10 People to Avoid on Planes … in other words … avoid EVERYBODY on planes. Don’t travel.

Interior of a China Southern Airlines airplane.
Interior of a China Southern Airlines airplane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Amanda Black published a post in ShermansTravel Blog called, “10 People to Avoid on Airplanes.”

As if naming your enemies is going to cure the world of inconvenient travel partners.


Among the list are babies. Sorry, kids, if you were born a baby … you’re not allowed to fly with Amanda Baby-Hatin’ Black.

Also on the list … smelly people, talkers, tech fanatics, overhead bin offenders, and people who don’t wash their hands.

People who don’t wash their hands?

Next time you go to the bathroom on any flight, make sure you look over your shoulder while you are (or are not) washing up. Amanda Hand-Washing Police Black is likely in there with you determining whether or not she can judge you for being a non-hand washer.

Can you say Psycho!


Amanda Hug-n-Kiss Black stops just shy of recommending that if you travel, charter your own plane and fly yourself. Unless you fly with your mouth shut, your armpits clean, your rear sphincter corked, lugguge-less, perfectly quiet, and a blind sheep, she does NOT want you on her airplane.

So get off!


I’m not sure Amanda Black knows how to count. Her list title specifies 10 (ten!) people to avoid, but she recommends a total of 16 different types. Number 5 is the sick or smelly person. This is not always one person. You can be sick and not smell. And you can smell and certainly not be sick. Added, she ends her 11-people — I mean — 10-people list and then throws in five more types of assholes that bother her while traveling.


Hey, Amanda Black, I gotta recommendation for you: Don’t fucking travel.


In the conversation I’m having with Amanda in my mind, she’d respond, “Jeremy, it’s a jovial, hyperbolic list. It’s not to be taken seriously.”


And you may be right, Amanda Black.


But you can’t name EVERYONE as offensive and avoidable. You might as well write, “If you see me — Amanda Dumb Butt Black — rolling my oversized bag while sneezing onto your plane, wreaking of whiskey and carrying my iPad, listening to my iPod and talking on my iPhone, clear the plane, bitches … I just ate a pot of pinto beans and I’ve got stellar gas.”


If I wrote the article, I would post a picture of this guy I’ve traveled quite a bit with. I’m not naming any names, but I’ve been on planes with my dad, and he can handily clear an entire economy cabin with one single flatulent blow.

I’m sure I’ve been on planes that I wasn’t exactly the best candidate for travel partnership for Amanda Black.


The point is, if you can’t embrace that at least 8 to 12 of the people-types Amanda listed on her pathetic excuse for travel advice, then you’re not a good traveler.

Love the ones your with. 

People watching and dealing with variety of people is what life is all about.

I’m sorry that Amanda Black arrived so stinking late to the party.


They teach you in church that everyone is different. But we’re not. That’s why there are 16 identifiable types whom you should look for during flights. We aren’t all that different, you, me, them and us.


Instead of loathing EVERYONE.

Get on board. Shut up or ship out.





Crossing thresholds and reaching milestones

On Monday, I reached a personal goal to run eight miles in one outing. For me it was a milestone.

After reaching 37 years old this month, staying in shape like an 18-year-old ain’t easy. Lemme tell you.

I’m no gym rat. And I’ve never been much of a weight lifter.

As I age, I find it’s incredibly important to do some of the things I never did (like lift weights) and keep up the things I’ve done off and on since high school, i.e. running and playing sports.

I think of it as an investment into my future.

I use an iPhone app called RunKeeper that is an amazing tool for tracking progress as well as encouraging me while running. As you run, a voice comes into my headphones updates me as to my speed, distance, and how big of a douche I am.

It’s incredibly satisfying. Especially when the voice says, “You’ve reached six miles of assholery. Great job.”

When that happens, I leap into the air, throwing my knee up and bringing down an elbow with clenched fist.


Running the lakefront is gratifying as it is inspiring. At one moment, an 4′ 11″ tall man will pass me running beside his bike. The next minute, a guy in a wheelchair will pass me pushing with his gloved hands. The next second, a women 30 lbs heavier than I am will scoot past.

The second I feel good about myself, some jackwagon will pass me and remind me how out of shape I am.

It’s also cool, because you can find a “rabbit” or pace setter who might run with you for a while. It’s usually a non-verbal agreement you have with some other runner to go the same pace until one of you bails.

Ahh, Chicago, don’t you love the diversity!

The verity of people exercising on the lakefront reminds me of the diversity in our neighborhoods.

One subject Tina and I talk about a lot is how we’re so grateful for the infrastructure in our city that we pay significantly higher taxes for that allow us to live so well with so many different kinds of people.

We’re reminded constantly that the people around us range from the super rich — driving Ferraris and Lamborghinis — to the super poor, sitting on their asses in front of store fronts begging for change.

The contrast that we see with our suburban friends and family — and I’m talking Chicago Suburbs, not just my NC friends and family in rural NC — is that we’re reminded constantly that the world is full of so many kinds of people.

And maybe our suburban friends see somebody begging at the on or off ramp at the highway, but they aren’t getting passed while running by a guy in a wheelchair.

They aren’t approached three times in a 5 minute walk to the store by homeless people asking for change. They aren’t admiring a Ferrari one second and covering their noses from the stink of a guy hunched over at the waist sleeping (passed-out) at a busstop.

I’m not saying we’re better than they are.

I’m saying we have more reasons — besides what Jesus taught — to contribute to a government infrastructure that supports those in need. We take pride in having higher taxes so that more people can find warm places to sleep at night after having a warm meal.

We think that’s why Chicago is Blue and the rest of this fucking state is bleeding red.

One of my problems is: I think people deserve a place to live with a safety net. I think they deserve a place where they can be fucked up drug addicts. Why? At one time, it was because I was a Christian and I believed that everyone should be saved.

But now, I believe it’s because everyone fucking deserves to be saved.

No matter what the station or place in life.

I’d rather live in a place like Chicago that has a glut of corruption while giving homeless people and drug addicts the possibility of redemption than living in a place where people hide behind their Christianity so they don’t have to help the needy, the poor, and the destitute.

Redundant? I know.

At least we’re corrupt while helping the needy.

Instead of just being corrupt.


What the funny kids are posting

Joanne Casey and the kids over at Tastefully Offensive Tumblr never fall short to help me laugh.


Here are a few of their posts in one place to brighten your Thursday.

Sometimes you have to use a decoy


School test reads, “Do not write your essay  on this page.” Someone wrote beneath it, “Your essay.” 

Funny some ecard reads, “I was so drunk last night at the bar, when I walked across the dance floor to get another drink, I won the dance competition.” 

Graffiti of a sort of swastika looking thing got a smiley face head. Reads, “I like to touch-up the graffiti found in my school bathrooms.” 

The Moon pulling down his pants using a 2500mm lens. 



Photographing while running

Yesterday, I went for a much-needed jog. When I’m busy, I get to exercise much less, and scheduling time to workout is a chore.

There are a few of you who I’ve convinced to use the Runkeeper app for the iPhone so we can share our experiences and, hopefully, encourage each other through a little healthy competition.

Regular reader Xina turned me on to the camera function in the app that allows you to shoot a photograph, and it GPS locates it to the place you were when you took it and adds it to your map at the end of the run.

While I was running, I decided to shoot without stopping as much as possible. The results were interesting, and better than I anticipated. I expected blurry shots. But the shutter was quick enough to capture the action without stopping. One of them was my Peeper Dee yesterday. Here are a couple more.

Avoid the embarrassment of loud flatulence, and buy this app

Are you newly in a relationship?

Do you get embarrassed when your bowels expel pent up air through your rectal sphincter and the subsequent skin flabber creates an embarrassing noise that might offend or turn off your hot new girlfriend or boyfriend ?

Do you turn on the shower in an attempt to cover up the cacophony of assploding air biscuits?

Or do you poop in the shower so that you’re loved one doesn’t hear you go?

Do you realize how un-green turning on the shower  while you go, not to mention how unsanitary it is to shit in the shower?

Well, there’s an iPhone app for you! I couldn’t find the app that this article referred to as “Fake Shower,” but I found one called, “Toilet Buddy.” This is how Fake Shower is described:

Ever turned on the shower to mask embarrassing noises in the bathroom? Apparently, it’s a common occurrence among couples, particularly those with paper-thin bathroom walls. So, for World Water Day, Brazilian sustainability institute Akatu and agency Leo Burnett Tailor Made created an app that makes the shower noise for you. At the end of your Fake Shower, you receive notification of how many gallons of water were not wasted by using the app.

The concept should be a familiar one for Japanese potty users. Noisemakers that create faux-flushing sounds are a standard feature of bathroom stalls and toilets in Japan, so the country has been conserving water, politely, for ages.

Fortunately, I don’t worry about covering up my beautiful butt horn music any longer. In fact, I record myself on the toilet and play it when I’m not around so Tina doesn’t get lonely.

Actually, Tina uses a white noise function that’s a recorded loop of me in the bathroom.

It’s so romantic.

You wanna hear something crazy? I found my iPhone

I’m editing photography today, and posting may be sparse.

Before I went to bed, my phone appeared again … in Utah. So I started sending it messages hoping that the person who had it would see it and call me. But no luck.

I called Utah police, they told me I needed to call Baltimore police. And they all made it sound like there wasn’t a chance I was getting my phone back. This wasn’t a priority for them.

The Find my iPhone app was pinpointing the phone at a residence in West Valley City, Utah. I was able to determine the exact address using Google Maps. And I was able to verify the address by using Streetview. You could read the number painted on the pavement in front of the home.

So I googled the address, and in 2008, there was a court case that included the resident of that address listed amount many. I whitepaged the name it gave which was Gloria Jensen, and it verified that she lived in the home with her husband Merrill. I got a phone number and decided to call in the morning, as I thought it would be really rude to call at 1:30 a.m. their time.

