaranteed.
Hope finally eclipsed by acceptance of the truth.
A tryst no more; an assassination of sincerity.
Curiously, the pit stops along the way are your pittance.
Cafes and bowling alleys.
Malls and movie theaters.
Amber sunsets on the ocean.
Talking and dancing their troubles away.
Total structural collapse just below the surface.
All they've got is right now.
Tomorrow is just an eight-letter word for never.
We're all fighting a war that can't be won.
Some of us can luckily see through the fog.
Every unanswered call a hushed gift delivered in secrecy.
When there's nothing left to lose, you've got everything to gain.
Starting with today.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Roll For... Sewing?



Thursday, June 2, 2016

How Much Caffeine Is In A Cup Of Tea?

When most people think about measuring caffeine, they regularly use coffee (yuck, can't stand the stuff) as the universal measuring stick. Me, I'm a solid tea drinker. Breakfast, lunch, dinner... any time of the day is tea time for me. And yet, I never feel like I'm tweaking out or having a caffeine rush when I ingest tea. I've long known how much caffeine is in a cup of tea, but for the betterment of mankind...

...and to spread a little bit of 'Oh wow, cool' knowledge...

How much caffeine is in a cup of tea?

Well, the answer is surprising, but it'll all make sense by the time I finish explaining it.

When measured in their dry form, tea leaves actually contain more caffeine per gram than coffee grounds. And yet, it takes many less leaves to produce a single cup of tea. If you were to make an 8 ounce cup of tea, you would use approximately 2 grams of tea leaves to steep in the water. For the same size cup of coffee, you would need 10 grams of coffee grounds. As such, the increased supply of coffee grounds means more caffeine is brewed into the beverage. The final tally? That 8 ounce cup of tea has approximately 40 milligrams of caffeine. The 8 ounce cup of coffee has roughly 105 milligrams of caffeine. That's nearly three times as much! Coffee wins the caffeine race by a landslide.

Now, let's take this one step farther. The amount of caffeine in a cup of tea is also influenced by a few different factors. The location of the leaves on a tea plant helps to determine their caffeine content; younger leaves near the top have more. Also, steeping a tea bag longer in a cup of hot water also releases more caffeine. Generally, you should steep a tea bag for at least four to five minutes for optimum flavor. Finally, the type of tea you use also dictates how much caffeine you take in. White and green teas have less caffeine. Oolong tea has a moderate amount. Black tea has the most.

The chemical structure of Caffeine.

Also take note -- the antioxidants in tea slow down the caffeine absorption process in your body. As such, the caffeine is used at a much more gradual rate, meaning you don't experience an energy crash at the end. The caffeine will stay with you longer and have a more prolonged, less severe effect.

And there you have it! All you would ever want to know about caffeine in relation to tea. Doesn't this make you want to have a cup? I know I do!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Five Surprising Uses For Rubber Bands.

We all love rubber bands. They're great to shoot at a classmate or office buddy. They can hold your pens and pencils together. You can put one on your wrist to remind you of something. And yet, here are five more ideas for using a rubber band that you probably would have never considered.

Rest assured, there will be nothing perverted on this list.

Removing a stripped screw. Just press a thick rubber band over the stripped screw head, then insert your screw driver. The extra tension created by the rubber should get it turning.

Turning slick pages. This is a great trick for cashiers, bank tellers or people that deal with a lot of paperwork. The rubber helps to create the necessary friction to turn paper easily.

Marking drinks at a party. Throwing a party and everyone has the same cup? Mark those cups with colored rubber bands and no one will mistakenly drink after someone else.

Keeping cabinet doors closed. Have a child or pet that likes to dig in your cabinets? A rubber band will help keep those doors shut and the contents inside secure.

Using as a bookmark. A rubber band can make it easier to find your place. Much less, it prevents the damaged that can be caused by a bulky or metal bookmark.