12/29/2005

so there is some interesting geography news in the house today -

an article about digitizing roads called "Modern Cartographers Vital in Digital Age," which I of course agree with. I've read a few articles about guys doing this, it's interesting. The weird thing is that in the photo, the two guys are called "Senior Geographic Analysts." That is a pretty high-sounding title, it seems like senior analysts wouldn't be the guys driving around, they'd be back in the office being bosses. But who knows.

And a really interesting article from Wired about making a robotic car that can drive itself, which also talks about map making (and Navteq, the company in the first article.) Those Navteq guys are getting a lot of press. We actually use Navteq data where I work too.

And the funny rap song in my previous post has a couple lines about mapping websites as well. Double true!
so my old roommate Chughead posted this, it's a really funny short from SNL. I actually saw this one and was shocked Saturday Night Live had something funny. I don't remember the rest of the show, so I don't know if it was all funny. Probably not.


The Chronic what! les of Narnia.

12/28/2005

so to continue the story - I got out of my apartment. I called pretty much everybody who lived near me, hoping they hadn't left for work, and my roommates whose numbers I have (like 2 out of 8) a million times, and emailed everybody else. No luck. My friends and roommates are either deep sleepers or very punctual. I even tried instant messenger. I called my pal who had the key to my main door, but he wasn't answering, and called his sister too, so see if maybe he gave her the key, but nope. So I banged on the door that goes upstairs a lot, and occasionally I'd hear a sound and I'd bang more, but I think it was just the cat. I told the cat to open the door, but he didn't do it - good for nothing. I slid a note under the door saying "I'm stuck in the basement, please unlock this door" in case somebody came down while I was in my room, but then I was worried that it might have flipped over when I pushed it under, so people wouldn't be able to read it. I tried prying open the lock with a screwdriver, but it's one of those slide locks, so that didn't help. Then I tried kicking down the door, but that didn't work, and I probably would have had to pay for it if I did kick it down. So I decided to call 911. I told the guy I was locked in, but I think I might have neglected to say that I just needed to give them the keys to the front door - though if I had done that, maybe they wouldn't have showed up. The guy on the phone at the fire department was surprisingly not incredulous, though my boss said he was probably holding the phone and pointing and doing the crazy finger thing (you know, the pointing to your head and making a circle). So in maybe 10 minutes the fire department showed up, which was good. They sent at least two trucks, which kind of sucked, so I hope there were no fires anywhere. The guy saw me in the window and I handed him the key to the front door of the house. I was a little worried because it was taking him awhile to open the front door, as it's hard to open, and I pictured him breaking that one down, but thankfully he got in and came around to open the door that leads down to my place. So I was free, and got to work at about 10:30, about two and a half hours after I realized I was stuck. My boss and coworkers were amused.
so i am stuck in my apartment right now. i lent my front door key to a friend who was staying with me, and i didn't have a chance to get it back, so i'd been using the upstairs door of my place - however, someone has locked it, meaning i can't get out. it is not so fun. i've called and emailed everybody whose number i know, and my next step is to either knock down the door, try to take the metal grate off the windows (they are all barred) or call the cops and give them the outside key, so they can come in and unlock the door that goes downstairs. pretty ridiculous.

12/26/2005

so I'm getting really sick of these year end list / year in review shows on TV now. they have them for everything - best sports moments, best talk show moments, best show about tacos, whatever. how about some actual crap on TV that I haven't seen before? And when it comes to the best sports moments on ESPN, i've already seen and heard about these things 8,000 times. We get it, Terrell Owens was a jerk, ok, shut up about it now. Yes, steroids was big news, now tell me something new. It's like some kind of worship of the past or something. And the worst kind of this show is when they do the "I Love the 80s" style lists and have random people trying to make little funny quips about "the year's biggest scandals" or whatever - shut up! Jokes cease to be funny when there are 50 of the same kind of jokes in a minute, all about stuff I don't care about. I could give a shit about what place Jude Law's nanny or whatever was in the biggest scandals of the year. In fact, I could give a shit about it when it happened. She wasn't my nanny, so who cares. TV needs to get a life.

12/25/2005

so it's Christmas, Merry Christmas everybody. My pal "Janevsky" made a good point in an email to me: how can Santa deliver presents to kids in DC and New York City? There are no-fly zones there. Kids within however many blocks of the White House are out of luck I guess, unless Santa lands and catches a cab all over town or something. But they'd probably charge a lot for carrying all his stuff, he'd go bankrupt. I mean, I assume that it's pretty cheap to run the sleigh, all you have to do is feed reindeer, but a bunch of cabs - that's big dollars. I wonder how Santa is funded? Big philanthropists? Licensing from t-shirts and costumes and stuff? Some sort of pyramid scheme?

Here's the site NORAD has for Santa. I wasn't aware that government agencies like NORAD used the .org ending. You think it'd be .gov or .mil - like Santa.mil

also, it looks like the site's video flyovers are using Google Earth and maybe ArcScene or ArcGlobe for those geography nerds out there.

12/23/2005

so the Assrockers, who I think are the best band in DC, have a new CD out, "Suggestive Material." They're pretty good and funny, they play kind of joke hard rock, but it's pretty good music, and they're very fun in concert. It's a very dry, winking sort of joke, in that half the people at the shows think they're hilarious, and half think they are completely serious and a cool rock band. They have songs like "MILF," "Ain't Too Drunk" and songs about trucker speed. You can get some of their mp3s on their Myspace page and also on their website. They're playing at Feb 4 at the Warehouse Next Door in DC, as well as Philly, Boston, NYC etc.

12/21/2005

so I was fooling around on iTunes the other day and I noticed you can add album covers to the iPod pretty easily, which is cool, you just drag the image over from wherever - I was using Amazon. But doing this a few times got me thinking how album covers are sort of obsolete now - I don't really think I would recognize one of the CDs I've bought recently, because I basically take it out of the case, put it on my iPod, then put it in a binder, and put the case wherever. Which is too bad, because some of the album covers are pretty cool, like Kanye West's new album, for instance. It's good that the iPod shows the album covers when you play the songs, but I wonder if albums as a physical thing will be obsolete. I mean, I guess they already are to some extent. Which would suck, because I always used to like opening the CD, which is always a pain in the ass, and smelling the new paper smell of the booklet, and perusing the liner notes or whatever photos they had in the booklet as I listened to the CD. I'm sure vinyl would have been even better, but I never really had any of those.

12/20/2005

so I was thinking about Kwanzaa, and how lots of people make fun of it, me included. I guess this is because it's a made up holiday, but really, most holidays are made up holidays. I mean, Jesus was supposedly born in 6 BC in March or some other time, not December, and Valetines Day? Come on. I don't think Saint Valentine went around giving out candy hearts and stuff. I mean, holidays are fun and all, but I think anything that causes people to get stressed out is kind of the opposite of the reason for holidays. I am just going to celebrate Toyotathon and nothing else.

Also, here are some reasons why Jesus is greater than Santa Claus.
so I saw this crazy thing awhile ago, it's very funny. check it out.

There's also a Christmas one of Chewbacca.

Apparently it and other things like it are called "ytmnds," which is a website with an image, sometimes animated, and some kind of sound clip. YTMND stands for "you're the man now, dog" the line Sean Connery said in that movie, "Finding Forrester." I guess the most famous one is Tom Cruise zapping Oprah with death rays. There are a lot of really good ones on the website, ytmnd.com.

My favorites are the Lindsay Lohan Doesn't Change Facial Expressions one, cuppy cake gum drops, Finnish Duck Tales vs Swedish Duck Tales, spread my stapler and fly away and the one about math


Wikipedia
has info on the site too.

I am addicted to Nerf basketball


dunk
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so we've had a little magnetic dartboard in my cubicle for awhile, which is fun. One of my other coworkers has a football we toss around. However, the other day, another coworker got a Nerf basketball hoop, and I can not stop playing the thing. I was making up excuses to go into his office for awhile, "uh gee, did you get that email I sent" then I'd shoot a bunch of shots, but then I stopped with the excuses altogether and just go in and shoot it. I am getting pretty good at the "three pointer" which means from back against the wall. Check out the photo of me doing a monster dunk - note the ball flying down near my elbow. We did some sweet alley-oops too. I am gonna buy one for my room as well.

12/16/2005

so i found a few cool things on the internet lately. For one, my pal Chris is selling a glass head. If i had room, I'd buy it.

Also, I found this page about General Mills cereals. I was looking for stuff on Count Chocula, and they also have bits on Boo Berry and Frankenberry, and even two I'd never heard of, Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy. I don't really think of mummies as yummy, but hey.

And I found a really cool site calledAbandonia where you can download tons of old video games for free, like the original Civilization, Civ II, and tons of other stuff I remember playing back in the day.

12/14/2005

so it's like the perfect storm of bad news for the Bush administration:

Bob Novak Says President Knows Leak Source


Bush: Iraq Invasion my Responsibility

House Panel Subpoenas Rumsfeld on Katrina

good luck getting reelected now!
so sometimes I really hate Metro and the people who ride Metro - I want to beat the crap out of it and them. Today I walked to the Shaw/Howard U stop at 8:10, and that is three stops from where I work, Judiciary Square. So I should have been at work at 8:25 at the latest. When I got to the platform, the sign said "Green line 7 minutes" which is about 5 minutes longer than I usually wait - but the train didn't come for at least 15, which is ridiculous. And of course, for no good reason, the Yellow line trains don't share the track at Shaw-Howard. Eventually they started saying stuff about delays, but I only heard Greenbelt, which is the opposite direction. When the train finally showed up it was packed with people, and about half of us on the platform couldn't fit in, so we all got pissed and moved back while the folks on the train tried not to look at us. So we sat and waited for the next train, another 5 minutes. When I finally squeezed my way on that one and got to Gallery Place, I had to squeeze on the Red line, while some stupid morons in the middle of the train car had open seats next to them and didn't sit down. Maybe they were getting off soon (although I got off before they did anyway), but even so, offer it so somebody else, shitheads. I just now signed up for the Metro eAlerts, which is good - if I had known the Green line was delayed, I would have walked to the Convention Center stop and taken the Yellow. But I wish there was some kind of Metro Jerk Police who would fine morons who don't move towards the middle, don't walk on the left, etc. If they're having so much trouble with funding, why not fine idiots, it's a limitless resource.

12/13/2005

so I think I figured out why I don't like it when I hear songs in commercials - it's not because they "sold out" or whatever, but when I hear that song again, it reminds me of the product. I guess that's the idea, but when I hear a song I like, I don't want to think of M&Ms or Hondas or Outback Steakhouse or whatever, I want to think of whatever memories I have with the song, or whatever the song is about. Especially "Baby Got Back" and Lil Kim songs.

In other news, I found a pretty neat site listing celebrities' political donations. It has tons of people. Most give to Democrats, like P. Diddy, who gave money to Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton, while all the country music people, game show hosts (Pat Sajak, Wink Martindale, Bob Barker, Art Linkletter, even Trebek) and wrestlers are 100% Republican. And Prince, too.

Also, there is a guy named Peter Bonerz. Haha.

12/11/2005

so I was flipping channels today and saw these two bizarre looking basketball teams playing. It turns out it was the Wizards and Bulls in some terrible looking throw-back jerseys, like really just ugly. The Wizards one is from the 70s, and looks like costume for one of the bad guy's minions in a James Bond movie, while the Bulls look like some kind of weird pajamas, or some kind of lame 1950's Harlem Globetrotters unis. I don't know if the Bulls are really bad or the unis just make them look like terrible, unathletic dudes. And Kirk Hinrich especially looks like a doofy 50's ball player. Bob Cousy or something.

This page has some more photos of the game.

12/10/2005

Stone IPA is great


stoneIPA
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I am drinking this beer currently, it's amazing. I've had it before but forgotten how good it is - it's got a great aroma, very strong and flowery hops smell, and it tastes super fresh. The hops flavor is pretty strong, but it's not bitter, it's just a great, strong, crisp, flowery hops taste. And note the belgian lace on the glass, the bubbles still on there - it means the beer is fresh. This is honestly the freshest tasting beer I've had in a long time - it's from the Whole Foods on P Street. I recommend it very strongly for anybody who likes hops or pale ales, and then hope that you offer it to some pals who don't, because I bet they'll still like it. Stone makes some great beers, mostly very hoppy and with a ton of flavor. One of my favorite breweries.

12/09/2005

so here are some fun links and things. my pal "Janevsky" sent me this article from Slate about Tecmo Bowl, one of the best sports video games ever. I consider its sequel, Tecmo Super Bowl, to be the best video game in history, hands down. I still play it too (see the webpage).

Also, my pal Don posted a hilarious thing about Chuck Norris. It is great.

And Shaq got sworn in as a Miami Beach reserve police officer. I think Shaq is a cool dude.

12/08/2005

so I shot some peas out of my nose the other day. I was eating dinner and one went down the wrong pipe, so I coughed. My nose felt funny and I had to sneeze, so I grabbed a kleenex, and a pea appeared. Then I blew my nose and a couple more popped into the kleenex. pretty cool. my mouth was closed, and i definitely felt them come out my nose. it didn't hurt or anything - good thing they were peas and not peanuts or something.

In other news, I thought this article about a volcano in Vanuatu was pretty interesting. The land form is really wild, a lake in a crater surrounded by the ocean. Check out the photos on there too. Here's a map and a little more about the place.

12/07/2005

GW 78-Maryland 70


gw
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So I went to the BB&T Classic Monday at the MCI Center, where #19/21 GW beat #17/20 Maryland. It was pretty nervewracking and great.

The game was the first time since 1955 that the teams had played each other while both ranked in the top 25. It was a pretty big win, even bigger because GW beat Maryland last year in the same tournament, thus pretty much cementing the fact that GW is the best team in the area lately. Despite being dismantled last year, Maryland fans kept saying it was a fluke, a bad game, etc. After the game, Maryland coach Gary Williams, classy as always, came up with a laundry list of reasons why they lost, none of which had anything to do with GW beating them at their own game - he said they turned it over to much, he didn't prepare the team adequately, complained that his team had to play Minnesota (boo hoo - MN lost to Gardner-Webb earlier) and that his team played in Hawaii awhile ago and was tired. Pretty lame.The crowd was pretty heavily pro-Maryland, I'd say 3:1 or so, although GW's student section was bigger, which was odd.


I knew it was going to be a good night, because I saw the guy I call the Shaw Samurai hanging out at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro while I was waiting for my pal to show up. We went to an owl-themed restaurant before the game, which was terrible, then walked over to the MCI Center in time to miss the tip-off. Our seats in the first half were ok, pretty much right behind the basket on the floor level, so the other basket was pretty small. I was pretty rowdy I guess in the first half, yelling and making fun of bad Maryland passes and cheers and stuff. I was decidely more calm in the second half, I guess because the game was tight.

It was pretty sloppy and rough in the first half, lots of called and uncalled hard fouls, bad passes, missed alley-oops, etc, but GW had a slight lead at halftime, despite pretty bad shooting, sub 30%. We moved to much better seats second half, on the side about 6 rows back from the court, near the GW basket. They were prety sweet. In the second half GW gradually pulled away, despite 5 key guys playing with 4 fouls - Pops Mensah-Bonsu (9 pts, 8 reb) and JR Pinnock (19 pts, 8 reb), both of whom fouled out, Mike Hall (14 pts, 12 reb), Omar Williams and Carl Elliott. Most of the guys played great (including sophomore Maureece Rice, who scored 19), but I was particularly impressed with Elliott, the point guard. He played good defense, scored 11, and at one point after a big crash into a Maryland player, ended up hitting the floor head first. He was on the ground for a long time, maybe 5 minutes, and when he got up there was a pool of blood. He went to bench, got stitches, and came back soon after with a big bandaid on his head and played the rest of the game, hitting the key free throws to finish the game out. (The Hatchet has a photo of the gash in its slideshow.) And at the end of the game, Carl was dribbling the clock out, my little group of GW fans were cheering and pointing at him and he was looking back at me, both of us like "Yeah, we did it." Corny I know, but it was pretty awesome.

It was a pretty sweet win though, GW played great, scoring when they needed to, getting stops on defense, shrugging off some terrible calls by the refs. At one point GW was up by nine, then Chris McCray from Maryland hit 3 three-pointers in a row in about 40 seconds, tying it up. But GW just kept going, got a few baskets in a row and some defensive stops, and led the rest of the game.

The crowd was pretty well-behaved, which was good, besides a jerk in a suit behind me. The guy was probably in his 50s or 60s, and looked like a respectable doctor of professor, not a jerky-looking guy. When we'd do something awesome, like an alley-oop or a three point play, I'd stand up and cheer, briefly, which is what normal fans do at sporting events. I stood a handful of times in the second half, probably 2 or 3, but I'd always sit down right afterwards, since I don't want to block peoples' view (as some Maryland dudes were doing in front of me, during free throws and everything else.) After a foul where we still scored, when action stopped, I was standing and clapping, and the guy behind me yelled "sit your ass down!" I turned around and said, "man, nothing is happening!" which it wasn't, players were just milling around, I think it was a TV time out or something. He kept saying "sit your stupid ass down, you're annoying me" and stuff like that, and I was saying "man, you're being a complete dick," which was true. I kept pointing out nothing was going on, but he was not convinced, it was ridiculous. His friend was kind of amused and said "hey, let's just agree, he's a dick, you're annoying," which I said sure, that's fine, but the other dude kept going "sit your ass down, sit your ass down" over and over. I sat down furious, but about a minute later him and his pal left, since Maryland was about to lose. So I made sure to wave goodbye and have a nice day sir and things of that nature. It's funny what a game will do to grown people (me included, as I was goading him).


Here's a few good articles on the game:
Post column by Mike Wise about GW and the BB&T - pretty sweet. My fav quote: "With the Terps experiencing growing pains and Georgetown content to fly cross-country rather than to drive across town, the Colonials are making their case, one dunk on Maryland at a time."
Post game article
Fox Sports article about Pops and the team by Yoni Cohen of yocohoops.com. Pretty good analysis.
GW Hatchet article

12/04/2005

so I was watching this interesting show on Roman engineering, and they had various professors on there talking about stuff. Towards the end, they were talking about the fall of Rome, and had a guy on there talking, and the text said "Peter Weller - Syracuse University." Peter Weller was Robocop! It sounded like him and I had a couple of pals study abroad in Florence on a Syracuse-sponsored program, and they had classes with Peter Weller. They said he was a real pretentious jerk - my pal Alex said he went up to him once and said "hey man, I really liked Robocop" and he said "well I was in a lot of other things, including award-winning plays, but you wouldn't know about that" or something along those lines. His IMDB entry says he's now a professor at Cuse and is "very popular." Apparently he's still doing movies too, according to IMDB. Pretty kooky.

Here's an about him, from the NY Daily News. odd.
so I was walking to a bar last night, and there was the weirdest precipitation. it was like tiny little hailstones, or frozen snowflakes or something. They were coming down faster then snowflakes do, and they made noise when they hit stuff, it sounded like we were walking inside a rainstick. I remember from geography class that there was some kind of rare precipitation form and I looked it up, it's called graupel. So it was either that or snow grains. It wasn't freezing drizzle because it made a lot of noise hitting stuff, like tree leaves and cars, a little psshhh noise. Pretty weird stuff.

12/02/2005

so I found this really funny video of a lady rocking out with a keytar - she is going absolutely nuts on that thing. The weird part is that the keytar is on a stand, I never knew there was a such a thing.

the weird thing is that I found the video while looking for pictures of Hurra Torpedo, the band that did the cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" on kitchen appliances. Apparently they are now sponsored by Ford and are on tour in the US. I would love to see them. The journal on their very professional site (looks like Ford made it) says they broke up or something on November 8th. It does seem kind of fishy though, the whole story kind of seems like it's not real. Maybe the guy who was posting comments here before claiming that it was all part of a Ford marketing campaign was right. Still interesting though.

12/01/2005

so I read today that Metro is going to put signs that say "Walk on the left, stand on the right" in stations. This is good news. I hate it when stupid tourists or other dummies stand where I would otherwise be walking, and thus block everybody and make me miss the train.

Also, my coworker sent me this completely messed up article: a guy cut off his balls after his favorite rugby team won, and he's not too sure why. Apparently he told his pals "if we win, I'll cut my balls off!" Though usually when people make statements like that ("I'll eat my hat") they don't actually do it. It's called "exaggeration." His description of doing it is so matter-of-fact and weird, the guy must be a psychopath. But a self-psychopath or something. I bet there is a word for that.

11/30/2005

Borf back in the news


newborf
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so my pal sent me an article on Borf, apparently he went to a court appearance the other day. He sounds like an idiot though, he was in the courtroom with paint on his shoes, hands, and clothes, and after the hearing, they found a new Borf tag outside the courthouse. I mean, I assume he thinks he's cool and thumbing his nose at "the man," but this, and his various dumb political screeds, makes it seem like he thinks he's too cool for school. I wish he would stick to writing funny stuff and drawing giant faces and BORFs on the side of buildings.

11/29/2005

so my coworker told me about this awhile ago, pretty funny stuff. apparently Michael Vick, the Falcons quarterback, used to have sex with this woman in Atlanta and she got herpes. She sued him over it and he went to the doctor to see if he had it (or maybe for treatment), but he didn't want anybody to find out, so he used an alias - Ron Mexico. Pretty weird alias. So this was all over various blogs and news articles and such, and there's a Ron Mexico name generator, which is pretty funny. I am either "Sam Ontario" or "Boy El Salvador," depening on if you use Andrew or Drew. Some guys used the create your own jersey feature at the Falcons website to put "Mexico" on Falcons jerseys, but the team soon banned that name. The Smoking Gun has the info and the lawsuit itself, which is pretty funny to read, and there's a funny article from the Swarthmore student paper about it. Also, this site has some shirts for sale, and various links to other pieces about it. It's old news, but still amusing.

11/28/2005

so it's time for ye olde concert list.

Mon Nov 28- Kiss Me Deadly $8 w/The Spoils Of NW & Five Four @ DC9. My roommate is in Five Four! they are shoegazery!

FRI DEC 2- BLISS DANCE NIGHT w/ special guest appearance by ANNIE (sponsored by the Royal Norwegian Embassy) $10 mainstage 9:30 @ Black Cat. I bet it'll be mobbed, but might be fun.

SUN DEC 4- FIVE FOUR, MARA LEVI $5 backstage 9:00 @ Black Cat. My roommate again!

TUES DEC 6- AMERICAN ANALOG SET, CHRIS BROKAW, MEREDITH BRAGG & THE TERMINALS $10 mainstage 8:30 @ Black Cat. I like the American Analog Set. They are super mellow.

Sat Dec 10- Greenland $8 w/The Hard Tomorrows, The Aplhabetical Order & The Rachel Nevadas @ DC9. Greenland is a good local band.

SAT JAN 7- SUPERSYSTEM, FRENCH TOAST, RIS PAUL RIC $9 mainstage 9:30 @ Black Cat. Supersystem used to be called El Guapo. pretty cool dancy rock stuff from DC.

That's it! Not too many concerts coming up.
so I saw this crazy TV show the other day on the Cartoon Network, it was called "Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo." That's 7 bo's, if you were counting. The show is completely off the wall, there's this guy with a yellow ball on his head who fights using his nosehair, which flies out of his nose and hits people. He was fighting this guy whose head was made of ice cream, and he had this pal, a spiky orange thing, and at one point the orange guy jumped into the yellow ball, and was turned into an ice cream cone too. There was some singing and crazy Japanese text on the screen, and general bizarreness. It was pretty enjoyable. Check it out, here's a page on the Cartoon Network website.

11/24/2005

so I heard my first Christmas song of the year today, "Feliz Navidad" at the deli. i actually kind of like that one, but i wonder what the obsession is, that people play christmas music all the time. i'm sure soon i'll see some posters at the bus stops advertising the radio station that switches to all christmas music. like, in case you forget what season it is. if you want to elongate the season, that is, since we're still about a month away. i guess soon enough we'll see Valentine's Day shit in the stores. oh well, i guess they got to sell us stuff all the time, holiday or not.

in other news, this looks like a pretty cool movie

11/22/2005

World's Ugliest Dog dies


uglydog
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so my pal Erin alerted me to the fact that the Sam, the World's Ugliest Dog died. The photo above is from his website, which appears to be down. Probably too much traffic. Anyway, I think the best part of the CNN article is that the woman who owned Sam's boyfriend broke up with her because the dog repulsed him. That's funny. My coworker said the dog looks like a demon - I think that's a pretty fair description.
so one of my coworkers sent this to me the other day, I thought it was pretty funny.

Click on it to make it bigger.

11/21/2005

so I was looking at a website with the names of DC neighborhoods, and I got to thinking about the names. I decided to go through and write what I thought the name sounded like - not what I know about the place, but just what the name itself sounded like. So here are the results. Feel free to post your own ideas about the names if you so desire. I posted some of my favorites here, the full list is on this page.

Arboretum – sounds ghetto. Arboretum is an old word and is kind of unattractive, which makes me think the hood is the same way.
Cardoza – like a small Texas town. So small they only have 6 man football.
Cleveland Park – I know it’s nice, but sounds kind of crappy. Who names something for Grover Cleveland?
Eastland Gardens – sounds very ghetto. “Gardens” also sounds bad. Like a low income burb developed in 1900, and now it’s worse, or maybe a big housing project. I’ve never heard of this place before.
Lower Central Northeast – this is a name of a neighborhood? How stupid.
Park View – ghetto (“view” is bad to me too. If it were nice, you wouldn’t have a view of the park, you’d be in the park, right? Though Parkside sounds ghetto also.)
Pinehurst Circle – very ghetto. I’ve never heard of this place
Pleasant Plains – ghetto too. If you have to tell somebody it’s pleasant, it’s probably not.
Skyland – what? This is a stupid name. sounds like shitty little 60s houses
Southwest Employment Area – you’ve got to be kidding me. You can’t come up with a name for this place? It must be a wasteland if the only thing remarkable about it is that people are employed there.
Stronghold – this is really a neighborhood? Man, I don’t want to live anywhere near there. It sounds terrrrrible.
Swampoodle – this is awesome. I love this neighborhood name. It’s the area around Union Station
The Palisades – oh, very shi-shi. “The” sounds nice and Palisades. fancy pants mcgees live here.
Truxton Circle – sounds like crap
Washington Mall – sounds dumb. Really though, if you lived in the Washington Mall part of Chicago or something, I would think that is a stupid name for a neighborhood

11/18/2005

so I went to a Capitals hockey game the other day, it was fun stuff. It was pretty boring for awhile as the Caps went down 0-2, but they tied it up and eventually won in the overtime shootout, which was pretty cool to see. I'd heard a lot about the Caps rookie Alexander Ovechkin, but man, he is really amazing. Our seats were really high up in the arena, and a bunch of times we'd see a guy fly past defenders to get a shot off but couldn't tell who it was, and every time that guy turned around, it was Ovechkin. He scored the game tying goal with about 15 seconds left in the 3rd, going alone against 3 defenders, he just skated around them all and beat the goalie, it was amazing. Then to top it off, he won the game in the OT shootout. And besides the goals, he made a ton of nice moves dodging defenders and making passes, my friend and I were both really impressed. It's not often an athlete makes you me "whoa!" numerous times a game. Aside from JR Pinnock I guess.

