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3/31/12

Pre-Movie Review: My Thoughts on the Moments Before The Hunger Games

I'm an avid book reader, and The Hunger Games was a very fun read.  When I heard it was coming out as a movie, I knew I would see it within the first week.

And I rarely do that.  The last movie series I HAD TO SEE RIGHT AWAY was the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and NO, I didn't dress up).

So, the Monday after the release, my girlfriend and I went to see The Hunger Games in theaters.

The movie was good, although there were some minor changes from the book (there always is in every adaptation, get over it purists...).  What made this moviegoing experience memorable was the 30 minutes leading up to the start of the movie.  This is not a movie review, this is a pre-movie review.

We arrived a half hour early, to ensure good seating.  Showings were every 30 minutes, and most people were trying to cram into the 6:30 screening while we opted for 7:00.

We get to the screening room, and head to the 2nd row from the back.  This row has about 10 feet separating it from the back row, which means nobody kicking our seats.

(I went to see The Phantom Menace in 3D earlier this year, and almost beat the living shit out of a 10yo who wouldn't stop kicking my seat...)

We sat in the center.  5 minutes later, a group of teenage girls came and sat in the same row:


Exits on the left and right.  The came from the left, crossed my gf and I, and sat to the right of us.

They would get up to go get snacks.  Get up to pee before the movie.  Get up to find their other friends.  Every time, instead of going to the closer exit (on the right) they would go in front of us on their way to the left exit.

Seven times, they did this, before the movie even started...

My loving girlfriend remarked "Remember to bring a squirt bottle next time.  If it's good for training cats, maybe it's good for training teens..."

I love her...

(And some warning.  If you frequent the Edwards Movie Theater in Idaho Falls and get squirted with water in the future, it's us.)

As the previews started, my snarkiness grew.


The trailer for the 2nd Snow White movie this season came out, with Bella Swan as the heroine.  I'm no Twilight fan, so I'll be rooting for the Evil Queen this movie...


Johnny Depp (in another Tim Burton movie) playing a Vampire in the 70's, staying with an odd hippie family.  Oh, the hijinks will ensue!!  And what, no Helena Bonham Carter?  Did she die or something?  She's in all the Burton/Depp movies lately!!


Next was Prometheus, which looks like an "oops, we woke up some Aliens that are gonna kill us" type of movie.  Oh, it's made by Ridley Scott?  That makes sense...

What I loved most about the Prometheus trailer were the aliens.  They look like mutated Heffalumps from Winnie the Pooh...


I turn to my girlfriend and say "Holy shit, Pooh was right.  The heffalumps ARE going to get us!"  She laughed.  The people in front of me roared.  I made friends.  It was awesome.

A couple of shitty previews later, the movie started.  Teen girls played with their phones, and got yelled at by a crapton of movie goers.  It made me smile.  The movie was engaging, and would be entertaining for people who haven't read the book.  They explain a lot to make sure nobody gets lost.

But... of course the TwiHards are already getting on board.  I saw some girls this week with "Team Peeta" and "Team Gale" shirts on (when you see the movie or read the books, it will make more sense) when it dawned on me.  This movie is part Twilight, part Running Man, and a little bit of 1984 mixed in.  Nothing is really original in this story, but the mashup of themes works well.

Oh well.  Pass the popcorn (and the squirt bottle).

3/30/12

Spotted in Idaho Falls - Another Political Nitwit

As you may already know, Idaho is a very RED state. I don't take to political opinions too much when I'm in town because I'm more of a centrist.

Which means I'm a liberal, in the eyes of these people. Couple that with the fact I'm from California, means I'm one of the worst kinds...

I see a lot of political bumper stickers/decals on cars when I travel.  Montana and Utah have a good mix of red and blue, but you don't see a lot of pro-dem signage in Idaho

Especially when the anti-Obama feel of this area is so... passionate.  The locals have no problem sharing their feelings with you, especially if they think you disagree with them.

Driving along, I spot this truck.  He has a LOT of anti-Obama on his truck, and the red lights were long.  I sat behind him and read, when I spotted this:

Derp?

Dead-center on his truck is a big typo...

Now, I don't mind it when people share their political feelings.  But when you do it in a way that makes you look like an idiot?  You're only hurting your cause, bro.

3/29/12

Can We Stop Saying "That Is So Gay?" Unless, You Know, It Really IS Gay...

Growing up as a 90's kid, the phrase "That is so gay" was ingrained into my vocabulary.  Every now and then it still slips out, but as I matured, I realized not everything is "gay."

For example, a lot of my High School and College friends I would call "gay" were actually straight, while the ones that didn't get called names actually were.

I try not to use that phrase as a derogatory term anymore.  I've grown up.  But a lot of people still do.  And, in Idaho Falls (remember, 20 years behind the rest of the nation) it's the mid-90's and things are still "gay" in this town.

This is a PSA I saw late one night on TV.  Wanda Sykes nails it, when she tries to get some kids to stop saying things are gay:


So, kids, stop using 'gay' as a descriptor for dumb and stupid things.  It's insulting, and you never know who's feelings you're going to hurt.

However.... if something is truly gay... it's still ok.  For example:

Gay Banana Man Woman Fellatio Sexual Overtones
Man + Banana = Borderline Gay Overtones...

Bravo Network?  Totally gay.  But that is deliberate.

Gay manscaping joey friends tv eyebrows plucking
Over-manscaping, or over-plucking your eyebrows?  FAAAAABULOUS!!

Seinfeld Puffy Gay Pirate 19th Century Shirt
Puffy Shirts are kind of gay... unless you're a pirate.  Or in the 19th century.

Justin Bieber in a hoodie Beliebers
Lesbian hipsters are totally gay.  But they're lesbians, so duh...

And Pro Wrestling?  I mean, COME ON....

So what do you think?  Can we be done using 'gay' in the wrong context?  It's so much more fun using it correctly...

3/28/12

Canadian Call-girls? Brothels Now Legal in Ontario Province

Earlier this week, the province of Ontario, Canada passed a law making brothels and escorts legal.  While soliciting sex is still against the law, Escort Agencies and brothels will no doubt be popping up left and right.

Without sounding sexist, I am ok with this.

You see, while some consider this a sin, I see it as a business.  If women want to make money with their bodies, that is their choice.  I don't think I would ever do it (if I were a woman) and I don't think I would ever buy a prostitute (I'd like to think I can get it for free), but I fully support those who want to go down this road.

One thing brothels in Nevada have taught me is an age-old business rule:  Competition is good.

For people looking for Escorts in Toronto, this means more choices and (in theory) lower prices.  If one girl quotes you $50 for a half-and-half, go down the block to see if you can get it for $40.  Let the bidding begin!!

Other possible benefits include a surplus in jobs (not only for women... pimps, bodyguards and bookkeepers too!) as well as an increase in tax revenues.  If it's legal, it can be taxed (which is one of the biggest pro-arguments for legalizing other things, such as marijuana).

If they follow STD screenings like the Adult Film industry does, it will also be a 'safe' place for an extramarital fling.  If your spouse is going to cheat on you, you don't want them bringing home some odd infection, do you?

What are your thoughts?  Are you going to go look up 'Toronto Escorts agency' because of this? Is this an abomination? Do you just not care? Share your opinions with a comment below!

3/27/12

Have You Seen The Masturbating Grass Monster?


Clorox 2 Grass Stain Monster Masturbating Caught Awkward Fap
Yes, you saw right.  Clorox bleach will help defend you against masturbating grass-monsters, but the bleach won't take the image away...

The first time I saw this commercial, I was stunned.  A patch of grass was caught rubbing one out into some clothes... gets caught, rubs it a few more times, then runs away.

And I wasn't the only one amused by this.

Comments on the youtube video include:

"It's like when your mom catches you and you have no choice but to finish"


"So... you wanna cuddle or what?"


"Lock eyes and finish... like a boss"


"So close, but yet so far"


"I TOLD YOU TO KNOCK FIRST!!1!"

"I don't know much about grass stain anatomy but Im pretty sure that he is not jacking off unless, of course, he has genitalia under his chin. This little grass stain is not innocent but come on. He is obviously not jacking off and anyone who watches this and sees that needs to get their mind out of the gutter."

"It's beating off in to a kid's shirt! What is he, Catholic?"

"The grass monster was about to make another stain... a hot liquid stain..."


and much more...

Some argued that this little guy wasn't really masturbating, but most thought he was.  Probably the guys, since they recognize the grunting, the look when you get caught, and the reluctance to finish anyway (I mean, if you're close...).

What do you think?  Is this a 'dirty' commercial (ha! pun!) or are people reading too much into it?

And.... can you think of anything better to say that hasn't already been said?

Please leave a comment below.  Either sharing your opinion or leaving a funny comment (or both).

3/26/12

An Interactive Post - Ask a Mormon!

Mormons LDS Magnets Lol Meme 4chan ICP How do they work?
As you may or may not know, I love to write about my state, and the fun little culture clashes I run into.

This usually means a lot of blogging about mormons.

Well, I do have a few mormon friends, and one of them has agreed to do a guest post for me.

Her topic?  Ask a mormon.

This is your chance to ask a willing member of the LDS Church anything.  She has a good sense of humor, so this could be fun.

There are no limits, but try not to be too douchey about the questions.  No "what is wrong with you" or "cultish" stuff, just curious questions you have about the church.

Like here's mine:

"Any Christian, or anyone who has seen The Ten Commandments movie knows the story of the golden calf and the 'graven images' commandment.  Yet, on every temple, there is a golden statue of the angel Moroni.  Why isn't this considered to be a graven image or false idol?"

This is something I'd actually like to know, because you see those little golden trumpeters a lot in the Idaho/Utah area.

So, ask away by leaving a comment below!  You can comment anonymously if you like, and I'll get the questions to my Mormon friend when we have a good amount!  Expect her response in the days/weeks to come.

3/25/12

WARNING: Sometimes I Say Crass Things

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends. 

~A Midsummer Night's Dream




If you have been following my antics for long, you know I sometimes come across as:

Blunt

Crass

Offensive

And it's just the way I am.  This is my little slice of the internet, and I like to share what's on my mind.  Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's mildly embarrassing, and a lot of times it stirs up differing opinions.  And over 820 of you are ok with that.

But... sometimes I manage to piss people off.

And I managed to do that Saturday, but not here.  On Twitter.

On Twitter, I am not a part of the #TeamFollowBack brigade, because I want people following me who actually, you know, care what I say... My followers.  People that follow me 'just because' seem to not last for long.

I tweeted a joke:

Offensive, yes.  But doesn't it make some sense???

It was meant as a joke, but of course it got some flack.


When I see someone I'm following say something I find offensive, I just unfollow them.  I've unfollowed racist people, religious kooks, and just plain idiots.  She didn't unfollow.  She decided it would be more productive to flame my twitter account and tattle to as many people as possible...

I got fed up, and tweeted a general disclaimer.


Like most things I say, some people liked it, some people didn't.  Such is life.  And (thankfully) I'm down one follower who thinks I need to be policed and corrected whenever I say something she doesn't approve of.

Alcoholism is no laughing matter, and neither is obesity.  But if you don't like fat jokes, go yell at Gabriel Iglesias too.  It doesn't matter if he's overweight, he shouldn't be saying those jokes!

THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

I'm sorry, I grew up chubby.  Even when I was 'skinny' I still had little man-boobs.  I was teased and ridiculed as a kid, and I sucked it up.  I refuse to play the political-correctness game, because I don't think we should treat the world with kid-gloves.  I am also trying to lose weight, and the allure and convenience of fast food makes things tough...

