Monday, March 31, 2014

Riverboat Gamblers: Following the Current

    Company, I want to share with you, verbatim, the conversation that I had with the venerable Pins McGee last night, because you deserve it.  I warn you though, it is not appropriate for children.  Or anyone who is into political correctness.  Or anyone who is into just plain correctness.  Or anyone who hates grown, bearded men acting like lame, goateed college douches.  Or really anyone at all.  You've been warned

BD: What do you think about a TV show about us living on a Mississippi River houseboat?

P:  I think there's six TV networks that would jump all over that!  As would I.  There's a lot of potential there.

BD:  Like we just go around having adventures.  Visit all the college town along the river from New Orleans to Bemidji and up the Ohio and Missouri.

P:  That actually sounds really fun.  Where do I sign up and where did you get this idea?

BD:  I saw a bunch of houseboats for sale on Craigslist and I was like "A guy could get laid a lot with one of those things.  Plus MacGyver lived on one of those and he kicked ass." And you are the only other person I know who would appreciate the lifestyle.

P:  1.) If there was ever one text that basically summed up our friendship that would probably be it. 2.)  I like being in a situation where I can pretend to be MacGyver and also get laid a lot. 3.) So if we're pitching this to a network it goes something like "Two guys with a wily sense of humor travel around the central US on a houseboat visiting various night life hotspots wherever they find port!"

BD:  And going to every sporting event they can get their hands on.

P:  I'm dead serious about pursuing this, we can make a pitch video and just start pounding different networks until one of them bites.  TruTV comes to mind.

BD:  Yes, they would dig it.

P:  I didn't even think of that.  That's even more potential for excitement.

BD:  And w could try for some sort of tie in with Maxim where we write a monthly column about what we do as well.

P:  Oooh now that's being a true media mogul! Riverboat Gamblers: Following the Current of something like that.

BD:  Yeah.  Nothing gets you laid faster than a houseboat with a Maxim tie-in.  I feel we need to interview those All Hockey Hair Team guys at least once.

P:  For sure.  Find obscure internet celebrities along the banks and do a little podcast or blog with them for BD&C and also get it on camera for the show.  Starting with the All Hockey Hair guys.  That will set a strong base for what we're about.

BD:   Yeah. It is going to be spectacular.

P:  Now I'm looking up houseboats too.  Potential everywhere.  Haha! (Editor's Note:  Pins spent hours scouring the Internet and sent me his preferred houseboat late this morning. - BD)

BD:  I know.  And the best thing is that you only need a sort of nice one and there will be nothing but coeds in bikinis all over the place.

P:  Exactly.  As long as it doesn't remind them of a frat basement they're all over it.  Think of all the girls jumping on our boat who can't afford to go to Panama City or wherever.

BD:  For sure.  "Come down below and I can show you where Pins interviews people for TruTV."  That will be my pickup line.

P:  "If you ask Captain Dave nicely, he might let you take a spin in his Captain's Chair."  Plus with my culinary expertise we can have huge cookouts and whatnot. (Editor's Note: Pins McGee looks resplendent in an cookout apron. - BD

BD:  We would also have a first class bar.

P:  That should go without saying.  Haha.  Just saw one with a whole second level captains cabin that would make a great HQ for the show.  Would probably have to do a little retro fitting to any one of them to give us both our own little space though.

BD:  And we must have a dinghy in tow at all times.  Or like a little Zodiac.  There are two bedroom houseboats out there.

P:  The same boat I just mentioned actually had a dinghy lift on the back!  Great minds...hahaha.  And I've seen a few, kind of hard to tell on some how the layout is.  Wouldn't be hard to make one either if the space was already there.  A jetski would be nice too but I would never be sober enough to safely operate it.

BD:  We put the jetski on the dinghy life and tow the Zodiac.

P:  Done and done.  I was going to ask about bringing along a skipper for when we're taking care of coeds but then I realized, where the hell do we really have to be?  Just drop anchor and wait 'til we're good and ready to leave.

BD:  Oh yeah.  You have to anchor on a sand bar or something so people can swim and mingle.  Because I assume we will have a party flotilla following us around after the first week or so.

