Electric Underpants

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Archive for August 2014

From the Mind of a 20-Year-Old

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I Found this old piece of paper in a box of old college mementos at my mother’s house. These scribbles were almost certainly made in Western Civilization class at Lower Columbia College around 1987. My friend Bart and I are the authors of this particular archeological find, which offers a window into the minds of bored 20-year-olds. We were in our second and last year at the community college and were anticipating transferring to four-year schools in the Fall. It may not make much sense as it is, so here are some annotations:
1. That was my plan for paying for my first year at Whitworth College. I didn’t have a plan for paying for the second year. Seems like a bargain now. I can’t remember the last time I had that much money in the bank.
2. We were trying to come up with names for the baby that some friends were about to have. “Pidge”, “Incontinentia” and “Guillotine” were apparently the best we could come up with. There’s a very clear Monty Python influence here.
3. We really hated people who asked a lot of pointless questions in class.
4. We lived in Longview, Washington which was small, boring mill-town about an hour away from the exciting metropolis of Portland. Everything seemed better there, including the weather.
5. See #3. I remember this one. She was a middle-aged know-it-all and was always trying to brown-nose the instructor. I don’t think he liked her either.
6. Another great name for the baby.
7. Hello ladies! Yes, we were horny young guys. Bart was a handsome guy and he at least had an outside chance with the girls around campus. I was several years away from developing enough personality to distract from the fact that I was weird looking.
8. “Wicked butts.” Yep. I was a real wordsmith…

Written by sfcox

August 26, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Posted in Chatter

The Apollo 11 Plaque

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I’ve been reading the excellent book Rocket Men about the Apollo 11 moon mission specifically and NASA in general. I’ve been a fan of space exploration and particularly the moon-race since I was a kid, but there was some material in the book that I was unfamiliar with. One anecdote that surprised me concerned the plaque that was attached to the leg of the Lunar Module’s descent stage.

The plaque is attached to one of the legs, and of course it is still there because the descent stage was left behind when the ascent stage took off to rejoin the Lunar Orbiter and began the journey back to Earth. It says:

The plaque left behind by the Apollo 11 astronauts.

The plaque left behind by the Apollo 11 astronauts.

“Here men front he planet Earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” Apparently, Richard Nixon, who was the President at the time, and whose signature is on the plaque, insisted that the last line must be changed to “We came in peace, under God, for all mankind.”

Nixon was adamant that the change be made, but NASA employees were not so sure, with one noting that “all Mankind” involves a lot of different gods, and occasionally no god at all. The change was not made, and with all of the hoopla surrounding the mission, Nixon’s directive was forgotten about.

Nixon may not have known that his order wasn’t followed and potentially went to his grave thinking he had done a great service for the Christian religion. If Nixon was right and the Christian God exists, I expect their first conversation after Nixon’s death in 1994 would have been noteworthy:

God: Welcome, Richard. Please have a seat.

Nixon: Thank you, Lord.

God: First off, I would like to thank you for your many years of service. And especially for attempting to get my name placed on that Moon plaque.

Nixon: You’re welcome, Lord. I’m sorry that didn’t work out.

God: Oh, that’s quite alright. You made the effort, and that’s what counts.

Nixon: Lousy NASA hippies. I always tried to be a Godly man.

God: Yes. Well. Here’s the thing – you did some Godly things. But what about all that other stuff that wasn’t quite so “righteous.”

Nixon: What do you mean?

God: Well, there’s your enemies list, the bombing of Laos, authorizing the surveillance of political opponents, authorizing the break-in at the Wat…

< Eighteen minutes of the recording inadvertently erased.>

God: …lake of fire. So, anyway, we’ll just forget about those incidents for now. Please enjoy your stay in Heaven. But you will not be allowed to have recording equipment, and you, Haldeman and Ehrlichman are to stay away from each other. Understood?

Nixon: Yes, Lord. What about Colson?

God: He’s not here.

Nixon: Oh.

Written by sfcox

August 13, 2014 at 11:55 am

Posted in Chatter

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On a return trip to Eureka, California recently, I was surprised to see that Honest Engine was still operating under its racially insensitive name 18 years after I moved away. Honest Engine is an auto repair shop that by most accounts does good work, but how do they defend the name?!?

An argument along the lines of “it’s a coincidence – we’re honest and we work on engines” might work if it wasn’t for the GIGANTIC FUCKING INDIAN-HEAD NICKEL sign on their building. That sign removes all plausible deniability. Folks, just because you made a pun doesn’t mean that it’s funny. Or that should name your business after it.

At least the sign has improved a little bit. If I recall correctly, it used to depict a white settler strangling a Native American with a timing belt.

Written by sfcox

August 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“This pain scale goes to 11”

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I recently took my wife to the hospital because she was having some pretty severe abdominal pain. It turned out to be a wonky gallbladder and she ultimately had it taken out. On our first visit to the hospital I noticed the pain scale sign hanging on the door. Mainly directed at children, it is designed to give kids a visual representation of their pain along with a numerical scale that runs from 1 (meaning no pain) to 10 (meaning the worst pain you can imagine.) Still, 10 didn’t seem to be enough to really reflect the misery that my wife was experiencing, and it brought me back to a classic movie, which is one of the best comedies of all time. So, I snapped a pic of the poster and upgraded it accordingly…


Written by sfcox

August 3, 2014 at 12:01 am

Posted in Graphics