Archive for May, 2013

guerrilla-marketing-3m-security-glass-money“I get half a million just to show up at parties. My life is, like, really,  really fun.”~ Paris Hilton

There is a bus stop in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where the maker of this particular kind of security glass has offered anyone who can break the glass is more than welcome to take the money.

3M is so confident that this challenge became a part of their ad campaign for the security glass that they were making.

I just found out about this today. I don’t know how long this has been there in Vancouver.  Nor do I know for sure if it still stands today. If you want to find out for yourself, its at the corner of Broughton and Pender Streets.

Some say that inside the glass case is three million dollars, thus taking the amount from 3M.

Others aren’t so sure, but their eyes sparkle in wonder when they come across this tantalizing deal.

Are you ready for the buzzkill? OR the “fine print” as I call it??

There is a security guard there watching over it. And there are rules to this endeavor should anyone wish to attempt to breaking the glass and walked off with the stash.

Here are some of the rules that I found on the Internet while searching to see if this was or was not a joke.

While there is a security guard standing nearby. If you wish to attempt to break the glass, you can only use your feet. You cannot punch it, you cannot throw anything at it, you cannot ram it. You may only use your feet to try and break the glass.

Security cameras have already caught a few people attempting this. I am sure that you can find them by doing a search online.

All that money, seems like millions.

Not exactly. The pile of papers inside is exactly that: paper. It is lined across the top with $500 in real currency and the rest is fake.

So you’re going to basically risk breaking your feet for only $500 in Canadian currency.

And if what I read from yet another web article is true, if you are able to break the glass….. congratulations. You have proven to 3M that they need to re-think their strategy in making this security glass.

But remember that security  guard that I spoke of? Yep. He’s going to be there to STOP you from reaching inside and removing any of the real money.

All in all, its a lesson in futility. The only thing  that it proves is whether or not 3M was successful in making a security glass that cannot be broken. There’s no real money waiting for you in this adventure whatsoever. Only jail time.

 

first-date

“You think relationships are difficult? Try friendships. Try courting someone in order to convince them to join you in some nameless, shapeless Platonic complication — forever. Convince an adult stranger that you are worth a healthy slice of their limited time and energy without the prize of sex or romance.”~ Laura Jayne Martin

Time for a review. Why? A- because its become necessary unfortunately. B- Going to catch up for some of the people who are newer to this blog than others.

This afternoon, I received a telephone call from a man who was whining and complaining and going on and on about how his dating life was starting to stink.

I asked him when he started having a girlfriend. He said that he did not have one. But he had been dating one girl that just flew his rocket and it hasn’t been going well. When I asked him why, he shouted at me that he didn’t know and he wanted to know what to do.

So with him screaming (and crying) in my ear, I came to drill down to the bedrock of his problem.

Expectation. Or intention. Whichever term you choose.

He had been taking his special girl out to dinners. A few times they would meet for lunch. But they hadn’t gone and shared in any other activity other than one of the three meals of the day.

Well, everyone has to eat.

He has been coming across with his invitation that its nothing but a meal. Even though he’s been wanting to improve his relationship with this woman and maybe see if they couldn’t get a little more serious.  3006365-poster-1920-hiring-dating

He’s also paying for it each and every time. So guess what then?? She’s taking him on for free meals because according to him, that’s all it is. It is his own words.

Being that I know the both of them personally, the guy asked me to be the middle man… the go-between…. and talk with her to make her realize that its not just dinner but dating.

I knew right away there was a red flag. But I went ahead and was going to talk to the woman in the first place over something completely unrelated and found it absolutely easy for the topic of conversation for her and I to talk about him and what she thought and felt about him taking her out to eat.

I didn’t need to bring it up myself. It just presented itself.

I have bad news for the guy:  She just isn’t looking for that in him. She already has a crush on another man.  And she IS dating him. But because of his terminology and vocabulary, she doesn’t feel that she is doing anything wrong. Of course she is worried about whether or not she is coming across  that she is only being a leech because he keeps paying for all these times they go out to eat.

So now with them, not only is it expectation and intention. It is also communication.

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Umm, I wouldn’t suggest doing that if I were you!!

He likes her. He wants to date her or have a serious relationship with her.

She likes him. But she doesn’t want him to think that she’s the kind of woman who is using him for free meals.

Now what?

He needs to express himself clearer with her. He needs to tell her of his future intention. Even though you and I now both know that’s going to end in rejection.

She needs to tell him that she’s got her eyes locked on someone else. And she also needs to express her concern and get him to admit his feelings of whether or not he “thinks” she is using him. And then tell him that’s not what she’s doing.

If people would somehow learn to be more open with one another, these difficult situations wouldn’t come around as often. At least, I don’t think so.

And I wouldn’t have to suffer something like this as much as I do. If at all.

Besides, a relationship cannot survive for long without decent communication.

 

 

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“The moving finger writes, and having written moves on. Nor all thy piety nor all thy wit, can cancel half a line of it.”~ Omar Khayyam

For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I had always considered and thought that a cancellation was based on something more than it actually was.

Throughout my high school years, I was THE KING of no-shows, no calls, being stood up, and downright cancelled at the last possible and final minute.

Not that I was the one doing the cancelling but rather I was being cancelled upon!

I recall asking a girl in high school if she wanted to go out for some ice cream after a vocal performance in which the entire town was going to be attending. Yes, I asked her out on a date. And I even explained that she and I would both be performing in our perspective choirs and therefore afterwards, all she had to do was drive the both of us to get ice cream and then after we were finished, drop me off at home.

My parents were not that willing to believe that it was going to happen. My father stayed behind, until he and I were the only bodies left in the auditorium nearly an hour and a half after the ending of the performance.

I didn’t even cry or get upset about it. It was like I was actually expecting it to happen and then it did. The worst part of it was that I had a class with that girl the next morning and she would be forced to deal with it. The only optimism that I received was my father telling me that I didn’t have to spend any money and I still had that money in my pocket for something that I might really and truly want later on…. OTHER THAN taking a girl on a date.

That next day in class, I did receive the explanation that she was told to come straight home from her parents after the performance and she didn’t want to get into further trouble at home. But I received nothing in notice of this and I could have saved myself the humiliation of standing there all alone with my father and gone straight home or done something different.

I didn’t say anything to her. I didn’t point the finger. I just nodded and never brought it up again. Until now.

Throughout the rest of my adult life, I began to wonder if the problem was who I was. Particularly when it came to the areas of dating and relationships.

I knew that I would be rejected by many. But I was confident that eventually a NO would turn into a YES. And at times, I would receive that YES. But again, only to be cancelled on or stood up and without any good reason as to why they never showed up.

I just couldn’t understand the why. And I began to blame myself for it. Was I coming on too strong after the woman agreed to the date? Was I in some way, being a total and complete douchebag because I finally found someone who would say YES??

Fast forward to these past months of 2013.

I’ve been up and knocked down so many times that its not worth counting the times I’ve dusted off and got back on the horse. I’m just glad that the horse never runs away when I get knocked off of it!

These past few months I have been going through it all over again, in one capacity or another. And yes, being rejected really sucks. Its not fun. And it hurts…. really hurts.

But I am done with the self-blaming.

Most recently I have made effort after effort after effort to expand my social life, only to find myself with the ending results that I experienced in my youth. And these were not even circumstances in which dealt with dating or relationships.  So I’m also done with the butthurt.

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She simply never told me why she stood me up until she was forced to deal with the confrontation the following day.

To be fair, there are times in which a cancellation must happen because of circumstances that come that are beyond our control. And we must deal with that. I get that. I’ve always known that. But I’ve always excused people’s behavior to be just that.

One must really take into consideration what people are doing to you, when they are continually cancelling on you for a myriad of reasons and/or excuses.

I believe in giving people a second chance in these situations because simply shit happens. But if the shit is constantly draining, then you should really think about the kind of person you are dealing with and realize just how long you are willing to put with that stream of shit that they keep pouring out. How deep are you willing to let it get??

And if you are easily manipulated and controlled, just like I was in high school, then you too will eventually be up the creek with no paddle.

As for me, I can probably give people a chance or two but no more. After that, I must think about the kind of person that I am messing with and see for myself whether or not they are just full of excuses or just cancellation prone.

For myself, having gone through it practically my entire life…. I’ve adopted the “one and done” method. Its basically goes with the expression of fool me once, shame on me.

There are better people out there in this great big world who are worth far more than the people we are attempting to connect with. People who are willing to give to you what you need and open to receive what you are willing to give to them in return.

Those who do not fit inside that category? Think to yourself: Do you REALLY need them??? The answer is probably going to come out as NO. So rid yourself of the anguish. Don’t cement yourself in a place where you are going to be stood up and cancelled on all of the time. Don’t be like I was in high school!!! Its definitely not a picnic.

So here I sit, thinking about those who have put me through this process in most recent times. Ready to shove them into the rear view mirror. Opening myself to different and new opportunities with other people.

One and done, everyone. Are you ready??????

 

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“Marriage: A friendship recognized by the police.”~ Robert Louis Stevenson

If life just doesn’t get interesting from time to time, I think the population would just slide off and die from boredom.

