Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Goal: Bond Movie Music

Inspired by last week's Symphony on the Prairie theme ("Bond, James Bond: The Music of 007"), I have downloaded The Complete James Bond Collection on iTunes.

It is now my goal to commit to memory -- in order -- the theme songs of all 21 Bond films, from Dr. No to Casino Royale.

That's not dumb at all, right?

Right?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

(Over?) Reacting

This shooting at a liberal church in Knoxville makes me wonder what to do.

How do you balance openness and inclusion with safety and security? How do we even talk about it?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Trip to CO, Day 4

On my last day in Colorado, I woke up and went for a walk around the hotel and spent some nice alone time. We grabbed the continental breakfast and then went to the Castle Rock Outlet Mall, just a stone's throw from the hotel. I think we stopped in all 120 of the stores. (Just kidding, but we did a LOT of shopping.)

From there, we went to lunch at Cinzzetti's in Denver, which we didn't get to do on Thursday, and then on to the airport for my afternoon/evening flight back to Indy (with Grace, the swan on our tail).

This was an awesome trip, and I'm so lucky to have gotten to meet Leelen Daved Seader. (By the way, I asked about his name. The first name "Leelen" is actually a combination of Sandi and Jeff's middle names -- Lee and Allen -- which they got in honor of their own grandfathers. And the middle name Daved is spelled that way in honor of Leelen's grandfathers Dave and Ed. Pretty cool, huh?)

So, now I have to figure out a way to get out to Colorado more often and for longer periods of time! (Weird side note -- all of a sudden, I know a ton of people in Colorado! My Facebook friends list has blossomed lately, and I've found that a bunch of my childhood friends live out there now!)

Trip to CO, Day 3

Looking back, I'm unable to pinpoint where, exactly, in the series of small, yet poor, decisions I might have stopped us from visiting the Renaissance Festival. Still can't really tell.

And so, there we were, a little behind schedule, but standing at the entrance of Colorado Renaissance Festival and Artisan Marketplace. Words cannot describe the sense of impending doom and butterfly-tummy excitement that I was feeling. You see, this was my first Renaissance Faire experience, and I had no idea what to expect. I mean, I imagined there would be great big turkey legs and all manner of wenches and whatnot, but I was not prepared for the diverse interpretations of "Renaissance" that we experienced. Apparently, there's a distinct subgroup of RenFaire people who celebrate pirates and privateering and the associated whatnot. Apparently, there's another distinct subgroup of RenFaire people who believe that, because it's all in the name of Renaissancery, decorum and good taste are unnecessary and their $16 bought them not only admission to the park but also the right to bare all manner of flesh. And apparently, there's a third distinct subgroup of RenFaire people who believe that simply by wearing a cloak, they can wear whatever else they want (Star Wars mask? Really?) and fit in. Which, sadly, they did.

Anwyay, there was also lots of cool stuff at the RenFaire. The first thing we did was visit the jousting arena for a daring display of canned-joke comedy and mediocre horsemanship. But it was jousting, man, so it was cool! After the jousting, we figured it might make sense to have something to eat, so I got my much-awaited Steak on a Stake, which, despite being a piece of flank steak on a wooden kebab rod, was actually really good. Other revelers in our Renaissance party doth not fared so well, as they diddeth opt for a Seville Sandwich.

MY LIEGE, DO NOT OPTETH FOR THE SEVILLE SANDWICH!

The menu tempts: "Seasoned beef in a tangy tomato sauce topped with cheese and wrapped in a tasty tortilla" and I almost forsook the Steak on a Stake in favor of the Seville Sandwich. But, boy, am I glad I didn't. For, you see, the sandwich described could have been what I imagined (a grilled steak wrap); or it could have been what it was: a dinky-ass fresh-from-frozen burrito.

RENAISSANCE PEOPLE, DO YOU ACCEPT THIS DECLARATION OF SHENANIGANS?

Anyway, once we finished lunch (some of us more satisfied than others), we walked to the other end of the park, where we were interrupted by a parade that included an elephant. At which point Bubba, whose 10th birthday was that day, decided that perhaps an elephant ride was in the cards that day. We added that to the list (it was really the only item on the list, since we didn't really have a plan), and went on our way.

