• Training videos don’t win Oscars

    Posted by on May 22, 2018

    My summer job in college was a steel mill, so we had to watch the same four safety videos every year.  One was basically a really bad actor saying “I don’t have time for safety!” then a Good Samaritan type stopping before he jammed his head in a machine press or grabbed a power line, followed by “Wow!  Safety really is important!”  I was always cheering for the dude to grab the power line so there was more excitement.  Even the video about the guy who didn’t turn his truck off and had a gas leak hit the engine, which burned 90 of his body was boring.  The story was horrific and he went into pained detail about the burn unit, but he talked so calmly, three of five people fell asleep in my first training day.  Of course, we were all college students, so being hungover didn’t help.

    I had to watch harassment videos recently.  The ironic thing is that my manager, regional manager, regional VP and national sales manager are all women and no one is harassing this dad bod.  The videos were pretty bad and they even had a game at the end, so they tried, they really did.  I just realized that as ridiculous as some of it was, it meant that someone did the things in the videos.

    As I was watching, I was told not to make sexually explicit gestures to my co-workers.  Guess no more Degeneration X crotch taunts at the coffee pot!  I have a picture in my head of the guy doing those by the way and he looks exactly like what you’re thinking.  They also had a point of view video of a man telling another man, “It’s great that we have a sales dinner, but you and your partner are going to ruin the boy girl, boy girl seating arrangement.”  I realized someone probably actually said that too.  What adult says boy girl to another human adult and who is really upset by that?  “Well, I’m not a homophobe, but I have crippling OCD and I demand gender balance at my dinner table.”  They also covered age discrimination, which is good, because I haven’t watched Logan’s Run in a while and I might make a wrong turn heading for the exit.

  • What your choice of music says about you

    Posted by on May 17, 2018

    I see these types of surveys/psychoanalysis forms all over social media.  “What Harry Potter character are you?” or “What kind of pie would you be if you were a pie?”  OK, I may have not seen that last one, but whatever.  Here’s my stab at it.  Oh and my answers are 1) I have no idea and 2) Black Raspberry.

    “Everything” radio stations – We play everything!  You’re a political independent.  You’re actually independent on everything because you wouldn’t want to upset anyone.  When it comes on, you look around the room with an empty smile and nod your head.

    Classic rock – You definitely spent the weekend painting or mowing and you have six pairs of jorts.  You ride with the windows down and smoke way too close to no smoking signs.

    Rap – I’ll speak for white people that listen to rap.  You talk to other white people about the coolest latest rap song and it’s hard to keep up, because you know so little about it, you’re constantly scouring the rap scene for the latest hot song.  You like all rap that’s new and talk about how all old rap used to be good, but really isn’t anymore.  I hate your guts, btw.

    Pop – You will literally listen to a cat being electrocuted if it has auto-tuned lyrics and a catchy beat.  90% of the music you listen to is sung by an anorexic girl and the lyrics were written by a fat white guy in his upper 40’s.  I really hate your guts, btw.

    Techno music – You have no soul.  You don’t exist to me.

    Nu-metal – You really like arguing with people you don’t know.

    Motown – You have good taste in music.  You also go to concerts where you’re surprised that many people in the band are still alive.

    Classical – You have a cat or five.  You have a bookcase full of books and you’ve read all of them twice or more.  You have no kids or they live very far away.

    Heavy metal – You are cursed to never be able to play your music at a party without someone complaining.  You appreciate guitar riffs and tolerate drum solos, but you put up with some garbage singing.  You’ve been in multiple fist fights and your favorite color is black.

    Alternative – For every good song you listen to, you listen to three that are pure trash.  Your favorite band’s name is stupid and makes no sense.  You make all your friends listen to the complete album and lose them by overreaching.

    Grunge – You definitely got cheated on in the 90’s or burned yourself with a cigarette at a party.  You hate most other music and your iPod hasn’t been updated in years.

  • Why do these people talk to me?

    Posted by on May 14, 2018

    I seem to be a magnet for odd or awkward conversation.  Recently, I was relieving myself when my daughter walked in, stood about six inches from me and said, “Dada’s pooping!”  “Well, I’m peeing…”  Any explanation was overridden with fear that at any second a sudden movement would have very disastrous consequences.  And that’s not even as bad as the rest of this list and she’s two.  These other people, adults.

    I called a business once to place an order.  I threw in the ol’ “How’s it going today?”  “My niece died.”  I was dead silent for about three seconds.  “I’m sorry to hear that, that’s terrible.”  “Did you need to order?”  He went from my niece died to did you need to order in one sentence.  I ordered just to move along past it.

    I did a show in a small town in the middle of nowhere.  A man, smashed, stumbled up.  “You need to do more racist jokes!”  Well, by more, you’re implying I did one in the first place.  His daughter, closer to my age, grabbed him.  “He’s not racist, only when he drinks.”  No, sounds like he’s always racist, stupid, it just comes out louder when he’s drunk.  Oh, and he looks like he drinks a lot.

    I was running with my dog years ago and a neighbor on the other side of my complex had her dog in the yard.  Her dog was a slobbering mess and unfixed.  As her dog and mine sniffed each other, she began talking.  “You should take your dog to a dog park!  There’s a nice one about 40 minutes from here.”  The whole time, her dog is trying to mount mine and slobbering all over his head and back.  “Yeah, that’s pretty far.  That’s why I am jogging with him now.  Exercise…hey can you grab your dog?”  She was impervious.  “I like the dog park.  Do you go to other ones?”  “No, never been once.  Hey, can you grab your dog now?”  “I found out about one that’s supposed to open soon.”  “OK, I’m out of here, nice talk.  Enjoy the dog park!”  I started jogging again with my dog; her dunce dog kept following us and she had zero interest in pursuing.  This happened about 11 more times, word for word, until one day, blocking the sidewalk yet again, she told me they had to move due to complaints against their dog, but maybe we should have our dogs meet to play.  I told her I didn’t remember my number and started running again.

  • The Ten Commandments of communication

    Posted by on May 10, 2018

    Yesterday, I had a serial violation committed against me that should have wound up with someone in jail.  I was emailed, then immediately called before the ink was even dry on the email.  That’s a metaphor, but you get it.  With modern technology, there are more ways than ever to contact people, so here are the rules that must be followed.

    Thou shalt not email, then immediately call.  Just call.  Or just email and wait, oh, maybe like more than 94 seconds.

    Thou shalt not end a line of communication, then strike up another.  Many moons ago, when I was single, I was talking to a girl and the conversation was dead in the water.  I was mercifully able to kill it off and jumped on Facebook to send a message.  I immediately saw her IM me on Facebook – “Hey, saw you’re online!”  Another 30 minutes of mundane nothingness later, I permanently disabled the IM feature.

    Honor the method of communication used.  Don’t Facebook message me, then text me follow up and leave a voice mail.  When I try to remember what I’m supposed to follow up on, I now have to search 12 different areas of conversation to find what the hell we were talking about.

    Thou shalt not delete text messages with 24 hours of receiving them and ask for the information again.  I HOPE MY WIFE READS THIS ONE COUGH COUGH.  Ok, that wasn’t subtle.


    Thou shalt not send a read receipt email for an email that says “Thanks!” or “Cool!”

    OK, there is only six commandments, but feel free to comment your own and maybe I’ll add more.

  • The internet is making us worse, part 1 – movie reviews of Avengers (no spoilers)

    Posted by on May 7, 2018

    I have thought about this topic for a while.  First, I hate when people use “us” when they are talking about themselves, but I’m using the internet to get this blog out, so to avoid being a smug ass, I used it.  Second, I’m not saying there’s going backwards, so hold your eye rolls.  My point is just that the internet is making people worse human beings.

    Let’s start light for this blog.  Movies.  When I grew up, movies were reviewed by a couple really pretentious guys on TV or in papers, but generally you saw movies that 1) looked interesting 2) were about a topic or story you cared about 3) had actors/actresses you liked or 4) your family or friends recommended them.  You enjoyed them or didn’t and told others your opinion.  Now, thanks to the internet, EVERY MOVIE IS SHIT AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE BETTER BY A PERSON WITH A BLOG.

    I will avoid spoilers, but the current biggest movie (and maybe biggest ever) is Avengers: Infinity War.  It reached $1 billion faster than any movie in history.  I finally saw it and the next day, saw three articles on Facebook or my email website about how it made money, but really wasn’t that good…while it’s making hundreds of millions of dollars in a week.

    Here’s the beef, because of course, I clicked on the articles.  “It had too many characters.”  It’s a war, it’s supposed to, moron.  Wars aren’t fought with six people.  “It left out ______.”  I’m not joking, that was in the same article.  In other words, there are too many people, but you forgot one person, maybe two, from one Marvel movie in the last ten years.  It went on – “There wasn’t enough dialogue for _____.”  Well, the movie wasn’t seven hours, so yes, they didn’t have Captain America reading the Lincoln Douglas debates to Corvus Glaive.  They didn’t give Groot fifteen minutes of “I AM GROOT.”  “There were too many men!”  I THOUGHT WE DIDN’T LOOK AT GENITALIA ANYMORE.  SHUT YOUR HOLE.  Also, tons of female superheroes, so dumb point, but nice try, stupid.

    I had to take a paragraph break to catch my breath.  I hate the internet right now.  OK, here goes.

    “They gave the Guardians director power over the script but not the Black Panther director, so it’s racist.”  BLACK PANTHER CAME OUT THREE MONTHS AGO.  THERE’S NO WAY THEY WERE GOING TO REDO THE MOVIE.  IT WAS DONE.  DO YOU KNOW HOW MOVIES WORK.  IT’S NOT A CARTOON WHERE YOU CAN DO ONE IN A WEEK.  “There was a inconsistency in Gamora’s backstory!”  There were movies made by different writers and directors for the last ten years.  You’re lucky all the actors are still alive, let alone someone took the time to analyze one sentence from a movie that came out four years ago and compare it to a scene in this movie.  15 years ago, before Marvel started making movies, all you nerds were crying about no superhero movies about your favorite character and not one person gave a squirt of piss about Gamora’s backstory.  Go run into traffic and ban yourself from watching a movie ever again.

    I had to stop there.  Enjoy the movie or get a job being a legit movie critic.  Go watch the fish sex weirdo movie with your snobby douche friends and sew your lips shut before you ruin my day again.  Sadly, this is the most benign criticism of the internet, but I’ll start here.  It makes really uninteresting and untalented people think their opinions are worthwhile.  DID YOU MAKE A BILLION DOLLAR CASH COW, INTERNET MOVIE ELITIST?  NO?  THEN STUFF YOUR REVIEW WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE, WHICH IS EVERYWHERE IN YOUR MISERABLE CLOUD OF A LIFE.

  • Maybe I don’t need to learn new things anymore

    Posted by on May 4, 2018

    About a week ago, our young dog meandered into my son’s room and the unmistakable stench, similar to rotting fish stung our nostrils.  Any dog owner knows that smell – overfilled anal glands.  For some reason, dogs seem to dig it, but it’s straight up horrible and doesn’t go away magically, so I called the vet.  With two kids and a full work life, it’s a pain in the rear to try and fly over on my lunch or go in on a Saturday, so my wife and I thought, why not have them teach me how to take care of this pungent mess myself?

    I watched a YouTube video – yes, there are several on this wonderful topic, and nearly vomited.  Surely it’s easier than this…what is that greyish brown…oh God…I can’t even smell this video…  I got to the vet this week and met the tech.  “So what we do is the internal method because it works much better.”  Um, how about the extra external method, like I do this from outside the neighborhood or outer space?  She smiled and kept going.  “You need gloves, some lube… “Just like last weekend, amirite?  Ah, no high five back.  Continue.”  OK, I didn’t really say that, I was too horrified to speak.  “Then you insert your thumb in the…(she paused) anus and feel around the 5 and 7 o’clock positions for a raisin.”  I hated raisins before this, I really do now.  “How about I do the first one, then you.”  Oh goody.  Let’s rip this bandage off.

    The first one went great for her, but the small room filled with a stench five times worse than the fish smell from the night before.  The gag reflex was barely subdued.  “Now it’s your turn!”  I put both gloves on and went after it.  Nothing happened.  “Is that it?  Did I do it right?  (I knew I didn’t)  “No, try to feel for the raisin.”  Again with the damn raisin.  Haven’t you done enough, making me think you’re chocolate chips, you son of bitch hasbeen grape?  I tried again and suddenly thick, viscous brownish liquid sprayed, I mean really sprayed out from my dog’s sour flower like a skunk blast.  I saw it cover the paper towel on the floor and her fur.  The reeking odor, once overwhelming, now stung my lungs as I tried not to breathe.  The deed was done and no one was happy about it.  “You got it!”  Oh I sure did, lady, I sure did.

    I finally got out of the stank chamber and paid my bill.  $18.  You know what, I think I’ll find time on my lunch break to make this visit happen next time.  You could add a zero to that bill, ma’am, I’ll be back next time too.

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