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Archive for the ‘Top 10 Lists’ Category

10 Reasons College Graduations are Irrelevant and Annoying

Posted by Jack Deus on April 27, 2009

I actually wrote the outline for this post a couple of years ago, but with my (second) college graduation actually in the foreseeable future I thought it would be a good time to actually put it down on paper (in the figurative sense; no trees were harmed in the making of this blog).

I have been to four college graduations that I can remember and would have gone to none of them if they weren’t for immediate family members (or myself) being in them. Since I had to be there I decided to try to pay attention to what was going on and came to the conclusion that college graduations are pretty much pointless. Here’s why:

1.       There is lots of symbolism, but no one knows what it means. Gowns, caps, tassels, Masters and Doctorate hoods. Does anyone really know what any of this stuff means? I’m all for upholding tradition, but maybe the College or University could put a little blurb in their programs about this stuff so people can actually appreciate it. I fear, though, that not even many people that work for the Universities know what any of these things symbolize, so they can’t explain it to the rest of us.

2.       As the grads walk in, annoying family and friends yell and scream, expecting the grad to be able to see them. Are people really that stupid to think the grads can see or hear them in a giant auditorium full of thousands of people?

3.       When the names of the grads are being read, even after explicitly being told not to cheer until the end, people cheer way too loud and long. Dozens of grads’ names are not heard because the family of the previous grad is still cheering.

4.       Similar to #3: when the names are being read, people blow airhorns and ring cowbells. At my brother-in-law’s graduation someone rang a cowbell during the Doctorate announcements, another person blew an airhorn during the Masters announcement, and at least ten more people blew airhorns during the Bachelors announcements. How is it that so many people think they have to make total fools of themselves, embarrass the grads, and annoy everyone in the entire auditorium? 

5.       Dumb awards. Five or six awards are given out (at least at the graduations I’ve been to) to people who I am sure are deserving of them, but does the time of thousands of people really need to be wasted presenting something that only the recipient and their family and friends really care about? If the awards were presented as fast as the diplomas I wouldn’t have a problem with them, but each award takes 5-15 minutes to talk about, present, and accept.

6.    Boring, pointless speeches. The Chancellor gives a speech, the Valedictorian gives a speech, the student body president gives a speech, the award recipients give speeches, the guest speaker/honorary celebrity gives a speech, the captain of the football team gives a speech…OK, maybe not the football captain, but you get the idea. Lots of people give speeches, which in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except that they all same the same friggin thing: “Your hard work has paid off, now go out there and do the best you can. And remember you not only represent yourself, but your family, friends and this University.” The only speaker who said anything different was the guest speaker at my brother-in-law’s graduation who droned on about how mankind was going to meet its doom, and our doom was coming sooner rather than later. I thought the speech was kind of intriguing, because I forced myself to actually listened to it, but he had such a dry and monotonous delivery that 99% of the crowd tuned him out after less than a minute.

7.       No connection between the grads. When I graduated college I didn’t know one single person out of the hundreds (thousands?) that were graduating with me. I realize I’m a special case because I left college for a few semesters and came back. But, even if I had graduated with the class I started with I would have known maybe 50 people, and only 10 of them by name. Not like my high school graduation where I could name all 242 other people graduating with me.

8.       Dissertation and thesis titles. A few of them can be kind of funny, but ultimately they are just 5-50 jargon words strung together that most people outside that specialized field of study don’t understand. I consider myself a pretty smart person with a fairly large vocabulary, but I could maybe tell you what half of the titles meant. If Universities insist on publishing the dissertations and theses of the masters and doctorate grads, at least give a little 2-3 sentence blurb about what it means or how it benefits society. Otherwise it is a complete waste of space and paper.

9.       Trying to meet up with the grad afterward. 10,000 people all told each other to meet at the statue in the front entrance of the auditorium. That’s if they even thought ahead to have a spot to meet.

10.   Trying to take pictures. Once everyone realizes that everyone else is also meeting at the statue they start walking around looking for places to take pictures. That many people walking randomly around is going to lead to a lot of people walking through each others shots. As far as actually getting a picture of the grad as he is walking across the stage, you better have a professional camera with a 1000x zoom if you want to make heads from tales of anyone on stage.

Except for my own graduation (or graduations if I pursue my Masters degree) I hopefully won’t have anyone I know graduating college anytime soon. With any luck, by the time my daughter graduates college in 22 or so years some of these complaints will be fixed and I will only have a top 5 list.

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10 Things Every Car Owner Should Know

Posted by Jack Deus on March 9, 2009

When studying to get your driver’s license, there is a manual that contains everything you will need to know to pass the test. Unfortunately, that manual doesn’t cover everything you should know about driving a car. Here is a list of things that aren’t covered in the driver’s license manual.

  1. How to tell which side of the car the gas tank is on. Have you ever witnessed something like this when at a gas pump? Or maybe it has happened to you? Look at the left side of this picture. That little triangle next to the gas pump icon tells you which side of your car the gas tank is on. If your car doesn’t have that triangle (or something similar), take a memory pill.
  2. How to calculate MPG (miles per gallon). Next time you get gas fill the tank all the way and write down the mileage of your car. Then, when you fill up again, take the mileage you are currently at, subtract the mileage from the previous fill-up and divide that number by how many gallons it took to fill up. Or, buy a car like mine that calculates MPG for you.
  3. How to change a fuse. Find the fuse panel. Open it. Look in your car manual to see which fuse controls the part of your car that stopped working. Grab the bad fuse and pull straight out. Replace fuse with one that has the same amperage rating.
  4. How to jump start a car. Get jumper cables. Connect the positive cable to the positive node on the dead battery. Connect the other side of the positive cable to the positive node of the good battery. Connect the negative cable to the negative node of the good battery. Connect the other end of the negative cable to a grounding point (look for a shiny, non painted part of the dead car or engine-use the negative node of the dead battery as a last resort). If you don’t feel comfortable using regular jumper cables, try these.
  5. How to change a flat tire.Look at your car’s user manual for the full procedure. A few tips the user manual might not cover: know how to use your car’s jack before you need it (tires don’t usually go flat on a warm, calm day when you aren’t in a time crunch to get somewhere), make everyone else get out of the car if possible (or have them sit perfectly still so they don’t rock the car while it is jacked up), loosen the lug nuts before jacking up the car, and complete the tightening of the lug nuts after you set it down.
  6. How to drive on a “donut.” Stay on paved roads and follow the rule of 50: don’t go more than 50 miles per hour (even on highways and interstates) and don’t drive more than 50 miles on it.
  7. How to lead/follow. Leading: obey speed limits, signal your turn way ahead of time, plan ahead so you can change lanes when there is enough room for both cars to get over. Following: get as close to the leader as you are comfortable with, and then get a little closer. If the leader is signalling to change lanes in busy traffic, try to get over first then let them merge in front of you.
  8. How to read a map.Practice, practice, practice. Yes, even you people with a GPS unit in your car. What if it breaks?
  9. What to do if you’ve been in an accident.Stay calm, don’t be a jerk. Wait for the cops if serious damage or injury occurred. If not, get the hell off the road before exchanging info.
  10. How to not get shot by the cops when you get pulled over. Pull over as soon as possible, or sooner (but do it safely). Turn the car off. If it is dark outside, turn on the light inside the car. Put both hands on the steering wheel so the cop can see them. Don’t do anything else until the cop asks you to do it. NEVER reach in your glove box for your registration before the cop gets to your car and asks for it. You aren’t speeding up the process, you are making him think you are either hiding drugs or getting a gun.

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10 Tips for Driving in the Snow

Posted by Jack Deus on March 2, 2009

I live in a state where it snows quite frequently between the months of October and March and, even though there is a six-month window for when snow could (and does) fall, I am amazed at how many people that live here don’t understand how to drive in it. For that reason, I have created this list of tips for driving in the snow.

Note-If you are one of those ADD blog-hoppers whose favorite five characters are tl;dr please scroll to the bottom for a very concise, one sentence summary.

  1. Clean Your Whole Car Off. If you aren’t able to park your car in a garage or some other covered parking structure, do us all (but mostly yourself) a favor and clean off your car. I don’t mean take 10 seconds to wipe the snow off the front windshield, either. I mean take 5 minutes and actually get all of the snow off of your entire car, including the top. This serves two purposes: 1. you will actually be able to see all the way around you and 2. when you are driving, there won’t be snow blowing off your car and onto mine other cars.
  2. Speed Up. Just because there is snow on the ground doesn’t mean you have to drive 10mph on the interstate. There is an old adage that say ‘speed kills’. I would like to add to that ‘difference in speed kills’. What that means is that if you are going 10mph because you have no clue how to drive in the snow and I am driving (a safe) 45mph I will come up on you quite quickly, so when I apply my brakes I will either ram into your car because I didn’t apply enough pressure, or spin out of control because I applied to much pressure. All of this could have been avoided if you had only chosen to drive a sane speed-even 30mph could have helped avoid that situation.
  3. Slow Down.Just because you drive a truck or SUV that has 4-wheel drive on it doesn’t mean you can safely drive 70mph on the interstate. Remember that adage I mentioned in number two: difference in speed kills? Well, that is quite literal when you come blazing up someones rear going 70mph when they are going 10mph. Just remember, 4-wheel drive helps you maneuver in the snow, it doesn’t help you stop.
  4. Turn Differently. Whether you are in a round-about in a neighborhood, on a cloverleaf interchange on the interstate, or taking some turn in between these extremes, turning can be a tricky proposition on the snow. What I have found works best is to take the turn at about half speed of what you would normally take it. If you normally drive 15-20mph in a round-about, take the turn at 10mph or a little slower. If you normally get off or on the interstate using a cloverleaf and drive 25-30mph, go 15mph. In addition to reducing your speed, you also need to take the turn as consistently as possible. That applies not only to the speed, but the direction of the turn. Most of the time the reason a car slides when being turned is because it was accelerating (or decelerating) or the direction it was trying to move is changed too much at once, i.e. you turned too quick. By keeping the speed and position of the wheels constant throughout the entire turn you will greatly reduce the chance of a spin-out.
  5. Stay in Your Lane. This one seems pretty obvious to me, but I see people all the time drifting in and out of a lane when they are driving in the snow. Just because you can’t see the lane lines doesn’t mean you get to drift back and forth wherever you want. If you find yourself drifting because you are having a hard time controlling your car, re-read #3, it should help.
  6. Get Out of the Passing Lane.There is an unwritten rule (in some places lawmakers actually wrote it down) that slow traffic should keep right. That still applies when snow is on the ground. If you are driving in the far left lane on an interstate or multi-lane road you better be passing someone and you better merge over when you are finished. An addendum to this rule is if you are passing someone who is driving 10mph by going 12mph, you better be the only two cars on the road or there better be another lane to your left that someone can use to pass both of you morons.
  7. Leave Plenty of Room. Stopping distances should be greatly increased when snow is on the ground, so do me a favor and get off my butt. It’s not going to get me to go any faster, and will probably get me to slow down, just to piss you off. Now that I’m done talking to the idiot in the van who was following me this morning, I will address the rest of you. Similar to how you cut your speed in half when taking turns, you want to double the distance when you start applying the brakes so that you can apply them half as hard and still stop when you need to. This also gives you more time to react if your car starts sliding.
  8. Learn How to Handle a Skid. I can tell you the steps you should take when your car starts to skid, but I won’t, in an effort to get you to actually do the work yourself, not think that since you read one article you now know how to do it. Until you actually go out and practice and find out exactly how to handle your specific car when it skids, all the reading in the world won’t help you.
  9. Watch the Road.I’m one of those people that multitasks when I drive. I adjust the radio, I grab a mint out of the glove box, I drink coffee, I talk on the phone. Sometimes I do so much at once that I steer with my knee for a few seconds. But I don’t do any of that when road conditions are adverse. The second best way to avoid losing control of your car during a snow-storm is to be constantly vigilant of your surroundings, so you can anticipate any obstacles you might face before you are forced to make a snap-decision. Of course, the number one way to avoid losing control of your car during a snow-storm is…
  10. Stay Off the Roads. I don’t know the actual percentages, but I would guess a good number of people that drive during a snow-storm (especially one on the weekend) don’t need to be out driving. Unless you have someplace that you have to be, do the rest of us a favor and stay inside, at least until the roads get plowed.

Summary for how to drive in the snow: pay attention, don’t be a moron, don’t be a jerk, and get the hell out of my way.

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10 Jobs for Guys to Meet Girls-Part 2

Posted by Jack Deus on February 23, 2009

Check out the first part of this list first, for jobs 6-10.

Here’s the criteria again, in case you don’t want to go back to the first post to look it up.

The Criteria-

A. Daily interaction with available (single) female clients, customers, etc. The whole point of this post is to help you meet women and what better way to do that than to be at a job where you interact with female clientele? I gave higher points to jobs where the clientele isn’t always the same because that increases the total number of women you have a chance of interacting with.

B. Daily interaction with available (single) female coworkers. Similar to part A, but with coworkers.

C. Odds your job title will impress women outside of your job. When you are in a social setting and a woman asks what you do for a living, if you are able to tell her something she is impressed with you have a better chance of the conversation leading to further interaction.

D. Odds your job title will get you ridiculed by your buddies or get you mistaken for a homosexual. You can probably live with the ribbing from your buddies if your job gets you a lot of women, but if women think you are gay because of your job, you probably won’t have much luck with them.

E. Amount of schooling required. I subtracted 1 point for each year of schooling it would take for you to get that job. The more time you spend in school, the less time you have interacting with females.

The formula I used was Single Clients + Single Coworkers + Impress WomenMistaken for GaySchool = Final Score.

Without further ado, here is the list of jobs from worst to best.

  1. Massage TherapistSingle Clients-5-This job reminds me of a gynecologist in that at first glance it seems like a really cool job because you are around naked women all day, but the more you think about it the more you realize you also have to be around unattractive naked women, and, worst yet, naked men. Single coworkers-6-the few times I’ve had a massage the ratio of female to male workers was around three to two. Decent odds, even though not all of the women are going to be single. Impress women-8-most women are going to like the fact that you will actually know what you are doing when they ask you to give them a foot or shoulder rub. Mistaken for gay-3-the job title masseur sounds pretty gay, fortunately most women will be too busy thinking about the foot and back rub you will be able to give to think about your gay title. School-1-my local massage therapy school has a nine-month program available for full-time students. Total Score-15
  2. Waiter at a Nice RestaurantSingle Clients-4-everyone and their mom eat at nice restaurants, so you could get a huge rush of single ladies that you wait on, or you could be stuck serving couples and families the whole night. Single coworkers-7-my experience has been that the wait staff (and especially the maitre’ds) at nice restaurants is usually a majority women, and most of them don’t have rings on their fingers. So, either they take them off while they are working (not very likely) or a good number of workers at nice restaurants are single women. Impress women-6-depending on which restaurant you work at (Cheesecake Factory would probably make this number a little higher) and what kind of discount you get will determine how high or low this number is, but the average is a six. Mistaken for gay-1-not very likely, but there are a few restaurants out there that might get a woman to think twice about which team you play for. School-0-maybe a few days or weeks of orientation and on-the-job training. Total Score-16.
  3. BarristaSingle clients-7-the ratio of single clients to non-single clients isn’t this high, but the shear volume of people you will deal with bumps this number up. Single coworkers-7-a lot of coffee shop workers are college and high-school females. Just make sure you know the difference before you try any moves. Impress women-5-free coffee and breakfast pastries are a plus in some women’s books. Mistaken for gay-2-the amount of gay barristas is a little higher than the average job (or maybe just more noticeable), so you may have to compete with that stigma with some women. School-0-similar to a waiter, you will have orientation and on-the-job training. Total Score-17.
  4. Personal TrainerSingle clients-5-The bulk of the people you actually train probably won’t be single women, but if you work at a big enough gym there should be enough single ladies walking around to make up for it. Single coworkers-5-my experience at gyms has been that there are just as many females as males working there. Impress women-9-the actual job might not impress a lot of people, but your physique because of your job will. Mistaken for gay-0-unless you talk with a lisp and a lot of hand gestures, not a chance. School-1-the one year I’m putting here is mostly getting yourself in good enough shape to actually have a chance at getting a job at a gym. Total Score-18.
  5. BartenderSingle clients-9-this number is so high because of the shear volume of people you will be dealing with. Single coworkers-5-depending on the bar you work at this number could be higher or lower, but most places will have a decent amount of single women on the payroll. Impress women-5-an alcohol hook-up should impress a fair amount of women. Mistaken for gay-0-unless you get a job at a gay bar, not much chance of this happening. School-0-it may take you a few months to memorize what goes in a “fuzzy navel,” but the bar should have a cheat-sheet, and if they don’t you can download one from the internet. Total Score-19.

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10 Jobs for Guys to Meet Girls-Part 1

Posted by Jack Deus on February 16, 2009

So, guys, you’ve taken up a hobby I’ve recommended but you want to increase your odds of meeting and attracting a woman even more? I have compiled a list of 10 jobs you may want to look into. I have also given the jobs points based off of 5 criteria (more on that in a moment), added and subtracted the points as necessary, and ranked the 10 jobs from lowest to highest.

