The Long Cut will be [well, has already been] on hiatus for a little while. Busy busy busy. Bear with me.
The Long Cut will be [well, has already been] on hiatus for a little while. Busy busy busy. Bear with me.
Wha? That can't be right. I mean, I write plenty of intelligent posts - like that one about the... um, or last month when I... or how about when I first started blogging and I had that one that...
Ah, screw it, let's just watch this:
[Blog Readability Test via Idle Musings, which, despite being written for geniuses, I still manage to comprehend sometimes. Very cool (at least to the elementary school set) video via the Hardware Aisle.]
Yesterday marked three years since my first blog post (yes, I did indeed misspell a word in my very first post - how was that for a harbinger of things to come?). In lieu of presents, this blogger would like to request amnesty for posts never written:
Posts about the books I've recently read:
- A Changed Man (so-so)
- Special Topics In Calamity Physics (pretty good)
- The Birthdays (not bad)
- Love Is a Mix Tape (very good)
- Mission to America (not as funny - or biting - as I thought it would be)
- October 1964 (excellent)
- Then We Came to the End (very funny)
- and some other books that I'm sure I'm forgetting.
Posts about movies I've recently (and not so recently) watched:
- When We Were Kings (excellent)
- Billy Bragg and Wilco: Man in the Sand (very good)
- Transamerica (just okay)
- Word Wars (awful)
- Neil Young: Heart of Gold (sublime)
- From Here to Eternity (Sinatra - good, Monty Cliff - not so much)
- High Noon (perfect)
- Chinatown (close to perfect)
- Wordplay (very - four letter word for high quality? - g-o-o-d)
- Little Miss Sunshine (cute)
- A Slipping Down Life (disappointing)
- The Clash:Westway to the World (great)
- On the Waterfront (Brando's best)
- North by Northwest (good, but goofy)
- and some other films that I'm sure I'm forgetting.
I also never posted about:
- getting FiOS
- getting a DVR
- getting poison ivy for the first time
- that "eight facts" meme that two people tagged me to do
- coaching the five-year-old's soccer team this fall (more to come on that, I'm sure)
- the 25th anniversary of my first concert (06.19.82)
- and a whole lot of other stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting.
Now that that's all off my chest, onward to the next three years.
I can't seem to catch up on anything since coming back from Florida, so if you are one of the two folks who tagged me for a meme (the same meme, in fact) whilst I was away, all I can say is that I'm still working on it.
I don't have much time to write a post, but - lucky for you - I do have enough time to post my official photos from the Broad Street Run [big thanks to Shore Turtle, whom I forget to tell beforehand that I was doing the race, for showing me how to somewhat-shadily download these proofs from the website].
I don't know about you, but I find that I run much faster when I'm being chased by a muscle-bound woman. I'm not sure if I'm giving the thumbs up in this photo (which was taken around Mile 9) or if I'm saying, "I got your Broad Street right here."
This is me at the finish line, not looking too shabby. I'm not sure the guy in front of me realized that "finish line" is another way of saying, "you can stop running now." Dude looks like he wants to do another ten.
A few bullet points while I try to figure out how one of the station wagon's strut springs could just snap in half like that, and how much it's going to cost me to replace it.
I'd say "Happy Spring," but that would just remind me of that damn broken strut.
About two years ago, back when I was still going to Philly Blogger meetups, an aspiring blogger named Daniel Rubin showed up at one of them - before he even had a blog - to get some tips from us more established bloggers. But Daniel wasn't your usual wannabe blogger. The Philadelphia Inquirer was giving him a blog, Blinq, on their website and was pretty much was letting him determine what it would be.
Daniel had worked for the Inqy as a globe-trotting reporter before starting the blog and just from talking to him that night at the meetup, it was pretty obvious to me that he was more than a little overqualified for blogging. And that wasn't just because he impressed me with tales of hanging out and talking music with Ed Ward while living in Germany.
But Blinq ended up being a nice mix of personal stories, Philadelphia history, current events, music talk, and frequent reports on what Philly bloggers were writing about. That last part was what I appreciated the most. Little ol' the Long Cut even showed up there once or twice. He seemed to enjoy reading the locals and always treated them with respect, no matter how small their audience (like, say, the audience for the Long Cut). He had a knack for writing about a bunch of local posts - each written on a different topic - and yet still finding a way to link them all together. It was like he was a professional writer or something.
Now Daniel's going back to the "dead tree" edition of the Inquirer, this time as a Metro section columnist. He'll be following in the footsteps of some seriously strong writers (like the much-missed Steve Lopez) and I don't doubt that he'll be great. On Blinq, he often only allowed himself to show just a hint of his own opinions (other than his thoughts on music), so it will be nice to finally see his views on some of the strange goings-on in the region.
