Yuuuge disappointment

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I have been waiting for months to see “Lady Dynamite”, the new Maria Bamford series on Netflix. It finally came out Friday night. I got about 1 1/2 episodes into it and gave up. Most of the reviews were lukewarm, but that’s being kind.

She’s one of my favorite standup comedians and there’s a shortage of really funny stuff to watch on TV. So this is a big bummer. I was hoping for something more like “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Hell, I would have even settled for a simple variety show of sketches with her playing all the different characters she does on stage.

I’m sure plenty of people will hail this show as genius, but really, it’s about as good as something you might find on “Funny or Die.”

Canaries in the gold mine

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I’m not sure if I’m lucky or cursed, but I lived and worked through the Internet Bubble of the late ’90s. Back then people were leaving established companies for startups. If you asked them what they were going to be doing, they’d smugly reply, “they’re going public in June.”

I did time in startups back then, one of them turned out to be very successful. Unfortunately, the last one I was at of that era wasn’t.

Let my wisdom be your guide and see if the startup you’re working at is a Unicorn, or Unicorpse.

Signs your startup isn’t doing as well as you thought

  • The only thing left to drink is Diet Sprite.
  • You get random emails Slack messages telling you to avoid non-essential travel despite being a desk-bound developer.
  • They stop watering the plants.
  • Your CEO has time to update the blog, hourly.
  • Acronyms like LTV, CAC, and DAU and switches to MLM, BYOD, and BYOB.

Cold War Kids

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Baby Boomers can claim they were cooler than their parent’s generation. But they could never claim to be tougher. Millenials, on the other hand, can’t claim either over Generation X.

I’ll use the classic video game Missile Command to make my point.

In the 80s the Cold War was still a thing and the US had a formidable foe in the Soviet Union.

Despite their wicked ways, even the Taliban couldn’t wipe us all off the map in one afternoon like the Ruskies.

So what were we doing for fun under the shadow of mutually assured destruction? Smoking cigarettes and shooting missiles with a shotput sized trackball before they nuked all the major metro areas. Eventually, the stream became a downpour. Game over. You lost, you failed. Everyone died. What did we do? Stand back and enjoy the mushroom cloud finale.

Do you realize how warped and twisted this is by today’s standard?

Granted, there’s no shortage of violent video games today. But they’re mostly shoot and blow shit up. Everybody is some form of mercenary out to save their own ass. Oh and you get infinite lives. You never really lose. There’s no skin in the game, not even a lousy quarter.

Even though the enemy in Missile Command wasn’t stated, we knew who it was and what they wanted to do to us.

You could never have a game now and call it Al Qaeda. Despite their clearly stated desire to destroy us.

 

School of Hard Knox

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I have a kid going off to college soon, we hope. Or at least we think we hope he’s going to college.

He’s a really smart kid with decent grades, just not valedictorian great. He’s got what I call pay to play grades. He could easily get into some of the more prestigious schools in the country as long as we’re willing to pay 100% of the tuition. There will always be a desk and dorm for those willing to pay sticker.

The funny thing is, college wasn’t cheap when I went over 25 years ago. Back then, “not cheap” was choosing between 4 years of college or a new Pontiac Fiero. Today college costs more than separating conjoined twins or a Mars rover. It’s like holy fucking shit expensive.

Usually when the price of stuff spikes there’s some noticeable improvement. You know, like bars. A regular bar had one beer on tap, a pool table with all its balls, and a cigarette scarred Galaga.

Today, you throw in more hops, add pumpkin to the beer, serve fire-roasted something or other, and put the brewery where people can see it. Viola! It’s a gastropub.

College, on the other hand, has blown right past dive bar and gone straight to nightclub with bottle service. Kids have all these things we didn’t have. They have food courts, wifi, iPhones, friends with benefits.

We didn’t have any of that great stuff. When I was in college, nothing was brand new. You couldn’t even buy a dorm fridge. You had to rent a used one full of mold, and it kept everything at 73 degrees.

Every restaurant was a dump and dirty, but at least you could smoke in all of them. There was no where nice to go. When you’re parents came to visit, you didn’t take them on campus. You made them drive you to the edge of town where the normal people ate. Everything had kind of a college grunge to it, and we all liked it.

Does it really make sense to send your kid off to some gentrified pseudo city with Apple Stores and Starbucks, when that’s pretty much the world they’re leaving and most likely going to return to in four years?

As far as I can tell, the only thing that hasn’t improved in 25 years is the actual learning.

God this ad is nauseating

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NY Times ad

This popped up on my phone, either in Twitter or Facebook. The couple in the picture is so precocious. It practically looks like a parody of Millenials. If there were a caption contest, I’d enter:

“I was thinking of this for lining the cocktail cabinet shelves.”

Minor observations

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Just a few interesting things I notice about people in my day to day observations.

I love Trader Joe’s, but I can’t stand a lot of their customers. There always someone there who’s only buying 30 of the same thing. The other day it was a woman buying a bunch of cartons of egg whites. Another guy was buying 20 boxes of Puffins cereal. These people shop like they live in a bunker.

We went to a flea market where the people are often more interesting than the wares. No matter what, there will always be a couple of old hipsters sporting a western look. Both will be wearing horn rimmed glasses. She’ll have severe bangs, and a flowery dress. He’ll have a crew cut and a short sleeved plaid shirt.

 

What I learned this week November 14, 2015

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Evidently, it doesn’t take much to be an exec at Taco Bell, but they do have some standards.

Jeb Bush said, given the chance, he would kill baby Hitler. He just needs to make sure Ben Carson hasn’t already done it.

Crayola will ensure the drapes match the carpet with their line of adults coloring books.

Jerry Jones is more than happy to get into a long-term relationship with Greg Hardy despite the risks of getting smacked around.

The porn industry shows just how easy it is to get right wingers on their side, by saying something is a “threat to jobs.”

 

Kind of writes itself

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I saw this in a Peet’s coffeeshop restroom in the city the other day. The title of the book is “If Women Ruled the World”. I found it ironic on a couple levels, and had these thoughts if women did in fact rule the world:

  1. The toilet seat wouldn’t have been left up.
  2. There wouldn’t be a book in the bathroom, because women don’t read on the toilet.

I’m not sure it was left behind to make a statement. There was a bookstore down the street having one of those sidewalk sales. The kind where they leave a table of books out in public with a drastically reduced price. It’s like they don’t even care if they get stolen. I’ve bought my share of books from those tables, and have never finished any. They’re usually stinkers. My theory is this may have been one of those books.

And yes, I did take a photo in a public toilet. I’m sure the person waiting outside heard the echoing “click” of my camera too and wondered what in the hell I was doing.

Basketball

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Now that the Golden State Warriors are one of the best NBA teams ever, I’m interested in basketball. It’s like having the 90s Bulls around again. I love watching Steph Curry. He’s like one of the Globetrotters making everyone else look like a bumbling ass.

Even though I enjoy watching basketball, both college and pro, I freaking hate playing it. Of all the sports no one looks, or acts more douchey than someone playing basketball. For some reason, everybody that plays basketball thinks they’re great at basketball.

Most guys are total shit at basketball, yet don’t have any problem telling me not to take a shot, or to pass as soon as I get the ball. At my gym, you see all these frumpy middle age guys playing, thinking they’re pretty bad ass, and yet, like a pussy, they call every foul instead of just playing.

It’s like playing intramural sports back in college. There were all these guys who overcompensated for being cut from varsity sports back in high school who thought they knew what they were doing. Those guys have never moved on. Now, you’ll find them screaming up and down the sidelines or court side coaching your kids.

Scowl

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Physical therapy starts today. The swelling has gone way done and the pain has become more of an ache. My range of motion is decent, but it stiffens up and can be quite sore to move. I hope it won’t be too painful later today.

I have taken to wearing a knee brace on the outside of my pants to go along with the crutches. I don’t need it for support, it’s so people believe me when I sit in a priority seat on BART.

Two weeks ago, I learned the hard way that sitting in those seats will get you ripped a new one. I was in a priority seat on a crowded train, reading when a 60-something woman boarded. There isn’t a unit of time small enough to measure how quickly I was scorned – not by her, but other passengers. She and I established eye contact and after a polite exchange of non-verbal cues, traded places. She, rightfully, got a seat while I took my place standing among the eye rollers and cluckers who turned their backs on me and smiled at her.

Mind you, those seats are for anyone as long as someone else doesn’t need them. But the least people can do is give me a chance to be an asshole before implying I am one.

Granted, I know I didn’t do anything wrong. I just can’t stand that some people were smugly patting themselves on the back for merely being indignant. You know damn well they got more satisfaction out of me losing the seat than the older woman getting to sit down.