Archive for the ‘Ramblings…’ Category


Posted: May 29, 2012 in Ramblings...

By now, the man known as “Tater” has become somewhat of a legend in his local community. His story is amazing, fantastical (at times), and tragic. I had a chance to sit down with him for a candid interview this week, and he opened up to give us all a glimpse of the “real” Tater.

                Gabriel VanShootenstein Woodcock, was born in 1978 to Theodore & Emily Woodcock, in the rural village of South Hamptonshire in the United Kingdom. His father was a blacksmith who toiled day after day making horseshoes for Milton Bradley; his mother, a seamstress for the local placemat union. Together they scraped by, but were eventually able to afford passage for their only son to the new world aboard a sea-faring vessel named the “Lucky Russet.” It was from this vessel that Tater took his nickname and thus started life afresh.

                While aboard that influential voyage, he identified with a group of Portuguese immigrants, from whom he later developed his personal style and taste for spicy food. Upon setting foot in the new world, he was unfortunately denied work in the local drywall business due to his small stature, and therefore had to say goodbye to his newly acquired confederates. Although, disheartened, he quickly picked himself up and resolved to make something of his life by enrolling in Sebastian’s community college. He was relentless in his approach, and zealous to acquire a technical certificate in Botany. However, realizing that his dreams had been crushed before due to factors he could not control, he also obtained an understudy degree in Quality Control. With the promise of a head greenhouse director position on the horizon, Tater relocated to the Dayton, Ohio area, and although he was not able to secure the position he wanted (due to being beaten out by a man 30 years his senior, and with previous experience), he did find, what he believed to be, temporary employment at a local Calibration lab. Soon his patience paid off as he rose through the ranks of the Quality department and although his hourly wage was not ideal, he actually came to find that he enjoyed his daily labor.

                He had not been idle with investing his time in the company of the ladies either. He was involved in many social events and having a particularly sharp aptitude for footwear, and eyebrow fashion, he found his arm occupied at almost every gathering. Unfortunately, he did not consider that his popularity could also be a target for predators. During one of these social occasions (a camping trip) he was ambushed after a particularly rough night of cheerful exuberance by an unconstrained harlot who threw herself at him with vigor and left him awkwardly confused after their hurried relations.

                Time passed and Tater fell to the vices of his youth and inexperience. He became involved with recreational drugs and a white trash sweetheart. In one such instance, he returned after the close of his 3rd shift job to his companion’s double-wide trailer only to find her sneaking out of the back with another suitor. Even though the new lover was much larger in build than himself; Tater confronted the man, to defend his honor. Even though Tater had the shock of this surprise in his favor, he was still served a vicious right hook to the ear, and fell to the ground; his balance shaken. With superhuman strength he returned from the ground with an earth-shattering uppercut, breaking the gentleman caller’s nose. As the man recoiled in pain, a brutal awareness of future repercussions flashed in Tater’s mind, and he desperately ran to his car. Without looking back he sped away from the scene. After a few blocks he allowed himself to rest easy. This rest was short-lived however, from when out of nowhere slid a pickup truck directly into his path. The distance was far too short for him to dodge the truck or change course and he slammed into the truck with such force that he punctured his front tire. The man’s bloodied visage appeared instantly at Tater’s driver side window, and before he knew it the man had punched out the window, and struck him in his other ear. Tater threw the car into reverse, applied the gas, and sped away again, driving on flattened tires, while frantically calling the police. Before he knew it he found himself in jail.

                He had to remain in jail for a three day period, during which he learned from his previous life lessons and resolved to correct his course in life and return to a normal existence. He found new employment, kicked his drug habit, and eventually found a new love interest. He purchased a house, planted some roots, and even started having children. But the echoes of his previous life were still lurking just below the surface.

