Monday, December 24, 2012

There's no I in Christmas... oh wait...

Clearing up for those needed. Things Christians SHOULD, and SHOULD NOT get worked up about around Christmas.

Menorah + Christmas tree do not = balanced decorations

Why it's probably worth it:
A menorah is a religious decoration. A nativity scene is a religious decoration. A Christmas tree is not a religious decoration.

Christmas tree instead of nativity is "Well we don't want to put up anything religious."

Okay. Then take down the menorah. It has to be both or neither.

WalKMartcy's says Happy Holidays in their advertisements instead of Merry Christmas! Boycott them!

Why it's misguided:
Retailers' primary purpose for the holidays is to run specials, generate sales, etc. This holiday agenda has nothing to do with the Christian notion of what Christmas is to be about. So... if they want to turn their promotions around this season into being 10% off for the holidays rather than 10% off because of the birth of Christ... let'em. 

The local Kim Kardashian perfume vendor shouldn't really factor that much into whether you observe the season in your particular house of worship.

Holiday specials about "the true meaning of Christmas"

Why it's probably worth it:
The last TV special that actually addressed the meaning of Christmas was the Charlie Brown one. Not saying it's been a long time, but I think there's a scene where they're sitting around smoking Lucky Strikes. It seems like instead there are a lot where Christmas is about reconnecting with a deadbeat estranged father, finding a nice boyfriend, or successfully accomplishing the task of spending a harmonious evening with your family.

There's one "true meaning of Christmas"... everything else is fodder for a Harriet Carter mail order coffee mug assortment.

It's not Xmas! It's Christmas!

Why it's misguided:
Do people sometimes use this because they don't want to mention Christ? I suppose. But more often it's likely because it takes up less space. And, as countless articles on the interwebz will tell you, chi, which is the Greek root of the letter X, and was the first letter of the Greek spelling. 

There's more important things to get worked up about, such as...

We're out of egg nog.

Nuff said.


Monday, November 12, 2012

New German word

Kammongitmoven -- the act of a pedestrian who sees the driver wave him to pass, slows down and gawks in front of the driver as if a car is a purple cow rather than shuffling out of the way.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, October 8, 2012

might I borrow your buggywhip for a fortnight?

Had an interesting experience the other day that was probably irrelevant but I can still wax philosophic about, and after all isn't that what vanity blogs are for?

The other day I uttered three little words, words that used to be really common but I find few people utter anymore. And lest you think this is one of those romantic wanderings, it was "It's for you."

Yes, someone called my phone looking for someone else. It occurs to me this used to happen all the time, and now it's a completely bizarre occurrence. Like someone smoking a cigarette indoors and not having five people scream "WITCH!!!" and start boiling tar and plucking feathers.

I have about 1/3 of a complete thought on all the daily common experiences that are becoming outdated in less than a generation... certainly reinforced by seeing ads for "You've Got Mail" and ruminating on the point that this statement probably means nothing to a youngster now and meant nothing to anyone 25 years ago. Will report back if I ever do figure out what the point of this is.

Fourth meal after a fifth of Cuervo?

Dear Taco Bell,
Half your ads talk about fine Mexican culinary planning of your meals, which is bullcrap, and the other half says you appeal to drunk guys at 4:10 in the morning, which is absolutely true.
You may want to look into that.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

My new German word...

Kaputenfergoten --- the guilty feeling you get when the news comes out that an old time former celebrity died and you thought they were already dead.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dear Mr. rebreG,

Dear Mr. Gerber,

We will not be referring to the upcoming FSU - USF game as "The Dyslexia Bowl". We consider the issue closed. Please do not write us again regarding this matter.

Hugs and kisses,

Florida State University

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Facebook group management rant

"I just joined your Facebook group so that I could post something for everyone to see. It looks like it's locked. Why is that?"

"Because you just joined the Facebook group so you could post something for everyone to see."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hey, I just met you... promote me maybe?

I'm running into a weird type of person in my tyrannical and awe-inspiring reign as president of the local Young Republicans club (of which I'm sure Wagnerian tributes are being written as we speak)...

