Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Don't cross the [weak] streams

I think I need to mention one of my favorite commercials. Actually, I hate it, but you know what I mean. You have probably seen it, but you may have missed to good parts, since it's a pharmaceutical ad, and people usually pay as much attention to them as they do interest rates by the Federal Reserve. The wonderdrug at hand, though, is Flomax. This is one doubles your pleasure because there are two comercials: one in a Mustang and one in a sportfisherman. Flomax is a treatment to improve urination. (Hence the name - Flomax. Get it?)

Now, the good parts of this are that they talk about how men want to do take long drives without taking too many pit stops and do manly things like fight kingfish, then they go ahead and show four men in like a 1965 Mustang. If you don't know what that's funny, you have never been inside a Mustang -- four guys seated in one is, well, a little gay. Especially when they are 50 something men who all have urinary troubles as a common bond. As is the lusty look one gives another while fly fishing, or the fellow who wraps his arm, lovingly, around his "friend" after a nice golf shot at the end. That's not really a huge deal, but it's an odd sell when manliness is so central to the campaign.

Here are the symptoms Flomax will treat: Going often, strainging, going urgently, stopping and starting, weak stream, incomplete emptying, or waking up to go. My favorite of this list has to be weak stream, because I can only imagine some seventy year old man saying to his urologist, "Hell no there's nothing wrong with it. It all comes out fine, it just takes 17 minutes for me to piss." Notice how when I mention numbers, I spell them in words, but when old men do, they write them as numerals. The same thing happens in person, too.

The side effects were lowered blood pressure, to the point of fainting when standing up suddenly. But I would imagine that this problem is counteracted with an appropriate dose of Viagra. Considering the trouble region, it doesn't seem such a stretch to think some of the same blokes may be in the market for both Flomax and Viagra. After thinking about this, I hope this drug is for real, because with this application and a name like Flomax, it really could be a big joke they're playing on me.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Spies are everywhere

My roommate has an electric razor that is resting nicely on the sink in our bathroom. It has an interesting feature that has a blue blinking light that operates on a cycle that illuminates every two or three seconds, and accompanying the blink is a very faint hum. All I think about whenever I'm in there is that this thing looks way too sophisticated to be just a shaver and that there must be a tiny camera in there and that people from Braun are watching me pee.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

And on that farm he had some sheep

The lab is extremely quiet this week, at least for me. So I watched a lot of news, and you know what I learned? That Taylor Hicks won American Idol Season 5. I have watched a grand total of one (1) epsiode of American Idol in those entire 5 seasons, and it was coercion by my mom. But over the past month, the news has told me more than I need to know about that parasitic program.

Now, let's think about this out loud: American Idol is the most popular program on television. It's been bigger than like the Super Bowl for 5 years now. So, doesn't everyone who want to know what happened on the show already watch it? Do these people have such a fixation on American Idol that the local news that comes on afterwards needs to cover the results for the first 15 minutes? What sort of person missed the entirety of that show, tunes into local Fox news at 10, and hoping to see what happened? I guess there are people out there who watch Sports Center immediately after a 4 hour football game, but they're just as crazy.

So mostly, I have a short summer reprieve from hearing about American Idol on cable news or local news or from people who think I might actually care. Now, I just have to outlast the buzz around the Da Vinci movie, and I should be ok.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I'll Take Anal-Retentive for $800, Alex

I watch Jeopardy! when I can. I really think it may be the source of my powers. Right now is the Tournament of Champions, which is the purest, single barrel version of Jeopardy!, unlike the pissant teen and celebrity tournaments where it feels like Jeopardy! is trying to make the retards who watch Deal or No Deal feel educated.

I have been watching the show for a while, so I have seen a lot of things. I have seen Alex go from mustached to not, I have seen the failed attempt at Super Jeopardy!, I have seen the studio redesign and the doubling of the question values. Throughout all of those times, though, it never fails to make me crazy when contestants start in the middle of a category. What purpose is there in choosing the second smallest entry? Start small and build your momentum as you work your way down, or if time is short, grab the biggest dollar amount available. Take the third largest, and you're just cluttering the question board. They should screen for people like that, because I can't be the only one that gets bothered by that.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Let me borrow a dollar

You know what hasn't gotten attention that deserves it? The dollar feeder on vending machines. Their technology has progressed a long way. Remember when you were a kid and you had to starch your dollar so that it would be crisp enough to be accepted by the machine to give you your Crystal Pepsi? If it found even a single wrinkle, your hopes would be dashed more quickly than the machine could say "Mmmuuurrrzzzhhh." You would unfold the corners, but still nothing. You wouldn't even care about the change at this point, you just wanted a Mountain Dew more than anything. There was always hope, though! Of course! You flatten it out on the side of the machine! This is one of those things like blowing into the Nintendo cartridges that renew hope in the eyes of the late 80s/early 90s child of achieving the ultimate goal of Mello Yello or Basewars that was really arbitrary when all is said and done.

When was the last time you had to do that? I'll bet you can't remember, because of the progress of vending machine dollar feeder engineering. Nowadays, when you put in a dollar, that damn thing takes it. It doesn't really give you change anymore, because Coke costs $1, they don't make Crystal Pepsi, and if they did, it would cost $1, too. Really, I expect that the increase in soda prices is driven by the investment in vending machine dollar feeder research. I don't really mind, though, because that is what I call results. If all technology progressed that successfully, we'd all be flying to work passing George Jetson while our house is cleaned by Rosie. It might be expensive, but it wouldn't have to be very crisp.