Tuesday, October 30, 2007

YouTube Tuesday: Death is my co-pilot

This edition of YouTube Tuesday comes from the creators of the Chad Vader series to celebrate tomorrow's holiday.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Jumping on the bandwagon

Since all the cool kids are doing it, I'll do this week's Friday Feast:
Name a great website you would recommend to others.
I'll go with the aptly named KillSomeTime.com for obvious reasons.

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night?
Well, I think I only dream about one night a week, so I'll give a ranking of 2. Of course, I dream every afternoon when I fall asleep under my desk (It's that recurring dream where your standing naked atop an Incan pyramid while thousands of naked women throw pickles at you. Everybody has that dream, right? RIGHT!?)

Did you have a pet as a child? If so, what kind and what was its name?
We had a Basset Hound that we called Soli because we couldn't pronounce the name my parents gave her: Solzhenitsyn (after the Russian author). I also had two goldfish named Fin and Gil.

Main Course
If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise?
Easy, I'd advertise Trojan Magnum XL Condoms.

What is your favorite kind of hard candy?
Crystal Meth.

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Friday Blogthing: I was hoping for Blacula

I wanted to be the funkiest vampire ever, but this quiz has cursed me with the name of an upper-lower-middle class pop culture hero.


Your Vampire Name Is...

Homer the Vile

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Random Photo VI: Baptistery in Pisa

Browsing through the photo library the other day after adding the latest from our digital camera I came across this forgotten shot of the Baptistery in Pisa.

Though not as famous as its leaning neighbor, it's still part of a great architectural composition at the Piazza dei Miracoli, and it does lean slightly (though not as much as the famous bell tower).

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Prepare for glory!

My fellow Latinos make no mistake: Events of the past week are a victory for Latinos everywhere!

The despot Francis Semler may still be the ruler of the Kansas City Parks Board, but we have demonstrated that the men and women of La Raza submit to no ruler.

By withholding our support for the NCLR convention, we have proven that although there may be only 300 of us on the Westside, we are more than a match for the godless heathens in the Mayor's office.

And this is only the beginning of the fight! Soon, the world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and that before this battle is over, even a god-king can bleed.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

YouTube Tuesday: Ballad of the Noob

Today's edition of YouTube Tuesday is in honor of the recent news article that there are more World of Warcraft players in the USA than there are farmers.

If you don't know what World of Warcraft is, or if you don't get a half the jargon in this clip, don't worry. It probably means you're a functioning, productive member of society.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Back on the chain gang

First let me say it sucked to be back at work. I had about 250 unread emails in my inbox, the last couple of dozen from our email administrator robot telling me that my inbox is full and has been shut down.

But, luckily after a week off I'm re-energized and up to task of cleaning it out. And while I have a few minutes over lunch I thought I'd give a quick bullet point recap of last week:
  • While taking the week off is inherently good, there are a few things I would recommend NOT doing on your vacation:

    1. Waiting on hold with TimeWarnerCable for an hour and a half to get your home email situation figured out since you lost all your account information in the infamous computer crash of 2007.
    2. Having your teeth cleaned (not that there's anything wrong with having your teeth cleaned other than the sharpened steel implements being jammed into your gums... it's just that you don't want to take time out of your vacation to do this).
    3. Taking your dog to the vet and learning that you need to collect a "fecal sample" and bring it back. I mean come on, isn't that what I'm paying the vet for?

  • My Supermodel Wife and I tried on several occasions to go see a movie only to learn that there are no movies worth seeing, with the possible exception of 3:10 to Yuma which we could never work in schedule-wise. So we just went back to the house of a little "afternoon delight" (wink wink, nudge nudge).

  • We had lunch one day at the new Blue Koi location on Mission Road. Just as good as the original in my opinion.

  • I picked up a copy of No Country for Old Men last Friday and had torn through it by Tuesday evening. Great read, very approachable. My only complaint is that McCarthy took the easy way out on some of the plot points. But I can't wait for the movie to come out next month.

  • Friday was my kid's class field trip to the Agricultural Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs. More on that later, but it was nice to have a family day together.
Well, that's about it. Doesn't sound like much, but it was great to be able to decompress after several months of high-intensity work shite.

