How To Survive The Black Friday Shopping

AAAAAAAtttention, shooooppers!!!

Black Friday is upon us, shoppers!  Black Friday is war, Black Friday is hell, Black Friday is chills, thrills and occasional kills, and I, drill sergeant X, am here for the drills!  I am here to make lean, mean shopping machines out of your sorry just-browsing rookie asses!!

drill_sgt2

Did I say something funny?? DID I SAY SOMETHING FUNNY, SHOPPER?!?!? Drop and give me twenty!  Now you look at this twenty-bill very carefully, shopper!! Do you want to save those twenty dollars?  DO YOU???  Do you want to save twenty dollars AND LIVE, shopper?? Then shut up and listen to what I have to say, unless you want your dead body to be found covered with packing peanuts and stuffed in a cardboard refrigerator box marked for in-store pickup for your family’s convenience!!!

Anyone here who’s weak and doesn’t feel they’re up to the task?  Anyone here who’s having second thoughts??  Anyone here with heart conditions, who’s trample-intolerant, or allergic to stab wounds???  If you as much as had to think about it, I’m gonna give you 20 seconds to pack your stuff and crawl back home to your wussy Amazon shopping – and I do mean Amazon, because even eBay’s online auctions would pose too much danger for you, weaklings!

Now, those of you who stayed… at ease, shoppers. I see a few scarred faces of seasoned Black Friday veterans, but I see newbies, too. Why do you need to shop, you ask? You need to do this for your country, shoppers. You need to buy stuff to support the economy – Chinese economy, Indian economy, Indonesian economy, all the world economies!  The fate of the entire world hangs in balance on your shoulders, shoppers! Remember what President George Bush said after 9/11 – by going shopping is how we shall defeat the terrorists.

Why on Black Friday, you ask?  Because this is the day when you get the most bang for your buck!  You’ll spend a buck and you’ll get banged up so hard in the process that your mama won’t recognize you!  But you follow my cues, shoppers, and you just might live to see the daylight on Saturday!

Rule Number one! Do NOT go shopping on Black Friday!  Yes, you heard me right, shopper!  You take your positions AT LEAST a week before, otherwise you might as well drag your asses back to your basement and try your luck next year!  You take positions right here in line in front of the store, yes, right here at the front lines, and you take advantage of the high ground – so no lounging up in the parking lot, you get your asses all the way up on the sidewalk!

Rule Number Two! You’ll need provisions, you’ll need supplies, you’ll need rifles and shotguns. They don’t call it “hunting for bargain” for nothin’!  You’ll need a tent. What? You DON’T own a tent, shopper? This means that you gonna have to buy one this Black Friday, so you could pitch a tent for the next Black Friday! Add that to your shopping list – and I better see it tattooed on your ass, shopper! Take your cell phone with you so that you could call for reinforcements, and don’t forget the phone charger cord, because you never know when you may have to strangle somebody to move up one spot in the line!

Rule Number Three! No matter what, you DO NOT give up your position, shopper!  Not rain, not wind, not fire are to deter you from completing your mission!!! But what about Thanksgiving, you ask? What about family, turkey, cranberry sauce cylinders, you say? Forget about it, shopper. Do you realize that Thanksgiving Day is a made-up holiday, and was invented by professional Black Friday shoppers who wanted to weed out as much competition as possible! A day to get together with people you try to avoid 364 days a year, and to eat a bird-shaped blob of tasteless chewy paste, that you would never in your right mind order at a restaurant?  You call THAT a holiday, shopper???

Target Store in Springfield, Virginia. Image i...

Engage your Target, shoppers!

Rule Number Four!  Preparation is half the battle! Prior to BF-Day, scour the target store, familiarize yourself with the floor (getting a job at the store can help), map the shortest route to the shelf you need to get from the door, and practice, practice, practice some more! Do practice runs from the entrance to the target shelf at least ten times a day, and time yourself each time, until you are satisfied.  Then run, run, run again, until you can get from the entrance to the shelf, then to the checkout, then clear out to the parking lot in under 15 seconds wearing a blindfold!!!

