Smahten Up

I’m told I have an accent. While I find this absurd – I am the only person I know who doesn’t have an accent – I sometimes see people light up when I say certain words, and it’s usually a cue to brace for the inevitable retort of, “pahk the cah at Hahvid yahd.” Let me tell you a secret: this most famous of let’s-sound-New-Englandy phrases does not amuse anyone from the northeast. This “joke” is a tired cliché, and compounding the insult is our disgust with you for thinking Read more [...]

Three Crucial Tips for Cluttering Your Basement

I enjoy a lot of the content on, a site that offers a broad array of thoughtful and entertaining topics. I submitted my own piece today, Three Crucial Tips for Cluttering Your Basement. Click the image below to read the piece. . Just in case the site tanks, I've included the piece here: Three Crucial Tips for Cluttering Your Basement Essential advice for effective amassment  As I carefully traversed the precarious faux-city-skyline of plastic-bin towers that rose Read more [...]
September 28, 2013Permalink 2 Comments

Tillamook Burn Haiku Contest

At the Kick Ass Oregon History happy hour haiku throwdown, six pro and semi-pro haiku artists stepped to the invitation's challenge: Write a haiku about the Tillamook Burn, the devastating Oregon forest fire that scorched 311,000 acres of NW Oregon in 1933. (It wasn't only in 1933, but I don't want to get into the details. That's Kick Ass Doug's department.) As you might guess, any invitation that includes a request for a themed haiku will get my attention, so I wrote a few to throw into the ring. Read more [...]

Exit Interview

How do I feel about leaving DeskEffects under these circumstances? Well, considering no other options were available to me, I feel fine. I stood up for what’s right, and that’s what matters. My friend in accounting thinks I was stupid to take a stand for what he dismisses as a pointless marketing disagreement. “It was just a coffee cup,” he summarized – incorrectly, I might add, because it wasn’t the goddam coffee cup, it was the mindset behind the coffee cup, the ongoing short-sightedness Read more [...]

This Team Is Doomed

Commentator 1: Well gentlemen, the recent performances by this team have sunken to somewhere close to mediocre. Do you think it’s time we break out the doomsday hyperbole? Commentator 2: It may already be too late for that. I fully expect this team to spontaneously combust like a Spinal Tap drummer. They have been playing like a junior varsity high school team. It’s only a matter of time before their home city changes its name to avoid being associated with this pathetic excuse for a professional Read more [...]

Sounds about Right

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” – Mark Twain Words and idioms are often learned in a verbal context – we hear something we don’t know, we figure it out in our heads, and we add it to our own vocabulary. Unfortunately, English is full of homonyms, so what we hear may not be what was actually said. Moot vs. Mute In the phrase “the point is moot”, moot means Read more [...]

Reality (A Recessionary Homage to Nikki McClure)

The iconic art of Olympian artist Nikki McClure is as much a part of the Pacific Northwest landscape as Douglas Firs and counter lines at Stumptown Coffee, so ubiquitous it might seem that complimentary prints are provided to new residents when they sign their first lease agreement in the Portland area. Her paper-cut design and poignant one-word messaging define her style, but as the economic downturn drags on, her irrepressible positivity sometimes seems out of kilter with the reality of many of Read more [...]

Pink slips in God’s marketing department

It seems a safe bet that God ranks up there with Coca-Cola and Anheuser Busch for brand market saturation. So many churches, so many customizable flexi-letter signs offering insight and encouragement to passing drivers as they head to the bar or wherever it is they're going. Sometimes witty, occasionally poignant, often groan-worthy, and always with one goal: Getting people to think about God. I'm pretty sure that if the pastor at the Westboro Baptist Church had run this sign by God prior to Read more [...]

The Art of the Handwritten Note

By now, you probably heard about Sarah Palin's Tea Party cheat sheet -- notes scribbled on her hand to help her get through a grueling Q&A session with the world's friendliest audience. (At least if you're a gorgeous Republican.) The markings on the hand seemed to read: Energy Budget Tax cuts Lift American Spirits I'm not passing judgment on the necessity of writing notes to one's self. We all fear public speaking, and it's helpful to have a prompt in case we find ourselves struggling Read more [...]

Star Trek, the 60s, and, well….

Fans of Star Trek (the original series) will recognize this photo as the Doomsday Machine, an intergalactic Great White Shark that consumes anything and everything in its path. (Forgive me, Trekkies, if I have oversimplified the nuances of this menacing device/organism/concept.) I'm going out on a limb here, but the limb seems strong enough to support me: tapered, cylindrical shape? Glowing, fiery tip? Is the inspiration for this fairly obvious? (I suspect the original concept had it devouring Read more [...]