Wednesday, December 13, 2006

HALF A MILLION? NAH...

HALF A MILLION? NAH...

So I recommend Google Alerts. You don't have to be online to search for stuff that interests you; set it up correctly and Google will email you any time your term pops up on the web.

Naturally, I have it set for my childhood address, especially as it has some small importance for Legion fandom.

Today, in my in box:

Google Web Alert for: "1354 Herschell St"

Bronx home values - compare homes for sale and recently sold homes ...
18, 1354 Herschell St, Bronx, NY 10461, 0.34mi, $540000, Jun 13, 2006, -, -, 1783 sqft, 3558 sqft, 1935, $303. 19, 1541 Overing St, Bronx, NY 10461, 0.23mi ...

Had I known I was growing up in a house that would be worth half a million dollars one day...

... of course, let's not discuss what King County thinks my current home is worth.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF NEW YORK...

YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF NEW YORK...

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

Philadelphia
The Inland North
The Midland
The South
Boston
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes


Amazingly, I'd thought I'd lost most of my New York accent. A tip of the cap to Harry Broertjes, who forwarded this my way.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

SHANGHALLA AWAITS: DAVE COCKRUM DEAD AT 63

SHANGHALLA AWAITS: DAVE COCKRUM DEAD AT 63

Just got an email from Paul Kupperberg forwarded to me and Harry by Bob Greenberger to let us know that Dave Cockrum died today.

In my years away from comics fandom, I was not up on the minute-to-minute happenings as I had been in college. Ken Gale had been my chief contact about Dave's health, and I had never quite gotten all the details until I did some e-sleuthing just now, but apparently complications from diabetes had been what had put him in the hospital some time back, and what can be assigned as the cause of his death.

Of course, this is a sad and tragic loss for all of us as Legion fans, as comic fans, and, of course, as human beings. Dave was a fan just like the rest of us... he drew for FANTASTIC FANZINE, for Warren, worked as Murphy Anderson's assistant, all before telling Murray Boltinoff that "goddamn bet your ass" he was ready to be the regular artist for the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES strip in the back of SUPERBOY. Some of us might like to think that we had something to do with the strip's eventual rebirth, but it took an energy and a talent like Dave's to help others see what we saw. And it can't have just been the LEGION, either... very few people who plunked down ten dollars a pop to see the X-MEN movies knew it, but he'd given vision to the new X-MEN (along with the Legionnaire who never was, NIGHTCRAWLER). At least an agreement had been reached between Dave and Marvel about that, and I hope that it will have come in time to help Dave's widow, Paty.

More to the point, Dave was just a friendly and likeable guy. He shared himself and his thoughts and feelings without the self-importance and self-editing that so many others have. We are all fortunate to have had Dave Cockrum for the time we had him.

Dave Cockrum's autobiography.

Obituaries:

New York Times.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

SHOULD THE YANKEES STAY THE COURSE?

SHOULD THE YANKEES STAY THE COURSE?

You see, I personally wish that Alex Rodriguez never plays in the World Series, but for the real debate on whether A-Rod should be traded by the Yankees, check out what Tom Peyer and Hart Seely said recently in the New York Times.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

OVERSEEN IN NEW YORK...

Was that George Steinbrenner paying for pilot school for Alex Rodriguez?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

WONDER IF IT'LL BE KRYPTONITE...?

WARNER BROS. CONSUMER PRODUCTS: is launching a new fashion jewelry collection inspired by the summer hit Superman Returns. The collections will include necklaces, pendants, bracelets, rings, belts, and key chains for men and women featuring the iconic S-Shield in silver and 18K gold. Warner Bros. Consumer Products is partnering with jewelry-maker Robert Lee Morris. The collection will sell for $55 to $350.

Source: PROMO Xtra: News of the Marketing Industry

August 14, 2006

A Prism Business Media Publication

Friday, May 12, 2006

EVERYONE HATES THE BOSS

EVERYONE HATES THE BOSS

Seems that even over at Military.com -- yes, I read it now that the military is an important client of mine -- they're not very fond of Rummy.

Friday, April 21, 2006

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE METAL DETECTORS...

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE METAL DETECTORS...

If you are among those who still hear the voiceover from the mid-1960s Batman television show in their ears when you think about comic books -- never mind that you've probably seen the film versions of V for Vendetta, Blade, and The Matrix -- then Hill & Wang, an imprint of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, has a sobering surprise from you.

Soon to be published in 144 serial art pages is The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation. Of course, it will be edited by Sid Jacobson, who created the Richie Rich comic series, and illustrated by Ernie Colon, who has worked on Spider-Man, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman -- and Richie Rich.

My first reaction to this is that it's good news. Several years ago I'd lost track of a lot of the folks I'd worked with at DC Comics, and somehow I'd heard that Ernie had died. (Of course, there are still those rumors about me.)

The idea of turning a dry report on the events of September 11, 2001 into a graphic novel is fascinating. Making it more accessible has some value... but what does it say about our nation, when the most important event of our lives has to be reduced to a picture book before folks pay attention to it. (Editor's note: I haven't read the report, either, so I'm just as guilty.)

Maybe it's a sign of a culture whose parents will browbeat employers into hiring their young (see my spouse's reference to this particular societal disaster here).

In any event, I don't envy Ernie the task of having to spend hours drawing all that real horror. That's different from Wonder Woman, different from Spider-Man... and way different from Richie Rich.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

CARL EVERETT CAN KISS MY GLOW-IN-THE-DARK IRISH BUTT

CARL EVERETT CAN KISS MY GLOW-IN-THE-DARK IRISH BUTT

Not two minutes ago I saw Carl Everett, the new Mariners designated hitter, interviewed prior to the upcoming game between the Mariners and the Red Sox. I am not Everett's biggest fan to begin with; he crowds the plate by illegally stepping over the line for the batter's box and complains when umpires call him out or pitchers throw inside. He riles people, too.

Today is an example.

He was asked about Jackie Robinson (today being the 59th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut; don't make me have to tell you why that's important, or it guts what I'm about to say). Everett said that he never learned about Jackie Robinson until he started playing baseball professionally, and then blamed racism for that. He alluded to Black History Month, restating the old complaint that the shortest month has been reserved to celebrate it, except missing the point and saying that somehow that the point of black history month was to ignore the contribution of African Americans the other eleven months. He then seemed to say that he doesn't even believe in Black History Month because the history of African Americans should be part of all history -- he's right, but the way he stated it made history sound like a conspiracy against African Americans.

More to the point, where was Carl Everett as a kid? Growing up, I knew who Jackie Robinson was. I knew his role in both baseball and society. And I grew up twenty years earlier than Carl Everett did, when society was just coming to grips with desegregation. Did he not read a book as a child? Did he not watch television? Did he at least read the sports pages? Did the adults around him not tell him about Jackie Robinson, or did they not read or engage in popular culture, either?

Sorry, Carl, your complaint lacks a grounding in reality, and you lack substance. You are also hitting .103. You are the weakest link. Good-bye.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'LL TRY A SCOOP OF THE PEANUT BUTTER OLIVE GOAT CHEESE RIPPLE, PLEASE

I'LL TRY A SCOOP OF THE PEANUT BUTTER OLIVE GOAT CHEESE RIPPLE, PLEASE

Ben & Jerry's makes good ice cream. Two ways, actually: Ben & Jerry's ice cream isn't merely delicious, but its revenues are used to support all sorts of great causes (often the kind that will make Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly quiver with disgust).

But now, if you're a fan, you can create a new flavor for Ben & Jerry. Go to the website and you'll even find a flavor generator, kind of an idea starter for people who've never really tasted flavors other than vanilla and chocolate.

If you win, you get to visit Vermont in October. (Pretty leaves! Cold weather!) But here's one concern I have... for a company with a liberal point of view, its flavor guru team has an awful lot of white guys. All six of 'em! Maybe it's different when the white guys have hippie beards.

Meanwhile, here in woozy West Seattle, our downtown area -- The Junction -- saw its Ben & Jerry's retail operation fail. Surprising, perhaps, but The Junction boasts the Husky Deli, which offers amazing homemade ice cream, and a loyal audience that would just walk across the street to get the local product. And maybe they didn't like Ben & Jerry's politics, either. Our gay bar also closed.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

NEVER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!

NEVER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!

I forward stuff I get, and I get stuff forwarded to me. Why else would the Internet exist?

So, recently, one forwarder claimed that this won't ever happen again...

On Wednesday of next week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00
in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.


... but of course it will, in the year 3006. Unless someone's been reading Biblical prophecies, or buys into how the Olmecs, Aztecs, and Mayans said the world would end in 2012.

Not to mention that something similar will happen in 2007 (02:03:04 05/06/07), 2008 (03:04:05 06/07/08), 2009 (04:05:06 07/08/09), 2010 (05:06:07 08/09/10), 2011 (06:07:08 09/10/11), 2012 (07:08:09 10/11/12), 2013 (08:09:10 11/12/13), 2014 (09:10:11 12/13/14), and 2015 (10:11:12 13/14/15). Oops, maybe not 2015. I got carried away.

Of course, in two months, we also have: 06:06:06 on 06/06/06. If you want to be scared about something...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

WHAT, AGAIN?

WHAT, AGAIN?

I'd swear this is the third time this spot has opened in the past year. Are they just canning everyone up there?

Marketing Director posted: 30 Mar 2006

Offered by: DC Comics

Benefits: Health, Dental, 401K

Duration: Full Time

Location: New York, NY


Requirements: DC Comics seeks a Marketing Director for the DC Marketing department. Develop, manage and implement marketing plans for DC Comic's publishing and DC Direct businesses. Work closely with VP Marketing to develop annual consumer and trade marketing plans. Break plan down into prioritized initiatives and further into objectives, programs and tactics. Collaborate with business and Editorial teams (leveraging customer information and research) to proactively identify opportunities and build against plans that are differentiated by imprint/business and target customer profile. Assign work and responsibilities; manage and motivate marketing team; build marketing expertise and program management skills among the group. Work with VP Marketing to create a marketing reporting function that can track, measure and analyze marketing performance. Create feedback loop using results to make future recommendations and help create culture of constant improvement. Work with Direct and Book Trade Sales teams to identify and execute against marketing opportunities in the sales channels. Fulfill Sales' monthly/seasonal request for display, merchandising, promotional materials, etc. At the same time, proactively recommend new marketing initiatives to drive sales (i.e. reactive and proactive). Coordinate with Mainstream and Genre Publicity teams to ensure that DC's marketing and PR efforts sync for greatest effect in the market. Work with VP Marketing to develop overall marketing budget and timing. Create, manage and monitor program spending within timeline and budget restrictions. Spend time with Editorial, Design, Creative Services and other groups across company to help build understanding of, expertise in and responsiveness to book (v. periodical) publishing/trade needs.

Requirements: BA or equivalent experience required. Minimum 5 years experience in marketing capacity at a publishing company. Minimum 1 year management experience. Comics familiarity preferred. Strong communications skills, both oral and written. Candidate must have strong interpersonal skills, maturity and excellent judgment. Able to work effectively with individuals at all levels of an organization. Strong organizational skills and ability to multi-task. A team orientation is imperative, and the ability to work as a member of cross-functional teams is required. Ability to travel (domestically) approximately 5%.

About Our Company: DC Comics is one of the largest and most diverse publishers of comics and comics-related products today. Collectively, with our mature readers line, Vertigo, and cutting-edge action line, WildStorm, DC is the only publisher that offers a complete line of comics for every age group and literary taste. DC is also one of the industry's most prolific publishers, producing more than eighty comics titles every month and close to one thousand titles per year. DC is also one of the oldest comics companies, with a continuous publishing history that spans over sixty years.

E-mail: wbjobs@trm.brassring.com

Special Instructions: If you are interested in this position, please email your resume to wbjobs@trm.brassring.com and be sure to ONLY INCLUDE "51708BR/NPMK" in your subject line.


Job # 2268

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

WHO SAYS MARKETING ISN'T DANGEROUS?

WHO SAYS MARKETING ISN'T DANGEROUS?

From Scene and Herd, the blog for Promo Magazine:

You May Already Be a Loser
Filed Under: General Post, October 18, 2005
From the PRO Awards finalists session:

When Coca-Cola seeded pop cans-cum-GPS cell phones during its “Unexpected Summer” campaign last year, the prize fulfillment crew eagerly awaited calls to track and deliver prizes to its winners. The first call came from Minneapolis; the prize crew tracked the winning GPS can to … a crack house.

The rest of its winners were from a more wholesome demographic. Which was good for the p.r. part of the campaign. - Betsy Spethmann


The next winner probably was a pedophile calling from Neverland...

Monday, March 27, 2006

JUST ONE MORE VOTE AND OUR FRIEND GERRI WILL BE PUBLISHED!

JUST ONE MORE VOTE AND OUR FRIEND GERRI WILL BE PUBLISHED!

Scotia surveyed the small crofter's cottage she and Ian had been ushered to immediately following their handfasting ceremony. A small fire burned in the hearth. The flames added a soft, gentle heat to the air as well as warming the room with a rich, golden hue. Her gaze shifted from the fire to the bright red cord that bound his right hand to her own.

She knew what came next.


That's the beginning of Gerri Russell's excerpt from her (thus far) unpublished novel, The Warrior Trainer. As you know from my earlier rantings, Gerri has been in a contest run by Romantic Times and Dorchester Publishing, with the winner guaranteed to have her manuscript published.

In a publishing game of Survivor, Gerri survived four previous rounds, each of which brought the original field of eleven hopefuls down to just two, Gerri, and Ruth Kaufman of Chicago, IL. Now, I'm sure Ruth is a very lovely woman, and, who knows, maybe romance novels in any format aren't your thing. But the spouse and I know Gerri, who is a very lovely woman herself. And Gerri has promised to hire me when she's as big as Nora Roberts, so you're helping me, too.

The rules are simple. You're voting for your favorite between Kaufman's and Russell's sample love scenes. I stopped above before it got hotter than I wanted to repeat, but you can visit here and read both. Then, to vote, all you need to do is to email Romantic Times with the subject "The Warrior Trainer," and you've voted for Gerri. (I suppose you can vote for Ruth Kaufman, but you aren't doing Gerri or me any good that way.)

How good is the scene? One of the judges, Flavia Knightsbridge, said: "Now this is full of personality! I like that you allow Scotia the warrior to not only be herself but also to grow as a character even in this intimate scene. Too often feisty heroines turn into simpering misses in the bedroom. Kudos for avoiding that trap and letting Scotia's true nature triumph."

Voting ends April 2. Should Gerri win, her victory will be announced at the Romantic Times Booklovers' Convention in Daytona Beach, FL on May 19. So let's get Gerri published. If you do vote for her, I'll promise that I'll make sure she autographs every published copy you buy. (Which, who knows, you may receive for a holiday or birthday gift that year, anyway.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

DEAL? OR NO DEAL?

DEAL? OR NO DEAL?

I have two television shows now that I watch for the pure silliness of watching them. One is Discovery Channel's Cash Cab, in which comedian Ben Bailey drives a cab through Manhattan, quizzing his passengers, awarding hundreds of dollars for correct answers, but kicking them out for three wrong answers.

The other is Deal or No Deal, in which Howie Mandel and 26 models in short skirts help contestants open attache cases for an hour of network television time.

What it's really about is a game of calculating the odds with a chance to win a million dollars -- or an equal chance to go home with a penny. What fascinates me is how greedy the contestants are; I presume they've been instructed by NBC to push their turn to the max, rather than settle for a safe $50,000 or $100,000.

I want to be on both shows, but I can only be cast (right now) for Deal or No Deal.

From NBC's website, here's the... um... deal:

DEAL OR NO DEAL
Ever wonder what YOU would do with one million dollars?
Are you a risk taker?
Do you feel lucky?
Now's your big chance to try to find out.

TO BE CONSIDERED AS A CONTESTANT:
1. Make a 5-minute personal videotape of you and the supporters you wish to have appear with you on TV.
2. Fill out an application (include a recent photo of each person)
3. Send it to our contestant department.


1. Making Your Videotape
Making a videotape audition for the program is very easy. Using a video camera, make us a 5-minute tape that tells us a little about yourself and what you would do with $1,000,000. Be sure to include the people you would like to appear with you on-camera as your "supporters." Be creative, show us your personality - tell us what makes you unique. Please start with your name and hometown. There is no "right" or "wrong" thing to say on your tape, we just want to get to know you.

Make sure we can see and hear you clearly.
-Label the tape with your name address and phone number.
-We can only accept VHS tapes (The ones that fit in your VCR). Transferring your camcorder tape to VHS can be accomplished easily. Use the Red, White, and Yellow cables that come with your camera to connect it to your VCR. Push play on your camera, and Record on your VCR. Please run a test and make sure your transfer worked properly.
-Be Kind, Rewind. Rewinding your tape to the beginning greatly increases our fondness for you.

2. Filling out the Application:
Adobe Reader is required to view the application. Click here to download a free copy if you do not have it installed.
Please take your time and answer the questions honestly. We will only accept completed and signed applications if they are accompanied by your videotape.

Include a recent photo:
Please enclose a recent personal photo of each person with the application. Make sure your photo(s) are clearly labeled with your names and phone numbers on the back. It is best, though not mandatory to send 2 clear photos of each person - one close up and one full body.

3. Sending Your Package
Please label your package and send it to:
DEAL OR NO DEAL CASTING
1149 N. Gower Suite 271
Los Angeles, CA 90038

To review, here is your "To Do" List:
1. Make one (1) 5 minute videotape
2. Label the tape with your name, address and phone number
3. Complete and sign an application
4. Include a few recent photos of you and your supporters.

Please note: Application materials will not be returned. Limit one application package per person.


So, if anybody's interested in screaming at me to reject the deal offered by the show's "banker," let me know. It's a free trip to Los Angeles... but how we'll do a videotape if we're all across the country, I don't know. I guess we'd have to edit segments together.

THE CARTOON NETWORK SUCKS!

THE CARTOON NETWORK SUCKS!

So, after I got all excited about the upcoming Legion of Super-Heroes installment of Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited, I turn on my television last Saturday night at 10:30, and... no more Justice League! TiVo confirms it's gone from the schedule completely!

I guess it was just too much for someone to bear to have Bouncing Boy taking out the Persuader...

Other Legion fans are equally flummoxed. Ron Coyne is searching diligently for news of its eventual appearance (hey, they've been shown in England, I'm told, so they've got to burn them sometime). Don Fortier, still sloshing through Katrina detritus in the New Orleans area, emailed that, "Supposedly they're in hiatus until April 8, with a two-part series-ending finale in the can. Bye bye, JLU?" He also provided this link.

But the real hero of the day is Mike Gold, who, despite recovering from surgery, was kind enough to email me in my hour of need and promise to drop a copy of the episode -- which he had from England, or maybe Abbie Hoffman's ghost got hold of it -- in the mail to me. Man, I hope that episode doesn't suck! Thanks, Mike; I'll have to send one of Northwest Territorial Mint's Ronald Reagan medallions to you. (I won't tell my employer what you may choose to do to it...)

Friday, March 10, 2006

ME AND MARK TWAIN

ME AND MARK TWAIN

You go along, you live your life, and all of a sudden, bam, you're dead.

Only... I'm not.

But apparently the rumor is out there. Somebody posting on a Legion of Super-Heroes area on the DC Comics Internet message board with the appellation jimjacksonjim commented, in answer to another poster's query as to my whereabouts, "I thought I heard a few years ago that he died."

I'm wrapping my head around this.

I mean, clearly I'm not dead, but it's also clear that I haven't been active in comics for a good 20 years, 25 if you mark my last active fandom (since I left Interlac in 1980 or 1981). But what's interesting there is that my situation is similar to that of a great many active comics fans of my era, moreso of Legion fandom. Going back to the early days of the Legion Fan Club (for those new to the story, the national comics fan club I began when I was 13), I have occasionally wondered where folks like Brad Lawrence Petzke ("Esq."!), Jim Balko, and Shelley Rabin are today. Heck, from the early days of Interlac I have lost touch with Clint Thomas (last encountered in Washington, DC in the 1980s when we were both passing through; he wrote some very funny columns for a West Virginia newspaper that predated the Internet, or I could find them), Len Rosenberg (although I had a working email for him for a time, and I'm pretty sure Maximum Fan Ken Gale knows exactly where to find Len; Ken always knows these things), and Bob Soron. I'm sure all of these folks are living full lives, entertaining themselves, contributing to the economy, and heck, maybe even reproducing. I could keep throwing these names out, too: Scott Gibson, Mark Thomase, Vin Sartain, Rick Foster.

Of course, my diminished comics fandom activity had to do with many things. Comics fans have two terms for what happened: gafiation (which is short for "getting away from it all," but also makes a sideways nod to Carl Gafford, who was the master of it, routinely gafiating every couple of years, but ultimately returning like an alcoholic after a bender) and Markstein's Law, named for Don Markstein, who postulated that the amount of fannish activity in which one participated was inversely proportional to the amount of sex one had. Strangely enough, in my early 20s I got very sidetracked from comics. Pure coincidence, it has to be. I also began to earn a living, got married, moved across country, worked my own business, and basically grew up.

So this thing is a gift. I suppose we could let the rumor grow, maybe even fill the IRS in so they stop expecting tax forms from me. But then the local county would want to put the house into tax foreclosure, so we'll have to nix that.

For now, I think I'll avoid posting to that message board, but I will watch the posts to see if anything more develops. This could be as much fun as watching a few random episodes of 24.

I have to think about this. But I think maybe there need to be some t-shirts. Tasteful ones. "Mike Flynn is not dead." Wait. Even better: Two statements. "Mike Flynn is dead"; "Mike Flynn is NOT dead." Each with its own check box. Wearer gets to check the box of his choice.

Anybody know a good silkscreener?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

IF ONLY I'D GONE TO J-SCHOOL...

IF ONLY I'D GONE TO J-SCHOOL...

I'm no journalist, and maybe I'm missing something, but I've run across something that's hard to explain. Maybe it's nothing. But already it's made my new gig interesting.

As I wrote recently, I just joined a company called Northwest Territorial Mint. It's a bit of a challenge, because one of its clients is the NRA, and while I converted to belief in a broader interpretation of the Second Amendment during the Reagan Administration, when I feared that Ed Meese might send the FBI after me for voting for Mondale, I still don't believe the Second Amendment means that any mook can own and use a bazooka or a machine gun.

What I'm supposed to do is to grow the custom-minted coin side of the business, but I've also been working on generating advertising and web clicks for the bullion business. So as a new employee I've been researching competitors -- the modern way, via Google.

Turns out this business I've entered can be a little checkered. My own employer apparently served time in prison for what he tells me was an accounting mistake. I'm not sure if I believe him, since I can't find any record of it when I Google him.

But here's the interesting thing. One of his bullion competitors is a company called The Tulving Company. Google its owner, Hannes Tulving, and not too far down the list is an account of his consent decree settlement with the FTC for defrauding people out of money for coins at prices he artificially inflated (here). This happened in 1992. There was a monetary judgment in two parts. The first part, $260,000, was apparently paid over a five-year period. The second, $10,000,000 (yes, that's ten million), was to be paid if he ever recovered from bankruptcy, but as long as he was insolvent, he wouldn't need to worry.

Well, heck, everyone makes a mistake, right? He paid his $260,000, he was driven into bankruptcy, end of story. In fact, it's cheerful, because he's again a very serious member of the rare coin and precious metal business who, according to the chat boards, is friendly with financial reporter Ron Insana. (Of course, the amount of truth on chat boards is probably equal to the amount of truth told in the last half-hour of a frat party. I even wrote glowing reviews of my former employer's books at Amazon.com.)

Except here are some things that confuse me. On that same Google search I found an FTC memo from 2000 that indicates the $10,000,000 was never paid, even though the Tulving website gives every indication of a solvent business, talking about his yachts and all. Worse, even the $260,000 that was collected NEVER REACHED THOSE WHO WERE DEFRAUDED... nearly eight years later. In fact, the memo I found indicates that the government apparently routinely sits on this money for so long that the folks who originally prosecuted the case leave or get promoted and the money just sits, never being distributed to those who were cheated. That memo lists ten other cases besides Tulving's where the feds were hoarding money. I wish I could find proof of the money's ultimate distribution, but I can't (again, not a journalist). I fear that if funds from just these 11 cases weren't distributed, then perhaps there's even more money that won't ever be given to those who were defrauded and allegedly avenged by the government. It's like the government version of a class action suit, except instead of the lawyers getting more money than any plaintiff, it's the government itself.

Maybe the followup memo just isn't on the web. Maybe there's someone I can call or email at the FTC who could explain this to me. But it seems like a double scam to me. These 11 (and who knows how many more) criminal operations defrauded individuals, but the government is keeping money out of the hands of crime victims out of neglect, incompetence, or stupidity. I was so chapped that I actually dropped an email note to Michael Moore. I guess I could write my Congressman. Who else would I call?

It's a mystery. Meanwhile, read Consumer Reports and pay attention to your local consumer reporter. Unless, of course, your local consumer reporter is incompetent or stupid.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

NOT AT LIBERTY ANY MORE

NOT AT LIBERTY ANY MORE

It's near Malcolm in the Middle time here in Seattle, but I wanted to drop a quick note that, after a properly suitably selective search, I am now employed. I am the marketing manager for Northwest Territorial Mint, which sells bullion, manufactures custom promtional coins (many for the military, which has a tradition called "challenge coins"), and is building its online sales.

More when I catch my breath.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I SUSPECT I'M NOW ON SOME ENEMIES LIST SOMEWHERE...

I SUSPECT I'M NOW ON SOME ENEMIES LIST SOMEWHERE...

In the Big Surprise Department, I have not been a fan of the current Administration (although, in fairness, of the ones in my lifetime, I believe I've only favored one-quarter of Clinton's and maybe two-thirds of Carter's). I find the vice-president's shooting incident to be troubling, primarily because of the effort to cover up details for more than a day.

But over at Pop Culture Gadabout, Bill Sherman posted a link to a page that apparently was posted on CNN.com recently, with the Orwellian (or perhaps it's Carrollesque?) headline, "Shooting Victim Apologize to Vice-President."

Provocative, eh? It's from a liberal blog, so you want to check the source. By bizarre coincidence, my AOL connection flamed out the second I started to type the headline into the AOL search box. When I got back online, I could find no trace on the web for this headline, so either the author is being clever and showing a fake headline from CNN, or Homeland Security has been cleaning up traces of the original.

So maybe it's me. Maybe I'm stupid. I don't know. Go, search, let me know what you find.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I KNOW I SHOULDN'T COMPLAIN

I KNOW I SHOULDN'T COMPLAIN

Being a little bit pudgy, having all my hair, and having it not really turning gray yet, people always think I look young. Heck, maybe it helps me in job hunting. (We'll find out; I'm off for another interview in three hours.)

But, here's something about aging nobody ever prepares you for: Gray nose hair.

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

MAYBE CHENEY CAN LEND HIM A DEFIBRILLATOR...

MAYBE CHENEY CAN LEND HIM A DEFIBRILLATOR...

Isn't it manslaughter if what you do accidentally causes death?

I guess our big veep will find out, now that Harry Whittington has suffered a heart attack due to Cheney's birdshot migrating close to Whittington's heart.

Of course, you know the NRA's position on this: "When guns are outlawed, only Dick Cheney will have guns."

NOW I KNOW HOW THE FOLKS AT THE REALLY BIG AD AGENCIES FEEL...

NOW I KNOW HOW THE FOLKS AT THE REALLY BIG AD AGENCIES FEEL...

When I was the promotion manager at DC Comics in the 1980s, I was responsible for creating a tagline each year for the company. The goal was to let comics fans know that DC was no longer going to be the doormat for Marvel. DC was ramping up new formats, introducing new characters, and persuading established fan favorites to create comics at DC instead of at Marvel.

The first line I created was, "The new DC... we're on the move."

For 1983, the goal was to show that we had gathered momentum, and were actually winning the battle in some ways. So the new line I wrote -- which appeared on everything we did -- was, "The new DC... there's no stopping us now." We even used McFadden & Whitehead's "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" as theme music at our big trade show for our distributors that year.

All of which leads me to Dick Cheney. Some long-memoried comic fan remembered the line, dug out some old Jonah Hex covers from the era, and used it to tie together the Dick Cheney shooting as told through comic book covers (a cleverness one would normally attribute to Tom Peyer's Superfrankenstein, but Tom seems cool with it).

Another 1.5 seconds of fame for me. Gosh, and I deserve it!

Monday, February 13, 2006

TOP TEN SAYINGS YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE ON YOUR VALENTINE'S CANDY HEARTS

TOP TEN SAYINGS YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE ON YOUR VALENTINE'S CANDY HEARTS

Every week I submit what I think are powerfully funny entries to the Late Night With David Letterman Top Ten contest page.

Every week I get aced out by jokes judged funnier. Half the time they're right, of course, but sometimes they're not.

So, what the heck, until Letterman sues my ass, here's my entries for this week -- with the added pressure of posting before Valentine's Day.

Top Ten Sayings You Don't Want To See On Your Valentine's Candy Hearts

10. Viagra.
9. 24.7% Recycled Content.
8. Lick my back hair.
7. R U Brokeback 2?
6. You taste like chicken.
5. Be My Ho
4. You're fired!
3. You may search for my weapon of mass destruction.
2. Biohazard.

and, the number one saying you don't want to see on your Valentine's candy heart...

1. Ex Lax.

Thank you, good night everybody, drive home safe!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

STORY THAT WRITES ITS OWN JOKE: VICE-PRESIDENT CHENEY SHOOTS FRIEND ACCIDENTALLY

STORY THAT WRITES ITS OWN JOKE: VICE-PRESIDENT CHENEY SHOOTS FRIEND ACCIDENTALLY

Really. I'm not making this up.

I guess the good news is that he's not on the Olympic biathlon squad.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I'M HAVING A POP CULTURE MOMENT -- AND SO SHOULD YOU!

I'M HAVING A POP CULTURE MOMENT -- AND SO SHOULD YOU!

I sometimes now work on a Wintel machine. Our friend Bruce Faber felt I should have one to go with the half-dozen Macintoshes of varying vintage we have in our house, and since I do dialup still, and it has a 56K modem, it's what I use most for getting online.

So I'm getting used to what Windows offers folks with these basic boxes. One thing I enjoy is the ability to rip my CDs into my computer (no, I don't have an iPod yet, either... but my birthday's in August). I play everything on shuffle, so I never know what I'll get.

For some reason today the stretch of music was particularly great, even if it's stuff you may not have spent a lot of time with. In sequence I found five songs I had to play louder than I normally would... "The Guitar," from the Apollo 18 collection by They Might Be Giants... "Cry Love" from John Hiatt's greatest hits collection... "Common People," from William Shatner's brilliant Has Been... "Second Guessing" from Jonny Lang's equally brilliant Wander This World... "See Emily Play" from Pink Floyd's Relics... and "Untamed Girls" from Chain Gang of Love by the Raveonettes. And the sun's even out today! Man, if I only had a job (although I did apply to Holland America Line for a copywriter slot today, and boy, am I perfect)!

And then, tonight... tonight on TV is even cooler. Okay, there's the string of shows on the SciFi Channel that we now watch religiously, most cool of which is Battlestar Galactica. But tonight add Fox's two-hour, four-episode sendoff of Arrested Development, the best comedy show since Seinfeld. And now I see that Turner Classic Movies is showing three great Kubrick films in a row... 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lolita, and, one of my Top 10 of all time films, Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb). If we didn't have four televisions, three working VCRs, and two TiVos... I don't know what I'd do. All I know is that this is a good night to sit down with a pizza and just be glad for people who are smarter and more clever than me.

One more thing, if you want to truly live the Mike Flynn experience this weekend: Tomorrow at 2 pm EST, 11 am PST: George Washington University's men's basketball on ESPN2. GW is ranked eighth right now, which is higher than it's been since the 1950s. The team is led by Pops Mensah-Bonsu, and it's a fast, well-coached, fun team to watch, even if you're not a huge basketball fan (which, for instance, I'm not). If they go far into the NCAA tournament, maybe people will finally be able to understand I didn't go to Georgetown!

Anyway, it's a fun weekend... and you don't even have to watch the winter Olympics!

Monday, February 06, 2006

OLD FRIENDS

OLD FRIENDS

For some reason I wound up Googling my late friend Rich Morrissey today, so I posted three obits about him (one by Mark Evanier, one by Bob Rozakis, one by Tony Isabella) to the left. I also found, with further Googling, reference to an article about the language of Krypton. The piece was written by Al Turniansky (also a former Interlacker), but based on the work of Morrissey and the late E. Nelson Bridwell (the only comics fan with more stuff in his head than Rich).

I'll have to see if I can find the Miami Herald obit written by Harry Broertjes, and maybe I'll post my own. I'm also trying to figure out the best way to reference Ken Gale's links to Rich's work, but you can always just go to Ken's 'Nuff Said.

THE UNSTOPPABLE WARRIOR TRAINER!

THE UNSTOPPABLE WARRIOR TRAINER!

Just heard from our friend Gerri Russell that The Warrior Trainer has won the latest elimination round in the Romantic Times/Dorchester Press American Title writing contest she'd entered. I wanted to thank you on her behalf for taking the time to vote. I've told her to get the thing published, sell as well as Nora Roberts, and then hire me, so let's keep voting for her!

The next round will ask for votes on the Best Dialogue Scene and runs February 20 through March 5.

TENNIS, ANYONE?

TENNIS, ANYONE?

Down there on the left, thanks to my cousin Ken Kiernan, is the newest silly website. Or just click here.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

OH, RATZ, I MISSED IT!

OH, RATZ, I MISSED IT!

Maybe next year. When's national Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day again?

IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!

IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!

This wonderful spot for the American Civil Liberties Union was recently forwarded to me by an old college acquaintance, Rob Weinberg (you can see his business link to the left).

I hadn't seen the spot yet, but it chilled me to the marrow. I honestly believe I stopped producing red blood cells for five minutes.

As with all advances of civilization, technology can be used for good or for evil. Then there's the law of unintended consequences. It's convenient to order online at Amazon.com (heck, I even own stock in the company), and Amazon's way of linking stuff you like to other stuff you like is, while sometimes a bit much, often helpful or instructive. But the ability to merge massive databases can lead to horror stories, and the potential of not just government, but multinational corporations, to leverage your personal data for great gain and your detriment, is huge. Not to mention the carelessness with which our banks, health maintenance organizations, governments, and others are handling these bits of information that we consider private.

Remember this as you watch the new Roberts Supreme Court. Remember that, constitutionally, your right to privacy exists only because of constitutional case law, and we now have a majority on the Court that, as strict constructionists, believe that you have no right to privacy because it's not spelled out in the Constitution.

Even though I've made my living as a marketer -- and mailed and emailed sales messages to millions of recipients -- it's clear that legislation, and probably a Constitutional amendment, is required to tip the scales back to the side of average schmucks like you and me. For instance, when I wanted to reach people to get them to try the magazine for which I formerly worked, I would rent another magazine's list of subscribers and mail them our information. Now, those folks could actively opt out, but I propose there needs to be some sort of version of copyright on your personal information. Every time your personal information is transferred, you need to receive a payment of some sort. The legislation would have to forbid governments and corporations from asking individuals to sign waivers, or else they'd quickly get us to sign one in order to continue to bank or earn a living.

When you think about what multinational corporations can do because of their size and their greed -- banks, insurance companies, credit reporting agencies, appliance manufacturers, brokerages, etc. -- it's clear that we need to press our elected representatives now to seriously alter the landscape. As it is, most of them are already on the payroll (via campaign contributions) of these firms, so it won't be easy. We've got to be ready to vote out anybody who won't take action on this. And maybe, just maybe, we need to step up ourselves.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

ATTENTION, CHOCOLATE LOVERS!

ATTENTION, CHOCOLATE LOVERS!

Since I'm doing solids for friends of ours, I realize I have been remiss and have not added Phantasia Chocolates to my list to the left. I am correcting that oversight now.

If you're the type of person whose body chemistry alters and whose mind melts and whose tastebuds twitter at the merest whiff... the slightest suggestion... of chocolate, you need to check out Phantasia Chocolates. These are the handmade creations of our friend Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan, who not only performs yeoman duty by hammering together each monthly issue of Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities, the Traders' Magazine (managing editor, Elizabeth M.S. Flynn, by the way), but then retreats to her rented kitchen and crafts stunningly superb and exotic chocolate truffles. They're available right now only at four retail locations, but the chocolate lover in you will want to find them if you live in the Seattle metro area, or merely intend to be here one day.

Look for them at:

Matthews Thriftway, 4989 Lakemont Boulevard SE, Bellevue, WA 98012
Caffe Coccinella, 10226 NE 10th Street, Bellevue, WA 98004
Great Harvest Bread Co. (West Seattle), 4709 California Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98116
Seattle Wine Co., 1960 130th Avenue, Suite 1, Bellevue, WA 98005

IAN AND SCOTIA KICK ASS!

IAN AND SCOTIA KICK ASS!

My loyal reader(s) may recall a while back I asked you to vote for our friend, Gerri Russell, who has been entered into a contest held by Romantic Times and Dorchester Publishing. If she wins the contest, she will get her book published after many years, with a publicity boost from RT Book Club.

The contest works like a television reality show... after each round, one or more contestants are voted off. The voters are the readers of the Romantic Times and its website, but I've been helping out by urging all our friends to vote, too. This round's criterion is the best story summary. If you want to vote, it's not tough; all you need to do is to send an email to webmaster@romantictimes.com with "THE WARRIOR TRAINER" in the subject line. (One vote per person please). Voting ends February 5, 2006. Results will be posted online on February 20, 2006. The winner will be announced during the Awards Luncheon on May 19, 2006, at the RT Booklovers Convention in Daytona Beach, FL. Your email address will be kept confidential.

Now, if you'd like to do that armed with knowledge, here's the facts (which you can also find here):

THE WARRIOR TRAINER

Story Summary:

Ian MacKinnon has always tried to prove his worth to his clan and yearns for the chance to become their champion. He seizes the opportunity to show his merit when a renegade group of Englishmen marches through Scotland demolishing clans in its wake as they search for the Stone of Destiny. Ian vows to defend his clan from this new terror, but in order to succeed he must learn to fight in the ways of the ancients from the legendary Warrior Trainer. That he needs help in order to win, he accepts. That he must accept that help from a female who is physically more adept than he, he finds bruising to his ego.

Scotia of Glencarron, the Warrior Trainer, a devoted swordswoman descended from a line of women warriors, must guard herself both day and night against those who would challenge her title and discover the Stone of Destiny, the secret artifact her family has kept safe for generations. Trained only to be a warrior, Scotia is unprepared for the attack Ian makes upon her mentally and emotionally. How's a woman supposed to defend against something as nebulous as desire?

As Scotia and Ian train, both sparks and passions flare, but to act upon their feelings could cost Ian his place in his clan and jeopardize Scotia's role as the Warrior Trainer. Yet when the people and the land they love are threatened, they join together, risking everything for survival, desire... and love.

Judges' Comments:

Flavia Knightsbridge -- Now we're into more creative territory. If we must keep with the movie theme, I'd say this has a little Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon vibe going on.

Leslie Kazanjian -- This novel promises a major role reversal: a woman warrior teaching a fiery Scotsman the fighting techniques of the ancients, pitting her physical prowess against his seductive skills amid a battle for the homeland they both love. I'm curious to see the outcome of this unusual love story -- this pair promises more sparks than the swords that will surely clash.


If you want to look at all the contestants, you can go here.

In addition to voting, if you're feeling really beneficent, let other folks know about Gerri and the contest. (Send them this whole page.) The more votes, the merrier!

Gerri has won several awards from the Romance Writers of America, but has yet to take that final step. If you can help her... great! And there's even a bonus. If you let Gerri know you voted for her, she'll toss your name in a hat and draw a winner. If yours is the name drawn, she promises Scottish treats (which I hope to heaven won't be haggis).

Thanks for your help! Next, maybe my spouse, or even me!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

LOVE JITTERS

LOVE JITTERS

I was asked in a recent job interview to name a great brand. For you non-marketing types, a "brand" isn't just the name of the yogurt you buy, but all of the feelings and experiences that go with it. It's a gestalt thing.

One of the brands I named was -- and sitting in Seattle, it's a double-edged sword to name a home brand -- is Starbucks. With Starbucks, you know what you're getting. You have a level of expectation about the quality of the coffee you order, but you also have an expectation of the ambiance of the venue itself. And the Starbucks experience includes more than coffee, or even snacks; there's music, there's games and gifts, and there's the 15-minute vacation that each of the three Starbucks per block gives you.

Today, in receiving my latest polite thanks-but-no-thanks email from Starbucks about a job opening to which I'd applied, I stumbled across the latest marketing brilliance from what's probably the pre-eminent brand of the early third millennium: Espresso dating. Not only do people go to Starbucks to hang out, meet friends, do a little writing or reading, or meet for business, but now you can sign up to be part of its dating service. Blind dates over espresso macchiato... is that brilliant or what? It builds the sense of Starbucks as a community center, it encourages extra visits... and it sells more coffee at the impressive Starbucks markup.

So lift your venti mocha to the marketing brilliance at Starbucks. And, if you're single... there's nothing better than getting strung out on caffeine while meeting that person who could be The One. At least you'll have coffee in common.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I REALLY SHOULD POST SOMETHING ORIGINAL HERE...

I REALLY SHOULD POST SOMETHING ORIGINAL HERE...

Since I'm not posting original stuff, at least I keep adding to the long line of links at the left (take that, all you who hate alliteration!). Today's comes from my visit to the ever-cool Superfrankenstein, where he linked to this site, which takes Elton John's once-tolerable Candle in the Wind and rewrites it for, not just Lady Diana Spencer (damn you paparazzi and/or Dodi Fayed and/or Prince Charles), but for everyone for whom Elton John couldn't be bothered to write new versions. Today's post is for Chris Penn, who, as Kev (no last name published) notes, didn't even get top billing in his own obituary.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

MORE ON THE LEFT!

MORE ON THE LEFT!

Today's addition is a little bit of flight emergency, via my cousin Ken Kiernan, who though no longer piloting himself through the skies, still handles international operations for FedEx.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

MORE ON THE LEFT

MORE ON THE LEFT

You know you should Google yourself before job-hunting, right? So I was doing a little bit of due diligence, and discovered that on somebody's Legion history website, you can see my fan-famous letter in glorious web-ness!

*sigh*

WHO'S THE BIGGEST ONE?

WHO'S THE BIGGEST ONE?

A few weeks ago I mentioned that Superfrankenstein's Tom Peyer was championing his... um... "Anal Pore of the Year" contest. (Except he uses a ruder phrase than "anal pore," but then softens it his own way by referring to the whole thing as A.H.O.Y.)

Anyway, if you'd like to see how the voting's been going, he's been counting down. Lots of big names remain, though among those who have NOT made the Top 10 are Condoleezza Rice, Judith Miller, Bob Novak, and Ray Nagin. Who could possibly be worse? Keep watching!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

AND FOR OUR NEXT OMG MOMENT...

AND FOR OUR NEXT OMG MOMENT...

Sometimes one is tempted to make the meaningless statement, "The Internet is an amazing place." Except that the Internet isn't a place at all, and the only difference between the Internet and the world at large is that it doesn't include most of the poor, stupid people.

Which is why when you start to get distracted and find amazing stuff that people have actually gone out of their way to put on the Internet... especially well-designed stuff that people earn money for... then you're just sitting there and wondering if Pat Robertson isn't right.

Today I got an email from mediabistro.com with some links to interesting news stories. One was about Jeremie Ruby-Strauss, an editor at Kensington Books who is publishing books aimed at the Sub 30 Chromosome Y category (apologies if the link doesn't work; I'm registered there, and it's paid). So from there I went and visited www.tuckermax.com, since Tucker Max was one of the writers whose work Ruby-Strauss has acquired. Let me tell you, if Hemingway in Paris was typical of his generation of creators, and if Kerouac and his beatsters were typical of theirs, then, if Tucker Max is typical of his, then let al Qaeda come and do away with all of the US. Not everything can be about drinking too much and having strange sex. (Right?)

But, then, I read National Lampoon when I was in high school and college, and I still remember the cover of the woman catcher with her breasts on her back to match her reversed baseball cap, and I thought that was funny, so this may be exactly what 21-year-olds are like no matter what.

