Monday, December 27, 2010

Starbucks Planner Brings Out The Worst In People

The dictionary defines promotion as-

something devised to publicize or advertise a product, cause, institution, etc., as a brochure, free sample, poster, television or radio commercial, or personal appearance.

also as

to encourage the sale of (a product) by advertising or securing financial support .

The original title for this was "Tis The Season For Self Entitlement". At least you have an idea where I am going with this. Every year since 2004 Starbucks Philippines has their planner promo. Every year I have qualified for one since I do frequent that establishment.Yes, I pay regular price for whatever I get. Notice it's a planner promo and not a planner giveaway. You will be surprised how many grown adults don't know the difference.

Let me just put my disclaimer that I do not work for Starbucks nor have I ever worked there. If they have good sense and taste they would never invite me to work there. Having said that, every year people ask ME for the Starbucks planner. How this germinates in their brain I don't know. They perceive that I myself am entitled to one and they are entitled to mine. Not sure how that computes.

In this blog piece I am speaking for myself and no one else. But as distantly removed as I am from the Starbucks food-chain I get requests no matter how ill thought out. I can imagine the deluge the people who actually are connected to Starbucks Philippines get.

Take the case of someone who I have known for 11 years. He/ she called me out of the blue late last month. Within a minute they bring up the topic(if I can get a planner for them) . No mention of compensation whatsoever. In plain English "something for nothing". I tell them the absolute truth. I was never given one. I don't have one now and I will eventually get enough stickers to get mine. As of Dec 28 I am actually six stickers away. You could not get this person to finish the call semi politely fast enough. In the words of Bob Hope "Thanks for the memories".

I am sure there are times in my life I have exhibited a sense of self entitlement. I would just really be embarrassed if it was obvious and memorable to someone else. If I noticed it, I hope I corrected it. Self entitlement flies directly into major themes in my blog. My war against vanity, narcissism and socialist thinking. It's exactly the point I was getting across with an old blog entry of mine of the legions who thought Barack Obama was their gate way to a buffet of self entitlement.

Starbucks is a private company which is put in place to make money. I am not sure what mental gymnastics some people use to justify in their cranium that even if they don't spend a cent in Starbucks that they are entitled to their promotional planner. Even if they have make the leap that planners fall on my lap, what makes them think I am benevolent enough to share anything with them?


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from CDR King

At about 12:20 today (Dec 24 2010) I was purchasing an item from CDR King Greenbelt 1. The older one by Watsons. The newer one is by the GB1 Cinemas. They told me the item has a one week return policy. I asked them if they take into account the fact that they have Christmas Day off. Well, turns out I have my facts wrong. They will be there Christmas Day. I asked the three girls three times and they said each time that they will be working on the 25th of December. I told them in my busted Tagalog that I felt sorry for them.

I may have my facts wrong but does it mean CDR King has their policies right?? Retail store with non essentials opening on Christmas Day? Taking employees away from their families on Christmas Day?? Ask them yourselves. Phil Jackson will agree with me. Click here.

If you think it's OK then fine. If you don't think it's OK: write management , write about it , react to this blog, tell the employees at your local branch that you feel bad. I won't go as far as boycotting the place mind you. But if you do go that far, tell them that you are and why. Then let others know. If you read this blog you know I value capitalism but I also value families and I think both can coexist. The management of CDR King seems to value one over the other on Christmas Day.


Related note

Phil Jackson Christmas Day thoughts.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

God Bless You Kirk Douglas

God Bless You Kirk Douglas

His son Michael was in the news quite recently for his bout with cancer. Hard to believe Kirk is still alive. He looked really old jogging in Central Park in the movie It Runs In The Family and that was seven years ago.

In the last little while I have seen two movies with Kirk Douglas in them. Two movies both released before I was born. Obviously these movies are superb. The reason why I picked the clips below is because in both these movies Kirk plays really heroic but really flawed men. Not easy to pull off.

