Category Archives: humor

Ads that would benefit from more stock photography

I’m not sure why I ended up browsing Google Offers’ deals in the Seattle area, but as I staring at the URL, wondering if I mistyped the name as ĠõøǤĿë, I was left with the impression that this is a not-dead-yet project done to as a checkbox for someone in upper management who thought they must jump on the local deals bandwagon, but only part-way.  These are ads that would benefit from more stock photography, proofreading, and anything to actually help the businesses in question.

On page two of the Seattle Deals section I saw a trilogy of people in suits making handshakes.   Suits and pristine, callous-free hands are not something one associates with well-skilled people in remodeling, sewing, or furnace repair.

Hello, Stock Person In A Suit!

But at least they’re different suits, right?  Let’s move one page forward, where we see a dire situation for Offers restaurants: a single stock personal pepperoni pizza shot that’s kinda unappetizing.  I know Romio’s fantastic G.A.S.P. (garlic, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto) is more photogenic.

If Henry Ford went into the stock pizza photo business…

The stock might be forgivable if there was an attempt to offer customization, like a logo emblazoned on front.  Or if the people in suits were were shaking a pizza, because that would be funny.  Business hand, meet cheese pie.  Pie, serious but callous-free hand.

This ad gave me a chuckle at the prospect of printing a stack of Benjamins so I could buy a case of Altoids mints with my next G.A.S.P.

Using our proprietary 3-D technology, we are also the only printer in town that can run orders of coins.  Please, no dimes or nickels.

Getting a top coat on my money might make it sturdy enough that the stupid !#$!$ vending machine accepts it as legal tender.  Until then, I will continue to hoard dollar coins from the local car wash.

Please, no dimes or nickels.

In the example below, I understand that the photo is a technician removing the back window of a minivan, but the caption offering me “$100 off shower job of $650 or more” sounds like a disturbing euphemism.

Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Or else?

One more page, and we’ve run out of local businesses.  This example is for a online stock-trading course whose business is extremely SEO savvy.  Identical coupons have appeared on the other coupon sites.

As Bill contemplates the future of stock pizza photography, he realizes there just may be an untapped opportunity in the non-pepperoni market.

Last, is a section of non-offer offers.  This vendor doesn’t bother with art, but its use of the spammy “HGH” and offering a gift to attend their “weekly meeting” is…

This is not not at all a multi-level marketing pills scheme.


Tape Art

Step 1: Find the vacuum cleaner. (It’s in the bedroom. No, the other bedroom.  Maybe the study?  Oh, wait, that’s right, I was vacuuming the garage carpets out – look there.)

Step 1: Find the vacuum cleaner

Step 2: Buy plastic film (not shown) and packing tape in Costco quantities. (1 CEU = five miles.)

Lots o' Tape

Step 3: Wrap vacuum in plastic film so it doesn’t spoil.

Wrap vacuum in plastic

Step 4: Wrap plastic film with packing tape. Men: try not to get tape on your hairy forearms!

Wrap plastic film with packing tape

Step 5: Mold the edges for authentic look.

Step 5: Mold the edges

Step 6: Take “before” photo for future blog entry.

Step 6a: take photo

Step 7: Gently cut the cast.

Step 7: Cut the cast

Step 8: Tape seam, admire handiwork. Lightest… vacuum… ever… and unencumbered by the need for disposable bags. Or electricity. Or breakable belts.

Step 8: Admire handiwork

Step 9: Sell faux vacuum on eBay for a million, jillion dollars. Quit day job.

Step 9: Profit!

Step 10: Find other things to wrap! (Besides the girl!)

Step 10: Find other things to wrap

Since tomorrow is April Fools’ Day, the vacuum will mysteriously appear in the middle of my front lawn, underneath the banana tree. Tropical weather is a state of mind! (Flickr gallery.)


Luggage tag

Luggage tag And on the bag

Scott gave me this awesome luggage tag to complement the Hello Kitty bag.  Now I need to find a business trip!

Thanks, John, for bearing with me as I iterated through: “Did that work?”  “How about now?”  “That help?” while diagnosing my TV antenna blog feed.

The problem started a few weeks ago when I was looking for was to make my site play nice with my ISP.   I had disabled a bunch of utility plugins, but reasoned that since WordPress generates pages (mostly) dynamically, it would make sense to revisit MovableType, whose model is to generate pages at publish time.

I imported the WordPress-specific entries into my Ye Olde MovableType blog.  It worked, and I was able to update my old archive index.  Just in case someone wanted to compare cereal or learn the results of my first ever Weather Rodeo.  (Totally random side note: Steve Pool and the awesome Scott Sistek have a great book on weather forecasting and especially the Northwest.)

I hit “publish” and MovableType happily generated a million jillion pages.  It took frickin’ long enough, but worked.  When I was done, I flipped it back over to WordPress.  Pages loaded in the new motif.  l33t!

I first noticed a feed problem when I saw duplicate posts appearing on ravelry then later on the Google Reader feed of the feed of my blog feed.  With the multiple indirections, it was easy to see MovableType created various formats (atom, rss, rss2, opml) in the /feed/   Deleting individual files mostly helped, but I needed a visit from the clue fairy to realize I had to delete the entire /feed directory.  Viola!

Don’t Scrum me, Bro

I hate the name “Scrum” as in “Agile software development with a scrum master.” It just sounds too much like “scum” or “slurm.” Slurm-master. Ewwww…

The role has been described to me as “one who removes road blocks,” so naturally, when I first saw this month’s IEEE Spectrum cover, I immediately realized that applying a black marker to the “pe” and “t” would leave us with Spectrum. A coworker did the minor PhotoShop triage to put the letters next together.

And now we have the magazine for Scrum masters who need to pack a little extra “persuasion.” Leave a few of these covers around the office, play with the safety during “status meetings,” and you’ll see how quickly problems resolve themselves.



Friday linkery

The Outlook “inbox” at work represents things I haven’t processed (responded to, deleted, filed). I’ve been aggressively working to keep it below 20 items, but inevitably after a trip, it bumps back up. It’s above 50, and increasing. This really bugs me, but as I’m pretty exhausted from 2 months of busting the product release out the door, I’ve been unmotivated to work on it after hours. If it hits 200 — which is unlikely, since I’ll probably feel guilty when I break double-digits and work it down over a Sunday — I may need to use the nuclear option: an “Outlook crash.”

To offset some punchiness  about this — but not actually doing anything about it — I mocked up “localized” startup banners… just in case we start selling native Klingon. PhotoShop spoofery can lift the spirits!

Otherwise, yesterday evening I caught up on the reading for the online class I’m auditing. Mental note: give the amazon seller a non-perfect rating for slow delivery of the text book.

When that was done, I fiddled online, catching up with blogs and re-discovering the highly-addictive Pandora (flash required) free streaming music. The link is for a set of songs I’ve liked. If you just go to the main site, type in your favorite group or song, rate three or four of the ones that follow, and see how well it does for you. Unlike my Tivo, it allows for completely independent play lists. Thus, an occasional indulgence in the musical guilty pleasure-equivalents of “The A Team” or “American Gladiators” won’t tarnish the likelihood I’ll get the musical equivalents of my fare-equivalent, “Mini Medical School,” “Mythbusters” or “How It’s Made.”

There are several reasons I haven’t set up a Facebook account, including the perception that the experience would be a lot like being continuously hounded and “poked” by this lady at the Internets Party.
Continue reading Friday linkery