8.28.2008

Gangs 101

My friends often seek my advice when it comes to raising their kids. This is me educating my friend's kid, Nate.


ME: It's time to get serious about forming a gang, kid.
Nate: Cool. How?

ME: Get a pen and paper... Let's start from the very beginning.

Nate: OK!

ME: First, you need a color to set yourself apart from all the other gangs.

Nate: How comes?

ME: So everyone knows who to shoot. Duh. Now what’s your favorite color?

Nate: Blue.

ME: Unfortunately, that one is taken.

Nate: Red?

Me: Here’s an idea: Teal. Subtle, yet powerful at the same time. And regarding outfits, I just have one note: gang bangers usually wear only one simple, strategically placed bandanna—not t-ball uniforms with their last names on the back. Jeez Nathan, the point is to make it harder for the cops to identify you when you’re running from them.
ME: Now what do you and your friends call yourselves?
Nate: Homerun Hitters
ME: Lame. That’s not intimidating enough. For example: Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Mara Salvatrucha - all frickin' badass. I know you’re creative, Nate. Remember when you took your mom’s stash of one dollar bills and added the letter 'B' and 'R' before and after the ‘
ONE’, spelling 'Boner'....?

Nate: But, that was your…

ME: Use that great imagination of yours and come up with a name that's just a bit more menacing.
Nate: What about "the Jedi Ninjas?"
ME: It could work. Just keep your light sabers at home. They won’t earn you any street credibility. You're going to have to start wearing baggy pants so you can hide your weapon of choice. I suggest sticking with the baseball bat.

ME: So, do you have a gang sign yet?
Nate: Yep. See.
ME: We're going to have to work on that. The middle finger is too generic. Gangsters like to flash "hand signs" to each other to identify themselves. Usually, these signs are a few fingers on each hand held in various vogue finger poses. Not a lone middle finger raised every time they see a Steelers fan. Are you getting all this down?

Nate: Yep

ME: Thus far, you and the other Jedi Ninjas have been flying straight and low key. But it’s time to look at the big picture, Nate. What if the Crips had been content stealing garden gnomes and smearing dog poo on your neighbors’ doors. Or what if, instead of inventing the drive-by shooting or gang initiations, they remained content flinging rocks at squirrels. Where would America's crack epidemic be then, Nate? Who would fill our prisons? It's time to get organized. I think this could be the year your larcenies get upgraded from petty to grand.

Nate: But how?

ME: Gang power is simple economics. Find out what people want, sell it to them, then, just like that, you're controlling the subdivision before you hit the sixth grade. However, for this to work, you've got to know your market. Get rich or die tryin', N-Unit. Ya hear?...

Nate: Word.

ME: Nice!

Nate: Nothing exceeds like excess!

ME: And?

Nate: Don't get high on your own supply.

ME: Right. And what is capitalism?

Nate: Getting fucked!!

ME: You learn fast grasshoppah.

Nate: I think I hear mom... quick, put Shrek on!

8.25.2008

Insert Key

Do you ever wish bodily harm upon someone? I’d like to meet the inventor of the Insert Key. I’d ask, is this some weird keyboard inventor joke? Did you put it there purposefully, just for a good laugh? If it’s not a joke, haven't we evolved enough from the DOS word processors from the 1980s to finally stop producing keyboards with your stupid invention? I've been using a computer since my inception and I've never found a use for it.

At work, while I’m typing up report summaries at record breaking speed and endeavoring to complete my days’ tasks, I’m stopped dead in my tracks. Upon review, the OVR button is highlighted! My text is overwritten, Pac-Man style! I can't recall actually pressing Insert intentionally. I assumed, at first, it was my own ineptitude, or even my sausage-like fingers. Perhaps it happened whilst doing a full hand-slam for the backspace key. Insert key, you irritate me so.

I’d like to propose a new location. Move directly to the right of F12, have those black and yellow stripes and a transparent cover that lifts. Similar to those that stop people from inadvertently firing missiles or nuclear weapons. When lifted, it should trigger a flashing red light and a klaxon. Or, it would be very beneficial to me, if it were replaced with a smiley face key. Then I wouldn't have to use a crescent wrench to remove it and stick it up the inventor's ass.

I know I’m not alone in this matter. Here are steps on disabling the Insert button in Microsoft Word. 1) Right click on the toolbar and select Customize from the context menu. 2) Click the Keyboard button. 3) Scroll down and select All Commands in the left drop down. 4) Scroll down the right list and select Overtype. 5) Select Insert in the Current Keys list. 6) Click Remove. 7) Click OK. Now, all you mac users can kiss my ass.

8.20.2008

Yard Sale signs gone wild

Yard Sale SignThis just in, having good, readable yard sale signs really can help direct people to your yard sale. Shocking, I know. One study even shows that signs are an important part of advertising. Creating successful signs can be quick, easy and inexpensive. Yet, there is an epidemic. Billions of people have garage and yard sales every year, yet nearly all of them have crappy signage.

Seriously people, how hard is it to make a decent looking garage or yard sale sign? In a recent poll, 100% of the people polled (me) said they wouldn't go to your yard sale just because your sign looks like a monkey made it - a wild monkey, not even the trained ones. Not only is it unattractive, no one can read the location of the sale to find the place.

Just because you think your 4 year old can color between the lines doesn’t make them an advertising executive and doesn’t qualify them to make the yard sale sign for you. “Oh, your 4 year old didn’t do that sign, you did? That’s some handwriting you have there.”

Some tips for those who aren't getting this. These signs shouldn’t be written on legal size computer paper. #2 Pencils do not work well with cardboard, nor do crayons. Rulers are your friend. Fine Point Sharpie pens are not viewable at 40 mph. I suggest upgrading to a 5 or 6mm line width black pen. Don’t forget the arrow. Glitter and fringes don’t provide any navigational or functional assistance, but they are cute and might just provide that extra bit of motivation if your target audience is a 13 year old girl. Don’t use Post-It Notes.

Just remember these four things: arrow, date, location, and the word “
Sale”. That’s really all you need. And most importantly, take the sign down once you’re done. Or you can face up to a year in prison (general population).

8.16.2008

Rentonopoly

Here's a Monopoly version I made of Renton WA, my home town.

Rentonopoly Final

8.11.2008

5 strikes and you're out

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced to baseball fans and players back in 2005: You're outta here! And just like that, both baseball and softball were kicked out of the Olympics, unwanted by international sports officials who felt they were “too American for the world sports stage.” The decision is effective for the 2012 London Games. The Beijing games will be the fifth and final appearance for baseball and softball as an official Olympic sport.

What I don’t understand is why people are so upset about this rejection. Baseball is really only useful when expressing how far you got with your girlfriend.

Fine, maybe there’s more to it. But when I look up at the TV, nothing is happening, but when I look down for 30 seconds and then look back at the screen, still nothing's happening. Besides, if you can stand in place and swing a bat, you're not an Olympic athlete. You just have good hand/eye coordination.

It’s not like gymnastics where the little squirts grow up dreaming of an Olympic gold medal. For little leaguers there's more attention made to making it in the major leagues and making millions of dollars (while looking fat in tight cotton/poly jumpsuits).

The IOC gets nothing out of a competition where the best baseball players in the world don't even want to take part. And, of course, MLB doesn't get enough of a financial kick to shut down in the middle of its season. It’s all about the Benjamin's and not the love of the game when it comes to the major leagues. I mean, if Barry Bonds got paid minimum wage he wouldn’t even be a baseball player, he’d be a bouncer at a club.

So those who are receiving most blame are the owners of the professional leagues who refuse to free up their ballplayers to compete. But the truth of the matter is, US will not be able to send a team to the Olympics anyways, since doing so means passing drug tests. We're basically screwed whether or not the sport is official.

Now, if only, the Japanese and Korean leagues, and the North and South American teams would find a way to have a real World Series every 4 years, just like rugby, football and cricket do. I'd no doubt watch them.

Sources: They'rrre out! Olympics drop baseball, softball, Major League Baseball and the Olympics just don't need each other

8.06.2008

Text Language 101

A text message conversation between me and my friend Russell.

Russ: wat up
Me: Nothing much, you?
Russ: i wuz jus t @ my cuzzins house
Me: Cool, what did you do there?
Russ: we playd some halo, den we went outsid 2 plya sum b ball. we had a lto of fnu lol
Me: I have no idea what you just said.
Russ: no wya!! lolZ @ dat!
Me: Just one exclamation point would have been fine.
Russ: ???
Me: Just one question mark would have worked there too.
Russ: LoLz, TAht Iz ZO Fuunneh! I LUvz it@! LA0ol!
Me: What the hell are you texting? Are you drunk?
Russ: LoLZ N0 B! U Gey 2X!1 Im spekkin ShrtHAnd!
Me: It isn’t shorthand if you don’t know how to spell the words in the first place.
Russ: O Snap! NOeZ! Tis Iz ShrtNd! Iz wat it iz. lol
Me: Is this conversation really laugh out loud worthy? I think not.
Russ: YUB so criticul
Me: Bcuz, it is one thing if text message shorthand starts seeping into formal usage. It’s another thing to never learn formal usage in the first place and then pretend you’re some genius with quick thumbs thinking you are short-handing when, really, you just don’t know how to spell.
Russ: huh? YUB h8ting on txt language.
Me: I’m not h8ing. I understand, texting is spawning a language of its own. blah blah blah. It’s making it more compatible with a write-faster society. I’m just saying, your texting shorthand isn’t shorthand at all. There are several if not all fragments and errors, let alone random punctuation marks.
Russ: i just funetisizin 2 u
Me: When people started saying ‘why’ more often than ‘wherefore’, there were no doubt people arguing against. It's the same with the word ‘You’, I say we should keep it three letters.
Russ: u dnt understand txt
Me: i undrstnd clErly. its quik, invNtiv & utilitarEN, its a minimaLst form of the language th@ sum linguists call irelevNt & mNE tEchers sA is N insult 2 its muthR tung. but w/ mor thN 1 triLEN txt msgs sNt evry yEr, showering da world w/ confeti of tiny missives, its imposibL 2 ignor. F8alists sA ther is no kEping txt msging from insinu8ing itself in2 da language @ lRge. Txting is pure comunication, pragm@ic & ters, a facsimile of da sounds of english cut loose from da roots & history of da language. its producd its own vocabulrE of acronims, homonims & abbrvs, thngs lIk LOL & CUL8R th@ have, in thur own contxt, bcum nu english words. its a language drivN by da yung, a generatn w/ da mos agile thums in human historE, wipping acros da kEbord as thA txt. da vocabulry of txt msging realizes N old lexicografical dream & da reaLIment of speling w/ sound. no mor rough, trough, thought, through - just ruf, trof, thot, thru. Nu conventions n spelling have emerged!
Russ: OK! CUL!!

8.05.2008

4 Hour Workday

I’d like to remind people that by celebrating Labor Day next month, you are, in a sense, celebrating the fact we have to work 8-bloody-hours-a-day! I’d like to propose a new movement which advocates 4 hours for work, 10 hours for recreation and 10 hours for rest. We’ll call this day Laborless Day and everyone will be required to wear white shoes.

Before I was hired at my current job, I had no idea how long 8 hours actually was. I went through life never questioning the workday. The phrase "9 to 5" was just a metaphor for people with real jobs. Now that I have entered this world of suits and scheduling, reality hits. Eight hours is an eternity!

Granted, for most of my co-workers "eight hours of work," doesn’t really mean eight hours. There's the five minutes they show up late, the time it takes to take off their coats and say hello to everyone. There's walking from the desk to the water cooler. There’s the three runs to the coffee shop and at least seven or eight bathroom breaks a day. And we mustn't forget sustenance. Shit, when you think about it, they really only work a good three hours and 54 and a half minutes, give or take.

Allz I’m trying to say here is that eight hours is a long ass time. Imagine devoting those eight hours completely to origami. To jazzercise. To learning. You'd be the smartest, jazziest paper folder this world has ever seen. I guess I'm ignoring part of the equation here, and that is, as human beings, we are not capable of concentrating on anything longer than…. Oh look, a bird!...

There are limitations on the human mind and body that must be addressed. How often do you find yourself working or playing anything for a consecutive 8 hours? If everyone did, this society would be much farther ahead than it is. We should have flying cars and talking robot maids. We should have a creative and well-funded education system. We should have universal health care! But no, you reach a point of low energy and there is no way to recharge because the 8 hour work day requires the appearance of constant productivity. The result is millions of unproductive workers trapped at their desks pretending to work hard.

Dammit! If a person needs a Minesweeper break every hour on the hour, then, by God, it's about time for the next game.

Or, we could shorten the work day and remain productive the full time. It’s been almost 100 years since we’ve seen a reduction in hours of the workday despite improvements in technology, machinery and efficiency. When we get home we can play Minesweeper, check MySpace, use the bathroom, etc. Parents could eat dinner with their kids each night! We could actually visit a doctor without taking a vacation day to do so.

The funny thing is, Americans work more hours and use the money they make to pay for the things they can’t do because they are working.

Now excuse me while I cash in another bathroom break.

8.03.2008

Call Center #3

Whenever there was a customer I didn't want to deal with.
DS BS 3