                One day, while he and his wife were playing with the kids in the backyard, an unfamiliar face greeted him while leaning on his fence and inquired if he was, in fact, Tater. He responded affirmatively, but was immediately served a summons for a paternity test. He felt this was very odd, due to the fact that he had been married now for 10 years and had only 2 children that he then knew of. The woman who had initiated this paperwork was none other than the camping trip damsel; so he was concerned. The test proved to 99.98% certain that he was, in fact, the father of yet another child. It turns out that this woman had actually been with multiple partners at this time and had eventually hooked one, and gotten married while pregnant. The fiancé believed the child to be his until a time (10 years later) when he discovered his wife had been cheating on him; at which point he began to question the validity of his original assumptions. Through a paternity test he satisfied himself that he was not the father and then denounced his wife and left. This left Tater with a good deal of explaining to do to his own wife, and a handsome child support check to write from then on out.

                The years went on and Tater continued to maintain a somewhat healthy lifestyle. Eventually he had another child and things began to get quite crowded. He also discovered that his two boys may actually have a future in MMA wrestling, as quite a few of his material possessions were destroyed in his boys wake. Eventually the cost and emotional overload pushed Tater to declare his desire to stop having children. His wife however, was not in accord. It was out of his desperation that he succeeded in undergoing a Vasectomy without his wife’s knowledge. His wife however, soon discovered what he had done, and resolved that she might get her way after-all by making extra efforts in the middle-time when it still might be dangerous to have relations. Tater, obviously a man who had proven to break under pressure before, succumbed to his wife’s solicitations, and  eventually found himself to be the father of yet another child.

                And that pretty much sums up this man’s legacy and brings us to the present. It was thus with great interest that I interviewed him. And it is with great anticipation that I present that interview to you today.

Charliesphotoblog: So seriously, how did you get the nickname Tater?

Tater: Ok, you seriously have your facts wrong here. I mean, do you even fact check anything you publish? You need an editor or something… The vessel I came over on was called the “Grubby Russet” gheesh…

Charliesphotoblog: Sorry about that…

Tater: LOL. Seriously, I got that nickname from when I worked at my last job. The guys there seemed to think I looked like Mr. Potato Head. My second day on the job they brought in a potato and put a little uniform on it. I was a victim of constant heckling, which then resulted in obscenities being thrown around with reckless disregard between us. I earned my stripes within a couple of months, and then I was probably the best employee that worked there.

Charliesphotoblog: It’s nice to see you are so modest. But if you only had one word to describe yourself what would it be?

Tater: Unpredictable.

Charliesphotoblog: Why would you say that?

Tater: I have been diagnosed with a rare disease called ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) I don’t think I have ever finished anything, I mean I can be working on the biggest project in the company and the next thing I know I am sitting at Chili’s with no idea how I got there, then when I get back to work I’m on the internet for a few hours. (See? Unpredictable)

Charliesphotoblog: What are your interests?

Tater: Food, Video games, and throwing my weight around the Quality Assurance business.

Charliesphotoblog: If you had a family coat of arms what would be on it?

Tater: It would definitely have a minivan on it somewhere, a capitol ‘B,’ a dollar sign, and a double-wide trailer.

Charliesphotoblog: Speaking of minivan’s, what are you currently driving, and what is your favorite feature?

Tater: I roll a 2000 Dodge Caravan with 245,000 miles on it. My favorite feature is the custom spoiler, for obvious reasons.

Charliesphotoblog: Certain people have made allegations that you currently live in a trailer park. Is that a true statement?

Tater: Well Charlie, I like to refer to these  trailers as “modular homes”. They were brought in on wheels, but they now sit on cinder blocks. I hardly think that dubs them “trailers”

Charliesphotoblog: This has been a little alluded to in my introduction, but how many children do you have?

Tater: 4 at this time that have been confirmed through DNA testing, 1 on the way testing TBD…….

Charliesphotoblog: Wow, so… just wow… Um, okay, so let’s suppose you had an entire day without having to watch the kids, what would you do?

Tater: A perfect day for me would be like 3 hours of just complete silence, and then a large lunch of Thai food.

Charliesphotoblog: If your house were on fire what 5 things would you save?

Tater: Assuming family could be rolled up into one item (if not I’ll sacrifice the wife) I’d take them, plus my cell phone, Prozac, dress shoes (where I hide my money), & my Playstation. LOL

Charliesphotoblog: I’ve noticed that you are quite attached to your cell phone.

Tater: What is your question?

Charliesphotoblog: It’s not a question, I was just making a statement.

Tater: I understand your concern Charlie, and you may be right. I think that my heart may stop beating without my cell phone, I believe it helps me perform my job at the optimal level.

Charliesphotoblog: This is your chance to plug any autobiography you might be coming out with; do you got anything?

Tater: Sure, the release date is TBD, but it’s going to be called “The Tater Times (Memoirs of a broken man).”

Charliesphotoblog: Sounds awesome, I’ll keep on the lookout. And thanks for the time for this glimpse into your life.

Tater: You are quite welcome, I want everyone to understand how awesome it is to be a “plus sized man” in this unforgiving world.


Family Dinner

Posted: May 10, 2012 in Ramblings...

Olive Garden’s slogan is “When you’re here, you’re family.” Well, I have to say I agree with this statement. In fact, last Sunday, as we were eating at our local Olive Garden, I had the distinct feeling I was like family to them; the kind of family that the rest of the family talks bad about behind their back, type of family.  Perhaps I should elaborate…

Content Warning: If you do not have kids, and if you are not a social reject, then you will probably have no idea what I am talking about. All I can say is, feel content with your ignorance, sit back, and learn about how the rest of us function… On the other hand, if you do have kids, or you are a social reject, then I think you should be able to nod your head with assent as I lay this out…

Now normal people without kids will go into the Olive Garden, be greeted by the host or hostess with a warm smile, be seated in the main dining hall, where the atmosphere is lovely and relatively quiet, and they will be treated with a quality level of service. They will be able to carry on conversation and enjoy their dinner with a minimal number of distractions, and leave the restaurant fat, happy, and content. This is not the case for the rest of us.

Amber and I go in last Sunday with the kids, and we were relieved to see the waiting room was empty. Literally, there was not a single person waiting for a table. In fact, I can see open tables directly ahead in the main dining area. However, when I inform the host I will need a table for 2 adults and 2 children (needing highchairs), he mumbles something directly into his little Bluetooth earpiece, and then starts scrolling through his electronic seating chart at the host/hostess podium. After going through all the charts twice, he looks up at me with a furrowed brow and asks for my last name. Without thinking I reply, and then start thinking how odd it is for him to ask such a question. I mean, if I’m going to be waiting, don’t they give you one of those annoying hockey-puck things with a number? Anyway, he tells me there will be a slight wait. He ignores my confused expression, turns around, and continues to mumble something into his Bluetooth device.

We wait for like 2 minutes, and then Mr. Bluetooth comes back in with a satisfied-looking smile on his face and says, “this way please.” We’re led into the main dining area, straight toward an open booth. I glance around at the happy people, joyfully making small talk over their wine and breadsticks, and then I’m jarred back to reality, when I realize we’ve taken a 90 degree turn towards a back room. We enter this back room and it’s like I’ve been teleported into an alternate reality. This backroom is only separated from the main dining area by about 6 inches of drywall, studs, and acrylic plaster, but it might as well be a brick wall. Upon entering the back room the decibel level raises to a low roar. Toys and food particles are strewn about on the floor. People appear sweatier. The table we are seated at still has a fresh sticky glaze on it apparently from the previous dining party’s poor aim. Heck, even this room’s decorum is less “Italiany” than the main dining hall (I think I saw that poster of the 5 dogs playing poker).

To my direct left, there is a long table which is presently being occupied by group of people who look to be the white version of Sanford and Sons. It’s a birthday party, and it looks like the whole family (plus their 15 children) came to wish the old man many pleasant returns. But as I glance around I realize it’s not just people with children they abandon in this place, it’s also the social rejects.

A boy-man gets up, and at first I think it’s Jonah Hill (the fat kid from the Seth Rogan films) but I realize it must only be his stunt double. He has a perfectly trimmed one-inch wide pedi-strap that starts at his sideburns and works its way past his chin, and back around to meet the other side burn. He’s wearing a fabulously ornate gothic-looking “Tapout” T-shirt, which has been stretched to the limit with pasta & numerous breadsticks. About this time, his partner also rises, and for a split second, I think I have just witnesses mitosis… His fe(male?) companion looks exactly like him, only minus the pedi-strap, and plus some wicked looking acne. She’s toned it down a little with a rather large solid black number, which wouldn’t be too bad if it weren’t for the crumbs and rigatoni still clutching onto the fabric.

I glance to the right and see an older gentleman coming in, with what appears to be some old hill woman with straight hair that falls to somewhere around the back of her knee caps in length. As if she needed anything else to distinguish her, she’s wearing a glossy black and turquoise jacket that features some sort of Cherokee Indian embroidery / bedazzling. I avert my eyes when she turns my way.

Then I see an older neighbor who moved away when he foreclosed on his house. I thought to myself, “that’s odd, he really doesn’t appear to be a social reject or anything… why’s he here?” Then the waiter moved and I get a glimpse of his girlfriend. She must have just came from her on-screen appearance in the latest Lil’ John video, because she’s wearing some sort of gold jacket, corn-rows, 3 inch long nails, and the smuggest looking “Mrs. Thang” expression on her face. Literally everywhere I look its either people with kids, or social rejects.  

But this segregation is not where Olive Garden’s Fascism ends. We are greeted by our server (apparently the loser in tonight’s Rock, Paper, Scissors competition for not having to serve in the kid/social reject section). He attempts to be warm and friendly until he realizes we are both having soup and salad (with water) and the girls are splitting a kids’ meal. We are eventually presented with salad (with the bare minimum of dressing included) and breadsticks (which are literally as hard as actual sticks).

As a little side point here, when Amber and I go to Olive Garden and get soup and salad, I try to throw down 2 plates of salad before I get my soup, and then hopefully 2 bowls of soup, depending on how fast I can eat it versus how fast my stomach tells my brain I am actually full. In this manner, I feel like I take full advantage of the endless portions and achieve maximum dollar to food benefit. However, this night, since our server had to work the whole section, instead of just a normal/feasible amount of tables, we did not get our refills in a timely enough fashion for me to be able to over-indulge as I normally do. Plus, I think getting refills on drinks must only apply to soft or alcoholic beverages because my water sat empty for quite some time.

To add insult to injury, Olive Garden has even provided these little archway windows in the separation wall, so that you can look over into the main section and see how the people in the main dining hall are receiving personalized service, and how you aren’t.

By the time the check came, there was no, “thank you for coming to Olive Garden!” Instead, the check was silently thrust in my direction with our after dinner mints unceremoniously strewn about inside the envelope. (I may have been wrong about the unceremonious arrangement of the mints, but at the time I just looked down and thought… “how unceremonious”). As we left, we past the host, again with the wry smile, and I could have sworn I heard a slight mocking tone in his farewell.

Here are my questions…

1)      The segregation process… who makes the call? Is it the host or hostess? Is there someone in a closet or something (Like Rod Roddy on the Price is Right) watching live video footage of people coming in and telling the host/hostess via. blue tooth where to put them?

2)      The host/hostess… If they do make the segregation call themselves, when they interview for a position with Olive Garden, do they already possess this segregation skill? Or is it an on-the-job training sort of thing?

