Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2018

Putting the WE in Halloween

Friends, It’s unclear to me whether the elaborate displays and decorations we put-up for All Hallows Eve effectively stave off of the spirits of the recently deceased which are supposed to meander among us this time of year. I, for one, haven’t seen any ghosts, so I suppose they must be working. That said, if these spirits are from people familiar with our traditions, how is it our displays are effective at scaring them away? Don’t they know better? Regardless, it’s fun to watch people go all-out for Halloween. I admire folks who put-up elaborate front lawn graveyards, garage horror houses or other elaborate displays. Personally, I’m more of an inside joke decorator. Lower quantity and a little more nuanced than the all-out folks I hold in high regard. Whether it be my PacMan parody of the popular ‘ghosts hanging from the trees’ theme (left) or hiding the WE logo in the word Halloween for our Denver north office’s entry at the Spaces door decoration contest, I like to put-up displays…

Lessons from Political Ads

Friends, As a political battleground state, Colorado has the joy of being bombarded with political ads. I’ve noticed a few genres. There is the ‘tell so-and-so not to kill baby seals’ (or some other terrible act). There’s the ‘she’s out of touch/dangerous for Colorado’. There’s also the rare ‘vote for me because I’m awesome’. My favorite, though, is the casual conversation ad, often used to support or oppose a ballot proposition. You’ve probably seen them. Two people engaged in a conversation, one of whom has a strong opinion about a measure while the other listens, agrees and states they will vote the same way. Hundreds of thousands (often millions) of dollars spent to model a conversation I can’t relate to or imagine ever having. Makes me wonder if they’ve ever worked. They must, otherwise why would special interests spend so much money? Let’s try one.
[Setting: two people standing next to a break room table]. [Person 1]: Hey Pat, those donuts look delicious, mind if I have one? […

Donut Mess With Me!

Friends, Messing with people’s minds can be fun. You know, the way a public radio program director plays the ‘support for NPR comes from…’ advert, immediately followed by a fund drive –no news for you mister! Lately, I’ve been tempted to go down to their level and engage in similarly despicable tactics. Here’s a few ideas: Have you seen the Italian American custom license plates? You know the ones with a little American flag next to a little Italian flag centered in the frame. Well, what if we painted an even smaller emblem of a brown eagle sitting on a cactus in the white space of the green white and red? It doesn’t even have to be that detailed, just a few strokes and, voila, they’re now proud of their Mexican American heritage. Adopt a random conspiracy theory and defend it. Admit it, that could be a lot of fun. As a conspiracy theorist, you are now allowed to believe in any preposterous notion and dismiss any inconvenient evidence –afte…

Name That Thing

Friends, Names. Funny things, names. They comfort us, giving us the illusion of control. Naming something allows us to put it in a box and somehow tame it. With a name comes a sense of measure, understanding and normalcy. I think names can rob us of something primeval. Imagine a little understood mysterious force of unknown origin accelerating the expansion of the universe and cleaving it apart at the seams. Now imagine dark energy. By giving it a name, you’ve deprived it of mystery and magic and confined it to the mundane. So many incurable diseases, all named to comfort the patients –it has a name, so we must know what to do about it. Heck, the name “disease” itself helps us hope for a cure. Would you rather go to an unspoiled wilderness where uncontacted civilizations still loom large and piranhas can eat you alive or would you rather go to the Amazon? I suppose Prince was onto something. Maybe it’s the donut I ate that’s talking. Then again. maybe it’s that first magical bite int…

Fall into Autumn

Friends, I’m thinking I might be a middle-of-the-road kind of guy –everything in moderation. I go to bed around 10 PM -not too early or late. I don’t like beverages that are scalding hot or ice cold. When it comes to politics and policy, I think we should start a golden rule party –treat everyone the way we would wish to be treated if we were in their shoes. Goldie Locks was onto something. I suppose that’s why I like autumn. No blazing summer heat or chilling winter cold for me. Crisp morning air, cloud-dotted blue skies, leaf-carrying breezes and football are just what the doctor ordered. Few things beat a warm cup of cocoa, surrounded by family around an early evening bonfire. I suppose if you added a donut to the mix it would be just right. Aside from donuts, what are your favorite fall follies? Happy Friday!