I Saw It On CNN

My boyfriend’s company (of which he is an actual partner, while I toil away in abject obscurity freelancing from my apartment/cave, not that I’m bitter) came up with an idea for CNN after one of their smarter members noticed that occasionally, but with surprising frequency, the site would produce unintentionally hilarious, rude or otherwise inappropriate headlines for their never-ending spillage of news articles. “Why not,” he reasoned, “automate a process whereby visitors to the site could automagically get a T-shirt printed with the headline boldly announcing CNN’s right-smart word usage?” And so he did, and so they did, and then CNN did what many (most?) clients do (IMHO) and promptly took the fun out of it by only allowing certain headlines to get the T-shirt treatment, most of which are, unsurprisingly, lacking amusement or any sign of funny.

Then again, one’s opinion of “funny” may different from theirs. And so it goes that the UPS man stopped off today and dropped me my latest T-shirt acquisition:

Cerebral palsy boy mows lawns.

I loves me some non-sequitur.

July 18, 2008  1 Comment

wishs/wishd dot com (or something)

My experience standing in line at the Apple store brought to mind a project I had considered years ago, around the time I was still doing Overheard at glassdog.com and had set up The Dead Letter Office with Greg Knauss’s coding and server help. Overheard is long gone and The Dead Letter Office chugs quietly away at its awful goals, and I just never got around to doing yet another not-moneymaking online venture that would probably sap my time and patience in equal measure when it eventually refused to live up to my expectations.

But I’d like to offer up to the ether in case someone else wants to do it and feel free.

The name changed between “wishs” and “wishd” and the letters actually stood for something. The goal of the project was to allow people to record three things in simple text boxes.

  1. What happened
  2. The miscreant
  3. What I Should Have Said (Done)

Hence the title. If the end product was What I Should Have Said, it would have been called W.I.S.H.S. and if, instead, it ended up being What I Should Have Done, then W.I.S.H.D.
I mean, how many times do you find yourself in a situation where, only after it’s over and the moment is long gone, have you found yourself regretting the things you didn’t say or do? So my idea was a site (or sub-site) dedicated to those situations rife with promise. Record what happened, who done it, and what you should have said. Then open that up to comments (or not) and get all the “Me too!”isms and “I would have…” suggestions in there. It would be searchable so if you were preparing for battle, you could be well informed about your alternatives.

But, it was just another idea that never saw fruition. For all I know it’s out there already, garnering ad revenue and adding to the overall noise level instead of being really, really funny.

By the way, here’s What I Should Have Said:

“Here’s the thing, Mr. Self-Involved, Overly-Confident Douche Rag Loser, I know that when you walked up to this store and saw that line of people, you thought to yourself, ‘What a bunch of losers. I’m totally going to get in the short line and get inside the store and just sneak into the iPhone line and walk out today with one. Fuck them! I win!’ and what is now going through my mind is ‘Hey, Mr. Self-Involved, Overly-Confident Douche Rag Loser — and let me emphasize that you are a douche rag rather than a douche bag, because the douche bag holds the douching water and vinegar and you’re actually the rag that cleans up the post douche, you douche rag — I’m one of those idiots. Hello! And now you find yourself behind me, thinking you’re going to get away with it because people are sheep, people besides you, anyway, and I will only stew in my own juices and feel inner rage but I won’t do anything because I want to avoid confrontation and I don’t mind, really, that you’re so special. But in fact, Mr. Rag, I’m going to cause quite the ruckus. I’m going to point at you and scream like Donald Sutherland at the end of the remake of ‘Body Snatchers’ — yes, you see? I’m a nerd, too! But unlike some, and by some I mean you, I don’t look for ways to fuck over my fellow nerds. I obey the nerd laws. Nerds stand in line for tech bling. They do so gladly. They meet other nerds and nerd-bond and nerd-speak and nerd-fantasize about holding their new nerd-bling. So, yes, Mr. Grinning Fucktard ‘I’m more special than everyone else around me and usually park in people’s driveways and then walk away and forget about the fact that I’m inconveniencing everyone else because I can’, I’m calling you out. I’m naming names. I’m going to get in your face and talk extra loudly and ‘tell on you.’ And you know what else? I’m going to get a special stiffy in my naughty place at your expense. BECAUSE I CAN!”

See? Fun! Though I suppose that’s what blogs are for in the first place, n’est-ce pas?

