Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Unmet Expectations

I've discoved that I expect too much from this world, and I'm slowly coming to terms with that sad reality. When I drive in a car with "automatic climate control", I expect it to know you're appoaching a dead polecat (skunk; not some stripper cat) and put the AC on recirculate. I also expect to be able to fast forward a DVR to points well into the future (I keep trying just to see if they slip that feature in). Isn't a 8:00pm football game on the East coast aired at 5:00pm on the west coast? Can't we keep going around the world so that I can finish March Madness in say February, with enough time to procrastinate and still get the winning picks to my bookie?

It should come to no surprise that my latest disappointment was so ... well disappointing. The culprit, Chocolate Lucky Charms. You see Lucky Charms was always a favorite of mine as a kid (it's why I grew so tall--kinda ironic since the leprechaun stays so small), and the notion of replacing those bland oaty bits with something like Cocoa Puffs or Cocoa Pebbles, well that's a match made in heaven--sorta a Count Chocula with all the magical Irishness of Lucky Charms. So why is it my hell?

The chocolate bits aren't chocolatey, rather they're just brown. Brown in color, but worse yet, brown in taste. You see when I close my eyes and think of the color red, I can taste Hawaiian Punch (Fruit Juicy Red), and when I do the same with orange, I taste McDonalds Orange drink. With brown, well I picture shit and a taste those oddly shiny crap nuggets that someone must have randsomed a leprechaun into putting in the box (better than giving up the pot of gold I suppose).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The opening act started off with a gong; it might as well ended with it.  Few opening acts ever really entertain me, maybe one or two more are memorable, and whoever they were last night, well they've been forgotten already.  I must be getting old, as I appreciate shows that start as early as a school talant show (especially if there's less talant) .  Fortunately the opening act started early, and even more fortunately they ended early.

Looking at all the lighting and electronic gear on the stage, things looked like this was going to be as much of a light show as a concert.   After a not too long intermission, NIN hit the stage.  NIN is Trent, plus whoever he drags along with him on that particular tour.  For this tour, Trent employed out of work Cenobites (not cinnabites) as his guitarist and basist.  One sported a boufant/mullet, and the other looked like a long lost member of the Hair Bear Bunch.  Is Trent Pinhead in disguise?

Things really didn't get going until several songs in, and with the overly nice (this is a NIN show--where's the angst) subdued crowd, they never really got to the usual rolling boil.  Before long, the screens decended, the lights got all weird, and the brown note montage began.  Experimental music and crap share a common thread, and there's a fine line betwix the two.  All in all it was kinda cool (thus it's experimental, not crap), but I thing I needed some payote or shrooms to appreciate it fully.  The giant touch screen Ableton setup was real cool however.

Once thing finnaly got rocking, Trent and co decended back to hell.  After the requisite pause, they returned--Hellraiser II!  All in all it was a great show, mostly because I got reunited with my old posse, which was a pleasant surprise.  Getting to see the redneck hobbits, now that was a bonus.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm a PC

I've always been a PC, though before that I was a Commodore 64.  I was the computer geek you made fun of in school, and also the one who helped fix your computer when it became cool to have one.  I didn't mind either role, and I kinda appreciated the latter, as it signified the accepance of PCs in our world.  I was becoming a bit more cool.

I've used Macs for 25 years, but I never felt at home with one.  I missed the second mouse button, an eject button on disc drives (they likely were before your time), and more than anything, I missed the ability to do stuff.  Underpowered and under-gamed, there wasn't much a Mac could do before it crashed.  Even when Steve Jobs came back iMacs and iPods gained conciousness, they were still underpowered and overpriced, but then things changed, almost as if the Mac went through puberty and grew a pair.  People began to see iPods as cool, and they opened up to Apple.  Apple finally had an operating system that didn't crash, and before long they became pretty PCs that could even run Windows.  Then they started to get cocky.  The Mac started taunting me with an endles stream of commercials, mocking me.  No matter what I watched, it was there, not quite as bad as those damned "Saved by Zero" commercials.  Couldn't the Dell Dude stand in for the I'm a PC guy?  Maybe they could just smoke a bowl and get along together, and not mock me?

This was all still rather trite and silly, as no one I knew and respected used a Mac.  Sure some people dabbled with one, a dirty weekend fling or something, but they showered up and returned to their true love, the PC.  That all changed this week, when my homie decided to take his Mac envy to the next level.  He looked, he touched, and he bought into the hype.  Couldn't there be a Cheaters style show for these circumstances?  Couldn't we just Punk him and shame him into getting a PC instead?  All would be forgiven, and maybe we could just down a beer and laugh about it.

You see it's not that he's a lame poser, wooed by style and marketing schtick.  No, he's genuinely cool.  Ladies like him, guys like him; he sings, he writes; and he can make a mean homemade jalapeno popper.  What's worse is that he's molding young minds, so we haven't just lost one to the cause, but maybe four!  Now whenever I come over, the Mac will be there, staring me down and saying, he's mine bitch.  I'll have to keep an eye out for a Bang & Olufsen catelog or  Scientology's dreaded E-Meter.  I don't even know if I can stop myself from slashing the tires on the Prius that he'll inevitably be crusing around in.

I'm a PC, and I'm just not cool enough for a Mac.  I'm off to take a long shower to wash away my shame.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What a bunch of crap

Every day I drive by and hear commercials for Big and Tall stores or departments in stores. Being both big and tall myself, I should be delighted that our crazy world cares so much for me, but no there is no delight here. Why? Well there are no such things as Big and Tall clothes. Like the moon landing and those odd one horned goats that Ringling Brothers tried to pass as unicorns, it's a fraud. What is it . . . really? A front for fat people, plain and simple. 95% of what they sell is designed for enormous sumo wrestling folks who can pull of Jabba the Hut any Halloween they're too lazy to try to dress up like old Marlon Brando. The other 5%, well that's just in case the circus is in town and some skinny stilt walker needs a new pair of pants. I suppose it could be a Big or Tall store.

I'm not alone. I imagine most seventeen year old gals are rather bored by Seventeen Magazine, and I know that the folks I see in Forever 21 aren't, and I also there's nothing innately American about American cheese. Don't even get me started with Waterbeds and Stuff, which should be called Bongs and Stuff, with the stuff being old dusty and moldy tobacco to go in all those water pipes. What happened to the truth? At least The Dollar Tree, still has stuff that costs a dollar (no trees however).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

hypermilers, damn you!

Ever be cruising along at a speed that actually gets you somewhere in a limited amount of time (unless you get pulled over) and have some jackass who's on the cruise control and putzing along slowly to use less gas get in your way? Those bastards are hypermiling, which is the lowest form of dorkiness--yes WoW geeks, you just moved up a notch, but don't let it get to your head, and no you didn't just level up. Anyway, those morons drive slow, tailgate, occasionally run red lights/stop signs, or even turn the engine off and cruise! All to save a few ounces of gas. Oh, they usually have a bunch of annoying bumper stickers all over the back of their cars (often none are on the actual bumper, aparantly they didn't understand the concept). If I'm going to be stuck beind some 1984 VW Golf diesel, I expect to see black sooty porn and not black sooty propaganda.

What's worse is that the nerds who write the OED, who are one notch above WoW players and two above hypermilers--unless they happen also to be in those other groups, decided that hypermiling is the word of the year. Kinda jumping the gun in mid November, eh? Anyway I was rooting for schadenfreude, which is my favorite word. I suppose it's not the end of the world, as I know sooner or later I'll be hypomiling (my word of 2009) and I'll get to watch some hypermiling jackass rear end a semi they're tailgating while their engine is off and their power brakes aren't so powered. Then I'll roll down the windows (keeping my AC on) and yell, SCHADENFREUDE! Don't think they make any hybrid hearses, nor have I ever seen any with any bumper stickers.