Archives » November, 2006

November 16, 2006

Weird Al’s Animated Videos

Weird Al’s latest video is from those crazy Jib Jab folks

Al’s been making an interesting move with his latest album, Straight Outta Lynwood. Instead of producing just two or three “big budget” music videos to run on MTV, he turned to animation, people like John K, Bill Plympton, and the Robot Chicken and Jib Jab guys, to make videos for a fraction of what they’d normally cost. The result is that 9 out of the 12 songs on the album have videos available. That’s 75%, a pretty unheard of number. And he’s embracing the internet, letting his videos be put up on YouTube and other video sites, and even putting up singles on his own MySpace page.

And did all this sharing hurt his sales, like so many record labels are afraid of? Nope. In fact, it gave him his first Top 10 album and single ever. So maybe there’s something to be said for internet promotion driving record sales, you think?

Some more animated videos:

“Close But No Cigar”

“Don’t Download This Song”

“Virus Alert”

November 15, 2006


Because you never need an excuse to play Madness.

And because you can’t stop at just one.

E.T Is the Worst

Poor E.T. Have may have made it home, but even 24 years later his video game still gets no respect. It made it to the top of PC World’s list of The 10 Worst Games of All Time.

Don’t let it get you down, little guy. You just keep levitating out of that pit.

November 14, 2006

The Amazing Race 10×09: Being Polite Sucks Sometimes

My recap of the latest Amazing Race episode is now up at

Also on the train, forgetting that they’re supposed to have shut up by now, Lyn makes an “announcement” to the “party train” that Rob and Kimberly are not their friends. WTF? The party train? And Rob and Kim are not invited? Oh, the horrors. Karlyn even seals the deal: “No party train with them.” She’s pretty adamant about this. There must have been some good mushrooms in that swamp; this train doesn’t seem nearly festive enough to be called the party train.

Go read it all.

Episode links:
Miss Alli’s recap
TV Squad review
TV Guide review
Download the episode with BitTorrent

November 13, 2006

The Realities

RFF Radio announces the Reality TV Awards – “The Realities”. Go there today and you can vote in such categories as Best Theme Music, Worst Reality Show, and Biggest Scumbag of 2006. Voting is open until November 30th.

This is part of the RFF Radio podcast, one of the few podcasts I listen to on the day it’s released. And it’s also affiliated with, where I write my Amazing Race recaps. And you’ll probably notice that I haven’t written my recap for last night’s show yet. That’s because the show hasn’t popped up for download yet, and I like to be watching it on the computer while I write. Damn pirates.

November 12, 2006

Inside The Ormsby House

I can’t believe it took me this long to get this published. On October 20, 2006, I was invited to take a tour of the Ormsby House. I went from the top of the roof to the bottom of the basement, and everywhere in between.

2006-10-20 151
The Grand Staircase

After plenty of procrastination, I’ve finally published the photos from that tour. These pages take you through to see how much progress has been made on the inside. I don’t want to spoil the end, but there’s not a lot done. There was a lot of demolition, to be sure, and the building is largely gutted. But they haven’t done a lot of construction to put it back together, except on the hotel floors. And even there, there’s still a lot left to do.

Anyway, go take the tour for yourself. There are five pages this time.

November 11, 2006

Not Fooling Anybody

Taco Bell? No, 2000 Wok.

You know how when a fast food restaurant moves out of a building to set up shop across town, sometimes new owners will move in and reuse the building without doing any remodeling? So the building still looks like the fast food place, even if it serves completely different food? Or even if they’re now selling carpets or insurance or whatever? That’s what this site is devoted to: Not Fooling Anybody.

Look through the Field Guide to spot the different architectural styles used, and browse the Index to see all the bad conversions across the country.

November 9, 2006

Charles Phoenix’ Disneyland Tour of Downtown Los Angeles

If you don’t know Charles Phoenix, go read his bio. He’s an entertainer in Los Angeles who collects old vintage slides from the 40s through the 70s, and uses them to put on hilarious slideshows. He’s also published books of slides, and he has a “slide of the week” on his website.

But in the last few years he’s added something new to his repertoire: tour guide. A few times a year he loads up a school bus full of folks and takes them on what he calls the “Disneyland Tour of Downtown Los Angeles.” He travels around LA, pointing out the parallels between the largest city in the west and the Happiest Place on Earth. Union Station represents the Main Street train station. Chinatown is Adventureland, and Clifton’s Cafeteria stands in for both Frontierland and Bear Country.

Most of us reading this site are never going to be able to go on the tour. So that’s why it’s great that someone has put together this fifteen-minute video with all the tour’s highlights. Pop some popcorn, kick back, and watch it.

Does it make you want to go too?

November 8, 2006

Vista RTM

Today is V-Day. The news is all over (I heard it from Scoble) that Windows Vista is finished. Done. Going right now to be put on DVD and sent out to the world. We’ve been waiting for this for five years now, and it really seemed like it would never come.

So, let’s start the countdown clock for the next version of Windows. 2011? 2013?

November 7, 2006

The Amazing Race 10×08: He Can’t Swim, But He Can Eat Cow Lips

My recap of the latest Amazing Race episode is now up at

Of course one of the overriding themes of The Amazing Race has always been how Americans deal with third-world poverty in a sensitive and thoughtful manner. And so it’s in that vein that the editors bring us this exchange between Rob and Kimberly, as they’re riding around in their taxi.

Kim: Breathing in exhaust is really bad for you, right?
Rob: Yeah.
Kim: So how do these people, like…
Rob: Babe, they die a lot younger than we do. That’s what happens. Most of ’em don’t get enough protein, so their brains don’t develop as much. Brain needs protein.

Rob delivers this last line with all the gravity of Confucius. Like he’s going to write it down on a fortune cookie later. You guys, I’ve got to go lay down. You might have to finish this show without me.

Go read it all.

Episode links:
Miss Alli’s recap
TV Squad review
TV Guide review
Download the episode with BitTorrent