You know, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve done one of these. In the past, and I’m talking like ten years ago, I called them random musings and even mindless musings. Realistically, these are just thoughts that cross my mind, but I’m not convinced they necessarily warrant a full blog post of their own. Like the ambiguity of saying something is “deceptively simple.”

What Does “Deceptively Simple” Mean?

I had considered writing up a full grammar post about this, but I feel like it would be ultimately inconclusive. A dad blogger friend of mine recently said that he and his daughter tried pho for the first time. I commented that the Vietnamese noodle soup is “deceptively simple.”

What I meant by that is that pho looks really simple, but it’s actually remarkably complex. And then that got me thinking that “deceptively simple” could also be understood as the exact opposite: something that looks complicated, but is actually quite simple. I turned to my Facebook friends for their input and the response has been overwhelming. And inconclusive.

As of this writing, the Facebook poll has 76 votes with:

  • 41 – It looks complicated (but is actually simple).
  • 35 – It looks simple (but is actually complicated).

I reached out on Twitter with the same question too. The Twitter poll has had less of a response (only six votes), but it’s split right down the middle with three votes each. So, basically, we have no idea what “deceptively simple” really means without additional context.

What If We Combined Band Names?

Years ago, Ed Lau and I joked around with a Shakespearean take on The Fast and the Furious. It was ridiculous (and ridiculously funny). This evolved into song lyrics reinterpreted by Spock from Star Trek. These are creative exercises with no meaningful objective.

And then some other random thought entered my mind earlier this week. What if we started combining popular band names together to make new names? Some example may include:

  • Three Days Peace
  • System of a Stone Age
  • Hootie and the E Street Band
  • The Beach Pumpkins
  • Pearlgarden
  • Swollen Ladies

Feel free to contribute your own via the comments below.

How Should I Spend My Google Play Bonus Credit?

I recently reviewed the new Google Pixel 3 XL. As a tangential part of the testing process, I finally decided to sign up for Google Pay. The “tap to pay” system (which you may have once known as Android Pay) links up with your credit card and works wherever contactless payment is accepted.

To encourage me to use the system, Google offered a $10 Google Play Store credit if I completed five purchases in the first 30 days. I did that. Now, I’ve got the bonus credit to use toward apps, games, movies, music, TV shows and books.

Google Play Store

Except I’m not totally sure what I want. My initial inclination was to pick up some cheap mobile games. Now, I’m leaning more toward a couple of $4.99 movie rentals, like Christopher Robin, Incredibles 2, or A Quiet Place… though if any of these show up on Netflix any time soon, I’ll feel like I wasted my “free” money.

A New Amazon Influencer Storefront

And finally, as you’re likely aware, I included some Amazon affiliate links in this blog from time to time. When you complete a purchase via one of those links, Amazon kicks a small commission my way. In addition to this, I’m also a part of the Amazon Influencer Program. That provides me with my own Amazon storefront (sort of), which you can find at

Amazon Influencer Shop - Beyond the Rhetoric

When I first started using the program, it only allowed me to maintain a single page. So, all the products I wanted to promote would just show up in reverse chronological order. I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but now I’m allowed to promote programs (like Amazon Prime) and I can organize my recommendations into public lists.

Right now, I have the items organized into Reading List, Gadgets and Tech, Vlogging and Camera Gear, and Recommended. The last one is a bit of a “catch all” for whatever doesn’t fall into the other public idea lists. Go ahead and check it out at your leisure. Are there any other product categories you’d like me to highlight? Or maybe a 2018 Holiday Gift Guide of some sort?