Friday, February 29, 2008

And the winner is...only you.

The award for most horribly tanked joke punchline goes to my friend who, just now, intending to end the local-guy-intimidates-monks-selling-flowers joke with ...

ONLY HUGH CAN PREVENT FLORIST FRIARS

... actually ended the joke with ...

ONLY HAL CAN PREVENT FLOWER FRIARS.

At which, I will admit, I laughed -- laughed uproariously, one might say -- but not, I suspect, for the right reason.

That Mysterious Vivaldi Ringback

Oh! I forgot to tell you.

I got my first Verizon bill today (after getting the new phone and then losing it). So I opened the bill and it was, like, three times what I was expecting.

Thanks a hell of a lot, Verizon.

But!

Then I started reviewing it, and I realized something ... I was actually being billed for about one-and-two-thirds billing periods, and also the activation fee, for which Costco gave me a rebate, so there's that. And there were a ton of charges for ringbacks and ringtones and all manner of crap that I would not use.

So I called Verizon customer billing services and hit the CSR lottery. Seriously, if you call Verizon customer service, you should totally request Sandra.

Anyway, remember how if you've called me in the last 20 days, you got, like, this on-hold music of one of the movements of Vivaldi's Four Seasons? (Spring, I believe, but who can say, really?)

Well!

As Sandra and I were exploring these extra charges that were on my bill, we realized that they were all incurred at or around noon on February 9, the day that my phone got lost/stolen/whatever. Apparently, someone found/stole/whatever my phone and went nuts on the Soulja Boy and (inexplicably) Vivaldi ringbacks, ringtones by Gorilla Zoe and Yung Joc, and all manner of music, the likes of which it was somehow immediately (culturally and generationally and grammatically) clear to Sandra that I had not downloaded. And since they had been downloaded before I reported the phone lost/stolen/whatever at 4:15pm that day, the charges had gone through and ended up on my bill.

So, it was time to be assertive, yet charismatic.

Me: Sandra, I'm going to ask you something. Something very important. And I want you to lay it on me straight. Do you have the power to take away those charges?

Sandra: Mr. Semester, I do have that power. Should I exercise that power?

Me: Indeed, I think you should. Would you do that for me?

Sandra: Indeed, I think I shall!

She was awesome! It took a damn long time for her to remove all the ringtones and ringbacks (eight total, and she had to remove them one at a time), but I got my $21.95 credit. Sandra was very apologetic that it wouldn't apply until the next bill, but it wasn't a big deal to me; as long as it goes through at some point, it's all good.

At the end of the call, I asked if there was a manager I could talk to and tell what a great job she did. Sandra's manager was out of the office today, but she forwarded me to the manager's voice mail and I left a nice message about how cool Sandra was.

After my experience with the airlines and the Dulles Maui Tacos and the local Meijer in December and January, I must tell you how satisfied I am with that customer experience.

Sandra earned Verizon a customer for life today.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"OneonethousandtwoonethousandthreeoneTHAAAGH!"

Some CBS reporter dude gets the Pentagon's ray-gun treatment. I do not know anything about this ray gun except that it is hilarious.

Death-Threat Elmo

via AlexBalk

The sinister side of Sesame Street is allegedly rearing its ugly head in the Tampa Bay area.

A little boy named James, one of Elmo's biggest fans, has found that Elmo is now somehow trained to say "Kill James!" after his mom innocently changed its batteries.

I personally suspect foul play on behalf of James's parents and/or siblings (if he has any).

Apparently, you hook "Elmo Knows Your Name" to a computer and that's how he learns. I can envision a scenario through which some chucklehead thought s/he could get on the news if s/he programmed Elmo to say "Kill James" every time he was supposed to say "James".

Funny? Undoubtedly. Dangerous? Perhaps. Newsworthy? I think not.

Part 3,231 of "I am, it turns out, an idiot."

Seriously, why didn't I just name the blog "I am, it turns out, an idiot"?

I had a meeting down at the IPL offices today to follow up on an idea brewing at Broadway to do a community forum around Utilities -- gas, electric, water.

In the lobby of the IPL building, among various awards and citations from the City of Indianapolis and other cool stuff, is a display called "How Coal Makes Electricity." It describes how Indiana coal is used to power big boilers that heat water into steam which turns turbines in the generators that make electricity for you and me. Dig:


Here's why I'm an idiot: It wasn't until 10:32 a.m. this morning that I realized how important -- I mean, how hugely important, to all of us -- my dad's work was. Before retiring, Big Jim was a sales manager for a company that distributed Conveyor Belt Stuff to coal mines in Indiana and the neighboring states. In the process, he became the go-to guy when there were eff-ups with Conveyor Belt Stuff at coal mines in Indiana and the neighboring states. (Emergency calls to Casa Semester were common -- 5:00am on a Saturday, whenever.)

Anyway, check it: so, if there's no Big Jim and there's no Conveyor Belt Stuff, the whole process goes to hell, and you and I are sitting back in Little House on the Prairie, praying that Mary doesn't burn down the barn again as she studies to win that ridiculous dictionary. As illustrated thusly:



Because she didn't have a conveyor belt to transport coal to the boiler to make steam to power the generator to make electricity, Mary set the Ingalls family's barn on fire. Later, she also went blind. It's a cautionary tale.

Therefore, let us all give Big Jim our thanks for keeping us well-electrified and our barns unburnt. Thanks, Dad -- you rock!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Impossibilities

Yo-Yo Ma has released an album with the intriguing title, "New Impossibilities."

I think the title is intriguing because I'm having trouble thinking of things that are newly impossible. That is, things that we used to be able to do but are now impossible to do. I have no idea whether Mr. Ma and his crew intended this to be such a stumper for me, but, truly, it is.

I can think of lots of things that we used to NOT be able to do but are now possible: flight, space travel, the cinnamon dolce latte.

But the notion of things that are newly impossible has a wholly different feeling to me. I mean, a lot of the new impossibilities have a lot to do with the genie already being out of the bottle. I can't NOT know about gravity, or the Earth being round, or electricity. Which I guess is a new impossibility, in that someone in the 1500s could not know about those things. It is also newly impossible to buy a gallon of gas for under a dollar, but that doesn't seem all that compelling, either.

Can you think of important things that we used to be able to do but now can't? Can you think of things that are newly impossible?

Crepuscular

crƏ·pús·kyƏ·lƏr

ADJECTIVE: 1. Of or like twilight; dim. 2. Zoology Becoming active at twilight or before sunrise, as do bats and certain insects and birds.

...and also, apparently, rabbits.

Lunchtime blog update!

I have two minutes before lunch hour is officially over. So here are two updates:

Update the First:
Had a terrific lunch with Marc and his friend from work (who is also one of my instructors at the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center's Indianapolis Community Building Institute) Amy. We went to this place out by my house, El Puerto de San Blas Mexican Restaurant. Marc got the paella, Amy got the garlic shrimp and I got the shrimp nachos. Who would have thunk -- a Mexican seafood restaurant in the heart of the Lafayette Square area?!

On the way out I took a picture of Marc and Amy and the inexplicable Especial-de-Hoy-bearing frog chef:


Update the Second:
I just clicked over to Perpetually Nauseous, a hilarious blog that I only visit once a month or so, and I found this video, made by Melissa McCarthy, who plays Sookie on "Gilmore Girls," and in the SAT analogy,

Gilmore Girls : Scott's Mom :: Law and Order : Scott's Dad.

Anyway, Melissa McCarthy has created this character named Marbles Harsgrove (or possibly, Marbles Cosgrove or Marbles Hargrove), and while I feel I should be at least slightly offended on behalf of someone, I'll be darned if I can figure out on whose behalf.

Apparently there are a few YouTube videos of Marbles, recorded by her husband Randy. Enjoy this one that addresses the injustice of the Oscars, with some creative soundtracking toward the end:

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Sunday really funnies

When I lived with Nat and Jon at The Fields in Bloomington, one of our favorite Sunday afternoon activities was me reading the comics to them, word for word, with no explanation of the visual gag in the strip.

(On reflection, it is possible that this was only one of my favorite Sunday afternoon activities.)

Anyway, in that grand tradition, I have recently stumbled across two funny blogs: Marmaduke Explained and GarfieldMinusGarfield. The former takes that wacky Great Dane to task, while the latter exposes Jon Arbuckle for the effing psycho that he is. For example:

Check 'em out!

"It's an exciting movie!"

"...but don't talk back to Darth Vader, 'cause he'll getcha!"

Milo Accomplished!

My new friend Milo came home with me last night. He's getting used to his new surroundings in his cage for a day or so, and then this evening, I'll let him out to do some looking around. The goal is to help him gradually get used to the new space so that he doesn't take to "marking" his territory. The carpet will be happy.

I imagine I'll have lots of Milo pics every so often, but I pledge to you that this blog will have at least two non-rabbit-related posts for every rabbit-related post.

In the meantime, let us rejoice in the fact that Milo is using his litterbox appropriately, and he seems to be enjoying the greens I picked out for him this week (romaine lettuce and broccoli).

More to come...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

"This is my alarm clock...I programmed it myself."

Much like Charlie of "Charlie's Angels," the narrator of this video is never seen.

I suspect this is one the very few things the narrator of this video has in common with Charlie of "Charlie's Angels."

"Hi. I'm Rachel."

Or, "What if it's all vagina art?"

This evening, Unnamed Friend and I went to an art auction and dinner in Fountain Square, Broad Ripple's hipper, cooler, younger arts-district sister. I had seen an ad for the auction when I was at the Shelbi Street Cafe and Bistro last week -- it was at the Wheeler Arts Community prior to a show of "The Vagina Monologues." Which prompted the question, realized only as we were getting out of the car and talking about what kind of art we might be bidding on, "What if it's all vagina art?"

To our delight To our dismay As a matter of fact, there was quite a bit of feminist art on hand, but it wasn't all in that style.

Over sugar cookies and wine, we got to know one of the artists. Unnamed Friend ended up bidding on a photograph that our new artist friend had done and I bid (bidded?) on a watercolor that I thought would look good in my downstairs powder room half-bath. These were the only auction items marked with opening bids anywhere near reasonable. And despite the fact that the auction was to benefit the Julian Center, I'm not going to pay hundreds of dollars for bad art. (It is a proven fact that I will pay up to $50 for bad art, but not more than that.)

Which brings me to the actual title of this post.

Unnamed Friend and I were looking at a variety of pieces of crap of art that were priced in the multiple hundreds of dollars and remarking on how they weren't really all that good. At one point, Unnamed Friend looked over her shoulder at me and started talking about a piece whose opening bid was $200, and we discussed how the artist's statement and bio really had nothing in common with the piece we were looking at.

(It is also entirely possible that I might have actually looked at the piece and announced, "Booooo!")

At this exact moment, the artist chose to introduce herself to Unnamed Friend and me. "Hi. I'm Rachel," she said as she shook our hands and gestured toward the crap art on the wall. "That's my work."

"Oh, hi! I'm Scott! This is [Unnamed Friend]! We were just talking about your piece (of crap)."

"Great, I'm glad you came tonight." Artist Rachel politely made small talk with us, and it is unclear whether she actually heard us talking about her work or not.

All I'm saying is I high-tailed it out of there to track down more wine and cookies. Lots of cookies.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Straight to the catalog

My niece Madelynn models a new outfit from Grandma and Grandpa S:

I am daring you to watch these videos

Thanks a lot, Jim

There I was, innocently watching American Idol crush the dreams of four young hopefuls, and I happened to click over to an e-mail from Jim Fore, a friend from Broadway. And my world was changed.

Rocked to its very core.

The e-mail's subject line was "Ways To Ruin Songs From The 70's" and contained two YouTube videos, which I have embedded below.

It's kind of like "The Ring" -- as long as I make someone else watch them, I will not die in seven days.

Video the first: Laverne and Surely You Can't Be Serious


Video the second: Last Dance for Huck

Dear Africa, We're sorry. Again.

I guess the sickness last week was just a joke

Because I am seriously wiped out today.

You know, I've been sick before when I felt crappy and generally uncomfortable, and sometimes I work through it and sometimes I take the day off if there's, you know, nothing super-urgent going on.

Today, the sickness is all-pervasive, omnipresent, everyeffingwhere. Sitting up is a chore, and I feel like I might just fall asleep at any moment. (Generic Nyquil hangover? NOT ENOUGH generic Nyquil? Who can say?)

Having exhausted my nonrenewable resource of Arrested Development episodes, I am currently discerning my sickertainment options for today. I believe that I shall either head back to MySpace's PrimeTime channel (bonus: free!) or head over to iTunes and rent a movie (bonus: futuristic!).

I shall again spare you the liveblog for fear that there would be massive amount of time missing, as illustrated by the fact that I started this post at 7:43 a.m. and it is now 8:14 a.m.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Single. Why do you ask?

The fruits of my grocery-shopping this evening:


Yes: Cocoa Pebbles, generic Nite-Time Cough* medicine and lottery tickets. The non-stop life of a single guy in the city.

* Which, come on. I think "Night" would have fit in the name. We really don't need to be dumbening down the labels of items which may cause drowsiness.

Involuntary internet fast

I've written previously about the Four-Hour Work Week and e-mail fasting. And there was a story this morning on the Today Show about disconnecting from the web. Well, it's happened to me today, and not in a good way.

Our phones and internet are down at work*, so if you've written to me or called the office, there's little chance that I'll get back to you today. (I'm at home on a break right now.)

So I'll check e-mail -- both work and personal -- again around 8:00 tonight. In the meantime, you can call my cell, but don't be surprised if it's answered "Broadway United Methodist Church..." since, rather than a busy/disconnect tone, we've forwarded the church number to my cell.

* If you want the full story -- and there is a story -- e-mail me. Just don't expect an immediate response.

You can't spell "lickable" without "ick"

"Snozzberries? Who ever heard of snozzberries?"

The Wall Street Journal Online features an article about a new advertising approach by grape-juice-makers Welch's: lickable magazine ads.


It's a lot like a scratch-and-sniff, but is instead a pull-and-lick. (Honestly.) Best quote from the article:

"A lot of people won't lick a magazine no matter how good it tastes," says Chris Heye, Welch's marketing chief.

Indeed, truer words have never appeared in the Wall Street Journal Online. I like to imagine him saying that with a shrug and a sigh, resigned to the fact that this. awesome. idea. won't appeal to everyone. Some people just don't get it.

Anyway, I have to believe that the fact that it has taken this long for pull-and-lick technology to be developed indicates that this idea is either (1) ridiculously, startlingly, monumentally stupid or (2) ridiculously, startlingly, monumentally genius.

I'd bet on (1).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Those three little words: "internet sex sting"

Maybe I'm just an old-fashioned boy, but stories like this one really vex me so.

Like, there's so much tragicness in the events of this story:

  1. A public defender,
  2. soliciting sex on the internet,
  3. with an underage person,
  4. and arranging to meet her at a 7-Eleven.
  5. On the southside. (Just kidding, southsiders -- much love.)
And then the other guy (the story is actually a two-fer) made similar arrangements, except he hit a cop with his car whilst awaiting his non-existent 14-year-old date in the parking lot of a Lowe's. A Lowe's hardware store.

How about everybody just quits soliciting everybody for sex over the internet? Can we just agree to that?

This is where you end up when you try too hard.

via CollegeHumor

Sunday, February 17, 2008

And the winner is...

...MILO!

I had the opportunity to meet my new rabbit friend this afternoon and I am ready to take the plunge. Contracts were signed, hand-off dates were arranged, supply lists were double checked and pants were crapped. I can't believe I'll be responsible, full-time, for another living thing!

If this turns into too much of a rabbit blog (as opposed to Heather Havrilesky's RabbitBlog), you'll have to let me know, but you can rest assured that there will be pictures.

Oh! And if you're in the greater Indianapolis area, there is a chance that my new friend will be making an appearance on television on Tuesday morning. Fox59's morning show will be doing an in-studio piece on some sort of rabbit castle (the mere thought of which causes the mind to blossom with strange and wondrous thoughts) and they wanted to showcase an adoptable bunny. Milo was their first choice, but now that he's no longer adoptable, they may opt for an understudy.

Anyway, check out Fox59 at 8:40 a.m. on Tuesday, February 19, for more info!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Amy Sedaris + Rabbits + Cupcakes ...

... + Microsoft Word (Manpower Staffing rated me as a Word expert, you know) + Old-Timey 50's Music = Brilliant

Friday, February 15, 2008

K1LL M3 N0W

It's true: I have just lost another hour of my life to NUMB3RS.

Stupid math.

Bunny-on-Bunny Cute-Off!

Hey, I think I passed the interview!

I am now moving forward with the adoption process to welcome a new lagomorph companion into my home. Next comes the hard part: the Pageant of Bunnies!

Below are the three candidates for whose bunny love I shall be vying. Left to right, they are Milo, Joshua, and Bluebell.


I think I'm leaning toward Milo right now, based on the description of him on the website, but I'm going to make the call after I meet them all in person. I think that any of them would make great new friends, and I'm looking forward to it!

Watch for updates...

Don't ... cry for me ... next-door neighbor ...

On the ride home from after-work coffee just now, I learned that the digital readout on my new car's volume goes up to 31. I also learned that 31 is not enough for this awesome, ridiculous song.


TGIF(ETTFTIFRMNBMWIGTBJABOEBTTW)

That would be: Thank God It's Friday (Even Though The Fact That It's Friday Really Means Nothing Because My Weekend Is Going To Be Just As Busy Or Even Busier Than The Week).

Madelynn Alert!

The latest pictures from the coolest niece:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Last-Minute Valentine's Video

Bonus points for the zebra finale



via bwe.tv

Make [Heart], Not [Bang]

Happy Valentine's Day!



This is a card from Etsy.com, "Your place to buy & sell all things handmade" and it was handmade by someone named Magicjelly.

And I am sad that it is sold out.

via HeartExplosion

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Delicious New (To Me) Beverage!

At the Meijer, they're offering 3 one-litre bottles of Jones Soda for $4. Is that a good deal? I don't know, but I bought three the other day: two sugar-free black cherry (which, meh) and one whose flavor is M. F. Grape (which, heh).

I am here to tell you that this beverage ROCKS MY WORLD. You do not understand the mind-blowing awesomeness of this beverage.

In the bottle, it is purple. (See picture, right.)

In the glass, it is silver. It's like drinking that thing from the second Terminator. Or swallowing a liquid mirror. Or, you know, something cool.

In my future tree, I mentioned that I want to invent a new drink. My drink is totally going to be the color of M. F. Grape.

Speaking of pet videos

I don't condone this, and I don't think you should do this to your puppy. But it is interesting to see how the pup responds to a roboquad, whatever that is.



I only posted this because the puppy won.

Not one of these rabbits, specifically, but...

...I think I'm going to adopt a rabbit.

I have an interview on Wednesday evening with the Indiana House Rabbit Society, a rescue organization that matches rabbits and humans. Hopefully, it'll just be the one -- if even that many, as I haven't yet heard back from my landlady with approval on the rabbit-adopting. (JennySchell, I'm looking at you.)

Anyway, here you go:



Via Sarah Schneider

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

While I am generally opposed on principle to the use of the song "Kung Fu Fighting" in any context, I will definitely be seeing "Kung Fu Panda" when it hits theaters in June. The trailer just showed on "American Idol" and even on my tiny 13" screen, it looked pretty funny.

In case you missed it, here's one version of the trailer (a different one from the one that aired a few minutes ago):



And PS: what's up with this "second chance" that they're offering contestants on "Idol" tonight? I do not understand, and it's like the heartbreak is just drawn out even more. I'm too fragile for this.

And PPS: What was with that nerdy guy that just sang "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes" just now?

Arrested Development

Continuing my fine tradition of being about five years behind schedule, I discovered Arrested Development earlier today. (I've finally found a use for my MySpace account. You can watch 32 episodes of Arrested Development there.)

If you haven't seen it (which, I'm pretty sure I'm the last one who hadn't seen it, but still), Arrested Development is about the wealthy Bluth family, whose patriarch, George (Jeffrey Tambor), is sent to prison for corporate malfeasance in the first episode. The series is shot with a handheld camera and has the feel of a documentary about how the dysfunctional family responds when their assets are seized by the SEC and they all move in together.

Led by the responsible son Michael (Jason Bateman), the family also includes stay-in-bed mom Lindsay (Portia DiRossi) and her doctor-turned-actor husband Tobias (David Cross), low-rent magician GOB (short for George Oscar Bluth, pronounced like the biblical Job, and played by the hilarious Will Arnett), and "special" son Buster (Tony Hale). A couple teenagers (it-boy Michael Cera and cutie Alia Shawkat) and heartless matriarch Lucille (Jessica Walter) round out the bunch. Special guest stars like Henry Winkler and Liza Minnelli add even more hilarity.

It's seriously awesome, and I watched ten episodes today. MySpace's PrimeTime channel is my new sick-day entertainment.

File Under: "Wish For, Be Careful What You"

Well, we didn't get the aforementioned Snow Day, but I have taken a sick day. Sadly, this is a sick day and not a "sick day," as I am dealing with a very real, very wicked sore throat and annoying cough.

Big thanks to all of my loving, caring, and sharing friends who so generously gave of themselves and of their germs.

I figure I could subject you to a liveblog of my sick day, but I can't imagine you would find the details of my fiery throat or today's Tyra all that compelling. You may thank me for abstaining from the Sick Day Liveblog at your leisure.

I may post a bunch of times today, but it won't be a liveblog-type thing.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

There's an interesting tale about Ernest Hemingway, in which he was once challenged to write a complete life story in only six words. The title of this post is what he famously (and pretty poignantly) wrote. Here are some other writers' tries:



Now, I invite you to watch the video below and, in six words, write the story that would encapsulate (hee!) the life of either of the two main characters (the puncher or the punchee):

Monday, February 11, 2008

Come ooooooooooooooooooon, Snow Day!

Looks like we're supposed to have some pretty heavy snow. Of course, if it's anything like last time, I'll have stocked up on milk, bread, and tradeable cigarettes, fuel oil, and gold bars for nothing. Again.

A snow day would be awesome. Ollie Williams Chris Wright has more if you click below:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

13˚F and 25mph winds

The pond lake loch is a-churnin' today, but it sure is sparkly and purty:

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Technical Difficulties

I lost my phone today and had to get a new handset.

So if you sent me a text message at any time on Saturday, February 9, 2008, assume I didn't get it. I think voice mail carried over OK, but not sure about texts.

That is all.

Friday, February 08, 2008

"NUMB3RS" QU35T10N5

Well, here it is, 10:00 on Friday night.

And again I find myself watching that show where they fight crime with math.

Can you explain to me why the main math guy can work out complex mathematical formulae, but he seems powerless to master the intricacies of shampoo and razors? And don't hand me any of that "complicated genius" ess aitch ahy tee, either.

And are there really that many FBI casefiles whose solutions hinge on the Fibonacci sequence? Or the quadratic equation? Or carrying the two?

Or any number of other permutations of math nerdery?

Or Judd Hirsch?

A blast from the past -- in an AWESOME way!

I had dinner tonight with KT. KT is awesome.

My friend KT was in charge of Briscoe Quad when I was a freshman (and for a few years after that). I got involved in Briscoe Student Government (we did not have the Internets back then) and for a couple years, I was part of the week-long orientation program that returning students organized for incoming freshmen.

One year, we decided to invite major celebrities to join us at Briscoe for orientation week. So we composed a delightful letter and sent off a bunch to these folks and their publicists. Sadly, none were able to attend, but we did get some nice 8-by-10 glossies. Which I promptly forgot about.

KT, however, did not forget about them. For the last 15 years -- literally, the last. fif. teen. years. -- KT has been carting around a handful of celebrity glossies signed "To Scott..."

And when she picked me up for dinner tonight, I found, among others, the following two angelic portraits staring up from the passenger seat -- and I am not kidding:


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Have conversations and have faith.

A couple weeks ago, at a staff meeting, Mike said "I know you've heard me say this before, but I'm going to say it again: Have conversations and have faith. That's what we're called to do here."

(And by the way, have you listened to Margaret Pengilly's Lesson from the Contemporary Church yet? I am consistently moved by her powerful voice saying, "We know what we're here on this corner for." Awesome.)

Though at least two of us had never before in our lives heard Mike say "Have conversations and have faith" (which astonished the rest of the team, but still), it made perfect sense, and I think that it's a perfect encapsulization (yes, I made that word up) of what Broadway is about.

We're going to see what we can do to include visual images of that phrase around the church, including tweaking our bulletin cover to include it, and I've offered a first-draft graphic:

In the way we are experiencing our life together, we know that the basic unit of connection, the basic unit of change, the basic unit of community is the conversation. We don't always know where our conversations will take us, but we know that great things happen because of a conversation that happened first.

UPDATE: Here's round 2 of the graphic ... which do you prefer?





Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Not really a reliable spellr, but...

via Snooz3r

Using Flickr, the dubiously-spelled photo-hosting website, some guy named Erik Kastner has made it possible so you can graphically represent just about any phrase you want.

For example:



Or:


Or even:

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I guess we've found our answer...

The question: How do you get more hits?
The answer: Write about current events and write a lot.


My Super Bowl live blog attracted almost 170 hits in just two days -- 89 on Sunday and 80 on Monday. The following Google search phrases brought people to my site yesterday and Sunday:
  • super bowl patriots wicked pisser

  • alicia keys zebra pants at the superbowl

  • "salesgenie" and "commercial" and "racist"

  • strahan saying resiliency
And my favorite:
  • whats the name of that one alicia keys song she sang at the superbowl

Also, be advised that someone -- either four someones in just the last two days or four times in just the last two days, actually -- found my blog using the oft-repeated "rod roddy grave site". Which is information contained on this blog, but come on. I wouldn't have guessed I'd be on the first page when you Google that, but I'm actually only the sixth one down.

And when you spell it "rod roddy gravesite"? I'm first! Viva la Google!

Foggy pond lake loch

My Back Yard (13 of 16)


6th grade math, 6th grade memory

Also via joshmohrer via MacSmiley via nevver via Snooz3r

The Science of Online Dating and Compatibility Testing

I think it would be fun to be a matchmaker, although I don't know that I'd be any good at it. Apparently, though, it seems to be a marketable service...and if you're skilled and/or based on scientific research, it could be quite profitable as the New York Times reports:
eHarmony estimates, based on a national Harris survey it commissioned, that its matchmaking was responsible for about 2 percent of the marriages in America last year, nearly 120 weddings a day.
via Josh Mohrer

Five-hour live-blog hang-over

Jeepers! I tried three times last night to add to the blog and simply could not bring myself to do it. I guess after 5+ hours on Sunday night, I was just out of juice.

This morning, though, I found this video, which, even if you're not an Obama supporter, is pretty cool:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Liveblogging the Super Bowl through half-time

So I figure liveblogging the City Council meeting went so well, why not try liveblogging Super Bowl XLII? Here goes (as a reminder, start at the bottom of the post and read up -- and if you're reading during the actual Super Bowl, refresh often)...

8:32 OK, look, I'm back, but just for this comment: I really don't think racist generically-Asian accents added a GD thing to that SalesGenie.com commercial with the pandas. Honestly. Unless they're being blatantly racist (see below with the Indian guy with 7 kids) to get their name mentioned in the papers, I really don't think that was a good idea. [UPDATE: Apparently that was, in fact, their plan.]

8:18 This Super Bowl XLII liveblog is officially over, though you may comment forever.

8:17 Well, my dear friends, I believe this is where I shall take my leave. Five hours into this, I fear that I've lost this time forever. I do hope that you've enjoyed it -- and I certainly appreciate Jon, Jenny, Sarah, KT, and Mike all tuning in for at least a part of the festivities ... as well as anyone else who read along but didn't comment. Go Patriots! Or Go Giants! I hope the team you're rooting for wins! Or, Mom, if you're reading this, I hope it ends in a tie!

8:16 BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

8:15 Maybe a guest star would have been cool. We know Nick Lachey was in Glendale. As were Willie Nelson and Sara Evans. And Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. I saw them all with my own eyes. They couldn't come up with anything more interesting?

8:14 This is the part where, if I was at your Super Bowl party and I had waited around until the half-time show, you would be learning how colorful and epic my knowledge of curse words in English and other languages can be.

8:12 OK, at least this one has a beat. But do you think Tom Petty has had Botox or something? Because the upper half of his face doesn't really move.

8:11 Jeepers criminy, this is boring. I think from now on the Super Bowl should just budget in some FCC fines and have something interesting in their Bridgestone Half-Time Show. I mean, I am in the Tom Petty demographic, easy listening all the way, but this is almost a damn lullaby.

8:09 You knew they were gonna play "Freefallin'," right?

8:08 KT reads my mind and posts a comment before I can write it here -- praying for no wardrobe malfunctions. (Can you believe Janet and Justin had that trouble FOUR YEARS AGO?)

8:06 Meh. Do you think they chose Tom Petty so that it wouldn't be controversial like Prince and his pelvic/phallic guitar thrusting? Becuase I kind of think Tina Turner would have been more interesting and equally as legendary and non-threatening.

8:03 The Bridgestone Super Bowl XLII Half-Time Show! A phallic guitar is about to penetrate a heart, as they play the song that was on the car radio right before Buffalo Bill captured that Senator's daughter in "Silence of the Lambs."

8:01 I wonder how much Terry Bradshaw makes in a year as a commentator.

8:00 Up next: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Don't you think that's kind of a conceited name for the back-up band?

7:58 Terry Bradshaw walks us through the game recap. But didn't we all just watch this? It was 7 to 3 like ten minutes in and then nothing else happened. (See, this is how I experience sports.)

7:57 Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike are back -- as Joe Buck curiously described, "all showered up and toweled off after the pre-game show."

7:56 With the end of this liveblogging ordeal in sight, I get my second wind. Not to the point where I'll keep this going to the end of the game, but still.

7:55 The Daytona 500 is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Why would anyone, anywhere, at any time, want to watch NASCAR in HD? Honestly.

7:53 Ah, well. At least it's half-time. It's time for the SoBe Life Water Half-Time Report and then on to the Bridgestone Half-Time Show. Or whatever.

7:52 I predict a touchdown on this last play of the half.

7:50 LOOSE BALL! Giants on the recovery. 10 seconds left.

7:49 All these effing time outs! There was less than 5 minutes in the half 17 minutes ago. This displeases me.

7:44 First down Patriots with just a little time left in the half.

7:43 So if I was at a Super Bowl party right now, I suspect I'd have tuned out of the game by now. Easily. But also out of the commercials even. If I was at your party and you didn't have a kid to entertain or a dog to play with, I'm pretty sure I'd have bailed by now.

7:40 Pepsi with JT. Funny, especially the flatscreen headwound -- except I don't understand the Andy Samberg thing. Doritos -- have we seen the other musical group entries in that contest yet? Or was that woman the winner and I just missed that announcement because there was so much reading? And that mouse beating the hell out of that man made me uncomfortable.

7:40 Four and a half hours into this, I'm deciding to definitely be done after half-time, because come on.

7:37 Commercials: Narnia! I will be there. The Planters ad! Wait, what? T-Mobile -- if Charles Barkley ever stalks me, I will call the police without hesitation. Bad ad.

7:37 About 2 minutes left in the half. Thank God.

7:32 Coming up at half-time...less than 5 minutes away. Who else is performing? Anyone?

7:29 Commercials: That was a car commercial? Bad, GMC. Bad. Bud Light and Carlos Mencia - prety good, but not as funny as last year's. I'm alternately over "Idol" and into it. I'm like Farrah Fawcett in "The Burning Bed."

7:27 Oops. The Patriots did not do well that time. Giants might have something in them.

7:26 Is it half-time yet?

7:23 Commercials: A beating, squishy heart makes me uncomfortable, CareerBuilder.com. A naked, squishy lizard makes me uncomfortable, SoBe. But them doing the Thriller dance changes EVERYTHING! Only it doesn't. Creepy! Oh, Office of National Drug Control Policy...so square, so unhip, such a punchline.

7:21 I realize that I'm exposing my inner sporting event monologue to those with whom I've watched many sporting events. Now you know what I've been thinking about all these years. (I've left off my frequent thoughts about nachos and hot dogs, so if you would add that in, you've pretty much got it.)

7:21 FUMBLE! (Meh.)

7:18 Commercials: Toyota - Badgers are funny. Only not. Even with J. Peterman's voiceover. "Leatherheads" - what? Garmin - why did you even do that? Why would anyone want to be associated with Napoleon? (Seriously, this is not the demographic you want thinking of your brand as a short, French loser.)

7:14 Commercials (I've lost track of how many): Anheuser Busch - Hank as Rocky - pretty cool. IronMan starring ... wait for it ... Robert Downey, Jr? I'm not sure about that one.

7:13 INTERCEPTION caught by the same guy who caught the last interception Eli Manning threw. That's a wicked pisser.

7:12 I'm going to be honest with you; you deserve that much. I really think that I'm going to make it to the half-time show with this and then trail off. How does that make you feel?

7:11 Delay of game, which, to me, seems like the dumbest penalty ever to get.

7:09 That was a pretty good play by a guy named Tumor. (Toomer? Tumer?)

7:09 Is it half-time yet? (Not much longer, my little smurfs.)

7:05 Sixth round of commercials: Night-vision pigeons are funny. Massive, terrifying piegons, not so much. I agree that FedEx probably makes more sense. Heh: "Glondor, let's, uh, pack it up." TideToGo ad was good, although any website with the word "stain" in the URL is probably not going to be visited by me.

7:02 Fifth round of commercials: Wait, so I'm confused. Samuel L. Jackson is in the one with the teleporters, and Morgan Freeman is the one with some otherwise space-bending hijinks, right? Which one has Angelina Jolie? Gatorade colors are getting weirder. And GoDaddy.com's servers probably just crashed. If a stranger ever patted my butt, for any reason, I'm not sure I'd be on board -- again, I say, I am over the (RED), Dell.

7:02 Mike channels my inner monologue in the Comments: "Sweet! Mama's Family!"

7:01 Touchdown Patriots.

6:58 First quarter over. Fourth round of commercials. Bridgestone: Seriously? Doritos Contestant #1: Vanessa Carlton Wannabe...does she appeal to the Super Bowl crowd? And why was there so much reading in that commercial? "The geniuses who brought you Dumb and Dumber"? Really, FOX?

6:57 Flagontheplay! Pass Interference

6:56 I feel my attention drifting.

6:54 First down Patriots.

6:53 Patriots pick up 7, but not enough for first down. I take the opportunity to see what else is on my other 6 non-cable-TV channels: Mama's Family, church show, news, news, Gossip Girl rerun, Antiques Road Show.

6:52 Brady has time to take Spring Break to Daytona but fails to complete the pass.

6:51 First down Patriots.

6:48 Third round of commercials: Cheese? Oh, Bud-smugglers. It's funny to deceive your wife. If you wear Under Armour, you can be eXtreme(ly similar to a Mortal Kombat character).

6:46 Second round of commericals: I gotta tell you, LL and Busta do nothing for me, Diet Pepsi Max (whatever the hell that is). Wait -- why does the Indian American have to have 7 kids? I get that he wins in the end, but wow. Just wow, SalesGenie.com. I don't care about "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." Although I still remember that girl named Sarah Miller from our IFS class whose last name we thought was Connor, only she was about 4'10" tall and not exactly built like Linda Hamilton.

6:45 Giants 3, Patriots 0

6:44 From that angle, a 32-yard field goal attempt looks a lot longer.

6:43 I bet if I knew a damn thing about football, this could actually be pretty good.

6:42 Manning cares not a whit about the Patriots' blitz. Homey does not play that.

6:42 Oh! It's the Bridgestone half-time show. Therefore, Bridgestone didn't have to spend their money on good ads, because they're going to say "Bridgestone like 20 times in 20 minutes. But still, you'd think they'd spend their money on things that are actually good.

6:40 Terry's son, Ahmad Bradshaw, didn't have it last time, but he got it this time.

6:40 Terry's son, Ahmad Bradshaw, may have a first down.

6:39 Don't you taunt me, FOX on NFL Robot!

6:38 First round of commercials: Bud Light fire-breathing? Meh. Audi -- huh? (Maybe I need a bigger TV. Or cable.)

6:35 First down New York. Although they're putting pressure on his front side, Manning is comfortable in the pocket with Randall Gay. I am very confused.

6:34 Sarah's helpful advice, which I will not re-print here, although it's in the comments, is not so helpful.

6:32 First down Giants. Randall Gay sits on the route, and it's pitch and catch, no contest whatsoever. (Huh?) (Also: Heh.)

6:31:23 Just kidding. It'll be at least another six, seven minutes at least before I'm done.

6:31:09 Hey, look! The exact second where I lose interest!

6:31 Hey, look! Actual football!

6:30 After the break.

6:29 Now it's time for some football!

6:28 Tom Brady is feeling no pain, but the FOX sideline reporter doesn't offer any further explanation as to how that condition has been achieved.

6:27 It's like on "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader": "Now it's time for some football ... [dramatic pause] ... [too-long pause] ... after this commerical break!"

6:26 TAILS! (I always call heads. AUDIENCE POLL: What do you call in a coin-flip?)

6:25 Can we not just toss the coin?

6:20 And she did a good job. Brava, Jordin Sparks!

6:18 It's possible that another wing will make me teary-eyed, is all I'm saying.

6:14 I will go on record now as saying that Jordin Sparks will do a great job with the National Anthem -- I will even go as far as to say that she will be second only to Whitney Houston's during the Gulf War. (That was 17 years ago!!) What say you? Any bets?

6:13 "AY! Ay! ay!" *rattle* as the Patriots take the team.

6:12 The true essence of the Giants is "resiliency" (or, possibly, "resilience"). The true essence of the Patriots is "teamwork".

6:09 I am honestly not sure what to expect from this liveblog once the actual game play starts. I won't be offended if you log off. (Bit of posting I can imagine actually making: "6:47 I get bored and switch over to a 'Benson' rerun." "6:51 Clayton Endicott was really a jerk." "6:55 Oh! It looks like somebody else has the ball now.")

6:07 The new MacBook Air ad is on. I downloaded the song, "New Soul," from Yael Naim. You should check out the video here.

6:05 I take time to process a comment from Jon that says that Sarah has already pre-bought tickets to "Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins," and I send my condolences to the students of the greater metropolitan Yuma, Arizona, area.

6:03 I snarf down four wing drumettes and commit myself to celery and blue cheese until half time, just as Joe Buck's fivehead welcomes us to the game.

6:00 OK, that was pretty good.

5:58 Shut up. That buffalo wing just happened to be really hot. That's what made my eyes water.

5:53 Are we seriously reciting the Declaration of Independence? If it wasn't so daggone cheesy, I would think this was pretty cool.

5:52 How many people do you think will register or vote because the NFL told them to during the Super Bowl?

5:51 I don't care for that NFL on FOX robot. He looks like he's trying to intimidate me, and I don't like that one bit.

5:48 As we approach the I've-been-doing-this-for-three-hours mark, I wonder if this was perhaps a bad idea. Much like "Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins," the latest Martin Lawrence vehicle whose preview I just lost a minute of my life to.

5:46 Jon suggests I eat one-handed and type one-handed. I do not know how to do this.

5:45 InstaPoll Results -- We care about Tom Petty because he's in the way of someone (anyone) else who would have been a better half-time act choice.

5:41 OTHER AUDIENCE POLL: How am I going to eat those delicious buffalo wings and still type?

5:40 AUDIENCE POLL (REVISED): Do you even care about Tom Petty?

5:38 Terry Bradshaw channels Mary Hart in his Tom Brady interview, spending as much time on Brady's personal and family life as he did on the game.

5:35 Eli Manning ran out on the field past Tom Brady and was rebuffed when he tried to say hello. Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike become ladies at a church luncheon and try to analyze "What, exactly, did that mean?"

5:31 Curt threatens more Caliendo. I pray for a swift and merciful death.

5:28 Some sports reporter interviews a guy who I think is the Giants coach. I use this time wisely by popping open a can of Pringles.

5:24 If I ran a huge national insurance company, I would be reluctant to hire Jim Belushi as my spokesperson.

5:22 Some football-player guy on crutches (whose name I would know if I had been paying attention) is supporting his teammates, even though he's broken. What I notice about him is the lame way he has his t-shirt tucked in just at the belt buckle. I wonder if all the guys who do that would do it if they knew that Carson Whateverhisnameis was telling men to do that three years ago on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?

5:20 The FOX59 news preview presents "a warning to those who enjoy an 'adult beverage' or two during the game." I hate it when people use the phrase "adult beverage" -- either ironically or unironically.

5:18 Oh, great. Could I dread four words more? "...and then there's Frank." Frank Caliendo is quickly working his way up (down) to Will Ferrell status.

5:17 More sports talk blah blah blah. Sadly, I don't have to pee this time.

5:14 Troy Aikman and our fellow Hoosier Joe Buck talk about the game. Have you ever watched The Joe Buck Show on Bud.tv? You should.

5:13 Curt makes a variety of Russell Crowe movie title puns, and I want to reach into my TV and hurt him.

5:11 That is to say, which Tom Petty song will you physically die if they don't play it at half-time?

5:10 AUDIENCE POLL: Which Tom Petty song must you hear tonight?

5:09 Sweet Merciful Crap! I've been doing this for two hours already. I hope this is worth it.

5:07 John Travolta drove his own plane to the Super Bowl today. We get it, John Travolta, you're better than us. OK? Is that enough now? Zenudammit!

5:06 As Alicia Keys finishes singing -- finally! -- I receive an e-mail from Jenny who says I should mention that Alicia Keys's's's pants make her hips look big. I think her hair makes her head look big.

5:05 She's still singing! Now she's singing that other one people might recognize.

5:02 Is that it? Oh, wait -- we're back to more Supremes-style dancing. I think it was choreographed by Sparky Polastri.

4:59 Wait. Kind-of-slow dancing to about 30 seconds of her kind-of-slow song. And then she awkwardly transitions to the song that she sang that people will actually know: Fallin' and then into Some People Want It All, the only other Alicia Keys song mainstream America would have any chance of identifying.

4:57 In a stunning twist, it's no longer the SalesGenie.com Pre-Game Show. It's the Chevy Pre-Game Show. Alicia Keys celebrates by repeatedly saying the phrases "Come on!" and "Put yo' hands in the air!" while kind-of-slow dancing to her kind-of-slow song.

4:55 Later on, Doritos will make one musical act's dreams come true, while crushing two others' hearts on national TV. Compelling!

4:53 Samuel L. Jackson wants to open-hand-slap Ryan Seacrest.

4:52 Bradshaw: "Where would anybody be without me to make fun of?" Indeed, Terry. Indeed.

4:49 The boys take us behind the scenes on the making of Super Bowl commercials. I think we'd be better off without caveman commercials of any sort.

4:43 Nick Lachey raised about $400,000 for charity. Good for him. But he misses the Bengals today. I think Nick Lachey might have early-onset dimentia.

4:42 The pre-game show is sponsored by SalesGenie.com. I don't understand their animated commercials with a guy who looks like Cap'n Crunch. Has this been a season-long series?

4:38 Still ahead: the amazing, multi-Grammy winner Alicia Keys and, inexplicably, Samuel L. Jackson. Does he have a movie coming out or something? (Oh.)

4:37 The feature on Junior Seau ends clicherificially with that guy who sang "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" with a ukelele.

4:33 Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike Howie, Terry, Jimmy, and Curt reflect on their own "hilarious" Super Bowl memories.

4:31 Someone gave Michael Strahan a video camera and a screenplay for The Blair Witch 4: The Super Bowl. This was perhaps unwise.

4:26 A Superetrospective features a drummer in front of the Ghosts of Super Bowls past. I don't get it. Did the color just go out on my TV?

4:25 Randy calls the Patriots by a touchdown, but says "if Brady is pitchy, it might not be their best, dawg."

4:24 And now we're on the red carpet with Randy and Paula. For the first time ever, I feel bad for Simon. I feel his pain, dawg.

4:23 I wonder how much it paid to be in the fraudience.

4:22 Paula Abdul. Sampling. Herself. Oh dear sweet God. Her new song sounds like that time Madonna sang the theme to that Bond movie. Very computer-processed. Which is probably better for everyone involved.

4:15 The Super Bowl Rap guy makes me wish the internets hadn't been invented.

4:13 I cringe at the kind-of-racist Frank Caliendo sketch.

4:08 I'm kind of afraid Terry Bradshaw has some sort of chemical imbalance or early-onset dimentia. And I view the teaser of "more Frank Caliendo" as a threat, not as a motivational preview. I throw up in my mouth a little at the mention of Paula Abdul's singing and dancing.

4:05 Randy Moss had high spirits at Media Day earlier this week. Pimp music plays in the background as they feature him. I do not know who Randy Moss is, but I believe him to be an American football player.

4:03 I receive texts from friends in Arizona who are apparently following along on the liveblog. This simultaneously makes me happy and causes me to despair for the future of the young people these friends are responsible for teaching reading, science, and social studies.

4:01 Blah blah blah sports stuff about dynasties and whatnot. I capitalize on the opportunity to take a restroom break.

3:59 John Krasinski from The Office comes by to talk football with La Seacrest, who brings up the last time they saw each other on the red carpet -- right before Krasinski did NOT win an Emmy. Ah, memories. Touching.

3:54 Ryan Seacrest interviews the guy from "House," who is seeing his "first American football game." House predicts, in a flawless English accent, that the Giants will win. And Seacrest notes that COINCIDENTALLY, a new episode of "House" will air after the Super Bowl.

3:51 Jillian Barberie Reynolds takes us on an Oscars-style behind-the-scenes tour. I am embarrassed for her, and I wonder if she married Burt Reynolds, Ryan Reynolds, or some other Reynolds.

3:50 Neil Cavuto calls the final score of the game: Giants 31 - Patriots 28. I realize that the two teams playing in the Super Bowl are the Giants and the Patriots.

3:49 I wonder if I've ever made a purchase of anything (TV, avocado, whatnot) with the Super Bowl in mind.

3:48 Neil Cavuto tells me that over 4 million TVs were purchased with the Super Bowl in mind.

3:47 For some reason, Neil Cavuto from the FOX Business Channel is doing a report on the economic impact of the 150,000 guests who are coming for the Super Bowl. (Those 150,000 guests have an average income of OVER $200,000!)

3:45 FOX Commentator Guy tells me 35 million pounds of junk food will be eaten today. And 5% of all avocados are purchased with the Super Bowl in mind. I suppose I should do my part.

3:44 The game is still two and a half hours away and already I'm exhausted. This does not bode well for overtime.

3:40 La Seacrest dubs Willie's and Sara's performance, "not bad."

3:37 I have the second opportunity of the day to mention Ryan Seacrest, as I realize there is, inexplicably, a RED CARPET at this Super Bowl. (What?) And now La Seacrest has introduced Willie Nelson and Sara Evans to sing "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys," which, if you've ever typed it out, you know is a very long title for a song.

3:35 I realize I still don't know what channel the Super Bowl is on. I check NFL.com and find that it's on FOX.

3:11 to 3:34 I visit SuperBowl-Ads.com for a preview of the ads. Because honestly, that's why I watch. Here is what I think of the previews:

The Bridgestone preview I watch makes me say, aloud in my house where there's only me, "What?"

Cars.com and Glondor made me laugh.

I realize I'm over red things and don't even watch the Dell preview.

GoDaddy.com is sure to get some traffic after their Danica Patrick tease.

The preview that is only half of a Planters Peanuts ad makes me wonder what the punchline is.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy should just stop with its TV ads. Just. Stop. Parents, yes, talk to your kids about drugs. Please. So we can finally quit seeing these stupid, cheesy ads.

Pepsi pulls together a cute one in "Bob's House," though about 200 million
Americans will wonder who hit "Mute" on their TVs all at the exact same time.
And the Pepsi Stuff with Justin Timberlake will be talked about on Monday. (I
like the part where he's sustains a massive headwound from the flat-screen
TV.)

SoBe enlists the help of the very non-Geico-gecko, very naked Lee the Lizard
to sell their suspiciously-colored beverages.

And Victoria's Secret is banking on an interesting game, as viewership of
their late-third/early-fourth quarter placement may hinge on the score of the
game at that time.

3:07 I visit the Super Bowl website and find out that it's still 3 hours, 10 minutes, and 37 seconds away. This disappoints me. Always one to feed my emotional needs, I eat a hot wing, which I fortuitously picked up on the way home from church. (I got some wings at Hooters on 38th Street and my actual lunch from Mr. Gyros on 38th Street...did you know there's a pawn shop between the two? While I was waiting for my wings, I browsed the pawn shop. Neither bought nor pawned anything -- don't plan to, really -- but it's good to know I have options closeby.)

3:06 I try to figure out what time the Super Bowl starts. Must be like 4:00 or something, right?

Randomizing the Band

Straight from The[Cherry]Ride, passed on from others before...

My band is called Saraks, and we're gearing up for the release of our first album, "Tree, Something Is Wrong." We've been touring the college scene for years, but we finally hit it big when Ryan Seacrest's cousin Marvin heard us playing at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance at Hill Valley Community College.

Seacrest got us on his L.A. radio show, from there we found our producers (Jimmy Jam's brother Dave Jam and Terry Lewis's brother Clark Lewis), and the rest is history. Here's our album cover:



And here's how you can find out your own band, album name and album cover:
  1. To get your band name, go here. The title of the entry is your band's name.
  2. Next, go here to get the title of your album. The last four words of the very last quote is the name of your release.
  3. Now go here. The third picture shown is your album cover. (No cheating!)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

My debut as a published author!

From the February 2008 issue of Carmel Magazine

It's neat how they made my words look so pretty with pictures...you can click the pic to make it bigger and verify "Story by Scott Semester."

I'm going to buy stock in EPURON



Via Jakob Lodwick

"Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?"

Recreate an awkward conversation with Captain Oveur with this interactive Airbus A380 cockpit.

Deja Vu

I had a telephone conversation yesterday with someone which was almost the exact content, word-for-word, as the telephone conversation I had with this person the day before. Either this person didn't hear me the first time, didn't listen the first time, or forgot about the first time.

I didn't say anything...should I have?

An actual, honest-to-goodness flying jetpack

I don't exactly want this, so I'm not going to post it under "I. Want. That." but it's close.

The good people at Thunderbolt Aerosystems have developed a real-life flying jetpack contraption with the capacity to go around 70 miles per hour for about a minute.

And they only cost $90,000!

I saw it -- I swear to you -- on Kanye West's blog. (Shut up.)

I'm only a little late to the game

OK, so this video has been on YouTube for almost a year, meaning the song was released about a year ago, I'm imagining. But since I live in the Midwest (Official Regional Motto: "We get the music last!") and since I usually have the radio on Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary and only listen occasionally to Top 40 (which gets music like this last), I am only now appreciating this song and video.

I am a victim of circumstance, it is true.

Mission Accomplished!

And not in that not-really, aircraft-carrier way, either.

Thanks, y'all!

Alaska is green now -- I didn't realize it would be such a quick response, but there it is. I know KT and my family worked hard to mobilize our Alaska networks to make this happen!


Now then: do you know anyone in Paraguay?

Friday, February 01, 2008

My 500th Post - Do you know anyone from Alaska?

Hey, look! It's my 500th blog post. Woohoo!

For almost a year, I've been using Google Analytics to track the home states (and nations) of people who visit this blog.

Below is the American map overlay for one year. The darker the green, the more visitors from that state. Not surprisingly, the most visits came from Indiana, but I think it's interesting that I also had a lot of visits from Georgia and California. (We have people in Michigan and Ohio, so that's not all that surprising.)


I made the date range for the map one year, but I actually started using the Analytics on February 19, 2007. As you can see, every state is at least a little green, meaning I got at least one visitor from each state...except one: Alaska.

Your mission, dear readers, is to help me find someone in Alaska to visit the blog within the next two weeks so that by February 18, the end of the one-year period, I'll have at least a little green in each state.

Ready...GO!

PS -- If you're curious, here's the world map for the same period. (What's up with Paraguay, the lone South American holdout? And what's up with NO ONE from Central America logging on?)


PPS -- I started thinking about my hits and internet connectivity around the world, and so I've created a composite of the above pic with dots that represent the relative internet connections and usage around the world...I have hits (green) from most of the places with connectivity (dots):

It'Snow Big Deal...At All

Do not believe the hype.

So, we didn't even get half the snow they predicted. A lot of it was sleet and freezing rain rather than snow and ice. And there are some slick spots this morning, but the temp is up to 34˚F, so even the icy spots are apparently manageable. I guess the front that spared us the predicted trouble made things far worse than expected in Illinois. Sorry about your luck, Illinois.

They're saying up to 2 inches of snow is still forecast for Indy -- looks like we made it through without having to hunker down.

But a snow day would have been nice.

Mypos Tourism Board

This video borrows a little too heavily from Borat, but I will give them points for effectively marketing the Perfect Strangers Season 1 & 2 DVD box set coming out on Tuesday (which, perhaps not coincidentally, I have just added to my Amazon.com wishlist, conveniently located in the left-hand sidebar).



I will give them bonus points for the reference to the Myposian national dessert pastry, Bibbi-Babka, introduced in the series' third season. This is a classic scene from 1980s television:



...which of course leads to:



(Do any sitcoms tape in front of a live, studio audience anymore?)