A Watery Mully for Tying Down WiFi

Huge apologies.

The past two weeks have resembled that scribbly dust cloud that looms around and behind Pigpen (of Charlie Brown fame), except that my personal scribbly dust cloud was composed less of dirt and seeds, and more of wine and crepes. And seriously-- if you're going to have a scribbly dust cloud swarming around, I do suggest that it contains some kind of hot foreign dessert item.

So yea, I went to Paris... and now I have over a week's worth of media news to catch up on. Right, right... woe is me and so on.

Before I dive in, I'd like to remind you that opening day is a mere 4 days away. I can tell because Wally Bobblehead has begun to sway in jittery anticipation. And because Wendy Nicks has already started to annoy me.

The steaming chimichanga on the hot plate tonight is the fact that Google has applied for a patent to ad target wifi consumers. Check out further elaboration via ClickZ and MarketingVox.
What's more is that the ads would be "continually served," regardless of refreshivity. The behavioral targeting folks at Goog are undoubtedly sharpening their sticks and tuning their tuning forks.
::I'm undecided about all of this at the present time, so I'll have to employ the mulligan placeholder technique for now.

I'm also somewhat skeptical about the fact that boxed wine has kinda-sorta gone glam. I'm seriously leaning towards being a hypocritical authenticity caller-outer on this one, even in the face of affordability and preservation. Cardboard boxes are completely unsexy, and that's two-thirds of the appeal. The whole twist-off cap rage was one thing; this is just too much.
::28 fermented crabapples.

Thirdly, to continue my trend of Topps genuflection, I'm loving their push to reinvigorate the Bazooka brand. Their deep, unbending connection to shitty chewing gum is a fine lesson in devotion.
:: 44 pineapples for keeping the faith and wrecking 8-year-old jaws everywhere.

***And, of course, thanks to AdAge and AdRants for the critical boxed wine and 'zooka news. Honestly, just look at what you miss when I'm gone. Truly, truly horrifying.


2 Mulligans for Johnny and Fabio

In the spirit of wax packs, this post is dedicated to Johnny Pesky, thee of the unintelligent lawn chair positioning. Johnny, dude... you're wicked old... like 85? You're also wicked directly in the way of a line drive.

And, speaking of shriveled 1940s infielders, I'm devastated to announce (via Adjab) that everyone's favorite faux butter spokesmodel, Fabio, will be leaving his post this Spring. We, the people of "I Can't Believe it's Not" nation, are held to the task of electing the next man-toy. The website showcases a line-up of daytime soap hunks, but I was thinking more along the lines of Ron Howard.

This whole fake butter in a pump thing is ironic, right?


11 Pineapples for Don Zimmer at Twenty-Two

In obligatory follow up to my post about the joys of graphite chewing gum, Adrants unearthed this dazzler of an ad campaign from a hole-in-the-wall [ye olde] card shop[pe]. Love the campaign; floored by the exponential growth of Zimmer's noggin.

In other news... call your friends and old babysitters-- mobile marketing will become mainstream by '08. Mark your calendars. I'm going with somewhere around May 6th.

In other other news, the push for "personalized news" is on, y'all. The quotes are with due purpose, fellas.
But... but... what if I don't want to order something off the 99-cents [news] menu?

Brackets... too many... I know... and I apologize.


72 Pineapples for Butter and Mink

The following post, which has absolutely nothing to do with the gorgeous soft black capelet given to me by E (or the fact that Tony Soprano might be dead), is dedicated to the gorgeous soft black capelet given to me by E (and the fact that Tony Soprano might be dead). In fact, I am wearing it right now.

You wouldn't think so, but faux mink coordinates perfectly with mesh shorts and a t-shirt from the boys department. I still have earrings on-- it's really okay.
Thanks again, E. It's beautiful.

So here's the deal...

Mob Happy reports that Google forgot to sign his mobile marketing permission slip. For this reason, Goog is in buzzville hot water for unapp'ed site compression. But hold your chimichurri, plucky cowpokes, SearchEngineWatch reports (via Searchviews) that Google has been partnering like a rabid cheetah with the cap'ns of mobi'phone tech. I'm willing to bet my capelet that these stripped-down cell sites won't stay that way for long, especially now that this issue has gone mainstream (if only for media ferrets).

Daddy Larry and Father Serg are on it--
Now let lil' Goog go to Old Sturbridge Village with his pals. He likes to watch the nice lady churn the butter.


109 Pineapples for Being Authentic

Old media holder-onto-ers often speak of this strange animal called "authenticity"...

Now, first, my apologies to Jason, since I'm lifting the meat of this post directly from an email I sent to him the other day... (But, I promise, I'll build off it.)

So, the other night I'm half-watching the Oscars, and they do the award for Best Animated Short. There are two CGI nominees and a hand-drawn nominee (and I mean really hand-drawn... like pen&ink outlines with very minimal shading).

Moderate-length story made short... the hand-drawn short won. Upon accepting his award, the creator launched into this oration about things being authentic and hand-drawn and so on and so forth. And the audience was eating it up like it was laced with truffle oil and smothered in Godiva.
"LALALA-Cheers for things being real and true and autheeeentic."

But why- what? Because you used a fucking pen? Um, and a computer, and huge video screens, and supercoded editing software?

My rhetorical query is twofold:

1. Even if authenticity can be graphed as a continuum of some sort... can anything but, say, carbon, be placed anywhere but somewhere in the floaty middle? And, at our current point in techcentric history, isn't everything such a layer-upon-layer-upon-layer amalgam that the embedded carbon has, if not lost all elemental value 4,000,000 years ago, walked out of the room because he was so pissed off at the other shit weighing him down? (And yes, carbon is male.)

2. Why, as a culture, are we so wooed by almighty authenticity? Now, I'm the first one to admit that I find more pleasure in making a table than buying it, pounding my silver sheet into a cuff bracelet rather than selling my soul to Tiffany's, growing my green beans and steaming them in sunlight and eating them with the grapes that I just fermented into a fine merlot all by myself...

But is all this totally missing the point?

Am I talking about self-sufficiency, or, more broadly, human capability, rather than authenticity?


Okay-- so that's where my mind was three days ago.

And then, yesterday, I read this article about Topps making baseball card collecting interactive.

My emotions went like so: angry...[4 minute pause]...contemplative...[3 hour pause]...pleased as punch...[still paused]. And I'll tell ya why.

So here's the thing: Topps and I go back-- way back. When I was 8, I met Mike Greenwell at a baseball card show at the Bayside Expo Center (please note: this was a classy one, considering my dad and I would find one nearly every weekend-- even if it was in some scary cellar in Lawrence). I wrote an article about how nice and cool Mike was (the guy wrestles alligators, for goodness sake), and it was published in Joe Cotton's kids column in the Boston Globe. A crowning achievement! Not to mention the pictures I have of myself and Mike (and, hey, one with Louis Tiant) against picturesque Giant Glass backdrops.

The point of this? My published article also earned me a box of Topps wax packs. Now if that ain't pure joy, I don't know what is.

So, other than the fact that my parents' basement is stockpiled with ordered sets in labeled binders (see- I was even OCD then), it'd been a while since I'd thought about Upper Deck Black Diamonds or Fleer Future Stars or the unparalleled thrill of getting a hologram card or, better yet, an error card (hey- remember the Bill Ripken 1989 Fleer classic?).

But then, after a shitty day about a year ago, I sought solace by buying a box of 1987 Topps (cheaper than shoes, safer than crack). You know-- the ones with the faux wood-grained border and the all-caps comic sans font?

I chewed that fricking hard-ass gum as if it was the best thing made of methylcellulose ever... (Now that word has come up twice in posts... I have so totally monopolized that as a google search term.) Even though it was too stale to even shard apart and so the act of chewing resembled gnawing at a clarinet reed, it was monstrously enjoyable.

My point is this: Authenticity is relative, and authenticity is personal. So, for some people, sure... it may mean "animated short drawn with pen." But for me, it's hard to describe it in any other words than:
"Fuck yea. I got two Bonds rookies in that box."

And if Topps wants to reinvigorate baseball card collecting, I say a big fat amen. Because even though my definition of authenticity may include gum made of sandstone and formica, there's no reason why 7-year-old Billy can't cling to his interactive video stream just as sincerely.

Who are we to stick this "authenticity" animal (which, by the way, vaguely resembles a gerbil) on an arbitrary timeline? Authenticity is one of those concepts that's only timeless because it's evolving, intimate, and malleable. I betcha those Willard Scott birthday celebrants ain't thinking 'bout faux woodgrain baseball card borders when they think "authentic." They're thinking about Lawrence Welk or the milkman or stickball... or, heck, I don't know because I'm not 109.

And that's the beauty of it.

**Thanks baseball-almanac.com for the baseball card img from the Jackson era (uhh-- Andrew, not Michael).


15 Pineapples for Hot & Tidy Computing

I have nothing against Microsoft; in fact, I have nothing against Microsoft. Did I just repeat myself? Perfect. I meant to.


But, I never miss an opportunity to dig my superfluous nails in to all things superfluous. Augmenting my comments regarding the SpikeTV website, this parody (that I'm about to show you) reminds me why my ibook makes me feel calmer than a hot stone massage in a wheatfield. Small, thin, clean, neat, user-friendly, and incredibly sexy; yes, my ibook is the pre-baby Britney of consumer electronics.

On the other hand, let's all take a look at what Apple branding would look like if Microsoft got its over-tattooed and muddlecluttery hands all over it:

If you're cool and strong enough to have a google account, click here.

If you resemble Brendan Fraser in Encino Man (sad, washed up, and mummified), click here (while kicking yourself mercilessly along your shinbones).

The goog link may actually work for everyone, but I can't check it because I am inherently too technologically advanced.

If I'm going to spend 82% of this post licking Apple's balls, I should also admit that the hos and bros of Wall Street have sorta not been.

And, while I'm on topic of the Intel-fed Mac Mini, I rabidly encourage you to check out Grant McCracken's take on their new(-ish) ad campaign. He calls it branding brilliance; I call him correct.


A Self-Bestowed Mulligan

Okay, so I've been totally slothy in my posts lately. And heck, I'll just throw it out there now -- it may stay this way for a short bit.

The thing is this:

Sometimes life is funny.

Most of the time life is not funny, but I find it funny anyway; this mindset has shaped the backside of my eyeballs into a permanent sarcastic smirk.

Rarely, the smirk falls somehow off my eyeballs and down my esophagus and into my gall bladder (and no one really knows what goes on down there anyway-- except I maybe think it's green).

And that's where I've been at for a week or so now.


Now, because I care about the state of the vital affairs of our nation (and the world), I will mention that it has been rumoured that my favourite colourful gal-pal K-Cav and Nick Lachey are British. I mean... dating. Although he's also rumored to be seeing Drew's partner (Cheryl Whatsernameanyway) from Dancing with the Stars.

And also, I found out this morning that my friend Cynthia (due in June) will be giving birth to identical twin girls. Now, y'all [now i'm from the south? seriously- it's in your best interest to ignore me...] know how I feel about babies in my life right now (not good), but if I had to choose, I would choose to have identical twin girls. So, maybe by the time that I have that option, I'll be ready to have Coors Light twinsets of my own.

And while we're talking about babies, check out pics of Gwen (the other one). Seriously, though- how pretty is she? I'm going with "very," but feel free to employ "extremely" or "totally."

So, hey-- 1 mulligan delivered directly to my gall bladder via alimentary canal (if, of course, it goes there).


13 Blinky Crabapples for Analysts' Screeching Tires

Google has once again monopolized the newswires, ever since CFO George Reyes made the mistake(?) of stating that GOOG's zippy-cheetah growth may be slowed to, say, "fast."

In honor of the bumrush of stockholders and analysts who found it necessary to un-barn the horses of the apocalypse (while jumping off their ponies into a mollycoddley haystack), I think we should all buy these lovely Google blinky pins. Because if there's anything in this world that won't make you look like a complete toolbox, I believe it would be this.

And if you have an extra 3 grand to play around with (like me), I urge you to snaggle a Google Mini. And then show me how the hell it works.

And while I'm at it:
Who wants to take a stab at how many of these marvy pieces of shit can be found among the MIT dorms?

And hey- wanna see the best piece of technology I've seen since I learned how to use my mouth?
Everybody say a friendly welcome to the wine jukebox.

You don't get pineapples just by walking in the door.

Well, wouldya look at that... he shows.