A little insider information: I hate Monday’s update. I had “stereotypes are true” written in my notebook, and it felt like a solid premise; I got a good feeling when I read it. But I booted the whole thing. I wrote it too quickly, and didn’t do a very good job: a missed opportunity.
So, I frantically replaced it at the top of the page with that sack o’ beer (or is it piss?) picture. And now I’ll drive it further down with another quickie update that I’ll probably also hate. Ahhh… the circle of life.
In a couple of months I might give the stereotype theme another shot, and devote more than an hour to it. Would that be OK with y’all? Thank you.
I told you guys that my beloved first generation iPod nano is dying, right? It’s been a loyal partner for many years, but my old friend is on life support and will only hold a charge for about 20 minutes.
I called a shop near here — a place where they’re supposedly experts on Apple gear — and asked if they could replace the battery. The neck-beard gamer who answered said it’s possible to do, but not easy. In the end, he convinced me it wouldn’t make sense. That I’d spend more to have it repaired than it would cost to buy a new one.
So, I was prepared to purchase a new nano for $150. I almost pulled the trigger on it last week, and got cold feet. I hate spending money… it’s so hard to come by.
And over the weekend the younger youngling was cleaning his room, and found an old iPod he no longer uses, or even remembered he owned. It’s an 8 gig nano, in perfect condition. He announced he was going to take it to Game Stop and sell it.
“They won’t give you anything for it,” I told him.
“Maybe they will,” he shrugged.
“Tell you what, call over there and ask what they’ll pay, and I’ll double it.” I wanted that iPod. It would be a perfect podcast delivery device for work. My offer sounded semi-audacious, but I knew it wasn’t much of a gamble. Game Stop pays nothing.
And later that day… I doubled their price and bought it from him for $26. And both of us were happy with the transaction. Of course, it was the second time I bought the exact same iPod. I’m certain we gave it to him as a birthday present a few years ago.
But it’s fantastic. My ancient one only had 2 gigs of space, and this one has 8. It feels huge and luxurious. The last two nights at work I used it for roughly 8 hours each, and the battery wasn’t even half-depleted. Hell yeah. I’m back in business, for less than 30 bucks.
More insider info: below is the uptime percentages for this website, over the past 30 days. I’m liking my new hosting company so far. But… that’s the way it always begins. We’ll see what I’m saying in a year.
I don’t really understand how this is possible, but it feels like I watch Pawn Stars all the time. I watch almost no TV, yet it seems like I see Pawn Stars a lot, and also Property Brothers and House Hunters. Is it being pumped into my brain via rogue WiFi?
And you know what bugs me about those Pawn bastards? Well, there’s a whole list of things… But the one I’m fixated on right now? It’s when they explain stuff to us, which anyone with an IQ above 75 already knows.
Like: “America entered World War II at the end of 1941, after Japan attacked the U.S. naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii.” Seriously?
Or: “Babe Ruth was one of the most famous baseball players of all time, and hit an amazing 714 home runs during his career.” Ahh! Now it makes sense!
Those guys can go fuck themselves. I don’t like to be talked-down to, especially by that shitpouch Cory. Ya know? That fat douche couldn’t find it with both hands, and he’s trying to be my mentor? Blow me.
In December I subscribed to Wired magazine: one year for $4.99. While paying up, a message appeared that asked if I’d like to add a second year for $3.00 more. So, I went for it. Now I’ll receive 24 issues for $7.99. Crazy.
Three or four years ago I got a wild hair, and subscribed to four or five magazines on the same day. Wired was the only one I actually read. The others — including Rolling Stone and Esquire — were often not even opened. Wired, as it turns out, is pretty good.
Unfortunately, they sent me the three most recent issues, all at the same time. I don’t care for that… I’m already overwhelmed. But whatever.
