April 28, 2006

LinkNews Digest [04/28/2006]

Star Blazers Live-Action Movie?

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The classic Japanese anime "Star Blazers" is being developed as a live-action Hollywood feature.

Known for its epic imagery and themes of brave sacrifice and respect for heroes lost in the line of duty, "Star Blazers" is the U.S. name for 1970s Japanese anime TV series "Space Battleship Yamato." It comprised three television series, five animated features and a host of merchandise. "Star Blazers" aired Stateside in the early 1980s. A live-action adaptation was set up at Walt Disney Studios in the 1990s.

A search for a writer to pen the adaptation is under way. The project is being produced by production/management concern Benderspink in partnership with producer Josh C. Kline, the longtime rights holder of "Star Blazers." (LINK )

You Think YOU'VE Had A Crappy Day (pt. 2)

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. - A 71-year-old man who went outside in the rain to pick up the Sunday newspaper plunged into a cesspool in his front yard, and his son and neighbor were sucked in when they tried to help.

The victims escaped, two with the help of firefighters, covered in raw sewage but not badly hurt. Andrew Palladino said the soggy ground, soaked by two days of rain, gave way outside his Long Island home: "I walked across the lawn, and all of a sudden I disappeared."

He yelled to his wife for help, and she threw a rope and called their son, Dan, who lives with them. The son said the scene "was like a horror picture." (LINK )

FOX News Anchor Becomes Bush's Press Secretary

WASHINGTON - Conservative pundit Tony Snow will be named White House press secretary, Republican officials said Tuesday night, in the latest move in
President Bush's effort to remake his troubled White House.

Snow is expected to be named on Wednesday. He will replace Scott McClellan, who is stepping down in a White House personnel shuffle intended to re-energize Bush's presidency, bring in new faces and lift the president's record-low approval ratings. McClellan had served as Bush's chief spokesman -- the most prominent public figure in the White House after Bush -- for nearly three years.

Snow, a Fox News commentator and speech-writer in the White House under Bush's father, has written and spoken frequently about the current president, and not always in a complimentary way. While Snow is an experienced Washington hand, he is an outsider when it comes to Bush's tight core of advisers. (LINK )

Citizen Hacks NASA, Military Looking for UFOs

LONDON (Reuters) - To the United States, he is a seriously dangerous man who put the nation's security at risk by committing "the biggest military computer hack of all time".

But Briton Gary McKinnon says he is just an ordinary computer nerd who wanted to find out whether aliens and UFOs exist. During his two-year quest, McKinnon broke into computers at the Pentagon, NASA and the Johnson Space Center as well as systems used by the U.S. army, navy and air force.

"My main thing was wanting to find out about UFOs and suppressed technology," he said insisting his intention was not to cause damage. "I wanted to ... find out stuff the government wouldn't tell you about."

He said it was easy, despite being only a rank amateur. Using the hacking name "Solo", he discovered that many U.S. top-security systems were using an insecure Microsoft Windows program and had no password protection at all. (LINK )

April 25, 2006

The Case for Inflation-indexed Movie Reciepts


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe brought its worldwide box office total up to $739.6 Millon last week and passed "The Matrix: Reloaded" to become the 20th highest grossing film of all time.

Internationally, according to Reuters, the film has now earned an estimated $448 Million after a $1.5 Million weekend. Domestically, the film has earned $291.6 Million, moving ahead of "The Empire Strikes Back." (LINK )
Come on folks, I like the Chronic-WHAT-cles of Narnia as much as the next guy, but passing EMPIRE??? That just not right. Sure, I didn't like the fact that George Lucas got to artificially inflate the numbers from the orignal SW Trilogy by counting in the Special Edition recipts (Because they were ENTIRELY Different movies), but give the man some credit for his earlier work.

Honestly, they should index The All-Time Box Office Records List by the average ticket price for that year. There is no way that "Meet The Fockers" would have grossed anywhere NEAR the amount that "Raiders of the Lost Ark" did, were they compared apples-to-apples. Check out the list for yourself.

