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Who Knew?
2007-03-16, 5:37 p.m.

Day 937

Whoda thunk that the whole asparagus smelly pee thing would have generated any interest? Fooled me. But! As it turns out, the interest is really widespread. To save some effort, (maybe too late, some of you with inquiring minds might have gone here already) I went and g00gled the durn thing. Got some nifty results. Like these:

asparagus urine

Just in case you’re not the inquiring mind sort, the lowdown on all this is that there’s a compound in asparagus that some peoples bodies can metabolize into a sulphur containing compound called mercaptan (or a mercaptan like chemical) that, well, stinks. But only some people can do this. To further confound things, not everyone can detect the smell of this lovely compound. To REALLY mess things up, the ability to produce the stinky compound and the ability to smell it are not correlated either.

So you could be lucky like me and both produce and detect this mercaptan, or like Cindy and at least not detect it, or be like some folks and neither produce nor detect. What’s really disturbing is that there have apparently been some (more than a few?) studies done on this, and that governments somewhere (no doubt our own here in the good ol’ US of A) have funded these nonsensical studies. I’m glad they did though, because this is the kind of stuff you can whip out at parties and people will look at you like “why in the hell would anyone want to know THAT?” and my response is: “I can’t help it. My mind is really good at remembering all this useless shit!” Oh – and my theory on why girls can’t smell it? Well, lets just say that’s why you should never try and do statistics with a sample size of 1, because apparently a couple of you out there have the gene for sniffing out mercaptan. That old theory can go right down the toilet.

I wonder though. Do you think they do blind tests where people are sniffing randomly selected cups of pee to see if: a – the person who produced the pee can do the mercaptan thing and b – if the sniffer can detect the mercaptan. Suppose you have to have some known producers and some known detectors. The things I worry about. More useless shit!

Thanks to the gods of scheduling, next week is the last week of bowling. What a freakin struggle it’s been this year. One guy leaves a bowling alley and the whole season goes to pot. Well, at least that’s the conclusion in our league. The dude that did the lane conditioning quit and went to a different bowling alley. That event directly coincides with everybody struggling to hit their averages. So next week we do our singles tournament, then head off to our league sponsors bar/restaurant and sit down to a nice buffet dinner, hand out prizes, give everybody a good natured ribbing and agree that we’ll all be back to do it again next year. No matter how bad the lane conditions are, because we’re all dumb & stubborn like that. Oh. Our teams beer of choice at the banquet? Guinness, of course. Not an Irish bone in our body (or heritage for that matter), but we’ll be doing rounds of Guinnesses all evening. Maybe a grand total of 3!! Woo!! No worries. When I get home after that, I’ll still be the soberest person in the house over 45 22 years of age. Not positive about Zach & Jill, but I doubt they’ll be boozing it up on a Thursday night. They’re certainly more responsible about it than a certain other person I know.

Kinda bummed bowling is ending. For me, it’s two hours out of the house, getting in a little exercise, actually having fun. Sucks coming home to a drunk, but I’m working on that. Well, working on dealing with it, not removing the drunk or changing homes. I have several “forward looking” ideas I’m mulling, but certain conditions have to be met to trigger any action on my part. So far, no conditions are satisfied, so nothing is happening. Of course, hitting the Mega Millions Jackpot would override everything and proceedings would jump into warp drive. But there’s that nasty little part about actually having to buy a ticket in order to have any chance at all to win. I keep looking at it as every unpurchased ticket being another dollar saved.

What else, what else. Oh, yeah! In spite of our current temperatures (30, with snow in the forecast – it IS only March) our recent 2 day spell of 60 degree weather has managed to completely free up the surface of the pond. No ice, no snow. Only scrap lumber holding the leaf netting in place.

When we put the fishies to bed last fall, there were 10 residents. 4 shibunkins, 3 comets, 2 red caps and an orange fantail. (…and a partridge in a pear treeeeeeeee ...). So far, I have spotted 8 of the 10 denizens of the deep. The onliest two that are missing are (I think) the two youngest Shibunkins. One of them is mostly dark brown with very little white/blue/orange mixed in, so (s)he is really tough to spot, even in the best of conditions. The other one is mostly white, with a modest amount of mottling of other colors. Have yet to spot that one either, but they do like to hang out around the cinder blocks way down in the bottom of the pond. That leaves plenty of opportunity for hiding. Best part is there are no floaters, so there’s always hope that everybody made it through winter intact. Of course, fish are not above cannibalism, so maybe the evidence has been consumed. Either way, even 8 out of 10 isn’t bad.

Work was a zoo yesterday, today is a little more relaxed. Got a bunch of deliverables handed off, today is more part research and checking in on how other folks are progressing. Much nicer.

Playing text tag with Eric. He’s due in from school today on spring break. We’re negotiating the dinner menu at the moment. It’s looking like we’ll get to use up some of the leftover smoked chicken breast we did last week. Do some variation on a chicken Caesar salad, but use smoked chicken instead. Can’t come out too bad, right? Just need for Zach to still be home so he can pull the chicken outta the freezer. Otherwise, I think I may sneak home for lunch and do just that.

Ok, didn’t sneak home for lunch. Forgot, had a retirement reception to attend. Hate to see the guy go, but glad he’s getting out while the getting is good. The rest of us won’t be so lucky I’m afraid.

Ah!! Yes! The saga of the bottles. Pretty much ended. The climax I do believe was yesterday around lunch time. After I got home from bowling (bowling sux!) last night, I checked in with the kids to se what they wanted for dinner. Lucky me, they agreed to Chinese. Anyhow. Jill mentioned that right around lunch time, Cindy stopped home, pulled a white plastic trash bag out of the trunk of her car and put it in the trash cans out at the curb. (Yesterday being collection day). Never came in for lunch, just did a drop & run.

That’s when I told them the story of how I found the bag of bottles in the trunk to begin with. I asked Jill if the trash guys had even been through yet that day. Some mornings they’re banging their way through at 6am, other days they don’t make it till after lunch time. Jill wasn’t sure, but I’m thinking if they had been here already, Cindy wouldn’t have left the bottles behind. For some reason, she doesn’t want to risk any of us seeing the empties. Like we can’t figure out what’s up.

So last night, while headed out to pick up Chinese I happened to check the trash cans. They were completely empty. So Cindy successfully got rid of her empties without anybody finding out about it. Except for me, the kids and the 3.4 people that read here on a regular basis. Now I just have to get her to close the doors to the hutches and cabinets in the dining room so I can’t tell where she’s hiding her latest bottle. Didn’t think it would be so hard to stay uninformed!

Gah. Way to string this along for a whole day. Time to go home and make chicken parmesan (menu changed, courtesy of the bottle storer) Eric’s home for a few days, so we’ll be well entertained for the weekend.

Oh – in school news, Circe got a 100 on her latest Algebra test. Girl worked her tail off studying. Go tell her she done good.

Gotta run. Behave or have fun. Pick one and do it well.


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old habits - new tricks