Friday, February 20

Lost Friday - "316."

Season 5 - Episode 6: "316."

Well, now we're getting somewhere.

One of the things about Lost that we forget from time to time, is that there's about 25 more episodes left, and that's it. Sure, it may sound like a lot, but remember that they have an assload of loose ends to tie up before pulling the plug. Tonight was another giant leap forward, mainly in that they took another giant leap into the past. Season 5 has been all about waving the Nerd Flag, exposing the true intentions of the show and trying their hardest to keep everyone along for the ride, and they've done an unreal job.

Now let's make fun of them again.

(Jack comes to the sudden and horrific realization that he forgot to purchase a Digital Converter Box for his kitchen television.)


("Damn it, Hurley! There's Saltines back at the beach; let them go, man!")

("Huh-huh...we totally did it last night.")

("Hey Kate, remember last night? When we did it?")

("Kate, can you answer me a question; my mind is a little foggy. Did we totally do it last night?")

(If there was a complex, scientific nerve center underneath every Catholic church in America, the resulting Black Hole of Irony would disseminate every living being on the planet.)

("I'm trying to deliver a passionate monologue, here; stop worrying about if I'm going to run into that swinging pendulum or not.")


(Even after death, Locke still comes through with those Coldplay tickets he promised Jack.)

("I forgot to tell you that your father is an omnipotent, Godlike being that controls the Heavens and Earth. Musta slipped my mind. Keep the shoes.")

("If you must know, I tried to kill Penny and Desmond pounded the living crap out of me. Now are you going to send a cab or not? Okay. Thank you. Love you, too. Bye.")

(At least we know that Locke is going to have that delicious, Smokehouse flavor.)

("Hey John, wake up. Me and Kate totally did it last night!")

("Hello, sir. I am delivering a line of seemingly random dialogue so you will recognize me next week, when I'm unceremoniously blown to pieces on the Island. This is what they call 'Foreshadowing.'")

("Sun! So glad you made it! Did you hear what happened with me and Kate?")

("Look, dude. I bought all 78 of those seats, so I expect to be given all 78 of those meals.")

("I'm serious, Ben. And her neck totally tasted like strawberries. High-five.")

("Hey Lapidus, Autopilot this bitch for a second. I nailed Kate!")


(This photograph marks the first and last time that Vodka and Shoe Polish will ever share the same rocks glass.)

This concludes yet another historic Lost Friday. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend. The CDP returns on Monday, like it always does. In the meantime, check out links for previous Lost Fridays this season.

Season 5 - Episode 1/2 Review.
Season 5 - Episode 4 Review.
Season 5 - Episode 5 Review.

Thursday, February 19

This Concludes Our Broadcast Day.

The above footage comes to us courtesy of my buddy Benjamin over at Killer Sandbox Productions. And when I say 'courtesy,' I mean that he works for NBC 15 in Madison and took the footage directly from the editing room.

When you're a TV History nerd like myself, something an inconspicuous as the death of Analog Television is a major event for you. I had been waiting almost a decade for the switch to be flipped, and at 11:55pm on Tuesday, NBC 15 decided to go out in style, killing the signal with the old school Indian Head Test Pattern, one of my personal favorite images (and a CDP logo for almost three years).

I care about Television history so much, that I actually wanted to sync up the unveiling of the new CDP design in conjunction with the Analog/Digital switch, but got spooked when rumors of a pushed-back deadline went into motion. Either way, I'll add this moment to the ever-growing list of historic pop culture that I've been able to see in my lifetime. Goodbye rabbit ears, goodbye tinfoil on the antenna, goodbye shimmying around the Living Room for hours on end to get a good signal.

Goodbye Analog. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day; Lost Friday arrives tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18

No More Entertainment #1 - False Representation.

