iPhone vs. Kids

August 14th, 2014 by galen

Over on the FB, I posted the following to my status update and what follows is some very well made points about why iPhones are better than kids.

In an attempt to offer a suggestion to parents on how to avoid forgetting your child in the backseat of a locked car, a local newscast today suggested that I could place my cell phone in the pockets behind the front seats of my car as a way to insure that I don’t forget my child. Because no one would go that long without noticing they didn’t have their…..phone. <sigh>

 

Response by Alan Benson

Well Galen, not to be contrary, but I think there’s a good point in that story. Thanks to all my nieces and nephews, I’ve had many years of interacting with various revisions of KidOS and four brands of hardware (Benson, Glance, Mims, and Graves–plus many others owned by friends). Children are an interesting project, and more advanced versions of the OS are fairly functional, but they have yet to reach the level of sophistication of your average phone. Just look at some of the key areas where they fall short:

Cleanliness: Phones get smeared and marked with fingerprints. Children smear things and make fingerprint marks. Advantage: Phone.

Durability: Even with scratch-resistant materials, children are constantly getting scuffed. While children’s self-repair tools are really impressive and unique, these tools come with a cost. Honestly, I would rather have a permanent scratch on my phone than to be notified every five seconds that “I has a owie.” Advantage: Phone.

Spellcheck: Siri makes a lot of mistakes, but even she would correct “I has a owie.” Advantage: Phone.

Voice-to-Text: Admittedly, I haven’t used V2T with children as much as with phones, largely because my first experience was so terrible. No matter how slowly or clearly I spoke, my attempt to have June tell T. Mike “Pick me up outside Breadman’s–bring money for the bill” was mangled into “I love you daddy. Pick me up! Pick me up! Pick me up!” Her software captured the first part of the message, but the transmission stripped out all “From” info, date/time, and the urgent flag. (I still have dishpan hands from having to work to pay that bill.) While I was able to leave a message for Charles very effectively using his John device, it was because I was just saying “blahhhhhbobobobobo mama dada truck” while drooling and pooping. But again, no sender info or timestamp. Kids are simply not suitable for mission-critical communication. Advantage: Phone.

Volume control: Phone has buttons on the side and a mute function. Kids don’t. Need I even point out this is a big advantage: Phone?

Portability: Even those stupid giant wanna-be tablet phones can fit in a pocket. KidOS users are required to supplement their unit with large amounts of hardware and software just to go to the store. Advantage: Phone.

Games: I know that KidOS installs additional apps and games over time, but the fact that it doesn’t even ship with basic smiling functionality is shameful. And let’s be honest, until the OS gets updated multiple times, the options are crap. “Peekaboo” is fun for like two minutes, but it gets old fast. Same for “Pattycake” and “I’ll drop the toy, you pick it up, repeat.” Also, the fact that the few initial games on offer don’t unload from memory and just keep running for hours is super annoying. And yes, later games like “Catch” are more fun, but again, the retention of the game in memory for hours is annoying. Plus, the fact that all more advanced KidOS games are microtransaction-based (the “Mom, I need $100 so I can be on traveling team!” alert is so familiar to KidOS users) means that bills can get out of control. Advantage: Phone.

Music: I don’t know where the “Wheels on the Bus” file is stored in my nephews, but I have been unable to delete it. Plus, the fidelity of music from KidOS units is fairly poor. Notice that Ava’s playback of “Let It Go” strips out all background instrumentation and alters the voice. You don’t have to be an audiophile to see that it’s advantage: Phone.

 

User Testimonial

July 8th, 2014 by galen

A  fan shared a real life example of one of our 26 Ways to Creep Out Your Co-Workers.

From: [suppressed]
Subject: my boss does creep out #22...ALL THE TIME!

