Rage Against the Machine, pt. 4.5

This post is long overdue, but with the holidays and travel, I'm finally getting around to posting it. After a week of running the computer "Hot Rod" style, we got around to playing a DVD. After about 30 seconds, the playback froze. I then tried another movie and the same thing happened. Before the motherboard replacement movies played back without issues. I thought it was the video playback software, so I attempted to upgrade the OEM software. Due to the fact that motherboard was a replacement and each board has it's own unique ID, the OEM software didn't recognize my computer as the computer it was originally installed on. Frustrated, I downloaded a 3rd party video player, ArcSoft's TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum figuring that would solve the problem. But it didn't. Playback froze using it as well. I took the computer back to Micro Center for rework. After some thorough troubleshooting, it was found that the port on the motherboard which the optical drive was connected to was bad. The replacement motherboard was a lemon! The replacement motherboard was again replaced this time at no cost, just the time without the computer. Third boards a charm I hope. Disc playback now works without error. We are back to enjoying some sweet Blu-ray movies. The HTPC is now fully functional again. Keep your fingers crossed!
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News from Dudeism.com for all our Ordained Dudeist Priests

Howdy Dudes,

This is just another friendly hello to tell you about new stuff that's going on over at Dudeism.

1) First off, the Tao Dude Ching (http://dudeism.com/tao) has been renamed "The Dude De Ching" and is now available in print format for a low price. We renamed it to avoid confusing it with our upcoming book "The Tao of the Dude".
You can order The Dude De Ching here: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/the-dude-de-ching/8059795

Note that the entire $2 royalty we earn will go into a fund that will be charitably donated via the website www.kiva.org. The print version is illustrated by award-winning mystery novelist and cartoonist Colin Cotterill (www.colincotterill.com).

2) We've engineered a free software program that helps you take it easy! The Dudeism Pop-Up Relaxation Reminder reminds you to take regular breaks while at the computer in order to keep your mind limber. You can download that here:

3) We've also come up with some cool new tee-shirt and sweatshirt designs. If you hurry you can still get some in time for Christmas. Give a Dudeist gift to someone you dig:

Note that there's other groovy Xmas ideas at our Prinfection and Cafepress stores - visit our store (http://dudeism.com/store.html) and scroll down for the links. The beer mugs at Printfection are especially nice.

4) A friendly bunch of Brits are going to be headed around the States starting in December putting together a documentary on Dudeism. If you'd like to be featured in the film or just know more about it, please visit them at their website: http://www.adudesodyssey.com

5) Lots of people have been asking us about the Ordained Minister ID cards shown in the famous Dudeism VW commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYUD6vs0pg4). We plan to have those ready for order next month, along with some other cool new stuff. We'll let you know soon when it's all up and running.

Also, if you haven't checked out the Dudespaper (http://dudespaper.com) in a while, please do. There have been a lot of great contributions from die-hard Dudeists all over the world.

Take er easy,
Rev. Oliver Benjamin
The Dudely Lama of the Church of the Latter-Day Dude


The Redskins Are Such A Tease

Check out this email the Redskins sent me. The subject is "Redskins Recruit New Powerhouse".  At first glance I'm thinking "Holy shit, they fired Vinny and hired a real GM!" Then I click on the video. It's a promotion for Audi. What a cock tease. Assholes.

Washington Redskins

Today the Washington Redskins appointed a new leader that will strengthen the team with speed, control, spirit and drive.

As a passionate fan, we invite you to experience firsthand what this means for the future of the Washington Redskins.

Click on the video or personalized link below to view this special message:

Play Video                                             

Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins
21300 Redskins Park Drive
Ashburn, Virginia 20147


Beard Team USA National Beard and Moustache Championships

To all members, fans, and friends of Beard Team USA:

The first ever Beard Team USA National Beard and Moustache Championships will take place on Saturday, May 36, 2010, in Bend, Oregon [I got the state right :0) -ed].

Bend was selected from over 25 communities, resorts, and hotels -- ranging from Las Vegas to Peoria -- submitting bids to host the championships. Bend has pledged full community support for this extraordinary event.

Located on the Deschutes River in Central Oregon, Bend offers fly-fishing, rafting, golf, canoeing, mountain biking, hiking, and possibly even late season skiing and snowboarding at nearby Mount Bachelor. Did I mention beer? Bend is the home of seven microbreweries including the famous Deschutes Brewery practically next door to the Les Schwab Amphitheater where the competiton will take place.

