Friday, August 29, 2008

Fish Out of Water: The Loneliest Man In Washington

Todd Palin: Fisherman. Oilman. Alaska Native.

I have two brothers-in-law from Alaska. They are man's man's men.

My youngest sister's husband, Ken, who works the oil fields on the North Slope (just like McCain's VP choice's husband) visited us here in Florida a few years back. Like the fisherman and former river guide that he is, Ken spent most of his time here standing on the banks of the canal behind our house, trying to assess the wildlife situation and attempting to get a lay of the land. Ken is a wild man. He loves nature and has a sense for what the animals and fish are doing.

Another of my sisters, less than 2 years younger than me, is very familiar with Sarah Palin. My sister personally campaigned very hard for Palin for the Governorship of Alaska and is herself involved in her local PTA, the very PTA network from which Palin launched her VP candidacy. She emailed my Dad this afternoon that she was "in tears" at the selection of Palin as McCain's VP. This sister's husband, Rob, is a bush pilot. In other words, Rob's job is to fly around the giant wilderness that is Alaska and basically have a great time.

Ken and Rob are great guys, and through them, I think I have a glimpse into what Todd Palin is about to endure. What I know about my brothers-in-law is what I know about Todd Palin. Alaskan males are pretty much a known species - and this man will not be happy at the Naval Observatory. This guy, who lives to fish and spends his spare time on the God-forsaken North Slope Oil Fields, will be losing his mind in Washington, DC.

If Dick Cheney is any example, my hope for Todd Palin (should his wife become the Vice-President of the United States) is that he will have full control of the US government to execute his every whim. What Todd Palin (former snowmobile champion and die-hard fisherman) is going to need is 24-hour access to a private plane that will fly him to Alaska whenever he says, "Fly, bitches!", a fleet of snowmobiles, and the guarantee that his job on the North Slope will never be given to illegal aliens.

This guy is hard core American independence, and the last place he needs to be is in Washington, DC. The fish of the Potomac are not going to satisfy Todd.

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18-Year Old Male Vote Secured by McCain

I'm being shallow, as usual, but there has been a lot of chatter on-air and online to this effect.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Don't Usually Jump Onboard With New Apps

But Kwooky looks pretty promising. It's got everything a Web 2.0 app needs. Nonsensical, made-up name, silly, quirky font, dumb tagline and the all-important "beta" designation. What Kwooky does no one is certain, since I just made it up after searching to make sure the URL was available. But that's all it takes. Now I just need some developers and some venture capital and I can sell this idea to Google in about a year.

Stupid ideas keep getting funding, and I won't single out the ones I find stupid, but here's a clue: if the "About Us" page contains super-hip, irreverent bios of a bunch of guys with titles like "ninja" who all reside in diverse locations, then I would keep my venture capital away from those dudes.

Then ask yourself, "Would I use this app? Does it do something that another app doesn't? Is it maybe just some reverse-engineered ripoff? Can I live without it? Will it change the way I do business?"

Also, do a little research into the principals of the start-up. If they can't seem to hold down a job for more than a year, it's a good bet they're probably just ne'er-do-well punks looking for a fast buck.

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Band Names From Google News

You set up your MySpace music site. You uploaded your logo to Cafe Press. Your sister and your cousin are telling all their friends to download your sure-to-be-a-smash-hit song "Second Lunch Kiss," and you and your bandmates have all bought really tight low riding girl jeans and white belts, even the chubby bassist, who looks really stupid in them. But for whatever reason, the big label deal hasn't arrived yet. Maybe it's because your band's name just isn't touching the masses. Sure, it's obscure and mysterious, but you might need to consider a new one. I offer you these, based on today's headlines at Google News.

  • Forty-Five Year Dream
  • Here Comes Gustav
  • Desperation Prevails
  • Safe Passage
  • Arson House
  • Jail For Mom
  • Tequila Nightmare

Here are 158 more.

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Be Safe This Biscuit Season, Children

And always wear your biscuit helmet.

From Plan 59, a great place for retro oddities.

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Meanwhile, Back at The Farm

A comic, homemade the old fashioned way, through drawing and then coloring in with Photoshop.

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If Porky Pig and Satan Mated

This blog has been getting a little political of late. I apologize to those who don't care for politics. Consider my fascination a temporary problem that will go away when all this bullshit stops. Or who knows, maybe I'm going into politics the same way I went into advertising: disgusted and determined that I can do a better job.

But if you pay attention, political campaigning is nothing more than advertising stripped to its most evil core.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


What Would Dave Do? Ogilvy, that is.

As a private person, I have a passion for landscape, and I have never seen one improved by a billboard. Where every prospect pleases, man is at his vilest when he erects a billboard. When I retire from Madison Avenue, I am going to start a secret society of masked vigilantes who will travel around the world on silent motor bicycles, chopping down posters at the dark of the moon. How many juries will convict us when we are caught in these acts of beneficent citizenship?
- David M Ogilvy

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The Colonel Goes to War

This commercial has it all: drama, explosions, war, honor. The storyline is great, too: a pretty Taiwanese soldier Girl Scout, at great risk to her own safety and against all odds, manages to get some KFC to the general, who we presume decorates her honorably for her heroic deed.

And then she runs for President, I'll bet.

Prediction: Someone will make a dog meat or cat meat joke in the comments. But until you've tried it...

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Because "Bathroom Tissue" By Any Other Name...

...would still serve the same purpose.

Besides, it's not fun to call someone a "bathroom tissue."Go ahead and ridicule my P-Shop skills, but just so you know, I used "inner bevel" to piss you off on purpose.

And if anyone can locate this old SNL skit featuring Nick Cage, lemme know.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I've Lived This Day a Thousand Times It Won't Go Away

Or as the sign outside of Stan's office says:

"I don't know the key to success,
but the key to failure is trying to please everyone."

- Bill Cosby

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Louisiana Fried Chicken

Pentagram Design (motto: "We Don't Worship Satan Very Seriously") will be helping Popeye's Chicken rebrand for a younger audience.

Here's the new packaging, featuring jazz musicians that the Austin-based Pentagram hopes will convey the message that Atlanta-based Popeye's has its roots in Louisiana. Good approach as any, I guess.

More images at Pentagram's blog.

Down here in Florida, we have Maryland Fried Chicken.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Didn't See That One Coming


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Uh...No One Cares What You Think

I had composed a rant, but the title says it all.

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Colored Spectacles

I broke my Randolph Engineering sunglasses this morning, and that’s not a good thing. They were pretty nice, issued to the military since the early 80s. Solid, timelessly stylish and one of those icons known only to a relative few. Unless you've been around the military, you've likely not heard of them. Randolph doesn't advertise. They don't need to. They have a government contract that keeps them pretty happy. They’re like Ray Bans for people who don’t want to be seen sporting the Ray Ban logo. (Even if it is a timeless and fairly cool logo.)

I’ve never owned a pair of Ray Bans on principle, but I went to their barely functioning website (at least it hates Firefox) and was amused by this take on the whole “mirror image” thing every web designer has been over-employing for the last four years. Generally, the designer will flip the duplicated image vertically, draw back the opacity and then fade the reflection away at the bottom. At Ray Ban, they instead flip it horizontally and place it right under the original. Odd.

ANYWAY…Didn’t mean to diss you, Ray Ban. Send me a crate of every style and color of sunglasses you offer and I will wear a different pair every day and blog about them. I will surrender my blog to Ray Ban for as long as it takes me to wear all of your glasses, reviewing each pair and finally selecting the ones that I like. The leftover pairs will be given to homeless men on the streets of Orlando, along with Never Hide® t-shirts. I’ll take their pictures and we can do some sort of crazy viral thing that makes Ray Ban look concerned for homeless people who need sunglasses.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Purple Clouds Majesty

In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Fay, we loaded five trash bins and two giant bags with downed limbs and assorted tree castoffs. As the final remnants of the storm are crossing the Panhandle, the southern bands of the system leaving Central Florida are quite pretty. The distant rumblings of thunder this evening called me outdoors to witness the beauty of nature's anger.
If clouds are your thing, you'll enjoy rock photographer Ross Halfin's travel section. He spends a lot of time flying around the world in First Class, shooting out the window. The guy is good.

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This Road Trip Sponsored By...

The ad model of "two guys go off on a cross-country road trip to promote some product" should be nearing its demise, certain innovative ad agencies excluded. We've seen cereals, beers, Weber grills and other assorted items hawked in this sometimes-funny, usually-stupid fashion. It probably all started decades ago with the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, but after the Alka-Seltzer sponsored "Speedy's Road Trip" concludes in Maine later this month, I'm pretty sure no one will have executed this idea quite as well as Rhett and Link, a couple of clowns from North Carolina, who began their tour in San Diego on Cinco de Mayo. Engineers by training, the pair abandoned corporate life for the lure of You Tube fame, because "they realized that sitting in front of a computer all day was going to kill them."

Through a series of songs, skits and ironically raised eyebrows, the two childhood friends document their journey through uploaded videos to Alka Selter's pretty nice microsite devoted to the journey. This one, done in Boston, is a nice spoof on the hideousness of locally produced TV spots. After only three days, it's been seen over 35K times on YouTube. You can't expect much more from a short-lived viral effort.

Another pretty good one here they did in DC oddly has half as many views as the previous after nearly a month.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

No, I Haven't Seen "Mad Men" Yet

I might get around to it eventually. Meantime, here's my take on it, based on what I've read.

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Set Phrases on Stun

Charles Blow has a great piece in today's New York Times blasting Obama for forgetting that politics, like advertising (same thing) is about slogans and gimmicks. He cites McCain's "Drill Here Drill Now" mantra as an effective example of how to jump ahead in the polls, "Because it was concise, catchy and positive."

Regardless of the fact that McCain's "Drill Here Drill Now" was invented by Newt Gingrich and then championed by Sean Hannity until it became McCain's, Blow is right. Obama is going to sink like a rock if he keeps up his professorial put-em-to-sleep stuff. Sadly, he had to go that route because the opposition was accusing him of being nothing but lofty words. Now that he's proven he can think and reason like a bright, clean and articulate guy, it's time to go back to lofty words.

Americans are stupid. We need gimmicks and junk, catchphrases and bullshit before we buy. "Drill Here Drill Now" is proof of this. I even saw a bumper sticker with the phrase this week. It's a phony policy that won't do a thing to make us "energy independent." But America believes it will. If you say it often and if you say it loud it becomes truth. Top it off with the House of Representatives stunt with all the "rogue" lawmakers demanding a Drill Here Drill Now vote and you've got a movement. While it is stupid to neglect Alaska's oil in the interest of saving some frickin' caribou - who are migratory! They'll MOVE! - most experts agree that all the oil in Alaska will make a very minor dent in our national consumption.

I thought Axelrod was a marketing genius, but he's losing his touch. It's already time for Obama to rebrand.

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Hot Liquid Hope

We’ve got a war on drugs here in America. We are beefing up the borders and increasing our police forces to stop the flow of narcotics into our nation. That’s a good thing, I suppose. I just hope no one ever realizes that the entire nation is jacked up on caffeine.

Coffee, the product of the coffee bean, wasn’t something Westerners were getting high on until the mid 1600s. Some experts say coffee cultivation originated in Arabia near the Red Sea around 675 AD, and extensive planting of the coffee tree occurred in Yemen in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Europeans got a taste of the black drink brewed from the bean of the coffee tree and the world has never been the same. Realizing the power of this drug over the Europeans, The Dutch soon began to grow it in their colonies. The French successfully brought a live cutting of a coffee tree to the island of Martinique in the West Indies. This single plant was the forerunner and grandfather to all the great coffee plantations of Latin America.

Do you remember when your Dad would drink coffee when you were a kid? Long trips in the family car, Dad with his stainless steel thermos, you asleep in the back and smelling that wonderful smell. It smelled like Dad. And do you remember weekend mornings around the breakfast table, Mom and Dad with a cup of coffee? You’d ask for a taste and they’d let you have a sip, knowing you would make that face that all kids make when something tastes like crap. It wasn’t until high school or college that you started drinking it, right? Just like beer, just like pot. It took some getting used to. The taste was bitter. But it had a great effect. It woke you up. You could study better. All your friends were doing it. You found ways to make it taste better. Some cream, some sugar, milk, whatever. Then before long you found that you could drink it all kinds of ways and that it was great after a meal, while reading, sitting, driving and talking. It was a friend and the truth was, you needed it. You enjoyed it.

We stumble to the coffee maker first thing in the morning. Barely awake, we go to that corner of our kitchen that is dedicated to the bean of the coffee tree and start the hot water over the ground and roasted beans to mix that magic potion that is celebrated from sea to shining sea. When we get to work, our employers have placed stations all over the workplace that are devoted to the magic potion and the employer gives this potion to us for free. You drank it all? We’ll make more! We go to specialty stores that sell the ground and roasted beans in hundreds of flavors, from exciting and exotic locations. The local supermarket has an aisle devoted to it and even a bean grinder. We go to special bars and coffee houses that make it even better than we can at home and we’ll pay top dollar for a few ounces of the juice. We invest money in better machines that will approximate their concoctions of the brew and put them in our kitchen coffee shrines. Even the government is in on the act and will set up free coffee stations at rest stops on holiday weekends to keep the drivers on the interstates alert. The United States military is so addicted to coffee that they nicknamed it "Joe."

This employer sanctioned, government-funded epidemic has taken over and we have accepted it. We are a drugged nation. There is nowhere you can go and not find a cup of coffee. It makes you wonder what the war on drugs is all about. Marijuana comes from the exact same places that coffee comes from. The process to make drinkable coffee is long and involved. Just as no one snorts cocaine from the coca plant, no one drinks coffee from a coffee tree.

Imagine coffee being criminalized. Pandemonium and full-scale revolt. We’d have screaming and angry drivers in the streets, parents unable to get their children to school in the morning, All the Starbuck’s boarded up, coffee hoarding and lame attempts to grow coffee in attics and basements all over. You’d be meeting your coffee dealer in a secret location and passing brown bags of coffee under tables. Coffee drinkers wouldn’t lay low and buy and sell their drug quietly and discreetly, waiting for the next shipment to arrive, like marijuana users have learned to do. They’d take up arms and kill each other to get another fix. Coffee is a drug and we need it. Some of us can’t live without it.

Imagine the economic devastation resulting from the government’s declaring coffee a controlled substance - a narcotic. Importers, exporters, investors, buyers and dealers out of business. Retail, wholesale and vending gone. The financial shockwave would be hard to overcome, but the money would find other avenues. Coffee Prohibition wouldn’t stop the flow of coffee across the borders from Mexico and the Caribbean. I'll bet some of the best coffee would come from Canada. We’d have speakeasies in secret hideouts. Gangs would war over coffee turf. People would be getting arrested on routine traffic stops for transporting truckloads of coffee beans…with the intent to distribute. Drug addicts are resourceful and they will get their high, no matter how many laws we pass or how many police we employ to keep them from it.

I love coffee. I am a full-blown coffee-addict and I’m not ashamed of that. It’s not illegal and I hope no one at the DEA ever figures out what a powerful drug it is. Coffee is great and I will use it in all its forms. I love it from Arabia, Jamaica, Kenya, Columbia and Hawaii. I love it fresh perked, automatic dripped, or instant. I'll enjoy it in its super-concentrated form of espresso, a liquid jolt of energy, or in its dessert form of cappuccino, a tasty treat of get-up-and-go juice. I like it in the morning, the evening, while driving, reading, and talking. It starts my day. It’s my friend. It’s hot liquid hope. I’m glad I don’t have to make discreet phone calls in coded words to paranoid dealers just to get a cup. I’m glad I can drink it in front of children and they haven’t been told at school that it’s a horrible, addictive substance that makes people act differently.

We need some things and we like them. We don’t want to be without them. Is that addiction? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just enjoying the things we have. Coffee is one of the many things we need and enjoy that alter our mood, change our thinking, or just help us get going in the morning. Like vitamins or aspirin - or for millions these days- Prozac, Zoloft or pain killers. Or a glass of wine, a bottle of beer. We are a drugged nation. Coffee's a habit, a ritual, a part of our lives - and I'm pretty sure it's not a gateway drug to more harmful things like crack and heroin.

If you want, I can hook you up with a guy who just got back from Martinique with some killer French Roast.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

This Guy's Fingers Make Chords You've Never Even Seen

And he's only got nine fingers.

From his landmark album The Wind and The Wheat, here's Phil Keaggy playing an abbreviated version of the title track.

It is rumored that Jimi Hendrix was asked, "What's it like to be the greatest guitar player in the world?" He is said to have responded, "I don't know. Ask Phil Keaggy." That is an urban legend. I had the opportunity to interview Keaggy and asked him if I could inquire on-air about the fabled endorsement. He preferred we not delve into it, humble guy that he is. I said, "OK, for my own curiosity, is it true?" He said, "He called me one of the up-and-comers to keep an eye on."

This album is so good, I have a copy of the watercolor (above) from the cover on my living room wall, painted by this guy, who told me by email, "It is interesting, I have done hundreds, no, probably thousands of illustrations over the past thirty years, but that piece of art is remembered more than just about any that I have done. It is not even in a style I typically do, or am known for."

For a funny glimpse into Keaggy's past, have a look at this psychedelic clip from his old band, Glass Harp, as they jam all Spinal Tap-ish.

Recent postings by Bill and Fred inspired me to look this clip up.

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Because "Umbrella" is a Silly Word

You ever wonder how something got its name? Me too. As I was preparing to walk from the car to the store, I found a long-neglected umbrella under the seat and used it, as Tropical Storm Fay would've soaked me through in the 15 second walk. And I start wondering why it's called an umbrella, and then as the word is repeated in my head, it eventually sounds nonsensical, like any word you repeat over and over again. So, I renamed it.

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Well, What Do We Have Here?

Waving that flag and calling others unpatriotic can sure come back to bite you in the YouTube Age.

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Playing the POW Card - From the Bottom of the Deck

As the “How Many Houses Do The McCains Own” battle was heating up yesterday, McCain spokes-Doberman Brian Rogers had this to say, "The reality is they have some investment properties and stuff. It's not as if he lives in ten houses. That's just not the case," Rogers said. "The reality is they have four that actually could be considered houses they could use."

He also added: "This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison," referring to the prisoner of war camp that McCain was in during the Vietnam War.

I’m pretty sick of the POW excuse that magically absolves McCain of everything. It’s one thing to be a POW, it’s quite another to remind people of it every day, in the most disconnected, disingenuous and dishonest ways. So let’s look ahead and prepare McCain’s answers for him on a host of issues.

  • Milk prices are too high
“This is a guy who didn’t have the luxury of milk for five and a half years -- in prison.”

  • We’re not doing enough to find alternative sources of energy
“This is a guy who lived in the dark for five and a half years -- in prison, with no light bulbs.”

  • Healthcare is too expensive
“John McCain had little to no healthcare for five and a half years.”

  • The inner cities are suffering
“John McCain knows a thing or two about suffering.”

  • We aren’t well prepared for natural disasters
“Let me tell you a thing or two about disaster, my friends.”

  • War on terror
“I’ve been in a war. I know how to win wars.”

  • War on drugs
“I’ve been in a war. I know how to win wars.”

  • Prisons are overcrowded
“My friends, let me give you some straight talk about prisons. I know what it is to be in prison.”

  • Economy is in a recession
“If there’s one thing I learned as a prisoner of war, it’s that there is always hope. We can’t give up hope.”

Name the issue, and McCain will bring up his POW experience. I find it distasteful and unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman. My Dad served in Vietnam twice as an officer. He is also a graduate of West Point (Beat Navy!) — and he got there on his own, without help from well-connected relatives. And he doesn't talk much, if at all, about his medals, his injuries or the things he witnessed. Very few of the soldiers I've known would, unless you really press them, and even then they'll do it reluctantly. There's an unwritten code among soldiers who've seen war and death that says, "You weren't there and you can't know. To share it with you would be to invite you into my nightmares and I'm not going to do that to you." But McCain has no problem bringing it up every day. He gambles that you will see him as some sort of John Wayne/Rambo/Clint Eastwood type. Or that you will pity him his time in prison and regard him highly for his ability to endure. The sad fact is that John McCain was the favored scion of a high-ranking military family who should not have been admitted to Annapolis, much less Navy flight school. The fact that he got shot down and captured is tragic, but it in no way qualifies him for the Oval Office.

And sadly, this isn't the doing of Karl Rove or some other Republican spin-meister. McCain has been trading on this story for decades. That alone says more about the man than the story he keeps telling.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Way to Look Inept, Guys

Ukraine, likely the next victim in the Russian Rollback, would like young citizens to take up the call of duty and patriotism by joining the armed forces. Looks like it's going to be a cakewalk for the Russians.

And here's an old one worthy of note in light of how easily Russia rolled over them: Georgia looking all tough, like they can fight.

Previously in military recruitment ads.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Raining on Your Parade

I know people save for a long time for that family trip to Disneyworld. Or the convention planner schedules the big annual to-do a year in advance, reserving tickets to the attractions and arranging excursions to Kennedy Space Center and whatnot. But now is not the time to make that trip if you're dreaming of orange groves and getting a tan. (Actually, orange groves are pretty much a thing of the past, unless you go out to the sticks.) You can count on late August to December to be a crapshoot if you’re expecting that fabled sunny Florida weather, not that it isn’t still nice even when we’re experiencing a tropical storm. (If you watch the local news, you’d swear the Apocalypse had arrived. Super Viper Doppler Digital Death Watch in 3D, with 4—count ‘em— FOUR meteorologists in studio to zoom down to your street level to let you know it’s raining where you live. They also love to report live from the beach in their rain gear, scolding others who are on the beach, as if that Bachelor's Degree in Communications makes them better equipped for rainy beach survival than you.)

On the plus side, you’ll have the rides to yourselves. You can just wear a swimsuit and a shirt as it’s still warm. And if you do get here and it’s raining, remember, it’s only water.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

There's a Whole Lot of Rhythm Goin' Round

It's not quite as good as Sweet Soul Alabama, but continuing with my newfound hobby of mixing audio with video that shouldn't match but oddly does, here's my second attempt at it. (I really need to take a class in Adobe Premiere Pro.)

I give you square dancers discovering Parliament and tearing the roof off the multi-purpose room at your local Baptist church.

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Cubicle Still Life

A black and white study in the life of the modern cube dweller, taken as we in CubeWorld waited to be released early in litigious fear of Tropical Storm Fay, lest an employee run his car into a ditch on the way home and blame his evil corporate masters for making him stay at work when it was raining a little harder than normal.

A review of the photograph:

In the antiseptic style characteristic of this sort of work, Jetpacks takes us into the typical and retreaded "misery of the cubicle," where it's all wires and buttons, chrome and plastic. A pair of sunglasses suggests the longing for the outdoors and fresh air, while a small fan, ridiculously (or more likely in the mind of the artist, "rebelliously") labeled "fake wind," provides some small semblance of nature. An older model cell phone lets us know (without any attempt at subtlety) that the artist is either stuck in the past or can't afford an iPhone.

For all its overbearing and fervent striving at importance, "Cubicle Still Life" is neither remarkable nor poignant, and calls to mind the photography of impoverished street children who are given disposable cameras for some do-gooder PBS special, randomly and haphazardly taking pictures of nothing.

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Campaign Posters from the Other Side

The political short-order cooks are working double shifts of late, sweating in the kitchen as they turn this election season into a vomitorium of bad taste, unseemly innuendo and blatant lies. Throw in a little Sean Hannity, a dash of "Take America Back for God," and a pinch of leftover 60s radicalism and you've got the makings for a really foul smelling melting pot. What we've been served is a big steaming platter of political junk food, free of nutrients and loaded with crap. "Eat up, kids! Clean your plates! You know, there are people in Africa starving for democracy."

So why fight it anymore? I'm going to join the fray.

Imagine if we let Karl Rove create posters for Obama. Or what if we let David Axelrod create posters for McCain? They'd probably look something like these. (Click for larger versions.)

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Can I Get a Witness?

One more energy drink. Zzzzzzzz....

Always ready and able to help a company is Lance Armstrong, here to testify about the benefits of FRS Healthy Energy. FRS stands for Free Radical Scavenger, which sounds like a great name for a band—or a political revolution.

With all the professional shots of Armstrong all over the FRS site, I wonder why they went with this poorly cut out screen grab from a Congressional testimony.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sweet Soul Alabama

Who says you can't dance to really, really white music?

I don't know what prompted me to create this, but it sure makes me smile. Maybe I just love to see weird juxtapositions and revel in the bizarre, but here we have Redneck Southerners and Urban Blacks finding common ground.

The concept is simple: do a YouTube search for "Soul Train," then do a search for the whitest music known to man, then combine the two. You'd think they'd have nothing in common. Think again. No video editing was done to sync the dancing with the music. So, as it happens, Lynryd Skynryd could be considered funky. Or Soul Train dancers from the 70s could interpret 70s Southern Rock. Who knew? I may have found a new hobby.

This could do more for race relations in our country than the candidacy of Barack Obama. Even more than that Red Hot Chili Peppers video directed by Chris Rock.

Yes We Can put Country First.

And if it makes HighJive laugh, I'm halfway home.

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Oil, War, Taxes, Environment, Religion and Other Points of Debate

We can bark at each other until we're blue in the face, restating our rehearsed talking points with fake civility to the point that they become mere bumper stickers. Politics is now PR, and if you repeat a slogan long enough and loud enough, people start to pick it up and believe it.

You hate me and I hate you. You're a deluded fool and I'm a mindless drone. You're stupid and I'm dumb.

But I think there's one thing we can both agree on: Johnny Cash had a cool voice, even when working for American Oil (aka Amoco) now a part of BP (Formerly known as British Petroleum, now using the eco-friendly "Beyond Petroleum.")

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Rich Punks Need Discipline

"Your son will succeed" declares this ad that runs in the back pages of every issue of Sunday's New York Times Magazine. It's for St. Thomas Moore School, a place for "young men who have not yet realized their potential."

The former bad boys pose in their caps and gowns, proud to have made it out of high school. You, the parents, are just glad your boy no longer terrorizes your plush suburb with his loud music and lowered street rod, cavorting with those skanks from Jersey, who are the reason he started drinking, you're certain.

You may rest now because he's far away, across the Sound in scenic Connecticut, learning discipline and time management in the Jesuit tradition. And at $34K per year, it was well worth it to have the ungrateful brat out of your hair.

And bonus! When he comes home for Thanksgiving, you'll note with delight that your son no longer uses that faux ghetto Chav-speak. He sounds nearly like...a Kennedy!

Noted alumni include the born rich but almost went bad Mario Van Peebles, currently succeeding somewhere.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Evacuation Has Begun

Here's the local Albertson's as the dismantling of the store begins. It will soon be a Publix. The purchase of 49 Albertson's by Publix cost the Florida-based chain $500 million. Many fear that less competition will mean higher prices. As far as I could tell, Albertson's always had the higher prices anyway.
In typical Albertson's rip-off fashion, they advertised an "everything must go" sale where all merchandise would be discounted up to 60% off. Only greeting cards were marked down 60%. Everything else was marked up before they marked it down.

Get out of my neighborhood, Albertson's. And don't come back.

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That's Very Kind of You To Ask, Google, But Yes, I'm Sure

And since when is SPAM a "conversation"?

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Must I Do Your Work For You, Karl Rove?

Come on, dudes - this one was so easy. You can't let images of Obama looking young and fit, athletic and cool crisscross the globe without some quick counter-strikes. This one's on me, since I like Churchills and Obama apparently didn't use any.

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Official Sponsor

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Why So Serious?

The very prolific Joker, of Why Advertising Sucks, has included me in his "20 on 20 series," in which he asks 20 bloggers 20 questions.

Thanks, Joker.

It is notable that throughout my email exchange with Joker, not a single "That's what she said" joke was written by either party.

Here's Joker on blogging:
"You're only as good as your last post."

So true. "Ephemera," as they say at PSI.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Flat as Glass

Of late, the waves in Central Florida have been nonexistent. We haven't been to the beach in a month. It's like a Midwest lake out there. Some sort of calm and balmy lame-assed Loch Ness.

Here's what we want. Here's what would make our wait worthwhile. Here's why hurricanes are cool.

Bring it on, Atlantic. Send that nastiness from Cape Verde. It's supposed to be Hurricane Season. We haven't seen shit.

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What is it About This Spokesman That Isn't Trustworthy?

I'll give you a hint: he looks like the kind of guy who would run for President and lie about cheating on his wife while fathering the child of some pretend documentary filmmaker lady and then deny fathering the child.

1975 called. They want their feathered hair back.

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100 Meter Butterfly

An Aussie visitor to one of my websites once observed: "They disrupt the everyday and the opinionated links we make between words (& art & music) and experience; the links that speak as if the world were easily translatable into a common language and experience that we all share." I rather liked that assessment, heady though it was.

Here's some more of that disruption of common language and experience. Or perhaps it's really just Middle School humor I still can't shake.

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Band Names from Google News

It's that time of the week, (been a few weeks, sorry) when I give you a replacement name for your struggling musical act based on today's headlines at Google News.

  • Hurtful Handshake
  • Beijing Lip Sync
  • 100-Meter Butterfly
  • Bigfoot Buzz
  • Trickle Back Home
  • Ko Lin Pow
  • Mark Penn & the Wolf SonsOw - my hand
Here are 151 more.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Recession-Proof Industry?

I have just finished calling five local tax accountant/CPA types, hoping to hire one of them to help me find my way out of a (ahem) situation. Before I can ask any simple questions, I can tell by their tone how bothered they are, so I begin with, "Hi, Larry. Are you accepting any new clients at this time?"

"No." Times five.

So the accountants are doing just fine in this tanking economy. Good to know.

But not the smartest business practice to be passing on people calling you before you even find out what the potential client might need. I will be sure to bypass all five of you when I win $55 million tomorrow night in the Florida Lottery.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

That's What I've Spread on My Toast

While President Bush is over in China slapping backsides of bikini-clad athletes and basically making a chimp of himself, let's flash back some 49 years, lest we start to think that politics mixed with shameless commercialism and celebrity are something new.

Here's an interesting old commercial from Good Luck Margarine, in which former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt pitches the stuff in that now-extinct American accent known as "Hyde Park Glenda The Good Witch." Sounds and looks a lot like Aunt Bee from The Andy Griffith Show.

YouTube uploader says she was paid 35K for this :30. Pretty good money, I'd guess, by 1959 standards. As for Good Luck Margarine, I've never heard of it.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Spec Ad for Trade

Dear Triumph Motorcycles,

I have toyed with the idea of owning a motorcycle for some time. Now that gas prices are ridiculous and my daily 50-mile round-trip commute is eating into my wallet at a rate I do not want to sustain for much longer, I am more than toying with the idea.

I live in Florida, where easily 4 out of 5 bikes on the road are Harleys. I find that the Harley subculture has turned into a real culture, far from "sub," far from individual and miles from the roots of HD as a rebel brand. Beyond that, I find the price-tags of Harleys to be prohibitive.

I have thought about Indian motorcycles, "America's First Motorcycle," as a viable alternative, but their slow efforts at rebuilding and their near duplication of the Harley look (and price) prevented me from thinking too deeply.

Then I saw the Bonneville Black. I am in love with a motorcycle. There is nothing not to like about this bike. Just sitting there, it conveys everything that a motorcycle should be. It is not showy. It is not excessive. It is, in a word as timeless as the Bonneville itself: cool. And the price is the final deal closer. I want one. Now.

So, in addition to the ad at top, I'll also be a fairly loyal brand advocate here on this blog based on my experiences with the bike you will provide me for free upon reading this letter. (You will be allowed two rounds of edits on the ad.) A dealer up in Daytona has one in stock. Please let them know to have my new ride prepped and ready to roll by next Friday.

Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.



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Friday, August 08, 2008

You're Watching The John Edwards Channel

Where it's all John Edwards, all the time.

Is anyone really surprised that a vain and pretty rich man who talked way too much about his concern for the impoverished and loved to tell you about his millworker father but never talked about his hedge fund work or his life as a vain and pretty rich trail lawyer, is guilty of feeding his ego by sleeping with another woman?

This is news?

It's the salacious slice of the week, from a media culture obsessed with enforcing a moral code they could never uphold themselves, casting stones and pondering the results of their stone-casting. Gay Republicans in airport bathrooms or straight Democrats in hotel bathrooms, it's all the same. Give us the pictures, the love letters, the stained dresses, the quotes from friends of friends. Tell us why this is important and why we need to stay tuned.

America, you suck so much sometimes.

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Eight Eight Eight

3 verses of 8 lines
If you turned this day upside down
it would still be the same
And when you look at it sideways
it goes on without end
and what is a game
played between enemies
but a metaphor for war

The rain outside blows sideways
trash cans are turned upside down
There are things to do again today
that we do without end
And what is a game
played between friends
once again
but a metaphor for harmony

Please celebrate our triumph
Feel free to wince when we fall
and do try to mind your tongues
We love the gold, the spoils of war
and turning worlds upside down
and what is a war fought overseas
to me
just the game we play

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Now That's One Powerful Lawyer

A few posts back, I was laughing at my local Personal Injury Attorney Pages Yellow Pages, one of the endless editions landing on my driveway throughout the year. So I was sort of surprised to find another Yellow Pages on my drive this evening upon returning from work. Even more surprised was I to find that this was also from Verizon, as was the one last week. It even included the exact same magnet ad for an Orlando personal injury attorney affixed to the front. Was this some error? Did I accidentally get a duplicate Yellow Pages? Did the delivery people simply screw up?
No. It is identical in every way....except for one tiny detail.

I'm guessing Attorney Peircy J. Stakelum didn't like his goofy stare-at-the-ceiling look on the first magnet. Did he threaten a lawsuit if the error wasn't corrected? We now have a new Piercy J. Stakelum magnet, only now he looks like the kind of lawyer who would not hesitate to sue Verizon for screwing up his image.

You can not imagine the personal pain and suffering my client has endured. It is the least Verizon can do to begin to restore Mr. Stakelum's besmirched character, as he is at risk of becoming the butt of every lawyer joke not just in this fine city, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, but of the blogosphere as well!

Compare the two magnets below, with corrected Piercy on the right. I say, "Nice job, dude." Stick it to Verizon . Maybe they'll stop delivering these instant recyclables to my home if they keep losing money like this.

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That Elusive Agency Job

The one with the corner suite, casual dress, car allowance, fat salary, fatter bonuses, paid vacation travel, cool accounts, cool clients who let you do cool shit, trips to exotic locales for expensive film shoots, trips to far-away awards shows, in-office bar, free sushi for lunch every day, funky cool furniture and so much business that you have to turn down good work? You know, that dream job? It doesn't exist. (Except maybe in Denmark.)

But here in Orlando at the AAF affiliated Orlando Advertising Federation (of which I am not a member), there are no jobs in advertising at all. When this site finally comes back up, it will display the same lousy jobs it has had up there for many weeks. (yes, that's the URL for the local club) was partnered with Create Magazine for their job listings, but when Create got purchased by, which uses Media Bistro for their job listings, things went to hell fast and I guess OAF took things in-house. Now we have this.

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Olympics? We Have Other Games to Prepare For

John Madden, the former Oakland Raiders coach, sufferer of aerophobia, free agent for EA Sports, sometime pitchman for Verizon Wireless, Rent-A-Center, Miller Lite, Sirius Satellite Radio and Tinactin (and popular radio and television sports announcer), in association with the Southland Corporation, (dba 7-11), in association with Brett Favre, the Wrangler-endorsing former subsidiary of the Green Bay Packers, Inc. and now the property of the New York Jets, (a wholly owned property of Johnson & Johnson), in cooperation with the National Football League with assistance from PepsiCo, proudly announce the "Sack Madden Meal" at 7-11, which comes with a playable DVD demo of the popular Madden NFL game, updated with alarming regularity, by EA Sports.
EA Sports has quickly updated their website to include this image, reflecting yesterday’s sale of Favre to Johnson & Johnson. 7-11 is stuck with these old Favre in-store displays announcing the Madden/EA/7-11/Packers/Pepsi/NFL meal. But if Madden is endorsing a meal, you can bet it will fill your gut—and then some.

And I have two words for any Jets fans that think Favre might help their team: Joe Montana.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Early Birds Getting Worms and Religion

Darryl over at Brand Flakes for Breakfast is always the first ad blogger in my reader in the AM. (I can't count Stan of Brand DNA as he's got a 14-hour jump on US bloggers from down in Melbourne.)

Darryl points out a new Bible from Sweden which seems pretty cool. Darryl found the info at ANIMAL, which is where you can find Copyranter lately.

Speaking of Copyranter and religion, he's got a good piece this morning on Jehovah's Witness marketing.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

This is a Must Visit

I try to keep things light here at Where's My Jetpack? most of the time, and rarely do I endorse things other than a particular Thai sauce or a local grocery chain.

Today, I'm going to make the suggestion that you take a look at what is going to be the next hugest application sure to sweep the nation, the Western World, and finally - the planet. Perhaps even the galaxy. Then it will get bought by Google and everyone involved will be zillionaires.

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To Some, No Sauce is a Serious Crime

Move over, Jared - Subway has a new real-life devotee to take your place. Meet Reginald Peterson, who is crazy for Subway.

If I were Subway, I'd be turning this true story out of Jacksonville into a commercial right away.

Reginald Peterson needs to learn that 911 is not the appropriate place to complain that Subway left the sauce off a spicy Italian sandwich.

Authorities said the 42-year-old man dialed 911 twice last week so he could have his sub made correctly. The second call was to complain that officers weren't arriving fast enough.

Subway workers told police Peterson became belligerent and yelled when they were fixing his order. They locked him out of the store after he left to call police.When officers arrived, they tried to calm Peterson and explain the proper use of 911. Those efforts failed, and he was arrested on a charge of making false 911 calls.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Looking at the World Through Rose Colored Wine Glasses

Casa de Jetpacks, 5:50 PM, EDT

Bill of Fare

Faustino VII Rioja, 2003
Chef salad
Lima beans
Grilled Guatemalan sugar snap peas, dusted in Parmesan
Lime-soaked boneless breast of chicken, grilled, with a diced tomato and basil relish

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The Manufactured Horse Race That Wasn't

DISCLAIMER: I have watched presidential politics with interest this season mainly because the Obama campaign is a textbook study in marketing. I've not decided how I will cast my vote and I'm finding the daily gaffe-watch to be disgusting on both sides. If I could get away from it, I would, but as a political junkie, I can't put it down.

As recently as last autumn, a pollster desperate to shatter the myth that polls don't accurately measure the growing population that has given up land lines in favor of cell only, said, "They don't vote."

Dream on, white boy - and wake up to a brand new day. The proof is pretty easy to find: it's the number of people showing up.

The media needs a horse race, which is why we are hearing today that Obama and McCain are statistically tied. Don't believe it. A person in their mid 20s, who has only known a cell phone since high school is unlikely to waste money purchasing a land line service. And a growing number of people, myself included, have realized that the home phone has become simply a means for solicitors and pollsters to call you. And we are opting out. Anyone who needs me has my cell number.

File pollsters into the growing category of professions rendered useless by technology.

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