Brenternet (The World as seen by Brent Moore)

Trying to appeal to the highest common denominator. I can't give you 110% effort, but I will give you 107.4% effort. If you're a spammer and leave me a comment, I will make fun of you. I use twice as many semicolons compared to most other bloggers

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Location: Smyrna, Tennessee, United States

As the title implies, I am Brent K. Moore. I married MariLynn Simons on Sept. 25, 1999. we attend Stewart's Creek Church of Christ. We have five pets, a dachshund, Slinkie, a malamute, Juno, and three rabbits, Ebunny and Ifurry, and now Houdini.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Odds Are, You'll Have Fun

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One of the joys of the Internet is the ability to listen to any live Major League Baseball game. The Rangers are my team, but my wife likes the Reds. Since she likes the Reds, I kind of like them, too. However, we have a friendly rivalry that we both want our team to do better than the other's team. When we saw them play in person this year, they were battling to not be the worst team in all of baseball, and the Rangers took two of three, as if it was something to be proud of.

Often, when listening to the MLB.com gameday audio feed, I get to hear regional radio commercials for products that I otherwise would never hear. One of the sponsors of Reds Radio is the Ohio Lottery.

In every Ohio Lottery commercial, they use the slogan, "Odds are, you'll have fun." This is rather obvious, but legally their slogan can't be "Odds are, you'll win." In fact, Odds are usually rather low that you would win. What aspect of playing the lottery would I consider fun?

(think carefully!)

(there's only 1 right answer here!)

the answer is:

Winning!

If I used my hard-earned money and bought a $5 lottery ticket and did not win, I would not have had fun. The odds of me having fun playing the Ohio Lottery are identical to the odds of winning the Ohio Lottery.

Perhaps what they're getting at is the thrill that some people have of purchasing a ticket and then using a penny to scratch off the silver spot over the squares that reveal the prize you may or may not have won. If that's how I'd get a thrill, then I'd race to the mailbox every day to see if I got one of those promotional coupons from the furniture store where I might get 10%, 20%, 30% or more off the price of a sofa, depending on the prize underneath the scratch-off.

I suppose there is some kind of adrenaline boost to certain people to buy a lottery ticket and seeing if they're going to win. I suppose in a way, it's a small feeling of the joy you get when you buy a car or a computer, except it's more often than not followed by some buyer's remorse. I'm guessing that the single working mom who isn't sure where she's going to get grocery money this week doesn't get a lot of fun from a losing lotto ticket.

About 3 out of 4 U.S. states have their own state lottery, and I decided to take a look at the other state lotto mottos to see if there was some hidden truth contained within their slogan. For these mottos, I'll list the state and then follow with their motto in bold, and then my motto correction in italics.

Many state lottos, such as my home state of Tennessee do not have a lotto motto. I always look for opportunities to make fun of the state government but have been thwarted this time. Tennessee Government, you may have won the battle this time, but watch out!

The lotto mottos fall into two categories, the first category shows you just how much fun you're having by playing the lottery

Ohio:
Odds are, you'll have fun
Odds are 1 in 16.4 you'll have fun*
(* 16.4 is a number I pulled out of the air)

Illinois:
Have a ball!
Because you're not going to have all 5 balls.

Delaware:
Wanna Play?
Do I have a choice?

(if it's not obvious yet, I'm anti-lottery. I think of the lottery as a tax on people who are bad at math.)

Texas:
Play the Games of Texas.
at least the ones that don't require a lasso or a bull.

Georgia:
Today could be the day.
Today could be the day you squander the money you saved to keep the lights on.

Idaho:
Heat things up.
A blanket is cheaper.

New Hampshire:
Get in the Game.
Experience the agony of defeat.

New Jersey:
Give your dreams a chance.
Visualize the chance to leave New Jersey.

Maryland:
Let yourself play.
There's a tiny part of your brain that thinks using logic and not emotion. Don't listen to that part of the brain.

West Virginia:
The Games People Play.
this slogan is dull. I can't think of something pithy for all of them.

