Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Defiant Grocery Chain Says, "Ignore The Facts! Shop Here!"

Despite the fact that Publix is buying half of what remain of Albertson's Florida stores, Albertson's persists with desperate flyers (or is that "fliers?") like this, where "Angela" poses happily with a bouquet of (funeral?) flowers and the copywriter has done everything except underline the word "still."

On a recent trip to a soon-to-be-closed Albertson's store, I encountered such poor service that I abandoned my goods in the cart in an aisle and burned rubber to the nearest Publix.

Good riddance, Albertson's. You could not suck more.

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Picnic At Karl Rove's Place

why hasn't Rove been arrested yet?The McCain Campaign is reinventing the term “Kool-Aid Drinkers,” and my own family has been victimized.

A well-respected and formerly level-headed close relative of mine told me last night by phone, “You know that thing in Berlin for Obama? They were just there to see a rock concert! Did you see how bored they were? They didn’t know they had to sit through a speech before they could see their concert! I don’t know what he’s for except ‘Change.’ He can’t even talk without a teleprompter. It's all uhs and duhs.”

I said, “Mom! You need to balance your Limbaugh diet with some other news sources.”

Mom replied, “What? Those liberals at 6:30 who are all in love with Obama?”

“Try CSPAN,” I suggested. (Where full-length, actual sit-down interviews with Obama can be seen where he, surprisingly, is very articulate, bright and clean.)

The attack dogs are ahead of McCain, creating his talking points for him, setting his agenda and crafting his policy. My own dear mother has been duped by Limbaugh, Hannity and Rove.

Now the Republicans are attempting a very cheesy brand of humor. It’s not working.

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NYC Scours Florida for Cop Recruits

The long arm of the law of New York's Finest is attempting to reverse the migrant trend of New Yorkers to Florida.

The pitch goes like this: So, your grandparents or your parents moved down here and you had no choice, right son? You know, there's a reason you wear that Yankees cap and have that giant Yankees insignia on the back of your lowered and loud Japanese import. You always eat at the New York pizzerias, don't you? You call pizza "pie," right? Don't fight it, man! New York is in your blood, son! Bring it on home, home slice! Make a whole lot more money up here protecting the citizens than you will selling weed to frat boys on Spring Break. Don't put that last part on your application.

Sign up today!

Banner found on a local news station's website.

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Come on Baby, Lawn is Burning

Daylight Savings Time
from the album, Geometry

Who wrote this scene? You know what I mean.
It finally registers and rings.
Dodging knives, rearranging lives.
There were a thousand little things.
Grab a towel. Hear the wind howl.
Tell me, who loves you more?
Rain is gone, baby. (Lawn is too, maybe.)
Let’s say we hit the shore.

Come on, Baby – Lawn is burning – season’s turning.
There’s nothing left but rock

Save daylight - turn back the clock
Jumping off a floating casino on a cruise to Mexico

You don’t want that life. I don’t need that strife.
Blinds drawn on an ocean view.

And we’ll find it, too – what we were born to do.
We’ll go where we please.
We’ll see through the trees.
We’ll shoot at the knees.

I’ll drink your wine. We’ll dine, recline.
You caught the subtle pass.
We took a chance. We left the dance.
Raise a toast. I’ll refill your glass.
Grab a raft and paddle like mad.
No need to pack a case.
We're jumping ship. You bit my lip.
We'll find a quiet cove – a secret place.

Come on, Baby – Lawn is burning – season’s turning.
There’s nothing left but rock.

Save daylight - turn back the clock

Shut the doors on the club where the voices were dubbed

We don’t want that life. Dull as butter knife.
We're gold now, no longer blue
And we’ll find it too – what we were born to do

We’ll go where we please.
We’ll see through the trees.
We’ll shoot at the knees.

We made the scene. You know what I mean.
We were dying to find a cure.
Who's gonna mock the heavens at half past eleven?
Baby, I ain't never seen you so sure.

Come on, Baby – Lawn is burning – season’s turning.
There's nothing left but rock.

Save daylight

Come on, Baby – Lawn is burning – season’s turning.
Have you had enough talk
Save daylight - turn back the clock

You know it's twice as nice in our private island paradise

I don’t want that life. You don't need that strife.
We're gonna be made new
And we’ll find it too – what we were born to do

We’ll go where we please.
We’ll see through the trees.
And we'll shoot at the knees.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

He Lives on the Moon, We May All Be There Soon

In honor of NASA's 50th birthday, and in anticipation of the long-awaited jetpack, enjoy this 1968 commercial for Mattel's Major Matt Mason. Note the intro and outro camera, the black and white kids playing with black and white action figures, as well as the copy and announcer trying to tell a compelling story, sometimes rhyming.

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Dreams of Flight

On this, the 50th anniversary of NASA, The New York Times has a cover story this morning about that jetpack I mentioned last week debuting at AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI today. Like most jetpacks, this one is severely lacking and severely expensive. Says the inventor,

“If someone says, ‘I’m not going to buy a jetpack until it’s the size of my high school backpack and has a turbine engine in it,’ that’s fine,” he said. “ But they’re not going to be flying a jetpack in their lifetime.”

I guess the inventor has been reading this blog, because I've basically said just that. Color me skeptical and unimpressed, but at $100,000 (and no one has gotten more than five feet off the ground so far) I'm thinkin'.....zzzzzzzzzzz.

Anyway, as I've said before, the jetpack is a symbol, a metaphor, a....something. I'm not really looking for a jetpack. It'd be nice, but the point is broader.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Your Title Was Boring - And I'm Busy

Most blog readers these days are perusing their RSS readers, quickly glancing through their subscriptions for something worthy of their precious time. It is helpful if your post title is engaging. If you're in advertising particularly, and you're blogging about advertising, why not practice your craft in your blog? Try to create headlines that grab your readers. Think of the RSS reader as a very crowded field where you are competing for attention - because it is and you are. If you're writing, "Jaguar's New Commercial," you've lost me right away. If you write, "Jag's New Spot Sucks Balls," or "Jag Smacks Me in The Face with Awesome Ad," I might venture further.

One blog that never fails to grab my attention through titles alone is Public School Intelligentsia, formerly known as "Hey Be Us." Here's a random sampling of recent PSI post titles:

  • If regret had a face, it would be that tribal sun tattoo wrapped around a belly button.
  • Lessons In Congeniality: “I don’t want to kill everyone…Just my enemies.”- Micheal Corleone
  • Elements of Good Advertising: Simple. Pink. Sticky.
  • On Nailing People’s Asses To The Wall: The 5 Staffers McCain Should Fire
  • Take That, You Button-Nosed Shiksas! First Ever Jewish Girls Swimsuit Calendar
Sort of intriguing.

And here's another note on RSS readers that might help your blog: Give your readers the whole post in your feed. Don't shorten it as some tease that I'm supposed to chase to improve your blog stats. If your post is interesting enough, people will click the "show original item" link and comment on your blog. Cases in point: I subscribe to a couple of political blogs. One is "The Caucus" at The New York Times. the other is "The Daily Dish" at The Atlantic. "Caucus" gives me a one line tease that I very rarely click on. "Dish" gives me the whole post, and I appreciate that. "Caucus" may end up off my subscription list very soon.

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What Disney Advertising Won't Tell You

The upside of the expected summer scattered showers of Florida is that it can be pouring down rain one street over and you might not get a drop.

It's a coin toss every day.

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The Mariachis Went their Separate Ways

A coworker sent me this image and asked me to caption it. It's stuff like this that keeps work fun when the current workload isn't all that fun.

Click for giant image that you can waste a lot of toner on printing

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Democrat Wearing an American Flag Tie?

How weird.

This is Alan Grayson, candidate for Florida's 8th Congressional District, held for four terms by Republican Ric Keller. This is what we call Straight Talk. As far as small stakes political ads go, this one's got more bite than most. Nice set, nice delivery. Compelling message. And he didn't include his family or a dog or slow-mo shots of him shaking the hands of many ethnicities in the streets of Orlando with his sleeves rolled up.

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My Review of The Dark Knight*

What a waste of money. What a total suckfest. What pure, over-hyped crap. Perfect example of the marketing getting way ahead of the deliverable. Horrible acting. Unimaginative script. Lame cinematography. Stupid special effects. Id' have had a better time watching my grass grow. Heath Ledger blows. Christian Bale needs a new job flipping burgers at Wendy's. Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and the rest of the supporting cast were phoning it in. Don't waste your time.

This dude finished his career in style
*Disclaimer: Today is Opposite Day. (I'm such a Joker.) And if Heath Ledger wins a posthumous Academy Award for his performance, it won't be out of sympathy that it was awarded to him. The guy finished his career in style.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Answer is NO, Nothing is Sacred

On Obama's recent Middle-East tour, he left a prayer in the Wailing Wall, which was then removed and published in an Israeli newspaper. Some rabbis are rightfully outraged at the paper, but since it's out there, I'll go ahead and show it to you, found at the LA Times, which exonerates itself for publishing it with the headline, "Israeli Paper Publishes Obama Western Wall Prayer." Sure, LA Times, blame it on the Jews.

Now I will show you the prayer as interpreted by Sean Hannity.

As always, the extremely witty commenter community at Gawker is having fun with this story.

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There's My Jetpack!

Look, ma! I'm fuckin' flying!
  • 1931. The Glide-o-Bike, which looks super-safe and really practical. And at only 25¢, that's some pretty affordable death and dismemberment.
  • Bill Green, currently on a weekend furlough in SanFran in the middle of the Plaid Tour, alerts me to an alternative jetpack possibility.
  • And Brian Ellis (who has a Richmond, VA area code) has emailed to invite me to the AirVenture show in Oshkosh, WI later this month to see "the first practical Jetpack." A teaser video is here, but if I'm listening correctly, this thing will fly for all of two and a half minutes. Not practical, Brian, but a nice step in the right direction.
I will be unveiling my own crude jetpack (of sorts) later this year, as soon as I assemble all the supplies and map out the video. Seriously.

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Keeping Your Irrelevancy Relevant

In a post-postmodern culture, where even nostalgia for stupid long-dead sitcoms died with Y2K, what is a depressed aging actress ex-wife of a crack-addict rockstar to do other than get re-famous for losing weight? You go, girl! Here's your guest spot on Ellen. Write a book. Encourage fat ladies. Do some spots for Jenny Craig or whatever. Oh, damn, this is so fun, just like the old days when I was young and pretty and untalented. Huh? Wha? The book tour's over? Quick, get a press release out to all the news outlets that I defend another washed-up fat actress' weight.

God, sometimes I just absolutely hate America. Sorry, Sean Hannity - please don't take that the wrong way.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Band Names from Google News - SPECIAL EDITION

This will be the first time that all seven band names from Google News come from one story, an unconfirmed story that you may not know about, since (most of) the media is pretty much not reporting it, because it pretty much is nothing but rumor at this point. But still, surely one of these names would be a great name for your band.

  • Love Child
  • Beverly Rendezvous
  • Not Good, Johnny
  • Enquirer's Notebook
  • Hilton Baño
  • Ashen Faced
  • Condition of AnonymityOh, Johnny

Here are 144 more.

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What? It Was Only a Hole in the Fuselage! Chill.

I'd bet that the movie Rain Man did a lot for the public perception of Qantas as a safe airline. (If you haven't seen it, the Dustin "Please Retire" Hoffman character informs the Tom "Please be Abducted by Aliens" Cruise character that Qantas has never had a fatal accident.)

I'm sure company officials are breathing a sigh of relief after this emergency landing in Manila.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Guitar Nation

so shapelyGuitarists are gunslingers and poets are swordsmen.
Your aim is true or it is off.
Your blade is dull or it is sharp.
Kill or be killed.
Alexander Hamilton

It is estimated that as many as 75% of American homes have within them a guitar. Granted, that guitar may be stringless and in the attic, but it is still there. It is also estimated that as many as 80% of all American males and 50% of American females have attempted at one time to learn to play the guitar.

We live in GuitarNation. (Not to be confused with the nation of Qatar.) What’s in your player right now? Whatever it is, it probably has a guitar in it.

At $5,499, this guitar is a luxury few can afford, but I lust after it. It's not just the color, the insane technology or even the name Gibson.

I contend that the guitar's popularity owes much to Hogarth's Line of Beauty.

The quote from Hamilton is made up, as are the percentages of guitars in homes and attempted players.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When a Rich Man Spends This Much Money... wary

I can't watch TV without seeing this old guy's face warning me about our dependency on foreign oil.

So, just who is T. Boone Pickens? That's one Texas-styled name, isn't it? Learn more about him here.

Some highlights:

  • Supported George W Bush
  • Supported Rudy Giuliani
  • Supported the Swift Boat effort against Kerry
  • Corporate raider
  • Chairs a hedge fund
  • Was a frat boy
  • Flirted with a presidential run
  • Is pretty rich
On a positive note, he is devoted to philanthropy. In 2005, Mr. Pickens donated $165 million to Oklahoma State University. Interestingly, The New York Times noted that "the money spent less than an hour on December 30 in the account of the university's charity, O.S.U. Cowboy Golf Inc., before it was invested in a hedge fund controlled by Mr. Pickens, BP Capital Management."

I'm not saying riches make you a bad man. I'd love to be rich. But like T. Boone, I'd likely spend a lot of money looking after my own money. Whatever this guy is suggesting, keep in mind that it will benefit him.

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Not Cute, Not Funny, Not Original

I hate these spots for AIG. The very tired concept of having children utter thoughts and words that they can't understand is not funny anymore. I'm not sure it ever was.

Here's another. And yet another.

Hahaha! Wasn't that cute? The cute, multinational kids were talking above their cute little heads and they seemed so precious doing it!

Maybe I'm not the target for this. It probably tested very well in focus groups of rich people with a stunted sense of humor.

Granted, the agency didn't go with the time-honored "old couple on the beach enjoying life in their twilight years," or "pensive yet reassured single mom wraps up her late-night financial computer work in time to kiss her darling child goodnight" or "graying business owner guy with a passion for some outdoor activity (fishing, rowing, jogging, cycling) shares financial wisdom with young son or daughter who will take over the business."

But still. These make me not laugh very heartily.

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You Didn't Think of This

And they did. Which makes them pretty damn smart.

Plaid Nation is back in gear, this time on a West Coast tour. The tour planners have conveniently skirted Florida on the last two tours. They'll probably do Europe next year.Darryl & Co: If you're hiring, I can take some night courses and become a Social Media Guru. I've been known to pose as a Thought Leader in the Interactive Space. But when I go on the road, I'd like to blog a cross-country Amtrak nightmare.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Plumber Overcomes Name - Builds Successful Business

Growing up, Frank endured the taunts of the schoolmates who made fun of his name. They'd call him "Stank" and "Crank" and "Spank" and "Wank" and "Skank."

Frank vowed as a young man, "I will show them I am not ashamed of my name. I will build a business and have the very name they mock on the side of many vans that will traverse the roads of Central Florida. They will see my name and they will RESPECT it."

I caught one of Frank's vehicles this morning on the way to work.

Not that there's anything wrong with thatAnd those punks from school who used to mock Frank? Most of them are either dead or in jail. And when they get out of jail , Frank shows them no mercy. From Frank's About Us page: All of our technicians have had a criminal background check and wear official Frank Gay Plumbing Uniforms and they drive lettered vehicles.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hannity's Impending Heart Attack

So I was listening to Sean Hannity again for a bit of "ride home and get mad" time. It didn't take long to learn his new mantra: "What has Obama ever done? He's never DONE anything! WHAT is a community organizer, anyway? Reverend Wright, William Ayers, flagpin, flip-flop."

A good answer to the question of "What has Obama ever done?" can be found in this recent article in Rolling Stone, detailing the inner workings of the most powerful, drama-free force ever assembled in American politics.

An inside look at Obama and Crew.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

If You Don't Laugh, You're Likely Dead

Or maybe your humor is just not as juvenile as mine and about two million other fans of this stuff. If I'm late to this, I blame a coworker who sent it around the office today.

I love weird ideas. This one had to have been hatched spontaneously when some drunk guy was rambling to his buddies about history.

The concept: get people drunk and have them tell you what they know about history, then have the scenes being told acted out hilariously by the moderately famous and the pretty famous. This is the fourth installment from Drunk History, a YouTube creation of Derek Waters. This one has around 55K views after only a week. The first one (uploaded last Christmas) has been viewed nearly 1.7 million times.

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Band Names from Google News - Yet Again

How’s that MySpace band thing working out for you? Me, not so great.

Perhaps we need to change our names. I may rework all my music to some sort of alt-country Americana and perform under the name “Wichita Starbucks.” (Gonna have to buy some new clothes.)

The premise of this continuing series is: I scan Google Headlines and come up with band/music act names based on today’s happenings in the news.

  • Intensified Attack
  • Roar to Life
  • Lay Down Green
  • Wichita Starbucks
  • Uninspired and Undecided
  • Testing Positive
  • Clergy DefectingOutta here

Here are 137 more.

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That's Some Grim Photography

Kinda got some Ansel qualities going on hereA barn in Montana, by Adam Grim

From Adam Grim, Photographer, that is.

A couple posts back, I reopened the never-to-be-ended debate about copyrights in the Age of Information. Stuff is out there and it’s easy to get. Whether you’re using Limewire to steal music or you’re grabbing images from sites to use in your blog posts, someone is going to take offense, usually an artist or creative type who invested time and energy—and creativity—in their work.

So I was kind of a dick to Adam Grim, a photographer who takes some nice pictures. I whacked him in the head with my shovel and then scooped a bunch of shit on him. (I don’t like being a dick, even though I’m good at it.) UPDATE: Read Adam's remarks in the comments. He had good reason to be pissed at my using his picture, based on his previous experience.

If any art directors out there need a good image for some piece of collateral, a magazine article, an ad or a website, I’d bet Adam can hook you up cheaper than Getty or Corbis. I'm not sure if Adam's working professionally yet, but he should be. You might be able to get a good deal from him.

Adam, consider my axe done ground and the hatchet done buried. In the future, I will link stolen images much more prominently. Like the ones here.

Sunset, seagull, surfer - good timingSunset at the pier in Oceanside, California, by Adam Grim

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A Line of Copy That Entered the Collective Consciousness

Friday Flashback Flashback Flashback

I'm not saying it's even good copy, but even if you are too young to have seen this ad, you likely know the second line of dialog. Or more than likely, the customer's last line to "Mr. Lee."

Nice that Asians were at least portrayed as not talking like Rob Schneider in some lame Adam Sandler movie, but they still own the stereotypical Asian business.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

How To Be an Internet Ass

I love to include photos in my posts, and I will often simply do a Google image search for what I'm looking for. If the image is really nice and clearly came from a photographer who is attempting to make a living from his or her photography, I will include a link to the photographer's site at the bottom of the post. This is the standard practice in blogging. If you steal it, at least give credit. It is the expected reciprocal kindness that creates traffic for the site where the picture was found. I frequently find some of my own creations on other sites, and I appreciate the traffic as the other sites include a link to where they found the image.

In this day of Flickr and images readily available to everyone, to expect that you can keep others from looking at or copying your images is to be living in the past, in the era of someone like, I don't know, John McCain, who can't get online without the assistance of his aides.

On a recent post, I searched for "rain" and found a black and white image that really struck me as beautiful. I included the words "picture stolen from" at the bottom of the post, with "from" linked to the photographer's site.

He quickly sent me this note:

Mr. Jetpack,

I noticed your photo on your 7/17/08 of [location deleted to prevent anyone from visiting this guy's site] in the rain looks a little familiar. It came from my website, [URL removed to keep anyone from visiting this guy's site].

I noticed you DID NOT give me any photo credits, failed to contact me for permission and basically hijacked my photo for use without any legal consent.

Please remove it immediately.

"Looks a little familiar." Nice snarky start. And I wonder how Mr. Photographer even knew I had posted his image. Could it be that someone actually visited his site from my site and his analytics told him so? And he went to this blog, saw his image, freaked out and failed to read the post to the bottom where I gave him credit? Hijacked? Legal consent? Give me a break, dude.

I alerted him to the link at the bottom of the post thusly:

[Name removed to keep anyone from visiting this guy's site],

You are mistaken. If you'll notice at the bottom of the original post I included a link to your site, as I generally do when I appreciate a good photo.

If you still don't want people going to your site from my site, I will take down the image and the link.

Let me know.


I'm tired of waiting for his reply.

Dude, you've tested my patience. I could understand your incalcitrance intransigence had I been SELLING your photograph for profit, or if I even made money from this blog through advertising. As it was, I was simply providing you free traffic for your nice picture.

Your picture is gone along with the link to your site. I've replaced it with the photo above, shot in the backyard about five minutes ago. Your comments to my blog and their associated links have also been removed.

You have a lot to learn about the Internet.

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The Midnight Ride of Charlie Crist

The British Are Coming!

Florida Governor Charlie "I'm So Tan and Thin But I'm Not Gay Hey Look I'm Getting Married So McCain Will Pick Me As VP" Crist, is over in the UK and Europe, trying to drum up business for our state. And he just announced a sinister tourism marketing plan aimed at children.

From BizJournals:

Visit Florida is launching a new ad campaign aimed at boosting visitation from United Kingdom.

The campaign calls for six, four-page special sections to be inserted into First News, the UK's most popular publication for children ages 7 to 14. The sections will focus on Florida's ecosystem and environment, science and space programs, animals and wildlife, world-class entertainment, sports and unique history.

In addition, the marketing campaign will produce two issues of First News for Teachers which will provide suggestions on how to incorporate the special sections into their curriculum.

The UK is Florida's top overseas tourism market. In 2006, 1.34 million people from the UK visited Florida, with nearly 1 million of those traveling to Orlando.

On average UK travelers spend 13 days in the state and spend $3,196.

Clever. So, UK parents, your kids are about to get the full-frontal assault from their teachers. The one place you thought your kids were safe from marketing is now helping Florida with tourism. So, your kids will come home to you and squeal about Mickey Mouse and the environment and the space program and let's go to Disney and get out of the rain and fog and dreariness of home. "Come on, Mummy! Please, Daddy!"

