Random Ramblings: Monday Night Comedy

I think I need to start using “Cool beans” more in regular conversation.

Is it OK to use “Night-Blooming Jasmine Shower Gel” in the morning?

If you can smoke a cigarette while doing your job, you’re either not working hard or you have a super-easy job.

Some people sniff so hard, you’d think their brain was trying to escape.

Tagline seen on a truck: “Delightful service through innovation.” I think they’re probably over-promising.

Unfunny but needs to be said: THE FAR LEFT LANE = THE FAST LANE = THE PASSING LANE. If someone is “on your tail,” GET OUT OF THE WAY.

I keep waiting for a talent scout to discover me, but every day that passes, I get older, balder and fatter.

It seems like a store named “Shop ‘n’ Go” is passive-aggressively telling me to “buy something and Get The F Out.”

I’m not sure why you have to name that place “Condoms To Go” — were people buying them and using them in the store and/or parking lot?

Confession: I have not had my hands “at 10 and 2″ on the steering wheel since 1989.

Thanks, Joker! (And some Random Ramblin’s.)

So my blog has been decidedly dormant due to my dedication to my daughters and my duties as Daddy.

No more! (Well, I’m not going to stop that stuff, but I will try to get back to bloggin’.)

And it’s thanks to several comments from a fellow blogger, Joker from Why Advertising Sucks. It’s amazing what some kind words from an unseen colleague can do…so thanks Joker!

Call the rest of this a mini-Random Ramblin’s…

If you’re not a baseball fan, skip down a few ‘graphs. This is about Roy Halladay, one of baseball’s best pitchers. He’s currently a Toronto Blue Jay, but they’ve pretty much decided to make him available for a trade. And my hometown Phillies are a great match, since they have plenty of good young prospects and the ability to take on his salary (now and in the future).

Reasons the Phillies need Halladay: He makes a good rotation GREAT. Especially in a short playoff series, when it could be Halladay, Hamels and whoever else they put out there. Heck, if Pedro Martinez has anything left in the tank, let him rip.

Heck, legendary baseball man Peter Gammons basically says the Phillies could be a World Series contender for two or three years if they did this. And although they’d be giving up some of their best prospects, that’s what they are right now – prospects. There is NO guarantee that these guys become solid contributors at the major league level – much less superstars.

There is no guarantee that Halladay gets them back to the World Series – but he improves their chances BIG time.


Well, a case manager from HP was supposed to call me today about my Presario V6000 laptop, which refuses to turn on. Well, the lights come on for half a second, it gives a weak beep, then shuts down. But because this is a replacement unit – that’s right, this one was sent to us when the old 5101 died on us – we need to have a case manager validate our claim so they’ll repair it.

I’d go on a long rant about how sucky HP/Compaq is, but it’s been done.

I may do a pre-emptive call in a few minutes, and will keep you posted.


So now I’m going off of Imuran completely. One less immunosuppressive drug. Yay! Now we being the countdown to Colonoscopy ’09, scheduled for Friday the 13th (of November). Yay?


More important than anything else you’ve read here…the girls are doing well, thanks for asking!

Eating and pooping pretty normally.

But sleeping? They’re freakin’ Olympians already. We’re talking like 8, 9, maybe 10 hours overnight.

I think they’re setting us up, this is all a trick. When they’re two, they’ll sleep in half-hour shifts for four hours then demand we stay up with them watching Ni Hao Kailan or Jack’s Big Music Show! (Actually, they’re pretty good shows.)

We think that Alexandra is starting to look like me, and Norah like Shannon. Here’s a recent photo:

My girls

Alexandra & Norah, just chillin'.


I’m in 4th place in fantasy baseball. This is unheard of, and I have now jinxed myself.


We’re living in Little Elm, Texas, not far from the intersection of Eldorado Parkway and Route 423/Main Street. The latter is a horrendous road that gets crazy backed up during rush hour. The former is under massive construction that will probably continue until I retire at the ripe old age of 78.

