Wow, 2008

Here it is 2008 and the MySpace blogging tool still doesn’t fully work with Firefox. What’s up with that, Tom?

Given how “young” and “cutting edge” MySpace is, I would’ve thought Tom and his cabal would make their blogging tool work with more browsers than just stodgy IE (and maybe Safari, but I doubt it). [UPDATE: It doesn’t fully work in Safari either.]

Anyway, this blog post is just an excuse to try out the podcast enclosure feature and see if it actually works. [UPDATE: Which it doesn’t. Thanks, Tom!]

EVEN LATER: All right, mea culpa. The podcast enclosure works — just not in any way that people would know about unless they open a blog’s RSS feed. Even then, the whole process is a little cryptic. A casual reader would have no idea there’s an enclosed podcast unless the poster specifically mentions it.

The blogging thing

I’m surprised at MySpace. It’s been an Internet phenomenon for more than two years, but they still can’t get their blogging tool to fully work in Firefox. For shame, Tom. For shame.

On the subject of blogging, I wanted to announce the newest and coolest blog to hit my profile in the past 10 minutes. I’ve started up a pop-culture entertainment blog on NorCal Blogs. It’s the Buzz Blog. It’s sorta like my old pop-culture column, but slightly more frequent and vastly more banal.

To keep tabs on all of my blogging endeavors, I’ve added a little widget to my profile. All of my blogs are now squeezed into a tiny space.

On Pop Culture: Pledge break

We’ll rejoin the regular “On Pop Culture” column in a minute, but first we’d like to take a moment of your time to ask you to call in with your pledge of support for this publication.

As you may have heard, our publication faces a tightening budget due to advertisers deciding that newspapers aren’t going to be the new MySpace. I know we’re not MySpace — the newspapers are like CraigsList, but with news and classifieds you have to pay for.

Because of the cutbacks, we’re now turning to you — the reader — for your support. For the cost of a submarine sandwich a month, you can help keep this column going. We will take your generous donation and buy our columnists sub sandwiches.

Since the inception of the “On Pop Culture” column last year, the average age of our publication’s columnists has been lowered by about 20 years. Without it and the “Starving Student,” the average age of the columnists jumps back to 67.

That includes Wm. Jameson T. Cornballer, our 93-year-old phonograph reviewer who thinks that “McPheever” is a disease his young fiancee died from in the 1930s. Thanks to your ongoing support, we have a vaccination for the most fatal and virulent forms of McPheever.

I know “On Pop Culture” can’t be as timely as the entertainment blogs or even weekly TV programs. Instead of going for instantaneous gratification, every two weeks our column goes for timelessness.

Remember where you were when he tried to explain the culture significance of the phrase, “Time to make the doughnuts”? Recall the good times when we tried to discuss the impact of the Disney Channel phenomenon “High School Musical” without actually seeing the program.

Who else but an overweight, out-of-touch columnist can shed insight on the things that you can hear and see with your own ears and eyes?

Call now. As our way of saying thanks, with your pledge at the level of $75 a year, we’ll give you a special premium — the voice of columnist Ryan singing a TV theme song on your phone answering machine. I’m a fan of “Electric Company” and “Speed Racer,” but can just as well sing the themes to “Lost” or “Heroes.”

We’re going to rejoin our regular programming in a minute, but we just want to let you know that we’ve got a lot of great things lined up for the next few months. April Fool’s Day is around the corner. We’ve got more “Secret Shames,” including a look at local karaoke bars.

With your generous pledge of support, we can … Uh, one second.

We’ve just received word that no one has called in during the past five minutes it’s taken you to read this column. I’m hearing from my manager that this will be the end of “On Pop Culture.”

Thanks for your support. It’s been a blast these past four months. And, please, buy a newspaper once in a while. It’s good for you (and me).

Due to budget cutbacks, the size of the Enterprise-Record’s “Buzz” entertainment section was halved. “On Pop Culture” was among the items cut to save space.

This MySpace-only column is my reaction to the news. The Dude abides and I hope I do too.

Why Mom says I’m not as funny as I think

I try to be funny from time to time. It doesn’t always work (hence, why my mom says that). Some people laugh, but I’m always afraid it’s pity laughter.

Now you can judge for yourself. I’m reposting my twice-monthly “pop culture” column on my MySpace blog after it’s published in the newspaper (and on

Here’s my latest, skipping the usual moaning about Valentine’s Day and focusing on what comes next — marriage.

New service to give weddings an extra boost


When I wasn’t dreaming of becoming a diplomat (like they were on “Star Trek”), one of childhood fantasies was to save “Saturday Night Live.” Given how bad some of the episodes were back in the day, I figured I help out and save the show.

Although SNL emerged from that slump and has mired itself in a new one, I’ve moved on from that dream and turned to news writing.

My new position as an online editor gives a chance to stretch my legs a bit. One direction is a twice-monthly “pop culture” column where I have fun looking at our society from different angles.

Instead of focusing on Britney Spears’ latest f-up, my column strives to be longer lasting than tabloid tissue.

So please feel free to poke around and let me know what you think. Do _you_ think I’m as funny as I think I am?

Major bummer

When I lived in Michigan, I felt like I was on a different planet — far away from a “big city.” Chicago was 10 hours away and it took 14 hours to drive through Michigan. It was pretty isolated.

Moving to Chico was a huge step up in some ways. San Francisco was three hours away. Sacramento was practically next door 90 minutes away.

I sort of felt that isolation last week. My spirits were raised when TV Guide announced that they had some passes to see “Battlestar Galactica” on the big screen. The theater company hosting the screening has theaters in San Francisco.

Much to my dismay, the passes were only going to be available in six cities, and San Francisco wasn’t going to be one of them. And TV Guide was only going to give away two sets of passes in each city.

Needless to say, my balloon was burst. Ultimately, it’s not a big deal, but it would’ve been nice to see Battlestar on the big screen.

BSG is on Friday – Time to party

My user name is “Galactican” and yet I’ve done next to nothing about my fav show “Battlestar Galactica.” Well, no more. Here’s a bulletin because I’m sorta hosting a party on Friday.

– Season 3 Premiere is Friday night on Sci Fi. The first act is already online. It is a great piece of television and definitely makes me want to see the whole episode.

– If you want to see if there’s a Friday viewing party in your area, check out Someone set up a party in Chico.

– The preseason “Resistance” web episodes concludes today at Sci Fi’s Web site. For short 3-minute episodes, they were pretty good once the story got underway.

If you haven’t given the show a chance, I highly recommend you do. It’s a pretty dramatic show following human refugees fleeing the destroyers of their homes. There are some sci-fi elements, but it’s a pretty good, yet grim, drama.

You can get caught up with Sci Fi’s Story So Far primer. There are 3- and 42-minute video recaps of the show to this point.

What do you expect for nothing? – Sept. 21

I took the title of this post from the song “Rubber Biscuit.” I don’t quite know who wrote it, but the Blues Brothers sang it once upon a time. It wsa exciting to see karaoke compadre Allen owning a disc of songs from various Blue Brothers performances.

I tried out Rubber Biscuit at the Bear on Monday. It was _rough_ because they weren’t any lyrics for most of the song. Instead there was often the phrase [Ad lib singing] which left it to me to try to remember what Jake and Elwood were singing back in the day.

I managed to get through song and I still had a blast. Many of my colleagues said they hadn’t seen a karaoke song calling for ad libbing before.

I sang more Blues Brothers songs at The Maltese on Wednesday. It was fun, but I really want to sing “Riot on Cell Block No. 9” next week.

Date with history

I’m bursting with excitement about my previous hometown’s pending television date. For 3.5 years, I worked in Houghton, Mich. in the rural Upper Peninsula. One of the highlights of my time there was the pleasure of taking part in the 100th anniversary of the birth of professional ice hockey in the town.

On Sunday, Canadian TV viewers can see Houghton’s role in the evolution of a sport beloved by millions. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. will air the first two parts of the ten-part Hockey: A People’s History. The second episode, “The Money Game” details how a game previously dominated by amateurs transformed into a sport where athletes are paid.

Here’s part of the blurb from the CBC site:

Pro hockey is born in the heart of Michigan’s mining country, while heavy-handed amateur bosses drive Canada’s top talent south of the border.

The Daily Mining Gazette, my former newspaper, has the story.