Sunday, February 25, 2007

Upsell gone wrong

Sam's Club, an exclusive club headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas of which I am a member, uses that God-awful touchy feely internal jargon that is supposed to make their employees, er . . . I mean "team members" and "associates" feel better about their jobs. I want to strangle someone everytime I hear on the P.A. system, "Coach Jones to tires please. Coach Jones to tires." He's not a coach, he's a retail manager.

How do you know he's not a coach?

Italicized Bastard! What are you doing here?

I got tired of my regular gig. I haven't interrupted that moron since before Y2K07.

You can't just leave one guy's blog and jump to another.

I can do whatever the fuck I want. Now answer the question.

I've never heard you use foul language before.

That's because he runs a class joint over there. He doesn't use that kind of language on his blog. I was a figment of his imagination. Now I'm a figment of yours. Therefore, I don't think you've ever actually heard me say anything before, dipshit. So how do you know he isn't really a coach? Maybe he coaches his kid's soccer team.

What? It's obviously positive-reinforcement put-it-in-a-memo corporate psychomanagement jargon. You know, to get everyone to feel like they are part of a "team" and not just some minimum-wage-earning shopping cart wrangler or slow-as-molasses cashier. The corporate shills in Arkansas probably feel like it promotes loyalty.

What's wrong with a little loyalty? Don't you think Brian Piccolo had a loyal friend in Gale Sayers, played with convincing honesty in Brian's Song by Billy Dee Williams?

Yeah, sure, but they were on an actual team. The Chicago Bears. The guy had cancer. He was dying. Of course his friend was loyal. What does that have to do with corporate double-talk?

Did you cry when he died?


Brian Piccolo, played flawlessly by a young James Caan. Did you cry in that part of the movie at the end when Brian Piccolo died?

Sure. Every time.


I don't remember you ever being quite this mean and vulgar over at that other place. What's the deal?

It's for your own good. You used to write some really great shit here. Women, liquor, blowjobs, world travel. Now you don't do shit. I'm here to shake things up a little bit.

I can't really tell those stories anymore. I used to tell those stories when I was anonymous. Now it's really easy to find me. I run a highly visible business. My mother reads this stuff. How can it be for my own good?

Look, you were on the verge of writing another one of your uninspired, uninteresting, undeveloped bullshit four-sentence posts about the drive thru at Krystal. That's the equivilant of a stand-up comedian saying "What about that airplane food, huh, folks?" Have you even looked at your Sitemeter stats lately? You get more hits from people Googling "naked girls" than you do from people who come here to read your crap.

Well, that is true. But how does you being here help?

This is the most you've written in a long time, chief. And you can thank me for that. Plus, you have a Billy Dee Williams and James Caan reference. If I can somehow work in Charles Nelson Reilly and Erik Estrada, my work will be done.

You just did.

See ya.

Of all the policies that corporate lackies of the world foist upon us, the drive thru upsell has got to be one of the most annoying. When I got to the order box today I was greeted with "Welcome to Krystal, would you like to try our honey mustard chix?" I automatically said no, as I always do. But as I perused the menu, it turns out that was exactly what I wanted to try. But since I had already said no, I didn't order it, so thier upsell actually backfired.

That's it?


That story sucked worse than an Ally Sheedy biopic narrated by Bob Crane with music by Tim McGraw.

Bob Crane is dead.

No shit, dumb fuck.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Great News in NYC

I wonder if this could be called the Sex and the City effect.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pac Man Part Two

According to the nightclub co-owner:

He said the trouble started after 4 a.m., when Jones and his entourage of a half-dozen people returned to the club for the second time that evening.

Jones tossed hundreds of $1 bills on the stripper stage, Susnar said, adding that when a dancer started grabbing the money without Jones' permission, he got angry, grabbed her hair and slammed her head against the stage.Security guard Aaron Cudworth, a mixed-martial artist with professional fighting experience, intervened and scuffled with Jones and members of his entourage, he said.

Jones then threatened to kill the guard, Susnar said.

Order was eventually restored and everyone moved outside before the gunman opened fire toward the front door of the club, hitting Cudworth, security guard Tom Urbanski and a female customer, he said.

"He goes out, retrieves a gun, then shoots two security guards, pretty much making good on the threat made by Pacman Jones," Susnar said.
See?!? What did I tell you?! Pac was just trying to share the wealth a little.

He just has poor taste in friends, that's all.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Naked women, guns, cash and the Possum

Pac Man Jones was in the wrong place at the right time yet again yesterday. He was in a strip club in Vegas at 5 in the morning when a gunfight broke out. The radio talk shows and newspaper commenters are all up in arms again. People are starting to scream that the Titans should get rid of him again. People are saying he's going to end up dead again, because he is such a thug. There is much hand wringing over this man's private life here in Middle Tennessee, and I find it to be quite amusing.

Most amusing are the fans who call him Adam to make a statement. If you do that, you are an uninformed chucklehead. Sean Salisbury, ESPN doofus galore started this crap the first time Pac got into trouble. He said, "I'm not going to call him by his nickname until he's earned it!" Earned it? How? His nickname is "Pac Man," not "Bonecrusher" or "Citizen of the Year." He got his nickname from his family when he was a baby because he ate so much. You don't have to "earn" a nickname you've had since you were a baby.

Then we get the people who play the "thug" card. When you call him a "thug" it is because you are a white trash redneck who has become too afraid to use the politically incorrect word "nigger." But we know that is what you are thinking. When has anyone ever called a white professional athlete who got into trouble a "thug"?

He has never been convicted of anything. Sure, he's a cop magnet, and has had run-ins with the law on a quarterly basis since college. But he's never been convicted. (As far as I know. This little rant isn't really worth the time it would take to research any actual facts. Ain't blogs grand?) Hell, when he had the cops called on him for riding an ATV on George Jones' (no relation) property, ol' No-Show dropped by on his riding mower to clear things up with a cake or pie or something and they ended up exchanging autographs and My Space addresses.

My suspicion is that George knew a lot more about Pac's career than Pac knew about the Possum.

So anyway, he was in a club full of naked women in Vegas and there was a gunfight in the parking lot. Everybody who says he should quit going out to clubs is delusional. This is America, dammit! Who do you think champagne rooms in strip clubs in Vegas are built for? Ultra-rich, famous 24-year-old professional athletes and rock stars, that's who! I would be disappointed if I heard that story and Pac wasn't there. It's the off season. He's 24. He's crazy rich. He was just there at the gentlemen's club, being all rich and gentlemanly and shit. He didn't pop a cap in anyone's ass. He was just hanging out with the ladies and dropping some cash. That's capitalism, baby! God Bless America!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Thank Heaven For Little Girls

Back during the dark days a few years ago, with divorce looming and my sanity teetering over the edge, my friend Todd let me stay at his house when I really had nowhere else to go. His wife was finishing up a job in Chicago. It was old-man bachelor heaven. Beer, whiskey and golf.

Because my kid's mom had yet to move the two of them back to Nashville, I would get my little princess for a week or two at a stretch. If she's going to ride a thousand miles on a plane to see me, she's gonna stay for a while. The first time she was scheduled to come up after I moved in, Todd seemed a little nervous. As an only child, he hadn't ever been around little 'uns that much. I assured him that there is absolutely nothing to worry about as far as hanging out with a three-year-old little girl.

One of the first nights we were all together, my kid came storming out of the tub, naked as the day she was born, ran straight to Todd, who was minding his own business on the couch, jumped up on him, laid her head on his shoulder and stuck her thumb in her mouth.

Now, when you're not used to being around little ones, a naked three-year-old jumping into your arms can be a little disconcerting. He gave me a puzzled look that bordered on horror. I just shrugged and went back to what I was doing. I figured it was a good way for them to bond.

Since then, Todd, his wife Laurie, and my kid have become great friends. Well, today Todd and Laurie had a baby. And I admit that I was overjoyed to find out that it was a little girl. For purely selfish reason -- I love my little girl and I know they are in for a wonderful ride with their new baby.

Plus, I have a bunch of little girl clothes in the closet I have to get rid of.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Stacy is the Man!

Stacy Campfield is the most brilliant legislator to ever grace the hallowed halls of that big building on the hill downtown. He introduces legislation that has no chance of passing, and as a result, he get on the TV and in the newspapers all over the place. And the newspapers have headlines like the one in the New York Times: Tennessee: Death Certificates for Abortions. And Mother Jones: Tennessee To Require Death Certificates For Aborted Fetuses.

Brilliant! Stacy, You Da Man! Convincing the world that the whole state thinks like you do! Brilliant!

On an unrelated note, the functionally illiterate Campfield can continue to operate in Nashville since the mayor has vetoed the English Language Bill.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Go Daddy

I have two friends who are going to become fathers for the first time. Any minute now for both of them. As a six-year-veteran of the fatherhood game, it is time for me to regale my vast readership with a few choice drips of wisdom from my infinite font of fatherly knowledge. In other words, here's some stuff I learned from being a dad.

Fatherhood does not change your life.
Now, of course it does change your life, but I swear, when that nurse handed that baby over to me, I expected the heavens to open up and a ray of enlightenment to wash down upon me, reavealing all the secrets and truths of the universe. I expected to be overwhelmed with this "unconditional love" everybody talks about. Didn't happen. I was the same dork I was the day before, except I was holding a baby. You don't change. You just sleep less.

Babies don't do anything for a long, long time.
That's how they wear you down. They really don't do shit, except shit. And cry. You are nothing but a maintenece man. You hold bottles, you wash them and you change their diapers. Then, in six months, when the little booger finally smiles at you, you are so overwhelmed that those months of work finally paid off with a reaction that you want to do something stupid, like call someone like me to tell me your baby smiled at you. Don't. I don't care. Which brings us to . . .

You will tell lots of stories about your kid.
Your best bet is to be sure to tell your story about how junior pissed all over you while you were changing his diaper to another parent. They don't really give a shit, but they all remember what it was like having a little baby around and they will listen patiently and nod at the appropriate times. If you tell stories to childless people, you run the risk of them returning favor with the most insulting resposne possible, a similar story about their pet. When your co-worker follows your story about how cute it is when your little missy learned to blow snot bubbles with his story about how Fido once blew a snot bubble, it will be all you can do to contian yourself from grabbing him around the neck and screaming, "I am talking about an actual human! My human offspring! I don't give a shit about your dog stories, you stupid moron!"

You will stare at your baby.
Next time you see a couple in a restaurant with a baby small enough to sit in a carrier on the table, take a moment to observe them. Both of them will spend the entire time staring at the baby. They can't help it and and you won't be able to either.

Dresses from six months to one year are useless.
Baby clothes are the biggest scam in the world. You are going to spend a lot of money on clothes that are actually sized to expire in a matter of months. If you have a girl, don't fall for those cute little dresses sized from six months to a year. That is when your baby is crawling. Babies can't crawl in dresses. The only time you will put a dress on your baby during that period is to take a picture, and that will only be because your Mother-In-Law sent you that dress and you feel like you should send a picture to give the impression that the baby actually wears the dress. Onesies and PJs. That's all you really need.

Your percieved pre-birth aversion to changing diapers will not last.
Holding a baby that stinks so bad it is making your eyes water and giving you a migraine is far worse than changing the diaper. Changing the diaper will actually be a relief.

You will let your kid watch Teletubbies and Barney
You may have this highbrow vision about only exposing your kid to Coltrane and Haydn and reading Yeats and Hemingway to the little tyke while he eats organic kale, but here's a little reality. They do focus group studies with these shows before they get on the air. Those shows will keep your child's attention for 8-10 minutes at a time. When you haven't had an uninterrupted shower in six weeks, you will plant the the kid in the high chair in front of Elmo, dump a load of cheerios on the tray and enjoy your few blessed moments of peace and hot water.

Most importantly, you will need to be a father.
It will take a while to realize that you are a father, the actual authority figure for this person. You can't be the "best friend." You're the Dad. Don't be pressured to do anything "with" your kid. My dad didn't do shit "with" me. He played catch with me in the yard and helped coach my teams and went to all my games and helped me paint my furniture orange and set up science projects with me and took me to Disney World and to the beach. But he always did it as my Dad. So, be a dad. It's not easy. Fake it.

I know my friends will be good fathers. But many people wind up here searching for odd stuff on google and yahoo (like today's searches: "slutty groupies" and "weird and interesting stories about Walter Cronkite"). So if you are here because you are searching for advice on being a father, those last two words sum it up nicely. Fake it.

Good luck.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Brazen Attempt to Soften My Cynical Contempt for Feb. 14th.

6:30 a.m.

Hoarse Whisper: "Daddy . . ."

Shit! It's only 6:30. Is she already awake? Pleeeease . . . I just want to sleep for another 45 minutes. Maybe if I just lay here she'll leave me alone.

"Daddy . . ."

Goddammit! It isn't working. Jesus Christ, it's early! What the hell does she want? "What?"

"Happy Valem-time's day. I love you."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Perfectly Good Guitar

I am not a fan of the time honored Nashville tradition of "Writer's Night." I would rather watch Serbian soccer on a black and white TV than go sit in the Bluebird and get susshhhed because I dared to laugh at a joke in a bar during the second verse of some gal's new song about her granny.

