Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let's Build Something Together vs. You Can Do It, We Can Help

So on my way in to work today, I was trying desperately to get my Rush "Different Stages" cd to play. (The stupid cd player kept popping the disc back out and cursing at me.) (Only half of that really happened.)

Note for my billions of older readers: A cd is a lot like an EP/LP record except: smaller, not black, no visible grooves, one side, a needle would seriously mess it up, etc. Basically, it's round, like record, with a hole in the middle and contains music. Other than that, they aren't "a lot" alike.

Note for my billions of younger readers, from the MP3 Generation: Get a job, you young punks.

2nd Note for my billions of younger readers, from the MP3 Generation: A cd is a lot like an MP3 except: more tangible. Well, actually they aren't anything alike. If you don't know what a cd is, go ask your parents.

Anyhow, I was forced to listen to the radio for a bit while I wiped the back of the cd on my pants. (Not for fun. Sometimes it helps and that's pretty much what I was going for with the wiping.) Whilst listening to the FM, I heard back-to-back commercials for both Lowe's and The Home Depot. (I had a strong desire to build something. Then I remembered that a carpenter I'm not. I am absolutely horrible with trying to figure out how tangible things will fit together and I'm much better suited to words and whatnot. So I developed a strong desire to blog about it. Annnnnd here we are.)

Now, this got me wondering if it was intentional that the programming manager put these respective commercials next to each other. ("Eh, let's have them duke it out -- head-to-head -- and see who is truly the mightiest home improvement store... in the greater Muskegon area.") (Note: I don't necessarily live in "the greater Muskegon area," but that is where 101.3 -- The Fox Rocks! -- is apparently based.)

Furthermore, I started wondering if the first commercial (Lowe's) would be more effective, because it seemed to be a much higher quality commercial -- Note: I don't own stock in Lowe's or anything like that. I mean, my sister worked there like four years ago, designing kitchens for peeps, but she's been out of that game for a long time. -- or if the second commercial would be more effective on account of it being the last one the listener heard... assuming said listener didn't turn off the radio just after listening to the Lowe's commercial.

(Listener: "Wow. This is a fantastic commercial for Lowe's. I'm going to turn my radio off and head right there.")

Or, I suppose, the possibility exists that people started their cars the exact moment the Lowe's sales pitch had finished and were only influenced by Home Depot's less-good-than-Lowe's commercial. (The phrase "less-good-than-x" is trademarked by me. Don't try to use that piece of high caliber writing without my written consent. Thank you.)

So maybe they headed right to The Home Depot!

As such, I'm left wondering which home imporvement store stood to benefit more from this metaphorical cage match between the industry heavyweights.

I suppose that, much like the amount of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, we'll never know.

(Yeah, I think about really odd things from time to time.)

(You already knew that? From reading this very blog?? Huh. I guess I could see that.)

Editor's note: For all the millions of you who are concerned, the writer was ultimately able to get his Rush cd to kick in and, yes, he did rock out to "Limelight" a bit in the parking lot before entering the office. He appreciates your concern.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

$#*! the Ducks Guy Says

Disclaimer: This post uses the S-word a little bit. If that offends you, I'd recommend checking a different blog and coming back when it's safer (which is most posts because I rarely swear here).

Disclaimer Addendum: I mentioned checking out a different blog today for those who are uncomfortable with limited usage of the S-word (and I'm certainly not judging one way or the other...). Well, I thought that maybe I'd recommend a couple worth reading. So if you are leaving here, be sure to stop by
From the Inside Out, Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares, On 'n On 'n On, and/or Karmatic Creations.

Note to the Disclaimer Addendum: You don't need to only check out those particular blogs today. I'd recommend adding them to your reading list and/or following them. (They are some of my faves.)

As a thought, I could have recommended even more blogs, but then we'd be here all day and that couldn't possibly be a good thing for everyone's respective productivity. I mean, if you are one of my many doctor-readers and you were supposed to be saving lives, but instead opted to read a long list of blogs that I recommended, it would be simply tragic for your unattended patients. I couldn't live with that being on my head, so I kept the list short.

You're all welcome.


So someone asked me recently if I remember that I have a blog. (Gotta love subtlety.)

Well, let's get right into it...

Tonight is apparently the initial episode of "$#*! My Dad Says" and I'm quite conflicted. On one hand, it has William Shatner, which is a good thing in my book. On the other hand, it's a TV show based on a Twitter feed.

(Did I really just type "TV show based on a Twitter feed?" Let me check. Yes. Yes, I did.)

(The poor, proverbial little snowball in Hell suddenly has a better chance, because it must be freezing down there now.)

A TV show based on a Twitter feed?! (I apparently cannot write that enough.) Seriously?!

Well, it's actually based on the book based on the Twitter feed, but still...

Is it possible to actually develop a show based on a series of quotes? For the uninitiated, Twitter lets people post snippets of conversation or wisdom or humor, etc. I use the term "snippets" because of the 140 character count limit for Tweets. Although, if you've made it this far on the Interwebs, you probably already know Twitter's story. (And, of course, Ducks Out Of A Row readers are highly-intelligent, well-informed members of society.)

(Not-completely off-topic: My wife loves the term "Retweet" because it sounds like Tweety Bird saying "Retreat!" So this makes me picture the yellow cartoon wearing a soldier's helmet and imploring his troops to find safer ground.)

