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Stars and Stripes For a Little While June 14, 2007

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Flag Day, rants, soapbox.
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flag

This holiday is elegant in its simplicity. The mail still comes, nothing is closed, you don’t have to buy gifts, prepare elaborate meals, host fancy parties, sing any particular songs, or even send anyone a card. All that is expected of you is to display the flag as a sign of your patriotism and love for the US of A.

Sadly, this small gesture seems to be beyond most everyone. Looking around my neighborhood, the stars and stripes are few and far between. This is even worse when you consider that Francis Scott Key himself is buried less than 10 minutes from here. Our minor league baseball team is the Frederick Keys and the “good” mall is the Francis Scott Key Mall.

What makes me even madder are all those people that had flags coming out of every orifice six years ago. Where are your flags now, people. I guess it is no longer cool and trendy. Fair weather patriots. It is a sad commentary that someone has to blow something up to make us care about being Americans.

Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave? Sorry Francis, it does not.

Sopranos Goes June 11, 2007

Posted by Andy in andy roth, soapbox, Sopranos.
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One of the most highly acclaimed shows in recent history had its strongly anticipated conclusion last night. Like many others, I’ve enjoyed watching the exploits of Tony and his Sunshine Band through the years, and was very curious as to how it would end.

So, what was the big payoff, and what did I think about it? I can answer both those question with one word:

Duck Brown on the Web May 11, 2007

Posted by Andy in andy roth, duckbrown, photoblog.
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Duck Brown Web

It has been a while since I’ve done a real post here on duckbrown.wordpress.com. That’s not changing today with this post. Instead I’ll share this picture which provides a good metaphor for the state of this blog.

I Want a Robot April 12, 2007

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Gadgets, marriage, robot, Technology and Gadgets.
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The Distant Future

It used to be that if a guy wanted someone to handle household chores like laundry, cooking, cleaning, and picking up a stromboli from the stromboli store, he would get himself a wife. Though often expensive and requiring attention and maintenance, this was the best solution. It was the only solution.

The problem with getting a wife, however, is that before too long you are likely to also have children. Children are wonderful of course, but they require even more work than does a wife. Not only that, much of the wife’s attention and energy goes into dealing with these children instead of getting me my stromboli.

That is why I want a robot.

Some professor at Stanford said that it was “just a matter of time” until I had a robot. I’m going to hold him to that. After taking his school’s achivement tests for years, I think they owe me.

So, what should my robot look like? Many people seem to think robots should be basically human shaped bi-peds. I feel like there are already enough bi-peds that are basically human shaped living in this house, so I think I’d want something different. I guess that makes me more of an R2D2 guy than a C3PO guy. The problem with R2D2 is, I think he would ding up the stairs if he tried to climb them, or worse if he used his jet rocket things.

So how about a robot that could hover and float around? That would work for me. I picture it being about the size of a basketball with some sort of appendages that were strong enough to carry the Costco sized bag of dog food, but delicate enough to write “Happy Birthday Andy” on my Carvel ice cream cake each year. Love me the ice cream cake.

So, robot scientists of the world, get busy. Stop wasting time reading blogs, and go invent me my robot. Meanwhile, would someone please build a restaurant that delivers delicious strombolis to Adamstown, MD?

Hard Habit To Break. April 6, 2007

Posted by Andy in andy roth, soapbox, UPS.
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Back in Middle School we would slow dance to the cheesey Chicago hit “Hard Habit To Break”. Little did I know then, that a line from that song would resonate so well with me today:

Don’t know what you’ve got until its gone, and I find out a little too late.

I like to take pictures, or to put that pretentiously, I am an aspiring photographer. A few days ago I found out that a glitch my camera has been experiencing for a while is an acknowledged defect, and would be fixed for free. On Tuesday, I visited the Brown Santa store to send the camera to authorized service center.

From the moment it left my possession, I have been jonesing to take some shots. Suddenly everything I see I want to capture, but I frustratingly cannot. Around every corner are colorful flowers, cute kittens playing with balls of string, sunsets, creatures frolicking, balloons, dancing girls, you name it. I have to believe that if I had my camera, I’d see none of these things. At least I would not notice them.

It is the same feeling I get when the power goes out and I keep flipping light switches in dark rooms thinking it will make a difference. Sometimes life is like that. I suppose I should learn to live with it. But I don’t want to.

Beware the Asides Of March March 16, 2007

Posted by Andy in andy roth, soapbox.
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I like writing in asides, which are side-roads off the main topic. Speaking of side roads, one of my favorite local side roads in Cap Stine Road, which we sometimes take on the way to my son’s school. Talk of school and Stine reminds me of a teacher I had in middle school named Mr. Stine. We all called him Bird-Beak behind his back, which I guess was pretty mean. And speaking of pretty and birds, I saw my first robin a few days ago, which is a sure sign of spring. I find it odd that we sprang forward when it is still winter. Not that I am complaining because I like that extra hour of daylight, though it is a bit darker in the morning when I take my son to school. To be safe, I’ve been staying on the highways and avoiding the side roads.