We ended up at Puke & Snot. Charming, right? Puke & Snot is the comedy duo that has apparently been appearing at the Colorado Renaissance Festival for like, 600 years. Their picture in the park guide must have been from the early 80s, and, while we could tell they were the same guys (probably making the same jokes), their pic in the park guide had clearly not been updated in some time. Anyway, we found some seats in the shade and settled back for some comedy. Or, rather, some "comedy." Just kidding -- it really wasn't all that bad, but with all the time they've had to perfect their act, I expected more.

While we were waiting for Puke & Snot to start, I actually broke off from the group to go find Ye Olde Cashe Machine. Whilst on my noble quest, I also saw a booth selling blackberry cobbler with froyo, and how am I supposed to pass that up? So $2.50 lighter, I made my way back with my sweet blackberry goodness to join up with the group.

After Puke & Snot, we had just enough time for Bubba's elephant ride, and then some of the other kids (our group included eight or nine kids, aged four months to 18) decided they wanted some souvenirs, so we found a shady spot to enjoy some Italian ice (which we FINALLY found!) while they did their shopping.

Then we made our way to the hotel, then some dinner, then some birthday festivities for Bubba and then some pool time before bedtime.

Whew!

Trip to CO, Day 2

On Friday, the second day of my trip to Colorado, I was left on my own for the daytime to create my own general fun and merriment. Left to my own devices with internet, Wii, cable, and a pool, you know I'm going to be fine. And I was! Until...

I spent most of the morning in the pool on a little floaty thing. It was delightful. The top half of me was out of the water, so I even got my iPod and just reveled in the weightlessness as I occasionally glanced up at the bright blue sky. Later, I began to occasionally glance down at my bright red chest!

Oops. Got a little crispy on Friday and I think I did OK through Friday and Saturday, but by Sunday, I was an itchy, stingy, grouchy mess! And by Monday, I was an itchy, stingy, grouchy, peely mess. Blech. But it was totally worth it to be in the clear, clean air and bright sunshine -- that kind of thing is good for the soul! (Even if it's not good for the epidermis.)

On Friday night, we made sushi at home. Sandi, whose prepared-for-anything-ness still amazes me after 15 years, pulled out her (and this is not a joke) "Japanese food box" which contained almost all the fixin's (you know I hate that word, right?) for sushi -- just add raw fish! And just add raw fish we did! Everybody pitched in at a prep station (slicing veggies, cutting crab meat, etc.) and we each got a little tutorial in sushi rolling. And then we were off! We must have made 12 or 15 rolls between us, and then we sat down and feasted like ... well, like sushi feasters. It was awesome!

After some TV watching (a double feature of MSNBC's "Lock-Up: Raw," inexplicably), we hit the hay, since it was going to be an early morning departure for the Renaissance Festival.

Trip to CO, Day 1

I flew to Colorado on Thursday of last week (7/17), and I think I had the easiest entry at Indy I've ever had. I stepped out of my parking spot in the Economy lot just as a bus was pulling up to Shelter #9 (my preferred shelter) and had literally no wait at the Frontier counter in the concourse. Found out that Lobo, the gray wolf, would be on our tail for the flight to Denver, and we were on our way.

My friends picked me up at DIA a little after 1:00 local time, which was 3:00 me time, which meant I was hungry. But first I had to find my friends' car. With all kinds of cars driving by in the dimly lit Passenger Pick-Up area and only a vague guess that my friends would be in a blue SUV, I wasn't superconfident I'd be able to pick out their vehicle. BUT! I came up with a great idea -- they're from Colorado, so I'd just look for the car with the Colorado license plate! Alas, I was foiled again, for you see every damn car at Denver International Airport has a damn Colorado license plate. (Duh!) Luckily, my friends saw me and, somewhere between the Frontier and Mexicana signs, they picked me up.

Since it was lunch(ish) time, we headed first to Italian buffet Cinzzetti's, one of Jeff's faves, but we got there too late and so we headed around the corner to 50's diner Gunther Toody's, one of Sandi's faves. It was here that I was introduced to Devil Fries Elvis Fries, an unholy concoction of french fries smothered in sausage gravy and cheese. Now, while it is a verifiable fact that I did partake of said Fries, I contend that it was because of the hunger, not because I thought it a swell idea. Anyway, I had an awesome burger and delicious cherry diet coke, so it was all good. Gunther Toody's: two thumbs up.

