Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hey you, give me money!

Here is your late edition of Marketing Wednesday. One of the keys to marketing is giving someone a reason to do something that (they think) benefits them. You would never hear salesperson say, "I think you should buy this piece of junk so that I can get the commission off of it." They may be thinking it, but they won't say it if they want to be successful.

Also, there should be some level of specificity in your marketing. If you are selling woman's clothing, you don't try to get teenage boys into your store. You market to women and people buying things for women.

Apparently, who ever was in charge of signage at this gas station did not know either of those things.

Dear Chevron by my house,

This does not make my want to stop and buy anything from you. I asked myself 2 things when I saw this: What and Why? Which is exactly what you should have been selling me. I feel like almost anything would have been better.

"You worked hard today and deserve a treat! Candy Bars 4 for $1"
"Need a boost? All fountain drinks $0.99"

Are those good ideas? Not really, but in 15 seconds I came up with something better than what you have.

-Kenny
Tips for today:
1. Give me a reason to by that benefits me.
2. Be specific.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Food.

I was at a family party recently and one of my aunts was telling me how much she liked my blog and asked where I come up with material for it. All I could do was say, "I don't know, it is just a product of thoughts I have throughout the day."

It's not the first time that I have been asked some variation of "what is going on in your brain?" In fact, this summer, the 'Cob and I were both in the break room at work preparing our lunches when I turned to him and asked:
Me: Have you ever thought about making a chicken omelette, but wondered if it was wrong to cook chicken in egg?
Side note: neither of us were cooking chicken or omelettes
'Cob: (busts up laughing) No.
Me: I am just saying, it sounds good, but it also seems a little weird, right?
'Cob: (still laughing) It sounds good, but I never would have thought of that. How do you even think of something like that?
Anyhow, that really has nothing to do with today's comic. Except that it is a story about food. (I am posting two variations of the same comic because I couldn't decide which was less lame.) Click to enlarge.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Google Playbook


Look what I had the good fortune of finding:


That's right, it's the Google Playbook*. You'll never guess where I found it... you know that pocket in the back of the seats on airplanes? Well, someone left it there.

This book contains all of their secrets to success. Surprisingly, there are only 2 (most of the book is filled with tips to annoy the Chinese government and doodles). Would you be interested in the secrets of Google's success?
  1. Don't Be Evil.
  2. Change Logo for Holidays and Special Events.
Well, I have long tried to live rule numero uno, so I figured it was time to give number 2 a try. With that, I present to you the "Christmas 2010 Opinuendo Logo/Header Graphic":

As always, artwork done by me.

Merry Christmas!!!

*-The Google Playbook may or may not be a real book, but I probably did not find it in the back of an airplane seat. But maybe I did. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Business Cards

It is Wednesday and we all know what that means... Marketing Wednesday!!! Thus far I have received very little feedback on Marketing Wednesday, which I will take as a good thing. (Because, let's face it, if I took no feedback as a bad thing, the blog would be dead. How is that for a subtle plea for comments?)

Anyhow, my apologies to The Men's Wearhouse, who is taking a hit on my blog, but I was in my local store last week to see about buying a suit and/or sports coat (see previous post); I didn't find anything I liked, but they are going to have a couple of things sent to the store to see if I like them (props to Men's Wearhouse for that).

As I was getting ready to leave, the salesman who had been helping me gave me his card - which I stuck in my jacket pocket and forgot about until today when I wore the jacket again. When I pulled it out to throw it away, I noticed something interesting.


What is an "Assistant Manager II"? How many assistant managers are there? And what is the difference between "Assistant Manager II" and "Assistant Manager I"?

I should interject here that I have long planned* on naming my first son "Kenny, Jr." with hopes of him naming his first son "Kenny, III"**, so if anyone should be predisposed to like roman numerals after stuff, it is me.

However, I don't like this. It looks... Unprofessional. I can't help but feel this was a petty power struggle over a title and what did it turn into? It looks a lot like the end of the credits to a movie:
Bank robber #1...........Bob Roberts***
Bank robber #2...........Eddy "The Hammer" Smith
Pedestrian #1............Tom Jones
Pedestrian #2............Shirley J. Temple
So what do you do if you want to distinguish between two levels of employees? We all know that "Assistant Assistant Manager" won't work, so my vote is for "Assistant Manager I" to be bumped to "Sr. Assistant Manager" and "Assistant Manager II" to transition to "Assistant Manager".

In any case, you can be assured that I will be asking to see "Assistant Manager I" the next time I walk into my local Men's Wearhouse.

*-This plan is completely subject to change depending on my wife's**** feelings on the matter. I may not be the brightest bulb in the bunch, but I know that I would rather have a happy wife than a son named "Kenny, Jr."

**-I figure I will be rich enough that his wife will go along with it hoping to get a larger chunk of the inheritance.

***-If my last name were "Roberts", I would name my first son "Bob" and my second two sons "Robert"... No matter what. I would get a kick out of seeing people's face when I introduce the family. "This is my oldest son, Bob. And these are my other sons, Robert and Robert, respectively. We like to call Robert (pointing to son #3) here, Bob"

****-Currently taking applications.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Revolt Against the English Language

I have a love/hate relationship with the English language. I love it because it is the only language I speak and I hate it for almost every other reason. For instance, in the following sentence, the word "right" has four different meanings:
"I have the right to turn right right there, right?"
It could be re-written as:
"I am allowed to turn right exactly there, correct?"
They mean the same thing. It could be an Abbott and Costello routine.
Guy #1: "So I take the next left?"
Guy #2: "Right."
#1: "Wait... I take the next right?"
#2: "No, you take the next left."
#1: "That is exactly what I said. I take the next left."
#2: "Right."
#1: "Now hold on there buster; you said I take the next left!"
#2: "Right."
#1: "Well what is it? Left or Right?"
#2: "Left."
#1: "Well then why on earth do you keep saying, 'right', when I ask if I am turning left?!?!?"
#2: "Because it's right."
#1: "But you said I have to turn left!"
#2: "Exactly! take your next left."
#1: "That is your final answer... Take the next left?"
#2: "Right."
#1: "Why I oughta... If I weren't driving this daggum car, I'd come over there and punch you square in the nose!!!"
#2: "what is your problem? You ask the question, I give the answer: take the next left."
#1: "You are sticking with left this time?"
#2: "Right"
I know what you are thinking to yourself, "Kenny, what about words that sound the same, but aren't spelled the same; how do you feel about those?"

I don't like them one bit.

Just last week a friend and I were chatting on Google Talk. She knew I was working on a huge project at work and trying to get ready for finals at the same time:
Friend: How are things going?
Kenny: Ok... right of passage, right?
Friend: um... rite of passage? right?
Kenny: ewe no how two sea wright thru me
Don't get me wrong... we both had a good chuckle because - lets face it - that was a pretty hilarious response. But still - I hate English.

Now some may say, "Kenny, be reasonable - all languages have there quirks, there isn't any language that would make you totally happy. And, besides, there are a lot of good things about English that you haven't acknowledged." And to that I would respond, "Don't be ridiculous. There is no room for reason in today's world. What kind of a blogger would I be if I didn't make impulsive, snap judgments based on half-truths and then declare them to be law? I'll tell you what kind of a blogger I would be - a bad one. If you want reason, you are in the wrong era. With the internet and media options we have today, we don't have to be reasonable nor listen to reasonable people."

So there you have it. I hate English and you should too.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pinstripes.

I am in the market for a new suit (my last suit and I had a good run - almost 4 years), but I have been putting off the purchase because of the cost. However, it is time to bite the bullet, so I began looking on Men's Wearhouse's website to see what it is going to run me.

What I would really like to do is get a suit and also a sports coat that goes with the some slacks I already have. As I was looking into this idea, I found this piece of fashion advice on the Men's Wearhouse site (emphasis added):
The pinstripe rule
Pinstripe sport coats or pants? They just don't happen. Look around any reputable clothier, and while you'll see a large selection of patterned sport coats, you won't see pinstriped sport coats as pinstripes are a very conservative pattern made just for suits.
Just so we are clear, pinstripe and sports coats do not go together. Got it? Good.

But wait... what is this:


That is a pinstriped sports coat on the Men's Wearhouse website! Trust me, no one was more surprised and hurt than me. No one.

Apparently, what they really meant when they said:
...you won't see pinstriped sport coats...
was:
...you won't see pinstriped sport coats - unless, of course, you are looking on our website...
I just don't know what to think anymore. Does this mean sports coats with pinstripes are in or out?

What can we as a people learn from this? Well, I think the lesson is clear: Absolutely never use absolutes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Forget a Name, What's in an E-mail Address...

It is Marketing Wednesday and I present this nugget of wisdom unto you: Email addresses matter.

Which would you respect more on a business card:
crzygurl1028542@hotmail.com*
or
jane.doe@gmail.com*
If you picked the first, you are wrong. I know that some will argue that this is a matter of opinion and there is no wrong answer, but those people are just as wrong as the people they are defending.

Look, you aren't going blow people away with an email address and you don't want to. It should be something that is easy to remember, but not something that is so strange that people take special note of it.

Want an example of what I am talking about?


I first saw this window sticker at a local Mcdonald's years ago. And I took note. In a bad way. I have 2 issues with the email address in the above photo:

1. mcdcmk? At first glance it looks like some blindfolded themselves and randomly typed 6 letters. I get that it is a Mcdonald's (mcd) owned by CMK Corporation, but it is not intuitive.

2. There is not necessarily anything wrong with a hotmail address (I tend to favor gmail or yahoo in the realm of free addresses), but if you are a corporation, I don't like you using a free account. When I first saw this, I specifically remember thinking to myself, "if you are going to go to the trouble of making these stickers, why not have your own domain?" This is especially in this day and age. It is so easy to buy a domain and use gmail to handle it. So easy.

Imagine if you were given a business card from a guy who worked at some big company - say, Bank of America - and on the business card it says "bigbubba107@yahoo.com*". Tell me you aren't going to be a little suspicious. Or even if a friend recommends a local handyman and gives you his email address - "thug4lyfe_1973@gmail.com*" - are you going to be impressed with that?

In the end, having an email address is like the Utah Jazz playing the LA Clippers: you have to do it, and if you do it well, nobody cares; but if you do it poorly, people are going to ask questions.

* - If these email address are yours, sorry. It was purely a coincidence. I was hoping they would be unused.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I don't speak spanish...

I don't speak Spanish.

Most of you know this, but apparently Pandora.com didn't get the memo, because this ad keeps being displayed:


Sorry Xfinity and Pandora, Yo no hablo espanol.

The interesting thing is, it only shows up when I am listening to rap. Coincidence?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Art of the Asterisk

So, before I get to the heart for this blog post, I apparently cannot post to my blog more than 9 times in a month. I thought this was going to be the month, but I was wrong. Maybe December...

Anyhow, I tend to talk a lot on this blog about things I don't like - because those are the easiest to notice in life and make fun of on a blog - but I am not really that negative of a person, so today I bring you something I don't like and something I do like.

I don't like when people misuse asterisks. I was listening to pandora the other day and beheld this ad:


Here we have VW advertising their new Jetta for $15,995. But it is not really $15,995, it is $15,995* - which means there should be fine print saying that if you want the car to come with seats, a steering wheel, and the engine; it is really more like $25,000. We have all gotten used to the system: you see an * and you immediately look to the bottom of the page for the explanation. But, in the above image, there is no explanation. There is nothing. Nowhere on that page can I find out what the asterisk means.

Then today I was reading a great blog post on desertnews.com and was asterisk-ed again. I read:
The seven teams' records before losing to the Jazz: 41-24*
and immediately went to the bottom of the page to find out what that meant, but there was nothing there. Nothing. What does the asterisk mean?!?

Here is what I am thinking:


The first asterisk in the above image is a reference to the second asterisk, but that makes no sense. The asterisk should either reference a note at the end of the article or the end of the section it is in. If he wanted it to be end of the section, it would have been like this:


With all of that said, here are: Kenny's Rules for Asterisks*
1. There always has to be an explanation. Always.
2. The explanation must be at the end of the same section or the bottom of the page.
3. The explanation must be in smaller type and italics.

I do like when people encourage others to visit my blog:


Props to Steve-o.
*I feel like with all of the talk of asterisks, there needs to be something down here. Enjoy the Christmas season which is now in full swing!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Wednesday I almost forgot.

Some of you may have noticed that I have ads on my blog. Why did I do that? Mostly it was a test and since putting them on there, I have made $0.04. So they will probably becoming down because they are ugly. Anyhow, a few minutes ago I was putting up a blog post* and clicked "preview" to give it a once-over before making it live and I saw the following ad:


When I saw it, I thought to myself, "man, that that is an ugly ad." Especially for a site claiming to be an expert in style. And the name is confusing - I think it is "Style List", but it looks like it is "stylist" spelled wrong. And if it is "Style List", does that mean that it is nothing but lists? And is that the logo? Do they not have a logo? Because it seems un-stylish to not have a logo.

Anyhow, in the midst of that train of thought, I realized I should use that for a Marketing Wednesday. Then it hit me: today is Wednesday and I had totally forgot. So, the above is your marketing tip for today. It teaches us: if you are claiming to be an expert in something, make sure your advertising doesn't undermine that.

Which, by the way, is something that people seemed to really like about last week's Marketing Wednesday. It was a marketing company with bad marketing and the second sign wasn't that great.

Note:
Not that it is in any way relevant to this post, but I just had major déjà vu. It tripped me out.

*The post I was working on will now run tomorrow.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trouble Buying Mehmet Lately?

For those of you who don't know, I'm an avid Utah Jazz fan.

If you don't follow the Jazz closely, don't worry, they are doing well this year. Which is even more impressive when you consider that one of our key players - Mehmet "Memo" Okur - is out with ruptured Achilles. This afternoon I was wondering when he would be back, so I went to the Salt Lake Tribune's website and searched for "Mehmet Okur".

I discovered that his rehab is coming along well, but there is no timetable for his return. I also discovered that we can buy more "Mehmet Okur" on ebay and Amazon. So that is exciting:


It may be worth looking into, because the Mehmet Okur that we have is costing us almost $10 million/year.

Apparently those dynamic advertisements aren't yet perfect. In any case, hopefully Memo and his money ball will be back on the court soon.

"Memo for 3!!!"

Friday, November 26, 2010

I love the media.

Below is a little movie that WAR and I put together yesterday as a tribute to the over-hyping powers of the media.

Back Story
For those of you who don't live in Utah, on Tuesday, the news began alerting us of a "severe winter storm" that was coming in. If you would have believed the news, you would have thought the world was ending. As it turned out, the world didn't end and it was just like a dozen other storms we see every year.



The number one lesson I learned from all of this: when making a faux-newscast, write a script. It makes it so much easier to get all the barbs in you want. I didn't, but next time I will.

Also, it is like I told WAR, this might be funny, it might be lame, but either way, we didn't have to help cook dinner.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Marketing Wednesday: Ugly Signs and iPhones

Today's post will feature 2 lessons.

Lesson One: if you are a marketing company, don't put this handmade sign on your door:


Lesson Two: if you see a sign like the above, take a picture of it with your iPhone just as an employee comes around the corner. It won't be awkward, I promise. And, in less than an hour, that sign will turn into this:


Seriously though, I was in an office building and saw an office suite with the sign from the first photo on the door. I knew it would come in handy, so, after looking around to make sure no one would see, I took a picture. Right then an employee walked around the corner and caught me. It was very awkward. But, about an hour later, I left and the new sign was up. The power of the iPhone.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Friends.