This evening I was returning home from shopping across the street.

As I entered through the nearest gate, I noticed that some man was walking around like he was pacing. But his behavior was very erratic and nervous.

Then he ran the opposite way away from me and I just didn’t put too much thought into it, other than I had seen with my own two eyes where he was and which apartment he came from.

He popped out the woman’s apartment that I have recently written about in previous blog posts who was given an eviction notice and still hasn’t left yet.

But knowing that, I just didn’t care. I mean I would make sure that I avoided that side of the property for the rest of the evening but couldn’t do much more.

Then as I am almost home, I am met up by two police officers with their sidearms drawn and aimed at me, requesting that I stop.

I complied.

They were looking for an armed gunman, that very same person that I saw walking around on the other side of the property.

After a bit of searching and a pat down, they realized that I was not the person that they were looking for. I did send them in the direction of where I saw the nervously-jogging man and then I was escorted home with their weapons out in front of them as we turned every corner until I had gone inside of my home and locked the door behind me as per their request.

Some scary stuff right there! Considering that I had no idea what was going on or anything. Having a weapon pointing in your face really wakes you up.

But they got who they were looking for. The police officers stopped by and knocked on my door to tell me so. Why? I will never know. They got him though.

Good grief. Some kinds of excitement are just no fun!

And people wonder why I want to move?!?!?

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A prostitution ring has been busted in a New Jersey senior citizen housing complex and a 75-year-old resident is accused of running it.

According to reports posted today,  James Parham, 75 year old man, was accused employing some elderly residents as sex workers.

Parham, along with fellow resident Cheryl Chaney, 66 years old, was also accused of allowing residents and visitors to use crack in their apartments.

Both Parham and Chaney are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a nuisance, and Chaney is also charged with possession of crack cocaine.

Okay… deep breath here.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!?!??? For number one.

Number two, I can barely say paraphernalia much less write it correctly in the first try.

Three? UGH!!!!!! People are just nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot imagine what that had to be like for the residents living there. It was a place where those who are 62 years old or disabled could live.

Its like imagining your  grandma and then your great-grandma boning your best buddy. Not a thought you wanna have in your head. But apparently this really did happen in New Jersey!!

The shock value for me actually goes DOWN when I had read that there was drugs involved. Mainly crack and cocaine.

These poor people! Disabled, retired, ready to live out the rest of their lives…. FORCED (as it seems allegedly)  into working as hookers because some jackass who is less of a man wanted to start something new.

I’ve also read and therefore should mention that the places in which the sex was taking place had a severe lack of security. The other residents who live there avoided that area at all costs because they were afraid for their lives.

These people most likely have lived through enough. They really don’t need to be traumatized any more as they settle down with their retirement.

 

 

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Well there’s something that we don’t do each and every season! The Austin Blades gets something of post-season activity on the ice.

We returned to Houston for the first time in a very long time. It was so exciting that the number of people who attended were ready to go about a week before.

Houston set us up very nicely at the Hilton Garden Inn in northwest Houston which was conveniently located to the rink that we played at on Friday evening.

We would have  three days of hockey at three separate locations. We were just a bunch of traveling idiots, doing what we really love to do.

Our first night was at Willowbrook Aerodome. A place that the Austin Blades had never played before, and its our understanding that Houston now is practicing there every Friday evening for an hour. Getting a FULL sheet of ice.

As shocked as we were, it was very apparent that Houston has been getting better and better. They definitely are a lot faster now!

Some say that the score at the end of the evening was tied at zero. Others say it was 1-0 with Austin winning. Depending on how much of a hardnosed person you are about the rules. The puck crossed the line, but it didn’t completely pass over. So if you say that it counts, it was 1-0. And if you say that it must completely pass over, it was tied at zero.

I was glad to see WELL OF SOULS guitarist, O.J. Morris, had been there later in the evening to come check things out. I’m not quite sure what he thought about it, but at least he was there.

I had actually invited about twenty different people from the Houston and surrounding areas to ice rinks that were conveniently close to their area. The idea of using the reciprocation card however would just end up burning me to the point of being butthurt. Wanna see the bruise??

Three days, three rinks around the city of Houston, many invited. ONE showed up.

Saturday morning, we joined Houston at their usual time at Memorial City Mall for a half sheet of ice. We actually did a bit of scrimmaging and just took it to another level with Houston.

And if you recall or have recently read the blog post about the “mystery woman” from the mall, yes– I did think about her. I did think about seeking her out afterwards. But I didn’t in the end. I don’t even think that the kids train was even running by the time we got off the ice.

Next time!!!

Saturday evening we ALL got into one vehicle and sent our butts into downtown Houston for a baseball game that was offered to us from the Houston team.

My first time at Minute Maid Park. My second MLB game ever in my life. Can you say $12 for a shot glass? Ridiculous.

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Minute Maid Park from the right field section

I’m not much of a baseball fan at all. But it was something that I got to experience.

The Houston Astros took on the Texas Rangers. And what seemed so funky and out of place was the fact that there were more people in Houston cheering on the Rangers than the Astros.

The Astros tied it at 1-1. Then hit a home run, gaining the lead at 3-1. But then the Rangers just kept at it until the point where the score was 8-3 in favor of the Rangers.

I noticed that by the middle of the fifth inning which is basically the half way point, all of that had been played in just 75 minutes. Half of the game had blown by. It was weird. But you know what? From the bottom of the fifth until the end of the game took more than two hours to complete. Total game time was 3 hours, 22 minutes.  Crazy how that works. Total attendance was 27,188. Probably the largest crowd that I had been in ever in my entire life.

The Astros would make one hell of an effort for a come back at the end of the game but fell short  and lost 8-7.

After another short night of almost no sleep. Friday night we had someone in the hotel room with us and couldn’t get them to shut up or take it upon themselves to note the time was late and take off. Saturday night was another late night because the guy that I shared the room with and I got caught up watching an old episode of Cold Case on cable.

Oops..

Sunday morning we went all the way over to Sugar Land to play. Probably THE COLDEST ice rink that I have ever played on. And we were going to be there on the ice for almost two hours.

After getting up super early Sunday morning to get gasoline, travel, show up, get ready, blah blah blah …. it was so draining on energy.

When everyone showed up, we paired off, Austin vs. Houston. But one of our guys decided for whatever excuse to wear an all black jersey. So in order to keep it white jerseys (Austin) versus colored jerseys (Houston), there was a trade off.

The Austin Blades would regret this switching around of players later on.

That would end up being a 3-0 victory for Houston. And something that they are able to hang on to for a while, knowing that they beat us fair and square. Or was it?

We traded players. The Austin player who was playing for Houston scored twice. The Houston player who played for Austin has tremendous speed.

Even if you take away the fact that OUR guy scored twice, there was still that one goal scored by the mother of the Houston goalie. It was really neat to see the entire family out on the  ice. Mother, father, brother. The goalie for Houston is actually pretty damned good! He’s on the USA Developmental team. In training and conditioning to be able to play for Team USA, and he’s not even out of high school yet. He graduates this month.

But his mother scored a goal. When that happened a full chorus of voices started chanting “Happy Mother’s Day!” to her over and over again. She had previously warned everyone NOT to beat her up on the ice because of the fact that it was Mother’s Day. But once she scored? Yeah… all bets were off. But nobody could get to her.

It was a lot of fun needless to say. Still working on the butthurt, but I will get over it. Plus the obvious aches and pains of playing that much in that many days.

We are all excited to get back together again and play some more. Even the Houston team said that they wanted to do it again.

But it might be August or early September before we are able to.

I’m thinking about maybe talking with Houston and seeing if they would like to put together an annual meeting between the two teams, and the winner will take back home a trophy or something.  And quite possibly, Houston could for once travel here to play once in a while.

 

 

 

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“Asia is not going to be civilized after the methods of the West. There is too much Asia and she is too old.”~ Rudyard Kipling

Last night, I tortured myself without realizing that I was doing so.

I watched a documentary from director Debbie Lum about American men who are asiaphiles, or have what is considered yellow fever.

These are men who are strongly attracted to the people and culture of Asia.

The program followed closely a 60 year old man who lives in the San Francisco area who is just in love with Asian women, particularly Chinese in his case.

Right from the start, it was nearly unbearable to watch this man’s reaction.

He had a number of Chinese penpals and on his computer contained literally thousands of photographs of Chinese women.

When the director of the film (who happens to be Chinese) asked the man why he was so interested in Chinese women, he couldn’t even answer the question! He just sat there in silence. As he failed to come up with any kind of response that would make sense, he kept giggling and laughing and going back to his computer monitor to look at his collection of images.

The only thing that came to my mind while watching him was that he was a giant pervert and his fetish for Chinese women was immense.

He had traveled to China a number of times to visit these women that he was corresponding with during the filming of the documentary. And I just didn’t find it surprising that whenever he would go to China to meet a specific woman, in that first visit he would propose marriage. The thing about it is that he did this many times with many women.

Finally he would go to China one more time to meet a 30 year old woman. He actually brought her back to the United States and she was allowed to stay in the country for three months. At the end of that time period, she either had to marry him to stay in the country or leave.

The plan was to marry.

Right away, you could tell by the expressions of the Chinese woman who went by the name of Sandy, that she was not impressed. I felt so bad for her.

The man took the time to eliminate his shrines to Chinese women before she arrived in his rinky-dink small apartment which was heavily cluttered. Instead of eliminating them entirely, he hid them. I just sat there wondering what in the world he was thinking!! He got rid of evidence of any other photographs of other Chinese women in his life, but he didn’t take the time to clean up his own home. Where were the priorities? It appeared that they were more focused on keep things a secret from the woman who was about to enter his home.

He barely understood Chinese. So whenever she would speak, he would have no idea what she was saying. And her grasp of the English language was just as poor.

Probably the only thing throughout this documentary  that made me laugh was the fact that she was trying to get him to learn Chinese phrases, which he couldn’t successfully pull it off. The only phrase that he was able to clearly speak in the Chinese language was “I am stupid!” and I just laughed and laughed. As did she.

It didn’t take long for the strange couple to have some major problems. Mainly because of the language barrier and the fact that there are vast differences between American and Chinese cultures.

The director found herself not really being a director of a documentary any more. Her role in everything began to change more into a language translator as well as a marriage counselor.

As the man went to his job at the San Francisco airport, his soon-to-be Chinese bride found the photographs on his computer. She found binder after binder of printed out e-mails from other Chinese women. Particularly one from a woman who went by the name of Molly.

All hell broke loose as you can imagine. The guy attempted to defend himself, but he had no case. She had believed that he was a liar and a cheat and she was no longer happy and was ready to go back to China.

The thing that he did not understand was in the Chinese culture, when a couple calls it quits… its a total separation. They do not even remain friends in China. And she was not liking the fact that he and Molly were remaining friends. Plus all the words of love that he expressed to her in his e-mails just really hung him.

His only response that he had on camera was that HE was an American. That HE had American cultures. And that SHE was in America, not China.

And that actually gave up some good thinking for me. If a woman comes from China to the United States, does she live by her Chinese cultures or does she adopt the cultures of her new home?

So in this case, who was wrong and who was right??

Sandy’s visa to the United States was about to expire and it was do or die. Some way, some how the couple had moved on from the fight and continued to live together.

But the fighting would continue over other things such as him being such a slob to live in clutter. Yet with the help of the director, they would always work things out. I began to wonder how well this relationship would have went without her being there. And the director’s narration also wondered the same thing at one point. She was there to film a documentary, not play referee into someone’s relationship. ange209

They would eventually marry. The man’s brother paid for everything since the couple was seriously broke and in financial danger. That was another thing that Sandy was never thrilled about. She expected to come to the United States and be taken care of, and in turn she would care for the needs of this man.

Many times Sandy would confide in the director of the film by saying in Chinese that she had plans to marry the man and get a job and then leave him. It left the director struggling whether or not to tell the man that she was thinking about it as a warning.

The inevitable in my mind would actually come several days after the wedding. Sandy moved out of the tiny cramped apartment and stayed with HIS friends. That really didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I suppose that she really had no place to go because she didn’t know anyone.

Sandy really was lost.

By the end of the documentary, she had returned to her husband. And wouldn’t you know it….. the man went on a cleaning frenzy that turned the apartment completely into a brand new space. The old cluttered place was gone. It looked more like a home.

Even after all this time, they still struggled with their language barriers. Although Sandy was speaking more in English than he was speaking in Chinese.

At the end, the narration said that they were soon to celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary. So I suppose that they were able to triumph after all.

However it was almost unbearable to watch him as the camera would get a close up on his face. His actions and demeanor actually creeped out the director at the beginning. And he just came across so juvenile. And at 60 years old, one would think that he would act more his age. Or at least I thought that.

He married a woman half his age, who didn’t understand his language, and honestly at the beginning couldn’t really stand him. But in the end it all worked out. It was very difficult for me to watch this man act the way he did. I felt that because of those kinds of actions that these men act upon, well… its a huge turnoff for women. I can understand why. But often times (not all of the time) its actions and attitude like that of this man who ruin women for other men that they met who would treat them so much better. But because of the horrible experiences, it appears that men who are better than that don’t get a fighting chance.

I don’t know what else to say about it all, other than I was shocked to hear that they were still together. There wasn’t much else of an update to their lives and marriage. The film never did explain whether or not Sandy was able to go to school or get a job or do anything to better her situation or their situation.

I put myself through this trauma and paid the price for it as I attempted to sleep. Being creeped out by this guy proved difficult to find peaceful sleep.