The Promotional Calendar Isn’t Dead?

Do you have a calendar on your wall?

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Ah, the middle of February. By now most of us have given up on our New Year’s resolutions, lost the excitement of changing our future, and it’s back to our normal, mundane lives where come December we’ll be like, “Where did the year go, and why didn’t I learn guitar like I said I would?”

But why? Why do we stop? Why can’t we keep the focus throughout the year?

I’m blaming it on the death of the paper calendar.

Okay, I suppose that’s a huge generalization, and really it’s probably tied to just being content with the familiarity of our life and, and at the end of it all, being afraid to take the risk or find the time, but near the end of 2015, there it came, in the mail, the promotional, paper calendar, complete with “telephone index under calendar.” I instantly thought, “Oh, how quaint. Who uses these any more?”, and as much as I like our insurance agent, I also questioned his not giving up on the mailing of the  “Hey, don’t forget about me! Here’s my promotional calendar.” I was going to write about receiving it, even took a picture, and then kind of forgot about it after I threw the calendar away. Scrolling through my photos the other day there it was, the picture of the promotional calendar, and I began wondering again if people actually use the promotional calendar any longer.

I will admit that I am, at times, calendar obsessed. Back in the day of the paper calendar I would look forward to the cardboard roll in the mail that signaled the free, giant monthly calendar for me to put on the wall. The bottom of the calendar would have a yearly calendar, and I would save the one from the prior year and build a wall of yearly calendars so that, I suppose, if someone were to ask what day of the week a certain day was three years ago, I could easily glance and say, “Tuesday.” Then there was always the fall-back, Christmas gift of a calendar, where, if you couldn’t think of anything else to get someone, you could stroll through the temporary calendar store in the mall, find a calendar of pictures of a favorite band, beautiful golf courses, funny pets, or the daily calendar of jokes, and there you had it, instant, thoughtful Christmas gift.

As my world transitioned to the digital age my obsession shifted to calendar apps. I started as a huge fan of Pocket Informant, then tried apps like MyCalendar, Calendar 5, Google Calendar, BusyCal, and have since settled into the Fantasical world on my iPhone and computers. I’m not sure if it’s because I really like it more, or the fact that I just got tired of trying different calendars, but so far it hasn’t let me down, which is the important part of a calendar.

I still, technically, use a paper calendar, mostly because it’s built into the desk pad I have, but I have it as a giant note pad to quickly jot down a number or name, though I will occasionally look a the yearly calendar on it. Gone, however, is the calendar on my wall, like the old days in my computer bunker. Do I miss it? Not really. Is there something else in place of a calendar on my wall? Nope. And although a calendar might help keep track of my time, it’s up to me to actually find the time to keep that resolution of learning guitar. So far I suck at finding time, maybe it’s because I threw away that promotional calendar, but I do wonder: Do you have a calendar on your wall?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Then It’s a Habit

How long does it take to declare a habit a habit?

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In my never-ending quest to better myself one of the thoughts that enters my head is the development of habits, both good and bad, and how I can build the better ones while eliminating the things in my daily life that are a little more detrimental. Now, as a Catholic at that almost time of Lent, there is the challenge to come up with something I should “give up” for the Lenten season. Yup, 40 days of eliminating something and in doing so remembering the suffering of Jesus prior to holy week, even though it’s really more than 40 days, and you may or may not be able to use Sunday as a cheat day depending on if you want to justify in your head that “it’s okay to have this chocolate bar because it’s Sunday,” instead of just sticking it out for the entire Lenten season. Many people use the time to try to eliminate a bad habit, some people to just “calm down” some badness, and others twist it the other way of adding something good during the season. It’s a timeframe that seems workable, gives a nice start and end date, and a belief that if it’s possible to change during Lent it will be easy to continue that change for the rest of your life. And, oh yea, don’t forget the Jesus suffering stuff.

My greatest success in Lenten abstinence was the year I decided to eliminate adding artificial sweeteners to my beverages, namely to my iced tea and coffee, which I’m happy to say was a successful habit removal development as I didn’t resume the practice after Lent was over. I also stopped drinking diet pop during that time, though that habit did kick back in for a few years until recently when all of the stories about the badness of artificial sweeteners finally got to me, and unless desperate for a carbonated beverage to sooth my upset tummy, the desire for my daily Diet Pepsi is now gone.

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The World of Kanako


Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 119 Minutes
From: Drafthouse Films and Cinedigm
Available February 2, 2016 on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download

Poor Akikazu (Kôji Yakusho). He used to be a great police detective, but after a few mis-steps of alcoholism, drugs, and beating up people, being fired, and getting no respect by the lollipop-sucking younger’ detective, his life is in shambles. Bad enough, but then he gets sucked into a gang, turf war that eventually leads back to his missing daughter, Kanako (Nan Komatsu).

