Thursday, September 30, 2010

Burnin' Up in Vegas

Las Vegas area death ray
     Burnin' up in Vegas, indeed.  No, not me.  I am not out there on a gambling hot streak, Company.  But some people, and some things, have been burning up in the desert heat.  Specifically, some guests and bags at the Vdara hotel in Las Vegas, home to what employees are calling the "death ray."
     That's right, Company, come one, come all to America's Playground, where you can drink, gamble, carouse, and eat $5 lobster until you puke, all in one convenient location.  And, if you stay at the Vdara and attempt to use the pool, you can burn your ass too.  The unique combination of the shape of the building - sort of a gracefully curving arch - and the heavily glassed façade have turned the building into a bit of a concave mirror, which focuses the hot Nevada sun directly down into the pool area below.
    Uh oh.  Some people have been burned.  Some plastic bags have melted in the so-called "death ray."  One would think, that as highly trained and very well compensated architects and engineers, the people who designed and built this building would have anticipated this sort of thing happening.  Well, they did.  And so what they did was put a sort of film over the glass panes on many of the windows, to help cut down on the reflection and the glare.  Hasn't helped.  Or at least it hasn't helped enough.
     The hotel, for their part, is studying how to make this stop.  I am sure that they will come up with a super expensive technological solution, but in the meantime they seem to have struck a very simple and elegant way of handling the situation: they have ordered and installed new, larger umbrellas in the pool area. 
     So what's the lesson to be learned here?  First of all, don't build a curved building with glass.  Second of all, if you are staying at the Vdara, stay under the umbrellas in the pool or maybe stay under water, that should solve most of your problems.  Unless, of course you are Vdara.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Indian Summer

     It is fantastically gorgeous today, and I have to admit that I either wasn't paying attention or they were a little bit off with their prediction, because I just did not expect it.  Anyway, it beautiful, one of those fall days that around here we don't necessarily get all that often, when there are still leaves on the trees and some on the ground and it smells like fall but it is like 72º outside.  Anyway, it is one of those days and I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can being chained to a desk in a basement office, but I can't help wondering if this is what is going to account for our Indian Summer this year.
     For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of Indian Summer, I am not going to explain it to you.  Wikipedia can do that for you, you lazy bastard.  I know it is early but it also got cold and rainy early, so I am worried that everything is moved up.  And if this is Indian Summer I am not sure that I am comfortable with that.
     See, aside for the fact that Indian Summer gives all of the people in the northern reaches of the US one last taste of summer before the snows and cold set in, it also gives us an incredible amount of hope.  We are not stupid, despite what you might want to believe.  We feel the change in the air, we can read a calendar, and for the most part we know what we just went through and we know what is coming: six-ish months of leafless trees, dead grass, cold temperatures, and snow laced with dirt, sand, and garbage covering everything, and nobody wants that.  So we love Indian Summer.  We crave Indian Summer.  We dream about Indian Summer while we are outside at night covering our tomatoes and petunias with straw, and while we are pulling mothballs out of the pockets of our winter clothes that have been in storage.
    And so it goes, but when we get a one-day sort of glimpse of the past, and that is all she wrote for Indian Summer, then that is no good.  No good at all.  So here we sit and wait for warmer things to come.  And hope that we can stave off winter for one more day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Painted Taser

     I did not want to go to work today.  I did not want to go at all.  We all have those mornings when the alarm goes off and you think that there is no way your are going in and putting in your eight hours.  That is why they have sick time, right?  Well anyway, I was having one of those mornings this morning.  But I laid there for a couple of minutes after I turned off the alarm, fighting sleep but with my eyes closed, and convinced myself that I should come in.  Bad move, Poindexter.  I have been cranky and irritable all day long, and now my ears are burning and my head is starting to be squeezed as if it were in a fleshy vice, and all I have wanted since the day began was a nap.  LAME!  But anyway, you deserve better so I am just going to regurgitate some news.
    Particularly, an event that occurred in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in which police were called to a home for a domestic disturbance.  No big deal.  Brian Mattert, however, determined for two things to happen.  1.) He was determined that he was going to resist the police, and 2.) He was determined that he was not going to be Tasered.  Because being hit with the Taser hurts like a bitch.  So what he did was cover himself with paint and tell the police that if they hit him with the stun gun, he would die.  Hmmm...that is not good.  So what did the police do?  Well, when Mattert began to resist the officers responding to the scene, they tased the hell out of him.
     HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  That makes me laugh my ass off.  Of course the paint did nothing to the taser, is just covered everyone in paint.  Mattert didn't die, he did get arrested, and the officers had to get their uniforms cleaned.  No big deal.  It just makes me giggle.  So good job Brian, you are a fucking moron.  I wonder what color paint they should coat your in for that?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Question of The Day

Where can a guy get one of those sets of dark rimmed gag glasses with a nose and mustache attached?  I am looking for one.  But then again, aren't we all?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Philosophy 101

     So, I don't know if you've figured this out yet, Company, but I am a boy.  And as such, like many, many boys and a few girls that I know, I have a book in my bathroom, for - you know - reading while you are evacuating your bowels.  So I have this book, and it's a big book called "An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned But Probably Didn't" by Judy Jones and William Wilson.  I love this book.  I mean I love it.  I have read every work contained therein, and yet I continue to read it again and again because it is super entertaining but just reference and general interest enough that it isn't too involved.     So anyway, the book is there and I read it just about every time I am in the...uh, library shall we say, and there are all sorts of different sections: American Studies, Political Science, Literature, etc.  Included is a section about philosophy, which includes a couple of those logical and philosophical conundrums that you come across from time to time.  I don't know the names of the paradoxes but I can explain them to you, or at least I hope so because I am about to attempt to give you some examples: 1.) A donkey is standing exactly in between two identical bales of hay.  Since there is no basis for the donkey to choose one bale of hay over the other, since they are exactly the same, he dies of starvation. (I believe that this is bullshit because he will eventually eat both since they are identical and hunger is a pretty powerful force in itself) and 2.) Imagine a group of people who are chained inside of a cave with no daylight showing, and they are facing the back of the cave wall with a giant fire blazing behind them.  Now, assuming that they don't die of smoke inhalation or whatever the hot version of hypothermia is, they will never see themselves, only the shadows of themselves that they create, and that will be their version of reality.  Now, imagine that...wait, I forget exactly where this is going, but Aristotle or Plato said something about it and then suddenly you are driving the perfect car.  I don't know, I don't remember.  You will have to read the book.  But anyway, the point here is that these little philosophical paradoxes made me think of one of my favorite ones.  And I am going to present it to you.
     Anyway, did you know that you or any object can never get anywhere?  Imagine for a moment that someone shoots an arrow at you from a bow, and it is headed right for your face like you are in a Robin Hood story or something.  Well, fear not, Company, for that arrow will never get to you because it will always be halfway there.  Think about it.  Before the arrow can get from where it is to where you are, it has to make it to the point that is halfway there.  Then it has to go through a point halfway to your face from there.  And so on and so on.  In theory, the arrow will never hit you because it will always be halfway to you.
    Now, we all know that in reality it is bullshit because in 2.2 seconds from when the string on the bow going "Thoinggggggg" that arrow is going to be smashing through your nasal cavity and opening a hole through which to drain fluids that you desperately need to survive. But in theory you are safe, sort of like when Zoolander stops the throwing star from killing the Prime Minister of Malaysia with just the look of his eye.  The throwing star stops because it always has to go halfway to its target before it can get to its target, so it never gets there.  That's the theory.  It will never get there.  The trick with philosophy is to figure out just how to tether that theory of the arrow never hitting you with the arrow that is currently plunging through your cerebral cortex.  Good luck, philosopher.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Set Down the Phone

     I am very slowly, right now, as I type, coming to the realization that I should have made an ongoing special promotion of telling all your Facebook folks about how to live your life.  Or at least how to go about living with Facebook.  Since the founder, and whom I would assume is the David Koresh to your Branch Davidian, is in the news for giving money to the Newark schools and for having a movie out about him, this would have been a really good time to have one of those little things.
      So anyway, the proverbial devil came to Georgia the day that the Facebook folks made an application for the phone and a version that could be accommodated by cell phones, because I have begun to notice a trend amongst the people that I know and even some people that I do not know that is severely angering and disappointing me.  What is happening is that all sorts of events, social gatherings, meetings, etc. are being interrupted by people Facebooking (yeah, it's a verb now) the hell out of themselves.
     Yeah, people are blatantly interrupting things because they have access to Facebook on their cellular telephones, etc.  So here is a little bit of a piece of advice for you if you have access to Facebook on your phone: if there is someone else in the room don't turn the phone on.  It's that simple.  I have come to the conclusion that you cannot use your Facebook access responsibly.  Put the phone away, use it in the car or while you are on the toilet.  It's not that hard, people.  That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pay Up

Dear Electric Company,

     Fuck you.

