Friday, June 29, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Are You Acting Your Age If You're Not Acting?


There's an interesting, well-written (if maybe a bit longer than necessary to get the point) article by Adam Sternbergh from New York magazine on the effective collapse of any meaningful genereation gap between those in their 40s (and in some cases their 50s) through 20s.

And, BTW, the magazine's blog-esque site NYmag.com is a really well-designed, well-written, content-rich iteration of the magazine. And, you don't have to be a New Yorker to appreciate it.

Illustration by James Taylor

If You Liked The Landlord,


...you'll love Good Cop, Baby Cop.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I Got Nothin'

WTF was accepted by Delightful Blogs today. A reviewed selection of 1624 blogs as of this writing, DB bills itself as your way to "cut through the blog smog". Feels good for WTF to have passed a 'blog review'. Anyway, the button is down there on the left with the rest of the buttons, or you can click the link above.

So, in anticipation of a massive traffic spike, I wanted to post something. Anything. But, as I find I often do when confronted with a number of topics I want to post, I came up blank on all of them. I didn't think I'd be unique in posting an 'I got nothin'' post – but I was surprised when I googled the phrase to find one hundred pages of 'I got nothin'' blog postings. Seems it's a bit of a blogging rite of passage I've stumbled upon. [And that isn't even counting the "Did you mean: 'i got nothing'" Google-corrected spelling postings. – Ed.]

I'll get a handle on the ideas I had for posts tonight (basically all social media topics) and some or all will make it into future posts.

In the meantime, take a tour of Southern California's Big Donuts at RoadsideAmerica.com.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

TV: Flight of the Conchords


HBO's other new Sunday night (9:30 C) show is an alterna-sitcom about two musical comedians (or comedic musicians) from New Zealand living in NYC and trying to get their band, the titular FotC, off the ground as it were. Supported by a great ensemble cast of nobody's [My favorite, their lone fan the hilarious Mel. Or as their manager refers to her, their 'fan base'. – Ed.], this is a cool, quirky, little show. I caught the first episode twice and found it clever, absurd, often subtle, and funny throughout. I actually liked it better the second time. The whole Sunday night lineup is still absolutely worth catching.

You can check out the first episode for yourself. Or, read the reviews. Or just check out one of the songs (in a musical-esque way, they ocasionally break into narrative song) from the first episode, Part-Time Model.

Competitive Facial Hair

In a follow up to our Facial Hair Is Persuasive posting, we bring you Beard Team USA, representing you in the World Beard and Moustache Championships. The Championships are a biennial event organized by the WBMA, the World Beard and Moustache Association, to "encourage friendship among those with beards and moustaches".

And 2007 is a WBMA Championship year. Taking place September first in Brighton, England, it looks to be a breakout year for the event.

I'm turning pro.

[Thanx to Andrew for the tip. – Ed.]

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Uber-Exclusivity Is the New Exclusivity

British site 20ltd is a curated collection of twenty extremely limited edition, beautifully designed, luxury items that, according to the site, are available nowhere else in the world but from the 20ltd site. It's where I first saw the Confederate Hellcat Combat from the previous post. Peruse it as you would a gallery or museum – it's worth the visit.


Another site that curates modern objéts, Charles & Marie, is only marginally less 'uber' in its exclusitity. Many of their offerings are slightly more practical Рand attainable Рranging from limited edition designer coffee mugs to a Tobias Wong rubber encased crystal chandelier. Their site offers some pieces on a limited time basis to anyone who registers to be informed by email and others only to a select invitation-only group of individuals.

Hell on Wheels


Without a doubt the most badass motorcycle I've ever seen. Absolutely gorgeous, awe-inspiring (and just plain inspiring) design. The F131 Hellcat Combat by Confederate.

[Be sure to check out the 'About' page – it's very well written and coveys a great sense of 'brand' . – Ed.]

This more I read about this company and their bikes, the more intrigued I become. I just read an entry from their blog, The Motograph, and found this:
...why are these machines so damn good? There has not been a person involved with our enterprise who had any previous vehicular design experience. There are no academic credentials pertinent to vehicular design. There exists no project management experience concerning vehicular design. There has been no utilization of outside consultancy.
Crazy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Facial Hair Is Persuasive

This is something I've known and for years have used to my advantage. Now, it seems its powers of persuasion are finally being put to use pitching both burgers and pizza. [Sure, it's a 'cookie pizza' but let's not split hairs. – Ed.]

Grow your own.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Dog Ate My Homework.

So, as promised in a previous post, I'm posting a paper I recently wrote/edited/linked/etc. using Google Docs.

A self-assigned piece of extra-credit homework, the paper is an exercise I undertook for a number of reasons – many, the same reasons I started this blog – not the least of which is just to get in the habit of writing regularly. The paper is an effort to do some longer form and more formalized writing than a blog posting tends to be.

If you're so inclined, let me know what you think. I'm open to constructive criticism/feedback on style/content/punctuation/etc.

Open Source Icons
On Smileys, Revolutionaries, Giants and Kitties

[Dog the Bounty Hunter has absolutely nothing to do with this post. – Ed.]

Monday, June 18, 2007

Me So Hyundai?

Are you f*cking kidding me?

This is a borderline insane lapse in judgment. Absurd even for a car dealership. It's apparently a real radio spot for Absolute Hyundai of Mesquite, TX.

Strangely, the complete lack of judgment (and lack of sophistication in 'appropriating' the song) makes the dealership's ad seem 'dirtier' than the original (Of which I'm a fan BTW). I guess it's all about context.

[Via: AdRants]

I Wanna Rock!


So, I took the weekend off from WTF. I'd say it was for lack of time – we did have a relatively busy weekend – but, the truth is I finally picked up Guitar Hero II on a whim and could... Not. Stop. Shredding.

If you’ve got the equipment (i.e.: PS2 or XB360), and you like to rock, I highly recommend you pick it up. As addictive a title as I've ever played. Furiously strumming the chords and picking the notes of Possum Kingdom while wailing on the whammy bar?. This isn't just a game – it's a rock star fantasy fulfillment machine.

Friday, June 15, 2007

“Shall we play a game?”: On 360s, Wiis and PS3s


With the winner of next-gen console wars yet to be decided, I see something like this and have to believe that a piece of hardware that inspires such a compelling sense of possibility has a damn good chance of taking the hill and defending it.

I've been a very satisfied, early adopting owner of a 360. (Even without having found the time to play the Halo 3 beta.) However, I have finally been caught up in the snowballing evangelism of the Wii. I've begun my hunt. They're right, We would like to play. (Hol's even intrigued!) Do I want a PS3? Yeah, ultimately. But there's nothing about it (and I mean nothing) that is remotely compelling to me at the moment.

So, while there are some great titles for the 360 that I've already got on pre-order – BioShock, GTA IV, Halo 3, and Mass Effect – the Wii is in my sights.

[This post is dedicated to Matthew and Ally. – Ed.]

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Protect Ya Tings!

Today, I added a Creative Commons license to WTF. [The license 'badge' is in the left column near the bottom. – Ed.]

If you're not familiar, Creative Commons is an alternative to traditional copyright. The essential difference being, CC ='Some Rights Reserved' as opposed to © = "All Rights Reserved" – allowing you to share your work to be 'reused and remixed' by others when acknowledging attribution as specified by the owner.

More on this topic in a future post. In the meantime, get more detailed information visit the site.

[BTW: "Protect Ya Tings"? It's the headline for Bahamian safe sex efforts. Glad you asked. – Ed.]

Addenda: Vonnegut and Soprano.


So, I'd written my assessment of Vonnegut's final work with two chapters left to read – criticizing it as a collection of depressing pieces from a grumpy, pessimistic, skeptic. Then, in the final chapter I came across this:
It may be that I am no longer able to joke – that it is no longer a satisfactory defense mechanism. Some people are funny, and some are not. I used to be funny, and perhaps I'm not anymore. There may have been so many shocks and disappointments that the defense of humor no longer works. It may be that I've become rather grumpy because I've seen so many things that have offended me that I cannot deal with in terms of laughter.

Well, shit. Undeniably poignant, it completely f*cked with my perception of everything I'd just finished reading (and made me feel like a complete ass). I'm still trying to decide if I wish he'd opened with that.


Now, about Tony and Co. If you were ever a fan and you're still trying to figure out how you feel about the finale and the series in toto, there's a concise, astute final appraisal by Rob Sheffield in this month's Rolling StoneCiao, Tony. It's worth the read.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

All My Content Are Belong to Google.


Kee-rist! What can't Google do now? I've just finished importing then editing and adding links to a Word doc in the new Google Docs. The photos on this (Google owned) Blogger blog have just been instantly uploaded into (Google owned) Picassa. I've also finally switched the email addresses for all my personal online accounts to my Google Gmail address. And, as I've blogged previously, I've got mad love for Google Maps and Google Earth. All this and more (much more) is accessible [With the current exception of Google Earth. But I know they're working on it. – Ed.] and relatively organized for me on my iGoogle home page.

