Archive for the Elvis Category

Fun With Yahoo! Avatars

Posted in avatars, Elvis, humor, internet, random, technology, Yahoo with tags , , on January 10, 2007 by Paxton

Avatars are pretty cool. They are little graphical representations of yourself you can use in Internet chats, fantasy sports or any website that uses a profile. Some people use pictures of celebrities or random objects, but some sites let you create your own little icon.

Several years ago I stumbled upon the South Park Studio. This website lets you create cool images of yourself as a South Park character by letting you choose different aspects of your appearance (ie hair, clothes, body). I created a picture of myself as a character and when I began this blog I used it as my profile picture. I even created a santa suit version which I used just recently during the holiday season. There’s also a website called StorTroopers where you can create cartoon versions of yourself (seen here). Call me a narcissist, but creating little cartoons of myself is fun and fascinating.

Well, I was playing around on my Yahoo! account and noticed that you can create your own avatars for use with your Yahoo! profile. Needless to say, I was floored. I started playing around with it and you can create some pretty cool stuff. You can create your avatars as anything you want and it doesn’t even have to look like you. So, I created a few and saved them as my favorites. Let’s take a look, shall we?

This is my normal avatar. I created it earlier last year and I use it as my default. Pretty plain jane, but it looks like me and I like the clubbin’ background. This one can go with or without glasses.

Ahh, yes. Everyone, set your faces to ROCKED!!! This avatar is so unbelievably awesome that you can’t look directly at it for fear of burning out your retinas. Ladies, try not to lose control and start throwing your panties at the screen. While the gesture is appreciated…and understood…it could be embarrassing for you if you are at work…or your parent’s house. As you can see, this avatar is me in an Elvis jumpsuit next to the Las Vegas sign. This is now becoming my default avatar. This will seem familiar to those of you who have seen me in my totally kick ass Halloween costume.

This avatar shows “alternate universe Pax” where I grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks” (FYI…the left side) and I don’t “keep my hair clean”. Check out that gi-normous dragon tattoo on my arm. On anyone else, that tat would seem cliche, but it looks pretty BAD ASS on me. I might have to make that a reality. Oh, you may be wondering why I’m walking through a pretty, floral arbor…well, obviously, since this is “alternate universe Pax”, I’m attending a Sunday afternoon tea at someone’s house. Duh. Hope they have blueberry scones.

It seems Yahoo! avatars pretty much have any situation I can think of covered. What if I wanted to see me in an aerobics class wearing red long johns and a sombrero? Ooooooo, Yahoo!, you are good.

How about me in a turkey costume standing on the moon? Well, played, Yahoo!, well played.

It looks like you won this round, Yahoo! Avatar, but I’ll be back. I’ll. Be. Back.

……………..wearing lederhosen, standing next to a unicorn in front of a bunch of lightbulbs? DAMN YOU, YAHOO AVATAR!! DAMN YOU!!

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10 Best/Worst Christmas Songs

Posted in Bing Crosby, Christmas, Elvis, holiday, humor, pop culture, reviews, Rosie O'Donnell with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2006 by Paxton

Today’s article is a reader submission. I was asked to write about what, I believe, are the 10 best/worst Christmas songs of all time. So, Kathy, this one is for you. If there is something you would like me to write about just drop me a line here. If it interests me and I decide to do it, you’ll get credit for giving me the idea, just like I’m giving Kathy right now. Anywho, on with the article.


I love Christmas and along with that, I love Christmas songs. Especially the celebrity pop culture songs. Some of those Christmas songs can be so awful that you can’t believe how absolutely awesome they are…or, as I call it, abso-awful (I just made that word up). The rest of the Christmas songs are so heinous that you’ll claw out the inside of your ear with a rusty spoon to not have to hear them anymore. Here’s my personal countdown of the 10 Best and 10 Worst Christmas Songs of all time. I’ll also give you a little tidbit of why that song is where it is. You may look at these lists and be like, “Hey Pax, you are a ^$#$ genius, keep it up!” or you may look at it and say, “You are dead to me”. Either way, I’m still an incredibly sexy beast (You know it’s true. Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful).

Let’s start off with the 10 best Christmas songs in no particular order (I’m numbering them for my own sanity).

