Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who (Lu) Won Website of the Year?

Greetings and Happy Holidays as today's column originates from Atlantic City. I am pecking away at my laptop at the Showboat trying to see if history can repeat itself. Readers of this fine blog know that last Christmas, Trophy Wife and I went to AC and I won 500 bucks at the Taj Mahal when I hit a royal flush while playing Double Down Stud. We also came back for New Years and I won another 150... but since then my mastery of the game seems to have foshnizzled. We have been back a few times in 2008, and I have given back a very small percentage of my winnings... a small amount I refer to as my "entertainment fee" the money that would have been spent elsewhere if I wasn't playing cards. At the rate I play those quarter machines, Donald Trump and that Charles Kushner will be celebrating their grandson's bar mitzvah before Donald Trump gets that money back. And hopefully at some point I will get my mojo back and start winning some more jackpots. And I won't be distracted by the cleavagey miniskirted cocktail waitresses whose well timed decisions to bend over tends to throw my concentration off.

Anyway, Showboat mailed us an offer for a deeply discounted room and we decided to spend a couple of days here. Trophy Wife says they will be sending another one again in a month or two, so I told her we should spite them by coming back and NOT gamble so they don't take more money from us. But Trophy Wife makes a valid point - even though we stayed at Showboat... we do almost all of our gambling at Taj... so we really haven't been losing any money at Showboat.

Anyway, I see that Hulu has won the AP award for Website of the Year. Frankly I have only been on it a few times, so more than likely since I am a year or two behind the young hipsters who make these decisions I will be more into Hulu in around 2009 or 2010..... Is it agreed that 2010 is when we start the years with "twenty" instead of "two thousand and ....?". Hulu is the self fulfilling prophecy of Bill Gates who said many years ago that computers will be the centerpiece of our lives. They have already replaced appointment books, film cameras, newspapers and now apparently TV. The VCR is almost officially dead once the analog signals stop next month... all TV shows will be recorded on DVR's or DVD recorders which I just got for Hannukah...(just before the prices dropped by an astonishing 50% for the post Christmas clearance sales!)... and hulu is yet another site joining the amazing You Tube (which I said a couple of years ago was going to be the king of all websites) which is drawing more people away from the old fashioned method of watching television shows as they travel through the airwaves.

But since I am a little older than the typical person raised on demographics skew a bit differently. I actually didnt buy a PC till 2003 which puts me into dinosaur status as I held out with a really nifty Brother portable word processor that had very very limited web access through compuserve and its numbered email addresses (104145.3031 was mine) and then my little webtv gadget. So therefore I am a year or two behind the hip people, which makes the Hulu choice surprise me since I personally would nominate the social networking websites for that award.

Facebook seems to be the most popular, but I am also a big fan of Linked In. In May, I decided to see if Facebook would be a good way to bring in business. A couple of months later, I decided to see how Linked In would work and signed up for that too. Now, as we approach 2009 I have noticed some interesting trends.

I tend to use Linked In more often to bring in contacts, yet I rarely do so on Facebook... yet I have approximately 80 contacts for both of them. Facebook seems to be more for fun, while Linked In is more serious.. kind of like a Peak Fream. I like how LI pins a business card on all my friends contact list page and has my professional podcasts posted right on my page, but at the same time I am also addicted to the Facebook live feeds. It's almost like Page Six about my friends. But the most incredible aspect of FB and LI has been finding people I havent heard from in ages.

On both sites I have a list of current friends and business contacts... but then you start to see names popping up from way back. Here are some examples.

* Chris the Weather Wonder Boy - Back in my radio days, I had a high school intern who was obsessed with the weather so we gave him that nickname, Now 18 years later he is a weather producer for one of the NY TV stations! I found him on FB and now all these years later we are back in touch. It's a similar story where I reconnected with my former co worker Ron who also rented a house with me in Sparta, NJ in the early 1990s, and another guy named Scott whose name drew a blank when he found me on FB because like many others he used a "radio name" when he was a DJ so I really never knew what his real name was. I also re-connected with my old intern "Young Chuck" who bore an uncanny resemblance to Chuck Scarborough.

* Sue W from college - Back in my Montclair State days there were always fellow students who had video projects that needed actors. Some of these students wrote bizarre scripts and needed some offbeat people to play these roles. That is how Larry Bud Melman was first discovered by the way. I used to act in a lot of these videos just because I have a bizarre sense of humor and that is how I met Sue W who 20 years ago played Sunny von Bulow in a production I put together involving a show that had Claus von Bulow deciding to get his estranged wife TV jobs. You can see I was warped back then also. Sue W played Sunny von Bulow in that project - Sunny von Bulow actually just died a few weeks ago after some 20something years in a coma. I also did a skit for Sue which is today's Clip of the Week.

Incidentally, I had a Claus Von Bulow fascination back then. For a class we had to produce a short how to video, so I decided to play Claus in a "how to poison your wife" video. (And welcome to people who googled their way over here by typing in that phrase - don't bother going through with it - the cops will find out that you googled that term! Hopefully we just saved a life or two.) I didn't show anyone my "props" and at the last minute I could hear gasps coming out of the control room when I took my concoction and whipped an actual syringe out of my pocket. It was actually one of my mom's insulin syringes, but for a while there were rumors floating that I was a heroin addict.

I also reconnected with Dan B who I had forgotten about after all these years, but oddly enough remembered that you can see his parents house from The Parkway. And also an old friend from high school and my old synagogue who I have seen maybe one time in the last 12 years.

*Out of state relatives - Most of them are on Linked In... it's kind of like I am in touch with them more often since we see each other's updates.

*Liran Kapoano - You can see on the left that we link to his blog and we also wrote about him several months ago when he wrote an excellent expose about a guy who went on Birthright Israel's trip and complained a little too much about his ridiculous left wing Pro-Palestinian politics. One day I was looking at one of my friends friend list and I saw his name! I contacted him and sent him the link to my blog and told him I had written about him. Now his blog links here too, and hes a fb buddy although we have never met.

*My former campers from my day camp counselor days! - This is the most interesting of all of them by far. A couple of years ago I wrote about how I ran into my old camper Lon at my friend Steve's party. Lon friended me on FB and amazingly he is still friends with a bunch of people from old YAC camp from the summer of 1982 when I was the counselor for the B3 Pacmen!! (Pumpstradamus came up with the idea to name the group for Pacman Jones even though Jones had not been born yet, but then again, Pumpy probably doesnt know who Pacman Jones is).... To my amazement, somebody started a YAC Camp fb group that has the wackiest memories posted there.. One of Lon's friends Danny was also my camper... he friended me on FB and then proceeded to remind me that when I was his counselor I unfairly got him in trouble for doing something that somebody else did! Who remembers these things?? However, I still remember there was a kid who everybody used to pick on but I havent seen him on FB yet... I hope they dont still pick on him. He also was the worst tipper even though I constantly had to watch his back since he was always getting busted on by the other kids. Of course when you're the counselor you quietly laugh inside at some of the wisecracks launched at that poor kid, but outwardly you always defend him because ultimately you know you'll get a great tip. I can't recall the kids name anymore, and I am afraid to post it to the group just in case they start busting his chops again!

A year from now I will probably write about how I am addicted to Hulu while the AP will recognize some start up I have probably never heard of!


Last week we went 2-1 to reach 30-17-1.. not bad if I may say so myself. The Giants have the top seed locked up so this Sunday I'm skipping football and celebrating Hannukah! Nonetheless, we'll do some other picks and we will leave the Jets biggest game in years to Pumpstradamus.

Detroit 10 1/2 doggies over GREEN BAY - Can you believe the Lions started 6-2 last season? Will they be the first team ever to finish 0-16... Not only am I picking them to cover.. I think they're gonna win!

BUFFALO 6 doggies over New England - Either New England or Baltimore has to lose for the Jets to have a shot. I think this might be their better chance, but if not....

Jacksonville 12 1/2 doggies over BALTIMORE - This is a very big spread... If one or both lose... the Jets are in if they win. For that pick... I turn it over to Pumpstradamus!


Pumpy is 10-6 and after losing 2 straight he is still trying for that elusive 11th win. His career record with 10 wins is 0-8! How will he end '08?? Will this be the week he snaps the slump? We're letting Pumpy pick the Jets game... they are 3 point home faves over Miami as they must win to get in. Sayeth the Pump: "I see that Bush pardoned imprisoned real estate developer Isaac Robert Toussie this week and then revoked the pardon. This is yet another example of what I have always said - Dolphins are smarter than humans! Therefore, I pick the Dolphins!".


Here is the clip I mentioned earlier from my college days where I played Marty the Chef.

Have a Happy Hannukah and a Happy New Year!!

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