That being said, I don't bully.  I don't prey on the weak.  I have obese friends, alcoholic friends, and severely depressed friends (and family).  I show love and support to them, but I still don't pull my punches around them.  They appreciate it, because they (like most people I know) don't like being babied.

Sorry, Chelle, that I offended you.  But live with it.  If I ruined your life, then that's your problem for letting someone on the internet get through your armor.  Take things you read online with a grain of salt.  If you don't like it, move on.

You're allowed to your views, and I'm allowed to say what I want to say.  Bye.

(Am I right with my stance?  Is she right with hers?  Is it actually possible that we're both right in our own way???  Sound off below...)

3/24/12

I've Always Wanted To Visit Great Brittan

Spotted in the maps section of an Idaho Falls Book Store:

Great Britain vs Great Brittan Idaho Falls Barnes and Noble Bookstore Typo

If I looked hard enough, I bet I could do one of these 'oops' posts every day...

3/23/12

The Day I Woke Up As A T-Rex


Yes, that was me earlier this week.

I fell asleep as a man, and woke up as a T-Rex.

As in... my arms were completely useless to me.

You see, I have trouble sleeping on the road.  I don't know if it's the strange bed, strange environment or what.  I toss, I turn, and I get on-and-off insomnia.

The other night, I took some melatonin with a beer chaser.  It knocked me out.  I fell asleep with my arms above my head, and stayed in that position all night.

When I woke up, my arms were completely numb.

(And it took me a few seconds to fully wake up enough to realize it..)

I use my phone as an alarm clock, and it has a 'slide to turn off' function.

Alarm goes off.

I roll towards the phone.  I try to turn it off, and my arms flail.

I reach, I paw, I try to turn off the alarm, and I just can't do it.  My alarm also has a 'get louder gradually' function, and it was getting louder and louder.

And, as the blood started flowing back into my limbs, I started to hurt.  IT STUNG.

Arms still flailing, I finally turn off the alarm.

With my nose.

About a minute later, my arms are back to normal (a little tingly, but normal enough) and I go about my day.

I am very very glad I was alone and on the road when that happened.  If my girlfriend was there and witnessed my struggles, I'd never live it down.

3/22/12

A White Supremacist Sheriff?!? Northern Idaho Turns Into the Opposite of Blazing Saddles...

Since moving to Idaho, I have noticed a lot of, um, white in the area.

And I'm not just talking snow.

Granted, some major metropolitan areas do have a decent amount of racial diversity, but most areas are heavily Caucasian.

My town is well over 90% white.  I know a few Aryan Knights (friends of friends, and such) and wasn't surprised when I read this news story.

Apparently a white supremacist in Bonner County, Idaho is running for sheriff.  He's a known racist, and is quoted as saying it shouldn't influence his decision-making as sheriff....

...what...

I remember watching Blazing Saddles as a kid, and not getting any of the racially-charged jokes.  As an adult, I watched it again and "got it."  It's still one of my favorite movies, but I hoped it was a true fiction.

It's the 21st fucking century.  Why is racism still alive and thriving???

And now, in Northern Idaho, the opposite of Blazing Saddles could be happening.  He's not sheriff yet (thankfully) but the idea is worrisome.

He is one of three republicans running, and the winner will go against an independent candidate for the final vote.  He has a 25% chance of being "the law" in his county...

But, then again, this is Idaho.  Why am I not surprised???

Racist Snowman White Supremacist KKK Idaho Racism
During Winter 2010, an Idaho man made a KKK snowman in his lawn, and was shocked when people complained.

He didn't know what the big deal was...

It's that kind of aloof-ness that seems to run rampant in this part of the country.  It's the "stay out of my life, guv-mint" type that shoots trespassers on sight, has six 'wives' and probably has a cache of claymore grenades stocked away...

...you know, just in case...

Is the average Idahoan racist?  My guess is no, but there seems to be more xenophobic racists in my neck of the woods than any other place I've visited.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go dust off my Blazing Saddles DVD.  WHERE DA WHITE WOMEN AT?!?

