Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fuck Notre Dame!

Man, this is getting ridiculous. Every week Notre Dame gets all the calls. Big calls. Important calls. Obviously blown calls. But no one in the media says anything about it. Like the touchdown (in)completion that brought them to within 4 points of MSU last week and about five huge calls today vs. Purdue. Purdue sucks horribly, but they should be in this game right now (with about 7:00 left in 4th quarter).

Eventually ND will have to play another decent team. When it finally happens, they will get destroyed just like they did vs. Michigan and Ohio State. Unfortunately, it will probably be in a BCS bowl game, so Notre Dame will still get about $200 billion that they won't have to share with any other schools.

FUCK NOTRE DAME!!!

Aimless

Friday, September 29, 2006

Ted Ginn

Dude makes some bad-ass shit happen. Pretty killer highlight reel here, but it's missing some good stuff, like all the ways he wasted Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. (By the way, FUCK NOTRE DAME!!!) Another missing good play was in the Alamo Bowl when he ran back and forth across the field about five times, only to end up with a loss of a couple yards.



Go Bucks! Destroy Iowa tomorrow.

My prediction: Buckeyes 34, Hawkeyes 9

Aimless

Where is my mind?

(I love that song. I hate the feeling.)

Man, my latest dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) prescription is just not working. My head has been in a haze for pretty much all of the last couple weeks (since I ran out of my previous prescription). I'm having a hard time thinking straight, I can't focus for shit, and I feel very incomplete. And it's not because Dexedrine is bad (as most ignorant people would surely suggest); it's either because the stuff was not made right or it sat in the pharmacy for a decade, never being rotated. It could be something else, but I feel pretty confident one of those two things is the answer.

I really don't know why my Dexedrine isn't working, but I know it's not in my head. And it really pisses me off because that shit is not cheap and I'm stuck with it for another 6 weeks. So because some corporate asshole didn't do his (or her) job right, my brain has to hurt for two months. And then I'll have to worry about my next prescription.

This is not the first time I've had such an experience with the drug. I've taken Dexedrine for almost 14 years--generic dextroamphetamine for the last several--and this never happened until the last year or so. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the result of the pharmaceutical industry's blatant disregard for human life. The shit is probably not even dextroamphetamine. It's probably sugar and corn starch in disguise. Maybe I should try to get some of it analyzed. (Who the hell does that?)

Aimless Now!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Personality surveys

Whenever you want to write about something but don't know what to write about, just visit some other corner of the internet and read. That'll surely inspire something good.

I ventured onto Barbara Ehrenreich's message boards a little while ago and found a thread about those "personality surveys" some employers issue prospective hires. It really bothered me how many of the forum's participants seem to believe these "surveys" actually accomplish anything for anyone, so I registered and added my thoughts on the topic. In short, I believe very strongly that these tests only separate liars from honest folks, then "reward" liars with [shitty] jobs.

The following is my contribution to the thread...

Wow, you people actually believe these tests are anything more than total bullshit?!? Wow!

A few questions I remember from some of these "personality surveys":
1) ...Do you see the glass as half empty or half full?
2) In high school, were you in the top third, middle third, or bottom third of your graduating class?
3) If you suspected a co-worker has been taking money from the register, would you disregard your suspicion or would you inform your supervisor?

Come on, now. The "correct" answers are obvious:

1) Half full.
2) Top third.
3) Inform my supervisor.

My answers:
1) I don't see half empty or half full; I see half.
2) Are you talking about before I got kicked out of high school? If so, then I was in the middle third or bottom third? (Perhaps I should mention that I made the Dean's List in college. Perhaps I should mention that I also earned a scholarship. But that's not what they're asking me. And the tests are usually multiple choice--not open ended--from what I remember.)
3) I'd have to be in the situation before I could tell you how I'd react. My suspicion that a co-worker is taking money from the register doesn't necessarily make it true. By impulsively reporting my co-worker to my supervisor (who might be the actual culprit), I could end up causing a lot of unnecessary damage.

With those answers, I don't get hired. Why? Because I'm honest. That's the only reason.

Who gets the job, then? Liars and ass-kissers. (If I could remember more of the questions from these tests, I could provide better evidence. If you have one of these tests, please send me a copy.)

So who benefits from personality surveys? No one. The biggest loser of all is the stupid employer who actually believes the tests are even slightly useful. They end up hiring selfish, half-assed liars instead of honest, hardworking team players. That's why you can't get decent service anymore when you go out to eat or stay at a hotel or call the nearest pizza chain for delivery. That's why your pizza sucks. That's why your Applebee's entree sucks. That's why you can't get your damn Coke refilled. That's why your Ford falls apart. That's why Ford is falling apart.

Hey, if you want a shitty job where you're underpaid and treated with no respect, go ahead and lie on the personality test. But if you want to find the right job, walk out as soon as they mention the test. And don't come back, either. Ever. Their loss, not yours.

Remember, they need us a lot more than we need them. And until we, the vast majority, show the corporate bosses how much they need us, they'll keep ripping us off a little more each day.

You want to know my real answer to Question #3 above? Here it is:

If the job was comparable to any of the other jobs I've held in my life, I probably would not report my co-worker, even if I witnessed him or her clearly stealing from the cash register. When you (an employer) rip off your employees, some of them rip you off back. And if you can't stop it proactively by hiring honest people, paying them fairly, and using secure accounting practices, then who am I to interfere?

You get what you deserve. It wouldn't happen to me if I ran the business.

Aimless: You wish you had the balls to do this.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Football stuff

There was just no beating the Saints Monday night. The way they played, probably no one would have beat them. How about that gap that opened up for the punt block at the beginning. And their defense's pass coverage all night. Wow! I felt kind of sorry for Atlanta. They had no chance.

In other football news:

Police: T.O. tried to kill himself
By JAIME ARON, AP Sports Writer
September 27, 2006

DALLAS (AP) -- Flamboyant Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens tried to kill himself by overdosing on pain medication, even putting two more pills into his mouth after a friend intervened, according to a police report obtained Wednesday.

The report said Owens was asked by rescue workers "if he was attempting to harm himself, at which time (he) stated, `Yes."'

The Dallas police report said the 32-year-old Owens told his friend "that he was depressed." Details of the police report were first reported by WFAA-TV. Police scheduled a news conference for later Wednesday morning.

Now, I wouldn't be surprised if this story has been blown way out of proportion (because that's what "the news" does), but if not, maybe it's time to take it easy on the guy for a while. Yeah, maybe he is a self-centered prick, but maybe he's just misunderstood. I don't know, and I'm not going to pretend to know. But regardless of whether he's a good guy or a total prick, he's still a person.

Same thing with Maurice Clarett. The guy has done a lot of stupid shit, and now he has to face the consequences. I think deep down inside Clarett is a very good guy. I think he has proven it in a lot of ways that "the news" never focused on. I think he has been around too many bad influences--people who wanted to capitalize off of his talent and people who blew up his ego to the point that it overpowered the good guy inside him. I'm not excusing him for all the stupid shit he's done, but I'm not willing to convince myself that he has nothing to offer society. I think he does, and I think he will.

Bryant Gumbel finished his recent HBO show with an awesome commentary about Clarett. Most Americans probably can't comprehend Gumbel's point of view or his rhetoric because it involves thinking, but Gumbel said pretty much what I'd like to have said here, only 20 times better. He expressed extreme disappointment but also a caring optimism. He recognizes Clarett's mistakes, but he also sees Clarett's potential to prove himself a valuable component of American society someday.

I really respect Bryant Gumbel, not only for what he said about Clarett but for what he's said on previous shows. In all the years that Gumbel has been in the public eye, I never paid much attention to him, but I will now because I know his voice is worth hearing. (Keith Olbermann, too.)

Aimless, muthafucka!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Blogger.com sucks!!!

Finally, I can get to my dashboard and post an entry. I have not been able to do that all day because blogger.com blows ass. I also have been unable to read any blogspot.com blogs. Of course now I'm busy doing other stuff and I lost track of what I wanted to say earlier. I'm starting to think about using some other blog service.

Aimless Main Page

Monday, September 25, 2006

A pizza video

I used to know nothing about pizza. Then one day I went out and bought a pizza stone, a pizza cookbook, and all the ingredients I would need to make my first pizza from scratch. Following the instructions in the cookbook, my first stab at making homemade pizza wasn't pretty. I remember having a bitch of a time with the dough. I remember struggling to find a way to transfer my raw pizza "skin" onto the hot pizza stone for baking. In general, I remember how clueless I was about the whole process of making pizza from scratch. Even after multiple attempts at following the cookbook's instructions, I never felt like the cookbook prepared me adequately for the challenge of making a remotely decent pizza.

Now, almost ten years later, I know a lot about pizza, but none of my knowledge came from books or TV shows. I've certainly taken advantage of books and TV shows in an attempt to expand my pizza knowledge, but all I've learned from them is how NOT to make pizza. My greatest teacher has been trial and error.

I'm not going to pretend that I possess even a fraction of Emeril Lagasse's overall food knowledge, but you can trust me when I tell you Emeril knows almost nothing about pizza. For anyone who may have seen the "Emeril's Pizza Party" from early 2006, with Tony Gemignani as a guest: That beautiful pizza Emeril took out of the oven after the commercial break wasn't the same pizza he put into the oven before the commercial break. If it had been, the pizza would have been black and overflowing with cheese.

You can also trust me when I tell you Alton Brown and Tyler Florence know almost nothing about pizza. If you've seen their pizza shows, they certainly seem to know a lot about pizza, but they don't. TV has a lot of smoke and mirrors. Similarly, cookbook authors have their own ways of appearing more knowledgeable than they really are.

My objective here is not to talk shit about cookbook authors or celebrity chefs. I'm just saying, as a knowledgeable pizza guy, that I wouldn't endorse any of the books I've read or any of the shows I've seen. They simply will not help you make a good pizza.

So it occurred to me today that I ought to make a pizza video. There are so many reasons why I should do it, and even more reasons come to mind between each word I type here. And because there are so many reasons, I'm just going to stop here for now. Once I give it some more thought, I will probably say more about it.

The main reason I should do it is because I could get it done very inexpensively and I could end up with something that might be pretty marketable. The really great thing, though, is that I think my style would probably be a lot easier to follow than any of the celebrity chefs. People could learn a lot from me without first giving a lot of effort.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Red State Blue State

According to the Associated Press, in this article:

NEW YORK - New York was the safest of the nation's 10 largest cities in 2005, with about one crime reported for every 37 residents, according to an Associated Press analysis of FBI statistics.

The large city with the highest total crime rate was Dallas, with about one crime reported for every 12 people. Los Angeles, the nation's second largest city, ranked third safest, with about one crime for every 26 people.

In order from safest to least safe:
1. New York
2. San Jose
3. Los Angeles
4. San Diego
5. Chicago
6. Philadelphia
7. Houston
8. San Antonio
9. Phoenix
10. Dallas

Notice anything interesting here? I did.

Of the ten cities mentioned in the article, the safest cities are in blue states, while the least safe cities are in red states.

Does this correlation mean anything? I don't know, but it sure does make you think (unless you're not into thinking).

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ryan the name dropper

I figured something out yesterday: When you write blog entries about people like Mark Cuban, it attracts traffic to your blog, especially if you actually say something relevant about the person instead of just typing their name(s) for no reason other than to fool people (kind of like what I'm doing here).

At this point in time, neither Aimless nor the Aimless blog holds a very high page rank with the search engines, so a Google search for "Mark Cuban" will not easily bring anyone to Aimless. However, as I noticed yesterday when I checked my stats, if someone searches for "Mark Cuban" on something like icerocket.com shortly after I have posted an entry about Mark Cuban, my blog entry will be one of the first matches. But as more people write about Mark Cuban, my entry will creep further down the list.

Let's give it a try: IceRocket search results for "Mark Cuban" and Technorati search results for "Mark Cuban."

Now, if you are reading this shortly after I've posted it, this blog entry should be one of the first matches. If you're reading this in 2007, this page certainly will not be a match.

I haven't given this a lot of thought yet, but I think someone like me could effectively attract a lot of new blog traffic by writing about people who are well-known but not red-hot famous. The problem with red-hot famous is that everyone else is writing about those people, too. So if I decided to write about someone like Hugo Chavez on a day like today, people searching for "Hugo Chavez" will have to dig pretty deep to find my blog entry.

So who should I start talking about? Jon Stewart maybe? Barbara Ehrenreich? Michael Moore? George Carlin? Kevin Smith? Brett Favre? Troy Smith? Michael Jordan? Ron Jeremy? Traci Lords? Any suggestions? Most of these names would be reasonably effective, at least today, because these people are not hogging the headlines. Tomorrow afternoon, however, Troy Smith might pass for 500 yards versus Penn State. If so, all the college football bloggers will be talking about it, which will push this page way back in the search results.

If you found this page by searching for one of the names I've dropped, tell me why you are thinking about that person. Give me something to think about; something to write about.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mark Cuban's Movie Challenge

I accidentally found my way to Mark Cuban's blog about a month ago. Before reading any of it, all I knew about him was that he owns the Dallas Mavericks. It turns out, however, that he also owns Landmark Theaters and Magnolia Pictures (and some other stuff, too).

In one of his blog entries, Cuban challenges his readers to come up with a revolutionary marketing idea that will get millions of people off of their couches and into movie theaters. A snippet from his blog entry:

This is an open challenge. [If] you come up with a solution, you get a job. Seriously...

...Only HDNet takes more time out my day than trying to solve this problem. Its the holy grail of the movie business. How do you get people out of the house to see your movie without spending a fortune. How can you convince 5 million people to give up their weekend and go to a theater to see a specific movie without spending 60mm dollars.

(Read the entire entry.)

As I write this, there are 1,157 comments in response to his challenge. But I don't think he has found his "winner" yet.

After I read Mark Cuban's challenge, I wrote him a short e-mail, asking him to clarify his objective. Paraphrashing, I asked him, "Is your main objective to attract more people to YOUR theaters, or is your main objective to attract more people to EVERYONE's theaters?" It might seem like a stupid question, but it is actually a very valid question, especially considering how vague he was in his blog entry.

He never responded.

How is anyone supposed to help him solve his most pressing problem if he doesn't clearly explain the problem?

Having re-read his entry today, I now suspect his objective is something totally different than what I originally thought. I don't think his objective has anything specifically to do with either Landmark Theaters or any other theaters. Instead, I think his objective is to find the magic marketing strategy that'll attract millions of people to theaters showing films distributed by Magnolia Pictures. But I don't know if that is his objective, either, because his blog entry is unclear and because he chose not to respond to my question.

Mark, I could have spent the last month racking my brain for you, figuring out the magic marketing strategy that'll get millions of people into Landmark Theaters. But you wouldn't tell me if that is your objective, so I haven't done it. I could have spent the last month racking my brain for you, figuring out the magic marketing strategy that'll boost revenue in the movie theater industry as a whole. But you wouldn't tell me if that was your objective, so I haven't done it. I could have spent the last month racking my brain for you, figuring out the magic marketing strategy that'll get millions of people into theaters to see movies distributed by Magnolia Pictures. But you wouldn't tell me if that was your objective, so I haven't done it.

What is your god-damn objective, dude?

If you tell me your objective(s) clearly, I'll work the magic for you. I guarantee it! (You can e-mail me, comment here, or call me anytime at 614-738-3867.) But if you don't tell me, there is no way I can possibly help you. If you don't clearly define your objective(s) to the masses, there is no way anyone can possibly help you. I, for one, am not going to try to read your mind.

If you want to see what I can do, visit the Pizza! The Movie web site. Once you've checked out the site, contact Michael Dorian (the filmmaker) and tell him Ryan Powell sent you. Then buy the god-damn film from him because apparently he's just sitting around waiting for someone like you to knock on his door (which is too bad because it's a damn good movie, and the way things are going, no one will ever see it). After you've bought it and arranged for its theatrical release, set me up with a small budget so I can spread the word. I'll get it done. No bullshit! And I'll do it for free.

Then you can fund Aimless, and I'll do it again. After that, I might take you up on your job offer.

I have not studied marketing formally, but I understand the shit. If my third "Objective Hypothesis" is correct, you need to be able to answer this question: "Why should I buy your product instead of this other product?" More specifically, "Why should I pay to see your company's movie instead of that other company's movie?" That's not an easy question to answer effectively.

Do you have that answer? I have that answer for "Ryan's Pizzeria," and I could back it up if "Ryan's Pizzeria" only existed. I could find the right answers for you, too, even if I had to make shit up whenever "Some Movie" isn't actually worth seeing.

I am very serious, Mark Cuban. I expect to hear from you and I expect to solve your problem.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Voice-overs

I think last night I had something interesting lined up to say today before leaving for my weekly trip to Yellow Springs to stalk Dave Chappelle, but unfortunately I washed down some Alprazolam with a Shiner Bock before I "went to bed," so now I can't remember anything from last night, including drinking the beer. But here's something short. (It might actually be what I intended to write about, anyway.)

I want to do voice-overs. I really want to do voice-overs, particularly cartoon voices. It's something I always thought I would be great at, and plenty of people I know have concurred without me first bringing it up. I have so many unique and individual voices confined within my head--stupid voices, caricature voices, mimic voices, redneck voices, foreign accent voices, Beavis & Butt-head voices, original voices, etc.--that it is not even funny.

Actually it is funny.

I remember one time when me and my buddy Jeff were driving back from a drum corps show in Centerville or some other Dayton suburb, when I was about 18 or 20. I was just yapping it up, and I said to Jeff, "You know what kind of job I ought to have?" Immediately he said, "Doing cartoon voices." And he's not the only person to have said that. I think my mom has actually said similar things, too. And this waitress I worked with at Max & Ermas, Kristin, in 1995-96 once said, "You really ought to be an actor," because I was such an extroverted, charismatic, "multiple-personalitied" individual at the time.

I know my personality is a little different now. Too many "shut ups" over the years have made me a lot more introverted. But I still have it in me. Get me a couple beers or just give me a chance to feel comfortable around casting agents or whatever, and I'll fucking knock everyone dead with my true personality. I want it back, and maybe somehow I can get a job doing voice-overs to help bring back the me I love and miss.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Homeless Guy

Some of you may have noticed my link to The Homeless Guy (Kevin Barbieux) before now, although I have never said anything about him. Well, I guess now is the time.

I found Kevin's blog by accident about a month ago, after reading a news article on Yahoo. The article had nothing to do with Kevin; it was about people making money by blogging. But there was a link to the Yahoo Directory page for blogs, which I followed.

As I made my way through the directory, a few blog titles and descriptions stood out as potentially interesting. One of them was Mark Cuban's blog; another was some guy who incorporated "Fair and Balanced" into his blog theme; and the other was The Homeless Guy. (Wil Wheaton didn't suck me in.)

Like most people, I don't picture homeless folks as computer-carrying, internet-surfing bloggers. I don't think of homeless individuals as having any kind of audible voice except when I encounter them in downtown Columbus or the Short North. It's not because I think they are incapable of blogging or sharing deep thoughts or anything; it's because I realize most homeless folks don't have computers or access to computers. It's because most homeless folks have been silenced and made invisible by those more fortunate.

