Vid's Space

Hello! You are visitor number 91096! I may be a bit narcissistic, but I don't quite want to talk about myself for pages and pages on my website anymore.  I could, but that might be a bit depressing.  Meh, at least I have a job.

Suffice it to say I'm a pansexual nudist roadgeek with issues including but not limited to depression, selective eating disorder, and possibly Asperger's syndrome.  But again, this page isn't about me.  Instead, it's my space for random thoughts which I hope you'll find interesting or amusing. 

By the way, if you don't like the fonts or colors on my website, now you can override them using the Style Chooser!  As for other improvements to this site, I really need to redo the guestbook, get the counter/greeter system to work how I originally intended, and oh yeah, get in the habit of adding content more often…

Random Quotes

I hope you'll find the following quote amusing and/or thought-provoking.

“I've been with my share of women. In fact, I've been with like a lot of people's share of women.”

— Joey Tribiani

A new quote is randomly selected three times each day. For your convenience, here's a permanent link to this quote.

Cool Story, Bro!

Here you'll find brief anecdotes which usually are worth the time spent reading them.

New items will be selected in 25.9 hours.

We Got Lost

When I was a lot younger and somewhat more hormonal, I once brought my girlfriend to a LAN party with some friends. She had to be home by a certain time, so before too long we had to leave. On the way back to her house, I took the scenic route, and we enjoyed some mellow music that went well with the wintry night.

When we finally reached my girlfriend's house, we were late by the better part of an hour. Our excuse was, we got lost. Most people who know me would be quite surprised by that excuse. To this day I'm not sure if her dad believed us.

When I returned to the LAN party, my friends noted that I couldn't stop grinning. They quickly lept to a conclusion — the very conclusion that we didn't want my girlfriend's dad to reach when we told him we got lost.

So what really happened? All I'm going to say is, don't jump to conclusions.

Familiar Music

So, back around 2004-ish, I was already familiar with the songs “Steppin' Out” by Joe Jackson and “Day After Day” by Badfinger, from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and real classic rock radio stations, respectively. Then I heard this song that sounded really similar to the former, but the verses began with a few notes almost exactly like the latter. Well, it turns out the song was “Breaking Us In Two” by Joe Jackson. So of course it sounds like that other Joe Jackson song, but I think Badfinger might still have a case with the similar melody.

I've been a fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic for a long time. Somehow, it took me until a few years ago to discover the song “Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota”. Not actually a parody of an existing song, it's a rambling yet charming tune that reminds me a bit of my family vacations in the 90's, even though I think Al was trying to go for more of a 60's experience. The song also reminds me of “30,000 Pounds of Bananas” by Harry Chapin, but I can't put my finger on exactly why. Incidentally, my dad had a Harry Chapin tape we'd listen to on road trips, including that song, which became something of a family favorite. Anyway, then I found a “Weird Al” fan website which had a section about Al's original songs. Specifically, it pointed out that many of them sounded quite similar to existing songs, even though they weren't explicit parodies. There were opinions from many people on this subject. Several apparently agreed with me that “Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” sounds like Harry Chapin's style generally, and a few agreed that it sounds like his song “30,000 Pounds of Bananas” specifically.

I recommend both songs, if you haven't heard them. But regarding “30,000 Pounds of Bananas”, I suggest getting to know the studio version (5 minutes, hard to find) before listening to the live version (10 minutes, more commonly found).

I don't generally listen to new music, but it was hard to avoid Gotye's “Somebody I Used To Know” last year. Elements of it sounded familiar, however. Then a friend of mine showed me a parody, “A Song I Used To Know”, which compared the song to both “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”; mystery solved! It's quite an amusing parody, but be warned: there's just a bit of profanity.

Self-Referential Playlist

I was mowing the lawn the other day, listening to 80s music on my smartphone. In the song "Everybody Walk the Dinosaur", I noted a lyric that said something about watching "Miami Vice". As if to say "That's a good idea," my media player chose the "Miami Vice" theme song to play next.

More Cool Story, Bro!

Passing Thoughts

This is the opinion section of my site. If I have something to say to a general audience that won't fit in a tweet, it'll probably end up here.

New items will be selected in 13.9 hours.

Movies Should Be In 3D Because Life Is In 3D

Obviously, 3D is the hottest trend in movies. Some people like it, and some people don't. Honestly, there are some things not to like about 3D movies. For one thing, it usually adds a couple of bucks to the price of the ticket. And then there are those “gimmicky” 3D shots where something is poked or stabbed at the audience's collective face; some people might still like that, but for me it got old years ago. There have been instances when someone heard a movie is going to be made in 3D and reacted, “I hope not.”

Now I'm going to draw parallels with previous advancements in movie technology. First, sound. That one's pretty obvious, as the inclusion of sound adds an entirely new sense into the mix. Was there any early dislike of talkies? Maybe from the deaf community. But for the most part, adding sound to movies was and has been considered a very good thing. Of course, there continues to be the occasional instance of sound used to startle the audience, like in many horror movies and every IMAX film I've ever seen at the Air Force Museum. But for the most part, sound in movies is just a realistic portrayal of the story… and some music that comes from nowhere. Moving on…

Soon after sound came color. Not adding a new sense to the experience, but certainly improving the primary sense. Again, I don't think there was much complaint about it. The Wizard of Oz stands out as a “gimmicky” color movie, but then filmmakers and audiences got used to color. Since then, color has been used simply as a means to more realistically convey the story as the filmmakers envisioned it. Some dramatic tinting may still be used, but I think “gratuitous color” in films has become extremely rare since cocaine surpassed LSD in popularity.

Filmmakers have been trying 3D almost since color movies became practical. Part of the reason for that is because early 3D films depended on color to deliver a separate image to the audience's left and right eyes. Now that full-color stereoscopic presentations have become practical, it's really catching on. Of course, the whole reason 3D has been pursued from the beginning is because it enables a more realistic reproduction of the world around us. Life is in 3D, so why not movies?

I just hope filmmakers get beyond the “gratuitous 3D” phase quickly. In time they'll realize that the best view of a pointy object is not on-end. In the mean time, I'll enjoy 3D movies while avoiding the ones that depend on 3D as the main selling point.

Service Industry Holidays

The service industry is big in the USA. Restaurants, hotels, call centers (yes we have those here), transportation, healthcare — all of these sectors stay open through the holidays. That's a lot of working people who never get to enjoy a “long weekend”.

It doesn't have to be that way. I'm imagining a special holiday for workers in the service industry. Of course we can't have all the waiters, nurses, and taxi drivers stay home on the same day. So this holiday would actually be three days, probably a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the same week. Each employee (of participating employers) gets to stay home on one of those days. Ideally, it would be a day adjacent to the employee's regularly scheduled day(s) off. So the service-type businesses can stay open, and their employees can enjoy a long weekend once in a while. Maybe even have two or three of these service holiday weeks at different times of the year.

I can't seem to come up with a snappy conclusion to this post. But I'd love for this to become a thing.

More Passing Thoughts

Cool People

Cool Famous People

Here are, in no particular order, some of my favorite people from movies and TV:

Cool Obscure People

Here are, in no particular order, some of my favorite people of whom you may not have heard:

Best of my LJ

You know how radio shows often run "best of" shows during the weekends or when the stars are on vacation?  Well, I haven't posted to my LiveJournal much recently, but there are some good nuggets from the past I thought I might share here.