Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Warning: Very High Cute Factor

This might just be the cutest thing you've seen in a long time. And I'm not talking puppy and kitten cute, I'm talking seriously cute.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's been a sticky ride...

On October 3rd 2006, I bought a four pound jar of peanut butter, and today I finally finished it. I kept track of every time I opened that jar, and wrote down a tally in marker on the side of the jar. In the approximately four-and-a-half months it took me to finish it, I used that peanut butter for twenty-three sandwiches as well as thirty-six straight spoonfuls. That adds up to fifty-nine servings from one jar, narrowly beating the recommended 57 servings listed on the label. In honor of the occasion, here's someone else's tribute to one of my favorite food items:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

High Five Tour?

Call me crazy, but I've got dreams of becoming a professional high-fiver. I think I'm well on my way with the Guinness World Record and all, but now I want to go on a high-five tour of the US. The only problem is funding, so I've been trying to appeal to some companies who could sponsor the tour. One of my first thoughts was Take 5, the Hershey's candy bar. Not only is it a delicious snack, but there's nothing like sitting down with that salty/sweet treat after a long day of high-fiving. Plus, the whole 5 thing- High 5, Take 5- you get it. I've sent them a proposal, but no word yet. Anyone work at Hershey's? Or for an ad agency? Or does anyone know of another company who would be interested in sponsoring a high-five tour? Let me know...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Think I ________ This Movie

I saw Chris Rocks's new film yesterday, I Think I Love My Wife. First off, I always wonder why actors feel the need to direct and star in their own movie- can't they share the riches? Do they really think no one could do the job as well?

Either way, the movie wasn't that great. Rock plays Richard Cooper, who's been married for eight years, (and has two cute kids), and now finds his eyes wandering to other woman... a lot. He strikes up a "friendship" with Nikki, (an old acquaintance), which at some points seems just like a friendship and other times seems like a little more. It's irritating for me to watch a character doing something wrong when they, in fact, know its wrong and are asking the same questions I am. Or maybe Chris Rock just couldn't pull it off... He was pretty funny at points, although his frequent narration was definitely not necessary and just took me out of the story. There were fun and interesting parts though, and Steve Buscemi plays a great supporting character...

Two mediocre movies in two days is a bit much. I think I'm ready for a break now. Pretty good episode of Lost last night, and I'm looking forward to The Office tonight. Even though The Office cast member Rashida Jones rejected our invitation to be a guest on Clips & Quips. Her loss...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The newest movie you've seen ten times before...

Last night I saw Lion's Gate new film, Pride, starring Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, and Tom Arnold. It tells the all-too-classic story of a group of poor African American kids growing up in a rough neighborhood of Philadelphia in the 1970s. Their future's aren't looking too bright until Jim Ellis, (played by Howard), gets a job at their soon-to-be-condemned rec center and starts teaching them to swim. And then everything starts looking up for this rag-tag group of youngsters which, (of course), includes the shrimpy stuttering kid who's always the butt of the joke, the cocky know-it-all, and the tough guy who barely knows how to read, (spoiler: in a stirring moment near the end of the film he picks up a novel and starts reading). After many gruelling swim practices, (where we question whether Coach Ellis is being too tough- was that 100 laps really necessary?), some encounters with racism that make them look adversity in the face, (Tom Arnold plays the jerky coach of a competing team), and even finding their own repeatable mantra, ("This is our house!"), they somehow save the doomed rec center and find their way to the big regional swim tournament. And then when everything seems to be going well, the screenwriters, (or at least one of them- there are four listed in the credits), suddenly remember that they still need to get another fifteen minutes out of the movie, so they throw in a sudden out-of-character brawl, (which includes a brief but neat underwater fight), that takes a few minutes to resolve. Every once in a while, they also remembered to sneak in bits and pieces of a love story between Coach Ellis and one of his swimmer's older sister. It all seems to be going well as they share a piece of cake, but then she gets uncharacteristically mad, but then seemingly forgets about it in the following scene. I guess that's just how love works sometime... It's also tough to miss the often overwrought score which goes out of its way to hi-light the hopeful, triumphant, and tear-jerker moments to ensure you don't miss them.

So would I recommend this one? Well, maybe if you haven't see Coach Carter, Lean on Me, Stand & Deliver, Dangerous Minds, Take the Lead, or one of the other countless inspirational coach/teacher movies then this will be new and exciting fare for you, otherwise...

And this movie is also "inspired by trues events," although I have a hard time believing that anything in the real world is truly this cliche. I might get to interview the cast and the real Jim Ellis next week- I'll figure out what the real story is and keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A trip down memory lane...

So I thought it was time to take a look back at the premiere episode of the epic series, The Adventures of Mr. Kazoo. It turned out not to be so epic after all, since there were only six episodes. But you never know, there might be more Mr. Kazoo yet.

Some behind the scenes commentary:

• At one point Mr. Kazoo had pipe cleaner arms, but I ripped them off before filming this episode. You can still see the remnants of hot glue on his back.

• All of Mr. Kazoo's dialogue was dubbed in afterwards.

• If you look closely, you'll see a colonial picture of Boaz and his roomates on the wall as Evan sticks his head out of the kitchen.

Anyone have ideas for a future episode?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My Biggest Visitor

Today my trio of bird feeders welcomed their largest visitor yet. Okay- to be totally honest the bird didn't actually eat from the feeders, but it eyed them for a while and then came back again for another visit a few minutes later.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Toy Fair Revisited

So I was in the area yesterday, and I had some time on my hands, and I realized I may have been a little harsh on my first assessment... so I decided to return to the Toy Fair and give it another go. I think I was a little more patient this time, and without the weight of camera/audio equipment I was feeling unemcumbered and ready to play.

As a fan of bouncy balls, I'm always on the lookout for advancements in the field. There are sooo many "high bounce" balls on the market, but if you give some of these balls a test bounce you'll realize that it's far from the truth. Then I met Santron, who works for Rocket USA, and he introduced me to their Spikee Brand Bouncy Balls.
Not only does the spike texture give it a pleasurable hold, but with a good strong bounce this ball will easily go over six feet. It's not the highest bouncer I've seen, but paired with the additional textured feature and glow in the dark abilities, I'd rank this one pretty high.

I think the coolest collection of products this year was at the Fred & Friends booth. These guys used to be strictly in the toy business, (making some of the best stretchy lizards, snakes, and body parts around), but a few years ago they expanded into the adult market making home products and other fun things. Everything they make is beautifull designed, from their manhole cover mats to the high heel door stop to colorful animal oven mitts, and that's just the beginning. They don't sell to consumer's directly, but you can find most of their stuff at perpetualkids.com or you can use their store locator to find a location near you.

The most secretive thing I saw at the Toy Fair was probably at the Basic Fun booth. They're coming out with a line of Transformers products to coincide with the premiere of the new movie this summer. They keep all the prototypes for the Transformers toys in a back room because the movie people don't want pictures of the characters to get out. I got a special tour though, and now I know what they look like. So what do they look like? Transformery, I guess... Basic Fun also makes Pontiki, these cool little geometric pieces that you can put together to make all sorts of creatures. It's sort of like Mr. Potato Head for older people, (nothing against the potato). I've always sort of wanted to get one, but they're pretty expensive. The woman I spoke to at Basic Fun said they sell them to retailers for $3.00, so it must be the retailers marking the price up.

There are always a lot of people with board games at the Toy Fair, but most of them usually seem pretty lame. But one board game stands out like a beacon in a sea of lameness. That game is Controversy, developed by the nice guys at NY Game Factory. It's an action-packed game full of discussion, persuasion, and fun. So maybe I'm a little biased since I participated in an early test trial of the game, but it's awesome- trust me.

And I'll end with the most impressive product of the day. This truly blew my mind, and still impresses me everytime I see it in action. They're called ZeeBeez:
It looks sort of like those little rubber half spheres that you flip inside-out and set on the counter until they pop up when you least expect them- but it's sooo much more. Zeebeez start the same way, you flip it inside out, but then you hold onto this little yellow peg and give it a slight spin as you drop it. It hits the floor with a loud pop, and then shoots up astonishingly quickly to a height of at least six feet. I can't even explain it, but it's amazing. I'm not sure where they're available yet, but if you're in the NY area you should stop by my apartment so you can try it for yourself. If that wasn't cool enough, it was invented by Oregonian Steve Walterscheid, who after licensing his ideas to other companies for years is starting off on his own with Zing Toys.

So there you go, a slightly less jaded report from the Toy Fair. Questions? Comments? Want to schedule as appointment to test Zeebeez?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Toy Fair '07

So here it is, the clip from this year's Toy Fair. Watch out for electrocution, a life size buffalo, and a special cameo appearance that even we didn't see coming...

So Howie Mandel just randomly came over during our Rubik's Cube challenge. I've never watched Deal Or No Deal for more than a minute or so, but I didn't tell him that.

Questions? Comments?

Monday, February 12, 2007

In case you've wondered...

A lot of people ask me what I would like if I were a candy-coated chocolate, and for the longest time I didn't know what to tell them. But now I finally have an answer. After some lengthy research and thanks to recent scientific progress, I am able to present the following to you:

And what would Evan look like?

Any other questions?

Toy Fair sounds a lot more fun than it is...

Every year Toy Fair ends up being a dissapointment, and this year wasn't much of an exception. Not only is everybody suspicious of everyone stealing their ideas, but you'd be hard-pressed to find many new or exciting things. Typically, these toy manufacturers take something that was already popular and then they add lights or a beeping noise and call it "new and improved." This year they added lights and noise to the Rubik's Cube and called it Rubik's Revolution. I didn't actually play with it, so perhaps it really is revolutionary and cool.

I was happy to see our buddies from Pass the Pigs, (which is one of my top five favorite games in the world). They distribute the classic Rubik's Cube too, and to demonstrate it thay had a guy who could solve it in mere minutes while blindfolded. That was pretty impressive. They also had "the real" Mr. Moneybags from Monopoly at their booth. If you look at the picture above, you'll see a polaroid of the two of us. I also played a new fun game by the makers of Apples to Apples, but that one won't be out until summer. The Toy Fair clip should be up soon, though it's been tough to get work done here with all the construction going on in the apartment upstairs. The noise is deafening and has been pretty consistent for the past few hours. I think I'm going crazy.

Friday, February 09, 2007

One more Sundance thought... about brownies

We didn't check out much swag at Sundance this year, but of the few things we did look at, many of them were food related. I sampled my way through caviar and Kazakh vodka, but the one thing that really stood out were Mary Louise Butters Brownies. Yes, that's a real name, and I met the real Mary Louise Butters. She's a friendly Texan, and she makes some of the best brownies I've ever tasted. She got twelve different flavors of brownies, plus she uses the edges and other odd pieces to put together bags of "Brownie Butts." Of all the ones I tasted, I think the Zen brownie is my favorite- it has little bits of crystalized ginger in it. She even makes a line of brownie related apparel. So check her out, and tell her that Boaz sent you. Then maybe she'll send me more brownies...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Toy Fair '07

It's Toy Fair time again, when almost two thousand toy manufacturers move into the Javitz Center for a week to show off their wares. Then toy store owners, packagers, distributors, and other toy industry folk make their way from booth to booth trying to make deals. It sounds exciting, just the prospect of putting these words- "toy" and "fair"- together in one exhibit hall, sounds like an instant party. But that's where you're wrong. Toy Fair is not nearly as fun as it sounds. It is first and foremost a business event. They don't even allow anyone under 18 in the exhibit halls. Also, every single toy manufacturer is nervous and constantly paranoid that another toy manufacturer will steal their idea. So it's a huge building full of toys you can't play with, and people who are wary to talk to you. A lot of toys are still in the prototype phase, which means that they're behind glass and not in your hands. Still, there is some fun to be had. This will be my fourth year, (I think), and we always manage to find some fun, (and often crazy), people, as well as some cool new toys. And if we're on our best behavior, we even get some free stuff. Evan and I will be hitting the Toy Fair on Sunday, but first let's take a trip down memory lane to Toy Fair '06 when a bright eyed and unbearded Boaz checked out the latest toys:

In Wikipedia news today, my article is not only still there, but it's been wikified!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


It's official. I now have an entry on Wikipedia. I almost feel like a new man, like I'm finally a "somebody." Nothing can stop me now- unless Wikipedia deletes the entry. Apparently, that can happen if they deem it unworthy. And the article still needs to be wikified, whatever that means. The author of the article is still anonymous, or at least they haven't come forward to claim their kazoo gift basket. If/when they do decide to disclose themselves, they will be welcomed and recognized like royalty on this blog.

Wikipedia & Birds

So, I'm still wiki-less, in case anyone was wondering. But, whatever- it's not like I care or anything. On the bright side, a few birds have finally started coming to my feeder.

This morning I counted three dark eyed juncos. The feeders, (yes, plural- i have three of them), have been up since the first week in October, but it took over three and a half months for the first bird to show. Even the squirrels were ignoring my feeders. Suddenly, working from home is a lot less lonely.

On the C&Q horizon, it looks like we're finally getting an interview with The Shins, (not only a great band, but they live in Portland, OR too). That's scheduled for March when they come east for their tour, but I'm already looking forward to it.

Also, you may have forgotten, so I'll repeat it again- I, Boaz Frankel, still do not have a wikipedia entry. Anyway, I'm sure you all have busy days so I'll let you go...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Feeling wikidenied...

I'm just going to come out and say it. I really want a wikipedia entry. If you look to your left, you'll see that I am included in the List of Famous Portlanders, (which is nice and all), but you'll see that my name is in red which means that there is no corresponding entry. I'm not one of those people who's going to register just so I can write my own entry, but I will bring the issue up in this public forum. Now I'm not recommending anything here, but if someone were inspired to write an entry on me then I might just be inspired to send them a gift basket of kazoos and board games. That's all I'm saying... And there are lots of fun things that could be included in said entry. Some wikipedia-worthy accomplishments of mine:

• Broke the Guinness World Record for "most high-fives in an hour"
• Co-created and hosted Mega-Sucessful-Web-Show, Clips & Quips
• Revolutionized the world of kazooing by having the first kazoo-sponsored TV show
• Taught Peter Sarsgaard to play kazoo and Sarah Silverman to play dreidel
• Appeared on the very short-lived WB reality show, Studio 7

Well, those are the only things that come to mind, but with a little flowery writing and some well-placed quotes I think that could make a nice paragraph. I guess that's all I've got for now. So what are you up to? What's that? You have some time on your hands and you're not sure what to do with it? Hmmm...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Reno 911

I haven't really watched Reno 911 on Comedy Central, except for a few minutes here and there. It takes a lot for a tv show to hook me, and I guess those few minutes of the show didn't do it. Last week I went to a screening of the new feature film, Reno 911!: Miami. I didn't know what to expect, but within a few minutes I was laughing out loud. It was hilarious, featured lots of explosions, and there were some awesome cameos. It seems like everybody from The State is in it for at least a scene too. Our buddies from The Ten, David Wain and Ken Marino appear briefly, and Paul Rudd plays a supporting character. The film was totally ridiculous, and although it may not be at an Anchorman level, it's not that far away. I'd definitely recommend this, and hopefully we'll get some interviews with some of the cast too. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Our Sundance Buddies

I tried to post this before through my cell phone, but I don't think it worked. So better late than ever. Here are some Sundance staff members with their new Furilla friends. These guys helped us get tickets to all the films. Without them, well, we wouldn't have seen a lot of movies...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

This American Clip (& Quip): The Ira Glass Interview

One of my favorite parts of Sundance was sitting down with Ira Glass to talk about the upcoming This American Life television series on Showtime. It was a little jarring at first, sitting next to a voice that I've been hearing for so long on the radio, but he was so easy and fun to talk to. We ended up chatting for about twenty minutes, and due to viewer suggestions, I've decided to keep it mostly unedited. So here it is - in two acts - my interview with Ira Glass.

Act I:

Act II:

Questions? Comments? Let me know. The lines are open...