I was drawn to Kevin's blog immediately because, truthfully, I'm more interested in what a homeless person has to say than what almost everyone else has to say. Sorry America, but you're mostly boring and selfish, and you refuse to look at life through the eyes of anyone else. (You're youcentric.) People take good fortune for granted and blame the less fortunate for being in that position because it doesn't require any thought. Some compassion and caring is too much to ask of the typical American. Hey, but as long as you name-drop God and Jesus on a regular basis, you know you're a better person than, well, everyone.

Now, before anyone starts calling me names because I implicitly talked shit about Christianity, go back and read what I said. It's not about Christianity; it's about selfish people, many of whom use Christianity as a shield to deflect all the responsibilities Christ himself actually stood for (based on my limited historical knowledge of the man). Many of the people I most respect are devout Christians. However, most Christians I encounter are selfish, hateful, racist, sadistic, homophobic, hypocritical, promiscuous, judgmental, evil people. But I don't see much bad shit going down in the atheist world. No killing in the name of God or oil. No killing in the name of anything. No hate. No dodging responsibility. No hypocrisy. (I just call it as I see it.)

But that's not what this entry is about. It's about Kevin.

Kevin is the kind of person I'll be looking for whenever I finally hit the road to make Aimless. Every homeless person in this country is invisible, but Kevin is even more invisible because most people refuse to recognize the possibility that a homeless person might actually have an intellect.

Kevin's life is more interesting than most other people's lives. That's what I'm looking for. That's what no one else is looking for. Everyone else is looking for the next stupidly catchy reality show idea, but I'm looking for the stuff people are afraid to see in person, like homelessness. I'm looking for the things that make people think a little bit. And I'm willing to live with the homeless people. I'm willing to live under the bridge or in the shelter for a while. And when I do that and other things like it, I'll end up with a kind of documentation of American life that no one else has ever been able to create before. I'll end up with a documentary that people want to see.

Some people have asked me if I realize how dangerous it is out there. I'm not talking about in the homeless world; I'm talking about in the regular world. They've asked me if I fear random victimization. "Aren't you worried that someone might steal your gear?" "Aren't you worried that someone might hurt you or kill you?" Stuff like that. And yes, I recognize that there is some potential for me to be victimized. But get real, people. Shut out the fear mongers for a while. Stop watching the lying-ass news. It's really not dangerous "out there," folks. When you treat people like people, they don't victimize you. You know who does, though? Your boss. And his/her boss. And that person's boss. And everyone else up the ladder. Yeah, you get victimized and otherwise fucked in the ass every day at work. That's where the criminals are. And I did it, too. But I don't do it anymore because I refuse to be victimized. I don't like being ripped off. And there is no way I could possibly be victimized on the road like I've been victimized at work.

I've been meaning to write an entry on that topic for a while. Maybe I'll get to it soon.

I think I'll probably write more about Kevin because I have only said a fraction of what I had in mind, but this entry is already long enough. So it'll have to wait. Here is an entry I liked from his blog.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Manager Wanted

Earlier this year I worked at Cowtown Pizza for about a month. I didn't go there looking for a job as a pizza assembler or mindless laborer; I went there to help the brand new owner turn a horribly failing pizzeria into a profitable pizzeria.

After completing my job application (on a Monday), I hung around and talked for a while with the new owner, Jason Slagle. As we exchanged our ideas about pizzeria operations and marketing, it seemed clear that Jason and I were on the same page. So even though Jason was not looking for anyone to fill the position I was seeking, he ended up asking me if I wanted to come in and work the next Sunday at 4:00. I said "Sure," without even asking how much he intended to pay me.

Jason called me a couple days after our first meeting, on Wednesday, to ask me if I would be willing to work on Thursday. I said it would not be a problem. Then Jason called me Friday night to ask me if I would be willing to work on Saturday. I said it would not be a problem. After only a few days of employment at Cowtown, Jason ended up scheduling me full-time because I was reliable and I did a kick-ass job for him. I still had no idea how much he intended to pay me.

After three weeks of employment at Cowtown, when I received my first paycheck, I finally found out my pay rate: $7.50 an hour. Not exactly the wages you pay someone you want to keep.

Nonetheless, I kept busting my ass for Jason. Here are some of the ways:
  • I worked all the busiest shifts;

  • I worked double shifts;

  • I never called off;

  • I never asked off;

  • I always showed up five or ten minutes early, working without expecting to be paid for those minutes;

  • I stayed beyond my scheduled time off whenever I was needed;

  • I selflessly shared my extremely valuable ideas and pizza-industry knowledge with Jason;

  • I sacrificed my two-hour, unpaid midday break once when a repairman showed up and Jason didn't show up;

  • I cleaned shit that obviously hadn't been touched in years;

  • I treated customers like they rule (because they do);

  • I delivered pizzas one night when I was the only person Jason could get to work with him, even though I made it clear from Day One that delivery was out of the question;

  • I did a hundred times more than any independent pizzeria owner could reasonably expect from someone earning less than $20 an hour, and I woke up sore every damn day as a result.
Jason knew how valuable I was to his pizzeria. The night I delivered, he told me I was doing a kick-ass job. Then, as I was leaving that night, he gave me a six pack of Labatt--his favorite beer--as a way of saying thanks. (Some of you may remember an allusion to this night from the original Aimless "mainpage.")

(Jason, I know you will eventually find this blog entry while searching for "Jason Slagle" and "Cowtown Pizza." So if I'm lying about any of this stuff, please set my readers straight before I finish the story. Leave a comment.)

To be continued...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Apprenticeship or something

I would like to find an opportunity to work on someone else's low-budget movie or documentary while I pour the foundation for Aimless. I might even do it for free if I can find a gig that gives me a chance to learn some of the stuff I'll eventually need to know. (But I absolutely am not willing to get some $7/hour job just for the sake of having a job.)

So if there is anyone out there looking for someone to help you make your movie, and you recognize that passion can be more valuable than experience, I want to hear from you. I'm willing to do just about anything, including acting. (I honestly believe I would be a kick-ass actor if given the opportunity.)

If you're interested, comment here or find my contact information on the Aimless Contact Page.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A new beginning

This blog does not have the same purpose now as it did a few days ago. It was here to generate interest in Aimless; I wanted people to come here and read what I had to say--maybe even comment on something--then check out the rest of the site. But now I'm not so worried about that.

Aimless is a documentary. It's not gonna be a documentary; it already is. The documentary is right here on this web log, and eventually it will be on video. This is the preface or introduction. It may someday become worthy of publishing. Who knows?

This web log is an honest account of what goes through my mind on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes I might say things that piss people off or even embarrass myself or make myself look like an asshole, but I'm not going to delete, edit, or sanitize anything just to save face or please people. There are already too many full-of-shit ass kissers in this world who only tell people what they want to hear. I'm not one of them.

