’25 Lame’ lives on!

Tonight on YouTube, I stumbled across some clips from "25 Lame" — an MTV special from 1999 where Jon Stewart, Chris Kattan, Janeane Garofalo and Denis Leary counted down the 25 worst videos that had been played to date. The comics also vowed that MTV would never play the update » top 10 offending videos again — other than in the inevitable repeats of "25 Lame," clearly.

We used to have the whole show on a VHS tape somewhere, and my brother and I rewatched it many, many times since the seemingly one-take presentation (not to mention the Vanilla Ice flame-out) cracked us up so much. In fact, this little segment, which includes videos No. 15 through 13, contains two of the Indrelunas family's favorite basic-cable moments of all time: "My Little Sea Hor—" (a prop in Aqua's "Barbie Girl" video) and "The Home Depot Video" (i.e., "Separate Ways" by Journey).


Guess what’s in the mail…


I got an e-mail yesterday informing me that my ASU diploma has been mailed to my mom's house, and I got to see a nice little preview of the fruit of my labors, which you can also see at left.

Speaking of school and such, yesterday I also started playing around with the visualization tools on IBM's Many Eyes site by feeding in the text of my graduation speech. I made a so-called "Wordle" out of the words of my speech, which is posted below. If you click on it, you can play around with the positioning, colors, shape and such.

Cronkite speech

It really is a small world after all.

yay for stereotypes!

You know, after all that I experienced in 2008, you'd think I'd know by now that it really is a small world.

I mean, last year I saw two of my friends who I first met in Tempe get married in Noordhoek, South Africa... a country where I just so happened to be spending my March as well.

I met my one and only lekkerstar friend during a parade in Cape Town on March and later caught up with her over Coldstone in Hollywood... and she also stopped over in Tempe just this past Sunday during her cross-country move.

But 2009 is apparently the year when the small world gets downright tiny.

See, one of my friends from Carthage who I went to elementary school and junior high with has met a State Presser who I hung out with in college... in Arizona. Although they have a friendship with Brian Indrelunas in common, Brian Indrelunas himself had nothing to do with their meeting each other. Rather, Brian Indrelunas found out about the rather improbable link when one of said friends mentioned it to him tonight.

Again, though, 2008 sort of foretold even this most unexpected of meetings in a way when I discovered that two couples I knew from Arizona and from ASU happened to meet each other in South Africa even before I, too, arrived in the Western Cape.

Now that my previously separate circles of friends and acquaintances are starting to overlap all on their own, perhaps I should start agitating to have my own "Six Degrees" game. (Take that, Bacon!)

…so I was like, ‘You need to go Triflenonymous because you’re a trifahofalic.’

It's sometimes laughable how two different newspapers will produce different takes on the same issue...

like last Wednesday, when the Trib reported that omg, Crow's getting ready to close Poly (maybe), and the Republic countered with an oh no he just didn't, courtesy of Virgil...

or just today, when the Republic's all like, "Oh snap! Erreybody's all sad and worried and whatnot that Poly might close." Nevermind that the Tribune reported yesterday that the Mesa mayor's not worried now that he's talked to some of the very same erreybody.

Though it may seem laughable and even juvenile (when I paraphrase it, at least), I think it's a sign of healthy competition and gives people who read both papers a better sense of what's actually going on.

And the fact that the Republic and Tribune are still up to their old games suggests that maybe the Trib's downsizing won't turn out to be as debilitating as we all feared.

State Press makes a cameo in ‘Real Sports’

The Hot Spot

This month's episode of "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" profiles longtime sportscaster Al Michaels, who will do the play-by-play for this Sunday's Super Bowl and who is one of the most prominent State Press alums of all time.

Michaels became the paper's sports editor in 1964 after covering football and basketball as the assistant sports editor, as I discovered when I looked through the archives late last year. I made some photocopies of Michaels' State Press clips and shipped them off to HBO, and one of the "Hot Spot" columns that Michaels wrote as sports editor appeared on screen as a reporter described the sportscaster's early work as a young kid and then as a student at ASU.

The show's staff also graciously included a little shout-out to yours truly in the credits, which was pretty sweet.

special thanks

But my ego aside, the profile on Michaels was really cool to watch, as were other stories on NFL players' gun ownership and about staph infections. The latter, of course, took me right back to Margaret's impassioned warnings to steer clear of hot tubs during the summer of 2006. (For the record, she was right: "You could die.")

