Friday, January 25

AT&T Is Copying Our Ideas

You may have noticed a recent AT&T commercial in which a dad, traveling on busines, takes pictures of his daughter's stuffed animal in various locations around the country and shares those images with his family back home.

That's hardly original. Complementary Spouse Britt Shirley and I have been taking pictures of our stuffed elephant Daal in front of different landmarks around the world for years, starting with a single snapshot at the Getty Center in Los Angeles on January 10, 2004.

Some examples:

Stonehenge

Checkpoint Charlie

Sydney

Charles Bridge

You'll find the Wandering Elephant Project, now encompassing 89 pictures on three continents, here. Each picture is pinpointed on a world map.

I was inspired to start taking pictures of Daal by the film Amélie. In the film, the main character kidnaps her father's garden gnome (perhaps gnomenaps would be a more appropriate word?) and arranges to have it photographed in front of landmarks in New York and Moscow.

Four Questions For Friday

Ladies and gentlemen, the Four Questions:

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is wearing many articles of clothing, including a long-sleeve rugby shirt (because it is cold this morning) and his Spy Valley Wines baseball cap from New Zealand (because it is his favorite baseball cap). Here is a photo:

2008-01-25 PhotoBooth picture

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave is filled with nervous energy.

Q. What is Dave drinking at Starbucks this morning?
A. Dave is drinking an iced coffee. Even though it's cold outside, Dave still has an aversion to hot drinks in the morning.

Q. Does Dave have any big weekend plans?
A. All of Tampa is gearing up for the big Gasparilla festival this weekend, so Dave and Complementary Spouse Britt Shirley will speed out of town to spend some time in Jacksonville with the world's cutest baby, Ryland Simanoff.

Telling A Book By Its Cover, Part III

Here's another novel that ended up on the Tampa Tribune freebie table, aka the place where unwanted books go to die:

Azrael: Angel of Death

I believe this is an entire book about Gargamel's cat, written from the point of view of one of the Smurfs. I'll bet every chapter follows the same plot line: the stupid Smurfs fall into a trap laid by Gargamel, but seconds before the Smurfs become cat chow Papa Smurf devises an ingenious plan to save the members of his tribe. Yawn.

Objet D'Art D'Crap

Yesterday, I rearranged the severed doll head and a workout t-shirt on Mary Shedden's desk into a bold statement on society's fetishization of unhealthy female body types:

Objet d'Art d'Crap

I am a visionary artist. I expect calls from both MoMA and the Tate Modern any moment now.

Two endnotes:

1. I find it mildly disconcerting that Mary proudly displays a severed doll head in her work area.
2. I am not the first postmodern artist to display his works in the News Center. See here.

Thursday, January 24

Pirate

Gasparilla, Tampa's annual pirate invasion, is nearly here. The flags in front of Bank of America Plaza have all been replaced by Jolly Rogers:

Jolly Rogers in Tampa

Did You Come Here For The Four Questions, Sir? Do Forgive Me If My Head's A Little Vague.

Mrs. Lovett: Seems an awful waste...
I mean, with the price of meat
What it is,
When you get it,
If you get it...

Mr. Todd: Hah!

Mrs. Lovett: Good, you got it!

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is wearing a dress shirt and tie, as he's scheduled to record a Business Report segment this afternoon. He's also wearing jeans, because he's conducting an interview this morning at the University of South Florida doesn't want to feel like a complete miscast on campus. The tie is one of Dave's favorites: a rich black tie with a gray and white geometric pattern.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave hasn't ingested enough caffeine yet to answer this question fully.


Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. See the previous response.

Q. What did Dave and Complementary Spouse Britt Shirley think of "Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street?"

A. Dave has composed this haiku:

Remarkable film --
But I shall never again
Eat a mince meat pie.

Wednesday, January 23

A Giant Defeat

I'd like to offer my playoff condolences to America's Favorite Packers Fan Jerry Stockfisch (one of my favorite humans). I was proud to sit next to your portable Packers shrine at work in the days leading up to the game.

Crazy cheesehead ape

I think I'm going to miss this crazy cheesehead muumuu-wearing flag-waving ape guy most of all.

It's Fashionable And Functional

I spotted this hard hat on Monday as I was winding my way through some traffic:

It's the industrial-strength sombrero!

At first glance, it looks like a cross between an ordinary construction site helmet and a sun bonnet. In reality, it can only be one thing -- the world's first industrial-grade sombrero!

