Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where is my miniature giraffe?

I love this Russian dude, but my main takeaway from this commercial is that I need a miniature giraffe! It's all well and good that DirecTV is trying to sell their service, but they're missing the boat by not selling mini giraffes. They have single handedly created a market, yet haven't provided product for the marketplace. Bad business, if you ask me.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 102 - 03-26-11 - The Time Travel Edition

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 102 With the prospect of being out of town in Chicago for his Grandfather-in-law's 95th birthday, Craig didn't want to just throw in the towel for today's show. Rather than just canceling, Craig and Face decided to put together a pre-recorded podcast version of the show. The boys discussed armed robbery, race relations, among other topics, and they ran down Career Builder’s Top 10 bad excuses for being late to work that people have actually given their bosses. Craig then discussed what happens when he Googles himself, and we finished up talking about the likelihood that the Phoenix Coyotes were going to be moving back to Winnipeg and discussed the relative merits of Winnipeg Jets vs. Manitoba Moose for the name if they end up in the city they moved away from fifteen year ago. The Vertically Striped Music Recommendation was “Be my Yoko Ono” by Barenaked Ladies, and the show finished up with a solid edition of 5 Minutes with Luke where Luke talks about some of his future life ambitions as well as his desire to someday play football for the Rockies (The kid is a little confused). This show was originally recorded back on March 16th.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just so we're clear: This is not okay.


I don't care how good you are at rescuing the princess. Friends don't let friends wear sweaters depicting classic video games. You'll get beat up, and I will totally condone the brutality of the beating. If you wear this sweater, you did this to you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thanks for nothing Thesaurus.com. You're totally not a dinosaur.

The interwebs are a weird place. I just went to Thesaurus.com to find me up a good word to make it seem that I'm much smarter than I actually am. (I know "find me up a good word" is poor English, but it felt good...Leave me alone grammar nazis.) 

So anywho...I type in "theme" into the trusty Thesaurus.com search engine and I am treated to this gem. "No results found for theme: Did you mean theme?" Um...what? I'm pretty sure that's the same word, thesaurus dude.  I clicked on their version of the word that I had just spelled correctly, and a handy list of helpful synonyms popped up. Still...I'm dying to know what was going on there.

Also, it really is a shame that a thesaurus isn't a dinosaur...for what it's worth.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Potentially Deep Thought:

"You can be lonely while missing someone who is in the same house as you."

That could be some profound statement on relationships on the brink...but in my case, it just means I got home and my kids were already sleeping, my wife had to go to work, and now I'm sitting at home alone and bored. I'd wake them up, but they really need the sleep.

Child I miss Number 1
Child I miss Number 2

In a totally unrelated bit of news, I'm going to try and post on this crazy blog a bit more often than I have been of late. I can't promise greatness, but if you've ever been to this blog in the past, you already know that. I'm going for a quantity over quality motif. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 101 - 03-19-11 - Vertically Striped on Location.

Craig was on location at his childhood home to avoid roofers and their noise. It was a mildly Irish themed show, and The Whale, Face, Elevation, and Major Minority all made appearances at some point as we discussed things such as the NCAA tournament, the best way to determine a champion in sports, and the glory that is visual voice-mail. (By the way, the VSR Voice-Mail is now active, and if you'd like to leave a message the number is 720-CUB-1-ACE.)

I gave Major Minority the duty of picking our next movie to discuss for the He-Man Movie Watchers Club. He was kind enough to call in to help us discuss his movie Shutter Island. We bandied about a plethora of random theories to try and explain this rather inexplicable movie.  

We finished up with a quick discussion about a grammar discussion on Dameshek.com and a bit of grammatical advice from Strong Bad. Then an Irish twinged Vertically Striped Music Recommendation of Galway Girl by Steve Earle.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Impending Death of Snark.

It may seem odd for me to claim that snark is at death's door. Anyone even remotely familiar with Twitter has probably seen the tidal waves of snark that descend upon any world event. The Oscars telecast is broadcast, and the entire world population trips over each other in a hunt to be the first to have a witty negative comment about how much every segment sucks. A football player drops an important pass in a big game and ridicule from every corner comes in, the more sarcastic the better. Charlie Sheen publicly loses his mind, and the outpouring of help for him appears non-existent whilst ironic "#Winning" hashtags explode on the internets.

My declaration of the approaching death of snark may be overstated; people are going to continue to utilize sarcasm and witty negativity in an attempt to gain attention and a following. I don't think the attempts are going to die out, but I feel that the effectiveness is going to dry up. (That is, if it hasn't already.)

As with so many of society's trends, it's hard to pin the history of snark on anything in particular. I can remember vividly where I began seeing it's effectiveness in my life, and I can pinpoint it to a definitive television program: Sportscenter. (Specifically Sportscenter's heyday in the early to mid-nineties.)

Prior to the start of that decade, America was largely a snark free zone, and with no modern day social media echo chamber, it might even be considered insulated. The witty and biting Sportscenter comments were fresh and new. Snark quickly became a cottage industry, popularized by ESPN hosts who were more standup comics than they were sportscasters and spreading like wildfire during the pioneer days of the internet. For a nation that had just survived the 80's, perhaps the least self-aware period in human history, it was a breath of fresh air at the time.

If cable television is the birthplace of modern day snark, the internet is truly where it grew to adulthood. People were now able to communicate across the globe as easily as they could with their next door neighbors...perhaps even easier if the neighbors were not sociable. This ease of communication coupled with the cloak of internet anonymity made it possible to lower your level of respect, and gave a generation a lot of practice at sharpening their ironic wit at the expense of internet noobs or anyone lacking the common sense to be dumber than the person lampooning them.

In the past ten years, an unreal number of people have made a living by tearing down the world around them using equal parts negativity and comedy. The Onion built a newspaper/internet sensation around it. However, the effectiveness of the snark is withering with overuse. I foresee a future where the real success will be found in people being earnest, sincere and funny rather than negatively looking to destroy others with their humor. I think the hacks of the world will still be swinging out, but my guess is truly that the greatest comics will be those who engage us in ways that tap into comedy from a genuine and authentic place, vulnerable even.

Some comedians will no doubt continue to find success in snark, a lot of being funny is innate to a person’s core, and if you're good at it, your methods don't matter as much as your natural talent. I just think that for the average person making a joke we've reached a saturation point with snark. So many people are using it that unless you're a comedic genius, the tactic is becoming less effective.

The way people experience humor changes over time, theoretically someone used to think that “chicken crossing the road” jokes were funny. I honestly believe we are on the front end of a massive shift in direction away from negativity. Perhaps this is just me hoping, as I grow weary of the negative and find myself increasingly searching for people with positive things to say. I'm hoping I'm not alone, and I honestly believe that I'm not.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 100 - 03-12-11 - The 100th Episode Spectacular

It was the 100th episode spectacular edition of VSR, and appropriately, Blogtalk was causing technical issues for Craig. Despite the fact that at several times his phone freaks out due to Blogtalk being Blogtalk, we were still able to relive several great moments from the first 155 Hours 43 Minutes and 08 seconds of show history. This show you get to hear great moments including clips from Elevation, The Whale, Face Ventura, The Ed, and even Dave Dameshek. 

This episode also allows you to relive The Ed's epic Swap Meet Surgery episode, an all time great moment in the show. Face, The Ed, Aaron Young from the No Name Show, and Craig discuss the great moments and reflect on the first 99 as well as look forward to the future of the show. 

 The Show ended up with a music recommendation of a song (and album) from Mumford & Sons. The song and album are both called "Sigh No More" and the music is amazing, do yourself a favor and pick it up immediately. (You can also do the show a favor and buy it from the Amazon link that you can find at www.verticallystripedsocks.com) 

Thanks to all who made the first 100 episodes of this show wonderful fun for me, I look forward to even more wonderful fake radio in the future.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Super Friends - The Next Generation

Super Batman, Soccer Girl, and Beach Blanket Bingo Boy are keeping the world safe. Safe from what exactly? I'm not sure, but they have a lot of enthusiasm, so that should count for something...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 99 - 03-05-11 - Ed's handyman service can work for you!

Craig was all ready with show prep to beat the band for Episode 99, but when The Ed calls in...sometimes you just gotta let him roll. We spend the first hour of the show basically letting him do the Ed Show with a special Saturday time slot. He discussed his recent "hardwood installation" job, which basically consists of him super-gluing plywood to carpet and calling it hardwood. Apparently the people for whom he did this work are unhappy with the results. Go figure.

After about an hour of Ed, we spend fifteen minutes or so trying to get him off of the phone, which we eventually are able to accomplish. Then Face, the Whale and Craig spend the rest of the show in a He-Man Movie Watchers Club meeting discussing the 80's Steve Martin flick "Roxanne".

The Vertically Striped Music recommendation was "A Well Respected Man" by The Kinks. Craig then introduced a new segment which he will use to close out shows..."Five Good minutes with Luke."

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