* Tensions are running high in the newsroom, folks. After walking a mile to work in -30 degree wind chill, I opened my e-mail to find a note about some mandatory meeting with the brass at 8 a.m. All the morning producers are sorta cordially invited. This cannot be good.
All my duties for the week are finished now (5:10 a.m.), so I have to kill three hours until this meeting. For those of you who work a normal schedule, it’s the equivalent of your bosses requesting a meeting at 8 p.m. on a Friday. So I guess I have extra blogging time. Bonus for you!
* This is a bad time for employees of any industry to have mystery mandatory meetings. Look at what’s going down over at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. If they don’t find a buyer within 60 days, they’re closing up shop. Newspapers everywhere are going under, and the nation will be worse off for it. Journalism is a noble calling. The more noble the journalist, the less funding he gets. Clowns like Billy Bush serve virtually no purpose, but the guy must make a fortune. But the good people cranking out legitimate stories in Seattle are about to lose their jobs. That leads to a less informed public. And when the public is not properly informed, we end up electing psychopaths to run our government.
* Today in shenanigans: During his first forecast, Andy informed the anchors he was sitting on his hands because his “butt is warm this morning.” So I created a graphic to put on the screen when he appeared on camera. It read, “Andy Avalos, Butt is warm this morning.” Nobody caught it. Gotta keep your eyes peeled on my show, kids. We got jokes.
* On a bitterly cold day like today, it’s fair to ask, “Why do you live here?” (Best response, “Why do people live in Fargo, North Dakota?”)
* 95% of music downloaded online is illegal. I buy that. But here’s what I don’t get: music is free in lots of places. You can hear it for free on your radio. And you can borrow CDs for free from your library. Why aren’t radio stations and libraries being sued for distributing free music? When I was a kid, I used to tape my favorite songs off the radio. I listened to them over and over, never paying one thin cent to the artist. How is downloading an mp3 without paying any different?
* Here’s a free song worth a download – a rap about El Blago. (Right-click on “hear the song” and select “save target as.” Rock out.)
* President-Elect Obama is on “Check, Please” tonight. My TiVo is on the case.
* You’ve gotta watch this story about the Michigan man who’s built a flying saucer. Hysterical. (“I won’t go to mach speed because it’s too controversial.”)
* Stash this on your 2009 Christmas List: AA batteries powered by urine.
* Say these 10 things to avoid an argument. With me, it’s easy. Just be all, “Ben, have you been working out?” And I’ll be all, “Why yes. Yes, I have.”
* We finally have details of the untitled Amy Poehler comedy. I love Amy Poehler. She’s an alum of the improv theater where I perform. But this thing looks kinda shaky on the surface. I guess it’s not so much about concept as it is about execution. With our pathetic primetime schedule NBC needs a few hits.
* This article is supposed to help you tell the Jonas Brothers apart. I’m still lost.
* Hey, moron, don’t lick the metal flag pole in the dead of winter.
* My Detroit Lions have a new leader – former Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. When asked what to do with the first draft pick, Schwartz replied, “It’s probably time to find a replacement for Bobby Layne.” (The last Lions QB to win a championship, way back in 1957.)
When he said this, Team President Tom Lewand doubled over in laughter. Yeah, really funny that the franchise has been a laughingstock for half a century. Here’s how awful the Lions are. This year, the Cardinals (THE CARDINALS!) doubled the Lions playoff victories over the last 52 years. Not hard to do, but still. THE CARDINALS!
Any reasonable person would abandon the team completely, but I was born in Michigan. I lived there the first 27 years of my life. By virtue of geography, I must root for the Lions, even if the Pittsburgh Steelers exemplify everything that is good about the game of football. Even if watching the Steelers gives me a joy I can never hope to attain from the boys in Honolulu blue and silver, I must hold out hope for Detroit.
If I ran the team, I would strip the logo from their helmets and make them wear throwback uniforms until they earned the right to have the Lion back on their noggins. This is depressing.
* I’ve blogged about nearly everything I can find and I still have an hour and a half to kill until this meeting. My weekend is off to a spectacular start.