Archive for February, 2012
Imagine a world before 1900. The singer at the local tavern that was “pretty good”, may have been the best singer someone would ever hear in their lifetime. Perhaps a singer traveled with a music group and came to town one time and sang a few songs- That would have been, in Joe Biden’s words, “A big ****in’ deal!”
When young kids would ask what it was like, they would have to count on that person trying to remember how the song went, and perhaps doing their own rendition.
Now? You can pull out your PHONE, and listen to Scott Joplin on Youtube. Think about it, people who lived in his time period lived and died having never heard some of his works- and you can look it up right now. Crazy right?
Fast forward to say 1975. You wanted to do a research report on the Long Range Recon Patrol, a military unit in the Vietnam war. Your sources were likely limited. It would have to probably be patched together from the things a local veteran had heard about the guys- or hopefully someone had penned a book on them.
There they are. Right there. LRRP members. It’s actually quite possible that some of the people in these men’s families, their classmates, etc – lived and died having never seen this photograph. I looked it up on google 4 minutes ago, now you’re seeing it too. With a quick search you could likely find a web board with real live LRRP members and directly ask them questions. In 1975, you’d possibly be left with rumors and stories – Today you can learn all about them.
The web really is incredible. The information from my 4th grade research on Polar bears (including 3 books) could be bested by a week’s worth of web research on the animals. Not only would I have words and a few pictures, but videos and documentary films to accompany them. I’d know how the bear walked by seeing it, know what they sounded like, and have seen them in action. Even the often bashed TV can be a learning aid.
Pretty cool huh?
Note: This is part of a series. The second article will be…
The Dark side of the web: The errornet.
I didn’t anticipate having the second entry in this section go up so quickly, but the stork forced my hand.
What can be said about Snooki that hasn’t already been said? Anyone with a partially functional brain can find something about her to make fun of.
Even in recent memory, I remember those headlines about her being 98lbs and sitting there saying to myself: What the hell was her thought process there?
“So after spending some time thinking about my life, I’ve come to a few realizations. I come across like an idiot, I know shit about shit, I embarrass myself every time I open my mouth in public, and I have a sizable list of bad habits. Know what? I am not concerned enough about my appearance.
Why don’t I go on a diet for no reason at all? Say, I might even get more media attention! Clearly that’s something I need more of in my life to become a more well rounded person!” I’m sure it made sense to her though.
Truth be told we should probably be happy for her- if one of her life goals was indeed becoming a mother, she has it now. If not, accidents happen to people, smart or dumb. Worthy of mention is the fact that she managed to make it out of her teen years without having gotten to this milestone. If she really is as dopey as she appears on TV (Which I concede, could very well be an act she’s putting on), it’s practically a miracle that she’s made it out of the teens without being on that Teen Mom show.
In her future: Apparently 50% of relationships end up in divorce these days, so she has a 50/50 chance of a tell all book and renewed relevance in the media a few years down the line. Given the fact that the guy she’s dating is by some’s account- a wacko? Those odds may be better than 50-50.
If a divorce happens, she probably has a “reality” dating show in her future too. Can you picture it? MTV and VH1 executives already seeing dollar signs and duking it out over rights to the show.
Let me trademark the name now. “Jersey Love”. Watch as they rehash the old jersey shore times by having dating shows for all of them, one by one.
(Knowing me, they’ve probably had one for a jersey shore person already, and due to my disconnect from most of pop culture I didn’t know about it.)
Whether her marriage works or not, she may have a few seasons of “Jersey Mom” lined up. Again, cameos from the other characters. Maybe with that Kate Goselin lady off TV, Snooki can fill the void for those inclined to occupy their time with shows like that?
Imagine we were her classmates or her friends: Would we be happy for Snooki? Probably. Barring tragedy she’ll likely be a mother now. This likely sets her up to be making money again, regardless of how the marriage goes. As of this moment, she’s likely headed for more of that media attention she loves, and reality TV dollars in her future.
Who lost: The world’s collective IQ.
You’re in luck, that’s what I’m here for my friend.
The answer is this: Ever play that video game where you can’t unlock a certain character that’s really really good? And in the next video game they let you unlock that character, but there’s another better version of that same guy that you can’t get? The F-22 is that second guy.
If you look at the listed statistics of the plane, they’re not mind blowing, even when compared to current planes like the F-15 series. But here’s something worht of mention: The stats game in the cold war was different. The US and the USSR (ESPECIALLY the USSR), would sometimes inflate claims or exaggerate as the capabilities of their systems. The Russians once publically paraded missles during one of their their parades that were just models.
Something like this:
It was the world’s most expensive pissing contest, and we won it. We can thank Team Captain Reagan for that.
Nowadays it’s hard to get the official top speeds, fuel range, etc- of practically anything we have. If there was a general issue coffee maker out right now, its listed capacity would be like 9 cups, but every user of the machine knows it’s capable of 12. That’s pretty much how the game goes for all of our military tech nowadays. If you’re seeing it on future weapons? It’s probably been in the field for a few years. If it’s being declassified? It’s probably 10-20 years old now. So when some people look at the top speed numbers and compare it to, say, the F-15, and wonder why it seems slow? Wink wink, nod nod, is the only answer I can give.
For the Russians and all the other tin-pot dictatorships, the numbers game is the opposite. Their military’s published capabilities follow the “high school football guidelines”. The published roster has about a half a foot and 50lbs added to every player. I’ve talked to engineers who ripped apart the “Raptorski”, the F-22 knock off the Russians recently made (Shown below)
They said: ”If they can get it off the ground and build more than 3 or 4 of the damn things, and THEN figure out how to reduce those radar signature enhancing fist-sized rivets? Maybe I’d be worried. The only thing it has it common with the F-22, is some of the visible design lines. That’s about it.”
Note: The Russians have claimed that they weren’t copying anything.
In terms of fairness: Fielding an F-22 against, say, Iran’s current airforce? (Iran’s airforce consisting mostly of much older planes in horrible states of repair with poor electronics suites and shoddy pilots, of course).
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being unfair, and 1 being fair… It’s “sweep the leg.”
You can almost picture the twerpy kid in the background going, “YEAHHH, GET HIM A BODYBAAG!”
“Why is the F-22 so ridiculous though?”
It flies too high, it’s too fast, the kill range is too far, and it’s pretty much invisible to radar.
From the bad guy’s POV: It was never there, and you died. You wonder where the squadron of fighters was that took out yours. There was just one plane. It’s the pilots who have gotten time on the F-22 that that normally fly older 3rd and 4th generation fighter aircraft that love it so much.
“I’ve heard about teething problems with the plane?”
Yes, unfortunately we are having some issues with the plane that are more maintenance oriented. Kinda unfortunate, but brilliant minds are working on them, fixes are in the pipeline. But. I’m going to revert to the defense sports fans often use when they find out their favorite player might be on the DL: “No comment.”
Thus completes a layman’s guide to the F-22. I hope you find this useful!
Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. We’re all used to movies where we follow a protagonist that’s an undercover spy/special operative type. They flex on the laws, they do bad things to worse people, and we’re on the edge of our seats for these stories. Afterward, we talk about how cool they are, and how glad we are that such people exist, willing to do this on our behalf so that others may live their lives. But.. for many, the thoughts end here.
I remember a few months back, seeing something on TV, this guy:
If my memory serves me correctly, initial media reports said that he was a “Truck driver” that was caught in Pakistan. The story was garbled on what our sometimes allies/sometimes enemies the Pakistanis were accusing him of doing. I took a look at this guy and started to wonder. Hmm.. truck driver.. A guy that stuck out like a sore thumb around the Pakistan men in the video. More details started coming out. He was accused of getting in a car chase after shooting two men in Pakistan. He did some time in an Army Special Forces unit earlier in his life, he was a “Green Beanie” (Green Beret). Then became a “contractor for the government”. Most believe this is codename for: Working for an “Alphabet soup agency”. I’ll let your imagination run on this one, but in short, to answer the question on your head without saying too much: Yeah, he “probably” was one of “those guys”, and I sincerely doubt you’ll be able to get someone to confirm nor deny the work he may or may not have done for the United States or his own purposes.
So what was he apparently caught doing? Well, apparently the Pakistanis said he had photos of military bases (where certain facilities housing certain weapon systems of interest to us should the government have issues: read- nukes), as well as Taliban hide outs. He had a GPS with coordinates of areas that were hit by drone attacks, killing Taliban fighters. Worthy of mention: Apparently when Davis was locked up, the drone attacks stopped for a while. Meet your “cloak and daggers man”. Obviousness says that when Pakistani intelligence elements found out about him, they were most displeased. In the middle of traffic one day, 2 men on a motorbike pulled up next to his car. When the guy on the back started to pull out a gun, Davis took action. After dispatching the 2 crooked agents, he tried to flee the scene and was captured. Apparently a Land Cruiser Prado jumped a divider and drove into oncoming traffic toward his direction. It was filled with 4 other men. These men (Who were supposedly living with Davis), left the country after the incident. Truth Bomb: They were “contractors” too. In that house they found weapons, passports, money, cell phones, you name it.
The defense department/the government did not leave this guy high and dry. We got him back at great cost to the taxpayer, by shady means, and got him out of the Pakistan show-trial BS they would have put him through. While I’ve railed on the government and the administration in the past privately: Good on you guys for bringing this guy home. Thank you.
