There's an App for This!

Go ahead, scan the code...it works, I assure you.

What's going on, umf'ers! I've been hinting around on the fanpage about some big news all week, and here it is: the official umf Android app! My love for the tools of the future we know as smartphones ain't exactly a secret one, especially if you've been here a while, and so it's a fairly obvious and long overdue step into the future for umf to have its' very own app. (I mean, appstrology predicted this years ago.) They say there's an app for everything, and since umf is...really something....it only makes sense.

Of course the posts you come here for will be all there in mobile form to kill a train ride or an especially boring class/court date/conversation, but this app is way more than just a mobile site link...check out some of the features of this latest extension of the mighty hat.

  • It's free. Can't beat that price.
  • Compatible with any Android phone (yes, even the Metros and Crickets)
  • Updates and info on all projects from the guy who writes this shit.
  • Mobile "buy" links, delivering all 2 eBooks in the umf store directly to your smartphone, tablet, or other electric internet device.
  • Direct social links and contact info, just in case you have something to say to my face...book.
  • One-touch access to the "Formsprung" anonymous Q and A box...oh, did I mention I'm resurrecting "Formsprung"? That was always fun for all of us. Maybe I'll even do it in video form, which is a nice segue to...
  • The umf home video section...I'll definitely be updating that more often to justify that function of the app.
  • No outside ads. I know how much I hate 'em, why would I subject those I love to them?
  • Oh...and did I mention I designed and published it myself? How many people do you know who have their own apps? Here's your chance to start at 1.

I'm really excited about this newest innovation of umf, and I hope you are too. Best of all, it's free, so if you like this place and have a phone from this millennium, I'm not sure why you haven't downloaded it yet. It'll be in the official Google Play store very soon, but until then you can get it here, there's a link in >the right-hand stripe> and if you have a barcode scanner, go ahead and show it off to those around you by scanning the QR code in the pic. Aight, that's about all I have time for--in case you missed the memo, I do have a book release to stay on top of today--but I hope next time I see you, you'll be holding me in the palm of your hand.

Wait, that came out wrong.

You know what, just get the app, dammit.(Oh, and if you have $1.99 that you're not doing anything with, please go ahead and check out my new book.) Enjoy your Friday, umf'ers!


Who's REALLY the pet?

Behold, Lord Whiskers, ruler of all he surveys.
My parents were never big on animals in the house. I guess they figured my sister was enough. (Love you, Amber.) As a result, we never had a real family pet. I mean, sure, I had fish and turtles and I think I vaguely remember a lizard, but overall things that had over two primary legs and could not be sealed in a glass containment chamber were not permitted in our home.

Don't cry for me or anything...I never really had much interest in animals I couldn't eat or wear anyway. (Even as a kid I wondered if I could somehow process the endless procession of tetras and goldfish into those breaded sticks in the freezer. Figured it was more useful than a fresh batch coming there to die every month or so.)  It's just that whenever I see people who think they have pets, I wonder just who owns who.


Black and White (and Gray All Over)

...and I thought the real ones were bad.
I've long wondered what it was like to be a professional sports referee. Believe it or not, it's a tough job, spotting minor infractions at the speed of life in a fast-paced game, literally keeping split-second timing of the day's events, risking grievious bodily harm at the hands of an unruly color-coordinated mob by doing either of the above poorly...it's a bigger job than most people immediately realize (and they're also in great shape, which you know if you've ever seen a ref sprint side-by-side or even backpedal alongside some of the fastest men on the planet with ease). Yes, in those black and white stripes lies much responsibility...but also, plenty of gray area.

Wait, let me not dive into this without some background. These referee ruminations were brought on after getting to read a little of ex-NBA zebra Tim Donaghy's tell-all book (a must-read for ANY sports fan) detailing his career as a referee, his gambling on games including some he worked, and the NBA's unofficial policy to favor certain players and teams over others when calling a game. Of course, the fact that the NBA consciously nudges games in one directon or another is apparent to anyone who's ever seen LeBron get sweated on and draw a foul, but having it confirmed in detail was a thinking point for me.



Say what you want about it, but I've never liked being dressed up. You know, slacks, tie, shoes, the whole adult costume? I just don't like it. In fact, I never have...my parents have tried to stuff me in various suits since I was old enough to resist, and they've only been successful maybe 20 times (and that's both being generous and counting to this very day).

As for what I find distasteful about it...well for starters, it's just so damn unnecessary. In your normal guy outfit, you have a shirt, a pair of pants, and footwear of choice (plus a hat, in my case, obviously). Depending on weather, there may be a couple of extra items, like a sweater or a coat, but on the average day that's about 4 or 5 total articles of clothing to prepare, wear, and care for. As an added bonus, many of these items are of the wash-and-wear variety and after a touch or 2 with an iron (see, I'm not a total slob here) you're up, dressed, and ready for whatever inside 20 minutes...and that includes a shower. You are literally a walking model of efficiency.


The Agony... : A Field Guide to Your Team Losing

Happens sometimes...
Losing is never fun. Sure, everybody can't win, otherwise nobody ever would, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with for anyone involved. Nowhere (besides divorce court) are those first two sentences more true than in the world of sport. Whether as an on-field participant or an interested spectator, there is an emotional investment in any athletic competition. As an ex-athlete and current sports fan, I've gotten very familiar with the concept of losing...including the fact that not all losses are created equal.

See, as you may know, I'm a Cowboys fan. Whether you know that or not, you probably know that they lost yesterday. (Social media has made it possible to be highly informed about things which you may not care about, especially such popular topics as the Cowboys losing.) Sure, people I haven't talked to in months made it their responisbility to let me know about it anyway, but what they may not know is that they caught me on a relatively good week.

