A crock of a column

Most people probably think Crock-Pots, stoneware slow cookers, are about as interesting as clothes hangers. They take up space, are decorated with small vegetable pictures and stand out like a drunk at a frat party.

But the real question concerning the cookware is — how come everything you put in a Crock-Pot always tastes like ... a Crock-Pot?

Brush, but not too hard

There's nothing worse than people complaining about a product because it works too well.

For instance, there's glue. Try using that stuff that holds elephants from a trapeze by their teeth. If you accidentally glue the elephant's ear to the swing, the immobile animal will be stuck forever.

Another example is plastic wrap. You try to wrap something in it, but the stuff just clings together. Being persistent, you try to unwrap it. But the static forces that bind the universe won't allow a simple tug to do the trick.

Buy now.. low price... lifetime guarantee

One big disadvantage working at night is the television quality when I arrive home. Sometimes there could be a "Perfect Strangers" rerun or two, and possibly an old game show, but most channels are overrun by infomercials.

Webster defines an infomercial as "a long television commercial, often made to resemble a talk show, educational demonstration, interview, etc." Kudos to Webster's assessment. The only words missing from the definition are "trash," "ridiculous" and "cheap."

Now's the time to become a pirate

There are a plenty of new careers and opportunities these days, yet you rarely see anyone entering the piracy field. Some people have invented their own versions of a shipwrecked pirate - stealing stereos, hacking into computer files, playing baseball in Pittsburgh - but few take their chances on the high seas.

On the other hand, the Assocated Press said pirates killed more people in 1998 than the year before. The International Maritime Bureau reported Malaysian pirates, who killed 67 crewmen last year, are "getting increasingly violent."

Pirates? Violent?

Peeps do not fare well when put to the test

Easter has come and gone like a gypsy caravan once again, but one thing still remains — Easter candy. Checking expiration dates on bags and containers, 1999 Easter candy should last until 2450. People decide to buy candy following the holiday in hopes of big bargains.

A specific type of candy has intrigued many and plagued worldwide analysists with a simple question, "What is a Peep?"

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Random News

Grandparents

There are at least 56,828 things to do during spring break. If you have a credit card, or know how to use a stolen one, the number grows exponentially. But there is one activity that rarely gets a lot of hype this time of year.

Some people live a paper airplane's throw away from relatives, but most do not. I'm also betting days, fortnights, maybe even months have passed since your last family visit.

I'm at my best when I'm in sync with what's random

Like most people (I hope), I spend a lot of time thinking. My best thinking moments by far are when I'm in the shower in the morning, just after a nap and anytime I'm at Wal-Mart.

Richard Simmons weighs in on 'The Developers'

While it's doubtful Richard Simmons has already finished reading my book, "The Developers," it is worth noting that he already has good things to say about it.

Simmons, who is constantly referenced in the book as a lookalike of one of the characters, Rex Burns, recently responded to the book copy I sent him at his Burbank location.

"Thank you for your kind words and sense of humor," Simmons wrote on an autographed photo. "You are a gifted man!"

Book review: "Creative Firing" by Chester Burger

In the current state of the U.S. economy, it's pretty difficult to avoid being laid off, fired or, for whatever reason, not having a job for a certain period of time. True, sometimes the employee is entirely to blame for his/her predicament, but more often than that, a company is trying to consolidate, move offices or, in general, save money against the bottom line. Many times, those doing the actual firing and layoffs have to make decisions they would prefer to ignore, yet they have no choice.

The Developers nearing reality

I've been told by my publisher that my book, "The Developers," a book about ... hmm, not much of anything, is almost ready. It is due to be finished May 10. I'm currently busy trying to prepare a few things and make contacts for the books. With the first printing, there will be 200 copies made available to the public, so if you are interested, please visit the books page for more information.

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