Monday, March 31, 2008

Pauvre, pauvre Lou Dobbs

In college (or perhaps five years out of college when I lived in Chicago), my friend Julmille and I had a habit of saying, "Pauvre, pauvre [insert celebrity name pronounced with French accent here]" in response to the plight of some famous person, patterned after the little mouse at the end of this Tom and Jerry cartoon.

Anywho, in response to the video below, we would most certainly have said, "Pauvre, pauvre, Lou Dobbs [pronounced with a French accent]," as the CNN newscaster reporter anti-immigration crusader commentator personality almost refers to Condoleezza Rice and others as "cotton-picking [politicians]."



He caught himself, but does he get a pass for realizing mid-sentence he was about to be an idiot? Or was his almost-choice of "cotton-picking" as an adjective just an unfortunate happenstance, like that guy who correctly, but perhaps unwisely, used the word "niggardly"? Or is it irrevocable once the "cotton..." is out of the barn?

Is it "Pauvre, pauvre Lou Dobbs. C'est la guerre!" or is it "Pauvre, pauvre Lou Dobbs. Zees ees, 'ow you say, stepping in zee merde."?

Some pics I took around Broadway



Saturday, March 29, 2008

What, were you raised by wolves?

Some kids really were.

Clicky pens are just the beginning

The other things that really gets my goat are soft talkers and bad handwriting.

Maybe it's because I'm a loud talker with excellent penmanship, but I've always felt that people who speak softly or write poorly are manipulators, making me work harder to get the message, lean closer to hear them, squint to de-code their scrawl.

It's not like my three wishes would be
  1. Eliminate clicky pens.
  2. Eliminate soft talkers.
  3. Eliminate bad handwriting.
but that's actually pretty close.

Sometimes humanity, in general, is hard for me. The Which Matrix Character Are You? test says I'm Morpheus, but on days like this, I feel more like Agent Smith.

Friday, March 28, 2008

"Kristen got paid to be Eliot's friend."

I wish all the news was delivered by a strawberry-milk-drinking, three-year-old princess who looked like a preschool version of Pam from "The Office."



And ended with "...so it all worked out."

ZoomQuilt!

Just click it. Takes a second to load, but it's totally, freakily, acidtrippily worth it.

If I had three wishes...

...one of them would be to eliminate clicky pens from the universe, for all time. Because people just don't know how to keep their damn hands still in a meeting.

If I only had one wish, clicky pens would not be it.

But it's definitely in my top three.

Been through the desert with a bunny with no name

So, I'm not convinced that Milo's name is really Milo.

I am considering other names for him. I figure he doesn't really answer to his name anyway, so it's not like it's all that important what I call him. I may as well call him something cool and/or funny.

I'm toying with Bunnypenny -- like Moneypenny, the secretary in the James Bond movies, but she's a girl and Milo is a boy, so I'm not really sure that tracks. He does greet me at the door when I get home, so that's something, and calling him Bunnypenny would allow me to use a British accent at least once or twice a day. But I'm not quite sold yet.

So if you have any good rabbit names, with clever puns or other cool ideas, let me know.

Colorado's Coolest Newborn

My friends Sandi and Jeff in Colorado had a baby! His name is Leelen Daved Seader!

And he's adorable!

This is what he looks like!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Comic Book Guy can die happy.

It's the ultimate cross-over. It's like a cluster-over: Batman vs. the Joker vs. Alien vs. Predator.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm sick of this.

I call "Shenanigans!" on the whole profession of meteorology.

The dude on FOX59 this morning said we'd be free of precip until Thursday or Friday. It is now sleeting on my office window.

What gives, Meteorologist Jim O'Brien? What gives?

If you don't know, just say you don't know. Don't make something up.

People's lives are at stake. Well, maybe not people's lives, but my leather shirt-jacket is not sufficient for dealing with sleet at lunchtime. Simply. Not. Sufficient.

I'm disappointed.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I don't... I just... There are no words.

Things I like in this video:

  • The fact that they don't seemed constrained by the traditional songwriting structures of rhyme and rhythm.
  • The fact that the older, white woman in aqua doesn't seem to have any idea what's going on and is clearly on the first take of the video, as she seems not to have rehearsed. At all.
  • The fact that the video production crew either didn't realize -- or realized and didn't care -- that the older white woman's aqua outfit would fade in the green screen, leading her to look like a Republican ghostess.
  • "I'm gonna go out / and let myself get / absolutely JOHN McCAIN!" makes me laugh. A lot.

Things I dislike in this video:

  • The part where the lead McCain Girl splashes her face with John McCaindrops.
  • The part where the back-up singers clap in front of a Vietnam backdrop, both for the trivialization of the Vietnam Conflict and for the fact that the older, white woman looks like a disembodied, floating head and clapping hands.
  • The actual, intentional disembodied, floating head of John McCain about ten seconds later. (I wonder if the phrase "actual, intentional disembodied, floating head of John McCain" will get me flagged by the Secret Service. I'd advise caution in the Comments on this one.)
  • The whispered "John McCain, John McCain, John McCain" toward the end.
  • The look on the older, white woman's face at 2:08. (Somewhere between "I'm hungry," "I'm constipated," and "I'm seducing you." Which, nuh uh.)
  • The ending flourishclamation of "John McCain!"

What if...

What if we formed a collective of leaders who identified one problem at a time to tackle and we threw all our resources into it?

Like, until it was solved, we threw all our money, time, and energy into defeating HIV/AIDS. Or until there was no more malaria, we did all we could to get rid of it -- and the whole world was united behind defeating malaria. And then when we defeated malaria (or colon cancer or hunger or human trafficking or whatever), we moved on to the next thing? And we had a list that said "Here's our order, so you know when the one that's important to you is coming"?

I wonder if, as long as we're spreading the resources around, we're not really realizing our potential for solving any of them. Is there any chance at all that this approach could work in the world? What about on a state level or city level or neighborhood level?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Shaud Me The Money!

I'm confused. Confused and troubled.

Grant Shaud, the dude who played Miles Silverberg on Murphy Brown, is on the recent-repeat of Law and Order that's on right now.

Earlier this week, he was playing a bad guy on Medium, and he was also recently on Boston Legal.

The following things all trouble me, organized in order of least troubling to most troubling:
  • I can't keep track of whether he's a good guy or a bad guy in the various characters he's playing.
  • NBC is re-playing episodes of shows such as Law and Order like crazy these days.
  • I know that the dude who played Miles Silverberg on Murphy Brown was Grant Shaud.
  • The above picture is the one that represents Grant Shaud on IMDb.com. (Don't you think he looks like a real jerk?)
  • I have invested way too much time in network TV crime dramas.
  • But I haven't invested as much time in network TV crime dramas as some random internet person has invested in Murphy Brown and, specifically, Miles Silverberg's character.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"So now the porch is like...a corporate skybox."

The blog I saw this on described it as "Quite Possibly The Greatest Thing I've Ever Seen," which is a little much, I think. But it is pretty great -- the six-minute story of a family that turned their front yard into a baseball stadium.



If you look at the other homes in the background, you have to wonder. But they look like they're having fun -- and isn't that really what it's about?

I did NOT see that coming.

It's currently snowing sideways. So much for Spring.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Barack the vote

This is not my first post of a Barack Obama-related video. But it is my favorite.

And have I told you about the importance of Barack Obama in my life? He was my $8,000 question when I was on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" a few years ago. Or, rather, which state he represented in the US Senate was my question. I would seriously consider voting for him based on that fact alone.

But because he is also Barack Obama-sistible (see video), I just don't see any other option.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What really counts

Look, I know you don't watch all the videos that I put on this blog. Hell, sometimes I don't watch the whole video before posting it. (Which, then, makes me freak out because maybe there's this one guy on YouTube who took the video for Janet Jackson's "If" and kept the first two minutes the same and then inserted a video of himself having a birthday party for his twelve cockapoos and then kept the last two minutes of the video the same and now I've posted some lame video. So far, that hasn't happened, but I worry.)

Anyway -- This is the one video. You have to watch this video. Watch it! Did you watch it yet? Watch the video and then check out the comments.


Holy Week -- Very Busy, Not Much Posting

Hey! Sorry I've been so infrequent and sporadic on my posting lately...it's Holy Week, and things are a bit hectic. I'll be back to a regular posting schedule soon; in the meantime, here's a poem we're using this weekend in worship.

Vous pouvez èmbîggener avec le clique ici.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Undeadconomics

Angela Valdez has a theory.

Her theory is that in downward-turning economic times, the horror-movie monster of choice is the zombie, whereas in times of prosperity, we prefer to be scared by the ritzier, yet mathematically impossible, vampire.

I have no evidence to support this, but it anecdotally seems accurate. I am intrigued by her views and wish to subscribe to her newsletter.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This is how real Smurfs actually die

If you have the time (and the patience), this is actually a pretty funny video.

We are programmed for scarcity and can't dial back when something is abundant.

Via Meghan Asha via the Wall Street Journal Online, an interesting article on "Why We're Powerless To Resist Grazing On Endless Web Data."
"It is something we seem hard-wired to do," says Dr. Biederman. "When you find new information, you get an opioid hit, and we are junkies for those. You might call us 'infovores.'"

For most of human history, there was little chance of overdosing on information, because any one day in the Olduvai Gorge was a lot like any other. Today, though, we can find in the course of a few hours online more information than our ancient ancestors could in their whole lives.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Strange exploding fireball

I'm sitting here on the couch during my do-nothing-at-all day, and I'm facing the pond lake loch and somewhere in the distance, just above the clubhouse across the loch, a large flash of light just appeared, followed shortly by a fireworks-like BOOM. I'm a little concerned, since that's where I-465 is, and I wonder if there's been an accident. Stay tuned...

UPDATE: No sirens or breaking news stories so far...and it's been, like, five hours. Guessing it's nothing to worry about.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Geography is cool. Trust me.



UPDATE: Spurred on by Esme's comment (I don't know why, exactly, but I was) I just earned a new badge:


And if I didn't know any better, I'd suspect (as you should, my friend and dear reader) that I had falsified my badges. But the code that they give you doesn't allow you simply to enter a number to appear in the "I donated ___ cups of water" portion of the graphic. So it's legit!

In other news, does anyone else notice a strangely disproportionate number of ALGERIA and ARGENTINA questions? And why is my knowledge of the geography of AUSTRALIA so poor?

UPDATE: Apparently, the combination of

  • a near-photographic memory, and
  • not a damn thing to do all day, and
  • some interest in bringing clean water to the world, fueled by
  • a burning inner-self-loathing-when-faced with incorrect quiz answers

adds up to a pretty desperate cry for help a significant achievement in the filed of geographic pinpointing:



I feel pretty proud of the fact that of the 1,492,974 cups of water FreePoverty.com has donated, I have personally been responsible for 2,999.

UPDATE: Please step away from the computer.



I've now donated 4,242 cups of water of FreePoverty.com's 1,499,710!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Morning Sickness

It's not like I feel the need to trumpet my achievement of getting to work at 6:45 the three times a year it happens as required by hastily-scheduled committee meetings, but I really do feel like I deserve of little bit of sympathy/applause (or sympaplause, if you will) for waking up at 4:30, heading to Carmel and picking up my folks to take them to the airport and then heading into work for a two-hour review of a draft I tech-wrote for the Church.

So. Be impressed that I've already been up for five hours and have already accomplished two and a half hours of actual work before I would even normally be in the office.

Thank God tomorrow is a vacation day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Not here. That's all I'm saying.

One of the weirdest Google search strings that led to my blog so far:
where do we find info about try outs for voices of rabbits on
kungfu panda movie

For you...

Artist David Horvitz has created a page on his site called Things For Sale That I Will Mail You.

By spending anywhere from $1 to $4,444, you can get a variety of stuff created by him specifically for you. A buck'll get you a minute of him thinking only of you, while $4,444 will get you a personal photo of the sky over St. Helena, the island halfway between South America and Africa. (Did you know St. Helena is where Napoleon was exiled in 1815? It's also where he died. And it's the territory on earth with the largest proportion of Jehovah's Witnesses: 129 of its nearly 4,000 residents.)

Some of the things he'll sell are artistic -- artifacts from far-off places or a photograph of a mailbox in New York City (one photo per mailbox until they run out). Others are a little different -- for $5, he'll mail you a secret of his and for $10, he'll write a letter of apology to someone he has wronged and make two copies -- one to mail to you and one to mail to the actual recipient of the letter. Like this.

This doesn't appear to have netted him a ton of money ($700 or so, and not all of it profit, either), so I'm not sure his art is a smart business model. But I am trying to figure out how to steal this idea improvise on this idea on my own. Stay tuned.

Birds do it, bees do it...

....even computer-generated ladybugs in French-made animated short films do it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Nstnt Txt Flshbk

Me, in a txt to Nat, on the way to work this morning:
Mm trmphed n n ATMph vmphstble wmth Jll GDCR!
Trust me, this is hilarious. Here's why.

UPDATE: Here's why it's even more hilarious in Hungarian.

Food Court! The Musical

In ninth grade, we watched West Side Story so we could compare and contrast it to Romeo & Juliet which we had presumably read.

(Have I told you about my hopeless Cliffs Notes addiction? Yeah, that's why I'm Shakespeare-illiterate. Thanks a lot, Carmel-Clay Schools. Also: thanks a lot, my sloth and laziness.)

Anyway, my world was *snap* rocked *snap* to *kick turn kick* its very core when I realized that there were some circumstances in life in which it was appropriate to break out in song and dance.

Sadly, though, it was not to be -- it never happened to me! And when I was about 23, I gave up hope of life spontaneously turning into a movie musical, with choreographed singers and dancers bursting into song in real life.

But Improv Everywhere has reignited that spark of hope. I love what they've done here:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

What a Weekend! (So far)

Remember when my weekends consisted of little more than camping out on the couch with a box of cereal and gallon of milk, alternately cramming my food-hole with sugary goodness and my TV-holes with other sugary goodness*?

Good times.

Well, those days are past, friends. All of a sudden, my weekends are almost as programmed as my weekdays.

Last night after work, I grabbed coffee (caffeine and counseling) with Motus President Katie at Cognizant Coffee in the Fountain Square area (across the street from the Fountain Square Theater building).

Then I headed to the Milano Inn for dinner with Kim (who happens to be friends with the owner of Cognizant Coffee, I found out), after which we headed to the IMAX Theater at the State Museum and caught U2: Live In Concert In 3D, which was very cool, once my brain was able to start sorting through the images. (I seriously had my eyes closed for about the first 15 minutes of the concert on account of the overwhelm.)

This afternoon, I had lunch with KT and her 7-year-old nephew Trevor, who was awesome. You know how some people have cats that act like dogs and you think, "Maybe owning a cat wouldn't be that bad...as long as I could have one that acts like a dog"? Trevor was that kind of kid -- if every kid acted as smart and funny as he, I'd totally want three or four. But until they start coming with a warranty, I'll remain Uncle Scott, thank you.

KT, Trevor and I had lunch at Steak-N-Shake and then I dropped my car off at the Tire Barn to get my two back tires (which were both flat when I went out into the garage this morning!) fixed. We all headed to the Zoo while the tires were getting all worked out. We dared to discover all kinds of cool stuff in the Oceans building -- three kinds of penguins, 6 or 7 eels, and a whole bunch of sharks, some of which -- the "mostly docile dogsharks" -- we were even allowed to pet! (Luckily, Trevor had been there before, so he showed me how to pet them.) We also got to see two regular-size walruses and one GINORMOUS walrus, some seals, and a bunch of newly-hatched butterflies at the White River Gardens next door.

After that, I picked up Will and Carolyn from their trip and we did some grocery shopping for them with the new nutritional knowledge they picked up over the last couple weeks.

Now I'm back at home, doing some cleaning and updating the blog. I'll add a couple pictures to this post tomorrow if I can!



*Did you click that link? I cannot think of a three-word phrase more intriguing to me than "Match. Game. Podcast!"

Might as well face it, you're addicted to Peggle.

When I was sick a couple weeks ago, I somehow discovered a new online game. And now, you must believe me when I tell you, on the pure addictiveness scale:



In Peggle, you're the character at the top center of the screen, and all you have to do is aim your little shooter and click once to shoot your ball. Gravity and the immutable laws of physics take care of the rest. Your goal is to clear the board of all the orange bricks and pegs by bouncing on them with your ball.

It's like PLINKO + BREAKOUT and it is awesome, because when you're about to hit the last orange thing to finish a level, it goes into slow motion and then when you succeed, an operatic chorus of Ode to Joy comes on to celebrate your gaming prowess.

You should check it out. But be warned, it is easy to lose hours at a time with this game.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Diebold accidentally releases results of 2008 election prematurely

"If you can't trust your shadowy overlords to keep a secret, what is the purpose, really, of voting in the puppet democracy?"



Sorry for all the videos lately. It's been a busy time. But I hope you've enjoyed them. More actual written words soon -- prolly this weekend.

"Be. Sure. To. Drink. Your. Schweppervescence."?

One of the very first videos I ever posted to my blog (like, almost a year and a half ago) was of this kid getting hit in the head with a water balloon in slow motion.

This is much cooler, even though -- sonofabitch! -- it's a crummy commercial.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

No. Huh. Way.

Remember when I discovered Arrested Development on MySpaceTV? Well, thanks to crappy Tuesday night TV, it's happened again, only instead of finding a new show to fall in love with, I have found out that I can also watch full episodes of The Practice, one of my Favorite. Shows. Ever. there, too.

I am, as we speak as I write, watching a cross-over episode called "Axe Murderer," in which the gang from Donnell, Young, Dole, & Frutt teams up with Ally McBeal's firm Cage & Fish to defend a woman who claims to be the reincarnation of Lizzie Borden.

(Of course.)

Storm of the Century of the Week

OK, this one is a mess.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Monday Night Quickie

Don't really have much to blog about this evening. But here are some random observations based on my day:
  • Apparently Milo can live on his own, outside of his cage, for eight hours at a time without destroying the condo. Which is good, because sometimes he is unwilling to re-cage when I need to leave.
  • Despite my professed year-long pet-sitting hiatus, I am somehow cat-sitting for Will and Carolyn. Their wireless was not working last night, causing me to miss Oprah's "A New Earth" web event.
  • Will and Carolyn's Wii does work. I got kind of bored with it, though, so I created a new Mii who is left-handed. I'm working my way up to pro status as a lefty. ("Leftii"?)
  • If you have a meeting that starts at 5:30 and you haven't started by 5:45, people don't take your meeting seriously. If you start your meeting on time, people will appreciate it and it'll be a lot easier to end at the time you said you'd end.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Irving Katz, Hero

There aren't many people in the world these days that you can call "hero." But I'd say Irving Katz was one of them.

I was down in Bloomington last night for "Evita," so my nostalgiometer may be in the red zone, but I just happened to read Amy Cornell's tribute to Irving, and I want you to go read it now. (Did you read it yet?)

I didn't have the pleasure of taking a class of his, but the job that Amy mentions, which brought her back in touch with Prof. Katz, is a job that I also held a couple years later, so I got to get to know him a bit through that experience.

Amy's a lot more eloquent than I am in her descriptions of this humble, brilliant, giving, sweet, hilarious man. But I'll say this: he radiated a sense of calm, patient love. And he gave the gift that so many of us (especially first-year college students) long for: he listened. It's not just that you felt important when you were talking with him; rather, in his heart, in his mind, and in his everything, you were important.

Irving Katz was present, fully himself, but open to others. Maybe that's what makes a hero today.

Stop the Meta-Headline Insanity!

via HuffPost

"Wake up. She's about to die."

My previously Unnamed Friend Myrna and I went to Bloomington last night to see "Evita" at the IU Auditorium.

You know I love the IU Auditorium. You know I love the Andrew Lloyd Webber. But, you know, I can't say that I loved "Evita."

It had its high points, sure. The dude that played Ché, the narrator, was pretty good. And overall, the production was creepy and dark and cool.

But I didn't really connect with Evita. (I mean, really! Despite the numerous things I have in common with a 1940s Argentine woman who rose to fame through raw sexual power and ruthless political ambition.)

I guess I remembered the film version as somehow creating some sort of sympathy for the character (and maybe I was comparing the woman who played Evita last night to Madonna), but I didn't really care about Evita. By the end (I actually slept through about half of the second act), when Myrna nudged me and whispered that Evita was on her deathbed, I was refreshed from the nap, but unmoved by tragic Evita. It didn't help that the woman playing Evita was shrill and screechy and not all that compelling.

So, drop this one in the "L" column, performance-wise.

Luckily, the rest of the evening was delightful, as Myrna and I had dinner at Lennie's with my friend Julie beforehand and then we went to The Bakehouse for warm beverages and sweet treats before heading to the show. (I was mocked for my choice of lemon tart, but it was really good.)

Therefore, here is the evening's scorecard:

Dinner at Lennie's: B+/A-

Dinnertime Conversation: A+

Dessert at The Bakehouse: A-/A

Dessert Conversation: A- (on account of the lemon-tart mocking)

Evita at the IU Auditorium: C+