Monday, May 12, 2014

We had a deal!!!

The Internet is officially dead. Here are the three things that killed it for me.

1. Google. When they changed their algorithm a few years back, they made it so that corporate links rose to the top. Instead of returning relevant results, the first page is always something to do with selling me crap. Search "oracle" and you get the shitty company that stole the name from the mythology. Complain all you want about people gaming the previous algorithm with SEO, but at least you got what you were searching for instead of a sales pitch.

2. Net Neutrality R.I.P. Ever since the courts rolled over and shamefully showed the bandwidth companies their bellies, I have to reduce my online video sizes--across all services--by a third or get terrible lag times. I am now watching on a screen smaller than the 13" black-and-white TV I had as a kid. I'm surprised I'm not charged extra for color. Progress.

3. Hulu. You idiots; we had a deal. I watch your stupid commercials, you get your precious money and I get to watch for free. I even put up with the moronic 8 day and 30 day waiting periods, like a chump. And what do you do? You go and change the game! You pull the last two episodes of Suits without airing them or offering explanation. I kept up my end of the bargain; you should keep up yours. It's like you want me to stream shows illegally. It's like you want to punish me for being honest. It's like you're trying to make me go outside and play in the street.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Parking Note (aka The Incident)

When I left work today, I found two notes on my car. Now, before I get too far along, I feel the need to mention two things. The first is that I am fairly certain I work with the person who left the note, which will ultimately make things awkward if/when they read this. The second is that I knew when I parked that I was too close, but as you'll see, I didn't (and still don't) think it'd be an issue.

Let's look at the notes.
Double Trouble.
I find these fascinating for several reasons. The first is the phrase written IN ALL CAPS that says "EXTREMELY TOO CLOSE". It should either say "extremely close" or "too close", but "extremely too close" borders on hyperbole--as if parking too close would be fine, but extremely too close is just unacceptable. The second is the fact that there are two notes and both end with "next time". I picture the person writing the first note, placing it on my window, getting in their car, then thinking "you know what, I'm gonna leave a second note, just to be sure", get back out of their car and leaving the second note. Phew!

Normally, I would sympathize. But as you'll see, I might possibly have mildly inconvenienced a person for all of 20 seconds. Doesn't seem worthy of two (2) notes, in my opinion.

The first thing to understand is that the parking garage is rather unforgiving in regards to space and is generally awkward to navigate. This is a drawing of the space.
It's even worse in real life.

Next, the note-writer's car was already parked when I arrived. 
Already parked.
And, as I mentioned, I did park closer than normally expected.
I was backing in! Not always so easy to judge.
 But, as you can see, both cars were parked facing out.
Faces out!
Furthermore, neither car was British, so both driver's sides were on the left, not right.
Not a spot of bother.
The note writer had given themselves full and free access to their car by allowing themselves enough clearance between their car and the wall.
Patent pending.
I, however, had not given myself a lot of room and therefore had to do the wriggle-hold--where you hold the door with one hand, so you won't damage the other car, while subsequently wriggling through the remaining gap.
Like a greased Scotsman.
From all this, I surmise two theories.

1. The note writer (falsely) assumed that the proximity of our cars was such that it did not allow for the exiting of my car in a dent-free manner and therefore felt compelled to issue me a stern warning.

2. The note writer had a passenger, who was not confident in their wriggling skills. While this might have been a slight inconvenience, the ambient air temperature at the time of the note--assuming a reasonable post-work time of 5 p.m.--was approximately 65-degrees F. This temperature is not an uncomfortable temperature in which to wait an extra 20 seconds, which I estimate to be the time it would take for the note writer to get in their car, start it and pull forward enough for their passenger to enter in a free and unobstructed manner.

And now that I've made my case, I look forward to having my windows smashed out and my tires slashed. Yay.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rams Challenge (other than being in the NFL’s toughest division)

Apparently the Rams are offering $100,000 to the person who perfectly picks their upcoming schedule. One glaring difference between this contest and the billion dollar bracket challenge is that I suppose we’re supposed to take it on faith that the Rams aren’t going to look at all of the submissions and then just pick a schedule that doesn’t match up with any of them. No mention of a suitcase locked away at the HQ of Price-Waterhouse-Coopers is what I’m saying.

That said, this article over at Slate says it’s practically impossible to do. Therefore, I submitted a guess.

Even though past performance is not an indicator of future success (as they say when buying stocks), I looked at schedules past. I noticed that, since 2002 (the year the Super Bowl Championship Seattle Seahawks joined the NFC West), the Rams have had five week-9 bye weeks, followed by three week-5 bye weeks. Last year the bye week was during week 11, so I went with week 9 again. I also noticed that they’ve played Philly week one, twice, and tend to play a fellow NFC West opponent week 4, as well as typically end the season against a divisional rival. Considering the Super Bowl Championship Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco feud, I figured the Rams would be playing Arizona. I also made sure not to have more than two away or two home games in a row.

And my biggest guess of all? Taking a chance that the Rams will play the Super Bowl Championship Seattle Seahawks on Monday night again in week 8. Probably should have made that a Sunday night game, now that I think of it. Oh well.

Monday, March 17, 2014

GTA Photo Journalism

A buddy of mine convinced me, after much reluctance on my part, to buy the mature-themed video game GTA V. While the single player version of the game is probably fun and all, he and I have only been playing the online version and it's pretty amazing. The game takes place in a fictional Los Angeles and it's ridiculously expansive: Oceans, mountains, jet fighters, you name it. One of the best features is a fake Instagram app in the game that lets you take photos and selfies using various filters to post to friends. Most of the pictures are of questionable subject matter--dead people, explosions, strippers--or selfies in front of cars, dead people and strippers. Like I said: (im)mature.

Therefore, being the subversive I am, I thought it would be funny to take more artsy photos within the game. Enjoy.

a-MAZE-ing, right?

Not all of the bodies are idealized.

Ah, the old "floating bottle" trick

This isn't by me. It's of "me" getting tagged by a truck. Photo credit: Sparkels.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

2 Negative

My last two blog posts have been somewhat negative regarding two products that have an ostensible market. Instead of adding a few drips of vitriol with a dropper, I seem to have knocked over the bottle and saturated the page.

Therefore, as a counterbalance, I want to share a slightly more joyful story. Or a creepy one. You decide!

I had a fever dream--okay, not off to a great start--of a woman I had met on a backpacking trip a lifetime ago. For some reason her name popped into my head.

Even though she is from a country halfway around the world and speaks a different language, I figured I search for her all the same.

My first result came up nil. However, the search engine suggested a similar name. I clicked the link and it brought up search results for a pornographic film actress. This at once shocked me, titillated me and made me imagine a scenario where our brief, platonic encounter had gripped her with such desire--both compelling and vacuous--that no amount of meaningless on-screen intercourse would ever make her whole.

Like I said: fever dream.

That lead being a dead-end, I tweaked my spelling and discovered a few photos of her. Or in common parlance: Google stalked her. From the brief snap-shot I gathered, she is well, still in her country of origin and actually works in film--on the other side of the camera in a non-pornographic capacity.

In the future our past will always be revealed in our present. 

Monday, March 10, 2014


Whilst watching some free quality programming, I saw a toilet paper commercial featuring a cheeky lady with an accent. Well, I thought it was for toilet paper; it was and it wasn't. The commercial was for the Cottonelle Care Routine--regular old toilet paper coupled with moist cleansing wipes. Something smelled.

Now I probably overuse the word reprehensible** on this site. You might even find my use of the word to be reprehensible. But that's what I feel about this strategy set forth by Cottonelle.

Why? Because it's attempting to create demand where there is none. Sure, some people out there might need to use moist cleansing wipes, but that's the operative word: need. No person with regular bowel movements, an adequate intake of fiber and who is generally in good health needs to use and flush another product, especially one laden with chemicals, into the water supply. One could make an argument that we as a society already use too much toilet paper as it is.

But I wanted to be sure I understood the commercial correctly, so I went to the product site. Crap.

Yes, this is a "routine". Also, there were a surprising number of reviews from "consumers". Like this erudite 5-star review.

Cottonelle's new combo care routine is the da bomb! I have always used Cottonelle toilet paper but had not tried it with the new wipes. The Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths are the perfect compliment to my Ultra Comfort Care toilet paper. I was happy that the wipes did not clog up my septic and I liked the sleek refillable dispenser because it did not take up much room.

