Friday, February 29, 2008

Insensitive Moron, or Movie Business as Usual?

I come across the word "inbred" so rarely in print that it can't help but jump out. And there it was in today's scanning of BuzzFeed:

The Inbred Look

After reading a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article about it, my thoughts on this range a bit all over the place.

First, some disbelief and mild disgust about the callous superiority complex someone must possess in order to issue such a casting call.

Next, some cynicism, thinking that this very likely could be a deliberate stunt to stir up any kind of PR/notoriety (and again, it takes a special caliber of person to concoct such a crass scheme to achieve this cheap objective).

Lastly, on a mostly unrelated note, while the "inbred" characterization/slur is unduly harsh and certainly not representative of West Virginians, what the heck is going on there that they continue to elect idiot Senator extraordinaire, Robert Byrd.

Tonite's agenda: Carla's Song and Samuel Smith's Tadcaster

Tonite's agenda: Carla's Song and Samuel Smith's Tadcaster

Waiting for a to-go order @ That Little Mexican Cafe

Waiting for a to-go order @ That Little Mexican Cafe on Bryn Mawr. Glad I have Tetris on my Helio.

Finishing the Week with an MGD

Finishing the week w/ an MGD

Lookalikes: T.J. Houshmanzadeh & Rick Gonzalez

This is another observation from a few months ago that I'm just getting around to posting. But when watching Roll Bounce one night, I couldn't help but notice the resemblance between T.J. Houshmanzadeh and Rick Gonzalez's character, Naps.

T.J. Houshmanzadeh
Image Source: VideoSpider

Rick Gonzalez as Naps in Roll Bounce
Image Source: IMDb

The look he's rocking in Illegal Tender is even more Houshmanzadeh-like.

Rick Gonzalez in Illegal Tender
Image Source: IMDb

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Brian Griese & Bill Lumbergh .... yeahhh

Noticed this like 6 months ago, but better late than never, right?

Image Source: Rivalfish

Image Source:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Getting on the Sidelines & Hoping it's the Right Call

Yahoo Finance chart of S&P 500 Feb 1999 - Feb 2008
Note: Image is a chart of the S&P 500 from Feb 1999 - Feb 2008, drawn with the 200-day simple moving average (red line). Source: Yahoo! Finance

I was traveling and not paying as close attention to market indicators as I should have during the end of December / early January downturn, so I didn't get out as quickly as I would have liked. Now I'm hoping that by selling into this little rally I'm doing the right thing and getting onto the sidelines before we dip into an extended downturn. The current action looks eerily similar to the action of September 2000. If I'm going to stay true to the market signal approach I picked up from The Mutual Fund Wealth Builder: A Profit-Building Guide for the Savvy Mutual Fund Investor, then this looks like my best 'out' after missing the initial signal at the beginning of the year. We'll see.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gheorghe Muresan Snickers Commercial

I forgot how much I used to love Gheorghe Muresan. Brilliant. And yes, I did see My Giant in the theater (even Gheorghe, big and great as he is, couldn't carry Billy Crystal in that one, though).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Barry White = Al Sharpton * Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite

A bonus benefit of seeing the Uptown Saturday Night Collection informercial was noticing a remarkable lookalike that hadn't occurred to me before.

Barry White ...

Barry White album cover art - I've got so much to give
Image Source:

... looks like Al Sharpton ....

Al Sharpton
Image Source: Hip Hop Resurrected

... crossed with a lil' bit o' Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite.

Pedro costume, Napoleon Dynamite
Image Source:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Convincing and Persuasive Infomercials -

Nick Ashford
Image Source:

Ashford and Simpson, but particularly Simpson Ashford, are very compelling spokespeople. I can't find the video, but if you find yourself in front of the screen when their ad for the Uptown Saturday Night Collection comes on, do yourself a favor -- sit down and enjoy what's about to happen to you.

SNL - so far, so good.

SNL - so far, so good. Annuale skit was good for a few laffs ..."hold on to your f*ckin' hat" ...

Update: the skit is already on YouTube.

More Comments on Fresa y Chocolate -

More Comments on Fresa y Chocolate - Thought Police are Scary

More comments on Fresa y Chocolate

More comments on Fresa y Chocolate - Diego character resembles a gay hybrid of Larry from Three's Company and Bill Maher.

Richard Kline as Larry from Three's Company
Image Source:

Bill Maher
Image Source:

fresa y chocolate, david y diego
Image Source:

Note: I couldn't find a shot of Diego in his deep scoop neck tank top, which is really the look that cinches the deal, but buy the movie and you'll see the similarities for yourself.

Pulling a Page Out of Hunter's Playbook

Pulling a page out of hunter's playbook - Diego's deliberate spilled coffee move in Fresa y Chocolate is remarkably similar to Hunter's deliberate wine spill move in Hardbodies. Another example of how important and influential that film is.

Tonite's Agenda

Tonite's Agenda: Rogue's Mucha Porter and Miramax's Fresa y Chocolate

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Nite Cap

The Nite Cap: Reno 911, popcorn and High Life Light.

Tonite's Dinner and Entertainment

Tonite's Dinner and Entertainment: Apart Pizza, a South African Merlot and Superbad. "That's the first of many, get used to it, sister."

... Yet So Far

But for some crazy reason cars are backed up from the Hollywood / Sheridan light all the way out onto LSD. Bryn Mawr exit was the same deal. Nice way to end a Friday.

So Close ....

I live just on the other side of that building. If I got out of my car and walked it would be 2 - 3 minutes, tops.

Chunks of Ice All the Way Up To Michigan

Chunks of Ice All the Way Up To Michigan Ave.

No, Seriously, Look @ This River

No, Seriously, Look @ This River

The CTA Sucks.

The CTA Sucks. What other institution can screw you so regularly whether you use them or not? I personally abandoned the L 18 months ago. But I still get hosed by the CTA on at least weekly basis. This morning it's the jackass driver of the 147 double long bus. Just north of Foster on Sheridan he decides to blindly veer from the far right lane into the left turn lane. Between bus breakdowns on LSD during rush hour and the rampant, stupid arrogance of bus drivers who believe they can zig zag idiotically through traffic with total impunity I still get jobbed by the CTA way too often.

Not a Good Day for Kayaking Through the Chicago River

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Vacation Countdown: 29 Days

Cuban flag
Image Source: Cuba for Visitors

TiVo Online Scheduling Saves My *ss

Screen shot of Tivo online scheduling

I was sitting in a meeting today when I saw CNN's debate countdown graphic, which was letting me know that the debate would be starting at 6pm CST. No way I'd be home by then. But a quick visit to solves that ... as long as my TiVo and Comcast set top box are playing nice w/ each other. It seems at least 3x per week I end up recording something random and ridiculous b/c they don't handle the channel change interface smoothly.

Fat Ol' Flakes

Fat Ol' flakes in the alley this am

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunny, but 11 Degrees

Sunny. But only 11 degrees.

LSD backed up to Foster @ 7:50am. Ugh.

LSD backed up to Foster @ 7:50am. Ugh. Still infinitely better than taking the L, and I got to the office in about 40 minutes.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Open Letter to Democratic "Super" Delegates & the DNC

Please, don't blow this.

The Clinton campaign seems to be going full steam into the petty, nasty tactics that stink of desperation and they may yet end up doing the Democratic party more harm that Huckabee is doing to the Republican party. Huckabee may be dragging out the process, but at least he's not dragging down the dialogue the way Clinton is.

It is absurd and unfortunate enough that in her talk of solutions Hillary attempts to belittle perhaps the most critical quality of leadership (not coincidentally the one she sorely lacks) - the ability to inspire people. But now the Clinton campaign must also resort to ginning up half-ass accusations about a "plagiarized" speech as a distraction tactic? That's a cheap, discouraging, but sadly not surprising way to go about things.

The choice at hand is one between a manager and a leader. Between someone who "will be ready on day one" (for what?), or someone who has the vision lead through the ~1,460 days of a 4-year term. Between someone who will undoubtedly bring out the worst in at least half the country, or someone who will aim to bring out the best in a majority of the country.

Please, please, don't blow this.

DNC / Howard Dean, if you have any influence, please counsel the Clinton campaign to refrain from irresponsibly tearing down the best candidate the Democratic party (perhaps any party?) has had in 20+ years.

And you, "Super" Delegates, if there is any shifty dealing where you work the variations back room machinations to ensure that Clinton becomes the nominee over the clear intent and desire of us common voters, you can be certain that at least this one vote will go to McCain in November. More importantly, recognizing that I live in Illinois and therefore whoever you put forward will carry the state, my money will go to McCain in July or August.