Big Dave

     Okay, okay, maybe that was a little inappropriate.  Let's try again.

Dear Electric Company,

     Go fuck yourself.

Big Dave

     That's a little better.  Oh, don't worry, it is all okay.  I said "love" at the end of it.  See, you can say anything you want as long as you end your letter with "love." The point here, anyway, is that I am a little bit pissed at the electric company right now.
     I am not so much opposed to paying for electricity, okay?  I lack the equipment, knowledge, and desire to produce my own electricity, and electricity is one of the greatest single means to living a decent life, I want it.  So I am willing to pay for it.  I used to live in a place with a municipal electric utility, which meant that electricity was super cheap because it was produced for the town at cost, not for profit, so that was cool.  But now I have to pay money to a company that profits from making and selling electricity, and I am even okay with that because - like I said - I like light and heat and my stove and my fridge and the same alarm clock that I have had since I was in middle school.
     And so I tried to pay for it today.  First I tried to pay it online, but I couldn't.  Well, scratch that, I could have, but every online payment option that I attempted to choose led me to the same screen asking me to sign in with a user name and password.  Hmmm...I don't have a user name.  And I don't have a password.  Okay, fine, give me one.  I will add another user name and password to my already unmanageable and unrememberable list.  Funny thing about that website though, is that when it is asking you for your user name and password, there is no link leading you to a place to get one should you not have one.  Quick question Thomas Edison: How am I supposed to get a user name and password if you don't give me the option of signing up for one?  SOMEONE FUCKING EXPLAIN THAT TO ME!
     Kiss my ass Internet.  You've been good to me and provided me with an awful lot of entertainment and opportunity, but I don't need you.  The funny thing about technology is that just because the old technology is obsolete doesn't mean that it doesn't work anymore.  You can still pop a cap in your ass with a block powder musket, can't you?  And it does list paying by phone as an option on your bitch ass little website that won't give me a user name and password.  So fuck you website, ten digits with a one before them and I am paid up.  So what's the number?  Seriously, what's the number?  I can't find the number on this fucking website.  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY WON'T YOU TELL ME THE NUMBER!?!?!?  Why the fuck would you advertise payment by phone and then not give out the number?  That is like making people have a user name and password but not giving them the option to sign up for one.


    What the hell is going on here?  I guess that I am just going to have to pay in person like they used to do in the days of yore.  I will walk into your office and plunk down a check, maybe even some cash if I want to feel like a real badass.  But I am not that badass, so I will probably use a check.  Too bad you closed your office in town here to the public as a way of saving a buck because then you don't have to pay a receptionist or the lights for the lobby, etc.  In fact, you won't even let me drop my payment in the slot anymore because you are too fucking cheap to send someone up to pick it up and return it with the internal mail.  Bullshit.  Fucking bullshit horeshit God-damn Communism.  I can, however, go to the place across the street and pay my bill, but it's going to cost me an extra buck for the convenience.
    When I found that out, that was when I really lost my shit.  I HAVE NEVER FOUND A COMPANY THAT WANTS ME TO PAY TO BAD BUT MAKES IT SO HARD TO PAY.  That doesn't make sense.  That makes no fucking sense.  If any sort of judge or jury of my peers ever got a hold of that one in a court of law ( not a jury of their peers, because corporate types would all think this makes perfect sense) they would lock you up for being loonier than a Canadian dollar coin.  So let me get this straight - you are going to demand I pay you but then charge me for the privilege?  That's fucked up.  No wait, that is straight up, 100% pure, unadulterated asshole behavior, that is what it is.  Because my options to give you money are now a.) use my online account which you will not tell me how to get, b.) pay by phone via a number you will not disclose, c.) pay the postal service to send you back the little bill you send me at the beginning of the month or d.) pay an extra dollar to do it at the store.
    I cannot even begin to tell you how angry this makes me.  This is how people have heart attacks and brain aneurysms and other various blood clots in their bodies, because they have to put up with this fucking retarded bullshit.  You go to pay a bill that you are fully willing to pay and they don't seem to want you to do it.  I have never experienced another company that makes it as difficult to give them money as my electric company.  Maybe PePe's cell phone company, but I am pretty sure the electric company takes the fucking cake.  Here is an idea electric company idiots: maybe if you would make it easier for me to pay you - that's right, I FUCKING WANT TO GIVE YOU MONEY - you could keep a couple of more offices open or collect the payments at a few more locations or maybe you could spring for someone to type out a phone number payment line number on your fucking God-damn useless website.  Or just sign up with PayPal.  Those guys are great.  They make it easy to take my money.
     So anyway, electric company, blow it out your ass, eat it up, vomit it up, and then go to hell.  I am seriously considering not paying you because you just don't seem to want my money.  But then again, I really like that microwave, so I guess that you are lucky.  This time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Golf Sorcerer

     A lot of stupid and crazy and off-the-wall shit happens in California.  Seriously, it is one of the reasons why a lot of people want to push it out into the sea.  That being said, one of the things that happens in California is that there are a lot of fires that burn the dried out vegetation in the canyons and mountains outside of L.A, which - by the way - is where all the genius L.A. people are building their houses.  Bold strategy, how is that working out for you?  Anyway, in the land of fire and r-tards, it shouldn't be surprising that they found a new and innovative, yet unintentional, way of setting things aflame.
     A couple of months ago, back in the dry season at Shady Canyon Golf Course in Irvine, California, a golfer hit into the rough.  Fair enough, it happens all the time.  According to General Manager Steven Buck, as the man attempted to hit out of the rough, his pitching wedge or whatever he was hitting with, struck a resident rock, and metal-on-stone caused a spark that ignited a wildfire.  A wildfire that covered roughly 25 acres and required 150 Orange County firefighters to put out.
     Wow, talk about a bad day on the course.  When you see those bumper stickers that say "A bad day golfing is better than the best day at work," those bumper stickers don't cover days like this.  Not at all.  I wonder how it went, because I imagine he hit his shot, and then the spark smoldered in the grass for a little while before it began to be a little flame and then spread from there.  But this was super tinder dry California grass.  So it might have just gone up in flames right away, while the golfer was walking away and thinking about which club to use to make the 98 yards to the pen, and he heard the crackling and whirled around and then rough was on fire.  That would be nutso, but the picture below sort of lends that some credence in my mind.
An innovative golfer takes matters into his own hands when the club won't remove the rough at Shady Canyon Gold Club in Irvine, California.  Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.
   So the good thing in all of this is that no one was hurt, and there was limited property damage, although I would suspect that the greens keeper will be having nightmares about this one for some time.  I am going to avoid making any of the usual "The course is on fire!" jokes because that was played out the moment that club hit that rock and created that spark.  If you want those I will leave them to your own devices.  Until then maybe use the old wooden drivers.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Want vs. Need

