Monday, January 31, 2011

Choose Your Own Adventure

     Earlier today, our friends over at Enter the Man Cave posted on an interesting new trend that is appearing on the Interweb: Chose Your Own Adventure-like videos.  You can read all about it here.  But while Geof look more in-depth at the videos, I want to take a moment to remember back to the original Choose Your Own Adventure series (and we will not be calling them CYOA here because we don't do acronyms here, remember?  Otherwise this would be BD&C and I would be calling Enter the Man Cave ETMC like everyone else does).
     For those of you who didn't spend as much time hanging around their school library as I did, Choose Your Own Adventure is a series of 32 books in which throughout the story you are asked to make different decisions which ultimately lead to somewhere between usually a dozen and two dozen different endings.  So for example, as you read along in the story, you might come to a page where it says at the bottom "To go up the stairs go to page 32" and "To follow the cat down the hall go to page 8" and then when you go to page 32 something happens that lets you make more choices but when you go to page 8 you fall through the stairs and die.  And so on and so forth.
      As I remember, when I was a kid, these things were freaking awesome.  They were totally fun, and a little bit addictive.  I read every one that I could get my hands on, and even though I can't remember now, I would have to say that if we go back and examine the cards in the front of the books (try explaining that one to your 12-year-old nephew - punch cards in library books) we would see that I read most of them at one point or another.  I remember reading the one called "Escape" and choosing an ending where my SUV broke a tie rod in the desert and I died of thirst.  That made me mad.  I also remember reading one about a house that was either haunted or evil or something.
     One thing that I always did with the Choose Your Own Adventure books that I read was that after I read a couple of different paths I would always go and read all the endings, first of all to see all the different things that could happen to me, and second of all because then I could pick an ending and try to get to it.  That was fun too.  I would also do the thing that would spoil any good Choose Your Own Adventure, and which I would imagine always drives the author crazy: I would flip to the next page on one of the choices and see what would happen before I made my choice.  I know, that totally goes against the spirit of the whole thing, and I am not proud, but God-damn it I would do it.
     Looking back with a totally lame adult perspective, I think that one of the coolest things about the Choose Your Own Adventure series is that it is really a bunch of storys and books rolled into one, because each choice you make is like making a whole new book.  So it is a good value.  Looking back with the perspective of an elementary school student who wore a lot of sweatsuits, I would say that they were cool because there was nothing else like them out there.  Now, there are several series associated with the Choose Your Own Adventure books, and they are a lot more popular than I ever realized because when I was a kid in school nobody else seemed to be reading them.  But everyone seems to remember them.  And now, there is this similar thing on YouTube.  That is good, because now maybe today's kids can have as much fun as I did.  God knows they aren't going to do it reading.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Random Thoughts

Here are some random thoughts for you on a lazy Sunday afternoon:

- The Onion just had a thing about a man who didn't want to honor his father's dying wish.  "That's not a dying wish, that's a dying chore!" That was the funniest thing I've heard all week.

-  Someone needs to tell this cat that there are lots of heaters in this house she can lay by, and that she doesn't always need to lay by the one that is most in the way.

-  Not naming a successor when you are a dictator shows that you really don't care about your legacy at all.

-  Delicious pot roast (at left). Hell's yeah!

-  How come you can always get Count Chocula, but Boo Berry and Frankenberry is always only at certain stores and even then only sporadically?  That is not fucked up, that is just cruel on General Mills' part.

-   Speaking of food, jam is good.  Especially with butter on an English muffin.

-  I am not sure what is worse, having to go through a blizzard, or knowing that it is coming for like a week before it actually starts.

- I wonder if anyone can tell that I am doing random thoughts because I just couldn't think of anything else to write and I was feeling too lazy to try all that hard.

-  Seriously, having to get out of the car and open the garage door by hand is really not as terrible as everyone thinks it is.  The garage door opener is wonderful but it is not a necessity unless you are diabled or elderly.

That's all for random thoughts today.  Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Amazing Apartment

Trip 1.
     Have you ever seen on TV or at the circus when the little VW Beetle that is painted all carzy comes pulling up and clown after clown after clown comes piling up, and just when you think there couldn't be another clown in there, there is a slight pause and then another half dozen come spilling out?  Well, that is going on right now across the street from the Worldwide Headquarters, except it isn't clown and a car, it is stuff and an apartment.
Trip 2
     The people who live across the way are moving out, a woman and her two kids and her boyfriend.  No big deal, right?  Except here is the thing: they have been slowly moving stuff for the last two weeks, and this morning they are working on their 4th U-Haul of stuff.  Four 15 ft box trucks (it's not a U-Haul but that is the style) worth of stuff have come out of a tiny two-bedroom apartment.  I am not quite sure how that is working.  I have yet been able to figure out how they had space to move around over there with all of those belongings.  I am staring moving down in the face and I am not sure how I am going to fit all of my things into the allotted area, but I am absolutely floored by what is going on across the street.
Trip 3 and still going!
     There has to be a shrink ray involved, that is about all I can figure out.  Either that or they have eleventy billion of those bags where you put your clothes in them and vacuum out the air to compress them down.  Or all of their stuff is made out of the same stuff as those little dinosaurs where you pour water on them and they expand.  Those are the only ways that I can make sense of this situation in my brain.  FOUR TRUCKS!  It is blowing my mind, and that is AFTER all the stuff they took over the last few days.  If they come back with a fifth trip I might just lose my shit.  So that is what is going on in my neighborhood.  A magic trip defying time and space.  What is going on in yours?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lessons from AFV

       America's Funniest Home Videos, as it was called when I was a kid and Bob Saget hosted it, has been on for like 20 years or so.  Now called America's Funniest Videos or AFV, the format really hasn't changed much over time.  People send in their videos of their kids or husbands doing stupid shit, their pets doing thing, and people they know getting hit with all sorts of stuff like baseball bats or footballs to the nutsack.
Another man forgets the lessons learned on AFV.
      Well, I was watching it today on ABC Family or wherever it has been relegated to, and first I was struck by the fact that the video that was sent in was from 1995.  Taking into account that the episode I was watching was probably produced and put together sometime in 2010, that means that they sat for FIFTEEN YEARS on that video before they decided that their child getting lambasted by a giant snowball like he was in a Looney Tunes cartoon or something was funny enough to cash in on the ten grand that is first prize for each episode.  Fifteen years.  Either that or they are just REALLY bad about setting the clock on their camera, which by the way you could totally tell was one of those old school ones that still takes the whole tape.
     My second question that I came up with in my mind is this:  Why haven't we figured out to avoid this stuff?  I mean, we have been watching people standing right next the pinata and getting whacked in the head for like nineteen years, why are we still standing right next to it?  We know we are going to get whacked in the head.  We have been watching people line up all these rickety ramps to do sweet tricks with their dirtbike and kiddie pool and biffing it for two decades.  We know that the ramp is going to break, they are going to crotch the bar, then flip ass over teakettle into the kiddie pool.  We have seen it countless times.  So why is it that we continue to do stupid ass shit?  Everyone has seen that show somewhere along the way, and as such we should all know better than to put ourselves in that situation.
    So that is that.  We should know better.  We shouldn't be getting whacked like that anymore.  The whole getting hit in the sack thing is okay like when your kid hits the baseball back at you when you are pitching, and the pet stuff is alright.  But please, learn from AFV and keep yourself safe.  Or at least wear a cup and maybe a helmet.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Making Change


"Cash money makin' records from the
9-9 into 2000"
    I went out at my lunch hour to do some errands at some of the many, many stores that surround the Worldwide Headquarters.  I had, for once, actual cash - American curreny - in my pocket with which to pay.  See, I am a big proponent of the debit card, and I use mine so often that the bank logo has long since worn off of it.  So it is rare that I actually have money in my pocket.  Yet today I did, and I even had change to make things like exact change, and it felt like such a luxury.  So I made the decision today that I am going to start carrying change in my pocket.      Yeah, that's right, cash and change.  Sounds good to me.  The coolest part is that this will also allow me to play one of my favorite games.  See, I figured out a long time ago that a lot of the people younger than I am are, well, fucking stupid, and that many of them can't add or subtract without a calculator of some sort.  In fact, a lot of places now have the automatic change machine so that once the calculator (in this case the one built into the cash register) figured out how much they have to give back, they don't even have to count it.  Therefore I absolutely love giving the 18-year-old at the candy store $20.50 to cover my $13.45 bill.  It totally throws them for a loop.  They look at me like I am fucking nuts, AND retarded at the same time.  They can't figure out that I want a five, two ones, and a nickel back from them.  It helps me manage my cash on hand and change availablility, because while I like having some change in my pocket, I honestly don't need a whole lot of stuff helping gravity pull my pants down.
     But it is fun for me because no one understands, so I get to giggle a little whenever I purchase anything.  I also like having some change around because paying with exact change is so clean and neat and tidy.  There is no messing around, there is no awkward return of change from the cashier who I really don't want touching me, or coming close to touching me.  There is none of that.  Here is your quarter and two pennies and I am out of here.  It is just so final and satisfying.
      So that is my plan.  Cash and especially some coins, and that is how I am going to go about making my purchases from now on.  Neat, tidy, old school if you will.  Talk about making change.

Podcast Update - 4-2011: Emotional Emotions

     It is a very tense week this week on the Big Dave and Company Podcast as Lady Rebecca - our biggest sponsor - has decreed that we need to be more emotional.  So we emote over such things as a Utah plan to name a state gun, Big Dave's entry into the Facebook world, and the fact that Morningwood Estate is getting all up in our business.  Oh, and don't forget the back hair.  We talk about back hair.  You can download it here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ten Things That Frustrate Me About the Game of Bowling

Since we are into lists lately, here are ten things that frustrate me about the game of bowling:

1.) The First Frame

2.) The Second Frame

3.) The Third Frame

4.)  The Fourth Frame

5.)  The Fifth Frame

6.)  The Sixth Frame

7.)  The Seventh Frame

8.)  When all ten pins don't go down.

9.)  The Ninth Frame

10.)  The Tenth Frame

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nine Things That Shouldn't Be Surprising To You

Here is a list of nine things that have popped up in the news as of late that might surprise you, but shouldn't:


1.)  Taco Bell meat isn't really all meat.  Duh.  They say it is full of fillers and contains only 36% meat.  Did anyone really think that it was all ground beef in the first place?  Nobody is craving it when drunk because it is all beef, the want it because it greasy and crappy and tastes good.  Do you want steak when you are hung over?


2.)  Chicago man gets fired for wearing Packers tie to work day after Bears' NFC Championship Game loss to Packers.  It wouldn't surprise me if the teams were switched around in this story either.  A lot of people take football fandom way too seriously, and the guy was a car salesman.  Yeah, I am surprised that a car dealer did something radical to sell more cars.


3.)  Police attacks stir concern among officials.  Well I would hope so.  If 11 police officers were shot in 5 states in 24 hours and no one batted and eyelash then something would be seriously wrong.  Also, can we please stop shooting police?  That would be neat.

4.)  Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is vowing revenge for a bombing at a Moscow airport.  He is an ex KGB strongman who is the head of Russia, a nation that has never taken shit from anyone.  He doesn't even know who to exact his revenge on but it's good to know that he will have it, served cold like borscht.


5.)  Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura has sued The Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration over pat-downs at airports.  Strange how him and his scary Nick Nolte skullet are suddenly doing something newsworthy right about the time everyone forgot he was alive, isn't it?  He was a wrestler who wore a lot of spandex, I can't image a security pat down is that much more degrading.


6.)  Verizon promises as smooth launch as they set up to offer the iPhone.  Hmmm...what else did you expect?  That they would promise it was going to suck and be shitty?  "Hey, we're getting the most popular cell phone in the history of ever, but don't expect it to work when you plunk down $400 for one."  Yeah, that is what they are going to say; that'll make them a lot of money.


7.)   Moscow blast may cause officials to rethink airport security.  No, no, no.  When people are walking into your airport and detonating explosives in crowded areas, your system is working very well.  Just keep the status quo.


8.)  Popularity of vampires spawns subculture, scholar says.  Really?  That is shocking.  I feel shocked.  I thought all those youth butting their entire lives into these vampire books was just leading them back to being hippies.  What kind of scholar are you?  What university employs you again?  Is it Useless State College of Easily Discernable Facts?  They have a good football team.  Hard for the name to fit on the uniforms though...

9.)  Oprah's half-sister revelation rocks ratings.  What's with the alliteration?  Of course lots of people tuned into Oprah to find out about that shit.  That's why she told the lady to keep it quiet until Oprah show was on its final season.  For the ratings.  Duh.  But the way, Oprah is older than her half-sister, and she supposedly never knew her mom was pregnant.  Now that sounds like something for Maury.

Monday, January 24, 2011

RIP Lack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne has passed away today at the age of 96.  Early reports from insiders say that his last wish was that his dead body be juiced for its nutrients.

Jack LaLanne has passed away as a result of respiratory failure from pneumonia, caught while towing a boat through the waters of his local YMCA pool.

      Okay, one more.

Jack LaLanne has passed away.  Footage of his memorial service will run on loop on local low-power stations from 12:00 midnight to 5 am.

     Just kidding, although I am serious about Jack LaLanne being dead.  He died yesterday at his home in California of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at the ripe old age of 96.  Not that I am one to mock anyone's death who didn't win a Darwin Award, but the one-liners just started coming to mind when I heard that LaLanne had passed on.  If you don't get them, read on.

Jack LaLanne (1914-2011).
Taken Feb 20, 1980 in his home gym.

     For those of you who are unfamiliar with Jack LaLanne, he was one of the physical fitness pioneers in America.  Long before everyone who was anyone was selling exercise equipment on late-night television, or before everyone else was selling healthy cooking machines, Jack LaLanne was doing it.  He was a major and long-lasting proponent of American physical fitness, and took to television to get America up and moving and eating well.  At age 43 in 1957 he did 1000 pushups on TV in 23 minutes.  I am just impressed he did 1000 pushups. At age 60 he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco (about 2 miles) in 1 hour, 26 minutes.  With his hands shackles.  And his feet shackled.  Towing a 1000 pound rowboat. All while wearing a jaunty cap.  He did the same thing at 70 across Long Beach Harbor.  In 1936 he opened a gym in Oakland that catered to athletes and women, something that was socially forbidden at the time.  He was a pioneer who stuck to his belief through the ages until the world started to come around to his side.  People from Bob Barker to Arnold Schwarzenegger have credited you with helping their health.  And then there was the juicer.
     LaLanne was convinced of the power and benefits of raw fruits and vegetables, and so he developed and marketed the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer so you could make your own V8 I guess.  I don't know.  But he did most of this selling on late-night infomercials.  It has the extra-wide spout so you can toss in the whole radish or carrot or tangerine, and in the end it spits out stuff for your compost pile, which you can use to grow fruits and vegetables, which you can juice, in a big health cosmic cycle of juice. 
     So may you rest in peace, Jack.  You did your best to make America a more healthy place, and I would like to think you succeeded.  Just look at how many gyms there are in the average American city these days, and notice how each has a weight set (another thing that LaLanne touted was lifting weights) or twelve.  And there are ridiculous juice blends that you can get out there.  And yes, even people who don't know your story have more likely heard of your juicer.  Plus, you were still rockin life in your 90s, and that has to speak a lot for itself.  So be proud of your legacy as we prepare to mourn you passing.  Oh, and sorry for the jokes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Like A Good Neighbor...