I'm telling you this company is going places. Is it too late to buy low? I don't know. Why don't I take a look at Google Finance?

Look for the Google Docs edited 'white paper' alluded to above to be posted soon.

[And for those of you for whom the headline reference is lost. Read. Then watch. – Ed.]

And, by the way...


Under any other circumstances, this post might have been titled, "And now for something completely different." but, things being what they are and the Sopranos finale adding momentum to Journey's early-80s bittersweet power ballad of hope’s snowballing comeback, I went with "&BTW".

Enjoy. [May not run in SnapShots window. If not, click. – Ed.]

Heaven is defined a moose!

[I do realize, this will be old news for some. – Ed.]

Sunday, June 10, 2007

R.I.P. Tony?


* SPOILER ALERT *

“Try to remember the good times.” – A.J. Soprano

The final scene was spectacular and riveting in it’s presentation of the duality of Tony’s life. The delicate mixing of the mundane – dinner out with the family – coupled with the threat of violence – every customer, a potential threat – made for an unbearably tense final five minutes . I was on the edge of my seat until I jumped out of it. I don’t know what I’d had imagined for the finale, but once I got past the initial shock, I realized it was the smartest thing Chase could have done. He put us in Tony’s skin, in his head and left us there – frozen in the moment. In an earlier post I’d written that I didn’t think I was going to miss it. Well, the finale reminded me that however inconsistent the last few seasons may have been, The Sopranos was in its entirety astonishingly good, game-changing television. I’m choking on my words now.

BTW: HBO’s new show, (from Deadwood writer David Milch) John from Cincinnati seemed like a strange and compelling cross between Arrested Development and Twin Peaks. On surfboards. And, with some interesting casting. Works for me.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

This Just In: Knocked Up – Hilarious.


Hol and I just got back from seeing Knocked Up. Funny, funny shite. While not literally, it is effectively a sequel to The 40 Year Old Virgin, and it's basically the same group (*cough-carellcameo-cough*) working the same smart, hysterical ensemble action. Writer/Director Apatow and his tight ensemble cast repeatedly yanked big, unstoppable, Ls-O-L from me. Wait until you've seen it then go check out the outtakes on the site. [You've got to register to enter the 18+ 'restricted area' on the left. Enter your name as it appears on your driver's license. – Ed.] Mr. Apatow and company have more hilarity than one movie can handle!

Friday, June 8, 2007

What I’m Reading.


A gift from Mom – Kurt Vonnegut’s final contribution to his oeuvre (barring any posthumous releases), A Man Without a Country. As I understand it, the slim volume is a collection of essays originally published in In These Times, a publication dedicated to ‘...informing and analyzing popular movements for social, environmental and economic justice...’. I’d never heard of the publication before beginning the book and you’ll be at least as informed as I am if you simply click the link.

The truth of the matter is, I know next to nothing about the author – I am certainly no Vonnegut afficionado. With the exception of the interview cited in an earlier WTF post, the only work of his I’ve read is Slaughterhouse Five. That was twenty-plus years ago and I really have no recollection nor opinion of what is, by many accounts, considered a classic. I did find his cynical, old-bastardy position on smoking humourous, refreshing and completely worth co-opting – but other than that impression of the man, as opposed to the author, I went in to this book with few preconceptions.

Well, the few preconceptions I had – cynical, old, bastardy – held up. In each of the essays Vonnegut holds forth on a variety of topics – politics, sex, war, life, etc – in the unmistakable tone of a grumpy, skeptical pessimist. From the Chicago Tribune review, "Vonnegut...is either the world's most optimistic pessimist or its most pessimistic optimist." Either way it wore thin. Some might say, and on occasion it would be fair, that I am grumpy and/or skeptical but I’m certainly not a pessimist. And, in small doses – e.g. the ‘smoker interview’ – his tone resonates. However, in essay after essay, with few exceptions, it became tedious. Particularly when delivering prophecies of imminent doom.

On America’s ‘fossil fuel addiction’:
All lights are about to go out. No more electricity. All forms of transportation are about to stop, and the planet Earth will soon have a crust of skull and bones and dead machinery.

Now, I understand the significance of our global issues w/r/t oil, global warming, war, famine, plague, famine, pestilence, etc. But. Come on. That’s not socio-enviro-economic commentary – it’s the pitch for the third Matrix.