So, Daniel, if you're still checking in on the blogs, good luck and congratulations. I'll miss the blog, but I look forward reading the column even more.
I was all set to do that end-of-year blogger thing where you post the first sentence of the first post of each month for the past year [wha?] like I did last year, but I've decided not to. Turns out, most of my first sentences suck. I spend way too much time explaining the purpose of my posts, and that's no fun.
But I do think I'm pretty good at writing post titles. In fact, most of the time the title is the best part of my posts, which makes sense since I usually end up spending more time trying to think of a title than writing the actual post (ironically, I couldn't think of a very good title for this post).
And so, here are what I consider my greatest post titles from the past year:
I don't know, they seemed funnier when I wrote them. They'll be even better next year, I promise.
[I have no idea where the idea for this title came from. No. Idea.]
[That image up there is real, it's on Wiki's entry for the word "headline." Looks like NYC got the last laugh.]
Okay, I admit I wasn't totally thrilled with how this month's Long Cut header turned out. Here's what it looked like, just in case you've already forgotten:
Not one of my finer efforts. I think it would have looked better if the "Manville" sign had a more picturesque setting but - as any thirteen-year-old boy can tell you - the road to Manville isn't pretty.
Yeah, so I wasn't that crazy about it, but my niece, she hated it. Boy oh boy. Hated it so much that she made me an new one. Turns out she didn't take the picture in it, but she did add some cool graphics and I do so enjoy looking up at buildings.
So, because I'm such a nice uncle [shut up, I am so] - as well as a wonderful Godfather to her [I said shut up!] - and since I'm feeling generous, I'm sporting a guest header this weekend. But this is a one time thing, and it's just for this weekend - so nobody else better get any ideas. Make the header look too nice and next thing you know you'll start expecting quality writing as well. Well, it ain't going to happen - Monday morning, it's right back to the ugly.
Update (12/18/06): If you're late to this post, you missed a pretty nice looking header. Here's what it looked like:
Returning from a whole week without any blog reading and - no offense to my fellow bloggers - I didn't miss it at all. There were even a few times when the missus picked up a stray wireless connection, and I still didn't go online. Not even tempted.
Now I'm trying to slowly ease back into the habit, but it isn't easy with close to 1000 posts queued up in my Bloglines account. And of course I'll probably end up reading every one of them. Just when I thought that I was out, they pull me back in.
Two other things I successfully avoided while downtheshore with the family: depressing national politics (though I did follow the whole Jersey budget shutdown story) and even-more-depressing Phillies scores.
Great vacation - way too short. Ran some, biked more, walked even more. Read books, watched dvds, played skeeball, ate too much, slept in.
I like how these guys think - if you're going to send out TrackBack spam, you should at least make it funny (or try to anyway).
I'll still delete it, but at least I get something for my troubles.
And the title of this post won't be true for long - I just booked my flight out to Sandy Eggo for a conference in August. Woo-Hoo!
Oops, I what I meant to say is, boo-hoo! It's not going to be any fun without the missus and kids there with me. I doubt I'll enjoy myself at all that week.
The following table contains the readability results for http://frymax.typepad.com/longcut/.
|Average words per Sentence||6.95|
|Words with 1 Syllable||2289|
|Words with 2 Syllables||786|
|Words with 3 Syllables||283|
|Words with 4 or more Syllables||110|
|Percentage of word with three or more syllables||11.33%|
|Average Syllables per Word||1.49|
|Gunning Fog Index||7.31|
|Flesch Reading Ease||74.15|
What's the point of blogging when you know you'll never be as good at it as your eight-(almost nine!)-year-old kid is?
I though I stood a chance against him until he started doing the music posts.
[Be sure to check out his blog's new description (under the header).]
The only picture taken while up at Rutgers last week.
Sometimes I worry about saying something flip about someone and that person finding my blog and getting (rightfully) offended, but this comment has thrown me for a loop.
I'm pretty sure I didn't do anything wrong, and yet, I still feel pretty bad.
Supa links to the New York magazine's "Blog Establishment" issue, featuring articles with titles like "Blogs to Riches" and "Why B-list Blogs Can Make It, Too." Of the six blog-related articles that are posted on their site, none of them acknowledge that most bloggers aren't out to make a buck. Every article seemed to equate success with income.
While I wouldn't mind getting paid to do this (just like I wouldn't mind winning the lottery), I think most of the bloggers I read see their blog as I see mine - just another way to have a conversation. Every once in a while I'll see a "13 Steps to Successful Blogging" article. I'm looking for tips on improving my banner or better ways to add links, but all these articles want to talk about is bringing in the income. Attracting the A-listers. Specializing in one topic.
I find myself most attracted to "kitchen sink" type blogs like my own. One day it's movies, the next it's music, the next it's something cute the kid said (followed by a week on coaching midget-league basketball). That's life, and that's how my conversations with friends and family go. I hate when I get trapped always talking about music with one guy at work - I wrack my brain trying to think of other things to say to this guy.
I realize there's a place for specialty blogs - I hit plenty of politics- and music-only sites every day - but I don't feel as though I'm having a conversation with these blogs like I do with the more personal ones. Even if I only lurk, I still feel part of that writer's community. Some of these more personal blogs I hit are (relatively) huge and some are tiny, but I still seem to enjoy them all more than the "successful" specialty blogs.
I also think it's a shame that, by concentrating only on the money-making (but often poorly written) blogs, New York magazine failed to recognize some of the brilliant writing that's out there on some less "successful" blogs (not that I'm including my own blog in that group, believe me). The number-one reason I read so many so-called "Mommy Blogs" is because so many of their authors are excellent writers.
I don't know quite what my point is, other than the fact that I'm not going to start judging my blog's "success" on ad revenue or number of hits (though everyone loves hits), and I think most bloggers feel the same way. I'll see this blog as successful as long I enjoy writing it and people enjoy reading it. Some magazine needs to do an article on that.
How about some short bullets (more like bb's really) to catch every one up on some recent topics:
I don't think there's anything worse in blogging than screwing up your post title.
The first word of your post title.
The first word of your post title when the post is not much more than an excuse to use a funny (to you at least) post title.
A cool little year-end meme, courtesy of Yoko. Just write down the first sentence of the first post of every month from the past year. I promise that this will be the last meme I ever do... this year.
Thanks to everybody for reading, see you next year!
For thirteen hours my blog provider, TypePad, was all kinds of screwed up. They lost about a week's worth of posts and until they were restored blogs looked like they did a week ago. And what post was my blog showing for thirteen hours? Why, the one where I comment on just how hot Donna Reed was, of course!
Sorry for any inconvenience (apparently visitors couldn't even leave comments). Everything seems to be back to normal now, so keep reading to see my latest posts.
Even though I don't watch too much TV these days (other than sports and America's Test Kitchen), I still seem to filter everything through television moments. An email I got from TypePad (my blog host) the other day got me thinking about two obscure scenes.
I remember an episode of Night Court where Max, the court clerk, and his wife Quon Lee were worrying about the restaurant they had just opened that the new-to-America and naive Quon Lee was running. The restaurant wasn't making any money, they were going broke, and they were discussing how all of their marketing gimmicks were disasters, especially "Make Your Own Change Night." I still think that was the funniest line ever on what was a pretty funny show.
Then there was the episode of Taxi where Reverend Jim accidentally burns down Louie's apartment and Jim's wealthy father offers Louie a blank check for the damages. Louie spends about ten minutes trying to figure out just the exact amount for the check - not too low, but not so high that Jim's dad rescinds his offer. Louie finally settles on about $30,000 (it was something like thirty..... one..... thousand..... four.... no, three........ hundred..... aaaaaaand..... twenty.... thirty, thirty!... six.... dollars.......... and........ EIGHTEEN CENTS!). He's all proud of himself until he finds out that Jim's dad was happy he didn't have to pay out $200,000 like he expected to.
So, anyway, I was thinking about those classic TV moments because TypePad has made an offer to compensate their users for some recent glitches. I've had trouble posting, there's been trouble with visitors leaving comments, and even times when The Long Cut was completely off-line (yeah, I know, that's not always such a bad thing).
So TypePad emails an apology and an offer - 15 free days added on to your service. Or 30 days free if "performance issues made it very difficult" to use their service. Or how about 45 free days free if performance issues made the TypePad service "unacceptable for most of the month." Or, of course, if you weren't affected to the point of frustration you could just say "no thanks" and take no free days. Whatever the choice, it's completely up to the customer.
It's "make your own change night" all over again. Except I feel more like Louie De Palma trying to figure out just what I can get away with. The 15 day offer is the default, and that alone is pretty nice of them. 45 free days would be really cool, but I can't say that service was "unacceptable" to me. As bad as it was it was still better service than Blogger ever provided.
But if they want me to be honest, than I think I should get 30 days free. The performance did make it tough for me to post. I usually get one shot to get a post in and I'm committed to writing something daily. I can't have problems getting into my account at 11:30pm if still haven't put up my new post yet.
So I'm asking for the 30 days. Mac and Quon Lee would be proud of my honesty. Louie De Palma would probably just see me as a sucker.
Update (10:17pm, 11/16/05): I've had to correct "Image Not Available" errors on this post twice already today. This crap keeps up and I will be asking for the 45 day compensation.
While I appreciate the great response I've gotten to my Favorite Photo of the Week XXXXII post, I wish someone had discreetly informed me that 42 in roman numerals isn't XXXXII, it's XLII. Duh.
I've worked on Independence Mall for the last dozen years, so I'm blaming Independence Hall - whose clock face has IIII for 4 o' clock instead of the correct IV - for my mistake.
Damn Founding Fathers, always screwing up my blog.
Okay, after snide comments from Howard and Albert, I have returned my sidebar to its rightful place on the left side. I really didn't like it on the right either.
Let's face it, I'm a left-wing kind of guy (I'm such a leftist I'm even left handed!).
More timely bullet points:
- It was thirty years ago today that Bruce fronted both Newsweek and Time.
- A 30th Anniversary edition of Born to Run (which was the reason for Springsteen being on the cover of Newsweek and Time thirty years ago) is coming out next month. Three discs with plenty of never-before-released goodies, thus forcing all Bruce completists into replacing their perfectly good Born to Run CD (which had replaced their pretty good Born to Run cassette, which replaced their horribly scratched-up Born to Run album).
- Sirius satellite radio has announced a 24/7 all-Bruce station on their network. Ehhhh... that's kind of stalker-like creepy, but I would still have it as a pre-set if I could actually afford satellite radio (do satellite radio receivers even have presets?).
- 80’s Rock Concerts (via Howard) - Some blogger is posting scans of his concert ticket stubs from the 80's. Now I'm going to have to go up into the attic and see if I kept some of mine.
- Badmash Short Bush-bashing skit from Andy Dick. Yes, that Andy Dick. He's is back and it's funny Andy, not freaky Andy (though, like most things Andy Dick does, the joke goes on a bit too long).
- The top 40 magazine covers of the past 40 year - I'm not too sure about some of them belonging here, but still pretty interesting to see.
- Families of Prisoners (via Blinq) This is a great idea - families of prisoners who are sick of having prison visiting rooms as the backdrop to all their family pictures can have non-correctional services settings photo-shopped in. Why stop at prisoners? With Christmas family newsletter season approaching, what family couldn't benefit from more exotic family photos?
Now, who's going to be the first to tell me where I stole the title of this post from?
According to my StatCounter, The Long Cut passed the 20,000 visitor mark yesterday!
Not that I look at my visitor stats or anything.
[Yes, this is essentially the same post I wrote for my 10,000 visitor milestone. So sue me.]
P.S. - It took me 9 months to get my first 10,000 visitors and only about half that time to get another 10,000. If my readership continues to grow at that rate I'll hit "a-list blogger" status in another 34 years.
P.P.S. - Please don't actually sue me.
TypePad, the blogging service I use, always has interesting "featured blogs" on their homepage. Shortly after Katrina they choose to feature eight blogs related to the concerns of the Gulf Coast. For example, Ernie the Attorney is a lawyer from Louisiana who has been relocated to the higher ground of Houston, and Journey To Healing promises "support for survivors of hurricane Katrina."
Unlike some of my posts that point out other blogs, I'm not writing to highlight these blogs (though they may be very good, I haven't had a chance to really check them out). No, the whole point of this post is to complain that every time I log into TypePad and see Ernie the Attorney sitting there next to Journey to Healing, all I see is "Journey To Ernie."
And it drives me absolutely batty.
Parents of young-uns will understand where I'm coming from.
It's late, and it's the end of a day where I tried to squeeze every last ounce of fun out of summer - I took the boys out to the pool one last time, had a barbecue, and went to the Phillies game with my brother. Even stopped at Pat's Steaks in South Philly for some late night fries.
And yet, despite all of today's activities, I really don't have much to blog about tonight (it might have helped if the Phillies had actually won), so I'll just point you to one of my new favorite blogs, The Comics Curmudgeon. My brother and I have been known to take the comics page a little too seriously (we are, perhaps, the only two people left in the world to care about what happens to Funky Winkerbean), but the Curmudgeon, he raises comics dissertation to an art form.
Exactly one year ago today, I began my blogging life (back then I was still "the Accidental Blogist"):
I'm new here...
I kind of ended up with a blog when I wanted to comment on a post at Shollow Center. I registered at Blogger and -boom- "The Accidental Blogist" was born. Hopefully I'll post every single one of my opinions before I suffer blogger burnout.
A few things:
Thanks to everybody for reading. All both of you.
If you go down my sidebar, past the lists of beers I’m drinking and the movies I’m watching and the books I’m reading and the music I’m hearing and the shows I’m watching and the blogs I’m hitting and the pictures I’m taking and the Wal-Mart I’m hating, you’ll see a button for Philly Future. The button’s proximity to the bottom of my blog has much more to do with the enormity of my self-conceit than the value I place on Philly Future.
Philly Future is the brainchild of the web-famous (and quickly becoming real-world-famous) Karl Martino, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. It’s a collection of Philadelphia blogs that goes way beyond just being the usual blog aggregator.
