Monthly Archives: November 2013

How to not shop on Thanksgiving, unless you want to shop on Thanksgiving: A guide

Outrage, anger, fury and rage! Let slip the dogs of war! Grab your gun, your knife and your credit card, we are under attack!

Corporate America’s assault against traditional American values continues unencumbered as some major retailers have the audacity to open on — I hope you’re sitting down — Thanksgiving.

What will those corporate bastards do next in their never-ending quest to increase already-obscene profit margins? I suspect they might knife Grandma with razor-sharp deals on flat screen TVs while they defile apple pie with tempting buy-one-get-one free specials.

DCUSA.Gallery10.TargetBlackFriday.Wikipedia

Screw Thanksgiving, get a load of these prices!

Various news sources have been pointing out this moral outrage committed by some of America’s biggest chains, Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart among them. If my Facebook feed is any indication at all, a lot of people agree that retailers opening on Thanksgiving day is a disgusting trend that will inevitably lead to the downfall, perhaps the eventual destruction, of the American family.

Because Thanksgiving is about families, by god, and most of the people expressing outrage about this practice should be prohibited by law from ever having children because they’re fucking retarded.

Too bad there isn’t already a way to avoid shopping on Thanksgiving so you could spend that quality time with Uncle Mike as he drinks a little too much and starts an argument with his sister who flew from Cincinnati for the festive occasion.

If only there was a way.

Oh wait there is.

It’s called not fucking shopping on Thanksgiving.

Yeah, that’s pretty fucking hard I know.

The secret to not shopping on Thanksgiving is, and you should write this shit down, to not go to any stores on that day. And stay the fuck off Amazon and other online stores or you’re still fucking up Thanksgiving.

See, the stores aren’t destroying Thanksgiving.  They don’t need to because we’re doing a hell of a job without them. Not a single retailer would be open on Thanksgiving if we weren’t willing to shop on Thanksgiving.

But the above paragraph is also total bullshit because who the hell am I (or anyone) to criticize anyone who wants to die in a human stampede when the store opens on Thanksgiving Day?

Not me. If that’s your idea of fun, I’ve got no issue.

Besides, how else are you expected to purchase all the pointless shit we as American’s buy for our loved ones every Christmas?  I mean, little junior absolutely must have the new Xbox One Kinect that shows the world his dong, otherwise Christmas will be ruined!

By the way, that’s a real story up there about the Xbox One Kinect’s infrared camera exposing people’s dirty bits.  I mean if that isn’t a reason to shop on Thanksgiving, I don’t know what is.

But what about the poor employees who are forced to work on Thanksgiving to support these soulless corporations raking the last dollar out of our wallets while paying same employees dismal wages, I can hear you ask.

They're thankful this Thanksgiving for your cash ...

They’re thankful this Thanksgiving … for your cash.

Well I’ve got an answer for that question as well. That answer is, “Fuck those employees.” I know, I know with their low wages, zero benefits and their inability to refuse their employers request that they work on Thanksgiving they’re already fucked, but I mean fucked in more of a “the market demands that the stores be open on Thanksgiving” fucked kind of way.

Because the free market and profits it churns are always right. Lots of people believe that shit, and considering America’s current situation, they’re not incorrect. If enough people shop on Thanksgiving, and mark my words they will, the employees who are working are fucked on Thanksgiving Day and oh boy are they fucked if they don’t.

So fuck ’em.

Haven’t we always had business open on Thanksgiving? Sure not giant stores like Walmart or Target, but gas stations, convince stores and the occasional grocery store? Where was the uproar over those stores being open? Sure gas stations could be viewed as a necessity, but when was the last time purchasing a Slurpee or Slim Jims constituted an emergency?

Extra credit if you answered that question with, “When my wife was pregnant.”

The point is we’ve always had some businesses open on Thanksgiving, albeit some of them for legitimate reasons I admit, but most of them were open for convenience reasons.

Where was that moral outrage?

Nope, this moral outrage is made up and just makes us feel better. Otherwise everyone hearing that those stores were open would shrug and say …

“To hell with that, I’m staying home this Thanksgiving. I’m going to eat too much and fall asleep while watching the game – just like George Washington would have wanted it. It will be the day after when I’ll behave like a screaming lunatic at Walmart, just like we always traditionally do.”

Pompous police, disturbed democrats and a ninja with a gun

Pompous Police

Current news stories about automated airport doors that are sinisterly Orwellian in nature; a child suspended from school for drawing a ninja toting a gun; and a state senator charged with cocaine possession all pale in comparison to a father arrested for having the audacity to attempt to walk his children home from school.

Originally linked on Gawker, the story, as aired by Channel 6 in Knoxville Tenn., tells the tale of a father and his finance’s attempt to walk their two children home after the school implemented a policy that dictated kids could only be picked up by car.

The car-only policy created huge, dangerous traffic  jams and irked the hell

Holy Crap Dad just got arrested for walking junior home from school ... quick facebook that shit!

Holy Crap Dad just got arrested for walking junior home from school … quick Facebook that shit!

out  of father Jim Howe. What’s the problem with the otherwise mundane, even Andy Griffin-like task of walking a kid home from school? According to the local school board, parents were required to queue up in their cars to pick up their children. This – of course – creates frustrating traffic jams and led Howe to try his radical solution – a solution,  it should be mentioned, that has existed since the invention of legs.  His obvious attempts at anarchy landed Howe in jail because who fucking knows?

It’s unclear to me why the school enacted it’s kids-can-only-be-picked-up-in-a-car policy, but the absurdity of the situation is further magnified by the fact that the school, in a bizarre and ill-fated attempt to streamline the after-school problem, created dangerous traffic jams on a local highway.

So, just as you’re shaking your head about national government’s failures like the launch of the AMA or the recent government shut down, just remember that your local government, hell your local school board, is fully capable of behaving just as irresponsibly as those serving at a national level.

Democrat douchebaggery

In other news, what the fuck is this democrat thinking? As a life-long democrat I don’t get to say that very … oh hell, I say it once a week at least, but this time it’s a real “What the fuck is this democrat thinking,”  moment.

Hawaii state representative Tom Brower, democrat and raging asshole, has taken to smashing the few meager possessions of homeless people with a sledgehammer. Really, he takes a sledgehammer and get’s all “Incredible Hulk” on the shopping carts the less fortunate use to transport their paltry possessions.

Where normal people see a person down on their luck Hawaii Representative (D) Tom Brower sees things that need sledgehammer smashing ...

Where normal people see a person down on their luck Hawaii Representative (D) Tom Brower sees things that need sledgehammer smashing …

I first spotted this story Wednesday morning on Facebook and I couldn’t believe it was true. Due to my own prejudices I fully assumed the douche mentioned in this article was a republican. I was wrong.

You know how once in a while someone on the left will point out some sort of idiocy spewed by the right (birth control causes breast cancer, rape victims can’t get pregnant, Sarah Palin is a competent and intelligent American citizen) and insists that the mainstream right wingers denounce that person?

Well I’d like everyone to denounce this poster child for retroactive abortion.

Representative Brower said he has taken to smashing shopping carts used by homeless people because, and I fucking quote, “____”.

Actually, I can’t find a quote that adequately explains why he’s doing this. I’ll assume he’s mentally disturbed and needs help. But more likely he just really, really likes the publicity.

Claiming, somewhat correctly, that the carts used by the homeless are stolen property, Brower says he hasn’t actually targeted a cart that a an actual homeless person was actually pushing — yet. Really, the fucker said, “Yet.”

Here’s a novel idea Mr. Brower, that is not something democrats elected to office should do. Hell, that’s not what republicans elected to office should do. It’s something no one with an ounce of fucking empathy should do. It is, however, what thugs, bullies and fucking Nazis do. With that warped thinking it’s clear you shouldn’t be elected to any office that wields more power than chief dog catcher. Well, that’s actually cruel to stray dogs. You’re more than a joke Brower, you’re a sack-of-shit bully and I hope your constituents remember what a dick you are come reelection time.

Also please shove that sledgehammer up your self-righteous ass, thanks.

Knuckleheaded Ninjas

Let’s go back though to the eight-year old suspended in Arizona (my home state, they make me so proud sometimes) for drawing a ninja with a gun.  The Scottsdale school’s retarded decision aside, has anyone in Scottsdale ever watched a movie or television program in America? Wait, never mind, is it Scottsdale after all —  a haven of rich self-righteous pricks lacking any quality or feature that could even vaguely be construed as unique or interesting. It’s not at all shocking that Scottsdale  bureaucracy would react to an 8-year old drawing something.

And the most obvious error in this scenario has been overlooked. Someone needs

Note the lack of guns

No guns

to sit this kid down and explain some basic facts.

Ninjas don’t have guns.

Look, I know you’re only 8 so I’m willing to forgive your ignorance this once.

As this authoritative guide to ninja’s clearly points out, ninja’s don’t need guns. Ninja’s kick ass on guitar, they make spicy tacos and get like 18 boners, but they don’t have guns. Pirates on the other hand, they have guns. So repeat after me; Ninja’s don’t have guns and pirates are wimps.

The Official Ninja Webpage spells it out quite clearly:

1. Ninjas are mammals.
2. Ninjas fight ALL the time.
3. The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.

 

Notice, there are no guns. You’re welcome.

 

Speaking of Facetard, what the fuck is up right now with everyone putting five things people didn’t know about them as a status update?

Look, maybe I was wrong with the equal sign in the profile picture supporting marriage equality, but I was right about the damned Giraffe and I’m right about this crap too.

 

You want to know five things about me? Great here we go. 1) I like beer. 2) My left testicle hangs slightly lower than the right one. 3) I once blogged about shitting my pants (something I’m fairly sure Earnest Hemingway meant to do before he killed himself) 4) Boobs 5) I’m done with today’s blog.

German hospital stay leads to dangerous “addiction” (26 points)

Last Sunday my wife decided to do a highly-realistic impersonation of a fish out of water, while at the same time attempting to remodel the hallway floor with her face.

Her fish-flop (brought on by a seizure of some sort – the cause of which has yet been determined) left much to be desired and her floor-refurbishing attempt only served to remind everyone involved that any successful task needs the proper tools. No one carries a “face” in their tool box.

As a result of the subsequent five-day hospital stay, I introduced her to Words with Friends*. Yes, the same game that got Alec Baldwin booted from an American Airlines flight 2 years ago. (Exaggerate much?)

I introduced the game to her because of the following: German hospitals only offer one English-language television channel; no matter how good the programming BBC News offers, there’s only so much of it you can take; and she enjoys spelling contests and consistently beats my ass at solving the puzzles on “Wheel of Fortune”.

If the aforementioned doesn’t mean one is ready for Words with Friends, I don’t know what does. I downloaded the free version on both our phones and the Words with Friending ensued. We quickly fell into a routine.

If nothing else I am consistant.

If nothing else, I am consistent.

She steadily took me to school, laying down words that had like four Zs two Qs, and a C, while I’d be laying down the letters T and O to complete my turn. The ending score always seemed so lopsided: Daggy58 – 268 vs. Oliveritaly – 23.

But whatever, it was a time passer, she was stuck in the hospital and she was enjoying it.

Then it happened, on the last night of her stay doctors asked her to stay awake the entire night so they could monitor her. Because caffeine was not an option, Words with Friends helped her achieve that goal.

She played with my Dad’s girlfriend, she played with old friends in the U.S., and she played with strangers on the Internet. During this journey into the depths of Words with Friends she discovered two things: First, my Dad’s girlfriend is not to be toyed with when it comes to that game (she consistently kicks Dagmar’s ass), and second, she discovered the Internet is teeming with assholes.

One random Words with Friends player (I forget the name) told her she was a “shit player” and that she “fucking sucked.” This was during the second round of their first game. That’s a lot of information to present based on so very little evidence Mr. Troll, so keep up the good work.

Another random player turned the game into a meat market, letting her know he was 40 years old, good looking and wanted to “sexy chat.” This (she’s so cute!) also baffled my wife. “But he doesn’t even know me,” she expressed with genuine concern the next day.

But the Internet trolls and oversexed 40 year olds aside, it was proven on that VERY long evening that an addiction was seeping through my wife’s veins.

My wife — the woman who fought getting a smart phone until last year, who mocked my own online-gaming obsessions and who once decreed that anyone who plays a games just needed to “grow the hell up,” — kept me awake until almost midnight obsessively tapping words into the game with the determination of a junkie looking to score.

Chase that dragon baby … Chase that dragon.

I died a lot in Everquest.

I died a lot in Everquest. And yes I name all my online characters after Hunter S. Thompson characters.

I’m not knocking it. Far from knocking it, I completely understand it. I’ve often thought I should, and may still, write a piece about early online gaming. In 1991 I once racked up a $500 phone bill playing America Online’s Neverwinter Nights. It was a great online game presented in 16 dashing colors! Before that, in the late 80s, I played text-based MUDs, which pretty much proves I was beaten up a lot in high school. I also invested countless hours in Everquest in the late 90s after abandoning all hope in Ultima Online because the gaming population there proved early on that the Internet was full of douches.

Point is, I’ve been there. I understand the thrill of a perfectly executed move no matter the game’s design. I understand the obsessive maneuvering necessary to lead your opponent toward their demise. I, better than most, understand the need to make just … One. More. Move.

But stop fucking bugging me with requests to take my turn for the love of Jesus woman! I suck at spelling (He does ~Fran), I don’t much care for word games, and the damned game inevitably deals me letter combinations like I, I, I, O, U, T and X. Which means I play “Out” and you follow up with “Outhouse,” double-double-word score, killing me.

Sixteen, count 'em, 16 colors!  Also CW Ebony is stupid, we never liked CW Ebony.

Sixteen, count ’em, 16 colors! Also CW Ebony is stupid, we never liked CW Ebony.

 

It’s like the level-90 wizard in the above-mentioned games dueling a level-3 dwarf. Sure it’s hysterical to the wizard, but the dwarf just wonders why he’s suddenly on fire and beating eaten by a giant frog.

Anyway, if anyone’s looking for a Words with Friends partner leave me the hell alone. My wife however can be found online as Daggy58.

* To any serious Words with Friends players out there, is there any point to my buying her an actual copy of the game? She’s using the free version with advertising between moves, but doesn’t seem to mind. Besides the lack of ads, does the paid for version offer her anything? Thanks.

Obamacare Schamacare, we took a five-day trip into a real socialized medicine hospital

Sunday morning Dagmar and I got out of bed at 7 a.m. She prepared some coffee for me and a cup of tea for herself. She told me she felt just a tiny bit dizzy and went back upstairs. Less than five minutes later I heard a thud that sounded an awful lot like the start of a bad day.

“Dagmar,” I yelled already getting up from the couch.

The thud was one of those sounds that even if it wasn’t what I thought it was, it http://www.dreamstime.com/-image2428045was still something that would require my help.

“Dagmar,” I yelled again as I ran up the stairs.

I’m not a doctor and I don’t know what a seizure is, but when I reached her she was in the throes of what looked like a seizure, acted like a seizure and right outside the window an actual duck had a fucking seizure.

So I’m pretty sure Dagmar was having a seizure.

I’m a U.S. Army veteran of 20 years. I’ve served my country. I’ve served in Iraq. I’ve served in Afghanistan. I’ve run across traumatic situations, I know how to handle myself in stressful situations.

When I saw my beloved wife face down on the floor I immediately sprang into action and peed on myself.

She was doing some weird sort of, forgive-me-honey  fish flop in what was obviously a shit-ton of blood.

When she fainted she landed in a spot her face was literally inches from a jagged edge along the wall. If she had hit that on her way down I knew it would be bad, teeth-missing bad in fact.

I ran to her and turned her onto her back. I made sure she was breathing, looked for gushing blood, peed myself some more, ignored the weird stare her unseeing eyes were giving me,  peed on myself again, called her name again and then ran to my neighbors for help.

They, understanding none of my incoherent babble, but surmising it must be bad, jumped into action. My neighbor’s wife followed me upstairs while he ran to phone a German ambulance.

My neighbors get the heroes-of-the-week award.

That’s it though. Dagmar’s fine. Really she is. Her face looks like <insert domestic violence joke here>,  and other than a small bruise on her shoulder (the shoulder which I think saved her face from that jagged edge) she is fine. Apart from not knowing what made her lapse into an all-too elaborate impression of Julius Caesar, she’s fine.

After five days in the German hospital she was released and she’s fine. , she left the hospital, but she’s fine.

Healthcare .govGerman hospi … holy shit my wife was just in a socialist healthcare death-bed facility while everyone is debating Obamacare.  Holy crap, thanks for doing a head plant and helping me think of a timely blog entry Dagmar!

Seriously though, think about it.

All of this occurred on Sunday and she left the hospital Thursday around noon.

Would that ever happen in an American health care facility? I’m not suggesting that because she was admitted, that suggests their health care system is at all better. Really, if it had been you, would you rather go to the emergency room, get checked out by a physician, get told you’re basically OK and that you have a follow up is with a specialist later in the week, or would you rather be checked in for four days?

Think about it, stay at home with all your creature comforts and follow up with subsequent appointments,  or be admitted to the hospital?

There was a lady who shared a room with Dagmar and was discharged the day before her.  She had been admitted to the hospital for five days — for hand surgery. As I’ve said,  I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure that kind of surgery is what’s called outpatient surgery in the U.S.  Afterward a loved one takes you home; you pop pain meds, elevate it and keep it under ice.

But not here. Four days of inpatient treatment is the prescription. Maybe it was some sort of life-or-death hand surgery that required round the clock care?

But that’s the point.

As much as anyone with a sane mind would hate the German medical system’s propensity to admit their patients for seemingly minor issues, the German medical system is seemingly focused on nothing more than making sure the patient is well. If that means admitting a patient for what we in the U.S. would consider treat-and-release, they don’t fucking care.  They’ve got you and they’re going to treat you to the best of their ability.

Which fucking sounds expensive, doesn’t it?

Look, we all know Germans pay a shit ton in taxes, so it should get them top-rate medical care.

There are some interesting differences though.

When Dagmar needed an MRI during her stay, a team of medical professionals with a gurney came to transport … wait, that’s not right. Oh yeah, a nurse came into Dagmar’s room and informed her that she needed to go to radiology for an MRI. They were expecting her there in 10 minutes? Why hadn’t they told her earlier? Well, she’s an inpatient and they were pretty sure her schedule was free.

Also, she was expected to walk there —  no gurney, no wheelchair and not even a staff member to escort her.  She was just turned loose into the bowels of the facility on her own.

Granted, my hospital knowledge is limited, but the thought of an inpatient walking unescorted to an appointment blew me away. Dagmar was fine, fully capable of making the walk unescorted, eager even, but that really made us laugh. I guess lawsuits aren’t that big a thing over here.

Think about it: In the U.S. telling a patient to walk alone to their next appointment opens up more lawsuit possibilities than I could ever hope to imagine. Had the patient fallen, had another episode, or even fell on a wet floor, the hospital would be liable.

Not in Germany.

If you fall on a wet floor here, well, they cover the treatment of that with their health care too.

It’s not bad really. I’d be talking out my ass if I claimed that the German medical system isn’t profit driven. I really don’t know if it is or isn’t. I can say it seems unconcerned with cost however.

There was never once, much to my financial ruin, a discussion about what our American health insurance would or would not cover. It was just full-service medical care. The system said, “You, Mrs. Oliver, have a problem and we are going to fix it.”

Unlike other stories I’ve heard from veterans being treated for medical issues on the economy, I saw or was unaware of any preferential treatment. A lot of Americans have told me that with American insurance they get preferential treatment at the Germany hospital.

“I was seen immediately, before any of the Germans,” they’d exclaim as if their American insurance gave them privileged status because of — something.

I doubt the ambulance came to the door any faster, I sincerely doubt any of the staff were at all kinder (they are all angels anyway – you damn medical people, salt of the earth) and I’m sure we were never pushed ahead of anyone for anything.

We, well hell let’s be honest, she was just product in the machine. A machine designed to make you well again, and it’s pretty fucking awesome.

There are a million other oddities I could tell you about being an inpatient in a German hospital, like the fact that they don’t provide you with towels for the shower for instance, but that’s cultural not healthcare related.

I don’t know what Obamacare is. America does a fairly good job of taking care of its military veterans and for that I’m thankful. So while I don’t know what Obamacare is, I know that really if it’s a step towards this kind of health care, it’s a step in the right direction.

As much as Dagmar might have hated spending four nights in a German Hospital, we both know the  hospital staff was working with not a thought about cost toward finding out what was wrong with her and every other patient in the facility.

And that my friends, is healthcare.