I’m Not Going Down With The Ship!

100 years ago today.

It happened.

Man, in an ultimate show of ego, believed he had outdone nature.

But he couldn’t. He couldn’t outrun the “what ifs” of weather, and icebergs…

The Titanic.

100 years ago today is when the most famous maritime disaster of all time…happened.

Iceberg meets the underbelly of a ship in the North Atlantic on a maiden voyage.

Even as it was happening, people couldn’t believe it.

Not in the ballroom, not in the cabins, not in the control tower, and not in the newspapers back home long after the great ship settled on the ocean floor.

Amazingly enough, the stories of that fateful night seem to transcend time.

To say the least, I am an avid follower of the history of the Titanic. I’ve managed to watch quite a bit of the cable network channels’ shows over the years, some including interviews from survivors, while others detailed the domino of mistakes that lead to the sinking. A more recent show on The Weather Channel described the rare conditions that existed for the ship to meet its tragic fate.

And, I’m a follower in the most hallowed way.

HOWEVER, we here at the Friday Fun Fact command center were more than a bit perplexed by a recent news item regarding an event, or adventure, if you will, honoring the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.

A passenger ship, carrying 450 Titanic “enthusiast” set sail from South Hampton on the same route taken by the Titanic. The ship is scheduled to be at the site of the sinking of the Titanic on the anniversary date, paying honor and respect to those who went down with the mighty ship.

http://www.turnto23.com/travelgetaways/30892475/detail.html

Can we take a moment to think about this one before jumping aboard?

First, let’s take a brief look at history:

The thinking here is that if the ship is related in any way to the Titanic, it is probably wise to avoid it. And yet, 450 people are heading right into the porthole of potential déjà vu!

I am as fascinated as the next person in retracing the steps, or in this case wake, of history to guestimate what may have been going through the minds of those actually participating in an experience. But here’s the thing – there’s no way out on this one! If the passenger ship goes down, you are still out in the middle of nowhere in the cold North Atlantic. Nothing has changed! There’s no resort built next to spot where the Titanic went down! Gilligan’s Island is not located near by!

And here’s another thing: Murphy’s Law & Hard Luck can combine to be the corner address of anywhere! Trust me – I know! We think we have all the bases covered, but do we really? If so, then why did Greek passenger ship Sea Diamond sink on a beach earlier this year?! Anything can happen!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17980169/ns/travel-cruise_travel/t/missing-after-greek-ship-hits-rocks-sinks/

If you’re going honor a tragedy, we respect that. And in doing so, in this case, we suggest doing it by not heading to the North Atlantic…

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Tunes of the Week:

Rest In Pieces (April 15, 1912) – Metal Church

I’m Not Going Down With The Ship – Scatterbrain

My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion

The Ballad Of Gilligan’s Island – George Wyle & Sherwood Shwartz

Row, Row, Row Your Boat – English Nursery Rhyme

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Raise A Life-Preserving Glass!

May Your Saturday Sail Along Into Sunday!

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

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Published in: on 13Aprpm1211 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ah, The Boys Of Summer…

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!

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Special Announcements:

Happy Birthday!: Friday Fun Fact Member, and new mom, Andrea Beyer!

Happy Birthday & Our Condolences!: Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate a birthday milestone. Let us all raise a glass & bow our heads as Friday Fun Fact Member Amy Farver moves into the older generation this week, turning 39+1 (Special Note I: We were not legally permitted by Mrs. Farver’s lawyers to print her real age, hence the documented workaround in the previous sentence as permitted by law.). We hope, Amy, that you enjoyed your youth as much as any one person could. We do express our gratitude and sincere thanks for your years of service in babysitting your husband & Friday Fun Fact member, Hal Farver. Great Luck in your transitional phase. And, as a special birthday gift to you, we say this but once for the record, in hopes that it helps brighten your day:

Go Wildcats!

(Special Note II: All other transmissions to Mrs. Amy Farver will express support for the team opposing UK in sporting events.)

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Pieces of Hope for Autism:

If you live in the Greater Cleveland area, please stop by Panera Bread in the next few days (Friday, April 13 – Sunday, April 22 and by an autism cookie or three. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital Center for Autism, a very worthy cause:

http://wifi.covelli.com/panera/autismnortheastohio/

The Friday Fun Fact team was honored earlier this year to present a special episode on Autism. Please know that we received an amazing amount of response to this episode, and hence we take this commercial break solely for the purpose of our viewership for which this literally hits home.

God Bless…

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Here we are again – at the beginning of another baseball season.

The off-season acquisitions are done making the news, Spring Training is over, and the final cuts have sent the unfortunate back to the minors.

At the major league ballparks, the grass is cut, the chalk lines are dropped, and the concession stands are poised and ready to take your order.

The teams are heading towards the regular season with the promise of a new year and fresh opportunity to win a pennant and championship ring.

That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it – the promise?!

The symbolic end of winter.

“What does three up, three down mean to you?”

“End of an inning.”

Goooooooooooood Morniiing, Basebaaaaaaall!

We all hope that our home team that represents our dreams for a championship can start anew, and be competitive enough to cause excitement at the ballpark and in the standings – that keep us wishing & dreaming of a pennant.

This year, almost like no other, it feels like everyone is ready for baseball to bring on the change of seasons. Not because this winter was particularly difficult weather-wise for most of us, but because, maybe, we see those crystalized moments of summer days coming on.

Iced tea in the shade on a summer day after mowing the lawn; firing up the grill at a picnic celebration; staring at the stars on clear July night…

A bunch of us made our yearly Opening Day pilgrimage… to BW3 to watch the game.

Yes, it’s more of an adventure to head the ballpark on Opening Day, BUT with our extended list of responsibilities, it’s easier to coordinate to get us to the local pub. And besides, the beer is cheaper (somewhat), and the lines at the bathroom are shorter!

What we were treated to was the hometown team dueling the visiting team in the longest Opening Day game ever in terms of innings played – 16. Unfortunately, that was due to a blown save in the ninth inning, followed by an inopportune offense in extra innings, AAAANNND heartbreak…

As my friend closes his eyes with every disappointing opportunity becoming a swing and miss, and bangs his head on the table, we all cry out:

“JUST WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR!”

Long summer days, the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, and the thrill of victory…

To paraphrase the immortal words of Jim Steinman, brought to us by Meat Loaf, three out of four ain’t bad…

We can just about smell the popcorn, hot dogs, and apple pie. And we can definitely hear the cracking open of a longneck bottle… or three!

Welcome back, baseball…

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Tunes of the Week:

Take Me Out To The Ball Game – Jack Norworth

Centerfield – John Fogerty

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad – Meat Loaf

Cheap Seats –Alabama

Talkin’ Baseball – Terry Cashman

Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen

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Raise A Victorious Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Long Summer Saturday!

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Aprpm1211 at 6:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

What’s Not To Like About Facebook?!

Great Day to You, Fun Facters!

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Special Announcements:

RIP: Earl Scruggs. That was some mighty fine pickin’ & playin’…

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/arts/music/earl-scruggs-bluegrass-banjo-player-dies-at-88.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2012/03/earl-scruggs-obituary-appreciation-marty-stuart-bela-fleck.html

Keep On Playin’!: Jamie Moyer. At 49 years-young, Jamie earned a spot in the starting rotation for the Colorado Rockies. Who says playing a game can’t keep you young?!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/baseball/mlb/03/30/rockies-moyer.ap/

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Episodes in Review:

What Does Regular Smell Like?

Thank you to all the viewers who responded to, and enjoyed, our deodorant episode. Your criminal activities will remain our secret!

Take A Number! Or…

Apparently, our resident blog writer is not the only one who would love to have a voodoo doll in hand when visiting the grocery deli counter…

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The world has gotten a lot smaller since the Internet took over. And every day, the Internet grows. Heck, it even gives would-be writers a chance to be read on an occasional Fun Friday. Somewhere between the Texas Instruments 99/4A,

the dot matrix printer, and the kindle fire, grew an incredible electronic social network:

Facebook

The very site where you can link to this blog. Oh, and you can probably “friend” people there. A good friend of mine, someone I consider family was actually frustrated with me (Special Note I: Really?! Can anyone really be frustrated with ME?!) because I wouldn’t “friend” him on Facebook. First and foremost, if our real life friendship depends on our friendship in the virtual world, then maybe we need to unplug for a while. Most importantly, and as I kept explaining to this friend, we are more accomplices in life – the kind of friends that have enough raw data on our criminal experiences – alleged criminal experiences – that blackmail becomes a true potential reality. (Special Note II: We did say alleged, and we did say potential.) In the end, accomplices like that don’t need to be “friends” on Facebook. Still, I think it was his favorite birthday gift that I accepted is friend request.

I get it. It works on a lot of levels. It helps people re-connect with those from their not-so-long-ago or very-long-ago pasts. It gives voice to your events & activities. It allows those who desire to do so to promote & support important social causes. Facebook allows people to let their masses (sometimes referred to as “peeps.”) know what they are doing lately.  It also serves as an important marketing tool for upcoming brands & companies, as well as established retailers.

One good thing about Facebook is helping start-up businesses and start-up dreams find support and fans to grow. It is an additional networking avenue that gives life to the possibilities…

For example, one of my friends from a writer’s group I attend, Mark Kwasny, has a funny website and book out about a character named Miserable Milton.

http://miserablemilton.com/

If you enjoy his work, you can “like” him on Facebook, and thus help promote his humorous take on life.

Even though I submit not to the gods of “friending” often, I did hold my breath, close my eyes, and click on “like” to help out a buddy. Whew! I made it through that experience!

That type of stuff is good & productive.

Besides some of the interesting gaming (Special Note III: We use the term “interesting gaming” VERY loosely.) available on the site, we also find something very absurd when it comes to “liking” something on Facebook:

Coupons

I know this comes as a surprise from someone who attempts to write savings articles, but does it make ANY cents (sense) to “like” something on Facebook, just to get a coupon?! I remember the days fondly when coupons actually arrived with the newspaper or in the mail. To paraphrase the immortal words of the great fictional character, Ellen Griswold, you could cut them out, “and everything,” Clark! Now, in order to get 50 cents off a frozen pizza, I need to like it on Facebook.

Really?!

As crazy as the concept is, I get it – companies utilize Facebook to promote their goods & services, regardless of the level. It’s just like an election – get your name out there!

But there are limits to the chaos. For example, hygiene products. Does anyone really need to know what feminine hygiene products you are using, or what brand of regular-flavored deodorant I slap on after my weekly trip under the garden hose?

I think not!

And, if anyone wants to know which brand of chocolate chip cookies I’m working on to bring my weight loss into equilibrium, please just stop by and open up the pantry.

For the record, I really do like Miserable Milton – I bought the kindle version of the book. But I’ll tell that to Mark in person. And I truly enjoy getting updates on my friends from far off places, just to have a small window into their lives when we haven’t touched base in a while. But as for what toothpaste I use when I crawl off the couch at 3am before I find my way to bed, well, I think that should remain between me and my grocery store cashier.

Now, if Facebook could just help us out and teach some of our under-achievers how to use the ticket dispenser at the deli counter, we might be getting somewhere…

Oh, by the way, would you please “like” this blog on Facebook??

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Tunes of the Week:

Hook Me Up – Bon Jovi

Hot Spot Junkie – Queensryche

Digital Man – Rush

Blame The Machines – Duran Duran

Screaming In Digital – Queensryche

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Raise a Virtual Thought & an Authentic Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Very Real Saturday!

D

   

Published in: on 13Marpm1211 at 5:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Take A Number! Or…

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!

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Special Announcements:

RIP I: Davy Jones. Keep on being a Daydream Believer…

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/arts/music/davy-jones-a-singer-in-the-monkees-dies-at-66.html

RIP II: Ralph McQuarrie, artist. Without you, there is no Star Wars. May The Force Be With You, Jedi Knight…

http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/obit/story/2012-03-06/star-wars-artist-ralph-mcquarrie-dies/53389582/1

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/04/showbiz/star-wars-death/index.html

Goodbye: Peyton Hillis. The Browns didn’t even make an offer to keep you – to their detriment.

Quarterback Talk In Cleveland: Yep, that’s all it is – talk.

Fond Farewell: Payton Manning. The Colts may be able to “replace” you with another franchise quarterback, but they won’t be able to keep you from seeking your just rewards. A Colt forever, but a player for now…

Happy Birthday: JenniferD!

Happy Birthday II: RobS. May this year be The Year Of The Playwright

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Just when you thought the football season was over and we can focus on Spring Training and Opening Day, comes one last story to close out the year of the pigskin. Crazy, huh?! With Peyton Manning sightings & progress visually reminiscent of the O.J. highway chase, you would think the fate of the human race depends on not only where Peyton signs, but also what jet, limo, or SUV is carrying him to that destination. With the Colts poised to take the next franchise quarterback (if anyone can live up to those expectations), the Redskins trading up to take the Heisman Trophy winner RGIII, The so-called end of bounty hunting in the NFL,and the Browns ready to do, well, what the Browns always do… The football offseason is filled with many noteworthy, almost journalistic-worthy, stories.

But this football story takes us back in time, to a place not seemingly so long ago. And yet, far enough away that snow was still in the foreseeable forecast for a mild majority of the Friday Fun Fact readership. The time is late Sunday morning; the date is Super Bowl Sunday; the location:

The Deli Counter

Yep, there I was working on my weekly grocery errands, gauging my time appropriately for arrival at our Super Bowl party (graciously hosted by RobS!). I’m pretty darn efficient when it comes to this stuff, list & coupons in hand. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t run into the occasional environmental common sense snafu. In the business world, I believe this would be referred to as external factors or unknown risks. My first destination rolls out pretty well – things I need, and always a couple of bonus items. On to grocery destination two.

I enter through the automatic sliding doors that always invite me in as if I’m a royal guest of honor in the store. Although I greatly appreciate the gesture, the moment is generally short-lived, since the red carpet treatment vanishes shortly after the doors whir shut behind me. I hunt my way through the vegetable produce area, set up perfectly to slow down anyone looking to swiftly navigate the grocery story experience. There just simply aren’t any straight lines in the produce section – you are sent scurrying through zigs & zags like an indoor maize of produce! But, I come out the other side into the wines, cheeses, and finally –

The Deli Counter

I saunter up to the deli counter, surveying the other patrons for their potential efficiencies & inefficiencies in ordering, hoping to gauge whether I’ll be able to make my way through this process faster than at the counter of a fast food restaurant, or whether I should have brought a portable dvd player to watch a movie while I’m waiting. At this point, we don’t know. But I’m taking bets that we’re a solid sitcom away from celebrating the victory of the hunt.

