Monthly Archives: November 2005

blaze of glory

The Bet rolls on, and Annie is almost half way home, with posts three, wherein Annie comes to terms with my asskickery:

Young Wil: “Ooooo…look at me. I’m a movie and TV actor…boo bitty bee
bee. I live in a fort where I battle cardassians with my Teddy Ruxbin.
My best friend Shane Nickerson is coming over tonight to play truth or
dare and ride Tron bikes. I really want to ask Lando Calrissian to the
Spring Fling but Princess GAY-A keeps cock blocking me. Fucking Whore.
Shane’s going with Boba Fette just to up his cool factor. Plus he can
score some juice boxes. Did you know Shane can pound one? Oh man, he’s
my hero! Come on unicorn. Let’s go to the Northern Quadrant and cover
an X-wing fighter with maxi pads. Boo bitty boo boo bippity boppity
boo, I’m was in Stand By Me.”

Ok Wil, I’ll admit it.  I don’t know what ‘5d20 times’ means.  Nor do I know the actual size of a ‘nanosecond.’

But do you know what this means? 

Beware of my ghetto photoshop.

Elbow, double bird, and Send.

And four, where the tragic reality of a month without Nickerblog settles in and takes hold.

Nickerblog Nickerblog, boo bitty boo, 
Rest in peace nerd diggity doo.

But know this…

As you ‘unplug’ yourself, I will be hacking my way into your encrypted
mind with my multi vector assault mode and GHz GHB Built-in Boot ROM A
DOM DOM . Oh, I’ll find you bitch. Hiding under the covers with a
penlight trying desperately to reread Harry Potter or making out with
your hand to pictures of Jessica Stover.

However, for now, I mourn.

Oh, and you know what else we learned? Annie has a sister, who also has a blog:

This is Steffie, Annie’s sister…the brunette in the picture up on
the right hand side, holding Jesus’ Favorite precious hand. Yes, I
know, I was never "Jesus’ FAVORITE" but you’ll have to read MY blog to
get THAT story (wah wah) Although I’m proud of her trashing abilities,
I’m glad Wil and Shane get a taste of WHAT I HAD AS A KID, growing up
in her shadow sucked.

But really, I’ve had a blog for months and no ones ever read MY BLOG. 
"Oh look at me, I’m Annie and I probably have over a million hits and I
just started to BLOG." The counter on my blog has one hit, my dad, and
he just commented that I should be more like Jesus’ Favorite. But
you’ll have to read MY blog to get THAT story (wah wah). I mean, my
sister didn’t even know what a blog was until the guys made a bet with
her. I tried so hard…"Annie, it’s really cool, seriously, you should
have your own blog." "No Steffie, that’s only for nerds." So, that’s
the story of my life…thank GOD I have found some solace with the
nerds. Playing second fiddle to Jesus’ Favorite sucked. But you’ll have

One of these days, Annie is going to have her own show on HBO, or she’ll be a cast member on SNL (even though she’s really too talented to waste it on them). Some publicity jerk will make an appointment with Annie’s assistant’s assistant, and after waiting in the hall for six hours while Annie listens to Winger on repeat and drinks champagne out of the coke-rotted skull of Ashley Olsen, (who mysteriously died while hosting the show months earlier), that publicity jerk will be granted entrance to Annie’s gold-plated dressing room. After carefully stepping over the empty wine bottles and pot bellied pigs, the publicity jerk will tell Annie, "Excuse me, Ms. Ser –"

"Don’t look at me!" Annie will shout, from behind her veil.

"Sorry, sorry." The publicity jerk will say. "The network thinks it would be a great idea to synergize the audience by cromulently maximizing the interactive –"

"If you want me to start a BLOG, just ask me to start a BLOG," Annie will say, from atop her pile of plush velvet pillows. "Because I’ve had a BLOG since all the way back in 2005, right before Nickerson and Wheaton  . . ." Annie’s voice will trail off, a tear will form, and it will slowly work its way down her cheek, cutting through inches of blush.

"It’s not your fault," the publicity jerk will say, "that you were Jesus’ favorite. Being the king and the duke just didn’t compare. Nobody blames you for their mysterious disappearance."

The publicity jerk will offer some stock condolence, which was perfected by the network for use on Mike Meyers in 1993, and slowly back out of Annie’s gold-plated dressing room. As the door closes, Annie will look down at her computer, and evil grin growing behind her crocodile tears.

Someone looking very closely may see me and Shane, trapped inside, Tron-style, silently screaming for salvation.

Annie will look at the computer and say, "You heard the publicity jerk.Write me a BLOG, and make it . . . brilliant!"

The keyboard won’t make any sounds, but the words will appear, as if by magic, across the screen:

Dear Blog,
I often wonder how I got to be such a great master of blogging, and how I finally embraced my inner NERD. Well, from high atop 30 Rock in New York, while I’m waiting to go do a sketch with Rosie Perez, who is having some sort of inexplicable career revival, I’ll tell you. It all started at this little theatre in Hollywood, where I was never loud enough for the back row to hear me. That’s where I met the NERDS . . .

Elbow & Send.

The Art of War?

Greatwaveofkanagawa43I haven’t read all of The Art of War in over a decade. I think it’s time I read it again.

This time around, though, I’m considering buying the audio version from iTunes Music Store. Has anyone listened to that? What do you think?

If you have a favored translation, annotated version, or other thoughts on this classic text, I’d love to hear what you think.

TiVo presents: a targeted word from our sponsor!

Well, I’d like to claim credit for it, but I’m sure it was already in the works when I posted this idea last night.

TiVo has already decided to give subscribers the option to receive targeted ads:

TiVo will soon offer subscribers a way to customize some of the ads
they receive — and offer advertisers a way to make sure they’re
targeting consumers who want what they’re pitching.

The new
service won’t conflict with ads seen (or fast-forwarded) in live or
on-demand viewing or the "showcases" of longform advertising that
appear in a menu, often purchased by automakers or movie studios.

this new feature will work in much the same way TiVo subscribers create
"WishLists" to find programs. But instead of Jimmy Stewart movies or TV
shows about baseball, TiVo users would register a profile with the
company based on their interests. Then, in a section of the TiVo menu
system, they will find ads — short- and longform — based on their

Someone in the market for a new car would find ads for cars that someone who isn’t would never see, for instance.

we’ve learned is, TiVo customers want to know about new products and
services but on their own time," TiVo vp national advertising sales
Davina Kent said.

I dislike advertising, but it’s a fact of life. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to tune it out, via mute buttons and fast forwarding, but as I said yesterday, I’d be much more inclined to pay attention to advertising for products or services I care about than the bullshit they spew out of the box right now.

What I’d really like to see is some sort of advertising model with TiVo which would allow indie publishers (like Monolith Press, or Vagrant Records) to reach interested viewers at reduced rates. If I could afford it, I would absolutely advertise Monolith products to audiences I think would enjoy them, but there’s no way I can afford to advertise on Family Guy or Alias. And I think that Do You Want Kids With That? would probably do very well with Oprah’s audience, but that would cost me more than I make in ten years.

TiVo presents: a (targeted) word from our sponsor?

This afternoon, I wrote a story for the SG Newswire about TiVo offering a "feature" where subscribers can search for specific commercials:

No, it’s not opposite day, and yes, you read that correctly. Someone at
TiVo thinks that consumers really love commercials so much, they want
to be able to search through their recorded content just to find them.

[TiVo] on Monday said it is working on technology that lets viewers search for specific advertisements.

The technology, which is expected to launch in early 2006, is the
latest sign of the advertising industry’s efforts to reach consumers
who are taking advantage of high-tech products to escape the
traditional ad pitch.

[. . .]

The advertising service will let subscribers search for a product by
category or keyword, then TiVo would deliver matching commercials to
the consumer’s set-top box.

I snarkily (snarkily? Is that a word? minus ten points, Wheaton) concluded that this is a totally lame feature that nobody would ever want to use:

Soooo . . .  TiVo users complain by the tens of thousands that they want to be able to skip commercials, and TiVo gives them the ability to search for specific commercials?! Uh, okay.

TiVo must have done some market research for this feature, which leads
me to wonder, who are the idiots claiming to be technology enthusiasts
that TiVo talked to?

But now that it’s hours later, and I’ve had time to reconsider my snark . . . maybe I can be one of those idiots. I had this idea: what if TiVo subscribers were able to set up some sort of "profile" where they would check off a range of interests, as well as a range of things they are positively not interested in, and advertisers could target ads to the individual subscribers? It sort of longtails advertising, right? For example, I hate car commercials and beer commercials. But I’m interested in outdoor activities, so I respond to ads from places like REI. I am not interested in the latest Tom Cruise crap-o-rama, but I really enjoy the acting styles of Mr. Johnny Depp. I know it’s a long shot, and I know that the service as described (if I understand it correctly) is "client" side rather than "server" side, but wouldn’t it make more sense for advertisers to serve ads to people who were more likely to use the products or services they’re advertising?

I imagine that advertisers would still want to use commercials to inform consumers about new products, or new films, or whatever, and maybe there could be some auto-subscribed advertising channel which would serve anything, regardless of a subscriber’s preferences. But at the end of that commercial, the subscriber could "Thumbs Up" or "Thumbs Down" the product or service, and TiVo could adjust ads served to that subscriber accordingly.

This could even open up advertising to smaller companies who can’t afford to buy prime time slots that reach the entire country, but may be able to afford 50,000 buys for targeted audience members. I imagine that they’d get a better conversion on their ad sales.

There are obvious problems: privacy is the most glaring, but there are also several different demographics living in each house, so something would have to be done to adjust to the primary viewer of, say, CSI and the primary viewer of, say, Desperate Housewives, and the primary viewer of SpongeBob Squarepants.

I know that there are smarter people than me who read my blog. So what do you think? Shoot this full of holes and we’ll see if there’s anything left.