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,

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,

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,

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


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,

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,

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,

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,

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