Archive for the 'Read' Category

Note to Self …

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

I’m blogging this to remind myself to check back. It’s a link I found in a fellow Lost-twitterer’s bio: We Are Movie Geeks.

And seriously, how did we ever watch TV before Twitter?? I’m not one of those “Here’s what I’m having for breakfast” Twitterers, but it’s a huge rush watching an already great show like Lost and at the same time following hundreds on conversations and reactions on the episode. It’s huge. It makes TV watching a wildly social activity.

Who would have thought that was possible.

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Some quick things before I have to get back to the music (just 1 more day to go!):

I’m using the clover bullet point in anticipation of the Irish Festival this weekend!

I promised a shout to the fine folks at Hurricane Glass and Mirror, with whom I had an interview today. It probably won’t amount to anything, since I’m vastly overqualified for this particular job (I’m hearing that a lot), but on the other hand, they’ll be expanding their operations soon, and my skills can come in handy.

Anyway, it was a good interview, and the main reason I tried out is because the office is 2.5 miles from my house.

After almost 13 years of driving 27 miles to toil on the corporate minefield, it would feel like a paid vacation to work in a small office right here in my own town, even if I would be vastly underemployed.

In other news, I’ve been meaning to mention that William F. Buckley Jr. died this week.

Buckley was what you call a classic intellectual consevative — as opposed to what we have now.

RPM Challenge (my music project) progress report: With just one day left, desperate times call for wacky measures, thus the book you see at right.

Seriously, though, I saw this at the library and couldn’t resist; I posted a picture on the RPM message boards and got a laugh from some of my similarly desperate fellow challengees.

Hey Spook, tell your mom Happy Birthday for me tomorrow!

And Now For Something Completely Different: Tron footage remixed with the sounds of nerdcore master YTCracker.

Three Short Rants, Pre-Christmas Style

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Just a few things that I hope I can keep quick:

TIME Magazine reveals their Person of the Year tomorrow, and I get the sick feeling that it’s going to be Al Gore. Why do I think this? Because he has just had all the Nobel publicity on him, on top of all the other Me-Too awards this year, and TIME is such a shameless bandwagon jumper, just as all the Old Media dinosaurs are these days.

PLUS it’s a liberal cause, PLUS it’s an election year and what a better note for them to start the year on.

I won’t start on the Gore and the Global Warming thing here — except to say that I do believe that we need to drastically reduce our emissions (and also our fuel consumption, and thus our national SUV addiction), and that, contrary to Gore’s policy, so-called developing nations like China and India need to make sacrifices right along with us, since they pollute more.

But I think that was isn’t realized internationally is that Gore is actually hurting his cause in the U.S. more than he’s helping it, because a lot of us here realize that Global Warming is his Golden Meal Ticket, and that he conveniently disregards any data that doesn’t support what he wants to preach.

See, you got me started. I’ll rant more at a later date, but for now … You just watch, those idiots will pin him for this prize too.

Okay, I already ranted, so I won’t go on about how much I HATE HATE HATE Windows Vista.

Suffice it to say that I’m glad we’ve only got it installed on our laptop PC.

We’ve been watching Clash of the Choirs on NBC this week, and it’s pretty good. My wife is a huge Patti LaBelle fan, plus she loves being in the choir, so of course she wouldn’t miss something like this. And apparently, unless there’s a sequel (always a possibility), I think the whole thing will be over by week’s end. Tonight was the second night, so if you’re going to watch, better start tomorrow.

It’s pretty interesting, but I wish Michael Bolton’s group had been the first kicked off tonight — and no, not because of all the crappy music he’s brought us over the years, and not because of the people in the choir.

I just felt — and my wife agreed — that he did the worst job with his choir, trying to form it in his own image as a solo singer: He had one singer (male, of course) sing most of the song, with the rest of his choir as his backup … singing only the melody, and very little harmony!

That’s right: Just like his act, but worse.

Okay, I’ll stop ranting now.

Must .. Keep … Posting … Streak … Going … !

Friday, June 1st, 2007

It’s all I can do tonight to peck out a post, so bear with me … We had no idea if we were going to have to work late tonight until the boss finally came in and told us we didn’t have to — the only thing is, she didn’t come in to tell us until 10 minutes after my quitting time. Oh well … On an unrelated note (or is it?), I noticed an inordinate number of my co-workers paying an unusual degree of attention to the news that Dr. Kervorkian was released from prison today. I wonder if that’s a bad sign … No rain today, for two days in a row! Of course, we’re grateful for all the rain, but at least we get a break from trying to keep Molly out of the mud pits in the corners of our yard by the alley … There’s two shows I like to watch on Friday nights: Skyland and Best Week Ever. The only trouble is, they weren’t on tonight. Again: Oh well … And to close, a link from Attack of the Show: If you’re like me, you like women with brains as well as looks — so you might enjoy checking out the Babes With Books Blog.

Mad Life

Friday, May 18th, 2007

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that, as an early birthday present, I bought myself the DVD-ROM with over 50 years of complete issues of Mad Magazine. That has to have been the best 50 dollars I’ve ever spent: Not only is the humor and the artwork great entertainment, but it’s also a detailed time capsule of the history of the last half of the 20th Century. It also happens to be, for me, an album of the times from my junior high and (most of my) high school years. I had forgotten about a lot of the news, music, and entertainment items from back then, but it’s all coming back now … and I’ve only browsed through a fraction of the issues.

More to the point, though, I picked these two covers to highlight today. They’re both June issues, but they were released in May. The top cover was the first issue of Mad as a humor magazine, instead of the comic book it had been in its first three years of life, and that issue came out the same month that I was born. Coincidence? In fact, a lot of major things happened in the months leading up to or following my birth: The retirement of Churchhill, the death of Einstein, the beginning of the Daley dynasty in Chicago, Ray Kroc opening his first McDonald’s, the introduction of the polio vaccine, the opening of Disneyland, the premiere of Gunsmoke. the signing of the Warsaw Pact — I hereby credit my existence for the good stuff, and absolve myself of any responsibility for the bad.

ANYWAY: The lower issue here, the Clockwork Orange parody, was released in the month that I turned 18 and graduated from high school.

It is shown here only for reference; anything that happened around that time, for good or ill, was completely independent of my presence on this planet.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

ANYWAY: Tomorrow (Saturday the 19th) is my birthday. Please try to remain civilized and law-abiding during any celebrations in my honor.

Thank you in advance.

Driving Me Mad

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Okay, I’ll do one more post to start the month, but no guarantees after this: I got my early birthday present to myself, Absolutely Mad, a DVD-ROM with scans of over 50 years of Mad Magazine, including specials and compilation-book covers. I’ve browsed some of the 60’s issues already, and it’s a real memory trip. I got my first issue in December 1968, and a few months later I got about 20 issues from about 66-68 dirt cheap at a used bookstore.

I guess you could call it something of an influencing factor in my life.

Anyway, looking through that is just one more thing that I need to be doing instead of posting, so I’ll get to it.

In Memoriam

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Every once in a while, I browse the recent deaths on Wikipedia — not out of some grim fascination, but just to note the passing of someone that was largely ignored by the mainstream media in favor of the much less worthy.

For example: The news outlets were all over the death of sensationalist writer Kurt Vonnegut Jr. on April 11, little attention was given to the passing of longtime character actor Roscoe Lee Browne. You might not recognize the name, but you’ve seen him (and heard him, since he does a lot of voiceovers) lots of times: The balding black man with the rich, Shakespearean voice.

James Earl Jones may get all the attention in that category, but Browne had his share of fans too.

So go check out his impressive record of work, and see some recent tributes in his memory.

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My comedic roots It also occurs to me that, in my recent post-slacking, I’ve neglected to say anything about the passing of Art Buchwald, the longtime political satirist that was a huge influence to me in high school.

Yes, I was that big of a dork as a teenager: I followed the work of a newspaper columnist.

So now I’m making up for it, partially, by posting a picture of this Watergate-era book that I’ve had all these years, and which I brought back from storage my mom’s garage a couple of years ago.

We just really don’t have an equivalent of Buchwald these days; sad but true.

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Speaking of Watergate and belated observances of mortal-coil-shuffling: On Sunday (Earth Day!) I mentioned a Nixon quote and remarked “It’s no Checkers Speech …:

I neglected to mention two things:

1) That day, the 22nd of April, was the 13th anniversary of Nixon’s death, and always worthy of mention. I was at my mom’s house at the time, and she was watching 20/20, in which Barbara Walters was interviewing Louis Farrakhan, as I recall, when ABC News broke in with news of the death. I had been in the middle of explaining to my mom who Farrakhan was, but never finished due to the breaking news.

2) I should have also said, upon mentioning the aforementioned Checkers Speech, that said historical landmark is widely available, even in video form, thanks to the miracle of “The Internets” … so let’s watch it, shall we? Yes, let’s!:

“Heroes”!

