Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ask Mike, Arkansas Edition

This is from a comment and I must assume it to be a hypothetical question.

Ok, Michael. Here's a dilemma for you. I just found out that my husband is my second cousin. Should I tell him?

You have no idea how funny this one is for me. You see, in the 8th grade I met this girl named Heather. I thought she was hot and apparently she felt the same about me. We even made out behind the school. I got home that day and talked to my mom about the new girl I had met that day, leaving out the kissing detail of course. I came to find out she was my cousin from the side of my family we never talk to. It made for some uncomfortable moments the next day. I know this is nowhere near the gravity of the situation you mentioned but it is funny.

Back to your dilemma. That is a touchy issue. The moral dilemma is one between full honesty and keeping a marriage. Lets say that you have kids together. The interest of the children is at stake here too. How would they adjust to life in Arkansas?

Seriously, it would have quite a bit to do with the strength of your marriage and how open minded he is. Would he be one to dissolve a marriage over this? Would you? Legally there would be no reason to dissolve the marriage since the relation was only known after the fact. Genetically there is enough distance that the risk of birth defects is no greater than if you were not related.

The only real questions here would be how you both are with the "EWWW YOU'RE MY COUSIN" factor and how you stand on my own previous question, is it ok to conceal things out of love? Of course this is a REALLY BIG thing. One might also bring religion into this but let's face it, Abraham married his half sister, had a kid with her handmaiden, and he is followed by Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

Personally, if in the same situation I would attempt to find a gentle way to tell my spouse. I know in my situation our love is stronger than the "EWWWW" factor and we could stand that test.

What does the rest of the peanut gallery have to say?

As always, send your questions to and I will try not to make fun of you.

This is Mike saying incest is best, put your cousin to the test...(Did I really just say that? I need my head examined. I also need to stop typing everything that runs through my head. Now...)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ask Mike First Installment

Today I begin my new segment called, I got really creative with this, Ask Mike. This is (a thinly veiled attempt to up my readership) where my readers write in with real questions and I either answer them or make fun of them. (My serious remarks will be noted in parenthesis). Today we have an actual email from, no joke here, Chocolate Phonebook.

Mr. Clarkson,

1. What is your definition of great art?

2. Do you have any pointers to help one get organized? What works for you?

3. How do you suggest I react to religious fanatics who say they believe in forgiveness when they only shout damnation in my face?

4. Also, what do you shave with?

Your inconsistently avid reader,
Chocolate Phonebook


These are deep questions and I have pondered my response in depth (which consists of taking a bathroom break) and have come to the following answers:

  1. Truly great art comes from great people, most often dead. Their art was only considered great if it included naked people or anything that confused a critic who did not wish to admit to confusion. (Seriously, art is purely subjective and what is great to me is crap to the next guy. I like art to move me from the inside and make me feel something profound.)

  2. Organization is an important skill for success in life. I find the best method is invest in a PDA like a Palm Pilot. Then enter all your important contacts, calendar dates, et cetera until you are organized. Then leave you Palm Pilot in a safe place where you will never find it. (Seriously, I am the least organized person I know. I know I have a desk but I can't remember what color it is from all the crap piled on it. Organization really only helps people who's life is predictable and mine isn't.)

  3. This one is all serious. I often find fanatics suffer from the defect of always believing they hold the higher moral ground. No matter how absurd the assertion, if it comes from a warped view of faith, they will hold it with a Kung Fu grip. Christ himself suffered from the torment of those who believed him to be wrong. Paul was persecuted early on for his participation in the execution of Christians. You are not in bad company. The only way to vindicate yourself is to live well. Ignore the rantings of hypocrites. Pointing out their hypocrisy only fuels the fire.

  4. Gillette M3 Power. I use a mixture of baby oil and Edge Gel to lubricate the shave. Again, no joke here.

I hope these answers bring a smile to your face and possibly a solution to your quandary. Until next time, email your questions to and remember, be good or be good at it.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Advice Column

I have decided to start my own write-in advice column right here. People write me a la Dear Abby and I reply with solutions. Either that or make fun of them, haven't decided yet. Of course if I don't get much email to begin with I might go to the effort to make one up...

