Your Access to Excess

You could call this a gigablog, blogofractal or simply an uber-update. You see, I'm moving this week and it may be a week or two before I get to throw up another update. You know, waiting for the modem and whatnot. Sooner rather than later, I hope.

So what this post will be, then, is a rather thrown together mess of things that have interested me over the last little while. Enjoy.

Firstly, I heard another ridiculous advertisement on the radio. This commercial was promoting some event or another. I don't remember what it was, but it was sponsored by Pepsi. One of the benefits of attending this event was that you could record a message into a life-sized Pepsi can. Yup, life-sized. Incredible isn't it? Nothing regular about a life-sized Pepsi can. It isn't at all like the life-sized Pepsi can sitting on my desk as I type. Oh, wait. It is. Only the can at the event records your message. Amazing. It might be difficult to miss, and this little Pepsi recording device is clearly why the people are attending the event. Why else would they tell us if not to catch our interest and draw us to this event? Also, you wouldn't want them to trip over it. Think of the lawsuits. Obviously, this can not life-sized, unless you were about 90 ft. tall. No, the can is probably closer to 6 ft. tall, making it human-sized, not life sized. However, it just illustrates that, again, people need to think once in a while. Just a suggestion.

If you haven't checked out Matt Costa yet, do it now. I recently picked up the CD and it is fantastic. I haven't been this impressed with a CD purchase in quite a while. Perhaps since the Garden State soundtrack, only in that case I had heard the disc before purchasing it. With this one I only heard a couple of tracks. Speaking of which, anyone who enjoys the Garden State soundtrack will very likely enjoy this CD as well. This CD, Songs We Sing,  reminded me of that soundtrack considerable. Also Simon and Garfunkel. You can check out a few tracks on his myspace music page. I don't care too much for Sweet Rose,  which is included there, but it is the only song I don't enjoy on the whole CD. So, check it out.

A co-worker told me about this. It sounded funny, so I searched it up. Watching it was even funnier. Check it out, though ignore the obnoxious intro over the first 25 seconds or so. Also, it has a swear or two. You have been warned. Basically it pokes fun at magicians, especially David Blaine.

I have recently started reading a great magazine called Geez.  My mother introduced it to me and ever since picking it up, I have loved it. It is advertisement-less, the layout is similar to the idea of a "zine", and the writing is simply wonderful to read. Maybe that's because they write like I do. Oh, and it is Christian, based out of Manitoba, and very much postmodern. They are a shade on the hippy side of things, but while I don't agree whole-heartedly with everything they write, I do find myself very sympathetic towards their views. Definitely check it out. They are at Nidus 2006 this coming weekend (ooh, Civic Holiday!), where I will be on the Saturday with Dan.

Me and Sam hit up an Eels concert about a month ago . It was great. Unfortunately to placate the masses this was a bit more of a rockier tour, as the last tour was the lighter side of the Eels. This is understandable as there are probably different fans who prefer different sides of the Eels. I prefer the lighter side, but I have the DVD for such a tour on my shelf, which I can watch at any time. Highlights of the show were definitly Krazy Al making the show considerably entertaining, with his shadow-boxing and the like. Their cover of I Put a Spell on You  followed by another cover of That's Life.  Both were awesome. A sped up version of My Beloved Monster  was also cool.

While this is an older clip, its a really fun clip of the Eels kicking it on Letterman. Very entertaining. (Interesting fact: Mark Oliver Everett, known as E, called the band the Eels so it would be next to his solo work, under E. Unfortunately this was poorly thought out as The Eagles are located between E and Eels. Oops.)

Well, that's about all I can think of. That should keep you busy for a week or two.

The Hyphen-Syphon Strikes Again

I am the coolest person.

This is something I also find myself doing quite often.

From the funny ass-comic XKCD

Funny stuff.

The Brooding Banter of Banality

I have a problem, you see. Stupid people bother me. They just make me angry. I mean, education is free. Alright, I'll stop rhyming now. It is even getting irratating on this end. Stupidity is particularly irksome when it is in a very public forum, such as the radio. I am not talking about the idiocy of the hosts, though it is certainly there.

No, this particular brand of idiocy is in a commercial. A commercial for the X-cup. This is not some sort of cup that has decided to no longer be a cup, but instead has decided to embrace its bowl-like qualities. Nor is it the description of an unprotected football player. It is some sort of competition for extreme sports (more on that before). Anyways, I have heard this advertisement several times over the past week and everytime I have heard it I have remarked how stupid it is.

This is because one of the sentences is "where gravity defies all odds." Now, I have tried to rack my brain to come up with what they are trying to say here. My first assumption was that Gravity is ridiculously good at games of chance. Gravity goes to the roulette table and wins on double zero four times in a row. Or Gravity heads down to the dog track and puts all his money on Bngo, the dog who lost an eye (close relative of one Li'l Brudder) and takes home a banker's roll. Perhaps Gravity has been hit by a meteor and won the lottery at the exact same time. It could even be possible that "odds" is the teenage slang for adults or parents and Gravity has hit his rebellious years.

Enough speculation, I suppose. At first it seemed to me to be a mixed-metaphor, which annoy me thoroughly. I think, however, that it is a combination of the mixed-metaphor (the phrases "defy all odds" and "defy gravity") with just generally poor grammar, which, provided it isn't atrocious, is generally not all that bothersome to me. In this case, as you might guess, it is bothersome. I mean, you can't just rearrange the words of a phrase and assume it means the same thing you intend. Gravity is the object, not the subject. I feel like a grammar nerd for pointing this out. Well, I guess I am to some degree, though my grammar is certainly not perfect. I mean, I did recently purchase not one, but two grammar books for entertainment purposes. On a side note, just one of these would have taught me far more than I learned from an expository writing class where good writing gets a mere 70% and poor writing gets a ridiculous 70%. And if we are talking about Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies, they were equally entertaining (that said, in both cases it was not the grammar that was entertaining but that which surrounded the grammar).

Remember, don't be stupid. Because stupid people are stupid. And you don't want to be one of them, do you?

The Conniving Cacophony of the Calamitous Chanteuse

The wonderful bands of the past, and the women who have emasculated them, and left them for dead (figuratively, literally, whatever). I know I have had this conversation with many friends over the years, so some of you may have heard some of this before. What prompted this particular round of bashing on these loves of their lives was that I heard Exhibit D and E back to back on the radio at work. I wrote this several months ago, but didn't post it.

Exhibit A
Some of you may have heard of this band called the Beatles. I hear they were pretty good. I hear they did a pretty good cover of Aerosmith’s Come Together, as well as other songs. Anyways, the lead singer, John Lennon got together with a woman called Yoko Ono. Many say this was the demise of the band, and hundreds and hundreds of jokes have been made about her, her singing, her breaking up of the Beatles, etc. I’m not going to go this direction because I would simply be spewing redundancies. Let’s just say that she isn’t exactly the most popular person. In fact, one person has humourously postulated to me that perhaps when John Lennon was shot, the aim was actually set for Yoko Ono, perhaps prompting some sort of reunion. I guess we’ll never know. Or we will. Either one.

Exhibit B
This particular woman has taken many a lead singer and placed him (even a few hers) in the mortuary. I’m talking about Lady Heroin. While not exactly a female, it certainly was the love of their (short) lives. The examples here are many, and there is no need to list them. Though I will pay special homage to one Shannon Hoon, which was perhaps the most devastating to me, though (or perhaps because) I had heard about it many years after said overdose. I had always wondered why his band hadn't released a sophomore album, only to find out about his O.D. half a dozen years after the fact.

