April 10th, 2007


Device to drive away teenagers drives off everybody.

Okay, first things first. Play this mp3.

Did you hear anything?

I sure did, hurt and annoyed my poor widdle ears too.

It's the sound emitted by a machine that is supposed to drive away anyone under the age of 25 from stores. It seems money isn't good until it's being spent by someone 26 or older. I'm 30, going to be 31 in august. I have lots of money to spend, I won't stay in a place with this sound, now you get no money! This sound is why we got rid of a perfectly good TV (well that and someone bought us a much nicer one) because that sound HURTS my ears. Tinnitus is bad enough without having a machine trigger it* and make me keep hearing it for hours on end.

Of course there are two funny sides to this story. 1) The kids learned that adults can't hear this tone and started using it as a ring tone so they could play with their phones in school (and they say the younger generation is stupid) and 2) It seems that people well over the age of 60 can hear this tone and smash the device making it with a hammer**. So it's a total failure on all points.

What really gets me about this is that people have long memories. If I was in a shop, which caused me that kind of pain, I would never go into that shop again. I also can't help but think that most stores have to get teenagers to work in them, wouldn't that noise represent an OSHA hazard? Could I sue them for triggering hours of tinnitus from being in their store?

It just sounds like a dumb idea all around.

*Fancy fun facts: The boy's tinnitus is that exact sound, possibly a few notches higher on the frequency scale. He doesn't have it all the time, just when things get too loud for a while or being around a device giving off that sort of whine. It's kind of funny in a way because I just need to turn on an old TV I've hidden for like 5 minutes and he suffers for three hours.
**Fancy Fun Facts: There are other stories about this on the internet, he's just lazy and only linking the one.
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Neat stuff.

I think I shall have to buy droewyn Link's Sword now. I mean I've now learned that I can get her the Sheild too.

I'm not sure I could properly remain her sweetie if I neglected to let her live out that life long fantasy of going to save the princess and stuff.

I'll jsut have to make sure she doesn't see the Keyblade from Kingdom Hearts

Fancy Fun Facts: droewyn particularly likes Link because like her, he's a southpaw.
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LJ is having issues again. I cannot see my friends page.


AAUUGGHH!! (as Mister Charles Brown would say)
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me, Me

Be a Wizard.

I read part of a book once. Some sort of ‘Tips for Geeks in the Workplace’ sort of book my father used to read in the 80s. The book was full of counterintuitive advice, like that the best way to deal with a bully was to punch them as hard as you could in the stomach. You might get an ass kicking for it, but after that they’d go after weaker pray because now they know that you’re not so easy. That was even better when you knew judo and could have them on the floor with their left hand twisted near their right ear in front of their friends.

It was a chapter titled (and the title of this post) called ‘Be a Wizard’ that really stuck with me though. The premise was that you’ll never really fit in, if you don’t like sports and crap then trying to pretend with just make you look foolish. If you’re not up on sports or the latest TV shows or whatever then even if you try to learn about them, your enthusiasm will never match that of some idiot who really likes them. It’s not fair, but it’s true that sometimes being a good socializer is better than being good at your job.

So this author’s suggestion, in another brilliant move of counter intuitivism, was not to try to pretend you like sports but to like just about everything else. If someone asks you if you saw the game, you say that you didn’t catch it but you did see a brilliant rendition of Don Giovanni* the other day. Never put down sports, just say you’re into other things. Show up to work with biographies of Tesla, Mark Twain and then someone like John Holmes, just to show you’ve got wide and unpredictable interests. Listen to old John Coltrane albums, and classical music, talk about forgiven movies as well as action and drams. Making it a wide range and including things that people know about on occasion is the key. The point here is to make your interests completely inscrutable and impossible to predict, but still have people feel they at least recognize a bunch of the stuff you’re into.

This isn’t to say you should fake your interests to make them seem more impressive, you should just let people know what all your interests are. Most people are a lot more interesting than they give themselves credit for, and are into a lot more things than they let on. It helps to just bring some of the more eclectic and recognizable things to the surface. This way people will think you know a bit about everything, and will never assume you don’t now anything about something.

The final bit of advice on that point (and I’m following it actually, because he had a whole chapter devoted to the idea) is that you should be able to boil almost everything down to about a minute’s worth of talk maximum. He actually suggested that you try to limit your information to bullet points that invite questions to be asked. Most people will request more information if they need it. You should always been seen as someone who gives helpful little tidbits of advice.

The end result of all this is people start to see you as a sort of spooky wizard, who’s into all kinds of things that no one else really understands, but they know it’s very impressive. This is particularly useful with an affable attitude. It removes the danger of becoming an annoying dweeb who lords their minuscule knowledge over people’s heads to feel powerful. It really allows you to be the smartest person in the room, and be a popular and likable guy. The idea is not to tell people you can zap them dead with a lightning bolt, but to also give people the idea that it’s not something you’ve ruled out yet.

I’ve seen a fair number of people using this concept in one way or another in the field and it works surprisingly well. Mixing intelligence with a kindly demeanor that’s backed up with the notion that you really do know what the hell you’re talking about works very well. I’ve used it myself and it does well at making me a liked guy in the workplace. It doesn’t get you into upper management all that often, but I’ve noticed most guys who use the wizard tactic don’t really want to be in management anyway. Mostly their left to their own spooky devices and allowed to more or less get on with things, which I think is what we all want anyway.

*Adjust for preference and the chance that your boss might know about what you’re talking about.

Rules for Wonderland (samples)

Here are a series of the rules for Wonderland...

Rule 1: You do not talk about wonderland.
Rule 4: No poofters!
Rule 6: There is NO rules six.
Rule 15: Don't eat the mushrooms.
Rule 21: The smoke alone is worth a tousand pounds a puff.
Rule 42: All persons more than a mile high, must leave the court.
Rule 43: Never write when tired.

I was just reading over what I posted and I'll be darned if that's not three pages of near gibberish.

Of course I'm still groogy after being up for three hours.

I think I'll risk part ten being a little late over doing that to you again.
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