10 Bands With Names That Are Significantly Better Than Their Music.

Be it due to misdirected irony, poor planning, or merely a grossly incorrect estimation as to the overall quality of their music, the following 10 bands have hereby been accused of False Representation:

The Get Up Kids
Atari Teenage Riot
Bear Vs. Shark
Cradle Of Filth
Crystal Castles
Drag The River
Vampire Weekend
The Dandy Warhols
The Arctic Monkeys

10 Bands With Names That Are Exactly As Awesome As Their Music.

Be it due to an overabundance of musical genius, too much (or not nearly enough) time on their hands to think of a name, or simply more smartass snobbery than the average hipster, the following 10 bands got it right, in every possible way:

The Zombies
Ultimate Fakebook
Teenage Fanclub
Smoking Popes
The Mr. T Experience
Electric Light Orchestra
The Dead Milkmen

10 Bands With Names That Sound Exactly Like The Music They Play.

Be it due to the Gods and Goddesses of perfectly-named bands, without so much as a hint of misrepresentation and an acute knowledge of their individual sound, the following 10 bands sound precisely as they have been marketed (for better or for worse):

Mr. Bungle
The Muffs
Pansy Division
The Sundays
The Go! Team
Explosions In The Sky
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Man…Or Astro-Man?
The Minibosses

Add your selections in the comments section, start the conversation and enjoy your day.

Monday, February 16

To Here Knows When.

Three Sundays ago, me and the Missus were on our way out of the Alliant Energy Center, having just witnessed the brain-melting awesomeness that is the Mad Rollin’ Dolls Roller Derby. The day was beautiful; an unseasonably warm morning brought Madison out of its cocoon of Winter jackets and unfashionable hats. The day was also made beautiful by the fact that it was my quiet, uneventful and arrest-free 27th birthday. I felt good, I felt young, and I was looking forward to heading home in time to catch the Super Bowl and gorge on various dips, beers and cheeses.

The Missus offered to drive my car home, and as we pulled onto the street, we instantly recognized that something was wrong. Not wrong in a “Life is a series of random, unrelated events that means nothing and ends when you die” sort of way, but wrong as in “I think the car may have exploded a second ago.” The whirring sound of rubber tire meeting non-rubber metal in an unholy alliance of black smoke and dangerous maneuvering got us back off of the road in a heartbeat. Pulling back into the parking lot, we saw that the left rear tire was flat and shredded into oblivion.

“Happy Birthday!” shouted my friends in unison from the backseat. Assknobs.

As I was twisting the jack, loosening the nuts, blackening my hands and dirtying my favorite jeans, it struck me as quite the coincidence that this was not only my second flat tire in six months, but in the same exact wheel well, too. I chalked it up to bad luck and got us back on the road in less than five minutes; a new personal record.

Driving on a 55MPH donut is an anxious experience to say the least. Not only are you trusting what amounts to nothing more than a pretend wheel on a Big Boy car, but you have to trust that you did everything right when changing the tire in the first place. If it should, I don’t know, sproing completely off of the axle and launch itself into Lake Mendota whilst navigating the beltline, you’d have nobody to blame but yourself when receiving your blood transfusion back at the hospital of your health insurance provider’s choosing.

Stupid birthday. Stupid Super Bowl.

The next day, I took Monday morning off of work and slowly rolled my way over to Broadway Tire on the opposite side of the city. For me, Broadway Tire represents a necessary evil, as they’re the closest game in town whenever I have a vehicular emergency. However, they’re rude, yell at you like you somehow damaged your only mode of transportation on purpose, and pretty much leave you at their greasy mercy.

“Hi. I have a flat tire.”
“(already angry) What happened?”
“Well, I don’t really know. The tire was flat in the parking lot.”
“(angrier still) How far did you drive on it?”
“Um, not really far at all. Maybe 100 yards or so.”
“(angry and incredulous) Well, how did you get here, then?”
“What? I put the spare on...(muttering to myself)…you freaking moron.”
“Alright, pull it in; we’ll take a look at it.”
“Will do. Say, I just got that tire here less than six months ago, and…”
“(reading verbatim from sign behind counter) 30 warranty on all tires!”
“(wide-eyed)…I see.”
“Jesus, what in the hell did you do to this tire? It’s shredded!”
“Nothing. I mean, I don’t know; that’s how I found it.”
“You’re telling me that you didn’t drive on this?”
“For the last time, dude, I stopped driving as soon as I noticed it.”

We then exchanged accusatory glances until the phone rang and startled him.

A 30 day warranty on tires sounds nothing short of worthless, but nonetheless, I had nowhere else to go. They slapped a used tire into the left rear wheel well, charged me a respectable 36 bucks, and I was back at work by 10am.

Done and done, correct?

Bzzzrtt; wrong answer.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Missus came home from work, and while still in the garage, began to inquire about the mystery tire they had applied to the Wild Stallion v4.0.

“Honey? Are you sure that they put the right size tire on your car?”
“What? Why?”
“Well, your car is all…crooked.”
“Oh, God. Hang on, I’ll be right out.”

Sure enough, my entire car was now slanted downwards toward the left rear axle, indicative that the belligerent, rude and inattentive folks at Broadway just up and put the wrong size tire on to spite me. However, the measurements were correct and the tire was legit; the whole works were just crooked for some strange reason. The mysteries were starting to pile up, but I didn’t want to think about it, so quite frankly, I ignored them. If I should ever get diabetes, you can bet that I’ll deny the symptoms right up to the point where they start sawing my foot off.

Friday morning was freezing, probably five below zero when I left the house at 7am. I got about a mile away from my house when I once again heard the sound of rubber flapping off-balance. I turned down My Bloody Valentine and gave a listen.

“This seriously cannot be happening.”

Seconds later, I began to lose control of the car, and quickly turned into the parking lot of the new Target that they’re in the process of building right next to CDP Headquarters (I’m pumped at this prospect for a number of reasons). As I got out of the car, I couldn’t believe what I saw.

Flat, shredded tire. Left rear wheel.

For the second time in five days (and the third time in six months), I was once again on my hands and knees, changing the same tire in the same wheel well. I called up the Missus to let her know what was going on, and she told me she would drop by the parking lot on her way to work, just to make sure that the jack didn’t snap and mush my body flat underneath the car. I also called my boss and took a personal day, because I was all set to limp back into Broadway Tire and tear each and every one of them a brand-spanking-new butthole for my troubles.

The ranting came fast and furious when the Missus showed up. It was so cold outside that I had to wear a stocking cap that I keep in the trunk for emergencies, which caused my still-wet hair to meld and freeze into the most embarrassing shape possible (think A Flock Of Seagulls meets the Unibomber). “I can’t believe this! Those jerks sold me a lemon tire! They owe me! I’m sick of changing tires! This sucks! My life sucks! Morrissey was right! Aaaugh!”

It was at this point where I took the newly-shredded tire off of the axle, and made the discovery that solved all of the looming mysteries in a big hurry. A jagged, glistening, razor-sharp hunk of shrapnel sticking straight out of the wheel well, right where my rear coil springs had apparently snapped and broken.


Allow me to slingshot you back through time, and recap what exactly happened to my car. I had been more or less driving in a deathtrap that was secretly gearing up to end my life in the stupidest possible way.

Six months ago, my rear coil springs unknowingly snapped while driving through a construction site, initially flattening my tire, which was replaced, chalked up to accident and forgotten about. At some point during the week of the Super Bowl, the broken springs had somehow shifted, sending a chunk of twisted metal just enough into the path of the left rear tire to rub against it for hundreds of miles, slowly wearing it to pieces until it just came apart…like, say, in the parking lot of the Alliant Energy Center after a roller derby. When the Broadway guys replaced the tire, they never bothered to notice the spring problem, but did seem shocked that what looked like a typically-flat tire could be so mangled. The snapped springs continued to be ignored, leaving my car to look crooked and tipped sideways, just like the Missus noticed on Wednesday. The broken coil then worked its magic on the new tire, until finally striking oil on Friday morning, once again shredding it during my morning commute.

Mystery solved. I felt like an automotive Dr. House. I also knew that I was about to write a very, very large check to a mechanic.

So, for the second time in a week, I attached the donut to the Wild Stallion, this time driving to Capitol Ford for a long day of repairs and complimentary popcorn. New springs? Check. New struts? Check. New tire and alignment? Check and mate.

Total cost? $900.

To keep myself from committing suicide, which was my initial solution for this problem, I’m left to focus on the positives. For one, I didn’t get killed, which is always a reality when it comes to car problems. Secondly, nothing had to be towed or shuttled anywhere (except for my carless ass), which is always a tremendous pain in the wenis area. Thirdly, I had just begun an Emergency Savings account for situations like this no less than days before the explosion, and most of what I had in there covered the overall costs.

Could have been worse, I suppose; it could have happened on my birthday.

Hey, wait a minute…