Then, we made our way to Jeff and Sandi's house in Longmont. I unpacked and took a little nap and then it was time to think about dinner. We settled on mocoloco, something which I had never heard of and which, on paper, rivals Elvis Fries. But it was actually OK! Mocoloco is a Hawaiian dish that Sandi and Jeff learned about on their honeymoon a couple years ago. It consists of rice, Salisbury steak, and an egg. Et voila, that's it -- a bed of rice, on which sits a Salisbury steak, on which sits an egg (any style, I chose fried). I wasn't superhungry, since we had just eaten a few hours before, and it was close to bedtime in Indiana, but I enjoyed my first go at mocoloco.

After dinner we played with Sandi and Jeff's Wii, during which time I schooled them on the Burtonator, the unreturnable serve return pioneered by Will and Carolyn's next-door neighbor Bradley Burton, who always swung really early but, we discovered, that's the way to win. Aron schooled me at bowling, though, so it evened out.

There must be something I'm forgetting about that first day -- oh, right! The new Little Seader! Leelen Daved Seader, age four-and-a-half months, the smiliest baby you ever did see. With a full head of hair and a constant grin. This kid is awesome! He's destined either to be Beaver Cleaver or Jeffrey Dahmer...let's hope for the former. We played a little bit on Thursday night, but we were all pretty tired, so we decided to get to know each other throughout the weekend.

Because Indy is cool...

...and also because it's a good song. And also because each time I see it, I think "John McLaughlin is a rock singer?" ("On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being not at all and 10 being absolute, metaphysical certitude, what are the chances of me getting your digits?")



I realize I have still not posted anything about my trip to Colorado (The Renaissance Faire! The massive sunburn!) or much of anything lately...took today as a personal day to get the house ready for when Jon and Jenny visit starting tomorrow (somehow thought they were arriving on Wednesday, not Tuesday, and hence have some cleaning and fixing-up to do), so maybe when I take a break, I'll post a li'l more about the recent past.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"Different name -- no less evil"

It's funny because it's true.

Amy Magan -- someone I know only internettily -- has started a blog. Three of the first four entries detail an epic struggle to paint her first-floor bathroom (with the assistance of four adult friends and some unsolicited "help" from one of her sons). The subject line of this post comes from Amy's awesome analogy of paint colors in Part III of the Adventures in Painting story: "Apparently, Lemon Sorbet is to Sun Ray as Cruella DeVille is to the Wicked Witch of the West – different name, no less evil."

But what I'm really writing about is the name of Amy's blog, The Fourth Frog Blog. Which is a real thinker, until you read her explanation:

Imagine that there are four frogs sitting on a log. Three frogs make the decision to jump into the pond. How many frogs are still on the log? All four. Why? Because the three frogs did nothing more than to make a decision; no other action had yet been taken.

Which, I suppose, is even more of a thinker. I aspire to be a fourth frog, too.

Awesome.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pet rabbit hops to rescue

Reason #5,310 you should get a rabbit: owning a bunny could save your very life.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Best. Russian Roulette Cake. Ever.

Courtesy of my new favorite blog dedicated to mishaps, missteps, and misunderstandings in the wide world of pastry-based artistry, Cake Wrecks, I give you the most hilarious cake ever:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

35 Things

I turned 35 yesterday.

I figured I could use this opportunity to pause, reflect on life, and try to pass on some wisdom that I've learned over the years. So, without further ado, here are 35 things I've learned in 35 years:

