Going Back On My Word (Or “I’m Only A Cord Cutter”)

If you know me by now, you know I do not like to get involved in politics.

Everywhere you go, someone is ranting about conservatives or liberals, or republicans or democrats, or the rich or the poor.

Someone is a proud and screaming liberal!

Someone is a God-fearing conservative!

What about us who have neutral or centrist ideology?

Oh! Shoot! I just answered my own question, didn’t I?

As a result of this partisan/one-party political system here in the U.S., a lot of things that we once took for granted a decade or two ago are in jeopardy…Namely, television!

On April 22, Aereo is going in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to argue their case that the technology they use is not infringing on broadcaster’s copyrights! It is just merely new technology!

In short, if the U.S. Supreme Court sides with broadcasters, it will literally make television illegal in this country! 

How?

If you have an antenna on top of your roof, on a tower mast, or even the set-top “rabbit ears” in your bedroom, you will be committing  a civil, if not criminal offense!

This is a technology that has been around almost 70 years! All Aereo wants to do is improve upon it! They do not want to violate any privacy or copyright laws!

Broadcasters will still have their revenues and stipends they get from advertisers and cable companies!

In other words,; If you want to watch T.V. in the U.S…You’re gonna have to pay…and pay a lot!

The worst part; How are we to be informed of a major emergency such as tornado, snow storm, hurricane, earthquake, nuclear or terrorist attack, when we can’t afford to pay for T.V.?

Tough shit…? No money-no honey? It’s a capitalist society! That’s the way its always been!

The “Tough Shit” economic system of this past decade has to stop especially when it comes to the last line of defense of millions of lives; a line of defense that has been in place for over 7 (seven) decades and has proven to be very effective!

O.k…Now for how this will hurt the broadcasters if the Supreme Court rules in the broadcaster’s favor: There are more “poor” people in this country than there are rich people. Broadcasters will not be getting very many subscribers!

All of the money spent by broadcasters to fight Aereo and this new technology (and to pay off contribute campaign funds to a few judges and lawmakers) will be wasted down the road!

Broadcasters will be shooting themselves in the foot by not embracing Aereo’s technology!

Look at cable many years ago! Broadcasters fought them, and now they work hand in hand!

Please visit this webpage to find out more about what the hell this ranting and raving nutjob is talking about!

The future of television in the U.S. depends on you: The consumer!

http://www.protectmyantenna.org/

A Few More! (Or “Eeeeh! Shaddap!”)

Earlier, I wrote some Do’s and Don’ts that should be followed.

Apparently, I have forgotten a few: 

The gym:

  • Don’t parade around the locker room of the gym without a towel around your waist after you get out of the shower! (1.) Turn the shower off! (2.) Dry off! (3.) Wrap the towel around your waist! (4.) Get out of the shower! (5.) Go to your locker! (6.) Put your pants on! (7.) Parade, prance, and weigh yourself all you want to! I’m sure the pants won’t add too much weight!
  • Don’t have an impromptu power lifting contest with your “bros”. News flash! The steroid culture died in the 80s…along with some of its users! I came here to work out, not hear you grunt, groan, “BOORAH!”, and “FUCK YEAH!” If I want to hear grunting and groaning, I’ll use the washroom! There are others in the gym, and they are not impressed…and they are waiting to use that squat rack…or just one of the weights you’re hulking out with!
  • Don’t criticize my routine and/or offer to personally train me! Bullshit! You are just trying to satisfy your ego! Besides, if I had the money I would hire a [licensed and certified] personal trainer, thank you very much! I deal with condescending egotistical assholes all the time at work (not naming names because I have bills to pay)!
  • Don’t hog the damned machines! It is for bench pressing and preacher curls, not for taking a nap or contemplating the meaning of life!
  • Do ask nicely if you would like me to spot you. My name is not “Hey you”, “You”, “Stickboy”, “Flabby ass”, “Oldtimer”, etc. Otherwise, fuck off! I’m busy with this treadmill!
  • Do wipe the bench and /or arm rest when you are finished using it! That is why you are given a towel at the front desk! I do not want to smell like your wife’s/mom’s limburger, garlic, cabbage surprise that you had last night!
  • Do notice I am wearing ear buds connected to the iPod (See the drunk jerk next to me on the plane)! If you have something to say, motion or yell “Fire” or “Grenade” if its an emergency (even though I am slightly hard of hearing, I can sort of read lips). Don’t tap me or pull the buds out of my ears (See the skin softener salesman that Jack Rubied me in the mall one time…your testicles and/or your dentist will thank you for it).

