Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Black Friday: The Aftermath

It has been five days and a few hours since my last blog and these are my sins.

All confessional joking aside, I survived a sixth Black Friday. It was not easy. They never are. By far the worst part about Black Friday in retail is in the preparation and the stress of not knowing what to expect. For example, last year we prepared at the very last minute, got the tickets in a rush, threw all the specials on the floor and just hoped for the best. The outcome was overwhelming and our location did well more than we expected. This year, with all the years of experience, added time for preparation, and increased labor expense the dollars just weren't there. I'd like to thank the city of Cerritos for giving me the pleasure of having Westinghouse and Coby brand TVs in my overstock to try and sell through now (Fuck!).

For the past two years the hottest items on Black Friday were actually offered at some other point during the year, except now they're magnified by the hype. Take for example the Samsung TV and BluRay bundle for $999.99. There were loads better deals than this throughout 2010 but I guess nobody got their Sunday Press Telegram those weeks. We couldn't sell enough of these bundle deals. Everything was bundled. We sold bundles that had bundles attached to more bundles. Products will never be sold alone ever again on Black Friday. I wish PizzaHut would bundle in some quepapas, wings, and breadsticks on all of my future orders.

My ten hour shift was exhausting, not that I'm complaining. The day flew by and I consumed at least three regular Coca-Colas, one Sprite, one Vitamin water, and an unspecified amount of Domino's Pizza (that new seasoned crust is delicious, by the way). The day seemed like one big blur of people and shopping carts.

In the end, nobody was trampled, no cars were stolen, and no customers shouted like animals. Maybe my assessment is unfair since I didn't actually open like I did last year, but for the most part everyone behaved and got their cheap ass crap peacefully and orderly.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Top Ten Things/People I Feel Sorry For On Black Friday

#10. One United Brand Porta Potty: This lonely fella has to accept the waste of over one hundred people over the next 30 hours. Yikes!

#9. Innocent, Trampled Morons: They know what they're getting into yet they still decide to risk it all for a Kindle. I don't have much sympathy for their bruises, but I honestly feel sorry for someone who can't save enough during the year so they have to camp out to save $35.

#8. Snails: Close to the entrance of where I work are hundreds of snails that hide in the bushes and later roam the sidewalks at night. Imagine the look on their faces when they see some 19 year-old Asian kid wearing Dre Beats headphones playing Pokemon with his friends. They were about to slime their way across the sidewalk for hours until you set up your tent, asshole.

#7. The Inventory/Merchandising Team: Signage, pricing, bulk stacks. Everything they work so hard for is knocked over and destroyed within minutes. You people are animals.

#6. Pizza Delivery Guys: I'm sure most businesses will be treating their employees to pizza that day. It has to suck carrying stacks of pizza in your car while trying to fight your way through traffic with a constant smell of marinara and cheese. The worst part is obviously not getting tipped. The second worst part is when you're delivering the pizza for the working staff and customers keep joking "Hey, where's my slice?!?!?". Fuck you, that's where it is. Get some.

#5. Employee Everyone Hates: Don't sit next to anyone in the breakroom, don't comment on any movie being watched, and don't talk about your last customer interaction. If you've managed to annoy every living being in your store then you don't deserve a friend on Black Friday.

#4. Money: Ewe.

#3. Cashiers: You guys have to touch most of the money. Ewe.

#2. Saturday Morning Janitors and Cleaning Crews: Call out! You don't want any piece of the aftermath. Think about how many people ruined the restroom, stained the carpet, and brought in foreign smells that seeped their way into every corner of the store. There's at least a few hours worth of vacuuming to be done before you can move on to waxing the floors.

#1. Decent Working Employees on Black Friday (Me, Abel, Mario, Veronica, formerly David and Daniel etc;) and Loss Prevention: We really don't deserve the torture we're put through. Really. We're bad people in many ways, but nobody deserves to be mistreated on this day. If you ask us to look up some obscure DVD for a movie that was made in 1954 or ask us about the difference between Samsung and LG we are not going to meet your request. Do not be so surprised or upset with this. It's the busiest shopping day of the year. Get in, get out. If it's not on the floor, we probably don't have it. If you weren't in line for a door buster, it's probably sold out. Loss Prevention will suffer the brunt of most complaints simply because they're at the front of the store. "You need more cashiers!", "The bathroom is a mess!", and "I can't believe you sold out of (blank)!" will be the most popular lines. I feel sorry for every Loss Prevention employee and hope they have enough will to keep from getting fired.

Happy Thanksgiving!

