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Inspirational Reads


October 19, 2009

You'll excuse me if I'm a little addled. My wife broke the carafe for the coffee pot on Friday night, so I'm starting my third morning without coffee. It's horrible. A million howling voices are in my head, each vying for my attention, all of them demanding a caffeinated release to silence the other 999,999 voices. Fortunately, I'm making due with the muddy ditch water here at work and, even though it's not the finest coffee in the land, it was a dollar well spent.

I came to a sudden realization this weekend that sheds new light on the patheticdom that is my life. Remember a couple of weeks ago, when I was being all clever about telling you how to say "jump the shark" in Latin? I was telling you how I don't really watch any network shows?

Well, I was thinking about that this weekend while freezing my ass off taking my kids to their school carnival. My two favorite shows right now: Dirty Jobs and Phineas and Ferb. That's pretty much it. Now with Monk in its final season and both it and Psych having come to their fall finales, I'm left with a show about rolling around in shit all day and an animated show detailing the formulaic adventures of step brothers and their pet platypus.

Even my regularly-enjoyed shows, The Simpsons and House, fall at an inconvenient time for me. They come on while I'm trying to wrestle the agents of entropy into their rooms for the night put the kids to bed, and I can't afford DVR and I'm loathe to just record them and watch them later. I suppose I could try and catch them online, but...*shrugs*

I guess it's probably better, as I'm trying to push forward with my currents work(s) in progress, but still, even creative genius needs a night or two off to rot his mind with whatever amusements the flickering box in the room can offer me.


Wow...I can feel the coffee slowly suffusing strength and sanity back into my body. Oh, how I've missed you, demon of our modern age.

Apparently, I'm not the only one not watching enough television (that's what we call a ham-fisted segue, kids). These morons in Colorado with the weather-balloon kid would have done themselves a service had they only watched the Mythbusters in which they took, what, 45 weather balloons to lift someone off the ground? Sure, that was a full-grown man, but evens scaling it down, someone should have been like "Hmmm...maybe the math here is off a little bit...". I mean, I have a five-year-old boy, and I sure as fuck hope that I'm not 45 x what he is.

According to the sources I searched, it took over 4500 party balloons filled with helium to achieve lift-off. And that was just for a four-year-old.

A quick check of the math shows that it takes approximately 16 cubic feet of helium to lift one pound. Let's assume that a six year old weighs around 55 pounds, that'd require 880 cubic feet of helium to lift him. And that's just to lift him off the ground, not to shoot him off into the stratosphere like these people were claiming.

And here's the thing: no one called them on this until they found the boy hiding in a box in the attic. No one was like "Yeah, bullshit! There's not enough lift in that thing to take a six-year-old off into the the atmosphere." The media slurped it up like fucking nectar and ambrosia and now we're stuck with these two asshole parents on every fucking news outlet being total asshats.

Then I saw a bunch of comments on various news stories while I was doing the research for how many balloons it took for Mythbusters to lift someone off the ground, and they were predictably asinine, as well. "I'm praying for this family during their tragedy." (typos marking the author as being barely literate corrected) Well, I'm praying for you for being so fucking gullible you'd probably look to see if the word was written on the ceiling.

Okay, now that my hackles have been raised, here's something that might make you feel better. It did me, with a couple of notable exceptions. It's the 20 All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture, as compiled by Entertainment Weekly. My only complaints are that Batman is way cooler than Spider-Man and Super-Man, and I think Buffy should have been higher, but it's tough to argue with those who ranked above her.


Jidai said...

*Sips coffee* MMMM...

Chemgeek said...

I get coffee free at work. Hence, my 12 cups per day...and then I have some more in the afternoon.

I did read a news report that said the some cop doubted the ballon could lift the kid. The father gave them the dimensions of the balloon and the cop checked with someone who should know. The expert confirmed the balloon was probably big enough. However, it turns out the father lied (surprise, surprise) about the dimensions of the balloon. The actual balloon could not lift the boy. This was just one of many suspicious statements made by the moronic father who should be tethered to something full of helium and launched.

mo.stoneskin said...

I particularly like the way you write when you are under a dollar caffiene fix having gone cold turkey for a few days. You've got that craving-addict anger...

When I saw the balloon story on the front page, I then forgot about it for the weekend, but as they were saying the kid had gone up in it I didn't think to question.

Having said that, I had plenty of coffee over the weekend, so I was lulled into bliss.

Travis said...

LeeLee Sowhatever is sooooooooooo damn hot. So hot. I've had a giant crush on her since "Joy Ride."

I heard about the balloon thing way late. It's pretty much the epitome of why I don't watch the news.

I wish he'd have been in it. He'd have had one hell of a story to tell.

That's real.

Pearl said...

Some people call it a "hoax". I call it really horseshit reporting.


red said...

You realize you can buy coffee, like, everywhere, right?

Soda and Candy said...

I am so ashamed! I watched that MythBusters and it never occurred to me during the balloon boy thing!

But the general shiftiness of the whole thing had me on bullshit alert anyway. The best part was when the kid looked sideways at his dad and said "You said we did this for a show." DURING AN INTERVIEW.

BeckEye said...

Finally some TORY action!!!!

Ed Adams said...

What's Coffee?

*sips diet coke*

FYI-Twice the caffiene.

carissajaded said...

I forgot my coffee this morning and the day has just gone downhill since then... As for your tv schedule... I love you all the more since you like Psych. And I cannot believe I wasted so many hours on Balloon boy. I never want to hear his name again.

Eric said...

In Italy at the moment, I can't hear you now though because of the noisy percolation of the high end coffee makers and the Willy-Wonka-like rivers of the world's best cappucino.

adrienzgirl said...

Friday wife breaks coffee pot. Friday night, WAL-MART is open. Saturday morning, WAL-MART is open. Saturday night, WAL-MART is open. Everyone of the 24 hours of Sunday, WAL-MART is open. No excuse for wife not procuring a replacement for one broken coffee pot!

Just sayin'!

Wonderful said...

I watch dirty jobs simply for the eye candy that is Mike Rowe.

Also, I'm ashamed to say I live in Colorado after the balloon boy incident. We never make the national news for anything good--it's either ridiculous people or crappy weather. Life's just not fair.

Scope said...

While I watch Mythbusters, and have seen the episode of which you speak, I will claim the following in my defense:

1) This was by definition S.E.P. Somebody Else's Problem. Therefore, not mine.

2) When I finally was a picture, I could not accurately judge scale.

3) In my defense, I predicted that the kid had launched the balloon, knew he was in trouble, and ran like hell and hid. Not far off their explanation.

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

You know, I thought a similar thing but didn't really care. It's just another 5 minute story that everyone will forget next week.

~E said...

I really meant to read this whole post...I SWEAR!

But then I saw the photo of Mike Rowe and had to stop and stare. And promptly forgot why I was here to begin with.

That Baldy Fella said...

Superman over Batman? Harry Potter over Han Solo? That list is very many kinds of wrong...

Nej said...

(Reading this post while slurping a Starbucks green tea frapachino.)

Three thoughts:

1) Everyone here at work was glued to their computer screens watching that stupid balloon. I told them there was no boy there, he was hiding in his closet, afraid he was in trouble for letting it go. Attic...closet...I was spooky close.

2) I'll forgive you the non shirtless picture...but just this once. :-)

3) Good call on the brunette Dr. Cameron....the blond locks just don't do it.