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Archive for July, 2011

So, I am going to attempt to convince you of something that you are most likely going to disagree.  Now, if you didn’t know me, you might think that being right is one of the most important things in my life.  This could not be farther from the truth.  The reality is that I only defend positions that I have given a great deal of consideration and believe with all of my heart are correct positions.  As a matter of fact, I believe in most cases, the few issues that I believe to be correct are so well-supported that most intelligent people would agree with me on those particular issues … until now.

Most people reading this blog are going to disagree with its main point.  But make no mistake when I say this:  I am right.

Pooping in public should be unacceptable.  I have discussed this before in a previous blog, but this time, I have a mission:  Convince the reader to be like me.

Required reading for EVERYONE.

I just completed a month’s stint in the mountains and stayed in a cabin that did not have a bathroom.  I had no choice but to use the common bathhouse for my business.  However, with some luck and careful planning, I almost always had the entire bathroom to myself, except one fateful moment.  After scouting the bathroom and surrounding cabins, I determined that there was a high probability that I would have at least five minutes before any male entered the bathroom.  It also helped that the field station was female biased.  After going through my checklist, I determined it was safe to use the facilities.  After my cleaning the toilet routine, I sat down feeling secure that operation ‘Private Moment” was a go.  And then the unthinkable happened.  Someone entered the bathroom and opened the stall next to mine.  WHAT?!?!  SERIOUSLY? Are you freakin kidding me?  Are you really that comfortable with this that you can do it right next to me?  How is this acceptable?  I may never go to the bathroom again.

In the next few paragraphs I am going to attempt to explain to you with unfailing logic to why our current system of public restrooms should be radically changed.  Specifically, I will address why pooping in public restrooms, as they are currently designed, should not be tolerated.  I know you think I am crazy, but please continue reading with as open of a mind as possible.  The problem is everyone poops.  I get that, but not everyone poops in the same way.  For example, most people fall into one of the following categories:

  • Morning #2 – You take care of business first thing in the morning.  As a matter fact, your day does not even begin until this happens.
  • The Three SHs – Basically it is a package deal with a shave, shower and sh#!.
  • Java People – nothing gets moving until after your morning coffee
  • Afternoon Sitters – You are weird people, because unless you work at home, you are pooping at work on a regular basis.  Stop it!
    Change your schedule.  This is simply unnecessary.
  • Nighttime Sitters – You are a more uncommon breed than Afternoon Sitters as you like to go before bed time.  Not as weird as Afternoon Sitters, but still a little out there.  Especially if your bathroom is near your bedroom, which means you are going to sleep in that
    climate, which is just gross.
  • Big Meal Pressure (BMP) – I would also call you the ‘baby’ poopers, because you seem to need to go as a result of eating, especially big
    meals.  The problem with this group is you never ever want to invite them over your house for a meal.  If you do, have the candles lit and burning.
  • Poop As Needed (PAN) – You are the rarest of breeds.  I could also call you random poopers, but the bottom line is, unlike most people, your number 2 is NOT on a schedule.  And quite frankly, it is because of your kind that public bathrooms exist.

Other than emergencies, most people are on a schedule; which  means why use a public bathroom when you shouldn’t have to?  Think about it.  Why is it OK to do your business next to  someone else with only an inch thick of hollow metal and space both above and  below your stall divider?  I know what  you are thinking:  Brett, you are  crazy!  Everyone poops.  It’s natural.  It is OK.  Really?  Let me paint the following picture of a very  natural thing that many people do: sex.

In order to remove all possible moral issues, imagine the  following:  Two married couples with the  intention of making a baby decide to share in the baby making experience  together.  They rent a hotel with two  queen beds.  They ask the front desk for  an extra sheet.  They take the sheet and  hang it from the ceiling in between the two queen beds so that each couple has “privacy”.   Then, beginning at 10pm both married couples have sex in their prospective beds in an attempt to make a child.

This is not a moral issue, this is a cultural one.  Neither couple is doing anything wrong,  however, in common (emphasis on the word ‘common’) circles this would be  unacceptable behavior.  What is more  natural than a married couple trying to have a baby?  And yet, this type of lascivious behavior is  happening in thousands of bathrooms across the United States every day.  It’s a cultural thing, and it needs to  stop.  We are not the worse country when it comes to cultural norms around this subject.   For example, in Paris, there are many restaurants that have bathrooms with a hole in the ground.  Not a dirt  hole, but a porcelain, specially designed hole in the floor with places where  your feet go.  So, I realize it could be  worse, but I feel I must at least try with my readers to begin the revolution  of changing our potty culture.

