Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I Cain't Live Without My Radio

Not everybody knows this, but before my current incarnation as a misanthropic tech support guru, I worked in the radio industry for several years. I wasn't anything so glamorous as an afternoon or drive-time DJ (although I did do work on both those shows.) Nope, I was more of a behind the scenes kind of dude, recording commercials and doing voiceover work. I was the guy at the end of those commercials that said, "All Jordans Furniture stores, including the Fabulous Natick store, are open tonight until 10!" or "Don't miss Seinfeld at 8, followed by Friends at 8:30. It's "must see TV" tonight only on WBZ-TV 4!" Or there was always my personal favorite, "Do you have a problem with alcohol? Do you think you know someone who does? Boston University Medical Center is conducting a blah blah blah........." Often times I would record the voiceovers in an accent befitting the actual commercial itself (or the product I was advertising.) Seinfeld and Friends? I despised both shows - boring monotone it was. Alcohol abuse commercial? Slurred it. (I once did a voiceover for Corona in a lazy Mexican droll. Inexcusable, really. I'm lucky I didn't get my ass fired there and then.) Jordans Furniture? That one was pretty normal. I liked the guys that owned it (Barry & Elliot), although I did once, rather inexplicably, voice it in an Indian accent not unlike Apu on the Simpsons. (The guys at Jordans loved it, or so I'm told. Called more attention to the product, apparently.) I'm still amazed I was kept on the staff - although in retrospect, I'm not at all surprised I never made more than $8.00/hour.

Why do I bring all this up? Two reasons. The first is to brag. Not everyone can say they were once a bush league radio star. The second reason is more complex, though. Part of why I went stupid crazy on the voiceovers is because well... it was allowed (within reason - I got spoken two once or twice. Often times the bigwigs wouldn't even hear it anyway), but also because I felt it added some much needed creativity to a radio station and format that desperately needed it. The trouble with much of commercial radio, then as now, is that is had become rather bland and predictable. In the battle for ratings (which incidentally, are calculated using a ridiculously antiquated system in which listeners are sent a dollar and a diary and asked to write down what they listen to over the course of a week and then send it back. Absurd - although admittedly they may have updated the process since I left) many stations are afraid to innovate. Instead, they stick with the "tried and true" methods that previously worked. No wonder the industry is in crisis.

Whew. I better stop myself. I'm going off on a stupid tangent. Apologies. Anyway, back to me and creativity and things like that.... Yes, so I tried to add a little spice where previously there was monotony. I'm no longer in radio (left for monetary reasons), as I mentioned, but I still miss much of the creative aspects of it. Thankfully though, it seems the industry is undergoing a bit of an overhaul without my help (as if I played a huge role in the first place. We know what to say here, don't we? That's right. PSHAW!!!) Commercial radio stations, hit with declining numbers since the invention of the MP3 player and satellite radio, are scrambling to reinvent themselves. They might even make some headway. In the meantime however, I'm really starting to get into an area which is helping to cause their demise - the podcast (click for defintion)

Yesterday, Apple's iTunes started supporting podcasts and offering them for free through the service. Bsically the deal is this - you browse through the multitude of programs they offer, subscribe to the ones you want, and everytime you open up iTunes it will download the most recent of those programs you've subscribed to (which you can then transfer to your iPod or whatever...) Think of it as Tivo for the audio world. I've subscribed to a bunch of shows already. Among the notables:

I've also thrown on a few programs from WGBH here in Boston. And no, there's no way I'm listening to all of it. Time doesn't allow. A number of commercial radio stations are trying their hand at this, too. I've yet to actually listen to anything from them, but it looks promising at any rate. Of course, it isn't just iTunes that is doing this. There are plenty of other outlets, such as, etc... But the fact that something with as large a presence as iTunes adopted it means that the technology is making great strides. Or at least I hope it is. Otherwise, you're stuck with jackasses like me bragging about how they pissed off the execs at Applebees by referring to their signature Riblets dish as being 'for her pleasure.'

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Mnah Mnah

Mnah Mnah

Do Dooo Do Doo Do

Mnah Mnah

Do Doo Do Do

Mnah Mnah

Do Dooo Do Doo Do, Do Doo Do, Do Doo Do, Do Doo Do Do Do Doo Doo Dooo Do

(It's a link, people)

[**Update** 07/19/05: Sorry folks. Downloads of this file were off the charts killing both the server and my space quota. Had to bring it down. Apologies]

Monday, June 27, 2005

Yo Quiero Computadores Nuevas

In retrospect I really shouldn't be surprised. The Monday following a very relaxed, very enjoyable week-long vacation is almost always a storm o' shit. Today proved no exception. Skipping into work this morning fifteen minutes early, I was almost taken out by the head of the Academic Department (in other more normal schools this person would probably be called a "Dean") who informed me between panicked gasps of air that she had a 'crashed' computer. 'Crashed' as in not working, nothing is salvageable and, of course, none of her data was backed up type of 'crashed.' Or at least that's what she told me. I quickly raised my eyebrows in what I hoped was a skeptical expression of.... um, skepticism. Understand this about the average computer user where I work - many of them are tech savvy enough to know their way around a computer (some, mercifully, are not, thereby ensuring my continued employment provided I play nice) but much of that knowledge comes from trial and error - emphasis on the error. For years and years the school went the cheap route when it came to purchasing hardware (think eMachines, then think "Surely he must be joking", then believe me when I tell you I'm not), and they absolutely paid the price. Machines would randomly shut down; everyday programs like Word and Excel simply wouldn't function because they (and the Windows OS) weren't installed properly; various internal hardware would inexplicably fail. In short, it was a mess. Schizophrenics were more predictable. The faculty and staff understandably freaked when these events occurred, until finally one day about a year ago, the powers that be decided enough was enough and bought new, much more reliable computers for the entire outfit (which I had a fantastic time installing, let me assure you.)

Since that time, we'd been relatively problem free aside from the standard user-induced problems (which we in the industry call "I-D-10-T" problems. ID10T. Idiot. Get it? HA!) So, when this woman almost knocked me down while screaming bloody murder, I stomped and harumphed over to her computer, turned it on and was greeted with a series of loud *clanks*. Holy Shit. Then the thing started beeping incessantly, and displayed a long list of jargonish statements which basically told me the hard drive was junk. Our new family of computers had seen it's first death... and of course it had to happen to one of the more important higher-ups in the institution. Crappity crap crap crap.
Long story long, I ended up having to drive out to Cambridge to pick up a new hard drive (the manufacturers warranty expired less than a month ago. You believe this shit?) On the way back, I stopped at Taco Bell for lunch and indulged in one of their new "Crunchwrap Supreme" combo meals. Oof. Let's just say I was hurrying back to work afterwards, OK?

(Side story time. Ignore the fact that I actually ate at a Taco Bell for the moment. What ever happened to the Taco Bell chihuahua dog? He's no longer alive, it would seem... or maybe he's retired. I once read that the dog was actually a bitch called Gidget (I've always wanted to use the word "bitch" in it's proper context. Now you've just seen my excuse to do so), but anyway I liked the thing. Call me crazy. He(she) almost even proved inspiration enough for me and one of my old roommates to get a chihuahua ourselves which we were going to name "Joaquin." You see, back in those days he and I used to love to drink copious amounts of tequila and watch football. Often, when there was no game on, we'd watch a movie instead. One night, we threw on 'The Mask of Zorro' which had a scene at the beginning where two kids were snooping around and trying to escape from someone so they hid in a merchants wagon. However, in order to see who was coming near they had to cut holes in the side to look out. The merchant caught them and, rather confused asked, "Alejandro? Joaquin? Why are you cutting holes in my wagon?" Doesn't seem like much now, but at the time it was the funniest thing we'd heard in months, although I still can't tell you why. We went around quoting it for weeks afterwards, and when my roommate decided he wanted to get a chihuahua the logical thing to do was to name it either Alejandro or Joaquin. Joaquin won out because it sounds better. Common sense intervened thankfully, and we soon realized that two men living together and owning a chihuahua would seem a bit... um, suspect. We also decided to keep the tequila consumption to football games only. Moving on.)

Eventually, I was able to get the bigwig's computer up into some sort of working order, but much of her data and old documents were indeed gone. Thankfully, she did a good job of backing up the real important stuff and it wasn't a total loss. Still, it made my day one of playing therapist on a bad stomach (people who have just suffered an irrecoverable computer crash ABSOLUTELY need consoling, as irritating as that sounds) while throwing all my normal duties to one side to get a single computer back up and running. Lesson to be learned? Back da shit up, yo. Never know when the thing's going to die on you.

P.S. As the afternoon progressed and I needed a break, I went back to my office to check my e-mail and ended up entertaining myself with
this little gem. (If you have trouble with the link, right click on it and choose "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" to download) See? It's not all bad when things break.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


**Warning!! Vacation Synopsis. If you bore easily feel free to skip today's post.**

Greetings from Bath, Maine. Yes indeed - today marks my 3rd day of vacation along Maine's coastal Route 1. Specifically, I am writing you from a Holiday Inn overlooking a highway (so chosen because it offered free Internet access) not far from the Bath Ironworks and Shipyard. The trip so far has been a good one, although far more driving than I originally expected. Day One saw us (my father and I) drive up to Bangor and then turn towards the coast where we continued further north. On the way we stopped at the Schoodic Peninsula (part of Acadia National Park) which offered some great views of the Maine coast. In all the years I've been living in New England, the only word I've ever seen used to describe the coastline has been "rugged" and this place did nothing to prove that description wrong. It is indeed rugged... no sign of a beach anywhere - simply jagged rocks meeting the ocean. So we chilled by the ocean for a bit - not too long, it was only the ocean after all, and after hanging out with Larry the volunteer park ranger from New Orleans and asking him why the hell there were no sandy beaches (his answer: because sandy beaches are nothing but ground up seashells and the currents off the coast of Maine were such that they didn't carry any seashells she sells to the seashore) we made our way further north to Machias (pronounced Ma-CHAI-us for you phoneticists) not far from the Canadian border. There we stayed at a rather comfortable Bed & Breakfast overlooking the Machias River (home to various wildlife. We often saw both an Eagle and an Osprey flying around. Other guests claim to have seen a seal in the river during breakfast but I'm calling bullshit on that one. They were old. I'm guessing they saw a rock.)

The following day we went up to Campobello Island, which has the claim to fame of being the summer residence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The island is actually part of the Canadian province of New Brunswick, and you actually have to go through customs to get to it. Once there, you get to see the "cottage" they summered in (it was really a big-ass house most of us would be envious of) and travel to various points around the island and catch some spectacular views. From there, we then traveled to Eastport, Maine which had little to offer - it was a depressed little town still trying to recover from the loss of their sardine cannerys nearly twenty five years ago. They appear to be making a good run at it though, as they're refurbishing all their vacant buildings, trying to bring in tourists through festivals and theatre projects, and putting n a good front in general. I, for one, hope they succeed. I liked the town's quaintness and potential. The only thing we really did there was eat at a Mexican restaurant, of all places, called La Sardina Loca which was covered in all sorts of kitsch and bizarre memorabilia. Definitely surreal..... good food though.

We liked our Bed & Breakfast so much (one of the owners was a gourmet cook) we decided to stay there a 2nd night and check out this morning. Once we did, we started making our way down the coast and hit Bar Harbor (I'd never been there before and was kind of expecting blah - it was actually pretty neat. Quaint, I guess you'd call it) and Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park which offered even more spectacular views. After that, we then hoofed it to Rockland and the Farnesworth Museum, which showcased many famous Maine artists, most notably Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer. Just some phenomenal art and well worth the trip - even if we only got to stay for an hour.

And so from there, our journey took us further down the coast looking for a place to stay when we happened upon this wonderful little chain hotel in Bath where I'm writing you from now. Tomorrow the plan is to hit Brunswick, and maybe some other little hamlets, and then make our way to Portland, where we'll take a city tour and walk around Old Port for a little while. Then, we'll continue down Route 1 and hope to make it back to Boston by late afternoon. All in all, an eventful yet tiring journey. The only real drawback so far has been the drive itself. I had incorrectly assumed that it would largely be a drive right up the coast with spectacular views to one side. Not so. Even the guidebook we followed offered detoured routes to get a more scenic drive and those offered little more than a glimpse. Nope - the drive is largely a boring one through forest, so if any of you are planning a trip up here, be warned. But that aside, it's been a good trip. Now, however, I'm going to stop writing and get some much needed sleep before I lose it and start snapping at the Mainiacs. Have a good night folks. Talk to you soon.

Monday, June 20, 2005


Well, I'm off. Coastal Maine is beckoning me from afar. Yep, me and my Pops are heading up north for three days to take in some scenery, quirky tourist attractions, and other such things people are supposed to do when they're on vacation. The plan is to start at the top of the coast and work our way down, taking in whatever looks interesting. Should be a fun road trip, and with any luck I'll be able to post some tidbits along the way. If time permits, and there are some wifi spots readily available, I'll throw a few be sure and keep you apprised of our progress. Until then amigos, have a great week and enjoy the weather. Talk to you a little later on.

Friday, June 17, 2005

And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program....

Buenas Noches Los Guapos!

I'm sure you were all waiting for today's "legitimate" post with baited breath, and maybe even canceled your Friday evening plans to check in. 'Tis a shame I didn't (cancel my plans, I mean.) Anyway, I'm glad you're here. Heh. Oh - before we get started, a word on the Right Field Roof Deck seats at Fenway. As you may have read in a previous post, I attended the game on Wednesday where the Red Sox took on the Cincinnati Reds. I'm happy to say it was a winning effort, with lots of doubles on display. The night however was fuh-RIGID. A cold, damp drizzly night on the ides of June (the date so chosen so as to avoid a cold evening, go friggin' figure), it most certainly was not ideal baseball weather. Add to this the fact that the four of us were sitting in one of the highest levels of the ballpark (the seats are on top of right field - right on the ledge where the retired numbers sit) with the wind blowing in, and I was colder than Ted Williams. Did this make the seats less enjoyable? Yes, absolutely but that aside it was a generally pleasant experience. The whole area is restaurant style. Ticket holders sit at tables shaped like home plate and are served on by wait staff throughout the game. If you're purchasing seats there you have to buy either a full table (which seats four) or standing room. In either case, you would have had to enter a drawing at the beginning of the year and gotten picked to even be eligible to buy them. If you're lucky enough to get a table, the purchase price also includes $100.00 of food (per table - not per person) Almost everything on the menu ranges from $5.00 to $10.00 and was generally pretty good.... certainly better than the food the common people have to eat. I first ordered a cheeseburger that, when received, resembled raw lions meat. I ate only the outer edges before sending it back in exchange for a Cuban sandwich, which surprisingly was the genuine article - quite tasty. All told, we didn't even use the entire $100 dollars (we had $0.75 cents left) although it helped that we didn't drink any of that watered down swill they serve for beer. The view? Yeah - it was pretty good but still... right field is right field - in otherwords, you're pretty damn far from the action. So, essentially you're paying for novelty, a more comfortable atmosphere than the regular seats and better food. Would I pay do it again? Probably not. At $440 dollars ($110 each - although we paid extra because it was a "premium" game against a National League opponent) it really wasn't worth it in the respect that I'd actually like to watch the game, not chat with my friends over fine food and beverage. These seats didn't really allow you to do that - you're just too far away and I found myself paying more attention to those seated around me than the actual game. For those who like the more social setting a baseball game provides, the seats are great. I for one, am glad I got the opportunity to sit there though, and can now say I've sat in every section of the park.

Now - onto the links (all links are stolen from other blogs. I take no responsibility for your enjoyment, disappointment, or denouement - I needed another word ending in 'ment')

Since Hapland was such a big success, I give you another point and click game - this one in the style of Myst. Vagrancy even looks like those old Myst games and is about as obscure and difficult to solve. At least I'm assuming it is, since I couldn't even get out of the first room. Give it a shot, and if anyone can get out the door post some hints in the comments.

I can't remember if I posted this before.. I'm tempted to say I have but whatever - it still cracks me up.. check out some children's artwork and some wiseass's comments and accompanying grades. Very crass - you'll feel guilty for laughing.

Along those lines check out The Monster Engine - these are recreations of monster art done by young children. Some odd recreations out there, but I enjoyed it immensely. I'm silly like that.

Like optical illusions? Go here. Not much more to say, other than that page is very involved. I could only take it in measured doses. Plus, I kept trying to "outwit" the illusions and see them for the rotten fakes that they really were. Made me feel stupid.

Spoilt Victorian Child
is a blog Sean turned me on to. He offers a new MP3 track for download every day, plus some rather good accompanying commentary. Many of the tracks are quite obscure. Some good, some bad, all appreciated. Besides, you can't go wrong with a blog named Spoilt Victorian Child - great song by a great band (The Fall, in case you were unaware)

Don't like obscure pieces of music? Check out Public Domain 4 U - perhaps one of the most terrible site names I've ever encountered, but one of the best for music. Just filled with a ton of great old blues tunes - many with the authentic hiss, crackle and pop of old 45's. Phenomenal stuff.

You're tired of the Google map hacks. I know this. But this one was too scary, sneaky, controversial, and wonderful (for some.) Now residents of Florida, Texas, and Nashville can get a map to their favorite registered sex offenders house. Yeeeeikes.

Onto more amusing subjects. Here is an entry in Wikipedia (free online encyclopedia which people can edit - as you'll see) of people widely considered eccentric. Some light reading for a Friday evening.

And with that, I'm off. Pulp Fiction is on. Hope you all have a good weekend. I am now on vacation (hoooooo-RAY!!!!) and will be updating periodically throughout the weekend. Gute Nacht, jazzy jazzcats.

We are experiencing.....

Sorry for the lack of updates folks... been crazy busy and I have to finish up some shite at work before I take mi vacaciones (a whole WEEK) after I get out of here. Updates to come later this evening... I know, I know I'm depriving you of your usual bizarre Friday links. Terrible and inexcusable. A thousand apologies - but stand fast loyal readers! I'll be with you shortly... until then, play Max Breakout and try not to put your fist through the monitor. Talk to you in a few....

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Communists Vs. Scarlet Hose

Quick check-in today, amigos. I've been going at full tilt for the past two days. My beloved Flo (that's my car, people - my car) had to be brought in for recall service yesterday. The rear door latches apparently had a tendency to corrode and thus open at inopportune times - like when you're doing 70 down the Pike. While they fixed that I also kindly asked them to fix whatever was causing the puddle of water leaking into the passenger footwell every time it rained (not an old vehicle - an '02 with 30,000 miles) They set about their tasks with vigor and in the end, although it took the entire day, the problems were fixed and I paid nothing, because recall work is free and the water leak was under warranty. Hooah. Other than that, it's been a typical June week with lots of birthdays, housewarmings, get-togethers and everything else. Tonight is no exception, I, along with three of my nearest and dearest, will be watching those smart-mouthed youngins' from Cincinnati (also known as the 'Reds') take on my beloved Boston Red Sox from the right field roof deck seats at Fenway. I'm very excited about this. These are those new restaurant style seats (complete with tables and wait staff) that sit right on top of the retired number display. In order to even be eligible to purchase them you have to enter a drawing at the beginning of the year and hope to get picked. Luckily enough......

So - I chose today's game thinking it would be a nice warm day in mid-June. All I can say to that now is pshaw! The heatwave we had heretofore been experiencing vanished yesterday in rather rapid fashion, and we are now stuck with fall like temperatures and a very slight drizzle. Crappity crap, crap, crap. But hey - it should still be an enjoyable evening provided it doesn't rain any harder. I'm fairly well bundled up (and kind of embarassed to be so at this late date) so off I go. Stay tuned... I'll have a game/seat summary a little later on.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Huntin' Wabbits

The latest installment of 30 Second Bunnies Theatre is available. This time they tackle Pulp Fiction... and do an admirable job. As far as I know, this is the first bunnies film where they actually swear - a sight/sound that's fairly disturbing to my virgin ears - but it's still a fine production nonetheless. Also, if you scroll down a little bit, you'll notice the film library. They seem to have slipped their rendition of 'It's A Wonderful Life' in there when I wasn't looking. Quite the pleasant surprise, and if you watch it, make sure you click on the three bunny silhouettes in the credits at the end for a few easter eggs (no pun intended.)

Speaking of rabbits, I was driving in my old 'hood back in the Boston burbs last week and I noticed the damn things hopping around everywhere. I must have seen six or seven in a two minute span at one point. I had always thought the term "f*****g like bunnies" was a little odd, but now I understand that it actually has some basis in fact. Actually, come to think of it these may have been hares because they seemed a little more lean and nimble than an ordinary rabbit (when I think of a rabbit, I think of these squat little furry fat things that nibble and shit a lot, and otherwise don't really move. The things I saw had the same color fur as a German Shepherd and could FLY.) In any event, I don't remember these things at all growing up so their taking up refuge in the more affluent suburbs must be a fairly recent development. Maybe soon they'll reach the 'scourge' stage, much like turkey's on Martha's Vineyard, and the well-to-do's will freak (we have wild turkey's on the campus where I work, incidentally. Dumb ass birds are a nuisance. If you have a darker colored (and glossy) car and they see their own reflection in the paint, they'll peck away at it thinking it's a foe. Apparently they climb trees too as earlier this semester, in what could only be described as a sneak attack, two turkeys jumped out of some lower branches onto the heads of two of our more unfortunate students.) Whatever - back to rabbits - if they get to be too much of a problem they can always just cook up a little rabbit paste and be done with them.. or perhaps a little jugged hare (whatever that is.)

Incidentally, I don't think I'll be writing about rabbits again anytime soon, so snatch up these recipes while you can (although you never know when the urge will strike - like today, for instance. I had
planned on writing about the current heatwave gripping our metropolis, but as you see these posts can sometimes take on a life of their own.) For now, I'll leave you with a photo of the 'Tortoise and Hare' sculpture in Copley Square - a sculpture which has apparently been there for the last ten years, but which I only noticed two weeks ago as I walked by it.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Leggo my Lego

I was never a big fan of Lego's as a kid. I simply wasn't creative enough. I'd get the playsets and start putting things together but it would never amount to anything (Hey! Look Ma - a multicolored wall!) There would never be enough Legos included to create anything worthwhile anyway, and I would always lose the pieces. Breaking them down was even worse.. especially when you got down to just two legos stuck to each other, one on top of the other and you had to sort of try to twist 'em off? I'd always end up scraping up my hands (and gums when I tried to pry them apart with my teeth) due to slippage and stuff. (Incidentally I could make the exact same argument with Lincoln Logs - except the part about getting hurt. I could construct a perfectly square log cabin with no windows or doors, but when it came time to put the roof on, I was stumped. Still am, actually. How the hell do you put those flat green sticks on at a diagonal and get them to stay put? They always just fall off! Did the people who made the houses on the front of the box glue them together or something? What the frig!)

