Thursday, December 21, 2006

Kids Questions for Santa

My kids are asking some interesting questions this year of the man in red...

Syd's Questions (she's 7):
  1. Why do you wear a red suit?
  2. Why is Xmas day on the 25th
  3. Is Rudolph in good shape?
  4. How are the other reindeer?
  5. Is Rudolph still head of the team?
  6. Do you like to be Santa Claus?
  7. Does Rudolph talk?
  8. How did you get the name Kris Kringle?
  9. How did you become Santa?
  10. Is Meister Burger real?
  11. Is it chilly out there?
Ju's Questions (she's 9)
  1. Why did you choose to be Santa?
  2. When did you start?
  3. How did you find Rudolph?
  4. Is it cold up there?
  5. Do you need special coats, like the red one?
I wonder what his answers will be?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Scrubs

This is INSANE... A Charlie Brown Christmas with the voices of the cast of Scrubs dubbed in. Enjoy.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Very Short Stories

It's time to go the other direction. Following on my Nano writing experience of writing a 50,000 novel in 30 days, I've added my 6 cents to a concept from Wired Magazine. They did a terrific piece called "Very Short Stories" where they had 33 writers and 5 designers each write a 6-word science fiction story.

Before I show you mine, here are some of my favorites from the piece:

Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.
- William Shatner

With bloody hands, I say good-bye.
- Frank Miller

I’m your future, child. Don’t cry.
- Stephen Baxter

My very short story came to me as I was flying back from a conference in Atlanta and was looking out the window. I saw millions of tiny lights and started thinking that any one of those lights were the bedroom light of someone just like me, putting down their book and turning off their light.

I'm no Shatner, but here goes:
"One twinkling light of the billions."
You can read them all on Wired.com.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I WIN!

nano_2006_winner_small

It isn't the greatest thing ever written, but my story "Snow White and the Prince No Show" is officially done and done! 50,000 words in 30 days (actually, I did it in 28).
I've written the story of Sara White, Snow White's descendant who goes back in time to save Snow White by waking her up with a magic potion taken from a dragon's lair.

Silly premise for a story, but a terrific experience in commitment to getting it done. 50,000 words is a lot of words!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Borat is Everywhere

Borat is everywhere. I saw the flick on Saturday and walked out with a big goofy smile on my face and an upset stomach from laughing so much.

On ESPN's College Gameday on Saturday, behind Chris and the boys was the funniest sign I have seen in a long time. As they did the pre-game for the USC/Notre Dame game, someone was waving a huge photo of Borat with the words:

US and C is Nice!

For whatever reason, I got a huge kick out of this and even now, find it amusing (er, Mind Numbing.)

Thursday, November 2, 2006

My Novel



Yes, I'm actually trying to write this thing... 50,000 words in November. 3,000 down, 47,000 to go!

So what am I writing about? I had this idea a few years ago about a what would have happened if Snow White's prince never showed up.

Here's the prologue:
As it was, the king’s son took ill one morning and decided to forgo his trip through the forest.

In less than 30 days, we'll see if this isn't just the worst novel of all time!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Perspective

I'm reminded of how lucky I am to live in the richest nation during the most prosperous time in human history.

Go here and try the following salaries:

$200,000
$100,000
$50,000
$5,000 - starting to get the picture?
$500

Notice anything interesting?

Three billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day. Seventy percent of those living on less than $1 per day are women

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Cool Dad, or Just Insane?

I bought a green screen for Julia's 9th birthday party and uploaded some samples - now that's a fun party trick!

Check some of them out: http://flickr.com/photos/msirkin

I created about 8 different digital backdrops for the kids to pick from and a very cool Brady Bunch rip off for the group photo. Each kid got 2 or 3 photos in their "goodie bag."

American Idol - Sydney

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wayfaring - Way cool!

Very slick new site called Wayfaring let's you create all sorts of neat maps. Check out where I've lived (so far...)



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Back from Ireland!

I love Ireland... especially really old castles and Guiness Beer. I'll take 1 toasted special please!

The Connor Pass on our way to Dingle

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Smart Pop Books


I saw an ad in Sci-Fi magazine last night and looked up this site - I can't wait to read some of this stuff!

What is Smart Pop? (from the site)

What happens when you get great writers to write about the most interesting movies, books and television series? What happens when some of the world’s smartest philosophers, scientists, psychologists and religious scholars are asked to write – in clear English - about pop culture? What happens when really smart writers take television and movies seriously … but not too seriously?

What happens is Smart Pop … a series of anthologies on the best of pop culture. Anthologies that are smart, thoughtful and insightful … but never forget to have fun.

I haven't read their free downloads yet, but grab em while they are hot!

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Monday, July 10, 2006

More Music - Last.fm

A friend told me about last.fm after reading my Pandora.com blog post. This is really cool - I love how they've integrated the social network thing and provide lots of tools to embed your playlists, stations on a blog (see below for my most recent tracks).

I don't like how you how to download software (old school) at all, but the tools, tags and customization are amazing!



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Friday, July 7, 2006

New Music

I've blogged in the past about discovering new music and have lately found 3 new artists (new to me) that I am really enjoying...

  • Zero 7 - my brother gave me 2 of their CD's and I recently bought their new one
  • Regina Spektor - check her out in Second Life <- Second Life SLURL
  • Joshua Radin - Zach Braff blogged about him
What Pandora has to do with this is simple - I've created stations for each of these artists and am able to not only listen to their music, but listen to other songs and artists that relate directly to them... dramatically increasing my chances of finding even more new artists that I'll love!

You can check out my Pandora profile and station list here.

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Thursday, June 1, 2006

Kids!

Earlier this week, my 6 year old comes marching in to our living room at 9:30 (way past her bedtime) and announces that she wants her hair short. She's spent the last year growing her hair out as long as possible, so this was a bit of a surprise.

My wife and I told her to go to bed and that we'd talk to her about it the next day.

Apparently, she then promptly got her sissors and cut her own hair. She chopped off about 5 inches.

My wife didn't really notice at first - but then completely lost it when she realized what happened.

I find entire thing hysterical, and look forward to telling this story to relatives for years and years!

Monday, May 1, 2006

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

True Names and The Semantic Web

Meez.com If you've read Vinge's short story/novella "True Names" you'll be familiar with online/offline identity management. I've managed to create quite a collection of public "persona's" on a variety of sites including myspace, linkedin, friendster, orkut, classmates, meez, reunion.com and have been thinking about ways to combine these into a single identity or collection of identities that I can more easily manage.

In addition to social networking sites, I've also got my own web site, blog, professional blog and my own flickr photo sharing site. I've most recently been looking at some very cool new functionality that Yahoo! 360 provides, along with Squidoo.

Continuing the mind numbing madness, I've also started using Del.icio.us to social bookmark concepts, sites and ideas that I want to remember and share. I of course have a Google account which gives me msirkin.googlepages.com, access to base.google.com and just today - access to Google analytics (formerly Urchin).

My God - where does it end!!!

After listening to a talk given by Tim Berners-Lee on the Semantic web in which he talked a lot about linking, URI's and data sharing, I guess I'm trying to figure out how this all applies in both my personal, and business life.

Managing all my personas, protecting my privacy and extending my network all should contribute to my life, but I'm not yet sure how.

OMG Video of the Day

My friend Ray forwarded this to me. This has to be one of the funniest videos I've ever seen. If you are like me, after watching this you'll want your chance to travel to Rio and teach women how to say "biting" while eating some fresh carrots. This is unreal. Enjoy.

The bonus is that Arnold is the host.

Monday, April 3, 2006

It's Opening Day


Hope springs eternal - and as a Yankees fan... time for another romp through the AL East... this is going to be a great season. Go Yanks!

Past Baseball related posts:

Friday, March 24, 2006

Stupid Pencil

"Some dummy built this pencil wrong - the eraser's down here where the point belongs. And the point's at the top - so it's no good to me. It's amazing how stupid some people can be."

- Shel Silverstein

I love this muse - it's so apt whether I'm talking to a real-life dummy, or my misunderstanding of the situation makes me into the fool.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

$39 Dollar Experiement (and my 100th post!)

This is completely brilliant, funny and insightful. Check this out.

Meanwhile, this is my 100th post. I'm thinking that this isn't really a GOOD thing. It's simply a fact of the Mind Numbing Thoughts blog.

Yippee!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Check It Off My List (sort of)

I read in the paper the other day that Brooklawn Productions had an open casting call for a feature film called Bobby Dogs. No acting experience necessary!

So after work tonight, I drove up to Fairfield and found myself sitting in a waiting room, waiting for a chance to audition for a movie. The woman asked me what role I was there to audition for and I drew a blank. I quickly scanned the list of roles and selected Slick Businessman. Thoughts of Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross ringing in my head - I sat down at a table and started to read my lines.

I immediately knew I was in way over my head... I can't even imagine myself reading these lines in front of actual living human beings. I thought of all those horrendous American Idol auditions and having my audition show up on some blooper reel.
Hey Bob, check out this guy... HA! Let's submit that to America's Funniest Casting Calls!"
My name was called a few minutes later... and I stood up to face my fears. I walked into the audition room and looked around - met the director, some woman (I was about blanked out with fear at this point) and was told to say my name into the camera, and start reading my lines when they said "Action."

20 seconds later, I was in my car, on my way home, not sure of what just happened. It was a blindingly fast, terrifying experience - but one completely fulfilling and exciting. When this movie comes out - I can say that I was there at the beginning - making an ass out of myself!

Scrubs Commentary

I played along with NBC's fun experiment last night and downloaded Sarah Chalke's episode commentary.

It's really enjoyable (I'm a big fan of DVD commentary too) to listen along and get insights from the actors (like when Sarah pointed out Zach's stunt double carrying him during the crowd surf).

However (and it's a big however), it's near impossible to sync up the show and the commentary. The commentary has no markers and doesn't acknowledge commercial breaks. Also, I felt a bit silly with my laptop, lying in bed, trying to get all the pieces to work together. My wife was skeptical and fell asleep as usual halfway through the 2nd episode (a weekly occurrence).

I'd love it if NBC would broadcast a clean version on CNBC or make commentary with video available on iTunes. I guess I could Tivo the show, download to my PC and mix my own if I really wanted to. Totally not worth it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Does My MP3 Player Get Heavier...

If I take a 30 gig MP3 player and load it up, completely full of music - will it actually weigh more?

How about if all 30 gigs are all video files? Even heavier?

Hmm.

Monday, January 30, 2006

How Did I Miss This?

I saw Brian on Family guy do this little number and thought it was hysterical (my wife wanted to shoot the TV however). I can't believe I missed it when it flew around the 'net.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Schmucks Like the Rest of Us

I'm about to turn 36... feeling a bit old - but hanging on to my youth on a daily basis by playing video games, reading Narnia to my kids and generally acting like a num-nuts.

That said - there is one part of being young that I just can't capture - the anticipation and potential of being a Senior in High School, or someone who is about to graduate from college. This past Christmas break, I met 2 such young people who by all accounts, sound like they are on the verge of greatness. Private schools, huge grades, incredible internships, rich parents - the sky is the limit right?

I actually felt a bit jealous of them, almost able to envision their glorious future...

Then it hit me... once they graduate and start their adult lives - once they have to pay their own bills and deal with shitty bosses, boyfriend/girlfriends who want to get married, have kids and buy mini-vans - they will instantaneously turn into schmucks like the rest of us.

So true, so true. Welcome to the real world Mr. Anderson.