Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An Open Letter

Dear people of Beaver County,

Recently my neighbor has changed his/her internet service leaving me without a free wireless signal to use. I know. it's a travesty. One day good ol' linksys is up and running. I can get internet both in my bed and at my desk. Then, in the twinkling of an eye, linksys was gone. I tried to stay calm. I simply assumed the network was down for technical reasons. That was until the evil, vile, and very, very password protected Hom847 came on the scene. Clearly, my neighbor has upgraded their network and foolishly added and a password leaving me out in the cold. How could he/she do this to me? Am I not wrong to feel my neighbor - either directly next door or across the street - has been terribly inconsiderate towards me? I don't think so.

Now I am without internet. I have been making do with going to local coffee houses and checking my email at libraries, but this is quite limiting. Libraries and coffee shops close. Coffee shops expect you to buy something. My life is in shambles.

This brings me to you, the good people of Beaver County. More specifically I am addressing this to the Beaver Falls College Hill community. Does anyone have an unprotected WiFi signal which will allow me to get on to the internet? I am in the market for a new network to glom onto. Perhaps I shouldn't say 'in the market' since that may lead to assumption that I am willing to pay you for this service. I am not. Ideally, I would like to find a home within a few blocks of my current residence - or possibly someone to move into the vacant apartment beneath mine while setting up a nice network. The ideal candidate would live in a large home where a someone sitting outside typing on a notebook would not be deemed suspicious. Ideally the home would be equipped with a large covered patio. Chairs and possibly a table would be much appreciated. I am perfectly willing to sit on your porch for hours at a time looking up arcane facts on wikipedia, the new John Rambo trailer on YouTube, googling random acquaintances , and doing other time killing internet business. You do not have to speak to me or even acknowledge me. In fact, I would prefer this. Anyone interested in helping me out, please contact me through his blog. Thank you.


Monday, May 21, 2007

The Blog Entry

If you're opening a business, it is imperative that you resist the urge to name in the most generic of terms. It may seem cute to open up a barber shop called "The Barber Shop," but I assure you that this lack of originality is not only wholly un-cute, but downright confusing. Recently, I've been noticing a lot of different small businesses popping up with these supposedly charming generic names, and it's starting to really become a problem.

By naming your laundromat "The Laundromat" or your bar "The Bar," you are essentially, and unknowingly, giving up on standing out from the crowd. You are surrendering any hope of notoriety, and are instead doing everything possible to blend in with your competitors. If you aren't going to take the time to think of an original name, what makes me think you're going to have an original product?

I can only understand this if you are the first store of your kind. If I opened a store that was the only one in the area, or the entire state, that offered different kinds of licorice, then maybe I could justify calling myself "The Licorice Store." But the stores I've been seeing aren't offering any new products or services; they are directly competing similar stores in town.

Let's say there are five donut shops in town (I'm not sure why that would happen, but it would rock regardless). If one of them is named "the Donut Shop," I would reckon that it would get lost in the crowd. If I'm told to run down to the "donut shop" and get a dozen for breakfast, my first thought isn't going to be "Ah yes, THE Donut Shop." Maybe for some folks, it works the other way, but I have trouble believing that. The problem is, there are too many adults (and trust me, they're all adults) that think naming this stuff in generic terms is cute/charming/clever.

It reminds me of a skit that the Cellar Dwellers performed years ago, it was called "Skit." Essentially, the joke of the skit was that a family was living in strictly generic terms. "Son, would you like some dessert?"; "Mother, I'm going to City to see Band in concert."; "Dad, I want to cheer on Team while they play Sport." Yeah, it went on like that. And all of the props in the skit were white boxes labeled "Prop." It was a great little skit that applies directly to what I'm talking about.

The worst is when these stores put their own names in quotes. Welcome to "The Furniture Store." It's almost as if the owner should be winking at you every time you read the sign. The quotes give an added message to the sign that reads "Hey, look we named the store after what the store IS! Get it? Eh? The Furniture Store! Eh? Eh? Isn't that funny?" The quotes make me want to punch the storefront for being stupid. Of course, then I would be stupid for punching a building.

