Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It's Right Here In Black Or White?

Ok ... I know I've beaten up on reality television more times than I can remember, but once again I am completely amazed by how far networks are willing to go for ratings. Dancing stars, skating celebrities ... dumb, but harmless. Yesterday, I saw a commercial for a new reality tv show on MSNBC titled Black. White. As if watching people's lives turned upside down on ABC's Wife Swap wasn't enough, now the goal is to have makeup artists (for lack of better terms) "paint" people opposite colors to examine how color plays a role in today's society. Honestly, I really can't see this show doing anything more than flaring up racial tensions. And on second thought, I'm amazed that Al Sharpton and/or Jesse Jackson haven't jumped all over this one yet ... but time will tell. Although I do enjoy a good debate as much as anyone, what ever happened to networks broadcasting shows that were popular because they were good ... not controversial?

Monday, February 27, 2006

I'll Give You Something To Complain About

Many years ago, I witnessed a car accident that was like no other. I was coming down a four lane state highway when I noticed the traffic signal about 300 feet ahead of me was yellow, so I began to slow down for the red. Well, the guy in front of me wasn't paying close attention and missed the changing signal. So his pickup truck bumped (yes only bumped ... I saw it from 50 feet away) the expensive luxury car in front of him. Initially, I honestly cracked a smile because this roofing contractor was obviously having a bad day, and for once I wasn't the poor sap in such a predicament ... it was someone else's turn. The man got out of his truck, took off his baseball cap, and thoroughly apologized to the lady that he had just rear ended ... but all she cared about was her damaged car. He very politely told her he would be more than happy to pay for all towing and body shop costs and informed her to take the vehicle to any shop she wanted. Again, the lady continued to scream at this guy about her "wrecked car". He told her she was really over-reacting, and with some disgust in his voice, said "Lady, I'll pay for all the damages ... it was my mistake and I'm sorry." And yet still, she preceded to ramble on about her destroyed vehicle. So with that, the guy jumped back into his truck, back up about 50 feet, put the truck in gear, tossed the clutch and ran his truck square into her car again. He got out and said ... and I quote, "There, now your car is wrecked! Now you have something to complain about!" As I navigated my truck around the accident scene the lady yelled to me, "you saw him do it ... you're a witness!" "I didn't see anything." I replied. To this day idolize that man.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


To every great invention, there seems to be a large amount pessimism that gets the rumor mill working overtime. Today, I'd like to take a jaunt back to yesteryear and re-live some of those off the wall thoughts and phobias. Some that come to mind are; microwave ovens were thought to be radioactive, the whole Y2K thing, the post 9/11 rush for rolls of plastic and duct tape, email would put the USPS out of business, the world was flat ... because the maps were, cordless phones will cause brain tumors for anyone that uses them, duck and cover (like that'll help), and nuclear bomb shelters just to name a few. If anyone would like to contribute to the list, toss your ideas in the comments section. I'm very interested to see what else everybody can come up with.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Obviously Most Law Makers Are Men

Whether you agree, disagree, or are somewhat undecided on abortion, a certain amount of common sense really needs to employed when you petition for a change in the laws regarding such procedures. Recently in South Dakota, a law was passed to prohibit all abortions, with an exception to those in which the mother's life was endangered. Which means that rape victims will not be able to have a say in whether or not to keep the baby they were forced to carry through no choice of their own. What's worse, is that the father (although he probably would not come forward after performing such an abuse) maintains all rights and privileges as any other father does. Why is it when professional truck drivers are forced by their employers to drive more than ten hours a day, there are consequences for that action implemented by the state, yet when a women is forced to carry a child ... it's just tough luck for her?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Spelling Bee?

How many times has this happened to you? Your spell checker corrects your errors and replaces it with the completely wrong version or form of the word in which you meant to write, or is just too dumb to realize some of the words were spelled incorrectly in the first place. I have a hard enough time trying to keep the grammar organized and fluid, I really can't spare any more time checking for proper spelling. Why bother to have a spell checker at all, they only have the equivalence of a fourth grade education anyway.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Location Location Location!

