Daily Archives

December 7, 2016

All Entries Business and Work Humor

The Mother of All Boredom

December 7, 2016

I have no idea why the bank hired me. Apart from a warm body and pulse, I didn’t have a thing to offer Ferneyhough Savings. They didn’t have much to offer me, either. Unless, of course, you count the $9.65 an hour entry level tellers make. To be honest, I didn’t even want the job. I was just trying to survive until ski season.

Bank tellers are a dying breed that have succumbed to a lethal combination of online banking, electronic deposits and Square Cash. Unlike my counterparts of the 1950s who actually worked for a living, I spent the majority of my day staring into space. Occasionally, a waitress would come in with a wad of cash and $234 in loose change she collected from tips. Once in a while, a kid would want to cash in his piggy bank, but that was about it.

This wasn’t the first boring job I’ve had. I’ve worked dozens of dead-end gigs while working my way through college. I’ve counted ball bearings, patrolled Six Flags parking lots in a chicken costume, watched paint dry, and inspected plastic tubing. At least with those jobs I was doing something. Figuring out ways to look busy as a bank teller was a whole new slice of pizza. read more

All Entries History Humor Leisure and Sports

Olympic Sports that Never Quite Made the Grade

December 7, 2016

Even if you don’t like sports, it was hard not to get excited about the Summer Olympic Games. The pageantry, the colorful uniforms and swapping pins with spectators from all over the world make it a must-see event. But, they didn’t start out that way.

The original competitions have expanded from six simple feats of strength to more than 26 individual events contested on the ground, in the air, underwater, on grass, inside and outside of elaborate, multi-million-dollar athletic stadiums that ultimately wind up taking their place in history as second class bluegrass music venues and swap meets.

The Paris Summer Olympic Games of 1900 provided a watershed of athletic hopefuls. The first one was Lawn Bowling. Heavy, metal balls (weighted on one side – God only knows why) were rolled down a grass-covered lawn to see who could get closest to the “Jack” or the “Kitty.” Even though it’s still watched on BBC by over three million enthusiasts, the International Olympic Committee felt that even watching paint dry on a wall was more exciting than Lawn Bowling, so they dropped it from contention. read more

All Entries Family Home Life Humor Romance

The Real Secret to Using On-line Dating

December 7, 2016

It’s Saturday night around 11:30 and I’ve been telling Carol about the time I visited Nepal while on break from Harvard Medical School. I was telling Leslie how much I excel at skiing the steeps in the Chugach mountain range and Sharon and I were engaged in a long discussion about our favorite restaurants in Tuscany. All from the comfort of my living room.

I haven’t been on a date in over five years; ever since my wife left me for the Bowflex repairman. So, it’s easy to understand why I’ve so grown comfortable with sidling up to women through Match.com, Great-Expectations.com, WaaaayOverThirtySingles.com, and Plentyof Fish.com – while wallowing in the safety that only deception and miles of distance can provide. But recently, I’ve started to grow suspicious of the women I’ve been meeting after reading their on-line profiles. They all seem to sound suspiciously the same.

So, after more than 45 minutes of exhaustive research, I came up with an interpretive approach for anyone hoping to find “Mr. or Ms. Right” over their wireless network. read more

All Entries Family Home Life Humor

With Rentals Like These, Who Needs Friends?

December 7, 2016

This started out as a bad year. In less than 6 months, I lost my job, condominium, car and girlfriend. Even the cat packed up her litter box and left. When my parents heard the bad news, they immediately snapped into action: they fled to Boca Raton and dropped me from their Christmas card list. The exodus continued with all of my aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews and my one remaining frat brother. Then it hit me. Friends and relatives are just things. Things you can rent.

After the devastation settled in, I made up my mind that I was never going to own friends or family again. If I couldn’t rent someone, I didn’t need them. The following Monday, I began rebuilding my life.

I knew the first thing I’d need was a girlfriend. Someone to share the essence of life –holding hands and laughing while we skipped along the beach, picking up my dirty laundry, doing the vacuuming, cooking, and cleaning the bathroom in my pathetic little studio apartment. Maybe even someone to argue with when the urge moves me. So, I went directly to Rent-a-Friend.com. read more

All Entries Business and Work Entertainment and Show Business History Humor Technology

The Wilhelm Scream

December 7, 2016

In the early days of the film industry, it was hard to find a good scream. Before the invention of sound bites, directors who needed a blood-curdling shriek from actors often got rather paltry sounding yelps. That is, until Private Wilhelm entered the scene.

In the 1951 war classic Distant Drums, a soldier is dragged under water by an alligator as he wades through a treacherous Florida swamp. After the filming was completed, sound engineers recorded a series of screams that were added during post-production. Two years later, in The Charge at Feather River, a soldier named Private Wilhelm (played by Ralph Brooke) takes an arrow in the leg. Similar to modern sound engineering processes, the Distant Drums scream was resurrected from a vault and added to Wilhelm’s impalement scene.

What became known as the Wilhelm Scream is actually thought to be the handiwork of a popular television and screen actor named Sheb Wooley. He and other actors from Distant Drums were asked to contribute various sound bites to the film. Wooley later went on to play in classics such as High Noon with Gary Cooper, Clint Eastwood’s The Outlaw Josey Wales and the hit television series Rawhide. But it was Wooley’s contribution to radio, the hit song Purple People Eater that ultimately overshadowed his success as the originator of the Wilhelm Scream. read more

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