The second type of slogan is the "do it for the children" slogan. It's the kind that reminds you how you can inefficiently help your fellow man as you play for greed.

Connecticut:
Everyone wins when you play the Connecticut Lottery.
Except you.

Virginia:
Helping Virginia's public schools.
Throw away your money. Do it for the children.

Pennsylvania:
Benefits older Pennsylvanians. Every Day.
O.k. Don't do it for the children.

Washington:
It's good to play.
(I can't think of anything to go here, because every time I look at this, my mind goes to Mel Brooks in Brief History of the World Part I when he says "It's good to be the king.")

Colorado:
You're ticket to a more beautiful Colorado.
Do it for the trees. Except the ones we cut down. Make sure you dispose of the losing ticket in the proper waste receptacles.

*****

This post is sponsored by MinitBurger. They're announcing their newest flavor: Chipotle!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween Roundup

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This a collection of stuff that hopefully will get you in the Halloween spirit. Unfortunately, I have to work on Halloween night this year, But MariLynn and I are going to a bonfire on Saturday, and the church that we just placed membership at in Smyrna is having a trunk or treat on Sunday. Maybe, I'll pull out this costume:




I just posted to my blog a halloween video of a halloween story I wrote 3 years ago. I wrote the story in about 30 minutes as part of a challenge.

Also, check out these Halloween soda flavors.

Here's my reccomendation for a Halloween movie that you've probably never seen. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. This movie is a parody of those cheesy B-movies from the 50's and 60's, and is the only one I've ever seen that does it well. It's more than just a good parody, It's a decent movie in it's own right, in my opinion.

I don't have a ghost story to share with you, but I have this to offer: A professional wrestler who had nothing better to do wrote extensive commentary about the supposed hauntings of the Nashville mansion I photographed here:
Gran Dale - Nashville

Here's some older stuff that I've shared with y'all before, but some of you might be newer myspace friends or would be interested in seeing it again.

The Creature of Sugar Flat Rd. This is the most viewed thing I've ever done, and all I did was take a picture of a rather fake creature in a store window and copied the text of the story and put it on my blog. The Coast to Coast AM with George Noori radio program linked to it and I got about 20,000 hits in a week. I think my blog had about 17 hits before that happened.

Speaking of B-Movies, I once wrote a B-Novel about demon-beavers.

In October of 1994
Three student novelists disappeared
In the woods near Burksville, Maryland
while writing a documentary-

A year later, their papers were found.

-Tagline for Beavers! and shameless ripoff of the Blair Witch Project.

got 20 minutes to kill? Read BEAVERS! here.

From the creator of BURIED WITH TAPEWORMS, the Director of EUGLENA! 3 and the co-star of CRINGE, it's the Instant B-Movie Generator!

The end.
Unless you want more. I've got even more stuff I can dig up for the insatiably bored.
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stupid Halloween Story Video

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When it used to be more active, I spent time with a literary group that would have a Halloween party every year. One tradition was to have a Halloween egg hunt. It's like an Easter egg hunt, but we hide stuff around the yard for each other (and we were grown ups). It was a lot of fun.

Something else we did on occasion was to write instant stories. We would take strips of paper and write down story elements (location, antagonist, prominent item) on the paper strips and put them in a hat. We'd go around the room and draw these papers and then have 30 minutes to write a story based on what was drawn.

What you will see here, if you choose to watch the video below, is the story I wrote at our Halloween party in 2004. If you were curious about what I could come up with in just a few minutes, you have it. For this "scary" story, the story elements I drew were: evil creature: Vampire; weapon: Deep Woods Off! bug spray; and location: decaying mansion. I just figured it would be easier to post the video online than to transcribe the whole thing.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

For Halloween, Things that will scare you

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Last month, I went to the Tennessee State fair. Along the midway is the Most Offensive ride ever!

The Most Offensive Ride ever!

If you're on MySpace, you can read my wife's thoughts on it in her Blog.

One of the other things I like at the midway is the yearly "freak show" exhibit called Barnum's Barnyard. It costs $5 to get in to see it, and you can't use your camera while inside. In other words, there's no fun in actually seeing it. But I love the signs they have outside!

