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20 December, 2010

Christmas time

Well, we are almost there at Christmas and so we thought it was just about time to put up the Christmas decorations at home over the weekend. The tree looks pretty darn good even if I do say so myself and it only took 5 sets of lights to light the whole thing! Amazing. Speaking of decorating I saw, but resisted the most awesome ornament:

Putting decorations up is usually a pretty simple task for me except when it comes to lighting the tree and putting up the ornaments. When I put the ornaments I am always overwhelmed by the amount of branches and seem to end up putting six ornaments on the same branch without realizing. Or I constantly pass up the "good branch" thinking that there will be a better or heavier ornament that needs it. It's usually takes a good hour to get the thing complete. With the lights I usually do a pretty good job despite being two feet shorter than the top of the tree and not being to reach around it without getting a face full of needles. In fact, most of the time I'm putting up the tree lights, or lights outside the house I look like Doc Brown from Back to the Future:
Never mind. All done for this year!

16 December, 2010

A Furn-ace oddity

This article just made me burst into song today:

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
It's just a phone call I'm doing nothing wrong.

Ground Control to Major Tom
Get your cell phone, turn it on.
I'm outside your business, without my trousers on.

14 December, 2010

More on hard work

If you are an avid reader of this blog you may remember an earlier rant all about the phrase "hard work" and how I really can't stand it. It lacks any meaning whatsoever yet people use it all the time to justify things and elevate them above the imaginary class of "non-hard working people" who I gather, in America, are people who are a little less disliked that Communists, and a little more disliked than socialists.

The term arose it's ugly head during this whole "tax the wealthy" debate currently going on. One side of the argument being that a) everybody should be taxed the same, b) rich people create jobs and c) rich people are rich because they worked hard and hard working Americans deserve to keep more money in their pocket.

By that logic, we should be swimming in jobs considering how the rich have gotten much more wealthy over the years.

But let's take a look at my real beef, the "hard working" aspect. So, are rich people rich simply because they worked harder than the rest of us? Let's look at some rich people like say.. LeBron James. He earns $14.5 million a year right now over at Miami (who said I didn't know anything about sports? I surprise myself sometimes). I wonder how hard he worked to get to the NBA and be a successful athlete? My guess is probably pretty hard! A lot of hours on the court and off the court improving physical and mental skills in order to play at a professional level. But let's say there was another player who trained with LeBron, taught him everything he knew but just didn't want to play in the NBA and plays for a local amateur team, or was off sick the day the talent scouts came knocking and got a job at Big lots instead. His level of "hard work" is equal (if not more) yet his salary is probably around 1%. How can that be?

It's because hard work doesn't = success or wealth. Just look at former Governors of Alaska. I should also add that I doubt LeBron James is creating too many jobs. Not when he's blowing his money on big fancy houses.

It seems to me that the rich and super rich made or make SO much money because of the "hard work" of others and so they do deserve to pay their fair share. LeBron is only making that amount of money because many hard working Americans pay lots of money to buy the overpriced Heat Merchandise, buy an overpriced ticket to the game and buy overpriced snacks while at said game. Then they get home to watch the highlights on overpriced cable on their overpriced TV in their undervalued house. Therefore, he should have to pay a fair amount of taxes to give back to the society that allowed him to have the success in the first place. It is not taking the hard earned money out of his pockets, it is claiming back the loan that America, the society, has given to him.

Those who still believe that the wealthy shouldn't be taxed highly cling onto the irrational belief that wealth is heading their way soon so we better keep taxes low for me. Which is probably why the lottery is still so popular.

13 December, 2010

A day in the snow

Well, it was a snow day today and although I do not go to school or have any kids I was still granted a little extra in bed this morning thanks to the wonderful white stuff. I didn't escape completely unscathed, however, as I still had an appointment in the afternoon which I kept and had a fun time driving on two lane snow covered roads to get to.

It honestly wasn't too bad. It didn't snow, the roads were fairly well traveled. In fact, I didn't have any incidents of note until I got to the housing development and some jerk-face starts backing his car out even though he could have seen me coming about 5 minutes down the road, if he would have turned his head to look. The roads in the development were snow on ice, on snow on frozen water that had been covered in Vaseline...that's how slippery they were. He only put on the brakes when I hit the horn and both of us ended up skidding a little.

Thankfully we missed each other. Or should I say, he missed me. and I carried on...after yelling "jerk-face" out of the window...O.K. not really. It is the season after I used far worse language than that. Let's just say the air went blue, and somewhere far away a sailor covered their ears bashfully.

On a completely different note, did anyone see Paul McCartney on SNL and Jimmy Fallon? He still has the magic.

12 December, 2010

Finishing a good thing/Must all good things come to an end?

I struggled to come up with a decent title for this post. I wanted to describe a phenomenon that was brought to my attention this week so if y'all have ever experienced it and have a much better title let me know so I can steal it and take all the credit for it.

