Bad grammar sucks.

I’m guilty as anyone with bad grammar. It’s much easier, of course to correct mistakes as I write, however proofreading is not my strong point. I too, have made the their/they’re mistake, just because my brain seems to work faster than my typing fingers and my eyes didn’t catch it until it was too late. And what am I going to do, delete a whole Facebook post and then have to type it over on the stupid phone? I don’t think so.

Most of us write like we speak, though, and lacking the ability to correct ourselves when we type, there are some horrid examples of grammar abuse online.

Selfie, twerk, totes, adorbs, piccies…

If the aliens were once here examining us for inclusion into some “intelligent species” club, surely they have changed their minds.


It’s BETTER Friday!

Sure, there’s Good Friday, where according to mythology, a man was crucified and died to save the faithful. His followers are happy, and rejoice.

But – there’s a much better reason to celebrate, apparently. That same religious figure’s birth is 40 days away, and that means it’s time to be as modern-day Christian as possible!

Screw helping the poor and being a better person and turning the other cheek, It’s Black Friday!

It’s the day people yell at store managers for not having enough of an item, a day to fight over shitty towels that were marked down from $2 to $1.74! A day to fight over sheets, trample pregnant women, shoot other people over parking spaces, and abandon your family on what used to be a nice relaxing day without the need for gift giving.

I worked Black Friday as Wal-Mart security, and I saw some of these things (thank goodness no shootings in the parking lot), and my faith in humanity has not been restored. I think if we ever break the light-speed barrier, a la Star Trek, on Black Friday there will be ships warping out of orbit seeking new life, and good deals, throughout our galaxy’s quadrant.

Even the reason for calling it “black friday” has been perverted into something good.

According to WikiPedia, Philadelphia police officers were sick of having to work on the holiday weekend because of traffic jams, snarled roadways, and pedestrian crowds. They began calling the day “Black Friday” because it sucked, much like other dark days such as the Stock Market Crash, or the infamous “Black Tuesday” – when AOL opened up the World Wide Web to all of its clueless noobs.

*I used to use AOL – because it was the only thing available to me. Today, saying “I used to use AOL” is the geek equivalent of saying “Yeah – I used to play Dungeons and Dragons”, or “Sure I know how to use a gun, I have a high-point”. So if you used to use AOL, it’s best to keep that fact to yourself. I find nothing wrong with D&D either ¬†– back in the late 70’s the was no WarCraft – D&D was the shit if you wanted high quality fantasy role-playing. end aside…

Of course, various high snobbery people didn’t like “Black Friday” being negative, and invented the ruse that “Black friday is when retailers go from losing money to turning a profit”.

Seriously? If my business’ survival depended entirely on 45 days of shopping Hell, I think I would get a new business. Of course, Wal-Mart and some other businesses dispute this claim, saying that they turn a profit every day, starting January 1.

So, get out there and SPEND, America. Some people claim that we are a Christian Nation. If so, go out and do your Christian best: Shop those stores, get those deals, elbow the jerk in front of you that grabbed the last copy of The Hobbit on Blu-Ray, knock the 8 year old down and take his SkyLander so your own kid can have it. Scream at your wife because she only manage to grab five crock pots instead of six. After all, you can’t celebrate Jesus’ birthday without the Perfect Gift! You’re going straight to Hell if Aunt Marge doesn’t get the thermal socks she asked for!

Me? I’m going shopping as God intended: Online. My goal this year was doing 100% of shopping online. Of course, I realized that I can buy gift cards at Bi-Lo, and when I do that, I get fuel points. So – other than that, I’ll do my shopping online, as the Lord intended when he had Al Gore create the internet.

I did have one moment of backsliding:

While I was at Wal-Mart, I found the last Blu-Ray player for $38 sitting on a rack of clothes. I did the appropriate thing, and hid it behind the paper towels until my shift was over, instead of leaving it for someone else to buy. You Christians are rubbing off on me.

When I hit the checkout button on the Amazon.Com web site, I’ll bow my head and say a little “amen”.

1.21 gigawatts!

“When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you’re going to see some serious shit!” – The old guy who was in Back to the Future but was much better as a Klingon in Star Trek 3.

You wouldn’t think it for the most part, but hiking usually involves some need for power. Sure, there may be the purists who turn it all off and leave everything at home, but I’m not one of them.

Most importantly there is my GPS.


It’s how I get around, know where I am and know where I’m going. It’s also how I find geocaches and track where I have been so I can download maps and stats on how far I walked. It likes its batteries, Using two AA lithiums in a weekend. At $6-10 for 4, that can substantially increase the cost of a hike (hey, usually I spend $20 for gas and $10 for food. $30 for a weekend’s entertainment is damn good).

Then there is my iPhone. Normally it stays off. I generally turn it off when I hit the mountains and the signal goes to crap, or at least put it in airplane mode. I sometimes use it in the sleeping bag at night to play a game or watch a movie if I can’t sleep. A few times I have been able to get out a text or two, or even a photo, but for the most part I leave the outside world to its own devices while I’m in the woods. That is, after all, sort of the purpose of hiking. The phone will last a weekend easily on one charge. I suspect, however, that it would suffer if used more often, or as a camera, or on a longer hike.

Of course, I have a separate camera


Yes, it is pink.

It’s pink because it belongs to my wife and she likes pink. Of course, a pink camera isn’t really a bad thing in the woods. It shows up pretty well if you leave it laying somewhere. Same reason I have a little pink knife in my first aid kit, and have neon highlighter pink bear bag rope. Pink shows up.

My hammock, however, is bright orange – mainly so I don’t get shot by a hunter.

The camera is nice to take, but again, it’s my wife’s. I would hate to damage it or drop it in a stream. It has great battery life, unlike the phone, but suffers in some lighting. It has no manual mode, so it often gets low light situations really wrong.

So, on a previous hike I was interested to see another hiker (formerly of the purist variety) who had his tablet and a little battery pack. Thinking this would be a great addition to the pack, I purchased one.

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 12.31.45 AM


According to the literature, it will charge my iPhone from dead to full between 5 and 6 times. So, I’m thinking, it should be just fine as a few day’s power supply for my phone and GPS. Thankfully, my GPS comes with a USB cable that will supply power as well as connect to a PC. My phone is the same as most phones, it will charge through a USB cable.

Using this, I should be able to dump the camera (after all – I have the phone), and drop a few sets of AA batteries. That should offset the weight of this thing, which is about 8 ounces. As an aside, it DOES have a small emergency LED light which will work as a flashlight in a pinch.

When I’m not hiking, it comes in handy. My daughter is always taking her iPad with her, ¬†only to complain that it is dead. With this, there will be no need to listen to complaints. We will be heading to Disney World soon, and the phones never seem to last all day. Between using them to text other family members, check ride times, take photos, send ridiculous looking people photos to Facebook, etc, the phones just wind up dying. This will be a nice accessory at the world of the mouse.

Plus, it satisfies my geeky toy quotient for the quarter. I haven’t bought a geeky toy in a while, and this is right up there.

Enjoy Thanksgiving shopping!

For downtown merchants throughout the nation, the biggest shopping days normally are the two following Thanksgiving Day. Resulting traffic jams are an irksome problem to the police and, in Philadelphia, it became customary for officers to refer to the post-Thanksgiving days as Black Friday and Black Saturday. Hardly a stimulus for good business, the problem was discussed by the merchants with their Deputy City Representative, Abe S. Rosen, one of the country’s most experienced municipal PR executives. He recommended adoption of a positive approach which would convert Black Friday and Black Saturday to Big Friday and Big Saturday. It didn’t work, thus the lie was created that Black Friday means the time when merchants start making money…