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Choose Your Own Adventure Year

 

Choose Your Own Adventure.  These were in my library. There should be more.

Choose Your Own Adventure books. These are in my library. There should be more.

When I was a bookworm of a kid I loved to read books from the Choose Your Own Adventure series.  The books were unique in that at the end of each chapter you were confronted with 2 choices.  The alternatives would be things like, “to attack the dragon turn to page 10” or “to challenge the dragon to a dance-off turn to page 15”.  You’d pick an option, then read the results of that selection before facing another pair of choices.  Depending on the writer, if you chose the dance-off, you and the dragon might end up as Solid Gold dancers, or you’d be a crispy noodle in Chinese dragon stir-fry.

 

When I’d reached the end of the book, or the end of the sequences I’d chosen, I would go back and read the book again, picking the other alternatives (fainting goats/epileptic sheep).  Sometimes I would peek ahead all along.  Often a different result was better.  Occasionally worse.  Sometimes the alternative was just different.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Erector Set Plane

erector set plane meccano constructionSaturday night, instead of going to a birthday party with friends, I stayed home sick and built an Erector set.  I’d never built one before, but received one as a gift last Christmas & didn’t crack it open until last night.  It was fun and not terribly difficult to build.

Invented 100 years ago, Erector sets use nuts, bolts, pulleys, and gears and I had the option of building 4 or 5 different things (that’s why I had extra parts left over).  I’ve seen some cool antique Erector sets at antique shops & almost picked one up once. I may do it yet.

For a long time I’d wanted to build one like the legions of children through the years.  It’s cool to think of this old cultural bit of playtime that included inventive and industrial components.  At least when I built mine, I was away from the tv and internet for a bit, so I do have some degree of self-control and completion.  Even though it looks like Frankenstein’s airplane, it’s swell and I’ll have to build another set soon.

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Top Bachelor Links of the Week (Feb 6-12)

Phaistosdiskcode

Phaistos Disk-1700BC. Can you crack the code?

Last week was most notable for the Super Bowl and some heavy changes in Egypt that hopefully don’t make things worse than they were (cross your fingers on that power vacuum).  On a somewhat lighter note, I’ve gathered some nifty new weblinks from last week that might be of interest to the bachelor folk. 

1. The Best & Worst Cities For MenMen’s Health graded 100 major cities in the US using several criteria, including health & social factors.  I was pretty stoked because my city, Lincoln, Nebraska, came in 6th! (Lincoln’s done fantastically on several comparison lists over the last few years, which gives me some consolation since I don’t live in the Pacific Northwest.)  Take a look to see if your city made the list.

2. 10 Man Caves The real estate site Zillow.com made a list of 10 great man caves, including Larry the Cable Guy’s man cave.  Not so much bachelor pads as bachelor islands in the seas of marriage.  Or something. 

3. Top 10 Uncracked Codes If you thought women were hard to crack, check out these 10 codes that have stymied cryptologists for years.  One was even written by the composer Elgar in 1897.  Maybe you can crack them (probably not).  My brother sent me this link.

4. $20,000 To Hack Chrome For all you computer geniuses and/or nerds (like my college roommate Ted) who need legal & financially happy outlets for your hacking skills, check out Google’s offer of $20,000 to anyone who can hack their Chrome browser during an event in Vancouver next month.

5. 2045:  The Year Man Becomes Immortal (The Singularity)
This was a fascinating article from Time about Ray Kurzweil’s belief in ‘The Singularity’, where computers may soon far surpass human intelligence resulting in humans merging with machines in one of a couple ways.  A fascinating read, if potentially disconcerting.  Cyborg stuff.

6. 6 New Mythbusting Rules for Singles– Match.com surveyed 5,000 single men & women and found some surprising things that defied stereotypes, including that men fall in love more quickly and are more eager to have children.  Why must they tell our secrets?

7. Silver Bullion Backwardation Suggests Supply Stress-Running out of silver?  Sort of.  The demand is greater than the current supply which means prices should continue to run up for some time.  The article explains backwardation and what that means for the price of silver.  I started watching silver prices last summer when they were at the $17.50 an ounce level.  Today silver is just over $30/oz and this particular article expects it to reach as much as $130 in the not too distant future.  The instability of our fiat currencies certainly helps silver and gold, but gold is a bit high for the average investor (currently over $1360 an ounce).  Silver is outpacing gold with help from it’s many industrial uses, including it’s use as a conductor in solar power cells.  The article doesn’t quite suggest you run to your local coin dealer and stock up, hoarding silver in a hole in your backyard for retirement and/or nuclear fallout, but it didn’t really need to.  I think there was a link for that.

The secret word is cryptology

Listomania!

17 Types of Bachelor Pads

My Bucket List: 100 Things To Do Before I Die

11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

30 Favorite Songs of 2009 (1-15)

My 25 Humanoid Things

9 Foods I Might as Well Move To the Bomb Shelter

Timely Link

Valentine’s Day Shame

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December Cruise

Cruise With A Mission Holland AmericaLast Sunday I climbed off a cruise ship after a fun week of rocking (and extreme rolling) and still felt the waves for 5 days afterward despite the solid stuff beneath me.  The cruise included a mission-y element and I met with some of my former college classmates and various church gang members as we traveled around the Caribbean getting our cruise on.  It was my first cruise.

The plan was to do projects at most of our ports (for schools, orphans, sick people, people needing new roofs, etc),  while we enjoyed the weirdness of life at sea on a fancy boat with an everlasting buffet.  However, because of bad weather (high waves and wind measured in knots) the boat couldn’t stop at the 1st 2 ports (including Jamaica), vases broke, & some folks got sicker than dogs.  Still, we were able to complete our planned projects in the Cayman Islands & did a few ad hoc things on the ship, so it wasn’t a complete foul up.  In fact, I really enjoyed my time and met some cool people in shorts who played Catchphrase in December.  I even got to climb a Mayan pyramid in Mexico.  That was awesome!

I might extrapolate deeper meaning from it all one day, but for now I just wanted to give a shout out to my Cruise With a Mission peeps.  So, hey.  Yo.  Miss you guys.  Merry Christmas!

And Merry Christmas to you, my fine goat-readers.

The secret phrase is motion sickness

Related Posts

Touring the Coba Mayan Ruins

Travel the World!

My Bucket List:  100 Things To Do B4 I Die

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17 Types of Bachelor Pads

by Jonathan Bonobo Perry

ABC has a new cheesetastic reality tv show called The Bachelor Pad which seems like it might combine The Bachelor with Big Brother and The Real World after they’ve soaked in a briny vat of The Girls Next Door.  It promises an abnormally good-looking and freakishly healthy cast of cast-offs from previous reality shows being overly-dramatic and dramatically-amorous in a fine and expensive model home.  Pray, what will this bachelor pad be like?  Certainly it has everything.  Entertainment, games, and watery places, perhaps 7 hot tubs (so a few could be decontaminated simultaneously).  This got me thinking about types of Bachelor Pads as theme parks for men or rather types of homes for types of bachelors. What if guys were only one-dimensional and could each be pigeonholed into one tidy category?  Here’s who 17 of those guys would be and how their bachelor pads would be set up to reflect the weirdness.

1 Lothario/Lech Pad-Round spinning bed, cocktail bar, fancy lighting, a fine collection of loungy mood music.  It would be like the digs for Quagmire from Family Guy or for Austin Powers, replete with bathrobes and smoking jackets and lots of velvet.  A hot tub.  This is usually the first picture that comes to mind when one thinks of the classic bachelor pad.  It’s a lie.  Mostly.

2 Gamer Pad-Comfy chair for all that sitting.  Probably plush.  A couple gaming systems (XBox, Nintendo, Playstation, Wii) backed up by a quality entertainment system.  Dice and game parts for various role playing games.  Occupant-pasty sleepy nerd. 