There will be competition in four separate categories designed to include everyone. The winner in each category will walk away with a cool $1000. So that everyone gets a shot at the cash, the fifth $1000 prize will go to a contestant selected at random.

Here are the categories:

1. Best moustache. Beards are allowed in this category but the contestants will be judged on their moustaches only;
2. Best partial beard. Includes goatees, van dykes, sideburns, musketeers, etc.;
3. Best full beard. Styling aids are permitted;
4. Freestyle. Anything goes. Anything. Be creative.

The date?? It's May 36. Purists will insist that it is actually June 5, but since I have been promising for months that the Nats will be in May, I am sticking with May 36 for now.

The championships will take place in conjunction with the 8th Annual Balloons over Bend hot air balloon festival.

Stay tuned for information on registration, lodging options, transportation from the airport in Portland, and everything else you will need to know.

For now all members of Beard Team USA are asked to:

1. Make plans to be in Bend on May 36;
2. Tell everyone they know about the BTUSA Nationals;
3. Keep growing their beards and moustaches for America.

Phil Olsen
Founder and self-appointed captain
Beard Team USA


Beard Team USA News

Here's the Thanksgiving message from BTUSA's Founder and self-appointed Captain, Phil Olsen:

Hi Everyone,

Here is the latest from Beard Team USA.

Beard Team USA Nationals:

I am still waiting for confirmation of a few important details before I can announce the firm date and location of the first ever Beard Team USA Nationals. I should have confirmation in the next few days.

Meanwhile here is a hint. BEer. The community that has been selected has one brewery for every 11,500 residents. This may be the highest brewery-to-resident ratio in the known universe. I am hoping to hold the Official Beard Team USA Somewhat Annual General Meeting as a progressive meeting, starting at one brewery and then progressing through each brewery in town. Stay tuned.[Spoiler alert: the city with the most breweries is Portland, OR - editor]

Wanna be in the movies?

This summer Epic New Era Productions will be filming a film about beards. Epic needs beards to be in the pic. For more info, contact the Producer -- Joshua Trujillo, josh@eneflix.com, 218-839-9242.

BTUSA nationwide discount at Red Roof Inns:

All members of Beard Team USA are entitled to a 15% discount at any Red Roof Inn in the country! Just click here to book:


Thanks to John Murray, National Account Executive for this generous offer!

Coming events:

Organizational meeting of the New England Chapter of Beard Team USA.
December 10, 2009, 8:00 p.m., Flat Top Johnny's, 1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge, Massachusetts. Everyone is invited. Just show up. For further info, please contact Matt Quierey (btusanewengland@gmail.com) or Kevin Smith (madeofmedal7727@gmail.com).

St. Croix Chapter Beard and Moustache Contest, Christiansted, Virgin Islands.
January 16, 2010 -- See http://www.bigbeards.com/scrapbook.htm#Events

Southeast Regionals, Charleston, South Carolina.
Valentine's Weekend, 2010, hosted by the Holy City Beard and Moustache Society. http://www.myspace.com/holycitybeardsociety

All-American City Beard and Moustache Contest, Somerville, Massachusetts.
February 13, 2010. For more info, contact Todd Easton (todd.easton.gmail.com).

Third Annual Misprint Beard Contest, Austin, Texas.
February 20, 2010 -- Hosted by the Austin Facial Hair Club. Special three-month and six-month sprint categories.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Phil Olsen
Founder and self-appointed Captain
Beard Team USA

Rage Against the Machine, pt. 4 - "Hotrod Style"

From Toxic Shock Syndrome
Part 4 of my love/hate relationship with technology series "Rage Against The Machine" is about the motherboard of my home theatre computer, a.k.a. HTPC. The computer started acting funny. It would lock up and not start up. I even got a few BSoDs and a WSoD, which I didn't know existed. I did some research and determined it was a hardware issue. I've successfully diagnosed and fixed software issues, but this was my first foray into hardware errors. I know it's hard to believe but I've never had a computer crash on me before. Knock on wood. I probably could have fixed it myself, but this is our entertainment system and I didn't want to screw it up permanently. I took it to my local computer repair shop and got the motherboard replaced. Total repair cost was $360. I'm embarrassed by that price. I could have saved myself some money by doing it myself. There's always next time.

