Snowbound and crazy

As the Richmond area continues to deal with snow totals that would be more appropriate for Washington (and they get snow totals that are more appropriate for lake-effect cities like South Bend)…

…I saw a quote (a retweet of a requote, actually) the other day: “It is so easy to start a blog, it is so hard to keep one alive”.

Since I’m sitting in my apartment, bored, I guess I’ll go ahead and keep the blog alive. 🙂

This blasted weather

According to the National Weather Service, the normal temperature range in Richmond for February 10 is a high of 48 and a low of 29.  Today’s expected high temperature was reached around midnight, and it’s going to drop through the 20s through the day.  The forecast is that we won’t break 40 all week.  I’m sick of being cold.  Really.

And I won’t even talk about the snow – because so many others have, almost to excess. 🙂

If I wanted this kind of weather… I’d have stayed in Chicago.  But then, they got an earthquake last night, so maybe it’s safer here.  Who knows?

American Idol

I’ll be blogging the Top 24 shows in a couple of weeks… but, to be honest, the audition shows have been so bland that I have a serious lack of optimism for the season.  When the highlight of the season is a planted old guy’s plagiarized “Pants On The Ground”… and the biggest talking point is that Tim Tebow’s ex-girlfriend may have made the Top 24… we’re not off to a good start.

Fox, 19, and Fremantle really need to look at how they’re packaging Idol… if there’s even going to be a 10th season.  With the arrival of X Factor in 2011, there are no guarantees that we’ll see that Simon-free 10th run of AI.  But if they do come back for season 10, it’s time to shake up the formula.  Maybe cut back on the endless bad auditions, obvious plants, and forced humor… and let us get to know the performers who make the Top 24 instead of the performers with the easiest-to-film sob stories.  I’ve had enough of teen moms, dithering dads, obviously-psychotic “contestants” that belong in an institution and not on TV, and sloppy and formulaic storytelling.  It really wouldn’t take any more work, and might bring back some of the millions of lost viewers, to tell good stories instead of the same-old.

Bring on the improv

Assuming that we can find the venues under all this snow…

Thursday, Feb. 18, 8pm, Gallery5 – Richmond Comedy Coalition’s “Morning Laughter Pill”.  You may want to see this one, if only for the duo of Zach Arnold and Aaron Grant reprising their act from the 3-on-3 Improv Tournament late in 2009.  Now if you can do math, you can see that “duo” doesn’t equal “3”.  At the 3-on-3 event, they attempted to draft an audience member as their third performer.  The audience member didn’t want to go.  So… they used her box of Reese’s Pieces as their third player instead.  Yes, you read that right.  Hilarity ensued.  What inanimate object will Zach and Aaron use this time?  $7 and a little of your time is all it will cost to find out. 🙂

EDIT: WE HAVE UPDATE SIGN!!! The following two paragraphs were updated on February 12.  In case you care. 🙂

Friday, Feb. 19, 7:30pm, HATTheatre – The Random Acts/HATTheatre High School Improv Comedy Showdown. The next generation of improvisers competes for the 2010 ICS title.

Friday, Feb. 19, 9pm; Saturday, Feb. 20, 7:30pm/9pm, HATTheatreRandom Acts’ monthly shows.  They’re running a week earlier than usual in February due to a scheduled production at the HATTheatre on Feb. 26-27.  The 9pm show both nights is, unsurprisingly, Valentine’s Day themed.  “Ex In The City” (mature audiences, please) follows Shannon Love (played by very talented guest star Shannon Stott) through a series of less-than-optimum relationships.  At 7:30pm Saturday, it’s a family-friendly version of “Random Acts Mainstage”.

Failbook

And, in closing, Facebook’s latest design innovation – and several-days-long system problems that followed it – are an indication that the social networking site may be growing beyond its ability to keep up.

This would be a good time for someone at Facebook to look back on the history of MySpace.

MySpace’s decline began when they grew beyond their ability to maintain the system, which led to a quick decamp to the newer, flashier, and (at the time) better-run Facebook.

Interestingly, a newer, flashier, and (arguably) better-run alternative is seems poised to arise from northern California.  There’s a bit of a buzz, you might say.

To rework a line that ESPN’s Gregg Easterbrook writes about the NFL: There is no law mandating that Facebook will continue to be the most popular social networking service. They can lose their stature quickly.  They need to respect their userbase – something MySpace never did – or that notoriously-fickle group will find the next big thing.

Well, at least the Olympics start Friday.  The ratings might be huge, considering that a quarter of the nation will still be snowed in. 🙂

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), improv tech guy, generally nice person (if you ask me).

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