Thursday, November 17, 2005

It Blows to Suck

Pumping gas the other day, I noticed that my tires looked a little low, and decided to go to the air pump to fill them up. Nowadays it costs 50¢ for air... you know, the stuff that's all around us for free. I remember when air was free, back when free air was a service of the gas station. Now free air is 50¢. But that's not what this gripe is about, I've come to terms with paying for my air a long time ago. No no, what shocked me was when I turned around and decided my mats were dirty, and maybe I should vacuum them. I typically don't use the gas station vacuums, because you have to pay for that too, but it IS my new car, and my friends Sue and Joe are coming down from Michigan for Thanksgiving, so I wanted the car to look somewhat presentable, and not having the time to run extension cords down my stairs to plug in the vacuum at home, I decided what the hell. Figuring it couldn't be more than the air pump, I took out another two quarters, only to look up at the sign that said "$1.50". Not wanting to make a scene, I casually shook my head and went on my merry way, dirty mats and all.

Dissecting the fundamental logic of this scenario, I'm at a loss to explain how it could be more money to vacuum than to pump air. Breaking it down into simpler terms, it's 50¢ to blow air, $1.50 to suck air. Or in a different but equally accurate term, it costs me half a buck to give me air that's ALREADY free, but it's a dollar more to suck it away from me!

Now one may argue that there are different variables involved in each machine. OK, let's go over them: One blows air, one sucks air. Assuming the pressure is equal, it doesn't cost any more money to run a fan one way versus the other. But it's not equal, is it? There's no way it takes less pressure to push air into a tire at 40 psi then it takes to suck up some dirt particles. Hence the reason the pump uses an air compressor, which if you've ever been to Home Depot, is alot more money than a vacuum. So that's out.

Supply and demand? Every one of us with a car has had to use the air pump at one time or another, but honestly, how many people really use the gas station vacuum? Seems there's a much more demand for something you can't regularly get on your own, unless you own one of the above mentioned air compressors. Vacuums, however, are much more commonly found in households across America, and as such is not as aggressively sought out elsewhere. Really, why pay $1.50 for something I can do at home? 50¢? Sure, it pays for the convenience of not having to lug your vacuum outside, and is admittedly more powerful than a Dustbuster. But I'd rather save the extra buck and do it at home, thank you. So you're charging fifty cents for something everyone needs, and one fifty for something people can do at home. If I recall economics class correctly, that's the exact OPPOSITE of the supply and demand concept.

So what does that leave? The fact that once a month a minimum waged gas attendant has to trek on out to the vacuum and empty the dirt bin? Sorry, not seeing the value there. The fact that the vacuum is left on longer? It's certainly not 3 times as long. Any way you slice it, my friends, you're getting ripped off to suck.

I'm not by any means suggesting they raise the price at the air pump to compete with the vacuum, no sir; it's ridiculous to have to pay any amount for either service. My job here is to simply point out the inconsistencies in everyday life.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Living the Vida Solo [edited 11/20/05]

Life as a bachelor is often lived by trial and error. Having lived on my own for nearly 11 years now, I'd like to share some of the insights into my little world of bachelorism:

1) Liquid dishwashing soap is not meant to be used in the dishwashing machine.
2) Left long enough in the freezer, even ice will go bad.
3) Just because you can't smell it, does not mean there's no odor.
4) It's probably a good idea to have a fire extinguisher handy when experimenting in the kitchen.
5) The dishwasher is a great place to store dirty dishes.
6) It takes practice to pee and brush your teeth at the same time.
7) Don't bother saving soy sauce from chinese take-out; you will never, EVER use them. I've been in my house for three and a half years, and I have three and a half-year-old soy sauce packets in my fridge.
8) You can forget to take your clothes out of the dryer, but NEVER forget the clothes in the washing machine.
9) No matter how well you think you know home electronics, MARK your wires before taking apart your home theatre system.
10) If you say to yourself "I'm never going to remember where I put this." when putting something away, you won't.
11) The best plant to get a man is a Jade plant; it can go for months without watering, and even when almost dead, a healthy dose of water will make it spring back to life.
12) Don't forget to remove the porno tape from the VCR before selling it to a friend for his daughter. (yes this actually almost happened).
13) Never iron in the nude.

More to come, as I learn.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Every Car Has Their Day....

As I'm sitting here at work, waiting for the inevitable flood of projects to come down the pike and wondering what to post next in my blog, I happened to glance over on my desk to the latest issue of Locksmith Ledger magazine, a publication I happen to be the layout artist on, and decided to write about that. Why the hell would anyone reading this care? Ah, my loyal subjects, because like every other month, I recieved little to no help in getting materials for the cover art of this issue, and being the topic of the month was "Automotive 2006", I decided to chance it and put my own car up on the cover. No one complained, so up it stayed.

So now my car's famous. Thinking back, I probably should have picked a photo where I was visible in the reflection, just so I can say that I, too, was on the cover of an international trade magazine. Actually, my torso IS slightly visible, so if I wanted to get real technical, I can say I have a famous pelvis... but that would only serve to open me up for a huge amount of wisecracking jokes at my (and my pelvis') expense. And nobody wants that.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bif Naked in NYC

Last night I was finally able to cross off a big item at the top of my life's "To Do" List.... I saw Bif Naked in concert. Those that know me can tell you that I don't get all that excited about too many things in life; sure I may obsess about the next great computer game coming out in 6 months, and I did check the forums every day for a month before getting my Scion tC for any relevant news, but other than that I don't really have a strong opinion about too many things, especially in the way of music. Up until recently there was not one band I would undeniably say is my favorite, a band that I would buy anything they put out, with the possible exception of Rage Against the Machine. That has changed with the discovery of Bif. Out of maybe....MAYBE four bands I would spend the money to see in concert nowadays, she was #1 on my list. Was it worth it? You have no idea.

Everyone knows I'm a big worrier. I worry... alot. This night was no exception. I was worried about: Being late; not getting a good seat; not being able to see Bif; was the venue going to be too big? too small? Were they going to take my camera away? Hell I was even worried about meeting Bif in person. Why? Because I'm not cool. That's not a put down, it's not low self-esteem, it's just a simple fact, like saying "I'm not blonde". I've come to accept this. Just the fact that I thought I MIGHT actually meet her is evidence that I'm clueless. Need more proof? How about the fact that I spent $50 on tickets, then come to find out she put a password up on her website prior to the concert that lets you in for free? Yeah, I'm a chump. But at least I feel better knowing I'm contributing to the arts, I just hope she got a decent portion of the proceeds.

Anyway, long story short, all my worrying was for not. We were early (2 HOURS early, thanks to an apparent mix-up with the time). Being so early allowed us first choice and essentially got a spot right up against the raised stage, about 3 feet from the mic stand. The venue was slightly larger than my apartment, so it was pretty intimate. I could see her just fine, especially when she sang to the girls right next to me. I was able to snap over 100 photos, although most ended up being of her elbow or back of her head, since she was moving around the stage faster than my crappy camera could capture. And no, I didn't get to meet her.

So, the concert was awesome. Short, but awesome. I was surprised that she didn't play every song off her new album, given that it was what she was there to promote. And she didn't sing my favorite song 'Religion', but in the hour or so she had to squeeze in her songs, a few of my favorites were bound to be missed, and I was just happy enough that she dove back and played some earlier stuff. Lyrically Bif's music is unlike any other band I've heard. Every song is intensely personal drawing from her own life experiences; it seems almost autobiographical in nature. And as such, I almost feel like I know her as a real person as opposed to just some rock star, and when she took the stage it was almost like watching a good friend playing in a band.

Suffice to say, I'm really glad I finally got a chance to see Bif Naked live, up close and personal. Even if I never get another chance, this experience will last a lifetime. And Bif, if you're reading this, I was the annoying F**ker to your left taking all those pictures... Sorry!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Film Review: The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

One of the things I always wanted to do, either for the Coffee Crew readings or on my own website, was movie reviews(with my own twisted warped point of view, naturally.) Here is as good a place as any to jot them down. So here it is, my first official movie review. (warning: possible spoilers here.)

