Thursday, June 29, 2006

Word To The Links.

Hey - good news, los guapos. That network overhaul I'd mentioned in the previous post? Done. Who's the Mac Daddy Pimp? Daaaat's right, yo. Say my name! Hustle & Flow. Holla.

Now that we got the Ebonics out of the way, the posts can begin anew. Good thing too because, as you'll see in the previous posts' comments, people are starting to bitch. Fair warning, however. Although the project is done, there are still remnants of exhaustion. Plus, when one doesn't write for awhile, one tends to find themselves plumb out of ideas. Just thought I'd let you know. But that aside, we're together again and it's time to enjoy each others company once more. So... what would you like to talk about? Pop... Pop... Pop Muzik? My beloved Boston Red Sox? The upcoming 4th of July holiday and crazy fireworks that will ensue? Sister Sledge? The fact that my toenails need cutting?

Alright, this is ridiculous. I'm quickly getting bored, and my mind still isn't working right. Howza 'bout we resurrect an old Friday tradition and say hello to some links? Good? Tough. You have no choice. I'm the author here, Whiney McWhinesashitload. Links it is.

Listo? Empieze.

We start things off with a rather profane photoshop contest. It is my understanding that our neighbors across the Atlantic are updating their highway code but, as the site mentions, they've neglected to update their road signs yet. Perhaps just a slight oversight. Anyway, the folks at B3ta decided to host a redo the road signs photoshop contest with some pretty funny results. (Warning: some of you may find them more than a bit offensive as well.) My favorite is, without question, the Love Shack. Clickee here.

In keeping with the photo theme, we have a set of pictures that I truly wish were photoshopped, but sadly are not. Ghetto Prom 2003 provides a little insight into what the kidz are wearing to the ho-downs these days. Love the fact that the "red carpet" is, in fact, a tarp.

Here's a link to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's science show Quirks & Quarks. This particular show deals with the "science of happiness." And no, I'm not talking about the wacko Tom Cruise and his no pills for depression, let me kill Oprah and pretend I'm not gay Scientology version. That's not science, my friends. Or, at least we of the "L. Ron is whack" fan club say it isn't. No, this is more like the sciencey type of science that you were taught in high school. Er... I think it is anyway. I downloaded the program but didn't actually manage to get past the first two minutes before trying to slit my wrists. I think I must have fast-forwarded to the part about the blind chickens (see the link... I'm really not that crazy.) Anyway, you can download the whole Quirks and Quarks program or simply the "happiness" segment. 'Tis up to you. Either way, make sure you pay attention to the Question of the Week segment at the end (also available for separate download at the bottom of the page) as it tackles the age-old conundrum, "Why does our piss smell so foul after we eat asparagus?" Now, let's get happy! Cue R.E.M please.

This next section is devoted entirely to YouTube. They've provided me with so much entertainment over the past year that I think they're definitely deserving of their own space on this post. Sadly, as time doesn't permit, I won't be embedding all the videos in the post this time around. You'll just have to click the links.

10 Things I Hate About Commandments - A brilliant mashup and one which shows just how tired the movie trailer formula is getting. One of my all time favorites.

More mashups. These two are taken from The Big Lebowski - a film which I simply loathe, but which everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, else I know adores. I'm convinced it must just be me. The first, and best, mashup was done with an old He-Man cartoon. I can't overstate how much I loved this cartoon growing up. I also can't overstate how embarrassed I now am for having just admitted that. Anyway, I think I like The Big Lebowski version even better. The second mashup was done with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon and is really rather sub par. I included it because... well, because.

This is what happens when you let crazy people into a city council meeting and allow them to be an active part of the political process. This country is going to hell. Fight the power, and note the 80's hair-do while you're at it. Very funny/scary.

Alright - I gotta take T's. I'm all out of breath. I could be here all night posting YouTube videos, but that would make for a VERY long post. If you've got a good amount of time to kill (and I'm guessing you do. You're reading this blog, aren't you?) then check out The Sports Guy's homage to the best of YouTube (with links and witty commentary!) Some great stuff.

For you Star Wars junkies out there, we have the Yoda backpack and Star Wars inspired tattoo's (is that the plural of tattoo? Is it, perhaps, tattooes? Maybe just tattoos? We may never know. Ze plane! Ze plane!) Anyway guys, pay attention to those links. Perfect for pickin' up them ladyfolk.

