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#occupysomethinguseful

October 28, 2011 4 comments

I dunno if you took the #PolloftheWeek this week (#shamelessplug), but I mentioned a few seasonal fast-food treats that have come back around recently. Jack in the Box has their patented Pumpkin Ice Cream Shake out nowadays as well as the Eggnog milk shake. By the way, why in the blue hell do we drink eggnog? I mean I love it, but there is something unsettling about drinking eggs, sugar, and milk—but that is a #HTFT for another day. Nevertheless, in the #PolloftheWeek (#whynot), I mentioned another famous treat, this one from the King of all Burger chains—you might call them THE Burger King—McDonalds (#diss): I mentioned the McRib. What a terrible idea this sandwich! I spoke to my friend @nickybanana (more formally known as Nicholas of the House of Plantain) who provided a description of the sandwich that went something like this: Step 1- Chew up some fresh pork rib meat; Step two- Instead of swallowing spit it out (#doubleentendre?); Step 3– Add some soy and shape like a boneless rack of ribs; Step IV- Slather in (Chicken Nugget) BBQ sauce and serve.

That’s gross. Now allow me to admit that I have never had the sandwich so as far as I know it could be great, but that would be like assuming that the seafood buffets in Vegas are fresh-caught (Where can you get shrimp in the desert?). But I am sure it as a meal has great value; it could be used for lots of things. One could add water and use it as the adhesive for a brick house. Maybe someone out there could rinse off the sauce, put a few pieces in an Easter egg and package it as “Silly Putty.” I have a great use for it that is proven effective: a launching pad. I mean, it is way too small to launch an airplane or a space shuttle, but it is just the right size to launch this episode of #Hashtagfairytales (#zing). That is right my friends, the McRib serves as a launching point for #HTFT because it was re-released this month and this week is the very special #TweetoftheMonth!

October 2011:

#Ranginalswin– As I noted in #obscurereference (#threeforthree), I don’t know much about baseball—or as I like to call it: Cricket with a little bit of defense. But I could not review October without mentioning the Major League Baseball World Series! The Texas Rangers going head to head with the St. Louis Cardinals! As of this writing, there is no winner…and I stayed up until the conclusion of game 6 (#whatagame). By the time you read this, there may be a winner, but as of now I can only say #Ranginalswin…or if you’re from Misery (or as it’s listed on most maps, Missouri) #Cardigerswin! I don’t know, we are running this series all 7 games and just for kicks and giggles I’ll call it for Texas only because that is where my family holds its roots (no Alex Haley jokes please). I apologize to both Astros fans that still exist, but I gotta call it for the Rangers.

#justwinbaby– I am from Oakland, California. Our sports teams are the Athletics, the Raiders, and the Warriors, so you’d think I’d be used to the idea of losing. But this month Oakland—and the world of football—lost something that cannot be regained: we lost an icon. Al Davis was the principal stakeholder and owner of the Oakland Raiders for many years and he served as an inspiration to lots of people inside and outside of the athletic world. You’ll remember that I wrote a post about Steve Jobs—who also passed this month. Al may not get a whole #HTFT post. He may not have had a biographer of founding fathers write his biography. Al may not be on the cover of Time, and he may not have a 60 Minutes episode, but Al Davis innovated quite a lot himself: hiring latinos, blacks, and ladyfolk in football was not done so much before Al Davis. I ended the post #SentFromMyiPad (#toomuch?) by urging all of the #hashheads to use the lives of great men and women for inspiration. Well, if you’re gonna use someone great for inspiration, #justwinbaby: Al Davis just might be your man.

#occupysomethinguseful– Hundreds of citizens nationwide have participated in protests from New York, to Atlanta, to San Francisco, to my home of Oakland, in what I call the #occupyamerica protests. It all started with #OccupyWallStreet; protesters upset at “re-distribution of wealth to the rich.” They say that wealth is cycled through the hands of the richest 1% of Americans while the 99% remain in the cycles of the middle class and impoverished. This of course is an oversimplified explanation, the other is long and complicated and can only be told with picket signs, tents, and hibachi grills. Yep, that’s right, we’ll have a camping party in front of City Hall, that will make the rich give us money (I’m looking at you #occupyoakland). This is all well and good and I am 100% for the right to protest and camp, but I’m not so sure it is a municipal problem; camp somewhere that matters. Camp outside of the Bank of America Regional Office in San Francisco; camp at the gulf where BP is going to restart drilling after a horrible spill; #occupysomethinguseful. On the other hand, Jean Quan and OPD: not cool (She knows what she did).

#waitwhat– This month had a few other things that I am not sure how to feel about, so I figure I’ll just dedicate a section called “#waitwhat?” So that Libyan dictator is dead? Wait, I thought that was Michael Jackson this whole time. Vain until the end, Moammar Gadhafi/Qaddafi/Gaddafi/Shyamalan was wearing a wig at the time of his death…after he was hiding in a hole. Who says I’m gonna hide in this hole, but first let me grab my wig. The death of the wicked is still sad to someone so I pray for those harmed and saddened, but this was a strange occurrence. Also, the NBA announced  the lockout. Yeah, that’s what we need, more rich people saying, “If I don’t get my way I’m taking my ball and going home.” (#literally) Oh, we need less jobs too, so thanks for that. Wait, they are taking jobs AND our mindless entertainment? Good call. Lastly, Rosie O’Donnell is on Television again. What the…how did anyone let that happen? Someone sadistic and maniacal must be behind this! Only someone with an evil mind would subject this country to…that again. Let’s ask the crack team of #HTFT fact-checkers…they tell me it was Oprah. Huh, so I was right. Sorry you all, The Rosie Show is on television and it looks like it’ll be here for a while. But I think this is appropriate, I began and ended this episode with ill-advisable, processed, meat!

TweetoftheMonth:

October2011: RIP Jobs & Davis; #occupyamerrica; iPhone 4S released; World Series; Gadhafi killed by rebels; No NBA and Mo Rosie O’Donnell.

(Pretty solid episode; even featuring inspiration…kinda like my former post #dreamon. Maybe this episode should have been titled #shamelessplug instead.)

#HTFTS- Let’s talk about…

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

I almost started out this short by pandering—nay groveling—to the #hashheads! I was going to talk about how great you guys are and how much I love you and all that kinda crap. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do love y’all and I really appreciate every single view, but I think it’s a bit dishonest to flatter you right before I ask for something. That’s right my little ones, I am going to ask you for something; but in typical Jacob C. Howard fashion, I have a small anecdote first.

#Hashtagfairytales is a place for you! I’ve said it before, but I’m not sure you all know how much I mean it. This blog is not mine; it’s yours. It’s as good as you allow it to be. Now, I say this not to shift blame if #HTFT starts getting sucky or boring, as a matter of fact this is a really sweet deal for you: If things are good here, it is your blog that you helped build, but if I do not post one week or if I fail to hold up my end, it’s completely my fault! Cool right? Now, having said that #HTFT is for you, I ask for one thing: #Engagement. I want your feedback. I want this to be a forum. Blogs have this stigma of being for or about the blogger and his/her ideas, but I hate that; I want your ideas here. You like a post? Tell me about it. You hate a post? Rip me to shreds in the comments section. You think I am a pretentious pompous poser? Don’t run away; say something—also, good use of alliteration. Comment on the posts (mine or guest posts); Take the #PolloftheWeek! I want to be better; I want #Hashtagfairytales to be better, and for that, I need your input!

Let’s talk about…anything.

(…and I mean anything!)

#lookatthetimes

October 21, 2011 4 comments

We are a fickle bunch us human beings. I’m not just referring to the fact that today is supposed to be the End of the World according to Harold Camping’s Family Radio (#howcouldiforget). Literally millions of people spent loads of money just this past week going out to buy the new iPhone 4S. Now don’t get me wrong, I was honored to proudly say #ThankYouSteve for all of his innovations, but seriously, we jump ship with the newest technology as though if we don’t it will somehow disappear. Actually, the exact opposite is true, when we fall in with the crowd following the latest craze; it is the old technology that has a tendency to vanish. Look at the cassette tape—that is, if you still have one to look at—the technology was abandoned with the advent of the Compact Disc (CD for those keeping track).

But we aren’t just fickle with technology; we are fickle with the words tied to them.  Language is a funny thing—I think it’s interesting at least; if I were smarter I’d go get a degree in linguistics. Americans are the worst with language too; we just stop using words if we think they’re too old. If the relationship between Americans and the English language were a romantic one, we would be a terrible suitor; we upgrade our language with any technological change. Look at Twitter: that used to be a word synonymous with flutter; and tweet was something that a bird did. One could not be said to be “googling” something before 1998, and a #hashhead would have been a completely different thing just 5 years ago. As for the cassette tape, word on the street (the digital internet street) is that “cassette tape” is being removed from the dictionary. Honestly, I never knew it was there; I was never in a position to need to define cassette tape. But this just goes to prove the theorem proposed by the late philosopher Bob Dylan (#notdeadyet): “The times, they are a changin’.”

My children will only know of a vinyl record because of me. My son will get all of his information about the “word processor” from dear old dad; I will be my daughter’s only source for personal info about radio drama/comedy shows. I have come to the realization that there will be many things that I grew up with that I will be hard-pressed to explain to generations that come after me. I don’t have any children yet and likely wont for years to come, but today on #Hashtagfairytales let us explore together the #TopTen items my children will not understand.

10. #lightbulbfresh: When little girls in my neighborhood gave me cookies, they were #lightbulbfresh. I’d love to say #ovenfresh, but they had their easy bake ovens. “Why would I make my own single serving dessert when I can have mommy buy one at Sprinkles, Teacake, or threeFifty Cakery?” In a world where I can go to a store and buy one cupcake, children will not be attracted to the easy bake oven, nor will they understand it.

9. #boredgame: “Wait a tick, so for hours people sat in the same room and moved game pieces on a flap of cardboard? Boring!” Why would a child from the year 2018 understand the concept of staying stationary while building relationships? They’ll play #WordsWithFriends” all day long and wonder why one would stop their day just to play a game.

8. #singingfrisbee: I thought I was so cool when I got my first CD player. “Wait dad, you carried a device that did nothing but play music? No games? No internet? Nothing? Well then a CD is just a #singingfrisbee*.” But it was fun buying blank CD’s, downloading music illegally on Napster, and then writing the song names around the rim of the disc with a Sharpie!

(*Reference to a Frisbee based on the assumption that children will in fact still play outdoors.)

7.  #wireless: My children will never use the phrase mobile phone; I almost doubt they’ll use the term cell phone. “So there was a time when you had to stay in one place to be on the phone?” Every phone will be a mobile phone. IF in fact landlines are still in use, even those are cordless more often than not. Along the same lines, I can nearly forget about convincing my children that cell phones had more than 4 buttons.

6. #blackbelt: My brother has a #blackbelt in American Karate, but that didn’t stop my grandmother from telling him to pull up his breeches. I grew up with the word, but my children will not understand what breeches are. Think about it, like I said, language is changing right along with the items and technology that were changing. “Whoa, so you didn’t have special pants for boots, or TOMS, or to have a loose fit?” If I wanted a “loose fit,” I bought a size larger.

5. #rasp-who-tin: I used to go to the Wearhouse to rent and buy movies and music. Wearhouse was great, it was like Rasputin, Blockbuster, and Gamestop rolled into one! “You can’t expect me to believe everytime you wanted to watch a movie or buy one song you had to leave your house…you couldn’t buy songs one by one unless they were special?!” I just blew my children’s mind. Why in the world would I leave home to buy music, much less pay for a whole album just for one or two good songs?

4. #alwayswearprotection: This is not a reference to contraceptives, if it were, how would I get children in the first place? I mean a pocket protector. This item was once associated with innovation and preparedness, is currently associated with geekiness, and will one day be associated with the comedy of Carrot Top (#irrelevant). “Why did people carry pens in the first pl…wait you don’t mean like a stylus or something do you?” Sure, my kids’ll use pens, but they’ll hardly carry them around on their person; if they need to jot down a note they will say it to their assistant Siri…or Siri’s technological offspring.

3. #lookatthetimes: The international sign for the question “What time is it?” is pointing to one’s wrist; the international answer is reaching for ones cell phone to answer the question. My children will likely wear wristwatches, but they will do so to accessorize. “You used these to tell time? But you just set them yourself, how did you know it was accurate? What do you mean you called popcorn? That doesn’t even make sense.”

2. #wehadababyitsaboy: I’m convinced that the precursor to the #hashtag was the smashup message of the free Collect call. No one wanted to pay for a quick call from a pay phone so they would cheat the system. “So not only did you have to stay in the same place to talk on the phone, but you were paying for each call one by one?” In this time where unlimited plans run rampant, it’s even hard for me to believe that my grandmother told me to always carry a quarter just in case I needed to call someone.

1. #iStayconnected: We rarely need to log in. Unless at a computer that is not our own, we need not enter a username and password for many websites. Hell, our devices can “Autofill” our address and credit card number if we want, we sometimes choose not to because we fear hackers, but we don’t have to log in. “You mean to say that you entered a username and password every single time you wanted to see an email or check your Blick…You guys didn’t have Blick accounts? What’d you use to share pictures and your daily log?” That’s right; they won’t know much about Facebook either.

Friends, when we have children—I mean you and I respectively, not together…unless you’re into that—let us strive to help them transcend the technology and culture around them; they—and our future—are worth it.

(Can you name other devices that will go the way of the cassette tape?)

(Also, did anyone else start to feel like you were in an episode of #HowIMetYourMother?)

#inthenude

October 14, 2011 17 comments

(Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the very first #Hashtagfairytales Guest Post! This is the thing I was so excited about. Today’s Guest Post was written by Sick Boy McCoy of Bad Blood Bandits. Enjoy [that’s an order].)

Alright people don’t panic. It’s true, this post of #Hashtagfairytales is not written by the one and only what-his-nuts-that-publishes-this-blog but that doesn’t mean it’s not a #Hashtagfairytales approved articles so sit your happy little a$$ down and read the damn article.

Jacob C. Howard approves this message

Before I begin let me first apologize to all soon to be blind people and children.

So if ya know me (and by “me” I’m referring to Sick Boy McCoy over at Bad Blood Bandits) you’ve probably heard me say the phrase #ihaveatheory which is somewhat related to “Sick Boy’s Unifying Theory of Life” (#explicitwarning*) however mine are not always related to the great Sean Connery (#greatestbondever)

Let me begin this theory by posing a question: why the bloody hell do we WANT to see people naked?  For those of you who have seen naked people I’m sure you can agree that humans are not attractive people with their clothes off (and for those of you that haven’t, how do you live without a mirror?). I mean most of us aren’t attractive even with our clothes on. So what gives? Take any well-known, moderately attractive celebrity like a Kardashian; type only their name in a search engine and let it provide popular searches including that name. I bet you everything in my bank account that one of them is “nude”, “naked” “hot” or “sex tape.”

I wouldn’t have any bets. And if I lost, congratulations, you now have enough to buy a soda pop; #maybe (of course it doesn’t hurt if your celebrity has a pimp for a mother, severe daddy issues, and an affinity for marginal celebrities with huge…egos).

Why is that? Why do we want to see anyone naked? I mean, besides that primal urge, for whatever reason to see some normally hidden anatomy there’s really not a whole lot of incentive. Think about that for a second: it takes something as strong as the urge to reproduce for us to bring it upon ourselves to stomach the sight of another human being #aunaturál

So, if you havent heard, #ihaveatheory and my theory is this: the reason we want to see our significant other in their #birthdaysuit is because then we see them for who they really are: ugly. Nakedness is not pretty people. We are ugly. That’s why we put clothes on. There’s a reason Adam and Eve clothed themselves when they finally figured out their wedding tackle was showin.

#pause

I can just hear all the dedicated Oprah fans out there saying “I AM beautiful! Inside and out!!!

Naw kid, ya ain’t.

The only semblance of beauty we have is what we reflect of Christ. Anything other than that is a ghost; that something you can barely remember that’s on the tip of your tongue and you go your whole day trying to remember it. We pretend to be beautiful but we get caught up so much in the pretense that it actually becomes attractive for us to see the genuine article.

(#commercialbreak)

At this point, I’d like to give a #shoutout to my girl Flannery O’Connor who has made this post possible. All yous mugs need to go out and read “The Enduring Chill”…

…after the blog is over.

(#backtoyourscheduledprogramming)

So I may contradict myself here but the point I’m trying to make is that nakedness isn’t about beauty right away. It takes a couple steps to get there. To be #inthenude is about honesty, pure honesty, and to be honest is to unashamedly present the truth in all its glory and inglory. I’ve heard it said that “Art is about beauty and therefore it is about truth” (Francis Ford Coppola ) and it goes the other way: nakedness is about truth and therefore it is beautiful.

(Sick Boy Note: I still didn’t say YOU were beautiful, I said NAKEDNESS is beautiful. If you want a self-esteem boost go help an old lady cross the street)

(JCH: Wow, I didn’t know there’d be nudity! Next thing you know there’ll be comic book characters running around here)

HTFTS-What the…?

October 11, 2011 2 comments

Welcome one and all to the very first #HTFTS! You may be wondering what an #HTFTS is. You may be wondering what a brand-spanking-new published piece is doing here on a Tuesday instead of a Friday. You may be wondering why Rosie O’Donnell is on television again. I have a very good answer for the first two and a sincere cringe for the last: #HTFTS stands for #Hashtagfairytaleshort; an #HTFTS will be a short condensed post with a bit less to it, no full articles here, just a short post. Why is it here on a Tuesday? Why not? An #HTFTS is a post of its own kind, it follows no rules and is no tame post (It’s like the Aslan of posts [#istayinnarnia]). The #HTFTS posts roam where they please; they can show up anywhere and anytime! This is a totally original, unheard of, and unorthodox idea! If you think that the #HTFTS is inspired by Jon Acuff’s SCLQ (Stuff Christians Like Quick) posts, you are sadly mistaken, he probably got the idea from me…which is totally plausible if Acuff has a time machine.