I swear to God....HE CREEPS ME OUT!  (you've got to
picture him taking a drag off a cigarette, then
grabbing himself-rub, rub, "so what about that
blahblah"). He'll do it with customers in the
office-BUT, BEHIND HIS DESK! So the customer can't
see what he's doing! Is that creepy, or what? It's
like he's got a stale hoagie, or something, in
his pants. jeff t.

26 Ways to Creep Out Your Co-Workers

July 8th, 2014 by galen

Now that the Van Gogh-Goghs have taught you how to waste time at work, you’ve probably found that your once-busy workdays have mellowed into the dull hazy soup of inertia every cubicle-dweller longs for. But working man and woman cannot live by soup alone, no matter how hazy it is. Somedays you need to spark a little action into the parade of soul-crushing utter boredom that you laughably call “a life” (no offense).

Based on research from the mighty VGG Labs, there’s no better way to generate a little worktime fun than by creeping the hell out of your co-workers. Using these 26 sure-fire tips, you will soon be the most popular person around the office (if, by “popular,” you mean the guy or gal most likely to inspire others to say “whoa, that person is creepy”).

 

  1. As soon as someone you’re talking to is done using a pen, pick it up and lick it. 

  1. Walk out of bathroom, stop, pause a few seconds, take a few deep breaths, then dash back in.
  2. Follow someone home, when they get to the door, honk, wave, say “so you’re ok then?” and drive off. Repeat until court order.
  3. When the person you’re meeting with stands up, put your hand where they were sitting and say “ooh that’s warm.”
  4. While carpooling, make the group stop at a drug store so you can buy condoms.
  5. Place 50 framed pictures of the Olsen twins on your desk. For bonus creepout points, cut one of the twins out of all the pictures.
  6. During an important meeting, lean forward to make a point while placing your hand firmly on someone else’s upper thigh.
  7. Vaseline your hand, then shake someone else’s hand.
  8. Give out framed pictures of yourself to every one of your co-workers
  9. When someone is talking to you, take the opportunity to groom them.
  10. When someone drops food, grab it and eat it.

  1. Hug someone you’re not dating or related to just a little too long. 
  2. Keep underwear in your pocket and make a point of dropping it whenever you pull out your keys. Always say “so that’s where those got to!”
  3. Constantly offer to take other people’s temperature.
  4. Keep your hands abnormally cold, then be very touchy-feely.
  5. Bring up in conversation that you know where to buy chloroform for cheap.
  6. Whenever someone is in the bathroom, lean in close to the outside of the door so that your face is the first thing they see.
  7. Make lots of noise while in a bathroom stall, then walk out very sweaty, clutching a picture of Johnny 5 from “Short Circuit.”
  8. Call every woman you meet “mommy.”
  9. Buy a hoagie, then stand in corner humping it.
  10. Breezily annouce when you come in to work: “I peed my bed again last night.”
  11. Every time you get excited or interested in something, grab your crotch.
  12. Tape a picture of someone on your arm, kiss it occasionally.
  13. Keep an urn full of ashes at your desk.
  14. Instead of talking to people, take a Polaroid of them and talk to the Polaroid. When the conversation is over, stick the photo on one of those memo spikes
  15. When co-workers ask if you want to go to lunch, say no. Then follow them to the restaurant, sit nearby, and laugh when they do.

 

How to Waste Time At Work

July 8th, 2014 by galen

M E M O R A N D U M
To: Everyone
From: The Van Gogh-Goghs
Subject: Wasting Time at Work
Date: Today

There are lots of people out there who just don’t understand the finer points of wasting time at work. Lots of people are so afraid of getting caught, they don’t waste time at work. They work the entire 8 hours. For those scared of being fired for being too slack, you are right to be afraid. There is a delicate balance you must find between not doing any work and doing too much at work. The bottom line is you must get your work done. A lot of people don’t like to hear that. They just want to do nothing. If you want to do nothing then stay at home, but don’t expect people to pay you for it.

To be an effective time waster, you have to chip away at the hours of the day. If you start goofing off for hours at a time, you’ll get caught and fired. You have to find many small ways to eat up time. You may find some of the following tips only waste a few seconds each, but seconds add up to minutes that add up to hours.

