Friday morning my wife and I were in Portland, Oregon, on our way to the zoo. (More on that later.) We had ridden MAX, the light rail system, into downtown and had to transfer lines in Pioneer Square (AKA Portland’s Living Room).
While there, we saw the new Apple store. It was early in the morning and it wasn’t opened yet.
The architecture was Lego Meets Glass. It was a rectangular building with a long back wall covered with assorted goodies and three other walls consisting of giant panels of glass. The simple design spoke of transparency, projecting an airy, light, sense of come-see-what-we’ve-got. Sleek, clear, simple and white. And, although I didn’t know it at the time, there’s also a lawn on the roof.
I said to my wife, “I’ll bet there’s at least 57 iPads in there.” (Homage to Steve Martin.)
Inside one solitary worker sat at a desk feverishly clicking, thinking and doing about Apple stuff.
In front, slowly traversing the entire length of the store at a leisurely pace, were two security guards. They looked bored out of their minds. I forgot to look to see if they were armed, but we are talking about an Apple store, right? The place was obviously where riches were stored.
There’s not going to be an Oceans 7.1.1 heist here today. Not on my iWatch!
Suddenly a man approached the front of the building. The security guards sniffed him but apparently he checked out. He arrived at the front door and waved at the man inside. He was special. He measured up. He got to go inside.
I’d heard that Apple stores have something called a Genius Bar but I didn’t see a single bottle of booze. Hell if I was going there for a drink.
Unfortunately we couldn’t wait around all day. We had a train to catch. Before we turned away I saw a security guard hock up a loogie the size of an iPod Nano and launch it on the shiny white steps. The guards leisurely turned and began shuffling towards each other again. A vision of the North Korea border suddenly leapt unbidden to my mind.
I felt tingles. This portended good. Suddenly I knew the trip to the zoo was going to be something special. Things were happening. We walked a block and waited for our ride while looking at a Nike swoosh symbol the size of the Titanic.
Oh there’s a Tiger gettin’ tail it’s plain to see!
It costs a lot when he’s playin’ through the green
Well he just can’t wait like a shopper at a sale
Looks like The Tiger is gettin’ lots of tail
Look. I’ll be honest with you. I know exactly how Lindsey Vonn feels. I’ve also been medevaced via a snowmobile off a snow-covered mountain after a heart wrenching ski crash. I’m assuming that’s what it feels like to know Tiger Woods.
Today we pay tribute to our long-time bloggy friend, the sport of golf, and, of course, the concept of winning.
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A sporting chance for women
Yesterday was a big day for women and sport. The World Cup Final is one of the few sporting events I actually watched. And I personally think the women on that team should be proud of themselves. They played awesome. Winning isn’t the only thing and the format dictates that someone has to win and someone has to lose.
Abby Wambach? OMG! I think I just fell in love. She’s so dreamy. Drenched in sweat, that short haircut, and scoring a go-ahead goal. All I can say is, “Wow.”
Is it wrong to be attracted to a sports star? If it is then I don’t wanna be right.
Speaking of FIFA, I don’t really know how the World Cup works. Do the athletes get paid or are they amateur status? Either way, how much do they make from endorsements and such? What would they have received if they had won? I couldn’t help but notice they were all covered in Nike logos.
In other news…
Inequity makes me angry. And the stories coming out of the upcoming Olympics are really starting to piss me off. Two in particular.
First there was the thing about “Nazi imagery” being used to promote the 2014 winter games in Russia. How in the name of hell is something like that allowed to happen? It guess it isn’t that surprising when they hire people who love and admire Hitler to handle marketing, eh? (Story.)
Then there was the bit about women’s badminton in the 2012 London Olympics. Those in charge wanted to create a more “attractive presentation.” That sounds more like Iron Chef than a frickin’ sporting event. So it was that a rule requiring women competing in badminton to wear uniforms consisting of “skirts or dresses.” Officials at the Badminton World Federation said the move would make the women appear more feminine and appealing to fans and corporate sponsors. Ah yes, the corporate sponsors. We can’t forget about them, can we?
Personally I think the time for half-assed measures has passed. Why not just make them play topless? I can pretty much guarantee that ratings and ticket sales will go through the roof. And it will be a modern-era gold rush for the corporate sponsors. Think of it? The ad space possibilities are intoxicating! You can have the Nike logo on one boob and still have one whole boob left over for something else.
