Monday, November 21, 2011

Scoring 40 Damn on a scale of 1-40 Damn...

So the other day I was reading cigar news and reviews and came across this image here:

Brilliant! Cigars and firearms complement each other perfectly, like bananas and crossbows or Q-Tips and Bowie knives or hotdogs and Christmas lights! The relation is obvious. Take two not-so-subtly phallic symbols and photograph them together for a totally non-homoerotic critique of American individualism, right? Wrong! That would be totally gay, like Liberace gay. Actually, the recipe here is one cool & slightly deadly thing + another cool and very deadly thing = whoever took the picture is Grade-A Badass (the A in 'Grade-A' stands for 'Ass').

So naturally, I had to replicate the photo to prove that I, in the words of Samir Nagheenanajar, "am also not a pussy". Bow down before my badassery, ye of morally-indeterminate assery:

Strangely, taking such an immensely powerful photo did not satisfy my need to display my manly prowess. Instead, it merely whetted my awesome-lust. So I pressed on into territory that surely no human has ever traversed and lived to tell the tale. Get right with your Maker, then feast your eyes upon these tasty images, for they shall surely induce such visual ecstasy that they will be the last thing you ever see (or you will wish they had been)...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Spoon's Guide to Dining Out, Chapter 2

If you are going to ask for the tab and then just put your credit card in the check presenter without even glancing at the check, don't ask for the check, dummy. If you know you are going to pay with a card, instead of asking for the check, simply hand the server your credit card when you are ready to pay. He will know what to do with it. Don't make him make a special trip to the POS to print your check so that you can not look at it when he brings it. Bonus: doing this not only saves your server hassle, it actually saves you time--the time it would take for your server to go get the check so you can not look at it. Think about that, hmm?

Also, if you ask for the check, and your server brings it, and you look at it before putting your credit card in, for frick's sake, don't say something like, "Here, I'll save you a trip." Too late, amigo, your server has already made the maximum amount of possible trips to your table. If you wanted to let the server know that you "get it" and how generous you are to save him a trip, try giving him your credit card without first asking for the check.

Friday, April 01, 2011

A small point

Attention, internets: in English, we read left to right, top to bottom. This affects how we interpret static visual media generally. And this applies to emoticons in ways you do not appear to understand.

What I'm about to say may only apply to those of us with a Roman or Cyrillic-alphabet-based written first language, but for now, that's all I care about. So for instance, if you are reading this, chances are that if you see a sign with a single word written vertically, you probably don't start at the bottom and try to read to the top. Because even though the data cannot be interpreted left-to-right, reading bottom-to-top would violate the left to right, top to bottom template that becomes automatic within the first few months of learning to read. So you have no problem interpreting the Chicago Theater sign, even though there are no visual clues as to how it should be read--i.e., there is no capital letter signifying a starting point, etc. In short, when left-to-right does not apply, your brain switches to top-to-bottom to interpret the text.

It follows that if left-to-right seems to apply, but makes no sense, the English-reading mind's next logical step is to interpret left-to-right data as if it were top-to-bottom. So, if you are like me, and you are reading a line of left-to-right text, and you encounter a collection of marks that does not make sense left-to-right, e.g. the following emoticon: :-) your mind attempts to interpret it as top-to-bottom data (the reverse also works when top-to-bottom makes no sense, e.g. when a vertically-stored book has its title printed lengthwise along the binding). Anyway, for the above emoticon, you probably see a pair of eyes, a nose-like thing, and a smiley-face--as opposed to say, a baseball cap bill pulled down to the nose of a person with double upper-lip piercings. In other words, would this (-: make sense if we didn't already have :-) already cached in our pictographic lexicons? I say no, because it requires the English-language reader to stop, drop everything he knows about his written language, skip ahead a few characters to what he hopes is not an arbitrary point, read backwards for a bit, then skip ahead further and resume reading left-to-right.

And for precisely that reason, this symbol/emoticon is a problem: <3. People of the internet, because you are injecting <3 into English-language phrases, it must be read left-to-right/top-to-bottom. You are using it to signify 'heart' or, by extension, 'love', but it is not a heart! The heart shape has two rounded bumps on top and a point at the bottom. According to the the left-to-right, top-to-bottom template, <3 has a point at the top and two bumps on the bottom. So this symbol either signifies 'less than 3' or (interpreting it as if it were top-to-bottom data, because 'less than 3' does not make sense in context) represents a shape that is narrow at the top and widens into two rounded things at the bottom.

To restate, because of the way the English language--and the English-language-reading mind--work, <3 cannot possibly represent 'heart' or 'love'. Instead, it must signify either 'less than 3' or the nearest shape in everyday life that it resembles. And there aren't a great deal of things out there that look like that.

In other words, to put it bluntly, when you type 'x <3 y', if any English-language-reader reads it as anything other than 'x tea-bag(s) y', then something has gone wrong.

♥ = Heart. But <3 = Tea-bag. Sorry I had to be the one to break it to ya. Twitter/facebook accordingly.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Spoon's Guide to Dining Out, Chapter 1

If your butt is still in your seat when the restaurant closes, the amount you are ethically obligated to tip automatically goes up to 20% of the post-tax total. For every two minutes you remain after closing, your tip obligation increases by 1%. So, for example, if you stay thirty minutes after close, you should tip a minimum of 35%. Don't want to tip 35%? Don't stay thirty minutes after close.

Thank you,
Your friends in the service industry.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Does this not Exist?

All I want is an iPhone contacts manager that looks like this:

See? It looks like the built-in app, except that for contacts with SMS-enabled phones, it has an SMS button that allows you to instantly compose a text. The button doesn't display a menu that asks you which number you want to text; it just lets you compose a text to a pre-set default. And the SMS button is nice and big, so there's little danger of accidentally placing a call when all you want to do is text.

Also, although you can't tell by looking at it, this contact manager lets you make groups and SMS the whole group. It's so got-dang simple. Why does this not exist?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Humbug

I find myself genuinely perplexed by the frequency with which I have observed the following Halloween costumes in the past three days:

Pirate--Like a million times. Look, I get it; Pirate is fun and harmless and a Halloween classic. However: News Flash--it's also, evidently, a cliche. At least half of you could have gone as Ninja and appeared halfway clever.

Girl who Just Left the Gym: two times. One girl--whose Halloween-costume reasoning contained a lot of false lemmas about what is necessary and sufficient for a costume--who stumbled into the conclusion that work-out clothes constitute a costume I could understand. I'm prepared to accept that. But two? Two in one night??? Something has gone seriously wrong in Austin.

Slutty Jets Fan Wearing a Straw Cowboy (not Cowboys™) Hat: one time. There are so many things wrong with this, I almost can't form the sentences to elaborate them. I mean, I don't doubt that female Jets fans exist. And I wouldn't consider it outside the realm of probability that there should be slutty Jets Fans. But what the hell, really, does a cowboy hat have to do with it? And what the fuck, seriously, was the reasoning that led this unfortunate creature to believe that Slutty Jets Fan Wearing a Straw Cowboy Hat represented a goal to be achieved as a costume? Aren't costumes supposed to comprise, at least on some level, the culmination of at least a portion of one's fantasies, an alter-ego that need be revealed once and only once a year? On that account, at least Work-Out Girl has something; fantasizing about fitness is a laughably plausible delusion to have in 21st-century America. But who aspires to be a Slutty Jets Fan--in a Straw Cowboy Hat???

Furthermore, I think there's a fundamental difference between the (slutty) nurses, (slutty) pirates, (slutty) policewomen, etc, and the Slutty Jets Fan. In the former class the sluttiness seems accidental to the costume, but in the case of SJFWaSCH, the sluttiness must be essential. How do I know? Because a (slutty) Jets fan would have just worn generic Eagles garb, but SJFWaSCH wears a Slutty Sanchez Jersey! Jets fan as costume + supporting Sanchez --> my mind completely melting down.

I give up. Sort it out in comments--if you can.

P.S. (one more). Antoine Dodson: zero times. I didn't see a single Antoine Dodson this weekend. And I think that may be more astonishing than the existence of Slutty Jets Fan.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How to Shop at REI, a nine-step process

1. Make a list; this list will essentially double in size once you start shopping.
2. Gather all the stuff on your list plus all the stuff you didn't know you needed.
3. Estimate how much the stuff in your cart/bag will cost.
4. Add 25% to the cost of your estimate. Prepare yourself to pay this amount. Now...
5. Add another 20% to that number. This is what you'll actually be paying.
6. Repeat to yourself "I'm going to get 10% back in dividends."
7. Try not to crap your pants when the total is actually more than the amount from #5.
8. File for bankruptcy. Assume a new identity and/or flee to Mexico.
9. Have fun in the great outdoors!