Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Aggressive Addiction (re: "skins")

  • Ok, so I know I don't post a lot anymore. My witty banter and unoriginal observations have been bombarding my Facebook friends as of late. I guess I like not having expectations hanging over me, what can I say?
  • My post today is about subject of TV addiction, specifically how Liz and I came to be regular watchers of that most Un-American of channels: BBCAmerica.
  • I honestly don't know how we first got started. Its rare to remember your first hit that clearly, its the "why" of coming back that matters. But, I'm sure it happened when we stopped to watch Gordon Ramsey (who as recently as 12mo ago, I couldn't stand) eviscerate someone on "Kitchen Nightmares," and I noticed that the British version was more amusing than what we got over here. First, the 'bleeping' is so poorly done, that you pretty much know everything that comes out of his Scotch pottymouth, and second, the incompetents in the UK are so much more colorful than the smattering of over-pierced, poorly tattooed, white boys with dreads that we have over here (please note: I'm intrigued by piercings in general, but what is it about fry cooks that they end up overdoing it so bad?).
  • Ok, so yeah enough about him. So, we must have gotten through that (presumably on a Sunday night when we were really bored), and I can only guess that we suffered [ :P ] through one of those horrible horrible (=wonderful!) documentaries like "My Big Breasts & Me," and on came something we had seen advertised before, a teenish dramedy called "skins." Its focus is on the last year or so before HS is over, and how college/adulthood awaits.
  • Ever since we saw our first episode, which was apparently #7 (from Season 1, 9 total), we've been hooked. I can't define as to exactly why. Its just that entertaining I guess. Guilty pleasure or not. I just know we were looking at each other the whole time, going, "is this happening, on tv?" Its been pretty much a constant since that Sunday night at 10pm, and most every Sunday night since. As we were watching them "live" to us, we just followed the sequential format that BBCAm was putting out, with Season 2 starting immediately after Season 1 ended. Don't worry, we'll go back to the beginning, I'm sure of it. (That's Sid below, definitely one of my favorites.)

  • A pretty interesting format awaited us. Not only was there a moderately large cast of characters to keep track of (9 main, with probably another 7-8 important ones), but the pace of the show was harder than most American TV drivel (read: FAST). Lots of inference as to what happened between episodes is apparently the norm, and sometimes you're left saying, "oh man I can't wait to see how X handles this," and boom, you just have to imagine it instead. I'm certain that's common elsewhere, but its just harder with the dynamic lives the characters lead. Its flashy, with appropriate music thrown in constantly, and good lord do these kids sleep around. (That's Chris below, the 'party animal,' he has some of the best one-liners in the series.)
  • I think ultimately, our sheltered TV watching existence, i.e. nothing really tamer than Basic cable (so no HBO, etc) did us in; it really set us up for this. The drug use, the language, the in-your-face sexuality (not that I complain), the equally fragile/damaged adult characters were just too seductive. Did I mention that they warn at the start of the show that its subtitled in English, as sometimes the slang and accents can overcome even the most street-learned of us all (its actually pretty useful sometimes)?
  • I've thus far refrained from linking to the obvious resources of information about the show, its Wikipedia page and its Channel E4 page. For one reason - the spoilers. I find I enjoyed the show more when I hadn't read ahead and learned the fate/direction of several characters. I'll put it here, but just be aware, there's nothing that crucial that you need to know to watch the show. Lizzie hates when I start to smirk as something important is developing on camera, she'll look at me, and yell out questions about fate, paths, and dammit why did I read ahead?!
  • Another fairly interesting tidbit about the show is that its written by young people, and of the main characters, only Tony was an actor previously (I even remember him from About a Boy = damn good movie, btw). For unknowns they're damn good. Also of note is the plan for Season 3. Only one character from the previous two seasons is returning, Tony's sister Effie. For an incredibly popular show (and multi-award winning), to shove off their stars at the height of the show's fame is a pretty ballsy move. Its like re-starting a new cast on Friends with only one semi-obscure character returning (think of lesser importance than Joey, we all know how that ended up....ugh). Here's a review(yar, thar be spoilers!) that summed up how I also felt about Tony, early on. For all intensive purposes, he is the main protagonist of the first two seasons.
  • Season 3 will also keep its eyes on the same transitional period in young people's lives, where coincidentally, choices & decisions matter. (That's Tony below, who you might come to hate, but will likely then reverse course.)
  • Finally I'll leave you with this: the actor that plays Anwar, who my wife and I find extremely hilarious is the star of the new hot *indie movie that will be on all top 10 lists,* Slumdog millionaire. Its probably worth checking out, just to see if good ole Anwar still glimmers in his eyes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mustaches for Kids!

  • Well well, I'm a terrible poster. But if you manage to stifle your murderous rage at my lack of posts, I am a grower (keep reading!).
  • And of course a lot has happened in the times since I last spoke to my wide audience of maybe four (love you dear/all). Thanks to my wife for helping make those awesome buttons.
  • Therefore I interrupt my lack of posting for a plea of your hard-earned Lincolns (see right).

Anywho, the organization that we're pseudo-participating in is called, creatively enough: Mustaches for Kids. We're operating on the outside this year, to see how well we can do, then perhaps we'll join next year as a formal chapter. Here's my friend Konrad's description of what we're

Hi all,
Next week (Nov. 17th, 2008), many brave gentlemen in the Department of Biological Sciences at Notre Dame (and indeed others across the country) will be shaving it all off, for the kids. We have decided to participate in Mustaches for Kids, a nationwide effort to raise money for children’s charities. Participants in this noble cause will be growing sweet ‘staches for a 4 week period, and collecting donations for local charities. Think of it like a fun run of facial hair. This year, our charity partner will be Big Brothers Big Sisters (of South Bend, IN).

We will also have a big ‘Stache Bash at the end of the semester, which will include a Mustache Competition (which will probably be a cross of a beauty pageant, dog show, and police lineup). I’ll hopefully be going for most funds raised and sweetest ‘stache (and hopefully not worst ‘stache!) If you’d like some more information (or just to confirm that this is for real, and not just a bunch of weirdos growing mustaches and stealing your money), please check out

That’s about all for now. In the coming weeks, please ask me about my mustache, how the fundraising is going, and (hopefully!) what you can do to help. I look forward to sharing my facial hair adventures with all of you in the coming weeks. Take care.


So you see, it is real. I have already given in, and shaved it all off. Personally, its the first time I've been completely clean-shaven since 1996-1997 (egads I'm old!). Its a sacrifice, indeed, as winter is most certainly here. Why its not beards for kids is beyond me...I guess its just our manly sacrifice. It really is a nationwide effort, so grow with me!

(dough + nate!)

Finally, I leave you with one final frightening image that will haunt your dreams (scroll at your own risk). If you don't donate, I'll hunt you down, and show you this face! Albeit, with a freshly grown, sweet mustache of course.

By the way, this was pre-full-shave, post-beard destruction. My attempt at a three musketeers / french-kinda thingie. Sigh, boy is my nose not straight (Mike + diving board *attempted leg tuck = Billy Joel Nose).

Monday, June 30, 2008


I remember my Aunt Sharon mentioning what a pain in the ass these are to keep around....coming soon everywhere!

You would think the in-house container-design-expert would offer them some friendly advice. How about a pull-out spout?

Saturday, June 28, 2008


is awesome. That is all.


/further bulletins as events warrant (C&H)!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Ok. I hate the Lakers. Their lack of geographic sense has eaten away at me forever. If you're going to move a team, it damn well better make sense (Utah Jazz anyone?). Add in the "L.A" factor (stars I don't care about - stubble doesn't make you look cool, you chaches), and you have a recipe for hate almost as strong as my feelings on Deion Sanders.

That said, I also dislike the Celtics. Their entire season this year, of inevitability, selling off their young talent for one shot at the finals (ok, when KG is available I get it, I'm just bitter the Bulls whiffed), reeks of desperation for an entire city. They are Hillary Clinton to me.

So, who do I root for. I hate Kobe Bryant (*cough* r-A-p-I-s-T *cough*), and that whiny baby Paul Pierce....about the only thing going for him is his slight avoidance of the full-on "whites of the eyes" look when complaining, perfected by King Sulky, the Virgin Islander Tim Duncan.
Enjoy the offseason Spurs, have fun playing shuffleboard and canasta (oh, and Sweet Jesus Ginobli, just shave it all off or get a hair transplant, you look like a Dark Ages Monk)! Damn you "gentlemen (except Horry, duh)" for derailing my Nawlins' finals fantasies!