You guessed it, I am shy on ideas and instead of actually coming up with real ideas, I'll just have them sent to me. I know, I'm lazy. I have often been told I give good advice (mainly by the voices in my head) so now I will share it with the world.

Please send your questions to me at (use an @ in place of AT) and I will post my response here.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Out of love

"What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." -Nietzsche

I have a deep burning question to ask. Is it truly wrong to obscure details that would hurt a loved one if knowing those details would bring only pain, anger, or other ill feeling?

If for instance someone who's opinion is always horrible and of no account says something hurtful of a loved one, are you obligated to share that with the loved one? Is it a lie not to give full disclosure of details that in the grand scheme only do harm?

Moreover, could you trust a person who purposefully omitted such detail? Is there anything truly beyond good and evil? If to lie is to deceive but there is no deception in the omission, is it a lie? Is full disclosure always the best policy? Should we always disclose every hateful thing to those we love for the sake of trust? Could you trust someone who constantly bears bad news and ill words that had you not known would have caused you no harm? If so, could you love them if all that they tell you brings hurt?

Is it more noble to shield someone from hurt or hand all of it off to them?

How can one be a knight in shining armor if you aren't allowed to protect?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Search engine whoring

I've been looking to up my readership lately. I read all of the Blogger help mumbo jumbo which basically says:

  • Write quality content.

  • Make it interesting.

  • Link to other sites and pray they link to you.

  • Sacrifice your first three children to the God of the internet. (Jon Postel according to the BBC)

I think I might have imagined that last one. Anyone who has read my blog knows I am too lazy for the first three. So I have devised a plan using search engine optimization tricks to boost my ratings. Use the words "How To" a lot. Make lots of headings followed by bulleted lists. Google bots eat this stuff up. Then write a short how to on a random topic. It will be GREAT! Here goes:

How to remove spyware

  • First, check you computer for spies. This works best if you pretend to leave the room, then quietly sneak up on the computer. If you see a little guy in a trenchcoat going through your internet history, you are infected. Or having a psychotic break. One of the two.

  • Next, capture the spy and interrogate him to see who he works for. Shine a light in his face and tell him, "Ve have vays ov makink you talk!" It is common knowledge that spies hate bad German accents.

  • Finally, call in a hitman like me to "dispose" of the spy. (Or a psychiatrist if you actually see a man in a trenchcoat). For the purposes of plausible deniability we hitmen won't say what we do with spies, but it definitely involves a mess.

  • You should always practice safe hex. Don't download from unknown sources. You have no idea where that code has been. Don't be a dirty code whore.

I figure if enough search engines see the howto info on this site, traffic will increase. If traffic increases I will eventually have enough people brainwashed with my witty analysis that I can TAKE OVER THE WORLD! MUHAHAHA!!!

I really need to cut back on the caffeine...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Random Survey Crap

I usually don't post my survey results here but I've had a bit of writer's block lately and these results were good. This time I think the results were pretty accurate with the possible exception of that last one. I know posting this crap is just lazy but I am out of ideas for today. I promise to write something of substance this week to make up for this.

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Black Comedy

In your life, things are so twisted that you just have to laugh.
You may end up insane, but you'll have fun on the way to the asylum.

Your best movie matches: Being John Malkovich, The Royal Tenenbaums, American Psycho

Your Hidden Talent

You're super sensitive and easily able to understand situations.
You tend to solve complex problems in a flash, without needing a lot of facts.
Decision making is easy for you. You have killer intuition.
The right path is always clear, and you're a bit of a visionary.

Your Dating Purity Score: 12%

You are a very experienced dater.
When it comes to relationships, you've seen the good, bad, and ugly.
You've seen things other people haven't even heard of!

Your Brain's Pattern

You're a simple thinker, and this is actually a very good thing.
You don't complicate matters when you don't have to.
You look for the simplest explanation or solution, and you go with that.
As a result, your mind is uncluttered and free of stress.

