Sign of the times

sb_sign_29154I got a chuckle out of this sign as I drove by on Airport Road tonight.  I’m as weary as the next guy of this non-Spring we’ve been having.  The bitter winter didn’t help much, either.  I know we NoDaks are resilient and have historically turned bitter cold into bragging rights, but everybody I know is fed up.  Hopefully Spring does come and stick around (although there’s a freeze warning for tonight).

sb_sign_29154This reminds me of a great sign I spotted a while back. A long while back, since the Donut Hole has been Bearscat for quite some time.  But it’s a Star Wars reference, which means it’s timeless.

Check out the Signs, Logos, and Typos category here on the ol’ Blog for some of my favorites.

At this point, I guess they’re probably just doing it for my amusement

The City of Bismarck has put out a notice that load restrictions on the city’s roads started on March 15th.  It gives me the perfect opportunity for a little good-natured ribbing over the “Restrictions in Effect” signs traditionally seen around Bismarck this time of year. Restrictions of what nature, you ask? If your only source of information was these signs, I suppose it’s anyone’s guess.

I first saw these signs go up a few years ago (and every Spring since) and thought they were pretty funny. It’s because of the load restrictions I mentioned, but the signs omitted that detail. It’s only after someone figured out what was missing (maybe they read this blog) and wedged a little “Load” in there that the signs made sense:

This is how the corrected signs look. I am still occasionally surprised to find an unmodified one posted. As I drove down Centennial yesterday, I noticed that someone’s going to have to dig through a drawer for another “Load” sticker!

With all due respect, I think you’re a little late

alcohol_billboard_60d_0081I have seen this billboard, or one similar to it, a couple of times. I finally had to stop and take a quick photo because I think it reveals a problematic mindset.  Your opinion may vary from mine, but I think that age 13 is far too late to be teaching our children about alcohol.

I’ve never been into drinking.  When I was younger, I didn’t see my parents do it – other than perhaps a single Fuzzy Navel or something at a wedding.  My dad had more alcohol in the house than I bet 99% of American households, but he didn’t drink it; he collected unique bottles, cans, and miniatures.  What I had witnessed in other people consuming alcohol was the change in their behavior, and it didn’t seem like something worthy of pursuit.  Thankfully my parents backed those observations up with admonishments about what alcohol can do to people’s behavior and consequences to its use.

Later, as I became an adult and my childhood love of motorcycles really took off, I definitely wanted nothing to do with alcohol.  I used to say that alcohol was “against my religion”: motorcycling.  This was, of course, before becoming a Christian.  I simply knew that alcohol would severely impact my ability to ride, and that was unacceptable.

Meanwhile, having accompanied friends to Shades or other bars or nightclubs, I couldn’t see a point to alcohol consumption or hanging out in places dedicated to it.  I’m thankful for that too.

The Bible warns about alcohol, in that “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)  Based on my experiences above, and my convictions now as a Christian, I’m quite fine doing without alcohol or its effects.  And I’ve never needed it to have a good time.

Wow, I’ve really digressed, but I felt it important to give some background.  Now back to my original point: if you have convictions one way or another about alcohol, 13 is far too late to talk to your children about it.  By then your behavior has probably influenced them way more than your words will be able to.  If they grow up around people consuming alcohol, they’ve already formed their own perceptions.  If they see it as perfectly acceptable behavior, good luck lecturing that out of them.

Our children were told about alcohol, how my wife and I feel about it, and what the Bible says about it when they were around the age of four.  They watch a kids’ gospel western show that has an episode devoted to it, and it sparked curiosity in them.  Their questions prompted us to tell them our stance on alcohol consumption from a personal, practical, and biblical perspective.  We train them on so many other things, alcohol is just one more part of the picture.

At some point they’re going to be old enough to face those choices for themselves, and I’m not going to try to shelter them from that.  In the mean time, I’m making sure not to squander the opportunity to teach them while they’re young, explain why we believe what we do, and help them apply that long with everything else we teach them.

Frankly, by age 13 I’m sure many kids have already had exposure to alcohol.  If they run into that at such a fragile age with no preparation by their parents they’re going to be at a far greater risk to make poor decisions.  Peer pressure is all but unbearable at that age, so unless a child has a firm foundation it’ll be very hard to resist.

I appreciate the well-meaning message of this billboard.  I simply think its message needs to be applied much earlier.  Parents leading by example will help reinforce the admonishment they give their children.  With all our children face at the age of 13, they had better be well trained already.  Otherwise they’re getting too little too late.

How to choose shoe size…or, why you should have a website before your TV ads say you do

cntree
I don’t watch much television anymore, but I do try to catch the occasional local newscast. If you do the same, you may have seen ads running for the business portrayed above. They appear to have a regular schedule booked in the 5 o’clock news. Being the curious sort, I often check out local businesses’ websites when I see them advertised somewhere. In the case of this tree service, I guess I’d better bone up on my Thai.

cntree_dotcom
This is a trimmed screen shot of cntree.com. As you can see, there’s nothing about tree services on it. It’s occupied by a squatter who has filled it with spam posts, mostly in Thai. The featured article, according to Google Translate, is “How to choose shoe size”. There are a couple of English ones at the bottom. Oops.

