This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Friday, September 30, 2005

FEMA is a 4-letter word.

More and more, FEMA is demonstrating why we don't want the federal government organizing (and regulating) relief efforts. Former NBA superstar Karl Malone went down to Mississippi with a construction crew, and did a lot of good work despite the interference of those scumbags from FEMA and self-interested contractors. This USA Today story has the details.

I may have to rethink this whole Karl Malone thing. What he did down there was very cool.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

In Response: Hijacking Dear Abby

Because I haven't broken enough copyright laws yet this week, I decided to take a Dear Abby letter and write my own advice for it. This is pretty blatantly illegal, or at least it would be if I mattered. It's fun though, if you're in the right mood for it. This letter is from today, September 29, 2005.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to a wonderful woman, "Leora," for 35 years. We have five grown children any parent would be proud of. Throughout our marriage, I worked while Leora took care of the children. I retired about three months ago. Now I am home with Leora all the time and have just realized that she bathes only about three times a week. This has not only upset me, but also disgusts me!

I know she used to bathe the children every night when they were little, and she insisted they bathe regularly growing up. When I asked her about this, she said she has "always bathed when she needed it," and that might be nightly -- or not. She attributes this to being raised on a ranch where water was scarce. Abby, we live quite comfortably. The cost of water is not an issue.

I told her that people have to bathe daily in order to be clean. She asked if I could ever tell she hadn't bathed daily and the answer is no, but I know now, and it bothers me.

Please tell her that people have to bathe daily to remove dead skin cells, etc. She seems to think if I couldn't tell for 35 years that she hasn't bathed every day the topic is not an issue. It's getting to the point that I don't want to sleep in the same bed with her knowing she hasn't bathed that day. -- SEPARATE BEDROOMS IN THE FUTURE


Allow me to summarize your story, so I understand it. You're telling me that since you "worked" all those years while your wife stayed home with the kids, you had no idea she only bathed three times a week. Then, when you retired, you noticed after a few weeks that your wife did not run bath water 4 out of every 7 days, and your mind began obsessing about it. You began to bug her about it, and she wondered why this was a problem now, when it never was while you were "working." Do I have that right?

You, sir, are an urchin*. So this woman rears your children and runs your household for 35 years as you work 100 hours a week and are gone every night and care more about the latest earnings reports than about your own children, and then you show up in house one day and demand that she change her habits just because you're insane about dead skin cells? She's right -- the statute of limitations on complaining about any of her annoying habits expired about 25 years ago. Maybe if you were actually loving your family back then instead of just making money for them, you would have noticed your wife was covered in dead skin cells and dried perfume residue. If you didn't notice for 35 years, it's not a problem. It's all in your head, man. You're insane.

I know you're a product of your generation, which had rigidly defined roles for men and women that were impossible to see past, so I forgive you for neglecting your family. However, there is another issue that needs to be discussed -- your obsession with these so-called "dead skin cells." You say that people have to bathe every day to be "clean." What if she bathes in the morning? A lot of dead skin can pile up on a shoulder or leg in 15 hours. When do you bathe, sir? Unless it's directly before bedtime and involving a hard-core loofah, how can you be sure you're not bringing your own pile of dead skin to your bed? I'm surprised you can still see what color the sheets are at this point.

There are plenty of people in this world who don't bathe daily, and are only marginally less clean than us. My advice to you is to live with these people for a year, then come back to your wife. Odds are she'll think you just went back to work, since you two never saw each other from the day after your honeymoon until you retired. After the "dirty" year, sleeping with your wife will seem like sleeping with a bar of soap. A giant, neglected, and talking bar of soap. Then you'll have to find another thing to nitpick her about, and she will kill you and end up on Court TV as the "wife who just couldn't take it anymore." You have been warned. Unless you want your "separate bedroom" to be a hearse, stop being so obsessive about things that don't matter.

(the preceding advice is for recreational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of a particular race, creed, gender, or brand of bong. Any use of this advice without the prior written consent of the National Football League is prohibited. Caveat Emptor.)

*Urchin meaning scuzzbag, not a lovable Oliver Twist-like scamp. I can't believe the dictionary hasn't made the "scuzzbag" definition official yet. How out of touch are they?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bill Simmons is My Hero, Again.

Quote from him, about blogs. He was talking about news-covering blogs and how he doesn't like them. Here's his qualifyer:
When the goal is to keep everyone on their toes, have some fun, provide an alternate take on things and remain at least somewhat objective, that's great.

I would point out that describes what we do here at Epth Nation, to an almost eerie degree. In fact. all those things would be a part of our mission statement, along with "expose the lurid truth about Papa John's." Just kidding.

Finally, Another News Day

Because I am in a state of Not Necessarily Too Tired To Write This, I will now do some news. I haven't done it in a couple of weeks, and I apologize for that. The people keeping me from it have all had a good talking to, so this should not be a recurring problem.

Quite Possibly My Last Note of the Year About Baseball: The American League has a super-fun playoff race going, with 4 teams fighting for 3 spots: Two Division Championships and the Wild Card. The White Sox, at 94-63, are 2 games better than Cleveland, Boston, and the Hated Yankees. If Chicago Holds on that means that Cleveland would have to get a Wild Card spot by having a better record than either the Yankees or Boston. There's a chance that the Hated won't make the playoffs after all! Remember my vow: Until the Brewers make the playoffs or the Yankees don't, I'm out on baseball, because they don't want me as a fan. This means I could be back into baseball as early as next week! I'm definitely not counting on it, though. The Hated always have more tricks up their sleeve, because money buys tricks. At least I have something to root for now, though.

John "The Republican Ninja" Roberts is probably going to be confirmed soon as our next "Chief Justice of the Supreme Court," whatever that is. I wonder if Souter, Scalia, and the rest are ticked off that this nondescript white guy gets to be Chief. Anyway, Roberts may feel like giving the title back when Anna Nicole Smith stumbles into the courtroom loudly proclaiming that her dead husband meant to write her into his will, but just never got around to it. Fascinating.

Looks like those stories of widespread crime and violence at the Superdome during FEMA's folly after Katrina were almost all fabricated. Officials can find no evidence of mass murder, and there have been no actual rapes reported. So how did it become an absolute fact that these horrible things were happening? Maybe the question we should be asking is whose interests did these stories serve? 1) The Local and State officials, who were yelling at FEMA publicly to send help because they were wholly unprepared for the post-Katrina flood. 2) The breathless news media, for obvious sexy-story reasons. 3) The Anti-poor, who saw it as an opportunity to look on the people in the Superdome as Dirty Criminals rather than People in Need of Help.

It just goes to show: Never, ever trust those pretty people who are telling you the news. They are wrong an alarming (and possibly intentional) percentage of the time. Everyone's selling you something, and those pretty people are no exception. Have you ever wondered to yourself, "Why are they all so pretty?" The answer is ratings. Nobody wants to look at an Ug for 30 minutes.

Hot Opinion: If Private Lyddie "The Leash" England has the last name "France," she's going away for 20 to life. If her last name is "Nazi Germany," she gets the death penalty. Instead, jolly old England gets three short years in a prison, but it's probably one of those white collar resorts -- she should be so lucky. Not exactly justice -- poetic, puppet-show, or otherwise.

Another Scientific Theory has been trashed, this time the "Big Bang." Of course, it won't be reported like that, but that's what happened. Scientists have discovered an "oddly mature" galaxy that the Big Bang Theory doesn't predict is possible. Therefore, the theory must be wrong in some way, right? My favorite paragraph is the last one:
Some older theories of galaxy formation made room for large, monolithic galaxies to form. This discovery suggests that in some cases at least, this could well be what happened.

Back to the drawing board. Not that I understand any of it. Crazy.

Dissenting Opinion -- Papa's Perfect Pan

To show we are not into censorship, and instead embrace all opinions on all things, no matter how ill-informed they may be:

My wife says that Papa's Pan isn't as good as Pizza Hut's, because Pizza Hut's is greasier. I gotta give her props -- she's right, the Hut's is better and greasier. Pizza Hut cooks theirs in an actual pan, so that might have something to do with it.

Papa just can't win. Maybe they should give up now, save us all the trouble of a slow agonizing death.

(and when I mentioned "ill-informed" opinions up there I was not talking about this particular one,
just so you know, honey.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Oh, by the way...

Jill and I both finished our 8k runs, in under 56 minutes even. It was awesome. More on this later, with pictures!

Papa Johns Pan Pizza -- Is it Any Good?

Working at the so-called "Papa" John's affords me an opportunity to sample upcoming new products before they get sold to the public. For example, last night I got to try the brand-new "Papa's Perfect Pan," which they haven't started advertising yet. This means we are fully capable of making one, only nobody knows this unless they order online. No, it doesn't make sense to me either. Anyway, let's start with a few...

