Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Twin? TWIN?? I've got half the mind to call the FTC on you... lousy bed industry.

This is my bed:

Today while purchasing a sheet set for it, I found out it was called a twin bed. Twin? Now, before I knew what it was called, I was fine with it. It's a small bed, that's what you get when you are a single student. But now I am outraged! Just what exactly does "twin" mean? I know that if I had a twin I couldn't sleep on that bed with him. Probably not even if we were conjoined or something weird like that. The only twins fitting on that bed together are... like baby twins. The straight-outta-the-womb type. And then I guess you could fit like 5 on it width-wise. Why don't they just call the bed a quintuplet then?... It's about as accurate of a description...

So that is it. I was happy in my ignorance. But now that I know that this whole "bed sizing" thing is a scam... I think I will fall asleep in tears of bitterness every night.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What? A mountain? Of course we aren't going around it. Just dig right through it.



These things have bothered me for a while now. Let me try to recreate the mental environment of the engineer who designed this new wave of stubborn paper towel dispensers:

"Oh crap..."

"Yeah... this isn't going to work. It jams every time you pull the paper towel with just one hand."

"Frick, I've been working for months on this design."

"Come on.. Think! THINK ROY! You can pull this one together. You are NOT scrapping this design. You've got to recover from the humiliation you received when they shot down your biometric-eye-scanning-security towel dispenser. I don't even think they KNOW how much illegal aliens cost us a year through unauthorized use of our paper towels. Whatever... Come on think..."

"Ok ok. No we can do this. The consumer will just have to use both hands to pull the paper towel dispenser. Yes. That's it. Only then can this delicately poor design I've created keep its equilibrium and continue dispensing paper towels."

"How are we going to accomplish this? We could.... make the paper towels so heavy that it is impossible for the average person to handle UNLESS they used both hands? No.. Crap idea. You know what, it's late, you gotta get home. Just plan putting some stupid label on the front."

"No... That isn't good enough. People NEVER read labels. You need something in addition. Hmm... Oh oh, I got it! This isn't anything a little operant conditioning can't solve. I will PUNISH those who fail to use both hands. Now how will I do that... Alright, how bout this? It will have a sensor.. and deliver an electrical shock to them whenever they use only one hand. No.. Another crap idea. Too risky. Too expensive. Oh okay, how about this? I'll just put this ridiculous turny thing on the side as a manual override. It's kind of a knob, but not simple like a knob. I'll make it all complex with little ridges and swooping plastic things that only go one way and don't fit your finger. That way the consumer will have to stare at it for a good few seconds and relearn every time they're in the bathroom how to use it to get a towel if they pulled the first one with just one hand. That'll teach them to screw with my towel dispenser!"

"Yeah.. Yeah. I think that'll work. Yeah, you just need to get home. It's late, but at least you've got got the problem solved. Well... at least its not your problem anymore. Hah! Suckers that use bathrooms in public places! They will rue the day they shot down my biometric dispenser. RUE!"

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Debut as an Exhibitionist

For almost every young boy, there is a transition that they make in their life. No, not when their voice starts changing and they begin to shave. I'm talking about when briefs give way to boxers, and a boy becomes a man. Boxers are a real man's underwear. Briefs aren't. Boxer briefs? Uhm.. maybe a man-boy's underwear.

I had to make this transition myself. There was no talk to prepare me. There was no pamphlet handed out at school. There was no Boxer-ed class. I had to walk the road alone. So there I was, in the midst of this tumultuous transition, trying to make sense of who I really was inside.

I was probably ten years old. We were living in our first house in Marietta. One summer morning I was just lazing around the house. It was one of those slow mornings, and the day's agenda was as clear as the summer sky. I lounged around the house in a pair of comfortable boxers and a t-shirt. The house failed to keep my attention and eventually I wandered outside. At this point I'm not quite sure if I was completely aware of the fact that I was still only wearing a t-shirt and boxers. The boxers were so comfortable. The didn't constrict like briefs do. In fact, they just felt like a nice pair of shorts.

So I roamed around my yard. It didn't matter that I was only in my boxers. There was a high enough fence around my yard to shield me from the view of the neighbors and passer-bys. Sure enough, however, I got bored with the yard. What I needed then was something to cure my sweet-tooth.

I was a man of action, and so I acted. I hopped on my bike and made the trip of three blocks to the convenience store on the side of Route 441. After perusing for a while, I made my purchase and returned home with the booty of sweetness. It was then that I finally realized that I was still in my Garfield boxers. Hopefully Marietta enjoyed the show.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

You can't break a break

Yesterday James and I were cruising around in his car and he asked my if I had ever watched infomercials. I told him that sadly I have watched several, and a few of them in their entirety. Then he started to go off about how it confused him that it was possible for infomercials to pretend to take commercial breaks. Like, they will interrupt their faux talkshow to have a sort of commercial break... all inside this big meta commercial called an infomercial.

Well, I had a similar experience a moment ago at work. I showed up to work about 3 hours ago, and have done absolutely nothing of value to the company since I've gotten here. They just haven't had anything for me to do. I am waiting on a report that is needed before I do anything. So, for the past three hours I have read a whole slew of CNN articles, watched their videos, checked out ABC.com, checked my stocks, checked my bank account, checked my school account, and written a long email to Jo. I've been pretty busy not being busy at work. And so the thought popped into my head, "Gabe, you should take a break. You know how you never take those 15 minute breaks you are legally entitled to because you feel like it makes the day go even slower and you also feel guilty if anyone would see you not working, well maybe you should take one today." And then I realized I couldn't. It just isn't possible. You can't break a break.

I think I'm gonna check out Wikipedia next.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Retraction

So apparently Sprinkler World is fun. It has Guitar Hero, DDR, and.... any size pipe you could ever want. I stand corrected.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Birds

I haven't blogged much lately, but today I've been sick and in bed all day. In fact, I think I have slept for about 16 hours. I worked a bit on my memoirs and typed a few more pages. Here's a selection about one of my best memories as a child:

One time while visiting Dad in Manheim, we found three baby mockingbirds that were homeless. They were wandering around Jetti’s property. Perhaps rashly justifying it to ourselves, we decided it was too dangerous for them to be on their own with cats around. So we took them in. We named them Peep, Cheep, and… I think Reep-a-cheep. I am not sure about the third one. I believe he either ran away too early or got hit by a car for his name to really stick. Whichever one of those fates Reep-a-cheep picked, Cheep picked the other one. Peep was the real trooper. I don’t even remember if his eyes were open when we got him. He was young though. We took him back to Marietta and had to feed him by hand for a while. I don’t remember all we fed him, but I do remember that we fed him hard boiled egg yolks. As if that isn’t against some sort of Birdaic Law, I don’t know what is. For a while we could just keep him in a cardboard box since he couldn’t fly. Then he got older and I think we gave him free roam of the enclosed porch. Once he broke his wing, but it ended up healing alright. The best, but also the saddest moments, were when he started to learn to fly. Some mornings we would go out and he wasn’t in the porch. So we would go into the yard and yell “Peep Peep! Peep Peep!” Within a few moments he would fly down and perch on your shoulder. It felt almost as if I was freed by the bird. The fact that we had a pet bird, and he flew, was almost like we could fly. It was as though we had harnessed the power of the bird by raising one. This delicate balance between man and wild only lasted for a while before calling Peep’s name wouldn’t bring him down from the trees. I hope he had a good life.

Tell me what you think. Let me know if you want all 37 pages I've written so far. You would probably know more about by childhood than anyone else. It only goes up to 3rd grade so far. I started writing it before my mission to make up for the fact that I hadn't kept a journal. I thought I would forget all of my memories over the two years in Montana, so I started writing frantically. Today was the first time I had worked on it since I left.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

An Hour of Nonsense

Friday I headed straight from work to Chuck E Cheese's. Maybe that alone was a weird enough event to inspire my mind to think of the most interesting things. But in the time between 5:45 and 6:45 I had the following thoughts:

  • Upon seeing a business called "Sprinkler World" right next to Chuck E Cheese's - "That sounds way more fun that it could possibly be. Come on, "Sprinkler World?" It sounds like some sort of theme park. I think it should fall under the offense of false advertising."
  • Upon walking through Target trying to find a gift for my nephew and seeing the aisle for weedkillers - "Roundup... That is it, that would be by far the oddest gift I could get Joshie. What would a 6-year-old even do with roundup? I guess he could kill weeds? Why is this even crossing my mind? Is there really nothing else of more consequence to be pondered that I have time to think about what would make the most illogical gift for my nephew? Apparently..."
  • Upon walking out of target, having the first door automatically open for me and then almost walking face first into the second door, which didn't even start to open till I pushed it - "This is how it is going to start, the robot revolution that is. First, all it starts with is just a little attitude from the simplest robots, like not being prompt in opening a door for a human, next thing you know? We'll have ovens swallowing little children and robots running down old ladies for 'points.' That, Adam, is when you'll really have to help them across the street.
  • While sitting alone in Chuck E Cheese's surrounded by screaming kids in front of the stage where the fake band plays and still thinking about the impending robot rebellion - "When it happens, I want to be as far away from these creeps as possible (the robots, not the kids. Kids weren't too creepy). Like, if I feared any robots it would be these guys, robot versions of Chuck E Cheese and his band whom we have enslaved to a life of misery, constantly performing the same mind-numbingly asinine parodies day after day in front of a crowd of screaming kids. These guys will be out for blood."
And that was just one hour...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thoughts of a deviant

My idea of the perfect crimes:

Identity theft, 20 years in the making: The other day I was thinking of my friend Sarah and realized that I still thought of her by her maiden name rather than her married name. This got me thinking, 'If I know her maiden name, doesn't that give me some power or something?' Indeed it does, power 20 years in the making. Now I just need to wait it out, for twenty years until she has a child old enough to have credit cards and bank accounts. Then I can impersonate him and when give you that "For security purposes, could I have your mother's maiden name?" line, I'm in! So... Yeah, in twenty years I am gonna be pretty sweet rich.

Seriously though? That bothers me every time I am asked that. Like my mother's maiden name is really that secret... Like, all you really need to know is someone's grandparents. It almost bothers me as much the online sites that require you to create a security question. Now-a-days its all the rage to make those little how-secure-is-your-password meters that make you pick passwords that look like Google's verify-your-not-an-artificially-intelligent-robot words. So you finally pick firwl35i2 as your secure password, only to see that the next question is where you pick your security question. So now all someone needs to know to get into your account isn't your super secure password, but merely that your first dog's name was Sparky or that your 1st grade teacher's name was Mrs. Laramie. Shouldn't there be an option like "Don't worry, this isn't the first time I've used a website and I'm not an idiot. I won't forget my password. Even if I did, I would be much less likely to remember how I formatted the answer to your ridiculous security questions." How do we know Mrs. Laramie (or Sparky) isn't sitting on her (or his) computer right now hacking into every student's (or owner's) accounts? That's a risk I'm not willing to take.

Free Postage: Guys, this one is pure genius. It's so simple, even my 10-year-old brain was powerful enough to contrive it. How bout this? You know how the post office sends you stuff back if you don't have the right postage? What if you sent a letter where your intended recipient was listed as the sender and you were listed as the intended recipient. Follow? Now you just drop it in the box without postage and wait for the post office to catch it, unknowingly playing right into your hands and shooting it into mailbox of the 'sender', really your intended recipient.

Genius isn't it? Here are the problems... It is kind of suspicious not putting any postage on a letter, so maybe you could just put inadequate postage and rather than get free postage, just get discounted postage. Also, I think it might be a little suspicious when they see a letter without postage (or insufficient postage) in Provo when it was 'sent' from your friend in Pennsylvania. They'd probably think either "Man those east coast mailmen (or robots, I'm not sure what they use) are idiots!" or "This little punk is trying to commit mail fraud." So, maybe if do it locally it would be more believable. Like, I could probably send something to Barney for free if I wanted to. PS, please don't submit that last submission to a cost-benefit analysis. I know the mailbox is further than his door, but the hidden benefit is the satisfaction of stickin' it to the man.

Abstract Graffiti Artist: I know people like to tag things. Graffiti looks kinda cool to the average human... sometimes, but not to the average judge. So, I decided today that if you really needed to get your kicks by defacing stuff, just get some orange spraypaint, limit your targets to the road and sidewalks (especially around stoplights), and give up your elaborate designs, from here on out you'd have to be doing lines, dashes, circles, and really oblique symbols. You also might want to get an orange vest and hard hat to secure your chances of never being caught. Seriously, who has ever seen someone spraypainting on the sidewalk in orange paint near a stoplight and ever confronted him? For all we know, that guy with the UDOT hat could be a thug! Anyway, I think it's worth a shot.

So there they are, the perfect crimes. Crimes so ingeniously conceived and executed that you'd never be brought to justice. Have fun! But watch out, next time I see someone spraypainting, no matter the surface or appearance of being a legitimate service to the public, I am calling the cops.