It's back to the grind now, and back to providing top-quality blog entertainment to the adoring masses.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Blogthing: Illegal Alien

I don't know whether I'm an according-to-Hoyle alien, but I've always suspected that strange growth on the back of my neck to be some kind of alien parasite.

You Are an Alien

You're so strange, people occasionally wonder if you're from another world.
You don't try to be different, but you see most things from a very unique, very offbeat perspective.
Brilliant to the point of genius, you definitely have some advanced intelligence going on.
No matter what circles you travel in, you always feel like a stranger. And it's a feeling you've learned to like.

Your greatest power: Your superhuman brain

Your greatest weakness: Your lack of empathy - you just don't get humans

You play well with: Zombies

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

YouTube Tuesday: Sweet Caroline

What could be more fun on your vacation than a Neil Diamond sing-along?

That's right: An ironic, hipster Neil Diamond sing-along!

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Oh, I forgot to mention

Did I mention I'm taking the week off?

That's right my friends, five whole days of NOT going in to the office. A solid week of avoiding cube drones and corporate zombies. Life is sweet.

The downside is that, while I'm not planning any big trips anywhere, I'm also not planning on spending too much time here at 3AM.

Oh, there might be the odd post rubbing it in that I'm taking a vacation. But don't look for too many updates.

I kind of feel bad about keeping my epic presence from you poor working stiff bastards. But I consider this a vacation from myself.

Luckily, you've got two and a half years of back posts to go through during the drudgery of your workday. You might try starting here.

Anycrap, ciao for now suckas!

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Semler must be destroyed!

Even though I live in Johnson County, I’ve taken a keen interest in this Francis Semler case. I wondered why a Parks board appointment would generate such a vocal reaction from Hispanic leaders.

Then I learned the ugly truth. This, my friend, is serious. It’s no laughing matter.

To summarize: KCMO’s mayor appointed Semler to the influential Parks Board even though she’s one of the leading members of the highly racist and violent Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

This of course set off very legitimate outrage among the members of the National Council of La Raza, a completely non-racist organization that is working to get more money and opportunity only for Hispanic people (but totally not racist).

Anyway, the recent development is that the National Council of La Raza has agreed to call off its boycott of Kansas City if Semler agrees to cut her ties to the evil, racist, violent, diabolical Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

I can only hope that this so-called compromise isn't approved. I'm not sure what kind of dirt the city's administration is using to blackmail the members of National Council of La Raza into agreeing to this outrage. But trust me, as a society, we cannot allow Semler to get off this easily.

I have it on good authority from a source placed close to the Parks board that racist border protection is only the beginning of Semler's insidious plans.

I have in my possession a strategy memo leaked to me from a person close to Semler, high up in her organization. This memo outlines the steps by which Semler, using the vast economic and political resources of the Kansas City Parks Board, plans no less than an insidious takeover of the entire Midwest. This is a wakeup call, Kansas City!

Her first step, according to the memo, is to consolidate her power by having herself declared Parks Czar where she will wield supreme parks authority over all of Kansas City. Then it will be an easy political maneuver to have the Mid America Regional Council appoint her Grand Chancellor of Parks for the entire Kansas City Metro area.

According to the strategy memo, once she has attained this power, her minions will release millions of poison ivy seeds throughout the area's parks and public spaces. The resulting crisis caused by the noxious weed gives Semler all the reason she needs to bring in as many groundskeepers, landscapers and garden experts as possible to control the situation.

And suddenly, every Hispanic person in the region is under Semler's direct control.

Fellow citizens, this cannot be allowed to happen. With such an army under her control, nothing could stop Semler from installing rain gardens from Gladstone to Olathe. There will be no way to keep Semler from implementing her nefarious scheme to install shrubberies every 300 yards along Kansas City's streets and highways.

Please, I implore you. We must do something to nip this despicable plan in the bud. We can't allow Semler's plan to take root and sprout.

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Friday Blogthing: Nibblin' on sponge cake

This is so true, I can't stand freakin' Bette Midler.

Your Karaoke Theme Song is "Margaritaville"

You are a true party animal, but your style is mild and chill.
Kicking back with a few friends and a few drinks is all you need to be happy.