I must alert Jeff Houck, curator of the Sombrero Project, the most comprehensive online collection of people wearing sombreros in the whole entire world.

(By "in the whole entire world," I mean "that I know of.")

What's Up, Pussycat?

I am fascinated by Hello Kitty.

You'll noticed that I have not confessed to being a Hello Kitty fan. I have just written that I am fascinated by Hello Kitty, and nothing more. I do not collect Hello Kitty merchandise. I haven't worn out the magnetic strips on my credit cards at the Sanrio store at the mall. I don't know the histories of all the creaters populating the Hello Kitty universe, except for this one bit of trivia: even though Hello Kitty was concocted in Japan, her character was born in London.

0115081825.jpg
Get nailed by Hello Kitty! (Recently spotted in Target.)

Here's what I wrote about Hello Kitty on the original Daily Dave on Jan. 14, 2003, explaining why I'm intrigued about the entire Hello Kitty phenomenon:

So, what's the fascination with Hello Kitty? It's hard to explain. I'm certainly not a Hello Kitty fan, I don't know the characters names, and I don't collect Hello Kitty ephemera. My interest is more sociological -- I'm really amazed at the whole freaky Hello Kitty phenomenon and how it has silently become an American institution as well as a Japanese one.

I don't remember when I started paying attention to Hello Kitty. It may have begun in college, when America's Favorite Japanese History Expert Mark Ravina explained that Hello Kitty can serve as a warning sign for Americans in Japan, sort of like the canary in a mine shaft. His theory: If you're in Japan, and Hello Kitty starts to make sense to you, then it's time to return to the United States.


What intrigues me most about Hello Kitty is how she ends up on such a ridiculously broad range of products. Just when you think you've seen the silliest Hello Kitty licensed product -- like the toaster that chars Hello Kitty's face onto each side of your bread -- something even more ludicrous comes along. To wit: the Hello Kitty automated toilet paper dispenser.

If the idea of a Hello Kitty laptop computer seemed too ordinary, then how about one encrusted in Swarovski crystals?

Hello Kitty truly knows no boundaries. She's popping up on contact lenses and AR-15 assault rifles. (Imagine the bumper sticker: "You can have my Hello Kitty when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.")

(Sidenote: Comedian and activist Margaret Cho raises another concern about Hello Kitty. She wonders what it means when millions of Asian girls idolize a character that has no mouth. Cho points out that with no mouth, Hello Kitty can't speak up for herself, can't talk back, and can't eat -- hardly a role model for strong women.)

These Are The Four Questions Our Parents Warned Us About

I was supposed to have been a Jesuit priest or a Naval Academy grad.
That was the way that my parents perceived me:
Those were the plans that they had.
Though I couldn't fit the part -- too dumb or too smart --
Ain't it funny how we all turned out?
I guess these are the Four Questions our parents warned us about.

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is wearing a light blue dress shirt, a slate gray tie with a diagonal pattern, and a pair of khaki pants. His sports jacket is in his car.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave offers the following chart:

2008-01-23 Four Questions pie chart

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave feels the chart answers this question too.

Q. What's the deal with the chart?
A. Dave likes charts.

Monday, January 21

You've Got To Fight For Your Right For The Four Questions

Your mom busted in and said "WHAT'S THAT NOISE!?!?"
Aw mom, you're just jealous -- it's the Beastie Boys and The Four Questions!

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is wearing the teevee uniform: dress shirt, sports jacket, tie, khakis.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave feels somewhat groggy.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave needs more caffeine.

Q. What is the significance of Dave quoting "Fight For Your Right" in today's Four Questions?
A. At the Dresden Dolls concert earlier this month, Amanda announced that she and Brian and a guest guitarist (from one of the opening acts, Two Ton Boa) were about to play a song that they had transcribed from its original traditional Yiddish arrangement. Then then launched directly into the cacophony of "Fight For Your Right." Awesome. The song has been in my head ever since.

Friday, January 18

Pack It In

Over the past three days, rabid Green Bay Packers fan Jerry Stockfisch (last seen on the Daily Dave here) has transformed the empty desk next to mine at work into a Packers shrine.

Some pictures:

Jerry and the Packers shrine
Say cheese, Jerry.

Jerry's Packers shrine
Is the flag allowed to touch the ground like that? Or now do we have to retire it, like an American flag? Also, note the helmet -- Jerry used to wear it when he was a kid!

