Archive for January, 2009

That other quotation I heard this morning

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Found and originally “posted” by Jakob of Ampersand Publishing & the Ampercasts… (Did you catch my witty use of the ampersand in that phrase?)

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us. – Hermann Hesse

Makes you think, eh?

Hahahah, I have this picture in my head of Joe DeFelice giving a knowing head bob as if to say “ah yes… I see…”

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other cover of the San Diego Chargers song

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

“Super Chargers” came about through a marketing campaign initiated by Gene Klein, who owned the Chargers in the ’70s. Recorded at a Los Angeles studio in 1979, the song was reportedly written in a day by David Sieff and Jerry Marcellino. I already posted the lyrics and original version of the song

Here are some covers…

John DiMaggio, the voice of Bender from Futurama sings (and editorializes) on the song.

A little boy named “Alex”

Some random guy

Clifford (?)

No  idea who this is, “Stranger” maybe?

Radar, an African Grey parrot

Go Bolts!

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other list of absurd suggestions for a podcast title

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Overtired and rushed, I sent Elton the following list of suggested titles for our new podcast this evening.

I’m embarrassed to say this is not a joke – it is cut and pasted directly from the email.  (I did say it was rushed, right?)

The CopperMcManus Report.

That Other Fourth Person Podcast.

An Apotheosis of a Bombast.   (AAB or AAOB for short) – It’s the name a friend of mine and I gave to a Physics report in High School where instead of doing the actual report we basically just told the teacher hey, our grades are an 81 if you give us a 0 on this paper or an 88 if you give us 100 pts, so we’re going to screw the assignment and tell you all the stuff that went on in class that you didn’t know… we ended up with A’s for the class.)  An apotheosis is “a perfect example”  a bombast is “pretentious inflated speech or writing”.

Four eyes, four ears, no clue.

All Cheese

Descended from Kings

Sons of Royalty

Crooked Noses  (????  i have no idea where that came from)

Just Across the River

You Know You Think It Too

Broken Ice

Now That That’s Out of the Way….

I apologized throughout for the nonsensical nature of the email. But, that’s one of the good things about Elton – he’s amused by that kind of stupidity (where others might get annoyed).

So we’ll see what ends up getting used. Given that those were generally just a string of reactions to what I’d typed in the previous sentence in the email, I doubt it’ll be any of those, but you never know.

“You’ve been listening to the Crooked Noses Podcast… I’m Scott (and I’m Elton), thanks for listening. Good night.”

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other anticipated good thing

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Project “Pay it Forward” is now in effect… details to follow.

And already, I’m feeling pretty good about it… whee.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other list of 5 things you never see commercials for

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Think of all the things you see advertised on TV: toaster waffles, car insurance, medicines for embarrassing health issues, lunch meat, toilet paper, etc. , .

I’ve put together a list of five very common items, stuff you buy regularly, for which there are no advertisements. The list seems even stranger when I point out the similar items for which brand advertising DOES exist. I’m not sure why the various makers of these products have decided not to fight for market share – perhaps it’s all some sort of sordid plot where they are all working together to produce the same product and simply swap different labels on the packages. Either way, let’s explore, shall we?

  1. Napkins.      Now, we all know Bounty is the “quicker picker upper” and seen the Brawny guy flex his muscle. But those are ads for paper towels. There are even ads for toilet paper (you may or may not remember “please don’t squeeze the Charmin” but I’m sure we’ve all picked up on the message of the bear who needs toilet paper in the woods). There are commercials for tissues (with Aloe… oooh) But why not napkins? Think about it, you use napkins with every meal. Yes, they come in packs of 250 or more, but I know I buy a new package at least every three weeks. And, there is no brand loyalty between paper products – I DO prefer Bounty paper towels, but I don’t buy Bounty napkins (I think I’ve seen them). I just buy the cheapest per unit – often store brand.
  2. Milk.      We’ve all seen the milk mustache bulletin boards, and I can hear “Milk – it does a body good” in my head. But, no one ever says what brand of milk to buy. I’m not counting Parmalat or my memories of the Borden cow. I know milk brands because I’m a savvy consumer, but when I go and shop… I buy according to date and price. My local Acme carries two brands of 2% milk. Invariably, they have expiration dates two days apart (what does vary is which one is farther away). I will buy the one with the later date. If both dates are more than a week away, I buy based on price.
  3. Socks.     There are commercials for sneakers. The Nike swoosh, the Addidas stripes, the Champion C… they are all logos that companies want you to see. They pay Tiger Woods millions to wear Nike gear. Why not push socks? Yes, they’re covered up sometimes, but in the summer or most sports activities, you can see the logo. Plus, they obviously decide it has some value since they take the time to embroider it onto the sock.  Admittedly, I buy (again) based on price – but sometimes I’ll reject brands which have let me down before in terms of quality or comfort. But, if I’m at Marshalls or TJ Max and I see a package of brand name socks… I expect they will be more comfortable or better quality then the no-name Walmart or knock off brands. If they’re on sale, I buy them. Why not advertise?
  4. Dental Floss.     Okay, so I’m sure no one really cares what dental floss they buy. Most people probably don’t even buy it, let alone use it. You get some from your dentist, and it gets used sparingly. But, they advertise for mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, why not dental floss? Even if only to promote those little rake like things they make so you don’t have to wrap it around your fingers.
  5. Beef.     Like milk, beef is promoted with an industry slogan “Beef – it’s what’s for dinner.” But, unlike chicken (“Hi, I’m Frank Purdue…”), there is no brand name marketing of beef. Now, you might say “there are no brand names, Scott” but you’re wrong! My local stores carry the generic store cuts, but they also carry some specialty brands of beef. Even if only to market Shop Rite vs. Pathmark beef – you never really see it. the only things close that I can remember is more of a “meat department” vs. “meat department” butcher services promotion. Again, I buy by date, appearance, and price – but you could definitely convince shoppers of a different style that Brand X is worth an extra $1.99 per pound. I wonder why they don’t.

