I hadn’t mentioned it to many people, but I had a paper accepted to a conference in Iran over the summer and was supposed to travel there next week (I even got my university to pay for most of the trip). I was very excited and was going to come back with thousands of pictures and, undoubtedly, lots of fun stories to tell. I found out Sunday that the conference has been postponed because they have not been able to get visas for the American conference participants (among them, all the keynote speakers). I’m very disappointed. I already had my plane ticket as well (though I got insurance so I can get most of my money back).
Since I won’t be posting any cool pictures of Iran, I thought it might be fun to play a little game on the blog to keep people entertained. I found some nifty software that allows you to take a picture and turn it into a puzzle. So, I took a picture of an item in our house and turned it into a 35-piece puzzle. I’ll post a piece a day until it’s complete, then I’ll post the completed picture. I figure the first person to guess what it is will win a prize: a $25 gift card to Borders (courtesy of our Discover Cash Back Bonus). Here’s the first puzzle piece:
I won’t confirm whether you got it right or wrong until the complete picture is posted and everyone can see the right answer. I’ll just check the comments and whoever gets it right first (based on the date-stamp of your comment) wins. Let the guessing begin…
Apparently the University of Tampa is the place to be right now. John McCain is making his second visit to the UT today. Though, of course, John McCain doesn’t actually want to talk to students or faculty. He’s talking to the bigwigs at MacDill Airforce Base and other local business leaders. It’s some “security” pow-wow. Debi was able to sneak into the last one, though no one really got to ask questions. I’m guessing today’s meeting will be pretty much the same. I wonder why McCain doesn’t have Sarah Palin talking with the bigwigs at MacDill…
On Monday we also had Brian Moore of the Socialist Party on campus to speak to students. Strangely, he called and invited himself. I was the only faculty member who showed up. His talk was during one of my classes, so I took my entire class to see him. When we showed up, we doubled the audience (from 15 to about 35 with my class). Alas, Brian Moore did himself no favors. His initial talk was fine, not spectacular, but when it came time for him to answer questions he crashed and burned. He couldn’t answer most of the questions students asked. He ended up trying to have them answer their own questions. It was pretty disappointing. I hate to say it, but if the election was between McCain and Moore, I’d vote McCain. Actually, I take that back, I’d write in Bill Gates. Sad…
A couple years ago I brought you the holy grail of lids (a lid for tin cans). Now I bring you the holy grail of pitchers. Right around the time we got married, Debi and I bought a pitcher that seemed well-suited for mixing orange juice, the Rubbermaid Mixing Pitcher, Blessed be the Holy Pitcher. Little did we realize then that what we had purchased was the world’s best pitcher. Okay, that may seem a bit hyperbolic, but let me explain why I believe this is the world’s best pitcher. First, you can obviously use it to mix juices without making a mess. And, the mixer is built into the pitcher, so you don’t have to dirty a different kitchen tool. Second, because the entire mixing/lid mechanism comes off the top, it makes cleaning the pitcher a cinch. You can throw both pieces in the dishwasher and they both come out clean with virtually no effort on your part. Third, they are sturdy (the one we bought when we got married is still running strong after nearly 9 years of very frequent use). The sturdiness also means the lid doesn’t come off during pouring. But, in addition to all of the amazing features of the Rubbermaid Mixing Pitcher, blessings be upon it, the competition sucks.
Since we purchased our first Rubbermaid Mixing Pitcher, Blessed be the Holy Pitcher, we have bought several additional pitchers. We figured the Rubbermaid Mixing Pitcher, Blessed be the Holy Pitcher, was ideal for orange juice, which settles after awhile. But we figured other pitchers would be better for big batches of lemonade or grape juice, also frequent juices one might find around our house. Oh how wrong I was. All of the other pitchers, curses be upon them, had so many flaws that I’m ashamed we put up with those other pitchers for years. Take, for instance, the Tupperware Heathen Pitcher, curses be upon it. While a classic and widely worshiped pitcher, the lid is prone to coming loose at inopportune times, releasing a flood of ice and juice when it goes. This pitcher consistently lets its followers down. We owned one of these for a while but decided the risk wasn’t worth it. A pitcher that does not offer the existential rewards we expect in a pitcher is not worthy of our admiration.
The pitcher that has been the bane of our existence for the last several years is the Rubbermaid Satanic Pitcher, curses be upon it. The person who designed this worthless pitcher apparently never had to wash one of these out. The opening is too small for an adult man’s hand to fit inside (though a small woman’s hand will fit). It also doesn’t allow for easy dishwasher cleaning because of the opening. Thus, what ends up happening is crap gets washed inside the pitcher during the wash cycle then lodges in the bottom corners. And because you cannot reach inside to clean it out, you end up with a disgusting pitcher. This pitcher made us unhappy, which is what always happens when you allow the influence of unholy pitchers, curses be upon them, in your home.
We have owned several additional pitchers, curses be upon them, all of which suffered from a combination of poor lids, poor cleaning ability, or poor pouring function. They were all very flawed pitchers, curses be upon them. Luckily our interaction with those evil pitchers was very short-lived.
We also have a really nice pitcher – crystal nonetheless – that we received for our wedding, nearly 9 years ago. We now consider this a sacred version of the Rubbermaid Mixing Pitcher, blessings be upon it, only for use when we are hosting worthy guests. (Guess how many times we’ve used it? Zero! It’s not that our guests are necessarily unworthy, we just never remember it exists; we have not been good followers of the holy pitcher.) Thus, we treat our sacred version of the one true pitcher in the store-it-in-a-cupboard-and-forget-about-it-forever fashion. Only those worthy to see the sacred version of the one true pitcher will have that honor (if we remember it exists).
Thus, after years of interacting with pitchers, we finally decided that we are a mono-pitcherist home: We have thrown out all of the other pitchers (except, of course, the sacred version, which remains forgotten in the cupboard), removing their cursed presence from our home. We now worship just the one pitcher, the Rubbermaid Mixing Pitcher, blessings be upon it. The One Pitcher, blessings be upon it, is actually okay with multiple manifestations of itself in the same home. Thus, we have recently purchased two more manifestations of the Rubbermaid Mixing Pitcher, blessings be upon it, from this online website (since I can’t find it in any local stores).
Since we are now a mono-pitcherist home, I have also become more fundamentalist and evangelical in my pitcher worship. I think about pitchers in a black and white fashion – either you worship the one pitcher or worship the evil oppositional pitchers, which means I must (according to mono-pitcherism) make fun of you for dealing with the evil pitchers, curses be upon them. I am encouraged by the One Pitcher, blessings be upon it, to hang around with evil pitcher worshippers, as doing so may allow me to convert them to the one, true pitcher-religion: the cult of the Rubbermaid Mixing Pitcher, blessings be upon it. As my first act of pitcher-evangelism, I am posting about my poured-again conversion to mono-pitcherism on this blog. But be warned, if I visit your home and you do not worship the Rubbermaid Mixing Pitcher, blessings be upon it, I may have to tell you about the advantages of mono-pitcherism and the One, True Pitcher, blessings be upon it, and mock your worship of inferior pitchers (and oh can I mock). In the name of the One True Pitcher, blessings be upon it, amen.