And keep one final thing in mind, shoppers: on Black Friday, all people fall into two categories: cashiers and obstacles!

Are you ready, shoppers?? Are you ready to crush and trample your fellow man to save five bucks?? Are you ready to wreak havoc and devastation in your path when the store doors open at precisely oh-two-hundred hours?? ARE? YOU?? READY???

Three! Two! One!  ATTAAAAAAAAACK!!!!

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How To Shop At Target

So you’ve decided you’re sick of Wal-Mart’s low, low prices and want to shift to something a little classier. “Target’s pretty cool, I want to shop there!” you say. Well, before you stroll on over to the local installment of the Best Company Ever, take a moment to learn how to have a truly Fast, Fun, and Friendly shopping experience!

1. Pick a good time

Plan your heaviest shopping for Sunday. If you aren’t running the danger of colliding with someone every three steps, you’re shopping wrong. Also, free samples! If you plan this carefully, you could probably get all three of your meals for the day by wandering through the grocery section. Just be sure to grab a new shirt from the clothing section every time so the employees – sorry, Team Members – don’t get suspicious.

2. Dress to impress

Before you head to the store, put on your favorite red shirt and khaki pants. Team members love it when guests try to fit in with the Target style! It shows that you’re a dedicated customer – argh, Guest – that just wants to fit in with the gang.

3. Safety first

Bring any and all small children you have access to. If possible, plan your shopping for when they should really be napping or something to maximize the likelihood of an outburst. If you get lost in the intimates section, it helps the search party a lot if they can hear shrieks coming from the jungle of lingerie.

4. Asking for help

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try to be clever about asking where to look. Getting polite, straightforward questions all day can get boring for team members. Mix it up! You’ll brighten their day and subsequently, yours. Here are a few examples, starting with what not to ask:

  • “Excuse me, where are the edible underpants?”
  • “Hi, can you tell me where I might find the industrial-strength breast pumps? These regular sets just won’t satisfy my needs.”

Instead, opt for something a little more strange. If you’re too polite, you’ll lose all semblance of your quirky uniqueness! Try something like the following:

  • “Where’s the bathroom at?”
  • “Porno section. Where is it?”
  • “If I was a toenail clipper, would I find myself right down yonder?”
  • [Awkward stare.] (This is especially effective. When a team member can’t figure out if you need help or not, it’s like a little game. You’re just helping them out with a little mental exercise. Fun!)
  • “Whurdalatbulbs.”
  • “Where’s your hunting section? Also, do you sell antidepressants?”

5. Stand your ground

The customer – geh, fukkin… Guest – is always right! If a team member tells you the store doesn’t carry an item any more, they’re probably being lazy and don’t want to look for it. If you bought it there last year, insist that they must still have them somewhere. You’ll get those discontinued insect repellent wipes eventually.

6. Alert others to better discounts

If you decide you’re just going to buy something at Wal-Mart, be sure to let a team member know. The louder, the better! Other customers – I swear to God… GUESTS – want to know where the best discounts are. You’ll save some fellow shoppers some money and let the team member know where to direct future guests looking for the same item.

6. Save time efficiently

If you decide you don’t want an item and you’re more than ten inches from its home location, find somewhere to discreetly tuck it away. D-cup bras are perfect for frozen chickens, but don’t use anything smaller. B-cups won’t support your discarded fowl properly and are more suited to small bags of chips.

7. Abandon your cart if necessary

You’re tough. You’re strong. You don’t need a cart. Why’d you bring it all the way to the back of the store? Just leave it there. You can carry everything, you hunk of testosterone, you.

8. Protect your image

If you drop something and break it, don’t tell anyone. That shame is not yours to bear. Besides, it’s extra fun for team members to come up with a backstory for any damaged item they find lying around the store. Where did the blue goo come from? Is it ectoplasm? Or do we have an alien spy among us?

