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!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Light Is On, But I Can’t See A Thing!

Jimmy Mc Millan ran for Mayor of New York city in 2010 as a candidate representing “The Rent Is Too Damn High” party.  He became a media sensation when during one debate he responded to every question with the statement, “The Rent Is Too Damn High!”

I admired Jimmy because he was focused, passionate and was trying to solve the problem.   Strangely enough, some economists even agreed with Jimmy claiming that city regulations were in fact inflating rental prices.

I am dedicating this blog to Jimmy because as I write this: The Room Is Too Damn Dark!  Why? Because I have replaced my perfectly good incandescent light bulbs with the new CFL’s (Curly Freakin’ Light bulbs).

CFL’s will soon be in every house in America since high-wattage incandescents will be banned from use in 2012.  CFL’s are 30% more energy efficient and the purpose of the mandate is to conserve energy.

I’m not an electrical engineer, but could the reason the CFL’s use less energy is that they generate considerable less light?  Which of course means:  The Room Is Too Damn Dark!

Also consider this, an incandescent light has a filament in the middle and the light then radiates out on all sides.  This design has worked well for 138 years.  But now the Curly Freaking Light goes around in circles and is actually providing light to the inside the light bulb. I can’t spell MIT, but how can that be very efficient?  Perhaps the light gets tired traveling around in circles inside the CFL so by the time it gets to the end of the maze it loses some luster.  And the result is that: The Room Is Too Damn Dark!

I know that we have to be more energy efficient in order to save the planet and to go green and to make Al Gore happy and because global warming will fry us to blah, blah, blah.  Oh excuse me I sort of fazed out there for a moment because I’m finding it extremely difficult to concentrate on anything.  Why could that be?  It’s because: The Room Is Too Damn Dark!

Hey don’t get me wrong.  I’m all about going green.  I have a personal three-step program to save the environment:

  1. I am striving to burn fewer calories and I’m making great progress especially after buying my new big-screen television. 
  2. I have pledged to create less flatulence.  Studies have shown that cow flatulence is damaging the ozone.  I’m a big guy and my “footprint” is not the part of me that is the carbon hazard.  If this means giving up my bean burrito at Taco Bell in favor of the Chalupa, then so be it.  We all have to make some sacrifices.
  3. I also pledge to blow by Priuses on the highway at only normal "passing” speeds.  I used to “floor” it when going by these things, but I now realize that this could make the driver feel sad for having bought such a crappy car.  So from now on, I will pass at a slower speeds and no more waving either (unless of course it is wheezing in the passing lane).
Now many people mistakenly think the new law is just another wacko idea of the Obama administration, but this was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007. Yes, this time it is really Bush’s fault. But I have a real problem that a President can sign a stupid bill five years prior to implementation.  If you are going to do something this moronic, you should have to be around to take the heat.  And why is it so moronic?  Because the light may be on, but: The Room Is Too Damn Dark!

I think people will respond to the new regulation in the traditional American way.  That’s right; they are going to use the Internet to side step the law.  If you can order other contraband on-line, you should be able to order cases of 100-watts.  I would build a big honking light bulb factory 10 miles inside of Mexico and get me a high-class website.  Maybe call it ThomasEdison.com.

Also my friend Cheech might start selling incandescents out of the back of his van.  “You need some more lumens man?  I can light up your life like Debbie Boone, man. I’m a miracle worker. You were blind, but now you see!”

Of course if your front room is too bright, you may get a visit from the enviro-police.  I never thought that you could ever get arrested for illegal light bulb use, but just wait.  So you better buy some extra thick shades for your windows.  They should probably also sell those on ThomasEdison.com.  I don’t have any more bright ideas, because:  The Room Is Too Damn Dark!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Man Rules For Wearing Pink

I needed to buy some new casual shirts but I was perplexed to learn that all of the fashionable ones were called “polo” shirts.  I wasn’t planning to play any polo, why did I need a polo shirt?

