Thursday, January 28, 2010

Are You Fat or Obese?

Last night, I read yesterday’s post to Dee before I posted it.  When I finished she said, “I’m glad you wrote something positive.”  I asked her if I had been overly negative recently and she mentioned that she didn’t like the part in Monday's post where I called the ladies on the plane “fat.”

Of course, this launched a spirited bedtime debate.

Dee thought I was being mean and was disappointed that I had stooped to fat jokes.  She’s right; I was being mean.  I don’t know that stooped to fat jokes, though.  I did make snap judgements based on brief interactions.  Most people will assume that I made a fat joke but if it was simply a joke about how the ladies were fat I would have avoided it.  However, the fact that these two ladies were fat was relevant to my misery on the flight.  Plus, the joke wasn’t really about their fatness.  It was about my own hypocrisy at being outraged that she hadn’t actually learned anything about me when I made even less effort to learn about her.  Anyway…

Explaining jokes is boring.

I’d rather talk about the word ‘fat’.  ‘Fat’ is one of those words that people aren’t allowed to use anymore because it’s insensitive.  I think that’s bullshit.  Somehow it would have been kinder if I had called those ladies ‘obese’ or ‘overweight’?  Everyone knows that those words really mean ‘fat’.  Pretending that we are not really calling someone fat when we are calling them fat is more insulting than actually calling them fat.  It assumes that fat people are also dumb.  Do we really think that fat people don’t know what ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ mean?  If so, we’re the idiots.

Let’s just use simple words with clear definitions and stop pretending that we’re offended by every little thing.

Oh yeah, if you think I’m a jackass for using the word ‘fat’, going to isn’t much better.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Here's the Thing...

...I still haven't heard a good reason why an intelligent person would continue to watch The Bachelor.

...if you make a joke about being the only fat Indian man on the planet, you probably shouldn't follow that up by ordering a sandwich that comes with chips and then ordering extra chips.

...if you don't want to take me where I want to go, stop being a cab driver.

...sleep increases in value as you age.

...the Colts are in the Super Bowl, bitches!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Travels and Travelers

I'm not a big traveler.  I would say I'm more of a medium-size traveler.  I fit in Coach, but not comfortably.  I don't encroach upon other's seats with my girth.  My bags fit neatly in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of me.  I don't push my limits.

I also don't travel frequently.

A couple times a year I jet off to some place for five or six days.  Mostly for work, sometimes for fun. (I used "fun" instead of "pleasure" because "pleasure" makes it sound like I'm on some sort of sexcapade.  Not that sexcapades are bad.  It's just that my trips are so much more than that.)  This time I'm out in California for work.  The weather has be rainy and coldish, but that hasn't much mattered since I've been in the office the whole time.  I'd go into detail about the work I'm doing but it involves routers and switches and circuits and you're tuning out already, aren't you?

Instead I'll tell you about my flight.  First, four hours is way too long to be jammed between two over sized ladies that both sing along to the music in their headphones.  Thankfully, I have noise cancelling headphones.  These came in handy on several occasions.  First, it drowned out their singing and later it served as a sufficient excuse for me to ignore the lady by the window when she was trying to start a conversation.  I wasn't able to avoid her the whole flight, unfortunately.  When I removed my headphones she pointed to my Kindle and said, "Is that a book?"

I replied, "Yes.  Kind of.  I can download multiple books to this."

"Is that for school?"

"No.  It's for personal use," I said.

"Do they give them out at your school?"

"No.  I don't go to school.  I haven't been in school in over ten years."

"Oh, I thought you were a college student," she said.

 I suppose this would be flattering if I was one of those women who try way too hard to look younger than they are, but I just thought she was an idiot.  How had she been sitting beside me for four hours and not noticed my gray hair or grumpy old man attitude?  Frankly, it was disrespectful.  I had taken the time to notice that she was fat and annoying.  The least she could do was notice superficial things about me and make value judgments.

I thought society was making progress.  I guess I was wrong.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What To Do While Trying to Think of Ideas for this Post

1) Ask your wife for ideas even though you know using her idea will feel like cheating.
2) Shred your mail.
3) Keep hitting the “Random article” link on Wikipedia.
4) Walk the dog.
5) Stare at your bookshelf.
6) Think of a bunch of Avatar related ideas and immediately dismiss them because of yesterday’s post.
7) Try to reach that itch on your back without the aid of a utensil of any type.
8) Refold all of the shirts in your closet.
9) Get annoyed by your wife watching The Bachelor.
10) Rue that you didn’t make it MLK Jr. Themed.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Avatar: My Review

Dee and I finally saw Avatar last night.  After all the hype and recommendations from friends, we had to.  We couldn’t miss a chance to see the most spectacular movie of our lifetime.  It was an interesting experience.

Avatar is like sleeping with a hot girl who’s bad in the sack.  You feel stupid complaining about it.  Your friends won’t be sympathetic because you slept with the hot girl.  What could you possibly have to complain about?  You get it.  You know that you don’t really have anything to complain about because a) you had sex and b) you spent that whole time looking at a really hot girl.  It still doesn’t change the fact that you didn’t think it was amazing.  It was clear that the hot girl knew that all she really needed to do was show up and let you have sex with her.  No extra effort needed.

That’s how I felt watching Avatar.  So much effort was put into making it look good that the rest of the movie was sacrificed.  The characters were predictable and one-dimensional.  Cameron did everything short of bringing the Colonel Quaritch character into my home to beat up my family to make us hate the guy.  We get it.  He’s evil and crazy.  He was so dislikable that even his death couldn’t bring satisfaction.  Don’t get me started on the overplayed military clichés that every single soldier used.  Or that is was a half-hour too long.  I could mention more but it will just seem like nitpicking.

I’m glad I got to see this beautiful movie in IMAX 3-D, I’m just saying it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  Like sleeping with the hot girl.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Late Night TV

I don’t get to watch a lot of late night television, but I remember being upset that I could no longer watch Letterman and Conan when Leno left The Tonight Show.  However, I remember being happy that Leno was no longer on The Tonight Show.  Then they announced that they were giving Leno a prime time show.  That’s when I wondered if everyone had forgotten that Jay Leno wasn’t funny.

Thankfully, his new prime time show reminded everyone how funny he wasn’t.  Or did it?

Leno’s ratings are in the crapper.  His crappy ratings are hurting the ratings for the local news shows which then hurt the ratings for The Tonight Show.  Even though Leno is no longer the host, he still manages to ruin The Tonight Show.  Any reasonable person sees the obvious solution to this problem.  Fire Jay Leno.  Cancel his show and send him back to his garage to wax his collection of cars.  Let Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon do their thing.  Those guys are funny. (I’ve done a 180º Jimmy Fallon.  Terrible on SNL, good as a talk show host.)

NBC doesn’t see it.  They insist on giving Jay Leno TV time.  NBC is managing to fuck up a very simple situation and they are screwing Jimmy and Conan in the process.  Conan has taken a stand and he has earned the sympathy of the people.  Good for him.  If he leaves NBC, he’ll get another job somewhere else and he’ll be great.  However, I wonder if that’s going to happen.

I’m afraid that this whole little controversy is only going to reassure NBC that they’re doing the right thing by trying to keep Leno.  There is no doubt in my mind that this mess has increased ratings for all three shows.  Everyone wants to see what Leno, Conan and Fallon are going to say about the situation.  Dee and I tuned in to Leno’s show for the first time since the show debuted (we could only stand about 10 minutes).  I’ve watched Conan’s monologues online and tried my best to stay up for his show.  Their ratings are way up in my house.  I’d guess that’s happening all over America.

In the meantime, everyone has forgotten about Letterman and Craig Ferguson.  Everyone has also forgotten that those guys are consistently funnier each night than any of NBC’s crew.

Note to NBC: If you are looking to hire someone that is marginally funny to fill Jay Leno’s prime time slot, give me a call.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Pros and Cons of Salads

1) They’re good for you.
2) They give you a feeling of superiority.
3) They don’t make you feel as bad about having dessert.

1) They’re always disappointing.
2) You always get some on you.
3) You’ll die anyway.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How To Get Ignored by Me on Facebook

Thanks to Facebook’s handy “Hide” feature, I don’t have to read about people I don’t want to read about anymore.  Maybe you’re one of those lucky people that I don’t read about.  How can you tell?  See below.

  • You use Facebook as your personal soapbox.
  • Your status updates are a full paragraph.
  • You only post to promote something.
  • 90% of your updates involve one of those stupid Facebook games.
  • You routinely invite me to join your political cause.
  • You live your personal dramas through your status updates.  All of your personal dramas.
  • You are my sworn enemy.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Blast from the Past

Last night was my birthday so I wanted to give myself the night off but I didn’t want to leave you without a Thursday post.  Instead I dug through the archives of the original and found an old post to rerun.  The following was originally posted on June 27, 2002.  It appears as it did then with some very minor changes.  Enjoy.


This portion of text contains highly sensitive and confidential material. As a matter of public security, this information is not intended for the general public. Dissemination of this information would result in a severe breach of the public well-being. Due to the catastrophic results that would surely befall this land if this information were made available to the general public, a command has been passed down that you cease and desist from reading any further.

This is the second warning. Move your eyes away and discontinue reading this text right now. Continuing to read past this point will carry severe penalties. Public safety is not a matter to be taken lightly and you will be dealt with accordingly.

