Sometimes, you’ve just got to give it up for good packaging. I know I, for one, have fallen prey to such things. Hell, why shouldn’t I? When you see something so eye catchingly clever that you want to snap a picture and send it to your friends, some guy in the marketing department deserves validation. My purchase of said product, I feel, goes a long way in providing said validation.

Case in point: a few weeks ago, I was at the best local liquor and wine store (cork ‘n’ ale deserves a post all to itself; if you’ve been there you can agree. Their website leaves something to be desired, but don’t all the good local places? ..I digress). This used to be a payday ritual though my bank account frowned upon this practice. It’s the kind of place that always has new and different things, regularly on a weekly basis. Though I go with one goal in mind (on this occasion it was to procure whisky for our weekly tasting) I will, without fail, be allured by something fancy.

The fancy item on this occasion was Firestarter Vodka. It appeared to be the last one on the shelf. This implied to me that I wasn’t the only one drawn to the clever packaging: it looked like a fire extinguisher! This was quite probably one of the coolest liquor packages I’d ever seen. On inspection, it wasn’t in a tin as I first surmised – most of the Scotch we’d been tasting was sold either in a cardboard tube or a box. No, this was the actual package (though I’m sure once we finish off the liquor and tear down the case out of curiousity we’ll still find glass inside).

I was told at the counter that it was not the last bottle, rather, it was the only one they’d purchased. To assuage any guilt felt, I’m going to break down the rest of my experience with you here.

Arriving home, we HAD to break into this. My hasty reading at the store led me to believe it was a pepper vodka. This would’ve made sense with a name like “Firestarter.” Heck, even making it high proof would’ve been clever. Instead, the only relevance to the packaging was the “percentage of all sales goes to firefighters” blip. That was a slight disappointment, but it was still a cool and unique concept. I got the honor of pulling the pin…I pressed the lever….nothing. ok, pulling the pin was cool, but where’s the pump action? Feeling sheepish, I read the side…it wasn’t a pump. Instead, you LIFT the lever, likely removing the cork from the bottle. The vodka the dribbled out as it fought the vacuum to get out the tiny spout. Yet another disappointment. Still, the bottle was cool and the vodka was smooth, so the night wasn’t a total loss.


Long Time Coming

Maybe it was Microsoft e-mailing me to say my subscription had been auto-renewed.

Maybe it was Mary Lou bugging me about it.

Maybe it was Amra’s frequent posting lately.

Maybe it was all of these. (probably)

Maybe none.

Certainly it was laziness that has caused this one year, one month gap in posting. It’s not for lack of things going on in my life I’m sure. I feel like I haven’t felt as contemplative lately. So I started thinking about things.

I still have opinions. Most are pretty self-serving. Narcissistic even. But at least I’m not a blob?


Some of my old posts make me laugh. I miss the Blog Wars for certain. Would love to get back to crafting writing challenges. I’m sure I have the time. TV is just easier I guess. Maybe I’ll be smarter if I read more, write more, and whine less.

So stop me if I whine. Or I’ll stop myself.

But here I am, remembering how to type.

I still have to look at the keys.


It recently came to my attention that my portfolio was yet again down. I probably ought to use something more stable than MediaFire to host it, eh? However, as my domain name is registered and hosted by Microsoft Small Business, I cannot access it from my mac (true? I have to check again) so until I come up with a better solution, this is my interim fix.


On this Self-Imposed 140 Word Silliness

I had a conversation with Mary the other week which I used as the inspiration to begin blogging again. The topic which we discussed was mostly my lack of blogging lately and my attempts to justify it. She was quick to point out, however, that my tweets had not decreased in size. I countered that they were easy and quick to pound out at only 140 characters a piece to which she suggested that I simply make my blog posts that long.

I couldn’t justify such short blog posts; what’s the point? Then they might as well be Tweets. So what if I made them 140 words? It seemed to be a great idea; I’d write succinct posts and the word limit would be beneficial to my momentum.

As it turns out, that was a silly idea. For one, the limitation led me to feel like i hadn’t hashed out my thoughts thoroughly enough. (That was 143 words…I still feel unfinished) I do ramble, and, though it has no place in professional writing, this is my blog. I feel that rambling is my way of casually communicating my thoughts in a (hopefully) entertaining fashion. So I won’t win any writing awards and I probably wouldn’t even get an A were this graded. It’s mine. My self-imposed limit was an exercise in restraint. I have none.

Second, even with such a short requirement given to myself, I haven’t been writing every day. I can’t promise that to myself or to anyone. It’s fun and I enjoy my ranting and raving, but I don’t always have the time make the time. Other things take precedence. Sleep is one of those. Studies have shown that sleep makes one less tired. That, in turn, means I am able to be less cranky at work. Who’d’ve thought?! Crazy…

So I may to another 140 word blog post. I may not. I hated ending things mid sentence. I also didn’t like the brevity. Tweets are fun because staying within 140 characters can be an interesting challenge, but it’s always doable. This 140 word garbage was just that. Shit.

Small Guys [2]

[continuation of a previous post]

The XS size was perfect…save for the fact that every store assumes there aren’t any guys my size. Such assumptions lead the store to buy less of the small sizes, leaving poor little me with no recourse yet again. It was only a fluke that I even found the ONE XS shirt the Saginaw Express had for sale. However, it was white and $60. A colour I didn’t need and money I didn’t need to spend.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. A shopping trip to Troy to the Somerset Collection with one Mary Bader led me to their Express. Lo and Behold: the Box sale. Apparently, no one in Detroit is an XS either, but the store had not accounted for this and actually purchased a few. I walked out with 7 $20 dress shirts. Score.

Small Guys

I’m not a large person. Not in stature nor in presence. So I overcompensate by being bawdy and by making “dress clothes” my normal attire.

The former is for shock value. The latter, attention. Much like dying my hair and collecting flair in high school.

The latter, however, is difficult for kids of my stature. My neck is a size smaller than the smallest dress shirts sold at JCPenny. Suit size? 2 smaller than the normally offered smallest size at almost ANY department store.

Years ago, I found refuge in Express for Men’s small 1MX shirts. They were great…until they did what women’s stores often do and make their smalls mediums and so on. So their smalls no longer fit me.

Then they made an XS. Like American Eagle before them…my day had come! Or so I thought…

[to be continued]


I am pretty certain that a tweet is 140 characters. I’m’a make this post 140 words. Why? Cuz it’s a number I can reach quickly without the chance to ramble TOO much. Rambling is a bad habit of mine. However, recent attempts to motivate myself to write coherent, useful blog posts have failed. Epically (that word looks funny written).  Mostly because I’ve discovered the beauty of unlimited texting. At my friends chiding of my 1500 text a month plan (which I finally surpassed), I went unlimited for $5 more. I won’t go into my previous justification of being limited, but I’ll say that I wanted to get my money’s worth. My billing cycle ends tomorrow. Estimated text message usage for the month? 4,400.


30 text bursts certainly contributed to that impressive number. So, if I’ve been notably absent on the interwebs, that is most certainly the reason why.

Hello; my name is Nicolaus E. Witchger. I am a graphic designer from Saginaw, MI best known for wearing bow ties and drinking single-malt scotch, dark beer, and espresso.

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