Posts Tagged ‘Add new tag’

A pensive Blake Midgette during a break while shooting a sketch for "The Undergrads

The calm before the storm: stand-up comedian Blake Midgette looks pensive during a break in filming a sketch for The Undergrads. Tonight is the Official Blake Midgette Roast at Cafe Diem in Richmond, Virginia.

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Logo for the concrete5 content management system
Image via Wikipedia

The stand-up comedy scene in Richmond, Virginia continues to progress: more open mics such as the ones at Strange Matter and City Dogs, more showcases put on by people such as Kenny WingleDave Hamrick and Odyssey Michaels. My own contribution to the scene, aside from performing, has been to start Salty Tongue Records at to feature comedians from Richmond and elsewhere. I recently invested in a Sony digital recorders which has resulted in a definite improvement in quality over my previous recordings.

I’ve been looking around for ways to help take the RVA comedy arena to the next level. I’ve had several ideas but they’re probably my capabilities at this point. One possibility that did seem possible without too much effort or money invested was a website devoted to RVA comedy. It also seemed like a good way to get some practice before moving on from this blog to a full-fledged website. My drawback is that I’m not a particularly good web designer but there’s only one way to get better, dive in and start thrashing around.

After getting the domain name, my first step was to try and install Concrete5, a CMS which has quite a bit of good word of mouth. I got nowhere with a manual install but managed to install it using a script from Simplescripts. However, even though I was able to access the dashboard for Concrete5, I still couldn’t get into edit mode so I uninstalled it. It looks like I will use WebPlusX2 from Serif, a WYSIWG editor, sort of a poor man’s Dreamweaver.

My plans are to have a directory of profiles of comedians in Richmond,  maybe a featured comedian of the month, a schedule of shows, an open mics page, a forum, resources, a history page, photo galleries and an alumni page for comedians who have moved on like Steven Bryant. I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with some other features as time goes on. My thought is that it will be fairly static, more like a billboard along the highway, rather than something that is constantly updated like a blog.

Here’s the link to the site:

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K-9 Comedy @ City Dogs poster

K-9 Comedy @ City Dogs poster designed by Chris Martin

K-9 Comedy @ City Dogs poster for the Richmond, VA’s newest stand-up comedy open mic, hosted by Odyssey Michaels at City Dogs in the Fan.

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Cover of "Black Dawn"
Cover of Black Dawn

Transcript of Chris Martin’s stand-up comedy set at Cameldy 3.5, Cafe Diem Comedy Night, Fallout’s open mic and K-9 Comedy @ City Dogs.

I finally realized what BP stands for: “Barack’s problem.” Apparently my plan to cap the oil blowout in the Gulf with Sarah Palin is not realistic. It’s the biggest oil slick to hit Louisiana since Little Richard’s hair. I can’t wait until the oil-battered shrimp specials show up on the Red Lobster menu.

Kitty Kelly has a new book out with shocking revelations about Oprah Winfrey. I don’t have a problem with Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King. However, I draw the line at Oprah and John Tesh. That’s just wrong and unnatural.

I can forgive Steven Seagal for allegedly having sex slaves. I’m still working on not holding a grudge for Black Dawn, Belly of the Beast, Out of Reach, Submerged, Kill Switch, Urban Justice, Pistol Whipped, Against the Dark, Driven to Kill and his entire musical career.

You can now buy “Avatar” cupcakes and sheet cakes at Kroger. I’m so glad director James Cameron decided not to trivialize his movie about the evils of predatory capitalism. I traveled in a Hot Tub Time Machine and all I got was a lousy Morlock… and a rash.

Has anyone bought an iPad? Who says we don’t have progress? It used to be that with a $1,000 personal computer and streaming audio, you could duplicate the experience of a $10 transistor radio. Now, with a $500 iPad and the iBookstore, you can duplicate the experience of a $20 book. And if you have a dog or cat, you can duplicate the experience of a $5 chew toy.

The KFC Double Down sandwich consists of cheese, mayonnaise, bacon between two slabs of fried chicken. Do you want fries or a defibrillator with that?

The director of the CIA says we’re making progress against Al-Qaeda. No word on whether this will have any effect on the running bet between Fidel Castro and Osama bin Laden over which one will die in bed first.

Twenty-nine people died in the mining disaster in West Virginia. It’s refreshing to see a Richmond company killing people with something other than tobacco.

The Treasury Department has redesigned the $100 bill. One innovation: pre-folding them so they’re easier to place on stripper g-strings.

After years of believing one of the Jonas Brothers is the Antichrist, it’s tough to adjust to the possibility it might be Justin Bieber. Kim Kardashian says she has Bieber fever. And I thought she just had herpes.

Those “you might be a redneck jokes are so unoriginal.” I’m starting a new riff: you might be a Hooters waitress. You might be a Hooters waitress if you have large breasts and serve chicken wings. You might be a Hooters waitress if you have large breasts and wear orange shorts. OK, it’s a work in progress.

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Ubuntu wordmark official
Image via Wikipedia

As with everything else, comedy has migrated to the World Wide Web: videos, blogs, podcasts, etc., etc. Comedians are using social media to promote themselves, Twitter to broadcast one liners and so on. With the Internet a lifeline to the outside world, the thought of losing that connection makes me queasy. In my case, my connection is an aging IBM ThinkPad T42 laptop. This raises the possibility that the ThinkPad might die on me and I might have to replace it, which would mean I would lose momentum while I scraped together enough money for a replacement.

Actually, I have another computer which did go south, a Dell Latitude C600 laptop. This wheezing wonder with a 750 MHZ Pentium III, 256K ram, a 20 gig hard drive and Windows XP was surprisingly capable despite its limitations. I was able to do do a lot of volunteering for the Obama campaign through this machine, most notably making thousands of phone calls on Skype during the primaries and the general election. It took a long time to boot and did a lot of disk thrashing because it used the hard drive for virtual memory but it got the job done, albeit slowly. Early in the year I had it, the external sound went out. Like a trouper, it managed to hang on until after Obama got elected.

What felled it wasn’t hardware but software. I installed a free anti-virus program and apparently pressed the wrong button. Afterwards, the program always stalled out while trying to boot. Unfortunately, the Dell was a refurb without Windows reinstallation disks I got from a local computer store. If I’d known enough, what I would have done is buy Acronis True Image first thing and an external drive. That way, I could have backed up the fresh copy of Windows XP before I installed all the bells and whistles that brought it low. Live and learn.

Only sometimes you don’t. In January of 2009, I replaced it with the ThinkPad, once again without reinstallation disks. By then, I had an external drive and Acronis but didn’t think to back up a fresh copy. I may be slow but I’m not stupid. Next time, if I get a refurb, it will be with reinstallation disks or I will back up a mint OS with Acronis. I’ve found a friendlier local dealer who actually seems to want people’s business (Adam Bell of ALBTech of Richmond, VA).

That brings me around to  more than a year on clock for the ThinkPad and uneasily contemplating that it might be time for another meltdown, whether hardware or software. I was reading an article on about recovering documents from a machine that won’t boot Windows. One strategem they mentioned was booting from a Ubuntu Linux live CD. It was then that a light clicked on in my head. Why not install Ubuntu on the Dell? That way, I would have a back-up computer I could use until I got another Windows machine if the ThinkPad gave up the ghost.

I downloaded and burned a copy of Ubuntu and installed it without a hitch although it took a long time to install. Wonder of wonders, the sound started working again. Ubuntu was even able to download a driver for my Linksys WiFi card. Although I was able to find a driver for my Epson inkjet printer, it doesn’t work with the scanner. The only real fly in the ointment was the screen resolution was now at 800×600. It took about a week  or two of rooting around on the Internet to find a solution which bumped the resolution up to 1024×768. About a week after I installed Ubuntu, I ran into a kernel panic, the equivalent of the Windows blue screen of death, after a week but I haven’t had any problems since then. There have been several updates to the OS since, an easy process, and I haven’t had any problems since.

Ubuntu boots in about a minute compared to Windows XP on the Dell which took 20 minutes if not longer. However, it can’t turn a frog into a prince. Streaming video is jerky and Netflix Watch Instantly probably still wouldn’t work. The processor and disk are simply not up to the task.

The software you can download though Ubuntu is free. This includes the usual suspects such as Open Office and the GIMP. I haven’t found a video editor worth using in Linux but I will admit I haven’t tried that hard. The variety of software available through Windows isn’t there in Linux. The amount of features and polish isn’t what you get in Windows. I haven’t found the equivalent of Serif Publisher, Magix Audio Cleaning Lab or SoundSoap.

My verdict: if you have a brand-name desktop or laptop lying around that can’t be upgraded to Windows 7, you may want to give Ubuntu a try. I’m not sure I would want to use Ubuntu as my main computer operating system, though. As an alternative,  a backup or a glorified MP3 player, it works just fine.

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I Flip For You

Posted: February 27, 2010 in Videos
Tags: , , ,

You make my head spin! Happy 50, WFMU. You can send this video as a greeting card at
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Transcript of my February 15, 2010 set at Cafe Diem in Richmond, Virginia:

Has anyone seen the ad for “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief”? Shouldn’t that be “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Harry Potter Thief”? Anyone watching the final season of “Lost.” Spoiler alert: there’s an nerve-wracking episode coming up in which Hurley gets stuck in the hatch.

Clooney in 2009
Image via Wikipedia

Kanye West wasn’t invited to the “Hope for Haiti” telethon. Apparently they were afraid Kanye would interrupt George Clooney to claim the Southeast Asia tsunami was worse than the earthquake in Haiti. Years ago, I made a deal with the Devil to get Pat Robertson to stop making stupid comments. I want my soul back. If it takes a lot of black people dying in a natural disaster to inspire a football team, I am so betting on the Haiti soccer team in the Olympics.

January’s been a rough winter. Washington, DC was paralyzed. In other words, things are pretty much normal. How cold was it? It’s so cold that Luke Skywalker bought his Tauntaun a Snuggie. It’s so cold that I actually saw a Richmond Flying Squirrel de-icing his wings. The only thing scarier than a groundhog waking up and seeing its shadow as Andie McDowell waking up and seeing her wrinkles.

The new senator from Massachusetts is a former Cosmopolitan centerfold. This puts the ass back in Massachusetts. Bill Clinton is amazing. He’s 63-years-old and he still does his own stents.

Barack Obama
Image by Ethan Bloch via Flickr

Barack Obama gave his State of the Union speech. He promised to revive the economy, reform health care, rein in the banks and put a unicorn in every back yard. Chris Matthews said he forgot Obama was black for an hour. I had forgotten that Chris Matthews was a jackass for a week.

Actress Jennifer Aniston broke up with singer John Mayer because he couldn’t find her clitoris. Apparently he lost his hood pass. Mayer apologized for using the N-word and White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel apologized for using the R-word. Don’t you hate it when a kike like Emmanuel and a cunt like John Mayer stereotype groups and call them derogatory names? I can say kike because I have a because I have a big nose, which makes me Jewish. I can say cunt because I have a big vagina, which makes me a really butch lesbian. I took the Activia Challenge but it didn’t turn me into movie star with large breasts so I asked for my money back.

Pay no attention to me. I’m just checking my set list. It’s a little trick I picked up from Sarah Palin. I’m glad she’s come up with something new and exciting to do with the palm of your hand. I got my hand a Valentine’s Day card. I know the palm of my hand like the back of my hand.

People who ridiculed the Richmond, Virginia grocery chain Ukrop’s for years by calling it Ukrap’s will have to open up a new can of sarcasm. Dutch supermarket group Ahold has bought Ukrop’s. For some reason, they don’t want to call it Ahold’s. Even more amusing, the company’s full name is Royal Ahold. Since it’s a Dutch company, let’s hope they tell their new employees to wash their hands after putting their fingers in any dikes.

The Virginia Lottery has a new scratcher game based on American Idol. The slogan: “Just one scratch is all it takes.” When it comes to Paula Abdul, I’m not sure whether they’re talking about winning a lot of money or catching herpes. My name is Chris Martin and that’s my time.

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