Monday, July 28, 2003

I was really hoping last week's geek out had run its course, but it seems there's a little bit left in that particular tank.

Observe the Excite banner ad below:

I'm Batman

A normal person would look at that and think, "Ah, a drawing of a "one-armed bandit," with part of the arm showing on the side."

My first thought? "Look out! Batman's hiding behind that slot machine!"

Good god, I need help.
Posted @ 7:19 PM

Thursday, July 24, 2003

To continue the "Geek Out Week" theme I've stumbled into, here's a little item that's filled to bursting with bits of nerdy goodness.

The new Duck Dodgers show, set to premiere on Cartoon Network next month, will feature an episode entitled "Green Loontern," in which Dodgers ("played" by Daffy Duck, who in turn is played/voiced by Joe Alaskey) finds a Green Lantern ring (third item) and briefly becomes a Green Lantern himself.

Tony Cervone, the show's writer/director, promises guest appearances by all Green Lanterns in DC Comics history. What's more, Hal Jordan, easily the best known ring wielder, will be voiced in the episode by director and noted fanboy Kevin Smith.

Oh dear. My pants seem to have spontaneously turned into highwaters, there's tape holding my glasses together, and for the life of me I can't remember what it's like to kiss a girl.

I'd better go read some stuff about football or hunting until these symptoms of geek fever go away.

I don't even remember wearing my glasses today...
Posted @ 7:40 AM

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I'm really quite shocked that we've worn this one out so very fast, but I'm going to have to call for a moratorium on all the straining-to-be-witty variations on the term "Weapons of Mass Destruction." Time to find a new catch phrase to twist and play with, kids.
Posted @ 12:14 PM

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Time for a little geeking out here at the ol' House of Cheer, otherwise known as a day ending in "y":

Which Class of Federation Starship are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


You are an Excelsior-class cruiser, a true classic.
You are the mainstay. Your personality is
addictive, it has lasted a long time. People
count on you to get the job done, and you never

Much as I might have preferred to be a Galaxy-class starship, I'm satisfied to be pegged as the underappreciated, much-maligned Excelsior, the ship some fans refer to as "The Pregnant Guppy."
Posted @ 9:15 AM

Monday, July 21, 2003

Ever since Alanis Morissette screwed things up everybody, I've been fuzzy on the whole "irony" thing.

Because of this, I'm unsure as to whether or not the following is ironic: James Brolin, husband of mega-lefty Barbra Streisand, has signed to play Ronald Reagan in a CBS TV movie.

Damn you, Alanis!
Posted @ 12:10 PM

Thursday, July 17, 2003

I dashed off a little thing about the Emmy nominations this morning, intending to post it to here. When I finished I looked at it and said, "Hmmm... this just might be good enough to be a TeeVee Station Break!" So, on a whim, I submitted it.

I was guardedly optimistic about my chances of being published. The piece felt very solid to me, but would it meet the standards of the TeeVee humor-meisters? These guys, after all, were part of my inspiration for starting the HoC in the first place. To be included among their ranks, even in some small way, would be cool beyond the telling of it.

My cover letter was, I thought, appropriately submissive:
Dear brilliant TeeVee folks,

I just banged out the following Station Break-sized piece regarding today's Emmy nominations. I humbly submit it for inclusion on your site. I patiently await your glorious approval or scornful derision.

Really, I'll be glad to get either. I'm incredibly starved for attention here.

Jack Scheer
I figured if I was really lucky, I'd hear something back in a few days, either that the piece had been accepted in a somewhat edited form, or that I'd wasted my time and they were using my submission to line their cat carrier.

Imagine my elation when TeeVee's own Jason Snell sent me the following response less than an hour later:
Approval, glorious glorious approval!

Thanks, Jack. Good stuff. And you know we have a soft spot in our hearts for Tony Danza, the wise man who once said, "They can't all be gems, folks."

If you go to the TeeVee main page anytime in the next week or so, my little blurb should be right there on the left sidebar, posted verbatim as I wrote it. Once it scrolls off the front, you can look at it in all its archived glory.

I'm gonna be cruising on the afterglow from this for days.

On a side TV note, of all the shows I watch on a regular basis, the one I'm having serious withdrawal pangs over is The West Wing. Not only did the show end the season with a cliffhanger, NBC hasn't even shown a rerun in many weeks, opting instead to air more reality fare. I'm seriously jonesin' for a West Wing fix right now.

Thank [insert your favored deity here] Bravo begins rerunning the first season in August.
Posted @ 1:11 PM

There's a junior high about half a mile from my place that I pass on my way to work each day. The message board out in front of the school currently displays this message:

It's quiet here.
How about your house?
Ha ha ha.

I have to imagine this makes parents of school-aged children either laugh uproariously, or bemoan their fates and count the days until September.
Posted @ 7:41 AM

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Well, so much for that. The 3rd Infantry Division, and therefore my buddy Sarge, have again had their stay in Iraq extended.

I cannot express how much this infuriates me. And I figure that's only about 1 percent of the outrage the soldiers and their families must feel.
Posted @ 11:01 AM

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Tuesday marked the second anniversary of the House of Cheer. Being gainfully employed means I didn't have the kind of free time I did last year to compile a comprehensive statistical overview of the past twelve months. I will try to do this sometime in the next few days, but longtime readers of this site know what a tease I am about this sort of thing. In other words, don't hold your breath waiting for the full rundown.

I do want to cite one data point: the total page view tally for the second year stands at 32,789, just over twice the traffic volume I had in Year One. I'm pretty proud of that, and I hope to keep up the pace in Year Three.
Posted @ 12:25 PM

Two completely unexpected, unrelated and earth-shattering news items have come to my attention in the last few hours. I was still reeling from the story about Stephen Hawking's recent trip to a London strip club when I heard on NPR this morning that Nike has bought Converse, maker of my beloved Chuck Taylors.

Hawking getting a lap dance? The Swoosh owning the Blue Star? I need to go consult Revelations to see if these are the signs of the apocalypse they appear to be.
Posted @ 9:39 AM

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

It looks like Sarge may be coming home earlier than expect. A while back the news was that his regiment would be in Iraq at least until the end of September, with a return date sometime in October or early November. Now word has come down the pike that the entire 3rd Infantry Division should be home by September, and they're pushing to have his regiment back home even earlier, by mid-August.

Once he's back here on home soil, I finally can stop holding my breath.
Posted @ 3:42 PM

Friday, July 04, 2003

The House of Cheer is all about tradition, but it's also a place which prizes innovation. Luckily, this Independence Day I've found a way to honor both impulses and enhance my street cred as an amateur history geek.

Rather than simply direct you to the text of the Declaration of Independence, as I did last 4th of July, this year I've stumbled upon the equivalent of a DVD re-release, packed with extras and scenes not shown in the theaters.

Courtesy of the Duke University English Department and one D.J. Mason, the HoC is proud to bring you The Declaration of Independence: Widescreen Special Edition.

Purists can view the popular final version, as originally "submitted to a candid world" 227 years ago today.

Fans of Jefferson will enjoy the director's cut, his unsullied vision of the work. Additionally, you can check out the stunning concept art of this version provided by the Library of Congress.

You can ponder what might have been if the Second Continental Congress had accepted the Declaration Committee's revision of Jefferson's "rough draft."

And for those of you who love behind-the-scenes stuff, there's the original with commentary, which provides insights you might not know about this American classic.

Here's hoping this 4th of July is full of "pomp and parade... shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other," just as John Adams envisioned it would be.

While we celebrate, let's take a moment to think about the men and women serving overseas today. May they all be safe, and return home to their loved ones soon.

Happy Independence Day, everybody.
Posted @ 10:40 AM

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

It's been a while since I've put one of these up here, but this one really intrigued me...

Congratulations, you're Washington, DC., the capitol of the United States.
What US city are you? Take the quiz by Girlwithagun.

This makes a great deal of sense, since it's where I am now and over the years I've come to love this place. It'll never replace Chicago in my heart of hearts, but at this point I'm not sure Chicago itself would live up to what I've built it up as in my imagination.

Thanks to my friend Gina for posting this link, and tremendous congratulations to her as well; she just found out she's going to be a contestant on Jeopardy! Her well-deserved and hard-earned good fortune makes me both extremely jealous and even prouder to call her my friend.
Posted @ 9:33 AM

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Sir Sean Connery's laughably bad Irish accent in The Untouchables has been voted the worst attempt at an accent in film history by Empire magazine. Others on the list include Dick Van Dyke for his Cockney-by-way-of-Melbourne accent in Mary Poppins and the Keanu's butchering of an English accent in Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Most shocking to me is that Connery's Untouchables co-star, Kevin Costner, didn't even make the list for his execrable, half-hearted stab at imitating an English lord in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. That's the one that would have topped my list.
Posted @ 1:25 PM

Have you signed up yet for the National Do Not Call Registry? If not, now's the time. The initial rush which clogged the site seems to have died down. I was able to register right away, and the confirmation e-mail came through in less than two minutes.

And when you get that e-mail, don't forget to click the confirmation link to finish the process.
Posted @ 10:03 AM


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