For Sale: 1 major port. Workers, docks, cranes and water included. Serious inquiries only. No need to worry about Homeland Security, they're too busy tapping phone calls and investigating library checkouts. Please deliver sealed bid to White House.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Too Much Idle Time

Today, I caught wind of THE most ridiculous idea I have ever heard of in my entire life. From what I heard, there is a group of people that would like to eliminate handshaking and replace it with an elbow bump. Why you ask ... to prevent the spread of germs. This logic could only have come from individuals with way too much time on their hands ... and probably the same people that wear dust masks out in public to avert any transmission of communicable diseases. Let's suppose this crazy idea actually takes off, after we convince the world that the elbow bump is the new handshake, do we then issue personal toilet seats for everyone carry with them to prevent the spread of germs in bathrooms?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Too Bad You Can't Strike Out In Parenting

Good Morning America did a story the other day about a sixteen year old girl who was the victim of a peeping tom. Apparently, a neighbor (that the family didn't know) would sneak over in the mornings before he left for work to have a peek into the girl's room while she was dressing for school. So the father installed a security camera outside the house to catch the perpetrator in the act. Personally, if some sicko was sneaking through my yard to stare at my daughter through her bedroom window ... I wouldn't be installing surveillance cameras, I'd be loading the shotgun! Strike one Dad. When ABC interviewed the girl, she stated that she would be emotionally traumatized for the rest of her life from this experience. Way to go Dad ... strike two! Not only were you born without "a set", you raised yet another self absorbed drama queen. And as if you haven't screwed this up enough already, you take your family on national television to share your story ... strike three, you're out.

Monday, February 20, 2006

An Off The Wall Thought

If you put a Slinky on an escalator that goes up, would it ever reach the bottom?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Discovering The Talent Within

Over the years, the Olympics has seen the introduction of new sports to the list of games that athletes compete at. Although it is fun to watch the traditional sporting events such as figure skating, downhill skiing, mogul races, and speed skating, I personally find the newer additions to the Olympics a little more intriguing. Reason being, some people are just born with a knack and talent for certain sporting events. And somehow in the course of their life, find out they possess this gift (more than likely, they find out by trying it.) But, when in daily life do people find out they have a talent for the ice luge, long jump, or freestyle skiing? I'm not doubting the talents of the athletes that compete in these sports, just wondering how they ever found out they were good at it. I have skied for years and not once ever thought of hitting a jump to go 40 feet in the air and measure the distance from ramp to landing. Or felt frisky enough to go up a steep incline at high speeds to see how many twists I could do in the air. And honestly, laying on a sled that is nothing more than a garage creeper with blades, and going 75 MPH down a track built from ice just never made it to my "to do list". Entertaining to watch ... oh yeah. My cup of tea ... no way.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

NASCAR Soon To Accept Imports

Many NASCAR fans are a little ticked off because Toyota announced that in 2007, they too will be running in the Nextel Cup Series. Sure the thought of seeing Dale Earnhardt Jr. clocking laps at Daytona in a Toyota Camry seems more than just a little out of place and highly unlikely, but what's wrong with competition? Many motorsport enthusiasts site that NASCAR is an American sport and should remain American powered ... great line, but what's in your garage Mr. Buy American Only? I know that some of you are hiding a Toyota or two in there. Why not let America's favorite motorsport reflect the true cross section of what Americans really drive? Besides, getting into such a high horsepower sport may actually help the Toyota company shed the nickname "rice burner".

Friday, February 17, 2006

Hitting It Big?

The multi-state lottery Powerball jackpot has rolled over yet again, and is now worth 365 million dollars. This prompted me to wonder about the effects of landing such a large sum of money ... if I were to win. After becoming an overnight millionaire, I'm sure distant relatives (whether fictitious or factual) would come out of the woodwork ... "'cause they haven't seen me in so long", of course. And you can bet "friends" would be at the door everyday wanting to "catch up on old times". But winning such a large jackpot really wouldn't change me that much, although I would have a great time spending my new found fortune in the most irresponsible ways. For instance, I'd call all the furniture stores in town to furnish my house. The instructions I would give would be simple ... bring it all, what ever I don't like, I'll burn in the backyard. I would also probably get myself a newer car, the "heep" isn't getting any younger. People that claim that winning a large lottery jackpot changes their lives, in my mind, clearly were not happy with themselves to begin with. And unfortunately, they won't figure that out until the money is spent.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Miming Disaster

Ok, inquiring minds want to know; What inclines anyone to want to become a mime? And if someone were actually interested in studying for such a career/hobby, where would one find such a school? Watching a mime perform is about as exciting as staring at glowing light bulb and waiting for it to burn out. Although, I have always wondered (since mimes obviously do not speak) if they would say anything after I cracked them over the head with whatever was in arms reach? Or, is there a mime code of ethics that forbids conversation under any circumstances? Either way, I'm sure taking one out would be a real crowd pleaser, because let's face it ... nobody likes mimes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

HDTV: Overpriced Entertainment?

Many televisions networks are now broadcasting in High Definition, and that prompted me to check out this wonderful new service. Now, I've been told by many friends that "the picture is so good, it looks like it's coming right out of the screen at you" and I've also heard it compared to as "a lifelike picture". I did notice fine lines to be much more defined ... and that's about it. The "picture coming right out of the set at me" was reminiscent of the 3D fad some years ago ... minus the funky glasses. Unless your set is at least 45 inches or larger, there really is no reason to spend the outrageous amount of many for the HDTV upgrade. Honestly, the only advantage to owning a High Definition television is the fact you own one ... that's it. Unless broadcasters find a way to improve picture quality for smaller t.v.'s (ones the average consumer actually buys and uses), HDTV is nothing more than expensive bragging rights.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monkey Business

The monkey on the back theory: People by nature will try they're hardest to pawn off responsibility to anyone willing to accept it ... either voluntarily or involuntarily. In this said hypothesis, everyone carries responsibilities, "monkeys", around with them everyday. And, because people are generally looking to make things easier on themselves or have someone to point the finger at when things go wrong, will pass these "monkeys" off to others any way possible. The answer? "Never allow niceness to be misinterpreted as weakness." -JK 2004

Monday, February 13, 2006

Good Thing The Olympics Don't Come Annually

The Winter Olympics started just the other day, but what's really getting more news coverage than the international sports, is the actual location of the games. Apparently, there seems to be quite the debate over whether the town in Italy is named Turin or Torino. Many locals (including local maps) insist the games are in Turin, many others speculate that Torino was coined by NBC executives because it rolled off the tongue with ease. Either way, it's really quite sad that this argument over geographical location brings in better ratings than the games themselves.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Quite The Sportsman

Isn't a great feeling when the same people sending our troops off to war can't even observe basic firearm safety themselves? How exactly does someone "accidentally" shoot a fellow hunter? This mishap is a clear violation of the common sense/basic rules to handling firearms. Obviously ... we need a refresher. Rule #1: Always treat a firearm as though it were loaded. Rule #2: Never point a firearm at anything you are not fully prepared to kill. Rule #3: If you don't have a clear shot (including wherever the bullet may go), DON"T TAKE IT! I guess the quail must have landed of Mr. Cheney's friend's shoulder, and the V.P. said "Harry ... don't move ... there's a quail on your shoulder ... I used to be quite a good shot in my day ... hold verrrrrry still." Apparently, Mr. Cheney is no Annie Oakley.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Online Identity

Has anyone ever wondered about the truthfulness of online profiles that appear in chat rooms and myspace accounts? Perhaps the internet gives people the kind of anonymity they need to express the internal desires they would otherwise not have the courage to display themselves. On the other hand, many may be preying on the desires of others to lure them into some sort of money making scheme. Why can't people just be proud of who they are ... no matter what anybody else thinks? Using fake pictures and making up stories about yourself merely perpetuates the problem many have in their real lives ... they are not happy with themselves and need to exaggerate or fabricate the truth to make people like them. Is that the kind of person you would like to call a "friend"? If they don't believe in themselves ... they'll never believe in you.

