Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I know fecal matter is not really an appropriate subject for public discussion, but I've been thinking about things that relate to it lately.

I work at a spiffy new Biomedical building in downtown Phoenix. Many things stand out to me about the building. For one, the building is about 4 stories tall and the they create wet biohazards there. Take a guess which floors they make the wet dangerous stuff on that could spill? The 3rd and 4th floor. Good planning. Now you can spread smallpox or flesh eating bacteria down to the boring programmers on the 2nd floor or the academics on the 1st floor.

Another thing that stands out to me is that they did some weird stuff in the bathroom. For starters, they have urinals that don't require any water. Surprisingly, they don't stink. The other interesting thing is the toilets. They have green handles and a set of instructions on the wall. You are supposed to pull up if you have liquid waste and push down if you have solid waste. I feel bad for people that already have a hard time using the toilet quickly. They'll get even more stopped up by the stress of whether or not they'll make the right decision when they are done.

One thing I think about from time to time is a list of stuff that I hope will never happen to me. Think of it as the opposite of the bucket list. We started this in the car one day on a family trip. The list is pretty practical, stuff like you hope you never get food poisoning, you hope to never smell a poopy diaper again, etc. Sometimes I think it is bad karma to have a mental list of stuff like that. I remember back in motoricycle training the instructor would say don't look at the things you want to avoid, otherwise you'll drive right into them. The mental conversation would go "I don't want to hit that tree, I don't want to hit that tree. Darn, I hit the tree." My memories of this list come to mind at the most random of times, such as when I'm in a restroom.

One of the things I really hate is going in to use a public restroom and finding a hair on the seat. It is kind of like finding a bug in your salad at a restaurant (which I saw happen once when I worked at Sizzler in my younger days). Something like that just seems to ruin the rest of the experience, even when it is gone. I expect women don't have to worry about it is much because they are generally less hairy than men. Some men, however, have a backside like a baboon and can leave the toilet lid looking like a haircut took place there. The only thing to do is to grab some toilet paper and pull it across the offending hair in a way that reminds you have playing with yarn in front of a cat. Sadly, even after removing the stray hair and you make a nest to sit on, you still have memories of what was there before.

That reminds me of something else, the toilet paper dispenser wasn't designed very well at the high tech building I work at. Generally speaking, it leaves a huge window between the two stalls big enough to pass a sandwich back and forth or shake hands. Whoever the engineer was that designed that thing really didn't get his fair share of common sense.

And that pretty much leads me to my last thought. While driving with the family back from Christmas vacation we stopped at a rest stop. It was freezing cold (well, as freezing as Arizona can be) and I was chasing my son around when I walked into an air pocket downwind from the restroom. Man. That was bad. Smelling that immediately made me add it to the things that I don't ever want to experience again. Of course, it got worse when I actually went into the bathroom. Out of nowhere came the thought that the thing I would really never want to happen is to have my ashes someday spread at a rest area public restroom. Nope, but I could think of one jerk I knew once for whom I'd be happy to do the honors with his ashes in about 50 or 60 years.

In closing I'm reminded of an episode of Dirty Jobs I saw once on tv, in which the host worked with a guy who cleaned out septic tanks, in particular ones that were stopped up. When asked why he had decided to take up that career, he said he used to be a school teacher, but got tired of dealing with everyone's crap.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mexian Masked Wrestling

Here is an email I sent to a friend in September:

On Saturday I went to Mexican masked wrestling (lucha libre) for $15.00.  The pictures are lame, but it was fun to be there.  Everyone spoke Spanish and all the matches seemed to pit the Mexicans against the evil American's with names like "sexy mustache".

Pictures are lame, but at least I can prove I was there.  Danielle wasn't happy about the match babes that they borrowed from the local strip club. I won't go on record with my thoughts about that.