Friday, September 28, 2007

Hyundai Knows You Want a BMW

Saw an interesting out-of-focus full-page ad on the back of the NYT business section this week, something about a car should have more airbags than cupholders, with ThinkAboutIt.com as the only call to action. So I went. A nice site, really, but this copy at left struck me as odd. Sort of like, "Hey, we know. Our logo sucks, but our Korean overlords won't let us change it. So stop being so shallow about brand image and deal."

Hyundai has always had trouble with image in the US. At first it was their name that no one knew how to pronounce. Then it was getting people over the hurdle of buying a Korean car. We knew German, Japanese, Swedish, Italian, French and British, but we didn't even know Korea made cars. Then it was the fact that Hyundais were perceived as a cheap unknown, with no record for reliability. When I see the Hyundai logo on the front of a car, I still have a hard time shaking those early notions I attached to the Hyundai name, and to a lesser degree, their logo.

But Hyundai's image has changed now in the minds of many, and Hyundai is currently the 6th largest car maker in the world. Still, I don't think I'd ever buy one.

Or maybe I would if they changed their logo.

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The Bottom Line

It's no secret: sex sells. And this poor AD is simply trying to help the client achieve the goal of all advertising: sales.

Another cheap clipart comic, and we're calling it "Where's my Jetpack?"







See more here.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Golden Children

As a proponent of telecommuting, I have loads of sympathy (especially these days) for cubicle dwellers. If your agency or department is so flush with cash that you can afford to make your office environment as crazily comfortable as possible, I guess that's nobody's business but yours. Some of you, however, are taking it a little too far.

Another in the comic series "Where's My Jetpack?"








Here's the growing series.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Pop Tarts® are Crazy Good™

Pop Tarts®, a mainstay of the American Kid Diet® since 1849, are now Crazy Good™.

This is a scan of the back of a box of Pop Tarts®.

You can now have a real XBox360™ polyester messenger bag, courtesy of Pop Tarts®, by way of Kellogg's®. And how about that artwork? That's some Crazy Crap™.

And lest we forget, make sure to bookmark PopTarts.com. In fact, don't just bookmark it; make it your homepage!

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The Clothes are Secondary

Fun with Fashion.

The latest installment in the clip art comic strip called "Where's My Jetpack?"

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Wastin' All My Time Time

I've been "out of pocket" as they say, working a contractor writing job for a large company here in Orlando. It has been like solitary confinement, as they block me from webmail, my blog, your blogs and the outside world in general. This place is so paranoid, I am not even allowed access to any of the brand blogs within the organization. (They own about nine brands.)

This morning I sat in a meeting for an hour and half where the main topics of discussion (besides ongoing creative jobs) seemed to be "getting our arms around" this and "going forward" with that. And of course there was all kinds of finger-pointing between creative, traffic and AEs on why this job or that job is stalled. One high ranking woman held the floor for 15 solid minutes and said absolutely nothing.

And they make me wear shoes and socks. Telecommuting for three years has really spoiled me. I'm ready to go back to it, if you need some work done.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Art is Subjective

Or, "Randy, the Tortured, Overpaid Freelance Designer."

Part Eight in the series of royalty-free clip-art comics, "Where's My Jetpack?"







Where are the money-wielding comic agents wanting to pay me to do this all the time?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Don't Tase Me, Bro




















That is one funny phrase, and congratulations to Johannes Feldberg of Herndon, VA who had the foresight and the quickness to buy donttasemebro.com yesterday. (How do I know? I went looking to buy it!) No idea what Johannes intends to do with it, but he'd better act fast, as this sort of thing gets bumped off the front page very quickly these days.

Andrew Meyer, or Taser Boy, as he's come to be known in the media, is a stunt artist and an attention-seeker. As a clue, his email address is famouswriterman@aol.com. It's a shame he's drawing such negative attention to the very fine University of Florida. I know there's all kinds of debate going on about freedom of speech, police brutality, etc, but acting like an idiot in the interest of getting yourself on YouTube is quite another thing. Goal accomplished, Mr. Meyer. Make the most of your 15 minutes.

Don't Tase Me Bro
Lyrcs by D. Wilkie
(Feel free to set it to music, musicians.)


