Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend starts in 3...2...1...NOW! and I am taking the weekend off.  Whatever you do, have a safe and enjoyable time and try to take a couple of minutes to think about all those who have sacrificed on order to allow us to do whatever it is that we are doing.  Happy Memorial Day everyone, and see you on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The View from Behind

    Yesterday I was giving Mike-a-licious a hard time because today he is out getting a Droid.  And he was all excited.  I was making jokes about jumping the bandwagon and that kind of thing.  I mean, half of it is because I like to give a hard time to my friends, but still that wasn't needed.  So I guess that this will serve as my public apology.  But I think the most of the reason that I was giving him a hard time is because I don't generally subscribe to the idea that everyone needs the latest technology.  In fact, I am about 5-10 years behind.
     It's true.  I am not 30 years behind the times like the Town That Time Forgot, but I am a good 7-ish.  I have had the same cell phone and computer for like 5 years, which is approaching an eternity in that time, I was one of the last people in the First World to purchase a tube TV new from the store, I have a kickass city going on Sim City for Super NES, I can't wait to see if the Buccaneers can repeat as Super Bowl Champs, and I hate to admit it but I am really enjoying this new Finding Nemo movie.
    It's not that I don't have an appreciation for new technology, and the amazing things that it allows us to do and the wonderful advances that have come about.  I am just afraid of change maybe.  No, that's not it.  I just always see it, and it's always neat, but I can never see a NEED for it.  Droid is great, but I can't see the NEED for it.  That being said, I said the same thing about cell phones as all my friends got one.  And I said the same thing as I was in shopping for one of my own.  And once I had it I didn't see that I needed it, it was just nice insurance to have as I drove through snowy weather at 2 AM.  I still kept my land line, and my cell phone was rarely turned on.  Now it's my only phone.
      I gave a speech at my high school graduation about how we were the class, the generation, that would be charged with bridging the gap between the new and the old.  I remember saying that we would be standing with one foot planted firmly in the past and one foot striding confidently into the future or some bullshit like that.  You know, the usual high school graduation speed type of stuff.  But I always thought it was true.  When I was a kid, there were computers in every office but there was a typewriter too, and most stuff was still done on a typewriter.  You could still buy record player needles.  My dad had a truck that was not that old that had an 8-track player, and my buddy had a rotary dial phone in his basement.
    The point here, Company, and I promise there is a point, is that I distictly remember a time when phones made phone calls and they were all connected to a cord, and that was okay.  It worked great.  I remember when the only thing the computers at school did was Oregon Trail and Paint, and they wouldn't let us wear those metal snap bracelets in the computer lab because they thought they would screw up the hard drives.    I understand and have experienced that you can live a pretty good, comfortable, and safe life without having to be able to stream movie trailers directly to your phone at any time, or unlocking your car in San Francisco from your phone in New York City, or without having to plant chips in your pets to be able to track them as they run around, or to be able to order just about anything from anywhere in the world with little beyond a valid credit card number.  Hell, I remember when credit cards had to be impressed onto a cabon paper for them to be legit with that special little machine.  And everyone got along just fine. 
      Sometimes I am not the one confidently standing with one foot in the past and one striding into the future.  Sometimes I am not bridging the gap, I am standing timidly with both feet on the grassy plain of the past, where I am comfortable and I know what is going on, and I am staring across the gap muttering that the jungle on the other side looks pretty scary.  I have to get prodded to the other side by peer pressure and the march of time and technology. 
      So I guess that maybe I am hypocrite when it comes to the stuff, because I blog and I podcast and I tweet and yes I have a cell phone and yes I have this and that, and I guess that is how it has to be.  Because I will admit that I have jumped whole heartedly onto more bandwagons that I can count in my day.  In fact, as Mike-a-licious and Six were kind enough to point out, that is probably how I injured my leg.  I guess that despite it all sometimes the new stuff is just cool and that in itself if enough of a reason to jump into it.  Bandwagon or not.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Come Around

     Somehow, in the middle of the summer, on a day when it's 90 degrees outside, someone in my office has managed to get a cold.  I am not sure how she did it, but she did.  And that's okay, it happens.  I am not going to come out here today and complain about people blowing their nose and sneezing all the damn time; it's not their fault that they are ill.  What I am going to complain about is how it has suddenly become okay to treat someone with a common cold like they are a pariah.
     I understand that nobody wants to get sick, okay Company?  I really do.  I don't want to get sick.  But I sat here today and watched people scatter when they found out that this person was ill.  "Oh, I've got a cold.""Bye bye.  See ya later."  And off they'd go.  It was almost like the person was a leper, with gross nasty sores all over their body that no one wated to be around.  But not true.  They just had a common cold.  I sat with them all day long and they looked perfectly normal.
     Here is the thing, folks, I don't know if you've ever taken a minute to go ahead and learn about anything, but if you were close enough to the sick person to discover that they have the common cold, then you have already been exposed to the virus.  Bottom line.  Coming around them for ten minutes and then staying away for the next twelve days isn't going to keep you from being immune.  If you are going to get it, you are going to get it.  Those little viruses are on every surface that person has touched, on every door knob, on every pen or pencil, on the coffee pot, everywhere.  You know where else those viruses are?  In the air.  See, every time a person coughs, sneezes, or even exhales millions of little water droplets and viruses and pieces of dust and everything are sent into the air.  And then, want to know the key thing?  That air is cirulated by powerful fans all around the building, even into your cubicle.  Good luck escaping that stuff.
     So I suppose that what I am saying is that there is really no need to quarantine the person with the cold.  There is no reason why she needs to be all alone on the far corner of the playground.  You've already been exposed to her germs, and even if you haven't been you will be.  That's just the way that it is.  So you might as well just keep on with your life.  You look like an ass when you act that way anyhow.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Trip to the Doctor

     So Company, I don't know if you know but I have been dealing with an illness recently.  I am fortunate enough to have gotten through the worst of all the stuff and now I am dealing with some lingering effects.  That happens from time to time.  In fact, it happened yesterday.  I had some problems, well less some problems but more some questions.  See, I have never been through an illness like this before, and so I am not exactly sure how it all goes.  So I saw some things happening that I wasn't sure about, and so I wanted to get some answers.  So I went in.  I had a list of questions to ask, and I got some answers.  They may not have been answers that I liked, but I at least got a couple of answers.  And that is fine.  I can understand that you don't always get to hear what you want to hear.  That is called life.  But I have never been to a doctor who just said "I don't know.  I have no answer for that."  And that is what I got a couple of times.
    Wait, what?  Yeah.  I had a doctor say to me that he did not have an answer to my problems.  That did not sit well with me.  I generally don't go into the doctor when my body is functioning perfectly, and while he might not know the answer to my problems they certainly aren't made up.  The proof is in the pudding, and anyone can see it with their eyes and feel it with their fingertips.  So that is why I am there.  He did, in the end, after much incoherent stammering on my part, agree to see me again on the day the orthopedist is in town (I live in a small town, so specialists only come around once every so often) and then we can see him by then, which to me is a very appropriate response.  But needless to say it didn't go well and I was not happy.  I am starting to wonder if it is time for a second opinion.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ship in a Bottle

     What the fuck?  There is a gigantic ship in the bottle on a pedistal in the middle of Trafalgar Square in London.  And that doesn't make any sense.
     First of all, ships in bottles do not belong on pedistals in the middle of public squares.  They belong in aging family practice doctor's dens, or precariously perched on a bookshelf in a TV situation comedy.  They don't belong in one of the most visible spots in all of the world.  They reason is that they are very hard to build, and that they are super precarious.  Super duper precarious.  If a high wind hits them they fall down.  If they are in your wood paneled study and the heavyset maid gets a little exuberant while vacuuming it is abandon ship because it's going down.  So why put one in such a high profile place.
     And it IS a high profile place, in which the British just seem to love putting things.  Big public things.  This is the place where there was a sort of art exhibit by Antony Gormley that was going on for the longest time where members of the public who applied would get one hour to stand on the pedistal and do whatever they wanted.  That was pretty cool.  They would either take a nap or play the violin or talk about the genius of Benny Hill or reenact a great speech from parliament for an hour.  It was wildly popular, as would be expected, and it made all sorts of international headlines, as would also be expected.
     So the ship in a bottle has some pretty big shoes to fill.  It is a 1:29 scale replica of the HMS Victory, whose name you might recognize but whose service record you most surely don't care about.  Apparently the exhibit of the ship is supposed to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar, after which the square is named, unless of course the battle was named after the square, and which took place in 1805, AND the 50th Anniversary of Nigerian Independence, which seems to me are two things that have absolutely nothing to do with one another, seeing as how the Battle of Trafalgar had nothing to do with British colonialism and the colony of Nigeria wasn't really involved in the War of the Third Coalition against Spain and Napoleonic France.  It is almost like artist Yinka Shonibare, who is from Nigeria, was sitting around one day going "Man, I really want to do something to comemmorate the 50th Anniversary of Nigerian Independence, that would be cool.  But how am I going to get a chance to put my tribute up in a really public place.  Oh, I know, I will make it a lame sailing ship and tell white people it also commemorates something they care about."  Smart move Yinka, it got you on the big plinth in Trafalgar Square.  Either that or he was high and just hit the "random article" button on Wikipedia twice.
      The piece, however, does show that some thought was put into it.  Because although it is a stuffy replica of a creaky English ship from 205 years ago, its sails have been altered.  Instead of being lily white like normal sails of sailing ships, they are brightly colored and patterend in pattern that is always associated with African culture.  That's pretty cool, although I would suspect that most tourists wandering by Trafalgar Square on a typical English Tuesday don't really know that.  They probably just like the bright colors.
     Anyway, I give Yinka credit fro what he has done, it's a pretty creative and original idea.  That however, does not mean that I like it.  Personally, I sort of think it's dumb.  Unless there is plaque down at the base that explains the whole thing, people are just going to see a ship in a bottle with funky sails.  Sorry.  But I am glad you were able to get your work put on public display.  More power to you.  And Happy 50th Anniversary of Nigerian Independence.  And congratulations on that victory in that 205 year-old naval battle.  Good job.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

News in Brief

    Here is just a short list of some things that have happened recently.  Feel free to digest them at your leisure.  If you want to know more you are on your own.

-  A man in Massachusetts had his head and shoulders sucked into a vacuum-type sausage seasoning machine that accidentally activated while it was being cleaned.

-  A man was arrested in Pennsylvania for threatening his girlfriend with a meat cleaver during an argument over the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Like that will really help with the cleanup.

-  Someone in Colorado got a lip tattoo, which was used to identify them as the perpetrator in a robbery.  I can't believe they were arrested for getting a lip tattoo.

-  A man in Washington state who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest and a bunch of heroin in his possession tried to dial Room 119 and accidentally dialed 911.  When authorities came by to see what was up, they arrested him.

-  Police in El Paso, Texas arrested a man they were chasing at a carnival when they saw his sneakers sticking out from under a pile of teddy bears.  If he were smart he would have set that up and then ran away barefoot.  That's how MacGyver would have done it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Epic Posting Fail

    I generally like to fancy myself a capable writer.  I am not the best - not even close - but I don't think that I am bad at it.  I am very much somewhere in the middle but I like to think that I can hold my own when it comes to the written word.  Now, don't worry, I am not going to get all pretentious like some writers like to be, talking at depth and in metaphor about the meaning and craft of writing.  No.  I am going to do what I do my best.  I am going to tear to pieces one of the pieces of shit that I laid the other night.
     "The Creepy Creeper in the Dark Sedan" can be seen here, but you know what?  Don't bother.  It is not worth the time, space, or the precious nutrients that your body will use up in an effort to click the mouse, move your eyeballs, and process the information.  What will, however, be healthy for you is the prolonged fit of laughing that you get after you are done wading through that 8,000-strong-herd-of-dairy-cattle-sized pile of crap.  Because, I don't think I am exaggerating, that might be the worst thing that I have ever had the temerity to post on the Internet.
     I had an idea going into that night, as I got ready to put pen to paper, or I suppose you would more properly say fingers to keys.  And it was a good idea.  It was one of those things where I envisioned how good the title would look up there, and there was going to be a strong post to follow it up.  Problem was that once I got to where I was going, and once I got all set up and went to write my awesome story up, it was gone.  Like when you just get that smoking hot girl to agree to leave the bar with you, and she steps out on the sidewalk but then you have to run back in because you forgot your keys, and then she's gone when you get out; picked up by the guy in a button up shirt riding the crotch rocket.  Too bad so sad.  It was gone like that, and I sort of have some hope that it might come back, but days later I have given up the search.  As such, I was left without an idea, and do I attempted to create something on the spot.
     Attempted being the operative word.  What came out was so scatterbrained, so poorly put together, and so grammatically incorrect that it looked like a foreign exchange student had teamed up with a fourth grader to write it.  For fuck's sake, as I hit "publish post" I was actually reaching for it back as if I was going to be able to reach my arm into cyberspace and yank it back to the screen by its past participles, because right at that moment I realized just how truly awful it was.  It was like one of those situations where you say something incredibly stupid and you sort of reach out for it with your mouth once you say it in an effort to swallow it back or something, but you just can't.  It just doesn't work like that.  I skip from thought to thought in a way that only Balki from the island of Mepos could possibly understand.  I would suppose that Cousin Larry Appleton could understand it too but that's only because he spent all that time living with Balki
     Anyway, it's terrible, and I am really quite embarrassed by the whole thing, and I sort of wish that I could make it just go away.  I cannot however, and so it stays there, a memorial to failure and poor planning.  I guess that sometimes you just have to take your lumps, but man was that bad.  I really do apologize.  That's all I can do at this point.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What Month Are We In?

   While lying in bed this morning, shortly after my alarm had rung for the third time, I was watching TV in lieu of showering, shaving, eating breakfast, making my lunch, or doing anything productive and the friendly sort-of-local weatherman appearing on the screen told me that it was Skin Cancer Awareness Month.  That is fine, it's no big deal, I am all for awareness of melanoma.  It's all good.  But the problem I am having is that there are so many dedicated month and days to so many different groups and causes, I can't keep up with it anymore.
    I am serious.  Months go by and I find out on like the 27th that May was Ground Squirrel Awareness Month.  Well, guess what ground squirrel lovers?  You don't deserve a month because if I didn't find out about your cause until there was less than a week left for me to get behind it, then you are really trying all that hard.  It's like you went out and got permits for a new house and told everyone you have a new house and had some architect build up some plans for a new house and then you never actually went ahead and built the damn thing.  It makes no sense.  If you are going to be serious enough to have a month declared in your honor, or a day in your honor, you had damn well better go the ground work to make sure that everyone knows about.  Let me give you two examples: one for a day and one for a month.
    Take Black History Month.  Everybody knows, or at least most people know, including me, and that's all that matters, that Black History Month is in February.  You see stuff about it on the TV, read about it in the newspaper and Time magazine, and you probably saw something about it on a bus stop poster too.  Also, as everyone knows, Spike Lee requires each American to watch at least one of his movies (sorry, joints) sometime during the month, and if you don't you are a racist.  Now, I am all for Black History Month, I think that it is cool that we celebrate the unique history of that segment of the population.  What I really like about Black History Month, however, is that it is promoted.  The people who worked so hard to get the February designated as such actively attempt to inform people about it.  That is how it is supposed to work.
     Same thing with Arbor Day.  Listen, normally no one would care that someone from the treeless plains of Nebraska thought that everyone should plant trees. Now, Arbor Day is celebrated at different times in different places because it involves planting trees, and the prime time for planting trees in Patagonia is going to be wildly different from the best time to plant a tree in China which is going to wildly different from the best time to plant a tree in Rhode Island.  Fine, but I would suspect that most of you know when Arbor Day is coming up in your community, because it is everywhere, even in newsprint and on billboards which makes me giggle because those are made of paper which is made from cutting down trees and ripping them apart.  Isn't that ironic?  Or maybe not.  I will have to ask Alanis Morissette.  Anyway, we all know about Arbor Day because J. Sterling Morton didn't stop at getting Arbor Day just declared a day (the first one was observed on April 10, 1872 just in case you were wondering).  No, he and his successors have gone the extra mile to make sure that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, even those little children that Madonna and the Brad and Angelina are adopting from Africa, about how planting trees is top notch.  And that is how it is supposed to be.
    So it's not that hard, Company.  If you want to have an awareness month, or a commemerative day, go right ahead.  But if I, a person who pays attention to the news and current events, doesn't know about, then you don't deserve it and I think you should have it yanked away from you and given to the opposite cause, to see if they are willing to put in the effort.  Kind of like on Family Feud when you get three strikes and the other family gets a chance to steal even if you got all the hard ones.  That's what it should be like.  Or else I am just not going to participate.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lights, Camera, Failure