The Criteria-

A. Daily interaction with available (single) female clients, customers, etc. The whole point of this post is to help you meet women and what better way to do that than to be at a job where you interact with female clientele? I gave higher points to jobs where the clientele isn’t always the same because that increases the total number of women you have a chance of interacting with.

B. Daily interaction with available (single) female coworkers. Similar to part A, but with coworkers.

C. Odds your job title will impress women outside of your job. When you are in a social setting and a woman asks what you do for a living, if you are able to tell her something she is impressed with you have a better chance of the conversation leading to further interaction.

D. Odds your job title will get you ridiculed by your buddies or get you mistaken for a homosexual. You can probably live with the ribbing from your buddies if your job gets you a lot of women, but if women think you are gay because of your job, you probably won’t have much luck with them.

E. Amount of schooling required. I subtracted 1 point for each year of schooling it would take for you to get that job. The more time you spend in school, the less time you have interacting with females.

The formula I used was Single Clients + Single Coworkers + Impress WomenMistaken for GaySchool = Final Score.

Without further ado, here is the list of jobs from worst to best.

  1. Hair StylistSingle clients-7-a fair amount of people that get their hair done are single women. Single coworkers-9-most hairstylists I’ve ever seen are women and, as an added bonus, the few men I’ve seen are usually gay so there isn’t much competition from them for the single ladies. Impress women-2-unless you meet a girl who really likes getting her hair styled, there isn’t much chance of impressing her much with this job. Mistaken for gay-8-the added bonus of single coworkers works against you here. School-2-you need at least 2 years to become proficient enough to get hired, but at least most of your fellow students are women, so the two years aren’t completely wasted. Total Score-8.
  2. Crafts/Scrap-booking Store EmployeeSingle clients-9-not many jobs have more single ladies than this. Single coworkers-9-just about everyone working at these types of stores is a women and a lot of them are single. Impress women-2-most women (hopefully) aren’t impressed when you tell them you work retail. Mistaken for gay-10-have you ever seen a straight male working at a place like this? Neither have any ladies. School-0-it’s retail. You will learn how to do the job in a one day orientation, most likely. Total Score-10.
  3. Tanning Booth ClerkSingle clients-10-single ladies come through the door like it’s an amusement park turnstile. Just be sure to watch out for the high school girls. Single coworkers-10-I can’t think of any reason (except this post) why any tanning booth clerk wouldn’t be female, and there’s a good chance most of them are single. Again-watch out for the high school girls, though. Impress women-1-unless you can hook her up with free tans (which is probably against most company’s policies) no women would be impressed with this job. Mistaken for gay-10-pretty high likelihood that since only gay guys go to tanning booths everyone will think you are gay for working at one. School-0-a trained monkey could probably do this job. Total Score-11.
  4. NurseSingle clients-5-this number will very a lot depending on the type of nurse you are, so the five I’m giving it is an average. Single coworkers-8-most nurses are women and a good amount of them are bound to be single. Plus, you can interact with single female doctors. Impress women-8-this job shows you are smart, caring, and nurturing. The only going against you is some women might wonder why you didn’t become a doctor. Mistaken for gay-2-most people probably won’t think you’re gay for being a nurse, but you will get made fun of my your buddies. School-6-lots of school means lots of time not chasing women. Think you can go after the women studying to be nurses? Most of them will want to do nothing but study, and you should too. My life may be in your hands some day. Total Score-13.
  5. TeacherSingle clients-1-this number is a 10, if you are a pedophile, but you aren’t, so the only single women you can possibly meet are the moms of your kids, and there probably aren’t too many of them. Single coworkers-9-most teachers are women. Depending on the school you teach at, a good number of them could be single. Also, there will be district meetings you will have to attend where the ratio of single women to men will likely be 5 to 1 or better. Impress women-8-just like nursing, this job shows you are caring and nurturing, and also shows that you like kids. Mistaken for gay-1-also like nursing, not much chance of being mistaken for gay, but your friends might poke fun at you a bit, until you threaten to flunk their kid. 🙂 School-4-it takes four years just to get the bachelor’s degree. Most school disctricts give you a raise if you start pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree. Total Score-13.

Check out the next part of the list here.

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