For many, the winter months bring sniffles, sneezes, sore throats and copious amounts of multi-colored mucous. For my mucous-related maladies, I have always turned to NyQuil. Because it works1. It is the cure for the common cold, after all.

Unfortunately, that’s changing2. In the interest of the public good, it is my duty to inform you that the tried and true cold-curing formula for NyQuil has been changed. Apparently, some folks were stealing bottles upon bottles of NyQuil and distilling it to isolate the active ingredient, pseudoephedrine. Then they took the pseudoephedrine and used it to make methamphetamines3.

The concerned people of Vicks, the maker of NyQuil, decided to do something about all the stealing and hoarding4. So they replaced the pseudoephedrine in NyQuil with doxylamine succinate, which, as we all know, is completely useless5. In the fight against the common cold, that’s like replacing an Abrams tank with a rubber band gun.

I'm devastated.

But it's not the end of the world. If you’re curious about where you can still find some pseudoephedrine, pick up a bottle6 of Advil Cold & Sinus. You’ll probably have to ask the pharmacist to unlock his big glass case and get it for you, but you’ll be able to get your hands on that cold-curing7 goodness.

1And tastes delicious.
2The working part, I mean. To the best of my knowledge, the taste remains the same.
3I’m not entirely sure on this, but I think that methamphetamines are a drug8.
4And general moral and ethical decline amongst the youth of the nation.
5Just like this blog.
6Or seven
7And meth-making
8 An illegal drug, unlike NyQuil9.
9Which is completely legal but apparently not strong enough for the people who are using it to make meth.

Louisville, Kentucky is the 16th largest city in the United States and the largest in the state. Louisville is most famous for the Kentucky Derby, the most widely watched event in American horse racing, which is nowhere near as popular as Nascar, but much better because it’s only two minutes long and you can bet money on it. Plus, women wear funny hats to the Derby and it’s the only sporting event responsible for creating an alcoholic drink1.

Louisville is also well-known as the birthplace of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Whether you’re a professional ball player or a mob hit man, you can’t deny the value of three-and-a-half feet of solid maple.

Because of its proximity to the Indiana state line, the Louisville area is often referred to as Kentuckiana. Kind of like the Tropicana brand of juice, but with geography and much less sugar.

While we spent most of our time in Louisville at my brother-in-law’s enormous house in the suburbs, I can say with confidence that downtown Louisville is a happenin’ place. We drove through downtown during the middle of the day on our way to see the hospitals2 where said brother-in-law performs complicated spinal surgeries.

We also drove down the famed3 Dixie Highway on our way to his office. Suffice to say, it was a lot less inspiring than downtown. It looks just like it sounds.

While this review is substantially less than comprehensive, it’s reflective of my time in Kentuckiana. In conclusion, if you ever have the opportunity to visit Louisville, do it4. It’s totally worth it.5

1While the Mint Julep is famous for its Derby origins, it is probably not the only alcoholic beverage created due to a sporting event. But made-up facts always make a strong point.
2One of Louisville’s largest medical facilities is the Jewish Hospital. I’m pretty sure it’s not just for Jews.
3Sort of. I’d never hear of it before in my life. Apparently, though, the Dixie Highway is pretty famous among people who live on or near the Dixie Highway.
4Or don’t. Whatever.
5Not intended to be a valuation of a trip to the city of Louisville, KY, either expressed or implied. Not legally binding in any state, especially California.


Thanksgiving Day 2005. Louisville, Kentucky. Check it out on flickr.

More on the trip tomorrow.


I thank God today for:
the legacy my grandparents began,
the dedication my parents have shown,
the integrity with which my brothers live,
the love of my incredible wife,
the blessing of my daughter,
the gift of a new day,
and the encouragement of people I have never met.

Thanks for reading words. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

No post tomorrow. No whining about it, either.

sleep guide

When you’re lying in bed at night, there comes a moment when you’re just on the edge. You're seconds from falling headlong into the sweet chasm of slumber. And sometimes, in that time somewhere between waking and sleeping, you realize that you’ve arrived at the precipice. You could slip right into sleep or you could wake up completely and start all over, waiting once again for sleep to envelop you.