You know what I think it was? I couldn't be bothered with something where I had to do the work. No way. The toy was supposed to do something once I pressed a button. Why should I work for hours on end to create a hut or a castle which did nothing once I was finished? That's my reward? To stare at it and say, "Huh. Nice castle?" Oh, of course maybe I could find a Chewbacca action figure and make pretend he was the king of Eric's room and I could bounce him up and down like he was walking and say, "Do de do de do, I'm am the King of Eric's room and now I'm walking into my castle, do de do de do. Let me go upstairs and take a nap! UP, I go to the Kings chambers - do de do de do. Oh dear! Someone stole my bed (so decided upon because I would have lost the lego bed that was included or not known how to make one) and so on and so forth... Oh puh-LEEZE - lame times three.

I guess what I'm saying is my imagination was never a good enough playmate. If I needed a king for the castle, then damnit, I'd better have a KING and not Chewbacca pretending to be one - it wasn't the same. And the fact that Chewbacca had movable arms and legs but didn't walk himself? C'mon. Me forcing Chewbacca to walk by bouncing him up and down was in no way a good enough substitute for the real thing. I'd rather watch the movies, thanks. THAT Chewbacca was the real deal - not something that had to be pushed along (although truth be told, I never did like him. He was bad comic relief.) The action figure simply didn't DO anything except stand there and look stupid, and nothing I could do to it would make it any better (all this coming from someone who fancies himself a writer one day. Off to a good start, wouldn't you say?)

Thankfully, I don't really have to worry about this anymore. As I've gotten older, I think I've gotten a bit more appreciative of creative endeavor (having to actually embark on some myself), and technology has improved to the point where I can see what Lego's and a little creativity are actually capable of. The following are short film clips of well known films, except reenacted with Lego's. I guess these links are fairly old (they were new to me) but even if you've seen them they're stils worth a second look. Had me laughing up a storm. They both kind of reminded me of those old Davey & Goliath television shows...

On a completely different note, a coworker gave me a $20 gift card to Borders today for fixing her laptop. In retrospect, I probably should have charged her for doing so as it would appear she lowballed me - but still, I was expecting nothing, and a gift is a gift so I'm grateful. Any suggestions on what I should spend it on? A grammar text, perhaps? Good CD or movie? Maybe I'll follow Sean's advice and pick up this newly released gem. The possibilities are endless, one might say - and having not had much time to follow current trends, I'm taking hints. In the meantime, I hope to enjoy the gorgeous weekend we have ahead of us. Here's hoping you do the same. Later on, folks.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Rain Delay Randoms

Thoughts while waiting for the Red Sox rain delay to end (which at this point looks doubtful):
  • Red Sox have been a litle high up on the suckitude meter as of late. This rain delay might actually be a good thing.
  • Anne Bancroft is dead. This doesn't effect me much. I wasn't a big fan of The Graduate... at all - although my thoughts and prayers do indeed go out to the family and friends. Why then am I mentioning this? Because a friend of mine has insightfully pointed out that the lyrics to 'Mrs. Robinson' are now more appropriate. Hope she paid attention to the line, "Heaven holds a place for those who pray."
  • Staying up past midnight three nights in a row makes one very tired.
  • Almost finished with reading Faithful which you see to the right. Thoughts so far? Very good read, but redundant. Still - getting into the juicy bits (the ridiculous win streak in August) and Stephen King is going nuts. Some fine writing from New England's horrormeister.
  • I just bought a new pair of black Chuck Taylors, which my mother affectionately calls 'Squiggy shoes' - as in Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley. She doesn't like them. I do. I win, because they stopped showing the reruns for Laverne and Shirley over fifteen years ago.
  • The Justice Department lowballed the tobacco industry by asking a judge for only eight percent of the expected penalty award. I have it on good authority that the director of the case was a former tobacco industry lawyer and was also the one who asked for such a ridiculously low amount. Outrageous, yet not altogether surprising. Still, as a former smoker I can't help but think that most of the guilt and responsibility for smoking lies with the smokers. I knew too well that what I was inhaling would eventually kill me if I didn't quit, yet I still smoked for ten years because, quite simply, I enjoyed it and I wanted to. How is the tobacco industry to blame for that? I suppose one could argue that they deliberately withheld crucial information as to WHAT exactly I was smoking, but knowing that wasn't going to kill me any faster. "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" was my cry.... until I started coughing up blood and getting chest pains.
  • Living on the 3rd floor of a triple decker in 87 degree heat ensures that I get my recommended eight glasses of water a day.
  • Like architecture? Here - build a house with Frank Lloyd Wright as your guide.
  • Like beasts? Here - build a monster with the Beast Blender
  • Like nothing? Good - I'm out of links.
  • Where do I get all these links that I post? Easy answer. I steal them from other people's blogs. I hope there are no blog police out there because I will surely be arrested on charges of bad ettiquite.
  • The Panasonic Electronic Nose Hair Trimmer has to be one of the best inventions of the last twenty years. Do not - I repeat, DO NOT EVER - mistakenly put the blade in backwards after cleaning.
  • What do you say I end these random thoughts with a joke like last time? Sound good? OK.. here goes.... Two snowmen are standing next to each other in a field. One turns to the other and says, "Do you smell carrots?"
Nighty Night, amigos. Until tomorrow.. or thereabouts.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Mull This One Over