Driving:

  • Don’t drive ssssssllllllllllllllooooooooooow to look for an address, especially if you are on a busy street! Slow down a tad, but not to the point where you cause traffic to back up! GPS and phone apps are now more widely available and some are free, Mr. Rand McNally!
  • Don’t rev your engine when you are stopped next to me at a stop light. Yes, your daddy’s Infinity Q is nice, and yes you are real bad ass in it (especially with the gangster rap blasting distorting out of the four speaker system).But, don’t do that when you are next to someone driving a 4 cylinder or the driver is clearly over 30 years of age. I don’t want to drag race! You’re 20 years too late, Trevor…Or is it Dillion…Or Trent?

General:

  • Don’t chew that gum so loud! ‘nuff said!
  • Don’t spoil the game or the movie for me! ‘nuff said again!
  • Don’t go shopping for more beer with your children…after 10:00pm…Especially when you have already had a 12 pack today! Also…
  • Don’t scream “We can’t afford it” at your kid because he/she wants an iPod, Barney doll, etc. when you have the cart full of said booze ($12-$20 a case), NASCAR gear ($10-$100+ depending in the items), and cartons of cigarettes (which are about $50 each as of this writing…notice I pluralized carton)!

Well, now that you have gone deeper into my head, I will try in the future to have more positive commentary soon.

Great points!

My “Do and Don’t” List (Or “More Bitching and Moaning”)

I am not really important. But, if I am ever in your presence:

Travel:

  • Don’t take your shoes off on the plane!
  • Do wear comfortable shoes and clean socks!
  • Don’t let your kids run around the plane and/or use the back of my seat for tae kwon do practice!
  • Do give them a coloring book, iPad, Nintendo DS, bottle of Xanax, etc. to play with.
  • Don’t poke me, prod me, or jerk my headphones out of my ears if you have something to say.
  • Don’t be nosey while I’m working on my laptop or iPad!
  • Do ask nicely.
  • Don’t harangue or preach to me during the trip (If you see heaphones, I’m not here).
  • Do drink responsibly!

Housekeeping:

  • Don’t clean with vinegar! It makes me gag!
  • Do clean with wax, soap, bleach, ammonia, gasoline, alcohol or steam. (Pro-tip: I like Lemon Scented Mr. Clean! That stuff cleans anything just as good as vinegar!)

Public Washroom:

  • Don’t  grunt and give a sigh of relief as part of your symphony of intestinal/anal expulsion!
  • Do shut up and rock back and forth until it comes out!
  • Don’t start a conversation with me! I’m trying to concentrate! (Especially at the urinal! I have a habit of facing people when I talk to them!)
  • Do shut up until we are outside the washroom…and the hands are washed!
  • Don’t look over at me while I am at the urinal! I’m very self-conscious! (I won’t lie: There really isn’t much to see…)
  • Do keep the eyes straight ahead!

Marketing/Soliciting:

  • Don’t solicit even though there is clearly a sign by the doorbell that says “No Soliciting”!
  • Do learn how to read!
  • Do leave a leaflet, pamphlet, business card and other “literature” advertising “our lord and savior” or the half-priced meat you have in the back of your unmarked Econoline van in the mailbox…and not the crack between the door handle and the door!
  • Don’t grab me and/or jump in my way when I am walking through the mall! I am not a violent man, but…Fair warning: I am skilled in Hapkido! It will be difficult for you to hold the survey clipboard or the jar of moisturizer with a dislocated/broken elbow! I can’t help it if reflexes take over!
  • Do stay in your kiosk or keep a safe distance and simply say “Excuse me, sir”!
  • Do realize I am aware you may have a sales quota. Your “commish” might not be enough to pay your medical bills, and I am not a multi-gazillionaire! (Put that lawyer away! It was self defense!)
  • Don’t call me during dinner time! I work 2nd. shift and cannot answer my phone!
  • Don’t block your number from caller I.D.! I will not answer! I will make the final determination of whether or not your number should be blocked!
  • Do understand that I am on the "Do not call list"! I don’t want you to get into trouble with the law for doing your job!

