Friday, September 12, 2008

I Can See The Future

  1. McCain wins the election in November
  2. Due to age-related health issues, McCain does not run for re-election in 2012.
  3. Sarah Palin, now with 4 years experience as VP under her belt, wins the Republican nomination.
  4. Hilary Clinton comes back yet again, winning the Democrat nomination.
That's right. Palin vs. Clinton in 2012. I'm calling it now.
Categories: Politics

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

[insert political rant here?]

So it would seem that my side took some pretty heavy damage last night. I guess this is the part where I'm supposed to loudly whine and complain, disparage huge swaths of the nation in a foul-mouthed tirade, and/or accuse the other side of cheating.

I think instead I'll just say that I hope that this defeat brings about real change where it is sorely needed. Let's get back to fiscal responsibility and a smaller government that gets out of the people's way.
Categories: Politics
Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Office Supply Fairy

I got a visit from the office supply fairy last night. When I left work yesterday, my desk was clear and tidy, and when I came in this morning, there was a bag of office supplies laying neatly upon my desk calendar. Here's an inventory of what the office supply fairy brought me:
  • blue clickly ball-point pen
    by "liquid" I mean those ones where you can see the liquid ink sloshing around inside
  • blue liquid fine-tip ball-point pen
  • red liquid fine-tip ball-point pen
  • green liquid fine-tip ball-point pen
  • purple liquid fine-tip ball-point pen
  • yellow liquid highlighter
  • orange liquid highlighter
  • mini screwdriver
  • pad of graph paper
Every one of these fine items is branded with the company logo. I don't really know why I need company-branded green and purple ink pens, and frankly, a mini screwdriver doesn't really seem to "fit in" with this particular supply bundle, but who am I to question the benevolence of the office supply fairy? He or she obviously knows what's best for the office. I mean, it's his or her job, right?

Now if only the winning lottery ticket fairy would find my desk...
Categories: Personal
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Something that will really fit your life and lifestyle...

Here are three quotes from a radio commercial that I have heard again and again over the last six months or so:
"In this fast-paced world, it's easy to lose sight of what's really important ... your life."

"I invite you to join us ... for something that will really fit your life and lifestyle."

"Be inspired to do something good for yourself!"
Do you think you can guess what product or service is being advertised here? How about I give you three choices:
  1. a spa & massage therapy center
  2. a hip new housing development
  3. a church
If you guessed A, congratulations, you stink at guessing! However, if you guessed B, you still stink at guessing! The correct answer is C, a church. Because, you know, Jesus isn't interested in challenging you or helping you grow—he's all about fitting your life and lifestyle.

Excuse me while I go weep softly into my Life cereal.
Categories: Culture, Religion
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

C is for Cookie (and Capitalism)

Zoips! Has it really been a week already since I last posted? I guess time flies when you're battling 17-foot-tall cyborg armadillos for great justice. It's not that I don't have good post ideas, really. It's just that duty calls, and all that jazz.

So anyway, where was I? Oh right, cookies. I like making cookies, and incidentally, other people like eating the cookies that I make. Probably a good idea would be to start a business where I make cookies, and then people pay me so they can eat them. That would be pretty sweet, don't you think (pun totally intended)? I could spend all day baking cookies, probably even eating one now and then, and then people would just hand over their hard-earned money!

Of course, I would have to figure out a place to sell the cookies. I could sell them over the internet, but it would be a little hard to give out enticing free samples that way. Plus, who wants to pay for shipping? Yuck. So I guess the internet is out. I could get one of those stands in the mall... that would be cool. The smell of fresh-baked cookies would be irresistible. But then where would I bake the cookies? I don't think the mall-stands have ovens. Hmm. I guess I could rent out a little shop in some quaint downtown. I would hire a cute little girl to stand out front with the free samples. She would totally give the puppy-dog eyes to everyone that walked by, and they would have no choice but to come inside and buy some cookies (unless they were some kind of black-hearted monster... with beady yellow eyes and unkempt hair). Dangit though, I bet renting a little shop in a quaint downtown is expensive. Probably all my cookie sales through 2 in the afternoon would be sucked up by rent. Then of course there's the little girl's salary, and the electric bill, and the dancing iguanas—those aren't cheap.

