Monday, April 30, 2007

Big News

As a person who blogs about local news and events, I feel I would be a failure if I didn't at least mention the fact that some local anchors are in a film that was recently released at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The docu-horror, called "The Poughkeepsie Tapes," was made by two local St. Paul boys, and features Leah Mclean, Brad Sattin, Jennifer Griswold, and Tom Hauser as anchors and reporters.

I was going to link to the KSTP page about this, but I think I gave you as much info already as you would find there, at least at the page I saw. But I encourage you to google it and see what you learn.

By the way, how is it that local news people are in a movie and one of them isn't Sven? He is so Hollywood! Which leads me to wonder if he's ever been in any movies...? Something to think about, anyway.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Two TV comments

Fox 9 News: misleading commercial?
I just saw a Fox 9 promo that went like this:

Jeff: The rumors are true: Randy Moss has been traded.
Robyn: And you won't believe where he's going.

Here's the thing: Moss was traded to the Patriots, even though there have been recent rumors that he'd be traded to the hated rival Green Bay Packers. I think Fox 9 used the language ambiguously enough to suggest that Moss might be traded to the Packers to get people to watch. Of course, it's also ambiguous enough not to be obvious, so this accusation could easily be refuted.

Where have you gone, Classic Diet Mountain Dew?
(before reading this, a few facts you should know. 1) I used to drink Diet Mountain Dew straight out of the 2-liter bottles, 2) about a year ago Diet Mountain Dew's flavor changed, 3) this new flavor is awful, and 4) I've been giving up pop: I've had 4 cans in the last 17 days, and one of those was just to cut my gin).

I just saw a Diet Mountain Dew commercial. For a moment I thought I was about to be told that Diet Mountain Dew was switching back to the old flavor. Had the commercial informed me of a return to the old flavor, I would have stormed out of the house and would have drank two bottles before I got home.

Friday, April 20, 2007

"The best meat's in the rump"

Via The Consumerist, there's a blog focusing on ad campaigns featuring animals that want to be eaten. Hilarious.

Suicide Food

(They may mean it to be critical rather than funny, but I'm a struggling vegan relying largely on my sense of humor).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Congratulations to Sven Sundgaard for his cover feature in the current issue in Lavender. As Carla Waldemar writes in the article, "Sven Sundgaard’s cherubic mug beams from the cover of this issue."

It's amazing how quickly Sven has become a Twin Cities icon.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Local Coverage of VA Tech

I know everything news-related that anyone is thinking and saying and writing today is probably about VA Tech. I don't have anything particularly original or insightful to say about the tragedy itself, other than how bad I feel for everyone involved (I know what you are thinking: that is neither original nor insightful. Oh well.). But I do have a complaint about local coverage.

Most of the afternoon, I watched MSNBC's coverage and listened to NPR's, both of which were clear and full of facts, as news should be. But for some reason I flipped to Fox 9 news at 5 or 6 (I don't remember what time), and I was appalled by the way they were overdramatizing the situation. Maybe overdramatizing is the wrong word. What I mean is, the situation is so dramatic in nature that the fact that they were seemingly trying to jazz it up and sensationalize it was offensive. And I don't easily get offended.

The three main things I noticed in the, what, 45 seconds I waited before flipping back to MSNBC were:
1. video footage of the VA Tech campus shot in black and white
2. The cameras were shaking and doing crazy close-ups, a la Blair Witch
3. The story was introduced by a guy using a voice that was identical to the guy who does the voiceovers for horror movie trailers

Isn't the story horrific enough on it's own? Can they ever just report information and facts without trying to out-do everyone else? It's pretty sickening. For shame, Fox 9 news.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I've Gone Mental

I have been having fantasies all day about the many events that could potentially happen that would lead to a news story on the cuteness of my baby. I have the cutest baby ever. I know all parents think that, but I really do have the cutest one ever. Couldn't it happen that one day we are in public, say at a zoo or something, and someone who works for a local station happens to see my cute baby and decides to do a personal interest story on how cute babies are, with mine as an example? That could totally happen.

That said, if I am ever watching the news and there is a story about how babies are cute, I am going to be IRATE. I will stomp to and fro, shouting, "This is not news!" It would be quite the scene.

Enjoy your complimentary address labels!

Charities are smart. If they are going to send you requests for money, they're already paying for the paper and postage. It cost them next to nothing to send you free address labels. And then, perhaps you feel guilty if you get and use free address labels from said charity, and so then you send them a little bit of money.

Despite our rampant frugality, Possible Flurries and I have donates some money to charities in the past (mostly environmental and animal rights groups). When you donate money once, every other group that is tangentally related in subject matter to that group starts sending you things asking for money. We'll never have to buy address labels or write our own addresses again (I'm starting to forget our zip code, I so rarely need to write it). Because we keep getting them, hording them, and using them but getting more at a faster rate than we use them.

So here's a long-term bit of frugality advice. Donate money to an animal rights group once. Then you never have to worry about address labels again.

(Of course, it's probably better to actually donate money from the heart, not for the exploitation of address labels. Don't you feel bad taking free address labels from a charitable organization? Maybe you better send them a bit of money, too).

And that's how the cycle continues.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sven's keeping busy

As a student teacher I receive all sorts of emails and newsletters about happenings at schools within my district. Today I was pleased to see our namesake, Sven Sundgaard, had made an appearance at his Alma mater, Oltman Junior high. He was the guest speaker in a ceremony to honor, honor students. I bet those kiddies love him!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Breaking free from the tyranny of Netflix

For the frugal entertainment enthusiast, a Netflix subscription is a great tool. A monthly subscription typically costs a little more than it would cost for a couple to go to a movie theater at night. If you watch frequently, you can often end up spending around a dollar per disc. Netflix really helps cheap people stretch their entertainment dollars.

But there is a downside. If you're frugal, you always want to get your money's worth. That means you watch movies and TV shows on DVD all the time. You feel constant pressure to watch the disc and get it sent off so that you can get the next disc. That means a lot of lazy spectating, and a lot of time devoted to watching that could be spent doing other things (playing games, reading, exercising, or things less productive or healthy). You also end up with a lot of movies that you really aren't all that excited to watch, and often you'll spend an evening watching a particular movie or show not because you want to, but because you feel you have to.

For the Pacifist Viking/Possible Flurries/Fox/Sue Ellen Mischke household, no more. We've broken free and cancelled our Netflix subscription. I already feel liberated. Now I can spend hours online looking at nothing.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Names that sound made up: Kare 11

It's time, it's time, it's time! What you've all been waiting for, what we've been building to for months: we look at Kare 11's anchors and reporters and guess what names are made up. Let's look at what Kare 11 calls their "personalities."

Remember, this is all guess-work. We're not accusing anybody of having a made-up name; we're just accusing people of having Ron Burgundy, Wes Mantooth, Veronica Corningstone quality names that sound made up.

Among the main anchors, we think Belinda Jensen and Julie Nelson sound real. Mike Pomeranz is just too much fun to say to be real, though. Diana Pierce sounds like a made-up authoritative anchor name, and Randy Shaver is Kare 11's Champ Kind.

Among the other anchors anre reporters, we believe Allen Costantini is made-up (but only because it is fun to say). Boyd Huppert sounds made-up. I've never met a human person with the first name "Boyd." Rick Kupchella sounds made up, and Tim McNiff DEFINITELY sounds made up. Tim McNiff. A little too much assonance. For some reason, we suspect the authenticity of assonance more than alliteration. Eric Perkins and Ron Schara sound made-up, as does Greg Vandegrift. Greg Vandegrift. Man, that sounds made up.

Of course, we have complete trust in the realness of Sven Sundgaard.