My IM Status

I have managed to piss off at least one reader of my blog, perhaps more. I was out last night when someone tried to instant message me from this blog and I was not present to get the IM. He thought I was ignoring him, which was perfectly natural because I didn’t set my away message. He had no way of knowing I wasn’t there to respond.

Things I’ve Learned

Set your instant messaging away message when you’re not at your computer in order to avoid pissing people off. It’s happened before and I should have learned by now.

So, I apologize to anyone I’ve offended by not responding to an IM message. I’ll try to remember to set my away message in the future.

Consider me chastened.

Valentine’s Day Help

Okay, this is a plug for a client but considering that I write mostly about sports, most of the people who read my blog are guys and I figure I’m doing y’all a service by telling you about .  Their tagline is "because guys can’t shop," and that’s exactly what they do: Help guys find the right gifts for the women in their life.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, where visitors can ask the ladies of RomeoShops.com for advice. They’ve categorized their products into those the type of woman she is or what phase in life she is in. For instance, there’s a section for ; there’s a section for gifts for the ; and there’s a section for .

If you’re shopping for Valentine’s Day, it’s not too late, either. They have overnight and, since they’re based in Minneapolis, if you live in the Twin Cities, you can arrange to have your gift couriered to you.

So there you go; no excuses. 😉

Minneapolis Sucks

I haven’t yet told you how much or how badly sucks, have I?

Living in , I have never felt the odd inferiority complex some Saint Paulites exhibit when comparisons to their sister city across the river are brought up…because there’s no comparison. Minneapolis is a cold, manipulative, and calculating place. Let me tell you how.

On Friday, and I had a meeting in Minneapolis to pitch a potential client. We drove separately because the meeting was at 4 p.m. and neither of us were planning on returning to the office after the meeting.

So Blois, driving ahead of me, found a couple of open meters on…I think it was 2nd Street. I pulled into the second slot, turned off the engine and got out of the .

What’s the first thing you do when you park at a meter? You look at it, right? You go up to it and find out when the meter is enforced and if you need to plug in some quarters, you do. I look at the meter and it says that it is enforced until 4 p.m.

Our meeting was at four and we were running a tad late. It was after four. We were good to go.

After the meeting, Blois and I are walking down 2nd Street and Blois notices a tow truck where we had parked our cars. I can’t see my Jeep. We run over to the tow truck and the guy is getting ready to hook up the cable to pull Blois’ vehicle up onto the flatbed part of his truck. Blois tells the guy he doesn’t need to tow, that it’s his car and we’re going to leave.

But the guy would have none of it. All I can think about is the $180 it cost me the last time Minneapolis towed my Jeep.

Slowly filling with righteous rage, Blois and I point out that the meters say they are not enforced after 4 p.m. and we parked there after four peee emmmmm. But the towing guy points out a street sign indicating that there’s no stopping between 4 and 6 p.m. We hadn’t even noticed the sign because, you know, you get confirmation from the meter and then what else do you need? Nothing.

Contradictory signs appears to be a way to create revenue for Minneapolis. Thanks, .

The towing guy says he’ll give us a ride to the impound lot and I guess we should be thankful for that. We get in the truck and though grumbling about our ordeal, Blois is entirely gracious with the guy, saying he understands that the guy’s just doing his job.

All I can muster is a “I hate Minneapolis.” I’m not feeling particularly gracious.

“Yeah, I hate Minneapolis, too,” the towing guy says. It looks like he’s got a pinch of between his gums. Crackly old school Country Western music sprays out from the AM band. “I’ve been stabbed and shot in Minneapolis. My wife came down with brain cancer and she died three weeks ago,” he tells us.

“Dude, I’m so sorry,” Blois says.

Either the tower’s travails puts everything in perfect and proper perspective, or he’s got a foolproof way to shut disgruntled people up.

We get to the impound lot and I step up to the bulletproof window to pay the goddamn city to get my Jeep back as a result of their intentionally misleading signs and find out the damage is $138.

“You’ve dropped your prices. I wasn’t expecting that much,” I say as the guy at the window slips my driver’s license back to me through the slit in the glass. I write out the check and slip it to him.

“And you’ll need to get this taken care of within the next week,” he says, slipping a ticket to me through the glass. It’s for $34.

“That’s more like it,” I say, stuff it in my pocket, and head outside to find my Jeep.

