I went into an Asian market the other day (no, not the one that sells crickets) and I was looking at a cool piece of Korean cookware. It was basically a round, half-inch thick disc of granite about the same diameter as a frisbee that had two stainless steel handles embedded in the stone on either side. I imagine what you do with it is toss it over a fire, get it really hot, and then use it to cook those lovely marinated strips of short rib and other meats that the Koreans do so well.

I wasn't positive that's how the device was used so I flipped it over for further inspection and that's when I discovered there were instructions on the back.

"Ah, now we'll get to the bottom of this I thought!" But, well... take a look.

I'm not totally sure that's going to be much help to anyone. Let's take a closer look.

As I read and pondered, I noticed that the instructions were no longer adhering to the Marvelous Cookware of Serpentine Stone so I slipped them into my pocket. At first I felt kind of bad about stealing the instructions. Would the eventual purchaser of the Marvelous Cookware of Serpentine Stone know how to use the thing? Would he or she understand that "the food must be attention to not get bumed. /only cooking roast)"? But then I realized that Marvelous Cookware of Serpentine Stone cooking is something you can't be taught. It's like parsletounge: You're either born knowing that "it' s principle to get used to it to be pot stewed," or you aren't. Sadly, I wasn't. But if any of you out there can offer any more information please add it in the comments section below.

#101 - WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE?!? The Incredible Shrinking Water Bottle!

Hey. How's your mind feeling? Is it blown? No? Well, if you want to keep it that way you'd better stop reading right now. See that inconspicuous little water bottle up there? Well it's not as mundane as it seems. In fact, it's probably the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my entire life! Why? Because, until I left it in the car one sunny day, it used to look like this!

Yeah. That's right. I left the bottle in a hot car for a mere six hours or so and the damn thing Shrunky Dunk on me! My wife got two of these bottles, so lets look at them side by side.

Crazy right?

As you can see, initially the bottle contained a bit more than 24 ounces of liquid...

...I just measured its volume today--it holds less than 8 ounces of fluid!

Obviously, there's some magic at work here. Personally, I'm hoping it's the car that's enchanted rather than the bottle. You see, if my car turns out to be a Magic Shrinking Machine, then we could put all the pain and strife and suffering in the world in there and reduce it down over a couple sunny days. We could also use my magic car to shrink people's tumors and goiters and maybe even zap barrels of untreatable toxic waste down to a more manageable size.

I'm planning to test the car's power tomorrow by leaving my recycling in there. (The can's nearly full and the guys don't come again for 12 days.) Sadly, I have a sneaking suspicion the magic's contained in the bottle because, well, I've been in that car lots of times and I'm still fat.

Related: 10 Interesting Facts About Miracle Phones

#100 - The 100th Post Spectacular Is As Awesome as a Three Wolf Shirt!

Hey! It's our 100th post! Actually, there are 159 posts on this site, but as we have quite a few recurring categories: Low Level Superpowers, Females Sighted Carrying Their Own Full-Size Pillows on Planes by Race, People Whose Asses Are Wider Than Their Shopping Carts, this is the first post to be numbered 100.

We're not going to go crazy in celebration of this milestone. In fact, I just want to talk briefly about one of my favorite new forms of humor: The Over the Top Customer Review. This hilarious and extremely narrowcast form of funny first came to my attention as it related to the Bic Crystal Ballpoint Pen. An ad for the pens was placed on Amazon.uk, and the first review, entitled "Very Good If You Need To Write On Paper" started a wildfire. Check it out:

This masterpiece of hilariously pedantic pen criticism led to other fantastic reviews.

Worked fine with my right hand, but when I came to use my left hand my writing came out looking like the work of a complete imbecile. I can only assume Bic have created a right-handed only pen, and would caution left-handers to "try before you buy".

By T. Dyton
I purchased this biro to test out the old adage that the pen is mightier than the sword. Having challenged a black belt Kendo champion to a fight I am now down to one arm and I think the bic got stepped on - so the old saying is a load of rubbish.

By Mr. D. Worthington
I wondered how long it would take for the rest of the world to discover this little beauty. My only concern is that now the secrets out of the bag, i might find it more difficult to find a replacement for the one i currently own. For this reason i will be ordering one or two as emergency back-up just in case.

Top tip: With one or two minor alterations, the bic also makes an excellent blow pipe or snorting tube.

Disclaimer: I have never used, nor do i ever intend to use Cocaine.

You can see the rest of the reviews here, but be warned, there are nearly 200 of them.

A more recent entry into this user-generated genre of satire came to the public's attention in late May when the "Three Wolf Moon 'Official' T Shirt" received the following review:

The author of this review, Brian Govern, a Rutgers U. student, said he was searching Amazon.com for a schoolbook when the online retailer's recommendation system coughed up the Three Wolf Shirt as something else he might find enticing. Brian said dashing off the review was a spur of the moment thing and that he had no idea his little gag would have any far-reaching effects.

So, what far-reaching effects has the review produced? Well, for one thing, as of June 20th, the Three Wolf shirt's sales ranking multiplied by 2,300 percent and it is now the single best selling item in Amazon's vast apparel catalog. Govern's review has also inspired more than 1,200 other wolf shirt enthusiasts to share their thoughts.

"Once ... while wearing the wolf shirt I was mistaken for Schneider, the building superintendent on 'One Day at a Time.' "

"If you are planning on spending exactly $9.14 on yourself this year, this better be the purchase."

"My friend and I are going to attempt to trasfer the design to the rear view mirror of my truck. Should increase the horsepower of the vehicle by about 50. Mostly because the horses under the hood will be running in fear of the wolves on my shirt and truck.- Tyler J. Winegarden"

The Three Wolf shirt even inspired an almost annoyingly hip and snarky song parody by Brooklyn-based comedy troupe Dr. Coolsex.

But what I personally like best of all about the wolf shirt is that my son and I were walking the dog the other day when I found it being worn unironically by my neighbor Soriah. I took a picture of her which, I'm sorry to say, did not come out very clearly because my hands were shaking with excitement.

As an interesting, non-wolf shirt related aside, seconds after I took the picture of my neighbor, who should stalk by but Mittens McGillicutty, left-pawed cat arm wrestling champion of the world. He was in a rush, but he always has time to take a picture with his fans. Jeez! Just check out the python on that animal.

Anyway, to sum up, even though I'm sure the phenomenon of over-eager customer reviews will die out as quickly as everything else on the Intertubes, let's enjoy them while we can. I have written before about my inability to resist any food described as "Tuscan" (here, here, here) so you can see why the more than 700 reviews of this Tuscan Whole Milk would be close to my heart.

“One word of caution — milk, even when frozen into a baseball-bat shape, is nigh worthless as a baseball bat, merely shattering into cloudy fragments at the first strike of a baseball.”

“Tuscan Whole Milk ruined my life. I have no further details to add.”

"For those of us in the world who have had the pleasure of sipping 100 year old wines and 50 year old shots of single malt whiskey, I can only say that you might think you have had the best, but you would be incorrect. You have not lived until you have savored the full richness of Tuscan Whole Milk. Sitting on the beach in the south of France and watching the sun set with other beautiful people may be one thing, but sitting on your own front porch and sipping an ice cold glass of pure white Tuscan Whole Milk is another totally different experience."

"Every once and a while you come across a product that manages to redefine the genre. Tuscan Whole Milk is such a product. While other competitors tout add-ons such as 2%, skim, chocolate, or strawberry, Tuscon Whole Milk exposes these features for what they really are: gimmicks. To realize the genius of this milk, one needs only look at the effort that was put into this new product. The drawing board stage alone saw a complete rewrite of what it means to be milk and took over 50,000 cow hours."

Cow hours. Hell yeah!

#98 - Spatchcocked Grilled Game Hens, Beijing Olympic Flavor!

Exactly one year ago today I was on assignment for San Diego Magazine in Colorado attending BBQ U.--the cooking school/television event you may or may not have seen on PBS. (You can find my thoughts on the adventure here.)

Aside from spearheading the team that produced the epically audacious and much lauded Spatchcocked Grilled Game Hens, Beijing Olympic Flavor! my favorite part of the experience was picking Sensei Raichlin's brain on the subject of grilling over wood. A lot of Guys Who Grill like a lot of Gadgets for Grilling. They like tongs and forks and branding irons and presses and Kiss The Cook aprons and hats that flash the night's menu in LED lights across their foreheads.

