Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WTHIUWT Part 3 - Infomercials

WTHIUWT Part 3 brings us to one of the biggest issues with TV today; infomercials.  There is a local channel that many of you may have heard of, especially if you have younger kids.  The channel is Qubo, and it has many shows that my kids love to watch.  The one and only gripe I have about Qubo is that infomericals replace normal commericals from other channels.

Infomercials usually follow the pattern below:

- Show an idiot trying to do a simple thing in the worst possible way.

- Show them making a mess doing it the worst possible way.

- Introduce new and interesting product that helps said idiot do a simple task in a way that was never intended.

- Show idiots happy family as the product of the simple task is shown to them

- Offer - 4 of x items for $$$ along with the handy, dandy <thing>.  But wait, there's more.  If you act now, we'll double your order.  8 of x items and two handy, dandy <things> for $$$ plus $$$$

- Sorry, no C.O.D.'s

One I saw the other day was for people who have serious issues.  They mutilate pancakes without regard for the shape they end up in.  They put the pan on the oven upside down and then spread the batter directly onto the burner.  They then take a plastic spatula to the batter and it melts to the burner.

Next comes the lady who brings in the new contraption, which looks more like a mideival torture divice than a pancake mutilator.

It's great... and if you act now, I will throw in this handy, dandy socket wrench.

Setting the Bar

Have you ever had a day where you felt the bar was set too high?  I must say that this morning, for me, the bar was set uncomfortably out of reach.  My alarm went off at 5:30am, I woke up, rolled over, and promptly smacked into the bar.  This morning, my bar was somewhere between getting up out of bed and not.

With all the advancements in medicine and the fact that we are continually living longer and better lives, you would think that waking up would be something of joy, but its not.  The bar for the day is set low for sure when you consider getting up to be a major accomplishment.

Who is in charge of setting the bar for today?  Certainly not me, or I would have put the bar somewhere under the bed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

WTHIUWT Part 2 - English

In Part 2 of my continuing series called "What the Heck is Up with That", we delve into another of lifes little mud pies, English.

English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic invaders from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Netherlands.  In other words, English is a mutt language consisting of the waste of Latin and German, mingled with any other language that had a word that English did not.

Much like the childhood game of telephone, certain English rules were passed down through several stages after which nobody remembers why it's done that way, just that it is.  For example, 'i' before 'e' except after 'c' makes perfect sense.  Piece of cake, right?  Oh, crap!!!!  What about 'neighbor' and 'weigh'?  Suppose you use a rule of thumb to mind your p's and q's?  Lost?

Even better are terms that sound alike but are spelled differently (heterographs)?  Read, Reid, Reed, or weigh and way.  How about homographs?  Read, and read (red)?

How about large words that describe something small?  I'm looking at you 'abreviation'.

Or onomatopoeia (words that sound like their sounds... er something like that)?  Buzz, moo, galumph?  Also, why does spelling matter with words like these?  What if to me a cow goes mumumumoooo?  Why can't I spell it they way it sounds to me?

This brings me to another point.  Why can't I just spell something phonetically?  Phonetically is an oxymoron, but oxymoron isn't oxy nor moronic, but it is spelled phonetically.

There are also silent letters in the English language.  Read should be re-ad or to add again, but it's not.  If I want to silence a given letter, like in the word 'shifty', I get in trouble, but no one bats an eye at page or slime.

English is the language of choice in the world today, so learn it.  Just don't be surprised if someone looks at you funny when you re-ad a book.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WTHIUWT Part 1 - Unsportsmanlike Conduct - Excesive Celebration

Over the past several days, it has occurred to me that there are  a ton of things in the world that serve little to no purpose.  It is for this reason that I have decided to do a five part series entitled - WTHIUWT - What the Heck is UP With That.

Part one I will dive into something that has irritated me about football.  is Unsportsmanlike Conduct - Excessive Celebration.  This is the unfortunate penalty one incurs by jumping, shouting, fist pumping, or breathing in a threatening way.  So after scoring a touchdown that ties the game in the final 20 seconds, you jump/fist pump/shout/breathe, and the next thing you know your kicker is attempting a very blockable and much harder to hit extra point kick.

The kicker then misses the kick, loses the game, and becomes the goat.  The problem, though, is not the kicker but the rule that pushed his kick back too far.  Is seems the expectation is for players to respond much like you would in a Chinese Checkers match.  I can see it now.  Forty-five yard Hail Mary pass is caught in the end zone after being batted in the air several times for the game winning score in the National Championship game.  The players look at each other, calm their breathing, and politely congratulate the receiver who caught the ball.

Chinese checkers doesn't require any full contact hitting, so the adrenaline probably isn't pumping so much.  Though I haven't been in the National Championship Chines Checkers match, so I don't know.

I say jump around and carry on during a 20 second celebration period.  Do snow angels on the grass, pull out the Sharpie, whatever.  After that, back to the game.  Keep it simple.  The only alternative is to take the excitement out of the game and introduce doilies.