Thursday, December 31, 2009

from the "reelin' in the year" dept.


-Living in Guatemala for most of the year.
-Being published in some big-ass newspapers.
-Getting a fulltime job.
-Getting men’s gold medal Olympic hockey tickets. (for sale)
-Reconnecting with family.


-Leaving Guatemala.
-Enduring an Edmonton winter.
-Working fulltime.
-The economy, stupid.
-Glenn Beck. And Sarah Palin. (tie)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

from the "he ain't heavy" dept.

Remember this guy? Looking at the photo above, I sometimes wonder if he ever really did exist. He did of course. And he's still here, just buried under the ravages of time, beer and careless eating.

Well, no more. He's decided to finally escape the shackles. He knows it won't be easy. Nor will it be fast. But you have to start somewhere.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

And so it begins...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

from the "warmer climes" dept.

I'm back in Vancouver, but just for the weekend. Good timing. In Edmonton it's -30C with windchills hitting -40C and beyond. Cloudy and +1C in Vancouver. Aaah.

I'm here to pick up my Olympic hockey tickets, get my hair cut and retrieve some stuff from my storage unit. I head back to the Arctic on Sunday.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Edmonton moonset

Edmonton moonset
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

I've posted some pictures of my Edmonton condo and the view. This photo was taken on the morning of Dec 1... it shows a quite full moon setting. Unfortunately the yellowness of the big ol' orb wasn't captured. Point-N-Shoots... what can you do?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

from the "got wood" dept.

A Chinese television station has created a creepy animation about the Tiger Woods incident. Check it out:

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

from the "muppets do queen" dept.

It's a bit slow at the beginning... but stay with it. This is one of the best covers of Bohemian Rhapsody ever:

Monday, November 30, 2009

from the "home sweet home" dept.

Moved into my new place. 23rd floor. Commanding view of the west. Free WiFi (so far). Goodies include washer/dryer and a dishwasher. The place is rather barren without furnishings. Those are to come. As are pictures.

Please stand by.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

from the "the end" dept.

Tonight, after 28 days and spewing forth 52,027 words, I typed the final two: The End.

I already have an idea for a second book, but it will have to wait until I finish revising and editing the first one.

I never thought I could write something so long. Of course, it's really a first draft full of bad grammar, awkward structure, and plot holes big enough to drive a truck through -- but it's mine.

I also finished with two days to spare!

On the list of life's 'to do' list, I can now cross off: Write a book.


Tropical Depression

Tropical Depression
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

I've written over 51,000 words, so, technically, I've written my first book in a month. However, I'm not quite at the end -- which I'll have to do before the end of November...

Monday, November 23, 2009

from the "write, right?" dept.

I'm now over 47,000 words deep into my novel. And I have about a week to go before the end-of-the-month deadline to reach 50,000 words.

Trouble is I'm still more than 3,000 words away from wrapping it all up -- so this first novel is going to chime in at more than 50,000 words.

Who'd have thunk?


Writey Writerson

Saturday, November 21, 2009

from the "words don't fail me now" dept.

As of today (Saturday, Nov 21), my novel is over 37,000 words. 13,000 to go. And 13,000 doesn't seem like it will be enough to wrap up the story. We'll see.

I've taken two days off from writing but remain ahead of the average word count. Hope to slam off a few thousand today before I drive to Calgary. My pal Wendy has some household furnishings she's lending me... so I'm picking them up this weekend. This way I'll have something to move into my house with next Sunday.

Work is going well... settling in to the groove. And Edmonton is fine, although it snowed this morning. Blerk.

And so it goes...


Saturday, November 14, 2009

from the "man of many words" dept.

Today is day 14 of National Novel Writing Month and (surprise, surprise) I'm already past the half-way point -- a day early! As I write this, I'm over 28,000 words -- which is nearly 5000 ahead of schedule. Yay, me!

What I'm written certainly isn't great, but there is now a decent plot, a few sub-plots and characters that I think are interesting. And I know how it ends!

Meanwhile, I've finished my second week at my new job. 50 to go. But who's counting! The weather has been bearable, if much colder than I'm used to. And, so far, no snow.

And I have a place to move into on Dec 1. Looking forward to having an actual home for the first time in a very long time. Dec 2006? Sheesh!

That's enough writing for one day. Time to go exploring!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

from the "yee haw" dept.

Greetings from Calgary where I'm just wrapping up two days of training. The last few weeks have flown by and at times I can't quite believe I'm back in Canada and immersed in work again.

As of this morning, I've written more than 18,500 words of my 50,000 word novel. I'm actually ahead of the game, and hope to bang off another couple of thousand before I leave Calgary and return to Edmonton this afternoon.

I'm getting closer to having the housing dilemma solved. I should have word on that by the end of the week. It looks like I'll be living in a downtown Edmonton condo. I can walk to work, so no need for a car -- at least initially. And several people have offered to lend me all the bits and pieces I'll need to furnish it -- everything from forks to a bed.

I'll be without a car as of Saturday night, unless I decide to extend my rental. It's certainly handy, but expensive. There are some tax benefits, however.

At least the weather has been nice. No snow yet and lots of sun. So far, so good.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

from the "nanowrimo" dept.

It's day five of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). To be on track for finishing a 50,000 word first draft, I need to write 1666 words a day. Sounds easy. It isn't.

At midnight tonight I should have written 8330 words. My count as of this morning: 8337! I've got a 7 word cushion!

And so it goes...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

from the "bedtime story" dept.

You'd think that the biggest thing in life right now would be settling into Edmonton and the new job. But you'd be wrong.

No, the biggest thing right now is my participation in the National Novel Writing Month. The idea: write a 50,000 word first draft in 30 days.

I've been at it since November 1. And as of early on November 4, I'm doing OK. The average daily word count one needs to crank out is 1666. I'm at 5200 or so... which is just a little ahead of schedule. I need to do another 1400 today.

It's hard letting go and not worrying about editing as I write. But that's the point. It's a brain dump.

Other than the novel, I've been searching for a new home. Nothing to report there. But all is good. Day three of work begins shortly. Day four of novel writing begins right now.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

from the "first night" dept.

I'm here. In Edmonton. On Hallowe'en.

The day began in Vancouver, where, despite a forecast of rain, it was actually a beautiful day. Sunny, blue skies and warm. Sigh.

I hung out in Deep Cove most of the day, and then headed to the airport for a late afternoon flight.

After an uneventful journey, I landed in Edmonton around 8pm. After picking up the rental car I drove to Trish and Graeme's home, not too far from downtown.

On the radio: Time Warp. Oddly appropriate.

Up first: working on my novel (day 1!), buying clothes for work Monday and perhaps dim sum.

The adventure has begun...


Friday, October 30, 2009

from the "I've heard this tune before" dept.

Old Man Winter Rides In Style

Well, it's time for another big change, even though these big changes no longer feel very big.

This is my last night in Vancouver for a while. And while my destination and new home for the next year isn't quite as distant as Guatemala or Ghana, Edmonton will surely be an adventure. Especially with old man winter set to pay a visit.

Also, it will be a medium-sized change going from the loosey-goosey world of tropical freelance writing to a structured job in a television newsroom.

But life is a series of adventures and a year in Edmonton is the next one.

It's funny that, after these past two weeks in Vancouver, I think that I will really miss this city. It's the first time I've ever felt that. But after 12 years here, I guess it does get into your blood.

And I'll be back for the Olympics. How could I miss that?

And with that, good night! The next post here will be from Edmonton. Please stay tuned!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

from the "top of the clock" dept.

If you like television IDs (or Idents) have I found the blog for you!

IDENTS is an outstanding collection of great television design. Prepare to spend the next hour drooling!


Monday, October 26, 2009

from the "sands through the hour glass" dept.

"It was a dark and stormy night... "

As November 1st looms, so do many changes and challenges: A move from Guatemala to Edmonton, a new job, and the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel. In a month.

Now, I have lots of experience with new places, faces and jobs. But penning a book concurrently is a whole new thing.

And why, you may ask, would I move Edmonton, start a new job and attempt to write a book all at the same time?

Blame NaNoWriMo – the National Novel Writing Month. Each November, NaNoWriMos take on the possible: hammering out a 50,000 word first draft of a novel. For most, November is usually a slower month, allowing folks the few hours needed per day to write an average of 1600 words.

Me? I'm starting a whole new life, which should force me to utilize my writing time for maximum benefit.

The characters and story are already alive in my head – and they're just waiting to get out. I'd unleash them right now – but that would be cheating. No. They'll have to stay cooped up in my cranium for another week.

What is the story? I can't tell you yet, because I'm not quite sure of the story arc. But it involves Lake Atitlan, a group of ex-pats, extraterrestrials and the end of the world. I can tell you the title: Tropical Depression (or: My Landlord Doesn't Take Ham).

If you're interested in joining me on this journey into madness, check out the NaNoWriMo website. You know you wanna...

Friday, October 23, 2009

from the "no news" dept.

In my new gig, I certainly never want to see a day with no news. How would you promote that? Tuuuhnnnniiighhhhhttt: Squat.

But if it were to happen, this is what it would look like:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

from the "scrum-dilly-icious" dept.

Scene from: "So You Think You Can Fight"

From TV SPY:

The Heenes aren't the only ones cracking under the media pressure set off by the Balloon Boy hoax. Now it appears that the crush of media coverage has started to get to members of the Heene's neighborhood in Fort Collins, Colorado.

On Monday afternoon, a fight broke out when a neighborhood man, who was trying to navigate a road cluttered with news vans, got into a confrontation with a crew from Denver's Fox affiliate KDVR. As is to be expected, the confrontation and eventual wrestling match was all caught on tape.

The footage shows a bald, tattooed man, who has not yet been identified, arguing with Jon Bowman, a reporter for KDVR, and saying, "I don't like you guys. You're endangering my safety." The man then chases Byron Stewart, a KDVR photojournalist, around the Fox van. At this point, another unidentified man, wearing a yellow t-shirt, runs up and jumps on the angry neighbor's back.

Reports indicate that the second man is also a member of the neighborhood and not affiliated with any news outlet. Several photographers surrounded the skirmish between the two neighbors and at one point a man is heard saying, "Stop the cameras. We're winning."

After punches were thrown, members of the crowd moved in and broke up the fight.

Oh media, how I love you!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

from the "YVR arrivals" dept.

Welcome Home: Heavy Rainfall Warning

I'm back in Vancouver. Two weeks only. You know how to find me.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

from the "ch-ch-changes" dept.

It's official: I'm leaving Guatemala. After nearly a year in the land of eternal summer, a job offer is pulling me back.

Not Guatemala

I'm heading to Edmonton on Oct 31. And on Monday Nov. 2, I start a one-year contract as a news promo producer with CBC. It'll be my first Prairie winter since 1996-1997. I'm scared.

The life change is already in progress. As I write this, I've done my final laps in the pool and I'm all packed. I leave San Pedro tomorrow (Thursday) for Antigua. And then Friday I fly from Guatemala City to Vancouver. I've got two weeks in Vancouver to get stuff ready. Then, as mentioned, I fly to Edmonton on Halloween.

Trick or treat?


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

from the "up to speed" dept.

Lest you think I'm on some sort of extended holiday, let me reassure you that my nose is firmly planted to the grindstone. Here's the headlines:

A documentary project I am involved with is being pitched Thursday (Oct 1) to a panel of commissioning editors at the Vancouver International Film Fest. Read more about the Storyville session here. Ours is the 5th from the top. With luck our project will receive some development money to flesh out the story even more. It would mean work for me, and likely keep me in Canada for a while.

I'm also waiting to hear if I might be returning to Canada to do some work for the CBC. One of the gigs I'm interested in is in Halifax. I certainly wouldn't mind returning to the East Coast for a spell.

Things are getting interesting in San Pedro. There has been a new focus on bars and restaurants that stay open past 11. There's a lot of rumor and speculation as to what exactly is going on and why. However, groups of evangelical vigilantes are now visiting bars and restaurants to enforce a closing time of 11pm. Apparently this is a new national mandate, but there is no confirmation of this. Local business owners are worried -- as are many people living here. It almost seems like an US vs. THEM mentality. And that's not good for anyone.

There is no question that San Pedro could use a little cleaning up. Groups of faux-hippies congregate around the main entertainment area (the Vortex) selling crappy hand-made jewelery and drugs. Plus many dress in a manner that is completely disrespectful of the local population.

No one is quite sure how this will all play out. Some think that the clean-up effort will die a natural death in a few weeks. Others see it as the death of San Pedro and are planning to hit the road, in search of a new tropical paradise. And, honestly, a lot of the accusations coming from the evangelicals are very hypocritical.

"Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

But let's not get into a long diatribe about religion.

I had some friends from Saskatchewan visit San Pedro on their honeymoon. I worked with Shawn and Nichole in Ghana and it was nice to see them again. They stayed at my big house for about a week. It was a treat to have normal conversations about new things! Plus, they brought me the new issue of Vanity Fair. Aaah...

There will be changes in my housing situation soon. Two of the Americans I'm house-sitting for return Oct 13. They've assured me that I can hang here until my planned return to Canada on December 2. They've also told me I'm more than welcome back in January.

The neighbour's little annoying demon-dog that plagued my life these past few months seems to have disappeared (knock on wood). He would bark and bark and bark -- making it so that I would never sit out on the patio or enjoy much of my time in the house. I often had to wear earplugs and crank up my music to block his piercing yaps. But no more. For nearly a week and a half there has been nothing but silence from his rooftop perch.

Of course, there are always trade offs. And yappy was no exception. At the very same time as he disappeared, construction began on a new house next door. And this isn't like housebuilding in Canada. Everything is manual labour. And when you live on the side of a volcano, there are lots of big rocks that have to be removed or broken down for use as building materials. That's done by hand. So, from 6:30am until 4pm a small army of men hammer away, breaking massive boulders into smaller pieces. Tink. Tink. Tink...

But I'll take the tink, tink, tink sounds of rock breaking over demon-dog's yipping any day.

Lastly: I discovered a little photo essay on Lake Atitlan. It was published two years ago on The Atlantic website. While it is a little out of date, it gives a good overview of San Pedro and San Marcos. Check it out: HERE.

Anyway... that's where things stand on this last day of September. Hard to believe that the year is winding down so quickly.

More to come.


Friday, September 18, 2009

from the "bird brain" dept.

The latest gift from the internets? A Fox News New York anchor dropping the F-bomb -- live on the air. Watch the reaction of his co-anchor...


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

from the "fade to black" dept.

What does the death of local television look like? Well... see for yourself.

Here are the final minutes of Red Deer's CHCA-TV (aka CKRD and RDTV). Simple and sad.

Meantime, in Victoria, CHEK-TV struggles to stay on the air.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

from the "picture this" dept

Ah, school pictures. I doubt there are many of us who were happy with our yearbook snaps... especially decade(s) later.

But it's a ton of fun to try to create some truly horrendous images. And makes it easy to create embarrassingly delicious photos like these:

Now, go waste some time!


Friday, August 21, 2009

from the "be my friend" dept.

Don't know what all this Facebook stuff is all about? Watch this (safe for moms):

Thursday, August 20, 2009

from the "T.L.F." dept.

Oh Internet, how I love you. I keep thinking you can never top yourself in creating awesome new ways for me to kill hours upon end. But somehow you manage to do it, each time-waster being more awesomely awesome than your previous time-waster.

A case in point: Squirrelizer!

You rock, Internet! True love forever! And tomorrow, I'll tell you how to make these:


Friday, August 14, 2009

from the "request denied" dept.

Facebook, oh how I love to hate thee. Replica of other social media, you force me to check mail in two places, post photos and goofy stuff in two places, and generally eat up my free time.

But I'm not the only one. Here's Kate Miller-Heidke singing a song about old flames on Facebook. The lyrics are subtitled.

This is somewhat questionable for work and not recommended for mothers with sons in Guatemala (you know who you are).


from the "picture this" dept.

Brooklyn Bridge
by Me

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Of all the cities I've visited (hundreds?), my absolute favourite is New York City.

I've been there a half dozen times, and every time I return I feel like a six-year-old waking up on Christmas morning. Even years after my last visit, I get giddy thinking about strolling the city's streets and avenues, wandering about Central Park and especially photographing Gotham.

Today's New York Times reviews an exhibition put on by a group of Manhattan photography dealers.

"New York Photographs," a summertime tribute to the greatest city on earth by a group of Manhattan photography dealers, is a reminder of the endless churn of dark and light, innocence and experience that surrounds all of us in the city at every moment.

The review and an incredible slide show are HERE.

I think it's time to book a return visit...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

from the "les paul is a god" dept.

If you ever had any doubt about how talented and gifted Les Paul was, just watch this.

Wow, simply wow.

More on Les Paul's life and more amazing videos HERE (courtesy Newsweek).

from the "electric twanger" dept.

The music and recording world has lost one of its pioneers. Les Paul died today at the age of 94.

From the BBC:

Les Paul, whose pioneering electric guitars were used by a legion of rock stars, has died at the age of 94.

Mr Paul died from complications of pneumonia in New York, according to Gibson, the firm that sold his guitars.

He is credited with developing one of the first solid-body electric guitars, which went on sale in 1952 and contributed to the birth of rock.

He also developed other influential recording innovations such as multi-track recording and overdubbing.

And he was credited with inventing the eight-track tape recorder.

U2 guitarist The Edge, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, Guns N' Roses star Slash and the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones are among those closely associated with the Les Paul sound.

Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman of Gibson Guitar, said: "His influence extends around the globe and across every boundary."

Gibson president Dave Berryman said: "As the 'father of the electric guitar', he was not only one of the world's greatest innovators but a legend who created, inspired and contributed to the success of musicians around the world."

Les Paul began as a country and jazz musician and unhappy with acoustic guitars, he designed his solid-body electric guitar in 1941.

It did not go on sale for another 11 years, by which time Leo Fender's rival model was already on sale.

If you'd like to see how Paul contributed to recording, check out the film: "Tom Dowd and the Language of Music."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

from the "this stuff is garbage" dept.

Environmental Graffiti has a selection of shadow art that is created by shining light on what appears to be a pile of junk. Junk that looks like, well, junk. But add some light and voila! Art!

British-born and -based artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster skilfully skirt the boundaries between beauty and the shadowier aspects of humanity, playing with our perceptions as well as our notions of taste. Many of their most notable pieces are made from piles of rubbish, with light projected against them to create a shadow image entirely different to that seen when looking directly at the deliberately disguised pile.

See it HERE.

Monday, August 10, 2009

from the "social media akwardness" dept.

If you're going to bitch about your job on Facebook, make sure your boss isn't a Facebook friend!


from the "bizarro world" dept.

Apparently the Neocons LOVE Jon Stewart. Despite daily skewering by the host of Comedy Central's Daily Show (CTV/Comedy Channel in Canada), heavy hitters from the far right speak highly of the comedian and his show.

From The Daily Beast:

Neoconservative pundits are crushing on Jon Stewart. New York Magazine reports that Republican partisans from Bill Kristol to John Bolton are raving about the Daily Show correspondent, because unlike the "liberal media elite" he actually lets them answer questions and takes their opinions seriously. Stewart has "genuine intellectual curiosity," said former Republican Party spokesman and national-security hawk Cliff May. "He always gives you a chance to answer," said Bush U.N. ambassador John Bolton. "Stewart fundamentally wants to talk about the issues. That's what I want to do." Who would have thought that a comedy show could have a civilizing effect on partisan hackery?

The full story from the New York Magazine.

from the "i can has cheezburger" dept.

According to Wikipedia, the term internet meme refers to:

A phrase used to describe a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet, much like an esoteric inside joke. The term is a reference to the concept of memes, although this concept refers to a much broader category of cultural information. has created an interactive timeline of the best known internet memes. From dancing baby to lolcats to United Breaks Guitars.

You can zoom in and out of the timeline -- and there are direct links to some of the great memes of the past. Here's the LINK.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

from the "tick tock" dept.

Ah, a sunny summer Sunday afternoon -- and you're probably staring at the clock thinking: I have to go back to work tomorrow. Time's a bitch, isn't it? But have you ever thought about time? How about daylight savings time? No? You should, because, according to WebExhibits:

Throughout its long and fascinating history, daylight saving time has had a remarkable impact on a wide variety of unexpected areas--from Middle East terrorism to feuding twin cities, voter turnout to time-change riots, radio stations to trick-or-treaters, and opera performances to manslaughter charges.
Want to know more about DST? Just click HERE.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

from the "a career in vice" dept.

An oldie but a goodie today from Salon: The 7 vices of highly creative people.

I slam my fist on the table. "We need a book about the 7 Vices of Highly Creative People before the whole country ends up in a straitjacket!" Bobby agrees enthusiastically, grabs a stack of napkins and begins writing. All the years we've spent studying history and literature are finally paying off. It isn't easy. But after six hours and five pitchers we finish the job. The pub closes so we gather the napkins and head for a late-night bar to celebrate. It isn't quite a book, but what the hell. We have better things to do than write another damn self-help book.

The list is HERE.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

from the "honest to God, I thought turkeys could fly" dept.

A helicopter recently wreaked havoc on a reporter and cameraman while they were in the middle of a live "hit" for CTV News in Vancouver, BC. The pair were caught up in one hell of a whirling dervish. Watch and be amazed:

from the "into the light" dept.

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west...

Does the image above show the actual stairway to heaven... in Brooklyn? That's what the New York Times is asking.

Ever since Google began deploying a roving fleet of cars to capture panoramic, street-level views as a function of the company’s Maps service, a gallery of unusual and occasionally controversial finds have been discovered through the feature.

But nothing quite this mystical.

An image, first highlighted by the blog Buzzfeed, shows a spot radiating with light, blurring the image of a residential, tree-lined street. The strange shimmery patch has prompted some readers to offer their own interpretations of the blazing spectacle.
The rest of the story is HERE.


Monday, August 03, 2009

from the "everything you wanted to know about text" dept.

Ok, this is super geeky: take the ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) character-encoding scheme, the internet and Star Wars and put them all together. What do you get?

A lo-fi version of the epic film without Mark Hamill's brutal attempt at acting. It's pretty cool... just click here for Star Wars in glorious monochromatic ASCIImation!


Sunday, August 02, 2009

from the "virtue needs some cheaper thrills" dept.

My favorite comic strip of all time is Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin is the embodiment of a brilliant little trouble-making hellion (weren't we all?) and Hobbes is the coolest tiger ever (waaay cooler than Tigger).

Penned by Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes ran from November 18, 1985 to December 31, 1995 and was featured in over 2,400 newspapers worldwide.

So, on this lazy Sunday morning, why not pour over 25 examples of Watterson's brilliance. Nearly a decade and a half later, I still miss the little six year old and his pet tiger.

"Let's go exploring..."

Saturday, August 01, 2009

from the "clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right" dept.

Keith & Bill need their own show on CNN

I must admit that I giggled with glee each time Keith Olbermann pounced on Faux News and Bill O'Reilly. Faux and Bill (along with Sean, Glenn and the rest of the GOP puppets) have long deserved Keith-O's wrath for their scare mongering and anti-everything liberal stance.

But Keith slammed Faux and Bill-O on such a regular basis that it began to wear thin. And, according to the NY Times, I wasn't the only one. The paper is reporting that a truce has been called the bosses of Keith and Bill.

"Both moguls (GE's Jeffrey Immelt and News Corp's Rupert Murdoch) expressed regret over the venomous culture between the networks and the increasingly personal nature of the barbs. Days later, even though the feud had increased the audience of both programs, their lieutenants arranged a cease-fire, according to four people who work at the companies and have direct knowledge of the deal."

Sad in a way. But I have a feeling that the attacks will continue, just not as frequently. A little goes a long way.


from the "reading between the lines" dept.

Social media sites like Facebook, Friendstr and MySpace allow users to post small pictures of themselves. These images, known as avatars, are graphic representations of the user and/or their alter-ego.

But what do these images reveal beyond the obvious?

Buttafly has compiled a guide to interpreting these photos. Hint: If your photo is tightly cropped, you might want to start a fitness program.


Friday, July 31, 2009

from the "advertising that makes you go ewww!" dept.

What do murder, pedophilia, suicide and a baby tiger have in common? They have all been used to sell stuff in these amazingly disturbing vintage ads!

These are real, untouched advertisements from the good old days. It doesn't matter if it's lovely ladies or adorable clowns, somehow these old-time ad wizards found ways to traumatize us while peddling everyday products.

Enjoy them now, call your therapist later!

15. White Bread Demon
"Bread is swell, but what I'm really excited about is eating jelly made from the blood of the innocent!"

14. French Suicide Sausage
It's enough to make you want to eat Kosher forever.

13. A Girl Around The House
It's nice to have a girl around the house... especially if you are a psychopath serial killer who makes women into rugs!

12. Chubby
Who needs self-esteem when you can have a free fashion book for chubbies? Also, proving that advertising weight representation has always been screwed up, the girl pictured is totally not chubby.

11. Christmas Weapons
The family that guns together, has funs together.

10. Eye patch. Shirt. Baby Tiger

9. Chase & Sandborn Spanking
She totally deserves it. Seriously, what kind of woman doesn't "store test" for fresher coffee?

8. Fry's Chocolate Nightmare
Nothing wants to make consumers buy chocolate more than 5 faces of a sickly kid looking 5 different shades of miserable.

7. Root Beer Baby!
Mama, please DO NOT give your baby another glass of Root Beer. It is clearly doing something horrible to him. He is terrifying.

6. Locked Out
You better wash out your privates with Lysol, or your husband will install cartoon locks on the door.

5. Pears Soap Disaster
"Pears Soap- now with such a soothing lather, you won't notice that your baby has gotten into a horrible accident!"

4. Postage Meter Murder
"Is it always illegal to kill a woman?" This is a truly important question and makes us want to buy a new postage meter.

3. Shave Yourself
The old man baby's gonna sing karaoke into a razor! Hooray!

2. Baby Soft
JonBenét Ramsey, eat your heart out. (Too soon?) This ad makes us want to scream, gouge out our eyes and then barf.

1. Chocolate Poulain
Drink that cocoa, or this clown will murder you in your sleep.

Originally posted on, Weirdomatic, Livejournal & the fabulous Plan 59!
And a tip of the hat to: Jason Hendeles