The funny thing is that even after all this abuse, I still believe in the kid/social reject back room segregation policy. That’s right… at some point my kids will have grown up (hopefully not into retarded gangbangers…) and we will return to the main dining hall. And when that happens do I really want to be there with somebody’s whiny kids or Kanye West’s groupies? I think not…

In the time being, I plan to work the loopholes. Perhaps, I was profiled when I gave my last name… perhaps not. In any case, it’s best not to take chances. I’ll leave the kids in the car, go into the lobby, request a table for four under a falsified last name, and then once I have secured a table in the main section, I will retrieve the children, ask for 2 high chairs, and as I pass the host in the hall I’ll give him that same sly smile, and exclaim “FACE!”

Rusty Has a Deathwish

Posted: May 1, 2012 in Ramblings...

I think the scientific community has generally accepted as fact, that those who own pets live longer lives. That just goes to prove that the scientific community doesn’t know jack; or at least Rusty.


Rusty is our seven-and-three-quarter year-old mutt, rescue dog (In case you were wondering, the 3/4’s actually does matter, due to the fact that in dog years that’s like 3.9375 human years, which is kind of a big deal) (Also, he is a rescue dog in the sense that we rescued him from slaughter at the hands of the state, not as in, he’s rescuing people stuck in an avalanche or anything).

Anyway, Rusty was a good dog for seven years before he was destroyed. Oh, I don’t mean he died; no, I apologize, I was speaking more like when Obi-Wan was telling Luke about how his father had been destroyed… you see Rusty was overcome by the dark-side and eventually destroyed by his alter-personality. In that way, I didn’t technically lie to you; it was the truth “from a certain perspective.” However, unlike Anakin/Darth Vader, Rusty did not get some sort of cool Sith lord title (because he’s a dog people, and that would just be ridiculous…)  

Anyway the story of Rusty’s fall from grace starts in November 2011. My brother in law thought it would be an awesome idea to deep fry a turkey. And since we do most of our family dinners at my house, it was kind of implied that we would be frying this turkey in my backyard. I told him I was fine with that (which was my first mistake). Now this is where most “deep frying a turkey” stories go into that whole ‘I almost melted my face off when I put in the frozen turkey and it exploded;’ however my brother in law knows how to do it properly, and we had no safety issues. In fact it was quite a good turkey and nobody got Ebola or anything from eating it.

So now you’re probably saying, “how can you possibly link Rusty’s decent into the dark-side with properly deep frying a turkey?” Well, let me tell you… Just as good as my brother in law is with deep frying a turkey; he is equally as bad cleaning up after himself. I believed cleaning up was an unstated expectation/condition of our verbal contract, but apparently that feeling was not mutual as he never came back to clean up. And since cleaning up after him would not be doing my brother in law any favors, from a ‘character-building’ standpoint, I let that 5-gallon stainless steel container of peanut oil sit in my backyard as a talisman for approximately another 4 months. Eventually my desire for a less white-trashy backyard overcame the desire to see my brother in law have a ‘character-building’ experience and I decided to clean it up myself.

I imagined 4-month-old peanut oil to be a little more rancid than what greeted me when I lifted the lid. In fact, it really wasn’t that bad looking, and only smelled kind of peanutty and a little oily, instead of disgusting (which makes sense when you think about it), so I felt that this would not be quite as bad as I thought. However, apparently I had not put THAT much thought into it, because I still had not come up with a place to dump the peanut oil. And this is where the story takes a disastrous turn. You see, I have an area in the back of my house, down a small hill, that just contains bushes, old leaves, brambles, etc… and that sounded (at the time) like the perfect place to dump said oil… All 5 gallons of it… I kicked some leaves and junk over it, and congratulated myself for de-white-trashing the yard.

Flash forward to 2am the next morning. My wife gets up to attend to our crying infant, and steps in something viscous on the floor. She’s thinking some water must have gotten knocked off the night stand, so she looks down and she can tell even by the twilight in our room that it is not water due to the fact that her white sock is now black. So she takes our youngest out to the living room to rock her while I attend to the fluid. I turn the light on, and I am introduced to the most foul dog vomit explosion I have ever seen. It’s really not that hard to imagine. Take dirt, leaves, miscellaneous sticks and seeds (possibly) and stir them all up with used 4-month-old peanut oil… I felt violated after having to clean that mess up. Anyway, I explained the situation to my wife, who surprisingly took it quite well, checked the rest of the house, and we returned to bed.

The next day went rather smoothly. When I returned from work, I dug up the whole area tilled the soil, and then piled a bunch of wood, branches, and heavy miscellaneous items over the soiled earth. I felt satisfied that Rusty would not be able to get into the offending cooking oil (due to his absence of opposable thumbs) and absolutely nothing bad could happen at this point. How wrong was I…

That evening, my mother in law let Rusty out to go to the bathroom. He seemed gone for quite some time, and then as my Mother in law was opening the door to let him back in, she screamed in horror and slammed the door. Naturally, I was drawn to the sound of shrieking from the other end of the house, so I darted over as fast as I could. As I approached the living room this horrible garlic smell hit my face, and I just knew something awful had happened. My mother in law was staring in shock through the glass door at the monstrous beast lurking just on the other side. At first I recoiled a little at the sight. It was like Rusty went trick or treating and wore this ultra-realistic Cujo-style halloween costume or something; only it wasn’t a costume…

Unfortunately I did not have the foresight to grab my camera. Looking back, I constantly beat myself up about it, because as you know a picture tells a thousand words and honestly, in this case, I don’t even think a thousand would do it justice. He emerged from the darkness with the porch lights illuminating his eyes like golden alien spheres. His fur was matted and appeared to be wet. His hackles were up, his muzzle was bloody, and he kept doing this sneeze where he bared his front canines and shook his head. In short, he scared the crap out of me.

It all hit me at once. He had been sprayed by a skunk because he interrupted the skunk trying to get at the peanut oil. Apparently there had been an altercation, and either Rusty or the skunk had inflicted or sustained a nasty wound. I determined I would have to go out to check Rusty even though he may be in the process of changing into a zombie at that very moment. I opened the door and was immediately hit with the strongest, most pungent odor I can ever say I have had the displeasure of smelling. It was like frankenstein gave life to a rubber tire filled with garlic, and then somebody set it on fire creating an acrid burning rubber-garlic-death smoke stench. I checked him out as quickly as I could, determined he was not the victim in this situation, and then ventured out to find a fresh skunk corpse out in my backyard. Apparently the skunk was able to limp off somewhere to die, because it was not in the yard. Since there was no way I would be cleaning him up that night, and since there was ABSOLUTELY no way I was letting him back in the house, I tied him up on a short run outside.

After the vet visit the next day to confirm that he did not have rabies (which by the way is pretty pointless due to the fact that they really can’t confirm, just recommend you quarantine him and look for “foaming of the mouth”), we assembled the materials necessary to de-stank our pooch. The instructions told us we needed to combine baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and water in a cauldron, and then stir counter-clockwise while “cackling.” In addition to this, I obtained the following safety gear: Double-insulated elbow length gloves, Z87 safety goggles, and Adidas Shell-Toe sneakers. I also managed to dig out my least flattering clothing just in case of splattering/spillage. Rusty got like 3 peroxide baths, and then we set him up a nice flat in the garage for about 2 weeks.

Skip forward about 2 weeks and 1 day in time. Amber and I both had to work, so Rusty had the run of the house. Once again another bad idea… I should have realized that a dog who eaten a substantial amount of peanut oil soufflé and then strewn it about the master bedroom the last time he stayed inside the house, probably should have at least been contained to an area with a less-porous flooring material. Alas, I did not. When we returned from work, our master bedroom carpeting (where the puke pile had been cleaned weeks before) looked as if it had been scalped like a cowboy that had ventured too far into Comanche territory. Rusty had eaten the weave of our California Berber down to the backing (which I can only assume he did not eat because it contained fiber and might possibly be good for him).

