Friday funny

Sometimes you just need something to laugh at on a Friday. I introduce you to Bizkit, the sleepwalking, er, running, dog:

No, you won’t go straight to hell for laughing at that poor creature run headlong into a wall after waking up from a dream in which he was obviously running after something. But if you play it back again and again and again, well then, I can’t be so sure.

Now this one here I especially love because, if you look at his head about halfway through, you can telling he is hauling butt in his dream. He is moving so fast that he actually moves himself in a circle. How awesome is that? Of course that belligerent look at the end is pretty funny too:

Speaking of belligerence, this poor guy can’t seem to snap out of this dream. He is actually standing up barking in his sleep:

Yeah, we all need a little something something to laugh at this Friday.

Piratical music of the Caribbean

The other day I was sent a link to a video of a young girl playing “Carry on my Wayward Son” on an electric organ. After watching, in amazement, as this little girl tore it up I found another performance she did of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song:

This got me into a piratical mood like I have not been in for a while and as a result I decided to look for other performances of the popular song. Once of the best I had ever seen was of a young Asian kid named Sungha Jung playing the song on his guitar (because that is what he plays and he plays the crap out of it). So, for your viewing pleasure, here is that performance:

Now as I was watching that performance I realized that the video was a response video to that of a Wolfgang Vrecun who also posted a video of his guitar based rendition:

Now that I have seen a few ways that this song can be played by one person I decided to search for either a tutorial or guitar tab for the song (because I am that crazy and I dig the song that much and I want to be able to do what an eight year old kid can do). What I found was both wrapped up into one. A two part video tutorial by Jeurgen Schenk and a link to sheet music and guitar tab that he posted:

Jeurgen Schenk – Part 1
Jeurgen Schenk – Part 2

So I took the sheet music home and handed it to my daughters about two weeks ago. And wouldn’t you know it, Sarah has pretty much mastered the song on the Piano and Bekah is about halfway to learning it on the guitar. In fact, they will be performing it at a talent show for our home school group in a few weeks.

Kids freaking amaze me sometimes. My kids especially. Yes, I know it sounds like I am doting on my kids. But they are my kids. I am supposed to dote.

And just for reference, here is the actual music (or a piece of it) so you can compare what is in those videos to what Hans Zimmer actually intended the music to sound like. Enjoy:

Oscar Grant should still be alive today

In the early morning hours of January 1st, 2009, an incident took place at the Fruitvale BART station that has rocked the Bay Area community and provoked many citizens of the Bay Area to anger. Oscar Grant, a 22 year old man from Hayward, was fatally shot and killed by a two year veteran of the BART Police Force.

Several videos have surfaced from the incident, a few of which are provided below, that show the BART police officer in question, Johannes Mehserle, along with several other officers trying to subdue a somewhat chaotic situation on the BART platform that morning. Of particular interest is the way in which they dealt with the victim. Mr. Grant was sitting with the others involved in the altercation that led to the police response that morning and he appeared to be cooperating with officers. There were a few moments when it appeared that he tried, in a rather animated manner, to speak to or plead with the officers. Then, for some reason which I believe is still yet to be known, officers moved Mr. Grant to his chest to handcuff him.

At this point one officer placed his leg on the back of Mr. Grants neck while another officer began placing Mr. Grants arms into position to be cuffed. From the looks of this motion, it seems as though the officer doing this, officer Mehserle, was actually casuing Mr. Grant significant pain. It also seems as though this pain caused Mr. Grant to resist the motions being inflicted on his arms. At this time, Officer Mehserle stood up over Mr. Grant, drew his sidearm, pointed it at Mr. Grant’s back and fired a single shot at him.

This sequence can be seen in the following videos:

News of this incident spread very quickly and reached national levels of attention by the end of the weekend. Oddly enough, the BART police did not comment on this incident until January 4, almost four entire days after this took place. Since then there has been a dramatic series of investigations and announcements from BART, from various media outlets and local community organizations as well as severe and rowdy protests throughout the Bay Area. And rightly so.

We are now 13 days into the drama that has become known as the “BART Police Shooting” and until today, the officer in question, officer Mehserle, had not yet given a comment. Then today it was reported that he was interviewed (or questioned) and that he invoked his fifth amendment privileges and did not answer a single question, opting instead to protect himself from self incrimination. That is ridiculous.

The community has a right to be angry. No, this is not a racial episode, or a political episode. It is not even a social status episode. No, this is a human event. An event in which a person in a position of authority, authority vested by the state of California, abused said authority to the detriment of life of someone else. Plain and simple, Oscar Grant should not have died that day. At worst he should have been arrested, and even that is debatable seeing as no one has actually addressed, clearly, the nature of the original incident that led police to the Fruitvale station that morning.

I am saddened by this incident. I am sad for Oscar Grant’s family. I am especially sad for his four year old daughter who will never see her daddy again. But I am equally saddened for a community that has been shaken by the very worst judgment one could exercise in a given situation. Unless there is something that we have not yet seen about the incident on the platform that morning, all that can be done from this point is to arrest now former officer Mehserle for murder, or at worst, manslaughter and find a place for him to be tried where people have not yet seen the video of him killing Oscar Grant.

Until then I will continue to use BART if I must, but I will do so with great skepticism. And I will be reminded, for a long while, what can happen when people that cannot be trusted with authority are given authority and firepower and let loose on the people.

I want to be able to do this when I am 40

In 1985 I got really into skateboarding. I am not sure what it is that got me so into the sport but I really got into it. I also had gotten some of my friends into it with me so that we could all have something to do together. It didn’t take long for all of us to become enormous skateboarding obsessed fanbois.

I also became a huge fan of the Bones Brigade. So much so that my little clique of friends actually emulated the them down to my friend Jason Theil taking on freestyle skating a la Per Welinder and Adam Green skating in a lanky, gangly fashion like Tony Hawk.

The reason I was thinking about that is because of a totally raw out video I saw the other day. It is a video of Tony Hawk tearing it up on a freakish ramp doing things that really only a skater like Tony Hawk can do. What stood out the most to me was that I got into skating 23 years ago.

Side note: there is no way in hell I am old enough to have picked up a hobby 23 years ago.

Whatever the case, Tony Hawk was only 17 at the time and had just turned pro a few years earlier. He was bad as all get out back then, doing things that no one else was doing, including preparing for the 720 and doing a sick number of consecutive 540 McTwists. I remember watching Bones Brigade Videos and watching the guys skating streets, launch ramps, quarter pipes, half pipes and downhills.

In fact, the most memorable moment I had of the gang was the end of the Search for Animal Chin video when they finished up the movie on that sick back-to-back half pipe that had the inner cut away taken out for a spell and allowed pretty much the whole crew to skate at the same time while some were catching air over others skating through. It was sick.

The ramp had half pipes on the deck too, and the entire thing had to be 60 feet wide. It was awesome. Have a look:

Then along came this little gem. And I am taken aback. I knew Tony Hawk kicked butt. I never knew he kicked butt licked this. Prepare to have your mind blown to bits.

I so want to be this rad when I am Tony Hawk’s age. And if not… well, hopefully I can still find videos of him.

The front fell off

The other day I received an email that detailed how similar politicians are no matter where around the world they may be. I thought that certainly Americans had the upper hand when it came to our elected leaders being political. I may have been wrong.

It seems that Senator Bob Collins from Australia is the example to follow when being political. He recently gave an interview regarding a tanker ship that experience a horrific accident at sea. The accident, one in which the front of the ship detached allowing 20 million tons of crude oil to spill into the sea, happened near Australia.

You gotta see this…

Amazing, isn’t it? I have yet to see an American politician pull something like off.

Side bar: If you hadn’t guessed while watching the clip, it is a satire by John Clarke and Bryan Dawe, an Australian comedic duo that have been doing satires of weekly events, called the 7.30 report, for some time now. You gotta admit, they are darn funny.

Invasion of the Cajun mosquitoes

The following piece graciously donated by my mother-in-law via my wife.

Anyone that has ever been to the south knows that you can always count on a few things when you are there. One is the hospitality. I mean you can literally have a two hour conversation with a complete stranger and actually feel at home doing it.

Another thing you can count on is the food. It will always be fattening and it will always be delicious. No matter what you are eating, it will just be good eats. Its the south, so you can count on it.

One thing that I can speak of from experience is the state bird of Louisiana. No, I am not talking about the Brown Pelican. I am talking about the mosquito.

Those little buggers are the size of the airplanes that fly you from Fort Worth to Lafayette. They are big, strong, aggressive and relentless. They don’t back down and when you finally smack one of them into oblivion, five of his cousins come back for you.

So it was no wonder that this footage spoke to me as loudly as it did. I have never seen this before, but it does not surprise me. How much farther will this torment known as the mosquito go?

How to keep telemarketers from calling your house

Every now and again someone gets a truly original idea. Sometimes these ideas leads to huge amounts of fiscal wealth. Other times these ideas lead to improvements in living conditions, or perhaps positive changes to our environment.

The following idea is certain to have an impact on everyone’s personal life. I personally hate being disturbed by incessant phone calls at all hours of the day and night. But short of using electroshock defense mechanisms that pulse through the phone, the only recourse I have had until now was to screen my calls or let the machine answer them for me.

Like I said, until now.

Without further introduction, I present to you a video that will forever change how you handle telemarketers and cold callers. Enjoy this lesson.

Many thanks to my colleague Jason for providing this excellent find.