April 23, 2006

Midnight Cowboy - WTF?

Netflix has been helping me catch up on the AFI's list of the 100 "Best Movies of All Time." Thanks to that, I've been able to find some of these gems like "The Third Man" and "Seven Samurai".

Midnight CowboyUnfortunately, It also led Melissa and I to watch "Midnight Cowboy". Wow. Until now, all the bad movies from 1969 I've seen were so bad they were GOOD. Until now. I will never understand how this movie comes higly recommended by anyone. (Perhaps "HIGHLY" is the key to that.) Even more unbelievable, this pointless piece of crap even snagged the Best F-ing Picture award! I guess... what, ALL movies from that year were bad, and this was their KING?

(I stand correcred, after some research, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" also came out that year, so it wasn't a total loss. How the HELL did that not win over this?)

All the buzz was there... it's a movie about a street hustler... it was rated "X" oooooh... it has a trippy drug-induced party sequence... And even with all that going for it, this movie fails miserably to elicit any emotion from the auduience but utter confusion. What was the freaking POINT??? John Voight (looking like Rick Schroder does today) and the greasiest Dustin Hoffman I've ever seen are starving to death in New York because he has too much pride in his (unsuccessful) job as a male prostitute to fall back on his career in dishwashing? He saw the sign in the window... "Dishwasher Wanted"... he could have afforded a hot meal, a non-condemned apartment perhaps, even some medicine for Rizzo. But NO! He has to stay the course, believe in himself and his noble use of the gift that God gave him. Even if it means people have to die.

There's just a point where he should have taken stock. "Let's see, in the past few months I've had three 'clients'. The first one COST me $20, the second one stiffed me and the third one got me $20. So... I just about break even. Yes sir, I certainly am cut out for this line of work."

Half of this movie is nothing but shots of someone riding a bus, or walking down a street, or taking a subway with NO dialogue whatsoever. And we're talking half of a 2-hour movie here, so the question really becomes "How the hell did they decide which scenes were just too boring or too pointless to take OUT of this movie? If any?" I wouldn't want to be that editor. Like taking out the dull parts out of a fishing show.

Do yourself a favor. If you want to be utterly depressed and angry at characters who wouldn't do simple things to save their own damned life, do yourself a favor and watch Grave of the Fireflies instead.

April 21, 2006

Trailer Remix - Titanic 2

Titanic: TWO the Surface (Jack's Back)

Some excellent video work, my hats off to this one.

LinkNews Digest [04/21/2006]

Roll up the Golden Gate in a Katamari

You've played it. You've rolled it. You've hummed that tune over and over again. And now it's time to put your katamari where your hands are, and join Soundhive and I for "Bay To Breakers" (San Fran Marathon), as we roll a FREAKING HUGE cardboard katamari that shall be carved out of refrigerator boxes, and decorated with elements of the city that we've rolled up along the way. You can come as yourself, or choose from a blithering variety of roll-tastic cousins and kings of cosmoses. It's crowded, it's nerdy, it's way to early in the morning. But by Jumboman, i've got to do something with all this extra carpetfoam that i've got in my garage. The weekends leading up will have katamari construction as well as costume making for those dolicephalic heads. (LINK )

"...Together we'll break this Chain of Bras..."

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Women on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus hope to form the world's longest chain of bras with the twin aims of heightening awareness of breast cancer and winning a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

The Cypriot, British and Dutch organizers hope to string together as many as 100,000 bras on April 30, beating the current record of 79,000 bras held by Singapore, and forming a 56 mile chain. "It's an odd thing to do, but it's the perfect way to get the message across. Its important that people are aware of the risks, and the need for regular screening," said Louise van Rooij, a Dutch resident of Cyprus.

Women as far afield as Alaska have contributed bras, including Betty Boothroyd, Britain's first female speaker of the House of Commons and a regular visitor to the holiday island.(LINK )

Hawaii May Honor Humuhumunukunukuapuaa

HONOLULU - The humuhumunukunukuapuaa officially lost its title as the state fish more than a decade ago but is set to reclaim the honor.

