Friday, August 31, 2007

We've got to move these refrigerators, we've got to move these color TVS

I move a lot of televisions at work and the pictures used by Samsung on their LCD televisions strike a nerve with me:

This is the main picture but there are others that go with it that show the rest of this ladies ultra-modern bedroom.

First off, why in the world would you spend thousands of dollars on a fancy television and then READ THE NEWSPAPER? Right next to the TV as if to rub the newsprint right in the TV's face? I guess the newspaper thing is to suggest that this lady is smart and on top of things.

While I'm driving around staring at this lady, I wonder what it would be like to hang out with her:

"What are you doing!"

"Uh, I was just setting my car kers on your nightstand here."

"Insolent bug! That isn't a nightstand... nor a bench nor a stool. It's art! And you can't just put your keys where ever you want. You are ruining the effect of the super-sterile and confusing environment I've created here."

"Oh, sorry. Can I eat one of these apples?"

"Noooooooo! Those are ornamental. If you want to eat, you'll have to go out in the hallway."

"Can I have my candybar back? I think you might be sitting on it."

"AAAAaaahhhhhhhh! This is my third pair of white pants destroyed by chocolate this week!"

I imagine something like that anyway and none of it makes me want to hang out with that lady nor buy a TV. But I do want to win peoples respect and if buying expensive crap is the only way to do it then so be it. I will take advantage of my work discount and get that $10,000 Sharp Aquous for the killer price of $6,900.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Little Boy Blue and the Man on the Moon

My oldest son just started second grade at the local elementary school. Yesterday I was describing our typical luck in preparation for the first day of school to one of my fellow painters:

I said, "We've bought him new school clothes already but we haven't found any shoes that we like. He still has two pairs of shoes from last year. One pair is old and ratty but the other shoes are still in good condition so we figured he would be okay until we find some new shoes that we like..."

I continued, "...but our two youngest kids have had some kind of walking flu or something lately. They'll throw up and get diarreah for a couple of days and then they'll be fine for a couple of days and then out of nowhere they'll throw up and get diarreah again and then they'll be fine for a couple of days..."

The painter said, "Dude, you totally just described MY life."

Ew. Anyway, I said, "So we come home late Sunday night and I set our two year old on the couch for a second. My oldest son pops his good shoes off in front of the couch. Then the two year old suddenly leans over the edge of the couch and throws up into both shoes... Ethan had to wear the old ratty shoes on his first day of school...

...but there are a couple of trailer parks in our neighborhood, so I doubt anyone will think anything of it but we really need to find him some new shoes today."

I hate to be hard on teachers because I know a couple of teachers may be reading this site, but I think teachers are aware that parents are judging them harshly. When we took Ethan to school in the morning, they had four different classes line up or cluster around one entryway. We know his teachers name but have no other knowledge aside from that. Four teachers came to collect their classes and there was much confusion. The lady that I assume was Ethan's teacher stood in front of the door and said, "My class, come with me." And then she walked inside. She didn't introduce herself. She didn't give us any idea who might be in her class. She just said those words and walked off. But we saw other kids from Ethan's class following her so we sent him in.

It's not a big deal. But in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "Strike one, lady."

And I'm probably polluting Ethan's mind when it comes to school. I keep telling him things like, "If I didn't have to make you go to school, I wouldn't." I tell him that going to school is his responsibility like going to work is my responsibility. Then I ask him if he would rather go to school or stay home and never be a second grader. He told me he wants to finish all the grades so he can be a doctor some day. Or a fry cook.

Last year he got 100%s on almost all of his spelling tests so we started paying him $1 for each test that he aced. This year he has his pet Tiger Salamander, Zonk, and it costs $1 per week to buy the crickets we feed to the amphibian. I told Ethan to tell his new teacher, "If you don't give me 100's on all of my tests my salamander will die!"

Another funny thing about Ethan is that he is already into Heavy Metal. I never tried to teach him that hard rock was the best. Virtually EVERY song that comes on the radio and even most of my CD's are boring to him. We'll be driving in the car and you'll just hear a loud "Booooooooooooring!" float up from the backseat. He only likes stuff like Boston, 3 Days Grace, Megadeth and Linkin Park. If it doesn't have in-your-face guitar shredding then he doesn't like it. I got the new Smashing Pumpkins CD for my birthday and that BARELY got a nod of approval from him. It sounds cool that he likes hard rock but it's difficult to consistently pump out songs with that much energy in them.

After riding in the car with him it's hard for me not to imagine his teacher in front of the class saying, "Okay children, let's all count to 100 by 5's." and then his patent "Boooooooring" comes wafting up from the back of the class and then the teacher sits quietly dreaming of all the ways she's going to mess up his permanent record.