Drink Lots of Water
Water, Tea and Coffee make you urinate quicker and more often than other drinks. No one can blame you for normal bodily functions. Only a real jerk of a boss will yell at you for taking a leak. Once in the bathroom, take your time. I would even suggest that men take up the feminine habit of sitting during all trips to the toilet. Urinals were designed for speed, men. Don’t be robbed of those precious extra seconds of pulling down your trousers and pulling them back up again. (30 seconds to 2 minutes per trip)

Be Clean
While you’re in the bathroom take an extra couple of seconds to wash your hands thoroughly. I see too many people rush through this exercise. Take your time washing your hands and most people will not notice. Barely get the tips of your fingers wet as you run out the bathroom door and everyone avoids touching things you touch. (13 to 32 secondes per trip to bathroom)

Be Sloppy
A good hour or two can be gained every few weeks if you keep your desk a mess. Friday afternoons and Monday mornings are perfect times to set aside for cleaning up your work area. Just say you want things neat for yourself when you start the week and “wah-lah” you have just made some time for yourself refiling papers, rearranging pens in your desk, and categorizing your push pins by color. (Which reminds me, always have the office manager order you the multi-colored push pin packs.) (28 minutes to an hour once a week)

The Computer
Load your computer with unnecessary programs that make your machine run slower. While your waiting for the PC to process information sit back and relax. If the boss questions you just say, “Damn computers” He’ll laugh and agree with you and say something like, “Seems like we use to get more work done without those gall durn contraptions.” Agree with him and he’ll walk away never suspecting that you aren’t doing anything. (roughly 42 minutes a day)

The Internet
The World Wide Web is a red flag. Be very careful misusing the company PC to surf the web for personal enjoyment. Your boss knows the internet is a big waste of time and is watching for people who are doing web searches for MP3’s and games. The best way to use the internet to your time wasting advantage is to use it for all research. If you need a phone number for a client across town, use the internet to find it. Most people just reach for a phone book, which is by far faster than using the internet. Don’t miss this chance to legitimately use the internet for business and waste time. (roughly 9 to 33 minutes a day.)

Naps
Lots of people want to take naps at work. This is very dangerous and should only be attempted by the most seasoned napper. No matter how many news magazines do stories on how taking naps improve employee performance in other countries, you will never be paid to sleep here in the U.S of A. The USA work ethic hates sleep, even the good “8 hours a night” kind.

If you must take a nap you might try this idea from the “Nap Play Book”.

Nap #643 – Fill a coffee mug. Find a low traffic area in the office and spill the contents of the mug on the floor. Lay down on the floor face first with your coffee mug laying on the spill. The purpose is to make it look like you fell, passed out or tripped on something. After you place yourself in position, go to sleep. If someone finds you, they’ll rush to your aide. Have an excuse ready. They’ll think you are hurt or sick, but don’t let them send you home. You don’t want to eat up sick leave, that’s your personal time. Never repeat this exercise in the same location and don’t do it too often. This nap will be less effective if you snore. If you snore while you sleep it’s tougher to pass off sleep as unconsciousness. (Naps can buy you any where from 10 minutes to several hours depending on where you take the nap)

Office Conversations
Enter business conversations around the office that are taking place in the open. You don’t have to be a part of the conversation very much. The important thing is to be there physically. Just nod your head a few times. Beware that others in the conversation may turn to you for comment. You’ll need to be prepared with a good quick exit line or a response. One good answer that can buy time is, “I’m sorry, I was thinking about how we’re gonna manage to do everything on time and still stay on budget.” They’ll either repeat the question or continue without your input. If they do the latter, you might want to excuse yourself and move on back to your desk. (23 minutes to 1.3 hours)

Meetings
Go to every meeting that is appropriate for you to attend. Everyone knows meetings are a colossal waste of time, so use them. You’d be surprised at how many people miss the opportunity at wasting time by ducking out of or avoiding meetings. Once you’re in meeting, it’s all about you. You can plan your weekend, think about the game you watched the night before, or fantasize about Georgia/George in Legal. (According to Office Studies International the average meeting takes 42 minutes and meetings happen every 5 hours. Count on 2-3 meetings a week)

I hope these tips help you be more productive in wasting time. Remember, you can’t waste the company’s time if you don’t work for the company. With a little effort no one will ever know how little you do.

Top 10 (un)Favorite Unmade Xmas Albums

December 23rd, 2013 by galen

You know what I love? Christmas Albums. You know what I hate? Christmas albums I can’t listen to because the artists never made them. That really bahs my humbug. Here are a few of the great Christmas albums that never were, but maybe there’s a chance for a Christmas Miracle and one or two of these will get recorded someday.

Top 10 Christmas Albums That To Date Have Not Been Made

10. I Heard the Byrds on Christmas Day
9. We Three Tenors
8. Kiss Under the Mistletoe
7. Avril Maria
6. Have Yourself a Cousin Larry Little Christmas featuring Balki — mostly spoken word by Mark Linn-Baker
5. The First Noel…Gallagher Christmas Album
4. The Police Navidad
3. Miley Kalikimaka
2. In Excelsis Devo
1. Martin Mull Serves Up Mulled Wine Just in Time For Christmas (& and other Holiday Delights) featuring Fred Willard — the album cover is very important here. It’s a glass of red wine with several Martin Mull’s severed heads with look of comic shock floating in it.

How Not To Celebrate 9/11.

September 11th, 2013 by theo

Party fouls: let’s avoid them this year on September 11th. The first and most vital element in avoiding a 9/11 anniversary observance faux pas is: don’t CELEBRATE it. Happy holidays you celebrate, tragic anniversaries you OBSERVE. Americans are terrible at observing the observeful holidays; we’re all about celebrating the celebrateful holidays; stores put up Christmas stuff the same week as Halloween stuff. New Year’s Eve? PARTY! Christmas! PRESENTS! But Labor Day? “Outta my way, I gotta cram in one more summer beach trip.” Memorial Day! “Um, tire sale?” Arbor Day! “Is that still a thing?”

Here are some helpful tips to help you not look like an insensitive, subhuman douchebag of raging proportions on the anniversary of 9/11.

Terms to avoid. Please avoid saying or writing any of the following words, phrases, or memes either directly before or directly after the phrase “9/11.”

  • Happy
  • Party
  • Booyah
  • Word up
  • FTW
  • Epic Fail
  • LOL
  • Facepalm
  • Conspiracy

No Piñatas. Period. It doesn’t matter how tasteful your piñata is, or whether you got one at the store or spent hours making it yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s filled with delicious candy or sensitive haikus about each of the nearly 3,000 victims. It doesn’t matter if it’s even one of Saddam, Bin Laden, or Bush; the whole concept of whacking things with sticks to smash them open and shove your way to greedily snatch up whatever is spilling out is antithetical to a 9/11 anniversary, metaphorically, and socially.

No Cake.

The Cakes of 9/11

Again, this goes back to the whole celebrating versus observing thing. Cake is too delicious, too fun, too light-hearted, no matter what flavor, what shape, how it’s decorated, or what’s written on it in sweet, sweet, can I lick the beater please please please, frosting. Really, all sweets should be avoided: candy, cookies, brownies, blondies, puddings, mousses, flans, probably Jello, ice cream, sundaes, sherbets, Italian ices, frozen novelties, and especially pies of any kind, except shepherd’s and pot. Kale is the most appropriate food to eat for a 9/11 observance. It’s really good for you, you can work it into many dishes, and it tastes gawdawful. It’s the new spinach! Really, any vegetable, especially raw, is well-suited to your 9/11 observance gathering.

No Two Minutes Hate. Try to avoid holding an Orwellian, 1984-style Two Minutes Hate. Again, it doesn’t matter if it’s for Saddam, Bin Laden, Bush, your turban-wearing neighbor, anybody. It’s tacky.

No Drinking Games. We’re not saying you can’t have an alcoholic beverage on a 9/11 anniversary. This is America, after all, and if we can’t drink, then the terrorists will have won. We’re not even saying drink responsibly. We can’t think of any other event about which we’d like to drink until we feel better, until we forget, until we can’t feel feelings anymore. But what you should not do is hold drinking games, where everyone downs a shot or Jello shooter (and didn’t we just tell you no Jello?) after hearing a selected word like “tragedy” on TV. Partly because it’s bad taste, partly because you’ll die of alcohol poisoning.

No Tire Sales. Or mattress sales. Nothing says “disrespected American holiday” like a themed tire and/or mattress sale. We know sales are sluggish and could use a shot in the arm, and everybody needs tires and mattresses at some point, and we need to patriotically purchase American-made tires and mattresses to support the American tire-and-mattress industry (NYSE: TAMI), but a 9/11 anniversary is not the time to do it. And if you are a tire or mattress vendor, please for the love of God, especially do not dress up in any kind of costume and make a homemade TV commercial for your 9/11 tire/mattress sale. Please, please, please.

Do Not Wonder What’s the Big Deal. Do not do this. At least not out loud. You’re young, or foreign, and the rest of us would all just superduper appreciate it if you would kindly shut the F up until we’re all dead, and THEN you can safely bitch about what a stupid day this is and who cares even, and attend tire sales in peace. Just like Grandpa and the Kennedy assassination.

Jebus, all these “don’ts” we hear you cry. What’s actually allowed?! Well, here’s one: Do… give it time! In time, 9/11 will be safely absorbed into history and American will be able to breeze right by this holiday, drinking, eating, hating, whoring, and buying all the tires and mattresses at steep discounts we can stand. Look at Presidents’ Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, and I would say Arbor Day, but that can’t still be a thing, can it? All these holidays/observances have been safely commuted from meaningful, heartfelt expressions of national sentiment (okay, President’s Day was never meaningful), into lame, random days off from our soul-crushing jobs. The system works. Time passes, wounds heal. And 9/11 will never mean to our children and grandchildren what it means to us. And that’s the way it should be.

 

9/11 will never mean the same to me as it does to you

Wikification of Rocklopedia Proceeds Apace

February 8th, 2013 by t.mike

Rocklopedia Fakebandica logo

Turning the old Rocklopedia Fakebandica website into a new, wiki-based website continues, with the letter D now finished! It’s a bit tedious copying and pasting entries over, but it give me a chance to add and improve each one as I enter it.

So what’re you doing hangin’ round here?! Go check it out already! Enter one yerself and help a brother out!

Christmas Comedy

December 12th, 2012 by theo

Gabba Gabba Ho!
In celebration of the birth of our Lord, Santa Christ, we share with you the spirit of the season! HA HA! Now we don’t have to get you a real present! Chump! Hey, it was either this or macrame. You’re lucky you’re not getting an ashtray made out of Play-Doh, like Mom. Enjoy with our compliments-

Love, The Van Gogh-Goghs

new Feelin’ Scrooge-y? Den fizzuck dat Chriznismas Schnizzle and get your Grinch on: How to Ruin Christmas!

new Tis the season! For cheap nostalgia of Christmases past! Our Most Memorable Presents!

* Bring on the booze! Ah, sweet delicious booze… What better way to consume it than by playing our Holiday TV Specials Drinking Games!

* Want to see Santa on Christmas morning? Leave him a batch of our special Santa Claus Knockout Cookies!

* Not sure if you’re getting coal or presents this year? Sounds like you better take our Naughty or Nice Quiz!

* How to Prevent a Santa Invasion

* Jason’s Christmas Memories He Never Really Had

* What Christmas Means to Mythical Creatures

* Double-Ho-Seven

Van Gogh-Goghs Endorse Melonpants for Senate

October 29th, 2012 by galen

The Van Gogh-Goghs are officially endorsing Senator Melonpants for Senate. Melonpants has served this country proudly during the last 6 years and will continue to make this country great. Unlike Governor Clamford, Melonpants will not sell out our children’s future, but fight to keep them alive at least until their brains are mature enough to eat. Not that Sen. Melonpants likes to eat brains or that he doesn’t like to eat brains. We’re just saying the Senator is looking out for the brain eating voters of America. And also those who don’t eat brains. Watch this documentary for a behind the scenes look at Senator Melonpants’ campaign.

Make Halloween a National Holiday!

October 23rd, 2012 by t.mike

Friends, isn’t it past time that we made Halloween, a national, government-approved holiday? Halloween is a wonderful, magical event when the whole family gets together and has a terrific time, no matter what their race, religion or sexual orientation. Why should this marvelous time of community and family bonding be forced to hobble along in its current, semi-observed, legal limbo?

meta-pumpkin

Oh, I can hear the protests now. Halloween is satanic! Halloween encourages hooliganism! Halloween apples are chock full of razor blades! Halloween is antisemitic! Let me tell you something. Halloween isn’t about Satan. It isn’t about paganism. It isn’t even about hallows, whatever the hell they are. It’s about candy, dammit! Candy, candy, candy!!! Now granted, apples could have razor blades in them, which is why they should all be banned, period. And as for candy apples, that unholy hybrid of candy and noncandy, you don’t even want to get me started. But do you know what so-called Christians’ real objection to Halloween is? We got free candy coming to us and those bastards don’t want to have to give it to us.

Did you know that right now, we only have THREE holidays dedicated to candy? That’s right, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween and that’s it! And how many are recognized by the government?! One! That’s how tenuous our position is! One good push by the Christian Coalition, and these “satanic” and “heathen” holidays couldbe gone and millions of children could go candyless 11 months of the year. Without government recognition, Valentine’s Day and Halloween could be gone just like that, and there wouldn’t be a thing we good-hearted, candy-loving citizens could do about it. It’s bad enough as it is that we have to wait months, MONTHS, between candy-dispensing holidays.

At the very least, let us start giving candy away on otherwise completely useless legal holidays like Columbus Day. Why we have a whole holiday for some city in Ohio is beyond me. But if we have to, we might as well get some candy out of it. Or why don’t we rename it for Hershey, Pennsylvania, the candiest city in the good ole US of A? Happy Hershey Day! Okay, maybe that focuses too much on one particular company, and that’s unfair to M&M Mars. They do good work, too. And what about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Why does he get a holiday? Did Martin Luther King, Jr. ever distribute candy? Possibly, but not widely. He certainly did not bring enough for everyone at all those speeches he gave. And speeches are boring! Get to the candy, already, I find myself saying in the middle of speeches. We have got to stop creating holidays for people who give speeches (presidents, veterans, labor, MLK, Jr.) and create more holidays where candy is distributed, like our good, good friend Halloween.

Many of you are probably saying, what about the government-approved holidays dedicated to really big dinners, Thanksgiving and Christmas? What about the grilling and barbecuing holiday, the Fourth of July? And the drinking holiday, New Year’s Eve? Look, these holidays are all well and good. But they don’t get us any more #@$*! candy, now do they?! Obviously, the government has a vested interest in seeing its citizens well fed and completely inebriated. But it does not have such an interest in seeing its citizens fat and toothless from candy. How long are we going to put up with this monstrous injustice of naked, hateful, anti-candy prejudice?! We have a right, nay a duty, to eat as much candy as we want- dinner be damned, flab be damned, and dentists be damned.

Before it’s too late, I urge all of you, in the name of candy, to make Halloween a national holiday! For the love of candy, write your congressperson! Do it for the children! Do it for Halloween! But most of all, do it for the candy!