Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Reader Challenge: Use the phrase "Quantum of Solace" in an actual sentence

With the release of the latest James Bond film "Quantum of Solace," we have a super exciting new catch phrase on our hands. You see, "Quantum of Solace" isn't just a brilliant title for a movie, it's also really fun to say, and quite applicable to everyday conversation. I encourage you to give it a try. In fact, let's just go ahead and make this the subject of our second semi-annual Erasable Pen Readers Challenge! Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, please use the comments section below to showcase the ways you intend to work the phrase "Quantum of Solace" into ordinary speech. Here are some examples off the top of my head to help you get started:
  • Now if I could just have a quantum of solace, this headache might subside.
  • Seriously, I’m not asking for much, just a quantum of solace.
  • Honey, where'd you put the quantum of solace?
  • Mom’s recipe calls for 2 cups dried cranberries and one quantum of solace, cut into wedges.
  • Hey, there's still a little quantum of solace left. You wanna lick the spoon?
Now it's your turn. Submit your ideas in the comments section. The winner will receive not one, but two quantums of solace, plus a new living room set courtesy of our friends at SEARS.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Coming to grips with the Beer Glove

Do you ever wonder what fraternity brothers do after receiving their business degrees? Well, they come up with ideas like this:

More obnoxious than a can coozie, and only slightly more subtle than an oven mitt, the Beer Glove is made of a special polycarbonate fiber that keeps your hand warm while you clutch your favorite beer. To ensure a secure grip, the palm of the Beer Glove features a sticky-tac surface almost identical to that found on the wide receiver gloves Jerry Rice used to haul in 197 touchdown catches during his remarkable 20-year NFL career.

Or maybe it’s just an ordinary glove.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Good friends put their heads together, make cereal

It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. Take these two good friends for example:

They're retired, probably don't have too many obligations outside of the occasional guided bus tour. But one day, they must have turned to eachother and said, "You know, it's always been a dream of ours to release our very own high-fiber cereal. Life's short. Let's just do it!" And guess what? They did! That just goes to show you folks, don't ever give up on your dreams.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Making the case for plaid crayons

At a recent Erasable Pen reader picnic, I found myself engaged in the most delightful and enlightening conversation with some of my faithful followers. The topic of our discussion was: Plaid – What is it? Is it a color? Is it an attitude? Is it merely a pattern?

I took the stance that plaid was in fact a color. Not surprisingly, most people agreed with me. But let’s be honest, my readers will pretty much believe anything I say. Later I set out to definitively prove myself right by digging through a Crayola box, but much to my dismay, I was unable to find a plaid crayon.

What, you say? In that entire box of crayons not a single one is dedicated to the color plaid?! Shame on you Crayola. Your oversight is costing kids worldwide the ability to properly fill in their lumberjack and Eddie Vedder coloring books. I propose we all take a moment to write the folks at Crayola, as well as our local government leaders, and demand that plaid be added to the standard crayon lineup without delay, even if that means they have to make some extra room in the box. Who really uses Burnt Sienna anyway?

Illustration courtesy of Antelope Baby Industries.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

And the winning toilet seat cover name is...

Recently, we held our first-ever Erasable Pen Readers' Challenge. The assignment was simple: come up with a new name for a toilet seat cover company.

I'm proud to announce that the winning entry is...

Chester H. McGillicutty's Olde Tyme Ass Mats
~ courtesy of WOZ

Congratulations WOZ! You are a true winner in every sense of the word! I hope you don't mind but we've already stolen your idea and put the ass mats into production.

Thanks to all who submitted ideas. We certainly received some dandies (view them here).

And again, let's all take a moment to congratulate WOZ on his winning submission. Nice one!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reader Challenge: If you could name a toilet seat cover company, what would it be called?

I work in a fairly typical office environment, at least for the kind of office that’s located in a business park. We have a nifty access control system, plush grey cubicles, particle board ceilings, and two sets of bathrooms. Now, we all know it’s important to take a break every now and then at work. For the smokers this is easy, but for the non-smokers it can be a little more difficult to come up with ways to relax. I often choose to take some extra time in the bathroom. There’s plenty of good reading material in there, most notably the packaging for the toilet seat covers. For a long while, our office was loyal to a toilet seat cover company with the remarkable name of “Yours Alone.”

But more recently we switched to an upstart outfit called “Rest Assured.” At first I was a bit upset, but then I realized Rest Assured is a pretty amazing name in its own right.

