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August 2006

What would Mel Torme do?

harryanderson

We all know that things down in the Big Easy aren't that easy, but even B list celebrities are fleeing. That's right, Harry Anderson (who isn't dead) is leaving his adopted home of 10 years for greener, and less violent, pastures. It would seem that Harry's nightclub wasn't doing so well thanks to the dip in tourism, and he was physically attacked for the second time.

Read the article to find out how Harry helped create a sort of provisional government to help sort things out after Katrina, and yet New Orleans has never really embraced Harry.


My brain is odd (but you already knew that)

For some reason I knew that residents of Quebec are called Québécois, and yet I can never remember people's names, where my keys are, or important dates, let alone who I am going to see.

Example:

The other day I went for a followup Doctor's visit (diagnosis: fat). I checked in, and the woman behind the counter said, 'What doctor are you here to see?'

I replied, 'I don't know. I can't remember her name.'

'Well, when were you here last?'

'Umm... hard to say. It wasn't that long ago,' I said deep in thought.

She continued, 'Do you remember if you registered as a patient?'

'Not exactly, but the Doctor did see me, so that's a good sign, right?'

It just got worse, folks.


The Warriors of Athena Women's D&D Meetup Group

waterelementalminiI just got a notice about The Warriors of Athena Women's D&D Meetup Group, which is a Meetup designed for women who play D&D (kind of a rare breed) to meet each other and socialize sans male geeks.

I'm a male geek, so why am I being informed of this, Meetup? Are you trying to 'hook a brother up,' as they say in common street parlance? I think it is safe to say that I couldn't be in a relationship with a woman who plays D&D. I like my women geeky, to be sure, but not geeky in the same exact way as me. I might as well make out with myself, which reminds me...


The answer to all my seating needs

villainchair1.jpgOne fairly constant source of blogging for me has been my quest for some more seating. I think that quest is over.

The Villain Chair is the idea sitting place for me, don't ya think? I'll just replace my current couch with this chair and gain more room. But where will others sit when they visit me? Obviously they will be on the floor groveling, so no seats are needed.

I'll probably need to look into urine resistant flooring though, since I imagine I will terrify most of my visitors.

Via Uncrate.


Technology will solve everything

sportskitI want a new iPod, and I want to shed some pounds. Now, at first gloss you might think that these two desires are not related, but they are intertwined closer than the snakes on a caduceus.

You see, Apple and Nike have teamed up to create the Nike + iPod which is a doodad that snaps onto your iPod nano and a sensor that slips into your shoe. It tracks how far you have ran, and how long it took you to cover the distance. It also syncs up to some Nike website where you can track your progress and 'challenge friends,' which I don't think I would be doing (the challenging that is).

So, I need to get a new iPod nano and a Nike + iPod sports kit and I will be totally hot, or something. Who's with me?


How much is a cashmere sweater worth?

cashmeresweaterAs the weather cools a young man's thoughts turn to his fall wardrobe. At least that's what I assume since Rochester Big and Tall sent me a 'Fall Preview' email tonight.

As I was browsing around the wares they had to offer this sweater caught my eye, though I certainly won't look like that dude in it. Now, I have never had cashmere anything, so I don't know if $200 is outrageous (that would be the most I ever spent on a sweater). I know that Blankbaby readers are noting if not fashionable, so tell me what to do.

I also like this cardigan but it is $400!


Dark snowglobes

Dark SnowglobeThis link has been banging around in various browsers and 'To Blog' lists I have been keeping, so I decided to post it and be done with it. This is for those amongst you that like your treacle with a hint of cyanide.

'Treacle with a Hint of Cyanide' is now the official title of my forthcoming autobiography, to be published by Blankbaby Media in the fall of 2014.


These pictures just cost me $121

Trinity College Library

These amazing pictures of libraries around the world have been making the rounds on the internet, so I figured why not post 'em on Blankbaby. The link has been sitting in my 'To Blog' pile for about a week, and now I am blogging about it.

Point of fact: I didn't even read the post before I put it on my 'To Blog' pile, I just knew that pictures of libraries demand my attention. So it was with great glee that I read how the pictures come from a book. I can purchase books, so I figured why not purchase this one?

So, I bought it, no matter the $63 price tag (though it looks like Star Trek will have to wait until some other time).

Now, I know I was an English major in college, but even I know that $63 does not equal $121. So how do I account for the other 59 bucks?

Well, once I am on Amazon I can't just buy one thing. Therefore, my shopping cart found itself filled with the following, in short order:

The internet is a wonderful and dangerous thing. I can't wait until I get these books (they should be here by Wednesday). I'm so giddy! I might end up reorganizing my books.

Oh, and here's a fun fact: the picture accompaying this post (which was 'borrowed' from the page linked above, and the book I just bought) is of Trinity College Library, widely regarded as one of the world's most beautiful libraries. It also happens to be what the Jedi Library that appears in the Star Wars films is based on.


Star Trek The Next Generation The Complete Seasons 1-7

sttngsetNow that the Star Trek The Next Generation The Complete Seasons 1-7 DVD set is selling for less than $700 (much, much less) I think I am going to get it, but it still costs $330. Is my love for Star Trek worth that much?

Probably.

I could watch the entire series, in order, if I had these DVD's. How awesome would that be? Encounter at Far Point to All Good Things... in one fantastic Star Trek orgy.


No eating after 9pm

9pm.jpgOne might think that the hardest part of my lifestyle changes would be the great Pepsi Ban. The first few days without Pepsi were rough, I'll admit it, but now that they are behind me it has been smooth sailing. I really don't crave Pepsi (though I still want it), so I think of that as progress.

Now the toughest thing is not eating after 9pm. When I first decided to enact that particular restriction I didn't think it would be that tough. I mean, how much do I eat after 9pm? Well, it would seem I did a lot of eating after 9pm. I had no idea how tough this would be, and I must admit that I have eaten a thing here or there after 9, but much, much less than I used to.

Wake me when I'm svelte.


If only I had $8,448 to spare

PolarStarMainImage.jpg

I have found the perfect vacation, though like many things that I desire it probably won't be mine. The good people at International Expeditions have scheduled a British Isles trip which they describe thusly:

Our superb 96-guest expedition vessel, the M/V Polar Star, was designed to navigate remote regions, and provides remarkable luxury along the coastal waters of Britain and Ireland. She is large enough to travel to isolated islands and ports in comfort, yet small enough to enter otherwise inaccessible areas that larger cruise ships can only sail past. Aboard the M/V Polar Star, we’ll experience this region’s remarkable combination of natural and human history that reaches back 6,000 years, all in a casual and enriching environment. Our ship is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft, allowing you to venture close to nesting sites for gannets and other birds, cruise along the beaches of small islands, and land securely at remote sites so you can explore Neolithic villages and centuries-old monastaries.

Now, that sounds like a vacation that I would enjoy the heck out of. Sadly, it would cost me at least $8,448 if I went by myself, and at least $5,598 if I found someone who wanted to go with me (and at that price I doubt I would have any luck finding a partner, but it would be super cool).

Well, it doesn't depart until May 11th, 2007 so I still have time to not go.


A belated shoutout to Phillyville

Let's all welcome Welcome To Phillyvile to PhillyFuture's 'Featured Blog' spot. Karl suggested that we have a 'blog storm' to go along with the Featured Blog feature on Philly Future, and I thought it a good idea. However, as with most good ideas it took me a while to actually get around and do it.

But now I have, and isn't that special?


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Maybe they should have called it the 'True Believers Diaries'

princessdiaries2.jpgThe other day I was watching The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (don't judge me) and I was startled by what I saw on the screen. The climax of the movie happens when Mia Thermopolis, played by the always cast as the ugly duckling Anne Hathaway, is to be crowned queen. The will she or won't she tension is running high as various people fill the hall were the coronation is set to happen (I won't tell you what happens). I was half paying attention when I saw something that startled me.

"I know that old dude," thought I as I rewound the movie (thanks to the magic of digital cable). Sure enough, it looked like some random dude part was being played by none other than Stan 'I created the Fantastic Four, Spiderman, and the X-Men' Lee. A quick trip to IMDB confirmed it.

Odd, huh?


I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes

TAW1.jpgSaturday night isn't complete without a little geek folk music. What's geek folk you ask? Well, it is a term I came up with the other day to explain Jonathan Coulton to Marisa. I think it is quite apt, and so would you if you have ever heard his music (and shame on you for not knowing who he is).

Anyway, Jonathan Coulton was opening for some other folky kinda dude over at MilkBoy Coffee of Ardmore. I convinced Marisa to sally forth with me (I just said, 'hey, you like folk music. Wanna see this concert?' and she was all like, 'Sure.'). Off we went to MilKBoy Coffee of Ardmore, little did we know that serendipity was on our side.