Friday, February 10, 2006

"Refuse" To Read

Finally, the people that send us the constant barrage of junk mail via USPS have done us all a favor ... they have taken the time to label their worthless offers and schemes on the exterior of the envelope with "do not discard", "important documents enclosed", and "open immediately dated material". I find a certain humor in the thought that the whole intent of getting the recipient to open the letter by stressing the importance of the contents, is quickly dampened by the pseudo "stamped" slogans clearly printed on the envelope and is promptly tossed in the trash. Thank you Mr. Pseudo Stamp Slogan Guy ... without you, our only defense against fake authentic mail, we would all be inundated with offers too good to be true and free trips to Hawaii. Perhaps in a show of gratitude, Bud Light will do a "Mr. Pseudo Stamp Slogan Guy" tribute to you ... you certainly deserve it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Who Cares?

How many time have we turned on the t.v. to find yet another celebrity awards program such as the Oscars, Academy Awards, Emmy's, SAG awards ... frankly I lose track, they're all the same to me. What never ceases to amaze me, is that there is always somebody waiting to greet the stars and analyze the ladies' clothing choices. And what's worse, people buzz about the best and worst dressed far longer than about who won what award, I thought the awards were the point of the show ... not expensive evening gowns. And really ... who cares! Who cares that Madonna's dress was cut too high or was hanging too low, and cost $36,539.66? Who cares that some celebrities prefer to dress like hobos? How insulted some must feel after spending years, sometimes decades, as a performer and your viewers can only remember what you were wearing ... not the work you did.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Super Bowl Down The Toilet Bowl?

I have spent the last couple days trying to get a feel for everyone's opinion on Sunday's Super Bowl XL, and the results really don't look good. Most people seem to feel the much anticipated television commercials were well below par, the game was worse, and the halftime show was comparable to a visit of a local elderly independent living community. I agree about the football game ... it was pretty bad. If the Steelers and Seahawks are the best two teams in the country, we either need more teams in the conferences or to make the existing teams play year round so they don't forget how in the off season. Believe it or not, many viewers actually look forward to the commercials on Superbowl Sunday. And aside from the one or two that really struck me as funny (the MacGyver Visa ad in particular)... the rest were forgettable almost immediately after seeing them. I personally did not catch the halftime show, I ran out of salsa and had to go get more. As luck would have it though, it turns out that my jaunt to the local quick mart was much more entertaining than watching a bunch of old has been musicians ... from what I'm told. Now, I happen to very much enjoy The Rolling Stones ... but I was told by everyone who watched, "It's really time those guys think about retiring." So why is the Superbowl so super? Let's face it, we all need something to celebrate to boost our spirits half way through winter ... no matter how good or bad the game is, was, or will be.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Taxman

Today I had the pleasure of dealing with the internal revenue service. I'll spare everyone the long drawn out story and particulars, but the whole reason for the conflict was that a few papers were not filed in the right place ... that's it. When I made initial contact (via telephone) with the IRS representative, his attitude was quite clear right from the start. He had it in his head that my life long goal was to defraud the government out of deserved income tax revenue, no matter what I said to him. I explained that this whole issue would be easily resolved with a few phone calls to my accountant, and a few faxes back to him ... and it was. Needless to say, this experience brought to light an interesting thought. People that commit murder in the park in broad daylight in front of 134 witnesses on a sunny Saturday are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. People that misplace a couple of tax forms are guilty until proven innocent to IRS case workers. What a country.

Monday, February 06, 2006

We're Closed

A series of blogger.com outages throughout the evening left me no time to post tonight ... see you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Dumbing Down

Many reports I have read state that the quantity of practicing medical doctors nationwide has been declining for the last several years. Many health care professionals cite the rising cost of malpractice insurance (from nonsense lawsuits) and the decreasing allowable payments from health insurance companies as the key players to why many doctors are getting out the business, either by retiring or finding other areas of employment. With that in mind, how is it possible for doctors to set up a walk in business at the grocery store ... that's right, the grocery store. And what's worse, although these clinics are extremely convenient, I wonder about the possible social effects of this convenience. Let me explain ... I am a firm believer of the phrase "people are a product of their environment". If their environment is centered around somebody catering to their every need, they will eventually lose all deductive reasoning skills and resourcefulness ... if you don't use it, you lose it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Sony's Aibo Sent To Recycling Plant