My wife found the spot first. The guttural sound that came from her in most parts told me immediately that action was necessary. I stepped into the room, looked down, and then Amber and I just stood there, both looking at the spot silently both thinking approximately the same thing. I spoke first.

Me: How much do you think it costs to have a pet put down?

Amber: (After 2 minutes of thought). My carpet…

Me: I bet we need to have some sort of diagnosis that he’s in pain or something before they would do it though…

Amber: He. Ate. Our. Carpet.

Me: Maybe I should just have somebody from work do it. I know people who live in the country and own guns…

Amber: (Stunned Silence)

Me: Yeah, that’s the ticket, I’ll make it happen… I wonder how much a bullet costs?

Amber: No. No, we can’t do that.

And that pretty much ended the discussion, because I wasn’t about to argue with Amber / The Voice of Reason, because technically it was my fault anyway. However, I never punished Rusty because 1) I’m sure throwing up peanut oil soufflé is probably punishment enough, and 2) I still wasn’t convinced I wasn’t going to kill him (I was kind of looking at him like he was Lennie from Of Mice and Men at that point) and that just seemed like enough punishment if it actually happened.

You would think that after The Great Peanut Oil Disaster of 2011-2012, Rusty would be on better behavior. Sadly this is just not true. Electrical cords (while they are still plugged in), children’s toys, diapers (new or otherwise), repaired electrical cords (after being plugged in again), sticks, birth control, toothbrushes, remote controls, and nylon straps have all been laid waste and left to ruin in Rusty’s wake. But his most favorite delicacy is without a doubt baby wet wipes. Just last week he ate almost a half of a pack, which was left out on the couch. It’s gotten so bad now, that when I mow the grass, it almost looks like a ticker-tape parade…

Now all these things would kill a normal dog, but despite his best efforts to do himself in, Rusty continues to chance death at each turn. As of this posting, he is still alive and well.


Posted: April 28, 2012 in Ramblings...

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I’m not so sure about that… I mean, I can readily admit I have a problem, but it doesn’t really stop me from doing what I do. I think they need to change that saying to “The first step to recovery is having your spouse place parental controls on your account.” It’s called an addiction folks…

I’m not really sure what it is about Amazon, but that site is just AMAZING. Where else can you search for just about anything from the discretion of your own semi-darkened office? (Wow that really sounded creepy…). I just got an email this morning, here’s what the subject line said: Recommends: Precious Lil’ Pirate Toddler / Child Costume

So you know I had to open that message up… Once open, I had like 20 different links to check out items that matched some of my previous buying history. And that’s when I realized I really do have a problem… The list included photography equipment, LED lights on a strand, a 365-day Chuck Norris desk calendar, A Bob Ross DVD collection, Hong Kong Phooey T-shirt Iron-on’s, fake eyebrows, ski goggles, and bulk batteries. Oh, all that in addition to the Precious Lil’ Pirate Toddler / Child Costume that is… Funny thing is that as I viewed all these recommendations I was all like “wow… Amazon really DOES know me!”

As a side note, the “Precious Lil’ Pirate Toddler / Child Costume was nothing like what I was expecting. That may or may not have anything to do with the fact that whenever I see the word “Lil’” in any product description I immediately think the worst. For example, I’m picturing this outfit that has one leg permanently affixed in the “up” position, while the other leg is in the “down” position. The costume comes with an eye-patch, but instead of solid, it’s slotted like Kayne’ West sunglasses, and there is a “crunk cup” accessory that comes with instructions on how to make your own codeine-laced sizurp mixture.

By the way, I know I still have yet to explain why the “Precious Lil’ Pirate Toddler / Child Costume” was recommended on the email… but I think that’s enough for today.