Category Archives: Everything Else

Maker’s Folly

mark

I try not to comment on trendy topics but this really got my attention.

Maker’s Mark bourbon can’t meet customer demand this year.  What a great deal for the PR guy.  He can do anything with this.  This situation calls for his creative skills to protect the brand and potentially gain some good press about it.

Add water?  Ummm, that’s not exactly what I was thinking.

What a terrible move.  Instead of enjoying customer demand and the press that was generated by the lack of  inventory, Maker’s Mark decided the best course of action was to add water and charge customers the same price for watered down bourbon.

Knob Creek sent T-Shirts to customers during their drought.  Maker’s Mark added water.

Weak.  Probably (I hope) a case of the boss not listening to his PR guy.  Fail.

Read More:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/11/171732213/less-potent-makers-mark-not-going-down-smooth-in-kentucky

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/11/makers-mark-bourbon/1910773/

 

 

Rudolph Rewritten

400px-Santa's_army

Santa prepares to quash the rebellion

I watched Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer tonight.  I was troubled by what I saw.

Rudolph’s dad, Donner, was very dissapointed by his newborn son’s glowing nose.  WTF Donner?  Be proud, your lesson learned later in the story doesn’t make up for it.  Donner, you are a bad reindeer and father.

Donner was upset about his boy because he wasn’t going to make the team with a glowing nose.  You see, Santa has these animals and elves so conditioned that all they think about is serving the institution.  Be loyal, do what you’re told and maybe Santa will be pleased.  That’s the sorry life of reindeer and elves and if they don’t like it they will be gone from Christmas Town.

I’m thinking, “Santa, these beings are free thinking souls with limitless capabilities, sounds like you’re trying to run a plantation.  The end doesn’t always justify the means big guy, set these people free, quit brainwashing them from birth.”

Rudolph and his buddy, Herbie were misfits.  The servant-population outcasted and abused Rudolph and Herbie because the skill set they possessed didn’t fit into what was required for service in the institution. Rudy and his friend were cast off into the blistering arctic winter where they encountered unspeakable things.  Most of it wasn’t shown in this kid’s show but I can only imagine what happened to them.  They somehow survived and grew up in the wild.  When they returned everyone needed Rudolph, and the exact thing he was formerly ridiculed for was coveted.  The sad thing was that Rudolph and friend once again became loyal servants to the master.

A better story for our youth could have been about Rudolph and Herbie freeing themselves of the tyranny whilst in the wild.  Realizing who they were and what they were capable of, realizing that there are possibilities outside of servitude.

My ending:

“Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

“No Santa, I won’t.  You see, I don’t work for you.  I wasn’t born to serve you or your cause.  Herbie and I built our own sleigh and we’re getting the hell out of this godforsaken town; we’ve got big things to do, things beyond serving you and your gift giving.  Who’s with me?”

At this point it would be cool if some of the other elves and reindeer rose up against the man, especially considering he was looking at canceling Christmas (the gift part at least).

Perhaps a sequel to my movie would be called Santa’s Civil War.

The Best Books I Read in 2012

The Cat in the Hat also endorses these books

The Cat in the Hat also endorses these books

Who am I to publish a reading list?  GFY

Read/listen to these books and your life will be better (no particular order):

Charlotte’s Web, EB White:  Amazing writing and solid characters.  Read this in two days to remember what real writing can be.

Linchpin, Seth Godin:  Listen or read this on your way to work then tell your boss that things are going to be a little different around here.  Stop doing what everyone tells you and do what’s right.  Applies to work, school and life.

Hunger Games:  Not just for teenage girls.  Read this then notice the horrifying parallels to today.  A ruling party, a buried working class and clueless voters.  Good luck society.  After I read Hunger Games 1-3, I read A Clockwork Orange then Fahrenheit 451.  The Hunger Games is an awakening to the best ‘watch out for government’ books of the century.  1984 is next or maybe Brave New World.

A Way with Words (audio lecture by Dr Michael Drout):  An easy to understand approach to rhetoric and language that could change the way you speak and write.  Communication lessons from the study of language, not from a business book.  High list price but $8 for Audible members.

Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman:  Never make a decision the same way again.  Every conclusion in this book cites real research.  Completely counterintuitive which tells me that I’ve learned something.

Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi:  Changed my life, just kidding- this book sucked.  Don’t waste your time.  I’ll summarize it for you: never eat alone, know more people to get more done.  Can I have my $13 back now?

4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris:  His thesis is laid out for all the wrong reasons but the lessons are still great.  Harness technology, market and align priorities to make life work for you.  His approach is somewhat self-fulfilling, mine is a bit more altruistic.

How to Win Friends and Influencing People, Dale Carnegie:  I’m predisposed to be candid and short. WFIP is a reminder of how you can act to make people happy and get what you want.  This is an annual read.

Why this post?  Because I can and I believe in customer reviews and word of mouth.

What are the best books you’ve read in 2012?  Comment or at least tell someone.

The Drip Cap

False Advertising

False Advertising

Pancake Saturday. It’s a tradition.

Ahh, how the butter melts into the pancake. Mmm, how the chocolate chips mix with the syrup to make an unstoppable taste team. Oh, and my favorite, the syrup bottle that sticks to the table.

Why advertise a no-drip cap when the cap obviously drips? All the cap does is drip. It’s a drip cap.

Your syrup (and the bottle it comes in) sucks.

I’m a User

My friends tell me it’s cool.  Everyone does it.  They can’t believe I’m just getting started.

Truth is, I’ve tried it at work before.  I’ve just never tried at home, until last week.

I got a Keurig.

I can remember the coffee milestones in my life.

I remember my first cup in high school; it was nasty, freeze dried instant.

Later, I started drinking gas station cappuccino before the war while at Fort Campbell, KY.

In 2003 it was whatever we could find in Afghanistan.  2006, espresso in Iraq with my buddy D Mattis.

One extended patrol, my guys wired an old coffee maker to a hmmwv, cut a paper towel for a filter and found some grinds to make it happen.

This summer while away from home again, my friend John started pushing Starbucks Via on me.  I’m a cheap bastard, at 75 cents a cup I couldn’t handle it.  They went on sale and I started using again.

After the sale I still had to get my fix, I justified it like this.  K-cups are about 50 cents each, that’s a 25 cent savings per cup.  The Keurig machine cost $104.

The way I see it, after 416 cups the Keurig will have paid for itself.

Freedom

This guy doesn’t have cable.

Remember Mel Gibson in Brave Heart when he was being persecuted and yelled, “Freeeeedoooom!” in his last dying breath?  That was me yesterday.  I cancelled my cable service.

After years of tyranny and oppression I broke the chains.

That’s right, I’m a free man with $120 extra per month in my pocket.  The cable dictatorship has been shaken by two major advances:  My family’s total disinterest in cable programming and the increased availability of media online.

I was in captivity for years, moving house to house, making the important first calls to activate service at each new locale.  I was addicted.  Not to TV  programming but to having it available.

We rarely watched TV.

The First Step:  The kids watched the occasional show, hand picked by us and always prerecorded via DVR or online streaming. The adults consumed a show or two a week, older seasons or the current season via DVR.  I realized the media conglomerates might be able to shape what we watched but never where and when.  This was the first step to realizing my independance.

The Key:  Thank you Steve Jobs for showing me the way.  Because I am American, I came to understand that I couldn’t live without programming altogether so I needed a mechanism to consume media from my couch while eating chips and salsa.  Steve Jobs provided me with Apple TV, I use Hulu and Netflix to choose what I want to watch anytime; I get news and time sensitive media (like this blog) via any of our several internet worthy devices.

The 40 minute wait on hold with Time Warner Cable was a pleasure.  The consistent call backs to ask me if I was sure I wanted to cancel were invigorating.

“Yes, I’m sure Time Warner, you no longer own me or my people.”

