Thursday, July 16, 2009

Really AccuQuote?

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Is this really how we want to sell life insurance? We can only assume from the picture that this little girl lost her mommy or daddy and is now homeless because her parents did not care enough to purchase life insurance. Could there be a more blatantly manipulative advertisement? The only other possibility I can think of is that this is such a low budget outfit that they could only afford to take one picture and the kid just wouldn't cooperate. Either way...this ad sucks.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Haters gonna hate...

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Do you?

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“While you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.” -Tony Campolo

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Death of George Tiller and My Thoughts on Abortion

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Around lunchtime last Sunday I began to feel the pangs of a looming internal crisis. My wife Regina got a text message from her sister saying that George Tiller, notorious late term abortion provider, had been shot and killed at his church in Wichita, Ks. As I processed that information over the next hours and days I experienced a range of emotions that I hadn't fully prepared myself for.

Being raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church in the suburbs of Wichita , George Tiller played a prominent role in the formative years of my spiritual and political development. He was equal parts bogey man, Adolf Hitler and the devil himself. He was the face of evil incarnate and he carried out his grim work just a few miles away from the mall that I frequented as a teenager. Long before I could ever grasp the complexities of an issue like abortion (I'm not sure that I do now), I was standing outside his clinic holding poster board protest signs. I have a vague recollection of one late night vigil where I was actually interviewed by a local TV news crew. I don't recall the exact reason for the protest but I remember that it was cold that night so the January anniversary of Roe V. Wade would fit I suppose. In any case, the news crews shows up and somehow I end up in front of a reporter with a bright light in my face and they're asking me why I was there. My brilliantly succinct 13 year old answer was something like "Um well, because um, I don't um, think it's right um for them to um be able to kill um babies, you know?" That was literally all I knew about involved killing a baby, and of course that was wrong right? I couldn't even understand why we were there. How in the world could we even be having the conversation? This was the most black and white issue I could possibly imagine. In my mind, the typical abortion case file involved a teenage girl or twenty-something young woman who got pregnant as a result of her sinful lifestyle and was too selfish to make room in her life for a new baby so she decided to take the easy way out and get an abortion. People got abortions because they wanted to fit into a prom dress and not have their freshman year of college interrupted.

Of course this was before I had ever heard of words like anencephaly, a condition where the baby is born essentially without a skull or the major part of their brain, usually blind, deaf and unable to feel pain. This particular birth defect is fatal 100% of the time. This was before I read the accounts of families who discovered that the precious baby that they were hoping for and planning for and praying for and waiting anxiously to hold and love and raise was essentially on life support inside the womb and had no chance of survival. Let that sink in for a moment. Fatal 100% of the chance of survival. What do you do with that? As a young prospective mother how do you even allow your mind to process that information? Do you get a 2nd opinion? A 3rd...4th...5th opinion? Do you experience denial and anger and bargaining and all the other stages of grief that humans go through when a loved one dies? Do you carry the baby to term and allow it be born and die naturally? Do you have an abortion and end the pregnancy on your own terms? Do you name the baby and bury it and have a funeral like any other baby who dies tragically? I read of families who did all these things. Which of these choices is more right than the other? And who decides?

So these were the things that were running through my mind last week when I heard that Tiller had been murdered. As a lifelong opponent of abortion the coldly pragmatic part of my mind reasoned for a moment that the death of George Tiller would result, at least in the short term, in less abortions. On the other hand, the murder of this man would likely set the pro-life movement back by decades and turn Tiller into a martyr for the pro-choice movement. Worse still would be the damage to the peaceful, prayerful, non-radical arm of the pro-life movement who would likely be painted with the same broad brush as the murderer who pulled the trigger. Further still, what about the women who used Tiller's services as a legal if not horrible option for dealing with a fatal neural birth defect like anencephaly? Could it be that on some level this man who was the face of evil to me as a youngster was in some way, to some women, the hero that so many people are saying he was? Was it possible that by providing a less terrible option than carrying and giving birth to a baby with a death sentence that he was in some way bravely doing what needed to be done but few others in the medical community had the constitution for? Is it possible that for some people, in some circumstances, the services he offered were the more humane choice? The bile rises in my throat as I type that. It breaks my heart and makes my head spin to say it but I just don't know anymore. Does Pro-Choice mean pro-abortion? If you allow for abortions in extreme cases (like anencephaly) are you ethically and logically obliged to allow and approve of abortion on demand for all reasons? If you concede a little ground on this issue have you, in effect, conceded everything?

Here is what I do know - too often Christians who hang their hats on the sanctity of life seem to mysteriously disappear when the logical end of their stance on abortion comes knocking on the door of their church. Without the intervention of the church or other community minded organizations, poverty stricken, poorly educated people whose lives spiral into a vicious cycle of crime and poor decisions result in more tragically unwanted children destined to repeat the mistakes of their parents. We say we are against freely available condoms and sex education, the morning after pill and Plan B contraception for spiritual, ethical and philosophical reasons. But we fail to remember that ideas have consequences in real life. The effects of these philosophies we espouse are very often the victims of the abortions we fight to prevent. Pro-life has to mean more than just caring for 9 months and then moving on to the next girl in line at the pregnancy crisis center. As Christians we must value life in all of it's forms and stages.

I'm a lazy writer...

So it's been a while since I've posted anything substantive on this blog (some would say years...but that wouldn't be very nice of them). Basically, I just came down with a nasty case of blog-slack. I went on vacation for a week and some other stuff and just haven't made the time to sit down and write. I need to do better about that. I love to write but it's very easy to get out of the habit. Writing isn't always easy and frankly, watching TV is much easier. Consequently, TV has been winning the battle for the hour or so of free time I have at night that isn't consumed with family or work. Anyway, my summer resolution is to write something, anything, at least once a day. It might not always be a blog post, but even if it's just some free verse that I dump out of my brain into Google docs I think it would worth the excercise. Any other aspiring bloggers/writers feel the same way?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Your Business Card is Crap...

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How do I know this? Because this dude says so...

The Bike King and the 10 Commandments

If Fireproof is the Citizen Kane of "Christian" movies then The Bike King and the Ten Commandments has to be the Evangelical answer to Plan 9 from Outer Space. Please to enjoy 3:47 of the finest performances ever captured on film. My favorite part is when the God tree magically spits out an unlabeled CD-R of what I assume to be the 10 Commandments., I'm not kidding...

For a more detailed (and slightly snarkier perspective) check out Patrol's review of this instant classic.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Weepies - Can't Go Back Now

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I am so into this band right now...they just make me smile

Saturday, May 02, 2009

My blurry-ass pictures from my stupid camera...

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I took a few pictures on this trip that I was happy with. My Olympus digital camera sucks only slightly less than the Kodak Disc camera I was when I was 12 so most of my snaps come out blurry which is very frustrating. Here are a couple that I was happy with...

Here is a link to the rest of the pics from my trip in case anyone is interested...

Never again...

Although there are many days when I question my career choice, I can say that working for Massive Dynamic (shout out to all you Fringe fans out there) has given me many opportunities that I don't know that I would have otherwise. Among these opportunities is the chance to travel a bit every once in a while. I actually enjoy travelling so the few trips I take a year are not bothersome and other than getting a bit homesick towards the end, I am usually glad for the opportunity to see and experience new places. Last week I had the chance to spend about 6 days in Germany and Austria. If you've never been I can't recommend it highly enough. It is breathtakingly beautiful country. I spent the majority of my time in a small village at the foot of the Austrian Alps called Jenbach. It was like stepping into a postcard. Everyone there was wonderfully kind and welcoming. They serve a fantastic Austrian beer called Zipfer (almost exclusively). Like when you order a beer, they don't ask "what kind would you like?" they just pour you a Zipfer. So I had a few of those...

Last Friday, my colleagues and I stayed in Munich, Germany and spent the evening with a fellow employee from Munich, a gentleman named Karl-Henz who showed us some local beer halls (are you noticing a trend here?) and an amazing Italian restaurant where we enjoyed dinner late into the evening.

On Saturday, we had the opportunity to spend a few hours at the Dachau concentration camp memorial. I can honestly say that this was one of the most profound experiences of my life. I don't know how you can really prepare yourself emotionally for something like this, but I was not. As you approach the camp you are met by an iron gate bearing the German phrase "Arbeit macht frei" which means "work will make you free".

As I walked through the gate to the camp I broke down and had to stop for a few moments to compose myself. It's literally as if you can feel the weight of everything that happened in that terrible place.

Gate to Dachau Camp

After viewing a brief film on the history of the Dachau camp and the atrocities that took place there, we walked the grounds and toured the prisoners barracks and bath house.

Prisoner bunk house

Prisoner toilet facilities

Guard Tower

There really aren't words to describe what it's like to be in a place like this. I was overwhelmed by feelings of sadness for the people who suffered and died there and simply for the human condition that allows people to hate so much and to commit such atrocities. In the midst of all of that sadness and despair however, there was a tiny flickering hope that maybe as a people we learned something from that dark period in our history and remain committed to ensuring that it never happens again.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Make 'Em Say Uhh...

