I’m a freelance interactive content strategist and copywriter in Austin, TX. See my work here.
I post about whatever geeky stuff interests me. Sometimes I post funny stuff that I make up. About once a week I post videos of my cat Yeti ignoring me. I welcome reader suggestions and feedback. I seldom get any.
Oh, yeah. I’m also the recording artist currently known as ManChildATX.
Guess who isn't one of the 50 most influential cats on the internet, and if you said "Yeti," you are correct.
What a load of kitty shite! Friskies, the famous cat food brand, has launched a crapulous popularity contest purportedly listing the 50 most influential cats on the intertubes, of which you-know-who (Yeti) is not one of them!
I call bullshit.
Who wants to be on that stupid old list anyway? Yeti is too busy.
Those cynical Friskies bastards even have a quick and easy way of nominating cats to the list, but God forbid someone should nominate Yeti! And God forbid they should include his YouTube playlist as one of his “social properties” if they do nominate him. (Yeti’s YouTube playlist, featuring his 100 or so videos, may be found at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA5D9D361DD2DEFA3.)
In conclusion, Yeti is not listed as one of the 50 most influential cats on the Internet and does not want to be, because any list that excludes him is a dumb, worthless list, although Yeti is NOT saying that if he was added to the list he might not grudgingly reconsider his position.
To repeat, Yeti does NOT want to be on a list that he is not on. Currently.
That is all.
Until the age of 34 I believed vampires were real.
The inside of my left eyelid itches when I smell pancakes.
To save money, I sometimes steal my tips back when the bartender isn’t looking.
I’m letting the hair on my ears grow out.
Sometimes when I burp it makes me nostalgic, because it smells like the Frito pie served by my high school cafeteria.
I often feel like my life is a prequel to a movie I hated.
I’m one of those people who think President Obama was born in a foreign country, but unlike most, I think that country is New Mexico.
Sometimes I sit on the toilet to combat feelings of loneliness.
Writing this is one of those times.
As we all now understand, the Internet is a morass of overhyped and/or misleading and/or deceptive content, the sole purpose of which is to expose you to,
A) Advertising, and;
2) Links leading to more bullshit content.
These stories, which exist only to sucker us into viewing them, are known as click-bait.
Coming up with the content itself is easy. You either just make shit up, or you wait until the last paragraph to weasel out of the premise teased by your headline: “But as it turns out, despite hundreds of Internet headlines to the contrary, Kim Kardashian did not have an alien vagina transplant.”
No, it’s coming up with the premises themselves, as trumpeted by the headlines, that are difficult. And that’s where we come in.
Together, we can help those poor burned-out click-bait headline writers come up with ways of enticing gullible idiots to click on links they know in their hearts are bullshit, but are so bored and desperate for a little novelty they’ll click on them anyway.
After all, who knows better than we do what gullible, bored and desperate idiots want?
10 CELEBRITIES YOU NEVER KNEW WERE HERMAPHRODITES
VIDEO: MAN CELEBRATES 6TH ANNIVERSARY OF PERMANENT ERECTION
AUSTRALIAN MIRACLE: KITTEN SAVES ORPHANS FROM GREAT WHITE SHARK
INTERNET HEALTH CRISIS: ARE YOU DOING THIS POTENTIALLY DEADLY SURFING?
ARE YOU ON THE LIST? IRS TO REFUND 27 BILLION OVERCHARGED TAXPAYERS
YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE HOW THIS WOMAN PLAYS THE KAZOO!
DEADLY DOG FOOD: IS YOUR POOCH PROTECTED?
YOU CAN DO THAT WITH AN IPHONE?!
5 HIDDEN SOURCES OF IMMENSE WEALTH IN YOUR HOME RIGHT NOW
DEADLY SMARTPHONE BACTERIA: SEE IF YOUR MODEL’S AFFECTED
DOES TYPO IN CONSTITUTION MAKE YOU PRESIDENT?
PHOTOS: TAYLOR SWIFT CAUGHT IN DEVIANT SEX STING?
MICHELLE: THAT THING BARACK DOES THAT I LOOOOOVE
OMG! DID LEBRON JUST HAVE A DICK SLIP?
Hive Mind Contributions:
Jose Altuve is the second baseman for the Houston Astros baseball club.
I wrote this song honoring Altuve in 2012, his first full season in the majors.
At that time, he was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal season.
Today, in spite of playing for the lowly Astros, he is on his way to becoming a bonafide star.
As of today, he leads the AL in hits, steals and batting average.
He has a fielding percentage of .997.
In short, he is flat out AWESOME.
But he’s been my favorite Astro since the day he first broke in.
He brought real excitement to Astros fans like me for the first time in a long time.
He brought serious skills, heart, smarts and guts to the Astros lineup.
He has what it takes to win, and he wants to win.
PS: This song is on my forthcoming ManChildATX album, My Mouse Finger Is Insured for $10 Million
OK, I need your help. Can you give me your expert aesthetic opinion?
So, I’m working hard to make all of the goodies I need to fulfill the rewards for people who backed the Kickstarter campaign for my second ManChildATX album, My Mouse Finger Is Insured for $10 Million. And I decided I may as well make a bumper sticker while I’m at it.
I came up with about a dozen designs and slogans I feel certain will help get more people interested in my music. But they’re all so good, I can’t decide which one to go with.
So I thought, “Let the people decide!” Tweet your vote to @richie_boy. Or email me.
Seriously. Oh, come on!
I just read a one-two punch about the unequal dispensation of justice in the U.S. We’ve been hearing a lot about income inequality lately. Justice inequality is income inequality’s bullying little brother who does much of the dirty work that keeps income inequality thriving.
Matt Taibbi’s new book is called The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap. I’d never read Taibbi before, although I’d always heard great things. Still, I wasn’t looking forward to a bitter polemic about how our justice system gives carte blanche to the haves and while putting the screws to the have-nots. But Taibbi’s book doesn’t read like a screed. He tells his stories and for the most part lets them speak for themselves.
Each chapter pairs tales of brazen corporate criminals on one side and some poor down-on-his-luck schnook on the other side. Time after time, the corporate criminals are not charged for their crimes, which harm countless lives and livelihoods by, for instance, bankrupting cities and government pension funds. They get off with fines, which are paid by their parent corporations, with no individual crooks ever held accountable, even when the evidence has them dead to rights. Meanwhile, the schnooks bear the full brunt of the criminal justice system for their trivial offenses, like driving without a license, or even imaginary offenses, like being stopped and frisked for no reason and then being charged for blocking pedestrian traffic on an empty New York sidewalk at 1am.
What Taibbi gets so right is how we all have come to accept and internalize the sliding scale of equal justice that is based on economic caste. Yeah, we might want to see wealthy crooks get what’s coming to them, but we understand that they have the money to hire lawyers and make any prosecution a costly roll of the dice that might come up snake eyes. Meanwhile, we accept what happens to the poor because, well, we Americans don’t like losers, especially when we know we could become losers ourselves in a heartbeat. So, yeah, we think, it sucks, but better them than us.
Then just as I finish the Taibbi book, the latest New Yorker arrives with Sarah Stillman’s article Get Out of Jail, Inc., (sub req) about the private probation industry. These for-profit companies strike deals with local and state courts who have seen their budgets slashed by state governments. The deal is, they manage the probation of minor offenders, thus keeping the government from having to spend the money to house them in jail. Even better, they shift the cost of administering probation from the courts to the penny-ante offenders themselves. Not only does it make money for the courts and these for-profit businesses, it keeps these minor offenders caught in a Kafka-esque nightmare where they are under the constant threat of incarceration if they don’t cough up cash to pay constantly compounding fees and penalties.
In both Taibbi’s book and Stillman’s article it’s clear that these effects may be driven less by ideology and more by systemic lethargy. It’s hard and often fail-prone to prosecute the rich; it’s easy to prosecute the poor. So justice inequality and income inequality join in a self-reinforcing cycle.
So you say you want to jump on the San Antonio Spurs’ NBA championship celebration bandwagon?
But you’re kinda cheap and you don’t wanna spring for officially licensed NBA gear?
Is that what’s bothering you, bunky?
Well, hold your head up high and walk tall, because Walgreens in Austin has just what you need. Just like the stores that sell the real thing, the day after the Spurs’ triumph, Walgreens had their shelves stocked with just-in-time merch made to help them cash in.
Yes, go forth proudly with your muscles flexed and your chest all puffed out, the better to display this knock-off t-shirt Walgreens let you have for only ten bucks.
Just be sure to remove the sticker that disclaims any resemblance—unintentional or otherwise—to any officially licensed sports team.
And have an answer ready for when anyone asks you what the hell your shirt means.
OK, so I was wrong; this is totally explicable. It references a comment Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made during the playoffs TWO YEARS AGO. So these shirts are not only unlicensed and treading the line of trademark infringement, they are two year old surplus goods.
Facebook has made it easier for you to determine which ads you see and which ads you don’t. In addition, Facebook will now show you the data it knows about you that determines why a particular ad was displayed on your Facebook page.
Accessing these new controls is easy. Here’s all you have to do:
1. Remove all clothing. Discard.
2. Remove all gold jewelry, package it and mail to:
Facebook Privacy Initiative
Gold Jewelry Stockpile
PO Box 19332300223345
Omaha, NE 68101
3. Slather your body with electro-luminescent paint. Perform the rest of this procedure only under ultraviolet light.
4. Simultaneously press the control, alt, delete, function, option, shift, tab, F3, F5, F7 and F11 keys.
5. Oh, wait. We forgot to mention that you should have the Facebook preferences pane open in your browser. The only browser you can use for this process is Opera, which you probably don’t have, so…
6. Go download Opera, install it and open it. Then pull up your Facebook preferences pane. We’ll wait.
7. OK, now repeat steps 1-4.
8. Continue pressing the the control, alt, delete, function, option, shift, tab, F3, F5, F7 and F11 keys as you page through the Facebook preferences pane until you reach the panel titled “Confirmation.”
9. Click “No, I do not wish to confirm.”
10. Repeat steps 1-8.
11. Click “Yes, I most certainly do wish to confirm.”
12. Close your browser.
13. Shut down your computer.
14. Wash off the electroluminescent paint. Do not towel yourself off. Instead…
15. Huddle in the fetal position on the floor of your bathroom while naked and sopping wet for a minimum of 12 minutes.
16. Send a hand written, notarized request by registered mail indicating that you DO want to opt in to the new privacy controls to:
Facebook Privacy Initiative
Written Request Stockpile
PO Box 1304402203304403
Omaha, NE 68122
17. Wait approximately 18 weeks for acknowledgement of your request. If you do not receive an acknowledgement of your request within 18 weeks, repeat steps 1-16.
18. If you receive acknowledgement of your original request after you sent in a duplicate request, send a letter of apology to:
Facebook Privacy Initiative
Duplicate Request Apology Processing
PO Box 1204402203404402159
Omaha, NE 68133
19. Once you have received acknowledgement of your request and have no other requests in process, you can expect to receive confirmation that your request has been approved within approximately 18 weeks after receiving request acknowledgement. This confirmation will include instructions for how to actually use the new privacy controls. Save a copy of these instructions, as they are a bit more complicated than this process, but it’s nothing you shouldn’t be able to handle.
20. Oh, and one more thing: only use the Feldspar brand of electro-luminescent paint. If you used any other brand, please repeat steps 1-19.
AND IT’S JUST THAT EASY!
