Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thanks again, Ricky Gervais

Ricky was voted television's face of the decade by the Times and he again posted the desktop I created of his photogenic side.

Thumbnail is below, but here is a link to the original post I created, including links to download the desktop for your friends and families enjoyment.

And if you found your way here, I'm now over there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

9@9 - November 10th, 2009

I rarely do this two days in a row, but yesterday was so much fun...

[9:05:37 AM] MWD: A late start to the 9@9 today.
[9:05:53 AM] MWD: Here's hoping it's because they put more work into it this time.
[9:06:00 AM] MWD: The year - 1981.
[9:06:07 AM] MWD: right on the edge

[9:06:22 AM] MWD: #9: April Wine - "Just Between You and Me"
[9:06:42 AM] MWD: I shouldn't like that lead guitar tone, but I do.

[9:09:40 AM] MWD: #8: I told you yesterday that she was raging with jealousy.
[9:09:59 AM] MWD: Kim Carnes - "Bette Davis Eyes"
[9:10:16 AM] MWD: Here today to claim her spot and kick Bonnie Tyler's ass

[9:13:16 AM] MWD: #7: 38 Special - "Hold On Loosely"
[9:13:46 AM] MWD: I don't know how most bands are able to deal with 1 drummer.
[9:13:50 AM] MWD: These guys had 2.
[9:14:10 AM] MWD: I still have no idea why.

[9:15:05 AM] Shane Jones: let me know when they play the gap band
[9:15:32 AM] MWD: If they don't, do you want me to tip over your desk for you?
[9:15:40 AM] Shane Jones: please
[9:15:54 AM] MWD: stay tuned

[9:17:54 AM] MWD: #6: Kenny Rogers - "I Don't Need You"
[9:18:10 AM] MWD: They pulled this one off the scrap heap.
[9:18:28 AM] MWD: When I hear this song I think, "Stick to the chicken, Kenny."

[9:21:07 AM] MWD: #5: Rush - "Limelight"
[9:21:33 AM] MWD: BobFM is throwing quite a challenge at their casual listeners with those 2 back-to-back.
[9:21:45 AM] MWD: Hat tip for that!

[9:26:00 AM] MWD: #4: Steve Winwood - "While You See A Chance"
[9:26:13 AM] MWD: Against my better judgement, I like this song.
[9:26:46 AM] MWD: I forgive him for still dressing like a character on Miami Vice.

[9:29:32 AM] MWD: #3: Pat Benatar - "Treat Me Right"
[9:30:15 AM] MWD: Everyone knows that "Video Killed the Radio Star" was the first video ever aired by MTV.
[9:30:23 AM] MWD: Know what the second video was?
[9:31:04 AM] MWD: Pat Benatar - "You Better Run"

[9:32:14 AM] MWD: #2: Blondie - "The Tide is High"
[9:32:42 AM] Shane Jones: bob, 1981 music choice sucks
[9:32:54 AM] MWD: Middle of the Road
[9:33:10 AM] MWD: the choices - not campaigning for the Pretenders
[9:33:45 AM] MWD: BTW - Debbie Harry *is* that kind of girl.

[9:35:52 AM] MWD: and #1 on this day in 1981...
[9:36:05 AM] MWD: Hall & Oates - "Private Eyes"
[9:36:20 AM] MWD: the song that got them kicked straight out of Philly.
[9:39:19 AM] MWD: Hall & Oates were on the Rachael Ray show yesterday.
[9:39:33 AM] MWD: Damn. I missed it. Now I'll have to kill myself.
[9:40:13 AM] MWD: Forgive me for that last comment. I rarely say anything so EMO.

[9:41:39 AM] MWD: Ugh. 0 for 2 start to the week. C'mon, Bob. Get your head in the game!

[9:41:15 AM] MWD: Post game report:
[9:41:34 AM] MWD: The first song that BobFM played after the 9@9?
[9:41:50 AM] MWD: April Wine - "Just Between You and Me"
[9:41:55 AM] MWD: WTF, Bob?

Monday, November 9, 2009

the 9@9 running commentary

At my day job, we use Skype for communication. A lot. Every once in a while, mostly to entertain myself, I'll post a running commentary of BobFM's 9@9. This morning I thought to myself, why create all of this marginal content just for my co-workers, when I can post it on my blog and, with any luck, amuse tens of others.

So here's BobFM's 9@9 for November 9th, 2009 along with my running commentary.

[9:02:53 AM] MWD: You guys ready for the 9@9 play-by-play?
[9:03:07 AM] MWD: Crap year - 1984. Gee, wonder if we'll hear any Van Halen?
[9:03:32 AM] MWD: Okay, here we go...

[9:03:48 AM] MWD: #9: Madonna - Borderline
[9:04:06 AM] MWD: Raise your hand if you shelled out the $50 for her Sex book.
[9:04:41 AM] MWD: The publisher put only two restrictions on her:
[9:04:48 AM] MWD: 1. No beastiality
[9:05:04 AM] MWD: 2. She could not insert a religious symbol into herself.
[9:05:46 AM] MWD: Some high standards they set for her.

[9:07:08 AM] MWD: This really is going to be a puke-fest.
[9:07:26 AM] MWD: #8: the Thompson Twins - "Hold Me Now"
[9:07:31 AM] MWD: (speechless)

[9:11:07 AM] MWD: #7: Dan Hartman - "I Can Dream About You"
[9:11:26 AM] MWD: Was this one of those Soap Opera/Rock Star guys?
[9:11:31 AM] MWD: Does anyone care?
[9:14:12 AM] MWD: Didn't know this - Dan Hartman was the bass player in the Edgar Winter Group and was the songwriter of "Free Ride"

[9:14:37 AM] MWD: #6 - I guessed correctly, but "one too early"
[9:14:53 AM] MWD: Rick Springfield - "Love Somebody"

[9:18:37 AM] MWD: #5: the Romantics - "Talking In Your Sleep"
[9:18:47 AM] MWD: Every cover band's dream.
[9:18:56 AM] MWD: Can the Stray Cats be far behind?

[9:22:01 AM] MWD: #4: Bonnie Tyler - "Holding Out For A Hero"
[9:22:13 AM] MWD: For those of you that thought she was a one-hit wonder.
[9:22:24 AM] MWD: The even rarer "two-hit wonder"
[9:22:38 AM] MWD: Kim Carnes is raging with jealousy.
[9:24:55 AM] MWD: Wow - this song has the most unnecessary drum solo ever.

[9:27:25 AM] MWD: #3: Phil Collins - "Against All Odds"
[9:27:47 AM] MWD: Perhaps the most maudlin song of his career. Which is really saying something.

[9:31:35 AM] MWD: #2: Laura Branigan - "Self Control"
[9:31:58 AM] MWD: I'm sensing a theme here.
[9:32:13 AM] MWD: Artists "other hits"
[9:32:53 AM] MWD: No Jessie's Girl, no Total Eclipse, no Gloria
[9:33:39 AM] MWD: BTW - If I don't hear Van Halen at number one, I'm going to lose it.

[9:34:35 AM] MWD: Last tune
[9:34:47 AM] MWD: #1 on this day in 1984...
[9:34:57 AM] MWD: And quite the capper to this load of crap
[9:35:16 AM] MWD: Billy Ocean - "Caribbean Queen"
[9:35:57 AM] MWD: No Van Halen.
[9:36:07 AM] MWD: I have tipped over Shane's desk in protest.

[9:36:43 AM] MWD: Not a good start to the week. BobFM has a case of the Mondays.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I review the reviewer

While browsing through last week's edition of the New Yorker online, I stumbled across a book review of two recent biographies of Ayn Rand. The reviewer tipped his hand early when he referred to Rand as a "crackpot" and compared her literary worth to L. Ron Hubbard. Maybe the title of the review should have given me a hint as to what lay ahead: "The cult of Ayn Rand".