I can only hope that this is a temporary fad... and that eventually these stores will adapt new names. Maybe they are just trying things out before attempting to build a reputation with a true name. Or maybe these names are just the result of months of arguing and debating amongst store owners. "If we can't call it 'Jim's Barber Shop' and we can't call it 'Greg's Barber Shop,' then it shall be 'THE Barber Shop.'"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Don't Date Him Girl

It has been recently called to my attention that I may not be good boyfriend material. Why Joe you say, I simply cant imagine that a person such as your self could ever be a bad boyfriend. That's what I thought as well, but after reading this article, I changed my mind.
Joe Wichryk

This guy is very manipulative. He'll tell you he's looking for a relationship and will say anything sweet enough to get you in bed with him, then after it's done, he'll tell you he wants to be friends and he doesn't want a girlfriend. In the meantime, he has been dating a handful of girls besides you. A master of trickery and words is he. He appears to be very handsome and charming, but instead he's a snake. If you care about yourself, girl, don't date him!

CityBeaver Falls
. (1) comments
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I know what your thinking, your shocked, outraged, crushed even. Your thinking how could someone write such cruel slander about Joe.(unless you know me, then your thinking wow, they left out arrogant and douchebag and asshole)

But Dont worry, any publicity can be good publicity if you simply put the right spin on it. I know what your thinking , but Joe , how can such evil lies be good. I'll tell you.

Obviously I must have effected some one's life pretty deeply for them to write anonymously about me on a web site. So we could say something like this

Joe will change your life!!
Joe, see what all the girls are writing about.

But lets not stop there, this can also be made good simply by quoting it out of context heres a few examples.

"He appears to be very handsome and charming..."
"A master of ... words is he"
"This guy is... sweet... and charming... date him!"

And hey lets look on the bright side of all this, most other profiles have really bad pictures of the guys, the person who created my profile used a really good picture of me. so as of today, my (copyrighted) headshot has been viewed by over 329 people. Thats 329 more chances to be recognized and remembered later on in life. cause lets face it most people wont remember why and where they saw my face, I will simply seem more familiar to them.

So you see being bashed on a slander site isn't all bad, It kinda gives me a sick sense of satisfaction to know someone cared enough to write about me. And hey if it gets real bad, I can always sue for copyright infringement.

Joe eoJ

Saturday, May 12, 2007

James Buys a New Computer

Ok, James this is it. You need a new computer. You're old laptop, Corky, just isn't cutting it anymore. He's heavy. His screen is about to fall off. he's riddled with viruses. Yes, he was your college computer. There is a lot of sentimental value to Corky, and yes, buying a new computer is going to cost you some money, but face it, Corky is dying. This is your time, now go into that mac outfitters and get yourself a new computer

Let's see. Where do they keep their notebooks in this piece. There's so much stuff I don't understand in here. Why don't I know more about this stuff. All my peers know about this stuff. Where was I when everyone was learning about computers and technology? Probably watching cartoons or reading some Russian novel. Damn, I'm already lost. I should have done more research.

Yes, yes, friendly sales person, I would like some help. Finally, someone to guide me through his wasteland of monitors, keyboards, and flashing shadow dancing iPod Commercials. He's probably about my age, only he knows what's up. He's a nerdy hipster with his plastic rim eyeglasses and short hair cut. He's probably into online Role playing games and hiking outside in the fall. I bet he rides a mountain bike to work and eats Cliff Bars on his lunch. For some reason I want desperately for him to like. He complements me on my 'A Scanner Darkly' T-shirt. Oh sweet joy, the hip computer store sales person likes my shirt. Things are going better than I could have hoped.

Here are the notebooks. That's the one I think I want. The sleek white one that costs less than the other ones. Now, to just confirm my desire. I need to ask some questions of this salesman. Come on, James. Think of some good questions. You had some good ones in the car. Dammit, I should have written them down. But I was driving. That would have been a terrible mistake. This isn't a problem. I can come up with some questions. I just don't want to look ignorant in front of the salesman. We've already bonded over my shirt. I don't want Kyle to think less of me. Oh God, I'm thinking of the salesman by his first name. This is weird. But I still don't want him to think of me as some rube. Come on, think of something smart to say already.

"Does this computer allow one to 'surf' the 'Interweb'"

Idiot. I'm a complete moron. Of course this goes on the interweb. Is that even word? Interweb? That doesn't sound right. That's because it's not right. The words internet. How could I forget the term internet. I sound like my dad. I think I've made an awful mistake. Kyle probably thinks I'm an idiot. This is terrible. Maybe I should just go. There are other stores out there. No. No. I can pull this out. Maybe Kyle just thought I was being ironic. Crap. He's talking. He's been talking all this time. I haven't been paying attention. Apparently he's trying to demonstrate features. I don't know if I understand.

