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December 4, 2004

The Return of Significant Others

Earlier today, the Tivo picked up the entire premier season of Significant Others on Bravo. I guess Bravo decided to re-air the episodes today since the premier of the second season is tomorrow night. I caught most of the first season episodes back in March, after the Tivo picked it up the second episode as a “suggestion” for me. I fell in love and setup my season pass to catch all the rest.

Basically, the show starts with each of the 3-4 couples featured in the show in a therapy session. The session is filmed as tho you’re the therapist, looking at the couple and listening to them babble. Each couple sets up one or more issues for the episode and then we’re off to live it. In the main event, we’re presented with snippets from each couple’s life together where the issues play themselves out to much hilarity. Finally, we return to a second therapy session, where we sometimes reach a conclusion over the issues at hand…or not.

From a production perspective, the show is shot in the “quick-cut” method so very popular in the modern shows of today. In both the therapy sequences and the “life” sequences, we hop from story to story, no more than a minute at a time. It definitely keeps the laughs up, and keeps you flirting with the disasters you quickly see approaching in all of these couple’s lives. According to the Bravo website, the show is improvised by the actors and actresses as it is filmed…although I have a feeling only the therapy sessions are improvised - the “real life” sequences seem scripted to match the improvised material from the therapy sessions.

This show was a $99 Special from the Slamdance Festival. NBC picked it up to pilot it for its prime-time line-up, but the show got pushed off to Bravo for airing. Doubtlessly, it was a bit too racy for prime-time…it deals with a LOT of adult themes. I’m glad it was picked up; this is certainly one of my favorite shows on TV right now.

December 14, 2004

OK, So Maybe Boohbah Isn't 100% Evil

I’ve come across the only hint of goodness I’ve found so far to spawn from the evilness of Boohbah:

Boohbah is now code word for, Hightail it to the bedroom, we’ve got roughly 17 minutes.

OfficeMax's Holiday Gift

I don’t see many ads with the Tivo, but during one of the holiday shows (I think it was “A Charlie Brown Christmas”) I saw the OfficeMax Holiday Rubberband Man Ad. I hadn’t seen any of the previous “Rubberband Man” ads OfficeMax had produced, but the holiday one was slick. They filmed it in that stop-motion animation style made popular in all those holiday TV specials. Even the Rubberband Man had been modeled!

The thing I fell in love with the most was the choral version of Rubberband Man featured in the ad. JManDoo used his black voodoo and isolated the track for me (and you, coincidentally)! Enjoy!

Holiday Choral Rubberband Man Ad Soundtrack

December 28, 2004

Yamaha the Hydra

So, finally, after much teeth gnashing and a few cramps in my fingers my new Yamaha YHT-450 is finally installed, sans the rear center speaker. (I’ll have to hook up the remaining speaker after I get a mount for it, but the wiring is already run so it should be nearly mount ‘n play!)

Took me about 6 hours in total, from 3pm in the afternoon Sunday to 9pm that night. All six speakers needed to have their speaker wires cut, split and stripped from one gigantic spool provided with the system. The rear three speakers caused a bit of head scratching, until I realized that I could run the wires on top of the blind valences over my two patio doors. That hid the speaker wires quite well, and kept them out of the way, and as it worked out the provided spool gave me almost the exact amount of wire to accomplish this setup.

As I hooked up my components, I decided to switch back to my previous DVD player, my old reliable Toshiba SD-3109. I had purchased a new Samsung DVD player a few years ago, since I wanted to be able to read burned CDs and the Toshiba is unable to handle any burned CDs. Over the years I haven’t amassed the large number of burned DVDs I thought I would have - and the annoying layer transition pause on the newer DVD player is around a quarter second. The old Toshiba accomplished its layer transition almost instantaneously.

Because I wanted to “experience” the cool Dolby/DTS sound with my new system, I picked up an optical cable for my DVD player from Target. A word to the wise - I managed to get a 12 ft optical cable from Target for 40% less than Best Buy was going to charge me for a 6ft cable! (And that’s the non-Monster cable versions!)

After getting everything hooked up, I was pleased to find out that the Yamaha remote had all of my components covered but one - the Tivo. No problem, I thought to myself, since the Tivo remote could be programmed to support controlling the A/V system. The “supported” solution allows you to control the mute and volume controls through the A/V system. There is also an “undocumented” solution that SHOULD allow you to power on/off the A/V system with the TV. Unluckily, due to either the specific Yamaha codes necessary or the fact that I’ve got a Sony-made Series 1 SVR-2000 Tivo I can’t get this trick to work with my setup. Luckily the volume and mute still work, at least.

After going through the setup, I “initiated” the system with Fantasia 2000. A perfect disc to highlight the new audio setup, and boy, did it make a huge difference! It really makes a huge difference in the soundtrack! Yay!

Last night I watched the Matrix, my first DVD and the reason I got my first player back in ‘99, in the full surround sound setup. Absolutely wonderful! It was almost as big of a change as when I saw my first DVD after watching VHS the rest of my life.

January 23, 2005

Alton and My Chicken

A few weeks ago, I was possessed to go visit Alton Brown’s website. I didn’t really go up there looking for anything in particular…I think I had just finished watching an episode of Good Eats and thought I’d check it out. I noticed an AB on Tour link and clicked through. Low and behold, Alton was coming to Minneapolis to promote his book! I added it to my calendar…and thought I’d forget about it until shortly before.

However, even with the stress of the last two weeks, I’d often find myself looking forward to the book signing. I checked the website a few days later, noticed that an independent bookstore, Bound To Be Read had been added, decided that’s where I’d go.

Continue reading "Alton and My Chicken" »

March 7, 2005

Once Again, I'm The Last In Line

As I continue the struggle to emerge from the month-long hiatus from all things cultural, I came across this wonderful new Burger King TV commercial for their Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch chicken sandwich.

I can’t stop laughing. It has Hootie singin’ this promotional song about the new chicken sandwich to the tune of Harry McClintock’s goofy hobo song, “Big Rock Candy Mountain”. (Here’s a link to my favorite version, by Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers)

Quite catchy…and the sexual innuendo is subtle in a very obvious way. Watch it. Enjoy it.

April 2, 2005

Texas 2005: Movin' & Shakin'
Big Brother In Da House

First off: I was rudely awakened this morning by a call from 888-587-0496. Therefore, I will rudely awaken this entry with the following message: 888-587-0496 is the phone number for the automated schedule notifier/Care Alerts for Orbitz.com. They don’t tell you this anywhere, nor do they make it available for reverse lookup on the usual sites. I’ll put this here in the hopes that the great Google may look highly enough upon this poor blog post to index the information for others to share.

The trip down to Texas this time came out of an offer to help my Sister and Bro-In-Law move from their apartment into their first house. Although they closed on the house a few weeks ago, waiting for me to visit didn’t really end up being too onerous of a wait. First, the previous homeowners ended up renting the house back from them for a few days while they finished their move out of the house. Then, the remainder of the time my Sister and Bro-In-Law spent painting many of the rooms, getting a fence installed for their dogs and doing other assorted chores best done before you need to move everything in and live in a home.

Continue reading "Texas 2005: Movin' & Shakin'
Big Brother In Da House" »

October 20, 2005

Pledge Drive Story Ahead!

It is pledge time again…the local public media outlets are filling the airwaves, rolling out their most impressive programming, trying to hook people into contributing or renewing their memberships. Every time this happens, I think back to a potentially scarring incident that occurred in my 10th, maybe 11th year, here on this Earth. Luckily, for MPR, the incident didn’t really affect me, since they count me as a contributor today, but as you will see it so easily could have scared me away from public media forever.

Continue reading "Pledge Drive Story Ahead!" »

January 30, 2007

Belated Holiday YouTube Action

Why didn’t I see this before Christmas?!?! Oh well, direct from the YouTube mothership…

“Charlie Brown Christmas - Performed by the Cast of Scrubs”

February 5, 2007

120 Minutes Love

Relive your adolescence.

Collected Playlists from MTV’s 120 Minutes

February 22, 2007

Name The Man Who Said "Snagglepuss" On KARE-11 News

Damon On KARE-11 News As I mentioned in my post about The 2007 KVSC Trivia Contest, KARE-11 News sent Boyd Huppert to do a sweeps feature for his Land of 10000 Stories news segment. Tonight the story finally aired.

Looks like they did a great job of giving everyone on the team a bit of face time. I’m featured more than once, from various angles. (And from the editing, it looks like I’m in both rooms at once. How’s that for magic? When they show the first half of the basement, I’m in front, long white t-shirt, back to the camera…when they show the second half of the room, I’m sitting on the couch in a striped polo shirt) You can see my sister and Davin in numerous shots as well, and Kelly (who only joined us for 2 hours of play) is even in the clip calling in the “101 Dalmations” guess. My biking partner Kate, who is the one responsible for hooking me up with the team, is in there sticking out her tongue and calling in the answer “Paco de LucĂ­a”. Tim, the captain of the team, who was there when I met Kate on the Tour of Saints is the guy in the black t-shirt shouting out, “OK, we got number 1”. Dean, who Kate and I often play trivia with down at Leaning Tower of Pizza, is featured leaning in to listen to the radio during the Big Question, which is fitting considering his specialty is music.

All in all, I’m amazed at how well the piece came together. You can view the piece here on KARE-11’s website, or contact me if you’d like to see it in higher-quality, as I’ve got a number of clips of it saved off of the Tivo.

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