Category Archives: Humor

Is This Funny and Cute or Should I Be Locked Up For Posting It?

The picture is of Bill Lindsey the lead singer of Impaler and his 4-year-old son. (circa – 1988)

Do you and I share any of the same reactions to this picture?

I laughed out loud when I first saw it and felt warm and fuzzy at the same time. I was curious if it would provoke similar emotions in other people. A Heavy Metal dad and his pre-school son isn’t something you see everyday.

It’s thought provoking because it defies convention.

I love the irony. The over the top imagery of Heavy Metal combined with the innocence of childhood – like Spinal Tap meets Donna Reed.

I was afraid to post this. Humor is risky. But then I read this post about risk and improv by Jane Chin, and then I read this from Copyblogger and it was sealed and delivered.

I take life way too seriously and I need stuff like this to break that habit. I get the impression – surfing the web – I’m not the only one taking life too seriously, especially around Election Day. It appears there are millions of people in the world without a sense of humor and it scares the crap outta me! 🙂

The negativity surrounding Election Day was getting to me and I needed to do something light hearted. Somebody once said to me “You know the problem with Liberals? They got no sense of humor.” A day later someone else said, “You know why I hate Conservatives? They’re too uptight. They can’t laugh at anything.” So who’s having fun? The independents? 🙂

Christine Ulrich who sits outside my office has this picture pinned up in her cube. When I saw it, my intuition said, ‘you gotta post that on your blog’. It says something; I’m not sure what it says, but it says something. Maybe it says – quit taking yourself so seriously and have some fun. I wrote Bill and asked him for permission to use the photo, and he said I could use it as long as I only ripped him and not his son.


I’m not going to rip on you or your son. Christine tells me you’re a wonderful dad and you’ve been doing what you love for over twenty years, that’s more than many of us can say. Thanks for letting me use the picture. You’ve been at this a long time; your persistence will pay off – Good luck opening for Twisted Sister.

I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite personal development rock and roll quotes…

Free your mind and your ass will follow
– George Clinton

Ain’t No Fun Waitin’ ‘Round to be a Millionaire
– Bon Scott – AC/DC

Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe it’s not too late
To learn how to love
And forget how to hate
– Ozzy Osbourne

Why Do So Many Americans Love Halloween

I visit Abu Sahajj Hakim’s blog frequently to get a different perspective on America. I love and respect him, his writing, and his beliefs. He recently wrote a post about Halloween and I wanted to comment, but I resisted because I thought it would be a great topic for a blog post.
Here’s an excerpt of his post:

Halloween is the most indulgent and frivolous event in American culture. Yeah, yeah… I know your kids love it and it is so fun right! Yeah well, my guess is that in 1767 going to the market place to select a new slave to perform childcare and domestic duties was thrilling and rather adventurous for children (my point is that all things indulged are not inherently noble, which is a fairly obvious point).

I want to tell you why I love Halloween.

I am grateful for Halloween because of…
Pumpkin Patch BW
Joyful memories from my youth
A gaggle of about 20 of us kids, ages 6-12 spent hours trick or treating (without adults), returning home with pillowcases full of candy, emptying them on the living room floor and returning to the streets again and again.

The brown house with the orange double doors that handed out football cards in 1978. I still know where it is.

Adults checking my candy for poison, needles, and razor blades. Their unfounded fears were based on legend, but it somehow added to the fun. I remember thinking at each house – Is this the guy that poisons little kids?

Descending on an old abandoned 4-story boarding school we named “Hell House” for pitch-dark games of capture the flag.
Hell House Gate 2006 - The building was torn down a few years ago
Hell House Gate 2006 Chanhassen MN- The building was torn down a few years ago

Hooting, hollering, and laughing in marijuana-hazed theaters showing midnight runs of campy “B” horror films. I know, I know, but it’s a happy memory for me. 🙂
The Theatre in 2006 - they turned it into a Hollywood Video and office, but the marquee is still intact
The Theatre in 2006 – they turned it into a Hollywood Video and offices, but the marquee is still intact

The joy it brings children
I dropped my son off at a Halloween party this morning. He was dressed up as a blue and purple fuzzy monster.The Scariest Monster of All When he entered the party a dozen kids swarmed around him, his eyes sparkled and his face beamed with delight.

The joy it brings my wife
She takes the time to get just the right costumes for the boys. Halloween is a social time where she gathers with family and friends to decorate the house and carve Jack-O-Lanterns. She takes special care to find the perfect candy to give to our little goulish Halloween visitors.

The joy it brings me
I plan to build a Haunted House in my garage for all the neighborhood kids. That’ll give me an excuse to dress up in a silly costume and entertain children – something IT managers don’t get to do very often.

I also plan to have a bonfire where I tell the ghost stories that I write.

