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

GAC: Adding music to a website

QUESTION

Do you think it's a good idea to have music playing in the background on a website?

AMANDA: YES

Programming without hands

Some people may think having a job as a website programmer is equivalent to being paid to surf the Web. I have to say to them that they are totally wrong. Or, maybe they are somewhat wrong. OK, they are right much of the time, but still there IS work involved. I'm just avoiding it for a couple of minutes.

A sampling of a few new reviews ...

Here you go:

- " ... a great writing style, and I always appreciate a dose of subtle cynicism in anything I read."

- "The book was a humorous take on the corporate world, the stress, the relocation, the robot-type of requirement to fit it."

- " ... had me laughing out loud."

There's more on the reviews page!

The results are in -- I do have readers

After tallying the results of my informal questionnaire two weeks ago, I stumbled onto some startling results.

People actually read my column!

Do your friends REALLY know you?

If you're like me, you receive a large number of forwarded emails from friends;

many of them are funny, many are factually incorrect and many are just pointless.

Then again, if you are like me, you have worn an eye patch for the eighth consecutive

year at Halloween, but that's beside the point.

Another popular email forward are those in which people list a bunch of questions

about themselves. They might mention their favorite food, their middle name,

their favorite smell, anything that could help you understand who they are,

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