There is a line

I was out of town at a trade show recently and Al and I were having drinks with Rodney. We sat at the corner of the bar with Rodney playing the corner man. As is with most our conversations, it wandered all over the map, from industry stuff to music. If you know Al, you know that he loves music. He knows music and he appreciates it. And if you know me, you know that I suck at music.

As we were discussing music, I shared with Rodney that Al has his love of music and I have the music that you hear at Skully’s on Thursdays. Somewhere in between all of the music that Al loves and the music I love is a line. And I said the goal is to find what music lives on that line. The music we both appreciate. I said, I can’t think of any music that lives on that line.

And Allen said, “What about David Byrne?”

I said, Hey! David Byrne is on the line!

And Allen said, “What about Yo La Tengo?”

And I said, Yo La Tengo is on the line!

And given that we were two for two I said, what about Ben Folds?

Allen said, Ben Folds is not on the line.

Well, at least we still have David Byrne.

Michael Robinette

RUSHVILLE: Michael Lee Robinette, 62, of Rushville, Ohio, died peacefully in his sleep, Sunday, November 21, 2010 at his residence.

Mike was born January 18, 1948 in Columbus, Ohio, the son of the late Darwin Lee and Thelma Lucille Bliss Robinette.

Mike was a 1966 graduate of Whitehall Yearling High School, entered the U.S. Army and served four years in Germany. After leaving the service, Mike attended The Ohio State University.

During his life time, Mike was employed by Lancaster Glass, Meijer, and Cardinal Health before managing the family owned Baskins Robbins 31 Ice Cream Store for many years.

Mike is survived by his three sisters, Peggy (James) DeJarnatt, Nan (Ralph) VanGundy and Jill (Kelly) Adams; his two brothers, Paul (Jennifer) Robinette and Jon (Lauren) Robinette; and many nieces, nephews, and friends that he loved dearly.

A celebration of life will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, November 28, 2010 at the home of Jill and Kelly Adams, 758 Schadel Dr. N.W., Lancaster, Ohio 43130. In lieu of flowers, cards only, please.

Bope-Thomas Funeral Home in Somerset is entrusted with the arrangements.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mike was my manager at Baskin Robbins back in the late 80s. His parents owned the place, but he was the one I had the most contact with. I was completely surprised by his passing and am sad that I only last saw him three years ago at his father's memorial service.

Mike was extremely interesting, but I was too young to understand why. He had a lot of life experience that he tried to share, but I wasn't able to fully grasp what he was trying to relate.

Mike was in the Army in Germany and he told me about one of his jobs recording empty airwaves. He's sit for hours in a room, recording silence. He said on several occasions, he went a bit stir crazy and would yell at the recorder, "No one is ever going to listen to this!"

Back in the day, Mike loved the Amiga computer. He would talk about how great it was and that PCs and Macs were cookie cutter wanna be systems. I still remember the day he showed me my first "guru meditation error." He'd play Hunt for Red October for hours.

Mike LOVED to innocently pit the workers against each other. Not in a mean spirited way, but he loved to start shit and then slowly back away and watch the fireworks.

Mike was the manager in my Quart Percentage story from last year.

Mike has a piece of crap car that sat out back behind the building mostly abandoned. On certain nights we would use his hood to climb up on to the building and then, after we were done drinking, to jump back off. He'd would be pissed that someone(s) were jumping up and down on his hood at night. I have to assume that he knew it was us.

Years passed and I'd stop in at the Baskin Robbins when I was back in town. Mike would come out and say hello and ask how life was. I moved on and they tore down the Baskin Robbins and Mike moved on to other things.

Farewell, Mike.


I'm not sure if you remember the Guess How Much Money is in the Bag contest, but the winner of the contest was some guy named John from North Carolina.

As it turns out, John and I are in the same industry and I saw him at a trade show in Florida.

That's fucked up.

What's not fucked up is a girl punching me in the face.


Restraint is not correcting the English teacher's note and sending it back to her.

Don't be a lame ass turd

Listen. You've basically been a turd your whole life. You don't care for anyone but yourself.

Well, fucker, it's time to care about a cause.

No, not cancer.

I'm talking about Off, Off, Off Broadway. I'm talking about Mad Labs.

Mad Labs needs money. They are a bunch of poor acting fucks who think that someday they might make it as big as me. This money might help to cure them of that fantasy.

Go here and join their cause:

And yes, your person information will be used to sneak children out of China.

Return Envelope Surprise

On one of my last days at my old job, I was offered a look at one of our postage paid return envelopes that had been delivered back to our offices. Normally this envelope would be filled with very, very boring stuff.

Here is the envelope. Looks like the sender is a supporter of stopping breast cancer.

Here's the back. Puppy and kitten stickers!

And inside...

Good old American porn.

I have done similar things with obnoxious mailings from credit card companies, except normally I just take the stuff out of one credit card application and switch it with the stuff from another. This was genius.

And it was real porn. I just arranged the pages so the really good stuff was face down. And I did not get excited by the content. I just had to go pee right afterwards.

Hand Dryer Helpful Hints

Fuck1ng Pa$$word

At my previous place of employment, our credit card system required you to change your password every three months. Because I only accessed my credit card program once a month, it seem like I was changing it all the time. This made me very angry every time I had to think of a new password. Because I was accessing the program so infrequently, I would have to write the password down. So every third time I would cross off the old password and write the new password down.

Button Weed follow up

It turns out that there really is something called Buttonweed:

Button Weed

Call me a liar, but it's true... I don't smoke weed. It makes my hands feel big and my head thrums with every heartbeat. I just don't like it. I prefer a safer alternative, like alcohol. But I have some friends that like weed. This is a story about one time when my friend smoked button weed.

We had gone to Cleveland to visit friends. While there at my buddy's apartment, a few of his friends popped by. We were getting ready to head out to a concert/bar, when one of the chicks asked if anyone wanted to smoke some weed. A few did, so they stepped out back.

When they were done, we headed out to the show and then to a bar. All throughout the night, my stoned friend said nothing. He was really, really stoned. Once we were finally at the bar, I asked him when he was going to start speaking again. He said as soon as he remembered what vowels were. The next morning we questioned him as to why he was so stoned. He said that he didn't know and that it must have been the button weed.

I don't know about you, but I am not wise to the different kinds of weed out there. I know you can roll it or smoke it out of a pipe, but that's the extent of my knowledge. When he said "button weed" I assumed it was some type of potent, compressed weed that was in the shape of a button. A fabricated, easy to use portion that you might drop in a pipe or bong. An easy size to sell and transport. (This is starting to sound like a commercial.)

For the past two years, at times when people started talking about weed, I would bring up my friend and his experience with button weed. For some reason, button weed must be a Cleveland thing because no one had heard of it.

Last week found us back up in Cleveland for a less exciting trip. But the story about my friend being stoned came up again and the phrase button weed was mentioned. I remarked that the button weed must be a very regional drug because no one else had heard of it. My friends looked at me as if I was crazy. I explained what I thought button weed was... little, potent, button sized, compressed.

My friends laughed and laughed.

As it turns out, button weed was not used to describe what the weed was but rather what the girl kept it in: the little plastic bag that extra jacket buttons come in. She kept her weed in that bag and there were still some buttons in it with the weed. Button weed.

I'm an idiot.