Instagram V-v-v-v-v-v-video

I took a few Instagram videos on the way home from work.  My connection was kind of spotty, so they eventually all failed to upload.  It was kind of annoying, because, unlike photos, you can’t select videos from your library.  You have to go straight from camera to upload, and if the upload cheeses, you’re hosed.

This is the same way Vine works (or doesn’t work, rather).  Boooooo!

Oh, the other day ShesAllWrite did a nice comparison of Instagram and Vine.  I do like the look and feel of the Instagram video, and think 15 seconds is a much nicer time to work with than Vine’s 6 seconds. Since I have been able to make videos on Instagram, I haven’t gone back to Vine once.

Anyways, I uploaded all my failed-to-upload videos to YouTube. I think they’re nice.

Enjoy (or don’t!).


The Rather Bizarre Crisis of Vine Celebrity

I follow 2 out of the 3 people on Vine that I discuss in this post.  The third person is fine, too!  I just don’t follow him.  Sorry!

I don’t claim to have insight into their personalities, beliefs, dispositions, emotions, or anything. But I think something odd has happened.  Very odd.

First, a little background.

Vine is a Twitter-owned app where people can post 6 second videos from their phones.

Instagram is a phone app which was bought by Facebook in April, 2012, and until yesterday, was strictly used for making/manipulating/sharing photos.  Now, Instagram hosts videos as well.  You can record up to 15 seconds of video, as well as apply one of a series of preset filters.

Vine has around 13 million users, while Instagram has around 130 million users.

There are lots of people who have made Vine videos (myself included), but some people have risen to the top and gotten a certain degree of popularity/celebrity from their posts.  Actors James Urbaniak (Henry Fool, Venture Bros.), Will Sasso (Mad TV), and Adam Goldberg (The Hebrew Hammer, Dazed & Confused) are three such people.

What I find interesting is how the announcement of Instagram’s foray into short videos might have an effect on them.  I’m not going to predict the future and say Instagram will supplant Vine, but I think it’s certainly going to draw some people away from the platform.  Two of my Twitter friends joined Instagram today, with one admitting that it was due to the introduction of Instagram video (Hi, Rob!).

James, Adam, and Will have accounts on Vine and Instagram.  However, their Vine accounts are screamingly more popular than their Instagram accounts.



James Urbaniak on Vine - 22,225 Followers
James Urbaniak on Vine – 22,225 Followers
James Urbaniak on Instagram - 403 Followers
James Urbaniak on Instagram – 403 Followers



Will Sasso on Vine - 848,800 Followers
Will Sasso on Vine – 854,800 Followers


Will Sasso on Instagram - 31,000 Followers
Will Sasso on Instagram – 31,000 Followers



Adam Goldberg on Vine - 123,100 Followers
Adam Goldberg on Vine – 123,100 Followers


Adam Goldberg on Instagram - 2,352 Followers
Adam Goldberg on Instagram – 2,352 Followers


Okay, let’s break this down.


Urbaniak Vine (22,225) / Urbaniak Instagram (403) = 55.15, which means Urbaniak is 55 times more popular on Vine than he is on Instagram.

Sasso Vine (854,800) / Sasso Instagram (31,000) = 27.57

Goldberg Vine (123,100) / Goldberg Instagram (2,352) = 52.34


Again, I have no idea in hell what is going through their minds at this point. Did these guys have any clue that they would have found some degree of notoriety on Vine in the first place? Do they see a cool thing vaporizing with the possible dwindling popularity of Vine?  Do they feel threatened?  I HAVE NO IDEA.  But it’s an interesting, weird thing to think about.

All three of them *have* addressed the advent of video on Instagram.  Here’s their take on it.


On Vine, James Urbaniak flips the bird to Instagram.  As of this post’s writing he has yet to post a video to Instagram (his last post there was from last week, and he has only posted 15 photos in total).

NOTE: Vine videos are muted by default.  If you want to hear a video, hover over it, then click the speaker with the red X to unmute.


Will Sasso seems to find the extra time a little too liberating.  He takes a classic Sasso Vine trope (“Lemons!”) and stretches it out to the full Instagram running time.


He made a Vine of the first few seconds of the above video, too.


Yesterday on Vine, Adam Goldberg spoofed the  release of Instagram.

The next day, on Instagram, he denies he is in the pocket of “Big Vine”.


He plays around with the format in Instagram, and (jokingly) finds he has too much time on his hands.



“Okay, you can do it.”

This morning, I was part of the huge crowd of suburban commuters streaming out of the east Madison Avenue exit of Union Station.

It’s a little chaotic when you step outside the station during morning rush hour. There’s not a ton of room. Often, there are several representatives from a random company strategically placed in your way, handing out free samples of something-or-other. Lately, there have been a couple people standing next to their own little book display near the outside entrance who want to tell you something about The Bible.

Some commuters want to cross Madison Avenue, some commuters want to walk east on Madison, some commuters want to walk west. I walked by a couple women, one of whom was waving to yet another woman, who waved back. The couple and the single woman were separated by a throng of people, but the single woman was making her way towards toward them.

Back to the couple of women. The non-waving woman (NW) said to her waving (W) companion, “Do you want me to wait for you?” It seemed like W knew the other woman, while NW probably didn’t, or at least didn’t know her as well as W did.

W replied, “Okay, you can do it.” This reply was uttered in a nice-but-lazy tone of voice.

The interaction between NW and W stuck in my head on my walk from the train to my building. I didn’t like what W said. Why did she say that? Why couldn’t she have simply said, “Yes, please.”?

NW had offered to wait. She said something nice and selfless. W basically gave her approval to NW’s action, but without acknowledging the gesture/niceness/sacrifice NW offered to make for her.

What was the nature of W and NW’s relationship? Was it unequal? Did NW often offer help or comfort to W, only to never have it acknowledged by W? Did W do this to everyone, or just NW?

Or, less likely, was NW usually the oblivious jerk of the relationship, never recognizing the friendship of W, and W was just being passive-aggressive about it this one time?

I don’t think I’ll ever know for sure.

Salt Creek, Animated

I didn’t realize it, but my soul really needed a bike ride through the woods today.  Thanks, Salt Creek.

Salt Creek #1
Salt Creek #1


Salt Creek #2
Salt Creek #2


Note:  While I was making the above animated GIFs and writing this post, I was listening to, God help me, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”.



I didn’t want to write this post on Father’s Day, because, come on, it’s a bit spot on.  But this post is about my dad.

My dad died back in March of this year.  He was a collector.  He collected jazz 78s mostly, though he also accumulated large piles of sheet music, movie memorabilia, even oddball action figures.

I am a collector, too.  First, I started collecting small scraps of metal I would find on the street (yes, really).  After I got a beautiful pink plastic ring out of a little vending machine at Hardee’s, I collected rings for a few months.

My aunt DeeDee, who lives in Miami, somehow acquired a Miami Dolphins football helmet and gave it to me as a present. I of course instantly became a Miami Dolphins fan (a side note — when playing football as a youth, the other kids gave me the nickname Csonka, because like Dolphins FB Larry Csonka, I could not be stopped).

Some time shortly after getting the football helmet, I started collecting football cards.

This is the first card I remember owning:

1978 Bob Griese
1978 Bob Griese


My dad, who would on occasion look for nice finds at flea markets and thrift stores, found a box of  baseball cards at the Springfield, IL Salvation Army.  It was mostly filled with early 70s cards.  He brought them home for me.  He was a collector, buying for his son, the collector.

The only card I’m sure was in that box was a 1971 Pete Rose.

1971 Pete Rose
1971 Pete Rose

I remember this card because of a traumatic event.  The Pete Rose was in a handful of cards that I carried to my friend’s house.  On the way back home, I got caught in a rainstorm.  I put the cards in my t-shirt and wrapped them up.  It didn’t help.  The rain drenched the cards, and many of them, Pete Rose included, got badly damaged.  Sigh.  Sorry, Pete.

My dad would buy cards for me from a local barber.  I can’t remember any of the cards he bought for me, but I remember getting my adenoids out (and being absolutely terrified by the procedure), the throwing up afterwards, the sore throat, the ice cream, and then the next day my dad taking me to get some baseball cards.  Father and son, collectors.  I also remember my dad later overhearing the barber bragging about how much money he was making off my dad from the sale of baseball cards, and my dad getting angry and never talking to that barber again.

One day, my dad gave me a big collection of cards he had bought from someone.  There were cards from the 1960s!  There were cards from the 1950s!  From the 1940s!   It was amazing.  My nimble little fingers started filling up binders with cards.  There were enough cards in the 1957/1958/1959 Topps series that I left spaces where the cards I didn’t have would go. It was pretty darned cool.

I didn’t collect cards for a long span of time — maybe a few years.  It was during that same time when my brother gave me some hand-me-down superhero comics.

There was an Amazing Spider-Man #55:

Amazing Spider-Man #55 - DOC OCK WINS!!!!
Amazing Spider-Man #55 – DOC OCK WINS!!!!


There was a Fantastic Four #66!!!

Fantastic Four #66 - First appearance of Adam Warlock!
Fantastic Four #66 – First appearance of Adam Warlock!


I was enthralled by the comics. They had stories, and were more than a picture with stats on the back to memorize (I’ve been told I could regurgitate a player’s statistics from the back of a baseball card by memory, though I don’t remember having this talent).  And look at that Jack Kirby artwork on FF #66!  Wow.  It’s gorgeous.

So, I gave up baseball cards for comics.  But this post isn’t about comics.

I never got rid of my baseball cards, until this past Saturday.  There were about 4 paper boxes full of them.  They sat in a closet in my parent’s house for many years, until my folks told me, hey, how about you get your stuff out of our house and into yours.  Fair enough!  So, for several years, those baseball cards were in the corner of my daughter’s closet.   This wasn’t going to be a permanent place for them.

The thing is, I didn’t really have an emotional attachment to those cards.  That emotional attachment pretty much transferred to my collection of comic books (which I still own).  I thought,  I have no place for these cards to live, and I need some extra money because I have a baby on the way.

I found Michael Osacky just by searching for people who looked to buy collections.  He had a 312 area code, so I figured he was local.  He was interested based on my description of my collection, and we went back and forth for several weeks.  You can see pictures I took of my collection for him here.

We finally met at the Rock and Roll McDonald’s (his choice, not mine — I would have opted for a deserted warehouse filled with sputtering fluorescents).

He went through my cards meticulously.  Yeah, most of my 1957 Topps had pen marks.  Yeah, my Robert Clemente rookie card was in pretty bad shape, but not as bad shape as my 1957 Mickey Mantle.  I had hoped to sell the cards for X amount of dollars, but he suggested Y was a more realistic price for them.  I talked him up a couple hundred dollars, and then it was either yes to the deal, or no.  I think he offered a fair price to me, so I took it.  He had taken a cab there, so we loaded the boxes back into my car and I drove him home.

He was a nice guy.  I had mentioned how I had wanted to take a couple Walter Payton cards out of the collection for ShesAllWrite (one of our daughter’s middle names is going to be Payton, which should give you an idea as to how much she loves the man), and he was totally cool about it.  He also offered to send me any more Payton cards if he found them.

The thing was, after I got home, I felt a little hole inside me.  I felt like I gave away something when I sold those cards that my dad had bought.  I called my mom and told her how I felt.  She said, “It’s just stuff.”  She’s currently going through a lot of his old sheet music and movie items, and trying to find something to do with them.  Like the baseball cards were to me, sheet music and the movie items weren’t an emotional attachment for my dad.  He loved his record collection, and that collection is just as safe in my parents’ home as my comic books are in mine.

When I went to meet Michael, I didn’t take a couple things.  There was a chintzy St. Louis Cardinals batting helmet, and there was an old sports-card carrying case made to look kind of like a locker.  There were a hundred or so cards in there.  I didn’t even look at the cards inside it, knowing that there weren’t any cards of value in there.  So, when I got home and saw those two things sitting on a table in the basement I got kind of choked up.  The football locker was the first thing I ever had to store my cards.  More than the Mickey Mantles and the Hank Aarons and the Willie Mays cards I got later, the locker was some kind of symbol for the start of a collection, and a connection to my dad.

I took the cards out of the locker and looked at them tonight.  There were lots of 1981 Topps (that was around the time I stopped collecting).  There were some mid-70s football cards.  I had some basketball cards!  Where the hell did I get those from?  I never, ever bought basketball cards.

After I looked at those cards, I started writing this post.  Some of the things I wrote here I had forgotten about until now.  I love my dad and I miss him very much.  I miss you, Dad.


Who Threw The Bottle At Me?

I don’t remember how I happened upon this video, but I cackled like a madman when I saw the first few seconds of it.

It was probably something to do with David Lee Roth asking who attempted to do violence against him, coupled with his weird, goofy grin.

I decided to play around with the video, loop it, jump around a bit, etc.  The result might be a remix that only I love, but I kind of love it.  Enjoy (or don’t)!

The remix: