The Most Overplayed and Overrated Songs of All Time

Out of disdain for click-baiting top-number-of-whatever numerical list blog posts, I present in no particular order or quantity the most overplayed and overrated songs of all time.  These aren’t bad songs by any stretch.  In fact, many are classics.  They’re merely not as great as history might want to believe.

“I Feel Good” – James Brown
“Brown Eyed Girl” – Van Morrison
“Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynard Skynard
“At Last” – Etta James
“Halleluja” – Jeff Buckley
“Respect” – Aretha Franklin
“Rock and Roll All Nite” – KISS
“American Pie” – Don McClean
“Mr. Tambourine Man” – Bob Dylan
“Yellow Submarine” – The Beatles*
“I Gotta Feeling” – The Black Eyed Peas

Just my 79¢ opinion.

*The Beatles’ inclusion here is my attempt at impartiality.





Noun, noun plural workatories

1. A situation created by one’s employer from which one is unable to escape for an extended period. Unlike a typical domestic business trip, Workatory is almost always an international trip that can run up to two weeks and bring about states of extreme disillusionment, fatigue, and longings for even the most mundane elements of day-to-day life that have been left behind. These feelings are generally proportional to the living and working conditions forced upon the employee while abroad and can wax and wane in intensity upon recollection of one’s current salary.  Reported extreme cases involve two weeks in the Indian subcontinent in 100-degree weather without proper air conditioning and/or shower facilities coupled with 14-hour workdays and corrupt customs officials.  Workatory can be avoided if the contributing factors are detected early enough, however only those who have endured and emerged from Workatory possess this foresight. The eventual end of Workatory can be one of the more blissful moments in life and may perhaps be worth the preceding effort.

2. A period of forced overtime.

3. A less-than-ideal office space.


My Tim Ferriss Experiment – Prologue

I discovered Tim Ferriss on July 9, 2009 at the [now closed] Borders on 33rd and 7th in New York City.  Contentment with the job that had sent me to The Big Apple for [now outdated] Apple Motion 3 training was waning.  Thus The 4-Hour Workweek title drew me as a tractor beam.  I picked it up, along with Lafcadio Hearn’s Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan and a tall coffee.  The following evening at a Starbucks down the street, dreaming of Japan and a shorter workweek, I began Tim’s book, the prologue serendipitously penned in Tokyo.  I’d love to say that evening changed my life.  And for the mere fact that I met Tim Ferriss and his experiments in lifestyle design, it may have.  However, I wasn’t ready for 4HWW.  I made it halfway through the book and put it down skeptical, intimidated, and thoroughly daunted.


Five years have passed.  I now have a different job that I enjoy, but I’m still dreaming of Japan (among other things) and a more efficient workweek. Tim has also written two other books (The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef) since that time, so perhaps the time is right to begin my own experiments in lifestyle design.  More to come.

Further Reading: The 4-Hour Workweek


Leaving Delta in 2015

Delta recently announced changes to the SkyMiles program for 2015. Miles will be awarded not by miles flown but by dollars spent.  For an example, see this grim comparison below of a $1,566 round-trip ticket from Lexington, Kentucky to Bangkok, Thailand (on a calculator ironically provided by Delta).


(Try it yourself here.)

I had originally thought to put forth a careful and detailed argument against this change, but no longer.  There is no point.  (See Delta’s Facebook page for the amusing consumer backlash versus Delta’s robotic copy-and-paste response policy.)

So I told Delta via Facebook that I’m leaving them for American Airlines in 2015.  This was their reply to my announcement of departure:

Hello Ryan Staples, please remember that you can continue to earn up to an additional 2 miles on Delta spend with the SkyMiles Credit Card. That is 40% , please remember that you can continue to earn up to an additional 2 miles on Delta spend with the SkyMiles Credit Card. That is 40% more miles on Delta flights as a General SkyMiles Member in the new 2015 program in addition to the miles you earn on every day spend with the Card. Thanks for voicing your concern.

(T.S. must be The System)

One thing I would suggest to Delta and The System: mile is a measure of distance, and if distance is no longer rewarded, then please don’t call them miles.

That just doesn’t fly with me.


The Gettysburg Address

The gentlemen and ladies of Why They Came and I celebrated Presidents’ Day this week by delivering President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  I once experienced the surreality of having The Gettysburg Address recited to me by an elderly Japanese man in Ueno Park (that story warrants its own post), and our version is perhaps just as endearing and definitely much more awkward.

Yesss, I missspelled addresss in the creditsss.  Unfortunately, YouTube does not possess the glorious file replacement feature that makes Vimeo such a vastly superior host of video.   If it did, I could simply fix my typo, re-upload the file, and we’re none the wiser. Perhaps one [cold] day [in Hell], YouTube will care as much about its users as it does advertising and add such a feature.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes iPhone video (held horizontally, as it should be)…


Collins Ave.

Arrived yesterday afternoon from Miami’s sunny 81° to Cincinnati’s sad snowy 25°.  An hour and a half later, back in Lexington to unpack Florida and pack for South Carolina (where I now sit).  Still dragging rear from a late-but-amusing evening with Philip Bloom and new friends from Filmgate, I had just enough energy to edit this little driving timelapse of my daily morning commute from Hollywood Beach to the Lincoln Road mall parking garage.  I have a ritual of listening to a liberal amount of Beach Boys in Florida rental cars and had gleefully saved my six-disc Made in California boxed set for this very trip.  So I stuck the GoPro to the hood, and with the radio blasting, went cruisin’ just as fast as I could (35mph).