Is Aimless for liberals? Yes. Is Aimless for conservatives? Yes. I don't care who wants to be a part of Aimless; I'll treat you all with respect because you're all people. Yeah, I'll say horrible things about people who have done horrible things, like George W. Bush. And a lot of people will interpret my social rhetoric as pessimistic or sadistic, but they're wrong. Am I pessimistic or negative when I point out the fact that our education system is full of teachers who would rather fuck with kids than teach them? No, I want to make it better. And to make something better, one must first acknowledge that something is wrong with it. DUH!

An interesting fact: I lead the kind of life right-wingers wish they could force on all of us--a life they don't even lead themselves--but I don't feel the need to force my morals on everyone else. If you want to be promiscuous, fine; it's not hurting me or anyone else. If you want to relax and smoke a doobie every night, fine; it's not hurting me or anyone else. If you want to go to church every Sunday, fine; it's not hurting me or anyone else. If you choose to home-school your kids because you think they should learn about fairy tales instead of reality, fine; just be prepared to accept responsibility when your kids grow up to have no social skills or job skills.

I know a lot of people don't like me or think I'm a weirdo simply because I'm friendly and honest. And you know what? I can deal with that. I do my best to treat people how I like to be treated. Not because some ancient novel told me to; not because any person ever told me to. I do it because I figured out on my own that it's the right way to treat people. And I'll tell you what: It doesn't "pay" to treat people right. At least it hasn't so far. But I'm going to keep doing it because I know it's the right way to live. And maybe someday it'll pay off.

I'm not going to change the things I respect most about myself just to please people I can't respect in the same way. If I did, it might make me some money or it might make my life easier, but it won't make me wealthier. My life has pretty much sucked so far, but I am certainly much wealthier than most of the people on this planet because I remain true to myself even though it's not necessarily profitable. I'm wealthy because I have not sold my soul.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Aimless is not dead

I've had a couple days to think about it, and I've decided Aimless most certainly is not dead. I was just really upset a couple days ago because my dad is (and has always been) an unsupportive asshole. After I suggested to him Monday that some people would rather not have canned cat food dispensed (and spilled) on the human food preparation area of the kitchen island, he went fucking nuts.

How dare anyone challenge Larry in any way, whether he's right or wrong?

Fuck him. He has fucked with me my whole life simply because I was never a miniature version of him; because I don't learn the same way he learns; because I'm not interested in the same stuff he's interested in. Even to this day he treats me like I'm a fucking idiot who could never succeed at anything. And every time I do accomplish something great, neither he nor my mom thinks much of it. As far as they're concerned, I will always be a fuck-up.

When I bowled my first 300, my parents were shocked, not proud. When I bowled my second 300 five months later, my parents were shocked, not proud. And even though they realize I've taught myself to make the best pizza they've ever tasted, they cannot comprehend the idea that Stupid Ryan might actually have what it takes to operate a very profitable pizzeria. Even though I've demonstrated a thorough understanding of pizza marketing and all other aspects of pizzeria operations, they refuse to believe in me because they know Ryan is fucking stupid. And they've lied to me more times than I can count. They're not even good at it, but they never back down whenever I call them on an obvious lie. That's how stupid they think I am.

And you know what? I'm glad my dad exploded because it reminded me what Aimless is all about. It reminded me that almost no one believes in me. It reminded me that I'm alone. It reminded me that I have done a lot of great things despite the fact that no one has ever believed in me. And it made me realize that I will accomplish a lot more great things, beginning with Aimless.

I know I am the underdog, but that doesn't mean I'm not good at what I do. It just means that no one recognizes how good I am at what I do. Similarly, the "experts" in Vegas expected the Ohio State Buckeyes to lose by 2 or 3 points in Austin last Saturday night, but OSU won by 17 and could have won by more. Well, I'm a Buckeye, literally and metaphorically, and I will win.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Aimless is dead!

I quit. You disappoint me, America. Aimless was for you, but you didn't care. And if I'm wrong, why don't you show me that you did care? Laura. Boston Beer Company. My family. All the people who have been here but never said anything.

I needed you. I really needed you.

I've been writing a very long explanation about why Aimless is dead, but I don't know if I'll ever post it. Maybe someday y'all will understand how great this could have been, and how it would have benefited you to show some interest.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Cause and effect

The men who hijacked American airliners five years ago today made it through airport security because airport security employees didn't do their jobs right.

The men who hijacked American airliners five years ago today were in position to hijack those planes because the CIA and our unelected president didn't do their jobs right.

We did not need tighter security to prevent 9/11; we simply needed airport security employees to do their jobs right. We did not need invasions of our privacy to prevent 9/11; we simply needed our government to do its job right.

Had our "president" done his job, this would not have happened.

Had the CIA done its job, this would not have happened.

Had airport security done its job, this would not have happened.

The United States Constitution outlines the rules our government must follow. It says the government represents the American people, not that the government controls the American people. Well, I hate to tell you, but our government controls us. That is against the rules; it is against the law.

If our government would just start doing its job, you would be safe and you could trust that your private phone calls are indeed private. It's that simple. If you believe anything else, you are failing as an American citizen.

A pointless distraction

OK, so the Path to 9/11 fabrication suggests "President Clinton was 'too preoccupied' with impeachment and the Monica Lewinsky affair to focus on terrorism," according to articles I've read. Like a broken record, the American media have continued telling us this for several days now. Although the "reports" focus on criticism of the movie, they seem to function more as a tool to perpuate the idea that Clinton was distracted and ineffective.

Now let's just pretend for a minute that it's undisputed fact. Let's pretend that Clinton was too preoccupied with those things to focus on terrorism.

Given that truth, why was Clinton so preoccupied with impeachment and Monica Lewinsky?

One reason: Instead of dealing with real American concerns, Republicans devoted all their energy to bringing down one of their political rivals, simply because someone sucked his dick.

Why do you suppose nature gave the man a dick? It's certainly not for peeing. The only tool required for peeing is a hole, which is why more than half of the human population pees sitting down. Men have dicks for one reason only: so they can fuck. It is natural for humans to be horny, just as it is natural for humans to fuck. That's why we exist.

I have an idea: Let's all just stop blaming Clinton for having to deal with that shit, because he didn't create the distraction. Republicans created the distraction and Republicans are responsible for keeping Clinton from doing his job. What's their excuse for not doing their jobs?

I have no love for Bill Clinton, OK. I would have liked the guy if he had just said, "Yeah, I have smoked pot, and we all know you've smoked pot, too. That's something almost all of us try in our twenties. But I grew out of it, just like you did. So why are you trying to make it an issue?"

I would have liked Clinton if he had just said, "Yeah, I did everything I could to stay out of Vietnam because I believed the Vietnam War was wrong. History has proven that the Vietnam War was wrong, and people like me kept it from being even more wrong. So why are you trying to make it an issue?"

But Clinton didn't admit to smoking pot; he danced around it. And Clinton didn't admit dodging the draft or otherwise avoiding Vietnam. Too bad, because this country needs a leader who has done those things and is not afraid to admit it.

So why don't the media pose these questions? Because The Corporation exists to make money, not to report real news or ask meaningful questions. Real news and meaningful questions don't add to the bottom line, so real news and meaningful questions remain absent from mainstream media.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bucks and Springs

Good job, Buckeyes.

Wow, Troy Smith is one bad-ass motherfucker. He was already nearly unstoppable on the ground, but he doesn't even have to run the ball anymore because he keeps throwing lasers to Teddy Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez. With Smith's precision passing and Ginn's blazing speed, it'll be hard for anyone to challenge the Buckeyes this year, even though their defense still looks pretty flaky.

Now on to the Bengals. Are they as good as they looked in the preseason? I suspect yes. (Man, that's freaky!) Their defense played like shit toward the end of the season last year, but they seem to have stepped it up since then. Carson Palmer seems unfazed by his career-threatening injury, and he has an arsenal backing him up on offense. I hope they get ahead big early in the game today because I don't feel like paying attention to a full three hours of NFL football. (I'm drained after yesterday's huge game in Austin.)

I think I'm going to head to Yellow Springs later today, although I'd love to sit here and write a handful of new blog entries. Dave Chappelle and Co. have organized an extension to this weekend's Blues Fest in YSO, which was originally only supposed to be Friday and Saturday. Erykah Badu is performing tonight, along with a few other bands. Although I am not familiar with any of her stuff (or any of the other performers), this event presents a good chance for me to get out and have a good time with good people.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hey you

Hey you, in the Gameday crowd in Austin. You, the one holding up the sign that looks like an Ohio State logo but actually says "Overrated" instead of "Ohio State."

You're stupid.

Not because you like Texas. Not because you don't like Ohio State. You're stupid because your sign suggests that tonight's game doesn't matter much for Texas unless they lose. By your logic, if Texas wins, it will have been a win over a crappy team, much like Texas's game last week. A win over "overrated" Ohio State is expected and should not bring any new respect or attention to your team. However, if Texas loses, Texas must really suck because they will have lost to an overrated team.

Your logic, not mine.

Ohio State/Texas prediction

Ohio State 38, Texas 24

That's my official prediction for the big game in Austin tomorrow night (or tonight, as it is currently well after midnight EDT).

Go Bucks!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Very old news

Although you surely did not see this story on your favorite news program 3 or 5 years ago, that's when this story was actually news. I happen to believe it's a pretty important detail that the American people probably should have known at least a few years ago, but you know how corporations work. No profit = no story. (Or if it's Fox: No lies = no story.)

Senate: Saddam saw al-Qaida as threat
By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Saddam Hussein regarded al-Qaida as a threat rather than a possible ally, a Senate report says, contradicting assertions President Bush has used to build support for the war in Iraq.

Released Friday, the report discloses for the first time an October 2005 CIA assessment that before the war, Saddam's government "did not have a relationship, harbor or turn a blind eye toward" al-Qaida operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or his associates...

If this is news to you, find the rest of the story here.

We should be better than this

I just watched a short documentary on HBO about a handful of kids with Tourette Syndrome, and it just about breaks my heart. Not so much because the kids have to deal with the tics or the obsessive-compulsive nature of Tourette Syndrome, but because of how the people around them deal with it (or don't deal with it).

One thing almost all the kids in the documentary had in common is that they said their teachers have made school difficult for them. They didn't say it in a pissed-off kind of way; they said it in an accepting kind of way, as if they've been taught that it's just supposed to be that way. Well it's not supposed to be that way, and anyone who thinks it is supposed to be that way is sick in the head.

All the kids in this film were about 10 years old, give or take a couple years. One of the kids was a very accomplished pianist. He was shown playing some demanding classical piano pieces we all recognize from movies, TV shows, and commercials. Another one of the kids played clarinet and drums in the school band. Yet another kid was both an accomplished comic strip artist as well as a karate champion. But they all take shit from their teachers, year after year, simply because they're different than the other kids.

When the doc was over I had tears welling up in my eyes, for a host of reasons. It was partly happy tears because these kids are so unique, determined, and tough. They fight so hard to overcome their handicaps and they achieve so much; it really warms my heart. But mostly the brewing tears weren't happy tears. They were tears of empathy. They were tears of 'Why do these kids have to go through this?' They were tears of 'I know that feels, from experience, although in a slightly different way.'

I can't help but wonder: If spending half an hour with these kids on a TV makes me cry, how could their teachers possibly treat them as poorly as the kids imply?

One possible explanation is that the kids lied about their teachers. And sadly there are lots of people out there who would reach this conclusion. Even more saddening is the fact that there is a surplus of people who don't think it's wrong for teachers to be so cruel to the "undesirables."

A better explanation is that the American education system is in dangerously bad shape. This condition is not the result of inadequate funding or overcrowded schools; it's the result of an entire society's complacency and inability to think critically. We've all been told our entire lives to respect authority. We've all been told our entire lives that teaching is a noble profession. We've also been told our entire lives that Christopher Columbus was an American hero, even though he wasn't American and his own logs tell us he was a vicious rapist and killer of innocent people--a genocidal maniac!!!

When do you start recognizing bullshit for what it really is, people?

People in positions of authority are totally full of shit. That's how they got there. And American History textbooks are not educational tools; they're big business. Corporations (including textbook publishers) are required by law to make decisions based solely on the interests of their shareholders. Unfortunately, truthful accounts of American history don't sell as well as heroic, triumphant, fabricated accounts of American history. Consequently, American schools are filled with factually incorrect American History textbooks, taught as fact by "noble" teachers who don't know what the fuck they're talking about. The kicker is that you probably think I'm full of shit for saying this, solely because your stupid teachers never told you these FACTS.

By definition, there is no such thing as a noble profession. Truly noble individuals are not concerned with the perceived socioeconomic status of their vocation. Almost all teachers, however, are very concerned with the public's perception of their status, which is the only reason teaching is now considered a profession instead of a public service. That should scare the shit out of you, especially if you have kids.