  1. People whose vehicles are green are, on average, worse drivers than those who drive other-colored vehicles.
  2. At a church pitch-in, the coleslaw is typically safer than the potato salad.
  3. The only thing that differentiates a plant from a weed is how you feel about it.
  4. You should go to the doctor more than once every five years.
  5. When in doubt, talk it over with a family member.
  6. It's nice to be quiet for a while.
  7. Seriously, shut up.
  8. The West Africans say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is right now. I agree with the West Africans.
  9. Rabbits shouldn't eat a lot of carrots -- too much sugar.
  10. Sometimes heartbreaking honesty is actually less heartbreaking in the long run.
  11. I feel a lot better when I drive exactly three miles an hour over the speed limit.
  12. You don't need that much stuff in your suitcase.
  13. You don't need that much stuff in your house.
  14. You don't need that much stuff in your car.
  15. You don't need that much stuff in your life.
  16. Get a pet.
  17. Smiling really makes a difference.
  18. Even if you're on the phone.
  19. Especially if you're at the license branch.
  20. You are either more funny than you think you are or less funny than you think you are; never exactly as funny as you think you are.
  21. It's fun to get a message from a long-lost friend on Facebook, but I'll be damned if I know what a "poke" is.
  22. Floss. Change the oil. Go for a walk.
  23. In a parking lot, it's way better if we all just drive within the "lanes," in accordance with the direction in which the lanes are facing.
  24. Forgiveness is awesome for everybody.
  25. Know your suntan limitations and learn to live within them. Disregard all other limitations.
  26. Just Say Yes is a pretty good way to live life, but can get dicey in Rome.
  27. Think about what you would do if you won the lottery, then figure out a way to do it before you win the lottery.
  28. Your job is not your life, but your life is your job.
  29. I should do more stuff outside.
  30. There's always someone who's got it better than you; there's always someone who's got it worse than you.
  31. Inertia, inertia, inertia.
  32. The more I see of the world, the harder it is to be conservative.
  33. Dancing ... that joy I feel ... man, I should find that more. Same thing with singing, till-I-pee-laughing, and writing.
  34. It really doesn't matter who's the President or how much gas costs or which celebrity just got pulled over for DUI; love's the thing, and that's what sees us through.
  35. It is easier to overlook gray (white!) chest hairs than emerging male pattern baldness.

"Comic Saaaaans! The boldest of them aaaaaaaaaaaall!"

Monday, July 21, 2008

Frontier Airlines

I'll be posting more about my vacation, including our trip to the Renaissance Festival (oy), but in the meantime, enjoy this compilation of Frontier Airlines commercials. If you've been following my Twitter feed (at left), you'll know that our tail companion on the way out to Denver was Lobo, the grey wolf, and on the way back, we were accompanied by Grace, the swan. For some reason, I love it when the flight attendant includes the tail art in the announcement: "On behalf of our Denver-based flight crew and Bandit, the baby raccoon on our tail, I'd like to thank you for choosing Frontier Airlines..." or whatever.

Anyway, Grace and Lobo are apparently not the big-name stars like Jack the rabbit or Griz the bear, who feature prominently in the ads below:

Friday, July 18, 2008

For the record: I'm on vacation

Won't be posting much here until Monday. I'm in Longmont, CO, visiting some friends and their awesome new baby!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

QUASH Vindication

No, we didn't win, but we did a lot better than we thought.

When JJ and I finished the QUASH Scavenger Hunt, we were proud to have answered each of the 26 questions. When they reviewed the answers, we figured we missed 3 of the questions. We picked the wrong war memorial to find the cornerstone on. (Effing war memorials -- they're everywhere in downtown Indy.) We failed to see some flags flying on a building and so we blew the "How many flags..." question on that one. And there was a disputable question about the number of windows on the Nordstrom building. We counted the windows on the entire building but the question-writers intended only for us to count the windows on the east side of the building. ("Count the number of windows on the top row of this building. How many are there?" it said. Not "Count the number of windows on the top row of the east side of this building. How many are there?")

But whatever.

We went to lodge a formal complaint, as there was a $7,000 grand prize on the line and those 30 points could have been crucial, especially since we missed so few questions. So we found the guy who read the answers to the participants, stated our case, and the dude goes, "What team are you? The Answer is Mrs. Vernon? Oh, it wouldn't have made a difference anyway."

To which we both -- JJ and I -- replied, "Ass." (But not to his face. Because we have class.) And we assumed that we were late finishers (we came in just under the wire at the two-and-a-half-hour time limit) or everyone had gotten every question right or whatever, so it really didn't matter.

BUT!

Just now, I GOOG'd "Indianapolis QUASH results" and found this*:



Yes, it is quantifiably true that those other 30 points wouldn't have made a difference, but the way the dude dismissed us, we thought we were in 10th place or worse.

I am very proud of JJ's and my 2nd-place finish out of 22 teams in that grueling, awesome, exhausting, exhilarating, challenging, fun adventure!



* If you click the link, you'll see that the whole list includes 22 teams, who scored as high as 790 points (all but one question -- the war memorial one -- correct) to 250 points (which, like the SAT, you could pretty much get for writing your name on the form and turning it in).

You Should Come: BlogIndiana

Blog Indiana 2008

I am by no means a blogger-for-business, in that I make zero dollars from this blog. But I've decided to attend the BlogIndiana conference in August. (The 30-day countdown starts today!)

I'm actually hoping to learn more about blogging (which is, allegedly, dying -- and come on, if I've been doing it for a year and a half, then it clearly must be dead) and social media networks and how I might employ them for what I'm doing now and in the future. And it'll be cool to meet a bunch of the people I've been following and interacting with online. One of the other things I'm looking forward to is seeing the IUPUI Campus Center, where the conference is taking place.

I started this blog in October 2006 when two things happened:

  1. I realized I was sending two to five e-mails a day to friends with the subject line "Check out this video!!!!!!!!!!"
  2. I visited Broadway Church's website and saw that the pastor's and many other folks' blogs were linked from the church website.
But it's really grown into something of its own. According to Google Analytics, since I started keeping track in February 2007, over 4,155 individuals from 83 countries (never did convert Paraguay) have visited my blog a total of 13,735 times (23,893 pageviews, whatever that is). In that time, I have also become the top search result for the Google phrase "rod roddy gravesite". (Woohoo!) (?)

So anyway, I'm looking forward to BlogIndiana on August 16 & 17 at the IUPUI Campus Center. You should come, too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You don't understand ... I want this

Screw the SmartCar, I'm skipping straight to an AirCar:

I'd like to buy the world a Coke

...and also teach the Internet the difference between "your" and "you're."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Is it one or the other?

In reality TV, do you have to choose between winning and making friends?

Friday, July 11, 2008

There is a LOT going on right now.

  • Family in town from Akron. (My 80-year-old aunt looks exactly the same as she looked 20 years ago.)
  • They're here for Madelynn's first birthday.
  • The Starbucks next to the church is one of those that didn't make the cut.
  • Reading Confucius (see left) AND the new David Sedaris. Mindblowing in contrast.
  • Wondering where my iPhone gift card is, although with my new garage-door-automatically-down policy, I have not gone out to check mail this evening yet...could be out there waiting.
  • Saw DK's Gershwin show.
  • Just realized that when I turn 35 on July 21 (not sure if I've mentioned that), I'll be as old as my dad was when I was born.
  • Gearing up for Colorado next week.
  • Also, not sure if I've mentioned it, but my birthday is July 21.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I realize that you have a choice of airlines, and I encourage you to exercise it.

"I don’t serve meals on my airline anymore. Get over it! What’s the matter— you can’t last two hours without chicken parmigiana? Why are you even going to Indianapolis?"
David Owen gives the details on his new airline, where almost all "options" are fifty dollars.

Don't believe the hype.

I have registered at ManRegistry.com, but really only for the chance to get the ungettable Wii.

You're supposed to register there when you're getting married, and your bros can buy you things you actually want, not just, you know, bedding and place settings and whatnot. But I just did it for the chance at a free Wii.

(Hence the wedding will take place on 7/21/2073 -- my 100th birthday -- and will be between Scott Semester and Scott Semester. Maybe they'll have perfected cloning by then, and we'll have to address not only same-sex marriage but also same-self marriage. Now that I think of it, I'm actually quite surprised that when Sen. Rick Santorum and others suggested "If two men can marry, what's to stop a man from marrying his dog...?" they didn't also bring up the compelling "Well, when there's clones, could a person marry her clone?" argument.)

Anyway, while I was there, I also saw a standalone George Foreman indoor/outdoor grill, with built-in speaker, that you can put your iPod in and have music while you grill. On manregistry.com, it goes for $145 and on Amazon.com (my wish list is just to the left, may I remind you), it goes for $199. What gives?