I have been asked, "Kenny, where do you get your ideas for your blog/comics?" and the answer is - I don't know; they are the product of random thoughts that come to me as I go throughout life.

I actually have a whole list of potential posts and comics. This means that the catalyst for a post may have happened months before I get around to posting it. In any case, some may think the following comic was modeled after a real life event. Not true. However, I was fortunate enough to be able to use the material in this comic in a real life situation. Tell me that doesn't blow your mind - a real life event that was based on a comic.


The significant thing about the above comic is that the process I went through to make it was completely different than the previous comics. This was 100% drawn on the computer using a tablet (which was recommended by the CAD genius). I like it, but I am still getting used to it and not sure if I am going to buy one for myself yet (currently borrowing one the Bear had lying around).

And, I will have you know, whether in a comic or in life, women do not like being put on a facebook waiting list. Write that down.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Marketing Wednesday: Monsters

Some advice is just too good to pay for. That is why Al Gore invented the internet. And, more importantly, that is why this blog exists. In fact, take a moment and think of all the valuable things that I have taught you - I'll wait.

Done? No? Okay, I'll wait more.

Alright, I am sure you aren't quite done, but I must insist that we move on.

It turns out, I am a marketing genius. I am sure you are thinking to yourself, "Really? This site is just like every other blog out there - not very good and not very well known." Well, that is the image that I worked very hard to achieve to avoid becoming too rich and too famous (although, that plan may have worked too well, so maybe you could forward this URL to your friends and post it on facebook). Nevertheless, it is true: I am a marketing guru - my middle name is, in fact, Marketing** - and I want to pass that guru-ness on to you. To that end, I introduce to you "Marketing Wednesdays: A Mini-series of Marketing Fails". This will run for at least 4 or 5 weeks.

This week: Monsters.

Remember the good ol' days when fancy, computer-animated monsters on advertisements were the ultimate sign of professionalism and prestige? Especially in the dental profession? Yeah, me neither. But apparently Dr. Dan does:


Sorry, Dr. Dan, but telling me about how great you are at pulling monsters' teeth and having a monster's testimonial does not increase the chances of me coming to visit you. In fact, I am now less likely to visit you.

Here is the thing, my dog's vet did a great job removing my dog's kidney stones, but if I were to get kidney stones, I would go to a people doctor. If my monster has a toothache, I will go to Dr. Dan; if I have a toothache, I will go to a people dentist.

Also, I hate when people go by Dr. [first name here]. It feels... wrong.

Finally, props to BSB and his iPhone for sending in the picture of Dr. Dan's ad.

**My middle name may or may not actually be Mark. But who is counting.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This American Life

So, I was recently introduced - by a really awesome person - to a radio show called "This American Life". I have been listening to the archives at work and really liked this episode.

I find the format and the content really well done. It is worth a listen.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Talking to Myself

Here is the latest talking heads comic (click to enlarge):


I have to give a shout out to The Swordsman as he inspired this with his google buzz!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Double Post Day - Pumpkin Carving

So, as it turns out, I have some amazingly talented friends. Some of them make couches and books and some sew and others make amazing cabinets, but I had no idea that Lil' D could do this with a pumpkin!

'

Trick or Treat

So, this weekend I was totally devoid of the Halloween spirit as I flew to Washington D.C. with Antonio and W.A.R. to kick it with CLR and go to the Jon Stewart Rally (more on that to come). But I had intended to do a Halloween comic and had much of it drawn, so, under the "better late than never" school of thought, I finished it on my plane ride home. Here is my treat to you:


In other news, Antonio started growing hair on a bald spot he has had on his chin; so yeah, here is a shout out to him. That is a big moment. Turns out sleeping with manure on his face wasn't a complete waste.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The moment you didn't know you were waiting for...

On Tuesday I announced that today I would make a big announcement. Surprisingly, no one guessed what the announcement would be.

Here it is, I am delving into the world of comics strips. Comic strips have always fascinated me, but drawing is somewhat frustrating for me... so I am just drawing heads. We will see how it goes.

Without further ado (click to enlarge):


Now, some of you might say, "really? is that the best you can do?" and the answer is, "hopefully not."

Truth be told, I have several ideas and trying to decide which to lead off with wasn't easy. And hopefully the rest are even better.

Comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Announcing...

I am announcing that I will announce a big announcement on Thursday. You may announce your guesses of the announcement that will be announced in the comment section below.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Birthdays

So, I recently celebrated my birthday... actually, I didn't really celebrate it - I merely acknowledged it - but my friends and family recognized, which was nice.

However, I received several Birthday emails from corporations. This I am not a fan of. In fact, I don't like it at all.
Dear Corporation(s):
"You" didn't remember my birthday, "you" stored it in a database and had a program that generated an email on a given day. Furthermore, the only reason that "you" did it was to convince me buy your product or service. No thanks; I am now less likely to support you (just like politicians with poorly designed lawn signs). Unless you are sending me more than a crappy email, I don't want it.

Sincerely,
Kenny
This is exactly the junk I am talking about:

This is a foupon (that is word I just created for faux-coupon) that Gold's Gym sent me. This was their "birthday present" to me. Guess what Gold's Gym? I wouldn't have gone to the gym that day anyway. And I wouldn't have felt bad about it.

However, let me tell you of a birthday marketing scheme that worked. When I turned 16 Gillette sent me a Mach-3 razor and shaving cream for my birthday. This was no crappy disposable razor, nor was it a coupon for a razor. It was the real deal. A box that said Happy Birthday and a quality razor. There are few things that will win a 16 year old over like pretending they need to start shaving. I have been a Gillette man ever since. Never bought a Schick in my life.

While we are on the subject, I also have a bone to pick with facebook. (Actually, I have a lot of bones to pick with facebook, but we will stick to one for now). I am not great with remembering peoples names - it is not my strong suit, however, I can remember dates and numbers fairly well. So, up until facebook, I stood out for my ability to remember people's birth dates. Now? Nothing. Everyone assumes facebook reminds me. Quite frankly, I have considered putting a fake birthday on facebook out of spite just to throw people off.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Something a little different...

Normally I use this blog as a creative (sorry to my 2 friends who claim writing is not creative) outlet for my random, sarcastic, and occasionally-cynical observations and views of the world. However, today I was reading about Terry Jones and his "Burn a Quran" day and am so bothered by it that I would rather address that.

For those of you who don't know, Terry Jones is a pastor for a small church in Florida who plans to burn copies of the Quran (a book which Muslims revere as sacred and holy) on September 11, 2010. He plans to do this as a form of protest against Islam (he maintains that Islam is a church of the devil) and terrorists.

I find this offensive and intolerant. I am dumbfounded by it on many levels, but the fact is this is completely out of line with the teachings in the bible. In Matthew 5:43-48, Christ states:
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Christ spent His time doing good and spreading His message. Not tearing down the beliefs of others. I fail to see what cause Terry Jones believes he is promoting or problem he thinks he is solving with this offensive display.

In the face of criticism over his plan, Mr. Jones said, "How much do we back down? How many times do we back down? Instead of us backing down, maybe it's to time to stand up. Maybe it's time to send a message to radical Islam that we will not tolerate their behavior."

What does he think we are backing down from? I agree that there are times that we must stand for our beliefs, but I fail to see what beliefs he is standing for by offending hundreds of millions of innocent people.

As a Christian and a member of a church which has faced and continues to face persecution, I would be very offended if the scriptures which I hold as sacred were burned in a self-serving mock-protest.

Two final points:
  • I find it sad and ironic that Mr. Jones hides behind the Constitution and the freedom of speech (which the Constitution ensures) to disparage and disrespect another religion when that same Constitution also guarantees the freedom of religion.
  • It will be a great day when members of society can discuss our difference without responding to hate with hate.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tell Me Lies... Tell Me Sweet, Little Lies

Lately I have been having a numbness problem in my left hand. I lose feeling in my left pinky and down the left side of my hand on a regular basis. I have had the problem for years - I attribute it to an elbow injury suffered in a game of ping-pong in high school, but that is a story for a different blog post - but lately it has come more often, so I figured I would get it checked.

Turns out it is "moderately-severe" pinched nerve (isn't something either moderate or severe?). Nothing super serious; the doctor is supposed to call me and tell me what he thinks we should do next.

During the process, however, I did have an interesting experience. When I went to have the nerve test done, the nurse took me back to the exam room to prep me for the doctor:
Nurse: Have you ever had a nerve test before?
Me: No.
Nurse: Are you nervous?
Me: No.
Nurse: Okay, good, because it is really not that bad. What the doctor is going to do is hook some sensors to you and then give you little shocks. They don't hurt. It can be a little weird, but it doesn't hurt.
Me: Okay
I knew all of that and really wasn't concerned.
Nurse: Also, there is a needle involved... Are you afraid of needles?
Me: No.
Nurse: Okay, good, because it is just a little, tiny acupuncture needle that doesn't hurt at all... Really it is nothing... Not a big deal.
Me: Okay.
Nurse: I mean really, I have never seen anyone even flinch.
At this point I wanted to say, "Alright! I get it - not a big deal. Check." Especially since I don't mind needles anyway.
Me: Okay
Shortly after that, she left and the doctor came in. Everything was going fine; the shocks were nothing. Then the doctor says, "Okay, now I need to use a needle and this is going to pinch." So she sticks the needle in the my arm and it didn't really hurt, but was more than nothing. The really strange part is that you have to flex and relax your muscles with the needle in. Then the doctor move to the next spot on my arm and the next spot and so on. None were painful, but the nurse definitely understated the role of the needle. Finally, the doctor says, "Now, this is really going to be uncomfortable." Then she shoves the needle in the palm of my hand. That one caused a little flinch - which the doctor said was impressive.

However - while the doctor may have thought I did well - as a man, my pride was a little shaken because the nurse said nobody reacts. I don't like to think of myself as a wuss, but I flinched a little.

As I was walking out the nurse saw me and said, "So, how'd it go?"
Me: Not bad at all. Although, you weren't completely forthright about that whole painless needle thing.
Nurse (chuckling): Yeah, but would you rather I did that or made you worry the whole time?
I don't want to hurt you, therefore, I lie to you... Hmmm. That seems like flawed logic to me. What about the fact that I trust the medical profession even less (I wasn't all that trusting of them in the first place, but this didn't help)? Or the fact that I questioned myself? I know, it seems crazy, but it is true; for a moment I doubted my toughness.

Which brings me to my next point:

*********************************
Spoiler Alert!!
If you still believe in Santa Claus (or the Easter Bunny) just leave now and pretend you never were here.
*********************************

I am waiting...

Ok, are they gone? Good, it is just those of us who have learned that for the better part of our childhoods our parents lied and misled us. And for what?

There are some who say that kids need Santa to make Christmas fun. Really? Don't kids enjoy their birthdays? Don't kids enjoy any time they don't have to go to school and they get presents? Even without the aid of a fictitious character? Would a child really not be excited to for Christmas if they were taught something along the lines of, "Christmas is a celebration of Christ's birth and in honor of His gift to all of us, mommy and daddy (and grandma and grandpa, etc) give gifts to you. Some people say that Santa brings the gifts and that is just their way of celebrating."?

Parents want their children to trust them on everything, but they don't always say trustworthy things. And they teach their kids not to take food or candy from strangers, not to let strangers in the house, and not to go around sitting on strangers laps, yet Christmas and Easter are all about breaking those rules.

I don't see the upside here. I would pay money to see a parent trying to get their son or daughter to do something and this conversation to take place:
Parent: Just do it. You will be fine; I promise... don't you trust me?
Young Child (reluctantly): Yeah right. That is what you said about that whole Santa bit... and look how that turned out for me. I can't believe I was so foolish... a grown man going down a chimney... FOOL ME ONCE!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Day, Another Fortune Cookie

So, I had Panda Express for lunch today (FYI - they are still not serving Panda and have not yet changed their name; sorry to all of you that are waiting for one of those two things to happen).

My fortune today?
THE STAR OF HAPPINESS IS SHINING ON YOU
I don't even know what that means.

First of all, I have a hard time with a star of anything shining on me. Stars hardly are bright enough (well, I guess they are bright enough - technically - but not close enough) to shine on anyone... I guess they can twinkle on me (And to anyone who is going to say, "The sun is a star... It shines on you." I say, "Admit it, when someone says 'star', you don't think of the sun; you think of twinkly lights at night").

Second, if a star is twinkling on me, it is twinkling on everyone else as well.

Finally, stars can only be seen at night - when I am asleep - so I don't feel like the star of happiness is doing me much good.

In other news, I am a happy person. Star or not.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Airport Stories

A Lack of Trust
Some time ago I was going through security at the airport and I noticed a man wearing a belt and suspenders, which I found interesting for 2 reasons:
  1. That has to be a pain going through security. I do everything I can to minimize any hassles when being herded though security - slip-on shoes; put my keys and wallet in my bag; etc. I can't imagine having to take off suspenders and a belt.
  2. I have never seen that before. I have heard the saying "A belt-and-suspenders-solution", but I have never actually seen someone wear a belt and suspenders.
This made me think about the phrase "A belt-and-suspenders-solution". Normally this refers to doing more than is necessary to get a job done. But is that really what it should mean? I say no; after seeing it in practice, I have to say that I think belt-and-suspenders people have trust issues. They don't trust the belt to hold their pants up and they don't trust their suspenders to not give them a wedgie. Talk about issues.

Examples of the true belt-and-suspenders solution:
  • Washing your hands for 30 seconds with soap and immediately applying hand sanitizer - just in case the soap was actually bacterial hand-soap.
  • Having spies to spy on your spies.
  • Having a retina and fingerprint scanner protecting anything (this is also a sign that you have too much money).
You see a lack of style, I see a lack of trust.

POWER!
How does the saying go? "Power corrupts; And a need for power makes people act like fools"?

Okay, that's not it... but maybe it should be.

The power I speak of is electricity to run personal electronics. Check this out:


That is a picture of a woman sitting in the middle of a corridor at the Baltimore Airport. And the picture doesn't even do justice to how much she was in the middle of the walkway (I hardly felt comfortable with the chance of her seeing me take the picture it I got closer). Why is she sitting there? Because for some reason the airport has an outlet in the middle of the floor and her iPhone needed to be charged.

I have been in her shoes before: a dead battery and no outlet. It is often hard to find an outlet at an airport - these buildings were built before all of our mobile devices required constant charging. 15 years ago there wasn't all that much that you took with you to the airport that needed an outlet. I know I've sat in strange places to charge a computer or iPhone, but right in the middle of everything... that is pushing it.

However, the bigger issue is what it says about the value we place on our electronics. My guess is there is not much that people - this woman included - would sit on the filthy ground for in the middle of a busy airport for. Most people's pride wouldn't let them do it. But apparently when it comes to staying connected, pride goes out the window. I have even seen people sit in the bathroom to just for access to an outlet. But then again, maybe it is not so crazy. After all, for centuries people have not been able to live if they have to spend a few hours without an iPhone, right?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dear Credit Card Companies,

Dear American Express,

I appreciate your recent letter informing me that I have the chance to win $1,000,000.00. Trust me, I would LOVE to win. However, I can't help but feel like this is a scam to force a magazine subscription upon me. Which brings me to the point of this letter: I am already an American Express cardholder, why must you inundate me with junk mail?

Credit card companies grace my mailbox with junk mail far more than any other industry. I get more offers from credit card companies than I can shake a stick at, but it is a bit disheartening to be getting such offers from you since I already have a card.

I expect these things from Chase or Discover because I don't use their cards, but from you? Too far... too far.

Please reconsider your use of funds and leave your customers alone. If you really have great offers that I may be interested in, you could have a special section on my account management page of your website. Then I can check it at my convenience... and maybe I would actually look at the offers rather than just shred them.

-Kenny

To: Chevron/Texaco Credit Card Division
Attn: Maya Pendleton

Dear Maya,

I received the following in a recent credit card offer:
Maya, I feel it may be too soon for us to be "friends". In fact, I feel like - at this point - we may actually be frienemies at best. On the one hand, you are probably a nice person and just doing your job, but on the other had, you sent me junk mail.

In any case, frankly, I'm puzzled that you're puzzled that I would say "no" to this offer. Really? You are puzzled? Because you gave me no compelling reason to say "yes". Consumer debt is a serious problem in America, why would I want another means of accruing such debt. Do I get points? Does a percentage of my purchases go to fund orphanages in a 3rd world country? What is the benefit to getting this card?

Also, why did you start assuming that I would say "no"? Why not start with the assumption that I would at least consider saying "yes"? Wouldn't this be better:
Dear You,

I am grateful that you are considering accepting this fantastic offer. You will not be disappointed.

You have nothing* to lose! Not only are you already pre-qualified, but there is no annual fee and you can use your Chevron and Texaco Credit Card at more than 8,000 participating Chevron and Texaco locations across the U.S.

More importantly, each time you use your Chevron and Texaco Credit Card at select locations**, Chevron and Texaco will donate a percentage*** of the sale to research and development of cleaner, renewable fuel.

Don't delay. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Thanks!
Maya

*- The phrase "nothing to lose" does not include money or credit rating.
**- 14 qualifying locations (6 in North Dakota, 5 in Montana, 2 in Wyoming, and 1 in Northern Alaska)
***- .001% of sale will be donated

In any case, I shreded (what is the past tense of shred? Shrad? Shreded?) your offer. I'm sorry you put me in a position where I felt the need to do that. Also, I will not be accepting any future offers. If the time comes where I feel your service would be of value, I'll contact you.

-Kenny

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Get your what on?!?!

This has been the era of the phrase "Get your (or my) _______ on". We hear it all over:

Get my groove on. 
Get your game on.
Get my grub on.
Get your freak on.

It is used nearly as much as "What happens in ______, stays in ______". However, today I was listening to ESPN radio online and I heard one that I never could have imagined. The commercial was an anti-wildfire ad which features a dad with his children packing up from a camping trip. The dad is ready to leave and the kids lecture him about leaving a mostly-put-out fire and concludes with one of the children saying, "You are never too young to get your smokey on".

I know. Really lame right? Not creative at all. But the thing that I am more concerned about than subjecting the world to such unoriginal garbage, is the fact we may have a conspiracy on our hands.

Think about it, what industry could possibly want the youth of the nation to start saying, "you are never too young to get your smokey on?" Hmmmmmm... perhaps the tobacco industry?

Do I really think there is a conspiracy? No, but I do really think that it is a lame line in a lame commercial.

Side Note:
As I was typing this up, I remembered an experience I had a few months ago that makes me less critical of the anti-wildfire people and their lame ad.

Ernie, Tap Tap, T-Money, and I were invited to go to some hot pots in Spanish Fork that none of us had been to before. So after getting the worst directions in the world from our buddy, J-Dub, we embarked to find the hot pots and the people we were meeting.

When we finally got there, the people we were meeting had set up a campsite (we weren't camping, but they were) and a large campfire. Upon our arrival, the group we were meeting wanted to go to the hot pots, which were still another quarter mile down the trail. Ernie, Tap Tap, T-Money, and I looked at the fire, then looked at each other, then looked at the our friends and said, "what about your fire?"

"Oh, it will be fine", they replied.

There are a few things that you should know about Utah. It is a desert, but in the mountains there are a fair number of trees and, therefore, every year we have a number of large wildfires.

Ernie, Tap Tap, T-Money, and I all have done our fair share of camping and know that you don't leave a fire unattended - and quite frankly, it was a surprise to me that anyone would. But apparently there are still people who do, so I understand that the anti-wildfire people still have to try come up with new and creative ways to try to prevent people from being less-than-smart.

In the end, Ernie and I stayed at the fire with one of the people we met and roasted marshmallows and hung out. Which actually was fine with me because those were the nastiest hot pots I have ever seen. I don't even want to know the number of diseases floating around in there.

Monday, August 9, 2010

To see, or not to see...

I recently saw the movie Inception (which was brilliant!) but it reminded me of things that like and don't like about seeing movies:

I like previews. Maybe I am the only one, but I like to see the upcoming movies.

I don't like the commercials before the previews. I hate the pre-preview commercials. Which leads me to...

I don't like that I have to be 45 minutes early to a movie.

I like the huge screen and the premium sound system.

I don't like the price. When I saw Inception, it cost $8.75. Goodnight that is a lot of money. And if you want a drink, that is another $5.00. That is enough to remind me why I don't go to many movies.

I don't like trying to find parking.

I don't like people trying to discreetly text message. It doesn't work. That screen is very bright in a dark theatre. No matter how you try to hide it.

Never the less, I highly recommend Inception. It is a movie that makes you think.

A movie that I am not so sure about is the upcoming movie Devil. At first I was intrigued by it and thought that it may be a good horror movie/thriller. Then the words I have come to fear. "An M. Night Shyamalan Film". With no further ado, I present this little gem I found online: (based on actual ratings from rottentomatoes.com)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Castor... C-A-S-T-O-R, but it is still bad advice.

My buddy's wife, M.BSB, posted the following on Facebook recently:
Please get this baby out of me.
(If you didn't guess, she is pregnant.) Anyhow, I didn't think much of it and continued to scroll through the page of updates when I noticed a comment on her post.
try castor oil!!!!
In my mind I saw this:
Thinking to myself that the comment was a joke, I smirked and thought, "what does she want her to do with that?" However, the next person's comment was even more detailed:
Try castor oil!!! Take a 20 oz bottle of juice drink about a 3rd of it. Then pour the castor oil in thil the bottle is full again. Shake it and then chug it down. Within about 3-4 hrs youll start to burn up and feel sick, that means its working. You will throw up and you will explode from the back end but it starts the contractions. Trust me.... It works.
Whoa... whoa.

Now I am thinking to myself, "holy cow, this is messed up on all sorts of levels. Ingesting motor oil? That can't be good for the baby. She can't be serious."

So I began to type in google, "Castor oi" and google auto-populates "castor oil to induce labor". Now I am thinking to myself, "goodnight, people are sick! this is going too far!" However, after visiting this page, I realized I had confused castor oil and castrol oil. Apparently castor oil is a laxative. You must think that I felt dumb, eh? eh?

Well, if you do, you are wrong. Dead wrong. I still think it is dumb. Just like ingesting motor oil. Listen, whenever some says, "youll start to burn up and feel sick, that means its working. You will throw up and you will explode from the back end but...", I have to question the quality of their advice. I have to. (I don't make the rules).

I guess the logic must be "having a baby is a miserable experience (so I have heard), why not do anything you can to make it worse"?

This reminds me of when I was getting over a really bad bout of the flu and a woman suggested that I go running at the gym because "when you run it is like giving your body a fever and it gets better really fast". Ummm... yeah... thanks.

I also knew a person who would pour milk on his shins and hit his legs with a bat to make his bones stronger.

I would say those tips go right up there with bleeding dishes and putting leeches on one's self.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quote, Picture, and Spontaneous Human Combustion

Quote:
The other day I was talking to a buddy who is looking to buy a new house. I asked him what he was looking for and he said:
I spend like $100 a month on storage, so if I could find a nice garage with a decent house, I'd be happy.
Picture:
I really like Utah, but here is one thing that I could do without:
For those of you who don't know this, "pop" is really "soda". I don't know how people can stand calling it "pop". The word pop describes a sudden feeling or sound. Examples:
I felt a pop in my shoulder.

I heard a loud pop and it startled me.
Not:
I'm thirsty; wanna go down to the 7-11 and get a pop?
Spontaneous Human Combustion: The other day I was at the grocery store and saw a guy walking out wearing a Lakers shirt and Celtics pants. Does he realize what he is doing? That is like George W. Bush and Al Gore going on vacation together. Or Ja Rule and 50 Cent co-hosting a BBQ.

Does he not realize that they just played each other in the finals 2 of the last 3 years? Or that their are 2 of the greatest rivals in history?

Not to mention, it looked ugly.

Monday, July 12, 2010

But the graph looks pretty, right?

Back in March received my Quarterly Skymiles Statement (also known as Junk Mail), but just as I was about to delete it, I noticed a graph showing how many miles I had earned this year and how many I needed for different medallion levels:


I quickly realized that something was amiss with the graph. It portrayed that I was just over halfway to my silver medallion in both miles and segments, however - if you calculate it - I was really only 10.6% of the way there with miles and 13% of the way there with segments. A little silly, but no big deal. I chalked it up to marketing and psychology - you know, make me think that I am closer than I am so I will fly more - but figured I would hold on to it and share it on the blog some day.

Then June rolled around and I received my latest Quarterly Statement and it contained this graph:


You will notice by the totals at the bottom of the graph that I did a little traveling between March and June - to the tune of over 20,000 miles. But the graph remains unchanged... hmmm.

If the graph were correct, I would now be 92.7% of the way to silver medallion by miles and 33.3% of the way there by segments.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Axis of Evil

The following comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch where Will Ferrell is impersonating President Bush addressing the country (I believe this comes from Season 27, Episode 13. But if not it is definitely the opening to The Best of Will Ferrell Vol. 2):
(Read in a Texan accent) Good Evening America. I'm very happy to be back in this country after my very successful trip in the pacific rim. I'm heartened to hear that for the most part the people of this country show strong support for my agenda. However, lately there's some who're beginning to criticize this administration... maybe these people don't understand, America is presently at war. Not just the war on terrorism, but we are engaged in a deadly stand-off with an axis of evil. Ya know who I'm talkin 'bout: Iran, Iraq, and one of the Koreas.

But my axis of evil doesn't seem to interest some people out there. Some people just want to talk about the economy and budgets and Enron. I bet mosta ya out there don't even understand Enron... I sure-as-heck don't. It hurts my head to think about it... so from now on Enron will be a part of my axis of evil. I don't want to hear anything else about Enron unless our military has pounded it into submission.

So look out, Enron, you are now a part of the axis of evil.

So is the economy.

I don't like the way this economy is acting. Not very American. It's evil. The economy is now part of my axis of evil.

Also, I don't like Senator Tom Daschle. Ya know why? He's very critical. Ya know where that leaves him? You got it; he's now part of the axis of evil.

So quick recap: That's Iran, Iraq, Enron, the economy, and Daschle, and one of those Koreas. They all form a terrible axis of evil standing in the way of all that we as Americans value.

And don't forget France. The French don't like me saying "axis of evil", so guess what? They're now a part of the very same access of evil they don't like me saying. How do ya like them apples, France? Next time you'll keep yer mouth shut. You mess with Texas, and it's straight to the axis of evil, got it?

Germany, Italy, and Japan, they were the original access of evil. Maybe they thought I would forget, but I didn't. They're back in.

Here's one ya probably didn't expect...

(looks side to side)

Dick. Cheney. Now he's up to something; I don't like it. He's never around. If I'm in the White House, he's not. If I'm on a plane, he's nowhere in sight. He's very sneaky; not to mention scary. I'm puttin' him in the axis of evil... fer now.

Evil Knievel's going in the axis of evil, but that's a no-brainer. But Dr. Evil, NO; he makes me laugh, so he's out.

So you see, America, there's nothing to fear; everything's fine. You go out and buy yer new cars and fly on airplanes and invest in K-Mart. Don't... don't listen to what the economist say. Why? Because they like math and math is very much a part of the axis of evil.

And you know what else is part of the axis of evil? LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!!!!
With that introduction, I give you my current "Axis of Evil" list:

Apple, the computer company - Ah, yes. Some of you may be saying, "but you own an iMac and iPhone... and you love both. How can you put Apple on the axis of evil list?" Simple - I do love my iMac and I did love my iPhone. But in an attempt to alienate part of their user base, Apple released the iOS4 for the iPhone 3G (which I own) along with the iPhone 3Gs and the iPhone 4. That would be great except it renders the daggum thing completely useless! Unless, of course, you like waiting for 5 minutes to check a text message and like having your typing about 6 characters ahead of the phone; if you like that, then it's great.

The other day I was listening to music and responding to a text when a call came in; the phone didn't know what to do... it just froze for 30 seconds. I missed the call and had to give my phone mouth-to-mic resuscitation. But that's ok... it is not like I have a phone to receive calls anyhow. Besides, when I paid $300, I completely expected Apple to release software that would render it no more than paper weight.

Congratulation Apple, you got me to put my guard down. Had this been a Microsoft product, I wouldn't have trusted it. But don't worry, I am now watching you carefully and sceptically.

Some of you may be saying, "but you know you can revert it to the old OS, right?"

Yeah. Thanks. That is hardly the point. If the software doesn't work on the 3G, why did they release it for the 3G? Why not just limit it to the 3Gs and 4. That would have been fine with me. Now I have to find the time to get the old stuff to work.

Also, Apple, when are you going to do something useful with the AppleTV? You are sitting on a potential gold mine. I will blog about what you should do with it at some future date or you can email me.

Next...
Apple, the fruit - I love a good apple. But there is the problem: finding a good one. It is very frustrating. And why do they call the nastiest of them all "Red Delicious". That is pretty messed up. I like Gala, Fuji, and Pink Lady apples. Get rid of the rest.

They should have known there was a problem when people started the phrase "bad apple" in everyday speak; it is a serious problem.

Microsoft - Yeah, I bet you were rejoicing when you saw Apple on the list. Don't get too giddy pal. I've had 4 blue screens of death in a week! This Vista thing is a mess. You are a long standing member of the axis of evil, Microsoft.

My Beloved Utah Jazz - As long as Kosta Koufas is on the roster, you are on the list. Cut your losses now. He's no good. Find away to get Omar Samhan and Earl Barron. Trust me.

Lebron James - Enough said.

