Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How one small town is rewriting US history

My devoted followers will remember a post I wrote this past summer focusing on certain town officials' blatant disregard for the feelings of my offspring.  A sign appeared directly facing our home, taunting and jeering at the dexterity and speed at which my poor son moves through life.  See below:

(To see the post click here)

Yes, the higher-ups labeled my child as SLOW.

So, I ranted, raved, pulled out the remaining strands of hair atop my head.  Nothing changed.  The sign remains.  My hacksaw blade too dull to make a nick in the metal post.

Time passed, my anger died down.  I gradually stopped following my son around the house with a stopwatch and clipboard.

But then something happened, something so startling that I had to revisit the "sign-gate" scandal again.

A new sign appeared, one at the end of the road.  A sign that has changed history as we now know it.

It seems that the street on which we have lived for the past sixteen years had been incorrectly labeled.

Instead of FRANKLIN DR, the sign read FRANLKIN DR.  See below:


I stood in the middle of our misspelled road and danced with glee, snapping copious numbers of digital pics.
I became so lost in my photo-journalistic ambition, I narrowly missed death by Prius as my neighbor screamed around the corner.

"Idiot!" she yelled.

"But the sign!" I announced, pointing, jumping up and down.

I raced home, printing out hundreds of pics of the sign.  I grabbed envelopes, stamps, and my red pen (every teacher has one). I decided 100 letters to town officials would be enough.  See below:

The sheriff is a nice man.  Along with the restraining order preventing me from entering Town Hall, he hand delivered a letter from town officials:

Dear Mr. Anastasio-

We are aware of the spelling of your road and can assure you it is indeed correct.  After careful research, we discovered that Franklin Dr. is not named after Benjamin Franklin, as we had assumed, but his half-brother, Frank Franlkin.  That Ben Franklin even had a half-brother with a coincidentally similarly spelled last name is a little known fact in American history, one in which we encourage you to pursue instead of sending us letters.  So your road sign will stay the same, honoring Frank Franlkin (father of the Franlkin stvoe, the pulbic lirbary, and of course, discovering elcetriicty by flying a ktie.

Thank you for your concern, and please stay away.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Love is in the air

A very dear friend of mine sent a link to a New York Times piece entitled: You Love Your iPhone. Literally.,  by Martin Lindstrom, a branding consultant.  Lindstrom performed a series of tests essentially determining that we react to the image and sound of our iPhones in a similar way that our brain would react to the embrace of a loving spouse, or the sight of our devoted poodle bouncing down the driveway.  We are, indeed, "chemically" in love.  Lindstrom used a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) test to watch the brain cortices light up like the blood pressure machine at CVS (when I slide my arm through the tube after a long day at school).  Yes, according to Lindstrom's findings, which included testing little bitty babies, we are madly in love with our technology.

But not me.

I'm different.

I decided to prove this point by testing Lindstrom's assertions.  On the way home from school, I swung by Radio Shack to inquire about the purchase of a fMRI unit to begin my self-study.

"You're looking for what?" the young man behind the counter asked. 

"A functional magnetic resonance imaging machine," I said, flipping through the sales flyer.


"Preferably one that operates on propane... Have you seen gas prices, lately?"

Apparently, Radio Shack isn't what it once was.  I settled for an electronic turkey baster and a strobe light.

Arriving home, I dusted off the soldering gun and tore apart the innards of a defunct Nintendo GameCube.
Within minutes, I had wired the device to my brain.  My son initially expressed his reservations, but with a little coaxing (and a $25 iTunes gift card), he reluctantly agreed to be my lab assistant. 

We placed several items on the workbench:  A fresh Twinkie, cheese grater, and a teaspoon of Castor Oil.

I sent my firstborn on the quest to retrieve my iPhone.  Like something out of an Indiana Jones movie, my son crept down to the basement, cradling the combination to the alarm system keypad that would allow him to enter the concrete bunker that housed the safe.   Once inside, he donned the HEPA suit, deactivated the hermetic seal, and entered the stasis field.  With iPhone in gloved hand, he put it through an infrared sterilization wash.  He burned incense to Steve Jobs, then carefully wound it in bubble wrap.  He placed it in a foam-lined stainless steel suitcase, and cautiously made the return trip to the garage. 

We stationed both poodles on guard outside the door, and carefully unpacked the iPhone, placing it between the Twinkie and cheese grater on a soft bed of freshly ironed cotton linen.

I fiddled with the metal colander on my head, checking the wire leads for tight connection to the turkey baster.  I focused my attention on the objects before me, then gave the thumbs up for my son to hit the power switch....

Emergency rooms are slow.

Thank God I have Word Feud  and Zombie Farm on my iPhone to keep me busy.