9. Make small talk

Check lanes are awkward, but they’re a great chance to work on your comedy routine. If an item won’t scan, make some sort of crack about how it must be free. It’s funnier every time!

How To Mix Blogging And Working Successfully

English: cubicle

Warning: people blogging! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a well-known fact that many bloggers have to juggle working at a full-time job and writing a blog*, and they often complain that their work encroaches on their blogging time, and vice versa. Both activities are very time consuming, and nosy co-workers and managers can make it very difficult to dedicate even a few hours of your workday to blogging. Remember, while blogging and working are both important, your company probably has other employees to move the work forward, but there is no one else to write your blog for you. However, the importance of keeping your job cannot be underestimated either: it helps you pay for your internet and therefore for blogging, provides blog fodder and hundreds of potential blog followers in your co-workers. Here are some tips on how to blog yet make it seem like you’re working.

  • Make sure to factor in blog-related deadlines along with your work-related deadlines. Add blog deadlines to your Outlook calendar as well. When planning how long your work-related projects will take, always factor in 6-10 hours of blogging time every day, and allow an extra day in case your post gets Freshly Pressed and you have to respond to hundreds of comments. (In the unlikely event that your post doesn’t get Freshly Pressed, you can always troll Freshly Pressed posts of other bloggers.)
  • Write comments in the Outlook E-mail messages rather than in the comments sections of the blogs where you plan to comment, and return to the blog to paste the completed comment. Not only you are actually blogging, but you also create an appearance of passionately typing a work-related e-mail. However, make sure that you don’t click on “send”, unless you’re absolutely sure that your manager is interested in your opinion on Michele Bachmann, anime or farts.
  • If your manager is interested in your opinion on Michele Bachmann, anime or farts, ask him/her to follow your blog. Didn’t s/he ask you to cc: him/her on all important stuff? And isn’t your blog important to you?
  • When your co-workers ask you to do something, agree to help on the condition that they follow your blog. Yes, they may complain to HR, but you can use this opportunity to convert your HR representative into your loyal follower.
  • Hint for Twitter users: Adding a #work hashtag automatically makes any tweet work-related.
  • When making a PowerPoint presentation for a team meeting, “accidentally” slip your latest and greatest post into the presentation. Let attendees read it in full before you “notice” the “mistake”. After the meeting, log out of your WordPress account and refresh the blog post page as many times as there were people at meeting: unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t count the PowerPoint views, and you probably want your stats page to reflect the accurate count of blog post views.
  • Spend a lot of time on your Stats page. It looks very professional at a cursory view, and if anyone asks, you can always explain that it’s a new productivity metric. Well, it is! It measures how productive your blog readers are: if you see a lot of views and comments, they are not very productive.
  • For your blog, pick a theme that most closely resembles the screen view of an application you have to use for work. There is a reason WordPress carries so many blog themes and even lets you customize them.

* Note that some people claim to juggle a full-time job, a blog, and raising multiple kids. However, that is physically impossible and we will not even discuss it here.

How To Determine Your Optimal Daily Caffeine Intake

Are you drinking the right amount of coffee? Too much, and you’re a jittery mess; too little, and you’re shuffling through life like a zombie. It’s hard to find the right balance — or at least it has been. I’m happy to announce that after years of research and experimentation, I’ve perfected a simple calibration process that almost anyone can use to figure out exactly how many cups of coffee they should be drinking each day. So grab a pen and paper and let’s get started!

Step 1. Establish a baseline.

On a blank sheet of paper, write your age, height, weight, and the number of cups of coffee that you currently drink per day. Now look at what you’ve written:

  • If the numbers are more or less legible but kind of trail off at the end, then you probably started to doze off as you were writing them. Increase your coffee consumption by one cup per day. Repeat this step until you consistently produce crisp, clear numbers.
  • If all you see is an illegible tangle of jagged lines, you’re probably drinking too much coffee. Decrease your consumption by one cup per day until you can produce recognizable numbers (or, alternatively, keep drinking the same amount and get a job as a CAPTCHA image creator).
  • If you can read the numbers easily, proceed to step 2.

coffee_figure1

Step 2. Make adjustments based on your sleep patterns.