I say ignore it. We've got too many Brits here already. Not that we don't love you and all, but your money is better spent in Greece or South Africa. Disney is overrated and very expensive. Plus, what our Fair Governor is not telling you is that in addition to Disney we have:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Alligators
  • Sharks
  • Jellyfish
  • Humidity
  • Angry drivers
  • Child molesters (who oddly favor English kids)
  • Gangs
  • Guns
  • Highway Pirates
  • Hurricanes
  • Volcanoes
  • Quicksand
  • Sea Monsters
  • Flying Monkeys
OK, maybe ALL of that isn't true, but don't say I didn't warn you.

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It's Only Water

Plenty of people around the world think they’re being real witty when they announce what they think is their very own local saying, “If you don’t like the weather here in [insert locality name], stick around five minutes. It’ll change! Hahahahahaha!”

Everywhere I’ve lived, people complain about the weather. It’s always too hot, too cold, too rainy, too icy, too windy or too humid. Every once in a while, you’ll get that picture perfect postcard day where the temperature is 77°F, (25°C for the rest of the world) fluffy white clouds float lazily over the landscape and everyone agrees that it’s a beautiful day. Those days are rare unless you live in Hawaii.

And in the endless pursuit of that perfect day, we are obsessed with the weather. We have desktop weather apps, the radio stations announce the weather every fifteen minutes, there’s a couple of weather channels, the local news stations compete like pit bulls to be top dog of the local weather scene, promising to save your life in the next tornado, hurricane, flood or Act of God.

Truth is, nobody really knows what the weather’s gonna do. It’s still a guessing game despite the advanced science making predictions. Take what you get and wait it out until that next beautiful day shows up.

We're in the midst of a rainy month in Central Florida.

You Do The Math

From the album Telegraph Canyon

Every afternoon at about this time
for a month
it’s been raining
The afternoon scattered shower
The kind that lasts until the end of rush hour
It’s like someone saying
take it easy
It’s like someone whispered
take it slow

The straight and narrow’s got a couple twists
The straight and narrow bends just a little
The cloud ceiling’s pretty high
You got some water in your eye
What chance we’re slippin’ off the path?
The odds are slim – you do the math

Every evening at about this time
for a month
the sun shines
3D clouds under a crystal blue dome
No matter where you are you’re home
It’s like someone saying
take it easy
It’s like someone whispered
take it slow

The straight and narrow’s got a couple twists
The straight and narrow bends just a little
The cloud ceiling’s pretty high
You got some water in your eye
What chance we’re slippin’ off the path?
The odds are slim – you do the math

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Create Cool Shit

Another in what has become an endless series, the components of which I am trying to locate and put together in a comprehensive category for your viewing pleasure.

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Target Demo: Male 18-55, Lonely, Stupid

Hi. Remember me? I have herpes now.Oh, yes she is, boys. Believe it! That chick right there is searching for YOU! Registration is always free. Just give us your email address!

Seen at Technorati, where assumes stupid, gullible geeks lurk, working out of Mom's basement, lonely for a connection in the real world that doesn't involve, "Yes, I WOULD like fries with that! How did you know? I think we could be soul mates!"

Reunion, much like Match or True, will never deviate from this formula, because there really are plenty of lonely, gullible geeks out there. They're an easy target for marketers because their loneliness MAKES them gullible.

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A Midsummer Day's Dream

It's summertime and I'm trapped in a cube. My iGoogle theme is now a rotating beach banner. As Captain Kirk might admonish himself, "Must...FOCUS! MUST...main...TAIN!"

Beach Bums

From the album Telegraph Canyon

We can get all sweaty, then sticky saltwater wet
Your hair dryin’ in the sun
Bring a book and a board and some beer in a cooler
We’ll toss a disc and forget

Find a stretch to stretch on — away from the crowd
You look like Jackie-O in those shades
It’s hot enough – why you do that to me
Spin a disc and play it loud

Baby, let’s be surf dogs
Let’s just be water rats
Come on, let’s be beach bums
Wind in our hair
Waves at our backs

I don’t wanna wear socks or shoes anymore
Open toed and open shirt
We’ll eat the catch of the day down at JB’s
Then make our way back to the shore

Loose the bonds, lose the suit — ocean breeze on your skin
Take a dip, you skinny cool girl
It’s dark enough, no one will see
You always love it once you get in

We’ll build a fire — sleep out here tonight
The dog can walk himself
Hear the pounding and the beat on the beach
Back to the shack with the morning light

Baby, let’s be surf dogs
Let’s just be water rats
Come on, let’s be beach bums
Wind in our hair
Waves at our backs

A guy can dream, right?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blue Heron on a Rooftop After a Rain

Had I been able to catch the fuzzy moon above him, that would've made it perfect.

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Diplomacy is for Pussies (Post # 888)

Someday soon, John McCain will be able to execute a Google without the assistance of his aides. Meantime, his aides are hard at work asking you thoughtful questions via banner "polls."

As you might expect, if you answer "Yes" on this banner, it takes you to the same place that answering "No" does - which is, as you might expect, a place to donate money to a man who would sooner bomb the Iranians than meet with them.

Got to fix this banner.

Yes. Much better.

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Outrace the Polizei in Your BMW

I would love an old BMW 2002, the car preferred by many German terrorists of the 1970s. In this ad, I'm not sure what is happening. A plane takes off and lands and then a 2002 does a slalom course through some cones while three BMW technicians look on. A stern announcer speaks over some lame, warbly jazz.

How very German. Was ist lost?

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Have SWAG, Will Blog

nice buttonI'm a cheap slut if you give me stuff.

I guess that really makes me a dirty whore, but the fine folks at Plaid sent me an email last week asking if I'd blog about their upcoming West Coast Tour in exchange for some Plaidness. Plaidness arrived today in the form of a lime green T and a cool little button, along with a nice card begging me to blog about them. So here we go.

In seriousness, I blog about Plaid because they are an agency getting it right. They did this last year, and it was a bizarre success. After their East Coast Tour, I shamelessly asked Darryl if he'd hire me on as Plaid's Southeast Doer of Whatever It Is I Do. Darryl graciously replied, "Dude. Uh. No."

Reason I'd gladly be a Plaid Head is that they're not claiming to be Web 2.0 Social Media Gurus - even though they are. They aren't claiming to understand all there is to know about traditional media - even though they do. They are innovators - in a traditional way. And like Advance out of Denmark, or Th!nk here in Orlando, they are doing the agency blog thing in a way that isn't ruthless corporate huckstering. Read Brand Flakes for Breakfast. You'll rarely find a self-promoting post in that entertaining and educational blog.

I mean seriously - who piles a bunch of media pros into a rented van covered in branded plaid stickers and outfitted with three video cameras and high-speed wi-fi to traverse the country in an effort to drum up business and draw attention to their efforts? They'll have live video, a Twitter feed, an ever-growing Flickr set and updates from not just themselves, but the people they meet along the way. That is unique, daring and smart. To top it all off, Uncle Bill is a part of it, doubling the cool factor.

It almost inspires me to be daring enough to wear this lime green T.

A little on the limey side for me - but I might do it.Keep an eye on the Plaid Tour and learn a thing or two about advertising, business development and customer service. It's not only an education, it's a fun, real-time summer diversion.

If they're heading to your town (Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Redding, San Fran, San Luis Obispo, LA, San Diego, Vegas) get out and have a beer with them.

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Let Them Eat French Toast

With all the ridiculous excuses marketers make for sales and celebrations in this country, it's odd that we leave out today, July 14th, in the national calendar of Reasons to Throw a Party and Make You Buy Stuff.

Maybe it's our not-so-secret national hatred of France that causes us to overlook Bastille Day, but up in Seattle, they're trying, complete with this curious Leaning Eiffel Tower of Space Needle logo.They guillotine will claim her bloody prize

We all pretend to celebrate Mexican Independence on Cinco de Mayo, even though that is not Mexican Independence Day and we go all out for the Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

So I say everyone go out and buy some...some....uh...Oh, crap. I guess here's the problem. What are we going to do? Eat Brie? Drink Champagne?

Remember the run-up to the War in Iraq? France was warning us not to do it. We didn't listen.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Beach is a Harsh Mistress

The ocean was angry yesterday, but the waves looked promising, thanks to Bertha off in the Atlantic whipping things up, so we headed out. But we couldn't even get out to the good waves as each wave would knock you back, negating any progress forward you'd just made, while the current dragged us north at a rapid pace. Then we had to pack it in as this storm from the west was bearing down.

Still, the worst day at the beach is better than the best day in a cubicle.

Yeah there’s something in the air
It’s like autumn all the time
When the world’s 3-D and layered deep
Clouds marching for the shoreline like they’re walking in their sleep

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Happiest Place in the World?

That would be Denmark, according to some surveys. Denmark has also been considered the second most peaceful place in the world, behind Iceland. But as they say in Denmark, "Who the hell wants to live in fucking Iceland?"

Looking mighty peacefulPretty pastoral and peaceful place.

And wouldn't you be peaceful and happy if you got the whole summer off? Here in the States, we've always heard rumors of those liberal European and Scandinavian countries where the people go "on holiday" for months on end, then return to their cushy jobs where they work six-hour days, three of which are spent at lunch where they drink many adult beverages. They retire at the age of 50 and enjoy free meals at all restaurants and free rail and air travel just by flashing their "retired" cards. Health care is free and everyone lives to be 100 just by eating yogurt and fish. No one is poor and the bus drivers sing jolly songs as they cheerily drop you right at your front door.

OK, maybe some of that isn't true, but a visit to the Advance blog (an agency in København - that's Copenhagen for us ugly Americans) has a post titled Closing Down for the Summer. Another post on the blog reveals some very peaceful and happy people on a seaside film shoot. Advance has one of the few agency blogs that doesn't try too hard and yet isn't ashamed of being an agency blog. More on that in another post - this is about Denmark, Land of the Free and Home of the Whole Damned Summer Off.

Here is an inside peek at Advance, where they have perfected the Cool Agency Interior Design Style of placing things at unconventional angles, opaque divider walls, weird chairs that few people sit in, natural wood floors, exposed ductwork, track lighting, a "library" and people who look blurry walking past windows letting in sunlight.

Interior of Advance, CopenhagenA Creative could get Creative in a space like this

I may have found a Heaven on Earth to replace my other dream ex-pat destination, Australia.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

The All-Absolving Asterisk

It gets readable if you click it.

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Rebrand Your Band

You ask for it, I hotkey over to a Word doc when someone enters my space as I deliver it to you. It's Band Names from Google News, a regular feature. This time with links to show you where the band name comes from. The premise is: You ain't goin' nowhere with your stupid band name. Rebrand your band.

  • Nation of Whiners (link)
  • Fannie Freddie Slide (link)
  • Knütkütter (link)
  • Pope Going Down (link)
  • Graphic Novices (link)
  • The Christie Crusade (link)
  • Roman Apples (link)Was ist lost, mein froind?
Here are an additional 130.

Image is actually of German thrash metal band Kreator, found on a Google image search for, of all things, "German thrash metal band."

