Saturday, April 19, 2008

I bet that hurt...

Especially the antlers. Ow.

The sad fact that plagues copy editors: the I and the O are right next to each other on the keyboard. Back in my newspaper days, any time I typed "three-point shot" in a sports caption or any reference in news stories to "public meetings," "Department of Public Works" or God forbid, "Public Storage," I asked everyone else on the copy desk to verify that I had in fact typed what I thought.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hey, it's Friday night...

Friday nights are usually when people hang out, go out, or black out (sometimes all three). In honor of the celebratory nature of Friday nights, I present the awesomest walrus I've ever seen, who I call Chumley. Break it down for us, Chumley:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New commenting system

Trying out Disqus as a replacement for the old-school commenting system. This should make the comments more discussiony, which will be cool.

Thanks to Josh for the tip.

Oh dear God, Microsoft...why?!

We here at Siftin' often celebrate the less than successful. Or in other words, hooray for crap!

I think you can learn more from bad ideas than good ones sometimes, and I came across this post on CNET's Crave blog that runs through the 8 worst Microsoft promo videos.

With all that money and talent at their disposal, how bad could it be, you ask?

Check out Josh Lowensohn's post and find out for yourself. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday's child is full of FAIL

I've never been particularly graceful, thus shooting the whole "Tuesday's child is full of grace" thing all to hell.

But when I dipped into my baby book to see how old I was when I hit a baby milestone recently, I noticed that I had a lot of coordination trouble. Here are the top 5 greatest hits, so to speak (with approximate age):
5. (5 months) Hit head against fireplace bricks at grandparents' house. Result: "Small bruise on forehead -- fine afterward."

4. (1 year) Fell down in back yard and split open my top lip. Result: "Swelling went down after a couple of hours."

3. (13 months) Stepped on a sewing needed; it almost went completely through my foot. My mom has told me about this one. apparently, the head of the needle was poking up, tentpole-style, in the skin on the top of my foot. Result: "It hardly bled at all. Jeff didn't cry much at all. Fine a few minutes later."

2. (16 months) Fell on the floor while sucking on a bottle. Cut lip on outside. Result: "Cut bled pretty good. Jeff was fine as soon as he was given an ice cube to suck on." One of the big memories of my childhood is the taste of an ice cube wrapped in a paper towel. This happened so often, I thought it was one of the major food groups.

1. This is the first one I actually remember, as I had just turned 4. I was at preschool on the swing set. Always the social butterly, I was swinging on a two-person swing. I think it was one of the ones that looked like a seesaw.

It was almost time to go back inside, and while my classmates weren't having any trouble with this, I was. Being short, my feet couldn't quite reach the ground, and since I was riding solo, I had no one to help me.

Well, I didn't want to be late, so I thought if I grabbed part of the main frame, that would slow me down enough, and I could hop off. Note that waiting for a minute or two while I slowed down naturally didn't actually occur to me.

I grabbed the bar as I was swinging back, and I guess I miscalculated. I heard a giant gong, and it felt like the back of my head was on fire.

Yep, I practically brained myself because I didn't want to be late for making macaroni arts and crafts.

The result: "Bled for a while, but was fine afterward. No swelling."

This filled up the Accidents page in my baby book before I even made it to school, where I was the Gerald Ford of Portola Elementary School.

I'm not exaggerating. I was on a first-name basis with Lindy, the secretary, and every time I came into the office, she'd turn to the mini-fridge next to her and reach for an icepack for me.

I would trip constantly, slide occasionally -- one time requiring a quick trip home to change clothes, as I'd slid all the way up my left side in mud during soccer at recess -- and I ran into stuff a lot.

You'd think a giant storage locker bigger than a Dumpster would be a pretty easy thing to work around, right?

During a game of Soak 'Em (or Bombardment, depending on where you went to school), I saw a random ball bounce near me. I ran for it at top speed to get it before one of the bigger kids did, and somehow neglected to factor in that giant storage locker, which I plowed into with the top right side of my head.

No blood, but a ginormous goose egg was sprouting on my head, which meant that my record, if not my skull, was broken, and it was off for another icepack from Lindy.

To add insult to injury, I had to do a speech in front of the class that day, which I did, holding the ice on my dome.

And no, it wasn't on playground safety.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm here, sort of

I'm spending a little too much time at The Prelinger Archives these days. To be more accurate, I'm looking at more than the Prelinger collection, but there's a lot of public domain goodness to be had. Check it out.

Monday, April 14, 2008

More movies enter the Siftin' vaults!

Having already nabbed The Essential Ernest film collection while out shopping with my parents (how any Ernest collection can call itself essential without including Ernest Goes to Camp, I don't know; I wanted it mainly for the commercials anyway), I was looking elsewhere when my dad motioned to me.

"Here's something you need for your blog," he told me. He was holding Cult Classics: 20 Movie Pack. Now I'm fairly skeptical of multimovie packs. The quality is often on par with a half-assed transfer of a VHS tape that had been buried beneath a 100-year-old outhouse. But on the other hand, if you get one or two movies worth watching -- and I use the word "worth" very loosely; that's how I ended up watching Night Train to Terror -- it's not a total loss.

I scanned the back to check out the lineup. Off the top, there was Reefer Madness, which is always a crowd pleaser. There were also the semi-companion films to that classic, The Cocaine Fiends and Sex Madness. But there were two in particular that caught my attention. See if you can pick them out from this list:
Chained for Life
Child Bride
The Cocaine Fiends
Delinquent Daughters
Escort Girl
Gambling with Souls
Joyless Street
Mad Youth
The Marijuana Menace
Omoo-Omoo, The Shark God
Reefer Madness
The Road to Ruin
Sex Madness
She Shoulda' Said No!
Slaves in Bondage
Ten Nights in a Barroom
Terror of Tiny Town
Test Tube Babies
The Wild and the Wicked

Oh, hell yes. Finally, I'd get a chance to watch Terror of Tiny Town, a western with an all-little-people cast. Yes, you heard me. I read about this in The Golden Turkey Awards, and all these years later, I own it.

Second one I noticed: Omoo-Omoo, The Shark God. How can you not want to watch a movie with that name?

Don't answer that.

Well, I've got lots of movie watching ahead of me. Wish me luck. And lest you think it's a film festival with boobies galore, I should point out that the most recent film in the collection is still over 50 years old.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

YouTube as educational tool

Sometimes, I really could just spend hours checking out videos on YouTube. For example, as regular readers are abundantly aware of, I'm obsessed with old TV shows and commercials.

Now what's great is all the people who had VCRs back in the Stone Age top-loader days are uploading samples of their collections to share with everyone. I love this, because it's one thing to read what shows were on during a certain time, but it's another to watch the opening credits to them, because there are shows that you just don't remember because they weren't syndicated or they didn't last particularly long.

Thanks to uploader videoholic2008, here's a sample of what you could find on TV if you tuned in in early 1977, which is about the earliest I can remember any TV shows specifically.