Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Things I hate.

So, I’m at work and my cell phone rings, with a “PRIVATE” number. I never get PRIVATE calls, so I’m freaking out, thinking my wife is in the hospital or something, I answer, and it’s a damn “autodialer” from someone (apparently associated with the VFW) urging me to let me state representative know that I think the proposed ban on smoking is an infringement on our rights… whatever.

I’m on the federal NO call list, a-holes.

I also am against the smoking ban (generally).

But this pissed me off. I’m on the do not call list for a reason: I do not want to be called! So guess what: you just lost a supporter. At the end of the message was an option to “Press 1 to be connected to your state representative to let them know you don’t support the smoking ban.” I pressed one. And let my state representative know that I think they should introducing a bill with heavy fines for organizations that ignore the Do Not Call list.


Update: This is pretty ridiculous… This weekend I’ve received *four* calls: two for Dorothy Tillman and two for Pat Dowell, in the hot 3rd Ward race. What a waste of time *and* money: I don’t live in the 3rd Ward. I haven’t in over a year and a half. And yes, my voter registration is up-to-date, so they should know I don’t live in the ward. Idiots.

Sam Zell: Comedian Extraordinare!

No, seriously. Sam Zell is going to save the Tribune and newspapers? I don’t think so. In this article in the Washington Post, Zell explains how it’s time to end Google’s “free ride” off newspaper content.

All I could think when I read that was, “He’s going to hurt Google’s bottom line by not allowing them access to Tribune content for free? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. No, wait. He’s serious? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

All joking aside, as Jason Calacanis points out, Mr. Zell has some serious facts wrong. Namely, that Google news is an optional program that doesn’t run ads on the articles so it doesn’t generate revenue for Google. Oh, and Google news actually drives traffic to the paper’s own sites, increasing their traffic… and that it’s already an optional program for newspapers.

What’s sad is the very cluelessness about new media that Mr. Zell apparently suffers from is what is killing newspapers right now. If this type of nonsense is what the Tribune papers have to look forward to from their new ownership, people at the Trib might want to get their resumes in order. Fast.

Chicago Theatre a bunch of spoilsports


Until this afternoon, Dubi Kaufmann had a clever little “put your own message on the marquee of the Chicago Theatreweb widget. Then he got a nastygram from William Becker of TheatreDreams, which owns the theater. Even if you can control the use of pictures of your public building (which isn’t always clear) it’s just kind of jerky to go after a little time-waster like this.

I’m glad that Dubi hasn’t actually taken down the site, just cut the Chicago Theatre out of the picture.

(via Gapers Block)

An Open Letter to the Rogers Park Library

Dear Friends at the Rogers Park Library,I am a patron of this library. I heart this library. While you’ll find me camped out in the upstairs fiction section every couple of weeks or so, I also enjoy your other collections and the building as a whole.I also heart America. While I would never wear an American flag pin, I have a lot of respect for the American flag because I believe it stands for something big. I’m not alone: people put down their lives (possibly even at this moment, sadly) for the symbols behind this flag.That is why, Rogers Park Library, it disturbs me to see the flag flying on your roof at all hours of the day and night. (A flag should only be flown at night as a sign of trouble. Are you in imminent danger, Rogers Park Library?)More concerning, this flag is in tatters, as if a cougar attacked it. Why is this, Rogers Park Library? Don’t you heart America enough to at least replace your flag with one that’s whole?Just saying.Sincerely,Devoted Library Patron and America Hearter


Some bloggers feel some pressure to post on a fairly regular basis (every day that I don’t post, Sean Bonner kills a kitten) but not so Spiky and Mr. Cog of The Reader Sucks. They’ve just posted their first entry in well over a year. Did they take all the time off because they’ve been loving the Reader in the meantime? Um, no:

[C]ritiquing the Reader, however purging it may be, has the drawback of requiring you to read the Reader. We just got fed up with it.

The stuff they’ve trotted out for the last few months hasn’t re-piqued my interest. I’d like to cite a couple of cover stories as examples of badly-done stories about incredibly petty topics, but I honestly can’t remember what they’ve covered lately. Something about a DJ? Maybe a couple of environmental-watchdog things that will have no effect whatsoever?

Welcome back, you grumpy, grumpy guys.

This is not a bomb

Adult Swim Moonite

Adult Swim, the late night, mature portion of the Cartoon Network, started a “guerilla” marketing campaign for the show, and upcoming movie, Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Two weeks ago they installed 400 2′ tall LED Mooninites (two characters from the show) in outdoor locations in 10 cities. There are several in Chicago — the above picture was taken tonight at the Lawrence Red Line Stop and there are also ones at Belmont & Broadway and around Halsted & Webster.

In Boston today, someone freaked out about the devices, some of which were located on bridges, and called them into the police as a bomb threat. The city responded by closing down several major roads and subway lines.

The Boston Metblog is all over the coverage in Boston, of course.

And the Adult Swim message boards are, to say the least, rather active right now.

There’s a lot of “they should have known this could panic people in our post 9/11 blah-de-blah” being thrown around, but people in 9 other cities saw these things for two to three weeks and shrugged their shoulders (or pulled them down and took them home) and got on with their lives. Freaking the fuck out over anything you don’t immediately recognize is exactly what the terrorists want.