     I could never understand it, Company, I never could.  National Football League season rolls around and legions of buffoons in ill-fitting jeans and Miller Lite t-shirts run down to the nearest big box retailer or electronics or home entertainment store and plunk down thousands of dollars on a TV that can only be described as excessive.  Oh, or unnecessary.  So I guess that there are two ways to describe it.
     It is, however, the unnecessary part that I am more interested in.  Because it is never necessary.  I don't care how much you like the NFL, or how many Warren Sapp jerseys that you have or think you need, you don't need a 674" plasma high-def flatter-than-flat-screen with 1080 g-2.1 Dolby surround sound system hooked up to the million billion channel NFL package satellite plan.  No, you don't need that, the TV you have is good enough.
    Or is it?  Probably, but if you don't have cable or satellite you had might as well just forget about it.  I am in that boat.  I don't have cable or satellite in my wing of the Worldwide Headquarters, and I can't pick up CBS or Fox.  So what is a guy to do?  I get NBC when the weather is a certain way, so that gets me one game a week maybe, but then I hate NBC sports (well, hate is a strong word, so let's just say that I really do not prefer their coverage).  So I am forced by circumstance to watch that.  And as for Mondays, let's put that on a network that is only on TV.  That's even worse.  Let's automatically cut out a section of the population for no real reason.  I can't imagine that ABC has anything on Monday night that is trumping the ratings that Monday Night Football pulled in.  I mean, I like Castle as much as the next guy, but I certainly would rather watch even a game like Denver at Buffalo than any sitcom or prime time drama you'd put out there.
     So what is a guy to do?  We are getting dangerously close to needing something, if not the gigantic television then certainly the service.  Or do I?  Am I maybe just overreacting?  I mean, every NFL game is on the radio, isn't it?  Well, they are, for the most part, and the game that I am interested in every week certainly is available on multiple stations that serve the Worldwide Headquarters.  So many in fact, that at times I would think that you would be hard pressed to find music on the dial on a Sunday afternoon, unless of course you can pull in WKRP in Cincinnati.  So anyway, I can listen.  But have you ever sat down and just tried to listen to a football game on the radio?  I cannot do it.  Just like I can't sit down and listen to a baseball game on the radio, or even just sit down and listened to the radio while staring at it and wearing a lame bluish-gray sweater, a dress shirt, slacks, and loafers and smoking a pipe with big dark-rimmed glasses like I am in the 50s or something.  I can't do it.  I have even tried the Doris Kearns Goodwin way and tried to score the baseball games along with them on the radio and that doesn't even help all that much.  So anyway, the same with football.  I have to be driving in the car or raking leaves or putting up the storm windows or running a rummage sale or something while I listen.  So that just leads me to being more productive and cleaning my house or something like that, and we all know that won't do.  That doesn't fit my lazy image as well.  And we can't have that.  So then I guess I am more like all those frivolous consumers than I ever realized, and while I am out having to obtain some sort of television service I might as well go ahead and just buy the gigantic primo television.  I wonder if anyone has anything on sale...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

     Apparently today, September 19th, is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.  What the fuck is with that?
     I am not sure where this came from, and I am certainly not going to do any research into the issue.  I am just going to wonder when talking like a pirate got to be so popular that it had enough followers and enough of an advocacy group that I would hear all about it on pop radio while I was making breakfast. 
    Okay, I did a little bit of research, and it turns out that two numb nuts in Albany, Oregon just decided that there should be a holiday parody on September 19 on which everyone would talk like a pirate.  Dumb.  First of all, most pirates spoke English or Spanish or French, so how are you supposed to talk like a pirate when you speak Russian or Swahili?  That doesn't work all that well.  Secondly, what you think pirates talk like is mainly a fictionalized version of English that someone made up to sell books or movies or whatever.
     So I guess that what I am saying is that you can take International Talk Like a Pirate Day and stick it up your ass.  I am not going to do it, I am not going to be involved with it any more than I am right now, and I am certainly not going to endorse it.  In fact, if you come up to me and try to talk like a pirate to me, I am going to punch you in the kidney.  And that's going to hurt.  There is one exception: the pirate joke that I am going to relate below.  That is all that is acceptable, because that is always acceptable.  Happy Sunday everyone.

Did you hear about the new pirate movie that is out?  It has ships and a parrot and the whole like.  It's rated arrrggggghhhhh!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Podcast Update

      Since there isn't a whole lot going on today in the world, the powers that be around here thought it would be a good idea to update all the readers about what is going on over at the Big Dave and Company Podcast.  And as it turns out, there has actually been some interesting things going on.
      First of all, the Podcast recently celebrated both its 50th Episode AND its One-Year Anniversary, which the boys marked by acting like their usual r-tarded selves.  The 50th Podcast was nothing special, and they spent their one-year anniversary getting all weepy like a couple of morons.
     One worthwhile thing that they did, however, was finally give out an award in the essay contest.  Brad from Nashville (and Gotta Keep 'Em Bloggerated) won with a spirited essay, which you can read if you keep reading or you can hear if you listen to the podcast:

     A Life-Changer, The Destiny
     I have never been in a fight before, and this is especially disturbing, because I have a major event coming up in my life.  UFC 116 is coming upon us quickly, and I'm not sure I'm ready for it.  I don't follow the UFC, but I assure you, I want to be prepared for whatever may happen.  With that said, attaining a copy of Chuck Norris Vs. Mr T: 400 Facts About The Baddest Dudes In The History of Ever, would be the best thing to happen to me since I survived the Hindenburg.  No, I was no where near the Hindenburg when it went down in flames, but nonetheless, I survived, didn't I? 
     Now, don't tell me who would wins the battle between Mr T and Chuck Norris, because I am honestly having a hard time figuring out who would win and I hate spoilers.  Ever since you're podcast originally aired in it's nearly live state on May 27th, I have spent countless hours awake at night debating the logistics of the battle, if one were to occur.  I have formulated an opinion on the outcome, but as to not risk the chance of global destruction by being wrong, I will keep those opinions to myself.   
     Attaining a copy of Chuck Norris Vs. Mr. T: 400 Facts About The Baddest Dudes In The History of Ever would change my life because it is destiny.  Not necessarily my destiny, per se, but it is written.  No literally, the book was written and printed therefore, it is somehow destiny.  The only sure to way to know how this book will change my life is to have my presence graced with a copy.  
     It's sort of like if a woman isn't sure if she's ever had an orgasm or not, that means she's never had one. I don't think I've ever had the feeling they say you get when you read this book.Only when I get the book, The Destiny, will I know what's real, and what a book-gasm feels like. 
     So congratulations, Brad.  You have won the book Chuck Norris vs. Mr. T: 400 Facts About the Baddest Dudes In the History of Ever by Ian Spector, in very good but used condition, plus a super prize from the boys on the podcast.  So congratulations again and we hope you enjoy your prize.
     That was big, but there is even bigger news out there.  Not only have prices been slashed at the Big Dave and Company Podcast Store, but there are several new designs available for you to have on anything from a big comfy hoodie to a wall clock that can tick and tick and drive you nuts while you are trying to study.  Or a messenger bag or a baseball tee.  So go check that up, and keep an eye out for new designs.
    Well, that is about all that is happening over at the Podcast.  Keep listening and looking for fun new features.  Until then, we are the Unpaid Interns saying take care and for God's sake get us the hell out of here.  Those crooked counselors never told us what we were in for...

Friday, September 17, 2010

It Was the Windy City For Fifteen Minutes

A storm over Manhattan, but not this particular one.
       Dr. J always says to me "If I give you a quarter will you call someone who cares?"  Well, I am going to have to have a lot of fucking quarters for all the people in New York City, because they just got hit with a severe thunderstorm with a possible tornado and they are all acting like it is the end of the fucking world.
     I saw it on Yahoo! this morning, and granted I haven't had any coffee yet this morning, but when that dingus Sam Champion - who is a "weather anchor" and not even listed as a meteorologist by the way - who is usually telling me about how shitty the weather is going to be here from some beautiful sunrise beach down on the Texas Gulf Coast or something was running around Flushing, Queens hopping trees and talking about how horrific of a storm it was and how all this life-altering damage occurred in a mere 15 minutes, I had a hard time not gagging on a fucking spoon.
     The reason I am so unimpressed and unsympathetic is because if you live in the South or the Midwest or especially the Plains, you know that thunderstorms with possible tornadoes come whizzing through and knock down trees and tear off roofs and smash cars and stop traffic and knock out power on a regular basis.  In fact they call that Tuesday in those parts of the world.  And Sam Champion isn't there clambering around and talking about how it was terrible.  And nobody is on the TV and the Interet saying "It was horrible. I thought it was the end of the world" like the geezered old lady in her housecoat said to some reporter from some station that uses the same "7" in a circle logo that every Channel 7 in America uses.  There might be some folks out in the middle of the country who would be prone to standing outside their overturned mobile home in a Tweety Bird shirt and curlers talking about how it sounded like a freight train, but for the most part you get civic leaders talking about how they are glad more people didn't get hurt and immediately making rebuilding plans.
    For his part Michael Bloomberg called it "tragic" and "scary" when a tree fell on a car containing a 60-year old Pennsylvania woman, killing her.  And it was.  But his prattling on about how many trees their parks lost was a bit much.  If that is part of what he was calling tragic and scary he is misguided.  People in most parts of the world would simply call a storm that knocked down a lot of trees "an excuse to use the chain saw."  I would suspect that most of this overreaction is because this sort of thing doesn't happen very often in New York City, although it does happen.  The apparently had a tornado there in July, and before that it was 2007.  So it is not so infrequent that it should rattle this many cages.  I just think that because the media is there and they all live there and so many people live there they tend to be a little overly dramatic about things that happen in NYC.
     Case in point, the same storm system, as it marched across Ohio, spawned 11 tornadoes and killed one person, but Sam only spent approximately one sentence talking about that, and nowhere in that sentence did he use any action words meant to convey how awful that was, except for maybe "swept" but that is just a cliché weather term anyway.  Only when a true monster comes through and wipes a town like Greenburg, Kansas or Enterprise, Alabama off the map do the national media even care.  When a line of storms with a classic bow echo and 90-mph straight line winds and a possible tornado come through Enid, Oklahoma, the big wigs in NYC don't even blink.
     And so it goes.  Just get on with your cleanup and don't feel sorry for yourself, New York.  Because most of us in the rest of the country feel as sorry for you and as bad for you as you feel for us when we lose that big oak tree in our backyard that was huge when we were little, and now is super huge.  Oh, and by the way, that one fell on our house, car, AND garage, not just on the power lines that let us watch Survivor.  So suck it up and clean it up and stop the drama act, or at least don't make us watch it on TV.  Chicago, Indy, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis, and Dallas are laughing at you and rolling their eyes right now.  So is Omaha, and that should be the last straw.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ten Lists in Ten Days - Ten Things

We had so much fun with our last "Ten Lists in Ten Days" special promotion that we are doing it again.  Today: Ten Things That Start With The Same Letter as the Number Does.

1.)  Octopus - Octopi or whatever are gross, as far as I am concerned.  I got to thinking of them because Baby Doll and I were having a discussion about the differences between octopi and squids, which I always knew where different but would have been hard pressed to tell you how.  Anyway, they are, in my mind, gross looking, gross smelling, and just about gross in every way.  I have no idea what is going through the heads of all those people in Detroit who throw them on the ice at Joe Louis Arena.  Eight tentacles with suction cups, and spraying ink for self defence?  No thank you.  That's just not for me.  They can stay in the oceans where they are happy.

2.)  Toddlers - The funny thing about toddlers is this: they are always in that sort of new discovery explorer phase, so occasionally they do something cute and precious but most of the time they are a pain in the ass.  So they get this show like Kids Say the Darndest Things and we slap some kids on it and prod them with questions that we think will make them say cute things, and we all forget that the other 90% of the time they are little assholes who just act like selfish jerk-o's and who mimic everything you say or do whether you want them to or not. 

3.)  Trains - We haven't had a good train wreck recently - you know, one of the ones where the train goes off its rails into a swamp or something, and where hundreds of friendly local emergency workers swarm all over the thing like ants and there are just random ladders propped up everywhere and everything is all gnarled and mangled but everyone gets out alive and there are like 32 injured but only 15 severely.  There is always something about a train wreck that just makes everyone want to watch.  That being said, trains are super cool, and I would totally love to ride on one on a regular basis if there was one available to me.  I don't understand why they never stayed strong for cross-country travel in the States like they did, oh, in the rest of the world, but I suspect it is the fault of someone at GM and/or Ford.  I wish trains went more places because I would ride them more I think.

4.)  Flavored Coffee - Yeah, let's talk about flavored coffee.  Lots of people drink flavored coffee, and I do when it is all that is available. But I don't choose flavored coffee if I can avoid it.  See, the thing is that flavored coffee always smells good to me - like turtles or cranberry or whatever - but it never tastes like what the package says.  I am sure it does to a lot of people, but it never does to me.  It always tastes like something sort of different, actually, it always tastes like really bad coffee.  Sorry.  I will just take mine regular and black.  Oh, and no decaf for me please.  Why bother if you are drinking decaf.

5.)  Finland - Have you ever been to Finland?  Me neither, but I have seen lots of pictures and been around way more than my fair share of people with strong Finnish ancestry.  Anyway, from what I have seen of the photos of Finland, a lot of it looks like the wooded, northern part of the United States.  Not so much like in the Rockies but like northern Minnesota or the top part of Maine, which both start with "M."  Places that lots of people like to go.  So I would assume that I would like to go to Finland.  Probably.  And I bet that Helsinki is a vibrant, thriving metropolis or something.  I just know that I should probably bring a sweater.

6.)  Sarah, Plain and Tall - What the fuck's with this book?  Why do I always get it confused with Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?  Are they really and different?  I have never read the Sarah book or watched the Dr. Quinn movie.  Well, as it turns out, after doing a little bit of research, that Sarah, Plain and Tall is a series of books, plays, and movies about a woman from Maine who travels out to the West to be a mail order bride for a widowed farmer, who by the way has three children.  Supposedly the books, all five of them, explore the themes of loneliness and abandonment, for whatever that is worth.  BORING!  Not that they aren't written well or anything, but they just aren't my cup of tea.  Sorry.  I sort of dig the name though.

7.)  Seven - Not the number, the movie.  I know it sounds like a cop out, but let me relate this memory that goes with that movie: One time, my friends were watching Seven and I came in right in the middle.  So I watched it for a couple of minutes and I was like "Oh, I saw this movie before, that guy gets killed."  Hahaha!  I still haven't lived that one down.

8.)  Einstein - He was a pretty smart guy, wasn't he?  And he was just a lowly patent clerk in Austria and look at what he did with a little research, some trips to the library, lots of math, and that big, juicy brain of his.  He also has all sorts of stuff names after him, from baby games to a bagel company.  And that is the ultimate, isn't it?  To have a franchise bagel restaurant named after you?  Why do you need a sculpture when you have seventeen different varieties of cream cheese to keep your flame alive?  He also may have had the coolest hair in the history of hair, possibly he is tied with Flock of Seagulls.

9.)  Napa Valley - People go ape shit for this valley located north of San Francisco because there are a lot of really expensive, pretentious houses there and lots of people make wine.  Now, vineyards are cool because I like looking a grapes growing on trellises, and I hear that Napa Valley is beautiful, but I am not going to be impressed with a valley that is named after an auto parts store.

10.)  Taint - HAHAHA, I said taint. Taint.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ten Lists in Ten Days: Ten Fun Phone Numbers

We had so much fun with our last "Ten Lists in Ten Days" special promotion that we are doing it again.  Today: Ten Fun Phone Numbers to Have, plus what they spell out, and where they would be located if such a number exists.

