Thanksgiving is a time of family, friends and food for most people. For us here at the Filak Farm, it’s “At least we didn’t end up going to the emergency room this year,” kind of day. Not to get too deep into the details of weirdness for us here, but let’s just say my Boy Scout training came in really handy this year and that burning plastic smells terrible.
Since leftovers are the course du jour these days, here are a few bits and bites from the past couple weeks.
From the “Know Your Audience” department:
We were supposed to have Thanksgiving dinner with my brother-in-law’s family, but the kids all came down with some sort of strange virus at the last minute. I called my mom to see if we could slide in by her house, and she and dad were overjoyed at having us.
I felt bad that we were basically doubling the number of people who were coming to dinner, and told mom that I was worried we’d make it so she wouldn’t have enough food.
She admonished me in the best way possible: “Vincent, get real. We’re Polish.”
And then I remembered our family motto: “If you leave a party we throw and you’re hungry or sober, that’s your fault.”
After all were fed to bursting, everyone still had leftovers to take home and mom basically filled her fridge as well.
It was a good reminder to remember my audience.
Speaking of which…
From the “Oh, buddy, did you knock on the wrong door” department:
I get that when you’re trying to launch some quasi-innovative project, you tend to blanket email everyone with your “special TV offer,” but when I got this one, I just had to laugh:
Let’s have fun with this:
- Telling a textbook author that people find textbooks “expensive, bloated, and unengaging” has the same internal logic of telling someone you meet at the bar, “Damn, are you ugly! Wanna dance?”
- I went to find this company’s “proven track record” of doing what it says it does. It’s a pretty short record and a pretty short track.
- The bolding and underlining of one line really brings home the point that he’s not trying to sell me a textbook. I would really hope not, given his assessment of textbooks. This has the same internal logic of when you’re eating with someone and they say, “Dear GOD, this tastes terrible! Here, you try it…”
- Spoiler alert: I did not sign up for my introductory meeting. Go figure.
This wasn’t the first time we covered something like this on the blog, but it bears repeating: Know your audience before you pitch something to the folks in it.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream-related litigation
If you want to find an amazing story that goes way, way, way down the rabbit hole of the quest to get McDonald’s to have functional ice cream machines, here’s a piece from Wired that is truly amazing.
The author goes digs deep into court documents regarding an ongoing battle between a tiny startup company, a soft-serve-machine manufacturer and the fast-food giant itself over who can tell franchisees how to fix an ice cream machine. It also digs into potential corporate espionage:
Now the discovery documents from Kytch’s lawsuit seem to confirm Taylor’s specific attempts to replicate Kytch’s features, contradicting a statement it sent to WIRED in March that claimed that “Taylor has not imitated Kytch’s device and would have no desire to do so.” They show that in a May 2019 email, Taylor vice president of engineering Jim Minard—since promoted to chief operating officer—asked another Taylor staffer to “please buy a [Kytch] kit and provide me a written evaluation on the hardware and software.” Minard added in the email, “Seems we might be missing something in our approach to our connected equipment.”
Yet one more good reason to stick with Culver’s Custard.
For your “reading pleasure”
While in an Arizona bookstore a couple weeks back, I came across a book that warmed my heart:
I’m a huge fan of properly executed partial quotes, which is why it drives me batty when people use them in the dumbest possible way. Bethany Keeley’s collection of misused quotation marks is a total keeper, and still available on Amazon.
From the “Do you know your ass from a plant in the ground?” department:
A student from my Mizzou days posted this notice about her work as a copy editor:
In case you’re not quite clear on this, here’s a quick John Oliver segment to help you out…
Good luck on your run to the finish line of the semester.
See you tomorrow.
Vince (a.k.a. The Doctor of Paper)