Art for Life

This is the Blog for, the official website of Delaware artist Michael J. Riley.

Friday, March 31, 2006


It's good to report positive stuff for a change. I returned to my office this week (after a year of working from home). Man, at first there was the moaning and groaning of being torn away from my humble abode, but then the inevitable embrace of my pending fate. Lo and behold, it wasn't that bad after all! I saw some new faces and some old friendly ones, plus I managed to avoid the usual sour-pusses to boot. I feel like I conquered the world, even though it was only a three-day victory. I'll take it for starters.

Monday, March 27, 2006

F.Y.I. Before You Buy

Okay, here is the scoop. You're sitting at home hoping to see at least 10 minutes of actual programming during your favorite television show's 30 minutes of allotted air time (the other 20 minutes will consist of commercials). All of a sudden, you hear the disturbing blaring of a high-pitched guitar screaming at you through your surround sound system. "What the heck is going on!?" you may ask. Well, allow me to explain. You have just experienced the proverbial, "song and dance." A ploy used to seduce you into the buying mood, because the product alone is not good enough to sell without employing bells and whistles. Here are a couple of examples of the song and dance at work:
  • Progressive Insurance's Commercial:
    Introduction - Guitar bangs away, Drrrruhn, Drrrruhn, Drrruhn! "Thisssss issss howwwww lifffffe shoulllld beeeeee!" No. Sorry, but buying over-priced, over-hyped car insurance is not, "How life should be."
  • Comcast Highspeed Internet Service:
    Introduction - Goofy music plays in the background, as cheesy powerpoint looking graphics and page transistions announce how fast Comcast's service is (by the way, you'll never reach the speeds they claim). In multiple colors the voice-over coos, "It's Comcastic!" No. Wrong again. First of all, I guess we are supposed to equate "Comcastic" with fantastic. I used them for over 6 years and believe me, I dropped them because the service became very unreliable. What good is having a sooped-up engine if it stalls during takeoffs? Spastic, not fantastic and definitely not "Comcastic" whatever the heck that is supposed to mean.

Buyer, beware!

Just Wrong

Okay, in the grand scheme of our world's current state of affairs, this pales in comparison, but nonetheless, it still gets my goat! I have been trying to work this 40 plus year old body back into shape by playing a little basketball. Sure, I could join a gym, but the basketball courts inside the gyms around here are usually either tied-up by special interest classes or overrun by NBA wannabes who just might cripple me. I prefer going to the neighborhood park, which I have frequented since I was around 13 or 14 years old. Here is my problem:When it comes to outdoor recreational facilities, living in the city of Wilmington can be frustrating. We don't see regular maintenance performed on our basketball courts. I recently got tired of shooting hoops with no nets (I like to hear that sweet "swish" sound!), so I purchased a set and hung them myself for all to enjoy. The first pair disappeared after about a week. I guess someone has a little setup in their driveway and is too @#%! cheap to buy their own. Well, being stubborn, I hung another pair, which disappeared the next day! Something is wrong with this picture. Back in the day, inner-city basketball courts were treated like hallowed ground. If nets disappeared, it was because the resident sharpshooters were torching them via their jump shots... These days I am thinking that the only torching going on by whomever is stealing our nets is in the form of their chopping the nets up and smoking them to get a buzz. The fools probably think that they are made of hemp. How sad.