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March 2011

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I hate texting. I think it’s stupid, pointless, and annoying. That being said, there are millions of people who do nothing but text so I find myself on the receiving end of a text message or two. Before you send your text, remember that not everyone has texting plans, especially in the age of smart phones and data plans. If I must get texts from you, follow these rules of texting etiquette.

1. If it’s really, really important, call me. Chances are, if it’s that important, more information will be needed and the situation can be best explained via a phone call than a text.

2. If it’s not that important, email me. Pretty much every phone has email now. Texting was good pre-smartphone, but now it’s unnecessary.

3. If you find that you can’t abide by either 1 or 2, make your text short and to the point. I don’t need to receive 3 texts in a row of you telling me a story.

4. Proofread your texts before you send. I don’t want to reply to your text asking why you’re going to “grab and lick my butt her” when you meant “grab a stick of butter.” Autocomplete is not always your friend.

5. Don’t send unnecessary replies. I don’t need you to reply with “k” or “bye.” Hell, even if I thank you for something you don’t need to reply saying “yw.” That’s implied. You’re wasting my time.

Follow these rules and we’re good. If you don’t follow them, don’t expect a text back.

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blue scholars

One of my favorite underground hip hop groups over the past couple of years has been Seattle-based Blue Scholars. If you don’t know much about them, they are a duo comprised of producer/DJ Sabzi and MC Geologic. They produce really good socially conscious hip hop. Some of the themes that appear throughout their albums and EPs include struggles between socioeconomic classes, challenging authority and youth empowerment. Recently they announced that their forthcoming album, Cinemetropolis, would forgo a traditional record label release. Instead, they are signing to “the people.”

After weighing all options for the release of our third full-length studio album, Cinemetropolis, we’ve decided to forego all traditional channels and return to the independent approach that made Blue Scholars who we are. No record label. No marketing and distribution deal. No middlemen. No bullsh*t.

Instead, we’re going to sign a deal with the people. Specifically, you.

An industry-standard release leaves very little to the imagination or creative diversion. A set amount of singles, videos, and a tour, constantly negotiated by a contract that dictates the “life cycle” of an album. Thing is, Cinemetropolis is our most ambitious release yet, and we don’t want to stick to the script.

Our philosophy has always been to create our music and our media with creative freedom while still being able to sustain and grow ourselves. And at this point, we don’t believe that the tired music industrial model is necessary for people to pick up what we’re putting down. We don’t need to compromise our vision by ascribing to the “deal.” We believe the power of word-of-mouth far more than industry-induced hype, recognizing that it’s been the support of our fans and not what we’ve signed that have gotten us where we are.

With your support, we’ll be able to release Cinemetropolis to you directly. Those who pledge in this campaign will receive the digital album weeks before it’s actually released in June, and will get special exclusive-to-Kickstarter swag, not to mention be the first people to find out about when our Cinemetropolis singles, videos, and merch gets released.

Check out their Kickstarter video.

So, they group has created a Kickstarter page. Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. The premise is simple, donate money and receive stuff. What you receive from Blue Scholars depends on how much you donate. You can see the different levels here. Blue Scholars is definitely one of the most creative groups out there. You should kick in a few bucks and help them out. When you think about it, you’d be spending $10 for their album on iTunes anyway. Why not send it directly to them and get the album for free before it’s released? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Personally, I’m glad to see more and more musicians using Kickstarter. It definitely helps show that their music is appreciated and allows the musician to cut out middle men and release directly to the fans that support them.

There are certain things you don’t do in a restroom, at least if you’re a guy. Most guys abide by this (unless they are drunk at a bar or sporting event), but there are a few that I have to deal with on a daily basis that don’t.

No Talking: You do not talk while in the restroom. It is not something you should ever do. Do not talk to the guy next to you, do not talk on the phone. Don’t even answer the phone if it rings. We used to have a guy at work that would have entire conversations on the phone while dropping a deuce. It got so bad the building’s landlord sent out a letter to all tenants asking them to refrain from conducting business while… conducting business.

No Free-Form Urinating: When you’re standing at the urinal, hold your hose. Hold it with one hand, two hands, I don’t care, as long as you hold it. I don’t want to walk in to see you with both hands behind your head. This is how splash and splatter happens.

Flush: Seriously, how hard is it to pull (or push) a handle? There was a guy at work that would never flush. Every single day, more than once per day, we’d walk in to a pee-filled urinal. It would annoy us so much that I finally took matters into my own hands, so to speak. Since I put that up about a month and a half ago, there have been no issues with flushing.

Wash Your Hands!: Again, something that really isn’t that difficult. Another guy at my work (not the same one that doesn’t flush, oddly enough) never washes his hands. I’ve been in the restroom at least 5 times in the short time he’s been here where he’s left without at least putting water on them. Again, I decided to take matters into my own hands and put this up. Unfortunately, this one hasn’t worked out as well as the flush sign. Since i put it up, I’ve caught the guy not washing twice.

These simple rules of etiquette are not hard to follow. There’s not even that many of them. They are manners that everyone should have been taught back in kindergarten. I guess some people just need a reminder.