31 December 2010

The Festivus For The Rest Of Us!

Now that Christmas has come and gone, how about a little Oh Pepper? holiday recap for you? Here was our tree this year:



You can see Robin's presents from me underneath. As you can guess, people always love getting presents wrapped by me. I think it has to do with my glamorous and glitzy custom-wrapping jobs. I've thought about opening a gift-wrapping business to rival Nordstrom's but I just don't have the time it takes to do this full-time. If you're going to do something, do it right--that's what I always say. Anyway, it looks like Robin has been nice this year because she's apparently getting three pairs of shoes, something from Amazon, and Carnation instant breakfast.

An added bonus about this tree: we got it from a tree lot where Chocolate City (RIP) once stood:


Can't go wrong with that. Also, we went to a Christmas party last week with a white elephant gift exchange. I chose pickle gumballs and ranch-flavored toothpicks wrapped in a diaper. I had a hard time opening it since I've never changed a diaper before but the surprises inside were worth it. Unfortunately, though, someone stole it from me so I had to settle for bacon-flavored candy and bacon adhesive bandages.



Because nothing says "Christmas" like bacon-flavored candy and adhesive bandages. Now on to my "real" presents. This Edward bookmark is probably my favorite:



YES!!! Everyone knows how much I love Twilight and it's one of my resolutions this year to re-read all the books again so this was the perfect gift. Thanks, wife! A close second is this "Cute Overload" 2011 calendar:



Usually I get a golf course calendar for myself each year, but I'll probably buy the "Cute Overload" one from now on. Also, someone sent me a card saying they donated a llama, bees, chicks, sheep and rabbits to Heifer International "in my honor." I'll be honest with you, I've never been a big fan of these kinds of gifts. First of all, why not just send me the farm animals directly? I could use some fresh honeycombs, eggs, and wool. Second, like when George Costanza made fake donations to the Human Fund on behalf of his co-workers and kept the money for himself, how do you know Heifer International is real? 'Oh Pepper International' sounds just as legit. See for yourself:


Which one is real?

And finally, you know what the last week of December means: college bowl games! I really enjoyed watching powerhouse games such as the Little Caesars Bowl, R+L Carriers Bowl, Beef O' Brady's Bowl, uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, Maaco Bowl, and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The rich history and tradition of these classic bowl games is matched by few American sporting events and to me it wouldn't be the Christmas season without spectacles like this.

Anyway, if the new year is half as amazing as my Christmas haul, you know it will be a good one. Happy New Year!

15 December 2010

Is NASCAR A Sport: An Essay



Some questions in life will never be answered. Like why Judah Friedlander is in the opening credits of 30 Rock, why panhandlers ask for money as they're smoking a cigarette, or why people say the Cowboys are 'America's Team'. But today let's talk about this one: is NASCAR a sport?

To do this we shall analyze the elements of the definition like any good attorney would. Dictionary.com defines the word "sport" as "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often a competitive nature, such as racing*, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc." *Obviously 'racing' here is referring to running or cycling or the like.

First, is NASCAR an athletic activity? I don't think so. Sitting in a car is the same as sitting on a couch in my book. I mean, the drivers only break a sweat because they wear those goofy jumpsuits and it's hot inside the car. You could be 500 pounds and still drive a race car (if you could fit through the window.)

Next, does NASCAR require skill? Well, does it require skill for you or I to cruise on the interstate? I've been doing it for 15 years and it doesn't seem all that special to me. Plus when I do it, I actually turn right once in a while. (Conversely, one could argue that it does require some degree of talent to talk with a drawl.)

Next, does NASCAR require physical prowess? Well, note the fact that Dale Earnhardt was 50 in his last race and you tell me. As long as grandpas are behind the wheel, I'll have to go with no. (No offense, Dad Dad.)

Last, is NASCAR is competitive in nature? I'm actually going to concede this one but only because of my favorite scene from 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story where young Dale exclaims to his father in a moment of passion, "All I wanna do is race, Daddy!" Love it! I also really liked Ricky Bobby's and Cal Naughton's sweet "Shake 'n Bake!" move in the NASCAR documentary, Talladega Nights. (Who knew that a documentary would be able to capture that raw, competitive nature of NASCAR drivers so accurately?)

