Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Lying Sack of Treadmills

I wish the treadmill wasn't a goddamn liar. Alright, lemme start over. These days, I'll take praise wherever I can get it, which is why when a treadmill tells me "Great Work!" I like to think I can believe it. But no, I can't. So again: I wish the treadmill wasn't a goddamn liar.

Here's what happened. I had just finished running for an hour at the gym. I had long ago soaked through my shirt, so my sweat had progressed down to my shorts--that's how I know I've really put in a solid effort, when I end up looking like an extra in The Impossible (oo, topical!). It doesn't help any that the little treadmill fans are the rice cakes of the fan world--a nice idea, but entirely function-less and always breaking. The air comes out of the vents like an eighty-nine year old man trying to quietly blow out his birthday candles. And failing. A few months back, when my gym asked what I thought needed improvement I wrote loudly, "MORE FANS, PLEASE!" Instead, they replaced half the treadmills with newer models which no longer had fans on them and then raised everyone's membership $1.95/mo. Touche.

This is all to say that I really HAD done some "Great Work!" on the treadmill. I'd run over six miles, had burned just under one-thousand calories, and despite my soggy everything, I felt the treadmill and I had bonded during our time together, so I appreciated the parting praise. I went to get some paper towels and disinfectant to wipe down the machine and when I returned, some dude had already hopped on the treadmill and had started walking. "Oh, sorry, I can wipe that down for you," I said, because I'm a classy motherfucker and also because the treadmill looked like a Rorschach test of my perspiration. "Oh, sure, thanks, sorry!" the guy said and hit the stop button. I stepped up to wipe off the screen and noticed four things: ":47 seconds," ".03 miles," "4 calories," and taunting me across the top, the words "Great Work!"

But that is not great work, is it? No. It is not. It is not great work at all. It is bullshit.

I'd been had.

When you're condescended and lied to by a machine, it really makes you take a step back and put things in perspective. Like maybe you shouldn't be putting quite so much weight on treadmill-based achievements. At the very least, maybe you shouldn't be pleased by a pre-programmed assortment of LED lights intended to motivate each and every person who sets foot on said treadmill. Machines are not people (except for Johnny Five who was more human than any of us will ever be). Perhaps, one should put more stock in human-based feedback, and put more energy towards actual achievements. Like writing more than two blog posts a month for a bunch of readers who have been reading crap like this for over six years.

Then again, I really think I can impress that treadmill. So, we'll have to wait and see.

I Bet Pro Athletes Slap Each Other On the Ass and Wink So They Know That They Mean It, Like, "Great Work," Wink, Smack, "Yep, He Meant It," Because That's a Lotta Effort and Ass Play for a Lie,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Witz Pickz: The Failbag

Since I don't get any real reader emails, I decided it would be a good idea to start posting the occasional "mailbag" of responses to spam comments which I receive on a daily basis. All links have been removed so spam doesn't win. I present you with: The Failbag.

In response to "What the F*ck are Silly Bandz"
First of all I want to say great blog! I had a quick question that I'd like to ask if you don't mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I've had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Appreciate it! My web site - Cheap Fish Food 

Great questions--and while I don't own a fish, you should know that if I did, I'd be in favor of not-expensive food for it! If I knew how to clear my head, I wouldn't be writing about Silly Bandz and Premium Rush, I'd be a functioning adult and have far more important things going on. My suggestion would be to write for more than 10-15 minutes. That's a super short amount of time. I've spent more time than that deciding which brand of bread to buy at the grocery store. I've spent more time than that sitting on the toilet, figuring out IF I even had to poop. You get my point. If you need ideas, do what I do and embarrass yourself in public and then tell everyone about it. Or, get way angry at inane, un-important things and really let it get to you. Let fester for about 24-48 hours, then vent! Your writing should start flowing in no time. 

In response to "Standard Treadmill Procedure"
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Most of my spare time is spent entering "One of the Greatest Websites on the Net" contests! Unfortunately, no matter how well written or insightful a blog post is, nothing can hold a candle to pictures and videos of inter-species animal friends. Rabbit and cats cuddling? Monkey riding a dog? A blind horse with a seeing-eye goat? Nothing beats that. 

In response to "What the F*ck are Silly Bandz"
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That seems unlikely! The only thing that's touched all the internet people is Tom from Myspace and now he's in jail for a long, long time.  

 In response to "Revolutionary Condoms"
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I know it must seem like there's a huge staff working here at Witz Pickz, what with the 14 posts in 2012 and all, but in actuality, it's just me! Regardless, I'm glad you found my condom arguments pleasant, and didn't mind the slight ribbing they included--they were ultimately for your pleasure. For added enjoyment, I suggest drinking some alcohols or smoking some drugs before reading more posts. This will numb you and make the experience last longer. Thanks for your comment and good luck with your naked teens!

In response to "Revolutionary Condoms"
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Just to clarify for anyone new to the site, he was scared to write because he knows about my well-documented hatred for Porter, Texas. And you were right to be scared, anonymous reader. While I appreciate the compliments and will probably begrudgingly visit your site at some point, you should know better than to stick your head up from the sands along I-69, just outside of Houston. You're not half the town New Caney is to your north, nor Kingwood to your south. Your estimated population of 25,627 disgusts me! You think you're sooooo high and mighty since the Texas Education Agency rated your school district as "recognized" in 2009! You can't even "recognize" that that's a shitty rating. And it's always Robert Crippin this and Robert Crippin that with you people. WE GET IT--he was the pilot of the first orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle program and was the commander of three additional shuttle flights. And he grew up in Porter. Shut up about it! Why can't you just hurry up and be a ghost town like your Montgomery County brethren, Esperanza, Texas?? Ugh, and don't even get me started on Yancy Road. Also, check back soon for more posts!
In response to "Paul Ryan's Playlist"
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......That was weird okay thanks keep reading!

In response to "Reynolds Parchment Paper"
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Yes. YES. Thank you for finally saying it. Some people turn to Wikipedia for answers, but there are other sites out there and I wish more people would realize that. I set out to write the definitive article on Reynolds parchment paper and I fucking nailed it. People said it couldn't be done--that it HAD been discussed for decades and there was nothing left worth mentioning. Well, haters, whattya think now? Just because support came from what I can only assume is the host of an Italian oral sex porn pic site doesn't make it any less relevant or true. Boom. "I did that."

In response to "The XXX Olympic Games"
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What can I say to that, really, beyond simply that it is an honor to be your peer and I look forward to seeing how we change the world together.

In response to "Threat of Death (But Not Death)"
It's such a tickety-boo site. fanciful, quite stimulating!!

You have no idea how long I've been waiting for somebody to say that. Witz Pickz has been called glammer-flan and giggity-spoon, and even rascal-munch once, but never the coveted tickety-boo. I'm so glad you enjoy it.*

In response to "The Comfort Wipe"
It is rather interesting for me to read this post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon. 

"Shit" yeah (see what I did there)! I can't take too much credit as the Comfort Wipe is an interesting product and the post basically wrote itself. I'll try and write more about related themes and items, which, just to make sure we're on the same page, means butts, right? Butts, toilet paper, old age, obesity, and possibly even those tennis ball thrower things that people use with dogs

Please send questions or comments for future "Failbags" to! They can be about a post, about something completely unrelated, or really anything you want me to respond to.

It Took Me Seven Years to Come Up With That,

*Spell-check has no problem with "rascal-munch." 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Witz Flix: Premium Rush

I can't think of any better way to zoom into 2013 here on Witz Pickz than to post about the most hipster-sounding flick of all time. In Premium Rush, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a bike messenger in NYC who feels the need for relatively high speed. From what I understand, he and his fixie are chased all over town by some bad guy because of a package he is attempting to deliver.

I know. I'm excited, too.

Premium Rush is available to watch instantly on or stream it for free at

1 min: Uh-oh. The movie kicks off with "Baba O'Riley" (Teenage Wasteland), the best movie-soundtrack song ever, while a slow-motion Joseph Gordon-Levitt flies through the air like his kick just snapped him back from a dream. Wasting no time, the title "PREMIUM RUSH" hits the screen the same moment JGL hits the ground. This poses the main question of the film: What if I like Premium Rush??

2 min: The time is 6:33pm, but don't get too attached, because we're about to get the high-octane thrill of a non-linear narrative. Back to 5:00pm.

3 min: "Fixed gear, steel frame, no brakes; the bike cannot coast. The pedals never stop turning. Can't stop. Don't want to, either." Even one-nutted Lance Armstrong just went from six to midnight.

4 min: I mean, personally, I have a nice little 12-speeder with a gel-cushion seat popped on there for my man-bits, but to each his own.

5 min: Oh snap! Manny jumped his route! That means this other messenger picked up a package and did JGL's work for him because he got there first and it was convenient for both of them! Don't you just hate it when a co-worker does work for you?? JGL does--he is livid.

6 min: Biking-through-traffic porn. Everyone on the road's like, "I didn't see that coming!"

7 min: Vanessa is the messenger girl he's dating or possibly not dating because she's angry at him. I don't know if this matters.

8 min: Aasif Mandvi plays the dispatch person at the bike office. A job gets called in and he gives it to JGL, adding, "Don't screw it up, it's premium rush," and I swear to you I cannot tell if he means the type of delivery or the film in general.

9 min: More cycling porn. Joseph Gordon-Levitt would have all his Tour de France victories stripped because this guy is DOPE.

11 min: Picks up a letter at Columbia University which has to be delivered in 90 minutes to Chinatown. I can't stress enough right now how easily this could be achieved by hopping on the subway.

(Just take the 1 or walk over to the C train, dawg!)

12 min: Ok, so the important part is probably where the super-religious ATF agent from Boardwalk Empire (crickets?) tries to get the letter back from JGL before he leaves campus. But what I WANT to tell you is that JGL refers to a burrito as an "urban food log." The guy threatens him, to which JGL replies, "Hold my log," and pedals away before the guy can do anything. The guy's left holding JGL's big metaphorical dick in his hands.

15 min: Car chasing bicycle. It's...less than thrilling. I also skipped over 3 minutes of painful exposition which mostly revealed JGL's intense dislike of brakes.

16 min: SALMON!!!! That's the word my buddy told me to call someone riding the wrong way on a one-way street. If you guessed JGL might do that in this movie, give yourself a pat on the back.

18 min: There's about a 50/50 chance I finish this movie.

19 min: Lincoln would have been happy to get shot before this movie ended.

20 min: The producers must have shat a Brick when they saw how bad the box office was for this.

22 min: WhoooOOOoaaaAAAAhhhhHHH! Get ready adrenaline junkies, we just got transported from 5:47pm to 3:27pm!

25 min: There comes a time in every man's life when he has to admit that he no longer understands the plot of Premium Rush. I'll try and catch you up: the bad guy is a cop who is way into pai gow and is also bad at it so he owes a lot of money. In order to get even with the gambling guys, he's told he can steal a "ticket" from somewhere which is worth $50,000. I'm assuming this ticket is in the letter which JGL has, but since my game is mahjong, I'm kind of at a Stop-Loss here.

30 min: JGL's neck is the only proof I need that Brontosauruses existed. 

34 min: Ya know what band this kid would really hate? Brakes Brakes Brakes. (That joke would be better if that band had been more successful.)

39 min: A lot's going down in Chinatown. Also, did you know that they have full-size versions of those tiny umbrellas that go into drinks?? Okay, anyway, earlier in the day, the girl JGL got the letter from, who is roommates with that Vanessa girl, dropped off a lot of money with a dude in Chinatown who then gave her a ticket to a movie which is the same ticket which JGL is carrying and the cop is trying to steal. So, it's kind of like a claim ticket?

41 min: Unfathomable. After starting the conversation in English, the old man and the girl converse in Chinese for literally 1 minute and 40 seconds. Don't get cute, Premium Rush. (Side note: this scene is what it's gonna be like all the time if we keep borrowing money from China.)

45 min: This whole movie is like one giant ad for UPS.

47 min: JGL returns the letter to Columbia, but drops it at the front desk instead of giving it directly to the girl. When she goes to get it, Manny had already picked it up again, with it now going to the new address called in by the cop.

This is not entirely unlike how Em-Dash had to race all around NYC trying to track down her package which was delivered to the wrong address after Hurricane Sandy, and instead of helping her get the package in time, they sent it back to Tennessee. Excellent work, guys.

48 min: When pushed for information, the girl tells him that the money is for an importer to smuggle her son into the country. Only makin' good decisions, this girl...

52 min: Thanks to the highly competitive world of bike-messenger delivery-ing, a simple solution has turned into a street race. Manny has the letter and is racing JGL for it. I just need to say one more time that none of this would  have happened if they had just TAKEN THE SUBWAY!

53 min: Ohhhhh! Vanessa just wiped out on her bike and then ripped off her busted brakes when she got back on. As JGL said earlier: "Brakes equal death!" It's go time!

54 min: I bet the USPS saw this and was like, "Great! Juuuuuuust great! Now we look like a bunch of pussies!"

55 min: "I'm in your draft, dude! It's like you're on my team!" Hahaha...just some cycling humor they worked in for the true fans.

56 min: Oooo, JGL emerging from a cloud of smoke on the street--you can feel the director being proud of that one.

57 min: CALVES! AM I RIGHT?!

59 min: After all that, they basically tied in the race. A bike cop tackled Manny, the bad cop was waiting there for the ticket, but then Vanessa snagged Manny's bag, gave it to JGL, and they rode away while evading cops in cars.

60 min: Just in case I don't get a chance to mention this later: FUCK CRITICAL MASS.

61 min: ...Aaaaand we're back to the opening scene! Motherf#&er got hit by a motherf*ing taxi! Where are those whistling blue birds now, ya sad sap son of a bitch?

63 min: JGL is in the ambulance with the bad cop. The cop pokes JGL's broken ribs until he agrees to give him the letter (which has since been hidden in the handlebars of his bike). The bike is back at the impound lot so they all head there.

69 min: I just realized I have no idea how important spokes are on a bike. JGL gets to his bike, but all the spokeses are brokeses. Is this a problem?

70 min: It is! Vanessa snuck into the lot, so they both sneak around and JGL sees another bike. "I'm gonna shred the living shit outta that thing," he announces not creepily.

72 min: Friggin' X Games NYC up in here. They both waste my time pulling tricks around the impound lot and then escape. 

74 min: This movie coulda been 100 times better if it was a buddy flick with French Stewart.

75 min: Vanessa calls in a "flash mob." This is no time for spontaneous choreographed song and dance! Even if it is delightful!

77 min: Oh, a flash mob is like the Bat-signal for bike messengers. Hey, by the way--is JGL gonna be the next Batman?? Nevermind, nevermind, ok, so all the bikers show up and ride around the bad cop, hitting him and tripping him, etc, etc. I think it's worth pointing out that while this cop is trying to steal this ticket, he's still A COP and they are all assaulting an officer who has a gun. This is what I'm saying about Critical Mass! It's like, I get it, you like bikes, but laws are laws, people, even when you have one pant leg rolled up!

78 min: Are gloves without fingers cheaper?

79 min: Ya know, despite all the shit I've been talking, bike messengers might be the way to go. Thanks to other modes of delivery, I have had two Netflix DVDs, a "Free Tim Riggins" t-shirt, a check, a VGA-to-HDMI cable, and the special edition DVD of Forgetting Sarah Marshall go missing in the mail. But my dinner always shows up at the right place within 45 minutes when the delivery guy rides it over on his bike...

80 min: Oh, right. The ticket gets delivered, the bad cop gets shot by the Chinese guys, and the kid is smuggled out of China. "Baba O'Riley" starts playing again, but this time I'm a little older, a little wiser, and a little more cynical. You can't just bookend 80 minutes of bike-messenger action between the greatest of The Who songs and expect it to work. People are gonna--seventy-six on rotten tomatoes!? Seventy-six! That is higher than The Hobbit and Les Miserables, and ties it with Flight. Seventy-six. Great work, humanity. Great work.

I Can't Believe I Didn't Get to Work In a Peloton Joke,