Tropical Mishaps Insult My Intelligence

My long time followers may remember that I enjoy unusual culinary treats.  Today I’d like to share the inedible remnants of a favorite exploration:

Fruit doesn't scream as loudly as meat when you cut it open.

Fruit doesn’t scream as loudly as meat when you cut it open.

 

This is Rambutan.  You can see the sizable interior and exterior of the husks as well as the almond-sized pits.  I hope that this will serve as an important reminder of several things:

1- If you bite into an unfamiliar fruit without removing the not-so-tasty bits, you probably won’t have an pleasant experience.  I bet this stuff makes a mouth full of lemon peel look pleasant.

2- If you would like to keep your teeth, don’t bite willy-nilly into a fruit.  Those pits ain’t soft.

3- If someone tells you that they’ve designed a bra or jockstrap based on some unknown tropical fruit, it will probably turn out worse than the ever popular banana hammock.  Just say no.

4- Tropical fruit may look expensive, but it’s worse than you think.  There’s a reason the grocery store doesn’t clue you in to all of these inedible components.  The fruit part of a rambutan probably takes up only half to a third of the weight you’re paying for.

Giftless Anniversaries Insult My Intelligence

Here we are, the one-year anniversary of Bumblepuppies.  That means it’s time for you to give me presents.  Big expensive presents.

And you'd better give me a wad of cash or a job to go along with this because I can't afford so much gas.  (Photo credit: M 93)

And you’d better give me a wad of cash or a job to go along with this because I can’t afford so much gas. (Photo credit: M 93)

I also have a present for you.  Of course, it doesn’t cost anything because I’m a little low on dough these days.  Nevertheless, I think you’ll like it.

Blogging advice.

To celebrate my anniversary, I would like to present a new ten commandments for blogging.  But fear not… I will not prohibit you from taking the name of Bumblepuppies in vain, for such references still count as free advertising for this blog.  However, I do ask that you not worship any other blogs besides mine.  (“Thou shalt not steal my content” seemed too obvious…)

1- Thou shalt not obsess over how low thy stats are today.  One of my posts reached 500 views recently even though it only netted 9 the week I originally released it.  You never know what people will rediscover from your archives.

2- Thou shalt not rely on shortcuts to obtain thy almighty traffic.  My #1 post was just a regular post.  I did not advertise it in any way beyond my social media feeds.  It was not written just to get a top slot on a Weekly Challenge pingback list.  I did not use illegitimate SEO tricks.  And there was no explicit sexual vocabulary.  Instead, I watch as it steadily lures people who actually want to read a post on that topic:

These are daily stats for my #1 post.  Hopefully, some visitors stick around for more. After all, they’re not the ones who wanted to find “huge wide hips” or “big boobs wide hips” or any other variation on the theme.  The folks who search for that are probably disappointed when they read the post they are surely directed to.

3- Blogging is a hobby.  Thou shalt not treat it as thy job unless it really is thy job.  It is not fun to advertise posts beyond your regular social media feeds.  It is not fun to write things just to get a high-traffic slot on a pingback list.  It is not fun to sit around and create SEO manipulators.  It is not fun to deal with the idiots who find your blog by searching for “big breasted librarians.”  However, if you happen to be a big-breasted librarian, I’d like to meet you.

4- If you inadvertently (or not so inadvertently) crop a picture to make a WordPress staffer’s husband look dead, thou shalt blame Art.  He likes the attention.  Thou shalt also kindly link to thy #1 commenter in thy anniversary post.

5- Thou shalt not dream of becoming Freshly Pressed.  An early follower of mine landed there in his second week of blogging but the blog didn’t last much longer.  A lot of people seem to get depressed when their traffic statistics soon return to normal and they throw themselves in front of a bus.  (Figuratively, I hope.)

6- Thou shalt not be long winded.  I have a Ph.D. and I can handle mass volumes of text.  If I think your work is too long, it’s too long.  Let’s not belabor the issue.

7- Thou shalt not spend excessive amounts of time on individual posts.  The post I spent the most time on netted little reaction.  Your muse should inspire you, not bloviate.

8- Thou shalt not always agree with the WordPress staff, for they are not defenseless children and they have a sense of humor if you play nice-ish.  I had an interesting debate with the lovely and talented Krista early on about a weekly challenge topic;  I ended up lampooning the challenge with a post.   No challenge participants got Freshly Pressed that week but I did receive my first like from Krista on that one.  (And yes, that post revisited the one I mentioned in #7… so all that work wasn’t useless after all.)

9- Honor thy mother and thy father and anyone else who can make your offline life miserable.  Therefore, it may be in your best interest to honor the glorious and morally superior NSA.

10- Thou shalt pace thyself.  I did 7-8 posts per week for my first few months… and going high volume early on is often recommended.  However, other commitments crept in and I ended up doing 3-4 posts per month for the next 3 months.  Eventually, I settled back into a comfortable schedule of 3-4 per week.  For a more extreme example, I follow a very talented idiot blogger who did 5 per day for several months before taking an extended break.  The point is, you don’t have to release your posts as soon as you finish them.  Save them for a rainy day.

Bonus Commandment (because we don’t go strictly by the Bible around here) – Thou shalt provide free advertising for Bumblepuppies as often as possible.  Go visit my newly updated Greatest Hits page and share a few of the entries with your friends.  Do unto me as you would have others do unto you.  Then do unto me again and again and again.

That’s all the advice I have for you today.  Thank you all for your continued presence here.  I didn’t expect to have so many great people so soon.  Emphasis is on “so soon” because I expected to attract a following.  Not having a broad and engaged audience would insult my intelligence…

mapyear1

The countries that have given Bumblepuppies at least 100 views are the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Philippines, France, Switzerland, Indonesia, and Sweden.  Do your patriotic duty and help get your country on this list.

PS: WordPress thinks my anniversary is the 29th because that’s the date I created this blog account.  That’s kind of like celebrating your wedding anniversary on the date you proposed to your wife instead of when you said “I do.”  My first post is dated May 31 and I fully intend to honor commandment #8.

 

Monumental Buildings Insult My Intelligence

There’s no such thing as a monumental building.  It’s all in how you look at it.

It towers above me.

It towers above me.

As you can tell from the picture, this building has only three or four stories.  Looks bigger here, doesn’t it?

It’s more fun to be small and let the little things tower over you.  You don’t need an Eiffel Tower to be awed; monuments are where you find them.

This has been your budget travel tip for the day.  Stay thrifty, my friends.

Doormats Insult My Intelligence

In my pantry rests a barely used container of furikake.

Furikake on rice.  (Photo credit: Jason Lam at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mesohungry/3042065459/ )

Furikake on rice. (Photo credit: Jason Lam at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mesohungry/3042065459/ )

The uninitiated among you might like to know what the heck furikake is.  Lots of varieties exist, but it’s basically Japanese rice seasoning.  It can include a wide array of dehydrated ingredients, including (but not limited to) fish flakes, seaweed, sesame seeds, egg yolk, mustard powder, celery, and carrot.  This may sound less than exotic to many of you, but then again Ragu is beyond some people’s sense of adventure.

What?  You mean you’ve never heard of people eating ketchup on spaghetti?  I’m jealous.  The thought makes me vomit in a projectile manner.

Anyway, an old friend recently accompanied me to one of my favorite international markets where they sell a broad assortment of furikake.  We reached the display and I mentioned that I really like the stuff, quickly grabbing a couple of packages.  And then the discussion began…

What kind should I get?

What looks good to you?  This one has fish and this one has no seaweed and that one has a lot of vegetables in it.

Which one do you like?

I like them all.

So what should I get?

What will your family eat?

What’s your favorite?

This one…

(The conversation was a lot longer.)

And so that’s what he grabbed.  He wouldn’t let me remind him that I had already seen him, his wife, and his kids spit out food that contained seaweed.  I tried to warn him but he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise.

Obviously, he was trying to impress me and he did succeed in making an impression of sorts…

And that’s how the shopping trip went, except he gradually got angrier and angrier when I wouldn’t just up and tell him which variety of something he should buy.  I mean, furikake is one thing because it’s so unfamiliar but it shouldn’t be too difficult to decide between a turkey- or beef-filled pasta.

And even if the choice challenges you too much, there’s no need to yell about it in public.  Instead, look up a good psychiatrist.

I also noticed that he only bought one small bag of the pasta to feed his family of four.  So… if you’re going to try and ingratiate yourself, at least be convincing about it.  I’m not asking you to waste your money on stuff you won’t eat and it makes no difference to me whether you buy the same groceries I do.

Nevertheless, I did not start this post to write about a shopping trip.  Last week, I visited his place and, after reaching into his pantry, he handed me the mostly unused package of furikake.  He mumbled something to the effect of “I guess it only tastes good if you’re used to stuff like this.”

Uh… yeah.  You wouldn’t let me warn you before you bought it.

And so it goes.  One cannot keep old friendships going (or new ones for that matter) by pretending to love what the other person loves.  It leaves a bad taste in your mouth and you can’t keep up the charade forever.

Then you look like an idiot when the veneer falls… especially because the veneer was already transparent to begin with.  While I also suspect that the idiot might have been symbolically getting rid of the friendship by handing over the furikake, at least I got some free food out of it.  It tastes pretty sweet.

Seriously.  The fish has a sweet flavor.  Add some buttercream and you could slather it on a cake.

Okay, maybe not that sweet…

Financial Preoccupations Insult My Intelligence

To close out this most materialistic season of the year, I would like to extend a helpful hint to all of you who are planning New Year’s parties:

Mother of Pearl spoons with sturgeon caviar an...

Mother of Pearl spoons with sturgeon caviar and salmon roe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You are wholly justified in worrying about what people will think about you if you do not put out expensive food.  After all, the party is designed to display your nonexistent wealth because that’s all your friends care about.  And they will never forget the deep fried caviar you serve up with tartar sauce to mask the slight char on the outside…

Writer’s Block Insults My Intelligence

Rubik's Cube scrambled

When you have writer’s block, free your mind and go play with a block instead. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writer’s Block (n.): A leading cause of blog posts you wish you had never clicked on, especially when they were combined with self-imposed deadlines.  It is best combated by not writing anything when you have nothing of value to say; ideas flow best when you’re not trying to force them.

On a completely different note, WordPress is recommending “Toilet paper” as a tag for this post.  (The recommendation includes the odd capitalization.)  This shows how one can discover new blog content by not looking for it.

And I shall skip the obnoxious potty humor…