Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Don't Worry If You Missed The Beginning, It's On For The Next Three Hours

Don't you just hate those sleepless nights when you just can't seem to doze off? Tossing and turning, over and over again knowing there still lies a full day ahead of you tomorrow? "Well, maybe if I turn the t.v. on for some background noise it will whisk me off to dreamland", you say to yourself. WRONG! You have just crossed the threshold into primetime viewing hours of the ever popular infomercial. Music collections, old video collections, real estate flipping, kitchen appliances, own your own business, and make big money (if you ever sat through this one, they never actually tell you what sort of entrepreneurial adventure awaits) just to name a few. There must be a market out there for this stuff and it must sell. Otherwise, they would have quit invading my television years ago. We all hate the adds, and yet they endure. I really can't help but wonder the true strategy with this type of marketing. Is the whole point of late night advertising to creep into the subconscious mind of a sleeping potential customer? Or, is it just more fiscally functional to purchase air time late at night? Either way, infomercials are apparently here to stay. We'll all just have to catch other waves with our channel surfing to avoid wiping out with "experts" that have lofty degrees selling us a natural cure for baldness that is made from spinach, sea sponges, and micro ground coffee beans.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I See Money In My Future

When you call a psychic hotline, why does the mystical person on the other end of the telephone insist on asking you're birthday and/or name? If these enchanted ones actually had any talent at all, they would be expecting to hear from you. And in the event you were running late, why not call you? After all, they are psychic. Let's suppose for one minute they did possess some sort of clairvoyant power. Well then, why are they employed at some rag tag hotline? Why not hit it big in Vegas? Why not Powerball? Why not even a less direct approach and take on some extra cash by tipping over all the church picnics and fireman carnivals? Believe it or not, I did call them to answer these burning questions. There seems to be a psychic SOP to tell any potential customers that inquire about authenticity that their powers cannot be used to benefit themselves .... yada .... yada .... yada. How noble of them to be so selfless. Keep that in mind when your credit card bill comes.

Monday, August 29, 2005

WARNING! - Reading This May Cause Reader To Read

It has been said that warning labels are the death of common sense and responsibility. And after reading about, and even witnessing some for myself I would completely agree. What is wrong with us? Are we all as a society that stupid? Don't get me wrong warning labels have their purpose, but these must be based solely on complete absent mindedness. If I were the person employed to figure out how a consumer may abuse my product and possibly expose my company for any possible lawsuit, I would have never come up with an electric hairdryer warning that stated; "do not use while sleeping". Or, a shower cap label that says "Fits one head". As if that is not enough, we also get instructions that offer a very informational and educational how-to-use approach. A packet of airline nuts that brandishes these steps; "open packet, eat nuts". But my all time favorites are the products that caution the very thing they are intended to do. Such as sleeping aids that "may cause drowsiness", or electric hot plates that warn "surface hot". A society that always wants to put the blame elsewhere for a quick buck obviously has manufacturers scrambling to cover their bases. But one aspect still gives me a chuckle though. Anyone wishing to pursue this type of litigation will toss aside any self honor, self respect, and dignity they may have to stand up in a public court and basically admit to all of us that they are actually that dumb. All for an easy dollar.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Going Postal Kind Of Makes Sence Now

Everyday, all of get those somewhat annoying credit card offers in the mail. It seems they will do almost anything to either get the consumer over their head in debt, or on a more charitable note, propose a better interest rate for balance transfers. Well, I received the promise of a more frugal rate negociation if I applied to a certain card company. Well honestly, who isn't looking for a better deal? With that, I called the organization with a few questions about terms and hidden surprises. After speaking with a pleasant representative for about 20 minutes, I gave all my information to seal the deal. Two weeks later, the correspondence I got was of a completely different proportion. It seems that I cannot receive this "once in a lifetime deal" (their words) because the issuing company has failed to determine my correct address. The letter went on to explain that due to the newly enacted Patriot Act, address confirmation must be attained as to not provide fraudulent credit to persons that may illegally misrepresent themselves. Further, it is my (the consumer) obligation to prove to them (the vendor) that I in fact am who I say I am, and prove my residency by sending them copies of my household bills. Please keep in mind this original offer was mailed to me by them, I did not call or request this offer in any way. What's worse, is they sent back this rejection notice via USPS!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Warp Speed Dating Mr. Sulu

The dating community today has far changed since 15 years ago. With the advent and popularity of home computers, anyone can find a date and possible long term relationship to meet their personal criteria. The online dating companies and dating services take out all the guess work of meeting people, because they make selections for you based on interests and other information you find fundamental in a partner. And the beauty of it is, unless you meet the candidate in person, there are no hard feelings about "being dumped". Just select another match, and pursue that one. In fact, my father met his girlfriend on EHarmony two years ago, and has been happier than a dog with two tails ever since. With all of the available options out there, I can't understand speed dating. For those who have never encountered this before, I'll give a quick explanation. An equal amount of men and women meet for a five minute intervals one on one. After the time has elapsed, in a musical chairs sort of fashion, one group moves down one seat to meet the next person. This continues until both sides have met everyone. Score cards are issued to record their experience and rate the person they have just interviewed. Persons having matched high scores of each other will then receive corresponding personal information to engage in a possible relationship. I guess people with low scores get nothing and go home, with not even a consolation prize. Which finally brings me to my point. I would imagine anyone who would participate in such a function would probably already have somewhat of a low self esteem. And, based on their report card, may feel even worse about themselves afterward. Just an observation.

Friday, August 26, 2005

This May Explain It

Coop Syndrome (Theory) - When the sum of people at a gathering increases, the intelligence level of all participants proportionately decreases. It has been my experience that even people you know very well, may not be able to resist this condition. Side effects may include but are not limited to; talking and/or arguing outloud with oneself about nonsensical or irrelevant subject matter, waiting in a fictitious line, and missing the grand finale because they needed to leave half way through the event to "avoid traffic". In some rare cases violent reactions have occurred such as combative behavior, generally initiated by the ailing yelling something to the effect of "what are you looking at?" Treatment; Remove ill from the masses and seclude them in an area at least 20 feet from any other object for up to 6 hours. Wait for unwell to exhibit signs and regain normal reasoning skills.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Are The Parts In For The Communication Breakdown?

I have a friend who was employed as a quality assurance manager at a local production plant. The company that he worked for was no small Mom and Pop business. In fact, the parent organization is a multi-billion dollar globe spanning business. Anyway, his daily routine consisted of inspecting all outgoing manufactured products from the plant for any defects or discrepancies. Well it turns out that the upper management realized there was a communication problem throughout this local association, a proverbial right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. So, to address the problem head on, the top brass flew in to fix these issues in person. Unfortunately, not one person showed up for the meeting with these high ranking executives because nobody knew about the meeting. True story.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

.... Pull Up A Chair

"Every time I stand up for what is right, somebody steals my chair!" I heard this saying many years ago and still to this day cannot believe how true it is. Well, to all of you that have lost your chairs and found yourselves alone when it's crunch time, I salute you. At least there are still some of us out there that are not afraid to make some noise and rock the boat. People who stick by their principles and beliefs are more difficult to find than Al Capone's vaults.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bass Ackwards

About a month ago, a gentleman in the area was arrested for operating a vehicle without a valid drivers license. The reason why he was caught, is because he happened to cross over the centerline of the road and hit a motorcycle head on. The driver of the bike was unfortunately killed and the passenger seriously injured. In an investigation done by the local television news station, this driver had been caught operating a vehicle six times in the last three months with a suspended license. His driving privileges originally had been revoked due to a D.U.I. But, through his amazing feats of vehicular manipulation, managed to get pulled over five more times in three months. Anyway, he was released until Troopers file charges. In the mean time, at the local Sunday flea market, a couple of fine wares dealers were selling less than authentic name brand purses and were immediately put in the local county clink. I find it rather doubtful these fraudulent handbags are a greater threat to society than a multiple offender behind the wheel.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Profiling Patrons

A thought occurred to me the other day at the grocery store. You can tell a lot about a person by their actions at the supermarket. Let's begin with parking. See "Road Rage" post below, enough said. Now we enter the building to choose from a vast fleet of the proprietors finest chariots. (Of which, I ALWAYS get the one with the flappy wheel.) Here is where the observation really begins. Try to examine each person by their actions, interactions with other people, and decision making abilities. And then equate this to how people act in their personal lives. You may be surprised how a quick glimpse can provide such an in depth look at someone's behavior pattern. If you're not quite sure where to start, the meat cooler offers one of my personal favorite subjects to study. "The Wanderer" - One who looks and looks at the delicacies in front of them while slowly pacing up and down the never seemingly able to put their finger on exactly what they want. Be careful, this subject cause severe drowsiness if observed too long. "The Curator" - One who argues with the deli staff for half an hour over +/- 1/64th of an inch. Who cares how thin it is. Does it really matter? Honestly? This subject obviously lives in an environment where everything is perfect. If you were invited to this museum quality home, you would be forced to doff your filthy shoes and more than likely sit on clear plastic sofa covers. "The Miner" - One who digs in a Samsonite style purse at the checkout line for five minutes, never quite able to find whatever is needed. This individual has been observed talking to oneself, often at elevated levels, blaming the whole thing on either the past weeks experiences or the successors on the collapsible seat. Give your profiling skills a try, at least it makes the trip to the store more fun.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Reality T.V. Where Is The Love?

American Idol, Fear Factor, Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Brat Camp, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Joe Millionaire, and Survivor just to name a few. Any way you look at it, reality television is the next big thing in t.v. programming. As most people do, I sometimes find it hard to resist some of these programs. So, I ask myself why. Is it because I can watch an average person like me become famous? Win money? Get married? Is this why it appeals to the regular primetime viewer, because we all would like to see the underdog win? Or, are we all secretly enjoying watching the less fortunate get bounced out in a bundle of tears blaming the whole thing on somebody else? Honestly ask yourself which one it is. If your not sure, see which one creates a bigger buzz around the office. Why is it we get so involved with people we will never know, but won't even talk to our neighbors?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Road Rage

In the hustle and bustle of today's fast paced day, many people find themselves simply overworked and underpaid. As all of us know, no matter how you look at it there are only 24 hours in one day. It happens to be one of the only things that mankind just can not change. The average American has much to do in only a short time. This, in my opinion, compounds eveyones stress. Driving your vehicle is the one and only place where you, as the vehicle operator, have complete control over your destiny. Nobody yelling at you to do this, or do that. Or, such and such isn't done yet. In the event that omnipotence is infringed upon in any fashion, sparks fly. Causing people to foam at the mouth, and conduct themselves in manners they may never have before and usually never would.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Misplaced Majority?

The New American Way; Yes ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the point at which personal rights, beliefs, and thoughts have become so politically correct that the rights of one person will always prevail over the rights of the majority. How ironic this is, in a democratic nation in which law and order is still set forth by a vote, and the victors are the many.

Fuel For Thought

How did we ever survive? By simply raising gasoline prices a few cents, people in this country are outraged. Notify your state and federal reps! This is an outrage! Something must be done immediately! Yet on the way through town in your (said as a collective. No, I am not picking on anyone, just trying to initiate some common sense) obese SUV that doesn't even go off roading in the front yard, and large enough to transport the neighborhood, we stop by the local mini mart to purchase water at an average of $1.25 for 16 fl. oz!! If the price of water escalated at the price of gas, I doubt if many would care at all. Yet some drink 6-8 of these per day. I wonder if they even realize that they are forcing themselves to use the water closet more. Hmmmm, where is that water going? But, that's just my opinion.

Opening Argument

Is it me? This is a question I ask myself more and more often as I age yet another year older in this country. I love this country very much, I guess that is why every day I am perplexed by my fellow countrymen and their actions toward each other and even themselves. I honestly believe that people are by nature good, but when in numbers this amiability dissolves. Why? Is it me?