Oh, and his daughter is evil. Such is “The World of Kanako.”

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I Am Thor


Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 84 Minutes
From: Dark Sky Films
On Digital Download, Blu-ray, and DVD January 19, 2016

Who knew having a smaller wiener than your co-worker might be a blessing in disguise? For Jon Mikl Thor, nature’s short givings put him in a position to follow his dream. And follow his dream he has.

You see, early in the documentary “I Am Thor” we learn that Jon lost his job as a naked waiter because his wiener wasn’t long enough. He was doing well as a naked waiter, or so it seemed, but then the new guy came, longer schlong and all, and suddenly Jon was back to his quest of music domination, a quest that never left the man who would be Thor.

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Maybe I’m Finally Old

Do you sign up for every, new, social media platform?

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I signed up for peach.cool last night. I’m told it’s the latest thing, like Facebook was the latest thing, like Twitter, like Snapchat, like Vine, like MySpace (Do the kids even know what MySpace is, or Prodigy, or AOL?), and because I want to be hip I had to be a part of it. Yup, you can find me with my username, @aplabis, which is also where you can find me on Twitter. You can also find me on MySpace at, hmm, what was I on MySpace? Oh, yea, The Dude on the Right. But don’t look for me on Snapchat, you’re better off looking for my mom-in-law, GrandmaEleanor, she’s a hoot.

Anywho, I signed up for Peach, made a quick post, found a cute GIF of puppies, and posted my weather, but as I write this I still have no friends. I could probably have friends, most likely searching for people I follow on Twitter by using their Twitter handle, or using some phone number search thing they have on Peach, but then I’m just now following the same people on Peach that I now follow on Twitter, which are also some of the same people I have as friends on Facebook, and a few of the people I know who use SnapChat.

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Beware of Old People Who Can’t Hear

It started with a simple comment about underwear. My dad-in-law was over, along with my mom-in-law, for Christmas Eve dinner. The evening was filled with light conversation and a wonderful meal filled with Osso Buco, rissoto, and wine. With dinner over and us now gathered in the living room, he excused himself to the bathroom. It was upon his return and his simple questioning about “armor underwear” that I realized we are now in for a world of change where we can no longer talk about old people behind their backs, or in front of them, or when they go to the bathroom.

And it’s all Steve Jobs’ fault.

Some short backstory.

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A Star Wars Quest

Would you spend a day in a theater for a movie marathon?

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I was fairly content in my lack of planning to see the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but then came the Facebook taunts. Thank God, as I wrote on my Facebook post, for “Best. Wife. Ever.”

Like many a Star Wars fan, as the publicity machine began, every new trailer brought the hope of the return of the franchise to the greatness it once was, the “Please don’t give away too much of the story” moments, and built the excitement in me to see the movie. Pre-sales for tickets were announced, but I was too big and slow, like the dinosaurs, in getting initial tickets for the Thursday night screenings, let alone the opening weekend. A little bummed I figured I would see it eventually, and then some jealousy would hit me when my nephew mentioned he was going to the Star Wars marathon.

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The Wreath Bow Conundrum

Where Should the Bow Go on a Wreath?

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With Christmas season upon us, the decorations sprouting on houses that will annoy one and all when they aren’t taken down in a timely manner, and shopping in full force, there is one question that will be the toughest to answer, and that question is not what you should get your loved one so they won’t be disappointed, again, this year with your “thoughtful” gift that you picked up on Christmas Eve? No, the question will simply be, as you go to hang your Christmas wreath, should the bow go on the top or the bottom?

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How Much Does This Cost? I Must Be At Macy’s.

As the cold of winter was beginning to approach my wife decided to analyze my long-sleeved shirts, and it was decided that I need some replacements. I will say that one of the things I dread is shopping for clothes, mostly because I don’t really know what goes with what, although I did learn a trick from my Aunt and that was simply to look at the mannequins.  Why? The stores aren’t going to dress them to look like crap, so if you pick out some clothes similar to the mannequins you will usually do fine.

As it turned out my wife and I found ourselves at Macy’s, you know, the store that has the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and much like most trips to Macy’s I found myself consistently just wondering how much something was going to cost. If part of their marketing is to confuse the customer what the final price of a purchase will be, I believe they are the winner, hands down.

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Forbidden Zone


Rated: R | Running Time: 73 Minutes
From: MVD Entertainment
The Ultimate Edition available September 29, 2015

Want to see how the great Danny Elman got his musical movie start? Want to see Herve Villechaize as a King in a bizarre, musical world? Want to see a fat “Hitler?” How about a Servant Frog that’s just a dude with a frog head? How about a lot of boobs? Did I forget to mention “Chicken Boy?” If you are ready for some musical and movie weirdness, I believe you might be ready for “Forbidden Zone.”

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