Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 24 - 101 Days of Awesome

The next awesome thing is Easter!

Just kidding. Easter sucks.

Tonight we leave for my eighth DC trip. It all started so long ago in Spring Break 2000. We went to DC for three days then New York for two. We went again the next year. September 11 kept the next trip from happening. So our next was in 2003. We took seventh and eighth graders that year to make sure we had enough people. Since then, we've gone every other year. In 2011, I added an extra day in Philadelphia. I think that got the trip at just the right length. Plus, we get a sweet cheese steak.

So while this installment is on the trip in general, for the next week my Days of Awesome will be live from the trip. I'm sure I can find something pretty awesome each day.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 23 - 101 Days of Awesome

Sometimes, it's just as simple as a picture. This is one of my favorite internet pictures ever. It just works.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 22 - 101 Days of Awesome

Get it on! This day brings the best of the 70s. You have your horn sections. You have some wahwah guitar. He's singing about sex without saying it nor covering it up. Take a listen for yourself and GET IT ON!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 21 - 101 Days of Awesome

I love chocolate. I know I'm really going putting myself out there, but I can't deny it. My favorite chocolate bar, however, isn't readily sold in the US. I can find it in Canada and throughout Europe with no problem. But it takes a bit of a search around here. It's the Aero Bar.

This thing isn't really about the chocolate flavor. It's the bubbles - the air pockets that go through the whole bar, as you can see in the picture. I don't know exactly what it is about it, but it works.

Hershey tried it's own version of this about a year ago. It's in stores. But it's not the same. This is one of the reasons I'm looking forward to heading back to Europe. It's the easy availability of the awesome Aero Bar.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 20 - 101 Days of Awesome

The Simpsons! I have to admit first that I don't usually watch first run episodes of The Simpsons anymore. When I do, there's usually a few funny bits in it. It's right up there with most other shows on the air today. But it's not the laugh-every-minute show that it once was.

That fifth through tenth season is filled with some of the funniest stuff ever. I'll put any random episode up against the prime best episodes of Seinfeld or South Park. There's a reason why South Park did the whole "The Simpsons already did it" bit.

The best part is that they have jokes on many levels. When I've shown The Simpsons in class, the dumb slower kids had just as much to laugh at as the rest of us. 

Without the Simpsons, its quite possible that people would still think that you can, in fact, win friends with salad.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 19 - 101 Days of Awesome

OK - I already posted about The Onion, so this one feels a bit like cheating. But still, it's awesome. It's what should have happened in the Supreme Court today.

Click to read The Onion

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 18 - 101 Days of Awesome - it's dot org!

There used to be a new Strong Bad email every Monday. That was a pretty sweet way to start the week. It's been a few years since it was updated, but I still have some sweet Homestar Runner memories. If you haven't been there, skip the intro. On the next page, click on "first time here." Then read some Strong Bad Email. Perhaps you can check out an episode of Teen Girl Squad. After all - Corn is no place for a might warrior!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 17 - 101 Days of Awesome

 Star Wars is awesome, but I feel that I need to dig a bit deeper to bring out the awesome. I have a few other Star Wars things to discuss over these 101 days. Today is about my favorite Star War moment from composer John Williams. There are so many great themes that today are instantly recognizable. But this part, The Asteroid Field from the middle of The Empire Strikes Back, is the most awesome.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 16 - 101 Days of Awesome

I'm jumping out of order for the second day in a row, and I'm posting a book again as well. I'm on this now because I just finished reading the third book in the Game of Thrones series (actually, the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire), A Storm of Swords. It was awesome.

Starting the series felt tedious. The first book, A Game of Thrones, actually took quite a while to get through, and it made me feel like a slow reader. In contrast, I flew through the last 400+ pages of A Storm of Sword in the last few days, and I've been rather busy aside from the reading. It's gotten that good.

The third season of the TV series begins soon on HBO. I don't get HBO, but I'm sure I'll see it soon enough. I've read that this book was broken into the next two seasons. Brace yourself. The awesome is coming.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 15 - 101 Days of Awesome

Today's entry wasn't supposed to be until a later date, but it became appropriate today as it was reported that Chinua Achebe died yesterday. He wrote one of my favorite books from college, Things Fall Apart.

Things Fall Apart is the story of a man from an African village. Basically, things fall apart from him and he loses his decent life. Almost everything that happens has roots in the British colonists, and they are pretty much to blame for everything.

I had to read it in two different classes. The first was a world history class, and the second was an African history class.I remember the professor in the second class yelling at all of us. No one had caught some little reference to something that happened twice in the book, once at the beginning and once near the end. He spend at least twenty minutes berate us for being undergrads and only reading the book once instead of several times before class.

In spite of that, I learned to like the book quite a bit. I brought a copy to school with me this year to pull out some excerpts to use when I taught imperialism, but I didn't finish getting that ready for this year. Next year.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 14 - 101 Days of Awesome

Comic book are awesome. But much like music, I can't use one single day for all comic books. One of the worst kept secrets is that not all comic books are superhero books. A slightly better kept secret is that a lot of comic books, including many superhero books, are extremely well written. If you're keen to both of those secrets but don't know where to start, I'll have a few suggestions for you over these 101 days.

Preacher is one of my absolute favorites. If you're sensitive about things often reserved for R rate films and/or blasphemy, you might want to skip it. Personally, I enjoy some good blasphemy every now and then.

Short version of the story is that God quits. The basic power of God moves along to preacher Jesse Custer. Joining his is his girlfriend, a vampire, Arseface, and the strangest damn characters you've ever come across.  This isn't an ongoing comic, so you can read the complete story.

Every once in a while, somebody new picks up the rights to the movie or TV show. This is a comic book series that I don't think I need to see. In the picture to the left, you'll notice the quote at the top of the trade paperback, "More fun than gong to the movies." I see lots of movies. I agree. Preacher is more fun. There's no way that the fun and shock can translate to a moving picture. They can try, but it just won't be right. With many of the superhero movies, there are so many stories to tell. But this one was told right the first time. 

Check it out, people!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 13 - 101 Days of Awesome

Here's a day that combined internet bizarre creativity with music. There are some decent mashups out there, but this is still my favorite.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 12 - 101 Days of Awesome

I'm going to be controversial here. Music is awesome. There. I said it. I know many of you are champing at the bit to argue, but I'm going to hold my ground.

While I would like to stop there, I have 101 days to fill up. Therefore, I need to be a little more specific. I've already dipped from the music well once before, and I plan to do so a few more times.

So here's something that I originally hated. We played the fourth movement from Dvorak's New World Symphony in high school, and I couldn't stand it or playing the French Horn. Perhaps by the time we performed it, though I feel like it was much later, I grew to love it.

Just go ahead and press play, then go about your business for the next forty-five minutes.  Enjoy.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 11 - 101 Days of Awesome

It's a sad world for two reasons. First,  Kardashians have reality shows. Second, I had to pluralize the first. Luckily, for every person who has heard of the Kardashians, Norman Borlaug has fed and saved the life of another.

Norman Borlaug is rarely mentioned when people mention heroes, and that's a shame. I wouldn't have heard of him if Penn and Teller hadn't named him "The Greatest Human Being That Ever Lived" on Bullshit. And that's no bullshit. When I visited the Nobel Museum, I was disappointed to find that they didn't yet sell the Norman Borlaug postcard.

This guy had the crazy idea of using science to feed the hungry. While feeding just one person would be feeding more people than all praying has ever done, he had to go and feed more than a billion. That's no typo - billion with a B.

Read more about the most awesome human being that ever lived: 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Day 10 - 101 Days of Awesome

Sure, there are tons of funny websites. Kids these days think they know the internet backwards and forwards. Today's awesome. Is the first simple yet funny webpage I remember. I was surprised to see that this page still exists. If you're new to the internet (as in new in his millennium), you need to take a look at one of the roots of silly webpages. Be sure to start with the FAQ. The title pretty much tells it all.

Jamming a Pair of Scissors Repeatedly Into Your Crotch



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 9 - 101 Days of Awesome

It seems like I've been posting every other day about food, so I wanted to throw in a nod to one of my favorite places to get food - New Orleans. This evening I headed over to Nola Po'Boy and Gumbo Kitchen in Concord to have a tasty o'Boy. I had a this fried oyster po' boy.

They're pretty good, but it's not the same as when you're in New Orleans. And in New Orleans, I always stop at least once, though probably twice, at Mother's Restaurant to get the BEST and most awesome po' boy on the planet - the Ferdi Special.

The awesomeness of the po 'boy is in the way the stuff on the bread sticks together. The mayo and mustard keep the soft french bread stuck to the lettuce and pickles, which stick to the meat. And every flavor compliments the others.

But the Ferdi. It has that special ingredient that brings it all together. Debris and gravy. The little bits that fall off the beef as it roasts. They pour that right over the ham and roast beef after making the sandwich. It's not so much that it falls apart. It's enough to make it all stick together and taste perfectly awesome.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 8 - 101 Days of Awesome

Jaco Pastrotius is an amazing musician. If you don't know anything about him, take a quick read of his Wikipedia page. Someday it's going to be a good movie. But my moment of awesome for today is in this live clip of Weather Report performing Birdland live. Around minute 4:30, he starts singing along with the soprano sax. While his voice might not be the most beautiful thing, the pure joy of music lives in the next two minutes.

There's a slightly better quality version available, but embedding is not allowed.That can be found here.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day 7 - 101 Days of Awesome

Pi is a rather important number, and I'm sure mathematicians would list it as awesome. While I appreciate math, it doesn't fall into my awesome column.

Pie, however, is awesome. And today being π Day, I would love to discuss pie. Pumpkin pie is probably my favorite. But you also can't dismiss a good (non Jello made) chocolate cream pie. I keep saying that I'm going to learn to make a good apple pie. I'll get to that soon.

I always grab a piece of pie on π Day. I stopped at Nations on the way home from bowling to grab a piece of banana cream pi(e). 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 5 - 101 Days of Awesome

What is more awesome than bacon? Bacon wrapped steak. These are from Costco.

But that wasn't quite awesome enough. Not only did I have to wait a few minutes for the juices to settle, but the plate is too empty. I cooked up a side of my favorite vegetable, bacon. So what's more awesome than bacon wrapped steak? Bacon wrapped steak with a side of bacon.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Day 4 - 101 Days of Awesome

Of all the places I'm going this summer, the place I'm least excited about is the French Riviera. Remember, though, that's on a scale of awesome to super-freaking-amazing awesome. There's one thing I really want to see there, though, and that is the Marc Chagall Museum.

Marc Chagall is my favorite artist. First and foremost, I love his use of colors. You can glance at any of the images I have here and see that unique flavor that they have. Second, I love the almost cartoonish drawings. They wouldn't work, however, without the vibrant colors surrounding them. Finally, they are filled with life. You're looking a the action of someone's dream. Nothing, including the sun or moon in the sky, is just sitting there. Everything moves.

There's more here - it's all pretty awesome.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Day 3 - 101 Days of Awesome

A Confederacy of Dunces became one of my favorite books while I was only halfway through it. I'm rather disappointed with my friends who read. I don't understand why none of them ever recommended this to me. I didn't read it until a few years ago. I've missed out on a few rereadings over the years. Ignatius Jacques Reilly is immediately one of the best characters ever. Go read it!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day 2 - 101 Days of Awesome

There are several videos, but this one is my favorite. The music is perfect, and dancing with others just shows pure joy. I've shown this is class before. Even the most cynical kids at first come around to it and find something to either smile at or just say "Cool." It gets me ready to travel this summer.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 1 - 101 Days of Awesome

For the next 101 days, I'm going to post something awesome. Since I often start things on my blog (Oscar Project) and don't finish them, I've actaully premade several posts. Plus, sometimes I'm just going to post it. I don't intent to write too much to make it easier. It's called 101 Days of Awesome. 

Day 1: My Grandma just passed away. This video was from her 90th birthday a few years ago. It was an awesome day, and she was an awesome person. She's going to be missed and remembered by many, many people.