Thursday, August 16, 2007

Gave Blood, Ate Nutter Butters

Yesterday, I went to the American Red Cross blood drive at work and gave blood. I haven't done this since college, when I looked at it as a chance to get free sandwiches, feel charitable and sneak in a free HIV and Hepatitis exam.

Free sandwiches don't do much for me anymore, and I'm clean as a whistle when it comes to sexual cooties, so I guess here in my maturity I'm driven more by the feeling of true charity - giving my blood for the of another whom I will never know.

Of course there are some other 'perk' motivations:

-NutterButters - I'm not sure if this is part of Nabisco's marketing plan, but these delicious little bastards are in my eyes the unofficially official cookie of blood drives. Something about their perfect concentration of high-fructose corn syrup, saturated fat and creamy, imitation peanut-butter byproduct filling makes them the perfect antidote to the sudden loss of blood sugar at a volunteer blood-letting. Have you ever seen a blood drive where Nutter Butters weren't part of the forced 15 minute observation period? I haven't.

-Lowering Your Tolerance - leaking 1 pint (or about 5%) of your blood and promptly replacing it with a pint of booze means that pint of booze instantly has a higher effect on your BAC than it would have before you'd lost all that blood. It's fantastic, really, like being a freshman in college all over again.

-The Chance to See Something Freaky - saw one girl totally lose consciousness, regain consciousness and then throw up. It looked dangerous - a familiar risk at blood drives but it never seems to lose its allure. Between the pin pricks, ten gauge needles, and bags of your own vital fluid - it's a lot for some people to stomach. The fear or the pain or the impact of the injury (it makes no difference to your body that you're volunteering), there are plenty of reasons to pass out.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Passenger Air Bag Off

In this grainy picture produced by the supposed 1.2 mega-pixel camera of the hated Motorola SLVR L7 phone, what you're seeing is the Passenger Air Bag status indicator from a Chevy Impala I rented and rocked this weekend from Boston to York, Maine, and back.

The Impala, all fourteen, cherry-red feet of it, was a comfortable, stylish (if American) ride for the wedding-weekend. But this particular feature made no sense to me. And not just it's existence - I mean, really, why? - but it's implication - why?

Why would I want the passenger side air bag turned 'Off?' Should I, as the driver of this or any vehicle have that kind of power? To determine, seemingly by whim, accident or neglect, the fate of my passenger in the event of an accident?

So I can't imagine why this would (if the gauge is to be trusted) be an optional feature. Does the Impala get better mileage if the passenger-side air bag isn't activated? Or was it just GM's assumption that I would choose to let some of my passengers die in an accident or simply take their chances because I either hate them or don't care. Anyway, I thought the whole point of an air bag, like a guardian angel, was for it to be vigilant and ready to intervene when I hadn't been dismal enough to assume for myself that I might wrap the car around a tree on my way back to the motel.

My passenger and I were bothered by this revelation, and look as we did could not find any apparent way to activate the passenger-side air bag and turn the indicator from 'Off' to the hoped-for 'On.' So maybe (GM, I'm invoking your response here) I'm missing the point. Maybe 'Off' doesn't mean what I think it means. Maybe 'Off' is a good thing, as in, undeployed (but that's rather obvious in the case of an air bag) and so again, I beg the question, why this option, why this gauge?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Yale: Corporate America Digs Dicks

Well, this Yale study proves it: a man acting like a dick is a good thing and a woman doing the same is very, very bad. Quoth Reuters: "A man who gets angry at work may well be admired for it but a woman who shows anger in the workplace is liable to be seen as 'out of control' and incompetent, according to a new study presented Friday."

Transiting something we've known for a long time, chicks dig assholes, so, apparently, does Corporate America. But this shouldn't be a surprise after countless dickheads have risen through the sheer force of their bellicosity to prominent positions throughout history (corporate or otherwise, but with leadership of some kind being the common stripe) - Xerxes, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Henry VIII, JP Morgan, Richard Nixon, Donald Trump, Ken Lay, Steve Jobs, George W. Bush, off the top of my head.

Millions of anecdotal examples aside, the point of calling something 'a study' - which is to say 'scientific' - must mean the numbers back up the common knowledge. So is it that anger inspires awe and confidence or is that fear incited by displays of anger inspire obedience and complicity in the angry ones' rise to success?

Another question is, if this works solely for men is there a failing on the part of the feminist movement to not capitalize on the virtues of womanhood that would lead to corporate success? Abandoning anger for displays of love and affection perhaps (without of course, resorting to the demonstrably ineffective strategy of outright sluttiness)?

Either way, this is news I can use. I see know that I've been taking things way too easy at work in being the chill guy and letting shit slide like water off a duck's back. From now on, I'm not taking any prisoners. No goof, faux pas or mea culpa will go unpunished. Every stupid question will be met with a scathing verbal assault. Each personal foible, ruthlessly exploited until every last scintilla of embarrassing fodder has been pulled out and used to produce chagrin and anguish amongst my co-workers who will then respect and admire my ass straight to the top. Motherfuckers best watch out, cause the campaign of anger launches today and Flying Off the Handle will be my Indian name.