Thursday, February 05, 2009

Times Are Changin'

As Roxy Blue says, "Baby, I know times are changin'." And if you don't know who Roxy Blue is, that is probably because you aren't into obscure hair metal bands that only produced one album of any significance at all with a scantily clad female on the front cover that is no longer available for purchase.

Anyway, the Half Bad Boy Blog is coming to an end.

Yes, I am a little concerned about my readership. Hopefully both of them will see this post and follow me over to, where the blogging will continue, hopefully a bit more free-form. See, the problem with having a themed blog is that it makes it hard to write about what you really want to write about. I want to write about whatever interests me and not a theme - even one as cool as half-badness.

I realized this in a couple of ways. The first was that I was feeling constrained in what I would blog about. For example, I might want to blog about technology or politics, but it didn't fit the theme. Lame! Then as I started poking around at other people's blogs, I found a lot of other themed ones, that seem really interesting in the beginning but after a while seem like they are just saying the same thing over and over again. Either that, or they really start to scrounge for stuff, like "Seven Tips For Reducing Stress In Your Life" (tip #1 - stop stressing) or "How To Simplify Your Life" (such as not using any technology at all - but this does not apply to the blogger who must use technology to produce the blog, etc.).

Uninteresting. The interesting blogs to read, if there are any, are more personal than that. And the interesting blogs to write are about whatever topics I care about, because by definition the categorization of something as "interesting" by my brain is entirely subjective. Suddenly my blog becomes the most interesting of all! If I can only cut loose.

Which I'm doing. Eventually. Not right away. But if you agree that stuff I may choose to blog about could be interesting enough for you to care, you should change your bookmark, or feed, or whatever to instead. If, on the other hand, you are incorrect and don't find this stuff interesting, why are you even here? You should stay away. No offense. It isn't that I don't want you around. I'm just afraid I will have to moderate comments from people who wrongly think that my interests are not interesting. I believe I've made myself clear.

So. In case you missed it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Straight-Through-In-Alpha-Order-Music-Listening Experiment Update, Volume 3

Man, another month has passed on this experiment which has now been underway for four months. So here's where we stand:
  • Current Artist - Album - Song: Def Leppard - Hysteria - Rocket
  • Songs listened to: 1615
  • Total songs: 9691
  • Percentage complete: 16.67%
  • Estimated completion: October 2010
AAAAAAAAHH! Two years to complete this experiment! Two years before I will be listening to Yngwie Malmsteen or ZZ Top! Something has to be done. I've simply got to listen to music more often.

One of the highlights of this period was The Cult a couple of weeks ago. Another highlight has been discovering some different types of stuff that I'd bought on recommendations, and hadn't really listened to all the way through before. So that was good. But the rest of the D's are looking pretty good. If I can get through the D's by next month, then I'll have enjoyed all of Def Leppard, Dokken, Dragonforce, and Dream Theater along with some other good stuff. Stay tuned.

Essential Albums: Y&T "In Rock We Trust"

Artist: Y&T
Album: In Rock We Trust
Year: 1984
Best Song You've Probably Heard: Don't Stop Runnin'
Best Song You Might Not Have Heard: This Time

Say what you will about the cheesy cover, the dorky album title, or the weird band name; Y&T's "In Rock We Trust" is so good that it is my favorite album from 1984, and that's really saying something. Consider other albums that we were all blessed with that year:
  • Scorpions "Love at First Sting"
  • Ratt "Out of the Cellar"
  • The Cars "Heartbeat City"
  • Dokken "Tooth and Nail"
  • Twisted Sister "Stay Hungry"
  • and, of course, Van Halen "1984"
That's some pretty awesome company. So you know what I'm saying when I tell you that this is my favorite album from that year.

Unless you are a pretty serious 80's metalhead you've probably not even heard of Y&T before, so you maybe haven't heard "Don't Stop Runnin'". It is probably the most popular song from this album and apparently still gets air time on radio and MTV. But it isn't the best song. "This Time" is an awesome heavy metal ballad, one of the best ever. "Life, Life, Life" is an example of the common 80's plea-for-peace topic, and is an excellent song. There's not a bad song on the album, but especially the first four songs in a row are really outstanding.

This album is pretty hard to come by legally in CD form, although not as bad today as when I found mine, used. Your best bet might be to just buy the MP3s directly from You won't be disappointed.

(Image credit:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

College Football Wrapup 2008

Well, it was a great college football season.  It included some slight disappointments, like early season favorites Clemson and Georgia.  It included some refreshing surprises, like Utah and Alabama.  And it ended predictably, with yet another variant of intense BCS controversy.

Let's review the major conferences first:
  • SEC - As expected, the SEC was strong.  What was unexpected was the strength of Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, and the collapse of Tennessee.  But the SEC continues to be what I love about football - incredible athletes with tough defenses and hard-fought battles every week.
  • ACC - Clemson was a highly ranked preseason favorite that ended up having a mediocre season, but teams like Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Miami had pretty good seasons.
  • Big East - The Big East was a fairly weak conference, with only one team, Cincinnati, nationally ranked at the end of the year, and that team lost their bowl game.
  • Big 10 - The biggest Big 10 disappointment had to be Michigan, who had one of their worst seasons ever.  Many Big 10 teams held higher rankings than they earned all year, based primarily on their name, history, and prestige.
  • Big 12 - The Big 12 was a tale of two subdivisions.  The Big 12 North was comprised of one good team, Missouri, and five other also-rans.  The Big 12 South looked all year like the toughest conference in all of NCAA football, but they went 1-3 in their bowl games, so it makes you wonder.
  • PAC 10 - As everyone expected, USC was really good, and as everyone expected, they lost one game to a conference opponent that they should have won.  But the PAC 10 has some truly awful teams, like Washington.
  • Bonus: Mountain West - I think it's past time that we stop considering the Mountain West a mid-major conference.  The Mountain West went 6-2 against the PAC 10 this year, Wyoming beat Tennessee in Knoxville, and is probably stronger overall than the ACC or the Big East.  Playing a Mountain West schedule shouldn't penalize a teams strength of schedule anymore, and I think if we are going to keep this BCS nonsense, it is time for the Mountain West to have an automatic berth like the others - they've certainly shown over the past several years that they are good enough.

Let's review my bowl picks:
  • Las Vegas Bowl - Correct.  I said whatever team Max Hall played for would win.  He went back and forth but ended up helping Arizona more than BYU, so Arizona won.  Can someone explain to me how BYU ended up nationally ranked at the end of the year and Arizona didn't?
  • Poinsettia Bowl - Correct.  I picked TCU over Boise State.  They had me worried for a while but ended up pulling it off.
  • Meineke Car Care Bowl - Correct.  I picked West Virginia and was right, although they were worrying me a bit also.
  • Citrus Bowl - Correct.  Florida State was way too much for an overrated Wisconsin team to handle.
  • Emerald Bowl - Correct.  Cal beat Miami in a good game.
  • Alamo Bowl - Correct.  Missouri tried to let Northwestern win this one, but in the end they just couldn't give the victory away.
By this time I had gone 6 for 6 and I was having visions of getting all of my picks perfectly right.  Alas...
  • Holiday Bowl - Incorrect.  I'd seen Oklahoma State play a number of times during the year, and I really thought they were better than that.
  • Sun Bowl - Incorrect.  Oregon State surprised me.
  • Chick-Fil-A Bowl - Incorrect.  Apparently LSU in disintegration mode is still better than Georgia Tech at their best.
  • Citrus Bowl - Correct.  Finally I got another one right.  My SEC didn't let me down.
  • Rose Bowl - Incorrect.  Penn State simply made too many mistakes to win.
  • Orange Bowl - Incorrect.  Wow, was Cincinnati disappointing!
  • Cotton Bowl - Incorrect.  Not to take anything away from Ole Miss, but I really thought Tech's offense would be too much for the Rebels to handle.
  • Liberty Bowl - Correct.  East Carolina still is not a state.
  • Sugar Bowl - Incorrect.  And happy about it.  But still, you have to admit that it was a surprise.
  • Fiesta Bowl - Correct.  Ohio State played well but what an awesome drive by Texas to pull it off at the end.
  • National Championship - Correct.  Oklahoma played Florida much better than I thought, particularly on defense.  The whole game came down to a handful of very key plays, and Florida won those key plays.
  • Toilet Bowl - Correct.  ND C&D positively owns this bowl and this year was no exception as they destroyed Western Kentucky by the score of 3 to -17.
So overall, I correctly picked 11 of 18 games, or as my cynical friend said, about the same as picking them at random, which made me feel a lot better.  So what do we take from all of this?

  • The BCS is a complete joke.  Each year it very successfully proves its own illegitimacy, and this year was no exception.
  • The Big 12 South was not nearly so good as they seemed to be.  The high-flying offenses that seemed so amazing only seemed that way because the defenses were so lousy.
  • The PAC 10 is better than we thought, which also means the Mountain West (6-2 against the PAC 10 this year) is better than most people think.
  • This year's national champion, Florida, barely beat an Alabama team that Utah controlled well.  Florida is the national champion, but Utah is the best team this year.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Legitimacy for the BCS

It's popular every year to engage in the debate about the state of the BCS and how lousy a job it does, or not, in determining a national collegiate football champion.  And since I'm all about being popular, I thought I ought to jump in here and add to the noise a bit.  Maybe what I've got to say is a bit different though.  And maybe not.

I'm going to start with a basic premise about any championship series.  That premise is that it is possible for any participant to become the eventual champion of the series.  That's the promise of participation.  At the beginning of the season, every participant starts out at the same level as every other participant, and every participant can believe realistically that they have a shot at winning the overall championship.
Notice, I didn't say an equal shot.  Equality is certainly subjective, and in many championship series, there are many things that are not equal.  Ferrari has a much better chance than Force India to win the Formula One championship, and the Celtics have a better chance than the Jazz of winning an NBA title.  A lot of this has to do with money, markets, buying power, superior athletes, etc.
Still, the series itself gives every participant a fair chance to win.  There is nothing about the nature of the series that will make it so that an inferior competitor cannot win the championship.  If the Utah Jazz win enough games, they will make the playoffs - and if they make the playoffs and keep winning, they can eventually win the NBA title.  The championship is completely within the realm of possibility, something that is realistically achievable.

This, then, is the fundamental problem with the BCS.  I maintain that, in the BCS, not every participant has a chance to win the championship.  More precisely, there are a number of teams for which winning a championship is not possible, no matter what they do, without certain lucky circumstances also taking place that are outside of that team's control.

The recent Sugar Bowl game between Alabama and Utah really brings this into light.  Make no mistake, Alabama is legitimately one of the top football teams in the nation.  They deserved the BCS berth they were awarded.  They deservedly spent five weeks at the #1 spot in the nationwide polls.  And they were soundly beaten in a square, fair fight by Utah.  Soundly.  Beaten.
Consider this:  The only other team to beat Alabama this year was Florida.  Florida did not handle Alabama as well as Utah did - not even close.  And no other team - not Clemson, not Georgia, not Ole Miss, not LSU - managed to beat Alabama.  Alabama is a good team.

Utah is a better team.

Hey, even I wouldn't believe it beforehand.  Oh, I wanted to.  I wanted Utah to win.  But I just didn't think it would happen.

So, here you have Utah, who soundly beat an Alabama team that was the top-ranked team in the nation for nearly half of the regular season.  How can they not at least be considered as a candidate for the national title?

The common argument here is a strength of schedule argument.  Actually, Utah's strength of schedule was not that bad.  But strength of schedule is just an excuse.  Penn State, who lost soundly to USC in the Rose Bowl, very nearly went undefeated in the Big Ten.  Had they finished their season undefeated, this year they would have been playing for the national title.  It doesn't matter that the Big Ten is a relatively weak football conference these days - an undefeated Penn State plays for the national title this year.

The same goes for USC.  Who knows whether the PAC-10 is any good this year or not?  What I do know is that the Mountain West went 6-2 against the PAC-10 this year.  That implies that Utah's schedule is even stronger than it initially seems to be.

This is why I say the BCS as it currently stands is running the risk of being declared completely illegitimate.  Any team from any of the major six conferences has a chance of playing for the national title - all they have to do is go undefeated.  Strength of schedule does not matter for them.  But a team from outside the major six conferences?  That team pretty much has no chance of winning a national title, even if they do go undefeated the whole year.  Strengthening their schedule is a crapshoot - they might schedule a team like Michigan, only to find that they are not any good and did nothing to strengthen their schedule.  And what incentive do the major conference teams have to schedule the mid-majors?  It offers them no upside whatsoever, and is not necessary for them to win a national title.

It's going to be an interesting next few days for the BCS.  If Utah is not awarded a shared national title, in my opinion the BCS will prove that mid-major schools don't have a shot at winning the championship, thus proving that the system is broken.  And they will have to break their current rules in order to do the right thing.  This should provide for some very interesting discussion.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Shanahan's Future

So a couple of days ago the Denver Broncos fired their long-time coach, Mike Shanahan.

I can't say I'm surprised.  I've liked Shanahan, so I personally haven't exactly been hoping for the Broncos to replace him.  But I've kinda been expecting this for a few years now.

There's a lot of talk about loyalties - questioning what two Superbowl wins should be worth, can you really fire a guy that won two Superbowls, etc.  I'd ask the same question of a manager at any business anywhere in the country - does phenomenal success ten years ago, based in part upon the makeup of that manager's team, excuse mediocre performance today?  Or would a business expect continued performance?

The Broncos, admittedly, have a pretty high standard.  Shanahan wouldn't be having this problem at, say, Detroit.  But a .500 record over the past three seasons is just not going to cut it in Denver, especially with the talent there.  Managers are responsible for the performance of the teams they manage.  It's true in business and it's true in sports.  If the coach can't get the team to perform, it is time for a change.

So it's the end of the Mike Shanahan era in Denver.  The bad part of this is, I'm not sure who Denver will get that is any better.

This is, absolutely, positively, good news for Utah State though.  Why?  Uh, really?  You actually need to ask?  Obviously, Mike Shanahan is going to be the new head coach of Utah State University's football program.  And I'm very excited about that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Straight-Through-In-Alpha-Order-Music-Listening Experiment Update, Volume 2

Well here we are almost another month later already. Christmas is around the corner. Time for another update on the music experiment.

Frankly, I'm starting to wonder if I can stick to it. I've only made it part way through the C's so far, having listened to about 1150 songs of now nearly 7800. I still have a lot of C's to go - about 200 left still.

The C's hasn't been all bad. Of course, some of my wife's Celine Dion sneaked into my list somehow. I had to expunge it with extreme prejudice. But Collective Soul - ah, Collective Soul, one of the best bands ever. That has been a highlight of this experience so far. And don't forget Coldplay, Counting Crows, Creed, The Cult, The Cars, and Christina Aguilera - that naughty little tart with the incredible singing voice. Go ahead - make fun. I really do listen because of the voice. Although I had to suffer through a lot of her early bubble-gum pop garbage.

Anyway, like I said, there's a lot to like in the C's and it has been a pretty good ride. But at the current rate I'm not going to be done for over a year. Do I have the commitment to stick to this? And for what exactly?

No. No. I am going to stick to it. If I do well, I should be through Def Leppard in a month - and if I do really well, maybe through all the D's. Dream Theater is in there though, and that's like 200 songs, along with Dokken. D's are also looking pretty good, but I can I finish the D's in one month? Doubtful.

(Image credit: via

Monday, December 22, 2008

Essential Albums: Queensryche "Operation: Mindcrime"

Artist: Queensryche
Album: Operation: Mindcrime
Year: 1988
Best Song You've Probably Heard: Eyes of a Stranger
Best Song You Might Not Have Heard: Suite Sister Mary

Wow. Operation: Mindcrime. If they ever put a heavy metal album in the Louvre, this will be it without question.

There's a lot of superlatives that apply to Operation: Mindcrime, and it might take a while to get around to them all, but here's a few:
  • Best Concept Album Ever
  • Best Rock Opera Ever
  • Most Artistic Heavy Metal Album Ever
  • Most Artistic Mainstream Album of the past 30 years
Of course, that's just my opinion, but my opinion is the only one that really matters here.

I'm not going to go into the back story of Operation: Mindcrime as it is amply documented in many places all over the Internet. Suffice it to say, the story is incredibly dramatic, insightful and even introspective. Without intending to leave out the other incredible Rychers, Geoff Tate is absolutely stunning in his heartfelt vocals, and the indispensable Chris DeGarmo sets the mood of every song with his incredible guitar work. Sometime when you have an hour alone at home or on a roadtrip, just crank Operation: Mindcrime and listen to it good and loud, uninterrupted, all the way through from start to finish. Listen to the story and put yourself in the place of Nikki. Then see if you can keep tears from your eyes as Nikki laments what has become of his life in "Eyes of a Stranger." Good luck with that.

By the way I forgot at least one superlative:
  • Best Rock Concert Ever
And on that note, I'm going to cheat a bit here and include Operation: LIVEcrime, the live recording of Operation: Mindcrime in concert, in its entirety, during the "Empire" tour. Queensryche in concert is simply amazing - one of the best live acts I've ever seen, and that's some pretty lofty company.

This album was originally released in 1991 and was incredibly exclusive and hard to find just a few years later. Fortunately Queensryche re-released it in about 2001. The live album is incredible, possibly better than the studio version. Just thinking of the incredible ovation at the end of "Eyes of a Stranger" gives me chills.

With the inclusion of this album, I have to add another best song, "Roads to Madness." The live version of this song is just raw power, and it is almost as though that song was meant to be on Mindcrime anyway - it fits right in to the story.

(Image Credits:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Who Will Win The Bowl Games

So, it is time for the predictions as to who will win the bowl games. At least the ones that matter. Not all bowl games matter. For example, bowl games like the Sugar, Orange, and Toilet matter. Bowl games like the EagleBank and Super do not. So here we go:

  • Las Vegas Bowl - Whichever team Max Hall plays for. Yes, I know he attends BYU. But he sometimes plays for another team, like Utah.

  • Poinsettia Bowl - TCU. Has Boise State really played anybody good this year?

  • Car Care Bowl - West Virginia.

  • Citrus Bowl - Florida State. Wisconsin was an also-ran in the Big 10, which is really not much of a compliment at all.

  • Emerald Bowl - Cal. Home field advantage makes the difference.

  • Alamo Bowl - Missouri. The Big 12 is to the Big 10 as Mozy is to Wal-Mart. Awesome vs. not awesome. Moving along.

  • Holiday Bowl - Oklahoma State. The fourth-best team in the Big 12 South could be the conference champion in almost any other conference.

  • Sun Bowl - Pitt. Oregon State continues to lament what could have been and loses again.

  • Chick-Fil-A Bowl - Georgia Tech. This game is a tale of two teams going different directions. GT has the momentum.

  • Citrus Bowl - Georgia. SEC vs. Big 10? Please.
  • Rose Bowl - Penn State. Eh. Who knows if they will actually win. Maybe karma makes a difference in this one, in favor of good ol' Joe.

  • Orange Bowl - Cincinnati.

  • Cotton Bowl - Texas Tech. Not taking anything away from Ole Miss, but them beating Florida took a bit of luck. They wouldn't do it today. And they won't beat Texas Tech either.

  • Liberty Bowl - Kentucky. C'mon. East Carolina isn't even a real state.

  • Sugar Bowl - Alabama. Most Utah fans think the Utes will win. They have two reasons for believing this. One is that they are completely delusional. The other is that they haven't watched any other college teams besides Utah this year. Hey, I'd love Utah to win. I'd also like to win the lottery. But, like winning the lottery, it just ain't gonna happen.

  • Fiesta Bowl - Texas. Texas beat Oklahoma this year. Ohio State beat, uh, Michigan.

  • National Championship - Florida. This is a close, close game. Two really awesome teams. Florida's raw speed makes the difference.

  • Toilet Bowl - In this marquis matchup between Western Kentucky and North Dakota Culinary & Drama College, ND C&D wins in a landslide for the third consecutive year. It's a bit sad, really - Utah State did so well this year that they did not get to go to this game again. Perhaps that is why they fired their head coach.
What do you think? Do you have a different opinion on these games? I'd really love* to hear about it. E-mail your opinions to and let me know if you hear back.

* not really

Friday, December 05, 2008

We Are Jerks. Or, How the Confrontation Went, in Alternate-Reality-Land

Ah, MLMs. Golden opportunities for average joes like you and me to work like crazy to make other people rich. But other than that, not much at all like a legitimate business.

The curse of Mozy is to rent office space next door to an MLM company. Granted, this is not too difficult in Utah County, MLM capital of the world. Still, it makes one wonder what evil the founder may have done for Mozy to be cursed so.

Us on the bottom floor of the new Mozy building have the distinct privilege of sharing the floor with an MLM company, whose name will be withheld here synergistically to protect them, where "privilege" is like unto the privilege that Braveheart experienced to be disemboweled in public as penitence for his sin of wanting to be left alone, much like us.

MLMs are built upon the premise of getting rich without having to do anything. Everything is about appearance and affluence with MLMs. As I type we've got people pulling up in their rented black Mercedes or BMW to come in to yet another open house and try to impress each other. These guys act like they own the whole building, because that is part of the image they are trying to put forth. They are right this moment holding yet another open house which consumes the entire main entrance and main entrance foyer. This is done without any announcement, let alone request for permission, to the other tenants in the building - certainly not those of us on the main floor who share the foyer, entryway, elevators and bathroom. In fact, they are the smallest tenant in the building, but they act like they own the whole thing.

So it is really no surprise, especially to those familiar with Mozy culture, that someone finally had enough the other day and posted a little 8 1/2 x 11 picture comparing regular MLM-style magic juice with "Mozy juice" in such manner that the people across the hall could read it, if they walked up close enough. It is true that the sign made reference to magic juice, special berries picked by monk children high in the mountains in the early morning, and pyramid schemes in general. It did not mention our neighbors by name or necessarily even imply that they were related at all.
Actually the sign is pretty funny.

