February 25, 2009

Alternate Uses for the Samsung Ultra Touch S8300

Damn. This video kills with cuteness.

When you get to 1:04 in, you'll see just how evil a Hedgehog can be...



video

February 18, 2009

February 9, 2009

Crap from the PAST!!!

Man, it's amazing the stuff you can find surfing around the internet. Recently I found this; a promo from the late 80's for KLJB TV in Davenport Iowa - the station where I used to work when I was just out of college. I had nothing to do with this promo, other than getting called into the studio to appear on camera for a few moments. Moments that have since scarred me.

KL & JB attempt to tell local viewers how great KLJB is!
And have out-of-body experiences while doing so.

Don't get me wrong, I love local television with its cheesy commercials, promos, newscasts, and poorly produced programs.

KL sings her heart out, it was either that...
or scream in horror at what she was doing.

Cheesy local television is mostly a thing of a past now, but the crappy, stupid content that local television stations used to churn out is somehow charming in its naive dumbness.

The reality sinks in...
(Yes, that's me on the left.)

I'm proud of the years I worked at KLJB producing crappy local television... made with lots of hard earnest work and love
. Man, do I miss it.


Drunk Midwesterners having a good ol' fashioned yodel-off!

At some point I'll post some of the terrible local TV ads I wrote and produced way back then. But for now, I wanted to share this station promo that I found.


Oh we thought so back then... but you know what...
at the time, KLJB was a place for great TV.

The video below speaks for itself...

video

February 3, 2009

MIKA - Lollipop

Damn! I love everything about this. Props to Brian for turning me onto it.

January 23, 2009

FOX News Fear Imbalance

Generally a president gets 100 days before they get their first report card on how they're doing, apparently FOX News thinks that 1 day is long enough.

January 20, 2009

A Day of Hope

My fellow citizens, I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions -- who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort -- even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment -- a moment that will define a generation -- it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence -- the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

January 18, 2009

Vinyl Abominations!

In the current age of digital music and the waning days of compact discs, something that I miss with recorded music is album art. Back when you purchased a good ol' vinyl record it included a nice big cardboard sleeve for you to look over that was filled with all kinds of good stuff. Today you don't get squat with a CD and with downloads there's no love for the extras. As a kid I remember spending hours looking over the fold-out album for Star Wars while listening to the soundtrack.

This was back when "Star Wars" was still "Star Wars"... Notice there's
no "A New Hope" tacked onto this puppy, this is pure first generation!

And on the inside the album had a buncha' awesome movie stills! Bonus!


Oooo, admit it, these images still get you worked up.

There was even a Star Wars poster that came with the album! How cool was that?


Insert your own space battle SFX here.

And the back cover had a great iconic image of the inimitable Mr. Vader... this was before we discovered what a whiny little bitch Anakin really is. Thank you George Lucas so much for ruining one of the all-time great cinema villains... but I digress.


Yipeeeee! I'm in space!

Today you never get anything close to this experience with a CD or a music download. But as great as a lot of old record covers where--- there are millions more that are awful. Really retched ones. Cover concepts that are so bad they're hilarious, and the more unintentional their badness the better.

Below are several album covers of distinction that I found at various secondhand stores, as well as on the Internet (a few that you've probably already seen). Either way, enjoy...

Dick Chaney's post VP gig. He's clearly mad. It says so.

I'm betting everyone makes this face when they hear this album.

I dunno what to make of the album below, I think the turban and feather says it all.

The album below is great on so many levels.

¡Ay caramba! ¡Hay bolas en mi trompeta!

If the group below was actually south of the border having a picnic and gorging themselves on chicken, they would be minutes from being robbed, raped, kidnapped and having their children stolen. Tijuana is no picnic. Just ask the Colonel, "Life Tastes Better with KFC"... just don't drink the water.

And when we're done, I'll save the bucket to poop in!

Heartaches in Hi-Fi? Looks more like "Heartaches in hair loss".

What is happening here, a "who's the biggest ass contest"?
Is the guy in blue hitting on the guy in red?
And what exactly IS a rumpus room anyway?


Glad it says "outer space"...
I woulda' thought they were going deep-sea diving.


His lips are turning blue because he's suffocating... I hope.

I love the album cover below. It's got such a great kitschy Latino art style. I'm not entirely certain what "Los Ases Del Ritmo" means, but judging by where the guy has his eyes focused, I have a good idea.

Es muy especial en espacio! Aye-yi-yi!

Famed actor, composer, artist, author, director, and great uncle of Drew Barrymore - Lionel Barrymore produced a Halloween record in 1947 that has some rather unsettling cover art.

Lookit me! I'm the head of the Halloween party!

And nothing can quite match the weirdness that comes from combining music, with fanatical Bible-Belt naiveté. Not to mention the silly hairdos--- as they say, "The higher the hair, the closer to God".

Guide me Lord... to a better beautician. Yeesh.

I bet that no one actually requested that Geraldine sing anything.

The cover below has been all over the Internet. I'm not entirely convinced that it's not a hoax or a spoof or something. The Faith Tones' "Jesus Use Me" has all the trappings of a really embarrassing Christian album, but these ladies seriously look like men in drag... a little too much.

Look at how they're dressed. They're just asking for it.

George Otis apparently is not just a man of God, but a man of ACTION! He's got a rocket ready and fueled to go straight up and visit God anytime he wants.

Put on yer space-pants... next stop... Heaven!

The album below just confirms everything I've ever suspected about the French.

Who wants les Jiffy Pop?!

Then I came across a startlingly racist album cover... unless Mr. Bojangles' head below happens to be made of a giant Reese's Peanut Butter Cup... then in that case it's a whole lot of creamy, chocolaty deliciousness... and who could racist that? I mean, "resist".

Don't you be taken no bite outta' me, sucka'!

There's the closeted backwoods McDonald sisters with their hit album "I've Got Confidence"...

Ummmm, no you don't.

Chad Morgan below, looks like he'd be expert at pickin' that guitar with his teeth.

Heck, I can gobble corn cobs faster than a tick can suck blood outta' a pig!

"Building on the Rock" is more like biblical destruction by two of the four horseman, "come to destroy that which man hath built", who knew they'd come in the form of Miss Piggy and Cecil the sea serpent?

Repent, or we shall smite you with our puppity ways!

And this little treasure below is one of the more minimalist, yet disturbing children's records I've seen - especially if you consider that the bear isn't wearing any pants.

Don't ever tell your parents what we do after bedtime or I'll eat your faces.

In case you've ever had trouble trying to BBQ meat just right, there's...

I'd say this is a "steak out", but that'd be corny.
Because you see there's steaks and corn and...
Aaaw shut up and get your own blog.


The album below is interesting because... don't the other kids realize that the boy on the slide is obviously a vampire?! Just look at them chompers!


And finally, my all-time favorite... Why is the Mad Hatter's face ON his hat... why IS his face the hat? He's horrifying... he looks like a reject from Lidsville (see video at bottom of post). Neither Alice nor the March Hare seem to have a clue... and who goes to see an UNDERWATER review?

Head... filling with water... expanding... glub-glub-glub!


January 13, 2009

The Agony Of Da' Teeth

I dislike going to the dentist - who doesn't? (Well, my friend Rob, but he's weird.) I dunno if I'd say I hate going to the dentist, but it's pretty close to "hate"... right up there with other things I don't care for, like: banging my shin on the coffee table, getting a bad sunburn, discovering bug parts in my Chinese food, and waking up in Tijuana with only one kidney. But like death and taxidermy, the dentist is unavoidable... and today, my number was up.

Waiting for the doc to arrive.
In the meantime they gave me these "safety" glasses to wear...
um... what's about to happen?


As I'm discovering, all my previous dental work was done wrong. Well, not wrong for 10 to 15 years ago, but wrong for today. Current methods of dentistry are different, so all the work I had done previously is being overhauled.

The Doozers set up their tiny scaffold and got right to work on Betty!

The metal fillings I was given way back when are just "not how it's done" these days - or so I'm told. As it turns out metal fillings are the worst way to fill teeth for a variety of reasons, but back in my youth, that wasn't the case. At least that's the current "sales pitch" the dental industry has in an effort to re-do all the work I've already had done.

There's always something new!

So, I've had all my old fillings replaced with new porcelain fillings, however there are now newer NEW epoxies and resins that have replace the old porcelain...

It's all new, I swear...

But over the years with all the drilling and the damage caused by the old metal fillings several of my teeth have needed crowns... and that's what I'm here for today. An old porcelain filling has to go, the tooth has to be ground down, and I'll be getting a crown in its place.


It's good to be the king.

Not that type of crown, this:


So it's true, the molar caps are melting!

Oh joy.

I'm sure in another 5 to 10 years what the dental community today considers "the right approach" will be vilified as archaic. So the work I'm about to have done no doubt will land me right back in this chair. It's an on-going cycle, requiring a "treatment plan" or "program" that seems never-ending. Everyone I know seems to have the same issues with their dentist. Must be the business model they teach in dental school.

Thar's gold in them thar pearlies! Keep drillin'!

Thinking all this over as I wait for the doctor, I decide I'm not going to stand for it! Just wait until that dentist gets here, I'm gonna give Dr. Drills-a-Lot a piece of my mind... enough is enough!

I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna... hold on... where'r my uppers?!

Despite my best efforts to really "give it to" my dentist, I found him to be disarming, totally open to discuss my concerns and willing to take the time to talk me through what and why I needed the work done today... he even showed me an x-ray of the afflicted bicuspid.

Looks like NASA satellite footage of topsoil runoff in Louisiana to me.

My lack of a DDS diploma put me at a disadvantage so I ended up nodding like a bobble head and grunting in agreement doing my best to sound intelligent... and failing.

I was doomed from the start. But, it all seemed to make some sense... so they got me numb with a good ol' shot of Novocaine, right in the gums.


Getting uncomfortably numb...

And so it began... there was all the prep... the suction... the spit cup.... the sprayers...

Looks like some sort of astronaut's bathroom.

...the epoxy guns filled with mysterious substances... overlooked by the zombie-like stare from a nearby flier for oral cancer screening...

...the instruments that in moments would be tearing at my flesh...


And then... the DRILLING!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!

The drilling didn't take too long. Once it was over, I was subjected to a series of impressions of my teeth in order to have the crown custom made.

Mthr...frkin...sn...o..btch...

The ordeal was over fairly quickly, the bad stuff anyway. It was the taking of impressions and the shaping of the temporary crown that took the longest.

Now I have to be careful and try to only chew on the right side of my mouth until I return in three weeks to have the real crown put into place.. and I just can't wait.