P:  Good call, maybe we need more of a rotating local navigator then to show us some sweet places to drop anchor at.  Spring Break Sweeps Week is going to be crazy for us.  Probably get invited to DJ some college parties/night clubs too.

BD:  Well yeah.  And we would have people calling us to be in their VIP rooms because it would increase the gate.

P:  There's really no ceiling for what we could do with this.


He is so right.  I know you can't wait, Company.  Send us your applications for important crew positions now.  We need a qualified key grip and best boy ASAP.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

That is Priceless Milestone

     I don't know if you realize this, Company, but I really, really love this competing blog called That is Priceless.  I have actually taken the time to write about it before.  If you don't want to go back and read all of that stuff, I understand.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.  Some genius has taken the liberty of co-opting pieces of art, and there are a lot of them, and giving them more appropriate titles based on the actual painting.  For instance, here is one ripped directly from the digital pages of That is Priceless.

MASTERPIECE #45


Guercino Visione, Italian

Douchebag Blowing Trumpet at 4 in the Morning, 1629

      I know, right?  Freaking genius.  Because that painting is not named Douchebag Blowing Trumpet at 4 in the Morning, it is called...well, I don't know.  Something else.  But I know it is not called that.  I do know that it is hanging in The Louvre.  Or at least it was at one time.  Some other not quite so famous titles:




     Those are all staff favorites of the folks over at That is Priceless.  So why are we taking all this time and space to talk about a blog that is competing for your attention, and by all right should be winning, a la Charlie Sheen?  Well: a.) I wanted to write a blog but had approximately zero ideas as to what to write and b.) They are coming up on an important milestone.  On Sunday, they posted Masterpiece #995, which means that sometime in the next two weeks or so they are going to come to Masterpiece #1000, and that, Company, deserves some recognition. 
     They are also hawking a book, e-book, and greeting cards on their site.  And as you know, the management here at Big Dave and Company love anyone who is out to shamelessly make money.  So go check them out today.  There is really no reason not to.  And congratulate them on their upcoming big milestone.

Monday, March 24, 2014

No Night at the Museum

   Sometimes, Company, even with the best of intentions one misses the point.  Take, for example, the good folks at the United States Secret Service.  They do a fantastic job of making sure that the political "leaders" of this country are safe and secure.  They do an equally fantastic job of looking good and running in suits.  Barney Stinson would be proud.  And I assume that they do an equally fantastic job fighting the counterfeiting of US currency, although no one ever seems to remember that is what they were originally created to do.
    And while they also do a fantastic job of literally interpreting the meaning of the word "museum," they sort of, in a way, fail at the spirit of the whole thing.  Let's start with the dictionary meaning:

museum (n) - an institution, building, etc. for preserving and exhibiting artistic or historical objects.

Okay, simple enough.  But that is a pretty broad definition.  If you want to get technical - and I do - my family was right when we called the old dance hall above my grandparents bar "the museum" because it was filled with "historical objects" that were being "exhibited."  In reality it was just filled with old junk and wasn't yet full enough to prevent anyone from looking at everything up there, even an eight year old kid.  But we were not correct in the spirit of what a museum is.  Because there were no purposefully erected exhibits or displays, and it wasn't really intended for people to see.
Secret Service - all of them.  They just want you to think "Matrix"
     That is where I take objection to the United States Secret Service Museum in Washington, D.C.  They have what appears to be a very, very nice museum in the basement of their headquarters there. Very, very nice, and it's filled with cool stuff too (they have the window from the limo that Reagan was riding in when an assassination attempt was carried out against him in 1981).  You have to be a.) a member of the Secret Service or b.) invited by a member of the Secret Service in order to visit, and that sort of just goes against the whole reason for having a museum.  It is one thing to preserve the important artifacts from your past, that is what archives are for.  But to spend all of the time, effort, and expense to create such a great place really should be open to the public.  Nay, needs to be, otherwise it can never really, truly serve its purpose.
      I mean, I get it.  I really do.  I completely and totally understand the reasoning as to why it is not open to the public.  The argument goes approximately like this: "There are items and displays in the museum that give away the secrets of how the Secret Service operates and having that knowledge in the public sphere could jeopardize the safety of our agents and those they are bound to protect.  Also, it will make our job really, really hard."  I agree.  You have a hard enough job, Secret Service, I don't want to make it any harder.  But I assume that somewhere in your budget there are line items to run the museum, create displays, acquire material, and pay the salary and benefits of a curator and probably at least one other staff person.  So put away a little money for reorganization.  Put all that sensitive stuff in a separate VIP invitation only room behind a door.  Commercial doors are only like $3000 these days so get it done.
     Let us see all the cool stuff in your museum.  Okay, let me rephrase that.  Let us see all the cool stuff in your museum up close and personal, and not through a video on Yahoo! News, although thank you for at least letting us see that.  But we want more.  We deserve more.  I am not afraid to whip out the "taxpayer" card, although in reality these days that is kind of like trying to win a pot by playing a pair of fives.  But live up to the spirit and intention behind any museum.  Open it up for us all. Because I really want to spend some time up close and personal with that interactive Wall of Heroes.

Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 All Hockey Hair Team Review

The last few days, we have checked out the following piles of awesome:

2011 All Hockey Hair Team
2012 All Hockey Hair Team
2013 All Hockey Hair Team

So let's see what is in store for this year's edition of the All Hockey Hair Team as compiled by the good folks at Pulltab Productions, shall we?



0:08 - Great analysis right off the bat, as we would come to expect.  Or shall we say, right off the stick.

0:11 - The beginning of an epic story of struggle.  This is cinema at its best.

0:19 - Determination in the face of rejection from "Big Worldwide Company, Inc."  Classic scenario.

 0:29 - The exclamation point seals the comeback.

0:40 - Sportwrap.  Sportwrap.  Sportwrap.  Sportwrap. Braid. Sportwrap.

0:58 - Founding Fathers of Flow.  In today speak, this would translate as All Hockey Hair: Origins.

1:01 - I do love the clear boards.

1:17 - "They really had stripes because they wanted to have stripes."  Disconcerting to think that the stripes will come back as a look someday.

1:24 - That guy really does look like Keith Hernandez.

1:42 - Studz.  It just seems more appropriate with a "z"

1:47 - You don't see the headband much anymore these days.  Except in girls hockey, and now it is called a Sportwrap.

1:57 - That guy looks like the villain in every 80s teen action movie.  Or the hero.

2:10 - For all those hockey nostalgia people out there amongst the Company, notice the old, original Minnesota Northstars logo in the face off circle.

2:22 -The hashtag would be helpful.  And I love your choices.  I prefer #hashtag.

2:30 - An in-depth analysis of the wink.  This is almost like a pre game show before the All Hockey Hair Team.  It is sort of like the recently passed Selection Sunday in a way.  I am into it.

2:24 - Fros meet flow.  How about #fromeetsflow.  I like that a lot.

2:58 - You don't create something this phenomenal without doing your research prior to game time.

3:09 - "Yeah, it's curled."

3:15 - Now THAT guy can watch Magnum, P.I. anytime he wants.  Also, what would that be?  Do the drape ties match the drapes?  What comes between the carpet and drapes?  Does anyone know the answers to these life affirming questions?

3:34 - The brush of the hair while in line when the camera is looking straight down the line at everyone?  That is representing the All Hockey Hair Team like a boss.

3:35 - Okay, last year there was a kid names Wyatt, then a baby faced kid.  This year, there is a baby-faced kid named Wyatt.  I actually went back and checked the historical record because I thought Wyatt was the first two-time winner in the history of the AHHT.

4:05 - "Dual exhaust pipes."  That was almost the term of the year.

4:09 - "Austin.  C for Captain.  Or was that C for coif?"

4:42 - Anthony Keidis sighting!  Seriously, I would not be surprised one bit if he was hanging around an event of this magnitude. 

4:43 - I don't know if Zacharey does the slow motion on purpose or if Pulltab slowed it down (if they did, that is hockey hair editing at its finest), but it really is majestic.  Even though you have an extra "e" and no one knows why.

5:04 - "What's that space in the middle for?  Is that called the Spacebar?  It is now."  There is your Term of the Year.

5:36 - "Wow.  Orange mullet?  Ginger flow?  Love it."

6:00 - The panning of the newspaper stories on the tournament.  That is so classic AHHT.  So classic.  Great job.

6:25 - I miss the golden combs.

Friday, March 14, 2014

2013 All Hockey Hair Team Reveiw

As you know, over the last couple of days we have looked at the 2011 and 2012 All Hockey Hair Teams from the fabulous folks over at Pulltab Productions.  So now, in the grand tradition, let's look at what's on tap for 2013.  I assure you that it is spectacular.




0:03 - The prizes get bigger and better every year.  This year we are into consumer electronics, as we should be.  And for some reason there appears to be a glue stick involved.

0:04 - "People were wondering if I divide up into private and public school for the hockey hair team..."  No they weren't.

0:17 - Color slides.  I am impressed how every year they up the ante with the graphics.  I expect to see a star wipe before we get the All Hockey Hair Team X. (As an aside, why aren't we giving these roman numeral designations?  Because they really are the Super Bowl® Champions of hockey hair  Something to think about Pulltab.)

0:25 -This kid looks like a kid from a TV show from my youth.  I am thinking either the friend from Boy Meets World or one of the boyfriends from Roseanne, but I know neither of them is right.

0:41 - That kid is smirking because he lost a bet and the guys who made it with him never thought he would go through with it.  Well he won.  In more ways than one.

0:55 - The t-sunami.  BRILLIANT! Only Peroxide Jesus can stop the t-sunami.

0:57 - "That's called Hurricane Wyatt right there."  In all fairness that is a kickass nickname to have, especially for a hockey player.  Or a boxer.  Or a TV weatherman.

1:07 - I can't take Dallas' mullet seriously because of his baby face.  #fact.

1:30 - This might be the only time that a player's hair led a player to be disqualified from a high school hockey tournament. 

1:42 - Playing hockey with product and a hair dryer.  Inspired but I am not sure this type of action sequence fits in at this juncture.  It just comes out of nowhere.

1:54 - This just in: The Harlem Shake has nothing to do with the Hermantown Holy Trinity.  But I do like the cultural reference, though.

2:00 - How can you be so spray bottle in 2013 when you almost DQ'd someone in 2010 for blow drying!?  Looks like the lobby for Big Water got to the fine folks at Pulltab Productions.

2:05 - The Cotton Candy.  Amazing.  I love how they coin a new term every year.

2:18 - Was that a Jesus reference?

2:26 - That kid really did want the slow motion something fierce.  That is why he took to time to make sure his hair blew up as he skated in.  Sometimes you have to bow to the hair and give it what it wants.

2:32 - "You gotta read it, not write it, buddy."

2:57 - "He's the Irish Pat Riley."  That is funny on so many levels.

3:13 - Who comes up with the concept of adding blow drying directly into the team fees?  That is the most hilarious thing I have ever heard.  So great.

3:35 - It is the beard that earned him the Captain's letter.

4:28 - Siri fails epically here.  Epically.

4:46 - This kid reminds me of the hockey kids from the movie Dogma.  They are representing the Stygian Triplets in the movie whereas this kid is representing what every Minnesota kid does from Thanksgiving though St. Patrick's Day, but whatever.

We will look at the latest iteration next week.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

2012 All Hockey Hair Team Review

Yesterday we looked at the 2011 All Hockey Hair Team as chosen by the good folks over at Pulltab Productions, and it was awesome.  So today let's take a gander at 2012.

)

0:01 - I can't tell you, Company, just how much I like the slow panning shot of the newspapers with brackets and hair prize combs and hockey tape.

0:15 - I feel like Rust-o-leum is not necessary on plastic combs.

0:21 - Props in the introductions?  Not in year two.  In a few more years once this becomes super popular - and it will be - the players will catch on and start using the props.  Just be patient young grasshopper.

