Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And it came to pass... That Twin #Trouble told a Story

I don't generally use this blog to evangelize, however tonight I have to make an exception.  Every night at around 7pm we have a bedtime routine that we stick pretty close to.  The little guys put on their PJs, then I help them brush their teeth, then I sit on the floor in the twins bedroom and read scriptures with them, to many of us, this would be the Bible, for the last year however, in our home, we have been reading from the Book of Mormon (we are Mormons, just in case you, like many Texans believe, that my name is Brigham because I am from New England, what?). 

For those of you that don't know what the Book of Mormon is, you can read about what it is HERE (official and Free) or HERE (Broadway version for like $600 per seat + Flight to NYC + Hotel + a healthy dishing of South Park snarkiness).  

In short, The Book of Mormon is the history and writings of ancient prophets in the Americas following the time of Lehi, a prophet that was lead out of Jerusalem about 600 BC to the Americas.  2 of Lehi's sons, Nephi and Laman spawn two warring factions known as Nephites and Lamanites.  Basically for about 1000 years, these two groups take turns being the good guys who follow Jesus.

More nighttime routine-  Then we usually throw in some videos, often times this is a YouTube version of "Punk Rock Girl" by The Dead Milkmen, but lately it has been clips from the new animated Green Lantern series (very well done I might add).  Then Wife takes Little Guy to his room to read books, while I read with the twins (right now we are working our way through the letter sounds, we made it to "D" tonight. 

Then we cap off the day with Prayers.  Everybody gets to say their own prayers, followed by family prayer.  Prayers are great, we are working on helping the boys learn that God isn't a Jeanie that grants wishes, if he was, we would have a Tiger in our back yard tonight.

Fast forward to tonight.  After books and letters, I went to throw the twins in their beds when both of them yell that they need to read me some scriptures.  They have done this before, so I figured I would humor them.  So first Twin #1 opens up this little blank notebook (actual notebook pictured below)  and starts yammering about something random, and it didn't make a lot of sense. 

Then Twin #Trouble yanks the little blank notebook away and starts:

"And it came to pass (if you are a Mormon you are probably laughing really hard about that line right now, if you're not laughing, just read the book) that the Lamanites came and started to fight with the Lamanites (probably meant Nephites), then a really big Lamanite came but he got beat up.  Then the Lamanites liked God, and then the other guys were bad and they got beat up.  Amen."

They do listen, so be careful what they hear.  #Awesome.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Labor Dispute: 6 Yr Old Under Investigation by Obama Administration

Austin TX.  A 6 year old this week is under investigation by the Obama Administration and the National Labor Relations Board after it was confirmed that he ignored a recent NLRB appeal to an administrative law judge forcing Boeing to make Airplanes only in Union friendly states like Washington and far from more business friendly States like South Carolina and Texas.

"Little Guy" Balboa, 6 (Left),  is under investigation for allegedly procuring aircraft materials under a historically widely used, but now under investigation,  distribution channel and assembling the aircraft in Texas.  When asked for a comment, Little Guy noted that he did not know what a National Labor Relations Board was, and noted that he had not contacted his local aircraft manufacturers union to discuss a possible deal.

The local aircraft union president said that he was looking forward to talks with Balboa, but that he would only agree to a deal where Balboa would pay all labor costs, plus overtime and expenses for 4 qualified aircraft assemblers.  He noted that the project was expected to take about 6 weeks, and also that the workers would require about 6 months of paid training on the specific type of aircraft to be assembled.  Additionally, he also noted that the assembly process involved dangerous components known to cause death if not handled correctly.  He specifically cited the warning label (below) on the component packaging.  The family has claimed that they have read and are in strict compliance with the warnings.

The timing of the project is pending as the government is assessing the need for an environmental impact study for which the Obama Administration has also filed suit with the EPA.  Though the administration noted that they would forgo the need for a study if the boy posted a $3.6B Superfund Bond with the EPA.

When asked for comment, a Department of Commerce spokesman noted that while the building materials in question may have been procured legally, the chain of custody of the materials could not be verified. The spokesman specifically noted that "We have reason to believe that the "agents" that brought the materials to be "dumped" were not the original procurers of the materials,"  he continues, "We did a background check on each "agent" and none of them had a credit card, and each of the products was purchased with a credit card from local merchants known to do significant amounts of business with countries such as China, Korea and Vietnam, so the transaction looks very suspect to us at this time, and we will have no further comment until we finish the investigation, though we have reason to believe that each of them had a close family member involved, maybe a parent."

The department contends that the materials were "given" to Balboa via a widely abused process often used by many countries wherein those countries would "dump" excess inventory at below market rates in countries were they are trying to acquire a footprint in commerce and drive local suppliers out of business.

In this case it appears that the suppliers all got together at a single location and "gave" their products to Balboa after a lavish reception that included a fully catered dinner and a "one of a kind" desert specifically designed by a Master Confectioner, who was also on hand at the reception to personally serve each "guest".

The family contends that the anti-dumping claims should not apply in this case as "consideration" (or payment, in non-legalese), while not immediate or documented in terms of receipts, is reciprocal for each agent supplying materials, and except in rare cases is done at fair arm's length rates.  The family noted that this consideration is generally spaced out over the course of the year, sometimes provided before or after this particular occurrence, though exact dates could not be readily provided.  The consideration is often given in cash, gift cards or "payments in kind" (legalese for exchanging one item for another "like" or similar item).

The government in anticipation of this "fair consideration" line of defense also invoked the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) whereby the government makes it illegal to bribe foreign or domestic officials in return for favorable commercial access to a specific territory or contract.  When asked about the alleged bribes, the accused's (not a word) father, Brigham, noted that giving out small tokens of appreciation to each supplier or "guest" as he referred to them, was normal and completely within government guidelines and societal norms.

The family said in a statement through their attorney that they would stand by their son, grandson, nephew and brother and fight what they see as an unjust government overreach into little kids' birthday parties.

The family has also vowed to to fight to help families everywhere feel safe knowing that if their son or daughter receives a Lego set, erector set or Lincoln Logs which require assembly at their birthday party, they will be able to legally resist the tortious union bosses and their enforcers.  In that spirit, the family has also vowed to join Boeing to fight government's war against manufacturing.  They believe that any child in any state should be allowed to build Lego airplanes without having to submit to backroom union payoffs and government red tape.

Additionally, the family attorney said that the family will continue to provide a small bag of candy, pencils and stickers to their guests despite the fear of investigation and prosecution from the federal government in order to ensure the happiness of their guests.

I crack myself up.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Updated LinkedIn Profile: Master Jedi Confectioner

It is official, I am adding Master Confectioner to my resume.  Now I know what you are saying, The term "confection" does not generally apply to cakes, biscuits, or puddings which require cutlery to consume.

However, I don't want to use the term "Cake Baker", partially because I had nothing to do with the actual cake baking, but mostly because it just doesn't sound as cool.  And everybody exaggerates on their resume right?

I could just write "Cake Decorator", but again, would you just call da Vinci a painter?  I know he mostly did ceiling work and other hard to reach areas, but if his resume just said "painter" he probably wouldn't have landed lots of live-in palace royalty gigs.  It is all about marketing and brand value enhancement.

Back to the point, I am going to assume "confection" because technically, sucrose is the most common sweetening agent in confectioneries, and this cake has an overabundance of sucrose (sugar).

As you can see from the chemical structure diagram  to the left, sucrose starts out mocking Santa Claus, then gets all ooooooo cool, then praises Ohio State.  So to you sucrose, because in my family, our #1 family is :  "Never leave a brother hanging",  I give a hearty IO to your OH.

This praise for The Ohio State Buckeyes alone could make sucrose the coolest sweetening agent.

However, add to that the fact that excessive consumption of confectionery has been associated with increased incidences of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay, and you have yourself a good down home southern state fair, complete with Cotton Candy, Chicken Fried Bacon and a Hot Beef Sundae.

Oh yeah, the cake took me about 2 1/2 hrs to frost last night, most of it was done with a cough syrup syringe, that is my idea contribution to cake decorators everywhere.  My hands are still black form the frosting. 

Who knew that Wife could make a cake in a glass bowl?  That made a perfect Death Star.

Friday, March 02, 2012

What is the biggest animal you can beat up with your bare hands?

I was talking with a colleague and she pulled out a picture of a deer.  This was the same deer that Twin #Trouble stood toe to toe with last year when it was just fawn.

At the time, my colleague who raises longhorns (we live in Texas, that is what we do here), invited us over to meet their new cows.  The boys love playing with them.

She also told us that we could go to the neighbors house to feed some goats.  When we got there, in the goat pen was a baby deer.  Everyone had a great time playing with the goats and feeding the deer, but when Twin #Trouble went to feed the deer, it got spooked and reared up on its hind legs.  I thought Twin #Trouble was pretty brave because he didn't even flinch, but I think if I hadn't stepped in, Twin #Trouble would have gotten clobbered.

In walks another colleague, and after relaying the story of Twin #Trouble, he asks "what is the biggest animal that you can beat up with your bare hands?"

Obviously rhetorical, as I would never advocate violence toward animals, but I think for the sake of conversation, what animal would it be?  One of my other colleagues said a baby giraffe, interesting choice.

So to answer the question?  I think I could take the baby deer (with antlers looks dangerous), but that would be about it, maybe a bobcat, I'm crazy like that.

What do you think?  Could you take a bobcat, or a bear?  Let me know in the comments.