Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Texas Cockroach

I might have a new favorite site: The Texas Cockroach.

It's like the Onion, with a Texas flavor. Brilliant!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Crappiest McDonalds in the World

On Thursday on our way to Kristi's family reunion we stopped at the McDonald's in Madisonville, Tx to eat dinner. Kayci had gotten to pick.

When we got there, we noticed a huge TV, which was showing a news channel and proclaiming "Michael Jackson Rushed to Hospital."

We ordered our food - pretty straightforward stuff. The girl on the register was frowning and moping (not mopping) around, almost as if she was trying to be like a caricature of the stereotypical fast food worker. It took her almost five minutes to figure out how to ring up a package of apple dippers.

Once we got our food, I went over to get some ketchup from the ketchup pumpy-thing and was disgusted by the nasty gooey mess oozing out of the spout. There were flies and gnats flying around it and resting on the pump as if it were a shiny metal fly perch. So I went up to the counter and asked for some ketchup packets. A heavy-set girl behind the counter told me she couldn't give me any because I was eating here.

"What????" I said incredulously.

"My manager won't let me give out ketchup packets except to people ordering to-go."

"Well, let me talk to the manager, then," I said.

"I'm the manager on duty," she said. "The store manager told me I had to cut down on my orders." I'm sure I rolled my eyes at this point.

Then I got in her face. "You're the manager on duty. You have the authority to make this decision. I'm not using that ketchup. There are flies all over it!!! It's nasty!!!" I suddenly felt like Gordon Ramsey.

By this time Michael Jackson was in a coma.

"Okay, I'll do it this once" she fat robot sheep manager said. I think I said something like "damn right you will" as I grabbed some ketchup out of her hand and walked over to the table where my family was sitting.

I sat down and ate my quarter pounder with cheese and fries with ketchup. I couldn't help, based on my experience so far, but check my burger for maggots. There weren't any, thank God.

By this time Michael Jackson was dead.

So we finished our dinner and got the hell out as fast as we could. It's been a long time since I've had a restaurant experience that bad. I can somewhat understand the staffing issues. After all, minimum wage doesn't buy much these days, obviously. But the conditions were just plain disgusting.

So I'm boycotting the McDonalds in Madisonville, and I hope you all will, too. I'm not eating there anymore. Every time I do, Michael Jackson dies.

Friday, June 26, 2009

State-shaped meat

2009-06-26 14:18:26 -0500
Last weekend we grilled chicken for Kayci's grandparent party. I did a double take when I saw one of the pieces of chicken.

It was in the shape of Texas! It's no virgin Mary or face of Elvis or anything, but still cool.

I'd open bidding, but I ate it. Turns out Texas tastes good!!!!

Funny Grandma story

I was showing my grandma my iPhone last night and told her to go ahead and play around with it - that she couldn't hurt it.

So I pulled up the "c"s in my directory to show her her contact card. But when she tried to touch it, she accidentally hit another contact. Before I knew it, she had tapped another key. I'm sure I gasped when I realized what I thought she had done. I thought she had called the guy who is Clutch, the Rockets mascot.

Luckily, all she did was try to send him an email.


Monday, June 22, 2009

1000fps camera I-Movix Sprintcam

Incredible. I laughed out loud at the skoosh ball.

I-Movix SprintCam v3 NAB 2009 showreel from David Coiffier on Vimeo.

Friday, June 19, 2009

New iPhone 3G S

I had the opportunity this morning to test out the iPhone 3G S. Fellow Dude Mark got one, and I must say that it's really, really impressive. It's really quick and the new camera (and video) is worth the price of admission. It's got a faster processor and more RAM, which you can really feel when you're using it. The compass is really much cooler than I imagined it would be.

I played with the tap to focus feature and found it very well implemented. And shooting video was great. I did have a little trouble with it because I rotated the phone partway through, which caused the playback to always be in the wrong orientation. But editing was cool and fairly easy.

If you're on the fence, trust me. It's worth it.

