Friday, April 22, 2011

Put Me on the Ballot

I thought of some ways the Government can earn some cash to help with this debt. It’s gonna cost you, but it doesn’t happen to. It’s completely up to you. They should start renting out unused space. There's no way Obama needs all that room, has he ever seen HGTV? The Prez and Michelle could easily rent out a few rooms. How about Capitol Hill? Since they don't use it for anything more than a place to gather and bitch, let them all work from home and use Skype. I'm sure Trump would pay to use it, since he was to play politician. Can you imagine what Hollywood would pay, to film on location?
Since we’re allowed to have guns, why not buy some off the military? They’d know who bought them, and rather than sitting around waiting for the next war, we could get some cash.
Basically, the US Government should have a giant garage sale. Or just post a bunch of crap on Craigslist. Can you imagine all the great deals to be had? How many laptops are sitting in storage across the country? What about flat screen televisions, office furniture, and automobiles? There are safe houses, just itching to be sold or rented out. Maybe a few planes and helicopters? And you know what, it’d all be tax free. How awesome would that be?
We’ve all seen the advertisements of homes, cars and other fun items that were confiscated during federal arrests. It’s time that selling all that stuff became a priority. What are all those census takers doing now? Keep them on the payroll to sell this stuff. My plan saves jobs, pays down the debt and helps the people. Okay, it may not really help, but we’d get some crap we really dig.
Wait, there’s more. When they find businesses that are fronts for illegal activity, the type of shops the Nancy Botwins of the world open up, they shouldn’t close them. Sell them as well. I assume they already have some loyal customers.
I’m looking over as I write this, and I see that they’re actually doing some of this already. They’re idiots though, you have to advertise. Let college kids who are majoring in advertising at our public universities, who are using federally funded grants to pay for college, get to work on this. If they help out, give them a discount on their loans.
The more I think about it, and I realize that I’m spending way too much time thinking about this, they shouldn’t auction these items off. No, they should try start by asking for a fixed percentage of market value. Auctioning off a $250,000 house for $20,000 sounds great, but now I think of it as a giant loss. Why not sell that $250,000 house for $200,000. That’s still a helluva deal.
That’s it; I’m running for office now. I’m not calling anyone names, and I’m not making any promises I can’t keep. I’m simply running on one idea, an idea that I think helps everyone. Now if only there was a branch of the Government responsible for common sense, I’d know what to run for.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Swingers 2k11

I simply love the movie, Swingers. Yeah, I really had to say movie there, because just saying “I love Swingers” would be a completely different and false statement, which would get me in loads of trouble at home. That said, I was recently thinking about how different that movie would be if it took place in 2011. A lot has changed since 1996.

Here are a few things that I think would be different:
Mikey wouldn’t just vent to Rob about his ex, he’d blog about the pain.

When the Mike and Trent are closing in on Vegas, rather right after uttering, “Vegas baby, Vegas” Trent would Tweet, “Vegas, Baby, Vegas. #Vegas!”

The guys wouldn’t play blackjack in Vegas, opting for poker instead. “Always raise with aces. Always, baby.”

Each time the guys hit a new bar or party, they’d get out their iPhones and check in on Foursquare.
Mikey would check his ex-girlfriend’s Facebook page for updates, and find out about the lawn jockey from a profile update.

Mikey wouldn’t have left five drawn out messages on that girl Nikki’s answering machine; he would have sent her 15 text messages.

Mike wouldn’t pine over his ex, by looking at a shoebox full of old photos, instead looking at an old Myspace page.

Instead of meeting up at Sue’s pad to play Sega before heading out, they’d play “Call of Duty” online from the comfort of their own homes.

Instead of auditioning for sitcoms, the guys would be trying out for reality television shows. Rob’s big news wouldn’t be a Pluto call back, but a Real World call back.

After leaving the diner, Trent would tweet where they were and, “I would never eat there. #Imthebadguy”

There would be no going home to check messages, since no one would have a home phone, just cell phones. Mikey would constantly be checking his phone for missed calls and reporting how many bar’s he has.

Instead of arguing how long Mikey should wait to call a girl, the debate would center on the proper waiting time before sending a friend request on Facebook.

