Saturday, December 31, 2011

smiling dog

Not much to write today. I came across this Youtube which you may have already seen (over 3.5 million hits as of this writing) but just in case you haven't:


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas

I am always surprised (and pleasantly) when I hear "Christmas" mentioned in the media in a positive way. I find it sad that there is so much pressure to eliminate that word from our vocabulary and replace it with the innocuous, oh so politically correct word "holiday." 

True, not everyone is a Christian and not everyone celebrates Christmas but that doesn't negate the fact that Christmas is Christmas. It is what it is. No one forces you to celebrate it and no one should force you not to celebrate it. Or try and change the name. 

It's getting to the point where I am expecting to watch "A Charlie Brown Holiday" on television, featuring the song "Holiday-time is Here" and listening to Linus explain to Charlie Brown what the real meaning of Holiday is towards the end of the show because the PC people have chopped it all up. 

You can wish me a happy Hanukkah or any number of non-Christian celebratory greetings and I will appreciate the thought behind it. I'm not going to lift up my finger and go, uh, excuse me but I don't believe in that.  

What's up next?  The Occupy Christmas movement?  I can just see our current PC president supporting it, too.  This morning I noticed the results of a new ABC poll showed unfavorable views of him have reached a new high. This, despite his self-serving, thinly veiled election campaigning that he did on 60 Minutes this past Sunday. 

Yes, no matter what anyone does, Christmas is still Christmas. That can't be changed and it can't be circumvented despite the best efforts of some.  Thank God for that.  May you all have a wonderful, blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

moving

I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but our office will be moving sometime during the 1st quarter of 2012.  At least that's the plan. The plan also includes finding a location by the end of this month, something that hasn't yet happened.

Today I was talking with our Executive VP who is most anxious to find new surroundings.  If you read the couple of earlier posts I wrote about the dump we currently occupy, you will understand why there's such a rush to get out. 

We were talking about how these days, you can just use Google Earth to take a look at pretty much any address you want. Our EVP recently returned from New York where he was at the headquarters of a dealer in our industry who had really nice offices in a skyscraper.  He pulled up a picture of the exterior of the building using Google Earth. Then he opened another tab and pulled up a picture of our building using the same application.

"Okay, look at these two. If you were a potential customer, which company would you choose?"

Well duh... but I like to annoy people so I pointed to our sorry building and said, "From us.  Because we look like the more humble, down to earth company."  Yes, I enjoy watching people's eyes bulge out and seeing the incredulous look on their face. 

"Uh huh. Humble. Poor and humble."  He shook his head.  "We have to get out of this dump." 

I just laughed. "People come to visit us at our building.  And they just keep on driving." 

We both laughed, but it was a scene filled with pathos. Like, all you can do is laugh.  Well, we can move, too, and that we will be doing as soon as we can find a place.  Then we have to hope we can make more profits from the business than we can from receiving filming fees from shows like NCIS Los Angeles and other productions looking for dangerous venues for their shows. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chicago vs. The Band

Way back in high school I had an ongoing feud disagreement with a couple of classmates as to the merits of what was then my favorite band, Chicago, versus their darling, The Band.  I called their band a bunch of hicks and they summarily dismissed my band as the choice of immature popish teenyboppers.

They did have the rock critics on their side - Chicago would get mixed reviews whereas the Band were the darlings of critics everywhere.  But then music critics are the music world equivalent of consultants in the business word.  In other words, people who can't do things for themselves so they make a living blowing their mainly worthless opinions all over the place. 

As Chicago made more and more albums, sort of like the Starbucks of the rock music world in terms of multiplying themselves, I stopped listening to them because they turned into a Las Vegas lounge act. And I also started thinking yes, my foes were correct, the Band was the critically superior group.  Actually, comparing these two groups with such dissimilar musical styles is really apples versus oranges. 

But after all these years, I still love listening to the early Chicago albums (the first 5) and hardly ever listen to The Band (not that I ever did listen to them that much).  The thing is, listening to Chicago is just plain fun.  And it brings back memories of days that were just plain fun, too. You can argue the academics of music day in and day out but, like consultants and politicians, such a thing is worthless, haha..

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Amazon is such a bully

I read in the paper today that brick and mortar retailers are up in arms and complaining about Amazon's newest mobile app - it allows you to scan the barcode of a product or take a picture of it or type or say its name and it will then tell you Amazon's price.  So if you are at a retail store such as Best Buy where everything is overpriced, you can use this app to see what Amazon is selling it for and then buy it from Amazon instead.

Understandably, retailers are angry. Me, I hate shopping.  Aside from Costco and Trader Joe's, I have absolutely no desire to visit any brick and mortar store unless I absolutely need something, and that something is not stocked by Costco or Trader Joe's.  I'd much rather buy it online, and most often that means buying from Amazon.  Why?  Because normally their price is lower, it arrives in two days and there is no sales tax (yes, I know we are supposed to pay use tax on this stuff but I'm just talking about what actually gets paid to Amazon).  Plus it has the convenience of being delivered right to my door.

So why should I go out and hassle with all the crazy drivers out there, and all the crazy people in the stores?  I don't need an app and I don't even have a smartphone on which to use one.  I'd shop at Amazon anyway. 


All the complaints by the retailers just got me thinking, what they need to get used to is that the whole model is changing.  Things went from mom and pop stores to larger, chain stores, that became larger and larger and larger. You had places like Borders and Barnes and Noble that were looked upon as evil (remember the movie You've Got Mail?) because they drove the neighborhood bookstores out of business.  Well, bachi (karma), right?  Now Borders is non-existent and B&N is hanging by a thread because their model was usurped by Amazon who got the jump on online sales. 


Something will eventually come along to further change the model.  If you snooze, you lose.  These retailers have no one to blame but themselves. They should have seen it coming and made adjustments for it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

chocolate cookies

This morning when I got to work I noticed that someone had left a box of cookies (those delicious chocolate-dipped ones Costco sells in the big tins) in the lunch room with a note inviting people to help themselves.

I removed the lid and was greeted by all sorts of temptations. I was also kind of surprised that there were still so many cookies in there, since treats like this tend to disappear quickly in our office.

I decided which one I wanted and picked it up. Or tried to pick it up; it was stuck to the other cookies of its type in its compartment. Apparently the chocolate had melted. So I chose another one but the same thing happened. Same thing happened with the 3rd one.

I was standing there feeling kind of bad because I touched all those cookies and put my germs on them for the next person. I figured they're all melted together so I put the lid back and gave up. Besides, most likely I wasn't the first one who tried what I did and wound up putting their fingers all over the cookies so heck, I didn't want to eat anything someone else had touched already.

That reminded me of a meeting I went to several months ago. Someone brought a package of cookies in a tray. I was watching the person next to me as he slowly picked up one of the cookies, examined it and then put it back into the tray. He did this with several other ones before finally choosing one, leaving behind all of the tainted ones for the next unsuspecting person to select. It left me wondering, what are these people thinking, anyway? Keep your fingers to yourselves!!

That said, I guess I am worse than anyone. When I was about 4 or 5 my dad took me to the Christmas lunch party at his office. The food included trays of bread and lunchmeat to make your own sandwiches. I picked up one of the rolls and took a bite from it to see what it tasted like. I didn't really care for it so I put it back on the tray. There it sat, one roll of many but this one had a bite taken out of it. I wonder what people were thinking.

Monday, December 5, 2011

creepy

You know, I never watched the X-Files until just a few weeks ago. Don't ask me why I never bothered to watch it when it was out on prime time. I don't know. I just never did.

But now that it is offered by Amazon as streaming video, I started watching it on the television courtesy of our Roku box. And I'm hooked on it. Normally I watch an episode a night.

This is probably the scariest show I've ever seen. Nearly every episode fills me with anxiety and it also instills me with paranoia. I'm serious. So I have to commend the folks who made that show because it really has an effect on me. I love everything about it.

I was also wondering just how large of a woman Sculley is because in nearly every scene, she is wearing this giant coat with broad shoulders. Is that meant to hide her? But the other night they showed her wearing a track outfit and so I guess the huge coat just creates the illusion that she is the size of an iceberg. Or so it seems to me when I watch the show - I always wonder why is she always wearing those kinds of coats.

Anyway, I love watching the X-Files even though it does make me highly nervous.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

more filming

I just learned that they are doing more filming in the neighborhood where my office is. This time it is CSI.

Someone asked, why are they always using our locale for dead bodies and crimes and stuff? Well, if the shoe fits..

I told one of my friends about our office being on NCIS L.A. She and her husband record their shows to watch later and finally they watched it. Her husband declared that I work in a dump. Haha.. well, I can't argue with that.

My only complaint is that they take away a lot of parking spaces when they do this filming so it is harder to park. They paid us $2,500 for the trouble, though, so I guess we can't complain too much.

I've never watched CSI. Given how I did watch NCIS to see how they portrayed our office and I had to watch nearly the entire show just to see it on there for about 5 seconds (and it was not a very good show), I think I'll just pass on the CSI stuff. It will probably be just more criminal stuff..

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why even bother?

I see that in all likelihood, Herman Cain is going to withdraw from running for a presidential nomination on Saturday. That isn't surprising, given the recent downturn in the polls following this scandal over his alleged mistress.

The thing is, why do people with skeletons in their closets bother to run in the first place? Don't they know in this day and age that you can't hide anything? Of course, there is no one without sin in their lives so whoever runs is going to have something that they are ashamed of (or should be ashamed of, since it seems that there are those who ought to be ashamed but aren't) but when it comes to those things, some are worse than others.

Definitely murder and adultery are a couple of things that will make it difficult to be elected. Now, once you are in office that's a different story (such as slick Willy Clinton) but first you have to get there and then it becomes quite a chore to try and get you out. With the way candidates do nothing but sling the mud these days, it doesn't even matter if you are completely perfect. I'm sure they would find something horrible to say about Jesus Christ if He ran for office.

The other thing I wonder about is why do people run for political office in the first place? I know you can't say there is just one reason for everyone, but it seems to me that the main reason people do this is not to really try and help out the country, but because they have their own agenda that they want to push through, and they are power-hungry. They also want to get filthy rich, or at least take money without really earning it. That's what I think. And I know I am right for at least 99% of it.

Even if you do run with the best of intentions, that quickly gets set aside once you enter the actual political machine and it becomes a matter of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Friday, December 2, 2011

windy?

Well it has been a very odd past few days, what with the winds that ripped through our neighborhood and electricity that went out around 1:00 am early Thursday morning and still hasn't been restored as I write this (I am writing this during lunch at work on Friday, where the power is fine - it should be the other way around, don't you think?).

Looks like we'll have to throw out all the food in the fridge, even though the house feels like it is under refrigeration since the heater won't go on. Thankfully the water heater still works. Sections of fences of both sides of our house were blown down by the winds. Downed trees are lying all over the place and it was an eerie feeling driving from the house to the freeway on Thursday and Friday morning because of signals being out, hardly any traffic, and the whole place looking like a disaster area. It was like being in one of those movies taking place during the aftermath of a war.

It was also quite the experience of coming home on Thursday and having to use candles and flashlights. Such a terrifying time not being able to access the internet or watch television! What's odd is our next door neighbor on the north side has power. Everyone from us going south is out. I should have just run a long extension cord from one of his outlets.

As of now, SCE still has no real idea when power will be restored.

It's all relative, though - think of those who have suffered through real disasters and have to live without electricity for a much longer time. Or those people who don't even have electricity to begin with. Just another reason to be thankful..