This #HTFTS is meant as a special treat to the faithful #hashheads! This blog is for you guys, like I said, without you these are just meaningless words floating through the electronic internet ether, so thank you! Also there is another special something for you all this Friday just waiting in the wings! I am so excited and cannot wait for Friday; I really hope you dig it! Look at me, I sound like a giddy little school girl (no offense to the PADGLSG society [People Against the Defamation of Giddy Little School Girls]).

Thanks for reading the very first #HTFTS! The first of what I hope will be many more!

(Let the record show: #hashheads are the very best internet fans out there!)

(Take THAT Lady Gaga and “little monsters”)

#SentFromMyiPad

October 7, 2011 4 comments

Steve Jobs was just one man. He was not “a god amongst men.” He was a hard-working son-of-a-gun. He was intelligent. He was innovative; and by God he was a dreamer. I do not by any stretch intend to make Steve Jobs out to be a saint or a Messiah figure, but as a human being and a dreamer I hold nothing but a high respect and honor for the man. He could not heal the sick or raise the dead, but he could innovate technology and place an indelible imprint on a generation of young people. As I use my iPad to produce this episode of #Hashtagfairytales in its entirety—the very same device I mocked for its name that is reminiscent of a feminine hygiene product—I can only hope that my dreams can leave half as great an impression on even a fraction of the people as Steve Jobs.

Did Jobs invent the computer, mp3 player, phone, or tablet? Certainly not, but life as we know it—I believe—would be different without him. I personally would say that had he not pushed his staff and company it would not have pressed the industry to move as quickly. Would we have the tablet computer and the touch screen phone? Of course, but would we have the technology at this particular time? Perhaps not. Would not Bill Gates still innovate if not for Steve Jobs? He sure would, but a good bit of competition pushes people, and I would say that Bill Gates—while an immensely brilliant mind in his own right—would not have had a reason to push for advances in the field if he had no competition. Think of it as a veritable WCW/WWF(E) rivalry (#MondayNightWars). Would #Hashtagfairytales still exist if Jobs had not invented and innovated? I would hope so, but I doubt it would be as easy to publish, promote, and read. Would the Kardashians be as annoying? Yes.

#Hashheads, this week a handful of family, close friends, and colleagues were saddened by the loss of a great man, but a generation or two of people were forced to reflect on the impact of this same man. Let us not dramatize and thus belittle the loss of this man by saying that we all shed a tear or that all Apple users ought to buy the iPhone 4S if only to honor this great man, that is no way to honor him. Did any of us learn of the lightbulb and then cry when we found out Edison was dead? (#rhetoricalquestion) Did anybody learn of Henry Ford in their high school and then when they got to his death decide that they absolutely needed a Mustang? How about Michelangelo or Da Vinci? The Wright brothers? Marie Curie? Johannes Gutenberg? Vince MacMahon Sr.? Wolfgang Mozart? Jim Cornette? Susan B. Anthony? Paul Newman? Karl Marx? Isaac Newton? Harriet Tubman? Charles Spurgeon? John Locke? Dolores Huerta? These people contributed greatly to where we are today; some culturally, some technologically, some philosophically. I urge you my friends, to find an aspect of life not influenced by one of these individuals.

Steve Jobs ought to not be worshipped, he ought to be looked at as an inspiration. One thing that drove Jobs—according to his own admission—was the knowledge of his mortality. He knew he was going to die, and this is part of what fueled him toward success. “It is man’s destiny to die.” That’s in the Biblical book of Hebrews and all over Ecclesiastes. We can mope and mourn because of it, we can marvel over the life of another, or we can take inspiration from those who have come before us. If you are going to be moved by Steve Jobs, be moved by his life, not his death.

Friends, let us take inspiration from the life of this great and intelligent man. In his commencement address to the #StanfordUniversity class of 2005, Steve Jobs highlighted his mortality and inspired all in the same speech, let us take note. He said,

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

I am hungry! I am as foolish as they come. There is nothing to lose my friends. Life is short, do what you love, follow your heart, live your dreams. I wish no less for you and I expect no less from myself. Take risks. Live in full knowledge that you will die. Live using great men and women for inspiration. The next Steve Jobs is among us. The next Steve Jobs may be reading this. Use the great brilliance of great people to drive what you do daily. When you do, remember to say #ThankYouSteve.

#SentFromMyiPad

(Look for great people to look up to and remember: “Accomplishment comes from within.”)

Btw, if you are using an #Apple device to access this, if you don’t mind, go on and leave a comment…also, leave a comment if you aren’t using an #Apple device.