31 July 2005

A Brilliant New Blog

1 : extraordinary intellectual power especially as manifested in creative activity
2 : a person endowed with transcendent mental superiority; specifically : a person with a very high intelligence quotient

A wise person once said, "Flattery will get you everywhere". Wise, indeed.

When this new blogger called me a blogging genius, I quickly corrected them.
Why stop there?
Why limit all my genii to merely blogging?
Surely, my superior intellect knows no bounds.
I mean, how many people know that the pural of genius is genii?
Two people in the history of man?

So go check out TV Wannabe at her new home in the blogosphere...just for recognizing my true being, while the rest of you still find yourselves wallowing in the dark.

Plus, I'd be remissed to point that TVW already has a new home on the right side of the page.

As for the dreariness of her blog...don't worry, she'll have more links up soon.
That is, of course, if my unparalleled wisdom has anything to say about it.

Owen & Wes

Those who know me well are not surprised by today's article link.

It's no secret that I'm a huge Wes Anderson fan. If you need more proof, note the last quote at the top of the page.

From Bottle Rocket to his most recent The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, his original style and storytelling with friend and collaborator Owen Wilson have marveled critics and moviegoers alike.

I know that The Royal Tenebaums has been characterized by many to be a bump in the road for young Anderson, but few can argue with his daring and bold choices that have personified his undeniable storytelling technique.

So, I was intrigued to find this article on Slate at MSN.com, making the argument that perhaps it was Owen's partnership that drove the first 3 scripts, and could be the lynchpin to Wes' so-called backlash in Life Aquatic.

While I don't agree with this writer's position, I will admit there could be some validity to it. I've always seen Wilson as the yang to Anderson's yin, a give-take relationship of too talented, yet stubborn auteurs. With that in mind, I do feel the author's Lennon/McCartney reference is spot on, but hopefully not a harbinger of things to come.

At any rate, I'm sure that this whole post is just another ruse in my attempt to invite you into the world of genius and akwardness that is the Wes Anderson universe. '

If you haven't seen any of his movies, I implore to give them a try.

They may be a little surreal and obtuse, but the humor and the intricate, brilliantly-woven characters he creates should be recognizable, and that alone is a breath of fresh air in the remake/sequel/Swiss cheese plots of the current Hollywood landscape.

Wes Anderson's Filmography
Bottle Rocket (1996)
Rushmore (1998)
The Royal Tenebaums (2001)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

28 July 2005

A Neighborly Stroll

If you're looking for a nice round-up of our area blogs, check out hoppinthoughts' blog review at her site.

She even says some nice things about moi.

Check's in the mail, Sonja. Thanks for the props.

Crop of Advice

It's no secret that the best advice usually comes forth in a simple and straight-forward way.

Being the grandson of a farmer and coal miner, some of the best life lessons I've learned came courtesy of this blue collar, salt of the earth lifestyle.

That said, some sage advice from the most noble in our society:
The farmer.

An Old Farmer's Advice
-Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
-Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.
-Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
-A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
-Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
-Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
-Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
-Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
-It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
-You cannot unsay a cruel word.
-Every path has a few puddles.
-When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
-The best sermons are lived, not preached.
-Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
-Don't judge folks by their relatives.
-Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
-Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back,you'll enjoy it a second time.
-Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.
-Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
-If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
-Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
-The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with,watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
-Always drink upstream from the herd.
-Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
-Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
-If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin'somebody else's dog around.
-Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

[link via Grahme Newell]

Filmmaker's Block

All of these things are just like the others
All of these things completely belong

Can you see the humor/disgust in this picture?

For the answer, click and drag your mouse over the line below for the "hidden answer":

Answer: All of the movies are either remakes (as the studio spins will call it..."re-imaginings") or sequels. Apparently, originality continues to take the back seat to the money machine in their busiest time of year.

[link via clicked & wizbang]

26 July 2005


Better Blogging Tip #4,192:

Are you tired of people having to leave your site after they click on a link? How are they ever going to find their way back?

What's that? The BACK button, you say? That is Sooo 2004, my friend.

Here's a tip from me to you on how to cut out that dreaded middleman we call the BACK Button and get that link to pop up in a separate window.

Look at your site link codes on your template....they'll probably look something like this:


Look familiar?
Well, by adding TARGET=_blank inside the brackets of your address on your template page, you can make that link click pop up is its own window!

See example below:
"http//yoursiteaddy.com" TARGET=_blank

Now, wasn't that a walk in the park? Now, you can say that you've learned something today.

Happy Blogging!

This has been a public service announcement made possible by readers like you.

Dark Side of the Rainbow

OK, we've all heard it. Some of us may have even participated, or know someone who's "followed the Pinkish Brick Road".

I'm writing of course of scoring The Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, also known as "Dark Side of the Rainbow".

That's right. "Floydians" and "Wizard of Oz" fans of the world unite in their common bond of syncronicity.

My question to you, dear reader: Are you one of the many that has partaken in this ritual, this amazing phenomena?

I, sadly, have not. I do hope to do so someday, before I leave his mortal orb.

So, if you have done so, step forth, be heard, and comment in the section below.

If you're interested in testing this theory of theories, take heed of these certain truths from the web site dedicated to the proper execution of this time-honored ritual:

Lining up THE SYNC for the movie

1.) Load the DSOTM CD into your CD player

2.) Press PLAY (>) and then immediately press PAUSE (II) so the CD is cued up and ready to roll.

3.) Set your CD player to Continuous Replay. In most CD players, this is done by pressing the "REPEAT" button twice which will engage the machine to play the CD repeatedly.
Pressing it once will usually repeat only the current playing track. The CD will play about two and a quarter times through the entire length of the movie.
Now start the video and fast forward past all the preview junk at the beginning (about five minutes worth on the THX VHS version) .
Once you have your VHS or DVD to the very beginning of the movie, where the BLACK & WHITE MGM lion roars, immediately after the BLACK & WHITE MGM Lion roars for the THIRD (3rd) time, press the PLAY button on the CD player. I overemphasize "black and white" in reference to the MGM Lion because, at least on the THX version there is a colour MGM Lion that appears prior to the black and white one.
Now turn down the sound volume on the TV, because the dialogue and original soundtrack are not necessary for this experiment -- neither should they even be considered. The DSOTM CD will provide all the sound you'll need.

There you have it. So simple...yet so amazing.

Floyd's DSotM is already considered a seminal album, even before all of the Wizard hype.

Its concepts have intrigued so many over the years that it's been estimated that "one out of every 14 people under the age of 50 own the album".

That, my friend, is more than just an album. That's a touchstone.

But, if that's not enough...apparently, Pink Floyd was pretty prolific in their "scoring sync" ties.

Some other mash-ups:

Blade Runner / Wish You Were Here

2001: A Space Oddity / "Echoes"

"Dark Side" of the "Yellow Submarine"


A list of all the alleged "Floyd" album synchs and their different celluloid "partners"

Happy viewing!

25 July 2005

Waiting For "Penguin"

The wait is over.

Suffice to say, methinks that The Sportslady and I will be visiting the Hollywood Connection ASAP.

As for those of you with jobs at regular hours: What are you waiting for?

The theatre beckons...

Showtimes @ The Connection:

March of the Penguins - 1:00 PM, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30, 9:40

22 July 2005

Mnemonics - Your Dear, Dear Friend

At work, there seemed to be a debate over the exact name of a program in town.

For reasons of anomynity, I'll refrain from divulging its name.
But I did come up with a nice little mnemonic to help remember it for the rest of my life.

You know what a mnemonic is, don't you?

Mnemonic - A device, such as a formula or rhyme, used as an aid in remembering.

There. Now, don't you feel smarter?

Anyway, the letters to remember are N - W - C - H - O - P.

And, your mnemonic:


Wasn't that easy? OK, you try it.

Come up with a mnemonic of your own. You can use the same one as mine, or make up your own.

Share with everyone in the comments section below.

Homework on a Friday -- Enjoy!

Mnemonics - It's fun to spare!

The Puck Starts Here

It's official, albeit a few days belated...the NHL is back.

The Blues (and Hockey) are back in town.

In the words and wonderful flair of Desi Arnaz....Juz got some 'splaining to doo!!

It's been a few days since the news came down, with nearly 90 percent of the players ratifying the new collective bargaining agreement today.

That said, I'm really torn on the whole damn thing.

Happy that my beloved Blues will skate once again...though it may not always be in the Lou...more on that here.

Pissed that the league, its commissioner, owners, players and their union dissed their fans in a sport that already freefalling in popularity and revenue.

I can't help but think that boycotting this whole thing is the way to go, that we fans would letting these guys off the hook by slinking back to the rink.

Who am I kidding? I love the sport too much for that. I'm like the loving dad whose kid is always screwing up, getting in trouble with the cops and whatnot. It's not constructive, but I love the damn kid too much.

Plus, even if the owners don't live up to "re-selling the game" by lowering ticket prices, at least I know that the players will pick up the slack.

In addition, it'll help tremendously that most sought-after amateur since Gretzky enters the draft this year, with every team getting their chance for an instant superstar.

That's the beauty of the game. That's why the fans keep coming back.

That's why in Columbus, without a loyal fanbase fit to support any pro sport team, hockey is the only game in town with a consistent fanbase and a great track record. Sure, they've fallen on hard times...but, even after making their 2nd league change in 3 years, they're still here.

That's why the most revered sports figure in town isn't just a baseball player (I'm looking at you, Frank Thomas).
It's a gritty, hard-nosed goon from Canada named Boom Boom, who turned a minor league hockey career into a love affair with a southern town that loves their hockey and their Cottonmouths.

It'll take some time...gettng the game back on its skates. The die-hard fans will find it hard to stay away.

I worry mostly about the new markets in the South (Atlanta, Florida, Carolina). The Thrashers continue to do things the right way, and with the new league structure, figure to be a major Cup contender this year.

Perhaps that the way to their hearts down South.
Build a winner, build a fanbase.
It worked for the Cottonmouths.
It did wonders for the Braves.
Could the Thrashers be the next NHL success? With cornerstones like Dany Heatley, Ilya Kolvachuk, and superstar rookie netminder Kari Lehtonen, all signs point to yes,

If there's anything that this town has taught me, the future looks bright.

The ice may seldom grace the Southern winters, but if you're hard-working, loyal, and can make a tedious sport exciting...the fans will come back.

Time to drop the puck, boys. This time, let's keep it clean....stay out of the penalty box.

The fans need you on the ice.

21 July 2005

The TVO Crew - ca. 2001

For olde tyme sake, we're hitting the Alps:
(L to R - Brian, Yours Truly (nice glasses), Mike, Josh, and Brock) Posted by Picasa

Seeing this picture brings back some old memories.

BTW...if you're not a TV techie, you might be wondering, "Why no parkas?"

Therein lies the beauty of chroma key.
It can whisk you away to anywhere you want to go...be it a snowy mountain or a dingy TV studio.

Holla to my boys in the Midwest.

Cash - The Movie?

Johnny Cash in "The coolest picture ever".

So, -B has clued me into a new movie on the horizon.

A biopic about the Man in Black?
Starring Joaquin Phoenix?

OK...you've intrigued me...although I'm a little on the fence about Reese Witherspoon playing June Carter, but at least she's easy on the eyes.

BTW...is it pronounced bi-OP-pic or BIO-pic? Anyone? Bueller?
Inquiring minds and whatnot.

20 July 2005

KC: 2 for Tony G

No, no, no...not Tony Gonzalez. Tony Graffanino.
CLEVELAND -- The Royals traded infielder Tony Graffanino on Tuesday to the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Chip Ambres and pitcher Juan Cedeno.

Cedeno was seen as the key acquisition in the deal.

"He's a wiry, strong and athletic with a very good fastball, up to 96 miles an hour," general manager Allard Baird said.
Cedeno, 21, from Huey, Dominican Republic, had a 2-6 record and 5.63 ERA in 21 games, including six starts, for Class A Wilmington this season. He had 68 strikeouts and 37 walks in 78 1/3 innings.

"It's a way of adding a power left-hander to our inventory," Baird said.

Hey, I'll sip the Kool-Aid. Sound good to me.

Allard strikes again, turning a vet for some young talent good for building up the farm.

These are the kind of trades I love to see for the boys in powder blue.

Below, more info on the 2 newest Royals:

Chip Ambres - OF - 2005 Pawtucket (AAA)
.294 average
10 HR
50 RBIs
17 steals
The Skinny:
Ambres is a former first-round pick by the Marlins (he was drafted 27th overall in 1998), but he has never quite lived up to the expectations that went along with being such a high selection. He meandered his way through the Marlins' system for six seasons, but did not distinguish himself as someone who hit for power or average before signing as a Minor League free agent with Boston last winter.

He's shown some more promise this season at Triple-A Pawtucket, hitting .294 with 10 homers and 50 RBIs through 84 games. Ambres, 25, was even named to the International League All-Star team, playing in last week's Midsummer Classic in Sacramento. He has some speed and an eye that has accounted for better than 70 walks in each of the last two seasons. That speed has helped him in the outfield, but not enough to make him a top prospect.

Juan Cedeno - LHP - 2005 (21 games)
5.63 ERA
68 K/37 walks in 78 1/3 innings.

The Skinny:
Cedeno is a hard-throwing southpaw -- he touches the mid-90s on the gun -- who won't turn 22 until next month and has shown only occasional flashes of what Boston had hoped he would become. His fastball has great movement but he has trouble controlling his curveball, a fact that contributed to his 2-6 mark and 5.49 ERA this season at Class A Wilmington. He's started 12 of his 22 games and has fanned 71 in 80 1/3 innings.

Cedeno, signed as an undrafted free agent in 2001, has not shied away from taking the ball during his tenure with the Sox. He was 16-20 with a 3.94 ERA in 59 career games (50 starts) heading into this season before struggles with his command began to hamper him. At this point, he projects as middle relief or a back-end starter.
-- Kevin T. Czerwinski

Cards Insider Trading

It seems that the Cardinals are in the market for a few extra parts to shore up their pennant drive.

One of those said parts is a fourth outfielder, to stop the bleeding left by Reggie Sanders' injury and provide some postseason bench depth.

Hence, the following latest barb to spring forth via the ESPN rumor mill:
(subscription required - provided below)
Juan in the Cards?

Jul 19 - The Cardinals might have an interest in Juan Encarnacion now that Reggie Sanders is out a month with a fractured leg, ESPN.com Insider Jerry Crasnick reports. But if the Marlins deal both A.J. Burnett and Mike Lowell -- as has been rumored -- they'll free up enough salary that they won't have to move Encarnacion, who is quietly having a productive season for a Florida team that's lacking in offense. He's third on the Marlins with 52 RBI and showing more patience than he has in the past.
My 2 cents: I'm interested to see what STL would have to relinquish in order to pull this off, but if the price is right....I could see this one happening.
Your thoughts?

16 July 2005

Here Comes Your Man

The Pixies are back, ready to record their first album in 14 years.

Rejoice, One and All.
I had a feeling after seeing them in concert earlier this year.

Now, for something completely different...

The death to Eminem?

I could care less.

[links thanks to a largehearted boy]

New Kid In Town

[Blogging] is a disease...as contagious as the bubonic plague.
Infecting one but affecting all.”
-paraphrasing the N.Y. Knights Team Psychiatrist in The Natural

Check out my friend and newest blogger to Columbus, TarheelTV.

Oh yeah...and she's on the money about Chicago....what a great town.

15 July 2005

Tipping 101

I've never been a waiter. I do honor their process, because it's a tough, low paying, and thankless job.

I have worked in customer service though.

There's a widely-known idiom that says that unless you've waited tables or worked in customer service at some point in your life, you'll never understand their plight.

One of the big misconceptions of the dining event is tipping etiquette.

Since this seems to be such an up-in-the-air concept, or people want to pretend that it is, who better than Waiter Rant to set the record straight.

With that, some tips to know when you say Check Please.

14 July 2005

A "Spoon" full of "Son Volt"

I picked up a couple of albums over the last few days.

While I was perusing Target, I spotted the new Spoon album on sale for $9.99. Couldn't pass that up. You shouldn't either.

Over the last year and a half, I've come to really enjoy Spoon. A very mellow rock sound, with an A++ in the Mutt Lange School of Production...fast, then slow.

Each album impresses me more with their range and lyrical abilities, and these lads from Britain continued in that spirit on Gimme Fiction.

Wednesday, I picked up the new Son Volt @ Best Buy. Again, I lucked out, getting the DualDisc CD/DVD with an additional Live DVD for only $11.99.

Still making my way through the disc, but very impressed so far. Jay Farrar sent the band on hiatus for about 7 years while he pursued his solo career.

Now, armed with all-new bandmates, Okemah & The Melody of Riot has a heavy, distorted sound to the mix, adding some punch and flavor to Jay's haunting vocals...no where more apparent than in "6 String Belief", a reinvention of Jay's previous released solo work.
While I like the older, acoustic version better, this one has a brand new feel to it. Definitely, a solid record with mounds of potential.

Here's what Rolling Stone says:

Son Volt Okemah and the Melody of Riot
(Transmit Sounds/Legacy)

On his recent solo albums, Son Volt leader Jay Farrar suffered from a serious case of the vagues, outfitting his half-legible folkie tunes with hazy atmospherics and gazing at American history like it was a Rorschach test. Those shortcomings make Okemah and the Melody of Riot especially welcome: As the first album in seven years credited to Son Volt, the band Farrar formed after the demise of alt-country pioneers Uncle Tupelo, Okemah replaces Farrar's indulgence with a gently rocking back-porch feel. With the help of three new bandmates, Farrar turns out thirteen elegantly wasted, begrudgingly tuneful songs: He rides to ragged glory on "6 String Belief" and turns "Afterglow 61" into an apt soundtrack for a summer road trip. Farrar drowns his sorrows on mellower cuts such as "Atmosphere," but by finding the right mix of pastoral beauty and bar-band swagger, Okemah usually keeps his head well above water.

Two days. Two great new albums. Touche.

12 July 2005

Real Men of Genius

Being a Show-Me State boy, there's a special bond one create with the unofficial state elixir, Budweiser.

Natty Light becomes a fixture of youth, and Bud Light the go-to brew of choice.

This is mainly due to the absence of LaBatt Blue at many fine establishment south of Michigan.
Ahhh, LaBatt...now that's a beer.

A special thanks to Aaron Online for compiling all these little slices of brilliance.

If you've heard any of these on the radio over the years, bon appetit.

If not, ready yourself of a keg stand of hilarity.

In case you didn't know: These were at one time called "Bud Light presents Real American Heroes"....but following the 9/11 attacks, the name was changed to Real Men of Genius.

Here's to you.

The Real Men of Genius Collection

Audio from http://budlight.whipnet.com/


The endless tweaking and tinkering with the biggest mathematical joke in sports continues with another change.

At least, I can agree that this is a step in the right direction.

Although, in my opinion, scrapping the whole thing could also be the way to go.

Just throwin' that out there.

Addendum: ABC's link to the BCS explanation says it all: null.

Catch "22"

Another day, another new band to pine over.

Good reader, I yield the floor to The 22-20s.

Understand that I've only heard the songs streaming here on their site, and "Shoot Your Gun" in its entirety (thanks to the Sat goodness of XM radio).

Still, I like what I hear so far.

Give it a listen, won't you?

06 July 2005

Waiting For Superman

"It's just too heavy
for Superman
to lift"
-Flaming Lips,
"Waitin' for Superman, The Soft Bulletin"

The quote above is from one of my favorite Lips songs on their amazing album, The Soft Bulletin.

But, this post refers to a different artist, Sufjan Stevens.

This artist's quest to do an album focusing on every individual state in the Union, while daunting, is only 2 albums old, but controversy is already afoot in the Midwest.

After the successful release of the project's debut, Greetings from Michigan, The Great Lakes State, the follow up, due out July 5, hits a snag courtesy of The Man of Steel.

It seems that copyright issues with the cover of Illinoise led Sufjan's record label, Asthmatic Kitty, to stop sales of the album until the matter was resolved.

One day later, after an onslaught of the newly minted rare gem started hitting $80.00 in some places on eBay, Illinoise is back for sale....for now. The good news: The "Superman" cover is back for sale, but never to be printed again.

So, I'm off to Best Buy after work, hoping to find my Superman, if only for a little rare slice of album cover art not seen since the banned Tenacious D cover.

Wish me luck.

Statler & Waldorf at the Movies

From the "Why didn't I think of that?" File:

Ready the Snooze-o-meter.

Statler & Waldorf review the movies.

This Week's Balconism: Dej-HAH-vous.

04 July 2005

OG - Original Gmail (Update)


I'm changing the email address on the site to my Gmail account, so I can access comments anywhere I go.

I'm hoping this will be much more conveinient for myself.

Per usual, the links for this account will be provided via my name on the footer of every post and on the Contact Me link along the right-hand side.

Again, you can reach me a little easier on my Gmail account at:


01 July 2005


So, the first question that Kirsten (her review here) and I will end up asking one another after leaving the cinema is an fairly common one:

"What did ya think?"

The answer is usually "Good", "Great", or "Eh...", you know, a common response.

My answer after seeing War of the Worlds? "Intense".

That's about the only way I can describe it. If you're going to see it, hold on. If you're the slightest bit jumping, my hats off to your date.

As soon as the first 15,ooo feet of celluloid pass through the projector, the action takes off and does not stop. For 2 hours. Consider yourself warned.

I gotta hand it to Spielberg. 2 months ago, I was a little skeptical about this movie.
When I heard that he was going Hitchcockian with the aliens, just like the shark in Jaws, I was relieved. Thankfully, he wasn't seduced by the thoughts of relying heavily on the special effects. (Now, that doesn't mean there aren't tons of SFX....ILM did wonders in this film.)
Understanding that "fear lies in what isn't seen/less is more" approach, and sticking to it....that's what creates the feeling of doom in this film. Bravo, Mr. Spielberg.

Moreover, Dakota Fanning is so incredible in this role. I know that sounds like a broken record...but it still warrants mention.
Can someone please check and make sure she's human? Seriously, if there's anyone that more deserving of breaking Tatum O'Neal's Oscar age record....it's Miss Fanning. Scary good.

Cruise was...Cruise. No more, no less. A Cruisian performance, short of flashing his pearly whites.

All in all...I highly recommend plunking down the dough for this flick. It's worth it.

One more thing: I know this will sound weird, but...

War of the Worlds is the most intense movie I've seen in 7 years.

The last movie: Deep Impact. I know. I can't explain it either. Just trust me on this one.

Pomp & Comedia

Longing for the days of college?

Wondering if you could have just one more chance...to hear a really good commencement speaker....one that didn't bore you to tears?

Me neither.

But, these speeches are pretty damn funny, anyway.


Jon Stewart - William & Mary
Will Farrell - Harvard (2003)
Conan O'Brien Harvard (2000)

link via Clicked