Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hallowe'en: Costumes

Aviation: Pilot Retirement Age

A lot of news organisations have reported on the forced retirement of Southwest Airlines pilot (and former astronaut), Robert "Hoot" Gibson at age 60. All of these reports have focused on the mandatory retirement rule. But some of these stories mention in passing that Gibson is married to an astronaut.

Talk about burying the lede! NASA put a gay man in space?!?!? When did that happen? How come there was no outcry from the Religious Right, fighting to preserve the sanctity of space?

Update. Okay, apparently he's married to a female astronaut. My bad.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Music: Old 97s

Just saw a TV commercial for Chili's with a version of their "I Want My Baby Back" jingle that sounded a hell of a lot like the Old 97s. Lawsuit, I thought. Turns out, it is the Old 97s.

rbally has an Old 97s show from 1999. (And Smiths, Cat Power, Johnny Cash, Jeff Tweedy, Tom Waits...)

Sports: Appropriate Names

A variation on Robb's original sports-appropriate names: which players have (or had) names appropriate to their team?

Robb suggests former Philadelphia Eagles punter, Jeff Feagles.

I'll add the Texas Rangers' Mark Teixeira. Pity he has that first "i" in his name - but then he'd be a comic book artist.

Rhett Bomar would have been a perfect fit for OU (with the inevitable "Bomar Sooner!" headlines) were it not for the compensation scandal. (And for mixing alcohol and Dr. Pepper?)

Colt McCoy is a great name for a Texas Longhorn, but it would be even better if he gets drafted by Indianapolis.

Any more?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

TV: Irish TV

Jim started it off by pointing me to "Wanderly Wagon" on YouTube, asking, "Was the theme music always that shite?" I think this was a later version. Did I ever mention that I appeared on the show (with about 100 other kids)?

Is there anything more annoying than the voice of "Bosco"?

"The Late, Late Show" in Lego.

Some musical performances from "The Late, Late Show" (always the best part):

Gay Byrne punk'd by Mike Murphy (which apparently causes Princess Grace's death).

And the best for last: "D'Unbelievables"!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Motorcycles: Empty Sidecars

Nothing ticks me off more than a motorcycle with an empty sidecar. No, a dog doesn't count.

Haven't these people seen the price of gas? Don't they know that our dependence on foreign oil is dragging us into unwinnable wars?

This sidecar has only one person when it looks like it could fit a lot more.

OK, here's a sidecar that is acceptably empty.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Media: Mike Snyder

Shell points me (with a proper link, no less) to a Dallas Observer/Unfair Park blog item: NBC5 and Mike Snyder make a couple of goofs on a news story. I actually feel a little sympathy for Snyder here, and applaud the straightforward way he acknowledges his mistake. But he's still a pompous ass. And we can never forgive Channel 5 for the odious "Let's JaM!" campaign. Here's an old Jane McGarry flub. And from 1987, Harold Taft shows you how it ought to be done.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Advertising: Sony

Sony's exploding paint ad for their Bravia TVs. I'm with the commenters who say there must be some CGI touch-ups. The official page has a high-res video in the hated QuickTime format.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Music: Tom Waits

Tom Waits has a triple CD coming out next month, "Orphans" (that's nothing - Vince Gill has a 4-disc set). His record label Anti has two tracks to download, and Pitchfork has another.

rbally has a live performance from 1974.

Details of his 1990 lawsuit against Frito-Lay, including a soundfile of the ad. (I wonder what ever happened to the impersonator, Dallas singer Stephen Carter?)

Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson is reportedly recording an album of Waits covers.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sports: Trivia

What do Jerry West, Harmon Killebrew, Jim Ferree, and Alex Rodríguez have in common?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Animation: Album Cover War

Great concept, great execution: Album Cover War. What's the cover with the dog?

TV: "Jay Jay The Jet Plane"

On a recent episode of "Jay Jay The Jet Plane", Lina was afraid to fly over the ocean. Mechanic Brenda Blue (I'll bet she's popular with lesbians) told Lina to imagine flying under the water, and think of all the wonderful sea creatures she would find there. This is enough to cure Lina of her aquaphobia.

I totally call bullshit on this. Wouldn't imagining her deepest fear be traumatic for Lina? And how did she imagine all those fish and coral in her fantasy? Bad psychology, PBS Kids.

Miscellany: Sunday

  • Has anyone else noticed that gravity seems to be getting stronger lately?
  • People love kissing pigs. Or pig statues. Even at Christmas. Whoever raises the most money to fight illiteracy in Jacksonville
    gets to kiss a pig. Personally, I don't get this porcine osculation fetish. If I had to kiss any animal, it would be the first dog to bite Nancy Grace, from sheer gratitude. (Although I'd have it tested for rabies first.)
  • Are we going to have to ban playing the guitar while driving?
  • CBS is trumpeting their rhyming Sunday night schedule: "The Amazing Race", "Cold Case", "Without A Trace". Not to be outdone, NBC will follow "Deal Or No Deal" with dating show "The 5th Wheel", "The Seventh Seal" (series based on Bergman classic), and "Biel Steals A Meal For Keel", in which the lovely Jessica Biel must procure nourishment for the zombified corpse of musical actor Howard Keel.
  • Ignore the pathos of grown women teaching their pets to say "I love my Mama", and the canned laughter, and just admit there's nothing funnier than talking dogs.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Politics: Page Scandal

Wonkette highlights an unfortunately (or craftily) phrased sentence from The Hill:
Hastert and Boehner need to get on the same page or Republican troubles will continue to mount.

I wish I'd thought of that one!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Writers: "Bachem Macuno"

The blog of a bitter TV/film writer, Agents Can Eat My Ass Out Like Hungry Bears. Don't miss the link to rejected "Love Is.." comics ("Love is nothing in your inbox since the night you let him up your outbox").

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ideas: Brilliant

Two brilliant ideas, free to you, the general public.

  • You know how hard it is to gauge the dress code for certain situations? A night at the symphony, dinner at a sit-down restaurant, the funeral of a hippy. I have the perfect solution: wear a clown costume. No one is going to say, "Excuse me, sir, but you should be wearing a formal clown suit." (Robb disagrees, pointing out that some clown suits are formal.)
  • You know that mist that forms in the neck of a beer bottle when you pop the top? I say we save it up, and send it to drought-ravaged areas of the world. I'm keeping mine in a mason jar in my freezer.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Politics: Mark Foley

Can Rep. Mark Foley save his career by promising to turn over a new page? (Too soon?)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Business: Appropriate Names

This New York Times/CNET story about a Firefox security flaw quotes Mozilla's security chief, Window Snyder. Her name was even more appropriate when she used to work for Microsoft.

Here's her blog (infrequently updated, understandably).