Halloween has no religious connotation to me. To me it’s simply a chance for us to escape the blandness of our lives and be creative and frivolous.

Since we live in a culture of fear, I believe Halloween also helps us deal with our fear by allowing us to feel fear in relative safety.

If I could say anything to the ancient pagan Celts and Scots who invented Halloween, I’d say…
Thanks for inventing something so incredibly fun, you’ve brought tremendous joy to millions of boys and girls. Chalk one up for the Pagans.

P.S. Please feel free to share your happy Halloween stories in the comments.

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10 Reasons Target is Better than Wal-Mart

I feel ill visiting Wal-Mart – Am I alone? Target doesn’t have this effect on me. I feel great in Target stores. 10 reasons why…

Why did the 911 hijackers buy their box cutters at Wal-Mart? Why do serial killers featured on Court TV buy duct tape and rope at Wal-Mart? Because they feel comfortable there. They’re with their people. Did you know (according to this study) the average Wal-Mart has almost 450% more police calls than the average Target store?

Target Doesn’t Destroy Small Towns
My parents live in the lake country of Northern Minnesota. It’s beautiful; please visit sometime. They live near Park Rapids (pop 3,300) and Wadena (pop 4,200), two quaint small towns about 30 miles apart. Wal-Mart is building a box store in each town. These cities have vibrant downtowns with ice cream confectionaries, candy shops, coffee shops, theaters, dime stores, bookstores, restaurants, and hardware stores. We know what happens when a box store opens on the edge of town, the downtown dies. Economists say that the little shops in town are economic dinosaurs. Maybe the economists are right, but I will still grieve the loss of these special places.

Target doesn’t build stores in towns with populations of 4,200 or 3,300 and it isn’t on their agenda (as far as I know).

Target’s Prices are Competitive
See the Comparison

I’ve Never Seen Anyone Wearing a NASCAR Shirt, Purple Sweat Pants, and Pink Fluffy Slippers at Target

Employees (An Anecdote)
Sunday Sep 10th 10:00 AM
Wal-Mart: I smiled at the people greeter. She didn’t greet me or anyone else. She stood there like a zombie looking straight ahead scowling.

After spending 15 minutes looking for a lunch box, I asked an employee where the lunch boxes were. She led us aimlessly around the store with no idea where they were. Eventually she asked another employee working at the jewelry counter, “Hey ya know where the lunch boxes are?”

She looked up from the phone, chewing her gum, said “Nope”, and returned to her telephone.

We didn’t find a lunch box.

As I left, I saw 25 checkout lanes. Two were open. The lines were 15 deep. After 60 minutes, I walked out empty handed and nauseous.

Sunday Sep 10th 11:15 AM
Target: The people greeter smiled and asked, “Can I help you?”

“Where are the lunch boxes?” I asked.

She whispered something into a microphone on her chest, paused, and said, “Behind aisle 8 against the back wall.”

Target had ten lanes open and two with no line. In less than ten minutes, I found what I wanted and left with a smile on my face.

I don’t know if Target offers higher pay or better benefits but I can tell that they attract different employees; employees that care. Wal-Mart employees appear indifferent.

Happy Customers
At the Target store near my home, I see energetic customers smiling, visiting, and laughing.

At Wal-Mart I see people moping around with frowns, yelling at their kids, and everyone looks depressed.

In my experience, the difference in cleanliness between the two chains is dramatic, especially the bathrooms. I brought my son into the bathroom at Wal-Mart and it was so nasty I’ll never bring him there again.

Better Parking Lots
Wal-Mart: One way, narrow, and angled. I’d show you how bad it is but Wal-Mart could sue me if I post a picture of their store. Yet another reason to love ‘em.

Did you know that most Wal-Marts allow people to camp in their parking lots? Is that safe?

Target: Square, two way, parking lots which are safer and easier to navigate.
Target Parking Lot
Positive Atmosphere
Wal-Mart’s atmosphere is cheap and crass.

Target’s atmosphere exudes progress and style.

Go to each store and soak in the whole scene and you’ll know what I mean.

Wider Aisles
Wal-Mart: I’d show you how narrow, crowded, and disorganized their aisles are but…Wal-Mart could sue me if I post a picture of their store.

Target: Wide spacious aisles
Target Aisle
I have both a Wal-Mart and a Target five minutes from my house. There is no comparison in the shopping experience.

My first priority in life right now is to maintain a positive mental state. I’ve found it nearly impossible to maintain a positive mental state inside a Wal-Mart store. The place oozes negativity.

When I leave Wal-Mart I feel like I should go home and shower, like I’ve just visited a seedy porn shop or something.

When I leave Target, I feel energetic and I want to return.

For more on Wal-Mart watch this movie.

Positive thinking tip:
Visit Target frequently and stay out of Wal-Mart.

This is an opinion piece, based on my personal experiences. I don’t work for Target. I don’t even own any Target stock.

10 Things I Learned from My 4-Year-Old

When my son was born, I imagined how I would teach him about life. Little did I know that he would be the teacher. He taught me:

  1. To use positive words
    One evening at the dinner table my son said, “Dad this food is disgusting.” I thought – where did that word come from? Another time while I was explaining the rules to a game he said, “Now that’s just ridiculous.” A minute later he said, “this is stupid, I give up.” At that moment it dawned on me… He’s getting this stuff from me. From now on I better choose my words carefully.
  2. To look for opportunity everywhere
    My son views the entire world and every new person, new object, or new event as an opportunity to learn something. When a new person walks in the room he wants to know who they are and if they would like to play. If I drop a new object into a cluttered room, he will spot it, touch it, pick it up, ask questions about it. Nothing new goes unnoticed.
  3. A new synonym for persistence
    Santa Claus brought my son a white board and a set of dry erase makers for Christmas (can you tell I’m in IT). My son learned to write very early. He spent months obsessed with writing letters on the white board. One day I looked at the board while he was writing and I saw this combination of capital letters – SHHANDSHOWBO. He also knows how to sound out words, so I asked him what it was. He said, “It’s a word I made up – Sha-hand-show-bo.” I asked, “What does it mean?” He said, “To keep trying even when it’s hard.” Now when I get frustrated I think – Sha-hand-show-bo.
  4. To ask big questions
    A few weeks ago our cat was dying. So I explained death to my son and told him our cat was going to heaven. I was amazed that he grasped the permanence of death. Like the other members of my family he was very sad for several days. Then he asked, “Dad, how do you get to heaven?” I said,”Well everyone goes there when they die.” He said, “No I mean, how do you get there? Do go out the door and get in the car? Do you take a rocket?” I had to admit to him that I didn’t know how you get to heaven, I just believe in it. A few days latter he asked, “If God made me, who made God?” Good question. I haven’t thought about that one in years.
  5. To accept mistakes
    Watching my son grow and learn, it became clear that all learning is based on trying something new, making a mistake, adjusting your actions, trying again, repeating until you get the results you desire. That is how he learned to walk, speak, read, write, build lego walls, set up train tracks, jump, run, and pedal. I can’t think of one thing he did right the first time. It is a good thing he has an abundance of sha-hand-show-bo.
  6. To pay attention to little details
    When my son was 2, he was pointing in a box and saying, “ate, ate, ate, ate.” I said no you don’t want to eat the box. He said, “no, ate, ate, ate.” I looked in the box and it was empty. I looked at him puzzled. He stuck his face in the box and said, “ate, ate.” I looked again closely. On the bottom of the box, in the corner, printed in a small font was the number 8. He sees things I don’t see, because he pays attention to little things everywhere, like the tiny red dot on the white sheetrock wall he called an “owie.”
  7. To stop complaining
    Recently my son went through a phase where he complained about everything. His food was too hot, playtime was too short, he didn’t want to go to pre-school, everything was “too hard.” This experience forced me to think and come up with a plan to help my son through this phase. I developed some techniques to help him stop complaining. His phase taught me how irritating it is to listen to complaints without solutions. His complaining taught me to listen to myself when I start to gripe and realize complaining isn’t going to get me the results I desire. It is one thing to identify something
    uncomfortable or painful you wish to change, and another to sit and complain about it and do nothing. Solutions provide value – gripes sap energy. Besides, how can I expect my son to stop complaining, if I complain – see #8.
  8. To strive for consistency
    If I am inconsistent with my expectations and actions my son won’t understand what I expect. For example, if I tell him I won’t allow him to jump on the furniture and then let him do it occasionally; he becomes confused and jumps on the furniture trying to understand his limits. The consequences for jumping on the couch are random and he never understands my expectations. If I let his little brother jump on the couch, rest assured, he will say “you let him jump on the couch. Why can’t I jump on the couch?” and I won’t have a meaningful answer. Since I have seen inconsistency lead to chaos with my 4-year-old, I now believe it will lead to chaos in every area of my life.
  9. How to build a maze with random items in the garage
    Garage MazeGarage Maze
    Garage Maze
  10. To experiment
    My son learns everything by experimenting. He learn the rules of the house by experimenting. He must ask questions in his mind at some level – like what will happen if I flick this spoonful of mash potatoes at my little brother? or how will mom react if I eat this bug? Now I’m not recommending that you or anyone else start flicking food at each other or start eating insects just to find out what happens. What I am suggesting is that my son illustrates how we learn. We learn by experimenting. Never stop experimenting.

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