Poor Impulse Control.

Similar to the character Raven in the book "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson, (it's a fantastic book and you should go read it now instead of this post) I am also getting a phrase tattooed on my forehead. Unlike Raven's, my tattoo will be voluntary, and I'll use small letters because I don't have a giant, slab-like forehead. It will say "Attention to detail is limited at best."

Why? Because that had to be my favorite line in my finally-posted blog review over at humor-blogs.com.

Reading parts of this review was like being in first grade all over again.

The report card criticisms were always the same. Johnny doesn't pay attention. Johnny doesn't apply himself. Johnny is always talking to his neighbor. Johnny won't stop touching his crotch. Well, that last one was actually from Miss Welch, my high school French teacher, but you get the idea. Check it out if you get the chance. Most of the comments were great, and Diesel does a fantastic job with the site. Every blog that gets reviewed always seems to get some unfavorable comments. I am pretty sure that these guys are on permanent retainer over there.

In other news, under the guise of "Well, I have to open it to put the batteries in," I played with this for a half hour yesterday. (Don't worry, that link is safe for work. Or is it? You take your chances on this here blog. )

If you are a geek like me, and had a microscope when you were a kid, this thing is pretty amazing. It's supposed to be a gift for my nephew, but I may have to keep it. It would be either really fun or a complete disaster to take it to a party. I haven't decided which yet. I supposed it would depend upon how much everyone had to drink before you broke it out, and how many nerds were in attendance.

After I put the batteries in, I sat down on the floor in front of the television and just swept my hand across the hardwood a few times to gather a little bit of detritus. I discovered some interesting things at 200X magnification. For one thing, I discovered we need to clean the floor way more often. Aside from that, it's an impressive piece of technology for $40. What did I see? Well, there was something that looked like a giant slab of freshly cut fish that turned out to be a tiny section of Christmas tree needle. Something else that was a bright fluorescent blue-green looked be a sand crystal or something that happened to glow in the particular wavelength of the LED light source.

If you get one of these, just don't look too closely at your own skin. It's shiny and wrinkled and has giant telephone poles poking out of it -- and seriously, you won't want to be in it any more.

And that was just from looking at my arm.

ps - I'm currently working on scanning some of my amazing childhood artwork, so stay tuned for that. Let's just say I was not a talented young man.


  1. Make sure you get it tattooed on backwards, otherwise it won't make any sense when you look in the mirror.

    I'm not sure it makes any sense in your review either, but at least you can read that straight up.

  2. JV, I saw your review already today. And you know what? I think it is total crap that people were complaining about your posts being too long. Don't do it man!! I can't imagine a condesenced version of some of your stories. And what the heck is wrong with people anyways, afraid of an extra 15 minutes of wordage? I am sorry, that just bothered me. I mean, this coming from a society of people who spend countless hours watching useless reality garbage on TV....should we complain about someone taking the time to write something? And write something actually worth the time to read it? No, not in my opinion.

  3. Anonymous6:50 PM

    Too long...TOO LONG! Insanity...

    Keep it up!


  4. Anonymous6:55 PM

    Are you scanning your amazing childhood artwork with a homemade device made from a gutted scanner and your new^Hphew's toy?

    You can see individual brushstrokes!
    I see individual bristlestrokes. In fact, that's all I see. This particular bristle was ellipsoidal.

  5. Anonymous6:57 PM

    I like what you write. I like your style.

    I must wonder why you would care about the opinions of people who have nothing better to say than to suggest each article should be the same length of all others. That is just plain silly.

    Some thoughts take more words to convey than others.

    Sure, some of your tales are longer but it's not like they ramble meaninglessly and need vicious editing.

    Thanks for writing for us.

  6. Anonymous6:58 PM

    love your blog as is ! please pleae keep doin what you do because you do do it so well. *been a reader for over a year and enjoyed every minute of it*

  7. Con, I don't really care, in fact I think that particular comment was pretty funny. Just goes to show you can't please everyone and should never try. Maybe I'll just pick a word limit for every post and comment and stop in the

  8. Anonymous7:05 PM

    Maybe there is another '15 minute lunch' blog out there somewhere cause I don't know what they were reviewing. If I knew a hacker I would definitely send him/her your way.
    I'm an Australian so I have no idea what 'normal' American/Canadian humour is, it's obviously very different to ours, but quite a few of us over here in the southern hemisphere find your work highly amusing.
    I found this site due to the JC Penney post and I've gradually caught up to speed on everything 'JV'.
    My comment is getting too long so I'd better leave it here before I get 'reviewed'

  9. I bought one of those for my nieces for Christmas...My sister and her husband haven't let them play with it yet because they are enjoying it too much. I've been thinking about getting one for us just to see what it's like!!