In conclusion, remember my birthday is coming up, so if you'd like to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a ridiculous toy for me, you may check out my Man Registry. If you'd like to spend a non-ridiculous amount of money on me, might I suggest cash and/or WalMart or Meijer gift cards and/or something from my Amazon wish list.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Am NOT Smarter Than a Chinese 10th Grader

Over on the Indianapolis Business Journal's blog, they're promoting (under the extremely, and somewhat inappropriately, clickable headline "Match your wits with an Indian child") local businessman Bob Compton's documentary, "Two Million Minutes." It's a look at the difference in high-school education between the US and India & China.

I'll save you eight bucks: in conclusion, we suck.

Haha, just kidding. (Easy there, don't go renaming your Chinese Freedom Checkers set just yet.) Actually, it's just a different focus: they tend to care more about academics, we tend to add in athletics, activities, and entertainment.

From talking with Renu (my doctor friend from Chennai, India), it was amazing how much effort the entire Weiss family put into preparing Naren for his 10th-grade-to-11th-grade exam. Marathon study sessions over the course of literally months to get ready for the exam, which was the determining factor of where he could continue in school -- college prep school, vocational/trade school, or no school. You don't really see American families rallying around their kids' education in that way, except for on the very, very, very high end. (Or in the Semester household the night before one of Procrastinator Scott's projects was due.)

Anyway.

The IBJ blog links to the Third World Challenge Exam, where you can answer 15-question quizzes in seven areas and compare yourself to the Indian and Chinese 10th-graders who are taking similar exams (although way more than 15 questions) to determine their very future. You should click over and take the sample exams, and then let's compare!

After spending my lunch hour taxing my brain, here are my results:
Biology: 14 out of 15 correct (Excellent)
Chemistry: 10 out of 15 correct (Good)
Physics: 11 out of 15 correct (Good)
Math: 8 out of 15 correct (Average)
English Grammar: 14 out of 15 correct (Excellent)
Geography: 7 out of 15 correct (Average)
History: 8 out of 15 correct (Average)
So, how did you do?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Curling in Indianapolis - Aww, yeah!

UPDATE: Turns out the clinic is full for Saturday. Which is actually just as well, since we have family coming in from Ohio for Madelynn's first birthday. There will be another clinic in August, so keep an eye on Circle City Curling for more info.

I just found out about Circle City Curling Club, an opportunity for us all to participate in the historic and elegant sport of curling!

I curled for about four months a few years ago, when I was in Ontario on a consulting project. (I was awarded "Best American" in the league! Of course, I was the only American in the league ... actually, I pretty significantly sucked, especially compared to the lifers.)

If you've never been curling -- or if you're one of the many (me included) who scoffed at curling as an Olympic sport -- check out this article from a recent issue of Indianapolis Monthly. And then, if you're curious, head on down for the curling clinic at the I/WSA at Pan Am Plaza, this Saturday, July 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The half-hour classroom session describing scoring and strategy would be worth the $10 price of admission, but you also get some ice time in there, too!

While there is a ton of strategy, technique and athleticism involved in curling (the ice doesn't sweep itself, you know -- and those stones way more than 40 pounds), there's also a powerful social aspect. It's no coincidence that the club where I learned to curl was a golf & curling club. I can see curling becoming the new golf ... maybe not immediately here in Central Indiana, but it's coming.

Will you be a part of it?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

It's still Independence Weekend, right?

I never did get why Sam the American Eagle was blue, but I loves me some Statler and Waldorf.

Online Video: Quantity or Quality?

Cross-posted from SmallerIndiana.com

Can YouTube survive with millions of lower-quality videos?

Here on my blog, I post a lot of videos. Most of them are there just for me, kind of like an online video album of funny or poignant things I find, so I don't have to hunt for them again.

The majority of videos that I post are from YouTube. For example, I have posted my favorite movie scene of all time, a tribute to the comic genius of Harvey Korman and Tim Conway, and a video of a Japanese game show that encourages people to impersonate celebrities and, in this case, a group of people have chosen to recreate "We Are The World."

But I've also posted a TED Talk from Isabel Allende (powered by Video Egg), the heartstring-tugging Where The Hell Is Matt (powered by Vimeo), and a clip of Tim Russert on Conan O'Brien (powered by Hulu).

Here's my question: the non-YouTube videos are of much higher quality, and yet YouTube seems to be the industry standard -- or, at least, the go-to site for the average user. Will there come a time when YouTube goes hi-def, or is YouTube's ubiquity a result of its non-hi-def-ness?
To me, the difference in video quality is stark. Here's the same clip of Finger Eleven's acoustic performance of "Paralyzer" on K-ROCK*, first on YouTube and then on Vimeo.


YouTube Quality





Vimeo Quality





So, what do you think? Is America destined to poor-quality video, or will we see either the upgrade of YouTube or the takeover of online video by a competitor?




* Yes, I agree that this is a random video to choose, but you can see the difference, right?

Idiotic idea of the day

This guy watched The Muppet Movie a little too religiously:
150 party balloons carry Oregon man toward Idaho

Brilliant idea of the day

More than anything in the world, I want this to happen:
Maury Povitch should switch shows with John McLaughlin

Nation Buys Porn With Stimulus Package

Uh-oh...apparently, we didn't hit the sectors the Bush administration expected when we got our six hundred dollarses.

In other news, it was reported recently that the high fuel prices have (understandably, one presumes) produced a downturn in the truckers-visiting-hookers business, and (legal) brothels in Nevada have been offering gas cards and other discounts including double the, ahem, services if you hand over your whole stimulus check...

What a country! In Soviet Russia, economy screws you!

(Oh, wait -- that's here, too.)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Isabel Allende's pretty cool

I just joined TED.com, a site that features talks from "remarkable people" at the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design conference. I just e-mailed some friends some other videos from the site, but I thought I'd post this one here, because Isabel Allende is both poignant and funny, and that's what I'd like to be.

19

Listen, as long as we're talking about Puttin' on the Hits, let me share this with you and tell you that this is nightmarish to me:



I remember when this song came out, and I remember being deeply, profoundly, significantly disturbed by it. (I also remember being deeply, profoundly, significantly disturbed by the M*A*S*H finale, but I don't remember why.) Anyway, this creepy lip-sync rendition of "19" is so deeply, profoundly, significantly disturbing that I don't even know what to say. The YouTuber who posted it says that this is the act that won the PotH championship that season. Blech.

i, Lands in the Stream

While it is possible that I have posted this before, I really needed a third "i, [BLANK]" to complete this comedy construct, and the only think I could think of when I said "I" aloud was "Islands in the Stream."

Putting aside what that might say about me, just enjoy this flashback from P-P-P-Puttin' on the Hits:

Thursday, July 03, 2008

i, Tinerary

Here's what's on my to-do list the next coupla days:
  • Blazing Saddles outdoor showing @ the Eiteljorg (tonight)
  • Symphony on the Prairie with fireworks and a whole mess o' people @ Conner Prairie (Friday night)
  • Dog-playing -- not exactly dog-sitting, just visiting Luke and Ernie while John and Nancy get John healthy (throughout the weekend and for however long)
  • Dinner with the fam (Saturday night)
  • Connecting with the Dierdorfs (at some point)
  • Figuring out this thing for work -- another one of my "brilliant ideas" (at some point)
  • Lunch with Lisa Marchal @ Broadway pitch-in (Sunday afternoon)
  • Broadway Presents: A Celebration of Independence @ Broadway (Sunday afternoon)
  • Ice Cream Social @ Church (Sunday afternoon)

So much for the three-day "weekend."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

i, Phone

So now I have a decision to make.

Remember how I won that 3G iPhone at the Symphony Happy Hour? I thought I was going to just sell the gift card (the actual prize is a gift card in the amount to buy an iPhone plus tax) to a friend, but then, during breaks over the course of about 6 hours at the office today, I watched a half-hour video about how cool the iPhone is.

It would cost me $150 to break my Verizon contract, and the iPhone calling plan I would use is about $20 a month more than my current plan.

On the one hand it's REEEEEEEEEEEALLY cool. On the other, it really doesn't make financial sense right now.

I'm leaning toward doing the adult (fiscally conscious, less fun) thing and delaying my gratification. I do want an iPhone -- it tastes like the future! But I think I can wait until my current Verizon phone plan ends in a year and a half, when the next generation of iPhones will be even better.

So, is that what I should do? Just wait it out? Or should I splurge and overspend to hold the future in my hand today?