Nov 042017

Anyone who has hung around my blog log enough has seen me bitch, moan and whine about my lack of marketing skills, with the consequent dismal sales of… well, everything I try to sell. I can take a decent photo from time to time. I make some snazzy blueprints. Me write gud, on occasion. And with most products I count myself lucky if I make $50 in the first month.

So imagine my admiration/annoyance upon seeing this “commercial” a guy slapped together to help sell his girlfriends used car:

My first thought was “that’s pretty good.” My second thought was “I wonder how well it’ll work, let’s check the ebay listing for the car.” So, I did:

1996 Honda Accord EX 2-door coupe, green, automatic, leather seats

With over 4 days left on the auction, the high bid is currently over $100,000.

Granted, chances are *real* good that one or more of the highest bidders will turn out to be jokers, and the girlfriend won’t actually get a hundred grand for the car. But even so, it’s a safe bet that whatever she gets, it’ll be *far* higher than she would’ve gotten otherwise.

But here’s an even better used car commercial:

As one of the YouTube comments says… “This is the most epic thing in the entire history of people telling lies to sell stuff.”



 Posted by at 3:09 pm
Oct 132017

Listening to the radio earlier, I heard someone mention Woody Allen. That’s a name I don’t think on too often, even though I know he’s all kinds of famous.

Back when I was in college, I knew a feller who was from New York City somewhere. And to him, Woody Allen was the height of comedy. But when I think back to any and everything I’ve ever seen from Allen… none of it was funny. Not even a little bit. It’s not like “this was a joke that fell flat,” more like “I am watching comedy based on dialog, but it’s in a foreign language.”

For my own self, that seems to be the explanation: he’s from an alien culture. “Seinfeld” and “Friends” were two hideously popular comedy shows that never once made me laugh… and I think it was due in large part to them being highly invested in their own alien cultures (NYC and LA, if memory serves).

So, yeah. I tried thinking back to anything I ever saw of Woody Allens that made me laugh, and I came up empty. Actually, for a moment there I thought I had something, but then I realized that I was actually thinking not of woody Allen, but then I realized that I was actually thinking of Marty Feldmans “Igor.” So… nuthin’.

So… is Allen funny to anyone else? It might be interesting to map out where and when. Mel Brooks, after all, made some astonishingly funny movies. And then he made a bunch of astonishingly unfunny movies. So there might be a time factor. Perhaps Allen was similarly funny at one time but not another.

 Posted by at 6:49 am
Oct 092017

While in a cheap-crap store, I happened across this “toy.” I didn’t pay it a whole lot of attention to it; I *think* it’s one of those highly gummy things that just sticks to things. I think.

There was one thing about it that made me go “huh” and take a few seconds out of my day to take a photo. And then when I got home check online to see if the thing that made me go “huh” was, indeed, huh-worthy.

Here’s a link to the Urban Dictionary definition of the term in question. I’ll leave it to you to decide if this was the result of ignorance, or someone was a smartass and it got past ignorant higher-ups.

It would also surprise me precisely none at all if it turns out this isn’t actually an officially licensed product.

 Posted by at 5:06 pm
Oct 072017


Court: Movie theaters must accommodate deaf-blind patrons

And by “accommodate,” they mean “provide two tactile interpreters (people who lay their hands on the hands of the deaf-blind patron, using sign language which the patron reads through feeling) at the cost of several hundred dollars per showing.” And by “court” they mean the “3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

 Posted by at 10:17 am
Sep 282017

Tonight was the 4th episode, “If The Stars Should Appear.” I thought it was pretty good… it would have made a perfectly cromulent TOS episode. There were a few bits that made me laugh out loud – Lt. Lamarr’s response to Commander Grayson’s enthusiasm about “Isn’t it exciting to be out here on the edge of the unknown,” for instance. The unforeseen Liam Neeson cameo. But the part I liked best was actually part of the music: early on, they discover a truly vast alien spacecraft, several hundred square miles in cross section (an odd way to answer the “how big is it” question, to be sure), and they send an away mission over to it in a shuttlecraft. The music that plays as they approach the door leading to the interior? Taken *directly* from the score for “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” specifically from either “The Cloud” or “Vejur Flyover” bits. And if you are going to steal some Star Trek music, you could hardly do better than the ST:TMP soundtrack. Which is one of the most awesome soundtracks ever put together. Jerry Goldsmith knocked that one directly out of the park.


“The Orville” is not the show we were promised, but it’s really starting to grow on me. I shall be quite annoyed when it is inevitably cancelled in a few weeks…

 Posted by at 11:25 pm
Sep 262017

This… this struck many a nerve. Back in my aerospace engineering days, I had a *lot* of meetings that went more or less like this.

The end result, both in the video and in reality, is for the engineer to just give up and say “yeah, sure, I can do the crazy incomprehensible thing you think you want.” Work from that point forward then becomes an effort not to produce the impossible thing, but to plan out in advance how you’re going to blame who for what.

There were times when I was told to design a component that would only be physically possible in a reality with four physical dimensions. There were *many* times when I had to actually invent something (not just design, but invent, as in come up with a new propellant combination and propellant geometry that had apparently never been tried before, with all the tests and undoubtedly failures and revisions that would require) and I had to tell management in advance how much it would cost and how many man hours it would take, to within a few percent accuracy. There were times when I was told to replace an electrical conductor with a non-conductor, but to make sure that it maintained its conductance. Told to make a rocket motor that performed as well as a standard one, weighed the same, cost the same, but didn’t have a hot exhaust plume. And so on. And every time I made an objection I was told I was being “negative” or was told “that’s your job” or “make it work.”

This also works as an allegory for “a rational man among the social justice warriors.”


 Posted by at 3:15 pm