Parenting Tact.


I’m certainly far from a perfect parent, and I realize everyone learns on the go, but I may have found something specific to work on over the weekend.

The wife and I have always said from the time the first one was in the womb that we would strive to answer questions with real answers, no baby talk, and to not unnecessarily dumb things down.  Certainly some situations call for a simplified answer, but we feel no reason to squash an inquisitive nature with short answers.

You may know I can be a little sarcasic and opnionated.  You may know that two-and-a-half year olds are great with absorb > imitate > repeat.

So, it may have not been my best moment when I provided an answer to a perfectly innocent question that was probably tinged a little too heavily with personal opinion and social commentary.

We were sitting in unusually heavy traffic headed into the Liberty tubes when my daughter asked her 493rd question for the car ride; “What’s that… what’s that white thing hanging from that lady’s mouth?” (She’s got a pretty damn good vocabulary for a 2yo if I do say so myself.)

My answer was “That’s a cigarette, she’s white trash.”  Immidately I got the “Eric!” along with an arm smack from the wife.

I did follow it up with an “Oh, that’s not nice.  I’m sorry.  We shouldn’t call people things like that, but cigarettes are bad for you.  Daddy doesn’t like them.  People are silly for smoking, it makes them sick.”

I find it hard to temper my opinions on such things.  Look, smoking is fine if you’re an adult and make your own decisions and are curteous of where you choose to partake.  I just have my own reasons for not being a fan and I never once needed the “don’t smoke” presentations in elementary school or Jr. High health class.

I want both of my kids to eventually make their own informed decisions about things.  I get that it’s part of my deal to help inform them.  They’ll get my opinions over time, no doubt.  I don’t want my opinions to be forced on to them, or so strong that they get a case of “wow, dad’s an asshole.” 

I just need to pace myself.  Temper the quick observation and judgement.  I’m still learning.

The Clarks; “Producing ire” or “to admire”?


Nothing can polarize a random group of yinzers like discussing the Clarks.  A lot of people love them, a lot of people hate them.  There’s probably even more people that could really care less about the whole issue.  The reason I’m blogging about this is, well, it blew up when I mentioned my distaste for them on Facebook.  Everybody & their mother (literally in my case) has an opinion about the Clarks:

That Clarks commercial makes my butthole pucker...

That Clarks commercial makes my butthole pucker...

English: Gary Busey in Almaty, Kazakhstan in O...

"Wahooooo!"

Have you seen the Clarks’ Toyota commercial, or any of the Gary Busey Kia commercials?  Gary Busey is bat-shit-nuts, and I’d rather buy an inferior car endorsed by him.  OK, I’d really rather buy neither… but the Gary Busey commercials don’t make me want to change the channel, and they don’t make my butthole pucker.

I present to you some video evidence for your review:

Then, I posted a status linking to the first status, asking for help building my list.  It turned into chaos.  Don’t believe Joel below.  He’s a bit mischievous.  Tiffany certainly seems adamant about her love for the Clarks.

Help make a list...

Help make a list...

So, what’s the big deal?  Personally, I find their songs trite, corny, tonally bland, and their vocalist quite annoying.  My general line is that his vocals are the aural equivalent to taking a cheese-grater to my eardrum.  When I hear them on the radio I involuntarily sigh or roll my eyes.  Yet, I know some of their songs because (thanks to local radio) I have heard them ad nauseam.

The Clarks (album)

There's a penny on the floor from our last album sale residuals...

I understand that music preferences are an opinion, and that others are entitled to theirs.  I’m just stating mine.  There’s no need to get your panties in a bunch just because I don’t like the Clarks and you do.  I’ll try hard not to consider you hopelessly tonally-challenged if you happen to like the Clarks.

I get a feeling that a lot of people like the Clarks simply because they’re from the area and mention Fayette County in their songs.  Yinzers seem to like them because they’re on the radio, or because they’ve been in a bar when they played.  They appear to appeal to the lowest common denominator,  I don’t know how many people like the Clarks because they actually like the Clarks’ music.  When I ask someone why they like the Clarks, I get answers like “I saw them at so & so’s bar” or “They’re from here” or something about allegiance to IUP.  It’s never “I really like [name of song here]” or “I really like their song writing/guitar playing/etc.”. Again, this is my opinion.

