POCKET LOGIC is the brainchild of two completely ordinary guys. It was a midnight idea -- an idea to take a break from our long winded, contemplative blogs and write about the things we think are hilarious in a thoughtful way.


Here are the values that define us :-

  • Truth is beautiful.
  • Laughter unites.
  • The way we interact with our world says a great deal about who we are.
  • The most important thing in life is who we are.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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The Art of Gift Giving

On the count of three, let’s all confess out loud how strange our gift giving practices have become. I won’t pretend to be above it – I participate as much as the next guy – but I think it’s time we said a few words about the irony associated with gift giving around this time of year.
 
What started out as a generous attempt to show someone what they mean to us has become a time where everyone makes lists full of things they want. I’ve been guilty of this: “Hey, I really want this one thing but can’t afford it right now because I have to buy you a present… how about you buy it for me and then I will buy you the thing you want but can’t afford right now because you have to buy that thing I want for me”. We are asked to be in so many gift exchanges every year – but we usually decline on account of not having enough money to buy gifts we feel would please the recipient. Plus, if we said yes to every offer, we’d end up indebted to VISA for things we would never buy otherwise – having received things from someone else they would never buy otherwise.
 
At what point does this time of year just become a remorseful exchange of money? I had friends back in the day that could decide whether or not they wanted presents or the money their parents would spend on the presents. I don’t think Santa would approve. This is a guy that has his own workshop where we he has little elves custom designing the perfect toy for each child – because he thinks it’s awesome to bring joy to hearts by sneaking in through a chimney under the cover of night and leaving a little surprise under each tree. I think asking for the money straight up should be an automatic demotion to the naughty list. But seriously, Saint Nicholas went out at night and gave gifts that were totally unsolicited and unexpected – and to people who were truly grateful for them but would never know who to thank.

Perhaps it has been commandeered by the marketplace, exploited by materialism, taken hostage by a lofty form of suburban tradition – and perhaps this has caused us to miss the whole point of ‘gift giving’. Giving gifts is supposed to be fun and exciting – it’s a venture that’s supposed to be entered into with willingness and generosity. It is about expressing love with the element of surprise. It’s a sacred thing.

My wife has taught me so much about giving. She LOVES spending the time to find the perfect gift for people – gifts that will cause the recipient to brim with joy and pleasantries upon opening. It’s one of her favorite things in the world! She believes that gift giving can communicate love in a way that most things cannot. And like her, I hope to recapture the idea of giving as an ART.

Add to the conversation. How can we return gift giving to the art it is supposed to be?
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Friday, February 22, 2013

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Is Hulu Plus Worth $8?


Every now and again a product comes along that promises to deliver something that is already free -- only in a much prettier package. Each time I get frustrated with myself that I didn’t beat them to the punch. I could be rich had I thought of the banana slicer. At times it seems that tricking Americans into paying a third party for something they can already get for free is all too easy. But is Hulu guilty?


TV SHOWS
On the surface, Hulu appears to be offering a much needed service -- they deliver an affordable alternative to DVR by offering you unlimited access to streaming TV shows the day after they air. This is their primary sell. “No other streaming content service” does what they do. Sometimes, they even have full current seasons available. Sounds awesome huh? It is. But most (or all) of the TV shows they offer are available on their network websites too… the day after they air. While no other streaming content service provider does what they do, the networks do – a convenient word trick to make you think Hulu has the exclusive offering of said entertainment. Ultimately, Hulu Plus does nothing more than consolidate tons of TV shows for you into a nice interface so you don’t have to go to the network websites to watch them. I go to the network sites and save $8 a month.

MOVIES
Hulu Plus also claims to give you access to thousands of critically acclaimed movies. They do. The problem is that most normal people don’t like critically acclaimed movies because the critics acclaim the strangest ones. After searching through their top 250 movies, I can say with complete honesty that there is not a single one I’d have the slightest interest in watching. And even if I was interested in the movies, I could watch most of them for free with a basic Hulu membership (which costs nothing). It is difficult to say where the “plus” movies begin and the standard membership movies end, but unless you like watching movies with weird plotlines that you’ve never heard of, it doesn’t really matter.

Like bottled water, Hulu Plus has its redeeming features. You can watch Hulu plus on just about every device known to man. This is a swell feature. The website also functions well and is very easy to navigate. The color green is the most restful color to the human eye and makes you feel safe emotionally – so you should feel nice and at home while searching for something to watch. And who knows, perhaps you appreciate the cleverness of smart entrepreneurs who seduced you into paying them money to sell you something you already had for free?
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

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You Can Do Anything

Do you believe that you can do anything? If not, why? At what point in life did you stop believing in endless possibilities? (I have an idea on that, but we will save that for another post)

A couple of weeks ago someone on our team accidentally said that we can do anything we want. While I have no doubt that he doesn’t mean that carried out to the extreme, it has changed the way we started thinking as a team. It seems like all of the good ideas we have always wanted to share have begun to come out since we have had this sort of thinking, because the possibilities are endless now that we have taken off the restraints.

It is like a good brainstorming session now. A good brainstorming session always has one rule: there are no wrong answers; anything is possible. This encourages open thinking and permits people to say some of their crazier ideas. Here are a couple games we have used to help the crazy ideas come out:

The Empty Chair – “Invite” someone who is well-known as a great leader in to your meetings. For example, have a chair for someone like Bill Gates or Donald Trump. Whenever someone has an idea that they would like to share, but think it sounds too crazy they have the option to pose it as Donald Trump’s idea, rather than their own, thus deflecting looking stupid and getting a wild idea out on the table.

Stick it to the Man – a personal favorite brainstorming game that helps you look at a problem from a different angle. In this game the object is to come up with as many creative ways to solve a problem that would make as many people mad as possible. For example, if the problem was how to get out of debt a possible solution would be to rob either Donald Trump or Bill Gates.

Try these out and have fun with them. Never stop exploring possibilities and don’t be afraid of being unrealistic. Being unrealistic stretches your mind’s capacity in the realm of possibilities and you never know where it could lead you. What would it take for your life to go from where you are now to the next level of exciting? Most people are too quick to say that something can’t be done. So the next time you come up with idea and feel yourself heading in that direction ask yourself, “Why couldn’t I do this?” and then maybe you should follow up with, “No really, why couldn’t I do this?”

Think about this: You are just one decision away from an adventure.

You can do anything.

Go.
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

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Red Light Tension

Have you ever pulled up to a red light, looked over to your side, and noticed that you know the person sitting in the car next to you? At first your excited to see that your friend is gracing the roadway with you, but after the initial 3-5 seconds things begin getting really awkward. You've already waved and smiled, and then one of you looks away. Its a long way back to eye contact at this point. If you keep staring at them while they look away, that is creepy. If you look away, you worry that they might be staring at you. And what if they are? You have to try to play it cool -- but not super cool -- you don't want it to seem like your trying too hard. You wonder if you should roll down your window and say something... but what would you say? "Hey! I can't believe your driving on this road. That's really weird. Oh you can't hear me? Why are you giving me that look like you can't understand anything I'm saying but your smiling and laughing anyway." So, you choose to not roll down the window. You adjust the radio station. Wiggle a bit in your seat. Glance over once or twice. Grab your phone and act like someone just called you.

Of course, you might start an actual conversation. But soon the light will turn green and your getting pretty nervous that you'll end up getting flipped off by the dude that takes himself to seriously in the Ford Taurus behind you. He's already upset that you refused to let him out when he was trying to pull out of White Castle. Your concerned that he might need a toilet soon. And what if the conversation starts to go somewhere and the light changes? Do you call them and finish up the conversation? Follow them? Or do you just wait until you see them again and reminiscence about that weird day when you were both driving a car on the same road in the city you both live in?

Red Light Tension Etiquette:

1) Avoid the situation completely, keep your eyes forward, don't look around.

2) If someone is desperately trying to garner you attention, act like you don't know them, and shake your head as if to say, "you have issues".