0:42 - The goalie sprint has been a staple of hockey introductions for years.  It never once occurred to me that they were doing it to make their hair blow.  It all makes sense to me now.

0:53 - As we have come to expect for the All Hockey Hair Team broadcast, great color commentary, noting that the amount of product kept the young man from getting the hair movement he was obviously striving for.

1:04 - Hair-mantown!  It could also have been Her-MANE - town.  That would have been good, too.

1:18 - Half of the Combo Platter is nothing but forehead. 

1:30 - The stare and the hair. 

1:30 - "Part shower cap with a little bit of fro."  That is right on the money.  I am disappointed they did not comment on the pseudo beard facial treasure trail that the kid has going on his face.

1:47 - The coach does have perfect hockey coach hair.

1:53 - This guy doesn't have a mustache, so I know he doesn't watch Magnum, P.I.  In fact, I am pretty sure that your TV has technology built into it these days that can sense what you look like, and if you aren't sporting a glorious 'stache or wearing super short shorts or named T.C. it will block out the Magnum, P.I. channel.

2:05 - "If he said "hi" to anyone it would be his stylist." Brilliant!  I almost lost my shit on that one.

2:15 - Good catch on the unevenness of the classic mullet. I am continually impressed by the quality of the color commentary. As long as the narrator is wearing a Don Cherry jacket.

2:23 - I am going to try the Pop Tart.

2:42 - A team award for the first time ever!  Hair team shocker!  And it all starts with their coach, right?

3:00 - Music!?  NO WAY!  Rockin out like all the great hairstyles.  Special props to the Pulltab crew though because they did not go for the usual hair song suspects - "Whip My Hair", or anything from the musical Hair.  So they made a solid choice.  Anything by Blondie would have also been appropriate for this application but I am not sure everyone would have gotten the reference.

3:55 - Good note on the mustache.  "It's not thick enough to block shots yet..."  Hilarious!  It is also not thick enough to watch Magnum, P.I.

3:55 - I am also a little concerned about this kids sort of weird, off centered and strange sized multiple soul patches he has going on.  What the hell, guy?

4:02 - Surprised by the Clark Gable.  Good recovery though.  The narrator is a pro.

4:18 - Applies the term "Combo Platter" to a completely different situation than it was before.  They need to get someone in to control their continuity.  But I do suppose there are millions of different kinds of combo platters in this world, so we will let it slide.  This one is the always popular head/facial hair combo platter.

4:40 - Planning for next year.  Solid.  Also, I want someone to carve me in butter.  It seems only appropriate.

The last three minutes of this video are just the hair song playing.  I wish they would have put a montage behind it.  That would have been glorious.  But oh well.  Still a great video.  Tomorrow we will look at the 2013 All Hockey Hair Team.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2011 All Hockey Hair Team Review

    Every once in a while you stumble upon something so fantastic, so amazing, so life changing yet affirming that you just can't keep it to yourself, no matter what the most influential blogger in the history of the world tells you about keeping things to yourself. So, in the spirit of sharing things that are great, let's talk about the All Hockey Hair Team.

     The good folks at Pulltab Productions somewhere up in Minnesota have struck greatness gold.  Somewhere along the way, they decided to do in depth research and commentary on the magnificent hair styles sported by the high school hockey players in the Minnesota State High School Hockey Playoffs.  Seeing as these commentaries affected us in glorious ways that we didn't even know possible, we thought it only right that we comment on them ourselves.


)

 0:01 - Scrolling titles.  Classy.

1:11 - TOSSING THE SALAD!  That has a different meaning in Minnesota than I am used to I guess.  Bonus points for the slow motion because the slow motion salad toss makes this kid look super dreamy.  Man, my therapist is going to have a field day with that comment.

1:23 - Appreciation of the "straight, old-school mullet."  Solid.  MacGyver would be proud.

1:35 - Did he just compare Derek to a Christmas tree?  How many kids named Derek do you think where in the tournament that year?  If I ever get the opportunity to trash talk that guy after seeing this, I am just going to keep calling him "Jackpine."

1:50 - "I am surprised he was able to play with that heavy dose of Bieber Fever."  I weep for the greatness of that line.

