Friday, December 28, 2007


The only thing absolute about life, is there is nothing absolute about life.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Children are not agitprops!

Agitprop: Political propaganda, especially favoring communism and disseminated through literature, drama, art, or music.

My stomach churns a little whenever I see children crying, being pulled around by their parents, holding demonstration signs. It usually happens at anti-abortion rallies, but it's really just as despicable at any high tension rally. Your kids not crying because of their strong views which align with yours, they're crying because they're confused and frightened by your shouting!

These thoughts are brought to you by the "It's a Child/Not a Choice" bumper sticker that I saw while sitting in traffic today. It gave me the idea for a new bumper sticker:

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Brief Guide to Retail Deals

As a (recently) former retail sales jockey of 8yrs, I've seen the good, the great and the ugly (, you and you). Here are a few quick tips to gain favor and garner better deals with your local, independent retailer. Note that this is skewed more towards small electronics, where the salesperson has little to no control over making a deal directly.
  • Play nice!
    • Don't be an ass! This should be a general rule for life, but it's difficult for some of you. I think even Ben Popken would agree (although some salesmen could push you this way). Simply put, if you're an ass they'll try to lighten you up but usually end up trying to push you out as quickly as possible, sale or no sale. If you're nice, the salesman will fight for you, wether it's for a deal or an exchange. DO NOT use your position (i.e. "I'm the Deacon of the Sisterhood of the Bloody Mary, what kind of deal can you give me?" "None."). Be humble and they'll talk good about you when you leave and look forward to you coming back.
  • Want a lower price?
    • Make an offer! Don't ask how much they can take off or what can they throw in. This almost always works with used equipment, and will sometimes bring the price down on your main purchase.
  • Don't walk in with a Consumer Reports.
    • Small electronics (i.e. digital cameras) change so quickly, by the time you receive Consumer Reports, it's outdated! They get tired of explaining this concept.
  • Figure out what's important to you.
    • Then look for what you want based on your own criteria. Don't rely on what works for someone else to work for you, because your needs are different. The most annoying response to, "What features are you looking for?" is "I don't know. You tell me!" They're not mind readers, but they can guide you by talking with you. By the time I finished talking with you a little, I already know what will fit your needs. But you have to know your needs!
  • Find a better deal online?
    • Are you sure? There's too many scams out there to mention them all. One of the most common is to offer the product at below actual cost. Then after you place your order, they'll call you to upsell on accessories (most of which should be included). If you decline, the product suddenly becomes placed on backorder indefinitely!

      Solution? Find respectable online dealers. You'll know them because their prices are no more than 10-20% off what your local store is charging. Usually they sell some items at cost and make it up in shipping (like B&H). If you walk into your local retailer with a printout from one or two respected online dealers (as long as you follow the "play nice" rule), you'll always walk out with a deal. They can rarely match online pricing, but if you have a problem you have a place to take it to. Plus you're supporting your local economy!

      Visit J&R, B&H and Adorama for some good fodder.
Am I missing any good tips? Add your tips in the comments!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Define: Dark

While writing my latest post on State of the Arts, I ran across this definition of dark: having skin rich in melanin pigments. Now imagine that being yelled by rednecks (or rather, "people having skin poor in melanin pigments.")

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Recognize my shoes?

I recognize yours. You couldn't suppress the noises when I came in. Oh, how you tried. But for lack of a better word, they slipped out. Did you really think you could hold yourself until I left? I always like to take my time when someone's in your position. One of those games we all play. Make sure no 'dots' show up. I wash my hands for the proper amount of time, make sure they're dry. I went back to the café loveseat, kicked up me feet on the table and continued writing. A few minutes later you walked out. I secretly observed you glancing at everyone's shoes trying to figure out who was in there while you were 'occupied.'

My only advice: next time you feel you may need to use the public stalls when you go out and don't want to be recognized, avoid the bright red Pumas. Wear something more generic.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Reverend Bernie

My inspiration for starting Inner Evildoer. The Reverend Bernie isn't his real name, of course. But he did call himself "The Reverend." I met him while visiting a girlfriend at Deekeeter University (again, just a pseudonym, those in the midwest may know which college this is). As we got closer to her dorm, we saw a crowd surrounding an ice-cream truck. Actually, it was a converted ice-cream truck. A traveling chapel with a pulpit instead of a freezer. Shouting from inside was The Reverend Bernie.

He had an amen brother in front, holding sheets of home-made stickers of each of the 7 deadly sins. As soon as The Reverend Bernie would point out a sinner, his brother would appropriately brand them. Everyone was shouting back, hoping to be 'branded.' Every girl (and some guys) got slapped with 'Lust.' Anyone with an iPod or nice clothes got slapped with 'Greed.' A couple fat guys got hit with the 'Sloth' sticker. And for the real sinners amongst us, he had an all encompassing '7' sticker. That became the one to get. The campus police showed up, not to break up the fun but to snag a 'Pride' sticker. "Who do you think you are to tell me what to do?" shouted The Reverend in his garbled, mush-mouth way as his partner peeled off the stickers and slapped them on the CP. These guys were just a train-wreck of the absurd.

That night, my girlfriend told me that one of her friends caught The Reverend and his "brother of God" getting carnal on each other. While joking about this absurd situation, we came up with the 'Deekeeter Honors Student' brand. Later that night, we quickly created our own sticker (with my Catholic High School colors, natch) and stuck it on the rear of The Reverends chapel as a thank you for visiting our lovely campus. Luckily he decided to stick around a couple of days (there's a lot of sin committed on a campus). If he knew I was the one who branded him like that, I would've received the honorable '7' sticker.

So the next time you see an ice-cream truck cum portable chapel, think of me when you see the 'Deekeeter Honors Student' bumper sticker. Just keep your ears open for the awful music-box hymns and either run towards it or run away. There ain't no ice-cream there.