“I am currently at work putting together a quote”

I’m posting this in lieu of actual entertainment. It’s an email exchange with an insurance salesman. It came out of nowhere and was addressed to “Kevin Healy,” which ain’t me. The subject line was, “I am currently at work putting together a quote.”

This was sent to a common-word gmail address I’ve had forever that gets an unusual amount of weird mail. Why people type email addresses that they don’t own into forms when they want a response is a mystery to me, but then most things people do are a mystery to me…

Dear Kevin Healy,

If you’re looking for a great insurance quote I’M THERE

Thank you for inviting State Farm® to give you an insurance quote. Your information has been safely received, and I am currently at work putting together a quote that meets all your needs and includes all the discounts you deserve.

You can expect to receive your finished quote shortly. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 770-985-XXXX.

Chuck Almand
p:770-985-XXXX f:770-985-XXXX
1608 Tree Lane, Bldg B, Suite 200
Snellville, GA 300782391


A few details: I am about to set off on a trip through Central and South America in a Winnebago with a small film crew making a documentary about Extreme Cage Fighting. We will be carrying a portable ring/cage with us and set up shop in small towns.

I intend to take on all comers using local rules. Which means I may be facing opponents with clubs, sharp cutting implements and maybe even crude firearms. As you might imagine, it could get dangerous and I need umbrella coverage for myself and my crew. We are on a tight budget though, so I need something in the range of $100 per man. But again, it has to be good coverage because we expect trouble.

Let me know what you can do for me. We leave in six days.



Woa, hold on. I thought htis was an auto insurance quote. I don’t think I can provide a policy that you need for your trip. Are you seriously doing what you described?

Chuck Almand


Okay, you caught me. Busted! Ha ha. I didn’t describe the trip quite as accurately as I might have.

The documentary is going to be kind of an Andy Kaufman type thing. We will roll into town and set up our ring/cage, and then I will go to local bars or saloons and try to stir up some discontent and animosity by insulting the town and the people in it. Call their women pigs, the men cowards – that kind of thing. THEN I challenge people to step into my ring. You can see that there is much more drama in that approach than simple extreme wrestling or hand to hand combat without any personal investment.

I want the locals to be full of hatred when they step into the ring/cage. That kind of Thunderdome bloodlust will make for a compelling movie. If we can pull it off I expect to win a lot of awards at the festivals and then go straight to DVD. Direct marketing, that’s where the money is.

So let me know what we’re up against here. We hit the road in 5 days and I need coverage.



I’m sorry, I will not be able to help you. And I think you should reconsider your trip. It sounds like a good way to get you and your crew killed. No one will insure your project.

Chuck Almand


Is there anyone else I can speak to in your office that is willing to write us up? I am aware that it sounds risky, but maybe you just aren’t the man for the job. No offense. This just might be out of your league.


No no no. Please do not email me again.

Chuck Almand


As you wish. I will send you a DVD. No hard feelings.



How to do everything wrong

I told you that a podcast ate my blog, but other than that I haven’t said much about it around here. Maybe because I don’t see much separation between here and there, but I suppose there is some separation. I’ve been putting out a podcast every week for six months now, so this may be a good time to sum up the experience so far. I’ll say up front that I should be writing the next podcast rather than writing this, which should give you some idea of what the schedule is like.

wrongEBefore I do anything I haven’t done before I like to find out as much about the thing as I can. I don’t mind making mistakes, but unnecessary mistakes are for fools. And I’m no fool! Right? Okay, that’s debatable. But I spent weeks researching podcasting because I really didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t listen to podcasts and I only had a vague idea of how it all worked technically. In that research I learned how to do everything the right way, then I went off and did just about everything wrong.

A podcast ate my blog!

When I started the podcast I thought it would be no big thing, and I’d still be posting here in the blog. As with so many things in life though, I was quite wrong.

As it turns out, the podcast eats up huge chunks of my time. I write most of it down before I say it into a microphone, and that means I’m writing about 4,000 words each week for a 30 minute podcast. To put that into perspective, the longest posts here in the blog have been 1,400 or 1,500 words.


I’m an expert at the Internet

I moved the site to a new server almost a month ago and I just now noticed that all the direct links to the articles have been broken since then.

You’d think after 20 years I’d know how to do this shit, but apparently I’m not so good at it.


So much things to say

Have you checked out the podcast recently? Yes, it’s still a thing, and it’s still going strong. Do your ears a favor and luxuriate in the wonders of my voice. Or something. It’s like a blog, only not.

This is not a test #12: I reject your reality and substitute my own
This is not a test #11: Marley Natural: Commodify my soul Jah Jah
This is not a test #10: The 2015 Oscar ceremony wrap-up

Junípero Serra: “Say my name!”

Junípero Serra was a Spanish Friar (you can tell by the haircut) who established the first California missions. The missions are nice places to visit if you like California history and looking at “historical” things that were almost completely rebuilt in the 20th century from the remnants of crumbling piles of adobe and rotten wood.

Personally I do like those kinds of things, so I’ve been to a lot of the missions. If you think your life is tough, go to one of the missions that’s out in the middle of nowhere and imagine living there, with those resources and meager comforts. The people who settled the West were some badasses.


Cross pollinating

I mentioned the new podcast here, but I thought I’d post some links in a cross-promotional kind of way. If you like the blog, you’ll like the podcast. I’m right there in your earbuds, like we’re on a romantic date.

This is not a test, number 3: Los Angeles artist Carol Es
This is not a test, number 2: The senseless, tragic rape of Charles Bukowski’s ghost
This is not a test, number 1: Getting to know you

Polaroid rage

polaroid-jp-smI’ve always loved Polaroid cameras. But apparently Polaroid didn’t love them as much as I did, because they stopped making film in 2008. That was bad news for everyone involved, or at least for me, and when I realized that the film was no longer on every drugstore shelf in the free world, I accepted the inevitable, sold my wonderful Spectra Pro and forgot about the whole thing.

Well, I forgot about it until I watched a documentary called Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film. That’s when I learned that a magnificent lunatic named “Doc” bought up the equipment in the last working Polaroid film factory somewhere in the Netherlands, put together a team of like-minded visionaries and set out to recreate instant film.

This is (sort of) not a test

The first episode of the podcast is up. I’m waiting for approval from iTunes before I really try to promote the thing, because iTunes is where it’s at apparently for the podcast thing. So here’s a sneak peek. You can be first.

In your ears

Oh look, he’s back.

It’s been a few months, for those of you who didn’t realize I was gone.

You’re probably thinking I ran out of things to say, but that’s not it. I have a few posts here that I’ve written but haven’t published. So my absence wasn’t due to a lack of ideas.


No, what’s been occupying my time is I’ve been planning a podcast!

Ten years old, anything goes, all you ever knew was a bone-shaped phone

Hey, Johnny wantsta borrow yer phone...he'll give it right back, promise.

The latest Apple iPhone went on sale today, with all of the now typical hysteria and hyperbole.

People are sleeping in front of the Apple store? Oh. Again? Huh.

But it’s still news, man, gotta get some cameras down there to lock it all down for posterity. So future generations can look back and clearly see what a wiggly mass of stone cold geniuses we were.

What’s all this talk about The Ass Bucket Challenge?

Sorry, I had to channel my inner Emily Litella for this one (kids, go ahead and Google that name). I know we’re all human and therefore susceptible to trends and peer pressure, but this ice water/bucket mania sweeping the Western world feels like more of a desperate look at me kind of thing than it does anyone really caring about what the stunt is supposed to “raise awareness” for. WATCH THIS! SOMEONE IS POURING WATER ON ME! THAT’S HOW MUCH I CARE!

Comic-Con, WonderCon, Short Con, Long Con

All the Cons with their sold-out convention centers full of unwashed masses engaging in elaborate cosplay – I have to say, I don’t get it.

Okay, that’s not completely true. I do understand why some young men might enjoy going to these things…


Time will tell

The beard of wonderMy hair is long, as it often tends to be, and lately I’ve been letting my beard grow. It’s been doing its own thing for almost five months, so it’s about as long as it’s ever been. Unlike (some of) the hair on my head, the beard is almost all white. I wear jeans every day, and usually a t-shirt, sometimes a shirt that buttons up, if there’s a meeting or I want to look like what passes as professional in my business. That doesn’t take much.

The shockingly simple secret: 10 ways to write 18 lists of 12

10waysPeople love to read lists, it’s a scientific fact!

Do you want to grab your share of those potential eyeballs? Use these top secret SEO tricks to send your clickrates through the roof and boost your content to the top of the first SERP! Just follow these shockingly simple steps: