Damn It, Merlin...

OK, fine. Forget everything I said about Merlin Mann's signal/noise ratio.

After reading this, I hereby issue a full retraction and would like to tell you all that kung fu grippe is my favoritest blog in the world right now.

When I emerged, my hands still gripping the wheel, I was perplexed but thrilled — happy to be alive, but also to be surrounded by the parties of this case, as well as the train’s lucky passengers. We were all in miraculously hale condition, considering the ordeal we’d just endured. We laughed openly.

But, even in the channel’s cool waters — and newly stricken with the permanent nerve damage that has frozen my face in a ghastly and stupefied stare — I could feel my blood begin to boil. My boat. My beautiful yellow boat. What had he done to her?

Merlin Mann is my goddamned hero.

Happy now?

What's Plan C?

Ever get frustrated with your job and think/mutter "Well, I can always go back to waiting tables." or something along those lines? Well, not so fast. Turns out you're not the only one to have that idea, and there's some insane competition for those jobs:

Over a wonderful bottle of Borolo, my chef friend and I discussed the grand deluge of people looking for restaurant jobs. He’s the chef of a restaurant group, so he oversees a few different spots. His sports bar needed a bartender.

So he posted an ad for a bartender on Craigslist. An hour later, he received nearly four hundred responses from wannabe bartenders.

So, maybe you want to come up with a different backup plan. Food service is back-breaking work anyway, right?

Long Shot

Thoughts upon viewing this super long, side-scrolling photo (actually a bunch of stitched photos):

Oi! Skin'ead!

Whoa, that guy has crazy opposite eyes!

Oh, that's inadvertently dirty... And the old guy looks like he thinks so, too!

What is up with the eye patches? Bet there's a story there.

That guy is intense! Why is his shirt open?

Good job, toughnuts.

Boy, the German girls love their Bettie hair do, eh?

Oh, hey! Jamiroquai!

(via Kottke)

Awesome Things

Things that are awesome (some of which may have been previously mentioned here) in no particular order:

  • Sushi + beer + sake + friends = AWESOME
  • Live burlesque. Also, The Wife potentially taking burlesque classes. :D
  • Absinthe. I'm digging on Kübler, which is locally available now. Admittedly, I talk more people into not trying absinthe than I talk into trying it. It's not for everyone.
  • Rock Band. I'm pretty useless on anything except the singing, but it's more fun than Karaoke Revolution because the other people are playing along with you. Drumming is unpossible for me.
  • Tiki bars. Especially the Tiki Torch in Edgewater. I know one of the owners, so I'm psyched to give it a shot. I'll be toting The Wife and her mother down this Saturday, I believe. Daddy needs a Mai Tai with a quickness!
  • Anita O'Day. Holy crap! How have I never heard of her until now? Best thing to ever happen to me thanks to Plurk. (If you're not already a Twitter user, you might try Plurk instead.) Also loving Sarah Vaughn these days.
  • The Silent Years. The Globe comes out soon.
  • Going to the doctor to get my first physical in who knows how many years. It seems I'm doing well. (I still have to do blood work, though.)
  • Michael Phelps. Yeah... WOW.
  • The iPhone 3G. Lots of people gripe about various things, but in general I say it's damned amazing.
  • Dark Knight. Saw it on IMAX. It was pretty good.
  • Rumbi fish tacos. I'm stunned, but these are currently my favorite fish tacos.
  • Knowing one of the guys on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
  • Fuelly. All the cool kids are doing it.
  • Bumping into an acquaintance and having their first comment be "You look good."

And other stuff, too. That's a pretty good list for now, though.


So, the big push was a fairly resounding success (as much as these things usually are), and I'm happy and relieved. Enough about me, though, really. How have you been?

Some topics for discussion:

  1. Have you seen the Big Picture blog at Boston.com? It's hot -- both in the "that's sexy" way and that all the cool kids are talking about it.
  2. Speaking of cool kids, my buddy and former coworker, Rod, got all internet famous last week with his fake script for Indy 4.
  3. This is totally ghey, but skip to the 3 minute mark and it's a least a little amusing.
  4. Speaking of ... erm... Yeah. Did you guys see the Turkish wrestling spread in ESPN the Magazine? Yeah, neither did I. I hear it's totally macho, though.
  5. More macho is Sasuke -- or as it's called on the G4 network, Ninja Warrior. Holy crap that show is awesome! Makoto Nagano is my hero.
  6. I like plurk a lot. The Interface is light years ahead of Twitter. And if you're into either of those jammies, check out ping.fm -- right this second "letmeping" should work as a beta code.

Other stuff of note:

  • My darling Ma has teamed up with some cohorts to start a giant dog rescue. We're talking Danes, Newfies, Mastiffs, Wolfies, and so on. Wow.
  • Think I'm gonna ride the motorcycle into work a least a couple days this week. Turn the stress dial back a couple clicks.
  • Oh, I am so getting an iPhone 3G in July. OMG!

G'night, kids.

RIP George Carlin

Granted, he had become almost unwatchable recently - forgoing comedy for the grumpy old hippie shtick. I still love the guy, though. I can't get over the fact that he was only 71. He really seemed older and more tired than that in his more recent appearances. I'll always remember the first couple HBO shows I saw when I was a kid staying up too late to watch the funny guy cuss and talk about how your house is a place for all your stuff. Very formative stuff for this guy.

In memorium: The seven words.


As for me, we have a big push today at work. Assuming it goes reasonably well, I'm going to have a serious period of decompression for the next couple weeks.

Go Get 'Em!

Jason Beghe is rapidly climbing my hero list now that he's crusading against the "church" of Scientology:

"Will Smith is supposedly dabbling in Scientology. Let Will Smith know that his shit was fucking recorded. And tell him to look them in the eye and see if he believes it when they deny it."

Even worse, he says, is that behind the backs of celebrities, Scientology officials gossip about what transpires in those supposedly private sessions. "Everything's supposed to be confidential. But all they do is chat about it," he says.

And apparently Maverick almost slipped loose at one point...

The best part is this dude was deep into the whole thing:

His move to clear was so rapid, Beghe was told that diminutive Scientology leader David Miscavige considered him a “poster boy” for the religion.

“I was Miscavige’s favorite boy, so they were doing all kinds of things to keep me happy,” he says. “I moved up the Bridge faster than anyone in history. I went at it 24/7 for about a year. I went clear. Got to OT V. I was a trained auditor.” (OT stands for “operating thetan,” and the highest level in the church is said to be OT VIII.)

“I’m farther up the Bridge than Travolta, and he’s been in there a thousand years. He’s not a trained auditor.” To Beghe, some of the celebrities “seemed like dilettantes,” enjoying the perks but not really working hard at being Scientologists.

I still wonder what the "perks" actually are. Aside from "connections", or whatever...

Bullet the Blue Sky

Or... Y'know... A bulleted list of junk from the internets:

That is all.

Hit 'Em Again

Here's to having MLK Day off from work! Going for my walk/run today in 15 degree (F) temps wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. Until my calf started cramping. That had nothing to do with the cold, though. It was ready to go from the activity earlier in the weekend.

Junk I've run across:

Happy 58th, Tom Waits

I suppose if I had to pick one musical artist to call my favorite, Tom Waits would be it. (Last.fm bears me out, too.) As I remember my childhood, our house was always filled with the music of people like Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Townes Van Zandt. These artists are still at the top of my list, but I always remember the similarly frequent times when the Tom Waits records were out. His voice always gave me pause. It was so different, I'd stop and think "What IS this? Why is it so different from everything else? And why do I like it so much?"

And then there was the cover for the Small Change album with its be-pastied stripper... Now THAT was something for my prepubescent mind to ponder!

And that really is the best part about Tom Waits. He makes you think a bit. He tells wonderful stories in his songs. They may be comical, maudlin, tragic or surreal, but they are all wonderful.

Happy birthday, Tom. May you have many more. Thanks for everything so far.

(And thanks to my favorite homebrewer, David, for pointing out the date this morning.)

Track o' the Post: Tango Till They're Sore from Rain Dogs by Tom Waits, because that album was always the most fascinating/baffling to me when I was young.

Gettin' the band back together!

Did you know Dickie and the boys are doing a Mighty Mighty Bosstones reunion thing with a series of shows at the Middle East? The gang is all 40-ish now, but it seems most of them couldn't find anything else they wanted to do.

This video got me a little misty for my BU days. Like the time I saw the Bosstones tear up the CollegeFest shindig at Hynes Convention Center (probably in 1993...?).

Go get 'em boys!

Martian Colors

I've been intrigued by synesthesia since I read The Man Who Tasted Shapes sometime in the second half of the 90s. It seems so bizarrely wonderful: numbers might have colors, musical notes might also have distinct hues - or perhaps shapes... It's just freaky to imagine, and more significantly, it illustrates how seemingly arbitrary the brain's powers can be.Now Kottke points us to this post, which in turn quotes a Scientific American article about a wonderful phenomenon:

We also observed one case in which we believe cross activation enables a colorblind synesthete to see numbers tinged with hues he otherwise cannot perceive; charmingly, he refers to these as “Martian colors.� Although his retinal color receptors cannot process certain wavelengths, we suggest that his brain color area is working just fine and being cross-activated when he sees numbers…

Martian colors! That rules.

Is it wrong to be jealous of an "abnormality"?


Track o' the Post: Bright As Yellow from Glow by The Innocence Mission, because I'm a little girl sometimes.

Oh, Internets, how I love thee!

Some tidbits that make me happy:

  • Have you found He-Man? I'm not really sure why they've labeled this guy He-Man. He's much more like a Chippendales dancer with his Swayze mullet, velvet choker, and perv 'stache.
  • You know who makes me happier than He-Man? German Techno Viking, that's who! He makes me giggle with the boundless joy of a little girl.
  • Then there's Tiffany Sutton (no known relation, thanks). Brozo pointed her out to me a while ago when her story first broke. Now she's been to court and "attempted to show her remorse". (I'm guessing she didn't do so well, if that's how they wrote it up in the paper...) I've bolded some awesomeness for you:
    • In one incident, she and the victim, 46-year-old Robert McDaniel, were high on drugs and drunk when he agreed to be tied up during sex, a police report states.

      McDaniel told police he became scared and asked Sutton to untie him when she attacked him with a knife. Instead, she sliced his leg, punctured his arm, shoulder and back, and cut his neck and stomach, court records show. When he escaped, she chased him with a pickax.

    • So you're telling me there were multiple incidents? Did the others involve excavation tools?


Track o' the Post: Moaner from Boucoup Fish by my favorite techno wizards, Underworld (FYI: This is the first time Amazon didn't have the MP3 download for the track I originally wanted to use: "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" by the Arctic Monkeys, which I still think is the more appropriate/amusing choice.)