You certainly don't feel pressured to be a part of any party scene. In fact, you avoid trendier spots.
You've been known to kick loose anywhere and everywhere. All you need is a cooler.

You might also sing: "Gin and Juice," "Love Shack," and "Red Red Wine"

Stay away from people who sing: "Wind Beneath My Wings"

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

FWD: One good deed

I usually don't go in for this sentimental stuff, but this is one amazing story...
In 1986, Dan Harrison (see picture at left) was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University .

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Dan approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Dan worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Dan stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Dan never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Dan was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Dan and his son Dan Jr. were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Dan, lifted its front foot off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Dan couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Dan summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Dan's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

3 A.M. Poll: Parts is parts

As humans have evolved (if you believe in such things), we've retained certain evolutionary throwbacks that seem to serve no useful purpose.

The appendix, for example, or the fifth toe, or Larry Moore.

So, what is your favorite useless body part?

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More Chinese toys recalled

I don't know how regulators let this one slip by.

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View from the couch

There’s been a bit of a lack of substance here lately.

I haven’t felt inspired to blog about the books I’ve been reading (working my way through the Cormac McCarthy library. Up next: No Country for Old Men before the movie is released in November).

Politics lately is so much as usual that there’s really nothing new to say about it (is there ever?). And even my Larry Moore hate has subsided slightly since I haven’t watched the KMBC so-called news cast recently.

Luckily, there’s always pop culture to fall back on, and the new TV lineups provide a great opportunity to see what’s new and original on the small screen. With work letting up a little bit, I’ve had a chance to clear the DVR decks and collect some thoughts on some new fall shows:
  • The Bionic Woman: Talk about original! Who would ever have thought to do a remake of a show from the ‘70s that was itself a spinoff of a show from the ‘70s? Brilliant!

    The series writers cleverly avoid overestimating the intellectual prowess of the viewing public by steering clear of serious subtext that could be raised with this show: What does it mean to be human in an age of technology. What are the moral limits of performance enhancement. How many times should Sci-Fi show actors be recycled?

    Instead, the writing team deftly opts to focus on what viewers really want, sexy cyborgs waging epic pseudo-lesbian wire-fighting battles. Sweeeet.

  • JourneyMan: Another stroke of genius and originality. The premise is that a man suddenly begins to leap back and forth in time within his lifetime, assigned by some unknown force to solve problems for people from the past.

    I don’t know where these people come up with such original ideas!

    Anyway, I was bitterly disappointed when I watched the first episode and realized that this show has nothing at all to do with Steve Perry or a string of chart-topping power ballads from the late-70s to early 80s. But I’m still willing to give it a chance since it stars Kevin McKidd, my favorite Centurion.

  • Chuck: A pocket-protected member of the nerd herd inexplicably gets the top secrets of the CIA and NSA stuck in his noggin. So it’s either be killed by your government or be forced to work as a spy for your government.

    The theme of this show seems to be "We have met the enemy, and he is us." Aside from a quick mention of the North Koreans, the bad guys in this show seem to be American secret agents. Have the PC police really become so bad that we can no longer bash on the Soviets, North Koreans, Chinese, Iraqis or even the Canadians (damn dirty Canadians!).

    The comedy seems to be based on the awkwardness of Chuck, played by Zachary Levi who is a genetic splice of Zack Braff and Jimmy Fallon. There’s that Hollywood originality again. Anyway, for lame premise and lackluster comedy, I predict this show will be cancelled within a few more weeks.

  • Big Shots: In the same way that Maxim is Cosmo for men, Big Shots is Desperate Housewives for men. Or rather, its Desperate Housewives about men, but still for women. Instead of smokin’ hot ladies, you get smokin’ hot pretty boys, but all the character types are the same: the goofy one, the sexy one, the smart one and the organized one.

    Still, you gotta give credit to a show that kicks off its season featuring a truck stop encounter with a transvestite male prostitute. Another thing I like is that the writers blatantly name the country club (the place where much of the intra-gender dialog takes place) Firmwood, which in terms of not-so-subtle double entendre one-ups the great Bushwood of Caddyshack fame.
So that’s a quick roundup. There are more shows out there, but to be honest you really only need to know about The Office and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Of course as I’ve stated on other blogs, taking advice on pop culture from me is like taking table manner lessons from Andrew “Dice” Clay, so there’s that.

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YouTube Tuesday: Put the smooth in smoothie

For some reason I feel like I need a cigarette after watching this.

It's the latest in a series of online short-form videos from your friendly neighborhood cell phone company. Edgy, no?

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Monday morning quarterback

Okay. I know that there are certain segments of the readership who are coming here this morning to see me eat some crow.

From the many emails and a few comments I've received, the prevailing wind seems to be that I have some music to face. Well, when there's music to face I face it. If that's the way the wind is blowing, let no one say that I don't blow.

As anyone who cares knows, the KU Jayhawks squeaked by the K-State Wildcats 30-24 on Saturday. Congratulations 'Hawk fans.
As with many K-State fans, I'm suffering a little pain over this one. Though as disappointment in sporting events goes, Saturday's loss is pretty minor. And even though we fans weren't on the field, if you're going to associated yourself with a group, you gotta be there when it all goes to hell.

So here I am. The only things left to do are wait for The D to contribute and Awesome® post to pay off our wager and then start trash talking the Colorado Buffaloes.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

FWD: To the K-Staters out there...

I just received this via email. Enjoy (it's all in good fun)...
It's that wonderful, magical time of the year
When we gather with those we consider most dear,
Our friends and our family, all folks whom we love,
The people for whom we thank God up above.
How special it is -- oh indeed, it is true --
To know you're with others who can't stand KU,
To be with those equally filled with abhorrence
Toward the snobs on the hill, in the hell known as Lawrence.
Now, I know that we all want our Wildcats to win,
But to ask for much more, tell me, is it a sin?
I, for one, want to see a great thrashing take place,
A beating so bad that they'll find not a trace
Of dignity left in that sad football team,
That they'll wish all day long that it's just a bad dream.
I say, "Beat them by forty, or fifty, or more!
Like 2002, let's put up sixty-four!"
Let's pummel the Jayhawks; let's tear them apart,
Let's surgically sever each liver and heart!
We'll drag their young men through the muck and the mud,
AND WE'LL.........
......Oh, I'm sorry.... um, things...just got out of hand.
I'm afraid that I simply got carried away;
After all, it's just a game young people play.
So I say to our 'Cats, Have a wonderful game!
Through the highs and the lows, you're our boys just the same!
And one more thing -- 'midst the "Go Team's" and "Good Luck's" --
Don't ever forget -- (altogether now) --


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Friday Blogthing: Losing my religion

Today's blogthing is contributed by SmedRock, but its another blog quiz that gets it wrong.

Agnostic?!?! I don't think so.

I was born a snake handler, and I'll die a snake handler.

You are Agnostic

You're not sure if God exists, and you don't care.
For you, there's no true way to figure out the divine.
You rather focus on what you can control - your own life.
And you tend to resent when others "sell" religion to you.

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Meet me in Brookside

Maybe it was just me, but it seemed last night's Blogoholics Anonymous meeting was a little more mellow than I'm used to.

Most of the usual suspects were there, though Erin ditched to watch (gag) Grey's Anatomy. I know, totally lame.

Anyway, XO has the roll call. The point is that most everyone had gone home by 9 p.m. I realize that it's a school night and all, but c'mon. I mean COME ON!

The three coolest people, Heather, The D and myself, kept the party going until Sponge showed up. It gave us a chance to learn the secret hand code Sponge has developed to make fun of all the people who left early.

But on to important things. As you know, The D has been all up in my hizzy about this K-State v. KU game tomorrow. He through down the gauntlet last night and challenged me to a wager.

So here it is: If KU wins (yeah, right), The D gets a free guest post on this blog. When K-State wins I get to write a guest post on his awesome blog.

That's the deal. I've never had a guest post on this page before, and I don't think I'm in jeopardy of having that happen after this weekend either. But you never know.

All you other KSU types should get in on this action, too

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Not in MY Kansas

It's a big football rivalry weekend here in Kansas. The talented and battle-tested K-State Wildcats will host the untried and cream puff-filled KU Jayhawks in Manhattan on Saturday in a contest for bragging rights and a share of the divisional lead.

