Friday, August 31

The Four Questions At The Start Of A Three-Day Weekend

I don't wanna work. I just wanna bang on the Four Questions all day.

Q. What is Dave wearing?
A. Dave is wearing an old-timey nightshirt. Britt is wearing a similar nightshirt. They look like the gay couple from "The Little House on the Prairie."

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave feels optimistic.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave is ecstatic that the three-day weekend has begun. He's also looking forward to seeing some of the stories he has been working on run in the Tribune on Sunday and Monday.

Q. Hey, wait a second -- what gay couple from "The Little House on the Prairie"?
A. Dave confesses he has never actually seen an episode of "The Little House on the Prairie." However, he would like to believe that, at some point in history, a gay or lesbian person could have turned on the television and seen a reasonably fair representation of his or her life. Dave certainly hasn't seen much evidence of that this week. He did see a lot of news pundits telling a lot of viewers that gay men are prowling public places at all times in search of sex with strangers. Dave saw a lot of the same foolishness on the Internet, such as an report titled "Secret Signals: How Gay Men Cruise for Sex." When Dave sees and reads these things, he does not see and hear himself and Britt -- or anyone else he knows.

Me And "Uncle Ruby"

A got a very nice surprise today.

My cell phone rang while I was at work. I picked it up. The caller, a woman, asked if I was Dave Simanoff.

Yes, I said.

She asked if I was busy.

I was, but I said I wasn't.

Then she told me I look a lot like my grandfather.

That's not something I hear a lot. In fact, it's something I have never heard before.

My grandfather, Rubin Simanoff, died ages before I was born. I've seen him in a handful of yellowing photographs, but I don't really have a good idea of what he looked like. I know he had dark hair and wore glasses and was barrel-chested.

The caller was named Sherry. She and her husband moved to Tampa not too long ago, and she recognized me as a relative after catching my business reports on WFLA and seeing my byline in the Tribune. (Let's face it -- there aren't too many Simanoffs in the world. It's not like my name is David Smith, right?)

My grandmother was Sherry's great aunt. Britt says that makes me and Sherry third cousins. Sherry remembers my grandparents fondly. She says she called my grandfather Uncle Ruby, and said my grandmother had a great sense of humor -- "not like Lucille Ball, but she was funny." She also remembers what my dad was like as a little kid.

Sherry originally tried to get in touch with me by sending me an e-mail at work, but I didn't receive it. It's possible it was eaten up by the spam filter, and it's just as likely that I accidentally deleted it. I try to stay on top of hundreds of e-mail messages a day, and I'm sure I've accidentally axed a few that I should have opened.

When I didn't reply to her e-mail message, Sherry got my phone number through some relatives in New York. Then she gave me a call this afternoon and told me I look like my grandfather. Which, when you hear it for the first time, is a wonderful and warm compliment to receive. It's a reminder that the family members who aren't around still play an important roles in our lives.

Thursday, August 30

The Fantastic Four Questions

Please Tucker, don't hurt 'em! Just answer the Four Questions!

Q. What is Dave wearing?
A. Dave is ready for bed and, as such, is wearing his Transformers pyjamas. He is now a robot in disguise.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave felt a little tired today.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave believes he got off to a bad start this morning because his Lucky Charms did not taste magically delicious. They were delicious, but not magically so.

Q. How long, on average, does Dave stare at the screen before arriving at a fourth question that he's not too embarrassed to post each day?
A. Wha--? Dave wasn't paying attention. He was drifting off into space, trying to think of a fourth question that he wouldn't be too embarrassed to post online.

Subtle Changes Are Afoot

The home page is changing ever so slightly. Soon, instead of seeing this after typing in

You will see a somewhat refreshed, lightly tweaked version that looks like this:

The differences are amazing, eh?

There's no real creative impetus for the change. I wanted to move the Web page from one server to another, and that meant I had the opportunity to recreate the page from scratch. I laid out the elements a little differently this time, and liked how it looked. I believe Jackson Pollack had a similar creative process.

Today's Memo: Citi AAdvantage

To: The people in charge of marketing at Citi AAdvantage cards
From: Dave
Date: Aug. 30
Subject: Important account information

You fuckers! When you put "Important account information," "notification of change" and "action requested" on the outside of the fucking envelope, I expect important account information, notification about changes and something that may need my timely fucking attention inside the envelope. I do not expect there to be a fucking solicitation to upgrade my Citi AAdvantage Visa gold card to a Citi AAdvantage Visa plantinumfucker card. That is not important account information. That is a fucking advertisement.