This got me thinking, if I owned a toilet seat cover company, what would I call it? Here are a few quick ideas I came up with:

1. Sit Tight
2. Paper Throne
3. Squat and Deliver
4. It's a Safe Bet Somebody Probably Peed On There TM

Now it’s your turn! Please use the comments section to post your ideas. The winning toilet seat cover name will be featured prominently in a future Erasable Pen blog entry, and its creator will receive a 1-year modeling contract with Clinique along with a full-page photo spread in Seventeen magazine.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Behold the 2008 Special Edition Ronald McDonald Honda Element

Desperate to light a fire beneath the automobile industry’s sagging SUV sales, Honda has unveiled the latest entry to its fleet of all-terrain vehicles – The 2008 Special Edition Ronald McDonald Element.

Starting at $20,990, the Ronald boasts real-time 4-wheel drive, a powerful i-VTEC engine, an innovative Drive-by-Wire TM throttle system, and optional super-sized cup holders. Each Ronald McDonald Element also includes your choice of five Kung Fu Panda action figures.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Great Moments in Food Photography: Nan's French Fondue

While flipping through my favorite cookbook the other day - Egg and Cheese Spaghetti and Rice Dishes - I came across this drool-inducing image.

Doesn't that look good? I bet it really sticks to your bones. Well, as a special treat I've decided to share the recipe with you, my loyal readers. Enjoy!

Nan's French Fondue

1-1/2 long loaves French Bread
1/2 cup butter, margarine, or Country Crock
1/2 cup sharp prepared mustard
1-1/2 lb. sharp natural or process cheddar cheese, slice 1/4-inch thick
4 eggs, well beaten
5 cups milk, hot
1-1/2 teasp. Worcestershire
1/8 teasp. cayenne
1/4 teasp. paprika

1. Day before: Slice French bread into 1/2-inch slices; spread generously with butter and mustard.
2. In 4-qt. casserole, alternate layers of bread and cheese slices to fill casserole.
3. Combine eggs, milk, Worcestershire, salt, and cayenne. Pour over bread and cheese layers. Sprinkle top with paprika. Refrigerate, covered, until next day.
4. About 1-3/4 hours before serving: Start heating oven to 350-degrees F. Bake fondue, uncovered, 1-1/2 hours.

Makes 8 servings (though you'll be hard-pressed not to eat the whole thing in one sitting).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What's wrong with this picture? Brooks & Dunn make the cover of Country Magazine, creep out reader

Longtime reader Aaron Semer stopped by the Erasable Pen offices recently to drop off this thought-provoking issue of Country Magazine.

The cover of the periodical – which was found on an end table inside Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center – disturbed Aaron greatly, but he wasn't exactly sure why, so he decided to hand it over to us for further inspection.

This turned out to be a wise move, as it took our experts just under three hours to determine the real problem with the magazine's cover.

If you take a close look at Ronnie Dunn (the charming fellow on the left), you'll notice his beard is completely disproportionate to his hair. In fact, they're of two distinctly different follicular genres.

Dunn's unfortunate condition is the direct result of improper management of the Norelco Maverick Beard Trimmer. You see, he clearly has his Maverick locked in on the number 7 setting. Any knowledgeable beard groomer knows that this is too high of a setting, thus too thick of a beard to accompany such a slick, well-coifed hairstyle. The beard is too long, too unkempt, and quite honestly, too masculine. A lower setting, say a 3 or a 4, would streamline the beard, making it far more apropos for his overall look, and far less disturbing.

Aside from that, we found nothing wrong with this cover photo.

Nor did we take issue with the following ads, discovered on the back pages of the same magazine...

Friday, May 2, 2008

German scientists invent scented text messages - Could downloadable food be next?

It was reported this week that two German companies have patented the technology for sending scented text messages via cell phone. So like, you know, you could send someone the smell of a rose (as an expression of love), or the ocean (if you're standing on the beach staring at the sea), or the aroma of the urinal biscuits at your local dive bar (if you've spent the night out drinking alone and want to share the experience with your friend who stood you up).

Don't believe me? See story here:

While your first reaction to this news is likely, "JIGGA WHAAAA????!!!," your second reaction should be, "hey didn't Dan Lurie (of Erasable Pen fame) come up with a similar idea years ago? Something involving emailing food, or something?"

Yes, that's right. Not long after the advent of electronic mail, and the internet, I started thinking about how glorious it would be if you could instantly access a snack, or even a full meal of food, with the click of a mouse.

This idea of using computers to prepare food was also partly inspired by the fact that the George Foreman Grill looked a heckuva lot like an iMac.

The gist of my notion centered on the concept of sending food as an email attachment, or downloading your favorite dish just as you would an MP3. I shared this idea with a number of friends and colleagues but it never really went anywhere. The technology didn't exist yet (or so everyone thought), and, to be honest, I'm not so sure the world was ready for my idea.

But now that it's possible for us to send and receive smells on our cell phones, my concept can no longer be considered "far-fetched." Mark my words. Within months, you will be able to use your computer, or Palm Pilot, to instantaneously download a fried-bologna sandwich, either using bit torrent or some other newfangled file-sharing program.

Soon you will be able to access this sandwich from your home computer.

The saddest thing about all of this is I'm sure someone else has already patented my idea by now. So instead of being able to take credit for its brilliance, I will simply have to enjoy the delicious convenience of downloadable food like all the rest of you average citizens.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Introducing the McGrillers Salad

I've had some pretty brilliant ideas lately.

Check this out.

You know how everyone loves those grill marks on the Burger King Whopper? Well, what if there was an even healthier alternative to the flame-broiled hamburger that retained the aesthetically pleasing grill marks?

Allow me to introduce you to the McGrillers Salad.

Vanessa Rehder of Antelope Baby Industries was kind enough to put together this illustration of my vision.

Notice the grill marks on the lettuce leaves? Those tasty streaks lock in the flavor, and ensure that your salad is grilled, not fried. I'm thinking there could also be a version with bacon for the truly health-conscious.

The McGrillers Salad. I'm lovin' it!

Monday, April 28, 2008

BACON CHALUPA GUY UPDATE: Reader weighs in on Rusty Joiner, Tony Sirico, and the battle for acting's greatest prize

While sorting through my pile of fan mail over the weekend, I came across a timely letter from faithful Erasable Pen reader Brian Woznicki.

Brian writes...

"god bless you for making aware, and moreover, giving propers to, the brilliance of Rusty Joiner's now-legendary performance in the Taco Bell Bacon Chalupa Spot. But, don't go handing out that Oscar just yet, as my vote is for the disgusted/disdainful reaction shot courtesy of Tony Sirico in the newest Denny's commercial in which he ties a competitor's restaurant sign to the back of his car and rips it off the sign post. Said reaction shot comes after Sirico asks an employee if the image on the sign is a grand slam breakfast. The employee says "no," and Tony shoots daggers with a smirk so potent it actually made me consider eating at Denny's."

Forgive me Brian. I realize this was a huge oversight on my part. Tony Sirico, while clearly nothing more than a poor man's Rusty Joiner, does indeed kill it in this Denny's ad.

Folks at home, take a look:

Color me impressed. From now on I'll think twice before I start handing out awards willy nilly.

Friday, April 25, 2008

And the Oscar should go to... that dude from the Taco Bell Bacon Club Chalupa commercial

2007 was a great year for actors on both the big and the small screen. We witnessed standout performances by Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, and Charlie Sheen in the 14th season of Two and a Half Men. But 2008 is shaping up to be even better, and this year's finest acting exhibition, without a doubt, comes courtesy of that dude in the Taco Bell Bacon Club Chalupa ad. You know the one: girls saddle up to the bar, pull out a purse with a Bacon Club Chalupa TM inside, three dudes gravitate towards its delicious aroma, and then this happens...

"What is that you're wearing? It's, it's, it's intoxicating."

Don't know what I'm talking about? Check out this clip:

I was so blown away by the brilliant delivery of the "intoxicating" line that I had to hunt down the actor responsible. Two things became abundantly clear during my extensive research:
  1. The Internet is an amazing tool.
  2. There are plenty of people out there who are as bored as I am.
After a quick google search for "that dude from the bacon chalupa ad," it was only a matter of minutes before my question was answered. It seems this guy is the talk of the NET. Discussion groups and user forums all across the world wide web have been working for weeks to track down his identity.

So who is this fantastic actor?

Answer: Rusty Joiner.

I know. I didn't believe it at first either. But when I closed my eyes and courageously followed the link provided by a Yahoo Answers discussion about Rusty, it led me not to a porn site, but rather to his Internet Movie Database page. Photos like this one proved that Rusty Joiner is a real person, and the amazing actor in the Bacon Club Chalupa ad. Mystery solved.