Summer Flannelbane

That is the awesome medieval fantasy name for summer, Summer Flannelbane. Summer is coming and it is going to be hot, really hot. Hotter than normal temperatures already abound. There has been very little rain here and we have had a wildfire twelve hours north of us for the past two weeks. G-Dub told the world climate change didn’t exist, but forgot to tell climate change. Oh, it does exist and it does not like being ignored.

I like summer, but I don’t love summer. Especially these roided up, bi-polar summers. Weather is extreme and thinks it is opposite day. If I had my way, leaves would bud and cherry blossoms would bloom and everything would be beautiful and then dead. Maybe a week or two of shorts and hoodie weather, but that is enough. I like my jeans, I like my flannel shirts, I like my dark beers and coffees. It is just hot everywhere in this air conditionless wonderland.

Except my car, it has air conditioning and it is cool and refreshing. However, I am hardly in it because there is no traffic as I am one of the few suckers not on vacation. This leaves only the briefest of air conditioned respites. Of course after I park my car somewhere it is a sauna until it fully cools down just as I am parking in front of my place.

Many of us could stay at work in the air conditioned bliss. Although that seems counter intuitive as we have been raised and bred to treat summer as the vacation and taking it easy season. Productivity will remain where it always has even though we may be there an extra twenty minutes.

Here is the crux, I simply don’t understand people that say “Such a beautiful day!” What is beautiful about thirty plus (celsius) weather. People stuck in buses like a can of salty, wet, lukewarm sardines. Speaking of sardines, spontaneous oral sex rates plummet through the floor. The same floor that people will stick to if they try to lay down and have regular sex. So those rates drop as well. Hell people can’t even hold hands without getting stuck together and bursting into flames. Ain’t nobody getting laid in this summer wonderland!

The sun beats down upon me with a vendetta, like I killed its father. The wrath of a zillion nuclear bombs from very far way sears my skin in minutes each time I go outside. Luckily I don’t shed like a snake and I do tan a bit. Even the bald spot on my head. Still, I hate that moment when I realize that I have underestimated how long I was going to be outside and I know the burning has begun. I feel like I am going crazy.

People stink to high hell as their deodorant has been lain to waste before noon. Those seeking a refreshing rush and who truly don’t care what others think, rip off their tops and bury their faces in the sweat soaked armpit region. Honestly, when will it be socially acceptable for us to just wear a tube socks and shoelaces? Not just for the good looking fit people, but all of us. Well until the leaves turn have a great and clammy summer!

Hold Time

I love calling big companies. When that automaton on the other end of the line picks up the phone and sends you through list after list of options. After you have sorted yourself out and done the automaton’s job, the automaton returns and states “All of our agents are busy.” Or “We are experiencing higher than normal call volume.” The latter seems to be most common excuse that most businesses use.

Quicker than you can reason with the automaton you are whisked away to the hold line. Where you are serenaded by the unreleased tracks of Jim Brickman’s worst rip off fan. You space out in an attempt to escape your body, trying to transcend space and time. After one and half minutes pass, the automaton returns, sending you hurtling around the sun and back into your body. “We are experiencing higher than normal call volume. Please stay on the line and one of our agents will be with you shortly.”

Right, like I was going anywhere! I find it ironic and amusing that there always seems to be higher than normal call volume each and every time I call. Seems like a staffing issue that management needs to work out. “Did you know that many solutions are available online?” Why yes automaton, I did assume as much. Since I am calling you because my internet doesn’t work though, perhaps you could quit repeating that as an option. Also, are you trying to ditch me?

Ethereal calls of the rare Jupitarian Space Whale cause me to quit my bitching and sachet the cosmos. I traipse around the rings of Saturn and “We are experiencing higher than normal call volume. Please stay on the line and one of our agents will be with you shortly.”

I want to throw my phone across the room, but then I would have to use another phone to talk to another automaton about getting a new phone. Then I would have to call this automaton again. It is a lose, lose situation.

