December 29, 2011

When Cuddling Goes Gross

This is another post in my VapoDad series since the good folks at VapoRub are shooting me a bit of cash to write whatever I want.

I don't normally take showers at 11:40 PM but had you broken into my house a few weeks back that's where you would have found me. I used to shower late at night actually, doing stuff in the morning was unheard of pre-kid. Some people thought it was gross to take showers at night but I don't really buy that... But that's not why I switched... It's because the whole thing where MF wakes up if I even step to loudly in the middle of the night. A shower would asure a kid waking.

And while I'm sure you're incredibly interested in my showering habits that's not what this post is about.

It was a couple weeks back when MF spewed a bit while being put to sleep. Stomach flu was going around his class and he wanted to keep up with everyone so he of course caught it.

After some clean up he moved to our bed and went to sleep.

Then an hour later he was up and puking again. Staci grabbed a bowl lined with a plastic bag because that's what they do in her family... I'm not sure what we did growing up but I think it was just a plain bucket or bowl. No plastic bag.

The toilet is the target for us of course since we're older... Also aren't you glad you're reading this post about vomit, toilets and me showering in the middle of the night? The answer should be yes because when it wins a Pulitzer you'll be able to say you read it first.

The reality is a toddler doesn't get the whole "hit the bowl" thing... And he was super sick and sad and quite pathetic but he pulled through.

The third time he got up in the middle of the night was around 11:25. He just wanted to be cuddled and he jumped into my arms. Staci offered the bowl but I took one for the team because that just seemed like the right thing to do.

He grabbed on and leaned his head on me. I thought we'd be all good... Then he puked... On me... Three times.

And it was warm... And wet... And gross... But he was comforted. And a few minutes later I was in the shower.

This isn't an isolated incident... I've caught puke before and earned a badge.

It's not something I'd enjoy... It's not something I'd do for anyone else... It's not something I'd ever thought I would do in the first place... But when it's your kid it's different, right?

It happened one more time that night but a towel on my shoulder caught the goods, which were low in volume because the previous spews.

And two days later Staci and I caught the stomach bug... My heroic efforts where the reason I woke up on the bathroom floor in just shorts with my feet in the unfilled tub... I had puked and felt too crappy to walk back to our room.


I totally forgot to mention that the day before I got sick I was feeling a bit woozy. I thought maybe there was some carbon monoxide thing going on because I had just been cooking and it felt like carbon monoxide poisoning to me... Of course I don't know what that feels like but I suspected what I was feeling was CO poisoning.

I did the smart thing and brought our CO alarm downstairs and it started beeping... I replaced the batteries and it started beeping again.

I opened windows on that cold cold night, Staci and I got the kid out and I called 911, which is what you're supposed to do.

They came over and it was a little house party... In fact when Staci called for an update I said I was entertaining.

We had one police officer, two firefighters and three EMTs (but one was in training)... They took my vitals and checked for CO levels... There were none.

The deal is CO monitors need to be replaced every five years and they know this... They go off five years after first use (ours took about eight) and the fire depts get calls all the time about it because it's not like a fire alarm when the battery goes off... CO alarms do the same beep as a house full of CO.

In addition I learned that you should get a Nighthawk brand alarm (Kidde is made by them) because the fire dept says they are the best. Also get a digital one because they will tell you the actual level that the CO spiked at.

I know this knowledge basically saved your life and for that you're welcome.

December 27, 2011

Aw Shit... We Forgot To Do A Holiday Letter: The Letter

It was a couple days before Thanksgiving when I remembered we didn't do holiday cards this year... That's when we got our first card from a friend. We forget every year. Staci will usually send out some nice cards but we haven't done the family thing... With pics of us and MF.

I feel like that's what you're supposed to do... So I thought I'd do one.

First I had to look back at the best ones I've gotten through the years... And the best are the ones that are total BS... Where it feels like the people live in Whoville (pre-grinch of course) where everything is perfect and their kid is a genius... Then I had to look at a site to get some info on what to write (since I have none in front of me)... And so I give you our Holiday letter,

Dear Family and Friends (or should I say Friends and Family? I'm not sure if it's in order of importance or not and then does the most important go first and last? Maybe just read that part as Dear ____ and put your name in the blank. Then it's more personal and you feel like I care more... Yeah so do that please. Thanks)

Happy Holidays to you! We hope the past year has brought you many blessings.

As you know I don't normally use exclamation points but I copy and pasted that sentence straight from another site because I thought it fit well. I used the whole thing because I don't want to pretend I'm pawning it off as my own only for you to find out and start comparing me to James Frey.

It's not that I have anything against exclamation points it's that I think they're over used and really I wouldn't use one in that sentence. It's not all that exciting.

We had an exciting year in 2011. The kid started school and got sick a ton. He was getting sick at a level twice his age. He's talking up a storm but that his spoken vocabulary doesn't even come close to his written skills. He's written 14 books and self published them as ebooks. Honestly they aren't the best stuff I've written but for a kid under two I'm told they're rather advanced.

He's selling the books for 99¢ a piece and the thing with ebooks is people will buy crap if it's cheap so he sold about $1.4 million worth of books this year. Don't think all that money goes to him. There are fees and such that bring it down to just above $1 million.

We put $1000 of that money in a college account for him but I had a hunch so we took the rest down to the casino and put it on 27 on the roulette wheel. 14 came up. I'm not really sure what happened, the hunch was so strong.

When he's not writing he enjoys soccer of course... Every kid does. He's the best on his team and was recruited by the LA Galaxy. We told them he'll have to wait a year and a half until he's out of the toddler room in school. We really feel that education is important.

Kenny got a new job! He basically sits around all day and tells people when to use exclamation points. It's a new field but we really feel that Exclamation Point Pointing Out is going to take off this year.

Kenny also watched the whole series of Cheers on netflix (well not the whole series because netflix is so lame and is missing 20 episodes. We're very proud of him.

Staci signed up to do a triathlon this year. She signed up really well. You should have seen her it was amazing. MF and I were there with signs of support the whole time... We didn't get any pics because we were so in the moment. She knows we have a lot of love for her... At least she better or this paragraph will get me in trouble. (Side note... Staci, I love you).

This winter has been fantastic. It was the first year MF really played in the snow and understood it. We taught him which snow you can eat and which you can't. We also let him know to ask folks if the snow on their lawn is free-trade, organic, non-GMO and if it has trans fats.

Oh, and he said "fuck" once... But we were able to steer him away from saying it so we believe it was a one time incident. I don't want to blame anyone for that but if I did we'd blame Staci for allowing the kid to be in the car with Kenny. Really it's quite irresponsible. And it's not his fault that Minnesotan drivers are so horrible that it makes him yell such things.

Happy Holidays would be a bit redundant to close on but that's what we'll end with...
Love (if applicable) The Friedman Family

December 25, 2011

A Very Jewy Christmas

Did you know Jewy has just one 'w'? I didn't... I was going to use two but then using the google I found that the New York Times uses one 'w' so 'm going with that.

Anyway some stereotypes are based on truth and the one about Jewish folk doing Chinese food on Christmas is absolutely true... And it's partly because they're open and partly because we freaking love it (another true stereotype).

In Cleveland, where I grew up, it was also impossible to get a last minute reservation at a Chinese place the night you break Yom Kippur or Passover fasts (or no bread thing). Here it's not so hard as there are about 6 Jewish people in the metro area... That's a fact.

And while you may have read that I'm not so down with the religion part of Judiasm, I'm down with some of the most important customs... Like Chinese food on Christmas.

Last year I don't remember what we did, actually I think it was Indian food since they're open too. But now that MF is getting older I really think sticking to the traditions are important.

And so we ordered in... And it was good.

Happy whatever you celebrate folks...

Probably a pork rib... So not Kosher

That's a mushroom he's inhaling... He loves them

December 21, 2011

Weekly Wednesday Wisdom: Don't Cry Wolf –or– Magnet Free Since 2010

Wisdom for MF: Don't cry wolf

Yesterday we spent a bit of last night at the urgent care. The kid was playing on the fridge when Staci saw him give a look... You know the look.

That I'm doing something I shouldn't look.

So she asked him to come over and he came with mouth closed... The next natural question what's in your mouth followed by, of course, no answer. Then she asked if he ate a magnet... He was playing with these magnets we have on the fridge so that was a good guess... He said yes. She asked him to open his mouth and he did but nothing was there.

When asked if he swallowed the magnet he said no... But when asked if he ate it he said yes.

The deal is it was one of those super strong rare earth magnets... Let me pause my story here for a bit... I have a huge problem with the name of these magnets...

I could go and google it but that would be too much work. I remember looking them up a bit ago and the elements of them are "rare". That's total bullshit. If they were so rare you wouldn't find them in some cheap magnets... You wouldn't find them in magnets at all. Instead we'd be wearing wedding rings that stuck together... But we aren't.

And I'd expect more from scientists... Why are they lying to us? I realize that if it was just some marketing thing it would be a lie.

Ad folk would call them limited edition magnets.

Kind of like they call white chocolate Kit Kats limited edition. They are not... They make millions of them. If I were to buy a case of them and set them aside to sell when I retire I would maybe be able to buy one Kit Kat with what I could sell the moldy old "Limited Edition" Kit Kats for.

I should also mention that I think we're in a candy bar bubble right now... $.89 to 1.09 for a candy bar is ridiculous... That's another reason to not buy a case of Limited Editions you could lose a lot in the short run if the candy bar bubble bursts.

Anyway back to the magnet in the kid's mouth... It can actual be quite dangerous if a kid eats a rare earth magnet because they are stronger than normal ones... Not that eating a normal one is good.

And really they need to eat two magnets or maybe one magnet and a piece of metal that is attracted to a magnet (I believe those metals have a name). They can wreak havoc in the stomach and intestines and actually rip stuff open... But it's quite rare (really rare not "rare earth" fake rare).

So we were freaked and I when I got home I asked MF if he ate a magnet. He said yes.
Did you eat a car? Yes.
Did you eat dog poop? Yes.
Did you eat the refrigerator? Yes.
Did you eat a monkey? Yes.

He was either lying or we had a bigger problem on our hand than we thought.

Better safe than sorry so we took him to the urgent care... Yada yada yada... No magnet.

The kid lied and drove us crazy, got us worried... I realize that if I took a child psychology class (which I actually did but dropped before it started) I would learn he was either just trying to please us by saying yes, playing a game or had no comprehension of why we were asking... Or all of the above.

Point is he cried magnet... Which means the next time we won't believe him whether he ate a magnet, a car, dog poop, a refrigerator or a monkey.

Moral of the Story: There's no need to cry wolf. Wolves are actually quite harmless and pretty damn cool.

Secondary Moral of the Story: If you're going to be in the ad game be a liar – I've known some good liars in my industry... Some have become quite successful. Good liars can also make good politicians, bankers and conmen... Of those three the only respectable career is conman.

December 13, 2011

Untitled #7

Remember that time I got a camera from the awesome folks at Pentax? Well it became the official point and shoot of the blog. I have been busy so unfortunately I haven't posted much from it... But busy isn't the only thing that keeps me from posting pics...

The kid is a big reason I don't have much to post. Since it's rugged (I got the Pentax Optio WG-1) I let him get ahold of it from day one... actually dropped it when it was only two minutes out of the box.

Problem, and it's a good one, is he always wants to play with it when it's out... I'm able to get some shots of him but I have to show him the shots every two or three I take.

So MF took it upon himself to do so self portraits I thought I'd share... These are from his Wow I Have A Crusty Nose series.

Untitled Self Portrait #1

Untitled Self Portrait #2

This next one is probably so artistically over your head unless you have a PHD in Visual Arts. Basically the folks at Harvard want him to visit and discuss the awesomeness of it in a lecture.
Nostril #1

Then I showed him how to set the camera up and look through the screen to get a shot... He placed his train down and composed this... Pretty good perspective actually.

Untitled Train on Shitty Carpet #2

Then he got all full of himself and wanted to send a pic to all his lady friends... So he went all Anthony Weiner in this one... Luckily its just his pajama collar.

Watch out Cindy Sherman

December 7, 2011

A Totally Full Disclosure

I few weeks back a twitter friend tweeted a link along with "this is why I think people have a hard time taking bloggers seriously. Are we all on the take?"

It was a link to a blogger's disclosure policy that was, well... Rather incredibly insanely long...

So I thought about my blog... I have done reviews in the very far past and received swag... I actually did allow some sponsored posts because the person who contacted me totally had me at "I know you're PR Unfriendly but..." And I am of course on my hunt for a free iPad (even though in reality I don't want/need one).

And thus (not sure if I'm using that correctly... Wisdom for Miloh: Pay attention in English class.) I feel compelled to write my own disclosure policy just so you all know the real intention behind my blog post and tweets.

While I hate to be that guy (although sort of love being that guy) I feel compelled to link to the original disclosure policy, that has 16 levels of compensation, that inspired this because it will help you understand my reason for this post... So read this now and then come back and read mine... disclosure policy
This policy is valid from April 13th 1923 and may be changed at any time... Probably won't be changed but it may be., authored by the wonderful Kenny Friedman, is the best freaking daddy blog ever written who can be reached at While emails are welcomed paypal payments to that address are more appreciated.

What is compensation really? defines it as: the act or state of compensating.

Compensation Levels
Compensation levels will not be stated at all at the end of a post... Not because I'm hiding anything but because I'll probably forget to do it most of the time and I don't want all the pressure to remember. However it will be called out somewhere in the post unless it's a link to amazon or such... If it's a link like that I only get compensated if you then buy something so what you should do is click one of those links anytime you're going to purchase from there and then buy something expensive.

Compensation refers to cash, gift cards, free brownies, products, services, the eventual free iPod, random monkeys coming to my house for a play date with the kid or any such thing.

Level -3:  Kenny didn't even think of writing a post.

Level -2:  Kenny thought about writing a post but then got side tracked.

Level -1:  Kenny wrote a post and mentioned a product but did it out of the kindness of his heart because he likes the product... This might include mentioning Megabolt's new print which would make a sweet gift for a boy's room or such. Also the cash goes to a great project.

See what he did there? Kenny mentioned them, got paid nothing, received no "compensation" and the world did not end.

Also Kenny believes he can right off about $23,478 on his taxes because that's what he believes the mention is worth since he has that kind of power... And he think you can write stuff like that off, right?

Level -0.5:  Kenny wrote an open letter to a company asking for free stuff but didn't get it. Really Frito-Lay you can't send him a couple bags of sunflower seeds?

Level 0:  Kenny wrote a post but it didn't mention a product at all.

Level 1:  Kenny wrote a post while at a coffee house. He ordered a medium americano with just a little bit of water. He also said he wanted a caramel. He realized he wasn't charged for said caramel after he was already at home.

Level 2: Kenny wrote a post relevant to his blog and randomly inserted a link to something awesome in hopes you bought it and millions of dollars worth of other stuff so he got like 4% from that sale.

There is an alt to this where he linked to something kind of lame because he couldn't think of anything better.

Level 3: Kenny was compensated by placing a link to a product by some lame company who's offering him cash in exchange for that link. The post will most likely be a waste of your time to read and the product will most likely be blah.

Level 4: Kenny was given an extra apple pie at McDonalds when he bought one. Like he bought one and they gave him two even though it wasn't a "two for" promotion. And the dude just said "here take an extra." And it happened twice in two weeks from two different McDonalds.

Level 5: Kenny mentions a company and their apple pies and sends them a link to the post that mentions them in hopes they send him some giftcards for more pies even though he technically stole them (like that caramel... this is a pattern) and doesn't really go to that restaurant anyway since the aforementioned hypothetical incidents were years ago.

Level 6: Kenny writes a post in a coffee house and they give him the extra shot of espresso that they usually dump when you order a medium espresso. He tweets about how this is ridiculous and that he's either stealing (seriously a pattern) when this happens or getting screwed when it doesn't. I mean c'mon don't have three sizes of espresso and dump one shot from the middle size... Just have two sizes and charge the small and medium price... I'm talking to you Caribou Cofffee.

It would be considered Level -4 if he gets the medium and they don't give him the extra shot and Level -5 if he orders a large espresso... which he doesn't because he'd rather play the ponies with the medium.

Level 7: Kenny was provided a nice night out with his wife or friends in return for a mention of a product or review. In accordance with his PR Policy if said night out includes a movie he will be accompanied by Seth Green. If, I mean when, Seth attends the movie there is a fifty precent chance that he will buy the popcorn (because of alternating popcorn buying nights) however while that is compensation it will not be included in the compensation given and will not affect any review or mention.

Level 8: Kenny is procrastinating one night and reviews some companies on their website. In his review he threatens a company with theft if they don't meet his demands... Really this theft thing is getting out of hands. Someone should alert the authorities.

Anyway let's say hypothetically he says he's going to steal a salt shaker... If he were to somehow receive a salt shaker from said company he'd eventual get around to posting about it... But that's not gonna happen which is why it's hypothetical.

Level 9 (quest 2): There is a red ring in the upper left corner of the dungeon. To get to the room you need to go through a wall that looks solid and then go down a staircase.