Sony has announced that the robotics division of their corporation will be shut down due to a internal restructuring of the company. Many owners of the Aibo robotic pet dog are upset because Sony promised to maintain a supply of replacement parts for at least seven years (49 in dog years) after manufacturing. Aibo, which could be purchased for a mere $2,000, is a robotic pet dog that can recognize it's owner(s) and with the aid of a digital camera for sight, can chase a specially designed ball without bumping into furniture or walls. (Isn't that half the fun of having a dog?) Many owners say the likeness of this artificial canine to a real dog are extremely comparable ... I would "beg" (sorry ... had to throw that one in there) to differ. Minus the plastic, gears, batteries, microchips, wire, motors and cameras ... yeah, I really can't see the difference either. I'm really at a loss how people can love a walking computer that only simulates emotions. Real pets are family members ... fake ones are appliances.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Jury Must Be Working On Commission

Well, it was only a matter of time until some money hungry individual seeking a quick buck decided to catch a ride on the ipod express. Apparently, a gentleman is claiming, in a class action lawsuit, that the Apple ipod is responsible for people suffering the beginning stages of hearing loss. Who would have thought putting speakers directly into your ears would have ever had negative repercussions down the road? Why does this continuously happen ... stupid people, doing obviously stupid things ... and being handsomely rewarded for it. Personally, I'd be embarrassed to tell anyone that my own mental apathy caused such hardship in my life. And worse yet, the jury (you and I) consistently give these bozos incredibly large settlements. Is it because the defense lawyers made such a good argument in court ... no, I don't think that's it. My theory is this, just about all of feel the economic pinch of daily living and take the defendants side in an attempt to "stick it to the man". The attitude of "they're a huge corporation ... they've got it" or "your not really suing them, you're suing their insurance company" justifies the jury supporting these outrageous claims. Wake up people, the ones who ultimately lose are the end consumers. Thanks to the generosity of twelve, millions are forced pay higher prices on goods and insurance premiums.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Safety First, Injured Second

Safety in today's workplace has come great lengths over the past few decades. In some ways, I honestly feel as though there has been an over compensation taking us to the other side of the spectrum, hampering productivity ... but that's another post, another day. Today, I would like to focus on when safety glasses became mandatory in many commercial production settings. Apparently, insurance companies become quite tired of paying claims for eye injuries in the workplace ... hence mandatory eye protection. Around then, I was working at a plant as private contractor and had a less than good working relationship with the maintenance supervisor. I swear that man's day revolved around catching me without safety glasses on. Well one day, the sprinkler fitters were working in the same area as I was and were using an old, and quite unstable scaffolding setup. And because the guy on top was too lazy to climb down, unlock the wheels, and reposition the rig, he would reach up and pull the entire 35 foot high ensemble by grasping an I beam. Well needless to say the wheel got hung up, the scaffolding tipped over, and the fitter came crashing down to the concrete floor. My "favorite" supervisor came running in, stepped over (literally) the gentleman who just fell (and by the way was injured) to yell at me about my lack of eye protection. After reaming me out for three minutes (yes, I timed him), he then turned his attention to the fallen worker.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It's Bad Enough He's On T.V. Again ... But Every Channel?

I, as did many other Americans, had better things to do last night than watch The State Of The Union Address. ... like clip my toe nails. When George W. Bush first took office, I liked him ... I really did. But somehow over the course of his term, I just got bored of listening to him, regardless of the content he spoke of or the presentation he gave. When I started asking around, I got alot of the same feedback from most people I talked to. I've heard the president referred to as everything from "like a broken record" to "out of touch with the working class" to "listening to him is like listening to your neighbors car alarm, you just tune it out after you've heard it so many times." The lack of public interest when the country's leader is on television addressing the nation, in my mind, speaks more loudly than any prescripted presidential speech ever will.