Labor Day

Is it Happy Labor Day?  Merry Labor Day?  It just doesn’t seem to have the uumph of the other holidays.  When you walk into a store you don’t see the Labor Day display of greeting cards like the reds/pinks of V-Day or the ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, and black cats of Halloween.  In fact, I’ve never received or even seen a Labor Day card and I’ve never heard anyone say “I got your Labor Day card.  It was nice.”   Is Hallmark missing the boat?

In the US, Labor Day is always the first Monday in September (May 1st ‘May Day’ in socialist and communist countries) and was created to support the ‘social and economic achievements of American workers.’  Some say that Peter McGuire, the former leader of the Brotherhood of Carpenters was the founder of this non-greeting card giving holiday.  Others say it was Matthew McGuire, a machinist and member of the machinist union was the founder.  Talk about sibling rivalry!

The first Labor Day took place in 1882 in NYC at the request of the Central Labor Union.  The first legislation and governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances in 1885 and 1886.  Oregon was the first state to pass legislation in 1887 but ironically the first state bill was introduced in NY much earlier; it seems that even back then NY had trouble getting bills passed.

Labor Day has lost its original purpose as I think most holidays have.  Today, it’s more about a day away from the office and an opportunity to consume large amounts of nitrates (hotdogs) or go camping in the woods somewhere (where inevitably nitrates will be consumed).  It also provides 24 more hours to start the seasonal closing process of swimming pools.

As we celebrate “the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country”, I urge you pull out the construction paper and markers and create a Labor Day greeting card.  It’s sure to make someone smile….or laugh hysterically.

I leave you with Bonne Labor Day!    Oh, and take it easy on the nitrates.

Advertisements
Posted in celebration | Leave a comment

Just Plain Funny 2

Rosscott Inc. continues to make me laugh and in turn question my own creativity.  Here are some of my recent favorites:

Commuting with Nature–make sure you check out the mouse over

Bad Combo–cyclists and motorists have to follow the rules of the road.  Excellent reasons for campaigns like Capital Coexist are needed

The guest comic Steve Napierski did this one and reminds me of one of my posts

And given the temperature out, this one is fitting for today

Keep up the good work guys!  I think a “The System” Calendar (professional office appropriate) is in order.  Maybe readers could vote on the comics that go with each month.

Posted in Capital Coexist, humor, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Choke

Remember a few weeks ago, I posted about my writing style?  No…well remind yourself here.

I recently completed “Choke” by Palahniuk and it was awesome.  I do think my writing style is similar in that the sentence structure is short and to the point, but I’m not sure my imagination ability to put my imagination into words even comes close.

Without completely giving away the book, it’s about a guy that copes with both his relationship with his mother and his addiction to sex.  I would highly recommend reading Choke if you’re okay with some graphic yet absolutely hilarious language.  If you’re easily offended, you may want to pass.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Emmy

Not to be confused with “Em”, my wife and soon to be baby’s mama or “Emmie”, the daughter of C&S, cute as can be and could easily have ‘Uncle’ Jason wrapped around her finger.

As I was channel surfing last night, I did everything possible to avoid anything related to the Emmy’s.  I caught (by mistake) about 8 seconds worth of the interview with Jane Lynch, the actress that plays Sue Sylvester on Glee.  I think Lynch is an awesome actress and is hilarious but I completely lost interest when she started rattling off the designer ofher dress and jewelry.  Who cares?  I think these actors should haveto attend these award ceremonies ‘in character’ and this case would mean an Adidas track suit.

With nothing better than the Emmy’s on TV we were able to get to bed early for the pending work week.  Em was able to read and relax while I watched reruns of Criminal Minds.  For this, I thank the Academy.

I didn’t watch the Emmy’s but have no doubt that Matt B’s recent account on Friday Puppy is 100% accurate.

What are your thoughts on celebrity award shows?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Being a Southpaw

Apparently, the term ‘southpaw’ has it’s origin in the way baseball fields were built where home plate faced east so that the sun would be less likely to be in the batter’s face.  Pitchers would then in turn face west and if the pitcher was a lefty, the ball would be thrown from his ‘south’ side hand.

Southpaw is the mascot for the White Sox

I didn’t want to write this on August 13th (International Left Handers Day) because it was also Friday the 13th and that’s more than enough potential bad luck for one day.

For centuries, anything to the ‘left’ was considered bad.  As the story goes, ancient worshipers mostly lived in the northern hemisphere and faced south to pray.  The sun would then go to the right and everything to the right was considered good and things to the left considered bad.  A bunch of crap?  Maybe…but I’ve heard worse theories on things.

Lefties can’t win.  In Latin, the word for ‘left’ is sinister which in English, we relate to evil.  In French, the word for ‘left’ is gauche which we’ve adopted to mean awkward or tactless.  Even the English word for ‘left’ comes from the word ‘left’ which means weak.

If you are right-handed you have no idea how difficult it is to live as a lefty.

  • A lefty can only use ‘normal’ scissors for so long before our hands start to hurt.  In grade school, I used to have to carry around special scissors with green rubber handles.  Kids are cruel enough in grade school and this is just one more way to be different…and a target.
  • I get laughed at every time I play cards.  A righty can fan the cards out and see the number and suit.  A lefty has to hold their cards upside down.  Think about it.
  • Number pads on a keyboard are always on the right and difficult to use.
  • I’m dating myself here a bit but every try to put the record player needle onto a record with your left hand?  Good luck.
  • I believe that Polo players were not allowed to be lefties.  I’m sure some equal rights (ironic name for this post, no?) has made polo playing eligible by all but at some point we were banished.
  • For guys that still carry their wallet in their back pocket, you have to be sure to buy pants with a pocket on the right side.  Bet you righties never even thought to look did you?
  • Sitting in a restaurant.  If you are right-handed, you can sit anywhere at the table.  Sitting at a dinner table takes on a whole new meaning to a lefty as elbow bumping always has to be considered.
  • Any idea how many shirt sleeves a lefty ruins in their lifetime just by simply using a pen when writing?  Not to mention the smudges that often results in a reduction of points on homework assignments.
  • Remember desks in school or ever go to a school as an adult to take an exam or class?  The one piece chair/desk combo almost always had the desk part on the right.  How comfortable is that when sitting through SATs or a Civil Service exam?
  • Power tools…a lefty friend of mine is looking for a left-handed circular saw.  As expected, the big-box home improvement store worker gives the “you have 3 heads look”.   Yes, there are such things as left-handed circular saws and YES, it does make a difference.

There aren’t as many good things to list about lefties

  • supposedly, lefties are more creative.
  • We have an easier time conducting transactions at toll booths…Big Deal!
  • Lefties are also said to have more adaptability.  Of course, we have to adapt to conform to the world of the righty.   Think handshakes and the mouse next to your computer.
  • Lefties that can pitch are more likely to get signed to the majors over a righty pitcher of equal ability/talent.

About 10% or so of the population is left-handed with notable lefties being Babe Ruth, Paul McCartney, Lewis Carrol, Bill Gates, Jerry Seinfeld, and 7 US presidents.  I’m comfortable being a southpaw and am apparently in good company but cringe every time I struggle doing something set up for the right-handed world.  We’re people too you know.

Posted in awkward, humor | Tagged | 1 Comment

Seven Levels of Frustration

Ever think about categorizing frustration? No? It’s okay, I’ve done it for you.  I think most things aggravating can fall into one of the following.

Level 1–“Get Over Yourself”  This is when you get visibly frustrated over something stupid that doesn’t really have any positive or negative effect on anything.  Kevin Marshall would call these situations First World Problems.  The best example of this is when you want a jelly doughnut with sprinkles from D&D and when you get there they only have jelly doughnuts without sprinkles.  Huffing and puffing back to the parking lot is Level 1.

Level 2–“What’s Wrong with Me”  We’ve all experienced this even if we don’t like to admit it.  It’s when some invisible force that is completely out of your control makes you feel entirely inept.  You know when you’re 6 inches from the trash can and it takes you eleven attempts to throw something out.  If you don’t ask “What’s wrong with me?”, then you’re either in denial or have given up and the dirty kleenex sits on the floor next to the trash can until garbage day.

Level 3–“Not worth the fight” aka compromise.  This is minor frustration that happens in every relationship.  I have a tendency to leave my closet doors open after selecting my clothes for the day.  This aggravates Emiley beyond belief but it’s not a relationship deal breaker and like level 1, isn’t doing any immediate harm.

Level 4–“This should be easy but is impossible”  Level 4 happens when no matter how many attempts at something, the result is almost always failure.  The best example for this is trying to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture by yourself.  You read the directions and “holding panel A parallel to panel C while lining up hole B with tab D and at the same time tighten bolt G” seems to make perfect sense.  The diagram makes it look so easy.  However, each time you get everything lined up and balanced using your non-dominant hand, both knees, and a foot while also using the foam packing material as leverage and are just about to tighten bolt G, you end up in a heap of heavy particle board.  I experienced Level 3 the other night at CasaMateja.  A very adorable 5 year old asked me to build a “castle” using a standard deck of cards.  As soon as I got any height, the cards tumbled into a flat mess.  The ‘castle’ was at best a battered lean too.

Level 5–“Bite Your Lip”  This can really raise the blood pressure.  When your best friend, in-laws or someone close to you says something stupid or tries to butt into your business in a prying kind of way.  Unless it gets real bad, most will just bite their lip to avoid a confrontation and hurt feelings.  These discussions usually revolve around wedding plans, how to raise your children, or how to spend/not spend your money.

Level 6–“They just don’t get it”  Frustration at this level is usually caused by others.  The woman that continuously rams her shopping cart into your heel in the check-out line, the coworker that insists on blowing cigarette smoke in your direction because they think it’s funny, the neighbor that yells like a hyena at the young children she watches (Truth), the obnoxious drunk guy at the bar that is hitting on every girl or being Mr. Macho, the guy in the hospital parking garage booth that treats you like dirt after you’ve been pleasant and friendly….are all examples of level 6.

Level 7–“It’s time for colorful language and smashing things”  This is the worst type of frustration; when you have to actually remove yourself and count to 10 out loud to stop the blood from curdling.  This can happen when someone argues with your every move just because they can to make it seem like they have more control or know more than you do.  This also happens when you are doing the right thing and somebody tries to block your progress (usually in a school or office setting).  This level of frustration can also occur when the  rule(s) seem to benefit others but put you at a disadvantage.  You know, when someone less qualified gets a job over you because their uncle is the deputy commissioner.

The next time you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a moment and determine which category it falls into and let me know.  Will this help with the frustrated feelings?  Probably not but it may make you realize that things aren’t as bad as they initially seemed or be a substitute for counting to 10 in a public place.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Christopher Walken–Poker Face

Better than the original?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment