2012: In Numbers

For whatever reason, I’ve been feeling a little, I don’t know, sentimental, about the new year, so I thought I’d take a minute and jot down some of 2012′s more significant personal moments if only to fabricate some closure for myself before heading into the new year. The previous sentence contains five commas, which is probably three or four too many. It is literally a non-stop party around here.

On the blogging front, 2012 started with a few precious embers of promise, albeit a little forced. That promise quickly faded, and I only made two posts after February, the most recent one in May. WHATEVER. When it’s forced, it sucks. So I stopped forcing it. Here is a short list of things:

397: I started running in earnest in late 2011 and I managed to keep it going through most of 2012, save some dry spells in April, the middle of September, and pretty much all of December. In total, I ran just under 400 miles, and around 490 if you include the tail end of 2011. 400 miles is a hell of a lot more than zero miles or even 100 miles, and I’m proud of that. But 397 miles over the course of a year is fewer than 8 miles per week, which is … not very many miles. I ran three races in 2012, a 5k, a 10k, and a 6k. Adding more races to the calendar will help pile up the miles. I like running.

90: Due largely to Blake’s insatiable appetite for brewing, I brewed 90 gallons of beer this year, far more than any previous year by a large margin. I don’t really feel the need to increase that amount, rather there are some significant improvements to be made–namely fermentation temperature control and possibly a new mash tun design–to make the beer better.

32: In May, Russ and I started a podcast called 1 Beer 1 Song. It started on little more than an impulse, but the underlying motivation was genuine: the mutual desire for a creative outlet. The best decision we made was to just hit Record and worry about everything else later. Write that down. We eventually settled into a weekly schedule and finished the year with 32 episodes published. Shameless plug: Subscribe on iTunes and follow us on Twitter. We also have a page on The Book of Faces.

5: This is my fifth season on the Atlanta Falcons Drumline. It is a quirky gig, and I am likely 10-15 years too old to be in the thick of a gig like this. The reality is I get to play sexy beats with my dude friends 8 or so times a year, which I thought was a done deal when I left college in 1999. So, I’m going to keep after it until they ask me to resign, politely or otherwise.

3: I was able to attend GABF for the third time this year. I can give or take the festival itself, but it is hard to find better craft beer ambiance than GABF week in the Denver metro area.

1: In April I rode one airboat through the Everglades in South Florida. Yes, it was exactly like Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach.

Hot Sauce

[Testing the WordPress iPhone app]

I stayed up late last night, and I’ve been feeling a little MEH all morning. I put some of this hot sauce on my lunch (leftover shrimp and grits courtesy of the Geester) and now I feel like I could kick a moose over a minivan. A full-sized, adult moose. Not the little mascot under my monitor. Don’t be ridiculous.

20110729-122110.jpg

Post-publish edit: The WordPress iPhone app works pretty well. It allows you to assign categories and tags, add images, videos and other attachments, preview and save drafts, and schedule specific publish dates and times. It doesn’t have any built in text-formatting features, but you can always just add the html tags yourself. Same goes for adding links, etc. It also doesn’t support any of the post-editing features made available by this fancy-ass theme I’m using. So I had to come back to the desktop version and do quite a but of tweaking. Still, I approve. WILL EBAY AGAIN.

[Name To Be Revealed Later]

Let’s quit screwing around and pick this pig up where we left off three years (!!!) ago, which is talking about the GHAT DAMN deck I have been building nonstop since my last meaningful post. You knew that was why I quit updating the blog, right? Oh, you thought it was because I got busy at work or had a kid? No no. I have been building a deck every day for the past 37 months. I was fired from my job back in 2008 after not showing up for several weeks. That red-headed kid in all the pictures on my Facebook whom many of you have met? Yeah, we’ve been borrowing him from an orphanage here in Smyrna just to keep up appearances. Sweet kid.

Well it certainly feels like I’ve been building the deck that long. And I’m sure it’s felt that way for the numerous friends who have donated entire Saturdays and Sundays to risk heat exhaustion and slipped disks only so that I can have ~1000 ft² of pressure-treated lumber to pee off of late at night. And during the day.

So, following the sink hole rodeo from our last episode, I fell out of attack mode and into a spiral of uncertainty. Did I really solve the problem? What happens if I spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on a new deck only to have it fall into a hole in my yard? What if the solution costs hundreds of millions of dollars? I might have to get a loan for that kind of cheddar!