I want one.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kayci (A letter from Daddy)

Happy Birthday, big girl! Today you turn six, and it seems as though you've always been a part of lives. Mommy and I look at each other all the time and wonder what we did before you were born. Our live were so much different - so much less complete. We both feel as though in our souls that we've always known you - that we've always known your face. You were meant to be.

When you were born on this day in 2003, you changed everything. I never knew I could love so much or be so proud. You still find ways every day to amaze me, and you probably don't even know that you do it. You're just trying out your wings every day and growing, but what I see is a beautiful picture being painted, full of color and heart and subtle beauty. You are finesse. I hear music in your voice and a symphony in your laugh. Some of the best moments of my life are with you.

You inspire me. Thank you for being you.

I love you, bigger than the world.


My love affair with Rudy's continues...

Okay, so the other day I posted an entry about Rudy's having both Mexican Coke AND Dublin Dr Pepper. I didn't even go into the incredible food (the cream corn is my favorite) that they have and the best sweet tea ever.

I've had this ongoing love affair with Rudy's ever since Kristi took me to the Round Rock location in 2007. There are other Rudy's locations, but for my money that's still the best one. The new location on 290 in Houston is a close second.

And I neglected to mention that one week in October 2007, I had Rudy's every night. That's right. For a week. One of the best weeks ever.

But I digress. Anyway, this morning in my inbox, I get a notice that someone had posted a comment about my Rudy's post. It turns out that it was Rudy's itself:
"Hey James!

Glad you love Rudy's and we agree it does beat ol' Disney World. See you again soon!

Respect the Meat!


How many other barbecue joints would take the time to respond to a blog post? Now THAT'S awesome, and an indication of a company that's doing it right. I have no idea how they even found the post or the blog, but they did. And that means they have someone out there who's job it is do do that kind of stuff. That goes above and beyond what most ad agencies do for their clients and what most food chains do for their customers.

So kudos to you, Rudy's. As you know, word of mouth is the best advertising you can hope for. It's priceless. And take it from this advertising guy - I'm going to keep talking you up.

Thanks, Rudy's. You get it.

Choice of Typeface is Everything

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Open Letter to Our Nation's Leaders

I didn't write this, but I may as well have. It says exactly my thoughts on the issues it covers. It was written by a listener to the Glenn Beck program.

"I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?
Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.

Glenn Beck's Common Sense
Now available in book stores nationwide...

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when hewill rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming."

The original letter and a petition may be found here.

I know what I'm doing on August 14...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Best. Error. Message. EVER!

This cartoon is actually an error message that users of Internet Explorer 6 get when they try to access Momentile.

I clicked on it via Daring Fireball and thought it was funny, but laughed even harder once I realized that it was an error message.


News Flash: Rudy's Named the Most Destructolicious Restaurant on Earth!

Well, it's official. Rudy's is the best place on Earth. It may even be the happiest place on Earth, supplanting DisneyWorld for the title.

Rudy's has ... wait for it...

Mexican Coke!!!

And in a stunning turn of events, they ALSO have Dublin Dr. Pepper.

And smoked turkey. Rudy's is my new Cracker Barrel. I MUST eat there if there's one around.

My Bitty

I've always been very protective of my Bitty. Just ask the two nurses who I almost attacked when she was a baby. I thought they were hurting her, and I blanked out and set out on my way across the room to bust some head. Luckily Kristi snapped me out of it before I could lay a hand on either of them.

So a phone call and subsequent blog post on Kristi's blog explaining a conversation they had this morning has really disturbed me.

I know she can't stay little and innocent forever. And I'm glad we live where we so she doesn't have to be exposed to a lot of the stuff she would be in Houston or somewhere else. But she turns six this week, and it's just going a little too quickly for my taste.

Kristi, Kayci and I were sitting in the car having a little picnic after we picked up Kayci from VBS today and suddenly got very, very sad. There's nothing I want more than to share this time of her life with her, especially during the summer. I would love to take the summer off and to just play as a family with Kristi and the kids - to go to the pool every day, to go fishing, to go to the beach, to walk to the snow cone stand, to take naps, to read, to play in the sprinkler or the hose, to ride bikes, to just be silly. I know that my parents, or at least my dad, didn't have that option and that most parents don't. But that doesn't make me want it any less.

Be a rock star

The days that I love the most at work are the ones where I feel like a rock star. I may not have even done anything all that amazing ... to me. But I'm continually delighted that there are people who are amazed at the smallest things that I do and take for granted.

Like slapping a logo on the side of a vehicle in Photoshop and giving it some lovin' to make it look like it's actually on there. That's called a mock-up. And people around where I work go nuts for them.

There are other days when I've actually done something cool, and that makes me feel like a rock star, too. Like setting up and shooting a beauty shot of all of the company vehicles in front of the building:

Or when I get to integrate some cool photos I've taken with some design and printed on some really nice paper to form an annual report. Or a brochure that tells a story.

Or sometimes, it's just coming up with an idea so simple that it had been overlooked. For decades.

But more often than not, it's the days that I make myself happy because I did something that makes me laugh a little or that I think is cool. Or days when I learn something.

Like any magician (and that's really what I am - a digital magician), I love to amaze people. But the most gratifying times are when I amaze myself. It's cool when other people think you're a rock star. But actually thinking and feeling that about yourself sometimes is what makes the rest of the job fun.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dude Etiquette, A Primer, Part 1: How to Approach and Recognize A Fellow Dude

There are several things that one must do when he is a Dude. Part one of a series:

How to Approach and Recognize A Fellow Dude

When approaching a fellow Dude in the hallway, there are certain protocols which must be maintained in most instances:
1. Hugs are not appropriate unless:
- the fellow Dude has been away for quite some time as a prisoner of war
- the fellow Dude is a relative, preferable your dad or granddad
- the fellow Dude has just been kicked in the nuts
- the fellow Dude has beer
- it will impress The Ladies
- both Dudes are a part of some kind of dinner theater show for other Dudes (note: BOTH Dudes must know that they in a dinner theater show)
- as a part of a bet or dare
- you just ended a fist-fight
- the fellow dude is choking on a rib or some other kind of grilled meat
- it the first act of throwing the fellow Dude to the ground because he is either being shot at or is on fire

2. When approaching the fellow Dude, eye contact is not necessary. A simple nod will do.

3. Shaking of hands is appropriate, especially if:
- money from a wager is being discreetly exchanged
- portable electronic devices are being exchanged
- beer is being exchanged
- the intent is to become blood brothers in an Apache Indian ceremony involving land and/or wampum
- to congratulate the fellow Dude on a monster fish
- a bet or dare is involved, especially involving the hanging things off the back of moving vehicles

4. The correct procedure for recognizing a fellow Dude is to acknowledge their Dude-ness in some verbal way, such as "'sup, Dude?" The following are never acceptable:
- "hidey-ho, good buddy!"
- "guess what I saw at the opera last night..."
- "your zipper is down. Let me get it for you..."
- "when I peeked over the urinal wall this morning..."
- "I heard you were the father..."
- "those shoes are fan-TAS-ic!"

5. Dudes never approach fellow Dudes when they are bent over in any way.

6. Complimenting a Dude on his beard, scruff or other facial hair is always acceptable, with the following exceptions:
- no stroking of the fellow Dude's beard
- the complimenting of a fellow Dude of his handleebar moustache is unacceptable
- it is bad form to point out huge holes in the fellow Dude's scruff (always assume that it was burned away in a grill accident)
- you have previously complimented the fellow Dude on his facial hair in the same week
- the will be absolutely no compliments allowed of unibrows

When followed correctly, these guidelines for say hello to a fellow Dude can be both fun and rewarding experience.

Flavors of Booty Cream

This begs the question... "Does it come in chunky?"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

At What Are You Awesome?