To be fair, that’s about as pessimistic as he gets. There are nuances to his pessimism. The most notable exceptions are the handwritten aphorisms (often poetic) that precede each essay. These, by contrast are often witty, elegant, thought-provoking and occasionally quite moving:
I wanted all things to seem to make some sense, so we could all be happy, yes, instead of tense. And I made up lies, so they all fit nice, and I made this sad world a paradise.

USA Today’s blurb, featured on the back cover, states, "For all those who have lived with Vonnegut in their imaginations... this is what he is like in person." Well, now that I’ve ‘lived with him’, I think I’m ready to get my own place.

Note: Before any LitCops give me any sh*t vis Slaughterhouse Five – I plan to reread it. Soon.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Blogged Out


I’ve been working the past couple of days on our company blog – we're aiming to go live with it by the middle of next week. So, there's been a lot of work getting ramped up to launch – if for no other reason than there are more people involved. [We answer to no one here at WTF. – Ed.]
It’s also been a challenge as I decided to use TypePad® and there’s been a bit of a frustrating learning curve. My experience has been that it’s not nearly as user-friendly or intuitive as Blogger. [I’m still not convinced that I should have been convinced by TypePad's 'premier blogging service for professionals' claim. – Ed.] But, it’s been named, its custom header has been designed, innaugural posts have been written, images have been uploaded, links have been linked and the feed is ready to be burned.

And, I’m a bit blogged out. I’ll see you tomorrow.

The cartoon is by the brilliant Hugh MacLeod. All of his cartoons are available to view (and download, link, etc.) on his blog, gapingvoid: "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards". Direct link to the cartoon archive.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Now that’s an impressive use of dice. Ohhhh!

No, I’m not talking about the tool on the left. I’m talking about this video from Brits Fujiya & Miyagi. [A trio – none of whom appear to be the least bit Asian, btw. – Ed.] The video is reminiscent of the Gondry-directed White Stripes’ Fell In Love With a Girl Lego™ video but brings something distinctly new to the pixel analog party.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Must See (Bud) TV – Swear Jar


Swear Jar is hilarious, brilliant and possibly the only good thing to come out of bud.TV. So far. Maybe there’s hope for it yet. F*cking watch it. [Thanx to Terry for the tip. – Ed.]

What I’m listening to. – Shuffle Edition.


I walked in feeling bold this morning. And, feeling like I buy so much damn music that, with few exceptions, it seems I’m rarely listening to something once I’ve moved on to the latest purchase. So, I opened up iTunes and did something I haven’t done in a long time – I clicked the ‘shuffle’ button. Then I clicked ‘play’. With over 6000 songs constituting 17.5 days of non-stop listening I was bound to get an eclectic and intriguing mix. I was not dissapointed. Right out of the gate I was digging the crate digging that iTunes was doing for me.

The first ten tracks:

Badge – Cream. Fantastic! I probably hadn’t listened to this in years. It’s un-f*cking-touchable! Reminds me of the ‘cool’ English teacher I had in high school that had us analyze and interpret rock lyrics – crafty bastard.

O.P.P. – Naughty by Nature. How can I explain it?

(I’m Gonna) Kick You Out – Caesars. This track and the better-known, Jerk It Out are both glittery, jittery pop-rock gems from these Swedes that reverentially referrence classic Merseybeat.

Accidental Mambo – Mambo All Stars. El ritmo latino! A solid part of my collection.

Am I FreeWax Tailor. Purchased the album, Tales of the Forgotten Melodies based on a recommendation by the iTunes Store. And it did wonders for the trust I have in the recommends I get from iTunes. Really great album of cinematic trip-hoppy goodness from this French producer. I highly recommend it. And, it looks like he’s got a new one out.

I Changed My Mind (Stereo MC’s Rattlesnake Mix) – Lyrics Born. Callin’ Out was one of those pieces of music that you hear over at someone’s house (or in this case, my brother, Diego’s car) and just mentally lose it – I remember being out of my head over how off-the-fookin’ (Fill in the blank with a noun on which something can be draped, hung or attached) I thought the beat and Lyrics’ flow were. The whole album, Later That Day... and it’s remix album, Same !@#$ Different Day, are musts if you truly love hip-hop. The vid for I Change My Mind is here. I’m not sure what mix it is, but IMO it’ not as good as the SMC’s mix. Great vid tho!

It Feels So Good – Sonique. Sexy, ethereal house cut from ’98. Not sure where I first heard this, as I had stopped going to clubs at this point. I didn’t realize until looking for a link for this posting that Sonique was part of S-Express – Brit acid house crew and one of my late-’80s favorites. Here’s the vid for Theme from S-Express. Drop that ghetto blaster!

Angels Go Bald: Too – Howie B. Big Beat badassery from back in the day. On the exceptional compilation, Monster Breaks.

Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye. Pure, unadulterated genius. Complete and absolute. I'm not even gonna ruin it by linking to anything.

El Presidente (Radio) – DJ Honda & Jeru The Damaja. I think my sister, Andrea, turned me on to this. Dark and spare, with a foreboding piano loop and big, uncomplicated beats. Honda provides the perfect backdrop for Jeru’s flow. There’s a certain... elegance to it. Oh, and I think it’s using Castro as a metaphor for either Honda or Jeru or both.

Oh, shit! You’re getting a bonus cut. There’s no way I’d leave off what just came on.

Terminator X To The Edge of Panic – Public Enemy. It’s a shame that Flavor of Love could taint even slightly the greatness that was PE. [Full Disclosure: I have not seen a single episode of FoL. But I get the idea. – Ed.]

That’s it. For now. Go listen to some music.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Can you hear me now?


I want an iPhone.

It is truly another beautifully designed piece of hardware from Jonathan Ive and team offering what looks to be brilliantly integrated functionality.

While I realize there are other phones that have comparable capabilities. And I know there are other phones with touch screens that are beautifully designed. And I know that Apple and its Mac OS aren't the only game in town. As a matter of fact, we just bought Hol an HP with Vista and having never worked on a PC up to that point I was surprised to find I absolutely love it. Well, maybe ‘love’ is a bit strong but I certainly don’t have the sense that I’ve been sullied by the ’dark side’. The HP is an attractive, well-crafted piece of hardware and Vista, from my perspective at least, is an intuitive, easy to use OS. However, having acknowledged all of that – I still want an iPhone.

As for The price. Well, $499 for the 4GB and $599 for the 8GB is what technology like this should cost. It’s a sophisticated piece of technology – not a pizza. And, speaking of which, it should never end up in the sorry position LG’s chocolate ended up thanks to the flagrant disregard the carriers seem to have for the value of of the hardware in this industry. [Full Disclosure: At one time I worked on marketing for Nokia but have no residual allegiance of any sort. – Ed.] From what I’ve seen of it the chocolate is a sexy little mobile phone confection that deserved better. [BlackBerry had a phone end up in a similar sad, pathetic position with a different pie slinger. Almost, but not quite as sad. – Ed.] But I digress.

I want an iPhone. Check out the new TV spots then tell me if you don’t want one too.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Weekends Are Made For...


Not getting my sh*t together and blogging something of substance. Which is why you’re looking at picture of Loverboy – they recorded a song that had the word, 'weekend' in the title. It’s a simple as that.

[BTW: Their 1981 hit album, Get Lucky – which contained the song alluded to above, Working for the Weekend – was the only piece of music I ever purchased which I then later, when I’d moved wholeheartedly into my goth/punk phase, purposefully destroyed. And then much later, when my sense of post-modern, ironic appreciation had more fully developed, regretted having destroyed. – Ed.]

And, while I was thinking about the weekend and since I (sort of) have WednesdayThursdayFriday.com locked up. I thought I'd check out what’s happening with the weekend – Saturday.com and Sunday.com. Saturday is a real missed opportunity – someone should snap that up – if it really is free. And, Sunday’s just a bit of a weird surprise. This is the best we can do for the Saturday and Sunday domains? Unimpressed, I started the weekend early and checked Friday.com. Again, a real wasted opportunity. It looks like something might be going on – but it’s not.

It’s only when I looked at FridaySaturdaySunday.com – clearly named by someone with similar sensibilities with regard to day-based domain nomenclature – that somebody was finally doing something with the weekend.

Next Week: Monday and Tuesday.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Obey Shepard Fairey!


Seriously. The mastermind behind the Obey Giant ‘empire’ never ceases to impress.

I’m moving offices here at work and while going through my shite I ‘discovered’ two Shepard Fairey prints I’d forgotten I’d purchased. [Gives you and idea of how out of control my office had become. – Ed.] This prompted me to take a spin by the site and I was once again blown away by his new [To me. – Ed.] work and his unmatched aesthetic. The new stuff takes the U.S. currency influence he’s incorporated for a number of years and dials it in very literally and elegantly – fitting for pieces that are, in his words, “a comment on U.S. economic and cultural imperialism.”

Here’s the one at top ‘inked’.

[I just can’t let go of Paris. Every morning when I opened the window of our room I'd be greeted by The Giant. The only picture I can find with him is here. – Ed.]