Barnum's Barnyard

Here, we have:
Cow with 2 faces and 5 legs
Amazing Chickens with 2 heads & 4 Legs
Double Body Pig
Two Face Cat (what a liar!)
Iggy & Ziggy the 2 Headed Piggy

Along the midway: the Freak Show

We have the 2 Headed Turtle. Amazing! Real! Awesome! Alive!
Except for the alive part. It's tough to see here unless you click on the photo above and pull it up full size, but they have added the tiny little word "born" above the big blue ALIVE. I'm not impressed. I saw a 2 headed turtle on Fox News this week and it was still alive.

IMG_4416

I took this photo in 2006. The same sign this year had the "born" removed. They must have a living one now. This tells me one of three things: 1) They got lucky and found another one. 2) They are really common somewhere in the world and the got another one. 3) The one they had came back to life. That would make a good scary story to tell in the dark.

The World's Smallest Horse, maybe

It could be...
It might be...
It can be...
It's possibly...
It's feasibly...
Perchance it is...
The World's Smallest Horse!

ALIVE!

The audience: "How Small is it?"
It's so small, it can fit inside a freakishly large hand. Or it's about the size of a hay bale.

Along the midway: the Freak Show.

Kid with 2 Bodies and 1 Head
Strange but True
Born to live! Born to play the drums! Born to perform magic tricks (using the kid goat with 2 bodies and 1 head)! born to wear a Hawaiian shirt and 2 pairs of diapers at the same time.

The Snake Girl: She's Alive! Spidergirl

I would love to see a fight between snake girl and Spider girl. I bet the explorer in the bottom corner with the knife can take them both.

Wild Woman! She's Alive!

Wild Woman. She's born alive too.

2 Headed Snake

2 headed snake. Here Today. Gone Tomorrow. Born Alive. Alive 4 years.

Nine of the animals at the Freak Show.

These are all of the creatures that either weren't cool enough to get their own full color poster, or the painter got lazy. I'm going to guess what these are:
Ziggy the 8-legged piggy
Tiny Tina the worlds smallest horse
Bimbo the blue elephant
Cyclops the one-eyed pig
4 by 4 the four-horned ram
spot the 8 legged dog
meow the Siamese cat not worthy of two names
tatou the low-to-the-ground dog
Oink & Boink the two-headed pig

This isn't a freak animal, just something else at the fair: the long-eared rabbit.
Long-eared rabbit

*****

What I am talking about now is a continuation of something I spoke about a couple of posts back, specifically the part about our Air Conditioner. I recommend you read that first and then come back. I'll wait.

Mental Exercise. Fill in the blank: "Heil ______ "

When we got back from that vacation, the Air conditioner was broken, specifically the conditioner part. The repairmen came and patched it up and it worked great.
For a week.
But it broke again.
This time, the part of the air conditioner that broke was the air. The stationary air was quite conditioned, it just wasn't moving through the vents at all.

We knew our unit was very old and we were intending on replacing it once we sell our other house and stop paying two mortgages. did I mention we have no money? But the unit broke again. Apparently some of the coils froze, whatever that means. The repairman also pointed out that if something rusts too far, then we could risk Carbon Monoxide being in the house. Not cool. I really, really did not want to incur another debt during this dual mortgage payment time of our lives. On the other hand, I couldn't convince my wife to risk death to save a couple of dollars.

Our broken unit was made by Heil. They might make a quality product. I don't know. But since this one was old, I couldn't resist but hate it. I don't know where the name Heil comes from. When I think of Heil, only one thing comes to mind, and that it "Heil Hitler." (This is the answer I was looking for from the mental exercise a couple of paragraphs back.) Generally speaking, when you name your company, it's a good idea that the company name doesn't evoke feelings of the most evil man of the 20th Century.

You want a name like Trane. Nothing can stop a Trane. Except Superman. How cute. The Trane engine will just be chugging along all night long pumping cool air into our house. you might get the Little Trane Engine that Could. (I think I can! I think I can! Chugga-chugga-chug.)

