Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Red Light Green Light

Yes, I am impatient when I need to get somewhere. Yes, I am anxious to get to the light. There has to be a way to make going from point to point more gratifying and less grinding. Two ideas, Not one will make me a penny. Let's change the paradigm of what we expect at a light. Keep the Green to Yellow to Red system to avoid causing havoc on the roads. I said I'm frustrated, not crazy and ignorant. But let's change up the 85 year old standards of our colored intersection exchange. As you wait at the Red light, have the middle light change to Blue to let you know its about to turn Green and you can leave. Seriously, If you have the right to warn me to slow down, you might as well tempt me to rev up. No? Not interesting enough for you? OK, one more try to get into the DOT Highway Hall of Fame. Add lighting schematics to your GPS systems. As you drive through a city, It shows you the traffic lights in real time and where and when they are turning red with the number of cars waiting to go nowhere. Now you can decide to take the longer way with less lights and less stopping. You can choose to stay in line with the rest of us mobile sheep and wait for the new Blue Light to alert you to get ready to go, stop changing the music or avoid staring at the other drivers to see why they would hang a pair of dice from the mirror, choose those sunglasses or think we care to hear AC/DC before 7am from a car that would make the guys at "Pimp My Ride" concede that there is nothing they could do to make that car appealing. Maybe not, but I do hear his engine revving up as the Blue light comes on.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Redwoods of Radon

The buds on the trees are blooming, the birds are awakening before dawn, the air seeps of spring and the trees soar thro--.....WHAT THE....?

Mother Nature just pulled a muscle scratching her head on what she just created. Have to love the architects of cell tower camouflage and their ingenious attempts to "blend" into the scene. I mean other than having a phallic symbol combined with a pipe cleaner on steroids, this actually looks like something you would see in the rocky mountains ...from the space shuttle.

I agree, the naked cell towers of metal obstructions are not beauty to behold, but at least it is what it is. Perhaps you could create a tall fake hill with AstroTurf so the "tree" you create is only protruding 20 feet like its surrounding areas and not trying to compete with the Sears Tower with a 5 o'clock shadow. Use mirrored metal so it reflects the nature it invades instead of using artificial Christmas tree spare parts to cover your "roaming" monstrosity. Better yet, read what Ericcson is doing with their towers around the world.

The best part is where they place these wonders of cell talkology. Behind schools, churches and cash starved companies who want the tax break, funding and of course the health benefits of having a Dr. Seuss' Lorax live above your children and make free cell calls. I was calling my representative to complain but I don't seem to have any bars on my phone.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Getting Red over the Green

Exciting news, some companies truly view our love of the environment as a blinder to our intelligence. More and more products are showing how they care for the future by insulting the fact, if we didn't buy their products in the first place, it might make a bigger difference. I love Poland Spring water, I have bought my outlandish share of plastic bottles and drank them but hopefully discarded them in the proper recycling receptacle. But for them to believe that its better shrinking the bottle and the label 30% and making the material "flexible" for easier recycling defeats their last marketing statement that their bottles are 100% recyclable in the first place. At a bookstore yesterday I saw dark chocolate bar that is designed to help you reduce your carbon footprint in the world. Like Hybrids? The cars that use electricity with or instead of gas. Does anyone realize the additional carbon print that is being expanded from our POWER PLANTS creating that electricity for the cars outweighs the additional mpg's we get on our Prius? Seriously, how about new beer that will lower cholesterol, french fries that use up oil in your house that is going to waste and edible garbage to reduce landfills?

The scary part is I'm not as green conscious as I should be, but as industries try to make money off of our politically correct passions, I think they might scare me into drinking tap water again...of course with a little dark chocolate for a taste enhancer.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Commuter Voyeurism

There it is. I can see you and it's fine. Don't stop now. We aren't moving and I promise no one is watching........watching THE ROAD.

Love the fact you have no qualms about practicing karaoke in your Honda. Nothing is more entertaining then as thousands of us idle with fumes, we can watch you enjoy a guilty pleasure of a song most of us would NEVER admit to even knowing the words.

Playing it loud in your car; cruising. Just you, your morning coffee and your tunes to get you through the commute.

Don't worry, this is your private time, no phone, blackberry or Todo list. What could make this morning commute go any better?

I don't know, perhaps the fact that you don't realize 100 cars are watching and you look like you are trying out for High School Musical 4 without the benefit of watching try to ACT as well.

