Friday, May 23, 2014

Join Me at — This is the Last Post on Liquid Astronaut

So, first, some house cleaning. This is the last Liquid Astronaut post. But, even better (or at least newer) content (and all this old content) will be moved over to my new site, The name is rather self-serving, I know. Sorry about that.

For years, I've been reposting my Daily Dose emails here. That's done. But, here's the last one:

You're Welcome 

Whenever people leave a job and send an email to their entire company, they always lead off with "Thank You!" Instead I will lead off with "You're Welcome." I've very much enjoyed our daily email conversation over the last 7 or so years. It is, of course, one-sided in nature. I do most of the communicating in our relationship. Though, there have been more than a few people who have tracked me down and become, if not close friends, at least Internet friends, which is pretty great even though it sounds super creepy. It's touched me to hear that some of you read my short stories with your coffee every morning, and it's disgusted me to hear that some of you read it while on the toilet each morning. So, goodbye, and I'll leave you with one last story: A while back one company I work for bought another. There's always some necessary discomfort when this happens. Business decisions. People left behind. One guy who'd left during the transition went on our company Facebook page and advertised his new ventures. I thought that, even if it was a savvy business move to reach out to his former colleagues and followers, it was classless. So, in the spirit of having a shred of class, I will say so long, and I hope we meet in person one day.

(Actually, if SteepandCheap is cool with it, screw class! My blog's and on Twitter I'm @rockythompson. So long, and best of luck to the next writers! Looking forward to seeing where you take it.)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

That Kid's Back on the Snowmobile

This is my favorite Daily Dose story of all time, but I did a horrible job telling it.

Snowmobile Accidents
A friend of mine lives on a lake in Minnesota that has only one ice fishing shanty on it. A few years ago, he saw a snowmobile screaming across the frozen lake at night run into the ice shanty at top speed. Turns out it was some really accident-prone kid, and his goggles were all iced up.

If you'll permit me, I'll try to save the story because it deserves it. It's one of the two or three stories that will pop into my head out of nowhere once in a while and I will be unable to stop myself from laughing out loud. It goes like this:

That Kid's Back on the Snowmobile

My friend lived on a lake in Northern Minnesota with one or two other houses on it. It could be any one of thousands of lakes tucked away in the north woods. His neighbors had one kid, a teenage boy who liked to ice fish, canoe, cross country ski, and snowmobile. In the summer he required rescue after dumping his canoe while fishing the middle of the lake. And in the winter he once left his snowmobile idling next to the only ice fishing shanty on the lake, which was his, and it ran out of gas when it came time to leave. So, one cold winter evening my friend is looking out his window across the lake as night falls, and sees one snowmobile on the lake screaming across its frozen surface, the engine winding up, sound carrying in dry cold air, and then, BAM! The kid, driving the only snowmobile on the lake, smashed into the only ice shanty on the lake. Turns out his goggles had fogged up, and he must have thought that if he sped up the airflow would melt away the fog. And maybe it would have. Maybe he didn't hit the ice shanty so much as run out of lake before his goggles cleared.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Greatest Hits Week Rolls On

Visit me over at, you'll find things look familiar. 

I'm selecting this story for the Greatest Hits list, not because if I failed to choose one this week that included my wife she would be upset, but because, if I had to choose one that encapsulates my life better than another other I've shared, this is it.

What Do You Want for Dinner?

My wife asks me what I want for dinner and I say, "Tacos." Then she says, "No...let's have soup." You see, when she says, "What do you want for dinner," what she means is, "Guess what I want for dinner." And Tacos was actually a pretty good guess. Taco ingredients are the only thing in our refrigerator besides soup.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The (Week) Long Goodbye

Visit me over at, you'll find things look familiar. 

This is my last week filing my Daily Dose emails, so this is the week in retrospect. And this story hails from December 19, 2006. If anyone's been reading each email each day since then, then it's as if you and I have spent about two full days together (based on my back-of-the-envelope math). And, I'm sure you'll remember that this was the very first Daily Dose that had nothing to do with what was on sale on SteepandCheap. I thought my boss would complain, but I'm quite certain that she'd stopped reading them by then. (The parenthetical notes below are mine from today.)

