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Topic #32 – It’s All On The Package

Six out of ten guys hate shopping.  Two out of ten guys are gay.  The other two are either borderline or full-on metrosexuals which means probably three out of the ten are gay.  The point is that most guys don’t have a clue how to shop, especially for clothes.  This became even more apparent to me yesterday as I went to purchase some new underwear.

Now I know what you might be thinking:  “When did YOU start wearing underwear?  …Again.”  The answer to that is right after I got out of your Mom’s bed.  Seriously, when I started wearing underwear again doesn’t matter.  What matters is the crazy scene I saw when I hit the men’s underwear aisle of my local, um, underwear seller.  Two things struck me in the face like the funk odor of a car that’s been slept in by a bum (see Topic #21):  there was a guy who entered the aisle just ahead of me who was removing pairs of underwear from their nice packages and looking them over, and the aisle was littered with depackaged underwear laying about.

Fellas, buying underwear is about as simple as it gets.  There’s a picture of a dude you’ll never look like on the front, but he’s wearing a pair of the same underwear that’s in the package you’re holding.  Also, on the back or the top of the package is another picture of the underwear awaiting you inside.  In addition, the size of the underwear is listed in at least two places on said packaging.  I advise checking your current underwear size before starting this purchasing experience.  This article of clothing is, next to socks, the least expensive article of clothing you’ll buy, so even if you screw it up, it’s not that much of a hit to the wallet.  There is no surprise with underwear; what it says it is on the package, is what you’re getting.  I wouldn’t even care, except I have no interest in buying pre-fondled underwear.  The heterosexual in me just has no interest in buying underwear that’s already had another man’s hands on it, you know?  If you take underwear out of the package to inspect it, YOU AM DUMB.

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February 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Dummy Of The Week

So, I’m a couple of days behind.  This is really par for the course with me.  I don’t drive to most places I need to be on time either, so for those that know me, this probably isn’t an odd occurrence here.

You know what’s less flexible than my arrival times?  Steel posts.  Wood is awfully flexible by comparison.  So is foam.  You’d think that if you were going to send humans rocketing down a concave sheet of ice with turns and spins at any point past where the speed hits 5 or 10 mph, you might throw some protective material up.  You know, just in case.  In case of what you might ask?  How about the latest yet quickest addition to a Dummy Of The Week victor – the officials behind the luge event in Vancouver’s Winter Olympics.  Never before has the Dummy Of The Week been clinched solely by the result of actions on the Friday of that week.  Of course, leaving a steel post exposed so Nodar Kumaritashvili (I had to copy/paste that) of Georgia (the country, not the home state of Outkast) could fly haphazardly into it at 90 mph was something decided on weeks ahead of time.

How do you look at a luge track and see an exposed steel post at a perfect place for a tobaggon tossed body to connect with and think, “Yeah, looks good to me”?  That doesn’t even make sense.  It’s like building a baseball stadium and putting a flag pole on a hill in center field.   Sports are already dangerous enough.  Getting on a sled, wearing a skin tight suit and just a helmet, lying on your back and rocketing down a sheet of ice at 90mph is dangerous to the nth power.  Tossing in an exposed steel post is like a bad professional wrestling gimmick.  I was waiting for the Ultimate Warrior to jump out and slam Nordar with a chair.  If you add unnecessary complications to sports where safety measures should exist and people die, YOU AM DUMB.

February 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Topic #31 – Taylor Swift Is Not Pop

I do my very damndest not to listen to ‘terrestrial’ radio.  I prefer Sirius.  I prefer CD’s.  I prefer my iPod.  I prefer anything other than the mindless prattling of 7 songs replayed on 4 stations hour after hour with some acne-faced DJ with a fake-human voice claiming their station “only plays the hits with less commercials”.  No you don’t.  You play the same 7 songs the other 3 stations play and often times 2 of you are playing the same song at the same time.  This is variety?  I actually heard a Justin Bieber song on 105.9 here in LA the other day.  For the uninformed, Justin Bieber is a mid-teen-aged white kid and 105.9 is essentially an R&B/black-pop/rap station.  Chicago people:  it’s like hearing a Jonas Brothers song on 107.5.

But at least he’s a pop artist on a station that more than anything plays pop music.  Taylor Swift supposedly had a hit with the song about being the right girl for some dude who was seeing someone else.  In actuality the song sucks and the talent it took to sing it is roughly a half-step higher than what it takes someone to sound good singing a Depeche Mode song on karaoke night.  However, because that big scary black guy, Kanye west scared the poor defenseless white girl at an award show, we all have to suck at her non-existent teat.  Every song she puts out now must be played on every pop radio station as well as classic jazz, classic rock, old-school hip-hop and NPR.  Seriously – this girl has made nary a pop song.  She sings country-western music and is fair to middling when compared to the talent in that category.  I’ll take a Carrie Underwood to her any day.  Swift doesn’t dance, doesn’t have a funky wardrobe and looks completely unreinventable.  Kudos to her and her people for boosting her up on the shoulders of public embarrassment, but shame on those that have somehow embraced her simply because of it.  If you’ve been fooled into thinking that Taylor Swift is actually a pop singer, YOU AM DUMB.

February 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Topic #30 – No, You Didn’t Pick The Saints

Ah, the day after the Super Bowl.  For those in and from New Orleans, it’s a lovely morning.  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and so on.  For those in and from Indianapolis, the dagger is still stuck firmly in your throat and you are gurgling as you seek answers to the question, “Why did Peyton stab us in the neck?”  For the rest of the Country, however, a different day is upon us.  It’s the day after what is technically an upset in the Super Bowl, which means only one thing: bandwagon jumpers.  It is the day when all those “must-be-rights” make an effort to claim that they called the Saints victory “weeks ago”.  No, you didn’t pick the Saints.  The only people I want to hear claiming they picked the Saints before the game fall into three categories:  those that wrote it down, dated it and have photographic/video proof, those that bet them to win in Vegas, and those that bet them to win in some illegal betting pool (not that those exist anywhere).

I’ll freely admit my pregame statement:  “Emotionally I’d like to see the Saints win, but I don’t think they can stop Peyton Manning.”  I was wrong.  I will add a caveat that I did say the Saints would need turnovers to win, but that’s like saying they’d need to score touchdowns to win.  Not much of a prediction saving statement.  You and I both know people personally that will wake up this morning, feel the bruised ego, try and remember who they told that the Colts were a lock (if any) and go to everyone else they know to claim the Saints had it all the way.  Now, I’m a guy that likes to be right and will go to lengths to prove my point, but I also don’t have a problem admitting I was wrong.   I’m not sure why some people like to cover up even the minuscule errors like this one, but if you do, YOU AM DUMB.

February 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Dummy Of The Week!

I feel pretty happy to admit that while I’ve always admired famous athletes, actors and celebrities, I’ve never seen them as infallible.  I was a HUGE Michael Jordan fan as a kid (and mostly as an adult as well), but I never thought the guy was without the capability for error – and he didn’t really let me down there.  I still think Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer ever, but I was shocked that it took this long for him to have some kind of scandal.  I seemed to always be more surprised that people thought these famous persons could do no wrong than I was at the fact that they actually screwed up.  The U.S. is a rather forgiving nation, however.  Our political enemy one day can be our friend the next and people that famously screw up are always allowed a chance at an apology and, time willing, a redemption.   Then there’s Mel Gibson.

Look, people rail against The Passion of The Christ but as far as I’m concerned, he got the money to make the movie and people paid to see it and if it’s a true representation of his feelings, he’s entitled to that.  If it’s a representation of his beliefs, he’s entitled.  That doesn’t mean you have to pay to see it or anything else he’s done.  The bigger issue I have is with the result of his arrest a few years ago, the subsequent NON-backlash and then a clip aired earlier this week.

A few years ago, while being pulled over for drunk driving, Mel blamed the Jews for every war in the world and made a few other unsavory comments.  In other interviews he’s also refused to say anything against his Father’s stance as a Holocaust denier.  Mel originally tried to apologize for his comments but never actually addressed them by name.  He’s stayed off the screen in an acting role for years and is finally doing press for his new movie (which I refuse to even name here).  In an interview with a reporter, this happened:  http://bit.ly/9lkrtV

How hard is it to just reiterate that you said some dumb things and hoped people would be forgiving of your screw-up?  It doesn’t really take any more than that.  Instead, he doesn’t even address what is being asked of him, tries to spin it on the interviewer, like “how dare you even ask me about something I’ve never even acknowledged appropriately”.  Don’t spend money on Edge Of Darkness or anything else with this douchebags name on it.  Yes, everyone has their pitfalls, but most are at least willing to ask for forgiveness or understanding.  This guy just thinks his shit doesn’t stink.  Congrats to this weeks Dummy Of The Week:  Mel Gibson, YOU AM DUMB.


February 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Topic #29 – The Revolution Will Be Automated

It’s an old hat complaint by today’s standards, but I’m going to make it anyway.  In December I took a later flight back to LA from Chicago because I was in no hurry, and because they were offering a free voucher for an additional flight if I gave up my seat.  Considering I make more trips to Chicago than Scientologists make to Haiti, a free flight is always a plus.  Readying for my flight in February and knowing I had to make it 14 days in advance, I tried calling United to book my free voucher.  According to their website (here), all I had to do was call an 800-number, ask for an agent, and make the reservation.  However, when I called the 800-number, I got put directly into an automated system with no choice to request the agent I was looking for.  Instead I had to verbalize (over and over and over…and over again) details of my trip, the spelling of my name, and my phone number.  This alone took 10 minutes.  Then once done with that, I finally get told to hold for the mystical agent that I’ve been dying to speak to since the start of this goose chase.  Guess what I then am informed of?  That calling in to reserve a flight is a very messy process and that I could be on hold for a long time.  The official estimated wait time?  19 minutes!

If I have to go to an agent anyway, why am I talking to HAL?  Why is it okay to waste my time by not telling me of my upcoming wait time at the beginning of the call.  I could have then made a decision on the worth of the next 40 minutes of my life.  The Country has a 10+ % unemployment rate and yet because we have to pay everyone at least eleventy-one dollars an hour, no one can get anything done because no one wants to pay someone that much when an answering machine can frustrate their customers even more.  I promise if you pulled together all the unemployed and asked if they’d be willing to work at slightly less than minimum wage with a smaller state assisted kicker, or just be unemployed with nothing, they’d take the former.  Needless to say, after 3 attempts to get by the automated system and being informed that I have a wait that ‘s longer than most sitcoms, I am still trying to get into United to book my flight.  This great benefit of a free flight seems to be costing me money already.  If you think that automating your incoming calls is the best business idea in the world, YOU AM DUMB.

February 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Topic #28 – Shun The Progress

When the first telephone’s started being installed in people’s homes, there was a backlash.  Many people worried about the invasion of privacy.  With phones in homes, they were now reachable at any time from anyone who happened to be able to get the operators to connect them.  No more riding over to see if someone was home!  Oh, the tragedy.  They also worried about the disrespect shown to visitors when the phone rang in the middle of a visit.  How rude to leave a visitor in your home to take a phone call!  It’s like you were dismissing their conversation for another.  Yet, somehow people got over it.

The same struggle has happened with any opt-in technology.  People combine participation with a loss of privacy, and they’re partly right.  If you have a cell phone these days you are, to an extent, at it’s mercy.  It rings, messages come in and people expect return calls and so on.  However, if you buy a cell phone, you are essentially opting in to the intrusion.  What people forget is that the level of intrusion is set by the owner.  Having a phone doesn’t have to mean you send text messages or surf the web from your phone, yet people cry out about being texted non-stop.  You can easily set your phone up not to get text messages.  People rail against Facebook and Twitter the same way.  “I don’t want people to know everything about me!”  “I don’t want to expose myself!”

Any of my close friends will tell you, I’m probably one of the more private people they know.  I’m not a big fan of sharing details about every nugget of my life, where I go, who I see, or what I think about a lot of things (although I’ve bared quite a bit here).  However, I use Facebook and Twitter quite a bit and some non-users that know my level of personally-maintained privacy always quiz me about it.  The answer is the same:  Just because you’re on a social networking site, doesn’t mean you are required to share every detail and tidbit about your life.  You don’t have to change your dating status just because you’ve been going out with her for a few days.  Are you both that insecure?  If you were, how blasting is it when you go back in to change that status to “single” again?  I use FB and Twitter as sounding boards.  A place to spit out funny and cool links, promote my business, attempt dumb sayings that I find and make up and occasionally share some neat info about my life that I have determined is harmless and worth sharing.  People use both Facebook and Twitter for a number of different things, from promotion of ideas to business to just sharing life updates.  Yet, the response I get is the same:  “Well I just don’t like sharing my personal life.”  In effect, you just don’t want to listen.  Well, I’d text it to you, but you hate texting and I’d send it to you in a LinkedIn message but you’d say, “Linked Who?”  So I’m just going to put it right here.  If you believe that status updates and tweets are mandatory and must reveal personal data, YOU AM DUMB.

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Topic #27 – Enough With The Holidays

Is it possible I can go to Google and just see the damned rainbow lettering?  Every other day I go to Google and it’s someone’s birthday, celebration of some random artists work or some other stupid day that is absolutely worthless.  That isn’t so big a deal.  What’s worse is all the other random and ridiculous “holidays” that people like to bring up to you, like you care.  Some are funny to hear about, but most make me just want to make it National Punch You In The Face Day.  Someone actually had the cajones today to ask me if I had anything planned for National Pancake Month.  As far as I’m concerned, until someone can prove otherwise, every month is National Pancake Month to me.

Did you know that March is National Optimism Month?  If you did, and were looking forward to it, aren’t you kind of celebrating early?  April is Month of The Young Child.  I don’t even know what the hell that is.  July is Smart Irrigation Month.  So the rest of the year we drowned.  You know what’s even more stupid?  One of these things will likely be highlighted by some sort of observance by Google on their main search page and yet, Black History Month, which actually has some sort of relevance, hasn’t encouraged Google to do anything to their site.  Maybe a black background instead of white.  If you already have plans for National Piano Month, YOU AM DUMB.

February 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments