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Friday, August 29, 2008 :::

Animated Friday (For the Birds Edition)!

I happen to think that most birds are nothing more than winged vermin, but I guess on occasion they can be pretty. From far away. And if they aren't chirping incessantly or dive-bombing at my head. But I don't actually harbor any ill will toward the poor creatures, as this series of animated GIFs might imply:

Golf is for the birds.

Baseball is for the birds.

Melodramatic ceremonies are for the birds.

::: posted by dan at 12:24 PM :: [ link ] :: (6) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, August 28, 2008 :::

Walking Around with a Heart On

The other day I found myself amongst a small group of people who were getting a tour of a friend's new home when she started to brag about the good deal she got on her mattress. "Yeah, we totally scored on that bed," was her prideful boast. "I'll bet you did," was my lascivious reply.

It wasn't as bad as this lady's on-air slip of the tongue, but it was still kinda funny:

::: posted by dan at 10:42 AM :: [ link ] :: (5) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, August 26, 2008 :::

Battle of the Bees

A month or two ago I got stung by a bee in my own backyard. It hurt. I felt a prick, looked down, and the little fella was stuck to the back of my calf (wait - do calves have fronts? Or are those shins?). Anywho, I flicked him away and limped back to my house, clutching my leg with a painful grimace.

Bees: 1 Dan: 0

I had done nothing to warrant an attack, so out of curiosity I ventured back outside a few days later to investigate. I saw a few bees hovering around the dilapidated wooden stairs that lead up toward my alley. When I got closer and stepped on the top stair itself, a dozen bees poured out from beneath it, and I ran screaming - arms literally flailing - back into my house.

Bees: 2 Dan: 0

A couple weeks later my lawn was getting out of control and I needed to mow, so I could avoid the situation no longer. I bought a can of the appropriate Raid pest-control poison and ventured out back once again. In order to get the right angle to spray the poison underneath the top stair, I had to do it from my neighbor's lawn, on the other side of a chain link fence. The angle was tricky, and as soon as I got anywhere near the area, a few angry bees would come out to investigate. But I can be brave when necessary, so I steeled (stole?) my nerves and began spraying the caustic chemicals through the fence and as close to the base of the top stair as I could manage. Immediately the bees started pouring out, dropping to their deaths one by one as they hit the steady stream of lethal poison.

Even though I was managing to stay on top of the growing swarm with my excellent Raid shooting skills, the sheer number of bees was beginning to disturb me, so at some point, and without realizing, I started to scream. I was already narrowly avoiding sheer panic when suddenly the steady stream of poison from my spray can started to dwindle. At the same time the steady stream of bees from the hidden nest under the wooden stair started to surge. Anticipating defeat, I dropped my spray can and ran from my neighbor's backyard into my house, slamming the door behind me. When I realized I was still screaming, I stopped doing that, too.

A few hours later, I peeked outside to see if the swarm was still active and noticed that the empty can of Raid had disappeared from my neighbor's backyard. This meant that either the bees had carried it off to their nest as a trophy, or that my neighbor had witnessed the entire scene in his backyard and picked it up himself. I wasn't sure which possibility was worse.

Bees: 3 Dan: 0

Unsure of how many bees I killed or if I had managed to make their hive uninhabitable by emptying an entire can of Raid onto the mouth of their hidden lair, I waited another week to investigate. Cunningly, I got a long push broom and swiped at the top stair once again. A handful of bees flew out, and the next thing I knew I was in my basement shivering.

Bees: 4 Dan: 0

My friends told me that I should try again, but that I should wait until dawn or dusk to attack. So I bought another can of Raid, and planned my attack for early morning. I rigged the can of Raid with some duct tape and a dowel so that, when activated, the can could spray on its own. My new strategy was going to be a gonzo attack from my own yard: if I could get close enough, and while wearing protective rubber kitchen gloves of course, I could start the spray, drop it right at the mouth of the presumed nest under the top stair, and then cackle maniacally as the can automatically emptied its poisonous payload directly into the belly of the beast.

I got the spray can positioned and spraying with only a couple bees taking notice, and it all seemed to be going as planned until about halfway through the emptying process when the can flipped itself over and rolled down the slope and away from the nest, spewing poison in every direction possible, and once again sending me screaming into the safety of my home.

Bees: 5 Dan: ?

I've since been monitoring the area fairly regularly. From afar, I can see no activity. At closer inspection, not a single bee exits from the beneath the stair to investigate me. Feeling bold, I even stomped on the top stair once, and again nothing happened. Apparently my gonzo attack plan had worked.

But today I went outside to take out the garbage. Upon returning to my back door I noticed a dead squirrel on my patio. So now all day long I've been wondering: unrelated coincidence, or are the bees upping the ante? Was that dead squirrel my final horse-head-in-the-bed warning?

Bees: ? Dan: ?

::: posted by dan at 12:04 PM :: [ link ] :: (17) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, August 22, 2008 :::

Animated Friday (Big Inflated Ball Edition)!

Today's animated GIFs come with what should be a standard disclaimer: Beware of the Big Bouncy Ball. They aren't as harmless as they look.

Sometimes You See It Coming

Sometimes You Don't See It Coming

Sometimes You Had It Coming

::: posted by dan at 12:15 PM :: [ link ] :: (9) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, August 21, 2008 :::

Wine Country

I went all Sideways last weekend and spent a few days in the Sonoma/Napa region of California gurgling wine.

This will help you feel like you were there right along with me:

I also marvelled at some Sonoma art:

And some Sonoma scenery. Well, this is actually at the coast, but I'm the real scenery of this photo anyway:

I also tried to take in some Sonoma culture, but we missed their famous accordion festival by only one week. So this statue had to make do in the mean time:

In summary: I like wine.

::: posted by dan at 8:06 AM :: [ link ] :: (9) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, August 13, 2008 :::

Animated Friday (Belated Back to the Basics Edition)!

My work and travel schedules have my brain all in a bundle these last couple weeks so even though it's not Friday today, it feels like one, and since I missed last week, I might as well just post these early...

Let's get back to the animated GIF basics of people falling down:

I shouldn't make fun of this guy, because this is totally dan playing soccer...

I shouldn't make fun of this guy, because somebody totally glued his slippers to the floor...

Someday I'll get back on the right schedule, I'm sure.

::: posted by dan at 7:14 AM :: [ link ] :: (4) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, August 12, 2008 :::

Not Recommended

I feel like a daredevil even when I use a ladder properly, so in my estimation, these people are effin' batso:

Hooray for hair-brained ingenuity, the bread and butter of planetdan!

::: posted by dan at 8:19 AM :: [ link ] :: (3) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, August 06, 2008 :::

Lollapalooza '08 - The VIP Treatment

Truth be told, I'm a total wuss. The prospect of standing in heat and dirt for three days straight with thousands of sweaty, annoying hipsters (myself included) was all too unappealing, so I managed to talk Erik into upgrading to the VIP Lollalounge tickets at $850 a pop. I justified this with some lame/exaggerated math to insinuate that the three-day cost of regular tickets, booze, water, and food would equal something close to that anyway. Plus the cherry on top is that we would be guaranteed a good view of the shows. These all turned out to be false assumptions, for various reasons.

The VIP Lollalounge tickets were advertised as including the following:

Lounge Seating
Lunch and Dinner Buffets
Beer, Wine, and Water
Specialty Libations
Air Conditioned Restrooms
Viewing Platform
Mini-spa Treatments
Much more

It's true there was Lounge Seating, but not enough for all ticket holders. If you wanted a chair you pretty much had to arrive early and park your butt in one all day long. And the Viewing Platform was located directly under the blazing sun and practically packed with parked asses all day long as well, which was just fine since the actual "view" from the viewing platform wasn't exactly spectacular. In fact, the angle and distance made it almost impossible to see the stages at all.

The Lunch and Dinner Buffets were actually satisfying and tasty, although they did occasionally run out of certain menu items (such as tortilla shells for the fajitas) if you didn't arrive early enough, and the Wine and Beer were indeed free if you consider Bud and Bud Lite to be beer. Plus you were pressured to tip the servers, which turned the "free booze" into just a really good extended happy hour. The Specialty Libations were kinda barfy: basically unpleasant-tasting vodka or SOCO with your choice of Vitamin Water mixer. But they worked in a pinch.

The real problem with the booze is that they wouldn't let you carry it out of the Lollalounge, which meant you had to chug a beer in between sets and then hightail it back into the crowd and stand thirsty until the end of the show. After a while, we concocted the clever scheme of replacing the Lemonade Vitamin Water with vodka drinks in order to sneak them out of the lounge, which made me feel 18 again, and not in a good way. After charging someone $850 with the promise of free booze, this was beyond lame, especially since you could barely even see the show from the lounge itself, which meant you basically had to make the choice between drinking free booze and actually seeing the concert.

The Mini-Spa Treatments were ten minute back rubs, that also required gratuity, and as for Much More, I have no idea what they are talking about, unless they mean the free hats and mats that Blackstone Wine handed out.

The Air-Conditioned Restrooms were totally awesome.

All in all, the VIP Treatment was probably worth about two hundred extra bucks, and did very little to increase my enjoyment of the experience. In fact, my best times were had outside the Lollalounges.

And of course, I was secretly hoping there would be celebrities in there, because I can be a total gossip whore. Apparently god saw fit to deliver me a worthy celebrity sighting after all, because I caught a glimpse of this guy from The Daily Show and Upright Citizens Brigade:

Apparently his name is Matt Walsh and he was also in Old School, although for $850 a ticket you think they could have gotten one of the Olson Twins, or at least let me sit on Perry Ferrell's crusty old lap for a song or two.

Apparently $850 doesn't get you what it used to these days. I blame high gas prices.

::: posted by dan at 8:18 AM :: [ link ] :: (4) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, August 05, 2008 :::

Lollapalooza '08 - The Fashion

Basically, the fashion at Lollapalooza was anything that went well with sweat and dirt, because it was like 95 degrees and dusty, all day every day.

Luckily, they gave away neck-saving cowboy hats in the VIP area:

Hip! And mostly, the guys who had the balls just went shirtless. I did not go shirtless. But I teased a tad with a flirty open-front shirt ensemble a couple times. Erik was confident about being sans-top in person, but forbade me to include any nipples in pictures, which I accidentally captured on video:

And then there was this guy, whose chest shaving pattern was ill advised, to say the least, and a true disaster in personal grooming:

I'm all for manscaping, but in the future I'd advise a more-subtle/less-bikini-toppy approach.

::: posted by dan at 7:39 PM :: [ link ] :: (6) comments Social Bookmark Button


Lollapalooza '08 - The Music

One of my resolutions for 2008 was to see Radiohead in concert. I thought it was going to be an easy task, which is why I resolved to do it, since I'm quite lazy, but little did I know that it would take a plane ticket, a five day vacation, and well over a thousand dollars to accomplish it.

Festival concerts can be exhausting, and since I'm only 5' 7" and a good three inches shorter than your average fella, most of my view at the festival was either the back of some bong-smoker's head or a ginormatron:

I like music, though, so all's well that ends well. The highlights of the concert were The Go! Team, Jamie Lidell, and Kanye West, although I must admit the Kanye show was so great mostly because I was so drunk.

And then of course there were Radiohead:

It was a tad surreal watching them play Fake Plastic Trees while packt like sardines in a sweaty crowd with fireworks in the background and helicopters overhead. Of course the sound totally blew out my cheap camera mic so it sounds kinda like poop, but trust me, it wasn't:

Sigh. During the three days, we took in:

Rogue Wave (good)
The Go! Team (surprisingly great)
Duffy (heard but not seen)
The Black Keys (heard but not seen)
Gogol Bordello (pretty energetic, but really not my thing)
Mates of State (one of my favorite bands, but not appropriate for Lollapalooza)
Bloc Party (good, but really just a long wait until Radiohead)
Radiohead (unforgettable)

MGMT (good)
Brand New (ok, but a little too emo for me)
Jamie Lidell (surprisingly incredible)
Broken Social Scene (heard but not seen)
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings (super fun)
Wilco (slightly boring, but at least nobody got crushed like they did at the competing Rage concert)

Brazilian Girls (pleasant sounds but kinda yawn-worthy)
Amadou & Mariam (heard but not seen)
Black Kids (Erik called them "tight")
Iron & Wine (too quiet for Lollapalooza... too quiet for pretty much anywhere)
Gnarls Barkley (played some nice covers, drew a huge crowd)
Mark Ronson (lots of fun and cuss words)
Kanye West (a drunken delight)

::: posted by dan at 6:50 PM :: [ link ] :: (2) comments Social Bookmark Button


Lollapalooza '08

Forgive my short absence, but I was in Chicago (what Kanye might call Chi-Town) at Lollapalooza for the last five days, listening to music, drinking cheap beer, showing off a little skin, and building up some of those black crusty dust-boogers that you tend to get at festival concerts.

I'll post a few things about the whole experience soon, but first a kind thank you to Erik for putting up with me and my inconvenient, soup-fearing neuroses.

And he makes good meatloaf.

::: posted by dan at 6:36 PM :: [ link ] :: (4) comments Social Bookmark Button


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