A bill reinstating the critter, known as humuhumu for short, passed the Legislature on Monday and heads next to the office of Gov. Linda Lingle for a signature.

The little fish with the long name was deposed in 1990 by --- (LINK )
Allright, I don't care about the story, I just wanted to put that word in a headline. How many times do you get to use words with 12 vowels in it??

April 18, 2006

Stormy Weather

I surprised my wife with a kitten last week, under the guise of a joint Birthday dinner with Justin and Stacey. (Mel surprised me with the last two cats, so I figured it was my turn to surprise her with one.) The dinner went great, and I LOVE the Robot Chicken : Season One that Justin got me. We were all cracking up for about two hours straight.

Now to the cat. "Stormy" was described as a SHE to Justin and I. We had our doubts, which were confirmed when we got her to the vet. She was a rescue cat, and needed shots and some treatments for fleas, allergic conjunctivitis and ear mites. We've still got to get him fixed next month, and since he's a boy, he's at odds with the resident male, Oscar. Presently, it's sleep schedule is off, so it snoozes all afternoon and gets up around 2:30 AM to run around the house at top speed and chew every crinkly bit of plastic in the house. And with all transplant cats, there's a little learning curve concerning the Litter Box.

But the usual problems aside, this is really a good cat. He's very tolerant of Matthew, and Matthew is amazed that he doesn't hide under the bed all day like Oscar. "Baby Kitty LIKES me!!" he exclaimed. Stormy is unusually calm and lap-oriented when not in the "Night Crazies" phase. I worked a few days fron the kitchen table while Mel went to Physical Therapy last week, and didn't realize that Stormy was sleeping right under my chair. I almost rolled over him!

The night we got him, we were discussing his name, and if we should change it. That night, we had a near-tornado shake our house at 4:30 AM that sent us all scrambling for the safe room. Luckily, we came out unscathed. Mel and I agreed that it was a sign that "STORMY" was quite an appropriate name. He is registered as "Stormy Weather Kern" at the vet's office. We should have him broken in and mass-friendly in a few weeks.

Kirk Cameron and the Left Behinds

For your Google-able video perusal: An Anti-Evolution / BigBangTheory / Science-In-General bit of brainwashed Christian Extremist propaganda. Scary as this video is in concept, (and besides the fact that it stars Kirk Cameron,) it took an even steeper nosedive in credibility when it got going.

Their hypothesis is more amazinly daft than Intelligent Design: "If the average skater or mallrat can't recite absolute proof of evolution or the Big Bang Theory at will, then such evidence doesn't exist ANYWHERE."

The whole 28-minute special is presented here, but you only need to see the first 5 minutes to get a week's worth of the creeps.

Disclaimer: Video Contains Religious propaganda

April 17, 2006

The Easter Bunny Kicks Ass

Gotta give this video full points for originality... and fight choreography.

April 14, 2006

LinkNews Digest [04/14/2006] - Easter Edition

New Orleans Candidate's Poster Faux Pas

Kimberly Williamson Butler, a mayoral candidate in New Orleans, is running a campaign photo of her standing in what appears to be the French Quarter, but what, on closer inspection, seems to be the simulated French Quarter in Disneyland's New Orleans Square, home of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, in Anaheim, CA. Note the red circle around the waste-can that shows where the eagle-eyed Justin spotted the tell-tale evidence. (LINK )

Irony AND a Darwin Awards Candidate in One!

GILLETTE, Wyo. - A teenage boy accidentally set himself on fire early Wednesday morning after allegedly trying to siphon gas from a firefighter's car.

Police first learned of the injury after a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy claimed that someone had thrown gasoline on the 17-year-old at the Common Cents service station and lit him on fire, said Lt. Rod Hauge.

