April 2007

2007
Apr
30

Jason Calacanis Is Never Gonna Link to This Blog

If I know the readers of my blog (and considering they number barely in the double digits, I should know them all by name), you’re probably asking yourself, “Who is Jason Calacanis? Is he somebody I should know about? Isn’t he a minor Presidential candidate or American Idol contestant?” Actually, he is an Internet Entrepreneur, which is a little of both. He was smart enough to name his little company Weblogs Inc. before anybody else, then sold out to AOL for umpteen million bucks back when umpteen million seemed like a lot of money. He then revived Netscape, turning it from a brand name associated with something or other to something else entirely. Now, he is a Venture Capitalisto (although the other VCs laugh behind his back for having only umpteen million) and has a personal blog where he blogs about blogging. His ReadersDigest-Campbells-Super-Condensed self-description: “Looking for TNBT” (Fortunately, ‘TNBT’ is not one of those abbreviations you put in a CraigsList Personal, but rather stands for “The Next Big Thing”. I think. I hope.)

link-bait.jpgAmong the personal stuff on his personal weblog is his bulldog named Toro. I was considering making fun of how obvious a name Toro is for a bulldog, but then I remembered how my mother named her miniature poodle Coco, after Famous French person Coco Chanel and ended up having everybody ask her why, since the dog had gray fur and not brown fur, she had named her Cocoa. So, I’ll bet Jason occasionally has to explain why he named his dog after a brand of lawn mower. He also does a lot of writing about his weight and his painful efforts to lower that number, which is nothing unique, but he has apparently trademarked the word Fatblogging®?©?? (or at least has registered it as a domain name).

blogcode.jpgAnyway, after handing the Unevil O’Reilly his heinie in response to the well-meaning-but-over-reaching Blogger Code of Conduct, the Calacanis dude has written his own set of Rules for blogging about him… that is, if you want him to link back to you. He’s calling it Link-Baiting, which is nicer than the term I’d previously seen for it – Link Whoring. Honestly, I prefer the less-sexually-suggestive name for it, even if Jason is trademarking it too. Let’s face it, Jason C. is a Master-Link-Baiter.

But here is my problem. I have been blogging on-and-off since the Fall of 1999, when the only Blogging Jason was Kottke. (More off than on, probably 2-and-a-half of the 7-and-a-half years engaged in active bloggery at most) I know a golden opportunity to introduce a new, smart, and much more nerdy audience to my written nonsense when I see one. And it was no problem to write something up that fulfills most-if-not-all of Calacanis’ requirements. thinjason.jpgI had a little problem with his request to “post a picture of me when I wasn’t fat”. Since my current weight is approximately 1.7 Calacanises, none of his pictures look fat to me. So, I just took his picture from Wikipedia (where his is considered significant) and “thinned it” a little. I hope he likes it.

But back to the point: I am just now returning to blogging after another depression-induced semi-hiatus. I have a lot of big plans for this place and all my “pseudo-network of sites” (including resuming my webcomic-blogging) but they aren’t ready yet. I don’t even have any Shameless Commerce set up to take advantage of a Jason-Calacanis-induced wave of traffic (I took down my Google ads when I realized that, for a humorous blog filled with attempts at witty wordplay, AdSense becomes AdNonSense). So why bother?

Well, my philosophy at WendellWit.com is “If I Can Bring a Laugh To A Single Person [based on current traffic statistics] While At The Same Time Make Fun OF Somebody Much More Successful Than I Am, WHAT THE HECK!” Bring it on, Link-Boy!!!

AND NOW A WORD FROM SOMEBODY WHO MAY HAVE NEVER HEARD OF ME...
Apr
28

O.Crap

If you haven’t been living in a cave without Web access, you probably know about the weird meme based on the scene in “The O.C.” where somebody gets shot and everything goes in slow motion and all you can hear is Imogen Heap’s vocoder-altered vocal on her song “Hide and Seek”, with the half-ironic half-non-sequitur lyric:

Mmmm what you say,
Mmmm that you only meant well?
well of course you did

First Saturday Night Live (YouTube) did a sketch based on it, and then random people started remixing scenes from movies, TV shows, etc. doing the same thing: a bunch of them are collected at this MetaFilter post.

Now I am still wondering why the producers of “The O.C.” chose that song by that artist? Could it be because the person who gets shot collapses in a Heap? If so, why didn’t they use something by the ’60s rock band Uriah Heep? (Are you as surprised as I am that Uriah Heep has a website?) But wait a minute… it’s “The O.C.”, they do Emo, not Retro.

