Archive for the ‘Settle This’ Category

Settle This, VII: The Lentil Question

Monday, January 4th, 2010

This morning, Phil and I were in the kitchen. He was heating up a small portion of the Oaty Oats I had made for him. Oaty Oats are my creation (see NOTES). Oaty Oats are not those Creepy Man in the Black Hat oats, but instead the difficult oats that look like chicken food. Actually, they’re not so much difficult as they are long. Oaty Oats are long. And I spent a long time the other day making up a big batch of Oaty Oats for Phil. I’m not going to make a big deal of this, Internet, but let me tell you, I burned my thumb. And there was devotion involved.

He was microwaving some of his Oaty Oats while I was unwrapping my breakfast. Because I? I was not having Oaty Oats. I was having a Wal-Mart brand microwavable sodium-filled soggy-fest breakfast sandwich. Now, I’m not saying it wasn’t delicious. I’m just setting the scene.

He decided to wander on down to my breakfast, which I had already removed from its plastic packaging, wrapped in a paper towel and microwaved for 45 seconds. In that order. Exactly. Because that is what it said to do on the box. It was hot, and I was trying to get the paper towel off of it without leaving any paper towel on it, because I don’t like to touch paper ever, let alone let paper touch my food.

I’ve got paper touching my food, I’ve put paper on my food, and Phil came down to my floppy muffin-egg-cheese thingie area and he says to me,

“Is that what you were supposed to do?”

Like he’s just making conversation.

“Are you kidding me?,” I say to him, with rage balls all flying every which way out of my eyes.

“What?,” he says. “I was just asking.

“Like I voluntarily PUT PAPER ON MY FOOD? You asked me The Lentil Question.(see NOTES)

“That was not the Lentil Question, I was just asking if that was how you were supposed to cook it.”

“It is the same thing.

Internet, I probably should have asked you this before I buried him in the backyard, but did he or did he not ask me The Lentil Question? (see NOTES)


  • I did not actually create Oaty Oats in any sense of the word except that I call them Oaty Oats. Therefore I kind of did create them. So I’ve cancelled out my own note.
  • I am aware that the original Lentil Question was not in the form of a question, so that is not a loophole.
  • You may choose to side with me, or you may choose to side with Phil. Obscure third options are not valid choices. I’m sure whatever you’ve come up with is super clever, but you weren’t in our kitchen this morning, so it’s too late to save Phil, and you won’t be in our kitchen next time, because I hate people who try to find clever third options, so you’re unlikely to ever be invited over for dinner.
  • If you are looking for more things to settle, the Settle This category archives will allow you to weigh in on what side of a sandwich condiments go on, U2, and which parent’s sports loyalties a child inherits.

Settle This, VI: The Television Debate

Friday, September 18th, 2009

So, let me explain our house to you, Internet, in terms of televisions. We have a small TV, a big TV and a very big TV.

Downstairs in the living room, we have the very big TV. Sometimes, Phil and I watch this TV while we’re eating dinner, but since we generally gravitate towards our computers, which are upstairs, we don’t watch this TV too often. Which, when you get down to the very bottom of things in this entry, COMPLETELY INVALIDATES PHIL’S POINT, but we’ll just set that aside for now (but I am pretty much preemptively declaring myself the winner here).

In the office, we have both of our desktop computers on desks, with desk chairs, and occasionally the laptop I work on is in here as well, pulled up to my desk chair on a TableMate, because As Seen on TV products are some of the most useful around.

In this room, we also have the big TV. This is where Guitar Hero-ing takes place, as well as any other video game playing, be it PC or console. If I work in the office during the day, which I used to do all the time and now do somewhat rarely, I watch the big TV. Phil usually keeps the big TV on in the evenings if I am not working in here. If I AM working in here, sometimes he turns it on until I tell him I can’t work with it on (even though I manage to work with the TV on all day when he’s not around, don’t tell him that part).

In the bedroom, where I work more often these days, we have the small TV. You know, bedroom size. If I am working in the bedroom (for no other reason than I like to spend entire days just NOT getting out of bed), I usually turn it on around 11am for my three hour Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Full House, What I Like About You sitcom-athon, and we also watch it before we go to sleep.

So, last night, Phil and I ate dinner down at the very big TV in the living room, and we started to watch Bones. Since he was uninterested in watching Bones (there’s no accounting for taste), he went back upstairs shortly after he finished, and I came back up halfway through on a commercial break. He went into the office to play WoW and watch the big TV, while I went into the bedroom to watch Bones on the small TV.

After Bones, it was time for The Office. He was watching the big TV and I was about 10 feet down the hall watching the small TV. Since the doors to the rooms were both open, we could each hear that we were watching the same show, since the big TV is HD and is a split second behind the other TV.

This is the kind of couple we are, Internet. Watching the same television show in two separate rooms, 10 feet away from each other. I actually credit the success of our relationship largely to that fact.

Halfway through the show he comes in and lays on the bed with me and says “You know, you can watch it in there with me.”

“Why?,” I says, knowing what is coming because this argument is always the same.

“Because the TV in the office is bigger.”

“So? What is with you and the bigger TV? It’s not about which TV is bigger, it’s about which TV is more comfortable to watch!”

“No, everyone prefers a bigger TV. People will sit on the floor to watch a bigger television.”

“No way. Given the option, everyone prefers to lay in bed rather than sitting in a desk chair or on the stupid floor.”

And once again we can not see eye to eye on this point.

So tell me, Internet. Which would you prefer to watch: a smaller TV where you get to lay comfortably on a couch or in bed, or a larger TV where you have to sit upright in a non-reclining chair?

Settle This V: Commas

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Dear Internet,

I need you to help me inform BRK that no matter what archaic comma usage he can dig up on Wikipedia, his attachment and overuse of said punctuation is incorrect and intolerable.

So this morning I received my usual BRK EA email, with a post he’d written entitled as follows:

The Patch to Patch the Patch, Patch

The following conversation ensued.

TJ: That comma in your title is inappropriate.

BRK: It is perfectly placed, as it forces a pause.

TJ: You can’t just place commas where you want people to pause. There are rules. And I’m posting it. And I won’t have faulty commas posted under my name.

However, I would be agreeable to The “Patch to Patch the Patch” Patch.

BRK: I do hereby claim the Emphasis and Clarity rule of commas.

TJ: I hereby claim that I don’t care what you managed to google!

The Patch to Patch the Patch Patch


The “Patch to Patch the Patch” Patch

BRK: Since you hold the power in terms of posting my post, I will accept the
quotation marks.


Your claim is hereby denied, as my commas are deliciously, beautifully,
and ecologically perfect.

What I ask of you here, Internet, is use of your common sense. Of course, I am obviously correct. However, should the fact that BRK is able to dig up a little used and frankly, hideously ugly and obviously inappropriate comma rule weigh into my decision to post his works unaltered?

Setting aside the Wikipedia article and using only what you know to be good, right and proper in all things comma, please assist me in telling BRK that he is once again completely and totally wrong.

If you must, however, consider the Wikipedia article, allow me to offer my own source as well:

Rules for Comma Useage

I quote Rule 11 from the page linked above:

Remember, too, that a pause in reading is not always a reliable reason to use a comma. Try not to use a comma unless you can apply a specific rule from this page to do so.

So, what say you, Internet?

Sure to be vindicated,