Here's what it is...have you ever received say...a box of fancy cigars? Expensive wine? Delicious chocolates? Have you ever DVR'd a whole tv series or bought one on DVD? Trying, tasting, watching the first item is always deliciously scrumptious and a real highlight to the week. You savor the moment and put a joyous note in your diary: "Dear Diary, today rocked. I had some awesome cupcakes!"

Well, that is all well and good..but what happens when you reach the last few, the last drops, the last tv show? Now, excitement and wonder have been replaced with a bitter sweet dread. If I watch the last episode, you say to yourself wistfully, then there will be no more. A tear rolls down your face as you insert the dvd and watch the last ever episode of Two and a Half Men (I know that show hasn't finished yet, but hey, I can dream).

What I am having difficulty labeling is that experience of prolonging the last of something enjoyable. But not because of delayed gratification but more because you are almost too scared to allow something enjoyable to end. I was listening on the radio this week to a discussion about comic books and the host stated to the guest that he had read all of his comic book series (The Black Orchid, I think) but couldn't bring himself to read the last 3 or 4 episodes because he didn't want the series to end. He liked it so much he couldn't finish it. It sounds crazy.

I can think of two examples from my own experience of the same thing. The first happens when I receive food that I really enjoy from England that is unavailable over here. Number one are cheese shapes (any generic kind will do) and number two are Minstrels. Every now and then a member of my family will send me these at my request. I'll eat a bag or two but struggle to bring myself to eat the last bag. What's real stupid is that I let them expire rather than finish the last one...even though I could probably order them on the internet or simply request more.

Another example is when Mrs Allclick bought the Firefly series for me. We watched the first 9 episodes but as the one and only series drew to a close it became harder and harder to watch the episodes. I think there were at least 2 months between when we watched the last episode and the episode before it.

So, what is that all about? If you have some examples I'd love to hear them and a bonus prize to someone who can describe it better than me!

07 December, 2010

Podcast Episode 4: Preview

Podcast coming soon! On it, I review "The Expendables" and "Devil" as One guy with Two movies.

FYI, the dodgy audio quality was a conscious but not completely controllable choice...

06 December, 2010

A question of "Jerk-facedness"

So, let's say you come up with a great idea. You put a lot of time into the idea and think it's awesome. You share it with someone. Then a few months down the line everyone is using your idea but no-one can remember where the idea came from. Is it jerk-facedness to point out to everyone it was your idea in the first place and therefore everyone should bathe in your awesomeness?

I find it a difficult conundrum. I honestly do not like talking about my accomplishments or cool things I have been fortunate enough to do unless I'm flat out asked about it or I'm with company who know I'm not a self-obsessed jerk-face. Yet, in the work environment in the US it seems that if you don't promote yourself no-one else is looking after your back. It also seems pretty common to hear folk talking about themselves in flattering ways in everyday conversation around these parts so maybe I should join in.

However, I tend to think that if I have to tell everyone how awesome I am, I'm probably not all that awesome....

(but actually I am!)


04 December, 2010

How to start a hoax

I have finally figured out the secret to how hoaxes start...let's take a look...

First, think of a belief you have that you want everyone else to have.
Second, Look for evidence of this belief.
Third, when you find that there is no evidence or barely any decide it's time to make some up/misinterpret other evidence on purpose.

The best way to do this is to think of something that really scares people such as this word list:
Rabies, germs, Deficit, criminals with guns/having sex/voting, foreigners, New Jersey, Socialists, Michael Myers.... Mike Myers...

and then connect that really scary thing to a current piece of legislation/new law/thing you once heard someone say on the telly/Fox News story.

Next step think of a catchy gimicky soundbite like: "He's not one of us!" or "New law makes it illegal to eat food!" or "Government now must sign off before you wipe your ass! And it has to be on government approved toilet paper!" or you can take the easy way out and just decry vague sentiments of how "America is changing for the worst/being flushed down the toilet/being screwed up into a tight paper ball and launched across a busy work environment into a steel trash can/where is my America???"

Once that is complete, go forth and spread the word! It really helps if it's a site that allows comments because then you can personally answer ALL the comments. You can support those that comment about how great you are and awesome for realizing the "truth" and the state that anyone who disagrees with you is "stupid", "delusional", and "brainwashed".

After degrading them you have therefore made what they say unimportant and therefore can't possibly be true! Great job!

For extra credit, you can also make a point, when people complain, of saying things like "You do know that is incredibly biased to the left/the right/the middle/big business/the government." or "You do know that all your "facts" are unbelievable because I don't like them". That way, you have instantly stopped others from actually checking into your hoax! Kudos to you!

Before I finish, I would like to say that this post couldn't have been made possible without this gem:

So, thank you RachellRobinson...keep up the good work, star pupil of mine!