After noticing that the Reebok
After noticing that the Reebok corporation has changed its named to "RBK" in its newest commercials in a desperate effort to attract hip, urban teens, michael has decided that I should undergo a similar change and be called "C to the Hizzo, I double Lizzo". Hopefully this revamping of my image will help me attract a hip, urban girlfriend for the contest. Old school.
Most people would take a
Most people would take a personal tragedy like this and use it for some common good, such as writing songs. If I were a real musician I would have a Grammy in my hands right now instead of the chorus of one song. Damn my lack of talent.
My life would be so much easier if I were a rock star. I would get over a bad breakup like this by singing about my problems to thousands of adoring fans, sleeping with attractive groupies, and drinking myself into oblivion. As it is the only person who really liked my music (besides David and michael and their puzzling playing of Got to Get Her Out while driving around and in the grader's office) has caused this whole thing, I have no groupies at all (never mind attractive ones), and I don't drink. I mean Justin Timberlake broke up with Britney Spears and there weren't exactly tons of tabloid stories about how upset he was. Nor did he probably channel his grief into songwriting, since NSync isn't exactly known for their writing skills.
Lucas wrote about Slamball, and I was reminded of something similar while flipping through the channels last night when I came upon Starship Troopers and the scene where they are playing that wacky futuristic version of football where females play alongside males and the quarterback can brush aside tacklers with one arm. I am also reminded of the great sport of Jai-Alai, which I won't be able to witness while I'm home since the season is over. My question is why are all the players Spanish or have Spanish-sounding names except for "Kevin", "Bob", and "Don"?
If you're a regular reader
If you're a regular reader you noticed my absence last week and the lack of links to someone that I normally link to frequently. You'll also notice the timestamp of this post and think "hmm...Chris doesn't usually post at 7:30 in the morning" and then the wheels will start turning. Last weekend my girlfriend of 9 months broke up with me. After talking about things later in the week and giving me the impression that we would get back together (we have before), she thought it would be appropriate to hook up with another guy this past weekend, 5 days after breaking up with me. She probably doesn't find it quite as appropriate that I'm posting about it to the internet, but at this point I'm not really concerned about her feelings considering her lack of concern regarding mine.
Therefore I'd like to take this opportunity to proclaim my free agency. Single life is not as great as advertised on television, so I'm looking to my loyal readers for help. It's the first annual "Find Chris a Girlfriend" Sweepstakes, and the winner will receive a cache of -273 stickers and a prize to be determined later. Here's what I'm looking for:
-Of legal age but not too old, so let's say 18-24.
-Less than or equal to my height of 5' 7".
-Interested in a relationship, not to say we'll have one, but not just interested in "playing the field".
-A light or non-drinker.
-Someone who enjoys going out and doing fun things but also just hanging out watching movies or playing cards.
-Appreciates humor and has a good sense of humor herself.
-Lives or goes to school in the St. Louis area.
Everything else is pretty open, I'm pretty easygoing about personalities so there is a lot of leeway.
So that's about it. Phone your friends, have them phone their friends, this could be their only chance. The window of opportunity is open now but could close at any time. Good luck.
Our apartment in infested with
Our apartment in infested with centipedes. House Centipedes in particular. While they are considered beneficial to humans, they are also poisonous and inflict a similar type of wound as a bee sting. They crawl around my walls at night while I'm sleeping, moving quickly out of view when I turn on the light. They are everywhere, all out to get me. Ready to crawl all over me while I'm sleeping, inflicting small bee-sting-like wounds with their weak but poisonous jaws. Does anyone have an apartment I can borrow?
This post is going to
This post is going to anger all you females out there, so if you're of the feminine persuasion you might want to take a raincheck on this one (although having said this you've probably already scrolled down to the good part). It's pretty graphic too so hide the kids or younger siblings.
All that is wrong in America can be traced back to "Sex and the City". For years and years, women complained that guys were sleazeballs because all they wanted to do was get in their pants and sleep around with other women. "All you care about is sex," they would say, "We want sensitive guys to have deep emotional relationships with." Then this abomination of a show came out on HBO and women got all hypocritical on us.