    Love the stories -

  10. Anonymous8:12 PM

    ditto - don't shorten. The long ones are one of the reason's I come here!

    And the person who said it wasn't funny? He/she must have had a humor-ectomy. Seriously. Unless they only read like 2 sentences of the entire blog, how can they think not funny?

  11. Anonymous8:39 PM

    We got the eyeclops for my son for his birthday, and he loves it. Posted on it here: http://yourbrother.blogsome.com/2007/12/01/blind-eye-impeding-the-bionic-eye/ . My wife checked out a tiny mole on her cheek - it looked like a giant nipple. Great stuff.

  12. As a fellow writer of a wordy blog, I say screw those people. However, the actual review was great, so congrats on that! And please know that after introducing my boyfriend to your blog, I will now have to block it from him so he does not feel the need to purchase that horrible toy. I can just imagine what my cellulite looks like magnified 200x.

  13. Oh, I also meant to say that the whole "3 blog scroll" thing is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Do people actually go back and measure how many blog scrolls it takes to read a post? Those people need lives. Ok, I'm through here.

  14. Anonymous11:16 PM

    Dammit I like your uneven lengths.

  15. Congratulations on a great review, Johnny. I've submitted my blog for a review (probably won't happen for a LONG time) but I'm sort of a-scared. What if they say mean stuff? :(

    Anyway, great job.

  16. I'm commenting for the first time, but I've read, and thouroughly enjoyed, several of your posts. I think you are one of the best blog writers I read, right up there with Diesel, just different. I think the length of your post should match exactly the length of the story you're telling, in your unique writing style!

  17. write the way you want to,its gt=reat

  18. Anonymous2:43 AM

    We gave my 11 year old son an eyeclops for Christmas or his birthday (they are very close). He and his friends have been using it to look at their zits. Pus, it's marvelous.

  19. I think I'm too sensitive to submit my own blog for scrutiny, after reading your comments. I'll just drift on the fringes of the humor blogs universe happy and uncriticized.
    As for length and other petty concerns, I should tell you that after I read the JCP entry, I read your entire archive like a fevered binge eater. There are about two blogs in the world where I've read every single post.

  20. Ok, this one pulled me out of 'lurker' mode to actually comment! I also have been reading your blog since the JC Penney incident and am currently going through your archives. I'm not done yet, but I'll get there. YOU, DON'T CHANGE A THING.

  21. Anonymous11:14 AM

    Not a big "cruise the blogs" kind of person, but I randomly came upon yours one day and have made it a weekly occasion to check it out. Good stuff! Don't change a thing!

  22. Anonymous11:31 AM

    jeez. there's just no pleasing some people.

    i love your stories and enjoy reading about your childhood.

    and you do vary the length, so THERE.

    keep up the good work!

  23. Anonymous12:54 PM

    I commented on their review:

    Those two reviewers who broke from the pack obviously don't know funny... they are probably the kind of people who think frying ants with a magnifying glass and pulling the wings off flys are amusing past-times...

    JV rocks!!!

    Some people must have been drunk while they were reading, expecially the ones who complained about the length.

    Seriously? You're complaining about how long something is? In a world where we get so short-changed on everything we pay for, you're gonna whine about something fabulous we get for free? Dumbasses...

    JV, please don't change a thing.

  24. Too long? "Short Attention Span" should be tattooed to that guy's head.

  25. Anonymous1:49 PM

    You should take eyeclops on your next business trip and scan the hotel room. The results might get you some comps. Just a thought.

    Hope your holidays went well.

  26. Anonymous1:49 PM

    JV - I'm up to 11/2006 now on your archives and totally hooked. I sent Amazon.com an email to go ahead and automatically send me your first book. After all, Dave Barry sold lots of books filled with his columns, so you gotta get your stuff out there too, no matter how damn loooong they are!

  27. Anonymous1:56 PM

    Oh yeah, when did you move to canada? ;)

  28. Anonymous2:22 PM

    I prefer the dark background.

  29. Funny about the attention to detail. Considering the review mentions you being from Canada when your blog clearly says you are from New York! Seems like their attention to detail was lacking a bit.

