Monday, August 24, 2009

Songs Ruined by Commercials

Music holds a special place in my heart; as I'm sure it does you too. Music brings you back to places past. Music elicits emotions of all sorts. Songs remind you people, places and are one of our greatest connections to our own past.

That is why it kills me when companies use some of the greatest songs to market their products. The songwriters are often just as guilty - But the rights to songs isn't really my concern here. It's the fact that I will forever lose that beautiful connection to those past emotions and now think of some McDonald's meal or morning coffee.

Here are songs that have absolutely been destroyed by being used in commercials throughout my lifetime. Feel free to add your own...

- Stevie Wonder's "Sunshine of my Life" - Used in a Minute Maid orange juice commercial many years ago. (Let me know if you can find that commercial - Right now, I can't).

- The Killer's "I've got soul but I'm not a Soldier" - Used by Nike

- Nike also used John Lennon's "Instant Karma" many years ago. On a side note, during high school my buddy Dan used to sing "Yeah we all shine on... Like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar". Which was funny to me since he moved from South Africa no more than a year earlier. To this day, I wonder if he even knew who Kareem was.

- The DeBeer's diamond commercial. It's not so much the song as the way they've brainwashed everyone into buying their product for far too much money. Not to mention the fact that diamonds are often mined by child and slave labor. But that's a rant for another day.

- You don't think that The Moody Blues had something deeper in mind with "Tuesday Afternoon" than a Visa commercial and an aquarium?

- I'm not forgetting 3 Doors Down "Let Me Be Myself" from the Geico caveman commercials... You know, since nobody has any kind of emotional attachment to 3 Doors Down.

- How about Lincoln destroying both the name of a great president, but also "Major Tom (Coming Home)".

- Kodak took "True Colors" and killed it. Apparently this destruction went international...

- I have to admit, I actually like this one. Starbucks' Glen commercial is fantastic. The fact that Survivor was part of this makes it A-OK in my book.

- Way to go McDonald's. You took "Fur Elise", intentionally inserted mistakes AND had this girl make up some ridiculous words. More than 20 years later, this is all I can think about when I hear "Fur Elise"... Which was probably your goal in the first place, wasn't it?

- To fix the problem, this guy needs to be doing all marketing for all commercials that use popular songs...

Like I said before, add your own in the comments section. This is a national tragedy that can no longer go overlooked or understated.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Twitter Account Hacked

My Twitter account was hacked the other day. Whoever (or whatever) logged in and made one Twitter post. It was effectively a spam email with an "adult" link. Twitter then suspended my account pending an investigation of suspicious activity. Twitter provides a link to get your account back.

As part of the report, there is a required field where you complete the statement "I feel: ________". I wrote "violated". On that request page, it says that "tiger is assigned to your request." I address tiger directly later on.

Here is a running log of the exchange between Twitter and me in an effort to un-suspend the account....

- Submitted Jul 30 01:02 pm by you
It appears that my account has been hacked. I am going to change my password. I hope that Twitter can un-suspend my account soon.

- Twitter also sends an email to my default account

- Jul-30 2009 01:28 pm.
Thank you for the email. My Twitter password appears to have been hacked. Since this happened, I changed my password. I also deleted the spam-like tweet that was posted as part of the hack. I don't believe I have violated any other terms. I hope to have my account reinstated promptly.

- Twitter sends another email requesting that I change my password. (Notice I've explained twice that I've already done so).

- Password has been reset. Again. Are we good?
Jul-30 2009 02:48 pm.

- At this point, my Twitter account disappears for a few hours. Eventually, it moves back to being suspended. Twitter does nothing from this point onward. I decide to add to the online request form every 8 hours or so, hoping to get the problem resolved.

- Seriously... When can we set my account straight? Or is this like a 50 game steroid suspension?
Jul-30 2009 09:53 pm.

- What's with this suspension? What do you need to hear from me? That I like Michael Bolton's music? Fine - For my money it doesn't get any better than when he sings "When a man loves a woman". Happy?
Jul-31 2009 10:34 am.

- I've tweeted 38 times in 7 months. That averages out to one tweet every 5.5 days. And, to be perfectly honest, nothing I have to say is that interesting anyways. How could I possibly have violated your terms? Let's fix this, fellas.
Jul-31 2009 11:47 am.

- Do you guys not work on Fridays? As much as I really don't "get" the whole Twitter hype, I would like to have my account back. My account was hacked. I changed the password. That's it. What's so complicated?
Jul-31 2009 04:30 pm.

- Tiger -
Do you want to know what happened today? I did something for the first time. I used 3-ply toilet paper. It was pure bliss. But guess what? I didn't get to share this joy with anyone. I'll give you one guess as to why.
Aug-01 2009 05:02 pm.

As of today, my account remains suspended.


Update: Still no word from Twitter. So I've continued my "follow ups" to the open request...

- We've now hit the 5-day mark. And my account is still suspended. When a major league pitcher initiates a bench clearing brawl, he's allowed back after 5 days.
Aug-02 2009 01:15 pm.

- Can't you do a simple IP trace on the malicious post? I guarantee it's not mine. Speaking of, if you can't do an IP trace, I'm just going to open a new Twitter account using a different email address. I mean, yeah, that's a pain for me. But if that's what it takes to bring Twitter happiness back to my life, then that's what I'll do. Just let me know, since this suspension is now beyond ridiculous.
Aug-02 2009 08:55 pm.


The issue is resolved, nearly a week after it began. Thanks to tiger at Twitter for the following...

- tiger, Aug 03 03:39 pm:
If you have not already, you should shortly receive notification that your account posted some updates that led us to believe that it was compromised. We are in the process of cleaning things up and should have already sent you a password reset notification. Your account is at this point back up and running; please only reopen this ticket if you encounter further issues. Make sure that sweep your computer for malware and create a secure password consisting of both letters and numbers; do not provide your username and/or e-mail and password to untrusted third-party sites.
Thanks, tiger

Friday, May 29, 2009

2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee

The 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee is here. The way I see it, there's really no better way to resurrect this page than to write my annual Spelling Bee running diary. The bee ended last night, and I've yet to watch either the preliminary rounds or the finals. Fortunately, I'm spoiler free thus far and plan to watch about 6 hours of spelling bee as I write seemingly random thoughts. I'll begin with the preliminary rounds and will move on to the final rounds afterwards.

Preliminary Rounds:

- This time around, I'm watching in HD. I can't think of any other occasion where I have thought, "You know, this might be better in SD."

- Nice job with the intro. Bees and honey. Clever.

- An 8th grader named Alex has the craziest, long hair. He also looks like he's 6 foot 2 and plays center for a varsity football team. They need to be checking for HGH next year.

- I feel like I'm getting far more words correct this year. It must be an early round thing. There's no way my spelling abilities have gotten any better.

- There needs to be a Hevad Khan kid. One that just goes nuts every time he gets a word right, high fiving the other kids, judges and camera crew.

- I've asked this before and I'll ask it again. Why are Canada and Jamaica allowed in the NATIONAL spelling bee?

- Some real young kid named Sriram got eliminated early. He was interviewed while eating a chocolate chip cookie, with gooey chocolate mess all over his face. He couldn't have been happier. Ah, to be a kid again.

- Speaking of interviews, Erin Andrews is smoking hot. She might kickstart puberty for half of these kids. Between talking to her and the cookies, it might be the first time that losing is better than winning.

- There is going to be a massive spelling bee scandal in the next five years. You don't think that someone could either signal words to a kid from the audience? Or, they could go high tech with an earpiece. Either way, it's happening. Mark my words.

- Kennyi looks to be as Hevad Khan as it's going to get. He came up there all super cool and confident. Then he nailed voussior. I'm not sure if I really like him or I'm concerned that he's the next Chad Ochocinco.

- Round 4 = words I can spell. Round 5 = words I cannot spell. At this point, I'm very impressed.

- These kids give more level headed analyses than Lebron James.

- 20 spellers were knocked out during round 5. The final one was Eleanor Runde, who, to be blunt, seems to be too good looking to be in the spelling bee. How wrong is that to say? And on how many levels?

- Serena Skye Laine-Lobsinger. With a name like that, you have to learn how to spell. She also has a self-confidence you rarely see among adults.

My DVR cut off. So, that's it for the preliminaries. When I get a chance to watch the finals, I'll continue here....