The repairman said that the best brand of Air Conditioning Units are made by Amana. By some miracle, that's the brand of AC Units that his company installs! Isn't that a convenience! We haggled over the price for a bit. The conversation went like this:
"We don't want to die from Carbon Monoxide! Please help us! Please!"
"Ok."

I have heard of Amana before. Their full name is "Amana Plana Canal Panama." They have an effective advertising campaign. "Amana lasts...and lasts...and lasts." They were also a sponsor on the Texas Rangers baseball radio broadcasts. I like the way that Rangers broadcaster Victor Rojas tells it. "Amana lasts...<dramatic pause>...and lasts...<dramatic pause while we miss a single up the middle past a diving shortstop unless Vincente Padilla was pitching in which case he would still be staring at the batter>...and lasts. Hopefully this unit will last long enough to outlast us at this house. I just hope we can pay for it.

UPDATE 10/06:

Visit beautiful, scenic Antioch. In fact, you can live in beautiful, scenic Antioch!

Our house is now finally on the market. I bet you really, really want this house, too. Here it is.

Our broken car was taken away today also. This is the fifth car that I've had than ended up being scrapped or nearly scrapped. Two of the first four had to be towed from our driveway. I've always heard that an old broken down car can be sold for it's value in scrap metal, which is great and everything, but for the small problem that I don't own a tow truck.

Our Plymouth Caravelle needed to be hauled off about a year ago. I couldn't find anyone to pay for it, but I looked online for one of those Donate-your-lame-car-to-charity-for-the-children.org. I found one charity that would even give me a coupon to something for my car. Yipee! But they never showed up. Then an annoyed neighbor called city codes on us for leaving a junk car in our yard. The deadline to get it removed was fast approaching and I found a guy who would take it for free. I was up against the clock and it was my best option

This time I had more time. Thanks to Craigslist, I could sell my car to the highest bidder. There were three listings for people who would buy and tow a junk car. It's these guys:

Meet Billy's Storm Window Installation and Junk Car Removal Service. The father and son redneck team put their van in the street and their flatbed trailer downhill from my car. The put the Buick in neutral and let gravity get the car halfway up the ramp. The winch did the rest. The one cable used to hold the car in place was tightened as tight as it could be, smashing the trunk and rook in the process. The Hispanic gentleman across the street considered this entertainment.

With my cash, I went and paid my electric bill, which was extraordinarily high because of the inefficient air conditioner that was just replaced.

*****

While I'm not talking about video games, I'd like to say I can't wait for Halo 4 to come out. That game is going to be Sooooooooo So Awesomely Awesome. I'm waiting in line already.

*****
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A Flavor to Die for

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If you had told me that I would drink a product that had "Drop Dead" in the title, I would assume you were nuts. But, it is I who is nuts! The wild and wacky people of Jones Soda bring to us Sour Lemon Drop Dead Soda:



One thing is certain: I was closer to death after drinking this than any other sode I have ever consumed. (Still, not all that close to death, but just a teeny tiny bit closer.)
The Sour part is also right. It took me about three hours to make it through the 8 oz. can. Plus it came in a four-pack. There are three more of these in my fridge. Any takers?

Those Jones Soda people have for several years brought to the American public a bunch of novelty holiday flavors that weren't necessarily intended to taste good.

Turkey & Gravy
Cranberry
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Cassarole
Fruit cake
Brussel Sprout
Wild Herb Stuffing
Pumpkin Pie
Broccoli Casserole
Salmon Pate'
Corn on the Cob
Pecan Pie
Sweet Potato
Dinner Roll
Pea
Antacid (no actual medicinal value)
Cherry Pie
Banana Cream Pie
Key Lime Pie
Apple Pie
Blueberry Pie
Sugar Plum
Candy Cane
Egg Nog
Caramel Apple
Berried Alive
Black Cat Licorice
Seahawks Football pack: Perspiration, Field Turf, Dirt, sweet Victory, Sports Cream
Canned Ham
Road Kill
Happy
Fun

Also for halloween this year, we bought a much more drinkable Candy Corn:



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