I want to pay tribute to this man while he is still among us just like I did with John Wooden earlier this year. Before everyone starts jumping on the bandwagon.

The people who know nothing about movies can have all the Twilights they want. I will stick to watching quality stuff like these Kirk Douglas movies.

Ed (OK Corral) In Harm's Way (original post)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Customers Pay Your Salary

Record Lady
Record Lady
She's got the cutest little cartridge
That you've ever seen
She's a phonographic dream

Lyle Lovett "Record Lady" from the album I Love Everybody (1994)

I will never understand people who work for an establishment that are face to face with someone who wants to spend their money there and they treat that person almost nonchalantly.

Such a thing happened to me tonight. I am quite the fan of Western movies. The other day I saw two classics of the genre at my local retail store. O Music (formerly Odyssey) in Greenbelt 1 Makati. They were The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral . I walked in that store tonight fully intending to buy them. Could not find it at first so I asked. I told them I saw it Saturday and was looking for it. The manager may have asked one or two people and about 20 seconds later told me they did not have it.

I spent the next twenty minutes looking for it myself with my goal being threefold: 1) I want that rare movie. 2) I wanted to shove it in that manager's face and 3) this would make a half decent blog.

Unless you think I am the type to forge a receipt to make a point , well here it is proving that I did find it. I also scanned the movie jacket. I obscured the people ringing in the sale because they did me nor their firm any wrong. It's their too casual manager who could not be bothered. I won't name names because maybe she conveniently went on her break when she saw me head for the counter. Anyway for my unnamed adversary here are a few common tips that may have never been taught to you:

  • A customer asking questions is a gift. They are exhibiting what is known as buying signs.
  • A customer looking for something in your store might actually buy what they are looking for.
  • The more people spend in your store the more likely you will keep your job.
  • As a manager, you set example to your staff.
  • People who come in to your store in this age of pirated DVDs and high speed downloads are gifts.

The rest of you don't need me to tell you that.

Ed The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) (Record Lady)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

3 Movies in 24 Hours

Late Friday night I caught up with the latest season of Dexter. I then did something very rare which was watch three movies in the period of 24 hours. I can go months without watching three movies. And they are all from different decades. The following are not really reviews but just my thoughts and spoiler free.

1) Treasure of the Sierra Madre. (1948)

I love Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. I like African Queen and I thought it was high time I finally saw this Humphrey Bogart
movie. Down and out Americans try to find their fortune while enduring weather, bandits and each other. Story reminded me a bit of the original Oceans 11 (yes there was one) and Lord of the Flies. Great story. Also one of the rare times a son directs his father.

2) Shopgirl (2005)

I have always been a Steve Martin fan. Ever since I first saw him on the Muppet Show in the 70s and mistook him for Han Solo. Then listening to his genius stand up comedy. This is a relationship movie but brutal enough not to be a "chick flick. " Clare Danes is no one's knockout babe but so what? She was believable in her role and looked good enough in the scenes where she wears a dress. Speaking of relationship movies with grey areas.....

3) Sleep With Me (1994)

I first read about this movie in my Roger Ebert movie guide. There was a scene with Quentin Tarantino talking about the alternative meaning to a certain Hollywood blockbuster from years past. That video will one day accompany this blog but not today. The movie does quite well in my opinion without that popular scene. If you have been ever uncomfortable in your life with a couple "making a scene" in a party with friends well this movie is about 90% compromised of that. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who started it? Actually what made me uncomfortable watching this movie was everybody smoking so much I had to check if my T Shirt was still ok. Little play also on the famous song lyrics from Casablanca (There is Bogart again). A cameo from a certain Lost in Space in star for those of you into that kind of thing.


All I can say is to appreciate movies or just about anything else, you will have to read about them and not rely on massive studio funded campaigns. Look for good stories and good characters and not Michael Bay type explosions. Good movies are timeless. Two of the above were "relationship" movies but in my opinion not the type that make teen-aged girls flock to the cinema armed with Kleenex boxes. One last thing. Bogart Rules!!!

Ed (1948) (Shopgirl) (2005) (1994) Sleep With Me

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

30th Anniversary of John Lennon's Death

Don Mclean wrote American Pie and intended the protagonist to be Buddy Holly. At least that is how I understand it. So the phrase "The Day The Music Died" refers to Buddy Holly's tragic plane crash. Many people of my generation still remember the cover of Time Magazine that you see above. 30 years ago "When The Music Died". Yes I am a dinosaur.

The first video below is how I found out about his death. Watching Monday Night Football as an 8th grader. Witness the glory of Howard Cosell.

Many writing about John Lennon today will play you music by the Beatles or solo John Lennon like Imagine or Give Peace a Chance. But for those of you who really know me, you all know I hate being cliche. I want to give you a much different experience yet connected to this tragedy.

It's all about the second video. Though I rather you ignore video and go straight to the song. It is way more important that the song be good than the video be good. I have a Mediafire link below of you can download from the attachment in the Multiply version of this post. I have known this haunting song for about 28 years and only now have I seen the video. I did not miss much. Download the song and then either put it on headphones or loud in your speakers in a dark room, alone. Before you start that though just think of what it was like just finding out John Lennon had died. That is the circumstance this song was recorded. The band had many great songs after this, but this is the first one I remember. I hope you will find it as atmospheric as I did.

(original with song in the attachments )

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Counting Your Chickens Before They Hatch

"You're so vain you probably think this song is about you. "

- Carly Simon link

There is someone I know in Facebook. Vain does not begin to describe her. You might be asking why I am posting this in case she reads it. I am confident in saying, she reads nothing. The truly vain usually look at mirrors and rarely at books or rarely at anything more than two sentences long. Why spend money on books when you can spend it on makeup?

I was looking at her recent postings and noticed her surname has been transformed. She decided to change her name in Facebook to her married name. Well since married is past tense let's call it future married name. I asked if she is married and the answer is no. Don't count your chickens before they hatch has been a saying that makes sense to me. Maybe I'm old fashioned and I believe that sometimes the insides have to change before you change the outside. To do otherwise is to tempt fate.

More on my thoughts on vanity, here. I believe that marriage does mean something and all this last name metamorphosis should be announced after and not before. But based on my experience vanity overrides any sense of protocol and tradition.

For your enjoyment and enlightenment on our topic today I have included two very short videos.

1) How foolish some people sound to others when they obsess over their future married name. 44 seconds from the movie "Big"

2) The dangers of assuming. As told so poetically by the late great Dolph Sweet. 32 seconds.

technical note: if the videos don't appear, please click here.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Adventures In Food: Cheese Steak Hoagie

Where: Rockwell Powerplant Mall. Elbert's Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Cost : 240 for the Hoagie Sandwich (add 80 pesos for generous fries plus fountain drink)

Had the sandwich as they make it without adding or subtracting anything. Comes with lettuce, tomatoes and onions. I can't visualize this being much good if taken out.

Personal Verdict: yum!!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Feels Like Home Again

I feel that I must tell you that I can relate somewhat to what the Cleveland fan is feeling in anticipation of the return of Lebron James Thursday Night in Cleveland. As I have said before I was fortunate enough to live in an NBA town for 5 years. Most people would be happy going second overall in the NBA draft.

In 1999 Steve Francis was not when he was drafted by the then Vancouver Grizzlies. He did come to town but was later traded to the Houston Rockets. When the Rockets visited town later that year I convinced my friend James 'Buck Henry' Clare to go to the game with me. I really forget what happened in the game but in Dan Russel's Sports Talk that night he took a call from a fan. The fan was determined to give Stevie Francis an earful and he even came early. If I recall Francis eventually got into a dialogue with his heckler and told him something to the effect of that the main reason he did not savor coming to Vancouver was that he felt he was a natural "1". That's point guard in basketball speak. The Griz already had Mike Bibby and playing shooting guard would be unnatural to him (Francis) . This is an 11 year old memory so if it's not entirely true just take it for what it's worth. Still if you want my opinion why I don't like LeBron and it's not even the Decision, make sure you listen to this.

A second thing happened in sports this week that reminds me of the NBA era in Vancouver. Much has been made about Cardinals QB Derek Anderson laughing on the bench in front of a national prime time audience while his team trailed 18 points. Below I include both the video of the laugh plus Anderson's tirade when he could no longer deny that he was indeed laughing.

Similar situation in Vancouver 11 years ago. Goes to show you that winning a championship with Duke does not guarantee NBA success, Cherokee Parks averaged 3.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 56 games with Vancouver during the 1999 season.He was not even good enough to average double digits on a bad team. Yet he too was caught yucking it up on the bench in a loss.

Nothing really philosophical today folks, except that it's deja vu all over again.

Ed laugh (Original blog) (press conference)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Randy Newman and Doughboy

Yes how can it be?? One of the most talented song writers ever and a man who makes buffet managers cringe have the same birthday.

a) Randy Newman

My favorite artist. Amazing song writer, sarcastic sense of humor, mean piano player. You may know him from movies like Toy Story.If I have you curious there is no shortage of his material on Youtube. I love his songs, I love the way he arranges the orchestra and I love his albums, I saw him live twice once in the Commodore Ballroom in 1989 and facing the water in an outdoor show in Seattle in 1992. I picked 3 of his songs from his Odeon concert in New York while he was promoting his Trouble in Paradise album. 1) I Love LA 2) Simon Smith and his Amazing Dancing Bear and 3) Linda. Linda has a particular significance to me because in the aforementioned Commodore show. He asked if anyone wants to hear anything in particular. My friend and fellow Randy maniac Todd Schindler and I instinctively blurted in unison "Rednecks!!". It was a reference to this same Odeon show since he asked the same question and despite me not hearing the title of the song from the crowd he claims to have heard it and played it. But 2 seconds into the piano intro I recognized the song as "Linda" and he said "yes that's it!" To be recognized by Randy in anyway shape or form was something cool at the time and maybe still is. Linda is a real song from Randy's first album and yes he is singing it to Linda

b) Doughboy.

If you can look through my Multiply pics you can see our tour of Manila's eating establishments. You can see doughboy frequently contributing from left field responses to my Multiply blog. It's been two years since he visited me and him coming here was one of the nicest things any one can do. I really enjoyed that time and glad its on pictures and videos. I included us doing a version of This Guy's In Love With You. Don't blame him, blame me.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Can't Find My Way Home

"F**k the contest, you've GOT to dial up this solo acoustic version of the Blind Faith classic by Stevie Winwood, it's truly JAW-DROPPING! Sure, he hasn't lost his voice, but what will truly blow your mind is the picking. The video looks like the track sounds, him wearing that jacket sitting by the hearth. There's no better late night track than "Can't Find My Way Home", I'm tingling listening to this. Truly. Check this out!"

Bob Lefsetz

Steve Winwood is so extremely uber talented. Thirty years ago I was blown away to learn that some artists released albums where they played everything on there. That short list included Paul McCartney, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Steve Winwood. Maybe Todd Rundgren and World Party ( Carl Wallinger) are also on that list. People wonder why my mind is shut down to new music. Because its disposable trash. People like it because its new , not because its good. Good stays with you forever. Steve Winwood is that kind of artist. Talented even when he was 15. As I have said before Charice is not talented. She is just the muse for the false flag waving crowd.