To see when reruns of the show will air, click here.

details tk

I realize that I haven't posted anything here in quite some time, but rest assured that that just means I've actually been getting off my butt, out of my apartment and doing things.

Here's the rundown:

Friday: Hanging out with Eric at Tempe Marketplace, young adult group and movie at Tempe First, Party Foul: State Press style, and meatloaf 'n' waffles

Saturday: Degrassi marathon and 10-minute sexy aerobics with Justine, and add in Mark for some all-around girl talk

Sunday: Going to church at Central, YC's, Goodwill, Grey's Anatomy, and soon my friend Cyndi will be getting into town!

I'll fill in some relevant details about all that soon.

See it: Brewer sworn in as governor

Gardener governor promises ‘pruning’ of state government

Gov. Brewer

Gov. Jan Brewer said she would scale back Arizona's state government shortly after being sworn in as the state's 22nd governor Wednesday afternoon.

"You know, I'm a gardener," she said at the ceremony, held outdoors at the state Capitol. "Some pruning from time to time yields greater fruit."

Brewer was sworn in the same day that her predecessor, Janet Napolitano, took the oath of office to become the U.S. secretary of homeland security. Brewer's 20-minute inaugural address was rife with imagery and metaphor but short on specifics of what cuts could be in store for state agencies.

"It feels like you've just shown up to a party and all the guests are gone," Brewer said of her mid-term transition to power. "Only the caterer is left, and she hands you the bill."

Brewer said she and legislative leaders were already working to address a $4 billion state budget shortfall. She told those attending her inauguration that the growth of state government, which had been spurred on by the state's population growth, would be reversed.

At the same time as they tackle budgets, she said, state leaders would have to proactively work to revitalize the state's economy, shifting the focus from the state's raw growth to the talent of its citizens.

"Going forward, we will continue to live off our growth, less the growth of our suburbs and more the growth of our people," she said.

Four of Brewer's predecessors were in attendance at the 45-minute ceremony, including two women who also rose to the governorship from the secretary of state's office: Rose Mofford and Jane Dee Hull.

Brewer thanked her most recent predecessor in her address: "I also want to thank Secretary Napolitano. See? We've traded titles."

Napolitano was confirmed to her new post by the U.S. Senate shortly after Tuesday's inauguration of President Barack Obama, the first national president with an African heritage.

Arizona's inauguration was also a showcase of diversity it its own right, with blessings and prayers offered by the pastor of the Lutheran church Brewer attends, an elder from the Gila River Indian Community and a Jewish rabbi.

Phoenix attorney Michael Grant — who was also the longtime host of a nightly public-affairs show that aired on KAET, Channel 8, before stepping down in 2007 — served as the master of ceremonies for the inauguration.

a new State Press

After tonight's meeting of the Wesley Board of Directors (which I guess I'm still on, now that my oft-renewed status as a student member with a one-year term has been transformed into an alum seat on the board) I picked up a copy of this morning's State Press and was actually quite shocked at how different the paper looks:


The editorial board wasn't kidding when they called today's edition the start of a "a new—and hopefully improved—State Press." The paper has undergone a complete redesign, the likes of which has not been seen since 2002 or so. (All the changes since then have been made in more of a piecemeal fashion.)

One of the most striking changes is right up front, where the paper sports a new nameplate that's reminiscent of the 1958 masthead that we recreated on Nov. 4 to mark the passage of 50 years since the vote that authorized the renaming of Arizona State College to Arizona State University.

I slept through most of Election Day since I was up most of the night working on the paper and then stayed up to vote when the polls opened and only crash afterward. But I heard that the "old-timey front page" was the talk of campus and I know for a fact that it had quite a few fans down in the basement, including some in the production department.

But the changes don't stop there. It's definitely a whole new look for The State Press, and there are a lot of things I like about the new style, like the new way of doing columnists' mugshots by incorporating them into the pull-quote boxes.

Of course, there are also things I would have done differently or, as would more likely be the case, fight with Scott about and perhaps prevail in 10 percent of the battles. But overall, I think the new look is something I can definitely get used to.

a new president

It occurred to me last night that, until today, everything on Brian.Indrelunas.com would have been posted during the presidency of George W. Bush.

