Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

     Well Company, I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy Halloween.  Since society and overbearing parents have sucked just about all the true fun out of the holiday, I can safely assume that you and your children aren't out having any fun anymore because it is dark now, and as such I will say that I hope you had a good time and  got a lot of candy.  I am not sure what you all dressed up as, but I will tell you that I went to a party and there were some pretty good costumes.  Not necessarily high end costumes, but thoughtful ones for the most part.
      First of all, my Baby Doll and I dressed as Mexican wrestlers, and I have to say that I was resplendent in my red tights, although I was initially very concerned when her first thought when I put on my tights was "You should have shaved your legs."  That being said, all went well until it was judging time for the costume contest.
      To begin with, all through the night everyone was loving out costumes, and as I went around people were all goofing around with me and fake wrestling and all that jazz.  Cool, right?  I thought I was a shoo in for the whole thing, as I was getting a lot of attention from all sorts of people.  There were of course some girls who had tight and skimpy kinds of costumes on that were garnering some attention but that is to be expected.  I really thought things were going to go well.
      So it is costume time, and they announce that they are going to have separate contests for the kids and the adults, so now I am feeling especially confident.  Way especially confident, because last year that is what got us - they combined the contests and we got beat out by a five-year-old in a ladybug outfit.  So once I heard there were separate contests I thought we were golden to win top prize.
We got beat by this guy.
     That is, until the start of the judging.  They were doing it with a panel of three judges and they were doing it by applause.  As they went through the list of people and it was out turn, we got a shockingly small amount of applause, especially considering how much positive feedback we were getting earlier.  But cooler heads prevailed from the judges and we went on to the final round of five.
      And that was it.  I was stunned.  First place went to a guy dressed as Groucho Marx, and I can't say I really have a problem with it.  He might not have had the most elaborate costume, but he was a fan favorite and he really knew how to work the crowd and ham it up.  He was a showman, and that is half the battle.  So he won, and that was cool.  Third place went to the woman who was the featured speaker of the night, so I suppose that I am not surprised.  There is a certain obligation to reward the girl who had some so far to be the special guest.  So fine.  But the second place guy sort of made me mad.
And this guy.  Here he shows off his prize-winning form to his grandma.
      He was "dressed" as a Juggalo, which is a fan of the band the Insane Clown Posse.  I say dressed in quotation marks because he really didn't have to do much beyond wearing the same dumbass clothes that he probably wears all the time anyway, and put on a distinctive style of facial makeup.  Now, I am going to be real honest and say that he did a good job with his face makeup, and I am sure that part was time consuming.  I am also sure that he did the best with what he had.  But come on.  COME ON!  Juggalo?  We got beat by that?  No way.  Shouldn't have happened.  But it did.  And it was sad.  But there will be other contests and other times.  And I have 365 days to think of something truly spectacular.  Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Man in Tights

      Tomorrow, as a part of my costume for a Halloween party, I am going to put on a pair of bright, fire-engine red tights.  I tried them on tonight and it is an awfully tight fit.  And so needless to say, I am worried.
      First of all, I have never worn tights before in my life, at least not that I remember.  And as such, I am not familiar with the protocol for wearing them around.  I had to ask my Baby Doll what to wear under them, because I was worried about...I don't know how to say this delicately...I was worried about how my junk would show.  I was worried that you would be able to see through the fabric or maybe it would just be ultra-tight and I just didn't know.  I was extra worried when she told me that you don't wear anything under the tights, and I actually modified my costume in order to keep some unfortunate individuals from seeing some very unfortunate sights.
      So yeah...tights.  It is going to happen.  And no, I am not going to give you any pictures.  I am not even going to give you one of those artists' renderings like they do when they don't allow cameras in the courtroom.  Nothing for you.  You don't want to see it anyway, okay?  Just trust me.  But I am going to do it.  I am nervous, but not scared of the tights.  I will defeat them, or at least go down swinging.  Although, with those tights being as tight as they are, I doubt anything will be swinging anywhere.  But I digress.  I hope that everyone has a happy and healthy and safe Halloween, whatever you are doing.  And please remember to make your kids say "Trick or Treat" when they ring a doorbell.  I don't want to have to go off on you like I did last year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flight Jerks

