Monday, January 31, 2011

When Animals Fight Wrap Up

And the winner is......

Never, ever bet against a feral cat.  Our scenario was as follows; cat and owl in a 10x16 room, with two 16" end tables, a 4' bookshelf, and an iron (or other ferrous metal) coat rack.  It was a fight to the death.  the cat wins.  If you guessed so, good job.  If not, go stare at the sun.  Here is why:

First off, cats are some of the fiercest hunters in the animal kingdom.  Everyone has heard the term "cat-like quickness."  Has anyone ever heard of "owl-like ferocity?"  Nope.  Nothing against the owl, but he was out of his league here.  When I was a kid my parents had a lake cabin with lots of friendly chipmunks that we used to feed sunflower seeds.  We brought our cat with us one weekend, and she wiped out the whole colony in less than 24 hours- I'm not kidding, there were at least 10 carcasses lying about. 

Here is how it went down, and why.
The cat saunters into the room and begins looking around for something of interest.  Don't worry, curiosity won't kill this cat.  The owl immediately spots the cat, at the same instant the door slams shut.  He prepares to swoop down from his 6' perch.  As he glides down, the cat hears the rush of wings and looks up for the source.  He spots the owl and makes a break for the end table.  The owl catches a clump of hair in his talons from the cats rear, but comes up empty.  His chance for victory just went from "good" to "horseshit."  An owl swoops down on its prey from above, relying on speed and stealth to deliver a blow, initially with its talons, then with its beak.  On the ground, against a predator of near equal size, he is stewed.  For all you owl lovers, picture this scenario- who would win a fight between a cat and an owl that can't fly?  Right.  Here is a bit more info for you- I used to be an Air Force pilot, and I have a solid understanding of the physics of flight.  An owl in a dive has the same limitations as a helicopter trying to land while heavy on a hot day at high altitude.  He reaches a point where he is committed to landing, and has no ability to pull up and take off again.  Flying off a 6' perch, the owl cannot build up enough velocity to give himself any option but to land.  His lift vector is pointed down, and he can't flap his wings fast enough to avoid sinking.  Holy cow, I am a huge nerd.  
So we have an owl that made his pass at the cat, and missed.  He is now playing the cats game.  Our owl, being both hungry and used to being the apex predator in his part of the forest, presses the attack.  Initially, there is a lot of hissing and spitting as they claw and peck at each other with the cat still under the end table.  Eventually, the owl presses forward and ends up with his head under the table as well, and he might have just realized he is shit out of options.  The cat leaps, able to ignore the owls talons, as he has no room to employ them.  The beak is a factor, but much like a boxing match, the cat relies on angles and distance.  He drives his shoulder into the owls neck, clasps his paws around its neck, and knocks it off its feet.  He then bites into the owls neck, and begins kicking a mud hole in the owls belly with his rear claws.  Soon, he is able to drive his teeth deep enough into the owls neck that he gets into the central nervous system, and it is game over.  The cat eats his fill, then takes a long nap.  Lazy bastard.  Speaking of which, here is a picture of Poe, our 22 pound cat:

                         He is a fine specimen, isn't he?  The sweetest, dumbest cat ever. 

Next week, we shall try out a 14' great white shark vs. an adult male polar bear in 4 feet of placid water.


Mr. F

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Greatest Game Ever Invented

When Animals Fight.......


First off, this is not some Michael Vick dogfighting ring story; this is a true story about a fictional game, the greatest ever played.  Here is the scene; I have no idea how the game actually was hatched, but I do know the inventors.  Myself, and Radd Kulseth.  First, a word about Radd- Radd is an attorney in Minnesota.  He is also famous for the following:

1. Rocking a "Donnie Brasco" style leather jacket since at least 2000.

                                       (This is Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, not Radd)

2.  He has been known to throw the Figure 4 Leglock on strangers at the bar, but only with their permission.

3.  He went through a period where he lived on cigarettes and cheese.
4. He recognizes that I get more clever after four beers.
5.  He is one of the three or four funniest people I know-think hard; how many people do you know that are consistently clever, ready with a quip or joke, and never miss a beat in a conversation?  I'm not talking silly guys that make fart noises here.  I mean clever, and FUNNY.
6.  He may be the superhero Captain America- at least he has the costume.

