Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dirt Devil Presents the Third Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award Brought to You by Shrek Forever After (In Theaters Now)

     Well Company, it is June 30th again, and that means that it is time to give out the "Dirt Devil Presents the Third Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award Brought to You by Shrek Forever After (In Theaters Now)."  After another exhaustive search by out renown Stanley Tools Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Search Committee, and with or without input from our very first winner - Fake Interviews with Real Celebrities - we are proud to announce the "Dirt Devil Presents the Third Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Brought to You by Shrek Forever After (In Theaters Now)" is:



     That's right, Company, Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century.  You've all seen them in photos in your history books, maybe on one of those cable channels that you don't watch but sometimes catch a glimpse of while you are flipping towards MTV.  They are usually sepia toned, painstakingly created, and certainly glorious.
     Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century is pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be about if you were to judge from the title.  It is a well-written, intelligent, and insightful place devoted solely to the education of the Internet surfing public in the area of facial hair as evolved from the years 1800-1899.  Featuring pictures, commentary, a glossary of terms, and even an early Ambrose Burnside, Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century is a veritable Scandinavian Buffet of Nineteenth Century mustache information and memorabilia.  It is for this that we are proud to present the "Dirt Devil Presents the Third Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award Brought to You by Shrek Forever After (In Theaters Now)" to Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century, our Dirt Devil Presents the Third Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award Brought to You by Shrek Forever After (In Theaters Now) winner.  Congratulations!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Check Mate

      Some time ago I found myself watching an old movie on TV that starred Jane Curtain and Susan St. James as divorced women, sort of a movie version of their show Kate & Ally.  Anyway, there is a scene in which they are having lunch with their married friend, and when the check comes they both sort of shy away and leave the check for the married friend, who is the only one who is not broke.  Classic.  I have seen that scene played out before a million billion times with college kids and just some cheapass people that I know. 
     Fast forward to tonight, when it was the exact opposite.  I went to dinner with my mom and Dr. B, and I had it in my mind that I was going to pay.  See, she is my mom and as a mom always buys, but I like to do my part once in a while.  I had been to that restaurant before, and I knew how it worked.  There is a table - a two person table - tucked away behind a fake fireplace at which they never seat and customers.  It is at that table where the waitresses always sit down to figure out your bill, with nothing but a pen, whatever basic arithmetic they remembered from grade school, and maybe a little calculator with the logo of a drug company on it.
     There were not many people in the place, and we were seated at a table where I could just conveniently see what was going on over at the math table.  So I saw the waitress sit down and start figuring, and I contemplated my options.  I knew that once that check hit the table I was helpless to get my hands on it, and I was considering in my mind getting up, going to the bathroom, and settling the bill on the way.  See, the math table was to my mom's back, and Dr. B wouldn't have said anything so I would have pulled it off brilliantly.  But I for some reason didn't have the balls to pull off a steal of epic proportions.
     What I opted to do instead was discretely stick out my arm as the waitress came towards the table, as if I were reaching for the check.  And it would have worked too if my mom hadn't spotted it with her mom vision out of the corner of her eye.  So we, two adults, because a physical battle for possession of the dinner check.  Now, I couldn't just full force on my mom, but I figured if I could just sort of keep her busy for long enough I would win.  That was when the waitress pulled an enlightened move.  She gave the check to Dr. B and said "I am going to give it you and let you decide."
     At that point I was done for.  I thought he was going to pull an end around and pay himself, which he tried to do, but my mom put on a sort of half-pissed-off-girlfriend-half-pissed-off-mom face and voice and he turned to me and said "Sorry, I have to sleep with her."  And I don't blame him.  I wouldn't want someone kicking me all night long either.
     So, long story short, I lost my battle for the check, just like I lose most battles with my mom.  Because, well, she is my mom after all.  But that being said, I got to reflecting about it and realized that I am pretty lucky to be in a family where we fight FOR the check, not to get out of it.  Kind of makes me think that things are going to be alright.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Trouble with Tom

     I was flipping through the headlines on Yahoo! this morning when one caught my attention.  It said, and I quote: "Cruise bombs at the box office."  That, Company, filled me with glee.
     See, I don't like Tom Cruise, okay?  I never thought he was a particularly good actor to begin with, but I always sort of gave him a pass for some reason.  Well now, I have had to watch as he went about his personal life, which is of course spread all over the headlines and television sets of the world, and well, quite frankly I can't stand him.  My level of annoyance and dislike border on hatred, I must admit.  I sort of start foaming at the mouth whenever I see him on the television, and my stomach turns flips until he is gone.  I change the channel if I can, but every once in a while a commercial might slip through.
     I am not sure why I don't like Tom Cruise, other than to say I think he is a mental case idiot douchebag.  First off, not a good actor.  I know poeple fawn over him, but I don't buy it.  He has like one face and like two emotions he can depart and he really can only make one type of movie.  Secondly, I am not a big fan of how he runs his personal life, even though that is none of my business.  Scientology, the Katie Holmes relationship, etc. are not things that I would do or can support.  Sorry Tom.  He seems to be an alright dad though, so he's got that going for him.  I applaud him for that.  But that's enough of that - back to what I don't like.  I don't like that he thinks he is still a big action star that all the girls fawn over because those days have passed.  I don't like how he dresses.  I don't like his haircut.  I don't like the way he talks or carries himself.
     If I were a Hollywood producer or director making a big budget film I wouldn't even consider him for any role, even if it was a character that was going to get blown to smithereens then put through a combine within the first eight minutes of the film.  I will not go see any of his movies, unless maybe some girl drags me to one on a date.  I will not rent any of his movies, so there.  I won't even watch them if they come on TV, except maybe for the Mission Impossible movies but even then I am just going to pretend it's Matt Damon I am seeing.  I won't even watch Days of Thunder or Top Gun when I see them on TNT anymore, that's how low my opinion of Tom Cruise is.  You know what else?  I won't even do the thing where you play "Old Time Rock n' Roll" and come sliding out into the living room with your socks on in nothing but a dress shirt wearing nothing but tighty whiteys, partly because I don't have enough linoleum and even that isn't slippery enough unless I wax it down, partly because I don't wear or own thighty whiteys, but mostly because Tom Cruise did it.  That's how bad it is.
      Now, here is the disclaimer: I don't really know Tom Cruise on a personal level, okay?  I don't know any details on his life behind closed doors, and I certainly would be willing to alter my opinion if the conditions were right.  But based on what I have seen of him in the public sphere, I don't like him.  Not one bit.  So I am sort of happy that he has had his worst movie debut in his 20 year career with him latest flick Knight & Day.  So suck it Tom.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekend Observations

     So, I went back to my old stomping grounds this weekend to celebrate the recent nuptials of one Guy H, formerly of Sand River, MI.  Yep, sorry girls, he's taken.  Anyway, it was nice because it gave me an opportunity to see many in the old gang, some of whom I hadn't seen in far, far to long.  Guy H formerly of Sand River, MI and Garmo were there of course, as were David Nathaniel and Chevy Orange, but so were Brozzo and Stealth and Duke and Dingo.  And as an added bonus I even got to see Sally Brown.  Very cool.
     It was nice how easily those relationships slipped on like a comfortable shoe that you hadn't worn again.  We were able to laugh and talk and joke like we used to, and the bond was still there.  It is neat, and if it is not a phenomenon that you have experienced before then I am sad for you.  It is really a neat and interesting thing when you can click back into sync after a fair amount of time away.  That, I have always thought, is the hallmark of a good friendship.  I experience that with guys like G-Funk, Bucko, Little Jeffy and the Pharaoh. So all was good.
      What struck me though, and something that I know about but it always seems to surprise me, is how I wasn't with the times.  See, what I forget, and many others forget, is that life goes on without you.  So like, when I went away, all those people continue on with their agendas in my absence.  So when I come back I fit in just fine, sure, but I am missing some of the narrative.  Things have happened, inside jokes, have developed that I am not privy to.  Now, I am not complaining.  I don't expect everything to remain static, frozen in time the way it was when I first stepped into the new Worldwide Headquarters - that would be selfish and unreasonable.  And no, I don't expect to be included when so far away.  I made the decision to move the Worldwide Headquarters, I knew this would happen.  So I am not complaining.  I am just commenting that it is something I noticed.
     Anyway, the long and short of it was that it was good to get in touch with some people that I haven't had a chance to be in touch with for a long time.  It's good for a person.  And I would and will jump at the chance to do it again.  So congratulations Guy H formerly of Sand River, MI and Garmo, I am very happy for you.  And as for the rest of you, we will see you the next time.  I hope you all had a good weekend, Company.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

There is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

     There is no such thing as a free lunch.  That's what the title says.  And that's an old saying that goes like that.  But is that true?  Sometimes there is free lunch like if someone invites you over to a picnic.  Or maybe you win free lunch by putting your business card in a jar at some friendly local eatery.  Perhaps you have won a radio contest in which the prize was a free lunch.  In those cases there is a free lunch, but those are exceptions to the rule.  We like to call them extraordinary situations.  But there is no need to worry because now there is free lunch for everyone.  Sort of.  Oh, and you have to live in Clayton, MO, outside of St. Louis.
     Panara, the bread and baking company, has opened a non-profit pay-what-you-wish restaurant in this St. Louis suburb.  The idea is simple.  It has the normal menu, but when you go to the register the nice young man or woman just tells you the suggested price.  Then you pay what you want.  The results have been astounding.
     Turns out that roughly 70% of the people pay fill price.  About 15% of the people pay a little more, and about 15% pay a little less.  There aren't a lot who are taking their free lunch.  That's amazing.  The restaurant has cleared about $100,000 in its first month, and in a couple of months hopes to have paid off its start up costs.  After that's done, 100% of the profits will go to area charitable organizations.
     The idea is so successful that Panara is actually opening more stores with the same idea, under the various logos of the restaurants it owns.  I don't have much to say about this other than it's really cool, and it is heartening to know that maybe, just maybe, there is some hope and decency to our society yet.  So get your eat on, and you'd better pay something reasonable.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Everything Including the Kitchen Sink

     In every police show that has ever been on television, or in every police movie that has ever been on film - all the way back to the silent films - or on every police show that has been on the radio back in olden tymes before they had TV, killing a police officer has always been the worst murder you could commit, crashing into a police car has always been the worst accident that you could get into, and stealing something from the police station - the drugs from evidence, pencils, whatever - was the ultimate in theft.  Those were all for instances.  Until now.  Some enterprising thieves in South Africa have pulled off the theft stunt AND made true an old saying, all at once.
     Yep, the guys literally stole everything but the kitchen sink.  Except that they stole the kitchen sink as well.  They broke into a new police station in Carletonville that was built and finished but not yet occupied and stole just about everything of value, including but not limited to the doors, cupboards, tile, sinks, cutlery, mortuary refirgerators, and furniture.  Bold strategy.
     You want to know what another bold strategy is?  The Department of Public Works, who I guess is in charge of the building or something, hired a private security firm to guard the place while the police were stuffed into a three-room station with no holding cells that was costing roughly $17,000 PER MONTH in rent.  That is 127,000 Rand for those of you following along in South Africa, or for those of you desperately wishing for a chance to put that knowledge you gained in your "Currencies of the World" class down at the Learning Annex to good use.  127,000 Rand.  That is the basic unit of currency in South Africa.
     Anyway, here is the deal: there are two different kinds of security companies out there in the world.  There are the companies like Blackwater, the firm that got in trouble in Iraq because they do things like sweep into your village in the middle of the night in black SUVs with dangerously dark tinted windows and no license plates and rape and pillage the fuck out of the place in the name of "security."  They would have been holed up in the police station with like 419 AK 47s and a grenade launcher and a SAM all dressed like ninjas with night vision goggled and nobody would have touched the place.  It also would have cost like 127,000 Rand a day.  The rand, that's the basic unit of currency in South Africa.  Anyway, the second type of private security firm is the kind that sends out a 350 pound guy with a box of donuts dressed in a security uniform that is vaguely similar to the bus driver's uniform that Ralph Kramden wore in The Honeymooners.  He would have been sitting in the station with his feet propped up on the counter, having fallen asleep while watching reruns of Magnum P.I. on the little black and white television, all the while the thieves sneaking around taking the things quietly, and him only waking up once everything was gone, including the counter, the TV, and the chair he was sitting on.  Very sitcomish.
     That's it.  That is really your only two choices when it comes to private security firms, and from the sound of it the Public Works folks picked the later, which is surprising me.  But I have come up with a third option: since the police were in an unsuitable office anyway, and the place was done, WHY DIDN'T THEY MOVE THE POLICE THE FUCK IN! God damn that was easy.  Put the police in the new police station if it's done.  Ain't nobody going to have the time to pull the copper tubing out of the walls if the police are in there because, well, at most police stations there are FUCKING COPS THERE ALL THE TIME!  I just don't understand it.  Maybe things are different in South Africa.  Maybe all the people who make decisions fell asleep because they were up late watching replays of Bafana Bafana draw Mexico 1-1?  What is going on there?  What is happening there?  Can someone explain this to me?
     As it were, politicians from the community just west of Johannesburg seem to be happy to lie the blame squarely at the feet of the Public Works folks, and from the gist of their comments it seems to me like this isn't surprising, which is really quite scary.  I am not sure I would trust the Public Works folks to make our facitlities if they can't even figure out to put locks on the doors and windows.  But whatever, I am hoping that I never end up in a South African police stations.  All I know is that if I do end up in Carletonville, there won't be a kitchen sink.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Big Dave and Company Logos

     Friday, March 28, 2008 was a pretty big day for all of us here at Big Dave and Company.  That was, of course, the day that I sat down in a comfortable chair at the very original Worldwide Headquarters and typed out the first words ever here on Big Dave and Company.  That was not only a big day for us but I would assume it was a monumental day in the history of the world.    You should go back and read the blog from that day - it will be kind of like reading the Declaration of Independence or maybe your birth certificate.  You will be in tears probably.
     Another milestone came along on September 1, 2009, and that was the first ever episode of the Big Dave and Company Podcast.  If the first blog was like the birth, then the first podcast was like turning 18.  That was when we turned eighteen, signed up for Selective Service, started to vote, bought some smokes just because we could and had our parents threaten to throw us out of the house because we were an adult now.  Oh, and bought some porn.  Lots and lots of porn.
     So am I drunk?  Why am I going on like this.  The reason that I am going on like this is because, unless you are blind, inattentive or downright fucking stupid by now you have noticed that we have a sweet new logo plastered across the top of our blog page.  Pretty sweet isn't it.  NO YOU MAY NOT TOUCH IT!  It's still fresh.  There is a similar logo on our podcast page - similar but different.  That is why I said similar and not same.  Anyway, so this is obviously a major milestone.  A super major milestone.  So what would this be like in our lifetime analogy?  It's like we got drunk on spring break and got a tramp stamp.
      But a sweet looking tramp stamp nonetheless.  The picture is the world, but backwards, so that the continents are left empty and the oceans are covered.  The particular ocean at which you are looking is the Atlantic.  I am not sure when the Earth became one of the plantes with rings, but I believe that those are supposed to be like jet tails whisking us around all the corners of the Earth.  Because we are worldwide.  Hence the sweet new slogan too.  iTunes. Web. Worldwide.  We are all those things.  Marketing types, like the boys on Mad Men, talk about brand recognition and having a logo across a brand and whatnot, so that is what we have done.  Sort of like the logos for Diet and Cherry Coke are slightly different from the logos for regular Coke but that they are instantly recognizable as being related.  That what is going on here.  So all is well. 
     We certainly did not do this alone.  We got help from a talented young artist and designer named Eric Reou (e-mail bigdave@bigdaveandcompany.com if you are interested in learning more about Eric) and a great but most importantly free site called Logoease.  And what Logoease gave us our talented web designer and all around friend of the blog and show Gone With the Wind (e-mail bigdave@bigdaveandcompany.com if you are interested in learning more about her or I suppose you could click here) made useable and perfect.  And all that and all those people led us to where we are today, showing everyone our new tramp stamp.  I hope you like it now - I know I certainly do.  Look for it in all sorts of places in the future!

Long Days at Wimbledon

     I don't know anything about tennis, really.  And I know that you probably don't care a whole lot about tennis.  But you need to read this article and applaud these people's major feat.  And then you have to wonder why they don't have lights at Wimbledon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Razor's Edge

     The other day I was racing down the friendly local interstate highway at high speed, trying desperately to stay ahead of a group of severe thunderstorms that were, at that time, producing tornado warning after tornado warning for areas just behind me and to my right.  Literally, the EAS was going off on my radio almost nonstop for about a half hour.  Anyway, I was racing along, watching promising blue sky in the direction I was going and seeing black sky with lightening behind me in my rearview mirrior, and I whizzed through a couple of construction zones.  You know, the kind on major freeways where they have nighttime lane closured only to avoid disturbing traffic too much.  Well, it was about time for those nighttime people to start, and they were just in the process of putting out the barrels to close the lanes as I went by.  I saw them all, many of their trucks pointed the direction of the storm, and thought to myself: "I wonder if they know what's coming for them?"
     I am sure they knew.  They had to know.  At least one of them was looking right at it.  But I wondered if they knew just how bad it was going to be, just how storng those clouds slowly marching towards them in an ever more ominous fashion happened to be.  Now they were obviously seasoned construction workers who I am sure have survived through many severe thunderstorms in their time on the job.  This was evidenced by the fact that none of them seemed to be overly concerned, and that they were doing basically nothing to cope with the incoming weather.  In truth, it did have a very storm chasing video sort of feel about it, with the different colors and degrees of severity in the sky, the cars whizzing around, and all the flashing lights on the construction vehicles.  It was freaking me out a little bit.
     So, thinking about this stiuation, the question just begs to be asked?  Is ignorance really bliss?  How much information is too much information?  That is a tricky question.  I am a big fan of information - knowledge is power, right?  But knowledge also implies a certain degree of responsibility, and that scares a lot of people.  Like I said, I am all for information - the capital of the Phillippines (Manila), how much rain fell in Pendleton, Oregon yesterday (none), the chemical formula for table salt (NaCl - easy), or who were the major combatants in the War of the Pacific (Bolivia, Peru, and Chile, but no necessarily in the order).  Some information, though, I don't want.  I don't want to know that my girlfriend screwed 3/4 of the lacrosse team in college, and that it wasn't the lacrosse team from her school even.  I don't want to know that Larry in accounting has been skimming off the top since 1992.  I don't want to know what is going on behind those prison doors.  And I definitely do not want to know what is in that hot dog.
      What, then, does a guy like me do then, when I want to know stuff but then hey, I just don't really want to know.  As the Counting Crows said, "All I really know is I don't want to know."  But I do.  But I don't.  But I do.  Somewhere along the way the desire to have no responsibility outweighs my natural curiosity and thirst for useless knowledge.  I have to strike that fine line, to live on that razor's edge - you were wondering what that title was all about, weren't you - and know just enough so that I can make it through dinner parties and so I am not caught unaware like I hope those construction workers were not, but be just ignorant enough that I don't get put away as an accessory to something and so I can sleep well at night and not have to worry about moral and ethical decisions.
      Unfrotunately, life doesn't always work out that neatly - we all know that.  Sometimes you have to be willing to accept a little of the type of knowledge that comes with responsibility, especially if you want to get paid.  And sometimes you have to get caught in the teeth of some sort of situation without any prior knowledge.  It helps you grow.  But to try to maintain that razor's edge, that is the way to go.  At least it's the way for me.  Now leave me along.  I don't want to hear your gossip; I am trying to read about mitochondrial DNA (only passed on by the mother).  Knowledge is power.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blood Suckers Indeed

     A long, long time ago, Bram Stroker sat down in a drafty castle somewhere in the mountains of what today is Ireland, and began to write a story about vampires.  You may have heard of it, it was called Dracula.  Back then, in 19th Century England, vampires were believeable.  First of all, science wasn't really advanced to the point that it is today.  There were still a lot of foggy, dark country places where a lot of people hung out where one could very easily imagine someone popping out from behind a hedgerow or from the woods.  Stoker set his novel in the remote mountains of Romania, which was about as exotic as it could be for the common British subject - heck that was Orient Express territory right there.  Plus, there had been myths about vampires for centuries, and science had already discovered bats that fed on blood, so it wasn't a stretch to imagine that they might live in some secluded valled on the edge of the Balkans.
      Fast forward to today, where some Mormon chick in Arizona sat down one day in her house, apartment, place of dwelling, and wrote what are basically teenage love stories about people with exceptionally pointy teeth.  Now I am not denying her creativity, it is and was a great idea and obviously a lot of people liked it because that became the stupid Twilight Saga series and all the vampire themed television shows that have come out of that.
     All of that shit has also become the fucking retarded phenomenon that makes me want to take my life just about every minute that I have to see it on TV.  They are not vampire horror stories, becuase they aren't remotely scary unless you are twelveish.  I don't know what they are but I can tell you I am fucking sick of them.  If I was sitting on a stump in the middle of a field of poppies, and every day there was someone who would come to my stump at around 8 am and proceeded to poke me with a stick until 4 pm every day with only a half hour off for lunch, every day for like three weeks, I wouldn't be as annoyed with that situation as I am with all these stupid fucking vampire bullshit shows.  I want them to go away.
     Part of the problem is that they are super popular right now, so I am naturally against them.  Ask B-Town about that one.  Second of all, they are growing and multiplying and now they are taking up prime time TV on the only channel that I get in my wing of the Worldwide Headquarters.  I guess I could stomach them when they were books and movies that I didn't have to read to see because I was not a screaming teenager or a creepy old man who likes to look at screaming teenagers, but now that they are invading my home I am pissed.  I sit there silently and hope hope hope that the shows and movies all just tank and go away, even though that won't happen at all.
    But what will happen is that, predictably, I will refuse to take part in such shenanegans.  I won't watch the retards at Entertainment Tonight with their plastic faces and plastic smiles and plastic written dialogue talk about how cool vampires are because the masses think they are, and I won't go near the theatre when the movies are letting out, and I definitely won't rent them.  So take that.  All I can do is what I can do right?  I am not afraid of the vampire bullshit, I have science on my side.  I bet all the goth kids are pissed though.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Future's So Bright...

     So, I was looking at a picture of Lady Gaga at a Yankees game, and she was decked out in what was a conservative outfit for the singer.  She had a Yankees jersey on, although it was half opened to expose a black lacy bra, which is fine, but bikini bottoms and fishnets on the bottom.  Very Lady Gaga.  What I noticed though, where the perfectly round super black sunglasses that adorned her face.  Her face looked very much like a female Johnny Depp.  But I started thinking about all the pictures I have seen of Lady Gaga lately and she always seems to be wearing dark sunglasses.  Then I sort of flashed back to game seven of the NBA Finals, when all the celebrities who were suddenly Lakers (The Yankees of the NBA) fans were being shown on television, and they all seemed to be wearing sunglasses.  Inside.  To watch a basketball game.  Indoors.  At night.  What the fuck?
     I wonder then, if all those celebrity types, when they remove their sunglasses, do they hiss and shrink back towards the darkness?  Do they begin to melt away like the Wicked Witch of the West in a rain shower?  There is no way that they get enough light into their retinas, passing over their rods and cones, to actually see anything in a meaningful way.  Perhaps that is why they all have posses or handlers or personal assisstants perpetually glued to their hips 24/7/365.  That is because they can't see anything as they walk around.  If they didn't have those handlers they would fall down the top step of the Stapes Center and tumble all the way down to the floor and take out Ron Artest, or even worse, they might go to a Clippers game by mistake.
      So what is the deal with the sunglasses then, anyway?  Why do they need them.  I might be willing to give Lady Gaga a little bit of a pass on this one, since she has been out at a lot of baseball games recently, and in many parts of the country those are still held outside.  But I am not sure about the rest of the yahoos.  If you are a famour actor or director or singer sitting at a basketball game, having a pair of sunglasses that cost more than my monthly car payment sitting on your face isn't going to prevent anyone from recognizing you.  Not one bit.  "Oh, but we don't want them to see which player we are looking at.  Me, I am always scoping the crowd for chicks."  Thanks Jack Nicholson, we know that.  First of all, you are the number one sunglasses inside offender, and secondly, you use a pair of really creepy really small binoculars to scope jailbait in the upper deck.  "Oh I know, but wearing sunglasses inside makes us look cool."
      No, it makes you look insane.  It makes you look like you have lost touch with reality, which in all honesty you probably have.  It also make everyone in America think you are a raging, mega-hard douchebag because you are at the event to be seen, not because you like basketball or baseball or cage fighting or live tapings of Supermarket Sweep.  The reason that you look like you should be wearing a helmet, is because 99.97% of the rest of the people at the game aren't wearing sunglasses, unless it is a baseball game or maybe a daytime football game.  And when one is that far out of step with everyone else, of course it makes you look bonkers.  That's why peer pressure works so well, dillhole.  So take off those silly ass glasses, okay?  Don't wear your sunglasses at night.  Look at how well that worked out for whichever Corey did that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Water Towr Blues

     Company, I can only assume that by now you know that I am a little bit strange in my own sort of way.  I am not out of left field as such, I am more like when the shortstop is stationed way behind second, like in very shallow left field.  That is sort of where I come from.  All that being said, there are some things that make me laugh my ass off that are just kind of retarded, and one of those things is when they spell the name of a community wrong on a new water tower.
     Wait, what?  Let me explain.  When communities build new water towers, they usually a.) paint them a light color to reflect the sun and b.) paint something to look at on them.  Sometimes it is a logo or something like that, but usually it is just the name of a town.  Sometimes, however, there is a problem with all that stuff.  Like for instance, they often begin at the end of the word, and I went through a town called Sussex one day and they were only halfway done, starting from the right.  Get it?  THE TOWER SAID "SEX!"  That was hilarious for a then teenager.  But most of the time it is just a matter of them spelling something wrong.
     This makes me laugh my ass off.  For instance, when your town is names "Smithville" and the painter steps back after a long, hard day at work, and he looks up and the tower says "Smihville."  I laugh all the way to the bank.  When I see a story about something like that on the television or in the newspaper, I get excited.  I say stupid things like "Oh man, that's hilarious.  That's not how you spell that town's name!"  And I giggle.  Giggle like a schoolgirl backstage with Billy Idol.  I don't know what that was supposed to mean, sorry about that.
      But anyway, I love it when that happens because it seems to me like such a simple thing to get right, but I suppose that once you get up there on that scaffold and your nose is to the tank, it's not so easy.  A six foot high word is easy to read from the ground or from the interstate but when you are standing two feet away from it it is a different story.  The "t" in Smithville - excuse me, Smihville - is just going to be black.  Unless of course you supposed to be painting the word in blue or hot pink or green or something.  In that case it should be blue or hot pink or green.  Or magenta.
     So I guess I understand, and it really isn't a big deal.  If the letter is near the end of the word, then it is an easy fix.  If it the "C" in "Grover's Corners" then it might be a little more complicated, but in the end it all comes down to repainting.  Yes, it might take a little longer, and yes it might cost the painting company a little more, but hey, that's the cost of doing business, and it happens.  No one really gets hurt in the end, so it is a laugh that is clean on my conscience.  I hope it happens again soon.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Headlines

     Here are some headlines that I saw in a friendly local newspaper the other day, and the thoughts they bring to my mind.  Beware, I didn't actually read any of the articles, I just read the headlines and went with it.  If you want to read the articles then you are on your own, sister.

Cops Find Naked Drunk Men Covered in Mud in Woods
First of all, since when is it okay to call police officers "cops" in the media.  In the street, sure, but I am not sure about in a headline.  Secondly, I would suspect that this happens more than one would like to believe.  Not the whole police finding them part, but I am sure a lot of naked drunken people have been found in the woods before like by hikers or their friends.  I have found mud covered drunken people in the woods before, although thankfully they were never naked.  However, if it was the right person it might have been nice to have them naked too...

Dog Spots Gator in Ohio That's Captured Barehanded
What the fuck?  Not only do I not know what is going on here because this headline seems to be cobbled together from random words, but something about the combination of "dog," "gator," "Ohio," and "barehanded" really makes me confused.  Although, it sort of sounds like the plot to one of those bachelor party movies that us guys like so much.

Crafty Gorilla Tries to Use Branch to Flee Exhibit
Okay, was the exhibit so terrible that even the gorilla didn't want to see it anymore?  Just kidding.  I would assume that the gorilla was the exhibit, like at a zoo or circus or something, and that he just wanted out of confinement.  Fair enough.  My issue here is that I would suspect that he wasn't being terribly crafty.  Gorillas generally use branches as a part of their daily lives, so if he climbed up the thing to get out that is just a gorilla being a gorilla as far as I am aware.  You don't call me crafty because I use my car to get away from work at the end of the day, do you?  No, unless you have a very low opinion of my general abilities.  Now, if he was using it to pick a lock or something, then that is news.  News worthy of Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone.

Michigan Woman Shoots Self to Get Medical Attention
I would suspect it worked.  I wonder though if she ever thought about just going into the friendly local hospital or urgent care clinic.  They usually provide medical attention.  She also could have called her mother, if available, because that is the very first level of the American medical system.  And it usually works the best.

Cops Bust Woman, 74, for Pouring Mayo in Book Drop
There is that "cops" thing again.  She was 74, maybe she was confused.  I would suspect though that she was pissed off about something and didn't give a shit if she was busted.  Yeah, I would put my money on that one.  My main question here though is this: how long did that mayo have to be sitting out in the sun to be pourable?  I have opened a jar of mayo and held it upside down and nothing has happened.  Only two things in the world can pry mayo from a mason jar: a rubber spatula or a butter knife.  Don't try it with a fork or you will be struck down.

Virginia Officials Find Goat Shoved in Woman's Trunk
Why wouldn't they?  That is a super normal, completely normal thing.  Oh, by the way, I read this particle and this particular goat was bound and panting.  And why wouldn't it be?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Late Night Burger

     There is something about a cheap hamburger that is made late at night at a drive through that is just magical.  They are so much better than any burger that you can get at any other time of the day.  I believe that there are two main reasons for this.  First of all, most burger places aren't especially busy late at night, so they don't keep anything sitting around in the warming tray.  They aren't ramping up for the noon rush or something, so the production line isn't really going.  They make your stuff to order.  That brings me to my second point: they are usually in a hurry because they are a.) closing soon and b.) trying to make stuff for drive through fresh, so the thing is sort of thrown together sloppily and they tend to go a little crazy with the cheese and condiments.  Plus, I think that most late night drive through workers just don't care a whole lot (who can blame them?) so they just let go and I have to admit that they do a great job producing a pretty freaking tasty burger.  Good job guys!  That's all for today.  Go get a burger.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Power of Tea