I typed the slogan and this appeared.
     "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."  That is the slogan of State Farm Insurance, and it has been a staple of every television, radio, and print advertisement that they have done since as long as I can remember.  In the radio and television ads they sing it in the same fashion that they have always done.  It's sort of like a the houses on your block, it has always been there so it is almost part of the scenery.  That being said, the latest set of advertisements has featured attractive young people singing the slogan when trouble erupts in order to bring their State Farm agent around to help them out.  I have some problems with this.
     First of all, what the hell is this, Bewitched?  You can't just chant something and get somewhere, unless of course you go into a frat house and chant something from a rival frat, in which case you will get thrown out on the lawn in the best case circumstance.  Anyway, I can tell you for sure that you can't just chant a slogan and have people appear.  And it goes even farther than that, because you can make all sorts of stuff appear, which is hocus pocus as well.  It just doesn't work that way, no matter how good your insurance company is.  Let's take a look at some specifics:
     First is the one with the two guys sitting in the little car watching a herd of buffalo cross the road.  They are talking, appropriately, about how cool it is and they are wondering why they hadn't done this sooner.  As they sit there one of the buffalo lowers his head and rams the drivers side door of the car.  So, in lieu of starting the car and getting the hell out of there like any normal person would do, they decide to conjure up their insurance agent.  "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."  That is a totally, completely normal thing to do.  So the agent pops into the backseat and they driver screams at him asking what to do.  So the agent tells them to sing it again but he adds "in my office" to the end of it and POOF! they are back at his office, albeit without the car, which I would assume is getting crushed by the angry buffalo.  I can't believe how dumb that is.  First of all, if you can pop people from place to place, why didn't you just pop yourself away?  Second, what about your car?  It is destroyed, and now your agent is still going to have to fill out all that paperwork, when he could have just brought the car with and solved the whole thing.  God knows you pay enough every month for your insurance.
      Commercial #2.  Three girls come back to the car, and it has been hit and run or something.  Just like a nasty dent or something, I don't exactly remember.  So the owner of the car sings the phrase "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there" and her agent appears and starts checking out the scene.  Greedy friend though, makes her sing it again and adds "with a hot guy" so some dude appears, which to me is bullshit because another State Farm agent should have appeared as well, right?  So anyway, the friends take turns singing it and adding what kind of guy they want and the guy keeps changing.  Lame.  Never do any State Farm agents appear, which is a crock of shit because one is supposed to appear every time you sing the little jingle.  And if it only pertains to your agent, then shouldn't your agent like go away every other time you sing it?  My other question is this: If you have the power to zap people in to help you out, why don't you just zap away your dent?  And if you agent can appear, why can't they zap out your dent?  Why do you have to give your car to a State Farm approved agent for like six weeks while they buff out your blemishes?
     There is another one that runs along the same lines, with three guys sitting around in the house asking for sandwiches, hot tubs, etc after the agent appears to help with some situation, and I just know there is going to be some dumbass out there somewhere who is not exactly going to take those literally, but who is going to take it close to literally, because they are going to call their agent when they are stranded on the side of the road and expect them to appear, and it's not gonna happen.  I just know it.  Good luck with that.  Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there, but not exactly like that.  Not like Bewitched.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tic-Tac-Toe Chicken Challenge

     For those of you who aren't intimately familiar with the details of my life, I used to work in your friendly local Native American casino.  As such, I have been around all sorts of wacky types of slot machine games, especially those video slots where there is a little TV touch screen that you play all sorts of crazy stuff on.  So when I read on Yahoo! about a game called "Tic-Tac-Toe Chicken Challenge" that has been circulating through casinos over the years, I immediately had a vision in my head of some sort of slot machine with pictures of crazy-looking chickens on it that you have to get like chicken symbols in a tic-tac-toe pattern or something to win.  Or maybe when you get the bonus you play tic-tac-toe against an animated chicken or something.  But oh no, I was not even close to being close.
     Tic-Tac-Toe Chicken Challenge is a game in which a chicken is confined into a glass cube, and it pecks out at an X or O somewhere in the cube, thus playing the game against hopeful gamblers.  I am not kidding you.  The chicken goes first, it pecks an X or an O, and then the person selects their move on a video screen.  Eventually there would be a winner, and from what I have been led to understand the chicken would usually win, although seeing as it was being played in casinos I can't say that I am surprised.
     My question then, is this:  How fucking high do you have to be to think up that game?  Or, on the flip side, how desperate do the straights your casino is in have to be to put that out on your gaming floor?  Because that has to be just terrible to have in your casino.  First of all, that chicken is going to shit all over the place, and even if you are keeping it in a glass cube it is going to be like three inches deep in there, although it does open up a new gambling opportunity, and those casino guys will allow you to put money on anything.  Have you ever been to a parade where people are taking garbage can lids and drawing circles on the pavement and then when a parade horse craps in your circle you are a winner?  Well, as a side bet on the Tic-Tac-Toe Chicken Challenge you could have circles on the bottom of the glass cube with numbers in them, then you could buy numbers and get a portion of the pot or something.
     Here is another question for you: how do you regulate the chicken game?  I got sick of typing out all the hypens in tic-tac-toe so I am just going to call it the chicken game now.  Anyway, the gambling industry is very highly regulated, and there are a million billion different rules and there is a lot of oversight, but can you imagine a tie-wearing gaming inspector looking around the chicken cube?  I can't imagine that they would want to do that come hell or high water.
     Yet apparently this game was popular enough to be held in a number of different casinos over the years, and in fact is still being held somewhere.  And it was popular enough the PETA, which is filled with a bunch of fucking idiots who take everything too seriously, got all up in arms because apparently the chickens weren't being treated humanely, probably because they ARE FUCKING CHICKENS! They should be treated chickenly.  They cared a lot about that, but not one iota about the fact that a lot of stupid people were playing a stupid game and casino owners were making a killing off of it.
     So anyway, next time you are at your friendly local casino ask around and see if they have Tic-Tac-Toe Chicken Challenge available for your gambling pleasure.  I would suspect it is in a basement or back room somewhere off the gaming floor, since it would smell bad and most people wouldn't want to see it going on I am sure.  And I would suspect that whomever is manning that game is the guy who is in deep shit with his boss.  And there will probably be someone from PETA there waiting to throw some paint on you, because that is about as innovative as they get.  But hey, you will have the chance to get trounced at tic-tac-toe by tomorrow night's dinner, and that is always fun.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Love is Dangerous

Nothing I could say would provide more comment than whatever is going to pop into your head when you read this article.  Here it is, below, taken verbatim from MSNBC.com.  You can read it on the website here.

A woman was partially paralyzed from a hickey that caused her to have a small stroke, the New Zealand Medical Journal said according to a media report.


The 44-year-old New Zealander went to the emergency room after she found that she couldn't move her left arm while she was watching TV, The Christchurch Press reported.

Doctors concluded that she had had a stroke but were perplexed as to why, the paper said. Then they found a "love bite" on her neck near a major artery, and discovered a clot in the artery beneath the hickey — a small vertical bruise.

"Because it was a love bite there would be a lot of suction," said Dr. Wu, who attended to the woman over a year ago at the Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, according to the paper. "Because of the physical trauma it had made a bit of bruising inside the vessel."

He added the clot traveled to the woman's heart and caused the stroke.

"We looked at the medical literature and that example of having a love bite causing something like that hasn't been described before," Dr Wu said.

