Things I Believe: Thoughts for Friday

I'm always suspicious when I see a dessert labeled 'vegan', like "Vegan chocolate chip cookie.".
I figure to get that label they must have sacrificed something, like maybe a vegan or two.

Some thoughts about success:
If at first you don't succeed, look around for a door that's not locked.

If at first you don't succeed, shoot him again.

If at first you don't succeed, have another kid and hope they turn out better.

If at first you don't succeed, throw yourself on the mercy of the court.

If at first you don't succeed, try to reason with HAL about the airlock.

If at first you don't succeed, settle for less.

If at first you don't succeed, pray for reincarnation.

If at first you don't succeed, redefine 'success'.

If at first you don't succeed, embrace failure.

If at first you don't succeed, pretend you're someone else.


Owed to a Belt Loop

This little piece of fabric lies
Upon my trouser waist;
Subtle, incognito, it shows
Quiet, refined taste.

It serves a simple function,
Yet it could be so much more,
For in its simple opening
There is a little door.

A doorway to a better world,
Where deeper things are felt,
A tunnel to a nicer place
(And also for a belt).

Who knows what lies beyond the hole,
What worlds can be spied?
For belt loops can do such much more
Than keep my trousers tied.

It may seem strange to think these things,
But that’s my honest stance;
A belt loop isn’t just thing thing
That hides my underpants.

A portal through which dreams are made,
A path through space and time,
A strip of cloth that holds us in
(And thus completes the rhyme).

My belt loop is my greatest friend,
In country or in town,
For it’s the only thing that keeps
My pants from falling down.


Double Time, Part Deux

In my earlier post Double Time, I argued (I think persuasively) that CNN should consider me for the position of Anderson Cooper's inverse stunt double.

I have yet to hear from Mr. Cooper's people, so a friend of mine wrote an app (FaceFusion, for iOS) for the sole purpose of convincing them of the similarities and the possibilities. At least I think that's why he wrote the app. I can't imagine he'd have been motivated by anything so tawdry as profit or technological innovation.

Here are the some pictures to compare: Mr. Cooper (on the left), me (on the right), and an interesting and terribly disturbing blend of the two (in the middle).

I'll be waiting for their call. Operators are standing by.


Things I Believe: Thoughts for Friday

Good things come to those who waitress.

Flattery gets you nowhere. Try bribery instead.

Faith moves mountains. Fact keeps you out of their way.

Every picture tells a story, most of which are dull and out of focus.


Circular Reasoning

Circular Reasoning
An Ode to Pi

Circular reasoning
Leads us to think
About infinite answers
(which leads us to drink).

But one thing is certain:
Divide area by
A circle’s diameter
Leaves you with pi.

In fact, you can use it
For all sorts of things
Like circumference and volume
Of spheres and of rings.

There's so much that
We can do with this guy;
Makes me wonder about
The origins of pi.

Did someone imagine it
From something they’d read,
Or like Newton’s apple, did it
Fall from their head?

Or maybe I'm wrong
In what I have said;
Maybe it happened
In this way instead:

A student of math cried,
“I think that it’s three!”
With their professor professing,
“It just cannot be!”

“There must be more to it,”
The teacher exclaimed,
(For simplicity makes
Mathematicians ashamed).

“It must be much longer.
Add a one. And a four”
And thus they kept going
Adding much, much, much more.

They wrote down a one
And a five and a nine.
The answer was starting
To look pretty fine.

Then they wrote down a two
and a six and a five.
This number was really
Starting to thrive.

Then came a three
And a five eight nine seven.
The teacher was now having
Thoughts of math heaven.

Meanwhile, the student’s
passion was gone.
“This number,” he thought,
“Just goes on on and on.”

“A nine! And a three!
And a two! One more three!”
The professor was shouting
As he danced with glee.

The student, at some point,
Snuck out the back,
But the teacher, undaunted,
Continued the attack.

“An eight! And a four!
“And then six two six four!”
He kept up the ranting
Behind his closed door.

“Three three eight three!
Two and seven nine!”
The mathematical coot
Was feeling quite fine.

As far as I know
He’s still at it today,
Writing digits forever
Or till his death anyway.

For an infinite sequence
Never will die.
Just pondering it makes me
Hungry for pie.


When I am King: Truce in Advertising

When I am King...

Marketing phrases will be more useful.

I stopped by Home Depot today to see what kind of recessed-speaker options they had, and ran into a real gem of a product, the Leviton Spec-Grade Sound SpeakersTM. Even the model name makes me quiver (good thing they trademarked that brilliant and unique phrase).

The best part of these speakers is the marketing language used on the box to really sell you:
"using features, technologies, and materials associated with some of the most famous high-end audio brands."
That phrase is a work of art. I don't think I've ever read a product description that said less about the product. It’s beautiful the way that it distracts you from the cheap piece of junk in your hands, calling your attention elsewhere, to higher-quality products that you are now forced to imagine. Why go on at length about the cost-cutting micro-filament wires used to barely conduct the signal, or the tweeter cones made from used napkins, or the watered-down paint used to meticulously coat at least some of the speaker grill? Instead, they allow the consumer to envision all kinds of tantalizing ideas of their own, creating a much more appealing picture of the product in their mind than the one that actually exists in the box.

When I am King, this comparison marketing will be more widespread. No longer will consumers be forced to deal with real facts, but will instead be given useful analogies and comparison points from which they can more easily make an uninformed purchasing decision. Why force the consumer to research technologies and materials when you can tell them what to think about instead? Why waste time, ink, and brain cells on superfluous items like ingredient lists when you can simply mention other similar foods? In fact, why say anything concrete about the product at all: shopping is not about the product, but rather the experience and a temporary sense of fulfillment in our shallow, vapid lives.

In honor of this new approach to consumer education, I’ll avoid giving specific details. I will, instead, offer some examples of possible phrases to consider and compare:

  • Food packaging: “Containing ingredients often found in other food.”
  • A book: “With many words used in classic literature.”
  • A movie: “Action scenes, as seen in many popular films.”
  • Music: “Using notes also heard in pieces by Beethoven and U2.”
  • College: “Offering many subjects commonly studied at good schools.”
  • Dating site bio: “I have internal organs, appendages, and skin which functions similar to those of famous actresses. And I like quiet walks on the beach in the rain.”

I feel great about this plan. It shares many attributes with other successful and popular plans.


Things I Believe: Thoughts for Friday

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet.

It goes without saying, which is why nobody knows what it is. Next time, just tell us.

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb: slaughtered, roasted, and served with a mint sauce.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Except actresses: they get until about age 35.


Things I Believe: Thoughts for Friday

Hope springs eternal, but reality poisons the groundwater.

History repeats itself. History.

Any job worth doing is worth doing for a lot of money.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try something you're better at.