So anyway, one night while our wives were talking about wife stuff, Radd and I began a conversation about who would win a fight to the death between an adult male African lion and an adult male Siberian tiger. we almost immediately agreed that the tiger would clearly win, due to its much greater size and better work ethic.  From there, a revolution was spawned.  The rules of the game are as such:
1. The setups can be as simple (boring) or as complicated (good) as wanted.  There are only two arbitrators in the entire galaxy, Radd or myself.  In case of a rare split vote, I have veto power since Radd doesn't have my Blogger login.  Radd, he who votes decides nothing; he who counts the votes decides everything.
2. As many questions as needed can be asked of the creator of the setup before answering, but once you begin, you can gather no more info.
3. The answer can be total bullshit, as long as you can justify it with credibility, eloquence, and true panache

As an aside, this game was stolen from us a few years ago by the Discovery Channel, which created a turd of a show along the same lines with a bunch of nerdy scientists playing with computers.  This was just one of the inventions I've had stolen, to include The Tupper Tether (tupperware with a lid on a tether), the one bridge theory (not really stolen or accepted yet), and the disposable toothbrush/toothpaste combo.

So, every week or so, I will run a scenario by you, and give you an opportunity to excel.  Remember, there is a right answer, so be clever and don't waste Radd's time- he will bill you at $400/hour.  I will tell you to go outside and stare at the sun.  I will answer a day or two after the post, and I encourage you to practice different setups and scenarios amongst your friends.  There may even be really, really bad prizes.  Here we go!

The scenario is as follows- A six-year old feral alley cat saunters slowly into a rectangular room measuring 10'x16.'  A picture of the cat is above.  Look at that mean looking bastard.  In the room are two 16" high end tables with open sides, a 4' tall oak bookshelf, and a 6' tall metal coat rack with 4 metal arms.  Perched on the top of the coat rack is a adult male great horned owl.  Refer to picture above; owls are savvy predators themselves, now aren't they?Neither the cat nor the owl have eaten in 36 hours.  Both are in peak condition, although the cat has fleas and the owl has mites.  Only one will leave the room.  

Let the games begin.


Mr. French

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pordenone, Italy

Hello- this is my first travel post!!  I will highlight a few amazing places I have been that are maybe a bit unique, and then a bunch of places I want to go.
I really, really, love Italy.  And Greece, and Germany, and the UK.  I'm starting to daydream here........
Pordenone is a city in NE Italy, near the Austrian and Slovenian borders and equidistant from Venice and the Italian Alps.  I used to go there frequently when I was in the Air Force, and it is one of the most wonderful places I've ever been.  A city of 200,000, Pordenone is an absolutely wonderful off-the-beaten path place that I am eager to see again. 
Our standard trip would be as follows- show up at the Best Western Pordenone (a cheap but clean hotel) near dinnertime, and head off to eat the best pizza you've ever had in a place that looked like a cross between a convenience store, a disco, and a family restaurant.  I know the setting has some influence, but with good food, great wine for $4/bottle (IN A RESTAURANT!) and good friends, the first night was usually a long one. 

The next day would usually be a down day, meaning a short (1hour) train ride to Venice or just exploring Pordenone, with a mandatory trip to Il Nappo Winery.  The good folks at Il Nappo were part of one of my best Air Force memories ever; we were coming back from the Middle East, and the aircraft I flew at the time was mostly empty.  A friend of mine claimed to speak Italian, and claimed he could coordinate with Il Nappo to deliver wine to the airfield while we were stopping in Pordenone to get gas before continuing on to England.  We landed in the midst of the Italian Air Force's Tricolori aerial demonstration team practicing.  Here they are.

It was a beautiful spring day, the aircraft were practically dancing overhead, and we loaded about 200 cases of wine in record time.  It turns out my friend spoke no italian; he pulled it off though.  Good on you, Jimmy Ricci.  The U.S. Customs officer was quite curious about all the wine, but the numbers worked out.
Most trips were a bit more traditional; as I mentioned, Venice is one hour of beautiful train riding away.  Venice is amazing, and the Piazza San Marco is incredible.  I got harassed by pigeons there, and I hate birds.  There is nothing less romantic than taking a gondola ride with four of your hairy-assed male friends. Oh well, I was getting paid to be there!   I suppose I need to go back with Mrs. French......


Mr. F

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Soup, Ina Garten, and Dog Diarrhea

                      You know you want this soup.  Even though it looks really greasy.  It isn't.

Hello to all; this is a new and hopefully recurring theme; I will cook something, take pictures of it, and eat it.  It may not be good, and it may not get posted on Wednesday.  I enjoy cooking, and am relatively adventurous.  I am, however, a horrible baker.  This can best be explained by pointing out the differences between my wife and I in the kitchen- she measures with precision and follows recipes to the T, and I do not measure or follow them.  Well, I measure most things.  Here is another good example- the recipe below calls for 10 ounces of corn, but I had a 16 ounce bag.  I used the SWAG method- a Scientific Wild Ass Guess.  My intent here is to get men to try something other than lighting a grill and burning meat.  Cooking aint rocket science at its elementary level; get your men in the kitchen and get fed.  Gents, ladies appreciate a man that can rock an apron and whisk.  Think of the potential here, fellas.  Don't you know Tom Colicchio gets plenty of action based on his kitchen prowess?

This week I made beef and vegetable barley soup, from a recipe on  I like epicurious, but my favorite is   Since we are talking cooking, I should mention that the one woman I would leave my wife for would be Ina Garten; sweet house in the Hamptons, her husband has done well for himself (I haven't figured out how to maneuver him out of the picture- damn you Jeffrey!)  She would keep me well-fed to say the least.  She does seem to have a lot of people dropping by though, which would be awkward...... On second thought, I could stash my wife nearby, and sneak her food from the Barefoot Contessa's kitchen.   Mrs. French would tolerate this setup for the right amount of multi-course goodness. 

Anyway, here we go:


Beef, Barley, and Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound beef stew meat
1 pound meaty beef bones (such as beef shank bones)
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup pearl barley
4 cups water
2 14 1/2-ounce cans beef broth
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels
2 cups frozen sliced okra
2 small bay leaves
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce

The dog loves the bones that were left over.  I haven't cooked with bones enough, but it really makes you feel like you are making something of substance.  Better than a stupid ass bay leaf.

**Important note: I gave the dog one of the large bones.  She ate the whole thing, and it kept her up all night with the runs.  Which means I slept on the couch all night in order to let her out every hour.

I use this chef's knife and the steak knife at the top pretty much exclusively.  I keep them super sharp, which is really, really, macho.  When I use the sharpener, the dog comes running as she knows there may be meat pieces available soon.

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add stew meat and bones; sauté until beef is dark brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer beef and bones to plate. Add celery, onion, and barley to pot. Sauté until onion is golden, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups water, beef broth, tomatoes with juices, corn, okra, bay leaves, and garlic powder. Return beef and bones to pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until beef is almost tender, about 1 hour.
Add peas and 1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce to soup. Cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 30 minutes longer. Season with salt, pepper, and more hot pepper sauce, if desired.

This soup needed an assload of salt- an assload means more salt than you can imagine.  I was worried about the okra, as it gets gluey and goopy sometimes.  It was fine in here though.  All in all, pretty good; more like vegetable beef than beef barley, but that is good too.

If someone can tell me how to not overcook fish, please share.  I suck at it.

Mr. French

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's time we got a little direction around here...

OK, so I have been thinking.  I can't come up with amusing anecdotes 5x per week; I am far and away too boring.  I have a plan, and here it is- every weekday will have a theme, and I will try to post something in line with that theme.  I most likely will stick to this plan 46% of the time.  The rest of the time will just be potty humor.  Here are my themes:

Monday- Stuff I find amusing.  It will be mostly true.  Names will NOT be changed to protect the innocent.