Now during this story, brain dead bloggers were calling this guy a mercenary. This is because he’s a contractor. Firms like Blackwater or other contractors are railed on by bloggers who barely understand what they do, don’t know who comprise their personnel rosters- and they believe an Al Jazeera propagandized version of the truth of their actions. They think these guys, often former soldiers, are part of some Dick Cheney led conspiracy where they just go around killing innocent people for fun, apparently. Go ahead and read the comments on places like “Huff and Puff” calling him a monster, a loose cannon, all that. I’m sure in their version of the truth, when a guy on a scooter pulls up next to you with a Mac-10 ready to shoot you up for the secret work you’re doing of the US Government to save the lives of American citizens and troops alike), you’ll just be able to “Talk your away out of it like an adult”, negotiate, or be able to produce your PETA membership card to get out of it. Or, you’ll sit there and get ventilated because words are useless in situations like that. Better yet? In their version of the truth, despite his long and illustrious career in high stress situations and elite military units, he up and just decided to break a mindset marked by decades of discipline, and up and shoot 2 Pakistanis for no reason whatsoever- perhaps while out getting lattes on his vacation. To quote David from the David goes to the dentist video, “is this real life?!” I have an idea: perhaps these nitwits are so unstable themselves, they cut and paste their own lack of discipline onto others, how about that.
Davis came home to the United States. Despite the fact that he would be applauded by most movie audiences as a rescued hero if his story was on a screen- a soldier with a long resume of putting foot to ass for our country on every team he was placed, he likely came home to silence. He likely came home to silence, and a happy family. Most combat arms types will say, “really, the best medicine for that kind of stuff is family, and a quiet life for a little while.” Now some ask: What do these guys do when they come back to the world? It’s kinda hard to go from being one of the baddest dudes on the planet to flipping burgers or selling cars. He’s been a door-kicker since he was a young man. He’s had his entire lifetime up to here honing that skillset. The transition is going to be a little tough. His career doing “other work for the United States government in capacity he cannot talk about” is now over. Apparently he’s a shooting instructor in Washington DC. Makes sense, he’s been doing stuff like that for decades, well enough to earn assignments in some pretty tough areas, doing very stressful work. Pretty comforting to know that he’s turning around and training others we trust to do similar work.
Well, this guy’s bad luck continues. One day, some guy pulls into a parking spot he was waiting for. From there the story gets muddy.
Here’s what I think happened: This little D-bag is that Benny guy from The Mummy. I sincerely doubt this is the first time he’s cut a line of some kind. In fact I’m willing to make the OH SO GIGANTIC LEAP and say he’s likely got a shitty attitude, very used to taking advantage of our “polite” society. (It takes practice to become a jackass like this guy.) After cutting into the guys’ spot, perhaps Davis is in a mood, and makes the stupid mistake of getting out of his car. He walks over to tell the guy off. An independent witness says Davis was calm. Benny’s wife *of course* states he was a frothing at the mouth maniac. Benny gets out and starts swinging at Davis. Davis defends himself, and delivers the “It’s over, buddy” line, and smacks the little twerp, once. Not even a satisfying hit. Benny slams into the ground, gash on his head, alleged damage to his spine. Benny’s fuming. Police are called. Benny and his wife paint the story of our CIA-hulk ripping him out of the car and beating him up (despite the fact that he’s still vertical). Davis tells his version of the story, witnesses tell theirs. Now here’s an interesting tidbit: These “professional soldiers” are often not great articulators. They’ve spent their time keeping physically fit and working on their skillset, which often doesn’t include creative writing, public speaking, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if he garbled his own story. Here’s another fun one: details are often hard to remember under stress. Experience under stress helps with recalling the facts… say the kind of stress front line infantry fighters endure. Surely Benny, our pencil pusher that can’t even drive like a decent human being, didn’t get creative on what happened? No..
Now Davis and Benny go to court. The media flies all over this because Davis was in the news before this in another shit-sandwich incident on the other side of the world. Benny’s lawyer said this: “This is an important case, Larry Klayman said, because a private citizen deserves the right to go to Einstein (Bros. Bagels) in peace, not to be beaten up by someone who frankly has a predisposition to violence. This man has a history of violent acts. He killed two people in Pakistan. He was indicted for murder.” With all due respect Mr. Klayman, I don’t think you know what violence is, and this gross mischaracterization of Davis, is disgusting. Davis is not an angel, but what he is, was a veteran, and a man that’s spent the best years of his life kicking down doors on our behalf. If you could show respect, or at least pretend to have some dignity, that’s be great.
Here are some things to chew on:
1) If Davis was really hulk-rage mad at the spot-taking weasel, I don’t think that little twerp would be vertical. Remember that scene in the movie Taken where our protagonist threatens “the bad guys” with his skill-set? That’s what Davis is capable of, he’s the real deal. I don’t think Davis had full fledged attacked him, if he did, the handiwork would make even Batman say, “Nice.” Want me to say it? Here we go: This guy professionally killed people for a living. Benny’s still breathing. End thesis. You don’t think he could have separated this little twerp into 10 pieces if he wanted to?