3) If you happen to make eye contact at the same time, don't act excited. Instead, act as angry as possible that you've just seen them. They will be so confused.





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Thursday, September 13, 2012

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Tricking Subway

For those of you who haven't figured out how the system works, here are a few tricks of the trade when you go into a Subway restaurant that might help you save a buck the next time you are looking to purchase a sandwich! While these findings are not all my own they definitely need to be shared, because after all, we all need to save a buck every now and then (it is a down economy)!

So here it is:

A footlong Philly Cheese-steak is around $9. However, for the Subways that serve breakfast all day, you can get a steak, egg, and cheese footlong for $6.50 and get everything you would get on a Philly and save about $2.50 in the process.

If you are looking for a nice Chicken, Bacon, Ranch delight you could pay $7.50... or you could go for a footlong chicken breast ($5.50) and add a couple strips of bacon for a $1 up-charge AND get it smothered in all the ranch you want for a total of $6.50, saving you yet another dollar.

The exact prices might not be accurate, however, the amount of savings are real. I have no idea why these inconsistencies exist, but I'm sure there are more I just haven't found yet. If you know of any more please leave them in the comments so all can enjoy the same delicious sandwich they would enjoy anyway, just for an extra buck or two in the pocket at the end of the day!

Please enjoy while these inconsistencies still stand. It is only a matter of time before the kind folks at Subway realize what they are doing. It is like stealing, but legal... and that is what we call Pocket Logic!
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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Reservations about Reservations

It seems like every time I rent a car, I end up getting a different car when I arrive because they gave my car away. Sometimes they even try to up sale me like, "sir, we actually don't have any midsize available at the moment but we could upgrade you to the full size for only $17 more dollars a day. Or you could get a smaller car for no extra charge". Huh? I reserved a midsize car -- why did you give it to someone else? Why in the world do I have to pay more for a bigger car when its your fault that my car isn't here. Okay, I will take the smaller car I guess. Here is the cash I owe you. Oh, you don't take real money here? Well, how about I don't rent a car at all. Thanks for nothing.

Here is one of my favorite Seinfeld scenes ever that addresses this injustice. You should spend the 3 minutes to watch it.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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Work Less. Do More.

What if we worked less in the work place? Let me ask a different question: what if we quit pretending to work as much as we do and actually acted like we work as much as we really do? 82% of you know what I am talking about, 19% of you are lying about it, and 21% of the people who read this will realize that math did not add up.

I am a big fan of the hit sitcom The Office. I always found it interesting that a branch who had as much fun as Dunder Mifflin, Scranton branch always had the top sales of any branch under the Dunder Mifflin name. It is possible that the thing that drove the sales could be the very thing lacking in 87% of businesses today (of course that stat was made up, so stop thinking of where I came up with it). The people who work for this branch are always having fun with one another, but that fun drives an atmosphere of family within the work place to where the employees actually have something to look forward to when they come in to work.

Episodes often begin with something interesting happening around the office. One time there is a push-up contest and anyone who does more push-ups than Michael Scott was able to go home early, and everyone cheered on Stanley, a vastly overweight man, as he struggled through his 10 push-ups in order to go home. Another time the whole office teams up to trick their boss into thinking it is later than it really is when he fell asleep in his office after lunch.

Everyone in the office bickers and fights with one another, but whenever a single character is missing the whole dynamic is off; everyone adds their own flavor. You sort of get the feeling after a while that it would be a work environment that you would want to go into, that would be easy to wake up in the morning and roll out of bed for. You never know what is going to happen, but you know whatever happens will be fun.

What if the Office was on to something? What if there should be a level of fun and an on-going joke around the work place? What if there should be friendly competitions happening throughout the week that may or may not have something to do with the work you are to be doing? The thing is, most people won’t try it because it will seem unproductive, but the next time you are walking down the hall and you see someone wasting time in any way, just think about this and give yourself a little laugh. For those who do try it, I think you will find that instead of wasting time individually, wasting time together is much more productive! Some of the best ideas could be born out of wasting time with someone else instead of by yourself.
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