It’s a confusing time, and a frustrating one. If you handle it correctly, the next thing you’ll see is the morning sunlight peeking through the curtains. If you don’t, you’re awake, frustrated and angry. I’ve compiled some tips to help you get through this rough and confusing time.

1. If you’ve just realized that you’re on the brink, it is imperative that you do not think about the brink. Once you think about being on the brink, it’s all over. You’re not sleeping. It’s kind of like a solar eclipse. You can’t stare directly at it. Except that in this case, you won’t go blind.
2. Try to just keep thinking about whatever it is that you were thinking about. Maybe for you it’s sheep jumping over a fence or your plans for the following day or the way that guy or girl looked at you in the elevator. For me, it’s usually food. Or the overwhelming pressure of entertaining the miniscule number of people who read this blog everyday and finding a more efficient means of tearing my hair out of my raw, bloody scalp while I lose my mind coming up with new material. But, you know... everybody’s different. Whatever works for you.
3. Do not move. Any shifting or rolling or sheet pulling will almost certainly destroy the delicate balance you’ve achieved at the brink. Kind of like the delicate balance of our ecosystem. But way more delicate.
4. Do not think about waterfalls, streams, the ocean, bodies of water in general or toilets. Not a wise choice at this point. If you need to pee, you better decide what’s more valuable: precious, valuable, irreplaceable rest or a lousy set of sheets. It’s your call.
5. Relax. Try not to think about all the terrible things that could happen while you sleep. Gas leaks, house fires, burglary and theft, missing an email… the list goes on and on.

Good luck.

Looking for reasons not to buy an Xbox 360? How about the fact that the Xbox 360 could kill you? [Sort of.]

Boy assaulted, robbed of new Xbox

MINOT, N.D. (AP) A 17-year-old boy who was one of the first in this city to buy one of the much-anticipated new Xbox 360 video games was assaulted and robbed as he left the store, police say.

He had trouble saying it for himself because his jaw was wired shut. Fortunately, this means that he won’t have to mumble sarcastic remarks or make excuses when his mom tells him to stop playing video games and make some friends.

The boy was attacked by two males around 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, when stores nationwide began selling the new Xbox system. The attackers took the game valued at about $450 and fled on foot.

[Right now, Joe’s probably saying, “It’s a game system, you idiots."]

The boy suffered minor injuries to his face, police said.

He’s hoping that the scar tissue will cover the acne.

People lined up at stores around the country to get one of the games. The new consoles also can play music, display photos and show DVDs.

Which is pretty much exactly what the old one did, too.

Most retailers have refused to say how many of the consoles they have in stock, but Microsoft has said that an ambitious plan to launch the console worldwide within a few weeks will mean fewer of the games initially in North America.

In unrelated news, the inbox of a copywriter in west Texas was filled with angry emails from gamers all over the nation. A sample message:
”d00d u r a t0t4l noob. not kewl. u just wish u could b lee7 like us. w3 w1ll pwn u 2n1te 1n the p4rk1ng l0t n00b. ph33r th3 l337 h4xorz! U sux0rz!”
Unconcerned, the copywriter refused police protection and went home without incident.

open letter

Dear Lungs,

I’m sorry.

I know that’s a pathetic apology, considering all that you do for me and the gang. I mean, without you, I wouldn’t be here. [Yes, you guys are all real important, too, Brain, Heart, Nerves and Colon. Stop interrupting. I’m trying to talk with Lungs.] So believe me when I say that I wish I hadn’t put you through that abuse last night.

I’m not sure if it matters, but if I had known that the entire family would be smoking inside the house, I wouldn’t have taken the job. Photography money’s good, but it’s not that good. Seriously. If I had known, I would have turned it down. It’s not like what I would just take a hammer to you. I wouldn’t destroy you on purpose. Besides, it’s pretty hard to get good images from Grandma’s 75th birthday party when everybody’s just sitting around drinking Budweiser and watching Nascar. [No, Brain, it didn’t make any sense to me, either. No, I don’t know how Tony Stewart could win the Nextel Cup by losing last night’s race. And no, I have no idea whose idea it was to make a sport out of bootlegging moonshine.]

I’d like to give you some sort of treat for putting up with me. But what do you buy for lungs? There aren’t many gift-giving guides out there for this kind of thing. Do you like exercise? Hate it? What about oxygen? More or less? How about helium? It makes the Voice sound funny, but is that something that entertains you?