1.)  (244) 328-0605 - BIG FAT COCK - No Such Number

2.)  (763) 553-2888 - SMELLY BUTT - Plymouth, Minnesota

3.)  (328) 626-3287 - FAT MAN EATS - No Such Number

4.)  (282) 538-8837 - BUCK FUTTER - No Such Number

5.)  (968) 277-3223 - YOU ASS FACE - No Such Number

6.)  (248) 369-6887 - BITE MY NUTS - Holly, Michigan

7.)  (542) 569-6887 - LICK MY NUTS - No Such Number

8.)  (788) 743-4475 - STUPID GIRL - No Such Number

9.)  (773) 889-4475 - PRETTY GIRL - Merrimac or Chicago, Illinois

10.) (225) 527- 4663 - CALL A PHONE - No Such Number

* Please note: the number keypad on a telephone is reversed, top to bottom, from that on a computer or calculator, so if I have flipped or typed a number incorrectly in converting from one to the other, I apologize.  Please leave a comment in the comments or drop a note to if you find any errors, because I refuse to edit my posts.  But you already knew that. Oh, and starting or ending a sentence with a preposition doesn't count as a mistake, that is a stylistic thing.  Thank you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ten Lists in Ten Days: Ten Reasons for Lists of Ten

We had so much fun with our last "Ten Lists in Ten Days" special promotion that we are doing it again. Today: Ten Reasons We Are Doing Lists of Ten

1.) Novelty - Sometimes it is nice for both reader and staff to have a change in the format.  Sort of livens things up.  They always say that variety is the spice of life.  So BAM! we've spiced it up a little.

2.)  Boredom - We all get bored with the monotony of news regurgitation, so we've changed things up.  That being said, our first list was just all regurgitated news.

3.)  Apathy - We as a staff just didn't care enough to write new stuff in actual sentences and paragraphs, which leads us to...

10.)  Writer's Block - Hey, it happens, and when you are 800-ish posts into things, you sort of run out of topics once in a while.

6.)  Sloth - Not the South American Three-Toed variety, we are talking about the Seven Deadly Sins variety.  It takes a lot less time and effort to whip up a simple list of ten things than to actually peck out a whole coherent post about things.

7.) Time - Speaking of time, we have a lot of shit going on in our lives around here, Company, and sometimes we just don't have the time to pump out quality posts.  Plus, it is the beginning of the semester still and our latest crop of Unpaid Interns are still in the extensive whipping - I mean training - program.

8.) Jealousy - Another one of those Seven Deadly Sins.  Other people do lists of ten or eight or five or whatever and we were jealous that we didn't think of that first, but we want to be on the bandwagon so very badly.  And so we have jumped on with reckless abandon because we don't have ten good reasons  which leads to reasons like...

9.)  Counting Practice - Normally, the only people around here who can count to double numbers are the guys who whip the Unpaid Interns into shape and the guys who count the money we make from our media empire.  But since education is key we all must learn.  Lists of ten are a great way to make that happen.

10.)  Keeping Up With the Times - When reading some résumé tips recently, they noted that hiring managers and the like usually only spend 10-30 seconds on any given résumé so you should use short bulleted sentences.  And that makes sense, this is a fast paced world and nobody has time for Conjunction Junction any longer.  So short bulleted points it is.  Add numbers and a theme and you have a list of ten. Voilà!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ten Lists in Ten Days: Proposals That Probably Won't Work

We had so much fun with our last "Ten Lists in Ten Days" special promotion that we are doing it again.  Today: Ten Proposals That Probably Won't Work.

1.) Throw the ring at her from across the room and scream "Fine, we'll do it, just get off my back" even though she has never pressured you to marry her before.

2.)  Take her to Paris, then on the way back to the US tell the French authorities that she is smuggling government secrets out of the country and that she is a spy.  Let the take her away, interrogate her, then lock her in prison.  Come to bail her out and say "I wanted to show you that I will be faithful to you through anything.  Will you marry me?"

3.)  Take her to a sporting event, and make her watch a bunch of other couples propose on the Megatron and bitch about how much she hates that because it should be a private, romantic event and then have a skywriter do it in the sky outside the arena with the name misspelled just in case she says no you can play it off as a joke.

4.)  Ask the first woman without a ring on her finger, even if you don't know her.

5.)  Modify one of those dart guns to shoot a ring, then hide in the bushes at the park when she is there walking the dog, then shoot it at her so it gets impaled in her shoulder or arm or something, and then when the EMTs come and take her to the emergency room and the doctors remove it then it's a ring with a little note that asks if she will marry you.

6.)  Drive your car through the front wall of her house or apartment, get out and scream "I'm here! Wanna get hitched up?"

7.)  Put is in some ice cream or other frozen concoction so that when she accidentally puts it into her mouth it gets frozen to her tongue and then she has to rip it off and it hurts a shit ton.

8.)  Slip the ring on her finger while she is sleeping and when she wakes up say "You didn't say no!"

9.)  Take her out on a romantic hot air balloon ride, but make sure you are in cahoots with the hot air balloon operators.  Place the ring on the rope that pulls open the top of the balloon to let the hot air out and make the balloon fall.  Right as the balloon is starting to rise off the ground, at an altitude of like four feet, "accidentally" knock the instructor out of the basket.  As the balloon seems to rise uncontrollably and she is getting super scared, continue to freak out and scream at her to frantically yank on the rope to make the balloon come back to Earth.  The ring will slide down the rope as she yanks on it and go right into her hand.

10.)  Do it on Facebook.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ten Lists in Ten Days: Vegetables

We had so much fun with our last "Ten Lists in Ten Days" special promotion that we are doing it again. Today: Ten Vegetables I Want to Discuss.

1.)  Peas - I love peas.  Almost to a point where I have a severe mental problem and should get myself checked.  They are best when they come right out of my mom's garden, but in pea pods on a salad they are fine too.  Out of the pod they make a fantastic additive to everything.

2.)  Asparagus - I used to go with my dad and grandfather to pick asparagus growing wild in the ditches near my hometown.  Now all those areas are subdivided and I wouldn't know where to begin.  My dad would then eat creamed asparagus on toast.  I think that I am at the point in my life where I would like that now.

3.)  Carrots - LOVE 'EM!  All delicious and orange.  I like to eat them whole and then let them hang out of the corner of my mouth like I am George Burns and they are my cigar.  They are also good for your eyes and declicious with a butter and brown sugar glaze.

4.)  Tomatoes - I don't care whether or not they are a vegetable, I am putting them here because they are good.  Eaten like an apple with salt or sugar sprinkled on it they are fantastic, and they are good with whatever you want, and on sandwiches.  Oh man, grilled cheese with fried onions, bacon, and tomatoes on some texas toast is just the best. Out of this world.

5.)  Cucumbers - Eat them with tomatoes and sour cream as a part of a Russian salad or on a sandwich.

6.)  Zucchini - Zucchini are great, okay?  Be careful how many hills you plant, because you really only need like one.  Maybe two.  Plus zucchini are are great in all things Italian, and if you fry them up with some bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese, pair that with some tomatoes (see above) and sweet corn and that is a summer dinner par excellence.  Or try putting them in lasagna.  Mmmm...

7.)  Eggplant - I cooked with eggplant the other day, and so did Baby Doll, and it was the first time either of us had done that.  I had never cooked with eggplant before because I was afraid of it; I had always heard that it was hard to cook because it is really easy to overdo and really easy to underdo and that it had a very thin line of perfectness.  But it was good.  And I love to eat it.  And I bet you would too if you tried it.  Plus it is purple so it looks very exotic.  People will be impressed.

8.)  Peppers - There are too many different kinds of peppers.  Fucking get rid of some of them.  And I know that my tongue isn't always the best when it comes to tasting, but what, other than the color, is the difference between green and red and yellow and orange peppers?

9.)  Water Chestnut - Has anyone ever seen a water chestnut growing in the wild?  What's the deal with that?