I think the IOC (International Olympic Committee) should honestly go after what they want here. The IOC (which is a corporation, by the way) should send representatives to Olympic hopefuls by the time they are five-years-old to explain the facts of life. “We support your dreams. The Olympics would be nothing without people like you, the world class athletes that the world wants to see. We’ll use you like pieces on a chessboard to suit our needs. If you’re the best of the best and it meets our needs, we can make you a star. By the way, get used to being naked. God help you if you don’t meet our needs, though, even if you are the best in the world. We’ll crush you and your dreams like so much used meat.”
We find that it’s best to get those naive illusions out of the way at an early age.
And, last but not least…
My Netflix was out yesterday. So I ended up watching content on a different channel on my Roku device. We ended up on something called the SnagFilms channel, which is completely free. There were lots of interesting documentaries and such. By chance, the film we ended up watching was Training Rules.
Imagine that your had a lifetime dream that you had chased since the age of four. You become one of the best of the best, the top 20 in the nation, earn a scholarship and take your rightful place on the national stage. Then, it all suddenly ends when a person who is supposed to be looking out for you threatens to destroy everything you’ve ever dreamed about because of some arbitrary fact about yourself that she doesn’t like.
Welcome to the plot of the documentary Training Rules. The movie chronicles the effect that Penn State University women’s basketball coach Rene Portland had on the lives of women on her team.
A religious person, Portland was fiercely anti-lesbian. And if she thought you were gay, she wouldn’t just kick you off the team. She would use her awesome power and influence as the head coach of a successful program at PSU to keep you out of the sport forever. She’d make sure that your scholarship was cancelled. And she’d threaten to even prevent the transfer of credits.
Penn State, of course, did nothing about Portland even after adding homosexuality to the school’s non-discrimination policy. Which, in court, they argued, had no meaning since it wasn’t legally a contract. I love it when organizations take the high road.
I have little doubt that Portland viewed herself as a pious God warrior, but what she really did was destroy dreams and destroy lives. She was a destroyer of people.
The purpose of institutions like Penn State is to help people. To educate and support them. Not use them as disposable pawns in a high stakes game of money, glamor, prestige and corporate warfare.
Training Rules is the kind of movie that pisses you off. They say that all evil needs is for good men to do nothing. Penn State excelled at that. I highly recommend this one-hour documentary.
Maybe some day all people will have a fair shot at equity. But it sure isn’t now and it sure isn’t this planet.
Case studies from the X-Files
Google and Bing agree. X is for Xbox. Boring! YouTube came up with xjawz.
Relying on the auto-complete features in these search engines, I then tried “X” followed by all of the vowels.
xem phim tren mang
From these results I deduce that Bing is more international than Google and Google is more commercial than Bing. And YouTube is just weird. 🙂
The X-Files: The Strange Case of the Trumpers
Proving the old adage that “it takes one to know one,” Robin Williams had Donald Trump pegged long before the rest of us:
He wants to see Obama’s birth certificate? I want to see his hairline. I mean, my theory is the hair is actually The Donald. That it’s like some alien creature that landed years ago.
Interesting. Is it the hair itself which is the alien, and Trump merely some sort of host? Or is the relationship more symbiotic than that?
I have no doubt that Mulder and Scully will get to the bottom of this.
There are several critical components to wonky beliefs like conspiracy theories: an overactive imagination, an element of doubt, and a steadfast stubbornness and determination to dismiss facts that contradict the belief. In my opinion, ignoring facts that don’t fit is the key ingredient. And I’ve seen this sort of thing time and time again in my travels.
Of course, in Trump’s situation, it’s hard to know if he seriously believed the sewage that came out of his mouth or if it was all just opportunistic entrepreneurship. “Hey, look,” he probably said. “Polls show increasing numbers – mostly Republicans – who doubt if Obama was born in America. I can use that. Yes, I shall cash in on that.”
Now that Obama has produced his birth certificate, something he decidedly didn’t have to do, one thing is now certain: We can expect the focus of the birthers to shift. They will change the conversation. They’ve already proven they are unwilling to accept facts that challenge their beliefs. I highly doubt the document distributed by Obama will change that much.
Of course Trump, the classy guy that he is, had something extremely pithy to say about it during a press conference he called to discuss his reaction:
I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue.
–Donald Trump and/or his alien hair (it’s unknown which was speaking)
Speaking of “natural born” qualifications to be president, I would very much like to see Trump’s birth certificate from Planet X.
And now, only because I personally thought it was funny, is my tweet from Wednesday morning regarding the Birther issue and Obama producing his birth certificate:
Tom B. Taker
Birthers: Please report to the nearest empty field to wait for relocation by spaceship. Don’t forget your Nike footwear.
April 27, 2011 via web
And, just in case the reference to Nike footwear is too obtuse, check out the Wikipedia page on Heaven’s Gate. One thing about us humans seems certain: We’ll never have a shortage of Trumpers.
This is my “X” post for the A-Z Blogger Challenge.
Nike shows love for Tiger Woods
You have to give it up for Nike. I think they must be the biggest corporate supporter of Tiger Woods. Other companies may have took the high road of morality and common sense, but Nike’s lust for money seems equal to Tiger’s lust for slutty tail. “Just Do It” apparently has nothing to do with morals.
Nike even recently released a new commercial starting Tiger Woods. It is in black and white and features Tiger, apparently on the verge of tears, staring into the camera while a voice over of his dead father’s voice goes on about things like “I want to find out what your thinking was” and “Did you learn anything?” Wow. Earl Woods died in 2006 but Nike feels this is a way to promote their brand and support for Tiger?
Creepy. Just like Nike’s continued support of Tiger.
In my mind, the big question of the day is why does Nike continue to embrace the values of Tiger Woods? I can only think of two possible answers. First, they share those values. And secondly, Tiger Woods makes them money. For corporations like Nike, money trumps morality. It’s not called the “bottom line” for nothing.
I went to Nike.com and took a quick look around. A search of their site for “Tiger Woods” reveals 39 products. Ah. That represents a substantial investment in a brand and that investment must be supported at all costs. The products range from shirts (you too can look like Tiger while you hit a little ball with a stick) to pants and shorts to umbrellas to belts (good for choking women?) to baseball caps to hat clip and ball markers and yes, even shoes.
Nike released a statement about their newest Woods commercial:
We support Tiger and his family. As he returns to competitive golf, the ad addresses his time away from the game using the powerful words of his father.
Supporting Tiger we already know only too well. But his “family?” Jeez, Nike, you’ve got balls. Tiger’s cheating potentially risked the life of his wife who could have been exposed to deadly diseases picked up during his sexploits. For that alone I personally think Tiger should be charged with a crime. I bet Tiger’s wife feels quite happy to learn that Nike “supports” her, too.
Nike does not support my values. I will not just do it. I will not support Nike in any way, shape, or form. And that goes also for Tiger. Apparently he’s back out hitting a little ball with a stick. How unciting.
Tiger is the master … of understatement
On Feb. 19, 2010, Tiger Woods issued his apology.
One thing he said during his statement was, “The issue here is that I cheated.” Gee. Ya think? That’s like saying Charles Manson was a good personal motivator. Heck, when you put it that way it hardly even sounds like you did anything wrong.
Like a Tootsie Pop, the world may never really know how many licks it took Tiger to get to the center. Umm, wait. Strike that. The world may never know how many women Tiger frolicked with while he was married. Saying, “I cheated,” doesn’t even remotely feel like it approachs the severity of what he did.
I ran Tiger’s statement through the pubic relations (PR) translator. This is what I came up with:
Good morning. I got caught. If I hadn’t got caught I wouldn’t be here. But I did get caught. So now I’m forced to stop for a while, stand here, and pretend to apologize.
Some of you feel like I let you down but this is none of your damn business. I’ve done a lot of great work for kids. I am great. But even though I’m great I have now realized that even someone like me can still get caught. So I will work harder at covering my tracks. I am a Master so this should be easy for me. Money and fame means normal rules don’t apply to me. Now that I think about it, Buddhism sounds like a great way to help hide my behavior and cause distraction in the future.
I know I’m here to apologize, but no apology is complete without a discussion about my playing status. In this situation I’m forced to keep up appearances by taking a break from golf for a while. One day, though, I’ll be back. I’m not ruling out a return to golf this year, because if there is one thing I know at this early juncture, whether I’m “cured” or not, I’ll be playing some more golf no matter what.
To everyone who has stood by me during this difficult time, thank you. I couldn’t have gotten away with this as long as I did without your tacit complicity, assistance and silence. Thank you. I’m sure I speak for my wife as well when I say thank you for your help.
Thank you, PR translator!
And thanks to Tiger, we now have the media paying a lot of attention to “sexual addiction.” Sadly, even as much as the thought of this condition excites us, it hasn’t even qualified as a condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), current edition (DSM-IV-TR aka DSM5 released 2000).
You can bet your bippy that “sexual addiction” or “hypersexuality” will be in the next version of the DSM, perhaps with a picture of Tiger showing his O-Face. When you pick up your copy of the DSM6 be sure to turn to that new entry and remember you heard it here first!
