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Thursday, December 06 2018 09:02

Avocado: The Fruit of Evil that Plagues America

The other day, my wife and I were shopping at Mariano's with our girls and she said "Look, they have a guacamole bar." Puzzled, I asked why she would point out such a thing to me? After all, she's been living with me for 21 years and knows how much I despise the avocado. "Some people like it," she said. Still, I was surprised that this would be a point of interest - especially since I can't recall ever seeing my wife consume any avocado-based food items, so my curiosity shifted to concern: is it possible that the avocado mafia (perhaps those "Avocados from Mexico" people) had gotten to her?

Published in Food and Drink

An Urgent Message from Rock Father HQ: Attention Large Corporations - I Do Not Wish to Take Your Surveys.

There's a real problem with "customer service" these days, and it has nothing to do with the actual service, nor the persons providing said service to the public. The problem comes after the customer has already paid for said service or goods, the moment an obligation is placed in front of the customer with enticement in the form of a potential prize, or... a guilt trip. "At the bottom of your receipt you'll find website to take our survey to tell us how we did for a chance to win..." says the usually underpaid, overworked individual tasked with circling said url to make sure that the customer takes full note and hopefully logs a few clicks to their company website. Thing is, I don't want to take your survey, and frankly, I'm tired of being asked. If your true goal is to provide "World Class" customer service, you can start with incentivizing your employees, associates, team members, grunts, stormtroopers or otherwise frontline workers in some way other than placing a task request upon the very people who pay for the existence of your entire operation. Even worse? A follow-up about said survey.

Published in James' Journal

It's time to step into what my wife calls my "Old Crankypants" mode...

Coachella. The buzzed-about festival that's now spread into a two-weekend affair of duplicate entertainment in the California desert has unveiled their 2015 lineup, and as usual - it's not enough to sell me on a trip out there for it. In fact, the only time I ever truly considered a trip to the Empire Polo Grounds was when FAITH NO MORE made an appearance there back in 2010, but even an appearance by my favorite band of all-time couldn't lure me to the West Coast for a weekend. As this year's announcement rolled out, I heard more than a few folks on the radio say the same thing today "I don't know who these people are, they must be new bands" - aside from the obvious ones, like AC/DC. But if you work in music and truly claim to not know anyone else on the list, I find that very hard to believe since the other headliners include JACK WHITE and DRAKE, and the second-liners have folks like STEELY DAN and FLORENCE + THE MACHINE on there. For me, the problem with Coachella is something that's infected other festivals like our own, now-local Lollapalooza - I personally just don't care about 90% of the lineup. So who actually matters at Coachella 2015? I'll give you my picks below, followed by the full lineup to see what your thoughts are...

Published in Music News
Tuesday, February 25 2014 22:44

Old Crankypants: Chiberia does not exist...

I hate cutesy catchphrases that are delivered with a smug grin, a chuckle, or wink. Have them delivered by a news anchor, a major website or even a lesser-known internet jockey, and they're even worse... amped-up and ready to irritate. I have a growing list of phrases, along with some individual words and terms that make my blood boil... or "grind my gears" as the wise Peter Griffin once said. One of the latest is "Chiberia," a made-up, annoying term used to describe the arctic temperatures in the Chicago area this year. I'd originally thought that the Chicago Sun-times coined the term, but according to FOX 32, it was a National Weather Service forecaster named Ricky Castro that is to blame. Tonight, as news of another snowfall came across the television, I watched in agony as another anchor delivered the "Chiberia" name with a grin and that fake "ha-ha" delivery that only one at a newsdesk can properly pull off.

Published in James' Journal

Note: My wife told me last night that she'd prefer I not post this... my annual anti-Super Bowl post. But since it was already written a few days in advance, I'd hate to let it go to waste.

This Sunday, while most of America is spending the evening shouting at the TV... wait a second. I wrote this before, didn't I? Well, yes, I sorta did, on "Super Sunday" last year. So here we are, nearly 365 days later, and SUPER BOWL XLVIII is about to kick-off, and just as I've done for many years prior, I will be watching - or doing - something completely unrelated to the "The Big Game." Ah yes, "The Big Game," the legally-enacted phrase that so many businesses use in place of "Super Bowl" thanks to the NFL's iron-fisted restrictions on people calling the game what it actually is (seriously: Does anyone think that some crappy used car lot really has any kind of official relationship with the NFL?). But then again, I don't like the NFL, either. Funny enough, I didn't even know who was in this year's Super Bowl until yesterday, and just found out where it's happening today.

Published in James' Journal