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Marketing Ideas

Monday, April 30, 2007
So I've been an avid reader of PvP Online for like 7 years now. (I distinctly remember having a PvP Online themed LAN party during my first senior year in college - which would have been in the 1999-2000 academic year. So, it's safe to say that I'm "a fan". Yes, I think Scott Kurtz is hilarious.

This post is about something he's doing right now. However, here's the background before I rave (or rant, just to keep you in suspense.) The world of online comics seems to be pretty small - most comic artists are either friends or bitter enemies, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground. Scott and Kristopher Straub (from StarSlipCrisis.com) have become friends and have engaged in a few projects of late - to the point that Kristopher apparently moved out to Texas to open a work studio with Scott. Fun times.

So they've got this podcast thingy called the "Kris and Scott Power Hour", which is basically them messing around and having fun. Completely awesome, since these two characters come up with some of the funniest stuff on the planet. The latest scheme (and the point of this post) is their "Friends for Five" idea. You give them $10 and they call you and pretend to be your best friend (instead of potentially making you the butt of a joke) for five minutes - all recorded, of course.

I laughed for a whole 5 minutes after reading the idea. Too funny!

Good Fortune

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
So this friend and I go to dinner every few weeks down in Salem. One of the rules is that we have to find a new place to eat every time we go out. (This is handy in getting to know places in Salem!)

This week we went to this recently-opened Vietnamese place called (of all things) "Vietnam Restaurant" or something like that. (It's on the corner of Commercial and Center.) I ate something (I can't remember what it was called) that was really good! Of course, afterwards we were given fortune cookies (because that's what Asian restaurants do in America). Mine said:

You have a wonderful way with words. Send email to a friend.

I'll get right on that.

Magical Blogger Mood Ring

Saturday, April 21, 2007
Current Mood: Reflective

Like a shattered vase, I'm sitting here trying to get myself together enough to just finish this semester of school, a semester built on blood, toil, and tears, and sweat. And as I try to focus, my iPod playing to drown out the world around me, somehow Joy Division comes on. How cruel. I just have to make it, really... three more weeks?

... and a second track by them comes up as I'm writing this. What did I do?

"Things I'll Never Get to Do"

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Over on Autoweek.com there's an little article stub about a reality series on the Speed Channel. No, they're not dumping a handful of idiots on an island with no survival gear, nor are they putting a handful of mis-matched washed-up celebrities in a house and having them live together. They're having 10 drivers race Pontiac Solstices for a $100,000 prize... and a chance to really race at the Pro level.

I could do that.

Well, I'm not sure I could win (though I'm sure that with some practice I could give 'em a run for their money) but I would one day love to have a chance to do this sort of thing. "Hey, Burton... here's a brand new sports car. Go out there and show us what you've got."

Tragically, as it stands, I'm probably not on anyone's list for an invite. But one day... one day, it'll happen.

On Gun Control and Highway Deaths

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
At last, it's time to face controversy head-on. I'm sure everyone's aware of the tragic events at Virginia Tech University; a lone gunman shot at least 30 people to death, more were wounded. I can't do justice to the nature of his crime except to point out that it re-emphasizes me lack of faith in humanity.

And, just as sure as a lone individual goes and does something stupid, there are those out there that will seize the opportunity to advance their agenda. In this case, it's gun control.

Of course, this is being pushed to the forefront of the national consciousness. My friend even wrote an interesting piece on his blog about the topic. I, for one, think we shouldn't let the highly visible acts of the few effect the quiet lives of the many.

Let's look at gun-related deaths in the US. A quick check out there finds that, on average, about 30,000 people die each year from gun-related deaths. That number is big, yes... but let's put it into perspective.

Take, for instance, the number of highway fatalities in the US. It appears that, recently, that number was at about 43,000. That's 143%! Obviously, something needs to be done. We need tighter automobile controls! Thousands of people die each month, and what are we doing about it? Let's ban cars. This should be an easy fight since the Right to Own an SUV is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. You can fix the gun problem after you fix the car problem.

Oh, let's take it one step further. It appears that roughly 560,000 people die each year from cancer! So for every one person that dies by gun, we have over 18 that die from cancer. I'm certain that death by cancer is, on average, just as painful and hideous as death by gun-related activities. I'd love to legislate against cancer, but I'm thinking that might not be effective. I would love, however, to focus our efforts on the real killers of Americans instead of jumping all over hot-topic news articles to fix something a lot smaller.

Perhaps I'm cynical. Perhaps I'm missing something. But I do see (and strongly oppose) over-zealous reactionary responses to loud events while we overlook or ignore the bigger problems. Maybe one day we'll fix that.

Broken Promises

Friday, April 13, 2007
A few days ago on CNN a small article quietly slipped by. The topic was the Pentagon's decision to extend army tours of duty in Iraq by 3 months, effective immediately.

This sort of thing bothers me. I feel that this, like the "stop-loss" policy that the Army has been using, is detrimental in the long run to the volunteer army that the United States of America has theoretically started using. Not only does it hurt morale, but what message does it send? From an administration that uses the phrase "support our troops" at every possible chance, this seems counter-intuitive to that mentality.

I propose that we perhaps change our national policies to *gasp* reflect the will of the people. With an all-volunteer army, if we don't have enough soldiers volunteering, perhaps we should limit the scope of our involvement. If we don't have enough troops to fight a war in two theaters, perhaps we shouldn't get involved in those wars. I'm not saying we shouldn't have an army or be prepared for a war, but I'm just saying we should - in this day of the volunteer army - either go to war with the army we've got or make it so the government isn't the only one that can break the contract.

It's just a thought. Broken promises hurt everyone involved.

Magical Blogger Mood Ring

Current Mood: Grey/White/Black

With all the stress of school right now (and, oh yeah, life) I'm just having a hard time. I'm sure I'll get through it somehow (we are built to survive, you know) but sometimes the other side is difficult to see through all the obstacles. It's a lonely road to walk, I guess... but (as I've been reminded of time and time again) I *did* sign up for it.

Ducks!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007
There were ducks outside today along the stream that runs through campus. Ahhh... Spring is in the air!

Ducks outside

Multiple Choice?

Imagine two trains coming at each other, head-on
Imagine two countries at war, trying to overpower the other
Imagine a duel at dawn, two people fighting for their honor
That's what happens at the collision of realities
When the heart and the mind vie to be the one in control of the self
And you're just dragged along for the ride.

What if it were a choice?
What if the trains stopped, the war because peace, and the duel was resolved without bloodshed?
What if you could just pick one
And live happily in that choice forever
Instead of longing for the road unchosen?

Silver Falls

Saturday, April 07, 2007
I seized the opportunity yesterday and took advantage of the great weather. A friend and I put off all responsibilities and went out to Silver Falls for a hike. It's about a 45 minute drive east of Salem and was - yesterday - one of the most beautiful spots on Earth. This was my first time out there as an adult, though when I was a but a young lad I stayed at the youth camp for a week several summers in a row.

We decided to park in the South Falls Lodge parking lot and hiked around the Canyon Trail, returning on the Rim Trail. We were out for about three and a half hours and probably hiked four or so miles. One thing I really liked about the trail is the access to waterfalls. The trail were were on actually passes under no fewer than three different waterfalls!

Man, I can't wait for summer so I can do it more!

One of the waterfalls at Silver Falls, viewed from the cave behind the waterfall.

The Depth and Breadth of Human Knowledge

Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I believe the internet is an amazing thing. There are places out there that defy description, but the knowledge allows for the storing and transmitting of almost all of human knowledge.

Then there's the rest.

Yesterday I stumbled across a fantastic website: Urinal.net. Because someone thought it would be far out to put up a top-ten list of urinals with photos on the internet. So cool.

Another fantastic website (while we're talking about them) is an old favorite: MenWhoLookLikeKennyRogers.com. Because lots of men over a certain age look like a certain country music star.

Does this not represent the pinnacle of our civilization?

UPDATE: Apparently my buddy posted something very similar over at his site. I swear this is entirely coincidental!

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