  1. Papa's Perfect Pan is something that has been in the works a long time, which means they overthought it a little. This is understandable and not a big deal, since the crust and the taste are by far the most important things involved here.
  2. Even though all of our other pizzas are circles, Papa's Perfect Pan is a square. It fits nicely in a square box, which is, you know, Perfect. On the other hand, it is cut in 8 pieces like a normal (i.e., circular) pizza. After cutting, many of the pieces resemble jagged teeth. Maybe they should have overthought this issue a bit more. There's a reason why no pizza place in the history of man has cut square pizzas into triangles (unless it's part of some sort of scholastic geometry lesson) -- it makes for pieces that can only be described as unwieldy. Nobody likes to eat food that's unwieldy. Just ask the leg o' lamb people.
  3. One reason it took Papa John's so long to come up with Papa's Perfect Pan is the price -- the crust costs more than twice what the thin or regular crust costs.
  4. It is thick, filling, and probably militantly unhealthy. For this reason, don't expect to eat more than 2 pieces in a sitting. It's a lot like a gallon of milk -- it may look like something you could tackle in an hour, but it isn't.
  5. It's cooked on a pan as opposed to in a pan, so it cannot be accurately described as "deep-dish." There is no dish.
  1. The crust is unhealthy, like I mentioned before. But it tastes yummy. And that's really all that matters, isn't it? It's a pretty standard deep-dish crust. If you like Pizza Hut's Pan Pizza, you'll like this. That's really really all that matters to the Papa. Papa needs sales badly. Papa about to die. I think this'll create some buzz.
  2. The new "Zesto"* sauce is so good it makes me wonder why Papa bothers with their other sauce at all. The sauce is chunky, and not because it hasn't been stirred properly. My Manager Guy told me you could "put it over pasta," which is kind over overstating it, but you get the idea. It's a big improvement. Again, people will like this.
  1. The price is $1 more than a large, which is pushing it. I know this is to offset the cost of the crust and sauce. I also know that Papa will never drive up sales with a lower price, because they just don't want to try anymore. This is stated corporate policy. Of course, this is a business issue that has nothing to do with the pizza, which is great.
So, my verdict is: The pizza is good, but only for the wealthy or people with coupons. Try one of these tasty slabs and you'll want another one...and another...and another, until you're the size of one of those giant glowing snowmen people put on their front lawns during the September-Febuary "Christmas" season.

*I can't remember the actual name of the sauce. I think there may be another syllable involved. Fortunately for us, they didn't name it "Zestabulous" or something. It's some generic Italian-sounding name.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I hate most blogs. Now, I'm not talking about the blogs of people I know, which are interesting by default since I know them. I'm talking about the person I don't know, the person with nothing to say and way too much time to say it. These blogs will often recap the author's daily activities, which often involve boring stuff like advancing agendas and seeing their ugly friends. Now, they aren't supposed to be interesting because they're just informing people of what went on that day. This is good for interested parties, and bad for people who aren't interested. They are a waste of time, and that's perfectly ok.

Allow me to now recap my weekend.

We flew up on Friday night. The Midwest Airlines Dallas-Milwaukee flight may just be the easiest flight in the world. We got to DFW airport, walked into terminal "B" (the terminal for the spare airlines like Midwest), walked right up to the ticket counter and got tickets, walked right through security (who barely even noticed our shoe bombs), our gate was like right there, and we sat down and waited for our name to be called. There happens to be a Starbucks a couple of gates down from there, so my wife was happy. And caffienated.

The fun part about airports is listening to the conversations other people have. For example, this guy straight across from us got out his cell phone and called what I assume was his house. He talked all stupid to his wife or life partner, and then each of his kids came on the phone. It was so touching. If I were a better blogger, I would have remembered what he said. But this was Friday night, and a lot of stuff has happened to me since then. It seems forever ago.

The silliest thing is when people have those headset cell phones (because you need two hands free at all times, just in case some ninjas attack, I guess), and they sit in the airport and start straight ahead as they talk. If that were me, I'd be doing all sorts of stuff with my free hands -- reading a magazine, playing the spoons, rolling my own cigarettes, writing a novel, practicing karate, and many other activities. But that's how I roll.

I wrote a bunch of other stuff, but Blogger ate it. Welcome to the internet age, where nobody can count on anything. I hate --hate-- rewriting things that were lost. I won't do it. I'll continue this later.