1. White Christmas (Bing Crosby) – This is, of course, a classic. When Bing wasn’t beating the crap out of his kids, he was busy belting out some of the best songs of his day. This one comes from the equally awesome movie of the same name. Needs no explanation.
2. Mele Kalikimaka (Bing Crosby) – As to this song’s origin, I imagine Bing bet some songwriter that he couldn’t write a song about both Hawaii AND Christmas. Well, Unknown Songwriter 1 – Bing Crosby 0. Makes me think of that scene in Christmas Vacation where Clark is looking out the window at his soon to be swimming pool.
3. Blue Christmas (Elvis Presley) – You knew The King was going to be on this list. Here’s his most famous. Pretty much everyone on Earth with a set of vocal cords and no shame has covered this song. Elvis makes you wonder why anyone even tries to sing anymore.
4. Santa’s Coming to Town (Elvis Presley) – A lesser known Elvis song off one of his first Christmas albums (of which number in the lower millions). It’s a bluesy, rock “version” of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I put “version” in “quotes” because a) Elvis’ song is very different from the original and b) I’m extremely pretentious.
5. Jingle Bell Rock (Bobby Helms) – Another classic. Fun version of the original Jingle Bells song. Because “jingle bell time is a swell time, to go riding in a one-horse sleigh”. You know it and I know it.
6. Little Saint Nick (Beach Boys) – Seems weird putting a Beach Boys song on a Christmas list, right? Well, I already put a Hawaiian song on, so let’s put the Boys on. Very catchy tune that makes me want to both celebrate Christmas and go to the beach to “hang 10”.
7. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (Brenda Lee) – Featured in pretty much every movie that ever had a passing mention of Christmas. Most notably, though, Home Alone.
8. Baby It’s Cold Outside (Leon Redbone/Zooey Deschanel) – This is just a great song, but this particular version can be found on the Elf soundtrack. I LOVE this song.
9. Run Rudolph Run (Chuck Berry) – Any Chuck Berry Christmas song is bound to be good. This is no exception and, like the song 2 entries up, can be found in Home Alone.
10. Carol of the Bells (Any choir) – This isn’t really a pop christmas song, but I love this so much I had to put it here. I learned to love it when my high school choir performed it at a Christmas event. Very pretty when sung by a choir.

You’ve seen the best, now let’s see the worst. The songs that make you ashamed to be Christian and celebrating Christmas. Here are the 10 worst songs as viewed by me.

1. Feliz Navidad (Jose Feliciano) – I got into an argument with my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Butler, over who was the better guitarist; Jose Feliciano or Jimi Hendrix (I honestly am not making that up). To me, that was not even an argument as Jimi could play with his teeth and I maintain that teeth beats no teeth every time. I still hear this song in my sleep from when Steph and I put up our Christmas tree lights this year.
2. Little Drummer Boy (David Bowie/Bing Crosby)See this awful, awful video here. Why must singers look soulfully into the distance when singing? Is there something off camera worth looking at? Why can’t I see, too? This is actually considered a classic, but I think it’s a classic piece of crap. Why, Bing, WHY?!
3. Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk this Christmas) (John Denver) – Is this song real? It sounds like a Weird Al parody. I could’ve written this song. Is it supposed to be funny, or poignant? Whatever it’s supposed to be, it’s entertaining, and not in a good way.
4. Silver Bells (Kathi Lee Gifford/Regis Philbin) – This song is every bit as bad as you think it is. Think Riker’s Island penitentiary…but without all the sodomy. Actually, you’d probably welcome sodomy after hearing this song.
5. I’m Gonna Email Santa (Rosie O’Donnell) – Is it redundant to put Rosie O’Donnell on a Worst Christmas song list? This song is pretty much a commercial for Santa.com. Also, Rosie learned that she can’t sing when she released her first Christmas album, so on the next album (which includes this song) her voice is so overproduced it doesn’t even sound like her. Which is good cause it doesn’t sound like her, but bad because the voice now sounds like Joshua from War Games. WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY A GAME? Actually, that’s kinda cool…..
6. Do You Hear What I Hear? (Rosie O’Donnell & Elmo) – It’s like someone said, “How can we make listening to a song sung by Rosie O’Donnell worse? I know, let’s have her sing with that irritating Muppet you tickle.” Maybe for the next Rosie Christmas album she can hire someone to come in my house and punch me repeatedly in the testicles as I listen to her album. No, that would actually be better than this song.
7. Have a Rosie Christmas (Rosie O’Donnell) – If Rosie’s goal by singing this was to give me the compulsion to first, kill her, then kill myself, all I have to say is……mission accomplished, Rosie……mission accomplished.
8. Dear Mr. Jesus (Faceless, Abused Child) – I know the intentions behind this song are noble, but, oh dear, sweet jesus, this song is flat out awful. It’s sung by a sweet child, yet it’s about another child who is physically abused by her parents. By the end I’m ready to either search out the abusive parents and string them up for all to see, or slit my own wrists. Since I’m lazy, it’ll probably be the latter.
9. Jingle Bells (Jingle Dogs) – After listening to just one song off any of these stupid CDs, you too will believe in euthanasia for animals.
10. Do They Know It’s Christmas Time At All? (Band Aid) – This one toes the line of being abso-awful and just plain awful, but, for me, it’s just plain awful. Watching the music video is like watching the video yearbook of a drug rehab clinic circa 1982. It’s poetic to see some of the wealthiest musicians of that time sing about awareness of the poor in Africa. Do people in Africa even celebrate Xmas?

Well, that’s my list and I’m stickin’ to it. By now you are either extolling the unlimited boundaries of my genius, or cursing me to an early grave. Hey, this is all subjective and only my opinion, except for the Rosie O’Donnell songs. Those are awful, and that’s a fact supported by modern science.

Anywho, hope everyone has a great Christmas. I’m heading back home to Birmingham, AL on Saturday. Hope you all get what you want. Personally, I hope I’ll be getting a Nintendo Wii. After this article, I’m sure Santa is going to give me the Kathy Lee Gifford album.

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Slot Machines: The Next Generation Part I

Posted in casinos, Elvis, slot machines, technology, video games with tags , , , , , on August 20, 2006 by Paxton

The grandfather of the modern slots, the Liberty Bell slot machine, was developed in California in 1887. Since then the basic premise has stayed the same; three reels, multiple prize symbols per reel, one lever to spin the reels. Originally payouts were given as complimentary items by the bars they were in but as electronic parts replaced the mechanical parts, slot machines started paying out hard cash. Even with that development, the basic idea and design of slot machines didn’t really waver, that is, until the mass-producing of microchips and the widespread use of computer software.

With the proliferation of the micro-processor, most modern slot machines became software based and play like a complicated computer video game. As a matter of fact, I see modern slot machines as the newer cousin to the upright arcade video game. My formative years were all up and down the ’80s. I loved video arcades. My friend Steve and I would search out video arcades in which to play our favorite games like Pac-Man, Ms Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros, Zaxxon, Tecmo Bowl, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, etc, etc. I am, a video game phreak…..a Super-Phreak, if you will. So it should come as no surprise that I am fascinated by the new virtual slots seen in every casino. Not only do they look and play like a video game, they have graphics, sounds and images from popular entertainment like TV and movies. The old 3 reel system has been replaced by virtual playing reels running between 30 and 50 paylines that a user can select. The software and intelligence to run these machines has become intensely complicated. Click here for a really good interview with Michael Shackleford, The Wizard of Odds. He is a slot machine designer and he de-mystifies some ideas you may have about the One-Armed Bandit.

I’ve been to many different casinos in several different places over the years. Las Vegas, Albuquerque, New Orleans, Atlantic City. During my travels I’ve seen some pretty cool and pretty funny character based machines. I began taking pictures and collecting some of the best. In this 2 part article I’ll show you some of my favorites.


Monty Python & Holy Grail – This is easily one of the best machines I’ve ever played. The graphics and gameplay were phenomenal. I actually didn’t care that I lost 20 bucks playing on it. There are tons of movie clips and quotes that are thrown about you. If you touch certain parts of the screen neat sound effects go off. Lots of fun and one of my favorites. Click the image for a larger pic.


Antique Appraisal – Very interesting slot machine based on the popular tv show Antique Roadshow. The money reels have pictures of appraisers and antique objects on them. So you could conceivably get a pasty-faced man with professor glasses in one reel and a beat up looking armoire in another. The bonus game is interesting too because you have to pick out the most valuable item from a group of antiques. Very wierd premise for a slot machine, but very interesting.


Lucky Larry’s Lobster Mania – This machine rocks. The idea of a slot machine based on the continuing adventures of a lobster by the name of Lucky Larry is patently absurd, but I LOVE IT!!. This typifies many of the silly generic slot machines you will find in big groups on the casino floor, but it’s very cleverly done. Cute characters, lots of colors, subtle theme of one being lucky or having lots of money. This one really makes me laugh because the idea is so random.


Elvis – Being a huge Elvis fan, I had to put this. These are slightly disappointing because they are the old-school three reel slots and not the virtual video game slots. They have Elvis images all over them and some of the reels have guitars and cadillacs on them. I only played about 5 bucks on these because they are labeled Elvis, but the Monty Python slots above were calling my name.

That’s about it for today, I’ll post more pics of my favorite slot machines soon.

Click here for Part II of this article.

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