Friday, August 26, 2011


I always think, "I'll get my writing done at the airport." But the problem is that, by the time I get there, my entire day has been spent preparing for, thinking about, or getting to that place.* So I'll get this post written, all right, but it's going to be about exactly one thing: airports. My brain is fully flooded with that topic.

What's with the people that don't make it to the flight? The ones they call out at the terminal? It's not like they forgot, they must have checked in or no one would bother asking for them repeatedly. Of course, I have missed a flight before in one of the most stressful travel experiences of my life, so I know it can happen. But sometimes they read off like ten names. And those names are never "Gary Jones" or anything like that, but always something just a little weird, so that you wonder if it's actually an obscure Harry Potter character.

I know Arturias Lovewell and Elexia Roycroft are probably stuck at security after hitting a lot of traffic, but I like to think they simply got to the gate, looked down at their boarding pass, and decided to go bowling instead.

*Except of course when I walk through the terminal, where I  make a mental game of analyzing the incredible cross section of human life before me. "That guy seems like a jerk. That lady's hair is crazy! Hey mister business-y man, what's been going on with your smartphone in the last two minutes?"

Friday, August 19, 2011

Two meters wide

Let me assure you, your car is actually a quite capable machine. It was likely designed by smart people, and tested extensively before going to market. Moreover, the paved road you're on and currently favorable weather conditions are both quite conducive to driving.

In short, there's very little reason, person-in-front-of-me, that your simple right hand turn would necessitate slowing down to a near stop, swinging out into the left lane, and hooking back as though you were squeezing a firetruck into a one-car garage.

Trust me, the turning radius of your Civic can handle getting into the Kroger parking lot. I'm quite confident on this point. Just turn the wheel, you'll be fine.

All though I would like to ask something. If you're taking all that trouble to make the turn, why not use your turn signal too? If you misjudged the angle of attack, at worst you'd wind up with a little scrape on your bumper. But the signal drastically reduces the likely hood that someone won't anticipate your sudden deceleration and crash violently into the back of your car.



Friday, August 12, 2011

Drink Coke

In the brief period between tragically breaking my generation 1 Kindle and ordering a new Kindle 3, there was a moment where I considered a "special offers" model. At a decent discount from the Wi-Fi version I ultimately purchased, the idea of seeing sponsored screen saves (arguably an improvement, the normal ones are images of famous authors who, I'm here to tell you, are much better suited to their non-visual medium) and banners on menu screens sounded reasonable.

But the second I saw an "Oil of Olay" ad in a reviewer's screenshot, whatever mental antibodies patrol my conscious mind turned in mid-pass, assembled in attack formation, and struck it as one*. It doesn't matter if the ads are small, or if they're relevant, or if they provide discounts. Somewhere I decided that advertising-fueled media was bad.

I suspect Netflix Instant had something to do with it. I've been away from cable TV and its 1:3 ad-to-content ratio for so long, I can't imagine enduring it on a regular basis. It's as if we sat down to have a lively conversation, but once every 15 minutes I'd suddenly talk about 4-5 bits of inane garbage for 30 seconds each.

*And yet they can't do anything about the mixed metaphors.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Remember that time when you were a kid, and you made the mistake of biting into a block of baker's chocolate?

The good news is, it wasn't just you. A lot of other people did it.* It looked like chocolate, it smelled like chocolate, it was even in a package that clearly said "chocolate." How were we to know? I mean sure, our moms told us not to eat it, but they said that about lots of candy. The only clear road available was trial-and-horrible-horrible error.

So where's that warning label, huh? Where was Mr. Yuk? I know he's got more important things on his plate, what with keeping people from ingesting deadly poisons, but come on! Take five minutes to say "Listen kid, I know all the experiences in your short life say that this package contains pure, sweet deliciousness. It doesn't. Contained beyond this warning is bitterness distilled, its textural similarity to proper chocolate only highlighting its terrible shortcomings. You'd be better off chewing an unground coffee bean. Walk away."

*In fact, consider yourself lucky. For some people it was unsweetened cocoa powder.