Freedom.

I Don’t Want to Speak Your Language

Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large

“Hey, can I get a small black coffee with a little ice and a medium white chocolate mocha with skim milk and two shots?”

“A tall pikes place, light ice and a grande skinny white mocha double?”

“Whatever, a small coffee and the white mocha with two shots and skim.”

“Got it, a tall pikes and a grande double, skinny white mocha.”

“Just get the fucking coffee.”

An important message from the government

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As heavy rains may saturate the grounds in your area, you should be concerned about floods. They can be very dangerous and damaging. National and local governments learned a hard lesson during the Katrina disasters and so every locality is a bit more careful when warning their citizens about the possible onset of high waters.

Here are a couple of things that are listed in the National Weather Service Warning you may want to consider:

Don’t Drive: DO NOT DRIVE CARS THROUGH FLOODED AREAS. REMEMBER…TWO FEET OF RUSHING WATER CAN CARRY AWAY MOST VEHICLES INCLUDING PICKUPS.

Check! I won’t drive.

Stay Tuned: EVERYONE WITH PROPERTY OR OTHER INTEREST ALONG STREAMS AND RIVERS SHOULD REMAIN ALERT TO CHANGING WEATHER FORECAST. SHOULD CONDITIONS CHANGE…LOOK FOR RIVER FORECAST OR FLOOD WARNINGS FOR USE IN MAKING INFORMED DECISIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY.

Will do! I’ll keep my phone with me. Good.

Most Importantly: DON’T DROWN.

Huh? Oh shit, ok. This changes my plans a bit; hmmm, don’t drown. Alright, I guess.

Yes, our government has seen it fit to warn citizens not to drown during floods.

For our readers, “Don’t get hit by a bus.”

There, I did my part.

My Red Neck Yacht (Truck) Club

Lot’s of real-estate when you bring your own wheels.

We move every couple of years.  With every move comes an adjustment to a new area and culture, we attempt to assimilate into that culture in order to make the best out of it.  We’ve been in North Carolina for a couple of years now.  We’ve assimilated.

This summer the family and I hit Carolina Beach numerous times.  The ability to drive up to a spot on the beach and camp for a night or two is instant family fun.  No cooler and beach-toy lugging across miles of parking lot and board walk and no uncomfortably close beach towel placement. Camping puts you right on the beach at wake up time so the kids have immediate entertainment while mom and dad search for some caffeinated anti-hang-over cure. 4×4 camping at Carolina Beach is a perfect North Carolina summer weekend.

Marshmallows and chocolate act as a sleep aide when camping.

The corn hole boards were out and the domestic light beer was flowing this weekend.  You see, the North end of Carolina Beach, Freeman Park, attracts a particularly special group.  Four wheel drive only suckas and camping is permitted!  Yeow! (that was written version of the 2012 rebel yell)

Before you put your Subaru in four wheel drive for the first time here are a couple of things you should know:

Bring your TV:  For some reason, the clientel still need the old boob tube at the beach.  Yes Sir, with a small generator or an a/c plug from your truck you can run a TV and satellite set up that will keep you in your seat and ignoring the world around you; ahhh, just like home.

Leather is better:  Don’t worry about the sun screen, a pack of Marlboro Reds and a Bud Light should keep you leathered up enough to provide a impenetrable block from harmful UV rays.

BYOBikin:  No matter your size or age, the rule at Carolina Beach is bring your own bikini.  If the folds allow, show off your tramp stamp too!

Beer and Pizza Provided:  Between hot dogs and trips to Bojangles, you will be happy to know that Brew Thru, Papa Johns and Dominos have four wheel drive too.   That’s right, you can get beer and pizza delivered right to your tent!

With the comedy though, comes community.  The people at this beach are as real as they come.  The nights are safe because of the people.  The kids are safe because of the people.  I am truly a yankee at heart but the people of North Carolina are true to the state motto, Esse quam videri, “To be, rather than to seem.”

 

 

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