The Maori woman was treated with an anticoagulant and the clot disappeared within a week, doctors said.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In Defense of the Guards

     I can not even begin to describe to you how pissed off I am this morning, Company. And the reason that I am all pissed off is because of the lady in the fountain.
     For those of you who haven't seen the viral video on YouTube and about a hundred other places let me sort of tell you the story.  Lady is a mall worker.  She is 49 and I apologize I can't seem to find her name and I didn't catch it this morning.  But she sort of looks like one of those people who doesn't have a sense of humour.  And I can tell she doesn't, but we will get to that in a minute.  Anyway, this lady works at the mall and she is strolling along through the mall texting on her phone - again, not a big deal.  Happens all the time.  Except that this lady was especially not paying attention and she walked right into a fountain.  Oh yeah, she is just strolling along texting and she walks right into it.  It clips her off right at the knees and she goes ass over teakettle SPLASH! right into the fountain.
DANGER!
     Now here is where I have to give her some credit, because I believe in giving credit where credit is due (I am also slightly impressed that she is 49 and adept at texting, but that's another issue).  She plays it off so cool.  Instead of splashing around and making a scene, she immediately picks herself up, fishes her telephono out of the fountain, steps out, looks around to see if anyone saw, then walks away.  No harm, no foul.
     But someone did see.  A couple of people.  Turns out that the mall security guards happened to be watching, and they were laughing their asses off.  On the audio track you can hear them rewind the tape and watch it again, and watch it from a couple of different angles while narrating it.  It is pretty fucking hilarious.  Then, they did what any person with the capability would do...they put the video up on YouTube.  That is where this whole thing began to unravel and get just fucking stupid.
      The video goes viral on YouTube, as would be expected.  All of America is laughing at this video, and by extension at this woman, and she deserves it because she is fucking TEXTING WHILE SHE IS WALKING AROUND and she is paying more attention to her STUPID FUCKING CELL PHONE than to THINGS THAT COULD HURT HER.  I know that roughly anyone younger than I am will not see why this is a problem, but to most of the adult world that is the stupidest thing they have ever heard.  If I was at the mall sucking down an Orange Julius and I saw that happen, I would first wait to see if that was okay and then I would laugh my ass off once she was.  Honestly, I would probably be laughing at her while I helped her out of the fountain, and then you'd be reading all about it here anyway.  But I would almost be willing to do the sitcom thing where I say shit like "I can't believe you just did that!" and "What the hell were you thinking?" right to her face as she wiped herself off. 

Fucking put it down while
you are walking around.
      She, however, because she has no sense of humor and all of America is laughing at her, has decided that she shouldn't have to take it, and has hired a lawyer, who decided for some reason that going on Good Morning America would be a good way to get things cleared up.  Or to get on TV.  Here is the thing about her appearance on GMA that really tees me off, well it's two things so suck it: 1.) Now everybody knows your name.  Bold strategy, lady.  Here is the deal, it's still relatively early in the day as I type this, so when I searched the Internet none of the articles I found had your name, but there it was, plastered all across the bottom of GMA this morning, and I assure you it will be out there for everyone to see by noon (Editor's Note: At 3:36 pm her picture and story was on the front page of Yahoo!...the first three words of the story were her name: Cathy Cruz Marrero), and now everyone is going to know that it was you falling in the fountain because you couldn't see a face on the video so you could have remained sort of incognito and 2.) Now you have allowed everyone who doesn't use a computer or have Internet access to see your dumb ass fall into the fountain.  It went all out into homes around America today, the images of you being a dumbass.  Smooth movie dipshit.
      The main crux of Fountain Lady's complaint against the mall, etc. is that the guards spent their time laughing at her instead of sending someone to her aid.  Okay, I will play along.  But here is my point, and I am sure that it is a point that all sorts of lawyers in suits have thought of: She was so quick about getting up and getting out of the fountain that even if the guards had dispatched someone to help her, she would have been gone by the time that the guard got there.  If anything they should have dispatched a custodial professional to mop up her water puddle she had to have left on the floor, or to at least put out one of those little yellow signs that blocks off the bathroom in the Worldwide Headquarters every day at like 2:30 pm when I have to pee.       What did she fucking expect?  She got up and high tailed it out of there?  Go fuck yourself, lady.  There is no way, NO WAY, that you ever would have or could have known that they didn't send help if they hadn't posted that video on YouTube.  No way.  And, like I said, there is no way they would have been able to get to you in time anyway, so just settle down.  Sit home and stroke your wounded pride and just get over yourself, okay?  Just shut up and take your lumps and maybe learn to not be such an idiot without a sense of humor.  You did something unbelieveably stupid, and you got caught.  Now pay for it.  Don't lawyer up and get all offended.  You are everything wrong with America, Fountain Lady, and you've pissed me off.  I hope you get what you deserve.

Pdcast Update: 3-2011: Turbo Encabulation

Hilarity ensues this week when Mike-a-licious puts a turbo encabulator in his 1985 Plymouth Reliant-K, which by the way is officially colored "neud" if that really is a color.  Anyway, with the turbo encabulator and home-made tailfin in place Mike-a-licious is really styling, and he brings some listener mail along with him, as friend of the show Brad from Nashville weighs in on the french fries vs. onion rings debate.  You wanna know what else happens? The boys do a Mad Lib or two and Big Dave sort of flubs the news a little bit.  Tune in now at left, at Liberated Syndication, or at iTunes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

At the Car Wash

     Deepest apologies to everyone out there for not giving you something new and exciting OR old and washed up yesterday, but I was at the doctor's with The Sickness, still, trying to get some answers, which didn't leave me much time to peck something out, old school style, with my two index fingers.  Anyhoodle, as they say, I am here now, and that is all that should matter, isn't it?
     Today I want to talk about the car wash.  I live in a northern climate, and as such when you get to January there tends to be a lot of salt and salt residue on the roadways, which means that by some sort of transference that science can't even begin to understand, your car will also be covered with salt if you go anywhere that is beyond, say, seven blocks from your house.  And so as I have been driving around a lot lately, my car was covered with salt.  So I went to get it washed, because that is what grownups do.
Why would you back out of line from this?
     Anyway, I was waiting in line to get into the car wash; there was a car waiting in front of me and there was a car in there getting washed.  Actually, check that: There was a truck in front of me and a car in getting washed.  So I am hanging out and trying to decide which of the many washes to get, because I just sort of wanted the salt off but I wanted the underbody flush as well, so I am looking at the board of options and all the sudden I realize that the truck in front of me has its backup lights on.  And he is not just like readjusting himself to go into the car wash at the correct angle, he was backing out to leave.
     What's with that shit?  Who backs out of a car wash?  Who suddenly decides that, no, their car is clean enough and a little water and soap won't make the situation any better?  That's fucked up.  No no no, once you are in line at the little pay thing you are committed to the wash, especially if you have paid.  And you want to know what is the craziest thing?  That is the second time I have had the person in front of me back out of the car wash.  The first time they were actually INSIDE THE BUILDING when they decided they weren't up for it.  In that instance I think the car wash might have been broken, but still...that is almost unprecedented.  I just cannot accept that backing out of the car wash has become standard in our society.  I just think there is something to be said for the commitment. 
      So if you are line, make sure you go through with your car wash.  Your car deserves it what with all the crap it puts up with from you.  Besides, backing out of the car wash is just so nerdy and lame.  So go through.  Look forward to a clean car, and enjoy your car wash.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Communism Now

    Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day because apparently his father didn't do anything we should celebrate.  Anyway, all of the Federal and a lot of State offices are closed today, which is cool, and we should all take a moment to honor Dr. King for the change that he effected, and I was planning of talking about him today but sometimes you have to fly by the seat of your pants and be willing to change course mid-stream and so today I want to talk about Communism.
     Twice today, in my first two hours of being at work, I have hear Communism referred to in a totally incorrect manner, and so I thought that maybe it was time to sort of set the record straight when it comes to our Red friends.  I say our Red friends because Communists aren't our enemies anymore.  You can go on all you want about China, but they aren't really communists anymore anyway, they have become more of a capitalist oligarchy shrouded in a veil of communism than anything, but I digress.  My main point here is that now-a-days Communists aren't really anything to be feared, they are usually a minority party that wins some seats in a European parliamentary election but never actually get anything done.
     So anyway, the first instance was when I was walking by someone's cubicle and overheard them saying that someone charging them a fee for billing them was like communism.  All I could think when I heard that was "No it's not, that is the exact opposite of communism."  Charging someone for the privilege of being billed is not communism, Company, it is as close as one can come to capitalism.  In a communist system, there would be no charge for seeing the doctor so there would be no bill.  In capitalism, they are probably working out a way in which to charge you for the air that you are breathing withing the doctor's office, they just haven't figured out a way to quantify it yet without violating your civil liberties.  But that's coming next, watch out.
      Now I know what this person, who shall remain nameless, was getting at.  He or she was trying to say that charging you for getting a bill is evil, criminal, morally wrong.  Stupid, unjust, bad business practice.  Etc, etc.  And I couldn't agree more whole-heartedly.  There is no reason why you should have to pay a rather substantial fee for having a single piece of paper sent to you that says how much your bill is just because you didn't pay your copay when walking through the door.  That is just fucking stupid.  Five years ago someone who suggested that would have been committed to the looney bin.  That being said, it is not communist.  That is all that I am saying.
    Second instance is a guy on the phone, who calls me up.  I am not going to bore you with the details, but basically I tell him he can't do what he wants to do (build a house) because he is registered in a different state, and you can only work in the state in which you are registered.  So he tells me that sounds "very Communistic" which is hilarious on so many levels.  First of, Communistic isn't a word as far as I am aware, but then again it could be - I am not the ultimate source on what is or is not a word.  At least he used a general rule of grammar to come up with it.  So he's got that going for him, which is nice.  But no, I was not being communist or "communistic" or anything else really.  Yeah, from where he was sitting I was probably being all the things above - evil, etc. - but if I was being communist I would have told him to leave that to the house building members of the cooperative, and that if he was one of the house-building members then he was probably in possession of all the credentials he needed.  Now if he were to argue that I was being "communistic" because I wasn't allowing him to do what he wanted, then maybe I would be okay with that.  In the commune you might not be able to be what you wanted to be.  So he might have me there, but I am not so sure he was bright enough to think that argument through.
     Bottom line here, folks, is that we need to know what we are talking about before we open our mouths and put our feet in our own mouths, which I admit I have done many, many times in this forum.  But it was just so bizarre to hear that term dredged up twice in one morning, and used basically incorrectly each time, that I couldn't pass it up.  I hope you are having a wonderful Dr. MLK Jr Day, and I hope that offering those tidings is not too "communistic."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Happenings

     Your day is made up of sequences of events.  Sometimes they are mundane; for instance you go to work then you have some coffee then your boss comes around and then it's lunchtime, etc, etc.  Sometimes your day is pretty much made up of one gigantic event, like your wedding day or the day that your child is born, whatever.  Or maybe it is made up of like fifty-six gigantic events, in which case you are Jack Bauer.  But I digress.  Then sometimes you have a day that is made up of a large sequence of mid-major events, sort of like the MVC basketball schedule.  Wanna hear about them?  Okay.

-  I left my boots in my car and my coat at someone else's house, so it was a cold, icy morning for me.  I had to wear my shoes out to the car and put my boots on there.  Cold boots are the worst, and my laces were frozen straight, which made them very hard to tie.  I had to stop and pick up my coat along the way.  At least that was inside, because a cold coat is the second worst.

-  I could not get into the driveway at work.  About 4 inches of snow fell last night, and other people had managed to get in, but I could not, even when I got a running start (figuratively speaking) I couldn't make it, although I was doing good until my wheels turned without my consent.  Anyway, some nice guy put his plow down and plowed me a path.  I should probably tell you that there is a hill in the driveway right when you turn off the road, so it is not that my car blows or I don't exactly know how to drive in the snow, there were unique property features that aided in my failure.


- Some retread hit my car.  Once the official plow showed up, I had to move my car so that the plow could plow properly.  YOU HAVE TO MOVE YOUR FUCKING CAR SO THE PLOW CAN PLOW PROPERLY!  Sorry, that was for the dillholes who don't know that and live in apartments, duplexes, etc.  Anyway, the plow came through and I moved my car so it was parked along the traffic lanes.  I am talking to some guy in a Geo Prizim (that is my second Geo Prizim reference this week - strange) and he goes to back up to leave.  So he apparently thinks that it is a good idea to floor it and crank the wheel, which leads him to spin the front of his car around directly into mine.  No damage though, so that was good.  But how fucking retarded were you, especially when you were just asking me about my car?


-  I took some dogs for a walk.  Gone With the Wind's dogs to be exact, a big loveable Rottweiler and a little Husky thing, and they actually walked nice and gave me no problems.  They even got along with one another and seemed to have fun.  Then, the puppy went back in his cage without a lot of fuss.  I know that is not such a mid-major event, but when you've been working all morning that is pretty good.


-  Tonight I am going to a get together with friends to watch a football game.  I know that doesn't sound like much, and it hasn't happened yet, but getting together with your friends around anything and adding a pot of chili is always a good thing.  Plus, I never get to watch football since I don't get TV in my corner of the Worldwide Headquarters.  Also, there will be taco dip.  HAHAHAHA.  I like taco dip.

So those are some of the events that made up my Saturday.  Most of those could stand alone on any day, and be like the main feature, but they all teamed up to make my Saturday a slightly more than normal Saturday.  Hope yours was just as more than normal.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cops

Bad boys, bad boys...

     A couple of days ago, I talked a lot about an episode of Cops in which I was very disappointed, and I kept promising that I would get to it tomorrow.  Well tomorrow came and we sort of got sidetracked by some other important happenings, so Cops had to wait another day, which is okay because it was a rerun anyway, right?
      So anyway, I can't sleep one night and I am flipping through the channels that I get in my wing of the Worldwide Headquarters and I discovered that Cops was on one of my friendly local stations.  For those of you who don't remember, Cops is a show that was very popular in the late 90s and early to mid 2000s that featured a camera crew rolling around with police officers in usually southern or western American cities, and videotaping their exploits.  Cops sort of staked its fame on the chase scenes, because they always seemed to feature a police officer who took his job way too seriously, and who would get a radio call and suddenly accelerate his Crown Victoria at high speed down a 4-lane road at night and before long he would jump out and start chasing some sort of minority through backyards, empty lots, etc. with the obviously overweight cameraman (who was also carrying several dozen pounds of recording equipment to be honest) huffing and puffing behind him and losing all care about if the picture was in frame or steady or not, which are all the things that get a cameraman hired in the first place.
      Anyway, those are the trademarks of the show, and that is what I was reasonably expecting when I began to watch.  But it was not to be.  The first little segment followed a police officer who took his job a little too seriously in Las Vegas being called to help a motorcycle cop who tried to pull over a person who did not stop.  So the police begin to follow this car, about 4 cop cars, at 30 miles per hour as if they were reliving the OJ chase or something.  So they follow this chick in her Buick Century and are worried about stopping her before she gets to the crowded Las Vegas Strip, which they refuse to call the Strip and call Las Vegas Blvd over and over and over.  So they follow this lady at a distance for blocks and blocks and blocks, before somewhere some Sgt. gives them the okay to take the lady out.  The ram her car, she spins around, and then proceeds to hit a bus shelter or something.
      This leads to the only good part of the show, when they take the dunk and slightly frightened woman into the back of a police car, and a half a dozen police officers who take their jobs way too seriously began to scream at and berate this poor woman for what she has done.  Sarge shows up and he speaks to her kindly but matter-of-factly, but every time he turns his back the others start the yelling again.  It was like a game of good cop/bad cop but with five bad cops.  In the end she didn't want to pull over because she had never been pulled over before and failed a field sobriety test and went off to jail.  All in all not very exciting.
      Second little segment followed a police officer in Boise who took his job too seriously (he had named his son Justice) who stopped this sort of trashy looking guy in a fast car for not having a front license plate.  After some questioning and lying they discover that the guy has some illegal pills in his car that he is delivering from some woman to an old man who is a friend of his.  He also has a concealed weapon but has a permit.  He goes to jail for having the pills.  BORING!
     Third segment is just as bad, as a police officer in Covington, Kentucky pulls over some jagweeds in a Geo Prizim with a different colored rear door for blowing a stop sign.  Of course they have an open container and bag of weed in the car, and the cop - who takes his job way too seriously - gets the guy to claim the weed by threatening to send his girlfriend up the creek because it was under her seat.  Then he lets the girlfriend and open entox guy go.  Strange, but not that entertaining or memorable.
     So I guess that my question is this:  What happened to the good stuff?  What happened to the car chases or the foot chases and the panting cameraman?  The episode I watched was pretty much devoid of all of the hallmarks of Cops, and it was actually boring.  I am not sure why I even bothered to watch it.  And to be honest, I am not sure why they bothered to make it.  I was seriously depressed by the whole experience, and I sort of came away with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth for law enforcement.  But whatever, I suppose that in the end it is Cops and I shouldn't have really expected a whole lot, which is good because that's exactly what I got.  Very little.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Podcast Update 2-2011: T Time

There is another exciting Big Dave and Company Podcast episode is available right now!  This week, the boys focus all their attention on TV, as Big Dave sees an awful infomercial featuring friend of the show, Mr. T, and he just has to tell Mike-a-licious all about it.  Their conversation inspires Big Dave to try and become a television commentator for bowling, and debuts several new bowling terms that he hopes to take viral.  The news article features a Delaware man who calls 911 after he gets too drunk to escape the house he broke into.  Check it out!