Exhibit C
Courtney Love. Need I say more? This ridiculous specimen of womankind might be blamed for the demise of two bands. The first is the least obvious, as the fact that she dated the lead singer is not a well known fact. However, it is true that she had dated Billy Corgan at one time. Whether she was the ultimate downfall of this band is not entirely clear, but I think it seems fit to blame her. Nirvana, on the other hand, is a little clearer. While Nirvana never really broke up, there are other circumstances. First, Lady Heroin was involved. Rumour has it that this might have been her fault too. Second, he committed suicide. Again, there has been speculation that she not only drove him to it, but some postulate that she killed him. This seems a little ridiculous as there were rumours that Cobain wanted to leave and join Hole. I would like to thank Alan Cross for the more obscure information (Love dating Corgan, as well as Cobain's wish to join Hole and leave Nirvana), as his radio show has been a wonderful source of entertainment and information.

Exhibit D
Gwen Stefani. She made good music once. I still enjoy hearing a No Doubt song from time to time. But then she went solo. And hip-hop. Terrible. I have, on more than one occasion, joked that Hollaback Girl was the result of a cleansing high colostomy. Anyways, as many of you know Stefani has been dating or engaged or married to one Gavin Rossdale for many years now. Gavin was the frontman for a band called Bush (or Bush X, as they were temporarily called due to a conflict with another band). I’m sure you are thinking, “Hey, I remember that band!” Exactly. Remember.  Bush was a fine band that hasn’t made any music in about five years. And even their last album from 2001 didn’t get any radio-play. That puts it back to 1999. I blame Stefani. Why? Because this is roughly the same time they started dating. And then she went off and started making her musical tripe, while Gavin is playing house-husband at home. Probably making dinner, doing laundry and vacuuming. So sad. Such a fine rockstar put to waste.

Exhibit E
Chantal Kreveaklfusodifjkl. Errr… Chantal Kreviazuk. Yes, the little-known Canadian singer. Yes, the one who got together with Raine Maida at roughly the same time as Stefani and Rossdale got together. Once again emasculation was imminent. You see Raine Maida was the lead of a band called Our Lady Peace. However, now the lead is some sort of amalgamation of this couple. I will henceforth refer to the lead as Raintal Maidazuk. No, I won’t. Anyways, Our Lady Peace began with awesome music. Naveed  is genius. Clumsy  is awesome. And then it goes downhill. Every album since has not had the lyrical fortitude of the first two albums. I have maintained that Kreviazuk began writing Maida’s lyrics. Most of the lyrics after Clumsy have been overly romantic, the music hasn’t been as good (or at least from the perspective of rock music) and it has just generally annoyed me. It’s really sad to me. I mean I really enjoyed OLP from back in the day and I was really disappointed with Happiness is Not a Fish You Can Catch.  And my disappointment remains, several albums later.

So these are plenty of examples where the ladies in the life of these musicians have rendered their music impotent or have discontinued that music. It is a sad thing. Really, I just think that musicians shouldn’t be allowed to date other musicians (or, you know, do drugs). It would save many a band. Please, do it for the children. I mean, do you want your kids growing up in a world where Hollaback Girl becomes classic music and where good rock bands are churning out naught but romantic ballads? I don’t think so.

House-warming and Louse-Swarming

Welcome to my new abode. Please help yourself to some coffee and cake. Leave your presents next to the credenza. Thank you.

I have chosen this new location because the overly templative nature of my prior location was cumbersome. I mean, I couldn't even post pictures in my posts. Ridiculous. So, as of last January I decided I would make this my new home. However, my final semester of university delayed my learning of HTML code. After at least six months I finally decided to spend some time on this nonsense. And here it is. Now I just went ahead and edited the template they gave me here at the Blogger. I also threw some other stuff in, took some stuff out (the blue around my profile picture was an eyesore upon this marvel of website-dom) and messed around. And this is the result. If there are any problems with coding that show up or colour contrasts that are awkward, let me know.

Despite this up-ending, paradigm-shift-like move, you need not be intimidated. Never fear, ladies and gentelmen. Those old posts of wit and wonder are still available. In fact they are still available right here! I spent a rather tedious amount of time moving them over yesterday. Thus my July archives should now be rather crowded.

I have also had considerable amounts of fun titling my links. This is a function where, upon hovering your mouse above the link, you are able to have one of them li'l yella boxes show up with a description of the link. Now, of course, I'm not the type to take this function entirely seriously, and thus most of my links have something relatively clever as their title. This was my one source of entertainment when publishing my old posts at this location. Those titles might also be an excuse to go back and reread them. Kind of like those easter eggs you get on DVD menus and the like. I also edited many of them. So they are in better form and format than what they had been. Original posting dates have been included as well, so you can understand that I was not typing a diatribe on Valentines Day two days after Singleness Appreciation Day. Or Independence Day. Whatever you call it.

A few other notes: I seem to be a fan of several webcomics with food in their title. I hadn't realized this until composing this list of links, actually. Certainly there are many jokes that be made in regards to this. Perhaps you could keep them written in the cards that you included in your house-warming gift, rather than vocalizing them. I also haven't yet finished a list of blogs. I will likely include more. And the list of links will likely change according to whimsy.

The ribbon has been cut, and the giant novelty scissors given to Emo the Clown. Thank you for your coming. Stop by again soon. And bring cash.

High-flying Wit in the Venomous Snake Pit

Originally posted on April 11, 2006. Edited by Nelville Flynn.

So I have been hearing about this movie. It hasn't really excited me at all, but there seems to be considerable hype around it. It has people anxiously looking forward to its release date, particularly in the internet community. It also has completely subverted many of the conventional ideas of the Hollywood movie and has been guided by the audience.

I've whet your appetite, haven't I. You want to know what movie I am talking about? The movie is called Snakes on a Plane. (That is the IMDb page, but you can follow links on the left toolbar to catch a trailer).

Now you are all thinking that this is my attempt to be humourous, as I am attributing such incredible feats to a movie that is clearly stupid and ridiculous. I am not. This movie has indeed changed and challenged the traditional movie-making process.

I began hearing about this movie either in the summer or early fall, hearing that a movie existed called Snakes on a Plane which is exactly as it sounds, about an assassin who releases a bunch of snakes onto a plane to kill one of the passengers. And it stars one of my favourite actors. None other than Samuel L. Jackson. I thought this was ridiculous, chalking it up to a Deep Blue Sea type movie which, while terrible, is interesting to a degree. I am a rather large fan of Deep Blue Sea (I even have it on DVD), even though I know that the plot and acting are generally pretty terrible. I call this a train wreck movie, which is so bad, but you just can't turn away.

Anyways, as time went on, the hype didn't die. It wasn't just something that people were making fun of that week. It had become something more. So, now, many months later, having seen references of it in multiple forums and websites, without doing much research into the topic, I remained confusied. I did not know whether this was a joke movie, a real suspense thriller, or what. So, I decided to ask.

The responses I got told the story of Snakes on a Plane. And I will recant this little story to you.

The Making of... Snakes On A Plane

The buzz around this movie began because people found it rather humourous because the movie pretty much gave the premise in the title of the movie. A ridiculously simple title at that. Apparently it wasn't just movie fans either. Samuel L. Jackson was given the script. He didn't read anything past the title page and said he wanted in. It appears that the title got Jackson excited enough to commit to it, and this subsequently got fans very interested who thought there must really be something to this, beyond the punchline of a joke at some gathering at the local cinema.

Apparently, Snakes on a Plane was just a working title which the studio came up with so that those who were being asked to be a part of it would know the premise of the film. Something like how IMDb will often have movies listed which are called "Untitled ___________ Project." This blank can be filled by the characters name (Superman) or the director's name (David Fincher). Talk eventually came about as to what title the film should actually be released as. The suggestion was "Pacific Flight 117." This never came to be because Jackson was absolutely adamant about leaving the title as it was. It was, after all, the reason he signed on in the first place.

Buzz began to grow regarding Jackson's excitement towards the project as well as the complete stupidity and absurdity of the movie. As buzz continued to grow excitement grew real and people actually began anticipating the movie for not only the ridiculousness, but that it might actually be a fun movie. People began to affectionately refer to the movie by the acronym SoaP.
The studio found out about this buzz and used it to their advantage, essentially catering to this internet crowd. They took ideas from fans to use for the posters. They introduced a contest giving the fans a chance to create the craziest music for the film, which would have the winner used in the soundtrack. The studio even went back to the movie for reshoots to up the rating of the movie from PG13 to R.

Essentially what happened was the that studio, who originally took this movie as a serious venture, saw the reaction towards it was not serious at all, and that it would never be taken seriously. They decided to, instead, take the attitude of the internet buzz which has ultimately made it much bigger and better than it would have ever been otherwise, if promotion would have solely been in the hands of the studio.

I just love what this movie is doing. Democracy in Hollywood film-making? Unheard of. Fans ultimately creating buzz and promotional material rather than fans being made because of these things? Simply strange. This movie has just completely upended the traditional studio film structure. Perhaps Jackson signed on because it would ultimately be a slap in the face of the viewer (as Moulin Rouge was in many ways). But either way, real interest has begun in this strange little movie. And I'm loving it.

Entertaining Scrawl in the Bathroom Stall -- Part 3

Originally posted on April 4, 2006. Edited by Tommy Tutone.

Last time on Anatomy of Bathroom Graffiti... Part 1... Part 2... and today we have the 3rd and possibly final installment of this serial.

Today I will mainly be speaking of Bathroom Graffiti cliches. These are things that invariably show up in every public bathroom in some form or another.

1) "Here I sit, broken hearted, paid a dime, and only farted." I regularily see this ridiculous rhyming maxim about paying a ten-cent piece and merely flatulating adorning the interiors of designated evacuation areas. Now, I know that pay-toilets exist. Else such a poem would not have presented itself. That being said, I have never been privy to such a privy. Etching this rhyme in a pay-toilet is an understandable form of graffiti, I suppose. However, scratching it into a perfectly free toilet is one of the dumbest things I can think of. It isn't clever. It isn't funny. It isn't applicable. So it should not be done, plain and simple. I could even understand if pay-toilets were a regular occurence in society. However, as I have not seen one, I can safely assume that they are not. Perhaps someone should write a new poem which mentions something about not having to pay a dime. But, I am not the vulgar sort to do such a thing.

2) "For a good time call 555-2349. Ask for Jenny." I use the name Jenny because of the one hit wonder from Tommy Tutone regarding this subject. Firstly, what kind of people call numbers on the walls of stalls? Is this where people scrounge up dates for Friday night? Also, "good time" is perhaps a bit vague. Now, I am not so naive as to not know what is being referred to. However, I would imagine it would be considerably fun to subvert the intended meaning completely. "Yeah, hi. Is Jenny there? Could I talk to her? I saw her number on the wall while I was... well, I was hoping we could grab some coffee, maybe go out bowling. Yeah, I'll have her back by ten. I just heard she was a fun person, and I'm a bit bored." Hey, perhaps it might turn into a real relationship, not one based on the intended meaning. That'd show'em. Show'em good!

3) "H.S. + M.B." with or without a heart around it. Yes, thats right. There are those that express their undying love next to a toilet. I don't think the carving of initials into things is completely unromantic. I suppose there could be something to it if it was into a tree or spraypainted on a rock, as I have seen on numerous occasions while camping. However, the usefulness of this in the professing of the relationship (graffiti is illegal and leaving full names and addresses is not exactly the approach most people take) is negligable. But there could be something to go back with said loved one and regard the scrawled initials in some nostalgic reestablisment of the relationship. However... a bathroom? You can't exactly come back at the nearest anniversary and remark how romantic you were back then, how in love, while hovering over a toilet looking at the poorly etched initials. Perhaps its just me, but that doesn't sound like the activity for a prospering relationship.

I also have a less general example. My current employer has one toilet which has, scrawled into, of all places, the toilet seat: "addicted to crack." This is, admittedly, funny. I snickered when I saw it. However, upon thinking about the logisitics of carving such a phrase I became slightly disturbed. First of all, you would have to get awfully close to the toilet to write this legibly. Second of all, it isn't facing away from the tank, but towards it. I'll just say that no humour is worth that.

And, that is it for Anatomy of Bathroom Graffiti. At least until I find more to make fun of.

In Defense of My Admiration for Ben Harper

Originally posted on April 4, 2006. Edited by me. I can't always be funny. Geez.

Okay, this will be a double update day. Why? Because I want to keep your needs for comedy satiated, while still making this post. And, no doubt, with exams and papers, this will be the last one(s) for another couple of weeks.

Recent and recurring comments from particular people (ahem... Dan...ahem...) have equated my inflated enjoyment of the music of Ben Harper (and subsequently the Innocent Criminals) with some need to enter the contract of matrimony with him. In fact, this is often equated with anything I take enjoyment with, but most often it has been in conversations about Ben Harper.

However, this is not the only reason for this post. The other reason is due to a recent discussion I had with another (actually it is a conversation I have had with several people over the past year, but the linked is the most recent) about the talent of screaming.

Essentially the purpose of this post is to give a sort of review for Ben Harper's new album Both Sides of the Gun. It is a great album. I accidentally picked up the special edition (not knowing there was a regular one) and visually it is great. It has a nice box, comes with some stickers, sheet music, and it looks purty. It came with an extra disc too, which is nice to have, but it isn't anything particularily special (5 slightly different, or live, versions of the songs on the album, and one live old song).

The album itself is broken into two parts, which Harper himself has said wasn't necessary, but each album has a different tone, which lended itself to the separation. Ultimately I like the first disc better for two reasons. a) It is softer, and I have always been a bigger fan of Ben Harper's (or anyone's) softer stuff. b) I already had a version of two of the songs on mp3, one of which I heard in concert, as well as another. Essentially I already knew a third of the disc. The disc is very experimental, with a lot of strings involved, which I love. This is not to mention that the single, Better Way, from the release is apparently an homage to my favourite Beatles song (and high up on my best songs of all time list), Norwegian Wood. Both have the sitar as a major instrument, you see. Anyways, that is just a quick review, and not the ultimate reason for this post. Just an endorsement for you to go pick it up.

The real reason is because I noticed something in this disc. On two occasions Harper screams. And screams emotionally. And imperfectly. There are cracks in his voice. He doesn't stay on key. Basically, he isn't Chester. But that makes it all the better. Which is not hostility against Chester, but an affirmation of the amazing authenticity of Harper.

You see, the thing I find most amazing about Harper is that somehow he means his lyrics. Still. Even after years of performing the same song, you can tell, when he is performing, that he still means what he sings, he still feels the emotions of when he wrote them as if he could have written them yesterday. I have seen three live performances on DVD, and one live, and this has been a constant.

You might say that this is just a show. But I don't think so. If a man is willing to scream on his new CD, even in the single itself, and scream imperfectly, showing the emotion behind it, I have a tendency to believe that he means it. That being said, it is difficult to understand how he can still be so passionate about presumably stale lyrics (not from the new album, but from as many as ten years ago). He doesn't perform, he shares. And, for that reason, I will continue to profess the awesomeness of Ben Harper despite those who might claim it is some sort of homosexual love.

Beating the Comedy Horse Until Candy Comes Out

Originally posted on March 17, 2006. Edited by a diminuitive Mexican man.

Interestingly I had already been thinking about writing this particular subject already early this week (as conversations with a few people might have shown) but some recent online press and subsequent comic have prompted me to do this sooner rather than later.