Tuesday- Travel ideas.  I hate Vegas, so don't worry.  I have been to Branson numerous times as a child, along with DollyWorld.  We saw a guy in a "Pull My Finger" T-shirt with a hole cut out around his bellybutton in DollyWorld.  Expect lots of adventurous trips, and a good bit of snow.

Wednesday- "Well Fed Wednesday;"  I like to cook, and am a bit more adventurous than your average guy.  I can count red velvet cake and home-made strawberry rhubarb pie as notches on my belt, so step off and show some respect!

Thursday- Things you should buy your significant other.  My angle here is to eventually get some free stuff, so help me out. 

Friday- Random amusing thoughts.  By Friday I will be gasping for air.  I hope to send you into the weekend with an entertaining post that shows my amazing wit and off-limits virility. 

Mr. French

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Football is pretty dumb.

This post was supposed to be about how much I hate the term "ManCave" and how stupid light beer commercials are.  That is for another day.  I watched a little football today; I used to be a rabid fan but have essentially lost interest completely.  I didn't even watch the Super Bowl last year.  When I was in college, I could watch football for two days straight, without a break.  I have no real problem with football, I just get bored watching it.  Don't worry, I can still identify when a defense is in Cover 2, Zone, or man, I can spot a zone blitz, and I understand the spread and West Coast offenses.  My boredom comes from lack of interest, not lack of knowledge (sadly enough).

Actually, I do have a problem with football.  I played through high school, and it is beyond a doubt the least democratic sport ever invented.  Out of 22 players on the field, only about 6 get to touch the ball, and only three or four do so with any regularity.  During football practices, very little football is actually played.  Mostly it consists of standing around with an uncomfortable helmet on while a coach acts like a game is more important than General Chamberlain's defense of Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg.  At hockey or baseball practice, you get to play hockey or baseball, and everyone gets a chance to touch the puck/ball.  It also amazes me how much football talk there is on television; literally 24/7 on several channels.  Is it really that interesting that Brett Favre sent a woman a text of his junk?  Is there a woman in the world that really wants a penis text?  Gross.  

Regardless of my opinion, football is undoubtedly America's sport, and the rest of the world can't figure out why.  Back when I was flying, we used to go to the UK several times per year.  On the inevitable trip to the pub, the most common question I was ever asked by a local was what the hell offsides was all about in American Football.  I bet I heard it a dozen times.  I got pretty good at explaining it. They probably shouldn't throw stones, as their version of football doesn't end when the clock runs out.  WTF is up with that?

Go Packers.

Mr. French 

Friday, January 21, 2011

I've always rocked the smoothest threads.

My 20 year reunion is coming up this summer.  By the way, that is me at the top left.  That's right, West Fargo High School class of 1991 Most Fashion-Wise.  Suck it, haters.  I needed to point at that I am on the left because Tammy's hair threatens to take over the frame.  She was ahead of her time- her hair was the biggest in an era of big hair.  Most of the girls in my class had hair that made them look like sunflowers desperately seeking the sun. 

A high school friend of mine posted this pic on Facebook along with several others as a lead-in to our reunion.  My wife has seen it before, but really, really enjoys it.  She shared it with the world, and our friends here are taking great pleasure in making snarky comments about it.  To them, I say AYHSMB (if anyone knows what this stands for, you win a prize).  Here is what makes it so funny- the irony.  I am a total slob now.  I have many, many items of casual clothing that are at least 10 years old, and a few that are older.  I guess I just don't care.  I have very nice suits due to the fact that once you slip Burberry or Joseph Abboud on, you will never step in a Mens Wearhouse again.  As far as every day clothes, it is pretty grim, I must admit.  A lot of Patagonia and North Face mixed with Levi's.

Just like Tammy, I was pretty avante garde once as well; I nailed several fashion firsts in my early years, but I feel I should share a story that shows how I fought through adversity in an early fashion incident and still came out looking fabulous (I swear I have never used that word before). 

I was a huge Miami Vice fan, as we all were then.  I was determined to get myself a pair of Don Johnson baggy pants to roll into 7th grade with.  I tore through the malls in Fargo, to no avail.  On a trip to Minneapolis, after much searching, I finally hit pay dirt.  Baggy white pants, tight at the ankle.  Paired with a white tennis sweater with a blue stripe, I was un-fucking stoppable.  I walked in the door on a Monday morning, and the first person I saw (Paul Matthys, sarcastic but a good guy) shouted, "Ahoy Sailor, when do you sail?"  I realized I had miscalculated.  I wanted to crawl in a hole the rest of the day.  But I didn't give up.  No, I used this minor setback to give myself fashion-strength, if not fashion-sense. I'd like to think that the Miami Vice inspired look was just another first among many, to go along with the following:

1. First guy to have baby blue parachute pants.  I tried on hundreds of black, gray, or red ones in 5th grade, but didn't like the way they cradled my junk.  Finally, nearly out of time, I spotted my pair on the mannequin at JC Penney.  I would later tragically quit my first real job at JC due to my refusal to wear Zubaz at work.  I walked at at the start of a Sunday shift.  Bold?  Hell yeah.

2. First guy to buy black sneakers.  Take your meat dress and shove it, Lady GaGa.

3. First guy to wear a brown leather bomber jacket.  I had a sweet hockey mullet then, and used to leave practice with wet hair every day.  My wet mullet stained the collar of my jacket a darker shade of brown than the rest of the coat.  Sexy.

2 and 3 started huge trends.  And I was out front. Many of you that know me think I am a slob; be warned, I'm just biding my time until I drop a new trend on you.

Mr French

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I threw on a little man-scent for the wife last night

I was drying off after my shower this afternoon when I accidentally knocked over a bottle of cologne.  My cologne.  My only bottle.  I didn't really even know I had it anymore.  It is 2/3 gone, but I'm pretty sure it evaporated.  The less than stellar photo above tells you a few things, but there are a few that are unknown.  First off, I have no idea what the name was, as only the letters E, R, and C are legible.  I imagine it was a scent known as "MERCENARY" and was abbreviated MERC, but I can't be sure.  It could also have been "HERC," short for Hercules.  I like MERCENARY, as it suggests it is for a man that wants to smell sweet for the ladies, but is in it for the money and the thrill.  Which would make him a gigolo, I suppose......OK, HERC it is. 

Here is what we do know- that is not me on the bottle, and it is from Abercrombie and Fitch.  The latter tidbit should allow us to Carbon-14 date it, as I am 38, and would not have been caught dead in an Abercrombie in more than a decade.  I fucking hate that store so much now, I won't even use symbols to spell the F word.  The wife and I went in there a few years ago to get a gift for a niece or nephew, and it made me vomit in my mouth a bit. 

Back to the story; a bit spilled when it fell, filling the bathroom with the smell of fruityvinegarwoodalcohol.  It turns out that cologne expires like a bottle of wine after a while.  It was spoiled, believe it or not.  I knew I had to let my bride smell my newfound macho.  After two squirts on the neckline, I pranced naked (literally) into the baby's room where she was changing Lui.  I leaned in and gave her a deep sniff.  The reaction was animalistic and intense; an instant deep belly-laugh and the acknowledgement that I clearly had a new subject to post about.  As I type, I can still smell this shit.  It won't wipe off, and is making me feel like I drank floor cleaner.  

This incident reminded me of my past relationship with cologne.  Like every kid that I knew, I used to rock the scent in my teens.  Drakkar, Obsession, Eternity, I had them all.  I once had a full bottle of Drakkar break in my hockey bag under the bus on the way to a road game.  You could smell it from inside the bus, and I knew instantly it was mine and I was screwed.  Hockey was my life from age 6 to 19, and I was known as a tough kid that could grind.  Hockey is a pretty brutal sport, and playing a game literally reeking of cologne is not a smooth move.  I dunked all my equipment in the shower before the game but Drakkar sticks to stuff like burning white phosphorous; the water just makes it stronger.  At first I got heckled by the dastardly Devils Lake Satans (true mascot name!), but after a while I think they got tired of standing in my cloud of flowery essence.  

I expect I am done with cologne for good; I will still use my Nivea shower gel (which I refer to as "ChickNip" as it has the same effect on the ladies as catnip does on my cat), but aside from that, you are all stuck with my natural scentless macho.


Mr. F

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I am the handiest man I know around here......

First off, I need to issue a statement in order to clarify my intent with this blog, and to tell readers exactly where responsibility lies for its content.  Many (all) of my readers have come over from my darling wife's blog.  She is quite talented and skilled at what she does, and has created an audience of people that most likely share her style and aesthetic.  She is not responsible in any way for my work, and even if she tried to shape it, I have told her many times that you simply can't keep this tiger in a cage.  My intent is to share stories or ideas I find entertaining or humorous, and these are occasionally a bit crude or off color.  I am not a total caveman, but I do enjoy a little potty humor now and then.  I have no desire to make anyone feel bad or to hurt their feelings, so please realize that this is strictly the ramblings of a mad man.  Think Ted Kaczynski's (the Unabomber) Manifesto without the pipe bombs or mine shaft abode. 

On to business.  Let me explain; it seems everyone we know around here either lacks the handy gene or is simply smart enough to hire a pro.  I am slowly catching on.  Let me tell two brief stories before I get to some photographic evidence. 
First off, here is an example of how my projects frequently progress.  We lived in a lovely old Craftsman in St. Paul, MN before moving west.  I painted all thirteen rooms in that house, some several times over the course of 3.5 years.  At one point, I decided to refinish the wood floors in the kitchen.  I carefully taped newspaper over the appliances to keep some of the dust off (smart, move, eh?).  As I was running the sander, I backed into the stove, and somehow managed to turn on the gas.  I could feel my back getting hot, and turned around to find my shirt on fire.  Also aflame was the newspaper on the stove, and it was quickly shooting up towards the ceiling.  In am in a room full of dust and I have an active fire.  Nice.  I threw my shirt in the sink and grabbed a pitcher to douse the flames.  It took three pitchers to extinguish, which is a lot of water on your now sanded and unprotected floors.  After several hours of cleanup, all was restored.  The floors looked great in the middle of the room, and like a sore ass on the edges where actual skill is involved.  I should have bowed out of home improvement then.  All my friends in MN were extremely handy, so I soldiered on out of a sense of obligation.  My theory is as follows: us Midwesterners exhibit a strong need to prove our self-sufficiency.  Folks on the West Coast just don't give a rats ass.  And now neither do I.  I know I could provide food, water, and shelter for my family if needed, although the well wouldn't win any awards, and the hovel would be a bit drafty. 
Once we moved to PDX, I continued to do things in a half-ass manner.  The only difference was, no one I know here could (or would) even do it that well.  A few weeks ago we had friends stop by while I was replacing some outlets in the kitchen.  This is about the easiest job imaginable, but my friend was looking at me like I was splitting the atom.  It took me 2 hours to replace three outlets, and would have taken an electrician or even a handyman MAYBE 15 minutes. 

Now I shall share some photographic evidence of my current creation- our long-tenured kitchen remodel.  See below.
This photo shows the slightly different vision I had for the tile around the outlet as compared to the tile guy.  Tile guy, you ask?  Oh yes.  I hired someone because the first four tiles I laid looked horrible.  Anyhow, you can see how the tile doesn't come down below the outlet plate.  Notice as well the uncovered phone jack,  Classy.  These are on my list to fix.  Sometime.
Above is a fine photo of the shelf above our stove; the wall is not plumb, and it needs some work as you can see.  As does the wall above it.  Perhaps we will work on that when my brother visits.  He is very handy.  Bastard.
I leave you with a shot of the actual countertops; they turned out lovely, so all is not lost.  I would compare my abilities as a handy fella to a master baker that does 98% of everything perfect, but then instead of adding a pinch of salt to the cake he adds a cup. 
Fear not, I won't let this dampen my spirit.  I will simply hire it out and then act like I could have done it.

Mr French


Monday, January 17, 2011

Is Sex and the City Star Wars for Women?

I heard someone mention this on television the other day, and it spurred some thinking on my part.  First off, let me say this- my wife used to watch the series, so I absorbed it via osmosis as well.  I didn't hate it- it was well made, clever, and the acting was fine.  It was, however, geared toward women (shocker!!).  So I could recognize that it was good, but it held my attention for exactly five seconds.  I am really not interested in anything that is geared towards the X chromosome, as I am clearly an Alpha Male.  Make that THE Alpha Male.

So, women love the show.  And men love Star Wars.  I immediately began trying to draw parralels between the two shows.  The following is what I came up with.

Every women lives vicariously through Carrie Bradshaw; an attractive single woman with a great job/ great friends/ great apartment/ great clothes, and she lives in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.  That is a pretty unrealistic character.  Get real, ladies.
On the other hand, men are much more realistic; every man wants to be Han Solo, a swash-buckling space pirate with great friends, the fu#&ing Millenium Falcon, and the opportunity to save the Rebel Alliance from the Dark Forces. The creators of Sex and the City (which I shall abbreviate as SATC from now on) blatantly ripped off George Lucas.  Bad move, as I bet Lucas is a

So, let's see where the SATC folks got their inspiration when they created the characters, shall we?
First off,

Was clearly patterned after

I initially tried to make her into Luke Skywalker, but it just doesn't work.  I have to confess- I have always thought Luke was a bit whiny.  So Leia it is.  She is the real glue in the Rebel Alliance anyway, so this is a huge compliment to Carrie Bradshaw, which she frankly doesn't fully deserve.  Oh well. 

Is supposed to be:

I really struggled with this; Boba Fett is, in my opinion, the coolest dude in Star Wars.  He is also very much a bad guy, as evidenced by his capture and freezing in carbon of Han Solo.  He worked for Darth Vader and Jabba the Hut for goodness sake!  He was the ultimate intergalactic Bounty Hunter.  I'm guessing he had the first BMF wallet ever made.  So, why am I comparing Samantha, Carrie's friend, to the guy that tried to kill Han Solo?  Because she wrote that creepy sex book for women with her now ex husband with thirty different creepy ways to enjoy anal.  That's why.
Moving on.
is most likely

Why? Shiny but whiny.  C3PO is super annoying, as was Charlotte.  At least he spoke several hundred languages. 


That's right, Chewbacca- the loyal and fierce friend of Han Solo.  Miranda is gruff and unpleasant, and most likely smells a bit like soup.  Perfect.

Which leaves us with just one more:
That's right, the only true swashbuckler of the whole SATC crew.  Every other male character was at least partially a total sack of wuss.  Keep in mind, I have a hard time comparing anyone to Han- he is one of the greatest action heroes ever written for film.  But, I guess Mr. Big is as close as we are going to get on this post. 


Mr. French

Sometimes you just have to get suited up and go slay the dragon.

And by "Slay the Dragon," I mean cover every square inch of exposed flesh and shimmy through our crawlspace in search of something that died under there.  Let me explain- we have a partial basement, and the rest of the house contains a really creepy crawlspace with 18-24" ceilings.  Three years ago the city started a big sewer project down the hill from us.  The popular theory expressed by the city was that all the commotion down the street pushed a whole passel of sewer rats up the hill in search of whatever vermin seek (I assume it was peace and quiet in this case). 

One beautiful summer evening we were eating on our neighbors patio when our son ( age 2 at the time) began squawking "squirrel!! squirrel!!"  We all looked over to see a large brown rat standing 10 meters away.  He ran off on his Black Plague-covered legs, and the neighbors informed us that the city would soon begin poisoning them.  At this point, I'm guessing you can see where this is going.  Several days later, our dog caught an obviously soon-to-die-from-being-poisoned rat and delivered the coup de grace.  I assumed the dog had announced that our yard was not a safe place for rats to die, but I was horribly, horribly wrong.