I'm not sure if this is a new phenomenon, or I've just never noticed it before.

About twice a week, I get an email that goes something like this... "Hello. I found your organization's website, and I noticed there are vacancies on the board. I am very involved. Can I have a leadership position? How can I get that?"

You would think when writing to an organization without having ever attended a single one of their meetings or for that matter met a single person that you know is in the group... you wouldn't ordinarily open with "Hey! Make me part of your executive board before I walk in the door. Oh, umm... please? There, I asked nicely."

The thing is at first my reaction to this was "Well this person's certainly enthusiastic, if a bit misguided. I'll encourage them to come out and get involved, and maybe after I know they're here to stay and not just a flash in the pan, I can find something for them to do! We can always use a few more good inner cadre types."

However, without fail, these "Hello, I found your group, give me a title now" types apparently are never in it for the long haul. Indeed, some of them never even make it to a single meeting!

Maybe it's because they join everything and want so many positions that come with some responsibility that they don't have nearly as much time as they thought they would. Maybe it's because they're of the all or nothing at all sorts of personalities. Maybe they're just looking to pad their resumes and aren't really looking to actually earn their stripes.

I've got a really solid board now. Maybe the best board I've seen since I started getting really active in the club about 8 years ago.

And I don't think a single one of them introduced themselves to the club with "Hello, how do I get to be in charge?"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spoiler Alert

Spoiler alert in 3...2...

I understand that in one of the early drafts, Joseph Gordon Mary Kate Olsen Leavitt's character in Dark Knight Rises was to be named Robiny Robin McRobinsalot and be played by the love child of Robin Wright and Robin Williams, but Nolan thought perhaps that would be too subtle.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The election scenario no one's mentioning.

Stumbled across an interesting option for the 2012 presidential election while playing around with the website

This website will start off by filling in the states where the polls are already dramatic one way or t'other. CA blue, Texas red, etc. You can then predict how you see the states in play will fall and it will give you the totals of who would win with that breakdown. As it currently stands, they list as in play:

  • Nevada
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Wisconsin
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Hampshire
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • Florida
Let's say the Dems keep Nevada -- Harry Reid's home state, didn't go our way in 2010. I'll also give the Dems Colorado. I don't buy that New Hampshire is in play, so you can color that one blue as well. Virginia's always been a pretty middle-of-the-road state, but let's say that the population of DC federal employees that continue to spread out into VA keep that one barely blue. Pennsylvania would be an amazing pickup, but I don't see it happening.

Wisconsin, after the Scott Walker fun, could be a Republican pickup. Iowa and NC come back into the GOP fold. For the sake of this breakdown I'm giving Romney Ohio and Florida ---both certainly possible.

This breakdown would be 269 - 269. A tie.

Which then gets thrown to the House of Representatives.

Boy, you wanna see a hot mess of media engaging in self-flagellation and tearing of clothes...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Top Ten Things Putting Your Presidential Candidate's Bumper Sticker On Your Car Accomplishes

1. Mildly irritates the 40% of the population that likes the other guy. For a couple of seconds.
10. Ummm... makes your back bumper more visible? Because of color? So may reduce risk of accidents, I guess?

Monday, July 16, 2012

I don't know where people get this idea that I'm a colossal nerd...

We have to box up our offices, as we're temporarily moving out (office will be gutted, rebuilt).

Every box is to be numbered. There's a sea of boxes.

So, naturally... I looked up on my iPhone the number written on the box at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and wrote that number on mine.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

That depends on what your definition of is is

Saw a Yahoo news article yesterday, the headline said something like "More prominent Republicans opting to skip convention"... so I thought I should probably see who they were talking about... surely someone who is knee-deep in a really competitive state race somewhere.

The "major Republicans" they were writing about were Jon Hunstman and Linda McMahon.