The computer repair dude said that he's seen a lot of the small profile computers have heat related issues. The motherboard just burned out. I decided to run the computer without a case a.k.a. "hotrod style". Only time will tell how that works out. The HTPC is almost year and a half old and I've had more problems with it than I've had with any other computer. The build quality is just poor. But because consumers demand cheaper computers then we get what we get. You just buy the product, take care of it and hope for the best.


Ten Things That Make Me Mad

1. People who point at their wrist while asking for the time. I know where my watch is, fool: where the hell is yours? Do I point at my crotch when I ask where the bathroom is?

2. The Pillsbury doughboy is way too happy considering he has no dick.

3. People who are willing to get off their ass to search the entire room for the TV remote because they refuse to walk to the TV and change the channel manually.

4. When people say "Oh you just want to have your cake and eat it too". That's stupid! What good is a cake you can't eat? What, should I eat someone else's cake instead?

5. When people say "It's always in the last place you look". Of course it is. Why the hell would you keep looking after you've found it? Do people do this? Who and where are they?

6. When people say, while watching a movie, "Did you see that?" No, asshole: I paid $7.50 to come to the theatre and stare at the ceiling up there. What did you come here for?

7. The now old radio ad, "Hi, I'm Jeff Healey from the Jeff Healey Band. Don't drink and drive. I don't". Well, I hope you don't drive sober either, Mr. Healey. You're blind [and dead RIP] for God's sake.

8. People who ask "Can I ask you a question?" Didn't really give me a choice when you asked that?

9. When something is "new and improved", which is it? If it's new, then there has never been anything before it. If it's an improvement, then there must have been something before it.

10. When a cop pulls you over and then asks if you know how fast you were going. You should know, asshole: you pulled me over.


Four Eyes

I now officially wear glasses. I'm afflicted with "computer related eye fatigue" and wear what they call "computer glasses" which are like reading glasses, but for when I'm on the computer which is always. Stupid weak eye muscles.


Misery Has Company

I'm not the only Redskins' fan who is distraught about the team. Fewer and fewer among the Redskins' faithful seem to believe the team's problems will be fixed. This Washington Post article by Tracee Hamilton perfectly articulates my feelings this season. Misery has company.


Vanity Plate Penetration


Random vanity plate facts of the day (and I have a question: Which other countries permit vanity plates? I can’t recall seeing them in Europe, for example, but I may be wrong):

That’s how we know 1 in 26.15 registered motor vehicles have vanity plates, which translates into nearly 9.3 million or 3.8% of the nearly 243 million registered motor vehicles in the US. And that’s where we get the term, “vanity plate penetration,” and are able to use it in this sentence: Virginia has the highest vanity plate penetration with 1 in 6.18 registered cars (or 16%) being vanitized.

After Virginia, the next five states with the highest vanity plate penetration are New Hampshire (1 in 7.14); Illinois (1 in 7.45); Nevada (1 in 7.8); Montana (1 in 10.2); and Maine (1 in 10.21). The state with the lowest percentage of vanity plates is Texas, with only .56%, or 1 in 178.3 registered cars.

Via the wonderfully obsessive, if imperfect, Book of Odds.

I live in Virginia but hate vanity plates. But yet I had one, SHOCKZ, on my 350Z. It was clever and cheap. If you can't beat'em, join'em. The wife is from Texas and we want to move to Austin in a few years, so we'll go from the most vanity plate penetrated state to the least. Makes me feel a little better about about living in Texas.


AC/DC Concert at the Verizon Center in Washington DC on Friday, Oct 16, 2009

AC/DC Concert
Originally uploaded by chronic-shock
I finally got to see one of my favorite bands, AC/DC. We got a babysitter and made it a date night. The concert rocked. It was a raucous show. The band has a lot of energy. It was loud and crazy. They played around two hours. The set list included their hits and three songs off their new album, Black Ice.
Here's all the pics.

Rock on! \m/

The Onion Sports: Redskins Hold Press Conference To Announce They Are Still Sort Of A Football Team

From The Onion: Sports: Redskins Hold Press Conference To Announce They Are Still Sort Of A Football Team: "WASHINGTON—Washington Redskins head coach Jim Zorn held a press conference Sunday to reassure fans that, despite an inability to effectively..."


Money Tips I Learned from Poker

A repost from my favorite personal finance blog, Bargaineering. It combines two of my hobbies - personal finance and poker. I'm going to print out the article and take it to my monthly poker game to see what the guys think.

