Monday, June 26, 2006

I updated the "Free MP3" listing on the right and made it a little more honest.

That being said, Weird Al recorded a parody of the omnipresent "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt. However, Blunt's label doesn't want Al to put it on his next album. Being the nice guy he is, he put it up on his website for free instead. Scroll down about halfway and there are a few links.

Weird Al. Free. When I was 10, I would have considered this the best gift ever. I'm a little older, and I still think it's pretty cool.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

1024 miles were added to the '95 Pontaic this last week, bringing the total up over 179000. Just 21000 to go until I ponder its retirement.

I made a trip up to the Upper Pennisula of Michigan over a 4 day period. It was a calm, relaxing time travelling along the Superior shore, stopping at various sites along the way when I took the chance.

I'm going to try and give a condensed version of my journal, along with some extra pictures. For the first time I filled up my camera card, and then took an additional panoramic disposable camera along. Some pictures turned out pretty good, so I'll be happy to share them when I get a chance.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mr Yuk, that round sticker of a green guy with his tongue out is going on 35 years old.

Why bring this up? I was reminded of the kid-friendly warning of "This is bad for you!" the other day when I came across a TV ad from the early 70s for the sticker campaign.

My parents had these stickers all over the cleansers and bleach when I was little. Since it was a guy looking like he could barf on command - almost anyone could get the message. We'd get stickers from the local poison centers and put them all things we weren't allowed to use as kids.

Of course, this didn't stop me from posting the stickers all over the sidewalk and porch a few times. After this, the stickers were out of reach. Until one day.

I had to have been around 5 or so, and this bizarre, disturbing PSA came on the screen. The ad, with cut-rate animation, has Mr. Yuk singing (or a friend? Possibly Mr. Yuk Senior? Maybe it was Mrs. Yuk. It's never really expained) about his face appearing on the bottles of liquids in the vanity or drug cabinet. Don't drink them, or you'll get sick and turn into a child with a bad cowlick.

The majority of the lyrics were "Mr. Yuk is Green....Mr. Yuk is MEAN [evil laugh]!!!"

So, are we to fear Mr. Yuk, or assume that he helps us figure out which products are bad for us to drink? If he's truly mean, why doesn't he materialize onto some bananas or a bag full of Cotton Candy? He'd be the scorn of child and parent alike.

Anyway, the thing sent me running from the room screaming. Not helping were the backgrounds that look like they were created by someone who had ingested plenty of materials Mr Yuk warned us about. I remember watching cartoons and leaving the room until I knew the commericals were over. Had I just watched PBS more often, I wouldn't have been as traumatized...or, you know, I could have read a book or played outside.

So, finding this thing after over 20 years, I have to say the creepiness factor is still there, even if it's even more outdated now. I don't know if you can scare the crap out of kids as easily these days, even if for the wrong reasons, but this thing seemed to work. Congratulations on your anniversary, Mr. Yuk. I'll buy the next round, provided we're dealing with drain cleaners.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I think I'm doing the right thing.

On the first weekday at my new residence, we received about 12 calls, all but two were telemarketers. Since I sleep during the day, most of those came while I was in bed. They usually show up as "Toll Free" on the Caller ID box, or "Unknown Caller."

I do what I can to have patience with the people on the other end. I almost accepted a job at a local Public Broadcaster in their fundrasing department that included cold-calling people and hitting them up for cash. I couldn't do it. Two friends from college did telemarketing for a summer and hated it, so I try to have some compassion. However, they told me that the best thing to do was to hang up -- that way the person on the other end will be saved from having to read from the "What if they say 'no'?" script. When I told them that it sounded rude, they disagreed, saying there's little worse in that profession than reading all the script and then being rejected.

So, now I hang up during their preamble. I don't think I'm being rude. Telemarketers have called twice since I started this, one being the same newspaper for the 4th time in two days.

On the plus side, I'm now on the national Do Not Call list. However, I hear that they can't make marketing calls to cell phones, so maybe there's an upside to those newfangled wireless things....

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Steps to moving:

1) Plan ahead. If you plan ahead, you will not be stuck at the last moment, cramming everything you own into one box and praying for its integrity as you carry it to your car.

2) Look at the calander, and realize that you have a full month before you move. Walk around your current domicile and collect the fond memories of your times there.

3) Realize that you stink at packing, because you can't decide to throw out old magazines or keep them. Spend the night you set aside for cleaning and packing reading old issues of Paste and debating if you really want to find that obscure Godspeed You Black Emperor album they were talking about.

4) Find a book under the bed that you totally forgot about and read it all night.

5) After keeping this up, look up and find out you have to be out of your house in 48 hours. But at least your bedroom and bathroom have never looked so perfect.

6) Sneeze. A lot. This much dust hasn't been kicked up in the house in years. Go through a box of tissues.

7) Realizing that people will be here in about 3 hours to help move, cram everything you own into one box while praying for its integrity as you carry it to your car.