Review: The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy

First off, let me say this first and foremost: I loved this movie. Was it a masterpiece? No. Did it have a mind-blowing plot? Not really. Was it particularly well acted? Eh. So why did I love it? Because 1) I'm a huge fan of the HHGTTG universe, and 2) They didn't screw it up... at least not as much as I was expecting, and a fraction of the amount they could have. Not perfect, but for the most part, they got it right.
If you are a fan of the series, if you've read at least the first few books, watched the 6-episode mini series, and/or heard the BBC radio broadcast of the Hitch Hikers Guide, or even played the infocom text adventure game, then you know the story, and chances are this movie will definitely appeal to you. If you've never heard the phrase "Don't Panic!", are clueless as to what to do with a Babel fish, or the number "42" just doesn't do it for you, you may be a bit lost with this latest installment of the Guide. This movie tries to stand on it's own while keeping remarkably faithful to the original material; however without some background knowledge of the story, the characters and even the Guide itself, newcomers may find themselves wondering what the heck it's all about. Scenes and concepts that naturally flow together in the mind of veteran fans may seem disconnected and random to the average patron. Naturally (being the former) I can only give my opinion in the gleeful subjectivity of an avid fan. And I won't even apologize for it.
The movie roughly covers the content of the first book (or first 3 episodes of the miniseries), occasionally straying from the original material to connect the dots left open due to time restraints of a feature film. Unfortunately it's difficult to tell the story of the Guide in the 1 1/2 hour span of a film, and because of this the movie feels crammed, as though they are trying to jam in as many jokes as possible. Much of the brilliant writing and dialog between characters tends to simply get lost in the rush to get it all out. Also, the addition of a love interest between main characters doesn't really fit into the whole "Guide" story; I assume it was put in to appease those that would otherwise be completely lost as to what's going on.
Despite this, there was much included for the fans of the Guide. Snippets of familiar sound bytes; cameos of several actors and characters; even the occasional appearance of the late Douglas Adam's likeness. And let's not forget the main attraction: the Guide entries themselves. There was much concern that these would be left out, in favor of a more cinematic blockbuster feel. Have no fear, the Guide is in, and as campy and endearing as ever. Rather than update the entries with fancy computer generated 3-d holographic images, the producers chose to stick with the basic line drawing feel of the original series which, in my opinion, makes it that much funnier, given what today's technology would have allowed them to do.
So, the bottom line is: If you're a fan of the guide, this movie doesn't disappoint. If you're not, well, nobody's perfect.

Paul's Movie Ranking: 7.5 out of 10

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Peer pressure

Well, I'm officialy screwed.

It seems that everyone and their mother (what about fathers, or siblings?) has a blog now. Out of my carefully selected hand-picked group of friends, 4 of them now have blogs other than me. And out of them, 3/4ths are professional writers by trade, and the other 1/4 is an English Lit major. So where does that leave me? Naturally this is not some contest, there's no award for coming up with the most posts, the best blog entry, or the wittiest comments; but still it seems slightly competitive to me. Knowing that my little corner of the world can't possibly be as well written or more enjoyable than the others tends to discourage me from trying. Conversely, reading the threads and threads of blogs being submitted by my cohorts fills me with this dreadful need to catch up and keep my own blog updated regularly.. in other words, to 'keep up with the Jones'. Ah, to have been born into the Jones' family, they always have such nice things....
Ahem... anyway, why stress about it? It's not that important, nobody will think less of me, at least not any less than now. Why not just put down my musings like I have been, and let it flow naturally like it's meant to? Well, 2 reasons: One, when I feel like I have to do something rather than doing it just for fun, it becomes a job or a chore, and therefore I have less of a desire to continue it. This is why I could never become a comedy writer or comedian; as soon as I was required to spit out funnies on demand, I'd never be able to do it. Some of (in my opinion) funniest moments were in the middle of random conversations with friends which spiralled into ludicrous scenarios, something not easily duplicated in a lab.
The second reason for my lack of blog upkeeping is simple: Time. Yes, I seem to use this excuse excessively for just about any and all of my problems and shortcomings; everything from "My bathroom is moldy because I don't have time to clean" to "I haven't gotten laid lately because I just don't have time to meet people". Cooking? HA! No time. Reading? Nope, too busy. Updating a blog? When you spend roughly 60 hours in front of a monitor a week, the last thing you want to do is sit down and start typing. "But Paul, you come home at 11:30 at night and start playing computer games... Why do you make time for THAT and not blogging, you jerk!" one may ask. A valid question, if not for the plain fact that it's not even remotely the same. Games are an escape, a recreation, requiring little to no actual thought, and to me it's immensely entertaining. Not that blogging isn't fun mind you, but it's the equivilent of having company over and having to be "on" all the time, versus just wanting to wind down and walk around in your underwear.
So here I am, unwittingly pressured to blog away, keeping it fresh and humorous for the lucky few that have found my site. Thanks to this update, I can sleep well tonight.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Faux Pas of Film, Pt. 2


• Obvious Product Placement
This one may seem to be an obvious pet peeve, as most people with reasonable intelligence can pinpoint product placement in television or movies and roll their eyes exclaiming, Gee, you think Lexus paid ‘em any money?” I’m not talking about the ‘casual’ placements, such as someone using an Apple computer or something. No, the ones that drive me over the edge are the incursions so blatantly obvious, you can almost envision the executives being handed bags and bags of cash, while laughing sadistically at the thought of ruining another film just to buy another 50 kilos of coke. There are two such over-the-top placements in recent memory that particularly struck a cord with me.

Example 1: Matrix.

Setting: Our protagonist, computer hacker Thomas Anderson, has just been instructed via cell phone to escape capture by climbing out onto a window ledge. This he does reluctantly, as he is naturally several stories high, but not without the cliché slipping-and-almost-falling-to-his-death scene. In the middle of slipping-and-almost-falling-to-his-death, he loses his grip on the aforementioned cell phone, and as it is flung into the air, it pauses momentarily on it’s faceplate, clearly showing the world that this is, in fact, a Nokia-brand phone, before continuing it’s fall to the ground. I could almost picture the words “4 out of 5 Computer Hackers recommend Nokia for their cell-phone needs” as it pauses so unnecessarily for the audience. Now, the so-called “bullet-time” effect was pioneered and used in this particular movie several times, but mostly to demonstrate how the characters could move much faster than normal, dodging bullets and the like, hence the name “bullet time”. Our Mr. Anderson had no such powers at the time, so there was absolutely no reason to slow down his falling phone other than to sell Nokias to the viewer. I would have accepted this commercial a lot more readily had our character dropped his phone while having this ability to slow time, and as the phone slowly reveals it’s make and model, he grabs it quickly to demonstrate he now has this amazing ability. No, come to think of it, it would still piss me off, but not nearly to the extent it does as it stands now. Had I owned a Nokia phone at the time I, too, would have flung it out the nearest window.

Example 2: I, Robot
There is absolutely no excuse for this one, no matter how you look at it. The movie is set in the future, 2035 to be exact, the last place you’d expect a new sneaker from 2004 to show up, right? EERRR!!! Wrong! Within the first few moments of the film Del Spooner, a Chicago city cop with a pension for chasing down robots, displays his winning online bid: a brand new pair of “vintage” 2004 Nike’s! If that didn’t remind me of the purposely blatant product placement in “The Truman Show”, I don’t know what does.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Faux Pas of Film, Pt. 1

This is an exerpt from a Coffee Crew essay I did awhile back concerning the things in movies and films that, quite honestly, irk the hell out of me. I'm sorry for regurgitating old literature that half my current readership has already heard, but lately I just haven't had the time to properly dedicate to getting down the swirls of thought in my head into print. So I offer this up in the meantime:

TV and Movies

I consider myself an average movie patron. I’m fairly up to speed with today’s films, despite the fact that I average about a movie a month, especially with the going price of a ticket in excess of $9 these days. I’m pretty good with following plotlines, though admittedly I sometimes require a session of twenty questions at the end of the more deeper films. For the most part, however, I think I’ve finally reached a point in my quest for entertainment to be able to discuss what I like and do not like, what impresses me and what irritates me. Since it is infinitely more enjoyable to bash topics that annoy, disturb or downright piss off, rather than drone on about ‘liking this’ or admiring that’, this essay will focus on the faux paus in the movie and television industry that particularly rub me the wrong way. I’m not referring to the more obvious blunders, such as terrible acting, crappy writing or a complete lack of a plot, but more specific things that, for the most part, are totally avoidable, had they been given the slightest bit of thought. For example:

• The Planted Moron
The “Planted Moron” technique is one that specifically drives me nuts, mainly because A) It is so incredibly obvious, and B) It insults the intelligence of the viewers. It goes as follows: a group of people are having a discussion about a certain topic, item or event, and inevitably a subject is brought up that the viewer may not recognize or understand. One member of the group, the ‘planted moron’, repeats the subject in a quizzical fashion, as if to imply that he/she has no idea what they are speaking of. Usually this individual is someone other than the main cast, who just happened to be included in the conversation. We can only assume that this is because the producers dare not jeopardize the integrity of the main cast by having them look foolish and stupid, and so they throw in this buffoon who, by all rights, should probably have some sort of an idea of the topic in question, if only by their mere presence in the group. However, this is not their lot in life; their job is to simply allow for a more detailed description of this mystifying topic, for the benefit of the viewers who can now follow the conversation more closely.

Example: Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The setting: A member of the Enterprise is abducted and replaced by a perfect replica, a probe that mimics the officer in every way. As it arrives back on board, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and “Ensign Perez” rush into the room, and begin questioning the probe on it’s function. The probe replies that it was given the officers form to more easily communicate with the “carbon-based units”. At that time Mr. Perez, in an acting performance that rivals Barney the Dinosaur, interjects, “Carbon-based units?” “Humans, Ensign Perez” McCoy offers in explanation. “Us”.
Now let’s dissect this little exchange. We must assume that Ensign Perez, being posted to the flagship of the Federation, has undergone the rigorous Starfleet academy training, same as all officers on board. We must also assume that somewhere, at some point, human biology was taught in at least ONE of his classes, if not several. Despite the fact that this poor schlep never progressed past Ensign despite looking in his mid-to-late thirties, you would still think he would be intelligent enough to outright know that humans are carbon-based, and if not, smart enough to freakin’ figure it out based on the conversation, especially in an age where everyone on board seems to have enough super-human brains to fix any system that breaks down in their immediate area. I only have an associates degree from a community college, I’m not even sure how a combustion engine works, and EVEN I knew that “carbon-based units” meant humans! Don’t insult my intelligence.

More to come!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Brontosaurus burger, anyone?

Between my friend Steve's blog and my own, the topic of fast food restaurants seems to have been popping up frequently, which reminded me of my own stint in the burger flippin' business. Yes, like so many Long Island teens in my decade, I paid my "It's time you got a job" dues in the ever-so-pleasant service industry of fast food. My chosen poison was the home of the Belly-Bomber itself... White Castle. For those that don't know WC, Let me sum them up this way: a square burger less than half the size of a standard burger with five holes drilled into it, steamed on a bed of onions underneath their dinner-roll sized bun, usually with such a disproportionate onion-to-water ratio that it almost always turns out to be a soggy slopfest.

And it's very probably the world's most perfect fast food.

Being so small, they're incredibly cheap; a poor slob on his way home from a night of bar hopping can stop in and order 2 or 4 burgers just for himself, depending on how much change was left in his pocket. If he was with 3 friends, they could easily order 30 burgers or more and plow through them in a drunken rage.
They're also incredibly quick to make. You can order a value meal of 4 and, assuming a grill has already been made, be sitting down eating them quicker than you can say "would you like fries with that?" (Sorry Steve!)
They're also incredibly bad for you. There's nothing at all redeeming in them, they don't even make an attempt to healthy them up by adding a slice of tomato or lettuce, just the above ingredients, topped with a pickle slice, some salt & pepper, ketchup and, for the ultimate slider, a slice of cheese.
Because of their uniqueness, White Castle is the fast-food equivalent of George W.: You either love em or you hate em, there is no in-between. And just like with our selected official, those who say "nay!" often pick on everything done wrong, and sometimes start rumors to defame the idol of others.
Of course, in Bush's case, it's all justifiable.
So where am I going with this? Like I said, all this talk about fast food got me reminiscing about those days, and I was reminded of a conversation I had with my friend Rich long after I had dropped my last basket of fries. You see, one of the 'rumors' going around about White Castle hamburgers was that they were made from kangaroo meat. Ludicrous, to be sure, but I was constantly being asked, "Hey man, is it true they're made from kangaroo meat??" I assume this was to infer that they were so cheap they couldn't afford real beef burgers. At the time my answer was real simple. "Well" I said, "it says 100% Beef burgers on the side of the box of frozen patties, so I'm guessing it's real beef!" It wasn't until the conversation with Rich years later when it dawned on me how ridiculous that rumor was. Kangaroo meat?? Of all the things they could have picked to replace beef with, why kangaroo meat? I don't think kangaroos are that much more plentiful than cows that it would be such a drastic increase in their profit margin. In fact, I would think it'd be a lot more expensive to ship in kangaroos from the outback and butcher them up in top secret kangaroo-processing facilities, threatening their employees with bodily harm if they ever spilled the beans and paying off the officials to look the other way. A hell of a lot more expensive. You might as well just develop your own dinosaur-cloning facility, genetically grow a bunch of fattened-up T-Rex's and grind them up for some delectable dinoburgers... I can see the rumors now... "Hey, you know why White Castle's are so cheap and crappy? They're made from dinosaurs, man! No, really!" Sure, why not, that'd be REAL cheap!
"Here's your order of Velaciraptor Fingers, don't forget your Dinosauce!"

(Slightly off topic side note: When confirming the spelling of Brontosaurus using, I noticed how completely useless it was as an actual dictionary. The definition of Brontosaurus, according to the site, is "An apatosaur."
Thanks for clearing that up, fellas.)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Daring with your life

I saw a sign the other day. Actually, I see alot of signs alot of days, so many in fact that I'm constantly being reminded of that old Tesla song, you know, "Signs Signs, Everywhere there's signs, Blocking up the scenery, Breaking up my mind, Do this, don't do that Can't you read the sign". Blah blah blah... don't even get me started; that's a blog for another day.
This particular sign caused a simultanious feeling of amusement and concern for me. It was on the side of the street, and it simply read, "Dare to Be a Lifesaver!" along with some contact information on how to become an EMT. Now, I may be out of touch with the rest of the world, and certainly with the new generation, but way back in my younger years (oh, say, around 20 years ago... hey, I'm not THAT old!) we generally dared people to do things that we were quite sure they either wouldn't do, or couldn't do. When we said, "I DARE you to eat that worm!" It was usually because we didn't expect them to do it, at least not with any amount of ease. We sure as hell WANTED them to do it, just because it was gross and not something you see every day, but if it was known that this person generally went around all day sucking up worms just for fun well, there'd be no real sense in daring him to do it, would there?
Now back to my sign. Assuming the rules of "The Dare" still apply, am I to understand that they're trying to recruit people to become Emergency Medical Technicians who they don't think could do it with any real amount of skill or expertise? I'm sorry, but if I'm having a heart attack, I want to be sure the person sent to revive me is fairly confident in his abilities to do so, and is not there solely on a 'dare' or because someone bet he couldn't do it. I mean, if they're ever called in to an accident, I hope they're not told, "We DARE you to perform an emergency tracheotomy on that crash victim! GO! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!, Awww ewww he did it!!! gross!! I owe you ten." I could almost understand if the sign dared you to be, say, a fireman, there is a certain amount of bravery and even insanity needed to run into a burning building, and even though lives are still on the line, chances are if you run into said building on a dare without any real training, you're only hurting yourself.
I find it funny yet terrifying how the most mundane jobs in the help wanted section require 30 years of experience or a 12-year college degree in so-and-so to bag, but apparently all you need to become an EMT is a large ego.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

New Burger King Menu Item... Guilt

OK, I've had this ripped piece of paper bag in my pile of crap for some time now, always meaning to write about it for the writing group "Coffee Crew" that I belong to. Having never done that, I'll write about it here.
Apparently, I owe the Burger King big time. Not Burger King the restaurant, but the actual man behind the burger himself, THE Burger King. Why, you may ask? I have no idea, but according to the advertisement on the take-out bag I got with my meal a few weeks back, he expects to be repaid.
Allow me to reprint the actual advert I am referring to. It said, to quote,
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So give it the royal treatment. The King has lots of tasty ways to satisfy your morning hunger. You owe it to yourself, and to him, to give 'em a try.

To be frank, I was outraged. "What the??" I thought to myself. "I owe it to HIM to give 'em a try?? Who the F**K does this guy think he is... asking favors of me? What has he ever done for ME??" And it was true. Other than continuously offering to make my burger "my way", what has he ever done to deserve a favor in return? And, for that matter, how does he know I even "owe it to myself"?? Maybe I've been pampering myself for the last 20 years, in which case treating myself to a royal breakfast may not be so well deserved. I just thought it was awfully presumptuous that this self-proclaimed Monarchy of the fast food industry just assumed that I, the lowly Burger Peon, would jump at the chance to repay my benevolent king for all the good he's done for the Burger domain.
To make matters worse, as I look up above the text of this advertisement, I see the title.... WAKE UP WITH THE KING. "Oh, good God," I thought. It now sounds as if I just SLEPT with the man, and now expects me to sample his morning culinary delights in return, as if to say, "It's the LEAST you can bastard!" Now I feel almost guilt-ridden into driving out to BK just to buy a sack of hashbrowns, just to alieve the nagging feeling I have for having used him so.
But I won't.
In fact, I think I'll add "Burger King Breakfasts" to the ever-growing list of things I'm boycotting in life, just for having the gall to try to guilt me into spending my hard-earned money on their crappy morning menu. Fortunately for me, I've never really had it before, so it won't be missed all that much.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

My E-mail is jealous.....

As I was writing back and forth to Steve about the likelihood that anyone would care that I had a blog, I noticed that Outlook's Spellchecker kept flagging the word 'blog' as a spelling error. Now despite the e-mail's seniority in the world of the internet over the whole blog sensation, it still struck me as funny that this program (a function of the internet) didn't recognize the word blog (another function of the internet). In my mind I envisioned Outlook getting all jealous of the blog's newfound fame and superiority as a communication tool, and outright refusing to acknowledge its existence. Like so many of us in the world today, it may very well fear for its own job and, afraid to be outdone by the newer and better model, sticks it's fingers in it's ears and goes "blah blah blah it doesn't exist blah blah blah" – again, like so many of us in the world today.

Of course, the real answer is much more simple: The outdated Outlook Dictionary has just never been updated. But it's always fun to project human traits onto inanimate objects, albeit with the egocentric notion that they're somehow made better by doing so. It does, however seem to make it much easier to relate to objects if we assume that they have some sort of personality to identify with.

Sometimes, it's even fun to do that with people.

Life, the Universe, and Anything

Wow... here I am, my very own blog.... um, hi! I've been convinced by my good friend Steve that I apparently have just as much interesting and blog-worthy observations on life, the universe and everything as he does, and that I should create my own little niche in the wonderful world of Blogging. Being a big fan of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series (and just having watched the movie on DVD) I wanted to create something in the same style as the 'Guide' entries, but failing to come up with a clever name for the blog using the words 'hitchhikers', 'guide' and/or 'galaxy' along with any or all parts of my name, I decided to fall back on the second most popular book of omnipotent knowledge in the 'Guide' universe, the Encyclopedia Galactica, hence changing it to the Encyclopedia Giachettica, an obvious play on my name... well, obvious to those that actually know my name is Giachetti, otherwise it has probably gone right over your head.

Anyway, I thought it was clever.

I also though it was clever to use name the web address "Paulanoma", as this is a reference to a photo that was taken at the above-mentioned friends house of Rich, whereas I stuck my head out from behind him as the photo was taken. The image was passed around and naturally laughed at, as it looked like my head was growing out of Rich's neck. Hence it was known as the Paulanoma picture, and not being able to think of anything else to call the blog address, this seemed as good a name as any.

So, here we are. A place that admittedly may get pretty scary, or at the very least somewhat confusing. As the description states, it's a place for me to dump my fragments of thoughts, whether funny, spiritual, or just plain bitching about something. Feel free to chime in at any point. I'm not a writer by any means, but I hope you glean at least a little entertainment from these entries.