Nice try, Marketing Executive. I love the first line--so casual. You even drop a "wipes" into the second line. That's cool. So why call the product out by its full name? And the specific name of toilet paper? Ultra Comfort Care is da bomb!

I know the general public. I love the general public. But they write like crap and can't spell for shit***. Here's the review as if a real person had written it.

Yer new combo thing is the da shit****! LOL. I <8 Cottonele toilet paper but had not tried it with the new wipes. I LOVE THEM!!!! SO GOOD. An they didnt clog up my turlet and the box fit on my shelf. PLEASE SEND ME FREE ONES!
Ah, much better. Feels almost ... refreshing.

*I don't usually swear on this blog, but the wordplay sums up my opinion aptly. 
**My review of Katy Perry's Roar being a prime example.
***Again, sorry. 
****Hey, it's true.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Drunk in Love" was written by drunk people.

How can the couple behind the sublime and catchy "Crazy in Love"* write such an unintelligible song as this? Beyonce doing some sort of pseudo-spoken word/rapping thing? Who thought that was a good idea? Pepsi? And Jay-Z using the same old flow as every other album? More like Jay-ZZZZZZZZZZ. I'm sorry, you used up all your boring on Magna Carta Holy Grail, which was more like College Thesis Blog Post--Overwrought, too self-important and lacking in toe-tapping hit singles**. There is only one explanation behind the song and that is that the song title is literal. Beyonce and Jay-Z split a bottle of wine to get hammered, sang into their smartphones, accidentally emailed the recording to their agent and said agent was too much of a yes-person to tell them that it sucked.

Guys, please stop. You're taking away valuable air time away from people who actually care about making music that's fun to listen to, like Ke$ha. Okay, maybe more like Pharrell. More "Marilyn Monroe" and less "Drunk on Power", please.

*Hi, Dez.
**To be fair, I'm more of a Kanye fan.

Ukraine is not weak ...

Ukraine is most of my readership. Why? Why not???

For some reason my words really seem to resonate with the Ukrainian people. Perhaps they like book reviews and half baked blog posts? Or they have a penchant for Mr. Dog-Turd Hand comics (which are on their way, I promise)? Regardless, I throw my support behind their latest efforts at freedom and sovereignty from an aggressive foreign power. And if there is a book published about it, I'll try my best to review it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Time to make-up.

A friend of mine made the mistake of making light of people who are unemployed--as if hard work is the only factor influencing a person's employment status versus being one of several complicated factors. So at a charity auction I used my Capitalist dollars to buy her art work--which she had put a lot of "hard work" into making--and made it "better". The world may be an ugly place, but my place in it is now so very, very pretty.

So pretty. $1200.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: I am a pole (and so can you) by Stephen Colbert (illustrations by Paul Hildebrand)

The Premise:
A pole goes in search of meaning.

The Good:
As far as ostensibly pole-themed children's books go, this one is probably the tent* pole of the genre. On its surface, it's a pretty straightforward story of hope and destiny. Underneath the surface is a wry homage to children's books that is surely not intended for children. I particularly liked the "Caldecott Eligible Book" seal on the cover (the Caldecott medal is awarded to the best children's books each year). And the illustrations are the perfect balance of rudimentary and humorous to drive the punchlines home. And there's a reference to a Tadpole, which always gets my vote.

The Bad:
The price point. I see this literally as a gag gift and for me** $16 seems a bit high. I get that it's priced in-line with other children's books, but those are intended to be read and re-read by parents ad infinitum. This I see as more of a one-and-done type book. Hence my gripe. Also, I don't know that "Children's books for Adults" needs to become too much of a "thing". Colbert can pull it off, but I'd be disappointed to see too many more of these things.

The Verdict:
Buy the hard copy if you have the discretionary income. 