     I cannot even begin to tell you how pissed off I am at the airlines.  They should all probably be put in jail because they are generally raping the American - and all other national - publics with their bullshit.  Seriously, we should have the folks from Law & Order: SVU on tracking down the executives to question them about their crimes.  I mean, first of all the fare for flying out of anything other than JFK, LAX, Chicago, or Atlanta is just ridiculous, secondly they are ending service to all the sorts of places that need it the most (small towns that are located far from big city airports) because they aren't profitable enough destinations, and third they pack you in like sardines and there are no more movies or meal service on most flights, and fourth they charge you for everything and pass all the fee costs of doing business on to you.  It is a bullshit racket and they have people by the crotch because there are cheaper ways to get places, but in general we only get so many days of vacation a year and I can't spend four days on a train to get to Seattle.  That kind of shit might work in Europe where everything is generally pretty close and where they get like 8 weeks of vacation a year, even for new employees, but I just don't have time.  And don't even get me started on the securtiy bullshit at the airports.
     As you can see, I am generally unhappy with the airlines, but I noticed a little something going on today that really set me off.  Now the object of my ire today is going to be Frontier Airlines, and I have nothing specifically against Frontier Airlines, okay?  I find them just as good or bad as any other airline, but they happen to the be one involved with this situation I am blogging about today.  So, nothing personal, Frontier, you just happen to be today's subject.  I am sure that American or Delta or whomever would do the exact same thing.

This is coming to Denver.  And yet it will effect American
as well.
      The article that I read in the friendly local newspaper was about a snowstorm in Denver - which is Frontier's hub - possibly affecting flights in other parts of the nation.  So since the airlines have learned in the last couple of years that being proactive works really well in these situations in order to keep people happy and prevent two hundred thousand people from having to live in airports for days and probably also to keep costs down, the following line appeared in the article: "Frontier Airlines said that people who have travel plans which would take them through Denver on Wednesday may make one itinerary change without a change fee, if they follow particular rules listed on their web site."  I added the emphasis because that is the part that makes me so spectacularly angry this morning.  These ass hole pricks (again, nothing personal Frontier) are going to allow you to do something that will help them out immensely - because they have to cancel less flights, it is good public relations, and you are still flying with them and not possible going with another carrier - so they aren't going to charge you, but because it might also be beneficial to you in some way shape or form, you have to abide by their certain conditions.  That is fucking bullshit.  So let's see what the rules are, shall we?
      First of all, verbatim from Frontier's website: "Customers currently enroute who would like to adjust a return trip may make one itinerary change, rules, and restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements have been waived.  Origin and destination cities must remain the same.  Changes must be made by midnight, October 26, 2011 and travel completed by November 9, 2011."  Well, that is not so bad I suppose.  Still, some parts of it make me a little angry.  First of all, that all those things are waived that means a.) they have change fees, which I am sure are not insignificant and that pisses me off, b.) there are requirements for advance purchase to get the best rates, which really makes me angry because they just fuck over anyone who walks up and needs to fly TODAY, which makes no sense to be because they MAKE MORE MONEY FLYING WITH A FULL PLANE  so they should really be happy selling a seat that they wouldn't have otherwise sold, and therefore increasing their profit margin, but they would rather charge you for not knowing ahead of time that your mom who lives in Baltimore would need that emergency gall bladder surgery, c.) the airline blacks out certain fares from certain dates, so if you have the audacity to try and fly at the same time of the year when everyone else does, then you are going to have to pay up, asshole.  How dare you try to go home for Thankgiving or Christmas, d.) for some reason they want to force you to stay in certain places for certain amounts of time, which is fine if you are forced the spend a week in San Diego, but is a totally different story if you are being forced to stay in Omaha or something, not that Omaha is without its charms.   So I am glad that we don't have to deal with all that shit, but it sort of makes me violently angry that we have to meet all those restrictions in the first place.

Someone get some sweaters for these poor anmials, it is going to snow.
       They require that the origin and destination cities must remain the same, which sort of angers me because I understand that if you are flying from Charlotte to San Francisco, a snowstorm in Denver should not allow you to suddenly fly to New Orleans as your final desination or something.  I get that.  But if you live in Omaha and flew out of Denver on Monday, and you could just as easily fly into Chicago o Wednesday on your return trip and rent a car to get home, and that would help keep people out of DIA, then they should let you do that without penalty.  Because that would be helpful to them, and it probably isn't going to make your life easier.  Now if you were going to try and change your desitnation in a way that still made you fly through Denver that shouldn't be allowed either.  The date restrictions I have no problem with, unless of course you were flying out through Denver today and weren't originally planning on being back until Thanksgiving because you are going to Amsterdam or something.
      Now let's look at the rules for those who have not yet begun to travel.  They "May make one change to travel plans without a change fee by October 26, 2011.  All recheduled travel may be subject to higher fares if it does not meet original rule or booking class."  What the fuck does that mean?  So if I am flying from Miami to Denver with a layover in Milwaukee, and I decide instead to fly from Miami to Cheyenne, Wyoming with a layover in Milwaukee, I might have to pay extra because I got on a regional jet in Milwaukee instead of an Airbus?  Just because Cheyenne is smaller?  Now I have to pay extra because I helped you out by not being on a cancelled flight?  That is horseshit.  Fucking horseshit, especially since there was a pretty good chance I was going to get diverted there anyway once things started piling up in Denver.  And another thing: How the hell are we supposed to know what the original rules and booking classes are?  Last time I took a poll, a majority of Americans do not work for Frontier.  Just to let you know, jerkbags.
      I just don't get it.  I serously don't get it.  It is this sort of arrogance that just makes me wild, and for some reason they airlines have it.  They act like they are providing up some sort of essential service to the people - which they are - but they act like they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart.  Well, no they are not, they are doing it to make a butt-pile of money, and it is not my fault that all the sudden jet fuel prices have gone up, the FAA has cracked down on your maintenance, and people are hijacking planes left and right so you lose a first class seat on every flight to an air marshal.  That doesn't mean you have to be an asshole every time Harry Smith wants to take his family to Universal Studios.  It just doesn't.  Maybe you should just stop paying your executives $4,000,000 a year.  How does that sound?
     I will say this to the folks at Frontier, because I have been picking on them today: At least they are going something to help alleviate the situation.  I know that it helps them out too but they could have been super pricks about it and still charged they shit out of everyone.  And they are doing it for a moderate snow event (as they call it) whereas most airlines would probably only do it for a major dumping.  I am sure that the timing of things has something to do with it, as 2-8 inches of snow usually wouldn't make Denver blink, but this is the first of the year and things always tend to be shaky with the first one, just like when you piss first thing in the morning sometimes you have to prop your hand against the wall for extra balance.  Shit happens.  And, as an added bonus, they are pretty user friendly about getting the information out and kind of cool about the way that they are telling people.  Again, verbatim from their website:

Not so bad, but still an airline nonetheless.
 With the treat of moderate snowfall (forecasts calling for from 2 to 8 inches) in our Denver hub Tuesday night through Wednesday, October 25 and 26, we want to do everything we can to safely get our guests to their final destination.  Forecasts are forecasts and always subject to change, but we want you to know you have options if you choose to change your travel plans.  We are currently planning to fly our regular, full schedule on Wednesday; however it is likely that several flights could be delayed due to the weather conditions in Denver.  As the length of these delays are often very fluid, we ask that you make sure to check the status of your flight below.

That is done in pretty plain language, and they are offering similar options for people travelling to Mexico because of Hurricane Rina, which is spinning somewhere out in Caribbean.  So good for them.  But in the end, they are an airline, and they act mostly like all the other airlines do. And that is like oppressive dicks.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Three Name Pony