Now, you’re probably saying “Crikey! What an egotistical jerk!” Well, put yourself in my shoes and consider the situation. People have different tastes. Jerkiness is based on perception. There are some that agree with me, and some that don’t.

Please, help me restore my faith in humanity and be more mindful of each other…

And not just me!

Film Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Or “Achievement Unlocked: Mom Hooked On Marvel Cinematic Universe”)

The Disney/Marvel cinematic universe just keeps getting better and better!

Film #3 of the 2nd. phase of the MCU, Captain America: The Winter Soldier delivered more than expected!

A lot more!

Solid story, great acting, great action sequences, excellent directing, and photography…and my mother enjoyed it!

My mother? The Superman and Archie fan?

Actually, I introduced her to the MCU when Thor came out.

I took my niece and her to see it at a drive-in

We originally went there to see Rango, but it was playing on a double bill with Thor…Convenient!

Now, I knew my mom read comic books when she was a kid (see Superman and Archie), but what I didn’t know was that mom also read the Thor comics. I do know that she was a fan of The Incredible Hulk TV series…Because she was a fan of Bill Bixby, who was friends with Elvis (she’s a huge Elvis fan).

Now, flash forward, my niece and I still had to explain what SHIELD was and who that (quoting my mom) “smarmy asshole agent” Coulson was…(From Iron Man and Iron Man 2), and who that “one eyed gentleman in the black leather trench coat played by Samuel L. Jackson was” (Nick Fury…Who also poked his head into IM1&2) at the end of Thor.

Needless to say, at the time she wasn’t interested in seeing Iron Man 1 or 2, The Incredible Hulk, or Captain America: The First Avenger…Or The Avengers (she thought it was the one with Steed and Peel) to see the connection.

She did see Thor: The Dark World on Amazon VOD…and liked it.

She saw Iron Man 3 on Amazon VOD…Liked it.

Since she wasn’t doing anything, I asked her if she wanted to see CA:TWS and she said “why not”.

Long story short; She absolutely loved it!

(Wonder if Robert Redford and the 3D helped?)

Now, she wants to see Guardians Of The Galaxy when it comes out in August!

(Chuckling during the trailer.)

As I type this, she is watching phase 1 of the MCU, and is enjoying it…Quoting my mom “WHOO-HOO! This is cool!”

 Wonder if she would be interested in the Fox Marvel universe (X Men, Fantastic Four) or the Marvel Spider Man universe (Sony)?

We’ll see.

tvguide:

Celebrity Alter Egos

Bey’s got Sasha Fierce. What’s your alter ego’s name?

image

Vroom Vroom Mcgillicuddy!

Hitting One Out Of The Park (Or “Victory WAS Mine.”)

Baseball season is upon us again.

Who will make the memorable plays? Who will be involved in a big bench clearing brawl? Who will break the records? Who will end up in the World Series? The sort-of-unofficial start of summer…Next to Memorial Day.

(Funny, I thought all of those superhero movies coming out were the start of summer.)

Can you imagine the feeling that the batter gets when he makes that grandslam or line drives it over the stands and into the street? Or the lucky kid behind the fence that caught the ball? Probably the same feeling that a lady gets when her boyfriend proposes to her (Remember: The public does not really care…Keep it to yourselves)…Or the worker that gets that big promotion to a position where the office is the big one in the corner with the exterior picture window overlooking something scenic (not the cubicle/wall or the cubbyhole office with a view of the fly/squirrel infested dumpster in the loading dock area)…Or said worker/new exec getting that MBA or even a DBA (after having to deal with at least an additional 8-12 years of asshole professors and kissing the boss’s ass under silent protest)…Meeting your idol (Remember: Don’t be a creepy/scary shitbird)…Scoring that car you have been saving half of your yearly salary for (4 banger Mazda! Wahoo!)…Scoring that part in a major production…Etc…

Have I ever had that feeling? You bet I did.

(As if it were reported by a sports writer.)

Las Vegas, Nevada

January 24, 2000 (Yes, that long ago)

Riviera Hotel and Casino

One T. Paul Neeley unpacks in his small yet comfortable hotel room.