I called and I spoke to Merrill, who is a little old man with a really quiet voice and a very confused sense of understanding the world. He found the phone on the bus we took from the rental area to the airport. The screen shows a picture of Tina and I, so Merrill explained that he thought he could identify the person by looking around the airport for me.

He thought that I would be on his plane, so he kept the phone instead of giving it to Lost and Found or to the flight staff or security at the airport.

All that’s to say, I told Merrill to please mail me the phone and I would call him to find out the shipping and handling later this week to reimburse him.

When Merrill answered his phone and I explained who I was, he asked, “How did you find me?” I told him that I pinpointed his exact address via GPS. He made a comment questioning his sense of security. I said, “Well, imagine if you stole it and the police were hunting you down.”

He didn’t really get it.

But I’m pretty sure I really freaked him out.



You lost an hour? I lost my phone *and* an hour

We’re back safe and sound from Baltimore where we shot Luis V.’s and Becky’s wedding. It was an amazing event, and I look forward to sharing more later. Tina and I are exhausted. We worked hard to get the shots on Saturday, and we went to an open house at Becky’s parent’s house on Sunday before leaving for the airport.

Somehow between the bus from the car rental area and security, I lost my iPhone.

When I was going through security, they pulled me aside, because the equipment I travel with looks suspicious.

I have remote controls and receivers, batteries and stands.

While I was standing there watching security take everything out of my bags, I looked at Tina and said, “My phone is gone. I have no idea where it is. Can you call it?”

She did. It wasn’t there. It wasn’t in my stuff.

Finally I remember I could do the Where’s my iPhone app. The app said the phone was in the terminal somewhere. You can see it in the screen cap above.

Finding your phone is accurate. When I checked where I was with Tina’s map function, it showed me exactly where we were. Suddenly at 3:18, the phone stopped responding. It was gone.

I’m wondering if someone stole it. Why? I don’t know.

We checked with security. We checked a trashcan where I threw out a bottle. We called the bus company. We checked the desk where we checked in.

More to come on the wedding. I figured the phone news was really important and it needed its own post.


Snapseeded iPhone photos


You know what I say, the best camera is the one in your hand.

When I’m waiting around for Talulah to poop, I spend time taking photos with my phone and editing them with Snapseed. It’s a $5 app that is well worth it, IMHO.

Anyway, here are a couple photos I’ve taken and edited lately.

Both shots were taken using HDR Photo Camera, which I picked up for free, but is now priced at $1.99. I’m not convinced HDR Photo Camera is the best app out there for HDR on your phone, but it’s a pretty damn cool app. At full resolution, there’s a long wait time to process the images. The setting I use takes six shots and fuses them together.

You aren’t supposed to take photos of moving images with HDR, but the train happened to go by when I was aiming at a sunset. HDR takes a series of images at different exposures and puts them all together to make a single, evenly exposed image (in theory).

I liked how the CTA below looks double exposed and then a three-year-old sneezed all over it.


You will win and you will lose

Yesterday I talked about fucking up a sound file for a high-profile client video. There was a chance we’d reshoot the piece today, but that didn’t happen. Scheduling the CEO was too difficult.

I would be very surprised if the client ever called me again. So I gotta chalk up the failure AND a lost client.

I hope no one ever mistakes me for someone who doesn’t own up to their blunders. I take failure very seriously, in myself and others. And I failed hard on this one. There’s no question about that.

But it didn’t kill me. And it’ll likely be something that never happens again.

The good news is that I finally had a chance to go to Apple about my phone. They replaced it no questions asked. I’m updating it now. In the interim, I had a beater phone. Every time someone texted me, I would call them back if it was more than a one or two-word response.

Going back to keypad texting was really tough.

The reason I didn’t go to Apple until today, was their reservation service was always backed up. We had traveling and a heavy schedule, so I needed a little better window than one or two days out.

I made my reservation with a “genius” for 1:30 p.m. It was so crowded and over “reserved” that I waited 30 minutes before seeing anyone. It seems like a conspiracy that I can’t go to an AT&T store to have them replace my phone. Thirty minutes in an Apple store is the rough equivalent to forty nights for a nymphomaniac at a whore house.

But I resisted all temptations and only left with what I wanted, a working iPhone.

We stopped at Jewel on the way home for a couple groceries we needed for dinner. I saw a cashier who reminded me of a story I meant to tell you.

One time, I was checking out. The cashier was a man, in his late 30s to early 40s. He was geeky looking. There were stains on his burgundy-colored Jewel shirt. His name read something like, “Marty.”

Marty asked for my ID. I had beer in my cart. I handed it to him. He handed it back and said, “1975. That was a bad year.”

“Oh yeah?” I kind of laughed to myself. “What happened?”

“My parents got divorced,” he said sharply.

The rest of the check out experience was [sing-song] awkward.

I hope you didn’t lose any clients today. And something you wanted to happen happened. And no one told you bad news about their parents divorcing in 1975.

Or, hell, that you told someone bad news and made an awkward situation more awkward.