Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The return of the blog

Oh yes, it's back, ladies and gentlemen....and let's get things started off with an open letter, shall we?  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

End of an era...how should we feel?

May 30th, 2011.

This is a day that each and every member of Buckeye Nation will remember.  It was the day that the proverbial shit hit the fan and Jim Tressel was forced to resign from his position as Head Coach of Ohio State.

My question to everyone is this:  How should we feel?

Now, I'm serious when I ask this, because every person I've talked has given me one of two answers:

"I will miss him because of the success" or "My ties are to Ohio State."

Well, let's build upon this and figure out some type of consensus, even though that is virtually impossible.  First, the positives.

Jim Tressel was the opposite of John Cooper.  While Cooper routinely recruited massive amounts of pro talent in the names of Eddie George, Orlando Pace, David Boston, Antoine Winfield, and so on, he never embraced the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry.  On top of this, he could never seem to win bowl games.  Sure, we got the 1997 Rose Bowl, but being 3-8 in bowl games and 2-10-1 against Michigan sealed his fate in 2000, ultimately leading to his firing shortly after the Outback Bowl in 2001.  Tressel, on the other hand, has given us a 9-1 record against Michigan, a 6-4 record in bowl games, including five wins in BCS bowl games, not to mention a MNC (Mythical National Championship, because the BCS sucks.) to throw into the mix.

Now, here we sit, trying to absorb the incredible storm that has befallen the program.  Tressel has resigned and will get his punishment on his own, which MAY cushion the blow to Ohio State itself, but probably not much.  I would expect, at some point, Gene Smith to step down as we draw closer to doomsday, and perhaps even E. Gordon Gee, who certainly enabled this by not enforcing a stiffer penalty out of the gate.

Tattoo-gate aside, the stories that have been coming out are full of speculation and heresay.  The Sports Illustrated article written by Dohrmann was not nearly the damning piece of evidence that we were all expecting.  It either told us things that we already knew, or speculated as to what else is possible.  Still, the information hurt enough for Tressel to have to leave his vacation and sign a letter of resignation.  The heat got to be too much, turning a very boring offseason into the prelude to one of the most interesting seasons that Ohio State will ever have.

We will all think of the most recent problems that include Pryor, Posey, Herron, etc.  However, I think a lot of people (the same people who don't want Urban Meyer) seem to forget that we have had quite a few arrests in the last ten years regarding football players.  While we don't consider arrests to be things that can cause major problems with the NCAA, there have been (officially) 33 arrests while on Tressel's watch at Ohio State, some of which are repeat offenders (Louis Irizarry the most prominent one coming to mind) that are all handled accordingly, so while the team dealt with them as necessary, it still is a black mark on the program.  Perhaps we all didn't care because they were handled in a fairly quick manner and swept away, even though there were some pretty harsh charges.  Irizarry was sentenced to three years in prison due to violation of probation after being charged and convicted of robbery and assault of a student with Ira Guilford, another person that didn't quite "get it" when he was at Ohio State.

Earlier, I said I was getting two primary responses.  I appreciate what Tressel did for the program from a success standpoint, but my ties are to Ohio State.  I fear for the immediate future and how hard the NCAA will hammer us, which made me ask the question posed earlier:  Just how should we feel?  Tressel gave us success, absolutely...but the program is going to get smacked.  It isn't going to be an easy storm to weather, and whoever is brought in to fix it, whether it's Luke Fickell or a big name like Urban Meyer, Bob Stoops, Jon Gruden, Bo Pelini, etc., well, I hope it's someone who will right the ship when it comes to corruption.  I feel as though I've been told a long, systematic lie about our program.

How do I feel?

I feel betrayed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Five days to go...

This morning, I sent off Stephanie at the airport at roughly five in the morning.  If there is one person who can truly understand what I'm going through, it's her.  You see, last year on my birthday, while I was in the midst of still passing through medical in order to just qualify to take the physical at MEPS, Stephanie told me that she was considering joining the Peace Corp.  She told me because she knew I would understand the situation:  Dropping everything that is going on in one's life to basically make a sacrifice and a drastic change in lifestyle.  I told her to go for it.

She did just that, and now she is in Dallas at Peace Corp Staging.  Tomorrow, she will fly to Belmopan, Belize, which will be her home for the next 27 months.

It was a little odd this morning as I dropped her off.  Having spent almost her entire last day in Columbus with her, it felt a lot like foreshadowing to me.  Here she was, sitting in an empty house, just doing some final cleaning and packing.  She had loose ends to tie up but, for the most part, she was ready.  I watched her go through the highs and lows of the process, from selling her car and getting more than what she expected all the way to saying goodbye to friends as well as her pet, which is as much of a part of her family as anyone.

I sit here, now, roughly 120 hours from reporting to MEPS on Tuesday.  I have been going through much of the same issues that she did.  My nights have been locked up with meeting with friends for the last time, people calling me, and just trying to finalize every last bit that I can before I head out.  My mother will be here on Friday night to get my car as well as my dog, which I know will be one of the harder things to deal with in this process.  In essence, her situation and mine will be mirror images as I approach the final days of civilian life.

I've found myself wondering what it's all going to be like next week.  My mind continues to remind me that this is, in fact, happening.  It's not just a dream or an alternate reality.  This is going to happen, and perhaps I still don't understand the sacrifices that I'm making in order to do this.  Kyle posted on my wall earlier tonight that my "life changes forever in a few days."

He couldn't be more right.  It's not just about changing my career.  This is about changing my very way of life.  I've enjoyed my time in Columbus, but for the longest time, I've been complacent about my future.  There are a few things I would change if I could go back, for certain.  Perhaps even change things that would have made my life far different now.  However, one cannot dwell on the past.  Your eyes must remain forward at all times, looking into the future.

My future takes me to Great Lakes, Illinois, in under a week.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Year in Review: 2010 - Things that made us laugh, cry, and hurl.

2010 is coming to a close, boys and girls.  It seems like just yesterday I was enjoying the coming of Spring and watching the snow melt away, only to find that it's December again, and we're probably facing a brutal Winter here in Central Ohio....at least by Ohio standards.  There have been many things that have happened here in 2010 that have made me sit up and either laugh or just scratch my head.  Without actually trying to recall every little piece of information, this is my unofficial "Year in Review" to sum everything up.

- Tiger Woods loves sex....with anybody.

So, while this technically happened over the past several years, this was really a 2010 story.  We've all heard about it by now:  Tiger's wife came at him with a fucking nine iron and bashed out the backglass of his car.  First off, if that headline didn't make you laugh, I'm not sure what would.  I want you to picture this in your head:  Elin Nordgren, a supermodel, who was married to Tiger God-Damned Woods, ran out of their ridiculous mansion in Windermere, Florida, and proceeded to beat the shit out of his car with a fucking golf club!  There is no amount of money I wouldn't have given at that time (alright, maybe I'd cap it at twenty bucks) to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation in their house.

The real funny part, though, was the list of women that came out after the story broke.  A couple of porn stars stepped forward and flashed some text messages, and while infidelity isn't exactly something that is positive in the sports world, I'm sure a few guys watching at home with no morals sat up and went "Niiiiiice."

Then it got weird.  Random women were coming forward, most of which who weren't even close to being famous, saying that they enjoyed a fling or seven with the almighty one iron that Tiger sported in his trousers.  The story officially hit "WTF" status when a waitress at Perkins came forward and said that they had sex in the parking lot of the restaurant she worked at.

A Perkins Waitress.

Think about that for a second...have you ever been to a Perkins?  They smell like Polygrip and cat piss.  Tiger just so happened to swing in for a dinner and some sex, though, deciding to take his waitress out back and give her a really good tip, and it wasn't about her pitching ability to the green, that's for sure.

Eventually, Elin wised up and took him to the cleaners to the tune of 815 million dollars.  Tiger is trying to rebound, but has sucked out loud this year in tournaments, a year that he probably should have won more than one major to try and catch Jack.

- BP fucks up the Gulf of Mexico, hilarity ensues.

