Ronson hangs out in Springfield...

I had seen a few people using what appeared to be Simpsons versions of themselves around the web and Rob led me over to the Simpsons Movie Web site and where you can create your own. I gave myself glasses to better distinguish myself in the Simpsons world. To create your own Springfieldian self, go over to the main page and click "Create Your Simpsons Avatar."

With help from Tabari, I was able to check out the new Simpsons flick at a sneak preview and I liked it a lot. Even if you're just a casual fan of the show, you should definitely check it out...


Continuing toward online dependence...

First my random thoughts (via this blog), then my videos (all 3 of 'em) and now my photos. Just got hooked up with my new digital camera (a Nikon Coolpix L11) and I've just set up a Flickr account to upload my amazing photographic skillz. For now, send me an e-mail if you'd like to check out my pix -- I've only got stuff from One World Weekend and a Reds game up so far. Above, in all its glory, was my first photo with my new camera, an enchanting look at my messy dining room table.

A few highlights in the above mess: An inflated Krusty the Clown, a picture disc of the White Stripes, my latest bank statement (unopened) and the bag that the camera came in. Also note that there's still nothing on the walls in my dining room. Easily my finest work so far.

More photos to come! (Someday...)


Health freak

When did I get on this health kick? I'm not so sure. At 25, I ate fast food for lunch and dinner and exercise consisted of remembering how much I exercised a lot for a few years in Jr. High and hoping that would last me through my 20s.

A year later I cut out every meat except fish and two years ago I got a gym membership and now work out around 3-4 times a week. I rarely question why I started to do this, but occasionally something will pop up and I'll think "wow, some people consider this newsworthy." Or maybe they've just run out of lifestyle things to write about.

For instance, today MSN had this big "focus on vegetarians" thing on their site (I usually just check this stuff out after I log out of my e-mail). The "Are Vegetarians Healthier?" question is pondered as well as the "What's In A Veggie Burger?" question -- both semi-interesting reads.

The short answers? "Yes (kinda)" and "Good stuff with weird names. And chewy soy, which admittedly sounds kinda scary."


Slacker humor

Sometimes I feel compelled to share something completely random that probably few (maybe even no one) will enjoy. Here's one of those times...

Stuck in an unusual interview with Deerhunter's Bradford Cox at the Pitchfork Festival this year, Stephen Malkmus made me laugh out loud after Cox kept pressing him about being the "alpha male" of indie rock...

BC: No. What it is is an alpha male thing. You serve as an alpha male for this particular culture. Is that a burden?

SM: No, it's not much of a burden, 'cause it's a pretty benign culture, 'cause nobody's gunning for me. Lou Barlow's not over there going, "Oh, man."

Gotta love the slacker generation. Pretty random, but funny to me. The Lou Barlow ref is perfect...check out the whole, weird interview here.

On the Road w/ Pam & J

Pam and J are taking a month-long trip through the West this summer and Pam's documenting the trip, blogstyle. Lovin' the choice of blogger templates!

They've already passed through my old stomping state, Iowa. That isn't necessarily the photo they've taken from the road in the picture above, but it does remind me very much of driving on the interstate back in those Iowa days.

The whole thing sounds like it'll be a cool trip and I wish them luck braving those tough cowboy bars, wildfires and bears! (Can you tell my experience with the West is limited to Deadwood, national news and stuff I made up? Maybe I need to head out there myself...)


Respect my (and your) authority!

Sometimes when I take random swipes at pop culture, I notice an occasional bump in my views. Most recently while checking my site's views, I was surprised to find people checking out my leftfield rant about HBOVoyeur through this site called Technorati.

Eek. It wasn't even all that well written. Ummm, my excuse is that I just felt like I hadn't posted in a while, and since this unusual item had a couple web sites I could link to, I figured, "eh, what the hell."

I'm not even sure how many people read Technorati, (I didn't even know this site existed until I ended up there) but I think what was most fascinating was the "Authority rating" I was given: 6. A whopping six? Out of what, 100? Hey!

Well, I did some poking around and it turns out some of my fellow friends/bloggers are also on this site with varying Authority ratings. My uncle Mark has the most authority with a rating of 20, followed by Gina with Authority Rating 10, then Kelly with a 9. Kari and I tied with 6 (whew, no awkward Authority rank talk at the dinner table) and, sorry Paul, but you're at a 4 right now. I have high hopes for a boost in Paul's authority though, as he's been stepping up his posting lately.

So, if you wonder how much authority your blog has as assigned by a random Web site, now you'll know! Check it out!


Everything ends...

OK I'm a little late. The show ended in 2005, but I just finished up the last episode about a week ago and have entered my mourning period.

If anyone has not braved Six Feet Under, I highly recommend it. It may be a little difficult to get into at first and it'll get annoying sometimes, but the eventual payoffs are great. While I'm glad every show isn't like SFU (that'd be kind of intense), I'm glad a show like it came around...


Up next: HBOStalker...

After a couple of weird commercials, some random browsing on HBO OnDemand and maybe a little too much time on my hands, I found myself briefly drawn to this unusual HBO promotion called HBOVoyeur.

The initial concept is kind of cool, 8 tiny stories happening simultaneously in the span of five minutes, many of them interconnecting. There's no dialogue, just a lot of dramatic body language and it's kind of interesting to watch so many things happening at once and figure out what's going on.

At first, I was fascinated that HBO would be taking such a risk with an unusual new series. Unfortunately, after watching a few of the stories a little closer, I watched a "Making of" and discovered the truth. It's just an HBO multi-media promotion to get people "talking about HBO." The stories are even meant to mirror some of what goes on in your quality HBO programming. They even screened the movie on a wall in NYC and HBO asked someone to blog about it too. When I realized it was no more than self promotion for the network, I gotta say I was a little disappointed.

Anyway, it's all still sort of interesting – if you've got high speed, you can check it out at HBOVoyeur.com. There are also a few more random, disturbing stories if you're willing to search around the city a little bit. There's a phone number on one of the pages that I was tempted to call, but I'm a little worried it'll suck me back into its weird little world...


Aw man, I suck

Seeing this blog inspired me, but also clued me into how many hours of my life I'd have to draw to reach this level. This is from a Character Design blog (cool idea) that Rob told me about...

Click on the above image to get a closer look at a page from the sketchbook of comic book artist Francisco Herrera.

As a result of all this, I went back to sketching this weekend and came up with my usual batch of odd characters, with even stranger characters off in the borders criticizing them. I guess drawing in a Disneyesque style has never really my thing, but I still get jealous of people who can pull it off. It always seems so complete to me.

Definitely worth checking out the site if you've got any interest in comic art... I find myself drawn to the more "arty" (as opposed to say, "cartoony" I guess) -- folks like Todd Kauffman, Jeffrey Thompson and Ryan Wood, but I'm also a fan of Dreamworks artist Elaine Bogan, Pixar guy Nate Wragg and Ben Balistreri.