Monday, May 30, 2016

Louisville- the unofficial start of my summers of three square meals a day :>)

Since this will be my 9th year in Louisville grading Advanced Placement US History exams, I've actually seen all these things, but I'm looking forward to seeing at least a few of them again the first week of June.  The Louisville Bats have four straight night games scheduled, for example.

I wonder why the fossil beds on the Ohio River aren't included here- but that's ok, fewer crowds.

As usual, I'll do my best to post while I'm gone, but just in case I can't, here's a reminder of why I might not be updating  until June 9th-or why my posts are few and far between until then.  If I can't post, enjoy the archives while I enjoy life at the Galt House and Kentucky International Convention Center reading essays!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Another idea I should have come up with....

Selling a piece of plastic and tin that can be attached to a television for $19.99 plus $15.99 shipping and handling, and throwing in another one for "free" for another $15.99 shipping and handling (because that's where the money REALLY is in these scams- grabbing the customer with the "buy one, get one free" bs.)  Two pieces of plastic and tin for $36 which will allow you to pick up the exact same channels you could get with a pair of rabbit ears available at your local dollar store for maybe $10.

Then again, I have this conscience thing I'd have to deal with.  Stupid conscience thing.

Friday, May 27, 2016

See, it's funny because it's DirectTV and this is America and we really, really suck

It probably says nothing good about me that I'm less freaked out about the guy's half-smile at contemplating the total disintegration of his son (why didn't the crayon scrawls on the wall also vanish, btw?) than I am about the fact that this couple is settling down to watch television while their bored kid is reduced to scribbling on the wall and sunlight is streaming through the windows of their suburban mansion.  Anyone take their kids outside anymore?

Ok, on to the "reconsider that second child" bit, because I know that's the part that's getting most of the reaction.  Yeah, that's a pretty damned horrible thing for Bon Jovi to be singing- I guess the message is that if only this couple had more control over their television, they wouldn't have resorted to sex to pass the time and Ooops No. 2 would never have shown up......and right now they wouldn't be moaning about missing a show while that kid was quietly stewing in the world of despair created by his asshat parents, desperately trying to get their attention the only way he knows how, not yet realizing that not only do they not give a damn about him, but kind of regret that he even exists.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I guess Fox had "fair and balanced" copywrited....

...which is why went with "Fair and Honest" instead?

The most honest thing about this ad is that is shows a fast-talking young guy conning an old woman into thinking that she can buy expensive electronics for pennies on the dollar by just going to and "bidding" for them.  I have no problem believing that old people are exceptionally lucrative targets for this sleazy, Really Ought To Be Illegal But Hey Capitalism Equals Freedom After All scam.

Here's how Dealdash works (and if my explanation doesn't cut it with you, please check out any number of YouTube videos demonstrating the bait-and-switch techniques used here:)  Before you go after the "great deals" being offered at "rock-bottom" prices, you have to register your credit card with Dealdash and buy a "package" of "bids" called a "bidpack"--- $36 for sixty bids, or sixty cents a bid.  You can bid on any item as many times as you want-or, rather, until your common sense overtakes your greed or you run out of bids.  If you actually win a $300 tablet for $11, one of two things happened:  either no one else bid against you, or you're lying about winning that tablet, liar.

Far more likely, you bid that tablet from a "starting" price of one cent to $11 and then run out of bids,* at which time that tablet you spent several dollars bidding on goes to an annonymous bidder, and you get an electronic "OOOOOOHHH So Close Better Luck Next Time Sucker" message, with the words "sucker" omitted.  If you have any brain cells left, you chalk it up to Stupid Tax and never go to Dealdash again.  If you are like any of the tools commenting at this particular Youtube video, you buy another pack of bids and start the "fun" all over again.**

PT Barnum was born too early.  In his time, he had to provide some level of real entertainment for the dimes and quarters he squeezed out of the public.  If he could visit this century, he'd be astonished at how easy it is to get real money out of people- usually poor people- while providing absolutely nothing in return.  If he'd been born a hundred and fifty years later than he was, he might have invented Dealdash, but I kind of doubt it- I think Barnum probably had too much integrity for this.