I recently read one article that summed up “sexual addiction” like this:
One fact that stood out in the article is just how many people are impacted by sex addiction. The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity estimates that as many as 18 to 24 million people are sex addicts. This means that another several million are co-sex addicts (commonly known as “cosas”) and suffering perhaps more than the addict himself from the downward spiral of the disease.
In other recent tigerrific news, Gatorade (a subsidiary of PepsiCo.) has broken off sponsorship of Tiger Woods. Woot!
You gotta hand it to Nike, however. Their support for Tiger has never wavered. Apparently the company shares similar family values as Tiger so they don’t see a problem. It must be a match made in heaven. Perhaps they will even update their famous slogan: Just Screw It. Other companies that have also failed to end sponsorships of Tiger include Upper Deck Co. (maker of sports memorabilia) and videogame maker Electronic Arts, which has built a golf game franchise around the persona of Tiger Woods.
Now grab a cold one – Gatorade, of course – and join me for a rendition of “All Apologies” by Nirvana. Tiger, this Gatorade’s for you!
Tiger says RAWR!!!
Time for a Tiger Woods update. It’s been far too long.
Let’s start with Nike. Oh Nike. The company is not exactly a paragon of virtue, so it is not too surprising that they’ve decided to stand by their man. Nike terms the Woods controversy a “minor blip.” Apparently Nike’s advise to Woods all along has been “just do it.” Said Nike Chairman Phil Knight:
“One of the things we always try to do when we have a big endorsement is check out the character and the pattern of the individual. Obviously, [Woods] was one we checked out and he came out clean, and I think he’s been really great. When his career is over, you’ll look back on these indiscretions as a minor blip.”
I ran this statement through the translation matrix. Output: “This fucker has made us some serious scrilla, yo!”
Congratulations, Nike. You have earned boycott status from this particular married man. Morals do matter, at least sometimes. If only you knew that.
You can also continue to count Electronic Arts among the Woods faithful.
“Our strong relationship with Tiger for more than a decade remains unchanged. We respect Tiger’s privacy, we wish him a fast recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on the golf course.”
Upcoming releases of Electronic Arts’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 will focus less on the actual game of golf and more on the hidden world of golf. It is said to be a first person “shooter” with many elements of Grand Theft Auto added, especially the prostitutes. Players will be able to “unlock” secrets of Woods’ life include his world famous “O” Face.
Gillette just wanted Tiger to have the “best a man can get.” If you’ve heard that Gillette is dumping Woods, don’t be fooled. The truth isn’t quite as black and white. Gillette is a Woods sponsor. They are taking a higher road than Nike by “distancing” themselves from Woods. I’m just not so sure how much higher that road will turn out to be. Woods is featured in a campaign called “Champions” which started in 2007. The campaign also features Derek Jeter, Roger Federer, and Thierry Henry. Gillette also plans to being featuring more of Matt Ryan.
According to Boston.com:
Although the company will no longer run spots that exclusively feature Woods, Gillette said it will continue its “Champions’’ campaign, which began in 2007.
Gillette said Saturday that it would limit Woods’s advertising presence.
Limiting his presence? That doesn’t sound exactly like a termination of the relationship. Sounds more like they are hedging their bets and playing the wait and see game. Maybe, just maybe, Woods will be back in bed with Gillette in the future. We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, is that enough for Gillette to keep my business and earn my respect? Meh.
Another company associated with Woods is Accenture PLC. I’ve never heard of them but their web site says this: “Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.” Sounds a lot like the stodgy world of high finance, so it is not too surprising they have dropped Woods completely:
“After careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising,” Accenture said in a statement on Sunday.
Good for you, Accenture PLC.
With Gatorade, it is being widely reported that the decision to drop something called “Gatorade Tiger Focus” days before the Woods scandal broke. It is just me or is it possible this just might have been more than a lucky marketing decision. Maybe they already KNEW!
Tag Heuer previously said they’d stand by Woods because it was “not our business” but now say they are taking some time to reassess their stance. I’m unclear now what is the status of the world’s first “professional golf watch.”
AT&T says it will “reevaluate” their relationship with Woods. Meanwhile they’ve stopped running ads with Woods but have yet to cancel him from their annual AT&T National at Congressional Country Club event that takes place every July 4th weekend.
Lastly I’d like to send out extra special shouts to anyone and everyone who aided and abetted Tiger on his spree o’ sexuality. I previously wrote that Tiger reportedly wasn’t a fan of the condom. Newer gossip adds that he liked his sex “wild” and had a penchant for threesomes. To all of the hoors who knowingly hooked up with a married man and to all of the other enablers and secret keepers who profited from his behavior, I hope you all rot in hell. You are scum. Tiger didn’t do this alone. He had help.