For a Question I’d like to offer you the opportunity to vent about stupid-ass cable programs. Anything rubbing you the wrong way? We’ll need to know about it. Also, please tell us what magazines you subscribe to, in 2014. They’re dying quickly, but do you still receive any? And do you actually read them? Tell us all about it in the comments section.
And I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!
Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself to something cool at Amazon!
Swami Bologna says
The is the first time I ever read the whole update, and was still FIRST.
Since we downgraded our cable to basically ‘nothing,’ my Stupid-ass cable show watching has plummeted. Pawn Stars is by this point a self-parody and horribly formulaic, but I’d probably still watch it if we got that channel anymore. Let’s not even touch ‘reality’ shows. *shiver*
We get “Flying,’ ‘AOPA Pilot,’ and ‘Gameinformer’ at the Tiny House. That’s a nice little library for the smallest room.
I buy Flying on the newsstand every once in a while, most recently a few months ago for the diesel Cessna article. And by newsstand, I mean supermarket magazine aisle. I let my AOPA membership lapse in 1976 or 77.
I watch a lot of Pawn Stars too. I tire of Chumlee always fucking things up in a spectacular fashion. He’s the Gilligan of the show. I scream at the TV, “get with the program dipshit!”
And I find myself watching Hardcore Pawn too. I’m not sure why. It’s almost intolerable. The people at the pawnshop are okay, but the customers are a bunch of assrabbits. Screaming and yelling, DEMANDING $100 for a 1991 model VCR. Coming up there and demanding that they should still be able to get the necklace they pawned 6 months ago even though they’ve made no payments. The fucking screaming. They apparently believe that making asses of themselves will get things done. And I suppose it usually does, or they wouldn’t keep doing it. The customers are really shitty people, for the most part.
Bill in WV says
You do realize that both of those shows are scripted, right? Chumlee’s dumbass act is just that, an act. As a matter of fact, all so-called “reality” shows are scripted. Duck Dynasty is probably the most over-scripted show of the bunch. Gilligan’s Island, however, was non-fictional, a true story of a bunch of mix-match bastards on a three hour tour, with lots of luggage, cash, clean copies of clothes, etc.
That’s not entirely true. Strictly speaking, a show can’t be called a reality show if it, in fact, has a script.
I happen to be know the cast of a particular reality show and they aren’t given a script. They are, however, given a scenario and told to run with it. The producers shut down stores for filming, change names of the employees and locales. They play up their personality quirks and they’ve all found their “niche”.
They don’t just follow the cast around with a camera and wait for the hilarity to begin, like they’d lead you to believe.
Bill in WV says
Well, I did say Gilligan’s Island was fer real.
You gotta be really explicit out here, because there are some literal reporters. Nice, but literal. Of course Pawn Stars is scripted. Of course the participants don’t actually have a script, but each scenario is clumsily staged. And I still occasionally watch the fucker. Last season or so, Chum “accidently” ran into Bob Dylan after looking for him for about 15 minutes. Rolling stone sends highly trained reporters into the field with inferred cameras and survival gear for months to spot Bob, and Chum finds him after a brief waddle. Nonsense. Jeff captured the show perfectly.
And, of course, if Gilligan’s Island were scripted, it would be a lot more clever. That fucker is as real as a dime.
Billy Joel says
I’d like to take a look at one of those inferred cameras, but I suppose they are not explicit. Sorry, I got kinda stuck on that word.
As well you should. I fucked up by thinking I could just spell infrared without checking. Turned out I was way the hell off.
I like all your comments, and I mean no offense. I’m just wondering if you imagine that there’s a governmental or industry body that regulates television programming as to category. Like they have an investigator on set that blows a whistle if a “reality” show participant is caught memorizing lines (hell, the guys on Pawn Stars read from cue cards).
Because, “strictly speaking”, nobody in the industry (or the FCC) cares about program categories. As a producer, you can brand your show a “reality” program without regard to the existence of a script, scenario coaches, or planned outcomes. The FCC cares about language, depictions of objectionable actions (you can shoot somebody in the balls, but a character can’t smoke on a “broadcast” network without previous permission from the FCC, in which case, the plot must deal with the smoker harshly) and depictions of protected classes.
