Tuesday, November 01

NaNo NaNo: One Woot Writer Attempts NaNoWriMo

by Randall Cleveland

If you've never heard of NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month: a 30-day challenge to writers everywhere to pound out one (1) novel of 50,000 words or more by the end of November. If you follow any blogger or writer types on Twitter, Facebook, or the like October is a time full of lamentations about the upcoming grind, how horrific it's going to be, and the excitement of taking on the challenge. It's not unlike running a marathon, except you sit for pretty much all of it.

I'd heard of the idea a few years ago but never gave it much thought until two weeks ago, when seeing the annual slew of tweets got me thinking about it. "I've got one or two solid ideas," I thought, "and I'm only putting them off. Maybe committing to this thing will give me the kick in the pants I need to get to writing." It's a well-known fact among professional writers that 99% of our job consists of convincing ourselves to write. Distractions abound, an idea can always use more mulling over and refining, and of course there are video games to play. "Screw it," I said to myself because I am a pathetic, friendless person, "I'm going to write a novel..."


writing in the journal
"And for ONCE it's not going to be erotic Buzz Aldrin/Neil Armstrong slashfic."


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Monday, October 24

Iced Coffee: Better Than Hot Coffee

by Sean Adams

This is a tough time of year for me. It’s a time of transitions, a time of letting go one thing and embracing another. Every October, I am faced with the question, how cold does it have to get before it’s time to make the switch from iced coffee to hot coffee? Or how long can my hands hold out until the temperature outside makes holding a cup full of ice excruciating?

And the reason why this is such a difficult switch for me to make is simple: iced coffee is better than hot coffee. And I mean that to be a blanket statement. I don’t care if we’re talking regular brewed coffee, a latte, some peppermint peanut butter raspberry mega-mocha thing, or, my favorite, an Americano; it’s better when it’s cold. Or at least, I think it is. Here’s why:

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Wednesday, October 19

The World Series That Might Tear Woot Apart!

by Jason Toon

Albert Pujols vs. C.J. Wilson. Josh Hamilton vs. Chris Carpenter. Fredbird vs. Rangers Captain.

Tonight begins the World Series that will set wooter against wooter. The Texas Rangers, representing Woot's Dallas-area HQ, will play the Cardinals in St. Louis, the hometown and spiritual home of Woot's creative and web development team. (Yeah, us St. Louisans are in Seattle now, but there's no baseball team up here unless you count the Mariners.)

But in our hearts, we all know there's really only one way to settle this: which team boasted the awesomest beard in the 1982 Topps card set? Friends, Texans, Missourians, I give you the masculine splendor of Bruce Sutter and Jim Kern, two pitchers with the beards of ten normal men.

Anyway, if I'd known the 2011 season would turn out this way, I would've waited another year to write that blog post from 2010 explaining to Rangers fans the emotions they could expect to feel during the World Series. I've seen the Cardinals play in five in my lifetime, and they ran the gamut from soul-deadening collapse to euphoric triumph. Now Rangers fans are a little older, a little wiser, and a little hungrier after their own soul-deadening collapse against the Giants last year.

Which reminds me: what baseball teams have currently played the most consecutive seasons without winning a World Series? The list goes like this...

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The Guys from The Thing watch The Thing

by Randall Cleveland

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hollywood loves a remake. That knowledge is so commonplace even that's become cliche. So instead of rehashing another tired "There Are No New Ideas" argument, intrepid Nick Bosworth decided to let their video editing (and the cast of John Carpenter's 1982 masterpiece The Thing, itself a remake) do the talking. The result is a pretty nifty chunk of video making the rounds on the internet.

(Mind the NSFW language and scary Thing footage)



Okay, it's a re-remake. Okay, the reviews say it's not very good. Are you still going to see it? Or are scares not really your thing?

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Monday, October 10

Study Those Album Covers, There Will Be A Test Later

by Scott Lydon

Based on how you respond to KenJen every Tuesday, we know you guys like trivia. But trivia's not just about history and cultural minutiae. Trivia also includes art. So here's today's question: how well do you know your album covers? Oh, yeah? Wanna prove it? Coversmart is a chance to see just how well you can identify the face of your favorite tunes.