I've said almost nothing on this blog (or anywhere else on the Aimless web site) about either my experiences in "teacher education" or my experiences dealing with a similar learning disorder, but I will probably say more about it soon because Attention Deficit Disorder makes me who I am. It's probably the reason I identify and empathize with the Tourette kids so much. ADD put me in a real dark place when I was in high school, mostly because my parents and teachers selfishly discarded me as if I was trash instead of recognizing any of my immense gifts. And "teacher education" made me realize that public servants like myself are not welcome in the teaching profession.

I have a lot more to say about this stuff and related stuff. Maybe I'll get to it sometime soon. Maybe not. Please comment on this entry as well as other entries, whether you totally agree with everything I say or you think I'm a totally full-of-shit asshole. (Please do not comment anonymously.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"We the people" did this

They don't tell you this in the following article, but the article only exists because the little people have finally started taking back their country from the evil corporations and their puppet politicians. Knowing ABC was about to show a mini-series full of lies about September 11th to push the right wing agenda, a lot of people wrote letters to Scholastic, ABC, and ABC's advertisers, saying "No... No, no, no. [Shake finger.] You're not getting away with this, ABC." And I don't know this for a fact, but I suspect advertisers started pulling out, forcing ABC to make some serious last-minute changes. And Scholastic backed out because they realized this time the lie is not profitable.

This thing isn't as pretty and harmless as they're trying to make it sound. This story is nothing more than public relations departments hard at work to clean up their fuck-up.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Children's publishing company Scholastic said that it is removing materials from its Web site originally created for use in conjunction with ABC's "The Path to 9/11" amid growing controversy over the docudrama.

The company said it will create a new classroom discussion guide for high school students that focuses more specifically on media literacy, critical thinking, and historical background.

Scholastic is removing materials from its site that were created for classroom use in conjunction with ABC's docudrama, "The Path to 9/11."

"After a thorough review of the original guide that we offered online to about 25,000 high school teachers, we determined that the materials did not meet our high standards for dealing with controversial issues," Dick Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO of Scholastic said in a statement.

"At the same time, we believe that developing critical thinking and media literacy skills is crucial for students in today's society in order to participate fully in our democracy and that a program such as 'The Path to 9/11' provides a very 'teachable moment' for developing these skills at the high school level. We encourage teachers not to shy away from the controversy surrounding the program, but rather to engage their students in meaningful, in-depth discussion."

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Clinton Foundation head Bruce Lindsey and Clinton adviser Douglas Band all wrote in the past week to Robert Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Co. (Charts), to express concern over "The Path to 9/11." (Full story.)

The letter writers said that the miniseries contained factual errors, and that their requests for an opportunity to see it had gone unanswered.

In a statement released in apparent response to the growing uproar, ABC said, "No one has seen the final version of the film, because the editing process is not yet complete, so criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible."

Scholastic's new guide states that it had no involvement with developing the ABC docudrama and that the company is not promoting the program.

The new guide will be available on Friday, Sept. 8, the company said.

You think we're that stupid?!?

From an Associated Press article on Yahoo:

Bush said the United States has been making progress against terrorists in the past five years, beginning with the unsuccessful mission of the terrorists on United Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Pennsylvania when passengers fought back. "They delivered America its first victory in the war on terror," the president said to sustained applause.

Most people are not aware that Bush and his administration heroically organized the passengers of Flight 93 before the passengers fought back against their hijackers. Yeah, that's what he was pondering for 7 minutes while he sat in the Sarasota classroom. Take that, Michael Moore.

The lesson you should learn from Bush:
Next time the United States government fails to keep terrorists from hijacking your flight, remember that they've actually protected you very well. They have selflessly given you the opportunity to die within minutes, at one of two fabulous locations: the White House or rural Pennsylvania. It is every American citizen's responsibility to keep their leaders safe and wealthy.

No time to waste

Hey Ohioans, are you sick of not having a job? Are you sick of losing friends and family in a bullshit "war" that's only creating new enemies and a more serious "terrorist" threat? Are you sick of leading a shitty life?

Then apply for your absentee ballot NOW!!! Right this minute. You have no time to waste.

If you live in Franklin County, visit this page on the Franklin County Board of Elections web site to get started. If you live in any other county in Ohio, go to this page, where you'll find either a URL or a phone number for your county's board of elections. If that doesn't help, go to this Google search results page and replace "XXXXXXXXXX" with the name of your county. Just do something. We can no longer afford our government's blatant corruption (especially in Ohio).

Here's why you need to vote absentee: 1) If you vote absentee, you might actually get to vote this time, unlike in 2004 when you stood in line for 2 hours before giving up and going home or going back to work (if you actually have a job); 2) Voting absentee leaves a paper trail, which will make it much more difficult for Ken Blackwell to rig his own election; 3) You absolutely cannot trust Diebold voting machines; 4) Absentee voting is not as difficult as you may have been told.

From the Franklin County Board of Elections web site:

Am I eligible to vote by absentee ballot?
A qualified Ohio voter does not have to state a reason to vote by an absentee ballot, although the ballot must be applied for in writing. If you are properly registered to vote, you must submit your written request to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. Your request must contain certain information and your original signature.

Interestingly, the Board of Elections has made it more difficult to vote absentee than it was in 2004. In 2004 you could request an absentee ballot online, which I did because I knew I would be in New York City on "Election" Day. Now you have to send a written request for an absentee ballot, which takes more time and effort than an online request.

You know why they're doing that? Because Ken Blackwell rigs elections for a living. He already made it almost impossible for non-Republican voters to get into the polls in 2004. In addition, he rigged the electronic voting machines, which is clear to anyone willing to spend a few minutes doing some research. (That's not a conspiracy theory; it's documented fact. Here's a starting point.) And now he's trying to take away the last viable option--absentee voting--for anyone who plans to vote against him.

One last thing: FOLLOW ALL THE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY!!! Read the directions (or instructions) on the pages I've linked to. Read the directions on the pages you end up printing. And read the directions on your ballot when you receive it. Read the directions five times before you do anything. They are purposely confusing because some people don't want your vote to be counted. And if you don't follow the directions carefully, YOUR VOTE WILL NOT BE COUNTED!

THIS IS URGENT. YOU NEED TO REQUEST YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT TODAY BECAUSE THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS IS IN NO HURRY TO SEND IT TO YOU. IT MIGHT TAKE A MONTH OR LONGER BEFORE YOU RECEIVE IT. SO DO IT TODAY!!! FOR YOUR OWN SAKE.

