The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Archive for the ‘Du Jour of the Week’ Category

Mother’s Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Mom: Did you hear my big news?

Child: Uh … yeah … Dad told me …

IMG_20190331_194006607Mom: Well!? Isn’t it just such a wonderful idea!?

Child: Uh … yeah … it’s exciting, mom.

Mom: Everyone has just always had such wonderful things to say about my cookies! And now everyone in the world can have them since I’m going into business!

Child: Yeah, your cookies …

Mom: Yes?

Child: They … keep. They keep better than any other cookie. Fresh or three weeks old, you can’t tell a difference.

Mom: Well, what an unusual compliment!

Child: I mean they’re good … It’s just like … Every time you have one you’re like, ‘oh yeah. This flavor.’

Mom: Now everyone will know that same delightful experience!

Child: Maybe you could have a recipe on the back to make something else with the cookies.

Mom: Like a cookie pie?

Child: No I was thinking like … a shed. Or the hull of a shipping vessel.

Mom: Hmm. Your dad said skyscrapers.

Child: Oh yeah! That’s a good one, dad.

Mom: Well. You can’t have any of these that are about to come out of the oven.

Child: All right! Thanks mom!

Mom: …

Opportunity of a Lifetime

I think if Willem Dafoe isn’t going to a costume party once every five years or so acting like a real jerk, a real a-hole, a real meany-face … he’s missing an opportunity.

Because you know who would be right behind him at the party? His ol’ nemesis … greeting everyone with a smile, a compliment, a friendly word. That’s right, it’s … Willem Dafriend.

fashion woman outside hat

Look at how funny she thinks I am.

Sports Complex Names so Tasty You’ll Say Mmm-mmm, No Thanks

I was reading about upcoming March Madness fun when I saw this: Louisville’s KFC Yum Center. That’s real. That’s a real place and that is the name they chose. I read that and without thinking said ‘blech.’ People, lots and lots of theoretically smart marketing people … chose that. Probably after deliberation. There were names worse than the KFC Yum Center!

close up photo of a cheese burger

Your seat could be covered in this!

Here now for your consideration are otheer places for young, talented athletes to sport it up.

  • The Citadel’s White Castle Impenetrable Burger Fortress Arena
  • Boise State’s Taco Bell Tasty Laxative Station
  • Georgia Tech’s Hardee’s’ll Do (I Guess) Stadium
  • University of Alabama’s McDonald’s Grease Bag of Goodies Center
  • University of Arizona’s Arby’s We Have the (Track) Meats Stadium

Looking v Staring

You know what’s interesting is looking vs staring. Staring is always a more intense version of looking. It amplifies the mood. But generally in a bad way.

Like if someone says ‘I like to look at girls’ you’d think: That’s creepy. I’m not sure about this person. If instead they say: ‘I like to stare at girls’. No no. Buh uh. The word stare has made me someone you don’t want to be around.

‘I was looking at the report’. Ok. Sure. You were mildly reading a report. ‘I was starting at the report.’ Dude. You weren’t even trying to read that report at all.

In both cases staring brought a certain intensity, and both times it did no favors.

Maybe just avoid the word stare.

man in black full zip jacket

Take it easy, creepy romeo.

So, You’re Making Homemade Fortune Cookies

Friends. You’re. In. Luck. Because I’ve got a bunch ready to go for you, so all you have to do is the hard work of printing tiny pieces of paper and making those cookies and then somehow shoving the paper in and not getting it stuck in the cookie.

Let’s say you have been dating someone a while (or not, you impulsive romantic) and you decide you want to ask that person to marry you. Simple. The fortune will say, “will you marry me?” and then when your potential spouse opens the cookie, reads it, looks up at you with eyes full of something (love? fear?) you say, ‘did that asshole cookie just ask you to marry it?’ How could he or she turn you down now, you clever goose!

Let’s say it is finals week and you are taking a break from studying by making these cookies. First, terrible idea, you should be studying, but second, here’s what you say. “A+’s are rarely given, but the dumb dumb in front of you deserves one. So … chop, chop, prof.” A+? More like A++!

Fortune cookies.jpg

Source: Wikipedia


Let’s say you have just bumped into someone while driving, and you have pulled over to trade insurance information. Trade information and then, before driving away hand them a cookie and say, ‘terrible way to meet you but it was, as much as it can be in this situation, a pleasure.’ You’ll be off and driving wherever when they open the cookie, only to read, ‘everything I just told you was a lie.’ Not bad!

Let’s say it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re hosting a great big party. Write a really flowery, delightful, heartfelt compliment on all of the fortunes but one, and that one outlier will say, “blood.” That’s all fine and dandy. But the fun party game for yourself is watching everyone’s faces as they read their fortunes and trying to figure out as fast as possible who the outlier is. Neat game!

Let’s say a friend has just posted bail and they’ve been meeting with a lawyer all day long and they just don’t know how they’ll afford this, or how they’ll survive, or what this means for their friendships, their marriage, their life as a whole and they are just scared to death of everything right now. Bam. Fortune Cookie. And what’s the note say? ‘You’re un-bailievable.’ Heart warmed!

What’s Next?

Here is an interesting way to think about what businesses will die in our lifetime.

Instead of trying to think about what is next in a ‘disruptive’ sort of way, think about what you don’t like about a current business. And then, that might be the key that some other company uses (or the company itself will use) to change that business. A business ‘dying’ is loose, then, because Shell may die in its current form but still exist as Shell. Ok, let’s jump in.

Oh wait. Amazon is an interesting one. I worry about how powerful Bezos is, and his company, but my worry doesn’t exceed the amount of saved effort that company provides. Same goes for Google. I don’t like a number of things about Google, but BOY do they make life easier. My thinking is to discount moral objections, because laziness is the key here. What don’t you like about a current company / service?

empty gray metal shopping card near assorted plastic bottles

When the grocery store notices how much candy and sugary cereal I buy the staff will pitch in and buy me a self-help book.

Know what I don’t think is worth it? Going to an NFL game regularly.

  • What if there were more trains that took me to/from the game without effort. No traffic, no wasted hours of getting in and out of the game.
  • If the NFL was smart, when they are pumping a city for tax dollars to make you pay for someone else’s thing, they’d also get some money for mass transit.
  • That cost is harsh, and then you tack on any food or drinks? Brutal. AND the annoyance of getting up to go get stuff and missing some of the game.
  • This one is something the NFL itself will have to fix, and right now they have no reason to … But if they saw a drop in attendance, I bet some changes might come along here.

Know what is prime for AI and a better experience? Grocery stores.

  • The grocery store involves a lot more thinking, walking, and repetition than is necessary. You go to the grocery store and let’s say 50% of your list is the same every time.
  • Why do you need to go pick all these things out, if you have a grocery store membership card your store already knows exactly what your habits are.
  • Why should you have to bother with finding a new recipe that aligns with what you like when the grocery store can do this for you? Again, they track everything you buy (assuming you have one of those cards) so they can see that you’re trying to eat healthier based on your trends, they can see that you’re into whole wheat pasta, lemons, and chicken, so why not have the grocery store propose a new recipe for you? AND, while you’re at it grocery store, why don’t you go ahead and just have a little robot put together my common things in one container, and your suggested items in another container, and have that waiting in a cart for me. (You could ping the grocery store via their to be built app and then boom, their little robots will run off and compile your cart.)

Know what everyone is sick of? Washing their hands.

  • Poop particles, are they really so harmful?
  • Nah I’m just kidding.
  • But what would really be nice is a tiny robot who would pop out of my desk and put some lotion on my knuckles so that my hands don’t hurt AND I don’t have greasy lotion fingers (and keyboard).

So back to you, dear reader. What’s next?

Taking Advantage of Your Local Dumb Dumbs!

I read an article called “China’s AI Awakening” because I find AI technology amazing (side-note: I fear for humanity, seriously) but here was a funny paragraph in the article.

Across the capital, in fact, I notice a remarkable amount of interest in artificial intelligence. In one restaurant, for instance, I find a machine that takes my picture and then supposedly uses AI to determine how healthy I am. This seems completely impossible, but the machine says I’m in great shape before suggesting that I have plenty to eat.

I think the world is RIPE for a new variation on magic elixirs, and the new-fangled magic elixir is technology as a whole, but AI, deep learning, machine learning, whatever label you want to slap on something that isn’t actually any of those things.

I remember hearing on the radio a thing about this automaton that played chess, and was incredible at it. And this was around 1790. It turns out that there was actually a person hidden underneath this automaton and it was controlling the machine. There was actual intelligence and craftiness put into the design, but only about 10% was that … and then it was 90% smoke and mirrors. I think the new age charlatan will come to your house (electronically or otherwise) telling you that here’s this special $10,000 toilet that’ll tell you how your diet is based on monitoring your … um, output. And really all it will do is make beeping noises and light up some little buttons and then say something which is OF COURSE true like, ‘you should probably eat more veggies, dude.’

woman holding teacup

Psst. Smoke and mirrors is corporate speak for bullshit.

Or maybe it’ll be a smart watch for $5,000 which is really just a Garmin but with some apps loaded on it that do things like say, ‘Based on your heart rate we have detected that your genetic history is … mixed.’ And you’ll go, ‘oh wow, thanks watch, tell me more!’ and it’ll say some bland stuff that applies to that 70% that’s in the middle of the bell curve and someone who’s actually FROM Africa, and their whole ancestry is straight up Africa will go, ‘the hell? What’re you saying, watch?’

My point in all of this is … technology is cool, and terrifying, and be afraid of it when wielded by corporations or governments, but be skeptical of anything you as an individual can afford that tells you it can do wonderful things.

But anyway while you’re here I’ve got this app I created where you take a few quizzes and it’ll match you up with your soulmate. It’s just $99 a month to have the app and the only reason it’s not like one shot and you’re done is because, well it’s pretty technical I’d hate to bore you with the details. But just imagine that soulmate. Pretty great, right?

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