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December 8, 2009

I Became a Person Who Came to Downtown Chicago to...

By: The Dude on the Right
Garrett Popcorn LogoI put a little post on Facebook: I'm doing something I said I would never do only I can't say exactly what it is until Monday. How's that for a tease?

Hundreds, okay just a few of my friends, tried to figure out the mystery, and the guesses ranged from hitting a nudie-bar (I have been to one of those before, so that couldn't be it), to a spa treatment complete with a pedicure.  I will say that all of the guesses were wrong, although from my fiance's descriptions of her pedicure experiences, well, that may not be ruled out in the future, but in any case, what I did astounded me.

You see, for years, living in Chicago and visiting downtown quite often, there is a tradition I witnessed yet couldn't understand.  The people would be there, in the freezing cold, in a line that sometimes would stretch down the street and around the corner, and you would think it was either the day after Thanksgiving and they were waiting for the season's hottest gift, or that some store was giving away a hundred dollars just for standing in line.  With my friends I would mock these people, laugh at them as they were bundled in their parkas, shivering, yet with shear anticipation on their faces, and in an orderly fashion they would file, one by one, into the little storefront that housed a treasure people far and wide would stand for hours, or at least a bunch of minutes, to secure.  The years would go by and I would wonder, "Is it really that good?", and prior to this weekend I had already found out and well, it is good, but "stand-in-line" good?  It didn't matter, I suppose, because there I was, standing in line, in the freezing cold, to get a bag of Garrett's Popcorn.

Yup, hours of my weekend downtown, okay, maybe about 20 minutes, were spent, in a line, waiting for a bag of popcorn (okay, actually two bags of popcorn), something I made fun of for years, something I told myself I would never do, yet as I witnessed a group of girls try to cut in line, as I saw two women become nearly orgasmic as they sampled a little cup of fresh Chicago Mix, and as a tourist, in the freezing cold, wearing sandals, jumped for joy as he walked over a sidewalk grate venting warm air, I patiently waited, moving ahead one person by one person, with my order in my head: "One large bag and one medium bag of Chicago Mix please."  I would then pay the man, step to the side, and hope not to screw up the process and have someone yell "No popcorn for you!", yet this wasn't like a Seinfeld episode because people ahead of me kept changing their minds, and the people behind the counter were patient through every person.  There were the newbies, still staring at the menu unsure of what they wanted when it was finally time to order, and then there were the experienced folks, rattling off their popcorn tin requests like they were trading stock, and there I was, bewildered in myself that somehow I was actually the person who suggested this gift for my future in-laws, and if it weren't for my fiance, I would have forgotten to get a bag for us.

And so I have become a statistic in this world of Chicago, someone I would question if it was really worth it, someone I would mock, someone I always thought must have better things to do when visiting Chicago.

I became a person who came to downtown Chicago to stand in line to buy popcorn.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!   L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 5:40 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2009

Where Did My Morning Go?

By: The Dude on the Right
For the life of me I was having a hard time figuring out why I didn't have time to exercise in the morning. There I was, waking up around 4:30 (and sure, hitting the snooze pushed things closer to 5AM), but by the time I was trying to get out the door at 7:00 to head to morning meetings, well, I was rushing.  What in the hell was I doing for nearly 2 1/2 hours, and why in the hell wasn't part of it being spent on my exercise bike? Something was going on, I couldn't quite put my finger on it, and then it occurred to me, even as I thought I was trimming things down:

Facebook, and more specifically Facebook applications, have destroyed my morning productivity.

I thought I had it licked when I was going to switch from Mafia Wars to Café World but it was yesterday, when I started trying to analyze my morning schedule, and as I sat there "training" my virtual fish in my Happy Aquarium, checking on my café, and still trying to take over the Moscow Mafia, that a bell went off over my head, sort of, and it simply rang out "What are you doing?"  So this morning, being the dorky engineer I can be, I started my morning as I normally have been, up and at 'em at 4:45, into the kitchen to empty the dishwasher, making my Count Chocula with chocolate milk, and heading to my computer bunker that isn't really a bunker anymore, to see what was happening in the world.  I fired up Firefox on the main monitor, opening a list of tabs to places like the Chicago Sun Times, The Drudge Report, The Weather Channel, Google Reader, and The Lorain Journal, just getting myself ready to rediscover the world after a night of broken sleep (broken sleep and the urge to drop-kick a dog out the window will be a topic for another blog), and on my secondary monitor, another Firefox window was opened, this time to my Facebook page.  I scanned the world, not really paying as much attention to things as I used to (something my fiance made me realize the other day), and quickly shifted my focus to my Facebook world, or should I say worlds, because after not coming up with anything witty for my status and seeing that my friends haven't done much in the past six hours, I pulled out the stopwatch on my iPhone to do a statistical analysis of part of my morning.

And so, I headed to...

  • "Café World" - I didn't do anything crazy, and by crazy I mean I didn't send any of my neighbors any gifts, visit any of their cafés, nor do any redecorating (which I could, because I have 200,000 café coins to spend), instead I'm concentrating on serving my pot roast and then cooking up some voodoo chicken salad.

That wasn't so bad, but other work needed to be done so I'm off to my:

  • "Happy Aquarium" - Here I start by sending the gift of fish food to my aquarium neighbors.  Damn, I'm a good neighbor! Of course my fish tank has gotten dirty overnight so I scrub it clean, and then my fish are hungry so it's time for their morning feeding, but as I'm also trying to make my fish smarter, what the heck, let's train a couple of them! Sadly I can't get one fish (I'm not sure which one it was, mostly because I have eleven different fish, all with different names) through the training program, but another made it safely through, so he, or maybe she, can now do some kind of special trick.  Not done yet, I'm feeling helpful and greedy so I visit my seven neighbors' tanks, do some cleaning at each of them, and click on the various treasure chests to get myself some more coin!

But my coup de gras awaits, the game that has taken what must amount to months in lost productivity - I'm off to Moscow in:

  • "Mafia Wars" - Yup, I head to New York City to bank some money from my properties, and I now have over $110,000,000,000 in fake, United States currency.  But I've built my mafia over the months, and Cuba needs me, or at least my businesses in Cuba need me, so it's time to sell off a bunch of product and bank my money there as I eclipse the C$11,000,000 Cuban peso mark!  But as my Mafia domination is growing, well, I'm off to Moscow.  I easily level up to 351 with the energy I've acquired while I slept, so I'm eager to spend my new, 2,190 units of energy doing something, although I'm not really sure what, even though there is some sort of story going on, but there I am, clicking my mouse insistently to earn more cash, finish the job, and move on, but my energy level is now too low to continue! Oh no!  Ahh, but no, I'm not done! Thankfully my sister sent me an energy pack so I recharge, it's time for another energy drain, I'm up another level, and I quickly scan that I'm going to need about R$40,000,000 rubles to get the items necessary so I can work on the next job in Episode 4.  Not being able to continue with any jobs for now, and since I got an energy pack from my sister, I decided I should return the favor so I click on my giant mafia of 34 members and send energy packs to those people that I know are still playing the game.

With the breakfast hours slipping away I'm done with my café, my fish tank is clean, I've blackmailed a secretary in Moscow, but I notice, in the upper right corner of my Facebook main page, that I've got gifts to receive. I click and there they are, lots of little goodies from my friends, so what the hell, it's a click here and new screen there, an "Accept more gifts" click here, another screen there, and REQUEST/GIFT TIME ELAPSED: 4 MINUTES.

I looked at my stopwatch realizing that this morning, in just "maintaining" and "advancing" in three Facebook games, I wasted nearly 30 minutes.

Now, mind you, I didn't do any bowling with my buddies, happily I stopped playing Pirates of the Caribbean although I haven't deleted the app yet,  in Farm Town I have set up my farm with a lovely message for my BFF, a message that as long as my farming neighbors "water" it looks great so I don't have to do anything, my Roller Coaster Kingdom is stalled, and I haven't tried to increase my word vocabulary, but just heading to one of those would have meant being late for my first appointment this morning.

I wondered where my time went in the morning, and now I found out.  The question now is what to do about it because people are hungry and my Voodoo Chicken Salad is almost ready to be served, my "fish" are hungry and I really would feel bad if I "flushed" them down the toilet, and after investing so much time, "money," and building a reputation as a mafia kingpin, well, I really hate to rat people out and go into witness protection.  Then there is the feeling that I'm going to let all of my "neighbors" down if I can't be, well, their neighbor. In the end, I guess my exercising might just have to wait, although if someone were to make an "Exercise World" for Facebook, maybe I wouldn't feel so bad.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!   L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 8:01 PM | Comments (2)

October 14, 2009

The Proposal

The Dude on the Right liked "The Proposal" in the theater, so for this Blu-ray review of the movie it's no surprise that he still likes the movie. What he doesn't like is the lackluster effort at "extras" for the DVD. Pretty much he felt he wasted his time watched the deleted scenes, the outtakes, and all he got out of the "alternate" ending was the fact that he was happy with the original ending, although the alternate ending did reinforce that some filming did not take place in Alaska. He still thinks it's a good "snuggle on the couch with your honey" kind of movie, so dudes, suck it up because you do get Sandra Bullock almost naked.

Posted by Rightdude at 8:29 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2009

FitBit, Count Chocula, or Maybe Both.

By: The Dude on the Right
I'm not going to lie, and if you are a regular reader of the website you will know this is true, but I can afford to lose a few pounds. Now I'm not supremely, morbidly obese or anything, but simply put, if I could work out for about two or three weeks like the people on The Biggest Loser, I would probably be pretty close to my goal weight, or be reduced to a blubbering ball of tears as Jillian Michaels constantly yelled at me. But since I don't have three weeks to burn about 7000 calories a day by exercising and eat only 1800ish by eating, lately, mostly, I've just been trying to be a little more active with some walking and trying to eat a little more healthily with food choices. Thanks to Brad Feld, a blogger I stalk, I mean follow, I found an iPhone app that has helped a bit, this thing called DailyBurn, with some pretty, little graphs that, as long as I enter what food I eat properly, tells me if I can have a bowl of ice cream at the end of the day, and with some manual entry of the caloric burning that my Nike+ iPhone app tells me into the DailyBurn app, in the past 6 weeks I've lost about 5 1/2 pounds. However, being the tech dork that I am, and looking for something better, easier, stronger, and faster, and having seen it on CBS Sunday Morning a few weeks ago, I am now intrigued by this thing called the FitBit, and thanks to Stu Gotz during yesterday's podcast, I might also be changing my morning cereal.

Let's start with the FitBit...

It's seems too good to be true, but FitBit supposedly, and I take this directly from the website, "... accurately tracks your calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled and sleep quality. ... The Fitbit tracks your motion in three dimensions and converts this into useful information about your daily activities. You can wear the Fitbit on your waist, in your pocket or on undergarments. At night, you can wear the Fitbit clipped to the included wristband in order to track your sleep."  Now, I'm not the greatest of sleepers, so quantifying it sort of scares me, but having something that instantly tracks my daily calories burned, especially since I don't do anything cool like lift weights (it also doesn't do too well if you're a cyclist or swim I guess), but if it does an easier job than my iPhone Nike+ thing of calorie burning, I might be all for it. The website has options to manually enter some exercises and what you eat, but I'm curious how well the food database will be because the one on DailyBurn has really opened my eyes to some of the things I eat, and without the cool iPhone app that I can quickly look at as my day comes to a close, I know I will be flustered if I have to go all the way to my computer to find out if I can have that bowl of ice cream.  The website says they are filling FitBit orders as fast as they can, so how this impacts my daily workout still waits to be seen, if at all, but as I said earlier, I might have one food option that I can change immediately.

So on to my morning cereal...

As I have now found my soul mate, and she drifted me away from my standard, morning breakfast of two eggs and a piece of toast to a bowl of healthy cereal, I switched back to your basic, plain-jane, Cheerios, something I enjoyed as a young lad, only as a young lad I enhanced my Cheerios experience with a couple of teaspoons of sugar, thus negating the "low in sugar" benefits of the basic Cheerio. As an older lad I have grown accustomed to supplementing my plain Cheerios with a smaller portion of Honey Nut Cheerios to add a little sweetness (I'm close to just going all Honey Nut, though not yet), but as cereal has become part of my morning repertoire, I would sometimes dream of the days when a bowl of Count Chocula would fill my bowl, with its chocolaty goodness and weird, "spooky-fun" marshmallows, and even though I threatened my fiance with "I'm gonna buy some!", I could lately couldn't find a box at my local grocery store.  But then, low and behold, Stu Gotz tells me that he found the trifecta of Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry, at his local Target no less, and I got to thinking, and researching, and other than wondering what the difference is between "whole grain corn" and "whole grain oats," and I suppose some "beet juice concentrate color" in the Chocula, I'm failing to see any giant difference between the Count Chocula and the Honey-Nut Cheerios.  Hell, they both contain "mixed tocopherols," whatever those are, but for my basic nutritional facts, and because my serving would be the same of about 3/4 cup of cereal, both with skim milk, I'm ignoring the milk side. For cereal only, this is what I get:

Serving Size 3/4 cup, Cereal Only
Nutrition Fact
Count Chocula
Honey Nut Cheerios
. Calories from fat
Total Fat
. Saturated Fat
. Trans Fat
. Polyunsaturated Fat
. Monounsaturated Fat
Total Carbohydrate
. Dietary Fiber
. Sugars
. Other Carbohydrate

Sure, the basic Cheerios does better, and allows you a serving of 1 cup, but damn, if I'm going to make that switch to Honey Nut Cheerios, I might as well just go nuts, or rather not go honey nuts, and get the Count Chocula because really, how bad can "beet juice concentrate color" be for you? In the end it looks like the difference is between a little more sugar in the Count Chocula with some extra salt in the Honey Nut Cheerios, so really, the choice is about high blood pressure or diabetes, isn't it?

So I'm not sure if I'm going to be trying the FitBit right now, though, knowing me, it will be on my "to be purchased" list, especially if they come out with an iPhone app so I know if I can eat my ice cream, but I might have to pull out the $10 Target gift card that I have, buy some Chocula, and relive that chocolaty goodness, with spooky-fun marshmallows, and BHT added to preserve freshness.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!   L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 9:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 9, 2009

What's New? A Podcast of: Stu & The Dude's Weekend Wrap-Up! Adult Toys, Watchmen, March Madness, Jim Cantore, and More!

Good golly, Miss Molly. The Dude on the Right and Stu Gotz get together for another "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast and you might not be prepared to hear it, but old people are buying adult toys, from The Vermont Country Store no less, and the boys have some frank discussions about what the folks are buying, or at least what the store is selling. The podcast isn't all about massagers that aren't meant for your back, as The Dude does tell Stu if he should ditch Mama Gotz and see "Watchmen," Stu made it through the stormy, Chicago weekend, a Little Gotz is feeling better, The Dude is getting ready for March Madness, and who knew The Rock, a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson, could sing and dance? All that and a little more are discussed in this week's edition, so lock up the kids and yes, go ahead and Google "The Vermont Country Store." You know you want to.

Posted by Rightdude at 7:34 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2009

What's New? A Podcast of: Stu & The Dude's Weekend Wrap-Up! Valentine's Day, Lots of Movies, and Not Spoiling SNL - much.

Stu Gotz is back from vacation so The Dude on the Right has a partner for this episode of their "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast. Since Valentine's Day was last weekend, well, the both of them talk a bit about their weekends, with The Dude's being a little more romantic than Stu's, and it included a meal fit for a King. They also settle into a lot of movie talk, with Stu seeing a bunch of rentals that didn't get high reviews from many reviewers, The Dude seeing "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," and neither of them realizing that Ben Affleck was in the original "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movie. Since Stu was back from vacation, well, he didn't get to watch too much TV, and so as not to ruin the surprises, The Dude tells Stu to check the website for links to a couple of pretty funny Saturday Night Live skits, and that even The Jonas Brothers were funny on the show, too.

Posted by Rightdude at 6:57 PM | Comments (0)

February 2, 2009

What's New? A podcast of: Stu & The Dude's Weekend Wrap-Up! Groundhog Day, a Super Bowl, Disney is Dirty, and Playboy For the Articles!

The Dude on the Right and Stu Gotz are back for a "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast. The Dude on the Right and Stu Gotz are back for a "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast. The Dude on the Right and Stu Gotz are back for a "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast. Oh wait, this isn't "Groundhog Day," the movie, this is a "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast on Groundhog Day, and Stu Gotz is here! With the Super Bowl over The Dude and Stu talk about the game, how The Dude's BFF has a few more M&M's, and how Stu watched the commercials even though The Dude didn't pay that much attention. And even though the Super Bowl was on TV, there is a lot more TV talk for the two of them to have, Stu wonders why Google thinks he is German and why Disney World is dirty, complete with a lot of gum, while The Dude is happy that Manuary is over and talks about why he reads Playboy for the articles. Oddly enough, Stu asks The Dude if he could borrow his Playboy later to read the interview with the dude from "House," Hugh Laurie, and not to investigate who the centerfold is. Odds are Stu is lying and will check out the centerfold before even looking for the Hugh Laurie interview.

Posted by Rightdude at 7:36 PM | Comments (0)

December 24, 2008

Global Warming, Global Cooling, A Cuban, Electric Cars, Cheap Gas, and Happy Holidays

By: The Dude on the Right
Oh the weather outside is frightful, or, well, it’s at least warmer, but as we are definitely going to have a white Christmas here in Chicagoland, I had to laugh at a lot of the comments on the radio when we were having the sub-zero temperatures about “Where is this global warming?”  Some pundit-types were using the cold weather to say, “See, Al Gore is wrong.  We don’t need to worry about the environment.  Everything is cyclical.  This year we might be global warming, next year we’ll be global cooling.  See, Al Gore is a dufus!”  Then there are the environmental types spinning that the cold weather is an affect of global warming because the environment is all out of whack.  Me, I don’t really know who to believe, all I know is that on TV yesterday I saw a news story about a Chinese company that is supposed to have an electric car, similar to the Chevy Volt, that is supposed to come out a couple years earlier, cost a bunch less, only won’t be as luxurious.  Me, I’m not that worried about the carbon emissions, my carbon footprint, or if I fart too much, what I do think is cool would be a car that pretty much doesn’t need gasoline, and somehow the Chinese are ahead of us in developing that car.

And that leads me to the loan offered to the auto manufacturers and a great post from Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, the won’t be owner of the Chicago Cubs because baseball owners are a bunch of dufi, but does write a nice blog where a few days ago he mentioned how Chrysler is toast because, well, what better way to waste money than to put a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal thanking America for, well, investing in Chrysler, “America’s Car Company” that used to be sort of a Mercedes Benz car company until the Benz people couldn’t even take it anymore.  My simple analysis is that the car companies are in this mess much the same way Motorola is in their cell-phone mess.  Motorola rested all of its laurels on the Razr line, not seeing that things are changing, and now no one gives a damn about the latest Razr phone.  The car companies have become just as complacent, resting on their laurels without seeing the innovation consumers want in order to buy a new car.  A little Chinese company might just show that even with the Chevy Volt coming out, a once mighty car company gets beaten to the punch by a company that sees car buying differently.

Than again, with gas prices around $1.50 a gallon again, who cares about electric cars anymore.

In any case, I’m just waiting for my BFF before we start our holiday celebrating, so I thought I would write about something, so why not mix global warming, the loans to the auto companies, and cheap gas all in one post.

Happy Holidays.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!   L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 3:12 PM | Comments (0)

December 3, 2008

History Shows that The Dude on the Right was Left, and The Dude on the Left was Right

By: The Dude on the Right
Little did I realize that it's been over twenty years, last October, that this odyssey that is Entertainment Ave! began, and thanks to the historical nature that is The Mystery Dude, and the continuing work of Mookie, the first review from The Unknown Reviewers, from our days at the Illinois Institute of Technology, incognito as we were, has been posted.  With no fanfare, or really any coolness, we reviewed a band named "1313." The Dude on the Left and I, or actually, for our first article, me being "LEFT" and him being "RIGHT," well, we gave the band "Two Thumbs Up!", and suddenly, two dudes just looking for a way to make beer money, helped to develop an internet entity that has lasted 20 years, sometimes strong, sometimes not so strong, but in the end letting some people have some fun.

The weird thing for me is that I can almost remember every picture I have taken, but as I read our first review, I have no recollection of the band "1313," sort of.  Then I became obsessed, scoping out the photos in that issue, and those in the rest of the 1988 archives that have been posted, and can honestly say "I took that picture!" many a time.  Yup, back in those days we had cameras, with film, and we had to develop it in a darkroom, and I knew how.

But as I also perused those 1988 archives, and the year came to an end, I don't want to say one band influenced me to love seeing music, but as I read our review of "Shuddup 'N Drive," who knew a bar band would be so influential in my appreciation for hard-working bands?  Those early days instantly brought supporters and initial non-supporters (Barry - Where are you?), and I would like to say that over the years we have become more polished in the review department, but that definitely is not the case.

As the IIT Galvin Library continues adding to the Technology News online archives, I'm really looking forward to the progression of things, the changing of the guard at times, our online advice column, Dear Dudes, and how we slowly transformed from just reviewing bar bands to shifting to national acts.

More looks back at our early days will be coming soon, but for now I can't believe how thin I was back then.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!   L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 5:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2008

What's New? A Podcast of "Bowling, A Mac World, and More!"

The Dude on the Right is a little bummed for this podcast, what with his mom passing away and all, but what better way to get out the doldrums than by buying a new computer!  Unfortunately, for The Dude, buying a MacBook also means a new learning curve (if any of you can help him plug two microphones into his MacBook and be able to control each mic independently, he would appreciate your advice), but on the plus side, his history is starting to come to light with his alma matter, Illinois Institute of Technology, beginning to post old issues of Technology News, the campus newspaper, from the time he attended.  We now learn he was a good bowler, but if The Dude wanted to be where the money was at, he would have shot to be a good golfer!

There is some political talk for this podcast, as the elections are next Tuesday, but with this weekend The Dude is just really hoping to get a movie review posted because then things are just a little closer to normal.

Posted by Rightdude at 6:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 31, 2008

What's New? A Podcast of: A Contest, iPhone Talk, and Hints for Beggars.

The Dude on the Right ended up flying solo for this podcast, but even if The WGN isn't there to help him through a Thursday, The Dude just looks to set up a contest about farts, wishes America had more talents about whistling, and thinks he can sing S.O.S. better than Pierce Brosnan. The Dude, sadly, is more fixated on people begging for money.

Posted by Rightdude at 8:26 PM | Comments (0)

July 1, 2008

What's New? A Podcast of: Stu & The Dude's Weekend Wrap-Up! RV-ing, Penn & Teller, Movie Talk, Toilet Paper, and More!

Some travel issues delayed Stu Gotz getting back in town so the podcast of "Stu & The Dude's Weekend Wrap-Up!" was a day late, and even with some extra time, well, The Dude on the Right screwed up the opening.  But that's okay because they have lots to talk about, including some movie talk about "Wanted," "Wall-E," "Presto," and "Letters from Iwo Jima."  The Dude relates to Stu that he really should get Showtime so he could see "Penn & Teller: Bullshit," and Stu should also get Sirius Satellite Radio so he could hear ABBA, 24/7, for a couple of weeks.  Stu, on the other hand, relates his woes of toilet paper at airports.  They both talk about a fight at the Cubs/White Sox Crosstown Classic, they talk about tattoos, and with the 4th of July weekend coming up, they talk about how it looks like The Dude's BFF still won't get to meet any of The Dude's friends, even with the lure of REO Speedwagon.

Posted by Rightdude at 5:54 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2008

What's New? A Podcast of: A Special Guest Podcaster, The WGN, Joins for TV, Comedian, Gun, and Socially Inept Talk!

The Dude on the Right was joined by The WGN for this Thursday podcast, and they talk about a lot of things. The Dude introduces The WGN to "America's Got Talent," the both talk about George Carlin, and The Dude learns that The WGN is making contacts for his future. They both talk about guns (how topical, what, with the Supreme Court decision today), family gatherings, and if The Dude's family is socially inept. The Dude is also happy to hear The WGN knows who Night Ranger is, hopes the two of them might be able to see Radiohead at Lollapalooza, and fears he might get sucked in to "Dolphin Olympics 2." Maybe The WGN is a worse influence on The Dude as apposed to The Dude being a worse influence on The WGN?

Posted by Rightdude at 7:24 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2008

What's New? The Dude sees "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and Fireworks, Stu Wonders if He Can Get "Wii Fit."

The Dude on the Right saw "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" with someone who doesn't really like bugs, which, because The Dude is weird, actually made the movie experience bring a bigger smile to his face, but in the end it's all about the review, and The Dude does what he does.  Stu Gotz, though, is back doing some typographical reviewing, maybe because his kids might be a little too young to see the "Crystal Skull" movie, but that doesn't mean his family, or at least just him, can't get in shape thanks to the Nintendo "Wii Fit."  Hopefully Mama Gotz won't let Stu shove the thing under the couch to collect dust bunnies.  The Dude saw movies and fireworks, Stu is probably trying to figure out how to dry a sweater on a "Wii Fit."  Such are different weekends.

Posted by Rightdude at 6:31 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2008

You Don't Need "Earth Hour," You Just Need My Mom.

By: The Dude on the Right
So, tomorrow, Saturday, March 29th, from 8PM to 9PM, if I want to participate in "Earth Hour," I'm supposed to turn off all of my lights, but what confuses me is that at the Earth Hour web site there is a link of what to do when the lights are off, but the link doesn't really tell me anything to do during that hour.  And with turning off the lights are they expecting me to also turn off my TV and my computers, which I consider essential appliances?  And with turning off the lights, and as they add, non-essential appliances, which must not include my TV nor computers because I consider them essential, I think my microwave oven is hard-wired so how am I supposed to turn that off?  And with turning off the lights and non-essential appliances (except my microwave), yet leaving my computer and TV on because I consider them essential, and changing to energy efficient bulbs, what if, during that hour when I'm trying to change my light bulbs, I drop one of those new compact fluorescent bulbs, thereby releasing toxic mercury into the air, how am I supposed to see what I am supposed to clean up without the lights on?  And with turning off the lights and non-essential appliances (except my microwave), yet leaving my computer and TV on because I consider them essential, and breaking that compact fluorescent bulb that I can't see how to clean yet breath in the mercury, when I fall down the stairs and break my leg how am I supposed to call 911 since I unplugged my cordless phone, which at the time I was unplugging things I considered non-essential?

Suddenly "Earth Hour" has become very complicated, but, as I reflect back on my life, I'm thinking none of us need an "Earth Hour" to help us remember to turn off the lights, we just need our Moms, or at least my Mom.  You see, my Mom is the Queen at knowing when we leave lights on, no matter what part of the house.  She will be sitting in her living room chair, see a large glow as we are leaving the kitchen, and tell us to go back and turn off the light.  She will be sitting in her living room chair, see a subtle glow from around a corner, bounced off a door and a ceiling, leaving just a smidge of brightness on a wall that shouldn't have a smidge of brightness on it, and say "Did you leave the light on in the bathroom?"  She will be sitting in her living room chair, seeing the remnants of light (and I swear light leaves "remnants" on your clothes, especially when you are coming from the basement), thus instructing you to go back downstairs and turn off the light in the laundry room at the opposite corner of the house.  "Earth Hour" pales in comparison to the "turning off the light" power of my Mom.

Since, though, Mom is in Ohio and I am here in Illinois, there I will be, tomorrow night, with no lights on, although my computer, TV, and microwave will still be working.  I'll be inhaling toxic mercury complete with a broken leg and a non-working cordless phone, still wondering what I should do with the lights off because the Earth Hour web site never gave me instructions on something to do during that hour.  And if those Earth Hours folks had at least said something like "Plan to be with the one you love, turn off all of your lights, pretend it's a blackout, and do what you would do in a blackout with the one you love," or in the words of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with!", well, I'm thinking the worst of my problems might begin to show about three months from now.

You know what, screw that being with the one you're with in a forced blackout like this "Earth Hour," and I suppose the word "screw" isn't the appropriate word.  Maybe it's better being curled up at the bottom of the stairs, with a broken leg, inhaling mercury, knowing my TV, computers, and microwave still are working, rather than child support some nine months from tomorrow.

The thing is just listening to my Mom will resolve all of these potential problems - Turn off the lights and wear a Jimmy Hat (my Mom is hip, she has an iPod).  Listening to her saves money, and future money.  Maybe we just need to listen to my Mom rather than worrying about turning off the lights for an hour and not knowing what to do.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 7:57 PM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2008

Flickr, Picasa, and Scanner Dilemmas.

By: The Dude on the Right
As I'm trying to pay attention to "American Idol" tonight, with the dudes singing classic songs from the 70's which so far have been bad renditions of songs from Fleetwood Mac, Andy Gibb, Queen, Foreigner, and The Carpenters, I'm also in a quandary because I can't get my film scanning stuff like I want.

First off, I finally scanned all of my concert negatives, got them digitized in a decent resolution, and slowly plan to update the photos on the website with the higher resolution versions I now have.  That was the easy part, with my old HP Photosmart film scanner.

But then I decided I wanted to start digitizing older photos (like this cute girl on the right), and old negatives, and post them on the internet for family, friends, and anyone to see, and I have run into many questions, and many choices.

As far as posting them on the internet, I started by setting up a site at Flickr, but I have to say that as much as I like it, and would pay the yearly fee for unlimited stuff, I am worried about the potential takeover by Microsoft and what that might mean to the photos I post.  I also looked at maybe using Google's Picasa instead, but from some quick things I have read there are some copyright/publicity issues Google might be able to enforce.  And as I was investigating Flickr vs. Google, I came upon a bunch of other sites that seem to do a similar thing, namely set up family photo albums.  I'm so confused.

Then came the problem of a scanner.  My old scanner was an HP Photosmart S20, which has served me well through the years, but it doesn't handle the medium format film that my mom had stored in a box.  So, today, I went to get a new scanner, based on a lot of reviews I read on the internet, and even though I like the scanner (it's an Epson), the software for it sucks, and I'll be damned if I'm going to spend more money for scanning software.  So, sadly, tomorrow, I have to hope the store will take it back, and then I suppose I'll go back to an HP scanner (I loved the software that worked with the Photosmart), I just hope the HP folks kept the same format for the software (or at least close) that I am used to, and that the scanner works like I need it to.

Now don't get me wrong, for most people the Epson software will be fine, but for me, and my photos, it blows (and if the Epson folks want to know why they can e-mail me), because all I really want to do, before the rest of my older relatives pass away, is to find out who all of these people are in photos that are tens, and twenties, and maybe even thirty or forty of years taken before I was born, and if it takes me that much longer to get the photos digitized and posted (like the Epson software leaned itself to), those relatives will be dead before I find out.

If you've got any suggestions for digitizing old negatives, medium format (up to 6 x 12), or if you have an internet site you love for posting your family scrapbooks, please let me know.  Right now I have to figure out how to box up my Epson scanner I bought, hope the store takes it back, and then hope again that if I buy the HP version the software will be to my liking.  With my luck the new scanner won't scan worth a darn but the software will be great.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 9:04 PM | Comments (0)

February 6, 2008

I've Suddenly Realized I'm All Over the Internet World, and I Don't Know Why.

By: The Dude on the Right
The Super Bowl is over and we found out that Bill Belichick must have had an important meeting to get to at the end of the game.  Super Tuesday is over, and I feel bad for my mom because Ohio seems to be a pivotal state again in a Presidential election and that means she will be bombarded with ads for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  I also read they are even planning to hold a debate in The Buckeye State - lucky O. Hi. O.  And speaking of ads, one of the latest iPhone ads touts the ability of using your iPhone with Facebook.  I would like to admit that the ad enticed me to set up a Facebook identity, but I actually set one up over the weekend, before the ad ran -

And I don't know why.

I say "I don't know why" mostly because I should just use this website to say anything I have to say, but suddenly I have found that I have a presence in multiple locations in the internet world, and maybe it's starting to get out of control.

Early on I was able to give myself the same name on a variety of IM sites, places like AOL, Yahoo!, Google, Messenger, and Skype, hoping to, I don't know, instant message people, but then I found that I rarely did, even when my "buddies" were online.  Now I just check the sites every month or so to keep them active, but I'm still hoping to utilize the "talk" feature of one of them to let you, if you listen to my podcast, actually "call" in during a podcast recording (let me know if you might be interested in being a part of a future podcast).

I'm also a member of a music message board that is very informative, and I love to read, but I rarely post because by the time I read something and have an opinion about it, someone has already posted the same opinion I have (and I hate to be a "Me, too!" kind of poster), or worse, someone misunderstands what I was trying to say, posts that I am scum, and I don't have time to get in a message board shouting match trying to explain my point of view.

I have a MySpace page that I try to blog about things I don't think entertainment readers care about, mostly about my struggles with losing weight, and every now and then throw a comment to my sister, niece, or nephew, but in the land of MySpace I only have 85 friends, and lately the only friend requests I get are to be the friend of some hot chick trying to get me to join her web site where I can only assume she gets naked if I give her my credit card number.

We, meaning the Entertainment Ave! website, have a presence in Second Life, a virtual world that has recently been rocked with a bank scandal (it can even happen in the virtual world), and at the time when I bought some virtual land and built a couple of virtual buildings, I had plans on how to use it, namely as a gathering place for people to talk about concerts, movies, and TV, complete with a virtual bar called Squirrelly Georges.  I actually have two names in Second Life, one for business (DudeOnRight Mannonen) and one for fun (Drewman Zapedzki, and not that kind of fun, even though you can have sex in the virtual world), but sadly I haven't been building much there lately though I'm hoping to change that now that I have digital versions of all of my concert photos (more on that in a later blog).

I also have a LinkedIn account which has actually helped me re-connect with some college friends, and I'm included in an internet social site for the fraternity I am member of, Theta Xi.  I was a member of a Yahoo! Group for the those from the class of 1985 of Lorain Catholic High School, but I opted out of that when one of my classmates decided that every day was a day to post about his political beliefs.  I'm tempted to rejoin just to see if he has toned things down a bit on his postings.  I also have a Classmates account, though I haven't visited that site in over a year because I don't want to spend the few bucks to get "better info" on old classmates, although, sometimes, I am tempted to see where an old girlfriend might be.

And if that isn't enough of an internet presence, now that I'm done with digitizing my concert photos, I've been thinking about setting up a Flickr account as I digitize the rest of the photos I have, many of which will deal with photos from college, photos from high school, photos I took for the hell of it, and photos of days before I was born so that relatives and friends around the world could see them.  The monkey-wrench thrown into this, though, is what the hell would I do with that account in the end, and now that Microsoft is trying to buy Yahoo!, do I want Microsoft, somehow, in charge of my pictures?

And don't get me started on the various RSS feeds I read.

If that isn't enough more, now that I'm a member of Facebook I'm not really sure what to do there, either, or whom I should poke (you can do that on Facebook, but do I really want to "poke" people?).  Maybe it's just that I want to be the coolest 40 year old with a presence all over the world, or at least through the internet, but the crappy part is that most of the 40ish year old friends I would like to re-connect with, well, they don't seem to be as cool as I am and don't have accounts on MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Second Life, various IM sites, or the world.

Maybe I should just Google them, or get younger friends. 

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 7:31 PM | Comments (0)

December 2, 2007

A Selfish Weekend with Friends.

By: The Dude on the Right
I wish I had a good reason for the lack of postings the last few days, but really it was all about selfishness. As happens every early December, this is a weekend that a bunch of friends from college, including myself, get together for a weekend in Chicago. Folks fly in from New Jersey, some people brave lousy driving conditions, but the weekend is culminated with a fancy-shmancy, or at least just a nice dinner, at one of the many fine-dining establishments in the Chicago area (this year is happened to be an Italian place called "Scoozi!").

I won’t go into too much about the weekend as I think Stu Gotz and I will go into some things tomorrow for our Weekend Wrap-Up! Podcast, but the weekend always gives some interesting events, and sometimes things for future blogs. A few years ago a group of us came up with a new religion, which if I could ever find the bar napkins we wrote most of our core beliefs on, well, if you thought the story of Xenu and Scientology is a little bit out there, well, our religion has that beat, and might be a little more fun. But this weekend wasn’t about religion, and as I reminisce this evening of a fun weekend filled with seeing old friends, it was also exciting because for a group of us as we broke out of our predictable selves and discovered a couple of new establishments, namely "Reagle Beagle" (Nice meeting you, Andie!) and "English",  both places being enjoyable, different in their own right, and hopefully longer reviews will follow at a later time.

For Stu I think I will fill him in on how I tend to humor myself in my own head with different scenarios I came up with over the weekend, but for some future blogs there might some topics like:

  • Are 7&7’s back?
  • An internet date gone bad.
  • What’s the point of a flat screen TV?
  • Ventilation in bathrooms.
  • Scrumpy’s remembered.
  • Sure the weekend kept me away from some important news and rumors like Britney Spears being pregnant, mourning the death of Evel Knievel, and paying attention to college football where, depending on the latest BCS standings, The Ohio State Buckeyes might find themselves in the BCS Championship Game after all, leaving The Rose Bowl for USC and Illinois, and the folks at FOX are close to breathing a sigh of relief of the ratings disaster of a West Virginia v. Missouri match-up.  Oh well.

    As being selfish can sometimes cause I am now left with so many things to catch back up on, so many things to post, and I still don’t know who got booted off of Survivor last Thursday, though I hope to fire up my TiVo later and at let the catching up begin.

    It was great to see some old friends again, and in about a year from now I will most likely be selfish once again because sometimes old friends are more important than posting things on the internet.

    That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

    Posted by Rightdude at 6:08 PM | Comments (0)

    September 3, 2007

    Entertainment Ave! has a Movie Theater in Second Life.

    By: The Dude on the Right
    My Labor Day Weekend has been fun-filled, and I’ll talk with Stu Gotz about it tomorrow for our “Stu & The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, but one of the things I did accomplish was actually build something in the Internet realm of Second Life. Our staff member, The Dude on the Left, says Second Life is dead, but Entertainment Ave! has some virtual property, and a sort of vision for it, so with property in hand, and limited building skills, our first building to be functional is “The Movie Theater.”

    As I slowly work in building our little virtual community, “The Movie Theater” seemed like the easiest to begin with, allowing virtual people to view, on our virtual big screen, our latest episode of “Stu & The Dude Reviewin’ the Movies for You!” as well as marquees directing people to our Interneted posted reviews.

    If you’re not a Second Lifer, I suppose this blog doesn’t mean much to you, probably just wondering “What the hell is ‘Second Life’ and why does The Dude on the Left think it’s dead?” But Entertainment Ave! now has a virtual building, and it works, and although it doesn’t show movies, only reviews, we still call it “The Movie Theater.” If you are a Second Lifer, and you want to chill for about five minutes, head to our Movie Theater, relax in a seat, and see why Stu Gotz pissed me off while reviewing "Blades of Glory."

    That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

    Posted by Rightdude at 7:29 PM | Comments (0)

    August 8, 2007

    Budding Engineers Giddy as Little Schoolgirls, Thanks to "Calvin and Hobbes."

    By: The Dude on the Right
    I had a lot of topics I was thinking of blogging about today, and I suppose if I started at the beginning of today, through my typing now, you would have been enlightened by my thoughts on how I thought Barack Obama could have vaulted himself into "everyman" territory at yesterday's Democratic debate at a sweltering Soldier Field (let's just say "dressing for the weather" rather than "dressing Presidential" - hell Bill Clinton played a saxophone!), how Stu Gotz figures the New York City council is on the verge of over-goofing the Chicago City Council with their supposed proposal to ban the words "bitch" and "ho," and how I still get excited watching a Space Shuttle take off.

    And so, instead of intellectual things, this blog is about a comic strip - "Calvin and Hobbes."

    Sure, "Calvin and Hobbes" has been out of print for quite some time now, but thanks to the internet, and the site gocomics, I get to again relive the fun Calvin and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, have, on a daily basis.  I guess I have Google to thank for this because it was when I set up my Google home page that I found the gocomics site, and sure enough, they had a "Calvin and Hobbes" RSS feed, providing me a link, everyday to a classic strip.

    Now sure, that's not that compelling, but yesterday was one of the strips that even made budding engineers giddy as little schoolgirls.  I vaguely remember the day, it was back in college, at the fraternity house where I was a member, and Stevie gathered some of us together to test something seen in a comic strip.  I don't remember exactly who was there, it might have been Odie, Gumby, or maybe Shithead, along with myself, but I don't think Yoda, Tosh, Elmer, Markie, nor Hammy were around.  T.P. was probably back in New Jersey, Flange might have been at 7-11, and Laughing Boy was probably sleeping.  But there we were, some of us, with Stevie, in probably the 2nd head, to see if maybe the world's most brilliant engineer, Calvin, had stumbled onto something of utmost importance in the world of toilets and toilet paper.  And, as budding engineers, we had to test the scientific experiment over and over again, at different toilets, do some modifications to our own control groups, and sure enough, Calvin found a way to make young adults giddy as schoolgirls.

    Not wanting to infringe on some copyright things I won't post the actual comic here, but if you want to do your own scientific experiment at home, thanks to Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes, this link should take you to the comic that brought a giant smile to my face yesterday.  As stressful as college can be, something as simple as toilet paper can bring good times.  Good times.  Go ahead, try it at home, but depending on your toilet and toilet paper, be sure to have a plunger around, just in case.

    That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

    Posted by Rightdude at 7:06 PM | Comments (0)

    August 6, 2007

    What's New? A Podcast of: Stu & The Dude's Weekend Wrap-Up! "The Bourne Ultimatum," Debating - Gladiator Style in Chicago, Chocolate Rain, and Poo.

    For this podcast episode of "Stu & The Dude's Weekend Wrap-Up!", The Dude on the Right saw a couple of movies, and Stu Gotz just tried to stay cool. Stu wanted to know if The Dude was going to cover the Democratic Debate at Soldier Field, and even though The Dude is skipping it the both of them have some grand ideas, including Gladiator fighting and wet t-shirt contests, that might make the debate more exciting. The Dude, also, has sounds of "Everything Comes Down to Poo" and "Chocolate Rain" running through his head, but sometimes poo and chocolate rain are one in the same.

    Posted by Rightdude at 6:44 PM | Comments (0)

    July 29, 2007

    Are There Any Team Comedians Today Like Abbott & Costello Doing "Who's On First?"

    By: The Dude on the Right
    Yesterday I'm driving around in the Dude-Mobile, listening to my Sirius Satellite Radio, channel-surfing as I'm am wont to do on the weekends, and I land on the family friendly comedy channel, Laugh Break, Sirius Channel 105.  In all honesty I'm more of a fan of Raw Dog, Channel 104, the uncensored comedy channel, but hey, it was only one channel higher, so there I was, on 105, and as much as I can be a fan of dirty jokes, there it was, one of the best comedy sketches ever, the brilliant work of Abbott and Costello doing "Who's on First?"

    The thing with the "Who's on First?" sketch is it is so simple in its concept, yet it is the genius of Abbott and Costello that really brings it to life.  Why do I say that?  Because if you just read the sketch, and there's a transcript and a link to the audio at Baseball, it's really not that funny, actually kind of juvenile, and if you read it the skit doesn't seem to work on paper.  What makes it funny is the deadpan nature of Bud Abbott, and the frustrated, "I'm gonna sock you one in the jaw if you don't tell me who's on first," attitude of Lou Costello.  And I started to wonder, because there are some great comedians nowadays, but you don't really have the teamwork of some of the acts of yesteryear, unless I'm missing some of them right now with a brain fart or something.  The closest thing I can recall as a team of comedians is a ventriloquist and his dummy, and then instantly, because I'm a twisted dude sometimes, I think of Otto & George, probably the filthiest of a "team," and still remember their talking of JFK and George's reenactment of JFK's assassination.

    So where am I going with this blog?  Oh hell, I don't know.  All I do know is that yesterday, thanks to having my satellite radio, I got a really good laugh from a comedy sketch that is nearly 70 years old, and as much as when I hear the number "Eighty-eight" I instantly think "Red Ball freight," the phrase "I don't know" always kicks in a "Third base!"

    That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

    Posted by Rightdude at 7:38 PM | Comments (0)

    June 28, 2007

    To i Or Not to i. Buying an iPhone is the Question.

    By: The Dude on the Right
    Normally I do a podcast on Thursday evening, but tonight I'm in a typing mood, so I thought I would hit you with a new blog to read since I haven't done one in a while.  From the title of this blog you can probably guess that this dude has a dilemma and that is simply "Do I buy an iPhone as soon as humanly possible, or do I wait?"  Fine, if I do opt to get one it won't be as soon as humanly possible because I won't be camping in line tonight to be "the first on my block" to get one.  I'm going on the theory that between the three AT&T stores around me, well, if the mood hits, I should be able to score one tomorrow evening when they go on sale.  If the iPhone is already sold out at all three stores, well, that might be the sign that I should wait a while, or head to the Apple store in last ditch desperation.  But...

    Because sometimes I am partially nuts, and sometimes obsessive and compulsive, and since I have already, in my own bizarre way justified the expense (I need a new PDA since my Palm Pilot is about 5 years old and the battery won't last longer than a day;  Sure, I've got a 60 Gig iPod, but it's pre-video and I think the battery will need to be replaced soon;  My black RAZR isn't cool anymore.  Add them all together: A SmartPhone-$300, a new iPod-$350, and I'm already saving money by getting an iPhone), now the question comes down to do I want to be on the forefront of a cell phone revolution hoping there aren't too many bugs to get through, do I sit back, chill, and maybe wait for the technology to fix itself, or do I want to go on vacation to New Jersey later in the year?

    You see along with the launch of the iPhone I've gotten hooked by the Apple commercials for the phone, have become almost intimately close with Bob, the "black shirt dude," while watching the Guided Tour video, the Activation and Synch video, and the iPhone Keyboard video (which shows how the iPhone will suggest the word "pizza" when you can't properly hit the virtual keys on keyboard with no keys), looked at all of the pictures in the gallery, ruled out visiting my local Apple store in favor of my trio of AT&T stores, and don't know who to really believe anymore because even some of the actual reviews that have come out in reputable print papers seem confusing, with the only thing linking them all together is the fact the iPhone will be limited to the AT&T EDGE network (which means slow) as of now, and yet the Wi-Fi option is great.

    Along with obsessively checking the Apple site, I've also become obsessed with one of the best message boards about cell phones, namely Howard Forums, and all of the latest postings announcing mostly wrong information about the iPhone.  Lots of people keep posting that the iPhone actually has a 3G chip built in, just waiting for a software patch to "open it up" and that will be the final surprise announcement of the iPhone, but even I don't think that is true.  I do have a concern that I can't have a custom ringtone for all my friends so I know who is calling instantly (Right now on my RAZR Stu Gotz has a Beatles tune, Trash has some Jimmy Buffett, The Dude on the Left has a Harry Caray homerun call, and Mom has some Michael Stanley Band) because a lot of the posts say designing your own ringtones isn't an option, but then another post says this will be coming in the future with a later software update.  I do have a concern that my Shure headphones won't work with the thing because of a sort-of different/recessed headphone jack, but than another post says Shure is working on an adapter for the iPhone.  There's all kinds of blabbering about the Bluetooth capabilities of the phone, but I don't really use Bluetooth so what do I care.  And along with some information that seem legit and a lot of other that seems like crap, my favorite post, so far, deals with a future release of the iPhone, version 6.2, which will include an iPhaser, which one poster quickly states that "only if all the settings, work .. istun.. ikill.. if it only goes to istun and not ikill i will just wait for version 7.3".

    And so I've got a little less than 24 hours from now, and three stores to visit, to see if I will be an iPhone owner, or if I might be going to New Jersey instead.

    That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

    Posted by Rightdude at 7:54 PM | Comments (0)

    June 14, 2007

    What's New? A Podcast of: Jessica Alba - I Volunteer, Cicada Sounds, Go Cavs, and Go Away McGreevey's.

    For this podcast The Dude on the Right really, really, really, wants to be put on Jessica Alba's list for a one night stand, or even a one evening stand. He also found some annoying cicada sounds thanks to Steve Dahl and The Chicago Tribune. The Dude hopes the Cleveland Cavs can win a basketball game, at least with the help of the Michael Stanley Band, and wishes the McGreevey's would just go away. Gosh he has a lot to talk about in 15 or so minutes.

    Posted by Rightdude at 7:56 PM | Comments (0)

    January 4, 2007

    I Need Anyone in the World's Opinion!

    By: The Dude on the Right
    As the New Year has begun I thought about doing some web site redesigning, and with that I'm looking for your input.

    Pretty much, since most of what we are doing right now revolves around movie reviews, and hopefully more concert reviews, I updated a few pages and am looking for any comments you might have.  On the movie front, I have one design for "Rocky Balboa" and another for "Dreamgirls."  On the concert side, the new page design has been incorporated into an old Bob Seger concert review.

    Yes, I will admit, there is some tweaking I need to do, but for the most part I just want to know what you might like about the redesigned pages, what you don't like about the redesigned pages, and maybe who does your hair since I need to really find someone who gives a good haircut.

    More surprises are coming soon, to be announced shortly, but for now I just want to know if you like anything about the new page designs.

    That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

    Posted by Rightdude at 7:28 PM | Comments (2)

    June 13, 2006

    Mentos & Diet Coke: I Wish I Were In College Again.

    By: The Dude on the Right
    I guess this phenomenon started back in April 2006 when some folks found out that if you dropped a couple of Mentos candies into a 2 liter of Diet Coke, well, the Diet Coke erupted.  Sometimes I'm too big and slow in finding out about these things, but I blame most of this by being out of college and not even thinking about trying wacky stuff like this anymore, namely dropping some Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke.  But this morning I was listening to the radio here in Chi-Town, and Johnny Brandmeier was reading a story from, I think The Wall Street Journal, talking about mixing said candies into said soft drink.  Supposedly a geyser erupts, and Johnny B. did so by trying it and taking out some ceiling tiles in a bathroom (at least Johnny listened to his producer, Guy, and didn't try it in the broadcast studio).  I really meant to pick up a couple of 2 liters and some Mentos today, and try the experiment for myself, but I was too lazy so I just hunted out some videos on the internet, and none lived up to the folks at, with a click to it at the right.  It's complete with cool music, they try to compete with the fountains at the Bellagio Fountains, and it is fantastic.  I know some of their secrets to getting different eruption heights, thanks to my extensive engineering background, and even their simple yet inventive way of setting off the "charges" as they would be.

    There are lots of videos out there in internet-land about this phenomenon, so all you pretty much need to do is type something like "Diet Coke Mentos Video" into your favorite search engine.  Some show what look like college dudes (oh, times like this I miss college) tossing lightly capped versions of the same experiment, resulting in rocketing 2-liter bottles, and some just show failed experiments.  Chemistry is fun sometimes, and if I were a high school teacher trying to teach a class, on the interaction of various chemicals, this one is a hell of a lot more fun, and a hell of a lot safer, than mixing sodium and water, at least I think that is the bad one.  It's been a while since I took Chemistry, so please don't try to mix anything.

    If you are younger you might be more likely to say something like "What happens if I drop a Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke?"  If you are older, that question never seems to come around anymore.  Sometimes, in this case, if you are an older, wouldn't it have been fun to find this out and show your kids?  I admit I've lost a lot of this experimenting, but maybe we shouldn't.  This is too philosophical.  Just get out there with your 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke and some Mentos and see it explode.  You might need a shower, but have fun.  And wear safety goggles.

    That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

    Posted by Rightdude at 8:11 PM | Comments (0)

    November 5, 2005

    The Big Dicker, Howard Stern

    By: The Dude on the Right
    Okay, the celebrating might have went  on a little longer than planned for the White Sox winning the World Series, especially since all I've gotten done publicly was a podcast with my take on the singing that went on during the series, but behind the scenes, you cannot imagine the things I've gotten done.  But enough of that, this blog is about what I'm calling "The Big Dicker."

    I can hear you saying something like "Dude, what's 'The Big Dicker,' and how does it relate to Howard Stern?"  If you're a Howard fan and have visited his site anytime of late, I think you already know.  If you're in an area of the country that Howard Stern was never on your airwaves, you almost might be saying "Who's Howard?"  And if you're a Stern hater, you're probably saying something like "Fine, Howard's a big dick.  That's no surprise to me."  In any case, if you are 17 years or older and went to see an R-rated movie this weekend (as was my case), or maybe are under 17 and bought a ticket for "Chicken Little" and snuck into see "Jarhead," you may have gotten a little shock at one of the commercials shown on the screen before the start of the flick.

    Without ruining the visual for you by my lame writing, you can go directly to the commercial with this link.  And even if my writing doesn't do it justice, I still urge you to check it out.  In any case, the commercial starts out with a simple starlit night.  Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op.30: Einleitung" is playing in the background, at least I believe that is the piece (you might recognize it better as the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey").  Then the stars begin to re-align, into something that resembles, well, I'm  naming it Peni Major, in other words, The Big Dicker.  As "Also Sprach Zarathustra" gets to its climactic moment (yes, the pun is intended), Peni Major begin to tremble a little and a shooting star bursts out from a place in the night sky that one would expect it to burst in relation to The Big Dicker.  And as the commercial is concluding, the wording is filled in at the bottom of the ad: "Coming in January.  Howard Stern.  Only on Sirius..." satellite radio that is.

    Love him or hate him, know him or barely recognize the name, there's a pretty good chance you will start to see five words in tons of places, in print, on TV, and little did I figure, at a commercial at a gigaplex near me.  Those five words, in some combination, will be Howard, Stern, Sirius, satellite, and radio.  Yup, the advertising blitz is beginning as Howard Stern goes from the normal FM dial to the Sirius Satellite Radio system.  For some quick disclosure, even if I really don't need to, I'm a big Howard fan, based part of my last car purchase on the fact the Sirius was factory installed, and even own some Sirius stock.  But it's an important time for satellite radio, and Howard's switching sides is part of that importance.  My quick assessment goes like this:  Sure, both systems have commercial free music, music purists argue which is better, but I see the future of satellite radio's success will be based on content other than music.  Why?  That's where the additional money comes in, in terms of additional subscribers, signing on to hear someone they want to during the day, and maybe more importantly, the addition of advertising revenue, because it's only the music that is commercial free on satellite, and both companies own up to that fact.  The content has commercials, and commercial revenue is bumped up by the quantity of listeners, and you can be damn sure both satellite radio companies are aware of this.

    Alright, enough sounding like I'm turning into a college business class or an investment blog, I just found it pretty funny to see Howard Stern's Sirius ad, on the big screen, before I got ready to see "Jarhead," which is a pretty good movie by the way, and my review is to come in the next couple of days.  In any case, be warned, you probably won't be able to get away from Howard Stern in the next month and a half, like it or not.

    That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

    Posted by Rightdude at 5:48 PM | Comments (0)

    August 27, 2005

    $20 - $7 = $15?

    By: The Dude on the Right
    Quick, what’s my change if I bought $7.00 worth of stuff and gave you $20.00? Did you say $13.00? Congratulations! Did you say $15.00? I highly doubt it. But that’s what Skippy at the movie theater was going to give me as change, even though he thought it seemed wrong, but that’s what his register said I should get so there he stood with fifteen dollars as change in his hand. I nicely told him he owed me thirteen bucks, and his supervisor came by, and still, Skippy seemed confused. The supervisor looked at his screen, told Skippy he punched in that I gave him twenty-two bucks, and yet Skippy still seemed confused. It is at times like this that I worry about our future when Skippy is our future. Yup, he was too stuck with listening to a computer instead of using what should be the better computer stuck in his skull. Look, I have to admit that sometimes I am a little too reliant on a calculator to figure something out that I used to be able to do in my head, and I have to look up to confirm things like figuring out the area of a circle (happily I still remember that Pi is about 3.14159, and on a geek note, how geeky are the folks at Google that with their latest stock offering, they are offering 14,159,265 shares. Look familiar? I found the correlation at this blog, and I’m sorry, I digress), but really, 20-7=15?  Here's hoping Skippy wants to be in a band and not an engineer.

    Anyway, I was at the theater to see "The Brothers Grimm" and if you are a Monty Python fan, you’ll probably enjoy it.  If not, wait for a rental. I also caught "The 40 Year Old Virgin" earlier in the week and I have to say it was very funny. There are some new movie previews posted, and I’m hoping to finish up that back-log of preview postings in the next day or so and also catch "The Aristocrats" since it’s now at a theater nearby rather than my having to take a long drive into Chicago.

    That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

    Posted by Rightdude at 6:58 PM | Comments (0)

    July 31, 2005

    You Need to Check Out Google Moon!

    By: The Dude on the Right
    When Google launched their map service, at first I was like "What, another map service? Who cares?" Then I messed around with it, and I’m sorry Mapquest, you are losing the battle in my book in the internet map wars. I will say that right now the Mapquest folks seem to do a better job at giving directions, but from the instant I was able to click and instantly drag the Google map, I was converted because I’m usually pretty good at figuring out my own directions. Sure, if I want a printed map that unfolds and I can put in my car, you still can’t beat the folks at Rand McNally, but in all honesty, for my internet world, it’s too hard to spell.

    So as much as I love Google Maps, then the folks at Google did something that really brought a grin to my face: They went into outer space.

    Well, they didn’t really go into outer space, but they got some images from NASA of the lunar surface (that’s the moon if you didn’t know), specifically around the area of the six lunar landings. So like their normal map service, you can click and drag around the moon, but just as important, you can get some great detail of the surface of the moon. My recommendation for the day, go to Google Moon. Then, incrementally, zoom to the surface of the moon by clicking the "+" button. Eventually get yourself to the closest resolution, and I can pretty much guarantee you will be amused at the detail we have been able to get of the lunar surface.

    I did catch some movies over the weekend, so Sunday evening/Monday morning comes reviews of "The Island," "Must Love Dogs," and "Stealth." I also got copies of the new Michael Stanley and Cowboy Troy CD’s, so those reviews should be posted sometime this week, as well as a triumphant return to the concert scene with coverage of Neil Diamond in Chicago. You can use those goofy "Subscribe" buttons at the top of the page if you want to automatically be notified in your "My Yahoo," "Newsgator," or "My MSN" accounts, or updated in your favorite news reader. Thanks for your support!

    And one final comment, to my sister of mine, I find it very unsportswomanlike of you, wishing that I get a flat on my bike, as I continue my quest to whip your butt in our contest this time around.

    That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

    Posted by Rightdude at 6:49 PM | Comments (0)


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