Monday, August 27, 2012

Big Government Serving You

     There is a great debate in our society right now regarding our government, and it centers around the size.  There are lots of people who believe that government should be big and provide lots of services, and there are lots of people who believe that it should be as small as possible.  Now as you know, Company, we generally do not do politics here but we are going to just dabble a little bit here, just dip a toe into the political arena.  I am not going to come down on one side or another, but if you are on the big government side I have some supporting ammunition for the fact that you should immediately hire a bunch of people and begin a bunch of new programs, ones that I will gladly pay more income tax in order to support.
     See, something atrocious was allowed to happen just today.  Something that the NSA should have seen coming and that someone in some sort of special ops department should have stopped somewhere during the last months.  That event is - of course - Snooki giving birth.  You all know Snooki, Company.  She is that useless waste of space that is popular simply because she wears tight clothes and puts out in hot tubs (Exhibit 1 as to how real life and high school are essentially the same) and lives in New Jersey and once when to Italy, which she wouldn't have been able to find if someone else wasn't flying the plane.  But I digress.  The point is that she had this child - names Lorenzo - and she really should not have.  Someone from the government should have stepped in and put a stop to that.  And they had plenty of chances.
      It should have been done at conception, actually.  It would have saved a lot of people a lot of trouble.  Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones should have rolled into the bedroom or taxi or nightclub ladies room where she got knocked up, and when the guy was about to blow it they should have hit with a stick and said "NO!"  Like he was a dog getting ready to shit on the linoleum.  Or they could have pistol whipped him repeatedly until he passed out and wasn't able to finish the deed. Or, they could have been super proactive and just fed him drinks on their tab all night long so he had whiskey dick and then all would have been said and done.
A pox upon our land.
     But they failed.  No one put a stop to this.  I am sure that there were eighty paparazzi there, plus the film crew making the inevitable sex tape, so it is really inexcusable that our government wasn't there watching out for the good of all the land.  Yet they still had their chances.  Why weren't there all sorts of Navy recruits or Peach Corps workers all over the place just waiting to push her down the stairs or maybe kick her in the stomach.  Something, anything, to keep her from bringing that baby to the world.  Not that I am taking an abortion stance one way or the other, but somewhere along the way the government should have put a stop to this business.  Because, let's be honest, Snooki should not have children.
     Nope.  She shouldn't.  And the government failed to recognize that.  They should have had the National Guard there in the delivery room, shoving with all their manpower and Humvees and maybe a helicopter or two to get that thing to go back in.  Generals with a million medals smoking stogies in a war room with up-to-the-second updated about what was happening.  The President on the red phone looking concerned.  An intricate system of ropes and pulleys to keep dialation from happening.  Maybe designer drugs to make everything come to a grinding halt.  Anything to keep Snooki from becoming a parent.  Because that is not going to end well.
     I know that there are lots of people who have acted a lot like Snooki and have become very good and responsible parents.  I get that.  I understand.  But there is a lot of pressure when someone has to transition from party girl to mother of one.  A mother something.  Just kidding.  But that is a hard thing.  And it is an especially hard thing to do when you have to do it on television and you have a nasty reputation for being a party girl.  Fame is a wicked thing, Company, and it can be addictive.  The smart buy is to spend your fifteen minutes of fame figuring out how to get your next fifteen minutes.  So this poor kid is going to have to be raised in front of MTV cameras and - you can ask anyone - that never ends well.  Especially when your mom is known by a name that sounds like a product that you curl up in on cold nights when you just want to read mystery novels and drink hot cocoa.  With lots of booze in it.
     Anyway, the point here - for those of you who are politically inclined - is that a little more government could have prevented what we are going to be forced to watch for the next fifteen years until he lands on "Celebrity Rehab."  I am pretty sure that not having to have someone go through this hot mess is worth the extra taxes.  Totally worth it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Faux Badass

     Have you ever done something that was totally okay but felt totally naughty?  Yeah, I have too.  I did it just the other day.  It's badass.  Well, not really.  It is not badass at all because the thing that you are doing is totally okay, but it FEELS badass.  It TOTALLY feels badass.
     The not-really-badass thing that I did just the other day was to go out to lunch on a weekday.  I had the Unpaid Interns do hours of tedious and exhaustive research while I was out wakeboarding, and they told me when I woke up the next morning that there is nowhere in the world where going out to lunch on a weekday is an illegal activity - with the exception maybe of North Korea and Evansville, Indiana.  They also told me that lots of people go out to eat for lunch all the time, and in fact in some cultures it is actually considered polite to go out to lunch when being involved in a business deal.  Fascinating.  I did not know that.
     Actually, I did know that.  I love to go out for lunch during the week because it feels totally naughty and totally badass.  Let me explain - for many years I was in school, and when you are in school you don't get to go out for lunch at a restaurant very often.  Then I was in college and I was too poor to go out unless it was to the commissary.  Then - immediately after college - I became a media mogul.  And as a media mogul from like  8 AM - 6 PM every day I am making deals to buy and sell companies, or producing awesome entertainment acts, or monitoring happenings at my metal foundary, or otherwise taking care of business.  None of that is true, but you get the point.  Usually, on Monday or Wednesday or even a Tuesday I am busy, and while I get a lunch I certainly don't get enough time to go out and sit down at a restaurant and eat it.  So when I walk in to a friendly local eatery on a Thursday and have lunch, it's kind of a big deal for me.
     I know that it is not a big deal, but it is a big deal FOR ME.  It is not something that life usually allows me to do so it feels like I am being a really big badass when I am doing it.  Let me give you a for instance to allow you to understand.  Let's pretend that you are a pimple-faced teenager who has no friends and pretty strict parents, and that your curfew is 10:00 PM.  But on Friday night, the Burger Barn in which you work is having a super late nite special because the fireworks are going on.  So you get to be out until midnight because that is how late you have to work.  When you come home late at night and you walk in and microwave yourself a Hot Pocket in the early hours of the AM, you feel like a total badass.  You are not a badass because you came home from work after midnight any more than I am a badass for eating lunch at a restaurant in the middle of the day in the middle of the week, but you FEEL like it because you are not usually able to do that.
     So that is that.  It is faux-basassness, if that is word.  If it isn't then it is now.  And it is really a thing.  You will know it when it happens to you.  Then you will understand.  Then you will be a badass.  Well, not really, but you will know what I mean.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

An Open Letter to the Guy Driving the Mini Van with the Boat Behind It

Dear Guy Driving the Mini Van with the Boat Behind It,

     What the hell is your god-damn problem?  Do you have some sort of concussion?  Were you born and raised in some sort of place where there are no rules?  Did you have all of your common sense removed by a tremendous amount of lead paint chips when you were a younger man?  Because I saw you do something today that is quite possibly the stupidest thing that I have ever seen before in my life, and I once saw a guy put Icy Hot on his taint and go in the shower just to see what it felt like.
     Just in case you aren't aware of just which mini van driving knitwit that you are, let me set out the scene.  It was a Dodge Grand Caravan.  It was sort of somewhere between beige and gold.  And you were towing a twenty-year-old ski boat.  You were at the friendly local grocery store, and you were in buying something.  That is fine.  But it is the way that you parked that has made me SO...VERY...ANGRY with you.
     It was not busy at said friendly local grocery store.  There were lots - and by lots I mean at least two dozen - available parking spaces in the lot.  There were plenty of spaces end to end that were available, so that you could pull in, pull through, and have your stupid van in one space and your lame fucking boat in the space behind it.  But no, those - at approximately seventy-five feet away from the front door - were apparently too far away.  Or else you were just too much of a low-grade moron to be able to figure out the mechanics of the situation, because you chose to pull right into a single depth space facing a curb with your boat hanging out AND BLOCKING THE MAIN LANE OF TRAFFIC IN THE PARKING LOT.  If you don't understand, please refer to this crude diagram that I created using Paint (Exhibit A).
Exhibit A
    Go fuck yourself and sit on a flaming stake.  A rusty flaming stake.  I know that you be hard to find but I have some top scientists at some pretty top-flight universities working on it.  Oh, and CERN is on the case too.  Because that is what I think you deserve.  I cannot even begin to imagine what would compel you to do such a thing.  Oh wait, I know, you are a fucking stuck up, self-absorbed slab of cells that mother nature could have used for something productive.  What in the world would make you think that was okay?  Please tell me.  Because I can't think of it.  I know that you were on vacation because you had giant license plate holder advertisements for out-of-town dealers and big decals for a high school that is nowhere near here.  The point is that you would never think that was acceptable when you were at home, so what would make you think it was okay here?  If I did that in your town you would be cursing me a blue streak on your way to Starbucks or driving class - which is where you really should be going.
Exhibit B
Exhibit C
     You are lucky...because I was about this close (Exhibit B) to calling the police on you.  THIS CLOSE (Exhibit C).  But I didn't do it, and I don't know why.  To this minute I am kicking myself for not bothering the police - who I assure you had nothing better to do - to have them come and harass you for a while.  Actually, what I should have done was hijacked a semi truck at fork-point and run it through your boat at a tremendous rate of speed, splattering bits of your Ski Nautique over a five-block radius.  And with luck it would have at least bent the frame of your asshole-mobile too.  And I am sure that your insurance company would have rejected your claim...oh I don't know...because you parked like a dumbass.  And then they would have jacked up your premiums just because you are wasting all sorts of oxygen, paper, water, and other resources just by being alive.
     In closing, I don't hope that you die, but I hope something awful happens to you.  I hope that you take the winning ticket for the $214 million lottery prize in to the claims office one day after the claim deadline because you accidentally locked it in your fucking stupid boat, and then that your house is completely burglarized while you are trying to claim your prize, and that you forgot to send a check for your homeowners insurance for three months because you obviously can't cut a check if you park your van like that.  So enjoy that, and if I ever see you pull that stunt again, I am going to call the police.  And I am going to key your van.  And I am going to steal the plug from your boat.

I Hope Your Nuts Get Caught in a Bear Trap,

- Big Dave

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Let's Look Back at Y2K

     Holy shit, do you guys remember Y2K?
     I do.  And I am having a lot of trouble believing - as I sit here and think about it now - that all that jazz went down 12 years ago.  Almost 13 years ago.  For those of you who are a little young, or maybe those of you who smoked a lot of reefer and lost a decade or something, Y2K was a little bit of a conundrum and a little bit of a hysteria that swept much of the world in the late 90s, culminating in 1999. 
     One hundred years is a long time, and there was a lot of technology that developed in the 100 years between 1900 and 2000.  While the impending end of the century held many of the normal style problems - forms printed with 19- for the first two years of the date, etc. - there was a unique problem.  Computers had been developed during the century and when programming begin in earnest in the 1970s no one was really looking ahead towards the end of the century.  The guys who were making computer magic in their garages and basements had been born in the 1900s, grown up in the 1900s, and their thinking was firmly rooted in the 1900s.  So when they went out and programmed, and to save space and because of how they thought, they wrote all the computer programs to use two numbers for dates.  So instead of 1979 they would just say 79.  It saved space, and that was just how things were done.
     The problem with that was that no one knew what would happen at midnight on January 1, 2000 when all the dates in the computers flipped over to say 1/1/00.  Would they think it was 1900?  Would they think it was 2000?  No one had any idea.  To their credit, the computer scientists of the world were on this problem pretty early, and they made using four-digit dates standard practice well before it became a problem.  They were pretty on the ball about updating code for the change well ahead of time too.  The problem is that somewhere along the way the press put out a story about the situation and people ran with it.  And as we know, people are stupid.  In face, there are more posts tagged with "stupid people" on this blog than any other tag.
     Nobody knew.  At least not in the general public.  And since there was already a lot of lore and superstition surrounding the end of the century and millennium, etc., and because fear and ignorance usually leads to ridiculousness, the world went nuts.  People had the world ending because of Y2K.  Bunker sales went through the roof.  Computers were going to think that it was 1900 and immediately launch every nuclear missile in the entire world.  I am not kidding...people really thought that.  Because the default action for most missile programs would be to fire them.  Yes, that makes sense.  Planes were going to fall from the sky.  Because the laws of aerodynamics care what year it is, and wings won't work in the year 2000.  Everyone was going to lose their savings, because the computers at the bank would just wipe out everyone's saving when the clock ticked over.  Then there would be a run on the places that actually had cash money or precious metals and there would be riots, and so on.  The power grid was going to fail, because the computers that controlled the power grid would think it was 1900 and the power grid as we know it wasn't around in 1900.  Sure, because the people who wrote the power station software took the time to include the fact that there wasn't widespread electrification in 1900.  The computer doesn't care; it doesn't know everything.  It is an awesome portal to all knowledge and a fantastic tool, but it doesn't know everything.   Idiots. 
     So people did what they do when they are scared - they took to the earth.  They dug in - literally.  Like I said bunkers were being built all over the place, old bunkers were be reopened, there were runs on ammunition, bottled water, meals read to eat (MRE's) and there were people who - in lieu of enjoying en event that would never happen to them again, or their children, or children's children - went down into basements or bunkers and huddled while everyone else partied.
      Nothing happened.  A lot of people had hangovers the next day.  There was confetti everywhere.  I am sure there were some software glitches here and there, but most things went on as normal.  No missiles launched unless instructed to.  Delta flight 125 left on time to Newark and made it there safely.  You could still get money out of an ATM on January 1, and you were just as rich or poor as you were the day before.  So it was much ado about nothing.  But it was really real at the time.  I know that looking backward one always has 20/20 vision, but at the time it was so real.  And such a non-event.  I wonder what it will be like 988 years from now when the millennium turns again...

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Cycles of the Moon

and so it begins
the night is dark like inkpots
the moon must return

 commence the cycle
a waxing luna appears
a move towards brightness

first quarter arrives
a beacon to light the way
zenith approached

hang above treetops
light bears the wolf to howl
full light in the night

moon begins to fade
onward completing cycle
soon it will be gone

classic lunar shape
waning away to nothing
while floating above

and so it completes
the night is dark like inkpots
the cycle restarts

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's Complimentary

     There is always a lot of talk in the world about how to make the world a better place.  And that's an important thing.  So a lot of people think about it and they have these big dreams about finding a cure for cancer or bringing about world peace.  But that shit is hard.  I have a really easy plan for making the world a better place, and it is totally something that you can do.
     While it is terribly hard to change the world on that grand stage, it is stunningly easy to change it on a small level, grass-roots style.  All you have to do is just lay out one random compliment to one random person each day, and you will be making the world a better place.  Honest to God truth.  Because in a very small way, you will most likely have made that person's world a better place.  It is amazing the result that it can have.
      Oh sure, you are going to get the odd person who thinks you are a lunatic and maybe pops a cap in your ass.  But for the most part people are going to be into it.  Tell a random girl that strikes you as being pretty that she is pretty.  Tell the bag boy/girl at the grocery store that he/she did a good job bagging your groceries.  Or tell the bus driver that you admire their patience in dealing with rush hour traffic.
    You are going to make their world a better place.  There have been countless instances of a single random compliment making someone's day, week, or even life better.  But I am sure you would be hard pressed to find someone who was driven to the top of a water tower with a rifle complete with high-powered scope because you told them they had a nice tie.  Unless they had been brainwashed and the tie compliment was the trigger to make them carry out their brainwashed assignment.  But that would be the exception to the rule. 
      So just try it.  It actually will make you feel good too, because there is something neat about seeing people's reaction when they get the random, unexpected compliment.  So it lifts two people up for a little while.  It makes two worlds a slightly better place.  And eventually the result will be cumulative.  Well, maybe not, but sometimes you have to realize that biting off a bite that you can chew is okay.  It's not curing cancer or stopping deforestation in the Sahel, but it is something.  And that is better that nothing.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Randm Thoughts