Jerry's Packers shrine (close-up)
Brett Favvvvvvvvvvre.

Now that the Bucs are out of the race, I don't mind all the Green Bay stuff near me. I'd be excited for Jerry if the Packers won this weekend's game and moved on to the Super Bowl, especially because Jerry promises he'll bring in those publicly-I-detest-them-but-secretly-I-want-to-wear-them foam cheese head hats.

The Simpsons Giveth, And The Simpsons Taketh Away

The most recent episode of the Simpsons -- the one in which the citizens of Springfield eschewed all of the mainstream candidates for president and selected Ralph Wiggum during their primary election -- featured a couch gag so magnificent, so stunning and so esoteric that it nearly made me weep.

The couch gag pictured the Simpsons and the Flanders as figures on the Bayeux Tapestry, centuries-old, 230-foot long embroidery that recounts the story of the Norman Invasion of Britain in 1066.

I learned about the Bayeux Tapestry as a kid in history class in the UK, and saw its modern counterpart -- the Overland Tapestry -- in the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth. The original, or what's left of it, is under glass in a museum in France.

Here's the Simpsons' version:


Watching this confirms two things: I am a die-hard Simpsons fan, and I am a geek for history.

Alas, the Simpsons' writers had to malign my profession later in the episode. Thanks, Nelson.


I know the clips look the same -- the picture shows a Simpsonized version of Jon Stewart. Once you hit play, different videos will start playing. Enjoy.

"He That Thinks He Can Afford To Be Negligent Is Not Far From Being Poor"

Sorry for neglecting the blog for a few days. I've been somewhat distracted.

The quote that heads up this post is from British writer Samuel Johnson. He was a rather brilliant guy. Here are two more Johnson gems, pertaining to to the craft of writing:

  • "What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure."
  • "Round numbers are always false."

Thank you for all your words of wisdom, Mr. Johnson. I'll visit you again the next time Complementary Spouse Britt Shirley and I go to Westminster Abbey.

Also, I'll try to be more diligent about writing blog posts every day. After all, I have called this blog the Daily Dave. I should write at least one thing every day, right?

Tuesday, January 15

Invasion

Gasparilla is right around the corner. It wasn't too long ago that Mrs. Cherizon Featheringill and I were part of the parade, waving wildly and throwing beads from the Tribune float.

Here's the video I made:

Friday, January 11

A Very Special Four Questions With America's Sweetheart Michael Fechter

Today's Four Questions are being answered by one of my all-time favorite humans, former Tribune reporter Michael Fechter.

Q. What is Michael wearing today?
A. Michael is wearing a blue striped polo shirt, and a pair of shorts. He is working from home.

Q. How does Michael feel today?
A. Michael reports that he feels happy and relaxed.

Q. What are the factors affecting Michael's mood today?
A. Michael says "no one has asked me for a graphic or a charticle in more than 7 months."

Q. What is Michael's advice to the youth of America?
A. Michael says "say your prayers, eat your vitamins and keep your hair spotless and clean. Wash it once every two weeks."

Thursday, January 10

"We Knocked The Bastard Off"

Adventurer and New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary, one of my heroes, has just died. He was 88 years old.

After he and sherpa Tenzing Norgay scaled Mount Everest, he declared, "We knocked the bastard off."

An ode, in haiku:

An explorer dies;
Spirit of exploration
survives forever.

Kentucky -Fried Mixed Marketing Messages

I have noticed that Kentucky Fried Chicken is now, in fact, calling itself Kentucky Fried Chicken in advertising after only using its initials KFC for many years.

The company is also using the song "Sweet Home Alabama" in all its TV spots.

Kentucky and Alabama are two completely different states:

United States Map updated screengrab

The Four Questions Beget Four More Questions

Today, Dave has decided to answer every question with another question.

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Why does it matter to you?

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Why are you concerned with how Dave feels today?

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Have you done anything to affect Dave's mood, in either a positive or negative fashion?

Q. Why is Dave answering every question with another question?
A. Why not?

Wednesday, January 9

Mmmm, Frosting And Skittles

I saw this at the grocery store:

Are hormones making you fat?

To answer the question: Unless hormones are an ingredient in frosting, I don't think they're directly responsible.

In a not entirely unrelated picture, I noticed this newcomer in the vending machine at work:

Chocolate Skittles?