So in summary, NASCAR only meets one out of the four elements of the definition of "sport." Other arguments that don't help its case include the fact that it's boring and a complete waste of time. Also, I don't think people even watch NASCAR. You might say, "What about those large stadiums full of cheering (and smelly) fans?" I would say, "CGI. How do you think they had full stands of people in the background of Fever Pitch? We all know no one would have sat through the filming of that crap (or paid actual money to watch the movie.)"

Now that we know NASCAR isn't a sport, we can get back to answering more important questions. Like, why every Notre Dame home game is televised on NBC, if Michael Vick still has a thirst for dog fighting, or how people actually say to themselves, "I need a new car. Why not a Pontiac Aztek?"

06 December 2010

Google It!

Some of my favorite Google searches that have recently brought people to Oh Pepper? :
  • Why is mayonnaise gross
  • Rappers with gold teeth
  • Kanye West teeth
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins (this picture comes up)
  • Ice tea on Law and Order
  • Goldteeth
  • Liz Lemon mustache
  • Bindi Irwin and the Crocmen
  • Pictures of hairballs
  • Michael Vick dog pictures
  • Chris Berman and his bad neck ties
  • Vick jersey for dogs
Three cheers for the internet!

30 November 2010

It Tastes Like Chicken!

I know many of you regularly look to Oh Pepper? for important news updates and investigative reporting. So please read on. I now bring your attention to this picture that has recently been going around the interwebs:



No, it's not frozen yogurt; this is processed chicken which will soon be cooked up into yummy chicken nuggets and chicken patties for you to eat.

Now for the recipe. First you separate as much "meat" as you can from the bones--eyes, guts, etc.--and smash it through a sieve. Then you douse it with ammonia to kill all the poisonous bacteria crawling around. Then you add artificial chicken flavoring because ammonia-flavored stuff tastes gross. Then you add artificial food coloring because it is this weird pink color. Then you bread it and fry it and you get your delicious chicken nuggets.

You heard it here. And if it's on the internet, you know it must be true.

Up next: The truth about hot dogs!

15 November 2010

Your Mom Goes To College!



I recently read this "news" story from BYU's Police Beat and just had to re-post it here:

Oct. 5 Two male students were arguing over dating. One was having a difficult time getting dates and was telling the other student about it. The second student joked that he didn’t have a difficult time getting dates and he could date the other student’s mother. The first student took offense and slammed the second student against a wall and brandished a knife. Upon arrival, the police arrested the first student for aggravated assault. However, the second student decided not to press charges, so the first student was released.

I'm not sure which part is funniest: that the first guy can't get a date at BYU, that the second guy said he could get a date with the first guy's mom, or that the dating-your-mom statement caused the first guy to actually pull a knife on the second guy. All around classic. Only in Provo, I guess.

08 November 2010

Welcome Back, Coco!



That's right, I won one of the 10,000 free Conan shirts. And it only took me two hours of constantly refreshing the @TeamCoco Twitter feed waiting for the stupid online code to come through. (Actually I won two but I didn't get the second in Robin's size so I'm in a little bit of trouble.) Welcome back to TV, Conan! (But sorry I won't be watching live tonight, you're on too late.)

03 November 2010

50,000!

Sometime today Oh Pepper? will hit a total of 50,000 visitors since its inception in 2007. Assuming an average of 1 minute per visit, that is 833 hours that you readers will never get back. I guess you could do a lot worse (really, Jersey Shore?), but I sincerely apologize for wasting your time with this nonsense.

So as a thank you for stopping by, the 50,000th visitor will get this signed picture of me with My Buddy:



Leave a comment if you're the lucky 50,000th (or you could just right click and save.) And since you're here now, why not join the Oh Pepper? Facebook Page? 54 people already have and they are all moderately glad they did.

01 November 2010

Farewell, Francie!

Who is Francie, you ask? Until now you've only seen her in Mii form:



Let me give you a recap: Francie has been our landlady since we moved into our building about four years ago. She doesn't drive, she takes long walks with her dog at 5:00 a.m., and she wears exotic outfits (when I met her she was wearing all purple--boots, leggings, skirt, jacket, jewelry, hat, makeup). She is also very meticulous about maintaining our building and the grounds. We often find handwritten notes (we don't think she has a computer) on the front door updating us on the various happenings accordingly.

For example, once she wrote an obituary for the plum tree that fell over in the backyard (sorry, no picture of this one). She left notes outside telling passers-by to clean up their messes.



She periodically left notes on our car informing us that we were parked too long and would be towed.



She left notes everywhere informing the delivery men and mailman that they couldn't leave packages unattended (but how did she type this one???).



She posted 'No Smoking' signs everywhere. One morning she left a note warning us of the dangerous icy conditions. She left notes reminding us to wipe our feet when it was snowy outside.



And probably my favorite memory of her was when she set up a cat house in the common area out back and then later shoveled a walkway so the wild animals to get to the cat house/critter motel during a blizzard (you should click on these links--they're classic!).

Unfortunately though, she and the building's owner recently decided to part ways. So when we brought her some delicious homemade cookies to say thanks for being a great landlady to us all these years, naturally we took a picture together:



So Francie, this blog entry is dedicated to you (sorry you can't read it, maybe it's time for a computer?). We'll miss all your handwritten notes around the building, your exotic yet color-coordinated outfits, and our lingering chats when we'd walk to our car while you were watering the plants. Farewell, Francie!

20 October 2010

Why We Wear Ties: An Essay

Why do we wear neck ties? The more I think about it, the further I am from an answer. I get the suit and dress shirt, sure, but the tie?

Society: "Hey, you're a guy, so you should fasten a colorful, yet tight, noose around your neck."
Guy: "Okay."

When you think about it that way, maybe Lady Gaga's meat dress wasn't so crazy after all.

And I haven't even mentioned how dangerous they are. Who hasn't gotten their tie stuck in a blender, shredder, or escalator at some point?

(Don't worry buddy, we've all been there!)

And don't even think about telling your mom you don't want to wear one to church. She might make you wear two:
(My little brother, circa 1991)

Missionaries don't have a choice either--they have to wear one every day: (some wear the same one for their entire mission, except for transfer days)

(Rome, 1999. Also required: sweet braided leather belts.)

But really, why does society insist on this social norm? We already know we won't wear them in the future:
(Stardate 5943.7, Stardate 47622.1)

And we know from history how lame previous iterations looked:
(1795, 1815)

Plus styles change drastically every decade so you have to keep buying new ones. At the time they may look fine but when you look back it's pretty obvious they were ridiculous:
(San Diego, 1970s)

Surprisingly, though, if you wait long enough, your old ties will become stylish again:
(1966, 2010)

But sometimes they don't look good even now and you just know they never will:
(2010)

But we still wear them. And I have no idea why.

11 October 2010

Books: Check 'Em Out!



Seattle just announced huge budget cuts and increased taxes across the city for the upcoming year. This includes cuts to the Seattle Public Library budget as well as reduced hours and a mandatory week-long, branch-wide library closure in August.

Or maybe instead they could save money by not buying:
  • 64 copies of Sh*t My Dad Says (I'm mostly just jealous that my blog/twitter account haven't made me millions)
  • 6 copies of Saw, 4 copies of Saw II, 3 copies of Saw III, and 9 copies of Saw IV
  • 31 copies of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
  • 51 copies of Clash of the Titans (not sure if this is the new or old version, but does it really matter?)
  • 42 copies of Twilight (the book) and 134 copies of Twilight (the movie)
  • 160 copies of Battlestar Galactica (we made the mistake of renting season one recently--what a frakking waste of time)
  • 167 copies of The Hangover
  • 126 copies of Pineapple Express
  • 104 copies of Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  • 48 copies of Knocked Up
  • 43 copies of Superbad
Anyway, it's just an idea.

07 October 2010

Birthday Recap

Well, my big day was a few weeks ago. I didn't write a blog the day of like last year because basically I'm out of birthday material. Also, I'm now closer to 40 than 20 and that really depresses me. But I still wanted to show the world my amazing birthday cakes from the past two birthdays, courtesy of my lovely wife.

This year: Super Mario Bros.!!!



(Despite what it may seem, I am actually in my thirties.)

Last year: Legos!!!

(Why am I wearing the same shirt two years in a row??? Another aside: when Robin went into the Lego store to ask if they had any decorations for a birthday party she was planning, they thought it was for her little boy. Little boy no, man child yes.)

Bonus recap from two years ago: Pizza!!!

(Robin found these old invitations in her granny's house. They were scratch and sniff!!)

With any luck, next year I'll get a Twilight cake!

30 September 2010

People Who Surprisingly Aren't Unemployed

You've probably read in the news that the economy is in the tank. And you probably know someone with a great education and a lot of experience who can't find a job. That's why it's amazing that certain people actually have jobs right now. This blog is about some of those people.


The UPS whiteboard guy: We all know who this guy is. First of all, he needs to get a haircut. He might not be sporting a mullet per se, but those locks are way too long for his own good. And besides drawing stupid diagrams on a magical whiteboard that go along with his 30-second blurb, what else can he do? He's probably never even delivered a package in his life. I don't know how he got this gig with UPS but I don't see him going anywhere but down from this point on. Maybe the Post Office?


Chris Berman from ESPN: He's been with ESPN since its inception but he got famous in the '90s for his "clever" nicknames for baseball players. For example, "Tony Gwynn For The Gipper." Blah. He looks like George Costanza, only stockier and without the glasses, yet he is the face of ESPN. Then there's this urban legend about him picking up some beautiful woman named "Leather" in a bar. I've never known what to make of that. And it's not even like he knows that much about sports. Every year his record is horrible as he makes weekly NFL picks as the "Swami." If not for ESPN, he'd be your weird used car salesman uncle who comes to Thanksgiving dinner wearing a tacky holiday sweater.


Kathy Griffin: I've disliked her since she was in an episode of Seinfeld in the '90s. She played a friend of George's fiancee', Susan, who was really annoying and caused a lot of unnecessary grief for Jerry over a bottle of barbecue sauce. I don't think there's much reason to believe she's any different in real life. It's amazing that she has a TV show and that people actually watch it. Granted, it's called, "My Life on the D-List," but still. The last commercial I saw for it she was talking about getting a papsmear on national TV. Seriously?

The lab girl from NCIS: I'm not even sure of her name. I just know she plays a forensic scientist on NCIS. And she sometimes wears a spike collar and she always drinks fake Super Big Gulps. I've never seen her in real life, but would you hire her to do anything for you? Anything? I hope she's saving all her paychecks from NCIS because once that show is canceled, it's back to the mosh pits for her.

Paul Shaffer from The Late Show: After Jay Leno, this guy is the biggest dope on late night TV. The glasses, outlandish outfits, lame interjections, and bad music just don't do it for me. And hopefully not for anyone. He sums up perfectly, "If not this, then what would he be doing?" I've been sitting here for a half hour and I can't come up with anything. Seriously, a half hour. I guess I'm the loser now.

For next time: the entire Jersey Shore cast, Justin Bieber, all the Kardashians, and anyone who has anything to do whatsoever with Twilight!

24 September 2010

8ARACK!



You probably already know I don't understand free license plate holder advertising but these vanity plates I recently saw are even more puzzling. Who knew that two different people would think to put the President's name on their license plate? I know Washington is a blue state but come on! Plus, what is the President going to do if he moves here after his term and wants to personalize his own license plate?

President: "Let me be clear: I'd like a vanity plate with either of my names, please."

DMV: "I'm sorry, Mr. President, but they are both taken. For some reason two separate individuals are paying $50 extra annually to have your names engraved on their license plates."

President: "Let me be clear: they could have just put free bumper stickers on their cars."

DMV: "We know, sir. But you could still spell '8ARACK' and 'O8AMA' with eights if you want."

President: "Make no mistake, we need some real change here! Let me be clear: I will get my names back from the American people!"