Monthly Archives: March, 2011

Never leave a spouse behind

PedestrianWe’ve all heard the expression “never leave a man behind.”

This is part of the U.S. Soldier’s Creed, which actually says, in part:

“I will never leave a fallen comrade.”

Unfortunately, not all of us live by this creed. Observe…

Last night I was on my nightly commute home. My commute used to be only two miles one-way. Now it’s three miles. Which is more than enough for the assmonkeys* to turn out in spades.

I had driven a whole two blocks from work and was approaching the first traffic light of the drive. The light was green. That means it was my turn to go, and it also means that pedestrians were supposed to wait.

What I should have done

You see, I have this thing about pedestrians obeying signaling devices. It really burns me when they don’t. Especially when they take a leisurely stroll when it isn’t their turn and make cars with green lights have to wait. I fucking hate that! It burns me every single time.

I’m the kind of guy that waits for the walk signal. Always. That’s just the way I am. Even if the street is deserted as far as the eye can see. If only I had a nickel every time I stood there waiting while other pedestrians gave me a funny look, then blithely pressed on without me. Motherfuckers!

So here it was a mere two blocks into my commute and I was experiencing my first full blown incident of road rage of the evening. Shit, why did it take so long? Couldn’t the universe throw something at me a block earlier? Quit slacking, universe!

From the right came a couple of pedestrians, a man and a woman. I assumed they were a married couple. They were a little older than me and obviously together. They had a “don’t walk” signal because my light was green. The man strolled out into the street without a care in the world. He didn’t look left or right. He acted as if the universe was exclusively his.

Meanwhile, here I come, trying to catch the green light before it turns yellow. In other words, I’m accelerating.

The man strolled out about 10 feet into the intersection then finally seemed to realize where he was. “Wait a fucking moment. I think I’m in a street!” He stopped, froze in his tracks, looked in my direction, and then, quite comically, backtracked like a little scared rabbit.

Ha ha ha, motherfucker! This intersection is mine!

Meanwhile, he had left his wife behind. They were obviously not in agreement on the whole “let’s challenge a car to a duel” thing. While he strode out into the street, she stopped at the edge of the sidewalk, then went back to push the pedestrian button.

By now the man had retreated almost back to the sidewalk. He had stopped about three feet from the curb and remained standing defiantly on the asphalt. He was clearly perturbed that a car had dared to interrupt his jaywalking. It was like he was saying, “The line must be drawn here. This far, no further!”

Luckily I was going straight. If I had been turning right I would have run over his toes. Gladly, I might add.

After I passed, I checked my rear view mirror. That man had taken off again right behind me after I passed. And there was his wife, still dutifully waiting on the sidewalk.

The motherfucker was leaving her behind!

He reached the other side of the street and continued on down the sidewalk. He wasn’t going to wait for nobody, not even his wife.

Finally the light changed and the signal said “walk” and the woman could cross the street. She jogged all the way to catch up with her mate, then they finally continued on their way together.

You have my condolences, lady. Not only is your husband a criminal jaywalker, you’re married to a douchebag assmonkey, too.

* Thanks for the term, Write Snark! 🙂

Hyppo and Critter: The Art of Salemanship

What value does our outfit add to the product distribution and consumption process? That’s easy. When one of our talented team of salespeople makes a product “recommendation,” you can rest assured that the recommendation is solely based on our interests and have absolutely nothing to do with what is good for you, the customer.

I see this every day in my job. The boss is our primary salesperson. He knows the product line. We grunts don’t, basically because we could give a flying shit and besides, we’re busy being his Girl Friday bitches and stuff.

When a customer calls in, they typically want a specific product. “I’m looking for the Widget Extreme,” they’ll say. “Your web site says it is in stock.”

The boss will stick the phone in his shoulder and his fingers will fly on the keyboard. “Let me check on that.”

Oops. We don’t have any of the Widget Extreme. But we do have oodles of the Widget Ultra. This is where salesmanship kicks in.

“Why did you want the Widget Extreme? What were you gonna use it for? Uh huh. Uh huh. Yeah, for that, we really recommend the Widget Ultra. And I can ship it out today.”

Sucker! They say there is one born every minute.

Later, when the product inventory is reversed, so do our tactics. We will say the damn exact opposite of what we said before.

I can’t help but wonder about this. What if someone calls back and wants another Ultra? And then we tell them that the Ultra sucks and we only recommend the Extreme? Isn’t is possible we could be caught in a lie?

Whatever. “Sales” is the art of tricking someone into buying something no matter what. And at that, my boss does excel.

The Challenger Disaster

Back row (L-R): Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik. Front row (L-R): Michael J. Smith, Francis "Dick" Scobee, Ronald McNair.

STS-51-L Mission insignia

I’m not always that bright. We were playing Trivial Pursuit and someone (not me) got the question: “How many people perished in the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster?”

As my opponent took an interminable period of time to ponder their answer, I couldn’t contain myself. “Holy shit! Come on! I can name all seven!”

Well played. I just gave my opponent the answer and another little wedgie piece for free. Dammit.

Then I did name all seven, from memory: Smith, McNair, Jarvis, Resnik, McAuliffe, Onizuka, and Scobee.

I’ve heard that most people remember exactly where they were when they heard the news about JFK being shot. That was slightly before my time. But I grew up with the NASA quest for the moon. The Mercury missions, then Gemini, then Apollo. And the Space Shuttle program.

For me, Tuesday, January 28, 1986, is my JFK moment. I remember that day vividly. Shortly after sleeping in, I found my roommates in front of the TV. We sat and watched the coverage for hours. Continue reading →

A capital idea: Michael Moore and dictators

Somewhere buried in this post you'll find something I liked about dictators in a Michael Moore movie. Good luck!

Anyone who has given this blog even the most cursory of glances may have picked up on a subtle theme. Suffice it to say that I just might not be the happiest employee in the land.

Ya think?

So what did I do? I fired up the Roku the other night and watched Capitalism: A Love Story, a movie by Michael Moore.

Holy shit! Knowing me, that’s like using gasoline to douse a fire!!!

I happen to love and adore Michael Moore as a filmmaker. Agree with his politics or not, the man makes compelling and watchable movies. Continue reading →

What’s that poop you’re wearing?

Mr Poop CandySomewhere between love and madness and the toilet … lies Surplus. Love … madness … poop. It’s my secret.

What possesses me? I’ll never know. So there I was, punching the word “poop” into Google and looking for the latest news.

Watch Jersey Shore’s Season in Poop.” Yeah, yeah. No thanks, I’ll pass.

Eh? Wait one. What’s this??? From the Beauty & Style section, no less. “Man Makes Perfume Out of Poop & Holy S**t, It’s Selling.

Ewwwww! De toilette???

You silly humans! Even now, at the end, you can still surprise me! LOL! Stop it. No, seriously. Stop it.

The gist of the story is this: An “artist” (I love putting that word in quotes) has produces 85 bottles of something he calls “perfume” that have been crafted from his own private business, if you know what I’m saying.

And it’s only $85 a bottle. And he calls it Surplus.

What’s his secret, besides finding a way to grab at his 15 minutes of notoriety? Does he have the poopy Midas touch? Did he somehow figure out a way to make poop smell good?

Erm, no. The point is supposed to be the opposite. You know how perfume can be used to cover up bad smells with something nice?

The point of Surplus is to cover your good smells with something bad. I shit you not. (Oops. That might be the slogan for Surplus.)

Intrigued? Learn more and see a advertisement here.

Come to find out I’ve been doing it all wrong. Every morning I wake up and go through this damn annoying routine so I don’t smell bad. I take a shower. I rub soap on my body. I wash my hair. I rub deodorant into my armpits. I brush my teeth. Oh sure, I still smell bed, but at least I friggin’ try.

Instead I could just roll out of bed, dab a little Surplus behind each ear, and head out the door to take on the day. I’ve got to admit, that would be a real time saver!

Artist web site: Jammie Nicholas

What is time?

...Time...Sometimes you gotta think the big thoughts. Like, “What is time?”

That’s easy. It’s an excellent song on the new Elephant Revival album, Break In The Clouds. 🙂 Hint: Go to their web site. They let you listen to three wonderful songs for free. (But not “What Is Time.” I couldn’t find that online. Buy the album.)

It’s also something you sometimes wish you could keep in a bottle. Or so I’ve heard.

For me, I often wish it is something I could speed up and slow down as needed. Gimme a time throttle.

But yeah, those sorts of answer are too glib. Really, what is time?

If you want to know what Wired Magazine had to say about it, clicky the link and take a look. I tried and it made my head feel funny.

I guess I’ll take my own shot at it. With my own humble spin, of course.

Let us start by looking at a unit of time known as the second:

Early definitions of the second were based on the apparent motion of the sun around the earth. The solar day was divided into 24 hours, each of which contained 60 minutes of 60 seconds each, so the second was 1/86400 of the mean solar day.

Wow. There are 86,400 seconds per day.

As science caught up, and figured out things like the sun didn’t rotate around the earth, the definition of second was slightly updated:

Since 1967, the second has been defined to be the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom.

We needed this updated definition since the second calculated the original way was actually getting longer. This is due to the fact that the earth is slowing down.

Another unit of time is known as the work day. This measurement defines an impossibly large span of time that is usually sufficient to melt the souls of men.

A typical work day contains 8 hours, each of which are comprised of 60 minutes, each of which are comprised of 60 seconds. Therefore, 60 * 60 * 8 equals the number of seconds in a work day. That’s a whopping 28,880 seconds of time spent working by the average full-time American per day. In some European countries the work day is shorter. Yeah, we’re #1!

28,880 seconds per work day.

Let that sink in.

Oh God.

Or, put another way, that’s 144,000 seconds in a five-day full-time work week.

So if anyone ever asks you to name something you do 144 thousand times per week, you can safely answer, “my job.”

“My job.” What else, if anything, defines who we are? By one definition, pure quantity, what else compares? The only other thing that might even come close in our existence is sleep. And that’s only if you sleep more than 5.7 hours a night.

Let’s assume that the average person is getting six hours of sleep per day, seven days a week. That’s 42 hours. So sleep barely edges out “work” as the #1 thing we do with our lives.

#1 – Sleep
#2 – Work

I submit, however, that work, no matter what, is the real winner. Because you have to factor in things like time spent getting ready for work, and time spent commuting to and from work. For most of us, that’s probably another 10 hours a week right there.

As human beings in the modern American reality, our primary functions are to work and sleep. Everything else in our little lives is secondary to those two concerns. Love, family, food, recreation, reading, education, pleasure, and health all take a back seat.

Work and sleep is who we are.

Now excuse me, I have to go to work, where I’m going to start at “1” and count all the way up to “28,800.” It’s guaranteed to make you go mad.

28,800 seconds is a very long, long, long time indeed.