Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You Cannot Put A Value On Fine Art

The “art world” is a very peculiar place.  For example, I just read that an “abstract” painting consisting of “a canvas painted blue with a white line” sold for almost $44 million last year.
Sold for $43.8 million!

Now you may laugh, but that just means you do not truly understand, nor appreciate, fine art.  The art world is divided into two groups; those who “get” art and those who don’t.  Your reward if you are a member of the esteemed “in” group is that you get to dress up all fancy, eat smelly cheese, sip imported wine, and make snooty comments as you peruse the works in the gallery.  It also permits you to spend extravagant amounts of money to decorate your walls with what you and other “club” members consider the finest paintings. And they are very fine and you know that because you paid so much for them.

I know this will surprise you, but I have never been the artsy-fartsy type.  Okay, let me rephrase that. I have never been artsy, the other part I do very well. But it’s not like the education system failed me.  I took art class in school and I even won a red ribbon for a drawing I did in second grade.  Unfortunately, my talent never progressed beyond that level. (I only remember this because my mother kept the drawing and I found it when going through her stuff after she died).  In college they made us take “culture” classes where we had to memorize art-related facts such as Rembrandt painted the Mona Lisa.  I think the only reason they taught us this is so you don’t look like a total uncultured buffoon if the topic ever comes up in conversation.

Unprepared as I was, I recently had to enter the “art world”.  I have written previously about setting up an “executive” home office for my new job.  And to have a genuine executive office, you need a piece of fine art hanging on the wall.

Because of my limited knowledge, I needed to find an artist.  I was concerned because I had read where many artists were starving.  I did not want to visit a studio and find the person passed out on the floor begging me for food.  I wondered if I should bring a sandwich with me for the artist just in case.

Due to these concerns I tried to find an Ethiopian artist.  I figured Ethiopians should make great starving artists. I mean they got the starving thing mastered; all they need to do is learn the art part.  By the same logic Ethiopians should also make great super models since they are naturally thin.

Much to my disappointment, I could not find one Ethiopian artist in my area.  Fortunately, I was able to find an artist named George Roush.  George is neither starving, nor Ethiopian, but he is talented and he does have a studio.  His works are considered “abstract” and “minimalist”.  Unfortunately “minimalist” describes the style of the paintings, not the price.  But when selecting art for an executive office, price is an insignificant factor.

After careful evaluation, unaided by any brie or chardonnay, I made my selection.  After carefully transporting the masterpiece home, I proudly
Priceless?
presented my cultured acquisition to my wife.  Exquisite art is supposed to enflame passions and this original George Roush did just that.

Wife: WHAT IS THAT?????????

Me: Why it’s an original George Roush.

Wife:  BUT WHAT IS IT?  I JUST SEE SOME LINES THROWN ON A CANVAS!

Me: It’s an artistic, abstract, expression.

Wife: HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY FOR IT?

Me: Can you really put a price on such an exquisite work as this?

Wife: There was a number written on the check …

Me: Those are mere figures written by a pen.  They cannot be compared to the images on this canvas.

Obviously, the problem is that my wife is just one of those people who does not appreciate, nor understand, fine art.  Unlike me, who is now considered an art connoisseur after making such a sophisticated procurement. I mean, she just doesn’t get it, does she?

It is a great painting, if I say so myself. I expect this piece to greatly appreciate in value. If the painting with the one white line is worth $44 million, my original George Roush, which I must point out contains multiple white lines, should be worth much more than that someday.

Monday, April 7, 2014

You Should Not Mix Sex With Golf

A Playboy model and a radio show host are involved in a lawsuit over a “golfing” related incident from 2012.   Liz Dickson agreed to lie on her stomach with her buttocks exposed while Kevin Klein hit a golf ball atop a tee placed between her butt cheeks. (I am not making this up).

This gives a whole new meaning to the term “tee box” and it has to be the best method of “improving your lie” ever.  However there are several problems with this.

Now I know women will not understand why a man would even think of doing this.  But if a guy comes up with an idea that results in a beautiful woman lying at his feet with her tush exposed, that is sheer genius.  In addition, this stunt combines sex and sports interacting together.  Any golfing activity involving Playboy models is close to nirvana for many men.

But there lies the problem.  Golf requires total concentration.  It necessitates that you focus intently on the target.  Unfortunately when faced with a golf ball teed between the buttocks of a Playboy model, there is confusion about what the true target really is.  The male brain has difficultly handling this type of conflict.  The male brain consists of the Upper Processing Unit (UPU) which handles all functions except one and is very logical and rational.  However there is also the Lower Processing Unit (LPU) which is totally focused on matters of the “sensual” variety.  Unfortunately, the LPU has the ability to totally shut down the UPU when it deems it necessary.  This particular golf shot creates severe conflict between the UPU and the LPU. Author Stephen James Outram is correct: There's No Sex In Golf!

In addition, this is considered a “trick shot” and presents some golfing challenges.  First of all, the ball is setting much higher than if it were teed on the ground.  To compensate for this the swinger should choke up on the club.  However, “choking up” is not considered manly and would lessen the machismo factor of hitting a ball on the bare buns of a hot woman.  Secondly, you could use less club.  But when trying to impress a Playmate, you want more club, not less club.  Playboy models like bigger clubs so you are going to whip out the biggest club you got.  Under the circumstances I believe a wedge (or maybe a wedgie) would have been best, but Klein used his large-headed pingger.

Dickson: An impressive "front nine"
but a spectacular "back nine"
The other problem is that even with the ball teed up; he was not hitting off a “flat” surface.  As research for this post, I had to carefully examine several photos of Miss Dickson.  While she is a very beautiful woman, if she was a golf course she would be known for her impressive “back nine”.   And just as sharp curves on a golf course can make shots difficult.  Dickson’s curves made this shot a real challenge.

So it should be no surprise with all these challenging factors in play that when Klein took a strong, manly, swing, he did not hit a good shot.  Under normal circumstances you would have said he “grounded” his club, but in this case that meant he struck Dickson square in the ass.  This resulted in Dickson suffering “severe injuries” some of which are “permanent”.  As a result, Dickson is suing Klein for $500,000.

Of course I am siding with Miss Dickson.  You could say she deserves what happened because she was stupid enough to participate in these shenanigans. But I contend Playboy models are expected to display their wares, be entertaining, and to accommodate men’s fantasies, and that is exactly what she was trying to do. 

And I believe $500,000 is a fair price because you damaged literally a “masterpiece”, well at least a master piece of … well, you get the idea.  This was a work of art and I have heard art critics in this realm say that “Good, ah, art of this nature, is hard to find”.

I hope that Miss Dickson prevails and recovers from her injuries.  I don’t know much about therapeutic massage, but if Miss Dickson needs someone to tend to her physical therapy needs and get her back in the swing of things, I would be willing to lend a hand (or two) for absolutely no charge.  Because that’s just the type of guy I am.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bossy Women and Clueless Men

I was delighted when a group of prominent women started a new campaign called “Ban Bossy”.  We all know how bossy women can be and if they want to ban this behavior, this is something all men can support. 

And it is wonderful that Beyonce is one of the women leading the campaign. Because for me, Beyonce can be as bossy as she wants.  If you were married to Beyonce, you would cut her lots of slack because she makes about a gazillion dollars and she has luscious thighs like, um, thighs like well, Beyonce.

Now it could be troubling that Beyonce might be too busy to make you a sammich, but don’t worry.  She has so much money that you could have your maid make you a sammich.  And not some fat, ugly, maid either.  No, you could get one of those leggy French
We will waive the "sammich"
requirement for obvious reasons
maids with a cute accent.  And when Beyonce is on tour, the maid may even be able to fulfill other domestic type functions as well.  But I digress.

