Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year 2009

     Please let us here at Big Dave and Company be the first to wish you a Happy New Year.  We hope that all is well with you and yours and we hope that this simple turning over of life's odometer brings everyone a sense of hope, faith and joy concerning all that lies ahead.  Now that that's over with, let's get down to business.  Everyone at this time of the year goes and takes a look back at things that happened in 2008.  Well, we are not everybody.  I went on and on yesterday about how I wouldn't do it.  So we here at Big Dave and Company are going to take a look ahead and tell you what is going to happen in 2009, now that it has officially begun. 

-  Someone with a Mickey Mouse T-shirt, with a denim shirt over it, will be seen standing in front of a Midwestern mobile home describing what it was like to live through an EF-4 tornado and how her brother-in-law almost died because he was too busy filming the thing to take cover.

-  Billy Mays will pitch something totally unrelated to all of the other things he has pitched before.  Like Carnival Cruises or maybe GM stock.

-  A young woman will wear gigantic plastic sunglasses that make her look like an insect despite the fact that it is not sunny outside.  She will be hit on by a guy who is also wearing sunglasses and drives a Volkswagen.

-  The History Channel will go one week without mentioning the name "Hitler."  

-  Betty White will do a commercial about pet medicine and a pre-teen watching it will wonder who the hell Betty White is.

-  The guy running the Tilt-a-Whirl will  be too busy trying to bum a smoke from the guy who runs the Ring Toss game to notice that your nephew is puking all over you, your giant cotton candy, and the cartful of nuns that just tilted or whirled by.

-  Al Gore will say something.  Nobody will listen.

-  Something zany will happen at a zoo somewhere.  I am not totally clear on what but something will escape or someone will jump into a zebra exhibit or maybe a fox will take up residence in the prairie dog exhibit at Zoo Boise.  I am not sure, but something is going to go down.

-  A certified building demolition company is going to blow up a building on purpose, but it won't be as cool as the guy who totally does it be accident.

-  At a holiday office party, you will Xerox a part of your anatomy that you don't want anyone to see.  But, with all of the amazing advances in image quality enhancement that they build into those copiers now, you won't be embarrassed at all.

-  Two Words: Rectal trauma.

-  Someone will discover a whole new, fantastic sensation when they get laid on an air hockey table. 

-  The championship game of your fraternity's eight-week long air hockey tournament will be ended prematurely by your drunken frat brother Zach and his exhibitionist girlfriend Cassandra.

-  It will be on.  It will be on 'till the break of dawn.

There's a look at what to expect as we roll into two thousand and niner.  Look for these exciting events, among others, to come to a town near you.  Happy New Year everyone!

Helpful New Year's Resolution Suggestions

     I am not going to look back on 2008 here, even though I really want to way more than you will ever know.  But I am not going to do it.  I actually have one of the unpaid interns sitting next to me with one of those electric cattle prods and every time I start to look back with anything even resembling nostalgia he shocks the hell out of me with it.  Little does he know I am going to kick his ass seven ways from Tuesday as soon as the New Year rolls around.  Or I am going to make him go live in a studio apartment with Little Jeffy and The Pharaoh in downtown Orlando.  That would teach him.
    Anyway, it's always terribly difficult to come up with a sweet New Year's resolution once January rolls around.  So we here at Big Dave and Company have taken the liberty of coming up with some super sweet, totally original, and completely attainable New Year's Resolutions for you to mull over in your drunken stupor as nobody but that creepy guy with a missing tooth and two different colors of hair hits on you.  Congratulations, it's your first regret of 2009!  Anyway, put all these resolutions on little slips of paper and draw one out of a hat.  Or, if you'd rather, put them in fortune cookies and randomly pick one of those.  It doesn't really matter.

I resolve to learn to pack parachutes in both military and civilian style.  Very few people know how to do this, but it's a really handy skill to have.  I am not advocating packing parachutes and then using them; I am not all about jumping out of planes if I don't have to.  But I am just saying, I think you would be really cool if you had parachute packing as a skill.  And the best part is, nobody will ever call you on this one.  Because no one wants so sit around and watch you pack the damn thing.  They just want to know, nay, believe that you can.

I resolve to visit every NFL stadium.  Easy.  This one is pretty simple.  32 stadiums in 32 cities.  And most of them are major urban centers with lots of cheap flights, with maybe the exception of Green Bay and Jacksonville.  The rest though?  No problem.  We are absolutely not advocating going to an NFL game in every stadium.  Oh no, that would be prohibitively expensive.  It's like eleventy billion dollars for a ticket to an NFL game in most cities, even up in the nosebleeds.  And who would want to go see the Oakland Raiders play?  Listen,  most owners have figured out that the NFL season only lasts 17 weeks, like 21 if you count the playoffs and like 25 if you add in the preseason.  So that leaves 27 other weeks of the year when nothing is going on at the stadiums.  So most have restaurants or Halls of Fame or pro shops in there.  You can buy a Rams coat for super cheap and donate it to the coat drive for some needy, unfortunate kids.  Now that's a resolution that benefits everyone.

I resolve to learn how to do routine maintenance on my car.  So simple, and a life skill that you should have anyway.  Plunk down the $35 and hear down to the Learning Annex and discover how to change your oil, change your spark plugs, jump your battery, change your air filter, all that jazz.  It really something you should know anyway.  Besides, if you are a dude it will impress the chicks.  Maybe, I don't know.  I am not a chick.  But it's something you should do anyhow, because it can get you out of a jam and it can save you a ton of money.  Because the $35 you spend, and the $3.75 in gas to get to and from the Learning Annex is about what you'd pay to have ONE spark plug replaces, let along the 10 in that ridiculously over sized Dodge Ram V10 you are driving to mask your small cock.  And it's actually way less than the cost of the 36 gallons of oil it takes to fill your engine at the Express Lube.

I resolve to throw water balloons at local teenagers.  OH. MY. GOD.  This is not only so attainable but so fun.  The teenagers are douchbags who cut across your lawn every day.  Or they leave cigarette butts in your bird bath.  Or they scream outside the movie theatre.  Either way they suck and they need to get a reminder that they most certainly do not rule the world.  And you need a reminder that you used to be a teenager and you used to like to have fun.  So hit your local K-mart and get some balloons.  Fill them with the finest water your local tap has to offer.  Then perch on a roof, hide in come bushes, or just do a drive by.  But pelt those little bastards and ruin their iPods.  They are just filled with awful pop or R&B music anyway.  Now that's a New Year's Resolution that makes a guy feel good.  Unless he's a teenager.  Oh, and just a little tip to keep you out of jail...if you live in a cold climate maybe wait until the summertime to complete this one.

I resolve to read Big Dave and Company every day.  Okay, okay, bare with us.  This is shameless self promotion.  Understood.  But at least we are cloaking it in a thin veil of self-improvement and attaining goals.  And besides, come on.  We just gave you four sweet New Year's Resolutions to use that will be able to be a success AND will make you feel good about yourself, the least you can do is take a few moments out of about 350 days to read up on what we have to say.  You wouldn't want to disappoint the unpaid interns, would you?

I resolve to travel somewhere I've never been before.  This one is easy too, and every place has something unique and maybe even charming about it.  Listen, you've been to Vegas like sixteen times; the same shit is there as was there the last time.  But have you ever been to Portland, Oregon?  I bet not.  I hear that it's a lovely town though.  Or the Ozarks.  Or the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Or Indiana Amish country.  Just find somewhere that you've never gone to before and go there.  If you don't like it, then you don't like it.  But odds are you are going to find somewhere sweet that is way different from anything you've ever been involved with before.  And you will get some sweet party stories out of it I am sure.

     So use any one of these awesome New Year's Resolutions if you'd like to.  Or make up a lame one of your own - I don't care.  But do something because the New Year is supposed to be a time of hope and joy and renewal.  Good luck and the best of wishes to all of you in 2009, Company from all of us here at Big Dave and Company.  We hope you have year filled with joy and success and bunny rabbits.  Or whatever you like.  And thanks for a great 2008.  It's been a year beyond belief, and we appreciate your support along the way.  We hope that you will keep coming back as we move into 2009. SON OF A BITCH!  Sorry.  I got a little sentimental and got a jolt from the cattle prod.  Stupid interns...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Come On, Dustin. COME ON!

Come on, Dustin. Give me a fucking break. Listen, I feel bad that you've wrecked your snowmobile. But you know what, at this point I don't really care. I mean, I don't want you to be lying dead in a ditch somewhere, or all up in traction with a broken pelvis. But I hope you are awfully sore. Because I have had the same phone number since September when I relocated the Worldwide Headquarters. And phone numbers, once they go out of service, cannot be given out to a new subscriber for six months. So if you do the math that means you've had NINE FUCKING MONTHS to tell people that you have a new phone number. Yet you obviously have not. This is not a large town, and everyone that has called me looking for you has been calling from a local exchange. The fact that they haven't found out at least through word of mouth that you have a new phone number means that you really haven't been trying. And I know that maybe I was a little curt with the guy on the phone tonight who was just trying to see if you were okay but it's getting really old. Turns out that I don't like most of your acquaintances, especially when people like your buddy Mike Evanson are calling me a liar. Remember how I told you that it's a small town. Well, I am going to find someone who knows someone who knows you. And I am going to find out your new phone number, and all my friends are going to call it looking for you like your friends call me looking for you. Then we will see how quick you get the word out. I am going to be looking at a billboard that says "Dustin's new phone number is..." by the time Valentine's Day comes around. And then, as an added bonus, your probation officer will be able to find you again.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Four Thoughts Inspired by Television

     So I was watching TV the other day.  This is not in and of itself remarkable, except that I watched A LOT of TV on this particular day.  Well, in the space of one commercial break I saw three commercials that made me think three distinct thoughts.  The cool thing was that each of these thoughts were probably good enough to be made into a post of their own, but I didn't feel like typing that much.  So I have lumped them in this post together.  I hope you enjoy! 

Do you ever watch horror movies, Company?  I don't watch a whole lot of them but Sister does and I think she'd agree.  In every new horror movie these days there is always a hot chick that is being chased by evil in some way, shape, or form.  Fine, I understand this.  Boys like to see hot chicks and they can really make some blood curdling screams when they want to.  Well, invariably there is a scene where the hot girl is sleeping or making popcorn while babysitting but after the kids have gone to bed or giving her boyfriend head or something that is taking place at night and that involves her being in her underwear.   So anyway, she is interrupted by a noise or a voice and takes off in her underwear to search the house to find out what is going on.  Then the evil gets her and the movie can start.  I have a problem with this scenario though.  And here it is: Why the hell doesn't she turn the lights on?  Seriously, just think about it.  She is always walking through the house bathed in some sort of creepy blue moonlight; maybe some lightening.  It doesn't make any sense to me.  If I hear a noise in my apartment while I am sleeping and I go to investigate, the first thing I do is throw on every light in the house.  Then I come out with my baseball bat.  I don't go around the house in the dark.  You ALWAYS flip on the lights because lights scare away evil.  Why do you think people get those motion censor lights to put on their garages?  Why do you think people stranded in the bush always make a fire at night?  I mean, come on.  I can handle you doing your investigation in your underwear, but for your own sake turn on the lights before you go.  Or get a flashlight if the power is out.  Otherwise, you kind of deserve to get scared out of your mind by whatever is lurking in your attic.

     There was a friendly local pawn shop that was having a sale.  To me this seems a little strange.  I mean, first of all, it's a pawn shop.  Everything should be relatively cheap there.  But this one was having a sale.  Fine.  This particular sale was focusing on jewelry; strange bedfellows to be sure but jewels and tools sort of rhyme and we all know about how much people love rhyming, especially the types of people who would shop at a pawn shop.  So anyway, the sale was on but for some reason, in addition to that diamond pendant that used to mean so much to someone or your Uncle Roy's old cordless drill the pawn shop (unfortunately it was not the infamous Pawn & Gun in scenic Pembine, WI, which is probably my favorite store in known history) was touting their vast array of CD's for sale, and on the commercial I was watching they showed an array of CD's.  It was seriously an array; they were laid out on the screen like a Japanese fan.  The first on was the Killers' major label debut Hot Fuss.  Cool, that's a pretty good secondhand pickup at the pawn shop.  But when my eyes moved to the second CD in the display I saw two words: Jesus Jones.  I don't know which Jesus Jones album it was because once I saw that name I had a brain aneurysm.  If you are going to sell CD's at your pawn shop, that fine.  But if the second best CD you can dig up is anything by Jesus Jones you probably shouldn't be advertising your CD collection.  Bottom line.  Because, like most of America, I don't want anything to do with Jesus Jones unless that CD just has twenty different versions of "Right Here, Right Now" on it.  And even then it's dicey.