Me? Not so much.

As the years go by and I grill more and more, I find myself shedding tools rather than accumulating them. When I discovered that putting some kindling and wadded up paper under the bottom grill grate, lighting it, and then piling coals atop the small fire was just as effective as using a chimney starter I happily chucked the starter. I don’t have basting brushes or giant forks or anything like that near my grill. I have a lighter, a scrape-y thing, and a small stack of supermarket circulars for igniting the blaze. In further embracing this pared-down grilling approach, I have also sought to minimize my use of charcoal and maximize my use of pure, untreated wood.

Grilling over a 100% wood fire is not always possible. I still go with longer-burning charcoal when I’m, say, slow smoking ribs, or roasting a duck, but for quick-cooking things like steaks or fish, I now go with a mixture of about 75% wood with a few briquettes tossed in to even things out. The wood I use comes in big bags from Home Depot. They sell both hickory and mesquite chunks, but I wouldn’t touch the mesquite if I were you.

While I was at BBQ U. I had the chance to eat dinner with Steven. In fact, we spilt the steak for two. (Hello? BFF!) And while we were enjoying our meal he told me about his experience eating the legendary bistecca alla Florentina in Umbria, Italy. As many of you already know, I am utterly incapable of resisting with any menu item containing the word “Tuscan” or even the mere suggestion of “Tuscan-ness,” so I’m sure there was a long thread of drool oozing from my lower lip and I listened to Raichlen’s energetic descriptions of three-finger-thick steaks cut from specially-raised, rare chianina cattle, and seared in a fireplace at 900 degrees over oak, then drenched in vibrant, green gold olive oil and finally sprinkled with sea salt.

Since hearing that story my dearest wish has been to cook steaks on a simple, square grill grate using nothing but wood. This morning I was searching for just such a grate on the Intertubes when I came across this Grilliput Camp Grill at camping-gear-outlet.com.


Now, the Grilliput Camp Grill is not exactly what I was looking for. It's not that there's anything wrong with the Grilliput, it's just that I’d like my grill grate to be made of cast iron so it’ll leave really excellent grill marks on my steaks. But what interested me more about the Grilliput Camp Grill was what the “Customers who bought this item also purchased:” Check it out!

Picture 3

Uh, let's take a closer look at that.

Wow! I have to think that’ll be one hell of a cookout! This dude’s going to be manning the grill while simultaneously double-wielding a black steel ninja bokken sword and a 15-inch predator machete! What the hell’s he cooking? A puma?

Anyway, I’m still on my quest for a neat little cast iron grate I could use to cook over a wood fire, and, if STEVEN WON’T SEND ME ONE OF THESE LIKE HE OUGHT TO! I’ll probably ask my neighbor to make me one. Hey, if there’s one advantage to living next door to a blacksmith and a welder, it’s that you can score free metal stuff from time to time. I’ll update you on my progress. In the meantime, here’s the recipe for Spatchcock Grilled Game Hens, Beijing Olympic Flavor!

Spatchcocked Grilled Game Hens, Beijing Olympic Flavor!

4 game hens, spatchcocked
large bunch fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
Assorted Fresh Herbs
4 bricks, wrapped in foil
1 candleholder, also wrapped in foil
parafin wax

Okay, first, wait until it’s an Olympic year and Beijing is hosting again. Then, spatchcock your game hens by cutting out the backbone, opening up the bird like a book and removing the breastbone with a sharp knife. Then, cut a small slit through the meat at the base of each thigh and run the ends of the drumsticks through them. Also, fold the wings against the body so that, when you assemble your Olympic Victory Podium, the birds will appear to be raising their arms in a triumphant salute.

Next, make a kind of “pesto” marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and basil and let the birds bathe in it for an hour while you prep your fire. Set up your grill for direct grilling, clean and oil your grill grate and place the birds above the hot fire at a 45-degree angle to the bars of the grate. Place your foil-wrapped bricks atop the birds to press them down. Grill for 6-8 minutes per side, rotating the birds midway through cooking to create a crosshatch grill mark pattern.