I don’t know if this is deserving of an “oy” or a “meh.” Perhaps a new term should be made available…


Shannon and I saw The Hangover. 86 out of 100. Laugh-out loud in parts, but man I was hoping for more gutbusting laughs.


I hate that the scale at Medifast is usually 3 pounds heavier than my scale at home. I woke up all psyched that I was 160.8 on Saturday morning, until I get to the clinic and weigh in at 163.8. They’re both digital scales! How does that work?


I can’t believe boxing lost Arturo Gatti and Vernon Forrest like two weeks apart. I truly enjoyed watching these warriors fight and grieve for them and their families.

I hope you’re happy, Joker. You’ve unleashed the beats. A lame bloggin’ beast.

Random Ramblin’s: Thoughts from the commute


Driving past the second of two liquor stores within a half-mile of my house (and literally a few hundred yards from each other), I noticed that the lights were on and the place was open for business.

At 8:27 a.m.

For that busy commuter who just has to get that case of beer and a bottle of vodka first thing in the A.M.


I have a new appreciation for Greek and Roman mythology (not that I didn’t back when I took that course in college) after seeing lightning so up close and personal here in Texas. With all the open spaces, you can really see how amazing lightning is from a hundred yards or several miles.

Because before us humans put up all dem buildings, our ancestors probably took a look at the incredible spectacle of lightning, got really really skeered, and started coming up with stories about it. “The gods are angry at us!” And some enterprising copywriter said, “Yea, verily, it musteth be Zeus, God of Thunder!” (And then some cheesy Roman hack said, “Yea, verily, it musteth be Jupiter, King of the Gods!”)


Speaking of the true sport of kings, let’s turn to baseball. Mike & Mike were talking about Johan Santana of the Mets this morning, and how he’s basically the best pitcher in the game but gets no run support from his offense.

And I’m scratching my balding head, thinking: Jose Reyes. David Wright. Carlos Beltran. Carlos Delgado. How is this team not killing the ball every night and crushing the division?

Because the names after those guys are weak weak weak. And the starting pitching after Santana is mediocre at best. And that allegedly fantastic bullpen that they spent $478 million on last winter? Doesn’t really matter how great your relievers are if you’re losing big.


There’s got to be a way to “beat” the Zip Cash cameras on some of these toll roads. Maybe if I go 88mph, like Marty McFly in the DeLorean in Back to the Future, that’s the perfect speed to fool the cameras.

Now that you’re deep in thought, I’ll take my leave of you.

Random Ramblin’s: Last 2008 edition

My commute last week and this week was sheer bliss. Lots of people on vacation = less drivers at rush hour = Happy Harley.

We’ve hit temperatures in the high 60s several times this December. Freakin’ awesome.

Driving around my neighborhood a couple Saturdays ago, passed by some people on the side of the road in orange vests, picking up trash. Figured they were convicts doing community service or something, but as I got closer I saw on the back of the vests: “Keep Plano Beautiful – Volunteer.” You don’t see stuff like that in a lot of other places.


PHILLIES  – Still not sure what to think of signing Raul Ibanez for three years. He’s by all accounts a great guy, so team chemistry will be good. By many accounts, he’s a lousy defender in left field. By my calendar, he’s 37. But he’s in great shape, he’s liable to hit about as well as the outgoing Pat Burrell, and there is something to be said for team chemistry. Just look at the Cowboys with all their superstars and no heart. Or the Mets in the ’90s when they overspent on Bobby Bonilla and paid big bucks for Bret Saberhagen. Yes, the Phils will have a left-handed-heavy batting lineup, but the majority of starting pitchers are righthanders anyway.

YANKEES: Certainly not one of my favorite teams, but I had to say something about them spending nearly a half-billion dollars on three players. It’s their right to do so, and it does stack them up as one of the top teams, but many things could go wrong. C.C. Sabathia is a workhorse, but he’s a big heavy dude and injuries could be a concern after pitching like 469 innings last year. (Approximately.) A.J. Burnett has a long injury history, but could be dominant if he stays healthy. Mark Teixeira will likely fit well in that lineup and bang out 40+ homers and play a great first base. The AL East will be very interesting to watch.

EAGLES: What a crazydiculous season. A tie to the woeful Bengals, Donovan McNabb pulled from a game, Andy Reid continuing to call questionable plays. And somehow, they win a bunch of games down the stretch, Tampa Bay loses to a bad Oakland team, Chicago loses to Houston, and the Birds CRUSH the gutless Cowboys to squeeze into the playoffs. And they have a good shot to beat Minnesota this weekend, and they’ve already beaten the Giants in New York. NFC Championship game, here we come?

COWBOYS: Gotta say my piece on the ‘Pokes. FOX’s Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson had this one right: the Cowboys are messed up because it starts from the top down. And owner Jerry Jones is the problem. He also serves as General Manager – even though he’d never get that job if he wasn’t an owner – and makes moves like a fantasy football owner (analogy stolen from ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd). T.O.? Sign him. Roy Williams? Don’t need him, but imagine the receiving numbers! But not when your $67 million boy Tony Romo throws stupid interceptions and the whole team looks like a bunch of quitters. I actually feel bad for Cowboys fans, because unless Jerry hires a REAL General Manager (even George Steinbrenner hired Brian Cashman), he’ll keep running the team into the ground and out of the playoffs.

76ERS: Mo Cheeks fired after going 9-14. Elton Brand out for a month. And we only get like eight 76ers games on network TV, so all that excitement I had about the team has drifted away. (Yes, “fair-weather fan” would be accurate.)

FLYERS: Apparently, they play hockey. From what I’ve gleaned in my not-caring mode, they started off sucky and then won a bunch of games, and they’re playing well.

ARENA FOOTBALL: They’re taking 2009 off and plan to get back to work in 2010. Can I do that too?

Back to ramblin’…

New Year’s Eve? Bah humbug. My REAL New Year begins on January 13, when you can send me as many birthday gifts as you like.

Oh, and of more import than anything else written above…our twins are officially both girls! So yes, Daddy’s Little Girls will be arriving this spring in theaters near you. (Well, not so much in theaters, more like subjects in my blogs that will surely embarrass them later in life.)

Peace out, yo.

Random Ramblin’s: Goodbye, Earth?

When Stephen Hawking says we ought to start thinking about getting off of Planet Earth, it might be time to listen.

Check it out here: Cosmos

I realized a little while ago that the only, single, solitary place that a person can write and be “published” without censorship is a blog. OK, maybe if you self-publish a book, you can count that too.

This morning at work, I went into the bathroom and to put it mildly, it reeked. I was washing my hands when another guy walked in, apparently took a whiff, turned and left. So I’m thinking, do I chase after him, yelling “That wasn’t me!” or just let it go? I let it go. We’re only in this office until the spring anyway.

Facebook is nuts. I’m re-friending all kinds of people from elementary school all the way up through college and previous jobs. It’s really cool to see what people are up to.

I do fear the Phillies/Dodgers series, but I’m hoping that the Phillies’ pitching will step up – and the big bats (Utley and Howard) come alive.

It rained on the DFW Metroplex today. First time in like 2.5 weeks. Rest of the week’s forecast is like 81 and sunny every day. Simply awesome. It’s really nice to be in a climate in which you truly feel at home.

So it’s going to cost each of us personally $2,300 to bail out Wall Street. Is that going to come off the top of my income taxes or what?

I’m not going to get all political here, but I’m disappointed in the tactics being used in the electoral campaigns. I had hoped, given the two candidates in the running, that we might have had an actual, rational discourse on the issues instead of attack ads and snarky comments.

