Archive for April 2008

Beware the Soup Martyrs

April 30, 2008

Next time you’re in the lunch room, see if you can spot someone who does the following:

  1. They sit down to eat for 10 minutes.
  2. While they’re sitting, they only talk about work.
  3. The only thing they eat is a tiny bowl of soup (with an optional side-salad consisting of three leafs of lettuce).

Congratulations!  You’ve identified a Level I Soup Martyr.  

These keeners who deliberately forsake solid food so they can get back to work as soon as possible just BUG ME.  Oooh, aren’t they SO BUSY and SO INDISPENSABLE?  Don’t you wish you were more like them? 

Gee, maybe the rest of us lazy slobs should also gulp down our food, instead of selfishly eating tuna fish and (gasp)  using up the ENTIRE 45-minute lunch break.

But that’s only a Level I Soup Martyr.   At least these guys will make an appearance at lunch and pretend to socialize.  The Level II Soup Martyr, on the other hand, won’t even take the lousy 10-minute break.  They’ll bring their meal back to their office and catch up on work-related reading.

My God, that’s just SAD.  

While they’re at it, why dont’ they wear a hair shirt and start flagellating themselves in public? 

A Soup Martyr can be anyone, but (big surprise) they’re usually senior managers who are graduates of the Chip Implant Academy.   Poor souls, they’ve been “assimilated” into believing Uncle Big Brother is more important than basic bodily functions like eating.  (Sleeping is next to go, followed by family life.)

But at least the Level I and Level II martyrs are only affecting themselves.  They’re relatively harmless.   Who you REALLY have to watch out for are the Level III Soup Martyrs.  

These individuals have achieved the highest level of Meal Martyrdom.   They have attained a Zen-like state where they are able to fore-go the midday meal altogether, and can work on nothing but fumes and feelings of Action-Oriented Proactivitiy.  What makes Level III’s dangerous is they assume everyone else can (and shall ) be able to match their standards of workaholism.    

For example, I was once at a meeting that (I kid you not) went non-stop from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM.   There was no coffee served, no food brought in, and no pee breaks were called.  

Everyone just sat at around the table, afraid to leave, while Mr. Marquis de Sade soldiered on, covering each of the several hundred items on the agenda.  Meanwhile, people to my left and right were dropping like flies.  (I think one person ended up on the floor in a fetal position, sobbing).  

Worst.  Meeting.   Ever.  

Towards the end, I was so delirious from lack of hunger, that I had visions of getting on the table and throwing my feces around the room, just like an enraged, stressed-out Chimp would.    (AEEECK! AEEECK! AEEECK! )   

(Fortunately the meeting ended and it didnt’ have to come to that.) 

THAAAAANK YOU, Mr. Soup Martyr!    

Moral of the story is, if you ever feel you’re too busy to eat, and you want to cut your lunch break short, watch out!  You don’t ever want to become one of THEM.  

The good news, though, is there’s a simple cure.  Next time you feel like over-working, just order a Super-Deluxe Double Cardiac Burger with fries and gravy.   By the time you’re finished eating, you’ll be ready for a nap at your desk, and all feelings of Soup Martyrdom will have vanished. 

Motivational Posters: Part II

April 29, 2008

Donald Trump’s motivational poster:

 

Donald Ducks’ motivational poster:

 

Sister Mary Helen (Our Lady of Perpetual Guilt)’s motivational Poster:  

  

Ritalin Boy’s motivational poster:

 

 The crime-witness-being-interviewed-by-a-police-officer-on-Cops‘ motivational poster:

 

Yoko Ono’s motivational poster:

 

Meat-Eaters versus Plant-Eaters

April 29, 2008

 CARNIVORE is to Tai-Bo as HERBIVORE is to Tai-chi.

CARNIVORE is to Bugs Bunny as HERBIVORE is to Mickey Mouse.

CARNIVORE is to denim and flannel as HERBIVORE is to Gor-Tex and Lycra.

CARNIVORE is to Baby Stewie is HERBIVORE is to Caillou.

CARNIVORE is to a bass boat as HERBIVORE is to a sea kayak. 

CARNIVORE is to a large cuppa coffee as HERBIVORE is to a Venti Cafe Latte. 

CARNIVORE is to Two and a Half Men as HERBIVORE is to Friends.

CARNIVORE is to an F-18 Hornet as HERBIVORE is to the Goodyear Blimp.

CARNIVORE is to growing crops as HERBIVORE is to planting a flower garden.

CARNIVORE is to the NFL Superbowl as HERBIVORE is to World Cup Soccer.

CARNIVORE is to Wonder Bread as HERBIVORE is to Multigrain cracked wheat.

CARNIVORE is to Karate lessons as HERBIVORE is to Yoga class.

CARNIVORE is to a Chevy truck as HERBIVORE is to a Toyota Yaris.

CARNIVORE is to downhill skiing as  HERBIVORE is to cross-country.

CARNIVORE is to Survivor as HERBIVORE is to Dancing with Stars.

CARNIVORE is to “All-You-Can-Eat” as HERBIVORE is to Nouvelle Cuisine.

CARNIVORE is to a Rottie as HERBIVORE is to anything resemblnig a poodle.

CARNIVORE is to Dubya as HERBIVORE is to Ralph Nader.

CARNIVORE is to Stephen Harper as HERBIVORE is to Jack Layton.

CARNIVORE is to Ah-Nold movies as HERBIVORE is to Chick Flicks.

CARNIVORE is to Myth Busters as HERBIVORE is to Daily Planet.

CARNIVORE is to AM talk radio as HERBIVORE is to NPR.

CARNIVORE is to Dr. Laura as HERBIVORE is to Oprah.

CARNIVORE is to bench-pressing as HERBIVORE is to using a Thigh Master.

CARNIVORE is to ice cream as HERBIVORE is to frozen yogurt.

….Finally,

CARNIVORE is to a Viking as HERBIVORE is to a Middle Manager.

 

 

 

Watercolor #8. Flight over Wrangell St. Elias

April 26, 2008

This was from a photo I took out of an airplane, on a scenic flight I took over Alaska a few years back…

 

Small-Town Radio

April 26, 2008

 

In Splat Creek, you can pick up the radio station from Poutine-Ville, an hour away, in Quebec.  

You gotta love the home-made commercials.  Like when an English Monsieur Carreau gets into a dialogue with a French truck driver called Ti-Boc about the new restaurant on the highway.  For those of you unfamiliar with French-Canadian culture, Mr. Carreau is not too far off of “Mr. Square-head” which is a mild slur against the English.  Ti-Boc is the American equivalent of “Bubba Joe”.   

The two of them will chat simultaneously in both languages and it’s kinda confusing.  But whatever your background, I’m sorry, you haven’t lived till you’ve heard the Ti-Boc commercial. 

During the evenings, people phone in their requests on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The station sticks the songs onto a computer that runs all night.   

After 8:00 PM, you never know what you might get.  It could be something decent.  Maybe Zeppelin or The Eagles.  The next song might be “Chim-Chimeree” from Mary Poppins.  Or the theme song from the Brady Bunch.   (I shit you not!  They routinely play TV theme songs!)  Or you might end up with a recording of “Toothless Joe Tabernaque” playing his tappin’ spoons at the Upper Carcajou Fiddle Festival.  

Saturday, all day, is Bluegrass gospel music.  But not the cheerful fun kind like they play on Hee-Haw.  These tunes are the creepy kind that whine and drone on.  

It reminds me of Deepest Appalachia, where toothless idiot-savants duel with banjos, mate with their sisters, and the fat sheriff might give you 30 days on the “county farm” for  having a broken taillight.  If you’ve seen the movie O Brother Where Art Thou?  you can relate.

Let’s not forget the stellar cast of “professional” deejays.  (Did I forget to mention this is an “all volunteer” station?)  

On one of shows, Great-Grampa Gargamel hosts a “Psychedelic Rock and Roll” show.  This might sound cool, but it’s not.   Not unless you like to hear someone talk through their dentures about the Byrds or Bob Dylan.  I suspect Great-Grampa was already in his 90’s when the Beatles broke up.  

I love the lady on Sunday afternoons.  A ball of fire, that one is: 

“It’s…uhhhh…ten minutes after two…And…hhh…what was that last song?…(20 seconds of silence)…Banjo Zeke and his Hillbilly Orchestra…playing…uhhh…I seem to haveforgotten…(where is it?)…uhhhhh…No, wait…here it is…”Nearest to thee, Lord Take my Shotgun or I’ll blow your Head Off”

“…The weather forecast for Poutine-Ville…(10 seconds of silence)…I’m looking out the window…its sunnny…uhhh…uhhhhhh…..the thermometer says 26 degrees…that’s warm, I think…Let’s play…uhhhhhhhh…another record.”

I”ve saved the best to last: Radio Bingo.  

Ho-Lee Shit.  As if Bingo wasn’t boring enough to see in person, imagine hearing on the radio, and BILINGUAL.  With the microphone right next to the Bingo machine, so you can hear the noise when the balls turn:

“(Rumble rumble rumble)… BEE….EIGHT…..BAY….HWITTE…(rumble rumble rumble)…..GEE…TWENTY FOUR….JAY VAINT KAT….(rumble rumble rumble)…OH SIXTY SEVEN…OH…SWASSANTE DEESE SET……(rumble rumble rumble)…”

Do you get the idea…?

I was listening to this once, driving my car.  And, not unlike watching a car crash, I had this morbid curiosity and for the love of me, I could NOT turn off the station. 

“(rumble rumble rumble) ….EYE FIFTEEN….”

Finally, after several minutes, I snapped out of it and turned the radio off.  

Twenty minutes later, I thought surely, the Bingo was done now…For God’s sake, nobody with a good conscience would put anything that heinous on the radio, for THAT long. Mabye the music computer is has started again..maybe they’re playing Def Leppard or Wayne Newton right now. 

So I risked it and turned the radio on again:

“…(rumble rumble rumble)….ENN TIRTEE TWO……ENN TRAWNTE DEU………(rumble rumble rumble)…”.

ARRRGH!   They were STILL at it!!!   

And God knows for how long, because I shut the radio off (after resisting the urge to drive into the oncoming headlights).

You know, there are certain things that should just NOT be allowed on the air!  

Where is the CRTC when you need it?

 

 

Motivational Posters for Dummies

April 25, 2008

I never understood the appeal of those motivational posters that people pay big bucks for.  Do these pictures actually inspire anyone?  Or do the office-keeners just hang them on their cubicle wall, because that’s what they’re expected to do, to demonstrate “leadership” and to impress others?

Because frankly, I think these posters are bullshit.  In my opinion, almost idiot can make up a motivational poster, and I’ll prove it right now. 

Pick any photo you like, put it on Abode Photoshop, and add some touchy-feely words in italics.  

That’s it.  That’s the secret. 

For example, here’s a vacation snapshot I took of the Oregon coast, to which I’ve added some words which I made up on the spur of the moment:

 

Ooooh…now isn’t that DEEP?    If you were my boss and I put this up on my wall, wouldn’t you think I was a pro-active motivated team player? 

Now remember, people, I’ve been making these up on the spot.  There was little or no thought put into this.  

Let’s try another.  Something a bit more inspirational, for the spiritually-minded:

 

You know, I surprise even myself that I’ve been able to come up with these so quickly. (In fact, it’s taking longer to enter everything onto my Blog than it was to Photo-shop these pictures).

Wheeee!  I’m having fun.  This is too easy!   Let’s try another:

 

 Sniff, sniff.  (Okay, I know there is a grammar mistake, but I’m still getting all choked up.)   Oprah herself would be reduced to tears.

Notice how I’ve been using the same photo.    That’s what’s great about motivational posters.   The relationship between the pictures and the words is totally irrelevant.  Anything works.   See?….

 

Now tell me that isnt’ just as good as something you’d order from expensive office supply store.  (Geez, I should be a consultant, and get paid big bucks for this!)

I can also have a bit of fun and make a smart-ass poster like they do in Despair Inc. (which is actually a hilarious site worth checking out). 

Heh heh heh.  Personally, I like this last one the best.   At least it’s honest.

 

Lookit what I can do….

April 24, 2008

I’m constantly hearing about everyone else’s fantastic accomplishments.

“….I’m building a guest house for my cottage….I ran 24 kilometers today with a split time of 1 hour and 25.2376 minutes…My 4 month ski holiday in BC was fanatsitc…I just bought a new bike…We’re taking the kids to Disneyland this year…”    Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Well, I watched 4.5 hours of TV last night.

I bought two shirts on sale for $29.99.

I’ve been to Clontarf, Ontario.

And yesterday I had a really good dump.

 Yep.   I’m UNDERACHIEVING…and Proud of It!