Here's the AP article about the game we saw.

11/17/2005

so i heard this song "My Humps" the other day - this has got to be the stupidest song ever written. It's worse than "Who Let the Dogs Out" and "Disco Duck." If I were hooking up with a girl and she told me to touch her lumps, I'd probably think she had cancer or was a camel - neither of which I really go for. "Lovely lady lumps?" Come on. I don't understand all these songs like this and "My Goodies" coming out now, using stupid kiddie language to talk about sex. What's next, "My Melons?" "Big Bubble Boobies?" "Put Your Pee Pee in my Na Na?" I think there should be a ban on songs about the female anatomy, those bases have been covered. Little pun there.

Here's the lyrics on what appears to be a popup-free page.

11/15/2005

so I've been hearing about all the various scandals in the Bush administration, and today was watching a Nightline interview with two Iraqi detainees, and I honestly can't understand why it doesn't seem like people are mad about any of this. There's been the scandals with Tom Delay, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Safavian (the Office of Management and Budget guy who was arrested), Bill Frist, the terrible handling of Hurricane Katria, the secret prisons, gas prices, it just goes on and on. And all of this has happened in the last few months. And today I saw an interview with two Iraqi detainees on Nightline of all the things they went through. And yet it seems like nothing is happening. I feel like if Watergate happened right now, no one would care. Somebody down the chain would get blamed, there'd be some kind of investigation, maybe an idictment, which seems to mean nothing now, and that's it. It seems like the President would have to be caught red-handed killing somebody, or smoking crack, or punching a baby or something for anything to happen to him. I don't know if it's apathy or some kind of masterful Republican spin, or maybe just a sheer volume of bad news that turns people off, but nothing is happening. He's like the Teflon Don, or the Duck President - everything just rolls off of him like water off a duck's back. I mean, I guess there's not much that can really occur besides impeachment or jail time for the various "evil doers," but I can't fathom what's going on.

And so this post is not a total downer, here's compfused.com, a treasure trove of funny, crazy, and amazing videos.

11/14/2005

so I read today that the government of Kazakhstan is mad about Ali G's character Borat. I think the Borat bits are hilarious, he's supposed to be a TV host from Kazakhstan who comes to the US interviewing people and saying ridiculous stuff about his native land in bad English. My favorite bit was one where he went to a line dancing club somewhere in the South, and people were teaching him to line dance, and he decided to teach them a traditional Kazakh dance, "beat the gypsy." The official Borat page is funny too - and apparently they're making a movie too.
so I think this is the funniest thing I've seen in awhile. I think the unicycle one is the best, but I wonder if it's photoshopped. It's from Toothpaste for Dinner, a website by a guy who makes t-shirts and writes funny comics. His name is Drew as well, and he has a really similar sense of humor - I even thought of the "my other shirt has a joke on it" shirt too, without seeing his version. Maybe we were separated at birth, or are clones, like in The Boys from Brazil, a book I read the other day about cloning Nazis, it was good. Sometimes there was too much detail, and it sort of seemed like it was written to be a movie, but it was enjoyable. And it was made into a movie anyway, which nominated for 3 Oscars and starred Lawrence Olivier, Gregory Peck, and Steve Guttenberg. Pretty weird combination.

11/11/2005

so GW men's basketball plays Augusta State, a Division II team, tomorrow in an exhibition game, I'm looking forward to it. George Washington, my alma mater, is ranked 21 in the AP poll and various other polls have the Colonials as high as 11th, with a couple people saying they're sleepers for the Final Four. Pretty high praise. I'm looking forward to see how everybody has improved and how the new guys are, I've heard a lot of good things. Pops Mensah-Bonsu (who had a great profile in the Post recently) and Mike Hall decided not to enter the NBA Draft and are back for their senior seasons, along with solid do-everything forwrad Omar Williams. Someone once described Omar as "a Noah's Ark player" meaning that he'll get you two of everything. More like 4 or 6 of everything, though. JR Pinnock (now going by his first name, Danilo) played for the Panamanian national team over the summer and did very well, and supposedly has a better outside shot. Most of our guards are back, except for graduated starter TJ Thompson, our best outside shooter. We do have sophomore Maureece Rice, who broke Wilt Chamberlain's Philadelphia scoring record in high school, starting PG Carl Elliott, who set the Smith Center record for assists in a game, as well as valuable back-ups Dokun Akingbade and Alex Kireev. The freshmen, Noel Wilmore, Robert Diggs, and Montrell McDonald are supposed to be good - I'm looking forward especially to Wilmore, who is supposed to be a great outside shooter. GW also got Regis Koundjia, a former top 25 recruit, who transferred from LSU. He didn't have great numbers there, but is supposed to be a great athlete and defender. Anyway, things are looking up. The Hatchet, GW's student paper, has a good preview.

Here's more links:
an article about the game at GWSports.com
GWHoops.com, the main message board for GW
GWSuperfan.com, the site of a super fan, with lots of stats and photos of his tricked out GW colored car, the Superfanmobile
Augusta State's Athletics page, without much on GW

11/10/2005

so the bizarre antics of Jonathan Rees, the Ward 3 Council candidate, continue. A DCist.com post about the Rees saga has 93 comments, most of which are by Rees or his stooges, and go from pretty weird to completely bizarro. Other people posting comments cite various internet sources saying Rees has anywhere from zero to 3 kids, and then supposedly one of the kids, Anita, started posting. Eventually "she" starts calling DCist writers "pencil dick" and such, it's pretty strange. And "Anita" only starts posting after Jonathan brags he got tickets to the mayoral debate and his opponent Sam Brooks didn't, but somebody points out that if he had tickets, we would already be half an hour late for the debate, as the comment came at 7 pm. However, "Anita" is obviously Jonathan, because the posts read exactly the same. Unfortunately, the comments are now locked on that thread, but it's a hilarious and crazy read. The man is obviously off his rocker. That, or Sam Brooks has some very funny and devious dudes working for him. I'm pretty sure it's the first option though.

I think Jonathan Rees would be a great Halloween costume. And now that I think of it, his posts make about as much sense as the guy posting crazy ads around Logan Circle. Maybe they are one and the same:

weirdsign

That says "DO YOU NEED A PAINTER? Army Veteran Umbrellas $12.00"

11/09/2005

Super Furry Animals and Caribou, 9:30 Club


superfurries
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So I saw the Super Furry Animals and Caribou yesterday at the 930 Club, it was a pretty good show. Caribou (formerly Manitoba) opened, and were ok.

I liked them better when I saw them last year in Philly, and they showed the same videos, which was too bad. The lead guy, Dan, usually sang, played some keyboards you blow in (one with a tube, odd) and occasionally would be the second drummer. It was pretty impressive when Dan and the other drummer were playing at the same time, they were perfectly in sync. Their music is kind of unclassifiable, it's kind of noodley, ambient-ish, but also rocks, and sometimes when the bass would explode, it was pretty exhilarating. But usually it was just ok.

Super Furry Animals played a long set, about 2 hours I think, including their usual intermission where they put on one of the techno tracks they've done and go offstage for awhile. They came out wearing these battery powered electric light-up jumpsuits, which were pretty cool, but unfortunately hard to get on my crappy cameraphone. The show started with a funny video of them in the jumpsuits on a golf cart, then they ran onstage. The first half of the show was pretty mellow and slow, they played a lot of slower songs, many of which I didn't recognize. I was getting pretty sleepy. Then they played a really energizing version "Receptacle for the Respectable" right before the intermission, and after that it was all good stuff, I really enjoyed the second half. It was a lot of the faster songs, and a lot from "Rings Around the World." I realized after about the fourth song from that album that I would be perfectly happy hearing them play the whole album. The songs from that CD are really great in concert. I remember them playing "Receptacle for the Respectable," "Run! Christian Run!" "Juxtaposed with U," "Drawing Rings Around the World" from it, but unfortunately not "No Sympathy," which was amazing the time I saw them play that. It was so loud, the bass surprised me when it came it, it was like a massage.

They didn't play much from "Phantom Power" either, which is too bad, because that one is pretty good. The techno breakdowns sounded pretty great though, and they played "The Man Don't Give a Fuck," which I guess they always play in DC, since it's kind of about politics.

The video projections were cool as usual, including a new version of the old Lenin films they show during "The Man Don't Give a Fuck." And they had some funny antics, Gruff, the lead singer, picked up a bunch of celery and started eating it, then threw a lot into the crowd, which was amusing and strange. Later he came out with a Power Rangers helmet on (pictured below) and held the mic to the side of the helmet when the vocal track of him singing started, which was pretty funny. They also had some little spycams back stage before and after Caribou, and they had credits after the show, something I'd never seen before.

superfurries
The Power Ranger helmet

11/05/2005

so I wasn't really paying much attention to the DC City Council races for 2006, and then I noticed some weird posts on the Logan Circle list serve about Sam Brooks. They were kind of strangely written and didn't make a whole lot of sense. One of the posts said something about a Washington Blade article saying somebody posted a bunch of things under his name on various websites saying he was a white supremacist and wanted to outlaw homosexuality and stuff. His campaign denied that he made the posts, and his opponent, Jonathan Rees, said he was appaled too. Pretty weird stuff.

Here's one of the two posts from the Logan Circle group. It seems weird, because for one thing, the title, "BE CAREFUL FOR INTERNET POLITICAL CAMPAIGN FRAUD" doesn't really match the first part of the email. It seems like the title would be something about Sam Brooks not really living in Ward 3.

"Ramon Rivera" stewart20008@...
Date: Thu Nov 3, 2005 10:19 pm
Subject: BE CAREFUL FOR INTERNET POLITICAL CAMPAIGN FRAUD

BE CAREFUL FOR INTERNET POLITICAL CAMPAIGN FRAUD
----------------------------------------------------
Email the director of the DC OCF and demand that Sam Brooks come forward NOW and prove his bonafide residence in Ward 3!

Write > CECILY.COLLIER-MONTGOMERY@...

----------------------------------------------------
The DC Office of Campaign Finance is investigating Sam Brooks for fraud in his claims of having moved into Ward 3 for purposes of running for city council from our ward whereby many people went to his allege home and campaign headquarters only to find nobody ever there, neighbors who deny ever seeing him and otherwise nobody has been able to verify his claims where the former U.S. Attorney Wilma Lewis overseeing the DC Board of Elections & Ethics and Office of Campaign Finance has asked that this matter be investigated.

Mr. Brooks campaign website does not offer voters any address to his campaign headquarters, no telephone number to call or even an email address but a clear request for voters to send him money but no mechanism for a contributor to verify a contribution or any safeguard against overcharging.


NOTE: The OCF can verify this matter! Call 202-671-0550


Sam Brooks' website, here, is kind of generic, but I dunno, it doesn't make me think it's not legit. And anyway, Logan Circle is not in Ward 3, Ward 3 is the westernmost part of the city. Seems weird that somebody who lives in Logan Circle would be posting about another ward's election. The next email was even weirder:

Ramon Rivera" stewart20008@...
Date: Fri Nov 4, 2005 9:19 pm
Subject: JUST SAY NO TO SAM BROOKS A CRY BABY LIAR...! stewart20008
Offline Offline
Send Email Send Email
JUST SAY NO TO SAM BROOKS A CRY BABY LIAR...!


After reading Lou Chibarro's article today in "The Washington Blade" along with all the trash that I have seen the past few weeks on the internet as it concerns the attacks on all ward three candidates, I am convinced that Sam Brooks is behind the attacks on himself and did it so he could go running to the press and get free publicity.

Article > http://www.washblade.com/2005/11-4/news/localnews/ward3.cfm

If you have followed our ward race then you would see that you can turn nowhere in our ward without stumbling over campaign literature for Jonathon Rees.

If I was a candidate so far behind the eighth ball as Sam Brooks is, I too would probably employ the strategy of shooting myself in the foot and then contact the press and blame someone else so I can get a free story to bolster my non-existent campaign.

This story was so pathetic that I will vote for anyone other than Sam Brooks a big phony, cry baby!

Gloria Guiterrez


First off, it doesn't sound like something somebody would say, it seems too formal or something. Another weird thing, is that neither the email, the name on the post, and the signature match - stewart20008, Ramon Rivera, and Gloria Gutierrez, all of which are pretty generic-sounding names. It's really strange, it makes me think that maybe somebody is posting these trying to discredit Sam Brooks under fake names. The Blade article is pretty odd too.

The Post has a piece about it too

11/03/2005

so this is kind of late, but I saw this video for this song "Do They Know It's Halloween?", a take-off on "Do They Know It's Christmas" and all that crap. It's pretty neat. It was put together by Vice magazine, which is a pretty hilarious (and free) magazine and is sung by lots of inide rock types, like Beck, some folks from Rilo Kiley, Jimmy from the Postal Service, and even a guy from Sloan (plus lots of other Canadians), which makes sense, because Vice was started in Canada.

Speaking of Halloween, I hate the stupid Fall Back coming off daylight savings time thing. It's so pointless. They do it right before Halloween, so all the kids have to go out in the dark and dodge cars. And it makes it darker and colder earlier, which sucks, I hate leaving work when it's already pitch black out. It makes me feel like I live in Alaska or something. And since the sun goes down "earlier" it probably increases people's heating costs. Maybe it's some kind of scam by energy companies, because the reason I've always heard, "it's for the farmers." Don't farmers have clocks? Hey dicks, try turning your alarm an hour earlier if you want to get up when it's still dark, let the rest of us walk around in the daylight.

In fact, Wikipedia's article says that daylight savings time (getting darker later) saves 10,000 barrels of oil a day and also reduced traffic accidents. So why not make it year round?

10/31/2005

so today some kids came around to trick or treat, and we had a lot of candy. But what's the deal with people? We were the only house on our block, on either side of the street, to give out candy. And I walked around the neighborhood to go to my pal's house, and I didn't see a single other house that looked like they were open for trick-or-treating. I don't understand why people don't do this - it's fun for kids, fun for the candy-passers-out to see all the kids in funny costumes, and good for the neighborhood, sense of community and stuff like that. I know there are lots of organized trick-or-treats at the mall and places, but those are pretty lame. It's much more fun seeing the inside of random people's foyers, seeing who dressed up and who didn't, who put some scary decorations out, who has the good candy, who gives up crap like toothbrushes or pennies, and who are the Halloween Scrooges and don't do anything. And tonight, pretty much everybody was a scrooge. Even if you're not expecting many trick-or-treaters, and I wasn't, how difficult is it to get a bowl of candy and sit on your stoop, or put a pumpkin on your doorstep, turn on the light, and come to the door when happy little kids ring it. What are you doing that you can't turn away from for a couple hours to make some little kids happy?
so I saw that movie Dig! the other day, it was pretty good. If you haven't seen it, it's a documentary that follows the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, two bands that were friends with each other and eventually drift apart. The Dandy Warhols get famous while the Brian Jonestown Massacre don't, mainly thanks to the bizarre behavior and drug use of their lead singer, Anton Newcombe. He's the focus of the movie and is portrayed as a crazy jerk - almost comical in his bizarre ramblings and so on - I don't want to spoil some of it. And he's actually not the guy with the big sunglasses on the cover, which I assumed before I saw the movie. That guy, Joel Gion, is the tambourine and maracas player and is a pretty funny guy.

I'd heard a lot about the movie before I saw it and had heard some the Dandy Warhols, including in concert once, and they were pretty good. I didn't know much about the Brian Jonestown Massacre, other than their name being kind of funny. I liked most of the movie, but the fact that lots of people in it kept saying Newcombe was a musical genius and such was weird, mainly because they didn't play much music by either band. Anton says on the band's website that he doesn't agree with the movie, since it shows him in a bad light, but whatever. Even so, it's an enjoyable movie if you know their music or not. It also reminded me of a lot of really good Dandy Warhols songs I'd forgotten about. And the keyboard player for the Dandys is pretty hot, and she plays topless at the beginning of the movie. Nice.

anyway, here are both bands' websites. The cool thing about the Brian Jonestown Massacre's page is that you can download a lot of their albums for free. That's something I appreciate, even if they didn't actually start a revolution, as Newcombe says a bunch of times.


Brian Jonestown Massacre

Dandy Warhols
so I read that Tennessee may offer Elvis license plates. Pretty sweet. I wish I still had a car, since my car had Tennessee plates. Here's the article, and a link to the design of the plate.

Tennessee has some pretty neat (and pretty dumb) vanity plates. I like the Arts ones, which is a cat playing a sax, or a fish. Kind of a funny thing to have on your car. The agriculture one is cool too, and my parents have the Watchable Wildlife and the Retired Air Force one. Most of them are for some charity. Some I have never seen, like Pearl Harbor Survivor and Bosnia Veteran and Enemy Evadee (whatever that is). In fact, the only Google results for Enemy Evadee are Tennessee license plates. Pretty weird. And there must be like 3 people in the state with Pearl Harbor Survivor plates. Here's the page with of all the vanity plates, and apparently a new design for the state plate (upper right of the page.) I like it.

