Sunday, May 28, 2006

Now THIS is a Designer!

Another fantastic example of how much more cool stuff you can discover online: Phillippe Guillerm is a master woodcraftsman from Paris (France, not Texas!).

His whimsical designs have won international acclaim. His body of work in design covers everything from furniture to musical instruments to simply art for the fun of it. Check out some of his furniture (I love that nightstand!).

Visiting the Nestle Chocolate Factory

Maybe it's just old age (Ha Ha) but I still marvel occasionally at the the never-ending flow of new things that make the Internet really fun and useful. Flickr's one of them: There will always be a lot of places and things that we may never get to visit or experience personally in one lifetime. Take the Cailler-Nestle Chocolate Factory in Broc, Swizerland, for example. Not exactly high on my list of destinations to visit but it would be fun to see. Someone has posted their pictures on Flickr from a visit to this factory.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

And How About an ATSB?

ATSB: All-Terrain Skate Board. Don't know if this thing's for real or not but some boarders are serious enough to try it! Also on YouTube!

A Real Transformer

Trust the Japanese to introduce a real working Transformer at a trade show. On YouTube.

Only in America..

Only in drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

Only in people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke. !

Only in banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

Only in we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

Only in we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

Only in we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.

Only in they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.

Friday, May 26, 2006

PCWorld's 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time

While lists like these are always somewhat subjective, I think I'd have to agree with most of PC World's new List of the Worst Tech Products of All Time. Especially their No. 1 pick -- AOL!

Way down the list near the bottom is one of my personal favorites: The CueCat. This was a stupid white widget that you plugged into your PC to scan special codes into your computer from magazine ads (!). So if you were looking at a travel magazine and they had a special CueCat barcode at the bottom of the page, you'd scan it and immediately get diverted to the right web page for more information. Interesting thought; but that meant you had to have the magazine in your lap with the page open to the ad, a CueCat in your hand AND an Internet connection. But wouldn't it have been easier for someone to simply TYPE the web page into their browser? Anyway, after raising millions (and I mean MILLIONS) from the likes of Radio Shack and Forbes Magazine along with numerous VC's, the company crashed. But not before their entire user database got exposed to hackers (I still remember that fiasco).

CueCat was probably among the list of the worst VC investments of all time as well (IMHO). Accordingto WIRED, it's clawing its way to a comeback.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Ha! I love silly covers of songs when they're done really well. From the UK comes a ukulele cover of Nirvana's Smells like Teen Spirit on GoogleVideo.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

BMW Books

I still remember several years ago when BMW produced some of the first viral marketing movies for distribution on their site. Among the talent was one chase movie by Ang Lee (The Chosen) and each of the short films starred Clive Owen as The Hire. Those films are no longer easily available for download -- at least not on BMW's site -- but they've come up with another low-key marketing campaign. Check out their just-launched BMW Audio Books. They're new short stories that have been written by contemporary writers specially for this new series. The stories are in MP3 format and there are currently four available. Authors include John Winslow, James Flint, Simon Kernick and Karin Slaughter (of course, each story features a BMW!). I hand BMW a lot of credit for creative brand marketing!

Redneck Lottery Winner

Look into My Eyes...

Ever see one of those pictures where you zoom in and zoom in deeper and deeper? Each picture turns into a more detailed mosaic of more pictures. I was playing around on one of the coolest sites with this concept; it actually seems to go on forever (at least I haven't gotten to the end!). Swee-eeet!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Shoot 'em Up

Another fond memory of mine from childhood: Boys' Life Magazine. I would wait with bated breath for each monthly issue to arrive so I could pore over each and every page, imagining myself as a Boy Scout from the confines of my bedroom. Alas, the Old Man was always so protective of us kids that we were never even allowed out into our back yard. My sister got married when I was 9 and she and her husband started a subscription for me to Boys' Life that they renewed for years, giving me at least a vicarious glimpse into the joys of scouting. Much of what I learn has mostly been self-taught from books, magazines and any other sources that I could tap. (Fortunately, my son got to join Boy Scouts and my daughter enjoyed Girl Guides -- gotta love those cookies! -- for several years.) Me, I'd sit in my bedroom for hours trying to learn knot tying one day and making my own pinewood derby car another day.

I also enjoyed comic books a lot too as I was growing up, feasting on a wide range of goodies from Superman all the way to the entire Marvel comics like Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk. In fact, that's how I first taught myself to draw and paint.

In any event, what's all this leading up to? Well, Leif Peng (from Hamilton, Ont. Canada of all places) follows comic book illustrations from the 50's on his blog, Today's Inspiration. One of his recent posts talks about the Winchester Rifle ads from Boys' Life Magazines that extolled the virtues of guns to young scouts. One of the comic-style ads shows a couple of sharp young scouts shooting a hawk with a 22-cal. rifle. Check out the post here.

How Did They Make That?

Growing up, I remember how much I enjoyed reading books on How Things Work. These days, I like to cruise on over occasionally to How It's Made to see what's they've covered lately: Everything from bricks to tennis balls to hearing aids!

Free Wiki Books

As another great example of uses for Wiki distribution of information, there are now thousands of free eBooks available on WikiBooks in over 50 languages. The range of subjects is impressive for a first effort and made available under the Creative Commons license.

Flood Maps á la GoogleMaps Mashup

With hurricane season coming again, wouldn't you like to see what would happen to your part of the world in a storm surge (or a tsunami)? Alex Tingle recently did a Flood Maps mashup combining Google satellite maps with some flood maps so you can play what-if. Here's a map of what the Seattle area would look like if a 10-meter (30+ feet) surge of water hit us (we get off easy since Seattle's actually inland and not directly on the ocean). Navigate to your area and then zoom in and then experiment with different levels of water. You can also toggle between graphic maps and satellite maps. Check out Florida AND New Orleans while you're at it.

Most Every Ethnic Slur There is in English... and more

A friend sent me this interesting link on Wiki that lists pretty much every ethnic slur there is in the English language, most of which I've never heard before. Why, they even list Bluenosers and Newfies! Some strange reading... something to offend everyone. I can only hope it goes a little way in desensitizing us to what are simply words.

So does this mean we have to consult the list before we say anything? Ben and Jerry's recently had to issue an apology and changed the name of their new flavor, Black & Tan Ice Cream!

PC and Environmentally Correct to the Extreme

You know, sometimes politically- AND environmentally-correct can get a little edgy. Here's a wicker willow coffin company from the UK. Sheesh!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Summer Bundt Cake

From Williams Sonoma: the summer Bundt cake in the shape of a sandcastle!

Your Very Own Fort

Here's another cool eBay posting: Fort Montgomery in Rouses Point, New York was built in 1844 during the Civil War. When I last checked the posting this morning on eBay, the bidding was already over $3 million although the reserve is rumored to be over $8 million. Bidding ends on June 5th so check it out before it closes down

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Why Did This Guy Waste Time Working as a Coal Miner?

Francois Zanella is a retired French coal miner with an expensive and obsessive hobby. The dude builds gigantic scale models of ships and in 1999, he decided to start building a huge model of the Royal Caribbean cruise liner, The Majesty of the Seas, in his backyard!

Well, the sections eventually outgrew his workshop and shed and -- well, you'll see. Check out his website. An incredible passion. And I still wonder why this guy spent the earlier part of his life as a coal miner when he could easily have made a decent living as a model builder.

10 Things I Hate About Commandments

Or The 10 Commandments with an Attitude. This re-mix of the trailer for The 10 Commandments is a sidesplitter (starring Charlton Heston et al with Samuel L. Jackson in a surprise cameo role). If this won't play directly in this blog, go to the link to get re-directed to YouTube.

Interview with an Honest Boss

Like watching Steve Carell at The Office? Check out some cool flash cartoons on Interview with an Honest Boss! Instantly learn what it takes to be management!

And while you're at it, why not check out Dwight's Blog?

Baby Toy or Sex Toy?

Hey, don't ask how I got on this site. But they do have a pretty funny quiz that might surprise you. Can you tell baby toys from sex toys?

If the World were a Village of 1000 People

This is an eye-opener about global demographics: What if you reduced the whole world down to one village of 1000 people with the same stats as today's gloabal population of 6.6 billion? I've seen this list circulated for quite a while in various forms, but the Sustainability Institute has one of the best versions.

Want to see the US Census Bureau's Population Clock? Here's the link.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The young and the wild

An old man was sitting on a bench at the mall and a teenager sat down next to him. The teenager had spiked hair which was red, orange, yellow, green, blue & violet so the old man, being mildly curious about this apparition, looked at him for a long time trying to figure out what was what.

Having the old man staring at him made the teenager nervous so he finally said sarcastically : "What's the matter, old man, never done anything wild in your life?"

Without missing a beat the old man replied : "Got drunk once and had sex with a peacock. Just wondering if you were my son."

Got Brains?

I know I keep saying that the Internet is an incredible platform to deliver information and we haven't even begun to scratch the surface yet. Still, when a friend of mine sent me a link to the New York Brain Bank's web pages on how to pack a human brain for shipping, I did a double take (yes, it's real). In an effort to collect as much research material on Alzheimers, the NYBB is always looking for more brains -- literally! Bizarre.

Where To Live After Retirement

As we all know, sometimes we come face to face with the fact that it may be time to relocate. The big question is: Where? Here are some tips:

You can live in Phoenix, Arizona where.....
  • You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
  • You've experienced condensation on your butt from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
  • You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
  • You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
  • You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
  • The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!
You can Live in California where...
  • You make over $250,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
  • The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
  • You know how to eat an artichoke.
  • You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
  • When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
You can Live in New York City where...
  • You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
  • You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
  • You think Central Park is "nature,"
  • You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
  • You've worn out a car horn.
  • You think eye contact is an act of aggression.
You can Live in Maine where...
  • You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco.
  • Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
  • You have more than one recipe for moose.
  • Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
  • The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.
You can Live in the Deep South where...
  • You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
  • "y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
  • "He needed killin' " is a valid defense.
  • Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, MARY BETH, etc.
You can live in Colorado where..
  • You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
  • You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and he stops at the day care center.
  • A pass does not involve a football or dating.
  • The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.
You can live in the Midwest where...
  • You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
  • Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
  • You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
  • You end sentences with a preposition: "Where's my coat at?"
  • When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"
AND You can live in Florida where..
  • You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
  • All purchases include a coupon of some kind -- even houses and cars.
  • Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist. And a superb plastic surgeon.
  • Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
  • Cars in front of you are often driven by headless people.
  • The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and snowbirds.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tenant Leaves Behind 70,000 Beer Cans

Cans Recycled For About $800

OGDEN, Utah -- When a Utah man moved out of his townhouse, his landlord found quite a collection -- an estimated 70,000 beer cans.

The landlord said the man had been living in the home for about eight years and never threw away a single can.

After a massive clean-up effort, the cans were recycled for about $800.

All of the beer cans were Coors Light. The man said he has quit drinking and now has a job.

An American Working in Mexico

I've received numerous copies and versions of this letter from a Tom O'Malley, the former Director of Southwest Bell offices in Mexico. I generally tend to do a little bit of research to validate most of these bits and pieces before forwarding them on to everyone. This ended up being one of those too-good-to-be-true pieces. It's a real life counter to the often one-sided Mexican immigration debate (yes, it IS a MEXICAN immigration debate). To my surprise, I found several other blogs that spent a lot of time checking it out already and one of them, The American Digest, claims to have located and talked at length directly with Tom O'Malley. And indeed, he also confirmed having sent this piece out to just a few friends. Amazingly, it's now widely circulated on the Internet. Here's his letter:

I spent five years working in Mexico.

I worked under a tourist visa for three months and could legally renew it for three more months. After that you were working illegally. I was technically illegal for three weeks waiting on the FM3 approval.

During that six months our Mexican and US Attorneys were working to secure a permanent work visa called a FM3. It was in addition to my US passport that I had to show each time I entered and left the country. Barbara's was the same except hers did not permit her to work.

To apply for the FM3 I needed to submit the following notarized originals (not copies) of my:

1. Birth certificates for Barbara and me.

2. Marriage certificate.

3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.

4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of graduation.

5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at least one year.

6. A letter from The ST. Louis Chief of Police indicating I had no arrest record in the US and no outstanding warrants and was "a citizen in good standing."

7. Finally; I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated why there was no Mexican citizen with my skills and why my skills were important to Mexico. We called it our "I am the greatest person on earth" letter. It was fun to write.

All of the above were in English that had to be translated into Spanish and be certified as legal translations and our signatures notarized. It produced a folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left side and Spanish on the right.

Once they were completed Barbara and I spent about five hours accompanied by a Mexican attorney touring Mexican government office locations and being photographed and fingerprinted at least three times. At each location (and we remember at least four locations) we were instructed on Mexican tax, labor, housing, and criminal law and that we were required to obey their laws or face the consequences.

We could not protest any of the government's actions or we would be committing a felony.

We paid out four thousand dollars in fees and gratuities to complete the process. When this was done we could legally bring in our household goods that were held by US customs in Loredo Texas. This meant we rented furniture in Mexico while awaiting our goods. There were extensive fees involved here that the company paid.

We could not buy a home and were required to rent at very high rates and under contract and compliance with Mexican law.

We were required to get a Mexican drivers license. This was an amazing process. The company arranged for the licensing agency to come to our headquarters location with their photography and finger print equipment and the laminating machine. We showed our US license, were photographed and fingerprinted again and issued the license instantly after paying out a six dollar fee. We did not take a written or driving test and never received instructions on the rules of the road. Our only instruction was never give a policeman your license if stopped and asked. We were instructed to hold it against the inside window away from his grasp. If he got his hands on it you would have to pay ransom to get it back.

We then had to pay and file Mexican income tax annually using the number of our FM3 as our ID number. The company's Mexican accountants did this for us and we just signed what they prepared. It was about twenty legal size pages annually.

The FM 3 was good for three years and renewable for two more after paying more fees.

Leaving the country meant turning in the FM 3 and certifying we were leaving no debts behind and no outstanding legal affairs (warrants, tickets or liens) before our household goods were released to customs.

It was a real adventure and If any of our senators or congressmen went through it once they would have a different attitude toward Mexico.

The Mexican Government uses its vast military and police forces to keep its citizens intimidated and compliant.

They never protest at their White House or government offices but do protest daily in front of the United States Embassy. The US embassy looks like a strongly reinforced fortress and during most protests the Mexican Military surround the block with their men standing shoulder to shoulder in full riot gear to protect the Embassy. These protests are never shown on US or Mexican TV. There is a large public park across the street where they do their protesting. Anything can cause a protest such as proposed law changes in California or Texas.

Please feel free to share this with everyone who thinks we are being hard on illegal immigrants.

Tom O'Malley

Musically Challenged?

Me -- I can't even hum a tune on key. Probably the result of my hundreds of loud rock concerts in my misspent youth. I tried my hand at learning guitar and keyboards but the mechanics were just too boring to get past. I guess some people can paint and draw while others can write and play music. (Many other people don't do any of that stuff.) If you're tired of being the wallflower at the party, here's an illustrated tutorial on How to Play the Spoons from musician David Holt for all of you envious artists out there: They laughed when I sat down to play the spoons!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Like Bluegrass?

This is what it's really all about: The trickle-down theory applies just about everywhere. Download music and streaming broadcasts first brought contemporary rock and hip-hop to the masses. Eventually, most other forms of music also started to pop up online. And Podcasts bring just about every kind of downloadable programming online. I knew it was all still evolving when I discovered a Bluegrass streaming broadcast now available. The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance has created a compilation of early country music history -- often called bluegrass -- as a way of archiving this unique piece of American music. I particularly like some of the traditional Appalachian style that includes lots of banjos. (Windows Media Player required and donations are welcome!)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Get a Yob!

A VERY politically-incorrect infomercial from Comedy Central on How to Get a Job! (As performed by Carlos Mencia.) (Windows Media wmv file -- approx. 4.1 Mb)

Joe Cartoon: Web 2.0 Saturday Morning Anytime

I still love my cartoons! JoeCartoon is the culmination of a the years of pioneering interactive animation from Joe Shields. You may remember one of his earlier pieces, Frog in a Blender (click on the Frog in a Blender picture). Those with a twisted sense of humor (you know who you are!) will also want to click on the Gerbil Bar button.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

High Tech Zit Zapper

Zits -- the curse of puberty for most kids, at least in North America. Remember all those nasty creams and ointments that were sold over-the-counter and by prescription? They were a pain-in-the-ass and never worked half the time anyway, especially the night of that prom dance or hot date.

A new company called Zeno has taken a high-tech approach to zapping zits. Their gadget sort of looks like a cigarette lighter/taser that you press up against the offending spot for 2 minutes. The heat from the tip apparently helps to dry up the zit in 24 hours, all without those creams and ointments. Cool if it really works!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Barry Bonds vs. Babe Ruth

Save New York

In this simplistic shoot-'em-up re-creation of the plane attacks on New York's Trade Towers, you man the big guns to shoot down the swarm of planes coming in from every direction (free registration required to download the game or to play online). Uzinagaz. The game is called New York Defender under the Chaos category.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day from a post on eBaumsworld. (Clip is a Windows Media WMV file approx. 3 Mb)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Online Videos

Google and YouTube have been coming out with an explosive volume of crazy personal videos every day. Who knows where it's all going? But it sure gives everyone a chance to have a lot of fun and get their stuff online. Including this crazy 2½ minute piece -- The Art of Motion -- obviously from a couple of college guys (in film school, maybe?). Complete with that Quentin Tarantino soundtrack.) Makes me want to go right out and shoot my own clips and post 'em!

SkyHigh Airlines Commercials

Check out SkyHigh Airlines' entire collection of commercials -- now online!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

OK -- One More Brokeback Mountain Joke...

Top Ten Old West Phrases That Will Never Sound The Same After That Damned Gay Cowboy Movie (Brokeback Mountain):
  1. "I'm gonna pump you fulla lead!"
  2. "Give me a stiff one, barkeep!"
  3. "Don't fret---I've been in tight spots before."
  4. "Howdy, pardner."
  5. "You stay here while I sneak around from behind."
  6. Two words: "Saddle Sore."
  7. "Hold it right there! Now, move your hand, reeeal slow-like."
  8. "Let's mount up!"
  9. "Nice spread ya got there!"
  10. "Ride'em, cowboy!"

Monopoly 4ever

Just how many different versions of the enduring game Monopoly are there? According to a Board Gaming blogger from Israel (now THIS guy really has too much time on his hands!), the count is currently at 902 -- including official and unofficial versions. I can tell you that Seattle definitely has one as do the current NFC champions, the Seattle Seahawks (and the Seattle Mariners too). Check out his sources -- a really extensive list and some pretty clever search criteria.

Happiness is a Warm Gun

The Worth1000 PhotoShop contest of the day: mix guns with other everyday objects.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Gum Blondes Site

Remember that old expression, "Too much time on his hands"? Jason Kronenwald is a Canadian with a penchant for chewing gum and making pictures. Of blondes. He's been doing it for 10 years.

Apparently, he uses different colors of gum to create his palette (nohing is added to the original color of the gum) and he sticks the chewed wads on to a plywood background. You can also read his bio on the site. Click here for the Gum Blondes site.

Every Affliction You Never Knew You Had.

From the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia comes this article on Strange Afflictions. How about some doozies like Foreign Launguage Syndrome or Alice in Wonderland Syndrome?

The photo illustration's from the article: "Capgras Syndrome leads sufferers to believe a significant other, such as a parent, spouse or other relative, is being impersonated by an imposter." Wow!

The History of Dance in 6 Minutes

Comedian Judson Laipply does an incredibly funny -- and great -- 6-minute show on the history of contemporary dance (on YouTube). It's hard to pick a favorite. And I'll never admit to ever having done any of these...

More Great Flash

You gotta check out the Jokes with Einstein on Some decent flash programming and twisted humor. Tiny Plaid Ninjas, Penguin Calls -- what's there not to like?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Power Tool Drag Racing

A great slideshow on c/net covering the Power Tool Drag Races. Yes, you read that right -- Power Tools, Baby! No big-ass engines, no souped-up suspensions.

From the Intro page: "Riders on two custom fabricated machines compete in the "Funny Car" class at San Francisco's fifth annual Power Tool Drag Races. Races were held Sunday afternoon at the Ace International Speedway, better known as Ace Auto Dismantling, a junkyard where dilapidated cars, tractors and tires are piled high in an industrial no-man's-land at the southern edge of the city. The races allow only handheld power tools such as belt sanders, angle grinders, circular saws, drills, chainsaws, weed whackers and vibrators. Machines that are on rollers are barred from the event."

I especially love Slide 8 showing the refreshment stand; check out how they heat the hot dogs!

New Washington State Barbies are Now Available

Seattle Barbie: This modern day homemaker Barbie is available with a Mercedes 4WD SUV, a Prada handbag and matching Nike Yoga ensemble. She has a masters degree and double-majored, but has the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom with Ken's generous salary. Comes with Percocet prescription and Botox. Starbucks mug and traffic-jamming Blackberry internet/cell phone device sold separately. Husband Ken is into fishing, golfing, baseball and is often "working late." Available at all Seattle-area Starbucks retailers.

Bellevue Barbie: This princess Barbie is only sold at Nordstrom. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade handbags, your choice of a BMW convertible or Hummer H2 and a long-haired foreign lapdog named "Honey." Also available is her cookie-cutter development dream house. Available with or without tummy tuck, facelift, and breast augmentation. Workaholic, cheating husband, Ken, comes with a Porsche.

Tacoma Barbie: This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, switchblade, '78 El Camino with dark tinted windows, and a meth lab kit. This model is available only after dark and can only be purchased with cash - preferably small bills, unless you're a cop, then we don't know what you're talking about. Boyfriend Ken is in jail. Available at many pawn shops.

Everett Barbie: This tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie comes with a pair of high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer Gut Ken out of Auburn Barbie's trailer. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, strawberry lip gloss and a see-through halter top. Purchase her Mustang convertible separately and get a Confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free. Boyfriend Ken is in treatment. Available at Army Navy Surplus.

Monroe Barbie: This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans 2 sizes too small, steel-toed cowboy boots, a classic Metallica 'T' shirt and a Tweedy Bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has fake fingernails, a six pack of Budweiser, and a Hank Williams, Jr. CD set. She can spit over a distance of 6 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's ass when she is drunk. Also available is the gold-toned cubic zirconium ring that Ken gave her after another one of his "episodes" with his boss's daughter. Comes with Barbie's Dream Double Wide Trailer. Available at Wal-Mart.

Puyallup Barbie: Pregnant at purchase, this Barbie comes with a stroller and bus pass. Also included is a G.E.D. and a completely filled out food stamps form. Construction worker Ken and his '82 Caddy are optional. Available at Value Village.

Vashon Island Barbie: This Barbie is made out of recycled plastic and tofu. She has long straight brown hair, archless feet, hairy armpits, no make-up, and Birkenstocks with white socks. She does not want, or need, a Ken doll. If you purchase the optional Subaru wagon, you will receive a free rainbow flag sticker. Available at REI.

Olympia Barbie: This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or removing snap on parts. Walks to work. Likes to "experiment," but will never commit. This model is being phased out and is only available from the manufacturer.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

OK OK -- Movie Car Chases redux...

Wow! I had no idea that so many people had an opinion on movie Car Chases! (Well, guys anyway...) So with that, I did some more research on the gazilion lists out there with a gazillion opinions. I have to agree with the majority of the lists and blogs that once again, Steve McQueen's Bullitt comes out on top -- hands down! (Or two thumbs up.)

Anyway, here's a list of links:

VARaces claims to be a database of Car Chase scenes from movies;

Strong Opinion's Blog (from Hollywood, no less) posts his Top 25 Car Chases (complete with pics);

The WikiPedia even has its own entry on The Car Chase;

And unfortunately, Popular Mechanics Great Hollywood Chase Scenes (1990) is no longer easily available (except in used VHS format on Amazon). Only 37 minutes in length and narrated by the late James Coburn, it includes the car chase scenes from classics such as Bullitt, To Live and Die in L.A., Vanishing Point, etc.)

And here's a bonus: Susan Encinas wrote THE definitive inside scoop on how they filmed Bullitt, The Greatest Chase of All (from Muscle Car Review, March, 1987).

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Check Out This Desk... er, Bed?

Let's see. You're a student confined to a small dorm room so you need to pack a lot into a small space. Or you're a geek who loves to be close to his work. Or...? From in Europe comes the computer desk/bed. Or was that a bed/computer desk?

Top 10 Movie Car Chases from MSN

I still remember the feeling of being on a roller coaster when I first watched Steve McQueen doing the car chase up and down the streets of San Francsico in his souped-up Mustang. I completely agree with MSN Auto's choice of Bullitt as the top car chase in any movie... ever. Here's the link to their Top 10.

Check out some of the clips.

Friday, May 05, 2006

New Building Codes for New Orleans Finally Out

A plan even Ray Nagin can understand.