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Me, Myself, and iPod October 27, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Gadgets, iPod, soapbox, Technology and Gadgets.
1 comment so far

I tend to avoid things that are trendy. Not to the extent of being Gothic or anything, but if something is too popular, I am less likely to be interested in it. I’m not interested in Camarys, American Idol, Starbucks, or South Beach.

The exception to this is the iPod. Last year I bought myself a black 4 GB Nano. I even got it inscribed: “None more black”
(lest you think me racist, this is part of a quote from Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel when talking about their new album This Is Spinal Tap “It’s like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black. “)

So today, I saw a post entitled Top 10 reasons/places not to use an iPod and it got me thinking about what are good reasons/places to use an iPod. So, here is my top 4 list:

1. To provide your own, personal, soundtrack. You only need to watch any movie since Jazz Singer to recognize how the right music can describe and communicate the right mood . Got a long flight of steps to climb – play the Rocky music. In a hurry, play the Benny Hill song.

2. To block out elevator music, country music, or any other music you’d rather not hear.

3. To provide Foley sound effects to everyday situations. Instead of walking across the floor, you can stomp like King Kong. Instead of mildly making a left, you can rev your engine and squeal your tires like your are in the General Lee.

4. Overdub people with whom you disagree. Watch Bush, but hear Barak.

Sorry there are only four, but I think the earbuds have melted my brain.

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Just Say No October 18, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, rants, soapbox.
4 comments

Things I Won’t Do:

  • Park right in front of the store, even if I’m just going to be a minute.
  • Write a blog post about blogging
  • Mix beer and wine, ever.
  • Knowingly eat guacamole
  • Watch a Bette Middler movie
  • Wear a tie when I don’t really have to
  • Drink shots
  • Write a blog post when I’m supposed to be working
  • Accept that sushi is more than just raw fish
  • Wear sweat pants out of the house to a non exercise-based event
  • Value fashion over comfort
  • Wash that gray right out of my hair
  • Get any more cats
  • Have shrubbery in my yard that is shaped like anything other than shrubbery

Missing The Trick October 16, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, dummies, Growing Up, Halloween, soapbox, Trick or Treat.
2 comments

Two weeks from tomorrow night, swarms of people too young to vote will visit my house. They will be attired in garb ranging from the elaborate “my parents need more children” to the mundane “as little effort as possible”. These porch-standing hooligans will have a common demmand of me: “Trick or Treat!” And that is where it starts to go wrong.

First of all, this demand should be presented to me as a choice: “Trick or Treat?”. Like “soup or salad?” (which I used to think was “Super Salad?” as in “Would I like the Super Salad?” “No thanks, I’m not a big fan of salad, but I wonder if I can get some soup?” Yes, I’m a dum-dum, but I’m getting off topic”)

Back to “Trick or Treat?” As the man with the candy, it should be my choice whether to distribute it to any particular princess, pirate, or super hero or instead face the consequences. Often, when I’m unimpressed with the supplicants costume, I feel like they don’t deserve my candy, and so I answer them “Trick, please” Instead of a trick, what they always give me, to a person, is a blank stare. The kids just don’t understand this. They have nothing prepared. No eggs, no toilet paper, not even a water gun. They just want the candy.

The blank stares often turn to looks of annoyance. I can see it in their eyes that they are thinking “Strange man, give me my Hershey bar now! I’ve got eighteen more cul-de-sacs to cover tonight.” Where’s the holiday spirit (pun intended)?

Annoying, Now October 6, 2006

Posted by Andy in Grammar, improvement, soapbox.
2 comments

Warning: Don’t Read This Post. I’m serious. It will make your life less enjoyable.

Years ago, I was enjoying a meal back in the college dining hall, when my friend pointed out that the register emitted a beep each time an ID card was swiped through it to pay for a meal. I’d never noticed this before, but once I was aware of it, I could no longer not-hear it, and it annoyed me for the rest of my meals in the dining hall.

If only there was some way for super selective amnesia to be induced, things like this would not have to be the thorns in the paw of our life experience.

Here are some other things that I wish I could un-know:

  • Grape gum tastes like raisins (thanks, Dave)
  • Stewart’s Orange n’ Cream soda tastes like baby aspirin (thanks, Gretch)
  • “try and…” is not right. Should be “try to…” (thanks, Shelley)

Ignorance really is bliss, I suppose. At the risk of becoming less blissful, I’ll ask if anyone else has something that was pointed out to them that now annoys them.  Let’s try and to make a nice list.

T.M.X. Elmo W.T.F.? October 4, 2006

Posted by Andy in Elmo, Gadgets, soapbox, Toys.
4 comments

The fine folks at Toy Wishes magazine have announced their annual Hot Dozen list of toys that they expect to be most popular this holiday season. Not surprisingly, T.M.X. Elmo made the list. According to fisher-price.com:


“T.M.X.” Elmo will tickle America’s funny bone with three interactive tickle spots on his chin, tummy or toe. When kids tickle Elmo once on any of the tickle spots, he starts to laugh and slap his leg twice, then falls down into a sitting position and rocks himself back up to standing while laughing. When they tickle him a second time, he repeats the pattern even more, then sits down again and falls backwards onto his back and starts kicking his feet while laughing even harder. He then stands back up and asks to be tickled again. And on the third tickle he absolutely lets loose going through the first two patterns and then rolling over onto his tummy where he starts hitting the floor with his hand in gales of laughter, then rolling onto his back, standing up again, and ending with a deep sigh

To me, this has to be the second sign of the apocalypse (the first being the increasing number and complexity of Lucky Charm marbits, that I rant about here). Ten years ago, when the 1 tickle spot, non knee slapping, deep sigh free Tickle Me Elmo came out, it was more than enough fun for the children of the nineties. Today’s kids need more, it seems.

All this makes me wonder what the 2016 incarnation of the auburn furred Muppet will be. Here are my predictions for T.M.XX Elmo

  • Interactive tickle spots replaced by humor proximity sensors that make Elmo giggle when within 10 meters of something amusing (aside: I say meters in my hope that the U.S. has finally switched to the metric system by then)
  • These humor proximity sensors respond not only to slap-stick physical humor, but dry sardonic asides and amusing anecdotes relevant to the issues of the day
  • The first time he is amused, Elmo smiles and nods slightly in acknowledgment of the humor
  • The second time he is amused, Elmo guffaws, does a spit-take, and milk comes out of his nose
  • The third time is the charm since it causes Elmo to write a poignant commentary about what caused his delight on his blog. This blog is so popular that it is second only to Scoble.