    Keep up the good work! I love reading your blog and almost always laugh out loud at something.

  30. Anonymous3:43 PM

    After a number of years of reading your blog I am compelled to comment (for possibly the first time). You write the only blog I read on a regular basis. I don't care how long your posts are, or how many times I have to scroll down the page. I enjoy every word. Please don't ever think of shortening your posts - I will be seriously disappointed!

    A fan, if not from the very start, then from very soon after.

  31. Anonymous5:56 PM

    reading this blog is like sex, sometime a quicky is OK other times... a long slow build up... well you know. a predictable 3 mouse scrolls is just not going to satisfy!

  32. Wow, people coming out of the woodwork. Thanks for all the comments.

    (Long slow build up? What? You're a woman, I can tell.)

  33. I like the lengthy writing as I do it also not quite as well as you but it gives me time to let the link to the eye clops download, so after reading your entire blog every post, and only having the site at 32% I'm a fan of length, I was thinking though about people that would sit and review blogs all day, that they would be naked and write on their mirror with lipstick?? Your a funny dude thanks for the laughs and the length, your blog is hung!

  34. I read everything you write and enjoy it. The long ones are long enough, the short ones are short enough. I laugh, chuckle, gurgle, force others to read your stuff. etc.

    BTW, how old is that kid you bought the toy for? I'd like to buy one for my grandson, but I'm afraid he's too young. You should add a link to the eyeclops. You'd sell quite a few. I want one myself!

  35. Great review, and let me say that though I love your blog (especially the dog post they referenced and the JC Penney post and...)I too am annoyed by the dark background. The other negative comments they made are just dumb -- not everyone has a short attention span and some of us like a good story, even if it takes 5 minutes to read instead of 2!

    Then again, as you can see, I can't even make a short comment, let alone blog post, so that's pretty much what my opinion is worth.

  36. Of course if you had any attention to detail you'd know you are down 22% on posting frequency when compared to this time last year.

    You should try those magnifyers driving...imagine how far up the highway you could see...

  37. I'm getting a tattoo on my forehead that says "stop talking".

  38. Oh, and about the number of scrolls to read a blog? I would imagine that's the only exercise some of those bozos get on an averaged day, so go ahead. Make it long. They need the cardio.

  39. I think your blog is great! Although it sounds like those bad reviews didn't get you down...and they shouldn't!

    Keep up the great work!

  40. Ve, is that by number of posts or actual words? Math isn't my strong suit.

    I think I'll keep plugging along doing my thing, my only concession being to change the background color a bit. I would change it more except that when it was black, I did a lot of custom yellow for the headlines. If I change to a white backgrounded template, all that becomes unreadable, and I'm not sure of an easy way to fix that bit.

    I remember thinking after my second post in 2005 "OK, that's it. I have nothing else to write about." And I still say the same thing after every post I've made since.

  41. Anonymous4:25 PM

    One day I want to be famous too... :)

    I like the extended narratives, but then I'm a bit of a quick reader. Some folks just need to learn to work their way through text without having to sound out all the words, maybe...

    Snow Crash is a fantastic book, but it does fall under Stephenson's typical habit of not really knowing how to write an ENDING. All of his stuff that I've read has been phenomenal, until the denouement, and that's where he always leaves me a bit unsatisfied.

  42. Pantaloon - you are right. I *just* finished The Diamond Age and the ending was weak there as well.

  43. Anonymous8:29 PM

    JV keep it up your work is great and the childhood stories stir up many memories

  44. It's true the reviewers can be brutal. Every blog gets some negative comments. I can imagine what they would say about the length of my recent posts. Congrats!

  45. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Hey JV...I know this is a little off subject for this post, but I was wondering about your Christmas presents this year. Did you get any interesting presents from your friends (Example: Your pooping santa and his "poopsweets")?

  46. Actually, no! Hard to believe. I got DVDs and books and grown-up stuff.

  47. Anonymous8:34 PM

    Oh puh-leeze, I read that "review" of your blog, who cares aobut white text on a dark background? Get.A.Life. That dude needs to go back to art school.

  48. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Congrats on the good review at humorblogs. That was the best review I've read yet (and that guy always complains about black BG/white text.) Last time I went there, you were rated on top :)

  49. Anonymous3:51 PM

    at least you examined your arm under the microscope and not some, um, other appendage....;P

    40 bucks for a microscope, i think my husband would be interested. thanks!