Oh, the irony

I went to read an article about obesity in America and this popped up over the article. In order to red the article you have to agree to their use of “cookies”.




April Fools

Tomorrow is April Fools, and I thought I would share an April Fools joke I pulled at work that was epic. I worked in a cusotmer service center that handled inbound calls for a large car manufacturer. Our computers were set up at each station in long rows and back to back. Each row had about 12 units, so a total of 24 computers had all their cords streaming down a common center area. Yes, this is before everthing was wireless. Since I worked in the legal department, our calls were mostly out bound, with the occasional inbound call from a customer’s attorney. Most of our work was busy work filling in forms and typing outbound legal letters. At the time, we used Microsoft Word as our word processing software. On one April Fools day, I came in WAY too early so that I could crawl underneath the units and switch all of the keyboard wires. In essence, your keyboard was connected to someone elses computer and vice versa….so…when you started typing a letter, whatever you were writing showed up on someone elses screen. Whatever they were typing showed up on yours. So you are typing “Dear Mr. Joe”, but what may have been showing up is “I hope we can agree….”

It created an awful lot of confusion and just a few “what the f*cks??” After about 10 minutes and 500 calls to tech support, they all figured out what had happened. At first everyone was a little upset, but after awhile they all realized how funny it was and we all had a good laugh. Except Tech Support. I was admonsihed for about 45 seconds but the operations manager could not keep a straight face, so it was agreed on that I would “never ever pull a stunt like that again”.  Well, at least not until next April fools day.

Innocence reborn?

This morning my wife was doing her weight lifting workout, and asked me to put on some music to help her get to the beat, and I chose the Soundtrack to “Eddie and the Cruisers”.  The actual band on the soundtrack is John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, and if you are old enough to recall either the movie or the soundtrack, then you know it is a 1960’s James Dean themed feature.

This movie is one I would place in my top ten of all time, and the soundtrack is great from top to bottom, but none of this is why I am writing this blog today. Here is the real reason: When did movies ALL become political? What happened to the Karate Kid, The Money Pit, the Up the Creek’s? Today, even the most inane movies have an underlying political mark to them, and it really gets annoying.  It used to be you could go to a movie and ENJOY the movie, now it seems at least half the audience will leave pissed. It didn’t have enough blacks. It had too many blacks. Why are half the characters gay and kissing? Since when did Spider Man become hispanic?  Why is that American Indian played by a non native American?  Wait? Did they just put the leading lady into the kitchen cooking? How stereotypical!

I do not blame all the producers. We have too many folks going into movies LOOKING for something to complain about. You create a WW2 movie, or a Western Gun Slinger, and the next thing you know, a video goes viral because some Mom (who took her kids to an R movie because they whined too long) has a meltdown because she thinks there is too much gun violence in the film.

I am part guilty for this as well. I do not go looking for the political statement, but if it presents itself, it ruins the entire movie. If I pay to see Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, I am going to see Dinosaurs chomp on people, not to hear a narrative about global warming.  If I go to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, please leave out the “world needs to just get along” underpinning, and just let the lasers blast crap out of the sky.

Just let Eddie and the Cruisers be Eddie and the Cruisers.

December 25th: A Day of Survival

I am not a big fan of holidays, especially big ones like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am not a big “Bah Humbug” type, just do not try to get all caught up in the excitement.  My wife and I spend our holidays with general peace and tranquility, talking to family through one of many electronic conveniences, but in the end, our holidays are spent with each other, and for me, that is the best way I could spend the time.

When I was 8 my Mom and Dad divorced, she ran off to New Mexico with her “half-her-age” boyfriend, and my dad got all five of us rambunctious kids. Me, 3 brothers (2 older) and an older sister.  I remember, to that point, some really good Christmases. Presents, trees, Santa…and we all had fun. Two years later, when I was ten, my Dad remarried. To say I scorned this women would be a massive understatement, but my dad loved her, she loved him enough to take on 5 kids (it was her first marriage and she was around 36 years old), so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. That lasted about 6 months, when I realized her entire drive in life was to have my father to herself, and she set out to separate all the kids as fast as she could. Within 18 months of the marriage, she had managed to drive my two older brothers and older sister out of the house. Still in their mid teens, they stole away and headed west to find my mom (it was another 30 years before I was able to see them again). I and my little brother stayed, and man was it rough. Not rough as in physical harm, although I can recall many ass-whoopings I did not deserve but encountered because she had too  much to drink and needed some entertainment, but because she went out of her way to make EVERYTHING for us uncomfortably awkward.  And that included holidays. They were all miserable – birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter…all of them. It got to the point I dreaded the holidays, and I guess that carried over to my adulthood.

One I reached the age of emancipation, I scrammed, eventually winding up in the army, where I stayed most of my adult life. Anyone who spent more than two holiday seasons in the Army knows that the Army does not shut down for anything. Most of the time, it is business as usual, so Christmas was no different than June 9, or October 2. This added to my lack of anticipation for holidays, and combine that with shitty childhood memories, I guess they just never took on a special meaning to me.  Eventually, they just became Hall-Mark driven spend-a-thons destined to separate you from as much of your cash as possible. If it is a family thing, then you are doing it wrong, because everyday should be a family thing. My love for my family is a 365 day thing, and to pick a single day on the calendar that I am supposed to love them more says that I am not loving them fully the rest of the year, and I can assure you, that is not the case with me.

So I smile at the festivities, talk to the family, and enjoy time with my wife, but if you are waiting for me to embrace all that is Christmas- the lights, the trees, the shopping bustle, black Friday – you might want to bring along something to read to help pass the time.

What is perfect?

Today I had to make that dreaded trip. We all have one, be it the dentist, the Doctor, the principals office. Well, for me it is Walmart. There is little there to consider a positive experience except maybe the prospect of saving a dollar or two. Not sure I save as much as I used to, and there are now competitors that seem to undercut many of their items. But I digress. While there, after a little more observation, I got to wondering, is there anything on earth that does not have bias? Is there truly anybody or anything that does not judge based on some idiosyncrasy,  based on race, sex, sexual identity, health, weight, the way you look cosmetically, the car you drive, your job, your political affiliation, the brand tag in your clothes, your education level…… on ANYTHING? Do not say people, because that is a 100% lie. Do not say your pet, because I know for a fact (observed) that my dog can make a distinction and get angry in a hurry. But Walmart did, in fact, bring to light something that has NO BIAS. None at all. It is international, speaks every known language on earth, is resistant to every known medical treatment, and can (and will)  gladly live in any neighborhood comfortably. Wanna take a guess? Braaaaa….times up. Here it is-


Whose security is important?

Today’s automobiles are marvels of safety. They are equipped with multiple air bags (and by multiple, I mean several), reinforced door panels, shatterproof glass, solid steel chassis, collapsible engines, and roofs designed to withstand a roll. Because of all these features, people have survived some of the most horrific crashes imaginable. Cars that are totaled and crunched so bad as to be unrecognizable still allow the occupants to walk away unharmed, and in many cases, without hardly a scratch. Yet, in spite of these safety marvels, it is against the law to drive/ride without a seat-belt.  Okay. They are concerned for my safety, and if one more feature makes the difference, I get it. Thanks. Here is what I do not get – Motorcycles have NONE of these safety features. A motorcycle has NO safety features at all. The only thing between you and a problem should you get in an accident is pavement or the persons windshield.  Yet, it is legal to ride without a helmet. Why is that? Are you saying that motorcycle riders are not as important as automobile drivers? There safety is of no concern? Are they just safer because, I don’t know, they can jump off at the last minute?  I am not sure what the message is here, but I am guessing it has to do with streaming revenue, and passenger safety is not so much a consideration as they want us to believe. Just a thought. Thanks for letting me share.

But not your country?

I read with just a little interest the articles on Amazon employees striking, mostly in Europe and the UK (yes, I have already completed the BREXIT at my house). Understand, I am not a fan of Unions. They are dinosaurs that have outlived their usefulness and are nothing more than mobs trying to gouge the businesses they are employed by, including this group. I am a firm believer that if you are unhappy with your job, leave. But I got to thinking about this from a different angle. No, I still think Unions are dinosaurs. It is the people involved in these strikes/walkouts/revolts against employers that got me to thinking….

Here is my new observation: Why is it that these people are so willing to stand up to their employer, but not their politicians? It has been 2.5 years since BREXIT passed in Great Britain, and yet, the elected officials are to this day bickering not only about when, but IF. I thought the elections took care of the if part, and the when should not have been 2.5 years. I do not claim to understand all the intricacies because I do not understand all the connections of each country to the EU. I guess in my simple mind, I see it as “today we are part of your union, tomorrow we will not be, we can work out details as we go”. But nope, you have individual politicians making decisions that are not the will of the majority. And the Majority are letting them. Of course they letting them. They are to busy striking against their employer, who is paying their wages and offering them an opportunity.  Pretty soon employers find alternatives, you have no job, and you become reliant on a government that stopped listening to you years ago. Sound familiar? It should.  It is coming to a neighborhood near you. Stay tuned.