The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012


February 18, 2007


Watching A Person Melt Down

I’ve said before that I’m a big fan of schadenfreude. But as I said then, when a person is actually self-destructing, it’s not funny at all. Which is why I find this to be incredibly sad…

britney_bald1_180

Britney Spears checked into a rehab facility and then abruptly checked out, a source confirms to PEOPLE. And then on Friday, she returned to Southern California – and she shaved her head completely bald.

There’s something wrong in her bald little head. You stick a semi-normal little girl into the celebrity pressure cooker, and eventually it gets to be too much. If anything, I think it might be an issue that nothing in her life is really “hers” any more. No matter where she goes or what she does, she’s in the public eye. No amount of money can give you back your life, when the paparazzi and the celebrity hounds have turned that life into a product, for which their demand is insatiable.

The cult of celebrity in this country is sickening, and Britney Spears is a casualty. She just wasn’t strong enough to own her life when the “fans” (which, of course, is a word short for “fanatic”) tried to take it for themselves.

I’ve often said I want to be rich, but I NEVER want to be famous.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:43 am || Permalink || Comments (11) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, News, Pop Culture, Uncategorized


January 30, 2007


What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Just something I noticed today…

What’s wrong with this commercial?

Answer below the fold:

Read more of this entry… »

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 1:03 am || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: Humor, Internet, Pop Culture, Snark, YouTube


January 29, 2007


Am I This Old?

I just found out yesterday that emo isn’t a band, it’s a genre of music. I guess that’s why I’ve never heard the band “emo” on the radio?

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 4:38 pm || Permalink || Comments (5) || Trackback URL || Categories: Pop Culture


January 10, 2007


Deal Or No Deal

I can’t say I like this show. Howie Mandel and the whole pace of the “we’ll progress to the next step— after this break” is annoying as hell. That being said, it’s a brilliant concept.

But I find that people don’t understand the game one bit. There’s one crucial bit of knowledge that has nothing to do with the game, but which every person who is on it focuses on:

WHAT’S IN YOUR CASE DOESN’T MATTER!

All that matters is what’s left on the board and how many cases you have to choose. The offer you’re given is typically slightly lower than the probability of the outcome you would get, so the entire key is what’s on the board. You should never* open the case you initially chose, so what is in that case doesn’t make a difference.

I was watching tonight, as a lady had $1, $50, $400K, $500K, $750K, and $1M on the board. Basically, it’s a dream board. At that point, you take no offer— no matter what it is— until you get down to a situation where you have only have one big number left. This lady got several big offers until she got to the point where the only things left on the board were $1, $50, and $1M, with an offer of $313K. At that point you’re forced to take the offer, because the benefit of $313K is worth forgoing the 33% chance you have of picking the $1M case on the next turn and losing it all.

Mathematically, it’s a simple game. It’s a simple probability question, and if I got a chance to actually be on the show, I’d know exactly how to make the right and wrong decisions. Of course, I’m not prone to insane emotion, so I wouldn’t make for good TV, but I’d be sure to only make the gambles that are likely to pay off.

Read more of this entry… »

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:16 pm || Permalink || Comments (7) || Trackback URL || Categories: Poker/Gambling, Pop Culture


December 28, 2006


“Who Is Ed Hardy?”

Well, Christmas is over, and thus it was time to exchange some jeans. One of the drawbacks to living on the statistical edges of human size and shape is that most clothing is not designed for someone like me. Jeans are a particular problem, because my legs are fairly thick (for someone with my waist size), usually requiring me to buy baggy fit style jeans simply to be able to breathe.

So it was off to Nordstrom with the wife to get some new ones. I managed to find some that were on sale cheaper than the original ones I received, and fit perfectly. So we decided I might as well get a new shirt to go with it. Well, she pointed out a weird-looking flaming skull designer t-shirt with a large yellow script “Ed Hardy” on both the front and the back of the shirt.

“Who is Ed Hardy”, I asked, showing my ignorance… “Oh, he’s a famous designer, and Brittany Gastineau models for him.”

If he’s that famous, why does he need to advertise so heavily on both sides of his shirt? If he’s well known, people should know his designs by sight, right? And why would I want something from a designer that uses Brittany Gastineau as a model? Last time I checked, my body shape is not exactly similar to hers in absolutely any dimension, since not only is she female, she’s also a super-skinny model type. So I can’t think that fitted womens clothing she models for this designer would impact my buying decision for men’s clothing. Not to mention the fact that I refuse to advertise for Ed Hardy without appropriate compensation, and that compensation doesn’t involve me paying $50 for a t-shirt…

So I said no. “But you’ll look cool”, my wife replied. Maybe so, maybe so. But I’m not spending $50 for a t-shirt sporting some random designer’s name to do so. If principles stand in the way of coolness, I do believe I’ll remain uncool for a long, long time. Commenter Nick can tell you that I wasn’t exactly “cool” in college, and I sure haven’t cared enough to change that.

So I got a nice gray shirt at less than half the cost, not including the cost of the argument which followed on the way home.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 6:39 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Personal Life, Pop Culture


December 20, 2006


Go For Three! I Hear You Get a Toaster!

Eminem divorces wife for second time

Rap megastar Eminem and his high school sweetheart divorced for a second time Tuesday, less than a year after they remarried.

Eminem and Kim Mathers agreed to divide property under terms of a private settlement and to share custody of their 10-year-old daughter, Hailie Jade Scott. They told a judge they understood the divorce was final.

The couple “conducted themselves with dignity and respect,” Circuit Judge Antonio P. Viviano said. “All in all, they are a very fine couple to deal with.”

Eminem, 34, declined to comment after the brief hearing as two men whisked him into a black Cadillac Escalade. Mathers, 31, did not speak to reporters.

Eminem and Mathers remarried Jan. 14. He filed for divorce April 5. They first married in 1999 in a secret ceremony in Missouri, and divorced in 2001.

I can’t say I’m surprised… I was surprised when they got back together, given some of the things he wrote about her in his songs. But this divorce really shocks me about as much as this one did.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:18 am || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: News, Pop Culture


November 30, 2006


Why I Can’t Stand Christmas Music

Immediately following Thanksgiving, you see about three or four radio stations in every major market switch over to an all-Christmas, all-the-time format. And I’m damn sick of it. But only this year have I really asked why. First, I thought it might be the standard depression of the season, as the college football regular season has ended and we’ve got a good 4 weeks before any meaningful bowl games start. But there’s more than that.

I can sum it up in one word. Encomium. Obviously, that requires a little explanation. Encomium is a CD that came out a few years ago, a tribute to Led Zeppelin. It contained covers of Led Zeppelin tunes by a number of hit bands. And some of them were pretty good, such as Stone Temple Pilots’ cover of Dancing Days. They kept much of the spirit and feel of the song, while putting a little of their own twist on it. But others weren’t so great. There are just as many hits as misses when you try to put your own spin on a great.

And that right there is what Christmas music is. Every crooner, from the greats, to the has-beens, and the never-were’s have made a Christmas album. I heard a cover of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” on the radio today by Sixpence None the Richer. For every smooth, well-produced tune with a voice like Harry Connick Jr powering the lyrics, there are multiple failures. It’s the same tune sung by the Chipmunks. It might be some nobody who has put a mediocre vocal on top of some bad 80’s synthesizer melody and beats. Or it’s a “diva”, who is turning what should be a single note into a trembling, wavering journey through six different octaves. Heck, Weird Al Yankovic can make one hell of a polka, but I really never thought “O Tannenbaum” needed an accordion solo!

There’s a lot of great music, and a lot of crappy music in the world. Over time, most of the crappy music finds the dust bin of history. You don’t hear many radio stations playing a Rollins Band cover of Zeppelin these days. But bad Christmas music is eternal. I guess when you have to fill 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on multiple radio stations, you don’t want to only play the good stuff. But the bad stuff is enough to ruin it for me. You can keep your Chipmunks and your divas, I’ll tune in to the channels playing normal music.

UPDATE: I was talking to a customer at work today, and he put me on hold. I was treated to hold music consisting of Christmas music performed by barking dogs. I CAN’T ESCAPE IT!!!


Below The Beltway linked with What He Said
Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:08 pm || Permalink || Comments (5) || Trackback URL || Categories: Humor, Ponderings, Pop Culture


November 29, 2006


0 For 638 — Sounds Like Our Government!

638 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro

The man whom the CIA has tried to despatch with everything from a bacteria-infected hankie to an aerosol filled with LSD, is still around and should be blowing out the 80 candles on his cake on December 2, writes the Guardian newspaper.

Reviewing the film shown by British TV Channel Four Tuesday evening about the US government’s 638 failed plots to kill Fidel Castro, the Guardian UK says it comes at a timely moment.

At a time when US government officials speculate about the Cuban leader´s health situation, this film deals on the attempts on the life of Fidel Castro, either directly organized by the CIA or their many proxies, registered by retired general Fabian Escalante in his book 638 Maneras de Matar a Castro (638 Ways to Kill Castro).

I’ve got a canned response for people when they ask me about something that they think the government should be doing.

“I don’t trust them to deliver the mail, you think they can pull this [whatever they're proposing] off?”

How do you expect government to assassinate a foreign head of state, when it takes 27 bureaucrats to sign the appropriate forms before a government union employee can tie his shoes? These are the people you want to trust your retirement and healthcare to?

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:06 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Libertarianism, News, Pop Culture, Snark


November 17, 2006


Remember High School?

This song brings me back. I remember thinking— wishingly— in high school that I’d get into the real world, where results matter more than popularity. Maybe that’s why I hate Southern California so much, it reminds me of the cliquishness of high school, where it matters less who you are than who you’re seen with. At least now, I live in the world of engineering… When your coolness factor is compared to guys who will wait in line for a Playstation, it really lowers the bar. By those standards, I’m a pretty hip fella!

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:34 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: Pop Culture, YouTube


November 13, 2006


Ay Caramba!

Yes, I’m looking forward to this.

Hat Tip: Below The Beltway

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:50 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: Pop Culture, YouTube



Movie Review— Stranger Than Fiction

(note: No spoilers below. All plot information provided is available in the trailer.)

I’ve never been a big moviegoer. I would say I tend to see about two movies in a theatre per year. And often, I find myself getting stuck with things I wouldn’t want to see, just because I’m with a group. Well, over the weekend the wife and I went out to see “Stranger than Fiction”, and I was very, very pleasantly surprised.

Stranger than Fiction is the story of Harold Crick (played by Will Ferrell), an IRS agent who one day starts hearing his life narrated by a British woman’s voice. Quite confused, and a little frightened, he is tormented by this voice for several days, until the voice warns him of his impending death. From that point on, of course, his life is thrown into question as he learns that the voice is that of an author, and he, Harold Crick, is a character in her book.

Normally, considering it’s a movie with Will Ferrell, you’d expect hilarity to ensue. In fact, I think most of the reason my wife suggested we see the movie was because she was expecting a funny movie. It’s not. I would put the humor level more along the lines of Jim Carrey in “The Truman Show”, a movie which had some funny parts, but which was a bit of a diversion from earlier slapstick work. In addition, it’s not an action movie. There is serious work in character development, and there is more to be found in dialogue than in action. However, what the movie lacks in humor and action, it more than makes up for elsewhere.

I’m a big fan of well-written stories. One of the things I’ve learned from spending so much time writing, is just how hard it is to make something really work and pop. This movie left me in awe. It was poignant and witty. It left me thinking that it was a coherent, well-put together story, even more so considering the fantastic subject matter. While in the middle of the story, as it was moving along slowly, my wife had started to get bored with the movie, and I was waiting for the development to actually develop into something. But by the end of the movie, we both agreed that it wouldn’t have been such a good movie without the slow-paced development.

I loved this movie for all the reasons I hated “War of the Worlds”. It wasn’t a badly-acted rehash of a 100-year old story with plot holes, made purely to give special-effects nuts a half-chub. It was a great story, was acted beautifully, and the direction and screenplay worked. This movie will soon be getting Oscar buzz, and with good reason. If you get a chance, I highly recommend it. As I said, I’m not a big moviegoer, but it’s probably the best new movie I’ve seen in years.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 5:56 am || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: Pop Culture


November 10, 2006


YouTube Rules…

A new take on Office Space:

Hat Tip: Catallarchy

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 1:23 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: Pop Culture, YouTube


November 7, 2006


Inevitable Postponed No Longer

Well, at least this one lasted over 55 hours! It looks like it’s about two years and two kids longer than that 55-hour mistake, but I don’t think this really surprises anyone. We all knew this would happen, it was only a matter of time.

So I’m stuck tonight trying to figure out what is the least boring thing to watch on TV. I can watch the election results, but a part of me doesn’t really want to see that train wreck. I can let my wife have the remote, and watch the talking heads on E! pontificate on the Britney/Kevin train wreck. Or I can watch ESPN2, where two inconsequential MAC teams, Toledo and Northern Illinois, are battling.

I think I’ll have to do the football thing. Like pizza and sex, even when college football is bad, it’s still pretty good. And it’s actually a 10-7 game in the second quarter, with fog so thick that the guy in the pressbox can’t even see the refs to control the game clock. This could get interesting. Plus, I spent my 21st birthday in DeKalb, Illinois, where NIU is located. So go Huskies!

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:49 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: News, Pop Culture


September 13, 2006


Pete’s Couch

This is an anti-pot message I can get behind…

None of the folks I knew in college who smoked pot were destined for a life of heroin addiction. Most of them didn’t do any other drugs, and were pretty normal folks. But that doesn’t mean that they were ready to be productive members of society. All the folks I knew in college who smoked pot wanted to be in the tourism industry or public education… Ya know, no ambition. At the least, this is a heck of a lot more honest than Reefer Madness.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:00 am || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, Pop Culture, YouTube


August 23, 2006


Oooh… Someone’s Jealous!

Something to Chew On: Skipping Dinner With President

Every so often a football coach says or does something that leads most of us to wonder how he can be a functioning member of the world the rest of us live in. The latest case in point is Nick Saban, head coach of the Miami Dolphins, who just the other day turned down a dinner invitation from President Bush. Saban didn’t have to fly to Washington. He didn’t have to miss a game, seeing as the NFL season doesn’t begin for another five weeks. All Saban had to do was drive to Joe’s on South Beach. I’m sure somebody would have been perfectly happy to fetch the coach a car and driver.

But no, Saban turned down the president. Why? Because he didn’t want to take two hours out of training camp.

So, it’s as simple as this: Saban would rather lock himself in a cave and watch film, tinker with schemes, pore over depth charts and sit around with his assistants plotting the exciting intricacies of the next day’s practices than have dinner with the president for two hours. Saban said, “It was a really tough decision for us last night to stay here, work with our team, go to the meetings and do what we have to do in camp.”

It wasn’t a tough decision as much as it was a dumb decision, certainly an arrogant decision. And it wasn’t “we” it was he, Saban. I guarantee you he didn’t put it to a vote of the assistants and players.

Arrogant?! It’s not like the president was offering him the job of Secretary of State, and he said that running a football team was more important. He had an offer to go have dinner in a room where, if he was lucky, he might have a few minutes with the president. This doesn’t show arrogance, this shows that Nick Saban considers his responsibilities a few weeks prior to a season, in the middle of training camp, to be more important than a social activity with a celebrity. That celebrity is the president, yes, which makes someone like me consider it a little more of an honor than dining with Paris Hilton. But it’s a social gathering, it’s not like they’re discussing public policy.

I’m racking my brain wondering why the author, Michael Wilbon, is so critical of Saban here. And the only thing I can come up with is that he’s a reporter. His job is to report on events, and by god, when you’re a reporter, you take every chance you get to be around somebody like the president. After all, the president is a powerful guy, and it’s powerful people who you report on. I can only think that Wilbon is jealous. After all, he may not get invites to dine with the president very often, and here goes Saban, turning down the invitation because he’s too busy.

You know what I think? I think Saban should be commended for keeping his priorities in line. He’s a football coach, and as such, he has responsibilities. Particularly when he’s a few weeks away from the start of the season, in the middle of training camp. Those responsibilities preclude him from leaving in the middle of practice for a social gathering. He’s not a reporter, and he doesn’t have to kneel and kiss the king’s hand. He’s got his own life to live.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 1:23 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, Pop Culture, Sports

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