Also my opinion…  This car has more musical ability than the Clarks:

It’s been told to me repeatedly that people in bands around Pittsburgh simply don’t like the Clarks out of jealousy of their success.  I don’t believe I’m jealous of the Clarks for myself, but I guess I am a hater on certain levels.  I hate that they’re representative of Pittsburgh music.  I hate that people with no grasp of the local music scene ask me if I know/like them when they find out I’m in a band.  I hate that so many other bands around here that deserve wider recognition go unnoticed and go without radio play.  At the same time, a lot of musicians that I know just don’t like the Clarks because they write & perform bad songs.  This undoubtedly fuels the ire.  Perhaps it’s “bandwagon” to hate on the Clarks?  Maybe it’s the “cool” thing to do?  Maybe we’re all just not tone deaf.

A box grater with multiple grating surfaces.

Scott Blasey

So, please, I’d like a discussion on the comments below, not on the Facebook post about this blog.  You can comment using your name/e-mail address/url, your Facebook login, your Twitter login, or your WordPress login.

If you like the Clarks, please tell me why.  If you don’t like the Clarks, please tell me why.  If you don’t care about the Clarks, you can let us know that too.  Let’s not resort to name-calling or devaluing anyone’s opinions.  We’re (mostly) all adults here.

Perhaps I’ll make another blog post soon trying to make a list of Pittsburgh local bands that deserve more attention & a wider audience.

Again…

  • If you like the Clarks, please tell me why.
  • If you don’t like the Clarks, please tell me why.
  • If you don’t care about the Clarks, you can let us know that too.
  • Let’s not resort to name-calling or devaluing anyone’s opinions.

Pandora’s Lunchbox


Heh.  Twitter is fun.  So, you may know that I have my W(aL)D Twitter account, and I use it to be goofy.  I think I re-opened the Subway door here.  Mayhaps this time I’ll get some sort of resolution?

Today, Subway Freshbuzz tweeted the following…

Does anybody else out there try to save half of their $5 Footlong for a 2nd meal, only to be called back by its delicious siren song?

So, I posted this in response…

@subwayfreshbuzz Nope. Not when 1 bite is a potential trip to the E.R. thanks to cross-contamination in the food-prep area.

Tonight, I have this in my Direct Message box…

subwayfreshbuzz Thanks for the feedback. It would be great if you could let us know more about this incident on our cust. service page  http://bit.ly/bhSAn

Well, at least I have someone paying attention!  I sent them a link to my original complaint to Subway, but I’d like to list the whole saga here… in case I need them to refer back to the message trail at some point…

Five. Five dollar. Five dollar… foot up your ass.

• October 28, 2009 • 8 Comments (Edit)

Subway Customer ID: 1918316

• October 29, 2009 • 7 Comments (Edit)

Quiznos writes back before Subway!

• November 12, 2009 • 8 Comments (Edit)

So, we have a response from Subway! – Not really a response, if you ask me…

• November 13, 2009 • 2 Comments (Edit)

The Quiznos Toasty Torpedo™ and the diminutive hand model…

• November 17, 2009 • 3 Comments (Edit)

“You never told me you spoke my language, Doctor Jones.”

• November 18, 2009 • 3 Comments (Edit)

If we’re keeping score, that’s Subway 1 and Quiznos 3½. – No doubt.

• November 20, 2009 • 3 Comments (Edit)

Subway®: “First, allow me to apologize.” – Again, this really wasn’t a nice response, or a response at all…

• November 24, 2009 • 4 Comments (Edit)

Allergies, Alliteration, and Annoyance.
– I had to take it somewhere else.

• November 25, 2009 • 6 Comments (Edit)

Allergies, Annoyance, Alliteration, & Acceptance

• December 21, 2009 • 1 Comment (Edit)

The Quiznos Toasty Torpedo™ and the diminutive hand model…


So, I recently wrote back to Quiznos at the suggestion of Jon on Twitter, and with the editing help of Dave once again. Jon has apparently been following the Subway saga along with a handful of other people… and thought that it may be an appropriate next step. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I’ve had this thought myself, and if I remember correctly Jon had posted about it previously on Facebook or MySpace or Twitter or some social media site. Memory and my Googling skills fail me in finding that now, though.

