February 22, 2010

Sign(age) of the times

In a response to a down economy, the definition of a "roadside emergency" has apparently been expanded to include the breakdown of, among other things, your TV remote control.


I like the delivery idea, because there are certainly days when I can't muster up the energy to drive the half-mile to the CVS, but let's be honest: if you are someone who requires help with installation, then I'm not sure AAA can provide you with the help you really need...  

February 14, 2010

Some Valentine's Day advice

Guys,

This is true on any day, but especially so today: whatever you do, do NOT be this guy:




I can't stress this enough.  Otherwise, this may follow shortly:




No need to thank me.  I'm a helper, it's what I do.

Have a happy Valentine's Day. 


Note: the musical stylings above are from an Australian group called Tripod.  If you like Flight of the Conchords, you should check them out.

January 26, 2010

Dexy's Midnight Runners never even occurred to me...

Spend enough time in random conversation, or random thought, and eventually either you or someone you know will pose the question:

If you had a rock band, what would you call it?

We've all thought about it.  Hell, Dave Barry made something of a part-time job of it.  But at one time or another it has come up, because let's face it: we'd all just as soon be rock stars.

It took me a long time to settle on mine, and by a long time I mean I came up with it in the past year.  And as it happens, it did come up at a party last weekend.

If I had a band, I would call it Something Else.

I like it for a number of reasons, but one most of all: no matter what someone is listening to, if they don't like it, they're going to ask for us.

If you had a rock band (or when you and your friends are playing Rock Band, whatever), what would you call it?

January 1, 2010

A brief look back

I'm generally not one for Year-in-Review kinds of posts, but I have to admit that this past year was a pretty big one in a lot of ways for yours truly.  Lots of changes in my life and those around me, and by and large in very good ways.  Not every bit of news was happy, but on balance 2009 went pretty well.

The highlights (in no particular order):
- Bought a house (after a very long, eight-month search)
- Popped The Question (and got The Right Answer)
- Saw two of my closest friends welcome beautiful baby girls into their families, with kids coming into the lives of other friends and family as well.
- I stayed employed, and stayed busy (key to the staying employed, as you can imagine) with a company that actually saw growth in '09.
- Got to see my brother and sister-in-law in their new house (found, coincidentally enough, the same weekend we found ours)
- Had a great birthday and birthday week (although the actual getting-older part is somewhat dubious as a highlight...), followed by a fantastic Christmas visit with my family in Florida.

As lowlights go, just about the only major blemish on 2009 was that we lost Gramps.  He is still missed, and still loved, and will be fondly remembered this and every year.  One bittersweet thing about planning the wedding is the knowledge that he won't be there to see it.  But he did get to meet The Girl, and it's good to know that he wholeheartedly approved of her.  I guess you could say he will be there with us, just at a different table.

So as years go, 2009 was a pretty good one, and it gives way to a 2010 that is already looking to be busier (if that's possible).  Lots of travel, and what I am sure are going to be many adventures in wedding planning.  I don't know that I have much in the way of resolutions, but I have some goals.  One of them is (again) to be a little better about keeping up with this place, but if you've been reading for any length of time you know how challenging that will be.  But I do appreciate those of you who stop by.  Some I know, many I don't, but I thank everyone just the same. 

So Happy New Year to all.  May 2010 bring you all the good news you can handle.  And then throw in a little more, because moderation is overrated in that particular area.

December 17, 2009

A new box

So I'm in the middle of my lunch yesterday, and I get a call from my mother.  The conversation lasted all of about ten seconds.  She called to say, simply,

"35 years ago today, right this minute."

Granted, we would talk again later, but that was her message at the time.

So yeah, yesterday was my 35th birthday.  I'm now 35 years old. And at 35, you get a new box.

You are now, "35 or older."  35-plus, even.  I'm a plus now.

It seems like only yesterday, I was one of the chosen ones, the sought-after.  I was in that highly desired group, males between the ages of 18 and 34.  But no longer.

Now I'm a marketing outcast.  I'm not hip or interesting.  Spike TV no longer gives a crap whether or not I watch their programs.

From an advertising standpoint, I no longer exist.

I'm overreacting, you say?  Making a mountain out of a molehill?  Maybe, but let's find out.

Go to google, and type in "males age 18-34." The first ten hits are all about advertising.  In fact, the first link is to a conference; a conference whose entire purpose is to talk about marketing to males in that age range.  In fact, the only non-advertising link in the first twenty hits?  The UFC home page.

Now, let's look at the other age group, shall we? "males age 35 and older"

First hit?  An Amazon.com link: How to Date Young Women.  In fact, nine of the top twenty hits are on the subject of dating (both straight and gay).  In the remainder, four are discussions of the male biological clock.  Not a peep about advertising, marketing, or targeting that demographic (well, I guess you could say there's some targeting going on, but that's a whole different post).  These are my people now.

Look, I'm not actually all that bothered about turning 35, just like I wasn't all that jarred by turning 30 (although 31 was a little strange).  It's just odd to note that, simply by virtue of turning one year older, and entire industry seems to have lost interest in my opinion.  They're more or less the same as they were on Monday, but they're just no longer suitable for measurement.  Just feels a little strange is all.

But everything will be all right.  I'm not going to start yelling at people to get off my lawn (at least, no more than usual).  I had a great birthday with a whole weekend of celebration to go along with it.  Now I can wind down a little, maybe watch some TV.

Maybe I'll even turn on Spike, just for old time's sake.

November 11, 2009

A different kind of holiday

I have never been in the military.

For most of my life, I'd have told you that I wasn't cut out for it, mostly owing to a general tendency to question authority, and a distaste for because-I-said so.  Because really, I'm a smart-ass, and from what I can tell that doesn't get you terribly far in those circles.  And while I believe now that I would be a good officer, maybe even a natural leader, the simple truth is that I can't say for certain how I would respond in the white-hot crucible that is live combat, making those split-second decisions that quite literally are a matter of life and death.  But then, I don't suppose any of us really can, until we find ourselves there.  For better or worse, I have never had to find out.  I have the luxury of speculation because there are people out there who made the conscious decision to put themselves in harm's way in my stead.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by current and former military, throughout both my social and professional circles.  Two people I have written about before; many others I could mention given enough space and time.  Cousins, friends, current and former co-workers, with one cousin and one close friend's significant other currently "overseas."  I am fortunate for two reasons: one, because virtually every one of these people are a credit to the armed forces and to our country, for what they have done but more for the people they are; and two, and perhaps more importantly, every one of them has come home.

The convention for greetings on holidays is more or less always, "Happy [holiday name here]."  That's fine in general, but I have some difficulty with it on Veterans' Day, mostly because while we are celebrating the men and women currently serving in uniform, we are also paying our respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of their country.  So in that regard, "happy" seems a bit misplaced, if you ask me.

Instead, I will simply offer a Grateful Veterans' Day to all, current, former, retired, whatever.  If you or someone you know and/or love is in active service, or supporting someone who is, I would just like to say thanks, and I hope that you or they remain safe and get home soon.  Whether or not we remember to say it often (or often enough), we appreciate all that you do for all of us.


No politics, just respect: I support the troops..

October 28, 2009

Pet Peeves: Courtesy Uncommon

Let me just put this out there : if you're walking through a door and you let it swing closed behind you without so much as a glance over your shoulder to see if anyone is there?  You're an asshole (and I don't care if you're a man or a woman, btw). 

It really is that simple.  Unlike so many other areas of our lives that are filled with nuance and shades of gray, this is delightfully, blissfully clear: Asshole, or Not Asshole.  No latitude, no margin for error, no wiggle room.  No extra thought or analysis required.

I was originally going to elaborate on this, maybe even rant a little.  But you know what?  Not necessary; the moral of the story is plain and obvious:

Pay attention.  Don't be an asshole*.

* I recognize that this advice/philosophy is applicable in a wide range of situations and aspects of life, but I prefer to keep my expectations reasonable (i.e. low).  It's all about choosing your battles, people.
 
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