Wednesday, January 25, 2006

oh dear...

Recently, I discovered these two sites:
Dudes in the world of the Flash
and Dudes in the Marvel universe.

...whenever I have a day when I'm not sure if I'm as hip as I think, or that not-so-cool feeling, I take solace in the fact that real human being geeks researched this information from comic books and made a website about it.

And, to really make me find my inner Clooney, I know that there are even bigger geeks out there that will nitpick the hell out of these sites and point out factual errors about fictional characters.

I'll admit to having a fairly short, but intense, X-Men phase in the first couple of years of high school, along with X-Factor, Excalibur and the Wolverine series. But once I discovered the joys of driving, guitars in minor chords and girls, I was done. would be f*ckin' cool to have metal claws like Wolverine. I'd have the best cooking show on TV - "So, I'm going to cut this slab of pork to look like the late, great comedian Mitch Hedberg. Let me use my razor-sharp claws on my left hand to shape his porkchop hair. You can do this at home...IF YOU HAD F*CKIN' CLAWS IN YOUR HAND, TOO!! BUT YOU DON'T!! Hahahahaha!!!"

Still...I'd feel bad for Wolverine. I'd hate to see him during his awkward, getting-to-learn-his-powers phase that all comic book heros have, fooling around with his first girlfriend. He had 8 girlfriends, none who survived the puncture wounds after getting to "third base."

Except Angelina Jolie. She's into the kinky bleeding stuff.

- me

Friday, January 20, 2006

Finally, a ginchy reality show

from : E Online!

Lisa Loeb is appearing in a reality dating series. This boggles my mind.

First off, Lisa Loeb is by the cutest female Jewish singer-songwriter from Texas. She's also had TV experience, so she should be comfortable with the camera.

Second, she's responsible for the reintroduction of the word "ginchy" - termed by Mike Gianinni at WHFS in 1996 for her overall alt.cutehipsexy.mod thing working. Mary Tyler Moore on the Dick Van Dyke show was the original ginchy. Lisa is ginchy in that same vein.

Third, she was dating a Zappa. How can you not love a Zappa?

Fourth, she's Lisa Frickin' Loeb! If she can't find a fella, who can? She's, as previously stated, ginchy. Ginchy goes a long way.

Friday, January 13, 2006

This dude ain't too bright...

from the

Man Charged With Murder in Reporter's Killing
Arrest Made After Suspect Walks Into D.C. Police Office

By Clarence Williams and Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, January 13, 2006; Page B01

A 23-year-old maintenance man from Southeast Washington was arrested last night and charged in the robbery and slaying of New York Times journalist David E. Rosenbaum, police said. They also were seeking one other person.

Michael C. Hamlin was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. when he walked into the 7th District police station in the 2400 block of Alabama Avenue SE, which is in the block where he lives, and asked why "my face is on TV," police said.

Only an hour earlier, police had released to the media images from surveillance videotapes taken at a CVS store in Southeast Washington and an auto parts business in Prince George's County. Police said the tapes showed Hamlin using or attempting to use Rosenbaum's credit cards shortly after Rosenbaum was robbed near his home in Northwest Washington on Jan. 6.

Hamlin walked into the police station last night wearing the same dark jacket, with his first name sewed onto a chest patch, that he had been wearing in a surveillance tape, police said.

Police drove Hamlin to the department's violent crimes branch, where he provided detectives with a statement on the slaying, police said. He was charged with felony murder.

"It did wrap up rather quickly," Detective Anthony Paci said during a news conference last night outside the violent crimes branch.

OK, first off - this guy is being charged with the mugging and murder of a 63 year old guy in a posh neighborhood in DC. The victim, David Rosenbaum, had recently retired from the New York Times' Washington bureau, and was just going for a jog when Hamlin (allegedly) attacked him.

Now, that in and of itself is sad. What makes it stupid is that anybody would mug a jogger. Joggers basically carry very little gear beyond an iPod, a set of keys, and maybe a couple of bucks for a water or a juice. That this particular jogger had credit cards on him is pretty surprising, and, frankly, not smart on his part. However, the REALLY stupid part is this:

"Michael C. Hamlin was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. when he walked into the 7th District police station in the 2400 block of Alabama Avenue SE, which is in the block where he lives, and asked why "my face is on TV," police said."

It takes a special kind of stupid to attempt to use a stolen credit card froma high-profile murder victim, and then ask why "my face is on TV."


from the archives...BSSC recap

Subject: Game Recap - 11-13-2004

with apologies to Jim Rome....

"Good afternoon, clones. Welcome to the Jungle. I am
the pimp in the box, Jim Rome. First off today, we
need to talk about the Debacle in Dundalk. I'm
talking, of course, about the Baltimore Sport and
Social Club. Extreme social football. Rhymes with
Orange versus...well, we don't know their name. They
had a name with a certain group of players. The
players they had this past week, well, that's not
their name. The Orange versus the Sandbaggers. The
Rhymers with the 'We Don't Know Each Others.'

First off - great job by the Oranges to actually get
more than three women to a game. About time that a
girl in an orange shirt could take a play off. I knew
they could do it. Of course, I thought that they were
going to have to hire hookers to do it. I thought
they'd resort to hiring common whores.

'Hi, are you a street walker?'
Yeah I am, baby
'What would you do for money?'
Anything for you, baby
'Great. Wear this shirt, and run a post pattern.'

But they had legitimate non-hookers show up.
Girls-next-door types. Great job, Orange.

And about the women who showed up. Christy - made a
great play. Refused to be touched with one hand and go

No phone calls on that statement, either, clones. I
don't want an email saying 'I get touched with one
hand and go down - sincerely, Monica Lewinski.' I
don't need another 'I don't need a one hand touch to
go down, I'll do it my own' signed 'Slutty Chick on
Joe Millionaire.'

Now, for the Sandbaggers - nice job bringing in the
Philadelphia Eagles' scout team for beer league
football. You were as familiar with your
Baltimore-area teammates as Anna Nicole Smith is with
high school - you've heard about it, but you've never
been there before.

I'm not going to say those guys were ringers...but
those guys were ringers. Lords of the Ringers. Great
catch over the middle, Terrell Frodo. Way to intercept
the ball, Samwise Taylor.

Having said that, great game out of the Oranges. And I
do mean that sarcastically. What happened to this
team? Evan Kreitzer, the Franchise, gone. Too busy
selling cellular phones to drug dealers.
Franchise....right. He went over as well as a burger
joint in India. Ken...too busy playing sucker...I
mean, soccer. Great job, Ken - playing a game that
cows can theoretically play. They don't have hands,
you don't use hands. Perfect match.
The Attmans? Went off on a paper-product bender, no
doubt. And Bloomie? Where was Bloomie? Great job,
Bloomie - your friend Tully shows up, basically
tried to tackle every guy on the field, and you're not
there to get his back. Great job, Wingman of the Year.
I'm going into battle with you.

It also did not help the Oranges that their
quarterback picked the wrong day to become Chris
LaTestaverde. 3 picks on the day. First throw, run back
to the house, two to the same Samwise Taylor, the Lord
of the Ringers. Memo to LaTestaverde - where that guy
was, don't throw there. The first pick, you got baited
like you were on Bassmasters. Hook, line, and sinking
feeling in your stomach. Nice throw, LaTestaverde.

Lock-down cornerback Ray Bradley.....right. The only
thing he locked down was a 200 dollar dry-cleaning
bill with his swan dive into Lake Spontaneous, there.
Great job, Caveman. Lived up to his name. Looked like
Captain Caveman when he got up out of the biggest mud
puddle this side of Woodstock. Mud in the ears, nose,
belly button - excellent. What's up, Pig Pen?

Gotta say, though - he got jobbed on the sack that
wasn't. Homeboy's knees were down like a porn star,
the line judge says the QB is down, but the ref, 15
yards away with glasses on, says it's not a sack.
Great going, Magoo. Another fine mess.

That mud - that was the toughest opponent on the
field. Other than Ray looking like he spent a week at
a Phish concert, the mud also claimed the knee of
Lauren. That was serious. It's no Willis MaGahee or
Robert Edwards - kind of shredding, but she did get
smacked down like Nancy Kerrigan. Great job, Jeff Mud

Will say one thing incredible, though - that guy Dave
- what is he, like, 80? - making amazing catches all
over the field. He made catches that would have been
amazing for a man 1/17th his age. Amazing job, John
Glenn. Most men in his age group gripe about Knute
Rockne and main-line Cialis. Not Dave - he was intent
on becoming the beer league football version of Julio

War Propecia and tonic on the rocks. War Scott
Kreitzer not yelling at anybody. War Laura Luca,
possession receiver.



(for those who attended most games)

Offensive MVP - Chris LaTestaverde (sorry, I love that
line). Last game notwithstanding, if he wasn't our QB,
we wouldn't have done nearly as well.

Defensive MVP - Ray, there's no way. I'm not
that cocky. Or delusional. I'd go Sauce, though Bloom
would have been close, too.

Defensive MVP with Girl Bits - Lauren. Her routine
smackdowns of thrown footballs were highlight reel

(for those who attended a few games)

Offensive MVP - Ken. Kid's just got wheels.

Defensive MVP - Bloomie. No doubt. Dude was

Best Overall Player with Boy Bits - Sauce. Played well
both defensively, offensively and never complained.
Great teammate.

Best Overall Player with Girl Bits - Tough call. All
the girls played very well this year, under some
insane situations, too. My gut tells me Shannon with
her touchdown catches and cool belly button ring and
dog take this award. Though a case could easily be
made for Christy, or Laura.

Best Hair Awards - Ray (boy bits), Lexi (girl bits).
(had to give us something, you know...)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

All Dogs and Cats Eat Meat...

Doggies as veggies and vegans as kittens,
Messy litter boxes with poop on my mittens,
All sorts of critters with faulty O-rings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Watch out poor Sparky! They'll take all your meat!
Take care little Fluffy! You'll have nothing to eat!
People with agendas who all look like they're mean!
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the dog shat
When the cat crapped
When their food's a mess
I simply remember my favorite things,
and then I don't feel so stressed

I fed my new kitty with real salmon oil,
I took my new puppy to an old rabbi mohel,
He looked at his weiner; said "I von't cut dis ting!"
These are few of my favorite things!

I made my critters follow my diet
they don't eat meat; I've started a riot
my neighbors really hate my dogs' runny droppings
but they're still a few of my favorite things!

When the dog poops
it's hard to scoop...
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things,
and then I don't feel so bad.

Julie Andrews is gonna come kick my ass...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Good Night and Good Luck - Reviewed by the Five Paragraph Bitter Film Critic

I had no idea Doctor Ross had it in him. In his second directorial effort, he makes an emotionally powerful, socially critical and yet still entertaining film in "Good Night and Good Luck." Based on the battles of Edward R. Murrow and the CBS Television News division's struggles against Senator Joseph McCarthy's hearings on Communism.

The movie does not serve as a historical primer - if anything, the movie assumes the viewer is smart enough to know key facts from the World War II-era and the anti-Communism fervor that swept the U.S. that followed. Murrow was a legendary broadcaster who cemented his legacy as a radio and newsreel reporter in London during the Nazi bombing campaign. He eventually joined the CBS news division in "See it Now" - a sort of news feature show that would precursor the "news as entertainment" shows of today. He could tackle U.S. foreign policy on one week, and then interview Lucille Ball the next. And the film shows this odd duality by hinting at internal struggle within the show's staff, the network, and even Murrow himself. Murrow, played with subtle intensity by David Straihhairn, longs to tackle the substantive issues that McCarthy's investigation affecting the core of the country's legal system, yet has to endure a fluff interview with Liberace. The interplay between the various factions of CBS News - those trying to balance news and entertainment and the revenue stream and even those who weren't sure if McCarthy was entirely wrong - may be the most fascinating depiction of a network ever filmed. William Paley (played by Frank Langella), the legendary head of CBS, had his own debate between trusting Murrow's instincts, pleasing the sponsors and keeping the network profitable. Robert Downey Jr., playing producer Joe Wershba, was concerned that by bringing down McCarthy's witchhunt that CBS might actually be helping the Communists.

Shot in black-and-white, and with a mixture of actors and archival footage, the film seems contemporary and classic at the same time. The lighting shows the newshounds working in darkness to shed light on the committee's actions, and shows the rest of the network in glowing, idealistic light. The cigarette smoke should get an acting credit as you can practically smell the buring tobacco - seemingly every character lights up at least once. However, the smoke, when shot in black and white, adds a level of drama to the morality play on screen.

The whole point of the story is summed up by Murrow's comments during a benefit dinner - television news has the potential to do so much more than it does. He derided the idea of "entertaining news" and wanted to make the medium powerful, not to interview the flavor of the day. His words ring as true in 2006 as they did in 1958.

9 out of 10 Whammies - The only major flaws of the movie was casting MadTV and Family Guy's Alex Borstein and not allowing her to impersonate Lois Griffin or Asian Reporter Tricia Takinawa and a couple of pieces of suspect pacing. Otherwise, it really is as brilliant as people say. Clooney's a damned good director.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Radio is a sound salvation or something

Yesterday, 1/4/06, media conglomerate Bonneville swapped frequencies and changed formats at several of it's DC-market's stations. Z104, which played Adult-Alternative music along with Washington Nationals' baseball broadcasts, is now Classical WGMS. WGMS' old frequency, 103.5, is now all-news WTOP, which was broadcast on 1500 AM and 107.7 FM. Those two frequencies will become Washington Post Radio in March.

A few years ago, the popular mantra was to not waste a highly profitable FM signal in the DC market with news or sports - those formats could live nicely on lower-sound-quality AM. Even religious, ethnic and classic standards broadcasting was considered a disaster. Some even considered 106.7's talk format a waste of a music frequency. And, now, in one fell swoop, Bonneville has changed the rules by littering FM with news and sports.

I'm actually excited to see how the Washington Post Radio turns out. Long-form news stories - longer than a short news blurb, much like a NPR story - were common before the popularity of talk radio took off in the late '80s and early '90s. The Post, despite its history as a major newspaper, has made incredible progress in getting newspaper content to the web, and further distinguishes their website with tons of web-only content. Various writers were made available to other media for commentary and features, so it only seems fitting that they'd eventually get into radio. It'll be interesting to see what they do with the radio station. Call-in shows with the writers? Have the editors do a roundtable? A Gene Weingarten morning show? Carolyn Hax doing a "Loveline"-style advice show?

However, the comments on local media sites like have been assailing the death of yet another music outlet in the local market. Z104 wasn't a great radio station - and I'm not just saying that because they turned me down for a job in 1996 - but they were generally pleasant enough. Like the young couple three doors down in your neighborhood - they always smile, never stay up all night being loud, but never make much of an impression for you to remember their names.

Local radio should be just that - local. Bonneville is operated out of Salt Lake City - hardly a hot bed of progressive thought. Probably the reason Z104 never crossed the line of taste like a DC101 does is somewhat due to the slightly older demo they shot for, and a corporate mindset that values modesty. Rearranging frequencies and eliminating formats isn't as much of a big deal when you have a 2,000 mile buffer zone.

The sad state of local radio is EXACTLY what we deserve for allowing Congress, the FCC and big business to take over local radio stations relatively unchecked for the past 15 years. Corporate butchers like Bonneville, Clear Channel and Infinity are responsible for the dearth of decent local programming and personalities.

When I was a baby deejay, the average DC station employed about 40 people, between engineering, sales, support staff, promotions and air talent. Some stations had more; others less, but the general rule was 40. Once the FCC started relaxing a couple of ownership rules, it was all over. Welcome to the world of consolidation. Suddenly, a group of radio stations could combine sales staff, engineering, promotions folks and even air talent. When I worked in Ocean City after college in 1995, I was on the 95.9 morning show, and then changed my voice and walked across the hall to do Froggy 99.9 's middays or overnights. Sadly, this also happened in bigger cities too. Suddenly, a group of stations could hire 100 folks to run 4 or 5 stations.

With fewer jobs available, salaries went down. Long time DC/Baltimore residents might remember Big Don O'Brien, formerly of WPGC and WAVA in their top 40 days, and B104 in Baltimore. In 1984, Big Don was the cohost of the highest rated morning show in Baltimore, a smaller market than DC. He made 250,000 in a year by being funny for four hours a day.

Conversely, when Will Pendarvis was the morning show host at DC101 in 1996, he made 140,000. Now, that's still great money, but Don made more 10 years earlier at a smaller station. Even more ridiculous was the old WHFS Morning Product with Aq, Kath and Rob. They were ranked #3 in DC and #8 in Baltimore. Between the two cities, over 250,000 people listened to them every hour, every morning. WHFS was kicking DC101's ass.

Aq made 70,000, I think. It might have been less, now that I think about it. In either case, that's not what highly-rated, major market morning shows used to make. Now, I'm not going to turn down 70-large for doing an easy job. Still...that's a massive pay disparity. Smaller market guys or folks who didn't do mornings had a similar pay cut. Mix 106.5 in Baltimore paid 32,000 to it's night jocks as recently as the 2000 - for a full-time major market gig at an FM station, that's essentially a slap in the face.

The problem is that there are SO many people who want to be broadcasters now - much more so than 30 years ago. As the businesses started taking over, they eliminated much of the local personalities with syndicated programming or automated systems that don't even need a local voice to operate. As a result, there are too many people and not enough jobs.

And, as the battle over decency in broadcasting flared up, these large corporations rolled over and let the FCC run roughshod over them. After all, they can't bite the hand that feeds it, can it? It boggles my mind that INDIVIDUAL CBS AFFILIATES can be fined over a NETWORK-PROVIDED FEED of a frickin' nanosecond of Janet Jacksons' deflated passenger-side airbag, yet Pat Robertson can call for the assassination of a foreign leader on his TV show and not get a penny in fines. Maybe I'm the one who has bad priorities, but when is a nipple more offensive than murder? Michael Powell and his ilk at the FCC deserve a huge steaming cat-shit sandwich for scaring affiliates from airing Saving Private Ryan - one of the most important movies ever made - because of four-letter words and scenes that might get them fined.

Yet MTV can have a show where people get radical makeovers and plastic surgery just so they can look like some two-bit celebrity. That's offensive!!!

Combine that with the shifting demographics of the market, plus other technologies, and you get the situation radio is in now. Most people in my demo (25 - 45, college educated) have iPods or a pretty big CD collection. We can download songs we like. We can burn DVD's full of media. We don't need the radio for music as much as we need it for traffic and weather information. Some of our cars are prewired for satellite radio. Many of us spend an hour or two a day in the Metro where the radio is mostly useless. We can listen to streaming audio at work or at home if we have a good internet connection. We can go to clubs that play exactly what music we like. Many of us have very specific tastes in music, and we want to hear what we want, when we want. Stations like Z104 and the old WHFS were marketed to a demo that simply doesn't need them.

Stations like WHUR and WPGC have a similar age and income demo, but are able to market themselves much better into the community. They make their broadcasts sound like a hot party you need to be at. And while hip-hop and R&B have made great strides in bridging technology gaps, it's still has a large audience who depends on the radio for listening to music. And, the new 99.1, with its mix of Latin beats, while not as highly rated as anticipated, has become a fixture in the community already. Z104 completely failed to make that kind of impression.

It was predicted that when Stern left Infinity/CBS that the whole radio world would change. Sure enough...don't be surprised to see other changes (94.7, 107.3, this means you). Sure, Sirius is giving Stern a huge contract, but it's still pretty amazing to see how low traditional radio is falling when it's biggest star would leave.

Personally, I've fallen in love with XM. Their selection of alt-rock and indie selections, plus good dance, soul, sports, classical and news/talk/traffic/weather stations is INFINITELY better than anything available on regular broadcast. Sirius is not as good musically, but has better talk stations, plus Howard Stern, but XM also has more stations. Sat Radio's a vastly superior service, no matter which provider you chose, and if I have to skip three Starbuck's coffees a month to pay for it, I will. My birthday gift from myself to myself will be the portable unit, and I will consider it an investment and a a big fat middle finger at the suits, lawyers and politicians who ruined the medium I once loved.