Seriously, that was color commentary of the highest order.

1:58 - Cutting to slow motion for the "proper flop."  Sign of a talented director who appreciates the finer things in life.

2:22 - Dez brings the mustache and the perfect look for his future career as a really low end used car dealer.

2:29 - "We struggled to find a coach of the All Hockey Hair Team; most of these guys don't even have hair."

2:38 - Bruce from Hermantown powers his way into #3 on the All Hockey Hair Team just by flaunting his totally ordinary mane.  Like a boss.  How could the guys at Pulltab not have put him on the team with a powerful move like that?  Also, this: "Just flaunting to the other coaches that he even still has hair."  Genius.

2:52 - They almost disqualify David because of potential blow drying.  Scandal rocks the All Hockey Hair Team.  Also, it is absolutely fabulous how the narrator explains why they did not disqualify him. 

3:02 - "He's Peroxide Jesus."

3:10 - They bleach it up for us.

3:16 - It is the look that seals the tournament for Mike.  It is definitely the look.  Kudos to the narrator for alerting us to that fact, because if he hadn't have pointed it out I never would have even noticed it.

3:27 - Honorable mentions!  The best of the losers.

3:38 - The Skating Tomato.

3:52 - Did that goalie just blow us a kiss?  How does not that give him the title?

3:59 - Eddie Rabbitt reference.  Because I love a rainy night.

4:02 - The biggest worry is being prejudice against curls?  Is that even on the on the radar of the NAACP?  You bet it is: the National Association for the Advancement of Curled Pompadours.

4:18 - "Obviously St. Thomas is never going to win this thing."  Obviously.  That is hilarious if you follow Minnesota high school hockey.  For the rest of us, it doesn't become hilarious until I tell you that St. Thomas is a Roman Catholic military school.  And now you've wet your pants.

4:20 - I love that they have a sponsor and a promotion.  Ripped from the heart of Big Dave himself.  But I contend that the guys on the All Hair Hockey Team already have their hair styled pretty greatly and probably don't need much help.  Although I suppose it takes a lot of work to look that good...

Amazing, right?  Life. Altered.  Great job Pulltab Productions! I think you deserve a hockey tape wrapped mixing board or something. 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

In Defense of Daylight Savings Time

     I want to take a minute today, Company, to comment on Daylight Savings Time.  Today is Sunday, March 9, 2014 and Daylight Savings Time began early this morning for this year.  Now, I understand that it is complicated and somewhat archaic the way we have chosen to tell unified time in the United States, but people have been taking pot shots at Daylight Savings Time lately and I feel as if I should defend it.
      Lately, this meme - or some similar variation thereof - has been showing up on a fair number of Facebook profiles:


