Public service announcement: Don’t tuck in your Aloha (a.k.a. “Hawaiian”) shirt

dont tuck in your aloha shirt

Florida needs a public service announcement like this one very, very badly. For more on the topic, see these articles by The Art of Manliness and Wave Shoppe.


YouTab: My new favorite way to look up chords and lyrics for songs

Where was YouTab back when I was busking and needed to not just look up song chords and lyrics, but also practice regularly?

Point your browser at and enter the name of a song. In this case, I picked a relatively popular, relatively simple little ditty: I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones…

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A quick search later, I got this screen. YouTab had the song, so I clicked on it…

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YouTab then displays a player for the song that shows the chords as the song plays. If it has the lyrics in its database, it also displays them:

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Click the screenshot to see it at full size.

There’s also a facility for users to enter and correct chords and lyrics for songs.

This is still a pretty new site, so it’s not going to have every song you might want to look up. The more popular a song is, the more likely it’ll appear in YouTab’s database, and the more likely that data will be correct and complete.

Give it a try, and if you can, help complete its database, which has many gaps. For starters, as of this writing, the karaoke ’80s favorite Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield is missing lyrics!

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Help fix this. Do it for Rick Springfield. Do it for the common good. Do it for “Dang” (Ken Leung) from the movie Keeping the Faith:


Rejected wedding theme #2: Faking my own death

rejected wedding theme 2

In my last “Rejected Wedding Themes” post, I wrote about the hunting camouflage-themed wedding goodies that you can get through Oriental Trading Company, which the Future Missus vetoed. I vetoed today’s theme.

When Tucker Blandford (a name so appropriate that it’s downright Dickensian) got cold feet about his impending marriage to Alex Lancaster, he felt that his only option was to fake his own death.

alex and tucker

The couple met in August 2012 while Alex, a British national, was studying in Connecticut. It was one of those whirlwind romances that seemed doomed to end when she was scheduled to return to the UK, which is likely what prompted Tucker to propose marriage before she left. The combination of some time apart, how quickly the relationship had escalated, and what was probably some feeling that he was throwing away his twenties as a single man (both Alex and Tucker are 23 now) must’ve scared him. While she was busy planning the wedding, he was busy coming up with a desperate, harebrained plan.

He placed a call to Alex, posing as his dad:

I picked up my phone and there was a man saying he was Tucker’s dad. He told me Tucker had been deeply depressed and wanted to die, so had thrown himself in front of a car,” Lanchester, 23, told the Daily Mail. “The man explained that they had been trying to send Tucker off to a psychiatric unit for help. But it was too late. I couldn’t breathe. It was absolutely devastating.”

Tucker failed to account for the fact that Alex had bonded with his parents while they were together in the U.S.. He probably expected her to simply move on, forgetting that she might call them to commiserate and offer her condolences. She phoned his mother, and this happened:

“His parents didn’t even know we were getting married. They thought we had broken up when I left America,” she told the Daily Mirror. “Then it hit me, that voice on the other end of the phone had sounded eerily familiar. I realised it was Tucker pretending to be his dad. My whole world crumbled.”

“She said Tucker was absolutely fine –- but she also thought we’d split up. She knew nothing about the wedding.”

It also turned out that the wedding venue in Connecticut also didn’t know about the wedding, since he’d never reserved it.

death to avoid marriage

Even the anchor on Tucker’s local news station seems unimpressed.

“I’m a terrible, awful person. I know I shouldn’t have told her I was dead, but I didn’t know what else to do,” Tucker said in a statement to the Daily Mail.

“Alex is an amazing girl but I got scared and wanted to get out of the relationship. It was moving extremely fast and with us being in different countries, it was really hard. At the time I just felt like I couldn’t tell the truth and thought if I could just postpone everything it would be better.”

The ironic thing was that the entire Atlantic Ocean was there to help make things easier for him. Although breaking up over the phone is bad and calling off an engagement is worse, it’s a realistic thing to do given the distance and expense involved, and far better than faking your own death because you don’t want to be the bad guy. And as Machiavellian as this sounds, it would’ve spared our coward from having to look her in the eyes and say “it’s over”.

Alex seems to be turning her lemon into lemonade; the Daily Mirror reports that she’s started a successful business making wedding favors. As for Tucker: he’ll be living with this one for some time, and it’s likely he’ll have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do to any woman he gets involved with.



Even FOX News follows the “know your audience” rule when framing a story

fox news vs fox news latino

Found via Media Matters’ Twitter account. Click to see the source.


The first thing that comes to mind when I look at certain LinkedIn profiles

I’ll admit it: when I see “Self-employed at Professional musician” or “Self employed at Consultant” on your LinkedIn profile, this is the first image that comes to mind:

self employed musician


“Guardians of the Galaxy” shouldn’t have worked, but it does

guardians of the galaxy haiku review

Image from Review in Haiku. Click the photo to see it at full size.

I finally got around to seeing Guardians of the Galaxy with some friends this weekend, and I’m pleased to see that people behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe are continuing to work their magic with movies, even with a work featuring some of Marvel’s more obscure characters and locales: Thanos! Xandar! The Kyln! The Nova Corps! Knowhere! Even a tip of the hat to Cosmo the dog!

And of course, we can’t forget Rocket, who loves big weaponry in the comics just as much as he does in the movie…

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…gets his share of one-liners…

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…and has his moments of badassery, even when facing off against the biggest bad “Big Bad” in the Marvel Universe:

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Rocket Raccoon was created in 1976 as a not-so-subtle homage to the Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon and was first showcased on the cover of a comic book in 20th anniversary issue of The Incredible Hulk in 1981:

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He’s in good company. You know who else got their first comic book cover appearance via the Hulk? This guy:

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“You said I was allowed to bring one carry-on!”

one carry-on

Click the photo to see it at full size.

Some people will do anything to avoid paying the checked-in luggage fee.