Archive for October, 2011:
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In the olden worlde, the earth was flat. It was the center of the universe and everything else revolved around us. Electricity and natural disasters were caused by gods and magic.
And then, we found SCIENCE!
Electricity became the movement of electrons – which we harnessed, wired and put a dimmer switch on. We realized the stars didn’t work with us at the middle, and it all made a lot more sense if we gave ourselves less importance in the grand scheme of things. We discovered magma and tectonic pressure build-up and virgins everywhere breathed a sigh of relief.
And still we discover more. We can see direct evidence of our postulated atoms. We believe in dark matter. And right now, I’m working on a computer that makes the green DOS prompt of my childhood look like it came from the same time period as the American Settlers. (You have died of dysentery!)
Welcome Coffin Hoppers and Smart Chickens alike!
For those of you who are Smart Chickens, please give a shout out to our visitors. Coffin Hop is a blog tour that goes from October 24th-31st. The tour will visit numerous blogs, Smart Chickens being one of them. So give a warm welcome to the Coffin Hoppers!
In this final week before Halloween we have several great giveaways, a super deal and a scary picture!
I’ll start with the scary thing . . .
Yes, that’s a picture of fabric grocery bags . . . in a plastic bag.
It’s said that Generation X can be defined or identified by a simple test:
Complete the following phrase: Conjunction Junction________________
If you don’t know it, you are not a member. And if you are a member, you said (or most likely, sang) “What’s your function?”
But there’s a lesser known test for Gen X, and it’s defined by this phrase: “Where’s my flying car?” (and the slightly less common “Where’s my personal jetpack?”)
Cars haven’t taken the quantum leap that was not only predicted but planned for in the 1900s. They not only don’t fly, many use more gas per mile than their counterparts from just twenty years ago. Electric cars were an interesting idea – and I know there’s a whole movie about who killed them. But I think the fact that you couldn’t just ‘fill-up’ was problematic. You had to plug-in (which required finding a station) and wait around. If you had an electric car you couldn’t take long trips (or you could, but they’d be REALLY long, because of the re-charging problem.) Conspiracies aside, I don’t think these cars would have completely caught on. Have you ever forgotten to re-charge your cell phone over night? Yeah, I know. I’m not responsible enough to have an electric car either.
Recently, my friend Alex got himself out of bad relationship.
We had several late nights, involving deep discussions and beer. This had been one of those on-again/off-again relationships. Alex definitely gave more than he got. During the long course of the relationship, there had been a handful of low points involving yelling and tears (all on Alex’s part.)
Being a good friend, I had told him repeatedly to give it up. But, like most people, though he said ‘I really should’ he went right back to his old ways. Change is hard. And kudos to Alex for finally calling it off and putting everything in a box to take to Goodwill.
Or so I thought. Just this last Sunday, I caught him on his couch wearing a new San Diego Chargers jersey and yelling at the TV just as loud as always.
I grabbed a beer and joined him, then I said: “Why? Why do you do this? The Titans are better for you and they’re here in town. You can watch live, and don’t have to get non-HD channels and watch after the game is over.” But Alex just kept watching and yelling.
When we see an ad on TV, we usually know it’s an ad. Even when it’s product placement you can usually tell. Done badly (Alias: “Take the Ford F150! It has a hydroformed frame and rear shocks!”) or done well (Handing off Twizzlers or Coke with the label exactly framed to the audience) it’s usually clear.
My kids were hung up on infomercials because they were susceptible – they BELIEVED. “Eggies” started a full bore discussion about how commercials play with your mind. I had to remind my kids that not only was peeling hard boiled eggs not hard, but they actually thought it was fun. Still they begged for infomercial items. So as an experiment we ordered a “Magic Tap” – it’s a push-button spout on top of your milk jug. (No more heavy lifting or spilled milk!)
I made my kids go through the online ordering process with me. I made them click all the buttons and watched their horror as they were offered acne medicines, spot removers, table cloth clips and other useless/unrelated items. We declined a second Magic Tap for just an additional $9.99 and had to confirm the order only knowing that we had ‘standard’ shipping and handling. It wouldn’t say how much that was – which I think is illegal.
The kids were shocked to find that the shipping was $13.95 for the $9.99 item. I wasn’t.
They waited for the magic item to arrive. And waited. And waited. Instead we got a letter that they were out of stock and out of business. I wasn’t disappointed though. It was $23.98 well spent. Lesson learned and all that. My kids now mock infomercials.