“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Please, don't be a butthead.
Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sad but true: I was a fat kid with not many friends, but it wasn't my husky-sized pants that made me unpopular. It was the fact that I was the class tattle-tale.

Whenever the teacher had to leave the room she would say, "Now, Ad, I want you to write down the name of everyone who misbehaves while I am gone." ... And you know what? I would actually DO it! And then I'd get the piss pounded out of me at recess.

I don't know why I was chosen for such an awful task. I'm guessing it's because I am known to periodically exude a rigid, judge-like demeanor. I've always believed in following the rules, and I think those who don't follow the rules should be punished. I have fantasized about being Judge Judy, and if I were an 8-year-old again, I would probably play Judge-Judy make-believe.

So, you need to know that I carry a small notebook in my car with the words "Traffic Transgressors" written on the cover. And I write down the license-plate numbers of drivers who do the following:

Flick their cigarette butts outside the window. There's not an intersection in North America that doesn't look like the ashtray from an all-night party of 275,778 chain-smokers.

PHYSICS LESSON: Just because the butt disappears from your own little world (your car) doesn't mean it has disappeared from the planet. 'Might want to re-visit that second law of thermodynamics.

CHEMISTRY LESSON: They may feel nice and soft and cottony, but those butts are made from cellulose acetate, and they biodegrade at about the rate of an abandoned Honda Civic rusting away in a junkyard.

LAW LESSON: Littering is against the law. ... Judge Judy says: GUILTY! Now, I ask you: How hard can it be to EMPTY YOUR ASHTRAY into a trashcan? When I see you toss your butt out the window, here's what it tells me about you: It tells me you're insensitive, ignorant, self-centered and lazy. ... Pardon me now as I crawl down from this soapbox ... there ... okay now ...

I'm thinking of doing what my friend, Gordon in Georgia, once did when he saw a woman toss her butt out the window during a red light. He got out of his car, picked up the butt, and knocked on her window. When she opened it he said in his polite, Southern voice, "Ma'am, I think you dropped something. 'Thought you might want it back."

A few words on carbonation and music
Friday, May 28, 2010

1. Though I live part-time in Nashville and love it, I ... I ... I ... er ... uhhh ... I don't like live music. It's a sin, right? And a shame: living in MUSIC CITY and not liking live music. Actually, I don't like live anything: plays, concerts, readings. My wife says it's because I'm a control freak, and, unlike a book or movie at home, I have no control over the delivery of a live event. Okay, maybe a little truth to that ... but I also just don't like being cooped up anywhere for a long time. I'm a big guy, and the seating is often less than ample at live events. Also, live events mean people, and I don't like crowds. I think this comes from growing up in a small town in land-rich, big-sky eastern Colorado. Also, let's be honest here: Live music is usually not very good. Even the professionals sound better with some of that magic mixing done in the studio. Why watch/listen to something mediocre when you know it's better on the ipod?

2. Fresca gives me gas.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I don't know about you guys, but I just don't read the news from Iraq anymore ... for the exact same reason that I never read the news from Israel and the rest of the Middle East. I mean, do you really think they're going to stop blowing each other up over there? No. It's a hopeless situation. Why read about potential peace negotiations when you know they're never going to happen? Big tease.

I'm just sayin' ...
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

You hear this phrase all the time these days, especially on facebook. People of all ages are saying, "I'm just sayin'."
I asked my mom if she knew the origin of it, and she sent the following:

The origin of “I’m just sayin’” is not clear, but most paths trace it back to Yiddish humor. “I’m just saying” was the way some Jewish vaudevillians ended a joke.

The phrase sends the message that the person making an editorial comment doesn’t want to be held responsible for the consequences or the proof to support his opinion.

An episode of Seinfeld analyzes “I’m just sayin’” in the same way the series put the phrase “yada, yada, yada” under the microscope. Jerry Seinfeld’s point with “I’m just sayin’” is that you can say just about anything negative or critical to another person as long as you follow it with “I’m just sayin’ . . .” It’s similar to Seinfeld’s tagline “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Ad Again: Another one I've heard young women/girls use with each other is: "Just kidding." They say something really mean to a friend and then follow it up with "Just Kidding," which, I suppose, is intended to be salve for the wound they've just inflicted. Still, it's really mean.

I'm just sayin' ...

A question about those new light bulbs ...
Sunday, May 23, 2010

So we've all been told to use the compact fluorescent light bulbs, and most of us have diligently replaced our going-to-hell, power-sucking traditional bulbs with the little curly-cue fluorescents.

Don't you remember all the hype when these things first came out? OMG! We'll save an ENTIRE RAINFOREST EVERY SINGLE DAY with EACH replaced light bulb! Your power consumption will decrease 234,445,667-percent with EACH BULB you replace!

I don't know about you guys, but I haven't seen much of a drop in my power bill since I've put these things in. And why won't the media follow up on this issue now that we've all gone to compact fluorescents? Has our power use declined? Are we indeed saving rainforests and cutting our carbon footprint?

I'm not crazy about the cooler gray-white light these bulbs put out. So I want to know that my sacrifice is making a difference. But is it? Was it all hype?

Tattoo of the Century
Thursday, May 20, 2010

Those of you who don't follow me on facebook might not know of the long conversation I've had lately about tattoos. Quick story: I want one. Quicker story: Wife and daughter say "no way."

At any rate, one woman who is perhaps in the top-five-funniest of my 900 friends said she, too, wants a tattoo ... of a ruler on her leg with a sign beside it that says, "You must be this tall to ride this ride."

Now THAT's the tat I want for me!

Help for the food packrat
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I just read in the Wall Street Journal that the average American cleans his/her refrigerator out only once or twice a year. Now, I have to admit: It is amazing how much those things can hold, isn't it? You cram and cram and cram and there's always room.

It's also stinky and a little dangerous. So, here's a hint from Ad that'll keep the mold out of your 'fridge: Don't clean the entire 'fridge at one time. How daunting is that? No wonder we put it off for so long. Instead, just pick one shelf or one drawer at a time, and clean that out. 'Takes just five minutes or so ... unless it's cucumbers on the bottom of the veggie drawer. Disgusting, aren't they? Why can't everything decompose like carrots ... just wither away until they're dry and shriveled.

Stereotype of the Week: #5719G
Monday, May 17, 2010

Corvette owners: Usually male, usually over 40, usually wear at least one piece of gold jewelry. Often tanned and coiffed, at least in Florida, where I live.

Doing the right thing
Thursday, May 13, 2010

My friend and fellow author Nicole Seitz writes beautiful books about the South. She's also an artist and paints her own book covers. Overall, one of the nicest people I've ever met. I thought you'd like this recent posting of hers on facebook that illustrates her personality:

"I saved a big turtle crossing the road today by picking it up and carrying it to safer ground. The garbage man thought I was crazy and the turtle hissed and urinated. But just because the world doesn't understand and the one you're helping doesn't appreciate it fully, it's always worth it to do the right thing. Do it anyway."

The NFL and Alex Haley
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Something came to mind while I was watching the recent NFL draft: Don't you think it looks a little like the slave auctions of old? Yes, these men are paid, but we find ourselves talking about them as if they were prized human work horses, focusing only on their physical strength and prowess. In the process, we completely dehumanize them. It doesn't help that many (or most?) of them are black, which brings us back to that slavery thing.
I just think it's an odd thing that aliens (not the ones from Mexico but the ones from outer space) would find puzzling.

Dear Elizabeth: Please start wearing your reading glasses to work.
Thursday, May 6, 2010

When the volcanic ash shut down air travel a few weeks ago my friend Steve was stuck in ... of all places, Amsterdam. I could not think of a better spot for my party-loving buddy to be stranded.

Evidently, he was pleased with the service at the Best Western hotel -- and even wrote the corporate PR people a letter that said so. Elizabeth with Best Western International Customer Care responded with this:

Thank you for your e-mail concerning your stay at the Best Western

Museumhotels Delft. We were pleased to hear of the excellent service
that you received while you were a guest at the hotel. It is always a
pleasure to receive positive comments from guests about a Best Western
member establishment.

And now, I'll share you Steve's letter:

My extended stay at the Museumhotels Delft do to the Icelandic volcano
eruption was truely enjoyable. Everyone on the staff took care of me and
made me feel at home. Including my new best friend "Mickey". I am not
sure when my schedule will allow me to return but hope to see them all
again and I hope my little furry mouse friend will be up to see me again
as well.

Yes, there was a mouse in his room. He even sent them a digital photo of the little guy.

Old McDonald had a ... bicep.
Sunday, May 2, 2010

Here's a class being offered at my gym:

Farmer's Tan Boot Camp.

Yep, it's conducted outside and uses things like huge tractor tires and hoes and wheel barrows and sacks of grain.

Dontcha love American ingenuity!