30 April 2009

Your Daily Photo (China Airlines Flight CI0006 Edition)

Taken today, almost under the flight path for runway 24R at LAX (just after consuming a Double-Double at the In and Out at Sepulveda and Westchester Parkway).

The Obligatory First Hundred Days Post . . .

No, not that trumped up excuse for writing utterly vapid puff pieces about President Obama, the hundred days I'm talking about are the past hundred days of your immodest blog host having a gym membership. I signed up at the Magic Johnson 24 Hour Fitness at Slauson and LaCienega the night before the inaugural, so my new (fitness) regime coincides with the President's new (socialist) regime.

So far, my experience with 24 Hour Fitness has been positive. Sure, at peak times it's hard to get on a machine, sure the larger Santa Monica location can be a bit of a pig sty before the overnight cleaning crew gets to work, and yes, way too many men who have no business being completely comfortable with their nudity, are way too comfortable strolling around the locker with their dangly bits, dangling.

But with all that said, I've managed to lose a reasonable amount of weight (from 205 to 190 lbs, ten pounds were in the first three weeks, only five pounds since, but that's OK), a decent amount of inches (less 1 inch chest, less 3 inches waist, less a half inch from my hips), and joint pains that plagued me when I first started a more regular fitness routine (right knee, right hip) have disappeared. I can even use the kick drum pedal in Rock Band with my right leg for hours at a time without swelling (which wasn't the case before). Whatever was wrong with my knee, was largely due to lack of consistent use, rather than any intrinsic damage in there, judging from these results. My cardio health seems better, though I've never really had that checked out before, so I don't have a baseline for comparison, but it seems like I can push myself quite a bit harder for longer stretches without my heart jumping through my chest.

I'm not going nightly like I did in the beginning, and I've set up my garage so I can use a Bosu Ball and jump rope for some quick workouts without driving to the gym (it seems a bit odd to drive 1.5 miles to then workout on a treadmill for 3.2 miles, but on the treadmill you can keep a steady pace, zone out a bit, listen to an audiobook, while on the street, there's traffic to negotiate, so that's my justification, and I'm sticking to it), but I think I've managed to make daily (or at least semi-daily) physical activity a regular part of my life again, so that's a good thing.

Just like President Obama, this was only a start, this is the first hundred days of many future hundred days, and I will be equally nebulous about how I will accomplish my goals for those days, or what even those goals are . . .

29 April 2009

This is Not a Photoblog, but Here's Another Post with a Picture . . .

What is it?
(answer below in inviso-text)
It's a very cropped shot of flare coming off of a maglite taken with a 30 second exposure.

Your Daily Photo (Old Lace Edition)

Sorry, no Arsenic.

But, you can watch the entire movie over at YouTube.

28 April 2009

Your Daily Photo (Stacked Fruit Edition)

Some days, you just feel like stacking fruit . . .

27 April 2009

Your Daily Photo (Callistemon Edition)

New camera, you can expect at least a photo a day, at least until I get tired of playing around with my new toy.

(The shot is from my backyard, I think it's a Callistemon citrinus, definitely in the callistemon family, anyway)

20 April 2009

Your 4 and 20 Songs That Last 4 Minutes and 20 Seconds Long, List

It's 4/20, also known as Stoner Christmas, here are 24 (aka 4 and 20) songs (culled from my collection) that last 280 seconds long (aka 4:20), just because.

Diamonds and Pearls, Prince (Diamonds and Pearls)
Given the ton of Prince songs I have on my hard drive, surprising that only one clocks in at 4:20. It's one of his crappier, sappier, efforts, I'm afraid. The less said, the better. (Prince is fanatical when it comes to takedown notices of his music on Youtube, so the only clip is of a Skating With the Stars performance).

Everybody Got Their Something, Nikka Costa (Everybody Got Their Something)
So long as you can accept the grammatically unacceptable, this song is fantastic. Without a doubt, you should own her last three albums, each is great, that none of her last three albums have cracked the US Billboard top 100, is a shame.

Good Times, Yaz (You and Me Both)
So the Youtube link above goes to a recording of a concert from last year. Alison Moyet still sounds great, Vince Clarke's beats still sound like they were created on a cheap little Casio kiddie keyboard, but it works great, anyway. Yes it's dated, but so what?

Goodbye, Alicia Keys (Songs in A Minor)
Hard for me to believe that album was released eight years ago. Her two follow up albums haven't really lived up to the promise of that first one, she's had a tendency to indulge the worst aspects of her vocal gift in later recordings, all that 'diva' crap gets old real quick, on this album her vocals are pure, later they get absurd.

Goodnight Ladies, Lou Reed (Transformer)
This is one of those, 'Lou Reed is trying to be Kurt Weil' songs that he recorded with some frequency during the early 70s. It's one of the better one, the horns really work in this song. The video mates Lou Reed with a ballet performance, it's a bit strange, but works.

Gravemakers and Gunslingers, Coheed and Cambria (No World for Tomorrow)
They are slingers of neo-prog metal. They sling it fairly well. It's an acquired taste, I suspect.

Have I Told You Lately, Van Morrison (The Best of)
Damn, great song, though the bones for some real horridly schmaltzy crap are there for lesser artists to expose (see: Stewart, Rod)

I Found Love, Lone Justice (Shelter)
I can't express in words how in love/lust/awe I was of Maria McKee back then.
(if I met her today, I'd still get flustered as hell, I'm sure)

I Get So Scared, Thelonious Monster (Beautiful Mess)
The first song on this list that's completely Youtube proof. The Monster were kings of the local scene for a time in the 80s and early 90s. Torn apart by the usual things that tear apart talented musicians, their frontman, Bob Forrest, was a force of nature some nights, and an incoherent mess, others. You never knew what you were getting when Thelonious Monster were on the bill. Now Bob can be seen on VH1s Celebrity Rehab as a drug counselor. Here's an extended version of Sammy Hagar Weekend, instead (in three parts) where Bob talks about the 'scene' back in the 80s. (part 1, part 2, part 3)

I'll Pray for You, Love (Love Story 1966-1972)
Another Youtube proof clip. Love were another L.A. scene band that was huge locally, but their internal demons destroyed their chance for wider success. If you don't have Forever Changes in your collection (or this Rhino Records compilation this track is from), you are doing yuorself a disservice. There's a documentary on Love, here's a promo clip, haven't seen it, don't know if it's worthwhile.

Jingo, Santana (Santana)
Probably the most 'fitting' song to make this list, so far. Dude can play guitar, that's for sure.

Killer in the Home, Adam & the Ants (Kings of the Wild Frontier)
Of all the ridiculous looks Adam Ant had over the years, I think the faux-Indian thing was the most ridiculous, but as a band, they were really tight, then. The look is dated, but the sound holds up better than most stuff from early 80s Britpop. Crunchy guitar chords, and two drummers, don't need much more than that, I guess.

Last Chance on the Stairway, Duran Duran, (Rio)
I waxed poetic about Rio, awhile ago, and I still stand by those words. The bass line really drives this song, sure it's dated, sure it's cheesy, but it's still a good listen.

Le Freak, Chic (Dance Floor Divas: The 70s)
Talk about dated, damn, disco. Great song, anyway. The story behind the song is pretty famous (at least famous enough to be on wikipedia). Also, if they ever add some disco songs to Rock Band, this wouldn't be a bad place to start (tough, drums, great bass line, decent vocals, and even the guitarist would have something to do).

The Limit to Your Love, Feist (The Reminder)
I blame those iPod ads for this being in my collection. This is my favorite song from that album, Feist ain't so bad, for a Canadian.

Mi Confesion, Gotan Project (Lunatico)
Can you successfully mate Tango with Hip-Hop beats? Yes, you can, Gotan Project shows the way (Lunatico is a great album, all around).

My Love is Growing, Marvin Gaye (Let's Get It On, Deluxe Edition)
Damn, what else can one say?

Send His Love to Me, PJ Harvey (To Bring You My Love)
Damn, I'm tempted to just say what I said for the song above. A Polly Jean at full power is an awesome thing to behold. This performance goes up to eleven.

Someday, Kylie Minogue (Body Language)
Couldn't be more different than the last song, yet Kylie is pretty remarkable in her own way. As a vocalist she understands her limits, and uses what she has as perfectly as just about any singer out there, plus she always surrounds herself with great producers, that doesn't hurt.

Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel, Todd Rundgren (Anthology)
The Todd is The Todd. This is from A Wizard, a True Star. Have to link something, so here's The Todd doing Hello It's Me, the less said about the outfit, the better.

Soon We'll Be Found, Sia (Some People Have Real Problems)
Her voice is a remarkable instrument. Most singers just sing, there are a few, though, whose voices are uniquely musical, she's one of the latter. You ought to own everything she's ever been on, whether it be her albums, or her work with Zero 7, go out there and seek it out, already.

This Land Flows With Milk, Isobel Campbell, Amorino
This is a delicate little vocal in a delicate little song, from a delicate little album. But, hey it's got a theremin going for it, so it can't be all bad. It pushes the limits of what 'twee' can be and still not be annoying (or not, depends on your tolerance level for 'twee' pop). No video, so have to go with another sweet little song from the same album, instead, gives you an idea of what this album is like, though.

Tokoloshe Man, Happy Mondays (Loads)
Ah, yes, the Madchester sound. I miss that, 24 Hour Party People is a good introduction to what that was all about. It's a b-side cover of a John Kongos song. How similar the two songs are, while being true to their respective genres, is interesting.

Windpower, Thomas Dolby (The Golden Age of Wireless)
Has it been 24 songs, already? Yes, yes it has. Early 80s synth-pop was not the most live performance friendly genre, was it? I remember seeing Howard Jones open for Eurythmics and he did the, 'lone English bloke behind a stack of synths' thing, and finding it all pretty ridiculous (Howard Jones, not Eurythmics, the Eurythmics may have also been 'new wave', but they toured with a real band). I think this stuff still holds up, but that's probably just cause I was around at the time, if I hadn't heard this stuff the first time around, it'd probably sound really strange, and really dated.

So there you have it, 4 and 20 songs, of 4 minutes and 20 in length, posted precisely at 4:20pm PDT. So sit back, follow the copious links, and enjoy your 'holiday'.

92 Degrees

Current temp here in Santa Monica, 92 degrees.

Current condition, irritable (but not murderously so, I swear).

17 April 2009

The Mahalo-fication of News Gathering . . .

Mahalo, Jason Calcanis' current baby, is an interesting concept. In a nutshell, searching the internet effectively requires a human touch, and most people value their time more than they do the results to queries, but that's not the case for everyone, and there's enough folks out there who have the searching skills, and the time, and the need for cash.

The internet is practically to the point where that the answer for just about every question has already been answered and is sitting on some webpage to whatever degree of detail you desire or can handle. Mahalo uses a tipping system, and crowdsourcing, to give people with more money than time a way to reward people with more time than money for providing them with a service.

I'm not personally convinced that this is a business model that can succeed, but stranger things have happened.

But there's an area where this type of model could be hugely effective, profitable enough, and fill a gaping void in the daily life of folks across the country, and across the world. Used to be, most communities had a local daily paper, now, not so much.

What I can see happening is taking the Mahalo model of 'crowdsourcing', and applying it to local news. Local news has died most places, nothing has replaced it, blogs can't do it, TV news doesn't want the job, but I believe there is both a thirst and a need for this hyper-local news, especially reporting on quality of life issues (crime, traffic, local business, local government). I think you could have a mix of moderated/unmoderated sections for each neighborhood (zipcodes would be a good way to break up each area), with the moderated section acting as a front page with edited articles, reviews of local businesses, ads and offers, and other things of local interest. A payment system mixing cash money with a system of discounts to local businesses would be the way to go, it would be a way to encourage businesses to participate, knowing that these pages would be a way to reach locals, and it would reward locals for participating by saving them money in places they already go to, or supplementing their income.

If this was profitable enough, then you could hire old fashioned 'beat' reporters/editors to coordinate the submissions and check the accuracy of the submissions from the users. There's room for professionals and users to cooperate on stories.

