How did I get here?

And more importantly where do I go from here?

“Where do we go from here now that all other children are growin’ up
And how do we spend our lives if there’s no one to lend us a hand
I don’t wanna live here no more, I don’t wanna stay
Ain’t gonna spend the rest of my life, quietly fading away”


Guerrilla Xmas cheer

Improv Everywhere is a performance art comedy group that stages missions — essentially highly-organized, good-natured, mostly pseudo flash mob (plus some genuine flash mob) pranks — on the unwary for the amusement and entertainment of them and the rest of us. Check out their blog for details, pictures, and videos of their 100+ missions, which are always an awesome romp. Or, if you want to avoid the behind-the-scenes look at how the events happen (though, why would you?), you can always skip right to their YouTube channel.

Their latest caper, the Guerrilla Handbell Strikeforce, is a testament to how uplifting small, seemingly random acts of joy-giving can be.

Standing around in the cold, ringing a bell and hoping people will donate to the Salvation Army can be a rough gig. Having a bell choir unexpectedly show up to join in is going to boost your spirits, no matter how grumpy you are. (Unless you reeeallly hate bells and/or bell choirs.) The look on the Sally Ann bell ringer’s face says it all.

Joy to the world, indeed.

(As an aside, the comments on the post for this mission frequently stray into whether the Salvation Army is a worthy organization since they don’t allow gay people to join. Ithinkyernuts’ comment that “[…] hating people who hate gays is still hating” is something worth keeping in mind — if you want less hate in the world, you need to start with yourself.)

The song that’s stuck in your head

I woke up this morning with Dan Fogelberg’s “The Leader of the Band” going through my head. I have no idea why. I wake up to my TV, not the radio, and I don’t remember hearing the song on the TV. I didn’t hear it last night, nor at any time in the last several months. Yet there it is, playing continuously in my head, all morning.

Perhaps there are stray thoughts of my father percolating in my head, manifesting as this song. “And, Papa, I don’t think I said I love you near enough.”

I’m in a weird, sad, and melancholy mood the last couple of days. Last night, I had sudden and vivid recollections of the summer day our first dog died of a heart attack in our backyard. It’s been almost 30 years and I still feel it keenly.

A dark evening for Rogers customers

All Youtube videos return an “An error has occured, please try again later” error message.


Rogers says, “Oh, it’s not us.” An hour and half after the problem starts, Rogers finally gets notified by Youtube that the problem is on Youtube’s end. (I’m guessing someone at Youtube accidentally blocked Rogers IPs.)  It’s supposed to be fixed within 24 hours.

As a former tech support agent, I feel a little bad for the Rogers techies (who are probably working in the call center I used to work in) who were expecting a relatively calm afternoon and have suddenly been swamped by frantic users jonesing for their Youtube fix. At least now they have something concrete they can say instead of “It’s not on our end.”

Major Tom

Caught the new Lincoln MKZ commercial the other day. It features a cover version of Peter Schilling’s 1983 song “Major Tom (Coming Home)”.

I’d forgotten how catchy the song is. You can’t buy the original English version of it on iTunes. The original German version? Yes. Cover versions galore? Yes. The original English? No. You can also catch a couple of live versions on Youtube, but that’s not the same thing as listening to it on your iPod. (I have a vague recollection of the original video featuring Peter Schilling on top of a huge junk pile in a junk yard.)

Saw the commercial again today and decided to actually find out who sings this cover — it sounds familiar. Turns out it’s Shiny Toy Guns, whose “Le Disko” was the music on that Motorola Razr commercial where the man and woman were attacking each other on the subway platform with their Razr’s used like throwing stars. Anyway, their cover of “Major Tom (Coming Home)” is available as a free download from the official Lincoln site — when you click that link, the commercial will automatically start playing; click the DOWNLOAD IT NOW link on the bottom right of the commercial pop-up to download the full version of the song. (If you see articles and posts elsewhere that point you towards, be aware that the Shiny Toy Guns link will ultimately, after forcing you to register, reroute you to the official Lincoln page. I’d cut out the middle man, if I were you, unless you really want to register with Shiny Toy Guns.)

I believe in you, God

I was feeling a little sad this morning. My Google home page looked the same as it always does. Every other site I went to looked the way they normally do. Iit was all very tragic.

Then I visited my Youtube page.

April Fool's from Youtube

And, look there, Wikipedia’s main page looks a little…odd. (Note to self: always check Wikipedia first — they’re always on the ball.)

Then I saw some of the others:

Thank you for remembering us today. I r happy now.

♥ ♥ ♥

Good morning, good morning!

In the “What were they thinking?” department, have you seen the new commercial for the Dixie PerfecTouch Grab’N GO insulated paper cup? When I see a perky husband and wife dancing in their kitchen in the morning and singing that song, I don’t think Dixie Cups. Did no one on their marketing team see the Viagra commercials?

Or was that part of the great idea? “Hey, let’s associate Dixie coffee cups with male enhancement drugs. It’s a sure winner!” After all, nothing goes together like sex and coffee.