3 Partier Pad-A sufficient supply of food and beverages and, if lucky, easily cleaned surfaces.  Large tv and other entertainment devices:  good stereo, lots of music, the gamer’s gaming system, some board games and backyard games.  Possibly a jacuzzi and a grill in the awesome backyard.  There might be a firepit.  Tiki torches?

4 Handyman Pad-Handmade furniture or carvings.  An extensive collection of tools and parts.  A fine workbench in the garage.  Powerdrill always plugged into the wall.  Multiple projects at different stages of completion spread about the garage and house.  Possibly a classic car parked in the garage being restored.

5 Traveler Pad-Travel books, posters, and paintings.  Souvenirs and maps.  Photo albums of trips.  Several suitcases, bags & perhaps an enormous travel cases like Jimmy Stewart‘s from It’s A Wonderful Life.

6 Collector Pad-The house may be overrun and/or decorated by strange collections:  stamps, baseball cards, license plates, Coca-Cola memorabilia.  Butterflies.  Places to store and display all this stuff have been set aside. The Antique-r is a sub-specialist of collector. Or is it the other way around?

7 Gadget Dude Pad-Assorted collection of the latest and greatest gadgets both electronic and mechanical.  Not only does he have the latest ostentatious Apple product (iPhone, iPad, iTouch), he also has camcorders, ereaders, robots, roombas, gps’s.

8 Reader Pad-Several bookcases, maybe some built-ins for a large a well-organized library (possibly numbered books, as if it were a real library).  There might be a list of books lent out and who has them and why you’ll never get them back.  (Chris?  Marshall?).  If he’s gone gadgety, there might be an Amazon Kindle or a similar ereader.

9 Sports Fan Pad-There will be lots of sports memorabilia, some of it plastered to the walls.  Maybe jerseys of the home team.  There could be game highlight footage on DVD.  There might even be sports cards, but certainly sports magazines.

10 Movie and TV-Buff Pad-Huge TV entertainment system with surround sound.  Lots of DVDs.  Lots of VHS tapes with the player.  Possibly a Beta player and Beta tapes for some rare ancient weirdness.

11 Musician Pad-Instruments.  The pinnacle is a grand piano or a specialty guitar signed by some dead rock legend.  Recording equipment.  A fine hi-fi system that spans the years from phonograph to 8-track to cassette to cd to mp3 player.  There will be plenty of albums to play on this system.  There might be busts of musicians and sheets of music.  Perhaps rooms have been modified to adjust acoustics.

12 Fitness Enthusiast Pad-In this pad might be found a bicycle and helmet.  If he’s a daredevil he might have mountain-climbing equipment, otherwise regular (and strange) exercise devices: dumb bells, stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, medicine ball.  He might have his own awards from previous sporty endeavors.

13 Animal Lover Pad-Aquariums, terrariums, cages and kennels.  Leashes and bowls on the floor.  Adorable creatures that want to eat and bite you and need to use the facilities which may or may not be in your house.  Animal hair everywhere.  Unsolved allergy issues.  Hello Kitty stationery?  Maybe that’s just a sub-genre.

14 Hoarder Pad-this comes from mixing too many of the other categories together and having certain psychological issues.

15 Artist/Photographer Pad-Paints and brushes.  Easels and canvas and frames.  Cameras and camera equipment.  Maybe a dark room for old film.  Some of his own work might be framed on the wall as well as his inspirations’ works.  Art supplies and works are spread all over the house.

16 Gardener/Plant Guy Pad-Much of this guy’s stuff would be in the backyard: Veggie garden, flowers, other odd plants.  Sometimes the greenery will come inside and there will be pots of living greenstuff (non-mold) around the house.  There might be books and magazines for gardening ideas and tips.

17 Chef/Cook Pad-This dude has a kitchen full of quality cooking equipment.  Pots and pans and skillets or whatever.  There will be odd measuring devices which might use the metric system or stuff like pinch or smidgen.  He’ll have lots of spices and fancy oils.  The cupboards and fridge are stocked with all kinds of food.

Certainly your type has been overlooked.  That just means you’re weird.

The secret word is pigeonhole

Related Reading:

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

My Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #10: Collect the Right Toys

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

$15 Million Ultimate Bachelor Pad

Tenuously Related Reading:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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What Are Your Favorite Date Ideas?

taiwan-travel1With the weekend here, lots of people are pushing into restaurants and theaters as they join the dating frenzy. Maybe some of you freaks are even going out, doing date stuff. Dinner and a movie have always been a fine standby date combo. Really it’s the person you’re dating that makes the date great, so it shouldn‘t matter what you do. Right? You need to eat anyway and who doesn’t like to watch movies? But there’s always this underlying challenge to outdo yourself and others by going on a cool date. A cool date might be you and your date doing something a little different from the dinner and a movie routine. It’s always a little gratifying to have a successful cool date where you and your girl get dinner at a raw food restaurant, then take in the rollerskating museum before hitting opera karaoke. Or whatever. It can be a fun challenge figuring out something creative to do.

A few days ago, in an online discussion group, I posed the question “What are your favorite date ideas?” I’ve seen monster lists before, but wanted to find out what folks really liked and to see if I could get some other ideas to steal. You know, for my friends who go on dates. I got some great responses.

Food

Generally food was involved, whether it was fine dining with live music or picnicking. Thundercatt99 said, “Why not get out into the wilderness with a compass, map and a picnic lunch — and see what the two of you find?”  From the discussion group, there were ideas to take cooking classes or just make food at home together. Hatingtherain offered this popular variation of home cooking: “Spaghetti for dinner, then lots of wild sex, then falling asleep snuggling on the couch watching Spongebob and The Twilight Zone.”  There were offers to cook.
renfairqueen
Other suggestions for learning/making things included painting and salsa dancing. One person said she liked to volunteer at a soup kitchen, clean up the beach, or go to a fundraiser on dates. I personally enjoy concerts, and comedy clubs can be fun and often these dates take you out of town together, especially if you’re in a smaller town. Go antiquing, to a flea market, or bowl. Thelighthouse said, “Museums often have free events, like dance parties or movie screenings. There’s also renaissance faires and swordfighting classes, which are fun if you’re into them and even more hilarious if you’re not into them — ’cause then you just make fun of everyone” (which is what I’d do, but privately as to not embarrass nerds or certain family members).

Adrenaline Activities

Of course, there’s the adrenaline stuff: canoeing, kayaking, sky-diving, mountain climbing, or go-cart racing. Sporty date activities are supposed to be good for raising the adrenaline and help you to get to know your date better in a shorter time, much like travel dating.

But what do you guys like to do? What would you like to try? Tell us your ideas or experiences in the comments section. We’d all like to find something fun and/or new to do on a date.

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11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: #6. Be A Jack Of All Trades

jeopardy_lby Jonathan B. Perry

An important part of becoming a Domesticated Bachelor is being a Jack of All Trades.  Being a Jack of All Trades isn’t quite the same as being a know it all.  Or a jackass, though they can, and often do, overlap.  It means being able to function moderately in most broad areas of knowledge.  It’s being well rounded, knowing a fair amount about Russian literature, Biblical carpentry, snake oil sales, and Congolese kayak repair, but not being enough of an expert to really excel or do much with that knowledge.

Being a Jack of All Trades still comes in handy because you’d know a little about most subjects and would be able to converse superficially about Congolese politics with your Congolese cleaning-lady before your cultured dinner party starts (she’s the exiled Congolese president‘s estranged goddaughter who’s cleaning your kitchen drain boards) or you could avoid major embarrassment if in a situation that requires minor skills, like changing a golf cart tire near the twelfth hole or planting a row of miniature fruit trees or naming your polo team after a Nabakov novel (the Hammered Lolitas!).  You can become a Jack of All Trades by dipping your toe a little in each subject.  This is best done by reading the first ten pages or so of several books.  Also, you could spend 6 or 7 years in college taking, or at least starting, many courses, perhaps changing your major several times along the way.  If you need real help doing any of this stuff in an actual skillful way you can always look up instructions online or buy one of those Dummies/Idiots books.  I suspect you might need several.jack-of-all-trades-king-gee

Best of all, being the Jack of All Trades Dude that you are, you might make a decent Jeopardy! contestant because, even though your knowledge might not be very deep, it’s grown very broad.  Broad knowledge is key to excelling in multiple Jeopardy! categories and since there are 13 of them in each game you‘re well on your way.  Being on Jeopardy! is a major signifier of intelligence and will help cement your Bachelor Domestication, potentially acting as an aphrodisiac to at least a few disturbed women, especially the cute librarian types best depicted by Shirley Jones in The Music Man.  Then you might get to meet Alex Trebek, who’s grown back his mustache, and talk to him about the role of Congolese political art in Russian Orthodox literature while changing a golf shopping cart tire in the middle of your golf-course-dwarf-pomegranate-orchard-cemetery game, where the motto’s always been ‘Play through or die!’  Don’t be too long because the Hammered Lolitas play next.

Read the first 5 steps:

#5. Travel the World

#4. Learn to Cook

#3. Shape Up, Fatty

#2. The Right Wardrobe

#1. THE BACHELOR PAD

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COUPLES vs SINGLES: SOCIALIZATION

game-night-no-gameby Jonathan B. Perry

A while back I spent a whirlwind three day weekend with my brother Jay and his delightful wife and was completely amazed at their full social calendars.  In the few days I stayed in their home, we ate at other peoples’ homes on three different occasions and went out to eat with other people twice.  That’s five meals away from their home in a three day period.  I suspect that perhaps they didn’t want to be left alone with me (or didn‘t want to clean up after me.  You know, because of the food fights.).  I don’t blame them.  They even turned down other social invitations because, frankly, they do not have clones.

I find this whole socialization thing insane and unnatural and suspect it to be part of a secret pact they take as hipsters.  On my own, I might go several weeks, possibly months, without socially cavorting with anyone outside of work, let alone being invited over for a happy dinner of veggie tacos to be followed by a vigorous game of Scrabble or Cranium.  For my brother and his wife, their most social friends are, of course, other non-mutant, though slightly hipster, couples except for the occasional odd duck single person (me) to remind them how very nice it is to be coupled.  Also, I live a long 6.5 hours from them, so they have a pleasant buffer zone.couples-dinner_party-400wl

I see this sort of thing happening with my other friends as the single folk are gradually sucked into the vortex of institutions (marital and mental).  Some just drop off the face of the earth completely.  Because couples befriend and find safety in the company of other couples (after which couples with children find other couples with children), I’ve come to appreciate those rare occasions where I am invited to join in their reindeer games.  I even consider myself to be a valuable token single male friend useful for pity, as a fifth wheel, or, under duress, as a spare to even up a double or triple date.  I can understand, though, the reluctance of normal couples to socialize with single people as many of these folk are single longer for good reasons, exhibited by a healthy variety of mutational factors such as strange body growths, retarded social skills, and psychopathic personalities.  Not that you, my dear single reader, have any of these problems.

Studies have shown that single males have an easier time of being invited over socially to couples’ homes than do single females.  Part of this mad theory (I have no footnotes for this encouraging study and don‘t really believe it) is that the husband or boyfriend is potentially jealous of a single male while conversely a wife or girlfriend is jealous of a single female, but because the wife/girlfriend deals with the hospitality and does the inviting, fewer single females are invited over for happy social time, much to the sadness of the single women of the world.  Frankly, I notice no difference in my favor, but I‘m a guy.  What do I know?

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Anagram Generator/REARRANGE GOAT MAN

Anagrams are pretty excellent. Rearranging letters of a word or phrase to make another word or phrase is a lot of mindless fun. Popular with mystery writers, anagrams have worked their way into some bestselling works. so_dark_the_con

The Davinci Code has one (So dark the con of man is an anagram of Madonna of the Rocks). I believe there was a Sherlock Holmes story that used anagrams (but I can’t find it). J. K. Rowling sort of used it in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but cheated (Tom Marvolo Riddle is an anagram of I Am Lord Voldemort, though it‘s really backwards because Tom Marvolo Riddle is the clue, but no one would ever guess the answer as Lord Voldemort with the I am at the beginning. I feel better having said that.).

Now, instead of having to do anagrams by hand with your own brain, there are anagram generators! Yay!  One I like is the Internet Anagram Server.

Check out the anagrams I’ve made below.  Make your own and leave your favorite anagrams in the comments.   We might post some of the best.  Or not.

Domesticated Bachelor=
A restitched cab loomed
A cab ceded hotter limos
Tom decried a hostile cab
a cab directed Tom’s hole

Jonathan Perry=
Rape Rat Johnny (I haven’t used this nickname in years)
Orphan Jay Rent
A horny pent jar
John, retry a nap

Jonathan Bryan Perry=
Thy ornery Japan barn
Horny Japan Bra Entry (Japan, huh?)
Try Nearby Japan Horn
A barren party Johnny
Jab near thy yarn porn

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World of Warcraft…Dating?

world_of_warcraft-fire dating wow datecraft
by Jonathan B Perry
Guys, do you spend hours and hours and hours playing World of Warcraft? Does this affect how much you see other humans? Especially female humans? A few of my friends play lots of it. They do little else. Of course, it is possible to meet people and develop relationships through playing WoW. Sort of. Weirdly, this actually happened to some of my friends who ended up meeting a player from across the country.wow-costume world of warcraft

Four or five of my friends are completely devoted to World of Warcraft. It consumes much of their free time, several hours a day, in fact, and I just can’t be around them when they‘re playing. You might say they’re addicted to WoW. When I was younger, maybe in middle school, I could spend hours playing games like Lazarian and Caverns of Kafka on an old Commodore 64 (I just really dated myself, didn’t I?), maybe a little Pac Man or Joust at the arcade, but I was never this obsessed. And again, I was in middle school.  These guys totally zone into World of Warcraft, sometimes forgoing employment as most waking hours are spent dressing their female characters in sexy outfits (virtual dolls), trading weapons (virtual baseball cards), and buying magic shovels and harps (virtual eBay, which itself is a virtual flea market). joust arcade game 80sWhen I visit them, they’re glued to their computer screens, completely engrossed while their characters run amok, wielding their axes across verdant countrysides full of well-dressed buxom female ogres and giant mushrooms.

One social component to this game is that your player’s character can talk to another player’s character in that second life sort of way. It just so happens that my four friends befriended another player who was attending college somewhere like Ohio or Michigan or Indiana. Incredibly, they talked him into coming to visit them in Nebraska and the guy actually flew out and stayed one extended weekend. It was one of the weirdest concepts I’ve ever encountered. Now, my friends were very attentive, showing him around town, entertaining him, feeding him, taking him to see the local schools. They even took the time to play WoW at once when all five of them were in the same house. What a tender, enriching 36 hours that must have been. This is close to how I envision successful online dating to be. Kind of. With fewer people. No other guys.  (There is actually a WoW related dating site called World of Datecraft.  No, really.  There’s even been a sighting of a couple who met through WoW & fell in love.  Hope games eternal.)

The secret word is ogre.

Related Reading:

Online Dating:  Should You Try It?

Google-Stalking the Ex

Bachelor Secrets 2-Dating Habits

Bachelor Secrets 1- Why Are They Single?

Couples vs Singles: Socialization

Dating Advice From The Family

Family Advice: A Reversal (Sort Of)

Dating Satisfaction Survey

Changing Your Relationship Status On A Social-Networking Site

Bachelors in History

Which is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Valentine’s Day Shame

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