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funny

Black Friday 2011: Midnight Chaos Edition

By | funny, opinion, rants, sarcasm | No Comments

My photo of the line at Urban Outfitters that made it onto Mashable.

I’ve always hated shopping. Absolutely loathe it. I still have nightmares about being dragged through the JCPenney as a small child all Saturday at Regency Square. The few times I’ve been out doing it for more than a couple hours (which has usually been as the mercy of a bargain-hungry female companion), I’ve practically been able to feel my soul slowly departing my increasingly lifeless body. Jokes aside though, the one day I set this all aside has always been Black Friday. Something about that day has always made me set those feelings aside.

Whether it’s the adrenaline of fighting the crowds for merchandise or just being in the midst of chaos and enjoying some five-star people watching, I can’t be sure. But I’ve always been all about it, albeit just a day out of the year.

For years, the concept has been simple: Get to bed early and wake up around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. and drive around Short Pump, snap some photos for my website and buy some stuff that I probably would have anyway and get a deep discount on it. Perfect.

But, alas, this year all of the big box retailers apparently had a secret roundtable meeting in which they decided that they were going to opening at midnight (and of course Walmart, in its typical “let’s one-up them all” style, decided to open at 10:00 p.m. Thanksgiving night). Workers required to leave family celebrations early in some cases (over 200,000 Target employees signed a petition against the early opening), which I can’t say I agree with.

Still, I decided to take my sister out for our annual tradition, at midnight. You know, because I love fighting crowds before the tryptophan has had time to wear off my sister asked me to take her.

So we rolled out of the house at 10:30 p.m. for what my sister claimed was an 11:00 p.m. opening of Urban Outfitters, the slightly out-of-place hipster retailer that happens to be in the heart of Prepville USA, beautiful Downtown Short Pump.

We were some of the first in line because, well, the store opened at midnight, not 11:00. So once I swallowed this wonderful news, we enjoyed the picturesque scene of two 12-year-olds smoking in front of us in line and another kid that wasn’t much older brown bagging it. Classy.

Line at Short Pump Town Center from second floor.

Anyway, so once the doors opened, these kids practically trampled one another, so they only let a few people in at a time and cut all the lights off in the store so no one could see anything. The logic of anything going on at this store was fleeting.

So having lost my sister at this point in the sea of insane teens practically killing one another over cheap clothes, I opted to hang out outside the store by the fire pit and think warm thoughts until she came out an hour later… literally.

Next it was on to Target, where the line of people had wrapped around the building an hour earlier, and adjacent Best Buy, which almost circled the building a time and a half. What these people were lined up for is beyond me, considering there was no hot item or toy this year to speak of. Most people coming out had TVs if I could find any one theme or pattern.

Once we actually got into Target (the outrageous line was gone at this point), it was worthless to even buy anything that was on sale, considering the checkout line weaved through about 15-20 aisles in the front of the store. Nothing was worth waiting in that.

So I guess to conclude, and to put all sarcasm aside, I was skeptical as to whether people would actually come out in droves at midnight as opposed to 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. like usual, but boy did they. In much bigger numbers, too. I guess will be the new normal. Heck in a couple years stores will be open 10:00 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, right?

The upside was that the following day, while the mall itself was pretty packed, Short Pump as a whole didn’t look much more busy than a typical Saturday around the holidays. Midnight shopping took care of the daytime crowds and effectively killed the typical gridlock of Black Friday morning.

Fortunately, I didn’t see anything like the crazy people at a Walmart that rioted over $2 waffle makers, but hey, my photo of the line at Urban Outfitters made it onto Mashable, which was pretty cool. Only thing I saw was a fight over a parking spot at the Short Pump Target. Three police cars showed up. It amazes me how people turn into animals over something so silly.

Operation Turtlesaurus Removal

By | funny, life | One Comment

This weekend was just total insanity. Went to Alisa’s lake house in Hollywood, Maryland with Chad and Deanna and met up with others. Let me just start by saying you have not been on a road trip until you go with Chad Brown. Nor have you ever been out of town and wished you had your car more. But I digress.

Between the lake house, a sporadic trip to Arlington & DC for the night, and an overdose of hilarity from the things I witnessed that could only be described as scenes from an upcoming Hangover 3 (for example, Scott’s phone ended up in New Jersey without him… so yeah, there’s that).

But out of all that happened, perhaps the highlight of the weekend was Saturday evening. A bunch of us were sitting outside on the screened porch watching a really bad thunderstorm roll through. Suddenly, Scott pokes his head outside and informs us, very nonchalantly, that “a very large live animal” is in the house.

What happened next could only be compared to the scene in Christmas Vacation where the squirrel pops out of the Christmas tree– complete with all of us running up and down the stairs trying to figure out what to do.

What was in the house? A huge, smelly snapping turtle decided to pop in when the storm blew in the French doors downstairs. What happened next can be seen in the below video.

Denny’s “Nannerpus” Breakfast Commercial

By | business, food, funny | One Comment

This is one of the funniest TV commercials I have ever seen, period. It’s for Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast. From what I hear, this was made locally! Seriously though, I would much rather eat this at Denny’s than get the “serious” breakfast they speak of. Wouldn’t it be funny if this got so popular they actually had a Nannerpus pancake platter on the menu? I’d be the first one there.

River City Media Ventures & Downtown Short Pump

By | business, funny, life, movie reviews, music, videos | One Comment

Seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. It’s about time I gave an update! I’ve been too consumed with other websites to keep up with my blog, I guess. I’m moving full steam ahead with my community news and information website, Downtown Short Pump. I’ve been trying to write new, original news stories each and every day, going out to the scene when news happens to get the scoop, and meeting lots of new contacts. I just put together an advertising guide, and hope to sell some ad space soon. Everything’s going really well with the site.

Aside from that, work and school have consumed most of the rest of my time. I work every day at the University of Richmond help desk for Attronica Computers, doing warranty service work on IBM/Lenovo and HP computers. It’s not a bad job at all.

I’m also putting the finishing touches on forming an LLC for my budding business, River City Media Ventures. It should be finalized sometime this week. 5,000 business cards are on their way to my house as I write this to give out to prospective advertisers and area residents. You can’t ever have too much promotion!

I chose to name my business based on other services I offer like web design and didn’t choose anything related to Downtown Short Pump because I have plans for many other different kinds of sites in the future. Downtown Short Pump is just the first. Under River City Media Ventures, I’m also offering web design and many other services I’ll announce at a later time. The plan has always been to provide lower cost design services from the beginning, and it’s starting to catch on. As of today, I have eight clients that need sites designed by the end of November!

That pretty sums everything up briefly. I’m gonna try to start blogging more frequently again, so I’ll have plenty more updates soon!

Further Proof That Nothing Goes On In Goochland County

By | FAIL, funny, news, opinion | 2 Comments

This further proves my point that nothing ever goes on in Goochland County. I happened to be reading the Goochland Gazette a month or two ago and came across the county’s Incident Report. The winner for most frivulous call for emergency services? Well, see below. Almost all of these “incidents” (with the exception of a few real medical issues) is pretty silly, in my humble opinion. Either way, I got a good laugh out of it. Here’s a scan of the page:

The DMV: A Trip To Hell And Back

By | funny, life, rants, sarcasm | One Comment

So I had to go get my driver’s license renewed yesterday. Naturally, I procrastinated and waited until the last minute to go to the DMV. That’s just how I roll, I guess. Anywho, we all know what a dreaded experience the DMV is. I walked in expecting it to be bad, but not this bad.

When you walk in the door, before you can even sit in the seats to wait for someone to help you (at some point in the next few years), you have to go to an information desk and explain what the purpose of your visit is. I wanted to tell the lady that it was just for fun or because I was bored, just to see what she’d say, but the poor woman already looked like she’d had her soul sucked out by that terrible place.

Once I got through the huge information desk line, in which everyone told the attendant their life story in addition to why they were there, I sat down and waited. I had been there about an hour by this point. This was just the beginning, though. I sat in a chair for an hour, waiting as patiently as possible, listening to the most annoying PA system I’ve ever heard call every number but mine. I almost wanted to say “bingo!” when mine finally came up. Once again, not something I think these people would find humorous.

Once I was called up to a window, I stood there and waited while the gentleman on duty talked with a co-worker for about five minutes about such erroneous small things as what company to use to get his backyard fenced in. I kid you not. So once he finally decided to help me, the customer, he had to look at my current driver’s license about ten times to get all the information entered correctly. Either he was completely OCD and unsure of what he wrote, or stalling for reasons unknown to me. But he was ridiculously slow.

After I got through with him and the vision test he tried (and failed) to administer to me (he asked me to read a line and then didn’t know what letters were supposed to be on the line in the first place and had to look for himself), he told me to go sit down at the other end of the building and wait for my name to be called so I could take a knowledge test.

I sat in a chair on the other side, waiting for my name to be called, for about twenty more minutes. This extemely annoying (I don’t get annoyed easliy) boy sat down next to me with his mother. He was somewhere between 13 and 15, and would not stop talking. And loudly. About really strange and publicly-inappropriate hings I won’t even repeat on here. When his mom told him not to talk so loud about what he was discussing, he exclaimed, “I don’t care, mom, I won’t ever see these f***ers again.”

I eagerly walked forward, away from that guy, when my name was called to the testing station. I took the ridiculously easy knowledge exam, consisting of 10 road sign questions so elementary that if someone actually failed the test they should be required to have some serious mental evaluations peformed. Next were 25 “what-would-you-do-in-this-situation” questions. I used the 50:50 and ask the audience buttons on screen for this portion. No, just kidding. But there was a phone at the station. Phone a friend? They were pretty easy.

After I finished, I sat back down. The annoying boy was up at the window being helped, and when he was finished, came and sat back down next to me again, in my new location! I was starting to get a little pissed  off at that point. I tried to occupy myself on my iPhone, but he just sat there staring at the screen and tried to read my text messages.

Next, I got called up to get my picture taken, or so I thought. I sat in the chair to have my mugshot taken, and the attendant told me I actually had to go back on the other side of the room and wait to be helped again, pay a $32 dollar fee for my new license, and then come back and sit down again.

I waited on the other side of the room for the same ignorant man who ignored me the first time to “help” me again. After he finally called me up and took my credit card number (a half hour process), I went to the opposite side of the building again. Sure enough, that kid was there again, this time talking about how screwed up the government is or something like that. I was so sick of his shrill voice  (you could compare it to nails on a chalkboard) by this point, I didn’t know what to do.

Finally, I was called up to have my picture taken, for real this time. I stood to the side while an older gentlemen proceeded to have his picture taken six times, because he didn’t like it. Last time I checked they don’t do re-dos. Look at how many terrible pictures there are. It doesn’t happen (or so I thought). I finally sat down and produced the somewhat strange-looking picture you see above. I’m about to cut  most of my long hair off, so this will be a funny picture to look back on years from now.f

After two more minutes waiting for it to print, I was finally on my way, hours later. It was such sweet freedom walking out of that horrid place. I’d suspect that was a glimpse of what hell must be like: two rows of hard plastic seats, angry people, and an annoying PA system calling numbers all day. Thank the Lord I don’t have to go back and do that again until July, 2016!

Yet Another Stupid Rent-A-Cop Incident

By | funny, life, rants, sarcasm | No Comments

Anyone that knows me fairly well knows I like driving out to the country. If gas was cheaper, I’d cruise around aimlessly every day. There’s such a sense of freedom that comes with traversing the open road late at night, away from the light pollution of the suburbs.

One of my favorite places to go is Beaumont On The James, a roadside pulloff slash park and boat landing, off Route 522 in Powhatan County, on the James River. It’s beautiful out there, and a wonderful place for stargazing. It’s pitch black at night and completely quiet and peaceful, save for a few other souls who venture out therefor the same reasons on occasion. With the price of gas and my 17 MPG Xterra, however, this fifty-mile (there and back total) trek is no longer a frequent option.

That being said, I decided to only venture out a little ways last night. Rochelle and I were driving around, talking about this and that and working on some script ideas for upcoming RCC dramas. We were headed through the West Creek office park complex in eastern Goochland at the time. Deciding my tank of gas would dry up long before our conversation did, I figured I should put it in park eventually or I’d just drive around all night. So, we pulled into one of the parking lots for just a few minutes.

Not even five minutes into our stay, an SUV pulls up to my car. It was very obvious that it wasn’t a police car. Nope, it was a rent-a-cop, I’m guessing from the office park. I just laughed when he pulled up, because apparently I’m a rent-a-cop magnet (most of you will recall my VCU Police incident slash misunderstanding a few months back, plus other incidents).

So after I had a good chuckle, I put my window down and very politely said hello and that we weren’t doing anything wrong and would head on our way. In the SUV was a grumpy old man who spoke with a strain in his voice that was a result of his failed efforts to sound stern and threatening. He swiftly barked at me, “You are tresspassing! Leave immediately or I’ll report your license to the police!” All cops, real ones or fake (as was in this case) seem to have a coherent attitude towards people of my age group. No matter how cooperative or respectful you are of them, they still all seem to go on the defense right off the bat. I guess it’s understandable considering how some people my age would probably get into some sort of mischief out there, but come on, I wasn’t doing anything wrong and wouldn’t have even gone in there if I saw any sort of “no trespassing” signs. I didn’t see any posted.

So as I was backing out, the guy annoyingly used the only “weapon” he had on him: his flashlight. He waved it around in a circular motion and tried to blind me as I went in reverse. What the crap. He seemed like he was way more afraid of me for some reason, despite how nice I was to him, than I was of him (which was not at all).

So there you have it, another day, another “rent-a-force” (or farce) story. It’s funny how the people who actually do wrong in these places get away with it and people like me who do nothing get all the heat. Oh well, at least it gives me a good laugh every time.

Oh, and in other news, this morning as I was pulling out of my neighborhood, a Henrico County policeman (yeah, a real police officer story for once) had pulled over a golf course maintenance truck on the cart path! How great is that? Granted, he may have done something on the road and just caught up to the guy once he hit the golf course, but still, that’s priceless.

God Help Us All, Dollar Tree Now Sells Meat

By | business, food, funny, sarcasm | 4 Comments

You’ve got to be kidding me. I like Dollar Tree for some things, but this is ridiculous. This is an actual newspaper ad I scanned in from the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Dollar Tree is now offering hot dogs and even, get this, steaks! How much? A dollar, of course. Just like everything else. Does this not scare and worry anyone else? I was already weary of buying meat at Food Lion, but this makes them look pretty good. Also, notice the top right hand corner. Dollar Tree is apparently “graduation party headquarters?” Well of course! Wow, this is like one of those headlines people send in to Jay Leno.

Battery Pack In The Freezer: Not A “Cool” Idea

By | funny, sarcasm, technology | No Comments

Oh the perils of technology. Ever think something’s a great idea at the time, and then later on you’re kicking yourself? Yeah, story of my life. I think I killed my digital camera battery. This is a strange story, indeed, but worth a read.

I have a Sony Cyber-shot N1 digital camera. I’ve always had, and probably always will have, Sony digital cameras. They make superb products. Anyway, my last camera had the same proprietary dock port as my current one, meaning the same USB cable should naturally work with both cameras, right? Yeah, you’d think so at least. I misplaced my memory card reader the other day, and so I pulled out the USB cable I still have from my old camera.

As soon as I plugged it in, it killed the battery completely. So, I plugged it into the battery charger, and literally after two minutes the battery was fully charged and operational (which tells me the battery wasn’t drained in all actuality). So anyway, smart one here used the cable again today, thinking it was just an isolated incident, and sure enough it killed the battery again. The only problem this time was that the battery wouldn’t recharge. Why? The battery was already fully charged this time. The charger wouldn’t charge it any further (it’s an aftermarket charger I bought after I lost my factory one), and I therefore couldn’t get the battery working again.

The whole thing about the USB cable killing the battery instantly is strange, I know. But strange or not strange, I needed to take some pictures today for my Downtown Short Pump website. I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I have always heard that lithium ion batteries drain faster in cold environments. This is why many cell phones and iPods, as well as other devices with rechargeable batteries, work for shorter periods of time in the Winter months when used outside. So genius here got what he thought was a bright idea. If the battery won’t charge because it’s already full, why not drain it? And if lithium ion batteries drain quickly in cold conditions, why not stick the battery in the freezer for a bit?

I stuck the thing in the freezer for about an hour. I took it out afterwards and it was cold and covered with condensation. I think it’s shot. Who knows, though, it could have already been done for after using that cable a few times. Why a simple USB cable with no power running through it could affect a battery, or anything else for that matter, is a mystery to me.

Guess I’ll be ordering a generic battery to go with my generic battery charger. Pretty soon I suppose my camera will be generic, as well. It’s about the only Sony brand component left. As much as I like technology, I sure screw a lot of my own electronics up.