But the spread of this dubious meme officially went too far for me today. I was in a store when that song came on over the Muzak speakers and somebody immediately screamed: “Oh my God! He’s been shot!”

Mmmm what you say, Willis?

2007
Apr
27

Pirates of the Blogobean

Do you have what it takes to be a Pirate?

Apparently, Steve H. Graham doesn’t. He doesn’t even have what it takes to write humorously about pirates, which he demonstrated by failing to sell a humor book titled “How to Be a Pirate”, and then blogging about it. The first thing that made it obvious that he shouldn’t even try to write humorous stuff: using his middle initial “H”. Middle initials are absolute Doom for a writer of humorous stuff, unless you have one of the few funny middle initials. “G”. “J”. “K”. “O”. “Q.” “W”. All other initials are far too serious. Except “Z”, which is too silly to be funny.

Anyway, Mr. H. Graham’s writing came to my attention because it was posted to the Beloved MetaFilter by Steven C. Den Beste, who also uses a ve’sry non-humorous middle initial, but that’s okay, because he’s never funny. I could go for a few dozen paragraphs dissecting the failure of Mr. H. Graham’s attempted Pirate funnitude, but that would be unnecessarily cruel. And one of the NOT funny things about Pirates is their frequent tendency to be unnecessarily cruel. Pirates are willing to run you through with a sword, fire cannon balls at your balls, and, well, if you don’t know the specifics of “keelhauling”, trust me, you do not want to know. Still, even Pirates are not so cruel as to do a Fisking of another humorist’s writing. Unless that other humorist is Dave Barry. So let me instead attempt to write the first chapter of the Pirate Humor Book Mr. H. Graham was trying to write and open myself up to being run through, keelhauled or Fisked.

SO YOU WANT TO BE A PIRATE

Yes, a Pirate is one of the coolest, most awesome things to be. In fact, it is cooler and more awesome than all the other coolest, most awesome things to be. How can I make such a wild unsubstantiated claim? Doesn’t everybody? But really… Why is being a Pirate better than being a…

NINJA – Do you realize how much training and discipline is required to be a half-way decent Ninja? And you’re usually travelling in groups, all dressed alike. No chance to develop your own style: no personal catchphrase, you’re supposed to be silent and stealthy; and victory dances are out. It’s like being in military school times a million!

VAMPIRE – You have to give up a lot to become a creature of the night: solid food, king size beds, Dodgers day games, And when you make the commitment to become one of the undead, there is no getting out. It’s like a cell phone contract for eternity!

SUPERHERO – The entrance requirements are a pain, unless you’re from another planet, and usually involve exposing yourself to something very toxic or radioactive and surviving. You could go the Batman route, but there’s that training and discipline again, and besides, there’s only one Batman. And do you really want to have to wear a brightly colored skintight outfit?

SECRET AGENT – Superspy guy like James Bond or Jack Bauer? Are you kidding? Those guys are just fictional characters; there’s nobody really like that. Get real.

So, if you want all the coolness, all the awesomeness, without uniforms, strict rules or radioactivity… the Pirate Life is the way to go!

But do you have what it takes to be a Pirate?

Anybody can say “Yaarrrr”, but are you the kind who can really mean it?

First, are you really Seaworthy? No land lubbers allowed. If there’s any piece of land you really lub, whether it’s a bustling city street, a suburban mall, a golf course, well, FORGET IT! You’re going to belong to the Sea now, and you’d better lub it or get out. And you’d better have your sea legs, and a sea stomach and several other sea body parts, because seasickness is a deal killer. If you’ve ever gotten back from a fishing trip and really didn’t feel like eating the catch, if you’ve ever gotten queezy while having sex on a waterbed, if you even know what Dramamine looks like, forget it, you can’t be a Pirate.

And you’d better not be shy of the sight of blood either… including your own. As a Pirate you will be required from time to time to remove someone else’s hand, leg, eye, testicle or kidney. And frequently you will have to your own hand, leg, eye, testicle or kidney removed. And when you do, you have to keep removing others’ hands, legs, eye, testicles or kidneys, and never show fear that you might lose your other hand, leg, eye, testicle or kidney, all of which would be sure career enders. In fact, if you’ve ever given a fraction of a second’s thought about how much Medical Insurance for Pirates would cost, forget it, you can’t be a Pirate.

There’s another thing about being a Pirate a lot of people don’t realize. You can’t have a strong sexual identity. That means being too heterosexual or homosexual, because Pirates, well, they’re omnisexual. That means you have to be ready to have sex with women, men, dead bodies, fish, parrots or an occasional small-bore cannon. You just can’t be particular when you wear puffy shirts and earrings and smell like an NFL locker room. And If you’re are, well, if you can’t guess what happens, then forget it, you can’t be a Pirate.

more pirate how-tos when I feel like it… yaarrr.

Apr
27

Light Rain? WHAT LIGHT RAIN?!?

Continuing problems with my Cabal Internet connection have made updating the blog somewhat difficult… in the ‘passing a camel through the eye of a needle’ kind of difficult. Fortunately, I have had plenty of neglected Real Life issues to deal with, helping to keep my will to live down to a manageable level. But I’m not going to blog about any of them right now. Right now, it’s almost 80 degrees at Wendell Castle in the mini-outskirts of San Luis Obispo, Californium, which means at least 7 to 8 degrees warmer inside Wendell Castle. I have yet to figure out exactly what this building is made out of, but I suspect Global Warming could be delayed by several years if they tore it down. Unfortunately, I have 6 months left on my current lease.

Anyway, here I am, baking in the Central California Sun and, in an act of certified masochism, web surfing on a hot laptop, keeping my lap warm enough to guarantee my sterility for the next year, and I come across this little graphic from Weather.com:
weather042707a.jpg
WHAT?!?

Light rain? LIGHT RAIN? I survey the skies around my current location (one nice thing about the boondocks is the ample quantity of available sky). Not a cloud to be seen, let alone Light Rain! Look at the forecast below the mysterious rain report. Tonight, Clear. Tomorrow, Sunny, Warm. Foreseeable future, Sunny, Warm. Just Guessing Five Days Out, sunny, Warm.

I decide to go to Weather.com’s latest Web2.0WidgetGadgetBellAndWhistleDogAndPony feature, its Interactive Weather Map and it confirms what I’ve seen with my own eyes.
weather042707b.jpg
No rain. The nearest clouds are several miles off shore and not getting any closer. (For your reference, my actual location is south of San Luis Obispo, just to the east of the ‘e’ in ‘Sycamore Springs’)

So why did Weather.com do this? Were they paid off by some envious East Coasters? Has the Weather Channel been acquired by NewsCorp, thus making their definition of ‘weather’ as unrelated to reality as their definition of ‘news’? Or did some dude at the official SLO Weather Station spill his Mountain Dew into the rain gauge?

This calls for some Citizen Journalism. I’m going to remove the hot laptop from my warm lap and go out and investigate. Be back soon.

2007
Apr
22

pizza pi

Some things remind me of my Math Geek childhood and make me smile*

Like this “self-referencial pizza formula”:
A pizza of radius z and thickness a has a volume of pi z z a
(or for those of you who need operation signs, pi * z * z * a. Overexplain, me?)

* most things that remind me of my childhood make me curl up in a ball and shudder

2007
Apr
21

Culinary Experiment

I found some Hawaiian-Sweet-Bread hot dog rolls in my local MegalomaniacMart and I was inspired…

What if I cooked up a Sweet Italian Sausage, and put it in a Hawaiian Sweet Bun, then added Sweet Relish, Maui Sweet Onion (or Vidalia if in season, this isn’t a Hawaii thing), Honey Mustard and Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce. And maybe some Sweet Potato Fries on the side…

Would it be, like the Sweetest Sandwich Ever?
Would it be safe for a Type 2 Diabetic to eat?
Maybe add a little High Fructose Corn Sweetener just for the hell of it?
Please advise.

ADDENDUM: Would this be safe to be served with sauerkraut or would it cause a kind of matter/anti-matter reaction that would destroy my kitchen?

Apr
21

Hello Again

Long time no blog. Been working on-and-off on a Version 3.0 for this site, but finally decided “Why wait?” when I discovered the whole thing had stopped working for a very stupid reason. See, I used to register a misspelled version of the domain name because for a while it looked like some people were looking for WendellWitt instead of WendellWit – then the last time I changed webhosts, I used the other domain to pre-set-up the blog here. Well, I decided not to spend the 9 bucks on it this year and let it lapse. But I didn’t realize that the MySQL database pointers were still using that domain. No real harm, just renamed a couple names and wendellwit.com is back… and even less interesting than before!