Thursday, June 27, 2013

Flaunting the rules of the road at every turn

First come, first served.
                That’s the essential protocol that exists both in day-to-day life and on the road.
                Of course, there’s always someone who just has to do their own thing. That one little goose who decides “to hell with it, south is too crowded, I’m headed north.”
                The area where this defiance is most troubling is with the nation’s stop signs.
                Common sense tells you when two cars approach opposing stop signs, it’s the one who gets there first that gets to resume its journey first. The other is compelled to sit back and wait its turn.
                When two cars reach those stop signs at the same time, well that’s another matter entirely. That just becomes an ugly war of attrition where the owners of both vehicles end up pointing wildly, cursing the other to the depths of hell, each inching forward until someone finally snaps and speeds off into the distance, likely with one finger raised proudly in the air.
It’s not perfect, but by god it’s the best modern man can do, unless you want stop signs on every intersection. First come, first served. It’s written in our DNA, ground into our very being since kindergarten. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Who are you? Nothing like a man or lady in uniform
                Whether they’re for a sports team, a nation’s military or even a corporation, they make things easier.
                When uniforms are in the equation, you always know who’s on your side and who’s there to help. Barring some sort of undercover spy situation, of course.
                Also, public education be damned, uniforms make getting dressed in the morning to go to school ten trillion times easier and they eliminate a huge chunk of social stigma. After all, you can’t tell who’s poor or rich or whatever when everyone’s dressed the same way. Well, you can, but it takes a little more looking.
                When I walk into a store and see a person in uniform, I know who to talk to whenever I finally come around and decide I need help finding something. It’s nice, it’s comforting and everyone’s happy.
                Well, not everyone, apparently.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Christmas lights: Now for every day of the year!

People are getting weirder. Maybe dumber too, but definitely weirder.
                Consider this brand new social phenomenon I’ve been observing for the last several months.
                I've never seen this before in all my years, but suddenly it's everywhere.
                It seems some folks have decided to buck tradition and societal norms and not only leave their outdoor Christmas lights up well into June, but they continue to illuminate them as well.
                Now look. I’m a lazy man in many aspects of my life. A lazy, oafish man. So I understand these folks’ disinterest in spending an entire Sunday afternoon outside un-decorating their home, when to be honest, they’ll only be right back out there redecorating ’em in a scant six months.
                I get that. On certain days I might even respect it.
                What I can’t understand is the blatant thumbing of one’s nose at society that goes along with lighting up the greens, reds and clears every night.  
                Just from a purely practical perspective this makes no sense. Are you people so well off that you barely bat an eye at the year-round bloat your electrical bill is forced to endure because of your odd commitment to celebrating Jesus’ b-day?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Goo Goo Dolls: An unexpected journey there and back again
Apparently CDs are getting harder and harder to track down these days.
               My journey to purchase “Magnetic,” the tenth studio album from my beloved Goo Goo Dolls, took me through three stores (!).
               Admittedly, the first stop in my travels is mostly known as a book store and the second was Target, which can be a crap shoot, but still. Three!
               I realize the cool kids today are all getting their entertainment via the internet, but come on. Is there so little love for a guy looking for music from a classic 90’s band on a classic 90’s format?
               I’m a browser too, by nature, so shopping with me can be a bit of an ordeal. I’m not one of these get in and get the hell out male shoppers. I like to look around. Peruse the shelves.
               See, it’s all about the thrill of the hunt. Sure, I could just ask an employee if they have a certain product, but where’s the fun in that? I’ve got to look around, try to track it down myself. Corner it and stab it in the heart with a spear, sling it over my shoulder and carry it to the counter. Just like our forefathers shopped.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

First Listen: Goo Goo Dolls' 'Magnetic' a fine and noble effort

              After one listen, I’d have to say “Magnetic” is a massive step up over the band’s most recent effort, 2010’s mostly unremarkable and unmemorable “Something for the Rest of Us.” It’s a peppier, catchier effort and one that I could see myself putting on in the background without feeling the urge to hover closely to the skip button.
                It’s not perfect. It’s still prone to some of the same problems that plagued “Something for the Rest of Us,” and prior to that “Let Love In.” There are too many love songs, some clunky lyrics here and there, and lead singer Johnny Rzeznik hits the occasional flat note.
    Also, at 11-tracks and under 40 minutes, it doesn’t quite feel substantial enough.
                Honestly though, I’m so attached to the 90’s alt rock sound the Goos perfected on their earlier albums that sometimes it’s hard for me to accept their transformation into a contemporary pop rock band.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Podcast review: Bloody Good Horror means good times for all

If you’re like me – and who isn’t, really? - you’re always on the lookout for a new podcast to help pass the time.
                 I’ve got my own lineup of daily, weekly and who-the-heck-knows, but nothing lasts forever in the crazy world of podcasting.
After all, there was a time during my youth when I’d listen to three hours of the Adam Carolla radio show on my iPod each and every day. Now I rarely get around to listening to his half as long daily podcast.
So even if you’re not in the market for a new podcast right now, here’s one you can keep chambered for the near-future if a slot opens up.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mildly drawing in the dregs of society since 1987

As I get older, I’ve come to come to accept many things about myself.
                For example, as much as I enjoy them, I’ll never be very good at team sports. I’m tall, spindly and highly uncoordinated. Hardly the recipe you need to be the Michael Jordan of the beer league.
                Another fact of my life? I’m a mildly-powerful douchebag magnet, or “douche-magnet” in technical terms.
                Not too powerful. I feel like most of the people I’ve drawn into my inner circle are grade-A individuals. But just powerful enough that douchebags seem to always be floating around the periphery of my existence.
                I’m not sure what it is that brings them in, maybe it’s my boyish face and inability to grow a full beard.
                One of the places where this is most evident: When I’m out wandering the streets.
                I get more catcalls from passing cars or other walkers on average than a well-endowed blonde lady jogging through a city full of construction sites.