Month: September 2007

Queer Eye for the Dead Guy

Queer Eye for the Dead Guy

Funny Stuff
In an effort to make the drab five-dollar bill more appealing (and to combat counterfeiters I suppose), it seems poor ol' Abe Lincoln has been given the metrosexual makeover he so desperately needed. "Ooooh, look at you Mr. Stone Face! 'Grrrr, I'm the president and I freed the slaves! Hey, who are you and how did you get in my private booth?!' Kidding! So listen, just because you've been dead for almost 150 years doesn't mean you can't look fab-u-lous! Hmmm, let's see here. Any chance of loosening up that collar? Maybe a polo shirt? No? Oh well. You know, green really isn't 'in' anymore, but I guess we can't buck tradition too much. So let's have some fun, and add some...purple! Oh, that's hot. While we're at it, any chance of getting some product in that hair? It's just not workin...
They called what?! NFL rules you never knew about.

They called what?! NFL rules you never knew about.

Funny Stuff, Sports
With the recent dust-up over Spygate, more attention is being focused on what is and isn't allowed in the NFL. And let's face it, American football can already be a confusing sport to follow, what with it's myriad of well-known rules and regulations. Not to mention the fact that at least once a season, some poor team gets screwed by a seldom-cited section of the NFL rulebook (think the Oakland/New England "Tuck Game"). In an effort to shed light on some of the league's more arcane infractions, I bring you illustrated, genuine examples of some penalties you might never see called in your lifetime, but can nonetheless win bar bets by knowing. The illegal horse-collar tackle is well-known by football fans, but slightly less well-known is the ol' "righty tighty, lefty loosey" tac...
Yet another shameless plug

Yet another shameless plug

Music
I recently had the chance to conduct an interview with a real live band - well, over email that is. As a result of an earlier post on this very blog, the manager for Backyard Tire Fire wrote to me, and one of the end results is that I was able to get the band featured on Blogcritics as this week's Band of the Week. It was definitely a neat experience, and my first foray into interviewing since my days as a high school sports reporter in the '90s. So to sum up - check out the interview and check out the band. Quality stuff indeed.
Album review: Joe Henry – Civilians

Album review: Joe Henry – Civilians

Music
Joe Henry has spent enough time recording and producing albums to know exactly what he wants to accomplish, and how to get right down to it. That's exactly what he does on his tenth full-length release, Civilians. The opening title cut seems straightforward and simple, but is packed with brilliant little musical and lyrical touches that reward close listening. It's an intimate song, complete with a small string section, and feels not so much like the beginning of a new album but the middle of one that is well underway. That intimacy permeates Civilians, which trades the spirit of adventure and texture found on earlier Henry albums like Scar and Fuse for one of delicacy and contemplation. Its songs are layered but never cluttered, delicate yet insistent, and wistful without being dre...
Does this make me a tech geek or a football geek?

Does this make me a tech geek or a football geek?

Funny Stuff
So apparently Microsoft is developing a web analytics tool to rival Google Analytics, which is one service I already use for this blog. The code name for this new service is Gatineau, named after the Canadian city where the original developer is located. No matter how good the service might end up being under its new name, it's always going to be a little tainted for me because I see the name 'Gatineau' and instantly think of former NFL defensive star Mark Gastineau. So now when I see Microsoft's service I will always think of the stupid Sack Dance he popularized in the '80s (and which presaged many of the inane celebrations that now pepper every NFL game). So there's a little insight into my demented mind.
Rob Zombie gets a rock

Rob Zombie gets a rock

Movies
Credit Rob Zombie for at least this much -- he opted to offer a different perspective on John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic Halloween rather than to simply update it. The problem is not that his new take fails to improve upon the original story, but that it detracts from it in crucial ways. While this was perhaps predictable, it is nonetheless disappointing. Zombie's biggest miscalculation is in providing a more detailed look at Michael Myers' early life in an abusive and low-class household. Not only does this demystify the character - for part of what made the original so great was that Myers was seemingly as blank as his iconic spray-painted William Shatner mask - but it reduces him to a clichéd white trash psychopath. He is picked on at school, tortures animals, and lives with a d