The Subliminal Messages

...Still Searching


"You Know, The Ear Isn't Empty."

Yesterday, for the most part, was a pretty routine day. I got out of bed in the morning, got ready for the day, fixed Grandad's breakfast and went to work. I came home at lunch and found Grandad still in bed, woke him up and got him started in the right direction for the day. Went back to work as he was dressing and then came home again at 4:30 in the afternoon.

Fixing breakfast for Grandad, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, isn't too tough of a chore. It includes filling a bowl with cereal, topping it with raisins, and putting a banana beside it on the table. A cup of milk is then placed by the banana, so that it won't get lonely. A cup of pills and two hearing aides are also placed beside the breakfast, and a note that begins with, "Grandad, today is Tuesday..."

Basically, it's a pretty routine regiment, which looks a lot more involved when typed out.

What was I saying?

Oh yes, it was a pretty routine day.

Well, when I arrived home after work, I found Grandad sitting at the kitchen table. He had just finished his breakfast and was working on putting in his hearing aides. He had the left one in, but the right one was giving him some trouble.

You see, his hearing aides have a built in sensor of some sort that make them whistle when you place a hand over your ear. I can only surmise that this is so the user will know if they are working properly. At least, that's the way that we use the whistle.

Well, at this particular time, on this particular day, the hearing aide was whistling every time he stuck it in his ear. That is to say, it wasn't working right at all.

So, instead of messing with it all evening, I made an executive decision to put it in it's dehumidifier box for the night, and try it again the next day.

With the problem solved, I went upon my merry way and ended up watching TV in my room. About 15 minutes later, Grandad walks in and says, "You know, the ear isn't empty."

These days, ridiculousness out of Grandad's mouth isn't necessarily doled out in scarcity, so I just looked at him with my standard dull stare and asked him what the heck he was talking about.

"The ear. There's something in the ear," he says, and sticks a finger in the ear with no hearing aide.

"Something in the ear?" I ask, and walk over to look.

Sure enough, there is something in the ear. A little pink pill that I instantly recognize as his blood pressure medication.

Of course, I find this sad and hilarious at the same time. Poor old Grandad arrived at the table, ate his breakfast, saw his hearing aide and grabbed a blood pressure pill and stuck it in the ear. Of course, this didn't necessarily block any sound off, since he's for all intents and purposes totally deaf without his aides, so he proceeded to stick his hearing aide in and really ram that little fella down.

Luckily, the pill was still visible, and was easily removed with a pair of tweezers.

The whole ordeal reminded me of a story one of my friends told me about their daughter. One day she complained so loudly about an ear ache that my friend took her to the pediatrician.

The doctor found a peg from the boardgame 'Battleship' lodged so far inside the ear that it was no longer visible.

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And the Survey Says...

Today, whilst home for lunch, I ran across a survey that was addressed to my grandfather. The survey said that it would randomize answers, so feel free to record your true thoughts as it would be totally anonymous. It went on to further state that the purpose of the survey was to reach you, average Joe USA!

Well, right off the bat, I thought this was funny. My grandfather is almost 93 years old. He told me the other day I should be careful who sees me drink beer, what with prohibition and all.

Definitely not 'average Joe USA' material, but I suppose there's no way for the US government to know that...aside from using age as a determining factor for the recipients of said survey.

Anyway, most of the questions seemed pretty straight forward. Things like, "Do you know what the current cap is set at for number of immigrants entering the US per year?" and "Do you think that illegal immigration is currently a problem in the US?"

That is to say, most of the questions I found myself not even really thinking about. No, I don't know the current cap, yes I do think that the US has a problem with illegal immigration, and no I don't think the US should make more allowances for the number of languages currently spoken in our country."

In retrospect, I might have been sitting on a tall horse while answering these questions, but I'm pretty tired of having to sit through 30 seconds of Spanish before I get to the English prompts in an automated phone call.

So, anyway, the questions were cut and dried until I got to this one:

"Do you think the United States can withstand an unlimited amount of immigrants without ripping the fabric of our current economical system."

