Tuesday, September 17, 2013

KBTuesday: Fishbowl

In belated honor of Rhode Island decriminalizing pot, I'll tell the Fishbowl story:

I was at store 1165 when a female associate from a local college approaches a high school aged associate and asked him if he was smoking pot in the backroom. He said no, and did not believe that the backroom reeked of it. So they went to investigate. They decided that they needed to tell me because if I found out I would blame them, and for once they were innocent.

She comes over to me and tells the backroom smells like marijuana. And of course I get angry. I go into the backroom and it's a fucking fishbowl! I call mall security. They come down half hour later and see that yes it does appear that someone has been getting high. They check the store next to ours. The card store whose manager on duty was a good friend of mine. They figure out that one of her idiot associates smoked a ton in their bathroom and it vented into my back room. She begs and pleads for the cops to not get called and we all just deal while fans get turned on and the shit clears.

A few minutes later, one of my wise-ass associates has found a Led Zepplin CD lying around and put it on the back room. Turning my damn backroom into a fucking frathouse.

Thanks for reading,
Your favorite former manager of assholes,
-Pip

PS- I have no idea how many stories are left in this well.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Song that Never Ends

Music Monday:


I'm sorry, did I hear you ask for the 10hr version of the song that never ends? Well good, because I found it for you!





Be sure to sing this song at school/work all day today! Make sure everyone who sees you gets this song  stuck in there heads!

Go forth and annoy!
Yer Old Pal,
-Pip

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fuck Mobile

I HATE MOBILE. If you are developing a website, do not make a mobile version of your site. Do not make an app of your site.  They will suck. And I will hate you.

I upgraded to my iPhone 5 in October. Prior to that I was using Facebook's desktop site on my iPhone 3gs' crappy safari browser. The same was true for Tumblr as well. And in fact the current version of Tumblr desktop, the one where they ruined how you actually post to Tumblr? Well when you use the desktop version on your phone, the horrible overlay does not work, so it allows you to post like you used to.  So if you hate the overlay posting on Tumblr, just use your phone.

Remember the big deal about sharing on Facebook and how mobile just got sharing? Well I've had it! I never lost it! Their app is crap! (All apps are crap, if the app is just a damn website!) And their mobile site is terrible to!

Now twitter is an exception. No I am not about say nice things about their app or mobile site. They won't let me use their desktop version of their site on my phone. There is no option, no choice.  This pads their stats and makes them look like the kings of App Development  No, they aren't, they cheat.  And on top of cheating their website is horrible and no one uses it.

Wikipedia is the best and easiest example. Go use their app, their mobile site, and then the desktop version (on your phone) and tell me which ones is best.

The main reason why apps and mobile suck? ZOOM! On my phone I can zoom. But most app and mobile developers remove this feature. So if you want to zoom, use their desktop version.

The main reason that these horrible overlay posting systems are becoming the thing is to force people to use the mobile/App version of websites on their phone. It is nothing but a scam.

Things will get worse before they better, but as phones get more powerful and become an even bigger share of the internet, more people will see the light and you will see the end of mobile sites. I just have to hang on and not throw my phone into a brick wall before that time. Their death is inevitable, just not imminent.

Thanks for reading,
Your favorite Mobile hating Blogger,
Pip

PS- I also hate that my damn phone detects a desktop link and switches it to mobile, yet my desktop browser cannot detect a fucking mobile link and switch it to desktop! Suck fucking bullshit. If mobile sites did not exist, AND THERE IS NO GOOD REASON FOR MOBILE SITES TO EXIST, this would never bet a problem.

fuck mobile

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Co-Signing

This video of a woman co-signing at the Wu-Tang concert at Bonnaroo recently went viral. I have experience with this, so enjoy.

For those that are unfamiliar with American Sign Language and deaf culture, co-signing is something you've seen before.  It is the act of live translation of English into ASL.  It is not easy, and it is amazing to watch.  The girl in this video is doing exactly that, except she has the advantage of knowing the song ahead of time.  My two stories involve the exact opposite situation.


For a brief time of utter failure I attended RIT, which shares it's campus with the NTID.  Part of my failure was never learning sign language, but this is not about that.  I did however experience two very funny co-signing incidents, both at concerts.