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So I'm playing (and I use that term loosely) in this basketball league at my church. It's an open league which apparently means that it is made up mostly of guys who are rehabbing a knee before they can return to the NBA or possibly sitting out a year due to academic reasons before they can transfer to Duke or North Carolina to finish their NCAA careers. I am the slowest, fattest, whitest guy within 10 miles of this gym and I am fully preparing myself to be humiliated every Monday for the next 8 weeks. We had the season opening Jamboree on iterally looked like this (complete with the dude in the gorilla suit dunking from half court):

But I'm not going to quit...I signed up and I'm playing. At the very least, I should learn how to take an elbow to the solar plexus without vomiting. Wish me luck...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Colbert on the Origins of Evil

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If you're a member of the Colbert Nation (like I am) then you've probably already heard this exchange between Stephen and Dr. Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University on Lucifer and the origin of evil. My favorite part of the clip:

Dr. Zimbardo: "You've obviously paid attention in Sunday School."
Colbert: "I TEACH Sunday School motherf****!"

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Philip Zimbardo
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest

Subscribe to this blog...

If anyone is interested in subscribing to my blog you can do that here via Feedburner. If you don't already know why you would want to do this, then you probably don't need to. If you do know and haven't already, then go for it.

Where the Wild Things Are...

I know very little about this movie other than the fact that it is a film adaptation of the beloved childrens book by Maurice Sendak. That and the fact that it will be mind blowingly awesome. Here is a brief list of all the awesome things I spied (or heard) in the trailer:

1. Shadow of monster head (:14)
2. Glimpse of monster horn in sunlight (:21)
3. Monster's eye (:25)
4. Arcade Fire - Wake Up(:30)
5. Max's sweater (:39)
6. Max's rabbit costume (:52)
7. Catherine Keener (1:06)
8. By the Author Maurice Sendak (1:32)
9. From Director Spike Jonze (1:36)
10. Where the Wild Things Are (1:56)

And for the one thing that sucked about this trailer:

1. October 16 (2:06)

A brief moment of pause...

I didn't realize it until just now, but I just crossed the 200 post mark here in T-Bone's World. I've been at this since June '05...almost 4 years. That's about 50 posts a year. If I'm really being honest, I have to say I'm not too proud of the pace there but then again, I'm not a guy who's ever gonna hit a 4 minute mile. Quality over quantity baby...quality is job #1. So let me take a moment to say shalom and thank you to all of my friends in the interwebs. Thank you for taking a moment to read what I have to say, listen to what I recommend or watch what I think is funny or compelling. It means more to me than you know...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Such Great Heights...

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Not that anybody really needs another reason to dig David Bazan but if you're looking for one here it is...him singing backup for Ben Gibbard on "Such Great Heights". I got to see this tour a couple of years ago and yes, it was amazing, thanks for asking. I've probably talked about this before because I've really only got like 3 or 4 cool stories that I just keep recycling. Me driving to Nashville to watch David Bazan open for Ben Gibbard is one of those stories. And yes, I am also aware that my blog has been a little Bazan heavy over the past week or so. Will I be changing that any time soon? I don't know...probably not as long as he continues to be the most awesome thing I have to write about. You've got your Jonas Brothers...I've got my David Bazan, mmmkay?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Slow and Steady Wins the Race...

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So that David Bazan show I told you about the other day? Yeah, it was only about 1000 times more awesome than I even thought it would be. Here's a little taste. Oh and if you're not a fan after this, please follow the advice my brother Justin would give: Do the world a favor and go ahead and punch yourself in the face.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The best Radiohead cover ever...

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This is how much I love David Bazan as a singer/songwriter...I am making the trek all the way from Atlanta to Wichita this weekend to watch him play a "house show". I'm actually really psyched about it. He's literally playing a series of shows in private residences through the end of April. There were about 30 tickets sold for this and I was lucky enough to score 2 of them. So my bro-bot Justin and I are going to enjoy an extremely intimate acoustic performance with one of our very favorite singers of all time. I don't think it can really get much better than that can it? I doubt he'll sing this but if you've never heard Pedro the Lion or David Bazan this is a really good intro. So this is my favorite singer covering my favorite Radiohead song. I think my awesome gland just experienced a full aneurysm.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Free music SXSW style...