     Well Company, there seems to be some good news if you are British.  Or Chinese.  Or Russian.  Or Japanese.  Or you live in one of the million billion countries that any of those places colonized.  Or if you just happen to like to drink tea.  A new study over in Europe has supposedly shown that tea is possibly a healthier drink than water.
     This, if you haven't figured out already, is a pretty big deal, because all they have been telling us is that water is super good for the body, as long as it comes out of a Brita pitcher or a bottle.  That is why people are always walking around with the damn Nalgene bottles everywhere they go.  That is why there are exactly eleventy billion bottled water brands out there, including brands owned by Pepsi and Coca-Cola.  That is why most doctors today would recommend that you go out into your backyard in the evening and shove your garden hose up your ass to get the required daily amount of water.  I stole that joke from Lewis Black, I'll admit.  All that aside though, the research has always said that water is good when it is going down our throats, unless of course we are drowning. 
     The line on tea, however, has always included the story that it leave you dehydrated, which makes sense because it contains caffeine, and that is something that caffeine does.  Haven't you ever drank a ton of Coke or Mountain Dew to try and hydrate yourself and ended up no farther ahead.  That is what caffeine does.  The study also found out that tea drinking can impair the body's ability to process iron from food, so if you are anemic then you shouldn't drink tea at dinner time.  Whoop-de-do!  It did, however, find a lot of benefits.
     First of all, they found out that tea rehydrates as well as water, which is good I suppose.  Now, I can't imagine that anyone, while running sixteen miles, is going to be squirting Earl Gray out of their bottle, one because that would be scalding hot and two because that would be ridiculous, but it is an interesting discovery.  And, aside from the caffeine thing, why wouldn't it?  Tea is essentially water with some stuff added, there is nothing taken away.  You don't lose water in the process of making tea.  But then again, you don't lose water in the process of making Mr. Pibb either, it's the stuff that is added that impairs how your body absorbs the water.  Here is what the researchers, specifically Public Health Nutritionist Dr. Carrie Ruxton, had to say about the caffeine issue:  "Studies on caffeine have found very high doses dehydrate and everyone assumes that caffeine-containing beverages dehydrate. But even if you had a really, really strong cup of tea or coffee, which is quite hard to make, you would still have a net gain of fluid."  So there you do.
     The health benefits of the tea comes from just all of those things that are floating around in the water, mainly all the antioxidants that leach off of the tea leaves.  And the health benefits from the aforementioned antioxidants and their cohorts are numerous.  The researchers say that they include but are not limited to:
-  rehydration
-  reducing the chances of a heart attack
-  protection against cancer
-  prevention of plaque
-  protection against tooth decay (no word yet about the gum disease gingivitis)
-  bone strengthening
Wow, it's like the Superman of drinks.  The good Doctor Ruxton noted that water essentially replaces fluid, and that tea replaces that fluid as well as adding antioxidants.  But what about all that iron I am not absorbing?
     Are your ready for the catch?  Because there is a catch.  First of all, all these researchers did was look at the results of other studies published about tea consumption.  So they basically did a book report.  Good job guys.  Secondly, the study was funded with money from the Tea Council.  DING, DING, DING! We have a winner.  Dr. Ruxton can talk all she wants about the impartiality of the study - which she does - this is still glaring as the zit on your high school daughter's face on the night of the prom.  So the tea council paid a bunch of white coats to figure out through the use of other studies that tea was good.  Yeah, that sounds impartial to me.
     Anyway, whatever this study is worth, it is not like drinking tea is going to hurt you.  Drinking three cups of tea a day (which the pseudo-study found is the average and what it recommends) is not going to have the adverse affects of drinking, say, three cups of Colt .45 every day, so have at.  All that sugar and cream you are adding in there might change the story a little, but if you are making like a Chinese cab driver and you have a pile of tea leaves steeping in hot water all day long as you go about your business, then more power to you.  Enjoy.  It's going to be good for you apparently.  Better than water even.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kindle My Rage

     I wrote the other week on our Twitter account that if I could choose one company to just sort of go away forever I think that I would pick Old Navy.  And I still stand by that decision.  I dislike the store, I hate the commercials, I dislike the promotions, I dislike the product, I dislike the dumb logo - I pretty much have no love lost for the entire operation.  That being said, if I had to choose one product that was on the market that I wish would just go away, I would have to choose the product that has been drawing my ire as of late, that I have struggled to find a use for and that I think is just wrong all around, and that is the Amazon Kindle.
     I don't like the Amazon Kindle because I think that it is the most useless and pretentious product on the market today.  Okay, maybe not the MOST but it's right up there, and it is certainly the most marketed of the useless and pretentious products out there.  Here is the problem with this product, designed solely to find another way to make money for Amazon: it is only really useful for a segment of the population that doesn't want to use it.
     See, people who are into electronics - uber phones, iPod Touches, PSP, etc. - generally don't like to read, that is why they are into videos and video games, etc.  If they wanted to read there are plenty of books in print.  Conversely, people who like to read like to read books.  And that is who the Amazon Kindle is aimed at.  Let's be honest, it's not like having books in electronic form, especially not on a device that is designated just for the purpose of reading, is going to make people read more.
     There is it, folks.  The people who want to read will just read books.  They are equally portable as the Kindle, they certainly cost less, and they are easier on the eyes.  There has never been a study linking eye strain to reading books, okay?  Granted, the kindle gives one an amazing amount of books at the touch of the fingertip, but so does the friendly local library.  And it's not like you have to have fresh books instantly.  A reader can take a book along when they go out of town or something and the odds are that they will still be reading it when they get back, at which point they can finish it and go back to the library.  Sorry Kindle, seems to me that the library is about as equally functional as you are, AND it gives the fantastic sensation and smell of being surrounded by hundreds and thousands of books.
      So I guess that is all that I have to say.  I am not a fan of the Amazon Kindle; I think it's useless and stupid.  I am sorry.  Go to the library people.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Flag Day

  It is flag day, Company, and I don't see a God-damned thing hanging out in front of your house, except that pastel looking this with the flower on it that your wife insists on putting up all summer long.  Well don't worry, there isn't a flag hanging out in front of my branch of the Worldwide Headquarters either, mostly because I don't have a flagpole or own a flag.  But that is okay.
     The day represents the celebration of the adoption of the US Flag by the Second Continental Congress in 1777.  It was first celebrated by a bunch of people, or at least that is what I would assume.  I looked it up and there were like a half dozen names and dates listed there, and I have to admit, I am way to busy to read all that junk.  So I didn't.  But I do know this, we spend a lot of days over the course of the year celebrating the things that the flag represents: America, freedom, veterans, etc.  Those sorts of things.  As well we should.  So, shouldn't we take a day to celebrate the thing that we hang out on all those days?  The thing that was spared as the British bombarded Baltimore?  The thing that is now mandatory for every sports uniform and politician's lapel in the country, lest they be criticized as being un-American?
     Yes, we should celebrate it.  But that doesn't mean that we have to fly it.  Wait, what?  That's a lie, you've got me.  By law we are supposed to, but I don't think that is a good law.  We don't celebrate the statehood of Montana by stringing Montana up on a pole.  We don't celebrate the Feat Day of St. Ignatius by planting a bunch of little St. Ignatius' in the ground.  NO.  We celebrate Montana statehood by, I don't know, eating some free range beef or maybe driving really fast on the freeway.  We celebrate the Feast Day of St. Ignatius by writing early letters on Christian Theology (Ignatius of Antioch) or supporting teachers (Ignatius of Loyola) or opposing Iconoclasm (Ignatius of Constantinople).  Okay, maybe I should have picked a name that didn't belong to three different saints, especially when two of them aren't the patron saint of anything good.  Coincidentally, there is a St. Ignatius, Montana.  I didn't do that on purpose, I swear.
     But back to the lecture at hand, yes we are supposed to fly the flag on flag day but no we shouldn't have to - although it would be nice - but we should be honoring it by doing things such as making our students write flag-themed essays, maybe getting a nice tattoo of it on ourselves, or maybe helping a local community group give old, worn, and tattered specimens a proper disposal.  Many communities have a parade to commemorate the flag and what it stands for, and that is a fantastic way to go about it.  Not only do I love parades without fail, I think it is a neat way to honor this ever-changing symbol of America.  So go out, get a flag, parade down the street with it, and then hang it up properly in front of your house, apartment, etc.  That is what you should do because that is the right thing to do.  And it is the legal thing to do, although I still maintain it shouldn't be.  Happy Flag Day everyone!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Day After

      Well, the beer festival is now a little more than 24 hours in my rear view mirror, and I have to admit that I am happy about that.  Not that I didn't have fun at the beer festival - I did, and I sampled a few fantastic beers, a few that weren't my cup of tea, and a lot that were just alright.  Not ones that I would go out and try to purchase but ones that I would be happy to have offered to me.
     That being said, OxPhocker and I spent all four hours of the beer festival at the beer festival, and as such I drank a lot of beers.  I am not going to lie when I say that I was a little drunk by the time we wandered back to his car for the short ride home, but I certainly wasn't the only one to be sure.  While I came home with a seemingly record-amount of beer-related literature, I was reminded of one single truth when it comes to beer - there is certainly such a thing as too much.
     Four hours of beer was a little past my limit, and now I don't want to have another one for quite some time.  I still like beer, and rest assured I will drink it again, but aside from the cotton mouth and the sort of filled-up feeling (sorry, I try not to drink light beer, and I know this feeling is a consequence of that decision) and the general hangover the next day (which I had this morning but it wasn't bad at all) and I am just all beered out for the time being.  I will be having a beer or two after work again in not too much time.  But as for now, I am out.  I celebrated beer for an afternoon, and now I will celebrate not beer for a bit.  I did have fun though, and I do appreciate the great job that all those friendly local and craft brewers did with their products, so I guess that even though the thought of a beer is making me sort of gag right now, I am still a fan.  I am already looking forward to the beer festival next year!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

In My Fridge

     So, this weekend we are talking about beer because of the beer festival that I am attending.  Now, I have been to this particular festival before, and I have even found some new beers that I liked, but I lost the book that I wrote their names down in a long time ago, which is okay because I was not writing legibly in them anyway.  That being said, I could have, if I remembered, found a new favorite beer.  But then I started thinking about which beer it would be replacing, and I wasn't sure that I knew what beer was my favorite, because I don't think that I have a favorite.  So let's take a look at the beers I like to drink...
     - Miller High Life.  Yeah, I am a Miller guy.  I know a lot of people who like Bud Light and Busch Light, and that is all well and good, but I don't buy it.  I am definitely living the High Life most of the time.  I especially like it when I am feeling like a hard working guy, because it is a simple honest sort of beer in my opinion.  It is a testament to the strength of advertising that those words are stolen almost verbatim from their radio and television ads.  But I digress.  This is the beer that you will most likely find in my fridge, and will find in my hand at the bar about 50% of the time.
     -  Blue Moon.  For when I am feeling fancy.  For me though, it needs to be on draft and it needs to have an orange in it.  I don't care if you are going to call me a nancy boy because I am putting fruit in my beer, there is something delicious about eating that beer-soaked orange slice at the end.  Don't think of it so much as fruitifying beer, but think of it as beerafying fruit.  I think I just made up two new words.
     -  Linenkugel's.  Just about any kind except for Creamy Dark.  I don't do dark beers.  I like Berry Weiss when I am eating, Honey Weiss when I am just drinking beer, and Red when I, you know, want a red.  Oh, and their Sunset Wheat is like Blue Moon but with more character, and their Summer Shandy is by far the most refreshing beer I have ever had.  And I don't think beer is refreshing usually.  I have also toured their brewery, which is something I would encourage anyone who drinks beer to do.  Not necessarily their brewery, but just a brewery near your home.  Like, if you live six miles from Latrobe, PA, by all means take a tour of the Rolling Rock facility.  Also, Linie's (that's what you call it if you are super cool and in the know) sends me mail every quarter or so, and everyone loves mail that isn't bills, so that is extra points for them.
      - Spotted Cow.  This is a local beer made by a local brewer in Wisconsin, and they won't distribute it outside of the state, so every time I am in Wisconsin I get some of this.  The key to this beer is that they leave the yeast right in the thing, so that you can see it floating in there.  Plus they make it out of corn somehow, which is neat-o, especially if you know someone in the corn growing industry, or maybe if you are a farmer yourself.  Another really fun thing about this beer is that it tastes totally different straight out of the bottle, poured from a bottle to a glass, or from the tap.  So it is more like three beers in one.
      - BEER.  I once went to a party where someone had gotten some super low end cheap-ass beer that was in gold cans that just said "BEER" on them.  It was not good beer. 
     Please feel free to leave your beer stories or preferences or comments in the comment section or e-mail them to bigdave@bigdaveandcompany.com.  Also, don't forget to vote in our poll!  We finish up our beer weekend tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ode to Beer

     Well troops, the weekend is just about upon us, and as I sat here at my desk, thinking about quitting time and getting a raging, mega-hard boner, I pulled out my tickets to the friendly local beer festival that is happening tomorrow and some thought started to percolate inside of my head.
    First was about these beer festivals.  They have become popular, with thousands of them being held each summer across America.  Most of them aren't like Oktoberfest in Munich or a hundred other towns, but they are smaller affairs in which, oh say, a couple of dozen craft brewers come and give out memorabilia and samples of their stuff.  So that is what I am going to, and it got me thinking: beer is good.  And it's been a long time since we have featured beer.  So this weekend at Big Dave and Company we are going to pay homage to beer.
     Ahhh yes, beer.  I once watched a show on one of those cable networks that all sort of seem the same now: History Channel, A&E, TLC, etc.  Those ones.  This show was about people trying to find historical basis for the Biblical story of Noah and his Ark.  One of the things that they postulated was that the tale was based on the experience of some people from the Fertile Crescent - Mesopotamia if you would prefer that terminology - who for whatever reason made a then epic journey down the Persian Gulf and ended up somewhere around present-day Bahrain.  What is the point, Big Dave?  I hear you asking that.  Let me respond with a question: What do you think they took with them to drink on that epic voyage?  Water?  NOPE.  Beer.  They could made beer (or maybe meed) and it wouldn't spoil on the long voyage in the hot sun.  Sure it would be a little skunky but compared to diphtheria or something, I think it was fine.
     Beer has been around for a long time, and it has served as an important part of the food world.  That is the point here, Company.  You can tell that it has been around for a long, long time because they make it EVERYWHERE and make it out of lots of different grains.  I mean, it's not vodka where you can make it out of wheat or beets or used car mufflers, but you can make beer out of barley, wheat, rice, etc.  So it's good.  And beer doesn't really spoil.  I once lived next to a house that burned down, in late March on a night when it was snowing.  It didn't burn down completely; the deck on the back was one of the areas that was saved.  Since it was a party house (I lived in a college town at the time) there should be no surprise that there was a partial case of Milwaukee's Best (The Beast) on the back deck.  Well, since the house burned down no one was living there, and the burned out shell of the house sat all summer long, through the heat and the sun and all that shit, until finally in like August or so they came to tear down the rest.  I sat in my living room window, watching the guys and the machines going about their work, when I noticed one of the workers walk to the back deck, pick up the case of The Beast, put it on his shoulder, and go home for the day.  Such is the power of beer, that he would take some that survived the fire and the water damage and five months out in the sun and it still probably didn't make him sick.
      So beer, it's great.  People make it in their bathtubs.  Kids break into detached garages to steal it.  I know for a fact that it has helped bring children into this world in a sort of round about way.  There are clouds of it floating around the universe.  And it makes brats taste great.  Is there anything it can't do?  More on beer tomorrow.  Have a wonderful night, Company.  Prost.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chain Text

     I received a chain letter the other day, sort of.  It wasn't a chain e-mail like days past (the early 2000s) or a snail mail letter like in the days of yore (anything pre-1990) it was what I am afraid probably qualifies for the new method of sending chain letters: it was a chain text.  And this one I knew was going to be a doozy, because it came with a preface warning text.  Here is what it said, the chain text, not the warning one:

     First, I want you to know that you are amazing, and ur[sic] my friend till death.  If I don't get this back,  I understand.  But I have a game for you.  Once you read this letter, you must send it to 15 people that you really care about, including the person that sent it to you.  If you receive at least 6 back, then you are loved.  Nobody knows what they have until they lose it.  You never leave the person who you love for the one you like, because the person you like will leave you for the person who they love. Tonight, right at 12:00 am [editor's note - that would really make it tomorrow morning], your true love is going to realize that they LOVE you!  The something is going to happen to you between 1:00 and 2:00 pm. Tomorrow, be ready for the greatest shock of your life. If you break this chain, you are going to have bad luck in love for the next your of your life.  Send this to 15 people in 15 minutes.

    Now that is a long-ass text, because, I don't know if you know this about me, Company, but I am sort of stuck in the medieval ages of texting, and I am constricted by 160 character texts.  For those of you who are counting, that turned into 6 separate texts, plus the one to warn me it was coming, which came right as I was falling asleep and scared and confused the hell out of me.  But in light of day, when I read what had come in, as you could imagine I immediately had some thoughts.
     First of all, that is long, and at first glance it seems as if it came from e-mail; that perhaps it was once an e-mail chain message and it sort of got subsumed into texts somewhere along the way.  And it sort of makes sense until you put it all together out of text message form like say in a paragraph as part of a blog at Big Dave and Company, and then it sort of changes shape and form like a giant drop of water on the waxed hood of a car that is about to merge onto the freeway.  It sort of starts to meld together as if it were seventeen text messages linked up together but without going through conjunction junction.  So let's break it down into its constituent parts, shall we?
    First, I want you to know that you are amazing, and ur my friend till death.  That's very sweet of you, you are my friend 'till death as well.  And you know what?  You are right, I am amazing.  Off to a good start.
    If I don't get this back, I understand. But I have a game for you.  Wow, this is getting cooler by the minute, because I generally don't prefer to get these chain things, but it is awfully nice of you to understand if I don't send it back, because usually all that I do is forward it to the person that I sent it to so they THINK that I forwarded it on.  See how sneaky I am?  I am not sure, however, about this game thing.  I am already dealing with a stupid chain text, I am not sure I need a game.
     Once you read this letter, you must send it to 15 people that you really care about, including the person that sent it to you.  If you receive at least 6 back, then you are loved. Okay, this doesn't sound like a game, this sounds like a fucking homework assignment.  First of all, I am not sure that I know 15 people who I could send this to that wouldn't kick the shit out of me.  And if the sole measure of whether or not I am loved is if 40% of the people I send chain texts to reply or not with the same chain text, then I am not sure I care to be a part of this society anymore, because that's the most fucking retarded thing that I have ever heard.  Seems to me it should be up the individual to decide if they are loved or not.  But that's just me.
     Nobody knows what they have until they lose it. Okay, okay, I will agree with this one.  Even Carly Simon said it "You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone." Then they pave paradise and put up a parking lot, which is paradise for those people looking for parking I suppose.  This chain text is, however, beginning to sound like someone just raided one of those inspirational thought of the day tear off calendars that some people have on their desks and strung them all together in a order that sort of makes sense but really has nothing to do with one another.
     You never leave the person who you love for the one you like, because the person you like will leave you for the person who they love. Okay now it seems that they have switched to some sort of Confucius calendar instead, because this sounds like something he would say.  I would say that it is true though, and I can prove it, because in middle schools around the nation there are kids asking their friends "Are you in love with him, or are you just in like with him?"
     Tonight, right at 12:00 am, your true love is going to realize that they LOVE you! Then something is going to happen to you between 1:00 and 2:00 pm. Tomorrow, be ready for the greatest shock of your life. What does this have to do with anything?  First of all, if I am just meeting my true love that is going to be hard because I was in bed that night at midnight, so unless my true love was stalking me and looking in my window that means it was someone I have met before.  Now, if it is someone that I have met before, if they hadn't realized by now I am not sure that they are suddenly going to realize at midnight that they are in love with me; besides, that is the time when I traditionally turn into a pumpkin.  Okay, now it is time for a super vague prediction: Something will happen to you tomorrow between 1 and 2 pm.  Well no shit, Sherlock.  Unless I am sleeping or have perished by then, of course something will happen to me.  I will get a phone call.  The police will put a boot on my illegally parked car.  It will rain.  Who knows?  Now if they mean to intone that something would happen to me regarding this supposed love of my life, they should have said that.  Oh wait, it will be the greatest shock of my life.  I guess that I am going to be electrocuted.  Note to self: don't touch anything metal tomorrow afternoon.  And wear rubber soled shoes.
     If you break this chain, you are going to have bad luck in love for the next your of your life. Well, I live in a town with seven eligible bachelorettes, two of whom have all their teeth.  I am pretty sure this chain text is going to have nothing to do with my love life prospects for the remainder of 2010.
     Send this to 15 people in 15 minutes.  Yeah, you've already told me about this 15 people requirement, but now you are putting a time limit on it?  First of all, go fuck yourself.  Second of all, I have to send each of these six text messages fifteen times, and there is no way that is going to happen in fifteen minutes.  Maybe you should have some more realistic expectations, text message retard.
     So there it is, that was a well-meaning but poorly executed chain text I must say.  It sort of didn't belong to any sort of category or form, sort of like the duck-billed platypus.  But I responded to it at least, so that is good.  And I did not meet the requirements, which is probably why nobody fell in love with me at midnight, why nothing out of the ordinary happened to me between 1 and 2 pm yesterday, and why nothing shocking occurred really.  But so be it.  I am pretty sure that I am beyond the power of the chain text.  Right?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Excuse Me

I just burped, and when I breathed out through my nose (I burped with my mouth closed because I am a gentleman, dick) I smelled something that didn't smell like anything I had eated in the last couple of days.  And that can't be good.
     So what's going on with that business then?  Is there like some sort of biodiesel plant in my stomach that I was unaware of, because from the smell of that stuff I think that is what was cooking.  It smelled like BP had thrown a bunch of grass clippings and sugar cane and come crunchy corn squared cereal and they were just letting it ferment until it was toxic enough to spill into some pristine body of water and piss everybody off.  That is what is sort of smells and feels like.  I would expect that if a doctor or other medical professional, perhaps a radiologist, were to take a picture of my insides there would be a million billion pipes running everywhere like it was one of those screen savers that everyone had on their computer back before everyone used Windows XP.
     So what is it?  What could have caused such an unfortunate situation to develop inside my gastrointestinal tract?  I am not totally sure, but I think that I can point to the culprit.  Pizza.  Usually pizza is my friend, but last night I ate some frozen pizza from the friendly local grocery store, not like frozen so much but the kind you get from the deli that they actually make themselves, and while it was delicious, it apparently set off some checmical and biological processes that science has yet to define, and which produce whatever flavor and smell combination that was I just had the misfortune to experience.
     Sad, so sad.  And I even mouthwashed this morning.  AND brushed.  How do you feel about that?  Anyway, I know that it is gross and I understand that you probably don't care a whole lot, but I just felt that you should know about what is happening in my life, right now as it is going on. Aren't I kind.   

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Ashton Kutcher Experiment

      Yesterday I saw Ashton Kutcher on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Game Day and he was talking about Twitter.  Jimmy joked that "in his spare time [Ashton] invented Twitter" because he is so active on the social networking site.  But Ashton is pretty good about it, and he talked about how he wants to have one follower in each country and how he uses Twitter as a social tool and not just for self promotion, like I do.  The part I seized on was when he said that he actually read all the tweets he sees and tries to respond to his followers.  So I started following him and sent him a message.
     Now, I do like Ashton Kutcher, and I do honestly believe that he himself responds to some of the tweets that come in from his followers.  The problem is that I don't believe that there is a way that he can actually respond to every tweet.  I mean, the man has over five million followers for Goodness' sake, so there is no way that anyone could respond to every tweet of every one of those followers.  But I sent him a tweet and I want to see how long it takes him to respond to it, or even if he does.  Stay tuned for more details as the Ashton Kutcher Twitter Experiment continues in the future.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Seneca Wallace Can't Catch A Break

     Poor Seneca Wallace.  He is a talented guy who just always seems to find himself in the wrong situation.  He is a professional football player, for those of you who don't know who he is, and he has always had the potential to be a big star but he just can't seem to get his break.  First of all, he had to play college football at Iowa State, which is generally a football wasteland, and he was so good he actually elevated them into the Top-25 teams in the nation at one point.  But let's be honest, it was Iowa State so only about sixteen people knew about him.  Sixteen people who weren't NFL scouts that was.
     But there were some NFL scouts who knew about him, and he was drafted and ended up as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, who once were the laughing stock of the AFC but have risen to respectability in the 2000s.  Seneca could have been a great leader and draft pick for the club, but he ended up second string behind Matt Hasselbeck, who just happens to be pretty good.  He got to go to a super bowl at least.
     Now he is a member of the awful and dysfunctional Cleveland Browns where they teased him.  See, they signed him, and it seemed as if he would get to finally be the man in Cleveland, but only for about nine days before they signed a bunch of other people that are expected to start ahead of him.  And now, on top of all that, Seneca has had to endure an even worst indignity.  He was about to get some prime face time with his highlight video on Big Dave and Company, but now, as of today, he is being replaced by something that we just can't pass up.
     Yesterday morning on Good Morning America, which is on the only channel I get in my wing of the Worldwide Headquarters, during the ten minutes or so that I was actually actively watching it, they showed a video that has recently gone viral on the Internet.  It is a video of a deaf infant baby hearing the voice of his mother for the first time.  He doesn't cry and isn't confused, and in fact the little baby doesn't make a whole lot of reaction, but he DOES flash the most amazing and heartwarming smile when he sort of processes what is going on.
    You will have to watch it.  It's down below, in Seneca Wallace's old spot, and there is just something so truly human and wonderful and monumental about the whole thing.  It is just one of those human moments that defies everything, and that is so amazing.  I just don't have the words to accurately express it.  So go and watch it, it will make you feel all sorts of good inside.  It will even make Seneca Wallace smile.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Auto Reaper

      The Ford Motor Company today announced that they would be phasing out their Mercury brand by the conclusion of 2010 because the 72-year old brand has shown slumping sales numbers and the fact that its sales make up roughly 1% of American sales each year.  I suppose that is what happens when you offer only four models and they are basically carbon copies of other models already available.  But that is neither here nor there.  The point here is that this is the latest in a long line of American automobile makes that have been folded over the last ten years or so, not to mention the ones that have been sold off by the major American manufacturers.  I have come to believe that I am like the grim reaper of automobile brands because out of the five cars that I have owned over my short life span, four of the brands have been or are being phased out.  The only one that has folded without my help is Plymouth, which I have never owned but which I have ridden in a bunch of times and considered buying; I don't count Hummer because Hummer was an abomination and should have never come to be a major brand anyway.  The only brand that has escaped my clutches over time has been Nissan, which seems to be on pretty solid footing although it is a part owner of Renault, and any time you involved with Renault that is like playing Russian Roulette with your company.  Anyway, here is the list of auto manufacturers that I have been able to knock off over the years, in the order that I owned them, not the order that they folded:

-  Pontiac  My first car was a 1988 Pontiac Bonneville.  I loved that car, even though it was at many times a pain in my ass.  But it was powerful  and comfortable and as a teenager it was the bees knees.  Granted, I had to replace a lot of parts that could only come off of a 1988 Pontiac Bonneville, but is neither here nor there.  I loved that car and always will, probably because it was my first.  Pontiac had its obituary published in 2009 by General Motors, who said it would end in 2010, and this was the one that really raised a lot of eyebrows that showed just how bad things were in the automotive industry.

-  Oldsmobile  My second car was an Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, which I am pretty sure that everyone in the world has owned.  This car frustrated me to no end, but it was just okay.  It was nothing special.  There were a million billion Cutlass Ciera's running around the roads in the early 2000s, and I had one of them.  It was even tan, and that's about all I can say about it.  Oldsmobile met its end in 2004 and surprised a lot of people, because it has always been there and had sold relatively well.  Everyone had an Olds, and it screamed middle class.  Unless it was a 442 in which case it knocked your socks off.

-  Saturn  Oh Saturn, you were always quirky, but you sold lots of cars.  They were always made of plastic and sort of didn't fit anywhere.  They were meant to be import fighters but failed miserably.  That being said I owned a bare bones Saturn SW1 station wagon, and it is the only car that I have ever had seller's remorse about.  One day, when one of the many plastic pieces fell off and exposed a rust hole the size of a fist underneath, I got a little scared.  So I sold it to Tommy Tutone and that was it.  I miss it though, and when I see other Saturns of that vintage I get visibly excited and I look at them as if I were in the market to buy.  I loved that little car.  It sipped gas, it could hold a million things or people, and it could fly if you were willing to whip it hard enough.  But it is gone and so is Saturn, in the end a brand with no purpose once GM discovered that cars like the Cobalt fought the imports just so much better.  Too bad, so sad.  I liked Saturn, and I think it was an innovative if not expensive experiment.  It touched my life though.


- Mercury  I currently own a Mercury, my first ever grown up car.  I did not buy it new but it was not that old, and it even still had that new car smell.  After 15,000 miles of my ass sitting in it it still does under the right circumstances.  So that is nice.  I will drive this car until the Mercury brand is a little bit of a distant memory if all goes well, but it is still a little sad.  As I said before Mercury has been around for 72 years, and even though it hasn't always fit well into the Ford lineup between Ford and Lincoln, it still managed to have some spectacular cars on its own.  And it had a song made about it, so that has to count for something, right?  In the end, Ford just didn't try hard enough lately when it came to Mercury, and now it too will become a thing of the past. 

So I have killed all those car brands, and I am thinking that maybe I should never buy another brand of car.  I will just have to stick to bicycles and the brands that have already gone away.  I do sort of have a plan though.  Maybe I will lay my Mercury up, keep it in prime condition, and buy back my old Saturn from Tommy Tutone.  Then everyone will be happy, and thirty years from now my kids can put the Merc up on the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction, where maybe it will fetch a couple of hundred thousand dollars because it is a rare exhibit of a marque that disappeared long ago.  I, of course, will be buried in the Saturn.  How do you feel about that?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

New Verbs for You

Somewhere along the way in the English language it became okay to created verbs out of proper nouns.  I understand that snow leads to snowing and throwing pitches leads to pitching, but acting like Bradley Cooper should not and never will lead to Bradley Coopering.  Yet it seems to lately.  In that spirit, here are some news verbs to look forward to with definitions attached:

- Gross National Producting: This verb varies by nation, but it means the act of any number becoming the Gross National Product.

-  Ronald Reganing: the act of wearing sweatpants with a dress shirt and tie while on board Air Force One.

-  Rachel Raying: accomplishing everything in 30 minutes and being super perky while that happens.

-  Sylvester Stalloning: The act of taking a Rocky movie.

-  S.S. Norwaying: a ship in the act of not sinking.

-  Foundation For a Better Lifing:  Having an advertising budget while advertising no product or service.

-  Ron Burgundying: throwing a burrito into a public place after eating only one bite.

-  Dick Van Dykeing - the act of tripping over an ottoman.

Those are just some verbs to look forward to seeing in the near future, as our language begins to grow and evolve.  Start using them with your friends, relatives, co-workers, and loved ones today!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Sunburn Problem

     I am going to spare you all the gory details about what I did on my Memorial Day weekend, because you had a weekend of your own with its own gory details that you can revel in on your own time.  I am, however, going to lay one important detail on you: I have acquired a massive sunburn.
     Oh yeah.  See, I am not a fan of sunscreen for a variety of reasons, and I am also very forgetful, which is a bad combination.  So I generally neglect to take sunscreen with me when I am about to engage in outdoor activities and when I do I usually forget about it and don't put it on.  See, it is expensive and greasy and when you have a fair amount of body hair it tends to get all gooped up in that and makes a real mess.  So I usually just try to go without it and be smart about wearing a shirt or whatnot.  But like I said, sometimes I am forgetful.
     And so it was this past weekend when I went out onto the water and in the space of about an hour turned from pasty white to about the shade of a radish, and with equal amounts of bite.  And I am not talking about just my face and arms.  I mean just about every part of ones body that isn't covered by a modern male swimming suit.
    That isn't the biggest problem, either.  I know that a lot of you will go on about skin cancer and whatnot and I understand that, but let's be honest, people get sunburned all the damn time.  It happens.  The biggest problem is with my forgetfulness, because I forget that I am sunburned.  Yeah, I know.  I can feel that the top of my head is like a piece of wax paper that has just gone through the microwave on top of a casserole dish filled with last night's pasta bake, but I sort of get used to it over time.  So then when I go to do things it doesn't end well.  For instance, when it itches a little bit and I dig what passes for my fingernails into it.  That does not end well.  That just happened, like fifteen seconds ago, right about the time I was typing the words "so when I" in the last sentence.  Would you like another for instance?  When I go to shave my head in the morning and I forget that it is sunburned.  That doesn't end well either.  If you have never heard a grown man yelp like a dog that just got stepped on, hang around my bathroom when I try to shave my sunburned head.  How about my back, like when I forget it is sunburned and I take the back brush to it in the shower.  Doesn't end well.  Do you see a pattern developing here.
     That is the sunburn problem: the forgetfulness and the not being careful.  The putting on a hat when you really shouldn't be touching the top of your head at all.  When it hurts to lie it on a pillow, but you still put on a tight fitting baseball cap, then you are a moron who deserved to yelp in pain.  But guess who did that this morning.  Yep, yours truly. 
     So that is what is going on in my life, and that is the legacy of what was otherwise a pretty restful kickoff to the summer season: yelps of pain and peeling skin.  How attractive.  But at least I will end up with a sweet tan when it is all said and done, until the next time I am out there like a bozo with no shirt or sunscreen on.  You can look forward to that post in another couple of weeks.  Welcome back to the working world everyone!