I can’t get out of the horrid city fast enough; but not too fast, because, God knows, I’ll get a ticket for speeding. I breathe a sigh of relief as I cross the border from the hostile Minneapolis into the warm and welcoming embrace of my city, Saint Paul, a place where I’ll never worry about being towed.

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Super Bowl Advertisements

Considering all the Super Bowl advertisers have made all of the Super Bowl ads available online, perhaps companies have finally figured out that it makes a hell of a lot of business sense to put your television commercials on the Web. It has annoyed me for years that so few companies practice this…practice.

If I like a company’s commercial, I want to be able to find it on their web site. I may even, as I will shortly, blog about a particular ad, extending the reach of that commercial message. With that thought in mind, even gives you code to paste an ad directly onto your web site or blog. No brainer, huh?

So, I’m happy that all of the .

For my money, by far the best commercial was ‘s Caveman, what with the caveman doing his best impression:

ad featuring a city populated by stuntmen was clever:

had a very clever ad made that much better by the fact that is in it:

‘ ad was great simply because of the cool animation:

And, finally, ‘s ad was funny for the concept: A hamster make the case for why he’d be an excellent football mascot:

Super Bowl Trauma

I’m posting this from my Sidekick II on the way to Pixel Grrrl’s for her high-def Super Bowl party–don’t worry, Phone Assasin is driving–becuase I lost my entire original post by trying out Writeboard (more on that in another post) so I have top rewrite it and this is the only time I have to do it. And that is a long way of saying NO LINKS FOR YOU in this post.

So, anyway, I was listening to MPR yesterday on the way to play touch football and the hosts were saying that they really had no interest in this year’s Super Bowl and then launched into a riff of how the Steelers should win because while the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Matt Hasselback was a thirtysomething, argyle-wearing, bald Christian, the Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was an Ent, slow-moving but powerful. It was an amusing bit from a couple of guys who clearly had no interest in discussing the game but felt an obligation to due to the cultural signifigance of the event.

Though as you know, I breathe football, I sota feel the same way. I’ve got no dog in this fight and therefore feel passionately about neither Pittsburgh nor Seattle.

That wouldn’tve been the case in my childhood.

As a tweenager, I made a new friend and we got along famously but I soon learned that he had just moved from Pittsburgh and, much to my chagrin, was quite naturally a huge Steelers fan. The Steelers. The team that beat my beloved Vikings in the Super Bowl.

And he wouldn’t back down; he wouldn’t do the decent thing and adopt to his new environs by pledging allegiance to his new hometown team. He had committed a flagrant breech of childhood fandom etiquette. To make matters worse, he was also a Pirates fan, a team that at that time was tearing up the league while my Twins were…middling.

If the expressions had been around at the time, I would’ve told him in no uncertain terms the he couldn’t come into “my house” and talk such trash.

I hated the Steelers, as I did the Dolphins and the Raiders, the two other teams who beat the Vikings in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs didn’t count because I was too young to have watched that game.

But I’m not a hater. Not anymore, anyway. I feel no hate, at least, for the Steelers, the Dolphins, or the Raiders.

The Cowboys, on the other hand…yeah, I still hate then. That’s one childhood trauma from which I doubt I’ll ever recover.

That trauma was inflicted in 1975 by Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson who, during the final seconds of the NGFC Championship game, on the infamous Hail Mary play, illegally pushed off on Viking defender Nate Wright to catch the Roger Staubach pass for a touchdown that sent the Cowboys to the Super Bowl.

It was my very first taste of injustice.

But no hate for the Steelers; in fact, I think they’ll win. I just think they’re tougher, have a ground game that can eat up the clock and a better quarterback. After all, he IS an Ent.

Purple People Eaters Vikings Video

More old skool Minnesota Vikings video, this time including some great stuff on the original 1961 Vikings team and on the Purple People Eaters.

Mike Tice To The Jaguars

Good for .

I’m glad to see to be an assistant head coach for the . While the were entirely justified in firing him–he had his three years to prove himself–it would nevertheless have been interesting to see what he could have done under new and more generous ownership.

Tice is a good coach and the Jags got a bargain. I liked him; so I’m happy for him. But he’d have made me much happier if he’d have taken to the NFL broadcast booth. He was entertaining in large part because he was so wonderfully and brutally honest.

God knows we could use more of that type of commentary while watching the on TV. ? Please.