The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face, and not a particularly common one at that. [Bruce Schneier]

Things I Hate About O’Hare Today

United. (O’Hare is their hub, so it counts.) When I fly Southwest, if I have to change my flight, there’s no special fee and the highest priced ticket is around $300. Today, for reasons too tedious and complicated to explain, we had to change our United flight at the last minute when we were already at the airport and it cost us $603 each to do us. $1206 total. That’s over the $250 we had already spent for the tickets. For $1700 I feel like I should have my own plane flying me there.

The TSA at O’Hare. My wife has flown through several other airports with assorted cosmetics in her purse without problem, but the O’Hare TSA emptied out her purse and told her that mascara and lip gloss are liquids and she’d need to throw them away, check them in our already-checked bags, mail them to herself for $14, or put them in a clear ziplock. And of course they don’t have ziplocks. After the aforementioned ticket drama, it really felt like the TSA lady was hitting us in the gut. I mean, it’s such security theater — if she really was a terrorist traveling with explosives disguised as mascara, would putting it in a ziplock make it safe?

Electricity, the lack thereof. Really, what would it cost O’Hare to have a few electrical outlets available for travelers with laptops? I’m guessing my $1206 would pay for the electric bill for the month. I searched and finally found a single seat near an outlet — and it turned out the outlet was turned off. No power.

Chicago Salutes the Graphic Arts. There’s a bar at O’Hare called Chicago Salutes the Graphic Arts, which would almost be a charming long-winded name for a bar, except that it doesn’t really have any salute to the graphic arts, other than a confusing mural on one wall. The Jackson, MS airport has the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame in one of its bars, and it’s actually a hall of fame, with exhibits and all.

The Announcements. The announcements are constant and any real information would likely get missed in the constant drone about Homeland Security raising the threat level to (obviously inserted sound clip) “Orange”. And there’s an oft-repeated announcement that the TSA has changed the rules about what can pass through a security checkpoint and we should “check with your air carrier for details.” Dude, we’re all already through that checkpoint and had to throw away our mascara and hand lotion. We know.

Completely Arbitrary

Barenaked Ladies

I was out at the Allstate Arena last night for the Mike Doughty Band / Barenaked Ladies show. Great show. I’m really impressed that BNL have managed to combine the best of Big Spectacle Arena Rock with Band That Knows And Cares About Their Fans (they sang a happy birthday song to an 8-year-old).

But… on the way into the venue I was stopped by a police officer who asked to see into my bag. Inside was my Sony F-717, a mid-sized digital camera. “You can take it back out to your car or check it in with us.””But, it’s just a camera.” “Yep.” Steely cop stare.

I wussed out on arguing with the guy that there wasn’t anything posted about still cameras (I looked) and took it back out to the car. And came back in with a Sony W-100, a much smaller camera, in my coat pocket. Much like, as far as I could tell inside, hundreds of other people with cameras.

So what’s the problem with my other camera? Both Mike Doughty and BNL are fine with fans taking pictures (I know Mike Doughty is, because he used mine on his blog). In fact, both bands are OK with non-commercial taping. Was the cop afraid I’d use such a big camera as a bludgeon? Or was he just exercising completely arbitrary power for it’s own sake?

(And yes, I might have answers to these questions if I hadn’t wussed out — but what’s a blog for if not day-after blustering?)

Kanye, from one Chicagoan to another…

… just one question: do your farts smell like flowers? I assume you know, what, with your head shoved so far up your own ass.

The “New” Morning Show on Q101

Well, that was a waste of a good commute.

Q101 today launched their new morning show, you know, the one that their website promised “redefines morning radio in Chicago, and across the country.” Well, at least hyperbole isn’t dead. Maybe they need to cut at least half of the cast to try to find some actual direction or voice instead of a schizophrenic mess of not-funny, tired, played out old shtick.

Oh, man!! They have hip-hop ganstas doing the stock report!! Man, I’m busting a gut!! They are called “Nas” and “Daq” Get it?? Get it??!! HAW HAW HAW HAW. Jesus, what’s next? Phone pranks? Just plain stupid, un-original, oh, and did I mention, not funny?

Okay, there is one upside. The show *is* better than Mancow. But then again, so is shoving ice picks in my ears.

The host, Alan Cox’s bio says that he began his career with “fearless and unpredictable antics” apparently, now Cox has evolved into tepid and predictable shlock. As for the rest of the morning “cast” there were no real standouts… just the same old stuff. Especially bad is “Rome” the “cooking correspondent”. Gawd. Awful.

Is everyone who writes for radio either 10 years old or a failed stand up comic who wasn’t even funny enough for the drunk club circuit? Seriously, what’s the difference between the crap-tastic debut of Q101’s show and “Eric and Cathy”? Um… that’s not a joke, seriously, what is the difference?

Okay, I should cut them some slack, it was the first day, and maybe it will take them a while to find their groove. In the meantime, Q101 is now taking suggestions for a name for the show. I have a few suggestions:

Yet Another Crappy Radio Show
It Took Us A Month to Come Up With This??!
Hit Scan on Your Radio
Advertiser’s Flight to Quality Programming
Hacky McHack’s Morning Yawn
Zany AC and the Pass Out from Boredom Crew

Well, now you know what I thought. What did you think?

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