I'm not a manager. Far from it. In fact, I don't really have any authority over, well, anyone at work except maybe vendors. I suspect that our summer part-time help is probably higher up the org chart than I am. But I digress...

But I was thinking today about my performance evaluation, which was two weeks ago. On the written self-evaluation, one of the questions asks you to list your weaknesses and what measurable goals you can make to show that you are growing. Or something like that.

It strikes me as completely ridiculous to focus only on one's weaknesses and shortfalls, which is primarily what performance evaluations tend to be. And job interviews, sometimes. When I was interviewing at Germania (and a couple of other places, as well), one of the questions I was asked was "what would you say is your greatest weakness." What a bullshit question. How in the world does that really tell you anything about the candidate, other than to see how well they can lie to your face? There's no way I'm going to go into a job interview and tell them that I hate working on sunny days or pretty much any day in October. I'm not going to tell them that I have a bad habit of getting sidetracked (much like this post has) when I'm working on something because I found something more interesting to do. No way I'm going to mention my habit of procrastination. And I'm sure not telling them about that wet underwear contest in Juarez.

And that got me thinking about what I would do if I were a manager and had the ability to hire and fire. How would I do things differently?

For starters, the very first question I would ask in an interview is "at what are you awesome?" Who cares what you suck at? I'll find out soon enough if you suck at something. I want to know what you love to do. I want to know what drives you. I want to know what you consider your absolute best skills to be. Now that's valuable information. That will tell me if you fit on our team and where. It will tell me how passionate you are about what you do. And it's a great way to start a real dialogue about the job you're applying for, instead of just reading talking points off of some worksheet.

My answer is: "I'm awesome at looking at things at a slightly different perspective than anyone else. I'm also good at seeing something in my head and making it real - whether that means on paper or on a computer screen. I'm good at Photoshop. And I have awesome opinions."

And I'm proud of my opinions, which is something most people seem to have a difficult time saying. Most people run from their opinions. I embrace mine. In the creative field, your opinions are the only thing you have. They are the basis of creative decision. If you hate a color - embrace it. If you love a typeface - embrace that, too. Not everyone will agree with you, but that's also good. If everyone agreed the world would be a pretty boring place.

So embrace your awesomeness. Own it. Love it. Know what your weaknesses are, but don't dwell on them. Learn to overcome them, if you can, but take your strengths and make them strengthier. It's not arrogance. It's good marketing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Origin of Band Names

A great list of bands and how they got their names.

WARNING: Once you start, be prepared to spend a couple of hours on the site. It's addictive.

James Defends Barack Obama Against Isreal

From CBS News:
Israeli TV newscasters Tuesday night interpreted a photo taken Monday in the Oval Office of President Obama talking on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an "insult" to Israel.

They saw the incident as somewhat akin to an incident last year, when the Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at President Bush in Baghdad.

It is considered an insult in the Arab world to show the sole of your shoe to someone. It is not a Jewish custom necessarily, but Israel feels enough a part of the Middle East after 60 years to be insulted too.

I think you're being just a little too sensitive, Israel. Seriously. It's not as if President Obama probably even knew that the photo would get out and be used to show him on the phone with your president. You should probably take comfort that he seems to be so at ease talking to, you know, actual world leaders.

But what really irks me about the photo is President Obama's complete lack of respect for the 100+ year-old antique irreplaceable desk he's so casually kicked back on.

Seriously, Barack. Show a little respect at least as you tear down our country.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mountain Dew Throwback!

First Pepsi Throwback, and now Mountain Dew! When Kristi said she found some at Target in Pasadena last night, I was really, really excited. Pepsi Throwback was everything I remembered it to be, so I could only imagine how good Mountain Dew would be.

And I got my first taste today.

The first thing you notice is how much more like citrus Throwback smells. Kristi said that she remembered it not being all about the caffeine, but being smooth like Mello Yello was, but with a little more bite. Which is exactly the way I remembered it as well.

