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  • Ted Mann 8:58 pm on February 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Not quite ready for primetime 

    Prepare for the truly surreal: a half-hour Oscar television special starring yours truly. Well, not really. I just appear at the beginning and end, rambling nonsensically about God knows what (something about Michael Moore, Castro, and “Juno,” I think).

    But on the positive side, I had my very first experience getting airbrushed, and I got to successfully present my first Oscar — even if it was a $20 Internet knock-off that really looked more like a little league soccer trophy than an 8-pound hunk of gold.

    Flash video:

    The show aired tonight — Friday, February 22, at 7:30 p.m. — on RNN (channel six), the Regional News Network. I’ve been appearing on their evening news program, Newscenter Now (a joint venture with the paper I work for), over the course of the past year, to talk about the same kind of celebrity gossip I write about for my work blog, Suburbarazzi. But this was the first time where the blog was used to help anchor a whole half-hour show. Pretty cool, right? Or incredibly dorky, I suppose. Either way, it was a blast.

    For more on the show, check out my Suburbarazzi post about it.

    Alright, now you can commence teasing.

  • Ted Mann 3:39 pm on May 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    I promise to return to blogging shortly 

    In the meantime, enjoy Alec Baldwin bitching out Dora:

    Alec Baldwin Calls Dora the Explorer

  • Ted Mann 1:10 am on February 16, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    I’ll take two scoops of Stephen Colbert 

    This makes me happy. Very happy.

  • Ted Mann 10:58 pm on January 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The iPhone does even more than I thought! 

    It’s a bottle opener! A sonogram! A hand grenade! A mouse trap! Mace! Treadmill! And so much more!

    Thanks to my brother-in-law, Dan, for sending the YouTube link.

  • Ted Mann 8:32 pm on January 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    So does this mean I have six months to get out of my Verizon contract and get me an iPhone? 

    Or is there any way to sweet-talk Verizon and Apple into playing nice and making the iPhone available to non-Cingular customers? Time to start a petition.

    If you haven’t checked out the iPhone yet, you must immediately go to the Apple website and kill a half hour watching demos of all its features. Prepare to have your mind blown. I haven’t suffered from such immediate, aggressive techno-lust since — well, the Wii.

    But honestly, I don’t think it’s just me being overly gadget happy; these are actually the two coolest gizmos to hit the market in years. Of course, the actual iPhones won’t actually hit the market until June, so until them, I’m going to have to fill the void in my life with a cutout, papercraft iPhone (pictured below) — which I plan to wrap about my Wii controller.

  • Ted Mann 10:13 pm on January 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The Maltitol Controversy Lives on! 

    I finally discovered the Murphy’s law of blogging: If you create a personal weblog, update semi-regularly for close to three years, and pour your heart and soul (or at least, your best late-night top-ten lists), the one thing your blog will be known for is a two-year-old post about how the artificial sweetener Maltitol causes massive diarrhea.

    Despite my best attempts to mine such topics at the hunt for Nintendo Wiis, the great “Hair Watch” of the 2004 Presidential campaign, or the shiny future of cat toys, it’s the Maltitol post that people keep stumbling on. Normally a post will get one, two comments, tops. Yet somehow the Maltitol one has accumulated 25, most of them stories about other people with similar stories — the evils of Russell Stover jelly beans, nights spent in bathrooms, business meetings disrupted by massive abdominal growling, etc, etc. Even a few have emailed me directly, such as Lisa D., who wrote a couple days ago:

    Dear Ted:
    I love your blog on Maltitol: A Sweetener and a Laxative in One. Wow! I had the nightmare trip of my life when I was stuck in the Canary Islands and then Madrid just trying to get home before dying of the flu epidemic that killed the Pope. Except I wasn’t vomiting, I was having explosive diarrhea. With total dehydration, the hotel doctor gave me a shot of ?? after which I slept for 20 hours, then I took a bunch of medication. The trip home with all the security zones at the airport (and the bathroom elsewhere) — well, I wished I had bought diapers I was so nervous. I didn’t eat or drink anything for 18 hours just trying to make it back. After getting home I realized the ‘healthy’ bars given to me by my gut specialist (!) were full of maltitol syrup.

    Just wanted to let you know and thank you because your blog is the one I’m going to point people to and I’m not logged into Word Press so I couldn’t leave a reply.

    Thanks. Lisa D.

    So, there you have it. TurkeyMonkey has become a support group for the gastrointestinally abused, artificially sweetened, and Hershey squirted. Welcome to the party.

  • Ted Mann 1:10 am on December 30, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Listapalooza: My top 5 gadgets of 2006 

    Ok, I know this is obscenely dorky, but — well this was the year that I indulged myself in every gizmo I could get my hands on …

    1. Nintendo Wii (I’ve only had it two days, and I’m already firmly addicted)
    2. Verizon’s new VZ Navigator GPS system (which came on my new free Motorola v325 phone)
    3. iPod Nano
    4. Macbook
    5. Olympus DS-2200 digital voice recorder

    Need more evidence that the Wii is one of the sweetest gadgets of all time? I present you with Stephen Colbert vs. Nancy Pelosi in Wii Sports boxing:

  • Ted Mann 11:19 pm on December 28, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Dr. Wiilove or: How I learned to stop being an adult and start buying game consoles for myself 

    Ok, I know that the age limit on requesting video games for Christmas doesn’t extend into your 20s, but dammit if I didn’t really, really want the Wii this year. Went so far as to cajole Ana’s coworkers and their spouses into lobbying her to buy me one. But, alas, on Dec. 25 the only console under the tree was a Playstation 2 for the triplets — just not the same thing.

    And so, being the obsessive, infantile person that I am — and given that this is the slowest week of the year at work — I set my mind to purchasing one on the 26th. Only problem? The console is completely sold out in Westchester. Actually, the first thing that turned up when I started Googling “where to buy Wii” was an article about supply shortages, which said that stores wouldn’t start getting new ones until March. Nooooo.

    But I wasn’t quite ready to give up. I searched a dozen or so message boards, called around, and then visited a dozen stores after work. Still no dice. At some point I stumbled onto a site called iTrackr, which claimed to be:

    The only tracking service that sends you an instant notification when the hottest and hardest to find products, like the Playstation 3 or Tickle Me Elmo TMX, are in stock at your favorite local retailers.

    Sounded like it was worth a shot. I signed up, paid their $1.99 tracking fee, and then waited for the good news to roll in. Bingo: the first search turned up 1 store in my area with Wii in stock. Unfortunately, when I called, they were already out of stock.

    So I resumed calling, searching the internet, and grinding my teeth. I’d all but given up when I arrived at work yesterday and there was a message from iTrackr in my Inbox:

    Before you can say “early lunch hour” Ana and I were down in Mt. Vernon, picking up my Wii at Target. When I called to double-check that it was in stock, the store clerk sounded shocked; they hadn’t even put the new Wii boxes on the floor yet. And sure enough, I was the first one to inquire about the shipment.

    Afterwards, one of my colleagues at The Journal News, Allison Bert, posted about my quest on her blog, The Cost of Living. And then later in the day I got an email confirming that all of the store’s 22 Wiis sold out by 3:12 pm. You snooze you lose.

    Anyway, I’m a very happy boy now with my Wii. Although I haven’t been able to get a second controller to go head-to-head with Ana (iTrackr hasn’t been much help with that), I’ve been happily boxing my own virtual TurkeyMonkey, playing tennis with four Ted clones, and practicing my golf stroke.

    Now if only I could make good on my Suburbarazzi promise to take on Ang Lee at the bowling alley …

  • Ted Mann 8:48 pm on December 17, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Confessions of an ElfYourself Addict 

    Ever since commanding Burger King’s Subservient Chicken to “riverdance” — and then watching the bird go all Flatley around its low-rent apartment — I’ve been enamored of this kind of viral brand marketing (pioneered by Miami’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky). I don’t care if we’re talking about Livesearch’s flirty Ms. Dewey or Volkswagon’s “____ like a Rabbit” banner ads, just as long as long as I can plug in a term like “multiply” and watch compact German cars procreating, I’m a very happy boy.

    However, I must confess, the newest entry into the list of buzzed about microsites, ElfYourself.com (brought to you by the good folks at OfficeMax), may have proven too fun for my own good. In case you haven’t visited it yet, the site allows you to cut and paste a head from one of your photos onto a dancing elf. Sounds dopey, I know, but take a look at my mom’s Elfamorphosis and tell me that’s not friggin hilarious.

    So, getting back to the downside: After testing the site out with my mom’s noggin on Friday, I got extremely carried away. I elfed just about everyone I know — or at least, everyone whose picture I had on my work computer. After giggling at baby Austin’s dancing elf, I made a dancing cousin Jay elf, then a Winifred elf, then a brother-in-law Rui elf. Then I set about emailing all of them the links. Only problem: every new picture overwrote the last one. I got a kick out of all of them in the test screen, but all of the links I sent pointed to an identical location. so all any of these people saw when they clicked on the link was an inexplicable animation of Alex Bradley’s elf dancing — the last of my creations.

    Thus ensued a flurry of re-elfing, clearing my cookies diligently with each second attempt. Eventually, after two or three “lemme try that again” emails, everyone got the elf head that was originally intended for them. Though at my wife’s request, I’m need to go cold turkey with ElfYourself and stop sending these bizarre, random emails.

    It’ll be hard to quit, but maybe I’ll dull the pain by moving on to OfficeMax’s 20 other holiday microsites, including:

  • Conspiracy Carols: Which turns your missives into subliminal backwards messages in holiday classics.
  • Reindeer Arm Wrestling: In which you arm wrestle a reindeer. Duh.
  • Seasons Sculpting: Where you can go take a chainsaw and pickax to an ice block to sculpt a statue your favorite viral shill or subservient chicken.
  • Ted Mann 12:45 am on December 5, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Kitty Mind Games 

    My brother-in-law, Dan, never ceases to find the most random, brilliant cat-related things to blog about. This time it’s CatSleep.com, a website offering a 40-minute MP3 file of a cat purring on a loop. It’s supposed to be a kind of white noise to help you get the link. Oh, but that’s not all — it also gets rid of headaches! Here’s the site’s pitch:

    The cats natural low frequency purring is known for it´s exceptional therapeutic calming and stress relief effects and has a natural steady lulling rhythm, during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. The low frequency purr vibration is spread throughout the body. This makes you deeply relaxed and will help you or your child to fall asleep.

    Curious how authentic the purring sound really is, I clicked on the play sample button on the website. It’s been playing for about five minutes now, as I write this, and both my cats are transfixed. Not really sure if it’s freaking them out, or whether I’ve approached the kind of monkey mind torture advocated by MTV’s The State, but it’s certainly entertaining and worth $2.

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