     Company, here is the deal.  Let me take a minute and go ahead and give you a little piece of advice about life, because it is becoming more and more obvious to me that you need it.  I have come to recognize this all-abiding truth about life as we move into the 21st Century, and that truth is as follows:  There is always somebody with a camera nearby and the wherewithal to operate it.
     It's true.  Ask Michael Phelps.  He was doing what a large percentage of American twenty-somethingsdo when they are twenty-soemthings - smoking the reefer.  Now, I am not going to get into a debate with you about legal and moral implications of the whole thing, that is not the point.  The point here is that Mr. Phelps forgot the cardinal rule #1 above anything else that you need to remember especially when you are a celebrity: There is always somebody with a camera nearby and the wherewithal to operate it.
     Ask the teacher who recently got caught beating the daylights out of her 13-year-old student during class at a Houston charter school.  She went on Good Morning America today and was talking all about why it happened and whatnot, give reasons which sounded to me more like excuses, and of course she had her lawyer by her side.  For whatever reasons she did what she did it was wrong, but she forgot the golden rule.  See sometimes, back in the days of yore, you could drag a problem child out behind the woodshed and take the belt to them and you could probably get away with it.  But when there are a bunch of 13-year olds around with cell phones you have to remember the main piece of advice: There is always somebody with a camera nearby and the wherewithal to operate it.
     This is pretty much all the fault of the cell phone people.  When I was growing up, cameras were still big clunky things that were pretty tough to hide, because they had to be large enough to fit a VHS tape.  Not so much there days.  There are cameras everywhere.  Even the cheap ass freebie cell phones you get when you really only want something that makes phone calls have cameras on them these days.  And you want to know something else?  Everyone between the ages of 8 and 78 pretty much has a cell phone, and most of them know how to use the things.  Crazy teacher lady?  Nipped by a 13-year-old with a cell phone that took video.  VIDEO!  Michael Phelps?  Caught by a drunken college student with a cell phone.  Here is another thing to remember: no matter how drunk she is any twenty-something girl will still be able to figure out how to use her cell phone.  She could not be able to stand up or know who she is or who is groping her, but I would be willing to bet all of Nelbo's paycheck on the fact that she will be able to send a text message, make a drunk call, or take that picture of the D-list celebrity with his pants off.  Oh, just about every American twenty-something girl also has a camera in her purse too.  Remember: There is always somebody with a camera nearby and the wherewithal to operate it.
     Hey, guess what else people? Guess what else.  Every building has a security camera on it.  So if you do something on the sidewalk out in public, or in a dark alley, they are going to catch you somehow.  Somehow, someway.  It might be on a security camera six miles away on the airport control tower, but it's still going to see you.  Ask the dozens of people who walked by the dying good samaritan on the a New York City street last month.  Oh yeah.  The guy saw a woman getting mugged, stepped in, got stabbed, fell over bleeding on the sidewalk under, that's right, a security camera.  That camera saw dozens of people for hours walk by and do nothing.  One man even rolled the body over and saw the blood and rolled it back and walked away.  You could see the run rising on the tape and nobody did a thing, until finally police and fire care around.  You are always on camera, and even though you couldn't see any faces, those people know what they did and now we all do.  Good luck sleeping at night.  There is always somebody with a camera nearby and the wherewithal to operate it.  Just keep it in mind, Company.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Creepy Creeper in the Dark Sedan

     I am currently hitting an open wireless network at a friendly local business.  I don't like to do this because technically it is stealing, but as I see it I am not doing anything illegal really since I am not downloading anything illegal and they are the ones who are too stupid to put a password on their wireless network.  But then again, seeing as they are a hotel, that probably wouldn't work all that well. 
     One time someone hit my open wireless network and illegally downloaded the movie Madagascar 2, which boggles my mind.  Why would you want to download that heap, even for free.  They probably have kids.  Anyway, I got a nastygram from my ISP telling me that if I did that again I would be in deep shit, and I was confused because I had never seen Madagascar 2, let alone downloaded it.  Needless to say, a password and some sort of encryption went on my wireless network right quick.
      The point of all this babbling is that when I am out here in the community, in front of a hotel or coffee house or the hospital or Mike-a-licious' house stealing wireless Internet access, I always feel a little bit skeevy because I am sitting in the car in the dark, but I also feel sort of like I am in a steakout or on some secret mission.  Now that feels pretty cool.  Like, as I am sitting here in this well-lit parking lot, my heart rate is up, my adrenaline is pumping, and I have those shifty eyes that the bad guy always gets in every cartoon.  It's pretty sweet.  I can only imagine what the people whizzing by on the highway think.  Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you.  I hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Three Days We Missed

I don't know if you realize this, Company, but over the past week or so I have been ahead of the proverbial curve when it comes to writing blog posts.  Sometimes I have to write one every day, and sometimes I get like these fits of creativity or fits of availability or fits of boredom and I write several posts so that I have a bit of a cushion.  That being said, with all this extra Boy Scout being prepared lately, it has caused me to miss some important dates that I came along that I didn't know about until the day that they happened.  So let's take a look at some of the important things that I have missed over the last week or so.

- International Nurses Week.  This always falls on the week which ends with Florence Nightingale's Birthday, which is May 12.  So that means it is May 6 - May 12, and it is celebrated around the world.  Here is why I am terrible, two reasons why I am terrible: a.) my mom is a nurse, and has been as long as I have known her, and I never knew about this Nurse's Week.  Fail! b.) I found out when I was walking out from my treatment and saw the nurses eating ice cream bars.  They said they got lots for free from management and then proceeded to force one upon me.  So it was their special day and I got ice cream. Go figure that one out.  Listen, I know that I have been big on the nurses lately, but I have known a lot of nurses over the course of a lot of years and they all deserve our respect and admiration.  And they deserve the whole week.

- Teacher's Appreciation Day.  Another group that deserves a lot of respect and admiration are teachers, and they too deserve a whole week.  They apparently get the whole first week of May, but they also get a plethora of individual days all around the world.  I heard on the radio on Friday, May 14 that it was Teacher Appreciation Day, but I read somewhere that it was May 4.  So I am not sure, but I know that one of the many days to honor our teachers was recently, at least the American version was.  Apparently there is also an international version that will come around in October, so you can look forward to me forgetting about that one as well.  I wish the teachers would get their act together and pick a certain day.  You have all summer to figure it out, get it done.  Seriously, thanks to the teachers though too.  You guys are overworked, underfunded, and underappreciated when it comes right down to it.


- Armed Forces Day.  Missed that one too.  It came by this past Saturday, and I also really feel bad about this one.  I never like to miss an opportunity to give a nod to those who serve in our armed forces.  I never have, so I can't say I understand what it's all about, or that I know what it's like, because I don't.  But I can imagine what it's like and I can appreciate the sacrifice.  So thanks to all the members of the armed forces, regardless of which branch you find yourselves.  Happy Armed Forces Day.  It's the last day of Armed Forces Week, which nobody probably knows about but you really deserve too.

So if you forgot any of these days like I did, don't despair.  Hallmark makes lots of "belated" cards.  Get to it, and remember.  Nurses, teachers, and the armed forces.  Three very important groups who deserve their days.  Thanks everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Them Weekly

     So I was paging through the pages of an old Us Weekly the other day and I thought to myself: "The is the stupidest fucking thing that I have ever seen."
     Now, I was reading the Us Weekly because it was only one of two magazines on the hospital magazine rack that was not either AARP Magazine or Money Magazine, which do not appeal to my because I am not of AARP age and I have no money, respectively.  So I cast aside the four month old Sports Illustrated aside and I was looking at the pictures of Us Weekly of all the beautiful people doing stuff, and I made the mistake of starting to read some of the words that were there.  Not a good idea.  There was a sections called "Stars - They are Just Like Us!" that showed the entertainment starts of the world doing things like pumping gas or drinking coffee and apparently the writers, editors, and regular readers of Us Weekly feel that they deserve a fucking cookie for that shit.
     Then - THEN! They started talking about all the stars love lives (it was a Valentine's Day-time edition of the magazine) and how some of them - GASP! - were struggling to deal with breakups.   And every breakup that every star goes through is the worst breakup in the history of the world, and that they are the strongest human beings alive because they are able to go out and see a movie after their beau was seen with someone else.  Well you know what?  That shit happens EVERY FUCKING DAY to regular people, and you should not get special attention for it just because you wore some skimpy clothes in a bad movie or sold your soul to be on a TV reality show.  Regular people - on a daily basis - get dumped, go out and drown their sorrows until 2 am, drag themselves hung over into work the next morning looking like a sack of shit in a shirt and tie and get yelled at by their bosses, and I don't see any of those people photographed in Us Weekly with little captions under them that have an exclamation point at the end of them 1005 of the time.
      How about this for an idea?  Why don't you put a picture of regular people spending 3/5 of their monthly income in order to have an anniversary dinner at a place that a celebrity would go on a regular basis and call it 'Regular People - They Are Just Like Celebrities!"  Why don't we celebrate the regular, everyday people who make this country tick on a regular basis, not the retards who go on TV and get ratings just because the rest of us can't find the remote control?  That would be neat.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dinnertime

     I don't know if you know about this Company, but I am a BIG fan of dinner.  Not only eating dinner, which I really like, and by that I mean the actual food, especially if it is good food, which my dinner always is, but I like the idea and power of dinner.
     There is a group of people out there in the community who believes in the power of dinner, and they actively promote family dinner as a means of improving the family dynamic.  And I wholly believe that they are correct.  You can see them in certain magazines and on television telling parents that, man, if they make a dinner and make the kids be there and take the time and the effort they will be better parents and their children will be better adjusted and might actually wait until they get to college to try pot and start boozing and sleeping around.  I am not so sure about that, but I do believe that family dinner is a good thing.  And so, apparently, do the good people at Stouffer's, and they have brought that to America in the form of a commercial for their famed lasagna.
     Now, I have nothing against Stouffer's Lasagna.  It's not my lasagna, and it is certainly not my mom's lasagna, and it's not my grandma's lasagna, which is not the same as my mom's but it's still pretty good in its own way.  I haven't had it for years and years but right now as I write this I can still taste it.  But they are both certainly better than Stouffer's because they are homemade, and that extra effort and care and love and not-food grade processing equipment that just make them special.  So I suppose that what I am saying is that Stouffer's is fine, and I would serve it to my family if I didn't have the time or motivation to make my own.
     I do not, however, think that I would make it the centerpiece of my special family dinner night, which is what happens in the Stouffer's commercial that gets my feathers up.  In the commercial, a woman talks about how they make Stouffer's Lasagna every Tuesday night or whatever, and that they get out the good tablecloth and table settings and they make a salad and garlic bread that seems like it took more effort than the Stouffer's Lasagna.  So, let's get this straight: this typical looking suburban American family makes a big deal about something that you buy at the grocery store frozen foods case for ten bucks and that all you have to do is peel off the plastic and be able to set the oven.  Yeah, I am not buying it.
     If you are going to go ahead and put through all the effort and pageantry to get out the tablecloth and the good china and round up the kids and all that bullshit, all of the traditional proper dinner two forks and cloth napkins sort of formal dinner and you are going to serve frozen lasagna you are a fucking retard.  That is like taking all the effort to go buy a prom dress, get your hair done up specially, get some expensive, uncomfortable shoes, buy a corsage, and then you just go down to the movies.  It's like putting a big piece of shit in a nice wrapper and calling it great.  No.  No, no, no, no, no!  If you are going to go through all the effort to make the table and the fixings, you take the extra time to make some real God-damn lasagna.
     If you are going to make Stouffer's Lasagna, that's fine.  You go right ahead.  But don't trumpet it as the greatest thing under the sun that will save your family.  Stouffer's Lasagna does not deserve the full table dressing, okay?  Now, some of you are going to read this and say "It doesn't matter what they are serving, Big Dave.  Maybe Stouffer's Lasagna is the only way that this busy, modern family can get together to have a decent meal and it's nice that this food product can bring them together to be a better family."  Okay, fine, I can buy that.  I can live with that, and I can even respect that.  But let's not make it more than it really is, okay?  The molehill will always be a molehill, no matter what.  Don't put a commercial on TV that is going to make me think it's a mountain.  I can see through the bullshit.  I am going to go make some lasagna.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Death of Imagination

     We are in mourning this morning around the Worldwide Headquarters, Company, over the recent loss of creativity and imagination in our society.  Word came to our offices early the other morning when we saw a commercial for a "cell phone."  I didn't put that in quotes because I want to be featured on The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks, I did it because I don't really know that it is a phone anymore.  I mean, yes, it makes phone calls, but mostly it seems to be a text, picture, Internet, and Transformer movie clip machine.  It has essentially become a device which is used to entertain us every minute of every day of our lives, just so long as we fork over for the correct data plan, which required a minimum of 1000 minutes a month phone package.
    The point here, Company, is that when the commercial for this entertainment machine flashed across the television screen here in the Worldwide Headquarters, it was a sort of epiphany.  It got the gears turning, however slowly at a quarter to six in the morning, but it really made us realize that our society, our generation, our culture, has either lost the ability to or is unwilling to be creative or imaginative for the most part.
     I don't know if we all have Attention Deficit Disorder or what, but it has come to the point where children and adults alike refuse to go a minute of their life without entertainment.  I have lots of exampled.  How many of you parents out there have little DVD players for your car to keep the kids captive while you drive around.  I see a lot of hands out there.  How many of you have a phone that has more screen than it does buttons?  Show of hands?  That's what I thought.  I am not immune, allow me to serve myself up as an example.  I recently spent a couple of days in the hospital, and I brought like six books, had a TV on at all times, and I brought my laptop to take advantage of the free WiFi.  When Scooter was in the hospital drying out in Hoosiers he had a metal framed bed and probably had to beg for that radio that he listened to the games on. 
     Now, there are some people out there who can still deal in creativity and imagination.  There are just enough artists and inventors out there doing their thing to keep us rolling along, but even those who are supposed to be dealing in imagination and creativity - the movie and television industries most pointedly - are just regurgitating the same stuff that has already been done before.  Sort of like when Mike-a-licious tells me that I just regurgitate the news all the time.
     I understand that there is a lot to be said for ease and convenience, and having your kids glued to a Spongebob Squarepants episode in the back of your overly sized SUV is much easier than having to talk to them or giving them some Mad Libs or something, which is fine.  I mean, we wouldn't want them to look out the window and see America on their way to Grandma's house in Arizona.  I am not saying that we should all be washing dishes by hand when there is a perfectly good dishwasher in our kitchen (although I know people who do that and I just don't understand, but whatever floats their boat I suppose), that just doesn't make sense.  But I would be hard pressed to come up with a situation where washing dishes is going to bring a lot of extra benefits to a person, aside from the clean dishes to eat off of and dishpan hands.  But when you have something blaring at you from a screen or an ear bud every moment of your life, it doesn't leave a lot of time for thinking or contemplation, and thinking and contemplation is what makes us continue growing as adults.
     The point is here, Company, that maybe it is good to have to entertain yourself from time to time, because it leads to personal growth.  I am sure that next week at your session with your life coach they will tell you the same thing.  God, I am glad that you are paying all the money to hear what I just told you from free.  Oh, but they have credentials and some letters after their name, so you believe them.   Here is what I am saying - put the crazy technology cell phone down.  You've seen that trailer for Night at the Museum before.  Turn off the TV, you've seen that episode of Friends before too.  Tell the kiddos about what they are seeing outside the window as you drive along.  I know it's hard but you have to trust me - everyone will be better off for it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stockholm Syndrome