U.F.Z: This is my kinda place, my kinda crowd - By David

In my short time on this earth, I've had the privilege of seeing some of the best bands ever play. Some even nothing short of legendary, from watching Warren from the Vandals climb the main stage at the warped tour in 2000 to watching Travis barker drum it out with DJ/AM about a year ago. I've seen my share of some great moments in music.

This past Saturday was another badge in this sash of awesomeness, I saw the Bouncing Souls play at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Who are the Bouncing Souls you ask? They started as a punk rock band in New Jersey almost 25 years ago and have been pioneers in the do it yourself record business ever since. They've never been on Los Angeles paid by advertisers radio or MTV because they simply don't believe in buying your fame.

Out of all the amazing acts I've seen like Rancid, Dropkick Murphy's, The Damned, Manic Hispanic and The Reverend Horton heat just to name a few, the souls remain my favorite band live. The difference between a live band and a band live is the experience you get, any group of musicians can play their music live but few acts and bring their music to life. I've been fortunate enough to see this band play live eleven times in three states and they get better each time I watch them perform.

Saturday, after a warm up performance from an aging Adolescents, the moment the Bouncing Souls took the stage, the music grabbed me for an hour and it didn't let go. For a band that's been around this long, they move like teenagers playing at a friends back yard. Greg's voice has come a long way since the first time I saw them play ten years ago, and hearing them play the old songs now compared to early recordings makes it feel new, like hearing them for the first time all over again. Overall this was a great performance but concert venues will never have the organized chaos like at the Alex's bar show in Long Beach a few years back, personally I didn't hear classics like Joe lies or any acoustic songs.

Why does this show mean so much to me and why does this show qualify for Unemployment Fun Zone. First reason being the price, seeing two awesome bands for 13 bucks can't be beat. To understand the second reason, you have to understand the last six years of my life. I've lived my whole life afraid of the world and afraid of pursuing the things I wanted to do like writing, drawing and working in production. Much of that reason is because I was always told not to leave the secure situation of having a sixty hour a week job and health care, even if it killed me everyday. Out of everyone in my family none of us even attempted to become what we wanted to in life because once we got into a job that seemed good enough we were afraid to be without it. My situation of getting up at 4am everyday to go to a job where nothing you did was ever good enough and your bosses hated you because you refused to act like a tool was killing me with the worst headaches of my life, then being diagnosed with anxiety disorder by my doctor and hating my life to the point where suicide or killing spree was an option. Self destructive behavior affected me even when I wasn't at work, costing me countless relationships with friends and loved ones. Knowing full well I never intended for my life to turn out that way, it was an unbearable situation that I put myself in. Before you say it, yes I know there are people out there in worse situations, but I've always wanted more for my life than a stupid shirt with someone else's name on it.

Sitting in my room three weeks ago, while contemplating my life one of my books fell off the shelf and it opened on an excerpt from a fortune cookie that said " Find release from your concerns and have a good time". It was something a fallen friend and mentor carried till he lost his eight year long battle with cancer in 2007. A man who never once gave in to self loathing which many in that situation do. I stared at that line for what seemed like hours and I thought to myself, if tonight was my last night on earth I haven't lived a single day the way I wanted to. The day after that, I was in a meeting where the only people I cared about at work were bashed unfairly for their work ethic. To me they had never been anything but the best, but when your not the head cheese your opinion doesn't mean jack. I was given an ultimatum either give up the money you make or they were gonna take it from me. I remember looking into the eyes of those two assholes who had made this whole situation unbearable, and thinking to myself I have a 3rd option. I can go see the bouncing souls play in two weeks and I can chose to live life without fear for once. I decided in the moment, it was finally time to let go of my concerns and fears and have a good time. On what quickly became my final day of work, I strutted out for the last time saying my good byes to few. My being was full of fear but I remember turning on my car and hearing Gone by the bouncing souls, at that point my doubts were turned to hope. It's the same feeling I got on Saturday night when I heard them play it, there wasn't a doubt in my mind I knew my decision to start living life, facing my fear of the world was the right choice. No one was ever gonna pull me out of my situation, so I had to do it for myself. As I got older these last few years, I'd been living this cloud of lies thinking that my life's sole concern should be paying bills and not about experiencing the world to find what your passionate about. How could anyone lead a full filled life that way?

That's the second reason this show qualifies for this blog, because it was the first show I got to see as a free man. For the first time, it felt amazing seeing the clock strike midnight on a Saturday night and not have to feel an anxiety about how I was gonna hate my life the next day. This band has a way of making each person in the crowd feel like they are playing just for them. Which was highlighted when lead singer Greg dove in the crowd to do a couple of songs.

What they did for me that night was put all my worries aside for an hour and gave me a reason to sing like nothing was wrong in the world. That night I sent the band's bass player Bryan a message because I left that show with a sense that following my dreams wasn't impossible, after all if four punks from New Jersey could grow up to play music in front of thousands of people all over the world, then maybe just maybe I could live a life that didn't make me hate myself. So i had to say thank you, but unlike most rock bands, he actually wrote back. Nothing long winded just a couple of encouraging words that get a person through the tough days (and I know there will be a few), in fact it was just two encouraging words "fuck yeah".

So not only did I see a great show, I got some reassurance that the only thing I got from living the comfort I drowned in the last six years was the fear of losing it. For practically nothing that's an awesome way to spend an unemployed night. Have a great Thanks Giving for the first time in a very long time my dinner will be after 3pm and I will be asleep Friday morning ( for you Abel).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Friday, I'm in love 2: Electric Boogaloo by Abel

My last post was about my hatred of black Friday, but unfortunately it ran kind of long so there was a couple of things left unsaid. Hopefully this time I'll cross all the T's and dot all the I's because somehow I don't think Friday, I'm in love 3: season of the witch (that's for you Danny) will make it before the 26th.

After googling this years batch of black Friday ad-stravaganzas, I have come to a couple of conclusions, the most important of those being that people in this country are fucking retarded. I know I'm not the smartest person alive, but even I know that after looking at all the advertisements I quickly realized that the things in there are pretty much horse shit labeled with great household electronic names like Koss, Colby, and Gpx.I Guarantee you if could ask the people who are gonna be waiting in line on black Friday, if they would buy the same product for the same price in April or May, they would all say no.

So why is that? Do shoppers really believe they're getting some kind of bargain? Do they somehow believe that retailers are actually losing money on merchandise that day? I mean why on earth would herds of people wait in for about 3 or 4 days if they weren't robbing the store blind that day?

The answer is rather simple, people are stupid.

Sure there are a couple of really good deals out there, but nothing that would require a rational human being to wait more than an hour for. Too many people are blinded by the low price to realize that they're buying some old out of date model, i.e. tv's that aren't 1080p or only have only one hdmi output, or computers with low storage or slow processor. Yet somehow the feel the need to be in line for 3 days. I find it hard to believe that more people don't realize how simple it would be to save money to avoid waiting in line. If you worked like 3 or 4 extra days a year, worked overtime about twice in a work year, perhaps some thing as simple as taking your own lunch once a week, hell, if people took up a part time job a Cinnabon for 2 weeks, the money earned would be more than the amount of money saved for waiting in line for so long.

But the thing that really chaps my ass (that's for you Mike) are the customers who are stupid enough to believe that everything is on sale. "Its black Friday, isn't everything supposed to be like 50 percent off?" No idiot, it's not. You waited outside for nothing, now get out of my face you smell like armpit and feet.

In closing, be safe careful again, be safe again and most importantly I hope that when I'm at work at 2 a.m. you wake up with thanksgiving diarrhea. (Tha'ts for you Dave) Cheers bitches.

- Abel L.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Unemployment Fun Zone: The Whirling Derby

So far in the fourteen days I've been without a job, I've taken up the guitar, re learned drawing techniques, been to Magic Mountain, and sat in the audience of a Kevin Smith podcast. My latest adventure in the jolly life of the jobless took me to a tiny market in Anahiem California. Perhaps rooting through dumpsters? No not yet.

My Friday adventure had me participate in an event thrown by the Lottery. Now I'd never been much for playing the lottery, the only tickets I would ever buy were during huge jackpots. Not like when I was a child and my parents bought me scratchers, apparently I used up all my luck back then. Today, after trading in all my families saved up winning tickets, I got twenty more lottery scratchers and this gave me the option of stepping inside a giant plastic snow globe for twenty seconds. That twenty second period was among the most fun, I've ever had in that short an amount of time. Spinning around like an idiot, and trying to punch out papers whirling around me. With a small crowd cheering for me and after I got over my fear of paper cuts, I managed to grab my fair share of prizes which netted me a cool twenty bucks more than I had spent. Apparently with my natural charisma, I will also be featured on the Orange County Registers website. I'll save the highlights from that interview for you guys to search.

One thing I noticed being the youngest person there and one of only five people there with a grasp on the English language, was a glimmer everyone had in their eyes in that line. It occurred to me some of these people aren't so different from some of my family. At that point it dawned on me, sure every so often the lottery makes a few millionaires but what it gives everyone is a little bit of hope. Most of the people who wait in lines at rat hole convenience stores and either drown a quarter of their pay check or a spare buck they had in their pocket, are people who have settled in jobs they never imagined themselves in or are forced to stay at. The majority of these people realize they will probably never be able to retire on their own or aren't fortunate enough to get the opportunity to save for it, so they invest in different opportunity to trade one dollar for millions. I can't count how many times my friends and I talked about the ridiculously selfish things we would do with that money, including paying someone to talk for us for a year.

No longer will I look down on big Hispanic families, Caucasian alcoholics, and old Japanese couples who played the lottery every week. To me they may not be doing a lot of things right but something they are doing is dreaming. I see even my own dad has realized he will probably have to work until the last possible retirement age but that hasn't stopped him from bringing my mom the occasional lottery ticket. It might seem like a dream but he's happy working and having the attitude "if it happens it happens". You may not be able to give your kids the best life but as long as you can show them your still dreaming, when they grow up they just might grow up with the idea that anything is possible and the point doesn't lie in a giant check it resides in that thought.

- David N.


Link: http://www.ocregister.com/video/?videoId=681567525001&lineupId=31180453001

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Best So Far: Office's "Viewing Party" and Walking Dead's "Tell It to the Frogs"

For some reason I'm completely up to date with The Office and The Walking Dead. I say that because it's unlike me to be up to date with any show I've ever liked. My usual procedure is to watch a few episodes here and there and then revisit the whole season on Netflix or just end up buying it (The Sopranos, Futurama, King of the Hill, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Larry Sanders Show, Da Ali G Show, 30 Rock, Entourage, East Bound & Down and the list goes on from there).

This year I've literally gone out of my way to watch both of these shows within days after they air. Obviously, with all the Dynex 24" HDTVs and Rocketfish wall mounts, this season is always the busiest for me but here's what I think are the best episodes so far from the shows I'm currently watching:

It's hard for me to picture watching The Office without Steve Carrell. It's a true testament to his acting skills that Michael's childish antics and immature behavior get under your skin and still manage to make you laugh. Viewing Party had a great example of this when Michael, bothered and bored about not being the life of the party, goes downstairs to cut the cable wire to Gabe's TV to ruin the Glee party. When everyone watching is confused and upset, Michael offers to go down and take a look to see if he can fix the problem he created and hopefully look like the hero he so desperately wants to be. Every scene with him played out so well, including the hilarious father-daughter confrontation that happens later between Michael and Erin. Now with all that said, I know I will keep watching The Office after Steve leaves so long as there will be more group heavy storylines like this one and more episodes written by Jon Vitti.

I'm a sucker for many of the episodes that are heavy on a group storyline because I think the show works best when you get a little bit of everyone (including Creed) at a group function (See also: Moroccan Christmas, Dunder Mifflin Picnic, Rabies Fun Run, or Survivor parody). One of my all time favorite group clips is when Dwight does the fire safety drill and you get to watch Angela throw her cat into the roof, Kevin kick in the glass of the vending machine, and Stanley suffer a heart attack. Viewing Party's group dynamic saved what I was considering a pretty slow start to the season and I guess it's just a coincidence that it was the first episode written by famed Simpsons writer, Jon Vitti. Vitti joined the show this year but he's famous for the 25 episodes he wrote for The Simpsons which include Radio Bart, Bart the Lover, and of course, Mr. Plow. Vitti has also written for a few more of my all time favorite shows (Larry Sanders, King of the Hill) so I guess it just makes sense that he'd find his way to The Office. Vitti's influence hopefully means the show will have legs after Steve departs and stays funny as ever.

Not to steal David's thunder for a possible future article, but The Walking Dead is still in its infancy on television and I'm beginning to think this show could run for ten years with the right direction.

Tell It to the Frogs did its part in stirring up a ton of future storylines that will keep you guessing and ultimately entertained for weeks. There were so many reveals in this episode, but I'll start with Rick's wife and her coping with the fact that he's not dead. It wouldn't be a great drama so far if we didn't already get to watch Shane take her into the woods and surprise her with something you could never classify as undead. Not to mention that now Rick is reunited with his family and Shane is out of the picture. Will Shane tell Rick he banged his wife? Will Rick's wife explain the banging? Who knows!

A second reveal came when we got to see some (well deserved) spousal abuse (kidding). Characters Carol and Ed have this love-hate relationship going on; he loves to watch her do women's work, and she hates getting beaten. After a highly questionable Sex in the City moment occurs regarding a vibrator joke (boo!), Ed walks over to Carol and slaps her for having a laugh while doing laundry. Shane sees the slap and beats Ed to a pulp. Will Shane and Ed coexist peacefully? How long will Carol stay with Ed? Only time will tell.

Finally it's time for my favorite reveal of them all: what's his name saws his own hand off on the roof. Forgive me but it's only been three episodes and I can't keep using Wikipedia to remember who the hell any of these people are. Anyways, Rick and them go back to free that racist dude from the roof only to find out that he's gone. Apparently he got close enough to reach the hacksaw and off went his hand from cuffs. I'm particularly interested in his escape and how they plan on reuniting his character with the group. Is he still alive? Will he take someone hostage? How soon before he gets to sleep with Rick's wife? WE JUST DON'T KNOW YET!

Stay tuned for the next edition of Best So Far and have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday, I'm In Love: By Abel

I know I told Mike my contribution to this blog was going to be about songs from the 70's, but seeing as how I'm the elder spokesman of this blog and I was actually born in the 70's, who better than myself to write about things that really chap my ass.

This weeks I'd like to discuss the holidays, mainly the retail industries obsession with black Friday. Now I'm not here to bash holidays, frankly I love turkey, pumpkin pie, tamales, gifts and Christmas lights as much as anyone. Maybe its just me getting older but it seems as though the holiday season creeps in sooner and sooner every year. It's almost as if best buy sets up dump bins with this years pile of shit no one wants hours after the last bag of Halloween candy is being ravaged.

I'm well aware that consumers need holiday sales to quench their thirst for insignia products and st. johns bay ties, but for fuck's sake, have some dignity. I can't seem to begin to comprehend the need for idiots to wait in line for days all while sleeping on the sidewalk and shitting in bushes. And for what? So that a bunch of seasonal employees can set up stacks of shit all over the store resembling the gauntlet on American gladiators, directing you towards the (insert product description here) you saved twenty four dollars on. Congrats fuckstick, you just did away with clean underpants for 72 hours for something that 9 times out of 10 is getting returned Dec 26. They wouldn't even make you wear the same underwear for three days straight as a challenge on fear factor because even a show where they eat worms and roaches knows that's just fucking disgusting.

The only saving grace for me is that every year now it seems as though more and more people are getting mugged while waiting in line or they're getting beat up for their (insert product name here) as they make their way to the car. Maybe its just me but there cant be anything worse than waiting in line in the cold and shitting yourself because you don't want to lose your place in line and miss out on that monster screen cleaner. That's right a grown ass human being is going to spend the day biting their lip and suffering from cold sweats trying to prevent that chocolate thunderstick from destroying their underpants.

So after losing all self respect and finally getting your hands on that teenage mutant ninja turtle van that your son hasn't wanted since 89 and that pentium ll processor compaq netbook, some piece of shit decides to punch you in the gut and take off with the netbook and turtle van. Call me old fashioned but I figure if im ever going to rob someone I'm not waking up before 11 am to do it and I'm sure as hell not going to risk prison time for some bugle boy jeans or a laptop that does less than my cell phone. I mean seriously what has this world come to when people cant even walk across a parking lot carrying a bristol farms fruit cake and a mr coffee without fearing for their lives.

In closing I'd just like to say be careful, be safe and most importantly, be home asleep on Nov 26, because I'm sure as shit not.

- Abel L.

Comics That Should Be Other Things: By David

Before we jump in, I should take a moment to tell you why this piece came about and what it may turn into. See in 1992 I picked up X-men #4 from the then Lucky's in South Gate, I've loved comics ever since that day. My obsession with funny books as a kid even led me to steal money, but that's a story for another blog. Getting back to my point, in the beginning it was all about the art, but now in my adult years I've found that it's been the story that's made me read them to this day. My epiphany about my love for comics came in this thought, at the core these stories are about what I strive to be; noble, heroic, radioactive...............maybe not so much in the
last part.

What the ipad and digital media will never replace, is the ability to share the best things about comics with everyone I know. In the last four years, I introduced all my friends to the Walking Dead and look at how good the TV show that came out of it is. Most of my issues of that series are at various houses as we speak, needless to say would not allow anyone to hold my giant iphone for that long just to read my comics. For those who think comics are just for kids, these pieces will be geared toward you, in the hope that you'll drop three bucks to pick
up an issue and give it a try.

Being my first piece I'll keep it short but enticing. Walking Dead was an easy sell to be made into a TV show, there's one more story out there that would be just as easy for people to go nuts for. Written by long time Punisher creative team Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's Preacher is the story of down and out preacher Jesse Custer, who goes on a search across America to (literally) find god, who has abandoned his throne in heaven. How does Jesse know this? Because he becomes possessed by an entity known as Genesis, who is a (graphically detailed I might add) mating of an angel and a demon. What does anyone get by being possessed by something like this? Super powers of course, Jesse's new found voice allows him to control mortal beings by using what's referred to as the voice of GOD. Depicted in the first issue, after witnessing this power, a sheriff who tires to arrest Jesse tells him, "I'm gonna go home now", to which Jesse replies " No, your gonna go fuck yourself." What you get next from the following two pages is not for the faint of heart. This series was a great story of self redemption from dealing with drug abuse, dis functional family, racism and a lot of other social issues.

Then there's Arseface, the son of the sheriff who violated him self. He's a 15 year old Nirvana worshiping teenager, who is horribly deformed after a failed Kurt Cobain copycat suicide attempt. His dad commits suicide after all these events and Arseface vow's revenge on Jesse. How he gets the name Arseface, I won't spoil it but it still makes me laugh to this

Some of the series I write about, you won't enjoy as much as others but I guarantee anyone who is willing to pick up Preacher Vol 1: Gone to Texas will be blown away by how a ridiculous plot can be extremely well written. In fact, if you get this book and don't enjoy it, I will give you a dollar out of my own pocket.

- David N.

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Age Soda

Ralph's is misleading its customers with a fictional product and I won't stand for it. They claim to have an entire aisle dedicated to something called New Age Soda but it really is just a place for some raspberry flavored iced tea and Fuze overstock.

If there is a soda out there that provides some form of unlimited spiritual well-being then it belongs here. Hell, I'd even take some new sodas that glow in the dark or dance when you clap (Please, creators of soda, make one that glows in the dark and make the can dance when I clap at it). To say that I felt swindled when I saw a bunch of Lipton labels would be an understatement.

As if the idea being non-existent isn't painful enough, I do have my suspicions of how the description for aisle 14A came about:
  • An overzealous stock boy who found the description "Misc. Beverages" uninspiring.
  • There were too many new Gatorade flavors for the sales manager to handle
  • Someone in charge of planograms can't decide where to put Vitamin Water (Near the vitamins or the water??!)
  • The only guy tall enough to remove New Age Soda from the marquee was off that day
  • A Redbull vendor truly believes its product gives you actual wings
  • Merchandising realized Old Age Soda wasn't selling the aisle enough
I didn't find my zen in the New Age Soda aisle at Ralph's but I did find out that it has been a very slow Monday and that all of you had better things to do while I wrote this article. My day off was well spent.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Pixels is the best short video animation-meets-live-action I've seen since Space Jam. The video shows New York being invaded by a few of our favorite classic gaming themes and characters including Pac-Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong, and the aliens from Space Invaders. At less than three minutes the whole video is my favorite scene, but more specifically I love the part where the Tetris line comes together and you get to watch a high rise drop a level and shoot all that dust. Director Patrick Jean writes in his bio that Sony might be interested in a full length adaptation which I'm in favor of. Don't even add dialogue, just add some Pitfall and Centipede animations and you've got my $10 for 90 minutes of cool looking animation. The YouTube video is embedded below but do yourself a favor and click the Dailymotion link for a much better presentation.

Psychobilly Sweet Tooth: Introduction

I asked Mike, the head of IEC, if I could first write an introductory piece for my column. The reason was simple - I didn’t have enough time to think of something to review or write about so I needed a professional way to cop out.

However, in my bi-monthly column I will bring you a review of various candy found in stores, some rare, some not. Candy is a big part of my life, be it chocolate bars or lifesavers. The various fillings in my mouth, and the root canal I’ll be getting soon could tell you all about it. It’s sad, but toothpaste and floss can only do so much when you eat sweets like I do. It’s similar to that of a four year old without any parental supervision.

I would like to describe and inform you on all my favorite candy out there, and also tell you what to stay away from. There is also plenty of new items popping up in 711s every other week that are either worth trying, or just a bunch pretzels and nougat smashed together in a shitty chocolate casing.

Will each candy column degenerate into a rant about politics, baseball, and why you should be watching Mad Men? Yeah, probably. Will my eventual case of diabetes cause my column to come to an end? Absolutely. But for the time being, we’ll enjoy a weekly dose of Psychobilly Sweet Tooth.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Red Rain by Abel L.

So yesterday I had the dubious distinction of having spent a decade working at best buy. After coming to the terms with the fact that my 20's, probably the best years of my life have been wasted there, I struggle with the thought that even though I have hated every second there, Ive met and become friends with some of the most amazing people I will ever encounter in my life.

Now that Ive gotten the gay out of my system, on to more more pressing issues. Monday November 8, a date that will live forever in the hearts and minds of best buy employees, the project team and the staff at the Downey regional medical center, I Abel Lozano almost got transferred to the big best buy in the sky. That's right, me, the duke of pricing, chancellor of keepers, sultan of Sunday ad sets, the Michael Jordan of new releases, the Maradona of truck unloading, the man who operates a telxon with the precision of a brain surgeon, almost died.

While helping a fellow employee get media baskets down from above the gondolas in the warehouse, I was struck in the head by an avalanche of metal and suffered a laceration to my head. It felt as though God himself put on a gauntlet and hit me with his best overhand right. After quickly brushing that shot off, I quickly realized I was gushing blood like a geyser at Yellowstone. Fortunately its me we're talking about so with some quick thinking I put some cd labels, bundle bands, a keeper and some best buy tape to good use. After making my way to the restroom to look in the mirror (Sorry for calling you a fucking idiot Ozzie, but next time get out of my god damn way) I noticed the hole in my head resembled a cavern Indiana Jones would make his way out of, I also looked like a circuit city employee because my shirt was now covered in B negative.

A couple of minutes later after I was talked out of using zip ties and double sided tape to close the wound, the employees drew straws to see who would get to drive me to the hospital. (thanks Juan) While in the E.R, I was consoled by the doctor asking me my two cents on buying a 3D t.v. now or waiting a couple more weeks. Unfortunately I wasn't able to explain to him connectivity or use trust as I was occupied with the synergies he was putting in my skull. After the doctor finished sewing me up better than a nine year old Vietnamese girl in a osh kosh b'gosh sweat shop, back to work I went.

Well today we had a visit from the district staff and I realized just how incredibly amazing I am and here's proof.
1. The reason I got hit in the head was probably because the warehouse was full of shit and it need to get cleaned up in hurry for the visit.
2. The shelf got me right on the hairline, so even with stitches it hard to see. It just looks like my hair.
3. Last but not least, the warehouse was a complete cluster fuck before I went to the hospital, pallets everywhere! But just as Willis Reed inspired the knicks to beat the lakers, Kirk Gibson giving the dodgers the will to beat the athletics, I Abel Lozano, (not unlike a phoenix rising from the ashes) whose misfortune got the truck done, warehouse cleaned up and had best buy employees believing in heroes once again.

- Abel L.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unemployment Fun Zone: Fast Food Frenzy

Welcome to the first of what I'm calling Unemployment Fun Zone. This column is the brain child of a consensus formed by the owner of the blog your reading and his delinquent friends and it will be dedicated to finding people the best things to do for little or no money. In the coming weeks, you'll learn how to see free movies, get free memorabilia that can be resold for 100 percent profit, and how to throw a party for less than twenty dollars.

For our inauguration and in honor of Jack in the Box's two taco giveaway on 11-16-10, I've decided to spotlight some of history's most recent fast food giveaways.

Fast-food chains are practically giving away food these days—that is, when they are not actually offering free food. I find myself having a weekly buck double from Burger King these days, de-lish!!! Think about this, who among us can forget how crazy the nation went during KFC's introduction of their grilled chicken? I remember my friends breaking the button on their mouse and seeing the forehead indentations on everyone's desk as they all tried to score that redeemable piece of paper that KFC server crashes made almost impossible.

Among the scariest free food giveaways, was Denny's free grand slam breakfast. This town riots for basketball victories, unjustified beatings and free food giveaways. That morning was no exception, the way we all watched the news to see hundreds of people form street stopping lines for two pieces of bacon and a stale pancake was mesmerizing. The last time I stopped to watch the news for that long was during 9-11.

My all time favorite giveaway is one few people know about, often times Chic -fil- a restaurants give a free breakfast or they do a bring your receipt back a month from now for the exact same thing for free. It's the best thing you could do for practically nothing but a few minutes of your time.

These gems of free food in the rough don't just serve as shameless promotions, they can be date time for high school kids, a weeks worth of lunches for starving students and just a great conversation piece.

- David N.

Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips Luau BBQ: Good Source of Vitamin C

About 13 Hawaiian BBQ kettle chips provide 6% of your daily Vitamin C requirement. This is good news considering I'm almost done eating the entire 8oz bag all by myself. These are by far the best chips known to man kind and the description on the back proves it:

Discover a new world of flavor when you crunch into these crispy golden chips. Created one batch at a time to deliver the freshness and authenticity only found in Hawaiian Style Chips. Cooked to perfection, and seasoned to give you the authentic taste that only an open fire barbeque can give you. Open a bag of Hawaiian Style Potato Chips, and let yourself be swept away to a tropical paradise of beautiful sunset luaus. Mahalo.

It's too bad that Tim's Cascade Snacks is actually located in Algona, WA and there are no Hawaiian born employees on their payroll. Probably.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gaming Again

A brief look back:

1991: My parents buy me a Nintendo Entertainment System complete with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. Watching my dad try to figure out how the RF Modulator works when setting up the NES is hands down one of my favorite all-time memories. Anyways, the collection of games grows to at least 30 and a few years later my sister takes everything including that crappy third party super controller with the super A and B buttons and put it on the front lawn.

1999: After several disappointing Christmas' pass and I miss out on SNES, Sega Genesis, Dreamcast, Jaguar, Virtual Boy, XBOX, and the first Playstation I take matters into my own hands and purchase a used Nintendo 64 from Daniel. Once again I build a great collection of games thanks to the lowered prices and Gamecube craze. Everything sells on eBay for a solid gain and Daniel sees a portion of the profits throughout the coming years.

2001-ish: Counter Strike sends me and a few friends from high school to an internet cafe where we pay $4 to use a PC for 2 hours with a few hundred other idiots. My favorite part about that game was knowing how awful I am at first-person shooters and ruining any chances my team had at winning.

2006?: Once again I'm in control and forfeit the option of buying an XBOX 360 or PS3 and go with a Wii. MarioKart and Super Smash Bros. excluded, the system was a great idea but didn't have enough adult content to last so it too went the way of eBay. I don't really regret the decision but I will say that playing MarioKart online with everyone from work was a blast.

2009-2010: A PS3 and XBOX 360 Elite were purchased and life is good.

No, I'm not in line for the midnight release of Call of Duty: Black Ops. A hidden zombie mode isn't enough to make me buy this game any time soon specifically because I am terrible at anything related to Call of Duty. I don't hate first-person shooters but I am aware that I do usually suck at them compared to anyone else playing online. Halo proved to be fun for about thirty days but after getting crushed by tweens over XBOX Live and giving up on a pretty boring storyline I'm back to playing my current favorites: Fallout: New Vegas, Fable III and Little Big Planet.

I love these video games the way I love my favorite movies. The experience, especially from the Fallout series, is everlasting. These games were made for people like me who enjoy an open universe and beginner's curve that lets you learn how to get better without feeling emasculated. A good fifteen hours has been dedicated to all three of the video games listed above and the true staying power is in the possibilities. At what I thought was the ending of Fable III you become King and have to make a whole set of decisions that create a brand new experience. Pardon or execute the tyrant? Raise taxes? Keep the promises you made along your journey? I'm not even close to the end.

One thing that's been bothering me is the fact that my new favorite games supposedly require no skill. Compared to Call of Duty, Fallout: New Vegas is a cake walk I'm told. First-person shooters require quick reflexes and mental agility where as an RPG requires a lot of reading, roaming, and time. The no-skills argument still doesn't sit well with me because I think fans of first-person shooters don't have the patience for an RPG and dismiss it immediately. At best it's still an apples and oranges discussion that can continue in the comments section. Either way, I'm back at the video game helm for good right now. Bring on the Radscorpians!

First Bad Omen

According to all Facebook sources, IEC contributor Abel is recovering fine after a shelf at work tried to take him out. This scare comes just hours after (see below) the relaunching of Infinite Et Cetera which can only mean one thing: bad idea. Posting will be temporarily suspended until I check on the safety and status of all other contributors.

In the mean time, we send Abel best wishes to a speedy recovery.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's All Coming Back To Me Now

We're back.

After an extended hiatus Infinite Et Cetera returns with more content, contributors, updates, and general nothingness. Spearheaded by the celebration of one man being freed from his telxon, a consensus formed that helped breathe new life into this blog and will hopefully keep it alive from here on out. While I continue writing my two-page apology for suspending the blog here's a guide that explains what to expect from IEC in the future:
  • Updates in terms of reality: The truth is I work more than I should because I'm a chump with too many bills. That just means you can expect most of my personal contributions to be posted on my off days which are usually Monday and Wednesday.
  • Features: While we may have guest contributors from time to time, the main contributors to IEC signed new contracts that meet certain deadlines for their featured articles. Here's a brief overview of what those will look like:
Contributor: David N.
Feature: Providing plenty of musings that involve comic books, food, movies, and a tentative feature known as "Tips On How To Survive With Zero Income" that may or may not include a forward by Danny A.
Updated: Weekly, possibly daily.

Contributor: Abel L.
Feature: "70's Song of the Week". Mostly ABBA songs.
Updated: Weekly.

Contributor: Danny A.
Feature: "Candy Review of the Week". More imaginative titles for the article would include I'll Take You To The Candy Shop, Danny's Candies, Psychobilly Sweet Tooth, Zombie Zugar, etc;
Updated: Weekly.
  • Telxon of Freedom Award: Finally, I've created the Telxon of Freedom award in light of recent events. Essentially it's an award that any of the contributors can use at their disposal to highlight any acts of bravery, freedom, or simply anything that is pretty awesome. This week I have personally nominated David to receive a Telxon of Freedom Award and expect an acceptance speech in the near future. Well done sir and accept your prize below...