Archive for November, 2008
Flipping through the on-screen guide just before Thanksgiving, I noticed that Rosie O’Donnell was launching a new variety show on NBC. The originals in this format were all just before my time, but since I never turn off an old Carol Burnett rerun, I hit the “Record” button on my DVR, figuring I’d get back to it at some point.
Well….the reviews are in:
James Hibberd’s The Live Feed: “There’s a notion that the climate is right for the genre to make a comeback. I guess we now know what not to do, thanks to Rosie.”
The New York Times: “Ms. O’Donnell can be very funny, but she didn’t try very hard Wednesday night. . . Lame jokes are part of the holiday variety genre, along with campy production numbers featuring sexy dancers and cute little children. Celebrity score-settling, on the other hand, belongs to the self-obsessed blogging Facebook generation. Ms. O’Donnell, who frequently takes out her frustrations in a video diary on her Web site, would have been better served leaving herself behind and sticking to the classics.”
Matt Roush: “If the TV variety format weren’t already dead, the ghastly ego trip of NBC’s Thanksgiving-eve turkey Rosie Live would surely have killed it.”
LA Times: “‘Rosie Live’ may enter the realm of unsolved mysteries, along with the fate of Amelia Earhart and the design team of the pyramids. O’Donnell was clearly attempting to recapture the uplifting unapologetic wonder of the big Broadway musical and the television variety show. But having a bunch of talented guests does not a terrific show make—you have to actually give them something interesting to do. Otherwise you’re left with, well, a rubber turkey.”
Jeez….now that I know it was that bad, I’ve just got to watch it!
On this festive holiday, we here at I Should Be Sleeping present a series of cool links for your clicking pleasure…
- The Visual Dictionary – JPEG images of common words, allowing you to create graphical representations of words & phrases. The header of this post is a quick example of what it can do.
- The Motivator- An oldie but a goodie. Create one of those motivational posters you see popping up every once in a while…
- The Best Card Trick in the World – Some guy on YouTube who believes he has invented a simple, but impressive, card trick that anyone can do
- The Best Card Trick in the World – Revealed – Some other guy who has figured out how to do the card trick and explains it to you. Slowly. While smoking a pipe.
And especially for those of you who will be traveling this holiday season, a series of airport/airline related links, brought to you by an e-mail I got from CNET.COM:
- Flightstats.com- Type in an airline and a flight number, and get a consolidated page of data about the flight, including real-time map, and information about it’s originating airport and destination airport.
- Security Wait Times- A useful site from our friends at the Transportation Safety Administration. Who knew? As advertised, I thought this was going to provide me real-time updates on how long the security wait was at each terminal in each airport throughout the country. As it turns out, it provides historical averages based on day of the week and time of day. Not quite as useful, but still pretty handy if you’re not a frequent flier.
- Free Wifi Wiki- A wiki containing lists of airports with free wifi. I can’t vouch for the completeness or accuracy of this, but it’s a good idea. Know of one that’s not on there? Add it!
- Jeffs & Quist’s Air Power Wiki – Another wiki, this time listing where to find power outlets at each major airport. Again, don’t know how complete/accurate it is, but if we all pitch in, it’ll only get better
So, there you have it – some links for the holidays. Happy Turkey, everybody!
Hat tip to Kushol Gupta, source of all marching band-related info, for this picture of the mighty Bethune Cookman Marching Band (motto: “Who?”)
Kind of random, but you’ve gotta admit – kind of cool…
His rather flattering nomination reads as follows:
Brian at I Should Be Sleeping is a man of many interests and a great wit, with a curious and critical eye and a disposition for distilling complex issues into easy to understand concepts. His serious fare is moving and insightful and his lighter stuff is tongue-in-cheek hilarious. I know him in person, too, and he is a great guy to share company with.
Right back atcha’, Ilya. I really appreciate the kind words.
Anyway, with awards come responsibilities. In this case, these:
- Post the award on my blog.
- Link to the person who gave me the award.
- Nominate at least 4 others.
- Leave a comment on their blogs so they can pass it on.
#1 – check. #2 – check. #3:
- The Vast Jeff Wing Conspiracy: Jeff Porten provides a mix of politics, technology, and general wackiness that basically served as a template for this blog back in May of 2005. We agree on almost nothing politically, and can often be found proving that point repeatedly in each other’s comment forums. My only complaints with Jeff’s blog are these: first that he doesn’t post enough, and second, that his RSS feed is broken, so I’m often late to the party on his newest posts. Get right on that, Porten!!
- Defective Yeti: Matthew Baldwin, contributor to the Dallas Morning News, is one of the funniest guys on the web. And, as they say about Arizona in the summertime, it’s a dry wit. Beyond that, describing it is an exercise in futility. Just go check it out, why dontcha…
- Indexed: Jessica Hagy perfects (invents and then perfects?) the art of symbolic commentary with Indexed. A blog written entirely as charts & graphs on index cards, the humor and insightfulness to space ratio is incredibly high.
- Lifehacker: The holy grail of tips & tricks. Mostly about technology, but occasionally about work, life, etc.. I read it for the technology tips. A great feeder source for my Cool Links page, as well as the occasional piece of freeware that does something super-useful and/or super-awesome.
- Whatever: Gotta give a nod to Scalzi. I used to be a frequent commenter on his site, but dropped off completely after one too many run-ins with the proprietor (John and I don’t mix well, and it led to him saying some not-so-nice things about me in the public forum of his blog. As he often says – his blog, his rules – but that doesn’t mean I have to participate if I feel uncomfortable). Anyway, the fact that I don’t write there doesn’t mean I don’t read there, and John is an excellent writer who always keeps my attention, even if it involves biting my virtual tongue now & again.
I hasten to note that two of the blogs I read most often – Burlaki on the Thames and Simple Tricks & Nonsense are not on the above list because they either nominated me, or nominated each other. It strikes me as silly to turn this into a circular, mutual admiration society. That said, they are two excellent blogs, and if you’re looking for something great to read on a regular basis, you can do much worse than to check those guys out.
As for #4 – I agree with Ilya, that’s kinda stupid. A comment on their blogs would, by definition, be unrelated to whatever entry I commented on. So, I’ll just count on one of them (Jeff) reading about this here, and hope the other three check their ping-backs. If not, another accolade goes by the boards. So sad…
Son left home at age 10 for a week at computer camp, called 0 times, came home to mom’s lecture – “at least let us know you are not dead”.
One year later, son leaves for computer camp again, after 3 days an e-mail arrives “I’m not dead yet”.
No further communication ensued.
Erica Kaiser, a friend for many years, sent me another one of those “classic spam” e-mails, containing the twenty similarities between Lincoln and Kennedy. You know the type. I typically scan them and then delete them. But this one had some new stuff at the bottom which literally made me catch my breath. I’m sure I’m over-reacting and no, I don’t have some grand conspiracy theory cooking, it’s just the way this thing unfolds (bad pun as you’re about to see…) is altogether creepy. Click below the fold (another bad pun. Trust me, you’ll see….) for the creepy, breath-catching conclusion.
Sarah Palin pardoned a turkey this morning in Alaska, and then gave an interview about how good it is to be back in Alaska, where the media spotlight isn’t so bright, and people aren’t constantly looking over her shoulder to make her look stupid.
While she was discussing this, the guy over her shoulder was slaughtering turkeys with a grinding machine of some sort. The video is, of course, priceless:
(Hat tip: Wonkette)
Ladies & Gentlemen, hand puppets:
Click around to all twenty-two of them. They’re all awesome…
Yesterday, for no apparent reason, Internet Explorer 7 decided it didn’t like add-ins anymore. The yellow message bar that sometimes appears below the URL said this:
Internet Explorer is currently running with Add-Ins disabled
Typically, when something like this occurs, you can right click on the message and choose “Enable Add-Ins” or even “Permanently enable add-ins and leave me alone already.” This time, though, the only right-click options were to help pages that described what Add-Ins were, and what the yellow message bar was. Not particularly helpful.
I Googled around for answers, and found several other folks with the problem. Proposed solutions involved making sure you weren’t intentionally running without Add-Ins (an option if you right-click from the desktop), going to Tools–>Internet Options–>Programs–>Manage Add-Ins and enabling them (all of mine were enabled, as was the case with many reporting the problem), and even going somewhere in the Windows Control Panel and resetting all of Internet Explorer’s settings to the factory standards.
None of these were particularly appetizing, but then I noticed something: whenever the Add-Ins message appeared, the Google Toolbar did not appear. The Manage Add-Ins dialog told me that the toolbar was enabled, but it still seemed to be missing whenever the error appeared.
So, I reinstalled it. The Add-Ins message went away as quickly as it arrived.
Bottom line: I don’t know what was causing this weird scenario, but it’s gone now. If you have the same problem and you’re a Google Toolbar user, try re-installing the toolbar and see if it helps you out.
If not, well, please remember what you paid for this free advice.