You guys remember Martin Mull? 80's actor with such notables as My Bodyguard and Clue under his belt? Well - I didn't either. At least not really. I had always known who he was.... that he had appeared in virtually every 80's sitcom and film but rarely amounted to anything more than a bit player (was a quintissential "that guy" as Sports Guy would say), and that more recently he would pop up in odd spots (a couple of years ago I heard him doing radio commercials for Red Roof Inn, of all things.) I always liked the guy, if for no other reason than he seemed likable. A very average, O.K. dude who you wouldn't mind having a beer with every once in awhile. He ended up pretty much getting typecast as such, and I always thought it a bit of a shame considering some of the assholes out there these days who find success. I'll stop with the plaudits because it's beginning to look like I have an uncomfortable infatuation with Mr. Mull, but you can imagine my surprise when I opened up my e-mail this morning and found a message from my friend Andrew which conatined the above image and this message:

"Here's something a little weird. Have you ever seen Martin Mull's artwork?

Apparently he's some kind of genius."

Weird, indeed. I wasn't sure if I was more surprised by the artwork or by the fact that I remembered who Martin Mull was - but that painting (titled 'Christ's Entry Into Brussels, Wisconsin') indicated talent. Better still, Andrew provided a link to a gallery which is featuring his art and which I've passed along here. Some very interesting pieces. My favorite is probably an untitled piece featuring a girl on a tightrope.

So, check out some decent art and once you're done, raise a glass to Mr. Mull and proudly exclaim, "To Col. Mustard... err, Martin Mull! A finer artist and Red Roof Inn spokesperson, the world has never seen! Hurrah!"

Monday, June 06, 2005


My roommate, it would seem, is a trendsetter. Many moons ago, when he was setting up his then new cell phone, he assigned ringtones to the people who call him most. Each person got a ringtone specific to their personality (and no, I'm not going to name any of them here - that would be unkind, not to mention get me booted out of the apartment.) For those not special enough to get their own individual ringtone assignation (like myself) he set the generic ring as "Axel-F" - that old electronic tune from 1984 that was in the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack. At the time, I thought this was... well, quaint. To be honest, I loathe ringtones. I mean, let's face it - they're annoying and disruptive and the ringtones people often think of as cute expressions of personality are more often infuriating expressions of character flaws. Still, you simply can't leave your phone on vibrate all the time because half your calls would go unanswered. And as far as ringtones go, Axel-F isn't too bad. You know, a groovy little early electronica tune that'll get you to bop your head before you realize your supposed to be embarrassed for doing so.....

So - it was to my general surprise and delight (as well as dismay, if that's possible) to read this morning that for the second week in a row, the #1 song on the British pop charts is a ringtone. I kid you not. Apparently some animation called the
Crazy Frog (click link for a video - yes, that's right... a video) has taken over Britain and it's rendition of Axel-F - which was originally released as a ringtone - has crossed over to CD and hit #1 on the pop charts.

Some people aren't taking this lying down, however. There are those who find this little guy infuriating and have called in to complain and demand the ads on which he appears (he's taking over all media outlets it would seem) be removed. Honestly, I'm not sure how I should feel about this so I think I'll keep my thoughts to myself for now. Clearly my roommate stumbled upon something revolutionary, however... and clearly I'm going to keep my normal "chirrrrrp chirrrrrp" ring tone for the near future - when my phone isn't set to vibrate, that is...

And with that, I'm off. Busier than a one-legged Riverdancer these days. Have to play the good son and pick my parents up at Logan Airport. Have a good evening, amigos. Manana.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Songs About Blackberry Pants

I don't need any new pants.

(Well gee.... that's great, Eric. Thanks for letting us know.)

You're welcome. But, if I did need new pants, I'd probably buy Dockers. Why? Two reasons. The first is that I saw their new TV commercial the other day, and it featured a bunch of people jumping around in slow motion to This Is The Day by The The - a good song from one of my favorite bands of the 80's and early 90's. I'm still trying to make the leap between its lyrics and a pair of pants, but given the genius that is contemporary advertising, I shouldn't have to work too hard at it.