Now, I like Skittles. I like chocolate. But mixing Skittles with chocolate candies? That's just wrong, people -- wrong!

Still, stranger Skittles combinations have been imagined. To wit:

Homer (to Apu, in the Kwik-E-Mart):
Got any of that beer that has candy floating in it? You know, Skittlebrau?
Apu: Such a beer does not exist, sir. I think you must have dreamed it.
Homer: Oh, well. Then just give me a six-pack and a couple of bags of Skittles.

I Fear The Italian Stallion

Last year, Sylvester Stallone released a new chapter to "Rocky" films.

Soon, he'll unleash a new "Rambo" film on movie theater audiences.

I fear it's only a matter of time until "Stop or My Mom Will Shoot II."

That is all.

Four Questions And Cheerful Facts About The Square Of The Hypotenuse

I am the very model of a modern major general.
I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral.
I know the kings (and queens) of England, and I quote the fights historical,
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical.

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is doing some teevee work today, so he's wearing a sports jacket and tie. He is also wearing many other articles of clothing, so there is no need to alert the police.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave feels plucky and adventure-ey.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave has been listening to Gilbert & Sullivan.

Q. Why is Dave not gloating about LSU's decisive victory over Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game?
A. Dave has promised not to point out this loss, another in a long string of Ohio State losses to SEC powerhouses, to reformed sourpuss Doug Stanley. So Dave cannot cannot perform his new song, which is sung to the tune of Minnie Riperton's "Loving You":

Loving LSU
Is easy 'cause LSU is beautiful
Do do do do doahh ... aahhhhhhhh!


Also, Dave doesn't wish to gloat too much as he doesn't like LSU all too much. He prefers to think of Monday's win as a victory for the SEC.

Go Securities & Exchange Commission!

Tuesday, January 8

Attention, CBS

Here's a proposal for a new show I'd like to see:

David Caruso would play a suave economist, exploring both the glamorous and gritty extremes of Miami, observing and recording what people spend on food, clothing, fuel and rent.

The show will be called CPI: Miami.

I will be the executive producer and creative director, and will be paid a fortune.

Today's Memo: Salad Dressing Alert

To: Everyone who wears silk ties and eats salads
From: Dave
Subject: Stains
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 8

If you drip no-name low-calorie salad dressing on a silk tie, do not try to remove it with a one-year-old Tide-To-Go instant stain remover pen, as I did yesterday. Remants of the stain will still be visible, and your tie will smell like a tuna fish milkshake that has been left to rot in the sun all afternoon. It is not pleasant. Please let me misfortune spare you a similar experience.

Seventeen Syllables And Four Questions

In honor of Haiku Day, all of today's Four Question responses will be haiku.

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave put on this morning: / A navy blue polo shirt, / khaki pants, shoes, belt.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. A ho-hum Tuesday? / One of opportunity? / It's too soon to tell.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Not a Tigers fan -- / but SEC victories / always make Dave glad.

Q. Does Haiku Day always fall on January 8?
A. It's no holiday. / Every day is Haiku Day / (In Dave's head, that is.)

Monday, January 7

Where Shopping, And Taking Pictures With My Cameraphone, Is A Pleasure

Complementary Spouse Britt Shirley and I noticed a higher than usual number of people sporting tattoo sleeves -- inked from wrist to shoulder, that is -- last night at Publix, our neighborhood super market. Nearly all of these people had small children and drove family vehicles, like SUVs and minivans.

I'm not sure what to make of this observation.

There were plenty of other things to see at Publix last night. I took pictures:

0106081734.jpg
Either shopping carts have become much bigger and more motorized since my last visit to the grocery store, or this Mitsubishi Mirage owner is an idiot.

0106081736.jpg
Just what I needed -- caffeinated candy bars. This is for everyone who wants the physique of Jabba the Hutt and the energy of a hummingbird. Wolf 'em down, everyone!

0106081747.jpg
These, of course, are the new line of Admiral Peary Brand Frozen Prepared Salads. You get your choice of dressing: ranch, honey mustard or walrus blubber.

0106081746a.jpg
The good people at Edy's score a hit ...

0106081748.jpg
... and a miss. American Idol-themed ice cream? Why not have "Rocky Road to Stardom," "Randy's Dawg Treats" and "Simon's Humiliation Humble Pie" as well?