First of all, I don't know if this is a true story or not, so let's just get that out of the way.  And while I understand that this is the type of thinking that at time has been employed by our government, I can't help but feel that all this meme does is show a fundamental misunderstanding of what Daylight Savings Time really is.
     Switching to and from Daylight Savings Time in order to maximize the amount of daylight that the bulk of the population is exposed to is nothing like the blanket analogy shown in the meme, okay?  It is not like trying to remove sunlight from the beginning of the day and moving it to the end.  It is simple a change in the way that we humans arbitrarily place value on a natural physical phenomenon, namely time.  Time - as the saying goes - is relative.  The only reason that the sun comes up at, say 6AM for instance, is because we have happened to apply the label 6 AM to the time that the sun is coming up.  And we can choose to give that particular point in the movement of the sun across the sky any label we choose.  So if we choose - twice a year - to switch all the labels that we arbitrarily apply to certain points of the day for any reason we have the ability to do so.
     The enactment of Daylight Savings Time actually shows the exact opposite of what the meme is trying to impart.  One of the juxtapositions of Native American vs. White culture is that Native Americans have historically bent their society to the will of nature and the lay of the land, whereas White culture has always just blasted into nature head on.  Creating complex engineering schemes to grow crops in marginal areas instead of just growing them where the conditions are good.  Building elaborate bridges and tunnels instead of just putting the road where it is easiest to do so.  Building buildings to withstand avalanches instead of just not putting buildings in that place.  That kind of thing.  But Daylight Savings Time shows that we understand that at the most basic level nature is always the constant that cannot ever be totally tamed.  Daylight Savings Time is us showing that we are willing to move the way we mark time, and ALL OF THE ELEMENTS OF LIFE, SOCIETY, CULTURE, ETC. that depend on that arbitrary system of labels.  We take the time and effort to switch all of those things AND their connections in order to simple utilize what nature provides us in a more efficient and useful manner.  So maybe, just maybe the thinking isn't as skewed as it seems on the surface.
     In the end, my biggest problem with the meme is simple that the comparison is flawed.  Daylight Savings Time is not like cutting the top off the blanket and sewing it back on the bottom and expecting the blanket to be longer.  We understand that the amount of daylight is finite.  It is not like chopping hours off the morning and slapping them on the afternoon.  No.  What Daylight Savings Time is like is pulling the blanket up to your neck because you are already wearing socks.  It is putting the resource to the area that you can best use it.  Having daylight at 5 AM doesn't do a whole lot of good for the bulk of the "civilized" world, just like a blanket covering feet wearing socks is just overkill.  But having daylight later in the evening is like using that blanket to cover your bare upper chest.  It gets a lot more done.
     All I know is that yesterday at 6:00 PM it was dark outside.  Today at 6:00 PM it is light outside.  And it is not because the day suddenly became longer.  It is because we have chosen to move the arbitrary markers of time that we have applied to the natural day.  And if the price of my getting more done in the afternoon, and turning the lamp on a little less, is simple to change my clocks around twice a year and losing an hour of sleep in the spring, I am not sure that I can complain.

Friday, March 07, 2014

An Open Letter to Mr. Belvedere

Dear Mr. Belvedere,

     Where have you gone?  Things have become so complicated since you went away.  Way back then, things were so simple on TV.  Hugh Downs was everywhere, as long as everywhere was 20/20.  There were only like three channels.  Plots were so simple:  A funny or eccentric father.  A mom who means well.  Some kid who is always getting into hijinks.  And always a sister who REALLY liked the mall.  Hilarity would ensue.  Once a year, during sweeps, you would take on a special issue.  Then, in the second sweeps period you would do a two part episode, or maybe a crossover so for some reason you go to Hawaii for a little bit to be the butler for Magnum, P.I.  Except that he was on CBS and you were on ABC so that one would never happen unless it was in my dreams.  Which it has many, many times.
     But now, I just don't know.  There are approximately one hundred million channels and there are zombies on every one.  Zombies are really, really popular.  So are shows about fairy tales it seems.  And there are these things called "reality shows" that are scripted and sort of staged in a way.  They are to reality what the WWF is to high school wrestling.  Also, it is not called the WWF anymore, but that is a story for another time.  I just called it that because I wanted you to know what I was talking about.  And everything is meta now.  And I don't even know what meta means!
      There are more children on television right now on my satellite dish than there were in all of the 80s combined (and by the way, the satellite dish is only like a foot across).  There are 14 year old kids on Nickelodeon, Nickelodeon West, Disney Channel, , ABC Family, and like six other networks that I can't even name.  And all of them are living in situations that aren't really based, you know, in reality.  I don't think that are a whole lot of single parent families with really involved and understanding parents living in industrial lofts in New York City that have kids who are pop stars.  But then again I could be wrong.  Oh, and every one of those teens on TV have also released a pop album.  And no, none of them are any good.  Streaks on the china, indeed!
      So take me back.  Please, let's go back.  I want things to be simple.  I don't want edgy shows on networks that have nothing to do with what their names say anymore (try to find anything about the Arts or Entertainment on A&E or a historical documentary on The History Channel).  Take me back to where there are no more shows about people down South who don't live with electricity or a million shows about people running pawn shops in a gruff but likeable manner.   Back when everyone was watching what I was watching because that is all that was on.  Back when cable boxes had mechanical push buttons. I want that back, Mr. Belvedere.  And you can make it happen.

