March 31, 2013

Supercut the Wabbit

Happy Easter, everybunny...

March 30, 2013

I been blessed, and I been cursed...all my lies have been unrehearsed...

March 28, 2013

Have a wee listen

In no way is this playlist an endorsement of drinking. It has, however, resulted in a bunch of spectacular songs.

March 27, 2013

Update: A Gag That Never Gets Old

At some point it's just too easy...(source)

Take off...

Canadian artists...turns out it was a repeat playlist, but I'm posting it anyway...

March 26, 2013

Today's random ten is brought to you by...

Today's ten random songs...

  • "Girl From the North Country" by Dylan & Cash - This just might be my favorite song of all time. I love the reverence that Dylan shows to Cash throughout, particularly when Cash starts to sing the wrong verse. You can hear Dylan and Cash singing different words, and Dylan just slips right into Cash's choice. It's a beautiful song and a masterfully moving performance of it. Plus it's Dylan in his Nashville Skyline voice.
  • "Little Tina" by Creedence Clearwater Revival - I wanted a couple of CCR tracks that weren't on the two Chronicles a few years back and mistakenly grabbed a six-disc boxed set of CCR. That's way more CCR than I have any interest in having around. Of course, all it costs me is electrons at this point, so I'm keeping them. This one's a'ight but nothing special
  • "Ship of Fools" by Robert Plant - I'll put Plant's post-Zep career up against most anybody leaving an all-time great band. This song's nice and easy going and comes from a greatest hits disc, not from the original Now and Zen. That's an album that Calen and I got to hear nearly in its entirety a few weeks back at halftime of the PHS-Centerville game 
  • "Sinaloa Cowboys" by Bruce Springsteen - The Ghost of Tom Joad is a haunting album, spare and bare of anything unnecessary. There isn't a lot of joy on the entire disc, and this one fits the theme. That being said, the album is one of Bruce's finest, filled to the brim with heatbreaking stories.
  • "Snow Angel" by Ryan Adams - A couple of years back I went hunting some of Ryan Adams's unreleased songs and ended up torrenting four-hundred-plus tracks of his, many of which come from a collection marked as Rough and Mellow as does this one. It's a piano tune - more instrumental than song at times - that was played in Minneapolis in late 2000, right around the time of Heartbreaker. I've only made it through about half the full torrent. 
  • "Spring Cleaning" by Bright Eyes/Neva Dinova - Connor Oberst is an interesting sort, a bit like Ryan Adams to me in that they're both outstanding songwriters who might be a little too prolific and unguided for their own good. This tune, sung with the band Neva Dinova on a joint release is pretty enough but nothing to write home about.
  • "The Ballad of Cat Ballou" by Nat 'King' Cole and Stubby Kaye - Fun times, fun western staring Jane Fonda from long, long ago. The best part of the movie, though, might be the repeated appearances of these two as wandering minstrels both advancing the story and providing musical relief.
  • "The Other Side of Town" by Steve Earle - The song sounds far older than its true age with Earle having included some record scratches in the mix. I like my Earle a little less twangy, but he's got this part of his oeuvre, and that's his business.
  • "Born on the Bayou" by CCR (again) - Much better choice this time around from CCR. Weird that they would have two tracks in my random ten with 102 of my total 17450 tracks at home, but such is life. I think everybody knows this one.
  • "Grandpa Was a Carpenter" by John Prine - I love John Prine's voice - at least I loved his voice before the neck cancer. This song about Prine's grandfather (I assume it's based on a real man) is loving and fun. The chorus, in particular, is loads of fun.

March 25, 2013


If you're not paying attention to xkcd, you're doing yourself a drastic disservice.

Today's comic is, again, a work of which Randall is posting the slowest-updating animated-gif-style comic I've seen. Every half hour, apparently since midnight this morning, the comic updates to show the two main characters - cue ball and Megan - sitting by the side of a body of water, lying down, then Cue Ball waking down to dip a toe in the water. Some of the half-hourly updates have been slight movements of arms and legs; others have been larger movements of Cue Ball down to the shoreline.

It's amazing how expressive Randall manages to be while using only stick figures.

And it's amazing how dedicated and geeky his fans are...the xkcd forum thread for the individual comic...the explainxkcd post for the comic (though the site is being bombarded and is temporarily unavailable)...and a specific forum post showing each of the comics in order - and as an animated gif...

Randall, I shake your hand, sir...

The redcoats are singing...the redcoats are singing...

British have I not posted such a list before?

March 24, 2013


Had a blast at UDayton Arena today. Two very close games...

Much happier when it was OSU in trouble. I've nothing invested in them.

Terrified for most of the IU-Temple game, but IU survived...thankfully.

March 23, 2013

Even if the ship was somehow able to sneak through...

This weekend's link post is a little YouTube-heavy, so I'll put the rest after the jump...

March 20, 2013

A new black and white revolution

This past Sunday morning - a lovely if a bit chilly Saint Patrick's Day morning - Calen and I headed down to the riverfront to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at a Mini-Marathon water stop.

The water and Gatorade handing-out wasn't too tough, largely because we had ten or so volunteers to run the stop with us. We were, however, also supposed to have a band playing at our stop to help the runnners move along. After a late night at Bogart's though, the band had a bit of a lie in and didn't make it to the stop until there were only twenty or so walkers still to complete our section of the course.

Lucky for us, though, Zebras in Public - the aforementioned band was pretty good. Take a look and a listen...

In case you wanted to know what they were all about, here's their website's introduction...
The public is a conglomerate of different races, religions, nationalities and social backgrounds, but we all bleed and breathe the same. With three musicians that are white, a black bassist and lead singer,  Zebras in Public is a testament that the public is one. Four different men, four different musicians, and four different backgrounds.
There's more music over on their site. It's worth a listen...

March 19, 2013

Update: Harlan's new sister

The new girl, Clementine, has been a bit of a handful at times.

She's cost us a couple hundred dollars in new baby gates...

We can, at this point, heartily endorse Safety 1st's lift & lock safety gates.

She's also destroyed a couch pillow, three (I think) dog beds, two tennis balls, a wicker storage cube/basket thing (the tan one on the bottom shelf, second from the right has nibble marks and is without its matching neighbor that was next door)...

...a library DVD case (thankfully not the DVD itself), a dog electric blanket (shut up, we had an old dog who liked to be warm), pair of The Girl's slippers, and two kitchen towels. She's still well behind LeRoy's early time with us when he ate three pairs of glasses, numerous pants and sheets, and a heck of a lot more.

She is, however, wonderfully affectionate and fairly obedient (can sit, heel, stay, can kinda 'get down' - not so much with the lie down or the sit while out on a walk). She's mostly housebroken - though there have been a few accidents inside the house during the day - one non-solid but definitively poopy incident that inadvertently lead to the shattering of my cell phone.

All in all, she's been a good addition to the household.

March 18, 2013

Court briefs

It's my favorite time of the year: March Madness.

I spent a few hours this weekend watching basketball - wish it was more hours, but the Hoosiers took it on the chin against Wisconsin again. In the process I noticed two really pretty things...

First there's the Big Ten's logo for their basketball tournament. It was on the center of the United Center court, and it's just gorgeous...

It's pretty enough just on its own, but it's even better when you look at where the design originates. Each of the color flags represents one of the Big Ten's eleven(yeah, I know - there are twelve and it's still the Big Ten) schools. I'll run through which I think is which in clock order...
  1. red & grey - Ohio State (or Wisconsin)
  2. red & white - Indiana
  3. purple & orange - Minnesota
  4. red & dark grey/black - Wisconsin (or Ohio State)
  5. purple & lighter purple - Northwestern
  6. dark blue & light blue - Penn State (though I've never seen them in the light blue)
  7. green & light green - Michigan State (again, haven't seen the light green)
  8. gold & black - Purdue
  9. yellow & blue - Michigan
  10. yellow & black - Iowa
  11. orange & blue - Illinois
Apparently Nebraska's addition a few years back didn't merit changing the logo. I'm curious as to whether Maryland & Rutgers will get any addition/change or not.