So there you have it… five products you or your family have probably bought every month for the last year, and yet there was no advertising attempting to influence which brand of those products you purchased.

Yes, sometimes brands have “carry over” recognition … if you use Listerine, you may buy Listerine brand dental floss, but really? Is that your best argument? I say to that… you have much debate practice to do, friend.

I’m sure there’s been tons of research and it’s been deemed not cost effective. I’ll admit, I don’t think I’d be so influenced – but maybe. If it’s a well designed ad campaign, they may sway me from one brand over another. And I’m sure there are other people who shop differently than I do, who would be influenced.

So why not?

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other format change

Monday, January 5th, 2009

You know, the blog posts in my head which never make it here to That Other Page fall into two categories.

There are the fun, witty, entertaining potential posts which are reflections of me from a different time. I should share them… they are lighter, somewhat clever (I think), and show a side of me I don’t get to share much anymore. But I always rationalize that I should save them for something bigger…. another time, perhaps, or a different venue. If Elton and I get our podcast up and running, they’d definitely find a home there.

And then there are the darker, more reflective posts where I tend beat myself up and carefully choose words that probably seem like senseless depressing ramble to most people but to me are some sort of muted catharsis.

After a frustrating night, one of those depressing blog posts made it to the “big screen” earlier today. By noon I’d received some feedback from my editors family: they asked for a format change… more of the lighter stuff, less “em0” mopey-ness.

Sounds like a plan.

I have to admit – I know what kind of things I like to read, and it only makes sense to try to produce content along those same lines. Right?

I’ll take your silence as a “yes.”

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other great sports day – January 3, 2009

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

The day started out with Jay’s MLAA hockey game vs. the Blackhawks. It was cold, but as usual all his teammates arrived more than 30 minutes early and were warming up before the game. Jay and his teammates got off to their usual early lead and the (now 9 – 1) Rangers won the game. I enjoyed watching all the kids do well, but I especially enjoyed watching Jay fearlessly battle kids much bigger and older than him (he did a nice job and showed no fear), and near the end of the first period Jay scored with a one-timer off a great pass from his left wing, Jimmy.

A few hours later, I watched the Arizona Cardinals win their first home playoff game in more than 60 years. (I recognize how distorted that statistic is… and normally such misleading info is a pet peeve of mine, but my son really bought into it, so I’ll restate it here for effect.) The Cards jumped out an early 14 – 3 lead, before the Falcons came storming back. It was a lot of fun to watch, and although I do like the Falcons (since the Jerry Glanville days – eep, yes…), I was very happy to see the Cardinals come out on top!

And then… the San Diego Super Chargers beat Peyton Manning to advance in the AFC playoffs.

I don’t hate Peyton Manning. I hated John Elway – not for any good reason other than as the result of a sports rivalry. But Peyton Manning…. Peyton Manning bugs me because he’s not Ryan Leaf. Back when the Chargers drafted Ryan Leaf, I was happy they’d landed Leaf instead of Manning. (I know… I know…, but that day a lot of people were). Now Manning stands as a constant reminder of everything that Leaf was not. Add to the fact that his brother, Eli, and father spurned San Diego (although I can’t really complain because that’s how the Chargers landed Philip Rivers and Shawne Merriman).

Anyway, I don’t hate Peyton. He is just the opponent who scares me the most. His strengths, his talents, his skills… they match the Chargers’ weaknesses. So, when the Chargers face the Colts, I get that nervous pit in my stomach… and their eventual victory (if and when it comes) is that much sweeter.

Last night was sweet.

I’ll admit, I felt like the Chargers might lose. I felt they were dominating, but Manning had caught them for that go-ahead touchdown during a substitution. There was that Charger fumble at the 2 yd line, and Rivers’ interception in the endzone. Everything pointed to the Chargers outplaying the Colts but losing the game (shades of Shottenheimer’s last game coaching against the Pats… the 14-2 season that ended with a devastating loss). But they did it.

And you probably heard Jay screaming with joy. These are great moments to be able to share with him and my family, and I am so grateful and appreciative of the chance to be here with them doing just that.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other pending update

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

At some point in the near future, I need to update my wordpress program from its current edition.

I am unable to embed video and other widget-y things. I can’t turn off the “justification” (that’s inserting spaces between the words so that each line of the screen/page is completely used from left to right) of text or the automatic changing of my use of multiple periods “. . . .” into … .

I’m frustrated because I should be able to do it easily. Back in the day I was the guy people went to for answers about stuff like this. I still am, but to a much smaller and less knowledgeable group of people (no offense).

I know what I’m supposed to do (wordpress outlines it nicely), but MySQL is changing from 4 to 5, I’m a little fuzzy on exactly which things I need to backup and where they are on my server, and I’m generally tired and distracted. I can figure it out if I put some time into it, but I keep putting it on the backburner, and with each delay I get a little more frustrated.

It’s not that urgent, I know… but I’ve got a couple of posts saved as drafts because I can’t get the multimedia embedded the way I want to, and that Wilton post still doesn’t look like I want it to. And it’s starting to eat at me. I don’t like not being good at things, and I have such a fear of my “skills” and “expertise” fading as time passes.

I know what I once was and used to be able to do. And I get so nervous when I encounter an obstacle, that I won’t be able to overcome it. It’s silly, really, I guess since I pretty much always do. But I have to ask myself, would this have even been an obstacle back in the day?  Maybe I’m misremembering how much help I needed back then, but I find myself forced to rely on myself more than ever these days. And, my family counting on me too. (not to update webpages or blogs, but you know… a failure to be able to do one, makes you wonder if you’ll be able to deliver in other areas).

Hmmm, this got kind of “heavy” quickly, huh? Anyway, I’m going to get WordPress updated… soon… and do that stupid Alpha Bits experiment I really want to do too!

(Maybe not until Sunday though – Jay’s Hockey game at 10, Cardinals game at 4:30, and Charger game at 8 on Saturday…)

It’s 12:51 AM… I should be asleep.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other Zune issue

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

“Z2K9” they’re calling it over at Gizmodo. (or maybe “ZY2K9″… I get confused)

And Microsoft finally acknowledged there’s a problem, but last night I spent the first 35 minutes of 2009 trying to determine whether my son’s Zune was broken.

Somehow Jay slept until almost lunch time on the 31st. (It probably didn’t help that we stayed up watching movies until midnight the night before.) But, anyway, New Years came and the ball dropped, and Jay was wide awake. I would’ve normally stayed up with him another hour or so since there’s no school today, but he’s got a sleep-over planned for tomorrow so he needed to get some rest.

I figured… I’ll let him listen to his Zune for a while until he was sleepier. All was good, and then… “Dad?  My Zune is frozen.”

I’m disappointed to say that my first thought was that he had done something wrong. I tried the standard two button reset combination – no luck. Tried to plug in the Zune to my computer (after 10 minutes of grumbling at Jay that he should know where the cables were – again, out of line on my part) – no luck. I decided to search online to make sure I was using the right key sequence to reset… yup. So then I searched “Zune reset doesn’t work” and I found a blog post dated February 2008 indicating that on Dec 31 all Zunes would fail.

Weird… it had a conspiracy/hoax sound to it. If it weren’t 12:20AM I would’ve searched or other sites to verify the story, but instead I clicked a few more links… “all zunes fail on Dec 31, 2008” was the topic over and over. Still, it could easily be one of those viral hoaxes… so I went to the source:

At 12:30 AM, there was nothing on the homepage indicating a problem, but I clicked the support tab just the same. There, I found a short paragraph acknowledging that word was getting back to Zune of a problem related to the leap year, and it would resolve itself on January 1 (after your Zune completely burned through its battery and you recharged it).

This morning I see they have a single line link to “Trouble with your Zune 30?” – which I would bet money is gone by January 4, if not sooner.

So, it’s not a big deal, I guess.  A minor nuisance, and as my wife said to me as she left for work this morning (yes, work on New Years Day… my fault… *sigh*) “please don’t sweat the small stuff so much.”

That’s one of a dozen or so things I’d like to do in 2009. I find myself with a lot of misdirected frustrations and tensions and all. It’s time to let some things go, come to terms with others, and make sure I continue to do all I can to minimize the effect my mistakes have on those I care about.

So, Z2K9 is here…. it’ll pass – if it hasn’t already. And if all my issues can be this minor, it’ll be a good year.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)