Have you ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome, Company?  That is a condition by which a captive person becomes enamored by and sympathetic with their captors.  It was discovered in 1973 and it is named after the city where it was discovered.  Some people who worked at a bank, and when it was robbed and the robbers held the workers captive for like six days, they actually because emotionally attached to the guys with the guns.  They even defended their captors once they were released to the waiting arms of the amazed and confused authorities.  Anyway, that is Stockholm Syndrome, and I think that I might have it.  Please allow me to give you a little back story.
     A few weeks ago I suffered what would normally be considered everyday, I was defeated by gravity, fell down, and scraped some skin off my leg.  A patch about the size of a dime.  That patch got infected by a bacteria that required a pretty heavy duty anti-biotic to treat it.  After two nights in the hospital to ascertain just how I would respond to this pretty harsh drug.  I responded well, and they put what is called a PICC (peripheral intravenous cardiac catheter) which would allow me to receive those same drugs on an outpatient basis.  Since then, I have been going to that same friendly local hospital every day, twice a day actually, to get my treatment.  It takes 2-3 hours each time I go in, and because of the rest of my daily schedule I get my treatments at a time right when shift change is occurring around the hospital, which is sort of inconvenient for them (I don't care) but is sort of nice for me because it allows me to see as many staff as possible.
     Yesterday, I went to the doctor so that he could check how I was progressing, and he informed me that my treatments would only last one more day.  After my last treatment I would have my PICC line removed and I would go on with my life, with an oral antibiotic for another ten days.  As I sit here in the hospital receiving one of my last treatments, I am filled with a sort of mixed emotion.  I will not miss the 4:30 am alarm clock to wake me for my morning treatment.  I will not miss having six hours of my day taken up by something that I have to pay dearly for.  But you know, when I walk out of the door after my last day, I have to admit that I am going to be sad to leave this place.
     See?  Stockholm Syndrome.  Something about this place sort of suits me.  First of all, it sort of feels safe.  I have this problem, and here I am taken care of.    Not to say that no one has offered to help me out or take care of me beyond the hospital, but there is something about being here, even though for only twice a day, that feels so good.  I know that anything, no matter how small, will be taken care of properly for me.  Now, I am leaving and it's all on me, and you know what?  I don't know jack shit.  I feel sort of like a child that is leaving the village and heading out into the wilderness all by myself for the first time.  Not a good feeling.  I just sort of like that safety that twice daily hospital visits bring I guess.
     I am also going to miss the people who work here - the nurses and CNA's.  That is Certified Nursing Assistant.  They have all been incredibly nice and, over the last eighteen days or so I have learned a lot about them.  I am sure that they have learned more about me than they have wanted to, but they have been kind, sympathetic, hard working, and just generally nice.  Sure, there have been some bumps in the proverbial road, but that happens all the time in any situation.  On the whole I feel that they have taken very good care of me, and for that I am appreciative.  I know that I have talked about this before, but I will say it again.  What I appreciate the most is that they made my mind feel well.  They have all put me at ease and really made my time not so bad.  Listen, nobody likes to be in the hospital, but they have been caring and nice enough that I actually haven't minded so much, aside from the time consumption.
     So here I am, thanking and gushing about the people who have stabbed me repeatedly, dripped alcohol into the inside of my body, forced calesthenics on my, and kept me captive for about a week's worth of my life.  Sounds like Stockholm Syndrome to me.  Listen, I know that none of them will probably ever read this, and I understand that the nature of the beast is that they will most likely forget all about me long before I have forgotten about them.  They have had a much larger impact on my life than I will ever have on theirs, and that's okay.  But I guess that this is just my way or sort of saying thank you to them for everything.  I appreciate it more than they will ever know.  I can say that when I walk out of here for the last time, through the overly excessive powered automatic revolving door, I will miss them, and to a much lesser degree this place.  Is that weird?  No, it's just the Stockholm Syndrome.  But thank you to them all anyway.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Random Thoughts

Here are some random thoughts that are popping into my head as I write this post...

I just saw a commercial for the new A-Team movie, and I just creamed in my pants.  Is that bad?

Cottage cheese with pineapple is delicious.  So is cottage cheese with blueberries in it.  And a half a cantelope, hollowed out with cottage cheese in it is also great, especially if the cantelope is very sweet.  The cantelope wins on presentation every time.  Cottage cheese with pineapple is the loser in the presentation category.

I am wondering how many people actually read this, and if they do, do you think they think that I should be wearing a helmet?

Helplessness is an awful feeling.  For instance, when someone who you care about is going through a tough time and there is nothing that you can do to help them.  It is even worse when you genuinely think that you can help but in reality you probably couldn't, even though the thought and effort goes a long way.

Am I making any sense here, Company?

I am not a big fan of show tunes, and I am not sure what makes them so popular.  I mean, I understand that they are catchy, and that when part of the show they are probably pretty good, but big catchy show tunes numbers just don't do it for me.  Sorry, Oklahoma!

A lot more people bowl perfect games in bowling than pitch perfect games in baseball.

Do you think that Taco Bell just makes up shit and gives it a Spanish-sounding name that ends in the letter "A?"  I do.

What will happen when they start naming them things that end in "O"?  It will be like me seeing the A-Team Movie trailer.  I will probably piss myself.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Me vs. LeBron

So I was watching LeBron James light up the NBA Playoffs the other day, and I was getting pretty jealous of his basketball skills.  He is a supremely talented and hard working young man, and as such he would earn more during the time it would take him to read this post than I would make in, oh, say, about three lifetimes.   So I was jealous of his skills, his wealth, and his noteriety.  But then I started thinking that maybe King James isn't so much better than I am, that maybe I can compete with LeBron.  As such, here is a list of things that I feel I can do as well as, if not better than, two-time NBA MVP LeBron James:

- Walking
- Drinking Milk
- Programming the VCR
- Sleeping
- Getting a Haircut
- Basic Mathematics
- Petting a Dog
- Watching Television
- Surfing the Internet
- Cutting a Banana
- Give Blood
- Decipher Weather Charts
- Jarts
- Get a shot blocked by LeBron James
- Toothbrushing

That is just a partial list, but I would suppose that there are a lot more things at which I am equal or greater in ability than the great LeBron James.  So next time you are feeling inadequate, or maybe you are jealous of that guy in the cool are or the super skilled athlete, just remember - even Big Dave can stack up to LeBron James.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Leading the Pack

     I have written roughly seven hundred blog posts since the inception of Big Dave and Company in March of 2008, a number that I think it pretty impressive the more that you think about it.  As such, sometimes I run out of idea, but more often than not lately I am starting to run into a problem that happens with The Simpsons.  South Park devoted an entire episode to note how The Simpsons had done just about every idea known to man in their twenty years on the air, so that unless you were topical and current and beat them to the punch, to borrow a line from the show, "The Simpsons did it."
     Well, I am starting to run into the same problem, but in reverse.  It turns out that I am way more of a trend setter than I ever could have realized.  Over the past two years-ish I have written posts about all the baby blogs that I inspired (most of which have fallen by the wayside, by the way; shame, shame) and about how there is a marked difference when crossing a land border, just to name a couple.  It is that last one that is demonstrating most recently this phenomenon of everyone following in my footsteps as I make my way through the blogosphere.
     The most recent victim, or maybe I should say the most recent person who is following in my illustrious footsteps is not really a person at all, it is a gigantic universally respected corporation, in this case the BBC.  They featured a short article on their website this past weekend about the differences when crossing from mainland China to Hong Kong.  Hmmm...sounds an awful lot like someone noting the differences between crossing a state border, now doesn't it?  I don't blame them, I know that I am a fantastic inspiration, in fact when Kevin Smith made the movie Dogma he actually asked my to play Serendipity, the muse, because he knew just how inspirational I was, even way back then (that never happened, I made that up).  That part ultimately went to Selma Hayak, who did a fantastic job, although I think I would have been pretty good too.
    This has begun to spread to my personal life.  A couple of days ago I walked into the room where I always get my IV treatments at the friendly local medical facility and I noticed that there was another IV pump in the room, with someone else's name on it.  Since I like to call Room 117 the Big Dave Suite I was understandably upset.  Eventually curiosity got the best of me and I went and looked at the bag hanging on his machine to see who he was.  I don't remember his name but I do remember that he was born the same year as I was, and that he was getting the exact same dose of the exact same medicine at the exact same rate as I was.  And he had the exact same name too!  Just kidding.  But he started his IV therapy a couple of days after I did, so what was I to do but assume that he wanted to be just like me in every way, shape and form.
     Another example?  The other day I went to the grocery store and like five people followed me in.  I know.  Just kidding, that's a little ridiculous, but I have just sort of noticed that a lot of people seem to be doing the same things that I am either doing or have done before.  I know that they are not copying or following me, I understand that in real life it is merely coincidence, or in the case of the BBC they can't read everything on every Internet site everywhere, so it probably happens a lot.  It makes me feel good though that I seem to be if not on the cutting edge of what's going on in the world today, at least not too far from it.  Makes me feel like I know what's going on.  And that's nice.  I just can't but help to wonder what aspect of my life will get copied next. :p

Monday, May 10, 2010

Way Up High

     Girls, this one is for you.  I don't know how you do it, but you manage to on a regular basis, and you don't even let it really effect your everyday life.  I mean, I will admit, I have tried and it rarely, if ever works.  So here is the deal: I saw a picture of the most extreme high heels and I have to say that I have no idea how your girls wear those things.
     First of all, let me say that, at least from where I am standing, those things are great.  I LOVE everything about high heeled shoes, although I suspect that is because I don't have to wear them.  But you really do look great in them, whether chunky high heel sandals with a sun dress, strappy dealies with some dress clothes, or CFM's with some blue jeans, that look really does it.  And you know what else?  I love the way they sound.  Oh yeah.  When you put on some heels and the proceed to walk on any hard surface, I am there.  I love that sound.  That gets my attention in a heartbeat.  For me, that is like a tornado siren.  I hear you coming down the hall, my head perks up, I look around to see the funnel coming over the ridge.  I love it.
     But it's got to be painful.  I don't blame you when you come home at the end of your day and the first thing you do is slip on some flats, because that shit has got to hurt.  I mean, look at the picture to the left.  That is a pretty extreme - sorry, X-treme, that's how the kids spell it these days - high heel shoe.  I don't know a whole lot about the human body, but I can pretty much tell you that the human foot is not made to work at that angle.  Like, if God and Mother Nature wanted you to walk around like that, they would have given you a hoof instead of a heel.  I am pretty sure that is the least correct way that one can walk, maybe with the exception of someone walking on the side of their feet.
     That is why it is so hilarious when one of us guys puts on some pumps for whatever.  Usually it's for a play or something when you are in high school or college, and then everyone laughs because you look just like a person who can't ice skate trying to ice skate.  And it's hilarious.  Sometimes guys put on high heels because they are RuPaul, but in that case they do it enough that they just sort of learn how to do it, which it the trick with women.  Most of you do it enough that it's no big deal.  I would assume.  I wouldn't know.
     So mad props to you girls.  I know you do a lot of amazing stuff in the course of your lives, but I am especially impressed with the high heels that you wear in the name of beauty.  Or maybe you just all have stock in podiatry companies.  I suppose that is possible too, although I would feel safe to say that it is not probable.  But for whatever reason you are wearing those painful but so hot looking shoes, I give you credit, because I couldn't do it.  I don't look good in the things anyway.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Hi mom!  I hope you are having a Happy Mother's Day.  Here is a picture of some pretty flowers for you.



Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there from Big Dave and Company.  Even the worst mother is better than the best anything else!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Nature on the Rampage

     Can somebody tell me what has been up with the animals lately?  There has been a lot of shit going down with out wild friends, I mean a lot more than normal.  Let's take a look, shall we?
      First of all, in northwest Wisconsin, two dear broke through the glass front door of a bar where, somewhat coincidentally, the patrons were watching a Milwaukee Bucks playoff game.  They broke through the window on the front door, and did a little bit of damage before a couple of the workers from the bar/restaurant were able to wrestle down the frightened animals and carry them outside, which I think is the most fantastic part of this story.  Usually deer who get into buildings will find their way out after causing much destruction, but in this case the Mighty Hunters apparently felt that it was in their best interests to wrestle with the things.  Good thing they didn't have antlers yet, although the guys are still nuts because deer have sharp hooves and they bite.  I assume.
     While we are in Wisconsin, let's head down to Milwaukee where there night workers at a Post Office Maintenance Facility returning from a lunch break at 5 am were confronted with a real live badger hiding under a locker.  That is a little bit strange seeing as the facility is in downtown Milwaukee, which is - last I checked - is a major American city.  They called the police.  The police don't deal with that.  They called the Humane Society.  They were closed at 5 am.  They called Milwaukee County Domestic Animal Control.  A badger is not a domestic animal.  So they called the Department of Natural Resources.  The DNR responded and proceeded to chase the badger out of the building with a broom.  How professional.  Now members of academia who study badgers are trying to find the thing and its burrow.
     A little farther to the south, police in the Cincinnati area are warning residents of their jurisdiction about a pair of peacocks that are causing quite a stir.  As peacocks are not native to southern Ohio, motorists have developed a nasty tendency to get gapers block when the pair appear and authorities are worried that they are going to cause accidents.  While a local family owns some of the animals, they claim the rogue pair are not theirs.  All attempts to catch the birds have been unsuccessful, and police are reminding people that it is better to hit one of the birds than to swerve into oncoming traffic or hit a pedestrian.  Well no shit.  There is that common sense thing again.
      Meanwhile, in South Carolina, police are having problems with a different bird.  In this case, with an emu, who led them on a chase of ten blocks before it was caught.  Actually, it led about fifty people on the chase, and in the end it was caught by a 70-year-old man who used a fishing net and was able to tie the birds dangerous claws together.  The police aren't sure from where the animals came, but the man who caught the emu owns some, as well as some other semi-exotic animals, and he is keeping it while the authorities try to sort the whole thing out.  Police in Rock Hill, where the chase took place, aren't sure how to go about handling this, noting the the bird didn't really break any laws except for maybe running from police.  They failed to note that it was a bird anyway, and what are they going to do, arrest the thing?  They should send it off to Australia like the English used to do with their criminals, it would probably be happier there anyway.
     Meanwhile, police had no trouble keeping up with a troublesome baby sea lion in San Diego.  While it took 4 hours to wrangle the little guy, he sat growling under a police car in the middle of the road recently.  Officers responded to reports of a sea lion pup in the middle of the road around 4 am on Wednesday, and when the officer parked his car in the middle road to investigate, the pup scurried out from under another car and took up residence under his.  In the end some people from Sea World were able to take care of the dehydrated but otherwise uninjured pup, who was about 25 pounds, or at least half of what he should have weighed.  Sea World authorities estimate that the pup was less than a year old.  Glad to see that he is already on his way to a life of crime at a young age.
     Anyway, as you can see, Company, wildlife is on the rampage across the country.  So watch out while you are out in nature, you might be its next target.  Either by deer or badger or baby seal, the animals are taking the fights to us in our homes and streets.  Be careful.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Weather the Storm

     Back in my wild younger days, when I wasn't nearly as wise and certainly more headstrong about insignificant issues, I used to have hard and fast rules about life that has no real basis in reality.  I would do certain things at certain times, and one of my favorite personal policies was that once I made a certain change, I would not revert back to the old way regardless of the circumstances.
     I know that you are confused, but I am going to give you an example.  A lot of these strange rules and policies were tied to the season and the passage of time through them.  One is that I will wear sandals until it snows.  I can stomach shoes, but I hate socks.  I hate them a lot.  And I love the convenience of sandals, so I will wear them until the first flakes stick on the sidewalk.  That is an example of one of my senseless rules, because what if it is (three two-letter words that start with the letter "i" in a row!) a dry season but cold, and it's 14 below in the middle of November but hasn't snowed a flake.  Maybe I am the flake.
     I used to have a rule regarding hats too, and I totally violated it this morning.  Scratch that, I didn't really violate it but I relaxed it a little bit.  See, I always wear a hat as I go through life, usually a baseball hat in a backward position like those punks you see on television in the summertime, to cover my head.  In the winter, because I am bald (by choice I swear, at least on most of my head) I am almost always wearing a winter hat.  Usually it's a black, understated version, but sometimes it is a giant green version with a yellow tassel that says "What's your Twenty" on the side - that one is my favorite.  Anyway, I digress.  The point here, Company, is that when the spring rolls away, once I put my winter hat away and switch to the baseball cap I am committed, or at least I always have been in the past.  I would usually be pretty conservative in when put away the winter headgear, because one I put on that baseball cap it didn't matter if it was like 22 degrees in the morning when I left the house, the baseball was all I had for options.
     Same with the coat.  Once my coat went away that was all she wrote.  And I don't do that whole put-the-heavy-coat-away-and-break-out-the-spring-jacket nonsense.  My winter coats are always sort of just put away in the closet - broken out as needed.  I go about my business 95% of the time in the winter in a relatively light fleece that most people would consider just a spring fling.  Be that as it may, once that goes away for the season - usually about hat switch time - it was gone. G-O-N-E gone.
     Well, it's been warm for a while, and it IS early May, so last weekend, around May 1st, I put away the winter stuff.  Hat, coat, boots, shovel.  Put it all away and turned my face expectantly towards summer.  But when I woke up this morning and the guy on my TV spit the words "Winter Weather Advisory" out of his mouth, and through my blurry eyes I could see that he wasn't talking about the Dakotas or some remote place in the Rockies, I knew that wasn't good.
     I also knew that it was time to consider some changes when I woke up and felt the dampness in the air.  Damp and 40 degrees - how Seattle of my town.  It was that dampness that caused me to make a rash decision in the wee morning hours of the Seventh of May.  I walked into the spare bedroom, opened up the closet door, fished out my hat and light fleecy thing, and trundled off to start my day.  I relaxed the rule.  I wore a winter hat after I had committed to baseball cap happiness.  I brought the coat out of storage when it was supposedly safely tucked away until October.  I did all that stuff because, well, it made sense.  I was cold.
     I think that I might be growing up, Company.  I am losing some of retarded pigheadedness about things that don't really matter a whole lot, and I am apparently subscribing more to common sense.  That is downright frightening, and what is more frightening is that I seem to just be slipping into adulthood without so much as a fight.  I mean, yeah, as I sit here right now I am watching Saved by the Bell on early morning television, but all I can think about is how awful of a show it was.  I don't even get that excited about Kelly Kapowski anymore. 
     So I guess that I am just weathering the storm, not only of the season but of the life.  Somewhere along the way we all have to learn that a ship tied rigidly to the dock won't survive as one that is able to float on the waves.  That is the key to life, Company.  You have to be willing and able to roll with the punches and allow a certain amount of things to roll off you, but you have to be able to be rigid and stand up to the elements when the time calls for it.  That's the key.  If we were in a 1940s black-and-white film where they talk really fast and wear their suit pants jacked up to their belly buttons, we would say "Yeah, that's the ticket."  Roll with the punches when the punches need rolling, and stand against the elements when the time is right.  It is a tough line to tow, and there are going to be times when you screw it up a little but you've got to be willing to take out the jacket when it's cold outside.  Wear the winter hat in the spring.  It's all going to be okay.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Enron Crashes Again

     There is an old saying that says that life imitates art, whatever that means.  But as I see it, art usually imitates life.  That is why there is a type of painting called a still-life, and landscapes are definitely imitation life because they are just pictures of where life happens.  Well, art is imitating life very closely once again, as a Broadway play about the fall of Enron is set to close amid huge losses.
      And to be honest, I couldn't be happier, which is exactly the reason why the play, showing at the Broadhurst Theater, is closing with an estimated loos of around $4 million.  That is a drop in the bucket as compared to when the actual Enron came crashing down from the top of the business world, but that is still pretty impressive for a play I think.  The reason that it is failing is because of the attitudes of Americans towards this whole corporate failing/corporate bailout scene that has been prevalent since the 1990s.  We don't have the stomach for it anymore, and so we certainly don't want to see it on the news.
     So I suppose that it is not so much a surprise that the play has not been successful here.  I say here because, on the other side of the pond, over in London it was pretty successful.  It actually debuted there at the Chichester Festival Theatre before moving on up to the fashionable West End.  It drew positive reviews during its run in the United Kingdom, but it wasn't to be over here.
     The reviews in the United States were less than stellar, as with the ticket sales.  So down it goes, which makes me jump with glee.  I can understand how it would play well in England, and even in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.  It really is an interesting story I am sure, with lots of drama, plenty of villains, and even a surprise twist or two.  The best fiction writers working today couldn't come up with something that spectacular if they tried.  But it is a little bit different story when you are in the place where so many lives were destroyed by the greed and deceit of a select few, with a government apparatus that was unable or unwilling to stop it.  Plus, all of us over here in the Colonies, we have all seen it already.  We saw this play the first time it showed, on TV, on the nightly news.  It was beamed into out homes live as the script was written in offices and courtrooms across the country.  Except that when it was over the lights didn't come on and nobody filed out of the theater to go home.
     So goodbye and good riddance to the crazy Enron play. You should have just cooked the books to make it look like you were doing okay.  That would have been the Enron way.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wake Up Call

     For those of you who don't know me from my past, or who haven't been able to figure it out with me, I have a real problem with mornings.  And it's not the problem that you probably think it is.
     For the record, Company, I like mornings.  I really do.  Especially early mornings, like the 5-7 am chunk of the day.  I really do.  There is something about the air and the light and the serenity that is just good for the soul.  There is usually a sort of dampness in the air, especially if it has rained the night before, that the sun hasn't had the opportunity to burn off as of yet, and the heating of the day has yet to stir up a lot of wind to sort of clear things out.
     Then there are the people, or at least the lack of people.  Sure, there are a few people out and floating around in the early hours, but they are a special breed of the early morning people.  The REAL early morning people, and for the most part they go about their tasks relatively quietly and without much fanfare.  But they are it.  There are not a whole lot of other people hanging around.  They are all sleeping, or at least they are still inside their houses in their bathrobes, clinging to their coffee cups like sailors clinging to their life raft after their ship capsized.  There is really something to be said for the time in the morning when the Earth has woken up but the world hasn't yet.
     But then there is the problem, Company.  My problem.  My problem with the early morning hours that I like so well is that they come, well, really fucking early in the morning.  5-7 am starts at 5 am like one of those annoying early morning talk shows that are on every local television station in America.  That's ridiculous.  I mean, God should have never invented that time of the morning, because it is just wrong.
    See, that is the problem, Company.  I love that time of the morning but I HATE waking up so that I can take part in it, which is the one thing that makes it great.  The fact that it is truly barbaric to have to be woken up from a deep and hopefully productive slumber while it is still dark outside is the single thing that keep the magic of the early morning, well, truly magical.  It is what keeps the masses from destroying it in its entirety.  Kind of like its remoteness keeps a lot of tourists from destroying a South Pacific atoll. 
     So what is one to do?  How does one cope, especially when one is a night owl?  Because I am not going to lie, Company, I am a night owl.  If given the choice, my body will choose to fall asleep at 2 am and wake back up at like noon-ish.  That is just how it is.  So when you are on that sort of natural clock schedule, a 4:45 wake up call is just brutal, and it can lead me to be, which ruins the wonder and happiness of that magical time.  The ace that I always kept in my sleeve for the early morning conundrum is to just stay up all night, therefore defeating the alarm problem and still getting all the benefits of the early morning hours.  Then I just sleep through the afternoon, which is fine because I hate the afternoon anyway, but that's for another post.
    I hope you have a wonderful day, and set your alarm.  The early morning is beckoning.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Answers to the Problems of Today

     Can't we just go ahead and pump all that Tennessee water down the Mississippi so it pushes that oil slick away from the coast?  That seems like it would help everyone out and be a creative solution to all the shenanegans that are happening around here right now.  I mean, if the folks at the US Army Corps of Engineers cam connect the Great Lakes and Mississippi Basin, and if they can actually divert the Mississippi into another river just because they want to, then one would think that they can get out their Caterpillars and dig some trenches to help us out.
    Environmentalist?  I can dig that, and I respect that maybe you don't want to just do major, invasive public works projects just because the basement of the Grand Ole Opry has a bunch of water in the basement.  But it's okay because I am full of ideas.  Last time I checked there was no shortage of hoses and pumps in this country.  There are about eleventy billion in New Orleans, and they are done using them for the season up in the Dakotas now that the snow melt is over, so I am sure that we can borrow some from them up there.  So let's just borrow all those, hook them up to one another, throw the hose ends into downtown Nashville or the north side of Memphis and we can pump that stuff to somewhere where it is dry, like Nevada or the Plains.  We can use all that oil floating on top of the Gulf to power the pumps.
    I am all full of innovative answers to today's problems.  Want another one - a more modern American, capitalist sort of idea?  How about this.  What we have here are not a couple of major natural disasters in the making, what we have are a couple of product placement opportunities.  First: Brawny.  You are always going on about how much your shit soaks up, why not dump a couple million roles onto Tennessee?  Then send in the camera, the guys with plastic hair in plastic jackets, and turn it into a series of thirty second spots.  Same as in Louisiana.  Tend the Tidy Cat people down there with a big bunch of semis and let them go to town.  Now, I understand that Tidy Cat is cat litter and not an oil absoabtion material, but hey, let's be honest with one another here, Company, everybody knows that when you spill oil in your garage you reach for the kitty litter.  Pretty much whenever you spill whatever.  And there is nothing wrong, with you as a Tidy Cat executive, with promoting the multi-tasking ability of your product.  Dump it on those wetlands, get out the Bobcat and scoop it up, and then dump it into the next sinkhole that develops in Florida.  Problems solved.  Then dump all that Tennessee water on the wetlands to make them wet again.
     Listen, I know we are having fun with it and being a little absurd, but if we can't laugh at the things that are happening around us how will we ever cope?  The flooding victims in the south and the people being effected by the oil spill in the Gulf are in our thoughts here at Big Dave and Company.  Best of luck you all.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Commercial

Here are some things about which I have been misled on account of mainstream American commercials:

1.) I have stood in front of a lot of unused tunnels in a lot of different places: from major cities to remote mountain valleys and never once has a silver bullet train come by and given me beer on a hot day.  And never has a bunch of hot girls miraculously shown up to help me drink it.

2.)  I am perfectly fine with the number of G's that I have on my cell phone, okay? Having three or four of them isn't going to make my life any better, it is just going to make me have to a.) have my phone plugged in more and b.) give me more things to cause me to get into accidents which will in turn raise my insurance premiums, so thank you very much, but take your G's and stick them up your fucking ass cell phone - sorry, wireless - company.  Nobody knows what a G means anyway, you could come out tomorrow and say you have America's only 16 Q network and people will flock to your store.  Oh, and one more thing, it's not wireless until you can charge my phone through the air as well, so you aren't wireless, now are you?  You are just a cell phone company.

3.) Any company that just has the word "industries" after the name in the title, like for instance Pickford Industries, needs to be watched, because nothing good can be going on there.  If your company isn't willing or able to tell what it is doing as part of its name then there should be a team of feds kicking in the windows and taking a peek around. Chairman Mao Metal Foundry?  That's fine.  We can tell what that's all about.  Kensington Industries?  Probably making toys with little cameras in them that will allow them to sell cigarettes to babies or something.  If you can't tell me what you are up to then I don't want you in my neighborhood.

4.)  You do not just need your iPhone and your passport to travel Europe after college, okay?  You need tons of cash and lots of condoms, because last I checked there probably wasn't an ATM app or an STD protection app for that fucking thing.  Plus, who says your bitch-ass network is going to work over there anyway?  No.  Besides, if you wanted to stay in touch with all those people back in Kansas, and if you wanted to totally know exactly where you were going and what you were doing the whole time you were wandering around, then you would still be back in Kansas.  Half the fun of going to Europe is finding the last available hostel and then not being able to sleep because you are afraid of that German-looking guy in the corner who never takes off his trench coat.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The End of an Era

Well, Company, the well-intentioned April Alphabetic Post Event is over, and quite frankly, we here at Big Dave and Company couldn't be happier.  I am glad to no longer be shackled by the strictures of the Roman alphabet when writing a post every day, and I am glad that I don't have to look at that calendar ticking down to the end of April, when we were supposed to be done by.  So some extenuating circumstances forced us a little bit into May and we forgot the letter K, it's not the end of the world, right?  I didn't think so.
     The Unpaid Interns are happy that the event is over because they begged and pleaded to have a chance to write some posts and I let them, but they found out that coming up with gold day after day is nearly impossible.  Now I get rub it in their face, which is infinitely more fun than my usual caging them up and throwing things at them, but it is a nice break for them from the cages and they are happy to get the writing weight off their shoulders.  Until the next group of Unpaid Interns shows up next semester that is.
     "So what about the letter K?  Aren't you going to give it the treatment too?  I mean, you did it for all the other letters for the most part except for Z yesterday when you clearly copped out."  That was you saying that, Company.   And yeah, you are right, I probably should.  But I have already written a bunch of post here so I will have to give it the treatment in short:
     K is for Kangaroo.  Kangaroos are neat animals from Australia.  When I was a kid there was a man on a show called Captain Kangaroo.  That was neat.  Kangaroos have pouches in which they raise their young, and people used to teach them to box.  Sometimes they get run over by road trains in the remote areas of Queensland.
     There, now that K is settles, the alphabetic bullshit is over, May is here, and I am healing up nicely from my time in the hospital, all is right in the world, and maybe we can get to fixing up all the bullshit that we need to take care of around here, housekeeping-wise.  Like all this "Under Construction" bullshit.  I promise to have that taken care of one way or another one of these days.  Otherwise, just keep reading, we are glad to have you along as we move into summer in the northern hemisphere, and winter in the southern.  And keep listening to the Big Dave and Company Podcast every Thursday here or on iTunes, unless of course you haven't been listening in which case what the fuck is wrong with you?  You should listen to it.  That is all for now. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Z is for...

What's your favorite posich?
That's cool with me, it's not my favorite but I'll do it for you.

What's your favorite dish?
I'm not gonna cook it but I'll order it from
ZANZIBAR!
- Tenacious D  "Fuck Her Gently"