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Ob-La-Four Questions

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is wearing a pink dress shirt, a shiny red tie, a pair of olive drab dress pants, and a blue sports jacket. Even though Dave thinks he looks very nice -- and the tie comes from Brooks Brothers! -- no one from Esquire has called yet wanting to take his picture.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave feels both anxious and excited.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave and Britt are going to see one of their favorite bands, the Dresden Dolls, Thursday night. Then, on Saturday, they're going with America's Favorite Consumer Reporter (now on sabbatical) Vicki Lim to see comedian Margaret Cho. Dave is looking forward to both of these concerts.

Q. Why does Dave like Margaret Cho?
A. Dave expressed his appreciation for Ms. Cho in this previous blog post.

Saturday, January 5

Rock N' Roller Cola Wars? I Can't Take It Any More!


As a history major, I admit that I could have performed better on this test had I brushed up on my 20th century U.S. timeline. Or, instead, if I had listened to my iPod for a few minutes.


We Didn't Start the Fire Quiz



Score: 80% (8 out of 10)

Friday, January 4

Here's How Cold It Was In Tampa Yesterday

I'm not joking when I say it's ridiculously cold here in Florida. I took a few photos yesterday with my cameraphone to prove it.

Here's a normal picture of Plant Hall at the University of Tampa, taken from the balcony of my office:

0103081053a.jpg

And here's a picture I took yesterday:

0103081053a.jpg

Here's a normal picture from the balcony, overlooking Bank of America Plaza in downtown Tampa:

0103081053.jpg

Here's the photo I took yesterday, from the same vantage point:

0103081053.jpg

Do you see how cold it is? Or do I have to continue manipulating my pictures to convince you?

January Four Four Questions

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is wearing the usual uniform for the days he tapes the Business Report for teevee: a dress shirt, a nice tie, dress pants. He has a sports jacket in the car. Today's color scheme is blue and brown.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave is looking forward to the first weekend of 2008.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave's still cold.

Q. When will Dave shut up about the cold?
A. Dave says it's his blog, and he'll complain about the weather as much as he wants to. However, he admits that he is probably not as cold as his brother Lee was last week, when he and Michon and Ryland visited the chilly mountains of Colorado. While there, Lee sent a text message that said: "It's freezing. If it warmed up, it would still be freezing."

Of Wagner And Wabbits

I can trace my appreciation for both slapstick comedy and classical music back to old Bugs Bunny cartoons.

As a kid, I ate up these cartoons, enjoying the antics of Bugs and Elmer. When I got older, I recognized the genius behind these miniature works of art. I also realized that I had been painlessly indoctrinated into the world of symphonies and opera.

I mention Bugs Bunny cartoons and classical music today because two of the best examples of these cartoons are now available on iTunes.

I purchased them immediately.

The first is "The Rabbit of Seville," which sets a Bugs Bunny-Elmer Fudd chase to the music of Rossini's "Barber of Seville."

The cartoon doesn't borrow any plot points from "Barber of Seville" -- instead, it just puts Bugs and Elmer in a barber shop. (Actually, it puts Bugs and Elmer on a stage, acting out scenes as if they were in a barber shop. If you watch the cartoon, you'll get my gist.)

Here's a screen grab.

Rabbit of Seville screen grab

The second example, "What's Opera, Doc," introduces Bugs and Elmer to the world of Richard Wagner's "Ring" opera cycle. Bugs and Elmer actually portray archetypes from the Ring operas: Elmer brandishes a spear and wears his mighty helmet, and Bugs makes a cross-dressing Viking-horned appearance on the back of a fat white horse:

What's Opera Doc screen grab 1
What's Opera Doc screen grab 2

As far as I'm concerned, "What's Opera, Doc?" is the best thing to come from the works of Wagner. I'll begrudgingly admit that he was a genius, but he was also an egotistical anti-Semite who was lionized by Adolf Hitler and whose music was used extensively in Nazi propaganda.

In college, I was astonished to learn that the professor of my Introduction to Opera course had never seen "What's Opera, Doc?" I showed him the cartoon on videotape. He loved it so much he showed it to the entire class. It was a hit.

Thursday, January 3

Weather Update

It's so cold in Tampa tonight that I'm contemplating using my Tauntaun as a sleeping bag.

The (Brrrrr) Fourrrr Questions

Victory awaits him who has everything in order -- luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Four questions await everyone else.

