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Trail Of Beers August 31, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, beer, soapbox.
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Thanks to this post at Hop Talk, I learned that New York is launching an official Empire State Brewery Trail in September to highlight its beer. According to an article in USA Today “The trail is similar to promotions that the wine industry has used to attract tourists to visit vineyards in the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and eastern Long Island.”

Now this is an idea I can get behind since it combines two of my favorite things: beer and hiking. OK, I don’t know if this is really how it is, but I picture a rolling sylvan trail along a winding brook, and every few miles there is a brewer ready to share free samples. (In my mind, there are also ice cream cakes and dancing girls every so often, but those are beside the point.) It reminds me of the Englischer Garten in Munich which also has trails and streams and several wonderful Biergartens (and nude sunbathing – but again, beside the point).


National Peach Month August 28, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, peach, soapbox.
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Had it not been for Stephen Colbert (who was robbed by Barry Manilow btw), I might have forgotten that August in National Peach Month.  Before September is upon us, lets take a moment to honor this pretty fruit. Peaches are tasty, juicy, and delicious yet unlike their red-headed step child the Apriocot (aka Dwarf Peach), peaches are still rugged and manly.

Maybe they are too rugged.  What I don’t like about peaches is the fur.  Eating the peach fur is like eating a round red mouse.  Peaches are only appealing when peeled.  Could not some goverment-subsidised, argicultural wizard breed or invent a furless peach, or better yet, a peach that you could peel like a banana?  How about it science?

Despite this, peaches are still quite worthy of a month long celebration. Wheter on cereal, in ice cream, or au natural, the peach is a worthy and worthwhile fruit.

Pluto, We Hardly Knew You August 24, 2006

Posted by Andy in Pluto, soapbox.

It’s official. Pluto – yesterday a planet, today, not so much.


“The ninth planet will now effectively be airbrushed out of school and university textbooks”

I guess what the 2500 experts in Prague are saying is that size does matter and with regards to planets, eight is enough.

I for one am sad to see Pluto go. Sure, it was small. But it was also plucky.

But if it is OK to discriminate by size, I say “bye-bye” Rhode Island and Delaware. You are now “dwarf states” Pugs, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, and other toy dogs – you are now “dwarf dogs”. Mini Oreos? I don’t think so.

Finally a word of warning – Watch out Mercury, you might be next!

Oh So Domestic August 23, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Growing Up.
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I’m getting old.  While surfing some blogs, I saw “A Post About Grass”  I was surprisingly hopeful that this would offer some insights about lawn care, or at least a new angle into the age old “bag vs. mulch” debate.  It turned out to be a post about marijuana, so no help there.  The point is that I realized I have an interest in fescue.  When did that happen?

What makes this worse is that it comes on the heels of me being truly excited this morning about how clean my tea mug got with the new dishwasher liquid.  That’s right, I got excited by soap.  In my mind, I use to be much more interesting than this.

The Good Wife’s Guide August 15, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, marriage, soapbox.
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My dad just sent me this article from Good Housekeeping, circa 1955. I’m not sure if he thought it was funny, or he was being nostalgic for the Pleasantville days of yore (Note: he got married in 1963, so he may have missed this).

According to this article, wives should strive to make the home “a place of peace, order and tranquility.

Some of my favorites:

  • “Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by.”
  • “Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.”
  • “Don’t complain if he is late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night.”
  • “You have no right to question him.”

Wow, and I thought breakfast cereal had changed a lot over the years!  I forwarded it to Shelley and suggeted she should try following this guide.  She reminded me that it would not work for us since I telecomute and never leave the house, and therefore, never come home.  A good wife always knows my place.

Note: Upon further research – it turns out this may or may not be a hoax.  Maybe the good ol’ days weren’t so good afterall.

Lucky Charms in a World Out Of Control August 11, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, cereal, lucky charms, soapbox.


I’m a big fan of breakfast cereal.  I’ve even been known to buy Frank ‘n Berry by the case.  I also hold the belief that state of breakfast cereal is a window into the state of the world.

Take Lucky Charms.  Yes, they are still magically delicious, but look at what has happened with the marshmallow’s over time (side note:  the marshmallows are officially called “marbits” – which would make a cool blog name for me since my initials are MAR). 

When Lucky Charms was invented in 1962, there were 4 marbits. That was plenty for kids of the 60’s.  As the world got busier, the lineup changed.  New marbits were added and old one’s were phased out.  Currently there are around nine different marbits, including the “Hidden Key” marshmallow – “unlock the door with milk!”).  There are also three varieties: Classic, Berry, and Chocolate.  What’s happened to us as a society that we now need this amount of choice and stimulation from our breakfast cereal?

In case you care, here is some marbit history, according to wikipedia 

1962: pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers

1975: blue diamonds added

1984: purple horseshoes added

1989: red balloons added

1992: rainbows added

1994: pots of gold added, yellow moons become blue moons, and blue diamonds phased out

1996: leprechaun hats added

1998: shooting stars added

Andy Roth’s Ukulele Museum August 4, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Google, soapbox, ukulele.

OK, I admit it, I was googling myself.  When I googled “andyroth” I found this picture entitled “AndyRoth’sUkuleleMuseum.jpg”:

Could this be some long lost cousin?  Or perhaps there was there some sort of temporal anomaly, and I was granted a glimpse of my future?  If so, I need to start acquiring some ukuleles ASAP.  And I also need to get me that shirt.

Maybe it is just a bad idea to google yourself.  I know there is an evil anti-Andy that I see when googling “Andy Roth” who is involved with something called “The Club For Growth”.  There is a custom programmer living at andyroth.com.  There is an Andy Roth at WGR 550 who has the enviable nickname of “The Monkey”.

I could have been “The Monkey”

As it is, the real Andy Roth (aka ME) is only 8th in the results.  Of all the Andy Roth’s, I guess I’m not the Andy Rothiest.  Alas.  I will go seek comfort in my ukuleles.

Getting Your Wife To Let You Buy Toys August 2, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Gadgets, marriage, soapbox.
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From 5-May-00 

I’ve been married for nearly two years now, which I realize to some does not seem that long but to others seems like forever. One thing I learned early on in the marriage is that my wife, and therefore all women in general, don’t share my enthusiasm for buying gadgets. Right now the married men that are reading are nodding their heads while the women are thinking “Your wife is right, what do you need all those silly gadgets for anyway?” I’ll get to that in a moment.First though, a piece of advice for any impending grooms, buy as much as you can before you are married. Otherwise, you may discover as I did that once you tie the knot, purchasing decisions will be made by a committee.So, what if it is too late for you and you are already married and are getting your planned purchases vetoed? What can you do? Well, here are some simple steps.

1) Start Early Anticipate when you are going to need something. If you know you are going to want something, plant the seed at least a month or two ahead of time. This will allow your bride to tell you no. When she does, put up something of a fight, but eventually let her win. This will make her feel good.
2) Be Subliminal Well, almost subliminal. Let a few days pass after you lose the first fight without mentioning your desired gadget. Then, as subtly as you can, make some off hand comments about how the gadget would improve whatever you are currently doing. Don’t make a big deal about it.
3) Stack The Cards OK, this is where you will start to make progress. I can best explain this by using an example from my real life. A while back I wanted a GPS. My wife could not see why we would need one. Well, one day we were driving somewhere, and wouldn’t you know it, we got lost. Then, still being subtle, I mentioned how it sure would be nice if we had a GPS to tell us where we are in a situation like this.
4) Don’t Measure The Cost At least don’t measure it in money. Instead measure it in terms of things that either your wife has bought for herself or that you have bough for her. So, instead of a DVD player costing $250, make it known that it costs the same as 2 dresses, a sweater, and a pair of shoes. This strategy can wind up costing you twice what your gadget would cost otherwise if your wife has to get as much as you do, but then fair is fair and you gotta do what you gotta do.
5) Wear Her Down She can only resist so much so often. Keep mentioning how nice the gadget is, and how much you would use it, and how it would improve everyone’s lives so much. This is the same strategy used by kids for generations when they want a dog (but I’ll feed it, and play with it, and take care of it…)
6) Create A Window Of Opportunity Finally, after going through the first five steps, what you need to do is find some great opportunity to acquire the gadget that will be over very soon. This could be a big sale that is ending, or a store that only has one left and doesn’t know when they will be getting more. Then, ask your wife again, and make sure she knows you have to act right now. This could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back, and you could soon be enjoying your new toy. If this doesn’t work, go back to Step 2.

So, there you have it. And to answer all you women who still want to know why we men need these gadgets, well, I think it is just part of being a man. We like gadgets, they make us happy, and get us closer to the ultimate dream of the Bat-Cave filled with things that light up and beep and the Batman Utility Belt with gadgets to use in any situation. It all works out for you too though, especially if you share interests with your husband. Though my wife objected at first, she sure seems to enjoy the home theater, the GPS, the scanner, and the dog. She also enjoys all the woman things she was able to acquire in order for me to acquire my toys. Hmm, now I’m wondering if she doesn’t have a strategy of her own….

Get Out Of My Lap! August 1, 2006

Posted by Andy in Air Travel, andy roth, soapbox.
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From 4-May-00 

This is an open post to anyone who has ever or will ever sit in front of me in a plane. I am six feet three inches tall, and have what could be considered to be long legs. I can’t help this. When I fly coach, these legs of mine often just barely fit into the space provided for them. I consider myself lucky if there is more than a couple of inches between my knees and the back of your seat.

Is this your problem? No, as long as you are not an evil recliner. More times than I care to remember, I’ve had such an evil person encroach into my space and slam their seat backs into my knees. No apology is offered, and more importantly, they leave their seat backs pressed against my legs until the flight attendant tells them to return to the full upright position for landing. I can think of several other positions I would like to tell to get into instead!

Now, who’s to say if that space truly belongs to me or to the inconsiderate person in front of me? I’m to say, and it belongs to me! I have no choice about where my legs are, but you do have a choice about being evil.

So, if you ever sit in front of me, don’t recline your seat. If you do, who knows, maybe I will “accidentally” bump into you right as you are drinking your coffee. Oops, was that painful? That coffee in your lap sure looks hot. It’s not as hot as where you’ll be going though, and I don’t mean Tampa either.