Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Random Thoughts, Volume 1

In 1993, I lived next door to a kid who was adamant about the fact he was going to be the third member of the hip-hop duo -- soon to be trio (evidently) -- Kriss Kross. I wonder how that is working out for him now. I envision the following scenario:

"Why don't you leave us alone? Yeah, we were a hip-hop act in the early-nineties, but now we just man this taco stand."

"But I'm in the band! I still know all the words to 'Jump!' My clothes are on backwards!"

"Fine... Now start filling those shells with meat."

I read a headline that said something about People magazine's 2010 "Sexiest Man Alive" was a surprise pick. The guy who "won" -- and it feels very wrong to use that particular term -- the "award" -- see my previous comment (it applies here, too) -- is Ryan Reynolds. I have no qualms about him winning this. As a comfortably straight male, I can say that Mr. Reynolds is an attractive dude. So what's my issue? How on earth is he a "surprise" pick? If they had chosen Dr. Stephen Hawking -- surprise. If they had picked some goat farmer from Montana -- surprise. Choosing a good-looking, successful actor? Zero surprise.

I would love to take a nap right now.

The other day it was commented -- in response to my "reinventing Michigan" post -- that a world exists outside the borders of the Mitten State. I don't believe it. Okay, I do believe it and am planning on writing a post regarding international politics. So keep your eyes open for that! (Note: It might entail renaming this planet... but you probably wouldn't expect anything less.)

This is a blog. Obviously, a major component entailed with that fact is that there are no rules. If I wanted to post a single letter or number every day, I could certainly do so. There is no one to stop me. (Mwahahaha) I mean, my readership would obviously go down, but I could do that.

The reason I'm mentioning this is that I am unsure how many random thoughts I actually "need" to write. Are a couple of thoughts good enough? Do people expect more? What's the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? I don't know the answers to these -- and other -- questions. As such, I'm going to take a nap.

("Wait, uh, doesn't he do most of this from his desk at work?")


Monday, November 8, 2010

Let's Get Political... Political. I Wanna Get Political...

Don't let the (extremely clever) title of today's post scare you away! This has nothing to do with Democrat/Republican/Whig/Green Party/Vulcan Party/Christmas Party/West Coast Party ('Cuz a West Coast Party don't stop!) bickering or differences or what have you.

This will be a very non-partisan post. (C'mon, you have to know how we do things here at the Ducks...)

If you don't know by now, my modus operandi is "Be a good person first and foremost and believe what you want to believe. I won't judge you for it. I'll keep trying to be a good person myself, so please don't judge me for my beliefs."

Anyhow, today let’s get political… political. I wanna get political… Let’s get into political.

(Yes, I had to Google search for the lyrics to Olivia Newton John’s “Physical.”)

(Yes, I’m a dork.)

For those who aren't already in the know – this would be most people from states not (currently) named "Michigan" -- we elected a new governator here in the Mitten State. (If you are confused, take a quick look at a map of the U.S. The lower peninsula of MI looks like a mitten.)

Well, Governator-elect Snyder said that it is time to "reinvent Michigan" in his "I just won the election, all the rest of you are losers" speech. Being a better judge of talent than Simon Cowell, I realized that the man is onto something. So let's roll with it...

First off, let's rename the state.

"Michigan" is okay and all, but we are reinventing here and there is no sense in doing it half-assed. I think we should put together a committee to look at naming rights. Sports stadiums and halftime shows and even families are receiving corporate sponsorship nowadays, so why not states? (Uh, don't answer that.)

Michigan's economy has certainly -- um, let's be diplomatic -- not kept pace with the rest of the union. (Read that as "I'm pretty sure we have the worst or second-worst economy in the nation.") But once upon a time, this state brought forth The Big Three and Kellogg's and Amway. There is a veritable wealth of industrial history on which the state can capitalize!

Let's see... We'll need something catchy and Michigan-born. Hmmm. Ford made/makes a car called the "Fiesta." Fiestas are fun. A state with tremendous unemployment could use more fun. We are now Fiesta. Mission accomplished!

Since we are reinventing things, my next proposal/reinvention/mandate is a new, new governator. If we're doing this, we should evaluate potential candidates... Madonna was born in Detroit, so she seems like a viable candidate. But I'm pretty sure she's taken to talking with a faux-British accent and we can't have that! I mean, we got rid of those red-coats back in the late 1900's. (Note: I have no qualms about any Brits, present or past. I'm just trying to be historically accurate here.)

Alright, Madonna is a no-go and...

Wait, what's that you say? What about me? Li’l ol' me? Well, I certainly would never have considered something like this on my own, but yes! Yes, I will be the next Governator of Fiesta.

(Note: I truly cannot believe how ridiculous this is already getting... and I still have a couple more points to go.)

As the new Governator -- yes, I officially love, and claim, that word now that Arnie is out of office -- I think it is best for me to alleviate a lot of hostility and conflict amongst my people. I've already considered going up to President Obama – or any other important figure, like Cher -- and saying "Let my people go," but I don't feel as though that will completely help ease the pain and suffering that all these years of conflict have brought upon the people of the state-formerly-called-Michigan.

So this is what I'm going to do: I am officially combining Michigan State University with the University of Michigan. Fans from these schools have given each other a hard time for too long now and it is time to say "enough is enough." I am the man who can do that and, thus, I will be establishing MSUTUOM.

Go MSUTUOM Spartan Wolverines!! (The mascot will be a wolverine wearing the helmet and armor that Sparty had previously worn. Also, he'll drive a monster truck.)

(Note: I swear on my life that I am not on drugs. I didn't even drink caffeine this morning... not that I usually do, anyhow, but we certainly can't blame this on that.)

("So he's just weird?")

(I prefer "creative," but whatever works for you.)

Point #4 of "My 1000 Points of Light" -- I came up with that by myself -- is that we need a new state song. I'm sure that whatever one we currently have is fine and dandy, but "fine and dandy" isn't going to cut it for a state that is currently going into overdrive to reinvent itself! We need something new... something fresh... something by Justin Beiber. (You had to see that coming…)

Admittedly, I'm a little conflicted at this point. I mean, does it make more sense to use one of his existing songs, or should we commission him to come up with something new?

You know what? You are absolutely right; I should write a song for him to record. As the new Governator-elect, it is a high-priority item and I should be the person to tackle it. The buck does stop here -- another J. Neeb original saying -- after all.

Note to J. Beib: Your performing and my song-writing is bound to be the best combination since Michigan State University and the University of Michigan became one school. J. Beib and J. Neeb are going to rock it. As the newest Governator in the union, you have my word that the song will be phenomenal. And, as we both know, politicians don't lie.

Wow, this "being the leader of the soon-to-be-largest-state-by-virtue-of-area" is really tough stuff. I kind of need a nap... but my loyal servants need more from their leader than that! I am not going to let them down.

(Mostly because I'll be jacking taxes waaaaaay up so I can buy lots of things I don't need, like a pillbox hat.)

"Did he just say 'soon-to-be-largest-state-be-virtue-of-area’?”

Ah, good catch. I'm going to merge the state with Canada. It really makes sense because we are both so close in proximity and whatnot.

Note to Canadians: If I wasn't a fan of you guys and your fine nation, I wouldn't want to merge, so please take this as the compliment it is meant to be. Besides, think about how much fun you'll have in our new state of Fiesta!

Given that I'm only a couple of hours into my governatorship, I think that is good enough for now. But I can imagine what you are thinking at this point and I have to agree... Yes, I would make the single best Presidentnator ever! (Time to start rallying the troops.) Let's work to make this happen. (Uh, in 2016. If I remember correctly, the minimum age to be president is 35. I'm 32 right now, so -- unfortunately for pretty much everyone -- the '014 election is out of the question.)

God bless the state of Fiesta! Thank you, all my loyal peeps! Peace.

Editor's note: I don't even know where to begin with my comments on this one... *heavy sigh*

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So I've Been Thinking...

Obviously, I don't post every day. Sometimes it goes longer than a week for me to update this blog. Case in point, right now. My last post was about a week and a half ago. (And -- I hate to say this -- it wasn't even that good a post by my standards. Sorry about that!)

That being said, I log into Blogger pretty much every day. Whether I comment or not -- mostly not -- I'll check out the blogs I follow and see what is going on. Also -- and I didn't realize I even do this until the other day -- I apparently notice how many followers I have.

I've mentioned this earlier, but once upon a time I was quite concerned with how many followers this blog had. Somewhere along the line, I became wise (or at least, kind of wise). I realized that it didn't really matter. People are either going to read and/or follow, or not. There isn't much I can do about it one way or the other. All I can do is write and see what comes of it. Whoever is going to read or follow will do so as long as I provide reason to keep coming back. So that's what I try to do.

Even though I don't particularly care for any metrics, I do take note.

Why am I mentioning all of this? I lost a follower. I went from 74 to 73 and it got me thinking that it is time to raise the bar here. I need to make some changes and up the content of this little blog. Now, I'm not going to do so to try and draw in new followers -- not that I'm about to discourage people from following either -- but, rather, I'm doing this for you: The loyal and faithful Duck readers.

Well, this all got me thinking -- what could I do to make improvements? My immediate thought was "More Justin Beiber!" Okay, that's a good start. I will definitely have to get my J-Beib groove back. But there has to be more than that, right? (Right.)

I was thinking that it might be good to put up a little section over there on the right for "Best of the Ducks." With regard to this, I'd like some reader feedback -- please leave in the Comments section -- about what posts you guys might have liked. Off the top of my head
this and this were pretty good. This wasn't bad, too.

Alright, so we have a "best of" section and "more Beiber" as the current ideas. Regularly-scheduled posting was another thought I had, but I ran into a wall -- not literally -- with that one because I don't do this for money. As previously mentioned, I have Google AdSense but am not earning anything from that (which is fine with me because my motivation for blogging is that I simply like doing it...). But I have other avenues that allow me to write and earn money. Sometimes, those take precedent over my little blog.

Additionally, I write fiction that I intend to submit to contests or for publication. That takes up writing time, too.

Perhaps one solid article a week would be feasible. It seems like I could probably make it work if I devoted myself to one regularly scheduled column a week and then had the liberty of posting other ones when I had time or ideas. I think that just might work...

So now I'm trying to steer this ship in a new direction. (Don't worry, the ship itself is not changing! Plenty of rambling and goofy musings will be found along the course, I promise.)

("New direction? You mean to imply there was direction before?" they all say.) ("Thank you," I say in response.) (They all scratch their heads.) (Fin)