When Mike meets Lorraine, and she asks for his number, she’d also ask for his email address and someone would say “I’ll Facebook you.” His card would also have his URL, which would contain an image of the duck head from “You Bet Your Life.”

Thankfully, Swingers came out at the perfect time. So money, baby.

Monday, April 11, 2011


First, it’s important to understand that I don’t enjoy golf. My father has long tried to get me hooked, and I mean that in the most addictive sense, as I’m convinced he needs a 12-step program. But the needle never took. I enjoy walking around on a beautiful course, but the game seems too slow to me, and guarantees one thing: frustration. What’s the point of spending all that money just so I end up breaking clubs on trees?

Secondly, I’ve never been a fan of Tiger Woods. I’ve been awed by his accomplishments, that by their nature I really could care less about. Great, he dominated golf, it was still golf. Yet, somehow I was always aware and appreciated just how much he dominated his sport. As a sport fan, I had to notice it, just as I have noticed what Jimmy Johnson has done to NASCAR. Although, I’m not sure either is a sport. But if ESPN covers it, I’ll end up being pretty aware. So thanks for that Entertainment and Sports Programming Network.

I’ve also long thought that Tiger was a first class jerk. My father and I argued years ago about the possibility, or as I put it, probability, that Tiger used steroids or HGH. It’s long been my stance that the majority of athletes are taking something to help, and we want them to. Then when Tiger treated his family with less respect than I’ve ever treated anything that I hated, I was pretty sure he’d be easy to hate for the rest of time.

Something happened though, and I can’t say I cheer for him, but his losing as made me realize something. Had he done all those horrible things to his family, and that’s the only victim, not his fans and not the game of golf. But if he had wrecked his family and gone on winning like he always had, it would have been completely disgusting, and I believe, proof that he was a psychopath and not a sociopath. He would have been the Dexter of golf. But Tiger lost, he lost his game and he seemingly fell apart. The guy, who always found a way to win, was finding new ways to lose. The machine that never missed a cut was no longer a guarantee to make the cut. The immortal, didn’t look mortal, he looked completely flawed. Tiger’s fall of grace was actual evidence that he felt regret, and that made him human.

So when I checked my phone Sunday, and he was making his move, I began to hope that Tiger would win. Not because I care about golf, or even about Tiger, but because it would have been a great story. At this point in my life, the story interests me as much as anything else in sports. Especially when my team isn’t involved, winning and losing is secondary to me. I want the best story, and I prefer that the story be legit and not scripted.

When I got home from taking the Kyd to a movie yesterday afternoon, I actually flipped on the Masters. I wanted to see Tiger win, so I could witness the emotion that was sure to follow. To hear the roar of the crowd, and that’s one thing golf fans do well, they roar like Mufasa. When Tiger practically fell into the arms of his caddie, after winning the British Open in 2006 following the death of his father, he sobbed like… well like a guy who lost his father. Tiger has spent the better part of 20 years now crafting an image and protecting a brand, then he took a driver to both and smashed them to bits on Thanksgiving night in 2009. Had he won, or when he wins, we’ll see some real emotion. And it’s going to be great.

I’m not cheering for Tiger, I just want to get caught up in a great story.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Beck to the Future

In the spirit of full disclosure, I feel it’s important that I make this fact public: This isn’t my only blog, and it was started because I wanted a more professional voice online. Something I’d feel comfortable with a current or future employer or colleague reading. So politics is one of the issues I decided to avoid here. I’m going to attempt to write about the upcoming departure of Glenn Beck from Fox News without injecting my own political views, a tightrope to walk indeed.
There’s a very vocal group, the liberal Media Matters organization, which would like to claim Beck’s announcement this week as their victor. It is my personal belief that this is absolutely not the case.  Beck’s numbers were in a well reported decline over the last year, and Media Matters may have played a small role in that fact, and they most likely played a larger role in the reported loss of an estimated 400 advertisers pulling their support from the show. So, in those ways, Media Matters had some influence.
I think the tipping point is more likely to have been two things: the growing resentment of politics across the country and the Tucson shooting from this past January. In January of 2010, Beck’s viewers were reported to be upwards of 2.9 million, easily the best in his 5pm est. time slot. A year later, he had lost an estimated million viewers.  It wasn’t that his show only brought in conservative viewers, as often liberals watched out of either curiosity or just to keep an eye on someone they viewed as the enemy, doing their best to follow Don Corleone’s advice regarding your friends and enemies.  I think a lot of those viewers were immediately turned off after Gabrielle Gifford’s was stuck by what many thought was the bullets of an extremist.
Keep in mind the fact that Fox News announced that along with Beck transitioning off the air by year’s end, that they had reached an agreement to produce some future shows with Beck’s production company, Mercury Radio Arts.  Fox News Executive Vice President, Joel Cheatwood, would be joining Beck’s company as a liaison to Fox News. If Fox News had grown tired of Beck and the controversy that followed him, they would have completely separated themselves from Beck.
Make no mistake; Beck isn’t riding off into the sunset. He’s a multi-media juggernaut, and while he may be leaving his show and losing some markets for his radio show, his imprint is large and has a very loyal fan base, a base willing to spend precious disposable income on Beck.  Beck has reached the New York Times Bestseller list four times, his tours have generated millions of dollars (his next scheduled stop in Kansas City next week, only has seats to the side available, and they start at $126) and we all saw how he drew an estimated crowd of 87,000.
Last August Beck launched, a conservative answer to left leaning (if you look at the two, you can see how the Blaze was even styled to look similar to HP) and Beck also has content available to paying subscribers only. Subscribers pay as much as $9.95 a month for access. also has an online store, where one can purchase items such as mugs (starting at $17.95) tee-shirts (starting at $25.00) as well as DVDs and books.
The Beck brand is healthy, and I suspect he’s going to do even more online. His radio show can already be watched on his website, by those subscribing monthly. I envision him doing something like a weekly Webshow, where he can be even more over the top. Beck is many things, but he’s also a very smart entertainer. He made his bones as a morning shock jock DJ, ala Howard Stern, and if you watch him, you can see he still uses many of the same tactics. He often shocks his audience, then teases them with something that will shock them even greater, seemingly always waiting for them after the commercial break. Many will say Fox News encouraged him, and to some extent I am sure that they did. But with advertisers to answer to, there will always be a line drawn. Now those advertisers are the companies Beck chooses to endorse, not who Fox News sells slots to.  I think the Beck that will exist after he leaves Fox will be even more shocking, and he’ll have to be, to get more people to pay money to hear what he’s saying, and I don’t think many more will pay to hear what he’s already been saying for the past two plus years.
Glenn Beck isn’t going away, in fact, I think he may be blazing a path for the future of online commentators and opinion makers.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ramblin' Man

This doesn’t make me special or different, although it doesn’t rule out either possibility. Then again, it’s not like I have tiger blood or Adonis DNA. I very much have Hirshberg DNA. These are just some completely random, overwhelmingly silly, and very possibly pathetic thoughts that have entered my mind in recent days. Mainly, I couldn’t think of a way to say them in 140 or less characters, so here they are:

  • The other day I saw three Acura MDX’s at one intersection. I couldn’t help but wonder; what’s the (obviously) unofficial record for seeing the same model of car in a row? Yesterday in a parking lot I saw two Lexus’ next to each other, and I extended the thought to wondering what the record was for the most cars by one manufacturer that ever randomly ended up in the same place.
  • I firmly believe that the spot you find in the parking lot at work should be yours for the day. The guy who is able to swipe your choice spot over lunch didn’t earn that spot, and shouldn’t take it. Says a lot about that individuals character if you ask me. Not sure what it says, but I know it’s a lot.
  • Saw a Prius in the parking garage at work today, and I figured out the best way Toyota should advertise that car. No more shots of it driving, it simply doesn’t look cool on the road. Know when they look cool? When I’m standing there filling up my tank at the gas station, and one drives by.
  • I like to think of a Nissan Cube, a Kia Soul and a Scion XB al l stopped side by side at a red light. They’re eyeing each other up, feeling pretty good about themselves and then a Honda Element goes through the intersection and they just weep like John Boehner. I think of this, knowing darn well that the XB is most likely my next ride.