At a Rockies/Brewers game recently, I was at a bus station  waiting for the bus to get us back to Boulder.   I went to pee and noticed the bathroom stalls did NOT have doors … and  someone was using one of them!!!  Am I  REALLY the only one against this?

Here is what needs to happen.  Unless you are younger than 10 years old, you  do not need a public potty.  If potties  are to exist, they need to be private.   If a bathroom must have multiple stalls, they need to be isolated from  each other by both sound and ventilation.   Toilets need to be cleaned by staff every 30 minutes.  Each stall will have a button that will turn  a signal light on giving everyone in the bathroom a warning that someone is about  to exit the stall.  This light will  remain lit for 30 seconds before door is opened.  Talking and eye contact in bathrooms is prohibited.

Believe it or not, I would love to hear your opinion on this  subject.  Do you disagree?  Of course you do, but I am still right.  At the very least, don’t leave the stall until I leave the bathroom.  I do not  want to put a face with what just happened in there.

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TWO FOR THE ROAD (pun intended)

My son, Isaac is four years old.  My wife, Leah can bring him into the women’s bathroom with no repercussions.  I find it fascinating that when my daughter Violet turns four, bringing her in to the male bathroom would be unacceptable.  I’m just sayin …

Brett and I saw the last Harry Potter movie.  We loved it.  As a matter of fact it was my favorite Potter movie and may go see it
again.  But one thing happened that supports my conspiracy theory of movies killing off black people.  Draco Malfoy has two best friends in the
books, Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe (In the movies, both are white).  However, in the last movie, Draco is seen with Goyle and a black kid (I don’t recall if he was given a name).

<<<<SPOILER ALERT>>>>

Black kid dies in a fire.
Really?  What happened to Crabbe?  Why does Malfoy’s one black friend got to die?  It’s Jurassic Park all over again.  I’m just sayin …

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So, I have been crazy busy in the mountains, but don’t worry, your Brett Blog fix will be coming soon. The next blog will be a back to back double feature. Kind of like Harry Potter, but without the year long wait.

Blog Part I: Already written in my head. Bound to be my new favorite blog about something EVERYONE does.

Blog Part II: A gender biased blog about how women have a problem, and I have the solution.

STAY TUNED!!!

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So, are you frustrated because you can’t lose that last 5, 10, or 50 lbs of “baby” fat?  Have you tried every diet under the sun and nothing seems to work?  Then come on down to Brett’s Marmot Fat Camp.  We guarantee that you will lose weight or wonder why you ever cared about losing weight in the first place or your money back.

Why is our fat camp better than other fat camps?  Simple … Deprivation.  We will deprive you of EVERYTHING you hold dear, including oxygen.  That’s right, oxygen.  You see other fat camps give you way too much oxygen.  No wonder you fail.  Here is how it works:

First we give you a lovely cabin in the woods above 9,000 ft.  Trust me, at this elevation, walking to the bathroom will burn more calories than you ever imagined.  A select few will lose 5 to 10 pounds in the first night!  Who says altitude sickness is a bad thing1?

1We can’t guarantee altitude sickness, results will vary.

At Brett’s Marmot Fat Camp, we will not restrict your diet, eat as much as you want.  We will not make you do any crazy exercises, like jumping jacks, situps, or exercise machines, heck we won’t even make you jog if you don’t want to, but trust me, you will want to.  The only thing you will have to do is enjoy nature and trap a few marmots.

After a couple of days in the cabin, we will take you on a nice 20 minute drive up the mountain.  You won’t believe how beautiful the scenery will be from your car seat.  We will stop at a parking lot and then take a stroll up the hill to 11,000 feet!  Just above 11,000 feet you will receive a brief rest and a small pack of trail mix.  We won’t rush you, because we won’t need to.  The only thing we ask is that you DON’T TURN AROUND, because the vehicle you came in, is gone.  Oh by the way, I almost forgot, don’t forget your backpack, it contains the only food you will be allowed to eat for the next couple of days.  Why is it 50 pounds?  Because we have partnered you up with someone who can’t carry as much, so you will be carrying food, water and sleeping gear for two.

But wait, there’s more.  To add to the adventure of your hike, as an added bonus, we have made the last mile of your journey in over four feet of snow.  It also just so happens that the last mile is the steepest.  Yeah!!!  I hope you brought enough water, because by the time you reach the top you will be drenched in sweat.  Didn’t bring enough water, don’t worry there is water everywhere.  And as an added bonus, the more water you drink from God’s beautiful nature, the more weight you will lose.  Who says giardia is a bad thing2?

2We are not medical doctors.  According to medical doctors, giardia IS a bad thing.  However, those that contract giardia have been known to lose significantly more pounds than those without giardia.  Individual results will vary.

We will set up base camp at around 11,000 feet.  And you thought it was hard to move around at 9,000 ft.  At Brett’s Marmot Fat Camp, we go that extra 2,000 feet and more for you.  You see, the marmots are not at base camp, we must hike that extra 500 feet to find them.  And we must do it multiple times a day.  Those traps are not going to set themselves.  Plus, the traps are not there already, so you will carry them up to the top of the mountain.  We know walking is easy for you, so we have provided a challenge to your walking feet, and that is lots and lots of rocks.  Rocks everywhere!  Don’t twist that ankle, because twisted ankles are for losers, and you are a winner.  But wait, there’s more!  Don’t like to jog?  Who does?  But as we said, we do not force jogging at Brett’s Marmot Fat Camp, but we do provide lightning.  Just about every afternoon while you are on top of the mountain trapping marmots, you will hear thunder.  You don’t have to run, but we recommend it.  You will see those pounds melt away each afternoon3.

3We are not responsible for broken ankles or being struck by lightning as you careen down the mountain.  Lightning does not cause increased fat loss, but running does.  Individual results will vary.

After trapping on the mountain, you will feel better, refreshed.  You will barely recognize yourself as you return to the parking lot below.  And for an extra fee, we can make sure that the car is gone when you return.  That’s right, why not walk all the way to your cabin.  You will feel better, and you won’t even recognize yourself when you walk through that door.

So, come on up.  Give us a try.  At Brett’s Marmot Fat Camp, where the marmots will be getting fat, while you are getting thin.
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We are walking down the mountain and my son asks if we are going to go up again.  In my mind I am thinking that this boy has paid his dues.  He has already gone up the mountain multiple times, hiked up steep mountains in snow, spent the night in less than luxury conditions and helped trap marmots.  So I said, “I am going back up, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

“I would like to go back up.”  He said.  I told him, “That’s awesome, really awesome.”  I almost cried.  I’m just sayin …

My Study Animal: The Yellow-bellied Marmot

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So, yesterday was my blogiversary (July 6).  Leave it to me to miss it.  To all of you that have been reading my blog, thanks, you are awesome.

I am currently in the mountains with my son doing research on yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris).  Look it up.  The new picture on the front page of my blog is a marmot, but a different species, Marmota olympus, the Olympic Marmot.  But of course, I am sure you already knew that.

Brett and I just got back from a long hike.  We went up to 11,000 feet and then walked back for several miles.  The last half mile was in snow.  Yes, you read that correctly, snow.  It took a long time and he did not complain once.  I plan to post pictures soon, but not today.  We will spend the rest of the day in our cabin relaxing as it kicked both of our butts.  When I got back, Brett went to the bathroom in the main office and there was a guy sitting in the lobby of the office.  He asked me if that was my son.  I said yes.  he was very impressed that I was able to get my son to come to the mountains with me.  I told him that the impressive part was that I do not force him to come.  He comes willingly.  The man said that he hopes one day that his son will want to hike the mountains with him, but is concerned that technology and girls will win over father-son time.  He told me I was very lucky.

The conversation with the man in the lobby reminded me of one very simple truth:  I am very lucky.  I love the fact that Brett is with me, and hope he will want to come to the mountains with his old man for many years to come.  Regardless, I plan on enjoying this while I can.

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When I first started this blog, I promised myself I would do it for a year.  I have done it for a year.  I also thought that only my sister would read it, and although she is a fan, I apparently have others as well.  Pretty cool.  My goal for next year?  Less redeeming value.  I’m just sayin …

The following is my first blog on http://www.sincejuniorhigh.com.  Enjoy!