So last night, unlike most of America, I missed the Grammys because I was at a writer's night. I was sitting at a table with three friends, 15 feet away from Lyle Lovett, watching and listening as he, John Hiatt, Joe Ely and Guy Clark took turns playing some of the most well-crafted songs you've ever heard, written by four of the most talented American songwriters working over the course of the past 30 years. And this all took place at the new Schermerhorn Symphony Hall.

I must admit that I am a bit underwhelmed with the exterior of the new Symphony Hall. But the Turner Concert Hall inside is unbelieveable. We Nashvillians have an incredible new world-class concert facility downtown. I really want to hear the Symphony in there. Until then, I have my memory of John Hiatt singing one of my favorites,

"It breaks my heart
to see those stars
smashing a perfectly good guitar ..."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mother of Invention

Many a great company has been founded by someone simply filling a personal need. I saw an interview with the guy who started Vitamin Water. He started it because he wanted water with vitamins in it. That's pretty obvious.

I don't have time to be inventing, so I'm going to give you one. Some kind of power tool to clean the tub. I'm about ready to mount a scrubbing sponge on my cordless drill to get this tub clean. That would be a good invention.

So would some new way to package bacon.

So would this:
New Invention | Send To Friends | Video Jokes at JibJab

The check that ended my liberalism

“If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

--Winston Churchill
I remember having conversations with my slacker musician buddies in my twenties about how cool it would be to live in Sweeden or Belgium or The Netherlands or someplace up there because one of my friends read that the government there paid musicians to create their art. And there we were in college getting music degrees and wouldn't it be great if we could just play our music and have the government pay us? Art, baby. Art. Enlightened societies support the arts. And if there was ever an example of art that should be supported by an enlightened government, it was my college power-rock trio, with such original gems as You wouldn't be So Lonely (if you weren't such a bitch), I'm a Trisexual (I'll try anything), Happy Not Gay, and who could forget that future chart-topper, Dead Love, a cute little ditty about necrophelia.

Alas, we never got a record deal, nor did the government ever get liberal enough to support us. Of course, we never applied for any grants, so perhaps we should have been more proactive.

I remained pretty liberal until the late 90s. I was married, we could have been classified as yuppies. Two degreed professionals with no kids making what I guess would be classified as an upper-middle-class income. Still, it was a fairly modest lifestyle, we lived in a 1200 square foot house in a suburban neighborhood, had car payments and mortgage payments and did not light cigars with hundred dollar bills.

Around that time, the government passed some ridiculous new tax that was going to directly affect people who made what we made. (I don't remember which tax it was and I don't have time to go through the US Tax Code to refresh my memory.) I was talking to a friend who was in the same situation, a two-income professional couple with no kids. I said "what's the deal with that ridiculous new tax." He said, "It's just another 'soak the rich' tax." He looked at me and said, "I don't feel rich, do you?"

It was liberals calling me rich and wanting to take more of my money. I don't know what "rich" is, but it certainly wasn't me. We were doing just fine, but certainly not rich. That same year (remember the stock market irrational exuberance of the 90s?) we cashed in some stock options for some home repairs and to pay off some debts. The next spring, I had to write a check to Uncle Sam for $11,000 to make our total contribution to the government that year over $35,000. I stared at that check before putting it in the envelope, and every ounce of liberal-ness that was left in my body went into the envelope with it. Did I feel like I got $35,000 worth of government? Hell, no. What I felt like was that I would have been better off just not working. I've known other couples who intentionally have one person not work, because the other makes enough that most or all of the money from the second job would go to the government.

Great system, ain't it?

What got me thinking about this was Aunt B.'s post today:
If you help run an entity with non-profit status and a mission to make the world a better place, it is immoral for you to grow richer while some of your employees struggle. All the benefits packages in the world do not make your behavior less immoral and I, for one, think it's just time to say so out loud. If we're all in it together, we should all be in it together and if the CEO is doing much better than most, the groundskeeper ought to be doing much better than most.
That is the kind of liberal thinking that drives me crazy. The "rich" guy has too much and he should give some to the poor guy. Why should the groundskeeper do better than most? Because he keeps grounds at an art museum or an orphanage? He the fucking groundskeeper. It's supply and demand. There are a lot more people who can keep the grounds than people who can effectively run the business.

The problem with her situation is she is talking about entities with "non-profit status." What's immoral to me is that those entities don't pay taxes. The idea of not-for-profit organizations is liberal thinking at it worst. It is a huge scam. These organizatons help people, but they are still businesses. Just because you are a church or a jazz workshop or a halfway house for people with bad knees, you should still pay taxes. Either that, or no businesses should pay taxes.

It is a huge scam. I know. I used to work for one. I was marketing director for a live theater for six years. During the interview, I asked about the non-profit status. The director said, "Being a non-profit doesn't mean we don't get paid." So we ran the business day to day, and we bought office supplies and toilet paper and hired actors and designers and sold tickets and millions of dollars came in and millions of dollars went out, and non of it was taxed, sales, federal or otherwise. (Of course, my salary was taxed.) And "rich" people donated money to the theatre so they wouldn't have to pay taxes. And the reason there was no taxes paid was because there was a mission statement about making the world a better place and there was a little "outreach" and "education" aimed at exposing our next generation to the arts. See, enlightened societies do support the arts.

So the trick to being a non-profit, (other than having a mission to make the world a better place) is to have the books come out to zero profit at the end of the year. An easy way to do that if you are running one and you are good at running it and your organization is threatening to make a profit is to pay yourself more. And, according to Aunt B., the moral thing would be to pay the groundskeeper more.

The smart thing to do would be to quit letting people run businesses without paying taxes. I run an entity which is currently, unfortunatley, a non-profit. My business has a mission to make the world a better place in its own modest way. Why can't I not pay sales tax when I buy a new printer cartridge?

I've got an idea for tax reform. Instead of millions and millions of words, make it four.

Flat tax. Everybody pays.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl Prediction

In an exciting finish, Jim Sorgi leads the Colts on a last minute drive, hoping to pull out a victory, yet the Colts come up just short. Bears win 21-20. Manning becomes the first person to have his head sucessfully reattached after that incident with Brian Urlacher on the first drive of the game.

Festive Automobiles

The Google banner ad on top of this blog yesterday was for this.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I am the Omega Male!

A long time ago, Aunt B. got caught up in the threshing machine known as Vox Day. Vox Day is some pinhead with a blog and he gets a lot of readers and he declares all kinds of facts, none of which I remember, other than feminists are idiots, liberals are idiots, non-gun-owners are idiots, environmentalists are idiots and that he is an alpha male.

Well, Aunt B. said something feminist-like, as she often does, and Vox Day picked it up and he and his minions took turns shredding what she said along with anyone who dared to come along into their house and defend her. One of our own locals waded in to her defense, Huck if I remember, and finally threw up his hands at the futility of it all.

Locally we have our own little alpha male. Now, I don't waste my time calling out pinheads like this, but this was just too easy. What is most annoying about these people, is they spend their time pointing out how "wrong" everybody else is by using their own convoluted "facts".

Well, our local little alpha male got picked up at NiT yesterday, spouting off about some subject he picked up from an English newspaper. A lively debate followed in the comments. He got going head to head with Lindsey. This is where it became theatre of the absurd. First he defended his grammatical and typographical errors as "writing conversationally." Then he completely set himself up for the takedown.

Here are a few of his comments:

"Take a look at the blog boys. See how long its been around?"

Oh, OK. Since 2004. So what?

"Interestingly enough... of the thousands of people who read my blog every month (you know I've got one of the most widely read local blogs right?), from the 100's of blogs who've blogrolled me . . .

I'm not a better person than you are lindsey.

I'm a better, and more widely read blogger than you are. The difference is staggering."

A "better blogger?" I don't even begin to know what that means. "more widely read"? OK, let's see. His blog is ranked by Technorati at 174,095, with links from 22 blogs. Lindsey's blog is ranked 76,234 with links from 47 blogs. Hell, I'm ranked 65,660 with links from 54 blogs. So I guess he is one of the most widely read local blog except for everyone else. As far as his "thousands of readers" he doesn't have a sitemeter available, so there's no checking it.

That's the thing about these know-it-all, insult-everyone pinheads. They argue with a bunch of bullshit, but occasionally they leave themselves open to be called on it.

That guy calls himself an Alpha Male. By that, I assume he means a leader. A leader leads. A leader doesn't insult everyone he claims to be leading. He or she goes about his or her business and people follow by example. I'm quite sure anyone who brags about how big and hard his blog is, isn't an alpha male.

Self-Proclaimed Alpha-Male is an oxymoron.