The other outstanding court design that I saw this weekend was the Mountain West's entire court design.

I'm not necessarily sold on the Reese's logos, but that's just for the money. I love, love, love the mountains along the bottom side of the court. 

In the whole-court design shown there, though, the true glory of the court doesn't quite shine through. The designs aren't painted on the court but are rather either inlaid or varnished in darker stains of wood as part of the court. Up close (at least up close on TV as I saw it), the design is just stunning. Check ESPN's photos of the UNLV-New Mexico conference championship game.

March 16, 2013

That's right up there with 'Put a tiger in your tank' and 'Where's the beef?'...

March 15, 2013

I'm like a dead tree...

It's been a weird week around PHS, the week when we give the state-mandated Ohio Graduation Tests to our sophomores (and any juniors and seniors who still need to pass). That means I've spent the first two-and-a-half hours of each day in my classroom watching students silently test - or sigh - or put their heads down. It's helpful (because I can get some work done), frustrating (I'm not free to come and go, and I have to be nearly silent), boring (really, two and a half hours of near silence), and tense (the tests are high-stakes for both the students and the staff).

Luckily, my co-proctor, Dennis Simpson, yesterday gave me an interesting bit of trivia before we began the test. Dennis mentioned that at one time, a movie was filmed at Princeton High School. He said it was more of a made-for-tv movie, but that it was a legitimate feature-length production. He could remember the approximate title: The Spider's Web or Spider Web. He had a vague memory of a few scenes: a flying car landed in the PHS gymnasium, students visited a 'nearby' quarry (actually filmed in Bedford, Indiana), and someone drawing a diagram on a chalkboard and explaining the interconnectedness of all things, as in the titular spider's web. And he also knew the director, Scott Wegener, then a cameraman at local WCPO and now a reporter at the same station. Dennis said he has been looking for a copy of The Spider's Web for years and that he had initially videotaped it when it was first broadcast (oddly before he came to teach at PHS) but had long ago lost his copy of the cassette.

I, being the bored teacher that I was - and with third quarter grades having been turned in the evening before - went a hunting via the web. I had no luck at IMBD, finding lots of other movies with very similar titles but not this one. Amazon and ebay were both strikeouts, too. YouTube didn't provide anything other than videos of spider webs in Cincinnati or filmed by someone named either Scott or Wegener. In fact, the only mentions of the production that I could find on the web were listed along with Scott Wegener and even then just in passing as one of his previous projects (adding that it was filmed in 1995). I did find his production company, on whose website I found the only production still (see above) and most in-depth plot summary that I have managed to locate.
Two high school students competing in a state science fair improve on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Stars Nick Arrom, Adam Winston

In a semi-desperate attempt, I sent Mr Wegener an email at his WCPO account (I oddly couldn't find any contact information on his production company's website) asking if he had or knew where I could purchase a copy.

Anybody know where I can find copies of twenty-year-old, locally-produced, probably never distributed, after-school-special-type 'movies'?

I would love to find a copy of this video (ideally on DVD or digital file) out there but am currently, as the post title suggests, stumped.

March 14, 2013

Your source for all your pope-related news...

Two quick things...

One, the new pope has a chemistry major...

And B, the Vatican has finally released their recipe for white and black smoke. The BBC does a nice job explaining the chemistry behind each mixture. They also have a great photo of the black smoke from yesterday morning.

Tune in for more breaking pope news as it happens.

March 13, 2013

Thank you, Wikipedia

I love that Wikipedia has an article on the Five-Timers Club among its bizillion article.

Personally, I don't think that Paul Simon qualifies since he's only hosted four times, but he has appeared as an official member of the Five-Timers Club on Saturday Night Live at least twice...

March 12, 2013

Update: The buying spree beckons

One dam has broken in the eminent buying spree.

Last Thursday was a rough day - hectic at work with the end of the quarter sending seemingly every student to me needing just one more thing followed by coming home to destruction (a library DVD, a shattered ceramic bowl, poop, pee) from the new dog. As I found the filth, I had my older flip phone in my hand, and I'm not proud to say that I yelled a vulgarity and spiked the phone onto our tile floor. It's the second time in about five or six years that I've broken my phone in frustration. The other time saw me hurl a phone into our patio doors (thankfully no damage to the glass doors that time.)

This left me without a working phone, vastly accelerating the purchase of a new phone. The need left me either diving directly into smartphone territory or choosing to forgo a smartphone for another two years, until the new contract would be up and I would be eligible for a new phone.

...and if I was getting a smartphone, by golly The Girl was getting a smartphone. So we are now smartphone people with Otterboxes on the way from Amazon to protect the new investments.

I'm the sheepish owner of a Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic Touch (sheesh, the names)...

...and The Girl is the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy S3...

Of course because I spiked my phone and couldn't get it to turn on anymore, I lost all my old contacts.

Thanks to The Girl and Calen, I was able to enter most of them, but if you think I'm supposed to have your phone number, send me a text with your name, would ya, please?

And, what apps are must-have for an Android platform?

Now I just need to make sure I don't spike this one.

March 11, 2013

New favorite

Jennifer Lawrence is attractive and a great actress (see especially Winters Bone) and crass.

She's swiftly becoming a new favorite.

There are a bunch of nice animated gifs over on Uproxx...and Uproxx...

I warn you, there's a pic after the jump that's ...

March 9, 2013

And I won't tell you how I got the hairy knuckles, either...

  • How did you take that picture? - The fingers are freaky...the other photos are entertaining...
  • Whiz kids - Stevens must have been at Depauw when I was at Wabash. I'm guessing I booed him. I kinda wanna go see a VCU game now, just because of this...(and kinda this)

March 7, 2013

Look to the heavens

I'm a very, very casual skywatcher.

This year seems to be a good time for people like me.

There are going to be two comets to check out in the skies, one of which (Ison) may just end up being visible to the naked eye during the day.

As always, there are a bunch of meteor showers and other interesting astronomical events of the year, too.

March 6, 2013

Songs for a snowy day

Here's to a happy snow day (assuming we actually get one)...

Edit: Finally...a snow day...first in two years...we'd better have one after a local weatherman posted this last night...

"Model run just coming in shows West Chester, Loveland, Forest Park, Fairfield and Hamilton along with surrounding communities getting 11" or more of snow tonight - more soon -SteveH"

March 5, 2013

Top Five: 50-50

The Girl and I caught 50-50 over the weekend. Good film - not perfect but good. Let's check where it ranks among the various films of the various actors.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  1. Dark Knight Rises
  2. Looper
  3. Brick
  4. (500) Days of Summer
  5. 50/50
Seth Rogan
  1. Superbad
  2. 50/50
  3. Fight for Your Right (revisited) 
  4. Knocked Up
  5. 40 Year Old Virgin
Anna Kendrick
  1. Scott Pilgrim vs the World
  2. Pitch Perfect
  3. Up in the Air
  4. 50/50
  5. Rocket Science
Anjelica Houston
  1. The Royal Tenenbaums
  2. 50/50
  3. Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
  4. The Grifters
  5. The Addams Family
Phillip Baker Hall
  1. The Truman Show
  2. "Seinfeld" (Mr Bookman)
  3. 50/50
  4. Dogville
  5. In Good Company

March 4, 2013

Series Ten Revealed

Lego has released an image of their tenth series of collectible minifigures.

This set will be seventeen figures instead of sixteen, with the seventeenth being a gold figure (in the back right) being produced in very, very limited numbers, only 5000 of them in the world.

Release date is alleged to be April or May, so I've got until then before I'm back in the Kenwood Lego store.

March 3, 2013

A wetting contract provokes the half irony.