Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I Urge You: Act Before You Think



Is there ANYTHING the Canadians suck at? Doughnuts, healthcare, satire...the list is never-ending!

Nobody's Watching Neil Diamond Sing While This Guy Gets Hit In The Crotch

I am an excellent sleeper. Like I excel, quantifiably, at sleep: anywhere, any time, any place. I'm good at closing my eyes and going to Dreamland.

Except for tonight.

It's 5:00 a.m. as I start to write this. I have been up since 2:30.

Without getting all "Dear Diary" on you, there's a lot on my heart right now that's keeping me awake. So to deal with that, friendly loyal viewers, I shall seek out the finest in YouTubery for your, and my, entertainment. For example, you may have seen the OK Go video with treadmills...here's a nice (short) remake from the guys at Nobody's Watching:



This one is also from Nobody's Watching -- a take on the now-classic Diet Coke and Mentos phenomenon:



And finally, for your viewing pleasure, I provide the strangest :18-second Neil-Diamond-soundtracked video I've ever seen:



And now, having exhausted myself and you, I'm going to buy another ticket to Dreamland and see if I can get some sleep before waking up to go to work in an hour and a half.

Night night!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Numa Numa / Notme, Notme



Say what you will, believe what you must, but this is not, in fact, me.

While there may be many similarities between me and the star of this video (which, by the way, has been viewed 700 million times), we all know that I can only raise my LEFT eyebrow, while this man -- Gary Brolsma is his name -- clearly raises his right.

"I Swear to Grandpa: I Didn't Take Your Gel!"

That television train wreck of 2004, Growing Up Gotti, has just gotten worse.

Little Frankie, who I think was the youngest of the Gotti grandsons, has been arrested on drug charges.

He got pulled over after failing to heed a stop sign and they found marijuana, OxyContin, and morphine pills in the vehicle. The Gotti Diet, indeed.

Pauvre, pauvre petit gangster.

How we long for the simpler days of Growing Up Gotti's Missing Gel Incident or those times we went roving around the grounds of our estate in a golf cart, destroying whatever we like because our mother has no control over us and the mountains of family money have destroyed any sense of accountability. Now, all we have to look forward to is up to a year in prison and three-to-five stints in rehab before it all comes to a tragic, bloated end in Newark. (I'm guessing.)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

All It Takes Is A Little Faith



Meet Faith, the dog who was born without front legs. I am at once appalled, intrigued, and compelled to watch more.

Best Week Ever is reporting that Faith was scheduled to appear on David Letterman last week but got bumped when Kramer had to repent for his racist outburst at that comedy club.

The world is a messed-up place when an N-word-spouting has-been upstages a deformed-but-ultimately-triumphant miracle pup. Say a prayer for Faith -- and for Kramer.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

VEGA$

Just a few more hours and I'm off to Las Vegas for the holiday weekend. I think we'll have a great time and win a little, lose a little, win a lot over the course of the next few days.

Looking forward to seeing Mike and Jon -- and Nat and Spike, for that matter!

We'll be doing a bunch of the aforementioned activities: gambling, TPIR -- Live, Thanksgiving dinner in the Buffet Capital of the Western US. But we will not be going to 7-11, for fear of witnessing this:



"Ve deed naht come all zees vay to slurp. Ve came to gulp!" indeed.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Very Much Insane In The Brain



This is Insanity, one of the rides at the top of the Strat.

Am I the only one dumb enough to consider actually paying almost $20 (I think $10 to get to the top of the tower and I think $8 for the ride itself) to do this? 900 feet over the City of Las Vegas? That's pretty awesome.

Girl Power



We owe it to each other to call Shenanigans! on the "beauty industry" and deal with reality. The model is beautiful to start with, before make-up. Pause it at :41 seconds and see her post-make-up, pre-computer-enhancement. This is a great video and should be required viewing for every human being -- male, female, transgender.

Worship was awesome this morning, and it made me want to work at Broadway even more. I met these great folks -- Jerry and Martha, who are from Franklin but come to Broadway in inner-city Indy because of their commitment to the openness and love of the congregation, specifically with regard to the GLBT community. I can definitely see myself going back to Broadway even if I don't work there...it's a beautiful church full of beautiful people with beautiful souls.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Great Expectations

Life is so good. There's great stuff in the works in my life right now. To wit:

  • I'm heading to Las Vegas in four days. I've actually been looking online at the description of Let It Ride, and it's possible that I may, in fact, follow Jon's lead and let it ride (whatever it is). The game seems like nice, entry-level entertainment, and I'm thinking it's time to do more than just drop coins in a slot machine. At the very least we'll hit The Price Is Right -- Live and be up for some fun pricing games. We're staying at the Stratosphere, and I'm the first one of the five of us arriving, so I might spend some of my waiting time at the Strat's Roni Josef spa. I also have to head to the MGM Grand at some point to get my mom's jewelry bag that she left in the safe when she and my dad were there last week -- and I might kill some time at the Lion Habitat there. And I get to go to Coyote Ugly to get my bro a replacement t-shirt for one that fell victim to a tragic laundry accident. Might wait for the boys to join me for that mission, though.

  • I'm up for a position at Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis -- I'm interviewing the Monday after Thanksgiving to serve as their director of development. It's an ambitious role in a faith community that could also be described as ambitious. Check out their website, click over to the blogs they link to, and you'll know why this looks like such a great place to work. I would be honored to serve as one of the leaders in that congregation. It's quite a bit different from St. Luke's -- much smaller, more mission-driven, located in a way more urban setting -- and I'd love to contribute to their vision. They're actually walking the walk that we've just begun to talk about at St. Luke's.

  • Jon, Mike and I are submitting our application to be a team on VH1's World Series of Pop Culture. We're calling ourselves The Riegel Beagles. Originally we were The Regal Beagles, after the pub on Three's Company, but when we heard about the recent tornado in North Carolina and how it destroyed a town called Riegelwood (pronounced "regal-wood"), we switched to the Riegel spelling, and committed to donating 10% of our winnings (assuming we win anything!) to help rebuild Riegelwood.

  • The trip to West Africa (Liberia and Sierra Leone) is about six weeks away! We had another orientation meeting last night, and we're down to the nitty gritty. Making serious plans about who's in charge of the suitcases, who's in charge of lunch or devotions on which day, etc. (I know.) I'm going to be the music leader for the trip (I know.), which will entail brushing up on guitar and creating a songbook for our team to use. I'm also going to be interviewing a lot of students and faculty at the remote school where we're going, so we can come back and tell the story to other United Methodist churches in our district (about 60 churches between Indy and Terre Haute). We hope to be able to support the scholarships, supply needs, and capital projects for the 400 students at Jaiama Secondary School, which is in the Middle of Nowhere, Sierra Leone.

So, despite missing Nat's Bucca di Birthday this afternoon, I'm flyin' high!

Wish me luck! (And luck!) (And luck!) (And...luck!)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Very Conic, Jüggler



"Some people see things as they are and ask, Why?
I dream things that never were and ask,
Where the hell do you get an eight-foot-tall plexiglass cone?"

-- George Bernard Shaw (paraphrase)

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Man's Home Is His Castle

I'm going to facilitate your castle-related daydreaming and time-wasting right here, right now:

  • The good people at Sotheby's International Realty and Christie's Great Estates have offered you, free of charge, the opportunity to browse and purchase the world's finest estates and castles and mansions and whatnot.
  • The good people at Private Islands Online have offered you, free of charge, the opportunity to browse and purchase the world's finest private islands (online) and whatnot; castles occasionally included.
  • And some dude named John Sadowski will wow you with a freaky optical illusion (also involving a castle) that will keep you entertained for at least ten minutes.

Bonus points for the first commenter to make the connection between the topic of this post and the awesomely cheesetastic video I've posted below.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sry 4 ur Nglsh sklz, Nu Zlnd

Remember that whole cavefish-milk-eyed, translucent-skinned compu-people thing? We're one step closer.

Our friends in New Zealand have deemed it appropriate for students to use text speak (or "txt spk") in their national exams.

Other, narrowly-defeated propositions for the Great Kiwi Student Dumbening, er, for the administration of national exams included:

  • Mandating that Scantron dots be filled in with fingerpaint
  • Receving half-credit for any question answered using the phrase, "I do not know because I was watching The O.C."
  • Allowing students to observe November 7 (which, in New Zealand, is actually May 7) as a religious holiday, expressing gratitude to their respective deities that Britney filed for divorce from K-Fed.

Event Honors Discovery of Alzheimer's

The literally dozens of readers who made it to page 23 of the Carmel Star (and the Fishers Star and other local-insert versions of the Indy Star) were treated to this image this morning over coffee and scrambled eggs.


We're famous, you guys!

Click it to make it bigger. And big thanks to all who participated. I think this is awesome!

[UPDATE: The Carmel Star put us on page 23, but if you got the Hamilton AM insert to your Indy Star, we were on the insert's front page!]

This is why YouTube was invented.



Truly.

YouTube's sole purpose in my life (you know, other than all the other random things I've posted here) has been defined and crystallized in one 27-second video.

[UPDATE: I still laugh when I watch this a full 36 hours later. The kid in the yellow shirt really sells it...I think his commitment is what I love the most. That, and the way the girl pronounces "fajitas." UPDATE UPDATE: The user has disabled embeddingment, which means you just click somewhere on the video other than the "play" arrow and it'll open in a new window. Totally worth it.]

Friday, November 10, 2006

Me tin-foil hat is in me lorry, guv'nah!

So, you see, the alien menace is much more immediate and urgent than previously imagined.

The former head of the UK's Ministry of Defence (my favourite ministry which uses the British English spelling of "defense") has articulated that not only is there life outside of Earth, and not only will they come to visit Earth, and not only will they make their way to Great Britain, but they might also be hostile.

The truth is out there. If by "out there" you mean "not actually anywhere remotely near this article."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mr. Pop will require a Bob Hope impersonator.

The Smoking Gun has obtained the contract rider for Iggy Pop and the Stooges.

The rider includes not only technical information (and hilarious observations about previous performance experiences that have gone wrong), but also circular security mathematics (an unspecified number of men, the quantity of whom shall be exactly proportional to the number of doors), backstage requirements (note to Germany: sausage is not actually vegetarian) and a pitch for a reality TV show called -- brace yourself -- Dead Dog Island.

Some of the other riders on Smoking Gun are fun to read through. Tony Danza prefers Beefeater Gin and Heineken, and he requires separate restrooms for men and women. Luciano Pavarotti demands, and I quote, "There must be no distinct smells anywhere near the artist." Penn and/or Teller? Allegedly allergic to eggplant. ("PLEASE AVOID.")

When I get famous enough to have a rider -- and I will -- I think it goes without saying that Nilla wafers and frosting would be in there for me. So what would be in your rider? Let's all make our own!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Aw, HELL no. It's on, Martha Gibson of North Yorkshire

So this Martha person seems to have bagged the World's Loudest Clap record from the good folks at Guinness.

Anyone who has attended a sporting event or ABBA concert with me -- or, really, spent more than an hour and a half with me, in person -- knows that my clap is clearly louder than a lorry roaring by or a washing machine at full spin.

All I'm saying is this: your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do the following:
  1. Track down a decibel-o-meter,
  2. Determine the precise conditions used to measure Martha's clap,
  3. Simulate those conditions with me,
  4. Measure my clap, and
  5. Assuming my clap blows hers out of the water as if I was calling "G-7" and sinking her battleship, submit my clap for consideration to the Guinness people.
Ready? Go!

[UPDATE: It's now Ma Honglie, a public-bath masseur in China, who holds the record. Martha's clap weighed in at 73 decibels. Ma's is like 97 decibels. Formidable. But, seriously? A public-bath masseur? I would not want to shake his hand in congratulation. Yeech.]

EREKONSILBL DIFFS - C U L8R NOT!



Much Music, my favourite MTV-ten-years-ago-style Canadian-store-front-based music channel, was filming an episode of Much Exposed, when -- allegedly -- K-Fed got the text message informing him that Britney had filed for divorce.

So you see, Canada wins again. ("Why don't you just move to Canada, you Canuck-lover?!")

I know.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Faith Hill is awesome.



The country diva is pissed.

Unless instead of "WHAT?!" she's actually saying, "Way to go, Carrie Underwood! I've always believed in you! I think you are the one who deserved to win, and I'm just so proud of you!"

Democracy, she is a fickle mistress

Mere seconds after my last post, I went through the mail from yesterday and discovered...dun dun DUN!...a juror questionnaire from the nice folks at the Hamilton County courthouse. Not a summons, mind you, but a questionnaire. The questionnaire is like the pre-screen...later, I might get the summons for jury duty. But they don't even give you any wiggle room in the questions to make yourself unappealing to the jury selectors. All they really ask is...

Am I over 18?
Well, yes, you fools -- you got my info from the voter registration rolls. (Strangely, "Yes, you fools" was not a choice, so I simply checked "Yes.")

Am I a resident of Hamilton County?
Most of the time, I'm cool with living in Hamilton County. But in this case, I checked the box marked, "Sadly, yes."

Am I in the Department of Corrections, or have my voting rights been otherwise revoked?
"No." (But intriguing...other than felony-committing-ness, how might one's voting rights be revoked? Is this part of the Patriot Act that we haven't yet seen in action?)

In the Remarks section, I considered including a crazy diatribe about the Second Amendment (either way, pro or con) or making up a history of mental illness that might disqualify me, but I -- I chose the road less perjured, and that has made all the difference. Seemed the safer bet, at least.

Come on, man -- seriously, just vote, right?

Vote Out Loud is actually the Canadian answer to Rock the Vote.

I think they're cooler, logo- and slogan-wise. Of course, I think many Canadian things are cooler, such as Degrassi, Tim Horton's, and universal health care. Also, the logo goes with the black-white-and-red-all-over color theme of today's linktacular. So there you go.

What the Heck -- It Worked for Kelly Clarkson...

CourtTV is hosting the search for the next great crime writer. I've decided to toss my hat into the ring with whatever emerges from my NaNoWriMo '06 experience. The deadline is November 27, so I'll probably be bringing my laptop to Vegas, to put the finishing touches on my entry between slot machine marathons, buffet binges, and The Price Is Right - Live.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Effing Level 17 [UPDATE: Woo Hoo!] [UPDATE UPDATE: Meh.]

Sling (click the game below) is a nice little time-waster; I highly recommend it.

I've cleared all the levels in the time provided except for Level 17. I've cleared it, but now that I'm going back to do it fast enough, I can't figure out how I did it the first time. Comments?
Miniclip Games - Sling
Sling

Help this little slimy dude do his job.

Play this game right now!

[UPDATE: Woo hoo! I finished Level 17 and now I've unlocked the final room! UPDATE UPDATE: Big freakin' whoop. Am I missing something in this wondrous treasure room?]

The Line is the Natural Enemy of the Ninja

Askaninja.com contains all manner of insights about the deadly ninja arts.

Sneaky Bastard Round-Up

The good folks over at LifeHacker.com have recently compiled a number of links which will help you passive-aggressively rule the world. To wit:

  • SorryGottaGo(.com) lets you escape phone calls. (Seriously? Are there people who can't just hang up on telemarketers? And this is coming from a guy who has worked as a telemarketer.)

Slacklining Kit -- Me Definitely Wanty!



Oh. Em. Jee.

I want this, you guys.

It's only 35 Euros, which is only US$44.5207 (as of right this moment).

For anyone keeping track, this would make an excellent Chrismuhanukwanzakkah gift for me. You can get it for me here: BugsBalance.com. I love the disclaimer under What is less good with the Bugs Balance Slackline Kit?
It is not made for rigging over waterfalls or canyons - It is made as a recreational toy to be used on low altitude over ground. If you want to cross the Niagara Falls* you can train your balance in the park with a Bugs Balance Slackline Kit but then you will have to buy more expensive, sofisticated equipment.**

* Yes, that's "the Niagara Falls".
** And yes, that is "sofisticated".

So, anyway, sofisticated dreams of the Niagara Falls or no sofisticated dreams of the Niagara Falls, this would probably also be a good go-along gift.

And I make no guarantees that I will not all of a sudden stahrt speakhing with a vague Euhrohpeahn ahccehnt. Bork! Bork! Bork!

Wii the People -- Me Likey, Me Kind of Wanty



The new promo for the Nintendo Wii (pronounced "we") makes me nostalgic for thumb cramps and carpal tunnel.

The new remote-control-turned-into-joystick thing is intriguing. All I'm saying is if the trends continue, at some point we're all going to become these cavefish-milk-eyed, translucent skinned compu-people with electronic implants and kung-fu grip.

I, for one, welcome our new Nintendo overlords.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Funny Outakes from Connecting With Carmel

By "popular" "demand" I present "funny" outtakes from Connecting with Carmel, our local community affairs program -- which, I've just learned, is "Carmel's premier monthly magazine show." (If by "premier" you mean "only.")

Those new to CwC can catch up by clicking here and scrolling down past Arbor Day 2006 ("Arbor Day? What a Day!") to Connecting With Carmel -- October 2006. Or dive further into the past, if you dare.

The show features Jeff and Stephanie (hereafter referred to as Jeffanie because they are interchangeably lame), your hosts through the magical world of Carmel government, business, and cultural happenings...


  • Watch as Jeffanie suckerviews Boss 'Nard on his bajillion-dollar development plans!
  • Thrill as Jeffanie tosses it over to zombie-with-80's-hair-I-mean-Carmel-Director-of-Community-Relations-Nancy-Heck who will teach you how to use this new thing called the interwebotron or something!
  • Gag as Jeffanie profiles Carmel volunteers and reminds us, with dazzling props costing upwards of 30 cents, that "Volunteers Are #1!"
  • And enjoy the "bloopers" below -- sadly, the finished product is not much better. Tough to tell where the final cut ends and the bloopers begin...



All I'm saying is that I love my Carmel and I love my TV, but sometimes two things you love just don't go together in the way you dreamed they might.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dixie Chicks: "Shut up and Sing" Trailer



I've always enjoyed the Chicks, and I will likely see this film.

The uproar over Natalie Maines's remarks reminds me a lot of the uproar of John Kerry's "Do your homework or you'll end up stuck in Iraq" remark. Everybody knows it's no big thing, but the Republicans make it into a big thing, and then Americans (who, as a nation, tend NOT to do their homework) eat it up.

Shut up and sing, Dixie Chicks. Go back to France, John Kerry. Sorry about your rights, gay people. Go back to Mexico, immigrants.

All I'm saying is that if we each liked ourselves a little bit more, maybe it would be easier to like other people.

"Take my plate. Fill it up. Bring it right back."



Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our WTF video of the day, "Solid Potato Salad."

Be sure to watch the whole thing. Their exit strategy is against the law in 49 states -- but not West Virginia. (Ba-dump-bump!) That's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Whatever you do, do not tell Laura Branigan.



It's like me, if I was an Argentine soccer announcer.

Lo todo que yo digo es que los latinos son muy awesome. Viva el fútbol.

[UPDATE: Did you know that Laura Branigan died in 2004? She had a brain aneurysm, which is also what killed her father and paternal grandfather, and she was cremated, with her ashes distributed over Long Island Sound. How's that for an information-packed UPDATE?]

Oh, No! NaNoWriMo -- Again

Well, it's that special time of year. Leaves are falling, times are changing, and armchair novelists across the nation are working to put pens to paper or fingers to keyboard or crayon to woobie to get those magical 50,000 words down in pursuit of their National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) goals.

So what the heck, right? I'll try to post some updates throughout the month to let you know how things are going and maybe -- just maybe -- post a sample near the end of the month.