28 December 2007

happy holidays. and new year.

intermittent posting is reduced to near zero while I'm on vacation. If you're bored you can check the archives. I'll be back with regular irrelevancies starting 7 January 2008.

see you then.

21 December 2007

how many 5 year olds could you take in a fight?

supposedly, I'm good for 22. I think that number is a little high. i would get tired and succumb to 12 or 13.

19 December 2007

report suspicious behavior

The city of Chicago has a warning posted on their official website.

Be sure to call 911 (in Chicago) if you see any "note taking, binocular use, cameras, videos, maps" around the holidays. You never can trust someone that's out taking notes and pictures in public spaces, especially this time of year. If you're clever you could take notes on the suspicious behavior, maybe take their picture, or get a better look at the suspicious person with binoculars, or shoot video of them, then mark down their location on a map. But then you might get arrested for, well, behaving suspiciously.

The full URL is:

But you can also get to it from here.

18 December 2007

I am an international financier, Part the Third

A while ago I wrote a post about loaning some money through Kiva.org (see button in the sidebar for a link - i'm too lazy to put it here). I got another small reimbursement from the woman that Kiva helped me (and others) loan money to. No text updates, but she's paying on time so I'm hoping that it's going well.

here's the text of a previous email from the group that organized the loan:

Karomadjon is very happy, because due the loan from KIva she increased the volume of her goods and she could paid education for her children and also she could buy new clothes for daughter.Her business is gradually takes rate of groth.In thew end of this month she plans to purchase vegetables and other food product for winter season.She is very thankful for KIva.

If that doesn't warm your heart then you're a miracle, because you don't have one.

nice office

Wired magazine published their 'winners' of the saddest cubicle contest.

The winning submission (submittal?) was this rigged-up office w/ no light (the overhead is broken) and a poorly ventilated bathroom and microwave nearby.

"[the person that works there] recalls a day when one co-worker reheated catfish in the microwave, while another used the bathroom and covered the smell with a stinky air freshener."


See the rest here.

13 December 2007

can we get this trade done today?

was talking to a Detroit Lions fan earlier today. The Lions were 6-2 at the midway point of the NFL season and looking like a lock for the playoffs. Since then they have lost 5 in a row and may lose out the rest of the season, end the year on an 8 game losing streak. They are not very good.

The Niners aren't very good either, so I asked him if we could put a trade together, package up Nate Clements and Alex Smith, two of the biggest busts in the draft and free agency of the past couple years.

He said, "you send over Alex Smith, because he's bad, and also Clements and his huge contract, we can maybe move him to wideout [inside joke there, because the Lions draft WRs in the first round every year], and we'll give you Matt Millen, and maybe some draft picks."

I laughed.

10 December 2007

flood averted, also: ricky hatton got pummeled

I wrote about finding water (where no water should be) in my house last week. Turns out it was probably a spill. I say 'probably' because the roommates won't cop to it. Whatever. I had the plumber over to take a look and we couldn't find anything. No pipes, no water from above, nothing. so it was a $40 false alarm. and I have to patch some drywall in the garage. I'm not pumped to patch the drywall, but I'm glad I don't have a leaky pipe in the floor.

in other news, Ricky Hatton got beat up by Floyd Mayweather. I bought the fight, and it was worth my $55 to watch instead of waiting. Overall it was a good fight. Hatton got rocked w/ wicked accurate punches while he pushed Mayweather around the ring, and eventually Mayweather got tired of getting pushed around and knocked him out. Mayweather is an accurate and fast puncher; Hatton is a good fighter, but not in Mayweather's class, and it showed on Saturday.

dog pictured is available for adoption at the Irvine Animal Care Center. He looks like a weird mismatch of parts, frankensteined together. Why are his front legs so short? Why does he have such a huge cranium? I'll let you now how he behaves when I visit with him on wednesday.
great job today.

07 December 2007

big plans

dork 1: Dude, what are you going to do tonight?

dork 2: I don't know. Probably play some Halo3, maybe go outside if it's not too cold. call that girl, maybe.

d1: holy shit! when did you meet a girl?

d2: dude, kidding.

d1: oh. right. outside? why not stay inside and play halo3 all day?

d2: enh, I get bored sitting around and punching the clown and playing halo3 all day.

d1: I hear you.

d2: yeah.

d1: what if we made a halo3 Master Chief snowman OUTSIDE?

d2: dude, awwwwwwwsome! get over here.

d1: lemme finish this game first...

05 December 2007

it's not a bad angle, it's that you have a huge ass

I hate to be the one to pile on, but Jennifer Love Hewitt is responding to recent photos that were posted on the intarnets. I appreciated the cogent analysis over on wwtdd, but the story has gotten so much press that you can also see a video summary over on CNN.

What the CNN story/video doesn't show is any of the pictures that prompted the reaction from Ms. Hewitt. That's ridiculous, since it's the whole point of the story.

Here's the deal: Hollywood stars often don't look all that good unless they're backlit and made-up and so forth. Most people don't; it's a known thing. Also, they sometimes take unflattering pictures just like everyone else. This is not news. There are some exceptions, but Hewitt is not one of them.

You can walk down the street (well, maybe not where you live, but I can) and see women just as hot as women in movies/magazines. It's easy for guys idealize the airbrushed FHM and Maxim sluts and forget that there are beautiful women all around you.

What is news is that Jennifer Love Hewitt has a huge fat ass and she used to be hot. She's still pretty cute, but with a huge fat ass. Some people probably like her more now. But let's not pretend this is a "body-image issue" or "invasive picture from a bad angle" issue.

aside: Hewitt didn't have a "body-image" problem back when she was making bad horror films in a bra, pre-fatty. It's only happening now. Weird. And hypocritical.

those are MAGIC stairs

In the movie Enchanted, the main character from Andalasia (the princess-to-be Giselle, not the other one) takes a shower and says, "this room is magic!" because she doesn't know how the water gets in there.

When the stairs in my house turned into some kind of weird wellspring last night, I felt like shouting "these stairs are magic!" because I had no idea where the water was coming from. Also it's generally not very super when there's water coming out of the floor. A ha. I'm still not sure where the water was coming from. A pipe, presumably. I'm hoping the plumber will tell me today when he comes by.

After I shut off the water main to the house and got off the phone with the insurance company I went back to playing halo3. Couldn't do much else.

The roommates love not having water in the house. It's like camping: no toilets, no showers, bottled water only. Good times.

photo courtesy a website called "FEMA for Kids". it's just as awesome as it sounds; your tax dollars hard at work.

ps. Enchanted is a good date movie. It's not going to replace The Princess Bride as the greatest date movie ever, but it's still pretty good.

30 November 2007

thursday is the new friday

please note the exceptional detail available when you click the photo at left. I posted the full 5 MB version because I wanted you to experience the maximum chest (gut?) fur. and snake. and cute little shorts. i think if you're going to hold a snake that big you need to have that exact expression on your face.

big day yesterday. here's a numbered list, because I heart lists.
1. work
2. walk dog at animal shelter during lunch. special shoutout to the idiot that brought his 2 purebred dogs to the shelter to walk them because he thought it was the irvine bark park. it's easy to miss all those signs and notices. and kennels. and staff. and goats.
3. work some more
4. gym
5. rugby practice.
6. go watch/listen to Pete Tong do his thing. cost $20. drive time (one way): 8 mins. crowd was okay but the music was good. he was up for it. good times.

If you want an interesting take on serving in the marines, try this.

27 November 2007

giving him the business

that's a 15 yard personal foul penalty.
'giving him the business' is against the rules. don't make me say I told you so.

21 November 2007

giving thanks

damn, one post a week? things are falling apart around here.
lots to be thankful for. here's a list:

1. life is good. on a typical day my most challenging decisions are what gym to go to, which guitar to play, what video game to dork out on, and what book to read. some days I don't know how I manage.

2. i don't live in turkey. i was going to put a picture of A turkey in the blog, but I thought a picture of THE turkey was funnier. more funny. whatever.

3. the peeps.

that's it for sappy thanksgiving emails. thanks for reading. I'll work on getting some funny back in here. and more posts. if I have to start doing book, movie, and video game reviews then I will. don't think I won't.

14 November 2007

college football as big business: a different kind of moneyball

Michael Lewis wrote an intelligent op-ed piece in the newspaper of record that explains some of the hypocrisy surrounding college football. The same arguments he makes about college football can also be extended to college basketball: it is big business. The short version is that college football players are professional athletes in training, and that they are getting the shaft from the NCAA when they don't get paid. Lewis writes:

College football’s best trick play is its pretense that it has nothing to do with money, that it’s simply an extension of the university’s mission to educate its students. Were the public to view college football as mainly a business, it might start asking questions. For instance: why are these enterprises that have nothing to do with education and everything to do with profits exempt from paying taxes? Or why don’t they pay their employees?

I recommend the whole article, available here:

09 November 2007

meet the world

I guess these images are part of some chain mail that's going around. I saw it on draplin.com, so i'm sharing it with you. The artist had this (in part) to say about his work:

We started to research relevant, global, and current facts and, thus, came up with the idea to put new meanings to the colours of the flags. We used real data taken from the websites of Amnesty International and the UNO.

image copyright/owned by the artist,
Icaro Doria

older school, or: yeah. f*ck yeah.

last time I saw something this awesome it was on mulletsgalore.com. so much good stuff here. travolta fever, the car interior (is that a saddle?), the domain name that comes with the car (travoltafever.com). so. much. good. stuff.

see it in all it's glory here.

travolta was big back in '79/80. seriously.

07 November 2007

old school

image is courtesy the Coudal partners layer tennis / Chris Glass. It was one of the graphics "volleyed" by Chris Glass during the competition.

if you are curious about layer tennis, go here: http://layertennis.com/index.php

for an interesting summary of Glass' experience w/ the layer tennis, go here: http://www.chrisglass.com/photos/2007/layertennis/

that is all.

30 October 2007

gransfors bruks: because less is more

Saw this in the Outside gear guide. The gear "guide" is a a big advertising brochure jerk-off, but every now and then they feature something exceptional. Like the Gransfors Bruks splitting maul. This thing kicks ass.

Any axe/maul/splitting wedge that comes with it's own book is my kind of tool. I share it with you because it's an example of simplicity as a hallmark of good design. This should be in a museum, but you can buy one for yourself. That is a unique combination.

The original website (in english) has all the information, but you can't buy there. You can get your own at Gransfors.us, but they don't come cheap. You get what you pay for in bespoke tools.

29 October 2007

that's quite avant-garde, sir

I am not a fan of dress-up. never have been. But I know people that are. One all-star went to three halloween parties in three different costumes. And not just some I-have-horns-on-my-head-so-now-i'm-a-devil costume. Oh no. I'm talking about costumes that take some planning. and some pre-party shots to get you out of the house. like if you're going to be a mexican wrestler with the sweet mask and matching socks. and a speedo.


i am an international financier

Microlending (or microcredit, or micro-credit, depending on who you're reading) is all the rage right now. It's in Bill Clinton's book, it's a pet project of Natalie Portman, blah blah blah. Whatever. You heard about it here almost a year ago. Hate to brag that I was a little bit out in front of the curve on this one, but I watch public television. Weird, I know.

Kiva forwards updates on the person to whom you loan the money, so here's the latest:

Karomadjon is very happy, because due the loan from KIva she increased the volume of her goods and she could paid education for her children and also she could buy new clothes for daughter.Her business is gradually takes rate of groth.In thew end of this month she plans to purchase vegetables and other food product for winter season.She is very thankful for KIva.


25 October 2007

happy anniversary: Dick Vitale still has a job

In honor of our 2 year / 300 post anni over here at GJAW (formerly firedickvitale), I thought it would be fun to take a look at an early theme from the blog. Yes, Dick Vitale still has a job, and yes, he's still an idiot. If you think I'm just jealous because Dicky V. gets paid to say stupid shit and I don't, you're right. (image courtesy someecards - get over there and send someone you know an ecard right now.)

Dick Vitale writes like he speaks, and since he speaks like a drug-addled 4th grader, it's not hard to find fault with his writing. Some people probably think he does a good job. Some people think The Secret is full of insight. These people should get together, actualize themselves a brain.

So, Dick, where do we start today? The Stock Watch is too banal. It's lame and empty, but there's no there there. Thus nothing to critique. Ahhh, heeeeeere we are. Surely you can provide us with some insight on this repeated violation? No? How about some redundant idiocy? Perfect.

Down at Indiana, you would have thought Kelvin Sampson and his staff would have taken every precaution to avoid the embarrassment and humiliation of the latest telephone scam.

Would you? I'd have thought he would break the rules again, since he was an inveterate rule breaker at his last job.

On May 25, 2006, the NCAA banned Sampson from taking recruiting trips or calling recruits for one year.

This is important; we will be coming back to it shortly.

There were stipulations placed upon his hire at Indiana. The feeling was Sampson would be under a zero tolerance policy. No recruiting violations would be tolerated.

Is this the same thing as a "zero tolerance policy"? Because you just said that.

I spoke to Kelvin Sampson and he stated that they did not cheat, but they made an error in judgment.

Sampson was not supposed to make any recruiting calls, so he was conferenced in when they called him. And also, he had assistant coaches make calls for him and then put him on the phone in a 3 way conf. call. So technically, the coach didn't make any conf calls. Great leadership, coach. Way to set an example for your incoming guys.

He [Sampson] claims he unknowingly was patched in to calls with an assistant and a recruit.

I do not believe that you are telling the truth Mr. Sampson.

It will be interesting to see how Sampson cleans up this mess. For those who were critical of The General, Robert Montgomery Knight, I simply ask ... was there ever any talk, conversation or innuendo about any violations?

Bob Knight never violated recruiting rules. However, he punched his players, kicked his players, threw chairs/tantrums/fits, berated and physically threatened support staff, erupted at the slightest provocation, and set new standards for awful behavior as a human being in general and coaches in particular. People have written entire books about it. I'm too lazy to find the links describing how awful Bob Knight is, but I did google Bob Knight punch and got 151,000 hits. Start here if you need a refresher.

Clapton, pre-Fender; headaches; the apocalypse; anniversaries

We're all over the place in this post.

That's a photo of Eric Clapton, a man synonymous with the Fender Stratocaster, holding (and, one presumes, playing) a Gibson Les Paul. It's fun because you would probably never see it today. Photo courtesy AP and the CNN website. and the magic of the interweb.

got a tooth filled yesterday. dentist left the filling too high and I had to go back this morning and get it shaved down some more. still have the headache, though. sweet.

The apocalypse continues down here in SoCal. It's raining ash but at least it's not blocking out the sun today (like it did on Monday). All my peeps have been lucky and no one is in immediate danger, but it's still a mess. Miserably hot outside, everything reeks of smoke and ashy filth, air quality is awful, can't open doors or windows, hundreds of thousands of displaced and at-risk people in San Diego, etc. It's bad news. I volunteer at the local animal shelter and people are bringing in animals that are displaced or traumatized by the fire. crazy.

If you're counting, this is pithy, relevant post #300. I think it's been almost exactly two years. Or something. Number milestones are silly and arbitrary (if we had 8 fingers we would celebrate special annis on 8, 16, 24, 32, etc.) but as long as we are keeping track, I'm glad you're here.
love you.

23 October 2007

I know the taste of cork

ahhh, funny article about movies and the Boston accent ('pahk yah cah in Hahvahd yahd') in Slate.com today. here's the highlight:

But for those of us who grew up possessing, or shedding, a Boston accent, it's a deal breaker. Consider, if you will, the embarrassing hilarity that tends to ensue when my dear father, unapologetic owner of a medium-thick Boston brogue, returns an off bottle of wine at a restaurant because "I know the taste of cork. And this tastes like cork."

22 October 2007

devin hester is good at football

Devin Hester is fast. He plays for the Chicago Bears and scores touchdowns. He also likes to get his dance on before he scores touchdowns. And, because I know some people that know some people that live near Chicago, I know he pumps his own gas, as you can see in the photo at left.

I think that paint is custom.

19 October 2007

breakfast is the most important meal of the day

today is the second day in a row I had one of my favorite breakfasts. i put three homemade choc chip cookies in a large cereal bowl, poured rice krispies and then milk on top. mmmm... You feel kind of ill when you're done eating, but you can work through it. my cookies are pretty much the best choc chip cookies ever, but you can make them too. no secret recipes here.

(i knew a girl once that actually had a secret cookies recipe that she wouldn't divulge - seriously, like it was some kind of unique gift that no one else could have. pffffft.)

here's the recipe, in it's entirety:
recipe for cookies of awesome is based on classic toll house semi-sweet choc. chip recipe. what follows is that recipe, w/ small additions. Note that the changes aren't for everyone. some people prefer a crispy, dry, flat cookie. the standard recipe will work fine for those idiots. for more discriminating palates, and moist, fluffy cookies, use the recipe below.

Buy semi-sweet nestle chips in yellow bag. I like buying the big bag so I can throw in a few extra choc chips when I'm making the cookies, but it's not a requirement. do not add nuts.

* = special steps i figured out through accident and error. they are what separates my cookies from the pretenders.

2 1/4 cups + 1 Tblspn all purpose flour
1 tspn salt
1 tspn baking soda
Pinch of baking powder*

3/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar (light brown is fine too)
2 sticks margarine* (nucoa or imperial work best - do NOT use butter when baking b/c it burns)
1 tspn vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chips

Preheat oven to 375.

Put flour/salt/b soda/b powder in small bowl. Set aside.

Beat margarine, sugars and vanilla in large bowl until creamy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. when well mixed...
gradually beat in flour mix. I do it in three parts, works great.
Mix in choc chips. throw a few extra in if you're feeling zany.

cool dough for 8-10 minutes in fridge before you bake put dough to pan. also, cool dough again between batches.*

put cookies on sheet. I use two regular teaspoons (the small ones in your silverware drawer) because I have years of practice and I'm zen, but some people use a mini ice cream scoop. whatever.

bake 9-11 minutes. be careful not to overcook.

to cool, place on cut up cardboard box laid flat on countertop, or on a paper bag (like the kind you get from the grocery) cut open and laid flat on countertop.* store when they reach room temp.

18 October 2007

The War: the best miniseries on television

I've been catching up with the WWII program on public television. I dvr'd it when it was on, but it was too much tv to watch all at once. Also, I had a lot of Halo3 I needed to play (war Lite). The program (officially titled The War) is outstanding. I cannot watch too much of it at once. Even the 2 or 2.5 hour format gets long, because a lot happens, and almost all of it is terrible.

