The Cupcake Invasion is Here

For the last few years the Bacon Invasion has been slowly taking over the Internet, well the entire world for that matter.  It’s now at the point where wrapping bacon around bacon that has bacon stuffed inside is kind of a joke, and it’s been done already, twice before.  The trend as of recent is designer cupcakes, being fueled by the TV shows on Food Network and the cupcake trucks running around New York City. The cupcake invasion is now on a whole new level.

Cupcake Flavored ToothpasteCupcake Flavored Toothpaste.  Yes, start your morning off with cupcakes.  If it’s too sweet for you, there is the old standby of Bacon Flavored Toothpaste too.

I will not Kill My Blog

When I signed up to do the MS Charity Ride earlier this year, one of the perks that came along with it was a free 1-year subscription to a magazine of my choosing, from about a dozen.  I chose Wired magazine, since I read their articles online now and again, and it was the only one that really interested me.  The November 2008 issue showed up at my house a few days ago and went right into my favorite reading area, the bathroom.  While flipping through the new issue last night, I read a somewhat alarming article by Paul Boutin called Kill Your Blog.  Still posting like it’s 2004? Well, knock it off.  There are chirpier ways to get your words out. It appears that the full article is also online but called Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004, which helps me explain a lot better since I got rather angry while reading it and can easily write rebuttals to Mr. Boutin’s words and allow you to read the entire article to agree, disagree or come to your own conclusions.

Writing a weblog today isn’t the bright idea it was four years ago.

Mr. Boutin goes on to say that the web is full of cut-rate writers and underground marketing campaigns who all but drown real writers.  Ok, so I’m not supposed to write because I don’t have a degree in it and because it’s not cool anymore?  Not as cool as four years ago, so I should stop now?  He goes on to say,

It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers.

Sorry, not a valid reason for me to kill my blog.  People write for many different reasons, my boss’s wife started a blog for her then unborn child, who is now nearly 3, and it’s always being updated.  It was intended to be read by friends and family, and so her daughter can look back at her childhood at a later date.  I started Randomn3ss because I wanted a way to write rebuttals for other blog articles I read that might not have comments enabled, to share knowledge on topics that interest me and to have a public place to rant.  Take a quick Google search for How to list an eBay auction and Randomn3ss is in the first slot, followed by nearly the same article that I submitted to J.D. Roth of GetRichSlowly for republishing on his site.  Another such Google search for Make money selling digital photos shows Randomn3ss is first again.  Proof that I did get noticed and not by just hecklers, by people searching for things that I’ve written about that they want to read about.

On with the article Paul runs down a list of the top 100 blogs according to Technorati and points out how impersonal they are, how they are nothing more than online magazines and one single blogger could never compete with the power of a full time blog team cranking out 30+ articles per day.  Again, that’s assuming everyone wants to be in the top 100 of Technorati, a site that most people who aren’t bloggers have no clue about.  Likewise, I’m OK with the fact that these online sites are where they are, they write, for the most part, quality content that has a loyal following.

Paul brings Google back into the article, saying,

Today, a search for, say, Barack Obama’s latest speech will deliver a Wikipedia page, a Fox News article, and a few entries from professionally run sites like Politico.com. The odds of your clever entry appearing high on the list? Basically zero.

But I’ve already showed that it is indeed possible for a non-professional to write an article that people will read and that does well in Google.  In fact, I’m writing this article during my lunch break at work right now.  Not a valid point in my eyes.

Another generalization Paul makes is that only the scum of the internet will find your articles and leave comments on them.  Again, this has not been my experience.  While it is true I’ve taken a beating for my spelling mistakes, I’ve admitted I’m no pro at it and put my tail between my legs and corrected them.  Spam isn’t much of an issue thanks to a back-end method of controlling those types of comments.  On the positive note, commenter’s have left some really great suggestions, ideas and feedback and I’ve met some amazing people who in turn, blog as well.  Imagine that, nice people on the internet.

Further, text-based Web sites aren’t where the buzz is anymore. The reason blogs took off is that they made publishing easy for non-techies. Part of that simplicity was a lack of support for pictures, audio, and videoclips.

I know that you are 18 years older than me Paul, but I’ve been on the internet since the early 90’s and feel pretty comfortable with saying that even by 1995, photos and music, albeit horrible midi sounds were every bit apart of the net.  I can’t even recall the last full text-based site I used. Since your article refers to 2004, did you live in a different part of 2004 than I?

Social multimedia sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook have since made publishing pics and video as easy as typing text.

I agree!  But, none of them are a replacement for running a blog.  Facebook is the new MySpace, MySpace was the new Friendster.  How many people do you know that are still on Friendster?  What happens when one of these social networking and media sites deletes you from their system or no longer keeps an archive of your content?  At least buying my own server space gives me the control over backing up my content and keeping it online for as long as I choose.  Social networking and media sites are going to be here for a while, but they are not a replacement for ones own site.

Twitter — which limits each text-only post to 140 characters — is to 2008 what the blogosphere was to 2004.

I couldn’t disagree more!  Twitter is a cluster right now.  It’s being used by people who seem to have a need to let everyone know that they can’t fall asleep at 2am and by major news outlets to spew links to their newest articles to get published.  I’ve been trying to use Twitter for a year now, I have a love / hate relationship with it but it is in no way anywhere near being a killer app.  Again, most people outside of the tech world don’t know what it is and even trying to explain it to a stranger is hard.  Your only reason for seeming to like Twitter is that it can be searched instantly without waiting for Google to index it. Have you published an article online and then searched the title in Google 15 minutes later?  Chances are pretty good it will show up.  What is an acceptable amount of time for an article to get indexed?

Bloggers today are expected to write clever, insightful, witty prose to compete with Huffington and The New York Times. Twitter’s character limit puts everyone back on equal footing. It lets amateurs quit agonizing over their writing and cut to the chase.

So because someone can’t write a clever, insightful, witty article they should instead just go to Twitter?  That makes no sense.  All the NYT does is post links to their articles, which is automated.  They don’t have someone sitting in their office [that I know of] who is responding to peoples comments on articles.  There is no conversation or long term archiving for it.  And who says I want to compete with any of those sites.  I don’t compete, therefor I can’t lose.

Ironically, the title of the article is what drew me into reading it in the paper magazine.  I wanted to know why I should Kill My Blog and a few lines into the article, I started to chuckle.  Here I am reading an article about blogging and why it sucks and I’m reading it in a 20th century fashion, a printed on paper magazine.  Who reads magazines anymore?

Paul Boutin makes his living as Senior Writer for Valleyway, a Tech Gossip Blog.  A blogger telling me to stop blogging.  Interesting…

Look At These F*cking Ads!

Every now and again I find a website that has no useful purpose at all, other than making me laugh and offending some people here and there.  Yesterday Randomn3ss staff writer Andy had a link in his chat client that seriously made me laugh, and I’m sure it will offend some people.

The site is aidsvertising.com and they really like the word fuck, so don’t go there if someone is looking over your shoulder.  In a nutshell, they take everyday products and add their own marketing to them.  It’s unique and targeted demographic, and I’m now a fan.

Knuckle Tattoos

Way back in 1995 I got my first tattoo.  It says STRAIGHT EDGE on my ankle.  I am still straight edge and have no regrets about the tattoo.  Over the next few years I got several more tattoo’s, but all on my leg, from the knee to ankle, as I was always thinking about the future and jobs and that responsible stuff.  It wasn’t until maybe 6-8 years ago that tattoos really started to become more acceptable in main stream society and you almost kind of expect the person behind the counter at your loal coffee shop to have some kind of visible ink, weather on their arms, neck, wherever.

One place that many people get tattoo’d to tell a quick story is their knuckles.  Either in combination of one word spread across eight fingers, or two words, this is quickly growing to be one of the most popular places to express your feelings, who you are or what you are about without opening your mouth.  Popular knuckle tattoos include:

  • Love Hate
  • Live Fast
  • That Hurt
  • Stay Down
  • Str8 Edge

The list really goes on and on.  KnuckleTattoos.com has taken it one step further and started a collection of these very specific tattoos and categorize them all along with a background story to why the collector got them.  Additionally, they’ve created a fun little app that will let you preview how cool you’ll be once you figure out what to put there, it’s called the Knuckle Tattoo Gun.  Take a look at the masterpiece I’ve created below.

Now go have some fun and let me know what fun creations you in the comments!

I’m Insulted

Alright. I’m not big on writing political commentary, but I’m pretty pissed off. I was all about this election – the excitement of a new world order and the potential for change – but now I’m just insulted.

Dear Obama – You had SO MUCH potential to be truly revolutionary with your VP choice. You could have chosen John Edwards (oops – that whole affair thing… guess not!) or choose a WOMAN and go with Hillary Clinton (oops – too much pride? too many ideological differences? too worried that you’d get the ENTIRE nation behind you?). But NO – you choose Joe Biden who, yes, has that foreign policy experience you so lack (and everyone warned you was going to be a huge issue). But he also has a completely dependent son and a spotty record with lobbyists and some cash but I guess that’s better than fucking some politico-ho like Edwards.

Senator Obama, you could have been a true revolutionary. Instead you chose a rich, white male to keep some semblance of the status quo and to feasibly gain votes.

Dear McCain and the entire Republican Party – you fucking insult me. You think I am stupid and ruled by my uterus. You think that SIMPLY because you chose a WOMAN to be the VP that now I will vote for you. You think I will overlook the fact that she has zero experience, has been governor for a minute, and being governor of Alaska, has undoubtedly let the government dabble in fucking up our natural resources up there. You saw that you’re running against a black man and picked a woman to hopefully pick up those female voters from the Dems who are pissed about Biden. Well – fuck you – I think your choice was cheap and purely for PR, not experience. AT LEAST Obama chose someone who would make up for his shortcomings as a politician; you chose someone who, when you die, will be known as the “hottest US President in history.”

I’m insulted.

Step off, street people

In the words of Ellyn Taxin (wise sage and regional manager for City Sports), “the warm weather brings out all the freaks.”

She’s right.

In my near-daily routine of walking the streets of Philly (notice I did not say “street walking in Philly.” That was intentional to deflect all inquiries into my moral stability), I am accosted by random people. I’m not just talking about bums (although the bums are really making a comeback in Center City, damn). I’m talking overzealous college students, Obama supporters, and random weirdos. Continue reading »

Hold Up Bitch

Holy Brangelina Tom Kat couch jumpers! Barak Obama, candidate for president of the United States called someone “sweetie” at a news conference! I’m switching my vote, call off the campaign, that guy has pulled the last cube from the base of the Jenga tower. Um… really?

Yes, our candidate called a news reporter “sweetie” in an exchange last week during a news conference. Bad on him for being ever so lackadaisical with our oblique language, to lose his footing amidst casual conversation with a news reporter of all people. Sweetie: obviously a term that some may consider sexually degrading, we can all recognize the political quandary that has occurred. When you have opponents that resort to picking at the lack of flag pinning on your lapel rather than their (dare I say insignificant) qualms over your policies on healthcare reform and the like, you have to watch every word that you live and breathe. Isn’t it sad that a word like this receives more publicity than foreign policy? Come on people, what bullshit. Adrienne touched on the sort of extreme PC-ed-ness that we’re talking about here in her article below. It’s an abuse of the disproportionate standards that we hold so high above our own heads.

Furthermore, media attention to such things is exhausting and stirs up an issue that doesn’t need consideration. Pointing the finger at an irrelevant remark merely highlights a matter of sexism that needs no additional setback. Why must we deviate? Aren’t we bigger than this? Aren’t we stronger than this as women? Come November, a democratic candidate will be facing a man who recently voted against the equal pay act, although much of us seem to have missed that one.

However back to the scene of the crime. When the fated female reporter felt slighted and ignored, she linked her disappointment in Barak’s actions to the word “sweetie”, whether consciously or not. The catalyst of treachery was the reporter’s feeling of unimportance. And here I thought that the intended purpose behind the name sweetie was that of endearment. It’s not like Barack said, “Hold up bitch”, as if he were hip to generic rappers and plastic heiresses nowadays.

This is coming from a black male that has faced a good deal of prejudice and inequality, one who has demonstrated countless times his own diligent nonpartisan beliefs. It’s another step back for some media outlets to be chastising him for such insignificance. What is with this force, this outpouring of news coverage that focuses on nothing important and everything trivial? There is a small and gradual change that is peaking over the horizon, and we are slowly creeping towards waking up, if only we can keep the momentum…

Barack can call me sweetie any day, hell I wish he would. Gas station attendants, Wawa cashiers and the passing stranger have called me worse, and I still hold as high a level of esteem for them after our sexually indiscriminate exchange as I did prior.

Kidd Chris Gets His

Ending a long-standing war between Kidd Chris and everyone else, WYSP 94.1 finally fired the shock jock’s ass. Not only was he unfunny (at least in my opinion), but racist as he played a song by musically-regrettable Lady Gash. He played it not once… but twice… and repeated clips of it throughout the month of March, also prompting the firing of WYSP’s program director, John Cook. Further info on the official corporate response and the offending song can be found at Dan Gross’s Daily News column here.

You know, I’m glad this guy got his. Kidd Chris represents the stereotypical “Pennsyltucky” persona – xenophobic, undereducated, and angry at nothing. Maybe I just don’t personally find his brand of humor to be amusing – and, hey, to each their own – but I think you cross a line when you play blatantly racist music, get your rocks off by attempting to humiliate competing personalities (because you apparently can’t get by on your own), and generally cast a pessimistic shadow over the community. Granted, traditionally “black” radio stations and personalities (Wendy Williams, anyone?) blast white people all the time, promoting a sick double-standard that’s all too prevalent in this ultra-PC (at least for white people) society. I think racism and ethnic persecution is ugly, no matter who is doing it. I am saying that it doesn’t matter who is doing it – it’s never right.

I guess the reaction from most people would be – “You don’t like it, don’t listen.” That’s definitely my stance (if you hate my writing and my blog, fuck off, don’t read it). However, I was disgusted by the effect Kidd Chris had on friends of mine in the industry. His egging on of listeners to harass and threaten other radio personalities was sickening to me and I’m surprised it took this long to can his ass. Everyone is entitled to an opinion (hey, you hate Preston and Steve? Great, that’s totally your call and I respect that. I have no opinion regardless), but the limit of opinion exists at the line where the comfort and livelihood of another sentient being is threatened.

If you like him, follow Kidd Chris to satellite or bumblefuck or wherever the hell he ends up. I don’t wish him ill will, I’m just glad that motherfucker is out of my airwaves and done embarrassing my city. We’re better than this, Philly… aren’t we?

Help Wanted: Spell checker for tattoo artist

The world’s best speller I am not. It has been pointed out to me in several articles that I’ve published this fact and I humbly put my tail between my legs, fix the errors, thank the person for pointing them out to me and try to learn from my mistakes. I’m a blogger, I can fix my mistakes when they happen. I do not put something permanent on people and hope for the best.

Loyal Randomn3ss reader and good friend Matt sent me a link to a forum post with the proud new owner showing off a photo of his fresh new tattoo.

Decent gray work, the lines don’t look too bad, but wait, something doesn’t look right. Three grammatical errors are in this one tattoo. Its should be It’s, Delt is properly spelled Dealt and lastly, Your should be You’re. Ooops.

Source: vwvortex.com forums

Update: So the poster on the vwovortex forum was posting up a bit of a hoax, it’s a real tattoo but he isn’t the owner. The real owner explains his story of what everything means about the tattoo ala Miami Ink, and then 5 full pages of forum members ripping him to shreds for the horrible spelling issues. Real source: NikeTalk

Maybe he’s a furrie at heart?

Here. Just look at the picture below. It’s been in all the major print news outlets since Monday morning. In Metro, it was juxtaposed next to a headline with Bush’s comment that the deaths of 4,000 American soldiers in Iraq has not been in vain.

And shame on you, Easter Bunny. I thought you were better than this – a partisan attention whore who jumps in on any photo-op possible, despite the fact that you are inextricably attached to a religiously-based holiday in a country where church and state are to remain separate. For shame, Easter Bunny!! Added to the fact that I got Luna bars instead of Reese’s peanut butter eggs, now I’m really pissed at you (are you calling me fat, Easter Bunny??). You just keep being pink and fluffy and emotionless with those big, coked-out pupils and hug the demon next to you. By the way, don’t get too cozy – his reign of terror ends on January 20, 2008.

Do you have your barf bags ready? Here’s the picture:
bush and bunny