Money Tips I Learned from Poker: "

Fat Stack of Poker Chips

This was a guest post written by my friend John H. about the some money tips he took from the felt and put into his wallet.

When you think of your bankroll, you probably think about how much cash you have in your wallet or how much money you have access to via your debit card that’s not already spoken for by bills. It’s your extra money that you’ll use to put gas in your car this week, go out to eat one night, or for some random purchase like buying a box of Do-Si-Dos® from the Girl Scouts outside your local grocery store.

Lesson 1: Bankroll Management

These things, while individually are minute, eventually add up to “I’m broke.” Instead of looking at your bankroll as your own personal petty cash fund, think of it like poker players do their bankrolls. The average professional poker player will typically only play in cash games for which his bankroll is 300 X the big blind, sometimes up to 500. If you don’t play poker, then this means nothing to you, but a blind is the maximum bet that the game will start out at. You don’t really need to understand this though to apply the strategy to your own life. Think of it as only making purchases that are equal to or less than a certain percentage of your bankroll.

Example 1:

For the sake of not being ridiculous, let’s lessen the number to 30 X your bankroll. Inflation has pushed the price of Girl Scout Cookies up to about $4 per box in most regions of the US. Do you have $120 in your bankroll to cushion the loss of the $4? You want two boxes? You should have at least $240 of extra money in your pocket if you plan on splurging. Only buy the Girl Scout Cookies when your bankroll can afford the blow. When you are running low on cash, you won’t be able to afford 30 X the purchase, and if you’re disciplined, you won’t buy it; thus, not running out of money before your next paycheck.

Example 2:

Another scenario: You have a date. Going out to dinner at a really expensive restaurant like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, for two people, would run you at least $100 (more if you plan on ordering martinis). If your bankroll has at least $3,000 (30 X $100) to cushion the loss, then by all means, you can afford it and your wallet won’t suffer too harshly. If you’ve got more like $200 in your pocket, Applebee’s is running a special that includes an appetizer and two entrees for $20 and $2 20 oz. beers—now that’s a date you can afford.

There’s another term for this, it’s “living within your means,” which some people don’t do, especially when they get mixed up with credit cards, but that’s an entirely different story, and it’s been addressed on this blog already. Of course the number “30” is not the exact number for everyone, as there’s no perfect formula that fits every single person when it comes to finances. However, in such tough economic times as these, using restraint and moderation with your money is more than mildly important. Find a number that works for you, but just stick to it. Try it for one month and see how much money you have leftover in your bankroll.

Lesson 2: Saving/Investing

After you’ve practiced bankroll management as described above, you hopefully actually have some money left over above your monthly expenses. Now you can take a percentage of that amount and put it away in your “savings.” In keeping with the poker theme, poker players don’t take all their money with them to the casino (the responsible ones don’t anyway). They put away what their original investment was, plus some, and then continue to build on to their adjusted bankroll.

Example 1:

You’ve managed to pay all of your monthly bills and budget yourself to only spend 30 X your bankroll for an entire month. At the end of the month, you have $250 left over. Take 50% of that and put it away. So you now have a savings of $125, plus another $125 to throw into the pot for the next month’s bankroll. That following month, you’ll essentially have more money to cushion your spending. Stay disciplined, though; this does not mean that you should blow your extra cash on iTunes. Stick to your bankroll management, but you’ll have a little more free reign with what you can spend in relation to your bankroll (i.e., perhaps this week, you can afford Long Horne Steakhouse).

Example 2:

This one is for those who have credit card debt. Take the same example above. Instead of “saving” your extra $125, throw it towards the balance on one of your cards (that is if you have the will power to not use that card, which hopefully if you’ve come this far, you do). Continue whittling it down each month in this way, until it’s gone. Then your extra cash can go to another credit card or to that desperately neglected savings account.

Lesson 3: Expect Pitfalls

As in poker, life throws some things at you sometimes from left field. If you’ve heard of a bad beat in poker, you know that it means that a player, who otherwise had a killer poker hand, got beat by a better hand. Bad beats happen in life too. For instance, if you are a homeowner, you know that things happen to your house that need fixing. If you have kids, they need stuff. If you own a car, no matter how new, reliable, or gas efficient it is, it will eventually need work done to it. These things happen. Such is life. However, with the bankroll management tools explained here, you’ll be prepared for a bad beat.

If a poker player loses his entire bankroll on one bad call, then he’s out. He’s out of chances to risk anything whatsoever. If he is smart, though, he hasn’t lost it all on one hand. He’s been preparing for something like this since he first decided he’d sit down at a poker table and play a session. He may have to move down to smaller limits in order to build his bankroll up (instead of playing at the $25 blind table, he’ll move to the $5 blind table—something closer to his bankroll divided by 300).

Example 1:

You need new tires on your car. This is an expense that is not part of your monthly bills. You must dip into your bankroll and/or savings in order to afford this repair. No problem. If you’ve been following the rules suggested in this article, you have some fluff to your bankroll, especially after a few months like this have gone by. You may be able to take half of the expense from your cushiony savings account and half from your pocket, or 60%-40%, etc. But the key here is that once the expense is taken care of, you must be prepared to “move down to a lower limit table.” Tighten up on your spending again to cushion the blow to your wallet/savings that the tires cost you. Move down to only purchase at the 25 X level for a couple of weeks. You’ll be able to move back up, but you don’t want your quality of life to suffer severely down the road, when you have another unexpected expense come up.

Bankroll management in poker is applicable to personal budgeting tactics. Everything must be considered in terms of the bigger picture. If you don’t have a mental grasp of your spending to earnings ratio, you’ll never be able to establish savings or make investments, or worse yet, survive those inevitable pitfalls of life.

(Photo: jamadams)

Money Tips I Learned from Poker from personal finance blog Bargaineering.com.



Beard Interview: Michael from Beard Revue

Most of the content of my beard blog comes from other beard blogs and Beard Team USA news, save for my beard progress photos. I'd like to welcome the newest member of the beard blog community, The Beard Coach. The Beard Coach recently interviewed the founder of my favorite beard blog, Beard Revue. I actually discovered The Beard Coach through Beard Revue. I like Beard Revue's perspective on all things beard. The interview is reposted below.

Beard Interview: Michael from Beard Revue: "

The next installment in my series of interviews with other Internet-using beard-loving people is with Michael from the popular site Beard Revue. His site is just bristling with beard goodness. First Thursday Beard Art is a highlight as well as some quite indisputable beard ratings.

The Beard Coach: What was your inspiration for diving into the world of beard blogging?

Michael: Beard Revue is the result of a convergence of three main interests: my unflagging admiration for beards, snobby indie hipster music and social media. My unflagging admiration for beards is self-explanatory.

The hipster music bit comes from my love of the assumed authority with which Pitchfork approaches its reporting and album reviews. Pitchfork is often divisive—a lot of folks hate their reviews. But I think they’re witty, and often way to serious about themselves for me not to laugh. (They recently rated every Beatle album on their arbitrary 0.0–10.0 scale. Was that necessary? No. Was it informative, amusing and incredibly pretentious? Yes.) And my interests in social media stems from my friend Joshua’s challenge to maintain a blog longer than three months. I did, and now it’s popular.

TBC: From what I can tell, Beard Revue is a pretty darn popular beard site. What kind of traffic are you getting?

Michael: Find out for yourself at alexa.com. (Editor’s note: Beard Revue has an Alexa rank of 735,874 as of today.)

TBC: Has Beard Revue panned out the way you had planned it? Or has the road taken some unforeseen twists?

Michael: No. It’s become more popular than I initially thought and the format has changed as my interests and goals have changed. In fact, I’ve recently partnered with a crack team of developers to see how Beard Revue can accommodate more user generated content. I can’t really say more than that, though.

TBC: Your beard poster is fantastic! Any other handcrafted beard art lying around the house?

Michael: Thanks! Probably the most rewarding thing from Beard Revue is the community of artists to whom I’ve been exposed. I love all the little things that beards and moustaches inspire (thus, First Thursday Beard Art). I love that tattoo trend—the one where you get a ’stache tat on the side of your index finger and hold it up over your lip. Sometimes it’s just some one with a Sharpie and not a tattoo. It’s benign and it makes me smile every time I see a photo of one.

And so then there’s everything else. I’m a print designer by trade. So I have beard posters, prints and even Jack Passion’s first book in my collection of all things beardy. And the library affords me the opportunity to bone up on some beardage from time to time. Who knew there was so much beardstuff out there?

TBC: What is your take on the state of the beard today?

Michael: Save for the Victorian era, same as it’s always been. The beard is for the fringes of society. The artists, intellectuals, vagrants and anyone who’s willing to wear the badge of being different. Recession and playoff beards are fleeting moments of solidarity, but don’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things.

TBC: Name your 3 favorite bearded people.

Michael: Abbey Road and All Things Must Pass era George Harrison takes the cake. I just saw Kyp Malone last week, so I’ll say him. And my father, of course.

TBC: Name the top 3 people you wish had a beard.

Michael: James Beard (that guy totally wasted his name). I’d love to see Barack Obama don a beard like Malone’s. And anyone I’ve ever met who said they would grow a beard but just weren’t capable of growing one.

TBC: Why do you think people enjoy beards?

Michael: They serve such a wide range of functions for the wearer and the viewer, it’d be difficult to pinpoint one thing. That little bit of rugged panache can go a long way. I like that they’re natural. Since they’re both manifestations of our mature states, this might be an apt analogy:

Beard : Naked Face :: Natural Breasts : Implants

TBC: Please briefly tell your favorite beard-related story.

Michael: People do some funny things for facial hair. I had a wicked awesome handlebar moustache for Moustache May which garnered a lot of attention. Some one photographed me for their scavenger hunt, a gentleman almost got hit by a car crossing the street just to say “hi, nice moustache” and BT Livermore gave me a complementary tin of Man’s Face Stuff moustache wax. My favorite compliment was when a sweet young lass called me a walking sex toy.

TBC: Much of my site is devoted to beard-growing motivation. What is your best advice for guys who are currently growing a beard?

Michael: Have fun with it.



Jack Passion redux: The Facial Hair Handbook

Below is Beard Revue's review of the Facial Hair Handbook by Jack Passion. This is the book I left on a jumbo jet airliner to Albany, NY in early September. I hope Santa brings me another.

Jack Passion redux: The Facial Hair Handbook: "
Jack Passion is no stranger to Beard Revue. In fact, he lies somewhere between mascot and honorable diplomat of the world beard community, which is why it’s only too appropriate that he would one day serve as a docent into all things beardy.

The Facial Hair Handbook: Every Man’s Guide to Growing & Grooming Great Facial Hair, Passion’s first book, was released earlier this year.

The book is not about the history of facial hair nor its place in culture. Instead, Passion focuses on the context in which and how to wear facial hair. Simply stated in the introduction, “this book is for the man who is ready to look like one.”

The Facial Hair Handbook includes musings on the stumbling blocks of the metrosexual movement, instructions on how to get through the early stages of a baby beard and tips on which shampoos and conditioners to use. “In the throes of Passion, your hard work will pay off,” Passion advises.

Humorous gems are generously sprinkled throughout, like “sex is the rain dance of facial hair” and “every one of my beard hairs is an antenn to the bearded world.” A few Franklinesque aphorisms like “healthy man, healthy beard” and “if you’re going to wear it long, wear it strong” are also offered up from time to time, lending to the book’s incredibly endearing quality.

The Facial Hair Handbook is a perfect companion for both expert and novice pogonolgists. Whether you read it on a sunny afternoon in Walnut Creek or on a brisk day in Berlin, it is sure to make you smile. This book makes for a great, affordable gift for your favorite beardy.

So pick up a copy of The Facial Hair Handbook and then write to Jack Passion and tell him his book changed your life.

Take THAT Jack Passion! from sarah sporik

If you enjoy Beard Revue, please visit the site, post your comments and tell your friends. Thanks!



Larry David on the "Seinfeld" reunion and shaking hands -- latimes.com

I'm a huge fan of Curb Your Enthusiam and Seinfeld. But I don't have HBO anymore, so I'm going to have to catch the new season of Curb on DVD.  All the Seinfeld cast members will be on this weeks episode of Curb.

Larry David on the 'Seinfeld' reunion and shaking hands -- latimes.com.

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Fail To the Redskins

The Redskins have finally gone and done it. They've become the worst team in the NFL. They allowed the lowly Detroit Lions to end their 19 game losing streak. When the worst team in the league beats you, then you become the worst team in the league. It's shameful. I saw this coming. I can no longer be a Redskins fan. I've already promised Fletch that I won't force him to be a Redskins fan. I'm giving serious consideration to canceling my season tickets next year. The SD Chargers need fans and I'm looking for a new team to root for.

Articles from the Washington Post:
A Debacle From Top to Bottom - Mike Wise
In Big Picture, Focus Disappeared Long Ago - Thomas Boswell
Worst D.C. Sports Moment of 2009 - D.C. Sports Bog by Dan Steinberg

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LEGO Eiffel Tower Part 3 of 3

I finished part 3 of the set yesterday. Build time for part 3 was approximately 2.5 hrs. Total build time of the entire set was 10 hrs. The tower stands 3.5 ft. Fletch is half the size of the tower. This was the largest and most challenge set I've ever built. Now I've got to find a place to display it!


Sesame Street does ‘Moustache’ with Jonah Hill

Sesame Street does ‘Moustache’ with Jonah Hill:

Elmo and Jonah Hill team up to briefly explain the wonders of the awesomely sweet moustache. Oh my gosh!

Sesame Street does ‘Beard’ with Edward Lear

Sesame Street does ‘Beard’ with Edward Lear:

Here, we have an old-school Sesame Street animation for b-for-beard featuring a limerick by Edward Lear.

There Was an Old Man with a Beard

There was an old man with a beard,
who said, ‘Alas, it is just as I feared! —
Four larks and a wren, two owls and a hen,
Have all built their nests in my beard!

—Edward Lear

A Message from The Dudely Lama of Dudeism to all Dudeist Priests

Hi Dudes,
This is just a note to let all our ordained Dudeist Priests know about some recent developments at Dudeism (The Church of the Latter-Day Dude).

First off, Dudeism was featured prominently in a funny Volkswagen ad campaign. You can read about it and watch the video here:

We've also launched our first holy book: The Tao Dude Ching. It's a reworked version of the Tao Te Ching (the holy book of Taoism) using dialogue and story elements from The Big Lebowski.
You can read it here for free: http://www.dudeism.com/tao

If any of you are interested in appearing as a Dudeist Priest on TV, in a magazine article, or in an upcoming documentary, check out this article at the Dudespaper:

That's it for now! But a there's a lot more new developments coming up soon.

Take er easy,
Oliver Benjamin
The Dudely Lama of Dudeism


Fletch and Furry Daddy

I thought this would be a great beard progress pic. It's just me and my son chillin' on the couch. Check out how huge my face fur is. Damn! Seeing my beard in a different medium rather than the regular looks in the mirror really puts it in perspective. I might have competition worthy facial hair. A couple months back I bought The Facial Hair Handbook by fellow BTUSA member and world champion Jack Passion in preparation for my next beard competition. I didn't get very far into reading it before leaving it in the seat pocket on a plane during a flight to Albany, NY a few weeks back. I've asked Santa for another copy.

Life-Size Lego House Built...and Demolished

Red 2 × 4 LEGO brick from the LDraw parts libr...Image via Wikipedia
Damn shame nobody wanted this one of a kind masterpiece (pun intended). 

Life-Size Lego House Built...and Demolished - ShelterPop
Shared via AddThis

James May's Lego House is Demolished - Daily Telegraph

James May and his full-size Lego house nobody wants - Daily Mail

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Hail to the Redskins

With the NFL season starting this week, I thought I'd give a "shout out" to my favorite team, The Washington Redskins. I've been a fan my whole life, and I lived a majority of my life in Atlanta! The Redskins were once a proud franchise.  They've been to five Super Bowls, and have won three of them during the tenure of Joe Gibbs 1.0.  I'm a proud season ticket holder. But since Gibbs retired the first time, the team has gone downhill. And since Danny boy bought the team, the decline has been swift and the team is a laughingstock. Right before the season started the Washington Post did an expose on the Redskins. Here is a list of the articles and interactive graphic (the graphic is especially fun):

Redskins Fans Waited While Brokers Got Tickets
For Redskins Fans, Hard Luck Runs Into Team's Hard Line
Once Again, Redskins' Public Trust In Jeopardy
A Decade of Snyder The Decider [interactive graphic]

Good luck this season. Hail to the Redskins!

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12 Outdated Technology Terms That You Shouldn't Use During An Interview

I ran across this article that I found interesting. If you know any of these words, then you need a refresher course in technology "buzzwords". Don't put any of these words on your resume. I used to commute with my neighbor before my office moved in July. He and I would sit on the subway and make a game of trying to use outdated tech words in our conversations. My favorite is "information superhighway". See #12 in the article. :0) We found it hard to use "searching" instead of "Googling".
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If you know me, you know I grew up a Mormon (a.k.a. LDS). Why am I bringing this up on my beard blog? Well, because I found an interesting post on Beard Revue-you can't have a beard at BYU! Under the Dress and Grooming Standards section, the Bringham Young University honor code clearly states: “Men are expected to be clean shaven; beards are not acceptable.” That's totally bogus. Beard Revue suspects this code is in reaction to rise of the counter culture movement in the US and the rise of popularity of long hair and beards in the 1960s.

Still, if you’re a Cougar, there is the option of a beard waiver. You must “visit a BYU Student Health Center doctor by appointment. The doctor will fax his recommendation. The student then needs to come to the Honor Code Office to fill out some paperwork and receive the letter allowing the growth of the beard, if approved. If a yearly beard waiver is granted, a new Student ID will be issued after the beard has been fully grown, and must be renewed every year by repeating the process.”

Ironically, many of the early LDS leaders had beards. Even the man the school is named after was adored with facial folicles. See the links below for pics of the hirsuted Mormon brethren.

Brigham Young: http://tinyurl.com/qgt9rc
John Taylor: http://tinyurl.com/r6nx3s
Lorenzo Snow: http://tinyurl.com/qtqztn

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I'm Available for Weddings

One thing that got lost in the shuffle of my son's birth was that I was ordained as a Dudeist Priest on July 19. Dudeism is an official religion based on the "The Dude" character from The Big Lebowski. As an ordained Dudeist Priest, I can perform my priestly duties and minister over religious ceremonies in most U.S. States (laws vary), and assorted other countries. So I can preside over a wedding, funeral, or any kind of celebration with pride and authority. My schedule is currently wide open. My fee is quite reasonable, it's FREE!

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LEGO BrickFair 2009

I headed out to the 2009 LEGO BrickFair show on Saturday. This time the family accompanied me. We had a good time. It was held at it's usual location, the Tyson Sheraton Hotel. It was really crowded and hot. BrickFair has outgrown this location, so next year the show is moving to the Dulles Expo Center which is bigger and should improve the flow of people. Our favorite MOC was this psychadelic fish by The Brick Chick. This was her very first MOC. Killer job for a first time! We are impressed. Check out all our BrickFair pics.

Fantasy Football and Relationships

Fantasy and Relationships: "You know fantasy football is no longer a niche hobby when it's a major topic of discussion in Carolyn Hax's online chat, which by the way was the most viewed article on the Web site by late Friday. For those who missed it, a woman from Reston [VA] wrote that her husband e-mailed to ask if the couple could switch the appointment they currently have to induce labor to accommodate his fantasy football draft. For emphasis, accommodate was in all capital letters. Then she wrote she's not in jail at the moment and very proud of herself for it.

Carolyn's witty retort: "Hey, isn't that the beauty of inducing? You can schedule it?"

One commenter had this to say on the matter: "From today's chat I've learned that: (a) women don't understand why you would congratulate a friend for dating a hot chick; and (b) the importance of fantasy football. Is there any better metaphor for understanding the sexes?

Sounds about right to me."


LEGO Eiffel Tower Part 2 of 3

LEGO Eiffel Tower Part II
Originally uploaded by chronic-shock
This is part 2 of the Lego Eiffel Tower set I'm building. Part 2 took 2.5 hours to build. Below is parts 1 and 2 together. It's coming along nicely.


British TV Host to Build and Live in Lego House

English: James May at a recording of Top Gear....Image via Wikipedia

Top Gear presenter James May is planning to build and live in a new house in Surrey, made completely out of Lego bricks. This story combines two of my loves-cars and Lego. Top Gear is my favorite car show, but we no longer have cable TV and you have to live in the UK to watch the show online. May is going to have working electricity and plumbing in his Lego house. I can't wait to see the completed project.

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LEGO Eiffel Tower Part 1 of 3

My lazy Sunday activity was starting the build of my LEGO Eiffel Tower set. The LEGO Eiffel Tower is a stunning model for construction and display, built to 1:300 scale from the real tower's original blueprints. From the flag at the top to the elevators and other realistic details, this is as authentic as it gets. Eiffel Tower stands 42.5" (108 cm) high and base measures 20" x 20" (50 cm x 50 cm)! Can be disassembled in 3 sections for easy transport and storage.

This was my baby-daddy gift from the wife. It's a small way of saying "thanks for my sperm" :) Part 1 took about 5 hours to build. I sorted the pieces while we were in the hospital for Fletch's jaundice. That took me a while. The sorting really helped though. It made finding the correct dark gray piece out of 3428 pieces much easier.