Wednesday, December 19, 2007

if kisses were snowflakes, I'd give you a blizzard

where I keep my mindIf "ifs" and "buts"
were candy and nuts
we'd all have a very merry Christmas.

Hello, readership! It must be the holidays because I've got a Santa bag full of stupidities! Leading the pack is that I didn't realize how much I liked a certain F Minus cartoon from a month or so ago until later, now I can't freaking find it online ( only goes back 2 weeks, Google Images-fu is failing me, etcetera)! The cartoon in question shows two adult humans talking to a collie, the caption is something about "If Lassie had a speech impediment", and the people are saying "You say Timmy fell in a whale? Quick, get a marine biologist!" That one tickled my funny bone more than I knew at the time so I didn't clip it...

Here's something that's the opposite of the standard nonsense about the religious snoots demanding to put the Christ in Christmas and the non-Christian snoots demanding to take Christmas out of the classrooms: The local Christian station, Spirit 105 FM, has a billboard on 56th & Pacific Avenue with a big picture of Santa Claus, with a caption something like "Even Santa listens to Spirit!" Hmm, uh, okay... Good to see some effort to get along, I admit that.

There's this amazing, jaw-dropping TV ad for a firm that specializes in divorces. (And broadcast just a week before Christmas!) Woman is sitting at one end of the couch, frumpy. Man walks in and rips the remote out of her hand and plunks down at the other end of the couch. She sneers "whatever!" On their TV comes a talking head who gives the expected "get your share in a divorce by calling us" speech. The two estranged people look at each other for a second then dive at the phone. The clawing for the phone after that is a little unsettling. They must be the firm's intended demographic...

Roadwork is an inevitable. Choosing the right time to work on a road is crucial. Choosing which roadwork projects should go on concurrently is important. So... I hope the bright person or people responsible for having work on the right lane of 405 outside Renton, which affects traffic coming onto it from Valley Highway and 167, take place at the same time as work at the Renton end of 167 has a merry friggin' Christmas. Double kudos to the folks at 167 who are doing stuff on BOTH sides of the road at night.

There's good-ish "green" news: President Bush has just signed some legislation saying that by the year 2020 all new vehicles must get 35 miles per gallon. Now why it's in the stupidities column: First, this legislation has been on the table for TWENTY YEARS. The first Bush could have approved it. Clinton could have approved it. Shit's sake, Reagan could have signed it. Why'd it take the guy who doesn't accept the Kyoto Accord regarding greenhouse gasses to get this into gear? Second, this legislation should have been standard already as of TWENTY YEARS AGO... back when new cars were getting 30+ miles per gallon because of fuel prices in the late 70's and early 80's, a state we somehow lost in the last decade as sub-20 mile per gallon SUVs and Hummers gained popularity. What this all boils down to is... For all intents and purposes, this dictum should have taken effect and the vehicles in question produced somewhere between 2000 and 2010. Now. Not giving the oil industry a license to gouge for another 13 years and the auto industry more time to sit on their thumbs when they know how to do it right. The future came and went.

It finally happened: I got a cell phone. A purple one. This had some truly stupid moments leading up to The Big Purchase, namely: Baiting advertising. There was this flyer in the paper showing purple and green phones. This intregued my wife and I. I went four places in search of these colored phones before work. Each of them had nonfunctioning demo models to caress and ogle in green. But did any of them have these phones? Nope, not a one. I've been told by a coworker who is about to start working for the cellular provider in question that the mall kiosks and other dealers don't get the same full stock line as the company stores, so I'm willing to accept that they would have to order the product, but still.... the advertisements show the colored phones prominently and that's the lure they're using, so you would think they'd carry them since that is what people are coming in for. I wound up getting the phones on my lunch break at the company store at the base of the hill in the town where I work ("it's the one between the Starbucks and, uh, the Starbucks" -- not kidding, there are two Starbucks in that strip mall), which, as you recall, is 40 miles away from my home. Why the pressing need to pick up the phones when I could have ordered them online? Because my wife is crossing the state to spend the pre-Christmas weekend with her family, and an order would arrive on Boxing Day or so.

Which leads to a superb stupidity that reader Illiterate can comprehend: how cellular carriers (and phone makers) try to make money off every aspect of a phone. My analogy is how printer makers sell the machines cheap then make the money off of ink. The cellular industry gives away phones cheap (mine was $25 with a $50 mail-in rebate) then charges you a couple bucks to add ringtones and wallpapers and has plenty of charges for putting music on your phone plus charges $30 for the cable so you can back stuff up, get your photos off, or add your own pix/images/music. This little grey mushroom however has beaten that system: first, I'm not going to use my phone to play MP3s, I have a player with way more capacity and great headphones and better sound quality; second, the USB cable from one of my portable hard drives works with this phone (so much for the company and various websites claiming the transfer cable is "proprietary") and the phone's USB drivers are available for download on the maker's site and I've found free 3rd party software online which allows adding and removing content from the phone; third, the special "ringtone making" software out there does the exact same thing as any program that can save a music file as an MP3 and there's plenty of free stuff out there that can do that. So without paying anything extra, I've created a couple ringtones -- a keyboard loop from Depeche Mode's "A Question Of Time" (I dreamed for years about using that) and a sped-up sample of the "ooga chucka ooga ooga chucka" from the beginning of Blue Swede's "Hooked On A Feeling" -- and put some photos I've taken with a real camera as the wallpaper and phonebook entry images, plus can get any pictures I take with that cheesy 1.3mpx cell cam onto my computer. Booyeah!

Finally, just a quick grin. Know how people always snark on Britney Spears for being white trash because she's, uh, got some character flaws? Her 16 year old sister is knocked up, something you wouldn't really picture someone in her spot in the limelight [and a tweener-appeal show on Nickelodeon!] doing. (Yeah, we said similar about Brit a half-dozen times.) Jamie Lynn, dear, you could have asked your big sister to go buy some rubbers for you while she's in Rite-Aid getting Tampax...

I'm not suprised you keep your mind there. Looks like a place of peace. I wonder if anyone goes in wants to come out.
"Come inside my mind." -- Robin Williams

Your question is more accurate than my usual analogy of my mind being like a Roach Motel -- "you check in, but you don't check out" -- because yes, there are people who get into it that want out. That's why there's usually a vacancy in my head.
Christ is in Christmas... C-h-r-i-s- and t are the first six letters of the holiday.

Timmie fell down a "whale?!" Whale is how they pronouce Well in these here parts where I reside.

My son is thrilled beyond measure because his Granny & Grandad (my parents) bought him an iphone for Christmas. It's a cool gadget!
I don't use my cell phone very often. I keep it with me at all times, but rarely make calls on it. I do use it to call people in CA though. We don't even have a home phone because all four of us use cell phones instead.

You kind of gave Dubya a compliment. That's really something!! I hope the industry starts putting out some amazing cars with great gas mileage.

Happy Pre-Christmas and Merry Christmas!!
I hope yours is filled with lots of good food and warmth and love.
May 2008 be a great year for you and your wifey poo!!!

* Yes, when spelled correctly. People keep spelling Christmas as "h-o-l-i-d-a-y-s". :)

* That's a whale of a tale.

* I swore I wouldn't use the camera on my phone but, uh, it is making documenting stupidities around me easier. :)

* It's rare that I can say he did something right, but even a stopped clock is correct twice a day. It'll be remarkable when the industry starts putting out cars with good mileage ONCE MORE since TV ad seem to be calling big cars with 21 miles per gallon rating "economical" and "fuel sipping". Seriously. The bill he really needed to sign (since this one is 20 years overdue) is one that says by 2020, 25% of new cars won't use gasoline at all.

Happy Christmas to you and yours, JD.
Found the lassie pic for ya.

enjoy ^_^
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