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

I knew Heroes was starting back tonight — after six freaking weeks off the air! — and that Wired was doing a story about it, but I had no idea that it would be in this issue, and on the cover, and arriving today.

Coolness.

So here’s something I’m wondering: The good guys always have these sociopathic mass-murder machines captured and under sedation, and THEY DON’T KILL THEM.

How freaking stupid IS this shadowy international conspiracy, anyway?

Now, you know that I’m not a violent person, and that I love each and every living thing on God’s green Earth.

Having said that, I think we can all agree that it would have been best for all those other living things if they had separated Sylar into his individual component molecules within the first half-minute that they had him unconscious the first time.

Since they grandly forked up that opportunity, though, I would have settled for having his total disintegration accomplished on his second or even third apprehension.

Oh, but noooooooo, they wanted to STUDY him, for SCIENTIFIC purposes.

Yeah, how’d that work out for ya?

“By studying him, we might learn something wonderful!

And all you ended up learning how to pick your ass out of your teeth.

Yeah, nice job, Dr. Discovery. Enjoy exploring the afterlife.

ANYWAY: At least Unstable Dirty-Bomb Man, whom they also let live when they had a chance to do otherwise, is now turning out to be not so unstable, and working for The Forces of Good.

Another decision that will be biting Shadowy Sulu Conspiracy in the gluteus before it’s all over.

So: Four more episodes before the season finale! Enjoy it while we can!

Little Big News

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Lots of little things going on, each of which is exciting in its own way, so let’s get to it:

New WIRED Magazine today! Recognize the guy on the cover? The name John Hodgman might not mean anything, especially if you don’t closely follow The Daily Show, but you might know him better as “PC” on Apple’s “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” commercials. But the gimmick that’s made him famous is being a “know-it-all” who makes everything up as he goes along. I heard an interview with him on NPR a couple of months ago about his new book, Hobo Matters.

“Heroes” returns tonight! The best show on TV since Lost picks up where it left off, after too many weeks away.

Oscar nominations tomorrow! I think it’s significant that it’s no longer as much fun to guess the nominees as it is to guess who’s going to get snubbed. My guesses? “Blood Diamond”, Brad Pitt, and “Little Miss Sunshine”. I just have a feeling.

New-Boss-in-Training is out of town for a fortnight! Woo-freakin’-hoo!

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to jump back into the stream that is my life …

Person of the Year, Right Here …

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Time Magazine has announced their 2006 Person of the Year, and it’s another one of their famous oddball choices — like past ones that have been, just within my lifetime, The Computer, 25 & Under, Middle Americans, The Earth.

So this year was another one of those, when the Person of the Year is …

ME!

Well, hey, that’s what their website said: “Person of the Year for 2006 is YOU.”

I feel so honored. I’d like to thank all the little people who made this possible.

No, but seriously: What they mean, of course, is the the person of the year is “you”, meaning individuals, especially all those who make use of the latest technologies to create and participate. Here’s a blurb:

But look at 2006 through a different lens and you’ll see another story, one that isn’t about conflict or great men. It’s a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It’s about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes. […] We made Facebook profiles and Second Life avatars and reviewed books at Amazon and recorded podcasts. We blogged about our candidates losing and wrote songs about getting dumped. We camcordered bombing runs and built open-source software.

And it occurred to me that, well, a lot of the article applies to me.

Blogging? That’s me, for right at four years now.

YouTube? I’ve done that too, both animation and directing a video contest entry, as well as other stuff like making a psychedelic light show. I’ve got several other video projects in the works.

MySpace? Check. And bonus points for the fact that I don’t use it to go trolling for dates, under-age or otherwise.

Avatars? Not in Second Life, but in Everquest and Everquest II and the There beta, all of which pre-date Second Life.

Wikipedia? Another check. I’ve lost count of have many entries I’ve edited, including a few where I forgot to sign in first (d’oh!) and thus don’t get the credit for.

Open-source software? I don’t program Linux, but I certainly participate, having a Linux-dedicated computer set up in the garage, and have installed five different Linux distributions, just to keep up to date with what’s going on. Plus, in the past I’ve dabbled in Fortran, Basic, and HTML/Javascript, so anything’s possible.

Music mashups? Present and accounted for. I haven’t posted anything publicly yet, but it’s just a matter of time.

And the online article fails to mention Flickr, but it really should: I’ve just recently passed the 1000-photograph mark, documenting my little corner of the world.

So yes, it’s good to be Person of the Year. Do you feel it too?