Now, I can't remember the question word for word, and I don't have the paper in front of me right now, but you get the gist. Can an unlimited amount of people flood into our country without causing a total societal collapse.

At first, I answered 'no' in the same quick fashion I had answered the previous questions. "No, of course it can't take that! Think of all the additional people us working folks will have to support. There isn't enough jobs!"

At this point, I put the paper down and pondered for a moment.

More people should mean more jobs. More people, as long as they are capable people, are going to go out and get a job, so that they can in turn create more jobs, simply by being American. They buy groceries, gas, subscribe to cable TV, and the market grows simply by their residence.

But then, on the other hand, too many people who aren't capable of doing the jobs that need to be done to support a larger society could be detrimental to our society.

So, I pondered, and then realized it didn't really matter anyway, as the survey wasn't addressed to me in the first place, so I put it down and came back to work.

A few other thoughts on immigration I'd like to get out here:

I'm all for people coming to this country, but I'm totally against illegal immigration, and think that a solution to that particular problem needs to be found. You can't go to the movies without a ticket, or rather if you get caught, you're asked to go to the back of the line and wait to purchase a ticket, so why should it be any different with residency. Shouldn't illegal immigrants, when found, be asked to leave and apply the correct way? Why should they get the perks while their countrymen stand in line, and follow the rules?

Immigration is what made this country great. I'm only a few generations removed from a boatload of Norwegians myself. If it wasn't for immigration, we'd all still be sitting around a fire outside of our tee-pees, wondering where the buffalo were.

Well, I wouldn't be, because I wouldn't be here, but someone would be.

Anyway, food for thought...

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The Great Battle For The Internet

If you've been online in the last, oh, 10 years, you've probably heard of a little company called Google.

Google is a California based company who is trying to, "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

When Google first started, it was just one search engine among many. But that isn't the case anymore.

Today, Google is still a search engine, but they're also a mapping service, email client, price-finder, and about 30 gazillion other things.

Case in point, about a year ago, I switched from Hotmail to Gmail. That is, from Microsoft to Google. Let me tell you, I haven't looked back in anything but amazement.

Amazement that I could go from such a craptacular service to one that works so flawlessly.

Well, Apparently I wasn't the only one to switch, and Microsoft is learning that they could be doing better. Enter Microsoft Live.

Microsoft Live, while still in its beta form, is their answer to Google's improvements. It's a search engine, personalized homepage, email service, etc.

Will it outperform Google?

I doubt it. But it's probably worth checking out anyway.

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The Best Halloween Costume of '05 goes to...ME!

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Why Don't Cops Use Blinkers and Other Tales of Woe

During my daily routine, I drive pass the same police station 4 times. I drive to work right around shift change and pass it. I drive home before lunch and pass it. I drive back to work after lunch and pass it. I drive home again right around shift change and pass it.

During these daily drives, I see many police on the road. Usually about 6 or 7 every trip, and I've started to notice a trend:

Police don't use their blinkers. Ever.

Now usually, I'm not a very judgmental person. Or at least I try not to be. But this just twists my nuts in an unpleasant way. I don't understand how a whole group of people who've dedicated their lives to passing out fines for the least little infringement can skip a basic necessity of driving.

Would it kill them to use their blinker? Is it asking too much for them to abide by this small ruling and signal their navigational intent?

I think the reason this bothers me so much is twofold. First, I've actually gotten a ticket for 'failure to signal a turn'. Of course, I've also gotten tickets for driving on a sidewalk, wrong way on a one way, and driving over a median. But those are neither here nor there. What is relevant is that I've gotten a ticket for something I see police officers do every single day.

Second, it pisses me off when anyone makes a turn without a blinker. I've had too many close calls that could have been avoided entirely with the mere twitch of an arm muscle. Your arm is already there by the wheel, just reach up, little fella, and tweak that lever. It even turns off by itself. Is that too much to ask?

And another thing: What's up with drug testing? How did something so intrusive ever become legal?

The reason I bring this up is that recently I was required to take a drug test. A 'preliminary drug screening' for a job that I applied for. On signing the paperwork that says I am interested in the position, I was given 24 hours to make my way to Quest Diagnostics and pee in a cup.

You see, if I'd used drugs recently, I'm not the kind of person they would want to hire. Sure, sure, they might have thought I was a good candidate by meeting with me, checking my credentials, and talking for the good part of two hours, but if I 'took drugs' or 'ate poppy seed muffins' or even 'took Advil' recently, well, I'm apparently not their type of material.

Of course, the person I interviewed with could have kidnapped 3 young girls last night, tied them up and spent his evening raping, beating, killing and chopping, and nobody would ever know, but I eat a poppy seed muffin or drink too much water, and I'm unacceptable!

And, furthermore, with the drug testing scenario, did you know that cocaine and heroine stay in your system for about 4 days, while THC (active chemical in marijuana) can stay in your system for up to 2 months? How is that fair. A drug that makes you think the Simpsons are funny or want to eat potato chips will stay in your system for 2 months, but one that will ruin your life is gone in 4 days.

Basically, life isn't fair and people suck. That is all.


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I Have A Dream!

And this dream is not my normal dream where little black boys and little white girls are able to walk down the street, hand in hand, free from oppression.

No, this dream is more realistic, more vital to human survival.

My dream is that every red-blooded American boy and girl have their own Angelina Jolie.

"But, how is that possible," you ask?

Well let me tell you! This morning, while perusing current events, I ran across an article about a recent break-through in cloning. Two non-related African wildcat clones managed to light some candles, put on some music, get into the right mood and eventually have 8 healthy baby kittens.

So, why can't we clone Angelina Jolie, and give one to every good boy and girl.

Now, the obvious question you might ask is, 'Why would anyone want their own Angelina Jolie?'

To that question I would say that the applications are universal. First and foremost, if you're a growing boy and want a partner for a sexual encounter, you couldn't pick a finer looking specimen to clone. But then there's so much more!

She could pick interesting names for your pets. She could teach young girls proper makeup application. I'd be willing to bet that, given the proper training, she could even learn to vacuum your house and wash your dishes!

Yes, the applications are indeed universal, and let me be the first to say, I want...No, I demand my own Angelina Jolie.

And I want YOU to have one too.

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An Old Tale

Once upon a time there lived a boy named Ariel. Ariel lived with his people in a paradise (of sorts) surrounded by desert. He and his people lived in peace with the land until one day they were set upon by snakes. The snakes came to Ariel's people with promises of war and hostile intent. They told the boy that there would be no peace amongst them, and that the only way that Ariel could ensure a future for his people was for them to simply move away.

The fighting continued until one day, not many days past, a deal was finally struck. Some called it travesty. Some called it 'land-for-peace'. Others shook their heads, and refused to call it anything at all.

This 'deal' centered around a mass withdrawl from a questionable chunk of land. Those who pulled out had, at least in the back corners of their mind, some thoughts of a God-given right to be there. The snakes, however, said the piece of land was stolen from them, and cheered when it was to be given back.

So the deal went through, as deals often do. Sure, there was some crying, some protesting, and the occasion fatality, but the land was given back to the snakes who had once been the sole occupants.

But peace didn't come. The snakes followed the little boy's people further and further into their land. More attacks, more suicide bombings and more demands for more land followed this 'land-for-peace' deal, until one day Ariel asked the snakes, "Why can't we live in peace? Why, after we gave you our God-given land, do you still treat us thus?"

The snakes looked at the boy with a tilted smile and one simply said, "You knew we were snakes before this deal was struck."

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Airport Security

Yesterday, while talking to my cousin (who happens to work for the Port Authority in NY), the subject of airport security came up.

He's currently working at JFK airport, and he had to take a security training class upon arrival. He learned that every single employee at the airport is actually a security guard. There are incentives to try and catch anyone doing anything wrong. If you catch someone sneaking around, you get a cool $50. If you catch someone who's intentionally sneaking around, an employee paid to try and 'beat the system', you can get up to $1000, almost instantly.

This, to me, is a great idea. That's like having thousands of security guards, all paid to sniff out crime.

Anyway, just thought that was interesting.

As you were,


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