Think about what it’s like to wake up on a typical weekday:

  • Increase your daily coffee consumption by one cup for every five minutes that you spend in bed after your alarm goes off. For example, if you set your alarm for 6:00 and drag yourself out of bed at 6:22, you need to drink four additional cups of coffee each day.
  • If you had trouble performing that last calculation, increase your coffee consumption by an additional one cup per day.
  • If you don’t use an alarm clock, but instead wake up naturally each morning feeling fully rested and refreshed, go away. I hate you.

Step 3. Safety first (or, technically, third) — take your driving habits into account.

If you don’t drive, skip this step and proceed to step 4. Otherwise, think about the last time you were in an accident or near-miss for which you were at least partially responsible.

  • If the incident was caused by irritation, impatience, or road rage, decrease your coffee consumption by one cup per day.
  • If the incident was caused by inattention, sleepiness, or lack of focus, increase your coffee consumption by one cup per day.
  • If you don’t believe you’ve ever, in your entire life, made any driving mistakes, then you’re probably not paying attention. Increase your coffee consumption by two cups per day.

Step 4. Reality check — how is coffee affecting your finances?

Now that you’ve completed steps 1-3, you have a good idea of how much coffee you should be drinking. But can you afford it? Most personal finance experts agree that as a general rule, you should spend no more than 20% of your gross income on coffee. If you think you can’t afford your recommended daily amount of coffee, don’t make the mistake of drinking less! Instead, try some of these cost-cutting strategies:

  • Make coffee at home instead of buying it in coffee shops.
  • Buy coffee in bulk and/or buy a cheaper brand.
  • Drink free coffee at work. Bring a thermos or two and take some home.
  • If your office doesn’t provide free coffee, quit and get a job somewhere that does. Or just find a company with free coffee and pretend you work there. Don’t forget to bring your own mug (and, of course, a thermos).
  • Car dealerships provide free coffee to customers awaiting repairs. Walk in through the door that leads to the parts department, then veer off towards the area where they sell accessories. Wander around this section, stopping every so often to pick up a coffee mug or keychain, look at it, and put it down. After a few minutes of this, you’ll look like someone who’s been waiting far too long for their car to be repaired; no one will question you if you help yourself to some coffee. Try not to visit the same dealership more than once every couple weeks.
  • Coffee grounds can be reused (you can substitute 2 tablespoons of used grounds for 1 tablespoon of fresh). Starbucks and other major coffee chains give away used grounds for free for use in compost, but they never actually check that you have a compost heap. Note: digging through other people’s compost heaps in search of coffee grounds is not recommended.

I hope you’ve found this advice helpful. I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom from the National Coffee Association:

Coffee is the calm moment that lets you think. Coffee gives you the time to dream it; then you’re ready to do it. No other drink does that like coffee.

How To Write A Blog: 10 Obligatory Blog Posts Every Blogger Has To Write At Least Once

Today’s guest post is brought to you by the letter X better known as the List of X. To read more about guest posts, see step 6.

I have been reading WordPress blogs for months now, and I have noticed that certain types of blog posts are more common than others. So I thought I’d aggregate these most common blog posts into just one short post for your enjoyment. Alternatively, you can use this post as your blogging guide which will save your valuable time by providing you with the pre-written template blog posts that you can simply copy and paste into your blog.

English: Kim Kardashian at the 2009 Tribeca Fi...

I was planning to write a separate post about 10 most common blog photos, but this woman is in 9 out of 10 of them.

1) Hello, World!  This blog will be a platform for my thoughts about me, myself, my thoughts about myself, and occasionally about _____, _____, what I think about this, and Kim Kardashian. I will write as often as I can, since I usually think daily about different things, I think. See, I’ve just thought again! I better start posting stuff right now!

2) The Day Of Outrage:  I don’t normally get outraged about things, but ______ was outrageous! Did you see how outrageous that was! You didn’t? This is so outrageous that you haven’t seen it yet! You gotta check out just how outrageous this was! See! Told you! Wasn’t it outrageous? Please share your outrage in the comments section, because I’ll be outraged if you don’t!

3) The Away Message:  I apologize, my dear readers, for leaving you without your daily fix of information about me, and temporarily abandoning my blog for almost three hours. I am really sorry that you had to put your life on hold because you did not know what’s going on with my life. But I was busy with things. It’s not like I don’t have a life, you know? Haha. Honestly, I promise to write three times a day from now on. It’s not like I really have a life, you know? Haha.

4) Search Terms Of Endearment:  I have to share the good news with you! I am on Google now! Yes, you can enter something in Google and it will find my blog! Isn’t it cool? And apparently, people enter completely random things and still find my blog! Check out this hilarious search term: ______. Isn’t it hilarious? And what about this: _________? Even more hilarious, right? And this: ___________. What’s up with that?? Hilarious. But you know, seriously, even though all these result are hilarious and all, but the search for “most totally amazing blog ever” doesn’t lead to my blog for some reason. I’m gonna have to call Google because I think there is a problem with their search.

5) The Freshly Pressed Hangover (posted the morning after). Thank you everyone for such thoughtful comments! I have never seen so many thoughtful comments saying “Congrats on being Freshly Pressed” ever! It is so great to be Freshly Pressed! It’s like a total vindication of my life’s work! My blog got so many page views that my computer totally crashed! Well, I was actually jumping for joy, and my foot tripped over the wire and my computer actually crashed! But now that I am a famous blogger, I have bought a bigger and better computer to write bigger and better posts!

6) The Guest Post: This amazing post is brought to you by the amazing blogger named ______ . He/she won’t be writing about me today, which is sad, but I get a day off from my blog, which is good. Please check out his/her work, he/she’s almost as amazing as me. But please read all my amazing posts first! You don’t actually have to read them if you don’t have time, but please click on them at least! Then come back tomorrow and read them! Or just “like’” them.

7) Gems From The Junk Filter:  Check this out! I just found out that WordPress is blocking some of the comments on my blog! These people have been leaving the nicest comments like “this is an excellently wrote post”, or “I have learning so much from this site”, or “your qualification is for among the best blogs of the internet”. Why does WordPress block these comments??? Who are they, grammar Nazis or something???

8) The Traffic Report:  Check out this picture. This is my page views stats. This looks just like Manhattan skyline, doesn’t it? I removed the numbers so you don’t get jealous. At least I was hoped you would get jealous but I wasn’t really sure you would, so I deleted the numbers just in case. And then here is the next month, and it now looks more like New Jersey skyline. And look, here is this month, and it looks just like Nebraska. At least I think it looks like Nebraska, because I flew over it once and from up there Nebraska looked completely flat and sad, just like my recent traffic. Where is my traffic? Why isn’t anyone reading my blog??? I hate Nebraska!!!

9) My Amazing Cat:  My cat is totally amazing. It is so warm and fuzzy and smart. I wish my cat could write a post for my blog. I just know this post would have been so warm and fuzzy and smart that it’s gonna get Freshly Pressed instantly and I would get traffic again. I need traffic! Where is my traffic! Damn you cat! Write the post now!!! And make it warm and fuzzy and smart, damn it!!!

10) The Trends I Am Seeing:  I have been reading blogs for months now, and I have noticed that some types of blog posts are more common than others, so I thought I would aggregate them for your enjoyment and make fun of all of them at once.  Check out the whole amazing post here.

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Do you want to write a how-to about how to love your amazing cat then this is the site for you! Just submit an email request and watch the magic and hairballs happen.

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