Destroying the Decepticon in My Living Room – Cutting Cable TV’s $1K Umbilical Cord

Our electric bill had jumped so much, I thought maybe three or four neighbors had run extension cords off the back of my garage.  We walked all around the house, examining every outlet, toaster, stereo and toothbrush charger–right past the culprit hiding in plain sight.  We were so used to its soft roar that it had become almost therapeutic–like a wave-machine in a sauna.  But, to quote Ross Perot, we finally identified “that sucking sound…” the … Read More…

Ken Burns-on-a-Shoestring: Creating Buzz to Launch Mini-Doc “Digging Detroit”

“The Joe,” the battleship-gray windowless box on the Detroit River, is slated for 2017 demolition, making way for high-rise condos, a hotel and shopping as part of a pay-back to creditors owed $1 billion.  For a few months in-between wrecking-ball and ground-breaking, Detroiters will once again have an unobstructed view of the river at the corner of Fort and 3rd–as if looking back in time and seeing the Purple Gang hijack another bootlegger at the docks, before moving its haul up the street to … Read More…

Our Sanity Just Out of Rifle Range

Unknown-2Christina Taylor Green

In the days after yet another school shooting, this time in Portland, let’s take a moment and reflect on how our attitude towards gun control and ownership has evolved in the past few years.

The Sandy Hook tragedy took place on December 14, 2012, about a year and a half ago. Columbine … Read More…

Fracking, Rat-Packing & Heart-Attacking: Opening Pandora’s Box of Ads

It is better to give than receive–particularly homework.  But for one weekend my high school students didn’t mind, at first, being asked to watch the Super Bowl and its commercials.

The quickly frowning class soon realized it would have to count the number of edits, how a narrator was used, the use of graphics, music, celebrities, etc.  But my favorite column read, “Intended Audience.”  I started the assignment back when the agencies realized they could had grab the same audience … Read More…

$100 by Tuesday and You Could Be a State Senator: Great Pay, Hours and Benefits!

 

Do you hate those knocks on the door with people holding clipboards?  Have you thought of running for office but don’t want to be the next Avon lady?

Well, you can skip those pesky 500 petitions needed to run for state office in Michigan.  The state’s website recommends getting 1,000 signatures–just to be on the safe side in case you’ve got some bogus citizens or someone’s going to challenge you on using a #3 … Read More…

Get Hooked Up On LinkedIn: Reaching New Career Heights with a Few Clicks

Although it is easy to believe that you have peaked in your career or that your true potential is out of reach, networking on the internet opens up more doors than any one person can shut. It may appear to be overwhelming at first but there are effective ways to put your best digital foot forward without getting stressed out. And you may have more say in your future than your socioeconomic status would indicate. … Read More…

“Mr. Lincoln, All the Ladies Like Whiskers…” Long Beards, Nostalgia & Entrepreneurship

Listen to our podcast with beard-entrepreneur, Doug Geiger, founder of the beard-care and philosophy website canyouhandlebar.com...[powerpress url= “http://traffic.libsyn.com/mymediadiary/MyMediaDiary_BeardExpert_DougGeiger_.mp3″ length=”10212890″ type=”audio/mpeg”]

It’s hard to find many statues honoring a fashion expert, but in Westfield, New York you’ll find one dedicated to an eleven year old adviser to the president.

GraceBedell statue3

Abraham Lincoln, in addition to his many … Read More…

Converting Home Videos – From Basement to YouTube: The Cheapest Invaluable Gift You’ll Ever Give

Two questions guaranteed to get you the polite Umm..okay… instead of the actual Hell No!

  • Would you like to see the videos from our two-week trip?
  • Want to hear about a dream I had last night?
  • Unless you’re bed-ridden or Sigmund Freud, you could well be stuck for at least an hour getting far too much information on what should have been a five minute conversation under the category, “You really should have been there.”

    Read More…

    Christmas Carol Demolition Squad: Revisiting a 3 and 5 Year-Old’s Medley, Thirteen Years Later

    It’s just six minutes of random videotape from thirteen years ago as the kids decorate a Christmas tree.  It’s funny what passes for nothing at the time but turns into family legend.  Thanks to my kids for letting me post these brief video clips and for not minding an interview on-location a couple days ago (final clip).

    The 2000 model of Abby (3) and Aidan (5) had decided it was time to add the candy … Read More…

    Newsflash! Michigan Company Moves to Michigan – “Right-to-Work” Righteousness by Gov. Snyder

    I received an email today from the governor.  Rick Snyder proudly announced that a Michigan-based company has decided to move to–Michigan, of all paces.  There it was, right there in my in-box, under the double-meaning title:  “This is what it’s all about.” subject heading…

    This is what it’s all about.  Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the Michigan’s governor signing into law “Right to Work” under the promises that it would make Michigan more competitive, … Read More…

    Rating People Like Movies? Using a Metascore for Your Neighbor and Spouse

    In the land of The Newsroom‘s Aaron Sorkin, everything ends up as it should be–Karma works and Yins and Yangs co-exist happily.  (For example, the Obamacare websites would be working on day one.)  In Sorkin’s final scene in The Social Network he portrays the Facebook founder as a miserable billionaire with no friends, cyber stalking his ex-girlfriend who started the whole ball a-rollin’–all to the Beatle’s tune, “Baby You’re a Rich Man.”

    Read More…

    An Important Halloween “Thriller”: From Music Videos to Music Films

    It’s Halloween again, so it’s time to watch it:

    But, watch.

    I mean, really sit down and experience it all. Turn on that 480p, shut off the lights, grab a bag of popcorn and if you’re lucky enough to have a significant other, grab him or her too, sit down, and watch “Michael Jackson’s Thriller”. It’s one of the most incredible short films ever created, and its impact on pop culture can … Read More…

    We Are Still Fans…Somehow

    marshall

    College football’s Nittany Lions won a thriller this past weekend, a tight game requiring multiple overtimes. I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, in a region teeming with Penn State grads and Nittany Lions fans, and I befriended a few of the rare ones who tolerated someone who went to Notre Dame. After … Read More…

    Gorillas & Government Shutdown: What Would George Bailey Do?

    HuffPost_Shared

    [Updated after the September 30th shut-down.]

    Last night’s vain countdown to midnight with no expectations for our leaders to avoid a government shutdown seems to be creating a sense of normalcy with these panics–making the bank-scare of George Bailey’s savings and loan look like over-reaction. We’re pretty used to these games of chicken, unfortunately.
    Read More…

    The Anatomy of a Great ’80s Pop Rock Song

    There’s a reason no one in music makes songs like the pop rock ballads of the 80’s anymore. It’s not because that kind of organized noise is out of style or because it’s difficult to recreate the sound of obsolete synthesizers and early ’80s, electric Yamaha drums, but because I don’t believe there is anyone in the pop music world right now with the vision, skills or intellectual wherewithal to come up with the classics … Read More…

    Five Minutes That Could Redefine How You Perceive Media

    If you have seen a movie, watched television, or even spoken of the two, then you’ve probably heard of Kevin Spacey. Our main man is attributed to being the degree by which people are separated in the film world, the “Six Degrees of Kevin Spacey”. Indeed Kevin Spacey’s prolific career that began in 1986 spans television, film, and music. He has had unparalleled success in pretty much everything he has done. Spacey’s most recent notable … Read More…

    The Anatomy of a Great Game

     

    As I write this, my favorite baseball team won their 12th straight game and 4th straight against their division rivals 10-3. Our ace went 7 strong innings to win his 17th of the year. The 3rd and 5th hitters in the lineup had 3 RBI each. And we taxed their bullpen so much, that they had to bring in their utility player in in the 9th inning to pitch. All that and yet—the excitement, … Read More…

    DWM – 41 Seeking Normal Woman for Normal Life

    My married friends all make it seem so simple. Sitting over beers, they say “just sign up for eHarmony or Match and it will happen.” Just magically. Like that? Like dating in your 40’s in 2013 with the technology available to us is going to create a date as simple as downloading an app making reservations on Open Table. God, don’t I wish it was that easy.

    For those of you who are … Read More…

    The Contagiousness of a Happy Couple: True Story or Con-Job (or Doesn’t It Matter?)

    I’ve seen it three times today and I could see it another 12 more times before I go to sleep. 

    So it’s been seen already 17 million times by the rest of the world–I’m a little slow!

    I was totally exhausted this morning and trying hard to wake up when I saw the link to this Tonight Show video on my friend’s Facebook page.

    And, as expected, if it seems too good to be … Read More…

    Brain Ruts: Phantom Pets, Facebook Anger & Geographical Literacy

    I’ve been opening the wrong cupboard for 15 years now.

    After the first two weeks in our house, it became obvious that having the glasses right above the dishwasher made more sense.  (You can stack plates, so moving them all at once to the cupboard four feet behind us was more “logical” — to quote my Spock-fan son.)

    But it doesn’t matter.  When I’m thirsty, I swing open the wrong door, swear under my … Read More…