Yep, I've seen worse. Damn right I have. In any long-term relationship, like being married, having a friendship or being a sports fan, you're going to see a wide array of highs, lows, surprises, disappointments, and plenty of the just plain screwy. It's part of the whole wonderful dichotomic balance between yin and yang and all that good shit. As stated before, the context of a loss can have profound effect on the emotional response to it.

The entire idea that losses can be quantified on some kind of scale may seem ridiculous to the nonfan. Of course, I minored in the ridiculous, so to that end, here is exactly that, a scale to measure the emotional intensity of a defeat. It will include defining criteria, methods of coping and common recovery period, all of which combine with other factors to form the DEFCON, or defeat context.

As an added service to humanity, there will also be suggestions for concerned parties for dealing with the affected party during the recovery period as well as keywords which an outsider can pick up on and immediately determine the proper personal protocol. (There will also be recent anecdotal evidence for the insiders.) Aight, without any further introbation:


Animation > Life

It would be a pretty smooth transition for me...
 I know I'm at an age and life station where I'm supposed to act like whatever an adult is, but hey...that sucks, right? So instead, I'm pretty much just a 6'4" kid with a beard and responsibilities. As a result, I still do all the good shit in life like play with toys (besides the thinking man's toy, words, I double dog dare you to call a smartphone and all its apps anything else with a straight face) consume sugary treats and frozen delights at wildly inappropriate times of the day, and--damn sure--watch cartoons.

A lot of people might hear that and assume I'm just wasting time that could be used to do something constructive...and they're probably right, which is why I'm writing a post on the subject so I can claim to have done both. Still, I can't help but see ways life would be better if it were more like a cartoon. See, despite their absurdity, cartoon physics and the actions possible because of them tend to honor a specific universal code, one agreed upon long, long ago when the drawing of me above would have required big pink lips to officially be black. (Thankfully, the code has been amended a few times since then.)

It's why all rakes are drawn face up, to be stepped on and smack the stepper in the face. It's why one character should never chase another into a tunnel, as there will invariably be a train in it if it's still a tunnel at all. It's why we still even know what an anvil is. The predictable craziness of cartoons always seemed preferable to the unpredictable normalcy of everyday life...hell, I can think of 5 things off the top of my head that would be better if life imitated artwork:


Happy Birthday!: a letter to my first mate

Her head is huge tho, isn't it?
 Dear first mate Shannon,

When I say we've been through a lot over the past year or so, it's pure exposition for the audience...I'm sure you were there when all these things happened. Yet, here we are on the other side, more together than ever (since we updated our relationship status on Facebook). I'm going through a bit of a rough patch in my life, and nothing (legal) even comes close to smoothing it out as much as you.

I know I don't mention you much around here, but you're a very important part of my life besides being the chick I happened to knock up. You were one of my earliest umf readers, my biggest fan ever since I figured out what I want to do with my life, one of my closest friends, and a case study for the better part of an entire section of "Fresh Uncensored Critical Knowledge for Your Life" (as well as the de facto co-star of "Expecting [the Worst]"). Also, the baby we accidentally made is very cute, which I admit sped up my acceptance of the whole scenario.

It takes a very special woman to deal with the guy under this fitted at close range over a long period of time...you know better than anybody that if online AJ and offline AJ were a Venn diagram, there would only be one circle. (Non-Shannon folk, read through my archives and see which posts you would have liked your siggie to write...it's not all of 'em, I assure you.) As a result, you have been exposed to the full spectrum of my personality, and yet here you are anyway. You've even seen me in a Green Lantern costume, but I'll just call that a bonus for you.


Power of the Dollar

You can save money, and it can do the same for you.
 We live in a consumer culture. This has its benefits and its drawbacks, but for better or worse, cash rules everything around me. When dealing with any corporate entity, it would behoove the shit out of you to realize that their highest aim is usually not customer service, product of any higher quality than is profitable, community responsibility, consumer loyalty, or any of that other nice-sounding bullshit they like to tell us sets their company apart…it’s simply the bottom line.

That might seem kind of obvious to anybody who lives above ground, but if you think about it a little, it makes sense out of a lot of things. The rising cost of fuel and resultant increase in the price per specific car trip is why you can’t get food delivered in under half an hour any more unless you rent an apartment above a pizza shop. The reason why electronics are built to self-destruct faster than a note to James Bond is because otherwise you wouldn’t buy 2 iPods per year. The apparently skyrocketing cost of ketchup is why restaurants only give you 1 packet for every $5 spent.

I mean sure, things in general are more expensive than back when your grandparents had to walk 15 miles to school in the snow uphill both ways, but the interesting thing is that they can never be more expensive than we allow them to be. $350 sneakers exist purely because people will pay $350 for an item whose specific purpose is to be repeatedly dragged along the ground in an athletic manner. There is absolutely no reason why cell phone bills are upward of $100 per month or that cable costs more than groceries other than that many of us pay up without a fight. They used to say the customer was always right, but when we stopped saying it, the companies correctly believed that was a pass for them to do it too.


(umf...) Reloaded: a Letter to umf'ers

Welcome to the...um...new era of (undermyfitted...)
To whom I am concerned with,

What’s going on umf’ers? It’s Friday, and while it might definitely be a special day in your world in and of itself, it’s definitely a noteworthy day in the history of umf (and by definition, the guy under the titular fitted). I know I’ve been real sporadic around here lately, and it’s because I’ve been taking some time to get my life and career at least pointed in the right direction.

Honestly, there’s a lot going on right now, and most of it will probably appear in near-future posts, but I felt that a lot had changed in both my digital and real-life existences over the past yearish…but not this place. As some of you may have felt for a while, that needed to change as well. You might see some new stitches around here immediately, the first of which is the new official umf logo (and the addition of page breaks...let me finish).