I'm headed straight for instant fame
This time tomorrow you will know my name
I'm gonna be a famous writer man
I'll stir it up however I can

I'll throw in buzzwords like Skull and Bones
They'll all record it on their camera phones
If Chris Crocker can have his day
You just wait until the world hears me say

Don't tase me, bro
Don't tase me, bro

I'm attention seekin'

They think I'm free speakin'
Don't tase me, bro
Yeah, I'm resistin' arrest

and I'm here to protest

Don't tase me, bro

Scream like a girl when the cops throw me down
Show up on Leno as the world's latest clown
Calculated spin-off: it'll spark some debate
about excessive force and a fascist state

I'll be the top story on Google News
Get me an agent for my interviews
Grab the attention of the media hounds
Across the world you will hear the sounds

of

Don't tase me, bro
Don't tase me, bro
That shock really hurt

You wanna buy a T-shirt?
Don't tase me, bro
It's all part of the plan

a famous writer, man

Don't tase me, br
o

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Call You to Action

Creatives:
Print this. Post it in your cubicles full of other sarcastic/ironic stuff.

AEs:
Read this. Ignore it. Wonder why creatives are so stupid.

Part Seven in my new series "Where's My Jetpack?"








Seven already? Damn! It's almost syndication time!

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Bring Back the Dancing Gay Cowboys

LowerMyBills.com is at it again, this time it's a man in one of those new man skirt-kilt things.

Or perhaps he's just a 1940s-styled Private Eye in a trenchcoat and a penchant for dancing like a total White Spaz, but he's no improvement over their previous dancing efforts.

I get it. Motion draws the eye to a banner ad, or else I wouldn't have seen it and blogged about it, right? But I just don't want to do business with a mortgage company that employs such methods.

I would much sooner use a mortgage company that blatantly flaunted the assests of its lenders or brokers.

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Duty, Honor, Country

Finding your purpose - your mission - isn't all that hard. It's just a matter of perspective. Or self-delusion.

Part Six in my new series "Where's My Jetpack?"







The oldest profession is not prostitution. It is advertising. Prostitutes need a pimp.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

My Neighbor is Building a Guillotine

A few houses down, this caught my eye as I drove past late this afternoon. I asked him what it was for and he replied that it was for his wife, who had pissed him off for the last time.














He finally gave up that it's actually some sort of Halloween project. That's some pretty hardcore Halloween planning ahead.

Previously in my weird neighborhood.

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Pay Me to Play

I call the art of goofing off at work "concepting," and I think clients should expect this to some degree. As Scamp says, "When you see me staring out the window, that's when I'm working." But I'm sure it gets abused all the time, as illustrated here.

Part Five in my just-developed-yesterday-morning comic strip called "Where's My Jetpack?"







I could seriously do this for a living and be very happy.
Well, provided the living wasn't meager.

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Sometimes I'm a Fourth Grader

I was searching for an image of a door yesterday when I happened upon one of those classic "Jesus Knocking on the Door" pictures. I couldn't help myself.

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Through a Glass Darkly

"In the past, we would only let specially trained janitors and housekeeping staffs use this highly Powerized cleaning product, but we have decided to start allowing you, the untrained amateur, to experience the streak-free shine of our Commercial Line™ of cleaning products on your glass surfaces. Please use responsibly."

I might've known...they even have a website. And people actually write to them with real life stories. I am a little disappointed that they don't include AIM icons, desktops or screensavers, and they aren't sponsoring a user generated video contest. Also, no Windex blog. Wow. So behind the times. But they were forward-thinking enough to include a game called Shine Time.

The sad drawback is Shine Time works only with the Windows 95 and Windows 98 operating systems.

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Blog Cleaning

Things were moving very slowly here at Where's My Jetpack? headquarters (read: the house) Internet-wise. Crawling, dial-up speeds from the 90s. Very hard to get things done at that pace when you work remotely and rely on (and take for granted) high-speed Internet.

Then the idiots from the IT Department (read: me) finally figured out that all the traffic from BoingBoing was also pulling the Open Mic Night music from the sidebar, which is hosted on the RFB server array. (read: the computer in the kitchen.)

Open Mic Might is temporarily cancelled until a solution is found.

Imaginary reception area stolen from DWR.

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Boing! Blogstats Sporting Wood

In an interesting post about the Toblerone logo having within it a hidden bear (never knew that) someone over at BoingBoing text-linked to the old Land O' Lakes butter trick post here at Where's My Jetpack?. I was wondering why my inbox was showing new comments on that old thing.

