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Showing posts from April, 2008

Kickboxing Lawyers Will Gladly Kick Your Ass, and Bill You For It

My friend Alice recently took up kickboxing, and decided this was a good time to tell people she hates lawyer jokes.

So, I told her about a Goldilocks and the Three Bears column I wrote a few years ago, and reprinted in March. I did it partly because I like to hassle her, but mostly because I know I can outrun her.

Hope your day goes better, Alice.

Blame it on the Rain

Blame it on the Rain
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

It's been a hard day, I said to my friend and curmudgeon-for-hire, Karl. It's Monday. I hate Mondays.

"Don't do that," Karl said.

Do what?

"Blame Monday for your woes. It's not Monday's fault you're having a bad day. It's yours." Karl plunked his beer on the bar. We were sitting in our favorite Scottish pub, holding forth with our thoughts on literature, current events, and whose turn it was to buy the next round.

Karl, what are you talking about? It's just an expression.

"Kid," -- I'm 40 years old, and he calls me Kid. I love this guy -- "Kid, it's a lazy way of blaming time for our woes. Things don't go well for us, we blame the day of the week. Make a small mental mistake, we blame it on the time of day."

Karl, I've heard you come up with some pretty weird ideas, but this is right up there with training monkeys to disarm bombs.


There Should Be a Cowbell Hero

There Should Be a Cowbell Hero
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

I'm becoming a guitar hero. A veritable rock god. With only three fingers.

Thanks to a recent purchase for our Nintendo Wii, my wife and I have been enjoying the game Guitar Hero III with an enthusiasm usually seen when our kids get a new toy, or when I find a forgotten beer in the back of the fridge.

Admittedly, I'm on the easy level, where I only need to use three fingers -- the same level that my 11-year-old daughter is quickly mastering. But as my abilities improve, I can move up to the four and five finger levels of medium and hard difficulty. Plus I can ground her from the game when she gets too good.

But while she's still learning the opening song, Slow Ride, by Foghat, I have already mastered 38 of the 42 songs with three-fingered ease. I have beaten Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Slash of Guns N' Roses in guitar showdowns, and sent both of them crying off the stage like w…

BlogMOB on Indianapolis' Monument Circle

For those of you who don't live in Indiana, my apologies for such an Indiana-centric post this afternoon. But here's what went down at today's BlogMOB, the publicity event for BlogIN 2008, the Indiana Blogger's event being held on Saturday, April 26, 2008. Find out more here.
12:00 p.m.
I’m sitting here on Indianapolis’ Monument Circle, facing south down Meridian Street, looking at my old employer. I’m sitting between Erin Monahan and Dave Stauffer, a husband and wife team from Carmel. Dave is a transportation safety inspector, and is learning how to blog so he can promote his new business. Erin is a budding freelance writer, and fellow chocolate lover. (That's Dave on my right, Erin on my left. Photo by Paul D'Andrea.) I'm sitting here with 29 other blog writers and enthusiasts because we believe in the power of the blog, the power of the individual collective, and the power of people who love our state.
"Blogging is a great way to set yourself up and …

I Still Don't Have a Topic

I Still Don't Have a Topic
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

"Hi Buddy, what do you want?"

"I can't play right now, I'm kind of busy."

"Writing my column."

"My humor column."

"The same thing I've done every Thursday for the last 14 years."

"Thursday. It's the 5th day of the week."

"Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday."

"No, not Fries Day. Friday."

"Yeah, I wish every day was Fries Day too. But we can't eat them all the time"

"Because French fries are a treat, not an everyday food."

"I know that's what Mommy says. Where do you think I learned it?"

"I know they're not good for my cholesterol. Mommy says that too."

"No, I don't know what I'm going to write about. I don't have a topic yet."

"A topic is like an idea."

"I don't have an idea yet either."

"No, I'm not going to wri…


From the Do as I Say, Not as I Do files:

Retired police sergeant-turned-attorney John Clifford was acquitted of misdemeanor charges of attempted assault, disorderly conduct, harassment, and attempted petit larceny. That's because he yelled and cursed at Nicholas Bender, a 19-year-old kid, for talking on his cell phone, and for slapping the hand of another woman, Lydia Klein, after she slapped his (Clifford's) hand when he tried to take a business card she was handing Nicholas (that's the petit larceny charge.)

According to an Associated Press story, Clifford acknowledged "that he was aggressive and overbearing when he approached Long Island Rail Road commuters he considered rude for talking too loudly on cell phones and for other behavior."

Also, Clifford told the AP he had ". . . been arrested eight times after being accused of throwing coffee, spewing expletives and getting in the faces of people whom he considered loud and rude on the commuter line."


Indianapolis Blogging Conference - BlogMOB and BlogIN 2008

Attention all Indianapolis bloggers (or Indiana bloggers who happen to be in town):Smaller Indiana is sponsoring two blog-related events in April for anyone who writes a blog, wants to write a blog, or just wants to meet people who write blogs.

BlogMOB F2F – Monday, April 14, Noon to 1 pm on Indianapolis’ Monument Circle. Smaller Indiana bloggers will write about the BlogIN conference (it’s actually an unConference – see below).As fellow Indy blogger Bruce Allenput it, we want to create a “visual happening, to demonstrate the power of the Internet to put feet on the ground.”The Circle has free WiFi, so if you want to blog in real time, you can. If you want to email friends, surf the web, or read other blogs of note, you can. If you just want to add to the general atmosphere and satisfy your inner geek, you can. We just want warm bodies in blue or yellow shirts. If we get enough people, we might even make the evening news.So, if you live and/or work in Indianapolis and you write a blog …

I'll Take Fries With That

I'll Take Fries With That
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

We are food obsessed in this country. How it's made, where it comes from, whether it's organic, and how much we eat. Or more importantly, what we don't eat.

Barry Glassner, author of the book "The Gospel of Food," says that we Americans have got it plain wrong when it comes to our food.

Glassner says we think food is good or evil, saintly or demonic. We even describe it in religious terms. Vegetables are "good" for you, while triple chocolate cake is "sinful," especially "devil's food" But there are so many new fad diets, we jump from cult to cult as each new season brings a new food finding, each of them weirder and more far out than the last. It's like the Kabbalah of food.

As a result, we fear our food. We fear fat, salt, sugar, preservatives, red meat, and genetically modified broccoli. We pride ourselves on what we eat and don't eat. We defin…

I've trademarked "the"

Apparently you can trademark a color. Who knew?

According to a blog post at The Consumerist, Telecom giant T-mobile (no link love for you! Come back one year!) is demanding that technology blog Engadget stop using the color magenta in its logo.

Never mind that magenta is one of the four color building blocks of the print industry -- cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Never mind that this is about as stupid as McDonald's trying to trademark the "Mc." You can't just go trademarking things that are more or less in the public domain, can you?

But then I began to think about how smart this is. Apparently T-Mobile thinks they have a leg to stand on. And in true entrepreneurial spirit, I wondered if I could use this little loophole to my advantage So I went online to the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office and was able to trademark the word "the" for just $499 using my credit card.

This means I can now receive payment from any and all publications that use my new word. S…