Parts of it are funny, as when Sidney Phillips recalls a Marine recruiter telling him "you can't be in the Navy anyway, because your parents are married." Sidney joined the Marines.

Much of it is horrifying, with staggering numbers of dead and wounded. According to the program, 1 in 4 of all the men shipped away from the fighting were victims of some kind of mental disorder, for which they had names like "shellshock" and "battle fatigue". A phrase like "lost his mind because he got tired of killing people and people trying to kill him" is untidy and doesn't fit on reports.

Parts are both funny and horrifying, as when a cook being shelled at Anzio (7,000 dead, 36,000 wounded or missing, 44,000 "battle casualties" - about which see above) fell to his knees and shouted "God help us! You come yourself; don't send Jesus. This is no place for children."

The program is full of rich stories, compelling characters, and original images. I highly recommend it.

17 October 2007

gifts come in all shapes and sizes

i got a great gift yesterday. it came in the shape of an e-card, and it opened up a whole world of superb.

You can get yourself over to someecards right now and send some of your own. their tagline is "when you care enough to hit send", and it doesn't adequately convey the magic. You probably know at least one person that you can send a card to. Because you care enough to hit send.
Please don't confuse this with my post on gift cards; those are reserved for when you care enough to say you don't care very much.

16 October 2007


there's lots of ways to tell a story. If you're into writing stuff down, you can pick up one of these. Plus they come with a list of "practical applications" on the inside, such as:

Lengthy To-Do Lists
Big Ideas/Insights
Small Ideas/Notions
Gambling Debts
Loose Promises
Escape Routes
Shoddy Sketches
Half Ass Calculations

Buy yours here.

If you're the sort of person that likes to diagram stuff on 3x5 cards, then you might enjoy this. If you're like me, and you enjoy some quality time with your xbox and Halo3, then you especially liked this.

15 October 2007

the government is looking out for you

The feds are looking out for you, protecting your interests, keeping you safe from people that want to come over here, do your dishes, and then go home again.

I'm trying to figure out what part of this story would make sense to anyone but a government bureaucrat, but I can't.

I guess this guy's crime was that he didn't pay into social security (although he wasn't going to collect it) and maybe owed other tax monies. So of his $59,000 hard earned dollars, the feds said he could have $10k, plus some other $$ that people donated when they heard about the story. 11 years of work, and the feds say he can "keep" 1/6th of the original total. I love the federal government. They hardly ever waste my money. I'm sure they'll put this to good use.

That's US Customs: keeping you safe from, umm, people that want to earn some money and go home.

ps. I know this story came out some weeks ago, but I've been busy.

08 October 2007

I can't spend all my free time playing Halo3; I have to mix in some movie watching

saw no fewer than three movies this weekend. you don't get a body like this just going out and doing stuff. pfffft. f that noise.
in order of viewing:
  • In the Valley of Elah - highly recommended. It's heavy though.
  • Shooter - if you're bored shooting other people in Halo3, sit back and let Marky Mark do the heavy lifting for a couple hours. Recommended if you're bored and don't expect much; nuanced storytelling this is not.
  • Easter Promises - Recommended. Not on the level of Elah, but a good entertaining story. Viggo Mortensen (-son?) plays another hard case, and this latest makes that guy from History of Violence look like a sissy. He doesn't kick much ass, though. Mostly he just stands around and looks tough. Sometimes less is more.
More later. thanks for reading.

05 October 2007

more serious dog

yeah, this isn't as serious as serious face, but it is serious pants.

is it abuse to make your dog wear toddler pants (9 mos) so he won't scratch the place where his junk used to be? i'm saying no. but the dog might disagree.

hopefully I didn't lose you, because i'm back now

it's been too long.
way, way too long.

work has been hectic. but it's better now, so I don't mind doing some post-work updates for my peeps.

so much to discuss. I'm back on a regular twice- or thrice-weekly posting schedule, starting today.

in celebration I give you serious dog, with serious face. I could make him an internet superstar but the person that took the original photo resized it for email. so no close-up. bummer. he and serious cat could be bff's. except serious dog doesn't always play well with others. is it abuse to give your dog a bad haircut and make him depressed? maybe. is it funny? definitely.

thanks for reading.
see you soon.

27 September 2007

punch me in the face

check back with me next week. super busy at work so I don't feel like doing anything computer related when I get done.

blah blah blah.

18 September 2007

it's been a crazy, busy week (part the second)

i've been busy. it happens. and when i've had a few spare minutes I don't feel like looking at a computer screen. hence, no blog entries. i've got good topics backing up in my gmail but I haven't had time or energy to address them. this little gem from the onion will have to do for now. it made me laugh. a lot. example content:

In fact, your brotitude is so brossential that, in many ways, you are the ultimate brototype: You sprung out of the brotean ooze at the very broment of creation, unformed, unmolded, and became the ultimate bro, more powerful than any who came brofore.

more is coming. I promise.
thanks to Zach for the tip (truly he is a god among bros).

15 September 2007

I like the part where he says "this should be interesting"

A guy designed and built a battery-powered motorcycle. it's very fast. If you watch this video, you get to see him talk about it, and then you get to see him do a burnout, and then you get to see the rear tire hook up and him take off and crash into a minivan. ouch.

skip to 3:20 into the video to go straight to the good part.

apparently he flipped over the van and landed in the street, but he had feeling in his fingers and toes and wasn't badly hurt.

11 September 2007

sports photography tips; or: Failure, and how I managed it

Several of the peeps participated in a sprint triathlon over the weekend. 5, to be exact. I wasn't in shape for that, but I thought it would be fun to show support, take some action photos, record the event, etc, etc. Let's just say that Neil Leifer and Walter Iooss don't have anything to worry about. Here's what I learned:

1. Get up on time. If you don't, you might get stuck on the wrong side of the street for two hours, waiting for your unrecognizable friends to ride by on bicycles @ 30 MPH. Not a great photo op.

2. Scout location in advance. Don't expect to show up in a crowd of people and figure that you'll find your friends. A bunch of people standing around in black wetsuits and matching swim caps makes it hard to find your peeps.