    Unless your family is extremely devoutly Catholic (in which case you'd have like fifteen names), then I would guess that you are a lot like me and have three names - a first, a last, and a middle.  Sometimes people call them things like your Christian name, your given name, or whatever.  Sometimes if you are a lady your maiden name becomes your middle name.  And sometimes you go down to the courthouse and change your middle name to a letter so you can be named World B. Free.
     Despite having these three names, most of us just use two and maybe the first letter of the middle one, like Arthur P. Goodcock or John Q. Public.  That is what most of us would call the "norm."  There is even a subset of the population that must not like their first name and use their middle one in everyday use, like if your name is Francis Jason McMurdo and you have everyone call you Jason.  That I guess I understand, and some people actually stick the first letter of their first name on the front because they want to sort of be similar to the rest of us, but it just comes off as sort of being pretentious - F. Dallas Taint for example.  Or P. Allen Smith the gardening guy.
     But then there are those people who for some reason use all three of their names, and I ask, what the hell is up with that?  I know one very good friend of mine who does it because she absolutely hates her first name, but when you combine it with her middle name it makes a name is also used a lot like a first name.  For example, if you first name was Jo and your middle name was Ann you might go a Jo Ann because it sounds like Joanne, ya dig?  But what is up with people like Haley Joel Osment?  Or Jonathan Taylor Thomas?  Or Sarah Michelle Gellar?  What is the deal with those famous actor types?  Or what about the girl on the Sunday morning children's educational show that I was watching the other day?  Why would she use three names?  Aside from the example that I laid out above - which I totally understand - but I don't know that Jonathan Taylor is a normal sounding first name.  So why do it?  It bugs me, and it just makes you seem like a jerkwad.  I expect the guy sitting on the campus green playing a guitar in a sportcoat with leather patches on the sleeves in order to get chicks would be the kind of person to use all three of his names for no reason, and everyone hates that guy.  At least all of the dudes do.
      So let's not be like that.  Let us use our normal conventional first and last names, with maybe the middle initial for credit card applications and signatures and the deed to your house, and let's leave the full middle name out of the whole deal.  And while we are at it let's cut out that first initial, middle name bullshit too.  I am just not all about it.  Sound like a plan?  Thanks.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cheesecake Dream

    I just wanted to take a few minutes this evening to tell you, Company, about how much I would like to have a piece of cheesecake right now.  I want it bad.
     I am not exactly sure why I want to have some cheesecake so bad right at this moment, but I just do.  The good kind too, not the cheater kind that I can make at my own house with vanilla pudding mix and some whipped cream and one of those pre-made pie crusts that is made of graham crackers or crushed up Oreos or something.  Nope, I want the real thing that you have to get from a store or a restaurant, that they serve cold and it is so dense and rich that you can barely stand it.
      And I don't want one that is too involved or fancy-pants.  Nope.  I want the regular kind with just some chocolate drizzled across the top of it and on the plate and a strawberry for a garnish.  That is what I am jonzing for, and I don't have any in the house.  I also lack the money or ambition to go out and get any from the store or a friendly local restaurant, which is sad because I am wanting it SO BAD right now.
      It is seriously all that is running through my mind right now.  I can actually taste it on my tongue and  feel the texture in my mouth.  I am actually salivating as I type this.  That is how bad I have it.  If a Girl Scout showed up at my door asking for donations and she happened to have a piece of delectable cheesecake with her, I would pull a gun on her in order to obtain it.  I would stomp on the foot of a man recently released from prison if it got me that piece of cheesecake without me having to get up off this couch.  If that "What Would You Do For a Klondike Bar" guy showed up as part of a new cheesecake gig, they would have a whole series of new commercials to put on the TV.
      But alas, I am pretty sure that I am not going to get my cheesecake, at least not anytime soon.  I will get it eventually though, that I can assure you.  For now I guess I will have to just keep dreaming...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An Open Letter to The Jones Brothers

Dear Arthur Jones and Williams Jones,

     You are 24 and 25 years old, respectively, so I guess I expected more from you, and I am deeply disappointed and ANGERED by what you have done.  So I am writing you this open letter in order to YELL AT and publicly BELITTLE you for your crime.  What made you think that cutting up the Covert's Crossing Bridge in Western Pennsylvania with a blowtorch and selling it for scrap was a good idea I will never know, but that just might be the stupidest fucking idea in the long history of stupid fucking ideas.
     Well, okay, maybe not the stupidest - because there have been some wildly stupid ideas - but it is certainly the worst that I have heard in a long, long time.  Let me recap your plan for you, since you had to have been either drunk or high on fumes when you conceived and executed it.  You went to Covert's Crossing - about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh - and cut away a LIVING, WORKING BRIDGE with a blowtorch.  I am amazed that you didn't set yourselves on fire.  Than, you went to a friendly local recycling company and offered up the 15.5 tons of scrap metal and tried to collect $5179 for it.  You told the guy working at the company that you had permission to scrap the bridge, and even showed him cell phone pictures of it, since every legitimate businessman uses cell phone pictures to seal deals.  Then, you were amazed when he figured out your con and called the cops.
You never thought people
would miss this?
      You guys are fucking idiots, okay?  Like serious fucking idiots, and I am surprised that somewhere along the way you haven't managed to run with scissors and stab yourselves to death.  Maybe those who know and love you are forcing you to use only the rounded-tip kidergarten style scissors so that doesn't happen - I don't know.  But how could you believe for one minute that this plan would work?  I know that long ago the bridge was replaced with a new one that would carry Covert Road over the Mahoning River, but you didn't think that someone in the area would notice that it was gone? That never like, crossed your mind, that people who live around there might notice that a GIGANTIC STEEL TRUSS BRIDGE was no longer where it used to be, and that no newspaper or television outlet had bothered to note the removal of a structure that had served the community since 1887!?
          That bridge was actually eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, and I am sure that it would have made a really cool centerpiece of like a bicycle or recreation trail, but now it is chopped up in pieces in the back of your Silverado.  And what did you think would happen when you got to the recycling place?  I mean, I know you had those classy photos on your cell phone to show the guy (that is my favorite part of your dumbshit retard plan by the way) but did you really think that he wouldn't ask questions before shelling out more than $5000 to you for something that he obviously doesn't see very often.  I am sure that when he does get bridge parts in as scrap, it is from...oh, let's say a licensed and well-known contractor who has some sort of paper documentation showing it was okay.  I don't think that PennDOT or the Lawrence County, Pennsylvania government generally hire two guys with cell phones and a blow torch to carry out their bridge removal needs.  That just doesn't seem like their style.  So what the hell did you think would happen?  Oh yeah, you thought they would just give you the money and let you walk, because you are OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY and you apparently think everyone is as stupid as you are.
     So I am glad that the recycling guy called the cops on you two and got you off the street, because if you didn't hurt yourselves you would have injured someone else I am sure.  Or you would have just held up a liquor store next week and been arrested anyway.  So I guess that I have to give you some credit that you did it with a little pinache.  But that is it.  You are still, really, really, dumb.  Enjoy your time in jail fuckbags.


Big Dave

Sunday, October 16, 2011

An Open Letter to the Women of Minnesota

Dear Women of Minnesota,

     I am a little disappointed with you, Women of Minnesota.  I have been doing a detailed cultural study of your type over the last few days, in your gathering grounds: malls and shopping centers.  I have noticed that apparently you know some things that the rest of us - men, the elderly, and non-Minnesota women - apparently do not, because you are all wearing boots.
     Now, I took some meterological calculations and observations while I was doing this detailed study, and despite some light showers showing on the radar to the south on the last day of the study, it was a beautiful, seasonal weekend.  Temps were in the 60s and the skies were generally clear, and it was a little breezy.  That is why I became deeply disconcerted that everyone of the female persuasion was wearing boots.
     There was nothing to lead me, or any other leading reserchers, to think that there was going to be any sort of inclement weather in the near future.  No flood event or early-season blizzard was expected as far as we know, but apparently you know something more than the rest of us do.  Every single one of you was wearing boots, as if you were all going to have to join a search party to look for hunters stranded in the Montana wilderness.
     There were some discepencies, however, that led me to believe that it was not a flood event.  There were so many different styles of boots that it couldn't be a single event.  There were short boots, tall boots, high heeled boots, flat boots, and even boots made of suede.  So there must be some sort of disagreement among the female set that keeps them from being afraid of the same event.
      I thought it might have something to do with that whole "be prepared" thing, but then I remembered that the whole "be prepared" thing comes from the Boy Scouts, and unless the literally thousands of women I included in my study were all transexuals or something like that, then it couldn't be the "be prepared" scenario.
     So what is it, girls?  What is it, Women of Minnesota?  Why are you all wearing boots?  Because it is nice outside, and I have to admit that you look pretty fucking stupid dressing for bad weather when it is perfectly nice outside.  And since I am sure that you paid approximately eleventy billion dollars for your boots generally without the just sort of look pretentious.  And you also need to tell me about whether or not the boots are connected to the wearing of the black stretch and super skinny super dark blue jeans, because I can't fucking figure that one out for the life of me.  But that will have to wait for another letter I suppose.  For now I just want to know about the boots thing.  Because it makes you awfully sucky.  And the weather is nice outside.