I have high hopes on getting a well thought out response or two. I sent the message below to Mr. Jones, the same message to Mr. Bordeaux, and a slightly modified one to a few other email addresses that I managed to dig up. I enjoyed the candid reply from Mr. Jones before, although I was unable to get any further comment from Mr. Bordeaux or his team with whom he was going to share my email.

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 10:07 AM
Subject: The Quiznos Toasty Torpedo™ ads?
To: “Jones, Tony” <TJones2@quiznos.com>

Hello Mr. Jones,

I would like to thank you again for the response to my email last week regarding Subway’s lack of allergy awareness, cheese tessellation, appropriate responses to customer feedback, and poor decisions in general. I understand and have learned first hand that good communication is a key component to the Quiznos way of doing business. I also appreciate your expedited replies, and hope that you can gain something knowing how cavalier your competitor’s attitude is toward genuine customer concerns. I am glad to be a gauge of what you do at Quiznos, and I would like to hope that my feedback is valuable.

In sharing my recent adventures in email with some friends, I have noticed a theme that has come up in suggested queries for your fine establishment… and I must say that I have indeed wondered the same thing myself.

Are you using “little people” models for the toasty torpedoes ads, perhaps children or pygmies? I did get a turkey torpedo a while ago, and I did make a mental note that it seemed to be nothing more than a bread stick made into a sandwich. I thought that the toasty torpedo looked bigger in the ads… but I didn’t quite connect why until recently.

A quick Google image search led me to this photo, perfect for a reference for our purposes…

File?id=dfj6n44r_6fcvsjhd8_b

I’m sure you can also see it now that I’ve pointed it out. I, my friend, cannot un-see it. There is no way that the hand in the above graphic is correctly proportioned to the Toasty TORPEDO™. I’m actually tempted to go get another one in an attempt to re-create this photo to see how accurate it may be. I can guarantee though, that if I did in fact hold a toasty torpedo like that, that it would most certainly fall apart. Mine lasted for about a bite and a half before it fell apart.

In Googling, I found multiple odd references to this ad campaign. Does Quiznos make any official statements to counter these goofy bloggers? I found one guy that thinks it looks like a cigarette ad. One guy seems to have a Freudian problem and these people seem to think that one commercial purposely compares your torpedos to a cup of human excrement. Okay, I have to give them that one. I mean… you did hear of 2 Girls, 1 Cup right? I’d find it and link to it, but some may find that offensive/distasteful and I’m sure you know how to use search engines. These people even seem to come to the same conclusion as I have toward the end of their blog… as well as a commenter on this blog.

I understand that all advertising is not one hundred percent factual, and that things tend to be exaggerated, but I really find this image rather misleading. While I understand that I’m not going to walk into a Quiznos any time soon and find a HAL 9000’s creepy sexually suggestive oven cousin, two gorgeous scantily clad women eating a sub rather suggestively, two naked rednecks in a tub of water over a campfire, a baby with the voice of a grown man, anyone suckling on any wolf teats, or even genetic mutations with Latino accents and tiny guitars floating in the air singing praise of your sandwiches… I feel that you owe some level of honesty to the customer.

While the other ads are easily discernible as attention grabbing goofiness, this one seems rather straight forward at first — yet dishonest upon further inspection.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter as well as the thoughts of any other marketing people or regional managers in the Quiznos family.

If I didn’t feel that I was already taking up too much of your time, I wouldn’t mind getting into a discussion on the violent phallic imagery that the shape and name of these subs not-so-subliminally suggest. I mean, really? Torpedo? Bullet? How many feminists have already written to discuss this? I feel that this topic is a less pressing issue though, to be saved for another day.

Torpedoes away!
-Eric

If you feel the need for a background to any of this, this is where it all started, and how it played out:

That’s my initial message, Subway’s official non-response response, me sending it to Quiznos for comment and getting one, and finally a response from Subway telling me that someone else will respond… which as of yet, has not happened.

…All of which leads us to this posting.