Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hey! Where’d my banner go?


Way on back in July 2008, I started this here blog and my friend, Dave, went and designed a banner for it.

Ah, it was a thing of beauty, that banner. You could throw hyperboles at it all day long – great, nifty, dandy and dope stupid, to name a few.

Now it’s gone. Why? I’m not really sure – I just noticed it wasn’t gracing my blog as usual for some reason. According to my control panel in Blogger, the thing never existed at all.

So I put together a new banner – one that certainly conveys the fun and frolic that have become synonymous with this blog. I rather like the new banner, in fact.

But that’s not the point, is it? Where the heck did my old banner go?

All I can figure is that Blogger is owned by Google – a company that just seems to go out of its way to hate me from time to time. A few months ago, my Google PageRank dropped from a healthy “3” to the pitiful “0” it’s at right now.

I shouldn’t be surprised, then, that the Google reached at and took a swipe at me – friendly ole The Hawg – once again. It might have something to do with the fact that I revealed the truth about evil cell phones yesterday (they’re of the devil, you know).

Google, of course, has lately been working on dominating the cell google-phone-2 phone market with various applications. You can’t escape Google on the Internet, so why shouldn’t the same be true of cell phones, right?

Clearly, Google doesn’t need smart-aleck folks running around suggesting that people should smash their cell phones and live simpler, happier lives.

Of course, maybe I should have just backed up the old banner.

It’s more fun to blame Google for my mistake, however.

At any rate, enjoy the new banner. Who can resist wacky stick figures and a line drawing of a Russian boar? The Russian boar, by the way, is the critter that the University of Arkansas actually uses as a mascot – Razorbacks are rather hard to come by in these parts, so the live pig that sits in its cage at games is the more common boar.

Useless trivia – I know tons of it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stop the evil! Smash your cell phone today!


Believe it or not, I’m annoyed over something.

What’s got me worked up today? Cell phones. Hate the things. The world would be better off without them. I figure that Satan developed them to torment us poor humans, anyway. That’s just the kind of thing that devil would do. Damned pest.

Actually, I wouldn’t be too worried about lobbying against all cell phones if I could just be rid of mine. Since my wife and employer won’t let me get away with refusing to carry one, I figure I’m stuck until I complete a successful campaign to get rid of all of the nasty things.

In other words, I’m irritated and intent on making everyone suffer. So there.

Anyway, I started thinking along these lines around 1997 when I was driving back from a friend’s funeral. I was practicing law at the time and my cell phone rang – it was an angry client who figured I ought to be in my office working on his something-or-other instead of wasting my time at a funeral.

I responded by pitching my cell phone out of my car window when I was driving about 75 MPH. I immediately got angry for two reasons. First of all, that phone cost around $400 and I reduced it to a pile of garbage that was scattered down the Interstate. Second, I wanted to call my secretary and yell at her for giving some lunatic my cell number.

I couldn’t call her, of course. I had just pitched my phone out the window of a speeding car.

So I didn’t carry a cell phone for years. Oh, I was a happy, happy The Hawg! People could reach me at work only when I was actually at work. I could be alone from time to time and not have to worry about a nasty ringtone shattering my solitude.

Ah, but then I got married and my wife made me carry a cell phone. Sure, that one got destroyed after it went through the washing machine and my wife got me a new one. I gave that one to her after I started my current job and my office bought me yet another phone.

I got rid of the phone my office bought me when I threw it up against a wall a few times, kicked it for good measure and stomped on it for the sheer hell of it. My employer rewarded me with yet another cell phone.

I can’t get rid of the things, seemingly -- I'll destroy one and wind up with a new phone. Furthermore, I’ve got to leave it on in case there’s an “emergency” and someone needs to get in touch with me. Emergency? There are some other things I could carry in case of an emergency – a shotgun, a life preserver, road flares, rope, a canteen, SCUBA gear, etc. I don’t carry any of that junk around with me constantly, but I am required to carry my cell phone in case some phantom emergency pops up and I have to deal with it.

Do I get any emergency calls? Hell no. What I get are work-related calls when I’m at home or on vacation from people who always ask me if “it’s a bad time to talk.”

Well, yeah it’s a bad time to talk. A good time to talk is when I’m in my office during working hours – not when I’m at my mother-in-law’s house on a Thanksgiving vacation.

I also get calls from my wife while I’m weaving through rush-hour traffic because she wants to know if I've left the office yet. You know, one of those calls could cause an emergency...

You’d think mankind hadn’t managed for centuries before the advent of the cell phone. How could people get in touch with each other if an emergency popped up? What on earth did they do?

Oh, yeah. They managed just fine.

I’m convinced there are few of those “cell phone” emergencies to which people like to refer. That fellow surfing the Internet on his iPhone in the middle of a movie theater I was at a few weeks ago didn’t have an emergency. That freaky chick I saw texting away while driving down the road a few weeks ago wasn’t dealing with an emergency. Those cell phone gabbing maniacs who lollygag around while getting in my way on the freeway during my morning commute aren’t in the middle of emergencies.

No, we’d all be better off by simply taking up our cell phones and running them over with our cars a few times, thus freeing ourselves of that demonic evil. Just imagine a world where lunches with friends aren’t ruined by cell phone calls, people actually pay attention to the road while driving, obnoxious ringtones are unheard of and crumbs don’t wander around in a haze while checking their Facebook accounts on their phones.

I do believe my dad has the right idea about how to carry a cell phone. He resisted one until my mother finally convinced him he needed one with him. What’s my dad’s cell number? I have no idea.

Why? He doesn’t want to be bothered and he’d rather talk to me in person, anyway.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Redneck Christmas float -- my 'Wordless Wednesday' entry explained

For my Wordless Wednesday submission yesterday, I posted the charming photo on the left.

Since then I've got a decent story about the origin of this photo -- perfect since I figured on writing something about it for Tell Me Thursday, anyway.

My wife sent me that photo the other day and I figured I had to use it. I figured it just came from somewhere on the Internet (the source for all things random) and got sent to her because, well, we're Arkansans.

I asked my wife where the photo came from and she said it came from a lady she works with. The photo, apparently, was taken at the Grant County Christmas parade in Sheridan, Ark. Yeah, that's right -- this is the kind of thing that goes on here in Arkansas.

Frankly, that's absolutely fine with me. Here we've got a fellow with a fantastic sense of humor who went and made a float that is as hilarious as it is grim. I mean, think about it -- gathering up the deer for that thing took a lot of hours in the deer woods and (I'll assume) a decent amount of cash (taxidermists don't work for free the last time I checked). Building a "sleigh" and mounting in on a four-wheeler was a bit of an exercise, too. And how much time does it take to secure a spot in a parade?

This guy went all out with his idea. Notice how the deer representing Rudolph even has a red nose. I appreciate the heck out of that.

Really, I do. I'm not even a hunter (that takes too much effort and I've got a butcher's shop not too far from my house) and I appreciate that photo. Why? It's an absolute hoot and that's good enough.

At any rate, I hope everyone has a great Christmas. I bet dude in the photo is going to wind up with something hunting-related and I hope you fine folks get what you want this year, too.

By the way, if you're a Wordless Wednesday participant, I strongly urge you to check out Tell Me Thursday. That gives you the chance to tell the world the story behind your Wordless Wednesday submission. That's a heck of an idea.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday -- could be from Arkansas...

This entry is part of the Wordless Wednesday wackiness. Click that link to see the other entries or submit something of your own.

Monday, December 7, 2009

White lights or something more colorful?


Being from the South, I sometimes find it hard to talk about Christmas lights.

Why? Well, talking about “colored lights” here in the South just sounds somehow wrong, doesn’t it? Brings up memories of the rants that Ku Klux Klan member in town used to engage in from time to time. Ugh. Distasteful.

At any rate, I’ve noticed that a lot of folks around here are going for white lights this year. White lights all over their trees, outdoor decorations and everything else.

We’re more confused around my house, really. We’ve got two Christmas trees here that have all white lights while our largest one – the centerpiece of the entire living room – is brimming with red, blue, orange, green and even pink lights. The lights on our roof are of the multi-colored type (and they’re of the beautiful, ceramic 1970s era, too). We’ve got a wireframe, animated grazing deer in the yard that covered with white lights and three miniature trees that are very colorful flank it.

So, we rather like both that stark white color scheme and something with a bit more whimsical zing to it. The only thing I hate are those horrible flashing things on which half of a tree just goes dark all the sudden. Yuck. The lights here have to be solid – no horrendous and confusing flashing here.

What’s the point to all this rambling? I’m curious – is everyone out there using colorful or all white lights this year? A mixture of the two? Yes, Christmas decorations fascinate me…