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SoapBox Guide to Christmas Cards December 6, 2007

Posted by Andy in Christmas, rants.

Those of you that send Christmas cards, or holiday cards, or whatever you call them, take heed. Unless your goal is to be mocked and ridiculed by the people you care enough about to send mail to, you should follow this guide. (Not to say that I will personally mock cards that do not follow this guide. I totally will, and may even think less of you as a person, but I’m not going to say that.)

The Message

Please don’t try to persuade me of anything as part of your mailing. You may have strong beliefs about stuff, and that’s fine, and I may even share those beliefs, but a Christmas cards should not be considered marketing literature. Just wish me a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and be done with it.

The Timing

Do not send me a Christmas card before Thanksgiving. Don’t even start working on it before Thanksgiving for that matter. We’re all impressed with how organized you are, but it disrespects Thanksgiving. Don’t send it after Christmas either. No matter what it says in the post-Christmas card, the message is always “My life is such a mess that I can’t even get Christmas cards out on time.”

The Christmas Letter

If you include a letter about what you and your family did this year, please know that most of what you have to say is more interesting to you than it is to most of the people to whom you send the letter. As such, keep it short. More than 1 page is too much. Also, and this is very important, only people who can actually write should write the letter. I do not want a letter that was “written” by your baby or your dog. This might have been a cute idea the very first time someone did this, but now it just full of wrong.

The Christmas Picture

Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, your Christmas picture should be Christmas-y. By that I mean holly, tinsel, decorations, sweaters, even Santa hats. I don’t want to see a shot of your beach vacation last summer. Send me that for Labor Day. For Christmas, it should be a Christmas picture. The picture should include the entire family. Even if you have the cutest kids in the world, I also want to see your old wrinkly face too, if for no other reason then to help me imagine what those kids will look like in 30 years. A bit of cropping and post-processing would be a good idea. Just say no to red-eye.

Happy Holidays!


Stars and Stripes For a Little While June 14, 2007

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Flag Day, rants, soapbox.


This holiday is elegant in its simplicity. The mail still comes, nothing is closed, you don’t have to buy gifts, prepare elaborate meals, host fancy parties, sing any particular songs, or even send anyone a card. All that is expected of you is to display the flag as a sign of your patriotism and love for the US of A.

Sadly, this small gesture seems to be beyond most everyone. Looking around my neighborhood, the stars and stripes are few and far between. This is even worse when you consider that Francis Scott Key himself is buried less than 10 minutes from here. Our minor league baseball team is the Frederick Keys and the “good” mall is the Francis Scott Key Mall.

What makes me even madder are all those people that had flags coming out of every orifice six years ago. Where are your flags now, people. I guess it is no longer cool and trendy. Fair weather patriots. It is a sad commentary that someone has to blow something up to make us care about being Americans.

Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave? Sorry Francis, it does not.

Techno Babel January 4, 2007

Posted by Andy in CES, Gadgets, rants, Technology and Gadgets.
1 comment so far

CES, the Consumer Electronic Show, is coming to Las Vegas next week. This event is like a second Christmas for the geeks and gadget lovers of the galaxy. It is here that companies will introduce and announce the latest, greatest, backlit button covered, surround sound, bigger, smaller, digital, streaming, high definition, firmware upgradable, interactive, multi-processor powered devices, all complete with that new electronic smell.

I can’t wait.

I’m not in the market for any of this stuff, but I like to see how it moves us towards that long awaited future world that has yet to be realized. I mean, we’re well in the 21st century, and I still don’t have a personal jet backpack to rocket me to work. Where are the flying cars for that matter? And robots. We need more robots.

So while I have no idea what wonders will be shown in Vegas, I do know that they will make me less satisfied with my current menagerie of electronics. Life is annoying that way. The amount of time between when you buy something and when it becomes outdated is fleeting, and all the more precious because of this.

Just Say No October 18, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, rants, soapbox.

Things I Won’t Do:

  • Park right in front of the store, even if I’m just going to be a minute.
  • Write a blog post about blogging
  • Mix beer and wine, ever.
  • Knowingly eat guacamole
  • Watch a Bette Middler movie
  • Wear a tie when I don’t really have to
  • Drink shots
  • Write a blog post when I’m supposed to be working
  • Accept that sushi is more than just raw fish
  • Wear sweat pants out of the house to a non exercise-based event
  • Value fashion over comfort
  • Wash that gray right out of my hair
  • Get any more cats
  • Have shrubbery in my yard that is shaped like anything other than shrubbery