Friday, November 25, 2011


Here's Stephen King being interviewed by Errol Morris. Read the whole thing, but this part caught my eye:
I grew up in a Republican household, though my mother cried her eyes out when Kennedy got shot. Little John-John salutes the casket when it goes by. You couldn’t help it, whether you were Republican or Democrat. I don’t know what would happen now, but I do know one of the reasons to write the book was because there’s so much hate in the air now, so much hate. A lot of it’s directed at Obama. I think I decided I wanted to write this book when Obama was giving the State of the Union speech and that guy shouted, “You lie!”
Speaking of right wing outbursts, the guys at OTB highlighted a particularly funny one. If you run your business like a joke rather than an enterprise designed to make money, that is.

A dude in Atlanta, who's going to be having a going-out-of-business-soon sign hanging next, posted this on all his trucks:
New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone.
Brilliant business strategy.

Posting company policy on your trucks, for one, but seriously? The way things are looking, Obama's not going to be "gone" for a while and even when he is, he'll still be a shadow that haunts the history books. Too late for all that.

I'll repeat a part of my comment on OTB:
I suspect many successful right-wing businessmen would love to do something like this but won’t because it doesn’t make any business sense. It may make them feel good and express their 1st amendment rights, but it will limit their customer base and have negative implications for their bottom line.
If your business isn't politics, it's best just to keep calm and carry on. Don't let the Obama paranoia ruin your day.

Also, Herb got first place in the Caption Contest. The winning quip? "Pete Zah is a vegetable." Click to see the pic.

And now...Black Friday.

In some ways, today was a black Friday for me. It was dark when I got to work, and it was dark when I left. This is how my weekends will be for the foreseeable future. Friday through Monday, I'll get maybe 15 minutes of daylight and that's if I take all my smokebreaks. It's like I'll be living in Antarctica or something.

But all day at work we kept seeing footage of hon-gry crowds defiling Wal-Marts and Best Buys all across the country. And it's weird, weird! I remember when Black Friday was just a phenomenon. No one knew about it except for the bean counters, and even then it was no big deal. That was just the day they could start writing the figures in black ink. But then something happened, the marketers got a hold of it. It became this shopping event, limited time deals with cut rate prices on name brand electronics.

One talking head on CNN called the people going nuts at the stores "mentally unhinged." It may seem like that, but let's look at the environment they're put in. Get it while you can? Do these stores even know what that means?

Someday, maybe not this year or next year, but something really bad is going to happen, even more shocking than a lady macing her shopping "competition." These stores are going to feel the pinch. (Sorry, Target dude, but your petition is going nowhere. They don't care about a bunch of signatures, unless they're on checks endorsed to them.) Some jury is going to get punitive, and these stores might chill out.

I'm sure they'll still open early, have big sales on the junk they're trying to peddle, but I bet their marketing departments do it with a whisper and a kind word. Or not.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I'm a Metallica fan from way back, and even in the dark years, I've managed to find something I like about them. The Load and Re-Load period was embarrassing, yes, but those records do have some good music on them. I even grew to appreciate St. Anger.

But I'm not on board with their collaboration with Lou Reed, Lulu. It sucks. I couldn't even make it all the way through this song, and there's no way I'm picking up the record.

So it was with some smugness that I read this from Lars:
"We have read a lot of reviews. They were quite interesting, as people haven't focused on what the album really is."
And what is that exactly? An album for people who don't like music?

Unneccesary Verbs and Misused Prepositions

I haven't even had my Kindle for a fortnight and it's already proving to be inspirational.

I "purchased" a free story from this guy, and, hey, I like free things and I like stories, but...things didn't start off well. Second sentence:
"He was wearing a button-up shirt and jeans, way too hot of clothing for an Oklahoma July."
Woah, stop right there.

I don't like that "of." Not one bit. It's bad writing. Not because it eschews "proper usage" --a lot of good writing does that-- but because it's likely this guy doesn't even realize that he's not even writing a word.

He's writing a sound. In written form, the sound he's writing would look like this:
He was wearing a button-up shirt and jeans, way too hot've clothing for an Oklahoma July.
That's right, he's using the old non-standard contraction version of "have" in the way that many people use when actually speaking.

The most famous example of this is the coulda, woulda, shoulda. When you get a gift, you say "You shouldn't have." You don't say, "You shouldn't of," even though when it comes out of your mouth, that's what it sounds like.

And that's the mistake this writer made, confusing the sound with the word and not even realizing that in a written sentence, the word is unnecessary and nonsensical. Get rid of the contraction and the sentence reads like this:
"Way too hot have clothing for an Oklahoma July."
Say what?

I would "of" wrote this sentence to read like this:
"clothing way too hot for an Oklahoma July."
You lose nothing in this formulation except for the misused word.

Anyway, I didn't even make it to the third sentence. I thought, this dude needs an editor and went on to read something else.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

You Can't Sit There

Clearly, he had to do it.
That's an unnecessary the face.

Occupy Wall Street

Oh what a big man you are. Lemme buy you a pack of gum. I'll show you how to chew it.
Seriously, the images of police attacking these people are shocking.

There's no cause for this kind of treatment for a peaceful protest. And if this is the kind of treatment you're getting, there's no reason to be peaceful.

Early Adopter

Lookee what I got for my birthday.
A Kindle Fire!

I only got it yesterday, so I haven't had a chance to play with it too much, but I have not only joined the exciting world of tablet computing (snark) I can now read e-books. And yeah, I feel cool.