Category Archives: Television

Celebrating Centenarians

You might remember that a certain relative of mine (my father’s godfather, and distant cousin), Ed Rondthaler is a 100+ year-old. Well, Genworth Financial has started running a new ad campaign celebrating the lives of centenarians, and the featured 101 year-old is none other than Ed Rondthaler himself. I’ve seen the spot during Monday night football, and it’s running on both the East and West coast, if not the whole country. You can also view the ad yourself by following these steps:

  1. Head to:
  2. Skip the intro.
  3. Click on “The Genworth Story” book at the bottom.
  4. Click on “See our centenarian advertising campaign” at the bottom of the first page.
  5. Click on the third television ad thumbnail (the guy with the beard).
  6. There he is!

It’s great hearing his voice (it’s been years since I’ve seen him), seeing him use a computer, and I still have fond memories of that powerful laugh of his. Here’s hoping I live to be 101 years-old and beyond!

A Surreal Airport Moment With Cheese

I’m not sure why I didn’t remember this sooner, but on my way back from Duluth, Minnesota I was waiting in the Minneapolis Airport when I had an especially strange moment. I was sitting at my gate, waiting for boarding, watching the “Airport Network” version of CNN news, where the top stories were Al-Zarqawi’s death, some new suicide bombing, and Senator Robert Byrd setting the record for longest-serving US senator. The CNN anchor said they’d be right back after a commercial break, then a blank screen for a second, and then…

This character comes onto the screen, immediately followed by this bit with the same character (YouTube videos). There was no break between the segments, they were combined into a single 1-minute bit, which made it feel particularly long where you usually see 15 or 30 second spots. I was engrossed/amused/baffled. I was nearly laughing out loud. I looked around and saw some other puzzled faces amongst the airline passengers (particularly at the screen-licking part). I couldn’t for the life of me imagine what it was an ad for, but it was brilliant. I even thought for a second that it was a practical joke by the person controlling the airport TV feed. Maybe he slipped in some humor during his boring day? And then finally the Cartoon Network logo came up.

The character is from the show, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and his name is Cheese. It’s a Craig McCraken (Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Lab) show that I had somehow never run across before. Cheese is one of the minor, imaginary friend characters, and he also likes cereal. It all makes sense now, but that sure made for a surreal airport moment.

Rainy Weekend of Watching Stuff

The long Memorial Day weekend was unfortunately the first 3 days of rainy weather we’ve had after a few weeks of beautiful, sunny Spring weather. I ended up spending quite a bit of time inside, watching entirely too much… stuff.

  • Went out and saw X-Men: The Last Stand (with heavy hints at possible future stands), and was pleasantly let down. Some amusing action scenes, despite missing Brian Singer’s finesse, but the story and writing was just horrible. As most reviews mentioned, it really did feel like the studio just wanted to rush this thing out. And the new characters? Remeber the glimpses of these new characters that you got in the trailers: Angel, Juggernaut, and Multiple Man? Well, I kid you not, they each get two other lines in the entire film, and spend a grand total of about 30 seconds on screen. No exagerration. Anyway, enough about that.
  • Recently I found a free copy of BASEketball on VHS (TiVo 0.1) and grabbed it. I remember finding it pretty funny back in the day with my high school friends, when we saw it in the theater (we saw everything in the theater). It wasn’t nearly as good this time around, although some of the Trey and Matt humor still had me laughing.
  • Using Netflix’s motivation-by-guilt-for-holding-a-DVD-too-long got me to plunge back into Battlestar Galactica. A while ago I fizzled out somewhere late in the first season. Little did I know it was right before all the crazy shit started happening! And it hasn’t stopped! I exhausted Netflix’s run of the first part of season 2 (the rest doesn’t come out until the end of June), and have started buying the next episodes off iTunes. The show just doesn’t give you a break. So relentless and engrossing.
  • I also had Riding Giants on my Netflix and enjoyed that surfing diversion. From the same folks as Dogtown and Z-Boys, it’s another well done documentary explaining the evolution of a popular and misunderstood sport. In this case, big wave surfing, and the pioneers of the surfing world.
  • Lastly, I finally popped in the borrowed DVDs for the first season of Deadwood, and gave it a good 2 episode try. 4 episodes later, I’m clearly hooked. Great character actors everywhere you look, and it’s well-written and directed all around.

This TV on DVD thing is a blessing and a curse. It’s great to be able to pop in the next one and keep going, without commercials or delays. But at least when it’s broadcast you’re forced into reasonable (yet frustrating) bite-size morsels. Control your urges. Binging is not healthy.

D-List Celebrity Sighting

Santino at the Game

At the Mariners game on Sunday, sitting down the aisle in the same section was Santino Rice from Project Runway. He was pretty easy to spot. For those of you who don’t even know who that is, or even care, just check out this video (YouTube) from VH1’s Best Week Ever, which sums up Santino’s character pretty well. I snapped a couple other photos, but decided not to be too paparazzi-ish.

Best and Worst Commercials of Superbowl XL

Worst: Diet Pepsi: Brown and Bubbly. It almost felt like a big-budget, dirtier, nonfunny, unironic Popozao. In close second was the Buger King: Whopperettes. Wrong on so many other levels.

Best: Sprint: Locker Room (Crime Deterrent Cell Phone)

Runners-up: Bud Light: Hidden Bud Light and Budweiser: Superfan

Both iFilm and Google have collections of more of the commercials online here, and here.