Selling cookies is hard.
Categories: Capitalism
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Workplace Dilemma

So I've got this dilemma at work. There's a big plastic tub in the lunchroom refrigerator, full of cherries. It doesn't have a lid (which would indicate that they're private cherries), but it also doesn't have a sign (which would indicate that they're public cherries). So the way I see it, I have three options:
  • Eat the cherries. All of them. In one sitting.
  • Don't eat the cherries. In fact, just to be safe, spray them down with two or three cans of Raid to make sure that no one eats them.
  • Hide the cherries in the ceiling.
If people would just clearly mark their cherries, I wouldn't run into this kind of problem.
Categories: Personal
Monday, July 17, 2006

Grammar-tastic Radio Sales Pitches

On my way home from work a few days ago, I heard a pair of radio advertisements with the following quotes:
"If you're concerned about your health, reduced x-ray exposure, and the use of biocompatible materials is a service we provide."
Huh? If I am concerned about three things: my health, reduced x-ray exposure, and the use of biocompatible materials... what is the service they provide? They say "is a service we provide," so they're only talking about one service. If the service they provide is the use of biocompatible materials, how does that address my concerns about reduced x-ray exposure? And why the comma between "your health" and "reduced x-ray exposure"? I'm so confused.

Here's the second gem:
"It's like having a personal masseuse for every member of your family and lifestyle."
SayWA? I was with them up until "and lifestyle." I didn't know that my lifestyle has members, and I certainly wasn't aware that those members of my lifestyle were in need of a masseuse. I know I didn't mis-hear the ad, because it has played two or three times. I swear that's the actual quote.

Is it just me, or are both of those sentences almost completely incomprehensible? When you're advertising the benefits of your product or service, don't you want prospective customers to actually have some clue what those benefits are? I'm completely at a loss to explain what point these advertisements were trying to get across. All I heard was "we failed second-grade English."
Categories: Capitalism
Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cow vs. Stu

Want to hear an amusing story? Of course you don't, but that's too bad, because I'm going to tell one anyway. As you obviously are well aware, Skor's inspiration for posting in this blog has been rather... lacking as of late. What brought on this drought is a deep mystery lost to the ages (and the circles and the ages and the ages). But the fact that Skor hasn't been posting on the blog isn't an amusing story. It's not even a mildly interesting story. It's just boring.

The following tale may not be amusing either, but hopefully it at least won't put you to sleep. In the last few days, a series of events has transpired that has revived the creative spirit within Skor. Ironically, the individual that instigated the series of events apparently intended to silence Skor, when in fact his actions have resulted in the exact opposite result. The thing is, when assaulted by angry jerk-faces wielding an extremely limited vocabulary, Skor's reaction is one of amused vengeance, rather than cowering submission.

this cow is angryPerhaps the details of this story are a bit too vague to be amusing. Allow me to elaborate by way of analogy. Imagine a cow named Nebuchadnezzar, that writes a column for the local newsletter. Nebuchadnezzar the newsletter-writing cow. One day Nebuchadnezzar writes a column that upsets someone. Much, much, later, a friend of the upset person (we'll call the friend Stu) shows up at Nebuchadnezzar's door with a flaming torch and a pitchfork. When Nebuchadnezzar opens the door, Stu spits in his face and dances on his pet hedgehog's grave. Nebuchadnezzar tries to reason with Stu, but unfortunately Stu does not have the mental capacity for reason. He just starts reciting the Gettysburg Address and then sets fire to Nebuchadnezzar's lawn (which is also his food supply—he is a cow, after all). Fed up with the juvenile antics of Stu, Nebuchadnezzar decides to take matters into his own hooves. He squirts vinegar in Stu's eyes, and stomps on his toes. Stu shrieks like a little girl, and runs (limps) away crying.

What Skor has been through in the past week is basically like that, except with a higher concentration of fresh raspberries. Now you can understand Skor's new-found inspiration for making posts again.

Blarg.
image sourceCategories: Personal
Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Modern Superstitions

Being an enlightened citizen of our present era, you most likely place no stock in silly superstitions such as concerns about black cats or Friday the 13th. With the aid of science, modern society has put such ridiculous notions to rest once and for all... or have we?

Although now may not be the best time to buy stock in rabbits' feet, there are definitely some aspects of our lives in which superstition still reigns supreme. The best example of this can be found in travel by air. Consider the airport security checkpoint. Items not allowed through (find the complete list here):
  • scissors
  • pool cues
  • screwdrivers
  • wrenches
Let's also not forget that ever since some idiot failed to blow up a plane with his shoe, they've been x-raying and swabbing millions of sneakers every day. Now here's a list of some things that are allowed through the security checkpoint:
  • glass bottles or vases
  • sharpened pencils
  • fishing line
  • aluminum cans
What explanation can be offered other than superstition to explain why benign objects such as wrenches, pool cues, and screwdrivers are forbidden, but items that can much more readily be used as weapons are waved on through? Any rational person should be equally concerned about a glass vase that can be shattered and turned into a dozen sharp blades or a pencil that could easily be stabbed through one's neck, or a fishing line used to choke someone as they are about box cutters and knives. Of course, the only truly safe policy for air travel would be the 100% consistent policy I laid out way back in 2004.

The superstition doesn't end once you get on the plane, either. Once you've boarded you get to sit through the usual routine about the safety features of the aircraft, yadda yadda... "Your seat cushion can be used as a flotation device..." Wait a minute. Quick, when was the last time a plane crashed into the water and people survived thanks to their floating seat cushion? Has there ever been such an occurrence?

On a recent flight I was on they asked people to take off their headphones "so you can hear the flight attendants" while they go through the safety spiel. Okay, that's a fair reason, but I've got a pair of those "noise reduction" headphones that cut out the background hum of the airplane (while still allowing you to hear most everything else), so I decided it would be okay to wear them anyway as long as I didn't plug them into anything. Well, shortly after they got through with their talk, the flight attendant doing the pre-flight walk-through of the cabin informed me that I had to take off my headphones. Fully prepared for this, I showed her the unplugged cord that I was holding in my hand as evidence that my hearing was not being impaired (not that it mattered anyway since they were done with their safety announcements). "It doesn't matter," she informed me, "you can't have on headphones, or have anything in your ears during take-off." Oooo-kay, sure. I took off the headphones, assuring the flight attendant that "I wouldn't want the plane to crash because of my ears."

Lastly, can anyone out there explain to me how exactly a "portable electronic device" is more likely to jeopardize the safety of the aircraft (or those within it) than say... a book? I'm not talking about devices that may "send or receive wireless signals," although the absolute ban on those doesn't exactly seem rational either—are they saying that the sophisticated redundant instruments in their multi-million dollar aircraft are likely to fail if someone turns on a radio? No, I'm talking about "approved portable electronic devices." You know, iPods, Nintendo DSes, notebook computers, that sort of thing. Would turning on one of these devices really somehow put the take-off and landing procedure in terrible peril? Is there something about physically ascending and descending that makes the aircraft's systems magically susceptible to failure due to even one rogue electron? Furthermore, are the people that make these rules aware that the vast majority of modern electronic devices are never really completely powered down? For iPods, Nintendo DSes, and notebook computers, "off" is really "sleep", since there is still some sort of electronic activity going on to keep track of (at a minimum) what time it is. It's a wonder that there aren't planes crashing during take-off or landing every single day.

Maybe some day we will be a society that is truly free of superstition, but let me assure you, today is not that day.


Categories: Culture, Sci/Tech
Monday, June 05, 2006

Quality Over Quantity

Here at Skor Studios we value quality over quantity. Skor is not the type of blogger to make a post every single day just for the sake of making a post. Skor only posts when he has something to say.

The only trouble is, Skor hasn't produced quality or quantity two full weeks now. Rest assured, Skor will return... some day.
Categories: Personal
Monday, May 22, 2006

Workplace Conversation

Setting: Late afternoon impromptu meeting between Boss and Employee.

Boss: Employee, we need to talk about your Internet habits.
Employee: Okay, what's up?
B: I've noticed that you've been checking your personal email a lot lately.
E: I do check my personal email online occasionally, yes...
B: It's more than occasionally, it's almost every time I look over your shoulder, which I do quite often.
E: Hmm, okay... well am I not completing my assigned tasks in an acceptable time?
B: That's not a problem. In fact I'm quite pleased with your work.
E: Then what's the problem with checking my email once in a while?
B: It gives the appearance that you're not doing work.
E: But we just established that I am doing work. Good work, even. Other than lunch, I don't take structured breaks (as I am legally allowed), so instead I spend a few seconds here and there checking my email.
B: I don't take breaks, either. In fact, I regularly work longer hours than I'm required to, and I eat my lunch in five minutes flat. Why do you have to check your personal email, anyway? I frequently go days without checking mine.
E: Well, I don't have to any more than our other coworkers have to spend time discussing what they did last weekend or their children's latest antics, I just like to. How about this, what if I set aside a few regularly-scheduled breaks—say five minutes a piece—would that work?
B: You know, when I come in to work, I think of nothing other than work all day long. Not once do my thoughts stray from performing my job, from the time I walk in the door to the time I get in my car.
E: Okay... see the thing is... I'm not a robot. I occasionally need a human diversion.
B: ERROR. DOES NOT COMPUTE.
Categories: Personal, Culture
Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Thrilled!

The following is a direct, unmolested quote from an email that was sent to me at work regarding an upcoming training session:
In this 3-day, highly interactive class, you'll learn product features and benefits, product applications, how to demo equipment to your customers and competitive comparisons - taught in an easy-to-learn, small group environment. The learning experience is enhanced through daily hands-on operational time with the equipment you're proud to sell and we're thrilled to build.
They are so right! Whenever I walk around the factory floor, the excitement of the laborers just oozes out! It's nothing but smiles, laughter, happiness, rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns at our company! We are thrilled to be building our equipment!
Categories: Personal
Monday, May 15, 2006

RIPPED From the Headlines!

In the spirit of sweeps month, the following poll has been RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES!

What are you most afraid of?
Categories: News, Culture
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Accidental Advertising

Here's an example of a really good advertising campaign:
"Accidents happen," say new waiting-room posters headed for the 49,000 members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The posters are part of a campaign urging doctors to explain the morning-after pill to every woman of reproductive age they examine, and offer a prescription to those eligible.
"Whoops! I accidentally had sex last night!"

I hate when that happens.

Source: Seattle Times
Categories: News, Culture
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Liveblogging: Nintendo E3 Press Conference!

Regardless of how "used to it" we may all be by now, Wii is still a pretty stupid name, but as I said, I'm still almost certainly going to buy one, so as you may guess, I'm pretty interested in what Nintendo has to say today. Today is their big press conference at the Electronics Entertainment Exposition in Los Angeles. In fact, it starts just 20 minutes from now as I write these words.

I know full well that anyone else who is really interested in what's going on down there today is either watching the live internet broadcast themselves or getting their news from more reputable sources. However, those same reasons didn't stop me from liveblogging the shuttle liftoff, so why should they stop me now? Also, I may be at work, and headphones may be against the rules, but when have I let little things like corporate policy get in the way of a good blog post? Never, that's when. So, here we go.

All times in Pacific Time Zone
9:10 AM - Getting the live broadcast set up now. Scooting my PC closer to me so my secret headphone cord can reach.
9:15 AM - Better go use the bathroom. I expect this to be some pretty exciting news, and I wouldn't want to... um... wii my pants or anything. Childish I know, but I just couldn't resist.
9:20 AM - Ow! My headphones just zapped me in the ear!
9:27 AM - They're playing some kind of BT remix on the live broadcast while we wait for the actual event to begin. It's pretty cool actually.
9:29 AM - Any minute now it's going to start! Heck yeah!
9:33 AM - Still waiting...
9:38 AM - Oh yeah, here we go. Sweet. Starting off with Miyamoto standing on the stage conducting an imaginary orchestra (on the screen behind him) with the Wii controller.
9:39 AM - Now he's playing some kind of racing game, now a fighting game with swords and stuff. He's dressed in a suit, not exactly my idea of ideal game-playing attire.
9:40 AM - Reggie: "What you'll see from Nintendo is not just next, instead it's what's absolutely new... Playing is no longer just about looks, it's about the feel... it's about everyone... Most of all the next leap is not just about what you see, because what you see is not always what you get. The next leap is about playing, because playing is believing."
9:42 AM - Video of various people playing Wii games, interspersed with the playful i's from the Wii name.
9:43 AM - Holy crap! There's going to be a Mario game on this thing! Who knew?
9:44 AM - ...and wait a minute... that's Metroid and WarioWare! Shocking!
9:47 AM - Video's over, back to Reggie...
9:47 AM - "Today, you will see, and tomorrow, you'll start to feel... We have answers to some questions, but deliberately not to all."
9:49 AM - So he's going to tell us how much it will cost and when we'll get it, and he also says he's going to explain what kind of drugs they were on when they chose that name. (My money's on the magic mushrooms.)
9:51 AM - Date and price: "We believe it's in our best interests to keep the details private for just a little while longer." Curses! You bum!
9:52 AM - "We want to thank everyone who wrote good things [about the name] on the first day you heard of it... Both of you."
9:53 AM - Another video, Metroid Prime 3... DragonBall Z...Disaster, Day of Crisis...SpongeBob...Super Mario Galaxy (which looks freakin sweet, btw)...Red Steel...Rayman4 (hey there's that kid with the ridiculous hair!)...Sonic...Madden...Final Fantasy...
9:56 AM - Talking about Zelda... "best Zelda, most beautiful" available on launch day.
9:57 AM - Two guys going to demo how to play Zelda on the Wii.
9:58 AM - Wii version of Twilight Princess has a fairy. A fairy!
9:59 AM - Built into the Wii remote is a speaker (sorry guys, read that two days ago, not surprised), provides "depth of sound." Controller has built-in rumble, too.
10:00 AM - Dude playing the game is getting wasted by baddies shooting arrows, other guy: "Nate, you're the only person in America who's played this game, and you still can't take this guy out?"
10:03 AM - Reggie again, man he comes across as really serious, almost angry. Lighten up Reggie, we're talking about video games here! VIDEO GAMES!
10:04 AM - Talking about Metroid Prime 3: Corruption... "the most intuitive first person shooter, ever.
10:05 AM - Super Mario Galaxy, sweet new moves...
10:06 AM - New franchises... Excite Truck, offroad racing game... Project H.A.M.M.E.R.... Disaster, Day of Crisis...
10: AM - Third party games: Sonic, Final Fantasy, Madden, Tony Hawk, Rayman...
10:08 AM - 27 different Wii games playable at E3. Twenty-seven!
10:09 AM - Couple of Frenchies demonstrating Red Steel. They are "Wiily wery excited to be here today."
10:12 AM - Aside from the fact that I'm really not that excited about this Red Steel game, I can barely understand this French guy. I think he's speaking English, but I just can't be sure. This webcast should have captions or something.
10:14 AM - Killing henchmen, now the boss is submitting to you. Oh, we just killed him. Too bad.
10:16 AM - Reggie: Time to talk about the Nintendo DS.
10:17 AM - Soft-talking George is laying the smack down on the PSP. "It's a matter of games." "Only the DS delivered." DS has sold more than 16 million units, PSP has sold millions less—millions less. Boom! Take that, Sony!
10:19 AM - Fancy new logo for a series of games called "Touch Generations." DS Lite comes to the US soon... New Mario comes soon...
10:21 AM - I'm excited about the DS and all, but George isn't telling me anything that I don't already know... 100 new DS games before the end of the year, etc., etc...
10:22 AM - Now playing: DS promo video. Lots of happy pretty people playing DS Lites... Yoshi's Island 2, that looks cool.
10:23 AM - Way more shots in this video of people playing the DS than of the DS games themselves...
10:24 AM - Satoru Iwata, Nintendo President: We want to expand the number of people that play games.
10:26 AM - He's giving a brief history of the DS. I'm a gaming freak, Mr. Iwata, I already know the history of the DS.
10:27 AM - Come on... I know you've got something else up your sleeve man, you're killing me here! Out with it!
10:28 AM - Lamenting the long delay between powering on the console and the game play actually beginning... I'm lamenting the long delay between the beginning of this conference and the real meat!
10:29 AM - Wii will boot up super fast, just a few seconds.
10:30 AM - The Wii will do stuff when it's "off." "Wii will become the system that never sleeps." "WiiConnect24" Uses the same power as a miniature light bulb... Constantly connected to the net so you can get game add-ons while you sleep.
10:31 AM - WiiConnect24 lets people visit your Animal Crossing town when you're not around. Now that's what I'm talking about. Here comes Skor the AC vandal!
10:33 AM - WiiSports: Available on launch day. Basically cheesy cartoon characters playing tennis.
10:34 AM - Back to serious Reggie: "3,000 watching in the audience, a lot more online."
10:35 AM - Miyamoto comes on stage to announce the winner of the sweepstakes to be the first to play the Wii up on stage. But first he's explaining how to use the Wii controller.
10:37 AM - The winner is... Scott Dier! Iwata comes out to play tennis vs. the winner. Two on two match, Miyamoto & the winner vs Iwata & Reggie. Miyamoto & Dier win easily. Time for a rematch, cause Nintendo executives are poor losers, apparently.
10:40 AM - Miyamoto & Dier win again.
10:41 AM - Reggie one more time... "What's hot is the feel of the game, the look is secondary."
10:42 AM - Man, he still looks really angry! And he's closing it up... Last word: "Playing is believing."
10:43 AM - So that's it, the feed is now dead. Conveniently my boss has been missing in action this entire time.

Final thoughts: Surprisingly there wasn't anything really shocking revealed today. Just a strong emphasis on actually playing the Wii. Well duh guys, I already know I want to play it! They won't even tell us when it is coming and for how much! I don't really know anything that I didn't know before the conference. I basically just spent an hour being reminded of the fact that I'm stuck at work in Seattle while the sweet sweet video games are all down in LA. Argh!

Perhaps if I start an internet chant, Nintendo will let me have a Wii. So here we go, We want Wii! We want Wii! We want Wii! We want Wii! We want Wii!
Categories: Sci/Tech