Blogging 365, Day 72: Hugh Jaynis

I watch the KTLA Morning News daily so I can get a quick rundown on the day’s top stories as well as the current traffic report.

I know those guys love to have a good time while at work but today they had a little too much fun as this video will clearly show. When it aired this morning, I missed what Henry DiCarlo (the weatherman) had said and only caught up when everyone was laughing.

Then I saw the video a few hours later and it all made sense. Here it is.

By the way, Chris Schauble (the reporter who started laughing) is a funny guy and is one of my followers on Twitter. He replies to every tweet and is an Ironman triathlete.

But this morning…he was just a mess.

And honestly, if it was an inside job, Henry most likely deserved it…

Welcome Home, Endeavour

It’s been quite an amazing year in terms of astronomy and things related to the subject.

So far this year, we’ve witnessed a handful of events including the Super Moon, a solar eclipse, and the Venus transit. We also witnessed the Perseid Meteor Shower which was indeed amazing but because I couldn’t provide photographic evidence due to the illumination in my part of the city (and honestly, my lack of skills in shooting meteors), I didn’t blog about it. The only thing I can say about it is this: wow. If you’ve never taken the time to see it, do yourself a favor and make it a point next year.

And today, we here in southern California witnessed the final ferried flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour before it takes up permanent residence at the California Science Center. The media coverage on this event was absolutely insane but the one thing missing was the actual flight pattern of the shuttle; we only knew that it was supposed to make the rounds across local landmarks as seen below:


And up until this map was released, I was under the impression that I wouldn’t be able to see it because of where I work. But once I took a good look at the map I soon realized that my office – I’m down near the last downward-pointing arrow on the right below Boeing – was in the projected flight path.

Just in case, I charged my camera battery the night before and took the camera with me. According to all reports, it was expected to arrive over southern California at about 11:30 am so I headed up to the top of our parking structure at that time. From that point on, I was depending on Twitter updates and newsradio reports to let me know where the shuttle was.

It wasn’t until about 12 pm when more people began to show up. It was lunchtime, you know. So I continued to get reports on the location of the shuttle.

Santa Monica. Malibu. Approaching downtown L.A. Hollywood sign. Griffith Park. JPL.

Then, finally, heading south toward Disneyland – and my office.

I had turned off the radio and Twitter and put my trust in my own eyes as well as the reactions of the people who had gathered. Once they started pointing and running, I knew it had arrived.

One problem: it didn’t fly over us as scheduled. From what I had seen, a plane departed John Wayne Airport very close to the time the shuttle was supposed to fly over us. (This is only my speculation; there may be another reason for it.) Unfortunately, this meant that the shuttle missed flying over us entirely, but I was still able to see it.

Here are a few of the shots from today, cropped to the subject since they had to be diverted.

Space Shuttle Endeavour 040

Since it flew by so quickly, most of the shots I took look like this. The one below is about the only different composition.

google shuttle

It happened so fast I didn’t really have time to think about what I was witnessing: the final ferried flight of any Space Shuttle orbiter. It truly is the end of an era in both NASA and American history.

I stood on top of the structure taking pictures until Endeavour was no longer visible. I was just glad I had the opportunity to see it in flight for my first and final time.

Endeavour now sits at Los Angeles International Airport where it will be removed from the back of the modified 747 and in October, moved via trailer to the California Science Center.

And depending on when that move happens, I will try my best to be a part of that as well. Either way, you can bet we will make many, many trips to see it once on display.

Welcome home, Endeavour. We’re happy to have you here.

Saying Goodbye to 2011’s Most Annoying Things

I’ve made my list, checked it twice, and am fairly certain it’s complete.

Said list is composed of hot topics in 2011 that gained much, much more attention that I honestly felt they deserved – so much attention that they need to be forgotten and never spoken of ever again.

I now present them to you, in no particular order, along with brief explanations/personal comments. Here we go.


3D TV: Right from the very get-go, I always felt that 3D TV was a gimmick. There’s no way anybody in their right mind would want to nor should sit in their own home wearing goofy, high-tech 3D glasses to watch movies or TV shows. Those glasses, by the way, can run up to $400 a pair – a bit much if you happen to leave them out and let the dog find them. It just seems like a way to try and sell the public on 3D movies in theaters, then get them to buy the film on Blu-ray once released. It’s a technological money grab clusterfuck that hasn’t caught on and probably never will.


Justin Bieber: What else is there to say? Can we do our best to make 2012 and each year forward Bieber-free?


Carmageddon: Here’s an explanation for those of you outside of the L.A. metro area. Carmageddon (as it was dubbed by the local media) was supposed to be the worst, most intolerable freeway closure in the history of forever. Taking place along one of the busiest stretches of the 405, the closure was required in order to repair one of the bridges along the Sepulveda Pass and as a result, residents in the area were actually urged to stay home that weekend. Jesus, even Ashton Kutcher tweeted about the closure. It was to be that bad.

The result? Absolutely nothing. The repairs were made in record time and traffic flowed around the area without all the forecasted gloom and doom. In fact, there were joggers and cyclists who took advantage of the closure by running and riding along the freeway. (They weren’t even cited, which was cool.) Carmageddon turned out to be a gigantic joke, and a spectacular example of how L.A. media can turn the smallest story into a potential nightmare.


Katy Perry’s “Firework”: Much like Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” from years ago, this song seemed to be featured in every ‘tween movie and no matter where you went, you heard I playing. All that aside, “firework” just doesn’t sound right in singular form.


Rebecca Black’s “Friday”: Yeah, we all know the story of how it happened. Now let’s erase the song, along with its off-brand crayon-quality lyrics, from our minds forever.


The Kardashians: I would imagine that being famous for nothing carries a lot of weight with it. I wouldn’t know. But if these are the kinds of role models we’re letting today’s young women look up to, then wow, we really need to reassess our priorities. Thank [insert appropriate deity here] I have a boy.


Occupy [insert city of choice]: Okay, occupiers, I get it. You’re pissed off. Who isn’t these days? But pitching tents and waving signs in random city locations will do little if nothing to persuade the Big Bank president from walking down from his penthouse to hear you out. He wouldn’t even waste his time micturating upon you from there because there’s a chance he might get his stacks of $100 bills, the ones he uses to light his Cuban cigars, soiled. I do agree with you to a point but it seems like nothing has been, nor ever will be, accomplished.


Planking: When I first heard of this planking, I thought it was somehow related to waterboarding because it just sounded like some kind of torture device. Turns out I was wrong – dead wrong. This weird yet stupid phenomenon involves a jackass who is willing to lie face-down in an unusual (more than likely, very conspicuous) place and another jackass who will take the picture for them. And for what? To post them online as part of some kind of idiotic game. And I thought people in the ‘50s were stupid when they would stuff telephone booths for fun.


Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”: This, along with the aforementioned Katy Perry song, ranks up there as one of the most overplayed, saturated songs of 2011. And if you think you heard it ad nauseam, try living two houses down from a neighbor whose daughter sang it for a show and rehearsed it continuously for about a week. For those reasons, I’d be perfectly happy if I never heard it again.


“Tebowing”: Much like planking, I took this term to mean something entirely different when I first heard of it. Namely, I thought it was some kind of cruel bullying game that kids were playing in school since I heard some were and still are getting in trouble for it. But no, it turned out that Tebowing was named after NFL player Tim Tebow who has made a habit of kneeling and praying during each game. Ironically, and unfortunately, Tebowing might just be the next form of planking if this website has anything to do with it.

Well, that’s it. Now let’s never speak of any of them ever again.

And have a safe, happy, prosperous, and Bieber-free 2012.

Netflix Changes Pricing and Plans

Well, has it been an eventful week or what?

In addition to being a Virgin Mobile customer and getting the news of an eventual price increase on monthly Beyond Talk plans, I’m also a Netflix customer and wasn’t all that happy to see this nifty e-mail in my wife’s inbox:


Yup. If we want to continue with our current plan of streaming and one disc, the monthly fee doubles to $15.98 per month. So until the new pricing plan and structure go into effect, we’ll stay with our current plan and see as many movies on DVD as we can but eventually switch to the streaming-only service.

In all honesty, I’m not a really big movie watcher and rarely (if ever) see first-run movies. The wife and kid are bigger moviegoers than I since I’m working most of the time and it gives them something to do, especially during the summer. So by the time a movie gets to Netflix on disc, chances are I won’t even bother to go through the hassle of putting it in my queue and turning on the Wii to watch it. We do, however, use Netflix for their streaming content which includes the entire The Twilight Zone series. Yeah, I stayed up late one night and watched them until I puked. Oh, and every James Bond movie is there, too. Not too shabby.

All in all, this change won’t affect us too much since, well, 90% of the time when we get a disc, it sits around – usually MIA on the kitchen table – until we decide to watch it which in some cases is never. As such, chances are we will stick to streaming-only should we decide to stay customers.

But besides the shows and movies I’ve mentioned, there’s only so many times you can watch lame ‘80s movies or foreign artsy-fartsy flicks, which makes me wonder if it will be something worth keeping.

If you’re looking for alternatives to Netflix, check out this post by Russ of Fat 2 Fit podcast fame. He’s compiled a pretty good list of ideas for consumers wanting to tell Netflix to get lost.

Yeesh, what else will go up in price this week?

From the Archives, Part Deux

Today’s entry is a multimedia extravaganza!

I got an e-mail last night from reader Jon–yes, I actually have readers–who had left a comment on this entry from 2005 regarding the availability of an MP3 file I had posted.

The file in question was a commercial parody for New York Telephone, a profanity-laden spoof that I had transferred from a 30-year-old cassette tape and converted to an MP3 file for all the world to enjoy. Unfortunately for Jon, the file could not be accessed because the file’s host,, had long since done the way of the dinosaur. Hell, I couldn’t even get to retrieve a cached copy of the site. Well, I could have but it took to long to load and it’s just not that interesting to see.

Anyway, he e-mailed me and asked if I still had a copy of it since he was desperate to hear the thing. While replying, I decided to scan my external hard drive for the file and lo and behold, I still had it.

I happily replied to him and attached my find. He then replied to me stating that he scanned his hard drive and came across his version of the parody which is actually better quality and contains some outtakes of voice actors at the beginning.

I kindly asked if I could post it here on the blog and he obliged, provided I didn’t send all the traffic to his host. That’s no problem–SoundCloud will gladly take the hit.

At any rate, here is Jon’s version of the file. Know that the language at the beginning and scattered throughout the commercial is definitely NSFW so listen at your own discretion if you are at work or around virgin ears. One of the voices may sound very familiar to you if you watched ABC in the ’80s and ’90s as you will hear, it’s kind of funny hearing that person working so blue before getting serious about it. Jon did some sleuthing of his own and thinks that the voices at the beginning could be that of Peter Cullen or the late Don Lafontaine.

Either way, give the new version a listen and have a laugh on us.

(Click on the Down arrow to download)

Once I listened to this I got to thinking about other infamous radio/TV bits that have been around since Marconi created radio. One in particular was of a drunken Orson Welles doing Paul Masson commercial:

It’s absolutely hilarious to see the actors try to carry on normally as one of the greatest actors of our time attempts to read his lines while barely being able to keep his eyes open. And it’s not like they could just get up and walk out. Drunk or not, this was Citizen Fucking Kane! My favorite part has to be “Ahhhhhhhh, the French…champagne…” at 0:27. That’s come classic shit right there! Who knew Orson Welles was a fall-down, mad-off-his-ass drunk bastard?

And believe it or not, there’s yet another one starting Welles which is even better, albeit audio only:

(Click on the Down arrow to download)

Poor Orson. He’s trying to make a point that the script just sucks and makes no sense. Just listen–the man was absolutely right, and you can actually hear him walk away from the mic and leave the session in frustration at the end of the clip. So infamous was this one that it made the underground rounds for what seemed like an eternity and became a cult favorite, even inspiring a portion of this SCTV skit (starting at 2:06):

Yeah, I know it’s Christmas and it’s now May. I don’t care–it’s SCTV and that skit is fucking funny as hell no matter what time of year it is.

The thing is that there are literally millions of these clips out there because radio personalities, voice-over actors, etc. are just like the rest of us and will screw up on the job now and then. And when you have to read something over and over, eventually going to get tired of it and slip up or just let loose. Believe me, having a brother that worked in L.A. radio for years, I’ve heard things you would not believe.

It’s just a shame I don’t have any of them in digital format because man, they were some funny shit. But should I ever come across any of them, I will gladly share them here for all the world to enjoy.

Now go. You’re taking up valuable air.

Special thanks to reader Jon for giving me permission to post his file.