The first was at a show for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  If you've listened to them at all you know they are a very loud band that likes to scream occasionally, and Dickie, like most bands of the generation was not a very articulate singer.   A friend of mine had a class the next week which had an interpreter attached to it, because it had a deaf student in the class.  The interpreter that day happened to be the one from the show.  My friend asked him about it after class and he said he meets with the bands before hand to get an idea and if possible a lyric sheet from the set list.  At the meeting Dickie said that half the time he can't even remember the words. Knowing The Bosstones like I do, I was not surprised by this.

The second incident involved They Might Be Giants.  They have a certain song that their fans refuse to let them skip playing.  Istanbul.  The key fact to this story is that both the names Istanbul and Constantinople were finger spelled.  The interpreter spelled out each name letter by letter.  To this day I feel bad for that poor poor woman.


They Might Be Giants - Istanbul (Not Constantinople) from They Might Be Giants on Vimeo.


So be kind to ASL co-signers, they have a really difficult job.

Thanks for reading,
Your terribly ashamed at how dumb he was for not learning sign language when it was easy as hell to do so blogger,
Pip

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MDI: Twitter for the Verbose

Million Dollar Idea:

The internet needs a Twitter for the Verbose! 


I don't have a name yet, maybe Monology, maybe Dickensist, EssayR, MonologueR, who knows.  The concept is an Anti-Twitter. Instead of a max number of characters, I want a minimum number of words.  No posts allowed under 500 words. No replies allowed under 100 words! There will be none of that link shortening nonsense.  No picture only posts, no video only posts, I might even say no mobile! Oh I am pumped for this idea, who got that sweet VC cash for me?

Or wants to help me start the kickstarter for this?  You want to know about profit and ads? EASY! It's costs $5/yr to sign up.  Boom. Trust me on this. I'll add mobile access for another $1/yr. Think I won't be able to raise several million that way, fine. Another $1/yr for "No bullshit". So when I start doing shady shit like adding ads or selling your data, you got an automatic opt out.  Wait I can do better. How about a $0.10 tax per word you fall short of the minimum? Are you seeing me swimming in piles of cash like Scrooge McDuck? Because I can!

You know you want this site. You know the internet needs this site. It will single-handedly save journalism. (it won't, but that sure sounds a like a great sales pitch!)

This rant is out of steam and I did not count the words, but man we have got to make this happen!

Thanks for reading,
your favorite rambling lunatic blogger,
Pip

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

KBTuesday: The Professional

While I was working as the Store Manage of the KB in Waltham in the spring of 2002, the PlayStation 2 was the hot video game system of the moment. And having gone through a few generations of systems I was aware of the various scams involving them. Be it theft of the system, fraudulent returns, or the subject of this tale, The Stolen Credit Card.

I knew from experience that someone coming in to to buy 2 systems with a credit card and buying nothing else was a red flag that the credit card being used was stolen. However I was not allowed to just say not to a sale based upon this reason alone. A man came into my store one night to buy 2 PS2s and nothing else. Knowing the red flag, I made sure to check his Driver's License. Everything looked fine, I ran the order and out he went. A month or so later a Detective from the Waltham PD came into my store to ask a few questions about a case he was working on. He told me about a stolen credit card ring that was being run out of a local gym. He said the card was used at my store on a specific date. He gave me the amount of the sale and I KNEW exactly what was bought and that I had rung up that transaction. I told the officer that I checked his ID. The officer felt guilty and didn't want to show me the file he was holding. He told not to feel bad, before even showing it to me! He told me that this guy was a Professional Thief and that this was his craft. He was a Master Barber, or Master Plumber, just of stealing. My pride demanded I see the file. So he opened it and I saw the name of the woman who owned the credit card. The woman, as opposed to the drastically racially different MAN I sold the systems to. The name was nowhere near an ambiguous name either. I was furious at myself! I was the Store Manager and I fell for that scam? But the Officer calmed me down and told me that he sees it all the time. That hardly anyone that checks ID in America was trained on how to do so properly. He told me I was not at fault at all (and thankfully neither was my company!) and to just be more careful next time.

I do not remember if they caught the guy. And that is not the point. The point was that a Professional Thief will rob you blind with a skill that comes from years of practice and training. Just like an Electrician who's worked on hundreds of jobs, this thief had stolen hundreds of credit cards and knew what he was doing. He had scammed plenty of other retail workers. I wasn't alone, I wasn't special, I wasn't an idiot that was not doing his job properly. I was dealing with a pro.

The only way to stop a pro is...you can't. All you can do is do your best to reduce to opportunity and increase the amount of awareness people have that there are other people around. Be there and paying attention, but even then, the really good ones will get you.

Sadly this story came up at my current job recently. A co-worker robbed us blind. Chipping away at us slowly but surely for months. And none of us caught it until too late. Fortunately the big job being planned was stopped, and that's all you can really ask for. But it does not hurt any less. It fucking sucks in an office so small (10 employees including the owner) that one of us took advantage of all of our trust.

But I told this story to them, because it's pure truth. The person that betrayed us was a Pro. None of us was caught sleeping, nor did a bad job. None of us were expecting a pro. The person is gone, and a close tight-knit group has gotten closer. Adversity does that.

Thanks for reading,
Your favorite blogger,
Pip

Monday, September 9, 2013

No Rain

No Rain - Blind Mellon

Music Monday:

No that this blog has a fully loaded queue we can use a song that symbolizes my lack of posts. This bee girl was one of the best Music Video characters ever!



Be sure to sing or hymn the song all day. Everyone you come into contact with at school, at work, or at the store, should leave with this song stuck in their head!


Thanks for reading,
your favorite not at in control of the weather blogger,
Pip

PS- I've successfully used this song twice in text messages to my wife about the weather. Successfully = She laughed.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fuck Y'all

No really. Fuck Y'all.

I hate that word with every once of my Yankee blood. The English language has this terrible black-hole when it comes to the plural of the word You. I do understand that the plural is the same as the singular, like it is for Sheep and Deer.  But it does not work. And the work around we've devised, "Y'all" is the worst word ever invented that is not a slur.

So if you are reading this and can help me find or create a much better word that we can use instead of Y'all, I would be your friend forever.

Y'all is not the only terrible aspect of the English language. While we are at it, can we fix the gender neutral problem? Congressperson? Really? I understand the complaint about using the Masculine form of words like that as default. But we need to either use the Feminine form as default, or find MUCH MUCH better words to use as Neutral form for these words. Can we all agree that sticking -Person at the end of words in cumbersome and ineffective? I'd much rather say Chairwoman or Congresswoman as a default rather than say Chairperson or Congressperson.

I beg you, Grammar Nazis, use your powers for good instead of the nitpicking evil that you usually use them for. (Yeah I ended that sentence with a preposition, but look at the bigger issue please!) Focus that energy and passion for the English language to help us make the language a better place for all people that use it.

Thank ALL OF YOU for reading,
you're favorite y'all hating Yankee blogger,
Pip

PS- I am serious and would love help with either of these issues.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

KBTuesday: September 10th, 2001


Do you remember where you were the day before? It's okay if you don't. I have a good reason to remember. It was my first day at my new position, Store Manager of the Waltham KBToys. Prior to that I worked at the Arsenal Mall in Watertown. Yeah, that Arsenal Mall. Let me tell you how shocked I was when I turned on the TV Friday morning to see my Governor holding a Press Conference in front of the Arsenal Mall.

My Grandmother was a Rosie the Riveter at that very building during World War II. It was a weapons factory, an actual Arsenal. And I spent nearly a year working there.

I met the Best-Man at my Wedding working there.

We fixed and epic shrink problem there, very quickly.

I found Watertown to be so nice that I used it's local sole-proprietor Comic Book Shop from the month I started there until everything fell apart in my life financially in Aug/Sept of 2007.

Watertown has a very large Armenian population. So large that if someone's name ends in -ian it was a safe assumption that they are Armenian. I had friend/co-worker at the time who after 9/11 started telling people he was Puerto Rican. Like the vast majority of Armenians he was Christian.  But he had a strange name and "looked Middle Eastern".

Now I never lived there, but I knew that town, and it's people.

I will share more stories from my time at Watertown in the future. But for now we'll focus on the day before.

I remember my first day on the job as a Store Manager. I had the Store Manager that trained me in the store with me, and we got a phone call.  It was from our Planner. The guy the decides what stuff gets shipped to me to sell. The phone was handed to me and he asked me about Pokemon Coins. Yes, coins.



These things, packaged awkwardly in a CD Jewel case. And yes, all you got were the three coins. I have no idea how they played with them. There was a set game with rules included.  I was fascinated by Pokemon but always stayed on the sidelines. (Except for that horrible incident where I got the entire management staff and half the other employees  at the Natick store addicted to the original Red/Blue GameBoy games.) Anyway the Planner saw that the Waltham store was actually selling the damn things. I had seen the district sales reports and knew that they were! They taunted us in Watertown and no kid seemed interested in them. I cannot remember the price point of the dumb things.  So he called and we talked about how for some reason they were selling in Waltham. He told me they really weren't selling anywhere else in the region (basically New England, New York and New Jersey). He asked if I wanted to take a large number of them, I said Sure! He asked if I wanted an awfully large number of them, I said why not. He then admitted he wanted to dump the entire quantity of them in our warehouse on my store. I ended up taking 2 gross case of them. Yes, 288 cases, 12 in a case.