*Every bid- even if it raises the price by one cent, costs the bidder 60 cents.  So it's entirely possible for the bidding price on an item to go from $2.00 to $2.10 while making Dealdash $6.00-- and for a $200 item to finally sell for $20 while making Dealdash a huge profit- a profit built on possibly HUNDREDS of failed bids.

**Click on the names of the "commentators" and you find that each and every one of them is a fake- none of their pages has any content at all.  Dealdash created a page for their commercial, and invented several dozen "satisfied customers" with gushing comments to pump up the interest.  Why is this even legal? Oh yeah, I keep forgetting- because Capitalism.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

What, no Mood Ring or Earth shoes? You fail again, AT&T!

So in the latest episode in the ridiculously long-running series "cute AT&T girl determined to hang on to this gig until she becomes the Flo of Cell Phone Sales," a woman drops in from Hollywood's idea of the 1960s to buy an iPhone because her Horoscope told her to.

Naturally the woman is spacey and decked out in what everyone assumes every woman was wearing fifty years ago and- we can assume- spends a lot of her time chanting and smoking pot and Embracing The Real and Simplifying and Rejecting Conformity, etc. etc. etc.  Except that she wants an iPhone so she can be like pretty much everyone else.  Uh huh.

So Cute AT&T girl gets to make another sale and AT&T gets to check off another box on their People to Insult list.  Are they going to keep this up until I finally break down and buy an iPhone?  Don't hold your breath, AT&T.  Still don't need your toy.   Can't convince me I do.  Stupid stereotype of a hippy played by a woman who looks like she was born during the Clinton Administration isn't going to cut it.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Just Another Day With Stupid Men and Stupid Women in Suburbia....

Can someone please explain to me how the alleged "adults" in this ad managed to land jobs which allow them to participate in this lifestyle, with huge houses and swimming pools in the middle of the suburbs, despite the fact that they obviously don't have two brain cells to rub against eachother in the entire freaking group?

The female grown-ups (that's actually more accurate than "adults," isn't it?) in this ad are busy checking out their family health care coverage in expectation that their husbands are about to do something almost unbelievably stupid and get themselves seriously- and expensively- hurt.  There are two assumptions at play here- first, that whatever the jagoff "men" (that is CERTAINLY not an accurate description) are attempting to do, at least it's not expected to be fatal.  Second, that there is absolutely nothing the women here can do to prevent the men from attempting it.*

(Of course, there's a third option- that the women here simply don't give a damn if the guys they chose to legally bind themselves to get hurt, as long as they're covered, or that they already know they've got great life insurance so if they do kill themselves, no problem.)

The males in this ad- 12 year olds in fortysomething bodies, each one- are so bored out of their minds with their suburban lives and suburban families and suburban friends, they've decided to do something that would never have occurred to them a few years earlier, when they actually enjoyed being alive and looked to the future with hope.  Their current situation is so sad that they are more than willing to risk massive trauma, possible paralysis, or even death because hey any of those things would be better than this.

So in the sequel to this awfulness, I suppose we'll be treated to hi-LARIOUS scenes with these men sucking meals out of straws while confined to high-tech wheelchairs as their wives wipe drool off their chins while rolling their eyes with "that's my husband" written all over their faces (rather than spoken out loud, as in this ad.)  Someone will find this funny.  Which means we can expect to see more of these Bored Rich Guys Doing Things Only Bored Rich Guys Do commercials.  I strongly suspect we won't see a Women Doing Dumb, Dangerous Things counterpart, because that's not what happens in ads these days (in the 1950s and 60s and 70s, yes.  Nowadays, no.)

*"Which Urgent Care do you want to use this time?" is the giveaway.  This is just a typical weekend for these women.  Because they married children who could provide them with luxury.  I don't feel sorry for anyone in this ad.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Weather, translated

When they say...

"Rain Possible at 9 AM,"   You think "ok, it's 7 AM and it takes me an hour to walk to school.  No problem."  The problem is, what they MEAN is "drizzle by 7:15, pouring by 7:45."  If I didn't bring an umbrella every day regardless, I would have arrived to school soaked several times over the last two weeks because acts like a jerk genie-- "well, we were right, weren't we?  We SAID rain possible at 9 AM.  And wasn't that correct?"

When they say...

"Killer Storm Approaching."  What they MEAN is "one percent chance of damaging storm hitting one percent of the country."  Big news- for very, very few people but not you, and it makes you wonder why they even bother to ask for your location if they are going to constantly be giving you blaring headlines which don't concern you in the slightest.

When they say....

"You won't BELIEVE what this animal did next" they mean "we will fill our pages with junk non-stories only drooling idiots with two much time on their hands will read."

When they say....

"If you live in Maryland here's a trick your insurance company doesn't want you to know about" it means "we'll sell spam-laden ads to anyone."

Ok, have to get ready to head off to school.  No rain in the forecast.  I'll be packing my umbrella.

Monday, May 16, 2016

"Drainers?" Hey, that's racist!

Let's hope that the drainers are also stabbers.  And are well-armed.

Seriously, people still eat these ridiculously overpriced cups of chopped fruit?  Do they realize that they are paying maybe $50 a pound for the fruit in those cups?  Are they just too damned white and rich to give a damn, or what?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sexist Stupidity posing as "advice" from Geico

1.  If you are going to try to convince me that a guy's ex-girlfriend is so obsessed with him that she would act like an insane jerk at his wedding, at least hire an actor who can pull off the part.  This scruffy doofus looks like he'd need a tag team of and eHarmony to score him a date.

2.  Are the bride's feet nailed to the floor?  Why is she just standing there, letting herself get hit with spaghetti?  Oh right, because Funny.  Except, not so much.

3.  Why would anyone invite their ex-girlfriend to a wedding, anyway?  Oh wait, actually, I did that.  But my fiancee insisted.  And we were well aware that she wouldn't show up.  Besides, she had dumped me, not the other way around.

4.  Anyone have the slightest doubt that a guy wrote this commercial?  Maybe even the guy who stars in it?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ruining coffee with cream has never looked less inviting...

"Coffee, after all, would destroy the unbearable whiteness of this situation."

I wonder if International Coffee Creamers just assumes that we'll associate the whiteness theme to it's brand- after all, the interiors of homes in commercials are usually blindingly white, anyway.  I had to watch three of these little lumps of absolutely nothing before I even began to suspect that the lack of color was all about the product.

In keeping with the "white is everything" theme, I think it's safe to assume that the actors are also total blanks and that International Coffee Creamers are bland as hell?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

And it comes with Cortana, so you won't forget to keep your damn head screwed on

So if this guy didn't have Windows 10, there's no way he could remember something so complicated as having a play date with his own daughter?  Since his daughter is obviously older than Windows 10, can we assume that he repeatedly forgot to show up for Daddy time before he was able to upgrade?

How on Earth did parents ever manage to organize their lives, including scheduling quality time with their kids, before Windows 10?  Maybe they never did.  That certainly would explain why so many people grew up to be antisocial, insufferable jerks.

Oh and BTW, is it ok that I really can't stand that "in my world" line?  Seriously, could you be just a little less self-important?  Your routine.  Your life.  Your schedule.  All work better and make you sound a lot less like a totally absorbed douchenozzle than "in my world."  You don't get your own world, even if you do have Windows 10.  Just bite me, ok?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

We went through this just LAST year, Dish Network!

First, the only thing more annoying than the guy's voice in this ad is the girl's voice in this ad.  Seriously, my ears are still bleeding.

Second, what's with the dancing?  The guy can't know she's dancing on the other end of the phone.  Did they both turn on the same music at the same time?  If he's excited about getting a "great deal" on cable, why is SHE dancing?  Why are her coworkers dancing?  They are just operator drones, after all, and while we are on that subject....

Third, are we really supposed to believe that Dish Network is hiring white Americans to run their phone banks?  Because I don't.  This girl and her coworkers are way, way too pale and middle class-looking to be working for Dish.  I'm thinking more Pakistani boiler room myself.  Maybe this explains why they are dancing- do they get an extra quarter for every person they sign up?  Or are they under a quota to sign up a certain number of callers per day or face dismissal?

Fourth, the little girl walking into the room with the cell phone to find that her father is acting like an idiot....oh, never mind.  Little girl with cellphone.  Dad's an idiot.  Supposed to be funny, Because.  Nothing more needs to be said about this.

Fifth, this commercial is from last year, when Dish Network ran exactly the same "exclusive" price lock deal (sign a two-year contract featuring large early termination fees and the price is locked in for those two years) for eight freaking months- yep, eight months of this awful crap pouring out of my radio and television hundreds of times a day, casually dropped into conversation by talk show hosts, etc.  It was awful, but it finally ended last November.

But now it's back.  Same deal.  Same obnoxious delivery.  And, I'm guessing, it will continue through late autum, just like last year.  Get the remote ready.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Fios Presents: The Television Addict's version of the DTs

Seems to me that these two people would be having a perfectly nice evening together, except that one of them is obviously a television addict who is suffering withdrawal symptoms so severe that she must ultimately abandon her friend and rush back to her superior cable service for a fix.

Because several minutes of being forced to use her atrophied brain- as well as attempting to use equally atrophied social skills- was just too much for this "I'm just gonna check because sitting here face to face not watching television is way too painful for me" lunatic.

Her abandoned friend is so much better off now- because she knows the value of that friendship she thought she had.  Good luck in finding real friends, lady.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Another Investments Ad Overflowing with Pretention.....

I'm quite certain that I've never given one damn less about anything than I do about how well this couple of elderly douchenozzle faux liberals* are doing with their retirement investments.  I'm sure they can continue to afford the regular European vacations and brie parties in which they tongue-cluck over how superawesome Bernie Sanders and how hard it is to Find Good Help Around The House These Days, ocassionally loudly remembering how they once supported this or this Cause back in college.  And have micropigs for pets because....well, because dogs and cats are nice but so very, very common.

*by faux liberal, I mean the kind of liberal Pete Ochs used to sing about- the bs showy jackasses who stick Feel The Bern bumper stickers on their Audis so they look good in the parking lot at Whole Foods and who know exactly how many black "friends" they have (and who really wish they had more gay friends, because that's so much more in vogue these days...) but who breathed a huge sigh of relief when their daughter came home with a white male boyfriend.

Friday, May 6, 2016

I almost feel sorry for the guy in this Behr Paint commercial

The look of sheer terror that appears on this guy's face when he finds out that his girlfriend will be arriving earlier than expected is, I suspect, supposed to be funny.  I don't find it funny.  He practically wets himself in panic as he rushes to complete a ridiculous paint job (one coat of white over- what the hell is that?  Purple? Seriously?) in record time, not only avoiding a single drop of paint landing anywhere other than the walls- not on his clothes, the wall, anywhere- but apparently not even leaving a freaking fresh paint smell.

Back to this woman- the way she's shown approaching, it's pretty easy to imagine that her would-be fiancee is in for a serious beat-down if that paint job is NOT done on time.  She walks into the apartment like she's going to tear him in half if she even suspects he did a rush job.  Was he supposed to paint this place a week earlier and just f--ked off, figuring he had plenty of time?  Does that even matter?  I mean, jesus, who the hell would buy in to this?  She's not THAT good looking!

Anyway, congratulations Eurotrash doofus for managing to get that painting done- and everything cleaned up just right- before She stepped in the door.  Now you can hand her that rock and set yourself up for forty years of being absolutely terrified of her.  Way to go.  I'm sure you deserve each other.  Have fun waking up in a cold sweat every once in a while after dreaming that you forgot to buy toothpaste.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Another one of these "you might not be able to afford to die" commercials

The "average cost" of a funeral is $7500?  Oh wait, it gets even worse- funerals can cost "up to $30,000."

Thirty thousand dollars?  Who the hell do you think you are, Rameses III?  You hoping for the whole package including embalming with honey and sawdust?  You want to be laid on on a bed of silk and gold-flecked truffles wearing an Armani tux?  Or maybe you want a Lexus instead of a pine box?

As I've posted before in reacting to ads like this, there is ZERO reason for a funeral to cost anywhere NEAR what these commercials claim.  But if you have determined that you deserve some kind of showy display when you die, I guess you'd better buy this insurance.  Because no one in their right mind would go into debt to put someone in the freaking ground.  Spending money is for the living, sorry.

"Donate his body to science" is mentioned in this ad, but then quickly dropped- apparently that's not really an option for David, because Reasons.  Biggest reason, I'm guessing:  there's no money in it for anyone.

 Leave the money you might have selfishly set aside for a ridiculously ornate box no one will ever see after the burial for, oh gee, I don't know, an f--ing college fund for a granchild.  I have to explain this to you? I thought old people were supposed to be smart- Greatest Generation and all that crap?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Line by Line snark on this ad. Because I'm really tired and don't feel like actually doing anything*

I am not really sure what the Spokeschoad on the Street's first question- it sounds like "how many--- did you meet?" but Idiot Woman Who Doesn't Know How To Say Mind Your Own F--ing Business to Spokeschoad on the Street responds "mostly from dating websites," which isn't an answer to that question.  Does he say "how did you meet guys?"  Because it sure doesn't sound like that at all...

"Tell me about it."  Proper response- "None of your F--ing Business."  Response from someone desperate to be in a commercial- "sure, let me tell you about my online dating history, right here on the street:"  "Mostly just there to hook up."  Um, what's the problem with that?

"Have you tried the Match App?"  "There's a Match APP?"  No, seriously.  That's her response.  She's surprised that Match isn't the only company on the planet that doesn't have an App.  That's the 1990s version of responding to "have you checked out the company's website" with "the company has a WEBSITE?  Holy Crap, I had NO IDEA!"  I have never used Match, eHarmony, or any of these dating sites.  I just ASSUMED that they all had Apps.  Because, you know, 2016.

"Ooooh, this guy wants to chat and have fun and see where it takes us." Yeah, that's SO different from the guys on the other websites, who just want to "hook up."  What does this woman think "chat and have fun and see where it takes us" MEANS?  Does she think it translates into "lets just chat and take it slowly, maybe if it feels right after 100 dates or so we can meet my mom and spend the evening watching 'Old Fashioned' on DVD?"

"How is this different from some other Apps?"  Um, well, with some other Apps, you can find a favorite restaurant.  With others, you can play games involving birds with pissed-off looks on their faces.  With other Apps, you can buy Starbucks coffee.  I don't understand the question.  At all.

"Getting to know what a person is like is 'more mature' than 'here's my face.'"  Well, ok.  Which dating sites go with "here's my face, let's hook up?"  Because it's strongly suggested that's what ALL the sites do.  If that's so, I'll ask again- what's the problem?

"Just joined Match!" Based on a 20-second non-coversation with a Spokeschoad!  Hey, Jordan, I'd leave "mature" out of your dating profile.  Because honesty and all.

Or, I'd just cut the crap and admit that you just want to hook up- you just didn't want to admit it to the Spokeschoad.  That would be more mature than this.

*I spent 12 hours on a train and bus yesterday.  This is as ambitious as I get today.