Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What do you call a pretentious, but easy, number puzzle?


Where the hell do I come up with this stuff? Comedy gold, people. You love it.

I'm in love with Bjork

Or more accurately, in in love with her music - but the pseudocontroversial title got you reading, didn't it. She has a killer voice, and doesn't let it go to waste with boring, conventional songwriting.

She always has cool videos, too. This is just a teaser, but apparently she's printing a DVD with the video in 3-D, shipping with glasses. That's definitely one way to get people to pay for hard goods over digital. Even in 2-D, this video looks like another in a long line of inventive videos that do a rare thing - complement the musical experience.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The only team up better than Pac and Dre

Blackout is hand's down, the best hip-hop team album of all time. In fact, it's in my top 5 hip hop albums of all time...

Can I pick 5? How about top 20. That's hard...

1. Dr. Dre - The Chronic
2. Ghostface - Supreme Clientelle
3. Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle
4. Method Man & Redman - Blackout
5. The Game - Doctor's Advocate
6. Xzibit - 40 Dayz & 40 Nights
8. Wu-Tang - Enter the 36 Chambers
9. Mos Def - Black on Both Sides
10. The Roots - Things Fall Apart
11. Cypress Hill - Cypress Hill
12. A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
13. Outkast - Stankonia
14. Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death
15. Jay-Z - The BluePrint
16. Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
17. The Fugees - The Score
18. 2Pac - All Eyez On Me
19. LL Cool J - Walking With a Panther
20. 50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Trying
21. De La Soul - Buhloone Mindstate

That's just impossible - so many vital hip hops albums. And I'm not even counting turntablism, which is technically hip-hop.

From Blackout - Da Rockwilder
The video is appropriately goofy, but the tune is appropriately awesome:

Better than Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Tupac and Dr. Dre - a classic team-up on Par with Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery...

Oops I crapped my pants

Kerri had a post about Logan dropping some number one in his diaper, and it reminded me of this classic SNL commercial...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

No Disassemble

Johnny Five, ala Short Circuit, circa 1986:

Wall-E, ala Pixar's Wall-E, circa 2008"

I don't care what director Andrew Stanton says, Wall-E is a rip, dude. Steve Gutenbergg should be very very pissed.

golf etiquette

ugh... Try this. I'm chipping at the practice green, and another guy shows up. He chips from the other side, but after he exhausts his cache, he walks onto the green and starts putting them all in. This is at a club with its own practice putting green mind you. He's got this swagger like he does this all the time. Of course all my chips are now barely dribbling onto the green. Finally I just left the rest of my balls and took off. And part off me suspects he did it intentionally to hurry me.

I've got NO problem sharing the chipping green. I also have no problem waiting for people retrieve their balls. But hanging out and putting basically is a nose thumb to the other person. Its saying, "you have to wait five minutes while I practice, or try to chip on without getting near me." If people were meant to chip onto greens that others were putting on, then why is it against the rules of golf?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In Memoriam

My grandmother passed away. Marion Eckhardt lived to 93. I didn't always see eye to eye with her, but I respected that she was one of the rare people who had a code, and lived by it. She was a woman who lived life the way she wanted to, back in a time when that wasn't very easy for women to do. A republican artist, she was woman of many contradictions. She studied in Asia to learn her craft, and then she built the first pottery in Brewster, back in 1961. She took an active part in the ongoing artistic development on Cape Cod, and certainly had an impact on a generation of potters on the cape, as well as personally creating a legacy of potters across the country, through her apprentice program that spanned decades.

She was a type A personality, who was upbeat, charming, even silly sometimes. When my mother took me and my brother away from my dad, it was my grandmother who provided us a safe place - we lived with her for four years. I have many memories of the attic guest bedroom I shared with my brother. I am just one of the many people she touched in her life, and I will miss you, Mimi.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Predator Rap

You probably had to be a weak-willed male tween whose concepts of masculinity and suspense we're largely shaped by Arnold's movies. Or maybe not, and you might think this is funny. On paper, it shouldn't be funny at all - it's just some lad brit-hop rapping a narration of predator over a condensed edit of the film. It does capture what I loved about the movie, while reminding me how absurdly macho it was.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Update: It only took Jessica a couple of hours to find those 10 errors. A gift certificate should be arriving shortly, Jess. Thanks for sparing me the bother of proofing. I'm sure you'll just donate that gift to the national democratic party.

In an act of shameless self promotion, I feel compelled to announce that the full design greater than website launched today: www.designgreaterthan.com.

no more rinky dink splash pages. I browser optimized it, so it should look fairly normal on IE, FF, Safari, windows and mac. I still need to add some content boxes to the home page and add a few more bells and whistles (search engine optimization, etc.) But the basics are done - the cobblers kids are no longer barefoot. So spread the word that we are open for business. Go... NOW!

I even have some promotions going on. So if you bring me some biz, then in fact you'll get half off your Lionel antique collectible model trains, or whatever junk you want to waste my services on. Sorry, I don't do myspace/facebook design (I really should put that in the fine print).

(Yes, Jade really is a project manager. Her paycheck and the current project list is, of course, classified).

There is absolutely no way that there could be any grammatical errors or broken links on the site - but just in case there are... sure, I guess I'll let you email them to me. 50 bucks in the form of an amazon gift certificate to the first person who finds 10 unique errors on the site - restrictions apply.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The three best words on television

"Previously, on Lost"

Thank you focus group

You did an excellent job evaluating the samples.

The polls are now closed - no really, they are. I turned off the comment feature for that post, just to let you know how serious I am about the polls, and their being closed. Gravely serious, focus group. If I were to allow that voting to continue indefinitely, I could have disastrous consequences. Think of the children. The children.

What the hell was I talking about? Oh yes...

The client also picked A, thank you for your input, which validated his decision after the fact, and gave him a chuckle, since I disclosed my preference to him as well. He was apologetic, until I reminded him that I was the brilliant source of ALL of the logo samples he'd seen.

We are currently hashing out color combinations. I think that's why I didn't care for A, because I saw the approaching storm on the horizon of try to match 3 colors with each other, and then assign 2 sub colors to each. So now, I'm trying to come up with 9 colors that don't clash. There's something very... Sudoku about it. Or maybe I just think that there is something Sudoku, because I've been working overtime, and haven't consumed anything except diet pepsi in the last 17 hours. You'd like that, wouldn't you, Sudoku? If Sue is even your real name.

It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage

{You're going bald}

Maybe it's just the dry air out here

{No, maybe you're going bald}

Doesn't hair just get a little thinner as you get older

{sure, if you're losing your hair}

Do I have a thin spot in the back, too?

{keep your eyes up here buddy}

"Where's that picture of me from college?...

{You're going bald}

...No, the one where my hair was in a pony tail...

{You're going bald}

...I just want to see something."

{You're going bald}

Everyone always said I'd never lose my hair

{Then everyone was wrong}

It's natural. Crying about your hairline is petty and vain.

{You need a hug buddy? It's okay}

I always said I'd shave my head if, and as soon as, I started to lose my hair.

{Not quite ready for that, are you?}

We'll let's just see where it goes - maybe it's in a holding pattern

{Somebody wants a comb-over}

Maybe I'm just imagining it. I've always had fine hair - look at the hair on the sides...

{Yeah, but look at the hair at the top of your forehead. You're going bald}

But this isn't fair. I can't be gaining weight, and losing my hair. What will the ladies say?

{You mean your wife and daughter? I think your "ladies" will be just fine. You're going bald}

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Well, unless some randoms started lurking in this blog, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only person around here who likes Snoop. That's okay, you can hate on him on your own blog.

Snoop has had diminishing returns because he always felt somewhat one note. Sure, he graduated from gangsta pimp to pimp gangsta, and went through his brief no smoking pot stage (I had one of those too). But those are the types of distinctions that get lost on casual listeners, and for real fans, has to be a little frustrating. Especially when you hear the gamut of producers out there who have taken his rhymes to different sonic places. That's not to say he hasn't had at least a handful of great tracks on each album, but nothing has packed the punch of Doggystyle. And that's largely because he hasn't had much new to say. Instead of immersing himself in new sounds or deliveries, he sort of just meets them halfway - which is pretty generous, considering he's Snoop D O double G, after all.

Well, I have to say that the latest single off his upcoming album, is threatening to flip Snoop's script. He has always been good for tossing a single out "for the ladies", but this one sounds like he's actually committing to an R&B sound, and not just partnering with R&B producers on a track. Even if you aren't a Snoop fan, you'll get a kick out of this video. Not unlike Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, Snoop seems to have stepped out of himself, commenting on how ridiculous his pimp-clown persona is, despite the fact he's built a career out of it. I'm not going to go so far as to say its a sly critique on the misogyny of gangsta rap.

All the while, he is managing to kill it with some funky crooning, so that you are almost surprised when he starts rapping towards the end. Usually, that reverb effect annoys the shit out me (thanks Cher) but Snoop seems to be making the best of it. perhaps its because the vision is so tongue in cheek.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sweet Hoegaarden

Ever since that blog comment, I've had hoegaarden on the brain. Tasty.

Getting Screwed by Anthem

In Colorado, Anthem is the main health insurance provider. United is here as well, but it's pretty expensive and not as comprehensive for single payer plans.

In short, we are getting totally screwed by Anthem. As some of you may know, Jade had some minor surgery this winter. That has red flagged our account, and we are now subject to harassment. They claim that Jade had two pre-existing conditions that she concealed from Anthem.

Okay - first off, we've had continuous coverage, and Health Insurance providers don't get your detailed medical history information from you - they get it from your care providers. So how would Jade selectively conceal conditions? Are they postulating that we made some devil's pact with doctors to hide things.

Second - one of the conditions was over seeing a doctor for dry skin. Dry skin. We live in one of the driest parts of the country. I can tell you, there was no dry skin being hidden in Massachusetts. And on top of that - Jade's first visit to the doctor to get diagnosed and treated was AFTER coverage started.

Third - without outing the nature of Jade's surgery, Anthem has inferred that it was connected to other issues that Jade has had, and that she was concealing those. Okay, two things wrong there. The inference is totally false, to the point that Jade's doctor balked when she heard it. It would be like saying shortsightedness was the cause of having an eye infection. The second is that the ongoing issues that Jade has are well known to multiple doctors, and Anthem should have easy access to all of that information.

Fourth - the way Anthem is treating my wife is totally bullshit. They sent her a 31 page document to verify, and told her not to expect to be covered for up to 90 days until this is cleared up. And that's if they find us not guilty of fraud, or whatever they are not openly accusing us of. And of course, I still have to PAY for coverage.

Fifth - a couple of months ago, Anthem inexplicably raised their monthly rates by about 20%. There was no improvement in coverage, I can tell you that. Doctor's visits are barely covered, and apparently you can count on them turning on you in the event you need surgery.. Surgery that I paid 60% of after I reached by deductible. So basically, I pay 600 bucks a month for cheaper prescriptions. Wow, thanks Anthem. Did I mention Anthem sucks? (trying to get this blog post to show up on google searches for "Anthem sucks")

Sixth - there were inaccuracies in the forms that Jade filled out. Major ones. Tatum's birthday was wrong; Jade's weight was wrong, and the YEAR of Jade's birth was off by 3 years. Who filled this out, a drunken chimpanzee? And of course, Anthem's stance will be that it is our responsibility to make sure that information is correct. Right, because they collected the information, and they are getting paid to manage our medical histories and distribute claims based on that. Really, makes sense. I would think that if we were going to try and rip off Anthem, we would make sure everything else was accurate to minimize suspicion. So they are insulting our intelligence, not just our integrity.

Seventh - After we faxed the form back yesterday, we received a DUPLICATE form. Another 31 pages with the same nastygram cover page threatening coverage being revoked if we don't fill out and return. Jade spent an hour on hold, getting disconnected, to have a low level customer support person tell her that she: A. thought Jade didn't have to fill it out again, but wasn't sure, B. Could not transfer her to a supervisor who could say, and C. told her that a supervisor would call her back. Oh, and that's a day or two after another rep told her that a supervisor would call her, and never did. And D., she thought that it was a computer generated error, sending duplicates. Yeah, um, no - computers don't make mistakes. They operate as they are instructed. So somebody has duplicate information on file, or did something wrong to cause the computer to send it twice. A computer glitch? Who is buying that - what is this 1982? That's like saying you didn't get somebody's voicemail.

There is probably an 8 or 9, but I'm tired of writing about it. It's just so lame and stereotypical. What is the point of insurance - its like a gamble that you make on getting sick. And then the health provider reneges on their end of the deal. What the fuck, Anthem? You are hanging your paying customers out to dry, and I am going to make sure everybody knows it. Yeah, people get screwed over way worse than us, but that's the point. I want to call the local newspaper, the local public radio station. Just to raise the profile of what's wrong with healthcare in this state. Bottom line: they didn't have all their information, and the information they did have was wrong. So they turn around and make it our fault. They use a posture that is very adversarial, and their infrastructure is unequipped and uninterested in providing assistance to its customers. But they are really, really good at taking my money every month.