For blog readers, Philly Future offers access to a wide variety of views on what is going on in Philadelphia and the world. To blog writers, Philly Future offers online kinship with other local writers and a great opportunity to get your words seen.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may have seen me post about the Philadelphia Webloggers Meetup Group, the beer-drinking and wing-eating portion of Philly Future and a great source of offline kinship.
Just letting you guys know about Philly Future would make a great post in itself, but I also wanted to mention that the fine folks there have given me the honor of making The Long Cut their current featured blog. Me. Well, my blog actually, but still. This goes to show just how much beer drinking these guys do. They've announced it on Philly Future along with an interview of me conducted by Matt from the Tattered Coat.
Anyway, I wasn’t going to say anything about this because I'm a pretty humble guy. No, seriously. Quit laughing, I am so. But I did want to thank Karl, Matt, and everyone else who has anything to do with keeping Philly Future the wonderful site it is. I’m flattered that you saw my lowly blog as worthy of being featured.
I also wanted to welcome anyone who came here from Philly Future - I hope you like what you see. To everyone who knew me when, I promise not to get too big a head from this if you promise not to bring up any embarrassing stories about me to the new visitors. As far as they know, I’m normal.
And I have to relive my favorite Einstein-related bit of humor (from The Kids In The Hall):
[Dave is in the middle of painting a front porch and Kevin walks up. You only see his body but not who it is.]
Kevin: So, you're doing a little painting.
Dave: That's right Einstein. How'd ya guess? I mean, I was trying so hard to hide it. Huh Einstein?
[Kevin's face is shown and we see that he is really Einstein.]
Kevin: Listen, not everything that comes out of my mouth is the theory of relativity. So can the sarcasm.
Dave: Sorry, did I hurt your genius feelings?
[Kevin starts to leave and reassure himself.]
Kevin: Walk away, walk away... you're the genius, he's a painter... you're clearly the winner here. [etc.]
If my blog looks a little funny while I'm gone, It's not my fault. It seems that TypePad is having some issues.
I am responsible for that hot shirtless picture of me on the beach at the top of the blog. To imagine what I'll look like this week, just add thirty years and 130 pounds to that kid.
My blogging (and blog reading) has become several hampered by the fact that my laptop's wireless network has not worked for the last three days. So I can't write after the missus and the kids are asleep like I prefer to do. Instead I have to do it when I find the time, and I haven't been finding much time around here lately - not even enough time to work on fixing the wireless problem.
Two things I've been meaning to write about, both of which would probably have benefited from being written closer to midnight:
His Cup Creepith Over: It took me almost 37 years before I purchased my first athletic cup, and now, a week later, my seven-year old got his first. The back-up catcher on
his our team broke his hand and they need a replacement and the number one requirement to being a catcher is owning a cup. Since he, like his Pop, has an overwhelming fear of a baseball coming at him, there's little chance of the seven-year old becoming the back-up. But he wanted the cup and after seeing how some of these pitchers throw I feel better with my boy protecting his boys.
The thing is, when he's wearing it he rarely stops messing with it. And if he's not messing with it he's talking about it. He did get to warm up the pitcher the other night (after bugging the manager for most of the game). The pitcher threw a total of two balls that the team's newest warm-up "catcher" let go right by him, but he (the seven-year old, not the pitcher) was satified.
Penthouse Sweet: The other thing was the getaway overnight trip the missus and I took last weekend. Our favorite niece (well, she is now!) offered to watch the kids overnight, so the missus and I ran as fast as we could to the Warwick Hotel just off beautiful Rittenhouse Square in Philly. Despite rainy weather and an off-and-on belly ache for the missus, we enjoyed ourselves. It was sooooooo relaxing. And way tooooooo short. Our (very budget conscious) room was on the 21st floor. When we got in the elevator, the numbers only went up to 20. After that was "PH." Penthouse? Nah. But we pressed it, and sure enough we were in the penthouse. Just not a penthouse suite. A little room between the penthouse suites, but we liked it. It was especially fun watching the many double-takes when other guests would see us press the penthouse button in the elevator - especially all the high-priced lawyers staying there (on the, uggh, common-folk floors) for a Temple Law School Alumni weekend!
Here's the view from our penthouse window (photo courtesy of the missus):
We now return you to your memes, already in progress.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has a new blog, called Blinq (a contraction of blog and Inquirer) and I'm kind of sort of mentioned in its first post:
Written by Becky S. -- "Philadelphia, pseudo-libertarian, Luddite" - [Good Grief is] one of 120 or so Philadelphia-area blogs I started keeping an eye on recently.
A favorite posting begins with a musical act of vengeance - a downloadable mix tape made to get even with some gentleman.
That "some gentleman" is me! In a very bad case of "whisper down the lane," Becky somehow thought that I implied at the last Philly Bloggers' Meetup that she only recently got a life. As if I was someone who could talk about someone else not having a life!
Congratulations to Becky on her big-time, and well deserved, recognition. And I'll be adding Blinq to my Bloglines list. Daniel Rubin seems to be shooting for something very different and more thoughtful than Addytood, where the Philadelphia Daily News' Will Bunch does an excellent job dissecting political hypocrisy and staying on top of local gossip. Together, these two newspaper-based blogs should be able to cover quite a bit.
One more thing - according to my StatCounter, The Long Cut passed the 10,000 visitor mark yesterday!
Not that I look at my visitor stats or anything.
I have been so busy painting the dining room and other interruptions (like spending six hours driving down to Frederick, MD and back today) that I haven't had much of a chance to respond to comments on the blog. I have been using my breaks to read the comments, but at the end of the day I'm too tired to respond to them. Hopefully I'll get some time to do that this weekend.
Since I'm painting I also haven't had a chance to watch any DVDs this week. I have Steve Martin's Novocaine and Paul Newman's The Hustler in from Blockbuster right now. We did sign up for Netflix and already received Far From Heaven. We canceled Blockbuster but have until May5 to get their movies back to them.
I also wanted to mention that The Long Cut has ended up on John Corzine's blog. Corzine is one of my Senators and is running for governor of New Jersey. We Jerseyites (Jersians?) have been blessed with two very sane and very progressive Senators, so the race I have been watching closely has been the Pennsylvania senate seat now occupied by that national embarrassment, Rick Santorum. I guess I have been taking for granted that Corzine will win the governors race since the Republicans that are running are all chowderheads, most of them former candidates whose previous campaigns have pretty much self-destructed. But I really should be keeping an eye on those shifty conservatives, and I am a little worried about how North Jersey has seemed to lean more to the right since 9/11. I'll probably blog more about the race once the primaries are over.
I haven't been doing the Battle of the Beers because they decided to consolidated a weeks worth of battles into one day, Friday, so I'll have to find time to do that. And since I'm not at work with my MediaPlayer I'll have to come up with some creative way to do the Friday Random Ten.
So that's it. Sorry for the lack of links, but no time no time. Thanks for reading.
Back to painting.
Happy St. Pat’s Day (what’s left of it). It was kind of an anti-climatic holiday for this Mick (technically half-Mick). The missus and kids are all suffering through various sicknesses, and all three are sporting fevers. Their appetites weren’t very strong, so for an Irish meal I ended up opening a can of Trader Joe’s Beef Stew for dinner as a substitute for Irish Stew. I didn’t even have a stout in the house, so I had to settle for a pale ale (which I did not dye green – how in the world can anyone who claims to love beer do that?). I did talk the boys into making some lemon pudding and dying it green. Nasty looking stuff. Kind of neon-ish. Had two servings.
I wanted to post about last night’s meetup for the Philly bloggers. About twelve of us met-up at Independence Brew Pub in the Reading Terminal Headhouse. I’m pretty sure everyone had a great time. It was cool to finally put faces to names (except for Scott from Blankbaby, who’s the only one amongst us brave enough to post his likeness on his blog – so we already knew what he looked like). Great beer – IBP’s Oatmeal Stout was like a meal, and so fresh tasting. Great conversation - everyone started in like they already knew each other which, thanks to the blogs, they really already did. A lot of great ideas and conversations flying around the table.
I even got to not only see Dragonballyee’s $$$ camera, but look through the viewfinder. I was only kidding when I told him I was more interested in meeting his camera than meeting him (well, mostly kidding). I used to think that if I had a camera like his I could take great pictures like him, but after seeing all the knobs and buttons I doubt I’d even know how to turn the camera on.
The only bad part of the whole night was when I got home I realized that I didn’t chip in for the fries. Next month I’ll pay double, I promise. The funniest part of the night may have been when the barmaid asked me what we were meeting about:
Her: [Vacant Stare]
Her: [Blink, blink]
Her: Oh. [Slowly backs away].
Thanks to Karl (the brains behind the Philly Future site), Scott, and everyone else who had a hand in organizing this get-together. Looking forward to the next one.
[The above photo is from the Commodore Barry statue behind Independence Hall. The image has been heavily Photoshop’d to bring out the Irish in it.]
1. I find it funny that on the cover of its "Best Places to Live" issue, Philadelphia Magazine puts a McMansion so lacking of any homeyness that I would never want to live in it. Unless, of course, someone wanted to buy it for me. I'd be cool with that (then I could just turn around and sell it).
2. Even Michael Jackson says, "that's just too weird": State teacher commission probes wound-licking practice by coach. (Via The Morning News.)
3. While I'm nowhere near being on pace to finish my 52 new (to me) films in 2005, I am glad that we used a valuable spot on our Blockbuster-by-Mail queue for a Pee-Wee's Playhouse DVD. You know, for the kids. These shows were jam-packed with both creativity and brilliant humor. The kind of humor that kids laugh at even as it goes right over their heads. You don't get much of that on Dora the Explorer. And the show is completely timeless, other than the Jheri-Curl on Cowboy Curtis (Laurence "Larry" Fishburn). We had to quickly change the subject when the seven-year old asked why the show isn't on the air anymore, but other than that the show has proven itself as one of the rare shows that the whole family can happily watch together. We already own Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, and I have a funny feeling that the Easter Bunny might already know about the kids' love of all things Pee-Wee.
4. After reading the first chapter, I've decided order the book I posted about yesterday, Jason Headley's Small Town Odds. While I wouldn't compare it to Richard Russo's work just yet, it's a good enough story to give it a chance.
5. If you haven't looked at my sidebar lately you might not have noticed that I added my Amazon Wish List (or maybe you did and you've just chosen to ignore it). I've also added a photo album with my pictures from the October Kerry Rally. I dig how TypePad organizes their photo albums.
Update: I had to go back into this post to fix a typo, so I'll add one more thing while I'm here:
6. "tom petty in pink underware" - Someone got directed to my blog today by typing that into Google. Serves me right for for checking my StatCounter. I mean, sure, I have the picture they're looking for, but I'm not going to actually publish it. I'd have to take it down from over the living room fireplace and scan it.
I'm kidding, of course. We don't have a fireplace.
I can't believe it has taken me four days to post about this, but the missus and I officially became hip last Sunday. We finally joined the rest of our generation and bought a notebook computer (I was so unhip I was calling it a laptop - how very 2002 of me).
Our "regular" tethered-by-massive-wireage computer is in the family room down in the basement. That's fine when everyone's down there, but it sucked at night when the kids are in bed and at least one of us needs to be upstairs with them. We spent some of our tax return so we could actually get some time on the computer and still be together (or at least on the same floor as each other). I'd say it was worth it. The two-year-old has been real needy at bedtime this week, so I've been taking the
laptop notebook in there with me, which is cool.
The rule at home is that the
laptop notebook is Mommy and Daddy's, not the families. The seven-year old has a hand-me-down computer in his room, but it's not hooked up to the Internet. He hates going down to the basement alone, so the temptation to use our laptop notebook is strong. In an effort to get him to write more we have said that he could use the laptop notebook to post to his blog. This explains his recent loquaciousness. The missus made the mistake of playing a Dora game with the two-year old and now he thinks that that's the primary purpose of the laptop notebook.
Sunday we went out to Best Buy to get our
laptop notebook, which was on sale starting that morning, before the store ran out of their allotment of ten. We got there a half-hour before opening and there were a bunch of people waiting in their cars. The missus didn't believe me when I said it would happen, but most of those people headed right over to the laptop notebook display when the doors opened. I was smart - I headed over to the salesman, not the display. I ended up being the first to get one. It's just a bare-bones HP (so much for being hip) but it's enough for us. It much faster than the computer in the basement, and that's only about a year old. We hooked our DSL up to a wireless router and the signal has been strong and the connection just as fast as if we were wired.
I could get used to this technology thing.
I often link to my seven-year-old's blog, but his latest post is perhaps his best and most important.
"Well, I'm off to astonish the world with more feats of..adequatiquaticism"--Bill McNeal (Phil Hartman), NewsRadio
And yet another photoblogger, Mark of Ipso Photo, blogs from Southern New Jersey.
Wow! I'm not just another photoblogger, I'm yet another photoblogger. And I'm from Southern New Jersey - that should get my statcounter spinning! [Not that I'm bitter about losing or anything.]
I can soothe my bruised ego with the words of Jon from Unfinished Novellas and Terminal-D from... well, from Terminal-D, both of whom were cool enough to not only take the time to educate me about Hunter S. Thompson, but to do it with well thought-out and civil arguments.
Jon (from the Thompson post comments):
[M]ost people don't want to be convinced. Most people don't want to have their minds changed. Most people don't want their thoughts provoked. This is why I like you, Mark, cuz you aint' most people.
Terminal-D (from a post about The Long Cut on his blog):
I like this guy, he may be a little rough around the edges but once you peel back a little, he's got it going on. I love the crispness and clarity of his website, very clean, very neat, very organized.
Thanks guys. Those American Street readers can bite me. Damn elite liberal progressive crybabies.
I'm kidding! I'm a kidder! Truly, it was an honor just being nominated. Yeah.
P.S. - the quote from The American Street is, of course, taken out of context. I really do appreciate the hard work that went into the Perranoski Prizes. Hopefully they got some excellent lesser-known bloggers the notice they deserve.
Welcome! Take a look around. How you like the new digs? Over on the side there is the...um...sidebar. And the new header is....um...well...at the top of the page, of course. You've already met the post area. Heh, that's about it.
Not everything is ready to go just yet. I still have posts to bring over from the old Blogger site and some of the links on the posts I already brought over will send you back to the old Blogger posts. I'll correct all of that as I get the time. For now I'm just happy to be here. Thanks for coming over, and don't forget to change your bookmarks or favorites.
Oh, and one more thing - my new email account for blog stuff is longcut (at) gmail.com .
In addition to posting a daily photo at my photoblog, you might have noticed that I am posting more of my photos on my Accidental Blogist posts (like this one, with a photo from Old City Philadelphia). The program that I use to upload and host my pictures is Hello!, which, like Blogger, is owned by Google and is a free service. And just like Blogger, it's not great but boy is the price right.
So last week, with a camera full of shots from the City Hall/Rittenhouse Square area (Dragonballyee's domain), Hello! decides it doesn't want to upload my pictures. I spend hours trying to figure out if I can fix it before giving up and emailing the Hello! support staff.
After receiving no response from the Hello! people, I start thinking about Plan B, which would be to actually pay to blog. I talked to the missus about switching over to TypePad if Hello! doesn't start working. She's very cool about it, but I'm still a little skittish about spending money on this right now. I'm afraid that after signing on for a year I'll suddenly come down with blog fatigue. Or I'll get a job I actually enjoy and my priorities will change. Plus, after being told that our basic cable bill will top fifty bucks starting next month (Note to Comcast: There best be a brick with my name engraved on it at your new skyscraper), I'm not too crazy about having another monthly bill.
By yesterday morning Hello! still isn't working and I start doing a lot of research on TypePad and start getting excited and telling the missus all the things we'll be able to do. I go on the computer when I get home from work and there it is: a response from Hello! support. Some of their servers had problems, I should try again now. I try and it's the same thing. All right! I'm going to TypePad World! Just to be sure, I reboot and try again. Damn. Worked. But you knew that already, 'cause I'm still here.
I still plan on switching us over to TypePad one day, but I'd like to make sure I stick with this for about a year before writing that check. Unless I somehow become the Accidentally Rich Blogist before then.
Think of all the dumb things I write about. Now think of all the dumb things that I don't write about. Where do they go?
Throughout the week I bookmark interesting items that I might want to write about. At the end of the week I end up with the leftovers. Not substantial enough for its own post, too good (at least at one time) to let go. Here goes this week's:
1. Food Network keeps airing All Star Thanksgiving and I keep missing it. It's on this Saturday and again Sunday, both at 4:00pm. What's so special about it? Picture all the Food Network cooks together in one room. Rachael Ray. Emeril Lagasse. Alton Brown (pictured above). Sara Moulton. Tyler Florence. Paula Deen. I'm not crazy about most of these guys (except Alton and Rachael and maybe Tyler) but it's worth watching just to see the vibe between Alton and Emeril. Until they have a steel-cage fight between these two, this will have to do.
2. Congrats to Mark Winegardner who, after winning a contest, has written the first post-Mario Puzo Godfather sequel. Winegardner is the author of one of my favorite novels, Crooked River Burning. Here's hoping he doesn't get pigeon-holed into writing just Godfather books or get his kneecaps broken by angry Puzo fans. I'm hoping readers use the Godfather Returns as an entry point to all of Winegardner's writing.
3. I hope everyone noticed my new improved header banner and revised and detailed list of sites I hit ("Hitting..." on the sidebar).
4. And lastly, from McSweeney's, Cruel Nicknames for Overweight Vampires:
Vampire the Buffet Slayer
The Vampire Lestop For Some Tacos
Vlad the Inhaler
Child Of Candy Cain
Queen of the Hammed
Transylvania 6-5000 Calories
Have a great weekend!
Way after all the cool people had already done it, I switched my browser at work to the free Firefly browser yesterday. It was a pretty seamless move from Microsoft Explorer and so far it does seem a lot quicker. I did have trouble downloading the Macromedia Flash Player extension, but that was solved by going right to the Macromedia website. I am soooo hip.
[Post is from my days using Blogger]
Man, Blogger's been sucking. I couldn't post from 6am to 3 pm today.
Congrats to Shallow Center who has escaped Blogger hell and gone to the Promised Land called Type Pad. One day I hope to join him there, if I can convince the wife that blogging's actually worth paying for.
I kind of ended up with a blog when I wanted to comment on a post at Shollow Center. I registered at Blogger and -boom- "The Accidental Blogist" was born. Hopefully I'll post every single one of my opinions before I suffer blogger burnout.