The Summer of 2008 came and went. I changed jobs in the fall, which was demanding, but, let’s be honest, ain’t nobody building shit during football season, not because of the football games, but because somehow it’s always like, “HURR, AUTUMN, WHAT DID YOU DO WITH ALL MY WEEKENDS?!!” To my credit, however, I did install bamboo floors on the entire first floor of our house that fall. By myself. Like a boss. All day. Real talk.

Then the holidays.

Oh, is it 2009 already? Oh, is your wife pregnant? Sounds like a FINE time to forego nesting and spend your time hammering together a tree house for the grill. Good luck with that. Despite the CIIIRRRRRRRCLE OF LIIIIFE disruption, there was one notable deck development in the summer of ’09. Since the original sink hole project a year earlier, I noticed a couple spots had settled, meaning I was inevitably going to need to get out the big(ger) guns if I wanted this problem solved. In June, I rented an excavator, and Danny and I spent an afternoon trying to figure out how to stop almost killing each other. We also managed to move some dirt. Look, there’s a [bad] video:

We dug out the hole until it felt like solid clay on all sides and the bottom; much, much more than I had done by myself the previous summer. After replacing all the dirt (kill me), everything seemed pretty solid, albeit compressed slightly. (Lest it seem like this is foreshadowing, I’ll go ahead and tell you everything has remained stable since the excavator exercise. Exhale.)

In September, Mattias was born, which was rad. I showed Matty off to the deck project, and the deck was cool about it, but I could tell he was more than a little resentful. I even caught a couple off-handed comments over the following months. “Hey. What’s up? Just chillin’ in the back yard like, uh, every day. Listen, I thought, maybe if you weren’t busy this weekend, you could maybe, I don’t know, it seems like it would be pretty easy to start the demoli–oh, right, you did already tell me about that. No, I mean, of course you should. Kids these days certainly can’t like raise themselves or whatever. I guess I’ll still be in the yard if you need me. Fuckin’ kid huh? What? I didn’t say anything. Yeah sure, later.”

So Matty was born in the Fall, and we’ve already covered what Fall is like. So … THEN THE HOLIDAYS!

I’d like to pause and reflect on how cavalier I am about my life going past me like a bullet train. I should probably take some time to sit down and wri-ONWARD!!!

Let’s see … 2010. Two Thousand and Ten. I don’t remember a god damned thing about 2010.

So here we are in sunny 2011. At some point during the winter, my inner monologue convinced me to quit agonizing over every little detail and just start the stupid piece of crap. There was a slow clap and everything. How does the saying go? A journey of a thousand miles begins with numerous, confidence-draining false starts?

So start we did. On Sunday, March 6th, a little hungover, we (Russ, John, Dave, Keith, and Garrett) tore the old deck off of Tall Brown.

I guess I should pause and tell you why I am replacing the old deck to begin with …

June Search Strings

It appears as though our monthly search string journey will soon be coming to a close. And by “coming to a close” I mean “smothered to lifelessness by a pillowcase full of MySpace search strings.” As I’ve said before, I only get to see the first 1,000 strings on the list (in June there were 3917 total). Out of the first 1,000 strings, I would say at least 850 or so contain some sort of MySpace layout reference. Borrrrrrring.

The winner, searched for 229 times in one month, is redneck myspace layouts. And coming in second, with 123 individual pings, is preppy myspace layouts. I tell you what … the internet sure makes me hate the internet. Here’s what I was able to salvage from the rest of the list, including some of the more choice myspace selections:

sand sluts
meth sluts
utah sluts
nazi myspace layout
make nunchucks
mexican sluts
juicy myspace layouts
bleach myspace layouts
people getting wedgies
bitch myspace layouts
uncle pool
preppy sluts
gay shorties [gay shorties, you have fallen so far]
redneck sluts
donkey humping
jet ski myspace layouts
publix sucks
brown pride layouts for myspace
family guy porn
sike religion
mexican prom
scion hat
crunk juice myspace layouts
diaper myspace layouts
make roofies
dog tone
tone dog
pucky camel toe
thin myspace layouts
jimail
ass clapping
850lbs sluts
christianity is retarded
dog food myspace layouts
having a poop
beard01
naked scouts
what rhymes with sixty
hot shicks
win a plasma cutter
turn the myspace music off
humping a turkey
black guy with nunchucks video
rad myspace layouts
pig luncher
hooters dunk tank
mow diagonally
dunk a wench
gators eat boogers
free workouts with noodles
enya in ipa
lick my socks
corn seeds
harlot poncho
kick balls t-shirt girl nuts
dee snyder vs sarah jessica parker
neck infected
slough sluts
untuck my shirt
rate my booger
epitome of a douche
humping donkeys that hump people
jacked up trucks layouts for myspace

Wait for it …

I can’t in good conscience go silent for almost an entire month only to screw it up by flipping the switch on the 29th. So I’ll just ride it out until 7/1 … ish.

It’s been a long month.

May Search Strings

Okay … the “MySpace layout” search string situation fully exploded in May. Most months, there are between 1200 and 1500 search strings in the logfile. For May, 2006, the logfile contains 3469 total strings, although I only get to see the first 1,000 individually. Out of the first 40 strings on the list, 37 of them are some sort of MySpace layout reference. How to make nunchucks is 23rd on the list! Gay Shorties is 41st!! That’s unacceptable! The vertically unambitious homosexuals need to step it up!

Continue reading

FYI

The regularity of my blogging does not look to be increasing any time soon. In the next month, guess how many plane trips I’m taking. No, that would only be one per week.

The magic number is six. And six is a lot, even for a remote, outside sales rep, which I’m not.

I actually enjoy the travel, and you would think the down time would make for great blogging, but I haven’t been able to connect the dots for some reason.

And now I’m blogging about blogging, which I hate, so I’ll get my stop on.

Lookout! Links!

Rather than update the April Search Strings post and test everyone’s scrolling ability by filling your RSS feeds with a four foot tall repost, I’ll do this separate, micro-sized update. You’re welcome.

It seems that the many repetitions of the word myspace has gotten my content hijacked by several possibly questionable aggregators. It’s strangely flattering. The circle of links continues (cue Elton John soundtrack):

Example #1
Example #2
Example #3
Example #4

And those are just what showed up in Technorati, a website whose results I find highly suspicious.

April Search Strings – MySpace month

Is it May already? Hot diggity damn. I guess that means there’s a fresh batch of depravity waiting for me in the stats repository. Let’s go see how we did in April …

Maintaining its grip on the top spot is the ever-viral how to make nunchucks, a feat about which I really have nothing to say. And I’ll spare you all the nunchuck variations this time around. Slipping all the way down to fourth place is the venerable gay shorties, which has been near the top since record keeping began. They must be amidst a rebuilding campaign. And after an impressive March showing of second place, holz hausen dropped to tenth place.

My mention of it last month now seems to be more foreshadowing than I could have ever predicted, but randomly assorted searched for myspace layouts takes the cake for this month’s theme. I guess people are getting more and more fed up with how decidedly awful MySpace profiles look by default, so they’re searching en masse for ways to make them look much, much worse.

Look at the entire top ten:

Continue reading

March Search Strings

It’s that time of the month! (Which means, basically, it’s the beginning of the month.) Join me as we open the tonysimon.org stat factory to see what sort of depraved, amoral souls have been sniffing around my corner of the internet over the past 31 days. But first, this news …

If you think I’m going to rejoice even a little bit that Old Rooster Neck DeLay claims he’s stepping down, then your thinking juice is all jacked up. There’s something not right about this. The optimist in me wants to think that he’s stepping down because he knows the whole corruption / Abramoff / laundering / puppy-stomping thing is about to blow up in his face like four meth labs. But it can’t be that simple. I refuse to believe that the Texas Taliban hasn’t figured out a way to make lemonade out of a flaming sack of salmonella diarrhea. DeLay stepping down is the first step in a much larger plan, but I can’t wrap my wee brain around all the possibilities, so I’m just going to pretend he’s still in charge because he probably is. Tony Simon, Gratuitous Dumbassitude News, Atlanta.

This was a pretty good month for search strings. The leader in overall quantity was one that has been knocking on the top spot for several months now. Without further ado, I present you how to make nunchucks. The next six in order of frequency:

Continue reading