2) How did Benny get out of his car. I sincerely doubt Davis pulled him through the window after, I believe, calmly calling him an asshole. I think Benny got out and tried to get tough. Even if he was “defending himself”, why didn’t he try to run, call for help, etc from a guy like Davis? After all, Davis was very violent, angry, and terrifying? You would expect the story, if Benny was such a victim- to be that he was yelling for help loudly? Know what? Sounds like he wanted a fight, and perhaps Davis obliged.
3) Lets not play peekaboo with the truth here. Everyone knows the kind of person that cuts in line, takes spots, and spouts awful excuses like “I don’t want to wait for that parking spot, I have a family”. That excuse sounds like that “It’s okay for me to break the law, I have a daughter and she’s sick, I’m not a bad person” stuff that Sandman character was spewing in the Spiderman film. What’s next? He’s got the kind of ego that says he’s willing to get out of his car and swing at someone who is significantly bigger and stronger than he is, and sue for losing the fight? Oh…
Benny learned a hard lesson in manners that day, and he’s butt hurt enough to try to take down a war veteran through the legal system.
4) Davis has bad luck. The guy was in a no win situation in Pakistan. I won’t even say he was sloppy, he wasn’t. We get all the time in the world to Monday morning Quarterback the events that happened that day. He had a sum total of a fraction of a second to determine if he was going to take bullets to the chest, or act. He chose life, and some aren’t happy about that. He got sloppy and his cover was blown, or our “ally” Pakistanis with ISI members on Taliban Payroll tried to kill him, and he was stuck trying to save his own life. He also beat up some douchebag in a parking lot when he got home. Perfect? No, that was a screw up. But cut the guy some friggin slack here! He spent a lot of time in an active warzone with people trying to kill him. After all Chris Brown can be welcomed back into the music industry after beating the tar out of Rhianna for no fuckin reason at all. I think the “putting foot to ass for our country in war time” reason is a good one for shooting people in self defense in Pakistan- if that isn’t I don’t know what is. I don’t think doing that makes someone an unstable monster.
5) Seriously? Our society is okay with Chris Brown, who beat the **** out of his woman. See it’s okay because he’s a good singer. Charlie Sheen is a drug addict and a womanizer. But it’s okay because he’s “funny and charming” (in public). Michael Vick was a dog fighter, but he said sorry and seemed to mean it, even served jail time, and he can even throw a ball well. Forgiven. But Raymond Davis? Green Beret, secret agent, – toss him to the wolves, or say horrible things about literally leaving him to die in Pakistan. All because of an incident with a twerp in a parking lot, and an assassination attempt on his life in Pakistan while on assignment for the US of A.
6) Benny was probably the kind of guy that most people would say, “oh that guy has it coming.” Well guess what, life chose a former Green Beret for that cause. People who didn’t lose sleep over that last night: Me.
Can’t say I’m happy with how this story was portrayed, how this guy has been portrayed, and how some have reacted to it. People say that there are two sides to the story- in this case, it looks like my opinion is the second.
For men, it’s also a good thing. Usually the nice guys tend to roll over too much. Women “want a man to be a man, dammit!” After a guy’s had his shit ruined a few times, he’s finally reached the “honestly babe, lets do this or I walk, fine by me” stage, and accidentally discovered: confidence. He has finally found the thing women want to see in their men. As a nice guy he actually wants to make her happy, actually cares if she lives or dies, and actually has a plan for his future and no stupid habits. She’s ecstatic. “Omg you have no idea how few guys there are like you out there ♥”
Now I’ve made about every mistake a “nice guy” can make, some of them between 2 and 61 times. At times the “guy who didn’t get it </3, he doesn’t notice me”, other times the guy who didn’t shut up. (Okay, lots of times..)
I wrote this list in a Facebook post a while back. I’ve revised it a bit as to not leave out female readers.
After a few years of work on this and introspection, I came to this:
1) All you can worry about is you. If you know you have issues, fix them or work to remedy them. You will be better off for you, and for the person you wish to be with. If you find yourself saying, “It would just be better if I got someone else,” you’re probably self medicating your own problems with relationships. Stop using other people to fill the void, and work on yourself. You’re supposed to believe that you’re worth being with for someone else, NOT that you’re looking for someone to make all the bad things in the world stop being bad. You will always be disappointed.
2) Be confident. Don’t look for it in a powder in GNC, or a “sex panther” cologne, or a Dragon Ball Z gelled up haircut. (Besides, girls who go for that have the herp.) I don’t know what the female equivalent of this stuff is, but I know you ladies have bizarre rituals too. But here’s a ladies specific hint: Drop the gossip mags. A friend of mine once read a few of the theories the scholars of “Cosmo” had. They were garbage. I couldn’t even begin to describe in words just how devoid of reality those ideas were.
3) Don’t get stuck in a cycle of picking up trainwreck person after trainwreck person. They’re often beyond the fixing of a few weeks/months time of a single person. Some aren’t fixable. A lot of guys admit that they found “The one” when they stopped picking up the same sad story cases.
4) Water tends to find its level. Train-wrecks tend to find each other. Give it time, and grab the popcorn. /If you’re insistent on staying with a train-wreck, don’t ask for sympathy when this happens.
You’re not conducting the train. You’re along for the ride.
5) Be selective. Pick sane smart people that have a handle on basic logic. I know that’s difficult, but there’s no other way. Over and over again divorcees will mention, “I kept ignoring what I was seeing. Honestly I should have trusted myself.” That time they were AWFUL to a waiter/waitress for no reason. All those times they flipped out over absolutely nothing. The bad decisions. They usually sit there kicking themselves for ignoring the warning signs.
6) Stay the course. Nice guys do bad in the short term, but it’s the right path in the long term as long as he doesn’t get himself stuck in a tar pit. The same goes for ladies.
A true nice guy is a rarity. I’ve been told that by every woman with opposable thumbs that I’ve met, with only one exception. (I had the gall to tell her that ditching my best friend for an ex-con that’s “cute and in a band <3″ that was obviously cheating on a woman he was currently with – was a bad idea. Yeah, I’m the asshole.)
Seriously we keep hearing this stuff, “Nice guys finish alright in the end”- but it’s true.
7) Look for maturity in your prospective ladies. It will make life easier, even if things don’t work you end up with a good friend, one actually worth keeping – not that stupidly hot chick that complains about guys that don’t treat her right. Ladies- for you this doesn’t mean the guy who only calls you at 2am asking “What’s up.” He’s not worth your damn time.
8) You can’t fix stupid. I don’t care how hot she is. If she’s stupid she’s stupid. Move on. It’s just not worth it.
Same goes for men. Ladies if he’s got serious issues or a pattern of bad habits, you can’t fix him. Here’s the ugly truth: Often times people pick up those incredibly flawed people simply because they’re good looking. (That’s not to say that ugly people can have a bad personality as well, that happens of course). It’s the truth though. Stop making excuses because their only save graces are their looks, or they’re “fun to be around,” other things come to play in relationships, don’t ignore them.
9) Ladies specific: Don’t date him because “he tells me I’m pretty <3.” I’ve heard that herp-derp more than once. It seems basic to have to mention it, but I can’t stress it enough. More than one man will find you attractive, TRUST me. You are not saddled with picking the one that treats you like shit and takes you for granted. Yes he says he cares about you. If he’s saying it to four other women at the same time, those words likely don’t mean the same thing to you, that they do to him.
I’m not the paragon of dating knowledge, I won’t tell you I am. In fact some might think the above advice is so generic and general that it’s useless – but I assure you those things are true. It’s what the “been there done thats” try to tell every youngin’ that will listen. It will save time and heartache if we really take it to heart, it’s time honored dating logic.
“But captain Obvious, what is it that you mean?” Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. A while back I was getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist’s, and out of curiosity I asked: “How often do you get people trying to tell you how to do your job?” The woman exhaled and leaned back into her chair. In one question it practically became an episode of Oprah. (No, I did not have gifts for people in the waiting room under their seats!). She then proceeded to tell me all the “Advice” she was given by people who’ve never so much as looked at a cavity in their life, nor have even a passing familiarity with the most basic instruments she was using.
Think about what an act of ego that is, to just come into something as complex as a medical field and start trying to call plays. Had she said “ah, I was unaware that you too did this for a living? Here’s the instruments, I’ll just hold the mirror, you’ve got this,” Doofus would have gone home and stated that the dentist was “an ***hole.” That they were rude and such.
Hey, dipshit, know what’s rude? Telling a professional in a field like that how to do their job when you don’t have even the slightest clue what you’re talking about. We’re not disagreeing on governmental policies here, this guy literally told a medical professional “how he wanted it done”, without having the slightest grasp on very, very important things inexorably connected to the procedures. There’s a line between confidence, and arrogance.
Now, one does not need to go to the moon to talk about it. But when you’ve crossed into the realm of telling Neil Armstrong how he should have been walking on the lunar dirt, you’ve crossed into “ego land”. Take this idea and start applying it in your daily life. Trust people’s knowledge bases if they’re the real deal ( as measured by their results). If they’re a charlatan spouting garbage? Ditch them and find someone that does know what they’re talking about.
Geico has brought us some pretty good advertisements. The Gecko and the “could 15 minutes or blahblah” guy are pretty good for the most part. But there’s a darker side to Geico’s advertisements. They also brought us…
That screaming pig, and the caveman. Neither of those are funny or enjoyable, but they keep running the damn things and coming out with more. With each one, my ragebar builds.
Due to this, I’ve created a new award: The Geico Award for excellence in inconsistency! When something/someone has the duality of amusing you greatly, and also make you sit there with your mouth open saying “Are you fucking kidding me?” – it may earn this award. Just like their commercials.
Now in your head you’re likely saying to yourself, “Captain obvious, you can’t make up this award and not hand it out. There would be no payoff!” Rest assured, we have a recipient….
They’re amazing aren’t they? Compare them to the big plastic bricks of yesteryear, and you’re suddenly counting your lucky stars. Think back a few years ago to when you were trying to send text messages using the number keys, and suddenly you realize: “oh hey, I guess it is pretty cool that I can send out several thousand texts a month, if I feel like it.” You can send pictures to people like it’s no big effin deal. It has the internet, in your hand. When some mouth-breather swears up and down that Kevin Bacon was not in footloose, you can quickly search the web and slap him in the face with it right there. “Look dude, it’s not a photoshop, here’s a video on youtube to boot.” Most smartphones are MP3 players now too. Some use them for alarm clocks. It’s amazing what they can do.
But there’s a dark side to these phones, and many of you reading this feel my pain…
You’re using the awesome GPS feature on your road trip, and at the moment of truth on a series of turns, and the whole thing reboots itself. Haven’t had it happen to you yet? Give it time…
It just casually loses reception. “But I have the derp-derp network, I’ve seen that big map of coverage, why the hell do I have 1 bar in my OWN HOUSE- and just today, right now, when I need to make a call?!” Sometimes smart phones totally drop the ball when it comes to their namesake function: being a phone.
The battery. So you’ve turned down the brightness, you’ve turned off all the cool features, and you only use it to send a few texts. A couple hours later it’s dying. You’re looking at it thinking to yourself, “I got this 4 months ago. Why is it acting like a geriatric electronic device already?!” You remember when it was new, how you gingerly put it down on a table or couch. Now you’re tossing it across rooms saying,
Without a doubt they’re something that can be a source of great joy, that also makes you pull your hair out from time to time.
In conclusion: Your smartphone is the winner of the first Geico Award for excellence in inconsistency.
I remember when it was time to get a new dog. The family all had ideas, we all had wants, and we had another dog in our memory. He was a 140lb german shepherd. Looked something like this.
His human equivalent would likely be a 6’5” 300lb strongman competitor, MENSA member, and nightclub bouncer. His name would be Hans Olaaffsson. His neck would start up behind his ears, his arms would be the size of most people’s legs, and he’d speak with a deep voice like Michael Clark Duncan. He was mostly a mellow guy until something set him off, then everyone would vacate.
Our new dog had a high bar to measure up to. When my Mother chose him and brought him home, we were all underwhelmed. He was a shaggy clumsy little puppy. When fully grown, he’d weigh 100lbs less than our old Shepherd. But, over time he wore on us, his personality was infectious. How did he change our minds? By being himself. Now, without further ado, it’s time to talk about 17 lessons I learned from this little fur-ball.
The Essence of the “Little Beast”, and how it can be an example for you
1) 110%, always. Impetuous. Whatever he does, he’s giving it his all. Be it running outside, barking at squirrels, chasing down his favorite toy, sleeping, greeting strangers, greeting us after a long day of work, he’s giving it 110%. The intensity is unshakable. This guy gives it his best no matter what he does.
2) Excellence is a habit. Consistency makes champions. It’s not just that he can give something 110%, it’s that he does it all the time, in everything he does. See, when Tiger Woods was a good golfer- people were capable of beating him on a given day, but it was near impossible to try to do it every day. That’s the different of a champion vs someone that’s an “also ran”. Lance Armstrong, same thing. You can beat lance on day, up one mountain, etc… But you could not beat him over the length of a tournament. This little guy is a dog’s dog, in everything he does. Strive for consistency and excellence, don’t be surprised to see excellent results!
3) Wear a smile, always. His default setting is intense happiness. It’s also his only real facial expression. His trademark smile is a constant. It can be hard to be negative, with such a positive force jumping on the couch next to you with his enthusiasm level on “Hurricane.”
4) Don’t cry about what others have, deal with the cards you’re dealt!
There are dogs that can run faster, have a deeper bark, better musculature, have stronger noses, better looks (in his own breed to boot), more creative thinkers, and more waterproof coats. I do not believe he sits around all day thinking about what other dogs have that he doesn’t. All you can worry about is you. That’s it. Sure, some may be better than you at some things, but they likely can’t do what you do either. Diversity is a hallmark of life! A draw full of spoons leaves many tasks undone. Do what it is you were born for. That leads me to the next lesson.
5) Purpose built for something? Don’t fight it! Embrace it!
This little guy is a terrier; terrier teeth, tenacious drive, inclination to chase small animals. Now factor in his near instant acceleration, his ability to change direction at top speed, his long attention span for game, the good nose, willingness to dig, his coat that allows him to sit outside in awful weather conditions for prolonged amounts of time – all assets in the pursuit of small game. When he sees something of interest, he doesn’t bark, he takes off after it. The hair on his paws make his sprint a silent one. That’s right, if you’re a squirrel, he’s a 40lb stealth fighter. He is purpose built for his task, and the woodland critters have taken notice. They do not stray within 35-40 feet of our backdoor anymore, especially during daylight hours. If the door is open, they are nowhere to be seen.
6) Things worth having are worth fighting for
When a big brown monolith rolls up your driveway and tries to attack your herd with a brown box? Open a can! That’s your herd, your family, your friends; don’t just sit there and take it. When someone wants to take your favorite toy? Don’t give it up without at least showing something. Are you going to let a difficult midterm possibly sidetrack your dreams post college? No. It’s a piece of paper, you cannot let it get the best of you. Sure, it’s hard, but you can at least give it your best! Bare your teeth, bark, and get through it. If you want it bad enough, you’ll be surprised at what you can do. You may not be able to tackle and maul that brown truck, but you’ll watch the man get back inside and leave your territory.
7) Showcase your talents
Many talented people never see their dreams come true. Schlubs end up with reality TV shows and millions of dollars. Why? Had people seen real talent, they’d have flocked toward it. If people think you need your own theme music when you enter the room? You’re doing right. (Our Dog’s is likely this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEbzpt7xS-k) If you can picture Chris Berman going, “WHOP!” while announcing something you did today? Even better! Your life should be a G-D highlight reel! When one of your favorite highlight reels is your own life, you’ll find yourself envying others less, and believing in yourself more.
8) This world is ours to explore, leave nothing behind.
This little guy has sniffed every crevice, crack, opening in the backyard.
9) When opportunity knocks, greet it by jumping on it and nibbling on its fingers excitedly, don’t let it get away.
10) Patience, persistence, perseverance.
You won’t always get things right the first time, so just keep trying. I’ve watched this little guy, sleep deprived, hungry, exhausted, panting- still chasing after his goal, determined to get it. Valorous? Maybe not. But driven and determined to get what he wants? Absolutely. I watched this little guy try to kill a bee, *with his face*. Not just his face, his nose, one of the most sensitive parts of his body. He was slamming the bee into slate. Crazy? Yep. Did he terminate it? Sure did.
11) People care about you, make sure they know you care back.
You may even be the one thing that went right that day for someone.
12) Recruit likeminded others to your causes. When he needs to go outside, he asks. He will then burst outside, run a bit, and turn around. Sometimes he’ll bring over a squeaky toy. Find creative ways to enlist others.
13) You can change others perceptions about you, when you prove yourself.
There are people you’ll never win over. **** ‘em, they are a sunk cost. But there are people who are on the fence. Give it a shot! After all, he sure changed our minds.
14) Sometimes, you just shouldn’t care what others think about what you like.
So what if the little guy is somewhat 1-dimensional with a trademark smile, and an upbeat personality. Guess what: he’s not a professional actor, he don’t need to convey 50 extremely different personalities. Being the little beast, will do just fine. Being you will do.
15) Don’t regret your faults and failings of yesterday. Forgive yourself. There was a time when this little dog was frumpy looking, physically feeble, inept, and tired easily. He peed in the house, he tore up the wrong things, and he wimpered too much. Guess what: That’s the past. He’s a real dog now.
We’ve all had hiccups in the past, so what we’ve all had bad imperfections and odd phases, but here’s a fun fact…Unless it’s a mountain of debt, a run in with the law, or the herp- That’s the past. All you can do is learn from it, improve, and go forward. Even good teams lose games and put one in the “L” column. Just worry about your next game! Crying about last week usually gets you nowhere.
16) Celebrate success. If you’ve worked hard to be something, to do something, to win something… celebrate if you get it! The taste of victory – you’ve earned it. Running around with it in your mouth, ears pinned back and tail wagging says “I win” for him, find out what it is for you.
17) “You never know”. One of the best things about life is the unknown. Sure, we all have dreams, but sometimes it’s the things we could never dream of that will one day find us. For this guy, who would have thought that being himself would inspire the humans around him? He can’t see in color, he doesn’t have opposable thumbs, and he has a goofy walk. He is not a motivational speaker, he did not attempt to be an example for humans by design. But you know what.. I’m sure willing to bet many of you reading this are realizing this goofy little guy has a point. If a 40lb dog with 1 facial expression and curly hair can motivate humans, imagine what you can do, if you give it a try.
Some are pissed because they feel, and understandably so, that he should not have even been invited into the building that night. But some mouth breathers went above and beyond the call of stupidity. They went past the line of ”Forgetting your hat on your head” right into “I only put my hands on a moving chainsaw blade because there was no warning label on it!” land. They posted on twitter with things that practically legitimized/downplayed spousal abuse.
You can check out the list here.
You’re crazy. Not good crazy either.
Flawless, except for the parts where he beats women, and is an egotistical douche bag. Except for those parts.
Hey, um, remember this guy?
The bad guy from Titanic?
We hated this guy specifically for those two reasons for shit’s sake!
That hashtag is like a license plate with your IQ on it.
Slow down, pull on to life’s shoulder, and start replacing parts. Your car is busted and it’s shooting sparks everywhere, and it’s leaving parts all over the freeway of life.
Sometimes smart people do dumb things, it happens. But there are certain things that once uttered make you think, “The fact that it even entered your mind is troublesome.” After reading those things, I couldn’t help but try to wrap my head around their thought process. I was picturing what they would be like in real life. $10 says these are the kind of people who claim to be smart. “I’m a smart person, and I’m nice, etc. I’m not book smart, I’m street smart. But I get good grades!” And all that other herp-derp morons spew as if those metrics undo the fact that their decision making process is atrocious. I have a very simple way of referring to “Smart” people like that. It’s: “Not smart.” Fancy. I sure hope I’m wrong about that, that these are normal girls who just made a stupid “joke” that wasn’t funny. I also hope that after the weight of the internet fell on them, that they got the picture.
Now for those of you who thought, “ugh, some people are so stupid, I’m glad the stupidity ended with them, ” you were wrong. So you would think that Chris Brown would be happy about being accepted back into the community right? He’d be thankful, somewhat apologetic? Do the Bill Clinton tear rolling down one eye speech?
Take a guess, multiple choice test time…
a) In a heartfelt apology, he asks for forgiveness, and mentioned it was a stupid thing for him to do. He’s thankful to be back. Maybe cried a little bit.
b) Responded on twitter with an egotistical rant in which he states the legitimitate criticism of his dispicable act must be due to jealousy.
c) Anything other than choice b), as it is the only incorrect response.
If you answered b), here’s what you won.
Hate all I want you say?
Apparently being a successful singer didn’t teach him anything about being a decent fucking human being, nor did give him a shred of humility. Millions of men are more successful than Chris Brown at this one metric: NOT being a spouse-beating prick. In the electoral-man-points system of life? Chris, you’re at the fucking bottom. I don’t care how many awards you’re given, how many records you sell, you’re an egomanical woman beating prick with no shame. Let me assure you, your detractors don’t envy you, and you’re not even worthy of pity. You’re a pop singer and a fucking moron with no self control or humility. You are a wart on the ass of society, as are those who think what you did was cute.
Let me first say, that the feedback on this blog project has been overwhelmingly positive. I was honestly surprised to see the volume of responses I got about it, and the overall sentiment: “It’s about time!” I view this as a mandate to be entertaining and informative! I’m not going to cut corners on these posts, I’m going to do my best to give you guys gold.
Thank you for the support, thank you for the patience, and I hope I make this blog a worthwhile read!
Now for some promises:
1) I’m going to do my best to stay unique. This is not going to be like many blogs, where the writer talks about stupid things like what they had for lunch this afternoon, they’re upset about X Y or Z. That’s not the goal here. The goals are simple: Laughs, sharing information, and authenticity. Though I think I know what everyone expects, (myself included), a more longwinded internet equivalent of Peter Griffin’s “know what grinds my gears?”. Posts like these will happen, I assure you.
2) I won’t be filtering my opinion to avoid causing “the butthurt” on the interwebz. Note: This doesn’t mean I’m going to put on the shoes of those “winners” that try to be as offensive as possible because their parents didn’t hit them enough/hit them too much. I’m going to call it like I see it. Sometimes I’m going to have to take off the top hat and monocle, and let it rip. Some people are ****ing stupid, and I’m not going to stray from saying it. Yes, I understand this is someone’s brother/sister/uncle/cousin/friend/yada yada. This does not prevent people from being stupid, nor me narrating it. I apologize ahead of time if something you like gets stepped on, but I’m not going to retract it.
3) Guest Writers. In order to keep things fresh, I’ll be bringing in guest writers to comment on causes and knowledge bases of their own. I love to ask people questions about the things they’re passionate about to chew on the ideas a bit. From time to time you, the reader, will hear from them about it! Ever wanted to know what a combat arms soldier would share with you if given the chance? What about a chef? A model? Sounds interesting right?- At least I think so! This will be a feature of the blog, and I anticipate bringing in many writers, for many topics as this project rolls on.
4) When I talk about politics, I will note it in the beginning of the post. Politics is a touchy thing, and I know that many have thought, “I like what they have to say, but if they could hush up about the political stuff, that would be ideal” about a whole bunch of people. So when I delve into this, you will see Politics at the front of the post. This is the courtesy notification to change the channel if you’d rather not hear about it.
5) Hiccups will happen. If you talk enough times about enough topics, eventually predictions will end up being wrong, eggs will be shattered on faces, etc. I’m no different. Obviously I’m going to try hard not to do it, but interceptions will be thrown, I’m only human!
6) Expect to see posts with an optimistic feel to them. While I can and do take off the gloves a bit (intellectually speaking), truth be told I feel that I’m more of an optimist. Sure, some people are stupid, but this world is full of great people too. Great people often don’t know their worth, or perhaps they’re not told enough times. I’ll be telling those stories and singing the virtues of those people as well.
I’ll be stopping there before I make too many promises! I’m very excited to see how this unfolds.
Let the games begin!