Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rock Climbing & Wussing Out

Contrary to what you might think, I have never been a big rock climber. But since I'm on an Everest kick right now, I'm pretty intrigued by the whole thing.

This is a video of a guy climbing a huge wall of rock at fast as he can. It's the craziest thing you'll see today (at least).

I was also thinking about what it would be like to go to Everest. Brian and I have always talked about going to Alaska. Maybe we switch that to Nepal. We go to Kathmandu with the wives, then take a guy's trip to check out Base Camp and see what's up.

Then I saw this video of the Khumbu Icefall, a frozen waterfall of glacial melt. Check out the ladders strung across huge crevasses like tinker toys. No f&$king way I'm doing that! Besides being chicken-sh*t, Harley wouldn't let me. Also, I had trouble at 14,000 feet at a wedding in Denver. The altitude gave me a headache and was not fun. Base Camp is 17,000 and I'm a wuss.

I'll read the books. I watch the movies and TV shows. I'll look at pictures on line and read the stories. That should be enough to get me through this phase.

In Case You Ever Wondered

When you're in a focus group, they tell you that people are behind the glass watching. Most people turn to the mirror and wave. Yes, we do wave back from behind the mirror. Then we make fun of your haircut.

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Weekend

Here are some things I never thought I'd hear myself say:
- "Lilah, please don't hit yourself."
- "Lilah, please put the bleach down."
- "Lilah, the bathroom plunguer is not a toy."
- "Lilah, that fork is not for you."

Lilah fell asleep at 9:30pm Sunday night after a full days of football in HD. So Daddy got to watch the final Lord of the Rings movie in full 1080i high resolution on my massive new TV. It was awwwwesome. Everything is better in HD. The visual effects were more stunning at home than in the theater.

Italian Milk Hot Chocolate at Max Brenner's & Mommy/Daddy time on Friday night was definitely a highlight. Traffic in Long Island still sucks. Definitely a lowlight.

Pretty much finished my 15-page paper about the implications of the DVR on network prime-time broadcasting. I'm either an oracle for the future of media or B student. Either way, I'm glad it's done!

Heard Brian's drunk story about Saturday night. Very funny, but he didn't wake up in a hospital after going missing for 4 hours. Sorry dude, I still win.

Treating Julie to brunch on Sunday was great. Almost as great as my hanger steak (cooked rare, of course).

Getting stuck in Hartford on Thursday - sucked. Not checking work email to take a nap on Friday morning - priceless.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Watch This

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUeMVt3stAo&eurl=http://debbiemillman.blogspot.com/

Makes me want to buy stuff.

Christmas Music

I hate Christmas music. I get sick of it even before I hear it. It's always the same old stuff. 106.7, the station I usually listen to with Lilah, is playing nothing but Xmas 24/7. Now I can't get the soft rock I love anywhere. Life just isn't worth living.

This may be because I'm Jewish and don't need to be reminded that I am in the religious minority. But for all you heathens... I mean gentiles, doesn't the invasion of Xmas songs get old? How many times can you listen to Jingle Bell Rock, Silent Night, or any other song I can't stand? Each year, it's the same stuff.

And Starbucks, for God's sake, NO MORE JOSH GROBIN!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How To Climb Mt. Everest

While I have no desire (or money) to climb Mt. Everest, here is the preferred schedule for acclimatizing on Everest (according to mounteverest.net):

Trek to BC 10 days (Base Camp)
Arrival BC April 1

Climbing C1 April 7 (Camp 1)
Back to BC April 8
Climbing C2 April 11
Back to BC April 13
Climbing C2 April 17
Climbing C3 April 19
Back to BC April 20

Trekking down April 21
Back to BC April 26

1st summit attempt May 1-7
Trekking down May 7-12
Back in BC May 13
Last summit attempts May 16-30

This schedule requires a minimum of 6 weeks to attempt. With Heroes just getting good again, I simply don't have the time.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Coolest Things I've Seen From a Plane

1. Manhattan
2. Long Island, both the North and South Forks
3. Cap Cod, seeing the "horn" swing out all the way to Provincetown
4. What looked like street lights along a beach on a flight to Israel that lasted forever
5. Chicago being dwarfed by the lake
6. Los Angeles stretching out forever
7. Ground Zero just a few months after 9/11
8. The Moon, following me home from Barbados
9. Coney Island
10. The boot of Italy, or at least that's what I think I saw
11. All the Greeks Islands that kept popping on my way from Athens to Rhodes
12. Heat Lighting over Indianapolis
13. Houses on tiny islands in the middle of the ocean, outside St. Thomas
14. Coming through the clouds and realizing we're directly above the Empire State at night, all lit up
15. Traffic in the English countryside backed up for miles

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Who's Your Candidate?

This is awesome. Indicate whether you agree or disagree w/ certain issues and it generates your ideal presidential candidate.

http://www.wqad.com/Global/link.asp?L=259460

For me, Hillary and Barack tied for first place at 48. Dodd came in at 45.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Some Advice

Next time you get a corndog, have the vendor dip it into the oil for 30 seconds before he gives it to you to give it "extra flavor." It may give you sticky poopy, but it's sooo worth it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Amazing Sculptures








These are done by Don Mueck, a London-based photo-realist artist. Born in Melbourne, Australia, to parents who were toy makers, he labored on children's television shows for 15 years before working in special effects for such films as Labyrinth, a 1986 fantasy epic starring David Bowie.

Eventually Mueck concluded that photography pretty much destroys the physical presence of the original object, and so he turned to fine art and sculpture. In the early 1990's, still in his advertising days, Mueck was commissioned to make something highly realistic, and was wondering what material would do the trick. Latex was the usual, but he wanted something harder, more precise. Luckily, he saw a little architectural decor on the wall of a boutique and inquired as to the nice, pink stuff's nature. Fiberglass resin was the answer, and Mueck has made it his bronze and marble ever since.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Football, how I've missed you...

I was at a bar with my father-in-law today. I had a cold beer in my hand and 5 TV screens in front of me, each with a different game shown in real-time. I could move from screen to screen without even moving my neck, seeing the entire world of NFL unfold before my eyes. God damn, I love it.

Before that, I was watching the game at home, where I only had access to 1 game. Even that was fun. While I watched the Giant/Green Bay game, I kept my eye on the ticker to see how every other game was going. I wasn't drinking, but I was only wearing boxer shorts. There's something to be said for football in pajamas.

This week was much better than last week where I got so drunk I barley made it home and only watched 1 game. Still, much like sex, any football is good football.

A Shake of the Hand

I'm a bad hand-shaker. I realized this at a meeting last week.

Hand shaking is a tricky thing. You don't want to have a weak, "wet fish" grip, but you also don't want to hurt anyone. One guy last week squeezed my hand and cracked all my knuckles. It wasn't on purpose, but now he's forever that asshole that squeezed my hand too hard.

My problem isn't the grip, but the timing. Some people like to hang out and take their time holding my hand, but not me. I try and get the whole thing done and over with as quickly as possible. unfortunately, this means I usually end up being the first one to release. I think this makes me look bad, like I don't want to be near this person. This is typically the case, but I don't want it to be that obvious.

Harley says she does 2 shakes up and down: one, two, release. This seems like a good plan. I have 2 big meeting this week, so let's see how it goes. I just need to balance grip, length, and the up-and-down motion. I would rather salute, or even bow like the Japanese. I guess this is the price of freedom. haha

Friday, September 07, 2007

9/11 Conspiracy Theories

I hate 9/11 conspiracy theories. There, I said it.

This YouTube video (the first of 5) is a debate between the creators of Loose Change, a popular movie that lays out theories of how the government actually orchestrated 9/11, and the editors of Popular Mechanics, who wrote a book debunking most of the 9/11 conspiracies.

