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July 22nd, 2005

Knock knock knockin' on heaven's door

So I've been back to the gym lately. I stick out there like a rather sore thumb - like the Hulk at a nude beach. Like butter at the flour convention. Like ... well, like a nerd in a gym full of porn, movie, and rockstars. (sometimes combinations of all three).

This is okay though. I'm clearly non-threatening, and clearly just there to work out, not hit on the (absurdly) beautiful women there. My favorite machine is the stairmaster. This isn't the kind that has little steps that go up and down, mind you - it's actually got rotating steps like an escalator that keep coming around and around in an eternal loop, a mobius strip of a stairwell. I like it because, for one thing, I end up breathless and sweating fairly quickly, and for another, because if I walk smoothly, I can read a book while I do it. It's not like a treadmill, where you have to run run run (besides, if I wanted to do that, I'd just go outside. It's California, for cryin' out loud.) It's not like a bike, where you can read while you do it, but you don't get much of a work out. It's not like one of those elliptical trainers, where if you make a misstep, you end up slung into low orbit somewhere over Thousand Oaks.

And yet, I can't help but feeling like a hamster in a ball when I'm on that thing. I climb and I climb and I climb, but dammit, there's no food pellet at the top! I and my fellow gym-hamsters are lashed to this wheel, eternally trudging up a staircase that is taking us nowhere, and falls away behind up - we never arrive, we never progress. We just... trudge. I can climb forever, and never reach the sky.

If I were more cynical, I might think it was some kind of metaphor for American consumer culture. But, being less cynical, I just think it's one of the devil's torture devices that will let me read a good book while I make my ass firm and my stomach trim. And hey, if I wear my glasses, I can check out the cute girls while I pretend to read my book...

Open Letter to moviefone.com

Dear Mr. Moviefone;

Some sites have a stupid setup. Some are cluttered with irritating and loud flash ads that pop up. Yours, by some quirk of either fate or incompetence, has been rendered utterly useless by both a stupid design and an incredibly irritating ad that it is impossible to close, and yet covers up the window that I am trying to interact with.

Now, I'm sure "Bad News Bears" will be charming for the fifteen people that go to see it. But I really don't care what Buttermaker thinks. I particularly hate him when he keeps popping up in front of me, and covering up the window that says "zip code". I tell him to "close" and he just pops up again! He's like a porn store in Alabama - no matter how many times he gets closes, he opens up again somewhere else. I can't use your site.

Now, far be it from me to lecture you on the obvious, but if your stupid ad actually completely prevents people from using your site - what you've got is not a website that exists to sell movie tickets, but instead, a website that exists to tell us what Buttermaker thinks. I suggest, therefore, that you either change your url to www.whatbuttermakerthinks.com -- or take that stupid ad off so that people can give you money. If they can't give you money, your business will probably fail.

Though, maybe not - my Uncle had a business that was failing for years and years, but it lost him money in a way that put him in a desirable tax bracket, and so, in a;way, it made him money. So if that's you, Uncle Charlie - sorry, I didn't mean to rain on your parade.

Otherwise, I hope that you go home, and find that you can't get in your front door because Billy Bob Thornton keeps leaping in front of you and telling you what his character thinks. You hit him with a tire iron...but he gets back up! You throw that cat on his head, but he get s back up! No matter what you do, he just keeps getting in your way.

So, in short, I couldn't buy tickets from you because of Billy Bob Thornton. And he didn't even have Angelina Jolie with him. Man, he must feel like a chump - a skeezix guy like that, letting her out of his life? Maybe he's interefring with my web experience because he's bitter? Like, if he can't have Angelina, then no one should be happy?

Whatever the case, may the lord bless you and keep you.

David Krieger
(Sgt, US Army, RET)

P.S. Your voice is really cool. I do an impression of you that leaves the Ladies Aid Society in stitches. "Press 1, for Pastor Jim, now!"

"And now, Harry, let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


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