My friends that worked (for a short time) on the Huntsman campaign notwithstanding, I think I have a different definition of "prominent Republicans" than they do.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Also, vampires aren't real

I think it would be great if you went to the IMDB page for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and under goofs in the film it listed:
  • Abraham Lincoln was not a vampire hunter.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Love me, love my friends

I don't know what this says about my friends or how they reflect on me. I'd like to think it's a sign we're all hella-cool, and not that it's time for an intervention.

Saturday afternoon co-ed baby shower = meh.

Saturday afternoon co-ed baby shower where someone hands you a beer and says help us polish these off = woohoo!

Saturday evening quinciniera for triplets in the church's fellowship hall= ok.

Bleating a knock on the window and it's thoughts from the church calling you to sneak out to puff on an extra cigar they brought... Hells yes!

Friday, March 23, 2012

It'd be better than Gremlins 2, anyway.

Almost all of what I know about the new Hunger Games movie is from the 30-second TV commercial, having not read the books or even about them. I'm guessing it's some sort of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Running Man meets that middle school required reading short story The Lottery kinda thing, with a bit of Lord of the Flies thrown in?
All I really know is it's apparently set to make a crapload of moolah.
So, I have decided I'm going to go ahead and start writing Hunger Games 2: Thirst Games.
It'll be about members of a fraternity who are forced to play Beer Pong and Quarters... umm... TO THE DEATH!
Okay so it still needs some work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I hear the Motel 6 in Waukegan is nice too

While the weekend's accommodations... in the form of a Howard Johnson's in Tampa... are a housecat to this week's sinewy puma, in its own way the weekend conference was also very pleasant. And, whereas this week in the Bayhaymays will be themed by relaxation, there was a definite sense of camaraderie and of cooperation through the weekend as TLMS and I jutted up for the Florida Federation of Young Republicans quarterly meeting.

Considering what will follow below, it's a pretty funny side note that this weekend's conference may go down as "The One Where Sarah Got Bitten". Socializing at Gasparilla festival (a sort of mini Mardi Gras), TLMS and some little 60ish year old lady both reached up for the same cheap beads tossed from a parade float. The old lady promptly BIT into Sarah's arm which out of surprise, reflex and anger warranted a thump to the back. The lady (somewhat) apologized... and since no skin was broken we didn't feel the need to dig into the issue further... Thankfully the result was a bizarre story to tell and not, say tetanus.

To the more mundane.... You wouldn't tell by looking at it that even this time last year, the statewide rather loose affiliation of YR clubs had as its M.O. a highly unproductive spirit of brinksmanship and demonization as the orders of the day. All that appears to have cleared out, and in its place you only find the various club leaders genuinely looking to help each other out with ideas and suggestions, a free flow of ideas, and new energetic local young leadership that is rewarded, rather than suspected, for its fresh enthusiasm.

We continue to play around with the format of how these conventions will work. Being involved in politics on a fairly regular basis, it became apparent throughout the organization that pretty much everyone was ready for something more than the "Rah Rah we love Reagan" Rubber Chicken lunch and dinner in a non-descript hotel 4x a year. Indeed, that, perhaps second only to the aforehintedat hostility, was probably a leading cause of the dwindling attendance... Instead we're focusing on rotating in practical sessions --- tips club leaders can USE, inspirational stories, reports from those who have done it before, and panels that are more discussion provoking than ideological.

That said, I think these conferences also can't always be COMPLETELY devoid of a little bit of star power... Politics after all is "show business for ugly people" But we'll find a natural happy point to be most productive with a bit of both.

For now I'm just happy that the group is really quite civil, and dare I say it friendly.

Sent from my iPad

Cheers from Paradise

The start of what hopes to be a fairly tranquil week here, TLMS and I are camped out at the waterfront vacation home of her aunt an uncle that is "Somewhere OTR", specifically on the unpacked and sparsely populated Lubbers Quarters in the Abacos, northern Bahamas.

You know you've done well for yourself when you can have a vacation home in the Islands... and quite well by things if you can (somewhat) seriously give your property a name and a theme. This Tara's full name is Somewhere Over The Rainbow, and we're happily ensconced in the detached "Nowhere" a little place directly behind the house that is... Bigger than a cabana but smaller than a cottage, I suppose... It's a king bed and a full bathroom. The main house is actually just a (sprawling) 1/1, but the kitchen, living room, office and dining room give the house a proper footprint. It is, of course, the patio that sits calmly about 70 feet above the almost equally calm Atlantic that is truly striking.

This is our third trip here, and at a week will be the longest. It seems an ideal combination for me, as the majority of the agenda consists of reading, relaxing, eating and drinking... and the next biggest percentage consists of bullshitting and solving all the world's problems... However for all its laziness I do still have access to the glory and wonder that is a wifi signal. as such, it's all the rehab and none of those pesky cyber-DTs!

Brad's cough and chills acted up again today, which led to him bowing out of the late morning's strenuous day of wandering a beach in search of interesting remnants. Swapping in some reading and a nap instead of that isn't an entirely bad idea.

If you've come this far, you may want to Google "gone bananas on lubbers" and see if you want to l I've the life...

Sent from my iPad

Friday, February 10, 2012

As in, a government run by hippos?

So, for Dems today... half of the messaging is social conservatives are crazy-dangerous because they irrationally cling to moral codes to drive their positions on issues... and the other half is the rich don't pay their "fair" share in taxes, and that's not "right" and they "ought" to do be made to do more, because that's what's "just"?  K, thankx.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Civ Rev Redux

Thought of a couple more tips I'd neglected in my last post regarding Civilization Revolution tips... probably brought to mind again when I played 3 more times in the last day or so...

The advantage of having a democracy is that you get a big boost in science and gold production.  The disadvantage is that the Congress won't let you break peace treaties or otherwise declare war unless attacked.  There's an easy enough way around this so you get to get the benefits and circumvent the negative.  Call for a change of government, launch your invasion during the brief anarchy, and then the next turn when it asks what kind of gov't you want, put in a democracy again.  The congress will let you finish whatever war is underway when they come in.  The penalty for having anarchy for 1 turn is pretty negligible, if anything in this game.

As you start getting towards the tailend of a longer game, you will have discovered all the scientific advances you'll ever need.  In this case, go ahead and switch your gov't over to fundamentalism.  Fundamentalism's + is added strength among your attacking armies, downside is libraries and universities fail to increase your knowledge.  Well, if you've already got planes and tanks and such, you don't really need any more science... and the +1 boost to the invading and defending forces comes in handy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Civ Rev... say it with me... Civ Rev... mmmm

If you're anything like me... and hey, you've come this far... then you may have blown the last 25 years or so playing some iteration of the game Civilization.  The latest crackesque addiction is Civilization Revolution, which is the game ported for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, etc.  I suppose it's likely on Android too, but I don't know the first thing about Androids or give two craps about them, so... yeah.

Some tips for playing Civ Rev, and beating it...

