Archive for March, 2008

It’s All About Who You Blog

Thanks to the internet, and blogging in particular, we have entered a new phase of connectivity with society: the ability to have 2-way communication directly with celebrities.

In fairly recent memory, the only reasonable way “common people” (such as myself) could communicate with celebrities was by writing them a letter and sending it to some mysterious Post Office box. The results were often lackluster, as a reply was generally never received. This often raised the question, “did my letter ever reach [insert celebrity name here]?”

With more celebrities blogging, not only are we able to get a better feel for who they are as people, but we are afforded the opportunity to communicate with them directly — at least in the case of those whose blogs allow comments.

I’ve been reading Graham Linehan‘s blog for a while, and recently replied to one of his posts. In less than an hour, he had replied. To me. By name.

Penn Jillette — of whom I’ve been a fan longer than any other celebrity — has a video blog over at Crackle. Viewers are invited to submit their own video comments, which I did, and to which Penn replied, once again mentioning me by name (well, screen name, anyway).

I also have evidence in the form of Google Analytics, which suggests that both of them visited my blog.

I’m not one to be easily star struck (perhaps because I grew up in acquaintance to a few A-listers), but I have to admit that when Penn Jillette and Graham Linehan talk directly to me, even if by blog-proxy, that’s pretty damn awesome.

Coming Up For Air

I’ve been writing code at home, at work, and on the bus for over a week now. Remember those 2 websites I mentioned? The first one is due this week, and it has been providing some interesting (read: annoying) challenges.

While I’ve taken short breaks here and there, I haven’t had a day to myself for almost a month. The past week has been particularly trying, as I’ve been working up to 15 hour days. Also bear in mind that after I finish this site, I immediately have to get started on the next one (it’s due in about 3 weeks), and it’s a much larger project. And let’s not forget that the video for MWR isn’t finished yet (it’s now due at the beginning of May). It’s pretty much done, but they haven’t seen the latest cut, and I’m supposed to get more footage this week.

Those 15 hours? Yeah, they aren’t 15 hours spent on my client sites. No, I’d be done if that were the case. That’s about an hour and a half in the morning (instead of exercising or making a proper breakfast), then about 30 minutes on the bus, then 4 hours of my day job, then an hour of client work at lunch (if I’m lucky), another 4 hours of day job, 30 minutes on the bus ride home, then about 4 hours or so before bed. No T.V., no movies, no fun. Morah has been making dinner, cleaning the apartment, and being the best damn wife anyone could ever ask for, while she patiently waits for me to get this all taken care of.

Hmm.

When I started this post, I was going to say something like, “gee, I’ve been working really hard all month. I deserve a night off to relax,” but reading over what I just wrote, I don’t see where I have much of a choice but to keep working at least as hard as I have been.

It won’t be this hard all the time, however. I agreed to deadlines on these websites that I knew were ridiculous. From now on, I’m going to think long and hard about how much work the site requires and in what time frame the client wants it before I agree to any deadline.

Anyway, back to it, I guess.

Friday Funday CXCII

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet. Funday links will open in a new window.

Garfield Minus Garfield [del.icio.us]

From the site: “Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.”

It really is pretty straightforward [del.icio.us]

What happens when you eat silica gel? Wondermark explains. I decided to link to this comic because it had me laughing my ass off this morning.

Going out for an English [del.icio.us]

The cast of Goodness Gracious Me enjoy ethnic food, just like the rest of us.

The Wand [del.icio.us]

What would you do with a magic wand?

Provocative dressing promotes corruption! [del.icio.us]

The graffiti in these photos says (in Greek): “Provocative dressing promotes corruption!” So naturally, someone Photoshopped naked chicks in front of it. I wanted to show you a set that had naked chicks and boa constrictors Photoshopped together, but it’s not on Flickr anymore.

Worst. Hours. Evar.

Most people are familiar with the term, “banker’s hours,” which basically means a short working day. We all know that banks have lousy hours, but the United States Postal Service could give any bank a run for its money.

When do you work? The stereotypical work day is from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., with a lunch break at noon, and I think it’s safe to say that most people work those hours – including the employees at the USPS.

Since I work during the hours the post office is open, I can’t go before or after work. Could I go at lunch? Perhaps, but have you ever tried that? Everyone else is there! And how many employees are working at the front desk during this time of peak patronage? Just a single, lackadaisical clerk.

Well, it’s inconvenient, but I’ll just wait until Saturday, right? Sorry, folks. That might work with the bank, but you can forget about it when it comes to the post office.

To be completely fair, these hours only apply to my local post office. There are other post offices that keep much more reasonable hours – including being open on the weekend! Still, having to go to a post office that isn’t in my neighborhood is rather inconvenient.

I think from now on, I’m going to find a way for everything to be done digitally.

Friday Funday CXCI

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet. Funday links will open in a new window.

I’ve been so busy this past week, that I don’t have any good links! So here’s a bunch of crap ones:

Groovy Glider [del.icio.us]

This Pringles game sucks.

eSnailer [del.icio.us]

This site allows you to send a letter to someone. Through the mail. The regular mail. Worst of all, it’s not free, as they claim — you have to sign up for “special offers,” which will more than likely send you copious amounts of spam.

Vai Avanti [del.icio.us]

I didn’t watch this long enough to determine if there’s a point, but I did watch it long enough to determine that there doesn’t seem to be a point. This would be a lot better with audio. And different colors.

Angry Faic 2 [del.icio.us]

This game could be fun, but it’s laboriously slow.

I’m in like with you [del.icio.us]

Most emo site evar. It looks pretty, though.

Friday Funday CXC

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet. Funday links will open in a new window.

This week, it’s a bevy of videos from YouTube! Red links are not safe for work.

ROFLMAO! [del.icio.us]

A familiar tune gets new lyrics for a new generation.

BANNED Pres. Bush Interview [del.icio.us]

I doubt this interview is actually banned, but it certainly doesn’t show Bush in a favorable light. It’s really quite funny to see how flustered he gets.

What you can find on the internet [del.icio.us]

Some grey bloke tells us about some of the things you can find on the internet

Who Needs a Movie? [del.icio.us]

Please, please, please tell me this is a joke. Please.

Simon’s Cat ‘Let Me In!’ [del.icio.us]

Everyone’s favorite cat is back! This time he wants to be let in. Once again, this is exactly how cats behave.

Feast or Famine

I haven’t written all week because I’ve been working my butt off.

Friday night found me sitting at the computer editing a video for local ad agency MWR. I worked on it all weekend, and again on Monday and Tuesday nights. I’ll be working on it again this weekend, trying to get it done.

I need to get it out of the way, not only because MWR needs to send it off to their new parent company Ascentium, but also because I just landed two new web design contracts through my personal company.

If I’m a bit quiet for the next few weeks, you’ll know why.

Friday Funday CLXXXIX

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet. Funday links will open in a new window.

Stuff White People Like [del.icio.us]

A rip-roaringly funny look into the stuff that white people like. I have to admit, most of these apply to me. Via LG.

Circoripopolo Goes Airtistique [del.icio.us]

This nifty little video makes use of your browser as part of the movie. Unfortunately, it resizes your browser to do it. So, you know, heads up.

You Kicked My Dog [del.icio.us]

An oldie, but a goodie. Kerpal calls a family and accuses their daughter of kicking his dog. Then, just to show that they’re equal opportunity prank callers, Kerpal calls some actual Indians. It devolves pretty quickly.

Periodic Table Printmaking Project [del.icio.us]

“Ninety-six printmakers of all experience levels, have joined together to produce 118 prints in any medium; woodcut, linocut, monotype, etching, lithograph, silkscreen, or any combination. The end result is a periodic table of elements intended to promote both science and the arts.”

Designer Wallpaper [del.icio.us]

Design is never having to download your wallpaper from Flickr.

A Letter to Starwood Vacation Ownership

Dear Starwood Vacation Ownership,

STOP CALLING ME!

You have called me several times in the past few days. I know it’s you, because you keep calling from (909) 388-5000 and a simple Google search reveals people complaining about your lousy (not to mention potentially illegal) telemarketing. Did you notice how I never answered? That’s going to keep happening, so give up now; you’re not making any friends.

Thank you in advance for knocking it off.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Brown.

P.S.: My phone number is listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. One more call from you and I’m going to file a complaint with the FTC.

ALLO Vlog I – La Push

I’ve been wanting to do some video blogs, so here’s vlog #1, which I shot during my trip to La Push last Wednesday. Like the trip, this video was a bit last minute, so it’s not as… Refined as it could be. I hope you enjoy it!

The music is Parlez-Nous A Boire by BeauSoleil.