Running on the Sidewalk: Downhill Edition

Running on the Sidewalk: Downhill Edition

  1. Find a high hill within your neighborhood. Dead-ends work best. Make sure there is a sidewalk that goes up high enough you can’t see the houses at the top.
  2. Wear your best sneakers, preferably non-slip running shoes.
  3. Hike up the hill, or hitch a ride with the nearest car to drive by in that general direction.
  4. Study the road below, taking in the curvature near the end at the first crossroad.
  5. Start running.
  6. Jump over every block of concrete that has one of those small, metal rivets. It’s usually every third or fourth.
  7. Keep running.
  8. Push aside anyone walking in your path; you’ve got somewhere to go, and it’s important that you get there before they do.
  9. Keep on running. You’re almost there.
  10. Never mind the hard pounding of your feet. It’s only a natural side-effect of gravity and velocity.
  11. When you reach the cross roads, try to stop abruptly at the corner of the sidewalk. Grab hold of the stop sign if you can. If there is no stop sign, throw yourself on the ground. Remember, stop drop and roll is for more than just fires.

In the event that you fall forward, avoid placing your palms ahead of you. Tuck and roll, firmly pushing your knees to your chest. Studies have shown that those who fall on the sidewalk are ten-times more likely to avoid scars if they assume the fetal position.

Big Picture Show

There was once a time in my life where I cared about society’s problems. I felt a debate was worth it. And I should do my part and voice my opinion. However, through my twenties, I confirmed my suspicion that giving a shit about the big picture is a complete and utter waste of time.

I don’t care about drug use. I don’t care if athletes use steroids and their neck explodes. Not my mess to clean up. Feel free to legalize weed, crack, and meth. Not only will it bring us good entertainment on the morning news, it will let the species sort out the weak minded as they crash and burn harder and faster. If we want a real debate if evolution is real, I say, let’s witness it first-hand.

I don’t care about the privacy debate. If it means they get what they want, people will give information to the highest bidder or lowest cost alternative. Concerning Apple’s stance to refuse decryption of the iPhone of a dead terrorist: I don’t give a fuck. He’s dead. Justice has been served in the proper manner. He fought the law, and the law won. No further answers need to be.

The media and lawyers have convinced people that closure can only be achieved through a thorough understanding of the criminal mind. I don’t give a shit about the mind of a pedophile, a murderer, an arsonist, or anything else. In case you haven’t been tracking the news over the past thirty years, but this sad attempt at solving a bigger problem – preventing crime itself – is a complete waste of time. This attempt to understand, to know more, is worthless. Take a page from the old West: shoot first and ask questions later.

New Definitions

I’d like to provide new definitions and word pairs for you today.

Zebra Vest – Something you should never wear.

Obsolete Library – A stack of Newsweek magazines.

Evasive Chair – A chair that has been pulled out from under you when you go to sit down.

Curved Pickle – A cucumber with erectile dysfunction.

Abortive Secretary – When an administrative assistant quits her job.

Rifle Toe – What one does to themselves to avoid the military draft.

Thoughtless Fact – Anything you hear on the ten o’clock news.

Flippant Reward – When someone offers a reward for a lost item, but then doesn’t give it to you. Bonus definition: When your paycheck is the victim of budget cuts.

Invincible Dust – When you dust off that damn end table, for the third time this week.

Perpetual Shade – A deep, dark, dreaded and dreary cave.

Jobless Yarn – A farmless sheep.

Naive Crowd – Any group of people gathered in a shopping mall.

Goodbye Ticket – A pink slip.

Pointless Texture – Freckles!

Calendar Representative – Any major holiday mascot.

Light Writer – Everyone who uses Twitter.

Old-fashioned Twig – A twig grown naturally, as opposed to one synthetically manufactured in China.

Competition Laugh – When two or more people try to be the last person laughing.

Fan Fact – Anything fans believe about celebrity gossip.

The Honeymoon Is Over

Frankly, there are only two people who can really declare when a honeymoon is over; the bride, and the mother-in-law.

This term relates to the end of the pleasant, enjoyable beginning of a marriage — when there’s lots of passionate sex — that gradually or abruptly ends when it’s time to get to the more serious roles of being betrothed. Like, raising the children you just made.

I think, there are other times the idiom could apply:

The honeymoon is over, when the cute puppy grows into a dumb, ugly mutt. Usually happens after a year or two, and coincides with puddles of slobber, combs filled with hair, and floors dotted with dander.

The honeymoon is over, when your boss’s attitude goes from charming and inviting, to distrust and distaste; naturally, this happens at the same time he signs your first paycheck.

The honeymoon is over, is what I would say if I had a job.

The honeymoon is over, when, while gardening in the backyard, you hit a pipe line that shoots black liquid into the air, bringing up hopes of striking it rich with oil, only to discover, as it lands on your new gardening overalls, you broke the septic.

The honeymoon is over, after your neighbors realize their three-way didn’t go as planned, when their dog vomited the crotchless panties on the bed, and the neighbors were arrested for animal abuse by bestiality.

The honeymoon is over, after you wake up and realize it was all just a nightmare, and that crazy bitch never blew you in the first place. Yet, you are missing your wallet, car keys, and the eight ounces of cocaine.

Death to Time Cards

If there was one invention I’d like to burn, it would be time cards. Not just the physical ones; the very idea of it, too.

Originally, time cards were fine to begin with; your boss could use it as a measure of how long you were at work. That’s because these same bosses wanted to pay employees by the hour, not their output; some wise guy along the way equated time with productivity, just so he could appear smarter to his boss.

Come along to the age of information technology where every employee is rigidly watched like a hawk, just so they don’t clock in one second late, or even one second early. Extremely tight control over costs have diminished the value of initiative and promptness, and in affect, employee loyalty.

I say this because I don’t like someone coming to me about being one minute late, or one second early, often because of something absolutely minor that was out of my control. Like, traffic; the most common reason — not excuse — as to why people are late. Still, the time card is king, and the penny-pinchers in accounting, and the CEOs who bow to their slave master investors, must comply with rigid standards.

Standards that I don’t agree with. And if the time you clock in wasn’t bad enough, you even have these people who think you must begin work the absolute second you register your time card. Forget that it takes time, something already on their mind, to get to your desk or workstation, for those of you still able to find work in a factory that wasn’t sent overseas. Now, if you’re not in your seat or position to begin working immediately when you clock in, you are reprimanded like a third grader playing with the chalk instead of studying physics like the rest of the class.

I for one wish that time cards would go away; it’s not like employers really give a shit about time, anyway. Unless it’s overtime, in which case, they think you’ve committed a sin. These same assholes think they have the right to refuse to pay you overtime, which in some states may be true; but for those that don’t, they have no problem lying to their employees by saying all overtime must be pre-approved. Well, if that’s the case, then isn’t pre-approved overtime just more time on the clock; doesn’t it lose its meaning?

It’s okay if we all don’t understand the concept of time; our bosses don’t, for sure. So much so many people are now working from the ungodly hour of six or seven am, to about three-thirty in the afternoon. Forget the old bankers hours that worked to keep people sane; now we all have to rise at four in the morning to make the five-fifteen bus, or spend two hours in traffic while listening to news about the stock market crashing and potential layoffs.

A little card with your name on it that registers your ability to show up to work on time and measures your productivity. If that wasn’t bad enough, consider how many people are afraid of being late to work. What for? As if your job is going to be lagging behind; they already have ten people doing the same work you’re doing. If you’re one of those lucky few, you’re doing two jobs; so you have twice as much to worry about.

So there you go, rushing into office, trying not to spill your cappuccino, balancing the reports you did at home — off the clock — and stopping by to say hi to the cute guy from IT. You arrive at your desk, find that you are there just in time, clock in, and in the process, the time ticks over to the next minute. In comes the phone call, it’s your boss, and he’s riled and raging that you were late — now he sends the evil H.R. lady to have you sign a document stating you understand the corporate policy on tardiness.

