Life

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Of course, we always used a phone with a cord — but that face explains it all!So, this morning in the shower I was remembering back in the 1980’s when crank calling was still considered “innocent” fun. All the cool kids were doing it.

I’d imagine it’s a lot harder to do now with everyone having some sort of Caller ID service these days — and quite honestly, you’d probably be labeled as a terrorist and end up detained in some secret foreign prison for committing such a crime.

Not being “daring” enough, I never actually made a crank call. Actually, I just wasn’t mean enough and we *never* made a call from my house, but I do remember ‘our’ script.

I don’t remember if we made it up (My friend Brian would get credit), or he heard it somewhere, but it generally went like this:

“Hello?”
“Um. Hi. Your dog is in my back yard.”
“Excuse me?”
“Yes, your dog is in my back yard.”
“We don’t have a dog.”
“I don’t have a back yard!”
click.

Some real high brow humor there.

Still, to this day, or maybe *just* today, it cracks me up.

I remember in the instance that the person did have a dog — we never had an alternate ending prepared. We still said, “I don’t have a backyard,” which is so ridiculous in hindsight, it almost makes it funnier. Am I alone in the room?

Anyway, I think it’s sad that this specific form of youth mischief has disappeared from society. Think of how huge it could be with all of these little kids sporting their own cell phones these days!

But nowadays, I guess kids get their kicks by spray painting swastikas on random cars. My, how far society has come… or fallen.

I miss the days of the innocent prank call.

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BMW Z3 Damage

This weekend my wife and I were involved in an accident on the highway.

Cruising along with the top down in my ego-tag at highway speed yesterday morning, the car in front of us kicked a large truck tire re-tread into the air which struck the hood of our car.

Evidently swerving at high speed doesn’t quite work like it does in the movies. We spun around a few times across three lanes and ended up facing the wrong direction and tangled up in the three steel cord style of guardrail.

The great news, at first, having gone from 70 mph to zero in the span of less than two seconds, was that we were both okay. Not a scratch between us.

I have to credit BMW — the outcome should have been worse. In fact, I’d bet if we’d been in one of our other vehicles, it would have been worse.

Who’d have thought a convertible would be safe?

After the fact, the news got even better.

As we stood on the side of the highway watching a wrecker tug our car down from the tangled mess of guardrails and torn up asphalt and onto a flatbed it hit me: the last remaining relic of my time as a frivolous spender was gone.

And you know what? That felt good.

Sure, I’d just trashed a $50k car, that at one time meant so much to me, and one that I’d worked so hard to pay for — but since I started to control my spending, I’d realized that it was quite possibly my biggest financial mistake.

Even seconds before that tire tread was thrown into the air, the car was no longer the status symbol I’d originally thought it was, but more a symbol of personal embarrassment — a blatant sign of my former financial irresponsibility. As a result, in recent years, it rarely left the garage.

All in all, a good day in my financial quest.

On a side note, I feel I should give kudos to Drew Loethscher, Victor the tow truck driver, and the rest of the folks at Tolland Citgo in Connecticut. They towed the car and were very welcoming considering the situation. Definitely not the stereotypical gas station/towing company experience.

And so far so good on the Allstate front. I filed a claim online yesterday and a friendly claims rep called yesterday afternoon; though she apparently didn’t read anything that I had originally submitted.

Somehow, I think I’ll be explaining the situation at least 10 more times to them — though the police report could answer and verify everything I’ve already told them.

Here’s to hoping that everything works out on that end I won’t be added to the already long list of very dissatisfied Allstate auto insurance customers.

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Kickin’ it retro style.
Flying Toasters
Over the weekend, while grooving to bad 80’s tunes in the car by myself, I was blinded by, well, a blinding flash of brilliance! You know, one of those moments of true clarity every brilliant one has from time to time.

Suddenly, it hit me — I had a vision of toasters with wings. Less than a second later, I thought, “Hey, wait a minute, that’s totally been done.” But while pondering it over the next few minutes (okay, I’ll be honest, I thought about it for well over an hour), I couldn’t help thinking about what happened to the once popular flying toasters.

It took me a bit, but I eventually found the brain cell that had been holding the name “After Dark” for all of these years just for this very moment.

After Dark was the company in the very early 1990’s that somehow managed to convince computer users to shell out $30+ clams for a silly screensaver. They probably made a fortune — of that, yep, I’m jealous.

I think of stuff like flying toasters all the time… I just don’t have the type of mindset to market them effectively. I mean, really, I’d like to shake the hand of the guy who came up with the idea of a flying toaster and then thought, “Hey, this should be a screen saver. We’ll make millions!” I hope it was the same guy that came up with both ideas. Genious.

Anyway, hats off to the Flying Toaster of the early 90’s. I miss the days when the screensaver you had made you more, I dunno, sexy?

Can geeks be sexy?

You betcha. In 1992, if you had some toasters flying across the screen, you were the talk of the town. Or library… Computer lab? Sigh…

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Andre AgassiLike Andre Agassi once pitched for Canon Rebel cameras, image truly is everything. 

Image is an asset.  Your best asset.  And one you can totally control.

People do not love you for who you are. Bosses do not give promotions based on your work performance. Banks do not give you money based on your ability to repay. Doctors are not licensed based on their competency.

People love you for who they think you are. Bosses give promotions based on their perceived value of you. Banks give you money based on your perceived ability to repay. Doctors are licensed based on their perceived competency.

No matter how bright, talented, and skilled you will go nowhere if no one recognizes it. No matter how deficient you are, the world is yours to take if no one notices your failings. Learn to master your image and you have found the levers that motivate people to help you.

It blows my mind how many folks out there don’t understand this. Poke around for some familiar faces on myspace.com or facebook, or for that matter, any ‘local’ band website — you’ll quickly lose respect for some of your friends and acquaintances.

In my opinion, it’s messed up on it’s own to let someone take pictures of you when you’re not at your best, you know, sloppy drunk or whatever, but to post those pictures — I mean, actually sitting down and saying, “yeah, that one is a good representation of me” and then hitting submit is just shocking.  It’s like slandering yourself.  “Don’t I look ‘kewl’ here where I’ve got my face pressed against a drag queen’s tight abs?”  I mean really?

One fellow I know has a shot of him holding up some random bimbo doing a keg stand, while just above it in their profile it states that they’re 32 years old.  Um, hello?

Are people that stupid?  Apparently.

Oh, and don’t hold your breath for any less than flattering shots of yours truly…  I’ve always been aware of my image.

Can You Dig It?

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