This was probably my favorite ongoing saga that really didn't have any major changes to the story outside of the first day.  BP had this big ass rig in the Gulf called the Deepwater Horizon, which sounded like the title of a terrible B Movie on Netflix that you could watch, expecting some terrible horror scenes and scantily clad chicks who are just weeks away from breaking into porn.  Anyways, this rig exploded, causing several employee deaths (which we honestly never fucking heard about because OMG THE WATER IS POLLUTED) and also causing the well that the rig was siphoning to break loose, spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP's response to this was fucking hilarious, given the situation.  It took a couple of days, but the CEO came out, who looked like a cross between Mr. Rogers and the sketched character from the cover of MAD Magazine, and basically said "We're sorry.  We fucked up." and left it at that.

Most of the world went "Uhhhhh....that's it?" just like all of the media did.  It was hilarious that the CEO of this company, who knew full well that they were causing major damage, basically just wrote an apology and hoped it would all go away.

After that, we started seeing the "BP Cares" commercials all over the place, involving some shitheads who got sucked into the terrible position of trying to clean this shit up from not just a political standpoint, but from a customer service standpoint.

The best part of this, though, was watching the videos of them basically trying to play a gigantic game of Whack-a-Mole while trying to plug this fucker up.  Believe me when I tell you that if you can't win any of those skill crane games at the arcade, then you don't have a snowball's chance in hell of plugging that fucking well up a mile deep in the water.

- World Cup 2010 South Africa introduces the world to the Vuvuzela

Okay, so the World Cup was actually pretty fucking sweet.  We found out that the United States can stomach soccer/football for one month because of the "AMERICA!!! FUCK YEAH!!!" angle of the situation.  Patriotism rules all, simply because we know full well that the rest of the world hates hearing that "U-S-A!" chant over and over again.  In the end, the Americans lost because, well, soccer is a sport that we simply just aren't great at/don't really give a shit about, and the Spaniards ended up winning it all.  Another tournament successful and FIFA made a ton of money off of thBZZZZZZZZZZ.....

Oh...yeah...those fucking vuvuzelas were out in full force, too.

South Africa apparently had this instrument called the Vuvuzela.  No one really knew what the hell it was or what kind of a sound it played...until the opening game of the tournament came on and all you heard on the TV was "BZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" while watching the match.

Naturally, when the tournament was over, people had purchased these foot and a half long instruments of ultimate annoyance for their own personal reasons.  The good thing, though, is that the fad wore off after a little time and mainly due to every single sports team in the country saying "Bring one of those, and you're never coming back inside."

In other news...

- FIFA loves money.

Russia and Qatar?  Thanks for playing, FIFA.  You've proven to us that you have completely lost your god damned minds.

And while we're on the subject of completely corrupt organizations...

- The NCAA is just making shit up as it goes along.

They aren't even trying to hide it anymore.  The entire Cameron Newton story was one that didn't truly shock anyone, considering that we had seen this type of corruption in the past, but the way the NCAA handled it is laughable at best.  Here they were, presented with yet another chance to show that "OMG WE'RE REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT ACADEMICS AND AMATEURISM!!!" and they pretty much pissed it away.

Now, granted, the investigation is supposedly continuing, considering that the FBI is now involved and talks of Auburn University even losing it's accreditation as a school of higher education have swirled, the goofy as hell NCAA is like the retarded stepchild that got left in charge of running the house.  Basically, they didn't feel like taking Auburn's primary weapon away from them and, thus, damning them to a mid-tier bowl.  In the process, if they had done that, we would be talking about Oregon vs. TCU for the Mythical National Championship instead of Oregon and Auburn.

Now, given that Ohio State has just gone through a hilariously awful scandal and A.J. Green was banhammered at the beginning of the year, I've used this phrase to sum it up:

Sell your jersey for money?  Four game suspension.  Trade items for tattoos?  Five game suspension.  Have your father pimp you out to schools for 200,000 dollars?  Win a Heisman.

Basically, the NCAA is saying "If you cheat huge, we don't care.  The remedial stuff?  Fuck you."

