31 December 2008

High yellow

I just took a personality profile on ecademy.com, a business networking site kind of like LinkedIn. I just love personality profiles. They often help me to understand and appreciate more about myself. Although sometimes it seems as if someone else took the test. According to this test I am "High Yellow." It's pretty true. My comments are in italics.

High Yellows at a glance

You are gregarious, optimistic, fun loving, friendly, and can be a risk taker. You have good persuasive skills although you can be a dreamer and can get others caught up in your dreams.

You need to feel that you are getting the credit you deserve and will be quick to draw attention to your achievements. Draw attention? Not so much.

You are skilled at influencing others and use this ability to shape your environment to accomplish the results you need. You are both open and assertive with a preference for a fast paced and spontaneous work life.

When stressed you may become confrontational and wasteful of time. However when you are under stress others may view you as manipulative and over eager. Manipulative? Ouch. I prefer to think that I'm more "Let's keep this moving."

To help you increase your effectiveness High Yellows must control their time and emotions, develop an objective mind set, follow through, concentrate on tasks, and take a more logical approach. Concentrate? Oh yes. I'm even more distractable when really stressed.

30 December 2008


I often get posting ideas when I don't have the time or imagination to write. So I open up a new post, put in a draft title and a short description. I'll go back later and write something.

Most of the time it's helpful. But sometimes not. "I really thought that was funny enough to record?" "What does 'Vote for BBQ mean?'" (Vote for BBQ was a real idea.)

29 December 2008


This is a fabulous story of redemption (via Day to Day on NPR -- audio).

Skinhead and former victim's alliance
"For nearly three decades, Tim Zaal thought he had killed a man during his rage-filled youth. The idea haunted him, but he buried it with the rest of his skinhead past."

"This used to be my stomping grounds," says Zaal, standing on a street in West Hollywood, Calif., where he used to hang out in the early '80s. "Mostly punk rockers would hang out around here after concerts and we would be involved with violence on a regular basis. Violence for me, back in those days, was like breathing."

28 December 2008

More from Al and his monkey chum

I love, love, love the PG Tips ads. Saw this one at the British Advertising Awards earlier this month.

27 December 2008

My brother the philosopher

I recently learned this phrase from my brother Steve (aka JoJo): "It is what it is." I love it. It reminds me to not fight what I can't control. (As a control freak, this is not an easy task.)

Speaking of JoJo, he helped put out a big fire at a Taco Bell in Fargo. He isn't one of the speakers in the video but you can kind of see him. Names are stenciled on firefighters butts. Look for Thompson.

26 December 2008

More reasons to love Obama

President-elect Obama is nominating people to his cabinet, and other posts, who have experience in the posts to which they are nominated. It's sad that this is newsworthy. A couple of examples, Treasury Secretary: Timothy Geithner, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Energy Secretary: Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

Another great example of the right person for the job: Jon Favreau, Obama's chief speech writer (in the Star Tribune via the Washington Post). He's only 27 years old but is completely in sync with the president-elect.

During the campaign, the 27-year-old with a buzz cut helped write and edit some of the most memorable speeches of any recent presidential candidate. When Obama moves to the White House next month, Favreau will join his staff as the youngest person to be selected as chief speechwriter. He helps shape almost every word Obama says, yet the two men have formed a concert so harmonized that Favreau's own voice disappears.

"He looks like he's in college and everybody calls him Favs, so you're like, 'This guy can't be for real, right?' " said Ben Rhodes, another Obama speechwriter. "But it doesn't take long to realize that he's totally synced up with Obama. . . . He has access to everything and everybody. There's a lot weighing on his shoulders." Rest of story.

25 December 2008

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas! It's a beautiful, quiet day today. Tomorrow is our family Christmas. The children descend and all hell will break loose. In a good way.

This is my Christmas card. A few years back my cousin Joni got a picture of me under one of those beauty shop dryer hoods. My annual weird/silly Christmas photo tradition was born.

Earlier this year I saw a photo similar to this at Bucca. I thought something similar would be perfect for my Christmas card. The original was very Town & Country. The woman in the photo, with her very sophisticated dog, was very refined and no doubt extremely wealthy (old money, of course). She likely holidayed at The Breakers, had a personal shopper at Nieman Marcus and a lifetime subscriptions to Gourmet and Town & Country. This is my interpretation.

Jude and Bill helped me take the photograph. Jude took the picture while Bill was off to one side keeping Sophie and Pele's attention with treats. The session was quite silly. And Laura, Photoshop whiz, made it the refined version you see here.