     Jack Bauer is having a really bad week.  Well, not really.  But he has had some of the worst days in all history.  As the hit series 24 goes into it's seventh season in a couple of weeks I realized that main character Jack Bauer has had way more than his share of bad days.  See, the premise is that each one-hour episode represents a real-time hour of the day, and over the 24 episodes of the year we see every minute of Jack Bauer's action-packed day.  Cool concept.  But when do you ever see him pee?  He doesn't get to sleep apparently.  He never gets to have a sandwich.  Eleventy billion people try to kill him each hour of the day.  His wife, estranged ex-wife, daughter, mother, father, brother, third grade teacher, optometrist, meth dealer, Carson Daly, newspaper delivery boy, and high school sweetheart all get kidnapped or killed or threatened.  He never gets to sit down.  He never gets to take his shoes off.  He has to scream at all sorts of people.  Do you see what I mean?  I know that each of these shitty days didn't happen all in one week.  But you have to admit that each is epic.  I feel for that man and I am pretty sure that he deserves a vacation.  On a tropical island where there are no phones.  Just drinks served in coconuts.  Although I suppose that would make for a pretty boring show...

Here's a bonus fourth thought that came to me while I was typing out the other three...

     In the commercial about drunk driving enforcement, why are all the drunk drivers white males?  Someone answer me that.  You know the commercial I am talking about.  It's the one where the people's vehicles are filling with the drink they were drinking.  So the guy in the trucker's hat is driving a pickup truck with a cab fill of beer.  And the guy in the city has his car filled with martini with little olives floating on top.  And the police officer is aggressively circling intersections on a whiteboard in a room filled with other police officers.  Yeah, that one.  Notice that all the drunk drivers are white males in their 30s.  And all the cops are white males in their 20s.  You mean to tell me that no minority or female has ever been arrested for drunk driving.  That no African-American or Korean has ever graduated from the police academy?  It not really noticeable until you've seen the commercial about 269 times and are at that point when you don't have to pay attention to anything but the details.  Then it just becomes a little unsettling.  It's like they filmed the commercial in Vermont or something.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Wasted Day and the Simple Pleasures of Life

     Well Company, I am sure that you didn't notice but I took yesterday off from posting for all you guys.  And I took today off too.  I took today off from life.  I took the day off from life and society and normal adult responsibility.  I was going to clean, and I didn't.  I was going to pay bills, and I didn't.  I was going to make tuna salad and I didn't.  I even took the liberty of ordering out for dinner, and I made sure to order something that was way too expensive and really bad for me.  The only thing I did that was even remotely responsible was to go to the grocery store to get some foodstuffs for the coming weeks.  Oh, and I dusted two end tables because the vacuum happened to already be out. You know what I did today?  I watched football and took a nap in a sunbeam.  It doesn't really get any better than that.
      I woke up this morning with a hangover, but that's not the reason why I was so exceptionally lazy and irresponsible.  Sundays are always a wasted day for me.  Usually I am dead tired, mostly cranky, and break dishes or my face whenever I try to do something.  But at least I try to do things most Sundays.  Not today.  I didn't even make the effort.  I have every night of the work week and a whole extra day off to get things done this week.  Listen, the couch was comfortable and the sun was warm.  The magic technologies of the wireless remote control, the water bottle, and the bedpan made it so that everything I needed for a fantastic day was within reach.  And I really didn't need much.  A remote to turn off that annoying tax settlement lawyer commercial.  A water bottle full of Tang.  And I totally made that bedpan part up.  But it was a lovely day and there was good stuff on TV, so why question or mess with it.  That's a simple pleasure of life.
     Some people have lost the simple pleasures of life.  Eating caviar off of expensive French crackers while cruising the Adriatic Sea in your giant yacht is all well and good but most people are going to end up lying on the couch and watching The Price is Right anyway.  Driving your Hummer up to Park City, UT for a weekend skiing really just boils down to sipping hot chocolate with your friends, doesn't it?  And it's all so expensive and time consuming.  Just think about this: When you went with your buddy up to his $750,000 lake condo what did you end up doing every night?  Sitting on a camp chair and toasting marshmallows around a fire.  Yeah, glad you plunked down for that condo when I can do that at any of a million state parks. 
     Anyway Company, the point of the lesson is this.  No matter what your means, it's the simple things in life that make life worth living.  It's taking a nap on the couch while the Detroit Lions complete their 0-16 season on TV.  It's tasting marshmallows with your buds on a starry night.  It's getting your spaghetti sauce perfectly seasoned.  It's watching your daughter giggle uncontrollably while she throws thousands of those little packing peanuts up in the air.  Oh oh, or while we are on the subject of packing materials what about popping the bubbles on bubble wrap?  Oh man, that's great.  See what I mean? 
    So take my advice.  Waste a day.  Spend it running through a sprinkler.  Snooze on a hammock.  Build a snow fort with the neighbor kid.  Watch all three movies in the Major League trilogy, whatever.  Just take a day and waste it on the simple pleasures in life.  Those dishes will wait.  Those bills won't go in the mail until Tuesday anyway.  Take the little moment in life and make it yours.  You will be better off for it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

An Open Letter to the Laundromat Owners In My Town: The Next Town Over

     By now, everyone knows how much I hate doing laundry, especially around here.  And you all know how excited I was about finding a laundromat that was open 24 hours a day in the next town over.  Well, I went there to do my laundry the other day, Tuesday to be more exact, and I am happy to report that I am in love with the next town over.  Like, romantically in love. 
     So I go over to the next town over and here is what goes down.  I go to the sweet 24 hour laundromat and wander inside, where it is clean and brightly lit.  Oh, and quiet.  See, there is no creepy person in there skulking around playing lame music on their cell phone and scrounging around for loose quarters.  And there was no music playing.  None.  There wasn't even a speaker.  Oh my.  So I went around and took a look.  I was impressed.  Newer machines.  Nice tables and chairs all around.  Plenty of magazines.  Even the cork board was really nice.  See, in every laundromat there is a cork board where people can hang ads and lost dog posters and that kind of stuff.  Sort of like a free classified ad section.  Usually it is populated with tons of home-made ads for all sorts of junk made with barely literate capital letters on a piece of ripped-out notebook paper.  Not here.  It was all neat and orderly and everything seemed to be at worst made with Windows Vista.  It was sweet.  I was in for an even bigger surprise once I started to do my laundry.
      I selected a double load washer, which strangely enough held the same amount of clothes that the triple-load washers at my crappy old laundromat that I used to go to.  I then plugged in some quarters, six fewer of them that I used to have to.  I was very happy.  I set the thing to wash and went out to get some dinner from the Subway up the road.  Here is where I fell head over heels for the town as a whole, as opposed to just the laundromat.  I went into the deserted Subway and the girl working behind the counter was probably the nicest Subway employee that has ever served me since I moved here.  And she made a pretty kick-ass sandwich, which I could eat in the peace and quiet of the super clean laundromat.  And I do mean super clean.  Seriously, the floor was so clean that I actually threw my dinner on the floor in the corner just so I could eat off of it.  Oh man.  And then I went to dry.
     Nowhere in the place did I see a sign that said how much time in the dryer one got for a quarter.  At the shithole I used to go to it was 5 minutes.  But when I threw in a rare, mint condition, Denver mint Georgia quarter I got 8 minutes.  I was hooked.  I am in, hook, line, and sinker.  I am there.  Eleven miles.  Thirteen miles.  47.5 mile detour.  I don't care.  That's my new laundromat, for now and forever.  I love the laundromat and I love the town.  
     It's like this: Do you remember the Potter Sisters from high school?  Well, my town is like the older Potter sister.  She's a senior, she's pretty good looking, and relatively popular.  You can't really go wrong with dating Gwen Potter.  But all is not what is cracked up to be.  She gets a little more plain with every day, even starts to look a little tired, and sometimes she's a bit of a crackpot, and she has a tendency to piss you off from time to time.  But you stick with her because Gwen Potter is still a hottie, even if she gets a little less hot each time you see her in the morning with her makeup off.
     So one night you are at a party and you get in a fight.  She does something to piss you off that shows you just the kind of person she is; let's say she says she is leaving at 10 kicks you out of three different parties at the same time but a 9.  So you get in a fight with Gwen and it's messy.  You storm out onto the front porch to have a smoke and you notice Courtney Potter, Gwen's younger sister.  She's a freshman, you know of her but you don't know a whole lot about her.  But she's really pretty.  Prettier than Gwen is turning out to be.  And she's saying all the right things.  So you grab her, slide back to your place and discover that she does a lot of the same things as Gwen but she does them better, in a way that you like a little more.  So you, being the stone cold playa that you are, you start skeezing around with Courtney but you keep up appearances of still being with Gwen.  Because Gwen might have her issues but you can't go wrong with Gwen Potter.  You might be in love with Courtney because she's younger and she's fresh and maybe she has a piercing in a place that it's exciting to see a piercing and because you haven't seen the cracks through the makeup and the anger at Gwen yet.  So you are infatuated with Courtney and seeing her behind everyone's back but you are sticking with Gwen for the future.  Sure it doesn't bode well for the future with either of them but you know what?  I don't care.  I am happy to live in Gwen Potter and work in Gwen Potter and settle down with Gwen Potter.  But I an definitely going to let Courtney keep doing my laundry.  And I am going to love every minute of it.  

Christmas in Australia

For those of you who enjoyed our December Special Promotion about Christmas in other countries, here is a blog post about a typical Christmas dinner in Australia, another country where it is hot as balls in December, that I found on Blogs of Note. This gives a great idea of the concept of eating Christmas dinner outside in the shade.  And it gets me all pissed off that Big Dave and Company isn't a Blogger Blog of Note.  Thanks.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

     Virginia, your little friends are wrong.  They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age.  They do not believe except what they see.  They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.  All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little.  In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
     Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  he exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.  Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus.  It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.  There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.  We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight.  The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
     Not believe in Santa Claus!  You might as well not believe in fairies!  You might get your pap to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove?  Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus.  The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.  Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn?  Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there.  Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world..
     You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, not even the united strength of all the strongest men  that ever lived, could tear apart.  Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supenal beauty and glory beyond.  Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
     No Santa Claus!  Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever.  A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

- Editorial response from Francis Pharcellus Church, as printed in the New York Sun on September 21, 1897

May Santa Claus, in whatever form he visits you, bring you and yours nothing but the best tidings of comfort and joy this holiday season.  Thank you for your continued support and Merry Christmas from all of us here at Big Dave and Company.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve!

Dear Editor: 

     I am 8 years old.  Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.  Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun it's so."  Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon
115 West Ninety-Fifth Street

- Letter to Editor of New York Sun from Virginia O'Hanlon

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Past the Expiration Date

A-town came into my office this morning to say hello. Around and between discussing the Back to the Future trilogy and what would happen if your mated a pornstar moustache with a golden, flowing mullet (it would be called mullstache, by the way) I came to the realization that I lot of the wonderful and iconic foods from when we were growing up are M.I.A. I don't know where they went but they certainly aren't on the shelf of my friendly local grocery store, unless your friendly local grocery store is one of those scary dent and ding/overstock/out of date canned goods grocery stores that somehow are allowed to operate by the FDA and the local health code enforcement agencies. So with my apologies to Ski's Handy Grocery here some foods that I am sad my illegitimate children in Nebraska aren't able to be eating.

- Tan M&M's. Yeah, I am coming out with the big gun right off the bat. I know, you would usually wait until the last moment to pull out the chart-topper, show-stopper, big production number. But you know what? I am not usual. And I am not you. I don't want you to have to slog through all sorts of lame dribble just to get to something good. That's like cutting a Christmas tree down in a swamp. You have to slog through all manner of frozen swamp monster and muck towing one of your kids' sleds just to get to the tree which turns out to be a disappointing balsam fir, which B-Town and Sir Jason and their forestry degrees assure me is the scourge of the Earth in tree form. Well, I don't want you to go through that here. I don't want you to have to read a lot of other crap just to get to the Tan M&M. No, I want you to read the Tan M&M, get all wet in your swimsuit areas, and then have to read through the rest with great, imposing but ultimately debilitating expectations that are never met. I don't want you to end up disappointed and unfulfilled. I want you to end up disappointed, unfulfilled, and pissed off that you wasted all that time and hope just to be let down. Then at least I might get some sweet comments.

- Tan M&M's II. So yeah, I just noticed that I never even talked about Tan M&M's. Here is the deal: Fuck you blue M&M's. You are like digital cable. You were forced down my throat without so much as a rhyme or reason all those years ago, and you were done so without my consent. And don't even pretend that just because we got to vote for you it was any less of an atrocity. I hate to break it to you but an election doesn't count as democracy if it is a sham. The Cubans elected Fidel Castro time after time, but let's be honest, who else were they going to vote for? His opponents were always like a poor, uneducated farmer with no army backing him up, a newborn child, and a pack mule. And not even a particularly attractive pack mule. Same went for your sham of an M&M electoral process. Why even bother? I mean, you knew from the outset that blue was going to win; who else was I going to vote for, maroon? A maroon M&M would just be stupid. I just wrote in Tan on the ballot and sent it in anyway. The bottom line is that the Tan M&M was whisked away to candy Siberia just because it conformed too well and didn't stick out well enough, and that's bullshit. I am scared to eat the blue ones because they look like they were manufactured at Three Mile Island. No natural food is that color, but lots of natural foods are tan. Gravy is tan. And how can you not like gravy? If you don't like gravy and Tan M&M's you are un-American. There I said it. You remember that kid from high school who always picked out the blue M&M's and saved them for last, and was super excited when they first came out? You know what he's doing these days? He's working at al-Jazeera.