When the birds are done, let them rest, partially covered, for 10-15 minutes while you re-wrap the bricks in clean foil to serve as your Olympic Victory Podium. Go into the kitchen of the spacious, elegantly appointed Broadmore Hotel and borrow a candleholder, a little chuck of paraffin wax and a lighter. Wrap the candleholder in foil to create an “Olympic Torch” and set it behind the Olympic Victory Podium. Gather several bunches of fresh herbs and try to make wreathes out of them for the game hens’ heads. Get fed up with this and just scatter the herbs around the serving platter. Painstakingly remove the centers of five lemon slices to create your Olympic rings and connect them using little bits of toothpicks you’ve cut up. Bring your whole assemblage out to the serving table and then dramatically ignite the Olympic Torch. Bask in the admiration of your peers. Serve with a simple salad of bitter greens and herbs.


#97 - The Hell With It! You've Got Too Damn Much Bone Marrow Anyway!

I got an email from an old friend yesterday urging me to sign up as a bone marrow donor. His sister is in need of a transplant and he asked for my help. I signed up to be tested as a match online in about three minutes. It's free and painless and involves nothing more than swabbing the inside of your cheek with a couple Q Tips which they mail you in a testing kit and then sending them back. If you'd like to get involved, click here and use the promo code "marrowdonor." If you'd like to know more about Khephra, the young woman in need of help, read her brother's message here.

Um... something funny? Okay. Although they apparently sell in prodigious numbers, I have never purchased a hotcake. How about you?

*ADDENDUM- It has come to my attention that many people think this post was a joke or insincere in some way. And, walking the line between merely outrageous and wholly unacceptable the way I do, that's my fault. But this is just what it seems like on its face. I got an email from an old friend. I registered online to become a bone marrow donor, and I thought it was cool that it was so easy to do something so potentially important. If you stared at this post for a little while trying to figure out what the joke was, don't sweat it. My own beloved, beleaguered wife, when I asked if she'd seen my website today, replied, "Yeah. I didn't get it."

#96 - Tidbit!

Here's an interesting fact about Madison Wisconsin: If you get all excited and shout, "Here comes the half stepper!" No one shouts back, "MURDERER!" And then you feel silly! Now you know!

#94 - Things I Love and Hate Around My Neighborhood: The High Concentration of Appalling Graffiti on the Apparatus Where My Kids Play

For a relatively small playground apparatus the one pictured above is covered in a very high concentration of appalling graffiti. Not only are the sentiments expressed in the graffiti of a disturbing nature, but the grammar and spelling are also bottom-notch. This one small jungle gym structure has now caused me to question: our local school system, the youth of today and the state of society in general. I would say, while aesthetically and recreationally superior to The World's Scariest Playground, this apparatus is, in fact, scarier.

Wow. I thought Sunshine Aka /Chingchang/ sounded nice.

It seems Sunshine Aka /Chingchang/ aka bolay does not have many fans.

In case you can't read this, it says:
"Red head slut cnt take care of kids. always drinkin, take sex and of her kids!"

Oddly, although the person who wrote that is clearly a savage, fly wing tearer-offer who will spend most of his life in prison, I have to say I believe him on the subject of the red head slut's parenting abilities. Those kids have no chance. None.

This is written on top of a periscope kind of thing. It says, "Insert dick in whole Suckers :)"

Is that a reference to the "whole" in the periscope? Or is it an instruction to find an intact, entire sucker and insert your dick in him or her?

Micha sukks Dikks cvz he cnt get PUSSY! Hav a good Day.

Thanks! I will now!

It's a little unclear in the picture but these are two drawings of penises and one of a vagina. Really? A vagina? I mean, everybody draws penises, but I think this might be one of the first times I've seen a vagina depicted that way. 10 points to Slytherin for creativity.

#93 - John Sterling Charts and Graphs

First off, apologies to those of you unfamiliar with Yankee radiocaster John Sterling. But don't feel too bad, at least you don't have to listen to his bombastic blowharditude. I made these listening to today's game and I thought I'd put them out there. For those of you seeking bigger and better mocking of Mr. Sterling and Co. click through and enjoy!

#92 - Tidbit!

It's probably unjust, but I will lose about 95% of my respect for a person if I find out he or she runs funny. Now you know!