Omar and Katherine Lutfey

I got the day off on Tuesday, so I decided to get a few errands taken off my to do list.  I took my car to the shop to get the driver’s side power window fixed, a saw my doctor for my annual check-up, oh, yeah, and I went and married Katherine.

“You did what?” many people have asked.  We are having a wedding in June, and we are going on a honeymoon to New York City in May.  Since we weren’t really doing anything in the traditional order, we decided to get the paperwork out of the way.  It turns out that getting married in Larimer County, Colorado is fairly simple. Katherine filled out the forms online, and the next day we went to the office to get the paperwork.  Actually, it is the same place where car registration takes place.  The only strange part of the process was the fact that we weren’t allowed to sign the marriage certificate at that office.

So we went home, and in a very beautiful ceremony that involved Katherine, myself, and the dog, we signed the marriage license.  We wanted Maury to sign as the witness, but when we put the pen in his paws he kept trying to tear it apart with his teeth.  But he watched us– hoping to get a treat when we were finished.  The next day Katherine took the paperwork back and now we are officially married.

So now Katherine Herbig is now Katherine Lutfey who gets to change her name.  I don’t have do to any of that– I won the coin toss over whose last name we were going to use.  We thought of combining our last names, but then we decided that if we have kids and they wanted to get married to someone else with a hyphenated last name they would have four last names, and that just seems like a bit much.  So now Katherine has the exciting privilege of changing her social security card, driver’s license, passport, and Starbucks frequent drinker reward card.

“24” UPS Commercial

This is another idea I’ve come up with for a new UPS commercial.

The entire commercial is similar to the style of the television show “24,” with views of different scenes at the same point in time.

Voice Over: “The following takes place between 5:00 P.M. and 9:00 A.M.”

A timer appears at the bottom of the screen with 5:00 P.M. on the left side and 9:00 A.M on the right.  A UPS driver walks into an office building and picks up a next day air package from the front desk and the timer starts moving.  He walks out of the office and the camera zooms up into the sky to show him overhead walking towards a UPS truck parked on the street.   A label points to the UPS truck and identifies the package car number.  The driver gets in and pulls away from the curb.  A different color marker shows the path of the package car.  The camera angle keeps zooming out.  The path of the package can still be seen as the package car drives back to the center.  Other paths and labels appear following different package cars as they head back towards the center.

The camera zooms down and into the building to show the package being taken out of the truck and placed on the belt.  It then gets loaded on a feeder truck.  The camera zooms out again and a new label is shown that follows the feeder truck as it drives to the airport.  As it approaches the airport other feeder truck labels and paths can be seen.  The camera zooms down and inside the cargo hold and shows the bin being loaded onto the airplane.  It zooms back out and shows the path of the airplane.  It zooms out enough to see the entire country.  As night falls darkness gradually covers the country and lights of major cities can be seen.  As the airplane approaches Louisville, Kentucky, UPS airplanes with labels and paths from all around the country can be seen approaching the airport, forming orderly lines preparing for their landing.

The camera zooms in again showing the package being unloaded and sorted in the facility.  It gets loaded on a different plane and the camera once again zooms out and the paths of all the outgoing planes can be seen diverging from the center of the country.  The process of zooming in and zooming out to show the progress of the package is continued throughout the process until the package is delivered.   The timer slows down when the package is being handled and speeds up when the package is in transit to get the entire journey into a 30 second commercial.  When the package is in a facility the map frame gets smaller and new frames pop up to show people moving the package.  When it starts moving the map frame gets bigger and takes up the entire screen.

An interesting aspect of the commercial is that it could be made with actual  global positioning data from UPS with an actual package.  Just attach a small camera to the package and have a small camera crew follow it from point A to B.  The zooming in and out would have to be done with some CGI magic.  Ideally the package would go from the east coast to the west coast to maximize the distance traveled.

This idea is way beyond anything I can create with my current video production resources,  so I figured I would put it up on my newfunny.com websites for the world to see and maybe someone can make it a reality.

Star Wreck

Not everyone keeps as up to date on Finnish Star Trek parodies as they probably should. That’s exactly why I run this website. Ever wonder what happens when 5 Finns, 300 extras, and whole bunch of computing power get mixed together for seven years? The answer is “Star Wreck,” a parody of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Babylon 5”. These guys made an entire movie– and it looks just like a “real” movie. The movie is Finnish and subtitled into English (which in itself provides for some additional jokes in the translation).

Being a follower of the original shows helps, but isn’t required to enjoy the movie. When I wasn’t laughing at the jokes, I kept thinking to myself, “hey, a small group of Finns put this together– there is hope for the Universe!”

Here is the trailer from YouTube.  More information, including the full movie, bonus information, and future movie releases, can be found free at StarWreck.com

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Jack of All Trades

Action star and martial artist Jackie Chan recently stirred up controversy with a comment that the general Chinese population “needs to be controlled.”  When asked how the government should subdue a nation of 1.3 billion people, Mr. Chan replied simply, “ladders.”

Olde English

This is a sketch comedy group in New York. I was having a hard time picking out my favorite clip to post, but I finally decided on “The Parks Department”. The mix of music and stock footage feels a bit choppy, but it gives the video a certain charm. Also, this one showcases all of the actor’s talents. Their website at OldeEnglish.org has a complete library of their work. Other top skits to look for include “Photo Booth,” “The Door Store,” and “Pizza Delivery.”

Midnight Chimes

I originally found Midnight Chimes when looking for the lyrics to the “Free Credit Report” commercial. They have created an interesting mix of sketches, and they really hate the RIAA. Not that anyone really likes the organization that sues ordinary people for thousands of dollars for downloading music from the wrong places on the Internet, but they have gone through the trouble of creating multiple videos about the subject. This one is a parody of the dating website eHarmony.

Pre-taped call in show

I’m working on making a collection of the best unknown sketch comedy efforts on the Internet. I almost didn’t include this one since the actor in question is now very well known. But way back in 1995 he starred in a late night comedy show called “Mr. Show with Bob and David.” One of the twists of the show involved the fact that all the skits in each show were connected in some way. My favorite piece of work was called the “Pre-taped Call in Show.” Pay attention to how much hair he loses in the three weeks the show has been on the air.

Black Remote Video

Video #3

My final submission for the “Crazy Green Idea” is a video describing my BlackRemote.com idea.

I could have done a better job writing the script before I started filming. Oh well. I had a lot of fun going around my house with a tie, sport coat, boxers, and tiger slippers.

Three Dimensional Printing

The second video I submitted for the Xprize “Crazy Green Idea” describes a way to use 3D printing to print entire houses. 3D printing is a lot like 2D printing, but it prints thousands of thin layers on top of each other to create a three dimensional object in the end.

The video involved some elaborate work-arounds so that I could get various footage into my video which probably is not legally mine to distribute. For some reason, I couldn’t just pop in my DVD of “Terminator 2” and import it directly into the movie editing software.

First I played the DVD clips I wanted for my final video on my projector in the living room while I filmed it with my camcorder. Then I imported it on my computer and created the background video. Next I moved my computer so I could connect it to the projector and set up the camcorder to film the screen. Finally, I started the camcorder recording, started the background video, and then jumped up on an ottoman and read the script. For anyone wanting to turn me into the authorities, I took the introduction “The Matrix” (played forward and then backwards because I realized it wasn’t long enough), “Terminator 2”, and “The Jetsons.”

Xprize “crazy green idea”

A few months ago the people over at Xprize hosted a “crazy green idea” competition. Entries were to be two minute long videos posted on YouTube that described the goal for their next contest.

My first idea was to use wave energy from the ocean to desalinate water. I sang it roughly to the tune of the “free credit report” song. I tried synchronizing it to a guitar track of the commercial I found online, but I could never get it to sound quite right.  Maybe I was trying to sing in a different key then they were playing.  So in the end I just sang my song without any background. I threw in some colored background, music lyrics, and various images to try and keep the video as engaging as possible.


I was surfing on the Internet
And couldn’t believe my eyes
When I found out what they are planning
for the next xprize

Just make a video of
Your crazy green plan
Upload it to YouTube
And you could be the man

Let’s get some drinking water for everyone
A little clever thinking just might get it done
More than a billion people live near the sea
We just need to reduce the ocean’s salinity

Reverse osmosis can get this water pure
But it takes too much energy to be a large scale cure
Now imagine a device that pumps tap water from the sea
The best part how it’s all powered by wave energy

The waves cause distillation in chamber number one
By lowering the pressure very close to none
This vaporizes water which is what we need to do
The wave action sends it into chamber number two

The next part is to get all this pure water on to land
So it gets pumped up through a hose and up onto the sand
The whole process needs no added energy
And it will keep on pumping for all eternity

Let’s get some drinking water for everyone
A little clever thinking just might get it done
More than a billion people live near the sea
We just need to reduce the ocean’s salinity

Side note:
I watched about twenty different versions of the Free Credit Report commercials: the original commercials, parodies of the commercials, and even a few videos showing how to play the music on a guitar. My favorite parody, by far, was called “Free Sexual History Report.” Here is the video:

Another side note:

As much as I like these commercial, it turns out the company is somewhat misleading about what they do. They charge a monthly fee to keep an eye on your credit report, so I’m not sure where the “free” part comes in. However, by law anyone can get a copy of their credit report directly from the three reporting companies once a year for free. So enjoy the commercials, but if you are worried about your credit report, check out:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm

It is quite interesting to see what is on your credit report, even though the site doesn’t have any catchy music to go along with the information.

Brown Collar Song

When I was just a young boy
I didn’t know what to do
Bouncing through jobs
Drifting without a clue

Then one day my purpose became clear
I felt a few inches taller
The very first time
I wore the brown collar

So now I go door to door
Just a spreading my word
My presence is known
When I’m not seen or heard

Brown shoes brown socks
Brown shorts brown shirt
You can’t help but to stand up and holler
When you see that man in the brown collar

Some days my body gets sore
I’m only human after all
Some times that old truck breaks down
And I give a higher power a call

Some days the sky opens up
And the cold and darkness come
Quitting is not an option
My work is never done

Brown shoes brown socks
Brown shorts brown shirt
You can’t help but to stand up and holler
When you see that man in the brown collar

Getting Published

I was sitting in Good Times taking my break from being a UPS driver and all, and I found a very inexpensive way to entertain myself for a few minutes before it was time to get back to work. I took a copy of the “Tidbits” newspaper (its a paper with random stories and local ads that’s maybe 8 pages total) and slightly altered all the photographs of people in the paper. Here is a partial list of items I added:

  • Harry Potter glasses
  • monicals
  • bushy eyebrows
  • pointy goatees
  • Hitler style mustaches
  • cigars
  • handlebar mustaches
  • devil horns
  • mustaches that curl up around at the ends

Also I found a really cute golden retriever that I altered so he was smoking a bong.

After I finished with that, I started the Suduko puzzle, but it was rated “very hard” and I gave up after I filled in a half dozen squares.  So I filled in a few more squares with random things like numbers bigger than 9, letters of the alphabet, pi, and a small drawing of a tree.

Of course the really entertaining part was carefully putting back on the stand with all the other new copies.  I amuse myself thinking of the next person who gets to see what I’ve done.

Now that I think about this, I remember doing a similar activity back in high school.  We would go out to Taco Bell, order the nachos, and take a few extra straws back to the table.  Carefully, we would take a straw out of the wrapper, suck up the nacho “cheese” into the straw, place the straw back in the wrapper, and casually take the straw back to the condiment area.  We never did get to see anyone get the nacho cheese filled straw, but knowing that someone did made entertained us for the rest of the afternoon.

I was always proud of that because it was funny, but not destructive.  Kind of like putting a rubber band around the trigger of the pull out sprayer at the kitchen sink so when the next person turns on the water it shoots straight at their chest.  I did that to my sister when I was in middle school.

Boxer Delivery

I spent a few minutes playing with a customer’s dog this afternoon while he finished taping up a box.  When the package was ready he asked if I wanted to wash my hands.  I glanced down at my perpetually-dirty-whenever-I’m-at-work hands, smiled at the dog, and told the guy, “No thanks, but you may want to wash your dog.”

Irregular

OK– I’m going to confess something here.  I didn’t really write all these posts on April 4, 2009.  In my ongoing effort to get everything I’ve written on to my newfunny website, I imported the blog I started on my myspace page two years ago.  I apologize in advance for any problems this may cause to my loyal readers.

I’ve been a UPS driver for 3 years now– not quite long enough to get my own route.  Basically I cover other driver’s routes when they are sick or on vacation.  Some customers are rather attached to their drivers.

“You aren’t our regular/usual driver.”
“No, I’m the irregular/unusual one.”

One of the other swing drivers told me that one, and it seems to make people laugh.  And since I deliver to new people all the time, I get alot of practice. My other favorite line goes something like this:

“That’s a nice shirt/pair of shoes/lavishly decorated tierra”
“Thanks”
“They don’t let me wear anything pretty to work– its all brown, brown, brown!”

Another good aspect of my job is that I can practice the same joke on 50 different people in a day so I can get the timing and wording just right.

Nice to meet you

I was getting a signature for a package (like I have to do 60 times a day) on Thursday.  The conversation went something like this:

“I’ll sign for it if you are nice to me.”
“Lady, I ran out of nice on Tuesday.”

Dog Days

I pulled up to the house just as a woman and her dog were leaving to go for an afternoon walk.  I reached for a dog biscuit as I stepped out of the truck.  The dog ate it up while I talked to the woman.

“This is for you.”  I said as I handed her the small cardboard box.

She examined the label with a slight look of confusion on her face.  The dog had by now made quick work of his unexpected treat.

“You are on the wrong street.  This package is for 3001 Swallow Place.  My house is 3001 Swallow Bend.” she replied.

“My mistake, but I will need that dog treat back.”

A moment of awkward silence ensued.

This whole situation happened to me this week, but the I didn’t come up with the last line until after I drove away.  I guess my sharp wit is balanced out by my poor timing.  Maybe that’s why I write so much stuff on the Internet.

Rest room question

I realized something while eating lunch as Wok ‘n Roll this afternoon.  After drinking 3 large Diet Pepsi’s I had to answer the call of nature.  I was forced to put the call on hold, however, when the door to the mens’ bathroom was occupied.  Now when a place of business only has only one bathroom it isn’t for a specific gender– it is just “the bathroom.”  When a place is large enough, there is a “Mens’ Room” and a “Womens’ Room” each with multiple stalls.  But what happens, as in the case of the moderately small Wok ‘n Roll, when there is just enough room for two single rooms with a single toilet in each room?  Does it really make any sense to assign a specific gender to each of them?  I didn’t really want to go into the empty womens’ room for some psychological reason I don’t completely understand.


This all leads up to, obviously, how things work on the SciFi series Battlestar Galactica.  There are large common rooms where men and women, at the very same time, go about all their personal hygiene needs.  Unspeakable Act or Sign Of Things To Come?

Personal Grooming

Being a UPS driver, people often ask me how I keep my hands so clean given the grungy nature of my job. Actually, nobody has ever asked me that, but I have to start somewhere.

Every night when I come home from work I start the shower running and prepare what some would call my “Ancient Chinese Secret” for cleaning the deep seeded grime from my hands. This procedure uses two solid pumps from my 1.25 gallon Gojo dispenser and a light sprinkle of Ajax worked into all the nooks and crannies of my hand with a small oval shaped pumice stone. I scrub vigorously until the shower warms up, at which point I enter the stall and continue to shower in more or less the traditional manner. When I’m done in the shower, I dry off and rub a healthy amount of lotion into my hands.

Interesting points:

  1. I’m pretty sure this is NOT an approved official use for Ajax.
  2. For anyone considering robbing their neighbors in the near future, I believe this procedure is also effective at temporarily removing my fingerprints.
  3. You may be asking yourself how this is Ancient, Chinese, or a secret. The old Chinese man I have locked in my basement taught me how to do it. Now that the secret is out, however, I’ll have to kill him. He will understand.

Lisa Loeb

There aren’t too many famous people I would want to meet in person, but I thought I would keep track of who I would like to meet for lunch.

Lisa Loeb: OK, she is rather pleasing to the eye (or at least both of mine), but what really won me over was her short lived TV show “Dweezil & Lisa”. I would call it a cooking show, but I don’t think many other people would be quite so generous. One episode revolved around them hosting a pancake party. While at a cooking store Dweezil wanted to buy an $80 batter dispenser. Lisa said it was too expensive and not worth the money. Now here is a woman who I’m guessing is pretty well off financially realizing that she doesn’t need another kitchen gadget. Also, she didn’t insist on having her name be first in the show’s title.

So, Lisa, if you are still reading this, and plan on being in northern Colorado in the future, give me a call and we can go out to Chipotle for some chips and burritos.

The post man always rings twice….

…but the UPS guy is already driving away by the time you put down the remote control, get your butt off the couch, dust the potato chips off your stomach, and walk over to the front door.