Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Lately I've seen a couple of TV commercials that actually impressed me with their sheer audacity and entertainment value. No, I'm not talking about that mayonaisse commercial where an obnoxious group of young pretties spasms around at a rooftop party while the announcer tries to sell you on the idea that eating that brand of mayo makes you the most daring thing since the flapper. (They're eating MAYO? ...on a SANDWICH???? why they're so radical and "in my face"! I'll abandon everything I thought I knew and start a cult in their honor)

On commercial that made an impression with me was for....wait for it...an "egg cracker"! Have you seen this? The first time I saw it I was waiting for the evidence that it was some kind of joke, but it never came. Apparently someone came up with the ultimate kitchen gadget, a device that will crack eggs "perfectly" every time. The announcer starts by reminding us of the shame we felt over the poorly cracked eggs in our past, and asks if we are "tired" of finding egg shells in our omlettes (as a woman spits them out disgustedly to prove the point) or of having to wipe up those egg spills on the stove (ain't THAT the truth). Well, with Mr. Lickedy-Split (or whatever it was called), you no longer have to live in fear of hen fruit. The offer also came with (and I'm not lying about any of this) a device to scramble your eggs while they are still INSIDE THE SHELL!!! Land o' Lakes, what a device! It looked like a little pen you jam into the bottom of the egg to swirl up the contents before using the egg craker to dispense them sanitarily into your fry pan. And you can get BOTH of these for....wait for it...."TWO EASY PAYMENTS OF TEN DOLLARS"!!!! Now realitically, the only people who would have THAT much problem with eggs either lack opposable thumbs or have tried to have their dog crack their eggs for them. For the sheet stones it takes to sell such a product, though, I LOVED THAT COMMERCIAL!

The other was for Old Spice body wash. It started with a young male model type wearing a towel and a smile as he speaks to you from a sauna. He asks the ladies watching "look at me....now look at your husband....now look at ME again.." We quickly see he is Mr. Smug humorously personified, as he tells the ladies that, while hubby may never match his uber-glam male beauty, they can SMELL like him with the Old Spice Body Wash. This commercial was REALLY well filmed, as Mr. Smug walks from the sauna onto the deck of a ship, frequently calling up examples of things that drive the women-folk mad (e.g. "two tickets to that thing you want to see") and the similar effect the body wash will have with the poor shmoe husbands out there. The point made and pitch finished, Mr. Smug ends by pointing out "I'm on a horse". After seeing this commercial for the first time I had to pause for a couple of seconds deciding if I liked it or not. As it turned out...I LOVED THAT COMMERCIAL!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hint Hint-Really Great Links!

Since I've had all this extra spare time, I've been able to follow up on some projects I've been working on. One of them involves the creation of what I think is a pretty cool game I'm going to formally announce in the next little while. In working on that and other projects I have found some very useful sites where you can download AT NO COST, and apparently virus-free, software that works REALLY WELL! Here's what I found:

Working in Microsoft Wordpad and need to send a document in Word? Look up "Open Office". You can download an office suite where EVERYTHING is compatible with EVERYTHING. They have a Powerpoint-style slideshow creator, an excel-type spreadsheet and other great applications. Best of all, if you have a "Works" document and you need to send it in "Word" format, it will save your document in a Word compatible file.Now why couldn't Microsoft figure out how to do that??

Need to manipulate images? Take a look at "Irfanview". You can create photo-slideshows, add special effects, and for my purposes, resize regular 72 DPI images 9or any size for that mater) as publishable 300 DPI images, the kinds that printers always ask for! I've only used this today, but it seems to be a very easy and capable program!

Looking to kill some time? wht not visit the Museum of Unnatural Mystery? It' at www.unmuseum.org. Lot's of weird things to look at and discover, and unlike the supermarket tabloids you scan while waiting in the "express" line (is it mandatory for people who use this line not to bathe?) you end up feeling kind of smarter, in a Rod Serling sort of way.

Looking for a job? Go to www.indeed.ca. It's kind of a meta-job-search-engine that displays pretty much ALL posted jobs from multiple sites. Of course, you can personalize the search to your own parameters.

Www.madsci.org. Another cool timewaster, has a great recipe for making home-made slime among other cool experiments. Surprise your friends at work, or plan for that extra-special stocking-stuffer. The way science SHOULD be. Mad.

SO....if you have a lot of time on your hands you can EASILY fill it with creative and nutty exercises from there great sites-check 'em out!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nerd Thoughts-on being a Nerd

I found out I was a "nerd" several years ago. A friend from high school (who has since married one of my nerd friends) admitted that she always considered my little group a bunch of "nerds". Now of course, we were shocked and awed by this. Being nerds, one never actually thinks they are a nerd. Why we were on the yearbook committee! Sold oranges to support the band! Avoided athletics! And most of all, quoted Star Trek and Monty Python endlessly and accurately. (Yeah, I know, it sounds like a cheap old stereotype, but stereotypes exist because they include a great deal of truth. Don't believe me? Go visit your employer's IT department on some pretext. I guarantee you'll see little plastic R2D2's and 6-packs of pudding cups everywhere).

What makes a Nerd? Well, if you've ever wondered if Vulcans can knock themselves out with their own nerve pinch, AND considered it a pretty cool skill to have, you're probably a bit nerdish.

You may hear the word "nerd" spoken where it clearly wasn't. AGF and I were watching an old rerun of The Rockford Files (Jim Rockford being definitely not a nerd) when there was a scene with Jim (I'm sure I can call him that, we're old buds) talking to a client who was taken to the hospital. The man groaned and when Jim asked him what happened I was SURE he said "I was hit on by a pack of nerds". Sure, probably not the original dialogue, but it sure sparked up a fairly routine episode.

Actually I kind of like my nerdish status. "Popularity" has too high a price for my tastes.