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Harry Potter Jelly Beans Sat, Dec 31, 2005
My sister used to live in California near San Francisco and Sacramento.  Jelly Belly has a factory around there, and we went there for a tour.  After the tour, we walked through the gift shop and bought a few packages of Jelly Beans, two of which were boxes of Bernie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.  It was some sort of promotional thing for Harry Potter, so it was geared toward kids.  The flavor guide is on the back of each package.  We bought a couple boxes because we didn't believe they could make candy that tasted like black pepper, booger, dirt, ear wax, grass, sardine, spinach, or vomit. 

Sure enough, they did.  If you're ever eaten some grass because you wanted to see what it tasted like, you'd recognize the taste of grass-flavored Jelly Beans.  And if you've ever played around in the dirt and gotten some in your mouth, you'd be amazed at how much it tastes like dirt-flavored Jelly Beans. 

I had a little box of these things in my desk at school for about a year, thinking I'd get used to the taste.  I would take out the box every once in a while and eat one, bringing myself close to puking and putting the box away in anger and disgust.  One time I ate a sardine-flavored one.  That was my last one.  I threw the box out.  I couldn't believe they made a candy that's that disgusting. 

Interesting side note:  Check out the Jelly Belly Bean Art Gallery. #food

Silly putty Sat, Dec 31, 2005
Silly putty has been in the geek news recently because some Google employees bought 250 lbs of it to see what 250 lbs of silly putty looked like.  Now a video popped up showing what happens when you drop a 50-lb ball of it off the roof of a building.  Geeks are awesome. #science

Shopping cart return program (1) Fri, Dec 30, 2005
ShopRite has been utilizing an amazing shopping cart return program for years:  Use a quarter to get a cart; get your quarter back when you return the cart.  It's unbelievable how well this works.  You insert your quarter into a machine on the cart's handle, and this unlocks the cart from the stack.  You do your shopping and load all your stuff in your car.  Then you return the cart to the stack by inserting the lock back into the machine on the handle.  Your quarter pops out.  Just visit any ShopRite parking lot to see how well it works.  All the carts are in stacks and in cages.  There are no stray carts in the entire parking lot. 

I bet this idea received some pretty harsh criticism when it was brought up at some big, important ShopRite meeting.  "So you really believe people would go through the trouble of walking across a parking lot in the freezing cold so they could get their quarter back?  And you expect us to invest millions of dollars in this?  Get out of my face and out of my life forever, you stupid, squirrelly little engineer!"  (I'm hoping it was an engineer's idea.  That would bring great pride to my people.  In reality, it was probably a gymnast or the president of the United States, two professions I can't relate to.) 

I'm no exception to the system.  I always get my quarter back.  If it was a penny, I wouldn't care.  A nickel or dime, I'd justify leaving it.  But a quarter?  I would run a marathon for a quarter.  I would eat mud and drink bleach for a quarter.  I would kill a man for quarter.  Well, maybe not kill.  But I might violently beat and maim. 

So anyway, kudos to ShopRite for its reliance on people's cheapness. #business

M R ducks (5) Fri, Dec 30, 2005
My aunt Mary Jane mentions the "M R ducks" thing pretty frequently.  She says it's part of the Iowa Basic Skills Test, but it can be attributed to any dumb-sounding group. 

Original
M R ducks
M R not
O S A R
C M wangs?
L I B! M R ducks

M R snakes
M R not
O S A R
C M B D eyes?
L I B! M R snakes

M R mice
M R not
O S A R
C M E D B D feet?
L I B! M R mice

M R farmers
M R not
O S A R
C M M T pockets
L I B! M R farmers

M R puppies
M R not
O S A R
C M P N
L I B! M R puppies
Translation
Them are ducks
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them wings?
Well I'll be!  Them are ducks

Them are snakes
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them beady eyes?
Well I'll be!  Them are snakes

Them are mice
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them itty bitty feet?
Well I'll be!  Them are mice

Them are farmers
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them empty pockets?
Well I'll be!  Them are farmers

Them are puppies
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them peeing?
Well I'll be!  Them are puppies

I found a new one while searching for this.  It's a conversation between two Swedes at a restaurant. 

Original
F U N E X?
S V F X
F U N E M?
S V F M
O K M N X!
Translation
Have you any eggs?
Yes, we have eggs
Have you any ham?
Yes, we have ham
Ok, ham and eggs!
#language

Scam-baiting Thu, Dec 29, 2005
This website is all about the adventures of Robert K. Keller, a fake name used to answer scam emails.  419 Eater is a collection of the same type of stories (419 being a reference to the section of the Nigerian penal code that addresses fraud). #technology

Mandatory Metallica Thu, Dec 29, 2005
I was listening to Classic Hits 103.7 (the premier [best] radio station in Sussex County; formerly known as Power 103.7) last night, and laughed at their "Mandatory Metallica" segment.  I have a few feelings about Metallica, and they're mostly bad feelings.  But to call something "Mandatory" means that it lost its fun.  It's no longer a choice.  It's requiredRecoil [jokingly] wrote about it a few years ago. #entertainment

New TSA guidelines Thu, Dec 29, 2005
The Onion has an interpretation of the TSA's new guidelines regarding air travel restrictions.  My favorite is the last one:  "If subjected to five random searches over one-year period, passenger eligible for free "sharper-object upgrade".  Genius. #travel

Blocked Thu, Dec 29, 2005
Apparently, my employer blocked access to my website.  So I can't visit my site while I'm at work.  I found an insecure way around it and made the previous two posts, but I don't trust that method.  I'll have to think of some other way around this. #technology

Napkin folding Thu, Dec 29, 2005
This site is about fancy napkin folding.  Similar to my post about bedsheet folding. #technology

Ombudsman (1) Thu, Dec 29, 2005
I would say this could be a word of the day, but this is too important.  This is the word of the century.  Ombudsman - "A man who investigates complaints and mediates fair settlements, especially between aggrieved parties such as consumers or students and an institution or organization."  I found it while looking around a Canadian website.  At the bottom of the page, it had the typical "Contact Us", "Terms of Use", and "Privacy" links, but it also had a link to "Ombudsman".  Apparently this is an everyday word in Canada.  What a strange country. #language

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