A few days later we began to notice a faint and unpleasant odor.  All the usual suspects came up clean (garbage, litter box, etc.), and the odor grew in intensity by the day.  It soon reached a level where one would be met with a wall of stank as soon as you walked in the door.  It was clearly the sweet, sweet smell of rotting flesh.  I opened the window to the crawlspace and was met by a wave of putricity (not sure if this is a word, but I like it and am leaving it in). It was time to GET.  IT. ON. 

First, the special equipment needed to be donned, in the following order:

1. Flightsuit- covers the arms, legs, and torso, and has a large collar to protect the neck
2. Boots
3. Ballcap, backwards- the only time a man over thirteen should turn a hat around is if he is searching for a dead rodent
4. Head torch- I like that the Brits call a flashlight a torch, but wish they wouldn't spell GRAY with an E (GREY? What the hell is that?)
5. Gloves
6. Shovel
7. Garbage bag

Here is a pic of the crawlspace, taken during daylight hours:

Yep, that's it.  Pretty dark. 

After my initial entry, I realized I needed more layers between my and all the rodent feces, so I backed out and strapped on a few garbage bags to protect myself from all the goo I could see.  This outfit was lovingly captured by my bride in the picture at the beginning of the post.  She was laughing her ass off at me, but you have to admit the plastic bags and tape really accentuate my package. 
 I now set off under the house again.  18 inches is just high enough to allow you to keep your head up and low crawl.  I started a standard grid search; after 20 minutes or so, I was coming up empty.  Finally, at the end of my grid, I saw something moving 20 feet away; as I crawled closer, I realized the movement I saw was MAGGOTS CRAWLING ON A DEAD RAT!!!  He must have crawled under the house to die through a rat-sized hole.  It was time to "Cowboy Up."  I pulled the garbage bag out, and began to pull the rat toward me.  It had the consistency of jello wrapped around a skeleton.  I used the shovel to pull the rat into the bag, and backed out in a most undignified and hasty manner.  Keep in mind, I had barely enough room to roll onto my side under there. 

Since then, I have taken several trips under the house to investigate strange odors, and all have been fruitless, or shall I say dead rat-less.  We had a serious scare that took two trips under the house last summer, but it turned out to be rotten mustard greens our son had placed in a vase and put up high in the corner and out of sight.  Strangely enough, rotten mustard greens smell a bit like dead rat. 

I tell this tale not just to amuse, but in order to pass on a very important lesson (I'm sure that in 2000 years, Aesop's fables will be replaced by Mr. French's)- sometimes the quickest and best solution to a disgusting and horrible situation is to jump in scoop up the dead rat.
                                                                 (Not the actual rat)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


First off, I think I am a Helvetica guy.  I wish I could say I am starting this due to a ground swell of popular acclaim, but actually my bride thinks I should share my many clever musings with the world so she doesn't have to listen to them anymore.  How clever are they?  Well, you be the judge; check here, here, here, or here.  Seeing as how most of my traffic will have been redirected from my wife's site, if you think this might tickle the funny bone of someone else in your life (male?), pass the link on sucka!!  I should warn you- I work blue, unlike the Misses.  Cut me some slack- the bar is set pretty low.  There is a popular blog that exists solely for people to post pics of their poo (consider this your warning if you click through).  By the way, the Mr. T picture is because my wife insists I need a picture in the post.  I actually met him when I was 11, and he is about 5'7".  And he seemed like a prick.  I swore I would never seek an autograph again on that day, and I still haven't.

The name- StinkBug is what I call my new daughter, because she is both stinky and cute as a bug.  And I could not think of anything better.  I intend to use this forum to talk about things I like (outdoors, books) and things I don't (small dogs, reality television, cheesecake).  I will try to include a little something for the ladies and the gents, and for the most part my tongue will be firmly planted in my cheek. Keep in mind, my musings will always contain at least 10% truth, and I look forward to getting to know you all.                             

From a distance.

Mr. French