Part of me feels sorry for the people whose jobs were taken by the automaton. Then I think, this may truly not be a job anyone would want. I mean interrupting cosmic bliss every minute to repeat oneself doesn’t sound very fulfilling and buzzkill doesn’t sound good on a resume.

So what do you think? Any amusing quips or tales from the hold line you would like to share?

Cuisinomane

Cuisinomane, that is french for foodie. I wonder what hipster is? If you know, throw it down in the comments. I heard about this on the morning radio program. Foodie has become such widely used term that the Quebec Language Police has had to “translate” it to french. Which is now the word that Quebecers and Quebec restaurateurs will have to use. Otherwise they may incur the wrath of the language police.

For those of you living outside of Quebec – like myself – or Canada, it is more serious than it sounds. Businesses can be hit with fines and other bureaucratic red tape. Using pasta on a menu has caused issues in the past. A board game store was troubled as it needed to constantly have a french version of the game for each english version of the game on the shelf.

What I find most amusing is that cuisinomane kind of sounds like Encino Man. I can’t help but be reminded of the scene where Pauly Shore describes a frozen burrito being cooked in the microwave. Something about it being “moooool-ten on the outside, iiiccceee cold on the inside, buuuuddy.” I am not going to google it. It could have been an attempt at allegory to simplify the complexities of Brendan Fraser’s character, Link. Regardless, in that scene Pauly Shore is the antithesis of foodie.

Reblog: I’d Like To Buy Don Draper A Coke

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

DonShow of hands, Modern Philosophers…how many of you have had the “I Want To Buy The World A Coke” jingle stuck in your head since watching Mad Men’s Series Finale?

I have been singing it, humming it, and buying Coca Cola at a ridiculous rate that should leave me bankrupt with a mouthful of cavities by June 1.

Don Draper, you dapper bastard, you really were an advertising genius!

Mad Men is a show that I have always enjoyed, and unlike the Series Finales of some other classic shows (cough, cough, The Sopranos, cough…) the last episode of Matt Weiner’s love letter to the advertising industry left me quite satisfied.

As well as humming and singing that old Coke jingle.

Coke commercialSure, there was enough ambiguity to make us wonder if Don had come up with one of the most famous commercials of the 70s, but this Mad Men fan chooses…

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foodies/cuisinomane (Now Legal In Quebec)

Foodies, what are they? Are they: hedge chefs, super fans of food, food photographers? All of the above and then some? Where do they come from? What is their education background? What is their profession? Am I a foodie?

Who doesn’t like food? I mean even just a little. Regardless of the flavors or culture. If you have a friend that says they don’t like food, they either hashtag thigh gap and need help or they are quite possibly an alien! Get out of the house, call the J. Edgar’s, run for your life!

However, if you have a friend who says they are a fan of food as in, “I loooooooooove foooood, sooooo gooooood.” As if they think they are special or deserve an award, that is an asshole! For I as well, am a fan of living and not contracting scurvy, gout, rickets, or having my teeth fall out of my head! If it tastes good while doing so, so much the better.

A few years ago I started cooking a majority of our meals from scratch. I rarely use canned goods unless something is out of season. I will boil tomatoes and process them. I save vegetable trimmings to make a stock for soups. Bread and biscuits are conjured from flour and water, sometimes beer. Pudding from scratch from an old family recipe, sure I have to stand there and stir like crazy, but it is far superior to anything in box. I find it amazing how little time it actually takes to make something from the very base and how much that teaches you.

A friend of mine was complaining about food photography. He made the mistake of doing this in front of me. Who in turn notified a bunch of other smartasses at lunch. Which caused people take out their phones and tag him in their photos of Big Macs and Quarter Pounders. That’s right, this happened at McDonald’s. This could have quite possibly been the first case of food photography at the entire history of the brand. When it comes to McDonald’s, I don’t care much for the food, I can choke it down. It is more for the company.