But then there was the ad on the right side of the page of the Tucker Max website. I had already heard of (and, prurient curiosity aroused, visited) hotornot.com, where ordinary folks with low self-esteem post their photo for validation. But on Tucker Max's site... where you're already reading about throwing up pantsless in sushi bars... you'll find likemynudephoto.com. And, if that isn't bad enough, enter "rate me" into any search engine, and you'll find numerous websites all devoted to rating people, with their permission or not, in various states of undress and occasionally more.

Amazing.

OMG.

PERFECT BALLOT: ROBERTSON/NAGIN

PERFECT BALLOT: ROBERTSON/NAGIN

Wow, just when you thought things couldn't get whackier, here comes New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin saying that God smote New Orleans. Nagin joins Republican preacher Pat Robertson in the nut job club; Robertson earlier had said that gay pride parades would bring hurricanes to Florida and that Hurricane Katrina had targeted New Orleans because Ellen DeGeneres was the host of the Emmy Awards show. Robertson has also blamed natural disasters as God's revenge for abortion.

So we're back to the Old Testament Yahweh. God is tired of Time cover stories asking if He is dead, or Kurt Vonnegut's interesting take on God as semi-retired (Vonnegut invents the "Church of God the Utterly Indifferent" in Sirens of Titan), and has taken matters back into His own hands.

I'm not convinced. Why would an omnipotent Creator choose to kill His own handiwork willy nilly? Are we being pruned, like a gardener would prune an arbor vitae? Take a little off Pakistan, a little off New Orleans, a little off Banda Aceh? Is God an abusive parent, like the drunk father who whales on his kids every Friday night after about eight good pops at the local bar? Is God the kind of parent who holds His son's hands in the flames of the stove because the boy was caught smoking? What then of all those tornadoes that flatten good Christian towns in the Bible Belt? If God isn't responsible for them, is someone else? Is it Satan? Ellen DeGeneres?

Whatever God is -- and there's no way the human mind can fathom an Almighty, no matter what the various religious texts on the planet might say -- it strikes me that He would take to smiting cities only if He were as imperfect as his creation. And while it is believed we are made in God's image, I really hate to think that our flaws are also God-like. I'd like to think that if God found my wallet, He'd return it without taking out the cash first.

So here's the deal. I'm going to go back to doing the best job I can not to kill, maim, or hurt anybody; to help folks who need it when I can; and to do what I can to make the world a better place. I wish Ray Nagin and Pat Robertson would make that their mission, too.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

OOPS, I'M AT IT AGAIN!

OOPS, I'M AT IT AGAIN!

Okay, fine, here are the other links I've added today:

The William Shatner DVD Club, thanks to Matt Agee's 1.21 Gigawatts.

The essential McSweeney's analysis of the Batman theme, thanks to Tom Peyer's Superfrankenstein.

DO YOU EVER JUST LOOK AT THE SIDE, THERE?

DO YOU EVER JUST LOOK AT THE SIDE, THERE?

One of the things I like to do with this blog is keep track of stuff. For instance, I've got links at the left to blogs or web pages of friends and business acquaintances. I've got links to dopey computer games. Silly websites. Useful websites. Interesting stuff and arcana I've encountered while skittering across the digital ocean.

I realized today that I should make a note when I add or change something, in case you aren't looking at something over there (to the left; see?) whenever you pop in to see me.

So, here's what I just did: I was following a blog trail and encountered a blog called Gaping Void. The writer has crafted some rules for being creative. If you think that applies to you, you'll enjoy it. He also doodles some interesting stuff on the back of business cards, which you also might like.

How To Be Creative.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

FOUR!

FOUR!

Over at his well-written Pop Culture Gadabout, Bill Sherman recently took time out to perpetuate a series of questions based on getting four answers. It's the new year, and that sort of can make this an exercise in self-examination, too. So, why not... and go give it a shot yourself (and feel free to comment here when you do):

Four jobs you've had in your life: Hanger-sorter; purchasing agent's assistant; bowling alley worker; copywriter.

Four movies you could watch over and over: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Casablanca; Dr. Strangelove; Apollo 13.

Four places you've lived: New York City (Manhattan, The Bronx, and Brooklyn); Baldwin, Long Island (NY); Washington, DC; Seattle, WA.

Four TV shows you love to watch: On air now: Cash Cab (Discovery); Arrested Development (Fox); My Name Is Earl (NBC); Mythbusters (Discovery). All-time: The Simpsons (Fox); M*A*S*H (CBS); Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (NBC); Misfits of Science (NBC).

Four places you’ve been on vacation: Florida (all over); Hawaii (love the Big Island!); Japan; San Francisco.

Four websites you visit daily: Superfrankenstein; Notes From A Final Frontiersman; The Blue Chair; eilisflynn's Journal.

Four of your favorite foods: Starbucks Mud Pie Ice Cream; real pizza from a real pizzeria in New York; real pastrami from a real deli in New York; a good Cobb salad.

Four places you'd rather be: The Big Island. New York. Washington. Here.

Four albums you can't live without: Abbey Road (The Beatles); Who's Next (The Who); Look Sharp! (Joe Jackson); Excitable Boy (Warren Zevon).

And, I'm going to add one...

Four people you wish were president instead of the current one: Bill Bradley; Mario Cuomo; John McCain; Barack Obama.

YOUR VOTE COUNTS, BUT NOBODY OFFICIAL WILL PAY ANY ATTENTION

YOUR VOTE COUNTS, BUT NOBODY OFFICIAL WILL PAY ANY ATTENTION

Our friend Tom Peyer over at Superfrankenstein has been hectoring me (and everybody else on the web) to vote in the "Anal Spinchter" of the Year contest (go here to vote). It's something a friend of his has been running since 1974.

I myself found the choices overwhelming, and had to squeeze my value system really hard to come down to my final choices.

They are:

Osama bin Laden.
Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
Kim Jong Il.
Dick Cheney.
Jerry Falwell.
Bill O’Reilly.
Ann Coulter.
Ahmed Chalabi.
Robert Blake.
Michael Jackson.

The last two names I removed from my list were Tom Cruise (merely misguided, I'm afraid) and Representative Jean Schmidt, whose rookie effort is noteworthy, but not comparable to the long-term damage done by the ten heavyweights above.

If you want to vote -- whether to enjoy the excercise (sudoku for the news nut!), to reinforce my vote, or to cancel it out (I'm sure somebody will vote for Michael Moore) -- the link is above. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

HOW'D THE PLAYBOY CLUBS MISS OUT ON THIS?

HOW'D THE PLAYBOY CLUBS MISS OUT ON THIS?

Ran across this at Meagan's Online Musings, a blog three degrees of separation from this'n. Gives one home decorating ideas, too, doesn't it? (Don't tell my spouse.)