**Tangent time..... Oh what - you'd rather read about pants? Please.

About 10 years after the release of the Soul Mining album (on which This Is The Day appears) The The released their album Dusk - probably my favorite recording of theirs - which contained, among several stellar tracks, the tune This Is The Night. I'm not sure if they were just being clever by naming the tune that, or if it was completely coincidental. Regardless, other than the title the two songs have little else in common. They're not even polar opposites. I actually like Night better than Day, in art and in life, as blasphemous as that sounds. Go ahead and give 'em a listen. Loudly - like I am right now in an effort to drown out the Three Doors Down album that's blasting in the office across the hall. Desert Stormy!!!!

Oh, and if you want to listen to listen to more The The, you can hear every song from every album in the jukebox on their website. Very cool gesture on their part. Check out both Dusk and Mind Bomb - two classics. End tangent**

The second reason I'd buy Dockers is that they're giving away free Blackberry's with the purchase of $50.00 worth of merchandise (after rebate - of course.) As always, there's a bit of a catch involved. In order to get the thing for free you also have to sign a voice and data contract which amounts to $75.00/month... for two years. Not cheap, but according to my two friends who currently own them already, it's not highway robbery either. Expensive as it is, that's pretty much the going rate for Blackberry service these days. Just thought I'd pass the info along.... you know, just in case you bought a new pair of pants and wanted some way of e-mailing everyone to let them know.

In other random Friday news, I've discovered Lime Tea. Don't laugh - I'm very happy about this. I was in the grocery store the other day and happened across this stuff which is nothing but dried lime in a teabag. Sounds nasty, tastes delicioso. Wunderbar, even. If you like sour beverages, I'd highly recommend it.

Apropos of nothing:

This woman is insane.

These people are less so but the pictures are amusing.

And to complete the trifecta AND take home the blue ribbon:

The Top 10 worst album covers of all time.

Happy Friday, folks. Have a great weekend.

[**Update 07/02/05: Sorry folks, had to remove the MP3's from this post. My general rule of thumb is to keep them up for a week at maximum, so it was beyond time for these guys to go bye-bye. Sorry**]

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Lazy Laundry Daze

Good heavens. It's almost 10 minutes to 7:00 and I haven't blogged yet. What's come over me? Sheesh. As late as it is, however, it is STILL the first of the month so allow me to wish you all a Happy June! June is a wonderful month, is it not? Not as good as July, mind you, but still up there. June means summer time...... alright fine - it really doesn't. It's still a spring month but whatever - I'm the author here, and I say summer. Now get to steppin'.

Alright- so obviously I don't have anything to really write about. Like I mentioned earlier, I nearly forgot to post today, so there's nothing particularly pressing. So here's where I'm at. I'm sitting in my roommates La-Z-Boy lounger which I have unofficially adopted as "my chair" because I always sit in it and he never does. The chair sits in my living room directly across from my best friend, my
television set. At the moment I am tuned to Dish Network's channel 135, BBC America, where Cash In The Attic is on. My roommate has just returned home from a run, and having seen what I'm watching, is laughing at me. He often comes home to find me watching this... he finds it particularly random, and not at all a show I would watch. I'd normally agree with him, but I AM watching the show so there goes that argument.. plus I like these hidden treasure, antique type shows from time to time. Can I tell you why I'm watching it? No, I really have no explanation other than to say it's what was on, and it provides good background chatter while I'm doing "other things" and waiting for the Red Sox broadcast to start at 7:05. The current "other things" I'm doing right now are as follows:
  • Waiting for my laundry in the dryer downstairs to dry.
  • Figuring out what to eat to dinner.
  • Trying to decide if I should pop a Pepcid before I eat dinner as I'm leaning towards Chimicangas (w/ jalapenos) which tend to be rather spicy.
  • Wondering if the severely ripped jeans I'm wearing (because I'm doing my laundry) will be accepted by Goodwill Industries.
  • Admiring my new Traditions Collection T-shirt (another plug - buy one. My friends own the brand.)
  • Hoping Tim Wakefield can once again find the magic that makes his knuckleball flutter and pop so he doesn't get crushed like he has in his last three outings.
  • Stewing over the fact that John Olerud is not in the lineup, but not stewing too much because I think Kevin Millar is a good guy.
  • Deciding I'm going to go to bed early because I'm tired today.
  • Thinking I'll watch an episode of '24' before I lie down to slumber.
I also suggest you guys check out Tim's blog where he has a link to David Lynch's morning weather report. Yes, David Lynch the director and no, I am not kidding. Funny random stuff. Kind of like David Lynch (by the way - go watch the movie The Straight Story. I watched it a few months ago and it rocketed into my Top 10 - which admittedly isn't saying much. I know it's directed by David Lynch but there are little or no dancing trolls, backwards speech, or cryptic messages. Trust me, just a fantastic film.) And there you have it. In the absence of anything profound to bitch about, I offer you a glimpse of my world right at this very moment. Exciting, isn't it? No tradsies, either. Later.