It seems that if guys sleep around and don't commit to a relationship, they branded as players or frat guys (and deservedly so), but if women do the same thing, they are "exercising their independence". And it's all thanks to this show. Just listen to some of these episode synopsis clips:
-"Samantha gets extremely drunk and Charlotte lets her stay over at her place. In the middle of the night while Charlotte is asleep Samantha, still drunk, goes downstairs and gets the doorman to come upstairs and have sex."
-"Miranda introduces the friends to the Rabbit, a mechanical aid, and Charlotte becomes addicted. Stanford Blatch proposes to Carrie as a cover, so he can inherit his part of the family fortune."
-"Samantha chances on an old boyfriend who is now a drag queen, named in her honor, at drag bingo. "
-"Samantha introduces the four friends to a new restaurant with an S & M theme. Charlotte's shoe cravings meet a foot fetishist in a shoe store. Miranda dates Jack, a guy who enjoys the risk of being caught “in flagrante delicto”. Stanford Blatch goes to a new club, to meet his cybersex partner for the first time, but meets someone else new."
-"Charlotte thinks she's bad in bed when a guy falls asleep while making love to her so she enrolls herself in a tantric sex workshop and signs Carrie, Samantha and Miranda up as well. They go to the workshop and they all learn how to please their partner without actually having sex and Miranda accidently gets hit by flying ejaculate."
-"Samantha stands up to Matt, her new male assistant, eventually firing him, and then having sex with him."
-"Miranda is attracted to a man wearing a sandwich costume. "
-"Charlotte, tiring of the lack of sex with Trey, has a couple of encounters with a gardener, which leads to their separation."
-"Samantha and Maria have their first fight because of all the men that Samantha has been with simply for sex. Samantha complains that all Maria wants to do is talk and that she herself misses sex with a man so Maria buys Samantha a strap-on and Samantha throws her back out using it on Maria."
I could go on and on here. The point is that "women's empowerment" has become "women act in the same manner that they complain about in guys" because of this overblown, unrealistic soap opera. Is it too much to ask for people to actually behave as they expect others to? Is someone like me who is actually interested in a meaningful relationship doomed to date mindless "Sex and the City" drones from now on? More importantly, where can I obtain one of those sandwich cotumes?
I've returned from my self-imposed
I've returned from my self-imposed personal time, hopefully re-energized for some more wacky shenanigans.
On Tuesday night I went miniature golfing and the St. Louis crime wave continued. It was about 10:30 at night and we were the only people still on the course. The attendant girl was on the phone in the "clubhouse", and we were walking between holes. All of a sudden, a random teenager came up to us and asked Berney if he could look at his putter, that he worked here, and that they had been having problems with the putters. Berney said sure and handed it over, and the kid examined it for a second and said "yeah, it's definitely defec--" and then turned and dashed away, jumped over the fence, and held the putter above his head as he ran to his getaway car. We just stood there dumbfounded. St. Louis, you have reached a new low, but at least this time it was funny.
Speaking of golf, you may have noticed lately that our economy is in a bit of a downturn, in that there are no jobs, people are getting laid off, companies are lying about profits, and the stock market is plunging every day. After a good half hour of thinking, I have discovered the source of all of big business' problems: golf. When the economy is good, nerdy business-type folks trying to get a leg up on the corporate ladder take their business to the golf course on Fridays (and sometimes other days). Invariably this is written off as a "business meeting" and the company foots the bill. If you haven't noticed, golf isn't a cheap sport. Large businesses inevitably reimburse employees for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of golf per year, but it doesn't matter because the economy is good. Now that the economy is bad, companies realize that they have frittered away all their money on golf (and hiring way too many employees in the first place) so they have to lay people off. My solution: bowling should replace golf as the sport of businessmen. It requires just as little actual physical ability, it's a lot more fun, and most importantly it's a lot cheaper. A power meeting for 4 at Strike 'N Spare would cost hundreds of dollars less than an afternoon on the links. That's what I'm here for folks, solving our nation's problems one at a time.
I got an email today inviting me to attend "Ebay University", a one-day program that teaches you important skills such as "searching and browsing techniques" and "super selling tips". I really don't know a single person who would pay $25 to learn how to browse ebay for shoddy secondhand products, but "seating is limited".
I saw the new Austin Powers movie tonight. It was better than the second movie I think but not as good as the first. There were some very funny moments and clever cameos, but also a lot of really awkward attempts at humor that just didn't work.
Lucas mentioned KissThisGuy.com the other day but neglected to mention a great misheard line. Instead of "Ooh, ooh, living on a prayer", one astute Bon Jovi fan heard the chorus as "Ooh, ooh, Berenstein Bears" despite the fact that the song title is in fact "Living on a Prayer". That may not have been the line, but I'm sure Mr. Jovi intended to evoke images of friendly children's-book bears in his song about hard lower-middle-class life and love.
The Festival is going to
The Festival is going to be taking some time off for personal reasons. In the meantime, here are some songs to *not* listen to after being broken up with:
-I Miss You by Incubus
-anything by The Ataris or Dashboard Confessional
-Greg's Last Day by The Starting Line
-Look What Happened (The Last Time) by Less than Jake
That is all.
The TV that we have
The TV that we have here at the apartment has a variety of problems, the most obvious being that the picture tube rattles in a manner that sounds like an aquarium. Today I turned on the TV and I could hear the sound but the picture didn't come on at all. After waiting for awhile to see if it would awaken on its own accord, I hearkened back to my knowledge gleaned from cartoons and smacked the top of the TV with the palm of my hand. Sure enough the picture came on. This raises a number of important questions about what other cartoon facts also apply in real life. If someone could run off the edge of a gorge and see whether you fall immediately or only when you look down and report it back to me, I'd be eternally grateful.
Because a lot of you
Because a lot of you are new to this whole weblog thing, and in honor of finally making an about page, I'd like to take this opportunity to relive my past. Long before The Festival was even a gleam in anyone's eye, I used to make infrequent guest posts to -273 itself. One of my more memorable posts, in which I reviewed the site Face the Jury, was actually discovered by the site in question and posted to it. The resulting backlash lead me to write a follow up post about my experiences in the FTJ spotlight. Take this invitation to walk down memory lane and read the post that started it all...
Chris reviews Face the Jury
The madness continues
Enjoy. And now back to our regularly-unscheduled occasional posting...
I know I am at
I know I am at work, but I must post this because I am outraged. Today at lunch I was sitting in the Bakery on campus reading a book. I got up and walked over to the water fountain and got a drink. When I came back, no more than 30 seconds later and in view of my bag the whole time except when I turned to drink, my sunglasses were gone. These sunglasses cost $10 and the left frame has a large crack in it. Why on Earth would anyone steal cheap, low-quality sunglasses with me standing so closeby? Is there anywhere I can go in St. Louis where I won't get things stolen out from under me? I hate this city sometimes.
In yesterday's post I forgot
In yesterday's post I forgot a major musing: Why in those Vatterott College commercials that claim to train students to be "computer technicians" do they show said students performing such intricately complicated tasks as putting a CD-ROM in the drive and logging in to Windows NT?
The style migration is almost done, let me know if you find any broken links. And make sure you check out the newly-linked weblogs up top. Most of them post much more often than I do.
Finally, after months of nervous
Finally, after months of nervous anticipation, you can finally read my About page. I'm still in the process of migrating all pages over to the new look, but you can get an early glimpse here.
Some random musings about the Computer Science scene, which I am (sometimes grudgingly) a part of:
-Why does anyone find those shirts that say
C:\DOS C:\DOS\RUN RUN\DOS\RUN even remotely amusing?
-You know you have reached complete toolness if you own a piece of apparel, a mousepad, or a coffee mug featuring Tux the Linux Penguin eating, urinating on, or defecating on Bill Gates.
-How does AOL, despite the fact that it is the most expensive, the slowest rates, the most annoying artwork, and a more-annoying-to-use version of their own AIM client, still have millions and millions of customers, all of whom TyPe LiKe ThIs?
-How did Windows 98 ever get released? It took 3+ years to render itself unusable on my computer, but it only took 2 years to bluescreen my girlfriend's machine to death.
-Why does every Cnn.com article about hacking, cybercrime, piracy, mp3s, the internet, or pornography feature one from a group of about seven images that are simply computer-related symbols such as binary digits, wires, or monitors blended together in photoshop to form one incoherent mess?
-Why did computer users in movies originally go from the hyper-geeky Dennis-Nedry-in-Jurassic-Park look to the ultra-hip John-Travolta-in-Swordfish look? The average real-life user is neither of these. For that matter, why do movies portray computer hacking as some sort of GUI-based Pacman-like game featuring either flying cubes or random scrolling binary digits?
Do I live in the
Do I live in the strangest places in the country? The answer is quite obviously yes. Wow.
I lived in Georgia for
I lived in Georgia for almost 10 years and therefore am familiar with all sorts of redneck activities like monster truck rallies, knife shows, and NASCAR. Therefore it comes as no surprise to me whatsoever that something like this happened, especially in Georgia. Only in Georgia do you and your 13-year-old son nervously anticipate visiting the weekend Gun Show.
In my trip to Chicago last weekend, I found that the road between here and Chi-town rivals Georgia in its redneckosity. We stopped at Wendy's about halfway along the highway and we were literally the only people in the restaurant who were not wearing some sot of NASCAR paraphernalia. Entire families were each wearing shirts and hats of different drivers, and this was on a Wednesday when no races actually took place. I wonder how much fussin' and feudin' goes on during the big race when little Zeke's favorite driver Darrel Waltrip has a two lap lead on Uncle Billy Joe's favorite, Dale Earnhardt Jr.?
I went to the zoo
I went to the zoo this afternoon with my once-again-online girlfriend and was struck with one stunning fact: tattoos and body piercings are just a bad idea. I know the trend is for everyone between age 15 and 25 to get as many "tats" and piercings as possible in an effort to "express themselves", but think about this: how will said "tats" and piercings look when you are "40 years old" and a "mother of 3". The answer: absolutely ridiculous and trashy. I know there aren't many impressionable teens reading my webpage, but if any happen to surf in looking for "naked sorority initiation" (don't laugh, many have before for some reason) and read this then please, for the love of God, I implore you to think before you copy all your friends and express yourself in a generic manner like this. How will that Chinese symbol for tranquility on your lower back look when you're bending over to pick up the bottle that your newborn dropped on the ground? Will a pierced tongue get in the way when you're kissing your infant goodnight? More importantly, when you take your family to the zoo and you're covered in absurd-looking body art will everyone immediately label you as white trash?
Last night, again my own
Last night, again my own common sense and against self-awareness of my lack of rhythm, I went swing dancing. After a short lesson (during which I learned how to spin girls around in circles and that one of the other guys who was there is the biggest tool on the face of the Earth), the dancing commenced and I promptly forgot everything I learned in favor of the "step back and forth and every once in awhile, when your partner least suspects it, attempt to spin her around but let go of her hands" technique. I am too used to basketball, where the object of spinning is to fool the person in front of you into thinking you're going the other way. This does not work as well on the dance floor. I am more suited to the style of dancing that involves jumping up and down and screaming as loud as I can over punk music.
In a post a few weeks ago, I mentioned how I don't feel safe anyplace in St. Louis, especially at night, because of all the sketchy characters. Let me add "Maplewood, Missouri" to my list of places never to visit again (composed right now of Delmar Schnucks, the Loop after 10 PM, the Clayton Schnucks after 11 PM, and anyplace East of Union when it is dark). As we were waiting outside, we were first accosted by a sloppy drunk and his date who called us gay. Then a stretch limo drove by and out of the back window came a tattooed, Fred Durst-ish hand flicking us off. Keep in my we are just standing on the curb talking. Then we crossed the street to go to our car and an insane redneck who looked exactly like Kid Rock almost hit us with his pickup truck, then swerved off the road, jumped out, and started screaming and calling Berney a "nigga" (Berney is Asian). He informed us, in a very loud voice, that we shouldn't mess with him because he is from the "Hood", then clarified himself by saying "Maple-Hood". We made our way back to our car as he continued to yell at us and threatened to kill/injure/shoot us a few times, then Vanessa almost hit him with her car as we sped away. Luckily Kid did not follow us. Remember this is all because we crossed the street and he was speeding. I hate St. Louis.
This may be the last
This may be the last straw. My mouse's x-axis no longer functions, for some reason, so it looks like I will be purchasing a new mouse. This is just the next in a series of purchases I've made in the past year in an effort to revive my sagging computer: 128MB of RAM, new DVD/CDRW, and new Hard Drive being the previous ones, as well as installing XP. As such, and with computer prices being very low, it is about time I purchase a new one. Until I do, I'm attempting to install Linux on my old hard drive and make this computer dual-boot (although there is no slot for my other hard drive) just for the experience and of course for the games. Might as well completely break this computer before purchasing a new one.
Purchasing may be a problem, however, since I'm also in the market for a car. As it is now I must enlist the help of my girlfriend whenever I need to get groceries, and if none of my friends are around then I'm pretty much trapped in my apartment, which has lately had a bit of a roach problem. The problem is, I'm not exactly pulling in 50 G's per year or anyt-
[warning, long-overdue post about Major League Baseball]
After last night's All-Star game debacle it is about time for me to start railing on the powers that be in the baseball world. I agree with Dave that they were correct in ending the game after 11 innings, but this should not have been a hastily-made decision between frames. Why was there no policy for this situation already in place? If there were a maximum game length of 11 innings set long ago, which makes sense in this age of "play everybody even the players that don't deserve to be there", the fans would have no reason to be shocked and outraged.
This brings up another issue. The only reason that the managers play every single guy is to "appease the fans", but the starters are the ones that the fans actually voted in. If millions and millions of fans vote to see Ichiro play center field, I'm sure they would rather see him play 7 or 8 innings than see him get his one token at bat only to be replaced by Randy Winn in the 3rd inning. Tampa Bay fans may be unhappy that Randy didn't get to play, but they couldn't have wanted to see him too much since he was not even close to one of the leading outfield vote-getters. Bringing one player from every team is fine, but if the fans in a player's own city didn't even vote for him then there really is no mandate from the fans that he should play in the game.
Fixing this problem would also fix the problem of who to pick for the MVP. It's tough to name one player as the difference-maker when every pitcher throws only one inning and every hitter gets at most 2 at-bats, especially when the game ends up 9-2 or some other lopsided score.
But the All-Star game is the least of baseball's problems right now. There are of course the ubiquitous labor "negotations" which are about as productive as the Israel-Palestine conflict for the same basic reason: neither side wants to give any ground. The owners are a group of lying, scheming businessmen who say one thing ("salaries are too high") and do something completely different ("enter stupid bidding wars so that Mike Hampton gets paid $25 million to play poorly in only 20% of his team's games), and somewhere along the line the Player's Union became an all-powerful entity that controls its own pay (salary cap, free agency, and arbitration) and can skirt federal laws (steroids).
The steroid issue is an especially ridiculous one. If you apply for a job at Wal-Mart, you are expected to undergo a drug test. Part of your employment contract states that you will remain drug free and management has the right to send you for a random test at any time. If you are a baseball player, however, you are also expected to not take illegal substances, but if you are caught as a minor leaguer they slap you on the wrist and as a major leaguer your employers are not even allowed to test you. I don't even see how this is an issue, it is currently against the law to take steroids. Players are worried about false-positives and leaked results, so instead they get a massive witch-hunt. Brady Anderson goes from a light-hitting leadoff hitter to a 50-homerun guy in the span of less than a year, must be steroids. Ditto for Luis Gonzalez, must be steroids. And the worst part is that even the players who aren't using steroids can't get tested because that would be "going against the union". Therefore Gonzalez, who doesn't look much like the prototypical steroid user must endure ridicule and rumor all to cover up the Jose Cansecos and (most likely) Albert Belles of the world. Sure there are ways to fool the tests, but does that mean we should just allow players to do whatever they want? Why do I have follow federal laws but Barry Bonds doesn't? Apparently the Computer Science Researcher's Union isn't powerful enough.
Unions were established to protect workers from unsafe work environments and ensure that they received wages to at least match their cost of living. Strikes were held to get rid of things like 16-hour work days, child labor, and exploitation of foreign workers. Baseball players are not being exploited, overworked, or underpaid, so why is their union so powerful?
And the owners are no better. Every statement they make is part of an agenda. "We're losing money," they whine, then pay Alex Rodriguez $253 million. Part of the problem is that the Player's Union won't allow a salary cap (there are so many starving football players on the street who can't afford to pay their gas bills apparently), but the owners are equally guilty. They build new stadiums, then try to make taxpayers foot the bill (when was the last time Wal-Mart threatened not to open a store in your town unless you built them the building for free?). They pay athletes exhorbitant salaries, then raise ticket prices to cover them (when was the last time the price of bread went up at Schnucks because there was a really good bagger working that day?).
Both sides know that a strike would be detrimental to the game, yet neither side is willing to make any concessions. It doesn't help that representing the interests of baseball is not someone elected by owners and players alike but an owner who filled the vaccuum in the commissioners office temporarily then hung around so long that the other owners let him stay. He couldn't remain an owner, of course, so he gave up his controlling interest to his daughter. Think there's an agenda in there somewhere? Nah, couldn't be. It doesn't help that Commissioner Selig is to public relations what eToys was to internet commerce. "Fans, I want you to enjoy baseball, so therefore I will threaten to obliterate your home team, veto trades that make me look bad and might make one of my contraction candidates a better team, but allow all salary-dumping trades to the Yankees because they prove my competitive imbalance point. Oh yeah, and we need to speed up games so let's make arbitrary changes to the rules of baseball about number of warmup pitches and time between batters but for heaven's sake keep those 3 minute commercial breaks between innings!" The commissioner should be someone impartial to both sides and elected by both sides who looks after only the interests of baseball, not a scheming, lying, uber-owner.
In short, here are my sweeping solutions to baseball's problems:
-Fire Bud Selig, and replace him with someone voted for by players, owners, and umpires in a general election.
-Implement a salary cap.
-Require mandatory random steroid testing as well as testing for other drugs.
-Restrict the signing-bonuses of draft picks so that small-market teams can afford to sign their picks.
-Bring back cheap first-come-first-served bleacher seats for fans.
-Keep the DH rule the way it is.
And most importantly, especially to Red Sox fans...
-Contract the Yankees
Me: "In those pictures on
Me: "In those pictures on CNN.com he always has a confused look on his face and is looking off in the distance like he's looking for the next tree he's going to swing to."
michael: "If someone wrote a monkey-finding algorithm that finds monkeys in images it would find his face a lot more accurately than a face-finding program."
michael and I commenting on George W. Bush's monkey-like visage.
(Happy belated birthday michael and Dave. Having experienced 22-ness for the past few months I'd have to say you won't notice many sweeping life changes.)
Two posts in one night!
Two posts in one night! That's right, I'm leaving town tomorrow to go to my girlfriend's house for the 4th of July, so you'll have to look elsewhere for content until I return. To prepare for my trip I've packed up clothes, toiletries, and done the most important job of all: made a mix tape.
Making a mix tape is a lot like picking the All-Star team: you can only choose a few songs from each band even though some bands may have a lot of worthy tunes while others barely have one decent one. While painstakingly picking songs, I realized that I never did review any of the recent CDs I've purchased over the past 2 weeks. Rather than do full-blown reviews, here are some comments about each in a segment I call Chris Recommends...
Chris Whole-Heartedly Recommends
Something Corporate -- Leaving through the Window
This is probably the last CD I thought I would highly recommend, but I got a deal on it at, of all places, the WashU bookstore so I picked it up the other day. What I found was an infectious blend of pop, punk, piano, and stringed instruments arranged in a way so as to push across a mature, rich sound while still remaining upbeat. If you like your music fast-paced and punky but are getting tired of songs about the junior prom, give this one a listen. Especially check out tracks 1, 6, and 7.
Chris Half-Heartedly Recommends
Simple Plan -- No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls
This one falls squarely into the "junior prom lyrics" category, with songs about dating an alien life form, wrecking dad's car, and having to work at a fast-food joint instead of hanging out with your friends. If you can get past the content, though, there is some promise here. Sure the guys on the back of the CD look like your average pop/punk teeny-bopper band with tight t-shirts and bleached spiky hair, but the songs are catchy. Check out tracks 1, 3, and 6.
New Found Glory -- Sticks and Stones
Sometimes "maturing" and "progressing" can be bad things. New Found Glory strays from their old style of in-your-face lightning-quick catchy songs to more serious material. Sometimes, like in the song "Sonny" which is basically about death, it works. Other times, like the song "Head On Collision" which is mysteriously receiving lots of praise from the Amazon reviewing crowd, it just drags the song down. Check out tracks 1, 2, and 3, and make a judgment about the rest of the album yourself.
Chris Gives You That "Stay Away if you Know What's Good For You" Look
Reel Big Fish -- Cheer Up!
Rumor has it that this album was finished last year but the band has been in turmoil over whether or not to release it or redo the songs. Looks like they should've gone back to the drawing board. Where I was fully expecting a few tongue-in-cheek songs about how ska is dead followed by proof that it really isn't, I instead hear a band that is on its last legs. The lineup is different, the songs range from decent to weak to just plain atrocious, and the Fish seem to have forgotten why ska ever became popular in the first place. The one thing you could always count on from them was a great cover, but here they go through New York, New York in the exact same style as Sinatra. There's a reason why covers work, and that reason is that you breathe new life into a song by bringing your own unique style to it. This doesn't happen here. The first single "Where Have You Been?" is one of the few songs that I can honestly say is good, and even it has some of the same riffs as their megahit "Beer". Check out track 5 and, if you can look pass some crappy lyrics, track 3.
Remember this nutcase? Well after
Remember this nutcase? Well after being inspired by his fictitious conversation with Richard Feynman and his open letter to Stephen Hawking (both of which firmly entrench him as a kook among kooks), I decided to use my fake hotmail account to write my own letter to the kook himself. Here is my letter to him followed by its response:
My name is [xxxxx xxxxx], and I represent a small multimedia publishing outfit out of California called Upper Creek Design.
Members of my corporation have recently stumbled across your web page and would like to begin negotiations with you for the possible future release of your book as an interactive CD-ROM set or DVD. We believe that multimedia is the best medium for getting your ideas across to the average reader, who may or may not have the advanced knowledge of psychometry and physics that you have.
In particular, on your site you have a crudely-drawn graphic of a human's height in proportion with "God". Our animators and computer graphics specialists can turn this crude drawing into a three-dimensional, rasterized rendering using vector graphics that will make it come alive for the lay person. We can also render the human brain using a new technique of four-dimensional colorspacing for the greatest detail.
Additionally, some of our storyboard artists have been coming up with ideas for a companion video marketed towards children. With the recent popularity of the "Veggie Tales" series in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, now is the best time to release religious material to the youth market.
One example of an idea we had to make your work more accessible to children is a character, age 8, named Timmy who falls out of a tree and breaks his pelvis. While in the hospital, Timmy questions his parents and the doctors about why he fell out of the tree. They in turn present to him the concept of gravity and how it is related to the concept of God through songs. This way, children see your ideas presented to them from the mouths of figures of authority in their lives and the community in a way that captivates their attention.
Please contact me here with your level of interest in the project and any other ideas or suggestions you may have. Our goal is to have the product on store shelves in time for the Christmas shopping season, but we can only do this if we negotiate a contract quickly. I am authorized to provide a monetary figure only after gauging your interest, so please contact me soon. Thank you for your time, all of us here at Upper Creek Design look forward to doing business with you.
From "Dr." (he dropped out of his phD program) Hammond:
June 4, 2002
George Hammond, M.S. Physics
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
M. [xxxxx xxxxx]
CEO Upper Creek Design
I am very interested in your proposal and highly
interested in pursuing all aspects of the idea.
From your letter I assume that you are a legitimate
business person representing other genuine people
interested in doing business on a mutual and cooperative
basis. However, I must mention that because of the large
exposure of my website to the public, I receive numerous
hoax emails, and never know who I'm talking to unless the
message comes from an .edu or .gov domain, or some other
sort of verification is available. Do you have a website
or any other online reference material which would tell
me something about Upper Creek Design? This would be
Further comments below:
[xxxxx xxxxx] wrote:
> Dr. Hammond,
> My name is [xxxxx xxxxx], and I represent a small multimedia publishing
> outfit out of California called Upper Creek Design.
> Members of my corporation have recently stumbled across your web page and
> would like to begin negotiations with you for the possible future release of
> your book as an interactive CD-ROM set or DVD. We believe that multimedia
> is the best medium for getting your ideas across to the average reader, who
> may or may not have the advanced knowledge of psychometry and physics that
> you have.
Yes, there seems to be great interest on the popular non-technical
level which could be commercial addressed. 11,000 members of
Fark.com hit my website yesterday, and it is doubtful if any of
them know physics or mathematics. Graphical dramatization is an
appropriate method of approach to this market.
> In particular, on your site you have a crudely-drawn graphic of a human's
> height in proportion with "God". Our animators and computer graphics
> specialists can turn this crude drawing into a three-dimensional, rasterized
> rendering using vector graphics that will make it come alive for the lay
> person. We can also render the human brain using a new technique of
> four-dimensional colorspacing for the greatest detail.
I am still writing the book, and find that illustrating it
is a major problem. The book should contain at least 50
illustrations, most of them quite simple, but advanced
illustration methods are applicable. I am planning to publish
the book through a "print on demand" publisher (there are
several large ones affiliated with Barnes & Noble and Random
> Additionally, some of our storyboard artists have been coming up with ideas
> for a companion video marketed towards children. With the recent popularity
> of the "Veggie Tales" series in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, now is the
> best time to release religious material to the youth market.
> One example of an idea we had to make your work more accessible to children
> is a character, age 8, named Timmy who falls out of a tree and breaks his
> pelvis. While in the hospital, Timmy questions his parents and the doctors
> about why he fell out of the tree. They in turn present to him the concept
> of gravity and how it is related to the concept of God through songs. This
> way, children see your ideas presented to them from the mouths of figures of
> authority in their lives and the community in a way that captivates their
The "scientific proof of God" (which is a bona fide scientific
discovery by the way) is going to be a media bonanza for at
least a decade, if not longer. The possibilities are endless,
and given the impact of the discovery, almost all of them are
guaranteed to fly.
> Please contact me here with your level of interest in the project and any
> other ideas or suggestions you may have. Our goal is to have the product on
> store shelves in time for the Christmas shopping season, but we can only do
> this if we negotiate a contract quickly. I am authorized to provide a
> monetary figure only after gauging your interest, so please contact me soon.
> Thank you for your time, all of us here at Upper Creek Design look forward
> to doing business with you.
[xxxx], please give me some more information about who you are
and what Upper Creek Design is... online references are the
most convenient. If not, I can give you my mailing address
and you could send me some promotional material or something
to give me a better idea of your endeavors.
Wow, is this guy a nut. Wow.
Who the heck visits my
Who the heck visits my site? People looking for these things:
"Indemnity application South Africa" -- Possibly someone falling for the Nigeria scam.
"st. lunatics picture" -- Which is odd considering I have posted a total of two pictures on my site and both are of my fish (who is not, as far as I know, a member of the St. Lunatics).
"pictures of male rap singer nelly with his shirt off" -- As opposed to female rap singer Nelly. I get the two confused a lot.