Tag Archives: humor

Teach parents tech?

Have you had to teach your parents how to use a computer? How many hours (or weeks!?) did you spend just getting the basics down with them? I feel for you – honestly. I’ve been there, done that and hope to never repeat the experience again.

Teach parents tech?

Go ahead – tell us your best horror story here in the comments. What’s the most frustrating, funny or outrageous thing that happened when trying to teach an old dog some new tricks?

How to Tick Off a Blonde

I admit it: I’ve been known to tell a blonde joke or two in my day. I’m fairly certain you’d be lying if you said you have never told a joke that bashed on someone’s hair color, religion or sexual preference. We all do it at times. However, as is being pointed out over on Lockergnome, those jokes can really hurt someone. What is funny to one person can be considered hate speech or cruelty to another. How do we know where to draw the line?

My assistant Kat will be the first person to say she can be a complete blonde at times. When she says that, she’s poking fun at her quirky side… the one that forgets little stuff, spaces out on what day it is and just generally loses herself for a moment. However, she is one hell of a smart woman at the same time. To her, a blonde joke isn’t something that bothers her. She could likely tell you the funniest ones you’ve ever heard.

To other blondes, having someone tell a blonde joke is tantamount to starting the next World War. They take serious offense to it and will show no mercy when telling you off about it. This is what I’m talking about… what is acceptable to one person may be offensive to the next. How do you know where and when to get your laugh on?

There’s no joking when it comes to finding the software and apps you need to make your life easier.

Are You a Hello Kitty Fan?

Cats and kittens are cute, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t “get” the whole Hello Kitty phenomenon, though. Is it because I’m a man? I understand that Hello Kitty is a wildly popular little cartoon creature. I get that little girls everywhere demand merchandise of every shape and size with the cuddly little darling emblazoned across the front. I cannot imagine having something like that in my house, though. No way, no how. It’s just not happening.

This version is something I CAN get behind. To my narrow manly mind, this is a work of art.

The Great Indoorsman Roasts Marshmallows

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I am a great indoorsman, it’s true. There’s nothing like living in the great indoors. These four walls make you feel… alive! Why would I need to go out *THERE* just to have some fun? I can do anything indoors that you can do outdoors. I can even get myself a tan, right in front of my monitors.

If you like to eat toasted marshmallows, but don’t like to camp outside, why not use your stove? As you can see, it’s quite easy to do. Just make sure you’re careful, and don’t set your indoors on fire. Cuz then – you’ll be living outdoors! We wouldn’t want that, now would we?

You, too, can become a great indoorsman. Heck, you might already be one! Share your indoorsman stories with the rest of the world. Let’s show those outdoors-y types what they’re missing out on!

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Five Ways to Survive the Current Financial Crisis

Geek!This is Matthew Long’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

1. Become a Bank

Unless you have been hibernating lately, you have no doubt read countless news stories about the Wall Street bailout by Congress. These companies had no problem playing with the mutual funds of teachers, social workers and other middle class people, but as soon as their golden parachutes were in danger, it became time to start begging for help. Not only have these institutions received billions of dollars of our tax money in an effort to save their fortunes, but other entities have declared themselves banks in order to cash in as well. That is correct, you read that right, companies are trying to become banks in order to get a piece of the nearly $1 trillion bailout. So, if you want to get by, declare yourself a commercial bank and ask the Department of Treasury for some cash. In order to remain under the radar though, I would not get greedy – $1 billion shouldn’t raise any eyebrows.

2. Do Not Manufacture Cars

There are more than 100 million households in the United States, most of which have at least one car. With these kinds of numbers, it would seem that becoming a car manufacturer would be the way to go. However, another valuable lesson we’ve learned is that manufacturing cars in the United States is a fast track to declaring bankruptcy. While you may feel a compulsion to start building 2-ton behemoths in your garage that get 3 or 4 miles to the gallon, just say no! It’s not worth the pain of hiring employees who, shockingly enough, will want to get paid and receive benefits. So while the allure may be there, you must be strong and at all costs avoid making cars at home. Bikes seem to be doing well, so why not go the way of Schwinn?

3. Get Elected to Congress

The one segment of the job sector that never seems to suffer is also one of the most exclusive, Members of Congress. While thousands of Americans are losing their jobs every month, the number of people on food stamps sky rockets, those who call the Capitol their office place are doing just fine. Usually, when an organization with 535 employees fails miserably, then that organization is no longer in business, or at least someone is fired. Not so if you are a Member of Congress! So quit your job, say goodbye to your cubicle (don’t forget the Dilbert clips) and run for Congress. Good pay, guaranteed job (for a while at least), and awesome bathrooms.

4. Eat Green – Literally

Being green seems to be all the rage today. People are switching to hybrids, installing solar panels on their homes and recycling more than ever. But how can an average person take action locally in order to save the planet? Start saving grocery dollars, and work to conserve the Earth, by eating the common weeds you find in your yard. Chickweed, amaranth and cronewort will soon replace your fancy schmancy bags of Caesar salad and the like. After a few months, you may even start enjoying them.

5. Train Pets to Start Working

We all love our pets, I know we do! Heck, I have three Siberian Huskies that I adore. However, these cute little fur balls sleep 18 hours a day, eat a lot of food, and have health care costs not covered by any insurance! In sum, they cost a fortune. So, in these most hard of times, it is important that you start putting your pets to work for you. While the easiest way to earn fast cash from your cats and dogs may be carnival work or perhaps menial, household labor, there is a much more effective way. Simply train your furry friend to stand at stoplights with little buckets around their necks. Adding a sad sign that elucidates your financial situation would be even more effective. Doing this should generate hundreds of dollars a week easily.

I offer these five ways to avoid financial meltdown in the current economic crisis as a gesture of compassion. Please heed these words and you and your family should be just fine.

bLaugh is a Reader's Choice

For some reason or another, choosy users choose bLaugh. At least, that’s what the readers and staff of BusinessWeek Online report. We just received a “Best of the Web” award in the Humor category. I’d still like to see bLaugh pushed out and shared on more Web sites, portals, and print media. Who else won?

  • The Onion
  • The Joy of Tech
  • Rocketboom
  • gapingvoid
  • Go Fug Yourself* (tied)
  • Ze Frank* (tied)

I suppose this means they want us to do a parody of their brand. “BusinessWeak” sounds kinda funny, especially if we do a mock cover? Until then, I guess today’s bLaugh will have to do…

Naked Pictures of Anna Kournikova

Don't Download This Album

I’m not a professional music critic – and don’t pretend to be. However, I’ve gotta tell you that “Straight Outta Lynwood” [SOL] is one of the best albums that “Weird Al” Yankovic has produced to date. Yes, I’m biased – having been a fan of the band ever since the seventh grade. His originals finally, in many ways, outshine his parodies. SOL nails the melodies and harmonies, as expected.

SOL is a bargain at $15: “DualDisc includes PCM Stereo, 5.1 Surround and instrumental mixes of the entire album (with on-screen lyrics option), plus a 9-minute behind-the-scenes documentary and 6 brand new music videos.” I bet you wish your favorite artists did this, too. If there’s anything that’s going to keep physical media alive, it’s jam-packing titles with every bonus imaginable. A few weeks ago, Al unleashed the half-sactioned “You’re Pitiful” online. It isn’t included on the album, though the original artist gave Al permission to do so:

Yankovic recorded the song to be included on his Straight Outta Lynwood album after, according to Yankovic, having been given the James Blunt’s blessing to parody the song. However, following its recording, the artist’s record company, Atlantic Records, allegedly told Yankovic that he could not include the song.

Even after having publicly stated that the band doesn’t make much money from digital purchases (through iTunes or otherwise), Yankovic still treats his fans fairly – he knows that we’ll all buy whatever he creates. In fact, I’ve been known to buy his albums for friends – just because I think that as a serious and smart musician, “Weird Al” is underrated. His musical genius is fully exercised in a few SOL tracks – which won’t leave you SOL.

  1. White and Nerdy: Computer geeks should love these lyrics twice as much as they did “It’s All About the Pentiums” – with references to Wikipedia and MySpace included. Even if you don’t like “rap,” you’re going to love these lyrics. And honestly, which one of us isn’t white and nerdy?! I think I have a new personal theme song. Great way to start the album. Even Ponzi LOL’ed a few times when she first heard it. Five stars.
  2. Pancreas: Out of all the songs on SOL, this one is probably my favorite. It begins a capella, flowing and weaving in a classic “Beach Boys” sound. I’m not sure I’d consider this a complete style parody, though I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear something similar on a TMBG album – which is probably why I love this track so much. If you don’t find yourself strangely attracted to the final refrains, there’s something seriously wrong with you. “Insulin, Glucagon, Coming from the islets of Langerhans.” I can’t get it out of my head. Er, pancreas – if you will. Five stars.
  3. Canadian Idiot: For the second parody on SOL, we have a parody of Green Day’s “American Idiot.” Much like in “Lasagna” and “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi,” Al is finding gold in stereotypes. It’s a fun song, though I must admit that I find myself enjoying the R&B parodies more than punk/rock music these days. Still, I’m not anxious to skip to the next track – if only because the original song is catchy to begin with. If you don’t know anything about Canadian culture, you probably won’t be impressed by this tune (but I bet your Canadian friends will be). Four stars.
  4. I’ll Sue Ya: Speaking to the trend of crazy lawsuits appearing in the headlines every other week, Al gives us a “Kid Rock” style emulation – littered with popular brand names and outlandish experiences with them. I’ve never been attracted to “angsty” music, but this beat is to my liking (far more than an earlier “Young, Dumb, and Ugly”). If there’s a low point on the album, I’d say this is it – unless you happen to be a fan of the genre. Despite my indifference, I don’t consider it to be a “skip track.” I wholly expect these lyrics to show up in a future email joke thread – and please don’t take that as a suggestion. Three stars.
  5. Polkarama!: I look forward to the polkas on every album, always believing they’re not long enough. This accordion-heavy montage does not disappoint. While I couldn’t necessarily name every polkafied artist strewn throughout, I was definitely familiar with every lifted lyric. I think his combination and range of styles (R&B, Rock, Alternative) speaks to Yankovic’s continued range expansion and broad appeal. If you’re not into a wide range of pop music, you might not appreciate Polkarama! half as much. It’s not my favorite polka (as I appreciate his classics more than the newer ones). However, it’ll certainly satiate my polkanerve until the next one bounces in. Four stars.
  6. Virus Alert: Another Yankovic classic has been born – very upbeat, very addictive, original, and extremely replayable. If I played this tune back-to-back with “Hardware Store,” it’d make for a smart mix. Al’s falsetto feels natural and really fits inside this composition – with the lyrics being equally as amazing as the music itself. I find myself hitting the rewind button for this one – and not just because it’s about technology. I’m blown away by the song’s entire structure, particularly during “If you even get infected. turn off your computer, and make sure it powers down..” Can’t help but sing along. Too much fun. Five stars.
  7. Confessions Part III: You might remember Confessions part I & II, so this is. what you’d never expect from a third one. Usher probably should have stopped with one, but I’m glad that Al made it a soul-bearing hat trick. The original song was ripe for satire – strong enough to support a parody. We’ve all been in love, and we’ve all done wacky (read: inexplicable) things in those relationships. Of course, I don’t know if any of you like to dress up like Shirley Temple and beat yourselves with a hockey stick – but you should enjoy the open confessional nonetheless. Four stars.
  8. Weasel Stomping Day: Oh. My. God. This is Dr. Seuss in Bizzaro World! Close your eyes and try to imagine this one, folks. Not sure why Al references mayonnaise for the second time on the same album, but. that’s not the point. What sound does a weasel make when it’s stomped? There’s no safer way of finding out, I can assure you. The song is festive, but leaves the listener with a gigantic question: just exactly when is Weasel Stomping Day? I’d personally like to nominate July 27th if it hasn’t already been suggested. Let’s all celebrate! Five stars.
  9. Close But No Cigar: Another Yankovic original – and likely his best non-parody relationship-centric song to date. “And I loved her even more than Marlon Brando loved souffl‚.” “And I was crazy like Manson about her…” “She got me all choked up like Mama Cass.” – Dennis Miller would be proud. The music, in and of itself, has an addictive pop quality to it. Then again, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I really like it, but I don’t think I love it. Four stars.
  10. Do I Creep You Out: I make it a point to watch the first few episodes of every American Idol season. Taylor Hicks kinda looks like Jeff Barr to me, though. I enjoy a good ballad every once in a while, so this serves my ears well. It’s over in less than three minutes, which is fine by me. My guess is that this track served as a substitute for the Blunt parody, though. I wanna lip sync this at my wedding reception – if only for shock value. Four stars.
  11. Trapped in the Drive-Thru: You can always count on one extended track on a Weird Al album. This time, it was a pointed parody of a pointless R. Kelly rambling. In many ways, Yankovic did a better job with it! I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some of these lyrics were based on actual events in Al’s life. I can tell you that Ponzi and I had the “Olive Garden” argument recently. Art imitates life. Although, Ponzi sold my bunny slippers on eBay last week. Five stars.
  12. Don’t Download This Song: Yes, it’s what you think. Imagine if “We Are The World” was dedicated to the plight of the millionaire musician. The anthem is long overdue. You might have seen the video when it was uploaded to the Internet a few weeks ago. Aptly, you couldn’t easily download the encoded video. Listen to the very end – he screams “Ya cheap bastard!” Heh. The physical media was quite affordable, actually – filled to the edge with value. Four stars.
  13. You’re Pitiful (Unreleased): He starts singing early, but that flub wasn’t edited out before the song was released and distributed to fans (in an unofficial capacity, as mentioned earlier). It’s too bad Atlantic had a stick up their ass about not including this in SOL, because it would have fit in well. Since I don’t listen to much popular music these days, I wasn’t tired of the “You’re Beautiful” sound by the time I heard this track. Xbox geeks will love the Halo 2 reference, but I still crack up every time I hear “farty pants.” Five stars.

Ponzi listens to artists like Chamillionaire, R. Kelly, and Usher all the time – so hip hop music regularly flows through our halls at home. It’s because of this that I find SOL so interesting and fun. Had my tastes not been influenced by my fiance’s choice of music, I don’t know how I’d feel about the album.

The included videos are somewhat fun; “Weasel Stomping Day” (Robot Chicken) and “Close But No Cigar” (Kricfalusi!) really hit it out of the park. I’m disappointed that “White and Nerdy” didn’t make the DualDisc, though – I was hoping to watch a higher quality version of it. If the visual extras don’t win you over, then perhaps the instrumental tracks and 5.1 surround sound recordings will. SOL is an absolute bargain at $15.

Perhaps other artists should start copying Al – filling their physical albums to the brim with value. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?