Archive for November, 2008

Black Friday Death pt. 2

Barry Leiba over at the always excellent Staring at Empty Pages put it far better than I did:

The authorities should look, instead, to the ones who are really responsible for the crush in the first place: the store owners, and the retail industry in general. I’d like to see the store owners held responsible and charged with manslaughter for this. I’d like to see the retail industry and the advertisers charged with incitement to riot. Because that’s what this was: a riot. And that’s what’s being done with these advertisements for “Door busters!” and other Black Friday hype: they’re meant to whip crowds into hysteria and mayhem in the name of shopping. They are absolutely stirring riots. And those responsible should be held accountable for it.

Read the whole post here.

Black Friday Death

I have always made my position on Black Friday clear, and a death at Wal-Mart yesterday further enforces my disgust for this unofficial holiday. From the article:

“He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” co-worker Jimmy Overby, 43, told the Daily News. “They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too. … I literally had to fight people off my back.”

What the fuck, people? Is buying a Wall-E robot or an Elmo Live doll really worth the life of another human being? Haven’t things gotten way out of control when the police have to be called in?

I thought Christmas was supposed to be a Christian holiday, but the way people act on Black Friday — the first official shopping day of Christmas — is utterly appalling.

Friday Funday CCXXVII

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

The Indonesian Mimic Octopus [del.icio.us]

The Indonesian mimic octopus uses its unique abilities to hide from predators in plain sight.

Blame Game : Et tu, Palin? | Palin 2012 [del.icio.us]

Palin vs McCain in 2012

Sonacom [del.icio.us]

I’m not really sure how to describe this, but musical wallpaper comes close.

Walken the Walk [del.icio.us]

“The greatest impersonation challenge probably ever.” Via Bruhniversal Studios.

Maru [del.icio.us]

Maru is an adorable kitty and a huge hit in Japan. Be sure to watch the videos of Maru climbing into boxes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Morah and I drove down to Clarkston last night, and early this morning we were on the road for Walla Walla. We had Thanksgiving dinner at her aunt’s house, then drove to Yakima to her grandparents’ house, where we’ll spend the rest of the weekend.

I hope everyone had as delicious of a Thanksgiving as Morah and I!

Nazi Graphic Design

Despite how awful the Nazis were, you have to admit that they had excellent graphic design and brand cohesion.

A Departure

You may have noticed that I didn’t write posts for Saturday and Sunday. I thought about writing back-posts to make up for it, but then I realized how unnecessary that is. The reason for trying to write a post every single day this month was to get me writing again, which has definitely happened. Back-writing the posts wouldn’t have served any useful purpose.

Plus, anything I would have written would have been pretty boring. I have a couple of posts in mind, but I either want to wait to write them, or the typical problems have cropped up again.

Although I think it’s safe to say that my attempt at writing more frequently has been successful, it’s not accurate to say that I’m “done.” Since the purpose was to help me get back into a more steady rhythm, I intend to continue writing blog entries. I may not post every single day, but expect a fairly consistent stream of posts.

Now if I could just find time to change the masthead.

Friday Funday CCXXVI

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

Energuy [del.icio.us]

Drag Energuy around his house and click on various items in an attempt to save energy and money. Fair warning: clicking on this link will resize your browser.

PipeTwister [del.icio.us]

I don’t know why, but I really enjoy these kinds of games.

Cubeecraft [del.icio.us]

Little, blocky, paper craft figures to waste resources and clutter your desk at work.

Greens Keepers – Lotion [del.icio.us]

“It rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again.” This is a surprisingly good song.

Roomba Driver [del.icio.us]

Saying anything would only ruin this.

HDTV

Morah and I finally received our HDTV converter box rebate coupons on the mail, so today we bought a couple. Being a video guy, hooking them up was a no-brainer, and the setup process was equally easy.

The real surprise came when I saw the image quality. Even on my lousy old CRT television, the image looks sharper than its analog counterpart. Our convert box found 15 channels, most of which have unique content (some are just the same show in a different aspect ratio).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch HDTV!

The Will, The Wall

Every so often I get the desire to create something. Unfortunately, this desire doesn’t usually include websites. I want to paint a picture, build furniture, draw a web comic, shoot a video, and so on. The problem (besides not having enough time) is that I often lack the muse, the tools, or the technical skills required to accomplish my goals.

Sometimes the feeling is more abstract; I know that I want to create something, but I’m not sure what. In high school, I used to paint after school every once in a while. A friend and I would take a long strip of butcher paper, lay it on the ground, and paint. Inspiration was haphazard at best, and it was during one of these painting sessions that I first learned from a teacher about Jackson Pollock.

This desire to make something without the ability is frustrating, which seems only to fuel the desire further.

I suppose at some point I need to admit to myself that even with all the time and money in the world, the skill required to fulfill my desires will always elude me. Even if I could learn the skills, I don’t know that I could find the correct inspiration. At work, I look at what the graphic designers do and am blown away. Even in film making — something that I do well — I see the work of other directors and know that I would never have thought to do the same thing.

How do you know when you’re the best at something? When people tell you that you are? No matter how depressing it feels to be so far from that level of creativity and skill, it must be equally depressing to know that your success is transitory, and that you are surrounded by your successors.

Is this what the human struggle is all about? Do we live our lives in a vain attempt to be unique? I’m certainly not content to simply be a cog in the system, but without cogs, the system wouldn’t run. Must our passions always only be our hobbies?

Weird Habits

How many of you have weird habits?

For example, when I walk past things, I tend to touch them. For example, when I walk down the stairs at work, there is a soffit overhead that I usually reach up and touch. Often when I walk through doorways, I touch the doorknob or doorjamb. When we walk through department stores, I feel the fabrics of the clothing on the racks (not on other people, of course).

Another (possibly weird) habit is that I almost always smell food before I eat it or use it in cooking. This is perhaps less weird as it serves a practical purpose (ensuring that the food hasn’t gone bad), but it has become so second nature as to be described as a habit.

I’m sure I have others that I can’t think of, or of which I’m not aware, but I wanted to hear from you to find out what sorts of weird habits my readers have. So let’s hear it — tell us about your weird habits by leaving a comment.

Update: I thought of another one! I can’t believe I forgot to mention this as it’s one of my favorites. I love (love!) to peel that static plastic off of new products. You know the kind; it usually comes on plastic stuff (for example, the screens of mobile phones) to protect it. There’s a similar plastic film that has a slight stickiness to it that I don’t care for quite as much, but I do still enjoy peeling it off as well.

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