A funny story

From CBS SportsLine:

UNLV kicker Ben Jaekle was summoned from the stands Saturday after starter Sergio Aguayo was injured in the opener against Idaho State.

By summoned, we mean that coach Mike Sanford got on his cellphone and called Jaekle, who was sitting in the stands.

"Who is this?" Sanford said recalling the conversation. "I said, 'This is Coach Sanford. This is not a joke. You are going to kick in the second half, you need to get down here and get dressed.'"

Jaekle had planned to redshirt but arrived in time to kick a field goal, three extra points and five kickoffs (he also missed a 33-yard field goal). He is also the man this week against Iowa State.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Be very afraid of this man

Even though I have already started drafting some Aimless-related entries and would like to write about that stuff, there are more serious things to talk about right now. We Americans have some pretty important elections coming up, and I might focus on that for a while because there are people out there who still don't get it. The greatest threat to our freedom and safety is our own government. That really scares me. Aimless isn't going anywhere; our country is going... going... ???

I'll start by commenting on some bits of an article about the dangerous criminal currently residing in the White House.

Quoting extensively from letters, Web site statements, audio recording and videotapes purportedly from terrorists, as well as documents found in various raids, Bush said that al Qaida, homegrown terrorists and other groups have adapted to changing U.S. defenses.

For example, Bush cited what he called "a grisly al Qaida manual" found in 2000 by British police during an anti-terrorist raid in London...

Let me get this straight: al Qaeda adapted to US "counterterrorism" strategies at least a year before the strategies were even implimented? I mean, I may not be the smartest person on the planet, but I can count, and I know 2000 came before 2001. Or are you trying to tell us al Qaeda is more than one step ahead of the US government?

"The terrorists who attacked us on September the 11th, 2001, are men without conscience, but they're not madmen," he said. "They kill in the name of a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs that are evil but not insane."

Ah, that clears it up. You're saying the only difference between them and you, Governor Bush, is that they aren't madmen. Right?

In its updated counterterrorism strategy, the White House said that "the enemy we face today in the war on terror is not the same enemy we faced on Sept. 11."

Perhaps that's because instead of going after the real enemy (or just leaving them the fuck alone for once), you created new enemies. Or maybe it's because more people are beginning to realize that you are the enemy. Iraqi people; American people; people all over the world.

We Americans need to get this evil motherfucker out of office. Or at the very least we need take out his pawns in Congress so we can limit the dictatorial powers he has given himself. In case you somehow have not figured this out yet, George Bush is not a good person and he most certainly is NOT on our side. And by "our," I mean the people of the United States of America--the liberal people and the conservative people.

How much proof do you need?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin

I just heard Steve Irwin died. Something about a stingray. Man, that sucks. What a great guy. We'll miss you, dude.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

One way to make some quick cash

I was standing in the shower thinking about what makes a man.

I'm lying. I wasn't actually thinking about what makes a man. That's just a line from a Jane's Addiction song that came to mind when I started writing this because I was standing in the shower thinking just a few minutes ago. I was thinking about pizza; specifically Aimless Pizza. I was thinking about how Aimless Pizza could do more than just make me some money one night a week.

In the shower it occurred to me that shortly after I find a restaurant willing to take me up on my "Aimless Pizza" offer, the restaurant is going to want my pizza on their regular menu. They'll want my pizza because it's better than everyone else's pizza. They'll want my pizza because it sells.

When that happens, they'll have to ask themselves a question: What's it worth to them?

It's worth a lot to me because I've spent years teaching myself how to make a great pizza. I've made at least one pizza almost every day for the last several years, always trying to make each day's pizza better than the previous day's pizza. As a result, I possess pizza-making skills and pizza-making knowledge that you won't encounter anywhere else unless you devote your life to searching the globe for people with comparable knowledge and skills.

That's not arrogance; it's a simple truth that results from hard work, passion, and lots of thought. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Pizza happens to be one of my strengths. But if you hand me an oboe, I ain't gonna make no pretty noises with it.

There is a lot more to making a great pizza than just mixing the right stuff together and then putting the right stuff on top of it. Even if you have access to the best information, you still have to understand what you're doing before you can do it right. You need to understand how all the ingredients react to each other. You need to understand why one step must come before another step. You need to understand the role temperature plays in dough management and baking. You need to know a lot of shit. And the only way to understand that "shit" is by doing it over and over and over, using different methods and different formulas so you can see how things change when you try different things.

Anyway, that's worth a lot of money, and I'm not just going to give it away or sell it cheaply. If someone wants my secrets because they realize my secrets can make them a lot of money, they're gonna have to pay a reasonable price. There is a reason I've spent all these years teaching myself about pizza and baking. The reason is to make money (although it was originally just to feed myself).

Friday, September 01, 2006

A new direction

As I've indicated in some recent entries, I need to rethink some of my Aimless fund-raising strategies. My approach has not been working so far, and I prefer to learn from mistakes rather than perpetuate them.

In the beginning, the main objective of Aimless was for me to hone my communication skills. If I expected to succeed, I needed to ask individuals and organizations for assistance, explaining effectively how their assistance would benefit them. Well, it's not happening. But you know what? The problem is not my communication skills. The problem is that most American businesses are operated by a bunch of fucking idiots. And if they can't figure out why Aimless is such a smart investment, fuck 'em. I don't care. I can easily do this whole thing myself. Let them come looking for me in a year from now, when the buzz gets going and my sponsorship price skyrockets.

I have offered hundreds of businesses the opportunity to take advantage of me with this project, but only one person has done it: Glenn Shope from Net Acceleration. And Glenn hasn't even asked for anything in return for the free web hosting he's providing me. Well Glenn, you win! You're gonna get a lot more from me than you ever expected because I take care of people who take care of me.

So what's my plan now?

I'm going to go ahead and buy some business cards and start selling candy bars. Once I get started with the candy bar sales, I'm going to find a restaurant to take me up on my Aimless Pizza offer. I'm going to be patient and I'm going to raise the $7,000 I need without asking anyone else for assistance. However, if someone approaches me about becoming a sponsor, I'll listen and I'll make the right decision.

Yeah, I'm all about the money now. Cha-ching. Aimless is now a capitalist venture. I'm still going to give back to the people who end up helping me accomplish my objectives, especially the little people. But I'm not going to give as much to eventual sponsors as I've been willing to give. They had their chance. Glenn took it, so he holds a special status with me.

Who's already made the Aimless credits?
Glenn Shope - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Betty Carano - Beavercreek, Ohio
Jay Rivers - Worthington, Ohio
Jeff Norris - Beaumont, California
Dave Jones - Beaumont, California
Don MacKay - Beaumont, California