Steve Winwood has several significant albums in the 80's. Here's the problem. A lot of great artists in the 80s were best known for their most photogenic songs (what gets on MTV) and not their best songs. Listen to me now or believe me later when I tell you that if you want to hear the real good Steve Winwood listen to Traffic, Blind Faith and Spencer Davis. The 80's had some great stuff too like Freedom Overspill and Talking Back to The Night ( which was a Michelob commercial). I won't bore most of you with the biography of Steve Winwood but those who are interested can check out the links below. If you can't see the video then please go to the original blog.

The video below is short song (3:43) of a guy singing and playing amazing guitar on a song that he wrote forty years ago. That 3:43 of video has sparked intense debate in the short time it was released. If you want to learn about music and the talented people that sometimes make up the music business you can read it in Bob Lefsetz's blog or read the rtf here.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

And You Wonder Why We Are Stupid As A Society

Most of my thoughts on dumb newspapers here.

My thought on a dumb society here.

Otherwise, with all the things we need to know that is happening in the nation and the world there has to be at least 2498 more newsworthy things than a boxing prediction. And this prediction is from someone under the employ(Manny's trainer) of one of the two choices in that prediction. If I struck a nerve in you I want to hear about it. I am not putting down Manny but the newspapers. How they are pandering to the ignorant all in the name of advertising. Newspapers are dumb and if you don't like what I said, tell me why they are smart. Specially in this case. I know one thing: I bet this little amateur blog piece makes you think more than that headline does.

This country has to able to know the meaning of the word objectivity. They sure as hell did not know it May 10, 2010. This headline has nothing to do with news or knowledge or common sense. It's all about RAH-RAH!!! Tell me, in your whole life. When do you ever learn anything useful from a cheerleader?? They work hard and are nice to look at but what do you learn??

Our elections are dumb. Our TV is dumb. Our newspapers are dumb. So how is society supposed to be smart??

Our newspapers are supposed to be tools that help develop your head. At some point your heart has to be governed by your head. But obviously that is not the case in this headline or this society.


Please read up on the concept of Bread and Circuses.

Bread and Circuses

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

If I Did This Guaranteed I Will Be Divorced In A Few Months

I don't have much to say here except listening to the audio first more rewarding than reading the story first.

Ed story audio

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I Can't Argue With This

Sarah Thyre (@SarahThyre)
11/6/10 11:12 AM
Married Couples: When fighting, watch the montage from "Up." Dare you to keep fighting.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In Tribute To The Giants Winning The World Series

I have only seen a game in Candlestick Park in San Francisco once. This was twenty years ago at night with my cousins. The Houston Astros were the visitors. Maybe
Jim Deshaies and John Burkett were pitching I was not entirely sure. It's a twenty year old guess. In between innings that night I went to go purchase a beer.

I was wearing that exact sweater you see me in.

I bought it that day in the Macy's in Union Square. At the time I really could not believe my luck.

The beer vendor at the counter was an African American woman. She asked me " Are you going to Grambling State hon, or are you just wearing the shirt?"

Well to fully contextualize look up Grambling State University if you are not familiar with it.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Questionable Headline: RP Still Seen As Corrupt

You can see the headline. Here is the story. The reason why I find this worthy of saying a few words is the one word in that headline. "Still"

If you don't get me now try these hypothetical headlines:

Mount Everest Still Highest Mountain.

Grand Canyon Still Breath Taking.

Casablanca Still A Classic.

Michael Bolton Still Cheesy.

Willie Revillame Still Produces Moronic TV

The word "still" implies there is or was a chance that the status quo is threatened. Otherwise why say it that way?

It would take armaggedon of incredible bibilical proportions to change the status of the Grand Canyon or Mt. Everest. Casablanca is safe as long as movies like Twilight keep coming out. Michael Bolton once wrote for Kiss. Willie's new show by all indications is not CSI.

Nothing has happened here in the last twelve months to warrant that simple word "still". Unless you count not hearing sirens while on the road. To at least get you out of here in an optimistic and pleasant mood. Enjoy the song titled the same as our key word. Done by the band of a guy who I think is Nicole Richie's dad.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Don't Vote for Lita If You Live In Dasmarinas Makati

For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

Lk 14:1, 7-14

Katring (typhoon) is upon us. I drove through it to get to where I was going late this afternoon. While going to my destination I passed through the main artery of Dasmarinas Village which is Pasay Road. It is the widest street there. Apparently not wide enough for a certain pompous politician who lives on Pasay Road. Granted the term pompous politician is actually redundant. I am not good at estimating size but I estimate Dasmarinas Village to be about one and a half square kilometers. The relevance of the size I will get to in a while. For everyone that tells you that everything is on the Internet I could not either find the size of Dasma nor could I even get the name of that arrogant hen who is hoping to get voted in on Monday.

Us motorists have enough troubles trying to negotiate our vehicles through a typhoon and that Lita knob instructs her vans ( I estimate between 8 and 12) to double park outside her humble abode essentially disrupting the flow of traffic on one side of the street. Why does someone need that many vans in a constituency of that size?? The cost per day for those vans won't make sense with elections at this level. But this is the Philippines. Where the suckers are abundant during election time.

Let me attempt to read the mind of this battle axe:

I Lita of Dasmarinas Village will be facing an election in two days. There is a storm and vehicles in my community are having a challenge getting around. But that is not my concern. It is more important that I draw attention to myself by inconveniencing my community. I will have my vans carrying my hideous likeness block the main road. Can't these people see that I am doing it for their own good? I will compromise their safety because I have an election to win. I am running for public office and I will serve them by getting in. I will get in by getting in their way. There is no other way to get my own arrogant a@@ into office.

I will be bombastic like Manny Villar and use 12 vans with my own ugly mug adorned on them to attract votes to myself like sailors to a sleazy bar. Overkill is the way to go. Worked so well for Manny Villar. All of you are too dumb to see through it anyway.

For those of you who do not live in this hag's territory and don't feel you can relate, here is how you can. Vote against cretin like this. Support people who are considerate of their community and not those who look down on it as insects to be stepped on. To serve one must be humble. This bozo sure ain't.


Tags: Elections, Barangay, 2010, October 25, Kagawad, Councilor, Manny Villar, politics, politicians

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bacon Mysteries

One of the great mysteries in my life.

In Animal House (1978) Kevin Bacon was a college Student.


In Footloose (1984) Kevin Bacon was a high school student.

Things like that keep me up at night.


Monday, October 11, 2010

10-10-10 Is A Fraud

"Because Time Won't Give Me Time"- Time (Clock of the Heart) Culture Club

I want to thank all of you making a big deal out of 10-10-10. Even if I am not one of you.You actually made me think. The following like anything else in this blog is originally from me. One of the sports cliches when a pitcher hits 100 wins is "it's just a number". And it's true, it's one more than 99 and one less than 101. 10-10-10 is just a number. With one difference from my sports analogy. The first win in that hundred was really the first win. Jan 1 0001 was not the first day leading up to 10-10-10. There were many days before that. It's almost like playing a game lasting many centuries but only deciding to keep score Jan 1st 0001. The other points did not count but the ones from now on count.

Hopefully that part is common sense and easy to understand. That there were days before what we consider the first day of the first month of the first year. Now here is something I doubt you thought about if you consider 10-10-10 sacred or any other symmetrical date. Sept 9 1999 or August 8 1988.

Back in 1582 Pope Gregory took scissors to what we know as the calendar. The basic premise being the year was not exactly 365 days long. The actual length of a year is 365.242 days So based on the calculations at the time of Pope Gregory they decided to correct what they consider as "calendar drift". They did this by removing October 5-14, 1582 from the calendar. Ten days that never happened.

I heard this concept watching an educational show on TV in my high school years. The fact I can still recall that gives me hope that senility is not entirely upon me. Based on this fact (see links below), it is indeed true that 10-10-10 is just a number. So man do I feel silly celebrating last Sept 2. (90210)