Sincerely,

Big Dave

P.S.  Brocktoon.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Keeping the Day

     The other day, my mom called me.  Yeah, my mom, the real, bona-fide person who gave birth to me.  She was concerned about the amount of snow on the deck of her vacation home in the Great White North.  And, since I am a good son, and I have both a corporate jet and snowshoes - oh, and a shovel - I saddled up and decided that I would check it out for her.  Except there wasn't a horse involved.  I didn't use a horse, so strange with the saddle, no?
     Anyway, I went to this place to check on the deck and clean it off.  I should note to you that the snow is not plowed from the driveway of this house, and it has been shut down since the fall.  Oh, and it has been a really snowy winter there.  And there was some ice somewhere along the way.  And I knew that, so I was prepared for what I was facing.  But then again, I wasn't.
      I got there and strapped on my snowshoes and set off over the plow wash from the road.  For those of you who don't know what plow wash is, here is the the Wikipedia entry for it.  Wait, that is the Wikipedia entry for Centennial, Colorado.  I guess they don't have a Wikipedia entry for plow wash.  Anyway, it is the big mound of snow alongside the road that is created when the plow pushes the snow off to the side of the road.  So I went over the plow wash and all was good, until I got beyond the plow wash and the snow was really dry and fluffy and I sank into it.  Down to me knees.  With my snowshoes on.  It sucked.  But I waded my way through it until I got to the house and deck.  I walked onto the third step because the snow was so deep.  I saw that the snow on the deck was piled up to the top of the railings.  So I got to work, breaking through the ice and crust and compacted snow (perfect igloo or snow fort snow, by the way) and hurled it over the side until it was all removed.  And it sucked.  But somewhere in the middle, about the point where the deck curves around the side of the house, I stopped to take a break and realized that it didn't really suck at all.
     It was cold outside - like hovering around zero cold - and not zero Celsius you European or Latin American or Canadian or Asian or African or member of the scientific community or anyone other than everyday American freak.  Zero degrees Fahrenheit, which is cold.  But the sun was out, it was midday, and the sky was a color blue that summer just can't replicate.  The house sits high on a hill overlooking a lake that is rimmed with a mixture of pine and deciduous trees.  The mixing of the colors was awesome.  Blue sky.  Green trees.  Brown leafless trees.  White snow.  Yellow sun.  Yellow snow where I just peed.  It was stupendous.  Then looking back towards the road up the hill, the same landscape but with one deep, well defined path where I had come in.  And deep the deep red of the siding on the house. It looked a little bit like a postcard that you would send someone who had never seen winter before.  Or like something that Norman Rockwell was about to paint.
     My thought immediately snapped to my cell phone and its attached camera.  The application that allows a picture to be posted, for the location to be attached, with a time and comment for all of the world to see.  Snap some photos in each direction, maybe a couple of the shoveling work in progress and everyone could see.  The phone was back in the car, tucked safely into the compartment below the stereo, and now that the trail was packed down it would be a cinch to run back and get it.  I went for my snowshoes but I stopped.
This is not a photo of that day.   I am trying to you.
that I learned about in kindergarten.  None of those people where there to see that.  None of them were there putting in the work with me, although in all fairness to my friends a ride on the corporate jet is usually enough to get people to help me with just about anything.  And in all fairness to the Unpaid Interns, the threat of whatever I am threatening to do to them is usually enough to make them help me with just about anything.  But they weren't there shoveling Patsy's deck in the freezing cold, about two months too late.  I was.  So I earned the day.  I was greedy and wanted it for myself.  And I kept it for myself.  Like a rat.
     The point here, Company, is that sometimes you have to keep the day for yourself.  The Internet is great.  Super great.  And sharing with your friends is great.  Super great.  But sometimes, sometimes, you just have to keep a little something for yourself.  Dinner with your significant other where you don't check in on Foursquare.  A photo of the kids blowing bubbles at one another that doesn't make it onto Instagram.  Maybe updating your parents on a status that never finds its way onto Facebook.  A great one liner that Twitter never, ever sees.  You've gotta have a little something to keep to yourself before you lose all your individuality.  Sometimes you just have to keep the day.