Oh, I know you can put whatever the fuck you want on the outside of your envelopes. In fact, you marketing fuckers probably think you've done a great fucking job, because you got me to open an envelope that ordinarily I would have thrown away. Well, guess what, fuckwads? You've made me feel like a fucking idiot. How much fucking goodwill do you think that's going to cost you in the long run?

Fuck fuckity fuck-fuck-fuck.

You AAssholes.

Disclaimer: This post should not be construed as the author's viewpoints of Citibank or American Airlines. It is only an expression of anger, directed solely at those fucking fuckers who designed the fucking envelope. As a journalist, the author does not have any opinions about anything at all.

Sarah Varga's Parallel Parking Prowess Prompts Poetry

A haiku, of course:

A full-size pickup?
Your parallel parking skills
Are better than mine.

In Praise Of Penelope

Oh, there are so many rewarding things about being a reporter: the fast cars, the fat wads of cash, the many houses at which I throw lavish parties to impress my legions of adoring friends!

For me, though, the most rewarding thing about being a reporter is that it's one of the few jobs that regularly introduces you to brilliant people in a variety of different fields from around the country.

If you're lucky, you build a strong working relationship with smart, trusted sources whom you really like and admire -- such as Penelope Trunk.

Trunk's a career advice columnist and blogger. She's the author of "Brazen Careerist." I discovered her writing on the Internet and liked it right away because she seemed to understand what life is like when you're trapped in a cubicle. She didn't tell people to put their blind faith in the HR department. She wrote about finding a way to integrate your personal passions into your career goals.

I first interviewed Penelope for what I had planned to be a conventional Q&A. When I got back to the office, I scrapped the plans for conventional daily story and used the material for a full-page Monday business centerpiece focusing on Trunk's advice for members of the Millennial generation now entering the work force -- and dispelling the bad advice those people may be getting from their well intentioned (but ill advised) Baby Boomer parents. The Q&A ran as a sidebar.

The most important thing I learned from that first interview with Penelope is that the different generations in the work force today -- the young Millennials, the aging Baby Boomers, and the Generation Xers like me sandwiched in the middle -- all have different expectations about careers, life, family and success. Those dynamics are transforming the work force drastically. Now, thanks to Penelope's wisdom, I feel that all of the stories I've been writing about the changing working environment are part of a larger, more important narrative.

I've quoted Penelope in two or three more stories since that original article, and we've volleyed a fair number of e-mail messages back and forth. Our e-mail exchanges never fail to make me laugh. In our last exchange, I congratulated her on her recent success in placing stories in "Time" and "Wired." I joked that pretty soon I'd see her byline in "Guns & Ammo."

Then I came up with some possible stories she could pitch:

-- Where do you wear your concealed weapon when your employer adopts a casual dress policy?
-- Handguns or rifles: what today's most effective managers are using
-- Promoting productivity with pistols
-- If you accidentally shoot someone, is it too late to exchange business cards with them?

I'm quoting Penelope in a story that's scheduled to run Monday. The interview is complete, and the article is already written.

(Oh, the story running Monday has nothing to do with firearms or ammunition. It's about non-gun-related career changes.)

Wednesday, August 29

These Infant Clothes Can Stay In Las Vegas

As doting uncles, Britt and I scoured Las Vegas earlier this month for an appropriately tacky souvenir onesie for our nephew Ryland.

I was hoping to find an outfit that said "craps master" because, you know, that would ooze class.

Sadly, the tacky newborn clothes we found in Vegas were just a smidgen too crass for our tastes. Here's a sampling:

Here's some of the verbiage that belongs nowhere near my nephew:
-- "All daddy wanted was a backrub!"
-- "I look like the mailman"
-- "Mommy drinks because I cry"

Thwarted in our efforts to find fun, tacky, ironic gifts for our nephew, Britt and I decided instead we would buy toys and clothes from our favorite casinos and boutiques along the strip. Now we have bags of stuffed animals, bibs and onesies from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Paris, the Bellagio and M&M's World. After our next visit, Ryland will look like Las Vegas' littlest high roller.

The (Cough) Four Questions

They tried to make me go to rehab but I said, "four questions!"

Q. What is Dave wearing?
A. Dave is not wearing a sash that reads "Miss South Carolina." It doesn't fit because he is too smart.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave is feeling a bit healthier. The cough is nearly gone.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave watched half of "The Bourne Identity" and half of "Young Frankenstein" last night. He realized, before dozing off to sleep, that those two particular movies don't mesh well together.

Q. Does Dave believe the children are the future?
A. Dave believes the children are the future. He has doubts about Miss South Carolina, though.

Today's Memo: Budget Travel

To: The editors of Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel
From: Dave
Subject: The big cover story
Date: Aug. 29

I just received your September 2007 issue in the mail. The cover story says "Special Report: The Best Places You've Never Heard Of -- Italy, Mexico, Croatia, Thailand, South Korea, Brazil, Ecuador, China, Montenegro, Peru, Poland, Nepal and more."

I have heard of all of these places.

I Hate The Beautiful People

As far as I'm concerned, there's a big difference between the beautiful people and the Beautiful People.

The beautiful people are attractive. There's nothing wrong with that.

The Beautiful People (note the capital letters) get everything they want because they're attractive. I despise them.

One of the Beautiful People was on the Today Show this morning. It seems this Beautiful Person was a contestant on the Miss Teen USA beauty pageant or some other dreckish program this past weekend. During the pageant, she was asked why so many Americans couldn't find the United States on a world map.

Her answer started with: "I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps," and then meanders into some random references about South Africa, "the Iraq" and Asian countries.

Oh, it was a huge, glorious train wreck. Check it out here. If that link doesn't work, just head to and search for "Miss Teen USA 2007."

So, what happened when the Beautiful Person got on the Today Show? Does she apologize for being a vacuous cow? Of course not! She said the bright lights were to blame for her incoherent rant -- oh, and also, she didn't hear the question correctly.

Then came the moment on the Today Show that made me hate the Beautiful People most of all -- and it wasn't anything that the beauty pageant contestant did. Ann Curry and Matt Lauer consoled the Beautiful Person! They agreed that lighting and questions can be disorientating. They confessed that they, too, screw up all the time.

Once again, everything seems to work out in favor of the Beautiful People.

Tuesday, August 28

It's Four Questions Time!

Live from the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, it's the Four Questions:

Q. What is Dave wearing?
A. From the waist up, Dave is wearing the clothes he wore to work: a blue polo shirt over a white undershirt. From the waist down, Dave is wearing a ratty old pair of shorts that he only wears around the house.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave is feeling a little disaffected today.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave had to deal with a series of minor frustrations at work and at home, and he also feels like he isn't making good headway with several stories he's working on. His biggest frustration is the damn cough -- it's been bothering him for over a week now and, while it's getting better, it's not going away nearly as quickly as it should!

Q. Is Dave listening to any particular songs right now to cheer him up?
A. Yes, Dave is listening to "The Underdog" by Spoon. It's Spoon-riffic.

Here Come The Italics

It has been one of those days.

It's been the kind of day in which I've felt stupid, useless and unattractive. It's been the kind of day in which I could never seem to stop coughing, and I wondered if I'd ever feel healthy again. It's been the kind of day where I walked all the way to my car at the end of the work day, only to discover I had left my keys back on my desk in the office.

It has been the sort of day in which I want to just complain about every little thing that has gone wrong, but I bite my tongue, lest the Universe hears my bitching and decides to really give me a reason to complain.

In short, it's been one of those days when you need to put the word "those" in italics to get your point across. It hasn't just been one of those days. It's been one of those days.

Friday, August 24


I'm still sick, but at least there's some good news to report. This afternoon, for the first time, I can truly say that I feel better. Oh, I'm still coughing -- but I'm not coughing nearly as fiercely as I was yesterday, or even this morning.

Also, I was able to work from home today. I was quite productive, actually. I worked on several stories, conducted an interview, contributed material for a colleague's article, and scheduled some appointments for next week.

In comparison, here's what I did between Saturday and Wednesday besides cough, sleep and cough some more:

As you can clearly see from this pie chart, I like pie charts.

Thursday, August 23

Analyze This

I've done a little analysis of the aggressive virus that's kept me mostly in bed since Friday night. Here's a day-by-day breakdown of how severe the different symptoms have affected me:

I think, from this chart, two things seem clear: (a) I have probably been through the worst of this virus, but recovery probably won't be quick; and, (b) I can make totally awesome charts that, upon second glance, don't actually contain any quantifiable information. Check out the 3-D effects and background shading!

Sick, Sick, Sick!

Went to work today. My boss sent me home.

Wednesday, August 22

Get Well Soon, Uncle Dave

The worst part about being sick (besides the coughing, and the phlegm, and the cabin fever) is that Britt and I must now postpone our plans to visit our newborn nephew Ryland this weekend. Even if I'm feeling great by Friday, I don't want to risk passing along any nasty germs.

Here's the most recent photo I have received of Ryland:

If Ryland could talk, I'm sure he'd be wishing me to get well soon.

Tuesday, August 21

Move Aside, WebMD

I went to speak to my real MD. He said I have a viral infection, and prescribed medication and rest. In addition to the prescription stuff, he's having me take Mucinex DM, an over-the-counter medication that has me coughing up every bit of mucus that I have ever secreted in my life.

Seriously, it's disgusting. It's like Charles Dickens' phlegmy masterpiece, "Great Expectorations."

If it weren't for all the Simpsons DVDs and my Nintendo DS, I would have gone stir crazy three days ago. Still, playing Nintendo can be a mixed blessing -- one of my games, Brain Age, says I have the mental capabilities of an octogenarian.

Monday, August 20

The Sickness Continues

The fever has subsided, and I no longer feel nauseated. However, I'm still congested and I'm coughing a lot.

I didn't go into work today, but I'm fixing to go in tomorrow.

This will be the only new Daily Dave posting today, as I didn't do much worth writing about, except cough a lot and watch "The Simpsons on DVD.

This made me laugh (and cough) a heck of a lot:

In high school, I was voted most likely to be a mental patient, hillbilly or chimpanzee

In case the screen capture isn't displaying properly, it's a picture of Homer exclaiming excitingly to an avant-garde art dealer (voiced by Isabella Rossellini), "In high school, I was voted most likely to be a mental patient, hillbilly or chimpanzee." It comes from the same episode in which Jasper Johns is seen stealing light bulbs.

Sunday, August 19

Still Sick

No posts today. I still feel sick. says, among other possibilities, I may have sunburn, whooping cough or coxsackie virus infection.

Saturday, August 18


No four questions, folks. I'm in bed, sick.

Friday, August 17

Take Four Questions And Call Me In The Morning

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Right now, Dave is wearing shorts and a t-shirt. He is also already in bed, which means his weekend if off to a pretty crummy start.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave has felt crummy all day. At 4 p.m., he started feeling nauseated. Around 5 p.m., he began feeling feverish. Thus, the lying around in bed.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. According to, it is possible that Dave is suffering from a drug overdose, the mumps or Dengue Fever. Dave is investigating.

Q. What is Dengue Fever?
A. Dave hopes it is an all-mosquito remake of the 1977 film "Saturday Night Fever."

Thursday, August 16

50,000,000 Four Question Fans Can't Be Wrong

Everybody in the whole cell block was dancin' to the Four Questions rock.

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. In honor of the thirtieth anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, Dave is wearing a white jumpsuit covered in sequins and rhinestones. Everyone who has looked upon Dave today has been blinded.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave feels like a hunka hunka burnin' love.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave attributes his mood to a steady diet of peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Q. Does Dave have a favorite Elvis song?
A. Dave has always been partial to several Elvis songs -- "Viva Las Vegas," "Burnin' Love," "Suspicious Minds" and "A Little Less Conversation" -- but he'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite.

Wednesday, August 15

One Year Ago

This is cross-posted at the Mike Simanoff Memorial Blog:

One year ago today we learned that Michael had died.

My parents had a hunch something was wrong. I was the one that got the confirmation. I had to call my mom and dad with the news. It was heartbreaking.

I hated Michael so much for making my mother cry.

I didn't start crying until after I had called my parents. I called Britt, who was in Boston that night, and started bawling before he even answered the phone. He couldn't understand me, but knew exactly what had happened.

While I was speaking to Britt, my father was calling Lee and Michon.

All of the calls after that were about logistics. Britt handled the flights and hotel rooms. I don't remember sleeping that night. I do remember the flight to Chicago the next morning. I wanted to punch everybody who said have a nice day.

I knew I would not be having a nice day.

While today has not been a particularly nice day, it hasn't been that difficult for me, either. I can't explain why. Perhaps the date on the calendar isn't a tangible reminder of losing my brother. Maybe I'll feel differently when Britt and I are in synagogue Friday night, and I hear the rabbi read Michael's name on the Yahrzeit list.

Perhaps one year is just too soon to understand a loss so big.

Another Daily Installment Of The Four Questions

Today's Four Questions is a somewhat somber affair.

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave wore khaki pants and a blue polo shirt to work. Now he's wearing different clothes, as he's preparing for bed.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave mainly felt numb today. He expected he would feel contemplative or sad, but, now that the day is mostly over, he is surprised to look back and not find any of those emotions. He says he just felt, well, emotionless.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. One year ago today, Dave learned that his brother Michael had died.

Q. Is that the only factor affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave arrived at work today, after several days out of the office, to be informed that he is responsible for writing obituaries for the rest of this week. Dave refuses to share his thoughts on this matter, especially in a public forum.

Tuesday, August 14

The Four Questions, In Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport

All my exes live in Texas. That's why I hang my hat on these Four Questions.

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is wearing green shorts and a pastel blue t-shirt. The rest of his clothes are stuffed into a plastic bag and crammed into a suitcase, which is sitting right next to him in the Admiral's Club in Concourse D in Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. In about an hour, Dave and Britt will be heading back home to Tampa.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave is sooooooo tired. He is so tired, in fact, that he fell asleep back there while pressing the 'O' button.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Three days in Las Vegas have taken a severe toll on Dave.

Q. What were Dave's favorite names in Las Vegas?
A. Dave saw a showgirl outside the Flamingo, appropriately named Fortune, and a server in the La Provençal restaurant in Paris named Armed. He suspects that Armed's name is pronounced AR-mehd. He doubts that Armed has a brother named Dangerous.

Monday, August 13

Le Four Questions

'Til April in Paris, whom can I run to? What have you done to my four questions?

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is wearing khaki shorts, an orange t-shirt and sneakers.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave is exhausted.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave suspects a lack of sleep and the 110-degree heat have something to do with his strong desire to take a nap right now.

Q. What is Dave's least favorite five-word phrase in Las Vegas?
A. Dave's least favorite phrase in Las Vegas right now is "but it's a dry heat."

Sunday, August 12

The Fab Four Questions

Live from the Paris Las Vegas, it's The Four Questions!

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is wearing a pair of blue shorts, a burgundy polo shirt and a pair of sneakers. Pretty much everything he's wearing needs to be ironed, and was purchased at Target. Dave is also writing this in his new room at the Paris Las Vegas hotel, which is just a short walk away from the Jockey Club hotel, which is the only hotel in Las Vegas that appears to be named after Dave's underwear.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave is having a very good time, but could have benefited from an extra hour of sleep last night. He and Britt saw "Love" at the Mirage last night. The show started at 10 p.m. local time, which is 1 a.m. Eastern time.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave is starting to realize that Las Vegas is a good place to visit when you occasionally deal with low self-esteem issues. In Las Vegas, you don't have to look very far or very hard to find someone who is much stupider or uglier than you are.

Q. What did Dave think of "Love"?
A. Dave plans to write a future blog post about it. He has been thinking a lot about the show, especially because Michael loved the Beatles. His first impression is that it was frustrating, unfocused and messy, but entertaining. He says the simplest parts were the most brilliant parts.

Saturday, August 11

Overheard In Las Vegas

"Don't you puke on my bus."

This is what a bus driver, speaking through loudspeaker, said to the young woman on the sidewalk who had just started to keel over and vomit. The bus, like every other vehicle on Las Vegas Boulevard, was stalled in traffic. This happened just after midnight, when Britt and I had arrived in Las Vegas.

After the girl threw up, one of her friends said (much too excitedly), "I can see your chicken tacos!"

Viva Las Four Questions

What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. Unless, of course, it ends up in the Four Questions.

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. As of 11 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, Dave is wearing the same exact clothes he was wearing yesterday. This means one of two things: either, Dave and Britt arrived in Las Vegas, dropped off their bags quickly at the hotel, and have been carousing around town since that time; or, Dave and Britt arrived in Las Vegas, reached their hotel room, collapsed in bed, woke up hungry but were too lazy to shower and shave, so they just threw on yesterday's clothes and headed downstairs for breakfast.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave feels like he needs to take an extra-long shower.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave anticipates that heat will affect his mood today. The temperature in Las Vegas is expected to be approximately one billion degrees. Of course, as many people have pointed out, there isn't much humidity so it should be OK.

Q. Hey, why didn't Dave specify whether he's still in yesterday's clothes because he's returning from a wild night on the town or because he's returning from breakfast?
A. Dave is mysterious. He is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, smeared with McDonald's Secret Sauce and locked away in the vault where Coca-Cola keeps its top-secret formula. (Dave ordered the pancakes, and Britt had the huevos rancheros.)

Friday, August 10

In The Immortal Words Of Jean Paul Sartre, "Au Revoir, Gopher!"

I walked past this ad a few minutes ago in Concourse C in Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport:

Paging Bill Murray!

I don't know what this company does. I don't know what products or services it sells. I do suspect, however, that its advertising agency is ripping off ideas from "Caddyshack."

I don't think it's good for business your company's ads make passers-by think of Kenny Loggins songs, Ted Baxter and Baby Ruth bars.

Today's Memo: Tonight's Security Screening Staff

To: The security screeners working this evening
From: Dave
Subject: The attitude
Date: Aug. 10

I'm sorry to see that so many of you are in grumpy moods this evening. I know you have frustrating jobs, and I know the endless parade of clueless assclowns (thanks for the new word, Pauly McG!) can't make things easier. Perhaps your problem is simply -- and here I am simply paraphrasing Eric Cartman -- the metaphorical sand in your collective vagina.

More Happy Mac Goodness

Apple has updated its iPhoto software, and I'm experimenting with the new online Gallery features. Check out some of the results here.

Danger, Will Robinson! It's Another Installment Of The Four Questions

Who needs Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics when we have Dave Simanoff's Four Questions!?

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. You probably don't want to know what Dave is wearing as he types this. However, he plans to wear a blue dress shirt, a pair of jeans, sneakers, a tie and a sportsjacket to work. It's safe to assume the the tie will have a geometric pattern as 99.99 percent of Dave's ties have geometric patterns.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave feels a little better than he did yesterday, actually. But he's also very tired, because he fell asleep late and woke up early.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. After work, Dave will hop on a plane with Britt and head to the peaceful, idyllic town of Las Vegas, Nev., for some rest and relaxation. Dave has only been to Las Vegas once before. He does not like to gamble, but he loves Las Vegas because of the way everything -- architecture, employee uniforms, restaurant menus -- are distorted into over-the-top spectacles.

Q. Has Dave recently received any spam e-mail messages from people with hilarious names?

A. Dave recently received an e-mail message from someone who claims to be Dr. Donald Robot.

Thursday, August 9

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid Company Name

I've gotten in trouble before for poking fun at local companies' names -- hey, where did the Daily Dave 1.0 go? -- so, tempting as it might seem, I'm not going to give away the absolutely ludicrous company name I saw on a truck as I was heading back to the office this afternoon.

But I will try to explain why the whole thing had me laughing my ass off.

I had never heard of this company before but, based on the name and other verbiage on the truck, it's pretty safe to assume that it installs telephones and telecom equipment. The company's selling points, therefore, would have to be communication, simplicity and connectivity.

The name is fairly simple -- it's two industry buzzwords, fused together. It seems quite clever, until you realize that the name sounds very familiar. Then you notice that with one minor modification -- replacing an "M" with an "N" -- you end up with a completely different word, one that's defined as "a lack of understanding" and "uncertainty" in my MacBook's dictionary.

I'm not a marketing expert, but I'm pretty sure it's not a good idea to give your company or product a name -- no matter how witty it is -- that lead people to think about words with similar sounds but different connotations.

I'm not giving away any more details because, of course, I must keep the overlords happy. If you can figure it out, good for you. If you can't, then keep an eye out for small telecom businesses with their own installation trucks.

Ranting about bad naming decisions in the business world has been such hard work! I will now reward myself with a delicious MooLatté from Dairy Queen.

Ohmigawd! It's The Return Of The Four Questions!

With a rebel yell, she cried, "four, four, four!"

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is currently wearing his pyjamas. These aren't your fancy store-bought pyjamas, with sewn-on feet and cartoon caracters! No, these pyjamas are really just a ratty old t-shirt and a pair of shorts that Dave wouldn't wear outside the house.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave has generally been in a crummy mood for the last few days.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave feels like a hamster on a wheel at work. He is worn out by the oppressive heat and humidity. Michael's first yahrzeit is just a few days away. If you were to combine these three funks in a blender with ice, you'd produce the world's first melancholy margarita. How festive!

Q. What Simpsons quote just sprung to mind as Dave was writing the answer to that last question?
A. In "Homer Bad Man," Homer is stirring a bowl in the kitchen. He is clearly despondent. He says to Marge, "Aw, Marge, this is so depressing, my only hope is this homemade Prozac." He tastes what's in the bowl. "Mmm, needs more ice cream."

Monday, August 6

Today's Haiku: Summer

My least favorite part
Of the dog days of summer:
The disappointment.