Shooting a Beaver

Shooting a beaver. Dam!I am a man who finds farts funny. I will admit that I find it funny when I fart, and I find it funny, most of the time, when others fart. About the only time I don’t find farts funny is when I’m stuck on an airplane and the person next to me has rotten egg gas. Usually, if I can work myself upwind, fart away, and I will laugh!

I have my favorite slang for farting, and it’s usually centered on something about a duck. Sometimes, though, the best, most funny word is just fart.

The other day, however, someone I know commented, as I accidentally let a duck get in the room, “You just shot a beaver!” I looked at them with puzzlement. “What?” They repeated, “You just shot a beaver!”

This was a phrase I’ve never heard in this context before. I quickly demanded an explanation which related to something like “We used to say that all of the time when I was younger and someone farted.”

Again I was perplexed, but things got more complicated.

It appears for this person that the process of fart acknowledgement also included a visual component as, along with “You just shot a beaver,” the person who didn’t fart was supposed to lick their thumb and stick it on their forehead in some kind of “Someone in this group farted, and it wasn’t me!” ritual. Now I recall back in college the importance of claiming your fart with a “No slugs,” and if you didn’t claim the fart it was acceptable to slug the farter in the arm, but there was no thumb licking.

Now I’ve had a long life, spanning half a century, and in my past I can remember various ways to announce one’s passing gas, tendency for crop dusting, cutting the cheese, or the inevitable trouser trumpet, but nowhere in my memory banks did anything with beavers have to do with farting.

You see, for me, shooting a beaver relates to a few things, the obvious being physically shooting a beaver, and the other relating to a woman exposing her private area, a la Sharon Stone giving the “beaver shot” in “Basic Instinct.” Mostly, though, it conjures up the movie “The Naked Gun” where Jane (Priscilla Presley) climbs a ladder and Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) looks up and says “Nice beaver,” to which Jane replies, “Thanks, I just had it stuffed” as she hands Frank a stuffed beaver.

To each their own, I suppose, when it comes to announcing one’s flatulence, firing the butt bazooka, or recognizing another’s sphincter siren, it’s just that the beaver saying took me by surprise. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because, as I was doing research for this post I found that you can also say, “Beaver leaver” or “Shoot bunnies” when it comes to farting. There is one thing that is for certain, though, when it comes to breaking wind, and that is whoever smelt it, dealt it.

So please, whatever it takes, don’t deal it on a plane, and ladies, be careful not to shoot a beaver. Crossing your legs should help.

Nature Likes to Spring

I took a couple of trips to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL this Spring. Any time of year is a great time to take in the beauty of nature at the Arboretum, but Spring can be especially colorful and bring a renewed feeling of growth and inspiration.

The Morton Arboretum

Starbucks and the Case of the Missing Cookie Butter Bar

On the coffee front, or should I say the “latte” front, I’ll admit I’m a Starbucks man. My drink of choice is the venti, iced, non-fat latte, even in the winter. I’ll also admit that I am wont to sometimes peruse the food case looking for maybe a brownie or chocolate chip cookie. I understand it’s not the best of food choices, but every now and then a sweet treat is in order, and one of those usually fits the bill.

It was my wife who told me about this bar of wonder. Me, I’m a creature of habit, and even though I pride myself on being observant when things are different, for whatever reason there are times, say if there were a lion sitting in the corner of the Starbucks, I wouldn’t notice it as my focus would be “Do they have any cookies or brownies? Yes!”, followed by order time. My wife, on the other hand, will look for new things. One day she told me she found the most glorious of treats, and that she was lucky enough to get one because the barista told her they sell out quickly.

Three Words. Cookie Butter Bar.

Three Words - Cookie Butter BarAs my wife and I share similar tastes I knew I had to try one so on my next trip I actually looked around the food case, and there it was, speaking to me as if “You have no idea the glorious tastes that will be crossing your palette in a few minutes!” I ordered my latte, asked for a Cookie Butter Bar in place of the brownie, and the barista looked at me with that look in her eye of “Your life will never be the same.”

I sat down, took a sip of my latte, and let the wonders of cookie butter, icing and “gingerbread-like Speculoos cookie,” whatever that is, cross my lips into a moment of sweet bliss, saying to the bar, “Where have you been all my life?”

No more brownie for me, nope, I have one love, and one love only in the bakery area of the food case at Starbucks, the Cookie Butter Bar.

My World is Crushed

The Cookie Butter Bar is DiscontinuedYes, the Cookie Butter Bar was incredibly popular, and on my next trip to Starbucks they were nowhere to be found. Okay, absence makes the heart grow fonder I figured. On the weekend morning my wife and I were in luck as we could share the “Wow, these are awesome!” together. A challenge to find, but worth the quest.

Then the work week started. My wife visited her Starbucks and texted me that she heard something disturbing from her barista, “they were being discontinued.” I told her they must have just been messing with her. Why would they get rid of the best thing they have ever sold? I felt secure that, at “my” Starbucks, I would have no difficulty in securing tasty goodness.

“We don’t carry them any longer.”

I Wanted to Cry

I inquired more, “Why?”

The girl barista simply explained that like a cranberry bar they used to have, the Cookie Butter Bar was destined to be a seasonal, Spring item, and once gone they were gone. The dude barista went on this explanation of there were only so many people in the world, each eating so many meals a day, and that there just wasn’t room for people to eat the Cookie Butter Bar because it took away from their brownie and normal cookie sales. I believe I was going along with the girl barista, but kudos to him for the most convoluted explanation of my sadness, ever.

The Cookie Butter Bar is Nowhere in SightStill with my doubts I pulled out my Starbucks app. “One of these stores has to still have them. I’ll stock up!” Everywhere it was they were sold out, or mostly “Not sold at this store.”

How? How could Starbucks only make like five of these scrumptious bakery items per store, I mean, it must be like five because no one has them?

I tried store after store on my travels. Explanations abounded like “They haven’t been shipping them to us.”, “They were a seasonal item.”, “We don’t carry them anymore.”, “I don’t know why we aren’t getting them.” “I thought they would make more.”

The Spring of Discontent

My dreams are now haunted with the memory of the Cookie Butter Bar. I mean, really, Starbucks, you have a “Spring” bakery item that doesn’t even last a month? What kind of Spring is that? Who planned this? This is the “Spring of Discontent!” Heck, they still have the other Spring items, which people obviously don’t like as much, but were brownie sales that important that you had to get rid of the Cookie Butter Bar?

It is said that it is better to have loved and lost then never have loved at all, or some crap like that, and maybe I should take some solace knowing I was one of the lucky ones, I was able to have not one, but two of the most delicious bakery items Starbucks has ever sold, but dammit, in this case, never having loved the Cookie Butter Bar at all might be better.

Apple Rumored to Unveil 10.5-Inch iPad Pro at Early April Event

From MacRumors…

  • While we haven’t yet nailed down a specific timeline for the unveiling of new iPads, the prospective launch window is narrowing and rumors suggest we’re going to see them within the next month. Just today, new iPad models were spotted in device logs gathered by Fiksu, suggesting a release is indeed on the horizon. Fiksu, like our unnamed supply chain source and DigiTimes, believes a launch is imminent.

I’m still bouncing around with my iPad 3rd Generation. It looks like I’ll be able to get the new one I’ve dreamed about, someday. Maybe even imminently.

The Practice of One Thing at a Time

From Zen Habits…

  • As we give each activity our full loving attention, we start to appreciate each person, each object, everything around us as something worthy of respect, love, and gratitude.

This post hit me a lot today as I’ve been juggling a lot of things. I’m starting (One Goal. Thirty Days.), continuing (Songs By Andy, Entertainmet Ave!), and just trying to figure out Swift. Then, of course, there is my day job. Too many times my mind wanders between all of them, and I forget my meditation practice of mindfulness to stay in the moment.

I really need to remember, as Mr. Leo Babauta says, to:

  • Just write. Just shower. Just give someone your full attention.

I think I’ll try to “just shower” tomorrow.

It’s Fat Tuesday

Here’s the thing, I’m Polish. Hooray! And the Polish deli has paczki every day, yet there I was, sucked into the Fat Tuesday tradition of Paczki Day! I ordered 18 for the office, had this big grin on my face as I carried a big, white box out of the deli, and then realized there were only 15 in the box when I opened said box at the office. Oh well, a few less for me is all it really meant.

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Makin’ Chicken Soup in the Instant Pot

We bought an Instant Pot around Christmas at the recommendation of my sister-in-law. She’s a little bit more creative with her Instant Pot creations, but one of our latest go-to recipes is some basic chicken soup. I thought I would sing this recipe for a weekend, bonus Songs by Andy.

I’m the Grumpy Old Man Yelling at the TV

I'm a Grumpy Old ManI’m not exactly sure when it happened, but the shift is coming to my becoming the grumpy old man who yells at the TV. In the past it usually seemed to happen with the election cycle, but then the yelling would wane after the dust settled. This time, though, I can’t stop. When I brought it up my wife just shook her head and agreed that I have been doing it for a while, way before the last election.

The thing is that I only seem to be doing it when she is around, and rarely does she listen to me!

I wish I could blame politics, Donald Trump, bad sports teams, or general grumpiness with the world, but in general I’m a happy guy, a guy who can see the best in things, but just about anything on the TV lately can get a rise out of me, from the news to a sitcom.

Examples include:

  • “Why are we hearing about a story about a hospital in Sweden that is closing?”
  • “What, now a comedian can’t even perform with out being protested?”
  • “Why didn’t she just make her own speech instead of quoting someone else?”
  • “Who would steal his jersey?”
  • “How in the hell can Agent Ressler not die? And how in the hell did they get there so fast?” (You have to suspend a lot of disbelief while watching “The Blacklist,” I’ve decided.)
  • The proverbial “Don’t these people work?”
  • “You can’t complain that’s all they pay. That’s all they pay you.”
  • “I’ll bet it was a shiv.” Wife, “What’s a shiv?” (She was listening this time) Me, “You know, a prison knife.”
  • “What a horse’s ass. He gets pulled over because the police are doing their job, and gets all ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ on them,” and my wife goes “Talking to the TV again?”

The list goes on and on.

It’s funny, though, because I talk as if the people are actually listening to me, and sometimes I think they might reply. I’m also giving them tons of advice, little nuggets of wisdom, and yet they still don’t listen. I mean, what’s wrong with these people on TV? Don’t they realize how foolish they look?

I know it drives my wife crazy, especially as we are watching one of her shows, but what is a man to do? Sure, I could head to my office, but what fun would that be? At least with her around, even though I’m seemingly talking to myself most of the time, at I don’t think I’m the crazy one.

I used to make fun of my mom when she would be TV talking while any Cleveland sports team was playing, usually combining her analysis of the action with a “That’s it!”, meaning the game might as well be over now because Cleveland screwed up again. Now I wonder who might be making fun of me. Oh yea, it’s my wife!

Maybe it’s just something that we do as we get older and want to share our infinite knowledge of the world with others, especially when no one listens to us, but it’s getting bad for me, especially when I catch myself doing it, or now, find I’m also starting to talk to the radio. I suppose it’s okay until the day the TV or radio actually answers back, then I know I’m really in trouble.

Inferno

Via Entertainment Ave!

  • InfernoWe quickly learn that the eccentric billionaire, Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), believes that in order to save humanity we must kill of most of the humans, and what better way to do this than with a plague. Much like many a maniac, instead of simply going to a crowded place, say an airport, and releasing this plague, there is this convoluted set of clues to get to the virus in order to either contain it, or release it.

As a fan of the original “The Da Vinci Code” I wanted to like this movie more than I did. Unfortunately there is too much chasing and not enough storytelling.

Donuts and Kolaczki

Sometimes a right turn leads to goodness, in this case donut and kolaczki goodness, thanks to one of my go-to bakeries, Kuppie’s in Villa Park, Illinois. Luckily the light was green so I turned right at the light, kept goin’ straight until night, or actually straight until the morning light, and then, boy, I had some donuts (yes, I kind of adjusted the Springsteen song to fit my own needs), and discovered they also sell kolaczki (you have to ask for them, they keep them in the back). It was Friday morning goodness!

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