Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Can't Blame Bubba for This One!

A very Merry Christmas to you all. And speaking of Christmas, every year I am amazed at the decorations I see in my neighbors' yards celebrating the holidays. Giant inflatable Snowmen, fiberglass Santas and lights by the millions share our happiness, our joy and our faith. Yes, our faith. It is in the South (with the requisite capital 'S') that I have seen some of the greatest nativity displays ever. (And remember, I grew up in Colorado where, every year when I was growing up, we as a family would make our annual trek downtown to see arguably one of the most incredible lighting and nativity displays ever.

This year, I have learned of a Christmas decoration that is by far and away one of the strangest I have ever seen. This is even over and above the Christmas Pickle. I am speaking of Mr. Caganer. Mr. Caganer roughly translates to Mr. Defecator. That's right, it's a little character taking a poop on your Holiday. Now at first, one might think "Oh them Suthun boys! They really do know how to poop on Christmas!" But this is not, and I repeat NOT an invention of the South.

Yeah, I know, I am as surprised as you!

For those of you not in the know, Mr. Caganer was an obliged figure in the Nativity Displays of eighteenth century Catalonia (North Eastern Spain) which has stayed around to modern times. Back then, it was believed that with his fertile depositions the soil became rich and productive for the coming year. It was also believed that he would bring good health and peace to the body and the soul, which is the essence of Christmas Nativity Display. (Paraphrased from some Internet site...)

Hey, I'm not making this up. (Though it does make me wonder if, in the same Nativity display, the 3 Wise men then brought Frankincense, Gold and Charmin. Just a thought...) There is a mall in Spain that has even made a giant Mr. Caganer the centerpiece of their shopping experience. A little hard to believe? Check it out.
Now before you start to cry "CHOPPED"* this is absolutely true. You can google the name yourself.

I love the fact that people wander around as if there is nothing wrong with a 6 foot pile of poop in the center of the mall! Ok, so it's representational and probably made of foam rubber, but the idea is still there. They view it like we would view a large snowflake. You see, in many other areas of the world, they are not burdened with our puritan background. Such things as nudity, sex, and bodily functions are part of life, not something to hide in the basement.

I've done some research on the loose boweled little fella. Mr. Caganer is available in his standard Catalan effects (as seen below) but can also be purchased in a myriad of designs including sports figures (entire teams!), singers (like Michael Jackson and Elvis), US Presidents (yes, they have Obama Caganer out there), world leaders (Prince Charles and Lady Bowles? Why it's almost as if - no, that's just too easy), historical figures from Hitler to Einstein and I've even seen Darth Vader and Spongebob! It almost makes me want to start a collection.
Hey, I said 'almost'....

Here's wishing you and yours a holiday season which no one defecates upon!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Suthan Man's De-Snowing Primer

I had hoped to create this in advance of the snow, but since just about the entire country is covered in white flakes, I figured I had best get it in now.

Here in the south, we get very few snow storms in a single season. We get lots of rain and sometimes ice, but snow is relegated to only a few times in a given season and yet at those times we do get enough snow to cover everything and require 'de-snowing'* of one's car. Regardless of this frequency or amount, one should be able to clean ones car of any amount of deposited snow in a manner that is conscious of both safety AND the law. Growing up in Colorado I have much experience in the ‘de-snowing’ of cars, with the expected number of mistakes. Suthunahs, not so much.

Therefore it is with great relish (and perhaps ketchup) that I present the Suthun Man’s De-Snowing Primer - Complete with photos! (Come on now, you expected this, right?)

The best way to describe the amount of snow to remove from the vehicle can be done in one word: completely. Clean the snow from the car as completely as you can. There are reasons for all this the least of which is fuel economy. Snow is heavy and causes your car to need more fuel as it drives. Some feel that a cursory attempt is all that is needed to de-snow a car when in fact, one should always remove any and all lose snow from the car before moving it. Not being diligent means you fall into one of the great Snow Jerk Categories.

Let’s take these one at a time.

The Phantom: It snowed while you slept/worked/shopped/ate at a nice restaurant. Turn on the lights and The phantom is what you get.
Many people will scrape the car windshield, yet leave (forget?) the lights. Drive with the lights like this and you get: The Moving Phantom: At night this is another accident waiting to happen. And happen they do! No one can see you with the lights covered so clean the snow off the bumper so that the lights are visible. (Front AND back!)
Now, about that windshield….

The Tank: Some people feel that all they need to do is clean a small section of snow from the windshield. They feel that snow is an “emergency” situation which allows this.

(Note the Phantom lights, too!)
Other people feel that as long as they get everything they can reach, it's ok. Again, heavy snow seems to denote some sort of emergency situation where the rules of both common courtesy and dangerous driving seem to blur or become nonexistent. Then you get the "Half Tank" or this

Like the Tank, there is also the Venetian Blinds: A few think that all they have to do is remove SOME of the snow from the windshield, or maybe HALF, also figuring that the fact that they are cold means they don’t have to do a good job, and perhaps they are also secretly hoping that the hot air from the interior windshield vents will complete the job.

See No Evil: These folks leave the back window full of ice and snow with the same reasoning as the roof: They don’t NEED to see through it. Give these guys a wide berth, as they can’t see you and what’s worse, they don’t want to. (No photo, but that doesn't mean they aren't out there!)

The Mini Blizzard: I can’t tell you how many of these I’ve seen. They clean the windshield and maybe even the front and back windows, only to leave a large amount of snow on the top of the vehicle. Their reasoning is sound: you don’t need to see through the roof (sunroofs notwithstanding). They forget that once the car begins to move, every car behind them is driving in a blizzard created by the snow blowing slowly off the roof. There’s a reason so many of those scrapers come with brushes (or maybe they need a big push broom.)
The Personal Blizzard: Forgetting to remove the loose snow from the hood. The loose snow now blows up into the driver’s vision and becomes an accident waiting to happen…well, maybe not waiting too long either since most of these folks won't pull over and correct the situation. I guess they also consider snow an emergency situation which somehow forgives them this requirement.

ok, so now ya know. Whether you live in the Suthun States of Americuh or in "Tim Buck Too," you too can de-snow your car with ease. Now, if only we could just get rid of the cold weather and go back to shorts and flip flops.


* (“De-Snowing”, the art of removing snow from one’s vehicle(s).)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gone to the Dogs - the Southern Doghouse

Here is another one of those inveterate Suthun repurpose projects. Usually, the standard Suthun Gennelman won't toss out such a piece of equipment for one of three reasons. These are (in no particular order)

A) He can re-use this fine piece of equipment to create something new and exciting.
B) He can keep it for parts to repair another one of the same thing.
C) He doesn't want to, or does not have the equipment needed to take it to the dump.

Ok, so C is usually the reason most things end up sticking around, but in this particular case, we find good use for it. With a nice dry roof and insulation, that old non-working front loading washer becomes a dog residence. Upon close inspection we can see that the washer insides are gone and the dog has lots of room (as well as no fear of being shut in by some devious neighborhood cat) and it looks pretty warm and dry.

Not really a new invention, but a great repurpose of old equipment. Only in the South.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Invention Intervention - The Water's Fine.

This is one of those laughable photos that both intrigues and scares me. I mean, come on. We've all gone to High School and we all know that electricity and water are not friends, so why are these guys risking their life in such fashion? And why are they smiling while doing so. What my fine descerning eye can get from this photo is that A) that red power cord is not plugged in, and B)to my shock and dismay - these men are NOT SUTHUN!

How can I be so sure? Ok, lets take a closer look at the crime scene photo.

First, we got a nice heavy duty power cable going to the pool. This is good, (and most likely unplugged) but then you have a standard power strip plugged into it which may - on the surface - look like a good idea. ("On the surface" Did you catch what I did there?) The power strip is kept afloat with the ingenious (??) use of a couple of floating sandals. Then you have the needed electrical device up on a beer encrusted table.

Now, you can see the problem, can't you? CAN'T YOU? You CAN'T??

No, it's not that the pool is in the backyard. Nor is it that the cord appears to go away from the house. It is not that the cable appears to be taped to a strange weight, or the ingenious (??) use of the floating sandals.

It's the beer. Oh and the electric grill (I mean come on, even I, an aspiring Suthunah knows that the best grilling comes from hot coals made from good ol' suthun hardwoods!) But mainly, it's the beer. Look at that array! LOOK AT IT!

There are at least a dozen bottles visible in this picture, and only three of them appear to be the same BRAND. Who does this? Hmm? WHO? Who, in their right mind, goes out and buys a bunch of silly designer beers with the fancy names and fancier lables and then shares them with a bunch of goons who threaten your life with poor electronics? WHO? I'll tell ya who: NAWTHUNUZ, that's who!

This ain't any of my Good Ol' Suthun Neighbors at all! In fact, I suspect they're from NEW YAWK!

(Yosemite Sam Voice) If I wasn't such a gennelman, I'd say something I'd regret.