Polo has to be one of the lamest sports of all time.  The horse does all the grunt work. All the player does is swing a mallet violently at a small ball.  It is dangerous too. You can fall off the horse at a high rate of speed, get whacked by a mallet or get hit by the ball.

So why was polo a popular activity?  Because it was so exclusionary.  For example:

“May I play in the polo match today sir?

“While sure you can young peasant.  Just go get your horse.”

“Why I don’t have a horse, sir.”

“Well, I guess you won’t be playing then.  But I have a splendid idea about how you can participate.  Here’s a shiny shovel.  When we stop to partake of refreshments, you may go clean the field for us.”

But polo did give us the polo shirt.

One day Reginald arrived for the match wearing a peculiar garment.

“Reginald what is that shirt you are wearing?”

“I did not want to get my fine linen shirt soiled during the match so I had my seamstress make me this shirt to wear while playing polo.  I have no idea what I will call it.”

So the “polo” shirt was born.  It was much later that commoners like me could have the thrill of wearing an actual polo shirt without having enough coin to actually play polo.

Therefore it was determined polo shirts are what I wanted and I started to search the sales flyers for possible purchases.  I was surprised to see a pink polo shirt advertised for men.  I have worn pink dress shirts for a long time. Some co-workers have questioned this choice and because of this I have developed a rule about men wearing pink: “Men can wear pink clothing above the belt.”  Pink dress shirts and ties, yes.  Pink belts, pants, socks and shoes, no. 

Of course this leads to the question: “What about pink underwear?”  Obviously this is never permissible, even if your girlfriend wants you to.  But this part of the rule is still in effect even if a pair of your whities gets misplaced in the laundry and comes out pick.  The contaminated shorts need to be discarded immediately.  You should not wear them ever again, your “boys” deserve better than that.

So I have lived by this rule for a long time, but now I was confronted for the first time by a pink polo.  The problem is that a dress shirt is inherently male clothing, but a polo is not.  It goes in the category of “ambidextrous” clothing that is bi-genderous.    

After careful consideration, I concluded that my rule was still in effect.  As a man, I could wear that polo nor make fun of guys who did. However, I decided I would not buy that particular shirt due to “fashion” factors.

Everything was fine until the next Sunday when I perused the sales flyers after a big meatloaf dinner.  There was another pink polo advertised, but this one had white horizontal stripes.

And it was probably the meatloaf talking, but as I stared at the flyer I thought:

And I would wear any polo shirt
I’d run right into Kohl’s and back
I would wear any polo shirt
I wouldn’t flinch and that’s a fact

But I’ll never accept how those stripes look right now, oh no, no way.
And I would wear any polo shirt
Oh I would wear any polo shirt
I would wear any polo shirt
But I won’t wear that
No I won’t wear that.

Therefore, I have amended my rule that pink shirts are still permitted provided they don’t have white stripes.  Guys should also be careful of wearing pastel polos that have white stripes. 

Some Closing Thoughts on Polo

Incredibly the game of polo is still being played today and it is still exclusionary.  There are not polo teams or polo leagues, but polo clubs.  Don’t have enough money to join the club?  No polo for you, peasant boy.  But I think that anyone still playing polo today is a bigger loser than Chris Bosh! (Hey I can't dis that other Miami Heat player because he was born in Akron as I was, so that makes him my geographical homie).

I would make serious improvements in the game of polo.  First, I would get rid of the horses.  Have the players run around the field to make it safer and improve the cardio workout.  Then you should get rid of the mallets since players would get hurt if they whacked on the ankles or other sensitive parts.  Maybe the players could just kick the ball.  But the ball is too small and hard to be kicked around.  So I will make the ball much larger and softer (inflatable perhaps).  Hey, I think I’m on to something.  I’m going to write some more rules and I’ll let you when I finish.  In the meantime, any suggestions for a name of this new sport would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Socialized Media - Don't Be a Twit

Social media continues to explode around the planet.  Things are changing at a rapid pace and it can be a challenge to keep up.  So here is a primer and update on the most popular social media websites.  I list these in the order in which I joined.

Linked In

In early 2009 I received an e-mail from a former co-worker named Claude inviting me to “connect” on this website “Linked-In”.  This of course greatly alarmed me.  I was very concerned that a guy wanted to “connect” with me and “link in”.  When I shared my concern with a co-worker, he explained to me that Linked-In wasn’t a “dating” site but a professional networking site.  It is for business buddies, not other “buddies”.  It is totally business oriented and not personal at all.

So I did join Linked-In and connected with Claude even though he is a Canadian and if this site was some strange cult, I was in danger of violating international law.  It turned out that the web-site was legitimate.  Now I have over 350 Linked-In connections, including many “hot” women (ladies, you know who you are).

Face Book  

I joined Face book in December 2009.  Face book allows you to find and communicate with people who you haven’t seen in many years.  You end up forming this group of people who form the cyber gang known as your “Face book friends”.  It reminds me of junior high school.  I friended you.  Are you going to friend me back?  Oh I hope so.  You can even “defriend” people.  And when you get “defriended” it does feel just like junior high school.

If you are going to be a good Face book friend, your posts have to be interesting.  Telling me you had chicken for dinner or posting random You Tube clips screams “MY LIFE IS SO BORING”.  Your posts should be like my friend Mark who is a grill master and often describes how to make meat taste so good that vegetarians ask him for the recipes.  Rumor has it that PETA has called for a boycott of his Face book page.

You can share personal information on Face book within limits.  It is okay to let people know you are having a colonoscopy on Tuesday.  It is not permissible to give a turn-by-turn description of the journey and absolutely no pics of this event.

I do not look forward to the day when my friends and I reach senior status.  Your world becomes much smaller at this point in your life and any unusual event will become post worthy.  I someday expect to see something like this:

“Eggs were very runny at breakfast and so was my morning poo.
           - Depends Undergarments like this


When I first heard about Twitter I thought it was a website for twits.  Then I heard you could tweet people.   This did not sound good.  If I ever got caught tweeting a girl when I was in high school, I would have been suspended.  But now tweeting is evidently socially acceptable.

The best thing about Twitter is that tweets are limited to 140 characters.  If only people were limited to two sentences every time they spoke. People would be more direct and communicate more honestly and bluntly.  Communication would be so much more efficient although the divorce rate would probably spike.

I did join Twitter because everyone said you should (just like junior high!).  I still do not fully understand how it works, so maybe I am just a twit after all.  I do tweet about economic indicators every weekday.  So follow me if you dare.  http://twitter.com/#!/theakeman

The big problem with tweeting is that it exposes stupid people as being, well, stupid.  In the old days you might blurt out a stupid comment in front of your friends.  They would think you are an idiot but they already knew that.  Now stupid people post stupid tweets and the whole world knows just how stupid you are.  Even Chinese people know and are laughing at you from the other side of the planet.

And now a Congressman is in trouble for tweeting his wiener.  There are many things you should not tweet and your wiener is probably at the top of the list, especially if you happen to be an elected official.  I guess my old Sunday school teacher was way ahead of the times when he warned us many, many, years ago not to tweet our wieners.   So if you go on Twitter, do not be a wiener tweeter.

A Twitter Tale

Molly loved Twitter and she tweeted all the time.  But Molly was frustrated with the 140 character limit on tweets.  So she contacted the president of Twitter and he agreed to let her have a new exclusive limit of 150 characters.  So now:

All the guys follow Molly on Twitter
Cause she has the biggest tweets in town
All the guys’ hearts go a flitter
Cause she has the best tweets around

They’re all her Face book friends
Cause she’ll post some pics
Every now and then

All the guys follow Molly on Twitter
Cause she has the biggest tweets,
She has the biggest tweets,
She has the biggest tweets
In townnnnnnnnnnnn

Thursday, June 2, 2011

No First Cougars Need Apply

Recently a prominent politician decided against running for President due to some past marital difficulties perpetuated by his wife.  Initially I was disappointed because I liked the guy and thought that past issues (happened in the 90’s) should not matter.