Reality programming exists because 1) the participants, for the most part, are not members of SAG-AFTRA (thus, don’t have to be compensated at union rates), 2) they don’t have to be shot on soundstages,3) they don’t have to pay writers (writing is done mostly by producers and scabs because of the non-union environment), and 4) nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
This is just commentary. I don’t hold myself above the fray, either in taste or practice. I don’t watch l lot of TV, but I do watch Pawn Stars and Storage Wars when I come upon them, and I find them entertaining. I’m just hoping, for the sake of our nation, that there’s not a special hell for those of us who watch this crap.
Whatever happened to Playhouse 90?
Playhouse 90? My goodness, you’re as old as I am.
But you know the answer to that one. There’s more money in crap than in quality and money is the bottom line in corporate-run America.
Oh, that was rhetorical. Sorry.
The only reason I know jack shit about this is because of the guys I know on the reality show. It’s all minutiae..
If it’s scripted, they have to have union writers and actors. A show has to be unscripted to be defined as a “Reality Show” by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Obviously, there are no “Reality Police” like the FCC has on set. Both SAG and WGA are incredibly powerful, and I have little doubt that there’d be hell to pay if they got wind that there was active scripting on a reality show.
The fact is, it’s all a set up. The guys in Storage Wars don’t really find a treasure in every locker. The dumb guy in Pawn Stars isn’t really that much of a dumb ass. The professor doesn’t really make a coffee maker out of coconuts and GInger’s bra.
Scripted or not, I’m tired of him fucking up. Gilligan’s Island was real for sure. It’s not surprising that the dingbat skipper managed to hit something in the huge ass ocean. Mr Howell should have been driving.
I work in an inner city hospital in Detroit where “Hardcore Pawn” is filmed. I can tell you with certainty that the customers are just a good random sampling of the folks I deal wih every day.
The upside to working here is that the folks we take care of expect us to not take shit from them when they get unreasonably disruptive. Out a the suburban places you have to kiss ass a lot.
I’m now too institutionalize to leave here and I’m totally cool wiht that.
Mr Howell could use a pitcher of martinis. Stat.
Stuart In Oz says
Scripted…nahhhh …no way, next you’ll be saying the Muppets aren’t real!!!
I enjoy the back and forth and playing price is right is fun. I agree with the condescending tone, especially when they are wrong. My uncle has looked up some of their items and they have been way off.
And the constant introduction of the “experts”. it’s the same reason I had to stop reading Alex Cross and Travis McGee novels, too much repetition and telling the same story for the assholes who didn’t read the first 26 books and just picked up a book at the airport.
About the only cable shows I watch are Renovation Realities and House Hunters, and then usually just to hurl insults at the people on the screen. Drinks may be involved.
Magazine-wise, I get Runner’s World, National Review and the local city-fluff monthly magazine delivered at home, and then Entertainment Weekly, SI and Departures (the AmEx Platinum Card magazine, so hoity-toity) secondhand. There is a foot-tall stack next to my nightstand so while they do get read I need to pick up the pace.
Just bought $60 on Amazon. Hopefully I did it right for Jeff!
WB in OH says
What did that cost?
I think those shows roll out the facts to maintain some sort of connection to the fact they are on the History Channel.
I actually don’t really get into Pawn Stars all that much. I am more of a American Pickers type of dude.
I am not too fond of the new one about Ginseng – speaking of stereotypes.
I use to dig that stuff when I was a teenager.
OK, I’m addicted – ADDICTED (Hi, my name is madz HI MADZ) to Buying the Bayou, Buying Alaska and Buying Hawaii. In that order. If you haven’t seen these it’s basically a real estate show but in areas that are a little bit more out there (Outhouses??? In Alaska? Talk about freezing your ass off – literally). I find them all pure entertainment. Especially if some of those so called houses look like real shit styes.
