Dick Riding Obama

ENTERTAINMENT - I can't help but be addicted to the following video from the Boondocks Season 3 - Episode 1: "It's a Black President, Huey Freeman". Its just too funny.

If you haven't seen Boondocks yet, what is wrong with you? Boondocks, Metalocalypse and other 'manly' shows on Adult Swim feature social satire and a healthy dose of bouncy bosoms and gratuitous violence.

Riley's No Homo Rant

Tom Drops the Soap

What is interesting about the show's display of homophobia is that its done with an open embrace of gay culture and some (egad, I hate this term but I have to use it) tongue-in-cheek humour.

Hey Baby and Rohan at Work

ENTERTAINMENT - "Hey Baby" is a violent video game in which women gamers play a woman walking home from work and is being hit on by men all the time... but in response to unsolicited catcalls and come-on-lines she runs around with machine gun killing people.

The problem with the game Hey Baby is that while it is commentary on the social situation many women face (and probably cathartic for some women who play it), I don't think the violence in the game and the killing of men actually interests most women.

True, the game is essentially a play on the violence in video games like Grand Theft Auto (wherein killing men, women and children is relatively common, as is looting their bodies afterwards) and contextually its an attempt by its video game designer to create a feminist statement... but its a rather poorly conceived statement and comes off as being "male-hating" and not very feminist.

To some extent the game is geared to attract media attention and controversy, but the game controls and response time is jerky at best. Its definitely a work in progress. (I admit trying to make a video game that appeals to feminists is a difficult task. This attempt is a bit crude and amateurish.)

In contrast "Rohan" is an entirely different game going in an opposite direction... its a bikini clad MMORPG where pretty young women go around killing monsters wearing only slightly more than Paris Hilton wears on a good day.

The similarity however is that both games have hot women killing things, but the difference is that men are more likely to be playing Rohan because apparently they'd rather watch computer-generated women than go out and meet the real thing.

Which might be good for real women, because it means less catcalls and pick-up-lines, but in reality I'd say its just another example of mass media distorting stereotypes of what women are vs. what men want them to be (which in this case appears to be scantily clad Playboy Bunnies).

Being Neighbourly at Work

CANADA - Being neighbourly isn't just something you do when you're at home. Hopefully you do it all the time, but this isn't true for everyone.

I'd argue being neighbourly is good for business relationships...

And not being neighbourly, ie. behaving like a prick or a c#nt, is likely to be very bad for business.

Piss off the locals and you're likely to get a brick thrown through your store front window.

And frankly I think that goes for whether you are male or female. Piss off the locals and they have every right to call you a prick or a c#nt.

Lets take for example the building management of 565 Sherbourne which has decided to chop off bicycles belonging to locals, because apparently they only want residents parking their bicycles in front of the local Shoppers Drug Mart. (Chopping off bikes and stealing them isn't very neighbourly.)

When asked about this policy by concerned cyclists the business manager (who deserves to be called a c#nt) decided to become antagonistic and she declared that she's going to remove the bike racks entirely (and violate a city by-law which requires them to have 60 bicycle parking spots near the Shoppers Drug Mart).

The lesson learned here is that people, even if they don't live there, should always be neighbourly. If there's a need for something (ie. more bicycle racks) it makes sense that they should just add more (especially when its required by the city by-law) to accomodate both residents and locals who happen to be visiting the Shoppers Drug Mart.

Getting into a feud with locals is just plain bad for business, regardless of your sex.

See Also
Neighbourly and Politeness in Toronto
Parking, Parking and Biycle Parking

Putting the Man back in Romance

ROMANCE - When was the last time time you bought your girlfriend or wife flowers? Or chocolates? Or jewelry?

Was it romantic? Or did it feel more like you're buying their affection?

Myself and many others would argue that "gifting" is the lowest form of romance. Unless you put actual thought into the gift, like a book or item that is truly MEANINGFUL, well then you're really just paying for the stereotypical gifts that men are expected to give women.

Now I am not suggesting you go out and buy Wilma a new bowling ball (like Fred Flintstone did in one episode, which was later pastiched by The Simpsons with a very similar plot). Or a set of golf clubs. Or some other supposedly masculine gift which could either backfire badly or be misconstrued as something else.

During the 1950s and 1960s washing machines, dryers and dishwashers were big gift items for husbands to give their wives. Part of it was the times, the explosion in family earnings and incomes so that they could afford such items (a TV set, a new '57 Chevy, a bomb shelter, etc) and another part of it may have been the need for greater efficiency... to say nothing of keeping up with the Jones family down the street.

Some people will argue both for and against the "grand gestures" method of romance. Hiring a string quartet and playing outside their apartment window, that sort of thing. Making a fool out of yourself may work for some women, but others believe its an act of desperation and... creepy. Thus grand gestures are considered risky and usually the result of a really big mistake.

According to romance surveys most men and women remember the little things. Holding hands, cuddling on the subway, falling asleep together on the couch while watching a movie, kissing in the rain, huddling under umbrellas... these things are more spontaneous and just happen naturally. The trick however is to recognize the opportunities when they arise to be romantic instead of just ignoring them... and at the same time remembering to not RUIN THE MOMENT.

Now what does this have to do with being manly...?


#1. Learn how to pull out a chair for a woman.

#2. Open doors for women, the elderly and children. Pretty much everyone.

#3. Learn how to help a woman into her coat.

#4. Practice good hygiene.

#5. Avoid swearing so much.

#6. Dress neatly, not slovenly. You can still wear your ripped jeans and your t-shirt that shows off your pecs, but try to wash them regularly. Leave the beer-hat at home. Avoid slouching or scratching your crotch.

