Archive for May, 2009

What is Vanity

What is vanity? A tummy tuck?  Breast implants?  How about a nose job?  If you think they are not vain, then what if someone came along and offered to pay for this type of procedure in full — would you take them up on it, or not go through with it?  (In other words, if money was not a constraint at all, would you or would you not do it…)  So, when you think of these things, do you think they are somewhat vain acts?  Or rather the corollary, when you think about things that are vain, what do you consider?

Well, what about Crest Whitestrips, or Botox, or a tanning salon.  Aren’t they all forms of the same thing?  But I think we see things like this on a sort of continuum (i.e. not as black or white, either all vain or none as vain).  I think we all draw a line somewhere differently, and that’s just fine.   So where do you draw the distinction between what’s “ok” and what is “vain”…?


Friday:

SHTUNK (SHTOONK)

A nasty person

You shtunk! You knocked over that plate on purpose!


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WoD – Swedish Dance Bands from the 70’s

Not sure I can even pick a “winner” – at first I was going to go with the Teddy Boys, but then I saw Sture, Benny, Magnus, Jens, and Andreas from Jellus (five of the most bizarre-looking collection of men I have ever seen.)

I think the person that sent this one to me summarized it best: “Somehow this feels like a different species, not just a different era…”

http://sqrl.it/?qlnx6

Tuesday:
OYTSER (OYtsehr)
A treasure

Look inside an oyster, and maybe you’ll find an oytser.

WoD – Comcast Customer Service

Now I am not one to gripe too much about customer service in general, having basically resigned myself to its woeful state across so many companies many moons ago.  But this one just takes the cake.  So I was trying to call Comcast, (because in doing bandwidth tests, I have uncovered that Comcast apparently is capping/constraining our upload speed at 360kbps – what’s up with that?)  But let’s just say for the moment that I wanted to get a service visit and upgrade to digital and maybe buy the next Tyson fight On Demand on this phone call, too – in other words buy lots of Comcast stuff and generate lots of revenue for them.  So, I dialed its main number, 1 800 COMCAST – the same one they advertise to call for buying things like switching to Comcast, buying cable modem service, etc.

After being prompted to hit 1 for English or 2 para Espanol, I was put on hold for about a minute before hearing a recorded voice which stated, “We are sorry for the delay – we are attempting to place your call now.” Attempting to place it?  I didn’t really understand that, since I had already called 1 800 COMCAST – what’s there to place?  Well, I soon learned.  After an additional minute or so of waiting, a second automated voice said, “We apologize, but due to the heavy call volumes we are experiencing, no customer representatives are able to take your call.  Please consider calling us back in the future so we can assist you.”  Click. They hung up! I was so amazed by this complete and utter bad business move (or, complete and utter disregard for potential customers that can only be gotten away with by a flat-out monopoly) that I called back in 10 minutes to see if perhaps that was just an anomaly or some sort of system overload.  Same wait, same ‘attempt’ to place my call, same automated recording telling me they were unable to take my call and would I perhaps consider calling back some other time, same click.  Is it me, or is this like the worst customer service policy you have ever seen?

I actually used to sort of like Comcast (only because I pretty much hated Verizon so much, so in comparison it was my least hated monopolistic service provider), but is Comcast too busy to even accept a call that might bring them lots of additional revenue?  Holy crap.  I could have been a brand new customer, ready to give them $120/month for cable and internet service, or even more with added services.  I know how much these companies hate having to do customer service support and need to cut costs, but this could have been a SALES call – and they didn’t even answer the phone!  The only conclusion I can draw as to how a major company could act like this and adhere to this sort of phone policy is that it truly doesn’t care about new customers, or any customer for that matter.  There is no recourse nor penalty for this type of bad behavior.  I am still stupefied by the whole exchange.  Well anyway, I gotta run – I gotta go pay my $120 Comcast bill now…

Wednesday:
EYGENE SONIM (Aygehneh SOHnihm)
With friends like that, who needs enemies?  (Lit: own enemies)

He’s the one that got you into this mess? Eygene sonim!

WoD – Miispelld pargarph

I have a few heavy WoD’s I have been noodling on, but since we’re all just getting into the swing of these, I figured I’d stay light for the first few, before I come guns ablazin’ on topics like religion, healthcare, kit kats, cocksakie virus (yes, that is spelled correctly), asparagus…

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So any of you seen this before?  This is in the Pretty Cool Department

“I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Such a cdonition is arppoiately cllaed Typoglycemia.  Amzanig huh? Yaeh and yuo awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.”

Thursday:
MAMZER (MAHMzer)
Bastard

What a mamzer.  He’s planning to shut down the non-profit.

(What if Mike Myers was Jewish – then maybe he would have named his character in Austin Powers “Fat Mamzer”…)

WoD – A Fruity Tale

Today’s Word of the Day is entitled “A Fruity Tale.”  (This was the first WoD with a title, actually – from way back in December, 2004.)

So I was on a plane the other day and got a little snack.   I get the box and it had a small bag of Craisins inside.  If you don’t know what craisins are, they are dried cranberries.  Ocean Spray must have figured it was easier to invent a whole new word and brand a whole new thing than just use the word cranberry.  Somewhat interesting and WoD-like in its own right.

But this is where the story takes another turn.  The thing was, these were STRAWBERRY-flavored craisins.  Yep, I was eating a strawberry-flavored cranberry. (Insert sound effect of a record player needle scratching sideways across an LP.)  That’s like an orange-flavored apple!  Or a tomato-flavored cucumber!  (Kinda sounds like something straight out of Willy Wonka.)  Why not just make them dried strawberries?  You could even call them Straisins.

The thing is, though, I liked ’em.  Liked ’em better than cranberry-flavored cranberries in fact.  So there you have it — strawberry-flavored cranberries.  I am a fan.

(Oh, and in case you’re curious, the ingredients were: dried cranberries, citric acid, sugar and elderberries.  So, just to be clear, they use elderberries to make cranberries taste like strawberries. Go figure…)

Tuesday:
KREKHTS (KREHKHTZ)
Sigh, Moan, Complain

You always krekhts about your back; why don’t you see a doctor already?

Welcome to the Yiddish Word of the Day…

This all started with an innocent wondering about the old Yiddish language.  It has such funny-sounding words and expressions, with lots of CHKH and UTZ sounds, and words like Shmoe, Tchachkeh, Shmutz, and Shlemiel.  Great stuff.

Anyway, what started years ago as a private email to a few friends with an occasional Yiddish word and a corresponding, funny sentence has now blossomed to include musings, ideas, and comments on the quirkiness of life.  Over time, the Word of the Day emails became more musings, less Yiddish.  But they all still include a funny Yiddish word and sentence.

These posts will be wide-ranging — sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes kooky, hopefully entertaining.  I hope you enjoy them.



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