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Welcome to Subway!

“WELCOME TO SUBWAY!!!”

Holy shit that scared me!

I looked around to respond to the man who shouted, but there was only one woman behind the counter.

Another customer walked through the door, an alarm beeped, and from the back office, out bellowed another “WELCOME TO SUBWAY!!!”

As I did seconds earlier, the startled person behind me looked around like an idiot, as if God just spoke to him, and responded tentatively, “Thank you?”

What the fuck is this? I’m noticing that a lot of businesses are adopting this corporate-mandated, exuberant, immediate greeting as customers walk through the door, and frankly, I don’t get it. Whatever it is, I’m sure it all started with some sort of customer service, brain-storming, focus group, initiative bullshit session: “How about we greet everyone as soon as they walk in the store. They hire retards to do it at Walmart, and look how well they’re doing. So we should do it too!”

When I used to sell cars, one of the managers had dinner at TGI Fridays for his birthday, and he thought because the waiters sang Happy Birthday to him, that we should sing to our customers when they buy a car. After the first deal of day, the manager called the entire sales staff into the showroom, and we all gathered around the unsuspecting customer. Then the Manager, clearly oblivious to the customer’s discomfort, proceeded to lead us all in a chorus of, “We sold you a car! We sold you a car! You’re gonna go far! You’re gonna go far! We sold you a c…”

Before we could finish our song, the terrified customer bolted up out of his seat, jumped into his old car, and sped off the lot.

We found out later that customer was extremely racist and didn’t appreciate the black manager patting him on the back and singing in his face, but still, it didn’t excuse our absurd attempt to “enhance” the customer experience.

The bottom line is, great customer service isn’t achieved with songs or mandated greetings. It comes from actually caring about the customer. If you want your employees to be friendly, hire friendly people instead of hiring miserable people and trying to train them to act friendly. Shouting out greetings at inappropriate levels from the back office doesn’t make people feel welcome or comfortable. It just scares the crap out them; not to mention how ridiculously disingenuous it is. You may as well scream, “I’M FORCED TO SHOUT WHEN YOU WALK IN!!!” I’d at least respect you for your honesty.

By the way… the mystery man who shouted “Welcome to Subway!!!” never even came out from the back.

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Nostalgic Poo

Ok, this may be a bit gross, but have you ever taken a poo and have the odor remind you of some place or time from your past?

No? Neither have I. I was just checking.

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Eric “Five Fingers” Schneider

vibram5fingers

Every so often you come across a product that exceeds all your expectations and makes you want to tell everyone how awesome it is. To qualify for such a prestigious honor, the product must be perfect (for you) in both form and function. It must meet every single advertised claim plus add some unforeseen value to either your life or the lives of others. The item cannot be something you received as a gift even if you specifically asked for it, because part of the ownership experience is the sense of pride you feel to have had the wherewithal, savvy, and foresight to have purchased the item in the first place. I might even go as far as to say you should also have paid full retail price for it, because buying it on sale reduces the risk of disappointment should it turn out to be less than you hoped it would be. You need to be 100% committed to this product from the get-go in order to feel the full force of the joy it gives back. This is such a rare occurrence, I can’t think of any other product I currently own that lives up to such high accolades. In fact, the last time I felt like this was when they came out with extra small condoms!

So what is it that has me all a hootin’ and a hollerin’? Well, I’m assuming you’re not a complete moron and that you’ve read the title already, and know what it is. For the less observant, it’s my new, super-fantastic Vibram Five Fingers barefoot shoes!!! Here they are in all their footy glory.

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Wait! Don’t go anywhere! Lemme splain! These shoes are, hands down, the best things I ever put on my feet! But enough hype… let’s get down to the meat and potatoes! Or should I say feet and my-ten-toes?!?! HA! I crack myself up.

I discovered Vibram Five Fingers while searching the Internet for shoes to wear when I do my yoga video. I’d find myself sliding all over the carpet if I tried to do it barefoot. I could get better traction with my running shoes, but they just felt too bulky for yoga. So, I did an image search for “yoga shoes” and there they were. Like many of you, I said, “What the fuck are those things?!?!”

A few clicks later, I ended up at the Vibram Five Fingers website where I learned about the potential benefits of barefoot living. They claim that being barefoot stimulates the muscles in your feet and lower legs, and will not only make you stronger and healthier, but also improve your balance, agility and proprioception. (I have no clue what that last word means, and I’m not even going to bother looking it up.) They also suggest that being barefoot helps align the spine and improve posture. I have lower back pain, and If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I have at least one distant relative who used to live in a bell tower, so they had my attention.

Vibram makes a few different Five Finger styles for all types of activities from Yoga to running to hiking. Aside from a very thin rubber sole to protect your feets from abrasions and road debris, they are as close as you can get to being barefoot. There’s no arch support, no cushioning, and no stabilizing ankle support. All the features you would expect to find in any athletic shoe are nowhere to be found. So how then can they possibly be comfy? How can you run long distances in them? And how do you not cut your feet on pointy or sharp things? I don’t know how, but they are, you can, and if you don’t walk on glass or nails, you don’t.

I didn’t purchase a pair right away. In my mind, I was still skeptical and saw them as more of a novelty than a viable option. At best, they’d be limited to yoga duty and would never see the light of day. With a price point between $80 and $100 bucks, I wasn’t in any hurry to snag a pair either. After a few more frustrating yoga sessions, however, I found myself back on the Internet trying to justify the purchase.

I read some independent reviews and almost all of them mentioned reduced joint and knee pain when running. This was a huge selling point since I have one bad knee, and one worse knee. It was also the additional motivation I needed to go try on a pair.

I headed over to my local REI and tried on the three models they had in stock starting with the cheapest. The first two, the Classic and the Sprint, did not really impress. The Classic, which has no straps, felt like they would fall off during any type of exercise, and the strap on the Sprint cut into my foot. Other than the uncomfortable strap, however, I really liked how the shoe felt. Then, I tried on the KSO’s and it was like my feet finally found their sole-mates. I wore them out of the store that day and haven’t taken them off since (other than to go to sleep and to wash them). Yes you have to wash them, because you don’t wear socks with them, and they can start to smell after a week or two of heavy exercise and all-day wear.

After a little over three weeks of use, I have greatly improved my yoga skills, and I can honestly say that my knees and back feel noticeably better during high impact exercise. I’m not going to pretend these shoes have healed me (praise Jesus), but when you live in pain all the time, any improvement is huge. I really believe they’re helping me build up the supporting muscles that surround my problem areas and alleviate the pressure in those places. But who knows… that can be complete bullshit and just the incremental improvements from my exercise program. All I know is physically, I feel better than I have in a really long time, and my new podiatric pals seem to be part of the reason.

I already bought a second pair.

Feel free to share your personal experience with a super spectacular life changing product.

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Manscaping Fail

I’ve never been an avid supporter of manscaping. Every now and then I’ll take the clippers to the ole sackaroo, but for the most part, I like to kick it old school. To me, there’s something kinda unmanly about it. If it were up to me, I would do away with this whole male primping and shaving and waxing and spiking and frosting and styling that seems to have taken hold of our country. I have a feeling, however, that unlike bell bottoms, hairy dudes aren’t going to be making a come back any time soon.

Anyway, have you ever seen those before and after photos of men who started exercise programs? Day 1 is always sad, pale, fat, hairy guy. Day 90 is happy, tan, shaved body guy. Always. No exceptions. But why do the guys always end up shaving their bodies? I’m going to tell you exactly how that happens.

Since October of last year, I’ve been exercising and eating healthy. So far I dropped nearly 50lbs and put on a little bit of muscle. Thank you, thank you! I know… I’m awesome. Needless to say, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in front of the mirror flexing, touching, prodding, pressing, and measuring (yeah even that too). This weekend, I started wondering what I really looked like under all this body hair. Are there pecs where my man-boobs used to rest? Can I possibly have an ab or two? For answers to these pressing questions I turned to my trusty Norelco Bodygroom and went to town on my chest, belly, arms and nether-regions. I was going to do my back as well, but by the time I was done with the front, I was too horrified to continue.

First of all, my body hasn’t seen the sun in literally 7 or 8 years. Maybe longer. My bare chest and belly are beyond pale. If I were somehow attempt to get some color in my skin, I would have to do it in some secluded place where I couldn’t blind other people. The only scenario where I could see myself getting a tan would be to do some shirtless work in someone’s back yard while they’re away on vacation. I would be open to a tanning booth if it didn’t give you nut cancer, and if I weren’t so vocal about how douchey it is for dudes to go tanning salons.

Ceiling MonsterThe second thing I realized when I was done grooming was the fact that my hair covered a network of ugly stretch marks across my midsection. I’m convinced that the hair acted as some sort of stabilizer or gave my belly more structure than it apparently has now. All of a sudden, I went from hairy guy with a little gut to someone who looks like they spent 10 weeks on the Biggest Loser Ranch with all the loose skin and a deformed belly button. When I bend at the waist, my stomach looks like one of those ceiling monsters from Half Life.

Shaving my arms was also the dumbest thing to do. It seemed like a good idea at the time because the hair on my wrists was covering my watch and it was hard to see what time it was. But after a day, I had 5 o’ clock shadow on my forearms and now it’s itchier than… than… I don’t know… something really itchy.

This wasn’t the first time I ever attempted a major manscaping project, but it was the first time I was surprised by what I uncovered. Like the first time I got my hair cut short after my hairline started receding: I just looked in the mirror and thought, “Holy crap! You’re old.”

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Video of the Week – “If You Think You Need Some Lovin” by Pomplamoose

Have you ever been in love with a couple; where you totally had a crush on the girl, but you wanted just as bad to be the guy? I think that’s how I feel about Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose. I tend to make sweeping generalizations regarding how certain experiences rank in my life, but this time, I can confidently say I have never enjoyed watching someone make music as much as I do watching these guys. I honestly don’t think I have the vocabulary to express how it moves me, so I’ll just post their latest VideoSong, and let you decide how it makes you feel.

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M-Audio Is My Favorite Company

They say that the sun shines on a dog’s ass every once in a while. I’m not exactly sure I know what that means, nor do I know who “they” are, but I’m pretty sure my ass just got exposed to some sunshine.

A few weeks ago I purchased a “gently used” M-Audio MobilePre Audio Interface off of eBay. It’s really not important to know what it is, but you can click on that link and check it out if you want. Feel free to buy it too… I’ll make some money if you do.

Anyway, I paid $75 dollars for it, and had to wait about 4 weeks for the jackhole to ship it to me. When it finally came in the mail, guess what? Exactly! It didn’t work. You’re very smart!

I emailed the seller and received the standard response: “It was working when I sent it to you. You probably forgot to plug it in, retard. Go F yourself.” (I’m paraphrasing).

So I went to M-Audio’s website to see if anyone else was experiencing the same issue. I thought perhaps I was forgetting one vital step to get it functioning properly. I found a post from someone who seemed to have the same problem, but there was no resolution. Feeling dejected, ripped off, and totally horse F’ed, I left a feeble comment at the end of the thread simply asking if anyone figured out a solution.

Well, within hours, a representative from M-Audio responded to my message letting me know he would send me a FedEx air bill in the mail so I could ship it back for a replacement. I told him I bought it used off of eBay, only paid $75 dollars for it, and I didn’t have the original receipt. He said not to worry about it, and two weeks later, I have a brand new, in the wrapper, M-Audio MobilePre!

That may have been the best non-face-to-face customer service experience I have ever had in my life. I have to specify non-face-to-face because I’ve been to a Mexican strip club, and they take customer service to a completely different level.

So, thank you Paul from M-Audio, and suck it Mr. Ebay Seller!

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Don’t Forget To Ask For It By Name

If you’re not familiar with lifehacker.com, I strongly recommend making it one of your daily blogs to follow. Essentially their articles follow the format: “Did you know you could use this to help you do that?”

“This” can range from a piece of computer software to a skateboard, duct tape, and a camera tripod. And “that” could be anything from organizing your appointments to making your own camera rig to photograph insects.

Anyway, today I found a post about how to handle a kitchen knife to reduce the chances of stabbing yourself or severing fingers. That post linked to the source article which went into more detail and also recommended a few kitchen knife brands. I did a double-take when I saw that one of the brands was called “F. Dick.”

Now, I’m sure if you’re knowledgeable about cutlery, you’ve heard of F. Dick before, but for the rest of us (well the rest of us with the mentality of a 12yr. old) it’s comedy gold!

I immediately Googled the brand to see how much their knives were. If they were reasonably priced, guess who was going to be the proud new owner of a genuine F. Dick knife?!?! Me, that’s who!!! What could possibly be more fun, or more juvenile than to show off my new F. Dick to all my friends?

Well, I’ll tell you what could be more fun, and more juvenile, and ridiculously more expensive…

Showing off my new 30lb F. Dick Manual Sausage Stuffer!!!

WHAT THE… WHO THE… WHAT THE HECK?!?!

Some things just make life worth living.

click to view larger image

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Ads for Ads

Well the Super Bowl is over, the New Orleans Saints won, the devastation from Katrina can finally be put behind us, and the best part is I won’t have to hear about Fantasy Football for at least 7 months. Once again, the world seems balanced.

I didn’t get to watch the game as I was being a good little worker bee and finishing up a freelance web design project. I’m pretty excited, because it’s my very first legitimate client that’s paying me with money, not food. So, pat pat on the back for yours truly.

When I was done being a responsible grown-up, I popped over to hulu to see if there were any new shows in my queue. It was empty, but they did have all the Super Bowl ads posted. Although as a general rule I hate advertising, like many other Americans, I look forward to watching the Super Bowl ads. It’s the one time during the year where advertisers deviate a little from the norm and show off their creativity.

This year’s submissions were nothing to write home about, although I did like the Google ad and the CareerBuilder Casual Friday ad. By far, the worst was a 13 minute short film called “Hotel Hell Vacation” with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, resurrecting their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold. They stay at a hotel, get a really small room, receive bad service, and then are charged lots of crazy fees when they check out. That’s about it. I’m not even sure exactly what it was supposed to be about, or if there was a sponsor somewhere in the film. All I know is it sucked huge sack.

What struck me as both strange and frustratingly annoying was the fact that the ads had ads. The page itself had the Coke logo on it, and before every other clip or so, I had to hear “The following clip is brought to you by Coca-Cola. Open happiness.” I was planning on making this post a giant rant about advertising, but I just don’t have it in me tonight. I’m just mad because if you’re going to voluntarily subject yourself to 61 commercials, it should be without commercial interruption. Except for the commercials. You know what I mean!

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Grocery Stores Don’t Care About Black People!

grocery

According to Zillow.com, the residents of my neighborhood consist of low income, high melanin content Americans as well as “foreign-language-speaking urbanites”; most with a middle school education or lower. Within a two mile radius, we have, what I would consider, an unusually high concentration of sex offenders. The street I live on is commonly known for its late-night prostitution activity. I have my own personal homeless Concierge who sleeps near my car at night, whom I’m inclined to “tip,” in fear that he’ll start pissing on my tires. On several occasions I’ve had to wait in my car for a drug deal to finish before I could get out and go to my apartment. The complex itself is flanked by a used tire yard on one side and a vacant lot on the other.

Hi my name is Eric, and I live in a shitty neighborhood. It’s not even charming shitty. It’s shitty shitty. But just because the neighborhood and its inhabitants leave little to be desired, does that mean all the grocery stores in the area have to be shitty too?

If you’ve ever stepped foot inside a mega grocery chain in North Scottsdale, and compared it to the same chain’s more “inner-city” locations, it’s easy to recognize a disparaging correlation between socioeconomic status and the quality of goods and services in each respective community. This glaring imbalance begs the question, is the neglect of grocery stores in low income neighborhoods a result of lower quality employees and managers, or do consumers in poorer communities just ruin everything no matter how nice you try to make it for them? I have a hard time believing it’s a direct reflection of the revenue generated by each location. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the profit margins are higher in the crappy stores because they sell inferior quality products at the same prices. All I know is all the fruits and vegetables at my local Sprouts are consistently bruised, rotten, damaged, and discolored while the produce at the one in Paradise Valley looks like it could be used for print advertising. It’s seriously night and day, and I think it’s unfair and racist! Granted, I have done zero research, and my conclusions are based only on the premise that poor, dark people are always getting fucked, but still… c’mon!

Do the grungy, low-life inhabitants of my tiny little patch of Phoenix not deserve fresh produce, properly stocked shelves, or dry goods that have yet to expire? Must we remain complacent when we know, good and God-damned well, that ALL the strawberries in the container, underneath the top layer, are moldy? Can a brother get a gallon of milk without dirty fingerprints all over the jug, and with a “sell by date” longer than two days? And how is it possible that EVERY carton of eggs has at least one broken one?

It’s clear that at a corporate level, grocery stores set aside the B-grade products for the poor people. Yet, they charge the same amount. This may sound cynical, but I might go as far as to guess that they actually transfer the unfit-for-purchase produce from the nicer stores to the crappy ones. Either way you look at it, in my mind, that’s discrimination! Why should my bell peppers be wrinkled and soft while others enjoy firm, unblemished ones? Why should I have to throw out 75% of my cilantro bunch because it’s all slimy and brown, while someone just 10 miles away gets to have lush green cilantro that snaps when you bend it? Why?!?! WHY?!?!? And another thing… what the hell is that weird smell in Food City?

In a way I feel satisfyingly self-righteous to finally be part of an oppressed group. Don’t get me wrong, I always think “The Man” is sticking it to me, but I rarely get a platform to express my indignation without seeming like a bitter, angry white guy. This time, however, I think my outrage can not only be justified but supported by my fellow neighborhood cretins. I believe grocery inequality has gone ignored for way too long, and I am going to do something about it! Starting now, I will boycott all grocery stores!!! I will start an Urban Agriculture Initiative and begin planting my own fruits and vegetables in the vacant lot next to the homeless guy! Together, we will use our own bodily waste to fertilize the crops (and maybe use a little to smear on my neighbor’s door knob for disturbing me at night with their loud domestic violence). I will then hire said homeless guy to run our own community Farmer’s Market, and after we put the local grocery chain stores out of business, we’ll move to the next city and show them how to start their own homeless poop gardens! From there, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York! And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House! Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaah!!!

Who’s with me?!?!?

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Living With a Ghost

It’s been a little over a week since I’ve been without my cat. I’d be lying if I said I’ve been coping well, but I imagine it’s all a part of the grieving process. I never realized how much impact my cat had on my life; not just emotionally, but physically as well.

I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t have a cat anymore because I still unconsciously move around my apartment as if there were an invisible cat weaving between my feet. When I wake up, I look to see where she’s curled up so I don’t kick her when I swing my feet out of bed. I leave the bathroom door open just a tad so she doesn’t start meowing while I’m in the shower. I open cans of beans very quietly so she can’t hear (I think it’s mean to make her think I’m opening up tuna.) Every time I open a cabinet door, I expect her to run inside. When I leave the apartment, I open the door barely wide enough for me to fit though so she doesn’t sneak out. I look expectantly for her behind the door when I come home. I make sure not to throw my jacket on the bed so she doesn’t cover it with hair. When I first sit down at my desk I lean to one side to give her room to jump up on the chair. When I go to bed, I get into my sleeping position quickly because I only have about 5 seconds before she jumps up on the bed to find her spot.

Now, those five seconds pass, and then there’s nothing. It’s an incredibly lonely feeling.

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Goodbye, Kitty. I Love You.

I put my Kitty to sleep today. She had a terminal kidney infection and was in a lot of pain. She spent the last half hour of her life purring in my arms.

My cat was my best friend. I love her and I will miss her.

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Video of the Week – Dancing Asian Man

This week’s video features a very energetic Asian man dancing. The original title of this video, as it is posted on YouTube, is “Sexy Fail – Fat Dancing Guy: WARNING: Very Disturbing”. But I don’t like that title. I’m pretty sure he’s not trying to be sexy, so FAIL on the usage of “fail”.

The other thing that bothers me is the perception that this guy is fat. He clearly doesn’t have 8% body fat, but he’s far from being blubber. In fact, he looks pretty solid and healthy to me. The kind of guy I’d like to rub sesame oil all over and… oh.. nevermind.

The point is, here’s a guy who is enjoying himself and  just being silly and for some reason he gets undeservedly branded as fat and unattractive. Mr. Dancing Asian Man, I support you, and I appreciate you for who you are.

So without further ado, I give you Happy Dancing Energetic Asian Man:

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Video of the Week – 2 Minute Meals With “Rachael Ray”

If you can’t get enough of Rachael Ray’s goofy faces, pointless anecdotes, and irritating olive oil abbreviations, then you’re gonna love this special condensed episode of 30 Minute Meals. “Rachael” shows you how to put a unique spin on a tasty classic to make a savory snack that’s sure to be a hit with the kids!

Enjoy!

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Video of the Week – “Prisencolinensinainciusol” by Adriano Celetano

Prisenwhat?

I’m sure I’m a few years late to the party, but I just stumbled upon this video of Italian entertainer, Adriano Celetano performing a song called “Prisencolinensinainciusol”. The words are complete gibberish and mean nothing, but are meant to sound like what English sounds like to non-English speakers.

The song itself is quite the head bopper and toe tapper. Enjoy!

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Video of the Week – George Carlin “Jammin’ in New York”

Sorry I missed a week posting the “Video of the Week,” but since no one really reads my blog, I’m not too broken up about it. This week I’m showcasing the late, great George Carlin in one of his best comedy performances of all time, “Jammin’ in New York.”

This HBO special aired in 1992, the year I graduated from High School, and believe me when I say, my freshman year of college, I watched this nearly 100 times. George knocks it out of the park with classic routines about the War in the Gulf, Universal Similarities, The Airlines, and The Environment. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Well looks like they took this video down. Sad face.

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Happy Hanukkah, Jewish People!

Tonight, at sundown, is the official start of the Hanukkah Season. Please join Hanukcat (pictured to the right) as we light the menorah, and take a look back at the origins of this very special time of year.

Hanukkah is an 8 day Jewish holiday celebrating the exorbitant amount of wealth Jewish people make off of the Christian shopping frenzy known as Christmas.

Jews created Christmas nearly 2000 years ago to commemorate the execution of Jesus Christ for impersonating the Messiah. The holiday was originally called “Christ-miss” because it was customary for Jews to sarcastically declare how much they were “really going to miss him.”

To retaliate, Christ’s followers claimed that the Jews never actually killed Jesus, and that Jesus got the last laugh by secretly resurrecting himself. In an additional display of blatant defiance, Christians created two holidays: Easter, to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, and Christmas, to celebrate his birth. They even kept the holiday’s name, but replaced “miss” with “mas,” which is the Caribbean word for carnival; or literally “Carnival for Christ”.

Stealing the Jewish holiday and converting it into two Christian holidays angered the Jews to no end, so the Jewish Holiday Commission voted unanimously to create a new holiday to compete with the growing Christian influence. They called this holiday, Hanukkah. Directly translated, Hanukkah means “Better than the Christians”. Hanukkah is 8 days long because 8 is more than 1, and it is a constant reminder that one Jewish holiday is better than two Christian holidays. Note: Although pro-christian scholars argue that there are actually 12 days of Christmas (making it, in fact, better than Hanukkah,) it is still officially recognized by the World Holiday Alliance as a one-day holiday.

It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that Jewish people stumbled upon the idea to commercialize Christmas for financial gain. At that time, Christmas was synonymous with selflessness, piety, and charity, however, Jews collectively rejected the notion of one day of good will to balance out 364 days of intolerance, violence, and incessant recruiting.

One Jewish shop owner, who was decidedly agitated by the Christians’ “holier than thou” attitude, convinced a man to sell his gold pocket watch in order to buy his wife a cheap hair brush. Not only did the shop owner turn around and resell the gold watch for 5 times more than he paid for it, later that day, he tricked the same man’s wife into cutting and selling her hair in order to buy a gold chain for her husband’s estranged watch.

Word of the Shopkeeper’s scheme spread throughout the Jewish community, and soon other business owners began to follow suit. Small firms called advertising agencies were established in order to promote consumption, excess, and the importance of buying expensive gifts in order to demonstrate and quantify how much one truly loved another. Thus was born, what we know today as, “the true meaning of Christmas”.

Today, Jewish people around the world still celebrate Hanukkah by hoarding the billions of dollars shoveled into their bank accounts each holiday season by willing, yet unknowing, Christians. Economists believe that by the year 2012 over 95% of the world’s assets will be controlled by Jewish interests as a direct result of superfluous Christmas spending.

During the Hanukkah festivities, Jewish adults give children gifts of chocolates which are fashioned to look like gold coins, as it is difficult for Jews to part with real money. Children use the chocolate coins as currency to play a traditional Jewish game in which players spin a four-sided wooden top called a dreidel. On each side of the dreidel are Hebrew symbols representing the current money lending rates based on the borrowers race or religion. Players take turns lending and collecting chocolate money at the designated rates until one player ends up with all the chocolate.

So ends the story of Hanukkah. I hope it was inspirational as well as informative and uplifting. I wish you all a happy and a healthy.

L’chaim!

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Video of the Week – “Gulf” by Jack Conte

Here’s another little ditty from our good friend Jack Conte (the masculine half of Pomplamoose). I dare anyone to find a better performance in green plaid pajamas. Rock on Mr. Conte!

By the way, if you’re looking for a unique gift for someone who likes new music, you can download all of Jack Conte’s music at www.JackConteMusic.com. You can also pick up all of Pomplamoose’s songs on itunes or at at www.myspace.com/pomplamoosemusic. There’s lots of free covers to download as well. Enjoy!

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Top 10 Things to Make a “Top 10 Things List” About to Get People to Visit Your Website

The best, worst, funniest, craziest, money saving, most helpful, meanest, ugliest, greatest, cheapest, most expensive, sure-fire, can’t miss, income generating, most influential, underrated, overpaid, top performing, secret, top 10 list to rule all top 10 lists, that top 10 list writers don’t want you to know about.

10. Top 10 things people like

  • Hottest luxury cars
  • Best actors
  • Ways to save money on…

9. Top 10 things people don’t like

  • Worst movies of all time
  • Meanest world leaders
  • Ugliest red carpet outfit

8. Top 10 things people will think is funny

  • Funniest Internet memes
  • Goofiest George W. Bush quotes
  • Most painful videos of people getting punched in the nuts

7. Top 10 things that will cause controversy

  • Most unbiased news sources
  • Reasons why we need universal health care
  • Reasons why abortion is wrong

6. Top 10 things that will make people feel nostalgic

  • Most awesome toys of all time
  • Greatest boy bands
  • Craziest fashions

5. Top 10 things only a 13 year old girl should care about

  • Funniest Miley Cyrus “Hanna Montana” bloopers
  • Favorite Twilight moments
  • Best Jonas Brothers song of all time

4. Top 10 things people should buy because you’ll make commission on your affiliate marketing business

3. Top 10 nerdy computer things

  • Best free web development applications
  • Must have Firefox add-ons
  • Coolest Adobe Flash tutorials

2. Top 10 “secret” things any moron would already know, but would make them think you have something new to offer on the subject

  • Resume secrets that will land you your dream job
  • Sure-fire Internet marketing strategies
  • Secrets to a successful relationship

1. Top 10 things to make a “top ten thing list” about to get people to visit your website

  • Please see numbers 10 through 1 above