That's a very powerful website. I normally hover just under 200 visits per day. BoingBoing brings me 7,500 with a text link.












And most amazingly, nowhere in the text link was the promise of seeing bare breasts. But that does not negate the truth of the blogging maxim; "Tag it with nasty labels and they will come." Like so:

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Job Security

OK, back to business humor. Or maybe it's not funny. But these things happen, I'm told, and there is truth in all humor.

Part Four in my just-developed-this-morning comic strip called "Where's My Jetpack?"







This is the fine print area. No one ever reads it.

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We Don't Discuss Such Things in Polite Company

It's not all business humor in the brand new "Where's My Jetpack?" comic strip. I can do topical and religous, too - and in this case, both. I've been advised by two respected people not to put this one out there, but it still makes me laugh. But then, my Middle School Humor Index is pretty high.

Part Three in my just-developed-this-morning comic strip called "Where's My Jetpack?"







I have yet to be approached by a comic strip syndicate.

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These Two AEs Walk Into a Bar

Sorry. That was just a headline to draw you in. I've actually walked into a few bars with some AEs. And these two women might not even be AEs.

Part Two in my just-developed-this-morning comic strip called "Where's My Jetpack?"







I'm between assignments right now. I'm not goofing off.

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Yet Another Half-Baked Scheme

Using royalty-free clipart, I now unveil the comic strip "Where's My Jetpack?" which is available for syndication starting right now. Use it in your magazine or on your website. Or don't. I'm just trying to find that way to make a living that enables me to say, "I love my job."








But seriously, if you know how these things work, drop a line to jetpacks[at] gmail [dot] com.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Georgia On My Mind

Not that Georgia, the Republic of Georgia, north of Turkey, mainly because in his remarks to Congress earlier this week, General Petraeus mentioned how this "coaltion partner" was helping secure areas of Iraq. So let's look at their recruiting efforts.



Hmmm, lots of soldiering going on here, with recurring marching and firing of weapons themes. There's very little of the lighter side of military service seen in the recruitment spots of other countries. You know, meeting friends, seeing the world, playing rugby, hanging out on the beach, indulging in casual sex with strangers in exotic ports of call. An ominous music score sells danger and threats from Russia. These Georgians are serious.

Previously in Military Recruitment:

(England) Breadfruit, Rum and Scurvy
(Czech Republic and United States) Czechs Kick Our Cinematic Butts
(Russia) Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin
(Australia) Throw Another Shrimp on the Barbed Wire
(Japan) Adventure's Waitin' Just Ahead

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A Fan Story

"You don't control the message," we tell the client these days, because one stupid blogger with a beef against you can do damage to your brand in a single post. I don't have that kind of blog power, but Home Depot is starting to piss me off.

I love a good fan. When I’m at Home Depot, I like to look at those giant fans on wheels that stand about four feet high. I’ll imagine how easy it would be to clean an area with that thing on top speed, blowing away everything that isn’t fastened down. But mainly, I just like a nice breeze.

Up until this week, I had a “commercial grade” fan from GE that ran pretty much 24/7. I’m a fan of GE stuff and this rugged fan served me faithfully and quietly. Any motor that runs nonstop for seven years is pretty good, so when it died this week, I determined to replace it with a similar fan, hopefully even the exact same model. Kind of like if a faithful dog died unexpectedly, you might be inclined to replace the pet with one just like it.

A trip to my not-at-all-friendly neighborhood Home Depot (you people have such attitudes) resulted in the purchase of the closest thing I could find. Boxed, there was no way of seeing what was inside, but by the drawing on the box, it seemed to be roughly similar to my recently departed GE fan.

Out of the box, this fan revealed itself for the poorly made Chinese piece of crap that it is. On the lowest speed, it sounds like a small plane is buzzing the house. What passes for metal in China is apparently just shiny chicken wire. And I should’ve been tipped off by the very silly name “King of Fans®.” I can now picture the prototype being tested at the factory. A group of engineers hit the “on” switch and marveled at the noise and the gale force wind. “This fan is the King! It is the King of Fans!” they congratulated one another. Then they named their new company King of Fans. “It will tell of the majesty and glory of this fan, and we will sell them to Americans through their Home Depot. Oh, and don’t let them see inside the box before they purchase.” Then they rounded up some local children and put them to work in the factory so Americans could have cheap fans.