Normally I purchase tickets for any kind of show well in advance, however, I figured how likely was it that a concert in a coffeehouse (in Ardmore) would sell out? Turns out it is exceedingly likely since that is exactly what happened.

So, I hear you asking, how the heck did we get into the show?

Cue serendipity.

It would just so happen that moments before a lovely lady, accompanied by her sister, entered MilkBoy Coffee of Ardmore. She was in a bit of a state because her two other companions, who were supposed to be at the show, were unable to make it. She asked the kind girl at the door if she would mind letting the next two people who came to the door without tickets in for free. She was worried that the MilkBoy Coffee of Ardmore staffer would balk at such a request, but she shouldn't have worried. The girl at the door said that wouldn't be a problem. Elated the woman, and her sister, go to their seats and thought nothing of what they had just done.

I'm sure, by now, that you can guess who the next two ticketless people at the door were. That's right, it was Marisa and myself. Not only did we get into the very sold out show, we got in for free. You can't beat that.

The woman at the door kindly pointed out our mysterious benefactors and I purchased their coffee and pastries for them as a sign of our thanks.

Getting in for free is always a great way to start any show. As we were walking to find some seats who did we spy but none-other than Sarcasmo (who, as a big fan of zombies, I wasn't surprised to see). We didn't get a chance to chat, but we waved and acknowledged each other's presence, as you do. Anywho, read her recounting of the story here, and note, as I did, that there is nary a mention of Blankbaby in the whole thing.

Soon the lights dimmed and the man, the myth, the minstrel that is Jonathan Coultan took the stage like the giant of geek folk that he is. He started off with his rendition of Baby Got Back, which is a classic. It was also quite amusing to watch the audience slowly realize what he was singing and start to laugh. Ahh, good stuff, folks.

He also played (not in the order that they were played, and perhaps not all that he played. I am relying on my memory):


  • Millionaire Girlfriend: A touching song about finding what every man wants, a millionaire women who is willing to give you power of attorney

  • Kenesaw Mountain Landis: A song which I have enjoyed for many months, but I never knew what the hell it was about. Jonathan explained that it is about the Black Sox scandal and then it all make sense to me (well, as much sense as it could).

  • Skullcrusher Mountain: Evil geniuses need love too.

  • Code Monkey: His underground hit about coders.

  • Re Your Brains: A zombie tries to negotiate (and my personal favorite song of his).

I think that was all he played, but he was highly entertaining.

Now, a note about Re Your Brains. Sometimes, when I find a song I am particularly fond of I listen to it over and over and over again. Endlessly. Nonstop. For days on end. Re Your Brains was one such song (another example would be 'A View to a Kill' by Duran Druan). When I wasn't listening to it, I heard it echoing in the chambers of my mind. My thoughts were filled with the constant baying of zombies pleading for brains. I even made Glenn listen to it when I visited him. He was not impressed. No accounting for taste, I suppose.

Overall, Mr. Coultan was fantastic. I had thought that he might be a touch too geeky for Marisa, but she enjoyed him as well so that was good.

Next up was Jim Boggia, the headliner. I had never heard any of his music but was informed that he was a more serious folker, so I knew what I was getting into. He is obviously a very talented fellow, but he rubbed me the wrong way (in the metaphorical sense, there was no actual rubbing going on. Well, none that involved me anyway).

He got up and started strumming his guitar, sang a song, and then asked that the lights be turned down. Not a big deal. Another song and his guitar strap broke, so he needed a chair or stool (he got both). Also, not annoying. The third song and he asked that the AC be turned off. Now, that's where I draw the line. Sure, it wasn't hot out in Ardmore last night, but if you are in a room with a couple hundred other people with windows that don't open AC is needed (especially if you happen to be a large man who runs a little hot). Without the AC, which was either turned off or lowered significantly, the place started to heat up. It wasn't unbearable but it wasn't as nice as it once was during those halcyon times when Jonathan Coulton was playing.

The final thing that irked me a little was that Mr Boggia eschewed a set list for the ever popular, 'Ask the audience what they want to hear.' While this sounds great in theory ('Holy crap, the dude I came to see has suddenly turned into a jukebox that might play a song I yell out') it is just annoying, and not only to people who don't know any of your songs. Your loyal fans, no doubt, have their favorite songs and there is no way that you will manage to sing them all, so why give them a glimmer of hope by suggesting that they yell out what they want to hear? Seems kind of cruel to me.

Anyway, Jim Boggia is talented but not for me. Hey, it happens to the best of us (and it happens to me all the time, though I am not talented so it particularly stings).