Level 10: Kenny will enter a contest and totally forget about it. He will come home one day and see a coffee maker on his stoop. He'll mention the name of the coffee maker brand in a tweet saying he's totally baffled why it showed up randomly. Two months later he still won't remember what contest he entered. He will write a disclosure post mentioning the coffee maker and he'll use the word 'stoop.' He'll think to himself that it's really an odd word.

Level 11: He'll send some random company an open letter asking for something free and actually get the product. Then he'll mention them again in a subsequent post. Probably put a banner on his right sde bar. Realize he needs to add one for Pentax. And he'll mention that company a few other times because those companies that send him stuff totally rock.

Level 12: Housewares and linens

Level 13: Kenny does some sponsored posts and mentions your product in said post. Here is one example. Said post will be awesome and he won't write some crap about a product he doesn't like. Also he will probably spend the money on posters even though he said he'd put it into the kid's college account... Actually it is going to the kid minus maybe one poster for the kid that maybe not everyone in the house will like... But he needs good art, right?

Level 14: This post is for an app. You know that, unless stated, any app review post means Kenny was compensated by receiving the device that the app runs on. If he already has said device he will sell it and give the money to a worthy cause... Perhaps the human fund.

Level 15: Kenny is a shill for some company and tweets, posts and otherwise mentions them as much as he can. He will never tell anyone of this relationship and he will make millions from it. Even though he's now a multi-millionaire he'll still live a humble life because he's just that awesome.

Level 16: Kenny receives special treatment from a company because of a relationship that involves him posting about the company. For example he will get to use html 6 while everyone else is on html 5. He will get free mango juice from a restaurant because he's awesome (or because his kid is so freaking cute and it's for the kid any way and the kid knows it so gets mad if he takes a sip... But he will take a sip.)

If Kenny is given swag at a blog related conference or event it would be miraculous as he doesn't attend any. However if he gets unlazy he's going to submit an idea for Blogher 12 and you should all say you want to attend. If he did speak he would probably get a swag bag. In that case he'd throw most of it away because it's usually crap. With what's left he'd give a majority away and only keep maybe some electronics and a good travel coffee mug. A good travel coffee mug is defined by one that is not plastic and can go in the dishwasher... What's the point of a coffee mug that can't go in the dishwasher?

Oh, yeah... He won't consider that swag to be compensation.

Kenny is as or more popular than Kim Kardashian on the twitter. It looks like he has a ton fewer followers than her but it's because he has so many that the numbers have rolled over...

That being said you can assume that anything he says on twitter is sponsored and that he got a minimum of $60,000 for the mention... like this one. Seriously Jesse LeDoux pays me $100,000 a month to mention him a minimum of three times. He said his ROI is over 1000 percent.

Kenny also asks all new twitter followers to pay him $10 a year. Sadly it's hard to police and so far he's made nothing from this venture...

In Closing
Kenny is totally on the take...

December 6, 2011

The Very Busy Spider Web Across My Cell Phone Screen

It was Sunday and I was wearing my Moosejaw Jose Yero hoody. I try to set a good example to MF on how to piss off his mother so I wasn't wearing a coat over said hoody even though it was quite cold... But we were only walking 75 feet to go indoors so why put the jacket on, right?

Here's a little mini review of said hoody. It's super soft inside... Fits really well... Has a big old moose on the back which MF loves. Basically I love the sweatshirt aside from it's one downfall...

The pockets do not keep cell phones inside of them... Or what I should say is if you put your cell phone in the pocket then run up the stairs there's a chance that the phone will fall out, fall perfectly... Amazingly flat on the ground screen side down and crack like some tasty peanut brittle... Although it's not tasty and it cost a lot more. Because of that I'd have to give it four stars... Had it not broken my phone I'd give it five. And yes I'm totally blaming a sweatshirt for the broken phone since I'm perfect.

pic is crappy because it was taken with my new/old phone

My phone was dead... Well really not dead... It worked perfectly but the screen was gone. Although I hate my phone I was bummed because they're not cheap. I called to see about what a screen would cost and got an estimate of $100... Which maybe isn't bad but my phone sucks and I don't want to put any more cash into it.

Then in trying to figure out what I should do I remembered a post that I read on the FearLess Revolution blog... It's about a guy who was happier once he ditched his phone. I read it right after wrote my luddite post and it got me thinking that maybe when I upgrade my phone next I'll actually downgrade a bit since with a kid I'm not ready to ditch the phone.

So I went to my drawer and pulled out my old LG Muziq flip phone... I had still kept it just in case.

This phone rocked in the day... It plays music and has a slot for a memory card (this was huge back then). It has one camera but kind of works like dual cameras because of dual screens. It gets craptastic email but it gets email... And if there is a gun to my head I can hop on the internet. And most importantly I can drop it and it doesn't break... Seriously this thing has been dropped a lot and it works perfectly with only a few scratches... How many phones are made like that now?

I activated the phone... And felt a bit lighter.

I no longer have a simple way to check email, twitter or such things at all times... I do have an iPod Touch but that's limited because of wifi.

I felt like I could simplify my life a bit... Be in the moment more... Not be the asshole with the phone out during dinner. Because while we all kind of hate that person I feel that many of us have become that.

And then I had withdrawal and freaked the hell out... I need all that stuff... I found my Palm Pre (which is a piece of shit) and activated that... Then I deactivated it when I remembered it only works on speaker. The way I felt about "needing" all those connectivity features beyond phone and text kind of freaked me out...

So I decided to stick with the muziq and see if I could last out my contract which ends in eight months.

When the first full day came, yesterday, I felt good about the choice to downgrade... I no longer feel like I'm captive to my phone... I no longer have to check email, check twitter, check to see if anyone commented on a post or check some stupid fact on the web (ok maybe I still need that).

Really the phone had become a parent or boss... Always needing to check in with it.

It's kind of awesome having the lack of technology a bit... And I'm hoping it will simplify my life a bit... I'm not ready to drop the phone altogether, it's really impractical with a kid, but now I can use it as it's intended... As a phone instead of an anchor.

All that said we'll see how long this lasts... It's kind of an experiment... On that a lot of folks would say is pretty easy... But if you have a phone that's rather smart you can probably understand how tough it is.

I hope to ride my contract out and then get a semi-basic phone but an android... I know I can cheaply buy out my contract but I think it will be nice not checking shit all the time.

Moral of the Story: If you didn't read that FearLess post I mentioned above read it now...

December 5, 2011

Stay the F to Sleep

Stay the F to sleep should really be the sequel for the Go the Fuck to Sleep book.

Here's the deal... A friend of mine and his wife are having trouble with their kid sleeping. This problem is a two parter...

It all started when their kid, let's call him Em Eff was sick and they let him sleep in their bed at night... Partly because he's super cute, partly because he was having trouble sleeping and partly because it was just kind of nice.

Then said kid got better but would wake up in the middle of the night wanting to sleep in his parent's bed... A so we our friends let that little kid sleep with them because it was kind of cute and kind of nice and they got to sleep instead of hear crying.

I should mention that the part two of this is the kid wakes up every time the totally awesome dad goes up to sleep... One day he hacked into my twitter account and tweeted about it.

Obviously not me because there is a typo.

And so that night too the kid slept with our friends...

So then our friends tried cry it out again... The first time was when the kid was quite young and it worked. On a side note my friend read the comments of the linked post and it actually helps know the CIO is not horrible, but it was horrible for my friends last night.

Because once again when my friend walked up stairs Em Eff was up... And cried for an hour until my friend slept on his kid's floor. It wasn't necessarily good but it was better than the kid being in the parent's room. And the kid went right to sleep although kept checking to see if his dad was there (I'm told.)

I think an easy answer is the dad doesn't need to stay downstairs late but the TV in his bedroom will wake the kid, and he has a hard time sleeping early... Plus he's watching White Collar which actually has some nice characters in it.

So yeah... There you are... Another round of the kid not sleeping.

They're boot camping CIO tonight... And it will suck.

Anyone else have a similar situation?

December 2, 2011

If your method eventually pays off, you're sort of a genius!

So yeah... I'm PR Unfriendly... I mean not totally... In reality I work with PR folk all the time in my real jobb. And I know that their jobs are tough. Still I can't help sending a snarky (and semi-serious) email every once in awhile to reply to their offers of free, super cheap, stuff in return for a free review.

I've shared these on twitter and folks there enjoyed them so I thought I'd share again.

Also while I know I'm being a bit of an ass in reality I don't think I am... I'm sure my emails have got passed around offices... People have laughed or called me a fool (or an ass) and laughed in a different way. So really I'm doing good and hope to be Knighted by the Queen for my efforts.

I was offered the chance to review a new burger at a fast food restaurant... They said they'd throw in a gift card... Not sure why I never got a reply as this was quite generous and reasonable.

Dear (omitted)

Sorry I didn't back to you earlier regarding your question of if I'm hungry. When I received your email I was in fact hungry. I was heading out to lunch at my one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. I kind of screwed up because I didn't order what I usually do and I while the food was good it didn't hit the spot...

So while I was full after the meal I was still hungry.

And while I realize you didn't ask I'm not hungry right now because we had a huge client lunch.

But really you want to know about the burger.

Here's the deal. While it seems awfully tempting I would have to augment the sandwich a bit and so I don't know if tasting it would really represent the burger you want to review.

I'd have to take the cheese off because of my well documented hatred of cheese.

I'd also have to opt-out of the actual meat situation as I haven't had meat since 1988. Since you are interested the last meat I had was General Tso's Chicken.

Also I'd opt to not have the tomato because I fucking hate raw tomatoes.

What's in the signature sauce? I'm guessing I wouldn't want that too because they are usually mayo based and who the F wants to eat mayo? Seriously... Once some Miracle Whip folks tried to serve me a mayo laced brownie sample. I spit it out and put it back on the tray. Not even kidding.

While I eat lettuce that stuff is usually nasty at fast food restaurants so I'd say no lettuce too.

But the idea of a nice bun with a pickle and sad little slice of onion sounds great.

So please send me a gift card... But can I ask for a gift card from a place other than (that fast food restaurant)? I'd be cool with a Caribou Coffee card or even Barnes & Noble... I drink lots of coffee and read books.

I'd also except cash too.

On that subject you owe me $10. If you took a moment to read my blog you'd know that I have a policy of charging a $10 fee to read unsolicited PR emails. I won't charge you for both that you sent because I never got back to you on the first one.

Click here to my pay the $10 fee.



A lot of people want me to review iPad apps... I have no iPad so I offered a reasonable solution...

(Person's Name)

Thank you for your email. I'd love to check out that app. My blog posts for December are getting a bit filled but I can squeeze you in.

How long do you think it will take for you to send me an iPad with the app loaded in it? If I have a choice I'd like a black iPad because I just think the white one looks cheap. I guess you can say that it's retro because the original iPods were white but really I'm not a fan. I'm ok with a 16GB but a larger one would be much appreciated...

Now that I think of it you might not need to load the app because it will have to be in my iTunes account. It will be a bit of a pain but I'll load it.

If you need the iPad back I will be able to return it to you within the usual time frame for my blog of one year. If you'd like me to send it back please let me know before sending. I'll also require a self addressed envelope and a check for $500 to cover shipping and whatnot.

Look forward to checking out the app.

thanks... Kenny

And then I tried again... After I sent this I had a little friendly back and forth with the PR person... He (I'm thinking he because the name although I knew one girl with the same name) said "Good luck with the free iPad :) If your method eventually pays off, you're sort of a genius!"

Well I am sort of a genius... But I'm still iPad-less.

I should say that in the original pitch email my luddite post was mentioned... Also I thought this reply was super nice and quite generous...

(Probably a dude's name)

I see that you scanned my enough to know that I don't let my kid have play with an iPad or iPhone. But in looking into your app it seems like it has some good stuff for people who do use them with kids.

You may have missed my PR policy which makes the cost of my reviews quite steep. Although I haven't yet added the cost of app reviews yet I have been asking for a device to review them on. For instance if you want me to review an iPad app send me an iPad with the app loaded.

Surprisingly no one has sent me one yet but in reality it's what my time is worth.

That being said I'll offer you this deal. Send me an iPad loaded with the app. I'll mention/review it on my blog. I'll also mention that I'm selling the iPad on ebay with the profits going to some charity, maybe toys for tots.

I'll sign said iPad which will probably add $3 to the value of the device.

It's win/win/win... You get a review. I hold true to my PR policy and some kids get toys.

be good... Kenny

For some reason I keep striking out... Still I get a lot of emails each day so I'm sure more posts like these will pop up... Unless you all hate them... But they will probably still pop up because they amuse me and hopefully will amuse MF years from now.

Took awhile... Here's an infographic of MF's first year

I finished this about a year ago just for my personal use but thought I'd share it. It's a visualization of MF's first year in n...