- Tic Tac Toes. Do you remember these things? They were brought to us by the same people who bring us Sapghetti O's and they were delicious. They had a slightly different taste and consistency to the sauce; I don't know if they put more cheese in it or what. Or maybe they just used a different mixture of cancer-causing additives and preservatives. I don't know. But they were certainly delicious. Plus, you could play entertaining games with yourself of your made up best friend Cletus. Or with whomever you were eating. They were food and entertainment all rolled into one in an era before Noggin was on our cable systems. Think of them like dinner theatre for children. You could even get them with those little meatballs that I doubt actually contained any meat if you wanted to add a whole extra layer of excitement to the experience. And for the same price why not?

- Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Boo-berry, Yummy Mummy, and Fruit Brute. You can still get these at the right grocery store, I know. I realize that they do not fit the mold here. But I am going to include them anyway for two reasons. First of all, I defy you to find a grocery store that is regularly stocked with an ample supply of all three. Often you will find a grocer who features just one of the three: generally Count Chocula. Every so often you will go into a store that only has Boo-berry or Frankenberry. Which is always neat and really should be recorded on film as it is getting more and more rare. But the other reason I am including them is because you can't remember the last time you had these wonderful breakfast cereals in your home. Unless you are A-Town and your 138 brain. So let's put them here, because your 6 year old doesn't know how fantastic it is to eat processed chocolate marshmallows in the shape of little bats, or how amazing it is to eat cereal that turns your milk blue. And quite frankly it is a sad state of affairs when childhood gets to that point. And I haven't even talked about Yummy Mummy or Fruit Brute because no one has ever eaten those EVER. Although I saw Yummy Mummy once on a store shelf.

- Frosted Mini Wheats. Okay, okay. I know. Again, there are Frosted Mini Wheats all over the damn place. But not like they used to be. They used to be big, like roughly the size of pillows, and they were heavily frosted on only one side. With only one kind of that fake white vanilla frosting that doesn't even really taste like vanilla. It's actually the only food that tastes like white. My crack research team of unpaid interns discovered in their toil that there are actually eight different versions of Frosted Mini Wheats available these days, including the original version and an unfrosted version, which totally defeats the purpose. Seven of the varieties, or a whopping 87.5%, are Bite Sized Frosted Mini Wheats. The original version is sold as "Big Bite Frosted Mini Wheats" are are big enough so that roughly four can fit in the average breakfast bowl at one time unless you stack them up like they are Stonehenge or Easter Island Heads or something. So this begs the question: If Bite Size Frosted Mini Wheats are the new standard size and can fit one to a spoon, and "Frosted Mini Wheats" are so big that only four fit in the bowl, then how big are "Frosted Wheats?" And where can I find them? Seriously, do you have to get a plastic children's swimming pool filled with milk to eat "Frosted Wheats?" Do they just take the contents of the thresher and put it into one of those car crushing machines at the junkyard and press it into a brick of wheat? Have all the "Frosted Wheat" nuggets been used as an eco-friendly building material by tree-huggers living in the Arizona desert? Don't fret, Company. I've pulled my team of top scientists from their tube technology project (in which they figure out how I can travel in tubes from place to place, like from the Worldwide Headquarters to the gentleman's club or wherever) and put them on finding the answers to these questions. And I've assigned one of the unpaid interns who is in Archaeology 101 to assist them. We will issue the Frosted Mini Wheat Report as soon as it is completed.

- Pokeman Sausages. Oh my. Maybe Japan should be closed off from the rest of the world again. I am actually rather glad your kids can't have these.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Building to a Photo Finish

     I have a problem, Company.  And I am here to prostrate myself at your feet to ask for your forgiveness.  And hopefully I will get a little bit of a cure for my problem.  
     See, with the Christmas holiday rapidly bearing down upon me I find myself, like most years, woefully unprepared.  As I type this post I have the vast majority of my holiday shopping done, and the fact that I only have three things left to buy and I know what one of them is represents a major accomplishment.  The fact that I have to wrap all of those things, do all my laundry, and give the Worldwide Headquarters a top to bottom cleaning represents a terrifyingly daunting challenge.  And thereby lies the crux of my problem.  I have no doubts that I will get all of the above things done.  I always seem to.  My clothes will be clean (or at least the bachelor equivalent of clean, which is smelling good).  My apartment might not be white glove but it will most certainly be presentable.  And my gifts will be wrapped appropriately.  But why is it that this couldn't have been the case a week ago.  A month?  Why must I always have my back to the wall before I can get my ass in gear?
     This particular trait of my personality drives me crazy.  It makes me have high blood pressure.  And I am pretty sure that it is the reason I am losing my hair. This was supposed to be the year that I was going to be conscious of Christmas as the year went on, picking up presents as I saw things that my loved ones would like, even if it was July or March or September.  It was supposed to be great.  I would be totally prepared for a stress-free holiday season and it would stretch my Christmas shopping expenditures across the whole year.  But it was not to be.  And now here I am facing the most stressful Christmas holiday yet.
     I even took an extra day off of work and I don't even think it is going to be enough.  How awful is that?  I am sure that I will roll down to my mom's house in the usual half-wrapped/half-packed/total disarray state of being, but that I will have everything under the tree where it belongs come December 25.  And I am sure I will be cleaning my apartment as people are knocking on the door, as usual.  Ugh!  I have tried to institute The Great Cleaning like four times in the last two weeks and I have failed on every single attempt.  I just never seem to have the motivation to power through and get it done.  I spent my last good day to get it done lying on the couch watching a mixture of the National Geographic Channel, college basketball, and college football.  Oh, and some Muppets Christmas movie.  I didn't clean a thing other than the wax from my ears, and that doesn't count.
     So here I lie, Company, humbly at your feet asking forgiveness for my sloth and my procrastination.  Can you ever forgive me?  I certainly hope so.  And quickly too.  I need you to come up with some forgiveness before I you go to unwrap your present and it is just the box with a bow stuck to it.  Or before you come into the Worldwide Headquarters and get dirt on your socks.  Because, mark my words, one of these times it's going to happen.  It's not going to come up all roses with another under the wire finish for Big Dave.  And that will be a shocking day indeed.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Helping Hand

      Everybody knows that times have been tough on the American auto industry as of late.  It can't really be escaped unless you happen to live under a rock or maybe are Helen Keller.  Hundreds of dealerships around the country selling Chrysler, Ford, and GM products are closing, and those that are still open are often having to make drastic cuts to survive.  They have also had to come up with new and innovative ways to bring in new customers.  But sometimes it backfires.  And it backfires badly.  Such was the case of a Hilo, Hawaii Chevrolet who tried to boost sales and help GM's image by literally crushing its Japanese competition.
     Someone in the crack marketing department at Island Chevrolet in Hilo decided that a great way to drum up sales and get people excited about forking over $30,000 for a 4-cylinder Malibu Maxx was to take a souped-up Suburban with special tires that cost $5000 each and use it to crush a Honda Accord.  Oh my.  I don't know who came up with this idea but I sincerely hope that they are no longer employed.  Because, considering the times, this sends so many different awful messages that it sort of makes me want to cry.
     First of all, this just oozes with the kind of thinking that makes everyone else in the world hate us Americans.  Let's be honest.  Let's take a gigantic, gas-thirsty vehicle outfitted with outrageously overpriced tires and use it to crush something foreign and economical.  Because if it's big and American and causes destruction it's cool.  And cost is no object.  What kind of message does it send when gas was recently over $4 per gallon and we are using a vehicle that gets a whopping 14 mpg to crush a vehicle that gets more like 30.  Gosh.  That's a bad message.  Oh, and by the way, it looks great that you are spending $20,000 on tires for a promotional stunt when most people can't afford to spend $20,000 on a car or on groceries or on medical care right now.  Way to think that through, Island Chevrolet.  Looks really good.  Oh, and it doesn't say much for your abilities as mechanics that you didn't beef up the motor or suspension on your monstrosity, either.  All of these things makes what happened next absolutely hilarious.
     What happened next was an absolutely hilarious example of the old adage "When it rains, it pours."  When driver Ryan Kepiki tried to crush the poor Accord, the Suburban blew a hydraulic line and began to hemorrhage vital fluid all over the place.  The Honda remained unscathed.  So here is this giant piece of the finest of engineering that Chevrolet has to offer spilling fluid all over the parking lot in front of God knows how many people as the little innocent Honda sits there and is just fine.  I am sure they could have fired it up and driven it to get the new hoses and fittings for the Suburban if they had wanted to.  I am sure it would have fired right up on the first turn of the key, which is more than we can say for the 'Burbs.  Sure, after the guys at the dealership fixed up the Suburban it successfully went to town on both the Accord AND a Hyundai Accent in front of a Hilo rush hour crowd.  But that's not the point.  The point is that this was hilarious.
     "We'd like to send the message that the best way to support your country is to buy an American vehicle today." noted Island Chevrolet Sales Manager James Severtson, who had orchestrated this debacle.  Well mission accomplished Jimmy.  Mission accomplished.  Because sitting there watching a huge Suburban with comically oversized tires on it bleeding coolant into the city sewer grate makes me want to rush right out and get one to be my daily driver.  Of course.  Here's the deal, James.  You messed this up, and if you want I would be happy to get you a towel with which to wipe the egg off your face.  Because you didn't help at all.  General Motors are already beleaguered enough, they don't need a yahoo out there claiming to represent them and failing to crush Honda Accords, okay?  Because the people who sit down on a nightly basis and watch the national news or those who read the morning newspaper have probably already made up their minds about GM, and Detroit doesn't need you out there converting the rest of the world.  So if by some miracle of miracles you are still working for Island Chevrolet as you read this, please pull your head out of your glove box and think about what exactly you are doing.  Because the auto makers have a tough enough road to hoe these days.  They don't need you and your retarded Suburban of doom.  Although I don't know who it doomed more.  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cutting the Carrot

     I was at a hockey game last night with some people when Gone With the Wind stated "You could write about cutting a carrot and we would all be [rapt]"  She didn't actually say that they'd all be rapt but she made a face like she was staring at a computer screen and couldn't look away.  So I interpreted that as they were rapt with attention at what I had to say.  Bad mistake, everyone.  But I decided that I would take up that challenge and write about cutting a carrot.  And it would be good.
     Yeah, I am an idiot.  See, I've been thinking pretty hard about how to make cutting a carrot interesting.  I even slept on it.  And I still haven't managed to come up with a good way to go about it.  I mean, come on.  It's cutting a carrot.  There is nothing interesting about the act itself.  Even if you are going to Julienne the damn thing it's still not that fascinating.  Seriously.  One might as well be scrubbing rocks or watering a plant.
     I did come up with a lot of ideas though about how to make cutting a carrot worth reading about.  I really did.  But every one of them  seemed lame and contrived.  See, that's the problem that writers have had for ages.  A select few have come about a way of working systematically at their craft, pounding out books and literary works after hours of working machine-like at a desk in their house in the Adirondacks.  But I am not a writer.  I can't do that.  I can't work to manufacture something that's great.  It just sort of has to happen.  It's sort of like a volcano.  When you manufacture one, it's made out of baking soda and vinegar and it just bubbles all over the floor of the science classroom.  But when a volcano just happens, Mt. St. Helens-style as a force of nature, well that is spectacular.
     So I was sort of waiting around, going about my business, and waiting for spectacular to happen.  But it didn't.  It hasn't.  And I doubt it will.  Do you know why?  I know why.  Because I am thinking about it.  I am trying to manufacture it.  I am using the wrong part of my brain to go about it still.  Because I am coming up with idea after idea that I am thinking about as opposed to just doing.  So nothing gets done.
     I thought about doing it as a big story where the carrot is an international spy who ends up being sliced in half by the bad guys, sort of making it a fiction through the viewpoint of vegetables.  But yes, I came to realize that the idea really was as lame as it sounds.  I thought about using it as a metaphor for logging or cutting down a tree because carrots seem to have rings but what the hell would that accomplish, right?  So no go on that business. 
     I briefly considered going about it Dr. Spankenbottom-style.  During his time working at a casino, he once wrote an incident report about running a dime through a machine that doesn't count dimes, except that he wrote it from the viewpoint of the dime.  He wrote it like it was a fantastical journey.  It was pretty cool.  So I thought about doing that.  Maybe from the viewpoint of the knife.  Or the carrot.  But I just couldn't get it to click.  So in the end I decided to just do what I always do and say what was going on in my head.  And I know, it's seems like it's as contrived and planned upon as any other idea, but that's not the issue.  The question is, did it work? 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kidz Bop

     I have problems with Kidz Bop.  Lots of problems.  I don't know who got this idea or who green-lighted it or who worked so hard to make it happen but I am pretty sure that they all should be drug out into the street and put in the stocks, listening to Kidz Bop, for about 14 hours in the hot sun with no access to water.  Because Kidz Bop is wrong in so many ways that I can't even begin to enumerate them. 
     Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration.  But I do have many problems with the whole Kidz Bop sun of albums, which is now on Kidz Bop 15 by the way.  First of all, I have a big problem with the title.  I think that everyone knows exactly how much I hate it when people use a "z" at the end of a word when it is supposed to be an "s."  Same goes when they use a "k" at the beginning when it is supposed to be a "c."  So before I ever knew what it was all about I was already against it.  It's a lame name to begin with, so even if someone had the trademark on the name Kids Bop (and I can't imagine why unless there is some sort of game where the heads of babies pop up and you have to hit them with a big mallet) they should have scrapped it because it's a retarded name for any album.  But if they spelled it with a "z" on purpose, well they should probably be committed or maybe just shot in the face.  Because that is the most ridiculous thing in the history of the world.  Okay, slapping a "z" on there is so stupid that even the New Kids on the Block didn't do it.  Because they knew that only a retarded retard would buy an album by New Kidz on the Block.  And that's the awful truth.
     Unfortunately, that is not the only thing that gets on my nerves when it comes to Kidz Bop.  The whole concept of it does too.  I mean, who in the world wants to hear a bunch of bratty kids singing pop songs.  In general, pop songs bug me enough, especially living somewhere that only features them, oldies, and country on the radio.  Even the people who get paid millions to belt them out start to chafe on me after about a week, so I can't imagine who would want to hear a bunch of fifth graders sing songs that are already overplayed. Especially since they slow the songs way down and sing them like they are meant for someone in an English as a Second Language class.  Maybe a deaf person.  Or someone who is drunk all the time.  I bet that Kidz Bop sounds like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir when one is all hopped up on Snowshoe Grog.  But I can't really think of who would want to buy it otherwise.  I don't even think that the Kidz Bop kidz would want to listen to that bullshit.
     My biggest problem with Kidz Bop, however, is the songs that the kids sing.  And not so much that they are overused in their regular form on the radio, but that they are for the most part horribly inappropriate for kids to be singing.  Some of the songs they sing are exposing the kids singing them to ideas and concepts that you really should be exposed to when you don't even have two digits in your age.  "U Don't Have to Call" by Usher?  Are you serious?  Are you absolutely serious?  I mean, you have to be fucking with me.  This is a song about HOOKING UP WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S GIRLFRIENDS!  Is that the kind of stuff you want your stupid kids singing about?  Has anybody actually thought about reading the lyrics on these things before they hand them to the kiddos?   BeyoncĂ©'s "Irreplaceable?"  Who the hell picked out that song?  It's about a rich, promiscuous girl and a guy looking for a sugar mama.  Great lesson for little Dylan or Jeena or whatever the hell you are naming your kids these days.  Maybe Ranger or Sierra.  Whatever.  Do you want them learning that lesson when it comes to adult relationships?  On the same Kidz Bop one can find "Lips of an Angel" by Hinder.  This is a terrible song that should have been wiped off the face of the earth with  Hinder long ago.  But aside from being lame it's about a guy who is sneaking around on his girlfriend.  Great.  Don't be surprised when your daughter ends up on the pole.
     The list goes on and on and on and on and on and on.  And on.  Every time I turn on the TV and see a commercial for the new Kidz Bop I want to puke.  In fact, I usually do a little bit in my throat.  And it's usually blood that I am puking up because my eardrums have burst from having to hear Kidz Bop on my TV and the blood is running down into my throat.  That's how awful it is.  There is always some new and popular song that should not be in the ears and minds of youth.  I mean, let's do a little bit better job of picking the songs our kids will sing.  Can the geniuses who make this monstrosity maybe pick songs thinking about the kidz and a little less about the money their parents will have to pay to buy these awful albums?  Maybe then our world will be a little better place.  A little less Maury Povich and a little more Wonder Years.  Wouldn't that be sweet?  I think so.  Because I am about ready to Kidz Bop myself in the face with a meat tenderizer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Morningwood Estate

     Does the hectic nature of everyday life have you down?  Are you tired of the ins and outs of the daily grind?  Do you have an obscene amount of money to spend to get away from all that hustle and bustle.  Then consider a relaxing and exclusive vacation to beautiful Morningwood Estates.
     Sir Jason and Lady Rebecca welcome you to their beautiful, landscaped 30 acre estate in the beautiful Northwoods where you can relax and recuperate in the finest of luxury accommodations.  Featuring all the landmarks of an English country estate transplanted to the remote country of Midwestern America, Morningwood Estate is the perfect escape that you have been waiting for.  Activities include fox hunting from horseback, deer hunting from heated school bus, cross country skiing, amateur lumberjacking, racquetball, watching servants wax your vehicle (which will be stored in a heated garage during the winter months), trout fishing in a Class IV-A trout stream, hiking, orienteering, and steeplechase. 
      Accommodations are available in Morningwood, the main house at Morningwood Estate, or in Babcock House at Morningwood Estate.  Babcock House was the original lodge at Morningwood Estate, and once played host to the summer White House while president Franklin Pierce spent three weeks escaping creditors here.  The main house, Morningwood, has served as the exclusive summer retreat of Tyler Burke since 1989.  While helicopter services are only available for Sir Jason at Lady Rebecca at Morningwood Estate, horse-covered carriage or sleigh rides are available to guests from nearby Kings Airport.  Please call 1-866-4-AM-WOOD to make reservations or enquire about room rates.  Absurdly high room rates and VERY limited availability await you in one of the following super-exclusive lodgings:

- Babcock House at Morningwood Estate Servant's Quarters
- The Grand Veranda Suite at Morningwood Estate
- The Parlor Room of Babcock House at Morningwood Estate
- Morningwood Estate Tower 
- The Babcock House at Morningwood Estate Tea Room
- Morningwood Estate Game Room
- Morningwood Estate Upper Loft Suite
- Babcock House at Morningwood Estate East Wing
- Lady Rebecca Suite in Morningwood Royalty Wing
- Small, green, unheated pup tent at the back corner of the estate grounds. (Note: this accommodation is only available if you are willing to be assigned tasks such as stoking the wood furnace, landscaping the grounds, washing dishes, or serving as a replacement fox during selected fox hunts.)

So please, call and reserve your super exclusive, ultra-relaxing year-round vacation immediately.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Big Dave and Company Staff Favorites

Hello kids, Big Dave here. I came to the sudden and stark realization the other day that while many of you have been following Big Dave and Company since the beginning of time immortal, or at least since March when we began this business, many of you have also been more recent additions to The Company. Now, I strongly encourage all of you to peruse the Filing Cabinet down the left side in lieu of going outside or doing any real work, but I realize that it is a somewhat daunting task. So I went around to the editorial staff here at Big Dave and Company and we've put together a list of staff favorites that you really should see. We've even taken the liberty of paring it down to one or two from each month. How's that for customer service?

- The 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life Written about the book that Big Dave was reading at the time, this post set the precedent for what people could expect out of Big Dave and Company. It manages to give the book praise while simultaneously cutting it down. Well, not all of it. Just the specific vacations out of the 100 that raised our eyebrows, but in that bad quizzical way that always looks totally over the top.

- So You're A Lazy Sack of Shit Helpful hints from Big Dave and Company on how to be, well, not so much a productive member of society but more someone who doesn't need to be shipped off to a desert island to rot alone anymore. It was inspired by a former co-worker, who shall remain nameless. Just like everyone else. But this post set the precedent for the venom-filled rants that make people laugh, cringe, and wet themselves all at the same time.

- My Encounter With the White Shirts Caffeine-fueled imagination run wild.

- The Salt Book Saga Oh my. This all began with a rather innocent and well-intentioned comment from the Dingo and reached a chaotic resolution on the day we moved The Big Dave and Company Worldwide Headquarters. Not in the way I wanted it to maybe, but in a very touching and satisfying way nonetheless. It was also the longest running segment that Big Dave and Company has done. There were many posts involved with these shenanigans and they are listen in chronological order below.

- Peg-a-saurus Rex and the Stuffed Beaver Peg-a-saurus Rex is a wonderful person and has been one of the most ardent supporters of Big Dave and Company from Day One. So when she received a stuffed beaver for Mother's Day from a friendly local Native American casino, hilarity ensued. This was voted as the fan favorite at the Big Dave and Company 50th Post Spectacular. It was also the first and only post to surpass the 10 comment mark so far.

- Living with the BVM The neighbors and the landlords decided to erect statures of the the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) at roughly the same time. Being a wild and crazy Catholic bachelor, you can imagine the effect it had. Along with the Salt Book Saga, this is one of the longest running series on Big Dave and Company. The posts are listed chronologically below.

- txt msg hell We here at Big Dave and Company hate people who use text message or IM speak when typing. And we let you know. This post is short but took over an hour to write. Stick that in your craw.

- The Wedding In August, The Reverend Big Dave performed a wedding. It did not go well.

- At the beginning of September we moved our Worldwide Headquarters and gave everyone a tour of our new facility.

- The Tyler Burke Experience Everyone at Big Dave and Company was very excited about the impending arrival of the immortal Tyler Burke. Unfortunately it was a deeply unsettling experience.

- The First Snow of the Year The first snow of the year fell at the Worldwide Headquarters and things went a little haywire. We may have gone a little over the top but that is very much in the tradition of Big Dave and Company

- An Open Letter to the Laundromat Owners in My Town We took some umbrage to the business practices of the local laundromat mafia, and it resulted in a classic Big Dave and Company rant that I think might have actually scared a few people.

So there you go Company, a short list of some of the best posts and moments in Big Dave and Company history according to our editorial staff. We hope that you enjoy them as you click on the copious amount of links above. But we also encourage you to rifle around The Filing Cabinet on your own so you can find your own favorites. Thank you tons and keep on reading!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thanks and Apologies

     Two things for you today, kids. Thanks and apologies. But, true to form we are going to go in reverse order.
     First off, we here at Big Dave and Company would like to sincerely apologize for the service outage yesterday. If you were using something other than Windows Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox you probably got in just fine, proving once again why I love my Mac. Anyway, the problem is all fixed now so you should be up and running. And just to prove that point I posted today from a PC running Internet Explorer. Take that, establishment.
     The reason that we are up and running is because of the great people at Blogger. There are two groups of people at Blogger, who hosts Big Dave and Company, that I love but that don't get as much credit as they deserve. The first group is the people at Blogger who work so very hard to write all the code and make all the cool gadgets that you see and all the easy-to-use interfaces that I see. They really do a bang-up job at what they do and honestly, from my end, I see the amazing things that they do that allow me to do the far short of amazing things that I do. So kudos to them because even when the amazing things that they do don't work correctly, they do a fantastic job of fixing things. If you cruise through the known problems on the Blogger Help sections there is a laundry list of known problems, and 85% they have already fixed. The ones that aren't fixed are generally cosmetic things, or extremely new things that they just haven't conquered as of yet. They are terrific at prioritizing what needs to be done when and keeping the large majority of people happy.
     The one thing that does bug me about the Blogger Help sections though is that they don't really suit my fancy. I want to be able to type out an e-mail or call a phone number and have someone either fix it for me or give me step-by-steps on how to do it like I am a civilian disarming a bomb that MacGyver has to talk through it on one of those impossibly large early-80's walkie-talkies. "Now cut the green wire Dave, and remember, even though you are a troubled loner that gets made fun of by the other kids at school, I will still be your friend because you have good morals and adore my flying mullet as much as I do." That kind of thing. That's what I want. But you see, I can't get that from Blogger Help and I understand. Blogger has a daunting task. They have millions and millions of people of all different skill levels trying to create all sorts of different stuff using all sorts of different services. So there is no way that they can take specific calls or e-mails from every Tom, Jane, and Patsy who can't get their colors right or can't get stuff to indent correctly or can't their pretty pony pictures to post right in the middle of their blog. They would be inundated in like 17 seconds and it would probably crash the Internet forever. Then Al Gore would be pissed. So I understand why they can't give me individualized help and why I have to surf through post after post after post in the Blogger Help Group to find answers to my problems. But the people that give the answers are my second favorite group of unheralded blogosphere heroes.
     Now, when I say second, Company, I don't mean that they are like my #2 favorite. I don't mean that I like the Blogger code people more or anything, I just mean that they are the second of my favorite groups that we are going to talk about. And they are the Blogger Help Group people. I am not exactly sure how they work but as far as I can tell they are either private citizens who know a shit ton about working with Blogs or they are Blogger employees whose job it is to patrol the help groups and answer questions, but they are a Godsend. They hang out and just answer people's questions and fix people's problems. They are like the Lone Rangers of the blogosphere, and when your wagon train is in peril they inevitably come galloping in and get you back started again. It's pretty cool. There is rarely a problem that they haven't seen before or can't come up with a creative solution for. And they are the ones who helped me with my little service interruption problem from yesterday. To big thanks to them and all they do. I have consulted with them more than one time and quite frankly, they are fantastic.
     So big thanks from Big Dave and Company to all those who work behind the scenes to help make Big Dave and Company work and run. You guys all do a terrific job and none of us would be able to do what we do without you. And while I don't like finding myself apologizing for service outages and glitches on your end it happens so very rarely that I can't and won't be mad. Keep up the good work and thanks again!