Friday, December 29, 2006

Son of the Return to the Island of Lost Blogs

[Gartner] said that during the middle of next year the number of blogs will level out at about 100 million. The firm has said that 200 million people have already stopped writing their blogs. --BBC

I figure if I can outlast a couple hundred million more blogs, maybe TVB will finally gain some traction.

(via Wonkette)

Hereby resolved

A rerun from this time last year. I accomplished none of these (except for the cold fusion thing), so it's still relevant.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, December 28, 2006

If sock monkeys wrote "Auld Lang Syne"

sock monkey We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.
Now, gie* me that banana.


(Lyrics to "Auld Lang Syne" are here, along with a pronunciation guide.)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"That Was the Worst Christmas Ever"

I really like this Sufjan Stevens song.

False History Lesson of the Day, #1

The late Gerald R. Ford is probably best known for issuing WIN buttons to every American man, woman, and child in 1974. WIN, of course, stood for "Wield Invincible Nunchucks," thereby starting the craze for martial arts films. President Ford, a third-degree black belt, was rewarded for his efforts with a cameo appearance in the classic film Enter the Dragon. Look for him in the famous subway chase scene as an L train conductor. Ford was able to ride his renown in popular culture to a record four terms as president.

Things that could result in justifiable homicide

--Putting up outside Christmas lights that, when plugged in, play non-stop carols in a beep-beep-beep greeting-card-like way.
--Leaving these lights on all night.
--Inventing said lights.

"Hark the Herald Angels Sing":
Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep
Beep beep beep beep beep, beep beep beep beep.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I was going to run down my fave songs of the year, which I'll probably get to eventually, but I stumbled over this Kirsty MacColl video on YouTube and decided to post it instead. Not sure what year this came out--probably around '90.

If you're not a Kirsty fan, well, you should be.

She died way too young.

Friday, December 22, 2006

New and improved?

Anyone switch to the new version of Blogger? If so, do you recommend it?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

UPDATE: Who knew monkey ornaments were so popular? This is a close-up I ran last year.

Trust an expert

The audiobook version of John Hodgman's wonderfully funny "The Areas of My Expertise" is free--all 7 or so hours of it--from iTunes, but only in the U.S. I think this is for a limited time only, so if you like Hodgman (a regular on "The Daily Show"), act fast. Go to the iTunes store, click on Audiobooks, then search for Hodgman.

Return to the Island of Lost Blogs

Some time ago, TVB investigated the phenomenon of the lost blog--that is, those abandoned after only one or two posts.

Why go through the bother of setting up a blog and then drop it immediately? TVB still wonders.

Last time, we checked up on people who listed the Fountains of Wayne as a fave band on their Blogger profile. This time, it's people who love the movie A Matter of Life and Death as much as I do.

Blog: Hello, Readers

First post: July 1, 2004

Last post: July 4, 2004

Total posts: 2

Entry: A blog! Now to fill it - bwaaaaha-ha-ha!

Blog: Random Musings of a Brails About Town

First post: July 14, 2004

Last post: July 14, 2004

Total posts: 1

Entry: My first attempt at keeping a blog to keep track of all the things floating through my head...

Blog: Italian Trip

First post: Sept. 27, 2004

Last post: Sept. 27, 2004

Total posts: 1

Entry: Where did I leave my passport?

Blog: Thoughts From A Desk

First post: Sept. 29, 2004

Last post: Sept. 30, 2004

Total posts: 2

Entry: Trouble is there's not a lot going on in my head right now so I won't bore you with any more. I'll save it for when time is behaving in a more orderly fashion and moving at a regular pace I can live with.

Blog: Why Should You Read This?

First post: Nov. 17, 2004

Last post: Nov. 17, 2004

Total posts: 1

Entry: Well, this might be it. After all, the point of this blog is to say "why are you reading my inane drivel?". If I had anything worthwhile to say, I'd be a novelist, a poet, or someone's whose living is made from expounding my views and opinions.

Go off and read books, watch films, make pots, appreciate buildings, make some more pots. Just don't feel that anyone give's a monkey's [sic] about your views on them.

Blog: Stevesblog

First post: April 10, 2005

Last post: April 10, 2005

Total posts: 1

Entry: Don't know what I'm doing. Just feeling my way.
Life's like that though isn't it?

Blog: Press Released

First post: April 2, 2005

Last post: April 2, 2005

Total posts: 1

Entry: ... I'll update during the week.

Blog: Who Am I?

First post: April 21, 2005

Last post: April 21, 2005

Total posts: 1

Entry: As this is my first post, I thought I would tell you a bit about my self. Firstly I am a mail [sic] in my thirties who is recently married (in first year) with a four year old child. My job as you can not call it a profession is working in one of the many call centers in the East Midlands of the United Kingdom. ... Well there are the basics everything else you will have to find out by reading the posts.

Blog: Captain Curmudgeon

First post: May 14, 2005

Last post: May 14, 2005

Total posts: 1

Entry: Topics winging their way to you soon will include: Litter...rudeness...transport...customer "service"...politics...idiots...oh you know, the usual suspects. Back soon.

I hope the Italian Trip guy found his passport.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Possible ways in which President Bush may announce Iraq plans

Press Secretary Tony Snow, last week:
I know a lot of you have been curious about when [the president] would be announcing or talking about the way forward. That is not going to happen until the New Year. We do not know when, so I can't give you a date, I can't give you a time, I can't give you a place, I can't give you the way in which it will happen, so all of those questions are yet to be answered.

--Interpretive dance
--Via a specially prepared Magic 8 Ball
--In the conservatory, by Col. Mustard, with a lead pipe

Personally, I'm hoping for the interpretive dance.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fun with Google

Not that I'm getting deluged with visitors, but I find it pretty amusing that when you Google the phrase holiday tipping guide, my silly gag from a few days ago is actually on the first page of hits with the real tipping guides--just a few rungs down from Emily Post, for goodness' sake!

UPDATE: Not only is this no longer true, but that post no longer seems to show up in Google at all. Weird.

UPDATE UPDATE: Well, now it's back, but on the second page of Google hits. Yes, I have a lot of time on my hands this week.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Why the long, hairy face?

The problem with really bad movies and TV shows is that they're usually more fun to read about than actually see.

Therefore, I'm thrilled that some ambitious editor has posted on YouTube a five-minute distillation of the legendary "Star Wars Holiday Special."


Holy crap--what's that thing that Art Carney puts on Chewie? An Orgasmatron?

More lousy holiday productions here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Holiday Tipping Guide

Nanny, au pair, or babysitter: No need to tip. She's stealing your jewelry and having an affair with your husband.

Teacher: Do you want that dopey kid of yours to get into college, or do you want him sleeping on the futon in the basement for the next 10 years? $1,000 per A given.

Hair stylist: Want to look like Bozo? The price of a haircut. Want to look like a human being? Just open your wallet and let her dig in.

Garbageman: Nothing. He's going through your trash and selling the good stuff on eBay. That painting from your attic you threw away? It was a Pollock.

Fitness trainer: Everyone knows you're sleeping with him.

Housekeeper: Please--she's in cahoots with the au pair.

Pool boy: Up to you. Depends on how good he looks in a Speedo.

Yard worker: Isn't keeping his secret from the immigration authorities enough?

Boss: An extra brown-nosing session.

Mail carrier: Unleash the hounds!

(There's real tipping advice here if you need it--and I surely do.)

UPDATE: Bleh. Gawker used basically the same gag on Dec. 4.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

She probably just couldn't face buying them all presents this year

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Elizabeth "Lizzie" Bolden, recognized as the world's oldest person, died Monday in a nursing home, the home's administrator said. She was 116. Bolden was born Aug. 15, 1890, according to the Gerontology Research Group, a Los Angeles organization that tracks the ages of the world's oldest people. ...

Family members said this year that Bolden had 40 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren, 150 great-great-grandchildren, 220 great-great-great grandchildren and 75 great-great-great-great grandchildren.
--The Associated Press

Monday, December 11, 2006

Photo of the day

I'm not sure what I find most disturbing about this creamer. Is it that the cow appears to be wearing lipstick? The druggy expression? The Penn Dutch couple living on its stomach?

Oh, what I'm I saying? It's the lipstick. Definitely.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What I learned from my 40th viewing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer last Friday

--Santa is really kind of a prick. Sure, kick out Rudolph when you think he's different, and beg him to come back the first sign of bad weather. Jerk.
--Reindeer games bring back way too many painful memories of jr. high gym class.
--The right-wing talking heads who are decrying the "hidden gay subtext" of Happy Feet obviously have never bothered watching Rudolph, because otherwise there'd be protesters circling CBS's headquarters. (Incidentally, the folks finding the gay subtext in Happy Feet are the same moral watchdogs who found gay subtext in Shark Tale. This seems like a very odd hobby. Perhaps they could take up whittling or origami or something.)

Bad Santa

Time for a rerun--

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An oldie but a goodie: Kids react to Santa.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Proof we are living in hell

James Blunt has been nominated for a Grammy as Best New Artist.

Further proof we are living in hell: James Blunt has also been nominated for Record of the Year.

How bad is James Blunt? This bad:

Notice that I did not link directly or embed the video, because I do not want rabid James Blunt fans following a link back here and writing JAMES BLUNT RULES AND YOU SUCK!!!! comments.

What's most annoying about him? That he sings like the lost Chimpmunk? That he makes the drippiest '70s singer-songwriter look like a member of the Sex Pistols by comparison? The way he pronounces "lover" as "luv-ah," not unlike Will Ferrell's obnoxious college prof character on SNL?

Oh, it is all those things, and more.

ADDENDUM: Comments left on that YouTube page, with my replies:

my sister in law's son picked this song out for his father's funeral. My brother. This song fit them beautifully.

Given that the song's refrain begins "Goodbye, my lover," that's really making me a little uncomfortable.

This song is so sad, and hes a guy how does he go that high????

Severe testicular injury.

u know he that he had an affair with someone else while he was in a relationship with PETRA NUMCOVA. His words may be beautiful, but he's an ass to go with someone else while he was with a super model.

Unless he had been dating Janice Dickinson. Then that would be understandable.

Jesus, this song is too much.

Amen, brother.

This song has the depth and sincerity of a hallmark card. Apparently, it's very popular at funerals. Beats listening to it when you're alive.

Hey, don't knock Hallmark cards.

wow amazing... first time I heard this song I was moving up to cleveland ohio 600 miles away from my year long relationship and burst out into tears...

Moving to Cleveland often has that effect.

OMG im like just crying rite now like... omg SO sad...

[Stunned silence]

Basic economic concept that the White House is not applying to Iraq

Sunk costs are unrecoverable past expenditures. These should not normally be taken into account when determining whether to continue a project or abandon it, because they cannot be recovered either way. It is a common instinct to count them, however.

ADDENDUM: I'm not the only one who's noticed this.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A heart needs a home


I've seen Richard Thompson live a few times, but only after he'd split from Linda. I have a bootleg of the last tour they did together--after they'd already agreed to divorce. Probably the most uncomfortable tour ever.

ADDENDUM: One of my favorite musical memories is standing outside a venue in Central Park, waiting for Richard Thompson to go on. As I stood in line, he did Goffin/King's "Goin' Back"--a favorite of mine, and a song he's never recorded--solo, as a sound check. Beautiful.

News story of the day

Not sure whether to be amused or appalled at how bizarre things are. Can I be both? When a fart causes a Red Alert, things are seriously screwy.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Saturday, December 02, 2006

And remember, my friend--future events such as these will affect you in the future: A quiz

Don't worry, this is pretty easy, and you won't be graded.

Identify the predictions of 16th century prognosticator Nostradamus, insane 20th century bon vivant and Edward D. Wood star Criswell (left), and 21rst century humorist and Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman.


A) I predict an outburst of cannibalism that will terrorize the population of one of the industrial cites in the state of Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh. Mass mournings will be held for the victims. A smile will be unknown. The fate of this city of Pittsburgh will never be forgotten.

B) When the fish that travels over both land and sea
is cast up on to the shore by a great wave,
its shape foreign, smooth and frightful.
From the sea the enemies soon reach the walls.

C) Merman attacks on the transatlantic, suboceanic tunnel will increase.

D) Everyone will have a cotton candy machine installed in his or her car.

E) I predict a series of homosexual cities, small, compact, carefully planned areas, will soon be blatantly advertised and exist from coast to coast. These compact communities will be complete with stores, churches, bars, and restaurants which will put the olden Greeks or Romans to shame with their organized orgies. You will be able to find them near Boston, Des Moines, Columbus, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, St. Louis, New Orleans, Dallas, and Miami.

F) The motion of senses, heart, feet and hands
will be in agreement between Naples, Lyon and Sicily.
Swords fire, floods, then the noble Romans drowned,
killed or dead because of a weak brain.

G) I predict that Kansas will become the most important state in the United States, due to the moving of the Federal capital from Washington, D.C., to Wichita. The broad plains and prairies will be a roof above multi-story government buildings, constructed wholly underground. The largest airports in the world will be constructed in Kansas to serve the needs of the new capital of the United States.

H) Roving cocktail gangs will ravage American cities in search of vermouth.

I) Las Vegas, Nevada ... : The very first Interplanetary Convention will be held in the new Convention Center on the famed Strip with colony citizens of Mars, Venus, Neptune and the Moon in full representation; Governor Sawyer will make the opening welcome address.

J) So-called "altruism" will be abandoned in favor of a new policy of enlightened self-interest and orgies.

K) For forty years the rainbow will not be seen.
For forty years it will be seen every day.
The dry earth will grow more parched,
and there will be great floods when it is seen.

L) [The world will end by] a jet-black rainbow; an ebony rainbow; a black rainbow which will signify the coming suffocation of our world. This black rainbow will seemingly bring about, through some mysterious force beyond our comprehension, a lack of oxygen. It will draw the oxygen from our atmosphere, as a huge snake encircling the world and feeding upon the oxygen which we need to exist. Hour after hour, it will grow worse. And we will grow weaker. It is through this that we will be so weakened that when the final end arrives, we will go silently, we will go gasping for breath, and then there will be only silence on the earth.

M) I predict one of the most horrifying things to befall any woman. I regret to predict that women will lose their hair. I predict that scientists will try to prove that the cause of this falling out of the hair is due to the gaseous fumes polluting the city's air. This terrible affliction will have unbelievable effects on everyone concerned. It will lead to lawsuits, suicides, divorces, murders, desertions and even massacres. I predict this city will be placed under martial law.

N) Humans born with prehensile tails will no longer be immediately drafted into the secret army but allowed to live a normal life; they will, however, be declawed.

I'll let Criswell have the last word:

Sources (but don't go to links before you answer the quiz):

Most of the Criswell quotations come from this Onion AV Club article.

The Nostradamus prophecies come from here.

The John Hodgman predictions come from his book, The Areas of My Expertise, now in paperback, which would make a dandy stocking stuffer.

Answers forthcoming.