Thursday, December 31, 2009

Superstar of the Week is Danny DeVito

Look at the little bugger. What a freakin goofball. Who else can pull off playing The Terminator's twin in a movie while being 5 feet, bald, and the complete opposite of anything athletic? No one, that's who. And unlike Arnold, he was actually a perfect fit for his role in Batman as The Penguin. Arnold as Mr. Freeze? Really? Mr. Freeze was a geeky pencil-neck scientist who was enhanced by a mechanical suit, not the beefed up Austrian monstrosity which is Arnold.

But then again, "Batman and Robin" may be along the lines of being one of the worst movies ever, not unlike Highlander the Source, and the casting of Arnold was only one of a multitude of things that are upsetting about that movie's existence. What was up with the Bane character? Bane is supposed to be savvy and intelligent, not some mindless oaf who speaks in one word sentences.

God what a horrible movie. The first movie was a classic. Batman Returns was good. But then Joel Schumaker came along and wrenched the series from Tim Burton's hands, as well as its fan base. I don't know if he was trying too hard to be "Tim Burtony" or what, but what a train wreck. God, seriously... Batman and Robin was a horrible horrible Batman adaptation.

And that's what I have to say about Danny DeVito.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Superstar of the Week is Thurl Ravenscroft

This man, who looks a lot like some cliche villain from a 1960's movie, was a voice actor known for his deep booming voice. He is best known for the voice of Tony the Tiger. He also provided the voice for the buffalo head at Disneyland's former attraction, The Country Bear's Jamboree. But he is rarely attributed to what may be his best known work. The familiar bass singing you hear in Dr. Seuss' animated classic, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is none other than Thurl Ravencroft.

Many people mistake the voice of this classic song as belonging to Boris Karloff, despite the fact that this voice doesn't really sound like Boris Karloff. This is because Karloff narrates the story as well as provides the voice for the Grinch. But some incompetent bastard forgot to add Thurl to the credits, an error which somehow slipped past editing, and to this day people still attribute this classic performance to Boris.

The Grinch song can now be heard as sung by the voice of Tay Zonday.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

J-Dubb's E-Begging Campaign

So, awhile back I made a video discussing the controversy of E-Begging. In this video, I try my hand at it.

Watch J-Dubb's E-Begging Campaign


Music by Kevin MacLeod

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Store Renovations: WHY!?

Store Renovations = Great way to annoy your customers

Seriously, what's the deal!? Why do stores feel the need to move all their inventory around every two years? Does some exec walk through the store going, "hmm, the peanut butter just isn't working over here where we decided to put it last time. Why not put it over there where the soups are. Speaking of the soups, they'd be more efficient over there. And these potato chips; all wrong. They'd be more feng shui a little closer to the produce section."

Seriously, what is the rationale behind this? There is no logical reason to shift your store all around like a giant rubik's cube! But somewhere, somebody is writing something down on paper in such a way that convinces someone else that a renovation has to be done. What is it? How are you convincing your bosses that a renovation is a good idea?

Here's what happens: Some executive, likely with a job title that has the word "planner" or "coordinator" in it, sits around with no work to do. So they have to come up with something to make it seem like they're actually getting paid for a reason. It's about job security. So what do they do? They plan and coordinate merely for the purpose of planning and coordinating. But since they don't really have any creativity, all they can come up with to plan and coordinate is a store renovation. Now they're not just getting paid for doing nothing, they're actually getting paid to halt the store's productivity. It's like paying the hospital for infecting you with a virus.

Stores, Stop it! Stop listening to whomever this is who keeps deciding to renovate. I don't know who they are, but fire them. They are a drain on your resources. Renovation is not only pointless, it is a bad idea. And I'm not just whining because something changed. Renovation is a bad idea!

So, basically, you're compromising productivity while pouring manpower into the act of pissing off your customers. Customers hate this. They avoid your store while the renovation is underway because nobody wants to navigate a cart around misplaced isles and bustling employees. But then, once all is said and done, you create a circus as lost shoppers hustle around trying to find your misplaced items.

Your customers don't go to your store wanting to partake in a fun scavenger hunt as they try to locate the items on their list. Your customers want to go in, get what they're there for, then go home and throw their shoes off.

This would be bad enough if only one or two people frequented your store at a time, but that's not how it works. There are a lot of people in this world, and many of them are shopping at your store all at the same time. A store can be chaotic enough as it is with people not watching where they're going, suddenly stopping right in front of you, and leaving grocery carts in the middle of isles. But throw in the added element of people not knowing where to find things because everything's been changed around and you have a zoo.

Now, Albertson's was the guilty party today, but they all do this. In fact, Fred Meyer probably does it more than any store I've ever seen. But there's absolutely no real reason for doing this. I don't care what's on some piece of paper explaining why stores need to renovate, or what rationale a bunch of people around a conference table came up with. There is no reason for it, other than to preserve some useless job titles.

Stop it! Bad store!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Superstar of the Week is Ramblin Rod

Who is this Ramblin Rod? If you grew up in the Portland area, you already know. For the rest of you however; Ramblin Rod ran a cartoon show in the afore mentioned Portland area from 1964 to 1997, and as per the testimony of many former kids, he was a dick. Now, I never met the guy myself, but seeing how everything I have heard seems to confirm this (and I have heard nothing which contaradicts this) it seems that the man with a million buttons on his sweater was a huge prick.

I don't remember much about the live show in between cartoons, but the thing I remember the most is that it always began by showing a phony TV set that looked a lot like an Etch a Sketch with legs. A hand would tune this TV using the white Etch a Sketch knobs, until a voice said "Now it's time for the Ramblin Rod show." Then the knobs would pop off the TV and dance around, still connected by what seemed to be optic nerves.

The show itself consisted of a studio which contained a "peanut gallery" of about 50 kids. There was a smile contest and a birthday celebration. Kids all over the Portland area wanted to appear on The Ramblin Rod Show to be on TV. When they did, they discovered that when the camera wasn't rolling, Rod was a crank.

So, in a nutshell, Ramblin Rod was a grump with a cartoon show and a whole bunch of buttons on his freakin sweater.


Oh, and yes, I said "was." RIP 1933 - 2002

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Superstar of the Week is Jan Crouch

The superstar this week is Jan Crouch. She's a singer and aspiring super model who is in love with a small green frog made of felt.

Oh wait... I'm thinking of someone else.


So... Jan Crouch; she is the stuff nightmares are made of. With that big poofy hair, layers of eye makeup, and that menacing grin; Pennywise used to have his parents check under his bed to make sure Jan Crouch wasn't hiding under there. But they didn't, because they were too afraid that she might actually be there, waiting to devour their brains. So they all barricaded themselves in a room with flashlights and didn't get an ounce of sleep. Really... that's Pennywise's back story. Just ask Steven King.

Now days, Jan Crouch sits upon her golden throne as she rules the Galactic Empire.

"As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!"

And that's all there is to say about Jan Crouch.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Superstar of the Week is Mathew Roberts

Los Angeles DJ, Mathew Roberts, has ended the search for his biological father. The vegetarian and fan of Mahatma Gandhi has been informed by his birth mother that his biological father is in fact Charles Manson. Yes, "that" Charles Manson. Peace-loving Mathew Roberts is doing his best to cope with this new information.

Man discovers long lost dad is Charles Manson

Monday, November 23, 2009

Superstar of the Week is Danny MacAskill

Stunt cyclist, Danny MacAskill of Edinburgh Scottland, was recently put out of commission after suffering an injury which required hospitalization. The daredevil, known for pushing the limits of human ability with his treacherous stunts, was out taking a walk when he tripped over a curb and broke his collar bone.

BBC News

Monday, November 16, 2009

Superstar of the Week is Daniel Baldwin

Wait... what?? Who? Is there really such a person? Superstar of the week has featured many people from celebrities, to news makers, to random people from Google searches. Even puppets and household appliances have been featured. Never before has an imaginary person been featured for Superstar of the Week, right?

Well, believe it or not, Daniel Baldwin is in fact a real person. He is the brother of Alec Baldwin.

You mean that crazy religious guy who stars in B movies and reality shows?

No, that's Steven Baldwin. This is Daniel Baldwin.

But why feature Daniel Baldwin? What has he ever done? At least The Count provides kids with educational entertainment, Don Polinski is some Canadian park supervisor, and the Kenmore washer and dryer set gets your clothes clean. What has Daniel Baldwin done to be featured?

He's Alec and Steven's brother.

We know who they are. Who the hell is Daniel?

Look, you don't have to actually do anything to be Superstar of the Week. All you have to do is exist. I could feature this piece of paper in front of me if I wanted. That doesn't do anything either.

Sure it does. It has provided you with a place to scribble notes and e-mail addresses and has the potential to serve as a paper airplane or waste-basketball.

But Daniel Baldwin breathes and eats. That's something.

Well... that's true.

So it's settled. Daniel Baldwin: he eats and breathes and now he's the Superstar of the Week.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Return of the Cort and Fatboy Show

Three weeks after the firings from the infamous radio station, the Cort and Fatboy Show podcasts have returned. The show contains all the familiar features and accompanying sound bites, including "Fatboy's Dirty Laundry" and "Cort's Backstage Blog." As well, the regular guest spots have returned, including Aaron Duran, Byron Beck, and Mike Russel. The only difference is that the show is now deplete of regular interruptions from a crappy and repetitive music selection.

If you like podcasts, visit cortandfatboy.com for a dose of "daily mediocrity". Livestreaming is weekdays at 2pm and recordings are uploaded at 3pm. Subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Miro.

Go here to read what I wrote about the firings.

As for the Rick Emerson show: Rick Emerson still has his other show, Outlook Portland. Old episodes can be seen on the station's YouTube channel.

Sarah X. Dylan and Greg Nibbler have started their own podcast, Funemployment Radio.

Tim Riley is blogging away.

And J-Dubb can be seen via his YouTube channel...

Okay, that last one doesn't have anything to do with anything. I just wanted to promote myself.

cortandfatboy.com

Monday, November 02, 2009

Superstar of the Week is Mary Strey

Mary StreyMary Strey of Wisconsin has performed her citizenly duties. On the night of October 24, 2009, Mary called 911 to report a dangerous drunk driver. The driver was shortly arrested and removed from the roads, making the night that much safer. Who was this drunk driver? None other than Mary Strey of Wisconson.

Hear the recording of Mary Strey reporting herself to the 911 dispatcher.

...

Superstar of the Week Reformat

So, every week during the summer/fall time period, I choose a random person (or inanimate object as in some cases) to feature as the "Superstar of the Week." Basically, I post a picture of the person/object, and that's about it. One thing I've been noticing this time around is that it really waters down my blog in between real posts; especially if I go a week or more without posting anything else.

I started Superstar of the Week when I began this blog as sort of a humor piece... featuring random people for no apparent reason. But then, after the first couple months of blogging, my frequency of posting began to decline, and Superstar of the Week went by the wayside for awhile.

In using Blogger's blog search feature, I've found that the typical blog seems to only last a couple of months. There are a lot of long abandoned ghost blogs out there, and mine had the potential to become one of them. But I decided to stick with it, and I brought back Superstar of the Week a couple of times after long droughts just to show that this blog wasn't dead yet. Eventually, it just became the tradition to bring back the Superstar every summer and let it go by the way in the winter.

Superstar of the Week also came to serve as sort of a filler. In the beginning, it was more difficult for me to think of and articulate ideas to blog about, and this served as a lazy way to show activity on this blog in between real posts. In the last couple of years, however, blog posts have been pretty regular and a lot more outspoken (take this "quick note" on Superstar of the Week for example).

I feel like Superstar of the Week sort of gets in the way of the real posts now... not to mention the joke has run its course. I thought about just doing away with it altogether. I would still have Superstar of the Year and do Superstar of the Week as well as the other weekly features for Halloween week. But instead, I've decided to let Superstar of the Week evolve... From now on, my challenge for Superstar of the Week is to actually write something about the person I'm featuring, turning Superstar of the Week into an actual blog post. I'm guessing readers will appreciate this, as well.

And so, without further adieu, Superstar of the Week this week is...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Strain - H1N1


Happy Halloween. Here is my new video. This is a dark and tragic tale. Parental discretion is advised.

Watch
Strain - H1N1

Music by Kevin MacLeod

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nosferatu V














In past editions of Nosferatu, I have written about things that drain energy in some form, much like a vampire. For instance, I have written about Bank of America and community college; entities which drain your pocketbook with hidden fees. Last year, I wrote about El Chupacabra, a literal blood drinking monster. This was the first Nosferatu post that I was actually satisfied with after having written it.

The first Nosferatu was a vague post about "aloof" personality types. This was inspired by a woman at work who would become friendly when she wanted something. From this, the Nosferatu Halloween series was born.

In this edition, however, in lieu of the recent trend of vampires in the media, I have decided to write about vampires. That's right, this year's Nosferatu is actually about Nosferatu.

Now, there have been a lot of movies, shows, and books about vampires over the years. The vampire is a timeless concept. But one thing I've noticed is that each piece of fiction seems to have its own rules for vampires. There's nothing wrong with this. I have enjoyed many of these rule bending entertainment pieces. And some... not so much. But in this post, I will establish once and for all THE RULES for vampires.

The Rules

1. Sunlight kills vampires.
Sunlight does not make vampires turn sparkly and pretty. A vampire cannot don cool shades and walk out into the sun. It doesn't sting their eyes and give them a migraine. Sunlight causes vampires to burst into flames and freakin die.

2. Vampires want to eat you.
Vampires are not your buddies or chums. They don't work for the police department or perform private detective services. They do not wrestle with romantic feelings for you while battling the urge to chow down on you. You are food to them. They may experience self revulsion for having drained their family and friends of all their life force, but they don't want you as a replacement.

3. Staking kills Vamps.
A stake through the heart will kill a vampire, as long as the stake remains in place. Decapitation afterwards will make the staking permanent.
They don't, however, combust into a cool CGI explosion leaving no trace behind. Decapitation without staking, interestingly, doesn't work. I don't know why, it just freakin doesn't. And silver kills werewolves, but not vampires.

4. Vamps are garlic intolerant.
Again, I don't know why. It burns them if it comes in contact with their skin, and acts like acid if consumed.

5. Crucifixes...
They work. This doesn't really allow for the concept of the scientific vampire, but a crucifix will in fact repel nosferatu. They're scared to death of 'em... literaly. Other religious artifacts will work, too, but crucifixes are the most popular. Could be a psychosematic reaction, but again, I can't tell you how it works. I'm just telling you that it does.

6. Flight Ability?
No. They can't fly, and they can't turn into bats or anything lame like that either. They can probably jump higher than humans, however, as they do experience increased strength and speed.

7. Increased Strength and Speed
See rule #6.

8. Shape shifting
Nope, none of that. They look like pale people with fangs, and they remain pale people with fangs. No retractible fangs either; just the pair of elongated canines 24/7.

9. Turning Vampires
Simple biting without killing the victim does the trick. No need for blood sharing or rituals or anything like that. Just a bite.

10. Rule Ten
There really isn't a tenth rule... it's just that there's something more complete about having a list of ten items. That's it. Now you know the rules.

Oh yeah, reflections...

10. Reflections
Vampires don't have them.

Alright, that's it. Tune in next year for Nosferatu VI.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Urban Legend of the Week

Claim: After a man's death via train crash, his loved ones continued to receive phone calls from his cell phone. This caused people to think he was still alive somewhere. These phone calls allowed rescue workers to locate his body. The calls stopped once they found him. It was determined that he had died on impact. The reason is still unknown as to why his phone kept making these calls.



Satus: True

See the full story on snopes.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

J-Dubb's Moral of the Week

Don't play with your food.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Day the Radio Died

101 KUFO, Cort and Fatboy, The Rick Emerson Show, and the Portland Community
A song from the 80's states, "Video Killed the Radio Star." It's true that radio has been suffering a slow and painful demise over the last few decades, but it isn't "video" which has caused this. I would venture to say that not even cds, mp3s, iTunes, or YouTube are responsible. These things exist to help drive the nails into the coffin. The fact is, radio killed the radio.

The title of this post is, "The Day the Radio Died." Am I being melodramatic? Maybe it would be more accurate to say that the slow-rotting disease from which radio suffers has gone terminal this week.

For years, radio listeners have grown increasingly tired of repetitions of the same few "hit" songs over and over with long and frequent interruptions by dopey DJs who consider themselves clever. Thus the necessity for cds, mp3s, iTunes, and the like. Why put up with the crap on the radio when you can make your own playlists?

In Portland, Oregon, 101 KUFO has long stood as a last vestige of hope for the radio. Many people who had otherwise given up on the radio, and even people who didn't necessarily like the music on KUFO, tuned in to hear the radio personalities. Recently, these included the Rick Emerson show in the mornings and the Cort and Fatboy show in the afternoon.

This past Friday afternoon, Cort Webber and Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts entered the airwaves to announce that they had just been fired, and then went off the air. Shortly after, people in Oregon media announced that the Rick Emerson Show had also been canned, which included the firing of Rick Emerson, Sarah X. Dylan, Tim Riley, and Greg Nibbler. This resulted in massive public outrage among the Portland community, along with podcast listeners from out of state.

Aside from the addition to the list of the nation's unemployed, why has this impacted so many people the way it has? For one, these people were thought by many to be "the last hope" for radio. They demonstrated that radio personalities can be intelligent and entertaining, rather than annoyances which seem to exist only to interrupt the music. Second, these shows were a part of many Portlander's daily routines which have now been interrupted.

But the big driving force is the community behind them. These people had a community based following. Cort and Fatboy were the center of many events in Portland. Likewise, The Rick Emerson crew has had a long run in Portland between different stations. Those who weren't already fans were quick to accept them and their talent when they moved to KUFO mornings. In addition, this following extended to the web, where online communities centered around these talents. Canning these shows means more than a change for a few disjointed radio listeners, but a major community upset.

To add insult to injury, Alpha Broadcasting, who owns KUFO among other radio stations, is bringing a DJ in from Seattle by the name of Ricker. Ricker basically represents the opposite of the demographic which formerly listened to KUFO. He is a frat-fest, who's fans use the term "broski".

Now, KUFO is in the midst of launching their new campaign, entitled, "the beast must be fed." Their website displays a Flash video of a mother ship basically invading Portland, and the station itself is broadcasting an eerie, computer-voiced countdown, rather than music. Really? This is their strategy after canning several of Portland's beloved community members? A mother ship full of carnivorous aliens about to invade Portland? Bang up job guys.

And of course, what has happened cannot truly be depicted without noting the feeling of being deceived. When Alpha Broadcasting took over these stations in Portland, company owner, Larry Wilson ( Larry.Wilson@alphabroadcasting.com ) assured the community that there would be no changes, and that he would keep things local. Shortly thereafter, Alpha Broadcasting canned KUFO programming director, Chris Padyk. And that was the beginning...

So, in closing, of course we'll all move on. Cort, Fatboy, and the Rick Emmerson crew will find new jobs, and the rest of us will find new morning and afternoon routines, which don't involve the radio. KUFO will go on too, despite the drop in listeners which will incur. But it has been severely gutted and will be a ghost of it's former self.

But the failing medium known as radio has lost many people who have been keeping it vital. Another nail has been hammered into the coffin.

Links:

The Cort and Fatboy podcasts and forum plus the Rick Emerson podcasts are being preserved here: http://flpvp.com/mehfugees/

Urban Dictionary has some new definitions for KUFO. Now I wonder how those got there?

Cort and Fatboy: First Interview Since Firings

Cort, Fatboy, and Rick Emerson on KGW's The Square

Culture Pulp

Oregon Media Central

Save the Rick Emerson Show

PDX Sucks - Rip: The Cort and Fatboy Show

Geek in the City: Live Like a Mehfugee

Byron Beck: Cort and Fatboy out at KUFO

Well Fuck, Cort and Fatboy Just Got Fired: Portland Mercury

Dead Air: Willamette Week


Is This Seat Taken

Also, you can hear an irate phone call from me and other pissed off Portlanders in this podcast. I'm the last caller they play.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Petition Bob Saget

Alright, there's an issue which needs immediate attention. The economy, unemployment, genocide in Africa, legalizing chickens in Gresham Oregon, they can all wait. For the time being, there's a bigger fish to fry, and that fish is named Bob Saget.

After eight years portraying Danny Tanner and hosting America's Funniest Home Videos, Bob Saget has spent the last fifteen years trying to prove to the world that he's not really the dopey dad from Full House or the dull host from "20 ways to get hit in the nuts".

The problem: the word "fuck" doesn't spice up a bland presentation. Well, actually it does if the speaker is already funny or interesting. But the premise of a comedy routine should not be based solely upon the use of the word "fuck", unless you're George Carlin or Osho. You may be funny to a few repressed types who view the word "fuck" as a taboo; sort of a "hee hee, he's not supposed to say that," type of humor. But to the rest of us, you're still just the lame host of AFHV... only with the word "fuck."

Example:

South Park is thought of as a "vulgar" show which pushes it's limits. But the thing is, South Park is clever and witty. That's why people like it. It's clever and funny and it's vulgar in the moments where it's funny to be vulgar. People say South Park "leaves no group untouched" because it exposes the jackassery which is present in every walk of life, giving people that "it's so true" reaction (except of course for those who don't like having their jackassery exposed). And it's lasted for twelve years and counting.

On the other hand, there was a short lived cartoon called "Drawn Together." If you don't remember Drawn Together, case in point... but aside from that, Drawn Together was a show which aired on Comedy Central in which some people got together and said, "Let's make a vulgar cartoon and it'll be successful like South Park." The problem; it was not clever. It was not witty. The writers completely missed the subtlety which makes South Park work.

When Drawn Together made fun of groups, they failed to capitalize on those traits which give people the "it's so true" reaction. It's the equivalent of saying "that short guy is short" versus "look how this short guy makes himself look like a fool as he over compensates for being short". People didn't like Drawn Together and it freakin died.

Like Drawn Together, Bob Saget is a dullard without the knack for the subtlety involved in making things funny. But Bob Saget just won't go away. He disappears for awhile, and you forget about him, and the world is at peace. But then he comes back... again... and again... and again... and through some kind of magical showbusiness sway, he keeps coming back.

"But J-Dubb," you may be asking, "if you don't like him, why don't you just not watch him and let the three people who do like him keep watching?" My answer to you is, NO! I don't want to, okay. I want to do this freakin petition thingy.

But what are the terms of this petition?

The Terms


1. Bob Saget must have his name legally changed to Richard Howser.

2. Richard Howser must stay at least 30 yards away from anything affiliated with showbusiness at all times. That's right, no more watching movies for Mr. Howser.

3. Richard Howser must give everything to charity which he's acquired since beginning his showbiz career. Richard can begin life anew in whatever non-showbiz affiliated career he chooses.

4. Richard must undergo rhinoplasty in order to eliminate the characteristic "Bob Saget nose."

5. Richard must take action to improve his physical coordination.

6. The name "Bob Saget" must be stricken from every record and never uttered again... except for in this blog because I don't feel like going through the effort of removing the name "Bob Saget."

These are the terms. We will not go quietly into the night, or whatever. Actually, I'm pretty sure I'll forget about all this after I watch the latest "Heroes" episode on Hulu. But until then, these are the terms Bobby.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blooper of the Week

Biggest Fox News error in History
Okay, so it's not a real blooper, but it's so freakin random it cracks me up.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Balloon Boy: The White Bronco of 2009

Colorado - Falcon Heene and the Weather Balloon

Well, I was gonna write a post about Bob Saget this week, but in lieu of my Twitter coverage of the whole balloon incident today, I decided to write something about this instead.

So, as I sat behind my desk today trying to be productive, I heard the d.j. on the radio mention that a 6 year old boy accidentally launched himself in a hot air balloon that his parents built, and was floating across Colorado. This was actually how the guy on the radio described it. So naturally, I got the image in my mind of a regular hot air balloon. Six year old Billy (because I didn't know his name was Falcon at the time) climbs in, drops some ballast, and pulls the uh... furnace thingy that makes the balloon go up. The parents, some distance away, turn around just in time to see the balloon carrying away little Jimmy as he looks down and waves at them. Thus begins little Ricky's adventure across the state of Colorado.

Naturally, my first response to such an image was to laugh. How does a six year old kid accidentally launch himself in a hot air balloon? Why would a couple of idiot parents allow their kid into such a situation? And what kind of family builds their own hot air balloon in the first place?

So I went onto Twitter and joked around a bit. I knew that in reality the kid would probably be pretty frightened to be up so high by himself, and that there was potential danger, but it was just such a weird and startling thing to hear. How does a six year old accidentally launch himself in a friggin hot air balloon!?

That's when I turned on the news. What I saw wasn't some some peacefully floating hot air balloon, but a bastardly mutation of a flying saucer, unstable, and careening through the sky at an insane speed. Any six year old kid aboard that thing would be petrified and in mortal danger. This wasn't at all funny like the depiction I heard over the radio. I watched for awhile, imagining what it would be like to be a six year old aboard hell's chariot. Was he still conscious? What kind of trauma would he have to recover from?

Eventually, the balloon began to slow and descend; not the high speed crash that we were fearing. On the ground, rescue workers rushed toward the mylar monstrosity and cut it open in order to free... helium. There was no boy inside. Surely he had fallen to his death somewhere along the way. And I had joked about this earlier before I knew what was really happening... stupid radio guy with your lousy delivery of the event!

But lo, Maybe he was never aboard in the first place as his older brother had claimed. The small space on the underside of the balloon was barely large enough for a six year old. If he were inside it, how would he have untethered it? And the most glaringly obvious question; how would he have gotten inside in the first place?

So, the search party expanded their efforts to the neighborhood to look for a runaway boy. But wait... there was a box, meant to hold batteries, that was sometimes attached to the balloon. Was it attached at the time of lift-off? Where was it now? A picture taken by a bystander near the beginning of the ascent showed a black speck underneath the balloon. Was it the box falling from the balloon? Was the boy inside the box?

NOPE

Turns out he was hiding in the garage the whole time.

Now, Balloon Boy has anything but a typical family. Basically, it's a family of storm chasing scientists. They have even flown the kids into the eye of a hurricane. This family has a YouTube channel, and of course, we all know how narcissistic people with YouTube channels are. And they have appeared on the reality show, "Trading Wives."

So, sometime after locating Balloon Boy, Wolf Blitzer interviewed them. During this interview, he asked the boy why he didn't come out of the garage. The father repeated the question to the kid, to which he replied, "You said... we did this for the show." After a few attempts from Wolf Blitzer to get an explanation for this comment, the father became defensive and said that he was appalled at the direction Wolf was "trying to lead the interview."

Instead of answering the question, the father accused Wolf Blitzer of leading the interview. But the boy clearly said "we did this for the show", a comment which made Wolf, as well as anyone watching the interview, a bit curious. Wasn't the father curious?

On the other hand, one thing that occurred to me is that the boy wasn't answering the question at all. "The show" might have referred to the show they were on at that moment. Perhaps a parent told him, "we're doing this for the show," and that comment just stayed on the boys mind. He didn't seem to really know what was going on as they sat there talking to someone who wasn't in the room, and the boy probably had questions.

So, was the whole thing just a publicity stunt or are there a couple of truly relieved parents in Colorado tonight? Who knows. Why not just relax and get yourself a Save Balloon Boy T-Shirt?

On that note; from now on, when something's just not panning out in my mind, such as my initial reaction to this incident, I should probably pay more attention to that. I mean, sure, it wasn't exactly as I had pictured, but still, the logic just wasn't working. If we were to pay attention to things like this, instead of just accepting what we heard, maybe we would have found the kid in the attic before launching this whole massive search. All it takes is to say, "Wait a minute, how the hell does a six year old accidentally launch himself in a freakin balloon?"

The Wolf Blitzer Interview on YouTube:
Part 1
Part 2

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Four More Years! Four More Years!











Well, it's now year four of J-Dubb's Theatre's existence. That's right, it's October 11th, which means it's time for the annual recounting of the past year.

At the time of last years recounting, I was still in the middle of season 2 of The Network. The series ran a lot longer than I had planned on. Whereas it was intended to be a summer series, it ran all the way to the beginning of the following spring. At this time, according to The Network storyline, I was possessed by an entity calling himself Belphegor, my consciousness was trapped in the woods in the middle of my mind, and everything posted on my blog was written by an algorithm programmed to compute everything that I would have written had I been present.

Superstar of the Year
came the Monday after the recounting, instead of the Monday before.

That month, I found out that I wasn't the only person who was annoyed by Toyota's "Saved by Zero" commercial. Ironically, I'm now driving a Toyota.

Then, Halloween came and I did a bunch of Halloween stuff, including my yearly Nosferatu blog post. It was about Chupacabras and was the first Nosferatu post that I was actually satisfied with after writing it.

The following month, Obama won the presidential elections and I got spammed by Snuggie.

In December, I realized that YouTube wasn't the same YouTube as it was when I began watching. Shortly after, YouTube got rid of its bulletin system; the easiest way to promote your videos on YouTube short of spamming people. I was irate. On the other hand, I was rather pleased to see my blog post on the first page of search results.

The next month I welcomed in the new year. Jon began hosting the Legend of the Green Dragon on his server again. And in The Network series, I regained full memory of my past. In lieu of this, I realized that I could not only see whatever Belphegor was thinking, since he was using my brain to think it, I could also see whatever he was seeing in the real world. That was good, because I was getting pretty bored in that woods. When I found that I could actually speak to Belphegor, I decided to have a little fun with him. Hey, the bastard was possessing me and trying to take over the world. It served him right.

In February, I began posting on Twitter. I also learned of Oregon's sesquicentennial celebration. 150 years of the existence of Oregon. Also, my video "J-Dubb Does LisaNova Does YouTube" was silenced for a small part which contains Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence." How's that for irony?

A lot of stuff happened in March. I became free from Belphegor, but was unable to stop him from initiating the War of the Networks. This ended season 2 of The Network. Also in March, I came to the realization that LisaNova was no longer funny, and that I wanted to go to work. I introduced my new video camera, discussed Tommy Westphall's Universe, Starbuck remembered All Along the Watchtower, and I had a dream about bears.

In April, I won a Technorati Blogger's Choice Award... April Fools. Then I nearly ruined Nalts. I also retired the old J-Dubb's Theatre banner with the picture of me super imposed into a chair which is super imposed into a den. I replaced it with the current banner that you can see right now if you scroll up.

Also this month, YouTube had a crisis and I became a Blazer fan again after 15 years.

In May, Kablamo! went up against Shampoo! ala Billy Mays vs Vince of Shamwow. Then a creepy clown was arrested at a children's party.

In June, I made a video sponsored by Jack Daniel's, Al Roker went at it with two people I've never heard of before, and summer began. There was a video too. The month ended with the passing of Billy Mays.

In July, I figured out Chase Bank's devious plan for world domination.

In August, I called up my bank and ended up on a game show. Then I visited a mystery hole... tee hee.

In September, I watched Phil the Alien and powned The Station. They didn't accept my video as a response. Bastards.

And finally, this month I featured William Shatner as Superstar of the year, made a tribute to YouTube of 2006, and wrote this blog post. I concluded by linking you to a random article about iguanas.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A 2006 YouTube VLOG

A throwback to the good ol' days of YouTube. YouTube related inside-jokes abound.

This video begins with the retirement of "Summer Dubb" for the Fall. The rest of the video features "my first VLOG" from September 2006... or at least what it might have been like, since I didn't actually shoot my first video until January of 2007. Either way, this video hearkens back to a time when YouTube was a budding social network; before the days of the great online "Star Search" and the rush for partnership.

Watch A 2006 YouTube VLOG



Music by Kevin MacLeod

Monday, October 05, 2009

Superstar of the Year is William Shatner

Sometime during the summer, it became apparent to me who the Superstar of the Year would be this year. I had a couple of ideas, including Bruce Campbell. But at some point it became obvious that there was really only one choice for Superstar of the Year, and that person is none other than little Billy Shatner.


Shatner made a name for himself as a bad actor on a low rated TV show. Yet, despite his choppy dialogue, Shatner had the presence to gain a loyal following; a following which continued to grow after the cancellation of the series. If anybody else had been cast for the role of James Tiberius Kirk, would this short lived series have spawned eleven theatrical films, five spinoffs, countless parodies, and would it have become the most prominent icon of nerdom to this day?

Still the unintentionally comical actor of his youth, Shatner carried enough clout to land him the role of Officer T.J. Hooker in the show... T.J. Hooker.

Even his acting style itself became an icon, adding fuel to many parodies and comedy bits most predominantly throughout the 90s. The good humored Shatner was none too slow in catching on to this, seizing opportunities to portray himself as a comical figure.




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Shatner even recorded an album. His vocal style seemed to mirror his familiar manner of acting. Yet, despite the comical insinuations, it seemed to actually work as a unique yet catchy musical style.

But it was in recent years that Shatner has performed what I'd like to call the role of his lifetime. It may not be as iconic as his role as James Kirk, but he has certainly proven himself as a formidable actor far beyond his cult roles in Star Trek and T.J. Hooker, and beyond the "has been" syndrome of portraying himself in cameo roles. William Shatner's portrayal is both comical and tragic, as well as thought provoking, in the role of cigar smoking, mad-cow suffering, satirically conservative, aging, best friend of complimentary liberal Allan Shore, once bigshot has-been attorney, Denny Crane.

And on that note, I'd like to leave you with this thought: Captain Kirk is climbing a mountain. Why is he climbing a mountain?


Past Superstar of the Year Awards:

2008 - Alizee Jacotey
2007 - Peyton Manning
2006 - Chuck Norris

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Station is soooo Yesterday

So, a bunch of YouTube front pagers have gotten together for their collab channel, "thestation." But I have something better than The Station. Introducing, The Channel...

Watch The Station is sooo Yesterday


Visit The Station's Channel

Music by Kevin MacLeod

Superstar of the Week is Conway Twitty

Friday, September 11, 2009

Phil the Alien

A Wacky Comedy about a Canadian Alien... a Canalien

A few years back, my dad gave me several screener copies of B movies that he'd acquired for free from work. At the time, he was a movie replenisher for Fred Meyer, so it wasn't uncommon for him to take home screeners. I watched several of these movies, but there was one, Phil the Alien, that I just never got around to watching. It sat on top of my dusty old VHS collection for years (despite being a DVD), until now.

I was looking for a movie to watch with dinner; tacos with pulled pork, and they were gooood. As I searched through my DVDs, for some reason I remembered this screener I've had lying around since 2004. So I went over to my VHS rack, and there was Phil the Alien, still in it's plastic wrap. Fortunately there were none of those annoying security stickers.

So, after all these years, I finally watched Phil the Alien, and it was... very interesting. Well, it's a Canadian B movie, so naturally it's a bit odd, but despite that it actually had me laughing, and not just because of the cheeseball factor.

The movie begins with several awkward jumps between two scenes. One scene takes place in the woods and the other at the local bar. This is basically where we meet most of the characters, including the bar tender played by Graham Greene, an actual notable actor. After the jumpy, attention deficit first scene, the movie proceeds more smoothly.

The main protagonist, Phil, is played by Rob Stefaniuk, who is also the writer/director of the movie. Phil is a timid, shape shifting alien who mumbles when he's not speaking in his alien voice. His true form is a green thing that resembles Skeletor's rams head staff, but we only see this form at the very beginning. Throughout the duration of the movie, his form resembles an overgrown Malcolm in the Middle after having stuck his finger in a light socket.

The antagonist group is rather ambiguous. It's a top secret U.S. government agency located under Niagara Falls. But when we see the headquarters for the first time, it looks more like some crime lord's lair. Two walls of the dark room are glass and look out onto aquariums; one containing orcas and the other containing beluga whales, a feature which is more "Bond villain" and not so much "government facility". And the agents all wear different colored fur coats, for whatever reason.

The nature of this organization is also a bit fuzzy. The lead antagonist is referred to as "the general", and one member of the group has a flashback to military training, implying a military operation. But then the members are referred to as "agents" and even as "the feds" at one point, implying a civilian government organization. But the two goons of the movie, who act like mafia thugs, at one point refer to their organization as, "the company," giving it the feel of a private organization. But on the other hand, it is a Canadian movie. Perhaps this is what their government is like. All in all, however, it is a comedy. So I just laughed it off.

There was also a rather interesting use of props. In one scene, an agent who turns protagonist pulls a silver gun on a character. I noticed that the gun made a funny humming noise as if it were powering up. Guns don't normally do this, so I figured it it must be some sort of high tech alien gun or something. Upon closer examination, sure enough, it did not look like a regular pistol. Then I noticed the screws in the side. That's when it hit me. I was looking at a Nintendo zapper. It was actually the zapper from the 80's, painted and with the cord removed. Apparently, Nintendo zappers are standard issue for this organization. So this movie gets cool points for that.

So, eventually Phil joins a rock band, gets saved, starts a cult, and saves the day. All in all, it was a rather entertaining B movie. I laughed at the comedy, and well, I laughed at some of the special effects... and some of the directing... and some of the acting... but mostly the comedy.

And there was a talking beaver.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

LOL Squids

New Web Ideas

So, lately I've been running out of cash as I scramble around the unemployment market looking for a new source of income. Inspired by the long running success of LOL Cats, I have decided to try my hand at a similar idea. If that guy can make bucks off of cute provocative pictures of animals, why can't I? So, here are some of my ideas...

LOL Squids

LOL Lions

LOL Crocodiles

LOL Snails

LOL Rhinos

LOL Cerberus

And of course, who will be able to resist the charming wiles of...

LOL Regis Philbin