- Jimmy Wales needs your money...seriously...he needs it...like NOW.

While we've all used Wikipedia for pretty much anything, we've all realized one thing:  It's free to use.  Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of the company, needs your money to apparently keep it alive.  And he needs it fucking NOW.

Fifteen million dollars is all he's asking from the country/world/universe.  Now, what's real interesting is the fact that he doesn't truly have to list the reasons why he needs this money.  For all you know, he's using it to build another god damned mansion and it won't even go to the website.

Fuck him and fuck you if you donate.  People change it without really needing to check their facts.  If the website dies, you still have plenty of other places to look up your useless information from.

- Oh noes, Steve Jobs.  You might actually have some competition!

I never get involved in the whole debate about who's phone/MP3 player/random device is better, but for the longest time, we've heard/seen/been forced to watch that Apple's iPod/iPhone/iPad/iDouche is better than anything that has ever been released.  Steve probably died a little inside when he found out that people have been actually buying more Android phones this year than iPhones, probably because of the fact that people finally realized that AT&T has shitty coverage outside of California.  It'll come as no shock when Verizon announces in January that they'll start carrying iPhones.

- Justin Bieber was almost sent to North Korea.

I refuse to talk about this wretched little shit other than the fact that he posted up a poll as to what country he needs to visit next and the overwhelming prank was played that said he should have his ass shipped to North Korea.

- The Kardashians are whores

That's it.  Seriously.  Moving along...

- Recession, recession, recession

Still think we're out of the recession?  I have some water here that can cure cancer, too.  On top of that, I could probably change Coke into Pepsi if I just took a piss in a bottle of it.

The holidays showed us that people are still penny-pinching, although smaller shops have apparently been thriving.  On top of that, people love to point fingers at the causes of this, but never step up to the plate with solutions, as shown by the recent elections.  Every single campaign this year, no matter what state you were in, basically went like this:  "See this shit that we're up to our neck in!?!  It was all that guy's fault!!!"

I really, really, really hate politics.

That about sums up 2010, if you ask me.  Sure there were other things that went on, but this was the list that stuck out to me.

This has been your rant of the day. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Michigan Sucks.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the greatest week of the year when it comes to being a Buckeye.  It's that time of the year where jokes about cheerleaders grazing on grass, students changing lightbulbs, and just general hatred flows like water out of a faucet.

That's right, it's Michigan week.

I thought about going over all of the reasons why we're going to win the game this Saturday at Ohio Stadium, but honestly, I think most everyone has their own lists and reasons and, with that being said, I'm going to break away from that and simply write about anything that comes to mind regarding this.

My first true taste of Ohio State-Michigan came in the form of making the trip to Ann Arbor in 1999.  The Buckeyes were 6-5 and needed a win to get into bowl contention.  Somewhere over the course of this season, I discovered that I had a tremendous hatred for Steve Bellisari, the quarterback of the Buckeyes who should have been playing something like Safety or Tight End.  The season started out alright enough, but started a downward swing when people began to realize that Bellisari, or "Jackass" as I have referred to him ever since this game, did in fact suck a massive amount of shit.

First off, Ann Arbor is a shitty town.  I refuse to call it a city, because it isn't.  It's a piece of shit town in the middle of fucking nowhere Michigan.  If you want to see it, just look it up.  It isn't worth driving the three to four hours just to see it.  I don't care if I even had tickets to the game.  I went once, and it was one of the worst times ever.  You end up having to park on the golf course that's across from the stadium and, if you get there closer to game time, you have to walk a lot farther than you should.  Also, the students there seem to have this penchant for throwing batteries at you.  I was pegged a couple of times with AA batteries (Insert Appy State joke here) while my friends and I attempted to get to the stadium.

The stadium itself is a shithole in itself, even if these renovations changed it.  It's not as loud as people make it out to be and extremely terrible when it comes to the layout.  If your seat is down at the field level, you've got yourself a long walk....and a long climb back up due to the fact it's built into the ground.

Anyways, the game itself in 1999 was pretty much what I expected:  Come out with our hair on fire, actually be competitive, and then promptly shit the bed at the end of the game.  It was painful to watch, but at that point, I was hooked on the tradition itself.

The next year was terrible, but led to the hiring of Jim Tressel, who has absolutely owned Michigan since stepping on campus in 2001.  Going up to Ann Arbor in 2001 with Jonathan Wells and a bag of potato chips surprised everyone when the Buckeyes pulled a 26-21 upset, leading the way for cautious optimism into the 2002 campaign....which we all know ended with a National Championship.  Heart attack after heart attack took several years off of my life, but I'll never forget my reaction when Will Allen picked off John Navarre to send the Buckeyes to the championship.  Standing there with Rick and Luke, exploding in joy and rushing the field....seriously one of the greatest moments in sports for me.

It would be trumped against Miami in January.

Watching Dorsey drop back and get chased by Cie Grant, a desperation pass was flung and knocked down by Donnie Nickey and Matt Wilhelm.  With many people crammed into my basement apartment, we exploded once again and ran out of the apartment, temperatures roughly at 20 degrees, and simply finding the first person we could and hugging them.  It didn't matter if we knew each other or not.  At that moment, we all had one thing in common:  We were all Buckeyes.

It has officially been 2,662 days since Michigan last beat Ohio State.  Yes, we keep track of this.  JT has owned the decade when it comes to this game, and we all hope the same thing continues for the next decade.  While Michigan has a weapon on offense that only a couple of teams have managed to slow down this year, their defense is flat out awful.  They are arguably the worst unit in the country.  With an offense that can easily bowl over them, I would expect a high amount of rushing yards and at least a two touchdown victory.

Honestly, I could write about this all night.  The fact of the matter is, though, is that I want to save some more of this for later in the week as The Game draws closer.

Here's to Ohio State whipping Michigan's ass once again.

Here's to Jim Tressel owning Dick Rod.

Here's to hoping that Michigan is annexed to Canada.

And here's to being a Buckeye.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Black Friday: How to deal with it without getting killed.

Several years ago, I decided to check out what the real pain in the ass was about Black Friday.  My family had explained it to me when I was still in high school and, considering that I lived in a town of 3,000 people, I never experienced it first hand until I got to college.  Even then, I wouldn't actually experience it until I was about 22 years old, seeing as how Black Friday was nothing more than a day off since it was Thanksgiving Weekend and classes were canceled.

Having read about the craziness surrounding the holiday, I figured it would be best to check it out at a mall.  Not even considering what time some of these crazy god damned people get up to start this shit, I headed out with a friend who needed to do some shopping at about nine in the morning.  At the time, she had said that "Most of the chaos was probably gone" and that we would be alright.

Yeah, her idea of "chaos" and my idea of "chaos" must have been in different languages, let alone definitions.

Our first stop was at the Tuttle Crossing Mall, where I proceeded to spend a good thirty minutes just circling to find us a parking spot.  To my surprise, she told me that it was normal for this and that "it was nothing" compared to what five in the morning looked like.

Well now...why did I volunteer for this?  Oh...right...hot friend who needed help.  No-brainer.

Walking through the mall is like being taught self-defense by a drunken man holding a six foot long staff while you're blindfolded.  Simply put, you have to be on your toes, or else you are going to get run over.  It blew me away at just how crazy the place was.  Normal, everyday people, turned into mindless zombies who will let nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, get in their way of buying that extra-special-gift for just a little bit less.  Let me tell you, there is nothing more insane than watching a woman in her sixties practically run over children while heading for a big sign that says "BLACK FRIDAY SALE!"

The day progressed a little better as we ended up hitting some places on her list that were less traveled by the normal Black Friday shopper and, eventually, we were finished.  At that point, just for shits and giggles, we were right by the old Circuit City over on Sawmill.  We both decided to just jump in and check it out.

This would be one of the first times in my life where I would literally say, out loud, "Ho-ly shit."

It was insanity, and this was almost eight hours removed from the START of the day.  What the fuck was the craziness about?  It turned out that there was plenty going on.  We saw a straight-up fist fight start over fucking DISCMANS.  Yeah, you remember those.  Those were the things you had to have in order to play music before Steve fucking Jobs began his true world domination with iPods.  Sure, they had been out for a couple of years, but hadn't truly caught steam just yet.

On top of the fistfight, we watched people practically yelling at salespeople who were telling them that they were out of stock of a lot of items right as the store opened.  Taking a glance at an advertisement nearby, I read some things that I would certainly learn the meaning of later on.

"Limited quantities."  "No rainchecks."  "Doorbusters."

These are three terms that salespeople have to abide by when it comes to a day like Black Friday.  I have personally learned this as I prepare to work on my fifth Black Friday in the world of retail.  While I will not be up at the crack of dawn and have drawn the 12:30pm to Close shift, it will still be chaos.

Now, that being said, this is a friendly, but blunt, reminder on how to handle yourself during a Black Friday.

Rule #1:  Watch out for yourself and travel alone.

I cannot stress this enough.  If you want to truly get your shit done, you're doing it alone.  Bring a list, bring food, bring a drink, and leave anyone that you fucking care about at your house or someone else's house.  They are only going to get in your way, and you're going to have enough of a problem dealing with other people who are looking for the exact same thing you are.  Also, for the love of all that is holy, leave your god damned kids at home.  You are asking for a trip to the ER if you bring them, especially if they are young.

Rule #2:  Do not listen to anyone else, unless they are sales associates.

You ever notice how people like to tell you about "special" sales that go on before or after Black Friday?  Yeah, it's a fucking sham.  They are simply trying to deter you.  You are competition.  Don't listen to them, unless someone who works at your favorite retailer says otherwise.

Rule #3:  Don't argue with salespeople.

I'll actually make an entire list that is separate from this, but this needs to be brought up more than once.

Rule #4:  Gas your car up the day before.

If you're making multiple stops, take care of the necessities first.  Gas your car up on Wednesday.

Rule #5:  Camping out?  Dress warm.

Seriously, unless you live in a state that is warm year-round, prepare for the worst.  Ohio is slated to be blasted by a storm on Thursday and, possibly, Friday.  It will make things far worse for anyone who decides to camp out in front of a store.

Rule #6:  No violence.

You may feel like someone is being a dick, bitch, asshole, cunt, whatever derogatory word you can come up with, to you.  Don't get baited into a fight, even just an argument, with someone.  Chances are going to be very, very good that there will not only be managers out looking for just this type of behavior....but police as well.  Feel like having to call your significant other to bail you out of jail because you punched someone in the face for a laptop?  Yeah, I'm pretty sure they don't want to hear that either.

Everything else is pretty much common sense.  Now, as for Rule #3, let me give you an outline on this one.  If you have ever read the famous CraigsList post about "The Ten Commandments of Retail", then you will understand what it is like, especially if you have ever worked in retail.  In no particular order, here is the list, along with my own little commentary.

1. Thou shalt not fancy thyself a God, to have no other Gods held above thee.

While retail salesmen have a job to do, let's make one thing clear:  Help everyone out by not putting yourself above everyone else.
2. Thou shalt not make Graven Images in an attempt to fake us out.

Ever try to fake a coupon or claim someone said something when they didn't?  Yeah, that shit doesn't fly during the quiet times of the year, let alone Black Friday.  Don't try it, and we won't have a problem.  By the way, when it comes to the coupons that are legit as well as advertisements and signs, please read them.  It saves everyone a great deal of trouble.

3. Thou shall not utter blasphemy in the presence of the Retail Gods, for this is naughty in Their sight.

Put it this way:  Dropping an F-Bomb at a retail salesperson is not only rude, but it's going to flat out piss them off.  While the job of a retailer is to make money, it is not their job to put up with your shit.  Also, that whole "Customer is always right" thing is a load of bullshit.  Remember Ben Affleck in Mallrats?  Yeah, he's probably closer to the truth, especially on Black Friday.