I reach up and take a number. You know – those dispensers that give you one number at a time, so the deli personnel can mildly organize the chaos by yelling out the next number up from the current digital display counter on the wall.

And immediately… I can see that something is amiss. There are, in fact, a few too many patrons for the bandwidth of numbers between what is listed on the digital display counter and the number screaming at me from the aerodynamic ticket in my hand.

Let’s see how this shakes out.

After the deli finishes with one customer, they call the next number, which no one seems to have. So, one customer steps in without a number, and orders. What?! Wait, it gets better. The lone deli employee finishes with the customer, and calls the next number – MY number. As I go to address the deli employee, another customer starts giving her order.

I feel an Uncle Buck moment coming on – “Yeah, but; yeah but; wait…ooaaahh.”

When, exactly, did we as a society lose track of how to do this?! I mean, the lexicography is even part of our funny and/or sarcastic vernacular. “Take a number” is used on the silver screen as it is in real life – a demonstrative response to those who may want to chew your hide or are asking for your money, among other things. This universally-known process should be easy to grasp, especially at the grocery store deli counter. And, yet, there I was, in the middle of my own personal Twilight Zone episode – wondering if Rod Serling was explaining my predicament to the audience.

So I wait patiently for this additional customer to finish her order. As the order is completed, I insert myself in to the madness. As the deli employee calls the next number, I say “actually I had the last number.” And then, I have to explain myself! Hello?! Really?! This has never happened before at the deli?! There are three people behind me flush with mass confusion – and looking at me like I cut in line! Fortunately the customer who took the number right after me came to my defense before the angry mob called for my hanging. And order is restored…

Can you run those cheeses by me again?!

On to the Super Bowl Party…

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Tunes of the Week:

Stand In Line – Impelliteri

Wait – White Lion

I’ll Wait For You – Bonham

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

The Longest Time – Billy Joel

Eat It – “Weird” Al Yankovic

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Raise A Glass!

May Your Sunday Be Followed By A Saturday!

D

Published in: on 13Marpm1211 at 5:24 pm  Comments (3)  

Leaping Into An Election Year

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!

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Special Announcements:

RIP: Danny Parmertor, Demetrius Hewlin, & Russell King, Jr. You never should have died at school that day. Godspeed to the grief of your families and communities.

Recover Well: Those whose lives have been forever changed in Chardon, Ohio. Be strong and successful at life’s challenges as a result of facing the ultimate challenge of this traumatic event. We are blessed that you are still here…

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RIP II: Andrew Breitbart, conservative blogger. Regardless of where you are on the pendulum of politics, let freedom continue to ring… and write.

Winner’s Circle Congratulations!: Matt Kenseth. For winning the Daytona 500 sometime Tuesday morning! The longest delayed Daytona 500, and one of the most exciting races – when it actually started – ever!

Special Note I: Uh, notice, fellow Fun Facters, the near-&-dear-to-this-writer’s-heart logo on the hood of the car…

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Happy Birthday!: Jon Bon Jovi. In the immortal words of, well, you:

“Have A Nice Day-ay-ay!”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/jon-bon-jovi-turns-50_n_1314009.html

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This week, if you follow along with our Gregorian, or civil calendar, we honored February 29. Four years in the making (sometimes eight!), Leap Year comes along to make up for time differences in order to synchronize with the astronomical & seasonal years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_year

For most of us, it is just another day. For others, though, it is a very special day. For every 1 in 1,461 people here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., Leap Day serves as their birthday.

For those of us not-so-good at math, that translates into roughly 200,000 in the United States, and 5 million globally. And, what do they get for being able to celebrate their uniqueness every 4 years? Oh, they get plenty! The good news is that those lucky souls get pretty much get to celebrate their birthdays on their own – no shared birthday cakes or gifts. A better bonus – they don’t get those dreaded “Happy Birthday & Merry Christmas” combo gifts (Special Note II: That one’s for you, Hal!). This gives them a bona fide explanation for age gaps (lucky devils!).

But that’s sort of where the good news ends.

Leap Year Day Babies also get some of the following “perks”:

  • Unrecognized birthdays in off years
  • Computer snafus
  • Police suspicion during traffic stops
  • Delivery room negotiations to later birth certificates
  • Software issues in Excel (Special Note III: this one, obviously extends to all of us)
  • Computer software issues at banks & insurance companies that force Leapers to list another birthdate

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/29/living/leap-day-ireport/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

http://news.yahoo.com/millions-mark-rare-leap-day-birthday-february-29-122841985.html;_ylt=Ak9Q2uIGij2FCOf8DqRrLXLtiBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTNxdjVub2hqBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBPZGRVU1NGBHBrZwMyYzllM2I4ZS02OTEzLTNiNTQtYTgzOS1kNGFhNjQyYmE3ZTEEcG9zAzgEc2VjA3RvcF9zdG9yeQR2ZXIDZjZlODdjNzAtNjIwNy0xMWUxLWJkZmYtYjA3YjM4ZWE3ODcw;_ylg=X3oDMTIwdWJsZnJ1BGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lfG9kZG5ld3MEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnMEdGVzdAM-;_ylv=3

I think we should try to help.

First, NO BIRTHDAY should EVER go unrecognized. In the grand wisdom of the great American philosopher Daniel D. Simon (not me!), “he who has the most birthdays lives the longest.” Truer words have probably never been spoken. So one suggestion would be to maybe carve out a few seconds per year between 11:59p, February 28, and 12:00a, March 1, to at least sneak a sliver of February 29 into every year.

Second, really – suspicion during traffic stops?! Why does THIS not surprise our Friday Fun Fact research staff?! For all future February 29s, let’s close the donut shops. That oughta fix THAT problem!

Software glitches?! How is it ladies, gentleman, and “other,” that we could forge a path through Y2K without any serious computer catastrophes, or planes falling out of the air, and YET, we can’t figure out how to accommodate February 29 birthdays?! We have now managed to make home video games that detect your motion, alarm clocks that run away from you (I need one of these!), and small devices that hold a lifetime of music, and yet, a February 29 birthday throws our software programs into seizures?! For goodness sakes, we now have instant macaroni & cheese!

Special Note IV: Don’t be too distracted, BeckyW!

Of course, there’s a downside to February 29 that affects most of us:

Technically, no matter how you slice it, we work for free.

Maybe, we can form a small focus group to tackle this issue and take action. In this election year, The Committee proudly endorses equal rights for Leap Year Day Babies.

To Leap Year Day Babies everywhere, Happy Birthday!
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Tunes of the Week:

Jump – Van Halen

Leap Of Faith – Kenny Loggins

Leaping Lizards – The Brombies

Look Before You Leap – Dave Clark Five

Leap Up And Down (Wave Your Knickers In The Air) –          St. Cecilia

Honorable Mention: Quantum Leap (television series)

Have A Nice Day – Bon Jovi

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Raise A Glass!

May Your Friday Leap Into Saturday!

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

              

Published in: on 13Marpm1211 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

What Does “Regular” Smell Like?

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!

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Special Announcements:

RIP I: Whitney Houston. An incredible voice silenced, tragically, long before her time.

RIP II: Gary Carter. You played the game of baseball with the enthusiasm & energy we all strive for in our daily lives. Keep on playin’, Kid!

Lady & Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!: Right after we get through the rain delay…

Welcome Back to the new season of NASCAR. Many hours spent watching traffic on television on Sundays after spending all week battling it live in person…

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There I was, out on my routine weekly shopping adventure for food, odds, AND ends. Shopping advertisements & coupons in hand, and trying to get the best value for my ever-shrinking dollars. Heading down the hygiene product aisle at the local almost-discontinued & discount store, searching for, well, hygiene products!

During this week’s adventure, I was on a search for deodorant. The darn stuff costs too much anyway for what it is when you think about it. However, the flip side is, it’s like car insurance – we really can’t live without it. Unlike previously unsuccessful expeditions for molasses, deodorant is a little easier to find in the store. So, as I window-shopped the brand that would provide me with the coupon savings, I came across something that may have been missed by the marketing gurus. The flavors of deodorant spanned wide spectrum of earth, wind, fire, & surf. But one such flavor stuck out like a turnip-colored prom dress at a soccer game:

Regular

This of course inspired all sorts of questions. How does the company know I want to smell “regular?” Are they saying smelling “regular” is an upgrade for me? Should I be offended? What if I want to smell ordinary instead? Most important of all, what does “regular” smell like?

Of course, it also creates the responsive dilemma of whether or not I want, or would like, to smell “regular.” And therein lies the next enigma: How does one find out what “regular” smells like? The deodorant containers are closed. It’s not like at the cologne counter, where there are samples of cologne. The deodorant containers are hermetically sealed like Oscar envelopes.

With other scents, you can hazard a quality guess – ocean surf, Irish Spring original scent, phoenix (think musk), or icy blast. OK, probably not that last one unless you live far enough north of the Mason-Dixon Line to smell winter on a regular basis.

Does one open the deodorant lid in order to get a whiff of the scent? I suppose you could. There’s not a law against it. And yet, one feels awkward, like a criminal, for opening the deodorant in the store before purchasing it – kind of like getting your hands caught in the cookie jar.

What happens if a disapproving manager finds out? What if one of the employees sees you, can’t find a manager, and announces he or she saw you open the deodorant over the loudspeaker?

“Erve, I wasn’t even IN aisle 5!”

And, on top of all of that, I’m trying to get the best value I can with this darn coupon!

Am I supposed to just buy the “regular” deodorant and live with the mediocrity?! Or do I forego the best value for the money spent and move on to a scent I know I enjoy – the scent that makes me a better man?!

Oh, the agony!

If the marketing gurus really knew me, they’d know I want to smell “Exceptional”…

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Tunes Of The Week:

Ordinary Average Guy – Joe Walsh

An Average Song – Allan Sherman

Pick Up The Pieces – Average White Band

Not So Average – V. Rose

Not Your American Average – Asking Alexandria

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Raise Your Glass (If You’re “Sure!”)!

May Your Monday Magically Be Followed By A Friday!

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Febpm1211 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

It Ain’t A Super Bowl Party Until…

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!

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Special Announcements:

RIP: Don Cornelius. Keep that Soul Train movin’…

Happy Belated Birthday!: Friday Fun Fact member, CarolineH! Have you recovered yet???

Bad Dancing Award: Rob Gronkowski, at a dance club after losing the Super Bowl. We blame the bad ankle…

Ounce Of Prevention Reminder: Tuesday is Valentine’s Day

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The Super Bowl is over – we can finally put the football season to rest. Almost…

I, along with many of our Friday Fun Fact members and casual observers, had an opportunity to attend a Super Bowl Party on Sunday. Good times were had by all, I can say. Except, maybe the clean-up crew! (Special Note I: OK, it wasn’t that bad!).

My team lost.

That is to say, the team I was rooting for lost. Neither my home team, nor any of the additional teams I follow, made it to the Super Bowl. So, I was rooting for the team I disliked the least. The Browns, it seems, is farther away from the Super Bowl than the geographical distance between Cleveland and Indianapolis would indicate. And yet, several people at the party were proudly displaying their loyalty to the brown & orange. (Special Note II: We admit, though, it would soften our annual disappointment greatly, if the Browns ignored their own “tradition,” and had cheerleaders on the sidelines!).

So, why do a bunch of people seemingly destined to never root their team on in the Super Bowl gather to watch the island oasis in the middle of a Sahara Desert winter, otherwise known as NorthEast Ohio?! Why, you ask? Well, let us explain.

The commercials? Well, I don’t think this is falls into the category of “the chicken or the egg” conundrum. Although we had commercials before the Super Bowl, it wasn’t until 25 years ago when Apple revolutionized Super Bowl commercial time-outs.

http://www.businessreviewusa.com/marketing/viral/the-most-infamous-expensive-super-bowl-ads-of-all-time

The halftime show?! Nope – the halftime shows during the first decade of the Super Bowl were marching bands.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_Bowl_halftime_shows

Some will say it’s the Vegas Line. So much money is placed on the odds of the Super Bowl – over/under, the coin toss, which team scores first, one could make a solid argument that the Vegas Line is why we play the game. Of course, the Super Bowl is the grand moneymaker for the NFL. We know the NFL wouldn’t put on such a spectacle if it lost money on it…

There’s one thing about the Super Bowl that may actually outdo the Super Bowl. The Food. Oh, my goodness, the food. We always have a great spread at our parties. However, with the box store advertisements, & marketing campaigns, you would think it is going to be the last day for food – EVER.

None of these can be considered the reason to watch the big game when your team isn’t there. Maybe you can make a decent case for love of the sport. But I think there’s one more reason that we haven’t addressed…

Friendship.

We get together to catch up with friends. The food, commercials, halftime show, and Vegas line only add to the experience. OK, let’s be honest, sometimes the halftime show may not add to the experience. (Special Note III: We here at Friday Fun Fact only condone gambling on the Vegas line if you are sure you will win. Otherwise, you are better off contributing to the BEER fund for the event.). In our case, the game actually provides us a reason to get together and celebrate and commiserate with our friends. Most of the time, the games we watch become background to the conversation & fellowship going on at the table or in the room.

This time, we got together for one of our esteemed casual observers combination house warming & Super Bowl party. Although we are all good friends, we can be a daunting group to have over all at once! And, after all it is a partaaaaayyyy. All went well – conversation, food, fun, & laughter were had by all. Multiple generations found themselves in different rooms of the house catching up, making plans for events, or trying to figure out how to fix that do-hickey that hangs from the back of the thing-a-ma-jig. Someone knows, don’t they?

And then we heard it

The sound.

“What was that?,” several people asked. The investigation began. People hunting around for where they thought they heard the sound coming from. Everyone hoping they weren’t anywhere near where this minor catastrophe originated, so blame could not rest on their shoulders.

And there it was, in the middle of the utility room floor. The victim: the rack where all the coats hung from had detached from the wall and fallen to the floor. “The weight of the coats” someone exclaimed, must’ve been the reason the rack fell.

Oh, well, it ain’t a party until something gets broken.

And the game goes on. Here’s to good friends & good times…

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Tunes Of The Week:

Me & Charlie Talking – Miranda Lambert

Some Beach – Blake Shelton

Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson

Vogue – Madonna

I Believe In A Thing Called Love – The Darkness

That’s What Friends Are For – Dionne Warwick

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Raise A Friendly Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Super Saturday!

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

    

Published in: on 13Febpm1211 at 9:16 pm  Comments (1)  

Don’t You – Forget About Me…

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Special Announcements:

Musical RIP: Etta James. With every note ringing true here on earth, now each one is heavenly…

Life & Football Coach RIP: Joe Paterno. Keep on coaching, Joe…

Welcome!: Lunar Year! January 23. Don’t worry – there’s still time to celebrate!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

So, there I was – smack dab in the middle of a New Year’s slump; a losing streak. Battling the Forces of Evil as I might, well-oiled laptop keyboard in hand, I could not fight my way through the morass of beginning-of-the-new-year challenges to write a new episode of Friday Fun Fact for our editorial staff to carve up prior publication. So darn, gosh frustrating!

And then, it came to me…

Like a bolt of lightning in a thunderstorm;

like the whistle of a long black train; like hot sauce on a chicken wing

(Special Note I: Or, Asian Zing sauce, RobC!); like tax booklets in mailbox just after the Holidays end.

OK, actually, it came to me in an email from one of our esteemed members. But you know we had to make you read all that other stuff to build up the suspense.

As I was saying, one of our esteemed Friday Fun Fact members sent me a note through the e-waves suggesting a topic. I said I would take it to The Committee for approval, and here we are, smack dab in the middle of another quality non-quality customer service story.

The story goes something a little like this (Special Note II: Hey, Tico, give me a beat!):

A repair shop schedules with our esteemed Friday Fun Fact brethren to come out to the house to do some… are you ready?!… repairs. The estimated time of arrival: somewhere between 8:00a & 5:00p. And the extra-special news is that the appointment confirming phone call doesn’t come the day before to allow for ANY planning, but the day of the appointment. Oh, AND upon further investigation, the company doesn’t even have the customer’s phone number listed in order to call to confirm. Thank goodness the customer called to confirm the appointment. Ya gotta love this kind of customer service quackiness.

Let’s roll through some quality analysis, shall we?!

  • With the advent of the telecommunications age and automated call systems, why in the name of the  21st century can’t the confirming call come the day before?
  • If this particular company sets a customer to be the first service stop of the day at 8:00a, when exactly does that confirming phone call get made?
  • If the company didn’t utilize some sort of best practice to obtain the appropriate phone number from the customer when the repair request was made, how exactly do they plan to call the customer?
  • How does the repair company make a profit with customer service “efforts” such as this?
  • If the cable company can narrow down their estimated arrival time window, surely all companies can, don’t you think?!

That last one is my favorite. If we can get the cable companies, notorious (or infamous!) for their “we’ll get there when we get there” arrival times, then why can’t a repair service provide something a little better than sometime between 8 &5?! We can now look at cable companies as the innovator in comparison. Frightening…

Of course, this particular repair company may have some of what we call “embedded challenges” in the business world that are alive and well within their company matrix:

  • They only have one phone.
  • They don’t have any best practices.
  • Maybe they only have rotary phones, you know – like you see in old movies?!
  • Maybe they haven’t been educated in the realm of customer service protocols.
  • They are the only game in town, so they can service customers at their whim.
  • The last calendar they posted in the office tells everyone the date… in 1982.
  • The switchboard operator calls off sick a lot.

Today, in 2012, companies need to move towards customer service, not away from it. Regrettably, or justifiably, there are paths to take to express dissatisfaction through the Better Business Bureau to online service sites. Companies need to not only be better about customer service, but also need to be transparent about it. Maybe the company who has blessed Friday Fun Fact with another customer service episode will learn their lesson someday. I’ll try calling them tomorrow to schedule a feedback session – sometime between 8 & 5…

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Tunes of the Week:

Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds

Wait – White Lion

Disconnected – Queensryche

9 To 5 – Dolly Parton

Where Everybody Knows Your Name – Gary Portnoy

Hanging On The Telephone – Blondie

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Raise A Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Saturday…

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Janpm1211 at 11:01 pm  Comments (1)  

I’m On My Way, No You’re Not Gonna Change My Plan…

Dear Failure –

Thank you for all you taught me in the past year. Thank you for the many politically-correct “challenges & opportunities” that you brought to my door step to “enhance my learning curve” through unexpected setbacks, more money out of my wallet, lost time in the pursuit of goals & ambitions, and the taste of utter defeat like a sour rhubarb pie left in my mouth at every turn I could possibly anticipate; and even more that I couldn’t. They say, Failure, that you make me stronger for all that I experience – that somehow, I learn more from you than I could possibly ever imagine learning from the much happier yang to your yin, Success. What I’ve learned in earnest is that you are Trouble Walkin’. As well, and unfortunately, Failure and Success have a philosophical tendency to be cyclical. So, to the assumption that we arrive at Success ultimately through Failure, I borrow the words of the fictional character Justin Jones in responding to a superior who claims she knows they’ve been through h-e-double-hockey-stick, “B$%#&, we’re still here!” (Special Note I: Ladies & Gentlemen, that last quote is not for the faint of heart. Great Luck on your search!) To all of the “They Philosophy” blessing your guidance in my life, I say hogwash.

To quote the immortal words of the great American philosopher, Jon Bon Jovi, “Call it Karma, call it Luck, Me I just don’t give a….a….uh…uh… an ‘Oh, Darn!’” (Special Note II: OK, look, this is paraphrased. Even though he never actually says THE word, this may still be a kid’s channel, so we watch our words somewhat. Or, at least we try to!). In this new year, 2012, I’m taking Jon’s words to heart. I’m fighting back! I’m not going to take you & your so-called learning experiences lying down! This year, I’m going to Bounce back and win a round or two. I’m going to do a better job of counting my Successes. I’m going to do an even better job of creating more of them. I’m going to do the best job I can of keeping you, dear Failure, out them completely!

In 2012, I greet you, Failure, arm-in-arm with Lady Success. Together, we will conquer your tenacity for black clouds, black holes, and snatching defeat from the jaws of Victory. After all, life, given its glorious ups & downs, is to be enjoyed; and, as we learn all too often, is also too short (RIP: JimboW, SidneyR. Those you left behind will not forget you.). To smile in your all-too-smug face will be my pleasure when you think you’ve trumped me. You will find your efforts to sabotage my dreams, actions, and determination, will die in vain at my doorstep with no hope for resuscitation. You won’t be invited to our party.

Beyond a Shadow of a doubt, 2012 will be the year I count on, date, and embrace Lady Success, and leave you, Madame Failure, far behind. In the immortal words of another great American philosopher, Stephen Pearcy –

“You’ve got to pay to play, so don’t you stand in my way…”

Raise A Victorious Glass!

May Your 2011 Be Followed By A Successful, Prosperous, Healthy, & Self-Fulfilling 2012!

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Janpm1211 at 11:31 pm  Comments (2)  

‘Twas The Night Before ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas…

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
by Clement Clarke Moore
or Henry Livingston

(Adapted for Friday Fun Fact by our very own team of mildly-skeptical writers)


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

And why is that?! Is everything frozen or on the rocks these days?!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

I hope they were hung with care – this is a fire hazard! How does this family philosophy go  – no, you can’t play with fire, but please hang combustibles above the fireplace?!

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

OK, we can forgive the “sugar-plums” dancing part – this is an old text; they didn’t have iPods or Red Rider BB guns back then. But really?! The kids were “nestled all snug in their beds?” Look, I don’t even have kids and I know putting them to bed on Christmas Eve is like wrestling cookies from Santa Claus – it’s a major challenge!

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

Settled down for a long winter’s nap?! Who the h-e-double-hockey-stick is going to finish wrapping the gifts?! I hear enough of stories to know exactly how many gifts are wrapped AFTER the challenge of putting the kids to bed – 99.53%!*

* The other .47 % bought their gifts online, and had them wrapped before shipping.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

Great – now we’ve got issues: the lawn is torn up, you have to repair the shutters on a holiday when the hardware store is closed, and the kids have to be awake by now. Does anyone believe if there was “such a clatter” that the kids wouldn’t be awake? On Christmas Eve?! Anyone? ! Bueller?!

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Clearly, this guy’s thoughts are in other places…

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

Given his previous statement, he might actually mean “wandering eyes.”

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

Little old driver?! So lively and quick?! This dude is a jolly fat man. Either we’ve had a little too much egg nog, or our narrator may need to hit the gym himself.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

On the lawn, in the air… what is this – a UFO sighting?

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

Yeah – get off the gosh darn lawn!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

And the kids still aren’t awake? Riiiiigggght.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

Fur?! Does PETA know about this?

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

So, what you’re telling us here is that he was planning on sliding down chimneys all night dressed in fur. I’m thinking even back then there were better options that would have maximized his speed & efficiency – lycra, spandex, maybe a skin-diving suit?

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

You let peddlers into your house? Don’t most people post a “No Solicitation” sign these days? Maybe the bundle of toys is a distraction while he robs you blind!

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

This guy is a cornucopia of nature!

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

Pipe?! Is this setting a good example for the younger generation? No smoking allowed in the house, kids! Er, uh, we mean “no smoking” kids!

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

Elf?! He’s never been portrayed as an elf! Ronnie James Dio would not be pleased if he read this!

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

Oh, good – laughing at Santa Claus. Guess what list that puts you on…

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

Has this little driver-elf-chubby-plump-jolly guy who breaks into houses to leave gifts ever been brought up on B&E charges? (Special Holiday Victim Note: B&E is Breaking & Entering for those readers who don’t watch Law & Order, or have family members who specialize in the craft.).

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

The little old driver who has miraculously turned into a fat man is now springing. Got it…

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

To very appropriately quote the immortal words of the great fictional character, Cousin Eddie,

 “Merry Christmas! Sh***** was full!”

Raise A Christmas/Holiday Grog!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Holiday Weekend with Much Holiday Cheer!

D

Published in: on 13Decam1111 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment