Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Frills

Today I pulled the trigger on a new laptop - just bought the Dell Studio 14z model. Dell is heavily discounting laptops right now, so if you're in the market you should take a look. My main ride has been a Inspiron 1705; a beast of a laptop that has held up surprisingly well. The only problem is that it is HUGE and HEAVY. I really like the new netbooks, but I needed a little more power for all the resource hoggin' Adobe software that I run. The 14z is a higher end machine in a smaller form factor than the standard 15-17" laptops. It doesn't have a CD/DVD player, but I'm rarely using one these days unless I'm installing software.

Now I just have to sit on my hands while I wait for Dell to build my machine and ship it out!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Settlers of Catan

If you enjoy board games, you should check out Settlers of Catan. My friend Pete introduced me to it about 2 years ago and we've been playing ever since. Matter of fact, I was at his excellent "cabin" (ahem, nicer than my house...) over the weekend with some college brosephs and we probably put in about 16 hours of game time. Settlers is highly addictive and a great way to spend a stormy weekend inside.

Settlers was created by German game god, Klaus Teuber and is really catching on in the U.S. It's close to selling a million units in the states. During the game, players try to become the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. Dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. In each turn you collect resources to build up civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game. It sounds lame, but it's a pile of awesomeness! I highly recommend it.

Wired Magazine had a great write up on it last spring.... Check it out.

Monday, November 9, 2009

People of Wal-Mart

Pronunciation: \ˈshä-dən-ˌfri-də\
Function: noun
Usage: often capitalized
Etymology: German, from Schaden damage + Freude joy
Date: 1895
: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others

With this word in mind, I present I know that I'm not supposed to find this funny, but as a person who lives in a small town and needs to shop at Wal-Mart occasionally, I find this site to be incredibly accurate. We Americans are a breed apart.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Judah Friedlander's Supafine Art Gallery

If you're a fan of 30 Rock or standup comedy, then you'll recognize Judah Friedlander by his huge glasses and smirky custom hats. He and the other "writers" on 30 Rock are one of the bright spots on the show. I think this guy is really funny, but the thing I most like about him is his art collection. This is just down my alley:

Click here to visit Judah's excellent collection of bad (good?) art.

Among a fine collection of bad Elvis art, he also has a great mix of sculpture, toys, and fine art miscellany to appreciate. The art is good, but his comments seal the deal. Here's a couple of pieces that I enjoyed:

"Leif Garrett’s smart twin brother. Future cult leader. High school junior love interest in a Judy Blume novel."

"A print of Dorothy Hammill from when she won the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. This print has all the excitement and drama of her gold medal performance. It even has women dressed in traditional Montreal garb holding freshly baked bread. I also like the silhouette of her in the lower left corner. And then to top it off, there’s a bunch of words written about her in the lower right corner. This piece has the three E’s. Exquiste. Exciting. Educational."

"Another one of my favorites. Don’t know if these are landhoppers or if they can fly. But they do like to sit on wood and seem to prefer to travel in pairs – probably for safety. Probably from another planet originally. May have time traveled or space traveled. Not with their own time machine or spaceship – but probably sneaked onto someone else’s without them knowing and went along for the ride. My feeling is that these are the types of creatures that make friends easily."
I once had a collection of gigantic carved Polynesian spoons and forks that would have fit perfectly in this collection.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Captains I Have Known

In one of my fever-induced dreams I was on a boat getting seasick and the ship's captain ordered me to stay in the ship's hospital under quarantine. I remember him wearing a ridiculous blue captain suit with gold braided epaulets. I know, hang in there with me, it's been a rough week... here's a post on captains I have known in my lifetime:

Captain Kangaroo - Believe it or not we used to watch an older guy with a toupee named Captain Kangaroo when we were little. His actual name was Bob Keeshan. I forgot about Mr. Green Jeans - one of my favorites from the show - a friendly handyman who used to stop by. This clip is from 1980 when they tried to resurrect his 30 year old show as the centerpiece of Saturday Morning cartoons.

Captain Kirk - 'nuff said. Shatner needs no introduction. Here's a good clip. Captain Kirk does a dramatic reading of the preamble of the Constitution to a bunch of guys dressed in fake fur with spears. Classic...

"The Captain" of Captain & Tennille - This band was a hit machine in the seventies. "The Captain" was the silent, talented musical partner in this pop duo. At the time, we thought nothing of his hilarious hat/sunglass combo. I guess captain hats were more standard attire back then. This clip from Don Kirshner's Rock Concert show is like packaging everything about the 70's into a little bottle.

Captain Crunch - Commander of the cereal universe, kooky leader, and all around deliverer of deliciousness, Captain Crunch has been in the background of culture for my entire lifespan.

Captain Caveman - A clear Scooby Doo template spinoff, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels was an odd cartoon that ran from 1977-1980. Apparently, because of the three channels available on my TV at the time, I would watch anything.

Captain Stubing - The Love Boat was one of the cheesiest, but most beloved TV shows ever created. Looking back, I can't believe that we watched this schlock. It was essentially a big PR campaign for the "B" movie star of the month. Essentially, a bunch of story lines written exclusively for guest stars - Bert Convy where are you now!?! You can catch a glimpse of Captain Stubing at the :55 mark in this opening intro.

Captain Jack Sparrow - Depp's famous pirate is so good because he based his character on original pirate/zombie/rockstar Keith Richards. If you're a fan of the Rolling Stones, you know how good this is...

Captain Knuckles - If you haven't seen it, "The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack" is worth a gander. Twisted kids cartoons from Mark "Thurop" Van Orman, who used to work on the Powerpuff Girls as an animator. Knuckles and flapjack live on a fetid fishing dock in the middle of nowhere, and are in a constant quest to find "Candied Island". Uncomfortable humor, but really creative.

Ahoy Mateys!