Oh how they haunted my entire 7 month existence at that store. And they did sell, but not fast enough. When the store closed in April/May of the next year, to make way for the Panera Bread still there today, we still had some left. Those fuckers got transferred to Medford. Where the lunatic that ran the store, who would in the future be the best-man at my wedding, gleeful took them.


Thanks for reading,
your favorite blogger that remembers where they were the day before,
Pip



Friday, April 12, 2013

Bad Idea: Daily Show vs Fresh Air

I have a stalker. She is a brilliant woman who loves science, is intelligent, and an extremely interesting writer. But her latest book is creepy as hell and I can't get away from it!

MARY ROACH, I AM NOT BUYING YOUR BOOK!

She wrote this book, Gulp, about the entire human digestive system. From mouth and saliva to fecal transplants. FECAL TRANSPLANTS! I just ate lunch when I heard this conversation about fecal transplants on Fresh Air. And later that same day, when I got home from work, she was on The Cycle on MSNBC, and that damn night she was on The Daily Show!

Now I had calmed down about this subject, but guess who was on Science Friday today? Mary "Gross Out" Roach. I'll be heading out Tuesday morning to get a restraining order! (Monday is a local holiday so I have to wait all weekend, but I will Flatus all over this woman!) So help me God if she's on Top Gear next week!

Her appearance on Science Friday reminded me of an idea she inspired. After the day she stalked me and my digestive system, I began to notice that Fresh Air and The Daily Show tend to have a massive overlap of guests. I'd put it at 75%-80% chance that within a week of a person appearing on one of the shows, they will appear on the other.  And I began to think of the formats of the shows and differing interview styles of Terry Gross and Jon Stewart.

I realized that there a ton of material for either mash-up interviews or to make fun of one or both of them based on the wicked obvious things one asked that the other missed. Or we can do the Weird Al style of interview with intercuts from a Jon Question to a Terry Answer.

We could play a game I'd call Which one of them Actually Read the Book? (Answer will almost always be neither.)

We could compare who's the better salesperson. Who got me more interested in buying the book.

We could rate the brown-nosing. Who did a better job making the guest seem cooler/smarter/better than they really are.

The list of ideas and spin-offs is endless.

I think Terry Gross would be a much better foil to Jon Stewart than Glenn Beck was. She'd be an exercise in him going up in weight class, vs the cheap shots he typically takes.

If I had minions, they'd be going through Fresh Air and Daily Show archives right now.

Thanks for reading,
Your favorite "I was really bothered by this" blogger,
Pip

PS- As always with ideas of this nature: If you have some money, get in touch! I'd really like to do this.

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm gonna be (500 Miles)

Music Monday:

This week's song to get stuck in your co-worker's  heads is I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) from a movie that did not at all stand the test of time Benny and Joon.




Thanks for reading,
the blogger you'd walk 500 miles for (to kill because thing song was stuck in your head the entire time_,
Pip

PS- I really did think of possibly using a Phillip Glass song or another song that would not at all get stuck in your head.  Then I decided that this gag is a weekly April's Fools joke, so it would be wisest to leave it alone.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I got nothing today...

but I need to post something, anything! So I'll think out loud about my old blog gags. In theory my original plan was 5-7 weekly gags, 4 monthly ones, and then a post every day about whatever I felt like or whatever was going on.  I see no reason why this plan can't still be the goal.  30-60 minutes of writing a night plus a binge on weekends and as with any skill speed comes with practice.

I'd end up with just over 60 posts a month.

The question becomes what gags to revisit and what new ones to develop?

For example TTFN is a lot of work, but it's fun and I like doing it. I will be doing this on Friday so if you have a Listicle from the last 2 weeks, send it along!

Songs to get stuck in your co-workers heads needs to come back. I can milk KBTuesday for a few more stories. Yesterday shows that TTT can still work, especially when I tweet the replies and people get confused. Silly Game Saturday is an easy one. Thursday was always a cop-out and I'll have think of something for Sunday. Maybe I can Storify something for Sundays....yes I like alliteration, and puns.

But the reality is I'll take this one day at a time and use it as a tool to keep my brain working on something positive.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, pass them on!

Thanks for reading,
your favorite delusional binge blogger,
Pip


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Twitter Twailbag twednesday

Did you really think, I'd go this long back into blogging without picking up an old gag?





What can I say, boys can be golddiggers too.







No! You just want free shit. Pay up sucka!







Did you lose your keys again Sparkle?





I'll state it again for the record, I'm flattered but uncomfortable with people naming their pets after me.





*Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurp* And I can't wait for lunch!





I can't tell you, the Illuminati are reading this!





A more true statement about me has never been uttered.





I did no such thing! You take that back right now!





Thank you! No one ever wants to admit how funny I am.



Thanks for reading,
your favorite tweeter,
Pip

PS- Duh! I'm @PipsBadIdeas.










Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Year's Resolution: 2nd chance

April Fool's Day is quickly approaching and if you know me, then you know that it is a Holy Day of Obligation for me.  But beyond scrapping the idea of poking everyone I'm friends with on Facebook, I realized it can be turned into something very positive.

Some believe that April's Fools day had it's origins as New Year's Day was once celebrated on April 1st. Let's talk about the tradition of New Year's Resolutions. By now, if you made any, you've broken them or abandoned them. So we combine these two ideas and turn April 1st into a Second Chance for our New Year's Resolution.

Stop and think about it. The Gym will be far less crowded. There will be less pressure to diet, yet summer is around the corner so you have motivation. If you want to be better with your money, or spending time with your kids, whatever it is give it another try.

Let's use me as an example: I had a simple resolution to give a shout out to everyone who followed me on twitter. I was using #FF365, and I made it to about Valentine's day. Not bad, but still not what I wanted. In the past I've tried to donate blood 5 times in a year. And I've thought about shooting for 1,000 blog posts (between here, 3SQB, LBI, GeekCubed, and a couple other blog ideas I'm letting my brain work on).

Why don't we give this a try? The rules are simple, just give your New Years Resolution a Second Chance, or start one if you didn't have one. I'll start giving shout outs again, maybe until the end of the year or maybe until I hit 365 people. I gave blood Saturday and I'll count that as 1. If I run a tight schedule, 5 can be very possible by the end of the year (June, August, October, and December).

What resolution are you going to give a second chance too?

Thanks for reading,
your favorite un-quitter,
Pip

PS- A quick googling has yielded that this is not the most original idea. With people suggesting Lent, or Chinese New Year as second chance opportunities.  Well those have passed, so I'm going to move forward with April Fool's Day and, as always, you are welcome to play along.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Random Mission: Dishwasher Pictures

A comedian I love, Kurt Braunohler just had a spectacular failure with his Kickstarter.  Oh he raised the funds, but when he went to execute the project it failed! Horribly. Embarrassingly.

And I realized, I am a stone cold PROFESSIONAL when it comes to horrible, embarrassing, failures!

So as I dive back into blogging, with a cat on my lap, I will embrace the damn title and theme of this blog and go forth releasing my uncontrollable thoughts so they don't clog up my life.

Today I ask a favor. Take a picture of your dishwasher right now and send it to me. Send it here, via email, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr G+, or where ever else you see me online, or text it to me if you are a sarcastic co-worker/friend. If you do not have a dishwasher do not send me a picture of your roommate or a significant other. Take a picture of you dish drying rack.  If you don't have a drying rack, skip this one and play along next time. You can leave the racks in or have them extended out, I do not care. I also do not care if your dishwasher is clean or dirty






Thanks for reading,
your favorite dishwasher photographer,
Pip

PS- I have no clue what I'm doing with these yet.






Monday, March 11, 2013

Storify

I've been playing around a bit with Storify. I believe it to be an invaluable archiving tool for Twitter. I love twitter, but it is very NOW. And it's easy to miss things, easy to forget where you found something. It's very hard to do research via twitter to find something you saw a day or two ago.  Storify can be used as a tool to save the "good" stuff or record where you found that link.

That being said, here's an awesome "Songs to get stuck in people's heads" fight I got into on twitter, curated via Storify!

 

I hope you hit play on every one of those songs. Because man, the pain from one can only be washed away be the pain of the next. :D

Thanks for reading,
Your favorite annoying song guru,
Pip

PS- At one point my wife did threaten my life if I did not use headphones. I started using headphone.

PPS- This fight may not be over yet. And astute readers of my blog, know that I have not yet resorted to big guns like Mahna Mahna, the Song that Never Ends, nor Mambo #5.