The guy behind the Twitter feed -- and I have no qualms with this, because it sounds like a fine idea for Twitter -- basically would post "shit" his dad said. Humorous enough premise for a Twitter account, but how did it go from that to a TV show? I know that unoriginality reigns supreme with regard to entertainment in this day and age -- ugh, I've officially become a curmudgeon -- but this is asinine. (Well, if I'm going "curmudgeon," I might as well go "all in.")

The premise is a gimmick that will lend itself to predictability... which is bad entertainment. (Of course, we've set the bar pretty freaking low with regard to entertainment. Am I right, the Jersey Shore cast?) How can any episode be anything other than a matter of waiting to see what kind of crazy shit William Shatner is going to say next? (This particular post is chockfull of sentences I never thought I'd write.) If that's the case -- and I'm firmly entrenched in the belief it will be -- how can this be any good?

(If you have any answers to that question, please feel free to leave them in the Comments section. Or don't, I suppose. I mean, I'm not one to tell other people what to do.)

Now, there's actually a second problem I have with this as-of-yet-unaired show: the title. If they outright called it "Shit My Dad Says," I would probably be okay with that. (The "probably" in that sentence has nothing to do with the curse word, but more on that in a second...) Instead, they make me use the secondary functions of these number keys (which I have to look at because I'm a normal person and do not have all of them memorized, except for the exclamation point... which I know is the first one) to type the show's title.

I'm not sure if I'm alone in this, but I think it is incredibly annoying when the announcer in the commercials for the show reads "Bleep My Dad Says." He seriously says "Bleep," as if we are completely in the dark as to what is actually supposed to be said there. Hate to break it to CBS, but we all know what it means. I mean, what other word that "needs" to be censored makes sense there? The F-word? No. The A-word? Nope. The Q-word? Definitely not!

(Okay, I just threw that last one in there to see if anyone is still reading. To the best of my knowledge, there isn't an actual curse word starting with "q." And if there is, I don't want to know about it!)

If you remember from two paragraphs ago, I mentioned that I'd "probably" be okay with them calling the show "Shit My Dad Says." The reason I had to drop in that caveat is because, obscenity or not, the title really pigeonholes the entire show.

Given that they had to actually develop plots -- hopefully I'm not being presumptuous in believing that they did, in fact, develop plots -- to go with the pearls of entertaining wisdom coming from the old man, why not give the show a new title?

I mean, it's not like the show is a Twitter feed, comprised solely of sayings which are 140 or less characters in length.

Anyhow, I just thought I'd speak my mind about this a bit. Now I need to go tweet my rant.

(No, CBS, my Twitter feed is NOT for sale.)

Editor's note: This dude hasn't updated his Twitter account in months. (Yet somehow he has at least one new follower added every day...) He's absolutely delusional if he thinks CBS is going to be calling.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You wouldn't like Noah Webster when he's angry...

Noah Webster must be pissed

We'll get to Mr. Webster's current source of anger in a bit, but first I need to offer a sincere apology to Katy Perry (who I'm sure is an avid Ducks Out Of A Row reader).

*clears throat*

Katy, I apologize for the incorrect spelling of "California Gurls" -- your infectious song which has apparently become "my jam" -- in the previous Ducks post. Admittedly, I had never seen the title actually spelled until last night, at which point I realized that I completely dropped the ball. So, uh, my bad and stuff.

Of course, Ms. Perry should probably apologize to Noah Webster. (Or "N-dub" as all the hip kids refer to him. He has a lot of street cred and gets mad love from his fellow ballas and shot callas. He rides with 20" rims on his Impalas. Word.)

(For those who are totally lost -- which could very well be everyone except me -- the "ballas, shot callas, Impalas" bit is from some late 90's rap song. It used to be my jam.)

Anyhow, K-dub -- as all the hip kids are calling her -- should have consulted Webster's dictionary before turning in the song title. I'm thinking that maybe her record label needs to hire people who can spell basic English words (although, they did nail the should-be-trickier "California"...).

Or maybe they should invest in some WhiteOut and go store-to-store and fix all the CD's and cassette tapes and LP's. (Admittedly, I'm not sure what they could do for the digital versions. Maybe wipe out everyone's hard drive and then install a version of the song with correct spelling?)

That leads to this:

Scene: Man at computer, wearing khaki pants, a white Oxford button down shirt and a purple paisley tie.

"Honey, what happened to all of my files? The only thing I can seem to find on here is Katy Perry's "California Girls." And wasn't this spelled differently before?" *starts playing the song* "This is a great jam, though. Who needs all that tax information, anyway?" *starts busting a move*

You know who else should apologize to Webster? ABC. (The network, not the English New Wave band.) Do you want to know why? (Please say "yes." Please say "yes.") Because they are clearly not using N-dub's greatest -- only? -- contribution to modern society. If they were, they could open up to the "S" section and find the definition for "star."

("Where is he going with this?")

Dancing With the Stars in on the ABC network. They have recently released the list of "stars" for the upcoming season. Do you want to know who, apparently, is a star? Bristol Palin.

Say what?

She got freaky with Levi and had a kid. How does that qualify someone as being a star? I'm so confused.

Now, I don't mean to dis on Bristol. She's probably a good kid and all, but "star?" Really?

I think I'm going to start referring to myself as a star. I mean, the word has clearly been devalued to the point where I might as well.

"Nice to meet you. I'm John -- blogging star extraordinaire."

(Note: My calling myself a "star" does not mean I had sex with Levi Johnston and then gave birth to our love child. Let's just cut off that rumor before it even starts.)