Friday, December 31, 2004

Commercial Complaints

I watch way too much television. My favorite show (based on viewing time) is the local news on WLFI-TV in Lafayette, IN. I watch every broadcast, even though there is much rehashing of stories. (Not that much happens here.)

Because of my excessive viewing, I see lots of commercials. Including these:
I really need to get out more!

I've Been De-Pimped!

West Coast Customs LogoI love watching Pimp My Ride on MTV. Not because of the customizations. They are totally excessive and useless. The true premise of the show is "Let's get a bunch of money from advertisers and spend on frivolous things for no reason".

Pimped Hi-JetI have to wonder what happens after the camera crew leaves. Most of these cars are parked on the street outside the owner's house. What do you think happens to a car with four video screens, an X-Box, a killer sound system, and expensive rims when it sits outside overnight? I'm guessing most of the extras are gone within a week. The guy with the Hi-Jet van still had an aging piece of crap with an old, tired engine and creaky drive train. Even if he does manage to keep the chop shop crews away, how many more miles does that bucket have in it? One has to wonder how long it will be before that van is abandoned in on of those vacant LA housing projects we always see in the movies.

Apparently, I'm not the only one thinking about this.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

What Time Is It?

Dale Grubb's guest editorial in today's Lafayette Journal and Courier hit the time zone nail on the head. Like most people I speak with, he says that we should leave Indiana's time zone as is - Eastern Standard Time year round. The best quote:
It will always be a different time elsewhere, as the sun can't be everywhere at once.

It's too bad that our new governor has said he's going to make a big deal out of this. We need to let him know quickly that changing zones or the daylight savings setting is a bad idea.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

What Was I Thinking?

My wife was watching some doctor show on Fox. I walked by the TV when a shot of a buxom young lady in a lacy bra popped onto the screen.

I said, "Nice!"

I'll be paying for this for a long time...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Devil Made Him Do It

This story is about a man who tried to choke a minister to death - thinking that the kindly old man was actually the devil.

Maybe the old man is the devil.

If one follows a fundamentalist Christian religion, it is logical to think that Satan could be hiding among us. This is what many denominations teach every Sunday. So, before you judge this man, calling him insane or possessed himself, take the time to determine if the church elder could have been a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Otherwise, it may be time to re-evaluate your beliefs so that you don't teach unstable people to go off the deep end in the name of God.

You reap what you sow.

Friday, December 17, 2004

I'm a Stutterer

ME: Hello. My name is Tipp, and I'm a stutterer.

GROUP: Hello, Tipp!

Porky PigI've had a stuttering problem as long as I can remember. It doesn't happen that often, and probably isn't very noticeable, but it is there. Usually happens when I am out of my element, nervous, or in a hurry. It's amazing how getting stuck on a word during conversation can totally (and temporarily) zap my confidence level. I was at a reception the other night where I was having terrible trouble.

Michael Palin as KenSometimes, I can think about a word that I may have trouble saying (such as any female name beginning with a 'J' sound), and I can feel the tightening in my throat. Today, in a meeting, I needed to use the word 'contributor', but I couldn't even think it without feeling that feeling. I quickly switched to an alternate word before starting the sentence.

I am constantly amazed at both the power and mystery of the human mind. How I can't make myself say a word, how once I get caught it is very difficult to continue the word, and how quickly I can switch to a new one.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Everyone, Everyone Around Here

What a lousy day at work!

I was out of the office for a couple of days, and it's amazing what piled up. Add to that, the boss needed a report today (it didn't get done). Plus, we lost an employee back in August, and she still hasn't been replaced. So, I'm trying to do both her work and mine.

Anyway, when I have a day like this, I use music to change the mood. Today, the song that did the trick was National Anthem by Radiohead.

Radiohead on SNLI've only been into this band for a short time. I tried about five years ago, but I just couldn't get around the music. But then, a couple of years ago, I saw them perform this song on an SNL rerun, although I didn't then know the title. I was totally mesmerized! The singer was jerking and spitting, there was a guy alternating playing some sort of synth where he had a wire attached to his finger and beating on effects boxes on the floor, and the SNL horn section was out of control. All the while, the bassist and drummer held a steady, reliable beat. I think there may have also been a guitar player.

UMASS Drum LineMore recently, I stumbled upon a UMASS drum line recording of Paranoid Android and was intrigued. I downloaded the original recording, liked it, found some more, and copied their album "The Bends" from a co-worker.

I can now listen to National Anthem over and over. The metronome-like playing of the rhythm section holds down the fort while the sound effects fly around, the vocals are amazingly and brilliantly irritating, and the horns are totally chaotic. Listen to it for about 20 times, and you'll be hooked!

(See - I'm already forgetting about work just writing about a song. Amazing!)

Radiohead Group Shot

Friday, December 10, 2004

Tuba Christmas

I just got back from the West Lafayette Tuba Christmas. Jay Gephardt of Purdue Bands has led this group the last couple of years, and once again, it was a great show.

Tuba SantasFifty-Three tuba and euphonium players (not pictured) gathered in the west lobby of Stewart Center an hour before the Purdue Jazz Bands and American Music Review concert. They played approximately 10 traditional holiday songs arranged for the low brass. In between selections, Jay talked about the history of Tuba Christmas and the people who made it possible.

The arrangements are simple, yet inventive. "Away in a Manger" comes off quite well. The crowd favorite is "Jingle Bells" with a quote from "National Emblem" in the break.

Thanks to Jay and all the Tuba Santas. See you next year!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

There Goes Tokyo!

BOC Spectres Cover ArtI was driving to work* this morning, and I heard a live version of Blue Öyster Cult's Godzilla on the radio. It may have been one of those King Biscuit things.

What a blast from the past! I had been a big fan of the Cult back in high school, and even performed a version of Godzilla at a high school talent show. I've lost track of the band since then.

*I know, I shouldn't be working on Sunday, but it gives me the chance to do things I can't do during the week, such as:Sweet, huh?