Frankly, part of the responsibility for this snafu lies with whoever produced the ad. I’ve produced hundreds of television commercials in my career, and a plethora of other videos and multimedia products. Nobody’s perfect, most of all yours truly, but I try to always check every URL (website address) I’m asked to put into those products, regardless of who provided it. The last thing you want to do is have the black eye of a wrong website address or contact information on the product. This ad has been running for weeks on local television, but apparently nobody has caught this? I sure hope they can get it rectified…either by securing the domain and getting a website up or by at least getting the doggone ad changed.

So, if you’re looking to find your shoe size, types of alloys, glasses that fit your face, or high back chairs…apparently C&N Tree Service can help. It could be worse: they could be putting out cereal boxes with the number of a phone sex line on them by mistake!

Found a misspelling, but not the one I expected

Years ago I spotted this truck along the walking trail on the west side of the Missouri.  I started at the trailhead in the Captain’s Landing township and walked past this truck parked in someone’s backyard.

 

Naturally, something jumped out at me: a serious error in the word “Bismarck”.  Since this wasn’t typed, I didn’t really call it a “typo”.  I figured someone in the sign shop got a phone call after the first R or something.  There obviously was no keyboard or computer on which to blame the error.

 

tibesans_truck_27079I’d often wondered what the other side of the truck looked like, but, not wanting to go rooting around in someone’s back yard, I figured I’d have to find out another day.  That day came recently when, on another walk along the trail, I noticed that the truck had been moved out into the open.  It was time to “innervestigate”, as Tigger says in my boys’ Winnie the Pooh books.

 

tibesans_truck_27083Both doors are significantly faded, but it’s easy to see that the other one contains Bismarck in its properly spelled form – they even remembered the C.  Then, on my way back to the Bizzo, I came across one that I had driven by innumerable times and never seen:

mckenzie_typo_27109Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the alternate spelling of McKenzie Drive in southeast Mandan.  This is the sign at the intersection just south of Moritz.  How in the world did that go unnoticed for so long?  I have no idea…I’d like to think strict vigilance to the traffic in my surroundings.  Maybe the sign itself is a recent replacement, although the new ones are lowercase. I don’t know, but I spotted it this time.

So, I went out in search of a misspelling.  I found one, but certainly not the one I expected.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

mandan_dumpster_27077Driving through Mandan this weekend I was surprised to find this dumpster along 1st Street.  That’s a pretty cool tribute to Mandan history!  It just goes to show that there’s a never-ending supply of neat stuff to discover around Bismarck-Mandan, no matter how much time one spends poking around with one’s cameras.

Now, as long as the NCAA doesn’t declare it “Hostile and Abusive™” and start telling North Dakota we’re banned from post-season play, I suppose it’ll be able to stay…

Ifff it’s the same on both sides, is it an accident?

I noticed this sign the other day and had to do a double-take. Yep…three Fs. 50% more fffun, I suppose. Of course, I had to check the other side, and yes, it does have the same anomaly. That raises the question, is this a ploy to catch the eye, or a mistake somehow duplicated on each side of the sign?


That reminded me of this mistake, on the door of an old truck near the hiking trail along the Mandan side of the Missouri River. It isn’t a typing error when it’s hand-painted!

I don’t know why I find such sign oddities so fascinating, but it was kind of fffunny to spot this latest one.

Restrictions, you say? They’re coming next week…whatever they are (Load)

The City of Bismarck has put out a notice that load restrictions on the city’s roads will start next week. It gives me the perfect opportunity for a little good-natured ribbing over the “Restrictions in Effect” signs traditionally seen around Bismarck this time of year. Restrictions of what nature, you ask? If your only source of information was these signs, I suppose it’s anyone’s guess.

I first saw these signs go up a few years ago (and every Spring since) and thought they were pretty funny. It’s because of the load restrictions I mentioned, but the signs are omit that detail. It’s only after someone figured out what was missing (maybe they read this blog) and wedged a little “Load” in there that the signs made sense:

This is how the corrected signs look. I am still occasionally surprised to find an unmodified one posted. As you can see in this previous post, I was almost second-guessing whether I’d even seen the signs without the word “Load” inserted. If there are any of the original vague signs remaining, someone’s going to have to dig through a drawer for another “Load” sticker!

The ubiquitous leaf, revisited

Logo design follows interesting trends. A while back the “swoosh” was the predominant feature of way too many logos, and another overused feature was the leaf. Case in point: the photo above.

There are three leaf logos in this photo, but there’s also a leaf on the Applebee’s sign obscured in the background…and Kirkwood Bank was just to my right as I took this photo. That’s five leaves within a one block radius, a new record in my book.