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Low Tech Super Creative

As I'm fond of pointing out, it doesn't always take a giant budget and a huge rack of servers to create some of the best stuff. This is very good.

Seen at.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On

Grayscale Babylon
A Dream in Black and White

The bodies of giant angels, rotting in the woods
We climbed upon their corpses while the ants crawled underfoot
Fallen from a skyward battle
On whose side we couldn’t tell
But their peaceful faces seemed to say that they’d never been to Hell

There’s a rush of refugees always slogging through my dreams
down lonely roads and darkened streets or fording swollen streams
The pictures come in shades of grey
and I know the scenes by heart
A spoiled people now afraid in a country in the dark

It's more of that sleep twilight stuff.
Picture stolen from.

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Donuts and Golf

What up, dawg? Donut?Our production managers here in CubeWorld™ are always being visited by print reps. I suspect they are print reps because they are always carrying donuts when they enter the department. Then I am positive they are print reps when I hear the conversations they have with our production managers. They are masters of the superficial. They know when a new picture has appeared in a PM’s cubicle and will comment on it. They know that one PM’s wife just delivered a baby and they will talk about staying up all night with a crying infant. They know that another of our guys likes classic rock and the reps will chat him up about The Eagles or The Stones.

Small-talk is expected and a vendor rep has no choice but to engage in it. Those who do it better than others are likely more successful. But why are donuts the universal calling card of vendors? In this obesity-obsessed, saturated fat conscious culture, you'd think the donut's day was done. I've hated donuts since childhood. If I were a vendor’s rep, I’d show up with sushi. Or tickets to the classic rock concert for the guy who's into that.

And why is golf the universal business pastime? Why are deals supposedly made on the golf course? I have never golfed, don't want to golf, can't afford golf and pretty much hate most of the golfers I've ever known. If I were a vendor’s rep, I’d take my clients to the disc golf course.

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You're Doing it Wrong!

The other day I compared the two presidential candidate’s logos. The post got a bit of traction from Copyranter and In my analysis of McCain's logo was this passage: Then, he adorns the star with what could be considered wings, reminding us that he was a pilot, a pilot who graduated fifth to last in his class at Annapolis, not usually a place from which the Navy selects its flight school candidates.

That's all the geniuses at AviationSchools needed.

"Ah-ha! Someone is talking about flight school! Time to paste a random, stupid comment on that blog and send them to my random, stupid link farm for aviation schools!"

The comment, if you can even call it that, left TWICE, reads: "Online Aviation Training Directory has one of the largest selections of flight schools and aviation training schools online. New flight schools and aviation resources added weekly."

The commenter, posting under the name "Flying Lessons," is also the proud owner of PlanetMace, your one stop shop for pepper-spray and stun-guns.
I'm a shitty pilot. This plane is going down
This is social media, friends. Or this is what it's becoming. This guy finds "flight school" in a post about John McCain's logo and assumes my readers want to visit his stupid link farm for aviation schools. Even if no one ever goes to that site through the comments of the original post, at the least his stupid link farm now has an inbound link from my site and countless others, surely, where he has pasted his URL in a very irrelevant way.

This is not a "conversation." This is SPAM. It's maddening and it's doomed to fail.

If you are going to use blogs as a place to get the word out about your business, it will require real thought— actual words from your head typed relevantly to the post— in relevant places.

Quit being carnival barkers and midway hawkers. You're ruining it for everyone else. You're also not helping your business.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Straight to DVD - And Otherwise

Who needs film critics? You can tell what's gonna suck just by the trailers.

To his artistic credit, Nicholas Cage didn't want to use his real name, Coppola, when trying to break into film. His early roles, such as 1983's Valley Girl were great, understated slacker performances. He made Raising Arizona. He's had a few good roles since then when sticking to the mouth-breathing, goof-ball stuff he does best. But Cage as action hero, or in this case, hired assassin, doesn't work. If he keeps this up, he will become a self-mocking joke very soon. Get ready for Bangkok Dangerous, a movie that looks shockingly horrible. I think this is Cage trying to prove he has "range." Uh, don't. And who titled this pic? Bargain Bin at Blockbuster in no time.

I used to live in Springfield, Missouri, Brad Pitt's hometown. Everyone there who is around Pitt's age has a Pitt story. ("I bloodied his nose in basketball." "He was my lab partner in Chemistry. I carried him.") When he returns for the Holidays, there's a media bloodsport of trying to catch him eating downtown or driving from the airport. His brother's computer business is thriving because...well, because he's Brad Pitt's brother. But the guy has range. He spent too much time in the Ocean's franchise, and he is now paired with Clooney again, only this time in a Coen brothers film and in a role that looks like it might be his best comedic work since Twelve Monkeys.

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Tropical Canadian Bucket o' Heaven

Tasty sweet deliciousnessA Mock Pay-Per-Post Ridiculously Laden with Keywords for a Product I've Fallen For

Wow! I just tried some raw, Organic, natural, unfiltered, wild honey on a slice of whole wheat toast this morning, and I have to say, this is the most delicious thing since I don't know what!

It comes from Tropical Traditions, a company with headquarters in Wisconsin. Now, I know it's sort of funny to name yourself "Tropical" when you live in Wisconsin, but that's not the point. The point is: this premium raw, natural, unfiltered, wild honey is really, really good. What's more, it makes you feel all special and better because it's Organic, with a capital "O," and that means you are on the cutting edge of coolness if you eat it.