I must admit, when I see people break out their phones and snap a photo of their food, I sometimes snicker. It isn’t bad to take a photo every now and then. I’ve been known to do it from time to time. When the food arrives and my eyes uncontrollably bulge with excitement like hyperventilating french bulldog who just sat on whoopie cushion. However, when the food arrives mid conversation and the phones come out and go away in one movement, leaving just enough time to make sure the food is on the screen. That is when I start laughing.

What a douchebag. Who in your social media life is truly going to give a shit, really? The fact that they are doing it out of habit, to add to the collection, is kind of creepy. Like a serial killer who always takes a token or that artist who takes a zillion photos of the exact same kind of thing. The difference is those two are aware of what they are doing.

Can you imagine what this trend would have been like about forty years ago during the age of neighbor vacation slideshow nights. Having to sit through slide after slide of what they ate. Then there were the Johnson’s who always took photos of the aftermath. What a bunch of weirdos.

Have I decided that I am a foodie? Not yet, I seem to like having good food, but won’t turn down anything as long as it is meatless. Yet, I thoroughly enjoy preparing delicious and large meals that last through the week. I take the occasional photo, mostly of donuts. I won’t buy Budweiser, but I will drink it if that is all you have.

Regardless, I am outraged by the term. I can’t help that I want to eat decent food. You only have so many years on this planet. You only have so many calories you should intake. Tell you what foodies, take charge. Spit out your craft beer. Yell at the top of your lungs, ” We ain’t foodies! Ya’ll just a bunch of poodies!” I can’t believe auto correct didn’t turn that into poodles as I was expecting it would.

The Go-Bots Freakin’ Sucked! Part One

  There is no easy way to put it, not without the use of harsh language. The Go-Bots were terrible and arguably the lamest toy line from the 80’s. After my post about Jem, I started thinking about all the cartoons and toys from my childhood. Then I remembered the Go-Bots! They had a cartoon called Challenge of the Go-Bots, where they issued the challenge to the viewer to not change the channel.  Each week, a team of remedial Autobots would do battle against of a team of half-assed Decepticon rejects. Go-Bots truly were the poor kids Transformers.

  They were made with concept that children were dumb, really, really, dumb. In hindsight, the amount of condescension is truly astounding. Apparently the designers thought children just lie in heaps, breathing through their mouths and sucking food off of the ground like some bottom feeding sea slug. Every now and then kids would yell “Scooter!” at a soul shuddering decibel. Causing parents to drop dishes and go into cardiac arrest.  There just simply was no way children could handle the complex transformations of the Transformers. Go-Bots were made to fill that gap. They were quick, easy, and good to go!

  Perhaps the designer was insipid and could not handle more than a few steps in the transformation process. What if this guy had gotten a job at Ikea in later years. Sure you could probably put your furniture together in under five minutes, but it wouldn’t look good or be comfortable. Couches would literally be a bean bag chair and a sheet of plywood!

  In any case, Go-Bots looked like vehicles when in  both vehicle mode and robot mode. However, in the cartoon their faces were always present, even when in vehicle mode. Head turns caused rigid parts of their bodies to go off model. For instance when in bike mode, Larry the Motorcycle’s neck turns and bends in such a way that the viewer knew it wasn’t metal. Which really broke the illusion. Especially for any child sentient enough to know to not shut their hand in a car door or that Transformers were far superior.

 (Concluded)

The Go Bots Freakin’ Sucked! Part Two

(Continued From)

The toys themselves were somewhere between transformer plastic and hot wheel metal. This makes sense as they were made by Tonka, who had a history of making toy vehicles. Each and every character stood ramrod straight with nearly no points of articulation. Rarely did they have moving wrists, elbows, knees, or waists. Those fleeting instances of articulation were only for folding the robot back into vehicle mode. Most of them didn’t have feet either, they just stood on their bumpers or tail wings.

Leader One and Cop-tur(d) might have been the only two semi passable characters. Cy-kill chewed the scenery like a heffer with a tapeworm. While Scooter was the equivalent of Jar-Jar before any of us knew who the hell Jar-Jar even was. Everyone else ate cyber-dee to the point that it is now extinct. Almost all of them had a name that sounded like it could have been a turn of the century post grunge nu-metal band: Loco, Dumper, Grungy, Pumper, just to name a few.