The topic in question is piñata. Brian Regan has a wonderful schtick about this.
Pin the tail on the donkey. There's a good, safe game for kids. What are adults thinking? Hey, hey, we're having a bunch of kids over, big party... we're gonna blindfold one, give him something sharp, spin him around and let him go. Go Bobby, with the pin, just run amok! He's just poking around... What are those noises? Those are puncture wounds Bobby, stop! You made a horrible error. Kids running out the door... He missed the donkey and got my neck. He pinned the tail on my neck!
Of course, it loses a lot without Brian Regan's delivery. But what can you do? Well, listen to (or watch) it of course! But find it yourself.

I think that pretty much the same principle applies to both pin the tail on the donkey and piñatas. Give a kid a stick, blindfold him, let him run around flailing the stick unabashedly. That sounds like a healthy activity for kids.

However, this is not my biggest problem with the piñata. It is the underlying principle behind it that is my real objection. Apparently it was traditionally a seven pointed star representing the seven deadly sins. However, even if this is the case, common connotations would have it as a donkey or horse-type creature. The star wouldn't have quite the visual significance that beating the crap out of the representation of a living creature until it breaks open and its innards (candy) come spewing out for all the children to feast on. Apparently this is also not far from Penny Arcade's thoughts.

Yet, it still goes further. It is no longer just donkeys or horses. It has gone further. Much further. Now you can beat the crap out of (and eat the innards of, lets not forget that is the ultimate goal) birds, turtles, ladybugs, etc. Oh, thats not all. How about a small mexican man? Sleeping Beauty (who, when I saw this last week at work, prompted this post) or one of your other favourite Disney characters? A bride? Or even a little girl? I can't even imagine why the last one exists. Who asks a little girl to beat the crap out of another little girl, albeit an effigy? Ridiculous.

In closing, piñata's are ridiculous and should be disallowed. They are turning our children into serial killer cannibals. That is all.

Beguiler Tracts and Tyler Facts

Originally posted on March 12, 2006. Edited by Vin Diesel. He can conjugate the verb "to kill" in 349,233,890,147 ways and 7,694,001 languages.

Man, I do love being right.

First of all, let me tell you about how I tend to be ahead of the trends, but just barely. My existence has been marked with me being a fan of something right on the crux of when it starts to become very popular. Nalgenes, for example. I got one back when you could only get them at MEC and other stores with mountain climbing gear. I tend to get interested in something just before it hits its exponential growth rate.

Another might be Jack Johnson. Once again, I picked him up a few months after I got into Ben Harper. About a year later they start playing him regularily on radio stations, with his single from Curious George (which I picked up the release day) recently getting a ton of radioplay on multiple stations. A few months after I got mine people could pick them up at regular stores such as Sportchek and the like. The nice thing about being perpetually in this stage is that I find myself able to be ahead of the masses, but not so far ahead that I become terribly snobbish about it.

Anyways, this is yet another example. Recently Norrismania has hit the web. People are obsessed with everything Chuck Norris. Last week I had a friend quote some Chuck Norris "facts" (I will no longer quote the word facts, you can just assume the quotations. Perhaps by making those quoting hand gestures every time you read it... no not that hand gesture.) I immediately recognized them.

You see, I had been linked to a website several years ago which listed many Vin Diesel facts. I thought they were hilarious. Anyways, several years later, and this has popped up again. Only, due to Norrismania, everyone is focussing on the Norris facts, which are for the most part copies of the Vin Diesel facts, with Diesel replaced with Norris. You can see that facts about both exist, and this is the original site, despite the many others that exist.

Now, when this was quoted to me by my coworker, and I found other links to it as well, complete focus has been on The Chuck. However, I want to lay this to rest by saying that Vin Diesel was the first. No, I wasn't ahead of the curve in the Norrismania. I could care less about him or Vin Diesel. I came for the humour, I stayed for the... more humour.

However, it urked me that people were quoting without knowing the origins. So, I made it my goal to tell them. And, then I thought I ought find some proof, so that it wasn't just me mistaking the fact that the home site to this fact phenomenon didn't have both Diesel and Norris (as well as Mr. T) as it does now and I simply didn't notice and only had the Diesel site in my internet repetoire. So, I did some searching. Eventually, after Wikipedia gave me slightly more encouragement to find a real source, I found this article from Brown University which is reputable enough to back up my claim. Huzzah.

Anyways, this was really just the intro to what I really want to do. Originally, when first visiting the Vin Diesel fact site, I wanted to put in my own, which they encourage, picking the best. Ultimately I decided against it because I didn't really want to give away my intellectual property like that. In many situations I don't particularily care, but in this case my submissions were funny enough that I didn't want them to be stuck in a random conglomeration of facts written by Joe Nobody. So, I didn't submit them, and didn't save them, and they are now gone to the recesses of my memory.

However, now with this resurgence, I have a renewed passion for wanting to write these. However, they already have enough facts for those three tough guys, so I needed to make up my own figure to raise into mythology. I chose none other than the King of Postmodernism... Tyler Durden. He both satiates the tough guy image as well as the mythological factors. And thus we have:

Random Facts about Tyler Durden.

  • When translated into binary, Tyler Durden's name has all numbers from 0-9, three letters and several other characters that are unknown to humanity.

  • Tyler Durden once spent three years in a Russian gulash. Yes, a gulash.

  • When a contestant on an early episode of Jeopardy, Tyler Durden was asked a trivia question and subsequently beat the crap out of the host while yelling "I'll ask the questions around here." To this day contestants must answer in the form of a question.

  • Lord of the Rings was actually based on the life of Tyler Durden. The "fellowship of the ring" was his right hand, and the "eye of Sauron" was Attila the Hun's eye. The rest was filler put in by Tolkien. To this day no one knows the details of the actual conflict.

  • The Idomo guy didn't grow his beard, his chin was sheltering itself for fear of the possibility it might someday be in the presence of Tyler Durden.

That'll do for now. I hope to keep these facts a-flowing, though I will not promise anything. I'm just hoping that they can fill those gaps during which I have little to write about or am just too busy to post something of decent length. And hopefully it will amuse. Also, any similarity to one of the facts on the site is either coincidence or due to the subconcious recollection.

An Acute Case of Humour Malaise

Originally posted on March 3, 2006. So many links that needed titling!

MSN has included a wonderful little sidebar to the webpage so that, I may fill out my blog, giving you all information that you don't care about. 31 ways that I can use my blog. Sounds ideal. Or is it? Today: 31 ways that I can use my blog, revisited. Or, "Tim's guide to blogging."

1. Keep a daily journal of your life.

Wonder why you don't have an interesting life? Perhaps you should reconsider spending a ridiculous amount of your week updating your journal. That being said, I went to the mall today and like, I saw the cutest guy, who totally had a nice bod, and he looked right at me!!!

2. Post a quote du jour.

A French quote? I'm not sure many would understand it. And which kind of quote? Should I regurgitate my quote a day calendar? Should I make up my own inspirational quotes, such as "Die, die, die!"?

3. Document your daily successes.

Ultimately this could be even longer than keeping a daily journal of your life. List of successes... hmmm... 1. I didn't die. 2. I didn't get terribly injured. 3. I got out of bed. 4. I brushed my teeth. 5. I didn't slip on the floor and accidentally hang myself with the dental floss. 6. I showered... While the journal implies that you are reporting on what happened, the daily successes could both be what happened, and what didn't happen. Which is everything. And, hence, very long.

4. List your goals.

Essentially this could also be full of ridiculousness. My goal is to not be run over by a 16-wheeler transporting hungry tigers across the province. You get the picture.

