Friday, November 30, 2007

This one hurts

Evel Knievel is dead.

This is the guy who would never die. This is the guy who was the perfect hero for me, jumping crazy shit when I was at the perfect impressionable age to go ga-ga over how freakin' BRAVE he was.

And jesus, he was brave. Stupid? Sure. But he made today's dickheads like Johnny Knoxsville and Bam What's-His-Name look like the pussies they truly are. Daredevils my ass.

C'mon, that jump at Caesar's Palace? Seriously.


I had the toy too. That kick-ass toy.

And he was even in the news just days ago, settling a lawsuit with Kanye West. Mostly worth it for the frame-worthy photograph that ran with the story:

Give the man credit. He made to 69. I doubt anyone 30 years ago would have guessed he'd be flirting with 70 before he shuffled his larger-than-mortal coil.

God bless, Evel. May your heaven be ache-and-pain-free, with tons of ramps, safe landings, and another shot at Snake River Canyon.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Get Yer Holiday On

Check it out - 101 (give or take) classic (some are, some aren't) Christmas videos you can watch online.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Get Creative. Can Do. Rock On.

This is more Crustodio's baileywick, but since he's apparently taking a 5-day weekend, it's up to me to post this video from the Singapore Media Development Authority. Thanks, TechCrunch.

Relaxation Fun Center

A couple times a year we set up the Relaxation Fun Center. What does that entail, you ask? Well, we drag the mattress out of the guest room and put it down in the living room in front of the tv. Then we gather snacks, beverages, magazines, books, laptops and pets. Still in our jammies, we climb in and start relaxing. If there are any pain meds or muscle relaxers left over in the medicine cabinet, they are taken. Thanksgiving leftovers are eaten.

Sort of like John and Yoko's Bed-In, but without the reporters or peace.

During this latest edition we ended up watching more tv than usual, but I had just received a bootleg dvd with several movies on it, including American Gangster (so-so) and This Is England (recommended). We also got caught up on Weeds, Friday Night Lights and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The rest of the 4 day weekend was also very relaxing. I was working on a project, transferring some old Super 8 home movies to dvd. Mrs. Best did some sewing. I didn't leave the house for days, it was awesome. I got home from work Wednesday night and didn't leave the house till afternoon on Sunday, when I went to the gym. Luckily, my muscles hadn't totally atrophied by that point.

It was great to take it easy and rest up - because we leave for New Orleans in 2 days. We will need all the energy at our disposal to get through the wild wedding weekend...

Friday, November 23, 2007

The intertubes and print collide

I suppose this will be an everyday occurrence in the future, but for now it makes me giggle.

Bizarre side note: Comic synchronicity . I'm sure there's some joke about these two comics appearing on my wedding anniversary. But no good would come from making the comparison.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving - Brought to you by Johnson and Johnson

Product placement is so clever these days. Three cheers for the unnamed marketing manager at this major American company.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

He Will, He Will... TEACH YOU!

Queen guitarist Brian May is named chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. He was awarded a PhD for his 48,000 word thesis, A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud.

My suggestion for the next thesis? Maintaining the Same Full Poodlecut Haircut for 35 Years in the Everchanging Entertainment Industry.

His first move as chancellor? Free scholarships to all fat-bottomed girls!

One of my favorite things about Queen is that all 4 guys in the band wrote, and all 4 had hits. Everyone knows Freddie's stuff like Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are the Champions, Killer Queen. But May brought it too, with (of course) We Will Rock You, Fat Bottomed Girls, plus Tie Your Mother Down and many others. John Deacon wrote Another One Bites the Dust, You're My Best Friend among others and Roger Taylor had a hit with Radio Ga Ga, plus lucked out with I'm in Love with My Car as the b-side of Bohemian Rhapsody. Roger and Brian also sang lead vocals on a couple songs per album. My favorite Brian May tune that he wrote and sang would be '39 from A Night at the Opera.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ok, yes, I am a Star Trek fan - but only the original series and not any of the other ones including the Next Generation

Both Crustodio and the Sizzler sent me this link today, so I might as well post it. These monsters looked a lot better when I was 12 and watching the episodes through the bad reception on Channel 61 in Cleveland.