  • If you're going for victory by way of domination (aka marching in and taking over all other countries), then work to get feudalism as soon as possible.  There's a handful of pre-requisite technologies before you can get feudalism... Monarchy, Horseback Riding, Ceremonial Burial and Writing are among them.  The thing is once your culture figures out feudalism you can start cracking out knights.  Knights have an attack strength of 4.  Put three knights together in an army and you've got at least 12 strength off the bat.  Have your knight army get some experience knocking over Barbarian villages to become a veteran, fight till you can get them the power of infiltration, do any number of things and that knight army now has a power easily in the 30s.  You have to go waaay into the game before you get the kind of defenses to regularly stop an invading force of that power, and since the computer players are less inclined to be thinking purely militarily you can really get at it.  Till they start sending their own knights after yours.  Knights ain't much for defense, sadly..
  • If you're playing the Attack of the Huns scenario, try playing as the Mongols.  One of the quirks of the Mongols is every time they invade a Barbarian village, the Barbarians decide to join up with you.  You'll have a huge map of cities in no time.
  • Know how much science you need.  You only really need to discover everything  if you're trying to win a scientific victory and get your spaceship built.  If you're on the route to economic victory you only need to go so far as to figure out banking.  If you're militarily inclined, you don't need more than infantry and artillery, and honestly can probably stop at Tank and still get by..  If you're going for a cultural victory (which ain't easy), the only thing you need is to be able to build cathedrals, which you get once you discover religion.  After you have all the science you need, you can probably just go into each city and change the allocation of resource from science/research to MONEY makin'.
  • Whenever possible, make sure you found your city in a place that has both resources (stone tools icon) and food (green apples icon).  Both are required, because otherwise a city can't produce anything or grow in population at all.
  • If you're playing the Beta Centauri scenario, make sure you switch all your cities over to producing cash instead of science.  This scenario has you (and everyone else) already having all the attainable technologies, so you just lay into building your treasury instead and it's a fairly clear path to economic victory.
  • Try to hem in civilizations early so they can't expand.  If there's a chokepoint on land -- say, a narrow passage that's the only way out, look to plunk down some settlers there.  They'll have to declare war on you just to get past (and then, of course, stock up and be ready in case that does happen!)
  • Go find those Wonders of the World or whatever they're called.  Do it quickly while they're still out there.  Send out a little galley and see if you can find'em on another island, and once you have navigation you can start sending bigger ships into deeper waters.  The prizes they give you --- a bunch of Great People, a pile of money, etc., are all great boosts.
  • Sometimes when you have a Great Person come into one of your cities, the option will be to instantly complete whatever you're working on.  The other option will be something like "Let me think about that."   Click on this option, then go into the control for that same city and change what you're working on to one of the Wonders... whichever one looks best for whatever paves your road to victory.  Then select that Great Person AGAIN and tell him to instantly finish building THAT.

There are probably some other tips I could pass along, but that's ranty enough for now....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Among the things we learned from yesterday's NCAA champeenship....

We can include in the list of revelations from yesterday's BCS thingy, we will always remember that...


We finally decided that LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo belongs in the upper echelon of players named Barkevious ever to put on a collegiate uniform.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tecmo Orange Bowl

Seriously? I woke up to see that West Virginia scored 70 pts in the Orange Bowl last night? Ummm, damn.

I know ticket sales were slow, but did I miss the news that they were switching the OB to an arena football game?

Certainly doesn't make me feel much better about the 'Noles losing to Clemson. They seemed a fairly solid team earlier in the year, don't know what happened. Gotta feel bad for Clemsons and Clemdaughters who dropped a couple of thou to come down, get hotels and go to the game.

I mean, I'm happy they came... after all, their Ford pickup trucks with the shotgun rack and the sticker of Calvin peeing on a Chevy logo being in town for a week is what keeps me from having a state income tax. But still, that long trip home after an L sucketh.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Maybe if they just gave ME the millions...

I've commented (complained?) here on the past before about Toyotathon Hondadays Chevypalooza advertisements.  It just seems to be obnoxiously ever present, and I'm not even a little bit convinced it positively influences sales.

The new Volkswagen ads take this to a bizarre extra level of uselessness and general suckitude, though.

At first glance, the theme would certainly seem to be "People who are test driving our car at the dealership mistakenly think it's a car they own!! Hah!"

After you've seen the series a couple of hundred times, you may get what they're actually meaning to say... something about how the car is so easy to get initially in terms of down payments, they, umm, need to remind you that... you need to buy the car first then take it.

Regardless of what the subject is, I submit that I don't think the widely placed and regularly repeating TV spots will sell a single VW that wasn't highly likely to sell anyway.

That's the argument with these (mildly) humorous TV spots.  You'll occasionally hear "Well hey they got you talking about it, didn't they?  And isn't that the point?"

NO.  It costs millions of dollars to create, cut and distribute these ads.  VW is no happier that I'm here ranting into the ether over it.  Advertising should move product.

I'm probably bitter, or at least biased, because advertising budgets are usually substantially larger than PR budgets.  And this always seemed askew to me.

Let's say you see 15 tv ads with a singing cartoon chicken in a Chevy... then read an article where a journalist looks at and independently examines the benefits of a new Ford model in detail... which is more likely to loosen your ol' purse strings?