King of Fans® is now a garage fan. Pissed at the Depot, I tried Lowe’s, who had absolutely zero fans in stock, as they apparently think it’s winter season and people don’t need fans now. Idiots. So I had to go back to the Depot, where I purchased an oscillating Pelonis™. All plastic, with a freaking remote control. If I ever use a remote control for a fan, just shoot my stupid, lazy, American ass right there on the spot. Same price (roughly $35) as King of Fans®, but quiet and with a relatively normal name. Oh yeah - and made in China.

Verdict: Not all Chinese fans are the same. And Home Depot sucks. Still.

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What Is and What Should Never Be

But I guess everyone does a comeback sooner or later. Don't you know these tickets will go for serious, serious money.

The difference here is that proceeds go to charity. Unlike say, what's his name, the bottle blonde, single-moniker guy? What a bee does. Rhymes with "cha-ching."

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Louisiana Trailer Trash

And other comments on our disgusting declining pop culture.

  • In case there are still a few of my countrymen and women wondering why our nation's standing in the eyes of the rest of the world has dropped so significantly in recent years, I can show you. It wasn't just George Bush and the Iraq fiasco. This chick is just as guilty, if not more so.
  • As for Kanye and 50, have you ever seen a more manufactured "fight" or a more transparent attempt to revive the dying recording industry? If Mr. Jackson shoots Mr. West, then I'll believe this is real.
  • Kid Rock bitch-slapped Tommy Lee. Good. Now maybe we can put the both of them in a battle to the death live on Pay-per-View.
  • And finally, it's official: this country is going to Hell. Kathy Griffin received an Emmy. That in itself would be reason enough for the Almighty to punish us.
None of the news outlets want to report EXACTLY what this sack of unfunny had to say upon receiving her award. Here's how mainstream media reports it:

In her speech, Griffin said that "a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus."

She went on to hold up her Emmy, make an off-color remark about Christ and proclaim, "This award is my god now!"

The off-color remark no-one wants to mention was "Suck it, Jesus."

Next time, Kathy, say something about Mohammed and I will laugh when they issue a fatwa on your head.

Easy target, that Jesus.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

NASA: Space is Fun, Dangerous and Expensive™

And all this science I don't understand.

There's an internal memo that was released by NASA circulating the Internet regarding the space agency's current slogan, "Explore, Discover, Understand." Seems they want something catchier. So far, the suits from DC have come up with "NASA explores for answers that power our future." Mmmm. Just GRABS ya, doesn't it?

A bunch of bloggers have already put on their creative helmets and are trying to help NASA come up with something better. Go there and vote, or submit your own. It ain't an easy assignment. So far, I've come up with "Mars Ain't The Kinda Place to Raise your Kids."

Maybe while you're thinking of a catchy space slogan, you can update that "Atomic Age" logo of theirs, too.

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Water Themed Screen Savers for YOU!

Everyone loves water. Be it an old mill on a peaceful mountain stream, a dolphin swimming playfully in the turquoise blue of a Caribbean summer, or a lusty lady in a thong bikini beckoning doggy-style on the beach, Casale Media, purveyors of the finest pop-under ads on the Internet, have a water-themed screensaver for every member of the family.

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Forget Going Green: Disposable Cups for Marital Bliss

When the blogging gets tough amid too much work - the smart blogger turns to other sources for material.

In the olden days, men got dressed for bed in striped pajamas and climbed into their beds, which were situated just off the kitchen. Then they let out loud, frustrated sighs for their wives to hear as they waited for the women to finish their chores so they could come to bed and service them, like women are supposed to do at night. The men did the crossword puzzle and waited some more. It was sometimes a long wait, as the wives often had a banquet's worth of glasses piled on the counter, left there by her rotten, ungrateful children, and the men, who had already been at work all day driving a bus or butchering pigs in order to bring home the bacon, were not about to climb out of bed and help their wives with "women's work."

Dixie recognized this national dilemna and invented the paper cup. Tagline: "A Dixie Kitchen Dispenser Will Get You Together Again."

Click to read the amazingly misogynistic copy, you glass-washing women.

Via

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Nike Ad Disses Chicago Bears

With apologies to British visitors to this blog, (and New York Punks) who not only don't care for American football, but seem to openly despise it, I must blog about football today, but with a tie-in to advertising.

The Chicago Bears aren't happy about this Nike ad, in which San Diego Charger LaDainian Tomlinson is shown making their defense look inept, weak and just plain bad. As luck (or some copywriter with an NFL schedule and some foresight) would have it, the two teams face off in their season opener today (4PM, ET), in which the Bears hope to prove this ad is nothing but fantasy.

I'm a Chargers fan, but living in Florida means I only get to watch the Dolphins, Bucs and Jags, three teams that inspire no loyalty from me. If I wanted to watch San Diego play, I'd have to buy that NFL package and switch to a satellite service, but that kind of investment and commitment would necessitate wearing a jersey and a hat, eating nachos, wings, hot dogs and chips all day long while sitting around with all my out-of-shape buddies, getting louder and more obnoxious as the beers flow well into the evening. And then there's another game on at 8:15, then game recaps until dawn and before you know it, it's time to go to work and you're worthless.

Look around your office on Monday. There will be a high percentage of people with bags under their eyes, drinking way too much coffee and not participating with very much enthusiasm in meetings. These people stayed up to watch the Giants-Cowboys game. A storied rivalry, it practically guarantees that offices in New York and Dallas will be abuzz with football talk most of the day, win or lose.

George Will, the American political pundit and baseball lover, has made more than a few jabs at football in his day. Here's one:

"Football incorporates the two worst elements of American society: violence punctuated by committee meetings."

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Casual Friday

click it
click it good














Looking back over the life of this blog, I'm apparently quite fond of the picture of the mentoring old man and his suck-up crew of chumps. Here are previous editions of what from now on will be called...I don't know yet. Maybe that's what they work on in the next edition.

Your Company Blog Bites
SoCal Media
The Olympics Logo
Social Media Strategy Session
A Cracker Barrel of Diversity
George Parker as the Man Behind the Desk
Smoke and Mirrors
When Creatives Were Suits

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Reinvigorating the American Brand

While waiting for the Republican Debate to begin last night, I tuned in to Bill O'Reilly, who had as a guest his buddy Dennis Miller. Dennis was waxing on about Iraq, among other things that he, as a comedian, is equally expert in and qualified to discuss.

Here's a portion of the transcript of what Miller had to say about the US getting involved in Iraq:

"And you know, people always say there were no WMDs, they felt misinformed. I didn't. I never thought there were WMDs. I thought we had to go in and cuff this guy around to reassert our place in the world. I think it was a reinvigoration of our brand, and I'm glad we did it."

Nice mediaspeak there, Dennis. Invading Iraq was a "reinvigoration of the American Brand."

(He was not joking. Go watch the clip. Scroll down to "Miller Time.")

I guess when you "reinvigorate a brand," in Miller's view, you reshape it into something unrecognizable from what it was, alienate your existing customer base, dilute your stock, then send out conflicting messages through a revolving door of senior management, pretty much assuring you will never acquire any new customers.

You're a genius, Dennis. You should work in advertising.

Reinvigorating the American "brand."

Kinda like what Just For Men did for your beard?



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If You Can't Trust a Paid Blogger...

Who can you trust, right? The following is a pretend Pay-Per-Post. I hate the concept of pay-per-post, because it invites flattering commentary of a less-than-honest variety. And I really hope all the venture capital thrown at that stupid idea dries up. But I still want to review this product (and this restaurant) because I like them. Everything I write here is true – only I will write it in that fake pay–per-post way. (With an updated opening suggested by Bill Green in the comments.)

Hey, Guys! I came across this really great product you should try! I love Mae Ploy, a sweet chili sauce from Thailand. It is used in many Asian dishes. It is an ideal dipping sauce with spring rolls, dim sums, or fish cakes. If you have ever ordered barbecued chicken from a street vendor in Thailand, it was most assuredly accompanied by Mae Ploy. It has a medium to hot taste. I will even dip tortilla chips in it. I use it on burgers in place of ketchup and mustard. I will also dip steak in it. And chicken. I put it on burritos and tacos and fajitas. I introduced it to my sister-in-law and she put it on a salad as dressing!! Is that crazy, or what? LOL!!!

I found out about Mae-Ploy at a local Tex-Mex restaurant called Tijuana Flats. I think they should call their cuisine Cal-Mex, because Tijuana is near California, but that's not important. The important thing is they are cool. You will know this when you go to their website, which is all done in Flash, with a guy with tattooed arms sweeping away the screen when you click on something new. It's like he's a busboy or something! Is that cool, or what? LOL!!!

Tijuana Flats is also cool because they have a “We don’t care, man - Just relax!” attitude but you can tell they really do care. They make their server girls dress in really low jeans with short shirts and all of the guys in the kitchen have emo glasses, earrings and are starting to learn to cultivate their various facial hair designs. Many of the employees even have tattoos! Tijuana Flats started in Central Florida but they are developing franchises everywhere, even as far north as Pittsburgh. If you go to their website, you can find out if there is a location near you. I hope there is. You can also tell they are cool because they play really loud hipster music on their website. When you eat there, though, the music mix is kind of messed up. You might hear the Bee Gees followed by Missy Elliot.

Anyway, I really like Mae Ploy, a sweet chili sauce from Thailand. You should buy some. I get mine at Tijuana Flats - and I always make sure to ask for the BIG bottle. LOL!!! You can find it in lots of places just by typing “Mae Ploy” in a search engine.

More in the Pay-Per-Post category at Where's My Jetpack?

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Open Mic Night: 80s White Australian Rap Edition

Steppin' aside again to give you an iPod tune that comes up once in a while and rarely gets skipped over.

Rick Rubin is credited with making rap music accessible (read:"Safe") to the white suburban masses with his Run-D.M.C./Aerosmith collaboration on "Walk this Way" in 1986. Personally, I think Mr. Rubin is a little overrated, and I'm probaby the last white man to wonder why everything he touches is somehow instantly regarded as gold/platinum. I heard one of the members of Run-D.M.C speak of that song in a very unflattering way, regarding the lyrics as nonsensical (he's right), but the money was good and the rest is history. Aerosmith got their careers back and the door to the dollars of white suburbia for rap acts (as well as the door to white rap) opened wider than the one left ajar by the Beastie Boys, who debuted with License to Ill the same year. (It can be argued that Blondie's "Rapture" beat them all by five years.)

Disregard the snap, crackle and pop of the high drum track on this tune and just listen to the voice and the industrial ambiance. Of course rap is about lyrics, so listen to those as well. Some find them sub-adolescent; I find them clever. Draw your own conclusions there, but I'll argue that rhyming every line in one song to "ate" is a nice trick. I personally think this song marked the mainstream crossover of rap to white audiences the world over, eclipsing the "Walk This Way" novelty of Rubin's. The Aussies of INXS pulled it off nicely in 1987. They're gone now, despite a pathetic ingenious attempt to revive their careers using some stupid ingenious "So you wanna be a Rockstar?" show.

Terrence Trent D'Arby also did a stint with INXS as their lead singer after Hutchence masturbated himself to death, but it went nowhere. D'Arby, he of the very impressive debut album, has since disappeared into relative obscurity in Munich, Germany and now goes by the name of some New Age Messiah.

The music of INXS is up in the top of the sidebar until next week's Open Mic Night music replaces it.

Archived Open Mic Night music is here.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It's Not TV, It's HB - Oh Crap. Him Again

Click to see what the masses are saying

If you’re a fan of Larry David, sorry, but I’m still burned that HBO got rid of "John from Cincinnati" and keeps shows like this on the air.

I gave Larry David’s "Curb Your Enthusiasm" a try. In fact, I’ve given it five or six tries. Each time, I sit there wondering when the jokes are coming. This guy’s pathetic life is not funny to me. At all. His whining antics and ho-hum pabulum got stale back in the 90s when it was called "Seinfeld." And yet, people apparently love this guy. In one recent episode, there were cameos from Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, Steven Colbert, David Schwimmer, Nathan Lane and Jerry Seinfeld.

This guy has power and clout. And I will never be in charge of programming at HBO.

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An Anthem for Our Times

Atlanta's Fred Leo, formerly known as Freelance Fred, whose main blog was put to rest a few months back, is now blogging at Hands Across the Porch.

Fred recently got burned on a car purchase via eBay, and then a lousy mechanic poured salt on the burns in the form of extremely lousy service. Fred’s not sitting still. He’s composed a song called “Circle of Ass,” in which he attempts to fight the good fight by urging all of you who find yourselves burned by one of the many asses who seem to dominate our world, to resist becoming asses yourselves as you deal with asses all day long.

Here's the tune.


Sample lyric:

The dumbass
The jackass
The sleaze and the slack ass
Don’t let them make you what you hate
In the Circle of Ass

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Monday, September 03, 2007

History's Mysteries

I will now write the last line of every documentary - past, present and future - on the History Channel that deals with UFOs, aliens, mysterious creatures like the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, Bible codes, the Bermuda Triangle, lost civilizations, witchcraft, DaVinci, Nostradamus or the pyramids.

After they've interviewed the believers and the skeptics, the authorities and the writers, the lecturers and the eye-witnesses - this is the final line spoken by the narrator:

"We may never know."

But they keep remaking the same documentaries year after year.

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You Make Me Sick

Maybe I'll make the two hour trip to Jacksonville today to witness this Roman gorgefest sponsored by Krystal. They've got a countdown to the final big event in Chattanooga on their website, a fantasy eating league, competitive eater profiles and more. The Jacksonville eat-off is only a qualifying contest. I can't even begin to imagine the disappointment of making it to the qualifying rounds only to be beaten out by "highly-ranked Tim Brown," or "a group of Florida-based eaters including newcomer Elizabeth 'Rubber Gut' Canady".

This is considered a sport, and the official sponsors of Krystal's burger eating contest include Sheraton. Krystal will set aside $35,000 for the top 14 eaters. The winner of the Chattanooga gluttony contest not only gets $10,000, but also walks away with the "coveted Krystal Square Off World Champion's Belt and the Champion's Trophy made out of crystal." Last year's winner ate 97 Krystal burgers in 8 minutes.

This is just one of many competitive eating events taking place every year, mostly here in the United States. Visit the International Federation of Competitive Eating to find out what events are taking place in your area. Apparently, getting your pork-out event "sanctioned" by the IFOCE is a big deal, and the Krystal event is "the only sanctioned hamburger eating contest in the world." (If you take the time to view the video on the homepage of IFOCE's site, be prepared to be sickened. The IFOCE doesn't seem to care that a good portion of the clips they include in their highlight reel are of people like Jon Stewart mocking them. Any press is good press for Richard Shea, apparently the founder of this thing, whose face you will see throughout that highlight reel.)

Not sick yet? Wander on over to the Major League Eating site, an apparent sister organization to the IFOCE, calling itself a "sports franchise that oversees all professional competitive eating events and competitive eating television specials."

Of course pie eating contests or hot dog eating contests at State Fairs and the like have been around for a long time, but now the spectacle of a bunch of people chowing down to excess is deemed "sport." Obviously there's big money in this, and obviously there are fans and sponsors, federations, even fantasy leagues, but forgive me if I find something very, very wrong about all of this. We're talking waste, gluttony, and gorging on a scale unmatched by the most debauched of History's societies. And it's sponsored by huge companies like Pizza Hut and Krystal in the interest of selling more pizza and burgers.

Realizing the inherent PR problem of this "sport," the IFOCE has set up ifoceGIVES, which gives money to hunger related causes. Nice try, Richard, but too little, too late, and completely transparent. You make huge money celebrating and promoting gluttony and then you pretend to care about the hungry? How can I put this mildly, Richard? "You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting."

I suggest that any company involved in these contests is not worth patronizing, to include Krystal, Pizza Hut, Heinz, Nathan's, Sheraton and especially the IFOCE.

Here's a better food idea. Click the burger.

Previously in Gluttonous America:
Jack Bauer Never Eats

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Let THE Game Begin

Images of the recently injured David Beckham are floating around along with the accompanying stories on what might've been for soccer in America had he remained healthy. One man was never going to do it for soccer here, and we will never care for it on a national level. Ever. We get interested around World Cup time, and even then only superficially.

NFL (the real football, the ONLY football for Americans) gets underway this Thursday. And Peyton Manning is back to his silly ways in this well-conceived promo for NBC Sports, also featuring New Orlean's Saint Reggie Bush.

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Invasion of the Fluorescents

A dyed-in-the-wool leftist Democrat eco-freak relative stayed at our house. On Sunday morning he ran off to Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowe's while the rest of the house was still trying to shake themselves awake with massive doses of coffee. When he got back, he proceeded to change most of our lightbulbs to these energy saver fluorescents. They're supposed to last a very long time and use much less electricity. He estimates a $20 savings per month.

I thought that was pretty bizarre, but pretty nice too. Now I've got a bin full of old bulbs that still work. Damn wasteful green freaks.


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