July 15, 2008  2 Comments

For a Phone

Somewhere on the Web, I have no doubt, some guy is writing or has written or will be writing in his blog about the dick in line at the Apple store on Stockton in San Francisco who was Mr. Goody-Goody Tattletale and refused to keep his mouth shut when all he wanted to do was sneak into the iPhone line inside the store instead of wait outside on the street for three-and-a-half hours like everyone else wanting to get a stupid iPhone that doesn’t even have a keyboard and fuck them!

Friends, I am that dick.

I love my old iPhone, but it was slow as molasses in January, as me old mother used to say. I use it primarily as a hand-held Internet appliance that happens to have a phone in it. The phone piece is probably the part I use least, but the phone part also has the SMS part, and the voicemail part, so from a business perspective it was an important part of the package. And I occasionally called people on it when I wasn’t looking at maps, searching Google, listening to music or watching movies I ripped from my extensive DVD collection.

I didn’t really want to wait in line. I didn’t really need a new one, yet. But I happened to be downtown, I happened (just happened) to pass the Apple flagship store and I happened to note that the line wasn’t around the block, it was only a couple hundred people long. So short! And I have some time. Why not?

continue reading »

July 15, 2008  82 Comments

Time Wounds All Heels

I used to write online quite a lot. Certainly weekly, and often several times a week. I would write about anything and everything, really. Whatever was annoying me. Whatever was interesting me.
Whatever.
Then things slowed down. Then things stopped dead. I could probably enumerate the causes if I chose to dwell on them. I could look backwards, which is what we all do for the most part, look backwards, because it’s easier and obvious. But I want to start looking forward, again. Looking forward to something. Looking forward towards something. And to start writing again.
Certainly, I’ll make no promises. Why would I? You don’t care about them, and neither do I. Promises made online aren’t real, and they’re made to be broken. Nothing online is very important. It’s all so disposable and most of it is horrible. And I mean that in the original sense. Not the more modern one that waters down its meaning, but the one going back centuries.
“Marked by or arousing horror.”
It’s awful out there, or haven’t you noticed? I suppose it was inevitable, the dumbing down of everything. The trivialization and ignorance posing as opinion. The snippets of nothing shot out at lightspeed as if everything, everything, everything has importance, when all that does is illustrate the opposite.
But back to me. And to you. You who found this, however you did. And who knows what you want? Hard to tell when one looks at what’s popular. Not that I should use that as a yardstick, of course. And not that I will. No, if I’m going to have any measure of success — and buy ‘success’ I simply mean a continued drive to write, rather than the drive to write well — I must just keep at it. Often, though not necessarily at length.
So here I go again. And to hell with expectation and promises.

June 30, 2008  9 Comments

Wanted: A Good Media Console

My electronics are a mess.
I live in a very small 1-bedroom apartment, yet I own a 42″ LCD monitor, a Denon 3808ci AVR receiver (weighing in at a more-than-respectable 39.2 lbs.), a Sony DVD jukebox big enough to hold 400 discs, a TiVo Series 3, A panasonic Blu-ray player, and an Xbox 360. On top of that, and in the same space, I have a powered external eSATA drive attached to the TiVo, a MacMini with two more external drives to house the 400 DVDs that I am ever so slowly ripping, an Apple Airport Extreme sharing the cable with the TiVo, another external drive attached to the Airport for network storage, an Apple tv to download hi-def flicks off iTunes as well as play said ripped movies over something that can actually handle hi-def streams, and I’ve just added a Playstation 3 because I got it for less than retail on eBay and I am anxiously awaiting the releases of Killzone2 and Little Big Planet for hours of useless playtime.
All told, that makes fourteen power-sucking boxes, six ethernet connections, five thick HDMI cords, 7.1 speaker cables, various USB connections and a spider’s nest of tangles stuffed behind a rather ugly but serviceable wood and glass stand that looks awful.
I have been looking and looking and looking for someone out there to make a simple, stylish, elegant media console that will allow me to display the electronics I want to display (namely, anything that I want to control via my Logitech Harmony 1 universal remote) and hide the electronic I want to hide, while also being able to somehow manage the tangle of audio, video, networking and power cords sprouting from the back of everything!
Is that such an impossible goal?

continue reading »

April 24, 2008  3 Comments

The Witnesses

It was very chilly and I was standing at the wrought iron gate that leads to my doorway in my bare feet and a thin T-shirt and still unshowered and there they were, the two of them, one young-ish and one quite the opposite, both staring up at me with Bibles clutched to their bosoms.
The older woman had rhumey eyes, at least that was the word that popped into my head when I looked at them. They seemed too large for her face, which was leathery and wrinkled and shiny. Her lips were large, when she spoke in her halting fashion I could not look at anything but them.

First her eyes, as you do when speaking to someone, then her lips.

She thanked me for answering the door, which I thought was odd and pitiful but probably not unreasonable, and handed me a small leaflet that I knew I should have just refused because I would be throwing it in the trash almost immediately, but which I accepted out of kindness (in my perception, anyway) and inevitability. I glanced at the back and there it was. “Watch Tower.” And I knew I was in for it.

continue reading »

April 11, 2008  5 Comments

My 360 Queue

Ninja Gaiden 2

Ninja Gaiden 2

Just spent a few minutes rummaging around at Amazon and collected a few pre-release Xbox 360 titles in my shopping cart:

Fable 2

Fable 2

I’m assuming that most of those release dates are blue-sky estimates, since anything farther out than April hasn’t been actually announced. You might also notice that there’s one big title noticeably absent: Grand Theft Auto IV, due out on April 29th. I’ve played two other GTA titles on the PS2 and that particular genre of game doesn’t seem to be my bag. I don’t enjoy playing a bad guy, and I usually found the gameplay frustrating since I’m in no way a console controller jockey. The new one looks promising, but I’m withholding judgment until someone I know and trust tells me it’s worthwhile.

continue reading »

January 25, 2008  1 Comment

I Got New Buttons!

Possibly my favorite Kids in the Hall skit ever.

January 5, 2008  Comments Off on I Got New Buttons!

Best Halo 3 Review Evar

“Two things come up that are prevalent with the creation of these games. One, is the mental psychosis of the vulnerable adolescent or young adult, who are gullible to these fictions. The second is the fostering of specific types of “virtual world” games— supposedly designed for mere entertainment, such as the hedonistic Second Life, or Halo 3. Either way, the dehumanization process occurs in any instance, by the first-person shooter games’ precision to kill another object, or by the adoption of an arbitrary set of anti-scientific, anti-principled rules, like that of Second Life, or even the great Ministry of Truth—Wikipedia.”

Halo 3: The ‘Third Wave’ of Destroying the U.S.
by The LaRouche Youth Movement Counter-Intelligence Team

And man oh man, “counter-intelligence” has never had a more apt usage.

My own short but sweet pre-emptive Halo 3 review, having played only the first two chapters and, to be perfectly frank, never having played a Halo game before: “Repetitive and frustrating.” Though it does make me appreciate Gears of War and Bioshock a lot more.

September 27, 2007  Leave a comment

Terror Air

After washing my hair this morning, and setting the 16oz bottle back on the wire rack housing my myriad bathing products, I was reminded of the trouble Robert had, once again, when trying to get through security so he could board a 1-hour flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. He had taken with him a jar of hair gel containing a smidgen of said product and a tube of Kiehl’s face moisturizer, both of which had passed muster here in San Francisco where, one must assume, the TSA agents are familiar with and forgiving towards a man’s need for grooming accessories.

LAX, however, was another story. The surly, self-involved, obnoxious security agent there refused to allow Robert to return home with his half-used goods, and made him dump them in the trash or “check them through.” Me, given enough time before my flight, I would have left the line and gone back to the check-in counter and handed them those two bottles to check as luggage, just because I am both annoyed at this continual process of stripping away my dignity and the wholesale, baseless rules that stem from singular and unlikely situations involving not-me.

So I think the market is ready for a new airline that caters to people like me, who are more than willing to place their own lives in jeopardy as long as we can get on board our flights without being subjected to shakedowns and feel-ups.

Terror Air will allow anyone to get on board the plane without removing their shoes. They can take the toiletries they need with them without having every bottle weighed and measured. They can bring lighters on board. They can bring bottles of any beverage they want, whether they bought them in the airport terminal or had the audacity to bring them from the outside world. Check-in’s are handled quickly and efficiently. No, you don’t have to remove your laptop from its case. No, you don’t have to take your belt off. No, you don’t have to empty your pockets.

Sure, the chances that a terrorist intent on blowing up a plane are likely to multiply if given the option of using an airline whose concern for its passenger’s comfort and convenience outweigh its concern for a possible terrorist’s seating assignment, but the odds are in your favor!

And wouldn’t it be nice to go to the airport and not be treated as a terrorist — even if you are one?

September 20, 2007  4 Comments

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