I also enjoy writing parenthetically. (Parenthetically means inside parenthesis. I don’t say that to be condescending. It is a big word and I just want to be sure that you know what I mean. (Condescending is when you talk down to someone))

Ode To Brown Santa November 27, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Christmas, cyber monday, soapbox, UPS.
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Twas the month before Christmas and all down the street
Folks were clicking online to find gifts that were neat.

To Amazon and Buy for gadgets that glean
And for clothes and home fashions I’ll try LL Bean.

To e-bay to snipe an auction or two.
Because the kids can’t tell that this stuff is not new.

For Alex some PJ’s, pink doll stuff for Ella.
For Shelley, well, I’m not going to tell ya.

I stay warm in my house while the weather is nipping.
Get some stuff for myself? Sure, why not? Save on shipping.

No buyers remorse as the days go pass
Got some good deals and did not pay for gas

Check gmail one day when I wake from my slumbers
Could it be, yes it is, hoo-ahh, tracking numbers!

And now the fun adventure begins
As I see where my boxes have their origins.

I watch as they go across this great nation.
And arrive and depart from each destination.

Then one morning, what joy could this be?
My package is out for delivery!

Later as I’m heating my mid-day meal,
Do I hear a low rumble and also a squeal?

Right as I’m turning off the oven
Brown Santa delivers some cardboard wrapped lovin.

Brown Santa Brown Santa, what joy what luck
I feel whenever I see your brown truck.

You bring me my stuff, put it right by the door.
I don’t even have to go to the store.

Back to the truck, and off down the road
To deliver more goodness that online was sold.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,


“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”


Digg!

TGI Pie Day November 17, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, pie, soapbox, Thanksgiving.
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Thanksgiving is descending upon us like a giant Underdog float down 34th street, and this year, as in years past, I am thankful for pie. Don’t get me wrong, I like a cookie or a cake as much as the next guy, and if ice cream were never invented I’d probably weigh 20 pounds less than I do. But nothing fills that 15 minutes between the last bite of turkey and falling asleep on the couch better than a hearty slice of pie.

Other holidays have have their own associated goodies. Christmas has sugar plums and fruit cakes. Easter, Halloween and Valentines day have their respective candys. Father’s Day has its tie shaped Carvel ice cream cake (made from the same mold as Fudgie the Whale). Those are all good, and I will certainly eat my share, plus the shares of my kids if they don’t finish them or are not paying attention. But for me, the king of holiday desserts has to be pie.

So, what type of pie is my favorite? I’m glad you asked. Certainly not Shoefly pie, which I think is made from tar and dust. No way. My three favorite pies are

3. Boston Cream – how could you not like chocolate frosted pie filled with pudding?

2. Apple – call my a patriot, but give a slice of hot apple pie (the kind with a criss-cross top) and a side scoop of ice cream, and I will be your friend for life.

1. Pumpkin. Especially at Thanksgiving, its gotta be pumpkin. Hot or cold with whip cream on top, this pie takes the cake.

Me, Myself, and iPod October 27, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Gadgets, iPod, soapbox, Technology and Gadgets.
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I tend to avoid things that are trendy. Not to the extent of being Gothic or anything, but if something is too popular, I am less likely to be interested in it. I’m not interested in Camarys, American Idol, Starbucks, or South Beach.

The exception to this is the iPod. Last year I bought myself a black 4 GB Nano. I even got it inscribed: “None more black”
(lest you think me racist, this is part of a quote from Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel when talking about their new album This Is Spinal Tap “It’s like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black. “)

So today, I saw a post entitled Top 10 reasons/places not to use an iPod and it got me thinking about what are good reasons/places to use an iPod. So, here is my top 4 list:

1. To provide your own, personal, soundtrack. You only need to watch any movie since Jazz Singer to recognize how the right music can describe and communicate the right mood . Got a long flight of steps to climb – play the Rocky music. In a hurry, play the Benny Hill song.

2. To block out elevator music, country music, or any other music you’d rather not hear.

3. To provide Foley sound effects to everyday situations. Instead of walking across the floor, you can stomp like King Kong. Instead of mildly making a left, you can rev your engine and squeal your tires like your are in the General Lee.

4. Overdub people with whom you disagree. Watch Bush, but hear Barak.

Sorry there are only four, but I think the earbuds have melted my brain.

Just Say No October 18, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, rants, soapbox.
4 comments

Things I Won’t Do:

  • Park right in front of the store, even if I’m just going to be a minute.
  • Write a blog post about blogging
  • Mix beer and wine, ever.
  • Knowingly eat guacamole
  • Watch a Bette Middler movie
  • Wear a tie when I don’t really have to
  • Drink shots
  • Write a blog post when I’m supposed to be working
  • Accept that sushi is more than just raw fish
  • Wear sweat pants out of the house to a non exercise-based event
  • Value fashion over comfort
  • Wash that gray right out of my hair
  • Get any more cats
  • Have shrubbery in my yard that is shaped like anything other than shrubbery