Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sunflower Seeds

I love sunflower seeds. I have enjoyed eating them since I was a kid and I can shell them as fast as a cage of hungry parrots on crack. I feel bad for people who can't open them in their mouth and have to resort to prying open the shells with their fingers.

As much as I love sunflower seeds, I don't really care for them if they have already been shelled. That takes all the fun out of it. I have learned that life is a journey and not a destination. The same thing applies to sunflower seeds. There is just as much joy in the hunt when you are working and shelling them as there is in enjoying the fruit of your labors.

David Sunflower seeds have been my brand of choice. Stagi and Scriven used to make great jumbo seeds, but I haven't seen that brand around forever. Spitz have the best bags since they can be sealed after opening, but I don't like their flavor as much as others.

I know eating seeds can come across as a being a dirty process since it frequently involves spitting the shells out, but it could be worse. When I was young, I had a friend who would just spit out sunflower seed shells all over his room on the carpet. He would vacuum them up once a week and then do it all over again. I don't want to know what his bathroom habits must have been like.

I don't want to sound sexist, but I think sunflower seeds have the reputation of being a "guy food". They don't have a very lady-like image. I have never seen any photos of the queen of England sitting on the throne spitting shells into a big gulp cup. Anyway, if you are not a sunflower seed enthusiast, then I encourage you to give them a try some time. What's the worst that could happen? You could become addicted and eat an entire bag in one setting and end up with swollen salt bloated lips.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Song Title Game

I was talking with some friends recently about games and several of them mentioned how much they dislike Risk, Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Trivial Pursuit, and other games that are complicated or take forever to play. I am not a big fan of board games or ones with lots of rules or little pieces. I prefer simple spontaneous games where everyone participates like Pictionary.

Anyway, thinking about games reminded me how sometimes things happen to me and I feel like summarizing the situation or my feelings by comparing them to a song title or lyrics. I call this the song title game. I guess it's not really a game, but here are some examples.

Whenever I put my foot in my mouth or or make a stupid mistake I think about the song "If I could turn back time" by Cher.

When my wife tells me to not do something I wasn't going to do anyway and she doesn't realize I was just joking, I feel like singing "If you don't know me by now" by Simply Red.

When I log onto Facebook and they have changed their menu or layout yet AGAIN, I imagine David Bowie singing "ch ch ch ch Changes..."

Sometimes a person might be beating me at a board game and they begin to gloat and sing "We are the champions",  and at that point I hit them with a large blunt object and sing "Another one bites the dust", both by Queen.

When someone does a practical joke and it gives me a scare, the song "Quit playing games with my heart" comes to mind by the Backstreet Boys or Boys 2 Men or whoever was responsible for that.

Anyway, you probably get the picture. Are there any songs lyrics that frequently pop into your head as a result of every day life experiences? I welcome any comments on the topic. I've noticed that commenting is not as popular as it used to be, but it  is still in style and the coolest people still do it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Public Service Announcement- Insurance

I've worked in the insurance industry for the past 8 years and thought I 'd share some practical advice that affects young drivers. This is very basic stuff, but I'm surprised at how many people have no idea about this. If you are a teenage driver, or if you have on in your home, here are a couple things to keep in mind.

1) If you are a young male, then your insurance rates will be high, even if you are a responsible kid and a great driver. Lots of dumb teenage boys around the country have messed up things for you and ruined your reputation, so just get used to it until you get older or get married. Don't take it personal. Insurance companies have done the research and they know which clients will have accidents and cost them money.

2) If you are an 18 year old kid who wants to declare his independence to the world by buying your own car and starting your own insurance policy, it is always less expensive to stay on your parent's policy if allowed since they have better credit, multi-car discounts, and packaged policy credits that a young teenager just won't qualify for.

The look many young car owners get when they hear their insurance quote.

3) If you are going to buy a car, do a little homework first. I can't tell you how many times I've seen young men who have higher monthly insurance payments than what they pay on their auto loans. Find out how much a car is going to cost before you commit to buy it! Once you finance a car, you are obligated to carry full coverage until you pay it off.

4) If you have a bad driving record (more than one ticket or accident), don't plan on driving a nice car until those claims or tickets drop off your record. Why is it that young kids with the worst driving records always want to drive an Audi, Corvette, Mustang, or convertibles? Get a junker car you can just carry liability insurance on until you can afford a newer or nicer car.

I'm sorry to sound so heartless, but I've just seen too many young and naive guys who are so excited and proud of their new ride until they get the shock of their life when they find out how much it is going to cost to insure a car that they are now legally committed to. (Kind of like waking up and realizing you just got married while you were drunk the night before). Knowing some of these things before you make a foolish commitment can save you you grief and a lot of money.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I believe in some evolutionary concepts like survival of the fittest and adaptation, but I don't buy into Darwin's whole evolution theory. What's my reasoning for this? Is it because I'm close minded and don't believe scientific evidence, or perhaps I have conflicting religious beliefs? Maybe, but the biggest reason is because of the chart below which is frequently used to teach evolution.

The biggest problem I have with this diagram is that it is supposed to represent changes made over millions of years, but over the lasts 25 years I have personally played basketball with guys who look like the last four figures on this chart. In case you were wondering, mouth breathing Neanderthal men still exist today. Just go to a local gym and hang out long enough and you will see them. They are no longer named Kronk and Grog and don't carry clubs or spears, but don't be fooled, they are still among us.

I'm not trying to be rude to guys that look like Ron Pearlman. I even include myself as taking a couple steps back on the evolutionary chain since my knuckles sometimes drag on the floor when I walk. I was going to end this post with "I'm just sayin..." but it does not sound masculine enough even though I think it would fit well so instead I will end with this sentence.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why I am not running for President

Maybe I'm just not very observant, but in the past I recall presidential candidates would start to campaign and hold debates the year of the election, but it seems they have been campaigning non stop for the last two years. I think having multiple debates can be a good thing to help us get to know the candidates, but why can't we just do it like March Madness and by the end of one month get down to the final winner? This drawn out process is driving my crazy.

I meet the criteria to be President of the United States since I am over 35 years old and was born in the U.S., but aside from these two things, I have no qualifications whatsoever. Even if I wanted to be the president, I would not dare undergo the two year process of having the media and my opponents dissect my life under a microscope.

Even the squeakiest clean candidate is at risk of having skeletons come out of their closet. I'm afraid I don't have thick enough skin for the scrutiny they have to endure.They would not uncover any extramarital affairs or that I had made any obscene amounts of money for consulting or giving speeches, but once they came across this blog, I'd lose all credibility.

Why can't the election process be like the Summer Olympics? Unless your city is hosting the Olympics, things stay quiet for 3 years and 11 months and then for one month we get immersed in them and have a good time. Then we have the closing ceremonies and everyone goes home happy for another 4 years.

I've heard that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. I think it is also the definition of voting. I actually think everyone should vote, even if it feels like you won't make any difference. At least voting makes you qualified to complain about things. Nobody wants to hear someone who didn't vote complain about the leaders they have.

When it comes to politics, if you are liberal, conservative, middle of the road, or extremist, I think one thing we can all agree on is that this is going to get old before November rolls around.