Drinking Mountain Dew Throwback is awesome. It's just so smooth. That's the difference real sugar makes. And it doesn't have that crazy after-taste like today's Dew does. I don't know about anyone else, but I keep seeing the old Mountain Dew commercial in my head - the one with the people splashing around in the water. I looked it up on YouTube so you don't have to:

Kristi picked up two 12-pack cans. So I'm looking forward to enjoying a little taste of the '70s and '80s every day for the next couple of weeks.

Now, if only they could bring back the original Orange Crush formula, the world would be a much better place.

The Day the Free Market Died

From the New York Times:
White House Appoints Czar to Oversee Executive Pay

The Obama administration appointed Kenneth R. Feinberg to the new post, giving him broad discretion to set pay for 175 top executives at seven of the nation’s largest companies.

This is exactly why you don't want the government mucking around in the workings of your business, your family or your life. They feel entitled to tell you how to run your business. It's only a matter of time before they start telling us how much we're supposed to make based on our output and our contribution to society.

That's not socialism. That's Communism, folks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

AT&T hates its customers

Today from CrunchGear:
"Want an iPhone 3G S? Already have an iPhone 3G? Be prepared to pay $700 to upgrade"

Apple said today that the iPhone 3G S costs $199 (16GB) and $299 (32GB). But that’s the price only for new AT&T customers. The price if you’re already an AT&T customer and/or are upgrading from an iPhone 3G? Try $699 (32GB), $599 (16GB), and $499 (8GB).

From AT&T:
An iPhone 3G customer in most cases can early upgrade at $399 [16GB] or $499 [32GB].

I've said ever since the 3G debuted last year that AT&T has probably the shittiest treatment for its existing customers of any company I've ever seen, with the possible exception of Sprint. Their philosophy seems to be, "we've already got their money and they're locked into contracts. Let's bend them over at every opportunity we can and focus only on new customers."

My thinking is that if AT&T would just take care of their customers and treat them well, they wouldn't be tempted to switch phone carriers every couple of years. Then even if Verizon or Sprint do get the iPhone in a year or so, they won't have to worry as much because they will have built up some loyalty. Treat your existing customers right and you'll have customers for life.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I was changing Noble's diaper the other day and noticing Elmo on the front. Some of his diapers have other Sesame Street characters and his swim diapers have Nemo on the front. It occurred to me that what these are is Underoos for babies. For those that don't know (or don't remember), Underoos were basically just underwear - usually a set of tighty whiteys and a matching T-shirt) with characters on them. There was Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, The Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, Wonder Woman (for the girls) and my favorite - Captain America.

I have fond memories of running around the house (and, yes, the neighborhood) in my Underoos when I was little. Regretably, I have since given up wearing characters on my undergarments - mainly due to the fact that they don't make them in my size. If they made adult Underoos, you can bet I'd get some. Which got me thinking...

If I would wear underwear with my favorite childhood characters on them and my son and daughter both do - how about the LARGEST generation - the Baby Boomers? Then it hit me: Boomeroos (Trademark pending). Underpants for Baby Boomers with their favorite childhood characters on them. There could be Howdy Doody, I Love Lucy, Gene Autry and even Beatles and Grateful Dead.

The only thing is that as old as the Boomers are getting, I don't think that normal underwear is going to work. They should be Depends with a special imprint on the front.

Boomeroos - coming soon to an adult diaper section near you.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, wife held in China on swine flu quarantine

From the Daily News:
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and his wife were being held in swine flu quarantine by the Chinese government Sunday.

Hey, China - I think I saw Mayor Ray distributing ti en men square massacre anniversary fliers... Since you already have him, just keep him, okay?

The Throwback review

I finally got my first taste of Pepsi Throwback over the weekend, and let me tell you - it was everything I imagined it would be.

The first thing you notice when you bring the can to your lips is the smell. It even smells different. It smells exactly the way it should. It as if some time in the late-'80s the timeline broke off to create an alternate timeline where soft drinks were good, but not perfect. But the perfect suddenly returned in a little 12 ounce bundle from the original reality.