He has $500 in cash on him. He’s hungry and tired from the long drive from L.A. So, he figures he’ll grab a cheeseburger, but he doesn’t have anything smaller than a $50. The 29 year old gambling rookie decides on a very risky-yet creative move; “I’ll make some change…With a slot machine!” Young Paul proceeds to the elevators, cash securely in pocket down the elevator. The elevator is moving slow.The doors swoosh open to reveal something that only be described as something out of Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory:  A [colorful] land of Pure Imagination. The lights, millions of them, reflecting on the windows which gave a view of the new sundown on the equally lit strip. Bells, electronic music, mixed with a mix of genre music on the speaker system…Cigar smoke, cigarette smoke, pipe smoke…Beautiful [scantily clad] waitresses taking drink orders from and to players. This was Vegas: Land of the complimentary drinks…Just as long as you are gambling! (Sounds fair)

Paul approaches a Five Times Pay dollar slot machine. He’s feeling adventurous…Whips out a $100 bill and feeds it to the machine. Take a seat, so that a pretty young lady can take your drink order. “Heineken, please”…After an unknown amount of times of pulling the handle and coming up no-winner or winning “a little”, a memory is about to be made: 7+5 Times Pay+5 Times Pay

The winner alarm is a lot longer than the previous ones…A small crowd starts to gather. “Oh my god” exclaimed the attendant! “That’s three thousand dollars! Congratulations, sir!”

$3,000 out of a $2,000 jackpot machine? That’s some “complicated” math! Must have played a 2nd. coin! Doesn’t matter: It has happened!

With tears rolling down his cheek, Paul realizes this is the most money he has ever been paid so far in his life! This will be the first time he has held more than $1,000 cash!

The other $500 was spent in L.A.

"That boy had an ear-to-ear grin like he’d done just clogged the toilet at the White House", said the cash cage attendant.

Though, unlike most newly crowned champions, he wouldn’t visit the White House with this victory, he would upgrade his room, have a steak dinner (instead of the cheeseburger he originally intended on), and put a small but noticeable dent in his car payment principal. The rest of the week was spent on seeing shows and staying a couple of extra days in L.A.

How long will his luck last?

Now, here comes the buzzkill part:

The next couple of times I would visit Vegas would be total train wrecks. Both times, I would barely have enough money to get back home. The economy since that win, would take a nose dive forcing the casinos to cut back or do away with comps…and do whatever they want with the machines and selection of dealers (if you know what I mean).

What I am saying is this: When you achieve something major such as a promotion, a sudden windfall, or a part in a big gig, etc. savor it!

It may never happen again!

It is true what is said: “Victory is fleeting”.

But, it does give new hope…For another victory.

Let’s hope I win the Mega Millions or Powerball soon!

(Trust me! You’ll know it!)

chicagopubliclibrary:

Vivian Maier Photo Caption Contest
In honor of the Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows exhibit opening at our Harold Washington branch today, we wanted to share one of our favorite photos from the exhibit - a shot taken just before the 1968 Democratic Convention of a woman teasing a Chicago policeman. 
Re-blog this photo with your best caption, and the person with the best one gets a pair of CPL wayfarer sunglasses! 
Help us find the next critically acclaimed street photographer! Share your work, including selfies, on our Flickr group #VivianatCPL. (New to Flickr? Learn how to share photos with a group.) We may choose your images to add to the archives of CPL’s Special Collections and Preservation Division.

OFFICER: “Sorry I had to slug you, mom. The mayor ordered us to beat the crap out of anyone with long hair.”

chicagopubliclibrary:

Vivian Maier Photo Caption Contest

In honor of the Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows exhibit opening at our Harold Washington branch today, we wanted to share one of our favorite photos from the exhibit - a shot taken just before the 1968 Democratic Convention of a woman teasing a Chicago policeman. 

Re-blog this photo with your best caption, and the person with the best one gets a pair of CPL wayfarer sunglasses! 

Help us find the next critically acclaimed street photographer! Share your work, including selfies, on our Flickr group #VivianatCPL. (New to Flickr? Learn how to share photos with a group.) We may choose your images to add to the archives of CPL’s Special Collections and Preservation Division.

OFFICER: “Sorry I had to slug you, mom. The mayor ordered us to beat the crap out of anyone with long hair.”

SWEEEEEEEEET! I grew up with Obnoxio!

(While some kids grew up with Golden Books…Zzzzzzz….)