October 2005 Archives

The Sneeze Cam

I bought some Magic Rocks. You remember them. You put the little rocks in a jar with the magic solution and they grow in about 30 minutes.

I was going to selfishly do this on my own and I thought, "Why keep such powerful magic to myself?" So I've decided to try and share it with all of you.

Tomorrow, Tuesday Nov. 1 @ 11 AM PST (2 PM EST) I'm going to try a webcam experiment to grow Magic Rocks LIVE right here on The Sneeze.

Be warned: I have no idea if it's going to work. I don't know what will happen with my server, I don't know if the rocks will even grow, but if you're interested, come back tomorrow at 11 AM PST and we'll find out together.

(I'll be putting up a new post tomorrow with more info.)

Fat Pie

Some time ago I received a very nice email from David Firth. I learned that David runs a site called Fat-Pie, which features his online animations.

I clicked on over to check it out and was met with some pretty bizarre stuff.

As this disclaimer on his page of cartoons reads...

Some are dark, some are silly, most are wierd. Just let them soak in to your insides and give you a warm feeling. The warning has now been upgraded to BOLD, so you really have your self to blame if you are the complaining type.

WARNING! These will upset children and the elderly, and please watch these at your own risk if you are doing acid or mushrooms. No complaints, I've warned you.

I'm still not sure I know what to make of David's animations, but I do know he's very good at them. And I'm mildly obsessed with the series of cartoons featuring the very odd yet compelling character "Salad Fingers" (pictured above).

You can find Fat-Pie here. And here's a link to the first Salad Fingers I happened to watch. Perhaps it will leave you thinking the same thing it did me: "What the hell am I watching?"

A Halloween Salute to PEZ

This is PEZ.

It's a candy AND a dispenser...

...that dispenses candy
less than 1/8th of an inch.

* * *

Damn, Pez.
Don't strain yourself.

Simply The Steve

Sent to the editor of Peanut Grower Magazine...

Dear Amanda,

I don't know if you remember me. My name is Steve and you were kind enough to write back awhile ago regarding the whole Simply Jif disaster.

How's the peanut biz treating you?

Anyway, you know how NBC had famous haircuts in the 90s like "The Rachel" and "The Clooney?" Nobody has done that in the 2000s, and I thought I should have one called "The Steve."

The problem is I've written to 6 networks (NBC, CBS, UPN, BET, Game Show Network and Oxygen) and not one of them has written back. I don't think it's professional at all. (I know you understand, because you write back!)

What should I do?

President, Peanut Pals

marginally more

Apples, pennies and herpes rank high among the disappointing items you can receive on Halloween. This week I found one more I'd like to add to the list: "New MEGA M&MS."

When I first heard about them, I thought "Wow, what a great idea! Huge M&Ms!"

And just look at the packaging. They're so massively gigantic, only 6 of them fit on the bag! Oh, doctor!

I now present to you an ordinary m&m side-by-side wth a new "mega" m&m.

* * *

What the mega F?

* * *

I know it's silly, but in my head I had visions of holding an M&M with two hands and biting into it like a sandwich.

Maybe taking one on a picnic and sharing it with my wife. Then feeding the leftovers to squirrels and bums.

Oh well. I guess I can dream. And at least now I know how little it takes to be "mega."

Boy, I can't wait to give my wife a dose of my mega dong tonight.

it's alive!

Huge thanks to Pete Pagano for the new Sneezenstein masthead! Pete is the man behind most of the sneezing heads you see up there.

They're always so nice I usually feel bad having to display them in such a little box, so here he is for your slightly-larger viewing pleasure.

The next time you need things of an artly nature, you should hire Pete. And be sure to mention The Sneeze when you do. (I don't think he'll give you a discount, but I just like it when people talk about the site. Thanks!)

You can find Pete right here.

Eat Me

A small salute to mascots who serve up their own...

"When Maw got the axe, it done made me cry.
But, now she's jist makin' me drool!"

* * *

"There is nothing more important than family.
Please. Taste mine."

* * *

"Grandmother got her wish to be cremated.
But I pulled her out while she was still nice and moist."

* * *

"My wife wouldn't get off her lazy ass for nuthin'.
And that's how I know she's melt-in-your-mouth tender!

* * *

"I just squeezed this out,
so it's still a little warm."

* * *

These mascots (minus the captions) can be found in the book "Meet Mr. Product."

The Sneeze Mailbag

Halloween is coming up fast, so here are a couple of Halloweenie emails, just for you...


So I was thinking about Halloween, and then, naturally, about tree brains. And the women who steal them. To eat them.

And then I thought about how cute your little site banner got last year during Halloween, what with the punkin' and the skeleton and all. And then I thought maybe, just maybe, your banner could have a tree brain and/or a tree brain eating woman on it to usher in the season of hideousness and scary stuff.


Brilliant idea, Miss Laura! The sneezing pumpkin and skeleton have made their triumphant return, and the new sneezing tree brain is now officially part of The Sneeze masthead family.

Here it is below, in case it wasn't randomly served up for you this visit...

(In loving memory of Tree Brain 2005)



My name is Chris and I love your site! I was recently watching a lot of zombie movies with my cousin, and that led us to a question that you might have the answer to.

If you have "relations" with a zombie, does that make you a necrophiliac? Yes, they're dead, but they're also up, and moving around! Do you have any opinions?

- Chris

That's a tough question, Chris

According to Wikipedia: "Figuratively, the term "necrophilia" describes an inordinate desire to control another person, usually in the context of a romantic or interpersonal relationship; the accusation is that the person is so interpersonally controlling as to be better-suited to relationships with non-responsive people."

Considering most of the women I've had sex with were non-responsive, I don't know what to tell you.

(You can find our previous zombie discussion here.)

Uncle Steve's Laffytime Doodlefest

Now a staggering collection of 2!

Coffee Clash


Here's a little ethical question for you...

My friend Lisa runs Hungry Girl, a site and daily newsletter full of diet hints and tricks.

A few weeks ago in a page of tips regarding the Starbucks menu, she wrote the following...

Hungry Girl Super Saver! If you want an Iced Caffe Americano or Iced Caffe Latte, it'll run you about $3.65. If you order an "Iced Dopio" (which is the exact same thing as the Americano, and the same as the Latte, minus the milk) with a shot of SF vanilla, Starbucks will just charge for the espresso shots (Dopio) and vanilla individually. That comes out to just $1.65. And if you want to turn that drink into a Latte, add milk from the coffee bar. This little trick will save you $2.00. Woohoo!

Lisa soon received an irate email from a coffee shop manager. This person said they felt it was wrong for customers to do this because the coffee bar is provided for people to fix up their coffee, and not as a means of creating menu items. This person also felt it was wrong of Lisa to pass along the tip to her thousands of subscribers.

This incident raised a lot of questions... Is a paying customer completely justified in doing this or anything else they want at the fixin's bar? If not, at what point is going too far? Is this tip as equally justified at a local mom & pop coffee shop? How would you feel about all of this if YOU were the owner of the coffee shop? Is this tip appropriate to be passed along to thousands of people? Does that even matter? Etc...

Lisa, her husband and I are all very curious to see what you think. (Also, I know opinions tend to run strongly about Starbucks, so I'm asking that we all please stay on topic and not let this slip into a coffee chain vs. coffee chain bash-fest. Thanks!)

The comment board is now CLOSED.

The Steve Moves On

No reply from NBC, CBS and UPN. That's okay. There's lots of great networks out there...

Dear Oxygen, BET and Gameshow Network,

Hello, fellas. As you may recall, when it came to haircuts, NBC hit it big in the 90's with "The Rachel" and "The Clooney." No one has really stepped up to own the 2000's yet, and that's where I come in.

I'm looking for the right network to team up with to create The Steve! Do I have a TV show? Nope. Do I have a website? Yes! Is it weird that I'm writing to the three of you at once? Yes-- weirdly GENIUS! That's what I do! I think so far outside the box, I look around and I don't even see the box anymore.

So, who's it gonna be? Who's gonna get their crack team of hair people working with me on the next haircut that'll be on the lips of every man woman, tranny and child in this nutty ball we call Earth?

Will it be you, Oxygen? C'mon! That's a no-brainer. You know you chicks with the hair.

Or how about you, BET? Let's bridge the gap between the races. That would be both totally awesome AND phat!

Or maybe it'll be Game Show -- Seriously, think about it guys. Match Game rocks, but do you think I'm getting my hair cut like Brett Somers anytime soon? I'll let you fill in the blank: "N. O. SPELLS: __"

I await your reply(s)... (ies)... (replies).

Let's do this!


P.S. I'm equally comfortable with both comb and brush.

Earphone Update

I'm not a fancy audiophile with a $20,000 stereo, but I'm into music enough to have suspected that the stock Apple iPod earphones are pretty lame. I felt they could simply sound better and after a few hours of listening, they'd just start to hurt my ears.

Some of you will remember awhile back when I asked for advice about higher-end earphones. I was inundated with conflicting suggestions and advice, and probably ended up more confused than when I started.

I had also received several emails from people asking to let them know if and when I landed on a pair. I finally did, and that pair was the Etymotic 6i Isolater Earphones. They are in-ear phones that were specifically designed for iPods and mp3 players, and I love them. I found Etymotic after I had heard Leo LaPorte mention that he uses their products.

I've had these earphones for a few weeks now, and they have just grown and grown on me. It took awhile for me to get used to the more invasive in-your-ear-canal earplug style, but they're really comfortable. Since they create a seal to block outside noise, I found they initially gave me something of a "being underwater" feeling, but I got it used to that pretty quickly.

I had read several reviews of these types of phones not delivering enough bass, but I didn't find that to be a problem as long as they were inserted the right way. A good seal is crucial, and there's a bit of an art to it. If you're not dense like me and just follow the directions carefully the first time, it's not a problem. As far as the bass goes, the 6i's were designed to deliver a little more bass than other similar style earphones, so that helps too.

I don't know why, but I refused to believe that pulling up on your ear (like they show in the instructions) would actually affect your ear canal. But it does make a huge difference when putting them in.

The sound is really crisp and bright, but I wasn't immediately blown away by them. I only started to fully realize the difference after listening with them for a few weeks, and finally going back to the stock iPod pair. The iPod phones just sound so muddy to me now.

With certain songs, I feel like my ears got glasses. I've heard a lot more parts of songs that I just never noticed before. I've even been hearing things I'm not sure I want to hear. I have an album of mellow Sunday Morning coffee shop type acoustic guitar music. With the Etymotics I realized you can actually hear the guitarist breathing while he plays. It's a little creepy.

The 6i's come with soft flanged tips and also a set of squishy foam ones that expand in your ear to form the seal. I find the foam to be extremely comfortable.

If you are in the market for a high-end pair of earphones to replace the stock iPod phones, give the Etymotic 6i's a strong consideration. I swapped a number of emails with Etymotic and also found their customer service to be fantastic.

You can check out the entire Etymotic line of earphones on their main page, here.

I saw the gang at headphone.com loved them, as well.

Or you can check out the 6is on Amazon here, for under a hundred bucks.

Steve, Don't Eat It! - Silkworm Pupas

Imagine a cute little silkworm all snug in his cocoon. Perhaps his name is Arthur.

He rubs his tiny hands together and thinks, "Finally. Tomorrow I get my wings!" Arthur drifts off to sleep with dreams of floating across a summer breeze... until he's unceremoniously slapped in a can, now destined to float through the intestines of a dumbass named Steve. (Cue: comical trombone.)

And so begins Steve, Don't Eat It - Vol. 9.

Someone recently told me they don't eat peanut butter because the FDA permits it to legally contain a certain amount of insect parts. This person might not want to buy a can of Silkworm Pupas. The amount of bugs in here is downright wacky.

The writing on the can is all in Korean. It just so happens that I have a Korean aunt who was happy to provide a translation.

The big red letters say "Bun Dae Ki" or "Silkworm Snacks." Apparently "Snacks" is a very powerful word. It's all you need to transform any putrid item into a fun new treat. The next time you see some kid go two knuckles deep in his nose and then consume the treasures within, don't be grossed out. He's just enjoying some Booger Snacks!

I won't bore you with every word on the can, but I'll hit the highlights...

Any words in an oval demand attention. The yellow oval on this can says "High Protein - Great side dish when drinking alcohol." I imagine this came from the silkworm marketing team when faced with the nagging question "Who the fuck's gonna eat this?!" The answer: DRUNKS!

On the back of the can is a list of bullet points. One of them is: "Warning! Some people may be allergic to silkworms, and get blotches or break out from eating the contents of this can." Luckily I can't read Korean, so I'm good.

Sadly there is no "Serving Size" listed-- ruining my hopes that the serving size might be zero.

Alright, I've stalled as long as I can. It's time for me to get pupified...

I found it odd that the pull-tab was actually on the bottom of the can, until I realized this is just a time-saver for people who'd rather open it right over the garbage.

Below is a "beauty shot" of just one of the 106 pupae found in the can. Mmmm. Is it me, or does that penny suddenly look delicious?

The silkworm pupas gave off a subtle, nutty aroma. Not strong like my nuts after a weekend with no shower, just more like their usual, end-of-the-day twang.

These little guys only cost me 79 cents. That's a mere 0.7 cents per pupa. Quite the bargain... for a can of dead, turd-like moths... in their own gravy... why God... WHY??

The pile of moist cocoons looked so sad sitting there (like so many piles of moist cocoons will) that I decided to cheer them up. Make 'em feel fancy! One doily, some frilly toothpicks and a few dry heaves later, and I'd say mission accomplished!

With pinky extended, I chose an an extra pupy one and popped it in my mouth. The silkworm pupas didn't have a strong flavor. In fact, they had the somewhat familiar flavor of bad canned peas. With just a hint of mildew. Overall, not terrible.

But what caught me off guard was the crunchy cocoon. Silk my ass. This was like chewing on tiny bones. The good news is I was immediately distracted by the unexpected squirt of briny liquid that shot out into my mouth. A little heads up would have been nice. (Am I right, ladies?)

Having gotten the tasting out of the way, I decided to conduct a miniature pupa autopsy. Armed with an X-acto blade I carefully tried to peel away the cocoon to see what I could find. What I found was, I have the knife skills of an epileptic monkey.

The cocoon just gave way to a mushy pile of moth guts. Or as I like to call them, Moth Gut Snacks!

The best I could hope for was a clean split, right down the middle. Which is ironic, because this type of cut is referred to as a "butterfly." (See, cuz it's a caterpillar... and the cocoon with the... thing... Look I didn't say it was funny, I said it was ironic. Get off my back, alright? What did I do to you?!)

That X-Acto would go so nicely across my wrists just about now.

All of this reminded me of something I had seen in one of my sons' board books. After a bit of searching I found it in the next to last page of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

At the end of the story the little guy emerges as a beautiful butterfly and the transformation is complete.

Please note the hole in the page. That was chewed there by my son. I used to think he did it because he was teething. Now I know he was just trying to eat the butterfly, and he takes after his daddy. That's my boy!

Alright, I'm gonna go get loaded. Who am I to disobey an oval?

But before I do, I've been feeling bad about our pal Arthur. Since he gave his life in the name of Steve, Don't Eat It, I thought it would be nice to give him the gift of flight after all.

Go Artie, go! Fly and be free!

(All volumes of Steve, Don't Eat It! can be found here.)


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