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If you're looking for oh, I don't know... say about 6GB worth of free tunes then go ahead load this link up in your favorite BitTorrent client and begin sucking up your share of Comcast or Cox bandwidth. This is all of the music currently available on the SXSW (South by Southwest for any non-hipsters out there) website. If you aren't familiar with BitTorrent or how to use it then the good folks at Lifehacker have you covered here.

Monday, March 16, 2009


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Last Friday, my small group from church gathered to watch a movie called Fireproof. If you are a Christian, know a Christian, have ever seen a Christian or have ever heard the word Christian, then you probably already know about this movie. If you don't fit any of those descriptions, here is the gist of it: Kirk Cameron (yes, that Kirk Cameron) plays a firefighter whose marriage is on the brink of collapse due to his long hours on the job, a formidable Internet porn habit and the fact that he generally treats his wife like a doormat. His wife, tired of being screamed at for not doing little things like cleaning the house, grocery shopping or leaving any pizza for her husband, decides she's had enough and wants out. Our protagonist's father intervenes and asks his son to give the marriage 40 days before he complies with his wife's request for a divorce. He gives him a notebook called "The Love Dare" which contains a different task for each of the 40 days designed to show his wife that he still loves her and is committed to their relationship. He promises his son that if he will commit to "The Love Dare" for 40 days it will make a difference in his marriage. So now you're up to speed on the plot.

A couple of items to note. First of all, this movie was made by the folks at
Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. It was filmed for a budget of $500,000 and according to, it has grossed about $33.5M. For most pictures, a return like that should be enough to have the Spielberg's, Katzenberg's and Wienstein's all fighting over the visitors parking spaces on Sunday morning. Naturally, when this movie was released last year it was enthusiastically embraced by Christians of all persuasions. It received unabashedly positive reviews from Christian publications far and wide. Michael Foust of Baptist Press said

"I walked into the theater without any expectations, but walked out after the closing credits believing I had just seen perhaps the most convicting and inspiring film I had ever viewed. Fireproof isn't just a great Christian movie. It's a great movie. Period.

Eric Bell of raves

"You are about to embark on a life changing experience when you view this incredible film.The quality of this story is simply amazing, especially in a spiritual and moral sense. And yet, it is edge-of-your-seat entertainment."

The non-Christian media hasn't been quite so kind (I'm looking at you Boston Globe). The most common criticism of the film seems to center on the acting and the fact that the movie tends to bludgeon the viewer with a sort of heavy handed preachiness.

I will say at the outset that I am a bit of a film snob. I like to think I enjoy movies on a deeper level than most. When I watch a movie I really try to take in the entire experience. The cinematography, the writing, the music, the performances, the artistic choices that an actor or a director make, etc. A good movie is more than the sum of it's parts. Good movies, much like the characters they contain, can be flawed and still win our hearts. It's OK to say "I didn't really enjoy watching that movie, but it had some really excellent performances in it" or "That movie had some serious technical shortcomings but the writing was terrific." Sometimes a movie is difficult to watch but unflinchingly tells a story that is too important to look away from (e.g. Saving Private Ryan). Unfortunately, I knew in the first 10 minutes of Fireproof that I wasn't watching a movie that was any of those things. As a Christian, I certainly can't take offense with the story that this movie is trying to tell. As a movie lover however, I can be deeply offended by how poorly it is told.

I cannot put into words how bad the performances are in this movie. Aside from Kirk Cameron, all of the actors in this film are amateurs and it is painfully obvious. To say that the acting was wooden would be an insult to trees. All I could think of when I was watching these performances was that it like somebody recorded a church drama production with a really expensive camera. The writing is ham fist-ed and obvious. The screenwriters insult our intelligence by having the characters explain things to us that we don't need to have explained. For instance, it is very clear from their onscreen actions that Dr. So and So has eyes for the firefighters wife. We don't need a gaggle of nurses to huddle on screen and whisper conspiratorially "If I didn't know better, I'd say Dr. So and So has a thing for her". On top of all this, I saw the M. Night Shymalan style "twist" ending coming a mile away. The one positive thing I can say for this movie is that it was well made from a technical perspective. For all of their shortcomings as filmmakers, the folks at Sherwood Baptist do seem to know how to run a camera.

