#101. Tie Bar

It’s Tuesday so…

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If you look closely you’ll see a tie bar. (not an establishment serving adult beverages where everyone wears a tie) Busted this guy out just to add a little flair this Tie Tuesday. Want to learn how to wear a tie bar properly? Check it out here.

#100. Top Ten

 

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If you are new to SOS or just love reminiscing like I do, then today is your lucky day. This is the 100th post here on Song of Sloman, so I thought it would be fitting to have a Top Ten list. No need to scroll through page after page (unless you want to). Here’s some of the best stuff all in one place. The following are the ten most read posts since starting almost a year ago. There are also a couple of my personal favorites, and since blogging is basically tooting your own horn anyway… why not toot a little louder? Enjoy the weekend everybody!

 

Song of Sloman Top Ten:

10. Friday

9. Catch a Grenade for Jesus

8. On the Road Again

7. Roll Out

6. Good Moring Vietnam

5. The Marriage Bully

4. How to Make Friends after College

3. Early to Bed

2. Let’s Go Mavs

1. Sandwich Statements

 

Honorable Mention:

Lavatorical Loathing

 

Bonus (Author’s Favorite):

Subway Troubadour

 

 

#99. Clipper’s High

 

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Yesterday I experienced that all too infrequent mild euphoria that accompanies clipping my toe nails. TMI? No? I didn’t think so either. What’s that? You thought this post was about Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and the Lob City Clippers? You were way off. I got you so good.

But seriously, you know the feeling I’m describing… when you clip that just slightly too-long nail that somehow missed it’s turn the last time and has been digging into its neighboring toe. I know you know, but how does this go unnoticed in the first place? The sad fact is that your feet are like the offensive linemen of your body’s team. As long as they do their job well, everything is fine and everyone else gets the credit for all of the great accomplishments being accomplished, but one false start… one broken bone and all eyes are on that stupid foot. “Oh, there’s that stupid foot again. He’s always screwing things up for us. All we wanted to do was play some basketball or take a shower without having to keep him sealed up in a Ziploc bag. What a diva!”

All the blame and none of the glory, but that’s where the clipping comes in. Once every week or two you bust out those clippers and go to town. Oh the satisfaction of trimming those keratin claws! (I would assume a similar jubilance ensues when cutting the fingernails as well, but alas, I suffer in the habitual bondage of nail biting, left to merely fantasize of snipping and filing a one-day-beautiful nail collection.)

Perhaps I’m over romanticizing the idea, but then again, maybe I’m not. Do you experience “Clipper’s High”?

 

 

#98. Tie Tuesday

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Three weeks ago I jumped on a bandwagon being driven by one of my coworkers. We call this growing wagon party “Tie Tuesday”. We work in an office dominated by engineers and their army of Polos and open collared dress shirts. Our small band of neck flourished brothers is wading against this naked neck trend, and I am happy to report the tide is beginning to wish it would turn if it could. Today we had new compatriot sporting a fashionable nape noose. So next week dust off one of those old ties in the back of your closet, slip on your favorite argyle socks, and join us in celebrating Tie Tuesday!

As a side note there are some grumblings about marrying Thai Tuesdays with Tie Tuesdays and calling it Thai Tie Tuesdays. May it never be! Thai people are wonderful, but their food is horrendous. These musings must be silenced.

Do you Tie Tuesday?

 

#97. Reluctant Rivalry

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Here in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex there has been a lot of discussion recently on the local sports radio stations regarding a budding rivalry between the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder. This debate of course bled into our office discussions resulting in minor emotional scarring as well as unintended surfacing of ignorance.

Proponents for labeling said matchup a rivalry like to use a lot of touchy feely verbiage to muddle and confuse the issue. “The players bring added intensity to these games.” “Things get extra heated and downright chippy.” “There is developing hatred between fans and players.”

Blah, blah, blah, blah…

Definition time.

Rivalry: Competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field.

Facts:

Until the most recent matchup, the Mavericks had won seven of the last ten contests. The Thunder achieved only one victory in a five game playoff series against the Mavs this past year.

So the “experts” on the radio and some of my more delusional co-workers believe that due to frequency of meetings and geographical proximity of the two clubs as well as the aforementioned distaste for each other, a rivalry has developed.

Does any of this fluff sound like a competition for superiority to you? It sounds like pre-eminence has been definitively secured by the Mavericks to me.

When I was eight and my brother was five, we would play and wrestle. It would undoubtedly escalate, but it was never a rivalry. He would push a little too far; thinking he was bigger than he was, then I would impose my will and make him cry. That’s not competition. That’s domination. Fast forward eight to ten years, and my brother was now equal in size or slightly bigger than me. 

 

Now we had a competition on our hands. Either of us might win, and we would both certainly end up exhausted. At some point I came home from college one weekend and picked the usually fight. I had vastly underestimated how much bigger and stronger “little” brother had gotten. We don’t wrestle anymore if I can help it.

Maybe I’ll concede this is a one-sided rivalry where one party thinks they are on the verge of truly accomplishing something (and maybe they are). But big brother is still capable of squashing little brother like an insignificant insect, completely unaware of the impending storm that is most assuredly brewing.

Final thought:

This past Wednesday these two “rivals” clashed at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Mavericks ultimately lost, but the game was tied with two minutes left, and here’s the kicker: Dirk Nowitski, the Mavs all-time leading scorer, coming off a week of rest and battling back from knee pain, only had eight points on a dismal two of fifteen shooting. On top of that, Hall of Fame starting point guard Jason Kidd was not playing due to injury. Starting center Brendan Haywood was out with back soreness, and last year’s Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom was sick and didn’t play.

So yeah, maybe this is a rivalry, and maybe next year Merriam-Webster will alter the definition of the word to better suit people’s skewed perspectives.

Does this sound like a rivalry to you? How do you define rivalry?

 

#96. Mondays with Murphy

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I often enjoy speaking for my dog. Not on behalf of him, but as if I truly know what is in his mind at a given moment. I usually think it’s hilarious. My wife: not so much. I took this picture today right after saying his name and wondered, “What is he thinking?” Here’s some not so funny things he might have been thinking.

1. My name is Murphy.
2. Can I help you with something?
3. I was in the middle of a great nap, dreaming about a tasty rawhide pig ear.
4. What’s that thing your sticking in my face?
5. Are you leaving?
6. Is it time to get in my kennel?
7. I love sitting on the couch.
8. Please don’t leave!
9. Thanks for lunch & the walk outside.
10. Hurry home!

#95. Ranting Against Raving

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Apple Uses Chinese Child Labor to Build iPhone

A friend recently tweeted the link to the following article. I’m not sure whether it was merely an observation on his part or if he falls on either side of the issue, but the subsequent thoughts were my initial reaction. This is an issue I can definitely see both sides of, so opposing views are certainly welcome.

Story about Child Labor in China

This is the global economy at work. Living standards won’t increase everywhere overnight, but our grandparents & great-grandparents often began working long hours in their early teens, and $75/week would have been good money. It’s laughable and naive to think you can apply the same fair labor practices of one of the wealthiest nations on earth to developing countries. If everyone in the world is going to be treated exactly the same, we will all end up a lot closer to 70 cents/day than the luxurious “poverty” level in the U.S. that still affords smart phones, big screen TV’s w/ cable & the convenience of fast food. You can survive on beans & rice. You won’t die without running water. And believe it or not the human race survived for thousands of years without air conditioning. Having the discipline to choose needs over wants is what makes a competent adult instead of a petulant child. It’s not cruel to go without some of these things. Wisdom is living within your means and thanking God for the things you do have.

As an entirely much too lengthy side note, the author of this article thinks it’s “disconcerting” that the workers making iPhones and iPads aren’t capable of owning them. Hello!!! These are luxury items even in the United States! There are probably also many workers who help manufacture yachts and Gulfstream jets that don’t own the product they produce. Go figure. So let’s say you buy an iPhone outright with no incentivized carrier plan for $600. (This is pricey, but it’s about the cheapest you can get even with the current available Chinese labor rates.) But if you want all of those laborers, currently making one dollar per day to be able to afford one, the price must inherently go up. So proportionally let’s assume a person should be making well above $30,000 per year to comfortably afford said iPhone. That translates to $15 per hour (vacation and eight hour work day included). Proportionally this would mean paying $9,000 for an iPhone here in the U.S. Obviously no one would own an iPhone then.

To sum up… China is still a developing country. They are going through the same industrialization pains we went through 100 years ago. Time will progress; conditions will improve. Just like us, the workers will begin to demand government imposed regulations, and eventually if China is lucky, they will become just like the United States where sloth, greed and entitlement reign supreme.

What say you? How much are you offended by the work conditions your Apple products are creating? Enough to boycott the gadgets you love, or just enough to spew some self-righteous indignation?