Clubbing

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What’s the deal with warehouse clubs?  You know, places like Sam’s Club and CostCo.  They charge you $40 – $70 for the privilege of shopping in their dreary warehouse.  Why do they charge you for going in their crummy store?  I know, because they can, but really why do all these suckers line up to pay an entry fee to a store?

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I’ve looked around and the prices at Sam’s aren’t enough different from WalMart to make a real difference except in rare cases.  Plus you have to buy a skid-load or five gallons of mayonnaise at Sam’s to get the deal.  In addition, there is almost zero choice.  That one brand of mayonnaise is the one you’re buying.  At WalMart you at least have a few choices.

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CostCo pretends to be more upscale.  They have more brand-y stuff and the aircraft hangar looks a little nicer.  Plus there aren’t as many ethnics shopping there, if you know what I mean.  However, they charge more and you actually pay more than Sam’s and WalMart for stuff.  They claim to have exclusive stuff, but it’s only exclusive from not being at Sam’s or WalMart or Target.  They charge you more for being in their “club.”

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So what’s the deal with “club?”  It’s not like a real club where you go to meet people with like interests (except for being cheap).  Clubs used to be exclusive places where people went to get away from their spouses or children or to mix with toni friends or talk about postage stamps.  You could brag about your membership in certain exclusive clubs; you had to be voted into the club.  Here you just have to fork over the jack.  You have to wave that stupid card, like if they sold anything to a non-member it would break the corporation or some secret pact.  Who goes around showing other people their Sam’s or CostCo card?  “Look, I got into Sam’s Club.”  Nobody does that.  Maybe the manufacturers are afraid that regular people will find out they can get a deal on a five-gallon pail of ketchup.  You have to keep the price a secret to non-members.  I don’t get it.  Why isn’t it just the Sam’s store, no entry fee?

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Bridge Club

The shopping experience, even at Sam’s, is actually a step up from the dreary WalMart.  I guess ’cause the ceilings are higher and the floors are cleaner.  I suppose it’s that entry fee that does it.

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Philatelic Club

 

You can eat at Sam’s.  A big Nathan’s Famous hot dog and an endlessly refillable drink is only $1.50.  Homeless people should come there and live at Sam’s.  The $40 up front keeps them out though.  A big charity should donate the $40 each for a bunch of poor people and then let them hang at Sam’s; camp in the airport-sized parking lot that is never more than half full.  Then it wouldn’t be such an exclusive “club” for people anymore.

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Life

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I know a lot of you have been waiting with baited breath for my next post, but I’ve been busy; unlike you I’ve been busy with this thing called Life.  Oh sure, I’m still putting in 110% for you but now I have to put in 210% just to keep up with life too.  And unlike you I don’t have a lot of “free time” on my hands jerking at work on your computer while you should be working on that spreadsheet and graph to make your boss look better.  I also don’t want to waste your time with posts that are about nothing at all, although I happen to know you have a lot of time and something else on your hands.  Unlike other bloggers my posts are always full of useful and important content, not just me blabbing about how I was constipated yesterday but now I’m okay.  Who wants to read something like that?  Other bloggers think you want to know whenever they pick their nose.  Nobody wants that.  Even somebody as important as the President of the United States, you wouldn’t want to know when he picks his nose, now would you?  So I don’t waste your already worthless life with things that are not relevant to it and are all about me.

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Be patient, as it says in Ecclesiastes:  there is a time for everything, or something like that.

That International Feel post wasn’t that great.  I’m a big man, in more ways than one, so I’m big enough to admit it was a D minus effort, but that’s water under the bridge, as they say.  Unlike most of you I don’t make the same mistake twice so you don’t have to wait for another opportunity to poke your finger in my eye.  Ain’t gonna happen.  Get over it.

 

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NSA Liberty

Hey, I bought this NSA t-shirt from Woot.com.  The folks over there know about real patriotism.  It says “NSA” but if you look really close it has all these little quotes from The Constitution,  Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine, and their ilk, about freedom that makes up the NSA letters.  I don’t expect many of you to know much about this or these guys but they are the true patriots of history and said way back then (18th century) that the NSA was bad and was going to spy on American citizens if somebody wasn’t vigilant and rat out the “Organization.”  Back then the NSA just peeped in your window and opened your mail, but now it’s way more sophisticated as I’ve pointed out in previous posts.  Pretty cool, huh?  I suppose if I wear it in Washington “somebody” will just stick a microscopic poison pellets in my leg and that’ll be it.  One of those cardboard box campers will end up wearing my shirt.  The price of freedom.