I didn’t always have such vitriol for the Go-Bots, I received Scooter for my birthday. I lived out in the boonies and had never seen the cartoon. He was red and snazzy and I let him hang out with my Transformer. Which was exceptionally rare as I was toy gourmet and never allowed any such crossovers. Within a few days his chest piece became unaligned, but with a little work and constantly adjusting the metal hinge I got by. Then he took a turn for the worse and couldn’t hold his head up anymore. It would flip up for a second, but then it would flop back down.

We went to my grandmother’s house, which is where I got to see all the good cartoons. That was when I had my first real battle with actualization. In my head, Scooter was cool. What I saw on screen though was something much different. He sucked! His voice was high pitched and he was mostly useless. I had a real difficult time coming to grips with that. If I ever truly did.

After twenty five years I still think Scooter sucks. I am okay with that, we all can’t be zingers. Go-Bots in their entirety sucked. When your coolest characters would be the lamest characters in another show there is a problem. I know that Hasbro owns the rights to Go-Bots. I know of a couple of comics where a few Go-Bots show up and are made fun or die or something. I think now in an era where irony sells. Where Hasselhoff and Sharknado are actual money making juggernauts. Now more than ever, there needs to be a reboot of the Go-Bots. Something satirical that encapsulates their suckiness in all its glory. If you can’t beat’em admit that you suck and embrace it. Hasbro, make it happen!

Jem (And) The Hologram(s): Synergetically Challenged.

  Have you seen the trailer for Jem and the Holograms? If you haven’t take this moment to do so. Okay done? So what did you think? If you liked it and can literally not quit pissing your pants with delight, this is your stop. Stay on if you want, but you have been warned. For those of you who have standards and good taste, stick with me and lets wallow in disappointment together.

  First, I am a guy, but that didn’t stop me from watching Jem as a kid. I mostly started watching it because it was on before He-Man and G.I Joe. I would show up early as not to miss any of my favorite cartoons, which was pretty much all of them. As time went on I started to actually like Jem and started showing up early for it.

  When I saw the trailer was out I became hesitantly excited and sent the link to my wife, she was a big fan when she was a kid. We watched it on her PC. The disappointment was so palpable, the dogs left the room. Here was some fifteen year old girl who puts on her own makeup, then breaks up with her band and dumps the orphans. I was super excited when I caught my first glimpse of who I thought to be the best casting for Pizazz ever, Juliette Lewis! Instead, she is the gender swapped Eric. Which isn’t so bad I guess, but come the frick on!

  At this point I started looking around the room, I was kind of bored. Then I began to think about all the fans and how disappointed they were going to be. In the matter of two in half minutes, Jem is relegated to being a young and seemingly powerless girl both literally and “magically.” She can’t keep her band together, cries a lot, and can’t figure out if she is Jerrica or Jerrica who puts her pants on one leg at a time and has no synergy, a.k.a. Jem.

  Why can’t she be an older more confident woman? Selfmade, powerful, and owner of Starlight records.Someone who gives kids hope and lets them forget about their problems! Someone kids can look up to and say “I want to be like her!”

  Also, there is a glint from a stage light as she rubs her earring and mumbles “Showtime Synergy.” Which is when you hope the whole trailer was just a hologram and is going to transform into something outrageous. It doesn’t. I guess her dad wasn’t some super smart computer scientist after all.

So, what do you think?

Another Article, Another Print Books Are Dead Headline. Part Three: YOLO! Unless You Are J.R. Ewing or Books.

(Continued From) 

  Look e-readers and tablets are great. I have one and I love reading on it, but there are still books I buy in physical format. I still go the library and check out print books. Why? Because they are cool! Print is here to stay, people like it. The smell, the feel, the look. All those covers and the way books on shelves make you look smarter than you really are. The pile by the couch and the one on your nightstand. Books will get you laid, yes even Dragonlance if you enjoy a challenge.

  Books are freaking books they are the ultimate form of the written word. We started out on cave walls and moved onto stone tablets, then papyrus. Huge freaking tomes that were all handwritten by monks who never had sex because they had to spend all their time writing. Then we got the printing presses and yes, the books were still big and only rich people had them. Then movable type came along and books started getting smaller and more accessible. Already by that point, more than just rich and privileged were learning how to read.

  This isn’t unlike home video that leapt from its own stone tablet like reels of the movie theatres and into VHS cassettes. Which was sort of similar the smaller and more portable books. Then of course there were DVD’s followed by Blu-Ray. They weren’t really any more portable, just better than the first version. Like getting better print, better bindings, moveable freaking type. Plus, all that happened in under fifty years. Humans as a whole didn’t have time to get thoroughly attached to them. Books have been around a lot longer. They are entrenched in our blood.

  Now both books and film are both on digital format. Which is great because I can go on a three hour flight and have one hundred and thirty books and seventy movies with me in one spot. I don’t have to make the decisions like the rich people did before their journey to the new world and limit my luggage to only one hundred books. Isn’t technology grand? No decisions, no regrets, YOLO!

  Rollerblades didn’t kill bicycles. Calzones didn’t kill pizza. CSI: Miami didn’t kill CSI. However good taste and the war on drugs killed disco. And a cataclysm infected meteor killed the dinosaur. Look, the best you doomsayers are going to get – if you get anything at all – is a situation like the shooting of J.R. Ewing, print books being J.R. and epubs being the shooting sister-in-law. Where killing the best thing about your world turns out to be a terrible idea and sets off some boring and bizarre events. Ultimately, it will turn out to be just a horrible dream. All will be corrected in about eight months, book time.

C51 Passed. Oh Brother, You Are So Big.

  Well it is all over folks. Warm up the bus. Just go home and take all our anti-C51 “propaganda” with you. Leave no trace. We knew it was going to happen all along. It is just fist bumps and cold beers for the conservatives and liberals now. Enjoy doing keg stands on our dime. Enjoy looking at our twitter feeds. Enjoy zerberting Mulcair’s bare belly.

  Who the hell wanted this damn bill? I haven’t seen any schmos with poster boards stating that they would like this thing passed. I haven’t witnessed very many pro C51 supporters bickering on the television. When I did, they were conservatives, the kind that aren’t ready to admit that they may have overstayed their welcome. Or they were liberals who will do anything for a vote. Anything! Take this moment to think of something you would like to see a liberal do. Yes, even that!

  Many of us felt safe already. Don’t you feel safer though? No, I feel like a citizen with the power to arrest me and make me disappear is on the other side of this monitor reading this as I write. Wondering if I should be flagged and the answer to that is no, I am really not that interesting.

  “Boss he says he isn’t interesting, but he is speaking his opinion on the government. Is this post spicy enough to merit more snooping?”

  “List him as an apple fritter. Seems spicy, but it is just cinnamon and nutmeg. Nothing on the Scoville Scale.”

  Look Trudeau, I know your party was decimated during the last federal election. I can appreciate your party’s new and more moderate approach. This however is leaned way over the conservative side of the fence. This is vote pandering and is also driven a wedge between your old supporters and the ones you are trying to get. Honestly, the vote was 183 to 96. Your party didn’t even pretend to feign interest in the other direction. You just outright voted in favor!

  You said you would amend the bill if your party won. If your party won? So you have thrown us under the bus in hopes that your party wins! The same party that was annihilated during the last federal election after calling a no confidence! The same party that lost the one before that one and the one before that one! You sir, have a gambling problem!

  However, you might have unwittingly done the most noble thing you could have done. Played the part of a sacrificial lamb. Did you just cause vote splitting between liberals and conservatives? Pulling your party more towards the right to leave plenty of distinction that the NDP is the only major party for those that lean left?

  Here is a joke for the voting booth. What is the difference between a conservative and liberal? Conservatives spy on your facebook, while liberals spy on your twitter.