Bus Bus Goose

I started riding the bus long before it became cool to do so.

Nowadays, I find myself again not so cool. With gas prices raising faster than ninja at the grocery store, everyone seems to be taking public transportation these days.

Not me, I've been doing it for month, back when I was the only one of the bus and I did just for the satisfaction of looking down on hippies with a “greener than thou” look on my face.

Now the bus is become more and more crowded and every morning, I find myself reliving the nightmare of grade-school Steve, trying to find a seat before the scary bus driver hurls the bus towards the next stop.

It's a horrific labyrinth of people I don't want to sit be: too fat, too scary, too stinky, too female and it's really too much stress for me that early in the morning so I am putting my foot down. I was hear first, so of you are gonna hafta go.

Its for the good of everyone.

Or at least me.

The following people should not be allowed to ride the bus ever.


I'm not talking about the kind of bikers who peddle from their home and the bus stop. Those people are fine so long as then don't stand in front of me in those thing they have the gall to call shorts.

Trust me on this. I wear shorts more than any adult should. I'm almost an expert on shorts. If your pants are so tight your butt hair pokes through, those aren't shorts.

I'm talking about the guys who are so in to their bikes that that

The is nothing scarier than an angry biker. And there's not angrier than a biker forced to used public transportation. So I'm pretty sure that there's nothing scarier than a biker on the bus.

Maybe a clown with a gun that shoots rattlesnakes.

But there would have to be – like – four of them.

Old women who want to talk.

I don't know if they can't read, can't work an iPod or have just been around so long that they've already read and listened to anything but if you put a woman over the age of 70 on some sort of public transportation, and suddenly she really wants to talk with any random stranger who happens to be me.

And the cheaper the form of transportation, the crazier the woman becomes.

On a plane, she wants to talk about her grandkids, which is boring.

On a train, she wants to talk about her cats, which is more boring.

On the bus, she just wants to talk about herself, which is the most boring thing ever, and usually pretty gross because she has all kinds of health problems that she has to show me, some of which kind of make me throw up a little in my mouth.

The guy with the shovel.

I was on the bus a few weeks ago and some dude gets on with a shovel.

He didn't look like a farmer, an archaeologist or Smokey the Bear or anyone else who would have a good reason to have a shovel with them. I tried to come up with a situation that would require digging and an easy, yet anonymous way to get to and from the digging but all I could come up with were shallow graves and

Apparently I wasn't one freaking out about this guy. The biker on the bus shot me one of those “This guy is going to make on of us into ice cream topping,” looks and moved further back in the bus.

Attractive people.

Good looking people have no business being on the bus. You guys make the rest of us feel bad.

Finally, Dark Jedi.

I don't have any good reason. I just hate them so much.

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is a big fan of planes, trains and automobiles. Not the movie, he just like things that go vroooooooooom. Drop him a line below.

To swim or not to swim

It was a glorious two and a half weeks, but spring is over and we're now full on into summer.

All the changes that happen when we enter to hottest time of year are in full view already. The trees have enough leaves to give shade. The flowers are in full bloom. The grass has a bunch of brown spots from where people let there dogs poop in the snow 5 months ago and never cleaned it up.

But the sure-firest (surest-fire?) way to tell that it real is summer is to just walk by the pool in our apartment complex and notice the place is more crowded than the local IHOP (and this despite the fact there pool doesn't offer 5 kinds of syrup).

I never know how to react to the fact that there is a pool where I live. As a kid I always wanted one. Even started digging one for a while but then I started thinking about dinosaurs before long my T-rex and Triceratops were duking it out in my room.

Come to think of it, that's how all my childhood projects ended.

And a lot of my adult ones.

Anyway, now that I find myself with easy access to a pool I can never decide wether or not to use it. As an adult there and just so many conflicting pros and cons about the whole issue.

Maybe someone out there could help me. Let me just explain my thinking.

Pro: Sweat.

Just ask anyone who's ever been down wind of me, I am a sweaty stinky man.

I'm from Idaho, I'm built for colder climates. Once the summer hits my poor skin, I start sweating like a fat guy going up stairs.

That's just walking to the bus, when I work out in the sun I just look like a cartoon super villain made of stinky water.

I bet I produce more liquid per hour than 3 dairy cows.

This slimly covering may keep me cool and protect me from predators but it makes me none the more popular with the ladies. Not that I really am looking for any ladies at this point in my life, but no matter how married you get, it still hurts when they point and laugh.

That's one thing I really like about being at the pool. At the pool its hard to tell the difference between someone who is dripping wet with sexy pool-water and someone who is dripping wet with extremely un-sexy personal water.

Con: I suck at swimming.

For a guy who passed all the swimming requirements scouting could throw at him, I'm a really lousy swimmer.

I spent most my time like I did when I first started going to pools, clinging to the end of the pool only leaving to try to swim to the other side when either my mom's watching or some kid dares me to.

I always start out with pretty good form, by after two or three strokes I become the only person in the pool over the age of five doing the doggy paddle.

It's better for me to just stay on land, where I can usually get around with no problem.

And if I can't, I just fall, not drown.

Pro: bikinis. Lots of bikinis.

Much like losers wait for the swallows to return to that place they go, the average red blooded American male considers the return of bikinis into the realm of acceptable day wear as the true sign of summer.

Today I saw more cleavage and side cheek than I had since Christmas. And this was just on my way to check the mail.

Some people say that it's shameful to see women parading around half naked in public like that.

I think these people are idiots.

A woman wearing a bikini is way more than half naked. We're talking about what, less than two square feet of covering going on?

By my figures a well-figured woman in a proper bikini is anywhere between four/fifths to thirteen/fourteenths naked.

An Eskimo with his shirt off, that's half naked.

I swear this country can't do math anymore.

As much as I appreciate them I've never really understood the mentality behind bikinis. There are very few young women who would let random strangers see them in just their underwear. And yet, if you make that same underwear waterproof, and all of a sudden it's appropriate to were to grocery store.

Con: naked kids.

I'm all for skinny dipping in proper situations, like when it starts with gratuitous nudity and ends in bloody murder but there are limits.

I'm pretty sure it's against some sort of federal law or pool rule to let your offspring splash around – as the French say – buck naked, but I've seen baby wiener during too many trips past the pool.

At first I was against it for sanitary reasons. I was convinced that being in the buff would increase the chance of peeing in the pool by several hundred percent.

Then I wised up and realized that warm water, constant splashing and the commonly accepted fallacy that chlorine makes everything better has already made it so pretty that the only people who don't leave a little personal Kool-ade in the pool are the rare few who actually shower before getting in the pool.

They do their business there.

So I'm not worried about these kids doing anything I wouldn't do in the pool. I do, however, worry about the harsh rays of the sun. If a family is too lazy to put a suit on their kid, I'm pretty sure they didn't sunscreen them up properly.

I'd try to shade them myself, but that's just creepy, even for me. And I look at strangers' wedding photos on Flickr.

Geek on.

Steve Shinny is a poor swimming who accidentally typed the word “poop” every time he wanted to write “pool” and had to go back and change it while giggling like a school boy. Comments can and should be left below.

Save a trip, get the snip

There are a lot of big decisions that parents have to make. On decision that parents of new born boys find them selves facing is the issue of whether or not to have their kid circumcised.

I've already decided that any boys I end up having will have it done. I figure if someday they ever decide to go Jewish they'll be really glad that I did.

Geek on.

You must be this handicapped to park here

A little early this week as I'm heading to the lake.

It may be because I just ate some delicious curry, but I'm really starting to believe in karma.

Like my neighbor who does bad in the form of blasting their stereo really loud have been punished with really bad taste in music.

Another example, I used to think that it was unfair that handicapped people got to park closest to the building. I mean it's not like most of them had to even walk there. They'd just roll their way up there without a care in the world.

But then I realized that they may have the closest parking spots, but their stalls are furthest from the men's room door. So it kind of evens out that way.

While I've never been jealous of their high seated toilets and their so wide-it-echoes stalls, but I'll admit, theres been times I've looked at their parking spots and the looked at the door and realized they were only 34 inches apart, and I got a little jealous.

This envy went away one day when I realized that in order to use a handicapped parking spot the person has to literally park on an image of another handicapped person. I don't know if I could bring myself to do that.

That poor guy is already in a wheel chair, he's obviously got enough problems without me parking my car on his torso.

Maybe that's how he ended up in that chair to begin with.

A fear of inflicting additional pain on painted paraplegics aside, I still have high levels of guilt that prevent me from ever taking a reserved spot no matter how quick my trip to the sporting goods store will be.

I won't even park in the spots next to the handicapped spots unless just I stubbed my toe really bad.

Unfortunately, other people aren't so lawful good when it comes to signs spray painted on the asphalt.

Just the other day I saw someone park in a handicapped spot without a tag or license plate. I watched him get out of car and walk in with ease. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt that he really did have some sort of physical problem that warranted his use of that coveted spot, but then he jump kicked an old lady in the head.

I'm pretty sure he was just a douchebag.

And just so we're clear, I asked my doctor, being a douchebag doesn't count as being handicapped.

Unless you're golfing, then I think it's a two stroke handicap.

Despite the fact that it's often abused by the morally challenged, I kind of like the idea of parking segregation. I think we should color code the whole lot and then make people park accordingly.

The blue spots for handicapped people would stay the same as the closest.

All lots would have the red spots that you see for senior citizens and expectant mothers.

Next would be yellow spots for anyone with small children (in the case of grocery stores and movie theaters however, these spots would be located over a mile away to encourage people to leave those brats at home).

The system would continue from there through the rest of society: doctors and firemen, librarians, dog owners, people who like Jazz music, Civil War reenactors, Congressmen, cat owners, golfers and so on until finally there would be a peach colored spot in the middle of landfill in Illinois reserved for that weird guy who invited me to get in the hot tub with him when I'm pretty sure he was naked.

Naked weirdos can walk for all I care.

That's karma for you.

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is an (usually) able bodied young man who is perfectly content to park in the orange and blue striped parking spots right in between math teachers and anyone who switch hits is softball.

Time to Facebook the Truth

As a man who owns more Ethernet cables than pants, it pains me to say this. I think we've taken this whole Internet thing about as far as it can go.

It's clear now that we will never be able to download bacon, so I think it's about time we just walk away.

You're not buying it are you?

Ok, I'll level with you.

The main reason I know that the Internet is on it's last virus delivering legs is that even I – the guy who taught Numa Numa how to dance – have fallen to the lowest level of Internet usage.

I'm on Facebook.

If I can succumb to the temptation, what chance to you guys have?

About as much chance as monkey bench-pressing a sumo wrestler which explains why Facebook got so popular in the first place.

When I first heard about Facebook, I was Carl Sagan level skeptical about the whole thing. Social networking was stupid and had already ruined outer space for us geeks. Now it was going after books.

Still as I saw more and more of my friends setting up Facebook pages, I began to wonder what the attraction was. What made it so much better than MySpace?

And people were very clear that it was better than MySpace. They were borderline religious about the whole thing. They were like people with Teevo.

Facebook is like MySpace in that it lets people who think PHP is something hippies use pretend that they can make a Web site.

It's different from MySpace in that there are a lot less perverts looking at pictures of skanky girls they don't know (although there are more perverts looking at pictures of skanky girls that they do know).

It's better than MySpace in that I use it.

I think this first point, along with the ability to prove that you really do know more about movie trivia than your friends, are what makes Facebook so popular. Its a commonly held belief that Web developers are the sexiest people on the planet. People have long yearned to be as respected as the members of this noble profession.

I've always resisted such social networking sites as Facebook and MySpace because I pride myself on being a highly skill computer user. I didn't need help, I could make a Web site the old fashion way, with blood and sweat and ones and zeros.

And I'd make it cool and neat and stuff.

5 years later I've come to a realization that I am painfully lazy and this was never getting done.

I tried really hard to dig into all the HTML, JS, CSS and LMAO that I needed to build a really great site, but whenever I sat down to get to work I would write two lines of code and then realize that somehow I was playing WOW.

Honey, what are you doing? I thought you said you were going to work on your Web site.

I am dear.

Then why do I see a dragon?

He's trying to steal my code, that's why I have to kill him.

So I do have to admit Facebook is a lot easier than building write a Web page the old fashion way, just like buying your food is easier than hunting for it.

Although I do still feel like a bit of a wiener when I eat a muffin instead of skinning a deer.

Another thing I love about Facebook is how easy it makes social interaction. In Facebook there's no range for how well you know a person or how much you like them.

In real life it's way more complicated. In my life there are many different words I use to describe people: friends, acquiescences, buddies, coworkers, people I ride the bus with, neighbors, people who work at stores I go to a lot, neighbors who I sneak around trying to avoid, my wife, ward-mates and people I think are douche-bags for not returning their shopping carts.

On Facebook, everyone is either your friend or a total stranger.

It's actually very cleansing.

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is just happy that now he can finally number all the friends that he's ever had in his whole life. The answer, according to Facebook, is 21.