Monday, June 18, 2012

Crappy Novel

Hayashi Paper Company has begun selling rolls of toilet paper containing a horror story written by Koji Suzuki, author of the Ring.
According to this article, the 'novel' is currently only available in Japanese, although an English version is rumored to be in the works.  It sells for $2.52, about 10 times the cost of a regular roll, but significantly lower than a standard novel.  No word on whether or not a Kindle version is in the works.

This is a pretty interesting idea, and I'm pretty interested to see how it sells.  I can envision a few complications.  I know some people who spend 30 or more minutes at a time on the can already, that's unhealthy enough as is, and those folks don't need any encouragement.  Second, everyone will have to have their own roll.  If you don't live alone or have company, you will miss key plot points and the story would be ruined.  And if they ever make the story into a movie, it would be a little awkward.  Still, it will no doubt keep you on the edge of your seat.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Antisocial Network

Facebook has been in the news a lot lately with their IPO and a lot of people are hoping it will fail.  That solidifies my belief that it's time for someone to create an antisocial network.  The hateful, shut ins, and the unlikeable need something to waste their time too.  It can't all be spent in a cabin in the woods writing a manifesto. 

For starters, instead of a friends list you would have an enemies list.  Personally, I already have an enemies list as I'm sure that all the antisocials do, and having a convenient online place to maintain such a list and keep track of schemes would be very convenient.  Not to mention what a valuable resource it would be for vengeful plans - who knows what devious plans are out there than I haven't thought of.

Next order of business, there would be no 'like' button.  Only a dislike button.  One of the great irritations for me on Facebook is the inability to dislike things.  Negative feedback is every bit as valuable as positive feedback, more important some might say.  Solely having positive feedback is disingenuous.  It smacks of the 'everyone is special' and 'everyone's a winner' awards that are pedaled to the youth today.  In the real world, people dislike things.

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty tired of companies telling me to like them.  Nobody likes Comcast.  And nobody is a fan of Justin Bieber.  Wouldn't you much rather hate them?  You'll be able to rant and bad mouth everything you dislike and disapprove of once I roll out my antisocial network.  I've come up with a name already.  Since it will be, in many ways, the opposite of Facebook, I plan to call it Assbook.  Particularly fitting since a majority of users will, in fact, be jackasses.  Anyone who has ever been on an internet message board or forum knows that 90% of the population are jackasses when they are anonymous, so this will be huge. 

I know what you're thinking, won't I be sued by Facebook if I use that name?  Luckily I have legal precedent on my side.  The South Butt was able to fend off a copyright infringement suit from North Face. Their best hope is to buy me out, and I won't be cheap.  Just picking a number out of the air I'm going for $11 billion.  I will use that money to buy the most comfortable chair money can buy and the largest television in the free world.  And probably a pizza.

What makes me think I can overtake Facebook if Google couldn't?  Don't worry, I have a plan.  Facebook's primary competitive advantage is that they have so many users - if you want to switch to another network, you have to convince your friends to  switch as well or you're wasting your time.  The key is to be a social network aggregator.  If you can access Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, and any other networks that come along all from one convenient location, you'll be unstoppable.  That's where Assbook comes in, it will be your one stop shopping web site.  And my 2 loyal readers will get in on the ground floor.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Munsters

For a while now I've been watching The Munsters on Netflix and a few things stand out to me, the most obvious being how did they manage to make 70 episodes, all with virtually the same plot.  The are a family of monsters who think they are a completely normal, average American family and at some point someone sees them, gets scared, and leaves a human shaped hole in the wall, jumps out a window, has his toupee fly up to the ceiling, or some such nonsense.  I'm into season 2 now and it's clear that the writers realized that the premise was wearing a little thin after 40 or so episodes and are trying to branch out a bit, but not enough.  It's just a little hard to believe that they could see people every day and still fail to realize that they were the unusual ones.  Or that people in the areas they frequent wouldn't become accustomed to them at some point.  At any rate, I'm sure that's why the series didn't last longer than it did, although it's entirely possible that the cast was tired of the make up and costumes as well. 

I also have a very hard time coming to grips with the fact that Herman Munster is a Frankenstein monster, his wife Lily is a vampire, but somehow their son Eddie is a werewolf.  That makes no sense, did the writers have no concept of genetics or monster mythology?  Maybe I've been unduly influenced by the Underworld movies, but aren't werewolves and vampires supposed to be enemies?  Competing species, so to speak, much like lions and hyenas compete for the same territory an prey?  Although you sometimes see a dog nursing a tiger cub, so the only way it makes sense is if Eddie is adopted.  Nothing in the show suggests he's adopted, though, so I'm left to assume that he's the byproduct of one of Grandpa Munster's experiments.  And nothing is really explained regarding why Marilyn, niece of Herman and Lily, is not a monster.  When vampires procreate, is it just a crap shoot as to what type of monster or human the offspring are?  That's something that needs to be fleshed out when they remake the series. 

Yes, a Munsters remake is already in the works.  Because of the limited story arcs in the original, I think that it would be more suited to a one off movie, but maybe that's why I'm not in Hollywood. The remake is supposed to air beginning in 2013, and I think casting Herman is going to be pivotal to the success or failure of the show. Fred Gwynne really made the show, playing Herman as an overgrown child - easily excited and amused, and throwing a temper tantrum when things go badly.  My initial thought was that Vince Vaughn would make a good Herman Munster, but the more I think about it, the more I think Brad Garrett, best known for his role as Ray's brother in Everybody Loves Raymond, is perfect.  Come to think of it, were he still alive, I think Ray's father on the show, Peter Boyle would make a perfect Grandpa Munster.  Maybe Everybody Loves Raymond was really a remake of The Munsters if they were really a normal family.  But I digress.  Unfortunately Jerry O'Connell has been cast as Herman.  Jerry is a fine actor, but he's no Brad Garrett, so I'm a little disappointed.  I do find this odd because I've been watching episodes of Sliders concurrently, and had I not been doing so would not have noticed the Munster house appearing in an episode.  Portia de Rossi has been cast as Lily, according to this article, which I think is perfect.  She's a brilliant comedic actress and maybe they just wanted someone with 'de' in her name as a nod to Yvonne de Carlo who originally portrayed Lily.

Well, I was originally going somewhere with this, but have gotten distracted and lost my train of thought, so I'll shut up for now.  I reserve the right to return and edit this at a later date if it comes back to me though.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Mariners History

The date was June 2, 1990.  I was a high school senior, just about to graduate and for a couple weeks had plans with a few friends to go to the Mariner's game.  Randy Johnson was going to be on the mound.  It was ladies night, and none of us goofballs had any hope of picking up any ladies, but all signs still pointed to an enjoyable evening.  Well, game day rolled around and I called up my buddies and we were all a little tired and didn't feel too much like going, so we skipped it.  Later that night I turned on the news to see highlights of Randy Johnson throwing the first no hitter in Mariner history.  For 22 years I've been kicking myself, but tonight I finally got to witness a no hitter. This wasn't a conventional no hitter, it took the Mariners 6 pitchers to pull it off, but it still goes in the record books - the Dodgers didn't manage a hit.

I didn't go to the game expecting to see anything historic, although does anybody?  I was just looking forward to seeing the Dodgers.  The first baseball game I ever went to was a Dodger game.  I was just 5 years old when I visited the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine and although I don't remember who played, where we sat, who I went with other than my parents, if it was sunny or cloudy, or any other details of the game, I've been a Dodgers fan since.  All I really remember is the feeling of being overwhelmed by what a spectacular place it was.  Sadly I haven't been back since.  My only opportunity to see my beloved Dodgers in person these days is to wait for them to come up to Seattle.

Anyway, back to tonight, starting in the 4th inning I began to give updates every inning that 'the no hitter is still in effect'.  My friend kept telling me to stop saying anything because I'd jinx it, but not believing in jinxes I continued my updates.  So when Kevin Millwood left the game with a minor groin pull after the 6th inning, I took the blame.  Sorry Millwood, it's on me.  From there, Charlie Furbush came in and got a quick out and then coaxed the second batter he faced into hitting a routine comebacker, which he then wheeled and fired into the dirt in front of first base, turning an easy out into a 2 base error.  He struck out the next batter and was replaced by Stephen Pryor who closed out the 7th inning. 

Pryor walked the first 2 batters of the 8th inning and was replaced by Lucas Leutge who recorded one out before yielding to Brandon League.  League quickly retired the next two batters, and Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a 1, 2, 3 9th inning for the save.  According to ESPN, this is just the 10th combined no hitter in major league history, so I'm pretty happy about getting to witness it.  This is a story I'll be able to tell for days to come.  By my estimates it will take approximately 5 days for people to start telling me to shut up and that they don't want to hear about it.  I'd like to think that this win will light a fuse in the Mariners and that they will make a playoff run, but I have my doubts, so I'm just going to soak it all in while I can.