     So, I know it has been an awfully long time, but I have been a busy media mogul, so cut me some fucking slack.  The good news is that while I was busy taking care of the tremendous amount of business that I take are of, I had some time to have some random thoughts land and actually stick in my brain.

1.)  Just because you own a truck and you can swing a hammer does not mean that you are a contractor.  That is the truth, as much as it hurts.  You aren't a property manager, you aren't a handyman, you aren't a contractor.  No more than owning a freezer and an ice cream scoop makes me Ben and/or Jerry.  You are just a guy who can't bring himself to have a boss or someone who just likes poking around other people's houses.

Speaking of your car...

2.)  It is still true that no one cares about what lake you live on.  Or the fact that you like the town where your vacation home is located.  So get it the hell off your license plate.  Especially since all the good combinations have been taken already.  So now I am stuck trying to figure out which crappy lake is represented on your license plate, and if I can't figure it out with my encyclopedic knowledge of the local geography of every place, then no one else is going to be able to figure it out either.  And all of us will probably crash into you trying to figure it out.  Also, I am going to start keying your car every time I walk past it.  Once you are done paying the increased insurance premiums from all the accidents and keying, you might as well just give them the shirt off of your back.

Speaking of your clothing...

3.) Having the name of your lake on your clothing is just a bad.  Scratch that, it is even worse.  Worse because it is a new and nefarious horseshit way of making me angry.  Oh, and wearing the T-shirt of the place that you have a second home, or the Hard Rock CafĂ© t-shirt of the place you are visiting is the easiest way to label yourself a tourist.  And you can only get away with that in tourist places.  Take a day and count how many people wear a "Bismarck, North Dakota" t-shirt in Bismarck, North Dakota, on an average day.  Oh wait, that is because it is stupid.

On a totally different subject...

4.)  Your life is not diminished by the lack of an e-reader.  I know that they are the hot new thing, but let's be honest, the book was a pretty solid technology for the last 700 years or so.   They are compact.  They are portable.  You can get them for nearly free from these wonderful places called libraries.  Libraries are a lot like the iTunes Store but they have air conditioning and cost less.  And the great things about books is that they are not designed to fail after three years so you have to buy another.  And you can never forget to charge them...

While we are talking about your consumer electronics...

5.)  Do not take that tablet camping.  Just don't do it.  I saw a commercial where a guy takes his kid camping and they basically use the tablet the whole entire time for everything.  That tells me that the guy doesn't know anything about the outdoors, because he is looking up pictures of frogs and reading "Goodnight, Moon" or whatever.  There is that book thing again.  And then you find out that they are camping in the backyard.  That is the super douchy thing that only people in suburban San Francisco do, which according to every commercial is the only place where anyone owns a tablet or a cell phone.  I was wondering how he got it recharged every day and always had a signal.

Oh, and one last thought while we are talking about camping...

6.)  It is official.  I am off of the high horse.  I am rubber stamping - notarized - that camping in an RV is still camping.  Even if you have one of those gigantic eleventy-billion dollar things that has marble countertops and an helipad and several small RVs behind it with all the servants, it is still camping as of RIGHT NOW!  That is right, if your particular state requires it to have a license plate on it AND there are leveling jacks...then you are camping my friend.  Oh, or if you are in a tent.  Or if you are just lying outside on the ground.  Unless you have a bindle.  Then you are probably a hobo.  And if you are sleeping outside with no cover in a hammock, then you are just a lazy bitch.