#7. Be courteous and helpful, both to her and others. ie. Offer your seat to the pregnant woman on the subway or an elderly person.

#8. Avoid ogling other women. Its considered rude, both to the oglee and the woman you're with.

#9. Use restraint. If you must fart or belch try to do so discreetly and/or say excuse me. Avoid over drinking, smoking, shouting at people or behaving like a buffoon.

#10. Don't act like a braggart. Converse. Ask her opinion on items of interest. Try to avoid the history lesson, political lesson, etc. unless its something they actually show an interest in. DO NOT PREACH RELIGION. Avoid controversial topics until you know them better.

#11. Behave a bit like a bodyguard, but without being obvious about it. Remember the world is a more dangerous place for women and they're not all confident about walking home at night. Don't be pushy about it however.

#12. Stand up for her and support her rights. No need to get into fights, just voice your opinion that she must maintain her rights.

#13. Show your affection. Hand holding, hugs, kisses on cheeks, nose, forehead, hands, etc.

#14. Avoid talking down to her, treating her like an idiot. You may be older than her or have more education, but that is no excuse for behaving like a prick.

#15. Walk on the outside of the sidewalk (so she doesn't get splashed by cars/etc).

Portable Toilets at Work

TECHNOLOGY - When was the last time you used a portable toilet? If you're lucky, the answer is never.

It should be noted there has been a lot of advancement in portable toilets... True, the basic plastic "porta potties" still exist, but there has been significant improvement in both the cleanliness and the technology used by companies that do portable toilets rentals.

#1. Running Water, Hot and Cold.

#2. Electricity, a Fan, Air Conditioning & Lights.

#3. A toilet that actually flushes (as opposed to the kind where is loud plop and possibly a splash upwards).

#4. More roomy.

#5. A folding table for changing baby diapers.

#6. Trash receptacles.

If you're familiar with the old plastic El Cheapo portable toilets you will know such things are luxuries.

After all, lets say you're having an outdoor wedding with a giant wedding tent. You don't really want your guests (or the bride!) having to use an El Cheapo plastic portable toilet. The same idea goes with any other kind of big event where the number of available toilets becomes an issue.

Men (and I know this for a fact) are not so worried about toilets as women are. If necessary a man will piss in the bushes when he needs to 'drain the snake'. For women however this is hardly acceptable.

And anyone with a sense of decency would likely refrain from doing so as well, unless absolutely DESPERATE to release their bowels.

If you're over 50 or part of the Baby Boomer generation you might remember having to use a traditional "Out House"... you know, a tiny room made of wood outside of the main house, built above a large hole in the ground. Drafty in the winter to say the least.

In the 21st century indoor plumbing is something we now take for granted, but there was a time approx. 50 years ago when Out Houses were still pretty popular. (Both of my parents can attest to this, having both been raised on farms which had Out Houses during the 1950s and 1960s.)

These days we have a lot more options with indoor toilets too. Heated seats for example. Auto-Flushing. Low Flow Toilets (bad idea in my opinion). "Smart Toilets" that can measure your body-fat ratio or measures the amount of sugar in your urine. A lid that automatically lifts when it senses a person is near. Musical toilets with 6 different soundtracks, including the sound of rushing water, birds chirping or Japanese harp music.

Blame the Japanese. They won't be happy until they've invented a Robotic Toilet which can get up and walk.

Luxury toilets (marble, leather, other exotic materials) is big business. Especially in Asia where many people still use "squat toilets" (which having tried them, are just plain disgusting). The squat toilets are relics now as the booming Asian economy leaps forward...

How about a scented toilet which releases a soothing smell whenever it is sat upon? I'd buy that. I know other people who would buy it too.

So obviously there is a lot of room to grow in terms of the technology available.

Toronto recently unveiled its new public 'pay' toilets... self cleaning and contain a whole list of amenities. They cost a mere 25 cents to use and the city plans to eventually have 20 such high-tech public toilets spread around the city in places which need them.

For your 25 cents you get:

1. 20 minutes, which is counted down with 3 audible warnings and a blinking light.
2. Wheelchair accessible and climate control.
3. A shower (this varies depending on the model).
4. Hot and cold water.
5. A nice clean toilet.

When the person exits, the unit seals itself and begins a cleaning cycle. A security system calls the authorities if people fail to exit after their 20 minutes is up.

The units are regularly maintained and service people check them 3 times / day.

Seattle, which has similar public toilets ran into problems because the free-of-charge units were being used by prostitutes and drug addicts, causing them to pull the plug on the program.

That isn't expected to happen here in Toronto... although couples using it for impromptu booty calls is certainly a possibility.

Now here's a funny thing... What kind of person decides "Hey, I'm going to design luxury toilets for a living!"...?

Most people would prefer a nice clean deskjob, one with a computer right? In terms of website design and web development Toronto has hundreds (if not thousands) of people designing websites, doing SEO work, online advertising, building databases, etc.

But I can bet there's less than a dozen Torontonians in the business of designing toilets. Or any other kind of bathroom utility item, like sinks, showers or bathtubs. We can guess why so few people are attracted to the field of designing toilets. Its just not as fun or as exciting as designing cars, motorcycles or even something simpler like a website.

Because for all your hard work its a thing people will sit their posterior on and do a #1 or a #2. Or both. Maybe they've had a case of diarrhea and it will be something even worse.

I could talk about the issue of potty training children, but I think that is all we have time for today. I shall leave that for another day. Toodles!

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