Reading through the rest of the review revealed that this was a mere warmup. Thomas Mallon later refers to Rand as "the most totalitarian novelist ever to sit down at a desk" (I immediately thought to myself Mallon must be the most hyperbolic book reviewer ever in the history of the entire universe), and while acknowledging that her books "sold well", he refers to her success as a "crankish fame".

Reading the review, I began to feel sorry for Rand and her hollow notoriety. It's too bad she never wrote anything of significance. Something like a memoir of Dan Quayle, for example.

This is not Mallon's first attempt at tackling revered books. He's become a prolific polemic reviewer of books, having launched a firestorm with his dismissal of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. One begins to wonder if Mr. Mallon has a thing for female writers of note. Which I personally find interesting as Mallon continues his journey to becoming the Ann Coulter of book reviews.

Nice job, NewYorker. I guess you weren't going for objectivity. It's too late now, but in the same spirit you know who would have done a bang-up job on Bill Clinton's biography? Mallon's buddy, Dick Cheney. Maybe next time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I claim to be good at math

I've always wondered why I'll occasionally buy a lottery ticket. I know the odds are greater than someone randomly drawing my name out of a telephone book containing every phone number in Texas, yet there goes another $3.

Seth Godin sums it up nicely and succinctly on his blog. Give it a read.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Copy Cat

It's been raining non-stop here in New Braunfels, but it's still been a Lovely Day.

I'm placing the big weekly order for our store today and along with all of the Texas and Americana music, I'm also getting a little something for myself.

Here's one of the songs on it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I can't tell you how happy this makes me

Ricky Gervais posted a new pic on his blog recently. It is a work of art. I'd like to share it with you now.

My bride didn't share my viewpoint on it's artistic merits ("It's too early in the morning for that"), but she didn't stick around to hear my justification. Lucky you.

Lately, Ricky has been posting a link to a song or video on YouTube at the end of every blog post. I've been following most of them and while the versions he has chosen seem to have a similar theme, one that struck me particularly was Bruce Springsteen's live performance of "Thunder Road" from 1975. It's Bruce before the SuperBowl halftime show, pre "Born In The USA", before he was "THE BOSS", and it was a great reminder of Bruce Springsteen the artist. Someone I haven't seen in a while. It's been Bruce Springsteen the brand for too long. In the live version Ricky linked to, it seemed that Springsteen's only concern was putting the song across as best as possible and not about the light show, or confetti cannons, or playing the role of BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN.

I recognize that in the case of Bruce Springsteen in particular, I may have the minority position (but I offer this contrasting performance from 2002 as my evidence). Regardless, it (and many of Ricky's other music links) got me to thinking about the great artists who begin to take themselves too seriously and become more focused on maintaining their legend. For example, I remember when U2 was a rock band that didn't use bar chords instead of an international brand affiliation to help mega-corporations sell their latest electronic gadget.

We have a few like that even in the little niche of a niche I currently work in - the Texas Music scene. I have been privately critical of Robert Earl Keen for a few years now, thinking he has been too busy playing the role of TEXAS LEGEND ROBERT EARL KEEN to bother with writing songs. In the last six years he has put out two different greatest hits records, two different live records and DVDs, and released two different books, both with titles of songs that appear on both greatest hits records. However, he just put out a record of all new songs (some good ones at that) for the first time in almost five years so I'm encouraged that he's back to writing again.

All of this naturally led to me wondering about Ricky and whether or not the day would come when he would make a television appearance and feel compelled to do his "greatest hits" (here's where I do the dance, here's where I talk about popping off into the sink, etc.). The picture was a good reminder that of all of the great artists working today, no one takes themselves less seriously than Ricky Gervais.

All of this in explanation of why I think the picture above makes for great art. I look forward to each new self-portrait with great anticipation. Thanks, Ricky.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Anguished English

Brilliant question I was asked by an AT&T rep while calling about voice mail problems:

"Are you on the phone with me sir?"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


"Two Excedrins is not going to make this day suck any less."
~ Clair Devers

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hicks and Gervais

Quick Bill Hicks reference at the start of a sketch Ricky Gervais and Stephen F. Merchant (I don't know what his real middle initial is, but I like "F") filmed for the Guardian.


I got a good look at my muse today.

He’s shorter than me and much thinner. He has wings, but they are molting and in some spots they’re singed. He wears a hat that looks like a cross between a fedora and that weird little cap that Robin Hood wears. He smokes hand-rolled cigarettes. There’s a small leather pouch he keeps fastened to his belt, and when I caught a glimpse of him he shot me an evil grin and patted it softly. Scares the hell out of me.



I believe that people who want to write, but don’t, have a fairy-tale image of the writing process. They believe a writer sits down to begin work and a rainbow appears over their shoulder and they are washed in soft light descending from the heavens as the sentences and paragraphs flow fully formed into their brain and all that is left is their inspired transcription. In the middle of the afternoon other writer friends drop by and they all enjoy high tea while brilliantly discussing each others work. They use words like “transcendent” and “exhilarating”. Just lovely.

The truth for me is that writing is mostly lonely, and, when done correctly, an excruciating process that robs a little bit from you for every good sentence you manage to eek out. You have to give up just a little bit of yourself to make it work. When I explain this to my friends whom would “love to write”, they look at me as if I were someone standing alone in a parking lot clutching a brown paper bag that was leaking something.

“Maybe you’re doing it wrong. Why would you choose to do something that sounds so miserable? I thought you loved to write?“


It’s at this point that they slowly back away from me. As if they were afraid whatever it is that’s leaking from my paper bag might get on their shoes.



I know what’s in that little leather pouch of his. It looks small, but it holds a lot. Kind of like Mary Poppins bag, if Mary Poppins had been a sick twisted bitch. He has medical tubing, all kinds of vials, some tobacco, some wooden matches, and lots and lots of syringes and needles. All kinds of needles. Long ones, short ones, thick ones. “These is all of my little angels,” he sings to me. “They help me do the best parts of my work for you.”

There are times when I cheat. I toss something off without digging very deep and that’s it. The muse doesn’t come near me. Not so much as a pin prick.

But there are other times. Times when I go below the surface and so does he. I manage to mine something that is difficult to extract and he’s right there with a vein tied off and the needle plunged deep into my skin, sometimes through the bone and right into the marrow. Those are the good times and the sadistic little imp knows it. He revels in it.

I don’t know what he does with those vials after he fills them. Maybe he’s saving them for later on in my life when I’ll need it back, but probably he sneaks off in the middle of the night to the edge of town and dumps the contents into a drainage ditch. It doesn’t matter to me. Whatever is in those vials belongs to him now.

I wonder what it would be like if it were easier. If I could reach below the surface without the struggle, without the sacrifice. I don’t think it’s possible, and even if it were, I couldn’t do it. What would become of my nasty little muse and his finely honed skills? It’s not like a greeting card writer is going to give him a job.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's shaped like a circle

The problem with self-deprecating irony is when other people get it, but you don't.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who's Cody?

Cross Canadian Ragweed has a new album arriving on September 1st. I'll be interviewing Cody Canada sometime next week for the next issue of our magazine. It's not supposed to be feature-length, but I'm going to try like hell to get it to 5,000 words anyway.

All of this has been in the planning stages for a few weeks. In our scene, Ragweed is kind of a big deal. They are the LoneStarMusic Artist of the Month for August online and we published the longest review we've ever done on an album in the brand new issue of the mag.

All of this we did on our own. We didn't need some $250/hour publicist to clue us in that the release was significant in our area.


We received a call at the store earlier this week from a publicity firm in New York City. They wanted to let us know that there was a new Cross Canadian Ragweed album coming out (thanks for the breaking news) and wanted to know if we would be able to promote the record at all. Mind you, the band was splashed all over the front page of our website at the time of the call. But wait, it gets better.

Kris, our store manager who answered the call, told the guy, "I know we're doing lots of stuff with the record. They're all friends with Cody so they've got it covered." To which he responded:

"Who's Cody?"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Playing the game, whatever the cost

There's an artist in our scene that I admire in some ways and am completely baffled by in other ways. He's been a big supporter of our company for a long time, basically since day one. But he makes choices that leave me searching for words.

First it was being a judge on the Next GAC Star or some show like that.

Then it was a special version of his record for Nike, where he talked about running either in-between or on top of his songs (I never picked up a copy so I have no idea how it turned out).

And I almost forgot, his slightly controversial but ultimately forgettable (obviously) cover of Hinder's "Lips of an Angel" while the Hinder version was still on the charts. (Why did I think I heard Pat Boone singing bg vocals on the cut?)

The latest, to promote his record release on August 25th I presume, is a guest appearance on the Lifetime original series, Army Wives. You can check out the preview here, and if you're reading this after the episode airs, that same link will allow you to view the whole episode (if you have the stomach for it).

I understand that is he wants to play "in the majors", these are the kinds of things he has to do, but it's all too reminiscent of some satire that I found very funny and, as it turns out, right on the money.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

To start my week on the right foot

"When I write, I feel like an armless legless man with a crayon in his mouth."
~ Kurt Vonnegut

Twitter, Facebook, & MySpace Unplugged

No, it's not a reality tv pitch.

I have deleted my accounts at all of the above. I have unplugged myself from the mass interconnectivity of modern online life. No more tweets, status updates, or bulletins for me. I quit. Fini. It's all Bubbles in the Wine to me now.

My wife was annoyed. ("I've gone from 'Married to Michael Devers' to just 'married'. Thanks a lot." As if I had filed some kind of legal proceeding.)

My friends who speak to me in the real world were baffled:
"What's wrong with you?"
"Did something happen?"
"Don't forget your aluminum hat, freak!"

For those who need to understand, there was no major event, no great epiphany. It was a gradual build up of small annoyances that led to the question, "What am I really getting out of trying to keep up with all of this and what else could I be doing with the time?" I deleted my accounts about .2 seconds after that.

I will be keeping this mostly anonymous blog as a tiny online island. Though the idea isn't wholly mine, it works for me. Of course, I've now set myself up to have no excuse in keeping this blog updated regularly. Annoying.

Where's the delete button on this thing?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The efficiency of the U.S. Mail

We have a couple of really nice trees behind our store in New Braunfels, TX. Lately, with every day being well over 100 degrees, I have been parking under one of them to keep my vehicle in the shade during the afternoon. I'm not the only one.

Every day, at some point between 1 and 2pm, a mail truck is also parked under the tree, usually directly across from my car. The driver sits in the truck for close to two hours - sometimes napping, sometimes reading a book. Either way, enjoying the shade on a hot summer day in South Texas.

It's most curious to myself and our shipping clerk as we have to pull teeth and get a written permission slip from Obama to get a carrier to pick up our packages on a daily basis. We had a guy for a while who was unbelievably good, "Dan the Man". They moved him from our area when they gave him a bigger route.

We have another guy, Steven, who does really well by us also. He picks up whenever he can, but he only rarely handles our area any more. He has also been given more responsibility. In other words, if Steven doesn't come, no one does. Why? According to the local post office, they are understaffed and "it's a miracle they can even deliver the mail with the resources they are given."

Which brings us to our daily reader out back. We're not exactly shy so we asked him (and a few other carriers) about it. Apparently, it's a postal tradition. If you finish your route early enough and come back to the post office they will give you more work. If you do it enough days in a row, they will give you more work permanently. According to the carriers, this is to be avoided at all cost. Thus the postal carrier has adopted the siesta as a tradition of their own.

I thought about all of this as I read a story today in the Wall Street Journal, Postal Service Delivers More Red Ink. From the story:
"The recession has been brutal," Postal Service Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett said at public meeting of the postal service board of governors.
Not only has the recession been brutal, but so has the heat. Just drop by our store between one and three pm and ask the guy parked under the tree.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Waco, TX

A friend of mine just returned from an overnight trip to Waco. Here is her list of things to do should you also find yourself in Waco for an evening:

1. Drink an entire bottle of whiskey.
2. Pass out in your motel room.

She did them in order.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Going the "ironically funny" route is a tough way for a comedian to make a living.

Friday, July 24, 2009

To Drive and Live in thr 21st Century

When I find myself stuck behind someone driving like they have their head up their ass, I assume they are talking on a cell-phone. I'm only right 90% of the time. The other 10% of people have their head stuck up their ass in some other way.

(Sorry for any typos. I posted this while I was driving)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It was sheer joy, I tell ya'

Finished a 5,000 word story on Charlie Robison for the next issue. I would love to write another 5,000 words with a different angle, but that's going to have to wait for another year. If you see me at a party trying to make small talk with a potted plant, hit me up about it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Review of

Customer Service.

I think the only employee who speaks english as a first language is Jeff Bezos.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Revisions Part II

What a lovely gift I received in my inbox today. A great example of a press release that could have used another three or four revision passes. I hate to pick on Fanboys, but they're a victim of their own unfortunate timing:

Interviews are available on Beta and DVD format for the following:
Kristen Bell (by herself)
Kyle Newman (Director) (by himself)
Sam Huntington/Dan Fogler/Chris Marquette (group interview)

In addition roundtable interviews for radio/print outlets are available as well.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ANY OF THESE MATIERALS. We also have posters available as well.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


The bride and I are working on a press release today. It's on its fourth revision and is just now starting to come together. We started off with two full pages and part of the process has been trimming the fat to get down to one page. I know I've seen a lot of two page press releases, but I can't recall many (or even one, to be honest) successful multi-page press releases.

She just handed me another sheet, so it's revision five now. Very close.

In case you're lost in the shroud of my subtlety - revisions are very important in writing.

Unless you're writing a blog, of curse.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Writing advice from my iPod

"I got a story ain't got no morals, let the bad guy win every once in a while."

~ Billy Preston, "Will It Go Round In Circles"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ricky Gervais Desktop

Ricky Gervais has become an inspiration to me. It's not the rags-to-riches story, or the excellence of his writing and comedy. He has inspired me in terms of photography, specifically portrait photography.

To honor his photographic (and photogenic) genius, I have created the Ricky Gervais Desktop. Be sure to share it. After loading it on your own desktop, load it on your mate's desktop, or perhaps one of your colleague's computers at work, whenever they step away from their desk for a minute or two. Imagine their surprise and appreciation when they sit back down and discover you've given them the Ricky Gervais Desktop!

1. Click the download button below that matches your screen resolution.
2. A new window will open with the wallpaper image.
3. Right click on the wallpaper image and select 'Set as Wallpaper' or 'Set as background'.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's no Bwana Devil

I noticed an item today on CNN's homepage, "See Obama's first oath in 3D". You would think the part to catch my eye would be "first oath", but no. It was "in 3D".

Seriously? 3D on my computer? No glasses? clickety-click-click-click.

I had to install Microsoft's SilverLight. Something that Redmond has been trying to trick me into installing for months and now they had a good enough carrot.

It was a quick download and install and one click later I would be viewing glorious 3D on my desktop. Here's my quick review:


You can achieve the safe effect at home. "See the family vacation in 3D on your coffee table!" All you need to do is get all of the photos you took of say..... the monkey pit from the zoo trip, and spread them out on your coffee table. Voila! You are now experiencing 3D as envisioned by Microsoft.

What miracle technology will they come up with next? I predict
a device that you can wear that tells you the time and weather via FM radio and only needs recharged daily!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Moss, man

I took this picture today while at an associates house fixing her computer. Her husband lived in the house for close to a decade before they were married, so the basketball goal is his. As you can tell from the picture, he either hasn't used it in quite a while or he's an awful, terrible shot. I snapped the photo to remind myself that moss grows and covers that which is unused.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

of Scorpions and Frogs and Ryan Adams

One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river.

The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn't see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.

Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.

"Hellooo Mr. Frog!" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?"

"Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont try to kill me?" asked the frog hesitantly.

"Because," the scorpion replied, "If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!"

Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. "What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!"

"This is true," agreed the scorpion, "But then I wouldn't be able to get to the other side of the river!"

"Alright do I know you wont just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?" said the frog.

"Ahh...," crooned the scorpion, "Because you see, once you've taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!"

So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog's back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog's soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

"You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"

The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog's back.

"I couldn't help myself. It's just my nature."

Also, Ryan Adams announced he is quitting music.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

...and the pants were sardonic.

The Bride and I had a chance to attend the Gourds show at Gruene Hall on Saturday night. It was a great performance by the band - they filled my happy tank to the top. While there, we ran into a couple we are friends with and I mentioned to Ethan how I liked his Kenny Rogers t-shirt. He went on about it a little, so I asked him what he thought of my Waylon Jennings tee.

"Waylon Jennings is pretty cool, but I'm wearing my t-shirt ironically."

Ironically? Really? I didn't know clothes could do that. I didn't give up my Garanimals tags without a fight and now I have to worry about the subtext of my clothes?

I saw the Kenny Rogers tee on the rack before Christmas - at Wal-Mart for eight bucks. Does the fact that he's wearing a mass-produced tee only costing $8 increase the irony or does it make his intended statement ironic itself? I can only pose these questions as I'm not fashion-forward enough to answer them.

Then last night a friend of mine wore a tuxedo t-shirt during his band's appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. "What was he thinking?" was my initial reaction, but then Ethan's voice whispered in my brain, "Dude, he's wearing it ironically".

I wonder if Dave knew.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Word Wednesday

As far as blog posts go, this is pretty weak. It's a glorified link, really, but I got so much out of the original post at Daily Writing Tips I felt obligated to share it.

Genericide - the death of a trademark word through common, generic use by the general public

The post contains good information regarding the use of words on the verge of genericide, and, as always, you can Google "genericide" for even more information.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Victoria Loves My Bride

We first noticed it a little before Christmas. The regular email turned into a steady stream and as the 25th approached it became a deluge. Victoria's Secret bombarded my wife's email box with special offers, sales, and new items multiple times a day.

Permission-marketing guru Seth Godin teaches a very good lesson about this in his book..... I think it's in all of them, actually. I have to assume the marketing department at Victoria's Secret does not subscribe to the School of Godin.

Though she loves their products, eventually she grew weary of the constant emails. The camel-straw arrived one day as she was perusing a sweater sale on the website from an email she had received, and before she finished browsing another email from VS arrived. She was going to unsubscribe, but learned Victoria's Secret has email settings for their subscribers. She changed her preference from "Spam-A-Lot" to "Sunday driver" and she now gets one email a week.

And then it got bad.

Like a stalker who starts coming around the house once you get an unlisted phone number, Victoria's Secret catalogs began showing up in our mailbox. Every. Single. Day. I like a Vickie S. catalog as much as the next guy, but every day? Who (over the age of 16) can keep up with that pace?

Here's the most up to date sampling, for anyone thinking I might be stretching the truth. The one on the left arrived last Friday, the middle one arrived on Saturday, and the one on the right showed up on Monday. My wife and I were relieved when the mailbox remained empty on Sunday.

I don't know how VS is doing financially, but they're putting quite an investment in my wife, one I doubt they'll be able to recoup. Those catalogs are all full color and I imagine it costs them more than a Jefferson nickel to print them, much less mail them.

She used to thumb through the catalogs from cover-to-cover, but now - it's too much. They go straight in the trash. In this case, into my blog, and then straight into the trash.

Today (Tuesday) is junk mail day. We'll probably get two.