The boy was taken to the hospital with second- and third-degree burns on his legs. Police were called to the hospital to investigate the incident and later learned that the 17-year-old spilled gas on his pants while siphoning gas. He then used a lighter to try to determine how wet his pants were and set himself of fire, Hague said. Both boys have been ticketed with larceny. (LINK )

Creepy Burger King in Video Games?

Hamburger flipper Burger King is considering a promotion that offers 3 exclusive BK-branded games. Each would feature their own characters (in this case, the actual Burger King) in "popular" genres (fighting, action and racing). The action game is apparently similar to Halo, while the fighter combines Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Just tack on a "with hamburgers," and you get the drift.
And now Burger King is threatening a lawsuit:
The General Counsel for Greenfield Online, the company conducting a survey about Burger King possibly creating some next-gen King-infested video games, was the opposite of delighted to learn that we were sent the information along with concept images.

The GC of GO (for BK) claims we are violating the intellectual property rights of Burger King and demands we remove the images and text post haste.

We’re not taking down the post, but we will take some of those scrumptious breakfast sandwiches the King has been peddling. We’ll gladly trade in our claim of Fair Use for a bag full of delicious sausage Croissan’wiches. (LINK via Digg.com)

Cooking w/ Cadbury Creme Eggs

See what happens when one LJ user is crazy/hungry enough to try baking a cake with Cadbury Creme Eggs.
I had to microwave the yolk to reduce the viscosity enough to get it back out of the cup and into the mixing bowl. Mainly I'm telling you this because it permits me to use the word "viscosity" and I never get to do that. (LINK )

Advertising is Everywhere

And I mean EVERYWHERE. I can just see the advertising execs in a meeting over this:
"Team, we just HAVE to find a way to market goods to people who bugger livestock..."

(LINK via )

Enormous Rabbit Terrorizes Veg Gardens

LONDON (AFP) - Furious villagers in northeast England have hired armed guards to protect their beloved communal vegetable gardens from a suspected monster rabbit.

Leeks, Japanese onions, parsnips and spring carrots have all been ripped up and devoured by the mystery were-rabbit -- prompting the 12 allotment holders in Felton, north of Newcastle, to hire two marksmen with air rifles and orders to shoot to kill.

"It is a massive thing. It is a monster. The first time I saw it, I said: 'What the hell is that?'" the Northumberland Gazette newspaper quoted local resident Jeff Smith, 63. He claims to have seen the black and brown rabbit -- with one ear bigger than the other -- about two months ago, and at least three fellow allotment holders say they have seen it as well.

"Certain breeds do grow very big, like the Continental Giant" which can be 66 centimetres (26 inches) in length or more, a spokesman for the British Rabbit Council, which represent rabbit breeders, told AFP. (LINK )
[Shame on AFP for using the words "hare-raising" in this article. tsk tsk. -ed]

Bad Idea Radar : Terminator 4

Australian papers are reporting that producer Andrew Vajna (yes, I know what that word looks like) may actually, finally, be ramping up for TERMINATOR 4.

Vajna’s extensive credits range from RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II, TOTAL RECALL, and JACOB’S LADDER--to special little films like I, SPY and BASIC INSTINCT 2.

The best news of all? T4 is being characterized as a "real" sci-fi picture. The film’s screenplay is written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris, who scripted CATWOMAN, FEMME FATALE, and THE NET.. All of which makes the duo’s involvement with a "real sci-fi film" something of an oxymoron.
(LINK via AintItCoolNews)

April 12, 2006

Blogger Difficulties

Apparently, some people are having problems publishing with Blogger today...

Let's hope it clears up soon.

April 11, 2006

Ask a Ninja

A promising new advice column on the web: Ask A Ninja.

This Week: "Are there Miget Ninjas?"

(Thanks to ItsFreakinSweet.com)

April 10, 2006

Rant #4

My friends know me as a fairly laid-back, easy-going guy. It's true, but that doesn't mean that things don't piss me off. I have a prepared rant. *ahem*

People With Their Own Special Place Waiting in A Fiery Afterlife

- The marketing manager who decided to put movie previews that you can't skip through on the DVD I paid $20 for. Remember when the movies would just start up when you put them in? Previews are great IN THE THEATER, but I could care less about the 15th Anniversary Special Edition Re-Release of "Blood-Sucking Pharaohs in Pittsburgh". It stands to reason that half of the people buying Pirated movies do it because they just want THE MOVIE and not the ads.

- Anyone who puts a TIP line on a receipt for a Take-Out resturant. Let me get this straight: I order the food, I drive to your restaurant to pick it up, drive it home, put it on my own plates and get my own drink... and you want an extra couple of bucks just for YOUR trouble? How exactly does that make you as deserving as a waiter who does all of this FOR me?

- People who cut into a funeral procession in order to cruise through the red lights. A man has shuffled off this mortal coil, and his loved ones are going to bury him. Show a little respect. Your TacoBell will stay warm on the passenger seat for another couple of minutes, jerk.

- Family members of famous long-dead authors or musicians trying to collect royalties on their relative's famous creations. I think the current system of "Author's Lifetime + 70 Years" is plenty of time for the immediate offspring to collect royalties on dear old dad's book or song. Any more after that and it's sniveling whiny brats who have no ambition of their own. Prime example was Victor Hugo's realtives complaining that they didn't get any money from Disney's poor decision of making "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" into a cartoon for kids. The man wote the book in 1831, died in 1885, and now, great-grandkids of the man want cash because Disney made gargoyle action figures? Suck it up and accomplish something on your own. Be honored that your ancestor contributed sonething to the world and celebrate that accomplishment. I don't expect my grand-kids to collect royalty checks from my company for the software I wrote in 2001, I expect them to make their own living.

- Likewise, the people trying to fight for their copyright protection for the "Happy Birthday" song. It's ten measures, it's world famous. Take credit that you deserve, put it on a resume and you'll be guaranteed a job. But if you want a $1 because I sang it at my kid's B-day party, you better pack a lunch, you'll be waiting a while.

April 07, 2006

32 Skidoo

I turned 32 the other day. I didn't feel the icy, gaze of the reaper on my back, visually taking measurements for a coffin. No, like most guys I feel indifferent to the whole thing. I told Melissa "You know what I'd really like? I want your mother to make her fetuccini primavera for dinner. A nice dinner with you, Matthew and your folks. I don't need a huge party."

To this, my 4 year-old chimed in with "But *I* do!!"

Melissa put a little perspective on things a few days ago though. Our parents were EARLY in their twenties when they had us, and we had Matthew when we were almost 30. When he graduates college, we'll be almost retirement age. Well, since there probably won't be Social Security anymore by then, I doubt I'll retire at all. (There's a solution to the Immigrant problem: Deport all the illegals and replace them with the 65+ who won't be able to retire anymore.)

Strangely enough, I'm not really worried about the age gap between us. I think that Matthew and I will have a lot of good common ground. For example, We both like playing video games. Even the same ones. We're playing "Kingdom Hearts" together now; I defeat the bosses and he does everything else.

Also, he likes some really good music. He couldn't get enough of Melissa's J-Pop Anime soundtracks. And last night in the car, he asked for "His Song." I was driving Melissa's car for a change, so I didn't know what "His Song" was, or even what CD was in the player. "Which is your song?" I ask. "Number 2" he says.

I cue it up and "Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand comes blaring over the speakers. A grin spreads across his face and he starts banging his head to the beat. I swelled with pride and thought "Yes sir, That's MY son!"

The Confession

There hasn't been much talk on this lately, but Maddy showed me this very good Public Service Announcement about coming out:

LinkNews Digest [04/07/2006]

What A Long, Strange Dump It's Been

SONOMA, California - The long, strange trip continues for Jerry Garcia's toilet. Police say the Grateful Dead leader's commode was stolen recently from a driveway along with three other toilets and a bidet, The Press Democrat newspaper reported Saturday.

