Saturday, December 02, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 14


Did you think I was done just because YOUR team got eliminated last weekend?

Well, even though the field has been winnowed and there are fewer games on the schedule during a Saturday, that doesn't mean that College Football has gone away. And wherever there is a pigskin (p)rumble going on somewhere, I'll be there . . . in spirit . . . because I can't afford to go to all of these games and the whole reason for this thread is to NOT promote . . . anyway . . . you get it.


What/how can I distract you from the various conference championship games? How can I convince you not to watch was is (in theory at least) the BEST matchups between the BEST teams in YOUR chosen conference?

The best thing I can do, as always, is turn my attention to the marching band.

I don't know if you've heard this about me, but I'm into marching band. I like it. I have participated in it. I support it. I assist with it. My kids were/are in it. etc.

And I'm not sure you know, but this past marching band season was a historically good one for my kid's High School. The Marching Warriors did quite well at (al)most all of the competitions that we entered this year. And the "NonStop" show (based on Hamilton--ever heard of it?) was a crowd favorite and one of more technically challenging shows that the Marching Warriors have done in a long time.

And the band program is blessed with creative people who have done a great job this year and in many past years to capture the experience of the show with drones, multiple cameras, on camera recording, and kid-mounted GoPro videos that put you inside the show in very fun ways.

So, today, I am going to encourage you to wander over the the Westerville North Bands YouTube channel and peruse the Playlists. You will find several videos of the NonStop show from a crowd angle (in the stands) and if you check out the GoPro Playlist you will find many more POV recordings of the show from various band members. Those POV videos are so fun because you get to see and hear the kids in their element. But you also gain a stronger appreciation for the effort and skill that is required to be a marcher/performer/musician. If you have never been in a marching band, you might not fully comprehend the challenges. Challenges that these kids have dedicated many months of their year meeting and exceeding.

So, celebrate something other than football today.

You'll be glad you did.

Main WNHS Bands YouTube Channel:



Saturday, November 25, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 13

How can I possibly counter-program you today?

If you live where I live, you are facing generational expectations to watch The Game between OSU and Michigan. A historic rivalry that blah, blah. (Go look it all up. I'm not here to lay it out for you.) Every week it is this team versus that team. But THIS week, it's often my team versus that most hated team.

Anyway . . . how do I fight against that?

Weakly and with little effort it would seem.

Because my idea for today is to run back something I wrote a long time ago.

I was inspired to look this movie up again and watch it Friday night. I liked it at the time and still like it to this day. 

As you may know, if you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, I've been on a Superman focused run these last several months. I'm retwatching all of the episodes of The WB/CW's "Smallville"--which was airing when Superman Returns arrived in theaters.

Tom Welling was, therefore, already in the consciousness as Clark Kent (though the premise of Smallville insisted that he was not yet Superman--with the rule "No flights; no tights." And Michael Rosenbaum was doing a great job of being YA Lex Luthor. I'm sure there was not much serious consideration of Welling and Rosenbaum moving to the big screen while they were Earth-bound in Kansas. But it would have been interesting to find a way to work them in somehow? But contracts being what they are, I'm sure it couldn't have happened.

Perhaps as a result of Superman Returns, Smallville did a strong job through it's 10 seasons of weaving older Superman movie actors into its mythos. (Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Terrance Stamp, Marc McClure, Helen Slater.) 

You can read the full review here, with this link to my old WWYG?Q Omnimedia site. I stand by everything I wrote back in 2006. I was exactly right and I still stand by the idea that Brandon Routh was a very good Superman that should have had another shot at the Man of Steel. His consolation prize as a character on "Chuck" is also dear to my heart, but I think he would have done a great job if people had been more receptive to Bryan Singer's reintroduction of the story.

So, anyway . . . go read that and do something like I'm doing today. Decorate your house for Christmas or make that leftover turkey pot pie. Just don't watch football!

Until next time!

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 12

Sitting down this Saturday morning to come up with some Football Counter-Programming.

And my first impulse was to post a production, multi-camera video of the 2023 Non-Stop WNHS Marching Band show. But I am self-conscious about it because I feel like I've mentioned this and highlighted in non-stop since August. So I'm steering away from that. (Go look at my other socials and search for the WNHS Bands YouTube page to find some very valuable videos that can counter-program anything in life that you want to steer away from at the moment.)

But now I'm self-conscious for using the word steer and I feel like I need to disclaim that you should never watch YouTube videos and drive a car or try to steer anything. I am using steer in a symbolic and general way. It's metaphorical . . . right?

Anyway, you get it.

And also--why be coy with the "you go search for the YouTube page. I'm mean how hard is it for me to just give you the link? I WANT you to go over there and watch. So . . . here it is. (You're welcome.)

. . .

. . .


Okay, now that that is out of the way.

Um . . . what to type about?

Well, let's see if I have anything in draft. Any ideas from the past that I jotted down and thought that I might come back to it later when I had more time to think about it.

So, I've got:

a. Talk about commercials. 

b. Dislike Canva

c. Like _______

Okay. I should combine a and b, because I remember that the note for Talk about commercials was specifically an opening to talk about how much I dislike the Canva commercial. Unfortunately, I can't conjur up the Like _____ prompt that was intended to balance out the Canva dislike with something positive. But this does give me a start on something to say, so here goes.

. . .


Ever heard of it? 

Ever used it?

Well, I have some exposure to using it. (I helped create some social media posts for my church's Facebook page several years back using the Canva design platform.)

But what I want to talk about it not the efficacy of the digital tool. But rather how visceral is my dislike for the streaming commercial that I see on "TV" very often. (I use TV loosely here in the sense that these streaming services are displaying on my TV . . . but I don't quite mean TV in the historical broadcast sense. This is how home entertainment is like these days, and I'm saying it out loud for digital posterity's sake. You are all experiencing it now, so you know what I mean.)

Anyway . . . I've been exposed to this Canva ad many times while watching Hulu in recent months. (An aftereffect of my current Smallville rewatch that I may return to as a discussion point later.) But what bothers me so much about this ad is the people in it and the relationship that they have to Canva and their emotional attitude towards this design platform.

They LOVE it!

(This still image doesn't capture it. But I chose it because it features several of the actors who are in the commercial that I dislike so much. I couldn't find a video.)

The characters in the commercial are so in love with how Canva reflects their love of work. It's ability to change colors and backgrounds and fonts gives these people the amazing ability to express their vibrant, unique personalities into workplace meetings and it allows their conference room whiteboard presentations to become more of a presentation of how AMAZING they are and by extension how AMAZING their work life is!

Why do I hate it?

Because I have never experienced a workplace whiteboard presentation that has been so transformative or that has resulted in such ebullient emotions. Maybe you have . . . ? Can I work there? Not that I dislike my job. I really don't. But I'm not living and dying by it in the way that these people are in this very fictional world.

And also . . . I have worked with shared documents similar to one Canva option in my work. And I generally find them frustrating to use and hard to collaborate in. None of this is accurately depicted in the Canva commercial.

It's just false!


So, if you watch sports/football on a streaming service . . . first . . . don't!

But if you must for some health-related reason, then keep an eye out for this commercial. Have you seen it? Do you dislike it as I do? Just generally or in specific ways? Let me know how you feel.

But most importantly, DON'T watch college football today. Be counter-programmed! Go enjoy a mild autumn day outside before the cold weather fully sets in. Breathe some brisk air. 

Do. Something. Else!

You alma mater is hoping that you unthinkingly tune in and support its efforts. But it won't love you the way that you are loving it! Don't fall for it. Canva thinks you will fall for it. And so does Alma Mater U.

Until next week!

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 11


Lynda and I worked outside cleaning up the yard this morning and we also decided to take advantage of the mild weather to hang Christmas lights now. But we are not preparing to turn them on until after Thanksgiving. Just pre-prep.

We are one of those families that don't do our Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving has passed. But we also wanted to avoid being outside in colder temperatures and climbing up and down on ladders with stronger winds blowing.

We are learning and growing.

Hmm . . . what else can I tell you today to distract you from watching football?

Jay and Grace went to see The Marvels last night while Lynda and I were celebrating the end of the marching band season at a parent's party. I think a good time was had by all--even those who went to see the latest MCU movie. (Lynda and I may be able to go see it tonight while Jay is attending the student end-of-marching-season party. So we are doing our part to prop up the revenue for the MCU once again.) The reviews and pre-speculation for this movie are shaky, but I am expecting to find things that I like about it.

Speaking of things that I like, and as I mentioned above, the marching season has come to a close and Non Stop 2023 is done. It is certainly a sad time when that activity that takes up so much of our time and our effort finishes, but there are a few things that console me once again.

First, this was an excellent season! Non Stop was such a fun show and the students gave it there all each and every week. And the results show how strong the show was and also how strong their performances were. It ended up being one of the most successful competition seasons that the Marching Warriors have had in a very long time. We competed strongly in every event we entered and won most caption awards and rankings in the band's class. And the re-entry into the Bands of America competition circuit after several years away was illuminating and enjoyable. I think the band and the staff learned a lot from that exposure and think that it will be reflected in next year's show design.

And here is a final band-related thought--along with an accompanying video.

For the last several years, the band has captured a variety of Go Pro POV videos from individual band members. For 2023, there is a flute video, a trumpet/flugelhorn video, a Guard/Rifle member video, and most recently a drum major video. And it is the drum major video that I want to highlight here--and for admittedly selfish reasons. While the video itself is very interesting and it displays a fun perspective, I noticed when I previewed it that I show up at the very end. And when I do, I remembered that this run-through occurred around Halloween. And that I chose to wear my Steve Harrington "Scoop Ahoy" costume to the game that night. What I find funny is that there is very little, if any, clue to explain WHY I am wearing such an outfit. And years from now no one may know at all. So it may be very confusing to some future viewer to understand what exactly some sailor-looking guy is doing at the end of that video?!

Anyway . . . watch and enjoy.

I further encourage you to spend the rest of the day watching videos on the WNHS Marching Band YouTube channel. It will be much more enjoyable and a better use of your time than watching college football. 

(And this counter-programming is even football adjacent!)

Until next week!

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 10

One thing about blogging (even doing so sporadically) over the last 19 years is the inevitably of capturing the passage of time.

That was part of my reason for beginning this blog back in 2004. To capture the years of my early parenting and to help describe the younger years of my children. (In high school I was a scrapbooker and I began capturing bits of pieces of my life and the things that I loved at the time. This blog was something of a digital extension of that impulse.) 

That was not the sole inspiration for my blogging in the beginning, though. I also wanted to give myself a creative outlet for writing. But, unavoidably, the family element of the content grew and grew as that part of my life became so central to what I was doing every day. If you scan through the early years, and if you ignore the very obvious focus on television (still true!), most of my posts are family related. Check the tags and categories if you don't want to submit yourself to reading all of that . . . stuff from back then.

Andbutso . . . the passage of time. It's inevitable. Whether I accidentally chronicle it when writing or not. Time doesn't care what I do. And what I do has no significant impact on time. So . . . . what's up this week?

What's up is that I realized (obvious though it is) that as I age, I am mentally shifting my observance of events to a perspective that sees more things as ending rather than beginning. 

What do I mean?

Well, when you have been doing the same thing consistently for a long time--as I have--it becomes unavoidable, I suppose. 

I've had essentially the same job, at the same place, with some (but not most) of the same people for about half of my life. And my non-work life is comfortably routine as well. My family is stable. And despite the fact that they keep getting older and they don't all live at home anymore, the kids and Lynda are all still here. And almost all of my extended family remains in touch, since I've moved away from childhood and college. So, this back half of my life (so far) has been . . . predictable and stable.

You should be so lucky!

It is, however, as I say, inevitable that as time goes on, the number of unique experiences decreases and the number of repeat experiences increases. And that being the case . . . I sometimes find myself ticking off (in a vague way) the times that I have already done something and a slow awareness that those somethings have a finite number. Am I on the downward slope of those things? I am not given to know the day or the hour . . . so I cannot with certainly answer that thought. But the vague mental math checks out.

What's to be done or further said about this? Probably nothing and nobody asked me to say it anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter. But I felt it, so I sat down to express it.

In a glass-half-full sort of attitude, I can take this awareness and push myself into new things. Sure, the kids are growing and spreading out. But that opens up new space in my life to fill. Maybe I should accept this reality and fill that space with a new thing that gives me a new set of First Times to experience. What that might be . . . ? . . . is something to contemplate.

But . . . spending my Saturday watching football certainly isn't the best way to answer that question.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 9

Can you name something that you do that was based on a TV show or a movie that you once watched?

I don't mean impersonating Han Solo or Luke Skywalker in the Millennium Falcon by putting a folding camp chair (the old kind where the fraying nylon straps are latticed together to form the seat between the folding chair fame) . . . putting that chair on top of your old. weather-beaten picnic table in the backyard and making "space" noises.

(Not that I ever did that.)

Everyone . . . but never me! . . . did THAT.

I'm asking if you did something that is maybe more obscure and if someone saw you doing it, they might not know what you are doing is from a movie. Or (even better) they DO recognize that what you are doing is from a movie and it is entirely random and weird, but they see it and you become kindred spirits because of this share bit of pop ephemera.

Which truly has not happened to me.

Do you know what I'm saying? Need an example?


Unfortunately, this clip doesn't include the crucial part that I am referring to. But I hope it gets you mentally in the ball park.

Right after this scene, Lloyd Dobbler opens the "mother dictionary" and sees that Diane Court has placed Xs beside words on almost every page. Simultaneously, Diane (from the bathroom) tells Lloyd that she has the habit of marked every word she looks up.

That's what I'm talking about.

I do that.


Some people emulate sports figures. Some people emulate space wizards (But never me!). And some people emulate other things that they have seen in the entertainment world around them. And I apparently emulate myself . . . because when I started writing this post, something in my brain told me that this wasn't the first time I had brought it up.

And after a bit of Googling on the WWYG?! archives, sure enough . . . the sincerest form of flattery is imitation. But when you imitate yourself aren't you really just admitting poor memory skills?

Anyway . . . here is your proof.


But you already know the best way to flatter and imitate me is to not watch college football today. Go exercise at the gym or visit a local coffee shop. Or read a book that you have been meaning to finish. Or take up a new hobby. 

But don't spend your time watching football--ESPECIALLY if you aren't even there in person.

Just remember. Your alma mater is going to play that game today whether you watch it or not. It has too much money committed to it. (Money that could be funding some scientific or social science effort somewhere else on campus.)

Until next week!

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 8

So, I started reading Lileks again this week. He was there when I started my blogging days back in the early 2000s. I read his weekday blog (the Bleat) every day at the start of my workday. 

I'm not really sure what prompted me to start reading him again. (But is it a coincidence that I also rewatched this favorite-of-mine YouTube  Time Travel video the same week?)

I return to Lileks in a similar way to how swallows return to Capistrano or like Halley's Comet returns. (Infrequently and . . . regularly? . . . no--let's say predictably.)

As I typed the Capistrano reference, I wonder . . . does anyone know that reference? And other than my own Looney Tunes memories . . . do I even know the reference?

Well, the Internet provides--sort of.

This is what I heard in my head when I thought of the Looney Tunes clip. (Go to about the 2 minute mark to hear it.)

But this is the visuals that I thought of, combined with the song from the previous clip. And this is from a very different cartoon altogether. (Who knew that this song was so popular that it needed multiple references?)

This guy probably knew that it needed multiple references.

So, there you go for this week. Some randomness bolstered by some video clips. But watching these clips is much, much better than watching college football today or even pro football tomorrow.

Do you think Bing Crosby watched lots of football? Maybe in a movie, but in actual life? 

Do you think there is a football team in Capistrano? (Probably yes, given that it is California.)

Despite all of that, DON'T DO IT!

Until next week . . .

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 7

When you sit down and are confronted with a blank canvas (or blank white screen), you hope that you have an idea at the ready to fight against the vacuum.

But sometimes you don't. 

And so you sit down and you just start typing the words that appear in your mind's eye as fast as you can and try not to think too much about self-editing while you are also getting too bogged down with clever vocabulary, run-on sentences, proper punctuation, and trying to fix spelling errors as the words appear on the screen.

And you wonder where you should put the paragraph breaks.

And you wonder why there are some consonant combinations that you always mistype ("dl" when you mean "ld"). And you try to ignore (ingore?--really?) the squiggly lines that are appearing in the lines above because right now you are simply trying to typ and not trying to edit and good lord as you do this the squiggly lines are just appearing in massing numbers and its embarrassing but so what? You'll fix it later and the future reader won't know.

But simultaneously, part of your brain is thinking about that time in college when you were applying for a campus-based job and you had to take a typing proficiency test as one of the requirements for the job application. So you sat down in front of a 90s keyboard (a Windows clone or an honest to God IBM-made computer . . . who remembers now? You know, those dirty white, sort of beige colored computers that might actually have been off-white sometime in its early use but due to human skin oils and South Georgia sunlight has been altered into some other color that I'm just now going to call tired)  . . .

(where is the thread of this story? where is the paragraph break? should this be edited later?)

. . . anyway . . .

So, you're sitting down and performing this typing test and you've got some paragraph of text on the desk beside the tired keyboard and you have 60 seconds (is 60 seconds a more effective descriptive than one minute? is one minute less impactful than 1 minute? does anyone care?)

And so, you've got 60 seconds to type as much as you can as accurately as you can. And that is only part of the job application. But you do it and though I don't remember precisely how the person said it, I know that they suggested that they were impressed by my typing proficiency and output in this. And isn't it odd that such a random and completely unimportant compliment (is it?) has stuck semi-firmly in my brain for . . . . pausing typing to calculate . . . almost 25 years? 

And so, as I stream of consciousness my way down this screen that was once blank and is now full of mistyped words, you can see how my brain decided to remind myself of when I was more nimble and my future was also blank and full of promise--much like this screen was also once blank and full of promise.

. . .

Damn, David . . .

You did it. You actually stream of consciousness-ed your way to something semi-profound and you had no idea how you were going to get there. But you did it.

You can't accomplish this stuff watching football.

So don't do it.

Until next week, when the screen will be blank once again.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 5

I sometimes have draft ideas for Football Counter-Programming that I collect over the days. And I throw a few notes together and save the draft and then wait. And then when I sit down to write the words that are sure to draw you away from Saturday sportsball, I maybe just get inspired in a different direction. And I go with it and let the idea flow. And I'll see that draft idea and think that I'll come back to it on another Saturday when you need to be persuaded.

This week? Well, I didn't have a pre-existing idea. And when I fired up the laptop just now to start firing off the mind bombs against the Saturday hegemony, I saw these words floating in the draft space:

Queen's Gambit board game?

h/t to Tracy Altman

So, first things first.

I should tip the hat to Tracy--a college friend of mine who never fails to have interesting things to say on Facebook. He was the first to bring up this oddity. Because, really, what even is a board game that is based on the Netflix series Queen's Gambit--a show that is famously about . . . chess.

Isn't chess already a board game?

Am I missing the point?

The website link that I drafted in my notes above don't help me a lot either. It seems that the game "Queen's Gambit" is focused on strategy and outthinking your opponent. And . . . yeah . . . isn't that the point of almost all board games? The mechanics and the description make it sound more than that, sure. I am oversimplifying.

But even so. A bit odd.

But it got me thinking in a different way.

And isn't that the whole point of Football Counter-Programming? To make you see your Saturday differently? To look beyond the ordinary and find that special time that isn't about what everyone else is doing and watching and cheering?

So, thank you German (?) boardgame company for seeing a better-late-than-never marketing opportunity and jumping on it. I look forward to pairing a future game night with Squid Game: The Game very soon. (DON'T TELL ME if that already exists!)

And remember, your alma mater's offensive coordinator's latest kooky scheme isn't going to help it beat Rival State any more than this game is going to make you find a deep-seated love of chess.

So, find something else to do today. At least until I come back at you next week. (Maybe . . . next Saturday is a VERY busy, long marching band day for me. But more on that later . . . probably.)

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 4

somebody hears you. you know that. you know that.
somebody hears you. you know that inside.
someone is learning the colors of all your moods, to
(say just the right thing and) show that you’re understood.
here you’re known.

leave your life open. you don’t have. you don’t have to.
leave your life open. you don’t have to hide.
someone is gathering every crumb you drop, these
(mindless decisions and) moments you long forgot.
keep them all.

let our formulas find your soul.
we’ll divine your artesian source (in your mind),
marshal feed and force (our machines will)
to design you a perfect love—
or (better still) a perfect lust.
o how glorious, glorious: a brand new need is born.

now we possess you. you’ll own that. you’ll own that.
now we possess you. you’ll own that in time.
now we will build you an endlessly upward world,
(reach in your pocket) embrace you for all you’re worth.

is that wrong?
isn’t this what you want?

--Vienna Teng, The Hymn of Acxiom

It was busy last weekend. And it is busy this weekend. And it will continue to be busy for the next several weekends. 

So, you might think that taking some time off to relax and enjoy some football would be a good thing.
But that is the opposite of what should happen.

Immerse yourself in other pursuits.

Don't get trapped in the pigskin prison.

Find a new obsession.

Enjoy the coming of the fall while it is still here.
Look for the diversion that is a change in season.
Embrace a shift in perspective as one time ends and another begins.

And remember . . . your alma mater is definitely scrubbing the Internet to get important data on you so that it can target its funding request emails to you in the most appropriate way. And any money that you give it is NOT going to make the football team any better.

Until next week . . .

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 2

I know that I am posting a Counter-Programming effort late in the day today. And maybe it is too late for you. Maybe you've spent the first half of your day watching college football and posting about it on social media.

To which I ask . . . is your day better for having done this?

What did I do today? Well, I haven't watched college football, because I'm a man of my word and convictions. I spent several hours this morning at what I sometimes like to call Counter-Programming headquarters (a high school band room). Why do I call it this? Because: 

  1. it is about the opposite of football
  2. it serves as a training ground to adjust the brain into noticing the brainwashing of football culture and provides a counteragent against said culture.
  3. its fun and gets me out of the house
  4. it provides fun people  to hang out with
  5. the arts is good for you.

What did I do while at Counter-Programming HQ? I helped others outfit the inside of a semi trailer. I bought (and rebought) some wood. I ate a doughnut or two. I helped straighten up the band room before Monday classes. 

All of these things can be yours if you just choose NOT to devote all of your Saturday to college football!


But if that didn't sway you, how about this?

Do you remember Sufjan Stevens? 

Do you remember how he PROMISED that he was going to create fifty state-themed music albums. And how he only every really did two? (Or was it one-and-a-half?)

I ran across this article and it dredged it all up again. And it made me sad.

Naturally, I wanted him to write albums for Georgia and for Ohio, my two favorite states. But I would also be quite happy with a Kentucky album as well.

What I definitely DON'T need are any more albums about California. (There are already too many songs for that state.)

Random thought: What would a Idaho album look like?

If you could convince Sufjan to reignite this 50-State project, what states would YOU want to be first on the list? 

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I urge you to click the link above and read the article. Naturally it would be a better use of your time than watching football today.

So, until next week--keep thinking of new things to do. And don't make it about gridirons, or pigskins, or goalposts, or anything like that.

Saturday, September 02, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 1


What time is it?

It's Counter-Programming time!

College Football is on the air this week--trying to sneak games into the weekdays and thinking I wouldn't notice. But the jokes on it. I'm once again beginning my ever-successful efforts to make you do/think something other than watch college football. 

Don't think I've been successful over the last few years? 

Well, look at what my efforts have actually done! I've single-handedly destroyed the conference structure that governed college football for generations. Who did it? Me, that's who. College football is an operation in name only. It's just football. I'm whittling it down bit by bit with slow and steady and unrelenting pressure. Just like a tiny drop of water working it way through a crack in a concrete dam. Soon I'll bust it open from the inside and the whole superstructure will come fall down and the attention span of millions of sports fans will sweep across the national landscape like floodwaters searching for new level ground. And who will be their new messiah in their time of need?!


Lynda walked in a few moments ago and asked what I was "looking at." I told her that I was writing a blog post. She made a surprised noise and then said "Huh. Can't remember the last time you did that." But she has fallen asleep like everyone else. I'm still here and still pushing. The dam is weakening!


Remember in the earliest days of WWYG?! when I tracked celebrity deaths. Just as a thing to do. And I usually made a comedic (??) reference to whether or not the death in question was part of some master plan of Tom Cruise. Because in the end, there can be only one. And let's be honest. I'll probably be Tom Cruise.

Well, what do you think Cruise had against Jimmy Buffett? (Not that I am any sort of fan of Margaritaville the restaurant chain or Buffett's particular version of Anglo-Caribbean kick back and drink music. (Is that it's genre?) 

My working theory on a Saturday morning? The plot for the next James Bond movie somehow involved a stop over in the Caribbean. And the film's producers had already gotten the necessary tax breaks and government approvals from the various nations of the region. 

But everything still had to be rubberstamped by the main Parrothead himself. And Cruise heard that the final approvals were imminent. So he stepped in (in the most Cruise-like extreme way) to single-handedly derail the movie's progress. Because just as their can be only one celebrity standing, there can be only one spy thriller movie franchise standing. 

And Cruise will make sure that it is Mission: Impossible. He's literally killing himself to make it possible. And if he is willing to do that to himself, then what will he do to others to get what he wants? Broccoli family, you should have been on notice long before now. But keep one eye open at night going forward. 

Cruise is out there.

So . . . that's it for this week.

Have you been sufficiently Counter-Programmed?!? 

What else will you be doing today instead of cheering on the team that has already spent your tuition/alumni money. (It won't even pay for the towels in the weight room these days.) Go pick some apples, drink a bit of iced cider. Dig out the sweater vests you stored away in April. You're gonna be needing them soon.

And remember that your alma mater doesn't need you. It just needs to stay of Mr. Cruise's good side.

Until next week!

Friday, September 01, 2023

Goodbye . . .

 . . . forever?

Accidentally, maybe. But also no. That title was only an eye-grabbing tease. Did I tease you?

Actually, this is just goodbye to #HatofSummer2023.

See below (please click as Jeb Bush might tweet).

(I apologize for sounding like Bilbo after the barrel ride to Lake Town.)

Thursday, May 25, 2023

#HatofSummer Voting Update


Sorry that I have not created a voting update video in a few weeks. 

But Memorial Day is approaching very fast and so I wanted to give you an update on the voting for #OfficialHat2023 at this point.

(Remember that you can still vote for a few more days. The Google Form will close at 9 pm on Sunday, May 28th. The form is available here:

I will do my best to announce the winner--in either video or written fashion--on Memorial Day, Monday May 29th.

Here are the totals as of this blog posting:

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Let's Talk About Beginnings and Endings

 Since we got rid of cable I rely on streaming services for the majority of my passive media. And one drawback of that is that I tend to dip back into things that I have already seen because . . . well, the library of entertainment is large and the output of new things is slow. Reruns and rewatches of familiar things is sort of the inevitable end result of such a situation.

But that is not always bad. And it led to an interesting thought for today.

I sat down and decided to begin rewatching J.J. Abram's Star Trek (2009). And if you like this movie, as I do, you remember how it begins. The U.S.S. Kelvin is minding its own business out in space when a mystery ship appears from an anomalous "lightning storm in space" and summarily kicks the shit out of the Kelvin without so much as a how-do-you-do. The Kelvin's captain is killed and acting captain George Kirk does his best to keep the remaining crew alive by evacuating shuttles and shooting down torpedoes before heroically colliding with the mystery ship. The Kelvin's crew survives--including his wife who just gave birth to one James Tiberius Kirk. The scene begins with a rousing orchestral variation on the movie's theme and after the battle is done, the movie jumps from space to Iowa, Earth where a young James T. steals a Mustang convertible and does his best Thelma and Louise to "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys.

A great ten minutes of sadness, action, and thrills.

Do you remember that George Kirk is played (briefly) by a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth? Did you know that two of the Chrises were possibly on set that early in their rise to movie dominance? 

But let's shift to endings.

Specifically the ending scene of another of those Chrises. Evans, this time . . . in his own moment of movie glory that began this new phase of his own career. As Steve Rogers, in the final heroic moments of Captain America: The First Avenger.

Do you remember? 

Cap has defeated Nazis and rescued the Howling Commandoes from Red Skull.  But Red Skull has launches his massive Flying Wing bomber and has plans to drop those bombs on New York City, Chicago, and D.C. (maybe?) But Steve gets on the plane, defeats Red Skull (or lets Red Skull's hubris defeat himself) and prepares to get back home to Peggy and post war freedom. Unfortunately the bomber malfunctions and Steve has to intentionally crash the plane to save people.

So, two Chrises . . . early in their MCU (or pre-MCU) trajectory . . . intentionally crash their craft to save others. And both of them, in their pre-crash last moments have heartfelt good-bye speeches with their partners. Hemsworth's Kirk talks to his wife mid-labor and gets to help name James and say goodbye before the Kelvin collides with the Romulan mining vessel. Evan's Rogers talks to Peggy Carter and tries to keep it light. He promises Peggy that he will survive and will meet up with her in Europe to go dancing. They both know that it is false. But they get to say goodbye in a fashion.

I'd like to imagine Hemsworth and Evans swapping set stories about those moments on the set of The Avengers movie.

Beginnings and Endings.

Saturday, May 06, 2023

Sunday, April 30, 2023

#HatofSummer 2023 Week 2 Update

 It's been another week of voting for #OfficialHat2023.

Here is the video for this past week's results.

As always, I hope that you are voting as many times as you desire.

And you can use the link here to cast your votes. (Votes!)

Sunday, April 23, 2023

#HatofSummer 2023 Week 1 Voting Update

 Is your chosen hat leading the pack this year?

How many times have you voted?

Is your index finger sore from mashing that mouse key, voting, voting, and voting again?

Saturday, April 15, 2023

#HatofSummer 2023: Your Three Choices for This Year

 The #OfficialHat2023 campaign has already been underway for a few weeks, but I have neglected to post any of the videos on the old WWYG?! platform.

So, here are the three choices available for your voting pleasure.

As always--you can cast your votes on the provided Google Form to select the ONLY hat that I will wear all summer long: from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. When I wear a hat, it will only be the one that is chosen to be this year's #Hat of Summer.




Happy voting!

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Adjacent to the LOST Recap that Might Re-awaken?

 I'm back!

(Because ones of you out there in the vast Internet sea actually said to my face "You've got to update your blog!" Those six words have only every been utter in that sequence and directed at me once before . . . by the same kind person. And so, the Universe was trying to tell me something and who am I to fight against the Universe?)

Andbutso . . . you might guess from the fairly clear blog title what this is about. And why be surprised, because I venture to guess that 30ish percent of WWYG?! is already about this. And LOST was one of the original spurs that made me start blogging almost twenty years (?!!!) ago anyway. So, its Old Home Week back here on the digital ranch.

Grace shared this video with me on Friday. And I watched it. And by and large I appreciated it. Heck, I appreciate anyone who takes time to think about LOST--especially if that thinking results in the conclusion that We didn't appreciate LOST at the time!

Damn right you didn't. But I'm here to tell you that I.DID. 
I was drinking the glowing cave water from the opening minutes of episode one! And that is no surprise to anyone who has read WWYG?! in the past. But though I did appreciate Drew's support and his positive thoughts on one of the most impactful shows in TV history . . . and one of the most important TV shows in my adult life.

But he is wrong about one critical thing.

But before I get to what Drew is wrong about, I guess I should say that if you HAVEN'T watched LOST then you will be somewhat spoiled by the video above. So I guess go make one of the best decisions of your life and a. bookmark this post for future reference, b. devote 5,400 hours of your life to watching a show that premiered in 2004. And once you are done, c. come back to watch the video.

But . . . Drew's big mistake is that he argues that LOST is best watched in a binging environment and that it suffers from a week-to-week viewing. Having been an O.G. network television watcher I must STRONGLY disagree. Because watching LOST week-to-week gave me and my friends time to discuss, time to dissect, time to ponder what the actual f just happened on this week's show. Beyond that, LOST helped create the second-screen, entertainment discussion ethos that all prestige television thrives on currently.

LOST helped propel TV-themed podcasts. Back when podcasts were first emerging. And the dedicated fans of LOST tuned into those few LOST casts to listen to theories and hear from the actors and the producers and generally wallow in everything related to the show. We scoured the Internet for clues. We checked out the random book references from our libraries and tried to understand. The Easter Egg culture of TV (for all that is good and bad about it) sprung up from the mysteries that defined LOST. (Hell, the creators even designed a few off-season Internet "experiences" to keep people engaged during the summer. Remember Alvar Hanso?)

So . . . sorry Drew . . . the weekly release was a very helpful environment in which to watch the show. And if you are taking my advice to join in on the whole thing, consider taking your time. There are so few TV experiences anymore that are going to offer you 121* immersive episodes full of intrigue, plot twists, and unexpected joys. 

(And if you are interested in the show and need something to nudge you forward, why not check out my partial list of LOST Rewatch episodes. It'll be fun reading, I promise!)

As an aside . . . I 100 percent do AGREE with Drew's assessment that Michael Giacchino's music and scoring is a key element of what makes the show beautiful.

In summary . . . LOST is a beautiful treasure that should be savored. Please consider diving in and when you do, dive in all the way. 

#4 8 15 16 23 42

* Why didn't Lindelof and Cuse do the right thing and make is guaranteed that the show would end with 108 episodes?