Final warning. You have already taken great risks by continuing to read up to this point, and continuing any further will result in grave consequences. You do not have the proper clearance and the penalties for obtaining this knowledge are extreme. If you are found guilty of knowing this information you will receive a mandatory death sentence as detailed by the Treason statutes. Please do not force us to prosecute and execute you.

Are you still reading? I just told you to stop reading this. Do you want to put the American people in danger? Have you no regard for your own safety? Please stop reading. I don't want to see something bad to happen to you and your family — not to mention the rest of the population. I've given you all of the formal jargon, and now I'm just asking you politely to stop. This is for your own good. I'm just trying to look out for you and you're making it very hard for me. Please stop reading this. It's for the best. Thank you.

Come on, now. I just asked you nicely. Seriously, you are asking for trouble. You don't want to know this information. It's really not that interesting. It's just a bunch of highly technical mumbo jumbo that will probably bore you to tears. I don't even know why you'd want to read it. It's just going to be a big waste of your time. You could be outside playing catch with your kids or treating your spouse to a nice dinner. Why don't you go do that right now? Wouldn't they love you for it? Just give it up. Knowing this Top Secret information is not worth the burden. I'm just trying to do what's best for you — because I care. Thanks.

Dude. You're really starting to annoy me. I've been very pleasant with you up to this point. I'm trying to do the right thing here, so don't make me the bad guy. I'm beginning to think that you're some kind of idiot who can't follow simple instructions. If so, then you wouldn't even understand the upcoming information. Unfortunately, I can't take that chance. I must insist that you stop reading right now. Stop it. Now. Right now. Aaaaarrrrgh! Don't make me come through this computer! I'll do it! I'll come right into your house and gouge your freaking eyes out!

Okay, I'm sorry. I flew off the handle for a second. I'm sorry. I'm not going to hurt you but I really do need you to stop reading now. Will you do that for me? Right after this sentence stop reading. You're still reading aren't you? Why do you keep doing this? I'm just trying to do my job and you're making it very hard for me. For the last time, please stop reading this document. You're reading. I can see your lips moving. Okay, fine. Be that way. If you're going to be a stubborn jerk I'm not going to give you the information. I may lose my job but at least I haven't put the public in danger — which is what you're doing right now. That's it. I'm done. I'm not telling. Jerk.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

In case you’re not on Facebook and you don’t get those nifty little birthday notifications, I thought I’d give you a chance to send me your birthday platitudes right here on the blog.  If you are on Facebook and you’re not my friend, what the hell?  Friend me already.  If you don’t know me personally, friend me and send a note mentioning this post.  That way you can get my contact information and send me a birthday gift.  I like gadgets and hookers.

You’re probably wondering how old I am.  Frankly, so am I.  I have to do the math in my head. I’m not very good at math.  It takes me some time even though I’m sitting here in front of a big calculator.  You see, I’m not very good at calculators, either.  Most of my calculators have been attached to computers and the calculator is always the most boring part of the computer.  So I never use it.  Anyway, I’m guessing I’m about 40.

Since I’m 40 now I bet you’d like to do something nice for me.  If so, don’t send me a gift.  Instead, send a check to my dad’s scholarship fund.  My dad was responsible for Indiana being a technology leader, so the scholarship goes to an Indiana high school student who has shown an interest in technology.

Check payable to:
Blackford County Community Foundation, Inc.  Write “David C. Ford Scholarship” in the memo line.

Send to:
Benjamin E. Oswalt
121 North High Street
P.O. Box 327
Hartford City, IN 47348

Thanks, and Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Here's the Thing...

…you should be doing something you love every single day.

…if you think you’re learning something when you listen to Rush Limbaugh, you’re dumber than I thought.

…you haven’t really made it until you have your own Apples To Apples card.

…I’m pretty sure I could bring down the Internet by setting Twitter to update Facebook to update my blog to update Twitter.

…2010 isn’t going to be any better than 2009 unless you do something about it.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Year of the Board Game

Welcome to 2010.  I hope you got everything you wanted out of 2009, but based on Facebook, Twitter and blog updates it doesn’t seem like anyone did.  Let’s not spend 2010 tearing down 2009, though.  That’s not what 2010 is for.  2010 will clearly be the year of the board game.  Get your board games now before they’re all sold out.  Trust me on this one.

You still seem skeptical.  I thought we had built some trust, but I’ll explain anyway.  Much like Y2K, the year 2010 is not properly accounted for within the majority of our communications systems.  Fortunately, we still have some time before the shit hits the fan as the systems won’t freak out until 02/10/2010.  Basically, Microsoft’s auto-correct will think that you’re trying to type 2010 and assume you accidentally typed it incorrectly the first time and then typed it again.  It will then do its annoying auto-correct thing.  All of the world’s communications systems will crash as a result.

You’ll have nothing to do but play board games.