May the new year bring us all much joy!

14 December 2008

Worst movies of the year

The Times has a list of the Top 100 worst movies of the year. The worst, not surprisingly, stars Paris Hilton. I don't think "Sex in the City" belonged there. It was a sweet movie. But if you didn't watch the show you might think it's banal. "Brideshead Revisited" wasn't all that bad. It was rather superficial and lacked the intensity of the book and miniseries. But still. I does not belong on a list with "House Bunny."

I was happy to see the Hannah Montana movie on the list. What are her parents thinking? Her mug is on everything imaginable. I haven't seen a Hannah Montana toaster yet. If there isn't one I'm sure there will be soon. Well done, parents. Nothing like whoring out your kid.

10 December 2008

Jingle Bells

One of my favorite Christmas songs is "Jingle Bells," sung by Lena Horne. Normally I don't like this song -- to syrupy. She adds oomph and jazziness.

The song was on one of my Mom and Dad's Christmas records. This was on one of those we played over and over in the lead up to Christmas. We'd play records and sit under the tree looking at the packages. We'd put the little Christmas lights under wrapping paper seams in a futile attempt to see what was inside. My Mom was very clever. She'd put a number on each present and not replace with a name until right before we opened presents. We had no idea who was getting which presents. It drove us all crazy!

The photo at right is me and my brother Mike.

09 December 2008

Thanksgiving message from the Mutts

It says, "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." -- Thornton Wilder. From Mutts.

08 December 2008

Smart talk from the man

'What's in it for me' is not good for anyone.
--Barack Obama
Obama was on Meet the Press yesterday. Every time Tom Brokaw referred to him as President-elect Obama I smiled.

05 December 2008

Peace via dancing

This is just wonderful.
Matt Harding traveled through many nations on Earth, started dancing, and filmed the result. The video is perhaps a dramatic example that humans from all over planet Earth feel a common bond as part of a single species. Happiness is frequently contagious -- few people are able to watch the above video without smiling.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

04 December 2008

Good advice for tough economic times

From The Bugle, my very most favorite podcast, a great idea to save money this holiday.

Start a bitter family fight beginning in December and keep it going until Christmas Eve. By then you'll have no time to shop so you'll save a lot of money. You'll also give "the greatest gift of all: love. And simmering grudges that will flare up at all future family gatherings."

02 December 2008

Well done little man

Via News of the Weird and titled, "Warm up a cell right now for this 5-year-old because it's just a matter of time."
Dad tells 5-year-old, 'You did the crime, you walk the line'

November 28th, 2008
A TERRITORY man has been making his five-year-old son walk two-and-a-half hours to school every day, after he was kicked off the school bus.

When Jack Burt confessed that he'd been banned for five days for hitting the bus driver in the head with an apple core, dad Sam thought he should learn the hard way.

He and Jack last week were getting up at 5.10am for the dusty 13km-hike from the Darwin rural area of Herbert, all the way to Humpty Doo.

The boy did not learn his lesson. When he returned to the bus he was in trouble after only three stops. More.
From Northern Territory News

22 November 2008

Maybe I shouldn't have taken the corporate jet

Well done. CEOs from the big American car makers went to Washington this week asking for money to keep them afloat. They flew in on their corporate jets and didn't bring a plan that outlines what they plan to do with the money. Scott Simon (NPR, Weekend Edition Saturday) likened this cluelessness to showing up at a soup kitchen in a top hat and tails.

Don't these people have minders? Trusted advisers that would at least counsel that if you're asking for $25 billion to get you out of dire financial circumstances perhaps you should fly commercial? Let alone showing up without a plan. "I need 25 billion dollars." "What do you plan to do with that money?" "I need 25 billion dollars."

Or is it just plain arrogance?

19 November 2008

Ximena Sarinana

Scott Simon interviewed Ximena Sarinana on Morning Edition Saturday. She has a crooner style and her voice is gorgeous! Take a listen.

Video from YouTube for "Normal" below

You can hear more, beautiful full-length songs from her CD Mediocre on her MySpace page.

17 November 2008

A Dumb Dare that needs to be tried

Phone a colleague's extension and ask if you can ring them right back in a moment. Put the phone down and don't call back.
From my Dumb Dares for the Office calendar. This really would mess with someone's mind. That is extremely appealing to me.

15 November 2008

Photography inspiration

This inspires me to take and display more photographs of everyday objects (from 20x200). I purchased this and will hang it in my bathroom.

12 November 2008

Word of the day: skive

I heard this new-to-me word on The Bugle podcast. I like it very much.
Noun. An evasion of one's tasks, a period of shirking.
Verb. To evade doing one's work or duties, to truant. E.g."Every Friday afternoon you can guarantee he'll be skiving and getting drunk down the pub.
Former London Mayor, (Red) Ken Livingstone used it to describe diplomats who are refusing to pay London congestion fees.

11 November 2008

My horoscope via The Onion

I usually pay no attention to horoscopes. The Onion is the exception. Here's today's.
Horoscope: Libra
They say you have the kind of a face only a mother could love, but that's mainly because she feels guilty about all the drinking.

10 November 2008

Silly toothpaste

I love Toothpaste for Dinner.


Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba, the beautiful voice of South Africa, died today. Her voice against apartheid led to the revocation of her citizenship in the 1960s. She returned after Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. Rest in peace.

09 November 2008


Last night I got back from a tech conference in Tampa. I loved the conference -- and the great catch-up time with my colleague CloEve -- but I was so glad to be home. I got in my car started it up. The radio came on and Prairie Home Companion was just starting. Audio substantiation: I am home.

*Snaps to the airport shuttle drivers for TEAM Parking (on Shepard and Davern). Their drivers are always so friendly and helpful. I won't park anywhere else.

06 November 2008

Cool stuff from Veer

Veer has a lovely assortment of things you don't need but want. You can get this on a t-shirt. I would like one that says, "I write stuff all day." Maybe I'll have to wander over to Cafe Press and make my own.

They also sell a shirt with this on it. But I think I'd feel too pressured to prove myself all day.

05 November 2008

Puppy love

I just love these sweet, silly pups.

Sunbathing beauties.

Completely knackered after trick-or-treating with Tori & Katy.

04 November 2008

Best inventions of 2008

Surprise! Non-election news. Time's 50 Best Inventions of 2008 (via psfk on Twitter)
Invention of the Year: The Retail DNA Test
2. The Tesla Roadster
3. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
4. Hulu.com
5. The Large Hadron Collider
Thank goodness for Hulu*. Otherwise I'd be totally clueless about the top 5. OK, I know about the Large Hadron Collider but cannot get my brain around it.

The rest of the list.

*Full-length episodes of great shows like Bones, The Daily Show, The Simpsons, etc. -- all in one place. Some movies, too.


A talented video editor + lots of time = very funny video. Thanks hmatkin! (Via zeFrank)

03 November 2008

Boy bands & the election

Best campaign video. Ever.

Who are these people?

Great story in the The New Yorker about the undecideds, by the brilliant David Sedaris. It is a wonder of the universe. Who are these people? {Said in a an exasperated, slightly condescending tone.]
David Sedaris
The New Yorker, Oct. 27, 2008
I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”

Palin as President

This has been almost everywhere but I still want to share the love. When you get to the site, click all over the photograph. Lots of lovely surprises!

Vote on Tuesday! Vote on Tuesday!

31 October 2008

A joke for Halloween

I heard this one on the Colbert Report (hands down the silliest show on television):

What does Karl Marx put on his pasta?

Communist Mani-pesto.

Happy Halloween!

Lovely insult

Heard this one from John (you know who you are):
You've completely met my expectations.

30 October 2008

What kind of genius are you?

A great story by Daniel Pink in Wired about two type of creatives.
What Kind of Genius Are You?
A new theory suggests that creativity comes in two distinct types – quick and dramatic, or careful and quiet.
By Daniel H. Pink

In the fall of 1972, when David Galenson was a senior economics major at Harvard, he took what he describes as a “gut” course in 17th-century Dutch art. On the first day of class, the professor displayed a stunning image of a Renaissance Madonna and child. “Pablo Picasso did this copy of a Raphael drawing when he was 17 years old,” the professor told the students. “What have you people done lately?” It’s a question we all ask ourselves. What have we done lately? It rattles us each birthday. It surfaces whenever an upstart twentysomething pens a game-changing novel or a 30-year-old tech entrepreneur becomes a billionaire. The question nagged at Galenson for years...

...Now, however, Galenson might have done something at last, something that could provide hope for legions of late bloomers everywhere. Beavering away in his sunny second-floor office on campus, he has scoured the records of art auctions, counted entries in poetry anthologies, tallied images in art history textbooks – and then sliced and diced the numbers with his econometric ginsu knife. Applying the fiercely analytic, quantitative tools of modern economics, he has reverse engineered ingenuity to reveal the source code of the creative mind. More.
Via Accidental Creative -- one of the best sites on the Web.

29 October 2008

The ad awards are coming! The ad awards are coming!

The British Advertising Awards are at the Walker in December. Hooray! I gladly pay to watch advertising that's original and clever. My favorite from last year was for PG Tips. I've called my nieces and nephews 'monkey chums' ever since.

28 October 2008

27 October 2008

Music treat: Murs -- Everything

I'm not one for rap but I heard Everything by Murs on The Current* and loved it immediately. Beat, background vocals, message. Yep.

*A bit of a dangerous listen unless you like impulse shopping on iTunes.

26 October 2008

Found Footage Festival

I'm quite cross that I missed hearing about the Found Footage Festival until it was too late. MPR had a story about it this week. It springs from a couple of guys who comb thrift stores and garage sales for old videos. They then piece them together to create new. They have two criteria for videos they use:
  • They have to be unintentionally funny
  • A lot of ambition and questionable talent.
It started when one of the filmmakers found "Inside and Outside Custodial Duties" training video in a McDonald's break room. They fell in love with the horrible video and they were off and running.

One of the videos they created took 17 sexual harrassment awareness training videos and pieced together the what-not-to-do segments into one three-minute treat.

17 sexual harrassment training videos pieced together -- just 3 minutes of the what not to do.

Listen to the interview; check out their MySpace page.

Found Footage Festival 2008 Trailer

25 October 2008

24 October 2008

23 October 2008

22 October 2008

Cuil is pretty cool

Downside: The search engine cuil.com (pronounced cool) doesn't give you as many results as Google. (Case in point, I was looking for a recipe and found it via Google but it didn't show up in cuil.)

Upside: You get more info about the link and the info in context. And it's delivered in a more readable format. I'm able to make a better decision on what is really what I'm looking for. You can also add a cuil option in your Firefox search bar.

21 October 2008

Listen up kidlets

From Reuters:
Father takes son to court for idleness

LAGOS (Reuters) - A father took his 20-year old son to an Islamic court in northern Nigeria for idleness, asking that he be sent to prison for refusing to engage in productive activities, state news agency NAN said Friday.

"He is not listening to words and he is bringing shame to my family. I am tired of his nefarious deeds. Please put this boy in prison so that I can be free," Sama'ila Tahir, a market trader in the northeastern town of Bauchi, was quoted as saying. More.

20 October 2008

Powell says Yes to Obama

Gen. Colin Powell, a Republican, endorsed Barack Obama yesterday. In the interview he comes out against those who keep calling Obama a Muslim. One of the best lines in the interview, addressing the claims that Obama is a Muslim (he's not), "What if he is [a Muslim]? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?"

See also Maureen Dowd's column in the New York Times.

15 October 2008

5 things -- fall

Five things I like about Fall:
  1. No more humidity!
  2. The smell, especially burning leaves
  3. Wearing more orange clothing (not the hunting kind though)
  4. The brilliant colors -- a photographer's dream landscape
  5. Sleeping with the windows open and using lots of covers

14 October 2008

My horoscope

My horoscope from today's edition of The Onion. The best horoscope ever.

Libra: The bullet will miss your heart by several inches, which only makes sense, as it will be fired at your head.
What do the stars tell you? Find out here. RSS feed available!

Word of the day

This word of the day comes via my colleague Kelsey. Usually used in a satricial way.


On a completely different note, our cafeteria is serving tuna noodle casserole today. And for dinner, one of the options is Jerked Tofu.

09 October 2008

Thursday favorite word

I've been using the word kerfuffle a lot lately. I like that it sounds like what it is: disorder, commotion.

As best as I can tell, das Brimborium would be a good German translation. Or maybe die Umstaende.

Makes me think of rugby and a couple of meetings I've been in recently.

08 October 2008


A couple of my friends have horrible mothers in law. Both of said friends are the nicest people you'd ever meet. A couple of work friends came up with the moniker, TAG (troll at the gate) to refer to these harridans. I prefer ETAG (evil troll at the gate).

Naming nasty people is so cathartic. At right, Viola Swamp from the children's book Miss Nelson Is Missing. The epitome of harridan.

07 October 2008

Goodbye summer

I was entranced by these flowers in my Mom's garden. The purple leaves in the background look kind of like origami.

06 October 2008

That's just mental

"Are storage lockers the new dude hangout?" From Iconoculture.

As a society we have way too much crap. Off-site storage is one of the fastest growing businesses in the country. The idea of hanging out at the place where I store all my extra crap -- if I was a guy that is -- I don't get that.

05 October 2008

Caramel rolls

My Mom makes the best caramel rolls in the world. This photo makes them look like a big intestine or something. They taste much better.

04 October 2008

Candy that I won't eat

I found this candy blood in the Halloween aisle at Walgreens. So very disgusting. My niece and nephew will love it.

03 October 2008

The Bugle-ism. Again.

I've been catching up on The Bugle podcasts. I was listening to a Feb. 2007 episode on the way to work yesterday. Andy offered some chat-up/pick-up-line ideas to woo that special someone on Valentine's Day.
You must be a witch because I'm under your spell and I'm boiling to death in your cauldron.
Disgusting. Frightening. Hilarious

02 October 2008

Glueckliche Fuesse!

I don't think it would be possible to not have happy feet while listening to Dove C'e Musica by Eros Ramazzotti. I don't know if 'happy feet' is translatable to German. I translated it glueckliche Fuesse but that might get me the 'what's wrong with you' look from a German speaker.

I have no idea what he's saying. He could be calling the west blue-eyed devils for all I know.

01 October 2008

Oh ye of faint of heart, ignore this post

This is so very good. And bad. Mr. Deity is brilliant. And very, very silly.

Via Fun Size Bytes. You can subscribe to the Mr. Deity channel on YouTube.Save Now

30 September 2008

Cure for sarcasm

I need a maximum-strength version of this drug. But I'm not sure if I want a cure.

sarcasm :

  • harsh or bitter derision or irony
  • a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark:

29 September 2008

Lovely expressions

I love the expression, "chin wag." A Britishism for a light or idle chat. I am prone to like Britishisms but this one in particular strikes my fancy.

27 September 2008

Changing the world

You don't have to be a Nobel Peace Prize nominee to change the world. Google's 10 to the 100.

  • Project 10 to the 100th is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.
  • Google has committed $10 million to make the projects happen. "Our goal is to help as many people as possible. So remember, money may provide a jumpstart, but the idea is the thing."
  • Send in your idea by Oct. 20.
  • Vote for the finalists beginning Jan. 27. (Sign up for a reminder to vote.)
  • "May those who help the most win."

How many people use Google to search, send/receive e-mail, blog, etc.? And those millions of those people find out about this great project. And some of them submit awesome ideas to change the world. I'm overwhelmed by the coolness.

Shoes and plants

Saw these tacked onto a house in Switzerland. I love it!

26 September 2008

I'm not just being lazy

To set the record straight -- on days I post only "Dumb Dares for the Office," I'm not just being lazy. I am also sharing joy.

I like to read the dare, close my eyes and envision myself, or John Cleese as Basil Fawlty, doing said dare.
Put someone else's name on your lunch bag then prominently display the bag while you're eating.

With everything you say all day, roll your eyes.

When someone hands you a form or an envelope, caress it and whisper huskily, "Mmmmmmm. Yes, I've been expecting this one."

Give a colleague an unlabeled prescription bottle filled with mints or candy, and instruct them to withhold the "pills" no matter how hard you beg.

25 September 2008

Zwei Herzen

The new single from Klee, Zwei Herzen (Two Hearts). Love it!
Klee - Zwei Herzen

Great moments in history (the pretend version)

This one's worth a try. Ignoring or bombing each other aren't really working out. Via Hallmark magazine. (I was stuck in the doctor's office waiting room. Limited reading options.)
Great Historical Events That Never Happened:
Two world leaders agreed to settle their differences with a spelling bee.

24 September 2008

Evolution of a nickname

One of Pele's nicknames is sack. The journey to this name went like this:
  • Bill: He looks like a tube steak
  • Jude: Tuber
  • Me: Sack of potatoes
  • Jude: Sack

23 September 2008

Rock on UDHR!

Human Rights 2.0. There's a blog and a twitter feed on human rights violations and blogging. Hooray! You are so not persecuting people for speech undetected! Web speech is also protected speech, even if you don't agree.
Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Take that, despots!