Stripped of the name, you'll have to flip through the racks in your mind. Some are easy, like Sgt. Pepper or Nevermind. You can probably even picture those right now. But what about the cover of Mothership Connection or Siamese Dream? Or the first Rob Base album? Think you can identify those on sight? Okay, here's your chance to prove it, music nerd. See if you can beat our nine out of ten on today's quiz, and then hit their archives for more.

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Wednesday, September 21


by Sean Adams

Okay, so that title is little misleading, but I meant it to be that way. There are no politics in this post, but I titled as such hoping you might come here with your fingers twitching with anticipation to type out some all-caps angry comment against me or against those who are against me. Instead of talking about politics, we’re going to talk about negative Internet commenting.

The New York Times recently published an article about a site called Topix that was “initially envisioned as a hyperlocal news aggregator with separate pages for every community in the country.” Now, though, its main purpose seems to be for anonymous users to perpetuate gossip. On the Mountain Grove, MO board, for example, tempers run very high, causing residents to get divorces, consider suicide, or leave town altogether. I only had to click on the first post I saw to find this juicy tidbit...

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Tuesday, September 13

Fantasy Wootball: That's Gotta Hurt

by Randall Cleveland

Hoo boy. Remember that "ultra stacked" team I was all excited about? Peyton Manning! Chris Johnson! Peyton Hillis! Dwayne Bowe! What were these jokers thinking, letting me draft all these great players? My confidence wasn't even shaken when it turned out Chris Johnson wouldn't play football unless everyone in the state of Tennessee gave him $100. "Feh," I thought, "I've still got Peyton 'Points Machine' Manning. And the rest of my running backs ain't bad at all." Then it turned out Peyton Manning needed some Frankenstein bolts put into his neck or his head was going to roll right off the top of his body. "Hmm," I thought, "this is going to be closer than I thought." Well it turns out my fears were unjustified because it wasn't close at all!

In fact, I got my ass pretty thoroughly handed to me. 

Screen shot 2011-09-13 at 10.38.23 AM
My witty slogan did NOTHING!


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Thursday, August 18

At Long Last: Validation

by Scott Lydon

Hey, are you one of those people who like to read our blog at work? Well thank you, loyal reader. Here's our chance to pay you back! Big important newspaper The Los Angeles Times is currently reporting on a study from The Academy Of Management that says, and we quote, "Browsing the Internet serves an important restorative function".


river water caressing rocks
Like a cool stream of information on a hot day at your desk


Sure, you've been saying that for years now, but who's cared about you? You're just some schmo trying to do a little goofing off! This, though, this is a report from a company with "management" in their name! This is being mentioned in a paper that has a stock page! This is the kind of thing that executives can begin to trust, and it might be opening the door for us cyberloafers who know how to balance work with play.

So what do you think? Is this the Facebook generation's "Dylan goes electric" moment? Or just another thing for middle management to ignore? Sound off inside with your opinions inside! And don't worry if they catch you typing. Now you'll be able to play it off as a productivity experiment.

Photo River water caressing rocks by Matt Mercer is used under a Creative Commons license,


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Tuesday, August 16

Fantasy Wootball: Does Anyone Else Feel a Draft?

by Randall Cleveland

Football season is nigh, and that means it's time for the infinitely-more-annoying ritual of Fantasy Football season! If you're unaware, Fantasy Football is a thing invented for the purposes of giving football fans a reason to follow the minutiae of box scores and stat lines the way baseball fans might. You draft players, which can be on any NFL team, and play them on your own team to earn points from their stats. So if you have a great Quarterback who throws for 400 yards in a game, you'll earn points in your Fantasy team. If he wins the game on a last-second touchdown pass, but had three interceptions before that, you'll probably lose points.

It's a weird zone on the Venn Diagram of sports junkies and stats nerds...

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Tuesday, August 09