4. Remember thy Hours of Operation, and keep them holy.

Most retailers are open on this day from 5:00 AM until 10:00 PM.  If you are that asshole that decides to linger after closing time, the Retail Gods are going to smite your ass, hopefully with something that's going to linger on you, like Gonorrhea. 

5. Honor thy Return Policy, that its days may be long upon the earth, and that we don't get exasperated and take it away from you.

This one is simple.  If you aren't sure of the policy, fucking as someone.  Don't come back four months from now and say that the person didn't want the gift.  It isn't going to work, we're going to tell you no, you're going to act like an asshole, and everyone has to deal with your shit.

6. Thou shalt not Kill thy Retail Establishment's Profit Margin by attempting to finagle Free Shit to which you are not entitled.

This is one of my favorite ones of the original poster's rant, because if you have ever worked in a retailer, this comes up ALL THE GOD DAMNED TIME.  Let's actually break this down by possible scenarios.

6A)  The old "switcheroo"

This one always makes me laugh.  People will find a price tag and attempt to slap it on an item.  Either that, or they will find something that is an "Open Item" and write a new price on there.  Do people actually think this shit works?  Newsflash:  It doesn't, and it really pisses workers off.  Don't do this.

6B)  Negotiating when it's futile

If you've worked retail, you know just how irritating it is to hear the phrase "Well what's MY price?"  At that point, that worker has probably already pictured in his head what it would look like to be strangling you right there in the store.  This one actually goes back to the very first one on the list.  Haggling pisses people off and, generally, does not work unless you're dealing with a retarded used car salesman.

7. Thou shalt not threaten Retail Adultery in the service of violating the Sixth Commandment.

This might actually be the only one on the list I don't agree with, because it talks about price matching.  It has become a pretty solid staple of the business world, so I'll add in the addendum:  Don't try to price match on Black Friday.  It is a ROYAL pain in the ass to try and do it on this day.

8.  Thou shalt not Steal.

Remember how I mentioned that there are police at Black Friday sales?  Common sense here.

9. Thou shalt not bear False Witness against thy Employee.

"Yeah, the manager here told me that I was getting a discount on top of the price that's already on sale."

Do you think that the people who sell you your items are retarded?  Seriously.  Do not try and lie your way to getting a better price or a feeble attempt to get free shit.  It isn't going to work, and it seriously will cause problems.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy Employee's Free Time, nor his/her Discount, nor his/her Secondary Sexual Characteristics, nor anything else that belongs to thy Employee.

This is the one that needs to be hammered home.  When you go to a retailer, you generally have a good idea of who is working and who isn't working.  The ones that are working are in uniform and probably helping customers.  The ones that you see that are either in a coat, outside smoking a cigarette, or maybe just getting some air, are trying to clear their god damned heads for a few minutes or, even better for them, are on their way out of the store after their shift or, hell, maybe even looking at doing a little shopping themselves.  If you see one in a coat, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT FUCKING BOTHER THEM!

I cannot take full credit for this because all of the actual "commandments" are taken from a post from Craigslist.  But, you get the idea.  This is the week that everyone will try and knock out their shopping while retailers attempt to catch up on revenue shortcomings for the year.  Understand your role, protect yourself, and don't cause problems at a store.  Everyone will get along a lot better and, in the long run, you will be a better person because of it.

This has been your rant of the night.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Why the internet turns us into assholes

The internet is quite possibly the greatest achievement that mankind has ever accomplished.  There are plenty of things that can go at the top of the list, such as flying, landing on the moon, creating motor vehicles, etc.  When you look at our everyday lives, the internet is practically at the center of it now.  Think about it:  even as little as fifteen years ago, if we wanted various things, we had to get them from separate sources.  Needed information about the news going on in the world?  You had to wait for the news to come onto the television or go to a newspaper.  Curious about who was playing games that night in professional sports?  ESPN would have you covered, but you might be waiting a while to see it on television.  Weather report for the week?  Weather channel or the local news were your best options.

Now?  All of the above are handled with the internet.  I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I watched the local news on television.

The internet has connected many of us, and will continue to stretch further until it is possible for everyone in the modern, civilized world, to be able to chat with anyone else whenever they feel like it.  Of course, there are certain things I could do without, such as the assholes.

Along with the advent of the internet came message boards.  Plain and simple, message boards are basically the toxic waste dumps of the internet.  Tragically enough, I frequent one of these only because I feel it's less stupid than other websites and I need somewhere to bitch about sports other than with my friends.  Now, when you browse through the vast number of message boards that the internet has to offer, you will run into some that are more tame than others, while some of them would probably make a sailor not only blush, but vomit and eventually asphyxiate themselves in order to never see it again.  Most people know which boards I'm referring to, but I won't bother naming them to save some of you your sanity.

Which brings me to the point of this evening's blog post:  Why exactly does the internet turn normal people into raging assholes?

The fact of the matter is this:  On the internet, you have some security by way of anonymity.  Sure, if you do something that is incredibly terrible (Tell someone to kill themselves), illegal (Solicit yourself to underage people on a messenger), or retarded (visit any porn site that involves something other than humans), you have the chance to get a visit from some men in black suits that will take you away for some "questioning" but, rarely, does being an asshole warrant a visit like this.  This is exactly why people do it.

You're probably closer to someone that does this than you think.  Truth be told, in my younger years (which weren't that long ago) I was one of these people.  I enjoyed having that simplicity of telling someone to go make a cocktail out of the various cleaners underneath a kitchen sink and chase it with a side of rubbing alcohol and having little to no repercussions to deal with.  Since then, I have curbed this attitude because, simply put, there was little point to it.

However, many people not only do it, but they enjoy it.  In fact, they get off on it.  These people are called "trolls" on message boards.  No matter what you say, what the topic is, or how you respond, this person is going to be the total opposite of you and instigate an argument because, no matter if they win or lose, that's exactly what they want.  They want to ruin your day.

In the last few years, these type of people have been given better weapons to pull their moronic ways, such as through Skype, Ventrilo, and the worst one of them all....Xbox Live.  Yes, XBL is probably the biggest toxic waste dump of them all, and unfortunately, I put up with it in order to enjoy playing my games online.  The biggest offenders in this group, as a stab in the dark, are males in the age bracket of roughly 13-89....alright, so that isn't fair.  I would say 13-24 is about the proper distance, while people above 24 have their moments if someone really pisses them off.

The games I play online consist currently of just a few titles:  Halo: Reach, Tiger Woods 11, and NCAA Football 11.  Of these three, I get the biggest sample size (and biggest assholes) out of Halo.  When it comes down to it, Halo is just full of paper-hanging hun cocksuckers.  (I'll be honest, I have absolutely no idea what that is supposed to mean, but it comes from a hilarious animated GIF that is WWII in Counterstrike form, and Patton says that to Hitler.  It's funny.)  At any point in time while playing Halo, you are subjected to up to 15 other people that are, potentially, assholes.  Sure, they may not be assholes in real life and, chances are high that they aren't, but that's beside the point.  What happens when you get all of these people into one room together?  It sounds something like this:

"Herp derp you fucking moron!"
"You noob!  You killed yourself!"
"Your mom's a noob!"
"I rode your mom last night!"
"Your sister sucks a fatty!"
"Yeah well my sister took a dump on your sister's chest!"

I'm not just randomly coming up with quotes there.  That line of conversation actually happened, and it happened involving people on the same fucking team.  Need any further proof that people just enjoy being assholes?

The other two games, Tiger Woods and NCAA Football, have their own special kind of asshole.  Basically, they have the asshole that will do anything to screw you up.  While playing NCAA, I have had children screaming in my ear literally the entire game or until they quit, call me a faggot and other wonderful slurs, and generally just act like they get their entire English language knowledge from watching Jackass.

So, as you can see and, honestly, most of you have probably already dealt with, the anonymity that the internet provides allows people to be an asshole without having to do it in their daily lives in front of friends and family.  Maybe it's their way of venting.  Perhaps they just love pissing people off.  In the end, though, none of these people would ever act this way in their daily lives.  If they do, I'm sure they'll end up in their local gray bar motel in the not too distant future.

This has been your rant of the day.