web analytics

A star is born

Hear me out: Drain Cleaning Australia.

Bruce from down under chatters and unblocks drains. That’s it. It’s weirdly therapeutic.

It’s not just me. He started the channel two years ago with short, silent how-to videos that evolved into 10 minutes of drain unblocking and snappy patter. On Friday, when I found him, he had 97,000 subscribers. Today, it’s 104,000.

Once the algorithm decides you’re onto something, it recommends you far and wide.

Bruce loves him some gross-out, some mis-direction and misleading click-baity titles (he admits this and asks for help coming up with them; said it makes a huge difference in engagement).

I picked one out for you that is a sink drain overcome with tree roots. Nothing too awful.

I avoid the ones with human waste. Grease traps are vomitous but sometimes spectacular and, honestly, they’re just grease. He cleaned out a coffee house drain once that looked appalling but it was only coffee grounds. He let you think it wasn’t for a while.

Fair warning: if you watch a few, YouTube will start recommending other drain unblocking channels. Yes – it’s a genre!

February 19, 2024 — 7:57 pm
Comments: 10

New and improved time wasters

The very first video ever uploaded to YouTube was the 19 second short Me at the Zoo by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim. The comments section says that was 18 years ago yesterday, but the Wikipedia page says it was uploaded in April of 2005.

Whatever. It set the tone for the kind of content they were looking for. I’m going to assume Karim sold his stake in the site, because it’s reported he periodically changes the description of the video to criticize management decisions (such as not displaying dislikes).

I read recently that by next year, people will spend more time watching YouTubes than broadcast television. I can’t be arsed to look it up – what am I, an investigative journalist? – but I wouldn’t be at all surprised. I gather the young’uns spend a lot of time on it.

I’m already watching more YouTube than TV. I’ve graduated from woodturning and tool repair videos to 15 Most Disturbing Things Found in Attics (mostly people) and 9 worst things found in the woods (mostly dead people). I’m finding more and different kinds of useless time wasters every day.

It’s a wonder, though. YouTube’s actual interface is shit.

January 15, 2024 — 7:53 pm
Comments: 10

My new favorite thing

Woodturning videos!

Okay, that one is a little clickbaity, as if he’s going to put a gnarly root on a lathe and start turning that bad boy. He doesn’t. He cuts off the worst knobs and sidebranches, submerges the rest in a bucket and drenches it with epoxy. Then he turns it.

I like David’s Woodturning, but he does use a lot of colorful epoxy resin with sparkles, giving his work a bowling ball aesthetic. What I’m saying is a lot of it’s ugly.

Mayuko Wood Turning is all about geometric arrangement of wood blocks. Again, the finished bits are not necessarily to my taste (looks a lot like Tunbridge ware to me), but I love waiting to see what the end result is.

While the lathe is turning, you can’t tell much about what it will look like. It’s only at the end, when they slow down to put the finish on, that you can see the result. It’s often nothing at all like what I expected.

Make sure to go into settings and ramp it up to double speed. There’s usually no talking or music, so there’s no downside to speeding it up and the visuals are even cooler. Hoo boy, does it make a lot of hard work look swift and effortless!

Jack Mack is another favorite. He does a lot of burl + resin, some of which I like a lot.

I like burl.

Then once the algorithm knows you like this stuff, the suggestions start rolling in. Like this guy, who turned a melty elm pot. Or the man who turned a thousand feet of denim and twenty gallons of resin into a huge table (his channel has lots of cool tables).

And don’t get me started on the metal lathe guys.

October 9, 2023 — 7:09 pm
Comments: 4

New digs for Leon

In case you missed it when it made the rounds a few months ago, this guy took home a supermarket lobster and kept it as a pet. No, he’s not an eco-warrior – lobster is his favorite celebration food – he’s a saltwater fishtank guy with a camera.

It’s worth fifteen minutes of your time. Dude’s voice is oddly soothing and the lobster is a more interesting beastie than you might think. BTW, he has avoided stressing it by flipping it upside down to observe its tackle, so we don’t really know if it’s male or female.

Here’s an update from just before Christmas and here he is last week, moving into his new aquarium! Twice as big, with a coral cave and some fishes for company.

Brady Brandwood is his name. The man’s. The lobster is Leon. The man has made a bunch of videos about breeding koi, which I haven’t watched because I don’t care. Interesting, though, that he feeds his fish (and Leon) people food. Also videos about various motorcycle projects, a short documentary about an old moonshiner and one about exploring a small cave that almost made me hyperventilate.

It’s not that interesting. It’s just, my brother took me exploring a limestone cave in Tennessee when I were a lass and I came away with a lifelong terror of getting my ass stuck in a crevasse.

January 20, 2022 — 8:03 pm
Comments: 5

Mad Jack’s toy, the movie

By popular acclaim — okay, one of you guys asked for it, don’t remember who — here’s a YouTube of Mad Jack playing with his kitten maddener. If you look in the sidebar next to the video, you’ll see many other people posting vids of their cats playing with the same toy. Because this is the internet, and that’s what billions of dollars of network development was destined to do. Apparently.

Back here tomorrow for Round 60 of the Dead Pool.
If we don’t wash away in the night.

February 6, 2014 — 11:24 pm
Comments: 14

I’m trying to be all shocked and outraged

I’m trying really, really hard to feel menaced. I really am. But. I dunno.

If you haven’t seen the North Korean propaganda YouTube everyone’s talking about, go see it now. No, I mean it — if you want to see it, go now. Copies are being taken down as quickly as they’re uploaded, on account of it violates Activision’s copyright.

Yeah. The games company. That scary bomb-America footage was stolen from the computer game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. And the soundtrack is a tinkly piano version of We Are the World.

Are you askeert yet? Because there’s also a sleeping Korean, dreaming his dreamy dreams of world domination, and smiling in his sleep. And an occasional swoosh of sparkly stars, like the one that wafted out of Tinkerbell’s wand in the introduction to Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. B-r-r-r-ing.

If this were any scarier, it could be an episode of My Little Pony.

February 5, 2013 — 11:15 pm
Comments: 28

The best thing you’ll watch today

Best thing you’ll see today, but first I get to explain the joke.

George Formby was a beloved British institution (much like Broadmoor). He was a very popular singer/actor/comedian of the ’30s and ’40s. He played a mean ukulele (banjolele, if you want to get technical) and sang cheerful songs laden with crude sexual innuendo. Sort of a singing saucy seaside postcard.

This guy — the guy in the picture — is starring in a one-man play about Formby. He plays Formby. As a promotional thingie, he made a YouTube of “Formby” performing Fifty Cents’ In Da Club.

In case you are not familiar with Mr Cents’ oeuvre, here is his original video of the song, here is a version of the song showing the lyrics for video, and here is just the lyrics. Well, you can skip all that if you want, but it’s pretty hard to catch the words without text. So here is the main repeated refrain:

You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub
Look mami, I got the X if you’re into taking drugs
I’m into having sex, I ain’t into making love
So come give me a hug, if you’re into getting rubbed

Okay, ready? Now go watch.

There is something profound about how easily the edgy rap song transformed itself into a jingly uke tune. I just can’t quite figure out what that something is.

August 21, 2012 — 9:45 pm
Comments: 16

I will force spiders and badgers on the enemy

“Now you got me whispering to a freak who thinks that fish have menstrual cycles.”

I’m always late to the party, so y’all have probably seen the Bad Lip Reading people. File this under “ideas I wish I’d thought of” — except that it takes some skill and hard work to overdub video as convincingly as these are.

They’re all worth a browse, but my favorite is still the Mitt Romney one that made the rounds yesterday. Not because I hate Romney (though I’m kind of working toward it), but because he’s such a polished character, it’s extra special fun hearing bugfuck crazy things come out of his mouth.

So — let’s go out and shop and grease a big nickel!

October 19, 2011 — 9:28 pm
Comments: 8


I cut together all the times Obama mentioned the wealthy in his “budget” speech tonight (click for video).

Wow. I thought this would be funny. Actually, it makes me want to start slapping and then slap some more and then give him a big ol’ slap. Slappity-slappity-slappity, mister class warrior man.

Two observations — he frequently made references to “as long as I’m president” and things that will happen in 2014, as though his next term is in the bag. And he repeatedly used the brain-hurty expression “spending reductions in the tax code” which, apparently, means new taxes (update: Joe Collins tells me this means elimination of some deductions and shelters).

Did he think that would fly?

April 13, 2011 — 11:32 pm
Comments: 26

President SooperGenius

Cleek the peecture for veedio. I slung this together in a real hurry trying to get it out last night, and then YouTube let me down. So it’s not brilliant (a soundtrack would’ve perked it up considerably), but the video clip needs to be out there in as many forms as possible.

The AP originally reported this, then thought better of it and tried to airbrush it away: Obama advising a man with ten kids who is worried about gas prices that what he really needs is a new car.

For those of you who aren’t politically inclined — and by way of explaining why I didn’t spend today turning that video into something awesome — here’s one minute and forty seconds of my chickens walking around pecking stuff. Seriously, that’s all there is to it. I spent my whole day sprawled over a lawn chair in the sunshine with a glass of iced tea watching them walk around and peck stuff.

Try it. It’s hypnotic.

April 8, 2011 — 8:52 pm
Comments: 43