Edit:  I got railed-on by a former Idahoan, who has read 3 posts and thinks I hate this state and everyone in it.  Those of you that have been reading my stuff for months know otherwise.  Ignore this and ignore her.


To other new people, Idaho is awesome.  There are more good people in this state than bad, and the countryside is gorgeous.  However, kooks like the people mentioned above are fairly common.  Because of the lack of political correctness, they have no problem showing it either.  I try to share both the good and the bad, but, like the news channels, the bad ones seem to be more entertaining...


I don't like the "if you don't like it, get out" attitude, because that's just enabling asshats like this by leaving them alone.  I'd rather fight fire with fire.  I support the strip club opening next to the southern baptist church.  I support the gay bars in Southern Idaho who open up, despite the bigoted protests.  If a mosque opens up next to a mormon temple, I'd grin.  


To the rednecks, religious idealists and racists, this isn't just your area.  You have to share it with us, just like I have to share it with you.  DEAL WITH IT.

3/21/12

Here's Your Sign, Idaho Edition

During my travels, I see a lot of funny things.  I see mountain ranges called "The Crazy Mountains,"  I see bumper stickers that cover cars from head to toe, and I see a lot of odd signs.

A LOT of odd signs.

Either misspelled or just plain funny, there seems to be a lot of oddness in the Idaho area, but most of the madness comes from my fine hometown of Idaho Falls.

Some of these are new, some of these are not, but all of them made me laugh:

Exact Change Only, please.

Written on the wall in an Idaho bar...

Readerboard at a Vet's office.

A bridal shop in downtown IF.  I called and asked to
speak with Treasure, since it must be her store, and got
yelled at...

A local snowplow business...

Kia sells trucks!  And can spelt gud!

Your welcome.

Another YOUR!  AAAAARGH!!

What's a fire distinguisher???

Makes total sense!

...win.
Do you have any odd or funny signs in your town?  If so, please share their message with a comment below...

3/20/12

Twitter War: Brandon vs Beneful

I wrote a post yesterday about a Pet Food company who makes lousy food, but fantastic commercials.

In a tirade, I decided to put "@Beneful" in the title post.  I knew it would be tweeted over and over, and I did it to get under their skin.

It worked.

Fantastically well, in my own opinion.

Halfway through the day, I get a response from Beneful, and so do a good number of people who tweeted my post:


I go on Beneful's twitter site to see this:

51 followers?  How much are you paying your Social Media Manager?!?

So, since I had their attention, I decided to provoke them a little more:


You know you've won an argument when your opponent retreats into their buzzwords and canned responses.

And no, I'm not going to call the customer service hotline to address my concerns.  I'd need to go to St. Louis and smack around some nutritional executives to get anything done, and I don't think an 800 number is going to make that happen.


I have been in the pet industry for 10 years now.  I used to work for a distributor in California who sold Purina products, and who happily kicked them to the curb.  In the 21st century, you get it or you don't.  Giants like Purina, Pedigree, Science Diet and Iams were all giants in the 20th century, but...

I don't have my old cell phone from the 90's anymore.

I don't use my old Apple IIe from the 80's anymore.  (Although, the original Oregon Trail is still pretty awesome)

As technology advanced and improved, I adapted with it.  Well, pet food has done the same.

Holistic.  Grain-Free.  Limited Ingredient Diets.  Raw Foods.  All Natural.  Human Quality Ingredients.  THESE concepts are driving 21st century thinking, and unless these grocery brands can adapt, they're going to whither away.

So, to any Purina representatives reading this.  I have sold your products.  I have sold against your products (and continue to do so... thanks for making my job easy).  I know you, and I know your competition.

I read trade magazines, and have seen sales reports. They're not that good.

You have millions of dollars at your disposal, and can recapture the market.  If you are serious about being a good food for good pets, email me at lostinidaho@ymail.com.  I can help you put your money where your mouth is (for a nominal fee, of course) and become what your commercials say you are.

Stop using the smoke and mirrors.  Stop saying corn/byproducts/corn as the first 3 ingredients is "nutritionally complete and balanced" and therefore is good enough!

Stop being a "good enough" food, and start being a good food.  We're in the age of 'pet parents' now, and dogs aren't just animals anymore.  Stop feeding animals, and start feeding people's 'furry children.'

...or whither away and die.  Quickly, so the masses can start looking for something better to feed their animals.

Come at me, Purina.  Come at me.

3/19/12

Why Pet Food Commercials Piss Me Off (I'm looking at YOU, @Beneful)

Flipping through the channels, I see this.


I love this commercial.  Everything about it, until the 55 second mark when a grocery-store bag of crap enters the screen.


The reason I hate these types of commercials is because they pander to audiences, in making you believe that this is good food.

Let's review, shall we?  The top 6 ingredients for Beneful Original are Ground Yellow Corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat (for flavoring), and rice flour.

Does that sound appetizing?  Any of it?

Have you ever seen a dog running through a cornfield, excited and looking hungrily at the stalks?

How many people do you know with gluten intolerances, or who like eating chicken by-products?

The first 3 ingredients by themselves sound like you're feeding chicken-infused tortilla chips...

But, it gets better.  Assume you have a 60lb dog.  A 31.1lb bag will set you back $28.99, and recommended feeding is about 5-5.5 cups per day.  It's costing you $1.04 per day to feed your dog, and over $370 per year.

$370 a year, to feed your dog garbage.

Well, a better food costs more, doesn't it???

Nope, my unbiased ass picked a premium food at random.  Meet Premium Edge Chicken & Rice formula.  (I'm not endorsing one single brand of food, any 'good' food will do)

Top 6 ingredients:  Chicken, chicken meal, ocean fish meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, white rice.

The top 3 ingredients are all meat, with #1 being REAL meat.  (Meat meal isn't bad, but it's nice to see real meat as well.)  No byproducts.  No corn.  Ingredients that sound like stuff *I* would eat!

Now, for price.  A 35lb bag of Premium Edge will cost you $39.99.

Whoa whoa whoa, it DOES cost more!  Right?

Wrong.  It's healthier, so you're feeding less.  Serving size for a 60lb dog is 2.5-3 cups a day, which means daily cost of feeding is $0.76.  That's over a quarter a day in savings.  Yearly cost for this food is just under $275.

Almost $100 in yearly savings, to feed a better food for your dog.  (and that's just one medium-sized dog.  Imagine households with 2...3... 4 dogs or more...)

Why don't the commercials say that??

Oh, that's right, they put all their money into marketing, and not nutrition.

Long story short, don't buy your pet food at a grocery store or at Target/Walmart.  Don't pay for TV commercials, and don't trust a brand you see on TV (at least, not without some due diligence).  Read labels, ask about 'costs per feeding' and make sure you do right by your dog.

Not only will you save money on food, but feeding a healthier diet means less vet bills.  Less poop to clean up.  Less to feed means a bag lasts longer.  It's really win/win/win.



Anyway, there's my rant, but it's a rant who's been selling/marketing/analyzing dozens of pet foods over the last 10 years.  In my personal life, I work for a company that sells a 'grocery' brand.  Sales or not, commissions or not, I would never recommend crap like Beneful to friends or family.

Which is why I can't, in good conscience, push brands like that to my clients.  It may hurt my wallet, but I do what's right.

What do you feed your pet?  And why?


p.s. - It seems that I got Purina's attention.  The @Beneful twitter account messaged me and two of my followers, asking us to contact them to discuss...

Click to enlarge...

Sorry, there's nothing really to discuss.  Your commercials are fantastic, your pet food is not.  If you'd like to hire me on as a nutritional consultant, feel free to email me at lostinidaho@ymail.com.  For now, I'll enjoy selling against you in my day job, and advocating against grocery-brands here.   Cheers!