Drinking Throwback is amazing. As I took my first sip, I was suddenly transported back to my formative years. It was almost like that scene in Ratatoulli when the critic tastes the mouse chef's food. All of a sudden, I was 12 and it was summer. I can remember sitting up late at night watching Saturday Night Live drinking Pepsi (from steel cans back then) and eating string cheese. That's the summer I remember playing a lot of Nintendo with my friends. I can hear the tune to Zelda even now...

But drinking Throwback is definitely meant to be savored. I found myself at one point over the weekend guzzling the drink and realized that when consumed like that, that it's no better than its alternate reality high fructose corn syrup self. Maybe that's why people didn't revolt and riot in the streets The Day the Goodness Died. We've become such a Buy-N-Large high volume, 44 ounces for 79 cents bigger is better society that we're so busy consuming that we don't even take the time to notice - or to care - what kind of evil we're putting into our bodies.

I will say that Kayci really seemed to enjoy having Pepsi Throwback around, but I'm not sure if it's just because she knows that I'm happy about it or if she really likes it or if she was just relishing getting to drink a lot of soft drinks over the weekend.

Which brings me to the saddest part of the weekend. Kayci and I were sharing a Throwback outside while working on the deck. We set it down and kept working. There was about a quarter of a can left. Then Kristi began using the leaf blower to blow off the deck, and dirt got everywhere. Including into our can of Throwback. And we had to throw it away. I tried not to let my family see me, but I cried a little as I dropped that can into the recycling bag. It's a good thing that Kristi is the one that brought the Throwback home and brought such goodness into our lives in the first place. Otherwise, I'd be shopping for a new mom for the kids.

Wait... I agree with ... North Korea????

From the New York Times:
"North Korea found two American journalists guilty of illegal
entry and sentenced them to 12 years in a labor prison, its
official KCNA news agency said on Monday."

Now THAT'S how you deal with illegals, folks.

The Throwback prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank you for this Throwback, for which I am about to receive.

Thank you for its smooth, sugary taste and for my job, which allowed me the money to run my refrigerator to make it ice cold.

Thank you for my wife, Kristi, who delivered the Throwback out of the urban wilderness to Brenham to join other such things that taste good.

Bless the fine people at the Pepsi-Cola Company for making such yummy goodness.

And please bring forth the Mountain Dew Throwback.


Friday, June 5, 2009

What is this... Russia?

From the Wall Street Journal today: "White House Set to Appoint a Pay Czar"

Is it just me or have the czars been coming fast and furious under this administration?

The Pay Czar
The Cyber Czar
The Border Czar
The Car Czar
The Green Czar
The Health Czar
The Climate Czar
The Energy Czar
The AIDS czar
The Urban Czar
The Great Lakes Cleanup Czar
The IT Czar
The Faith-Based Czar
The Stimulus Accountability Czar
The Non-Proliferation Czar
The TARP Czar
The Terrorism Czar
The Guantanamo Closure Czar
The Regulatory Czar
... and so on

Seriously. The list above isn't a joke.

Is is me, or are there already actual departments in the government to handle most of these things, such as the Federal Reserve Board, the EPA and the Department of Homeland Security? And where there aren't, are they things that the Federal government even really needs to have its hands in? The Great Lakes Cleanup Czar? The Faith Based Czar? What a joke!

What's also telling is that even many Democrats have a problem with the czar system because the czars have so much power and are not confirmed by nor are accountable to the Congress, which is designed to be the policy and law-making body in the United States.

What all the czars tell me is that:
1. President Obama is a busy-body who has no problem putting his hands all over other people's pies - even if the pies happen to be members of his own family in Congress. Or worse - he's a sly manipulator who is incrementally and systematically destroying our entire system of government from the inside.
2. He wants power concentrated at the executive branch so as not to have to mess with all those pesky checks and balances such as Congress or governmental agencies and so he doesn't have to be as accountable to them
3. There's a constitutional crisis coming as Congress finds itself having less and less actual authority over policy matters that are instead imposed by just a few people.

