Depend on the Meaning of “Independent”

The New York Times has taken to advertising to me on Facebook.

One of the largest papers in the country is not exactly what I would call “independent” journalism. I’m not even sure who would be “dependent” journalists would depend upon in this formulation if not a full-time job with a prestigious newspaper.

Also, “Every Fact. Every story.” oversells what the paper actually delivers.

Speaking of Civ IV

I mentioned two weeks ago about how a post about Civ IV appeared on my Facebook Memories feed.

Last night, I found an ad for it in a comic book that also has ads for Age of Empires III and other video games.

Were video games the last things along with movies and television shows to advertise in comics? I’ll have a definitive answer for the state of the industry in 2019 sometime in 2022, when the comic books of 2019 are marked a dollar somewhere.

You Do Have To Show Them The Way

The Bank of Missouri has a series of ads with bankers inserted into various situations to illustrate that they’re more than bankers. They’re part of your community or something. One depicts a banker holding a fire hose along with the firefighters. So I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be all metaphor or not.

But this one spoke to me:

The banker is not awarding the kid first base for a walk. The banker is reminding the kid to go to first base.

Friends, with the young ones, this is often the case.

As I mentioned, I coached a little league team for a season, and I was the loud coach. I cheered for all the boys, and I shouted instructions all the time.

One of the most common instructions was “Run, run, run!” which I shouted when the batter made contact with the ball. Otherwise, the youngsters were prone to gape in wonder at what they’d done and to get thrown out or tagged out easily.

Hey, I know the feeling. I had the same reaction the first time I made contact with the ball in a league softball game. Although I was nineteen at the time. And this occurred a couple of minutes before I took a fly ball to the face resulting in an ambulance ride and my getting thrown out of the league because I was an injury risk. But just so.

My second most-shouted instruction was “Get it! Get it! Get it!” when an opposing batter made contact with the ball. Because they would often stand agape at that turn of events as well.

I don’t know how many of those kids benefited from my volume, but if none of them did, I must attribute it to the fact that I did not wear a suit with a green tie that is visible from space. Clearly, I was not taking it seriously. Why should they?

In Case You Have To Round Kick Zdeno Chara

An ad for a smoothie shows a woman throwing a round kick (or a whip/hook kick, depending upon the way she swung her leg) way above her head:

I don’t know who she would kick that would be that tall. Zdeno Chara, the 6′ 9″ defenseman for the Boston Bruins?

One of the knocks on tae kwon do is that its focus on forms and pretty kicks doesn’t have real-world applications. However, kicks like this do demonstrate flexibility and body control which come in handy when you kick like that a little lower.

Full disclosure: The school where I study martial arts blends tae kwon do kicking in with other martial arts. And although I can round kick head high, I cannot round kick (or whip/hook kick) Zdeno Chara in the head.

Mr. Keith Begs To Differ

An ad on my Facebook feed makes an assertion that country music science does not support.

The ad:

The study that refutes it:

Why this ad appeared on my Facebook feed, though, I have no idea. One would expect with all the data that Facebook harvests from me that they would know we don’t host many gatherings here at Nogglestead.

We still have blue and orange disposable cups from my oldest child’s fifth birthday party, almost eight years ago. The bags are gone, though, so I could not tell you if they were Solo or Hefty in nature.

Facebook’s Ad Merge Does Not Know Much About Packers Fans

Bud Light is brewed for friends, football, and Packers fans.

Packers fans do not drink Bud Light.

Or perhaps it is a slam against the Packers fans, since the inclusion of Packers fans in the list might indicate that the copywriter thought that that particular class was not included in friends or football.

But you really cannot get more insulting than showing me a Bud Light ad anyway, particularly the offshoots of the “Dilly, dilly” nonsense where it’s brewed for the many, not the discriminating few. Some ad agency needs to be fired over that.

Is That The Look You Want?

Here’s the new Sam’s Club eyewear ad that Facebook is presenting me because I am squinting in all of it surrepetitious photographs it takes of me in my natural surroundings to better serve me with relevant and interesting advertisements. Little does Facebook know, I only do this to look tough. And, well, to sharpen things up a little bit because I’m probably do for a LASIK touch-up after fourteen years.

But back to the advertisement:

Where have I seen that guy before? Oh, yeah, Revenge of the Nerds:

I spent much of my youth and thousands of dollars in LASIK surgery trying to escape that look, thanks.

Although, on the other hand, Lewis did get the girl, and the actor Robert Carradine has ridden the look and the nerd schtick even into the modern day with the game show The King of the Nerds (and by modern day, I mean a couple years ago, where the ads for this television show heavily populate the comic books I’m reading from that era).

Strangely, Star Trek Didn’t Seem Creepy

On Monday, my son and I had a little time to kill before a meeting, so we stopped in at a small grocery store in Republic, hoping to use the bathroom and to pick up a couple of things that were on the whiteboard on the refrigerator as things to pick up at the grocery.

Strangely, the store had neither orzo or Advil gel caps in stock, so I stopped at the service desk and bought a couple lottery tickets. I explained to my son, who balked because buying lottery tickets was a waste of money since you have no chance to win, that the difference between no chance with no tickets and an infinitesimal chance because you have one lottery ticket is completely different (left unsaid that buying a second ticket, now that is a waste of money). Also, I explained to him the important rule that, if you use the bathroom in a business, you have to buy something.

Suddenly, Facebook is showing me Missouri Lottery ads.

This is very interesting timing, especially since:

  • I paid cash because you cannot use a credit card on it. So there’s no electronic transaction tying my personal identifying information to the purchase.
  • I don’t have Facebook installed on my phone. I mean, I did, but I removed it. Or did I?

So how did Facebook know I bought lottery tickets this week? Science! Of some dark sort. Or luck.

I haven’t checked the numbers yet because I’m lazy about that sort of thing, not the sort of person to watch them as they’re announced on television.

But Facebook has not started showing me ads for really expensive things, so that probably indicates that I didn’t win. Again.

You’re Doing It Wrong

I have no idea what an Axis Strength Trainer is, but I can tell the models in the Facebook advertisement are using it incorrectly.

If you’re smiling when you’re using a piece of physical fitness equipment, you’re doing it wrong.

Also, if you can have a conversation on your cellular phone when you’re working out, you’re not doing it correctly (although shouting quips to passersby is apparently okay in my completely arbitrary life rules, but note that my previous post is about how I do 5Ks, not how they should be done).

Also, kudos to Facebook for either figuring out how to thwart the ad blocker I have installed or for partnering with them to ensure that the informative, helpful ads I really want to see to mock appear in my news feed instead of posts from my friends. To be honest, it sort of beats the previous method, where the posts appeared briefly and then disappeared instantly, like data-driven Tyler Durden stills in my news feed instead of posts from my friends. Also, kudos for the algorithm that determines I really want to see political posts with opposing view points from friends I have not interacted with in years instead of more relevant posts or most recent posts.

Also Not The Right Time: The Night Time

A hearing aid add asks, “Are you wanting to upgrade your current hearing aids?” and adds, “There’s no better time than now!”

Over a picture of a family on a speedboat.

I am no audiologist, but I think it might be a better time to upgrade your hearing aids when you’re at an audiologist’s office.

This is what happens when your low-budget ad shop has already purchased a piece of stock art and needs to use it.

In case you’re wondering, I don’t have hearing aids (yet) to upgrade, but I’m thinking about getting some so I can listen to heavy metal even louder.

When You Get Your Statistics From Facebook Ads

Apparently written by thirteen-year-olds.

For the record, $100,000 in utility bills, specifically electric bills, would take, what, thirty years if solar reduced my bill to absolutely zero and. Of course, the cost of installation and maintenance of said unproven systems would extend that thirty years by a, what, decade or so? So I think this claim might be a little, erm, speculative.

Oh, and add more onto it for the interest if you go $0 down.

A Blue Book Value By Any Other Name

From today’s junk mail:

This is the most aggressive Incentive Program to hit the St. Louis Market and it’s only available to 1997-2002 Model Year vehicle owners in your area. Any customer trading in a 1997-2002 GM vehicle on a like or upgraded 2004 Buick, Pontiac, or GMC will receive 100% of the factory full base model MSRP when new, less a reasonable deduction for mileage and wear!

Perhaps I try to read things too logically, but:

  • Isn’t 100% minus something not 100%?
  • Isn’t that 100% less mileage and wear typically called “blue book value”?

Poor Form, Peter

Kudos to the non-geek marketing types who composed the marketing letter for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, wherein the first lines are:

Human Space Colonies in the 21st Century?

The Viking Orbiter and the Mars Rover have brought us one step closer.

Whyever would a serious student of the space program focus on the Viking Orbiters when the program included two landers of its own. In the nineteen-by God-seventies?

I suspect the person who wrote the copy just didn’t know.