Thursday, January 20, 2011

Now in the future, cloners won't make much money

This week I emailed an old friend the link to this article about a Japanese researcher's plan to clone a mammoth. They plan on using an elephant as a surrogate mother for an egg implanted with a nucleus from a mammoth cell taken from a specimen that was preserved in ice.

I wrote:

Remember when you used to say that some day they'd clone them successfully, and then they'd become pests and start knocking over your garbage cans in the middle of the night and you'd just shake your head and say, "Damn mammoths. Why'd they have to bring THOSE back?"

Well, looks like we're on our way.

He responded:

I only remember that because you brought it up and I thought, "yeah, that sounds like something dumb enough to come from my lips."

If you go to Eastern Europe though, you'll see some of the women and know that these Japanese researchers are wasting their time...Mammoths are alive and well.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Half a canyon

Yesterday I had the following conversation with a friend:

Friend: It's free to go to national parks this weekend.

Me: Why is that?

Friend: They waived the entrance fees for Martin Luther King Day.

Me: But, that wasn't part of his dream.

Friend: No, it was. They just shot him before he could say it.

That conversation reminded me that I meant to blog about my last trip to a national park, which only lasted for about thirty minutes.

I left my parents' house the day before New Year's Eve to take my kids home after having them for Christmas. We decided on the way up that, weather permitting, we'd take the slightly longer way back to Arizona and stop at the Grand Canyon. I'll let you be the judge if the weather was really cooperating with us. Here are a few pictures of the roads we drove on for the first five hours or so of the trip:

They got slightly better after that, but only for a short time until we got caught in the second wave of the storm system for another hour or so.

We did make it to the Grand Canyon though. When we got there it was freeeeeeeeeeezing (yes, that many Es). It was seventeen degrees, with a heavy wind blowing. The park ranger at the gate acted like we were crazy for trying to visit the park on such a crappy day. I told him we just wanted to go to an overlook real quick, see the canyon, then continue on our way. He said that was good, and to go to the first overlook, because that was the only one we'd be able to see anything from anyway.

He was right. I took this picture a couple hundred yards from the overlook. You can't even see the canyon yet.

My kids are geniuses and only had sweatshirts on, so they were freezing, but I still made them "pose" for this picture:

Obviously not the best picture I've ever taken of them, but it really was too cold for me to feel good about asking them to stand there long enough for me to take a second one. (You know, one without my shadow obscuring their faces, and without wind blowing Tortellini's hair every which way.) Immediately after I snapped that shot they ran to warm up in the gift shop that was nearby, at the base of a watchtower:

I stayed out for a few minutes longer to see if I could take some better pictures.

(I couldn't really.)

(What's so "grand" about it anyway?)

I'm glad we went, even if it was the shortest trip I've ever had to a national park. Next time though, I'm definitely going when it's warmer.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's in the photograph of love

My brother is quite a good photographer. Last night he was telling me about an aspiring model who wants him to do a photo-shoot with her.

Him: She wants me to take pictures of her and one of her friends who is also an aspiring model.

Me: You know what that means? Threesome.

Him: You're such a freak.

Me: Alright. Alright. I'll do it. But I'm going to need some advance notice so I can get one of those spray on tans beforehand.

Him: And lose twenty pounds.

Me: Yeah. And grow a bigger dick.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

But I've always been kinda partial to calling myself up on the phone and asking myself out, you know?

After dropping my kids off at home after spending Christmas at my parents', I drove to Las Vegas where I spent New Year's Eve. The friend I stayed with was flying back from visiting his family for Christmas, and asked if I'd mind picking him up at the airport. Once I did, we decided to meet another friend for dinner at the sports bar I used to frequent (which turned out to be the right choice when the second friend picked up the check). My two friends had plans to hang out for NYE, while I had plans to meet up with Girl Who Won't Be My Girlfriend, although not until after she finished with a family dinner.

It was early in the evening, and the bar was pretty slow, which was nice because it allowed the servers plenty of time to come over to chat and catch up a little bit. One of our favorite servers was asking about everyone's plans for the evening when she and I had the following exchange:

Server: Where's your girlfriend?

Me: I don't have a girlfriend.

Server: Well, where's that girl you always used to hang out with?

Me: I'm going to pick her up a little later.

Server: Are you two going to have sex tonight?

Me: No.

Server: Lame! Why are you hanging out with girls who won't have sex with you.

Me: Because that's the only kind of girls there are.