And the final straw; she comes to me: if they don't start calling "moving picks" on Kevin Garnett with some sort of regularity I'm going to pull my hair out (beard first, then soulpatch, then head, ending with pubes = OW). Look, I understand the unsubtle finesse of an NBA game (non-call fouling, screwing the Mavs in the finals when you breathe on Dwayne Wade), and although I loathe to see traveling uncalled, I sorta get why they let it slide (just occasionally, because it usually enrages me).
That said, the very act of moving during a pick, you know the rule being that a pick setter MUST be stationary lest it be considerd a foul (BY DEFINITION), taints the game as just another subjective competition. Let's just decide whose dish is less salty (Go Chef Morimoto!). Either way I don't like the taste of these finals.

Ugh. Go Lakers. Now I need a shower. And I use parantheses too much.

Phone home Sam!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tidbit + music

After watching Ché sway and swoon to tunes at the lunch we ate today, we came to an exciting decision.

I will promise that before I die, people everywhere will loathe the phrase "Toddler Interpretive Dance," and that our DVDs (Vol. 7 now in prep) will sell better than Baby Einstein. Now where can I get my hands on some children and a camcorder.....

Boy that last sentence sounds like a invitation from "To Catch A Predator."

How is it that daycare centers don't do this already? Screw the Christmas production, throw up some 2-3 year olds swaying on a stage to "Welcome to the Jungle!" My bet is that in 3.5 minutes one kid will be already crying from being accidentally somersaulted on....

What I'm listening to (over and over, via a very very long battery life!):

Oh yeah, one more thing. Thanks to AJ, a recent grad working in our lab, I now know the joy that is the Drive-By Truckers' 2006 album: A Blessing And A Curse. Wow what a great band. Occasional distortion, but boy great Southern rock, mixed with what CCR might sound like in this century (see "Gravity's Gone").
Not too many bands can write a beautiful song about a boy wondering about his deceased older sister (that he never met), but "Little Bonnie" is gorgeous. Other standouts are: "Daylight," the best showcase of the main singer's vocal range, and the closer "A World of Hurt," a sullen look at how life will always keep you from dodging the inevitable - losing integral parts of your family. With all of that though, he can still confess, "Its great to be alive." How did I ever miss these guys? I'm really slipping.

I like Man Man a lot too. Let's just say that their song "Werewolf (try and make sense of that!)" is the reason I can be found constantly singing in a low voice:
"Yer a diamond in the rough, baby
A werewolf on the hood of your heartbreak
Yer a diamond in the rough, baby
A werewolf on the prowl, come and save me"
  • It then goes on after this 3:00 or so, with sounds of a (what can only be a) beach, waves, and something vaguely gullish. It finally clocks in at over 10+ minutes.
"Van Helsing Boombox (skip to 1:20 in)" is without question, their best song. Did I mention these guys are just a tad insane? Wonder-mous pornstaches abound!
But, more about that song another time.

/off to keep up the "busy" that we require this weekend. Ew, I know? You're like totally grossed out, no doubt! Scrub your mind of the mental image of glorious me! You're welcome!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yet another impersonal post, about software!

I generally don't like regurgitating other people's "content," so to speak. That said, I'm happily re-reporting on more updates and add-ons to a program you may have seen before. "John's Background Switcher" is a free Windows-only program that does only as named; its not "John's Expensive Program That May Or May Not Work" or "John's Bloated Spyware Memory Hog."

It uses about as much memory on my laptop as Thunderbird does (although I have 2GB of RAM), and really does work, for free. Beyond even the novelty of a program changing your background on your terms, it can not only use local pictures and local folders (this is how you can use the really nifty choices - more later), but suck in photo albums, or tagged photos from flickr (top 10 cute pictures of Nadja or Romana), picasa, and yahoo among others.

Besides just displaying an image on the desktop, and switching it
for you, when you select a local folder the nifty features I mentioned appear: the ability to create a "snapshot scrapbook," a "four-picture montage," and "thumbnail mosaic."
It can also stretch, center, scale, and over-scale pictures (just select them all and right-click) for your local resolution.

Best of all, its fairly intuitive (did I mention FREE?), and clean-looking, and lightweight.

It makes me want to up the delay of the cool screensaver I was all excited about a few weeks ago. Confession: I put it on all the computers at work. :/

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Phone Fraud

I hate it. Why can people get away with this?


I'd like to think I'm as clever as this guy.

But I really wish I was this good. Egads!

I will definitely take the first guy's approach:

repeating "Yer not gittin' mah account number," in a Southern drawl.