Another distracting element in the movie that really pulled me out of the experience was the lack of realistic language in the script. Because this is a Christian movie, apparently the film makers made a commitment to keeping out many of the elements that some Christians find offensive in a film. While profanity doesn't really offend me per se, I understand the decision to try to keep the film family friendly by refraining from "adult language". Unfortunately, the film as a whole suffers for it. There were certain scenes, particularly early in the film where I found the lack of profanity to actually be a bit jarring. I'm watching Kirk Cameron's character screaming at his wife, having this knock down, drag out fight but they're yelling at each other like a couple of Sunday School teachers. It just felt really artificial. To expect the audience to somehow believe that this couple on the verge of divorce, who are admittedly not Christians and don't espouse any particular Christian worldview would still maintain G rated language in a moment like that is just not realistic. In that situation, nobody would use language like "YOU ARE A DISRESPECTFUL WOMAN!"

In the end, what offends me more than anything is how this movie is so enthusiastically praised by Christians even though it is such a clear example of a poorly executed film. When I have heard people that I know talk about this movie it is almost always a variation on the following theme: "The acting is pretty bad, but it's a really great movie". I understand what they're trying to say I think, but I still have trouble with that statement. What is it that makes this a great movie? Certainly not the writing or the performances, and I somehow doubt that they are commenting on the cinematography. It just seems like many in the evangelical community are so desperate to have a "Christian" movie playing at the local multiplex that they are willing to forgive a multitude of sins that they would not forgive in the "secular" media. People are less concerned about the talent with which an artistic effort is exercised and more concerned with getting it in front of as many secular eyeballs as possible. I don't know whether this is borne out of some inborn mission to win the lost through some type of artistic pseudo-ministry or just to tell the world "see we can make movies too". For the record, this mindset permeates virtually all of the Christianity's modern efforts in the arts, whether it be music, film, art or literature. The result of this, in my opinion, is a message sent to the world that tells them that Christians are a) incapable of creating well crafted artistic expressions or b) that we're too dumb to know the difference. A movie like Fireproof, while certainly well intentioned, only serves to further that stereotype.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A surprisingly good cover...

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Actually, this isn't all that surprising to me because I've always been a fan of Adam Sandler's music. He's a fine musician and (I think) a really good singer. This is a great version of a Neil Young classic and I hope that he has more opportunities to do stuff like this. I would absolutely buy a non-comedy Adam Sandler record. 

Here's some nerd for you...

I'm kind of a font geek. I'm also kind of a history geek. So when I find an illustrated table of elements for commonly used typefaces that includes who designed each font and when AND groups them in order of relative popularity...well that's just almost more than my geeky little heart can take.

[via Gizmodo]

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm on a boat...

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Not really, but I wish I was. Mainly because Andy Samberg and the rest of The Lonely Island crew make it look so frakking awesome. Since this is a family show, I'm going to go ahead and embed the edited version of this video that aired as an SNL Digital Short but there's nothing stopping anybody from waiting until I leave and then clicking here if they wanted to experience the full uncensored, NSFW, autotuned glory of T-Pain and his vocal hook. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Jimmy Fallon's first night

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If you didn't get a chance to check out Jimmy Fallon's first night as Conan O'Brien's replacement as Late Night host, you should go back and check it out on Hulu when you get a few minutes. He seemed a little nervous and there were a few rough spots but all in all I thought it was a pretty good first outing. My favorite bit of the night was Slow Jam the News. I really hope this becomes a recurring bit because I thought it was hilarious. On another note, I don't really know how he convinced The Roots to be his house band but there they were...Black Thought, ?uest Love and ?uest Love's afro in all their glory. Regardless of what you think about rap or hip-hop music...these guys are a tight band and they're going to be fun to watch every night. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Jimmy Fallon can do with this show over the next couple of months.

A new addition to our great big blogging family...

My old buddy Johnny just started a new blog and I'm have to say I'm really psyched about it. He's one of the funniest people I know and if you have ever laughed at anything I've written...well, then strap in because you ain't seen nothing yet. He's way funnier than I am. Seriously, like really, really ridiculously more funny. You can check him out here.

editor's note - In the spirit of full disclosure, it should be pointed out that Johnny did re-post one of my recent items on his blog (which is the closest I have been or probably ever will come to having my work published) but that in no way influenced my comments about him, his laugh-out loud-funny sense of humor or his wonderfully crafted blog. 

(personal note to JG - I don't think I oversold that. Now all you have to do now is write relevant, funny material that people want to read. You thought this shit was easy? Welcome to hell kid.) 

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Scratched one off my list...

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I got to see Ben Folds play last night at the Tabernacle (my favorite Atlanta concert venue). I have been waiting for years to see him play live so I was really psyched. I was absolutely not disappointed. If you are a fan of Mr. Folds you already know how fantastic he is and don't need me to tell you. He played a solid 2 hour set with several new songs and ton of old favorites including this little gem.

(Note - this is not video from last night's show but it sounds just as awesome.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Science is awesome - Part 2

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You need to click on this to really be able to view it in all its glory...I'll warn you ahead of time to go ahead and swallow whatever you are drinking before you read this unless you are looking for an excuse to buy a new keyboard. 

Jacketed Hamsters Demonstrate Movement Powered Nanogenerators

A couple of things to note here. 1) This is hands down the coolest headline I have ever read. 2) I am oddly intrigued by the concept of a hamster jacket. 3) I am now officially counting the days until I can stop paying my electric bill to Cobb Energy and start paying it to Petsmart. Click here to learn more.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is why nobody likes you...

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...and by you I mean Kevin Federline. Apparently he's looking to start his own children's clothing line because he's tired of paying $200 a pair for toddler jeans. He's frustrated that he buys his kids a pair of True Religion and then they roll around in the dirt and ruin them. I love the fact that he seems to think he is some kind of defender of the common man who will finally provide us with a reasonably priced trouser that people can actually afford in todays economy. Miss Moneypenny...take a letter:

Dear Mr. Federline,
Thank you for your efforts on behalf of our struggling economy. Your plan to market affordable childrens clothing is indeed a a good one. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, your great idea has been beaten to market by every other manufacturer of children's clothing in the history of the known world. However, as you seem to be an enterprising young man I have compiled a short list of things that perhaps you could focus your efforts on developing solutions for. They are as follows:

1. A source of nourishment other than caviar. That stuff is so rich and kind of gross. Plus it's like $100 an ounce!
2. A method of air travel that is cheaper than first class. There is a ton of room in the back 3/4 of the airplane. Couldn't they add a bunch more seats, maybe put them closer together and maybe charge for the drinks or something and then charge less for those tickets?
3. A clean, reliable automobile that doesn't cost $100k. I mean seriously...can nobody challenge Bentley for dominance in the auto industry?
4. A refreshing beverage that costs less than $400 a bottle. I mean I love Cristal as much as the next guy but it just seems wasteful to crack open a bottle every time i want to sit down with a caviar sandwich and watch Entourage.

I hope you will consider bringing some of your considerable resources to bear on one or more of these issues as a potential next project. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you. I salute you and wish you all the best as you further the cause of modern douchebaggery.

With warm regards,
T. Montgomery Wilkensen, Esq.
Senior Vice President of Douchebaggery
The World

Monday, February 23, 2009

Free Sammich...

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If you love yourself some Quiznos like I love myself some Quiznos you will be really psyched to learn what I am about to tell you. You can get a delicious, hot delicious Quiznos sando for free by clicking here

FYI - if you are using a Gmail account the email containing your free coupon link will go to your spam folder so you'll need to check there after you fill out the registration. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

One Band You've Heard of and One You Probably Haven't...

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So I'm trying to re-establish my voice for this blog. When you neglect your blog like I did for so long I think it can be difficult to find a consistent tone for your posts. Now granted, most of what I write is gold of one form or another, but I do think it makes sense to try to keep some kind of theme. This philosophy is subject change with my moods but for now I kind of feel like writing about music so unless another mood hits me, I'll probably focus on telling you about music I think you should be listening too. And for the record, I will be right so you should just trust me.

I've talked about the Relevant podcast in some of my previous posts. It's a weekly (most of the time) podcast from the editoral staff at Relevant Magazine and it's always good for a lot of laughs and usually a pretty interesting interview or musical performance. Most of their archived musical performances are available for download here but I wanted to highlight a couple of my favorite tracks from the past couple of years.

This is a great song from one of the few CCM bands from my youth that I still maintain some respect for. That's probably a bit too harsh a criticism of early 90's Christian rock, but I guess my point is I still dig Jars of Clay. Halo and Ruscha...not so much.

Gasoline Heart is a band I first heard on the Relevant Podcast and I really like their sound, especially in this performance. The vocal on this track has a really gritty, stripped down feel that fall hard for every single time I hear it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blood Bank

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This would probably be better served as a Twitter tweet but since there's only like 4 people who follow my Twitter feed I'm going to drop this as a mini-blog post. The new Bon Iver EP "Blood Bank" (pronounced "Bonn Eee`vare" in case you were curious) is outstanding. You should literally drop whatever you are doing and go get this right away.

In the first draft of this post I mistakenly referred to Bon Iver's new EP as "Blood Money". It is in fact titled "Blood Bank". My humble apologies.

John Wayne Gacy Jr.

This is one of the best songs by one of the very best songwriters around today. In the words of my brother "if you don't think this song is amazing, do the world a favor and go ahead and punch yourself in the face".

I've been thinking some more about this song since I posted it last night. I think it deserves a little deeper look. First of all, Sufjan (pronounced Soof-Yawn in case you're curious) Stevens sings like an angel on this track. He has a wonderful falsetto voice and he uses it masterful effect on this song. This is a dark song about a person who was responsible for some of the most horrifying murders in our country's history. He manages to humanize the character of John Wayne Gacy somewhat when he speaks of his home life and a childhood accident. By focusing on Gacy's childhood, he is able to evoke this sense that the killer is somone was once a child and was innocent at some point. What really moves me about this song is the final verse:

In my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floorboards
At the secrets I have hid

The way he turns this song around and uses the image of this notorious serial killer as a mirror through which we can view the depravity of our own souls is really striking. I'd love to hear any other thoughts or interpretations of this amazing song.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What changed your life musically?

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If you know me even a little bit you know that I'm a huge music fan (and by huge I don't mean my physical size although I am a member of the Big Man club. I love cake and will not apologize for that fact. And by cake I mean the baked dessert and not the band Cake even though they are also one of my favorite bands and if I said that I loved them it would be a true statement.) My current musical man-crush is Will Sheff of Okkervil River. I've been listening to their latest release, The Stand Ins almost non stop for the past couple of months. It's a great record full of really interesting characters struggling with life and love and failure. It is definitely my favorite album of 2008.

So I was listening to this record again the other day and I started thinking about the first time I heard certain records and how much they have meant to me over the years. I think every music lover has at least one record or cd that changed the way you thought about music. For me, it was Weezer's Blue album. It was a Saturday afternoon in 1994. I was at Musicland in the Towne East mall in Wichita. I walked past one of the listening stations and I saw this blue cover with 4 of the geekiest looking kids I had ever seen. I remember thinking that I just had to hear what these guys sounded like. When the electric guitars kicked in after the first few acoustic bars of My Name is Jonas, I was hooked. By the time Rivers Quomo's voice half cracked/half rasped "my name is Wakefield" at the start of the 2nd verse there was no turning back. I had never heard anything like them before and at that moment I didn't want to ever hear anything else ever again. Only Weezer forever. Some days I still feel that way.

What record did that for you?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Worst Air Freshener Ever...

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I got this new air freshener for my car. It was a freebie from the credit union in the lobby of my office. They were giving them out the other day at an expo of services available in my building. I thought that was a nice gesture...until I opened the package today and discovered that this so called air freshener is in reality butt ass stinky! It smells like my dog peed on a rotten pine tree and then that tree fell and crushed a skunk and then 3 weeks later someone rubbed this little cardboard cutout on the carcass. So thanks anyway IBM Southeast Employees Federal Credit Union...I choose not to hang your urine/pine/skunk card in my car. And kudos to your marketing/promotions dept for not giving these things a basic sniff test before passing them out all nimbly bimbly to your prospective clients. Well done gang.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pet Peeve...

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So there's something that's been bothering me lately. It's not a huge deal but it's started to annoy me a little more every time I see it so let me go ahead and put this out there in the universe. I've noticed over the years that it's becoming more and more common for businesses to advertise by having someone stand by the side of the road in a costume and either walk up and down the street holding a sign or dance around and generally act crazy while holding said sign. I think the first time I noticed this was a few years ago when Godfather's pizza in Derby hired this clown to jump around and try to get people's attention as they drove by. (On a side note - every time I saw that clown, and I mean every single time, I had to fight the urge to give him the bird. Is that terrible?) Anyway, the pizza clown, as annoying as it was not really that bad. I mean pizza is fun, clowns are horrifying fun so the clown is not that much of a leap really. Plus, at least with pizza or other fast food, there is a possibility (and I assume this is what the business owner is counting on) that somebody may be driving by and see the dancing pizza clown and think "ya know...I don't have dinner planned, let me just pull in here and grab a pie". What I've noticed (at least here in Atlanta) is that this advertising phenomenon is spreading to areas that don't really seem to fit. There's a kid standing on the corner a few miles from here holding a sign for a chiropractor. To me that's a stretch. But what's even worse is kid in the Statue of Liberty costume who is advertising for the tax preparer! Now stay with me on you really think there is anybody, anywhere who just happens to be driving down the street with all of their receipts, interest statements, W4s, etc who will see the Statue of Liberty costume and say "Oh snap!! I need to get my taxes down like right this instant. Good thing I saw you dancing Statue of Liberty...I'll go ahead and do a quick u-turn so I can pull in to your storefront office and have them done right now". I don't see it happening. And that's why our economy is such a mess. Small business owners are paying big bucks for advertising that has no chance in h-e-double hockey sticks of ever bringing in even one new customer. It's just not going to happen.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Things About Me...

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I know this is totally cheating or whatever but I am going to shamelessly recycle this Facebook thing that has been going around like wildfire and turn it into a quality blogpost. I'm all about recycling...

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. (To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I am an IT project manager supporting Tax systems on large corporate ERP systems...but I wish I owned a record store.

2. My biggest musical guilty pleasure is Pink...I cannot make myself change the station when one of her songs comes on.

3. I love to read more than almost anything but I don't spend nearly enough time doing it.

4. For a while, I went to the same church as Jeff Foxworthy and I got to meet him once. He's very down to earth.

5. I am an awful procrastinator

6. I have a blog ( but because of #5 on my list, it rarely gets updated

7. I am terribly afraid of if I was holding a baby and realized a spider was on my I would throw the baby to flick the spider off. Seriously, you probably better not let me hold your baby if you think there might be any spiders around because I will drop that little bundle of joy if my spider sense starts tingling. I'm not proud of this but it's the truth.

8. I used to watch Ghosthunters on TV but I don't anymore because I was getting too creeped out and couldn't sleep at night

9. My favorite TV show is "How I Met Your Mother"

10. My favorite food is Mexican (Pappasito's in Atlanta is the best in the world)

11. I have a Basset hound named Clementine

12. I am married to a wonderful woman and have 3 beautiful kids

13. The best book I have read in the past 10 years is "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy

14. The best concert I have ever been to was Metallica in 2004 at the Kansas Colliseum

15. I have an uncle, an aunt, a brother, a sister, a former brother in law and a father who are either currently or have been police officers

16. My all time favorite movie is "The Shawshank Redemption"

17. I still get homesick even after living in Atlanta for almost 3 years

18. At this point in my life, I have more quality friendships than I have ever had before

19. I play the guitar but I don't put in the time to ever really get as good as I would like to be

20. Other than my admitted fondess for Pink, I am a bit of a music snob and I like the fact that I listen to bands that most people have never heard of.

21. I am pretty handy with a bbq grill

22. My favorite cocktail is a vodka tonic. A close 2nd is the Cape Cod (Vodka and cranberry juice)

23. Over dramatic people annoy the drama for your mama please

24. I'm not sure exactly which religious denomination I fit in with these days. I'm kind of a square peg in that regard.

25. I have 3 tattoos and don't plan to stop anytime soon

Friday, January 30, 2009

Canadian Rock is What it's All Aboot...

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My buddy Nate says that Amazon MP3 has a steal of a deal on some classic rock from "America's Hat" (that's Canada for those of you not in the know). Bryan Adams Reckless for $0.99. This deal is only good for today so download it now and spend the rest of the night skipping between Heaven and Summer of '69 while you re-live your high-school or grade school years in a haze of teary eyed nostalgia. Thank me later...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's a new year...

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Hey's it going? Oh, what you're not talking to me anymore? Just because I haven't posted anything on you since August??'s not like we're married. I mean I've been really busy. Work has been crazy and I was out of town for like 3 weeks. To be honest I've been spending a lot of time with Facebook. Don't look at me like that. You're so judgmental. Why would I want to spend time with Facebook? Seriously? You're gonna make me say it? Ok... A) it's way less complicated than you and 2) like everybody I know is on it. If I post something out there...I know that it's going to hit at least 200 eyeballs. I mean, the stuff I used to post on you got like 15 or 20 page views...a month. You didn't know I could track stuff like that did you? It's a little thing called Google Analytics...look it up on Yahoo sometime. Oh I know all sorts of things about you my digital weblog friend. All sorts of things indeed. But that's not what this is about. I didn't come here to pick a fight. I know things have been weird between us and I want that to change. I really sort of miss you. I'd like us to start spending some more time together. Maybe not every day...maybe just a couple of times a week. Is that cool? Let's just take it slow and see what happens. Yes, I'm still going to be spending time with Facebook but you don't need to be threatened by that. I promise I'll do better about posting on you and not neglecting you for months at a time. Ok? I'm really glad we had this talk. I even got you something...a brand new theme. Pretty sharp right? I hope you like it and I'll talk to you again soon.
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