The very reason we have an executive, a legislative and a judicial branch of government is so that power is not concentrated in the hands of too few. What should be on the minds of the public and the congress is this: such a system is dangerous. It can tip to easily to authoritarian rule. We're on the verge of losing our representative republic by placing such enormous power in the hands of so few.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another movie I'm planning to see

MUCH different than The Hangover, but still looks interesting. Kristi and I have actually been talking a lot lately about the CRAP that we shovel into our bodies and call food. I think this issue is just on the cusp of widespread social awareness. Food is one of the very few areas that I have no problem with the government regulating.

The Hangover

On Monday I went to a sneak peek showing of what I think is going to be one of the classic guy movies of all time. When my buddy Steve asked me to go I was really excited. In April we had gone to see another great guy-movie: I Love You, Man. I had seen the trailer for The Hangover and thought it looked funny, but I had no idea. It's abouta group of guys who head to Vegas for a bachelor party and wake up the next morning with absolutely no recollection of the wild night they had. And the groom is missing. And there's a tiger in the bathroom. And a baby in the closet. That's all I'm sayin'.

But it IS a guy movie. Ladies probably won't think it's as funny because every part of it is about how guys think and how guys talk. It's dead on. And it's completely random. You never know what's coming next. Seriously. No, really. I mean it.

But a word of warning - it's also completely raunchy. Not quite Superbad raunchy, but close. Steve and I sat next to an older gentleman in the theater. There were times during the movie when I think he felt really uncomfortable. At least he looked that way.

But it's definitely worth seeing in the theater. I'm planning on going to see it again and dragging a couple of my buddies along. It's a film that's meant to be seen with friends.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Like finding a Throwback in a Haystack...

Kristi sent me this photo from Target. At least there's ONE!!!!

Throwback is HERE!

I'm so excited I'm about to wet myself. Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback has made it to Texas!!! The closest place to Brenham where it's available is in College Station, but it's all over Houston now, too - especially at Walgreens and Target stores.

I'm actually considering making a special trip. Is that wrong?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mexican Coke

If you've ever read my other blog, Destructoville, you know that I'm a HUGE fan of soft drinks that are actually flavored with sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup. It's so much smoother and tastes SO much better.

"Dublin" Dr Pepper is the one addiction that I fight. And I'm really, really mad that while Pepsi decided to make both Pepsi and Mountain Dew in their original formulas with real sugar (for a limited time), they seem to only be offering it for sale in New York City.

But Coke has never stopped making their product with the original sugar formula ... in Mexico. So "Mexican Coke," or Coca-Cola imported from Mexico is somewhat of a rare treat. So last weekend Kayci and I visited a little hispanic store called Lupita's that's here in Brenham (it's the only place in town that carries my favorite chicken maranade). While we were there we found that they carry Mexican Coke, so I bought a bottle (a glass bottle, no less!) and shared it with Kayci.

She was a little hesitant at first ("it came from ... Mexico???") But when she tried it, she LOVED it. In fact, we had a real father/daughter bonding moment as we shared a Coke the way God intended for it to be consumed: made with sugar and from a glass bottle.

Kayci especially loved the way the bottle felt on her lips and the cool "ploonk" sound the top of the bottle made after she took a drink.

I have fond memories of ordering Coke bottles out of a bottle vending machine and drinking them when I was about her age. I'm glad we found a way to pass on some of my childhood memories to her - as well as some of the things that remain unspoiled by "progress." I'm looking at you, plastic bottles - and yes, you too, corn syrup.

Now if only I could find Cherry Coke to drink from a pull-tab can or a Pepsi in a real steel can, I'd have even more great things to pass on...

The Vendor Client Relationship

Wanna know what it feels like to be a designer sometimes and with some clients? This is perfect.