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Well I just wanted you to know I wasn’t dead but I’m also not one of those bloggers to put up a long post about nothing at all just so I can see my name in print.  So until the muse calls again, I’ll be silent.

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I’m Here For You

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A lot of people blog because they have a big ego and think tens of thousands of people out there are going to hang on their every word.  They want people to nod their heads for every opinion they write about.  They want comments about how brilliant and how oh so right they are.  They think everyone wants to look into their private psychoses and their dreary website and affirm their useless digital scribblings.  It’s all about me, me, me…

I-love-youWell this blog is different, it’s all about you, you, you.  I’m here for you.  I’ve got your back.  What other blogger warns you off some posts while putting others out there that you know will improve your life?  Don’t some posts seem to have been written just for you personally?  Huh?  Do you think I’d sit here punching this keyboard if I didn’t feel an urgent social responsibility?  I’ve got tons of episodes of NCIS on the DVR and I could be parking my lazy ass on the divan and enjoying the best TV program ever made.  But no, I’m here trying to improve your miserable life, a complete stranger.  That’s how big I am; a giving person, a servant.

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Where You’ll End Up

Oh sure I have to use tough love sometimes and point out the deficiencies in you and your world but you know it’s for your own good.  I don’t like doing it but somebody has to or you are going to end up on the trash heap of humanity.  I worry about you all the time, especially the 50% of you that are below average.  I stay up late trying to think of something that is going to stick in your little pea brain, that can pull you up from the desperate and hopeless state you are currently in.

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Fairies and Rainbows

I try to temper these intense self-improvement posts with other posts of whimsy and carefree fun that will brighten your otherwise dreary day.  I add the occasional important current event because I know you haven’t touched a newspaper in years and when you did all you cared about was what the Kardashians were doing.  See these are all for your own good too.  I spend a lot of time each and every day thinking about how to get through to you and improve your life just a little.  I put all my needs aside to serve you, dear reader.

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I’m Here for You!

Well I just wanted you to know that when the chips are down, like they always are for you, you can count on me.  I wanted you to know I’m making more than a D minus effort for you.  Whatever disaster comes into your world I’ll be putting all my resources into how best to deal with it and keep you from circling the drain.  Think of me as the FEMA of bloggers, but in a better way that actually arrives in time and helps the afflicted.

Remember I’m here if you need me and I’m ready to make time for you day or night.  Oh, and like I’ve told you before, lowered expectations are the key to a less than miserable life so just expect the worst and everything will be all right.

Pointless

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Well here’s todays installment of me foaming at the mouth. As you can plainly see it’s called Pointless, and if you haven’t already figured out that it’s going to be a waste of your time then you’re on the wrong side of the mean.

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Pointless

Anyway, here we go. Where to start? A bunch of years ago (you already know I’m not looking it up!) a scientist/anthropologist sort of Viking guy name Thor Heyerdahl built this raft using prehistoric methods and materials. He launched it into the Pacific Ocean. Eventually he landed using only primitive means and supplies on a Polynesian island. So, you’re gonna say this was pointless, oh no effendi, this had a very good reason. Let’s just make one thing clear, this scientist was the first person in the historic era to do anything like this and he wrote about it. This is very important so quit nodding off. Why? He was trying to see if prehistoric man could have populated all of Polynesia; if they had all the means and knowhow to achieve this. This was important because a lot of scientists were skeptical and there were conflicting theories about how Polynesia could have been populated. Heyerdahl proved that some guys in prehistoric times would have all they needed to push off from the continents to eventually find and populate all the islands. It didn’t prove that this is what happened but it proved all the guys wrong that said it couldn’t have happened this way. It also showed just how early or late Polynesia could have been settled. This is how science proceeds you waterheads.

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Hero – Scientist

Now somewhere along the line another guy got the idea to do the same thing as Heyerdahl, exactly the same way. This is the most important thing I’m going to tell you so write it down, this guy’s escapade was pointless. Why? Heyerdahl had already done it. There was nothing further to be proved by a second trip. Even if this second guy died trying, it proved nothing since Heyerdahl had already proved it could be done. Nobody really cared that you could die doing it. Everyone already knew this. There were probably a lot of prehistoric guys who sailed off and died trying. So why did this second modern guy do this silly thing. Was he really stupid? Was he crazy? Probably not, after all even doing a lousy job would require a lot of planning and intelligence. Hmmmm. You wanna know why he did it? Because he’s an egotistical and selfish bastard, a piece of human scum, that’s why.

Hold on a minute you say, here’s a brave and intelligent fellow. He’s taking on this dangerous quest all alone with no modern contrivances. No he’s a selfish ego-driven idiot and a bane on humankind; someone never to be held up as a role model. I’m going to prove this to you so pay attention. Why? Because he does this out of his own selfish reasons, to prove some pointless fact about his courage and brilliance, plus he probably counts on us to risk our lives to bail him out if things go awry. He’s nothing but a spendthrift thrill seeker hoping you’ll be a big enough sucker to support him/her and say “well done” and have a parade when he/she maybe comes back. He’s a dumb ass swindler. A flim-flam man.

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Heroes – Explorers

Here’s another thing I heard that’s a little different but equally pointless. In the early part of the 20th century a lot of folks were trying to be the first to the South Pole in Antarctica. This has at least some little merit from a scientific standpoint but it was basically another attempt to explore a place NOBODY had gone to before. There were two groups that went to the Pole, a British team and a Norwegian guy. Well the Norwegian guy got there first because he had a better plan and somewhat better luck. The British guys all died coming back, so the fact that they reached the Pole second almost doesn’t count because you’ve got to get back to tell about it to say it’s successful.

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Dumb Ass

Now fast forward to modern times. People go to the South Pole all the time. People even live there in a sort of moon-base setup now. But here come some dumb-asses that want to go to the South Pole just like the British team did in 1911 (circa), man-hauling sledges, to “prove” that it could be done. What? First we already know it could be done. It was done by a Norwegian guy with a dogsled. It is also pretty certain that with a little better luck and maybe planning the British team would have gotten back as well. In addition, this is not like Heyerdahl’s experiment because we already know how people got to the South Pole, it’s no mystery. On top of this there are all sorts of less dangerous ways to get to the South Pole. You should use these before you resort to early 20th century technology and depend on us to save your ass in case of trouble. This newest expedition is pointless and a waste of time and money, no reason for accolades; an egotistical display of wasted time, money, and effort. An expensive and foolish hobby. And unnecessarily dangerous and risky.

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Hero – Explorer

We see this all the time: somebody we know summits Mt. Everest, they’re somehow a better or deeper souled person than we are. No they’re as selfish as the guy down the street who spent $50,000 on a car. We already know somebody can get to the top of Mt. Everest, hundreds of people have done it. Planes fly higher. Real brave explorers have even walked on the moon, think about that. Now here is something to crow about: being launched in a tin can 250,000 airless miles with a pocket calculator for guidance and actually getting there and all the way back in one piece with rocks to prove you were there (uh, oh here come the loonies talking about the back-lot in New Mexico again). We actually learned a lot of stuff in the process unlike the guy who summits Everest without oxygen. Big deal!

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More Dumb Asses

The last part is these fools put other people’s lives at risk with their egotistical and foolish behavior. How many times do we hear about the Coast Guard trying to pluck some retard out of a boat in a hurricane when they were trying to sail around the world alone? I say let the dumb asses drown. Why put a CG helicopter crew at risk for some dummy that doesn’t have the sense to crew his sailboat or come in out of the storm. This person put themselves intentionally in peril and we’re supposed to die to save them. I don’t think so! It’s like tying yourself to a potential suicide standing on a building ledge 30 stories up, a real bad idea. We’re supposed to come rescue these idiots when they express their ego-driven Darwinian behavior? It’s fake heroics. Heroics without purpose is just a waste of everything.

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Another Dumb Ass

What I’m trying to say is all these stunters that are always trying to get support for their “expeditions” are nothing but leeches. Their time, money, and effort could be channeled into something useful. The problem is they get no accolades for their courage for building and staffing a soup kitchen. What kind of lousy accomplishment is that? There are all sorts of people everyday that are doing brave things with a point that don’t have this incredible ego thing going on and wasting our oxygen. Think about a fireman going into a burning building for a child, a regular cop who never knows if the next drunk isn’t going to go berserk at a traffic stop, an ambulance driver in Afghanistan, Mother Teresa helping infectious lepers. There are tons of deserving and heroic people making a difference in life, science, spirituality, etc. that really put it on the line and for a real reason, not pointlessness.

So be careful when you hold these “models” up your children or others. They aren’t role models. They are egotistical selfish people displaying dangerous behaviors. Is that who you want your kids to look up to and emulate?

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A Real Hero

So I’m never going to jump out of an airplane and rely on a bed sheet to keep me from hitting the ground unless the plane is going to crash because then it’s the less risky, less foolish, less pointless option. And if I make it I don’t expect anybody to be patting me on the back for how brave I was in saving my own sorry ass.

Charity

bike injuryOne of my pet peeves is people who engage in their beloved hobby “for charity” and take credit for somehow being a better person than the rest of us. The worst offenders are runners, bicyclists, bowlers, motorcyclists, and especially golfers. They line up donations for how many miles they go or just finishing the event. Of course nobody ever checks to see that the person actually finished the race or didn’t pocket the donations. However I do believe most of these people are on the up and up so outright embezzlement of the funds or cheating is probably low.

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Musicians “Giving Back”

I liken this somewhat to rock stars and their ilk who give concerts where the proceeds go to some supposedly worthy organization and get accolades for “giving back.” Most of these leeches and debaucher’s are multi-millionaires who if they really wanted to give back would carve a million or so of their filthy lucre off for the charity. The concept that playing a guitar for 90 minutes without getting paid is giving back somehow is ludicrous. Most of these guys and gals who couldn’t hold down a real job if their lives depended on it don’t deserve to be paid anyway.

Home Team Charity Run logoAnyway back to the main subject. These so-called charity hobbyists have to presumably present some entrance fee. Corporations tend to jump on the bandwagon and sponsor these deals with everything from the charity itself to all the setup and production and things like bottled water, etc. Now when you get to the end of the line here just how much of all this money that is spent is actually getting to the charity? Wouldn’t it be better to have no event at all and have all the expense and corporate “support” dollars go directly to the charity and have the cyclists go off to the park to indulge in their hobby by themselves or with their buddies? Let’s face it these people are “giving” nothing. They are getting paid and donating the proceeds to their favorite charity for indulging in their fitness hobby, something they would have done anyway. If these folks were truly giving up their time they would be down at the soup kitchen slingin’ soup instead of wasting time riding around on their bikes or running in a 10K. In fact they might just work for a day at their job and donate that day’s pay to charity. Then they can just go jogging like usual or run in a regular marathon race.

Now why can’t I get the same deal, say for reading a certain number of books or winning a beer drinking contest?

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Ping-Pong Charity Pool Party

So I don’t sponsor any of these yokels. I give plenty of dough out to charity but I’m not going to do it for you to go out and play ping-pong or poker so I sure won’t do it for anyone else’s hobby. Let’s just pony up for breast cancer or whatever and feel better about that and get on with our lives without pretending we’re giving any of our time to anyone in the process. Oh, and see if you can wheedle the same amount out of the corporate sponsors that they would have spent in event expenses. Bet you can’t because how are they going to get their logo on your t-shirt or some banners along the race course? They’re just buying advertising and not “giving” anything either.

Physical Fitness

imageBy now you’ve probably started to model your life around this blog. That’s what I’m here for. Between my Grandfather and myself, we know pretty much everything there is to know, so relying on this blog when making big life decisions is a good thing for you to do. That’s what I’m here for. Ooops, already said that. Well you know what they say about repetition being the…

132_oval_decalLet’s now turn our weary heads to look at something I’ve begun to notice: those little oval stickers on cars that say “13.2” or “26.4.” It’s a secret code between a secret society of fitness nuts that we, the slovenly, are not supposed to know. Except they really do want us to figure this out so we can ask them: “When did you run your last half-marathon?” or something like that. For some stupid reason these people put this magic number on their car or t-shirt and we are supposed to be clever enough to break their code and realize that 13.2 is how many miles are in a half-marathon. So what? Why didn’t they just put a sticker on their car that said “Ask me about how I ran my last half-marathon?” No, I’m supposed to play dumb and say: “Hey, What’s that 13.2 sticker for?”

First, yours truly has zero interest in your current jag of ego-stretching self-torture that you like to call fitness. Second, I know nothing about it. I don’t know or want to know anything about your shoes, your special running shorts, your iPhone running app, your running social network, your training regimen. Remember you are talking to someone who has zero interest already in spectator sports where they actually keep score, so watching, hearing, thinking about a little thing like running faster has no appeal; especially listening to your self-torture sagas, isn’t on today’s to-do list.

I used to try to run. Actually ran a few races but I found I hated it. I have some physical debilities which we won’t go into here that makes running a pretty painful and unrewarding experience anyway. Let’s call it a physical limitation. That got me thinking about exercise and physical fitness in general.

Exercise is always painful. It is always harder to do than not do, as Hamlet or Yoda would say. I mean what’s so bad about being lazy? Why are we so crazy about exercise? We take the idea of a pleasant walk hither and yon to some extreme painful sweating, pounding, breathing, agonizing speed obsession. There you have it. “I can run a Marathon just like some Greek messenger with a Post-it Note did a coupla thousand years ago.” Big deal! They didn’t have cell phones back then so this was pretty much the only form of speedy communication. Pick up the phone! Why do we imitate this poor sucker who probably had to do this or he wasn’t getting any dinner?

It makes me feel better…

What? You felt better while you were trying to come up that steep hill at 10 mph than you would have if you had been sitting with me having a few watching Spongebob Squarepants? I don’t think so. Oh you meant afterwards, like when you puke your gravy at the finish line and have to drink only Gatorade for two days straight to get rid of that headache and the trots. That feelin’ better. I tell you what, I feel a little winded when I get up to get another cold one from the fridge, so why don’t you put on those fancy shoes you just bought and get me a brew and then we’ll both be feelin’ a whole lot better.

SpongeBob_main_charactersSo now we have established the universal rule that all exercise that’s going to be “good” for you is also going to be painful and boring while you are doing it.

Our next hurdle:

You’ll live longer…

Yeah, so you can torture yourself with more marathons. Here I introduce the science of the “life extension equation.” The principle is simple: exercise effort time (feelin’ bad time) has to be less than life extension time for exercise to be a net gain in life. So, say I run a marathon in four hours (what is a reasonable time? doesn’t matter just for example), if my life is extended by only four more hours I want my money back. See 4 hours of pain = four hours longer life is the game breaker. If I can’t at least get more life extension than time I’ve spent in exercise hell then I’m a loser.

Well this is easy, sure you’re gonna get more than four hours of life back for running that marathon (versus Spongebob + Beer). Now wait a minute. The devil is in the details. How do we define the feelin’ bad time, the torture time? Is it only the actual exercise time, or is it something else? Maybe we should include the training time, or the warmup time, or the time it took to drive, fly, bike to the event. But hey, those were all “feel good time” life wasters, weren’t they. Yeah sure. But were they as good as they could have been? (Spongebob + Beer) To be fair you’ve gotta include all the time you spent jogging, preparing, training, shopping, etc. for the marathon as bad feelin’ time. No way were they as fun as Spongebob+Beer time.

beer%20can%20genericI’m pretty sure when you total it all up you would have been better off in the old life extension equation spending your time with me watching Spongebob and drinkin’ beer.

So I don’t run, I don’t go to any gym, I don’t own any exercise equipment (=clothes racks). When I go for a walk it’s to get somewhere, or listen to the tweet tweets (Mother Nature), or an excuse to listen to an audiobook or some loud music my family hates. I don’t wanna live longer if it includes some self flagellation ritual I have to exchange daily for my life to be extended.

Because I figure when I go there are going to be three options: nada, Spongebob+Beer, or a Treadmill machine and I won’t get to pick when the so-called inevitable comes at whatever time of life. I’ll know when I get there if I’ve been good.