Friday, March 23, 2012

Pointless Gripe: Businesses With Only One Payment Option

I cannot understand why any business would ever really operate with a one payment option only plan.  An example would be those sketchy liquor stores that only accept cash, which happen to be the ONLY liquor stores I go to.  I like a sense of pointless endangerment when I go buy my bottle of Aftershock.  Despite this, I can't help but feel there is something, unnerving about it.  I presume this is because they lost their liquor license and don't want a paper trail.  Or maybe the cops just don't want to mess with the owner, Crazy KS Thompson.  KS stands for "Kidney Shank".

The AA is to attract a certain kind of clientele.  Via Flickr.

Why would a business do this?  Do they just hate their customers?  Well for Crazy, yes, but for everybody else?  Also probably yes.  Anybody who has ever had to get a car out of impound knows this feeling.   You don't get to choose which towing company takes your car and the company can put whatever policies they like from the Middle Ages in place just because fuck you, that's why.  Actually, that's not even fair to the Middle Ages because at least there you could pay with a cow, goat, chicken, first born daughters, etc.  The last towing company I had to pay requested EXACT cash only.  I assume this is to deter robberies but if you have to do this to deter robberies, maybe you shouldn't have opened your business behind a gun store.    

It's not always cash only for these assholes.  I think everybody at one point in their lives had to pay somebody with certified funds; as in money orders, cashier checks, and wire transfers.  And I'm not talking about after bouncing a check because a business deposits payments by check anywhere between three days and August, no, I'm talking about the only form of payment you can possibly make.  I don't know about Scrooge McSmalldick over in the rich neighborhood but I don't like having to pay a fee to acquire certified funds.  I'm not even paying for a real service by doing this.  I'm paying for an inconvenience to change on form of money into another form of money.  It's like paying for alchemy. 

But this isn't the only way a company can make you have to pay them with pointless frustration.  There is a whole other plane of idiocy.  Instead of only excepting just one form of payment, sometimes companies only offer one method of making a payment.  I have had to use a company that only takes payments over the phone.  Internet and mail were not options because robots scare them.  I can't even pay them in person since they are probably hiding from the hundreds of customers they've pissed off.  These businesses that must have been formed on an acid trip in a Hunter S. Thompson novel or from just plain old insanity because this makes no sense.  I decided to drop acid myself just to try to understand their reasoning but I don't think it's working.  It hasn't kicked in yet.  I still can't understand who thinks payment only comes in the form of ITS LIKE THIS PHONE IS TALKING TO ME!  Come on, keep your composure.  Heh, look at these colors they are so loud.  What am I doing on the Internet anyway?  The lucid knomes of arrogant enlightenment can only reach you on the internet.  There is some crazy font shit happening here, no, stop.  Use the phone, it is safe.  Always safe with the phone.  The phone is safe.  Always.  SHUT UP Paypal.  You're not my pal, buddy!  Yes, I would like to play tennis with Sailor Moon.  The dishwasher is looking at me funny.

 This hallway is made of Skittles!  I like nachos.  Sadness makes me angry.  Via Flickr.

Uh, whoa, I kind of lost the plot there for a minute.  I should wrap this up before the day terrors kick in again.

Screw using businesses that restrict the method of payment and screw the businesses that people are forced to use no matter what.  Well except for Crazy KS Thompson's liquor store.  That place is awesome!  Please Crazy, I only have one kidney left and that acid you sold me yesterday really did a number on my are you really cooking bath salts on a hot plate?  That's so serendipitous.  OH!  Did you like that?  I just pulled that word out of the cosmos.  Where can I find equilibrium?  Uh huh.  Well, my Chi is mocking my haircut.....

Disclaimer:  I did not actually write this blog post while on acid.  Or maybe I did?  Who are you to judge?  You're not my mother. 

Follow me on Twitter for bad financial advice.  Like the blog on Facebook to join the Illuminati.  Tell me about dragons at  Meet me on Calypso for a beer.  Please hold me because I'm about to float off into nothing.  Fear tastes kind of salty. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Excited About The Walking Dead Again. Or Am I?

This post contains spoilers.  So if you haven't seen the second season finale yet, and want to, don't read on.   If you haven't seen any episodes, than I'm sure this post makes total sense and you should totally read it.  Read on after the jump.  Do it!  DO IT!  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

About the Robocop Reboot

I think when Edward Neumeier and Micheal Miner tried to pitch their screenplay of Robocop to studio executives, the reply they received was probably either, "Are you fucking kidding me?", or "What middle school kid's Trapper Keeper did you steal this out of?"  Robocop sounds like something the Syfy channel would make right after they finished Alien Kardashian Raptor, not something a major movie studio would produce.  The premise is ridiculous and only slightly more believable than Billy The Kid Vs. Dracula.

 "Make Robocop 40% chin and we'll make your movie."  Via Fotopedia.

Thankfully, somebody foresaw the awesomeness that was a cop, who is also a robot, and decided to make the movie.  The movie is ultra-violent, purposely cheesy, darkly humorous and shockingly touching.  I can excuse Officer Murphy somehow still being alive after being shot roughly two dozen times, thus making his body half metal before even being turned into Robocop.  I can excuse the bad puns about law enforcement via robots.  It's stupid moments like these that make this movie ludicrously enjoyable to me.  Not to mention, this movie also started the American career of director Paul Verhoeven, who would go on to create two more awesome movies (Total Recall, Starship Troopers) and two pieces of bird shit (Showgirls, Hollow Man).  Oh, and he also made Basic Instinct, also known as that movie nobody would remember if it wasn't for Sharon Stone's vagina.  Keep those legs crossed miss.  This isn't Miami. 

Maybe not so thankfully, somebody has decided the awesomeness of a cop, who is also a robot, somehow needs to be "re-imagined"or whatever other buzz word Hollywood wants to the use to hide the fact that they are completely out of ideas.  The reboot is in pre-production and is due out in August of 2013.  Just in time too since I think Japan likely has a real robocop ready to finish the testing phase soon, but only if it can master stairs first.

   Robots prefer the elevator anyway.

I don't know if I like this.  Robocop is certainly due a reboot but the ridiculous premise makes me think the original was more like buying bottled lightning for a dollar.  The movie was much better than any movie called ROBOCOP had the right to be.  There is no way another one would be any good.  Actually, another one wasn't any good because we live in a world where Robocop 2 cranks the cheesiness levels of the original up to aggressively stupid.  Not sure why the characters in the sequel thought turning a murdering, cultist, drug dealer into a robot was sound logic but at least they did this before the murdering, cultist, drug dealer was a fucking 11-year old boy.  Sorry, I just can't take a child as a credible threat to an adult cop who also just so happens to be a robot!

I fully admit that the movie could be awesome.  The original had a budget of just 13 million while the reboot will have 100 million to play with.  A higher budget doesn't necessarily mean a movie will be good but it's helpful for sci-fi and fantasy movies.  I think this is especially true since the reboot will probably have a ton of goddamn CGI, instead of the awesome practical effects that look great in the original, and shitty CGI that looks like it was made on a Commodore Vic 20 takes a viewer out of the movie.  Good CGI I can deal with.  And at least a larger budget will give Robocop something better than a 1989 Ford Taurus to drive in.  Also, the smaller budget of the original makes the futuristic, dystopic Detroit look nicer and less on fire than modern Detroit. The larger budget should help provide a more realistic future Detroit with nothing but abandoned buildings completely devoid of life.

 Detroit in three years.  Via Geograph.

Since I'm a pessimist when it comes to these things I nerd out over, I think the reboot will probably suck.  The movie is being directed by Jose Padilha who has also directed uhhhh....well good for you champ.  I knew your big break was coming if I had ever heard of you before.  I know Verhoeven got his big American break with Robocop, but he didn't cut his teeth with documentaries about drug dealers in Brazil and just one fictional movie about drug dealers in Brazil.  Actually, I think I just found out what the Robocop reboot will be about.  Arms dealers in Syria right?

I will probably still see this movie.  It is still freaking Robocop after all.  But I'm not very excited for it and probably will pass on seeing it in a theater.  It's still in early pre-production though so things might change and one kick ass trailer might be enough to change my mind.  Then again, the trailer for Battleship looks good and I'm fairly confident that movie will suck harder than an Oreck in a tornado.  

Disclaimer:  This article is satirical and overflowing with justice.  Robocop 2 isn't that bad if you get really, really drunk.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

5 Things That Annoy Me About Sports.

In the previous blog post, I outed my self as a nerd who likes sports.  Wait, "outed myself"?  Like it was a big secret or something?  Anybody who follows me on twitter already knows this.  Anyway, as I said in that post, I'm not cool with everything about sports.  Even as the superior option for reality television, sports have some issues that annoy me like the fact that Todd Bertuzzi still has a job playing hockey, rather than working as a public toilet.  A literal, human toilet. 

Here are 5 other things that annoy me about sports.

Like watching a Tennis match with one person playing against nobody

1.  Diving/Flopping

I think this problem exists in every contact sport.  It's when a player flops, or dives, to the ground to fake a penalty on an opposing player.  It looks ridiculous when it happens, leading to many opposing team fans calling bullshit and causing many fans on the other team to keep their mouths shut.  (Well, unless you're a Detroit Red Wing fan, in which case you start complaining that the obviously bullshit penalty should have resulted in a game misconduct and ejection.)  A player embellishing a penalty is a lot like a girl getting a lower back tattoo for the attention.  It's not similar in a "this player is a tramp" kind of way but in the "I pity them" kind of way.  It lets people know the diving douche waffle should just get what he wants before he gets really crazy and starts piercing his genitals. 

It might come as a shock to some people but diving in many sports is actually a penalty.  Crazy, I know. Although it seems like sports officials need to be reminded of this constantly since a diving penalty actually being called is rarer than a Kansas City Royals win.  I understand that it's a difficult penalty to call, but if a player acts like they were shoved to the ground by a ghost, it is probably a dive.  If there is an exception to actually being called for diving, it's probably whoever plays for the Oakland Raiders, who I think is the only football team to ever be called for every penalty in the rulebook in a single game.

The sport most commonly known for diving is probably soccer.  There, it's not just faking a penalty, but faking injuries for like 20 seconds.  Soccer players, and even coaches, are so into faking that sometimes they do it at the same time!  I think soccer players would be the easiest to play poker against since they would always be bluffing.    Or maybe not, since they have practiced bluffing WAY MORE than anybody else.

I'm pretty sure these hooligans are just bluffing - AH!  A FLARE HIT MY FACE!

2.  162 Regular Season Games in MLB.

Really?  Do we really need 162 games?  I think 82 games for the NHL and NBA is a bit much.  Major League Baseball looks at that 82 games and decides it's only half of what a regular season should be.  And considering each baseball game is roughly 3 hours long, that's 486 hours of mind crushing boredom a season per team.  That's like watching the Oscars 4 times!

Listen, I enjoy going to a baseball game.  It's a good time with the fresh air, nachos, 7 dollar beers, and irritating sun burn if it's a day game.  But watching baseball on TV is only slightly more enjoyable than attending a lecture on Tort reform and that might only be because I don't know what a tort is.  (Some sort of Mexican pastry?).  I have a difficult enough time watching 162 episodes of anything, nevermind a game that I imagine would be awfully confusing to aliens.  They would wonder why only one crouching man would wear armor and why another man would use "projectile deflection" as their primary attack.  The rest of the time, the aliens would see a staring contest and wonder why humans would use this tactic when multiple probes have shown humans lack psychic powers.

3.  Avenging a Clean Hit in the NHL

A forward is skating across the neutral zone with the puck when suddenly an opposing defenseman comes across and completely destroys the forward with a brutal, but clean check.  While the forward collects himself on the ice, one of his teammates rushes over to the opposing defenseman and initiates a fight so they don't look like poutine munching, moose porking pansies.  The forwards honor is restored because body checks in hockey are supposed to be friendly love taps and not bone rattling hits of awesome.  Obviously right? 

Why teams feel a need to avenge a clean hit is ridiculously stupid.  Nobody is going to think the forward is a pussy when he gets up from the aftermath of the hit and skates off like it was nothing.  Nobody thinks John McClane is a pussy for taking so many bullet wounds that a lesser man might, die easy (bam!).  Hockey players are known for their toughness.  They are not baseball players who miss a month of action because they got hurt from toweling themselves off to vigorously.  Teams should just avenge a hit by dishing out a big hit themselves.  No need to get all road ragey, especially when a big hit looks more like a fender bender compared to an actual, illegal hit.

4.  The Drag of a NFL Game

Touchdown, extra point, commercial, kickoff, commercial, 3 and out, coaches challenge, commercial, punt, goddamn commercial, injury on the first play, are you fucking kidding me with another commercial?  I understand that the NFL is the big show in town and that is going to lead to more businesses wanting to reach the large numbers of viewers but holy vodka koala, can they make the game of football even slower.  It's not like this stop and go, mostly stop, game is not constantly filled with the type of bullshit usually reserved for a PowerPoint presentation at work.  Good, mmm hmm, good.  Quarter 3 for the Atlanta Falcons saw a 4% increase in merchandise profits.  Thrilling.

 Nothing is about to happen here.  Cut to commercial.  Via Flickr.

Most of a football game on TV is commercials.  The rest of the game is filled with shots of players standing around, replays of the previous play, bizarre stat graphics, gratuitous cheerleader cleavage, players sitting on the bench looking angsty, coaches looking really serious, and if the game is on Fox, a dancing robot.  What?  There was an actual football play somewhere in all that shit?  Sorry, I got a little confused after Aaron Rodgers told me to buy life insurance.  I think that was some sort of threat, like as if the Dodge Ram he told me to buy last Sunday is going to get me killed.  Must have something to do with all that Miller Lite the TV told me to drink.

5.  Everything About Basketball

Hoopa-pulooza is an awful sport.  Sorry if you like it, but it's nothing but watching a bunch of sweaty men play grab ass with one another and sometimes a ball is involved.  Yes, for the other eight players on the court who are not directly involved with the ball, it's just awkward grinding.  Actually, grab ass would be more entertaining than this sport since it would involve less crotches to the face.  I'm pretty sure this sport made their shorts longer so some dude didn't accidentally lick another dudes testicle when somebody jumped up for a dunk.  Well, maybe not considering this sport has no problem with their biggest star of the last decade being a rapist. Just let it all hang out there Kobe.

I've already mentioned how Basketball has enough scoring that most of a game means absolutely fucking nothing.  Less than nothing actually since a bunch of dudes have worked their asses off to accumulate a bunch of meaningless points.  It's like donating to the Church of Scientology only Kobe is Xenu.

 "I already threw the ball into that basket 10 times."

[And you may ask, "Wait.  You like hockey.  How is a 1-0 hockey game more exciting?"  To that I say, it's usually not.  1-0 games are often the result of one, or Cthulhu forbid, both teams playing the neutral zone trap and treating offense as if it was as intriguing as a root canal.  These types of games can be exciting if there are a ton of scoring chances and the goalies are just playing out of their minds though.  Not to mention, 1-0 games are rare and in them each goal means so much more, making the attempts at scoring more meaningful than successfully scoring like Wilt Chamberlain (with points and ladies).  Having a game come down to one basket after dozens seems anti-climatic when the game as already been won seven times before this.] - My one paragraph reasoning on why hockey is better than basketball.  Just my opinion. 

Most of a Basketball game is dicking around in half court until somebody fouls the player with the ball.  Even on plays were there was no foul, an argument could be made that there should have been one.  EVERY SINGLE PLAY has a foul that wasn't called or was, leading to the most boring event in all of sports, the free throw.  Watching somebody shoot a free throw is like being in the room for the filming of a dude's first porn scene: it's sweaty, ugly, everybody's standing too close and staring, and you just know it's not going to go like he wants.  And when somebody fails on a free throw, oh man, the only thing more embarrassing is accidentally putting your dick in a girls ass instead of her vagina.  Kobe knows what I'm talking about am I right?  Oh, no?  From him, the ass penetration is intentional wither the girl was expecting it or not.  

Lets not forget, this shit is fucking rigged.  It's rigged like a Vegas video poker machine.  What has the NBA done to correct the issues from the Tim Donaghy scandal?  Nothing really?  Oh, okay.  That's a pretty neat trick, convincing all the fans that something has been done when the NBA did just as much as a televangelist.  Fake results for real problems.  Kind of like the Kobe Bryant verdict.  No, I will not let this go.

 "I wonder if anybody would notice if I switched the ball with one made out of iron."

Hmm.  I've been kind of hard on Basketball.  Maybe I should end this by saying something nice about it.  Uh.  Oh!  The shot clock is a good idea.  And uh, hey, you know what would improve this sport dramatically?  Make it a foul when somebody takes too many steps without dribbling the ball.  We can call is something like, "migrating" or "jaunting" or "traversing".  I got it.  "Travelling".  Offense gets harder and helps out the minimal defense by...what do you mean this foul already exists?!?

Disclaimer:  This article is satirical and opinionated.  The NBA probably isn't rigged.  At least not until the playoffs when you can win big money.

Thanks to AJ for the NHL topic.  Also, thanks to fellow Robot Hooker Party writer and good friend eatingpeeps for the "dudes first porn scene" joke.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Am I Really a Nerd?

"In the realm of the Internet, the nerd is king," a wise programmer said once, I presume.  Probably to somebody they were trying to sleep with or to their disapproving parents.  It makes sense because if the Internet caters to anybody, it's us nerds.

 You don't have to be a nerd to attend, but it helps.

But wait, what is a nerd now?  The Internet, and the mainstream media to a lesser extent, has made the term "nerd" vague and ambiguous.  It seems like anybody who likes Star Wars can claim to be a nerd.  The problem is everybody likes Star Wars, except for hipsters who claim there hasn't been a good sci-fi movie since Metropolis, so there is no way that can be enough to deem somebody a nerd.  Knowing a lot about computers doesn't make you a nerd either unless you absolutely insist on using Linux.  Video games have gained mainstream acceptance thanks largely to the Nintendo Wii, so liking video games doesn't make you a nerd either, especially if you play the Wii.  Even liking comic books are not much of a nerd prerequisite since all the major ones have either A. had a successful blockbuster movie adaptation or B. is Ghost Rider.  So what makes somebody a nerd?  Am I even a nerd?

I know way more about Star Wars than my friends think I know about Star Wars, so much so that I know Jabba the Hutt's little pet jester thing (a character who didn't need a name) is named Salacious Crumb.  I love retro video games and wear a Galaga T-shirt not for irony but because I genuinely love Galaga and tractor beams.  I once spent most of a day at work walking in slow motion to the song from the Kill Bill soundtrack, "Battle Without Honor or Humility", playing on repeat because my co-workers didn't respect just how bad ass I am.  Even my favorite TV show is a freaking anime, Cowboy freaking Bebop.  So yeah, nerd cred?  I got some.

 I have never done a Cowboy Bebop cosplay though....yet.  Via Flickr.

But I don't fit every nerd stereotype.  I say, "Dr. who?" to Doctor Who, I care about Firefly as much as I care about actual fireflies, and I rarely read comic books anymore because, get this, the Devil destroyed Spiderman's marriage.  That happened!  Somebody wrote that!  The Spiderman comics didn't just jump the shark, they catapulted over it and landed on This is Fucking Stupid Beach.  If only Doctor Octopus turned out to be Vishnu the Destroyer's bisexual, donkey breeding father, I would probably quit comics all together.  And despite Cowboy Bebop being my favorite TV show, I hate most anime.  I especially hate those that end in "mon", "oh!", or basically any show with children forcing adorable monsters to fight to the death.  I'm sure these kids have more of a reason to enslave these monsters other than to, sigh, be the best.  Just...just the BEST.  But I can't help but feel these shows are like the cute version of dog fighting and Micheal Vick is the villain since Japanese cartoons almost never include black characters. 

Speaking of Micheal Vick, I think one nerd stereotype seems to dominate over the rest; that nerds hate sports.  While somebody doesn't need to fit every stereotype to be a nerd, the hatred for sports seems to be the most defining to me and often, the most truthful.  Sports topics at any nerdy message board either don't exist, or are filled with just five users posting random sports issues that the others don't care about.  In consecutive order, you'll find a post about Eli Manning, then the Boston Bruins, then Manchester United, then cricket, then competitive eating, then a post about Battlestar Galactica because that user posted in the wrong thread.  An actual conversation about sports occurring in a nerdy message board is as likely as Arkham Asylum realizing they need to beef up security.

 Letting a supervillain with plant powers have a greenhouse?  Nah.  Nothing wrong there.  Via Flickr.

It doesn't even have to be actual sports for nerds to hate either.  Considering how many Youtube channels there are of nerds reviewing video games, a review of a sports video game is rarer than finding a virgin who claims they didn't cry when Aerith died in Final Fantasy VII (I was a very emotional 15 year old okay?  I was totally going to marry that girl!).  The two exceptions are reviews of the Xtremely radical, so 90's it wore Zubaz pants, NBA Jam, and a game that allowed you to bribe and/or kill the referee, Mutant League Football.  Okay, sometimes there is a review of NFL Blitz too since most people remember it as the one game in the arcade nobody was playing or as the game that made you pay fifty cents to play a 5 minute 1st Quarter of the game.  Price gouging at it's finest.  It's like the actual NFL determined these prices. 

There are nerds who like sports.  I am one of these exceptions since I happen to like sports, though my nerdy tendencies punish me by giving me a receding hair line.  I don't like all sports but I like hockey, football (American) and football (everywhere else).  Baseball is okay live but I hate basketball, which I'm sure isn't because I'm only 5'7, 5'8 in the right shoes.  I would probably like basketball more if the last 2 minutes of a 92-90 game, a game that is considered exciting, didn't just render about 178 points meaningless.  All those points leading to what is basically a 2-0 game?  I haven't seen that much meaningless scoring since Ted Haggard in a gay brothel.

 Now if we combine basketball and soccer into a single sport, that would be, a sport.  Via Geograph.

So does all this mean I'm a nerd?  Kind of, maybe, I guess?  This all makes me some sort of nerd-lite, which is the low calorie nerd for people looking to not gain weight but it kind of makes you look like a pussy if you're seen with me.  Wait, no, NOT THAT.  I like having friends.  And no, I've never invited them over to play a table top role playing game nor do I ever want to.  My lack of interest in Dungeons and Dragons probably drops me 100 nerd points but that's okay.  Bigger nerds than I can carry that acne plagued, never seen boobs in real life flag.  Jokes on nerd stereotypes?  I got those too. 

There are different strata of nerd and the nerd archetype has become socially acceptable even when high level nerds shun it.  The most popular definition of nerd at is, "One whose IQ exceeds his weight."  Yes, because we have never seen a nerd over 205 pounds.  Nobody has an accurate definition of nerd so we all have some nerd in us.  How much depends on a lot of factors and how often you use a description like "high level" to describe somebody.

Now if you'll excuse me, this nerd-lite, but high level mage, is going to go watch some Ninja Warrior.  Kick some ass Masato Nagano!

Disclaimer:  This article is satirical and contains 60% of your daily nerd intake.  

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