What’s With This Thingy?

Running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward passed away last weekend. He was 39.

Ironhead was an enjoyable player to follow while he was in the league. He was a first-round draft pick, an enormous fullback who had a little speed and a ton of power even at 300+ lbs. I like ballcarriers that put defensive backs on their asses every so often. What really cemented me as an Ironhead fan, I’m a little sorry to say, was a Zest commercial he made towards the end of his career. I’m dating myself even mentioning this, I’m sure, but … man, he was a born body-wash pitchman. I wish I could find the original, but a cursory search doesn’t turn it up. Here’s a re-enactment, and it’s not bad, but it doesn’t compare at all to real McCoy. Replace the dorky white guy with an intimidating, powerful black man with a deep voice and obvious acting skillz, and you’re part of the way there.

“Quit your cryin’… that’s a lather builder, punk!”

The more I think about it, the more outraged I am that the original commercial isn’t easily available on the Net. Why, someone ought to write a petition, complete with late-night-at-the-keyboard typos.

Update: Congress was all over this Zest spokesman action when it happened. Nice job, elected representatives!

Secret Machines, Ten Silver Drops

Critically Acclaimed.

“These are beautiful songs, as delicate as they are rocking and heavy.” — The Guardian

“The result is a spiritual sibling to such previous great, emotionally raw ruminations on shattered personal lives as Phil Collins’ Face Value and Beck’s Sea Change.” — Entertainment Weekly

“An ass-kicking sophomore effort.” — Urb

“I already have a Bright Eyes album.” — JesusH

Andrew Martinez (1973-2006)

the naked guy
The Naked Guy

Those of you who had the good fortune to be in the Berkeley area in the early 90s may remember Andrew Martinez; those of you who did not have that fortune might remember him better as The Naked Guy, the moniker by which he was known in the papers and in news broadcasts.

I didn’t know him personally, but I did see him out and about (very out and very about) on occasion during my first year at Cal. And I met him once at a party–I believe he was living or crashing at Le Chateau*, or maybe he attended a party at my co-op. In any case, the meeting was fleeting, but the impression lasted. Take some super-nice-but-not-a-pushover person you know. Add some sparkling irreverence and intelligence. Now throw in a generous handful of charisma, and you’ve got an inkling of what he was like. It’s not every day that you meet someone who seems unquestionably like a winner. And a civilly disobedient one is even rarer.

I was sorry to read this morning that he had suffered from undiagnosed mental illness for the last ten years. He committed suicide last Wednesday while in solitary at a jail in San Jose. I didn’t even know the guy, but I can tell the world is a poorer place for it.

* — Wow, it looks like Chateau’s temporarily closed! Anyway, it’s one of the USCA co-ops.

North Carolina Trip Report

  • Flew out on Friday, on a very friggin long flight from San Diego to Raleigh by way of San Antonio and Orlando. I’d never seen San Antonio or Orlando before. My thumbnail impressions of both from landing at the airport and taking off again: I was surprised that San Antonio didn’t look like a completely uninhabitable desert–I forget how San Diego, and most of Southern California, is barely reclaimed desert, and San Antonio certainly didn’t look any drier. Orlando looked beautiful; the area around the airport is dotted with dozens of little lakes and waterways. Of course, I understand such terrain might come with its challenges.
  • I’m really surprised at how green and forestlike most of North Carolina is. It reminds me of Oregon. Driving through Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill on the interstate was a lot like driving through a national forest in California–wide swaths of grass leading up to dense unbroken stands of trees on either side of the freeway makes one think there’s really nothing around. Then I’d see the signs directing me to exit to visit Duke and UNC. It’s quite beautiful, really.
  • I’ve eaten total garbage on this trip, as I am wont to do when traveling lately. I tried out this Chick-Fil-A place I’d heard so much about after landing in NC. I’m a fan of fried chicken sandwiches in general, but I don’t get what’s so compelling about this place to the locals. I’d prefer a McChicken myself. I’m meaning to visit a Waffle House, which I try to do whenever I’m in an area that has them, before I leave tomorrow–especially since I hear that’s where all the action is around these parts.
  • Oh, and as far as Carolina barbecue goes–nice job, Carolinians. I’m going to try to make some of this as we get back to grilling weather in San Diego.
  • I stayed with my friend Keith and his family while I was in Cary, and got a tour of SAS campus. Holy crow–it’s incredible. If you get the chance I highly recommend you check it out.
  • I did some jogging while I was out here (both as part of my taking-some-foolios’-money program and to work off said garbage) through Keith’s neighborhood. Lots of beautiful brick houses with white columns in front, set well back from the road and surrounded by old growth. I really dig brick. Too bad I live in earthquake country.
  • The weather was very nice for the wedding. I understand from the locals that it can get really objectionable as far as humidity and whatnot in the summer, which jibes with my memory of being on the East Coast during that time. That’s a huge negative for me. Sunday we got several bouts of rain and a nice hailstorm–lucky that didn’t come 24 hours earlier.
  • If I’ve got time, I’m headed out to a Winston-Salem Warthogs game tonight with folks from the office. I haven’t been to a minor-league game since I got then-Lake Elsinore Storm batting coach Rob Deer’s autograph years ago, so I’m looking forward to that.

Killed to Death

I did not watch David Blaine’s “Drowned Alive”, where he attempts to break the world record for holding his breath the longest, because I don’t go in for those sorts shenanigans.  But I’ve read and heard recaps, and I have some questions.

1. Question the first: WTF is “Drowned Alive?”  Doesn’t ABC have editors?  The word drowned, to me, has fairly specific implications about your aliveness before and after.

2.  “I’ll have to escape from all these chains, and if not I will drown and the world will see something pretty insane,” he said. In clips of the broadcast, similar claims were made numberous times.  Question the second: is David still on speaking terms with the rescue divers who unlocked the chains and pulled him to safety (video) when he began to drown after only seven minutes, having failed to unlock the chains himself?  Because I would think it would be like how Lieutenant Dan resented Forrest Gump all those years for robbing him of his chance at a glorious and face-saving death.

Poetry in Motion

Apparently photos are taken at running events these days. Since a picture is worth 1000 words, I like to consider this a 3000 word recap:

I ended up finishing at around 1100th place, at 44:19. I look defeated in the last pic because I planned on saving my energy for a last push right around the four mile mark, but when I crossed the finish line I wasn’t completely ready to pass out. I should have started running in earnest earlier.

Finally, Woody’s going to lose $100 when I beat 30 minutes in the same race next year. Anyone else wanting in on that action, please let me know. In the interest of full disclosure, and so I don’t hear any bitching later, you should know that the knee’s more or less sound and I will be taking any money you care to wager.

Spring Sprucing

I was amused to discover today that May 1st is Annual Web Reboot Holiday Day or some such: a day in which all good web developers revamp their website designs and release them simultaneously to an adoring public. I’m not sure how JesusH didn’t end up on the May 1st reminder mailing list since we are all web design geniuses, but, alas, this is the first I’ve heard of it.

However, in the spirit of the thing I’ve taken it upon myself to spruce up JesusH in the following ways:

  1. Changed the title color from boring white to sensational red.

Whew! Visual redefinition is hard work!

JesusH fans, please enjoy our bold new look. This should probably be considered a temporary Limited Edition visual update, effective until Dave gets mad and changes it back.