It doesn't say Cox unless I say it tastes like Cox

I'm really hoping that Walk Hard is going to be as good as it could be. If this is any indication, it should be chock-full of 14-year old humor.

In other words, perfect.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Cool story on Sarah Silverman, written by her sister - a rabbi living on a kibbutz in Israel. The part about Sarah's speech at her daughter's Bat Mitzvah is priceless. Also, I love this:

"When all four sisters are together, we lie on our mother's bed, with our mother, Beth Ann O'Hara, and stepmother, Janice Silverman, and talk and laugh. The fathers (Donald and our step-father, John) wander in and out, impatient for us to come into the living room with them and the grandchildren (my kids), but we want girl time. We want to laugh in the way we only laugh with each other. Now my older daughters, Aliza and Hallel, pile on as well. It makes us all happy that a third generation is growing to laugh with us."

I've laughed a lot, with a lot of different people, but there's nothing better than a moment of family hilarity. I'll never forget the time my mom reduced my sister and I to tears as she tried to demonstrate the Wechselschritt, some German dance move barely remembered from her youth.

Thanks, PopCandy.

R.I.P. Super Advertising Legend

Mr. Whipple has left the building.

Don't get into a war of words with writers

The folks at United Hollywood do their homework. They fight hard and fair. And, unlike our nightly news on a regular basis, they use facts to back what they're saying.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Stanchion Smancion

“It’s about time this franchise got a call,” Dawson said.

Man, oh man. The weird calls ALWAYS go against my Browns. Finally. F'n finally - the refs got it right and a season (and probably a coach's job) were saved.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Post After Dying

They're dropping like flies. Ira Levin passed away yesterday. While no Norman Mailer, Levin was a great craftsman and wrote a handful of books and plays that have permeated popular culture. Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives, The Boys from Brazil, A Kiss Before Dying and Deathtrap. Not too shabby. (We'll forgive him Sliver and Son of Rosemary.)

I was really into his stuff as a young man. Like they say, he wasn't a great stylist - but he had a knack for showing that evil could be unbelievable and mundane at the same time.

Rosemary's Baby - one of the few instances where both the book and movie adaptation are excellent. Couple that with Mia Farrow's close-cropped haircut and androgynous style, plus the fact she was Frank Sinatra's wife - it was an pop culture perfect storm.

Levin wasn't prolific, but he had a great batting average. I'll miss him.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Protect My Straight Marriage!

You all said it wouldn't get worse. Well, you were wrong. Dead wrong. See what happens once when we start letting the gays have our sacred rituals?


Thanks, Dooce

Don't Let Them Be Like Todd Bridges

More Strike Goodness:

Thanks, Pamie. Who, by the way, is a striking writer. Had to walk away from her first "big hit" show. I can't imagine how tough that had to be.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I love YouTube

.. and the random stuff you find. Here's our old college buddy Brad Sherwood in a Second City sketch with Steve Carell from 1991.

Not the Daily Show, With Some Writer

Lots of good stuff out there about the writer's strike. Count on the Daily Show folk to put in their two cents:

Put on a Goddamn Tie, Hipster

The times are a-changing boys. And you're grown up. Some of you have kids. Put on a damn tie once in a while, why dontcha?

As a public service, here's the best-looking tie wearer I've seen in a while, here to teach you how to tie that tie you haven't been wearing:

Please note: I'm more of a half-Windsor guy, but this'll do.

Scaring the Stupid

"There's nothing over the top about this," Bay Buchanan, Tancredo's campaign manager told CNN. "It's quite accurate."

In reference to Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo's latest TV ad:

When, still, almost a third of Americans approve of Bush's job as president, I guess it's easy to scare the fuck out of the low hanging fruit.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Little Annie's Orphans

A gallery of Annie Lebowitz's covers for Vanity Fair. It's funny to see some of those older ones where they feature Hollywood's "next big things" - some of those actor/actress's careers really went down the toilet. Johnathon Schaech, anybody? Alison Elliott? Hello...? Is there an Annie Lebowitz curse...?

Rockin' Robyn

Great interview with Robyn Hitchcock, another one of my favorite musicians of all time. He's got some interesting things to say about Portland and his current home, Seattle. He's playing with his band, the Venus 3 (which includes R.E.M.'s Peter Buck on guitar) in Seattle on November 28/29 at the Triple Door and in Portland at the Doug Fir. If I wasn't in New Orleans that weekend, I'd be there. We saw him this summer and it was a great show. Besides the wondeful music, his improvised in-between-song banter is priceless.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Graphic Advertising

These spots for the Canadian Workplace Safety and Insurance Board hit the mark - something fierce.

A helluva lot more effective than some poster in a break room, no?

CAUTION: This is some pretty scary, graphic stuff. Watch at your own risk.



Radiohead Frontman Turned Down Paul McCartney

I don't care if he asked you to help him remake Ebony and Ivory - when Sir Paul asks, you say yes.

Good Things Should Never End

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's filled with flash. And yeah, it takes its time before allowing you to find products.

It's also awesome.

Go watch the sweet loading animation, scroll, play, and maybe even find yourself liking a brand.


Interesting story on about the possibility of Superman being Jewish. Which make sense, since his creators (and most of the original comic book artists/writers) were Members of the Tribe. I just want to know why Superman is roughing up Charlie Chaplin in that panel above.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Don't Tell a Soul

Oh, boy, oh boy, I am excited - there is a new Replacements book out, All Over but the Shouting. Not only are they one of my favorite bands, but it's in the oral history format, which I really dig. Seems to work well for music bios and histories, especially one of my favorites of all time, Please Kill Me.

The 'Mats are one of those bands that were so important and brilliant at the time, but I think it might be difficult for someone to get into them now. The production on most of their records is really bad - but each record has it's own unique badness. From their classic era, Let It Be still sounds pretty good to me, but Tim seems thin and tinny. Pleased To Meet Me is too slick and stiff (more on this later), and Don't Tell a Soul is way too boomy and mainstreamy. But the songs are great.

I have 2 Replacements stories. The first is from when I saw them play in 1987 at Tipitina's in New Orleans. They were riding high on the critically-acclaimed Pleased to Meet Me. I was super-excited about seeing them and told all my friends to go to the show. Surprisingly, a large number did. Unfortunately, this was one of their legendary bad shows. Westerberg was so drunk that he could barely stand. He seemed to purposely avoid singing any chorus or hook of a song and constantly seemed on the verge of vomiting. I remember my friends being really disappointed and pissed at me that they had spent money on the tickets. Well, they probably brag about being at that show now.

The second story takes place 3 years later. Pete of 1987 would never have believed it, but there I was in 1990, recording my first album with Pleased to Meet Me's producer, the legendary Jim Dickinson. This was my first band, the House Levelers, destined to go down in obscurity.

We had got turned on to Dickinson after our friends Dash Rip Rock had recorded their Not of This World album. It was a great sounding record and the fact that he had produced the Replacements and Big Star really sealed the deal.

I tried to play it cool with Dickinson at first, I didn't want to barrage him with questions about working with those bands, not to mention his sessions with Dylan and the Stones. Luckily, he was a real character, a born storyteller - a raconteur, you might say. His philosophy was to smoke a joint every hour on the hour - and he did.

He had many interesting theories, one was that he didn't want to record in New Orleans (our home) because it was below sea level. Apparently, that leads to substandard recordings. Who knew?

So we headed up to Memphis for the sessions. Eventually I worked up enough nerve to ask about some of the bands he worked with. His 'Mats stories were priceless. The guys were drinking so heavily back then that they literally could not play a song all the way through. They would play for an hour or two and then stagger out into the night. He ended up piecing the entire album together on a primitive sampler called the Fairlight - which is why the album sounds so stiff and artificial. There are no real full band performances on it.

One night, someone from the label came to check in on them. The band was out at the time but Dickinson was there. After surveying the trashed studio the label guy was speechless. Finally he asked one thing, "How did they get vomit on the walls?"

Dickinson replied, "Well, they threw up in their hands and wiped them on the walls."

And that is what we call "rock".

Stormin' Norman

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Norman Mailer. He always seemed to be one of those artists who are clearly assholes (Picasso, anyone?) but produce exemplary work. Would you rather be a dick and a genius or would you rather be a nice guy and write like Dave Barry?

Anyway, I've read a few of his books. Two are up there with my all-time favorites. His debut novel, the World War II classic, The Naked and the Dead and the Pulitzer-prize winning The Executioner's Song.

The Executioner's Song is similar to In Cold Blood in that it is a non-fiction novel about murder. His study of Gary Glimore is fascinating. At the time he was the first person executed after the death penalty was reinstated after being outlawed for four years.

Gilmore lived in the Portland area for several years and his younger brother Mikal grew up to become a writer for Rolling Stone and later penned his own book on him, Shot Through the Heart.

Do yourself a favor and pick up The Executioner's Song. It's a must-read and a stunning example of Mailer's craft.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I'm no Oliver Stone...

...but holy Oliver North, Batman!"

Seriously? 80,000 items?

If we make, like, thousands of things just disappear, it'll be totally too hard to figure out what we were hiding."

Of course, I could be wrong.

p.s. I put two different Olivers into one post. That has to be a first.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Stolen Quiz

Straight from Mr. Crunchy, and in companion with The Presidential Powers of Seduction:

Quiz Question: A world leader stated publicly yesterday that "You can't be the President and the head of the military at the same time." Was it:

a) The President of the United States.
b) The Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces.
c) The Doofus in Charge of Universal Embarrassment.
d) All of the above, in perfect unison.

My Xmas Wish

Here's all you need to do:
1. Build a time machine
2. Go back to 1977
3. Buy me every single freakin' one of these
4. Come home

Thanks, Boing Boing

Reason #423 why I will never own a cat...again

Reason #1? That fucking litter box.

Thanks, Sizzler

Presidential Powers of Seduction

Ladies, I know you love it when your lover man is forceful and states what he needs unequivocally. Just like our 43rd President, in this quote from CNN:

"My message was very plain, very easy to understand, and that is, the United States wants you to have the elections as scheduled and take your uniform off," Bush said."

That's right, Mushy. You have those elections like you said you would, slip out of those fatigues - and then it's sexy time!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Anybody can do it

TBWA/Chiat Day and Apple are serious about consumer-generated marketing. At least when it comes to their most recent spot for the iTouch.

Created initially by an 18 year old student in the UK, this is how the original ad looked:

Throw in a little HD and some slightly different content and here's what aired - in very short order:

I had no idea about the history when I first saw this ad - and I liked it very much. Hell yes, I want an iTouch.

Guess advertising ain't that hard at all.

Pennys from Heaven

15 Minute Lunch found a 1977 JC Penny catalog in his grandfather's attic. He scanned some pictures and posted them along with some amusing commentary. Crustodio and I were in 7th grade in 1977, so I'm sure we both wore something from this catalog - I'm thinking something like earth-toned terrycloth...?

Thanks, Bite and Smile!

Chasing Dreams

Rumor has it that a lot of stars have paid their dues in the commercial world before they went on to become household names. For most, there's no way out of working your way up in the world before you can reach your own field of dreams. After all, it's still an acting gig, and actors are thrilled whenever they get cast. It's all for the love of the game.

P.S. Bizarre side note: I had no idea he had a bit part in Ron Howard's Night Shift. Was Michael Keaton really a star before this guy? Amazing.

Monday, November 05, 2007

It's just Nanny being Nanny

Ahhh - told you it was coming. The slippery slope of the government telling us how to live more healthy just got even more slick. Smoking (while incredibly unhealthy, unwealthy and unwise) was just the beginning.

Now groups are pressuring government officials to treat soda pop as the killer it truly is. Hear that Dr. Pepper? You're no healer! Coke? You do NOT add life - you are DEATH incarnate. The Pepsi generation? They're old, fat and practically dead.

And dammit, it's the government's job to tell us this. The groups call for the following actions:

1. Cease all marketing of sugar-laden beverages to children under 16, including print and broadcast advertising, product placement, the Internet, mobile phones, athletic event sponsorship, signage, packaging promotions, merchandising, and other means.

2. Stop selling sweetened beverages, including sports drinks and fruit flavored beverages and teas, in all public and private elementary, middle, and high schools; acceptable beverages in schools include water, seltzer (carbonated) water, and fruit juice in container sizes of 250 ml or less. (Ideally, schools should have free, convenient drinking fountains.)

3. Limit sponsorships promoting physical activity and health to contributions to “blind” trusts overseen by government agencies which use such funds for programs that do not feature corporate logos, brands, or other proprietary information.

4. Increase the promotion of new lower-sugar products and sell existing high sugar products in smaller portions.

5. Pay a modest value added tax on soft drinks -- with governments returning the money to consumers through provision of physical activity and nutrition education programs, and through subsidies that reduce the costs of fruits and vegetables.

Thanks, nanny-state. I hate thinking for myself.

via The Bullshit Observer

Is that a bike lock in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

The New York Times jizzes all over Portland, yet again. Odd timing for this article, since everybody has been talking recently about how unsafe Portland actually is - with 2 riders killed in the last few weeks. If Portland is a beacon of safe biking, I can only wonder what the rest of the country is like.

And I was disappointed that the article failed to mention anything about the World Naked Bike Ride...

UPDATE: Apparently, the jiz was flowing yesterday in the Real Estate section, too. Check these stats out:

"Last year, there were twice as many people in the 25-to-39 age group moving into the city as leaving, according to Charles Rynerson, a demographer with the Population Research Center at Portland State University.

In all, 23,454 young adults moved in, while only 12,125 moved away, giving the city the fourth highest net migration in the country, after Las Vegas, Charlotte and Atlanta."

Hipster Fuckfest, take me away...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Is it just me?

Or are we all amazed at how great Tom is as Kenneth on 30 Rock?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pure Joy


Thanks to Bite & Smile for reminding me how crazy Bill Shatner always mispronounced sabotage.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Low Brow Crowd

Our buddy Scout Radio just had one of his photos added to, illustrating the Low Brow Lounge. He took this picture of the gang when we were trying to institute First Friday, a monthly get together for our diverse group of friends. I think we got 3 months out of it before it fell apart. Might be time to get that going again. Although, since that photo was taken there has been a veritable baby boom - at least 4 new babies with a couple more on the way...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dental, damn!

Sorry for the gruesome image, but you are looking at my incredibly fucked up wisdom teeth. Look at that sideways one on the bottom right - yikes! I was at the dentist this morning just for a innocuous initial check-up and cleaning. I take really good care of my teeth (at least in the last 20 years) so I wasn't expecting much from the exam.

Dr. Turk strode into the room, took one look at my x-rays and told me I had to get oral surgery immediately to remove my wisdom teeth. I guess the bottom left one is rotting and creating a cyst, which he cheerily told me would eat away my entire jawbone if left untreated. Gulp!

And to make matters worse, I finally have to have my last baby tooth removed. Yes, at the age of 43 I still have a baby tooth. It was hanging in there pretty good, but I guess now it's crapping out on me, too. So, that's FIVE teeth I have to have removed. ASAP.

I'll admit that I'm a pussy, chicken, wimp, whatever you want to call it when it comes to pain. Why am I tattooless? I can't stand the idea of having that damn needle go in my skin. So, the idea of somebody cutting those teeth out of my gums has left me pretty shaken.

Luckily, Mrs. Best has been through it already and has given me some comforting words. And there will be drugs and anesthesia. So, I suppose I'll make it.

I think getting bad medical news when you're by yourself in the doctor's office is the worst feeling in the world. Once you're outside and talking to people about it, it's not so bad. But, in those lifeless dreary rooms, there's nowhere to hide from it. It's just you, the doctor and the truth.

One way to beat the Portland/Seattle slog

Hijack a plane!

Like a lot of people, I've always been fascinated by the D.B. Cooper story. New York has an interesting piece on the possible identity of the mystery man.

I know Crustodio has some interest in this - I believe he had one line in the Unsolved Mysteries re-enactment. Man, I'd love to see that clip on YouTube somewhere - but for now this will have to do:

What Is Best In Life?

Sometimes I think that I'm just not enough of a "go-getter."