Monday, December 12, 2005



"Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and it usually stinks." Has anyone else heard that phrase? How about, "If I wanted your opinion I would have asked for it" or the alternate finish "...I would have given it to you." Every day people offer their opinions to us. When we agree with the opinion given we take it as helpful contribution. When we disagree it annoys us and we find the person rude or uninformed. This is a particular annoyance to me.

I am a massive egomaniac. I just wanted to state that up front. I am a smart guy (or smart ass depending on who you ask) and when someone presents an idea to me that disagrees with my own I like it backed up with verifiable fact. I like to think I am right and at the risk of sounding pompous, I usually am. I am not referring to subjective matters like music or art but matters like math, science, or locations on a map.

Often I will talk about things well within my sphere of expertise such as electronics, computers, and math. Invariably someone nearby will jump into the conversation with an uninformed opinion like, "Christmas lights use very little electricity." Of course a single bulb uses little electricity but when you have a string of 400 bulbs (roughly 200 watts or .5 watts/bulb on the small Christmas lights for anyone who cares to know) it adds up fast. Don't tell me how much electricity a bulb uses if you can't define the word kilowatt.

In the realm of subjective matters such as music and art I hate it when people think their own taste superior to others.

I have a friend that recently introduced me to Fallout Boy and a few other punk bands I normally would not have listened to on my own. At first glance I found them to be talentless hacks who make up for their lack of talent with an androgynous femininity and a huge helping of adolescent angst. I suspended this opinion in order to form a more well rounded repertoire of music. I now find them mildly talented girls dressed up as angsty boys. Do I force this opinion on my friend? No, instead I respect my friend's taste in music.

I have an affinity for old school hard rock, blues, and country. My friend looks at this as inferior. Apparently having lyrics that make sense sung by people with testosterone and little to no eye makeup is inferior in her eyes. When hanging out I never get to choose the station because I might play a band with talent. No, I'm not bitter at all.

Ye flippin caffeinated gods!

Apparently Coca-Cola® has decided to create a new Coke beverage called Blak. The full press release is here but essentially it is Original Coke mixed with, get your caffeine receptors ready, coffee extract. It will have about half the calories of regular Coke and be directed squarely at the latte drinking Gen X. I don't know about you but my curiosity is piqued. They are set to roll it out in France (national motto: "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité!" which I think translates to "We surrender!") next month and then globally soon thereafter. I would read how the French review it but I don't think I trust the taste of people who like snails and Jerry Lewis. I expect to see it on store shelves here in Texas in 6 months pending the French not saying it tastes like Pepé Le Pew's ass.

In other news, I have dropped back from a 42 inch waist on my pants to a 38 inch waist which is super cool. Yay GNC! The energy boost is worth it even without weight loss. It is like having a caffeine drip all day long.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I have presented an idea to the Blogger staff to develop a publishing service. In essence each blogger could compile their favorite posts, edit them, add images, and then have them printed in book form and sold in a Blogger Book Store with royalties sent to the writer. I think it is a cool idea. How about you?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I figured to get the vote moving a bit from the previous post I will throw sample snippets of each type:
  1. Mens relationship guide, "The correct answer to, "does this make me look fat" is to feign a heart attack. Bonus points are awarded if you actually have one. The reason for this is that women, no matter how hot they actually are, think they are fat. A woman asking this question is going to hate you for either calling her fat or lying about her being fat. I have heard another good answer is to distract her from the question with a Visa Platinum but I don't have that kind of bankroll."
  2. Memoirs, "Life is an odd thing. The trials of yesterday you thought would kill you make the fond memories of today. Youth may be wasted on the young but experience is wasted on the old."
  3. Humorous fiction told from first person, "I woke up that morning and in my usual morning haze rolled off the bed and headed in the direction of the bathroom with my eyes closed. I had started to pee when I remembered going to her house last night. I opened my eyes and thought to myself, "At least now she won't have to water that plant in the hallway.""
  4. Trashy Romance, "She fell into his arms, her soft breasts pressed to his hard muscled chest. She felt his hand run up her naked back to her head. He took some of her soft tresses in his hand and softly growled in her ear the words, "You are mine tonight" giving her hair a gentle tug for emphasis. Her knees went week as she felt his throbbing manhood harden against her skin, anticipating the moment he would posses her and bury it inside her..."
  5. Societal Commentary, "For every new reality show made I swear another million brain cells die per capita. My mother-in-law has a DVR brimming with hours of the most mind numbing television ever created. I swear I will stab my own eyes out before watching another episode of "Survivor"."
  6. Political rants, "Why do people in this country expect the next set of leaders we elect to be better than the last when we keep selecting them from the same elite groups? For once can't we find someone from outside these corrupt political circles?"
  7. Collection of essays would basically contain all of the above.
Now go forth and vote.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Practice makes...well...something...