That and maybe this one:

"jadenton at 01:51 PM

Personally, I like to keep an air horn next to the phone for this very reason. One good blast and they have to take a time out before calling their next victim."

Cockfighting is pure family fun!

  • Ok, so I know what you're thinking. Mike, what kind of bad parent are you that you would drag a 2 yr old to any event that included the mere possibility of seeing roosters attack one another?
  • Right towards the end of the parade, after the marching bands, the police cars, the fire trucks (of which many my Papa bought ages ago), and the mix of janky clunkers and muscle cars, it happened. Following a group of gauchos (Mexican horseback riders in full regalia), two impressively hatted men carrying roosters, turned towards each other and set their roosters onto the ground.
  • Holding a short leash on each, they removed a small muzzle (what niche manufacturing company makes those I wonder?) and the roosters went straight at each other (without any prompting). Audible gasps around me aside, the whole event took all of about 15 seconds. I'm sure those cocks barely got to get a sweat worked up (ignore the sexual euphemisms, please). Quickly, they were scooped up, point end away from the torso, and the muzzle replaced.
  • Four points are important to mention here:
  1. These were clearly professional handlers.
  2. These were not garden variety farm roosters. They had the long flowing wing & tail feathers (see @ right), and the temperament of bred gamecocks.
  3. Why would someone display this during a parade?
    1. Pride? Really, an illegal and despicable act is what you choose to honor?
    2. Profit? If you were going to subtly announce that you are in the cockfighting business, wouldn't you just walk one cock on a leash, and let everyone in the know instantly pick up on it.
  4. This is a despicable "sport." I love football, and it certainly is a contact sport, but the point of the game is not to injure an opponent; it happens and sometimes losers do target another athlete intently. However, its not by planned intent a bloodsport. This is one reason why boxing and I don't get along (ignore the blog name please).
  • Luckily, Ché had no idea what was going on, and neither did the other kids around. They were staring at the huge horses. The excuses of some people, "wasn't on purpose," or "probably happened once," are horse excrement. I was there, I saw it. It was clear as day. And if you read the SBT article, people at different stops along the route saw it too = happened more than once.
  • There is beauty in a chicken (just ask my cousin), but its not found in the barbaric wholly unnecessary deaths of what could instead make a perfectly good sandwich.
  • Sorry for the long delay, I get busy, and bored. I don't want blogging to feel like work.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who gives a fuck about an oxford comma?

  • Ok, so I'd like to discuss two "bands" today. First up, is the mildly known Vampire Weekend. Again, not to suck up, but I heard it on NPR. They were also just on SNL a few days ago. With the full-court media press in effect, its getting likely that you'll hear more of them as the year drones on. The profane title of the post is the opening lyrics to track #2 on their self-titled debut album. A song with references to the annoying nature of some grammatical nazis, it bounces along with a jaunty beat, much like the 10 other songs on this debut. Best described (by someone else) as rich kids that listened to a lot of "Graceland," its one label; indie-afro-pop, being the other label I've seen bounced around. I hate labels like this. Just listen and decide if you like it or not. Me gusta esta musica.
Who Me?
  • Next up is the lovely Zooey Deschanel. See, I told you so. Even she seems surprised to be found as lovely (see right). Described aptly as the "honey voiced starlet from 2003's Elf," the most likely time you last saw her (unless you saw The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (let's face it, most people didn't). But I digress. Ever since I saw her in that movie singing, I've been smitten with her voice. Similar to when I first heard Neko Case serenading my cousin's wedding with her "Deep Red Bells." Only one song with Zooey singing made it onto the Elf soundtrack (its not even in the movie!), the duet with Leon Redbone on "Baby It's Cold Outside."
  • Well that certainly didn't whet my appetite for more! She's been performing as a cabaret act for a few years, but never formally released any music. Its been a long wait, but apparently worth it. She's now performing with M. Ward as She & Him, and have just released the creatively titled "Volume One." Just listen to Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? to get a feel for how her voice can work in a more pop setting. I find the album pretty enjoyable, so its not just her voice anymore! She's um, a good actress too.
  • /end

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Favre hangs 'em up.

