state of the poprox speech

Yup, here it comes.

Every now and then — especially when something good happens, like today — I take some time to announce something and break down what it means to the PopRox readers. Since this is something people have been asking about for the last two months ever since the switch to the new blog host happened, it seems like a good time to announce that comments are back on PopRox.

No longer do you have to archaically e-mail me (but you always can if you want), or go through the hassle of clicking to the PopRox Facebook page to make fun of my words — now you can do it right at the bottom of this post. One stop bashing!

There’s one catch, but I’m going to go ahead and assume it’s barely even a catch for readers here — you have to be able to log in somehow, no anonymous comments. You can set up a login at our hosting site, but you certainly don’t need to because you can log in with a Yahoo, Google, Facebook or Twitter account. That has to include about 95 percent of PopRox readers, and I think I’m being conservative. I’d be willing to bet it’s closer to 100 percent. And if it’s not 100 percent, if there are still people out there who don’t have either a Yahoo, Google, Facebook or Twitter accounts … then I just don’t know what to tell you. You should have one of those. You NEED one of those, especially since there are a number of Internet tools now (like this blog) where you can just log in using one of those accounts.

So there it is, comments are back. Feel free to drop in whatever you’d like about my shoddy writing, horrible logic or general abuse of the English language. I’m pretty sure all three apply on most days.

I will warn you that I’ll most likely be deleting any “FIRST!!!” posts. I think they’re pretty lame. OK, I won’t delete them. I’m only deleting comments if they cross the language/taste line that I try to steer clear of. I hate censorship, so I’ll probably be a little more lenient here than other places on will — but not by much. You can be sure F-Bombs will be deleted.

Also, I’ve been trying to build up the links section in the right rail over there. If anyone has a certain link they go to on a regular basis they think would be interesting to fellow PopRox readers, e-mail it in to me. Or hey, just leave it in the comments!

Now it’s time to pimp my other project going on right now — Poconos Biggest Loser. Can you guess what this is all about?

I’m not going to rehash all the details of the contest, ones you easily can find at the contest’s Web site, There you’ll find the rules, timeline, what would be required of you and how to enter. It’s all there. If you can’t find it there and you still have questions, e-mail me (or comments!).

entry deadline -- dec. 22

entry deadline -- dec. 22

But here’s what I will say about it — I’m shocked, in a good way, about the level of interest. When I floated the idea to April Pansy at Elevations Health Club back in October, she tried to convince me we’d get more than 50 entries. I told her no way, that I had run contests before here, and only twice did we get more than about 40 entries. When you’re asking people to do something other than claim a pair of tickets — like all the requirements of Poconos Biggest Loser — entries get even more scarce.

I told April that I’d be thrilled with 20 entries, and basically that I’d invent some kind of ritualistic torture to inflict on myself if we got more than 50 by the entry deadline, Dec. 22. I just didn’t think it would or could happen. Well, after having the contest live for about four days since Friday, we went over 100 entries Tuesday. We’re remarkably excited now that we may be able to help people realize the dream of some weight loss.

It’s also made me change course on how we’re going to bring you the actual contest. It originally was focused mainly on the people we chose as our contestants — but now I’m seeing there are just too many people that need our help and we need to make sure this is an interactive contest. The people reading/watching at home should get as much help as the people in the contest. There are just too many people out there who need something like this to turn their lives around.

One of the immediate things is that I’ve started a Facebook fan page for the contest. We’ll be updating it with material throughout the contest, and the process that leads into the contest. That includes video blogs, weight loss tips and specific workouts.

So please, if you entered our contest and you do not get chosen, don’t just throw up your hands and think that because you’re not in the contest, you’re a lost cause. You aren’t. No one is. We’re going to provide as much weight loss information and exercises as we can possibly cram into the 10-week program, so it’s not just for people in our contest, and it’s not just for people who need to lose 100 pounds.

It’s for anyone who thinks they need a lifestyle change. Repeat: ANYONE — and we’re going to give you the tools to do it. Stay tuned, the contest begins Jan. 17, but if you want to enter, you have to do it by Dec. 22.

OK, enough about us, some quick links to get you through the day:

hey! it's the baumer!

hey! it's the baumer!

Don’t you hate it when you have a random thought in the back of your head that you neither verbalize or write down to prove you had it first? That’s Luke Wilson pushing AT&T for me. It’s been bugging me for a while that this one-time respectable actor is shilling for the communications giant — and not even telling the truth. Then I started thing — when has he ever been a respectable actor? In Legally Blonde? In Blue Streak? Or maybe Charlie’s Angels? If he’s not signed up to a Wes Anderson movie, he’s not making anything worth watching, other than Old School, and he was horrible in that. Distractingly bad. Worst part of the movie. Perhaps we should also mention that he hasn’t been attached to any Wes Anderson movie that his brother Owen hasn’t co-written. Red flag. So go ahead, Luke. Go ahead and sell your soul, it’s not that big a deal.

Whew! That was way more than I meant to write about that. Quicker links from here on in: Golden Globes usually are a good barometer for the Oscars, but it’s going to be even more important this year with the Oscars going to 10 nominees for Best Picture. Nominees announced next Tuesday.

So it looks like The Hobbit will be all over the landscape from now until 2011. Peter Jackson said some characters from LOTR will be back, but most won’t.

This almost — ALMOST — makes me not want to see Spidey 4 if this whole deal shakes out. First, I hate the Vulture. I think he’s the stupidest Spider-Man villain next to The Rhino. I never understood the comics when Spider-Man was having trouble defeating the Vulture. He should have been able to take him down and still had time to fit in a light lunch and facial. Second, making up a villain out of the Spider-Man mythology for Anne Hathaway to play when she obviously would fit right in as Felicia Hardy doesn’t make a lick of sense. What, the 7 bazillion villains in the Spidey universe aren’t enough to choose from? You have to make one up? I’m officially worried if that report comes true.

I watched one soap opera in my life, and it was As the World Turns. That was back in middle school and college. I was shocked when I was at the gym on a random weekday afternoon recently to see that the same freakin’ people are on there and that I could easily pick right back up with the story 15 years later. So yeah, maybe it does need to be canceled.

SXSW just announced 200 more bands coming to the festival next year — and only three are from Pennsylvania. Disappointing.

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