Monday, December 28, 2009

Kitchen Revolution

Here is a little poem I've been noodling with over the last week. Something random.

Kitchen Revolution

Kitchen spatulas
Attack like tarantulas
Spare only neighborhood treasurers
Their spouses locked in slaughterhouses

Banging for help in the code of Morses
General spoons riding in on horses
Phlebotomists tangle with solutions
Nooses tied around the handles of knives who doth protested

The damnation of dalmatians
While those bitten by Siamese kittens
Could only count the scars.

Pots and pans lay the groundwork
Microwaves keep the frequency
Communications flow easily

Through comparable components used to cooperation
Can openers slice their way past defenses
Soulless toasters dance to the rhythm in sequences

Victory employed coroners
The result of woks whacking their owners

Business was good the day
Mixers, whiskers, and egg beaters turned the tables
And revolted against the eaters.

Note: after finishing this poem, I googled "spatulas". Apparently the Internet is a strange place and I am not the only one inspired by the idea of violent kitchenware. Check out the movie Spatula Madness. It is about a group of spatulas who fight giant wooden spoons. Although not quite the animated version of my poem, it is close enough for me to know "Kitchen Revolution" will never be turned into the next Avatar.

Oh well.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

T'was the Monday after Christmas

T'was the Monday after Christmas, and all through work
No one wanted to be there, but the boss was a jerk.
He told me to be in the office on time and not a minute late,
Or else my employment would meet an horrible fate.

I sat in my cubicle staring at my screen,
While thoughts of Christmas still filled my dreams.
Although I couldn't, I wanted to tell everyone about my new toys,
But I knew the boss would yell if I made a noise.

That poem is a work in progress. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great holiday. I definitely did.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Conforming at the Drive-Thru

Sometimes I surprise myself with my off-the-wall notions and ideas. What surprises me even more, however, is when I read other people whose ideas are similar to mine.

Last week, after buying lunch at a local fast food drive-thru, I wondered if anyone actually gives in to the suggestion of the drive-thru order-taker-person. You know, those people who ask if you would like to try a new value meal or a chicken sandwich or any other deal of the day. How effective do you think their suggestions really are? Personally, I think I am of the habit of turning them down, even if moments later I order exactly what they suggest. Rejecting their sale pitch  is second nature.

Anthropologist Grant McCracken touches on this phenomenon in a post entitled, "Culturematics, Choice, and Identity Construction Now". McCracken states that, "By our choices, consumer, spiritual, political, shall you know us.  It is the way we find, fashion, express and constantly tune selfhood. A good deal of our ideology of selfhood is tied up in the possession of preference and the exercise of choice."

We don't want to accept that someone behind a microphone at a drive-thru might know what we want. We want to come to our own choices independently.

(Interestingly, McCracken makes these comments in response to the business practices of another restaurant. Accordingly to McCracken, there was Japanese cafe that "serves you what the last patron ordered". McCracken analysizes what such randomness does to the idea of choice and identity.)

But what if there was a financial incentive to listen to suggestions? What if you received a significant discount if you said "yes" to the offer of the drive-thru attendant? What if they offered 50% off the meal they suggested? If you only wanted a cup of coffee and they suggested a triple deluxe bacon cheeseburger, of course you might not be interested, but what if your choice was relatively close? Would you sacrifice your choice for theirs?

To make the notion even more interesting, what if the drive-thru attendant asked you if you would like the exact order of the person who drove through prior to you? At what discount would you be willing to conform to the tastes of a total stranger?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Great First Date Ideas

Through my years of trials and tribulations with members of the finer gender, I've become a bit of an expert on first dates. Not so much on second dates, third dates, or even the concept of "dating", but definitely first dates. I average a few a year. Some go well, some not so well, some are best left not discussed.

(In care you are curious, however, here is my worst date: I picked her up in my military uniform after I got off work - she was not impressed as she told me her dad was in the service. Then we went to eat. I ordered a dinner, she ordered a side salad, ate two pieces of lettuce and a carrot slice and then watched me eat. After "dinner", we were supposed to go play putt-putt or something, but she claimed she needed to go home as her friend had an "emergency" and she need to go see her. So I drove her home. The end.)

With all my experience in first dates, I figured I would endow my readers with some wit and wisdom and a couple of creative ideas for your next first date (or, if you are married, the next time you take the Mrs. out).

The Ultimate Cheap Date

Remember in the movie Half Baked, when Dave Chappelle takes Mary Jane out on a date for a few hours and only spends eight bucks (after robbing the homeless guy)? Well, this date is sorta like that, only without pilfering from the down and out. The goal and theme of this date is to make it as romantic, meaningful, and thoughtful as possible while spending as little as possible. Because face it, a woman who demands you take her to Red Lobster so she can order a 20 dollar salad is probably not the type of girl for any reader of this blog, is she?

The first step in the Ultimate Cheap Date is to buy a few cheap candles, placemats, and maybe a table cloth. Trust me, you can get most of this stuff from the Salvation Army or wherever. Then bring your date to Taco Bell or anywhere else with a dollar menu. Or if you want to go really cheap, aim for less than 99 cents - a McDonald's hamburger and cheeseburger or a hard taco at Taco Bell. Then, after you pick the restaurant, set up a table like it is a real high class date. Lay out the table cloth, placemats, and light the candles. It will look sharp, trust me. Then play the date like you are taking her to the most expensive place in town.

The Consensus Date

These days we are all about open source things (programs, designs, etc). We are becoming more and more open to the idea of people we don't know contributing to what we do. Why not bring this concept into dating?

We have all been on dates that don't start so well. You sit there, trying desperately to connect and find something to talk about. You try news, sports, school, jobs, personal history, family, and even the weather, but the conversation is still as flat as 50-year old soda. Whatever you do, nothing works.

Time to open source and let the people decide your fate.

Once you realize the date is going nowhere fast, walk over to the nearest couple and ask them for help. Make it quick, and don't waste their time, but still get them to offer you some advice. People love giving advice, especially relationship advice. After you get that couple's suggestions, go to another table and ask them the same question. Try and get a popular consensus on what to do. Then, after you have a few suggestions or an overwhelming opinion on what to do, go back to your table and see if the people around you are smarter than you are. If anything, you just extended your date by telling your date what you just did. Maybe she will see the humor. What do you have to lose?

Now I can't say I have done either of these ideas. I am just saying that I think they could work. They might even get you a second date.

(Image from

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The First Ever AfroSquad Video

As many of you know, I frequently roll with the Afro-Squad. I am not an original member, by any stretch of the imagination. The Afro-Squad has been fighting The Man since the mid-1990s.

Recently uncovered by Bothan spies deep in the caves of Afghanistan comes the first ever Afro-Squad video. Oddly, there are two versions. The first was posted on SpikeTV by the SnowMan.

The second, on youtube, had the sound removed by The Man.