Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving: BUSTED

[Alternate title: Everything I know about Thanksgiving I learned from The Brady Bunch.]

Did you know that Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until 1863? Or that there was no turkey, or cranberry sauce (or cranberry relish or jelly), or sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie -- or forks -- at the first Thanksgiving (or what we citizens of the United States assume to have been the first Thanksgiving) back in 1621? Or that the Pilgrims didn't wear buckles on their hats? (I know!)

Those are just a few of the "25 Little Known Facts About Thanksgiving" that the good folks at Mental Floss reveal in their latest video:

Well, however you celebrate it, I wish you a happy -- and delicious -- Thanksgiving.

And thanks for reading J-TWO-O!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jingle balls?

And now I bring you tidings of comfort and Joe from ye merry gentlemen of Kmart. (Sometimes I wonder if the K in Kmart stands for Kinky.)

Presenting Kmart's new Christmas ad for Joe Boxer underwear, titled "Show Your Joe."

Ho ho ho.

UPDATED 1:25 PM: Just for grins, I searched online to check out the Joe Boxer briefs -- only to find that Kmart does not appear to carry them. :-/

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

If you want something done right...

I am not a perfectionist (despite what the spouse and teenager think). I just like things done a certain way. The right way. (Which is why I have always been loathe to hire people to work for me -- and am always very careful about recommending people for jobs.)

True, "right" is open to some interpretation, but I think we can all agree that there are right ways to do things and wrong ways. Like loading the dishwasher, for instance...

Or making the bed.

This one drives me crazy. How effing hard is it to make a bed? I'm not talking hospital corners here, people, though they do look so nice.

I'm talking about making sure the fitted sheet fits and the top sheet and blanket (or comforter) are evenly spread across the bed. Seriously, how frickin' hard is it to make sure you have the same or similar amount of sheet and blanket or comforter (or duvet for my European readers) on each side?! Yet every cleaning person or service I have ever hired cannot figure this out (nor can the spouse -- though I still love you, honey), even after I've shown them. WTF?

And do not get me started about laundry or folding clothes (you know, so they don't get wrinkled and fit in your drawers)...

Don't get me wrong. I love the idea of delegating. But as the old saying goes, good help is hard to find. 


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Silent but deadly? A guide to farts and farting

[Alternate titles: "Let 'er rip!" "Who cut the cheese?" "Break like the wind"]

For everyone who ever wanted to know the answer to the question, Are silent farts worse? Here is the answer from the guys at Asap SCIENCE (a great YouTube Science channel):

Note to self: Stay away -- or in front of -- people who consume lots of eggs, meat, and broccoli.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Customer service? More like customer disservice.

The other day, while on hold, waiting for the nice customer service representative to figure out why she couldn't find my account, again, I wondered, How much of our lives is wasted dealing with customer service -- or on hold waiting for a customer service representative? And how much of that wasted time is spent trying to fix a problem the company (not you) created...

Or a problem that you thought had been already resolved, but wasn't?

Granted, mistakes happen. That's why companies have Customer Service departments. I just think companies have different definitions of "service."

Oh to have a dollar for every customer service representative who was flat out incompetent. (I swear, if I have to spell my first and last name for my insurance broker, whom I have been working with for three years now, one more time, I'm going to explode.)

Or those customer service reps who can't actually help you with your problem, even though you know you pressed the right option on the customer support phone tree, and transfer you to someone else, often more than once....

[I have actually had this happen with my credit card company -- not Discover -- and with my digital subscription to my newspaper, which doesn't allow you to cancel your digital subscription online. You have to call -- and then have to go through two different departments, after going through a phone tree.]

Or those customer service -- or tech support -- folks who don't give a f@ck about your problem (or you)...

[Raise your hand if this has happened to you! Though I do somewhat sympathize with those IT help desk guys.]

Though the worst ones, at least to me, or the ones who seem all friendly and helpful -- who cheerfully "Yes, dear" you -- leading you to believe your issue has been resolved. Then days or weeks later you find out the problem hasn't been solved, and you have to go through the process all over again.


So, any of you got beefs with customer service, or the lack thereof? Leave me a comment.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Do we still need watches?

I love watches. Rather than mere time pieces, I have always thought of watches as works of art and science.

