Thursday, January 28, 2010

YouTube Mouth-Breathers Look for iPad Info, Get Duped by The Onion

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I'm back. iPad.

Note from Luke: This post was written by Apple junkie "Downtown" Dan

Dammit, Steve Jobs.

You were this close to setting my credit card afire once again. But the iPad, while really sweet, is missing some key components. Don't worry, Steve. A couple easy fixes/upgrades before the end of March and you've got me for another $600. Promise-Thomas.

I am an Apple Fanboy. I will readily admit it. I have an Apple laptop, iPhone, Apple earbuds, several generation of the iPod and a naked picture of Bea Arthur.

When I saw the iPad in all its shiny glory, I geeked out.

My first impression was an iPhone & Laptop Screen had a Megan Fox of a tech baby. Sleek, pretty, and drool-inducing. And What was I talking about? ....right. iPad.

(To show my gender bipartisanship, here's a picture for the ladies. Good? Moving on.)


1. Lack of FLASH! What's Adobe Flash? It's what makes video happen and heavy graphic load properly in most browsers.

For example:

See? Not only was my point made, but a chuckle was induced. Why? Because of Flash. This post's rambling would have forced you back to Perez Hilton without the use of Flash. Now I have you for a few more paragraphs....Thanks, Flash!

2. And what about Multitasking? Right now I've got a browser open, iTunes playing, my calendar open and an illegal torrent downloading. I'm able to flip to each instantly, without waiting for a program to load each time. iPhone users who've ever wanted to pop out of an App to check something in Safari know what I'm talking about.

3. There's no camera, we don't know how AT&T is going to handle the spike in 3G traffic or the fact that App Store apps work, but look wonky from footage. But I digress.


1. Apple developed their very own silicone 1 gigahertz processor for this bad boy. (That's like putting a 350hp engine into a Honda Civic. Vroom.) It will cruise, no lagging, no waiting.

2. The cost could be much worse. It starts at $500 and tops off at $800. Considering the Kindle DX (awesome device, but in for a world of hurt) runs $489, who wouldn't pay a little more for all the extras the iPad has to offer? This including color reading for not only books, but magazines and newspapers.

3. Movies will be SICK on this device. 10" LED will pop. Movies will become more intimate. I'm a fan of putting on my headphones and watching movies on my laptop. There's a sense of immersion you don't get in theaters or on a TV. This device will be perfect for that effect.

4. Email will be a cinch and photo albums will be fun to look through (even if you're not one of those self-obsessed folks that have 3,000 pictures on Facebook).

5. Open coding will allow for iPad specific apps that I'm sure developers are already salivating over building ($$$$$$$$$$). If the App Store is any sense of what developers can create, watch out. Granting those developers a faster processor with more ability....who knows what kinds of games, utilities, etc, can come from this.

THE VERDICT: (for now)

Until I get FLASH and MULTITASKING, it is a no-go for me. It can't be the best internet experience ever if I don't have all the internet.

With those added, this will the end-all, be-all of portable entertainment and connectivity. You can read a book, cruise the interwebs (read Common Vents!!!), play a game, watch a movie, herd sheep, and listen to music, email, look at photos......get the point?

That's it, Reader. Now go away.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is Your Name Dan Bardin? Check Yes or No. If Yes, Kill Self.

A Vision of John Mayer and the Worst Commercial Ever

Strap yourself in; I'm about to tell you about a dream I had a couple nights ago! On a boredom level of one-to-coma, studies have shown only reading an article about the launch of a tactical nuke in Modern Warfare 2 or about the best fastball hitters MLB has to offer are more brutal than hearing about someone else's dream. Since I've already covered the nuke and the fastballs, let's complete the trifecta. Tell you what. To make it more interesting, I'll compose the events of the dream in script format.


A thriving record store in San Diego (think High Fidelity with palm trees). A popular trendy band plays overhead. I dunno...let's say Animal Collective. Strong scent of ganj. This crowd enjoys puffing the purp.

John Mayer browses the store's musical selection with everyone else. Luke seems to be the only patron aware who this man is. It's John Mayer, people! I mean, his newest album kind of blows, but still, he's a celebrity! And he's kind of fixed his ugly guitar solo face over the last few years. Sort of.

Luke decides he must somehow impress John Mayer and earn his friendship.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shh-KINK! Blades...of Steel!

Remember what life was like at 6 years old? I lived in Palatine, IL. The address was 1350 Joyce and the phone number was 708-934-1407, back before the 847 area code existed. I can remember that but I can't remember what I had for dinner two nights ago. Sweet consistency, brain.

Anyway, I have two vivid memories from around that time: Tee Ball and rockin the cutting edge video games on the NES.

Tee Ball was glorious. In an effort to forget my infamous pants-pooping debacle in preschool just a year before, I dove headlong into sports and wound up pooping once again, this time all over the competition in the Palatine North Little League. We were the Detroit Tigers (not really) and won the championship that year over the Milwaukee Brewers (who might have been the actual Milwaukee Brewers, that part's a little hazy). I don't remember the exact events of the championship, but I remember a girl on the team and I remember bubble gum. I'm not sure how the two are related. Did she give me bubble gum? Did she take away my bubble gum? Did her parents own Bubble Yum? We'll never know.

But I digress. This blog post is actually about the old school classic Blades of Steel. Sure, it may be a drag to play now, and everyone knows Tecmo Super Bowl is the far superior NES sports title, but tell me that you don't hear the theme music during the pregame skate-around and get transported to a simpler time. I DARE you to tell me that. You can't. The instant that song hits, memories of 1989 suddenly pop up all over the place. Just look at the absurdly-long previous paragraph. Blades of Steel's music did that to me.

The Blackhawks faceoff against Edmonton tonight. Hearing that on the radio driving into work made me think of Blades, and I immediately started humming the skate-around tune in between Tourette's-fueled bursts of the following:
  • FIGHT!
In honor of the frozen classic and Blackhawks/Oilers, here's a dynamite video of Blades of Steel in action. The real show happens in the first 30 seconds when you're hit with the soundtrack, but if you actually stick around for the gameplay you'll be able to hear the capslocked statements above from the badass announcer. Technically the video shows Chicago vs. New York and not Chicago vs. Edmonton, but it's just as well. Edmonton's jerseys in Blades of Steel have such an abundance of lemon and lime that they look like the gay Minnesota Northstars. (proof)


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Brett Favre Closes Seasons Like Mitch Williams

Say what you want about America's most polarizing 40-year-old, purple-clad quarterback, but Brett Favre can flat-out close seasons. After his ill-advised interception late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's NFC Championship in New Orleans, Bretty has now finished his last three seasons by throwing an interception.

It's true! Deadspin has provided video footage of the events! (hilarious proof)

The below screen cap of a comment in the Deadspin article sums it up:

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Derrick Rose Hates Slovenia

It's really the only conclusion I can make after seeing the Bulls' point guard's cruel treatment of Suns' guard (of Slovenian descent) Goran Dragic. Hall Trane first alerted me of the dunk during an intense CoD sesh and he already posted this video on Yummy Bro (proof) but it's too good not to share. You will likely yell OH NO! when you see the flush, then re-watch the video 80 times.

  • Both Rose and Dragic are listed at 6'3" and 190 lbs. The difference is that Dragic is Slovenian and Rose is from the Chi. Advantage: Windy City.
  • The body bump Dragic gives him immediately after the dunk combined with Rose slightly pulling his legs up makes it look as though he's still elevating even after the flush.
  • Dragic got posterized in the worst way because he showed some hustle. You gotta feel for the kid. Meanwhile...
  • Jared Dudley showed about as much effort as I show on the treadmill. When the video starts up he's the one in the headband at the top of the court, beyond the three point line. He really gives it his all to run back and play defense. It's a 6 point game with 6 minutes to play, idiot. Next time, don't get stoned until AFTER the game. I officially hate Jared Dudley.
  • Watch the Bulls fan standing up in the bottom-left corner at the 10-second mark. By now he's shown his family and friends the video countless times and told them he willed Rose higher. Way to go, obnoxious fan cheering for the road team. It was all you.
  • Everything about the dunk is so smooth. The fact that Rose got fouled only adds to its greatness. I especially enjoy the downward fist pump he gives during the landing. It kicks so much ass, I just went blind.
  • Not sure who he is, but there's a guy on the Suns' bench who is halfway toward standing up and applauding the jam when he remembers he's a professional athlete whose teammate just got shit on. 
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BREAKING: Brett Favre Has Boo-Boos, Is Sad

Playing in the Sandbox

Friday, January 22, 2010

Puke Launches Tactical Nuke

Looks like my years of schooling finally paid off! I launched my first tactical nuke on Wednesday, January 20th at roughly 6:30 pm CST. You might have felt the rumble. What exactly is a tactical nuke, you ask? Let's consult Wiki:

"In the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 the player can utilize a Tactical Nuke as a killstreak reward in the game's online multiplayer mode. Once the player has achieved 25 kills without dying, he/she may call in a tactical nuke to be dropped near the battlefield, resulting in a premature ending of the game and an automatic victory for whichever team the device was detonated by. When it is detonated, all the players in the match will witness a 10 second countdown next to a radioactive symbol on their screen. When the countdown reaches zero, time seems to slow down slightly, a bright white light overwhelms the screen and all of the players of the match, including the caller, instantly die, concluding the game."
It is arguably the single greatest individual achievement in Modern Warfare 2. You might say I launched the perfect tactical nuke (more on that later). For now, let's take a look at the specs it took to get it done.

Map: Invasion (pictured above)
Mode: Team Deathmatch Express
Witnesses: My brother and his Illinois State homies
Gun: SCAR-H w/ Grenade Launcher attachment (specs)
Perk 1: Scavenger
Perk 2: Stopping Power
Perk 3: Ninja
Killstreak Rewards: Harrier (7 kills), Chopper gunner (11 kills) Tactical Nuke (25 kills)

Analysis: You might say I launched a perfect tactical nuke. You see, you can launch a tactical nuke as long as you have 25 straight kills without dying. It doesn't matter when you get them. In other words, if you get smoked 4 straight times, then go on a 25-kill rampage, you can still launch the nuke.

I did not die until the nuke was dropped, ending the game. I finished with 31 kills and 1 death (caused by the nuke). The perfect game. BOOM! HEADSHOT!

Some of you may be wondering how exactly I got this done. Was I playing with a bunch of reeds? Well, maybe. To start off, let me explain where I camped.

Yes, I camped. If you can launch a nuke without camping, you're more of a man than me. Take a look at that map again. My favorite place to be in Invasion is the building on the east side marked "Loft." I stay inside, never veering into the open ledge (the ledge is almost always instant death). Being inside the loft gives me a great view of the westward path between the video store/coffee shop and the boutique/cafe, leading all the way to the bathroom. I can also look north thanks to a window in the loft. It's a dynamite spot.

Setting a claymore by the stairway entrance means reeds will venture into the loft and find a bomb waiting to say hello and give them a nice helping of FACE ASPLODE. And this is where the Scavenger perk comes in handy. Head on over to the recently asploded enemy, pick up another claymore and repeat. If your enemies are idiots, they'll just keep running up the stairs and into the room with guns blazing, thinking this Rambo technique will keep their shit from exploding violently.

And let me tell you, my opponents during my nuke streak were dumb as rocks whose moms drank excessively during their rock pregnancies. No fewer than five reeds got themselves a heaping helping of claymore pie and some came back for seconds. Three of them blew up within 30 seconds at one point. Morons.

My harrier jet killed about 3 enemies and the chopper gunner killed another 8. By the time the gunner was done, I had 19 kills. People kept running into my claymores and my SCAR-H rattled off the final few kills. When I had 24, kill number 25 nearly iced me, which would have resulted in me taking my sledgehammered PS3 into a repair shop. Luckily, I won the final stand off and launched the bomb.

My brother and his bros were playing with me online in the Bloomington-Normal area, and they were so excited by what they saw that I'm fairly certain they organized a sudden impromptu circle jerk to commemorate the occasion.

To the ladies out there and the guys who are feminine enough to stay away from first person shooters, I apologize for the severe nerdity of this post. I promise, I will never write in-depth about MW2 again. Until my next tactical nuke.

PS3 Handle: LukeOutBelow - track me down

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Your Happy Friday Accidental Poop Joke

Below is an IM conversation at the end of a Friday at work. And no, we do not have an HR department.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Twitter Tip of the Day: How To Get Yourself Blocked

For you Twitter noobs out there, there are some basic things you need to learn. Such as:
  • You're 60% less cool than you think you are because 60% of your followers are porn accounts.
  • One who describes himself as a "self preceived genious" (proof) is likely neither perceptive nor a genius.
  • 9 people who list their location as Chicago see themselves as "marketing gurus." (proof) This means they know how to take advantage of a mass-follow website such as Buzzum or LocaFollow.
  • Way too many people describe themselves as a social media enthusiasts in their Twitter profiles. This level of redundancy is roughly equivalent to a guy with a gun pointed at you saying "I have a gun in my hand."
  • Watch out for those who are conceited about their abilities and constantly give off a nasty stench of superiority. These people absolutely and indubitably blow goats.
This final point is one of the things that infuriates me most about Twitter. I didn't fully realize it until today, but my #1 qualm with the site is how exceedingly polite it is. For those of you who are new to this Common Vents, I blog as a way to vent my frustrations. It's very therapeutic for me. If you aren't a fan of my incessant whining, you can take yourself over to I Love Kittens. (proof)

Leave it to Twitter to turn something as volatile and unpoliced as the Internet into a hand-holding, Kumbaya-crooning guitar circle. But I've got news for you: the syrupy politeness isn't helping anything. We think it is; we think we're making the world a better place one Tweet at a time, but it's just smoke and mirrors. We're simply creating an environment for smug superiority.

To the left is an example. This person, who we'll call BobHyundai for anonymity's sake, describes himself as "The genius behind" his blog. Bob describes himself as a genius. And he's not kidding. Strike 1.

The link he passed along was written yesterday, and he's already shared it multiple times. Tremendous amounts of overkill. Strike 2.

It sounds as if Bob's promoting one of his friend's blog posts, which is admirable. But if you looked deeper, you'd find that Bob actually guest posted on his friend's blog, and that link is to something that he wrote on her blog. He's misleading his followers into reading something by him while making it look like he's simply being a loyal friend. What a great guy. When I first read this tweet, my computer monitor got so fogged up with smug that I had to stop and wipe it down. Strike 3.

Hey doucherocket, 1) You're not a genius. You have a blog. The end. Get over yourself. 2) I read the post yesterday. Stop pimping the same thing over and over. You talked about your finacé for 1,500 words. Riveting stuff. 3) You're damn right I'm missing the discussion. I did that voluntarily. After seeing 20 comments alternating between "my significant other doesn't have an active online social life and we're very happy" and "we both have active online social lives and we're very happy," there was no more to be said. You geniuses covered all of it! Implying that I'm "missing out" on a life-altering discussion is completely passive-aggressive and a downright lie. That passive-aggressiveness should be a fun quirk for your fiancé to deal with. I hope someone gifts her a pair of earmuffs at the wedding.

So, BobHyundai, you're the first legitimate blogger that I've blocked on Twitter. Congratulations. You've joined the ranks of porn accounts and marketing spammers. And for those of you who think I've been too hard on poor Bob, I just have one thing to say:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

23 degrees tomorrow. Possibly a foot of snow. Two words: GOLF WEATHER.

Well, the next few days are going to be intense for Chicagoans (if weatherpersons are actually to be believed. HA! Weatherman joke. I'm totally opening with that in my stand-up act). There's 7 to 9 inches of snow expected tomorrow and up to a foot in some places. (proof)

Thankfully, we have the Internet and wonderful sites like that offer tips for dealing with the crazy snowfall. Check out that forecast to the left. One to two inches expected tonight, 4 to 6 tomorrow. That sure is a whole lot of accumulation. I'm not used to dealing with that kind of volume. Can I get some tips? Maybe on safe snow driving? Or how to pack the perfect snowball? What do you have for me,

"Stay warm on the links?" For real?

Nice work,! It just so happens I'm ditching work tomorrow and heading to Mundelein to play the shit out of Pine Meadow. Thanks for the relevant suggestion. I can't wait to wear my long underwear under my turtleneck under my thin sweater under my windbreaker (as your wardrobe tip suggests). This keeps you warm without sacrificing swing quality, you see. What a wonderfully relevant golf tip!

And I'll be sure to stow my golf balls indoors before my round instead of in the freezing garage, because golf balls retain their zip for roughly 10 hours before they're adversely affected by the weather. THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP, SKILLING!

Hey, here's a thought. If it's 23 degrees out and snowing 12 inches? Don't golf. Be miserable like the rest of us. Don't have fun in the snow. Fun leads to sex which leads to unwanted pregnancies. It's science.

Please don't have golf sex in 12 inches of snow tomorrow. You'll probably get pregnant.

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