Yours Always,

Big Dave

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thoughts from the MOA

     So I spent the day today at the Mall of America, Company, and I was struck by a couple of things.  First of all, I was struck by the sheer magnitude of the whole thing.  That is way more mall than anyone ever needs at any time.  When you have a facility that is so large it a.) can contain several roller coasters and b.) has multiple versions of the same store (that's right, kids, there were several stores that were represented more than once in the MOA) then it is too large.  That is a very simple rule I should think.  I am not sure what is so great about the Oakley store or Journeys that they should have to have multiple stores but apparently you need to be able to see them everywhere you turn in the mall.  Oh that and Caribou Coffee stores, they are on every corner there is.
     I also learned that foreign people love the Mall of America, which sort of scares me a little bit.  If people are coming from Europe and the Caribbean all the way to Minnesota in order to go shopping in a place that doesn't tax you on essential items - and if that is the experience and vision of America that they get - then I am troubled.  Because that is not good.  What that means is that our country is about nothing but buying things and selling them in a giant building with no windows that look outward and no clocks on the wall.  Hell, the whole experience and thing is even named after our country, and the more I think about what that says about us to the rest of the world the more I sort of start to squirm in my seat and adjust my necktie, as if it is getting awfully hot in here.  I don't think that the French or Argentines would ever settle to have a worldwide destination mall names after their country.  Even the gigantic one in Canada is just named the West Edmonton mall.
     What really struck me, though, as I walked the giant mall on a weekday afternoon, was the sheer number of Coasties that I saw.  They were everywhere, in all their various forms, and it sort of made me want to vomit.  The term "Coastie" is used on many Midwestern US college campuses to refer to students who come from the east or west coast to study, but at the University of Wisconsin-Madison it has come to refer to "a privilaged East or West Coast transplant often a woman of a certain look: black tights, Ugg boots, oversize sunglasses, and sporting a Starbucks cup" to quote a 2009 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  Bingo.  That is the look.  I saw it over and over and over and over and then over again today as I wandered about the mall.  I am not going to get into some of the socio-economic or race and religion-related aspects of the term, I am talking about that specific look, except they were Caribou Coffee cups.  If you expand it to include super dark and super skinny jeans, the numbers really leap off the charts.  I have seen this look before for sure, but I don't think I have ever seen it in such highly concentrated numbers as I did yesterday walking around the MOA.  I think that if someone were doing research on Coasties I would have to call them to let them know that I found a new congregation ground.  Boots and tights?  I just don't get it.  And why the sunglasses inside?
      So those were my thoughts as I viewed the MOA for the first time.  Exciting, no?  Other than that I just sort of thought of it as a giant mall pretty much in line with all the malls that I have seen before.  And it is alright if that is what you are into. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Chicken McNugget or the Egg McMuffin?

