Thursday, March 26, 2009

Internet On The Superhighway

To whom it may concern:

This morning, as I exited the Kansas Turnpike traveling west into Topeka, I noticed an odd, square object near the middle of the dashboard of the white truck I was following. I accelerated and passed the vehicle as it straddled the white line separating the border of the I-70's right lane from the shoulder of the road. From my new vantage point, before the truck exited onto Rice Road, I was able to determine the following:

*Your company's logo was pasted to the driver's side door

*The driver was a white male

*The square object just to the right of the driver was a laptop computer

*The laptop was powered and displaying information of great interest to the driver


I couldn't tell what was being displayed on the laptop -- it could have been a challenging game of spider solitaire, an email message, the New York Times homepage, or merely a map or directions to a customer's home. I couldn't tell. I didn't have a lot of time to explore the issue, because I take driving seriously, and I was concentrating on maneuvering my Camry past a white roofing truck piloted by an inattentive man through 65 mile-per-hour rush hour traffic.

In any case, regardless of the computer screen's content, the driver's actions are indefensible. I wouldn't wish anyone unemployment given our current economy, but if you would kindly tell your employee to pull his head out of his ass and watch the damn road, my fellow commuters and I would appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Font Fail

Floyd and I were chatting last night about how we hate most internet language, from "teh" to "ftw". I'm annoyed by "FAIL". It's overused, and nondescript. Although I will admit that sometimes, it's apropos, like when you get past an email's purple font to find its green signature.

I know I don't have to point this out to you savvy folk, but this secretary's GOT WINGDINGS IN HER GODDAMN SIGNATURE. Clover Home Happy. Club Ranch-house Smile. You really consulted your Egyptian Grammar. That's why you made it to SENIOR administrative assistant.

The Wingdings really get me pumped for the subsequent Celtic/Elfish St. Paddy's Day greeting and the concluding inspirational verse, which was either written by Shakespeare or Kenny Chesney -- I can't remember, I must have skipped my Important Poetry course that day.

/misguided outrage

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Motorcar, (Definitely) Maybe A Jaguar

A guy cut me off this evening as I was entering the turnpike.

He was driving a Jaguar.

His assigned license plate was POO 101.

That's JUSTICE, asshole.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Quotent Quotables

Shawn and Katie were in town Thursday night, and we went out for two drinks. During a particularly funny exchange, Shawn said, "To me, this screams masquerade ball rape scene."

I typed his quote into my phone so I'd be sure to remember it. I decided not to type in my own quote the preceded his, thinking my memory would be sufficiently sparked by "To me, this screams masquerade ball rape scene."

No idea.

Monday, March 09, 2009


dn wrote:

This reads like an Onion article:
Singer Phil Collins finds new passion in the Alamo

SAN ANTONIO - Singer Phil Collins says his new "main thing" is the Alamo.

Collins, who said he has "hundreds" of cannonballs, documents and other artifacts from the Alamo, is in San Antonio this week in conjunction with the anniversary of the March 1836 battle of the Alamo.

The collector and history buff's most prized item is a receipt signed by Alamo commander William Barret Travis for 32 head of cattle used to feed the Alamo defenders.

"Basically, now I've stopped being Phil Collins the singer. This has become what I do," he said in an online story Tuesday for the San Antonio Express-News.

His interest began in his youth when he saw actor Fess Parker portray Davy Crockett.

The 58-year-old singer, whose hits include "In the Air Tonight" and "One More Night," said he has passed on his appreciation for the Alamo lore to his five children, especially his youngest sons, ages 4 and 7.

"My youngest two, they can identify Travis, Crockett and Santa Anna when they see their pictures," he said.

Collins narrated the introduction of a 13-minute "Alamo diorama light and sound show" at the History Shop by the Alamo.

He is scheduled to speak to the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association on Saturday.

Paul wrote:

if he does have hundreds of cannonballs, etc., do you think he keeps them all in one room or building? how weird would it be to be hanging out at phil collins' house, get lost looking for the bathroom, and walk into a room filled with cannonballs from the Alamo?

dn wrote:

I’d really like to know how you can authenticate hundreds of 1836 cannonballs. (Hundreds? What the hell? You grab a handful, okay, cool – but hundreds? Is he trying to get the complete set or something? Somebody should tell him these aren’t 1989 Upper Deck cards.) I think there’s a blacksmith out there who’s made a killing off Collins. “Uh, yeah! I located another mysterious collector, and he’s got 30 more cannonballs to sell you, Phil!”

If you had one or two cannonballs, you could put them in a little glass box, like a signed baseball, and display them in a room with the rest of your Alamo crap. Hundreds, though? And you’re probably keeping them inside, not in a pile on the lawn next to your vintage cannon? Man, I don’t know what you do with them. They must be stacked in little pyramids all over his complex.

Paul wrote:

To be honest, what I would really like to see happen is someone create a theatrical production of the Alamo battle set to the music of Phil Collins/Genesis. You can't tell me that "In the Air Tonight" wouldn't fit perfectly as everyone prepares for the battle the night before. That song killed on the pilot episode of Miami Vice, and would do so here as well.

[end email string]

I have buried the joyous leads here. First, when boiled down to their essence, Genesis (and Phil Collins) will be remembered for three things: a scene from Miami Vice, the Land of Confusion video, and stealing Aimee Mann's Oscar by writing the monkey love theme from Disney's animated Tarzan.

Second, I fully support his obsession with the Alamo, because it means PHIL COLLINS HAS STOPPED SINGING! He said it himself! Awesome. This almost makes up for hearing Another Day in Paradise a billion times.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Amazonians And Irishmen has forums now. It's probably a good idea. I a forum called, "What's the best electronic razor to buy?" could be more useful that looking at each razor's individual product page, then scrolling to the user comments. Something tells me, though, that the Amazon customer base hasn't quite grasped the point of these forums.

Go nuts, guys! Any venue is the perfect venue for unconstructive debate!

On Tuesday, the digital version of U2's new album, "No Line on the Horizon" was on sale at Amazon. This made a difficult decision easy. Opting to put four dollars worth of trust toward a band that's earned it, I acted in opposition to my ears, which heard and rejected the record's first single, "Get On Your Boots", and to indie music critics, who panned the album.

Well, two days later, I'm pleased with the purchase. I'd be more than pleased, except that phrase doesn't make sense. It's got eleven songs -- "Get On Your Boots" has a solid beat but a very clunky vocal track (to the extent that Bono's band should press charges against him), "FEZ-Being Born" is ambient and inessential, "White as Snow" and "Cedars of Lebanon" are low-key musings, and the other seven ROCK MY SHIT with BONO VOX and EDGE "PLAY THE BLUES" GUITAR and ADAM CLAYTON BASSLINES and LARRY MULLEN JUNIOR DRUMS AND THE DRUMS AND THE DRUMS AND THE DRUMS AND THE DRUMS AND THE DRUMS AND THE DRUMS AND THE DRUMS AND THE DRUMS.

I think this episode sums up my struggle with interpreting musical trends today. If Pitchfork Media et al had its way, I'd be listening to bands who sound like AIDS patients whispering into four tracks, who think it's a super idea for their press kit to include photos like these or this:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ignorance Movie Data Base

Actors I thought were European until last week:
  • John Malkovich (not French, but fluent; born in Ohio)
  • Katharine Hepburn (not British, but fluent; born in Connecticut)

By the by, Hepburn + Cary Grant in "Bringing Up Baby" = huge laffs. Queue it.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Getting Lucky

I would never suggest that Setting Sun's cover of "You Got Lucky" is better than Tom Petty's original, but I am fond of it. The tone matches the lyrics here -- it feels more vengeful than the original, because it's tough for Tom to sound sinister with those 80's keyboards backing him up.