However on second thought, it is very important that our President has extreme marital stability.  Our President has way too many other things to manage and worry about.  His marriage needs to be stronger than Gibraltar and run smoother than silk.

This means the First Lady must be very stable and not promiscuous.  We can have no desperate (White) housewives.  I know what you are thinking:  There have been no “hot” First Ladies since Jackie Kennedy (unless you count that vixen Barbara Bush).  However, we live in a culture of second (and third) marriages and trophy wives.  In the last campaign we had Jeri Thompson (Fred’s wife) and Jill Biden (Joe’s lady).  This time there is Callista Gingrich (Newt’s latest squeeze).  As a German guy once said, “Ya, Ya, Ya”.  So it is only a matter of time before there is a certified First Babe.

Now I know you want me to comment on the current First Lady.  I will not go there.  The only thing I will say is that women writers have commented on Michelle’s sexy arms.  Okay, I have never, ever, heard a guy comment on a woman’s arms.  On the list of interesting female body parts, arms fall somewhere below ankles and above chins.  I know that there is a video workout for women who want sexy arms, but ladies I’m telling you that is a waste of time and money.  If arms are your best feature, then that says it all.

And of course there is a double standard.  Bill Clinton proved that you could tend to intern-al affairs and still run the country.  You could even argue that Clinton’s job performance was improved due to stress relief.  In that case, Clinton may have been the least stressed President ever.  Perhaps that’s why he was smiling all the time.  Come to think of it, he’s still smiling.  And he was also the most optimistic President.  No matter how tough a day he had, it often had a happy ending.

But your First Lady has to act like, well a lady first.  Here are some basic rules of conduct that we should expect.  No polishing any heads of state.  No illicit introduction of members of Congress and no exploring the Attorney General’s briefs. She has to remain under control.  This is extremely important because you don’t want the following to happen:

(On the mobile radio)

Secret Service Agent One:  “Raging Cougar is entwined with Pool Boy in the Lincoln Bedroom.”

Secret Service Agent Two: “Confused. I recognize code name Cougar, but Pool Boy does not decode.”

Secret Service Agent One: Not Pool Boy, you idiot.  The pool boy, she’s banging the pool boy!”

Secret Service Agent Two:  “Oh #!*$”

However I’m not sure a guy would be stupid enough to get involved with the wife of the most powerful man on earth.

Secret Service Supervisor:  What did you do with “pool boy”?

Secret Service Agent One:  We boarded him sir.

Secret Service Supervisor: “You water boarded him?!”

Secret Service Agent One: “No sir. Two-by-Four in the Five-Hole.  Pool boy won’t be jumping back in the pool anytime soon.”

And we can’t have this, because when this happens guys tend to hurt people and break things.  We can’t have the President get that enraged.

Newscaster:  “Today it was confirmed that the First Lady was caught “entertaining” the White House pool boy in the Lincoln Bedroom”.

“In a related story, the Afghanistan War ended abruptly today due to the fact that Afghanistan no longer exists.  It is expected that the new hole in the ground will be renamed Af-gone-nistan.”  

So it is a very important requirement that First Ladies remain pure.  In addition I would require that they are not permitted to nag or bitch at their husbands.  The Congress bitches at the President, the commentators bitch at the President, foreign leaders bitch at the President.  That’s too much bitching, so the White House should be a “bitch-free” zone.  Furthermore, the First Lady would not be permitted to complain about her husband to her friends, less the bitching get leaked to the press.

Now I know what you guys are thinking.  The Republican race is wide open and four years of bitch-free living is very attractive (even some Democrats would be willing to run as Republicans to get that). But this is no reason to run for President and it is a much more stressful job since the interns left.