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Jul 7, 2010

Advice for July 7, 2010

Hey, all! Got the old advice bug again. Not really sure why — guess it had just been too long and I was feelin’ like I missed dolin’ out the pearls.



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What subarea of a unit square has the maximum possible ratio of area to perimeter?
—CH., Internet

The square unit itself, minus the smallest possible amount you are willing to admit is no longer part of it.

I'm 45. Am I too old to get all 30'd up? If not, what's the best way to achieve this state? Or is it one of those "If you have to ask..." things? Thanks.
—JB, Internet

Oh, hell no. Only in these, your twilight years, do you actually get more propers if you start up on that good country hop. You can even call it “medicine,” it ain’t no longer just some ass hole at the bebop bodega suckin’ a one-hitter with a black knit cap down over his eyebrows. It’s classier to smoke the older you get, see. Can you imagine if Ralph Lauren fucked a jay up at James Bond’s house? That would be the Ultimate Moment of Humanity. OK, James Bond ain’t real, so maybe just think of Sean Connery in his place, and you get a similarly good idea.

Anyhow, what I like to do to “30” if I ain’t “30’d” in a while is just hit a nice glass one, with some ice water. Deep pull, wait three minutes. See how that feels. Repeat as necessary. Don’t try to be a hero your first time back in the seat.

Ray: Why do kids today like Silly Bands bracelets? Could Little Nephew wear these bracelets, or would you not allow him to?
—BD, Internet

Wow, I don’t even know what “Silly Bands bracelets” is. Is that, like, “Livestrong”? Or a thing where like you buy letters at a bead shop and spell out “D E P E C H E + M O D E” on some fishing line with a swivel clasp? I seriously got no idea, and these days I’m usually done with my grocery shoppin’ by around six, so I never really see young people.

Frequently at work I have to deal with people with PhD's who think they know everything, but they are often unable to handle even the most basic of computer tasks, understand directions to/from places, and also most of them aren't really sure of what the Internet is. Shouldn't people with fancy degrees have to get re-licensed as officially knowing stuff, the same way medical professionals have to prove to other doctors they're still competent at cutting into people?
—MD, Internet

See now, intelligence is a spectrum. Not all places on this spectrum are necessarily where you want to be. There are some good, mild areas where lots of folks find it easy. Some folks function like crazedy-assed Einstein and can write an equation that solves all other equations, yet cannot go to a pants store and make a viable decision about what to do. We need these people, because they can figure out how many planes to buy for a war, and how much french fries McDonald’s got to have on hand if the McDonald’s train is leavin’ Idaho at 3pm goin’ east at 475 feet per second. We also need the people who ain’t like these people. I say wage peace, brother. The next time you see a computer graphic of a toroid with a wedge cut out, thank the smart people. The next time you need a beej and a taco dinner, head on down to the mall when the Clinique counter is closin’ up.

What about kids?

I mean, I'm a school teacher, so I know what kids are. I just don't know if we should have some of our own. Is that a good idea?
—MM, Internet

If you are a school teacher, and yet you still feel that when you get home you need to be around extra kids, you need to consider that you might be insane. Or, you might be on extremely powerful drugs that make your face a grinning cement rictus. Personally, I can’t even go to Chuck E Cheese. I can’t even be in the parking lot, not even when they’re closed, at like 2am. Kids bug me that much.

Sorry, true. Accepting kids is a spectrum. I ain’t in the middle.

I white wine [sic], a lot. Being a vegetarian, it goes great with just about anything I could possibly want to eat, and I'm not really a fan of drier, more "tannin"y red wines.

However, with what I've been reading about grape skins, resveratrol, and red wine's beneficial effects on your cardiovascular system, I'd like to get more into the red wine scene. What are some sweeter, fruitier reds I can try that won't make me feel like I'm trying to choke down a glass of pencil shavings?
—MM, Internet

Yeah, you been slipped some big cheap cabs or merlots, girl. (She is a girl. I am not being sexist. I just happen to know this from her protected name.) Hate that stuff. HATE it. In a way, I am so happy to answer your question, if it will result in folks drinkin’ less cheap, tanniny wine. They cured Old Yeller’s hide in a tree trunk full of tannin-rich rainwater, and most big cheap reds wish they had that kind of smooth, sophisticated flavor.

What I got to recommend first, as a gateway red, is some sweet lambrusco. Don’t laugh. Riunite is a lambrusco, but there are good ones. Very sweet, a lil’ lil’ fizzy, and only gonna donk you up some 9%. Also, check out ciders. If you drink a cider outta’ a red glass, it will look like red wine, but be sweeter.

Back to wine. Zinfandels, big fat boys from California, are all sweet and no sour. Dial in some Ridge sometime when you need to deuce out a coin. You’ll thank me. Oh, and hit up gay ol’ Mr. Beaujolais when he’s out on his bike with all the baguettes in the front basket. Beaujolais might be the answer I was tryin’ to come up with this whole damn time. It’s a young November wine, meant to be drunk right away, but you can find examples of it all year ‘round. Bananas and strawberries are the deal. They never taste like Old Yeller’s hide soaked in cancerous enzymes.

How in the hell do you handle chicks who like to be strangled during sex? I mean, I'm trying to get my game on, and she puts it upon me to not only scratch both our itches, but also to bring her close to death (without actually doing the undesired deed).
—WF, Internet

I know that chick! I know her! Ubatha from the Stila distributor, right? Am I right? Red KIA? Butt of the Ass Century, and happy lil’ island titties? Tell me that ain’t the same one. Yeah, she crazy. Don’t kill her, though. It’s always a bad scene when you can say with all honesty, “I have killed a woman.” Also, she’s real real nice, and her mom is sick (she has to take a brain medicine that makes her waddle). Just take her out to Macaroni Garden a few times and let things get boring. Maybe gain some weight. She don’t like that. Worked for me.


[Editor's note: Ray answers seven of your questions here. In the Subscriber-only Achewood Fanflow, he answers twenty, including his latest thoughts on foie gras, bicycle etiquette, and Top Gear.]