10/28/2005

so I bought Zapp & Roger's Greatest Hits the other day, it's pretty cool stuff. Zapp was a 70's electronic funk band with four brothers named Troutman (and Bootsy Collins, among others) and Roger, one of the brothers, also did some solo stuff, so the greatest hits CD is some of both. But anyway, I like it. They use a lot of vocoders and synthesizers and have some cool bass lines. Their big hits were "More Bounce to the Ounce" and "So Ruff, So Tuff," which is what Pedro's cousins play in their low rider in Napoleon Dynamite. They also did the original version of "California Love," which is cool - Dr. Dre and Tu Pac use the bass and the part that goes "California knows how to party... in the city, city of Compton" etc in their version. Unfortunately, that is on Volume 2 of Zapp's greatest hits, which I don't have. They also did some covers which are decent, like "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and P-Funk's "Chocolate City," but some of the other covers are pretty lame. But anyway, something I never knew until I was trying to find some songs to download, is that a few years ago, Larry Troutman shot and killed his brother Roger, then himself. Pretty crazy. Apparently they had some kind of feud about business, and probably some family issues. The San Francisco Weekly has a good article about the group, it's a pretty intersting and sad story. Wikipedia has a page too.

10/25/2005

so today I realized I eat a lot of Zatarain's mixes, so I thought I'd say I like em. Zatarain's (pronounced zatteranns, I think) are these Cajun dinner mixes, you cook some chicken or sausage or beef, add some water and butter and simmer it, and you get some good shit. They have a lot of unusual Cajun stuff on their website, like mossy oak fish mix, whatever that is, but I like the rice ones. Caribbean rice is good, as are jambalaya, and I just had the Chicken Creole Mix today, good stuff. Pretty much all of them I've had are good. The pasta ones are tasty too, especially the alfredeaux sauce pasta (get it, cajun alfredo). Unfortunately I don't see that one much. So whatever, I recommend them. Easy, cheap, filling, and tasty, and there are vegetables.
so myself and a top secret operative found the location of the Playboy Mansion : 10236 Charing Cross Rd, Westwood, CA 90024. Below is a picture of it from Google Earth. It's in Google Maps too, but Google Earth gets much better resolution. The circled area is the grotto.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Click it for a bigger version.

Pretty cool. I guess some man made structures aren't visible from space. Silicone ones, I mean.

And here are the Google Earth and Google Maps sites for those curious.

10/24/2005

so I was wondering the other day why there weren't more movies about Vikings. I think Vikings are really cool and interesting, and they'd make a great epic-type movie. Searching IMDB, the only semi-recent Viking-related movie I found was the 13th Warrior, which I have seen and is pretty enjoyable, but that's more of a cut-up-some-monsters kind of movie, rather than historical stuff about Vikings. I'm thinking an epic with different plotlines, starting with guys at a monastery in England getting raided by Vikings, some political wheelings and dealings by Vikings both in Scandanavia and Europe, the exploration and colonization of Iceland and Greenland (and even North America), and other raids and things. I mean, the Vikings were interesting folks, they conquered or settled a lot of land, like most of England, Normandy (they were the Normans), Iceland, Greenland, as well as being the founders of the country of Rus, which later became Russia. And with lots of swordfights and ocean voyages and such, it'd be really cool. You could have some hot blonde Viking-looking women too, who could be eye candy for the dudes, and the soundtrack could be by Sigur Ros and the Album Leaf. I'm thinking it'll be the same kind of movie as Last of the Mohicans or Lord of the Rings, Braveheart or Master and Commander. I'd go see this movie.

10/22/2005

so I saw this the other day: Fantasy Curling. As in fantasy football, but curling, the sport where they throw the big heavy things down the ice and use brooms. I guess every sport has a fantasy game now. I want to find fantasy buzkashi.

10/20/2005

so I read today that NBA has a new rule making players dress "business casual" and forbidding them from wearing visible jewelry, like gold chains and medallions and stuff, while on "team business." I think this is stupid, the NBA is not middle school. If a player wants to wear a chicken suit or a shako or a medallion that says "I Like Waffles" or whatever, who cares? It doesn't interfere with them taking a plane to the next game or talking to the media, so what does it matter if it they do it? It's their personalities and should be their right. I liked it when Dennis Rodman would wear weird crap. What a pointless rule. I guess they're trying to make people forget about the Pacers brawl fiasco by trying to get rid of some of the vestiges of hip-hop culture or whatever, but a dude in a suit isn't going to make me forget players fighting in the stands. And despite the fight, I'm still going to watch the games, whatever players wear before and after them.

10/19/2005

so if I were a city planner or mayor, one of the first things I would do would be to make rules about street names. I hate stupid ones.

Street names must be different - I hate in the suburbs when there are fifteen streets in a subdivision with minor differences, like "East Hills Way," "East Hills Lane," "East Hills Drive," etc. How confusing is that? "Ok, so turn left on East Hills Way, then go past East Hills Drive and.. no wait, East Hills Parkway..."

Themes - Most themes are stupid, but if you're going to use a theme it can't include the same word, such as "Harbour View Drive," "Twin Harbour Drive," "Harbour Park Lane" and so on. Just because "Harbour" is in a different place in different names, it doesn't mean it's not confusing or dumb. And Harbour? What is this, Canada? These are in Farragut, Tenn. If I ran a town, you've got to use American spellings of words, you won't be able to trick dummies into thinking their subdivision is nice because they live on "Honour Way" or "Labour Terrace" or some crap like that.

Street types - I also hate stupid types (or suffixes, whatever) like "Court" and "Cove" and "Terrace" and "Crescent" and so on. In my town, we have only street. Say that with a Russian accent. But really, cars don't drive on coves or terraces, they drive on streets. There are lots of things to name a street, you shouldn't have to just change the ending. How about Presidents? Historical figures in that area? Local geographical features, mayors, whatever. "Green Cove Green Way Green Street Green Boulevard" is just lazy.

More about themes - I hate it when people name stuff for their kids, like "Aimee Way" and "Amanda Boulevard." Show your kid you love them some other way, and name the street "Jefferson Street." And how stupid would it be to live on "Michael Vick Way" or "Phil Fulmer Boulevard" or something in 20 years? Proper names are not good.

And don't use stupid themes - Trees are ok. Presidents are fine. Kinds of dogs or flowers are not. "Daffodil Street"? Come on. And try to avoid the nouns. Naming streets for farming implements is pretty retarded, even if you do live near farms. My house in Knoxville is near Hitching Post Drive and Wagon Tongue Lane. That's dumb. And that map also has a stupid subdivision with streets named for famous horses: Secretariat, Seattle Slew, etc. Come on, Foolish Pleasure Lane? That is ridiculous. I've never even heard of that horse, but whether it's a famous horse or not, it's a terrible street name. Who approves this crap?

And if you're making a subdivision and run out of names, maybe you have too many little stupid cul-de-sacs. Buy maps of Charleston, New Orleans, and Boston for some good ones. Colonial street names are usually good and normal sounding.

I found a couple of articles on street names, one from Wikipedia and one from Texas A&M called "How are subdivisions named?" It's pretty interesting. I like this example from the A&M artilcle, it makes me want to punch this guy:

Obviously, the names of family and friends are the source for other subdivision names. There’s Christopher’s Cove, Suzanne’s Court and Julie’s Walk. Michael Shelton, developer of MJ Ranch, proudly named the subdivision after his wife Mary Jo.


Man, how much would it suck to have to live on Julie's Walk? I'd hate to call somebody and have to tell them my address. "uh... 6 Julie's Walk." "What? Who's Julie?" "No, that's the name of the street that I live on." "It's a walk?" "Yeah, but it's a street. Look, it's 6, then the name Julie, apostrophe S, then Walk." "Okay." "Now to get here, take a left on Hailey's Cove, then..."

There's also the subdivision name generator, which is pretty funny.

10/18/2005

so I'm going to see the band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah tonight, or as I like to call them, Crap Your Pants Say Yuck. They're kind of the new buzz band, and they got a really good review from Pitchfork, but I could care less, as half the time Pitchfork's reviews are nonsense. But in any case, I'm looking forward to it, I hear they put on a good show. I guess I'll see how it is. And Stereogum had an entry of how they got their name: it's from some graffiti.

so i was browsing the web the other day, and found this, probably the best Mr. T Halloween costume ever. He even has the van. I was Mr. T a few years ago, but it was nowhere near this cool. It's some German guy apparently, I tried using Google and Babelfish to translate, which are both cool sites, but it was all gibberish. Here's the guy's blog entry about it.

10/15/2005

so I read on Friendster of all places that there's a new Manu Chao album out. French Amazon has it as a book and CD combo, which seems pretty cool, but the page is all in French. According to Google, the name translates to something like "Siberia Was Told to Me" although the last word, conteee, seems to have an extra e. Wikipedia has an article about the album too, and says it's a pun. I guess puns don't translate. There's a version on the normal Amazon, but it seems like it doesn't have as many tracks or the book part. But anyway, I hope it comes out here, I like his stuff. The Wikipedia page says it's been out since 2004 in France and maybe elsewhere. Thanks random people on Friendster who are friends with Jumbo Slice.

10/14/2005

so i've seen some funny websites and such recently.

Stuffonmycat.com i might have mentioned before, but it's very funny - pictures of people putting stuff on their cats.

my coworker Matthew sent me this funny old ad for cigarettes starring the Flintstones. Mom and dad! I want a cigarette!

The devilducky site itself is pretty cool and has a lot of videos, such as a clip from the Smurfs Unicef commercial (article about it here)

A great blog from MIT about advertising, really interesting stuff.

And from that blog, you can buy masks of the weird Burger King king guy. I guess he would be called the Burger King.

10/13/2005

I spoke to the Samurai today


shawsamurai
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I saw the samurai guy again today after work at the Shaw Metro and decided to say hey. He said his get-up was African. but on to the story- I caught up to him as he was walking out and said "hey, I like your outfit." He ignored me for a sec, or maybe didn't notice I was talking to him, but said thanks. I asked him if he wore it to work and he said "no, I work as an instructor at a military facility, it's a suit and tie kind of place, so I put on my African clothes when I leave. It's my traveling wear" or something along those lines, which I thought was pretty cool. He also said he had some mud cloth for when it gets cold. (The first result on Google for mud cloth is a Smithsonian page about African clothes with a snippet from a neat song, so check it out.) By that point we were about up the escalator so I said cool and have a good day, and that was that. hopefully I can see if he would do a full interview, like why he wears it, what's it's based on and so on. So that was pretty neat.

In other news, I saw on Stereogum that there is a Commodore Music Store now. Like the Apple iTunes music store. I thought it was a very funny joke at first, but apparently it's legit, although the prices are in Euros. What's next, Amiga? Colecovision?

10/11/2005

so I was thinking about doing a review of some local pizza delivery places, and also thinking about shitty local commercials, and the first thing that came to mind was Manny and Olga's Pizza. Their commercials are pretty bad, with all these really unflattering shots of disgusting looking pizza, subs, and salads that looked like what might occur after a night of drinking. Then, to top it off, there's a shot of a photo of some other food, which is pretty funny - they were too lazy to actually make the food, so they just filmed a photo of it. Then the tag line is "We deliver... very late!" with the "very late" part sung really high.

And on to the review - the only good thing about the pizza is that they deliver very late. The sauce is pretty bad, weirdly sweet tasting, and I could only eat a few slices before getting tired - usually I finish off 3/4 of a pie or more. It wasn't that great of a deal either, $17 for an extra large 3 topping (which is not really that big) and a medium one topping. I'm not looking forward to having it as leftovers. Chicken was good as a topping, but still, the sauce was bad. I remember why we used to have a pizza hierarchy when I was at GW - Papa John's until it closed at midnight or something, then Pizza Movers until it closed at 1 or 2, then finally Manny and Olga's. Or maybe Pizza Movers and Manny and Olga's were reversed. But for my money, no delivery pizza can beat Duccini's, which doesn't have a website.

But anyway, here is Manny and Olga's website, unfortunately without the bad commercial.

And here's Pizza Movers too, at least the Arlington location. I like lame song it plays. I'm not sure what it is supposed to be, but that xylophone is rocking out.

10/09/2005

Metric and Most Serene Republic


metric
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I went to see Metric and Most Serene Republic at the 9:30 Club tonight. I've always heard Metric was good in concert, and Most Serene Republic has a pretty great band name. Metric didn't disappoint, but Most Serene Republic were pretty bad. I sort of liked their songs on their website, but they're very annoying performers. I get the feeling the band has been friends since 4th grade, and they're those annoying kind of friends who have all these exclusive hilarious inside jokes. They probably name their little group with some clever name like "the Salon" or an acronym of their first names. The lead singer was a spazz who sort of looked like me, but I hope I am not anywhere as annoying as he is. The rest of the band (except for the girl guitarist) rocked out way too much, to music that really didn't lend itself to rocking out. Music wise, I guess you could say they are a noisy, Canadian version of Architecture in Helsinki, which means they are sort of too cutesy and have twice as many band members as they need. They seemed like pretty good musicians, the drummer especially seemed to be a good drummer, but didn't ever play a regular beat, he just sort of banged stuff. I wish they'd go back to San Marino. But enough with the harsh review. Because Metric was great. They were tight and catchy, and the sound was booming, the bass was really shaking me. They also had a good light show going on, which wasn't over the top and really complimented them well. Emily Haines, the lead singer, she's a really good, likable frontwoman, or whatever you call female frontman. She danced around and made poses and has a great voice, pretty much the opposite of the Most Serene Republic frontman. The rest of the band were fun to watch as well, and were solid perfomers. You could tell they'd been doing this for awhile, and they sounded great. They tore the place apart during "Combat Baby," which I guess is their biggest hit song, and the encore was probably the best encore I've ever seen, it was a lot more hypnotic and swirling than the rest of the set. I feel like a lot of bands play one big song and sort of phone it in during the encore, but they were spectacular. I only knew maybe two or three of their songs, and still thought they were great. My pal Rae saw them a few days ago and has better photos and a video too.

10/06/2005

so my pal Jenny sent me this link to all the commercials for Eastern Motors, which are terrible commercials. Unfortunately, the best part, Lavar Arrington's bad lip-synching, isn't as noticeable here as when it's on TV, but it's still funny to watch. They also have the song available for download, but I don't know why someone would want to download it. On second thought, I think I might put it on every mix CD I make.

10/04/2005

Rap Snacks


rapsnacks
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So I saw these Lil Romeo chips at the hot dog stand near my work. Pretty funny stuff. The back says "The New No Limit/Universal Records presents Lil' Romeo. This prodigy to Master P is not only a soldier in training, but also his son. Following in his father's footsetps there is No Limit to his Universal appeal. With the release of his sophomore album, Game Time, Lil' Romeo is next in line to destroy the competition with his smash hit '2Way.' Album in stores June 2002!"

The last line worried me, since that might mean these are 3 year old chips. Or, since I see them a lot, maybe they just never updated the bag. They taste fine though - actually pretty good. Not that I want to be seen buying Lil Romeo chips all the time. What's odd is I've never seen any other rappers on bags of chips. You'd think Snoop Dogg chips or Lil Bow Wow or somebody would be popular too.

I know I was talking about selling out earlier, but man, If I were in a band, I'd love to be on a bag of chips. I wouldn't sell it at concerts though, just random places, hot dog stands, bodegas, vending machines, etc. Can you imagine buying Weezer chips at the 7-11 or something?

Also, I don't think you can be a "prodigy to" somebody. I assume they mean protege, but you still can't be a protege to somebody. This bag of chips needs a better copy editor. I will contact them about it via their awesome website, (no joke, it's awesome), www.rapsnacks.com


Update: Apparently there are also Dirt McGirt (aka Ol Dirty Bastard) Sour Cream and Onion chips. Man, I want some of those. However, he hasn't used the name Dirt McGirt for awhile, so they must be old too. Plus, RIP ODB.
so I thought this was pretty hilarious. Oh no!! It's Typhoon Longwang!!!

Typhoon LONGWANG has hardly shown the sign of enlargement, but it seems to be stable in its size, and the eye has been visible like a pinhole. It looks that it is now more strongly spiralling, so it may become a little larger in the near future. If this typhoon keeps the current westward motion, it will approach Sakishima Islands and Taiwan in a few days.

10/03/2005

so my boss forwarded me this news article about Morgantown, West Virginia and West Virginia University students. The parts that stood to me are

Morgantown led the nation in the number of intentional street fires between 1997 and 2003, with a total of 1,129 set. This is also during a time when Morgantown led the nation in reports of sexual abuse of animals, with a total of 24,989 reported cases.


and

Residents have until Friday morning to remove the specified items. Those who refuse to comply with the order will receive not receive their weekly food stamp allotment, and their furniture will be loaded into dump trucks and hauled away...


First off, sexual abuse of animals - who keeps statistics about this? That sucks. And food stamps? Geez. I think they need to give more financial aid or something. It sounds like Morgantown is as nice a place as Canton, Ohio.
so i was checking out news articles, and I thought this was sort of an unfortunate headline:


"Colleges offer students oral HIV tests"


Also, it looks like Google has a new search engine for blogs, blogsearch.google.com. For example, if you put in sufjan stevens 930 club the first result is me. Pretty cool. I'm not really sure why you'd want to use this as opposed to regular Google, but oh well.

9/30/2005

so I complained about $6 Yuenglings at the 930 Club in a previous post, and told DCist.com about it, who put a piece on their site about it. Pretty cool.

Also, I read a book called The Vikings and America it was really interesting. The guy argues that the Vikings settlement in the New World, Vinland, was probably in northern Maine, not Newfoundland like some people say. He makes pretty logical arguments about it, and it's an interesting book anyway, talking about the history of the Vikings' western exploration.

I guess the fall is making me think of cold stuff, because I also read some interesting articles on the affect of global warming on Alaska and the Arctic. Pretty neat. Here is number one and two.

9/29/2005

Sufjan Stevens at the 930 Club


sufjan
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So first off, $6 for a smallish cup of Yuengling is ridiculous. The 9:30 Club must be going bankrupt or something. But I went to see Sufjan Stevens (and his band, the Illinoisemakers) there the other day there and it was enjoyable. I was hoping they'd be in some kind of costume, and they didn't disappoint, with Sufjan in a kooky American flag jumpsuit and the rest of the band in University of Illinois cheerleader costumes. They started with a song about the 50 states, part of which is here, and which continues with lots of rhymes about states and things. People would cheer when he said their state, which was sort of cheesy, but oh well. The band sounded really good though, very clear and together, and interspersed the songs with funny cheers (since they were dressed as cheerleaders) about the various songs they were going to play. The cheers sort of lost energy towards the end, but I bet they've done the same cheerleader chants 100 times. And unfortunately, the super hot xylophone player wasn't there. Sufjan (pronounced Soof-yon for those who care) called her their cheerleading captain and said she hurt her ankle or something. But they were fun anyway, and played most of the songs I want to hear (the ones on Illinois sort of run together, so I forget which ones they didn't do). I enjoyed them all though, including a very different version of the Star-Spangled Banner. One thing that struck me was when Sufjan said he was going to play a song about his favorite holiday, Casimir Pulaski Day, and a few dudes in the audience yelled "yeaaahhh!!" really loudly. They probably liked the song, or possibly the holiday, but considering the song is about a girl dying of cancer, it was a strange reaction. Same with the reaction to the beginning of the one about John Wayne Gacy. I did wish the encore were longer, and he doesn't seem to be the best banjo player, but I'm not exactly Earl Scruggs either. But minor complaints aside, it was entertaining - at one point I considered naming a kid Sufjan, but eventually decided against it. Sufjan's voice did sound just like on the CDs, which I wasn't quite expecting, since a lot of the time it's pretty quiet. The opening guy, whose name I forget, was decent. I saw a few songs and he had a good voice, but was sort of boring. People talked over him the whole time, which is too bad, but I was guilty a bit too.
so I just read on DCist.com that Cafe Saint-Ex is asking customers to put their collars down before they come in. That's awesome. Saint Ex is now my favorite bar. I hate the popped collar thing, it looks retarded. I always want to say to poppers, "hey, you know your collar is up," but haven't yet. maybe soon. I put my collar up once years ago out of idle curiosity, and I don't see what the attraction is. Come to think of it, not a lot of people talked to me then.
so the other day I walked outside to go to work and it was dry and a little chilly and the sky was clear blue, I didn't see a cloud anywhere. it made me think of when I used to go to Air Force Academy football games back in middle school, and how I always think of that kind of weather as football weather. I always loved football games, we'd coo out in the parking lot with lots of other folks from the base I lived on, we'd eat chili and whatnot and my parents would have bloody marys (or is it maries), which i always thought looked gross. If the games got boring, the kids would all go play football behind the stadium in a grassy field, until one kid got his collarbone broken on a tackle - it sounded like an NFL crunch, except nobody was wearing any pads.

There's also college basketball weather, which is similar, but I feel like is more chilly - from going to GW games early (noonish) on Saturdays. Word.

9/27/2005

Williamsburg and Jamestown


shipsinjamestown
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So I went to Williamsburg and Jamestown last weekend with my parents. It was pretty fun, and I do like historical stuff. However, it was also a little strange - Williamsburg is pretty antiseptic. The town was founded in 1699 and was the colonial capitol, but most of the buildings are rebuilt, only 80 out of 500 or something are original. Which is fine, but it just seemed a little Disney-ish, with spotless old houses and such. It's still kind of a nice atmosphere though and there are lots of little shops along the main street. It was nice walking around, especially at night. And talking to people about how much they loved the town (and also how people actually voted Disneyworld's Main Street USA as the best part of the park) made me think of how people really like traditional townscapes like that.


But anyway, they had a lot of historical reenactments, like soldiers and drum and fife corps, craftspeople making wigs and furniture and blacksmithing and such, which was interesting. Some of the reenactors were interesting and funny, but some were insufferable and annoying, especially the younger ones. I guess they are probably all theater types who think they're great actors. It was also weird seeing black reenactors dressed as slaves - accurate, but sort of unsettling. Anyway, here's a picture of soldiers marching outside the Kings Arms Tavern, which had pretty good food.
troops

The town is centered on the old main street, Duke of Gloucester Street, and most of the historical stuff is within a block of two of that. It's actually laid out a lot like DC, with the Lincoln Memorial corresponding to William and Mary's oldest building, the Mall being Duke of Gloucester Street, the White House where the Governor's Palace is, and Capitols in the same place. I assume L'Enfant used Williamsburg for inspiration (map of the historic area here). There's also a few museums, like the Dewitt-Wallace Decorative Arts museum, which had silver and jewelry and crap like that, but also a really interesting exhibit on old maps, with lots of originals - John Smith's map of Virginia, lots of others from the 1600s, and so on. It was neat. The William and Mary campus is neat too, lots of old buildings. Here's the back of the Governor's Palace. It's sort of hard to tell, but there are 10 foot tall cylindrically trimmed boxwoods that look really cool.governorspalace
There's also the normal, modern day town of Williamsburg, which is nothing special, but there was a good Mexican restaurant called "Casa Maya". I recommend it, it was more Mexican than Tex-Mex, and things were flavored differently than normal Mexican food.


After Williamsburg, we went to Jamestown, which is actually two parks. There's the original site of the settlement, called Historic Jamestowne, which is run by the Park Service and a group called the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, and there's the Jamestown Settlement, a reconstruction, run by a pseudo-state government foundation, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. It's kind of confusing. We went to the reconstruction first, and I expected it to be corny, but it was actually the better of the two. They have a huge visitor's center with movies and food and all, and a gift shop with lots of stuff, from historical things to cheesy tourist crap. The park itself starts with a rebuilt Indian village, which was sort of interesting. The tour guide was a big high school looking kid in a Pocahontas-ish costume that was sort of funny, but was probably accruate. Then we went to the ships, pictured above, which were really interesting. One of the ships was being worked on, so it wasn't there, but the biggest and smallest were, the biggest is pictured. They're reconstructions also, but seemed very well done, and are seaworthy - the big one sailed across the Atlantic, and apparently is in an upcoming movied called "The New World" about Jamestown and such, with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. It actually looks pretty good, and also has Wes Studi, who is also cool. He was the bad dude in "Last of the Mohicans."

But anyway, we got to walk all over the ships, which was really intersting - it would suck to have to cross an ocean in one. The smaller ship was meant to be for exploring the area around the colony, and was actually built smaller than it should have been, but was still pretty tiny. The fort and town inside were really neat too, very primitive, and the reenactors were doing things like making food and working on armor. It was very hands on, more than at Williamsburg. I enjoyed it, you really got a feel of how much in the wilderness they were.


The Park Service/APVA Jamestown, however, was bad. There was a lot of construction going on, which is fine, but it seemed like they didn't pay much attention to park visitors. After going to a rebuilt glass furnace (pretty neat), we went to the main part of the park. We couldn't find a real visitors center, but did find a little gift shop. So we wandered across a bridge over the swamp which leads to the island the town was built on. It was basically unguided, since we didn't get a map (couldn't find the visitors center), and the park really didn't tell me anything. There was a big obelisk from the 300th anniversary, and there were foundations of buildings with some small plaques, a partially rebuilt church, and that was it basically. It left me with more questions than when I started, and that was after already learning about Jamestown - it must have been nonsense to people who didn't go to the other park. For example, there was a big plastic dome over one area. I assume it was to protect an archaeological dig, but there weren't any signs or anybody to tell me what it was. We didn't see a park ranger until after we had finished everything, and he was leading a tour. Where the tour started and how people found out about it, I have no idea. And it's not like we came in the back way, there's only one way in and one place to park. So the Park Service section was nice and peaceful, and gave you a good idea of where the place was, but I really didn't learn anything additional. I wrote them an email about the crappy experience, and they wrote back soon saying these were problems that were going to be fixed, but still. But not interesting park aside, I'm glad I went, and I enjoyed it all.

So that was the trip. Here are links and a couple more photos.

the non-Park Service, better Jamestown park. Dumb URL.

The Park Service site for Jamestown

Colonial Williamsburg. It's crazy they got "history.org" as their domain. They must have registered it 20 years ago or something.

Now pictures, here's the ceiling of the Governor's Palace. Those are guns. Apparently this was common back then.
guns

Here's a crazy-shaped tomato from a garden in Williamsburg.
tomato

And here's me chilling with my pal Thomas Jefferson on the main drag in Williamsburg.
meandtom