An Unnamed Garage Door Repair Company - A couple of weeks ago my garage door opener needed to be fixed. It sounded like the motor had totally seized up and needed to be replaced. It was a cheap, do-it-yourself Genie that had given up the ghost. The way I looked at it, I had 3 options:
  1. Replace the whole thing professionally
  2. Go to Home Depot and buy a similar cheapo and replace just the unit myself
  3. Try to get it fixed
My concern was that if I had someone come to fix it, they would just charge me to tell me it needed to be replaced. So I called a place and this was the conversation:

Me:Hi, I have a Genie garage door opener that sounds like the motor has seized up, do you do repairs?
Girl:Yes, we do repairs.
Me:Great, how much?
Girl:$29.50 for the service call, plus the cost of the repair.
Me:Well, am I going to have to pay the service fee, then you come look at it, order a part and then I have to pay the fee again?
Girl:No, they have all the parts on the truck and can fix it in the same visit.
Me:Even the motor?
Girl:Yes.
Me:Ok, lets schedule a time.
Fast forward to the repair visit:
Repairman:Let's see what we have here...
Me:Alright, here it is.
Sound of the motor doing nothing
Repairman:Sounds like your motor is seized up... nothing I can do about that. We'll need to replace the whole thing. I have a great unit here for $450.
Safe to say, I lost it. He was there for 30 seconds and had the nerve to want to charge $30 to tell me something I already knew! No thank you; this is exactly what I feared when I called a repair place.

So why did I put "Unnamed Garage Door Repair Company" rather than give you their name? I called and complained and Denise was very nice and sent my check back. In the end, they seem like a stand up place, but let this be a lesson to all of us.

Finally...
Math - It must be included on any axis of evil list.

If you want to see that SNL clip, try here.

Names (again...)

This may or may not be a real conversation that I was a party to:
Ted: Chuck says he is coming.
Bill: Ok... what's Chuck's real name? Charles?
Ted: Yeah, but I call him Chuck.
Bill: Yeah... Chuck is a weird nickname for Charles. What is Ted short for? Theodore? That is a weird nickname too.
Ted You want a weird nickname, Bill being short for William is weird. Even worse is Dick being short for Richard.
Bill: (oozing with sarcasm) Whatever, the whole Dick/Richard thing makes complete sense.
Ted: (Also oozing with sarcasm) HAHA, good point.
Freddy (chiming in for the first time): (voice straining with confusion) That one makes the least sense!

Silence

Ted and Bill burst into laughter

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Opinuendo on the Lebron Decision

It turns out I was wrong (I think this is the first time), Lebron didn't stay with the Cavs. He took his one hour special and ripped out the heart of a franchise. My take on it is this: If he wanted to win championships, he would have chosen Chicago; If he wanted to be the most loved and respected player, he would have stayed in Cleveland; but apparently he wants some pressure taken off himself, so he has chosen the Miami Heat.

I don't even know if I consider him the best player on his own team anymore, let alone in the league. Ernie and I were talking about it the other day and I said that if I were a team courting one of the free agents this off-season, I would would take Dwayne Wade. He has done it before; he has been to the top. I question James in crunch time; I don't question Wade. But maybe that is why James chose the Heat. It is a place where he is not THE guy. Now he shares that with Wade and, to a lesser degree, Bosh. He even said in his announcement that Wade was letting he (James) and Bosh come to Wade's team. Now when someone that has to take over, it can be Wade. For 42 minutes, Bosh and James can do their thing and in the final 6 Wade can do his.

That is not a luxury that James would have had in Chicago. Even with Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah, James would have been the most prominent figure on the court night in and night out. It would have been his responsibility to win.

I am still not convinced that Miami makes the most sense for winning - as Lebron claims it does. First of all, the Heat only have 5 players currently... opps, now 4 and - depending on how much money Bosh, Wade, and James are willing to forfeit - the Heat should be about at the cap. Any way you cut this, they are going to need to find several players to play for the minimum. I am not sure that will cut it because in this league it still takes a team to win.

Furthermore, there are always egos involved - and as much as people don't like to admit it, feelings change and evolve over time. Today the 3 of them may well be happy to share the lime light, but what happens when things start going well and one or two of them is given more of the credit? Chris Bosh has shown he wants more publicity, but on a team with Wade and James, I don't think he will get that. Can he handle it? Can Wade or James handle taking a back seat to the other if needs be?

Or even worse - What if things start to fall apart? How do they handle losing? This seems at least somewhat like the 2003-2004 Lakers and that was a total crash and burn. I am not predicting failure, but I don't know that success is guaranteed.

In the end, this may be the best thing for Lebron - in the words of Bill Simmons - "becoming Mega-Pippen to Wade's Jordan" because I am not sure he has the mental makeup of a Kobe or Jordan or Bird. But regardless, it was the worst way to do it. A 1-hour special? No way. The only way that is appropriate is if he is staying in Cleveland and it is a Cleveland love-fest.

Don't mistake what I am saying, for the past 7 seasons Lebron has done good by Cleveland and has every right to leave, but he should have simply released a statement saying something along the lines of:
After carefully weighing the options I have and considering what is best for me and my family, I have decided to sign with the Miami Heat. I have enjoyed my time hear in Cleveland and this will always be my home, but it is time for my career to take me to South Beach. I love the fans here in Cleveland and I hope that they can support me in this as they will always be dear to my heart.
I think that would have been much more professional that what he has done over the past week. It doesn't seem that he realizes that while this is just a game it has far reaching effects. His presence in a community brings income to that community and at the same time the lack of his presence takes away money from a community. Should that fact make him stay? No, but it should have caused him to handle this in a more dignified manner.

Have you ever heard that when you are mad at someone you should write a letter to them and then let it sit in a drawer for a few days to see if you really want to send it? Maybe Dan Gilbert should have tried that before his response to this news that was posted on the Cavs website. I get it, you are mad. So is everyone else, but the tone is too much like a bitter ex - or in TimpJynx's words, "he sounds like a jilted prom queen". Aside from that, 2 points:
  1. Not a fan of the comic sans font. I feel like any letter written in that font should be signed with a crayon.
  2. To many "quotation marks"... Who is he, Bennett Brauer? (serious, if you take nothing else from this post, watch that clip!)

One final point. It is interesting that just 4-5 years ago everyone was ready to stick a fork in the Eastern Conference permanently because all the free agents flocked to the west, but now they are looking like the more dominant conference. Hmmm...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Opinuendo on the Lebron Special

For those of you who may not have heard, Lebron James is announcing which NBA team he will be playing with next year live on ESPN tomorrow at 9pm eastern. Why is this such a big deal? Well, Lebron was the most anticipated player to enter the NBA ever and is widely considered to be the greatest player currently in the NBA. Furthermore, this is the first time he has ever been a free agent. Up until now he has been playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers which is particularly interesting given 2 things:

1) Lebron James is from Cleveland. He grew up in Akron, OH and, almost as though the script was written by Walt Disney himself, the Cavaliers won the right to draft James as the #1 overall pick in 2003.

2) The city of Cleveland is considered to be the most cursed sport city in the USA. If Lebron James - one of their own - leaves for greener pastures, the city of Cleveland may be no more.

Unlike most free agents who visit with different teams and then announce who they will play for, Lebron has made the teams come to him - which I am actually fine with because it becomes less of a spectacle - and he is going to announce his selection in a 1 hour special on ESPN - this is the part I am not fine with.

Why on earth does he need a 1 hour special to announce this? How hard is it?
"I'm staying in Cleveland"
There, I just did it in 4 words. He could do that on twitter.

The only way it is worth it for him to do a 1 hour special is if he uses 5 minutes of it to announce he is going to Chicago - I am convinced that this would be the biggest slap in the face - and the other 55 minutes is used for live coverage of the destruction and riots in Cleveland.

But I am sticking with my original prediction. He is staying in Cleveland. Why? If Lebron stays in Cleveland, he will be the greatest man Cleveland has ever known. If he wins 1 championship there, he will be a demigod. If he wins multiple championships, they will start the church of Lebron. 1 championship in Cleveland, is worth 3 somewhere else.

Furthermore, there is a look that I have never seen in Lebron's eyes. The look of "I would sacrifice my own family to win this game". It is a look you need to be the greatest player of a generation and win multiple championships. Michael Jordan had it. Kobe Bryant has had it. I think I have even seen it in Dwayne Wade's eyes. That is the same look you need to to walk away from 2.25 million people who desperately want you to stay.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Clocks...

Look carefully at the following images:











Notice anything? How about if I remind you that the Roman Numeral for 4 is "IV" not "IIII". Now do you notice something?

I don't know when, but years ago I noticed that many, many clocks with Roman Numerals get the 4 wrong.

What better way to commemorate the 4th of July then by talking about 4's.

God Bless America!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Panda Express, Pt. 2

Some of you may be saying to yourself, "What-in-the... There was no 'Panda Express, Pt. 1', how are we at 'Panda Express, Pt. 2'?" And to that I say, that is no reason not to have a part 2. Who says you have to have a part 1 to have a part 2?

Besides, I am counting Personality Cookie as part 1.

Anyhow, after breaking my Panda Express drought a few weeks ago, I remembered that I like "The Panda" and went there again a few days later. My "fortune" this time?
"You Will Inherit a Large Sum of Money"
There it is! There's a real fortune... Literally.

The thing that I like about it (besides the obvious: money) is that it doubles as a good fortune for me and a mis-fortune for someone else.

But enough about that; let's tackle a real issue. Where do they get of calling themselves "Panda Express"? Let me ask you this, if you went to a restaurant named "Orange Chicken Express" and their main dish was fried panda, wouldn't you feel mislead? What if a restaurant named "Burger Express" were to serve fried chicken, how would you feel about that?

I think that I have made my point...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

But in all seriousness, good for you...

I would like to shake the hand and then punch the face of the first person who started the "I am getting married so I better start a facebook group so that I can get everyone's address" trend.

First of all, genius. You found a way to dupe more people into giving you stuff and attention.

However, let me let you in on a little secret... if you don't have their contact info outside of Facebook, you probably aren't that good of friends with them (really? not even a phone number or their email address... really?).

But don't let me rain on your parade, we should all just feel grateful that you have chosen such a personal means of informing us that you are making the biggest decision of your life. I will just keep sifting through the notices of people joining your group so you can send them an announcement of your new found your bliss. Just know, like I said, if you didn't have their contact info outside of facebook before, that announcement and the 30 seconds you talk to them at your reception, will likely be the last contact with them for the next 10 years.

The truly bizarre part of this whole post is that I am complaining about having to put up with worthless information on facebook... 99% of the info on facebook is worthless! I would be much better off reading a realbook, but I digress.

Congrats to all you lucky lovers who I barely know... And by the way, this post in no way, shape, or form implies that I will not create a group like this if when I get married because it is pretty genius.

One last note, the way I see it, every new group created only further dilutes the pool and steals more attention away from things that really matter... like the revolution. You may be saying to yourself, "what revolution?" And to that I say, "don't think that I forgot about the select-a-nugget revolution!" The momentum has really died down and I partially blame the fact that there are like a million groups out there. I am not saying this should stop you from creating new groups, but I want you to go into it with your eyes open and maybe link your group to that of the "select-a-nugget" group... just a thought...

On a completely unrelated note, this week Tuesday felt like Thursday and then Wednesday really felt like Thursday, so now that we are actually going into Thursday, well, I am just not ready for a 3rd Thursday in one week.

Monday, June 28, 2010

If you didn't already know...

So, the other day I was talking to JT (if you are thinking I am meaning Justin Timberlake, you are probably be wrong, but I won't confirm or deny that) and he mentioned that he had given his wife a compliment that wasn't true. To that I responded:
"Most good compliments tend to not be true" -Kenny
(I may have been feeling a little cynical that day)

Anyhow, in that same vein, it has come to my attention that when someone is complaining about how they look, it is not a great idea to say, "You're decent."

Also, never tell a woman, "You look tired"... I will tell you now, that doesn't end well.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Names

Earlier today, for my own purposes, I needed to look up some 4 letter names (no, I am not having a child... much to my mother's dismay). So I googled "4 letter names that start with d" and of course a number of websites featuring baby names came up. One of the websites actually had a list comprised only of 4 letter names - turns out you really can find anything on the internet! - so that was the one I chose.

The webpage had two columns - boy names on the left and girl names on the right. I quickly found what I was looking for and was about to close the window when something caught my eye. What is this? Emma under the boy names?!? And Elie and Ella?

Listen people, I know that we have uni-sex names - Blair, Clair, Lindsay/Lindsey, Casey, Erin/Aaron, Jesse/Jessie, etc - but Emma, Elie, and Ella are simply not boy names. And I cannot be persuaded otherwise. That is like having a woman named Richard.

While we are talking about it, why are lists like this always called something like "Possible Baby Names"? I remember when my mother was pregnant with my youngest brother, The Swordsman (how is that for a name?), she went to the library and got a bunch of "baby name" books and I thought to myself, "what is the difference between a baby name and a grown-up name?" Seems like they should just be "name books".

And don't even get me started on the suggestion of the name "Flem". I feel like no one should ever be named after a substance produced by the body... Just my opinion. Sorry Pooh Williams, I have to draw the line somewhere.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The World is Pavlov and We are His Dog...

This weekend Tap-Tap, Ernie, and I were at Arby's getting a bite to eat. The store wasn't busy - maybe 3 or 4 other people all seated and eating and no one else ordering. I ordered first with out incident and stepped aside to await my food. Ernie was next. As he was in the middle of his order, one of the patrons was leaving Arby's and rung a bell that was post above a sign which reads "Ring if our service was GREAT". Immediately - and as though she had no control over her reaction - the woman taking Ernie's order hollered, "THANK YOU!!!" (but in a tone that was more annoyed than grateful).

Now, I have been to Arby's enough to know that they train their employees to do this - which is fine, but not as a person is in mid-sentence while placing an order. And not shouting right in their face. Poor Ernie was so terrified we had to take him home so he could change his pants.

However, I can't fault the woman - she is a mere pawn in a sick and twisted game which we all fall victim to. In fact, just as I was writing this, my phone vibrated in my pocket notifying me that I had a text message. What did I do? I immediately stopped typing and reached for my phone; not a thought given. Was the message worth the interruption of my train of thought? No, but does that matter? Unfortunately that little device controls me and with every buzz and ring I come running. We have become subject to the dings, bells, and buzzes of the world.

And with that, enjoy this moment of Zen from The Office.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Personality Cookie

On my way back to work from the bank the other day, I needed to grab something quick for lunch. I was at a stop light and noticed Panda Express and realized it had been a while since I had been there. I got my usual half chow mien/half fried rice with sweet & sour pork and orange chicken.

After getting back to the office and eating my lunch, I turned my attention to the fortune cookie. Now, I don't really like eating fortune cookies, but I like reading the fortune and someone told me it was bad luck to read the fortune before first eating the cookie, so I eat them and then read the fortune. My fortune on this day?
"You have a deep appreciation of the arts and music"
Umm, what?

That is in no way, shape, or form a fortune. And nobody can convince me otherwise. Perhaps if it were to have said "You will develop a deep appreciation of the arts and music", that may have been more acceptable, but even then I don't know. Let me give you an example of a good fortune cookie, "You will be successful in your career"; I received that one some time ago from Panda Express also and have it posted on my monitor at work - it is like a little ray of hope, which is what a fortune cookie should be.

It seems that Panda Express is moving away from the "Fortune Cookie" and delving into the less well know world of "Personality/Trait Cookie". Other good examples:
"You are tall"
"You like vegetables"
"You have dark hair"
"You like american-chinese food"
"You are smart"
"You have a keen ability to sense when people are uncomfortable"
"You tend to be late to parties"
"You use Old Spice® deodorant"
Ah, yes. Nothing more refreshing than a good old personality/trait cookie.

BTW, I would say that I do have a healthy appreciation of the arts and music. Good job personality cookie.