So I walk out the door for the purpose of conducting natural personal waste removal, and I'm accosted by a representative of said neighbor, demanding in polite tone that I take the sign down. So from here on, I'm going to describe the confrontation, which proves that we are jerks, although I do freely admit that I may be making some of this up.

Neighbor Enraged, Requiring Discipline: Hey, I'd like you to please take that sign down, it is offensive.
Me: What sign?
NERD: (pointing to the sign) That sign you guys posted attacking our company. It is disrespectful and offensive. I don't know why you would put something like that up, and I would like you to take it down.
Me: Well, I wasn't even aware that the sign was there until just now. I don't even know what it says.
NERD: It is offensive to our company. I would take it down myself, but I can't because it is taped on the other side of a window and the door is locked.
Me: So, if the door wasn't locked, you would just walk into our part of the building and take it down? You believe that if the sign is offensive that gives you the right to walk into our part of the building, where we are creating and discussing trade secrets and intellectual property, and take the sign down because you don't like it?
NERD: Well, I would just like you to take it down.
Me: You have a pretty big display of stuff inside your office doors. Some of those displays might be offensive to me. Should I just walk in there and take down whatever offends me also?
NERD: No. Alright. I wouldn't just walk into your part of the building. Will you take the sign down please?
Me: Well, I didn't put the sign up. It would be presumptuous of me to assume I can just take it down without consulting with whomever put it up in the first place.
NERD: You mean you can't just take it down?
Me: No. I can communicate your temper tantrum within the company and see if whomever put it up wants to remove it.
NERD: I don't see why you can't just remove it. It's disrespectful.
Me: You know what is disrespectful? You guys, holding your big open houses in the foyer of the building all the time. You invite people in, you take over the entryway and the entire lobby, which are all public areas of the building, but you treat them like they belong only to you. You make it so we don't feel comfortable even using our own restroom or walking out our own front door.
NERD: Well, I'm really sorry we do that.
Me: No offense, but you are apologizing as a part of trying to get me to do you a favor. I have no way of knowing whether you really mean it or not.
NERD: I still don't understand why you won't just take the sign down.
Me: For reasons that I cannot explain and are really none of your business anyway, I'm not at liberty to just take down a sign that I didn't put up.
NERD: But that sign is offensive!
Me: That's an opinion. What about the sign exactly is offensive to you?
NERD: Well, it is making fun of our product.
Me: (reading briefly) It says here it is talking about "magic juice."
NERD: Yes, exactly.
Me: Do you sell magic juice?
NERD: No! Calling it "magic" is derogatory. We sell fruit-juice for health-conscious individuals that conveys special healing powers.
Me: How much is this juice?
NERD: $42.25 per bottle.
Me: So, your juice is not magic juice?
Me: Okay. So it sounds to me like you charge over $40 for regular fruit juice, and that this sign doesn't apply to you. This sign is talking about magic juice. But you just sell atrociously expensive regular juice.
NERD: Um..
Me: Right?
NERD: Well, there's a phrase in that sign that talks about pyramid schemes designed to prey upon the naive and greedy.
Me: So?
NERD: That offends me.
Me: Is your business a pyramid scheme that preys upon the naive and greedy?
NERD: That's beside the point.
Me: No, it is the point. Either that phrase describes your business factually, or it doesn't describe you at all. Either way, you should not be offended.
NERD: Well, it IS offensive!
Me: Look, a statement saying that pyramid schemes prey upon the naive and greedy is a fact. it is like someone telling me, "Matt, your hair is going gray." That is a fact. There's no reason to be offended by that. If someone were to tell me, "Matt, your hair is turning pink," that also is not offensive, because it is not true. Either way, it's not offensive.
NERD: But...
Me: I think what you find "offensive" is not really offensive, but disconcerting. You're afraid the naive and greedy people that come in here to do business with you will find out the truth about your business. You're afraid they will find out they have been deceived, and that in fact the whole business model is based upon deceiving people.
NERD: (threatening) Now look here. You'd better get in there and take down that sign, or...

Just then, as he started vigorously towards me, I snapped my fingers. Around the corner walked a half-dozen large, smelly, long-haired guys dressed in black slacks, black shoes, white socks, and black Apple t-shirts. Yes - the Black Ponytails. Mice and keyboards started flailing about as the severe beatings began.

Suffice it to say, I thought we had an understanding. The broken tiles in the foyer were replaced this morning. Yet, today another open-house was held in the foyer. I may need to call those friends of mine again...