Another new innovation from the wacky folks at Google. This time, it's Google Checkout. I think it's a Paypal like service, but I also think it will hold your credit card info and allow you to pay on lots of different websites with just the Google Checkout account... which is... kind of what... Paypal does... Anyhoo - I haven't signed up. Probably won't either, but some of you folks out there might like it.

This next link is stolen directly from Sean's blog. I do this often, but he posts awesome links so, there you go. This link is no exception. 90 bazillion 80's music videos are anxiously awaiting your clickage. I mean, c'mon they have "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" by Jermaine Stewart! I didn't even know that was sung by a Jermaine. I thought it was a woman, or maybe New Edition before they all hit puberty - you know, the Candy Girl days. Oh yeah, that video is there too (note all the Boston landmarks! The Esplanade, the Hancock tower, the North Station thugs... ah... the innocence of days gone by.) And yeah, I technically should have included this in the YouTube section but this was just too special.

As is this... just a RIDICULOUS selection of full length cartoons. Virtually everything is here. Daffy Duck, Dexter's Laboratory, Justice League, Mickey Mouse, South Park. It is in-SANE. Hell, they even have an episode of The Smurfs (although where the hell is the Rocky & Bullwinkle?!? That's only the greatest cartoon of all friggin' time. Arggh!! Still, beggars can't be choosers.) I may have just killed your workday. Apologies.

NNDB aka Big Brother Database - or as they put it, "an intelligence aggregator that tracks the activities of people we have determined to be noteworthy, both living and dead." It's actually pretty fun. It goes on to say that "it mostly exists to document the connections between people, many of which are not always obvious." For instance... did you know that Frank Zappa slept with Janis Joplin? Yucccck! More information than I needed to know. Think of it as a Six Degrees of *blankity-blank* brought to life. Whee!

Here's a fake identity generator for those sites that require you to sign up, or perhaps for... other... nefarious... purposes. I'm amazed that this kind of thing is actually legal. It even provides a credit card number. Yikes. Forget I mentioned it, will you?

The AFI's (that's American Film Institute, you uneducated heathen) list of the 'Top 100 Most Inspiring Films Of All Time.' Cool list. I was very pleased with their selection for #1

What a brilliant idea. Some woman, realizing that people look dumb when they're posing for pictures, had people pose but then filmed them instead. The result is Long Awkward Pose and the clips are fantastic. (By the way, that dude Anthony who she features about four poses down? I went to college with him, and yeah I was shocked to see him on this site.) Yeah, yeah, fine - technically another YouTube (or variant thereof) link. Can we just forget I gave it it's own section? Seriously, stop complaining. Enough.

Whew. I don't know about you guys, but I am plumb tuckered out! There's your list of useless links for a lazy Friday (oh, and did you notice that that's the 2nd time I used the word "plumb" in this post? Heh. Good word, plumb.) Here's hoping you have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. I, for one, am going to do nothing except relish in the fact that I don't have to be at work until next Wednesday. Oh, and maybe watch some cartoonz. Yo, dem Smurfs got some mad skillz. True dat. Peace.

[UPDATE 06/30/06 08:35 AM - One more link for all you Red Sox junkies. This one was provided by an anonymous friend in the comments in the previous post. Feeding the Monster is a new book due out on July 11th about the Red Sox 2004 title run. I know - this horse has been beaten to death, so why are we giving it another whack? First, because it's written by none other than Seth Mnookin, local writer extraordinare (and I think a friend of my sister at one point. I, unfortunately, can't make the same claim although I certainly knew who he was growing up, and knew his sister in elementary school.) But, local connections aside, the man is a fantastic writer. I've read a decent amount of his stuff in Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, and I'm really looking forward to this publication. Should be well worth the purchase price. The link provided goes to his blog where you can catch excerpts from the book, as well as his own musings on the Boston Nine and life in general. Thanks Anonymous!

And... good heavens. I just realized I've posted a poorly written links post and not included a single game in the mix... anywhere. Problem solved. Dumb the Game lets you prove yourself undumb by solving a collection of really tricky puzzles. You'll need an account (no personal info is given though... just username, password & email address) but if you like those brain teaser types of things, you'll probably enjoy this. I had enough trouble with just the sample puzzles. Later!]

Thursday, June 22, 2006

No Blog For You!

Excuse the unannounced hiatus. Blog posts have taken a back seat to 12 and 15 hour work days this week. Don't worry, it's nothing disastrous - just a network overhaul that has been planned for months. So yes, it's safe to say I saw this coming (it also helps that I'm not doing it for free either. I will be reimbursed with comp time down the road - always a good thing during the summer.)

Still, I'm tired and blurry eyed this morning. I need my daily dose of black tea, and some air conditioning wouldn't be too bad either. Luckily, both are within reach, and while the tea brews and the room cools, I'm going to take a moment to destroy a few desks with a satisfied smile. Feel free to join me if you like. I'll be back as soon as things calm down for a spell, or after getting fired for throwing a monitor off a building - whichever comes first. See you soon!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Thanks Pops!

Happy Father's Day to anyone who is a father out there - or for that matter, anyone who has one. Make sure you call him up and thank him proper if he's still alive, and if not, take a minute and say a quick prayer expressing the same sentiment.

On a personal level, I'd like to thank my Dad for his love, knowledge, wisdom, sage advice, infinite patience, amazing logic skills, and in general, just being an all-around great guy. As a token of my gratitude, I offer one of his favorite methods of practicing many of these qualities, as well as great throwback to yesteryear (sort of.)

Enjoy Dad, and Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Regarding Henry

"And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a black horse, and he that sat on him was Henry, and News followed with him."

-Lehrer 06:15

Remember that face, ladies and gentlemen, for it could very well spell your doom. But first, a little background...

I originally received the information that is to follow a little over two weeks ago. It came via communiqué from a confidential source who, not wanting to draw unnecessary attention, smartly labeled it "Fwd: FW: Thank you!"

Skeptically, I perused the information contained within only to realize that I was sitting on a virtual powder keg. I wasted no time in responding.

"This information is scandalous" I said, "the American public have a right to know! Let me post it to my blog."

"Not a CHANCE, Murrow" said the reply, "I risked my reputation... and, well... maybe even my life sending this to you, and now you want to further jeopardize both me and him by posting it on your blog for the world to see? I'm sorry, but no. For your eyes only. Need to know basis. Top Secret. This kid is doomed enough as it is... unless, of course, he lives in Cambridge."

And so, I stayed silent.

This morning it appeared in the Washington Post.


Thanks a lot, Wynne. Way to keep a struggling blogger down.

This will probably be one of the more bizarrely amusing (or troubling) things you'll see in some time. Over Memorial Day weekend, a birthday party was held in St. Paul, MN for a young lad named Henry - age 3. Unlike most boys turning 3, Henry didn't opt for a Star Wars or Pokemon themed birthday party. No, no, it seems Henry is the type of guy who cares little for conventional methods of doing things. Instead, Henry (or rather his parents) decided to throw a "News Hour with Jim Lehrer" themed birthday party.

Really. Henry's parents, noting their sons love for the "News Hour" broadcast, sent a letter to the PBS Studios in Arlington, VA (where the show is produced) and asked if they could possibly receive some promotional photos of the News Hour staff in order to make the themed birthday party a reality. Apparently, as the Post article states, Henry has adored the program almost from day 1 (his, not the program's) when he became transfixed by it's trumpet blaring introduction. Since then, he's been watching religiously, paying particular attention to Mark Shields and David Brooks and, of course, his favorite - veteran news anchor Jim Lehrer whom he calls "Jimmy Jimmy Bo Bo."

Not only did he receive what would appear to be a slew of promotional photos, but he also got signed photographs from senior correspondent Margaret Warner and "Jimmy Jimmy Bo Bo" himself (who signed his name as such.) The family had the photo copied onto the birthday cake (I had no idea they could do such things. Honestly... the kids and their technology these days) and handed out party hats emblazoned with the faces of the other correspondents as well.

Now... yes, I know you could have gotten all of that simply by reading the Post article but now we come to the Murky Words exclusive. This is what you should have seen a little over two weeks ago had I not been so shamefully censored, and what the Post, to this day, still doesn't show you. Below are photos of the actual event. Viewer discretion is encouraged:

(The infamous birthday cake along with party hats featuring noted correspondents Madeleine Albright, Sesame Street's 'Susan', Jimmy Jimmy Bo Bo, and Dennis Miller)

(A closer inspection shows that I have egregiously mislabeled the correspondents above. They are, in fact, Margaret Warner, Gwen Ifill, Jimmy Jimmy Bo Bo, and Ray Suarez. My bad. Sorry everyone. Please don't sue me.)

(The entire display. Voila!)

(A Boy called Henry, his cake, and some little cur sneaking up next to him about to ruin everything and blow out all the candles. No Ray for you, young man!)

Upon seeing all this, several "folks I know" noted that they thought it was unlikely Henry would ever get laid. I conceded the point at first, but on further reflection I think they're terribly mistaken. I think Henry is headed for fame and glory the measure of which we can only imagine. Consider, the boy has just turned 3 and he can already recognize various Cabinet members and Supreme Court justices. Most kids can't even read at that age (and, come to think of it, we're not sure Henry can either, but still... it's damned impressive.) Imagine what he could accomplish by age 25. No, I think Henry will be just fine. The women (or perhaps men - you have to admit the whole 'Jimmy Jimmy Bo Bo' thing is a little suspicious) will be flocking to him in droves, attracted to him by his knowledge, power, charming smile, and (potential for) wealth. Henry, in turn, will simply chuckle, take his pick of the litter and tell the rest of the suckers, "Sorry. You should have watched more news. Now... I gotta go find me a horse."

Rock on, Henry.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Cliche Cliches

Rita Mae Brown and I don't laugh at each others jokes. We don't sip from the same malts down at the ice cream parlor. We don't even talk to each other on the telephone. In fact, up until five minutes ago I didn't even know who Rita Mae Brown was. But Rita Mae and me? Hell yeah, we tight.

There's a certain kinship between us, despite our glaring differences. Rita Mae is an American writer, a social activist, and Martina Navratilova's former girlfriend. I'm an American reader, a social misfit, and not a lesbian (although I once wore this shirt in college. Long story which I won't get into here, but I'll just say it was fun to watch the ultra-PC crowd - which numbered many at my school - get all confused as they tried to figure out whether or not to be outraged.) So, what gives? Why the Rita Mae love fest?

Well, for the past couple of months Rita Mae, unbeknownst to her, has acted as my spokesperson, in a manner of speaking. She's provided the words which make up my email signature. It started out rather innocently enough. I was reading some web page somewhere and I just happened to stumble across a quote of hers which read:

"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you."

"Fantastic!" I thought, "People take themselves way too seriously, if you ask me. I'm going to use this quote to remind them of it." And, so I did. I slapped that baby up as the signature file for one of my six email accounts and started writing away. Who doesn't like email signatures? They're like super-duper high school yearbook quotes that you can try and force everyone else to read. Remember how long you agonized over your yearbook quote? You wanted to make sure you used the one quote that both captured the very essence of who you were and said something outrageously poignant at the same time. In retrospect, you just ended up looking ridiculous. I'd say half my senior class ended up using the following gem from David Bowie:

"And these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through."

Deep, man, and like, TOTALLY original. Like, yeah, huh? Pathetic. But, at the time, we really believed that we'd knock people over with such captured eloquence.

(For the record, I stole a quote from the economist John Maynard Keynes:

"Words should be a little wild, for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking."

I still cringe when I think about it. I mean, I quoted an economist for God's sake. What's next? An email signature that says:

"Interest rates will be raised .25 % Oh, and watch out for inflation. It sucks."
- Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Good Christ.)

But, I digress. After borrowing Rita Mae's comment and allowing her to do my speaking for me, I started paying attention to the other emails I was receiving and seeing what words of wisdom they entailed. The results were all over the place. One friend informed me that "either I decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool, or I go out into the ocean." The deep end of the pool is not mentioned. Must be off limits. Nor is it explained how I'm supposed to get from the pool to the ocean. Do I drive? Walk? I'm sorry to be nitpicky, sir, but these questions demand answers! Another friend told me to "Be the change I wish to see in the world." Fair enough. Noble words. But, I don't want to start shooting people who deserve it. I'd go to jail. One email explained that "steroids are not the way in which we cheat. They are merely the gas we throw into our cheating machines." Umm... O.K. This was followed up by someone else who simply quoth stage direction in Shakespeare's 'The Winter's Tale' and wrote "Exit, pursued by a bear" (probably my favorite.)

My point in all of this is... well, I'm not sure. We all have something to say, but perhaps too often we look to others to say it when our own words would do just as well. That, and we're all too busy listening to the sound of our own horns that we don't bother listening to anyone else's, much less wonder about it's relevance. This is why I've regretfully decided to give Rita Mae the ol' heave-ho. I don't think she'll mind. We don't swing the same way, after all, and after several months it's become clear that while my intentions were good, my opinion... er, I mean, hers... wait.. no, my opinion which she just happens to express better than me and which I didn't form until I heard her say it... is no better than anyone else's. I'm tired of trying to tell other people they might be insane and using my email as a sly way of forcing them to listen. From now on, if you're insane I'll simply tell you... and then run away. Do with the information what you will.

Will I sit here and say I won't attach signatures to all my future emails? Nope. There are some profound pieces of wisdom out there, and I'm probably too self-centered to stay shutup for too long. But for now, I think a blank email signature and an occasional blog entry will do me well. Just make sure I don't start titling my posts with one-liners by Ellen DeGeneres. Then it may be time for an intervention.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hold On There Fella! What's The Hurry?

Well, there was supposed to be a normal type post today. That was the plan, at least up until Blogger (which is the service that allows me to publish this here thang) decided to start running at a crawl in between periods of complete system failure. Don't believe me? Poo on you. See for yourself. I'm amazed I was even able to update the sidebar.

(You should be amazed too. You should even go so far as to say as much in the comments, along with various other statements calling me intelligent, witty, full of wisdom, and a huge hulk of a man... assuming you can get the comments to even load, that is.)

I'd be pissed, but it's a free service and these things happen sometimes. Beggars can't be choosers and all that... Plus, it means I can go watch a movie now, in
stead. So, rather than write about what I meant to write about (which I hadn't quite decided upon yet - it was a toss-up between email signatures or Nas & Kelis's 'His 'n Her' engraved gold teeth) you get a link. I'm sorry, but I don't dare trust Blogger with more than that today. Not while it's ill. Perhaps tomorrow, when things are...

O.K. fine. You get two. Both games. One for the English majors and one for the Math majors.

English first because it's the superior subject in every respect:

Wordy - Scrabble meets Tetris. That's all I have to say about that... except that it comes off of a website called 'Joytube' which, I assure you, is completely safe and family friendly.

Math next because... because:

3D Logic - This is the more slickly produced game and has the better, or rather the only, opening theme. I got up to Level 19, and am now utterly stumped. Any help would be appreciated.

Ees alright? Alright. Hope this tides you over 'til tomorrow when, assuming all's back to normal, I shall post again. Later jazzcats.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Crispy Delicious Has Got To Be In There Somewhere...

Two posts in under 24 hours! Ganesh be praised!

Actually after rereading last night's post, I no longer count that one as official. It was late and I was both tired and irritable. I still am, but fortunately I'm at work so instead of taking it out on you guys with bad writing, I merely sit in front of my computer and surf lazily, passing the detritus of said efforts on to you, my anonymous friends. So yeah, this isn't much of a "real post" either, but like Jimmy who crack corn, I don't care.

(Note: I just used Google to look up the word detritus to see if it was an appropriate word. It wasn't really, but I liked the sound of it so I used it anyway. More importantly however, was the fact that I used Google to obtain a definition - a function which I was surprised many of my friends didn't know about, and which I will now pass on to you. Simply enter define: xxxxxx (where 'xxxxxx' is the word you're looking up) in any Google text box and it will spit back one or many definitions depending on the popularity of the word. That's it. Easy, huh? I love Google. You know this.)

Anyway, what detritus (see... there it is again) have I for you today? Band names. Wait, don't surf away. These are bad band names. Horrific actually... or at least the first list is. Some cat at The Onion A.V. Club has been keeping a list of the worst and the best-worst band names he's seen this year - a continuation of a compilation he started last year. (Those offended by excessive vulgarity need not click, but I don't think any of you are, and besides, it's the Internet for God's sake. Grow up.) Some notables in this list: Set Your Goals, Mariospeedwagon, Swollen Members, 16 Bitch Pile-Up & Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.

The second list is even more fun. Someone had the brilliance to combine both the names of books and popular band names into one with some delightful results. Lookee here: The Things They Might Be Giants Carried, The Who Moved My Cheese, Charlie Daniels and the Chocolate Factory, Nicholas Nickleback, Horton Hears The Who, Fine Young Hannibal, Megadeth of a Salesman, Buena Vista Fight Club. I could go on and on but that would defeat the purpose of posting the link.

So, enjoy the lists my brethren, and if the mood strikes, feel free to pass the love on to someone else. I've wasted enough time here at work that my apathy is slowly starting to be replaced with guilt. Guess I best go and try to actually earn my living. Until later, los guapos.