I wonder if fast-food employees ever feel bad when they have to ask if a morbidly obese person wants to enlarge/super-size their order, and they say yes. I suppose they have to look at it as a personal choice that that person is making.

I take a total of 9 pills a day, consisting of both medications and vitamins. Sadly, none of them endow me with superpowers.

Speaking of…Heroes is on tonight. And there’s the usual round of people saying “oh, it sucks” and “it’s not as good as it used to be” or my personal favorite: “season one rocked, season two sucked and this one is just blah so far.” I kind of agree, but I’m just an easier person to please I guess. I think that most things that are “cool” at one point are inevitably overanalyzed and then found to be “uncool.” Yeah, there are storylines that each of us might not like, but at least there are several other intriguing ones at the same time.


Random Ramblin’s: My Royal Return!

Sorry I’ve been so remiss in posting. (I know you care.)

July 4th was really cool. After the usual BBQ, we drove over to this spot in Frisco where we could see fireworks (albeit most were far away) in like five different towns at once. Of course, the ones at Pizza Hut Park – which claim to be the best in North Texas –  might have been just that.

Saw Incredible Hulk and Indiana Jones.  Loved the first, liked the second.

Got my “Heart Rate Monitor for Dummies” as part of the master plan to try interval training. My friend Charlie says it’s the latest thing – short bursts of maximum effort to get the heart rate up, which is basically anaerobic activity that gets you the benefits of aerobic activity.

(Or something like that.)

I don’t know what it is about Caffeine Free Pepsi. Maybe it’s sweeter than other soft drinks.  But we love it.

Finished my two-month, contract-to-hire-oh-never-mind gig. Do NOT want to talk about it here.

Currently freelancing on-site at a Dallas agency. Much better.

Interviewed last week at a major utility company for a client-side gig. Should hear something this week.

Fantasy baseball-wise, I’m pretty much craptabulously done. I’m starting to think I’m really a lousy competitor, even though so many trades I make work out better for me than my trading partner and I’m able to find great bargains and young talent.

I pretty much HAVE to get a haircut every four to five weeks, or it starts to look godawful (like it does now). See, the part that grows fine (sides and back) overtakes the growth of the super-slow top part of my head, and I end up looking a bit like a pumpkin without the green stump part.

Our forecast here is like 95 to 98 every day. Of course, we’re all indoors most of the time. And on the weekend, the closest pool is usually near-empty.

The Phillies are in first place. Wonder if it’ll last. Not likely if they don’t get better pitching.

The Summer story writing contest is coming up. (If you recall, I entered the Spring contest with horrendous results.) But now I’ve got a much better idea of how to approach it. And hey, it’s only $5 to enter.

Ad Campaign I’m Loving: The Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World.” Heard a radio spot for it today and laughed out loud. THAT is saying something. Euro RSCG New  York, I salute you, you magnificent bastards! (And stay thirsty, my friends.) I actually went and bought a case just to support the company.

OK, time to brush my teeth and head to bed. Nightie-night.

“It’s got cache out the yin-yang!”

[[UPDATE: Many of my visitors are being directed here…please view THIS blog for an explanation:

My blogapology to misdirected readers.

September 26, 2008]]


Ah, George Costanza. One of television’s greatest characters.

Welcome back to my insane ramblings. I hope you missed me. I missed you…or at least the thought of actual people out there, bathed in the soft light of your monitor, reading what I type in off the top of my head. I appreciate you very much.

Fantasy baseball update, Yahoo league: Still bouncing between 7th and 9th place out of 11 teams. Traded away Lance Berkman, J.D. Drew and Heath Bell for Carlos Quentin, Jon Rauch and Chris Perez. I figure for a keeper league, Quentin is a big-time guy to have – and his numbers were Berkman-like for much of this season.

Fantasy baseball update, CBS (and money) league: Also still bouncing, although I had a tremendous week and went from 13th to 7th for a few glorious days. I thought that some of my long-time slumpers were finally living up to their usual stats, but then they kind of went back into suspended animation.

Turns out I will *not* be staying on at my current freelance gig, at least not in the same role. We’ve discussed another position in the company, but I still need to talk about it with the person who would be my supervisor. If this doesn’t pan out, I’m working on some other options. Stay tuned…

No big boxing this past weekend, but that’s OK because we were in Philly for my friend Howard’s wedding. They had it at this little winery north of New Hope, PA. (I enjoyed their sweet riesling.)

This weekend, it’s pool time for sure. Dallas has been hovering around 100 degrees the past couple days, and it’s supposed to “cool down” to the mid-90s for a while. And summer officially starts this weekend.

Our apartment complex is being really jerky about trash. We were putting out our trash bags (no garbage can be left out unless it’s in a bag, by the way) the night before trash pickup – which is 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It wasn’t hurting anybody. But the complex policy, which was redistributed in memo form, says that we can’t do that anymore. So trash has to be out some time between sunrise and 8:30 a.m. This is an inconvenience that annoys me.

The Phillies are doing very well. Of course, now that I’ve said that, they will probably begin to suck. Sorry for the jinx, boys.

Writer’s block, jet lag and overall malaise have overtaken me.

I promise…

…to blog more often soon.  When I can.  Probably the weekend.

Life has just been hectic, for more reasons than I have the energy to go into right now.  (You’ll just have to trust me.)

Still diggin’ the two-month freelance on-site corporate gig, still wondering/hoping it’ll turn into full-time.

Heading back to Philly again for another whirlwind weekend in mid-June.

Fantasy baseball update: My teams suck.  I made a bunch of cuts to my Yahoo team, and I’m working the trade talks in the CBS league.  This is just not my year at all, fantasy-wise.

Just got two songbooks in the mail–Ben Folds and Rent.  Guess which is for me and which is for Shannon.  I’ll probably start practicing them on my keyboard this weekend.

I’m halfway to 70 (have been for several months now), but does it really count like that?  I barely remember any of the first five years.

It’s late and my contacts are still in.  But not for long.

Peace out.

Stuff going on

Working on that freelance Web site copy, looking to get another Web site and brochure from another source.

Beautiful weather here today, 80 and sunny. This is how it ought to be.

Feeling fine.

Fantasy baseball teams both struggling. My main team is in next-to-last place. My Yahoo team is bouncing between 7th and 10th in a 12-team league. Oy.

Looks like a weekend of doing stuff around the house, cleaning, organizing, all that fun stuff. OK, maybe not fun, but it’s got to get done.

I know I need to blog more, I apologize for not posting more often. I should commit to doing it once a day–it doesn’t take that long, and I type really fast.

Until later!

Random Ramblin’s (Thursday night edition)

So things are looking up a bit…heard about a couple possible freelance opportunities, one that’s even 40 hrs. /week.  And I spoke with an ECD at a local agency who said he’ll meet with me next week (but no mention of any actual opportunities).  Then again, a contact is a contact.

It is a wee small world we live in.  I got a LinkedIn invite the other day from a woman who not only knew my brothers, she married one of my best friends from elementary school.  Thirty years after I first met him, I’m now LinkedIn to him as well.

Don’t German, Hebrew and Klingon sound a lot alike?

80 and humid today with scattered rain.  Forecast for tomorrow is 65 with some more rain, then 70-75 and sunny for the weekend.  Texas weather is as ever-changing as (fill in your own simile, I’m tired).

Random list of people I know who are also “between jobs” (listed by their last position instead of their names):

–Executive Creative Director

–Associate Creative Director, Copy

–Associate Creative Director, Art


–Art Director (two of them)

–Illustrator/Web Designer

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be ad folks.  (Teach them to throw left-handed, and they’ll have job security for years and years in the majors.)

If one of my readers wanted to invest a few hundred grand, I could start my own agency with that list above.

Shannon and I actually missed the premiere of Hell’s Kitchen.  But our DVR is set to record the rerun on Sunday.  So you can quit your worrying.

I’m guessing that one of the worst things you can be in life is the child of a superstar.  The pressure on Michael Jordan’s kids or Tiger Woods’ kid or Tom Cruise’s fake kid must be unbelievable.  I remember the problems Dr. J had with his sons that were just tragic.  (I also remember playing baseball against one of them in a tournament.)

Is it wrong for me to not want the cats hanging out on top of tables or countertops?

Is it even more wrong for me to squirt the heck out of them with water when they do?

People who know me best know that I grew up without pets, but I married a wonderful woman whose giant heart led her to adopt four cats.  Let’s analyze these little “treasures” from my perspective:

1) Smokey = oldest, fattest, most spoiled and probably most loved by Shannon.  He was there long before I was, and I’ll be darned if he doesn’t look at me with eyes that say “you’re just her husband, I’m her favorite cat and she likes me better.”  He’s my least favorite, although if I hold my hand out a certain way, he comes over for a vigorous head-petting.

2) Vulpix = spelling may or may not be correct, since Shannon’s brother got to name him during his Pokemon phase several years ago.  Vulpix is what I like to call an “attention whore.”  He always wants to be petted, and if he sees you petting another cat he zooms over to get some lovin’ too.  But it’s kind of endearing.  And he’s the one who lays there cleaning off the others the most.  Of course, that makes him the one who throws up the most.  Maybe that’s why he’s my favorite–our shared gastrointestinal struggles.

3) Hobbes = the first cat that I got to name.  He’s a Siamese, and boy was he a little piece of something when we first got him.  But after he got fixed and declawed (just the fronts), he came home a different cat.  He just kind of lay there staring at me, and I felt bad with those little bandages on his paws.  So we bonded as he recuperated.  He used to come to me when I beckoned, but as Siamese cats get older, they get lazier and slower and more standoffish.  He still comes around some.  Also, he sheds like a mofo.  You can just pet him once and come away with a fistful of hair.   He’s #2 on the list.

4) Speedy = so named (by me) because all he does is run from me, half of the time hissing.  (Yes, I hiss back.)   We believe he was abused, because most of his day is spent cowering in a corner of the garage.  He has “come around” a lot more, and will even allow us to pet him if he sees us petting another cat and feels safe.  It’s a shame, because he’s pretty cute, but so skittish that it’s hard to get attached.

Argh, enough of cats for one night.

Here’s one of those things that single guys would never EVER purchase but married guys kind of end up enjoying: Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soaps.

If I do end up with a corporate gig, I’ll have to go get some serious discount suits.  I’ve got plenty of cool ties and probably enough dress shirts.  Man, they’d better pay me large green for me to go back to getting all gussied up for work.

Do people say “gussied up” anymore?

I always jinx myself by mentioning my writing ideas out loud and then I lose the motivation to continue with them.  But maybe a blog mention won’t count.  I’ve been sketching an outline for a play (guess it could be a movie or novel) based on a sports radio station in Philly.  Four main characters, whose lives are entwined by more than just their jobs and a love of sports.  Crap, I think the enthusiasm just went away.  I’ll try to force myself to get back on it tomorrow.

Dear Publishing Magnate:  I know you’re reading this blog and thinking, “why don’t we just buy these blog entries and publish them?”  You can reach me by commenting below and making me an offer.

Dear Development Executive at a Major Motion Picture Studio: I know you’re reading this blog and thinking, “why don’t we just buy these blog entries and turn them into a movie?”  You can reach me by commenting below and making me an offer.

Dear Ben Silverman: I know you’re reading this blog and thinking, “now that I’m in charge of programming at NBC, why don’t we get this guy to create a sitcom for the midseason?”   You can reach me by commenting below and making me an offer.

And with that, dear readers, I bid you good night.