Obviously, I'm not fan of KU. The longtime reader of this blog is aware of that.

But I'd like to put all rivalry aside for the moment and focus on this tragic story from the local NBCActionNews affiliate.

It seems a callous, low-class businessman from Lawrence has been blatantly undermining the fragile economic state of the University of Kansas.

Larry Sinks, owner of Joe-College, a sports apparel store in downtown Lawrence, has been giving KU the bird for years, systematically ripping off the University's trademarks and copyrights.

The university has finally had enough and has rightly filed a 109-page lawsuit against the t-shirt bootlegger.
"Hawk Basketball," "Kansas Swim Team," or simply "Kansas" is printed on jerseys singled out by the University of Kansas in the lawsuit as examples of trademark infringement.

“We don't believe the word Kansas is a registered trademark,” said shop owner Larry Sinks.

Sinks has papered his store with signs warning don't shop here for licensed merchandise.

“We don't use the word Jayhawks. We don't use rock chalk Jayhawk. We don't use the bird. We don't use anything that KU has claimed they own,” said Sinks.
Sinks' attempts to slither through loopholes in the trademark laws haven't impressed the band of overworked lawyers from the small university. According to the story, the victims in the heinous crime hope that common sense will rule out in the end against the Big T-Shirt business interests.
KU has claimed even if the shirt does not have the Jayhawk or say Kansas University they can still make an argument that it's their property saying, "anyone with a mind knows what it means, and that's why we have it federally trademarked."
The little college on the hill is desperate to defend its trademarks because of the fiscal damage Sinks is causing.

Already Sinks' actions have cut into the budget so much, that KU has had to lay off three students who were being paid to take tests for KU football players. One of the students was at a loss for what to do next.
"That job was the only thing that allowed me to shop at J.Crew every weekend. I guess now I'll have to go work at the McDonald's with some of the KU alumni."
Sinks actions are also draining funds from the KU athletic budget. Last week, KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins announced a $40,000 cut in football coach Mark Mangino's food per diem. Already, Mangino has lost 150 pounds, drooping from 450 to 300.


Given these facts, I'm calling on all college football fans everywhere to band together to boycott Sinks' business with its diabolical practices. This must not be allowed to continue.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I'm totally there

Actually, in my mind I'm already there.
Thursday Oct. 4 2007, 5pm

12 W 63rd St
Kansas City, MO 64113
Be there if you can. It should be a fun time, and hopefully The D won't show off his third testicle and ruin the party.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

YouTube Tuesday: The Ron Prince Stomp

Today's edition of YouTube Tuesday is in honor of a spectacular K-State win over the Texas Longhorns and in warning of the creampuff-filled Jayhawks of KU who come to Manhattan Saturday for a Sunflower State title tilt.

I also appreciate the dose of perspective Coach Prince provided later
Saturday, Prince explained his sideline celebration, saying, "If it was a dance, it's a bad one." He elaborated further Monday. "It's no fun just to stand there like a statue," he said. "It's a game. We're not curing cancer."

Beware the Prince Stomp. Let's just hope KU's Mark Mangino doesn't try something like this.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

California on my mind

It's Monday already. Man, time can really get away from you. I returned from San Francisco last Wednesday evening and just wanted to dump a few thoughts out before they get away from me.

So here are a few thoughts/lessons I've brought back from my most recent trip to SF.
  • Just because your host paid $360 for that bottle of 12-year-old Scotch, don't feel like you and the four other dudes in you party have to drink the entire thing. Scotch is a sippin' drink, and if you kill the bottle you'll regret it when you have to make it to a 9:30 flight the next morning.

  • The people of Chinatown were celebrating the birth of the Peoples Republic of China when I arrived on Sept. 23, which coincidentally is my birthday. Happy Birthday PRC!

  • When you're walking back to your hotel at 2 a.m. (Pacific time, that's 4 a.m. to you and me), it's okay to tip the homeless guy who serenades the ladies in you group with Ain't Too Proud To Beg. You have to appreciate the poetic honesty from a homeless guy.Quantcast

  • Weatherwise, San Francisco in the fall is beautiful. At least that's what I heard. It's hard to appreciate the great weather when you're holed up in a conference room all day. Oh well...

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