Friday, January 16, 2009

I've been walking the 2.5 miles to and from work lately. With temperatures dropping below -20°F, I've taken to doubling up all of my cold weather acoutrements. Wool socks inside boots, gloves worn inside big wool mittens, and a stocking cap under a hoodie under the down-lined hood of my jacket. Every weathered Minnesotan knows that the secret to living in the cold is to dress in layers. It has worked so well for me that when I go outside with this kit it feels like a 85° where I've just come inside and positioned my face in front of the AC. Except in this case the AC is -60° with wind chill factored in.

Tits Up News

Two big items of tits up news today:

  1. Circuit City has announced that it is closing its remaining stores. No big surprise because they were on extremely shaky ground heading into the holiday season, but this is the first in what will surely be a long line of retail failures we'll witness this year.

  2. Segway—not really tits up yet, but I want to get a preemptive strike in on the exceedingly expensive scooters. Get a damn bike, fatasses! (link to CNN story)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Buyshit Elves Profiles: the Heroes of the Buyshit Season #2

Here is the second installment of the Elves profiles. This time we learn about Sharon Lundegard, a fatass who sells craft shit at malls.

Name:Sharon Lundegard
Hometown:Fridley, Minnesota, USA

Oh nothin' much, I just grew up on a farm down by Albert Lea. I got married 12 years ago and moved to the big city with my husband Greg. Now we have two boys, 11 and 12, and a cockapoo. I got into craftin' when I was pregnant with my first. My mother would bring over some supplies and we'd watch the baby and make ornaments and things.

What Do You Make?
Oh lotsa things. Every Christmas I look through the magazines for ideas and then go to the store to get some supplies. This year I made cute little Rudolph ornaments out of pretzels, pipe cleaners, little bells, and red candies. I sell those for $1 each at the craft shows. I also made some nativity scenes out of Chex Mix, craft moss, wood shacks that Greg made out in the garage, and little plastic figures. Those ones are $12 but I lose money on them. Most of the stuff I make I lose money on, but it keeps me busy.

What Is Your Job Like?
I love it. Me and the girls get together to sell our wares at Northtown and its a hoot! I shouldn't be tellin' ya this but there's one woman who sells there, I can't repeat what we call her here, but every year she steals our ideas and we see her selling them for less than us. Ooh it just burns me up. So this year Greg took a dried up poop from our dog Skeeter and glued it on some Ritz crackers with some little "Noel" sequins and then I snuck 'em into her Chex Mix nativity scene that some lady bought. The lady came back and yelled at her and she thought her kids did it. It was the funniest thing when Amber the Dumb Sow (oops that's what we call her) went over to the KB Toys where her kids were playin' and started yellin' "who put the poop in my nativity scene?" but she was saying the s-word where I said 'poop.' I don't know maybe we were too mean to her but she deserved it.

What Do You Do for Fun?
Besides craftin'? Watch TV.

Thank you Sharon for sharing your story with us!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Buyshit Elves Profiles: the Heroes of the Buyshit Season

With the Buyshit season nearly at an end, I thought it would be appropriate to profile some of the underappreciated elves who make it all possible. If it were not for their hard work, we would not awake this coming Christmas morning to a plethora of goodies under the tree. Here is the first installment of Buyshit Elves Profiles: the Heroes of the Buyshit Season.

Name: Weidong Liu
Hometown: Foshan, Republic of China

I started as an agrarian worker at a factory farm outside of the small southern Chinese city Foshan. In 2006, I moved my wife and son to Guangzhou to seek a better life in one of the city's growing number of factories. There, I found work at Guangzhou BYD, Ltd., a plastics molding company in Guangzhou Industrial Park, where I remain employed to this day.

What Do You Make?
I don't really know what this shit is. Guangzhou BYD is a contract injection molding and assembly company. Most of our shit is exported to the USA. Actually, I have a funny story about that. I was working a line where we would make these clear plastic apparatuses that look like test tubes. I would imagine scientists in the USA mixing chemicals in them and inventing amazing things. I wanted to go to the USA to work with them. One day I was goofing around, wearing my white factory worker smock and some safety goggles and pretending to mix chemicals in two of the tubes. The guys started laughing at me, but after I stopped the joke the laughing didn't stop. All day they were teasing me and giggling behind my back. So the next day I come in and they're still laughing. I didn't get it. Finally my buddy Changye put me out of my misery. He was walking a stack of pallets back to the shipping dock and when he passed my station he leaned over to me and said, "it's for your pecker, dude." I was so embarrased. I looked on one of the packages and saw the silhouette of a sexy man and woman and realized it was some kind of sex toy. I later found out they call it a "penis pump." That is supposedly what the package says, but I don't know English. Anyway, I was embarrassed but I laugh about it now.

What Is Your Job Like?
It beats the farm job I had before. Sometimes I just don't get it though. I mean, I can go home and fuck my wife and I don't need a special pump or a thing stuck in my ass. But if someone somewhere in the world wants the shit I make so they can get off, I will continue to make it. We're making these things now where there's this rubbery shit with glitter suspended inside. I work the glitter injector. I don't know what it is for, they say they are called butt plugs. What the fuck is a butt plug? I drink tea to unplug my butt, so why would I want to plug it with a glitter thing? So I can drink more tea? I tried searching the internet to see butt plugs or penis pumps in action, but the government blocks all the sites that would have that sort of thing. I took some butt plugs home to see if my wife had any ideas, and she just gave them to my son and he chews on them. I hope they don't have lead paint on them, but I'm sure the government would warn us if they did.

What Do You Do for Fun?
Before I got the job at the factory, I liked riding my bicycle and painting. I also liked to take my son to the carousel in the city. Now I mostly just work late and watch TV.

Thank you Weidong for sharing your story with us!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if the Macintosh had turned out to be the dominant PC platform? To get an idea, take a look at the situation with the iPhone. Its proponents are unable to see the faults in the product. Every new phone that comes along gets compared to the iPhone and invariably fails the test. And iPhone owners seem to have this air of superiority about them. What we end up with is a nice phone with a slick interface and a user base that is so smug that it turns me off to the product. Thankfully there is no single dominant player in the cell phone OS field. Can you imagine what we would have to endure if the iPhone held a majority market share?

With the way the world seems to be going tits up lately, I feel bad being negative about anything. I am usually optimistic about things and I like to look at troubling situations as opportunities for improvement. But yesterday I read a trajic story in the StarTribune. It was about an elderly woman who was hit by a car near her home in Northeast Minneapolis. As if that isn't bad enough, the really tragic part is the reaction from the woman who hit her: "The driver, a 46-year-old Minneapolis woman, stopped after she 'heard a thud,' according to a police report." I can't help but imagine someone yackin' on a cell phone or munching on some potatoes and lard. I spend a lot of time walking and biking, and I notice a lot of people doing things other than focusing on their driving. With as clueless as most people are about how cars, gas mileage, and traffic actually work, it is further insult that they don't devote enough of their attention to driving. And so I am going to conclude that the elderly woman died because someone wasn't paying enough attention. That makes me sad, and I decided that I am going to pay extra attention to cars when I am out walking because I don't trust them any more.

Tits Up News: Kick 'em When Their Tits Are Up

It is a bit premature to be calling tits up on Chrysler, but after reading a Jalopnik report on their "bridge loan" proposal I can't help but extrapolate a path to their ultimiate demise. To recap Chrysler's recent history, the company was bought by an investment firm named Cerberus in 2007. If you read between the lines in what CEO Bob Nardelli outlines as the company's recent accomplishments, you might summarize that he has cut costs and positioned the company for resale at a profit, as investment firms often attempt to do.

The problem is that in the middle of their plan, the auto industry really, truly has gone tits up. Chrysler is a ship lost at sea. There are no substantive product plans for the next couple of years. I have no doubt that Cerberus had intended to sell Chrysler off, either as a whole or as its individual parts: Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep.

Sadly, I don't think it is worth saving. The Chrysler brands have been tarnished and the current lineup doesn't really make sense. I say let it go. Even if the government gives them an $11 billion bridge loan, the company could still fail. Or Cerberus could try to take the money and run. There are too many automotive marques in the world and this one is not worth $11 billion. Let Chrysler fail.


Friday, August 31, 2007

Johnny the Farting Bear

"Flism flasm," said Bill Cosby. Here's something a little more inspiring than the last post:

Top 5 worst sports injuries:

  • Missing ear

  • Strained nut (British: dead nut)

  • Rotated knee cap

  • Deflated anterior cheek

  • Beckman hair

So I was biking home a week after the bridge collapse, and I'm in a traffic lane dedicated to cars turning right. There was a Minneapolis cop directing traffic at the intersection because there were so many cars. I was behind a car in the lane, and there was a car behind me. I do this so the car in front can see where I am and not turn in front of me, a strategy that I think drivers appreciate. Anyway, the car in front turned, I advanced to the front, and I moved to the left so the car behind could turn behind me. Instead, I hear the blip of a police siren and a Hennepin County deputy guy (read: not a cop) pulls up next to me. He lectured me about being in the turn lane and told me to get over in the straight lane. Before I could respond, he pulled away. So I yelled "jackass" at him, and the people in the other cars heard it. Let me tell you, I try to give cops the benefit of the doubt because I know they have a stressful job, but it sure felt good calling the fake county cop a jackass. I hope he heard me too, because a fake cop has no business being an asshole. Armed with the knowledge that county cops don't really have any authority, I'll probably be more bold if one of them ever tries that shit again.

At least once a month, I get that stupid song "when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore" song stuck in my head. Every time, it degenerates to "sleighbells ring, ding-a-ling-a-ling, that's amore," like a weird fusion of the Christmas song and the amore song. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

All rules are negotiable. If someone tells you it can't be done, they are lying. Your cell phone company can reverse charges. The guy at the government office can pretend you got your papers in on time. You can feed the mogwai after midnight. It is all in how liberally you interpret the rules, and of course how prepared you are to deal with the consequences. But people who stand behind rules and say "no" should loosen their grip on their Bible or their copy of Mother Jones magazine and live a little. Or at least get the fuck out of my way.

