Lame but nessicary

I'm sick.

Not super sick, but I'm sick.

I don't want to write a Geek Beat when I'm sick, so I'm going to give you the Mormon equivalent of drunk blogging.

I just downed some Thera-flu and I'm scheduled to enter some sort of coma. Before that happens I'm going to try and write as much as I can and see what comes out. Here's hoping it doesn't suck.

I've been sick for a few days, getting progressively worse every day. It's just a cold, I've had worse, but I can't see straight, I can think straight and I'm pretty sure I couldn't draw a straight line without a ruler.

I've created myself of what I can only describe as a Nerd Nest. I'm in bed. Wearing more clothes than a convent of self-conscious nuns. I have every blanket in my house some around me. Within arms reach I have a laptop with wireless access to the world, a TV remote, a my X-box, four fantasy novels, three comics books, two things of Sprite and I think I have a partridge in a pear tree around hear somewhere.

I don't like to point figures, but I blame my wife for this. She made me drink salty rootbeer the over day. Salty rootbeer. Rootbeer with salt in it. It was just as gross as as it sounds. But it's some Chinese remedy so I had to drink it. I was really hoping I could just eat some pretzels and was it down with some A&W but ancient Chinese wisdom says no.

It also say I couldn't add ice cream.

I don't know why all medicine has to taste like reheated death. But it does. In theory it is supposed to taste like stuff I like. Cherries, grapes, bubble gum, honey and the like. But it never does. They could make pork chop flavored cough drops and I'm pretty sure it would be pretty gross.

Well I'm starting to see monkeys where I'm pretty sure I don't have any, so I'm going to go away now. I sure hope this is as funny in the morning as I think it is now.

Geek on (drugs).

How much can-can can the candy-man can-can?

They say the average man thinks about sex once every second.

I think that's a bunch of crap.

If the average man has that on his mind so much when does he think about candy?

Of course candy has been front and center of pretty much 2 out of every 5 thoughts I've had since I was 3. I'm a big fan of the stuff. I think all of the trouble in the Middle East would go away if Hamas and Israel would take a fifteen minute to sit down and think about how freaking awesome Tootsie Pops are.

In recent days when various stresses have been crushing down on me like a 12 year old girl on a Jonas Brother, I've found great solace and joy through meditating on the joys of candy. Let me share a few of them with you.

I think you can tell how much you mean to someone by simply asking them for one of their Starbursts.

If they give you an orange one, they consider you to be more than an acquaintance, but you're really not close yet. Try spending more time asking about their day and really listening to their answer and you'll work your way up to the better colors in no time.

A red one means they are a good friend. They'd gladly help you move, but would probably think twice before jumping in front of a bullet or a charging rhinoceros for you.

If they give you a pink, you have found yourself a soul mate, marry this person, even if you have to change your sexual preferences and state residency to do so.

A yellow means they are probably planning to poop in your cubicle and you should probably hit them before the get you.

Considering the fact that I've eaten about 1500 Everlasting Gobstobbers in my lifetime, I think those buggers are horribly misnamed.

I think that at some point in my life, probably sooner than later, I should really stop trying to guess the answer to the jokes on Laffy Taffy wrappers.

And I really need to stop feeling so smug when I get it right.

Kids these days have it way to freaking easy these days. Not only are PG-13 movies more violent with a higher chance of bare bums, but the average pack of Smarties has way more colored ones in it.

When I was a kid, a pack of Smarties was a freakin' algebra problem. I did some pretty complex algorithms trying to figure out which side of a pack of Smarties to start eating from (because you had to eat them in order dang it!) in order to get the flavored ones to cancel out the crappy air flavor of the white ones.

Speaking of Smarties, was it ever cool in your school to snort Pixie Stick powder up your noes in lines like cocaine? It was in Idaho (a lot of dumb things were cool in Idaho).

Well I had a friend who though that he could get a better sugar rush taking a couple Smarties and crushing them up and snorting them. Once he developed a tolerance to that though, he took the next logical step.

He snorted a whole Smartie, right up his nose.

I'm pretty sure it hit him in the brain, because he never could do long devision.


Steve Shinney loves candy. His dentist hates him.

I also love toast

I tend to bandy the word love around in ways that I probably shouldn't. I love a lot more inanimate objects than a married man probably should.

I love my Xbox, I love my black and gray tie, I love my measuring tape. I love a lot of things that while incapable of loving me back, understand me better than my wife or my parents could ever hope to.

Despite all this, I don't want to diminish my new found love, which is deeper, truer and less superficial than my love for my microwave.

I love my new coat. I keeps me warm when I'm walking to work, and it has a hood that I can pull way down over my eyes and pretend I'm a super sneaky assassin guy.

This isn't the first time I've loved an outer garment though. When I was a missionary, I had a coat that served three purposes and filled them extremely well.

The first was that it kept we dry during the near constant rain that pisses down on the people of Sydney every winter.

Second it was a long, black trench coat that hung down to my shins. When I wore it, especially in really windy subway stations, I felt like Neo from the Matrix (probably because it was actually the same station).

If a coat like that can make Keanu Reaves a tough guy, just imagine what it would do for me.

Finally, the third reason, and this is the most important, was that it let me scratch my nuts in peace.

As all return missionaries out there know with great certainty, wearing slacks for two years straight has several effects on the human body. It makes you really really like jeans, it gives your legs a shade of white not found anywhere else in nature and it gives you the Rot.

The Rot is a situation where the most sensitive of your skin gets sick on only hearing about fresh air in various skin magazines and revolts like a poverty stricken, 17 century nation. I don't know all the biology behind the rot but I know that it is described in certain medical texts as “itchy as a Mo-Fo.”

My coat had holes in the pockets, which I can only assume were but there for the sole purpose of giving the wearer easy access to his junk because thats all I used it for.

Because of the loose cut of my coat, any and all scratching motion was completely unnoticeable by the outside world. I know this because I spent hours in front of a mirror making sure because when you're an ordained minister of your church, the last thing you want is some one catching you digging deep down in the danger zone 'round your ding-dong (don't try alliterations/wiener jokes like that at home kids, I'm a professional).

Just as I am able to love an article of clothing with the same passion I love my wife or cake, I'm also able to hate a house hold appliance in a way most people reserve for dogs that poop in their yard.

For Christmas this year my mother gave my wife and I an electric blanket.

At first I didn't think too much of the gift. It was a very standard mother gift: practical, thoughtful, not a video game.

In the days that followed, however, this mom gift quickly became the single greatest thing in my wife's life. In a stubborn effort to save money, we keep our furnace set to butt-cold. This helps a ton on heating and refrigerator expenses but are probably spending enough on hot chocolate to eat up most of the savings.

Our bed has always been a sanctuary from the rest of our house but before Christmas this was more like heading south for the winter and only making it to southern Utah. It was warmer, but it wasn't really warm.

All this changed when we plugged in the blanket.

Now crawling between the sheets is like an all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas to eat chili and compete in a parka-wearing contest.

Before this bed-wide climate change, every night sometime between 4 and 5 am, my wife would wake from the butt-clenching cold and it became my job to serve as a fifth blanket. I would cling to my sweetheart, protecting her form the elements with my own warmth, helping us to draw closer as a couple.

Now, every night at the same time, my job is to climb out into the cold and turn her half of the blanket back on, then get back into bed without making too much noise.

Basically my mom got my wife a replacement me for Christmas.


Geek on.

Steve Shinney feels very passionately about a lot of things most people don't think twice about. He spends a lot time yelling at the stove.

I can't help it, it's just who I am

Who am I?

I'm not Batman.

I'm not Jean Valjean.

And please, don't call me Ishmael.

While you're at it, stop sending me Ishmael's junk mail.

I'm no once special. You've probably never heard of me. You wouldn't know me if you saw me on the street and even if you did, you probably wouldn't admit it.

And yet, I'm inside you.

I am the part of you that looks up at the sky at night and wants to boldly go and explore the great nothingness between the lonely diamonds of lights and all the adventures along the way

I'm the day dreams you don't tell anyone about, the ones with wizards, dragons and you in a suit of brilliantly shining armor, a magic sword and a princess to save.

I'm you're top score in Tetris and your secret shame of never beating Contra.

I'm the urge to go eat at the place where the pretty girl waits tables. I'm the lump in your throat when you try to talk to her. I'm the feeling of being a retard when you can't.

I'm also the frustration when you can't figure out a 15% tip for her in your head.

I'm the little bit of fear that wells up in you no matter how old you get every time you see a football team practicing. I'm to automatic reaction to look for a teacher to run too in case they decide to stick your 20-year-old body in a locker.

I'm you're secret knowledge about all things Pokemon.

Bulbasaur rules by the way.

When you watch a movie that every critic ripped apart for being shallow and derivative I'm the joy you get when you love every car-chasing, boob-flashing minute of it.

I'm the voice in the back of you're mind that tells you that it's OK to wear white socks and sandals (it's not).

I'm the part of your brain that every once in while – usually while you're driving on in the shower – that wonders if the Thunder Cats could beat up the DinoRiders.

I'm the tree fort you're gonna build when you have kids, but really it's just for you.

I'm urge to dress up for a movie, even if it's been out for three weeks and really isn't that kind of movie.

I'm the secret crush you still have on April O'Neil, She'ra, Chun Li and the three Princesses (Toadstool, Zelda and Leia in the gold bikini).

I'm the laugh you have to repress every time a coworker shifts in his or her chair and it makes a sound that vaguely like a fart.

I'm the delusions that action figures are a sound financial investment.

I'm the source of all the awkwardness, loneliness and rejection you felt when you were in Jr. High and still haunts you to this day.

But I'm also where your happiest memories, your simple pleasures and your momentary escapes from reality come from.

I give you something to care about when you feel like no one cares about you.

I'm your inner child who still believes that no matter how bad things get in this world, in the end good will triumph over evil. Who won't give up hope that everyone will make it home. And still hopes that some day, Superman will save us all.

I'm Steve Shinney, and I am a geek.

I think you are too.

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is all this things and more, tune in every week to the Geek Beat to feel better about yourself by comparison.