Facebook

     There is a lot to be said for someone who fights the good fight, even against insurmountable odds.  Erin Brockovich fighting against the PG&E about polluting the drinking water, a Republican President fighting against a Democratic Congress or vice verse, The Rock having to clean up his hometown on an island in Washington state in that crappy movie that nobody saw, whatever.  The lone cowboy fighting for his way of life as the West fundamentally changes around him.  And so on and so forth.  The thing about the tragic hero fighting for what he believes in is that he doesn't always win.  Sometimes the tide of time and fortune will inevitably wash over him and he will succumb to whatever he is fighting.  Ask all the hippies who are driving Cadillacs and wearing three-piece suits these days.  Sometimes there is just no use in fighting anymore because the odds are stacked so firmly and greatly against you.  Keep that in mind as you read the first sentence of the next paragraph.
     I opened a Facebook account last night.  I know, I know, I know.  I have been Mr. Anti-Facebook as someone has already called me on my wall or whatever it's called for a long, long time.  I have railed against people who use Facebook in stupid ways or do stupid things on it and get themselves in trouble or put their feet in their mouths.  That won't change, because I am going to do my best to not be one of those people, although I know that I am going to be one of those people somewhere along the way because I always do stuff like that on accident.  But I am here today eating my piece of crow because I have crumbled like a 30-year old bridge abutment in a northern state.
     There were a number of reasons why I finally succumbed and gave in and went on Facebook, or the FB as I like to call it.  First of all was the sheer inevitability of the whole thing.  I always thought I could ride out the Facebook wave, probably because I successfully rode out the mySpace phenomenon, but this is a whole different sort of animal.  So here I am.  Also, my friends successfully bugged me for long enough about doing it that I gave in.  Actually, in recent days they changed strategy and it went from a sort of broad, shallow stream of pestering to a concentrated, deep and fast flowing stream aimed at my loved ones, and that was what did it.  So I am going to name names, and give congratulations to David Nathaniel, Chevy Orange, Guy H, and Garmo for getting the job done.  I am on Facebook now and I can't ever change that.  But I can delete my account, and I will do it in a heartbeat if this whole being on the FB thing starts to annoy me.  But until then just sit and wait for my friend request I guess.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chef T

     Please allow me to set the stage for you, Company: It's nighttime, last night to be exact.  I come home from bowling, and I had a good time.  So I grab a bite to eat and I head to bed.  One problem: I'm not tired.  Not really tired at all.  So I putz around a little bit and then settle in under my comfy, cozy covers to catch some tube.  Two episodes of The King of Queens pass, then the same happens with South Park.  Midnight ticks by and Cops comes on (but we'll get to that tomorrow) and I am ready for two episodes of Cops any maybe then I will be ready for bed at 1 am with a 6:30 alarm staring me in the face.

Mr. T reminds First Lady Nancy Reagan
to stay in school and drink her milk.
     That's what I was prepared for, but that is not what I got.  After an extremely boring episode of Cops (but we'll get to that tomorrow) an infomercial came on for some sort of countertop plastic convection cooker that you can take steaks and chicken and fish and vegetables or pretty much anything that you want completely frozen solid and it will cook it to perfection in like 16 minutes.  It had all the things that you expect to see out of an infomercial of that type, okay?  It had rows of the little appliances.  It had an overly enthusiastic audience that was ready to be amazed by everything that happened.  It had the criminally peppy and relatively attractive but not super duper (she was like a 7 maybe) attractive woman running the show, and it had the paid B-, C-, or D-list celebrity who came in to test to food and make people think this was a good thing to buy, in this case Mr. T.
     And he did not look good.  Scratch that, he looked good.  I mean, he wasn't as muscular as he was back in his A-Team days, but he was still solid as a rock and tremendously fit.  I mean, I wouldn't want to fight him or have to tackle him.  I guess that a better way to say it would be that he wasn't very comfortable.  He didn't look very comfortable.  First of all, they had him in like this weird red mock turtleneck looking thing, and he wasn't showing any of his trademark gold chains.  He had his haircut like always, with the dark hair and the glistening shaved areas, and I am sure that the chains where there just under the shirt.  So he comes in, after the 30-something lady introduces him, by breaking down the door of the "kitchen," which requires a very high camera angle that makes it painfully obvious that it is a set just designed to look like a kitchen, which is okay because we all knew that anyway and they didn't really take a lot of pains to make it look otherwise.  No big deal.
     So far, all is cheesy but it's an infomercial so what else do you expect, right?  So all was pretty much as would be expected, but then Mr. T began talking.  Now, here is a professional actor who has done many, many different television shows, and he's been doing it for years and years and years.  Now, I can't honestly say that any of his stuff really had the most difficult lines, but nonetheless I would still consider him a veteran actor.  Hell, he wrestled in the old WWF, and that takes a high degree of acting skill, right?  So anyway, I would expect him to be all Mr. T-ish but still passable.  Nope.  He was terrible.  I don't know if he was having an off day, or was uncomfortable with what he was doing, but he was no good.  I mean seriously no good.  Have you ever seen a sitcom where someone gets an acting gig and they are all excited but then when they start they are like way-over-the-top the worst actor in the history of acting going all the way back past Shakespeare times?  Well, that how this was going down.  He was like an actor on a sitcom acting as a bad actor.  Try to wrap your head around that.  But that is what was going on.  He was stiff, like cardboard, and he was over emphasising everything, and speaking in this totally fake sort of way.  The only thing that I saw him do that was convincing was to eat the piece of steak that the lady cooked up for him.  Medium rare of course.
     It was so bad that I couldn't take it anymore.  It made my brain hurt.  The good news is, however, that when you combine it with the terribly boring episode of Cops that I had to sit through (but we will get to that tomorrow) it was enough to put me to sleep.  Unfortunately I will never be able to get those images of Mr. T - in an apron no less - failing as an actor.  Poor guy, I know he can do better and I have seen him do better.  But then again, it was just an infomercial.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Under the Big Top

Artist's rendering of a circus actually working
like it should.
     Have you ever been to a bad show?  Like, a truly horrible piece of entertainment that just wasn't worth the price of admission?  Sure you have.  And it sucks.  You just feel angry and let down and you are usually out a significant amount of money, and the whole situation is just awful.  The worst part is that there really isn't anything that you can do to get your money or time or anything back.  There is very little recourse available to those of us who get screwed by the entertainment industry.  You can't ask George Clooney for your money back because his latest movies sucked, this isn't South Park.  But have you ever thought about just calling the police?
     That's what someone in the Belarussian city of Vitebsk did when a Russian circus came to town and failed to live up to its hype.  At the first show, the audience noticed that many of the performers seemed drunk - artists were repeatedly falling off bicycles and jugglers were consistently dropping their props - and several animals that were promised to be part of the show were missing.  While people advertisements promised "jugglers and midgets, fantasy heroes and performing animals" including black bears, crocodiles, monkeys, "orcs and taurantons" which I have never heard of or seen in the wild or seen at ZooBoise, when the performance began there were only some poodles and a crocodile, and the crocodile didn't even have the decency to eat one of the poodles.
      As one could imagine, the audience got upset pretty quickly.  By the intermission of the first show on the first day - January 2 - they were demanding their money back.  During the tumult the police were called, not on the rowdy spectators but by a spectator, and the proceeded to sweep in and question the circus performers.  Some were even administered breathalyzers to see if they were intoxicated.  As it turns out, they were sober, but when you fall off your bicycle three times in two minutes, I believe that it is safe to say you are not very talented.
      Well, right after being questioned by the police the circus packed up and left Vitebsk, but they gave a couple of answers before they split, mostly pertaining to the missing animals.  Yekaterina Kudasheva, administrator of the circus presented by the Student Association of Kostroma, variously said that the animals were stuck at customs, or "were outside Moscow" which doesn't do anyone any good because that isn't even in the same country as where the circus was.
      And so the repercussions have begun.  Police in Belarus are investigating whether any crimes have been committed, although I sort of doubt it since the performers were sober unless there is some truth in advertising law they have violated, lawyers for Vitebsk's Palace of Sport (where the circus was held) are looking into how they can recover their money from the circus, and Palace of Sport director Igor Kalmuk has told the newspaper that the 10,000 ruble (approx $3) tickets would be refunded.  So things are and will continue to shake out. 
      But what about the children, I can hear you ask, Company.  What about the parents and children who slogged through the blizzard only to be deprived of the circus they came to see?  A New Year's event of this magnitude is rare for Vitebsk, you know.  How did you know that, Company?  How did you know all that stuff was true?  Because it is.  Well, they will get their money back, and the children will learn a valuable lesson about disappointment and carnies, or at least circus folk.  And they will survive, since they are children and will forget in a couple of weeks anyway.  But I feel sort of bad for them, and a little bad for the circus performers who where trying but just sucked balls.  I don't blame them for skipping town - they probably would have been lynched.  Life will go on in Vitebsk, and I am sure the cops will be on high alert next time the circus comes to town.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Five Minute Free Write

Due to a lack of ideas for what to write about today, I am just going to free write for five minutes.  Sort of like the one minute writer thing but five minutes long.  Sound good?  I think it does too...

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock
Well Company, after surviving a Freaky Friday and a long day snowshoeing through a ravine in the woods (Don't ask) it is finally Monday again, and I am not sure when the last time that I was looking forward to a Monday was.  But here I am, arms deep in my workday, but taking my mandatory lunch period to type this out for you, and I am just humming along with productivity.  And my hamstrings aren't even all that sore.And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.  Anyway, I am sort of cruising along and making headway on my projects at a rate that I never could have even dreamed of, and I am just sort of waiting for something to go wrong.  Not so much for the other shoe to drop but more for the first one to fall in the first place.  You know what I am saying?  When things are going so right you almost expect something to go horribly awry somewhere along the way.  That's always the way it goes.  Like when you are late for work and making really good time until you run into the traffic backed up behind the accident on the freeway.  Damn it!  You were doing so well and then that happened.  Well, that is sort of how I am feeling today, I am just waiting for my traffic jam.  Some people are like that all the time, and I - unfortunately - am one of them. I always get nervous when things are going well.  Such is life I suppose.  Anyway, I am almost done with free writing time.  I hope you are having a wonderful day, and I hope that no shoes drop on you between now and, well really ever.  Wouldn't that be nice?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Freaky Friday

     There are three things that are always on my person: my wallet, my cell phone, and my keys.  They are my constant travelling companions, and when I am wearing jeans or slacks they each have a certain place where they go, like a certain pocket.  Sometimes when I am wearing a hooded sweatshirt, they all get a chance to mingle together in my gigantic front pocket.  Well anyway, this past Friday I managed to only go 1 for 3, which would be great for a baseball player but isn't so hot when you are talking about the three things that make your life go forward.
     First was the wallet.  I had it at lunchtime.  I know because I paid for my lunch like a productive member of society.  And I vaguely remember having it when I left work, and I know that somewhere along the way I remember sitting on it and feeling it there.  Since the only places that I had gone were to the post office, where I didn't even get out of my car because I didn't want to get shot by some crazy postal worker, and Baby Doll's parents' house, so I figured that it was probably there.  So we searched the usual places: the chair I was sitting in, the counter spaces in case I absent-mindedly set it down somewhere along the way (which I have a habit of doing), and of course the couch.  This is where I thought it was, because I was lying there like a lump and her nephew was using me as a sort of jungle gym.  So we looked and took off the cushions and felt around and came up with nothing.
      I was, however pretty sure that it was in or around or under that couch somewhere, but I wanted to double check around the Dyke Sedan 2, my desk at work, etc.  So I went to leave, and since it is winter and I live in the Great White North, I started the car and shut the door and went to brush off the snow and scrape off the ice.  Except I managed to lock the door as well.  All four of them to be more precise.  That's right, I locked my keys inside my running car, which I know is not uncommon, but happened to happen on the same day I lost my wallet. 
     I tried to break into my car, like I have had to do with all my cars before and a couple of my suites at the Worldwide Headquarters, but I have a relatively new car for the first time in a long time, and apparently they are engineering those things to be harder to break into these days.  So I couldn't do the old coat hanger trick, and I didn't want to damage things.  Thankfully, Baby Doll's dad was nice enough to take my to get a spare key to my apartment, then to y apartment, then back to my car with the spare.
     In the end, all was well.  My car was toasty warm when I got back into it, and I only burned two or there dead dinosaurs in the process.  I found my wallet deep in the recesses of the infamous couch the next day, and all was accounted for, not that there had even been any doubt.  And life went on.  But it was certainly a nerve-wracking day. A Freaky Friday indeed.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Shaking Off the Cobwebs

Bbbbrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnggggggggggg! Time to wake up!
     I don't know if I have ever told you this before, Company, but I am sure that I have - I like the morning.  I really do.  I don't know if it is the angle or quality of the sunshine, I don't know if it's just because I don't have those afternoon blahs, I really just am not sure exactly why.  I just prefer the morning time.  I really love being up early, like a couple of ticks before everyone else it, so you can a.) get around while the streets are still quiet and b.) you can sort of laze around and watch wherever it is that you are sort of wake up.  It is really a sight to behold.  I just love it.
    The problem is that I hate waking up.  And that is a big problem.  For as much as I like the morning time, I am still a night owl.  My body is a happy camper when I can sleep from roughly 3 am - 11 am, which is when teenagers and party animals seem to want to sleep and so it gets me a bad rap.  Consequently, I am not what you would call a "morning person," even though I am.  Does that make sense?  I am a person who loves the morning but hates getting up.  I am a giant fan of whomever invented the snooze alarm.  Now that I have a job that requires my lazy ass to be out of bed on a regular basis, I am rapidly becoming a fan of coffee, even if only a cup or two, and if only because it gives me something warm to put inside me and get me going, not unlike the benefit of having an engine block heater on a cold, cold day.
     So anyway, if you haven't looked at the time stamp, it's morning.  And from whatever time it says this blog posted, subtract 15 minutes and that is when I started writing it, unless it is a particularly long or short one.  Now, I understand that it is not particularly early in the morning - if I were at work I would already have a couple of hours in - but it is still morning, and I am still having trouble shaking off the cobwebs.  For whatever reason I just can't seem to get the old body motivated today.  I feel sluggish.  I am coughing up some unpleasant crud that has accumulated in my lungs overnight.  My eyes and their accompanying lids are droopy at best.  And for some reason, it is taking my brain a long time to sort out just about everything it needs to do.
     But that is life.  And it is the morning, so I will enjoy it whatever of it is left.  If I could only shake these cobwebs...

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Odd Job Interview

I know that I promised not to regurgitate news to you as much, but this isn't really news so much as it is freaking interesting.  The people at BNET called the people at Glassdoor, which is a job-posting and community website for job seekers, and brought to us the 25 strangest questions that people were asked in an interview in 2010.  I am going to list the question in bold, the company that supposedly asked it in parenthesis, and then my response.  The companies that purportedly asked these questions were all contacted by BNET and while none of them laid claim to any of the questions being theirs, none of them would deny it either.  Imagine if these were the only questions you were asked.  Anyway, here we go:

1.) If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out? (Goldman Sachs) Huh?  Excuse me?  I don't know.  I would probably stand up on the blades and try to jump up and grab the top.  Is the blender running?  I guess I don't really know, I have never thought about it before. I would probably end up getting someone's attention and having them pull me out or I would just get chopped to bits and get poured out.