Now I believe if women are willing to address this female issue, that we men should respond with an improvement campaign of our own.  Therefore I am proposing the “Cut Out Cluelessness” campaign for us guys.  I believe cluelessness harms our relationships and if we are able to get more clues, we will understand the feelings of our partners better and of course most importantly, get more sex.

Now I know many guys right now are saying: “But Don, I’m not clueless!”  And thus you demonstrate the dire extent of the problem.  If you think you’re not clueless, it means you don’t even have a clue about how utter clueless you are.  I know you might be very confused right now, but please keep reading because remember, the ultimate goal is to get more sex.

So here is my 3-step plan to Cut Out Cluelessness.  Now ladies, I know that it will take much more than three steps to accomplish this, but there is only so much wisdom that the male brain can process at one time.

Step One: Consider the possibility that you could be “wrong”

I know this is a strange concept and the possibility is very small, however there is still some slight chance that you are not totally correct.  And if you are in fact “in error”, consider that this misjudgment may have caused unforeseen consequences that could have upset your partner.  I know you did not intend for these stupid consequences to occur, so it is not really your fault.

You do not have to admit you are wrong, however the possibility exists that could be, so do not adamantly claim that you are right.  By claiming you are right, you are now clearly doing something wrong and thus you will be penalized even if you were originally right.  The best thing to do is to shake your head and look bewildered at this mess that just somehow occurred.

Step Two: Consider the possibility that her explanation (or argument) is indeed rational

This again will be very difficult.  While a man’s logic is very simplistic, running directly from point A to Point B, a woman’s thought pattern flutters gently like a butterfly, weaving an artistic dance in many directions until it hits you like a missile right between the eyes.  Don’t try to understand the logic, or you will go stark raving mad. Instead realize that no matter bizarre the logic, it is rational to her.

I know this will take great effort, but actually try to listen to what she is saying, actually try to understand where she might be coming from.  And do not dismiss it as being influenced by her monthly cycle.  This is the effort it will take to get you from clueless, to just dense.

Step Three: Never ask the question “Was it wrong to do that?”

Just the fact that you want to ask this question indicates that the answer is obviously “Yes”.  But by actually saying it out loud you reveal your utter cluelessness.  And in response, your mate will not only tell you that this was wrong, but she will rehash a long list of stupid actions from years gone by.  By the end of this rant, she will not just be upset about your most recent faux pas, but the entire historical record.  It will send her into Bitchilla mode.  Better to not ask the question, but drop and shake your head and say “I guess I should not have done that.” 

Wait a minute! I just found out that the “Ban Bossy” campaign is not about stopping women from being bossy, but it is about banning the word “bossy” when a woman is actually acting bossy.  I don’t want any of these bossy, bossy, bossy, women to get upset about me calling them bossy so, um, never mind.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

News Reporters In Short Skirts Can Be Distracting

I recently saw an advertisement for something called the “Vagina Monologues” to be “performed” at a local venue.  Apparently a woman, or maybe several women, has taught her hoo-hah how to speak.

I 'm going to assume that the woman is not “throwing” her voice like a ventriloquist.  This would just be a trick and not worth paying for.  Come to think of it, I have never seen a woman ventriloquist.  Maybe this skill requires an Adam’s apple.  Therefore if a woman ventriloquist invites you out for drinks after the show, I would respectfully decline.

I know it is difficult to believe a hoo-hah could speak but it actually could be true.  A hoo-hah does in fact have lips and if women think that men don’t listen to them (of course a feminine myth), then evolutionary forces could create a talking hoo-hah.

Evidently this phenomenon is in its early stages and the hoo-hahs have not yet learned to communicate to each other, thus the vagina is having a monologue, not a dialogue.  Once the vaginas learn to communicate directly with each other, you know they are going to discuss how men mistreat them.  This will be a terrible thing for us guys and at that point literal “pussy riots” may erupt.

I’m not sure what a hoo-hah would say in a monologue. “Hey, it’s really cold down here since you shaved me” or “I’m not really feeling very fresh today, how about a douche?” And even maybe: “Are you going to see Roger again? Because wow, ah, well you know!”

Learning to speak through your hoo-hah does have commercial applications however.  The trend in cable news is to hire beautiful, leggy, news-babes, dress them in micro-mini skirts, and then sit them on couches or chairs for maximum exposure.  I call it the “Hoo-Hah” news report.  If these ladies make one wrong move, the news turns into the “nature report” because then it’s all about the beaver. So if it’s really about showing maximum skin, why not just cut right to the chase and have a hoo-hah just deliver the goods.  I think once men got used to it, this would be much less distracting. 
Welcome to the "Hoo-Hah" News Report!

There are actually guys who watch these news babes, waiting for a slip of the, ah well, the parting of the ah, the appearance of the beaver.  They then capture a “screen shot” of the furry creature and proudly display their catch (or snatch if you prefer) on the Internet.  This is wrong.  These young men are not able to concentrate on what is being said and thus become woefully uninformed.  Do we really want that America?

You may think that having a hoo-hah read the news is an outrageous idea, but we are already moving in that direction. (Disclaimer: I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP)  There is a subscription only website called The Naked News where the newscasters wear no clothes.  But this site is not for nudists.  The women are very beautiful and very “healthy”. And surprisingly (based on the sample clips) very talented (I swear I am telling the truth). Talk about multi-tasking, sometimes they remove their clothes while reporting the news!  I speculate that these ladies are just putting their journalistic assets on display as a way bust out their career and make it to the Hoo-Hah news.

In the interest of keeping my blog audience fully informed, I signed up for a free trial-subscription of the Naked News to determine if someone could stay informed on current events  by viewing its content. I am happy to report that they can!

Here is what I learned from my trial report:

-         Apparently there is a country called “The U-Crane” and something is happening there
-         There is some type of website now that offers free healthcare
-         Jessica’s delivery of the news was fair, but she is slightly “unbalanced”
-         Melissa needs a new razor

Overall, I can say it was a very stimulating news report and looks to be the wave of the future.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Taking Care of Business (Working From Home – Part 2)

The worst thing about working at home is the isolation.  You are doing work, but you are alone all day.  However, I am not truly alone.  I am assisted in my important corporate tasks by my miniature German schnauzer, Midnight.

The problem is Midnight never attended business school and thus lacks the business acumen necessary to be a good assistant.  He assumes the reason that I am now at home is to attend to his demands, not the company’s, and it is very different have a dog as a coworker.

Midnight sometimes smells and is very irritating.  Okay, so maybe I have had some coworkers over the years like that.  Midnight makes disgusting noises. Yes, once again I have heard that in the workplace.  And Midnight scratches himself in inappropriate places. Oh yeah, there was this guy who used to look at women during meetings and scratch his inner thigh with his middle finger.  Midnight is not nearly as obnoxious and irritating as that guy.

So maybe Midnight is more like a typical workmate than I thought.  And it does relieve some stress when he wants his head scratched during the day.  Yes you can pet your dog, but you can’t pet your coworkers.  Well actually you can pet your coworkers. However, if you get caught doing this with the administrative assistant in the back of the supply room, apparently the HR department gets very upset.  And if your HR manager is a fat, old, ugly, battleax, she is not going to understand your explanation and is going to put the incident on your “permanent record” which I’m sure is now in the possession of the government.

Midnight does have a workstation in my office which consists of a pillow and blanket so he can sleep while I do all the work.  If I try to keep him out of my office by closing the door he gets very offended, just like my old butthead
Midnight - taking care of business
 and working overtime
boss Steve.  If I closed my office door Steve would always find some stupid reason to barge in, even one time when I was having a very personal discussion on my lunch break.  And no, this discussion was not with the administrative assistant mentioned earlier.  We held all our important “discussions” in the supply room.

Midnight has mastered one business technique, the ability to sleep through long, boring, conference calls.  We are all talking and yakking away and Midnight just enjoys a very deep sleep.  But sometimes the sleep is even too deep.

Boss (during conference call): Ake, is that you snoring?

Me: No sir, that was the dog.  I mean yes the meeting is boring, but it’s not that boring, I mean ….

Having the dog in the room during conference calls raises other issues as well:         

Boss: (during conference call): Ake, did you just fart?

Me: No sir, that was the dog.

Boss: But didn’t you say you had Mexican for lunch?

Me: Yes sir, but it was the dog. I swear it was the dog.

Midnight: Hell no it wasn’t me.  It was the double-bean burrito talking.

The most challenging aspect of having a dog as your work assistant is when he informs you five minutes before an important customer phone call that he has some business to conduct outside.  Midnight does not care about the call because he has a more “pressing” deadline to meet.  If I do not choose to take care of Midnight’s business first, there can be dire consequences.  Many times I have had coworkers figuratively crap on my project (Val the Bitch was great for this), but I have never had one literally do this.

So I leash Midnight and run out the door hoping that it is a quick trip.  Midnight however has other plans.  Just like I check for important e-mails, Midnight must check the yard for important p-mails.  Of course these p-mails all say the same thing.

“Midnight, I stopped by. Didn’t see you, so I peed in your yard”. - Rover

In response, Midnight replies:

Rover, smelled that you had been here.  Sorry I missed you, so I peed in the yard.

We think social networking is new.  Dogs have been using the program “Pisser” for eons.

So my dog really does know how to take care of business. I may have an M.B.A. but Midnight graduated from the esteemed Bachman-Turner School of Business.  It’s the work that he avoids, cause the dog’s self-employed.  He loves to work at nothing all day. 



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I’m Conducting Business Like A CEO – (Working From Home, Part 1)

After spending my entire business career in an office environment, I recently changed jobs and became a “telecommuter”.  Of course this is a misnomer, because in the digital age you can work from home and spend very little time actually on the telephone.

This obviously was a big change and I was worried about being “unconnected” and isolated.  Well I am definitely not unconnected; in fact I am over connected. I have my own “command center”.  I can now receive calls on three phones (business, home and cell), do FaceTime, and receive e-mails on two accounts. I fear the day when all three phones ring, I get “FaceTimed” and important e-mails arrive all at the same time.  I think trying to decide which one to answer first would throw me into “digital shock” which I doubt is covered by Obamacare.

The challenge is to make your home office seem as much like a real office as possible.  You need to do this so that you never realize you are actually at home.  If that ever happens, you will end up on the couch in your pajamas, eating Cheetos and watching ESPN all day.

There are major benefits to working at home.  Take the ten-step commute from the bedroom to the office chair.  Now on some days this can take longer if the doors are closed or if there is stuff on the floor I have to walk around.  In addition, it is great to have a private bathroom at work.  At three previous employers, the CEO had a private bathroom off their office.  One time during a meeting, I actually got to take a whizz in the executive toilet. It is one of the highlights of my business career.  And now I have an executive bathroom of my own where I can conduct my business in executive comfort, just like a CEO!  At my old job, my co-workers always complained about that “guy” who always stunk up the bathroom.  Well now I think they were full of it.  My bathroom at home smells just like the bathroom did at work, so I think that’s just how bathrooms are supposed to smell.

People think you can become dull and boring if you work at home, but nothing is further from the truth.  In fact I have become much smarter since I changed jobs.  As soon as I started working from home, my fantasy football team was virtually unbeatable.  I won the league and this was my first year of playing fantasy football ever!  Yes I am pretty smart. It was finding that rookie seventh-round draft-pick out of the Mississippi School for the Blind that won me the title (and the cash).

I am also much more popular since I started working at home.  My number of Facebook friends has doubled.  This includes Maya the young Filipino stripper who is trying to raise enough money to come to America to marry a wealthy businessman.  And Maya thinks I’m cute!  Hooyah!

Sometimes it is difficult to simulate a normal office environment.  For example, it is difficult to have “casual” Fridays when you are working in “sweats” all week.   I solved that problem by instituting “Pant-less Fridays”.  This was going swimmingly until the female UPS driver showed up one Friday with a delivery.  Now it could have been worse, not all of my neighbors heard the scream and nobody called the police.  Let’s just say I was happier to see her package than she was to see mine.
She was very happy - Before she opened the door!

And then on another Friday I was “FaceTiming” with our administrative assistant (who is based in Kentucky) when I had to stand up to reach some files.  You know I really have a problem with Apple calling something “FaceTime” when in reality people can see more than just your face.  I mean, who knew? That is just plain wrong.  I am just glad sexual harassment laws do not extend across state lines.

So I replaced “Pant-less Fridays” with “Underwear Optional Fridays”, which allows me to go commando in my command center.  Before you get too grossed out, I have yet to “exercise my option”.  But it’s nice to have the choice.

Next Time: Part 2 – My new assistant needs some business training 



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

These Blowhards Are Playing The Wrong Tune

I saw a headline in the newspaper that said three flautists had recently performed at the local library. I am enraged and disgusted by this.

To have an event where people show up and flaunt their accomplishments is just plain wrong.  There are too many people, with too big of egos, touting their accomplishments everywhere you look.  To hold an event that encourages this is a sad, sad, commentary on our society.

And you hold this at a library?  People go to a library to read or study in quiet, not to be interrupted by some blowhards bloviating about their skills and awards.  To make it even worse, a photograph accompanying the article shows one of the flautists actually playing a flute.  Okay, so the guy must be flaunting his music ability before he tells everyone just how great he is.  But to disturb the serenity of the library by literally tooting your own flute is
C'mon man, quit flauting it!
disgusting.  Why don’t you spend your time trying to give something back to the community instead of yack, yack, yacking about how great you are?  Okay, I get it.  You are a great flute player, but please show some humility.

This boastful arrogance is way out of control.  Witness the outrageous rant by the Seattle Seahawk jerk after they won the NFC championship. Hey buddy, you won the game.  You are supposed to be happy, not fizzed off.  And there is no need to tell us how good you are.  We watched the game, we saw the play.  This rant made him look like a moron, but the worst thing about it is that he upset Erin Andrews.  My strong belief is that no one should ever upset Erin Andrews.  If I was ever near Erin Andrews, I would never, ever, upset her, unless of course, I asked her out on a date.  Then she might get upset that I was bothering her.  But even if she got upset, she would not be nearly as upset as my wife would be, but I digress.

This egomania has saturated our politicians also.  We have a President who is very self-absorbed and can’t speak a sentence without including the words “I” “me” or “my”. He even thinks I care about his college basketball tournament picks every year.  Hey Prez, instead of trying to pick a bracket winner, how about picking a winning plan that will get people back to work?

We also have some governors who think they can push people around because they are larger than life.  Okay so maybe the guy is slightly larger than life, but that doesn’t mean his ego has to be just as fat.  But with that combination, never, ever, cut in front of him at the buffet.  It might be the last thing you ever do. 

But probably the biggest bloviators are those pompous whack jobs who write “personal” blogs.  They go on and on about the most mundane and insipid things. Then they post it proudly on the worldwide web thinking that their musings with generate significant global interest. Guess what blogheads? The people in Bangladesh have better things to do with their iPads.  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!  Whether it is what type of underwear they like, or if they buy a new pair of sunglasses, or worse yet, if some petty thing upsets them.  Yes, they are the most egregious egotists of all. Don’t you think?