Dear People (the magazine, not the species):
I’m sorry, but can you please send over here someone to scrape me off the floor? I mean, if you are going to drop bombshells on me like the news of Antorio Bandana and Menalie Griffin’s impending S-P-L-I-T on me, you can’t just expect me to go on with my daily life without some kind of extra support. Like maybe a shot of adrenaline to the heart.
Because, you see, I was one of those who believed that what Antorio and Menalie had was real. I mean, you can just look at Melarie and see she is all about the real, yo. Sister don’t play, am I right?
I will be so disappointed if I find out that Antolio has left her for a younger woman, or for one whose scars don’t show quite as much. Say it ain’t so, Antsy!
So, yeah, until you guys see fit to send someone over to help me recover from the shock, I’ll be lying on the floor in a helpless pile of sadness goo.
Nice pics of Bey’s new look, BTW.
Yrs vry trly, etc., etc.,
WASHINGTON — The bear was loose again on Tuesday.
Twice in two days, President Obama has veered from his official schedule and shaken off the confines of White House security to get a taste of life on the outside. At one point he left his Secret Service detail, the reporters who cover his every move and even his own staff scrambling to keep up.
“The bear is loose,” Mr. Obama likes to say of these unplanned outings, comparing himself to a circus bear off his chain.
On Monday, it was an impromptu stroll with his chief of staff to a nearby Starbucks, where the president had a venti-size cup of tea, sending reporters and members of his senior staff scurrying around downtown Washington in search of Mr. Obama as he shook hands with passers-by…
Blocks away, another aide who had rushed to intercept the president at a Dunkin’ Donuts stood gazing around on a street corner, cellphone to ear, realizing too late that she was in the wrong place.
On Tuesday, it was lunch at a burger joint in suburban Virginia, FireFlies, with Arne Duncan, the education secretary. Mr. Obama admired babies and shook hands with patrons, but warned that he would not be off his chain long enough for pictures with everyone. “I’ll be here too long,” Mr. Obama said at the restaurant, in Alexandria. “I’ve got to get back to work pretty quick.”
NYT: Obama’s Moments of Freedom Send His Aides Scrambling
10:17—The Bear enters Murtaugh’s Hardware, approaches several customers and asks, “Hey, do you know where I can get a five-cent screw,” cracking self up repeatedly.
10:22—The Bear visits Aaron’s Sporting Goods, tries on several Speedos and is overheard asking, “Say, does my skinny ass make these trunks look fat?” “Later, bitches,” he says as a parting shot as he exits, cackling.
10:25—The Bear spends several minutes mesmerized by a street mime, drops a 10-dollar bill in the performer’s hat, and says quietly, “You had me at the glass box, dude. You had me at the glass box.”
10:31—A block and a half away, the Bear purchases a set of curtain rod finials at Pottery Barn, exits as he is overheard complaining, “Sold in sets of two only. What a load of horseshit. I just need one goddamn finial, for Christ’s sake. Talk about waste, fraud and abuse.”
10:39—The Bear quickly downs a couple Bud Lights at The Hoop & Pigskin sports bar. Bystanders claim he tells the bartnder, “Hey, I’m off duty for at least another 10 minutes, so I’m not worried about it. Hit me again, good sir.” Leaves a $2 tip, stifles a belch, exits.
10:46—The advance and follow teams finally catch up to the Bear just as he is leaving a fragrance store holding up a small package and exclaiming, “Paco Rabanne—that’s my jam!”
10:49—Bear back on the chain. “Show’s over, folks,” he manages to shout to startled pedestrians, as a member of the Secret Service detail shoves him into the back of his limousine. Damage control commences.
There are just 10 days—yikes!—until my Kickstarter campaign deadline. I’m raising funds to release my second ManChildATX album on CD and to promote it. My campaign started off great, but where success once seemed inevitable, well, it no longer does. In fact, at the pace new backers are joining, it ain’t lookin’ too good. I blame myself. I haven’t given you enough good reasons to help. So here are 10 more:
1. My album may be really good. In fact I think it’s great. But unless I reach my goal, we’ll never know. Won’t that be a major sadz? Allow me to answer that: yes, it will.
