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I only want two simple things.

There are really only two simple things that I want in this life.

One of them is a tree that grows marshmallows.  No leaves, just marshmallows.  This would be the perfect tree for campfires.  The fallen limbs can be used as firewood, and the smaller branches will have marshmallows on the end of them for toasting.  No longer would we have to buy marshmallows, clean up the sticks to use as marshmallow sticks, and then toast them ... just reach for a stick-with-marshmallow already put together, and stick it in the fire.  How wonderful would that be?  I want to live in that kind of world.  I like campfires.

Speaking of fire ... the other thing that I want is a universal detonator.  I want to be able to blow up anything, anywhere, at any time, without having to plant explosives first.  When I push the button, anything I want to explode must explode.  Don't like the way that asshole in the Lexus is hogging the highway?  Click, BOOM.  Problem solved.  Building next door blocking my view of the sunset?  Click, BOOM.  Turn on the TV and find that The View is on?  Click, BOOM.  (Note: in that last case, the explosion occurs in the TV studio, not in my living room.  The universal detonator must work remotely.)

I don't ask for much.  I just want these two simple things.

Posted by IGnatius T Foobar on Fri Apr 13 2018 10:22:30 EDT
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It's time to retire Ronald McDonald.

Let's face it, folks: clowns are creepy.

No one likes clowns anymore.  They are an antiquity of the 20th century, when adults and children alike found them funny and entertaining.  That just isn't the case anymore.

(Image credit: Matthew Inman,

That being the case, why does McDonald's still have the creepy clown Ronald McDonald as its mascot?  

Doesn't everyone know that someone who looks like this is an obvious child molester?

It is obviously time for Ronald McDonald to retire.  Unfortunately, when I did a web search for "Retire Ronald McDonald," instead of seeing a bunch of people who agree with this sentiment, I instead found an obnoxious campaign by a bunch of nanny-state activists complaining that the McDonald's mascot is bad because they are marketing directly to children.  So what?  My kids don't decide when we eat at McDonald's.  That decision is always made by me, and/or their mother, and we feed our children a balanced diet.  Sometimes we go out, and sometimes we treat them to lunch at McDonald's.  It's nothing to be ashamed of!  They sell burgers and fries, which will make you fat if you eat there every day.  We don't eat there every day, or even every week.  I don't blame McDonald's for being who they are (some would disagree).  They are an American success story, they sell greasy food, and they should just "own it" instead of allowing themselves to get beat up by the Food Nazis.

(Now here's a girl who knows how to defend herself against creeps!  After this incident I rewarded her for her courage with a burger and fries.)

So let's collectively ignore the Food Nazis and let Ronald retire for the right reasons.  His garish colors are from the McDonald's decor of a bygone era, now that McDonald's restaurants have all been redecorated for the 21st century.  He's not entertaining anymore.  People think clowns are creepy.  People still love burgers and fries.  Now go out there and enjoy a clown-free lunch.

Posted by IGnatius T Foobar on Sun Aug 23 2015 14:14:35 EDT
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Until the "2.0 DRM" is removed, GOODBYE KEURIG.

Dear Keurig,

Ever since becoming the owner of a Keurig coffee maker a few years ago, I have been a happy customer.  As I am the only coffee drinker in my home, I find it very convenient to brew single servings of coffee throughout the day when I want them, instead of having to brew an entire pot at a time.  Your product is innovative and changed the face of the industry.  Over these few years I've sampled many of the coffee pod selections sold or licensed by Green Mountain and have enjoyed many of them.

When the patents on the K-Cup form factor expired, it was obvious that third parties would begin manufacturing compatible pods and brewers.  It should have also been clear that as the inventor and leader in this form factor, Keurig products would continue to lead the industry.  Instead, however, you chose to deploy an abusive tactic in your "Keurig 2.0" brewers that simply locks out all pods manufactured by producers who have not paid a licensing fee to your company.  This is beyond disappointing; it is beneath contempt.

I am writing to let you know that I stand with a growing multitude of customers who refuse to ever purchase a "Keurig 2.0" product.  When my existing brewer reaches the end of its service life, I will replace it with an unlicensed, third-party manufactured brewer that happily brews licensed or unlicensed pods.

Furthermore, I will no longer purchase Keurig licensed pods, even the brands I had purchased and enjoyed in the past.  I have identified a number of roasters who are not participating in your draconian licensing program, and will purchase their products instead.  In fact, due to your monopoly abuse, I have discovered that several roasters whose products are quite good, sell their pods at a substantially lower price than Keurig licensed pods.

Keurig, the quality of your product should stand on its own.  I implore you to remove the draconian restrictions from your products before your reputation as an innovator of quality products is replaced by a reputation as an abusive monopolist.  The latter will happen if you continue on your current path.

This is an open letter.  I will be posting it to social media sites and I encourage anyone reading it to spread it around.

Posted by IGnatius T Foobar on Sun Feb 22 2015 14:13:34 EST
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Why Acer's new Android desktops are a game-changer

This year at CES, Acer is introducing two new desktops – yes, you read that correctly, desktops – running the wildly successful variant of Linux known as Android. They're cleverly positioning these exactly as I've been predicting for a long time: as monitors. They're monitors with video inputs that the luddites can connect to a computer running Windows 8, complete with touchscreen input. But they also have a full Android stack available, which will operate independently with no external computer attached.

Why is this relevant?

At the current price point set by Acer, it isn't. However, we should hope to expect that this will become the norm for all new monitors, just like televisions now include “Smart TV” features. Mass production of SoC (system on a chip) components will make it a no-brainer for even cheap monitors.

Now imagine your typical Windows luddite, trying to get something done on their old-fashioned desktop computer, when Windows does what it always does: it fails. If our luddite has technical knowledge, he may be faced with setting aside his work or research or whatever, and spending the next couple of hours repairing or reinstalling Windows. If our luddite is a nontechnical consumer, he will have to stop and wait for someone to come and help – or, possibly, spending money at the local computer shop having Windows fixed again.

But wait! Our luddite suddenly remembers that there is another computer built into the monitor. He unplugs the mini-tower and boots into Android. He's back on the Internet and he has a working computer again. The day is saved! After a few days, he begins to realize that he doesn't need the Windows hassle, and stuffs the mini-tower up into the attic, never to be seen again. Our newly minted non-luddite is now a happy Linux desktop user. He doesn't ever have to worry about viruses, spyware, lost data, or being regularly gouged for money by Microsoft.

This, my friends, is the Network Computing vision of the mid 1990's. Thanks to mobile data, ubiquitous Internet connectivity, and excellent Linux client operating systems like Android, it is rapidly becoming a reality. Windows has no place in the post-PC era, and Android desktops are accelerating the pace of adoption.



Posted by IGnatius T Foobar on Sat Jan 04 2014 15:42:33 EST
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I hate clarinets. And here's why.

When asked the simple question:

Which instruments do you play, Ig? 


I gave the answer...

Recorder (C and F), flute, guitar, keyboards, and a bit of teh drums. And I have a three octave vocal range. 


But I couldn't just stop there.  Not when I was given the chance, like Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz, to tell another emotionally scarring backstory.

As is the case with every child receiving a public school education in the People's Socialist Communist Republic of New York, I played the recorder in third grade. It's just a standard part of the music curriculum for that year, and I loved it. 

Fourth grade came along and I was told that the instrumental music program was available to us and I could select an instrument and play in the band too. Naturally I said that I wanted to continue playing the recorder. And of course I was told that the recorder was not a band instrument and I would have to select something else. 

And here's where it all went wrong. Mr. Salingo, the instrumental music teacher at the school, confidently told me that if I liked playing the recorder, I would like playing the clarinet. 


I hated playing it, I hated practicing, to the point where I would deliberately break the reeds to prematurely end practice sessions ... at one point I started making tape recordings of myself practicing so I could play them back the next day behind a closed door, which worked great until my stupid bitch sister ratted me out. 

So, one must ask, why did Mr. Salingo offer me a painful clarinet experience when he knew that a concert flute plays in the same key as a recorder, in the same register as a recorder, with almost exactly the same fingerings as a recorder? The only answer I can imagine is that he had it in his mind that the flute is a "girl's instrument." So I played the clarinet for a year and gave up on it, and missed out on what would have been some very cool band experiences in high school. 

My stupid bitch sister, when she reached fourth grade, played the flute for a year, and gave up on it because band was just not her thing. But for some reason, the instrument found its way into our attic instead of back to the school or rental place or wherever it came from. 

In college I picked up the recorder again and played with some very cool people in an ensemble. It was a lot of fun. We played in on-campus events and around the community as well. The instructor for the group was Professor Charles Scanzello, one of an extremely small number of people I can truly call mentors. He was scatter brained and disorganized, but he poured his love for music and community into everything he did. He was the one who encouraged me to pick up the F fingerings, which enabled me to play sopranino and alto recorders. 

All this time, most of my friends were band people, mainly because my best friend was/is a guy who stuck with the band program and he was also the one through whom I met most of my other friends. I had longed to play in the band all that time. So one day I remembered hearing at one point that the fingerings for a C recorder and a concert flute were almost identical, and I remembered that my stupid bitch sister's old flute was still in the attic. That summer I went home and taught myself how to play the flute. 

The next fall I returned to campus and joined the marching band. And yes, I was the only male flutist in the band. Imagine that: just me, and a bunch of cute co-eds. And they were all my type. In fact, I ended up marrying one of them. So it's an emotionally scarring backstory, but one that eventually has a happy ending.  I do hope that Mr. Salingo is retired by now and not foisting his agenda on another generation of children.  To this day, however, I hate clarinets.  I hate everything about them.

Posted by IGnatius T Foobar on Wed Dec 11 2013 14:49:02 EST
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