It's Like Taking All the Pills in your Daily Dose at Once

The movie One Crazy Summer directed by Savage Steve Holland (still alive) was on TV today while I worked (What! Where was I working?! Probably a ski shop that's now out of business). I saw it when I was young, but without seeing Better Off Dead first, its significance was lost on me (that last line makes no sense). John Cusack plays Hoops McCann while Demi Moore fills out the female lead as a woman who needs to raise $3000 to save her grandpa's house (Hollywood would reuse this story once or twice). Cusack and Bobcat Goldthwait help her out, while a young Jeremy Piven is allied against her. Piven's role is the most interesting. Later in his career he plays a slacker who needs to raise money to save his frat house from a rival frat in PCU, and then in Old School (which I watched on TV two days ago) he comes full circle and plays the dean trying to close Luke Wilson's frat house. It's kind of like a young Mathew Broderick playing Ferris, and then returning to high school to play Ed Rooney to Reese Witherspoon in Election. Such is the circle of life.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Moving the Blog

The posts I've been filing here every day for the last seven or so years have been content that I've used on a daily email for This Friday is my last day writing those emails.

So, this week I'm digging into the archives and picking some of my favorites. I'll also be putting about 100 or so of them into a ebook that I'll begin selling on near the end of this week for $1. And, I'm going to be moving to a new blog and redirecting all traffic that lands on Liquid Astronaut. That's a lot more announcements then I've ever made here.

Today's post hails from August 7, 2007. It might surprise you to know that the man in this story is still alive. And he's thriving, in his own way. He's moved back into a house next to the one where this took place. He's in college again. He has a bunch of 20-year-old roommates. Throws keggers. And we all make fun of him.

Squirrel Stash

My friend Rob once saw a squirrel break into his house. It must have climbed in through a screenless window or possibly a missing door knowing the state of that old house. He watched it climb onto the kitchen counter and grab an Oreo before dashing outside. Instead of shoring up the place it snuck out, he followed the little bastard. It ran through the neighborhood to someone's backyard where it dug a hole and stashed the Oreo. He waited until it left, then dug up the Oreo and took it back. I'm not sure if he ate the Oreo, but the extraordinary thing to me is that after digging it up, he also took the nuts it had in the same stash. That poor squirrel must have been really confused when it went back to its hiding place for the Oreo and mixed nuts.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Behind the Music

Every episode of VH1's Behind the Music was exactly the same: Meteoric rise to fame; alcohol! drugs! bad decisions!; car crash, broke, bankruptcy, divorce; and, for those still alive, redemption in the form of getting back on the road, back into music. I loved the formulaic way in which all rock stars came apart. And their redemptions were never real redemptions, but they all pretended that they loved playing trade shows and tiny venues. But I suppose we're all playing small venues in our own way, and washed up rockstars are probably just as happy as everyone else in the world. I have no idea whatever happened to VH1. I suppose it's still on somewhere. I look forward to the day I stream the episode of "Where Are They Now" and it's about VH1. So, so meta.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Recycling Gone Wrong

My parents' neighbor's home was billowing black smoke and a good samaritan ran in to rescue them. Turns out they were fine. Everyone was relieved. Then the neighbor told them that this always happens when he uses carpet samples in his fireplace. The EPA was called in. They took an air sample. The neighbor had been hitting up carpet shops and gathering samples thinking they'd be great to start a fire. And while the price was right, most humans would agree that it's unwise to burn carpet in your fireplace. All the chemicals and adhesive can't be good for you. Reminds me of the s'mores my friends used to toast over treated lumber.

Friday, May 16, 2014

This is a Bad Place for a Campfire

Last Sunday was rough. I was freezing. I'd packed light for the weekend: one sweater, one long-sleeve shirt, and one pair of jeans. Freezing temps in the evening meant that I had to wear all of that around the campfire both nights. It wasn't so bad being around strangers when I was with 14 other guys who also smelled like campfire, though one honest woman did tell us: "You guys suck. You're all married and you smell like $h!t." But after I left the the group for the flight home, I couldn't subject everyone around me to that foul smell. So I shivered in a T-shirt and thought about what panic would ensue if I put on my sweatshirt and everyone on the plane smelled the smoke.