Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top DMS Posts of 2008

10. Better Know a PUMA! Multiple Choice Quiz. Yeah, those PUMAs didn't have a whole lot of sway now did they?
9. The Browns Season Is Officially the McCain Campaign. Actually as it turns out, the Browns' season went way more off the rails.
8. You Know What West Virginia, No One Asked You. Update: as they're moving along with mountaintop removal coal mining, feel free to remove the entire state from the union, mmm, kay?
7. Introducing: The Super-Duper Delegate. Would have made the Democratic primary way less messy.
6. Why I'm Voting (Twice) For Barack Obama. And I didn't even need ACORN's help to vote twice!
5. Our Long National Nightmare is Over. This is what happens when we don't blog for a while.
4. A Special Moment With My Son.
Radiohead in Dallas: Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! Edition. If for only the great Photo Booth pictures.
2. The Real Nine Circles of Hell. I don't care if no one commented. I spent a long damn time on that post.
1. Man, I Love A Good Peach. Still do.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Top 10 People/Personalities That Helped Us Not Lose Our Sanity in 2008

2008 was a tumultuous year for the Supercomputer household and the world at large. We moved to Fort Collins. The attacks in Bombay (yes, we call it "Bombay"). We started school. The economic meltdown. The Indians traded their best player, who then signed with the Yankees. We had another kid (while the boy was technically born in December 2007, we all know that he doesn't really start to impose his will on your life until after a couple months). The Browns laid one of the biggest turd-seasons in NFL history. Barack Obama stands to impose his Marxist agenda on the American public. Needless to say, by November we were afraid to turn on the TV, check the Internet, listen to the radio, or wake up in the morning.

Nevertheless, throughout the year there were a few personalities that helped us cope with it all. Either by getting us to stand back and look at the big picture or by redirecting our attention entirely, we found these personalities to be oases in the middle of a desert haboob (shown here). Perhaps because it was such a rocky year on so many levels, it only enhanced the springs of wellbeing the following people/personalities had t0 offer. And even after such a year, we hope to keep coming back to them for insight and diversion.

10. Wes Anderson, director.

While not 2008 specific, Wes Anderson flicks are always a welcome refuge from the world. His movies can be enjoyed and interpreted on so many levels. They can be enjoyed for their humor. They can be disected for their character development. They can be put on in the background as a sort of white-noise to help to relax.

9. Bill Simmons, espn.com columnist/podcaster.

Basically, he's the only reason to go to espn.com anymore. His columns, while fewer and farther between these days are well supplemented by his podcasts. When we need to get some information on the NBA, sports gambling, 80's movies, or Corey Haim, we turn to Bill Simmons.

8. Nate Silver, Fivethirtyeight.com

This site became an hourly obsession. So maybe this doesn't really count. But remember that time right when McCain started to pull even with Obama in the polls? And the spectre of Sarah Palin as VP (or worse) was real? Well, Nate Silver helped us keep our cool and not go overboard (we went overboard anyway). His model of political polling and results kept showing an advantage for Obama by not being swayed too much by daily (and post-convention) swaying. And of all the political forecasters, fivethirtyeight proved to be the best one out there in determining both the popular vote and the electoral college.

7. Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.

Don't laugh. The times we went to church as the election neared were times of calm in a political storm. Church served as an insolation from the insanity of the Sunday talk shows. So a big thanks to Jesus for helping us have a needed, if brief, Sabbath from politics on Sunday (side note: and thanks to Mountain Standard Time, the football games started right when we got home!).

6. Joan Walsh, columnist for Salon.com.

During the Democratic primary, she was a sole voice of reason on the left. Remember how much Hillary and Obama Democrats hated each other? Or at least, they were supposed to? And remember how there were all those stupid news spots about those "Hillary voters" who were so hurt they would never vote for Obama? Well, Walsh maintained that we all needed to calm the fuck down (we're paraphrasing here). She was critical of both candidates and both campaigns, and reflected honest insight that most pundits missed. This was also true one the general election started. While the cable news shows (side note: having access to cable news for the first time in years was not a good thing this year) were spouting blather after blather, Joan Walsh pointed out the things that we think the American people picked up on. For example, while the cable news shows were talking about how "competent" Sarah Palin looked during the VP debate and how she "held her own," Walsh and the voting populous noticed the calloused response she had to Joe Biden's story about his late wife and for the LOVEOFGODSTOPWINKING!!!!!! She deserves a big "thank you" from DMS and a bit of recognition for being the only pundit who consistently got it right.

5. Tyler Florence, Tyler's Ultimate, Food Network.

Thank you to Tyler Florence for showing us how to make the Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs, the Ultimate Soup and Sammy, and countless other amazing dishes. We took refuge in the kitchen after watching Hardball or something (*shudder*). Boy Supercomputer would sit in his high chair and eat while we got to make a delicious dinner, often involving bacon in some form or fashion. Quality time to be sure.

4. Tina Fay, fake Sarah Palin; Sarah Palin, Republican Vice Presidiental candidate.

My God, 30 Rock is a great show, but the Palin routine will never be topped. Easily the best political satire from SNL ever. It was so effective that I think most people think Palin actually said "I can see Russia from my house." What's amazing though is how little they had to change to make it funny. If you look at the Katie Couric transcript, there are parts where SNL just cribbed the real Sarah Palin word for word. So maybe we should add the Real Sarah Palin to this spot.

3. The Yankees/Mets/Rays. While the Rays were a great underdog story, is there anything more enjoyable that either a Mets or Yankees collapse? In the absence of a good Indians team, this really helped us out a lot.

2. Sarah Vowell, author, and voice of Violett Parr, the teenage daughter fron The Incredibles.

From Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World, describing a trip up the Trail of Tears while listening to Chuck Berry:

"But at the same time, I am an entirely American creature. I'm in love with this song and the country that gave birth to it. Listening to "Back in the U.S.A." while driving the Trail of Tears, I turn it over in my head -- it's a good country, it's a bad country, good country, bad country. And of course, it's both.

When I think about my relationship with America, I feel like a battered wife: Yeah, he knocks me around a lot, but boy, he sure can dance."
1. Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert, fake pundits.

Not sure what more needs to be said here. But we would spend an hour every Monday through Thursday night watching these guys after a day of being saddled with too much. And after we would finish watching them, we would go online and watch some more.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

BCS Rankings of Top 25 Songs

Now remember, the BCS is only responsible for determining the top two songs. Any other BCS-related consequence is not the fault of the Bowl Commission or any of the BCS formulae.

25. "Sing the Changes" - Sing the Changes
24. "Get Your Head Around It" - Headlights
23. "Modern Guilt" - Beck
22. "Foux du Fafa" - Flight on the Conchords
21. "God Loves You the Best" - Earlimart
20. "Death by Chocolate" - Sia
19. "Turning the Gun on Myself" - Teddy Thompson
18. "Cath ..." - Deathcab For Cutie
17. "Ghost Under Rocks" - Ra Ra Riot
16. "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" - She & Him
15. "Strange Overtones" - David Byrne and Brian Eno
14. "Connjur" - School of Seven Bells
13. "Tear Down the House" - The Avett Brothers
12. "Lost Coastlines" - Okkervil River
11. "Oxford Comma" - Vampire Weekend
10. "My Only Offer" - Mates of State
9. "Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur" - Sigur Rós
8. "Something's Not Right With Me" - Cold War Kids
7. "Face to Face on High Plains" - School of Seven Bells
6. "Halfway Home" - TV on the Radio
5. "Dancing Choose" - TV on the Radio
4. "White Winter Hymnal" - Fleet Foxes
3. "Time to Pretend" - MGMT
2. "Flume" - Bon Iver
1. "Skinny Love" - Bon Iver

Frankly, we could have littered this entire list with Bon Iver and TVOTR songs, which should give you insight on the competition for DMS's Album of the Year. Speaking of which, we had mentioned that we probably wouldn't be doing it this year, but due to Amazon.com's incredible year-end $5 album offer, we loaded up on music this week and have been plowing through the best of it to bring the highly anticipated AOTY post.

We actually thought this was a great year for songs. It's a much deeper list than last year's.

It was difficult to pick which of the Bon Iver tunes to put at #1, but the deal-sealer was the lyrics:

I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced
I told you to be kind
Now all your love is wasted
Then who the hell was I?
Now I'm breaking at the britches
And at the end of all your lines

Bon Iver - "Skinny Love"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Top 10 Least Favorite Cleveland Athletes of 2008

Sort of a bizzaro list to last year's comprendium. But that's the kind of year it was in Cleveland.

10. Ben Wallace. Learn how to shoot a fucking free throw (see above). My god, you're a basketball player.
9. Rafael Betancourt. Yeah, so maybe roiding up helps pitchers too.
8. Jamal Lewis. When you complain about not getting the ball enough, you should probably be averaging more than three yards per carry. Can I get a what-what?
7. Travis Hafner. Thank God you signed that huge extension before you decided to revery to Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer form.
6. Wally Szczerbiak. Wait, Firefox Spell Checker, you mean you don't recognize "Szczerbiak" in your database? There's a shocker!
5. Sasha Pavlovic. It's kind of cool when good or great athletes have girl names like Stacey Augmon. It's amazingly lame if you average five points a game.
4. Andy Marte. Man, we were so excited when the Indians traded for him, the #1 prospect in baseball a few years ago. Now, he's just a tubbo. He's listed at 190, but if that's true, then I'm as as skinny as I was before kids.
3. Braylon Edwards. When you're primary job as a reciever is to catch the football, it's probably not good if you SUCK AT CATCHING FOOTBALLS!!!!
2. Anderson Varejao. You know what sucks about basketball? You can be a total talentless fuck and as long as you're tall you can earn millions of dollars. At least in football if you're a large motherfucker you still have to be fast or strong or something. And in baseball kind of the opposite is true: you can be a fat bastard, but as long as you have talent you can play. But Anderson Varejao can't do shit. Well, the one thing he can do is hold out for a larger contract and then grow an ugly-ass haircut.
1. Shaun Smith. Actually, he might have been the year's best non-Lebron Cleveland athlete if it weren't for his punching his own teammate who happened to have a broken hand at the time. Yes, you, sir, get to shoot right up the list. Also, he's a big fat-ass.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Top 10 Kids Shows of 2008

As the year begins to turn to 2009, we'll be participating in a tradition as old as the Internets themselves: creating an overabundance of top 10 lists.

Today's list is the top Kids Shows of 2008.

The shows were graded according to parental watchability, an inverse annoyance scale, and lastly, we suppose, educational and entertainment value for children. Bonus points were awarded to shows that run on PBS due to their lack of commercials.

And lastly, we think it's fair to embody the main difference between having one kid and two kids by juxtaposing last year's initial list to this year's.

10. Martha Speaks. Pretty damned pretentious, even for a kids' show. They try to shove impressive vocabulary down kids' throats. Blatant ripoff of Word Girl (see below).
9. Cyberchase. Mrs. Supercomputer wants to shoot us whenever this show comes on. In her defense, when two of the featured voices are Gilbert Godfried and Christopher Lloyd, it's hard to blame her. Still, it's about Math and therefore warrants a spot on the list.
8. Super Why. Annoying, yes. Racist as fucking hell, yes (seriously, the implied "rankings" for the heroes goes thusly: 1. White male. 2. White Female. 3. Black Female. 4. Pig.). But Girl Supercomputer is captivated by it. And we think it's helped with her letters.
7. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Yeah, we've all heard the probably apocryphal story about how he was a sniper in Vietnam or something. Yes, each episode is a ridiculous 30+ years old and it seems like he always goes to the library. Yes, it's boring as all get out. But if it's early in the morning enough to watch Mr. Rogers, that's exactly what you need. There's a reason they only show this program at 5:00 in the morning.
6. Arthur. We're not exactly sure what kind of animal Arthur is supposed to be. Squirrel? Bear? Someone help us out here. Bonus points for being the only kids show we know that employs the daydream-fantasy sequence to underscore motive.
5. Veggie Tales. We can either tell Girl Supercomputer the story of Jesus via church or story-telling or Santa Claus, or we can let talking vegetables do it for us. Game and match, vegetables.
4. Curious George. As opposed to Super Why, this show is not annoying and doesn't celebrate its racists past (in case you don't know the original story of George, the man in the yellow hat captured George in Africa, brought him to America on a boat against his will, and pretty soon after that, George ends up in prison. All of this is 100% true). Also, bonus points for William H. Macy as the narrator. We wonder how old Girl Supercomputer will be when she realizes it's the same voice as the guy in Fargo. Hopefully not for a while.
3. Dragon. We're getting into the dreaded, "watch it even if the kids aren't watching it" territory.
2. My Friend Rabbit. MFR might have taken the number one spot if it weren't for it's awkward start time in Colorado: 11:30 AM. If you're still watching cartoons with your kids at 11:30 on a Saturday in sunny Fort Collins, you have your answer to "why are kids so obese these days?".
1. Word Girl. Girl Supercomputer doesn't really even like this show, but we here at DMS love it. We have and will watch it even if the girl isn't home. Most of the jokes go over her head, but no matter. We love Word Girl.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lists Coming Soon

Even though there hasn't been a comment on this blog in neart twelve weeks, we know you're all clamoring for more. Just be patient. We are in the midst of compiling our year end lists.

Just a heads up, we will not be doing the vaunted Albums of the Year bit because, frankly, we didn't listen to any albums. We'll give you songs, but we were lucky if we listened to a radio commercial the entire way through without having to change a diaper or console Girl Supercomputer because she dropped her lollipop.

So, until we get those up and running, feel free to peruse some old lists.