3. Tell your friends where you'll be. That way they will pay attention, pick it up a bit when they go by. Or slow down. Or maybe look at you.

4. For bike shots, top of hills are good, bottom, not so much. The opposite is true for running photos (bottom, good; top, less good, although the pix are funny in a cruel sort of way).

5. If the course is long, bring a bike or skateboard. But be careful w/ #6...

6. Bring a good camera if you want good pictures. Your point and shoot won't get it done.

If you do even half this stuff, you'll probably take a few good pictures. If you do all of it then you're guaranteed success. If you do none of it, then you're me, and you failed.

Great job. See you out there.

07 September 2007

big day today! also: the Del Mar racetrack = serious face

Big day today. My good friend Sam is getting married.

I'm really glad for Sam & his wife-to-be, but i get a little sad on wedding days. Usually the downer of going to a wedding solo is tempered by the chance you might french one of the bridesmaids, but I already met the wedding party and that's not happening. Oh well. I'll just have to get old-school dance party USA, show the kids how I hold it down. My moves are legit.

went to the Del Mar racetrack a couple times this season to play the ponies. Nothing says summer like a day at the races, and nothing says a day at the races like a straw hat. and aviator glasses available at your local Rite-Aid ($12!).

why am I wearing a name-tag like a 4th grader? because if you get box seats at Del Mar you get a tag that tells the track staff where you're supposed to sit. handy if you have 12 beers and all the seats look alike. they can direct you back to your section. or you can just wander around. either way, really.

apple cuts price on iphone - early adopters mentally re-allocate $200

Nothing makes an early adopter feel like a chump more than a quick price cut. Apple is usually pretty good about it, because they like selling high-margin gadgets to people that aren't very price conscious. They definitely gave the early-adopters the shaft when they cut the price on their phone by 33% after just 10 weeks.

The internal memo probably read something like this:

Dear Die-Hard Apple Customer,
Thanks for waiting in line, making a huge fuss, running all over town, and paying extra.

06 September 2007

guilty (of looking like a toad)

does this guy look guilty to you? He's the mayor of Passaic, New Jersey.

he's been arrested for corruption. Corruption, in city hall? In Jersey?

I think when they make a tv movie about it they can get him to play himself, except he might be too toadlike. they can get a handsome hollywood actor to play him instead.

05 September 2007

dad practice

My weekend wasn't all hot weather and gayness. I mixed in some dad practice on labor day. Any time I do some babysitting or hang out with my friends' kids, that's dad practice.

i went to my friend's house to hang out w/ him and his family. He & the wife have a 6 month old baby, 2 yr old toddler. Fed the baby, played with the toddler. Cute levels were at an all-time high but I didn't get pictures. My friend didn't think pictures would have been cute, but I knew he was wrong b/c the Mrs said it was the cutest thing ever. Girls looove babies. Who knew?

Then i went to the family bbq and had dad practice w/ the older kids: 7 year old girl and 9 y/o boy. We had a blast. The girl loved me because I employed the same strategy I use in my adult relationships: call her princess and say yes to everything. Doesn't matter if they're 7 or 27, it works.

9 year-old boys are great because all they want to do is run in circles and talk about ultimate fighting. And basketball. And video games. That's a funny coincidence because that's pretty much all I want to do, too. (not sure what that says about me, but whatever.)

thanks for reading. super cute photo is stand-in for baby pictures.
thx, smithsonian.

04 September 2007

the hipster olympics

I just got back from the Hipster Bachelor Party in Palm Springs, so i'm loving the hell out of the Hipster Olympics.

If you've already seen it, shame on you for not sending it to me sooner.

Thanks to With Leather for the tip. And double-super thanks to POYKPAC for making the video in the first place.

palm springs: it's not the heat, it's the homosexuality*

* it's a play on words, because people kept saying "it's not the heat, it's the humidity." and I'd think, umm, I'm not so sure.

Two things I underestimated about palm springs:
- how hot it would be
- how gay it would be

The heat was nearly intolerable. Not much you can do about that. Maybe go to the pool. There was a heat wave in Southern CA. It happens. Just sweat it out.

But the gay, that was kind of a bust. You know those handsome, chic guys you see on Queer Eye? It wasn't like that at all. It was the opposite. It was an aggressive, geeky, older gay crowd, and that's not what you're looking for when you're visiting for a bachelor party. Or ever.

On the upside, the hotel we stayed at was really nice. I would go back there; it's perfect for a romantic weekend w/ the girl.

(photo credit CNN) ahh, Larry Craig. Not sure what kind of law you broke, or if you should have been arrested. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

31 August 2007

personal bests; also, losing

FYI: I hate to lose. at anything. Sometimes it's not so bad, but it's never good. sooo...

First game yesterday in the 7v7 Irvine outdoor co-ed soccer "A" league.

It didn't go well. We got spanked 11-0 and it could have been worse. Even the other team's not-good mascot was scoring goals. (You can always identify that player because every time he does anything the girls on his team cheer waaaay too loudly - I felt awkward for him even though we were getting our asses kicked. He really wasn't bad, either, so I don't know what all the fuss was about.)

The other team was good. My team is not. Supposedly we played one of the top teams in the league. That's a comfort. When I take a beating next time it'll be from one of the mid-level teams, and I won't feel as bad. wait, what?

It's hard to be friendly when you're taking a beating like that. As the manager pointed out, the girls on the other team were really hot. I said I didn't notice at the time because we were getting embarrassed, but he was right. I think the manager was more interested in flirting with the girls on the other team than our crummy loss. Maybe because he was out with a knee injury and sat on the sidelines daydreaming about how much better the game would have gone if he were in it (fact: not much better). It's different when it's happening to you.

we get a bye next week, and play again on 13 september. I'll keep you posted.
speaking of keeping you posted, this post sets a new record for one month of output. or maybe it was the last post. whatever. thanks for reading.
love you --c-

why is everyone picking on the dumb girl? (and I don't mean the girl pictured)

if you haven't seen the video of Miss Teen South Carolina bumbling through the moderately difficult q&a at the Miss Teen something or other contest, check it out. I feel bad for her because everyone is piling on, like they could do better.

More importantly, how did the hot redhead not win this thing? But she's in high school, which is disturbing and gross. Hmm... Minka Kelley is all grown up, and still looks delicious. Advantage, Minka.

29 August 2007

coudal partners missed connections contest : winners (not me); plus, new photog contest

A while back I entered a writing contest for Coudal Partners. I did not win. You can see my entry here. The four winners were pretty good, but one stood out. With thanks to Coudal Partners (trademark owners of the logo at left, I added the text) and winning author Doug Cordes, here's my favorite:

It's time to come clean about my dirty little secret...I walk by you twice a day...you're always moving and shaking for someone else, but i need you-you seem to have a purifying spirit... I have a window into your soul, seeing through your galvanized exterior and exposing all your dirty laundry... you obviously struggle with other people's problems, but I can help you unload... not looking for anything long-term, maybe 20 - 30 mins. So if you want to see my unmentionables, let me know... I'll bring the quarters.


The NEW contest is photography. Sadly, my new camera isn't available yet. Can I work some magic w/ the point and shoot? We'll see. I'll post the efforts here.
The rules:

Remember when you did that trick where you had someone stand near the camera and hold out her hand with the palm facing up, and then you had another person stand a lot further away and positioned him in just the right place so it looked like the first person had a tiny little dude in her hand?

Well do that again. Or some similar sort of in-camera trick and then send a link to the photo to perspective at coudal dot com. We'll pick the most inventive ones and send the Grand Prize Winner a completely complete Jewelboxing Studio ($764) and the runners up will each get some exciting, but not that exciting, prize. No Photoshop trickery allowed and keep in mind if we really like your image we'll want to post on the Coudal.com cover page and our main image shape is horizontal. That is all. Contest ends September 7th.

guitar lessons on your ipod?

When I started playing guitar I had a very specific goal: to play music I like to hear. Playing songs that you enjoy is very satisfying, but there are obstacles. In my case, many obstacles. Some are material (like when I had an electric guitar and no amp), and some are more abstract (general ineptitude).

One of the biggest obstacles is that it's often hard to learn new songs you actually want to play. You can download tablature, but it's not always accurate. Plus music publishing companies are trying to shut them down. Also, the tabs don't say much about timing and strum pattern besides "figure it out from the song". Sometimes easy. Sometimes super hard; seeing it would help a lot.

That's where Now Play It comes in. You can buy guitar (and bass, and drum) lessons in videos. Some of the videos are taught by the actual artist, which is rad. Die-hard fans will go nuts for it, but even the lessons taught by the "in-house tutor" are better than downloading the tab and trying to work it out. Consider Kate Tunstall teaching you how to play one of her songs.

Drawbacks: It costs about $8 a lesson. Also, you learn more about songs/music when you're struggling through it. However, the video lessons don't make it easy, they just make it easier.

rock on with your bad self.

everyone's got their something; or "This guy had a hard workout"

when you have a crummy day, your peeps will offer all kinds of support. Some of them will pray with you, some will tell you that they will come over to keep you company, others will share similar past experiences, whatever.

In a small way, the things your peeps do says something about what they look for when they're having a hard time. It led to the following exchange with one of my closest friends:

me: I'm not doing so good today.
friend: what happened?
me: *&*&@#%^!!***#@??!!!!!
friend: that sucks. do you want me to send me a picture of j-man? [friend's dog]
me: no.
friend (hurt): awwwwwwwwww... meanie!
me: okay. send the picture.

and after I got it, i felt a little better.
Another example that I loved was when my friend J-Jo was having a slow day. he needed a pick me up so he emailed Sam (he of the too-cute engagement photos) and said, i need a pick me up. Instead of encouraging words, Sam emailed him the music file for the theme from Superman. Awesome.

28 August 2007

mama told me there'd be days like this...

[unfunny post ahead - read this or this if you want some laughs]
today was not my favorite day.
got some good advice from a friend w/ a positive mental attitude. He suggested I try to find something I learned from my crummy experience. so here's what I learned today, in numerical order, just for poops and chuckles:
  1. what goes around comes around.
  2. Overrated: my toughness. Underrated: my sex appeal
  3. You can listen to Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel 10 times in a row and it's still awesome. For more info, go here, here, or here.
  4. God humbles the proud.
  5. blah
  6. I have a large network of very good friends.
  7. I read in a formulaic (though entertaining) fantasy book that friends are essential because when you share your joy it's multiplied, but when you share your pain it's divided. I hadn't heard that before, but it makes sense. tested the second part today and it turned out to be right.

That's it. hilarity and photos are coming back soon. I know, these intermediate posts aren't what you're here for. I'll have something good by the end of the week. I'm playing in an adult soccer league, first game Thursday. I'm not good at soccer, so post-game analysis will be rad.

24 August 2007

23 August 2007

the hi-hat from Max Roach, and having a pint w/ Fred Trueman

Max Roach was a great (some say the greatest) jazz drummer. You can get a feel for some of his talent here. I'm not much for jazz, but his drumming is superb. Plus he oozes jazz cool, which is a nice counterpoint to Fred Trueman and his work as a television "presenter".

If Max Roach is jazz cool, then Fred Trueman is Yorkshire awesome. Check out that tie/jacket ensemble, with the sweet flock of seagulls hairdo. Fred was at least a decade out in front of the curve on the haircut. Nicely done.

21 August 2007

so cute it kinda makes you sick

We have a readership with a wide range of tastes here at GJAW, so this post is for the ladies. All 2 of you.
ahhh, love. I don't know much about it but my friend and his fee-yawn-say took some cute engagement photos.

If you know him, or if you are a dork and want to be encouraged by another dork's ability to get a pretty girl to love/marry him, review the full slideshow. The pictures are very cool - a nice departure from the usual b/w shots on the beach.

20 August 2007

just to get that terrible cock&balls off the top of the page

I had to have something funny. so it's this again. better than the red brigade, that's for sure.

polish sausage

this is the polish national cycling team.

18 August 2007

I don't want to sound too agency pitch-ish, but ...

[i had a video embedded here but it took too long for the page to load. Use the link instead.]
My pitch strategy is that I'm going to make an unsolicited 'viral video' to become your ad agency. According to Tom, the VP Creative Director of Douchebaggery, it's "got to be funny" and "prove who we are." Tom, it's definitely unintentionally funny, so mission accomplished on objective A, and you are clearly a jackass, so mission accomplished on objective B. Also, feel free to introduce yourself to a razor before you come to work in the morning, and, FYI, they call them "undershirts" because you wear them under your shirt. Well, you don't, but you get the idea.

Review the video above for an example of more outstanding 'creative' talent. I don't want to sound too "agency pitch-ish" [thanks, Senior Art Director Andrew!] but if this is the best you can do, you guys are a bunch of g-damn idiots.

[ed. aside: Kate is actually kind of cute, so just turn the sound off when she describes herself as a combination of "Grace Kelley and Rodney Dangerfield".]

Now enjoy the response from Coudal Partners, also an ad agency. And not lame. It's about 2 minutes, and it's awesome. Big ups to Jim Coudal, Worldwide Executive Creative Director.

17 August 2007

writing contests are good for you

I entered a writing contest sponsored by Coudal Partners.

You were supposed to write a 'missed connection' email to some inanimate object (they refer to the contest on their site, but it's for 'infrequent mailings' subscribers only - sign up!). you can review your local clist to get a feel for the format. If you're too lazy to check there, all you need to know is that they are lame and ridiculous. Who thinks they can track a person down on craigslist?

[aside: i know a guy that posts a vague "you: attractive blonde driving in the jetta on 405 fwy @ 815 this morning - m4w" ad once a week or so, just to see what he can fish up. seriously. I can't decide if he's a genius or a jackass. both?]

I chose a pair of Nike Air Max 95 running shoes for my missed connection.

Here's my entry:

You - 1995 Air Max running shoes in orange/grey (m4s)

You: A pair of reissued Air Max '95 running shoes in the rare orange/grey colorway, size 10. You were at my local trendy shoe shop the week of August 5th. I knew your original issue back in '95. It's been 12 years, but you haven't lost a step. You look better than ever.

me: blue 7 jeans, fitted light grey t-shirt, six feet tall, close cropped brown hair, athletic build,

You were sitting there with your big air bubble in the heel, small, perky bubble at the toe. You were cocked at a 45 degree angle (right shoe only). I recognized your sexy orange lace-loops, your grey stripes, orange accents in the sole, your unique round (not flat) laces. I could tell by the way you were looking at me that we had something special. You stood out because you were sleek enough for exercise or dressy enough to wear with jeans. I held you, caressed your supple shape. You spoke to me of both business and pleasure, like the shoe version of a mullet, only cooler. And more expensive.

And that's the rub: the expense. I was scared off by your $150 price tag. Too much, I said. I need to think about it. But when I went back the next week, to bring you into my life, I had missed out.

I asked the shoe guy what happened, and he said, "we got some, but they sold out the next day."
I've been back to the shoe store over and over again to find you, and the shoe guy has tried to get me to cheat on you with other colors, but I can't do it. It's you or nothing. Walk back into my life; the next time I see you, I won't hesitate.

14 August 2007

you can't put a price on douchebaggery - wait, yes you can. $54 million sounds about right

Judges can be pompous assholes. Like cops, but worse. Anyone that's stood before a judge, or stood in a courtroom while they did their (boring, often lame) job knows that. So it's not a big surprise to hear that it's a judge that is suing someone else for $54 million over a pair of pants. Of course it's a judge. Only a judge would be a big enough asshole to think he could get away with it. A practicing attorney wouldn't bother; they have to bill hours for a living. You can read the whole story at any number of outlets. Here's one. I chose the yahoo/reuters story because the headline is "Judge presses suit over $54 mln pants". Get it? "presses"? Honk! Also, the yahoo/reuters story explains the math that the judge used to arrive at his $54 mln figure. He didn't just pull it out of thin air, people.

Roy had his first case thrown out, but now he's appealing.

I wanted to take a few minutes and induct the Hon. Roy Pearson into the douchebag hall of fame. That's him at left, hauling the case of what must be his supply of Rx drugs he needs to get through the day.

AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin, and good job, because this guy is hard to get a picture of. really. either he's media shy or he knows that he's being a jackass. maybe both.

where can i get me one of these?

i don't care what it takes, i need one of these things. immediately if not sooner.

it's gonna be great. i can make it play dress-up and then take sweet pictures. when it gets old enough to talk I can teach it swear words. with any luck it'll be a boy and as long he doesn't commit any felonies before he's 18 and gets into college it'll be fine.

if I have a girl it'll be the same thing but as soon as she hits puberty she'll have to go to a convent. no one touches the daughter. no one.

what, i have to provide for it? enh, i heard the expense was worth it. I'll give it some thought when i'm on the beach in bali this fall. i'm unconcerned about the whole diaper/poopie issue. that's what the wife is for. (duh!) that's my whole parenting strategy. If it's messy, dirty, or difficult, "ask your mother". That's what they're there for, right? I'm old school.

ahh, I kid. (pun intended! honk!) sweet image courtesy uncov2.0.

10 August 2007

you spent how much?

Good friend of mine went on a blind date this week. He made reservations at one of his regular date spots, cost is around $90 for two (including wine), plus easy to get a table on a Wednesday. So he meets the girl, takes her to the spot, and there's no menus. Odd, he says.

Waiter says: thanks for coming on our special 6 course chef's tasting menu night. Prepare for a delicious feast!
He says, Bring me your finest meats and cheeses! no he didn't. he said: errm, ahh, sure, great?!?

Tasting menu commences. He overeats, food is good but not great, whatever. Bill comes out. It's $125 per person.
Tax and tip, comes to $280. For a dinner for 2. on a blind date. He could have bought a wii for that kind of money.

As for the date, the girl is very keen to go out again. Him, not so much.

08 August 2007

Animals need love, too

If you hadn't heard, I volunteer at the local animal shelter. Something to do, gets me out of the house, etc, etc.

That handsome devil at left is named Foster, and he is the current champion of reaching through the bars and scratching your nose if you are not paying attention when you read his chart. He's a big, athletic cat, and he's got exceptional reach.

I don't know much about animal care. Just the basics. I know a lot about sweeping, mopping, and doing laundry, which, as it happens, is a big part of volunteering at the local shelter. One drawback to doing the laundry is the unpleasant smell. There's really no way around it. The cats make some mess, but the smelliest animals of all (aside from the baby ducks- who knew?) are the puppies. They weedle everywhere. And weedle stinks like I can't even tell you. Puppies are cute but overrated. Even kittens use the litterbox. Score one for the the cats.

Some other shelter points of interest:
- you get to play with cats, dogs and kittens but they don't wreck shop in your house. puppies, not so much. they're fun for a few seconds but they lose interest. kittens and dogs are a lot more fun. cats are hit or miss. it's their nature.

- unlimited pussy jokes when you're working with the cats. not my taste in humor, but some of my friends think it's hilarious. they also loooooove dick jokes.

- you can go to the shelter when it's closed to the general public and feed the goat (they let him out of his pen and give him the run of the grassy areas on closed days)

- random animals come in for care, like tortoises, a pigeon (why?), guinea pigs, turtles, 3 potbellied pigs (friends w/ the goat), cockatiels, and rabbits. i'm waiting for when they bring a wounded hawk in and they feed him the rabbits. (this is not a popular view around the shelter, but I'm pumped for it)

- I'm a huge hit with the girls at the shelter, and by "girls" i mean "grandmothers". and there are many. if they were only 3 or 4 decades younger...

that's it for now. please have all your pets spayed or neutered. i mean it. and adopt from a shelter. ;)

Brady, welcome to camp!

Ahh, Brady Quinn ended his holdout. That's big news if you care about Browns football. That doesn't describe me in any way, so let's move on.

The graphic comes courtesy Kissing Suzy Kolber (the original) and then the genius 289 at withleather made a brilliant modification. I added the (redundant) "To Douchebaggery" text. Because Quinn, who I don't know and will never meet, seems like a douchebag. I hate to be a judgmental dick about it, but there it is.

And lastly, for the Steelers fans: Steely McBeam? Your new mascot is named Steely McBeam? Was Chest Rockwell already taken? for f's sake.

07 August 2007

when your commitment to nerd knows no bounds...

tattoos are just skin pictures. unless it's a (the?) bluescreen of death windows crash message.

i feel like this is a bit much.


and check this link for the guy that got not one, but two tattoos related to the zune music player. guess there's not much going on in his life, either.

he needs a blog.

06 August 2007

i am a very lucky idiot

recovery from the impressive (though relatively harmless) crash continues. rumor has it i would be an internet sensation already if I had captured it on video. a ha.

here's how it went down:
speeding around a corner to keep up with my friends (who had slowed - as it happens, a wise choice), i hit a patch of sandy rocks.

turning the wheel has no effect. brakes had no effect. tried to get the rear end to spin around. that didn't work. i'm in trouble, and I've got 3 options (as shown in my brilliant diagram):
1. Make the turn
2. run into the end of a wooden fence, and very probably break myself or the bike. or both.
3. Careen into the drainage ditch.

Bike goes w/ option 2. I take option 3: launch off bike, front flip over handlebars, land in ditch/bushes. instead of disaster, i've got only some scrapes and bruises. i missed the fence entirely, and the bushes helped cushion my fall. I traded some scratches for a hard landing. it was worth it. I also had a helmet and gloves on, so that helped. and i'm an idiot. which did not help.

love you.

02 August 2007

Jim Harbaugh tells truth, is insulted

ahh, it didn't take any time at all to find something awesome. I barely know who Jim Harbaugh is. Apparently he played football at Michigan. And, as crazy as it might sound, the academic program for the athletes there was/is not very rigorous. According to si.com:

Harbaugh in May told the San Francisco Examiner that Michigan admitted athletes who were borderline academically, then steered them into less-challenging courses to keep them eligible.

Can you imagine such a thing? How could he even suggest it? The current Michigan coach called his comments "elitist" and "arrogant". I didn't go to Michigan, so I didn't know that "elitist" meant the same thing as "true", and "arrogant" also means "accurate".

The Stanford AD said that there will be no more comments from Harbaugh. That'll teach him.

it's been a crazy, busy week

They're cracking down over at the Fremulon offices, so I haven't had a chance to do any blog posting. I'm important. It happens.

But I'm back now and lots has happened. Bill Walsh died, and that wasn't funny. He was a cerebral, intelligent football coach, some say the first of that type. I think that's overstating things a little, but there's no doubt he was a smart guy, with a fair eye for talent, and a master motivator. He wasn't one to let emotion cloud his judgement, as when he let Joe Montana leave for the Kansas City Chiefs. (That was a turning point in my sport fandom, when I realized that rooting for a particular team was what Seinfeld called "cheering for laundry, one jersey over another.")

In any case, Bill Walsh knew he had another pretty good quarterback that was ready to enter the prime of his career. Thus Steve Young began winning football games for the 49ers. Voila, or, as i've seen it spelled recently "wa-la!"

More posts soon. I went mountain bike riding and crashed. No harm done, but i did a front flip over the handlebars into a ditch. And Barry Bonds should hit his record-breaking home run soon, which will prompt much hand-wringing and self-righteous blather from the scribes, which I will then lampoon in my inimitable style. Get excited. and maybe something about what an idiot Dick Vitale is, just for kicks.
thanks for reading.

ps. i suck at guitar. a lot. so I will post about that, too.

27 July 2007

if you ain't cheatin, you ain't tryin'

ahh, the magic of sport. On the one hand, you've got guys like Barry Bonds. He probably took steroids. I don't much care. It wasn't against the rules when he did it, and there's a long and inglorious history of cheating in baseball. You can say Aaron didn't use illegal drugs, but you have to admit that he may have been popping greenies like tic tacs. So what?

And then there's cycling. lordy lordy lordy. Cyclists are the East German swim team from 1976. I have a friend in France (oui!) that rides with some amateur cyclists on the weekends. He told me a couple years ago that even the amateur riders, the weekend warriors riding for club teams, have to deal with doping at every competition. He says it's just the done thing; if you're not enhancing w/ drugs, you're not going to even compete. I confess that I doubted him then, but not now.

The rider in the photo above (from Joel Saget/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images; please don't send me litigious correspondence) was the race leader until he got booted for skipping scheduled drug tests before the race started. How did he get through almost the whole race without someone noticing that he had been booted from his own national team for suspicion of using drugs? That's the kind of oversight you only expect from the federal government.