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Dave is wearing thermal underwear, flannel-lined corduroy pants, three flannel shirts, two sweatshirts and a complete set of snow gear. He is also wearing one of those cute hats with the little fold-down wool-covered ear flaps.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave wonders if Roald Amundsen ever felt this cold.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave refers you to the following weather report:

January 3, 2008, 8:21 a.m. weather screen grab

Q. Is Dave really cold, or is he exaggerating for comic effect?
A. Dave is truly cold. He ordered a hot drink at Starbucks for the first time in memory. (Normally, he gets an iced coffee.)

Wednesday, January 2

Stray Thoughts

I don't want anyone to think that Complementary Spouse Britt Shirley and I are warming up to the homeless kitty that roams our neighborhood. However, tonight we gave the little fella some steak scraps, and then made a makeshift bed for him out of an cardboard box and an old towel.

The temperature is going to dip below 30 degrees tonight, people. That's Eskimo weather! Britt and I aren't heartless!

Our neighbors Mark and Tina also feed the stray cat from time to time. Britt and Tina have even proposed that we name the cat Itchy.

It's a terrible suggestion if Britt and Tina are trying to pay homage to the show-within-a-show on the Simpsons, as everybody knows the mouse is Itchy and the cat is Scratchy. (I mean, come on! Isn't that common knowledge?)

However, I admit that Itchy is probably an appropriate name for our little neighborhood stray, as he's likely lousy with fleas.

Generalisimo Francisco Franco And Watson The Cat Have Something In Common

On New Year's Eve, someone asked Complementary Spouse Britt Shirley and me how Watson, America's Favorite Housecat, was doing.

"He's still dead," we replied, in unison.

This is a person who knows us well. Apparently, he doesn't know us that well.

Happy New Four Questions

Q. What is Dave wearing today?
A. Right now, Dave is wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. It's cooooold in Florida tonight, and it's only going to get colder.

Q. How does Dave feel today?
A. Dave is chilly, chilled, cool, freezing, frozen, shivery, numb, benumbed; hypothermic.

Q. What are the factors affecting Dave's mood today?
A. Dave is (a) cold and (b) knows how to use the built-in thesaurus on his MacBook.

Q. How is Dave faring on his New Year's resolution to eat right and exercise?
A. Dave is allowing himself to ease into this resolution. So shut up.

Tuesday, January 1

However, Target Is Not Selling A "Jump To Conclusions" Mat

Swingline is now making red staplers. If they actually made these when "Office Space" came out (in 1999), they would have sold a million of 'em.

Red stapler

Remember Milton rambling through this monologue on the phone?
"And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire ..."

Never get between a madman and his red stapler. I believe that was one of the many lessons I learned from "Office Space."

Today's Memo: Express Lane Lady

To: The woman in the express lane at Target
From: Dave
Date: Jan. 1
Subject: Flouting the express lane conventions

I truly had hoped to begin the New Year without any bitterness toward other people. I had resolved that 2008 would be a year without complaints: a year of hope and goodwill. But you had to go and ruin everything, didn't you? You figured the express lane rules didn't apply to you! You dumped your cartful of tacky discounted Christmas tchotchkes in front of the cashier -- waaaaaay more than 10 items -- and yammered to your daughter while everything was rung up and bagged. And then, when it came time to pay, you wrote a check! I didn't actually see the check, but I'll bet $100 that (a) it was decorated with pictures of either puppies, kittens or unicorns, and (b) you wrote the wrong year. I know these things not because I'm clairvoyant, but because anyone who's still writing checks in stores in the year 2008 is (a) obsessed with obsessed with baby or mythological creatures; and, (b) living in the past.

And, let's not forget the most important letter of all: anyone writing a check in the express lane in 2008 is (c) totally pissing me off.

I Come To Bury 2007, Not To Praise It

I intended to start the New Year by posting a list of 2,008 things I don't want to hear in 2008. However, time is short. Let's just start with eight items, OK?

  • "You people need to get eyeball to eyeball over the flavors that bring people together," spoken by Wanda Sykes in the guise of a talking apple.
  • "Wide stance"
  • "Don't tase me, bro"
  • "Leave Britney alone" (see here)
  • "I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps" (cf. here)
  • "Hey, Dave, want to check out the Salton Sea?" (cf. here and here)
  • "Astronaut diaper"
  • Any words that come out of John Madden's mouth

That is all.