Yes I'm voyeur (WELL, let me clarify. I'm a commuter voyeur and proud of it. I love the fact you have no shame screaming an "80's Ballad" with a high pitch of a Hairband that could forever ruin THEIR chance for a reunion concert.

I'm trying hard to keep within four car lengths of your hybrid to not lose sight or sound of this garage band on wheels and because throughout the commute, I know I can name that tune in two mileage markers, maybe one. Don't stop singing now that you know everyone is watching you in your mobile shower of rhythm. We just started playing Trivial Pursuit musical addition and you are the sappy host.

Finish strong please. Hit the crescendo, pretend your cell phone is a mic and Simon, Paula and Randy are actually impressed and you get to move on to the next week's freeway of sound. I haven't had this much fun in my own car since drive ins were still in existence..(author's note: yeah, I was probably alone then too)

Encore. Hurry..Find another station, another song. One more please as I want to see how you emulate Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks as a duet before I hit MY exit.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New and Improved on the Old and Traditional

I wish someone would just tell me I have been under a rock for the past 20 years. I realized that lately I'm hearing phrases and descriptive terms on products and services that are presented as words that were just "invented". I used to love a meal and just enjoy it for the taste and the fact that it had simple layman descriptions like "super sized" or "full rack". But now, I can't order anything on the menu unless it has "Chipotle" spices or "Angus" beef in it, on it or surrounded by it. Finding definitions for old food is not my idea of creating interest. The same ketchup I have had since I was three now has "Lycopene", my traditional orange juice now has "antioxidants" and even my water has "electrolytes" to inject vapor distilled (calcium chloride, magnesium chloride and potassium bicarbonate) into my what I thought was just a way to quench my thirst. When I arise from my rock in 20 more years, I know that my bologna won't have a first name and my hot dogs won't be within a Ballpark's throw of containing a tasty blend of my favorite meats (pork, beef, chicken, or turkey), meat fat, a cereal filler which could be either bread crumbs, flour, or oatmeal, a little bit of egg white, and a mouth-watering array of herbs and seasonings including garlic, pepper, ground mustard, nutmeg, salt, and onion. Sorry, I just passed a Texas Wiener franchise in the car and got carried away.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mr. Obvious

The more I read the more I think there isn't an original thought left in the world. Are people really getting paid to make statements of the obvious? "To lose weight, don't watch as much TV or video games, eat less and exercise more." I'm not sure about you, but I knew that first year of grade school gym/health class. Doesn't mean we do it, but we do KNOW it.

"To save on gas, make sure you don't have heavy items in your trunk and keep your tires inflated" "To learn more, read more books." To remember someone's name, repeat it three times." To get out a grass stain, use a stain remover." "To invest your money wisely and save for a rainy day buy my 10 rules of success or don't buy books written for the Obvious.

Its early in the day, I thought I would try a few and see if I can make a difference by stating the obvious ways of the world.

"If you are late for work, try getting up earlier" "If you eat that whole container of ice cream, you may get sick" "If you buy a $4.00 cup of coffee each day you just spent $1460.00 a YEAR on a helping you wake up earlier so you are not late for work" Again, not an original thought, but an AWAKENING one.

"For the $1460.00 you could have bought a HDTV with a 50 inch screen for the SuperBowl" Just a thought. "If you don't have a HDTV with PS3, BluRay and 750 videogames, you may exercise more, eat less and lose weight."

Amazing how the circle of life sets your day. Obviously.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Weather You Care or Not

You know that old adage, why do we talk about the weather if there's nothing we can do about it? Isn't that truly the point? Weather is the ideal filler for empty conversation, brief greetings in hallways, elevators and grocery stores. When you run into an acquaintance whose name escapes your mind at the most inopportune time, do you eat your pride and apologize for forgetting their given name at birth or do you quickly pass over the addressing of nomenclature and go right to the important aspects of the world? "HEY,...(DUDE or BRO if male, just hi with a smile if female). How is your week goin'? I wish it would warm up, don't you? YES..YES, yesterday was nicer but I hear tomorrow is going to be wet again. Next week 75 degrees? wow..I hope so....OK...YOU too. Say hi to...uh...the family for me...buh bye."

Yesterday, I took the stairs down three flights around noon and passed a dozen or so people on their way up. Exactly the same conversation 12 times which made me feel like Ground Hog's Day in descending elevation. "Hi, Nice day." "Hello, Warm right?" "Hey, get out today, its nice." "Yo, dude, better bring an umbrella..NOT." Why don't we try take a risk, challenge ourselves and discuss the seven fields of knowledge, Mathematics & Science, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Mathematics, History and Visual Arts, as we pass each other in the stairwell during our mundane day. "Hello, Love your A Capella version of exact calculations of the number of steps which signify the rhythm and tones between Joan of Arc's triumph in 1429 displayed at the Louvre and the last micro ice age in 1585 during ( Galileo's observance of Solar sun flares and its affect on temperature." Yes, couldn't help it. I did digress right back to the weather. What can I say...Don't forget your umbrella.. dude...NOT.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sell a dollar for 50 cents

Garage and yard sales. I do understand being a buyer of these thrifty items and deal breaking objects of desire as much as I understand the obsession with online auctions and finding the special item missing from your Hobbit or Star Wars collection. Truly, I can see the excitement and the kill of the hunt for the savvy buyers of the world. However, I haven't figured out the point of having one. selling and planning a Garage sale. You would think you can't have one without the other but I promise you I will never be the other.

Plan your next month around a Saturday garage sale. Advertise in the local paper, buy balloons and signs to ensure sold out traffic is in your driveway from 7am -3pm on one of the two days you have to relax from work in the first place. Cancel any plans for today or tonight that would actually help you relax. Start piling boxes of clothes, toys, cheap gifts other cheap people sent you combined with hours of hauling everything to the end of your driveway hoping it doesn't rain as you now know "rain dates" are extra in the GAZETTE TRIBUNE POST INDEPENDENT NEWS. Preparation alone takes more logistics than the Gulf war deployment of a million men and machines, even without recruiting children or family members to organized by MOVIE subject matter. DRAMA-Kitchen items that were going to help you eat healthy and make a grilled chicken sandwich in under 5 seconds, COMEDY-last decade's clothes that you still think will fit you if you don't eat the chicken sandwich, HORROR-Furniture you thought looked cool at WalMart under the fluorescent lights, ACTION-Yard tools and sporting equipment you never used to build, exercise or fix anything other than changing a light bulb or hang a shirt on, ROMANCE-Jewelry that looked good on Pacino in Scarface and Beach reading books with lotion and sand still on them. Cost: $150.00 (not including time and labor).

Saturday is here and the masses come before the morning paper and my ad. Honestly it was more like 24 people and 6 spouses who stayed in the car screaming, "We already have a faux wood coat rack, let's get to Sizzler before the Early Birds." Don't forget the ones who walk into the house asking to buy the stuff you are NOT buying and shocked that the brand new lawnmower without a grass stain isn't part of the same deal with the rake with no teeth. If I hear this phrase, "$2.50 for this leather coat? Can you do any better? Would you take $1.25?" I'm going to call the police and claim trespassing on my property without a brain.

Sunday morning is here, time to relax and enjoy the last few hours before the work week begins. Sorry, you still have to move or trash 85% of all that you tried to sell to the dump or back to its original location as that full day of back breaking, irritation and frustrated facade of business transactions took in less than $145.00 ($5.00 less what it cost you) and your Sunday is now Saturday REMIX without the fun of saying "Sorry, the bathrooms are only for the paying patrons, ME!!!)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Risk Free at a Cost

If I'm buying a printer cartridge at BestBuy, why am I being asked If I want to recieve 6 months of TIME, NEWSWEEK or NICKELODEON magazines? What am I truly risking? They completely and specifically promise to cancel my subscription as long as I do only the following: Have a notary witness a triplicate copy of my cancellation order as well as 3 months of advance deposit to cover any delivery, postage or handling fees that may occur with them providing me a free service for $45.00 every three months. "How much would you pay for this amazing offer? Before you answer we will double your offer if you call within the next 12 minutes and use the phrase, "ANOTHERONEBORNEVERYMINUTE". NOW how much would you pay? We are not done yet. ACT NOW and we will add a miniature version of the same magazine for your wallet or purse at no extra charge."

One closing thought, there is a reason that SPAM and junk mail never seem to decrease. Because out there, somewhere is someone clicking on the chance to have "egos" and the chance to lose 50 lbs by popping a pill with caffeine that is labeled, "You're lazy, we know, but just try it and write it off as a life lesson." Remember, It's RISK FREE.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Meeting Game of the Week

Shall we try something challenging neighbor? Business meeting: 10 am. Conference room seats 12 and a projector comfortably. Small table in corner hosts an array of muffins, juices, water and minds ready to expand.

