Though unlike Mr. Butwithawhimper I am not a board certified, Julliard trained  mixologist, I have been known to dabble in the black arts from time to time and make a tasty beverage. While most of our beverages are of literary origin, today’s beverage comes to us from the brilliant 1971 series, “The Persuaders!” starring Roger Moore and and Tony Curtis (nee Bernard Schwartz).

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Curtis and Moore play millionaire playboys (one a self made new yorker, the other titled British nobility) with nothing to do other than womanize. Thankfully, a retired judge brings them together to solve crimes. Things aren’t always smooth for the two. They get off to a very rough start, fighting over the proper way to mix a Creole Scream.

4 cl White Rum

2 cl Dry Vermouth

1 Dash Angustora Bitters

1 cl Grenadine Syrup

1 Green Olive*

This is the version of the drinking, cited, and dueled for, by Mr. Moore’s character. Mr. Curtis insists that the proper way to make a Creole Scream is with 2 olives. The two thankfully agree to disagree and become good friends–the dapper duo.

Dear Bose,

I received a pair of your new in-ear headphones for Christmas. The ones with the interchangeable silicon tips of various sizes, and your proprietary TriPort headphone structure? The sound that they give off into-my-ear is excellent. Everything else about them is awful.

Now, we’re talking in-ear headphones here. (Everyone else calls these sort of headphones “earbud” headphones, so from here on in, Bose, that’s what I’m going to do as well – not only for the sake of common sense, but because the word makes me think of basketball-playing dogs. Not everyday that a word can do that.)

So, we’re talking earbud headphones here. There ain’t much else to the things, not much that people look to (or listen to) them for, besides that they work. Trying to pretend that there is, I suspect, might have been one of the primary reasons behind the near-total failure of your product.

Yes, your product fails. Not because it does not work. The sound is excellent. I’m just having trouble getting to this excellent sound, and before I bite your eyes, I’d like you to tell me why you’ve done what it is that you’ve done.

My guess is that you rushed these babies into production to make the holiday season. I hope also that this worked, because I really don’t understand how you’re going to sell many more of these, once people start realizing:

The design of your in-ear earbud headphones sucks.

Maybe your intentions were good. I’m not saying they weren’t. While I honestly think you could care less about a piddling hundred-dollar product like this, some people are excited about your earbud headphones.

My girlfriend likes that they fit in her ears, because few other earbuds do. This is a direct result of what you seem to be marketing as an innovative distinction between your product and those of the other guys. But my girlfriend is abnormal. She’s got abnormal ears. More, I’ve been setting her straight on how bad these interchangeable earbuds really are. You’re not taking her away from me that easily, Bose.

Your in-ear earbuds do more interchanging between the headphones themselves and the ground than they do anything else. Unless I handle them like a pair of baby boy testicles, those suckers ain’t staying on – no matter how hard I try to make sure they’re in place once I have unburied them from the depths of my pockets and put them back where they’re supposed to be. I have had your headphones for a month, and I have gone through
all of the six earbuds that they come with.

And one of them – do you know how one of them went? My girlfriend stole it – because one of hers fell on the ground.

The dirty dirty dirty dirty New York City ground.

What do you want us to do, huh? I know, handle the earbuds like baby boy testicles when taking them out of our pockets. Well, Bose, on top of that being just a sick suggestion, to tell you the truth I sometimes forget the fragility of baby boy testicles and I pull those things out of my pocket – not roughly or with intent to cause harm – but with like force as that of any normal human being.

Save yourself the rebuttal. I already know it, and I don’t dig. You’ve given us this hard leather carrying case to protect our headphones, from damage and from accidental loss. As much as I admire your ingenuity in trying to offset the effects of the aforementioned oversight, through the inclusion of this “complimentary” addition to the product package – this inclusion only worsens the already sorry story of the Bose in-ear headphones.

I will explain this to you as well, though I’m sure you already know. Your engineers told you this, right before your marketing people told them to shut up and concocted this hard leather case plan. Do not even get me started on the washable earbuds. Like I want to goddamn boil my headphones after your crap design causes them to roll down the subway steps.

Ours is a day of shrinking technologies. Not a new concept, I know – and one that causes me to find it all the more strange that you ignored it. Because typically you’ve done pretty well as a leading developer in your industry. Ours is also a day of instant gratification. This is also not new, but it’s not as not new as the previously mentioned not new concept is not new. Don’t order the fajitas.

The point of earbud headphones, my earbuddies, (basketball-playing dog!) is that they are small, and because they are small, they’re quick and easy – to don, to wrap, to stick in your ear, your friend’s ear, or wherever you like it.

So…like…how many people, do you think, want to carry around a separate carrying case, one that’s bigger than their music player, for slowly and safely tucking away their earbud headphones, so that the special silicon earbuds you developed for our comfort and convenience don’t fall on the floor of a subway car? The same people who will get their kicks out of then boiling those earbuds, once they inevitably fall off anyway? Maybe we should only listen to music with your headphones during the early stages of making soup? Two birds with one stone?

Also, pocket lint sticks to your silicon earbuds, which is gross enough in itself, but then I started worrying about that lint gathering in my ears, and then I get to wondering if maybe that’s how you planned it all along – that this is how you were planning to achieve noise cancellation, and then I started to wonder if it’s all a conspiracy, if maybe you weren’t the kind, caring, skillful company I had always thought you to be. Then, just for thinking of all this, I started to feel crazy, and then

I bite your eyes.

In an effort to carpetbag on the success of our water-cooler fixture, “2008 Watch….”, and to make up for the defection of resident football columnist designedlateral to the sports pages of Le Monde Diplomatique, I have decided to offer my own prognostications and fore-chronicle the eventual fall of the People’s team, the Chicago Bears. It’s been quite the run in Chicagoland, but, sadly, like Arrested Development, Profit, and So NoTORIous, all good things must come to an end (but, to quote Destroyer, “the bad ones just go on forever”). Although there are myriads, torrents, nay, a plethora of reasons to discount the monsters of the Midway, I will name 4.

1) Chicago’s rail infrastructure is crumbling. Crain’s just put out a devastating report on the state of the CTA, truly providing American cities with a warning about the dangers of un(der)funding routine maintenance. Why is this important? Well, after running a regression analysis, the Saladstats division of SaladCorp ‘R US has determined that the city with the better transit system has won the Superbowl 7 out of the last 10 years (they’ve also determined that Americans like avocado and cherry tomatoes in their salads). Though naysayers may indeed say, “nay! surely the CTA is better than our rinky-dink Indianapolis brethren!” the Crain’s report indicates that the CTA is really better than no-one at this point. Futher, Indianapolis has a shockingly low traffic rate for a city its size. Unlike the Bears, who waste countless hours of practice time stuck in Chicago traffic, or crawling through CTA slow zones, the serene Colts zip away to work where they study game film in the peace of knowing that their economy has not lost tens of millions of dollars in congestion related tardiness. There’s also a far more serious reason why the Chicago infrastructure deterioration effects the Bears. In a ***YS EXCLUSIVE***, we’ve learned that Bears coach Lovie Smith has decided to travel to Miami via boxcar as a team-bonding exercise. Unfortunately, because of the failure of Denny Hastert (he of the most pork filled congress ever) to provide funds for CREATE, the Bears UP train is caught somewhere between Chicago and St. Louis, and they aren’t expected to arrive in Miami until Superbowl double-eve. While the team has plenty of time to study Manning’s tendencies on their PSPs, experts predict that the lack of physical practice will indeed be a bad thing.

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Oscar Projection Results

January 23, 2007

Well, the predict-o-matic went 4/5 this year, missing only Letters from Iwo Jima (#6 in our poll). Surprisingly, it was Dreamgirls, the one-time buzz front-runner that dropped, and not The Queen. The number 7 movie, United 93, proved to be the odd-man-in and got a best director nomination.

Some thoughts:

1. The biggest failing of this system is its dependency on the guilds to come up with 5 leading contenders. When the PGA and DGA match-up, as happened this year, I will probably be wrong where they’re wrong. In the future, it may be better to develop a formula that leans on critics groups to generate single movie “locks” (which, this year, would have been Departed, Babel, and, you guessed it, Letters), then use the guilds to flesh out the five.

2. My gut told me all along that Iwo would find a way to make it, and that Greengrass would be the odd-man-in (amended to Clint only when the numbers suggested Iwo wouldn’t be best pic; and then, i thought we’d have 3:5 d:p ratio). In the future, I should use the formula only to figure out what the leading contenders are, then go with my instincts, which, correctly told me, not to bet against Eastwood.

3. Why did Dreamgirls falter so? 1) as i’ve said before, the GG-Comedy/musical is not the best indicator of success. More significantly, when the GG voters are wrong, they usually err towards musicals (Evita, Walk the Line). 2) If we assume that in any given year there will only be one c/m slot for best picture (probably true 80% of the time), then the PGA win for LMS would have given that movie the c/m slot, and knocked Dreamgirls out.

4) An initial thought on the BP award….if we go on the best editing theory of best picture winners (that says a movie will only win picture if it is nominated for Best Editing; see “Crash” over “Brokeback”), “The Departed” and “Babel” are the only two contenders. They’re certainly the favorites at this point.

Eyes Tired

January 23, 2007

Ibiteyoureyes is tired.

He went to make some coffee this morning, but he does not have time. There is coffee left over in the pot. Coffee from yesterday.

But it is not Yesterday’s Coffee.

timeshare.jpg2008 promises to be a highly contest primary election. For the first time since 1952, neither party has an incumbent president or vice-president running (although we still hold out hope that Trick Shot Cheney will continue his glorious reich). On the Democratic side, early polling suggests that Democrats have an inherent advantage over Republicans. As a result, virtually every Democrat with a pulse (and in the case of John Kerry, those without) are considering a run for the White House. Understandably, the race has attracted some serious political heavyweights. Billary Clinton will most likely be running again, 2004 fan fav John Edwards has thrown his hat into the ring, and word is that licensed rising star and swimsuit model Barack Obama is dabbling his feet in the exploratory committee waters. Even perennial punchline Al Gore is allegedly considering a Nixonian third White House bid.

Needless to say, we here at the Sal don’t approve of any of these candidates. The presidency has grown in power considerably since the founding and we feel that it is a mistake to invest such power in the hands of one person. Sure, we’re like anyone else: we like the idea of a strong-armed dictator in theory. But what happens if you put the wrong guy in office? Not every leader can be as effective as Chester Arthur, who was, seriously, a damn fine president. The risks in electing, say, another Andrew “Indian Killer” Jackson are simply too great. We know a lot about the big four candidates, but how can we know for sure that they won’t veto the all-important Maysville Road bill or destroy the national banking system?

No, dear reader, what America needs is a diffusion of power. May we present to you: the Timeshare Presidency. Since we cannot trust any of the major candidates with supreme executive power, we must turn to the lower-tier hopefuls; the ones delusional enough to think they might have a shot, but nobody has ever heard of. Individually, they will get steamrolled by better-funded, better-known, and just flat out better candidates. Should they combine forces, they could change the face of American politics for at least a few weeks. Furthermore, a divided executive branch always works well. After a lengthy discussion, Yesterday’s Salad (a subsidiary of Saladtronics Ltd.) is endorsing the combined ticket of Wesley Clark, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, and Tom Vilsack for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Details and bad photoshops after the break.

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