Just another Monday at the Bear.

  • Hell – Squirrel Nut Zippers
  • Speak Softly Love (Theme from The Godfather) – Wow, I so didn’t know that song.
  • Beautiful Day – It was U2’s song, I only sang it.
  • This Love – From Maroon 5. I thought I didn’t know it, but it came through in the end.
  • Just the Way You Are – Much better this time out although I doubt it will ever become a crowd pleaser.
  • Good Morning Starshine – Nooby Nobby Low Low.
  • Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash sang it right the first time.
  • Take Me Home, County Roads – Mountain Momma.
  • Wanted – I took the lead after providing back-up for months.
  • Rawhide – Another song about a cowboy (but with real horses, not metal ones)

R.I.P., Pat Morita

Word is that Pat Morita has died. While I pretty much only recall Morita in his memorable roles as Mr. Myagi in the Karate Kid films and Arnold in “Happy Days,” this CBC Arts story revealed parts of his career that I didn’t know about. I didn’t even know he was nominated for an Oscar for Karate Kid.

I last saw him playing himself on the Adult Swim series “Robot Chicken.” It was funny that he was poking fun at himself.

He will be missed.

Missing U.P.: Fact-checking the Wal-Mart movie

Just got back from seeing Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices at the Pageant Theater. It was an interesting film — they had a lot of ground to cover and I don’t know how effectively they navigated it.

Before landing on some towns that successfully fought off the discount retailer, the film bounced around from how Wal-Mart is against small-town businesses, the employees, the customers and the workers making their goods. They were interesting in their own rights, but they could’ve been tied better into the film’s overall message.

Anyway, there were at least two errors in the film that I’m interested in.

1 – What U.S. map were they using? It looked to me that the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula was missing. Not cool, especially because the map looked pretty good otherwise.

2 – During the segment where the film detailed the number of violent crimes occurred in store parking lots, they listed a number of crimes that they said happened in the “first 7 months of 2005” (which drew a response from the audience).

Unfortunately, one of the listed crimes may not be accurate. I saw a knife assault at the Houghton, Mich. Wal-Mart listed. I remember when the assault happened and it wasn’t in 2005.

According to a Jan. 27, 2005 item from The Associated Press, the knife assault on the 92-year-old man occurred on Sept. 28, 2004. I recall the assault’s brutal details — the man’s throat was allegedly slashed in broad daylight (the man survived).

So if these details are inaccurate, how reliable are the film’s other details?

UPDATE – I was checking the list of parking lot crimes on WalMartMovie.com. Houghton isn’t currently on the list. I distinctly recall seeing it on the big screen (and I’m fairly certain I saw it on the on-screen list).


I’m also seeking a better name for this “Missing U.P.” segment. I would welcome ideas for something catchy and memorable. Drop me a line, ryan -at- rtomedia.com

Adult Swim stuff

In a post last month, I commented that I wasn’t able to view Adult Swim’s “Friday Night Fix” online streaming episodes. I couldn’t even easily determine what technology Williams Street used to for the service.

I tried to get the “fix” on my work computer Friday. I was able to tell that [as] wants a newer version Windows Media Player. That’s something I’m not going to be able to get until I upgrade my home computer. Bummer.

Another bummer is that “Arrested Development” had its full-season order cut to 13 episodes — again. Many critics see the writing on the wall for this show, which is a bummer.

It looks like the show is “monday-d” for good. At the same time, it’s nice the show got three seasons.

New: Missing UP

This is something I’ve been meaning to start for a long time. For four years, I lived on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Michigan is a state consisting of two large peninsulas jutting out into the Great Lakes. The Lower Peninsula is more well-known because the bulk of the population lives down there (including Detroit).

Map of Michigan from Google Maps
Map from Google Local

Now, one thing that I’ve noticed in recent years is that some people don’t include the Upper Peninsula in maps of the United States or Michigan. Sometimes they clump it with Canada or associate it with Wisconsin.

I don’t know why they do it — whether it’s an oversight, design error or just plain ignorance.

Here’s an example from FOX’s “Family Guy”:

Ollie Williams from 'Family Guy'

The screen cap is from Planet Family Guy. I didn’t see the episode in question, but the character of Ollie Williams is clearly in front of a U.S. map missing the Upper Peninsula.

Some Yoopers get offended by these errors, and I think I can understand where they’re coming from. The U.P. isn’t a relatively tiny island like Long Island (which is often dropped from maps of New York). This is a large landmass about a third of the state andthe size of Denmark.

So to chronicle these goofs, I’ve decided to create a special section on my.RTOmedia.com. Under the “More” section, you’ll shortly be able to find examples from the Internet and TV of the missing Upper Peninsula.

I’ve got a ton of examples saved on my computer from The Los Angeles Times, TextAmerica, the U.S. Weather Service and more. I can’t wait to share them with you.

If you’ve got some examples, zip a message to ryan -at- rtomedia.com

Keep on Rocklin in the Free World

I don’t normally go to Rocklin for karaoke at Rebounds, but I thought of four reasons to travel down there Sunday. A quadruple threat if you will. There was:

  1. Karaoke. It was pretty fun the last time and the singers were good (there was a contest).
  2. Trivia. It’s the closest place to play NTN.
  3. Seeing people. Maybe that girl from Sacramento would be there again.
  4. Supper. Maybe check out Texas BBQ or Old Spaghetti Factory for a bite. Well, I couldn’t find the BBQ place (again). Maybe next time after I’ve looked up directions. So I ended up just going to Garden Fresh.

The karaoke was servicable. It was a new group starting after the old KJ quit last month to start her own company. The bartender said the crowd has dropped off after she left. I hope it picks up. Ultimately it wasn’t that bad of a night. I sat at the bar, playing trivia and reading the Bee in between songs.

  • She Caught the Katy
  • Busted
  • It’s the End of the World
  • Minnie the Moocher
  • Friends in Low Places

While I took the wrong highway (again) to Arden Fair, I did get out of Rocklin in a straightforward fashion, instead of driving in circles.

Empty nest at The Maltese

Like The Grad on Tuesday, there was only a small crowd at The Maltese Wednesday. We think that the low turnout might be due to the Monday holiday. Thankfully, Ari was along to help trade off songs with Ronnie. Joel showed up and seemed to be having a good time (but he didn’t sing).

Eventually, Ronnie declared it was new song night and we all tried our hands at singing different tunes outside our comfort zone. Most of my songs were new to me (aside from two or three “classics”).

  • Thanks for the Memory – rough, rough probably better left to the late Bob Hope.
  • Summertime – Why, oh why did I try this one? It was way too slow and I don’t have the gravitas.
  • She Blinded Me (With Science)
  • Down Under
  • Take the Last Train to Clarksville
  • It’s the End of the World as We Know it (And I Feel Fine)
  • Jump, Jive and Wail
  • Mr. Roboto – Another rough song because I only really knew the first verse and the chorus.
  • Beth – Ronnie tried to get Ari to sing this one, but I jumped in. I didn’t know it and I can only hope that KISS might have enjoyed it if they were present.
  • I Want You to Want Me – Another random song Ronnie picked out.
  • Give it Away Now – Again, it was rough for a bit until I remembered more of the song.
  • Folsom Prison Blues – Ended the night with some Cash.

The Grad’s not glad

Some late posting about my time Tuesday at the Graduate. I was hoping for a good time because of the no-karaoke Monday, but there were only a handful of people. KJ Tim and I traded off songs through the night although newcomer Aaron sang a couple of songs.

The end of the night was marred by an employee coming out from the back and writing an extremely rude message on the request sheet. We were apparently “killing” him and others. I know karaoke isn’t everyone’s cup but sheesh that seemed a little rude.

Here’s the rundown:

  • An Old-Fashioned Love Song – Still working on that three-point harmony.
  • Ballad of Gillian’s Island – Drat, there’s a mostly unheard second verse.
  • Don’t Get Around Much Anymore – Trying another swing song.
  • Are You Gonna Go My Way – Experimenting with Kravitz.
  • Blue Moon
  • Rawhide
  • Bust A Move – the song that broke the back of the employee. It was rough but I thought it was all right (well, probably not).
  • Hey Ya!
  • Just the Way You Are – I don’t think I sang it well, but the people cleaning the kitchen recognized it and sang along for a bit.

What about that sexy audience?

My two friends currently living in Connecticut happened to be in the audience of the episode of “Late Show with David Letterman” that aired Friday.

I was trying to spot them in the audience throughout the episode, and I quickly grew anxious. The show was dragging quite a bit.

Who cares about whatever the heck guest Billy Crystal was talking about? Where’s the handsome — and possibly sexy in places — audience? Show more of them.

After the broadcast, I went back to the one (one!) time the audience was shown on the screen and spotted them.

The show was recorded a week prior and it showed — the delaying tactics were really obvious. How can they do a “Week in Review” segment and not talk about Supreme Court nominee Alito? No Scooter Libby mention either, but they had plenty of time for the “wacky” antics of Letterman and his cast.

It also seemed like Crystal’s segment lasted 700 Sundays. OK, it wasn’t that bad, but it seemed much longer than it needed to be — the whole show did.

I also wish I was a bigger Ryan Adams fan, but nyeh. I just got very anxious during the song too and took a short break. I did tap my feet watching the segment the next day, but only a little.

However, it would be fun to be in a live television studio audience one day. I can either sit quietly or use my patented guffaw (patent pending).