But I told him that his responsibility is to go to school, learn, make friends and have fun. I'll tell you how it goes.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

'Cos everybody hates a tourist, especially one who thinks it's all such a laugh

I'm not dead. I'm just working a lot and school is starting and my birthday is this week and my sister-in-law is getting married next week and it's our wedding anniversary and I'm broke as all get out. All I do is work so I'm not interested in talking about work right now. Instead I will talk about the rare and simple moments that I don't work:

Last week we took our lunch break from painting and got some chinese takeout. We went to my wife's aunt Dianne's house to eat it (She is the one I accused of having "noxious breath" when Ethan went to the emergency room last December). Every year my wife's extended family all gets together for a campout in the high Uintah Mountains. We went a couple of weeks ago but I was too busy to blog about it. But here is a picture I took on the way there:

If you are going to have a Nudist Ranch in Utah then you should definitely pick a place with an apt name like Beaver Creek. And you should also have a cool mascot like a bear wearing nothing but chaps, a pistol, a cowboy hat and a grin. If you would like to go, there is a chance that they are no longer "closed due to mosquitos." When I stopped to take the picture I noticed a trampoline behind the main complex so these people seem like they know how to party.

But back to the real story... When we got to Dianne's house with our chinese takeout she was excited to see me and told me she had the cutest picture of me and my son Jonah. I said something dumb like, "Does that mean it's a cute picture of me and Jonah happens to be in the picture?" and anyway she handed me a bunch of pictures and she did have a cool one of me riding my mountain bike with Jonah riding on the handle bars (which pretty much describes the entire camping trip because 2-yr-old Jonah wanted to ride on my handle bars 24 hours a day). I asked for a copy of the picture but she hasn't given me one yet.

Then I was talking to Dianne's daughter about how she was moving up to Logan, Utah to start college at Utah State. That's where I went to school for a spell. Then I asked the daughter what apartments she would be living in. When she told me the name of the apartments I said, "That's where I lived!" (along with Slimysculpin and Sandskier) when I met her cousin and married her. I told her not to makeout in the hot tub because the apartment manager would kick you out of the hot tub for that. I added, "...and you probably shouldn't mention to anyone around there that you know me."

Dianne told her daughter, "You see... you might meet the boy of your dreams up there." I briefly retold the story of how Eleanor and I met and emphasized that it definitely WASN'T love at first sight. Dianne told me the story of when she met her future and husband and how it WAS love at first sight for her. They were engaged within a month of meeting. And then she added, "... he told me later that part of the reason that he proposed so fast was because he was trying to decide whether or not he should sell his Chevy Caprice and getting married would affect his decision."

See girls?!?! You always THINK you want to know what's going on inside your man's head... it turns out that it's always much stupider than you thought. Uh... yeah, yeah, I could get married or I could not get married but I REALLY NEED to get this cosmic car situation sorted out and fast. I shouldn't knock Uncle Jeff. He is very smart and a great person. I just use that as an example as to why girls should just let guys keep quiet.

By this time, I still had half of my lunch left and my brothers-in-law and their cousin started griping, "This lunch break is taking way too long." Dianne started apologizing, "I'm sorry you guys... I just never get a chance to talk to Emmett and I had this neat picture of him..."

I feigned anger, "YEAH, YOU GUYS! DIANNE AND I NEVER GET ANY QUALITY TIME...!!!" I threw my food away and I said, "We'll come back again for lunch tomorrow, Dianne." We didn't go back, of course.

But that was probably the most fun I had all week. Sound fun to you?

Friday, August 17, 2007

If Prime can't laugh at himself then who can he laugh at?

No time to chit chat. But I thought I would present this tribute to one of the coolest movies of the summer. It's a re-dubbed version of Transformers. It's funny but don't watch it if you don't like trash talkin', potty-mouth robots.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Paralyzer Guitar Rip

I'm sorry, it's a sickness I can't help. It bothers me to see the Finger Eleven song "Paralyzer" at the top of the charts when the soul of the song is ripped off straight from a better band. Here is Paralyzer:

Compared to Led Zeppelin's "Trampled Underfoot":

Yes, all rock is ripped off from old school blues and jazz but Zeppelin at least established themselves as having actual talent for songwriting. I have a very strict rule about avoiding bands that have their first hit song be a cover song or obvious theft.

Paralyzer is as original as the idea of playing on a rooftop. It feels good to have that out of my system.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

More Than A Feeling

Everyone knows that ladder makers always place a warning on their products that the top step is NOT A STEP. And, of course, most people think of those words as "just a suggestion." But a few weeks ago we were painting and we were running out of CD's to listen to so I popped my wife's copy of "Boston's Greatest Hits" into the player.

When they sell copies of Boston's Greatest Hits they should include a warning that air-guitaring is immenent when played at a loud volume. Anyway, based on my experience, I think ladder makers should take things a step further and include this type of warning on their products as well:

You might be thinking I'm wrong about Boston but you don't have to take my word for it: