Simple Life

September 7, 2008 by trooce · Leave a Comment 

As part of my research for this column, I watched an episode of Fox network’s  “The Simple Life” the other day.  Let me re-emphasize that my sole purpose of watching the show was for research only, and not for the entertainment value.  The fact that I own a “Honk if you want The Simple Life” bumper sticker or that I am an honorary member of the Paris Hilton Fan Club only goes to show how serious I am about my work.

The premise of “The Simple Life” is well, simple. It’s the classic fish out of water tale.  Place two young socialites in a rural setting like a farm, give them various tasks they are completely unfamiliar with (usually dealing with some farm animal), and watch the hilarity ensue.

The Simple Life.  After watching the show, it dawned on me that this was part of a much greater phenomenon.  I’m not referring so much to the show itself, but of the title.  The simple life is something more and more of us aspire to.  As our lives become more complex, with more demands on our time, who among us wouldn’t rather experience the simple pleasure of milking a goat?  Hmm…maybe that wasn’t the best example.

You don’t have to look hard to find people around you who have made a life choice to simplify their lives.  I would bet that you know someone in your life who has given up a high paying job to open up a corner coffee shop, or drive an RV cross country, or even, live on a farm.

Each of us will find our own ways to uncomplicate our lives.  I’ve decided that embracing technology is the way to go.  Technology is designed to boost productivity, and reduce the amount of time for a given task.  This also fits in perfectly with the fact that I am the ultimate gadget guy.

Don’t believe me?  On my desk where I am writing this column, I have two computers, two printers, a digital camera, a cell phone, a portable phone, a DVD burner, a scanner, an MP3 player, a VCR, a flat panel monitor, and three computer speakers.  I’m typing this column with the keyboard on my lap as I have no room on my desk for anything else.

All right, I admit that as far as simplifying goes, I’m not off to the best start.  But that’s bound to change.  After a thorough search process, I have identified the premier gadget that will have an enormous impact towards uncluttering my life.  It’s a cell phone, but beyond the features of the phone, it is also a digital day timer, a digital camera, video camera, voice recorder, e-mail center, MP3 player, and a calculator, all in one.  For an extra $50, it comes with an attachment that will massage my back and make frozen yogurt.

The only thing is, you can’t buy this product in the states yet.  It’s only available in Japan, and it’ll be some time before it reaches here.  But that’s not really a problem for Technoman (I’m hoping people will start calling me that), because I’ve found a website that brings the latest gadgets to the U.S. before it is formally introduced ( HYPERLINK “http://www.dynamism.com” www.dynamism.com) here.

Unfortunately, these new products developed in Japan use only Japanese in the user’s manuals and on the device itself.  Still, I am determined to simplify my life.  Therefore, as soon as I import this product from Japan and learn Japanese, my life will be uh…smooth sailing.

Hmm..let me get back to you.

Ethnicity

September 4, 2008 by trooce · Leave a Comment 

I was channel surfing the other day and decided to do my civic duty and watch one of the recent presidential debates that was on.  Besides, there weren’t any reruns of Seinfeld on so…

At one point during the debate, one of the candidates used an oft-used phrase, which I find puzzling and a little annoying.  The line comes up whenever diversity issues are addressed and usually sounds something like this:

As an American, it shouldn’t matter whether you are black, white, brown, red, yellow, or purple, everyone deserves an equal chance.

Now, I know which groups they are referring to and it doesn’t take too much insight to know that “yellow” represents Asians.

For me, that statement always begs the question: Who are these purple people and why are Asians always grouped next to them?

Have I been so isolated in my life that I have overlooked an entire population of people in need of protection?  Are Asians always grouped next to them because as an ethnic group, we are also often overlooked as a population?  Where are all the purple people in my neighborhood?  Am I losing my mind?

Then, quick as a flash, it comes to me.  I know who this group is.  It was right under my nose the whole time, and what’s more, this purple group is one of the most maligned segments in the country.  The worst part of it is, I have been one of the biggest offenders.

Of course I am referring to – Barney the dinosaur.  But the purple population includes not only Barney, but all of the robotically trained kids that surround him as well.

I must confess, like many others, I loathe Barney. I can’t explain it.  Perhaps it’s a visceral response to the whole Barney “package”.  You watch Barney, and you think that no being, human or animal, in this world or beyond, at any time since creation, could be so nauseatingly sweet without having to suffer through a terminal gag reflex.

Mercifully, we only have one Barney video, which I believe was given to my kids as a present (By the way, whoever gave it to us, mark my words – I am going to hunt you down). The highlight of the video is a song where Barney teaches kids to cover their mouth when they sneeze.  For good measure, they bring in some kids who used to appear with Barney years ago, and they sing and dance their hearts out – all in honor of the sneeze.  By the end of the video, I’m usually scratching my fingernails across a blackboard just trying to drown out the noise of the song.

Maybe it’s because everyone seems so enchanted by a song about oral hygiene.  Perhaps it’s because some of these older kids prancing around look like they’re pushing 40.

Well, it’s time for a change.  After all, who am I to judge?  It’s time for a fresh start.  After all, it shouldn’t matter whether you are black, white, brown, red, yellow or…