The key for success would be to keep it as local as possible, while making it easy to navigate between locales, so that if you can find out all the happenings in your region, or any place you might be curious about, to whatever level of detail suits your interests.

I'm convinced that there are plenty of folks out there who would love to delve into their local government and either praise smart leadership or more likely, expose corruption, or write up a piece on their favorite barbershop, or interview police about the more colorful local prostitutes. The stories are out there, but there isn't a system to pull these potential columns together, or a way to compensate people for their time.

Solve that problem (and a moderated tipping system like Mahalo has might be the answer), and I think a lot of people would start each day with a website like that, check it often, and look forward to submitting their own articles from time to time.

Lots of Users, but Not so Many Customers, Computer Games in the Age of Piracy . . .

Ouch. Stardock releases Demigod, and according to their figures, a huge percentage of folks trying to use their multiplayer system, didn't buy their copy of the game (the original reporting by Kotaku suggested it was a worse than 6 to 1 ratio of pirates to customers, but sounds like the first numbers they quoted aren't the whole picture).

That's messed up right there. Stardock has taken a no DRM policy for all their games, figuring that all games get cracked, and it only punishes their legitimate customers while doing nothing to deter the piracy.

Hopefully this experience won't change that corporate philosophy. I pre-ordered this game, and have been enjoying it this week, haven't hit the multiplayer yet, but the experience against the AI is interesting enough, and real people tend to either be way too good at games like this (suspiciously so at times, as in they're utilizing lots of scripts to improve their response times beyond normal human capacity), or as soon as they see they are losing, they suddenly experience 'connection problems'. The greatest thing about games with good multiplayer support is that you get to play against other real people, and the worst thing about these games is that most real people (who are into online gaming) suck.

Here's what one of the developers had to say regarding the situation in his Day 2 Status report post:

Now, I do want to address something about the update that I’ve seen users talk about. We aren’t blaming piracy for the fact that the day 0 multiplayer experience absolutely sucked. The issue boiled down to us having put together a multiplayer infrastructure that was designed to handle around 50,000 or so connected users. If the game took off, we would simply add more servers as the load increased.

But what happened was that we ended up with 140,000 connected users, of which about 12% were actually legitimate customers. Now, the roughly 120,000 users that weren’t running legitimate copies of the game weren’t online playing multiplayer or anything. The issue with those users was as benign as a handful of HTTP calls that did things like check for updates and general server keep alive. Pretty trivial on its own until you have 120,000 of them. Then you have what amounts to a DDOS attack on yourself.

My take away from that is that they are fairly pleased with the sales, they are about in line with first week expectations, but that they hadn't planned on such a huge amount of warez users hitting their system at the same time as their legitimate users. This problem was exascerbated by the game being released early by some retailers, which meant that over the weekend far more pirates had opportunity to download the retail version of the game than they normally would have anticiapted. Instead of being able to ramp up capacity slowly and deal with the initial onslaught of real customers, with only a handful of warez copies, instead they had an expected amount of 'real' customers, but also a massive flood of warez kiddies hitting their servers simultaneously, and that wasn't anticipated, so the experience for the 'real customers' was screwed up by all the calls on their resources by pirated copies of the game. That's why, as a general rule, it's best to let the developers shake the bugs out of the system for about a month before trying the online component of these types of games, and it's also why it's usually a bad idea to buy a MMORPG on launch, as well, capacity never meets demand at the beginning, and if you judge a game by the multiplayer experience you have when it first hits retail, you will probably be very disappointed (even though, that experience will likely improve within a few weeks). You are basically paying to be a 'beta user', and that's just the way it is, it's too hard to anticipate all that's going to happen, and it's too easy to patch after the fact with high speed internet, that almost all games ship before all the bugs are worked out (especially on the multiplayer end, which can't really be tested until release, given that in a pre-release beta, the number of users is limited).

About the game, it's an action oriented real time strategy game, focused on combat, with most of the resource gathering/territory winning components stripped away, it's been compared frequently to the Warcraft III mod, Defense of the Ancients, but I haven't played that, so I can't say how accurate that description is.

You are given eight very different "Demigods" to play as, divided into two types, generals, who command a small group of other units, and assassins, which go it alone, but have major firepower at their disposal. In tournament mode, you play eight rounds, and the demigod that accumulated the most points becomes a god. The demigods are also divided into light and dark sides, and you are not only competing to defeat the demigods on the other side, but you are also competing amongst the demigods on your side for points awarded for most kills, most flags captured, most gold accumulated, and other such stuff. That means each different map, and scenario require differing strategies if you want to both win the map, and out point the other demigods on your side. It's an interesting twist in gaming mechanics, some demigods are better suited to earning points than others, and I suspect that there will be some rebalancing in future updates. It has the right mix of simplicity and complexity, no story, just action, and so far I find it pretty fun, with each match lasting less than 20 minutes, it's a game you can jump in and out of and you don't feel like you are going to have to sit down and play for four hours or more before you feel like you've accomplished something like what happens in some RTS type games.

The graphics are great, the sound is excellent, and the performance is smooth, at least on my PC, which exceeds all the recommended specs by a comfortable margin.

Enough writing about it, time to get back to playing, I haven't beaten the tournament mode with each demigod yet...

Sometimes It Snows in April (In Las Freakin' Vegas Edition!)

Prince was right, it does snow in April sometimes, even in the mountains above Las Vegas.

And above's a really well done cover of the song by Zabeth Dkos.

16 April 2009

People and Their Stupid Lists . . .

EW compiled a list of 'heartbreaking songs' (linked by Althouse), and they have Purple Rain #9.

First of all, Purple Rain isn't particularly heartbreaking, and second of all, I can think of at least eight Prince songs I'd put ahead of that track (including two from that album).

And thinking is blogging sometimes, so here's a roughly chronological (by date released, the two b-sides on the list are out of order) list of Prince songs more heartbreaking than Purple Rain:

When You Were Mine, from Dirty Mind:
"And U were so strange/U didn't even have the decency to change the sheets"
(tell me that's not heartbreaking, also, the Lauper version is better)

Nothing Compares 2 U, (The Hits/The B-Sides)
"It's been 7 hours and 13 days, since U took your love away"
(Has there ever been a more heartbreaking line? The Sinead version is amazing, the video is simple, yet incredible, as well, her eyes . . .)

How Come U Don't U Call Me Anymore, (The Hits/The B-Sides)
"I still keep your picture by my bed/I still remember every word U said"
(another song that was made more famous by someone else, this time Alicia Keys brings the sexiness and the sadness)

Another Lonely Christmas, (The Hits/The B-Sides)
My momma used 2 say
Always trust your lover
Now I guess that only applies 2 her
Cuz baby u promised me
Baby u promised me u'd never leave
Then u died on the 25th day of December
Oh baby

Last night I spent another lonely, lonely Christmas
Darling, baby, u, u should've been there
Cuz all the 1s I dream about
U are the 1 that makes my love shout
U see, u are the only 1 I care 4
(Yes, it's schmaltzy, but he really sells it)

When Doves Cry, from Purple Rain:
"Don't make me chase u/Even doves have pride"
"How can you leave me standing/Alone in a world so cold"
(This song is at least 1.5 times sadder than Purple Rain, which is more or less power ballad/anthem while this song is pure wistfulness)

The Beautiful Ones, from Purple Rain:
"U make me so confused/The beautiful ones/U always seem 2 lose"
(the tone of this song is much sadder, with a touch of obsessive stalker thrown in for good measure, when compared to Purple Rain, and his vocal performance is both way over the top, and kind of awesome)

Sometimes it Snows in April, form Parade
Tracy died soon after a long fought civil war,
just after I'd wiped away his last tear
I guess he's better off than he was before,
A whole lot better off than the fools he left here
I used 2 cry 4 Tracy because he was my only friend
Those kind of cars don't pass u every day
I used 2 cry 4 Tracy because I wanted to see him again,
But sometimes sometimes life ain't always the way...

Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish life was never ending,
and all good things, they say, never last

Springtime was always my favorite time of year,
A time 4 lovers holding hands in the rain
Now springtime only reminds me of Tracy's tears
Always cry 4 love, never cry 4 pain
He used 2 say so strong unafraid to die
Unafraid of the death that left me hypnotized
No, staring at his picture I realized
No one could cry the way my Tracy cried

Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad
Sometimes, sometimes I wish that life was never ending,
And all good things, they say, never last

I often dream of heaven and I know that Tracy's there
I know that he has found another friend
Maybe he's found the answer 2 all the April snow
Maybe one day I'll see my Tracy again

Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish that life was never ending,
But all good things, they say, never last

All good things that say, never last
And love, it isn't love until it's past

(that one deserves the entirety of the lyrics, a brilliant, and brilliantly heartbreaking song)

Somebody's Somebody, from Emancipation
It's 2 o'clock in the morning and I just can't sleep
Outside the rain is pourin', I'm lonely as can be
Maybe 2night'll be different than the nights before
I need 2 feel someone beside me, I can't be alone no more
(This is a really solid song, gets lost amidst the 3 cds worth of songs he unleashed with that collection, though)

And as far as the latest collection, I find all three albums have something to offer, they aren't great, but each has moments, definitely worth 12 bucks, and a trip to Target.

A Humorous 'Call Back' to Something That Happened Earlier This Decade . . .

"Anyway, they’ve done a great job and I have no complaints. Can you imagine if I’d had FedEx do my taxes? Trouble."

---Ken Jennings.

15 April 2009


The girls over at Go Fug Yourself point to two indescribably fantastic interviews with Bai Ling.

Highlights from this SF Chronicle interview:

Q: Tell me about your book, "Nipples."

A: (Giggling) It's a point of view of how I see the world. Like, I'm wearing purple and pink, you're wearing blue; maybe I'm wearing red, you're wearing yellow. Our eyes are limited. There are a lot of beautiful, magical things in the universe we don't see, but I see. Sometimes on my balcony I sit for the whole afternoon, watching the sun cast through the trees. Sometimes I see a butterfly there, a chair, a boat. But those are a high form of spirit giving art. They are there for its own existence. But only you have the sensitive heart and soul to recognize and enjoy that moment, but 10 minutes past when the sun moves a little bit, they're gone. The book is about my perspective - very erotic, very intimate. I share a lot of relationships that I had with different gentlemen - very intimate, very advanced, very crazy and very bold in a modern way. I wrote it in 40 days without even thinking; the book is there and I'm just here to reveal it.

If that wasn't enough, this Movieline interview is even more full of Bai Ling-ness:

Actually that reminds me of something we haven’t talked about. What was the name of that singing show on VH1?
But Can They Sing?

That’s the one.
The show is not about singing. No matter how good a singer you are on that show, it doesn’t make a difference. They’ll change the tone to make you a bad singer. If you’re a bad singer, it’s more interesting. I learned that later. I treated it so seriously. They kept wanting to bring me back because I was so ridiculous, I wasn’t going to do it. But my little spirit, she said…

What do you call your spirit?
Eight Little Spirits in Miniskirts.

You have eight separate spirits. And they’re all in miniskirts?
Yes! They’re sitting on your hair, on your shoulder, on your nails. I’m like their peacemaker, because they don’t like each other. I have a panda, a chicken, a dolphin … I have a monkey … All in miniskirts.

So the panda in the miniskirt told you to go on But Can They Sing?
They go crazy. They make me lose control. They try to catch Bai Ling. I wasn’t really aware they were going to be judging me on that show. I wasn’t conscious of it. I has just come from the Playboy shoot, and was feeling very comfortable with my body.

When I watched it later with my friend, I found it hilarious. But when I was there, I was in a different space. They gave me a song that was too high, and I tried to quit. They were making fun of me. So I threatened to quit. Finally, they gave me a song that fit me — Blondie’s “Call Me” — and when I got on stage, they played it three keys higher and it was like, [squealing] “CALL MEEE!”

Somehow I missed that show, but here's a clip of Bai Ling 'touching herself' . . .

Actually, Mr. Cooper, I Think It's the Bagee That Might Have Trouble Speaking, Not the Bagger . . .

The Silver Fox is soooo pleased with himself as he mirthfully repeats the term 'teabagging' on air over at CNN.

(I wonder if he kisses his mother with that mouth?)

12 April 2009

And If You Slip Him a Tenner, He'll Let You Drink Beer at Your Desk . . .

Bouncers are being employed by schools to take classes when teachers are not available.

One London school went to a doormen’s agency for “cover supervisors”, who watch over lessons when teachers are away, and gave jobs to two bouncers, one of whom is still at the school."

To comment more, would be redundant. Rest of article, here.

08 April 2009

Your Layers of Editors May Be Too Timid to Call a Bitch a Bitch, But My Editors Will Let Me Call Your Editors a Bunch of Pussies . . .

"Heidi is an actress who can do it all: Sit. Stay. Roll over. But as her stage mom is learning, it's not easy becoming top dog in Hollywood."

That's the sub-head for this "Column One" feature in today's Los Angeles Times right there above the fold on page one next to an image of Pres. Obama being warmly greeted by troops in Baghdad (and go ahead and try and convince me that the sub-head wouldn't read better with the word "bitch" inserted where "an actress" currently appears).

It's a first person 'interest' story about a woman who is pimping her bitch out to anyone in Hollywood willing to use her.

Have I ever mentioned how detestable I find most of these "Column One" pieces and the fact that they take up above the fold real estate on the front page of the LAT?

If papers like the Los Angeles Times wonder why they are viewed as increasingly trivial and irrelevant, maybe just look at your own damn front pages for a clue as to why consumers are shunning your wares.

Checking my archives, I complained about the general stupidity of "Column One" pieces three years ago (almost to the day), so expect another mention of "Column One" on or about April 7th 2012 (assuming there still is a print edition of the LAT by then, which seems increasingly unlikely with each passing day).

07 April 2009

I Suppose There Are Worse Reasons For Picking Which College You Attend . . .

from Lakers.com Basketblog's mini-mailbag today:

Q: I was recently accepted to UCI and I enrolled, to be honest, the only reason I applied is because I heard rumors that Kobe works out there in the summer. I was wondering if there is any truth to that rumor or did I throw away four years of my life?
- Andrew, Anaheim, CA

MT: This is easily my favorite question of the year, and perhaps in my young sports career. I’m going to have to think about it before we get to the big Mailbag, Andrew. But thanks, that’s fantastic.

(notice, the question wasn't answered)

And Andrew, embrace your impending Anteater-ness, Kobe or no Kobe.


The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants (But This Is Still Three Hundred and Sixty Seven Kinds of Wrong)

Billy Corgan dating Tila Tequila!!?!?!!??!!!???!?!????!!!!!??????

As Far as Penns Go, Obama Could Have Done Worse . . .

A Penn joins the White House, and it's not Sean, or Michael, it's Kal!

He'll be working in the public liaison office, or some such, he'll be Obama's "connection" in the White House (and by 'connection', I mean connection to the common man, of course, not any other possible implication or meaning of the use of the word 'connection', especially as pertaining to the distribution of controlled substances)

Instead of a really bad fake Bush in the next Harold in Kumar picture, maybe they'll get an actual sitting President for a cameo.

05 April 2009

Wot's Wrong with a Geordie Accent?

Above (in two parts), Cheryl Cole on Jonathan Ross' show from last year. Simon Cowell wants to unleash Cheryl on the United States, but he's worried that we won't understand a word she's saying.

Screw you Simon, to you that Geordie accent sounds dumb and lower class, to us it sounds sort of 'Beatle-esque' and cute (I know the Newcastle dialect is distinct from Liverpool's, but hey, in America it all sounds about the same to most of us).

If I were Paula Abdul, I'd be watching my back, I think Simon wants to try out Cheryl as the 'nice one' over here on Idol, cause despite Paula talking American, she's incomprehensible for reasons completely aside from dialect.

You Make the Call (Everybody's an Art Critic? Edition)

Honest mistake, or valid criticism regarding a piece of questionably artistic art?