Committtee to Protect Bloggers blog
Committee to Protect Bloggers on Twitter

Found via a comment by Curt on Web Strategy by Jeremiah

22 September 2008

Make-me-laugh list, episode 2

Too many posts to include in the previous make-me-laugh list. I love, love clever insults. I don't often get a chance to use them, but they're still useful as exasperation letting-outers.
  • Sagface charisma vacuum. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • Git wizard. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • Survival of the gittest. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • Dumber than a sack of hammers. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • The whip-crack smart gang of chimps that look after our government. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • Worst thing invented by humans since mustard gas. Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me (NPR)
  • Too stupid to be elected. Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me (NPR)
  • [Insert word] is [insert language] for 'I think the medicine is wearing off.' The News Quiz (BBC)
  • It's a loathe-hate relationship. Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me (NPR)
  • You can put your boots in the oven but that don't make 'em bread. Southern hickism related via Kelsey (a non hick)
  • Niinyhammer. Samuel Johnson
  • Eye of a tiger, mouth of a teamster. Homer Simpson describing Lisa's performance as a hockey goalie
  • Charles Ryder's father: You liked Miss ____?
    Charles: No
    Father: No? Was it her little moustache you objected to or her very large feet?
    Brideshead Revisited

21 September 2008

The Oath

Sometimes after you visit a a place it sears itself into your brain. You pay attention to what happens in that particular place more than you did before. That often happens to me with books, too.

The book that seared Chechnya in my mind was The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire. The title sounds a bit made-for-TV-movie like but the story is anything but. It's written by Khassan Baiev and is his story.

Baiev was formerly a cosmetic surgeon. He becomes a traveling doctor of sorts when the Russians enter Chechnya to fight Muslim separatists. Baiev took his Hippocratic oath very seriously so he treated whoever showed up whether it be a child caught in the cross fire or a Chechen separatist leader. His working conditions -- his home, bombed out hospitals, etc. -- were horrifying. That anyone survived is a miracle. Along the way he reminds you of what these now-decimated areas were like before they were destroyed by the Russian/Chechen conflict.

Being non-sectarian gets him in a lot of trouble. Both sides hate him. With the help of several human rights organizations he eventually flees with his family to the U.S., away from the from the fighters, but also those caught in the middle who need him so desperately. They are now without someone who, despite the danger to himself, takes his devotion to people first.

20 September 2008

Post 1 of 30

I read about NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) on Moe's blog. Seemed liked a good challenge -- blog every day for 30 days. I'm usually up to a challenge as long as it doesn't involve physical or emotional pain, or perceived pain. I'm inherently lazy.

Today I have a question. Why are there so many movies and shows becoming musicals? Little House on the Prairie, Legally Blonde, Spamalot. I heard a story on NPR this morning about 9 to 5 the musical. I really don't get it. But at the risk of sounding like the kind of person who kicks kittens, I don't like most musicals.

16 September 2008

Slackers Unite!

Michael Moore's new movie, Slacker Uprising, is coming out next week. You can download it for free on 23 Sept (only in the U.S. and Canada). Sign up here to get an e-mail when it's available for download. The trailer.

Michael Moore can be over the edge at times but we need people like him to poke hypocrites in the eye and roust things up in general. The beauty of free speech. (Most of the time I agree with him.)

Worth a try

This is the lazy way to post but I'm doing it anyway. From today's Dumb Dare calendar -- to brilliant not to share.
Preface every statement with "Apropos of nothing" and whenever a co-worker says something, tell them, "You're not wrong."
And time each person to see how long it takes for them to go red in the face and/or get a "I could strangle you with my bare hands" look on his/her face.

15 September 2008


This captures the first time Sophie and Pele played tug-o-war. (Thanks to Lisa's gift from the puppy shower.) They sound so fierce when they're playing. They're all talk. So far.

14 September 2008

Palin & Clinton

Saturday Night Live ran this sketch of a faux Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton press conference. It's priceless! Tina Fey, playing Palin, is dead on with the accent (she really does sound like she stepped out the movie Fargo). Amy Poehler brilliantly captures Clinton's underlying rage. The script is great, particularly the first part which includes:

Clinton: I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy.
Palin: I can see Russia from my house!

12 September 2008

Friday treat

It's Friday and the sun is shining! Hooray! As if anyone needed more, it's the Conchords.

Wonderful words

Today's Wordsmith word of the day via EclectChick.
Glasgow kiss
noun: A headbutt: a strike with the head to someone's sensitive area (such as the nose).

This slang for headbutt is relatively recent. The OED shows this 1982 citation from the Daily Mirror as the first printed use of the term:

"Glasgow has its own way of welcoming people ... There is a broken bottle gripped in the fist of greeting. Or there's the Glasgow Kiss -- a sharp whack on the nose with the forehead."
The term arose from allusion to violence in part of the city. An earlier term is a Liverpool kiss.

10 September 2008

Sleep -- Y or N?

At what point do you decide that it's so late that it's better to stay awake until it's time to go to work?

09 September 2008

08 September 2008

It's getting tough everywhere.

A sign of the economic times -- the "pastries" in our vending machine are now .95 cents. They should pay a person .95 cents to buy them and $9.50 to eat them.

06 September 2008

Podcast addiction

I am addicted to podcasts. Like Google Reader, books and Thanksgiving dinner, my eyes are bigger than my stomach/hours in the day.

Ever since I can remember I've been hooked on learning things. Most people want to learn new things but for me it's a compulsion. (I don't think this makes me any better/worse, smarter/dumber than anyone else. It's just part of my geekiness.) It's like someone who hasn't eaten for a week heading crazily for the buffet table.

Three of my favorites:
  • The Bugle -- Audio Newspaper for a Visual World (from Times Online). It's hilarious. The hosts review, and skewer, some of the news events from the week. They're snarky, smart and sometimes rude. The link to sharing your views on the shows says: "Send your partially informed opinions to The Bugle where Oliver and Zaltzman will respond to, rebuke, lampoon, plagiarise or ignore your comments as they see fit."
  • News from Lake Wobegon (from Prairie Home Companion). Garrison Keillor's monologues on small-town life and human foibles. Usually hilarious and often poignant. This program is about the only thing that's ever shut up my whole family during dinner. Another plus -- if it's bluegrass night you can catch the monologue while avoiding the annoyance and anger that bluegrass induces.
  • Animal Planet Audio Podcast, particularly Animal Miracles. (Don't be scared away by the narrator -- Alan Thick. The great stories cancel out his annoying voice.) The stories tell about animals' extraordinary relationships, knowledge and intuition. E.g.:
    • A diabetic woman whose dog kept bugging her until she woke up enough to eat some sugar. She was slipping into unconsciousness because her blood sugar level was out of whack. The dog was not trained to do this. He saved her life.
    • Prisoners who train rescue dogs to make them more adoptable. The dogs likely give the prisoners some of the first unconditional love they've ever experienced.
  • This American Life. This show is one of the best on public radio. There's a theme each week and several essays or stories around it. The show can be poignant, touching and/or funny. The host, Ira Glass, is so crazy smart as are the contributors. Because it's now available as a podcast, I avoid the panicky feeling I used to get when I missed the radio broadcast.

02 September 2008

Third Candidate for President

This video breaks the story that there will be a third candidate in the "War for the White House." According to one person interviewed, who plans to vote for Joad Cressbecker, "I'm voting for a man who I could imagine drowning a bag of cats." And according to a poll quoted in the report, voters say that McCain is not ornery enough.

From The Onion.

Old, Grizzled Third-Party Candidate May Steal Support From McCain

29 August 2008

Funny smartman

Jon Stewart was on Larry King Live a few months back talking about the primary elections. He's tired of pundits saying:
"‘Is America ready for a woman or a Black president?' I can understand saying, 'Is America ready for a moron?'… Will people flee as if Godzilla is attacking the cities?"
It's about 1/2 through the video below.

He also said about superdelegates, "What are those? Delegates that got bit by a radioactive spider?"

And about that vacant Mitt Romney. "[Mitt Romney] Who by the way, is that guy a Pixar character? He looks like an alien pod had created him to be a president."

E-mail hell

I have a love-hate relationship with e-mail, particularly at work. These two have described it much better than I.
  • You should delete so much of your e-mail. The default state of your inbox should probably not be keep sitting here until I stop weeping. Merlin Mann, Inbox Zero Talk at Google (video)
  • E-mail is the biggest time suck in the modern workplace. Julie Morgenstern in Never Check E-mail in the Morning

26 August 2008

Have a pet, & you'll understand

From the essay, "The Sacred Cow," in Augusten Burroughs' Possible Side Effects. Bentley and The Cow are his French Bulldogs. Dennis is his partner.
Sometimes, I sit here and watch The Cow. I watch Bentley. Dennis is in the other room or he is at the store or in the yard. And I sit alone with my sleeping small animals and I think, I couldn't have kids because it would kill me. These two, they nearly kill me. More precious to me than anything. Children would be worse. Intolerable, that love would be. Already is. Nearly.
I know how the feels.

World's bossiest airline

"My Airline," a snarky, clever essay by David Owen, is in response to the bazillion, death-by-papercut fees airlines now charge. The story appeared in the Shouts & Murmurs column of The New Yorker, July 7 & 14, 2008 edition. Full story here. A teaser:

My Airline
Luggage surcharges are old news at my airline. I’ve had them for years: for second bags that don’t contain golf clubs, for cardboard boxes held together with twine or duct tape, for long, rolled-up things that you bring into the cabin, and for any carry-on item that I have to help you stow or retrieve, or that you jam into the overhead compartment sideways, so that it crushes my sports coat, which I have folded using the time-tested inside-out method, or whose size forces me to place my briefcase in a compartment other than one directly over my row. The charge is fifty dollars, exact change only. From now on, I will also be charging fifty dollars for any piece of luggage on which you have written your name and address in gigantic letters.

Previously, at check-in, I have visually estimated your weight. From now on, you may be required to step onto the luggage scale. You must also certify, before boarding, that no part of your arm or torso will extend over your armrest and touch me or cause my arm or side to get hot at any time during the flight. If the test calipers at the boarding gate cannot be passed freely over your entire body, you will be required to purchase an additional ticket and to sit in the exact center of your two seats. Furthermore, you must keep your feet stowed directly in front of you at all times in such a way that your legs do not touch my legs or penetrate any part of the imaginary vertical plane separating your seating space from mine. Fifty dollars. More.

25 August 2008

You've been warned

It's my last day of vacation [deep sigh]. I've been hanging around home doing house projects, reading, walking the dogs and generally doing whatever I feel like doing. It's been grand!

In honor of one more day of fun, this comic from XKCD (sounds like a fake name but it's not). I would so love this on a shirt.

24 August 2008

Trivial psychic

Ed Glosser, Trivial Psychic is a very amusing skit* from Saturday Night Live. It's Christopher Walken lampooning his future-seeing character in the creepy yet awesome "The Dead Zone." (This clip also includes the dearly departed Phil Hartman. He also does the voice over.)

*The video begins with an ad.

23 August 2008

Things that make me laugh

When I hear something clever or funny or insulting I often write it down. I'm kind of an obsessive note taker and I can look at it later if I'm having an irritating day. Some recent:
  • Oh war, it's just God's way of teaching Americans geography. The Daily Show
  • It's a two-dork operation. (I can't remember where I heard this.)
  • Glorious absence of sophistication. Definition of redneck by Jeff Foxworthy on the Late, Late Show
  • Can't we have one meeting that doesn't end with digging up a corpse? Mayor Quimby on the Simpsons
  • Everyone off, Loonyland City Centre. Vicar of Dibley
  • 5000 pounds? You could get a person killed for that! Vicar of Dibley
  • You self-important toss pot! The News Quiz (BBC)
  • [I would like that] as much as I like stubbing my toe in a fire. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • Don't give a toss. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • Wasted DNA that is [insert name]. The News Quiz (BBC)

12 August 2008

I'd love to see the looks on their faces

In my community's magazine there are listings for all sorts of events and activities. Skate with Santa, strength training, golf training indoors, etc. This event caught my eye.
This is your chance to not only touch, but hop right in the driver's seat of a fire engine, police car, snow plow or dump truck! Come on out to the Community Center and check out all of the city trucks.
The announcement also says "all ages." I would so like to see some adults show up. The looks on the faces of the fire fighters, cops, etc. would be priceless.

11 August 2008

Almost autumn, almost time for soup

A couple of years ago I was having dinner at the home of the Rigtenzins. We were about to eat something interesting that kids don't like. So the kids got hot dogs. As Rigtenzin poured the hot dog water off he suddenly stopped and said, "Oh! I should have saved that for soup!"

So disgusting. Yet so beautiful.

07 August 2008


Who's that sweet boy? Pele! He came to live with us about a month ago. He is the happiest dog I've ever met. His tail wags pretty much constantly.

Pele is a rescue. He was picked up by animal control and no one came to claim him. After five days, unclaimed dogs, and other animals, are euthanized. Rescued Pets Are Wonderful gets adoptable animals from animal control after the claiming period is up. They put them into foster homes and then try to find 'forever homes' for them (see Pele's pre-adoption photo below).

We think he's part Chihuahua and Jack Russell and about a year old. We are having some housebreaking and separation anxiety issues but it will all shake out. Sophie and Pele push each other's buttons, play fight and mad chase through the house. I don't that she'd admit it, but I think Sophie's glad, now, that he's here.