Does the World REALLY Need Another Blog?

Welcome to my first Blog site.  I started out publishing notes on Facebook, and my sister convinced me to start a blog.  So, why am I blogging.  First of all I think I have interesting things to say.  You may disagree, but I don’t really care.  Which brings us to the second reason I am blogging.  I enjoy reading my own thoughts.  So, even if no one ever reads this blog, I plan on enjoying it, and if you do too, bonus buy.

Will this be a site where family and friends can catch up with the comings and goings of my family?  Sometimes, but most of the time I will be writing about random thoughts I have.  For example, why Karate Kid 2010 was not necessary and explaining point by point how it is inferior to the original in almost every way (details for a later blog).

Will you be a better person by being a regular reader of my blog?  Highly unlikely.  Will we solve political and philosophical issues?  I certainly hope not.  This blog is for sheer entertainment value.  I plan to post every Saturday night with random posting when I feel like it.  So, what should my first post be about?  How about the name, “Since Junior High”.

So, several years ago some friends and I spent several hours playing video games at Gameworks in downtown Seattle.  It was a lot of fun.  After we were done with joystick heaven, I proclaimed to my buddies “My wrist hasn’t been this sore since junior high.”  This line has been quoted ever since, and has been officially entered into the Witty Line Hall of Fame.  If all goes well, by reading this blog, you will be exposed to such high quality comedy.  It’s gold!  Gold, Jerry!

Now for my first random thought:

Is it really THAT difficult to put a shopping cart back?  Seriously, have you ever been so far away from a shopping cart stall and said to your self, “I’m beat after walking through that store.  I just can’t walk this empty cart with wheels the 20 feet necessary to put it out of harms way.”  Really?  If this is you, your car deserves to be the target of shopping cart derby.  I’m just sayin…

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So, today is my birthday.  I am 40 years old.  First of all, I would like to thank everyone that wished me a happy birthday.  You made me feel truly special.  I even got a Happy Birthday a day early from my buddy, Dan in New Zealand.

I have been thinking about how everyone reacts differently to birthdays, especially older ones.  Most of my friends that hear that I am turning 40 seem to want to give me condolences.  It is as if getting older is a bad thing.  It really isn’t.  The bottom line is that having a birthday signifies the fact that I am alive.  I personally am not ready for the alternative.  So birthdays, keep on comin’.

For me, today could not have possibly gone bad.  My wife threw me an awesome surprise birthday party two weeks ago which was so awesome that anything that happened today was truly icing on the cake.  That being said, I had a great day.  It started with playing golf with my buddy Nick.  I was very happy he could come out and play despite the fact of being newly married.  We had the slowest round of golf EVER.  I remember great conversations, and I think we played golf too.  After golf I hung out with the family and opened up two presents from my sons.  Afterwards, my wife got a babysitter and she and I hung out for a couple of hours.  Very cool.  We had chinese food for dinner and homemade carrot cake for dessert.  The carrot cake was awesome, made just the way I like it, cream cheese frosting with absolutely no additions beyond carrots.  That’s right, no nuts and definitely no raisins.  It was pure, unadulterated carrot cake.  Then to top it all off, I get a butt load of Facebook birthday wishes to remind me that there are people in the world that think about me.  If for no other reason, birthday wishes are why everyone should be happy about birthdays.

So, to commemorate my birthday blog, I would like to share my most favorite birthday songs, three of them actually:

3.  Birthday by the Beatles
2.  Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder

1.  And my favorite birthday song of all-time:  The Birthday Song by Jon Lavoie

WARNING!!! The following song has explicit lyrics.  If you do not like bad words or language that describes adult acts or anything that might be considered naughty and unacceptable to be played in church, then DO NOT LISTEN to the song.  Ye Be Warned Says I.

But it is really funny:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Youp9r30hjs

Thanks everyone.  Happy Birthday to me.

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You ever notice that some words are made negative by their prefixes, but the positive form of the word is lost.  For example, you would say that I disdain you, but you would never say I ‘dain’ you.  Or if something can be untouchable, can a more positive item be ‘touchable’?  I can be overwhelmed, even underwhelmed, but what about just whelmed.  Well, if you are reading this blog, be aware that I dain you, I really do.  I’m just sayin …

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