I've been downloading and backing up my archives and in doing so have read some of my older posts. I've noticed that over the last few months of regular posting that my overall quality has gone up with the quantity of my posts. I have started actually thinking about my posts and writing more than just the general "I am here and my life sucks" crap that much of the blogsphere consists of. My loyal readers and fellow partakers in the art of windbagging have played a major role in this and for that I thank you all.

Ok, mushy moment over.

What can I do to keep this place interesting? I bore easily and I know much of my audience enjoys the short attention span theatre this place has become. My question is, what can I do to bring in more people? I want those of the same caliber as my current readers, intellectual windbags with a sense of humor. I like the diversity of our current group and would like to expand it. JC, you being a fellow web geek, what method would you recommend to get the word out? All fellow windbags, what improvements should I make in content if any? Are there any design recommendations? Should I publish an RSS feed? Should I polish my writing? Should I quit my job, move to the country and raise horses, shunning the evils of technology?

Just checking to see if you were paying attention on that last one.

In other news, I've been contemplating writing a book for years. The problem is I have such a short attention span I never get past the first chapter without changing the topic three times. I think I may have found a remedy but I will need the help of my fellow windbags. I will offer some possible topics for a book and the peanut gallery votes on it. Then I will periodically post pages, chapters, etc. and get the general opinion on it.

First, we need to pick a general topic for the book. The options are
  1. Men's self help guide on relationships (with humor a la Dave Barry)
  2. A memoirs similar to Tim Allen's "Don't Stand Too Close To A Naked Man."
  3. Humorous fiction
  4. Trashy romance novel with non stop sex
  5. General societal commentary
  6. Political pundit type rantings
  7. Collection of smaller essays on various topics written for the short attention span
  8. A list of possible book topics so long it becomes a book...
Place your votes now. Call your friends, spouses, and significant others to have them vote. It might prevent you from having to read crap you don't want to later...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hey everybody, come see how good I look!

I know, I am an attention whore. It is undeniable. I cannot escape it so I might as well glory in it. Most of my photos of me are a few years old so I decided to take a few snapshots and post the most flattering one. Ta da!

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Hate me because I am an insufferable ass...

Friday, December 02, 2005


My mind is a bit muddled right now. I don't seem to have any one cohesive thought but a jumbled series of half thoughts. Sometimes pondering philosophy and the nature of the universe while also doing my job of fixing computers causes my brain to short circuit. Then a brain dump is required. Here goes:

These diet pills are awesome but being conscious while at work sucks...

If man is created in God's image, who's image is woman created in?

If the Universe has an edge and you step past it, what do you step into?

When you analyze things, logic can make almost anything make sense. Maybe that is the way the Flying Spaghetti Monster wishes it. I have now been touched in the head by His noodly appendage.

What if the hokey pokey is in fact not what it is all about?

Why on earth would anyone want to be conscious at work?

Why has someone not stolen my keyboard and held it hostage until I agree to quit letting my brain throw up on the internet? I mean for the love of the Baby Jesus, this post was neither funny nor informative. I will shut up now.