Make with the Funny

Jenn and I really like Last Comic Standing. Our favorite comedian is John Heffron. He cracks both of us up. Unfortunately, I identify with too much of his routine. Like the part about playing video games for four hours, going to bed, and waking up in the middle of the night thinking "I know how to get past that boss now!" This is season three of Last Comic Standing (LCS) and John is back with the rest of the cast from his season to take on the season one folks. John Heffron won the second season contest, and he looks poised to do it again.

At the end of last season, they showed some of the clips of comics that didn't make the cut. I was surprised to see someone that I recognized. Mark Britten, better known as The China Man, was in the group of cut performers. Jenn and I went to see him with at a local club, and I about fell out of my chair from laughing so hard. He was really funny. Part of his act is a spoof on Arnold Schwarzenegger. Unfortunately, now that Arnold is the governor of California, everyone was doing impressions. Mark only had a couple of minutes to impress the panel, and he made the mistake of using the tired Schwarzenegger routine. It's a real shame too, because his other material is really funny. He also does a lot of the voices for characters in cartoons. Mostly anime stuff, like Dragonball Z. After the show, I got an autographed card that had some of his stats. I've posted the both sides of the card below.

A big welcome to the Kingery Family, who have now entered the wild and wonderful world of blogging.


Man I'm tired. I had to get up this morning at 4am to make it to a customer site. We were rolling out some changes to the way that their manufacturing line ran. We had some pretty bad problems that resulted in several lines being down for a couple of hours. Having a bunch of angry supervisors steaming down your neck is not a comfortable position to be in.. especially when you are short on both sleep and caffeine. We did get the problem figured out, but that was some extra stress I didn't need. One of my coworkers was there, so we both sweated it out.

It's now close to 8pm. My day won't be done for another two hours. I'm in class right now, and in about five minutes we are going to start taking our fourth exam of our statistics course. This will be our terminology exam. I think I'll do fairly well, and I've done pretty well on the exams so far. I've scored a 55/55, 55/55, and 51.5/55 on the exams so far. We have another exam in two weeks, and that will be the last one of the class.

Right now, I'm looking forward to a soft, cool pillow. Nothing like the feeling of crawling into a cool, comfortable bed when you are totally exhausted. This might be one of the few nights where I don't struggle to get to sleep before midnight.

Losing Control

I've finally lost control... of my Yahoo! Bulk E-mail folder. My primary e-mail address is at Yahoo, and to this point I've been able to avoid a lot of spam. Yahoo provides a bulk mail folder where it automatically files anything that looks like spam. Occassionally it puts a real e-mail in there, and I checked it every once in a while to see if I had missed something. I was getting about 30 spam messages a day, which meant I could do a quick scan to see if anything important was in there.

Within the past couple of weeks, that has totally changed. I don't know if my e-mail address made it onto some super spam list, or what happened, but I'm receiving well over 100 spam messages a day now. I don't have time to wade through the screens and screens of junk in my bulk mail folder to check for valid mail anymore. This is pretty sad. So if you send me something, and I don't reply for a very long time, try again. It may have been put in the wrong folder, and I never saw it.

The Phelps Phenomenon

Michael Phelps is an unbelievably talented swimmer for the USA olympic swim team. He could be the best all-around swimmer the world has ever seen. In the run-up to the Olympic games, the media had targeted Phelps with an incredible spotlight, marvelling at the possibility that he might beat Mark Spitz's record of seven golds. Then, the media started to focus on themselves. "Michael, can you handle all of this media attention?" "Michael, will you be able to perform to these incredible expectations?" "Michael, can you be happy with anything less than 8 golds?".

Why can't this guy just go swim and love his sport? Why does the media have to make a circus of the Olympics and of themselves? Reporters are falling over themselves to try to find a crack in Phelps, to show that he is still human. Well... he is! No one deserves the kind of pressure that he has been put under to perform in the Olympics, and it is amazing that a 19 year kid can maintain the level of composure that Michael has shown so far.

Today, as I was reading through the most popular news on Yahoo!, I saw this story. I had to shake my head in disgust. Michael Phelps was beaten by Ian Thorpe, largely regarded as the world's best 200-meter freestyle swimmer, in the 200-meter freestyle. Why was I disgusted? Not because Phelps lost (he got the bronze, and set an American record in the process), but because the article had the audacity to claim that Phelps might be seen as a failure in these olympic games!

This seems to happen every Olympics. An athlete with amazing abilities is made into some type of super-being by the media, and then completely torn apart when they show the slightest crack. In the last summer games, it was Marion Jones and her efforts in track and field. In 1996, it was the tiny gymnast Dominique Moceanu. In 1992 we had the Dan and Dave decathlete hype from Reebok.

One year, I'd love to see the olympics in pure form: for the glory of the sport and game. Forget the announcers, forget the hype, forget the athletes as individuals. Instead, let them be anyone and everyone. Let the athletes compete for the pure joy of exceling in their sport, and for competition. Let us watch the games, and let us be amazed at what we are capable of. I'm tempted to hit the mute button during some events. Maybe I'll try that to see if I enjoy the coverage any better.


I'm irritated. And not just by a sore back. A couple of news stories have come out recently that really bother me. The first comes from the Indianapolis Star newspaper. A while back, there was an unfortunate accident where a child on a bus stuck his head out of the bus window, and was killed when he was hit by passing tree. The bus driver was traveling close to the shoulder of the road to avoid a dead raccoon. The boy, wanting to get a better view, stuck his head out of the window. A tree that had grown very close to the road struck his head and killed him nearly instantly. The driver was traveling about 30mph, certainly a safe speed for any road.

The mother of the child has decided to sue the school, the bus driver, and the state. This really gets me angry. The mother has my condolences. It certainly cannot be easy to lose I child. When I think of how it would feel to lose Corbin, well, it just isn't something I want to even think about. Still, at some point people have to take responsibility for their actions. Her son stuck his head out of the window of a moving vehicle. This is unsafe under ALL conditions. However, the case is trying to show that the bus driver was driving recklessly and without regard to safety, and was not properly supervising the children on the bus. She is sueing the school for using school buses that allow the window low enough for a head to go out, and she is suing the state for not properly maintaining the roads. This is just ridiculous. Here we have someone trying to cash in on their misery. Worse yet, no matter if she wins or loses the case, tax payers are going to lose. Not only will we pay for the extraordinary court costs of defending our school and our state, but we will likely pay for upgrades on our buses to prevent the next moron from sticking his head out.

What happened taking responsibilities for your actions. Sure, the kid had ADHD. But if your kid isn't smart enough not to know that his head belongs inside the bus, then you should probably be driving him to school yourself. Lawsuits such as this one really bother me because they are completely unnecessary and never help anyone. Will a settlement of a few thousand dollars help the mother feel better? Probably not. Will having the all of our buses retrofitted to look like prison vehicles help her get her son back? No. Our schools are already modeled so closely to prisons that students are beginning to behave like criminals. We give them message after message that says they can't be trusted to behave properly, and after a while, they begin to believe it. Look at the metal detectors at schools, random drug searches and drug testing, daily police patrols of the halls and facilities, windows locked and bared with iron gates, and large chains used to secure the exits. Are these places of learning, or temporary prisons where we send our children while we go to work?

I really feel badly for this mother who has lost her son. I hope that she is able to find some peace in her time of grief. Filing a lawsuit like this will not help her to find that peace, and will likely make her feel much worse than if she just accepted that her son made a bad decision, resulting in his death.

Movie Review - Hellboy

I've been slacking off on my movie reviews. We watched three movies last weekend, and I've only written about one. Here is number two...

At the beginning of Hellboy, we are thrown back to the heat of World War II. Hitler is desperate to gain an advantage over the allies, and has enlisted the assistance of the great sorcerer Rasputin to search for magical and mystical artifacts to assist the war effort. Rasputin attempts to open a portal to another dimension and call for the "7 Gods of Chaos" who would then destroy the world. Rasputin's plan is foiled an american scientist leading a group of marines. The scientist is acutely aware of the power of the artifacts that Rasputin seeks, and makes every effort to prevent the apocalypse from happening. During the brief time while the portal is open, a strange demon-child escapes the other dimension. Meet Hellboy

The rest of the movie takes us along with the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) and their mission to defend the earth against the forces of chaos. The american scientist adopted Hellboy as his son, and their relationship is tested by the typical struggles that a father and son have as the child reaches maturity. Hellboy is different in that he ages in reverse dog years, or one year for every seven human years. He has one arm that is made of brimstone, and horns sprout from his head. He keeps the horns filed down so that he can blend in better, but his bright red skin is a dead giveaway.

I really liked this movie. I liked the type of humor used. This isn't an overly sophisticated movie. Hellboy doesn't try to fight using high tech weapons or intricate martial arts. Instead, he just puts the beat down. It's a nice change from the Matrix style fight scenes which are the current Hollywood fad. Hellboy is an interesting character too. He has more of a background than some of the other recent superhero movies (Catwoman, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). He is in love with another member of the BPRD team, but can't seem to get the relationship to workout. He has a soft spot in his heart for cats. And he isn't perfect at everything he does. Hellboy is rough around the edges. One thing that Jenn commented on after the latest Charlie's Angels movie was that, the characters are too perfect. They are always on, always over the top, and always perfect. Hellboy isn't. I really liked his character for that.

Don't be put off by the title. This is a fun popcorn movie. I think anyone who enjoys a superhero flick from time to time will really enjoy this one.

More Radio Hoax Coverage

The radio hoax guy is slowly gaining more national attention. One of my favorite websites, Fark, had the story here.

  1. Washington Times Article
  2. MSNBC Article
  3. The Indy Channel

All of the local television and radio networks have covered the story. This guy is really messed up. One of the posts on the Fark site included this information.

From -- atomic_99

This man is INSANE. I was reading a Something Awful thread about a guy who was actually sent a long e-mail from this guy detailing what they'd have to do to win a radio contest. That he'd have to duct-tape himself to the creepy pizza-face guy and a third stranger, they'd have to lay together in bed in a motel for a whole day, they'd have to shave each other's bodies completely, they'd have to give each other extreme wedgies. This man is a whole new definition of CREEP. Find the thread on the SA forums if you can.

Oh, and the kicker: This creepy bastard says that "He's the victim."

This guy needs some serious medication. I tried to find the source article over at SomethingAwful, but I had no luck.(as the title implies, the website SomethingAwful is not for the faint of heart. Enter with caution.) As I hear more on this, I'll continue to post updates.

UPDATE: I found an article on Fox 59's website that sounds a lot like what atomic_99 mentioned in his Fark post. Eeesh, the creepiness deepens

Movie Review: LXG

I watched several movies over the weekend. One was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This movie was entertaining, but it didn't really break any new ground. Going in, I thought this was going to be a truly bad movie. I was surprised that it wasn't as bad as I thought, but I still wasn't all that impressed either. For the majority of the movie, I was kind of confused as to exactly what was going on. The special effects were nice, and but you can't make a movie on special effects alone.

The movie is built around a collection of legendary characters: a vampire, Dr. Jekyl / Mr. Hyde, Dorian Gray, The Invisible Man, Captain Nemo, and Alan Quartermain. Each of the group has been assembled to combat a mysterious person named The Fantom. The Fantom is attempting to start a world war, and the league has been assembled to stop him. I'm pretty sure that's as far as they went on the story. The characters are never developed beyond their name. One thing that surprised me is that the vampire is able to go out in daylight. I suppose there are different stories of how vampires operate. In any case, it has only been two days since I watched the flick, and I'm hard pressed to come up with any other, more interesting observation from the movie. Some of the special effects were a little overdone for my taste. That's saying something.

If you are hard up for entertainment this weekend, LXG will pass the time. You probably won't remember it by the time you have to turn the disc back in though.

Radio Contest Hoax Update

I spoke with Detective Harmon of the Indiana State Police today about the phone call we received a week ago Sunday (07/25/2004). He took some notes from me about the phone call. He said that they probably would not concentrate too much on the folks who only received a call, but he would definitely use the information to bolster their case against him. Evidently there many folks who actually went to his place, a lot more than the four mentioned in the original article. That's pretty sad that this guy would humiliate folks like that for his own entertainment. The detective indicated that he was going to concentrate on those folks that went to his place, and make sure that the guy was put away for a long time. Det. Harmon thanked me for the extra info. I'll keep my eyes on the news for when the court case starts, and post another update then.

Jade Mason