10.)  Corn - Corn is always fucking us over.  First of all, people love corn.  Think about sweet corn in the summertime - people go fucking nuts about it.  They buy it in all sorts of colors and then eat it with salt or pepper and butter.  I am part of that "they."  The world produces corn like you wouldn't believe, and we feed it to pigs and people and all that jazz.  And we eat everything made of corn, and the Martha Stewart makes holiday decorations out of it.  Fantastic.  But corn is a dick, see?  Because the human body can't process corn and get any sort of nutrition from it naturally.  We have to break it down somehow before we stick it in our mouths, like by making it into flour or chemically with ash like the Aztecs used to.  That is why you always shit corn the day after you eat corn.  Because your body can't break it down.  So the city has to break it down for you in their sewage plant.  That is why corn is a fucking prick.  But goodness is it delicious.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ten Lists in Ten Days: Ten New Wikis

We had so much fun with our last "Ten Lists in Ten Days" special promotion that we are doing it again. There are a lot of Internet sites that have "wiki" in front of them and Al Gore talks a lot about them in one of his books, so today: Ten New Wikis.

1.)  Wikicheese - A forum at which everyone can talk about their most favorite cheeses and cheese related items, like slicers or plates.  Because everything is better with cheese.

2.)  Wikilake - Everyone who lives on a God-damned lake, or has a second home on one, is always so busy talking about the lake like they own it or like everyone else cares about it, now they can do it here and quit bothering the rest of us.  Not to be confused with Ricki Lake.  What ever happened to her anyway?

3.)  Wikigym - Compare gyms and workout facilities for all you weirdos who like to pay to exercise.

4.)  Wikigem - For gem aficionados.  Not to be confused with Wikigym.

5.)  Wikiwiki - How else are we going to keep all of our new Wikis straight without a Wiki to inform us all about them.

6.)  Wikidirt - One time an elementary school student wrote into our office and asked how many different kinds of soil there are in the world.  We found out that there are over 10,000 different kinds, so I am pretty sure that we need a Wiki to keep them straight.

7.)  Wikiblog - This one might actually have some legs.  The blogosphere is growing by leaps and bounds and we really should have a way to keep shit straight.

8.)  WikiBigDave - I am, of course, a media mogul, and there should be something dedicated to my many, many business holdings.

9.)  WikiCompany - And one to keep all of you straight.  You deserve it.

10.)  WikiNugget - You eat a lot of chicken nuggets, Company.  This would allow you to chronicle them, discuss shapes, etc.  Think about it.  I know you are exciting.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ten Lists in Ten Days: Ten Things You Didn't Know You Needed

We had so much fun with our last "Ten Lists in Ten Days" special promotion that we are doing it again. Today: Ten Things at the Grocery Store Checkout That You Didn't Know You Needed Until You Got There.

1.)  Chap Stick - With the exception of a certain segment of the female population who carry it religiously in their purses, most of us don't know where our Chap Stick is at any given moment.  I can't tell you where any of my tubes are right now, and quite frankly, even if I were able to find them they would probably be all grossed out from being in my pocket on a hot day or there is an equally good chance that they have gone through the wash and are now useless.  So you need it, and you might as well buy two while you are waiting for the woman in front of you to write out her check for her groceries.

2.)  Fingernail Clippers - Holy shit!  Look down at your feet through those Jesus Cruisers and take a peek at those terrrible toenails.  Don't wait until you get home, buy those toenail clippers right now and take care of it before you even get to the car.  Then, when you get home and notice that you already had sixty-four toenail clippers, you can throw it in with your camping stuff or leave them at your girlfriend's house.

3.)  Carmex - Even though you just bought all that Chap Stick which costs more than you think something that size should, you still need Carmex.  First of all, it comes in a little glass container with a red lid, so you know it's good.  Plus, that Chap Stick isn't going to do a lot to help all those mouth herpes you are sprouting there, Lip Slut.  Also, everyone needs a little tub of Carmex in their house somewhere, and just like the Chap Stick you don't know where yours is.  So buy it, and then forget about it and leave it in your car for three years like everyone else does.

4.)  US Weekly - The person in front of you has nine hundred twenty-one items, so you need an US Weekly in your life.  First of all, you've already looked over all the front covers of all the gossip rags on the rack, including Soap Opera Weekly.  So you might as well at least pick it up; you are dying to read that article about the cast of Knight Rider and where they are now anyway.  Plus, you know that section where they talk about the stars being just like us is your favorite thing in the history of things that doesn't involve someone touching your naughty spots.  So just buy it and don't read it and put it back like a rat.  Someone is earning a living by writing, photographing, stocking, or printing that thing.  Jerko.

5.)  Gum - Yeah, you need gum.  Your breath smells and you are bored and the packaging is so colorful.  Besides, even if your breath doesn't smell right now it will someday in the future, and that stuff keeps forever.  Like Twinkie forever.

6.)  More Gum - Yeah, did you really think that one pack of Juicy Fruit was going to be enough, Company?

7.)  Take 5 - Mmmm...delicious candy bar, with chocolate and peanut butter and pretzels, it's pretty much heaven in a red wrapper.  Plus, this one you can eat while you wait so that you don't pass out from hunger during your long wait for the price check, and then you can just take the wrapper up and have it scanned and pay for it.  If you get a dirty look from the cashier, remind them that they are a high school bitch, and then tell them that you are diabetic.  Then they will feel like shit and they will never know you lied.  Unless of course you are diabetic and you had to eat them because your blood sugar was dropping, in which case we are all glad that you are okay.

8.)  Bic Lighter - You don't even smoke, I know.  But you see those lighters there and they are maybe the mini ones and they are only like 99¢ for three of them, and everyone is sort of secretly a little bit of a pyro down deep inside so why the hell not buy them?  It's not like they aren't going to ever come in handy: you ARE going to a Guns n' Roses concert next month and you are going to need something to flick during the ballads.  Even if you just sit on your front porch and repeatedly flick them to see the flame and hear the click you are at least getting some enjoyment out of them.  So put them in your cart and shut up, and try to wipe those thoughts of that pile of tinder-dry garbage and branches piled up against the back entrance of the old abandoned tannery across town out of your head.

9.)  Pez Dispenser - If you can find one of these at the checkout you must buy it immediately.  It fits the '81 Honda mold from Employee of the Month: If you find a pez dispenser at the checkout of a grocery store, you buy it, no questions asked. It loses something in the translation, just ask Guy H, formerly of Sand River, MI all about that joke.  But anyway, if you see it buy it, especially if it comes with that little package of Pez.  Everyone loves Pez, the dispensers are fun, and they are a bona fide piece of Americana.  Besides you might get one of the super rare Arthur Fonzarelli or Johnny Chimpo versions, and then you will be sitting pretty my friend.

10.)  Chip Clips - Well hell retard, you just bought nineteen bags of Doritos, maybe you should invest in a chip clip or two.  You don't want your Tacos at Midnight flavored snack chips to go bad because you went on a two-week Cool Ranch bender and you didn't have a way to appropriately seal the bag.  Shit, you should probably buy two or three sets of the clips anyway, because you know at least half of them will go to projects other than clipping bags of snack chips closed.  Things like holding back the curtains or pinning back some girl's hair while she is down in your special area or feebly trying to hold something in place in the garage while you cut it with the circular saw.  Hell, most of mine spend the bulk of their lives in the freezer holding bags of green peas shut.  So it's not like you are going to have too many, Company.  Even if you do you can sell some of them at a rummage sale or something.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Ten Lists in Ten Days: New Names for the Chinese People Who Have to Change Their Names

We had so much fun with our last "Ten Lists in Ten Days" special promotion that we are doing it again. Recently, the Chinese government ordered about 200 people to change their names because the characters used to identify them are too obscure for modern computers to type.  As such, today we bring you: Ten New Names for the Chinese People Who Have to Change Their Names

1.)   Arthur P. Goodcock

2.)  Dr. Spankenbottom

3.)  F. Dallas Taint

4.)  Holly Goodhead

5.)  Douchely McNutspank III

6.)  Howie Feltersnatch

7.)  Harold Johnson

8.)  I. P. Freely

9.)  Mike Rotch

10.)  Harry Balczak

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Ten Lists in Ten Days: Ten Places I've Never Been Despite Being A Media Mogul

We had so much fun with our last "Ten Lists in Ten Days" special promotion that we are doing it again.  Today: Ten Places I've Never Been Despite Being a Media Mogul

1.)  Dakar, Senegal

2.)  Tehran, Iran

3.)  Bennington, Vermont

4.) Chuck E. Cheese's

5.)  45 Park Library, Central Michigan University

6.)  Ushuaia, Argentina

7.)  Exit 45 on I-90 in New York State.