2. You’ll defy Newton’s Law. Ol’ Isaac said an object at rest tends to remain at rest. My fundraising total has not budged for days. You can counter that inertia.
3. You’ll be helping keep Austin weird. I’m weird. I’ve lived in Austin since the Pleistocene era. You do the math.
4. You’ll get something back. My backers are entitled to some super-groovy rewards, starting at just $5 for a download of my album. $12 gets you a CD. Check it out, homes.
5. I’ll beam a private mini-concert to you from my bathroom. For just a $100 donation. See, I told you I was weird.
6. You can help a lot by doing just a little. If I don’t make my campaign goal, my Kickstarter doesn’t fund, I don’t get any money, and there will be no backer rewards. The dozens of people who have taken the big step to back my campaign will have done it all for naught. Your small donation can help avoid that travesty.
7. It’s super easy to do. Go to my campaign page. Watch the video, choose your reward, then click the big green button that says, “Back This Campaign.” It’ll be like a rocket sled on greased rails from there on out. You’ll be in and out of there in 5 minutes or so.
8. You’ll feel good, over and over. Through Kickstarter, I’ll keep you informed of the progress of my project. Having backed a number of projects myself, I’ve found that these communiques help bring back the warm feelings I got when I first backed someone’s campaign. They help me feel invested in someone’s creative success. That feels good. Try it.
9. You’ll support a new music business model. You’ve probably heard that the music business is dying. But the big record companies still make money, just not as much. It’s we musicians who are getting squeezed. Kickstarter is one way we can take our music directly to the people who can appreciate it. I believe in this model, but I need your help to make it work for me.
10. You’ll alter my brain chemistry. My highly scientific research shows that making someone happy makes you happy, too. And if I make my campaign goal in the next 10 days, I will be very, very happy. With just a couple of clicks you can help bathe my synapses in that sweet, sweet, serotonin. Hit me!
Thank you so much for your help.
Rich a/k/a ManChildATX
Dear Pathological Liar:
My fiancé has been after me to tell him about my romantic history. He thinks sharing the details of our pasts will bring us closer. I’m reluctant to do that because for several years I made an excellent living as a dominatrix with an exclusive clientele, one of whom was the founder of the startup where my fiancé now works. I’m afraid to tell him that the fancy car I drive is a direct result of spending many hours castigating his boss for being a failure while keeping him chained to my toilet. Any advice?
Not a Slave to Convention
Why are you afraid to tell your fiancé that you made a lot of money doing exactly what he fantasizes about doing everyday—humiliating his boss? Your situation reminds me of this one time when I was working at my dad’s high-end bordello in Monaco. There was this dominatrix there, Madame Stiletto—she was like a mother to me, albeit a mother who wore mostly latex. In fact, it was Madame Stiletto who staked me the money to buy my first European soccer team, which I used as a front to launder the proceeds from my counterfeit couture company. Ah, memories. Anyway, sorry. To get back to your problem, I think you should go ahead and tell the guy. But maybe chain him to the toilet first, in case he has an adverse reaction.
Dear Pathological Liar:
This may sound like a strange request, but I need help learning how to lie. I am just patently unable to tell a lie to give myself an advantage in my personal and business relationships. It’s like I have a mental block that forces me to tell the truth, even when telling a lie would help me come out on top. To give you an example, the other day I bought a pack of gum and paid with a five dollar bill. The clerk gave me change for a twenty—and I brought the mistake to her attention! I just handed back fifteen bucks that I could’ve kept in my pocket. What the hell is wrong with me, and can you help?