Ok. There's a camera up top there. I can smile. I can take my picture. Boo-ya. I know how the camera works. I'm like a hacker. This isn't so bad. Wait. Stop fiddling with the camera. Kyle's trying to show me more stuff. Focus, James. This is a big investment. Pay some attention. I wonder how heavy this thing is. It doesn't look so heavy. Almost anything will feel light after Corky. I bet I could throw this MacBook the whole way across the room. Not that I want to throw it across the room. That would be ridiculous. Of course, now I am a little curious as to how far i could heave this. I wonder if they have some sort of empty MacBook around without the computer bits in it, about the same size and weight. Then I could throw it and not worry about breaking anything. They probably don't have anything like that though. Most people probably don't think about how far they can throw a computer. Oh, well.

Crap. Kyle's been talking. I really need to pay attention. He's showing me how the dashboard works. I can probably figure that out. Hell, let's be honest. I probably won't use half this crap. Wait. Kyle just said something about Podcasts. I know that word. Finally. I make a podcast. By make, I mean I write and perform and by some magic Little Mike makes it appear on the interweb...I mean, internet.

"I do a podcast."

So, there Kyle. I am also involved in your hip cyber-world. Impressed yet. Please, be impressed. He doesn't seemed impressed. He probably is, but doesn't want to show it. He's working. He's in the middle of a sales pitch. He doesn't want to get side tracked with asking me all about my podcast. Yeah. That's probably it.

Wait. Did that other salesman just compliment me on my shoes when he passed by? This is weird. Maybe I should tell him that I'm already being helped by Kyle. I don't want these MacBoys fighting over me. Or DO I? ...

Focus. Kyle's showing me how the date book works. I know I'm never going to use that. If he's gone all the way through the features to the point of trying to sell me on the datebook, we've gone through everything. Maybe I should just tell him I'll take the computer. I was pretty sure I was going to get it before I went in. I've got the money. Plus, if I buy one Kyle will definitely like me. And, If i have one, I can throw it.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Questions That Can Save Your Life!

I happened to catch a brief glimpse of an old Reader's Digest over the weekend. One of the articles highlighted on the cover was "10 Questions That Can Save Your Life!" I was intrigued. While flipping through the magazine to find the article, I was trying to guess what these questions could be; unfortunately, when I actually saw the article, I realized that I was quite off-base. Their questions were more about wheezing coughs and aneurisms and less about sharks and faulty brakes.

So while RD's questions may your life, if you remember to ask them while visiting your doctor, I bet my questions are not only more important, but more effective as well.

10. What do you think is making that hissing sound? Always an important question, because it could either be a snake or a natural gas leak–and if you're in your basement, it could be both!

9. Was he pointing at me? Whether you're on the street or in a bar, if you see some mean looking guys talking, and then point in your direction, it would behoove you to figure out who they were pointing at.

8. How long does it take a piano to fall five stories? This question is always better asked rhetorically, rather than, say, while looking up.

7. Is that one of those retractable toy knives? Always good to be sure before running.

6. Master-Blaster, why do you two work so well together? If you are asking this question, you have undoubtedly found yourself inside of the Thunderdome... which should prompt further life-saving questions.

5. How do you know if a shark is really hungry? This question could save your life, but you might be missing some body parts.

4. Is something behind me? Usually when you have to ask, there always is. I like to think that when I ask, someone is behind me holding a present or a milkshake.

3. Are the vice president and his daughter attending this Penguins game? If so, this can only lead to trouble... unless there is Belgian firefighter also in attendance.

2. If a train leaves Boston traveling at an average speed of 45mph, and a second train leaves Chicago traveling at an average speed of 58mph, how long until they collide? The answer will completely change, of course, if Steven Seagal is aboard one of those trains.

1. What did you say? It never hurts to ask, because it may have been important.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The top ten things I like, will miss, and/or remember about Nang and the four troupes we've been in together

10) Becca: “You don’t understand, Dr. Murphy. Dying. It’s really bad.”

9) Killing James Bond.

8) The Nang Dance

7) The improv version of her and James getting happily divorced; and her and Ben ‘cleaning’ out the garage. (what a night that was)

6) “My co-worker, who’ve I’ve known anywhere from 6 months to 3 years.”

5) How excited she was when I auditioned for I-Factor.

4) Eat-N-Park pep talks before I decided to start The Mighty What.

3) The Dwellers show at 5-Spot in Philly.

2) Nangness

1) Her hunger for improv knowledge: From the first day at the Vault, to the last show at Future Tenant, she wanted any piece of improv information she could get.

We’ll miss you Nang. You will always be a part of us, a part of Pittsburgh and a member of Hustlebot, The Mighty What, The Cellar Dwellers and I-Factor.