5. Describe a recent adventure.

Adventure? What do I look like, a movie star? Quit laughing. Well, today I thwarted terrorists, discovered the holy grail, overcame impossible odds, etc. To, once again, channel those who are writing things like this, "Holy crap, today, I totally went to the mall, and found this awesome shirt, but there wasn't any in my size, so I totally asked the lady there, and she said what was on the shelf was what they had, but then I found one misplaced on another rack, and it was a total adventure!!!"

6. Compliment a friend.

That just doesn't seem right. I mean I'm all about complimenting friends (for the sake of argument, lets say that is true), but writing a blubbering panegyric about a wonderful friend seems like a dumb idea. Having some one post a blog extolling all of my incredible virtues might initially be slightly flattering, ultimately it would be somewhat creepy and may result in a restraining order of some sort.

7. Write a restaurant review.

Right... because most bloggers are restaurant connoisseurs. Seriously, what I don't want to read on anyones blog is how, they asked for no pickle on their Big Bacon Classic, and got it anyways, or how Wendy's and Tim Hortons aren't putting tomato on their burgers or sandwiches any longer because their supplier was based in the New Orleans area, and how that makes it only get a 3 star rating out of 5. Even if you go a bit higher class and review places like Boston Pizza and Milestones, it is still considerably dumb.

8. Detail a recent date.

But, then, my blog would be empty! This is particularily a nice option for those who have desperately lonely friends. Posting something like this would certainly keep those lonely emo friends from suicide! Or perhaps not. Secondly, I'm not sure the other on the date would exactly appreciate a tell-all blog about your romantic night out.

9. List your favourite hang outs.

Are we talking about favourite places to perform a lynching? Or are we speaking of that new vernacular where "hanging out" is equivalent to loitering with your friends outside of the Tim Hortons with crappy dance music blaring out of their suped up Civics? If the latter is the case, then perhaps most of those reading your blog might already know, and those who don't, probably don't care.

10. Share a poem of yours.

Oooh... can it be dark and angst-ridden? Can I wear my hair all messy and dumb, listen to whiny music, and cry? Because then I can be one of the Mighty Moshin Emo Rangers!

11. Offer tips in your area of expertise.

My personal area of expertise? I can only think of one that is strictly personal, and that is being me. Certainly, I have a fair bit of experience at that, whether that makes me the expert on it, I'm not sure. However, I would imagine that people don't want me to drone on about how one can go about being me. Also, if I posted tips about a more specific area of expertise, like how to make a perfect Cherries Jubilee, then perhaps it would no longer be my area of expertise, and others might surpass me, and I would no longer be an expert in said area. Which would be rather depressing, no?

12. Write about your favourite hobby.

What if it is my favourite hobby, but I don't actually partake? For example, what if my favourite hobby was stamp collecting, but I've never collected a stamp in my entire life? That would be a degree of ridiculous wouldn't it? Perhaps, instead, you should write about your favourite hobby, which you engage in? Even then, who wants to hear about my obsession with collecting miniature miniatures? Or that I follow around celebrities in my van? None of these things will people want to hear about.

13. Describe a class you're taking.

Are they suggesting that I post my syllabus? Pimp my classes to others? Or perhaps teach the course myself, right here in my blog? Of course, I could do this, but the lack of money I am receiving from all of you make me think that this would not be as lucrative as I would like. Send me money.

14. Review a movie.

Right. Because I really want to read a 14-year-old Roger Ebert blather on about how cute so and so is, or comment on how romantic such and such was, and giving two thumbs up for movies like Titanic, and two thumbs down for Lord of War because "I don't like guns, and Nicolas Cage has a huge forehead!" Or some 20 year old guy rating based on poop humour and nudity. I don't think so.

15. Gossip about celebrities, coworkers, or friends.

Hmmm... I think I'll leave this one alone. Just not a good idea. At all.

16. Outline your diet and exercise plan.

Yikes. The less said about this the better. Because I don't have much to say about it. It would be one of the shortest posts in all of history. I think my occupation of "Furniture Load Capacity Engineer" pretty much covers it. I'll leave the jokes to all of you...

17. Share interesting bits of information.

A bit broad, isn't that? And interesting is a very subjective term. And this is a blog, I think they have whole websites dedicated to interesting facts.

18. Rate a book you've read.

Like, what, the latest on Oprah's book club list? "Oh man, Oprah was so right, what an awesome book this East of Eden is! So fresh and new, I've never heard of it before!" Now everyone, send your tithes to Oprah, c/o Oprah. Yes, that is her address. Just right "Oprah" on the envelope with proper postage, and we assure you, it will get to her.

19. Describe your dreams.

Even at their most ridiculous? So, I had a dream last night that a purple raincoat chased me around the living room, at which point, I realized it wasn't so much a living room as the bottom of the ocean and I was having tea with Queen Elizabeth and when we swam to the surface we came upon a floating bottle with a message in side that said "I have a dream..."

20. Write an editorial about a current event.

Ooh, an editorial? What is Paris Hilton thinking about when she did her hair like that? Is that what is meant? Or perhaps, "I don't like Bush, I don't know what he is doing really, but celebrities don't like him, so I don't either!" Or, better yet, "I read a article about judicial review, and my opinion is... what is judicial review?"

21. Ask questions of other bloggers.

I have one! Why are you still reading this? Oh yeah, its because I'm awesome. But other people might have questions like "Why don't I know how to spell?", "Who really cares what I ate for breakfast?", "Will you understand my post if I write completely in LOLs and other ridiculous internet-speak?" or "Can you add a comment so my friends think I am popular?"

22. Share jokes and funny stories.

Once again, there are so many joke sites around, you might as well be spitting into the ocean. And that would very likely be even more funny than your joke. The latter, I actually support. That is, providing it is really funny. Not the overused teen girl LOL funny, but honestly and truly funny. I know, you are all thinking, "Wait, he is supportive of something! This is crazy." I know I am being cynical. But don't get used to this positivity...

23. Describe a project you're working on.

Well, I'm currently working on finishing up this post. I'm about halfway through a rye and coke, which I anticipate finishing, providing the committee approves the final project (that is, the empty glass). These are just those to which I am currently engaged in. There are some projects on the back burner such as graduating, promoting communism, as well as living.

24. Tell heart-warming pet stories.

Hmmm... would killing puppies warm your heart? I suppose, if you cut them open and lived in them Wompa-style. Does telling people about how you have oft driven your pet to suicide give them those fuzzy feelings? I suppose not. It will probably be some other anthropomorphic nonsense. It will also probably fall in the teen girl LOL category, and I will withdraw my approval.

25. Offer dating or parenting advice.

Now, stop your laughing. I have offered considerable dating advice up to this point. And, to get another dig in at the Temple of Harpo, we have Dr. Phil to give advice on parenting. "You CAN'T go WAILING on your KIDS with a board with a NAIL IN IT!" Thanks Dr. Phil! If it weren't for you, our family would be a mess!

26. Write a short story.

As, I think, every joke I could put here has been included elsewhere I will just stick with "Preferably very short!"

27. Speculate about the direction of the stock market.

This would have to be the funniest one in this list. I think its inclusion is joke enough. Because "the fat cats at Wall Street" are often found spouting tripe on Myspace...

28. Highlight your favourite clothing stores.

While this sounds like a ridiculous blog entry topic, it seems like a fun activity. Everyone grab your highlighters and head for the local mall!

29. Share a mouth-watering recipe.

Perhaps ringing a bell would be enough? And would I be responsible if people went ahead and actually included those 2 cups of strychnine? Would this get me a great dinner and a rubber diaper?

30. Post a photo of the day.

You mean, like pictures of pets or children doing funny things? How about ridiculously photoshopped pictures that are really real, I swear! My friend took them! I'll be particularily impressed when the pictures your friend took have website tags already on them, such as Ebaums world or some such nonsense. The Internet: Protecting plagiarism, anonymity and free speech since whenever Al Gore invented it!

31. Share twenty things others should know about you.

Well, thats fairly easy, as most of them begin and end with "Tim is cool." That said, I think it would be much more interesting, and perhaps controversial if people wrote 20 things people shouldn't know about me. 1. I'm a compulsive liar. 2. I use all the toothbrushes wherever I go, just for fun at every house I go to. 3. I went to prison because others followed my lethal recipe. 4. I see dead people, etc.

Contentment Charade in the Single's Parade

Originally posted on February 14, 2006. Edited by Hallmark. Err... I mean... me.

Oh, it is that most wonderful of days. I thought I would compile a list of things that us single folk can do today, so that it might be a good day for us as well.

  1. Red Rover. Yes, that terrible game of childhood which teachers consistently banned due to recurring injuries. However, me and Sam have created a bit of a spin off of the original game. Essentially the game is as such: If you see a couple wandering with hands held you can run between them, separating their hands, and grab one person's hand and claim they are now on your team. While doing this at school today would be fun, going down to the local mall and doing this would be considerably more entertaining, as you will not likely know your targets, nor will they be familiar with your eccentricities.

  2. Go to a friends house who is currently dating someone. Leave a flaming bag of dog excrement on their porch.

  3. Call up all your friends who are currently in relationships. One by one. Ask each and everyone one if they want to go out to see a movie tonight, or some other activity. Don't mention that you know it is Valentines Day. If they ask, ignore the question. If ignoring is no longer a possibility, just make them think that you didn't know that it was today. This way they all feel bad for having turned you down, especially if they know that you are also single. It will work especially well if you let them know that you have called up a lot of friends (don't mention names, lest they realize that you are only calling up attached persons) and have yet to find anyone to spend time with.

  4. Call up several restaurants and make reservations for one. Go to each one, sit at the table, order drink after drink, become rude and obnoxious until you are kicked out. Time the reservations accordingly. Now, I am not suggesting that you actually drink and then go from restaurant to restaurant. Instead, order non-alcoholic drinks that look like they could be alcoholic. More than likely you will need a degree of acting skill to pull this off. It will either ruin people's dinners, or give them a fun story to tell.

  5. Similar to #4, get a friend of the opposite gender to come with you to a restaurant (or multiple restaurants if you would like to do this multiple times). Get a table, and look like you are actually in a relationship. Before dinner arrives (and thus you will not have to pay for dinner) get into a large fight. You can alternate fights, but pick something generic that might rehash fights that others may have had during their relationships. Fun ensues.

  6. For next year, as it is too late to do this today, give your friends who ask where and what they should do for Valentines Day terrible, but seemingly well meaning advice. This works especially well if these friends are dumb.

  7. If a friend has a romantic evening planned, complete with romanticish music, find a way to replace the CDs he has in the car/stereo/wherever. Take out the John Mayer or whoever and replace with Linkin Park or Limp Bizkit. That'll work nicely.

That's just about everything I can think of right now. Huzzah to the singles, or something.

Entertaining Scrawl in the Bathroom Stall -- Part 2

Originally posted on January 26th. Edited by the People's Editors of China.

Last time on "Anatomy of Bathroom Graffiti"...

An aspect of bathroom graffiti that needs to be addressed is the motivation behind it all. Like stated before, not all graffiti is useless and void of talent or art. The vast majority, however, is ridiculousness. What is it that causes people to make markings on these restroom dividers?

Certainly, maliciousness is a dominant factor. Somehow writing things on these areas is a way to stick it to the man. Clearly this is working. Worldwide, CEOs from major retail outlet chains are kept up at night, worrying about the thousands upon thousands of markings in their company's many terlets. It tears their families asunder, renders them crying fetal masses and considerable therapy needs to be sought.

Perhaps it is just because they can reach a larger audience with this canvas. This way their message can reach a larger audience than writing chain emails or posting such comments about coworkers and others on their blog would accomplish. Also, it is less time-consuming than handing out tracts, and much less costly than getting an advertisement on Superbowl XLMAO. Although, it would be considerably humourous to receive a tract laced with profanity with no real message at all. Certainly more entertaining than a Watchtower. Or a Superbowl commercial from Joe Everyman speaking about how Walmart is bunk (interestingly there is actual graffiti at my work which says just that).

Perhaps bathroom graffiti would have been a great avenue for political commercials. "NDP left that stink," "Liberals don't wash their hands," or "Conservatives pee on the seat" they might cry. Now I believe I have heard somewhere that some public washrooms actually do have advertisements in them. However, those types lack authenticity and the hands on approach that scratching something into the paint comes with.

Some scholars have posthulated that perhaps Martin Luther's break from Catholic doctrine actually came to him on the toilet as was shared by one Dr. Jim Payton in my Church History class earlier this semester (I wouldn't make that up). That being said, he didn't nail his theses there, now did he? No, the washroom is not the place for sharing treatises, spreading propaganda or simply stating how a certain manager is unkind. And why people would use it as such is beyond me.

This brings me to my next topic, the scratching of profanity into these walls. I call this "Textual Tourettes" and its existance stymies me. Once again, if someone thinks that this is sticking it to the company, they have another thing coming. What that is, I'm not sure. But it is on its way. Perhaps by mail, carrier pigeon, or telepathic wavelengths. I'm not sure. In context this profanity at least makes sense. However lone F-bombs* scrawled into the institutional colours of the walls have no meaning at all other than shock value, either to other visitors or customers, or to the company itself. It is simply ridiculous. I think I am going to start carving random words into walls, as this would seem to make just about as much sense. Or perhaps I will use the non-swearing equivalents like "shoot" or "fudge" or something similar. That'll show'em. Show'em good.

*I searched this up with Google Image Search, to see if there was an actual F-bomb in production some place or another for warfare. However, the first thing that came up is linked. Right from the PBS Kids website. Funny.

Lunch for the Lethargic

Originally posted on January 24, 2006. I have nothing else to say.

This had to be shared...

Hey, Ma! Nuke me up a PB&J sammich!

Lunch and no clean-up!
Can life get better?
I submit that it can not!

The Repugnant Reek of Rich Reparté

Originally posted on January 22, 2006. Edited by your friendly neighbourhood me.

Never fear, I will return to the entertaining scrawl on the bathroom wall. (Oh, and for the record, I refuse to spell reparté with two e's. It just seems completely wrong and uneducated. I'm not sure if what I have is entirely correct, but I won't succumb to my spell-checker's insistance on "repartee". If you read it like that it would seem to mean "to party... again" or Party 2: Party Harder. Which isn't, in and of itself, a bad thing. )

Anyways, for now, I will occupy my time by responding to Louie's blog on the comic book rivalry that is Marvel vs. Capcom. Errrr... I mean, Marvel Vs. DC. In his blog Louie suggests that Marvel is better than DC. I will argue the contrary. The reasons are as follows:

  1. DC has a plethora of interesting characters. Donnie Rumsfeld, Hillary Clinton, Condaleeza Rice, and the like. 550+ all told. How many characters does Marvel have? Certainly not that many.

  2. DC is also full of people who are like the average Joe. After all it is called the House of Representatives. Clearly they represent the people. And their problems with fidelity, drug abuse, etc. This is their tragic flaw. And people can relate. Or not vote for them. Their choice.

  3. In DC the contrast between good and bad are much more pronounced. In Marvel you have good and bad getting together like old friends and such. Do you see this happening with Kerry and Bush? Methinks not.

  4. Who votes for the Marvel characters? Nobody. Tha'ts right, undemocratic. Who votes for the DC characters? 55% of the population. That's right, undemocratic. Errrr... I mean democratic. 55% is better than 0%, though, isn't it? Exactly.

  5. DC is real. Marvel only exists in its rectangular panel.

Oh... you were talking about DC comics. Oops.

I tend to agree with Louie's assessment though, as several discussions have led to my belief that Batman is really just Captain Capitalism, and Superman is invincible to a ridiculous degree. I mean, why is it even a contest in crossover comics between these two?

Anways, go out and vote tomorrow. And stuff. I'm off to work.

Entertaining Scrawl in the Bathroom Stall -- Part 1

Originally posted on January 6, 2006. All your edits have been done by me.

The alternate title for this series of updates is Anatomy of Bathroom Graffiti. (The title is a reference to a show I have never seen called Anatomy of a Scene, which basically examines the making of a particular movie scene). This was going to be a single update, which developed into much too long a piece to be one update. (Perhaps it was essay length, thought I doubt that most of my professors would appreciate it when the assignment was to exegete a passage of scripture or elaborate on Hobbes' view of justice.) It then turned into two, and now, since I am trying to get on to a regular schedule of updates, it will now be a series of undetermined length. In fact, more than likely, it will go on for a very long time, because, as I continue to see ridiculous graffiti, I will continue to make further posts about this topic.

Anyways, enough housekeeping, and on to the meat of the matter. Or perhaps the meat of the platter. Mmmmmmm.... meat platter...

Anatomy of Bathroom Graffiti. Part 1.

It is entirely possible that bathroom graffiti is the lowest form of communication in the world. "How do you figure?" you might ask. With an abacus mostly, but that is neither here, nor is it there. Grunts and simple hand gestures (even those extended from your window at tailgaters) are further elevated in the hierarchy that is human communication. Even the cavemen, if there were such spelunk-savvy beings, were much more eloquent in their written communications. For examply, you didn't have Ung writing how Thurg's mom was hot. No, there were fun pictures of animals and such which communicate much more clearly. Not like the uselessness that is currently available next to the toilet paper dispenser. Perhaps I am exaggerating. It should probably be known far and wide that Thurg's mom was hot. And perhaps it is not entirely true that bathroom graffiti is as low as I might make it out. However, it is, I would say, the lower rungs of society who make their markings on the world on the template of the crap-cubicle wall.

This is a distinction I feel must be made. I am talking about bathroom graffiti. Other types of graffiti can be downright artistic. I've seen some great stuff, not done by professional artists, but by regular teenagers. Not like the premium teenagers, who are much more expensive but, apparently, they burn better. That's gasoline humour, people. I'm not talking about lighting 17-year-olds on fire. (Or am I?) I am talking about bathroom graffiiti specifically because it is typical of low-brow scrawlings. I have seen some artistic stuff, but that is the exception, rather than the rule. I have also seen the low-brow stuff elsewhere, but I'm going to be focussing on the typical etchings on the walls of latrines.

Most of my experience in this field is due to being involved in the workplace. The bathroom graffiti I am familiar with comes from this venue, perhaps because I try to spend as little time in public toilets as possible. So, the only "public" washrooms I frequent are at places of employment, and thus, this will be my basis of argument. From what I have experienced in my minor run-ins with public washrooms is that, while still prone to graffiti, there is much less of it. Perhaps it is the frustration with manual labour that drives some to etch their thoughts, beliefs and poetry inside their stink-box. One will never know. Unless One asks. But One is lazy. One is also a dumb name. One will probably write graffiti about me now.

No doubt you are waiting for me to get into some real examples, not just this preamble nonsense. Well, I will placate to the masses just this once. Perhaps more later, but just this once for now.

The beginning of any bathroom graffiti begins with a single mark. This is perhaps the funniest of all graffiti. Lets call it "beginner graffiti." This is when people realize that they can make marks on the wall, just as those before them had. They see things written and scratched in the wall and wonder if they, too, can make their mark on this canvas. And, thus, they fish for their keys, and put pen to paper. Or key to paint, assuming the stall wall is not made of paper. I won't bring into play the concept of malicious intent, though this certainly applies. Tune in later for more on that subject. For now, the humour of this situation is enough. I just imagine someone being very curious, making a scratch, and hopping around like the monkeys in 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is what it is left as. No words. No picture. Nothing but a single line, indicating that, yes, the right instrument and the correct pressure will leave a noticable mark. It is simply ridiculous. That concludes this edition of Anatomy of Bathroom Graffiti. Tune in next time...

The Loch-Ness of the Humourless

Originally posted on October 26, 2005. All edits made by Tim Enterprises 2006.

Earlier this month Rodale Books released a new book. The title? The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Grow, or Manage a Business. The author? Martha Stewart. Yes, the convicted felon, Martha Stewart. Someone has deemed it appropriate for Martha Stewart to right a book on business. So, I figure, if a person jailed for breaking business laws is allowed to write a book on business, I, too, can write a book on the same topic. And I haven't been jailed at all.

So here are my 10 rules for starting and running a small business.
  1. Ignore all laws and ethics that relate to business. For that matter, you can ignore all laws in general. This is first and foremost, because a) this is the foundation of managing a successful business and b) it is the most obvious joke. Ignoring business ethics, that's the Martha Stewart way.

  2. Of course, you need to have some sort of service or products that the masses need. Better yet, sell something that people don't need, but think they need. For example: Can opener/radio, vacuum cleaner/blender or phone book/frying pan (Copyright: Tim Enterprises 2006)

  3. Intellectual theft. What's easier than taking someone else's product, changing it slightly, and then remarketting it? Not much, seeing as there are plenty of companies making a mint off of this right now. I mean, look at most of those little gadgets they sell on those Canadian Tire ads. Oooooh, look! It bends! My drill doesn't do that!

  4. Budgets are completely arbitrary. If you have investors, you will likely have to make up a budget. This sounds difficult. So don't do it. If it is hard, it isn't worth doing. Random guessing, using lotto numbers, or using the phone numbers of close relatives are all viable substitutes to real expenses.

  5. The government helps small businesses get off the ground. Exploit this as much as possible. Pocket business loans.

  6. Similarily, you can write off business expenses come tax time. Exploit this as much as possible. Gas, lunches, gold watches, drugs (drug dealing is a business too!), alcohol (for when your business is inevitably pushed out by WalMart), or a Dodge Viper can all be written off, with a little clever phrasing. You'll have to claim bankruptcy soon anyways, so why not?

  7. Have well-known celebrities and professionals give endorsements. I know, this isn't really possible. Second-rate celebrities will do. "I had a walk-on role on some TV show you've never heard of! And look, I can make a smoothie while vacuuming up this smoothie I made earlier!" Or, take a page out of Sony's book, and make up a fake movie reviewer who gives glowing endorsements (apparently Sony actually did this... look it up).

  8. Advertise. This can be expensive. However there are untapped advertising options out there. For example, homeless people. They've often got cardboard signs anyways. They'll be thankful for the job, and there are plenty of people who pass by them.

  9. Franchising. Buying a lot in a mall is expensive, be it a big box mall or a indoor mall. However, there is one area that is rarely used. Lemonade stand type franchising. I can tell you I've been taken in multiple times by young children hocking lemonade or freezies. Who can resist an 8-year-old? Perhaps this might be something that the labour associations might be opposed to, but they are a bunch of whiners, so why listen to them?

  10. Finally, do you need someone to make your goods? Is getting children in 3rd world countries to make your phone book/frying pans proving difficult and expensive? Why not use trained monkeys? While initial costs may be a bit expensive, you don't have to pay monkeys, so this will pay off in the end. Perhaps this might be something that PETA might be opposed to, but they are a bunch of whiners, so why listen to them?

So, that concludes Tim's Rules on how to start and manage a small business. Take my advice and you will find success. (Success is copyrighted by Tim Enterprises 2006. Any and all success found is a result of Tim Enterprises and all monies arising from said success belong to Tim Enterprises.)

x = wit ÷ 2

Originally posted on July 15, 2005. The author has taken liberties to edit his work. He has also taken the Statue of Liberty.

The topic of today's rant is the letter R, the number 9 and the word "extreme." The letter R and the number 9 are great. Moving on...

The word "extreme" has come into ridiculously common usage. I'm not an etymologist, so I'm not going to go on about some drivel about the origin of the word, or what the Latins were having for lunch on the Sunday after they created said word. What I do know is that the word has become synonymous with the more dangerous sports. For example, CanWest (I believe that is the parent company of television stations like Global and Prime and such) has a channel which they call "Extreme." On this channel they show "extreme" sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding, street luge and perhaps knife juggling. Now, skateboarding and snowboarding have become very mainstream over the last decade or so, and I doubt many teenagers would put either activity in the "extreme" category. I think that because these activities have become so commonplace (one is a recognized Olympic sport, the other is found in a plethora of parks and public places) that they can hardly still be defined as "extreme." They no longer warrant such an adjective.

Presently, "the cool thing to do" is to label things "extreme" for greater market value. For example, I believe that it is Burger King that is advertising a new burger with bacon. Bacon which they are labelling as "extreme." Now, I don't really intend on contacting the Burger King himself (I'm sure his security is rather tight, being royalty and all), but I assume that this bacon is "extreme" for a good reason. My guess is that they slaughtered street-luging swine. Thus they can rightly label their bacon "extreme."

Now, while I might not be struggling to reach the King for comment, I was able to ask a McDonald's employee (I believe he was a manager actually) about their "Extreme Rolo McFlurry" this past Canada Day. As an aside, the Rolo McFlurry is easily the best one they have put out, as the syrup flavours the ice cream (or gum-based gelatinous frozen treat) quite nicely and the mini-rolos are quite tasty as well. Anyways, I asked the manager "What is so extreme about the Extreme Rolo McFlurry?" He actually had a quite clever response by saying something similar to "How much of a pain in the ass it is to make?" This answer pleased me and laugh heartily, I did. I was really just expecting him to roll his eyes and perhaps mumble a few choice words when my back was turned. His response actually gave me an answer I was both looking for, and one that actually defines why it is extreme. I'm not sure the King would have as clever or correct of a response. Although, I don't think I would use "pain in the ass" to determine what is "extreme." Certainly algebra, while a pain in the ass, will not likely grace the X-games.

Basically what I am saying is that I think people should stop haphazardly adding words to their products just because its something the cool kids will like. Its just dumb. Next thing you know there is "Extreme Hedgeclippers," with extra spikes and blades to make it more extreme, and "Extreme Painting", done with stilts with rollerblades as feet. The overuse of the word in marketing is extremely ridiculous.

A Myriad of Muck in the Mud Puddle of Myrth

Originally posted on July 8, 2005. Editorial content inserted by the editor.

As many know, I often make jokes about communism. This has been somewhat bolstered as of late, as one of my co-workers at Wal-mart jokingly (or not?) blames the communists for anything bad that happens. "Hey Mike," I'll say, "This box is mislabeled." His response will often be something to the effect of "Ugh... the communists." Perhaps they are responsible, perhaps not. I suppose we will never know.

I also often identify socialism with communism, as well as many unions with communism. This is mostly in jest, as I don't really believe that most unions, socialists and the like are full of card-carrying commies. Or are they? All this talk of communism at my new job reminded me of something I saw at my old job. It seems that everyone that worked at this warehouse was given a union shirt. Fine. No big deal. It says something like "Union local 666" or something. It may not have been 666, but it was a three-digit number of some kind. There is nothing wrong with this. However, when I saw the top of the shirt and saw what was written there, I was a bit shocked. It said "Unite!" Now this would be all fine and good out of context. However, when you already jokingly identify unions with communism and you know anything about communism, this changes the meaning of that word entirely. Why, you ask? Because probably one of the biggest catch-phrases for communism has been "Workers of the world unite!" And when I see a worker of the world sporting a t-shirt which says "Unite!" I begin to think that the communists are taking over. What I find incredibly funny about this is that I would imagine that most of those that are wearing those shirts have no idea what their shirt is ultimately saying.

What is also kind of interesting is that I moved from that job (which I quit once I realized that there was a revolution a-brewin') to Walmart, who is staunchly anti-union. Now they aren't technically anti-union, but Walmart is set up as much like a federal democracy as possible, and a union takes away the ability for communication which Walmart thrives on. Or at least thats what they say. I see it, but it obviously isn't utopia. I have plenty of things wrong with Walmart as well. (A year later and I have wholly decided that this looks great on paper but doesn't work at all.)

So communist propoganda is alive and well here in this great country we call Canada. It is sneaking in through the unions, and through the NDP. They are trying to make this land into worker's paradise. And frankly, I will have none of it. Well except for the free health care. And perhaps some of the other things that come with the welfare state. But other than that, none. We must weed out the commies by spending more money to reinforce capitalism. So buy me gifts. Lots of them.

Okay, I'm done now. Rant... over.

Acrid Accruement of All Things Asinine

Originally posted on July 1, 2005. Edited with permission from myself (deletions and additions, the latter marked by italics).

Well, kids, here we are. I've finally decided to add something to this "myspace" deally (which this is not). I've had the template up for roughly 2 months , but I've decided to make my contribution to this so-called "internet". Thought, I suppose, that is really like adding a drop of water to... well... the universe (or the fetid swimming pool with the dead squirrel located behind my current residence).

I would like to make sure everyone knows that this is not actually "myspace" (while moot, it is still a valid comment). It is, indeed, Microsoft's space. If it were "myspace" you would not see ads for eBay, sexy singles or the Yellow pages. Instead you would see ads for extreme juggling, shoebox collecting and Diet Cherry Vanilla Coke Ice Twist with Lime and Holiday Spice Remix. No, instead, Microsoft owns "myspace". Apparently the new shorthand for Microsoft is "my". They will probably copyright the word, just like Trump tried to copyright the phrase "You're fired". I mean, Microsoft owns everything. I predict that within 5 years they will own all of our asses. And I mean that in both senses. They will begin in 2008 with a massive donkey buyout worldwide. A year or two after that they will find some way to copyright all of our behinds. And trust me, you don't want that. They will go down all the time and you will have to reset. And the infamous blue screen will be very awkward in social situations. Now, see, I've gone and littered this corner of the web with low-brow humour already. Terrible.

Perhaps I should also give a quick explanation of the title of my blog. I don't really want to call it a blog, as I'm not going to be relaying every little bit of information, like how my best friend Sally bought a pair of shoes and that we saw the cutest boy in the food court. Instead I would call it a rant. Or something. Yeah, just call it something. Anyways, back to the topic at hand. I am kind of stealing this shtick from one of my favourite websites. The site is called Red Meat(the link is in yonder sidebar) and it is a comic I've been reading on the web for a long time, probably a couple years after it started. I heard about it on a local morning show (Humble and Fred, 102.1 The Edge, Toronto) and thought it was hilarious, though it is certainly not for everyone. So, if you don't like dark humour, which is at times pretty gross, stay away. I've been keeping up with it for probably 6 or so years. I learned at the time that it used to be included in the funnies of some papers, though none around the GTA. Anyways, Max Cannon, the writer of said comic, titles every comic with alliteration, some that rhyme, and some that are just clever. I'm not going to steal from his site, as that is just wrong. Though, those of you who have me on MSN Messenger may have seen a couple from that site, such as Jagged Junkpile of Jocularity or One More Hill in the Humour Landfill. However, some of his are rather gross, and I will try to shy away from particularily gross content.

So, welcome. Now, go away.