*Surprisingly not one of the poles listed.
**I'm cheap.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Super Important Super Bowl Predictions

Let’s face facts: As a 3-time Fantasy Football Champion, I am pretty much overqualified to weigh-in on the Super Bowl. But the people want what the people want, so, like Marshawn Lynch, I will begrudgingly break my silence and face the media.
1.     The announcers will mention the weather 830,462 times. Drink!
2.     On the first real play*, Peyton Manning** will throw a pass over Richard Sherman*** to Demaryius Thomas for a touchdown****. This play will make everyone who hated Sherman’s post-game antics feel justified, thus ending the whole stupid debate.
3.     Demaryius Thomas won’t catch another pass the rest of the game*****.
4.     Somebody at your viewing party will confuse Demaryius Thomas with Julius Thomas.
5.     The first time Marshawn Lynch touches the ball he won’t score a touchdown.
6.     That’s because he’s going to run 99 yards, lateral to Doug Ballwin, who will then lateral back to Marshawn for the touchdown******.
7.     Every time Peyton Manning throws an incomplete pass, the cameras will cut to Eli Manning drinking apple-tinis in some luxury box. Drink!
8.     The puppies-to-babies ratio for all of the Super Bowl commercials combined will be 7:2.
9.     The Seahawks will be called for a phantom penalty. Drink!
10. The total number of products advertised during the Super Bowl purchased by Americans after watching said Super Bowl will be 84.
11. Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will lip sync the halftime show. Drink!
12. Morbid fact: Is it bad that I’m glad that Nirvana will never play a Super Bowl halftime show? It is, isn’t it? And sad. But kind of glad, right?
13. Fun fact: Someone at your viewing party will be punched in the face after mentioning Tim Tebow*******.
14. Actual Fun Fact: Only Denver’s TE, Joel Dreesen (Colorado State), and Seattle’s WR, Jermaine Kearse (Washington********), actually attended colleges in their respective states.
15. Seattle will be called for its 294th phantom penalty by the middle of the third quarter.
16. Dennis Miller will streak the field. Drink!
17. At the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, the game will be within 2. The team with the ball will drive down the field and kick a field goal for the “win”.
18. If it’s the Seahawks, there will be a flag on the play and they will miss the subsequent attempt.
19. If it’s the Broncos and they make it: game over.
20. If it’s the Broncos and they miss, there will be a flag on the play and they will make the subsequent attempt.
21. Unless Richard Sherman blocks it. At which point Erin Andrew’s head will explode.

*Kick-offs are a joke
**Eli Manning’s older, Super Bowl ring-deficient brother
***The second greatest show on turf
****Karma’s a bitch, Rich
*****You really think Sherman’s giving up 2 TDs?
*******You know who you are
********Go Dawgs!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Squalor has a new flavor. What happens next will amaze you.

Don't let the festive packaging fool you--not a party in every pouch.
I recently dined at a ramen-themed food truck and immediately became nostalgic for the classic college staple that helped build, nay, sculpt my body into the temple it is today*. That food truck ramen was delicious. This Mexican-"Oriental"** hybrid, nay, confluence of flavors was ... interesting.

Let's look at the superlatives:
1. Hot & Spicy. There was a little zest and it was temperature hot. Did I have to mop any beaded sweat from atop my bald head? No.
2. 0% Trans Fat. I'll give the benefit of the doubt since there isn't much cost-cutting room in a 20-cent item, right?
3. Picante. I assume this is a red and/or green pepper of Mexican and/or Southwest origin? I saw some red flakes, so YES!
4. Chicken. No.
5. Picante Chicken. Now that would be interesting! I picture a chicken wearing some sort of festive shirt with ruffled sleeves. I promised amazing and I delivered!

Let's look at the scorecard:
Taste: Check.
Value: Yes!
Superlatives: The best!
Trans fat: No!
Nutritious: Questionable.
Ill: Surprisingly, no.
Regret: None.
Recommend: Sure.

*That image in your mind ... you're welcome.
**Seriously, STILL one of the names of the flavors.

A day in the life of a recently unemployed guy as seen by his neighbors who don't know the situation.

Settle down, people.

My one time arch-nemesis and sometime friend ...

... was interviewed and said some sort of interesting stuff.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

"You can't out science me, Tad" - Paul

But can I out science-fiction*? 

A friend** told me recently about a process where people are having their cremated ashes turned into diamonds. Furthermore, said diamonds were mainly a blueish tint, but could change depending on what they had eaten or if they had chemo-therapy.

To me, that premise could make for a gruesome sci-fi murder mystery, where a killer finds victims to turn into ten different shades of diamond rings for their ten fingers***.

*First time use as a verb? Probably not.
**That Paul Guy
***Does not rhyme with Pandarian