2.)  How many ridges are there around a quarter? (Deloitte)  I don't know.  26 maybe? No, that's probably not enough.  I don't know.  I can find out for you though if you give me a couple of minutes.

3.)  What is the philosophy of martial arts? (Aflac)  Ummm...don't quote me on this but first of all there are lots of kinds of martial arts and they all sort of have their own ideas and philosophies, but I believe the whole deal is that you have complete control of your mind and body and that they are working in harmony with one another.  I don't know though, because I have never taken any sort of martial arts class or studied martial arts.

4.)  Explain to me what has happened in this country during the last ten years. (Boston Consulting) Huh?  What do you mean by that?  Are you asking my opinion of the direction that this country is heading or do you want me to whip out a history timeline or what?  That is not a very clear question; in fact, it's not even a question at all, it is a command.  Do you want me to use a little blue essay book?  I'm out of here.

5.)  Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are. (Capital One)  Eight.

6.)  How many basketballs can you fit in this room? (Google) Couple thousand.  I don't know, I am really bad at estimating size and distance.  You could fit more women's basketballs than men's, I know that much.

7.)  Out of 25 horses, pick the fastest 3 horses. In each race, only 5 horses can run at the same time.  What is the minimum number of races required? (Bloombergn LP)  Five if you have like a stopwatch or something, six if you don't because you'd have five races to go through the 25, and one more race to pit the five winners against one another.

8.)  If you could be any superhero, who would it be? (AT&T) I don't know.  Not Superman or Batman or the Green Lantern or anything.  Someone who could make themselves invisible.  Yeah the flying and super strong things are nice, but I would rather be invisible so I can go wherever I want and then I can always know what is going on.  Just make sure that I can still be visible when I want to be, you know?

9.)  You have a birthday cake and have exactly three slices to cut it into either equal pieces. How do you do it? (Blackrock Portfolio Management) Cut it in half horizontally, then cut it into quarters from the top. (Note: Then I would make the motions with my hands to show how it works.)

10.)  Given the numbers 1 to 1000, what is the minimum number of guesses needed to find a specific number if you are given the hint "higher" or "lower" for each guess you make? (Facebook)  One.  If I guess the right number on my first guess I don't need to guess any more.

11.)  If you had 5,623 participants in a tournament, how many games would need to be played to determine the winner? (Amazon)  Am I allowed to use a piece of paper or a calculator?  Let's see, at 64 you need 64 to 32 equals 1, 32 to 16 equals two, 16 to 8 equals three, 8 to 4 equals four, 4 to 2 equals five, and 2 to 1 equals six, so 64 is six, 128 would be seven, 256 would be eight, 512 would be nine, 1024 would be ten, 2048 would be eleven, 4096 would be twelve, 8192 would be twelve, so you would need twelve rounds, but you play half as many games in each round as there are teams, but there are only 5623 teams so there would be a lot of byes in the first round, so I don't know, a lot?  Does this job include setting up a lot of tournaments or something?

12.)  An apple costs 20 cents, an orange costs 40 cents, and a grapefruit costs 60 cents.  How much is a pear? (Epic Systems)  What kind of question is that?  I don't know. You haven't given me enough information to figure it out.  That is like me asking you "Sally's car is red, Jim's car is blue, what is the color of the car I was parked next to at the airport last week?"  There is no way you can figure it out.  The cost of a pear is dependent on so many factors, from the price of gasoline to the recent weather in Chile.  But I am going to say 40 cents because that is the average cost of fruit in your question.

13.)  There are three boxes.  One contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges.  The boxes have been labeled such that no label identifies the actual contents of the box.  Opening just one box, and without looking in the box, you take out one piece of fruit.  By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly? (Apple)  Can't be done unless you have an app for that.  Just kidding.  I would see what smell comes out of the box I guess.

14.)  How many traffic lights are there in Manhattan? (Argus Information and Advisory Services)  I have never been to Manhattan.  I don't know that off the top of my head, I am sure there are a lot.  I can find out for you.

15.)  You are in a dark room with no light.  You have 19 gray socks and 25 black socks.  What are the chances you will get a matching pair? (Convergex)  Well, on any pick you have a 25 in 44 chance of getting a black sock, and you will have to pick twice.  I remember being taught how to figure this out back in my junior year of high school, but to be honest I can't remember how it is done.

16.)  What do wood and alcohol have in common? (Guardsmark)  They both can burn.  I should say, they both can be burned as fuel.  Alcohol can be made from wood.  They are both organic compounds, just off the top of my head.

17.)  How do you weigh an elephant without using a weigh machine? (IBM)  Use displacement.  Throw him in a lake.

18.)  You have eight pennies. Seven weigh the same, but one weighs less.  You also have a judges scale. Find the penny that weighs less in three steps. (Intel)  Weigh four on one side and four on the other.  Take the four that weigh less and split them into two and two.  Weight two on each side.  Take the two that weigh less and put on on each side of the scale.  The one that weighs less is the one.

19.)  Why do you think that only a small portion of the population makes over $150,000? (New York Life) Because $150,000 is a lot of money, especially when coupled with health benefits, pension, etc.  Most companies would go bankrupt paying a bunch of employees over $150,000.

20.)  You are in charge of 20 people.  Organize them to figure out how many bicycles were sold in your area last year. (Schlumberger)  What?  That makes no sense.  What would you define as my "area"?  How long do I have to do this?  I would keep one person to tabulate the stats.  Then I would have two people to canvas the "area" bicycle shops and get sales numbers from them.  Then I would have two people to do the big box stores, Wal-Mart, etc.  Then the rest I would have on Internet sellers because there are so many places that sell bikes and stuff online.  It might take awhile unless there is some sort of association that already tracks that sort of figure, then we can just call them and make up a chart or something.

21.)  How many bottles of beer are [consumed] in the city [in a] week? (Nielsen)  Which city?  Which week?  There would be a lot more consumed on a week that includes New Year's than on just some random week in February.  But I can find out for you if you give me some time.

22.)  What is the square root of 2000? (UBS)  The square root of 2000.  It is somewhere around 45 or so.  I don't know off the top of my head but I could find out for you.

23.)  A train leaves San Antonio for Houston at 60 mph. Another train leaves Houston for San Antonio at 80 mph.  Houston and San Antonio are 300 miles apart.  If a bird leaves San Antonio at 100 mph, and turns around and flies back once it reaches the Houston train, and continues to fly between the two, how far will it have flown when they collide? (USAA)  First of all, you are an insurance company, aren't you?  Second of all I am going to need some paper and a calculator and maybe a textbook and a pretty good amount of time.  You might want to get some coffee.

24.)  How are M&M's made? (US Bank)  In a factory.  If there is something inside they would start with that, then pour the chocolate over in some sort of mold or something, then they cover it in the candy shell.  If there is nothing inside then skip step one.

25.)  What would you do if you just inherited a pizzeria from your uncle? (Volkswagen)  Well, first of all I would be astonished that I had an uncle with a pizzeria, because I don't.  Second, I would do one of two things.  1.) I would quit my job to manage the place on a day-to-day basis or 2.) I would keep at my job and let whomever is managing it right now continue.  It would depend on how my uncle was doing it, the job I had at the time I inherited it, and how the pizzeria was doing.  Generally though I would leave things alone if they were working alright, and I maybe tweak things here and there as I learn the business and figure out what might be able to be done differently.  I would really have to learn how things work before that though.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Podcast Update 1-2011: Falling From the Sky

This week on the Big Dave and Company Podcast Mike-a-licious makes the not-quite-astonishing admission that he has crashed the corporate jet, which Big Dave lent to him for a year as a Christmas present.  Once they come across the real reason Mike-a-licious had the jet in the first place, they move on to discussing the question French Fries vs. Onion Rings.  The news article this week features a set of twins that are born in different days, months, and even years.  Check it out at iTunes or at left!