Potty Training

Many folks find that the bathroom is a good spot for introspection. I am not one of them. I generally prefer to read on the throne, while leaving my “deep thoughts” for the shower. I do not have the fortitude to be one of “those guys” that brings reading material into the commode at work, however. I am thus reliant on the generosity of others to leave something worthwhile.

This is nothing new, as I have broached this subject previously. But lately I have noticed some patterns. Weds. is the best day to find the sports section in stall three. Thursday is a shoe-in to locate the weekend entertainment section in stall two. The key is to get in, grab it, and move to another stall (after all, it is known that the stall where the reading material is has already been defiled). One day I came up empty in my quest to locate suitable literary work, so I arbitrarily picked a stall. Upon the undertaking of human bio-activities, I noted that there was a small pamphlet on the northern surface of the toilet paper dispenser. My spirits suddenly raised by this unexpected discovery, I gleefully grabbed it and focused my gaze. The cover greeted me with a question that was a bit much for a depository session. “Are you 100% sure?” it asked me, with the YOU being significantly larger. I thought that this was an awfully random question.
“Sure about what?” I pondered. Sure that kids are growing up faster today? Sure that pets are getting fatter too? Sure that Lindsay Lohan is a fauxmosexual? I read on to discover four more questions in the background, of a much smaller font. “Is there a heaven?” “Is there a hell?” “Is there a God?” “Can you know for sure?”

These additional questions served to confound me further, but not for the obvious reason. I got to thinking about which of two possible reasons the pamphlet was in there. Either someone was legitimately reading about this in the bathroom, or someone left it there so that it would be found by the next user. If it was the former, how can you read something like that in there? Is religion not a bit too deep a subject for such activities? I am sorry, but there is something wrong with you if you are reading about the Lord our Saviour while excreting. That being said, I am more confident that it was the latter of the two reasons. I have been handed these pamphlets before at inappropriate times, usually by someone too sheep-like to understand why it is so. Passing on your own agenda is not always “for my own good”, but thanks for playing. That is why I can totally see someone leaving it there for a non-believer to find. But do you honestly think that
someone is going to have an epiphany about their spiritual being while dropping a deuce? Sure you do. Couldn’t you have at least left a pamphlet on McCain-Palin in there instead?

Extramundanely yours,
-Michael

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One Cookie, ah ah ah, Two Cookie, ah ah ah

I heard something on the news this morning that reminded me of something I had previously forgotten to address. The pre-commercial tease was that the Detroit school district “found” 2000 students that had not previously been counted. The broader topic of course is the whole “count” thing that goes on at local public schools. I am not going to pretend to profess knowledge of the intricacies of the system, but I do know that the size of this count determines how much money comes from the state. Since the schools are chronically and woefully underfunded, high attendance on this given day is crucial.

And that is the crux of the problem. Schools have resorted to increasingly sly ways to boost attendance on that day. Actually, they are not sly, because they communicate these things ahead of time to the press. There are drawings for iPods, goody bags (what is this, the Emmy’s?), and one school even had a half day. I am sure a lot got accomplished during that half day too. What lesson does this teach our youth? We are essentially buying their attention. I am confident that, if pressed, schools would say that it is a neccesary evil. Well – then the system is inherently flawed. But nobody has the stones to do anything, because they need the cash. We have relegated our teachers, which should be one of our proudest professions, into being glorified crack whores for a day. I am not a teacher, but it absolutely rips me up inside that this has to be done. I hope that it does the same for them. If it does not, then I will have lost complete faith
in the system.

I think that these visits should be completely unannounced. Why does there have to be so much fanfare ahead of time? All this does is create a bogus, artificial count. I imagine this is obvious to the counters, but why should they care? And that is the problem, noone cares – nor acknowledges – that this is a problem. It is an annual event on the news, appears on countless school electronic boards, and is even on some school calendars. Again, for emphasis, what lesson does this provide to our youth? As I said earlier, we are telling them it is ok to have their attention bought. They do not have to do something for the greater good, when they can hold out for an incentive instead. All it does is reinforce the coddling that kids have become accustomed to. I wonder what the count size would have to be for them to be taught actual and proper life lessons.

Glaringly yours,
-Michael

Determining the IQ of an Advertisement

Technology, specifically in relation to the Internet, continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. It has forced every company to evaluate how it advertises. This has led to a shift from the traditional media of print and TV. The Internet is now where its at. That being said, companies that are able to capitalise on this are making a killing. The King of this realm is obviously Google.
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Bad Medicine Is Not What I Want

Yes, prices at the good ole grocery store have been going up. Since I really only buy the same 15 things each week, I have a pretty good idea of the trends. I do not buy all that much food, so the bill should stay relatively constant. But my order total is not so constant. It can go up depending on what the sale racks are offering me or if it is the week when the somewhat perishable food actually perishes. The cheese, fruit always tend to go around the same time. However, one large contributor is toiletries. That side of the store has the ability to wreck what should be a cheap order. Now that gas prices are higher it doesn’t make sense for me to drive to Wal-Mart to save $1 on 3 items (despite my perpetual longing for an excuse to go there to buy the cheap beef jerky). Everything gets done at the grocery store. And since the post where I broke down my lunch was so well received – let’s go after the toiletries, shall we?
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Sponsor Goings-On

It has been a great week relative to sponsors for the team. Brian Ciarlei, part-timer from Sharlay Machine & Fabrication (see link on main page), today captured the 2008 SCCA F Modified National Championship out in Topeka, KS. Congratulations from this team!

Also, take care to look for an exciting announcement this coming weekend.

Off to eat some macaroni and cheese,
-Michael