Anyway, think of something you’d like and let me know. Anything you want. As long as it doesn’t cost money.

Much love,

Thousands of American workers are bending over backwards today to meet the unreasonable demands of tyrannical bosses. In an effort to assist these poor, subservient souls, I now offer Assertiveness Training for the Modern American Workforce. Or ATMAW, if you please.

Instead of:
Well, I guess I could work late.
Sure, I’ll get on it as soon as you add four hours to the day and double my salary.

Instead of:
Sure, I’ll come in early tomorrow.
I’ll get started on it first thing in the morning. Right after a cup of coffee, a donut, a trip to the bathroom and forty-five minutes of chatting with my work buddies.

Instead of:
I’ll get to work on it right away.
Maybe I can clear some time in my schedule between my massage and the Cubs game.

Instead of:
Would you like some help with that huge project you’re working on?
Haha! Sucker…

Instead of:
I love a challenge.
There’s nothing I’d like more than to take this creative brief and beat you senseless with it.

Instead of:
I’m not sure I can get it done in time, but I’ll do my best.
It's likely that you'll get Alzheimer’s before my work on this project.

Instead of:
I’m not sure I can handle the workload.
Why don’t you crack the whip a little harder? I think I’ve got some unscarred flesh just to the left of my liver.

Disclaimer: The usage of ATMAW in situations that are less than humorous will almost certainly result in your swift termination and may result in headaches, constipation, and death.


After reading Anaglyph’s post on his recurring dream, I started thinking. Not for long, because it hurts. But I felt like I too had dreamed recurring dreams. But I couldn’t remember any and after a while, dismissed it.

I remembered last night at about 3 am. I was standing at the top of a staircase. From the top of the stairs, I could see the entry hall and the front door. And as I stood there, the front door burst open in an explosion of kindling. Three men poured through with two others behind them. As is often the case with dreams, I didn’t know the men, but I knew their intent. They were in the house to harm my family. I picked up a folding chair (from where I don’t know) and tried to throw it at the intruders. It went about 4.7 inches. I didn’t even have the strength to send it tumbling down the stairs. So I ran down to confront them. I picked up a baseball bat at the landing and started to swing as a leapt down the last seven or eight stairs. I connected. The intruder turned his head and looked at me as if to say, “Hmm. That kind of tickled.” So I started punching. With everything I had, I swung my fists. Apparently, everything I have isn’t very much. I barely had the strength to make contact with the intruder’s face. And then I woke up.

This isn’t so much a recurring dream as a recurring dream theme. Every once in a while I’ll have these dreams, where I’m trying to protect someone or something and lack the ability to stop my opponents. Sometimes I just don’t have the strength. Sometimes they’re just incredible in their tolerance for pain. In one dream, I was trying to knock this one guy out so that I could go warn someone of their impending doom. I slammed his head on the floor for a good five minutes with no results. He just stared at me.

I’ve never been in a real, knockdown, drag out, no-holds-barred fight. Sometimes I want to find one.

I’ve worked here for 3.5 months with no ill effects. Nothing. Then, last week, something changed.

There’s something strange happening to me.

Every time I touch metal, I get shocked. Not mildly, either. It hurts. And I’m no pansy. It leaves my fingers numb and stinging. I know that’s a bit of a contradiction. How can something be numb and still feel something? Well, go stick your finger in an electrical socket. Maybe the answer will come to you. If it doesn’t, try it while you’re standing in the tub.

I’m not quite sure what triggered the recent outbreak of electrical attraction. I haven’t changed my diet, water consumption or hairstyle. It happens no matter what shoes I’m wearing. It only happens at the office, but it started before I got my new computer, so it’s not karmic, if that’s what you’re thinking.

Maybe my body is mutating. Maybe I’m slowly developing superpowers that will finally give me the chance to join a group of crime-fighting superhumans. I’ll battle evil with the awesome, overwhelming power of static electricity. Or maybe a can of Static Guard and some dryer sheets.

I bet fighting evil would be pretty sweet. But I could go either way. I hear the bad guys have much cushier retirement packages. And it seems like it's easier to get in with the morally inept. They’re always recruiting.

“Dr. Hendleman told me he could fix my back and my hips with surgery and I told him I didn’t want that so he said he could give me a shot and I said, ‘I can’t stand needles.’ And so he said to take two Aleves at night and two in the morning and I said, ‘You’re gonna give me an ulcer with that.’ So he said, ‘Well, then do whatever you damn well please.’ And I said, ‘I will.’


Except that he didn’t say damn. I added that.”


Everybody knows that every four years, we have a leap year and we get an extra day in February. The need for an extra day in the calendar every four years is a result of the slightly irregular orbit of the earth around the sun.

Turns out that a day every four years isn’t quite enough. This New Year, we’re getting an extra second.

A couple tips to help you and your family successfully navigate this exciting and potentially dangerous time:
1. Count down from eleven, not ten, this New Year’s Eve. If you don’t account for the extra second, you could kiss that special someone (or drunken stranger) prematurely, before the arrival of 2006. And what kind of way to start the new year is that?
2. Reset your clock before you go to bed. You won’t remember in the morning and you’ll be late to everything.
3. One word: stockpile.
4. Spend the extra time wisely. Sign up for piano lessons. Learn Tai Chi. Squander the opportunity and you’ll regret it forever.
5. Take the first half of that extra second to briefly reflect on all your resolutions for 2006.
6. Take the second half to come to the realization that none of your resolutions will actually come to fulfillment.
7. Write to your congressman and request another extra second that you can use to console yourself for meeting none of your resolutions.
8. Stay hydrated.

news nugget

It smells like irony in here.

Greenpeace fined for reef damage.

Environmental group Greenpeace has been fined almost $7,000 (£4,000) for damaging a coral reef at a World Heritage site in the Philippines.

Talks are underway to determine the feasibility of changing the name of the organization to Greenpeace the Destroyer.

Their flagship Rainbow Warrior II ran aground at Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, in the Sulu Sea, 650km (400 miles) south-east of Manila.
Park officials said almost 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft) of reef had been damaged.

That’s a lot of reef, Greenpeace.

Greenpeace agreed to pay the fine, but blamed the accident on outdated maps provided by the Philippines government.

That’s convenient. It seems like you’re blaming a lot of things on world government recently, like the mass slaughter of the whales, the clubbing of baby seals, global warming, rainforest deforestation and that time when you were all in the van and it really smelled like fart but no one would admit that it was them.

"The chart indicated we were a mile and a half" from the coral reef when the ship ran aground, regional Greenpeace official Red Constantino told AFP news agency.
"This accident could have been avoided if the chart was accurate," he said, adding, however, that Greenpeace felt "responsible" for the damage.

You know why you feel responsible? Because you are responsible. That’s why.

The accident happened while the Rainbow Warrior was on a four-month tour of the Asia-Pacific region to promote environmentally-friendly energy sources.
Greenpeace divers were at the Tubbataha park, off the coast of Palawan island, to inspect the effect of global warming on the coral reef.
Mr Constantino said the reef appeared to be healthy.

“That is, until we ran into it and destroyed thousands of innocent marine lives. Well, we’re off to save the whales. Hopefully we won’t run into any, senselessly maiming or killing them with our poor navigational skills and tactless demonstrations against world governments. Anyway, see ya’ around!”

The Rainbow Warrior II escaped serious damage and was towed into deeper water by its own rubber boats.

What a shame.


An open letter to those who have stumbled across this blog while searching for something else,

You arrived here in search of something. Perhaps through MSN Search or Yahoo. Most likely, through Google. You typed in a couple keywords and prayed for accurate results. Unfortunately for you, a words post appeared in the findings. You clicked through and discovered the meaning of the word disappointment.

Maybe you were hoping to learn more about acid rain or the infamous burrito bomber. Perhaps you were looking for the Spanish word for floor. Or you were in search of lunch meeting interview advice, the BH-23 jackhammer, Cheetos, the alligator loose in Los Angeles or songs by English writers. Maybe you were looking for a definition for pyromaniacal or for pictures of the NASA Winnebago, Lance Armstrong, or his lesser-known, evil twin Lanch Armstrong.

Whether you were doing serious research, cheating on a Spanish test or misspelling the name of the world's most famous modern cyclist, you were probably not hoping to end up here. Sorry about that, but nobody asked me to run Google. [They did ask me to run MSN, but I refused. One man can only do so much.]


*The linked words above have all been used as search terms leading searchers to this blog and the corresponding posts. Except in the case of MSN Search. MSN takes people to the blog's main page, which is even more useless than taking them to the post that generated the search terms. If you're going to unintentionally waste time while searching for something, you should at least be able to read the page that matched your search terms. Way to go, Mr. Gates.

sorta new

That's always a good thing to find on the outside of the box containing your new computer.

I got my new work computer today. Well, new to me. It’s a replacement for the one that stopped working on Monday. It’s awesome. It’s a refurbished 15” PowerBook G4. It’s got 1.5 times the RAM of the old one and 3 times the processor speed. I call it Uncle Shiny. You know, because it's metal. And shiny. And I'm easily impressed.

It’s taken me all day to get set up and I still don’t have any of my old emails or files, but who cares about that stuff when you’ve got refurbished hotness? I mean, it’s not like everyone in the office today has asked me for something I don’t have and can’t get to…

More photos at flickr.

Look what arrived in the office mail today:

Apparently, such high quality man bags require extensive security measures:

I don't know about you, but knowing that this man bag is pilfer-free is nothing short of spectacular.


I bet you thought that you had been spared today’s post.

You thought wrong.

My work computer exploded today. And when I say exploded, I mean sparked and fizzled out. And when I say sparked, I mean froze up. And when I say fizzled out, I mean wouldn’t start up again no matter what we tried.

So I went back to pen and paper for writing ads today. I know. The Stone Age. Sort of. It was terrible. Blue pen. Yellow legal pad. Cramped forearm.

Ironically, my old iMac G3 was upgraded just last week. I got a hand-me-down PowerMac G4 from one of the artists. I guess there’s a reason he didn’t want it anymore. Since we’re moving the first week in December, we cleared out all the office junk this weekend. And during that process, all the old computers, mine included, were sold. Two days ago, there were about twelve computers I could have used. Today, there were none. Flippin’ sweet.

open letter

Dear marketing executives of The Store,

I've spent the last eight days wearing down the ends of my fingers. When I scratch my ear, I think I can feel a little bit of the bone. I had no idea a keyboard could do so much damage.

It must be a big day for you, having verbally crushed the work and spirits of a young copywriter. In spite my history [1][2][3][4] with you and the fact that I should have known better, I worked day and night to produce groundbreaking work for your holiday campaign. My favorite part of the conference call was when you chose one line from each of the four scripts and used it to tear the entire spot apart, ranting and raving for the better part of an hour.

You must feel like big shots, knowing that I have no choice but to keep working through the weekend to meet your insanely short production deadline.

I hope you enjoy the pending spots. They will most likely be ignored and/or mocked by your target market, but they will be everything that you asked for. Like all of the world’s worst advertising, they will say a lot without delivering any meaningful message.

Hoping The Store has a great holiday season,

p.s. That last line was sarcasm, by the way. I hope that sales plummet, The Store has to declare bankruptcy and that you both are unable to find meaningful work for the rest of your miserable lives. Or at least six months.
p.p.s. You make me want to drink two to seven bottles of NyQuil and kill bunnies.

This man deserves a statue in the town square. If there's no town square, buildings should be leveled to make one for his statue.

Man kills buck with bare hands in bedroom.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - For 40 exhausting minutes, Wayne Goldsberry battled a buck with his bare hands in his daughter's bedroom.

When they say buck, they mean the deer kind, not the "young buck" trying-to-put-his-lips-on-the-daughter's-face kind.

Goldsberry finally subdued the five-point whitetail deer that crashed through a bedroom window at his daughter's home Friday. When it was over, blood splattered the walls and the deer lay dead on the bedroom floor, its neck broken.

Try not to visualize that scene. You might need a bottle or three of NyQuil to get to sleep at night.

Goldsberry was at his daughter's home when he heard glass breaking. He went back to check on the noise and found the deer.

He was actually kind of disappointed to find the animal. He was hoping for a guy with a 12-gauge. Those fights are more interesting.

"I was standing about like this peeking around the corner when the deer came out of the bedroom," said Goldsberry. The deer ran down the hall and into the master bedroom — "jumping back and forth across the bed."

Sounds like fun. Maybe they could have been friends if Goldsberry had accepted the deer’s invitation for bed-jumping fun.

Goldsberry, about 6-feet-1 and 200 pounds, entered the bedroom to confront the deer and, after a brief struggle, emerged to tell his wife to call police.

He also got a glass of lemonade. His wife offered the deer some cookies, but the buck declined.

After returning to the bedroom, the fight continued. Goldsberry finally was able to grip the animal and twist its neck, killing it.

"It's just like opening a jar of jelly," Goldsberry said, "except that the jar weighs as much as 350 pounds. And the cap has sharp, pointy horns. And instead of jam, the jar is filled with blood and the internal organs of a deer. But otherwise, it's the same."

Goldsberry, sore from the struggle, dragged the dead animal out of the house.

"He got kicked several times. He was walking bowlegged for a while," Deputy Doug Gay said.

"At this time of year, a buck that sees its reflection in a window often charges, believing it is fighting off a rival," Gay said.

Goldsberry had the deer butchered.

Killing it is the man's job. Any old pansy can butcher the thing.

"He's in the freezer," the man said before walking to the kitchen and showing off pounds of freshly wrapped venison.

Goldsberry then taunted the frozen meat, yelling, "How do you like that, sucka?!"

good stuff

They say that there’s no cure for the common cold. That’s a low-down dirty lie. There is a cure. It’s name is NyQuil.

I spent all day yesterday sitting at my desk writing radio spots, answering phone calls, sending and answering emails, and feeling generally like a used Kleenex floating in the mire of the Detroit sewer [which is, coincidentally, how I imagine Christian Bale’s kidneys might be feeling]. I was miserable.

I have trouble sleeping when I have a sore throat, a runny nose, a cough and enough mucous running down my windpipe to fill the South Pole-Aitken basin. So I took some NyQuil before I went to bed last night. And I feel spectacular1. I’m running on all2 cylinders. I’m back to 1003 percent.

1 alright
2 a few
3 75

Okay, so I’m not completely better. But 75% is still passing. I’m sure that after another tablespoon4 of NyQuil I’ll wake up tomorrow5 feeling good as new6.

4 bottle
5 Friday
6 good

[The curtain rises on a couch in the middle of the stage. Right Kidney sits on the right, watching tv. Left Kidney bursts into the room.]

Left: Right, I’m afraid.
Right: You’re always afraid. You’re like a little girl’s kidney.
Left: No, I’m really afraid this time.
Right: Relax. Who are you, the left kidney of Christian Bale?
Left: Did you see how skinny he was in The Machinist?
Right: Yes. That’s the point.
Left: Oh. Because then he bulked up for Batman Begins and sudden, drastic weight changes can be hard on the renal system. I get it. Ha.
Right: You were saying?
Left: Oh yeah. I’m scared, Right.
Right: Scared of what?
Left: Removal and sale on the black market.
Right: We covered this, remember? It was a hoax.
Left: No, I’m not afraid of being harvested while he’s on vacation.
Right: Who else is going to take one of us out and sell us on the black market?
Left: He might.
[Appendix enters]
Appendix: What are you guys talking about?
Right: Left thinks that Robert might remove one of us for sale on the black market.
Appendix: Robert would never remove his own kidney.
Left: He might consider it if he saw the lens Nikon announced today.
Right: It would have to be a pretty sweet lens for him to sacrifice one of us.
Left: 18-200mm. Vibration reduction technology. A minimum focusing distance of 20 inches. AT ALL FOCAL LENGTHS!
Right: We’re doomed.
Appendix: Haha!
Right: What are you laughing at, punk?
Appendix: Oh, nothing.
Left: No, what is it?
Appendix: I’m just happy.
Right: Liar.
Appendix: Nobody ever threatens to sell me.
Right: That’s ‘cause you’re useless. You have to burst and threaten sepsis before anyone will pay any attention to you.
Appendix: That’s not true! People love me!
Right: Nobody even likes you, you worthless sack of –
Left: Stop it! This is not about him!
[Appendix runs crying from the stage.]
[Right and Left pause, watching the door through which Appendix exited. Right begins to walk in the other direction.]
Right: Come on.
Left: Where are we going?
Right: To ask the lungs for a date. The pretty one won’t go anywhere without the other.

words © 2006-2008
All rights reserved. Reproduction prohibited without proper consent.