8.)  Your House

9.)  Six Flags Over Texas

10.)  Stockholm, Sweden

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Ten Lists in Ten Days: Ten Dumbass People

We had so much fun with our last "Ten Lists in Ten Days" special promotion that we are doing it again.  Today: Ten Dumbass People.

1.)  Mark Eskelsen - The homeless Beaverton, Oregon man called 911, identified himself as the Sheriff of Washington County and asked for medical help.  He then admitted to the 911 operator that he wasn't the sheriff but said he'd been "yelling for about an hour and a half." He informed authorities that he had been in the water for about 10 hours and his towels had gotten wet.  Probably from all the yelling.  Direct quote: "I just need a hug and a warm cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows in it."  What he got was cold steel cuffs and the backseat of a squad car.  Police are investigating him for second-degree criminal trespass and improper use of 911.

2.)  Robert Craig - Craig, who has two first names, of Killingworth, Connecticut fell out of his 2006 Dodge Charger in the middle of I-95 near Darien, Connecticut and proceeded to watch his car travel about a fifth of a mile before it crashed into a guardrail and light post.  Unfortunately it did not burst into flame, because that would have been appropriate and cool.  Craig seems to be okay as he was helped by passing motorists to safety.  The point here, Company, is that you have to be pretty fucking stupid to manage to fall out of a Dodge Charger.

3.)  Stanley Lostumbo - First of all, he was attempting to steal from vending machines at a Syracuse, NY mall.  Dumb.  Then, when they tried to apprehend him, he decided to run from authorities and chose a dump truck with which to do it.  Then, because apparently compounding things is his forté, he drove through the streets, highways, railroad tracks, backyards, and schoolyards of Syracuse during his escape attempt.  When he tried to back into one of the pursuing squad cars, police shot him in the shoulder.  He was briefly hospitalized for his injury, and now is being questioned by police.  I hope that 3 Musketeers was worth it.

4.)  Unnamed Montana Teenager - The teen, whose name has not been released and who has not been charged, accidentally texted Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton and asked "Hey Dawg, do you have a $20 I can buy right now?"  That's right, he texted the sheriff and asked to buy pot.  The sheriff responded, then forwarded it to a detective who set up a buy.  The detective called the unnamed teen three times to verify it was him.  The teenager showed up with another teen and a man who turned out to be one of the kids fathers.  No citations were issued because the parents of both teens got involved.  I like how this one turned out, because assumedly the father arrived because he had already sniffed out and figured out what was going on and was taking care of it in some way, shape, or form, and the police used their discretion and better judgement and didn't go overboard, with Sheriff Dutton saying "Trying to buy drugs is a crime, but it's probably worse that they had to face their parents."  Good job all around.  Expect the kids that is.  Dumbasses.

5.)  Darlene Newara - Newara, 45, managed to shock both herself and her brother with a stun gun during an argument outside an Erie, Pennsylvania store.  The was drunk off her ass, buying more liquor, and had her three sons in her car.  Bold strategy.  Let's see how those charges of driving under the influence, disorderly conduct for fighting, and public drunkenness work out for you.

6.)  Unidentified Wyoming Woman - Her boyfriend and another man were stopped along a Wyoming highway and there was drug paraphernalia found in their vehicle.  There was also found a small baggie containing an unknown powder.  Since the woman owned the car, authorities contacted her about the substance, which she said was the cremated remains of her grandmother.  The two had always been close, and she always keeps the ashes in her car.  Now, that is not strange to me, I understand that in a sort of way.  We want to keep our loved ones close to us, so many people have urns in their home, or they carry a small amount of ashes in a specially designed necklace around their necks, or whatever.  That, to me, is a normal human response and behavior. But you have to keep it in something a little more substantial than a plastic baggie.  Besides, if you were so close to your late grandmother don't you think that you would want her to be something a little more special?  I would.  But that is just me.

7.)  Unidentified French Man - He was caught in the act attempting to dazzle pilots with a laser beam at Paris' Orly Airport, the second-busiest airport in all of France.  Bold strategy.  Several crews alerted the tower, which contacted police, who caught the man in the act.  I am not sure why one would want to do this, but there has to be a reason to want to cause a horrific plane crash.  Maybe he worked for the BEA and wanted to make sure his job was secure.  Maybe he works for the company that makes that foam that they are always spraying on airport runways and burning carcasses of crashed airplanes.  Who knows?  I can tell you this though, you are a fucking idiot to put that many people in peril for whatever reason.  You are also a fucking idiot because if you are standing near the runway and cause the plane to crash, where do you think it is going to crash?  Right on top of you, moron.  I hope the authorities tell the other prisoners that you did awful things to children so they make your life a living hell.

8.)  Oliver Beel - The Germain man was fired for stealing 2¢ worth of electricity from his employer.  He asked to be reinstated and won in court, with the court finding that the punishment was disproportionate to the crime for the 19-year employee.  What did he do to get fired? He charged his Segway for an hour and a half on the company dime.  The reason he is a dumbass is because he owns a Segway and and uses it enough to have to recharge it.

9.)  Tsutomu Mizumoto - He drove 55 miles the wrong way on a Japanese freeway because his cat died.  Mizumoto, 31, thought that he should do something crazy, so he did.  He drove all that way, smashed through five (5) of the finest Japanese roadblocks and a tollgate for like an hour and a half before he was detained.  Interesting.  In Japan they have traffic cameras that take a picture of your license plate AND your face so they can send you a ticket for speeding, but when you are driving the wrong way then they can only take a picture of the back of your head.  Genius.  Too bad all those other folks driving towards you but made your face.  Anyway, your cat sucked and the mourning certainly wasn't worth whatever the Japanese penal system is going to throw at you.  Cats are a dime a dozen and they are cats.  So they are dumb.  And generally evil.

10.)  Carl and Diane Buckalew - Speaking of cats, these people are dumb for not realizing that cats are evil pricks who can't be trusted.  Newlyweds of one month (Congratulations!), Diane left an amethyst ring and her 4-CARAT, $40,000 DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING on the counter in the bathroom of their suburban Memphis home.  They had to pay $895.20 to have two technicians from a company called Mr. Rooter to come out to the home (which is in Mississippi by the way, go figure), string a camera down the drain, locate the jewelery, dig a three-foot hole, and have Carl flush the toilet.  They were successful and the rings came out into the hands of one of the technicians.  Happy ending I suppose, but I am not sure deserved.  See, if you 1.) own a cat and don't realize that they FUCKING LOVE SHINY THINGS! and 2.) name it Jinxe (which they did) and 3.) buy a 4-carat engagement ring but then elope to Vegas for your wedding (which they did) and 4.) leave your ring lying around on the counter unattended at night then maybe you don't deserve to get it back because it obviously doesn't mean enough to you to take reasonable and prudent care of it.  So congratulations, now your stupid cat has cost you $900, which is considerably more than each of the two paychecks I get every month I must add.  Wonderful.  I hope that you sold it for python food to recoup some of your money.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Lost in the 50s Tonight

    Lost in the 50s tonight...that was a song back in the day.  I think it was a country song.  And so we are today, for high temperatures.  And everyone is bitching because they are cold.  In fact, Baby Doll told me she could see her breath in her tent.  So it is cold.  But I got to thinking about it and I realized that if this were March or early April, and it was like in the 50s, we would all be wearing T-shirts and thinking about having picnics in the grass.  But now, because it's fall, we are freezing.  It is amazing how the human body adapts in just a short amount of time.  Anyway, I off under the blankets.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Jacking Up the Price

     You are paying out the ass for things that you shouldn't be.  So in the Mind Junk spirit, here is a list of 6 things that you are paying a huge markup on (with the markup in parenthesis) and my thoughts about them, lifted almost verbatim from Investopedia via. Yahoo! News.  So here goes:

1.)  Movie popcorn (1275%) -  Yeah, I don't know if you realize this, Company, but corn is dirt cheap most of the time.  That is why in the summer you can get like a dozen ears from a roadside stand for like two bucks.  Popcorn, as the name implies, is a form of corn, and it is a form to which nothing has to be done, so it is dirt cheap too.  So you wonder why that giganto-size tub of it at the movie theatre costs like $475.  Well, that is for a couple of reasons.  One, that is how the theatre makes all its money.  Two, you have to put 62 gallons of butter and a year's worth of salt on it, unless you are like Sally Brown and you have to put all manner of chocolate and caramel flavorings on it instead of the salt.  And three, you pay for the experience and the ambiance.  That's why, Company.  That is why we don't balk at pulling a ten out of our wallets for a popcorn and soda at the movies.  And maybe some Junior Mints.  Because we like the big tub, we like the pizza-faced high schooler pumping butter from a nacho cheese dispenser, we like that machine with the hanging basket that makes all the great popping sounds you hear while you are standing in line for tickets. That 1000%+ markup is for the ambiance.  And sometimes it's okay to pay for that.

2.)  Greeting Cards (100-200%) - Yeah, I am pissed about this one.  Why the fuck should I have to pay $7 for a card?  First of all, I understand if there is a markup on cards with Miley Cyrus or Batman on them because those people have the fuck trademarked out of them and you've gotta pay a little more for that shit.  But a single-fold card with a pun on it?  No way, José.  The 99¢ version on the little rack that is separated from the other cards because the store doesn't seem to want to be associated with them?  Those are the ones I go for.  Partly because I am a cheap ass bastard but partly because I can come up with way better cards than a lot of the ones for sale, I am only paying for the cardboard-ish material and the appropriately sized, brightly colored envelope.  And I ain't going to pay $4.99 for that shit.

3.)  College Textbooks (186%) - That's not the markup, that is how much they have gone up since 1986.  But it is still stunning.  You want another percentage?  26%.  That is the average percentage of the cost of college that textbooks account for.  Yeah, that's right.  There is nothing like being a broke ass college student, standing in line for sixteen hours because the admissions people screwed up your financial aid, then having to go into the bookstore and fork over a grand for books that you will sell back to them for a fraction of the cost.  Oh and by the way you are broke.  Don't forget about that.  The slap in the face is that not only are you making them rich buying the textbooks for a huge markup, and not only are they buying them back from you for less than what the new ones should actually be valued for, but they come out the a new version every couple of years or so, and the professors - who are totally in on the scam it usually seems - always insist that they teach out of the new one.  Lame ass shit.  So you don't even have the opportunity to buy used a lot of the time.  It is one of the most blatant and dishonest scams in all of the world, and nobody does a thing about it.  Except for those few independent bookstores that rarely have what you actually need.  But at least they are trying.

4.)  Bottled Water (≈3000%) - One would think that the bottled water thing would be much worse than the textbook scam, but it's not because everyone knows how bottled water is worse and they still do it.  If you are buying bottled water on a regular basis you are fucking stupid, with the exception that if you live in a city with municipal water problems, or if you have a bad or contaminated well or something, then it's okay.  But otherwise you deserve to be removed from the reproduction pool because we don't want that kind of thinking to go on forever.  First of all, most of you reading this probably have a municipal tap, where the city makes water and pumps it to you for a tiny, tiny amount per gallon, and 45% of bottled waters on the market come straight from municipal sources, and they may or may not be filtered.  Holy shit.  Now, it's true that you can come up with other figures if you sort of teak the number, hence the little "approximately" symbol, but no matter how you slice it the whole thing is appalling that you are paying out the wazoo for something that you are getting pumped into your house anyway.  Oh, and if you are going to bitch about filters in the home, like pitcher filters or the ones that screw onto the faucet, the markup to bottled water comes out to be less but it is still fucking ridiculous.

5.)  Printer Ink (500%) - Five times what it costs to buy the actual printer is what you pay for ink over the life of said printer.  Compare that to typewriter ribbons, etc.  Plus typewriters are way cooler and more retro.  That being said, we are in a world of computers and we are stuck with them, so we have to get used to it.  The problem is that for as e- as the world has become, everything legal is still stuck in the paper days, so we print a lot.  And I mean a lot.  At my job, I go through a $36 cartridge every couple of months.  And that is for black and white; don't even get me started on color.  So think about that.  Want a crazy reality check?  Write in blood instead of ink.  Prick your finger and write in blood when you fill out your bills.  Ink averages roughly 71¢ per milliliter, the Red Cross ends up charging about 40¢ per milliliter for blood.  Think about that.  Printer ink is worth more than your life blood.  If only we dripped ink...

6.)  Brand Name Fashions (500-1000%) - Yeah, but you already knew that.  A lot of brand name goods, especially foods, are made or canned in the same factories but with different labels on the cans.  Fashions are roughly the same, because twelve minutes after some famous designer or company comes out with something then everyone has made a decent copy, if not exact at least of the rough design.  So then you have to pay an arm and a leg for a name to cover your arm or your leg, at least if you are into that kind of thing.  Essentially, you are paying money for people to see that you have enough money to pay for the fact that people can see you have money.  Pretty fucking retarded when you think about it, now isn't it.  Start shopping at K-Mart, Company, and you won't have to be sent off to the stupid people's island.

So that is a look at just six things that you are paying too much for.  Think about it next time you are out shopping.  Or don't, because it just might make you cry.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Back to Class

     So today is a wonderful day in many, many places around the nation, Company.  It is a day where millions of people sit down take a minute, and let out a massive sigh of relief.  That is because it is the first day of school.
     That's right, today is the day that we lock up all the little bastards with their teachers/prison guards so all the parents and child care providers get a little bit of a break.  From five days a week down to one.  Lots of families will suddenly have more disposable income because they don't have to pay like $200 per week for someone to watch the kiddos while they are at work, and mostly because they can sort of sleep at night once in a while now.
     But what about the teachers?  I am sure they aren't happy to be stuck with the little bastards either, because they were probably having more fun hanging out all summer but still making money.  But, there are a lot of people who are excited to be back to work, like the bus drivers and crossing guards and school nurses. 
     The thing that I always like about this day, and especially tomorrow once the seniors, etc. go back, is that it is the day when most towns sort of gather themselves and take a breath.  Sometimes it can get the feeling that all the air has gone out of a community, but usually it feels more like it has sat down after a long day and had a chance to gather itself and take a deep breath and maybe to collect its thoughts.  It is really a nice feeling.
     Definitely a nice feeling, especially since there is still a little nice weather for all of us to look forward to, and maybe with a wildcat day we can take advantage of the kids being cooped up and learning about microeconomics or the Battle of Yorktown or the difference between a noun and a verb.  Maybe now I can go down to the beach and splash around, or I can wander downtown into the candy store.  That's right, it's my turn to be a kid again, because now that all the little bastards that are old enough to be a pain in my ass are back where they belong: begging for hall passes just to have a sip of water and having their cell phones confiscated because they are too fucking stupid to turn them off during class or leave them in their lockers.  Just as it should be.  Plus, as an added bonus, in my town they have work release programs, where they can still go out and work at a restaurant making me salads and cleaning my dishes.  God bless America.  And thank goodness for the school year.