  • Wow, so Brett is finally done. I'm kinda surprised actually. Everyone has read the permutations of the story that has defined my fandom over the last 16 (17 total, 1 with ATL) years.
  • No matter who played QB for the Bears over that time, Brett has 0wned us. Last year, we beat him not once, but was definitely the exception to the rule. With those two losses, he was 22-10 lifetime against the Bears (regular season), and 12-3 at Soldier Field, so much for home-field advantage.
  • Losing to the Packers was the one consistent thing that I could count on the Bears delivering me (besides the bad QBs, cruddy WRs, poorly performing RBs...sigh), season after season.
  • I will toast his retirement from a Bears perspective, but as a football fan its definitely a loss. He more than anyone epitomizes to me the tough QB that every team needs, willing to just throw the hell out of a ball downfield and see what happens, INTs be damned. From a fantasy football perspective, he was a nightmare, a gambler. Though of course there's been a decline, watching him in 2007, you could hardly tell. I wonder what its like to be that old, and surrounded by teammates telling you, they had a poster of you on the wall. It must be sobering.
  • He more than anyone realized that a long INT is just a punt, and sometimes its a TD. It was like watching Michael Jordan, you don't know what you're missing until its not there. He for the most part was pretty classy, and definitely did a wonderful job off-field supporting the Green Bay and MS communities.
  • I want to know how many WRs had to get treated for damaged sternums playing with him.... ick!
  • Best of luck Brett.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hooters (*sigh*).

  • Ok, so by now I would assume that most intelligent people are aware that some restaurant franchises exist on the rather questionable principle of serving bar food with scantily-clad women and alcohol. A business model straight out of the strip-club establishment playbook! It would seem to work too, with over 435 locales, in 46 states & 20 countries. I for one, have only ventured into said establishment "Hooters," just once prior to Sunday afternoon. It was back in HS when we were down at state for the swimming championships. It was a fellow swimmers mom's idea, what better place to take impressionable high school youths who are forced to wear tiny tiny swimsuits all the time (she obviously knew we could restrain our exuberance)?
  • When people asked me about it, I would always retort: "they had good fries!" Not that yummy fries can completely absolve one of the moral ambiguity of dining at such a place.
  • Fast forward to our lazy Sunday afternoon, and post-toothpaste acquisition we found ourselves hungry.
    • The scene: Mom, Dad and Kiddo driving aimlessly around Grape Road thinking about where to eat. I mention an interest in something Mexican. We drive by the Chipotle store, where we've never eaten, and find it to be packed. As anyone with a 2-yr old knows, why walk into a situation packed with delays between "UNCH" and a full toddler belly? We drove on. My wife commented on a new taco place opening near Don Pablo's (why didn't we think to go there? $$?). So we drove into the lot of "DelTacos," and sure enough they're still hiring. So I ask the wife, as we are in the shared parking lot with Hooters, "well, think we could just go there?"
  • Now, look. I am not a Hooters guy, I don't keep calendars of scantily-clad womenfolk anywhere around the places I inhabit. Secondly, I don't really get drunk and go out on the town. I'm too cheap! That said, I also wouldn't go to a strip club either, why buy into something when you've got the same essentials at home, with romantic love/lust thrown in as icing on the cake?
  • So now that I've proven that I'm not some sexist schlump, I can attest to going there solely because we were in the lot, everyone was hungry, and we wanted to swim in an hour and a half.
  • We walked in, and immediately I got a tad uncomfortable. I had forgotten apparently just how little they wear, AT WORK. I don't like to be forced to check out ladies with my wife and kiddo in tow (that's just not cool!), and when the women are wearing ridiculously low-cut tops and short short orange hot pants, its hard to look at the ceiling without walking into things. That and, I don't want to be a creepy, ogle-you-as-you-walk-me-to-my-table kind of guy. So first off, I follow the waitress over to our table, and look back to see that the kiddo and wife are stuck at a coin-operated chiclets-dispenser. After waiting the appropriate time, I continued on to the table.
    • Little did I know that said kiddo was also taken aback by the short short orange hot pants, and when a waitress turned to enter an order into the computer, he apparently shot out a hand to give her tookus a little pat-down. The wife saw it with wide-eyes, and stopped the attempted sexual assault before completion. She even thinks that no one else even saw it. He likes all things orange; I guess it can't be helped.
  • So we're sitting down now, and wife proceeds to tell me what he just did, and now my eyes are wide, and as she talks of the near offense, our server "Lauren" arrives. Now I don't know if every server does it, but she wrote her name down on a little napkin, with XOXO under her name. I guess most men/clients can't find the restraint to take their eyes off the boobage to read the nametag that's just barely hanging onto their clothes.

Other oddities:
  • Wife and I comment that there are actually quite a few other families eating there with small children, so we're not the only ones that apparently considered eating there. After I joke that Hooters probably gives their waitresses a tanning allowance, the wife points out that no in fact, their legs are sporting super-tight, silky, super brown tights. Wow, never noticed that!

  • Even more interesting, was that my wife couldn't figure out how they got it all to fit in the short short orange hot pants, there's really not a lot of room to cram much of anything in them, let alone a tookus. She claims to not see a panty line, whereas I feel there must be underwear, for health code compliance's sake. Thongs, maybe?
  • Lauren actually talks to us about international adoption once we break the subject using the term "birth-mom," she seems nice, and comments that she wants to have a kid of her own, then adopt, but not now she's too young (20). My wife smugly feels it was all trolling for tips...who knows? She also dislikes that the waitress sitting on a stool next to her leaning over the table, leaving me to talk while looking at my plate. I'm an eye contact guy, but I don't want to cross a line of too much looking-down activity.
  • All of the waitresses have long combed hair (no curly), all worn down. No mixed colors either. All black, brown, or of course bleach blond.
  • Ché is loving having all the tvs around, and seems really enthralled by the bowling on ESPN 32. We'll have to take him to the alley one of these days.
  • My wife witnesses four drunk guys harassing a different waitress; as she leans over to deliver a drink to the far end of the table, a guy touches her neck with the flick of a finger. Now see, that's totally uncalled for. I don't have a problem with someone working at Hooters, just because they feel they can get better tips (read: asset-based), but as a dad, if that were my daughter getting harassed I'd be seriously pissed. Just because you're in a "meat market," or using the lame old "wearing a uniform" excuse, doesn't mean the women deserve to be harassed in that way. I feel bad too, because they probably just let it go, so as to keep the tipjar filling. Ick.
  • I ended up leaving almost 20% on the bill. Not out of thanks for Lauren's assets, but for her ok service. I would have left more, but she didn't refill our drinks often, and totally forgot our request for a knife, and my extra order of fries (it all comes back to this for me). Its not like she was that busy, I think she was waiting on a whole 3 tables in a fairly empty restaurant. I now always take my buddy Konrad's tactic: start a running tip clock (@35% or so), and with every mistake the tip %-age goes down.
  • Oh yeah. The food. It was ok, Ché ate most of a hotdog, I ate his fries, and ate my steak quesadilla appetizer as a meal. Liz had 10 wings (which she usually doesn't like - and reminded me of), as it was the most carb-less thing on the menu. Lemonade, diet coke and milk rounded out the bill. Again, its bar food. The fries were good though! :)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Well today we've played around the house, gotten some toothpaste @ Target, and eaten lunch at Hooters. But the latter deserves its own post. Let's just say that if Ché develops a fetish for cleavage & orange hot pants later on, its probably my fault.

Now we're off to the pool, let's all hope the random push-off of our usual nap-time doesn't come back to bite us in the buttoxes!

I got rid of the content warning. I haven't been very good at cursing lately anyways, and I loathe the idea that I'm putting an extra click between you and my mind spittle (thanks to LizIL for pointing out its annoying nature).

I played some Nintendo last night with Patrick and Konrad (they came over for a meatloaf dinner), good 8-bit times! I'm apparently better at MLB than I am at Bases Loaded, who knew? I got to come back and w00p the Giants in Tecmo Bowl too, go Bears! I only threw like 5 ints, and still won...Jim McMahon deserves a benching.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Mid-Day Chuckle

I came across this today in the goldmines that are the FARK political threads, and felt I needed to share it.

Here's a round for failure all around! *Huzzah*

In a different vein of failure we get the following:

As in the failure to keep a public's trust......Many thanks to the Billboard Liberation Front!

The perils of being an early adopter

  • Ok, so waaay back in time (imagine Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise singing that), I bought an Archos Jukebox 6000. I said to myself, its the early 2000's (I think it was 2001 already), I have a new job, and some disposable income. I also have a computer filled with music in this odd little file format called ".mp3." I want to listen to it everywhere, CDs are the past man! I went to Best Buy (now universally panned as Worst Buy), and spent probably 200 dollars. At the time, it was yes a lot of money, but there were basically no other comparable models out that could match the behemoth that was 6GB of music. was a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad heavy brick. It worked fine for 6 months or so, and then it had trouble booting. I suspected the HD died, I tried changing the batteries (a cumbersome process) and to no avail, it just wouldn't wake up. By "worked fine," I mean it had a horrible interface, and sickly green backlight (only when you pushed a button), an a analog volume control! My biggest gripe was the lack of a shuffle amongst folders...they essentially could never write software that could do such magic.
  • Fast forward a few years, and after perusing lots and lots of reviews, I have embraced a South Korean firm (after my bad lot with the French). I bought a 1GB I5 (see image at right). I loved it! The sound was amazing, the interface easy, it had a great radio, much better battery life (replaceable AAAs). Heaven! But.......I should have learned. Once again, I hit the wall of death. This time it was a dead circuitboard, lasted me a full year+! Out of warranty now, I was forced to think again.
  • Its now Fall 2007. I'm thinking again (dangerous, yes!). I still want to avoid the HD based players (based on the 6k's faults), and I love the flash memory, but its pretty small in capacity terms. Should I abandon the brand loyalty? Well, I'm a sucker for smooth looking devices. So I bought another Cowon product. The I7 and wow is it attractive. Comes in a 6GB red flavor, with again wonderful sound, great radio, 60h life on a lithium battery, and a "innovative interface." Blah, blah, the verdict is again, that I love it. Drawbacks off the top of my head are these:
        1. The "swing touch" is great when its in your hand, but is waaaay too sensitive in your pocket. Thus you must rely on the hold button, which also turns the device on. It gets too much work, and I've had one break on me already (fixed under warranty, w00t!)
        2. I don't really need to watch videos on a screen the size of a postage stamp, so i don't. I like being able to change the screen background though
        3. As its flash memory, you're really paying through the nose for the capacity you get. HD-based players are far cheaper in that arena. But I can shake it all I want, drop it on the ground, it still plays. Suck it Apple.
        4. The radio reception was actually better in my building with the old I5, except in the strange nexus of good cell phone coverage that is Kulpa lab though. Too bad I don't work there.
  • Ultimately, its hard to pick a winner these days, when consumer electronics are made to not last long. I could probably resurrect the Jukebox 6k, but I don't need to carry around that much weight, I've already got a baby on my back! Besides, its not like I bought an iPhone. *smirk*
  • /end

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Keep it short, stupid

  • Okay, so here we go. First post, woop-de-doo.

  • I made that cheesy animated .gif above, with an intent to use it, but alas it is so very crappy. Its a great font though: Stylograph. I highly recommend the free, easy image manipulator I used to place Little Mac in his fateful battle with the mighty Aialik.
  • I have a little to say on the politics front, though you could easily assume I'm crowing with 11 straight wins for my candidate of choice, but instead I'm quietly optimistic. I genuinely feel that supporters of Mr. Obama are treated rather shabbily, mocked as cultists, accused of voting out of guilt, rather than on a the politician's merit. All it does is remind me more and more why I don't support a conventional candidate. Look, of course he has money (mostly donated), he has fame (people gravitate to talent), he has people that support him blindly (regrettable, but a common phenomena), but he also has over 1 million people that have pledged because they genuinely trust him. I think that all of these things add up to being more than a flash-in-a-pan politician. I'm not saying anything new of course, but I don't like political power concentrated in the hands of the few, and if anything he's certainly an example of making your own path.
  • I can't make up my mind on the NBA lately: I rarely get to watch games, and can't usually stay up late to even see any of the west coast games, but why are the Western teams so much better? They are filled with talented players I enjoy watching, and it just spoils me on viewing the Bulls ineptitude. I realize the commish is a powerful, fairly aggressive promoter of his sport, but how can he ignore that half of his league is awful to watch? The concentration of "good" players in the East is so spotty it leads to only 5 teams with a winning record, to the West's 10! Pitiful.
  • I'll post a bit more about music later, but for now, seek out The Gourds at any cost. I'm pretty much consumed with Gourds-Lust/Cucurbitaceae, and have quickly snapped up 5 of their albums in a short period of time. With many bands its often just the music alone that keeps me listening, but with The Gourds even cheesy lyrics like those below, put to the appropriate bounce have me yelling along on the drive home:
Everything that I have
Everything that is true
Everything that is possible
Everything for you
Everything that you want
Everything that I do
Is what I do for you
-from the regrettably named "Do 4 U"-

  • /end