Time cards. Like credit cards, except they come with no perks other than fears, anxieties, and a way for bosses to measure productivity without doing any real work.

Thoughts on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

I want to take some time to share my thoughts on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Thanksgiving is the only Holiday that hasn’t been abused by corporations to the likes of Valentine’s and Christmas. Maybe because it’s about giving selflessly and thanking people for their contributions; two things international conglomerates refuse to acknowledge.

Another reason business hasn’t screwed up this holiday: Indians! Corporations, most owned by well-off, rich, elitist, white men, wouldn’t want to taint a gift given to us by the people whose life and land we stole. The other holidays we brought, so it’s okay to ruin them.

Halloween is no longer about respecting and celebrating the lives of the dead, but is now about begging for cavities and who can wear the sluttiest costume.

And unless you’re very religious, corporations don’t think Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. They believe it’s about getting the right color smartphone, unlimited data package, and $300 sneakers.

Easter used to be about the resurrection of Jesus, but now it’s about finding eggs laid by a rabbit. Have you ever tried to approach a wild rabbit? They’re scared. Ever hear one squeal? I have; they gather around my house every winter, until they’re eaten by coyotes.

What doesn’t make sense is that what all these holidays have in common is food. Turkey for Thanksgiving, pumpkins for Halloween, and for Christmas, ham and fruitcake. Not the good kind of fruitcake; the kind that turns into a paperweight. All of them have something sweet, some sort of candy. Except Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving doesn’t have candy like the others. No, Thanksgiving has pie! And not just one pie: different pies!

Oh, I love pumpkin pie. And apple pie, lemon meringue pie. Well, pie’s not exclusive to Thanksgiving; Valentine’s Day does offer another kind of pie, if you’re lucky.

The real reason businesses don’t take advantage of Thanksgiving is that it’s too close to their favorite holiday, Black Friday. A day where all businesses have their best sells, and everyone’s mother and grandmother shop real early to get them. They have to show some compassion, some restraint; you can’t screw people two days in a row.

But isn’t it just sweet that mom and grandma spend hours slaving in a hot kitchen, then show up at 4am the next morning in the freezing cold. Out of the frying pan and into the freezer.

You know what I do on Black Friday? I stay home. I don’t mean stay and shop local like others are advocating. Nor do I mean staying in the neighborhood. No, I stay in the house. I won’t even go to the sidewalk.

I lock all the doors, windows, front gate, chimneys, ducts, seal all cracks in and around doors and walls, bring the dog inside, transplant my favorite tree from the yard to the living room, in for the entire twenty-four hours. The shades come down, the lights go off, and I turn on psychedelic music to block out all the noise of shopping gone mad.

I like to think of it as my way of protecting myself from the insanity of a day where everyone thinks they have to buy things. I don’t think of it that way. And the reason why is that the best deals happen after the holiday the sales are about.

That’s right. After Christmas, the usual stock of products become “outdated” (still usable by my standards), and go on the clearance shelf. I’ve been thinking of holding Christmas in March for this reason. In fact, maybe I should have Christmas on St. Patrick’s Day, just so everyone can give each other gifts while drinking Irish liquor. That’ll make grandma’s knitted green sweater more relevant to the occasion.

I’d do the same with Halloween. The day after Halloween is when most candy goes on sale. I’ll stock up. Candy doesn’t go bad. It takes years for unopened candy to go bad. Sugar, as most other spices, is a great preservative. Can’t do that with Turkey, though.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and survive Black Friday.

What Happened On, Nov 9th

History is full of… historical events. Some of which have taken place on this North American continent. November 9th seems to be a day for the British and Germans.

On this day, November 9th, 1780, during the American Revolution, the Battle of Fishdam Ford took place. Now this wasn’t a fight where a Ford motor vehicle blocked a river; no, it took place in what is now Carlisle, South Carolina. Neither of which have anything to do with Henry Ford or fish.

British arrogance has no sense of camoflauge.
British arrogance has no sense of camouflage.

In this battle, British forces tried to launch their — obvious — surprise attack. It, however, resulted in utter failure. One might wonder how the British were able to hide anywhere behind trees and inside bushes, what with those bright red coats and ridiculous hats. Blue was a better choice of color, and could be the reason why we won in the first place. It works better for nighttime raids.

And this ambush was in fact a nighttime raid. The British hid in the usual bushes and trees, fired a few good shots with their muskets. However, their ambition was swiftly cut down when they charged into an American camp and got their bayonets and flamboyant coattails caught in a fence. They, apparently, couldn’t get free for nearly twenty minutes, likely tossing aside all their clothes, and running off in the night, nude.

Nineteen years later, a famous short french dude by the name of Napoleon, lead a coup d’état and overthrew the French Directory. Apparently, he was fed up that his name didn’t appear in the French semaphore phonebook, an invention that resembled the telegraph by using line-of-sight.

Regardless of the reasons, this was one of the precursors to Napoleon’s reign as French Emperor. Originally, it was to be a peaceful coup, but the midget, er, short French, okay, Dictator, oh all right, General Napoleon. On the first attempt, he merely stormed the chamber of the Directory, and shouted this and that, it all doesn’t really matter. What matters most is what happened next:

Short Dead French Dude
Short Dead French Dude

Napoleon decided to storm another chamber, one filled with other French leaders arguing back and forth about stuff. During the arguments, Napoleon was smacked clear across the nose by someone else who was five-foot-seven.

Through some randomness that no longer matters — because, frankly, after you become an emperor, what does your past matter? — the French Directory would fall apart. A provisional government was put in place, with Napoleon as one of its leaders. And, as the French public hardly reacted at all, it was their way of saying, “We don’t really give a shit.” The Revolution was indeed over. All in all, it led to him becoming Emperor.

Robert Blum, of Germany, was executed in 1848. He was an opponent of antisemitism, ethnocentrism, and oppression, a supporter of democracy and equality amongst sexes; essentially, the complete opposite of Nazi Germany. After his arrest on November 4th, he was given just five days for a tribunal and execution. When the idea of hanging him failed, someone just pulled out a gun and said, “Oh, lass uns einfach hinter uns bringen.” Which, according to Google, translates into: “Oh, let’s just get this over with.”

1861: The first documented account of Canadians trying to play American football. It didn’t become as popular as American football because it had three-downs, ten extra yards, and teams could score an extra point when their ball is kicked into the endzone and not returned by the receiving team. Regardless, Canadians chose to keep Hockey as their national past time because Wayne Gretzky’s lack of teeth paled in comparison to that of NFL players.

US President Teddy Roosevelt's Official Portrait
A real man’s man, man.

In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting U.S. President to visit another country, where he inspected the building progress of the Panama Canal. This was the first sign that the United States somewhat, sort of, kind of, said to the rest of the world, “Yes, we do give a shit.”

Speaking of worldly history events, Kaiser Wilhelm gave up his throne on this day in 1918, effectively ending the German Revolution (by this time their eighth revolution).

Robert McNamara was named the president of the Ford Motor Company Nov. 9th, 1960. He swiftly gave it up a month later when he was asked to join the John F. Kennedy administration, persuaded by the chance that he’ll meet Marilyn Monroe.

And if you’re a fan of Rock ‘n’ Roll, or bands filled with old people, you’d be delighted to know that November 9th, 1967, was the first publication date of Rolling Stone Magazine. Yes, even the Internet’s throat-grab of the publishing industry can’t stop a Rolling Stone.

Speaking of rocks falling, on this day in 1989, checkpoints were opened at the Berlin Wall, allowing East and West Germans to find out that, truly, on each side, people are exactly the same.

Finally, the British, with their wonderful brilliance on the rights of mankind, declared in 1998 the end of capital punishment to all capital crimes, proving to the world that the English truly have chopped off their left nut.