     Here is the question of the day, Company: Does McDonald's really have to advertise?
     I have been wondering that as I watch one of their many commercials on my TV, and I have found myself going round and round in my head.  See, I have figured out that it is a sort of a "chicken and the egg" type situation that I just can't figure out.  Please allow me to try and explain.
McDonald's is so big it blocks out the sun.  That is their new slogan.
     I am not sure if the popularity drives the advertising or if the advertising drives the popularity.  At one point I understood, but these days there is a McDonald's Restaurant in just about every town.  Hell, I live in a town of 1500 and there is one here.  We have two of them on opposite ends of the Worldwide Headquarters.  There are even McDonalds' at freeway intersections in the middle of freaking nowhere - lots of them in gas stations or standing alone at crossroads because the kids in the back just can't make it to the next exit.
     So why the advertising then?  They are all over and unless someone was born under a rock or maybe lived deep in the Canadian Arctic they have heard of McDonald's.  I suppose that is a function of the advertising - golden arches are on every type of media known to man - including I am sure a banner being towed by a biplane.  Is that why they are so popular?  Are the kids indoctrinated by seeing all the advertisements and the signs and the whole thing?  I think so.  I believe it.  But I think it also functions the other way as well.
Thanks, I couldn't figure that out myself.
     I think that part of the advertising is that it has to work as a conduit from the restaurant to its patrons.  Mom and Pop's Diner down the street can write in chalk on the board inside the front door that they now offer pecan pie, but when a chain as large as Clown's (as Little Jeffy calls it) they can't simply do that.  That is where the commercials come in.  So we know that they had the brilliant idea of putting bacon on a double cheeseburger.  Or that they have a new salad that sounds like they just put a bunch of foods together, for instance the Bacon Cranberry Potato Torte Salad available for a limited time.  I mean, shit, without the ads we would never know when the McRib is back.
     I suppose when we actually sit back and look at things it is foolish to think that the sucess is not driven by the advertising.  I mean, everyone knows about it but that is because we see the ads every day of our lives.  Because we see the signs in every town, on every road, at all the intersections.  Because children still love little plastic toys that look like Disney characters.  For all those reasons and more is why they are all over.  That is just how it is.  But it is interesting to think about how it all goes around.  Which came first, the fame or the advertising?  The chicken or the egg?  Or should we say the Chicken McNugget or the Egg McMuffin?

Saturday, October 08, 2011

An Open Letter to the Company,

Dear Company,

     I don't know if you have noticed there Company (I think you do because I have had multiple people mention it), but some time ago I ceased to be a daily blogger.  I know, it is a great failing on my part, but I am not too concerned.   I would like to think that I put up the good fight for and awfully long time, and for over 1000 days I managed to write something just about every day.  But things have changed in some ways.  First of all, I have actally managed to get a little bit of a life, which is good for me, even if it isn't great for the people who have to be involved in that life.  Second, I got a girl, and I know it sounds terrible but now I have stuff to do.  Third, I sort of came to the realization that nobody wanted to hear some of the crap that I was churning out.  I was writing things a lot of days when I didn't really have anything to say.  I don't know if I am feeling a little burned out or what, but sometimes I just don't have anything worth putting the effort into, and both you and I, Company, deserve better than that.  If I were to be frankly honest with you - and I am going to be - the biggest change has been a change in opportunity.  My Internet availability can be limited at home - especially at the end of the month - and my work duties have changes such to take up much more of my day.  And truthfully that was when I wrote a lot of my stuff.  So it just doesn't happen as often anymore.  Now don't be heartbroken, I am not here to announce that we are shutting down the blog, or that Officer Butt Hansen is suddenly unemployed, or anything like that.  I am just here writing you this open letter so you know that things probably aren't going to be like they were before.  I am going to aim more for posting every day or three, so you get two or three posts a week, which I believe is still pretty prolific.  And there are going to be times when I have a lot to say and you get several.  And there are going to be times when I don't have much to say and it is a little quiet around here.  But we will manage and we will survive.  That is what it is all about.  You have to roll with the changes, as REO Speedwagon once sang, and that is what we are doing.  Besides, it can always roll back, you know?