I was interested to learn the story of where and how Tropical Traditions gets their raw, natural, unfiltered, wild honey. Tropical Traditions Organic Raw Honey comes from the frontier areas of Canada, of all places, and is only harvested during a 6-week period in the summer. Tropical Traditions is the exclusive source of this premium raw, natural, unfiltered, wild honey in the U.S. Did you know that most commercial honeys available on the market today come from bee farms, where the bees are controlled within a certain area and get their pollen from usually only one kind of flower? That can't be good, can it? That's not how they do it at Tropical Traditions. They place their hives in unpopulated areas, free from traffic and cigarette smoke, so as not to taint the premium raw, natural, Organic, unfiltered, wild honey.

Try some, and I think you’ll agree that there is no finer premium raw, natural, unfiltered, wild honey in North America! Raw, Organic, Canadian honey, available exclusively in the US through Tropical Traditions.Expensive Bucket O'Heaven!

You can buy it by the jar, the 15-lb pail or the 60-lb pail! That's a lot of premium raw, natural, unfiltered, wild honey! Yum!

(I am serious. It's damned good stuff.)

This post mocks the shameless and hopefully-soon-dead business model of Pay Per Post, a Web 2.0 scam of the first order, previously slammed here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

B-Rock Wants to Meet You BACKSTAGE

Hello, DENVER! How we all doin' tonight?!?It's getting a little too close to Celebrity Superstar Madness over in Obamaland. But at least it's out in the open now. With this candidate, we can finally put to rest the archaic notion that electing a president is based on policy and issues. It is nothing more than a popularity contest. We know how it works by now: they all lie, they all make promises they won't keep, they all attack each other unfairly, they all have shady associations, they all pretend to be in touch. Starting with Kennedy vs Nixon in 1960, it comes down to who reads a teleprompter better, who has better speech writers and who looks better in pictures. The McCain camp knows they are going to get their asses kicked hard in this charisma/charm contest.

Usually we are forced to choose between the least uncharismatic of the two candidates. This year we've got The Smiling King of Charisma vs The Old Man Who Yells "Get Off My Lawn" at The Neighbor Kids. And if a charismatic leader can get into the Oval Office, the hope is that he or she will lead through sheer charm. That's a big hope, but Reagan pulled it off.

The following is from the campaign's headquarters, who've just announced that Obama will deliver his acceptance speech not in the convention hall, but in a 75,000 seat football stadium:

"If you make a donation of $5 or more between now and midnight on July 31st, you could be one of 10 supporters chosen to fly to Denver and spend two days and nights at the convention, meet Barack backstage, and watch his acceptance speech in person."

That seems more suited to a teen idol than it does a serious contender for the presidency. Then again, we've never had a serious contender for the presidency who was also a teen idol.

Somewhere right now is a film crew putting together what will be a very moving piece about the rise of Obama. They have full access and the best equipment. They're getting candid backstage moments and private conversations in hotel elevators. The editing will include plenty of slo-mo and cool music, crowd shots and mini-crises in real time. It's almost done. After the acceptance speech in Denver, they just need to tack on the election night celebration footage and run the credits.

You'll be able to own the DVD by Christmas.

If I could stick a knife in my heart
Suicide right on stage
Would it be enough for your teenage lust?
Would it help to ease the pain? Ease your brain?

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Monday, July 07, 2008

As Nourishing as it is Tasty!

I can taste it
Yes, it's a meat-salad-vegetable combination! It's a well-balanced meal!

Lengthy copy and giant picture in this 1966 ad for the then-still-fledgling Burger King. Click image for bigger version and see if your locale even had a Burger King in 1966. Mine didn't, as it was pre-Disney days here and who wanted to risk a franchise in Orlando? I'm loving the Raygun Gothic architecture of the restaurant at the bottom of the ad.

And I'll be damned if this ad doesn't still work, 42 years after its creation. That giant burger looks really good to me right now. Only problem is that since 1966, we've learned that there is no such thing as a nourishing meal from Burger King.


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Sunday, July 06, 2008

How To Write Morrissey Lyrics

...or any emo lyrics, for that matter.

I was headed to the grocery store and heard some random Smiths song on the radio and was marveling at Morrissey's ability to create the most random, non-rhyming lyrics. I'm sure many people read deep meaning into things Morrissey writes that he never intended. He's considered the Godfather of Emo for his supposed depth and nuance.

As I pulled into the parking lot I saw a bunch of Boy Scouts offering a car wash next to the liquor store. I decided to have my car washed , since it was very dirty. And now I will write a Morrissey song based on the experience.You can never know what I meant by this. It is so painful.
Boy Scout Car Wash

And my car was dirty.
And the Boy Scouts, they were washing cars. By the liquor store.
So I had my car washed.
Now they can go to camp this summer, because I gave them a twenty.

And they made my car shine.
And now my car shines.

And the liquor store. It's a great place to have your car washed.
If your car is dirty.

And my car was dirty. But now it's not anymore.
Because the Boy Scouts washed my car. And I gave them a twenty.
And now they will go to camp this summer. I'm so happy.
So happy for the Boy Scouts. Who washed my car.
By the liquor store.
And now my car's clean. My car's clean. My car's clean.

And they made my car shine.
And now my car shines.

And the liquor store. It's a great place to have your car washed.
If your car is dirty.

Deep, huh?

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Anorexic Cougar Takes Son's Friend to Atlantic City

Do they have a game room here, Mrs. Robinson?Click for bigness

"Can I have some quarters for the game-room, Mrs. Robinson?"

Nice pool. And maybe she's not that much older than him, but there's something in this image that suggests the lady may be a little senior to the boy she lounges with at The Water Club, an Atlantic City hotel in development. Maybe she just seems too classy and he seems more suited to an XBox ad. The website takes the prize for longest URL in luxury lodging. But they have some nice Flash work previewing the property. If Atlantic City is your thing.

Scanned from today's NYT Magazine.

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