Notice how upset the Loose Change guys get during the debat. They call the other guys liars and get furious at the "lies." Compare that with how calm the Mechanical Engineering remain. The conspirators are making a good living off perpetuatiing the theory. They're on TV and people know how they are. They have every reason to keep these conspiracies alive. The Mechanical Engineering guys are on the other end. Their lively doesn't depend on these theories and go on this no-budget-no-audience show just to prove these guys wrong.

It' OK to ask questions, but in asking those questions you have to look for the answers. Speculation does not belong in "investigative Journalism."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Quote from The Boss

"Journey sucks, Anyone who likes Journey sucks even more. Besides, it's totally inappropriate for the workplace."
- Bruce Springsteen

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My Trash Can

Tonight, I realized that our trash can isn't made of the high quality steel I had initially thought it was. For instance, a small kick caused a very large dent. Not that I meant to kick it, my foot just slipped.

My foot slipped after I tried to get the garbage bag out but couldn't. The bag simply broke as I pulled on it. The god damn bag broke and all the chicken bones from dinner started pouring out. It was infuriating. Yeah, I kicked the fucking piece-of-shit trash can and it caused a huge dent. I pushed the dented area out and it sort of went away.

Anyway, just good to know.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cute Baby Movies

Billiard Baby

The Fly Catcher

Kung Fu Baby

Superbad Trailer

Do yourself a favor and watch the "restricted trailer" for Superbad.

Go to the Superbad website, hit "Enter This Site", then go to the Restricted Area, verify your age, hit Media and watch the trailer. It's amazing.

I wish Harley and I could go see this movie, but we have no one to watch Lilah. If only she had a really good aunt and uncle in the city that could watch her for a few hours. Damnit!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The New Toy I Want

It's what I've wanted for years. A delay/reverb pedal that includes "tap tempo", meaning you can set delay time just by tapping your foot. It also lets you create pre-sets that you can access on stage.

But most importantly, it includes a looping function, meaning I can play something for up to 30 seconds and it will repeat it for infinity. This means I can have a rhythm guitar playing during a solo.

It's not even on the US market yet but is listed at 150 pounds sterling. The problem is that I I need to buy furniture pay for my tuition, keep my baby diapers, and try and save some on the side. All this, and I rarely play my electric guitar anymore. Let's not forget how much I want a new guitar to begin with.

I think I'll start playing the lottery...

The Finnish YMCA...

Oh my God...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dear Mom

Treat your mother right, FOOL!

I'm guessing this was around the same time as "She Works Hard For the Money"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'm Sorry I Haven't Called

I've been so busy with work, school, and Lilah, that my attention is forced elsewhere. I hope to be back on the blog in August. Until then, I'll leave you with this link:

We Miss You, Tony Blair

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Simpsons Movie

I didn't want to see this, but after this trailer, I think I do.

I'll probably rent it. Don't think I could take it for 2 hours. I hope it's not like Beavis & Butthead, which was just like the show only longer. South Park really did it well. Thye made their movie an event that was worthy of the change in medium.

A Leprechaun

This is a riot!

It's funnier because the people are all such characters. but it's sad to see that wide the gap between the rich and poor are in this country. Of course, when I see the flute passed down for thousands of years,I just laugh.

Makes sure to take a look at all the parodies of this already on YouTube. Some of them are just as funny.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Quote of the Day

Jen: the world needs more little heller abrevayas.

Andrew: and some one to pay for their college.

Jen: well, yeah, that too. but you'll have smart interesting liberal kids. the world needs more of those.

Andrew: i hope they grow up to be gay, draft-dodging abortion doctors.
Hi, my name is Andrew and I like to eat ice cream. I like to have young children come over my house and eat ice cream off my chest while they sit on my beard. I like children.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bush Less Popular than TB guy

A new poll reveals that President Bush is now less popular among the American people than the so-called “TB Guy."

This is a real article with White House Press Secretary saying "“If President Bush had been quarantined for spreading tuberculosis around the world, his numbers would be right up there with the TB Guy’s.” If you didn't think this administration was a joke already, here's your proof.

shout out to JaySigh for the link.

This Bugs Me Out

If you hate bugs like I do, then check out this video. Very satisfying.

If you like cool/strange/funny/disturbing videos, check out some other videos on this website, liveleak.com. Not the first time I've mentioned it on the blog, and probably won't be the last.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Petition from MoveOn.org

In the next few weeks, Congress could vote to DOUBLE the amount of greenhouse gases America produces from our cars and planes. It sounds crazy, but Congress is rushing through a package that could lock us into liquid coal as our country's new energy source for transportation. For every mile driven, coal-based fuels produce as much as twice as many greenhouse gases as petroleum. That means even a Prius would drive like a Hummer.

The coal industry has been lobbying for this break for years, and many in Congress don't understand the facts. Can you sign on to our petition opposing liquid coal right now—and then please alert your friends?

http://pol.moveon.org/pac/stopkingcoal/

Who Wants a Hummer?

fuh2.com = fuck you, Hummer 2

A site dedicated to hatred toward the H2 Hummer automobile. It has pictures of people giving the finger to any H2 they see. They have some convinving arguements

- The H2 is the ultimate poseur vehicle. It has the chassis of a Chevy Tahoe and a body that looks like the original Hummer; i.e. it's a Chevy Tahoe in disguise.

- The H2 is a gas guzzler. Because it has a gross vehicle weight rating over 8500 lbs, the US government does not require it to meet federal fuel efficiency regulations. Hummer isn't even required to publish its fuel economy (owners indicate that they get around 10 mpg for normal use).

I must say, I drove in my father-in-law's H2 this weekend loved it. It was nice and big inisde - the seats felt like first-class plane seats, and we were able to put a piece of furniture in the backseat and drive it home that day (saving $150 in delivery fees). For me, the H2 rocks!

Shout out to Cousin Dave for the link; his first!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sopranos Predictions

Found this site during lunch where fans get to list there predictions for the Sopranos finale. Some amazing ideas! Personally, there's no way Adrianna is coming back. But this idea has really hit home with me:

Tony and his family go into Witness Protection. The FBI ironically assigns him the name "Kevin Finnerty" - the alter ego he dreams of during his coma in Season 6. His dream was actually a vision of things to come.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Holy Mars!

Black spots have been discovered on Mars that are so dark that nothing inside can be seen. The spots might be entrances to deep underground caves. Here is an example, captured three weeks ago. This hole is about the size of a football field and is so deep that it is completely unlit by the Sun. Some say holes and underground caves like this could even support life and might be prime targets for future exploration.


Does this remind anyone else of the face on Mars found by Viking in 70's? It's always exciting to think about the possibilities of the unknown. Given that Mars is a cold desert with nothing to sustain life, I doubt there's anything in those holes but cold and darkness. Still, makes you wonder what could be down there...

One Thought on WWI

I took a break from packing Monday afternoon and got a chance to watch some of the Band of Brothers marathon on A&E. I love that series. I'm a sucker for WWII stories, and this is a great one. It's amazing to see the old men that lived through it, and actually got to live to be old men.

As I watched, I realized that America had so much more involvement in WWII than WWII. The story of WWII is told more becuase we played a bigger role. OK, back to work...

Friday, May 25, 2007

WWI

I was stuck at work late this week and had nothing to do. So I start exploring Wikipedia and end up spending an hour reading about World War I. It was amazing. Seems strange that what was once called "The War to End All Wars" is now a footnote to WWII. I think there are 2 reasons for this.

One, WWII had clear-cut morality. The Allies were the good guy and the Nazis were the bad guys. Doesn't seem like anyone disputes this. WWI, on the other hand, there was no Holocaust or other great atrocity that sticks out in our collective memory to make the distinction as easy. Two, the media was much more advanced for WWII and was able to better document the fighting. I've seen a zillion things about WWII, but I can count on 1 hand how much I've seen about WWI. Apart from some fuzzy pictures, the vividness of the fighting just isnt there.

It's just such an amazing story. The political aspect alone is unreal. Technology allowed the entire world to communicate on a global level for the first time and it all goes to shit. Trench warfare. First use of an air force. First use of toxic gas. By some accounts, a soldier’s most important piece of equipment was his gas mask. They would find soldiers abandoning their rifles, but none would leave the mask behind. Huge amounts of casualties for very little gain on a regular basis. The numbers are staggering.

For example, the Battle of Somme was one of the bloodiest fights of the war and was hugely impactful on the British people. The first day of fighting alone had 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead. But that whole battle was just a diversion created to draw the German army away from the Battle of Verdun, which was as devastating for the French as Somme was for Britain.

The hero of that battle, Philippe P├ętain (who coined the phrase "they shall not pass" from Lord of thee Rings fame) was in charge of free France during the Nazi occupation and eventually impisoned for collaborating with the enemy. A hero disgraced; how much more epic can you get!

If you’re not bored to tears yet (by now, I’m guessing Brian is the only one still paying attention), check out a great website: www.worldwar1.com. Start with the timelines and then go to battle plans. You can see the plan each country wanted to follow, and how that usually never worked out.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Computer Programmer or Serial Killer?

killerquiz

Based on a person's picture, you have to decide if he is a computer geek or a serial killer. Go with your gut feeling and click on your choice. There are 10 photos. Your score will be given at the end.

I got 8 out of 10. But I think this has more to do with luck and figuring out the pattern in the quiz than understanding human nature. It's like a rock/paper/scissor tournament. Figure out what came before and it helps you guess what comes next.

And yes, I stole this link from a Julie Heller email. Sue me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Brian's Blog

After months of complaining about why anyone would wanted to start a blog, Brian Heller has capitulated. Take special note of the design, it's spectacular.

http://boywonderesq.blogspot.com/

The Best eCards Ever

When you care enough to send the very funniest, go here: www.someecards.com

A few samples to whet your appetite:





Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New IM Shorthand

lal - "laughing at loser"

It can be used at the person you're speaking to, yourself, or someone else. For example:

"Tony just bashed that guy's teeth in - LAL!"
"You're wearing black pants with brown shoes - LAL!"
"I have herpes - lal."

Try it out and spread the word.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Trend Hunting

When I'm not huntin' wabbit, I'm huntin' trends.

big ups to Harley for the link

Friday, May 18, 2007

Starburst Ad Remakes

Viral marketing at work! The ad is so popular that it's being remade over and over:

girls have too much time
describing it a recess
nothing better to do at a slumber party?

This, of course, is part of a larger trend where the younger generations feel the need/desire to publicize their lives for public consumption. They take what they find interesting, incorporate (the fancy term is interpolate) it into their lives and then spit it back out.

My key takeaway is that effective advertising to youth markets is more than just flash and fluff. You need a compelling idea (the fancy term is meme) that is funny, or serious, or sad...doesn't matter. But it needs to stick with a few, who can then spread it to others. This is the essence of viral marketing, spreading memes from brain to brain where it takes hold until the next one comes along.

The New Starburst Ads

Have you seen this? Maybe not. If you have and were like me, it just left you confused. It introduces a new character they invented to promote new Starburst Berries & Cream. It has nothing to do with anything product related, just an absurd character with no connection to reality. It's actually really funny, but funny/strange instead of funny/smart.

Here is the ad they show on tv. (This blog will make more sense if you watch the video clips in order). Funny, but strange. But on YouTube and making the viral rounds is a longer clip that shows the backstory. The character is still weird, but now the story of the ad makes a little more sense.

The strange thing is that they aren't showing the back-story in the ads, relying on word-of-mouth to get the story across. I guess Starburst is hoping to draw in fewer, more dedicated brand loyalists that get the joke, rather than a mass marketing campaign to a wider full audience. It's an interesting case study. Consumers must seek out the answers to advertising rather than having the message given to them on a silver platter.

This has been done before (sort of), mostly by car companies that show a 30 second movie and then direct you to their website to get the rest of the story. But this is different in that the ads aren't the introduction but the second chapter of the story.

It's definitely a bold move. Not sure what agency is behind it, but I'm guessing they did some heavy-duty research to see if this strategy holds any water. Will it work? Who knows. The more important question is whether this kind of campaign, where consumers are in the dark and must seek out answers, will work. It worked for Lost, so maybe...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lost Theories

Cool Website

I know it's been a while. More blogs to come once I get bored at work on Monday.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Let's Embarrass Brian

I bought a special shirt for Brian to wear at his Bachelor Party. He wore it begrudgingly. Doesn't he look sooo cute?!?


Friday, April 20, 2007

Can't Get Enough Sanjaya

Sanjaya to Attend White House Correspondents' Dinner - seriously???

Sanjaya Malakar's hair-raising adventure isn't over yet. The recently dispatched American Idol contestant is now headed for the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

Malakar, 17, finally voted off the show Wednesday night after weeks of debate over his locks and singing chops, will be one of PEOPLE's guests at the Saturday night event at the Washington Hilton.

A Ballad We Should All Hear

This song sums up my professional life. If you've never worked in design or marketing, this is pretty much what you hear all the time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My New Favorite Book

This book really helped me out. It changed my life...



















The sequel was just as moving as the original. Powerful stuff...

Friday, April 13, 2007

I'm Pissed About Imus

Imus got fired and I'm pissed. I never listened to the guy and don't really care about the whole thing, but the media frenzy is infuriating.

First off, the man is a "shock jock." It's his job to be offensive!! He was hired to be this kind of guy and made a good living off it. He went a little too far and everyone forgets that. The company that hired him for this suddenly is blameless when they put him there in the first place. Hypocrite.

Secondly, Rev. Sharpton and Rutgers should be ashamed of themselves. Yes, Imus said something wrong and then apologized for it. He was ridiculed and humiliated on a national scale. What good did firing him do? Nothing. Sharpton and Rutgers should have risen above it. They could have shown that they were the bigger parties and embraced someone that clearly showed remorse. Instead, they were spiteful and wanted revenge, stooping to a lower level than Imus ever went to. Hypocrites.

Wouldn't the Christian thing to do have been turn the other cheek and forgive the repentant? Why was the 'Reverend' out for blood this time? Sharpton said this would send a message that no form of intolerance is acceptance. Well, but intolerant of intolerance is it's own form of intolerance. Hypocrite.

Imus getting fired is the real tragedy here. Will he have to close down his ranch for sick kids? Who wins if that happens? He didn't lose his job because he said something rude and apologized. His reputation and career are ruined because Sharpton and Rutgers fed the media storm that pressured Imus' employer to disown him when he got in trouble, forgetting that this was the job they paid him to do. Hypocrites.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Imus vs. Howard Stern

Howard Stern and Imus have hated each other for years. Now that Imus is in trouble, Stern is in heaven. Here are some quotes from Stern over the past few days:

• "He does nothing. He mumbles, he can't speak English, he can't be understood. He was never funny. You listen to the show, I defy you to laugh."
• "He's completely insane."
• "Go away. Really. It's time."
• "There's probably a 70 percent chance [CBS Radio and MSNBC are] going to have to fire this guy.... He's in for a shitstorm because the girl's basketball team is going to have a press conference, and that's going to look real bad."
• "I guarantee you the wife leaves him. If he loses his job, she leaves him within a year. [And if that happens,] I will leave Beth to fuck her."
• "If it was me and I did something stupid like that I would just go on and say, 'I'm not going on Al Sharpton's show. Al Sharpton is a piece of shit. He's just a human being that is bankrupt, and he should pay his bills.... I would rather just leave the radio than apologize to that man.... I like Al Sharpton, by the way."
• "I mean, come on, Al Sharpton. Imus, get some fucking dignity." [Burps.]
• "I've never seen a 67-year-old guy look that bad."
• "Imus is a moron."
• "Imus had a perfectly nice life, he had no listeners. No one ever bothered him. Now all of a sudden he's getting all this attention, he's cracking. He handled that like shit."
• "How is Imus on the radio? Do you understand a word he says?"
• "He looks awful. How old is Imus for real? Doesn't he look 80?"

I think Stern has said a lot worse things over the year and would have handled the situation a little better than Imus. But well never know for sure...

What Did Imus Say?

There's been so much media coverage of what Imus said, but no one has mentioned what he actually said. I did some digging and found out. He and his team we discussing the NCAA women's championship the night before, where Tennessee's Lady Vols' 59-46 won over Rutgers' Scarlet Knights.

Imus started comparing the 2 teams, saying that the players on Tennessee's team were "all cute girls." He called the Rutgers team, most of whom are African-American, "nappy-headed hos." He then referenced Spike Lee's film "School Daze," comparing the two teams to the film's fictional college cliques divided by skin color known as "jigaboos" and "wannabes."

His inevitable apology was:

"(I) want to take a moment to apologize for an insensitive and ill-conceived remark we made the other morning referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team. It was completely inappropriate, and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, so, and we're sorry."

Chernobyl

Interesting site. Some guy apparently took a photographic interest in the Chernobyl site. He created this image library of the site and surrounding areas.

The images are a little boring. There's not much going on, but the implications are astounding. The danger here is invisible. It's a world frozen in time from the blast. Lucky for us, it was a Russian town that America never heard of. If this happened in Ohio, we'd have a much different take on it.

I wonder if this guy got sick from being there? Why would he risk it? I do understand, though. For some reason, I'm fascinated by disaster sites. Some of you might remember a previous blog about a site with images from Hiroshima. Something about the world as we know it being destroyed is so stark and bitter, it's hard to turn away.

Shout-out to Matt Schatz for the link. Matt, you are now the 5th regular reader of the blog. Congratulations!!! You're in good company with Harley, Brian, Bill, and Jen.

Pimp Yo'self, Fool!

Don't Player-Hate. Player Appreciate!

This site is awesome! A client sent it to me. Finally, a place I can get all my pimp gear, learn about the art of Pimping, and even get a pimp name. Here are some names of mine...

Funk Master Heller Large
Ghetto Fabulous Heller Silk
Mack Master Heller Sneed
Fine Ass Andrew Wicked
Silver Tongue A. Smooth

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thundercats, Hoooo!!!

Check this out!! Can you believe the lengths people will go to memorialize their favorite cartoons? I used to watch the show and was a big fan. But I can't imagine it would be fun to watch now. This website, though adds a sense of nostalgia and excitement that the original just doesn't have. Amazingly, the representation is more interesting than the original.

Alternatively, The Transformers movie looks amazing!! I question whether it will be as good as the toys were when I was 12 years old, but I can't wait to find out.

NYC Trivia

1.The term "The Big Apple" was coined by touring jazz musicians of the1930's who used the slang expression "apple" for any town or city (Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time)

2. New York City was briefly the U.S. capital from 1789 to 1790

3.There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin, Ireland

4. There are more Italians in New York City than in Rome, Italy

5. There are more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv, Israel

I Have Sanjaya Fever!!

Woohoo!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Video Game Quiz

Very fun site! I could waste my whole morning here. But I won't. My ancestors didn't leave bondage in Egypt just for me to screw around at work. Or maybe that's exactly why they left! They left slavery so that I could be free. They wouldn't want me in bondage now, so I should enjoy myself. Ancestors, you are welcome.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Branding Comic Strips

Every see something that's supposed to be funny but is so true to life that it's scary? This is that for me. Every day I live this. Whoopee!

My Campus Stroll

Last night, I had an hour to kill before class started. So I took a walk around the NYU campus. It was a gorgeous night out, the first hint of Spring. I sat in Washington Square for a little, watching the circus of kids, homeless, and passersby. There were at least 4 groups of guitar players hanging out and even a choir of 7 guys, mostly Korean, putting on a show. That was cheesy, but they actually sounded good. There voices were faint but sweet in the evening wind. I tried to think of a better word, but 'sweet' is all that came.

I quickly grew tired of the scene and meandered south towards the library. Realizing that I had the finally had ID card required for entry, I entered. The marble floor looks like an MC Escher picture and the atrium extends all the way up the buildings 12 stories. I decided to explore in earnest and went up the elevator to the randomly selected Floor 10. Once there, it was a warren of stacks, poorly lit bookshelves and hidden desks sprawled with students studying everything from law and math to art history. There was even a couple arguing about how the guy doesn't want to meet her friends. I pretended not to listen as I waited at the elevator but heard every word.

There is a smell to a university library that cannot be defined, imitated, or forgotten. My random selection placed me in the Culture & Journalism section. Each volume was both boring and fascinating at the same time. In our world on online remote access, it's still a visceral excitement to be surrounded by possibility like that.

I continued down to current periodicals, where all the academic journals are stored. There was countless numbers of them from current debates in philosophy to technological teaching methods (that's all you, Bill!). As I thought how nobody must read these, I realized that they will be invaluable to me when I start to write my thesis, and that just getting published in one is a quiet triumph for each scholar. I hope my name will someday be on a small journal that barely anyone will read someday (just like you, Harley)!

Class time was approaching, and I made my way to my class. I was transported back to my undergrad days, wandering around with nowhere to go, nothing to do and way too much on my mind. Unlike most people, I wasn't that into college, too much downtime. If I could go back, I'm sure I'd have a much better time. But my experience walking around reminded me that I truly enjoy working in the real world and building a life. I love going part-time, for I get the most out of each class and have plenty to fill my life. As much as people say they loved being a free college student, I couldn't wait to get home to wife and kid.

Music Groups That Would've Been Awesome

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Beer!!

Great article in the NY Times today about a new website called Beer Advocate. Started by 2 brothers, the site has reviews on every beer you could find. It advocates that beer is deserving of more respect in the culinary world. I agree. Why should there be a 12 page wine list but only 4 beers to choose from? I enjoy beer more than wine, and I know I'm not the only one.

One of the great things about beer is the branding and packaging. Beer is by no means a serious product, so the brands have freedom to do whatever they want. And with the wide selection and easy-to-drink 12-16oz portions, it makes brand switching a joy.

I write this because I haven't had a beer in at least a week. I'm trying to cut down on carbs for Brian's wedding to lose weight. It's working, I'm down a belt notch. But I do miss my beer. I guess I'll have to let Tequila Sunrises and Pineapple-Vodkas get me through.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Petition: Third Season for Rome

Sign this. Doesn't matter if you watch it or not, but HBO needs to learn its lesson. It can't put these amazing shows out there (like Rome and Deadwood) and then cancel them after 2 seasons. It's not fair! Sure, some shows may not find their audiences, but they do get diehard fans that
need to know what happens next.

Six Feet Under did it right. They ended the series by showing what happens to each character up until their death. It's closure that we need! We're becoming an ethnograpic audience, where we want to know the story of some one's life, not just the end of that particular part of their lives. At least Deadwood wil have a TV movie to tie up loose ends for fans. I'm psyched for that!

In case you couldn't tell, I'm really into the idea of enthnographic entertainment. More on that to come later...

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Supermarket Rant

One more blog for today...Picture this:

You're in a long line at the supermarket. The guy in front of you is taking forever and there are a bunch of others behind you. Another register opens up next to you and says,” Next, please." Now, I was the next one in line, but I'm stuck in line. The guy at the end of the line then jumps to the next line and gets through before it's even my turn.

What the f*&k? All this system does is reward the person who has been waiting in line the shortest. Some of you may remember my Duane Reade rant, where I said we should have 1 waiting line so that you won't get stuck waiting for a slow cashier or a slow customer. That way, you are always ensured of getting the next register.

Sure I've benefited from the "Next, please" a few times myself. I understand it's a reality. But damn, does that suck!

MTV, Better Than Videos

I am so into MTV's True Life right now. They take 3 kids with a similar situation ("I'm In Debt", "I have Autism", "I Want The Perfect Body") and follow them around for a few months. We see how their lives are affected by their situation and get a sense of the course of their lives for a few months. It's strangely voyeuristic and instantly addicting.

The show is basically ethnographic entertainment. They are doing anthropologic studies that are made for a wide TV audience. By showing us the individual, we see a glimpse of what the norm is and how there is no such thing as normal. Each kids has to face their life on their own and make decisions that will impact their future. Surprisingly, these kids seem very wulling to open up themselves and their lives for worldwide consumption. It's either a willingness to be open or a desire for quick fame... or both.

The "I Have Autism" episode was very hard to watch for me. The kids were great and trying so hard to just be normal (again, normal is relative). Mostly, the parents were the ones I truly felt for. Having a young daughter, it was hard to hear them say that growing up the child just didn't notice the outside world. It made me so grateful to have the healthy, happy girl we do. (Lilah f*&king rules!)

I also love the show Juvies. As in True Life, it focuses on just a few kids to show how the system looks from the individual. I guess the best stories are the ones that are true. MTV has really caught on to the fact that kids want to know what is going on with other kids. As a 31-yr old, do I still count? Given how immature I am, I think so.

Good Eating

I haven't been eating well these past 28 hours. I was doing really well, but then I fell off the wagon. I needed a pint of ice cream Wednesday night. I was depressed from getting denied for an apartment on Thursday and had to have something not so good for lunch. My brother-in-law was over for dinner that night, and we had to order wings and fried mushrooms.

This afternoon, I had to have Buger King as a traveling lunch on my way back from a meeting. I was driving while eating and got the Angus sauce all over my shirt and fry oil all over my skin. Now I feel all greasy and my shirt is ruined. I will do my best to eat better over the weekend. Of course, I still have some ice cream in the freezer...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The iRack

I usually hate Mad TV, it's a little juvenile for me. But this video is hilarious. It goes from being a dumb Steve Jobs parody to an insightful and impactfull allegory. It's not long and very, very worth watching.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Quote of the Day, Part II

As you might have guessed, I love South Park and Family Guy. One of my favorite momments in cultural overlap was wehen South Park made fun of Family Guy for a 2 episode special.

During at the Harvard class day 2006, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, in character as Stewie Griffin, rebutted this criticism saying:

“You're wondering to yourselves: what can I expect from the outside world? Will I find my niche? What should I know about the vast territory that lies beyond the confines of my little subculture of textbooks, Ramen noodles, coin-operated laundry and TV shows that seem to think they can skate by with random jokes about giant chickens that have absolutely nothing to do with the overall narrative?

The boys at South Park are absolutely correct: Those cutaways and flashbacks have nothing to do with the story! They're just there to be ... funny. And that is a shallow indulgence that South Park is quite above, and for that I salute them."

Quote of the Day

"Lilah has muscles just like Daddy, soft and pudgy."


The Sun and the Moon

Watch this movie

There are 2 satellites in orbit now. Both are calibrated to orbit the sun, using the Earth as an anchor. One is in front, closer to the Sun, the other is behind the Earth, further from the Sun. When the 2 work in unison, they will create a stereo image allowing us to get a 3D view of the surface of the sun.

Right now, one of the satellites is off. This movie was taken using the satellites, but with the transit of the moon instead of the 3D renderings. It's amazing. The surface of the Sun is a swirling cauldron of fire and liquid energy. There are giants flames that shoot out and make visible the giant magnetic fields. It's amazing, and the stereo images that will come soon promise to be even better!

P.S. Much of this was taken from Brian May's posting in the new NY Times Space blog. That guy rules.

My Morning Oopsie

I was supposed to go to a meeting this morning in New Jersey. The work we were to present was FedEx'd last night, so all we had to do was show up. I had spoken with the client to confirm that if the snow was bad, we could have a call instead. So, I was praying for snow.

I was disappointed to wake up to find no white on the ground. But I figured it was icy enough that driving would be a bad idea. I told my team we were not going to Jersey and to head into the office. Turns out, my client is sick and never made it into the office. We're rescheduling for early next week.

I come into work and find the FedEx's that were supposed to arrive this morning still sitting on my desk. They never went out! We'd have arrived in Jersey with nothing to present. Thank God today worked out the way it did. I will NOT be sharing this story with anyone else at work (keep quiet, Jen!). I don't think it's something I need to share.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

India's Stock is Rising, But...

Here is a cool article from the current issue of Business Week about how India's infrastructure can't handle the sucess the company has been having. With corporations running to bring business to the country and make bigger profits, that could be a problem. Most of the country is without internet access and there a just a handfull of world-class airports.

Making South Park

This movie shows 24 hours in an editing booth during the final production of a South Park episode. Notice how it's mostly one guy doing all the work with other people coming in giving their opinion. It's awesome.

For a little longer movie (to watch during lunch), check out this news footage of Scientology vs. South Park.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Nose Jobs: Before & After

Harley found this website with before and after nose job images from a plastic surgeon featured on Dr. 90210. The site has a bunch of images for other procedures he does.

This doctor is good. Everyone on this site looks a lot better in the after picture (but who would put a bad picture on their own website?). It's kind of weird but still cool to see. I can't help but have a gut reaction of "Ewww!!!"

Brian May Rules

Brian May, guitarist for Queen and one of my all-time favorites, is also an astronomer. He is now a contributing writer for a New York Times blog called Across the Universe that talks about space the cosmos, and all that stuff that I LOVE!

That guy freakin' rules! Not only is he deep into space, which I love, but he also built his own electric guitar at 17, revolutionized how the guitar was recorded, and created one of the most unique and influential guitar tones in the history of popular music. Here's his bio on the blog:

Brian May, best known as a guitarist, songwriter and performer for Queen, began his doctoral studies on the subject of interplanetary dust before the band hit it big in the early 1970s. Through the years, he retained a strong interest in astronomy, appearing regularly on Moore’s TV show, “The Sky at Night.” May has recently returned to his studies in astrophysics. He is a coauthor of “Bang!”

Friday, March 02, 2007

Jersey Boys

A couple weeks ago, my in-laws took Harley and I to see Jersey Boys on Broadway. Despite my initial reluctance, I loved it. Seriously loved it. It was like a Scorsese directing a musical. The characters were singing but we still tough and streetwise. My favorite line was "We weren't a social movement like The Beatles. The guy pumping your gas, the waitress with bags under her eyes - they were the ones who really got us."

The show was a great mix of story line and concert experience. The music rocked, and the actors played their own instruments to give the moment authenticity. I always remembered Walk Like A Man sounding too kiddy, but it had a driving beat that was so hard and contemporary. Of course, when I listened to the original recordings, they sounded childlike, like a novelty. The real music, at least for me, was nowhere near as good as the excitement and rock the show interjected into the songs.

The show updated the songs with the rock sound today's audiences are used to. This made the music sound fresh and current and I'm sure helped the audience remember the time more fondly. The performances created a sense of nostalgia that might not have been there before the show. My mother-in-law went nuts during Sherry, and I don't think that would have happened by just listened to the music.

The concert moments were amazing. While the music sounded great, the applause was profound. The audience was primarily Baby Boomers from the suburbs who were from New York and New Jersey. For the most part, the audience had a shared background. The audience sees these 4 guys go from playing bowling alleys in Jersey to being the biggest band in the world.

When the audience claps after the performances, they applaud not only that performance but also the success these characters have achieved. They also clap for themselves. They clap for their youth, for how far they have come in their own lives. The show uses to music and the shared experience of Jersey to create a community for the few hours we were in the theater. It's far fetched, but it was palpable sitting in the audience that Sunday afternoon.

Total Eclipse of the Earth

On Sunday night, some places on Earth will see a lunar eclipse, where the Moon goes through Earth's shadow and disappears from view. If you were on the near side of the Moon, this would look like a solar eclipse, where the Earth would block out the Sun.

You see, it's all about perspective.

This image is an artist's rendering of a photo taken from Apollo 17. Thank you Astronomy Picture of the Day!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

LiveLeak.com

This is LiveLeak. Think of it like YouTube with all the gore. Not for the faint of heart.

Howard Stern's Top 10 Momments

Some of these are terrible but most are funny.

I got this off a website called TMZ, perfect website to help you kill time during lunch.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Closer Look at Jupiter

As the rest of you geeks may know (Brian), the New Horizons probe was launched last January on its 14-year trip to be the first man-made object to visit Pluto and its 3 moons. It is slated to arrive on July 14, 2015, at which time I will be 39, Lilah will be 8, and Harley will still be 29.

The probe is making a quick stop at Jupiter to do what's called a gravity-assist and increase its speed. This speed boost reduces the legnth of the trip by 3 years. When it finally arrives at Pluto, it will be 3 billion miles from Earth, with radio signals taking 4.5 hours to reach us.

Fourteen years might sound like a long time, but this probe is moving fast! After Jupiter, it will be going 52,000 miles per hour. And consider this: it took the probe only 9 hours to get from the Earth to the Moon; the Apollo missions took 3 days.

The probe has the most sohosticated equipment ever sent into outer space and should provide some amazing imagery. I can't wait!

P.S. My previous Star Trek blog has nothing to do with this posting.

A New Star Trek Movie?

That's right, true believers. Pre-production works has started on a new Star Trek movie to be directed by none other than J.J. Abrams, co-creator of Lost and director Mission: Impossible III.

The film is rumored to a prequel, with the first meeting between James Kirk and Mr. Spock at Starfleet Academy. Rumors say that Jin, the Korean guy from Lost, will play Sulu.

After the not-so-stellar Enterprise TV series, I'm not sure the world is interested in the standard Star Trek storyline. Hopefully, Abrams can bring some intrigue and character development to the mix. I'll see it no matter what. Geeks of the World Unite!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Iraq Fatalities & Rebuilding the Temple

This map of colation fatalities in Iraq comes from Brian. He sent it to me today and is expectingn me to post it. Your damn right I'm posting it!

This website is part of the portfolio of an interative designer. He's got some cool stuff besdies this map. Check out this recontruction of the Jewish Temple in Israel. Makes me want to go to services. Well, sort of. OK, not.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Worst Thing Ever

I'm in between holes on my belt. One hole makes them too loose and they fall down; the next makes them too tight and it's uncomfortable. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to tuck my shirt in, that why I could hide loose pants. But I already tucked this morning and now my shirt is all wrinkled, so I have to stay tucked. This is the worst thing ever!

Blog Spam

Ever since I registered with Technorati, I've been getting spam comments. I'm not used to getting comments on my blog. The people that read it tend to not leave messages. (I'm talking to you, Harley/Brian/Bill/Jen!!)

Now, I get a comment or two on most of my postings. Check out some of the amazing things my adoring public wants to tell me:


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Thank you both for the wonderful responses! Now if you'll excuse me, there's a certain "best browser in history" I need to check out.

I Hat eJazz Hands

That's right, I hate jazz hands. You know what I mean. When people in musicals wave their fingers, as if just singing and dancing isn't enough. And jazz hands comes with the big smiles and wide eyes of everyoine involved. Thery have to LOOK like they are having fun, and having been in a few musicals myself, I know how NOT fun that is. It's distracting to watch and adds to a corniness that turns me off from Broadway. (I still love it, though; Jersey Boys blog to come soon.)

I wonder why everyone in the theater world does jazz hands. Why is it the norm? I say that musical theater attracts people that like the way things are done today. People that come into it now continue what was done yesterday. If people entered the musical theater world and hated jazz hands, they still might be more inclined to go along with what the standard is. The standard conventions are perpetuated because they work, so why change?

I asked Harley, a musical theater person, her take, and she had an interesting perspective. Theater is hyper-reality, everything is in a heightened state. Talk turns to music when words just can't say enough. Jazz hands add more dynamism to this hyper-reality. I guess regular hands just aren't enough.

I tried doing this in more normal life. I did "washing the dishes hands", and "brushing my teeth hands." It sucked there too. Maybe I'll try the opposite, "understated hands" next time I rub Harley's feet. Yeah, that'll show her!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mmm... Cake!

The coronation of Louis XVI, her husband, took place during the height of a bread shortage in Paris. This is the context in which Marie Antoinette isincorrectly quoted as joking, "If they have no bread, then let them eat cake!" There is no evidence that this phrase was ever uttered by Marie Antoinette.

When Marie Antoinette actually heard about the bread shortage she wrote, "It is quite certain that in seeing the people who treat us so well despite their own misfortune, we are more obliged than ever to work hard for their happiness. The king seems to understand this truth; as for myself, I know that in my whole life (even if I live for a hundred years) I shall never forget the day of the coronation."

Aww...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Real Robinson Crusoe

I watched Castaway this weekend. I love that movie. It's amazing how a movie about a guy alone on an island can be so interesting. Considering that this is a modern day Robinson Cruseo, I looked into the real person that inspired that story. Here is a quick recap, though longer versions can be found here, here, and here.

Concerned that his ship was not sea-worthy, Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailer requested to be put ashore on an island 400 miles off the coast of Chile. He fully expected another ship to come along soon to come to his rescue very quickly.

As the ship was sailing away from the island, he instantly regretted his decision and ran after the boat to no avail. All he took with him was a musket, gunpowder, carpenter's tools, a knife, a Bible, and his clothing. As time passed, he solitude grew more and more, and he prepared for a long stay alone on the island.

In that time, he built his own shelter and weapons to hunt. He befriended the cats to help keep away the rats at night. When his clothing wore out, he made new ones out of goat's skin. Selkirk's feet became so toughened and calloused that he no longer needed shoes. His healthy diet of fruit, goat meat and milk, and vegetables that had been planted years before by the Spanish, along with vigorous exercise kept him in remarkably healthy shape. Slowly he began to revel in the solitude. After awhile, Selkirk stopped speaking altogether.

He was rescued 4 years and 4 months later by a privateer ship. He had not spoken in so long, he had forgotten some vocabulary and the crew had a difficult time understanding him. Selkirk re-embarked on his career as a privateer and within a year he was master of the ship that rescued him. In 1712 he returned to Scotland £800 richer. In 1713 he published an account of his adventures which were fictionalised six years later by Daniel Defoe in his now famous novel: ‘Robinson Crusoe’.

Alexander Selkirk never adjusted to civilization. He returned to Scotland a rich man from the capture of the Spanish ship, but he made his home in a cave where he lived a reclusive life for the next fifteen years. At the age of forty-five, Selkirk returned to the sea as a first mate on the English man-of-war ‘Weymouth’. He died after drinking water infected with a tropical disease.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Maps of Tectonic Shift

Scotese.com is a cool site with maps of the Earth from all the different epochs. The Earthas been around for a LONG time, so you might be surprised how much it has changed.

Make sure you browse the maps in the Earth History section. Unreal. The animations were a little disappointing to me, but I watch too much Discovery Channel to begin with.

Below is 150 million years in the future, where Los Angeles becomes a sub-urb of San Fransico and Australia and Antartica merge together. Check out out the Mediterarnean Mountains in the Future World, once Africa and Eurasia collide. Crazy.

Lost Stuff

I loved Wednesday's episode. Some things to note:

The woman Desmond met in the jewelry store was named Ms. Hawking. I'm sure it's no coincidence that in the previous episode, we saw one of the Others reading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. (That was Aldo, who was guarding the building where Karl, Alex's boyfriend was being held.)

Aldo was reading a page about the event horizon, where light bends across the surface of the black hole in funky ways, hiding the black hole itself. (see image, thank you Lostpedia.)

What is the connection? My guess is that the island has a gravitational field around it that hides it from the outside world Just like a Black Hole, the island is there but invisible. They've alluded to something like enough in the past that this is a very probable hypothesis. That would also explain why one of the others is interested in this book. Unless they are geeks like me...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ben & Jerry meet Stepher Colbert


Ben & Jerry's has just released a new flavor in partnership with Stephen Colbert. The press release is a riot. I love how he brings his fake-ideology to any topic. Some hightlights are:

Billed as "the sweet taste of liberty in your mouth," Americone Dream is vanilla ice cream packed with fudge-covered pieces of waffle cone and a caramel—or is that a conservative?—swirl.

"I'm not afraid to say it. Dessert has a well-known liberal agenda," Colbert said in a statement. "What I hope to do with this ice cream is bring some balance back to the freezer case."


I know the B&J brand very well, and I actually think he celebrity flavors are a bad idea. Ben & Jerry were never about following trends or keeping up with pop-culture; they were 2 unknowns from a small town in Vermont that made amazing ice cream. I'd rather see them come up with new flavors that celebrate themselves and their own culute. I'm sure the guys in accounting think about ice cream a lot more than Cobert ever does.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Trey At The Grammys

Take a look at this video of Trey Anastasio of Phish at the Grammy's. Apparently, he brought his sister Very sweet, and you can see the family resemblance.

Why did he bring his sister to the Grammy's? Because he's been fighting with his wife. Apparently, they were in an argument about his drug problem the night he was arrested in Whitehall, NY (whole story here). Then he gets busted and is even more trouble because of his drugs. I guess his wife is REALLY pissed!

Perhaps home life is just too quiet for him. He's spent most of his adult life on tour with Phish. Having a wife and kids always went hand and hand with being away from home. Staying home more often must be a difficult switch. I hope this means reunion!

Paul Simon and John Lennon...

...at the Grammys. A cool little moment. You can see that John is really uncomfortable but still trying to act like he doesn't give a shit. Make sure you watch after they announce the winner. That's the best part.

Personal Note: Is it just me, or does John Lennon remind anyone else of Uncle Larry?? Both tall, both cool, both funny, both dearly missed.

Parts of the Day

Over the years that I've been working, I've developed distinct sections of the wekday. Here is a quick rundown:

First thing: 8:30-9:30am
Early Morning: 9:30-10:30am
By Noon: 10:30-noon

Afternoon: noon-3pm

Late Afternoon: 3-5pm

End-of-Day: after 5

By FedEx: before 9pm


Compare this with the weekend:

Morning: 10am-3pm
Evening: 3-8pm
Night: 8pm-2am

Amazing what working life will do to you!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How to Speak to Pregnant Women

1. When she asks you opinion, try and find 1 thing to say. "I like the color." "It's a little too expensive here." "Is it the right size?" Just one little thing is all she needs to hear.

2. Try and go wth her attitude. If she obviously liked something, then like it also. Same goes when she doesn't like something.

3. If you truly have no opinion, just say "I love it!"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The "Best" Design

I work in graphic design, which is a highly subjective area. In almost every project, we create a range of designs. Usually, a 1-2 of these designs become lead contenders. Out of these designs, there can only be 1 selected as final. This is where things get interesting.

Design is all about communicating information, transferring knowledge that can be visually decoded and understood. Some designs do this more effectively than others. Some designs are more pleasing and look prettier than others. But beneath it all, design must be judged in how the audience "reads" the design, and if they read what we want them to (this looks delicious, this will clean my teeth, I want to wear this).

So how do we figure out which option works the best? We do consumer research to see what a broad swath of the public think. We look to the design experts and marketers (that's me!) to use their knowledge of the market and experience to give a recommendation. From this, it's still questionable whether the final design selected is "the best" design.

More often than not, clients go for a safe design that isn't too far off from what is already in the market or what they currently do. We push them to take chances and get big returns, but they usually like to go safe for the small but guaranteed win. So which option is "best"?

A colleague of mine at work said, "the best design is the one that everyone agrees upon." This is absolutely true. You can debate 1 design versus another for week, but sometimes the most important part of the whole process is to actually make a decision.

It can be a tough lesson to learn, particularly for designers that get emotionally attached to one design or feel that a particular concept works better on many levels. But this is the awful truth: The "best" design is the one that allows the team to move past the question stage and get on with the project.

Hot Pockets!

I'm not a huge stand-up comedy fan, but this is really funny. It's four and a half minutes on the joys of Hot Pockets.

My favorite line: "You never eat a Hot Pocket and say, 'I'm glad I ate that.'"

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More Technorati Stuff

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Technorati Favorites

I am now in the top 2,500,000 blogs. I'm catching up to Bill, who's way up in the stratosphere at top 2,000,000 blogs.

Registering with Technorati

Technorati Profile

Fun Quiz

This was fun. I got 9/20. Some of them I should have gotten right, others were me being dumb.

Surprisingly, I did well on one of the colors questions. I did terribly on question 5 (the answer is wrong!) but I got a perfect score on question 8.

My advice: don't let the clock pressure you. You have more time than you think, so read the question carefully. They are written to trick you.

Use Pot, Lose Weight

It's true! A UK pharma company is looking to test a new drug it developed based on cannabis that reduces hunger.

While some of the 70 different cannabinoids (actual name) in marijuana can stimulate appetite, others can suppress it. Clinical trials are planned for the second half of this year. Sign me up! One problem: there are no other side-effects with this drug. Great. Super. Really. Wow.

The best part of this article? "GW's marijuana plants are grown indoors in a secret location in Southern England." (FYI - 'secret location' = basement of a college student)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Uncle Bill's Blog

Finally, a shout-out to my cousin Bill's Blog: shakespeareteacher.com

It's a great blog about a bunch of cool stuff. I've had some of my favorite political discussions with Bill and loved his Shakespeare reading group. It's highly worth checking out if only for the weekly riddle.

Bill is serious about getting people to his blog. He's registered with technocrati.com and is now in the top 2 million blogs listed. Someday I'll get to doing that myself. Maybe after I do all that home recording I said I would do? Or maybe after I go for that leisurely jog I've been thinking about?

Maybe I'll just think of how nice it would be to register and leave it at that. Besides, I think a 4 person audience is about all this blog can handle. Right Harley/Brian/Bill/Jen?

The Guilt of Extreme Home Makeover

Harley got me into Extreme Home Makeover. This is where a team of designers and builders come to a deserving family and redo their home, giving each person a specially designed room and catering to their specific needs (i.e. making sure it's good if a family member is blind, in a wheelchair, autistic, etc.).

I admit I like the show. Since Lilah was born, I get emotional easily. TV shows that I could shrug off before now make me tear a little (I'll never admit to it, though). I know how much I love my child, so I can relate to others who are trying to take care of their families but having a hard time.

I think the show is great. They do really nice things for families that need it. Sure, it's a staged TV show and the bottom line is still to "make money," but they still do really good things while earning a profit.

I've been watching the show for a while and have seen some families that lost children, spouses, or had serious illness/injury take a toll. But lately, I feel guilty while watching the show because I only care about the families that are REALLY bad off.

You lost your job and had to move to a smaller house? So what? Arthritis? Big deal. One family had a room built dedicated to the memory of their son who died of cancer. Another had a house built for the family to prepare for the husband/father to die of brain tumor. This was real, visible pain that wouldn't be solved by a new house or funky decorations.

So as sick as sounds, I don't watch the shows where the new house is going to make all the difference. I watch to see the families where the problems can never be fixed, where the pain can never go away. I guess it's that I watch the show to see others worse off than me, which helps me appreciate what I have and satisfy this strange, voyeuristic need to witness the terrible reality of others from the comfort of my living room.

Damn it, when does LOST start again?!?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hiroshima

Found this website with graphic images of Hiroshima. Amazing what a nuclear bomb does to a city. Be careful. If you don't want to see disturbing photos, don't open.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Nicknames for Lilah

Lilah-bear
honey-bear
sweet girl
pretty girl
best girl
girlfriend
little face
big little girl
big girl
sweet thing
boo
booboo

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Telecommunications Explained

Stephen Colbert explains why Cingular is changing its name to AT&T. Awesome!

Koy Detmer Fanpage

The prodigal field-goal holder for the Eagles has his very own fansite. What a riot! The first posting on today's page is the funniest, and sums up my emotions quite well:

WHY DID THEY PUNT? I don't get it. Oh by the way, did you know that a hurricane hit N.O.? I sure didn't, that's why I'm so happy the announcers told me EVERY TWENTY SECONDS. This just in: The Saints rebuilt N.O. with their bare hands, and Sean Payton has a 15 inch dick. THANKS, FOX GUYS!

I know New Orleans is having a dream year, and the city is on a comeback from very dark place, but Philly was on a role! We were having a dream year of our own that was stopped, just like Westbrook at the line of scrimmage. I know they are enjoying their success, but I hate that it comes at the expense of Eagles fans. The Giants still suck.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Second Anniversary

Last night was Harley and my second wedding anniversary. We actually celebrated on Friday night after I did 2 days of traveling. It was our first date night! We went to The Palm for steak, since we always go vegetarian; my steak was amazing, like tuna sashimi. It was really the best I’ve ever had. Harley had pasta, but the experience was wonderful. I loved going out again, but especially for steak!

Last night, we just hung out at home. Considering how much I’ve been traveling, hanging out at home was the perfect way to celebrate. At 10:30pm, I fed Lilah and burped her on my chest. She turned her head and stared up at me. I smiled at her and she gave me a huge smile. It was the best! She hung out with me for a good 2 hours, just kicking away while watching the Golden Globes. It was really awesome. I miss her all day, so the nights are important to me.

At midnight I go to bed. Harley says, “Good night! Thank you so much for the anniversary card!” I never got her a card. I know what I need to bring home tonight.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Trey's Guitar for Sale

Check out this website for Languedoc Guitars. This is the soundman for Phish who built all the guitars for Trey. Now that the band isn't touring, he's making a push to sell this model of guitar full-time. I'd recommend reading the piece written by Mike Gordon. I've wanted this guitar for sooo long. At $10,000 a pop, I'm going to keep wanting for quite a while.

Take a look at the website for Abyss Guitars. Don't the guitars on these 2 websites look surprisingly similar? Isn't it creepy??

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I Hate Texas

Terrible evening. My 5:30pm flight to Dallas from Newark was delayed 90 minutes. There was no movie on the plane and the guy next to my hogged the arm rest. My Hertz car cost double what the travel agent said it would. My Neverlost didn't work and it had me go all over the state to get to the hotel. Stupid "President George Bush Turnpike" didn't have anyone to break a $1 bill to pay the 40cent toll. Luckily I had the change, but the toll machine didn't register it and I had to go through the toll booth. If I get a ticket, I'll fight it.

The roads in Texas are TERRIBLE. They have huge dips and humps but no warning. The signage is so bad it sent me into a parking lot instead of the freeway entrance. By the time I get to the hotel, it's raining hard - JUST IN TIME for me to get wet walking from the car to the lobby. I'm thirsty and there'ss supposed to be tea in the room, but housekeeping must not have left any cause it ain't here. And for the kicker... the operator called me Ma'am.

All this, and I got to wake at 6:30am. Woohoo. F&*kin' Texas.

EPILOGUE: I tried to get a drink at the vending machines, but the Stupid "President George Bush Turnpike" had taken all my dollar bills. Still, the bar had my favorite beer on tap (Sam Adams Winter Brew) and a few nice people. One was from New Orleans, another a Giants fan, and a bunch from Dallas so we talked about football. They also told me everyone runs the toll booths on the turnpike, and you get 3 free ones. It was really nice, the first nice thing Texas gave me all evening.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Great Trey Anasatio Article

Found this on my lunch break. It's a good article, with some nice info on Trey's new album, the Phish break-up, and his overall philosophy. Glad I read it.

Here's my favorite quote. Sometimes, he drifts off during a song and looks like an invalid. It's creepy, but he plays so weel that you have to forgive him, even love him, for it. This helps explain what that's all about:

"What I'm doing when I'm staring out over the crowd is, I'm listening for the music coming out of the air and then I'm just playing that... And if I look right into the lights, my glasses have moisture on them so they start to break into prisms and stuff and then voom, I'm gone."

My New Year's Resolution

To Eat Healthier

The better I eat, the better I look. My belly will go down, my skin will clear up, and I'll have fewer cavities. I want to be healthier. Eating right is the first change I can make to get me there.

Of course, my first meal of 2007 was a sausage omelet (but I did have whole wheat toast). I followed that up with a healthy dinner of buffalo wings, fried chicken, and breaded mushrooms. It's gonna be a great year!

The New Weird Al Video

White and Nerdy It's surprisingly funny! Not only is the song and video funny, but it's pretty catchy, too. I find myself humming the tune without realizing. The rhymes are varied and intricate, very cool. I think my favorite part is Donnie Osmond, both for what he represents and his dance moves.

I'm not sure if Eminem will admit to being influenced by Weird Al videos, but he should. They have a similar visual vocabulary in all their videos. In any case, Weird Al is definitely using some of Eminem's style, both lyrically and visually, in his new work. And thank God! I was a huge fan when I was 9, but his stuff got too kiddy. Now, it's a little edgy (just a little).

Eminem seems to have given weird Al a new model to follow. But while Eminem makes fun and uses others to get laughs, weird Al still keeps the punchline directly on himself. It's nice, and very much in character with weird Al's sense of satire-as-an-honor. I'm glad that hasn't changed over the years.

Check this out after you watch the video. It's nice to know that today's geek-kids can now embarrass themselves in front of the entire world, instead of just their parents.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Parenting Tip

Make sure that the carrying bar on the infant car is locked and the child is strapped in BEFORE you pick up the chair with the baby in it. Otherwise, the chair could suddenly shift vertically and the baby could fall out and right on the floor. Not that this happened, of course. This is hypothetical. This in no way happened to me at 2:14am on Thursday night. And I didn't feel terrible, either. Nope.

On a completely separate note, Lilah doesn't cry right away when she gets hurt. She looks at you with this "What the hell was that?" look, which morphs into a "Why would you do that to me?" right before she starts to wail. It's so sad and so cute all at the same time.

One more thing... be VERY careful when moving the baby during a nap. The disturbed wake-up is extremely ugly to witness and requires special attention by Mommy. This can cause the offending father a great amount of grief.