Honest to a Fault
No, I can’t help you. Help you learn how to lie?! Are you kidding? Who do you think I am, some kind of lying guy who lies all the time? Dude, I NEVER lie, because lying is wrong. Get me? I’m going to say it again slowly so you will understand: Lying. Is. Wrong.
I’m actually shocked and offended that you would ask me such a thing. You kind of remind me of my dad’s former business partner. He and Dad owned Walt Disney World for a few years, back when Disney couldn’t do anything without royally screwing it up. My dad and his partner were the ones responsible for bringing back Mickey Mouse, Snow White and all of those other characters that Disney misguidedly jettisoned. Also, they were the ones who got the idea to have amusement park style rides and stuff. Anyway, this partner of my dad’s was always trying to get my dad to cut corners and even to tell lies, all just to make a few more bucks.
“Look,” my dad said, “we’re already billionaires several times over. And Disney just offered to buy the theme park back from us for 18 times what we paid for it just three or four years ago. So why would you fib? It’s a sin!”
Eventually that guy really burned my dad, perjuring himself in federal court by testifying that Dad was the one who cut the deal with the South American bird smuggling ring. Our family went from having billions of dollars to being penniless in an afternoon. Literally. I remember a caravan of about 50 armored cars pulling up in front of our house and government men in grey uniforms rolling bricks of thousand dollar bills out in those heavy duty wheelbarrows you see at construction sites. My mom, the Olympic figure skater Peggy Fleming? It just about broke her heart.
So, teach you to lie? No, sir. I’d rather throw this one-of-a-kind million dollar Rolex on my wrist right down the garbage disposal.
Breast cancer affects so many women every year. Many of these women get mastectomies, either out of necessity or as a precaution against recurrences. Plastic surgeons can perform breast augmentation to restore a woman’s shape, but as I learned from this surprisingly affecting NYT video, many women don’t feel their surgeons can do an adequate job to restore the appearance of their nipples. The video profiles a woman who visits tattoo artist Vinnie Meyers, of Little Vinnie’s Tattoo in Finksburg MD, to have nipples tattooed on her reconstructed breasts. Meyers says that nipple tattoos have become his accidental specialty. Women from all over the country and overseas visit him to “get a Vinnie.” Beautiful.
The Kickstarter campaign for my second ManChildATX album is entering it’s final two weeks, and, well, things have slowed down a bit. ManChildATX himself explains in this video:
According to this really old article on WebMD, almost everyone experiences earworms. This is the sensation of persistently hearing a song in your head that isn’t actually playing. It’s like the song is “stuck.” It can be a song you recently heard on the radio; often it’s a song that you find unbearably catchy, even though subjectively you may hate it. Earworms were a big factor in driving me out of my spin class (along with laziness).
I almost ALWAYS have some kind of song playing in my head. Some of these are songs I heard no more than once or twice when I was a little kid. You might say that my musical memory is uncanny, as long as it’s understood that “uncanny” is a synonym for “not something you can make money from.”
Yesterday, I found myself repeatedly whistling a phrase from a song and when I stopped to think about what it was, I realized it was by the band Chicago, which I loathe. I feel like I’ve subjected myself to enough Chicago for any human lifetime. One of my rules for happy living is to avoid hearing any Chicago music whenever and wherever possible. So I was pretty horrified to find myself earwormed by one of their radio hits, a song I probably haven’t heard in over 20 years! Aaargh!
One tried-and-true way of getting rid of an earworm—in fact, maybe the only way—is to think of another catchy song that you can tolerate having stuck in your head.
So I turned to good ol’ Tommy Roe, and he did the trick. For some reason, singing or whistling Sweet Pea can drive earworms out of my brain without lodging itself in there instead. Or if it does lodge itself, at least it doesn’t bug me. Which is funny, because I could totally see this being the kind of song that might earworm someone else to insanity. Oh, well.
If you can’t handle Sweet Pea, I encourage you to figure out your own earworm killer and keep it at the ready. And now, heeeeere’s Tommy!