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Archive for June, 2006


Your Ring Tone Sucks

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Unsurprisingly, ring tones have joined branded clothing, vanity plates and the vehicles attached to those vanity plates, as emblems of individual expression. People are out there right now asking themselves (apologies to Chuck Palahniuk), “What sort of ring tone defines me as a person?”

Hava Nagila?

Super Mario Brothers?

‘Memory’ from Cats?

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands?

Sanford and Son?

For those of you struggling with this decision, my suggestion is to turn the question around. Ask instead “What does it say about me as a person that I would deliberately subject friends, colleagues and complete strangers to irritating little spurts of noise pollution that in turn precede the infliction of longer, more irritating intervals of one-half of a conversation?”

It’s like the prick of a dentist’s needle before lengthy drilling, except at the dentist’s at least you know it’s coming and that it’s for your own good. That’s right, bad cell phone manners are broadcast dentistry performed on the unsuspecting.

I have this swell fantasy where I walk straight up to a person whose phone is ejaculating the William Tell Overture and let them have it with a belt from an aeresol-powered, portable air horn.

So the next time your phone begins bleating ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’ and you see me smiling, either I’m thinking my happy thought, or the package recently arrived.


Hey, No Fair Using "Tiger Hand"

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

A federal judge, fed up with two attorneys unable to agree upon the simplest of logistical decisions, ordered them to settle their latest impasse with a round of Rock Paper Scissors (CNN has the ruling).

The issue at hand is the venue at which a deposition will be held, and the winner gets to choose. My favorite part is that the ruling specifies that this battle of wills is to take place:

…at a neutral site agreeable to both parties. If counsel cannot agree on a neutral site, they shall meet on the front steps of the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, 801 North Florida Ave., Tampa, Florida 33602.

In reading about this, I discovered that Rock Paper Scissors enjoys a great deal more interest and creative offshoots than I ever realized. There is a world championship, a strategy guide, political satire, cartoons and game variants involving up to 25 different possible throws. I was most amused by Rock Paper Scissors Spock Lizard.

Update – 7/4/2006: The epic showdown did not take place. Instead the attorneys, successfully chastened by Judge Presnell’s “alternative dispute resolution,” settled the matter beforehand. The article goes on to mention previous methods that Judge Presnell has used to “spur cooperation.” My favorite is the practical embodiment of Rawls’ Original Position. In a divorce proceeding, Presnell had one party make two lists, dividing the property any way hu saw fit, with the understanding that the other spouse would get to pick the list hu wanted.


Aqueous Equinox

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

With Summer Solstice nearly upon us, I thought I would share one of my personal favorite markers of time’s cyclic passage, the Aqueous Equinox. This twice-yearly event occurs when the hot and cold water taps on full result in the perfect shower temperature. The things I like best about the Aqueous Equinox are:

  1. The Aqueous Equinox can be savored since each one potentially lasts for a few weeks. This is unlike, say, the Autumnal Equinox which is over in an instant.
  2. Other arbitrary milestones like Hump Day or Casual Friday are one-size-fits-all. Since “perfect shower temperature” is entirely subjective, each Aqueous Equinox feels like it’s just for you.


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