Big Dave

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Man I Used To Be

     So Company, I have been living the bachelor lifestyle for the last three or four days while my Baby Doll is visiting relatives in Louisiana, and I have to admit that it pretty much fits like a glove.
    See, I was a swinging bachelor for a long time, and I was pretty set in my bachelor ways.  I did a lot of things that the average person - especially a lady - would consider gross and inappropriate.  I had a thing with pants and socks, in so much as I did not like to wear either while I was around the house.  There was a unique approach to dishes that permeated my life, mainly that I would use dishes until I didn't have any left and then wash the whole lot of them.  I also don't think I vacuumed my last apartment from the time I moved in until my mom came to visit me, and let me just suffice it to say that time frame is most easily described using the word "months."  And I usually had to spend a lot of time searching for my bathroom cleaning supplies because I had forgotten where they had been since the last time I had cleaned it.  The other thing that I was
Ahhh...the good old day.  I kinda miss 'em.
     So as you can tell, I was a pretty gross boy bachelor.  And as so often happens, my Baby Doll slowly began to change my ways once we moved in together.  Pants went on (socks, however, are thankfully still optional), I am pretty familiar with the vaccum these days, and I actually do dishes sort of as they come in.  And believe me I can find all the cleaning supplies without much of an issue.  She even has me doing things like eating real meals with utensils, and making the bed.  I even put my laundry away generally within 48 hours of it having been done.
      But she is gone.  My Baby Doll is away for another week still, and so the rules don't apply, in so far as they have apply on the day that she comes back.  I was expecting a full-scale reversion to my old ways, but that hasn't happened.  What I have discovered is that I have centered somewhere in between.  The pants have come off for sure, but the dishes still get done.  However, they don't usually get done right away and they still have a tendency to sit in the dish rack.  The place has still been vacuumed more than any of my old bachelor pads ever were.  And the bed still gets made - in the morning even! - although I will admit that the number of pillows put on it has gone down significantly because I don't need decorative pillows in my life.
     I suppose that I shouldn't have titled this post "The Man I Used To Be" because I haven't really reverted to that, but I thought it sounded good and was a little like a country song or ballad.  I probably should have called it "Sliding Back Into Bachelorism" or something like that, but I just didn't want to.  And that is that.  I will shape up and have everything back to the way it should be before my Baby Doll comes home, I can assure you that.  But until then I am going to enjoy my time as a partial bachelor, because the next time I am left home alone there might not be any of that bachelor left.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Paying the Internet Price

      So I don't know about you, Company, but at the Worldwide Headquarters - or at least the part that I live in - I do not have unlimited internet availability.  In fact, I usually have to watch pretty closely the amount of data that I send back and forth, which really cuts down on all those pictures I like to send to Mike-a-licious.  Anyway, I was sitting around the other night waiting for the website of a major, well-known corporate serach engine to load, and it was being a little show.  Most of what I wanted to use had already loaded but the site wasn't working correctly because all of the content hadn't finished loading.  So I looked down at the bottom of my internet browser to see what was taking so fucking long, and it was all the stuff for the advertisements.  That is when I got pissed.
     The first thought that went through my head was "How much of my fucking life have I wasted waiting for all these God-damned advertisements to download?"  I mean seriously.  How long?  If I have to wait an extra 30 seconds every time I sign in to...say, Yahoo!...then that time really starts to ad up.  I might sign in to Yahoo! seven or eight times every day.  So that is four minutes a day waiting for advertisements.  That is a half hour a week.  26 hours a year.  So over a day a year I could conveiveably spend waiting to look at ads that a.) I don't even pay attention to and b.) that I don't even want to look at.  That is pretty fucking stupid.
    And it doesn't stop with Yahoo!  Or with one site that you visit.  Every site on the Web (for the most part) has advertisements on it, so you can spend a lot of time waiting for them to load.  Add to that the fact that many have adversitements that you have to contend with even before you get to the site you are looking for, or that every video these days seems to have a 30 or 15 second advertisement before them, and that is a lot of time spent solely devoted to watching people tell you what stuff to buy.  I don't even want to think about how bad the numbers would look if you added in all the TV commecrials you spend time sitting through.
     It is all so dumb, because I obviously don't have a whole lot of money to spend on stuff since I am on a limited Internet plan.  Which brings me another point: how much am I paying for these advertisements that I don't really wany?  Because - let's not mince words here - I have to pay for them.  I am paying for the privilege of having ads shown to me, which is fucking stupid.  I know that it probably isn't much, because the average advertisement doesn't suck down all that much bandwidth or constitute that much data, but it costs me some, and as we have seen above they costs really do add up over time.  So every one of those unwanted advertisements is eating away a little bit of data that I could use to do something that I really want to, and that just makes me angry.  Everyone is getting rich except for me.  How stupid is that?