Well, this is the first post during Barack Obama's term. Only time will tell if the Obama years will prove as post-happy as some of the Bush years were, but hey, one can always hope.

Good morning, Tempe.

Good morning, Tempe.

New era begins

Earlier this morning, I took the bus over to Mill Avenue to see if I could pick up a copy of today's State Press. Sadly, I was a bit early. I later ran into Judith, who told me the paper generally shows up on the Tempe campus at about 8:30 a.m., and I was there around about 7:30, when the first classes of the day were just getting underway.

Still, I'm looking forward to taking a look at the new State Press in print. It'll just have to wait until after the new president is sworn in.

Good morning, America.

With only a few hours of sleep under my belt, I woke up at the uncharacteristically bright and early hour of 05:30 to kick off my inaugural TV binge. I had seen in TV listings that ABC 15 was planning to ditch local news this morning to air "Good Morning America" live at 7 a.m. Eastern time (5 a.m. in Phoenix), and that's indeed what has happened — a smart move on their part, I think. I've always found watching tape-delayed network morning shows a bit incongruous, and on this historic day even my I-don't-pay-for-cable self can get network news (and hopefully some pet/fashion "news") live from the East Coast on local TV.

05:52 » Yes! Diane Sawyer just showed off the running shoes and extra pair of long undies she has in her purse to wear for her trek from the GMA live location to the studio where she'll anchor with Charles Gibson later. Consider my need for morning fluff satiated!

sights and sounds from the half marathon

I've finally got all of the videos I shot along the half marathon course on Sunday uploaded, tagged and such, and I've got them all assembled into a nice playlist on YouTube. From (before the) start to finish, I shot 28 videos totaling about 31 minutes, focusing mainly on bands along the course along with cheer squads and groups of residents who kept us going along the way.

You can watch the whole half-hour special below or click over to YouTube to watch in HD if you like to be constantly reminded of the fact that my camera lens is kinda dirty.

Also, if you missed 'em earlier, here's a slideshow of all the still photos I took during the race:

reading fail

Continuing on with the theme of misreading, last week I made some snarky comments about this comment on a Tribune news story:

azhusker1967 wrote:<br />Great ......something else taking jobs from Americans. Are they white or brown? Has their illegal status been checked? Is their a clause that states any babies born will not automatically become citizens? I demand a full investigation!! We need sheriff Joe on this!! ONLY in Mesa....a sanctuary city.<br />1/13/2009 1:18:48 PM<br /> <br />azhusker1967 wrote:<br />there, not their....<br />1/13/2009 1:21:09 PM

I figured that the commenter was trying to revise his or her statement to ask, "Has there illegal status been checked?" but now realize that the "there" was probably meant to change "Is their a clause..." into "Is there a clause..."

So consider my snarkiness rescinded.

There’s no I in MLK Day.

When I was a kid growing up in East Texas, probably in third or fourth grade, I was looking at my school's cafeteria calendar for the month of January. Listed alongside the pizza breadtangles, hamburgers and other mass-produced goodness, I saw a Monday that only said, "MLK Day."

Perhaps because I was already in the food frame of mind or because I had little faith in the cafeteria staff's spelling abilities, I took the calendar to my mom and asked, "What's Milk Day?" She informed me that MLK Day is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and I probably felt pretty dumb.

Ever since that fateful January, I've been keenly aware of the annual commemoration of King's life, careful not to mix it up with any other cafeteria menu items. Nevertheless, I'll still raise a glass of 1% today in honor of both King's legacy and my own youthful ignorance...

race review + photos!

The 2009 Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half Marathon was a lot of fun. Here are the updates I sent from the race today, interspersed with pictures from the half marathon:

o haiLet's rock!high-tech

06:15 » Brian is headed for the Orbit bus and then the shuttle to the start line at the Capitol.

waiting for the OrbitSPECIAL EVENT

07:22 » Brian is at the Capitol and just ran into Charlie Schock from church, who's running in the full.

Brewer's old (quasi)housesadcitrus Capitolcitrus + copperUSS Arizona anchor

07:40 » Brian passes along Charlie's words of wisdom as his race starts: "There will be a day when we can't do this. Today's not that day."

tall shadowsThis... is... Sparta!

long line to pee
08:20 » Brian is all sunscreened up and waiting in one of the epicly long portapotty lines. Next up: stretching and finding my spot in the crowd.

08:46 » Brian is lined up and ready to go.


09:06 » Brian likes the announcer's advice: "Start off slowly and taper off from there."

start line

09:11 » Brian is on his way as half-marathoner No. 42715. Tempe, here I come!

Phxballoonsfree / nonexistent

09:27 » Brian has hit Mile 1! 12.1 to go...

09:43 » Brian just passed his favorite fan yet... a crazy lady with a bell... and he's at Mile Marker 2...


09:46 » Brian will now explain further: Cowbell Lady was trying to juggle her bell and her camera and was being really vocal and hilarious about it.

sweet signsradar + vanEast McDowelloncoming trafficme on McDowell

09:56 » Brian is gettin warm, which he prefers to being cold, so it's all good. Also, in a couple minutes, he's going to attempt his first jogging section.

09:59 » Brian is jogging past the third milepost.

10:02 » Brian has hit the 5k mark and is done jogging. But hey, 45 seconds is legit, I say.

wavefree photosrockin' race

10:15 » Brian hit Mile 4.

(more) troubleway cool'BRING IT'

10:27 » Brian is walking past Cash Inn Country, his favorite lesbian cowboy/hip-hop bar.


10:31 » Brian just passed the sign for Mile 5 at 24th Street and McDowell.

10:34 » Brian is impressed by how many landmarks are at 24th and McDowell: the site of last year's lonnng bathroom break, Eliana's and sweet dancers.

10:43 » Brian just took a much needed potty break in the same spot where HE stopped a year ago, mere minutes past the gas station with the crazy long line.

10:50 » Brian has passed Mile Marker 6 and can see the 10k sign up ahead.

10:56 » Brian is gettin ready to jog for another minute or so at the top of the hour.

11:05 » Brian is more than halfway done! He's passing Mile Marker 7!



11:21 » Brian is at Mile 8.

11:29 » Brian is passing Clear Channel and ABC 15 on 44th Street and has been taking to some nice folks from Sacramento.

skillon Van Buren

11:37 » Brian says, "omg, three times three... equals Mile 9! Booya!"

11:42 » Brian has walked 15k, so K Club members and alums take note!

11:53 » Brian is at Mile Marker 10, which is within striking distance of his apartment and therefore also close to the finish. 3.1 to go!

12:09 » Brian has hit Mile 11 and is about to cross into Tempe! Oh yeah... I'm in the homestretch -- literally!

back in Tempe

12:26 » Brian is crossing over the Mill Bridge after passing the 12-mile mark.

12:36 » Brian has done more than 20k and is walking on Rio past A Mountain!

on campus

12:41 » Brian is at 13 with .1 to go!

12:42 » Brian is done!

I'm done!on the moveorange sliceGinger Snap

13:21 » Brian is home with some sore feet and legs that are ready to be kicked up to watch some football!


I also shot some video footage from along the course, which'll be online later tonight.


42715 Brian Indrelunas M 18-24
Half Marathon Start:   Gun 8:31:01     Chip 9:11:26
Splits: 5 Km 10 Km 10.2 Mile Finish O'All Sex Div
Times: 50:40 1:42:01 2:41:58 3:30:33 19722 7537 550
Pace: 16:19 16:26 15:53 16:04

According to the live results Web site, I finished in just a few seconds more than three and a half hours. That's more than a half-hour faster than last year!

Let’s rock!

Let's rock!

I'm setting out for the P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half Marathon, so look for excessive updates in the top-left corner of the home page, on Twitter or on Facebook.

And then check back here this afternoon for a more long-form recap and some pictures.

No news is good bad news.

Last week, The Arizona Republic reported that the jellyfish on Central Avenue was "about to get its final installment" as it "nears completion."

Since I just glanced at the Republic story, I assumed the netting that'll turn last semester's big lone star in the sky into more of a jellyfish — er, I mean cactus flower — would be installed within days or weeks. So when I rode the light rail through downtown Phoenix today, I made sure to check out the under-construction sculpture... only to find out that it looks just the same as it did all last semester.

Looking at the Republic's story again and seeing a similar report on this Friday's episode of CenPho.TV, I noticed that netting is slated to go up in late February or March. What a great (non)story to run in early or mid-January.

Ready to Rock

10.78 miles

Today I took a 10.78 mile, four-ish hour trek from my place to Target by way of Papago Park and In-N-Out. (And then I took Orbit buses home to give my feet a rest.)

Now I just have to pick up the pace a little bit on Sunday, when I'll be walking in the Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon.

In case you missed my oh-so-frequent Twitter and/or Facebook updates, here's a recap of what Rob dubbed the "amazing journey:"

2:05 p.m. » Brian is headed out on his last big walk before Sunday's half marathon. After today's 10 miles, it'll be time to taper!

2:53 p.m.» Brian just found horses in the middle of east Phoenix, literally a stone's throw from the 202!

4:27 p.m. » Brian is crossing over the 1994 Mill Bridge as he kinda flirts with Sunday's route...

5:04 p.m. » Brian is taking a pit stop at In-N-Out.

5:23 p.m. » Brian has discovered that from underneath a freeway bridge, passing cars sound like something much more natural... like whispering pines, perhaps.

5:44 p.m. » Brian is excited that the end is in sight. Target, here I come!

5:56 p.m. » Brian has arrived at Target!

6:14 p.m. » Brian is on the Orbit, headed for home.

commenting on the news at its it’s best

I honestly don't know what I think about allowing Web site users to leave comments on news stories.

All the arguments for the practice sound great — involving readers, increasing public discourse, boosting traffic, etc. I've also seen comments get out of hand and increase the volume of discourse (in more ways than one) while lowering the level of said discourse.

But this little note appended to a Tribune story one of my friends penned about Mesa's use of goats as living weed-whackers — which, I should note, another friend of mine wrote about on a Republic blog a good hour or so earlier — transcends all the arguments for and against commenting:

azhusker1967 wrote:<br />Great ......something else taking jobs from Americans. Are they white or brown? Has their illegal status been checked? Is their a clause that states any babies born will not automatically become citizens? I demand a full investigation!! We need sheriff Joe on this!! ONLY in Mesa....a sanctuary city.<br />1/13/2009 1:18:48 PM<br /><br />azhusker1967 wrote:<br />there, not their....<br />1/13/2009 1:21:09 PM

Gotta love those users who take the time to correct there work... even when it needed no correction in the first place.

best logo ever

And the award goes to...

Colon and Rectal Center of Arizona

the Colon and Rectal Center of Arizona, which also got an honorable mention in the best-URL-ever competition for kolonokopelli.com.

Let’s talk about New Year’s…

Now that we're into the early-morning hours of Jan. 10, I feel like it's an appropriate time to recap the goings-on of the SSP New Year's Eve shindig in Southern California and the following few days.

btw » See pictures from last week's SoCal trip here.

New Year's Eve

So, I've gotta say, spending New Year's with about 20 of my closest friends was pretty freakin' awesome. In true SSP fashion, ridiculousness abounded throughout the party, whether it was the wearing of adult onesies, the return of the mesh or Andrew's unsuccessful attempt to explain the concept of leap seconds to everyone at 11:57 p.m.

onesies!me and CassidyAndrew explains the leap second

Introducing... the Janet

making a Janet

Btw, it was a BYOB party, and my contributions were...

1) my favorite type of drinky drinky, Jagermeister

2) some orange juice (but not for what you think... I was starting to feel sick and knew I needed some serious Vitamin C before I drank anything alcoholic.)

and 3) a six-pack of Hornsby's Hard Apple Cider... because, truth be told, I'm not really a fan of beer.

Well, the cider move was part of my never-ending quest to find something stateside that rivals the deliciousness of South African cider Savanna, but I was disappointed to find that Hornsby's didn't quite make the grade. It just has too much of a beer-like taste.

But fellow partier Janet had a brilliant suggestion: Add some Jager to the cider.

And boy, was she on to something! The combination added the taste of Jager that I enjoy at the expense of the beer-ish taste I was looking to overpower. Therefore, I decreed that any such future combinations of Jagermeister and hard cider shall be dubbed "the Janet" in her honor.

Oh hey, LA!

a partial LA '08 reunion!

Oh, and a good contingent of last year's LA staff was on hand for the festivities, and good thing because rapper T.I. got into the SSP LA spirit by sporting a Snooty Fox-esque sweatshirt on NBC's New Year's Eve special:


I haven't seen any videos of the performance on NBC.com, but the screenshots above are courtesy of YouTube user pookyxd, who was apparently there for the taping of T.I.'s performances. Check out the snootiness below:

The LA staff-circle toys were also out in full force, from the Decent Fire Engine to the Silly Putty-wearing, football-playing giraffe to (of course) the Spice Girls:

Where's Sporty?

New Year's Day

Rock Band

Those who got a kick out of the previous night's big entertainment option, Rock Band, decided that would be a good first-thing-in-the-morning activity to start up at 8 a.m.

Since I stayed up later than most of the Rock Band folks, I decided to stay in bed (well, on the floor) instead. But eventually, even us late-night folks got moving and headed out. Tess and Tom and I headed out for a late breakfast but stumbled upon an IHOP first, even though we passed by the non-signed backside of at least one or two Denny's restaurants in our search for food. (As we all learned on the '07 UCLA-game road trip, Denny's and their freeway signs are everywhere in Southern California, but they're by and large impossible to find once you actually exit the freeway.)


look at that!

After IHOPping, we all hopped into my car to drive up into the mountains until we found snow. Upon arrival, our goal was to take really cute snow pictures that rivaled Scott and Allie's:

out-cute-ing Scott and AllieArizonans in the snow

But then, of course, Scott and Allie went and got engaged... for the win.

After our snow adventure, we were pretty tuckered out but still a good drive from most of our SoCal friends' houses. But when we got to where Tom had parked in the IHOP lot and I had to ask if he really wanted me to turn right because I didn't think there was any more parking lot to the right, we realized that the out-of-the-way corner of the parking lot was the perfect place for a...


time for a car nap!

After our nap, we dealt with a low tire on Tom's SUV, which was really just the final piece of an unholy trinity of car trouble that plagued our trip: Tess' car broke down a few days before the trip, and my relatively new battery mysteriously died the night before our departure.

Then we headed into Long Beach, where we spent the night at Chris' place, but not before we ate at...


triple chicken waffle!

(Yes, Scarlett, I'll be updating my chicken-and-waffles slideshow...)

Jan. 2

Tess plays with Legos

The next day, Tom headed home to San Diego. Meanwhile, Tess and I accompanied Chris, Breea and Gus to Anaheim, where we played around at Downtown Disney before going our separate ways.

The Californians went to Disneyland, and Tess and I headed back to the Valley so that I could attend...

Justine's birthday bash!

About that, suffice to say that we started at Wild Card and ended up at Cash, which is — brace yourselves — a country/hip-hop lesbian bar. No, that's not a typo. Country and hip-hop and I was one of only two (or maybe threee) guys in the whole place:

dance floor

pix » Click here for all the birthday photos.

live from the Batcave

It's easy to lose track of time here in the Batcave, which is what I call my Tempe apartment because of its often-shaded (but not shady) location. I almost can't believe it's Friday already because I've been taking it so slow this week.

Although I've caught up with the "Nightline" crew and seen enough of Nick Watt to last a lifetimetwice. (But seriously, watch that last one. It's an epic report entitled "Bare Chest Backlash.")

Still, I haven't seen a whole lot of other people in real life this week. Luckily, though, I dragged myself out of the Batcave tonight to go the young-adult group at Tempe First and — tada! — I now feel like a fully functional social human being once again.


The ASU Pitchforks a cappella group does a Journey medley. Enough said.

Argh, why didn't I ever go to a Pitchforks show when I was in school? If only I had known that they had Journey in their repertoire!

What? It’s 2009?

It occurs to me that I haven't given you folks the rundown from SSP New Year's in SoCal, nor have I finished uploading the pictures from when I got back to the Valley afterward.

I'll get on that later today, but for now, let me share with you one of the most shocking revelations of the trip. I learned that NBC doesn't know how to count...down:


They are decent timekeepers, but I'm not sure if they accounted for Andrew's beloved leap second. More on that in a future post.

tracking the Diaspora

This week, I've come across a couple of new projects by former East Valley Tribune staffers — Heat City and the Arizona Guardian.

You'll recall that in going to the four-day, free model, the Tribune also laid off more than 100 people. Well, four of them have launched a new Web site for news on state politics. I've yet to read most of the Guardian's first few days of content, but they've definitely got an experienced team of political reporters — and they had the good sense to advertise their new Web venture on Facebook.

Still, seeing a classic (but perhaps noteworthy) self-referential news item and a perhaps too insular feature on another Capitol reporter (Then again, it is the ever-interesting Howie Fischer.) has me wondering how many real readers they'll attract — especially if they hope to go to a subscription-based setup at some stage, as the New Times suggests.

Then there's Heat City, a more informal blog run by Nick Martin that I actually came across first. I was checking in on the live feed from the Serial Shooter trial and wondering if Nick was still blogging from the trial for the Tribune. I had forgotten that Nick was one of the newsroom staffers who was let go but quickly learned that he was still hanging around the courtroom, blogging for a personal site and making the occasional appearance on ABC 15.

You know, maybe it's that the laid off Tribune employees were notified months before their jobs actually ended, versus the reportedly more immediate layoffs that followed across town at The Arizona Republic. Whatever the reason, though, I've found it interesting that ex-Tribune folks have already got two new Web sites up and running and I've yet to stumble upon any new projects from former Republic staffers. I wonder if there are any out there, but that's another search for another time.

big red

The new Web site layout for eastvalleytribune.com, the site that the now four-day-a-week paper is asking people to visit seven days a week, is — well, a little stark.


Maybe it's just me, but I find the big red blocks all over the white page a little harsh-looking... Not exactly something I wanna stare at every day of the week.

Now I could take any number of swipes at the new Web layout, like "I guess this is what happens when you lay off your Web staff" or "Perhaps the Tribune is trying to let its online readers in on what its former subscribers already know — that the paper is bleeding to death."

But aside from those two, I think I'll refrain and instead go shed a few tears about how Phoenix is no longer a two-paper town — at least not on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays — and hope that a) the Tribune's plan actually does succeed in maintaining their ability to do good journalism and b) that someone softens up the new Web look so I can check up on the new Trib without getting a headache.

Videos like this*…

a) make me laugh and b) make me glad that YouTube and similar sites weren't around when I was in junior high.

I remember making similarly off-the-wall videos when I was about these kids' age, but luckily all of those are on VHS tapes and have yet to make the jump to anything sendable or embeddable.

* not to be confused with...

Welcome to the new(er than it looks) Brian.Indrelunas.com

It's a new year, and it's time for a new Brian.Indrelunas.com. Now, to your eyes, the site probably looks pretty much the same as it did last year. But over the weekend, I rebuilt the code behind this page from scratch so that it's a little bit leaner and meaner. (Trust me: Your Web browser is impressed.)

But if having all the style information in CSS stylesheets instead of being partially scattered around the HTML code or the new design's complete lack of tables don't really light your fire, here are some of the more noticeable differences to the site:

My Twitter status is now featured on the home page, right underneath "Brian.Indrelunas.com."

Lately, I've found myself sending things that I would've texted to this site in the past to Twitter and Facebook instead, so now you can see what I'm up to or my latest random musing right here on the home page.

The top right corner of the home page will now link to not just photos but also videos I've uploaded.

I'm fairly certain I've cobbled together a system that'll show both Flickr photos and YouTube videos up there.

There are new itty bitty links in the left sidebar.

These days, we all have stuff on a bunch of different sites — whether it's Facebook or Flickr or whatever. Those little 16x16 pictures provide links to all of my profiles and media on other sites.

I made a time machine!

I don't know if the old way of navigating to previous months' pages irked you, but I sure got tired of going through a pull-down box that had almost every month from June 2001 to present (88 and counting) listed in it. The new time machine allows you to select a month and then a year and hit go to be transported back in the archives.

It's now easier to get yo' link on.

For the past eight years, if you wanted to link to a post on Brian.Indrelunas.com, the URL looked like http://brian.indrelunas.com/2009_01_01_archive.html#9061959581102082834 and sent you to some point on one of the monthly archive pages. Now, though, each post will have its own page, like http://brian.indrelunas.com/2009/01/welcome-to-newer-than-it-looks.html for this post.

Just like before, you can grab the URL by clicking on the timestamp at the end of the post. (And if you like the old-school-style link, you can still find it on the individual-post page's timestamp.)

No more pop-up windows for comments!

Now that there's a separate page for each post, that's where you'll be sent to comment on any given post. So say good-bye to those pesky pop-up windows.