When I was in 4th grade, I invented the word "dickslap." No one believes me. It is possible that it was invented independently of me and prior to my discovery, but the fact is I invented it and my own utterance was the first I and several of my friends had ever heard. This was probably around February of 1980. I distinctly remember sitting in Mrs. Banbury's class and telling my friend Chris Dirksz he was a dickslap. If anyone can prove that dickslap was invented prior to this, please speak up now. Otherwise, I will take credit.

I don't know if I can post here any more. I want to, but I can't get my head straight any more. I don't think I have the energy.

Something I've learned in the last few months is how important it is to have a support structure in your life. I've always been one to support other people and rely on myself, but lately the burdens of life have been so great that it has become a chore for me just to care for my basic needs. I can't support myself any more, and I feel like I have no one to turn to any more.

It got really bad last week when I met with city officials over an addition project I am proposing for my house. People with nothing better to do than whine and get in the way managed to derail the meeting, and the city denied me permission to construct the addition. It is a fucking box that is attached to the side of my house, how hard does this have to be? Anyway, I went home and fumed for a while, the stress overwhelming me. I decided to take it out on my lawn. As I was outside pushing the lawn mower across the rows of weeds and grass, ready to hurl the lawn mower at some undeserving inanimate object, I looked up and my neighbor was standing there.

He asked me how the meeting went, and he doesn't know it but his words snapped me back to sanity. He was seriously interested in how it went, and after I told him how bad it was he was sympathetic. It turns out he had gone through a similar bureaucratic mess a few years earlier. He offered me some documentation to help my cause, and later his wife offered to attend meetings in support of my case if it would help. I told them how thankful I was just that they were supportive, because up to that point everyone I had worked with had put obstacles in my path.

It is amazing, but just as I was ready to give up and sell everything and move to a cave somewhere, someone talked me back to reality. And they were just being their kind selves. And thanks to them I started formulating my next move instead of giving up on myself.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Today on my way to work I saw a dude wearing those old stone washed type of jeans that had the elastic bands at the ankles. Then I saw another dude wearing a Hard Rock Cafe jacket. Then I had a premonition that the band Glass Tiger was planning a reunion.

When I sat down at my desk and started reading email, one of the messages was a cc from a co-worker who always accidentally addresses this guy named Doug as "Dough." It is hilarious because she's done it a few times, as in "Dough, I've gone ahead and installed blah blah blah..."

I sued this tire distributor down in Rochester, Minnesota because he had refused to pay me $250 on a warranty claim I had made after having agreed to pay twice. It was a big clusterfuck the way it all ended up down in Rochester, when the shitheads at Cooper Tire and Rubber should have been the ones to pay. After acting really angry and agressive for 15 minutes, the distributor guy finally agreed to pay me $250 and deal with Cooper through his company channels. I don't know why I am bringing it up here, other than to have another chance to get a dig in on the shitheads at Cooper Tire. Defective tires can cause loss of life if they fail at highway speeds. I don't think many people really consider how important the rubber on their cars is. Apparently Cooper Tire feels it is a risk worth taking, given the treatment I received when I tried to get them to act. I'll never take tire purchases lightly again.

It cost me about $100 to file in Olmsted County conciliation court if you include fees and gas money. So I am ahead on it in the end, but I think I will just donate the $250 to some cause like an animal charity.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Today I learned that the long hose that firefighting helicopters with onboard tanks use to suck up water is called the "donkey dick." Obviously the name comes from the appearance of the hose, but I tried to come up with an acronym for it. There was an interview on the radio this morning where the interviewee pronounced the acronym WRFA as "werfa." It reminded me of how some people pronounce all acronyms as words while others do only if it sounds good. I'm sure the guy got tired of saying W-R-F-A all the time and had to switch to werfa, but he sounded kinda dorky. He sounded like he was trying to warn everyone in the room that he was about to fart or something. Anyway, so what does DONKEYDICK stand for?

The best I could do was DNKEDC - Dirigible Nautical Kit for Extinguishing Delinquent Campfires. Usage example: If it weren't for the donkey dick, our vacation would have been ruined.

Perhaps you can do better...

Speaking of acronyms, the latest TITSUP (Tantalizing Information Tidbit on a Sad, Unfortunate Passing) news is about Pope John Paul II, who went tits up about two years ago. It seems he is on the fast track to sainthood, in part because of a miracle that was attributed to his buried corpse. Some nun prayed to him and found herself cured of parkinson's disease. Now there is a dossier about it and committee meetings to discuss the beatification and canonization of the former pope. WTF? A miracle? If there is such a formal process with dossiers and shit for canonizing people as saints, does it include investigation into the validity and feasibility of the claims? What if they make him a saint and she gets her parkinson's back? Shit, I'm going to start praying to the tits up pope to see if my hair will grow back.