The disillusionment towards design

Anyone who’s ever gone inside a Walmart might be familiar with their private label products; the Great Value name that Walmart uses as their store brand.  Fairly easily identifiable by the uniformity of white packaging or labels, and their minor variation of colors based on the product.

It’s clean and it’s simple, there’s absolutely no denying that.  It’s exactly what Walmart wishes their own brand to appear, despite the fact that their name is synonymous with lower-class America, but I’m straying from the point.  For its efforts and objective, the current iteration of the Great Brand identity has won a couple of design awards, and received lots of accolade from the general design community.

It is that part of the story, that I cannot necessarily agree with.

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Steal from Walmart, get owned – to death

A sadistic part of me finds morbid amusement at reading about the tyranny and carnage that occasionally takes place during each year’s Black Fridays.  As unfortunate as it is that the worst stories that emerge from Black Fridays typically include death, I can’t help but be astonished at some of the lengths people will sometimes go to in order to get their grubby hands on particular doorbuster items.

I saw this story of a man getting essentially brutalized to death at Walmart, and was kind of half-surprised, half-not surprised at the fact that it led to an AJC link, meaning the incident took place in the greater Metro Atlanta area.  I’m never really surprised when some of the worst things happen in Atlanta, because that’s kind of how I perceive this place sometimes.

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Another November, another 50,000 words

With two days to spare, I crossed the 50,000 word threshold for the sixth time.  If I dedicate enough to even start, I refuse to fail; I have not, not succeeded to hit 50,000 in the six times that I’ve tried this.

The Siffee Food Chain is a story that was meant to lampoon the SyFy Channel’s endless parade of “combo-monster-animal” movies, but somewhere along the line, an actual story actually began to emerge as I was writing about the adventures of Megashark, Sharktopus, Velocipython, Supergator, Dinocroc and Megaraptor.  About how mankind’s inherent desire to constantly play God eventually digs themselves deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole as their creations constantly end up going rogue, and bigger, badder creations are necessary to combat the old evils, until they too eventually revolt.

Yes, the premise of my story this year was absolutely putrid crap, but that hasn’t been the reason I’ve been doing this, and I don’t think has been since the first time I ever tried it.  As someone who really likes to write a lot, it’s always a fairly interesting experiment whenever I embark on Nanowrimo, because in the effort to put 50,000+ words together, you really are enlightened to what your current vernacular really is like.  The kinds of words you fall back onto, the choices of adjectives and verbs, and how you get around to explaining and writing situations without sounding too repetitive.  It also really makes you realize that your wealth of word choices may or may not be as diverse and expansive as you may or may not have thought it was.

No matter, another November, another successful 50,000-word adventure.  Needless to say, I always feel a good bit of relief and a weight lifted off my shoulders when I finish, because now I can get back to brogging about nonsensical crap instead of writing about mythical fake monsters.  The ironic thing is that I honestly think this would have a possibility of being greenlit by the SyFy network.

How I would improve the prison system

Personally, I think today’s prison system is all wrong.  Completely, unequivocally wrong.

Criminals who are killers, rapists, and most often times dangerously violent people, are put into tight quarters with other criminals who are killers, rapists and most often times dangerously violent people.  Now add a whole bunch of weights to lift, equipment to exercise with, and large yards for them to workout in.  Ration their meals to tiny, portion-controlled, bare-minimum nutrient servings.  And if it’s like The Shawshank Redepmtion, have a library and an Andy Dufresne, where prisoners can learn, expand their horizons, and become smarter.

And then after five to ten years of all this, set these motherfuckers free – physically chiseled and hardened, likely smarter, and probably with a whole lot more knowledge from the other prisoners who might have been willing to share their personal knowledge, connections and information.  Send guys back out on the streets way more dangerous than when they were first put in prison.  What a brilliant legal system.

Fuck all that.  If I controlled the world, all of this would be the exact opposite.  I guarantee the world would be a safer place.

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Ironic double standards

I get accused of being a racist a lot, but to be perfectly honest, I deserve it.  I derive an immense amount of humor out of politically incorrect things, and I love to point out when things seem racist in my opinion.  I say a lot of politically incorrect things around those I have confidence around, but when the day is over, I’m not going to act on my racism, because that would be bigotry, and that, I do think is pretty wrong.

But today was an example of why I get the impression that I’m generally disliked by my fellow Koreans, in an ironic case of I guess, self-racism.  There are a lot of Koreans that work in my building in general.  I’ve made their smoking habits the subject of my observations of people, but for the most part, I have no ill-will towards them.  I don’t necessarily think it goes the other way though; the impression I get from these Korean people are about the same as I tend to get from most other Koreans who have immigrated to the United States; an overwhelming desire to stay away from me.

I’m a very observant person, if it’s not well known to those I know.  Whether I like to or not, I tend to recognize faces, recognize patterns and tendencies of people, whether I know them or not.  Especially with a building where everyone sees everyone on a long enough timeline, I’m fairly good at remembering little, inconsequential and unsubstantial details on a sporadic basis.

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Photos: Thanksgiving and dog pictures

As has been a tradition for a few years now, Jen and I opened up our home’s doors to those of our friends that did not go home and/or to see family for the Thanksgiving holiday.  So instead of listening to awkward lectures and reasons why I’m living my life like an imbecile, I instead have the company of less judgmental friends, and we dine just like the majority of Americans do on Thanksgiving – with a big fat turkey, and tons of fatty rich sides, and then we play games all night long.

Oh, and I was also taking a lot of pictures of my dog in his awesome shark costume.

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Okay, it wasn’t really ruined

Despite my proclamation that Black Friday was ruined, in the end, it didn’t turn out so bad for me in spite of my judgmental claims. I started shopping on the afternoon of Thanksgiving, and while the food was cooking, I made a few purchases, and felt pleased with myself for tackling things that I wanted, at good prices, and eliminating the need to wake up at 3:30 in the morning the following day.

All in all, I have to boast the things I managed to procure without even having to leave my house:

  • 23″ monitor
  • Canon point-and-shoot camera
  • 32GB SD card
  • Three sweaters
  • One pair of jeans

I stayed up until almost 3 am, after all my company had left, and perused through the varying sales that were already in full swing or were just beginning since it had turned midnight on PST. I didn’t buy anything else for myself, but I was so drunk with online shopping, that I helped acquire other things that they were looking for.

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