Back in the day (as in pre-Internet), I used to sport two or three watches at a time on my left wrist and arm. There is even a picture of me at my first job at a quasi-fashion magazine sporting a fresh manicure and at least eight watches (most of which were donated by my colleagues for the sake of taking a photo, a Polaroid, which I cannot find).

 But for the past dozen years or so, I have rarely worn a watch. I haven't needed to.

Why wear a watch when we are surrounded by clocks? If you work in an office, there is a clock on your computer. Travel for work by car or shuttle your kids, there's a clock on your dashboard -- and on your GPS. Not in front of your computer or in your car and want to know what time it is? Just check your smart phone. Cooking in the kitchen? No need for a watch. There are clocks on your oven and on your microwave -- and chances are you have a TV or computing device or radio in your kitchen, which has a built-in clock. Have cable television? Then you know what time it is every time you pass in front of a cable box.

Just think about last Sunday, when you had to set your clocks back an hour (unless you live in Hawaii or Arizona) and you understand how pervasive time is -- and how little need there is for watches, or clocks, anymore. Except maybe as decorative pieces.

Do we still need watches anymore? Are they relics of the past, a bracelet that keeps time? Or maybe watches have evolved into something else, say, a computer you wear on your wrist?

Time will tell.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why can't people #$?!@!?

I have questions. Maybe one of you has the answers. Or some of them. (Note: Many of these questions are rhetorical. That is, I'm not really expecting an answer.)

Why can't people (other than doctors) turn their mobile devices off (or at least put them on mute) in theaters? Can whatever it is really not wait?

Why do people bring young children to fancy restaurants after 6:30 -- or to R-rated movies?

Why do brunettes who bleach their hair blond wait until they have two (or more) inches of brown roots showing to dye their hair again? And why do so many bottle blonds insist they are naturally blond, or were when they were young?

What is the deal with tattoos? Is there something in the ink that makes tattooing highly addictive? Do people understand that tattoos are permanent (or very difficult/expensive to remove) -- and look ridiculous when you are over 50 (or 40)?

Why do people sign up for classes (or gym memberships), when they know they aren't going to attend -- or schedule appointments at the time of their class?

Why is it so frikkin' hard for people to be on time, especially in this age of electronic reminders? And why do people wait until they are late to notify you?

And speaking of waiting.... Why do people wait until they are actually turning (as opposed to before they make a turn) to use their turn signal? And why do so many people think they don't need to use turn signals? Do you really think other drivers are psychic? (Psychotic, yes; psychic, no.)

Why do people say "Let's do lunch!" when they have no interest in or time to "do lunch"?

Similarly, why do people inform you they will be visiting your town or city -- and then tell you they have no time or interest in seeing you?

Why do people leave the Subject line in email blank? Are we supposed to guess what the email is about?

Why do people send spam email? Do you really think someone is going to wire money to a bank in Nigeria, or buy your penis enlargement pills, or have you find them a slut? (On second thought....)

Why do people forgive the sinner but never praise the saint?

Why is it so friggin' hard to pass strict gun control measures in this country? (This would be an example of a rhetorical question.) Even the NRA was for it... before it was against it. (You want to dramatically reduce the number of gun-related deaths in this country? Dramatically reduce the number of guns.)

Why are so many people afraid of and/or against a single-payer insurance system, like the UK and Canada have? Do people really love their health insurance companies and overspending on health care so much? (Again, this is a rhetorical question. Though feel free to dazzle me with your brilliance.)

I have more questions. But I think that's enough for now.

Feel free to contribute your own question(s) in the Comments section.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Apparently '80s New Wave music is cool again

I know I wrote about this a few years ago, but apparently the trend of current day musicians and bands channeling 1980s New Wave music has not gone away. (Not that I am complaining.)

Just check out this video for "Out of My League" by a band called Fitz and the Tantrums and tell me he/they don't remind you of ABC, or Spandau Ballet.

And I can't be the only who has noticed a striking resemblance between Lady Gaga (seen here in her "Applause" video) and Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons (seen here in the Missing Persons video for "Destination Unknown").

So anyone else notice any striking similarities between current bands or singers and 1980s New Wave groups? If so, please let me know via a Comment.

I'd also be interested to know people's thoughts on Volkswagen's riff on A-ha's "Take on me."