Let's make it through one meeting, One hour, One agenda without using these words and phrases. If not, we agree to dock one week's pay for each reference.

Sample meeting: "Hi, I would like to first start this effective meeting by saying today we need to leverage a strategic, Out-of-the-box, state of the art program as I'm currently aligned with Joe from Purchasing but haven't got objective feedback from Teresa in MarComm. Going forward, I think it's important that we continue to manage the project pro-actively to obtain low hanging fruit so we can manage expectations without any corporate push back. In the interim we need to Evaluate our current processes and procedures while ensuring we alleviate any duplication of efforts. Remember, a new budgeted project is needed to implement our efforts. In conclusion we will have obtained value-added synergy to help us reach our objectives."

Try it once. You may like the sustained results. There goes my bonus payout. Ok I concede, its not as easy as it sounds.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The radio is always greener

I'm spoiled. Love the music. Love that I can store an infinite amount of music on a piece of plastic the size of cassette tape (sorry, but I find humor in that).

All my favorites from the latest artists I downloaded last night to my high school classics I bought years ago to the hard-to-find, unique songs I would never have bought if I had to actually buy the entire album for one tune or search for that song in a store.

So why am I miserable? WHY do I shuffle through my iPod 50 or 60 times out of 2000 available from songs "I" chose myself, before I find any ONE song I want to hear?

The one tune that is going to get me to the next destination; the next "ADD" moment.

Worse yet. Wouldn't you know it, when I hear a song on the radio that I know IS already on my iPod, I ask myself, "I LOVE that freakin' song...I wonder if its on my iPod so I can listen to it." Never fails.

I've come to the conclusion we could have our own personal band playing for us nightly, but we always want the song when someone else plays it or has it playing on their iPod. Think of it this way: We like when others shampoo our hair. We like it much more when someone else makes the same meal we made for ourselves last week.

Spoiled? YES. I guess that is why scratching my own back doesn't have any pleasure either.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Bumper Crop of Free Speech

Wait, I need to get closer. Wait.... Wait... almost there.. Accelerate a little more. ahh, much better. Now that I'm right on your ASStounding impressive vehicle, I feel privileged that I was able to witness your life changing philosophies of the world. I now can read and understand you are the "proud mother against drunk parents of a honor student who gets bullied while playing football and is a cheerleader conservative with liberal views who wants world peace but supports the military and is Pro choice of all life while expressing your religious beliefs of beauty, environmental deer hunters and the pursuit of knowing Off-Roaders do it in the dirt"

Now that I bumped into you going 75 mph to get the drift of your inspirational outbreak of adhesive. I have one more sticker for you to slap on those 6 bare inches on your truck.

"Drivers without graffiti are becoming endangered. Save the ink!!!"

What? No room on your mobile billboard? Try your trailer.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Getting Sick over Health Benefits

Healthcare registration, the wonder of it all. I just want someone to explain to me why even if I have 7 choices for healthcare that not one of them has apples to apples comparison that makes sense to any adult with an aptitude for comprehension. In-Network, Out of pocket, HMO, PPO, PPS CDHP HSA, PCP makes me want to enroll in the EAP and pay a deductible for my ADHD diagnosis from not understanding if I'm a member, brand name, generic, short-term rehab candidate or just a referral to an outpatient pre-admission testing facility. Let's redefine Healthcare Reform. List all the services and needs a person and family can utilize in a year. Offer subscription service like the music industry and after a year if I don't even get a blood test..Pay me $5,000 for being too sick to call my doctor when I had a stroke reading your small print.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Failing at Passwords

I truly don't have much to remember in the morning before I start a productive day at work. After docking my laptop I only have to remember 17 different passwords for my network, lotus notes, voicemail, harddrive lock, sametime connect and unique identifier user name and password. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to finite mathematics and probability when I was in school. Because there is NO way I can bet the odds that any of my passwords will be typed in accurately the first dozen times. WARNING: Use upper and lower Case, include 2.3 numbers with each 10 letters ensuring that you don't use any part of your name, the current company, your pet's name or the first 26 letters of the english alphabet are only a few of my constraints before I have to remember why I logged in initially. Thank the character gods that my cap lock button doesn't work all the time or I would have to double check to figure out why I was locked out of my word document for not properly key stroking the words #*$&#@%*$ it. I have a suggestion for you next time you ask ME for a password. GO VERIFY your OWN Mother's Maiden name.