Monthly Archives: June 2007

Twitter goes back to the future…or past rather

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Outside of Facebook, Twitter is probably the most hyped company in the Web 2.0 arena. It has garnered praise from all the bloggers and geeks of significance. If Twitter was a band it would be The Strokes circa 2003. Twitter is the “it” girl of the Bay Area. Personally, I am still sort of wishy washy on the concept however, I know that the service will be integrated in a variety of ways that someone of my middling intelligence is not possible of comprehending at this time. Nonethesless, no matter which way twitter is eventually leveraged to facilitate some new technique of marketing and advertising; one thing is brazenly clear at this point. Most of the twitter comments are benign, earnest and overtly PC such as “Just got done with bikram…feel Great!”, “Had great meeting with XYZ from ABC company at XXX conference” or “Mmmhh…love Swensen’s bittersweet chocolate milkshakes”. BORING. If it is supposed to represent a newfangled stream of consciousness it would be much more entertaining and compelling if a Lenny Bruce/Sasha Cohen character was to unleash all of their biases, impulsive judgements. At least get some people of ill repute to become early adopters of the service.

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So let’s just put on our imaginary hats and imagine that Doc Brown suddenly landed in his De lorian and whisked us away to several points of time in the past and we magically gave individuals the ability and wifi access to “Twitter” for 24 hours. I know it does not make any sense McFly but just go with it…

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Gold Rush Twitter – from the perspective of a Grizzled prospector

  • Went panning this morning
  • Damn socks are wet…
  • Got a new pickaxe and shovel…traded with a Chinaman
  • Visited brothel….cheap whiskey and easy women….my kind of establishment
  • Beard almost a foot in length…
  • Suspenders getting a little loose
  • Back at brothel again, they have one of those newfangled pianos that plays itself
  • Got me a new six shooter….that Injun’s been eyeing my mule
  • Panning again..if I find me some gold, going to buy a nice house on the prarie and make an honest women of Doreen.

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Medieval Times Twitter – from the perspective of a common serf

  • Just watched third beheading this week in the town square, I heard the executioner is having an affair with the blacksmith’s daughter
  • The stench is really beginning to get to me in the village, which reminds me I have to throw the bucket of my feces out tonight
  • Heard the plague is spreading…maybe my insufferable wife will catch it
  • Supposedly there’s some charlatan named Merlin who can levitate and dates only the finest ladies in court. Has some shtick called “Street Magic”
  • Those knight are so overrated…slaying dragon’s my arse, they’re overpaid egomaniacs with prettier hair than most maidens
  • Sherrif’s coming by to pay taxes, which somebody would rob him like he does me….
  • Thinking of opening a Medieval Times themed restaurant….you know…struggling actors, bad wigs and miller lite.

July 27th Twitter – from the perspective of Mark Chu Cheong

  • Moron…don’t post that Twitter piece…not funny in the slightest..worse idea than Evan Almighty and the new Robin Williams as a priest debacle

Bloggers who live in glass houses should not throw stones or iPhones for that matter..

The author of Misanthropy Today has developed a severe distaste for all things Apple. Most of his venom has been saved for the misguided “sheep” he feels have been connived into “needing” products that are inferior and overrated due to Apple’s irresistible marketing campaigns. Undoubtedly, most consumers who buy a MacBook Pro will never use it for pusuits more ambitious than surfing the Internet. An even larger contingent are most likely a tad bit overzealous in their collection of iPods and associated accessories for different activities and functions. (car, gym, bowel movements, reincarnation, etc.) However, the aforementioned argument is full of inconsistencies, and lacks a general cohesiveness often displayed by blathering, right wing pundits such as Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh whose main aim is to provoke. The author is quick to condemn and criticize without offering any discernible solutions or suggestions, thereby making the grave error of failing to look in the mirror. The expression “To thine own self be true” has never been more pertinent and fitting in this case. Unwittingly, he is guilty of the same hypocrisy and transgression that plagues the ignorant, Trey Anastacio worshipping, peace loving, neo-hipie who proudly rocks a Che Guevara t-shirt. The following is the first of a 2 part series that examines this bitter individual’s entertaining yet flawed logic:

  • Et tu Brutus? The author would have us believe he is holier than thou, leading a Howard Roark/Ted Kascyzski like existence devoid of any of the influences of pop culture and US Weekly. Look closer however, and we see the author is just as guilty to the influences imposed by Madison Avenue. Except given his camo capris, soccer jersey and Diesel kicks perhaps the author resides in the far classier demographic that is partial to dancing up a storm to the latest, Tiesto anthem in an Ibiza nightclub while splitting another “mollie” with his “mate”. I’ll spend my time drinking Stella, listening to the new Interpol album in my friend “Dave’s” well decorated apartment any day of the week rather than being knee deep in foam while some ass clown waves a union jack to the pulsating beat of Paul Van Dyk.

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  • “Dave” drives a rabbit while utilizing a sidekick and listening to Wilco and Belle &Sebastian – If anybody can find me a male of this description; then they can surely direct me to the island paradise where Biggie, Tupac, Sasquatch and the Lochness Monster reside. (Perhaps, that explains the affinity for B&S given the Scottish roots of the band). Maybe, it’s just me but I equate VW rabbits with the standard hot blond chick from 80’s films, a sidekick with coke infused heiresses, and Wilco, well with people of tremendous impeccable taste. This cartoonish mashup of David Cross meets Hayden Panettiere crossed with a CNET correspondent is amusing but laughable when dissected.

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  • Equating a fondness for Wilco to being herded like sheep – Now, I understand Wilco is a critics darling and beloved by the indie/hipster set, and yes, that’s them on the new volkswagen commercials. However, I challenge anybody to listen to any album in the Wilco catougue, and then arrive at the conclusion that this band is part of the same slick marketing machine brings us the Duff Sisters and My Chemical Romance . Watch the documentary, “You are Trying to Break my Heart” and tell me this was all part of marketeers plan to get the band dropped from Reprise, only to rise from the ashes as a sparkling indie rock Phoenix. If it was pure propaganda, then kudos to the marketing Svengali that oversaw this strategy. FYI…“Sunken Treasure” is an equally compelling DVD of Jeff Tweedy’s tour through the Northwest.

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  • Additionally, I have a few pointed questions for the author:
    • In lieu of an iPod what do you use as your MP3 player of choice?…let me guess you only listen to vinyl right…that’s not pretentious
    • By “Thinking Different” did that compel you to have such carefully crafted MySpace page? and oh yeah… that Jem song on your profile is also a Noxzema commercial. Wouldn’t it have been much more legit to stick with Friendster?
    • I just re-read the author’s initial post and there are so many flaws in misanthropy’s argument that this is going to require a part 2 that will be posted tomorrow. Same Bat time, same bat channel.

Let the iPhone Games Begin!

IphoneAndy from Misanthropy Today has a hilarious post about what a bitter man he is and how much he hates the iPhone and the people that crave it. Apparently, he also hates babies.

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Be on the look out for my counterpoint coming tonight “You’ll like me even less once I steal your girlfriend and text her with my iPhone.”

Also Valleywag has their usually snarky take, although it pales in comparison to the rant above.

Superfluous Thoughts…

These are the 10 top things that ran I around my head while I  cooked Terriyaki chicken over a bed of rice tonight. I used Soy Vay To marinate. Got to love that product name. The following are not in any particular order.

10. I could probably watch the remaining 13 episodes of Heroes in one sitting on iTunes and enjoy every minute of it. Although I would terminate the storyline with Ali Larter. Her kid is annoying who I can only liken to a young Mario Lopez or a poor man’s version of Will Smith’s son in the “Pursuit of Happyness”.

9. I really hope Kobe Bryant gets traded to the Bull because a starting five of Deng, Odom, Gordon, Walton, and Brown will result in a better record. Additionally,  the Lakers could get a solid player with the #9 pick, perhaps even steal Corey Brewer, although he will probably be gone.

8. Am I that vain that I felt self-conscious driving my Chevy Cobalt rental around ritzy Newport Beach today? Sadly, yes. Did I also get a kick out of the fact that it was devoid of any power functions, thus I had to roll the window down at a drive thru today a total of 4 times, and that the back seat smelled like a combo of pine sol and dead rat. Yes, as well.

6. I wonder what caused Larry David and his wife to get divorced. If she really looked like his Curb wife, would they have gotten divorced? Probably not.

5. “Knocked Up” was a terrific movie but I still don’t want kids for at least 6-8 years. It completely restored my faith in Judd Apatow. I am now convinced he dumbed downed “A 40 year old virgin” to prove to the studio heads that he could make blockbuster comedies, so he could make this movie.

4. I think Microsoft will buy Yahoo! On another note, I am so old that barely any of my friends are on Facebook. If I could buy shares in Facebook right now, I think I would allocate over 80% of my portfolio to the site. This article puts forth an interesting potential MySpace-Yahoo collaboration. I love the Murdoch quote about Facebook; one sly Aussie, that and the fact that MySpace is now valued at over $10 billion. Pretty fair return for a $580 million acquisition.

3. Was Whitney right that my blog has not been funny lately? Definitely.

2. I weigh 188 lbs…holy crap, I am turning into one of the tubbiest Asians I know.

1. Did I spell superfluous right? I use that word too much and I’m not 100% sure I am using it correctly.

Joey Greco enters Second Life

I have been fiddling around with Second Life a little bit lately. Now that I have learned how to fly, communicate, and teleport; the time has finally come to step it up. Deciding the appearance of my avatar has been a difficult one. I did not want to model it after myself because given all Asians look alike, nobody could differentiate me in the virtual space….(insert comedic drum and cymbal) “Thank you, thank you, I’ll be hear all week, you’re a great audience.” Then it crossed my mind to be a hybrid of Marilyn Manson and Boutros Boutros Ghali, but that ‘s just silly.

Suddenly, it struck me, probably similarly to how Jesus used to talk to Jerry Fallwell from time to time…. my second life destiny was to be Joey Greco from “Cheaters”. Eureka!! Will I too, invade philanderers on Second Life and have a dedicated mob of P.I.s, security personnel and rabid cameramen? Will I be stabbed in virtual reality? Will I host fitness workouts on ESPN? This all remains to be seen. This weekend, I will craft my avatar from the bobblehead, I just purchased from Greco’s personal site. Additionally, Andy Fox form Misanthropy Today and I will be doing a series on Greco/Cheaters that will be posted on both our blogs. Now, I have to run as I just got a call that Suspect A is leaving a bowling alley and meeting back at their rendezvous point outside an AM/PM in Plano. Click here to read an interesting article about some of the unique ways are leveraging Second Life’s growing community, and also some of the constraints they are currently facing. Also found an interesting blog about the burgeoning “Attention Economy”.
.Joey Greco clubbing at Lotus

30 is the new 24…

2006 was the year of the wedding while it appears that 2007 is the year of the 30th birthday party. Below is a mediocre video I made of Sam Brown’s 30th birthday party aka “Sam Olympics” in San Diego. The editing is sloppy, transitions poor/nonexistent however, the music ain’t half bad, plus Garrett and Sara have some classic moments, and Sam’s outfits are nothing short of incredible. He should break them out in Austin at his MBA program later in the year. Also below is a link to Erik Eccles and Pat Holman’s 30th b-day party, which was a much healthier, well rounded, adult celebration. This is reflected in the better production quality of the video on the uber cool video sharing/editing site Jumpcut where Erik was the CFO before they were gobbled up by Yahoo. Most of my friends are using the 30th b-day party to harken back to the days when the nights were longer, the revelry much more intense, and the hangovers did not last a fortnight. Coincidentally, all these people went Boulder where the Peter Pan syndrome seems to be a constant. (not in a Michael Jackson type fashion fortunately) My 30th is coming up in a few months, and I am already getting the paxel, prozac and Coppola Chardonnay lined up for my usual b-day depression. Speaking of which a shout out/big up to Kathleen, Bluto, Jeff, Kaley, Gov, Mitch, Amanda, my mom, Andy, Navid, and anybody else I might have missed for my whining, feeling sorry for myself session I went through the past few days. (You guys are the best) It’s over and thanks for putting up with my “Kobe Bryant” moments. Also below in a Grizzly Bear video for their song “The Knife”.

Sam Olympics

Erik’s 30th (sorry no embedding for jumpcut allowed)

Grizzly Bear

When Facebook and Alton Collide…or maybe not…

  • I was recently asked what I thought about the new Facebook Platform. Suffice it to say that my response was nowhere close to this tremendous analysis by Marc Andreessen. I guess that’s why he co-founded Netscape, and I know that Alton is the world’s greatest reality star athlete of all time. Listen to this renaissance man discuss it with the Sport’s Guy here. His breakdown of the exploitation of “man goods” on “The Inferno” should be Al Gore’s next pet project.

Forget Tony Soprano, Captain Haddock’s time is here!

Right now, hundreds of thousands of people in the blogosphere are furiously debating the finale of the Sopranos. Was it self indulgent and essentially a big FU by creator David Chase or was it an appropriate ending given the show’s consistent, unconventional approach? Boooorrrrringgg….. (For the record, I loved the ending almost as much as I love AJ’s chinstrap) I say we all let this drama rest in peace and move on to more important pressing topics. I made it through about 10 minutes of John from Cincinnati before I realized that unless they threw a “WKRP” in their somewhere, there was no way in hell I would ever become a regular viewer of this show. “Baby did you ever wonder, wonder what ever became of me….” Speaking of that tremendous theme song I did apppreciate the presence of Luke Perry. I mean if Steve Sanders can reclaim some small amount of fame…there’s got to be room for Dylan Mckay?

Anyway, I have a tremendous idea for a replacement show for HBO. A real-world version of TinTin. For those of you that don’t know; TinTin our main protagonist is a petite, young reporter who goes on adverntures all over the world aided by a colorful cast of characters. I don’t believe the comic ever gained major traction in the US, but is beloved in over 70 countries across the world. The content of Tintin was usually very PG, but I feel injecting a a healthy dose grit and grime would not compromise the storytelling at all. Given the exotic locales of Tintin’s adventures, you could only have about 8 -10 episodes a season by my estimation. Perhaps, this project would be best served by a BBC-HBO collaboration, given the great job done on Rome, and my fondness for they interpretation of Jeeves and Wooster. I have always maintained that I have a hidden talent for casting, thus the following is who I would place in each role.

Tintin – Personally, I was never a hug fan of the star character. He was almost a little Luke Skywalkerish in his annoying perfection. Tintin never kicked his annoying dog Snowy, got hammered on Bourbon and hit on girls with Haddock, or yelled obscenity laden insults at the deaf Professor Cuthbert Calculus for shits and giggles. He seemed to be devoid any vices whatsoever, etc. My version of Tintin is definitely a lot more flawed. Perhaps, he has a DUI in his past that resulted in the death of a young family and now he spends his days trying to make up for it. Therefore my pick to take on the role of Tintin would be…..Topher Grace…(this discussion will continue at a later date)

Dynamic Duo

This pairing of Woody Allen and Billy Graham is brilliant. Now we see where Jon Stewart got his schtick. The very fact that Woody Allen pulled Diane Keaton in her prime is a testament to his unadulterated genius. Watch the woodman go to work, although I have to admit, Billy Graham comes after a great deal better than I anticipated.

Say it Ain’t so Joe

During high school I had the good fortune to work at Trader Joe’s. In terms of a high school vocation it was quite stellar. I was able to wear the coveted jeans/t-shirt combo, got paid $8.50 an hour with a raise every 3 months (decent wage for 1996), and was allowed to participate in the monthly wine tasting sessions. In retrospect, the company,which is privately owned by a German family, was perhaps the best run organization I have ever worked for. Everybody worked hard, seemed to enjoy each other’s company, and were presented with opportunities for advancement while being empowered with some semblance of autonomy. (Just like the Von Trapp family!) I just referenced “The Sound of Music” thus I have reached the official low point of my existence. Best of all was the 10% discount on all goods and the copious amounts of chocolates and other confections in the break room that were free to devour.

Approximately every 10 days or so I make an excursion to Trader Joe’s. On a recent trip it struck me that the staff and ambiance at the Corona Del Mar location beared little or no resemblance to my beloved store #72 Scottsdale. The Trader Joe’s of a decade ago was much more chaotic and undisciplined, yet infinitely more charming and interesting. This new incarnation of a Trader Joe’s was like a Nickelback to my store’s Wilco. This new vessel may be sleeker and more popular but it has lost its spirit and innocence. The aisles were too clean and produce was stacked far too evenly. Granted, Corona Del Mar is a sleepy, affluent town where one is prone to see Kobe Bryant overcompensating for his unpopularity in the rest of the country by being overly nice to his neighbors. (And you wonder why he does not have street cred?) However, these Trader Joe’s employees had no glint in their eye and could be best described as the worst adjective of all…normal. Where had the handwritten odes to jumping cow ale and flying toad lager disappeared?

Anyway, I digress. During a substantial portion of my 3 year career I was the sole teenage employee (until Fenimore came aboard), however, I felt right in my element with this merry band of weirdos, misfits and contrarians.. Many of my co-workers remain some of the most, quirky, memorable humans I have ever encountered. The following are some of the employees I remember most fondly: ( Note: These characters names have been changed…, nobody reads this blog but my girlfriend anyways)

* Marlene – She was the head honcho. She resembled Reba McIntyre sans the annoying voice affectation. You know the Jodi Foster, Sean Connery sshhh sound on the end of words. Also the little red headed kid “Sam” they try to add on to Different Strokes had that annoying little quirk to the voice as well. “No problem Mr.D”. Her most striking feature was her bright red hair that could have passed for one of Britney Spears wigs. Over my 3 year tenure, it seemed Marlene was always pregnant. She always maintained the air of being in charge however.
* Dave – He looked like the dude that played Superman on TV in the 50’s. I believe George Reeves.Dave was not the sharpest tool in the shed but was sure damn funny though. I spent a lot of time at the store listening to his wacky perspectives on life. He would always regale me with tales of drinking $2 dollar longnecks and subsequent one night stands with a neverending cadre of divorced women. Dave had what one might describe as a somewhat questionable obsession with Jean Claude Van Damme and often stole memorabilia from movie theatres. His most prized possession was a huge display from that classic “Time Cop”) One day Dave entered the store and Van Damme was his hero no more. I can’t remember why he stopped liking the Belgian action star but I think it had to do something with the fact that he realized Steven Seagal could take Van Damme in real life. Dave had a softer side though as he cared for his mother and brother who I believe were abandoned by his abusive father.

* Daryl – He was Dave’s best friend and gave me my first fake id which he found at the river. The remarkable part was the ID worked like a charm for a solid 3 years. Sean Albert Chee was my alter ego and it stated I was 27. Daryl looked like a tan version of He-Man and Jim J. Bullock, aka Mornroe from Too Close to Comfort and one of the gay Hollywood squares, except if He Man wore jean shorts all the time. Daryl and Dave would often have competitions to see who could punch boxes louder. Daryl was especially adept at organzing the freezer in the back and probably had the best disposition at the register.

* Jodi attended Harvard and fell off the tracks when she became addicted to heroin. She had a very dark, sarcastic sense of humor and would always read books that looked they required a formidable amount of introspection on her lunch breaks. Her other distinctive features were her disheveled short dark hair, and consistently “drunks” socks. She was pretty much unflappable and always maintained an even disposition.
* Wayne was by far the most earnest employee. He was always in a good mood and looked like he knew how to cook a squirrel fifteen different ways. His wife and him were one of those couple that look like a brother and sister. Wayne was the type of guy who would race out to the parking lot to help and old lady fix a flat tire. He had a huge temper however and often butted heads with Richard. Wanye alway wore huge hiking boots in the store

* Richard could be described as a know it all and was sort of was like a combination of Richard Dreyfuss during the Jaws era and Robert Downey Jr. He wore ridiculously tiny shorts and was fond of ankle socks. He meant well however, and seemed to a very dedicated single father. He did have an annoying habit of playing the Crash Test Dummies before the store opened. One could only allow so much frozen food to that noise. Inevitably somebody would turn it off in favor of the equally bad, Gin Blossoms.
*Chris – He was the assistant manager and a real workhouse. He would eventually helm his own store. Chris was the type of guy who was very resourceful, somebody you would want with you if you got lost in the woods. Unloading palettes with him was always a workout because he would hurl boxes at you in an Uzi type fashion. He sweats like Patrick Ewing in a sauna. I would put a substantial amount of money down that he is a softball league today.

*Jody – Looked like a cross between Kermit and James Worthy and alway had a pencil tucked behind his ear. I often had to work a 6:00 am shift at least one day on the weekend. Every few months I would stay out too late at a desert party the night before and be unable to make it in. I swear every time I flaked Jody would be the manager to answer the phone, and I would give my lame stomach ache excuse. Obviously, Jody knew I was bsing but he never gave me a hard time about it.

* Don aka “dong” – He was the type of guy who loved his wife and kids but would go have lunch at Cheetahs Strip Club at the drop of the hat. He and Dave developed a complex system to alert others whenever a good looking women entered the store. If I had to picture Don right now, he is probably on a wave runner with his kids and a six pack of Coors banquet on ice.

I guess a good metaphor for the evolution of TJ’s is the fact they now have the use of scanners and SKUs. Back in my day, we had to remember everything by memory and did not have this “crutch”. Mustard flavored pretzels…$3.49, Halibut 8.99, Bittersweet chocolate 1lb bar…4.99….allright, I’ll be honest I did not know how to end this post and it probably went way too long so I will end it now….