I don’t subscribe to any magazines but we’ve been getting some Rachel Ray magazine and… Parenting. We have no kids so I have no idea how that made it to the mailbox.
Jeff, my favorite new word which I plan to use robustly is: shitpouch. Thank you.
Bill in WV says
Sid Caesar bites the dust !!! Who had him on their CDW?
I thought he passed a few years ago.
I had Bob Costas on my list but only his eyes are dying at this point.
Shirley Temple and now Sid Caesar; don’t these deaths happen in threes?
Philip Seymour Hoffman makes tree
The bald guy on Pawn Stars seems to have it together pretty well, but if I had a father like his, and a son like his, I think I’d shoot myself.
A cover-to-cover weekly read in my abode’s commode is The Week magazine. “All you need to know about everything that matters.” Good stuff, and it provides the occasional tidbit of information that can be dropped into a conversation to show a level of intelligence that was long ago destroyed by various consumables.
Hated Cable TV programs? At the top of the list is Love It Or List It. The very definition of formulaic, and they take the normal renovation shows’ practice of halving all expenses to a new level by including the out-of-pocket cost of renovation (which usually includes substantial spending just to keep the fucking house from falling down) in the increased equity of the house to be sold. “Put $100k into your old house, and when you sell it, you’ll have $100k to use as a down payment for a new house!” Brilliant…
When my daughter was in 6th or 7th grade, she decided to subscribe to a shitload of magazines for some school fundraiser. I think it was $20 for one year of Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, Town and Country, Cosmo, and one or two more.
We paid one time and they keep sending them month after month, for 7 or 8 years now. Occasionally, an invoice shows up for $8.99 or $12.99 or whatever and I throw it in the trash. And the magazines keep coming. WTF?
TV sucks. Cannot stand anything that has 40 minutes of commercials per hour and HBO, Starz, Showtime all went bad about 15 years ago. Now, I am an old grumpy bastard that reads the news on the net and drinks way too much.
Big snow coming tonight so I must go stock up on alcohol, cigarettes, and gas for the snow blower. And steaks.
dan, the thought of you perusing Seventeen magazine while sipping some American whiskey is a terrific picture. Funny comments as usual.
Rich Kids of Beverly Hills (giving it a try)
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (don’t judge me)
My 600-lb Life
Welcome to Myrtle Manor
Everything on HBO and Showtime
I hardly read any of it… but I have to do something to keep the recycling bin full or people will think I don’t care about recycling.
I skip he shows that encourage people to debase themselves for a few moments of fame.
However I really enjoy Ridiculousness on MTV. It makes me cringe and laugh.
As for magazines, I get This Old House and Family Handyman. Got them when a kid in he family was selling magazine subscriptions as a fundraiser.
Turns out I enjoy them both.
Family Handyman is terrific. Learned all kinds of stuff from that back when we had a subscription. Hope that the WVSR team doesn’t think that’s too nerdy.
Great update. I have a similar Nano, a little newer but also ageing. It’s been my Faithful Indian Companion for so long, brought me so much Klausner and Maron and Sklar, got me through a couple surgeries, helped me survive bad company and enjoy good weather. It will die as all things do, but I won’t be the one to turn off life support.
Nice update. Meaty and funny.
American Philatelic Society
I read the first cover-to-cover but skim the others for content.
I read that ad American phallic society. Whew!
Otis Day says
I like to read Walking magazine.
hey look Marge – an article about putting one foot in front of the other one!
If more than 2 people in the world are interested in something, there’s a frickin’ magazine about it!
John Smith says
Reminds me of the easiest job in the world… being a track coach. There’s only 3 things you need to coach.
1. Wait for the gun.
2. Run in that direction.
3. Yell “FASTER!”
Cable shows that suck? I’m going to say almost all of them. But I can’t name names; if a show seems to suck, I turn it off without waiting to find out the name.
My only magazine right now is Cooks Illustrated. I used to get Brewing Techniques, but they went out of business – “folded,” get it??!?
And off topic – more related to stereotypes – tonight I saw Mister Class and Quality at the liquor store. He was getting a bottle of “Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey” and a 1.5 liter of Aristocrat vodka in the plastic bottle.
T. Farty McApleass says
I subscribe to Reader’s Digest and strongly recommend that everyone else do the same. I’ve been getting them for more than 15 years.
My paternal grandparents were Reader’s Disgust subscribers. They were both born in the 19th century. Wordless Workshop FTW.
It is often seen as a magazine for much older people, but that’s unfortunate. It truly is interesting and fun to read. A current issue can be found near the cashier in almost any grocery store, and it’s just a few bucks. I’m fairy certain that anyone who reads it will like it. In fact, I’m willing to back that statement with the full faith and credit of Paraguay.
My wife subscribes to Reader’s Digest. Has for years. We also get Hangliding and Paragliding magazine. Interesting if you’re into that sort of activity. Still waiting on an article about that batshit crazy bastard that crossed the Sierras on a paraglider though. The only “reality shows” I pay much attention to are a couple of the Alaska ones. The Hailstone guy with the wife and daughters on Life Below Zero is a member of a forum I belong to, and I’ve been able to see a little of the inside information in some of his posts. My wife and I went in that Pawn Stars pawnshop before they got the TV show. We were immediately struck by what a bunch of dickbags everybody working there was.
Magazine list: Popular Mechanics (love,love,love) Practical Horseman and Equus. Yeah, I’m a crazy horse lady. I LOVE Hardcore pawn. Forget the Old Man and his speech impediment, God I hate those guys.
Just finished a conversation with my 14 yr old daughter. She asked who I was writing and I told her the surf report. She replied “Oh yeah the guy with the dormancy platform, BAT and Soviet hum boxes” Thanks Jeff, you’ve made it to our vernacular.
I watched Pawn stars for about a season but it became such a snore and then you just wish some customer would come in with bag full of grandpa’s old rubbers from WWI. On Hardcore Pawn you see the two kids arguing in such a fake way it reminds me of a bad school play. The patrons of the store are the most interesting and held my attention for a few more episodes. At one time I was an avid Smithsonian reader but that started running hot and cold so I began to lose interest. I haven’t seen a magazine enter the house in years.
In reference to the facts that every one “with an IQ above 75 already knows” – well, there’s your problem, right there. Remember on the anniversary of the Titanic sinking some astoundingly high percent of people didn’t know it wasn’t just a movie? Damned neck beard shitpouches.
The Qweezy Mark says
Wheeler Dealers on Velocity.
magazine of fantasy and science fiction
the new yorker
i hate all so called reality shows
does anyone else watch “the blacklist?”
that is one neat show
what channel is that on?
it’s on NBC and james spader has to be the coolest guy ever. i have a major case of the hots for him. wheeeew!!
Bill in WV says
Reader’s Digest is just a rag for people who are just learning the subject and have gastric problems.
But if it’s the only thing around, would you read it?
WB in OH says
The only reality show I get into are The Sons of Anarchy.
LMAO!! I’d like to get into Jax’ reality…….
We used to watch Pawn Stars. Then it turned into ridiculous negotiating over shit most people would never buy or could never afford. They try to create “suspense” whether some schmo will give up his grandfathers personal letter from Hitler or some shit, for less than the fortune he states it’s worth…..even though it’s a “significant piece of WWII history”. Yawn…..
I watch this reality crap because the boyfriend has control over the remote…..
Fast-n-Loud (not a bad show. I like their work. I’ll suffer through it)
The one about ginseng
And the worst one ….Gold Rush. Ugh. Mother of God. Spare me.
I do like Ghost Adventures. Ghost Hunters is OK. American Picker’s because I’m into treasure hunting like they are.
The Walton’s dad died today,
I love the National Geographic subscription I get for Christmas every year.