Liberals treat dogs like people, Conservatives treat people like dogs

Friday, July 23

Take a Leak

So I guess this is how Bush is going to do it.  Frankly, I am disappointed.  Maybe the best is yet to come, but I figured the Bush camp would have some really great and nasty and terrible stuff to derail the dems.  In the last week, we have got some pretty pathetic scandals - the sandy berger missing paper story (I'd link you to the story here.  But it is already a non-issue and I can't find a link to it), the footage of the hijackers at the airport (why wait three years to show this footage.  What does it add to the dialogue?), and today they released some of the missing Bush pay records from the Guard. COME ON PEOPLE - where is the stuff like this        >  John Kerry hates blacks, and has three illegitamate black kids.        >  John Kerry known to freebase in Vietnam, hence his fearless heroism         >  John Kerry, known arab lover 

      >  John Kerry secretly lovers with Barney Frank I mean, at least give me a fucked up Kerry sibling.  This Edwards brother with an old DUI in Colorado won't cut it either.  I mean, I want Neil Bush type family failure.  The repubs have GOT to have a better and meaner strategy to defame the dems.  I mean, let's pretend I was an undecided voter... is there a reason in the world to vote for Bush? god, I love politics too much.  I want to join the other side just to get some lifeblood going into this duel.  My first act as chief evil doer would be to hire back Ari Fleischer to start denying things.  Look at the Mike Moore film 'controversy'.  All anyone can say about it is 'it is one sided'.  Ok, fine.  Even the head Republicans can not and have not said "It is filled with errors, misinformation, and unnecessary malaise!"  Come on, if you can't even refute the extremely damning information in the Moore movie... then why should I vote for you?  You say your side is better?  Do you have 90 minutes worth of facts on film to demonstrate that to the American people? Yes, the Republicans need major help being evil again.  They have been so focused on big business and war that they forgot why there are here in the first place:  to screw blue collar workers, women, and minorities of the world!  The first thing I would do is make Ari press secretary again.  The second thing I would do is have Ari have a press conference denying he is the new press secretary.  You get the idea, the man was a master prevaricator (not my own words, regrettably). man we could have some fun.

Thursday, July 22

Friday Fives

1. What's your favorite TV theme song and why? I have to go all the way back to 'Greatest American Hero' theme. It was 'Believe it or Not' by Joey Scarbury. I know the details because it was one of the first record singles that I owned. 2. What's your worst roommate story? I had a zillion roomates in college, plenty of the very strange. I don't remember anything as being the worst though, and am still very good friends with almost all of them. I guess the most important things I learned I don't like having roommates. If I were single, I'd rather shoulder the burden of rent then have a roommate. 3. What are you superstitious about? I am totally not superstitious at all. However, I certainly don't make it a point to walk under ladders or leave a hat on the bed. That last one, is that just a 'Drugstore Cowboy' reference... or is it real? 4. The dumbest thing my boss has ever said is... Ah geesh, I have had some turkeys as bosses over the years. One specific boss continually pops up in my head as a how to never handle a situation sort of manual. But she ain't my boss anymore so no sense worrying about it. Back when I was a teen and worked at KFC our first manager was a cokehead. This worked out because the other fry cook was a dealer. They would disappear into a tiny tiny little room (the managers office) for hours. It was quite obvious. The manager after that was a total lush and would get drunk after hours and hit on the female employees. His name was Bob, I don't remember the first guy's name though. They were nice guys though, and decent enough bosses to me. Oh wait, now I remember the dumbest thing a boss has ever said to me because I have heard it more than once... seriously. "We are not closing down. No one is loosing their jobs!" 5. What does your favorite mug look like? That is a very personal question, but there are several. Perhaps because I am a coffee fiend, I have an affinity towards several. I guess my favorite would be a ceramic arty type one from Flagstaff. That mug is so nice I wouldn't soil it with coffee... it is my water cup. via Roy

Wednesday, July 21

the sky is falling

The concert industry is struggling this year, big time. It has been struggling for years, but this year is the worst. CNN reports "People aren't buying tickets. For whatever reason, ticket sales dried up around the middle of April -- it was widespread across the industry". Gee, why in the world could this be happening, I thought to myself. Perhaps it is the recession, and many... if not all... of my generation (x) struggling to stay employed. Perhaps with gas at $2 a gallon we might have less discretionary income. But then the answer came to me... in the same article... that safely explains the trends of people not going to concerts anymore - "The average price of a ticket shot up from $26.05 in 1995 to $50.35 last year, according to Pollstar." Well, if the problem were that simple, it wouldn't take a monkey typing at typewriter to lure concert fans back... just lower prices, right?

Ah, it can't be that easy. There is probably a very complicated economic explanation for all this. I mean, if all we had to do to save the industry was lower ticket prices, you might see news like this: Promoters took note of the low ticket prices and have followed suit, albeit temporarily. Clear Channel Entertainment recently offered a one-day discount, selling lawn tickets at their Northern California outdoor amphitheaters for any show at $20 apiece, parking and fees included.

"They sold about 50,000 to 60,000 tickets in one day,"

You guessed it, same article. I want to say I am thrilled to death with this trend. As someone who used to go to concerts compulsively, I now go to only about 4 a year. It had better be a damn good deal too. Last year I saw Iron Maiden for $6, and Lolla was half price. The promoters are desperate, as they have launched most outdoor concerts for $20... with no service charge. That is significant, because Ticketbastard fees can run up to a third of the ticket price. So now that everyone has had to cancel their summer tours (Brittney, Christina, Lollapalooza etc) will the industry ever figure out to start with $20 tickets? Probably not, because two years ago I was getting free tickets to see bands like REM and Allman Brothers for the same problem.

If the industry is as slow to respond to ticket sale trends as they were to responding to digital music online, we are doomed. I mean, Napster launched about 6 or 7 years ago... and the industry is just getting around to the concept of selling songs for a buck a piece.

So I went to look across the (rock) industry. Van Halen is coming to town, and I would definitely pay up to $20 to see them. However, tickets are going for $91 (and $61 for nosebleed seats). On a $91 ticket, you are going to get about $30 in ticketmaster fees. Add to this, the venue sucks for sound. It is our basketball arena, which is a sonic nightmare.

The industry is concerned that by chopping ticket prices at the last minute (which has been their approach for the last few years) they are creating people like me who will simply wait until the promoters are terribly desperate. So, here is my open letter to Clear Channel: Dear folks, charge $20 up front for every ticket to the shows you know are going to sell slow anyhow. Or, don't book them.

Oh wait, here is my total special favoritist part of the article. I shit you not, it includes the following sentence: "Ticket prices have gone crazy -- very, very, very high, and nobody knows how to change that tide."

I gotta comment here. I am trying to hold back... nope - can't do it. Here is how they might change the tide - Charge less, you assholes! Again, another 500 word piece that could have been simplified by that last sentence.

Monday, July 19

This is strange piece of Outsourcing

Can you imagine this... sometime in the future.  When you go to McDonalds drive through and order your food, you are actually speaking to a call center several states away who are processing your order.  Sound like another Stallone movie?  Nope, it is happening right now.  Today's Rocky Mountain News reports that Colorado Springs has a call center that handles orders for 15 different McDonald's restuarants across the US.  Dude who owns the call center says his call center speeds up each order on average of 30 seconds.   My position?  Well, this freaks me out... and I am against it.  If we are outsourcing minimum wage jobs, then what hope does someone like me have to keep my job?  Though it is a clever use of technology, I think this is a very bad trend.  16 year olds need jobs to keep them off the streets and to teach them about work ethic.  What's next?  I'll go to the grocery store tonight and they will have to ship my groceries to India to be bagged and returned to me.  Plus, there is the whole Will Smith I-Robot concern.  Eventually, you will be in their database and you will here a gentle voice come back to you and say "Frankly sir, a double cheeseburger is not in your best interest.  I mean, just look at you!  Might we suggest a nice salad?"