Time is of the Essence

My old watch was a “geek” watch. It was big and shiny with lots of fancy parts. It had a beautiful round digital display and loads of features. It was solar powered; I had it for years and it never needed a battery. It had atomic calibration, so it always showed the precise time. It had a data memory of 315 characters, 5 customizable alarms with reminder text, automatic daylight savings, and world time.

I loved my watch, but it was time to get a new one. But how could I find a watch that could live up to my beloved Casio Wave Ceptor WV-100? I considered all the different technologies available in watches, but no particular one jumped out. I ended up settling for a no frills, low tech, plain and simple, only-tells-time analog watch. It doesn’t have super powers, it doesn’t run on nuclear energy, it doesn’t even have numbers. It just tells time. Approximate, plus-or-minus time.

I miss the technology, but I’m okay with it. It’s a well-built, good looking watch. The only problem is, it’s been so long since I’ve looked at an analog clock that I’ve pretty much forgotten how to tell time. People have always been so accustomed to asking me for the time and getting a precise, immediate answer down to the second. Now by the time I figure out what time it is, (um, let’s see…two, three…fifteen, twenty….five, six…3:26!) that’s no longer the correct time and they’re no longer standing around waiting for the answer.

Stop The Clock

Chiming clocks always sound like a good idea until you’ve lived with one for a while. You’ll always know the time, whether you want to or not. But just one attempted nap and the coolness is gone. It will have you pulling out your hair before the third ding of nine o’ clock.

Well my hair has started thinning recently, due to one of these clocks. Just turn off the chime, right? There’s a little switch in the back, right? Not so much. To design a clock that is unable to not chime is kind of broken. So I decided to fix it. I got out my little multi-tool and I fixed it the same way they fix your cat when you don’t want any more kittens.

I neutered the clock.

Thousand Words

A picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, right? So if you have a typical video that shows 29.97 frames per second, that video should theoretically be worth 29,970 words per second. One minute of video would be worth 1,798,200 words, and an hour would gross 107,892,000 words. So let’s say you have 30 movies that are an hour and a half each. That’s 4,855,140,000 words right there on your bookshelf.

Even my wife doesn’t talk that much.

Majority Report

Number of Josh's Born

Good news for all the Josh’s in the world (a.k.a. almost everyone). The rate at which parents are punishing their kids by naming them Josh is declining. This could mean one of two things. Either people are getting more creative when they’re naming their kids, or Josh’s have just made a bad impression on the world.

Hard Candy

To name your ice cream dessert a Blizzard makes sense. It’s cold and swirled together like a blizzard. But how does Culvers get away with naming their clone of the Blizzard a “Concrete Mixer”? Is it hard and gravelly like concrete? Did they get their inspiration from a cement truck? I imagine concrete tasting something like being kicked in the face. I would have liked to be in the room when they invented it. “Lets mix together some sand and gravel and clay and sell it as a dessert. Maybe people will become attached to it when it hardens in their throat!”

How to Make Fun of Yourself

The best way to bash yourself is by listing things that are true. This shouldn’t be difficult if you’re honest.

If you’re that lazy, you can also use things that are not quite true, but can’t really be proven false.

If you’re stuck in writer’s block, buy a mirror and refer to it often for inspiration.

In the event that you have friends, ask them to be honest about you.

If you find yourself exceptionally easy to ridicule, try not to get too carried away. People might start feeling sorry for you.

Think of something you would like to be good at, and come to the realization that you’re painfully awful at it.

Pretending to be a loser can sometimes make it easier for you to accept the fact that it’s true.

Stay away from generic phrases like “I’m a loser” or “I’m a failure.” People will just ignore you. (Not like that’s anything new)

It’s not necessary to say “I have problems.” If you’re making fun of yourself, it’s obvious you’ve got problems.

Update: Don’t miss Lesson 2


My wife felt like she would be cool and use the word flabbergasted. Then she asked me what the definition was. “It sounds like someone’s personal problem,” she said. And it does. Just imagine someone saying, “He he, ‘scuse me, I flabbergasted.” Or, “I can’t eat that. It gives me flabbergastion.” I can see someone calling in to work: “I have a flabbergasture of 73.9 and I think it’s contagious because my wife is looking awful flabberghastly.”

You are Pre-Approved

If I were a genius, I would design a credit card with no rewards, an account set up fee of $29, a program fee of $95, an annual fee of $48, and a monthly servicing fee of $84. Then I would booger glue a fake credit card onto the paper, call it “WaMu” for whatever reason, and send it to a geek named Josh. That way he would write about it on his blog and my card would be famous.

Broken News Headlines

Instead of Breaking News, I decided to write some headlines that are already broken.

Government issues a nationwide ban of toasters to combat global warming

Nation responds in a “heated” protest.

Teenager invents junk-food-powered vehicle
“I was just riding my bike the other day when the idea came to me.”

Floyd Landis signs endorsement deal for steroid commercials
“It worked for me.”

Oxygen found to cause cancer
Cure is on the way, but don’t hold your breath.

Democratic candidate demands recount even though he won
“I just always wanted to say that.”

Elderly man votes against gay marriage ban
“Back in the old days, if you weren’t gay on your wedding day people would think something’s wrong.”

Currency conversion

Every country needs to have their own currency, and while I don’t quite have my own country (yet) that doesn’t mean I can’t have my own currency. Not owning a country never stopped Monopoly or Chuck E Cheese from creating a money system. My aim is to put a new meaning to the term “currency conversion.” I know people might not be too quick to give up their dollars and euros, but I hope that the masses will see the logic in my system and slowly convert to Ramens.

While coming just short of broke while paying the rent on my apartment, I inevitably learned the value of Ramen noodles. When faced with the choice between a bag of chips or a month’s worth of noodles, I quickly determined that eating to live is much more economical than living to eat. I also discovered that Ramen is one of the only diets where you can pretty much live off of the nickels you find on the ground. So I started using Ramens to gauge how much things are worth. For example, a pack of gum could be worth roughly 4 Ramens. Two scoops of ice cream at Culver’s is worth about 25 Ramens. When we move on to more expensive items like, say, a car, the numbers start getting bigger. A typical small car can cost upwards of 100,000 Ramens. So I created a larger unit of Ramens equal to a year’s worth of noodles. Using Ramen Years, that same car would cost about 760 Ramen Years.

If everyone converted to my currency, it would be so much simpler for everyone. And unlike paper bills, the money would actually be worth something. Maybe if I save up enough Ramens I could finally buy myself that country I’ve been wanting.

Update 8/23/2016: It’s happening!