Garcia's salmon-colored toilet was the subject of a legal battle before it was finally moved to Sonoma, to await shipment to a Canadian casino. It's unclear if the toilet was swiped by a wayward Deadhead or a thief remodeling a bathroom. Police have no suspects or leads.

Last month, Koltys sold the Grateful Dead singer's toilet for $2,550 to online casino Goldenpalace.com, which planned to use it as part of a traveling marketing exhibit. The casino is offering a $250 reward for its return.

Henry Koltys said Friday that the toilet once stood in the master bathroom of Garcia, who died in 1995 at age 53. "It would have been his personal head," he said. (LINK )

Bomb Squad Called on Super Mario Blocks

Five girls from Ravenna, Ohio placed 17 cardboard replications of the Super Mario power-up cubes throughout their town. The town has a population of approximately 12,000 people, some of which felt threatened by the power-up cubes and called in the bomb squad.

Here is a funny quote from a local newspaper that reported the incident:

"The girls found an Internet site called Mario Question Blocks which told you step by step how the game is played, along with instructions on wrapping the packages, just to see what kind of response you get," McCoy said. "This game is evidently being played all over the country."
- recordpub.com

The girls apparently did this as an April fool’s joke. I don’t think that they will end up in any trouble but police are looking into pressing charges. They didn’t threaten anyone, they just left some cool boxes scattered around their town.
(LINK via Digg.com)

Ecologist Suggests Using Ebola to Destroy 90% of Humans

...I watched in amazement as a few hundred members of the Texas Academy of Science rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation to a speech that enthusiastically advocated the elimination of 90 percent of Earth's population by airborne Ebola. The speech was given by Dr. Eric R. Pianka , the University of Texas evolutionary ecologist and lizard expert who the Academy named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

Professor Pianka said the Earth as we know it will not survive without drastic measures. Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number.

AIDS is not an efficient killer, he explained, because it is too slow. His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world's population is airborne Ebola ( Ebola Reston ), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. However, Professor Pianka did not mention that Ebola victims die a slow and torturous death as the virus initiates a cascade of biological calamities inside the victim that eventually liquefy the internal organs.
When Pianka finished his remarks, the audience applauded. It wasn't merely a smattering of polite clapping that audiences diplomatically reserve for poor or boring speakers. It was a loud, vigorous and enthusiastic applause. (LINK via Digg, also From his Personal Page)

Popular Science: Studies Confirm the Obvious!

Every year, serious scientists undertake detailed, rigorous studies to prove things that seem, well, painfully obvious. Why bother? We reviewed scores of unshocking discoveries and asked the researchers who conducted the work to explain their motivations. Two main themes emerged. First, scientists don’t assume how the world works; they test it. Common knowledge once held that meat spontaneously generated maggots. Then, in 1668, Italian physician Francesco Redi devised a set of investigative steps--what we now call an experiment--to prove wrong what everybody thought they knew.
  1. Combining Drugs and Alcohol is Bad For You
  2. Gun-Toting Drivers are More Prone to Road Rage
  3. Too Many Meetings Make You Grumpy
  4. Faraway Objects Are Tougher to See
  5. The Beer-Google Effect is a Bona Fide
  6. Swallowing More Than One Magnet is Dangerous
  7. Smoking Cigarettes Costs You Money
  8. Memory and Concentration Fade With Age
  9. Women Like Funny Men
  10. Time Flies When You're Busy

Invention of the Week: Scrolling LED Oxford

What better way to declare to the world that you're not only upwardly-mobile, but also tech savvy? With a few hours of programming the thing, you can become a walking CNN/Fox News scroller! It might also work as a subliminal suggestion tool if you keep the LED scroll in people's peripheral vision ("YOU WILL GIVE ME A RAISE..."). Or Ladies can send the usual message ("My eyes are up HERE, creep!") (LINK )

April 04, 2006

The Glee Club Reunion

A few weeks ago I got an email from Stuart Buck, fellow Alumni of the UGA Men's Glee Club. The Buck had finally pulled it off and arranged a Glee Club Reunion.

For those of you who don't know, singing changed my life entirely. I stumbled into a local a cappella singing group one summer during high school, and nothing has been the same since. It just seized control of the reins and took off. I applied to UNC-Chapel Hill solely because they had a kick-ass Men's a cappella group there called the Clef Hangers. Failing that, I joined up with the UGA equivalent called the Accidentals my first semester there. Shortly afterwards, the group started recording CDs and I created the office of Business Manager.

The first few years at UGA, I probably spent more time on the Accidentals and the Glee Club than on my classes. I knew that this couldn't go on, but it was an out and out obsession. I had to keep creating. I had to keep performing. It was the most powerful drug I have ever encountered.

Some people may have gotten the wrong idea about me in those days. Looking back, I might have even come off as a prick who was too full of himself. Don't get me wrong, I was proud of myself and I enjoyed the limelight, but popularity was never my goal. I was drunk on creativity. After spending a childhood where I was good at absolutely nothing, after a lifetime of being too marginal to even notice, I had found something at which I was exceptional.

It wasn't just the singing, it was everything else. The group was finally coming into its own, becoming slowly modern and more experimental, and I was there to contribute to its evolution. All my life, I've been an "Idea Man", but with no experience or connections to make those ideas happen until this point. I could only barely arrange music myself, but the group provided some amazing arrangers like Paul Tate and David Daly who I could get heads together on and talk about ideas. And there were some entirely new directions that we started in that I was pretty much given free reign to do what I wanted. It was my personal Golden Age, where it seemed that everything was possible.

Like I said before, there was some limelight to go along with this, but it wasn't popularity. I don't think I've ever been in danger of being considered "popular", and I've never really wanted to be. In this case, I was just well-known in choral circles. Popularity is a different concept entirely to the kind of camaraderie you get in a team or a singing group. I was just doing what I loved with 80 (in the case of the Glee Club) or 12 (for Accidentals) other guys and having the time of my life doing it. When we joined our voices there was no sense of self among us, just the swell of pride in singing together. A "Choral Communism", if you will.

I was in the group for 6 years, as long as I was at UGA. (I changed majors in my 4th year.) I sang in a cappella groups after that, but it just wasn't the same as UGA. I just can't describe the feeling of nailing a difficult piece of music at a spring concert, having the last note ring in the hall for ten seconds after the director cuts you off, and standing there riding out your endorphin high that all of you earned honestly.

I also owe my marriage to the Glee Club, specifically, it's director, Dr. Pierce Arant. He insisted that I try out for All-College Chorus, where I met Melissa. We've been married 8 years now. Sadly, Dr. Arant passed away from cancerbefore I graduated. We named our son Matthew Pierce in his honor.

So back to the present tense. The unfortunate side effect of the aforementioed "Choral Communism" is that you often forget the names of the individuals. Many of the names I didn't even know when I was singing with them, and I remembered even less when I arrived at the Glee Club Reunion on Saturday. Even names of some of the Accidentals that I sang with escaped me. And as if to maximize my embarrassment, everyone seemed to remember my name.

When the group convened for practice in the morning and I had most of the names memorized (at least for the day), we set to work. We had two hours to sight-read four pieces of music, and I'd only sung two of them before. But in a couple of hours, we had them down, or at least good enough to sing with the current Glee Club, who had more experience with them and not stick out. I was happy to meet up with Tom-E, Kelly, Tom, Paul, David, Manolo, Jason and Brian from the Accidentals. We had a great afternoon catching up with one another over lunch and a few beers around Downtown Athens.

The concert later that day was great. The regular Glee Club and Accidentals sang, then the Alumni joined in for the last 4 songs, followed by the traditional closer The Georgia Medley. Anyone UGA students who have never been witness to this spectacle should have their diplomas withheld until they do. That's all there is to it. It's as much a part of the UGA traditions as attending games or walking under The Arch.