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.

Friday, March 13, 2009

March McNugget Madness Mania

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It's that time of year again!  Time for me to fill out my NCAA tournament bracket without knowing anything about the teams.  If you have the knowledge to pick between BYU and Ohio St. and you're not a fan of either team, you might have too many brain cells allocated to following college hoops.  Personally, I wouldn't know to pick Pittsburgh over ETSU except that Pitt is the 1 seed.

I think this will be the 4th year I've filled out brackets using a mathematical formula, each year refining it from the year before.  That formula has nothing to do with who the actual teams are, but their seed# and a random number generator.  I'm going to fill out my brackets using the formula (which is slightly revised every year) without looking at who the teams are, because on my formula, it doesn't matter.  In fact, I could fill out next year's bracket too, if I wanted.  It would be fun to win ESPN's million-dollar contest and tell them during my interview that I've never even heard of Michigan State.  The odds of me winning are very slim, of course, but I would be happy if I did better than average.  After I finish, and before Thursday, I'll update my blog with who I pick as the winners.  By running 5 brackets, one does very well and one does very poorly (like picking Purdue to win it all, or something like that.) 

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Bad Habits store

The bad habits you can satisfy at this store include:  
Tobacco 
Cold Beer! 
Fish 
Zippos for your smokes. 
Lotto tickets 
Slush Puppies
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McDonalds is now running a promotion they call "McNugget Mania" where you can purchase one or more McNuggets for 25 cents each.  I wonder how many people have gone throught a McDonalds drive thru and ordered only one McNugget.  I suppose most would do it as a prank, but I can imagine this conversation happens occasionally:

"I'd like to order one McNugget.  Could I get a Barbecue dipping sauce with that and a cup of water.  Payday is tommorrow, and I've got no money today.  I found 30 cents in my couch cushions and I gotta eat!"

When I think about it, one McNugget doesn't seem worth 25 cents, and 4 McNuggets don't seem worth a dollar when I compare it to other things on the dollar menu (such as the McChicken Sandwich).  However, 10 McNuggets does seem worth $2.50.  Here's the catch: On the menu (at least at the one closest to my house) a "10 Piece McNuggets" cost $3.70 - That's not the cost of the meal with fries and a drink, that's the regular cost of 10 McNuggets bundled together.  I suppose they are hoping enough people are bad at math to notice they are paying an extra $1.20 to get the same product.  You need to go and order them a la carte.

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Black Holes need better marketing.

"What happens in a Black Hole stays in a Black Hole."

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I opened my water bill from the local utilities company and found a shock:

Gallons used in Feb.     6994216
Gallons used in Jan.        9600

Service                  Charge
Natural Gas                172.50
Water service            18882.54
Sewer Service            17839.74
Stormwater Fee               3.47
Utility Tax               1841.05

Total Due                38739.20
Amount Due if paid late  42429.01

Drat, Now I need to find a way to come up with over $38,000 by Friday, or I'm going to owe and extra $3,500!

Seems like I would have noticed using 7 million Gallons of water.  I've got to change my lifestyle.  No more draining and refilling the pool every 6 hours.  I need to stop taking those 10 hour showers.  The question is if I could even use 7 million gallons in a month even if I wanted to.  Even if a pipe burst on the wrong side of the water meter, I think I'd notice the entire neighborhood starting to flood.

I called the utility office wanting to laugh about it with someone, but willing to argue if I had to, but the problem had already been corrected in their system, so that my water bill is, as usual, dwarfed by the Natural Gas usage.

random observations:
I'd never noticed that my Sewer bill was directly tied to my water consumption.  I didn't realize that I was charged for the water both coming and going.

...yet the bogus Stormwater Fee isn't.

Thats over $1800 that the city won't be getting in taxes from me.  I hope they didn't spend it already, but they probably did.
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Al Gore Jr. Bridge

You'd think the former Vice President would be remembered with more than just a lame bridge with a lame sign. Maybe this goes back 30 years when he was just the U.S. Congressman from this district.
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I have recently begun the process to refinance our mortgage.  With that in mind, it's time to clean up my credit report.  So, I went to the local public library to pay a 60 cent library fine.

In my change, I got a Hawaii Quarter.

Hooray!  I have finally accumulated all of the U.S. Quarters!  It was a painstaking process that began 10 years ago. (I even got my first Georgia quarter on my honeymoon!) I can now finally get on with my life.  King Kamehameha is personally bidding my set "Aloha."

So, I went to the U.S. Mint website to see what the 2009 quarter was going to look like.  Oh, the horror!  If you haven't heard, the Mint is continuing this process in to 2009 by including Washington D.C. (side note: Duke Ellington is on this quarter.  That's the first thing I think of when I think about D.C.) and all of the U.S Territories.  Now, my collection isn't complete until I can aquire the Northern Mariana Island quarter.  I'd never even heard of this place before now.

Remember those cardboard 50 state quarter maps you could purchase?  They cost $24.95 at Walgreens back in 1998, and then in about 2002 after the interest had died down, you could get one for $2 at a flea market.  I have one of those.  I filled it up.  THERE'S NOWERE TO PUT A NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS QUARTER!
If you haven't reached your fill of changing quarters,  The Mint is going to begin a 56 piece National Park quarter series.  This is in addition to the President Dollar series, the new "tails" to the Sacajawea Dollar, and a series of commemorative Lincoln Pennies. (Now there's a money maker!)
There was a time the U.S. Mint didn't change our coins very often.  Now they can't help themselves.

Fun Fact:  The Mint is going to spend more time minting William Henry Harrison quarters than he was actually president.
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And finally,
Happy St. Patrick's Day from the South!
 
Green Tomatoes
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Friday, March 06, 2009

1960's Tennessee "Chuckle" Map

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More proof that I do things that other people would find weird, I bought this old map using some of my Christmas gift money.

1960s Tennessee "Chuckle" Map

This map was apparently made in the 60's, although there wasn't a date on it anywhere. One person suggested it goes back to the 40s, but I say the 60's when looking at the population data on the back.

It's called a "Chuckle" map because it's covered with charming vignettes of different spots around the state. Examples include calling Monteagle the highest point between Chicago and Miami, singing "Irish Potatoes", Possum hunting, and the queen of the Memphis Cotton Carnival.  You wouldn't see something like this printed today because it's too politically incorrect and depicts us all as hillbillies.


   

This is the first time I've heard Tennessee called the Nation's most interesting state. I'd agree with that, although I'm biased. It was a tourism map printed and distributed by the state, although I guess there wasn't a department of Tourism then. Instead it was produced by the Division of State Information Department of Conservation.

As you can already guess, I scanned the whole map and if you'd like to see it, here's the link: (It's quite a large image file)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3312/3333683867_83d9ef2079_o.jpg

1960s Tennessee "Chuckle" Map

I also scanned the other side, with all the text. It's good if you're curious what was considered the top tourist spots back then.


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