I truly hope it doesn't come to that, and this is not any kind of b.s. Ann Coulter-esque empty blather. Just flat out, straightforward feedback, free of charge, no polling service necessary. McCain should have been the nominee in 2000 and I'll have little problem voting for him now if the cheap, negative, insider, old-school, by any means necessary tactics of the Clinton campaign "succeed" in torpedoing the Democratic party's best hope in years. If the party manages to shoot itself in the foot that badly, it really can't be surprised when McCain is inaugurated next January. is Phenomenal screenshot

If first impressions can be trusted,'s service is excellent. I just signed up and had some sweet pie charts within 4 minutes. Back in the day I had some 'net worth' kind of financial view within a Fidelity account that was powered by Yodlee, but lost it somewhere along the way. I think Fidelity shut it down, but I could be wrong. I've also tried doing the brute force version of this in Excel and that didn't last too long. If you're interested in a very user-friendly, web based application to help you keep tabs on your cash flow, try Mint.

Barack Obama "Progress" Print:
I Like It, But Won't Be Dropping $2,000+ On It

Obey Giant Obama Progress screenprint - jpg version
Image Source: Obey Giant

I saw this image in a recent issue of the Economist, which prompted me to seek it out online. I was thinking maybe it was a somewhat standard campaign poster that could be purchased for a reasonable donation. I was wrong. Found a few on ebay and the prices are north of two grand. Yikes.

John Edwards' House is Ridiculous

John Edwards' house - aerial view
Image source: Carolina Journal Online

Isn't there something inherently contradictory about having a 28,000 square foot house yet basing your entire campaign platform around helping the "little guy"? Maybe there is more to this than I understand. Perhaps his house also doubles as a school, or a library, or a halway house for a couple dozen folks trying to work their way out of troubles. If not, what the hell do you need a 28,000 square foot house for?

Also, to be fair, Edwards is far from the only person out there with foolishly excessive personal housing. But he is the most high profile one currently advocating to bring down those greedy, over privileged rich folks.

First Smart car spotted in the wild

First Smart car spotted in the wild. This is what I would have liked to buy when I got the Yaris, but I couldn't wait and deal w/ the L for another 18 months.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Are we sure about Mike Huckabee?

Are we sure Mike Huckabee isn't some kind of farcical character being played by Kevin Spacey as a goof on America?

Idea: compare and contrast foolishly small-minded norms from today & "yesteryear"

Idea: compare and contrast foolishly small-minded norms and realities from the not too distant past with those that are unfortunately present today but not yet seen as such by the ignorant / prejudiced / small-minded. e.g. in 2043 what from today's world will seem as stupid as pre 1960s civil rights segregation seems today? Or, in 2116 what will be considered equally as assinine and unimaginable as not allowing women the right to vote prior to the 1920s? Could be some interesting visual juxtapositions to illustrate the point.

Hotels in Nicaragua are Booked

During our time in Granada, we'll be staying at La Casona de Los Estrada

la casona de los estrada web site screen grab

And for our final night in Managua we'll be staying at the InterContinental Metrocentro

hotel intercontinental managua web site screen grab

Another night in w/ a movie.

Another night in w/ a movie. Tonight it's Viva Cuba, w/ a Goose Island Christmas Ale leftover from the holidays.

Cafe Ba Ba Reeba for dinner

Cafe Ba Ba Reeba for dinner - jammed as usual

Friday, February 15, 2008

New season of Reno 911 is brilliant.

New season of Reno 911 is brilliant. The "megan's law" character is a great addition.

Dinner in, TiVo and vacation planning

Dinner in, TiVo and flipping through my Nicaragua guidebook trying to pick a hotel in Managua.

Tonite's dinner will be from Ben's Noodles & Rice

Tonite's dinner will be from Ben's Noodles and Rice - solid if unspectacular Thai food on Bryn Mawr. Happy to see it's pretty busy, unlike the newly-opened sushi joint that will be closed by St. Patrick's Day. No one is ever in there.

Traffic on LSD was snug

Traffic on LSD is a bit snug

Day 17 of sinus infection and I'm hooked on Dunkin Donuts again

Day 17 of sinus infection impacting my life. Reliance upon coffee in afternoon has been a big byproduct. Joan @ DD on Lake St. Is fixing my order before I get to counter - telltale sign that I'm in there way too frequently.