Wednesday, December 31, 2008
These are awesome - I only wish I'd seen them before Christmas!


Not sure if you've ever heard of Kubricks, they're like LEGO mini figures for adults. Seriously, the boxes recommend that they're for "ages 13 and up". Crazy Japanese toys.

I had - well, have, somewhere - some Kubricks from my time in Los Angeles. Can't remember what they were, but they were nowhere as cool as these.

I mean, look at the faces of some of these guys:




It's too bad the toys are only from seasons one through three, as Faraday would make a bad-ass Kubrick:


For more info, and where I got the original photos from, check out this toy blog.
posted by Josh at 6:58 AM | 0 comments
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
They just circulated this at work, part of some smart password initiative. It's over a year and a half old, but still, if any of yours show up on this list I'd change them ...

    PC Magazine's 10 Most Common Passwords

    If you recognize yours, you may as well hand over your wallet or purse to the first person you see on the street.

    1. password
    2. 123456
    3. qwerty
    4. abc123
    5. letmein
    6. monkey
    7. myspace1
    8. password1
    9. link182
    10. (your first name)

Hmmm, do you really think number nine is that popular? Really?
posted by Josh at 10:00 PM | 0 comments
So is everyone getting new logos for 2009? I feel like I'm grocery shopping in a foreign country or something!

Have you seen this yet?

New Tropicana logo
posted by Josh at 6:43 AM | 1 comments
I've been trying to stay out of the whole New York Yankees thing lately. You know, how their Holiday shopping list was rather expensive - $161 million for CC Sabathia, $82.5 million for AJ Burnett and $180 million for Mark Teixeira. It's like it's some kind of Major League Baseball Player's Association bailout or something.

But this brief article from the SportingNews says, well "Money won’t buy the Yankees a championship".

Here's hoping it's true ...
posted by Josh at 6:41 AM | 0 comments
Friday, December 26, 2008
Did you see that singer / actress Eartha Kitt passed away yesterday?

Ms. Kitt was the voice of Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove which I worked on back in the day. I actually had the opportunity to meet her a few times during the production, she was always very nice.


posted by Josh at 10:54 AM | 0 comments
Oh yeah, in my pre-Holiday rush at the grocery store I saw an odd new Pepsi logo.

Um, when did this happen?!?


I like the overall spartan design, no textures, patterns or odd glyphs to clutter up the background, but the red, white and blue ball is cheesy. It looks like a no-name rip-off of the Pepsi logo. Like it belongs to some "Sure Fine" or "Safeway" brand cola, you know?
posted by Josh at 10:46 AM | 1 comments
We survived!

I know, that's a horrible way to look at the holidays, but for the last two days it felt like I was on full throttle. Kind of the last week, actually.

It all started on Monday, when we woke up to about 14 inches (35 1/2 centimeters) of snow. After shoveling out the car before the sun rose, I left early for work ... only to get there and find an empty parking lot.

I guess they called a two-hour delay for all of the real workers.

As a temp, however, I'm clearly not "real".

More "imaginary".

"Pretend" even.

Great way to start the week.

Then there was this whole Mark Teixeira business (if you're not a baseball fan but care enough, check out "Yankees grab prize Sox pined for" which details the heartbreak. Heck, even the title gives it away).

Merry Christmas Red Sox fans.

Oh, there were some upsides this week. In playing with my new MacBook, I discovered a new album on iTunes which I'd never heard of - Christmas with Weezer. And you know me and my Christmas music.

Christmas with Weezer

So that's something.

And some last minute shopping provided a few clever presents. I even braved the Maine Mall on Christmas Eve. True story. Granted, it was only to run in and pick up some photos I had printed at Ritz Camera, but still.

Of course, the real reason I was anywhere near the mall on Wednesday was work. Yes, I had to work on Christmas Eve. And, being a temp and all, guess what time I got to leave?

4:30 pm.


So when my manager team leader was leaving early at 3 pm, she told me that I could send my week ending report "right before I leave for the day", instead of at the regular time of 3:30, because "everyone at the home office is on vacation, anyway".

Yes, I vacillate between whether this lady is really, really mean or really, really stupid.

Needless to say, I sent the report out at 4:29 pm.

And by the way, I'm a freakin' temp, why am I sending reports to my manager team leader's boss?

Either way, I got to be the first in on Monday and the last out on Wednesday. Pretty much sums up my work week.

Luckily I got to see my cousins that night, and spend Christmas day with my family and then the in-laws. So that made up for the foolishness at work.
posted by Josh at 10:45 AM | 0 comments
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Apparently a hotel in Dubai (Versace-themed, of course) is going to cool the sands on their beach.

Holy shit - why didn't I ever think of this?

Oh yeah, because it's completely freakin' insane.

Thus it fits perfectly in Dubai ...
posted by Josh at 10:05 PM | 1 comments
Interesting article about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today on Reuters - "Head of Saudi morals police eases tone on cinema".

I was going to write about how crazy it is to have a Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice - and then I got to thinking, it's really just a stepped-up version of the Christian Coalition or the FCC.

What is it about humans wanting the boss each other around?
posted by Josh at 9:53 PM | 0 comments
So I'm writing to you today on my new Apple MacBook!

It's been a long time coming (we sold the iMac in July) so I'm pretty psyched to get another Mac. And technically it's not new, it's a refurbished white MacBook - not the new silvery one.

But still, it's new to me! And I'm happy!

posted by Josh at 9:40 PM | 0 comments
Saturday, December 20, 2008
So Obama's done something bad.

Today I'll be talking about the Los Angeles Times article "Obama's choice of Rick Warren to lead prayer dismays Hollywood liberals". If you want to go take a gander, now's a great time. Or just open it in a new tab and read it in a few. Your pick.

Anyway, our President Elect has chosen Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the swearing in next month. Warren is one of those mega-pastors, his Saddleback Church in Orange County California boasts a weekly attendance of over 23,000 members, making it the fourth largest church in the United States.

Just to put that in perspective, 24,000 people is over a third of the city of Portland, Maine.

That's close to the entire population of Naples. Casco, Bridgton, Sebago, Fryeburg, Raymond and Harrison put together.

I mean, the freakin' TD Banknorth Garden in Boston only seats 19,580 at maximum capacity!

That church is bigger than the Garden!

How can you be close to God if you're not even close to your pastor?

But I digress. The real reason Warren was a crummy choice is because he strongly supported California's Proposition 8, the ballot proposition which changed their Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman and eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Apparently, according to the Los Angeles Times article, he's even compared same-sex marriages to polygamy and pedophilia.

Awesome. Great pick, Barack!

I could go on and rant about the whole same-sex marriage thing, but I won't. I just don't even comprehend why these religious folks get all up in a twitter about it. Who cares if two random dudes whom you've never met want to get married? Or two ladies? What does that matter in our day-to-day lives?

What the hell ever happened to "do unto others as you would have others do unto you"?!? I mean, shoot, that's the only part of the Bible that I know!

I guess it should read:

    Do unto others* as you would have others do unto you.

*'others' in this case does not apply to people who worship religions which do not recognize the New Testament, people who don't believe in any religion, or the homosexuals. You can do whatever you want to these people, your God doesn't care about them.
posted by Josh at 8:05 AM | 2 comments
Friday, December 19, 2008

"Don't bring him back, Kate."

posted by Josh at 8:17 PM | 0 comments
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Also don't forget new Muppet special Letters to Santa: A Muppets Christmas tonight at 8PM on NBC!
posted by Josh at 6:05 PM | 0 comments
Don't forget when this happens that I called it months ago.

Two from today's New York Daily News: "Source sees Yankees' pursuit of Manny Ramirez as front office splits" and "Despite risks, Manny Ramirez would be a sure home run"
posted by Josh at 6:02 PM | 0 comments
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wow, just wow.

"Cake request for 3-year-old Hitler namesake denied".

The two things we've learned here?

Number one - if anyone out there thinks that they had a sub-par father, well, just be glad your father didn't name you after Hitler.

And number two - if you ever need crazy racist insanity decorated in tasty frosting on a sheet cake, go to Wal-Mart first.
posted by Josh at 9:52 PM | 1 comments
Sorry I've been too busy to post here lately. Looks like it'll be like this all week. I'm trying to make up for lost time at work - on Friday the office closed due to the ice storm, and as a temp I don't get paid for that. So this week I'm going in early (hence the early timestamp on this post) and staying late. Oh, I'm also trying to go the gym in my free time, too.

I had some posts I wanted to write, though. Condensed, they include the guy from Maine winning Survivor and our watching the documentary Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash the other night.

But now, time now for coffee and packing my lunch.
posted by Josh at 5:50 AM | 0 comments
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I like magazines. A lot.

One of my favorites is Archaeology.

The new issue had two interesting stories I'd like to share:

First, on September 25, 2008 the United States finally ratified the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

Fifty-four and a half friggin' years later we get around to ratifying a global law already recognized by 120 other countries.

Are you kidding me?

This right here is a perfect example of me being ashamed to be an American.

So do you want to know why it took so long?

1954 was the start of the Cold War. The USSR was making funny faces at us, so we decided that we might have to bomb the Moscow Kremlin - which is an old and historic building. But the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, well, it doesn't take to well to bombing cultural property in the event of armed conflict. So we signed the document, but didn't ratify it.

Are you kidding me?

So embarrassing.

And when did the Cold War end? December 1989, or December 1991 at the latest. And it took the United States this long to sign -- er, ratify -- the treaty?


The second piece of news is almost as mind-blowing for me ... but I'm a history nerd so beware.

They just found ammunition on the wreck of the Lusitania.


Picture if you will May 7, 1915. Europe has been in a big-ass war since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June of 1914. The war extends to the waters around Europe - the Germans have made it clear that they will sink vessels flying the flag of Britain. In fact, they made it so clear they actually took out an ad in the New York Times. Right next to an ad for the British luxury ocean liner Lusitania.


Because on May 7, 1915 the Lusitania is torpedoed by German subs 30 miles off of the coast of Ireland. Sinks within minutes.

1200 dead, a tenth of whom were American citizens.

At the time President Woodrow Wilson said, "There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight. There is such a thing as a nation being so right that it does not need to convince others by force that it is right."

(Needless to say, he was not one of George W. Bush's favorite presidents.)

Eventually the US gets into the war (I won't spoil it for you if you don't know, but it involves a telegram from Germany to Mexico, and if everything had played out they way they wanted right now they'd be speaking Spanish in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona - oh, wait ...)

Anyway, the whole thing about the Lusitania is that it was supposed to be a cruise ship. The public was told it was. But in this case, the Germans were right.

Wow, so add this to the list that includes the Spanish-American War's USS Maine, the fact that FDR probably knew about the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the Vietnam War's Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and our current Second Gulf War's WMDs.

Awesome. Pretty much whatever the government tells you is a lie. Fifty-four and a half years, or even ninety-three and a half years, later.
posted by Josh at 8:27 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
New Muppets! New Muppets!

Did you hear that there's a new Muppet special - Letters to Santa: A Muppets Christmas. It's going to air in one week - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 8PM on NBC.

The show will feature four new songs by Paul Williams (songwriter on "Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas", "The Muppet Movie", and "The Muppet Christmas Carol"), and will also include appearances by Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Griffiths, Tony Sirico, Steve Schirripa, Mike Bloomberg, and Madison Pettis.

I don't know who most of those people are, honestly, but I'm still psyched for new Muppets!

posted by Josh at 9:41 PM | 1 comments
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Today is Eid al-Adha, the Islamic holiday which commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ishmael to God.

Yes, Ishmael - Muslims believe that it was Ishmael rather than Isaac whom Ibrahim was told to sacrifice, something about Ishmael being older than Issac in the book of Genesis.

Honestly, I'm not too sure of all of the specifics - in fact, up until I heard this I didn't even know that Phil Collins was in the Bible.


But seriously folks, I can't tell you how close I came to buying the Eid stamp to mail my holiday cards this year. Sadly, I'm not sending anyone actual Eid cards - and even if I was, I wouldn't be sending them domestically, all of my Muslim buddies are in the Middle East. (Imagine that!)

So I didn't buy them. But I came dang close.

Does anyone else, besides the philatelist in me, think it's crummy that the USPS keeps issuing the same Eid stamp, while Christmas, Hanukkah and even freakin' Kwanzaa all get new stamps each year?

Anyway, happy Eid - or Eid Mubarak!
posted by Josh at 6:52 AM | 0 comments
Sunday, December 07, 2008
I was taken aback this morning by a news story - "'My Three Sons' actress Beverly Garland dies at 82".

The article says that Beverly Garland played the mom on 1960s sitcom My Three Sons. Needless to say I was confused, what with the whole premise of the show being Fred MacMurray raising three sons all by himself - i.e. with no wife.


See, when my brother and I were young we watched a tremendous amount of Nick at Nite - old old sitcoms rebroadcast every night on Nickelodeon. You know, The Donna Reed Show, My Three Sons, Mister Ed, The Patty Duke Show and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. I had such a crush on Patty Duke (but only as Patty, not Cathy). You know, I was probably the only ten year old ever with the hots for someone who was born two years before my own mother was.

Anyway, you know what they play now on Nick at Nite?

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The George Lopez Show, Family Matters, Home Improvement and Roseanne. Wow, they're all so new ... and so terrible.

Anyway, back to Beverly Garland. Apparently she played the mom on the last three seasons, you know, after the show had jumped the shark (but oddly years before Fonzie actually jumped the shark in the first place).

This was after oldest son Mike moved out, after they replaced grandfather Bub with Charlie (played by Preston Sturges' regular William Demarest), and after cute orphan Ernie joined the cast.

Sidenote - I always thought Raven Symone's Olivia on The Cosby Show was quite a bit like Ernie. In the long-running sitcom when the cute kid (either Rudy or Chip) gets too old and not cute enough, enter Lisa Bonet's stepdaughter, or in the 1960s pre-PC world, an orphan. It's been done dozens of times, and will be done dozens more. Shoot, I'm surprised they didn't add a couple of orphans to Friends once they all started getting doughy.

Anyway, My Three Sons. Nick at Nite. Either they didn't show the last few seasons of the show, or they did and I didn't watch them (I always preferred the Bub years to the Charlie years), but apparently on the show Fred MacMurray remarried and we're back to Beverly Garland.

Even though I didn't know her television work, when I read the article the name still stood out to me. But why? Then I saw why in the second-to-last paragraph.

See, Ms. Garland owned a hotel in North Hollywood - Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn. It's on Vineland, right where you get off the 101 freeway. And see, one of my former friends lived over there for eight or nine months, and I drove by that hotel hundreds of times.

And that, amazingly enough, is all I have to write about Beverly Garland. Join me tomorrow as I postulate on even more entertainment industry minutia that you probably couldn't care a fig about.
posted by Josh at 7:19 AM | 0 comments
Saturday, December 06, 2008
What the hell?!

Obama has been spotted with a Microsoft Zune MP3 player.

Is it too late for me to change my vote?
posted by Josh at 8:29 AM | 0 comments
Friday, December 05, 2008
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution.

"So what?" You might say.

Well the Twenty-first Amendment repeals the Eighteenth Amendment.

"Yawn," you grumble.

It ended Prohibition! Made the manufacture, sale, transport, import or export of intoxicating liquors legal again!


Back when I lived in Los Angeles, my buddy Mike and I always threatened to have a Repeal Day party. We never did.

Maybe next year I'll invite him to Maine for one of our tasty local brews ...
posted by Josh at 7:18 PM | 0 comments
So it sounds like last night's NFL game 3D test went well.


Weird, weird, weird.

I meant to write about this yesterday, you know, before the game, but then I just got busy and it never happened. Oops.

The Los Angeles Times article about it, "The NFL, live and in 3D", makes it sound like it was a success. At least, for the three theaters showing the game.

See, yesterday, before the game I was afraid it'd be a series of SkyCam shots of footballs flying at the camera. You know, cheesy stuff.

Like Kermit the Frog says in Muppet-Vision 3D - "It's going to be a swell demonstration, and at no time will we be stooping to any cheap 3D tricks."

Of course, that's when Fozzie the Bear comes in, "Did someone say cheap 3D tricks??"

Aaah, love the Muppets.

Anyway, I might actually go see an NFL game in a theater, just to check it out.

First I still have to go see Bolt.

Maybe this weekend ...
posted by Josh at 6:41 PM | 0 comments
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Three things to share from this week's Time Magazine:

And Joe Klein's gutpunch to Bush - "Bush's Last Days: The Lamest Duck".
posted by Josh at 7:00 AM | 0 comments

Today's the National Day in the United Arab Emirates. And what better way to celebrate than - you guessed it - the world's largest fireworks display?

Yup, sometimes you've got to love the UAE ...

Happy National Day!!!
posted by Josh at 6:56 AM | 0 comments
Monday, December 01, 2008
I had a little snow envy this weekend - I went up to my parents' house on Friday afternoon, and there's snow in the foothills of Oxford County! The scene was wintery and festive, just what we're all going for at this time of year.

Well last night in Brunswick it snowed! Sure, it was a heavy, wet snow (in fact right now I can hear cars driving by in what sounds increasingly like slush) but it was the first snow of the year. And that's something pretty wintery and festive.

Happ December everyone!!
posted by Josh at 6:35 AM | 0 comments