Saturday, August 12, 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
RIP Fred, the undercover kitten
Poor little guy got out and got run over. An earlier version of the story I saw gave a better explanation of the Fredster's accomplishments in the line of duty: smoking out fake/crooked vets. Aww Fred. May you have an afterlife of chicken, tuna and lots of throat scratchies. And say hi to Wilma for me. Humans are overrated. Cats...not so much.
The big move
So I've been hunting the net for advice on switching this blog over to Typepad and I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that there's no easy way of doing it. I don't want to copy the template because the template is what's giving me the yips. If I just copy and paste the template won't that just transfer my formatting problems from one host to another? Another cheerful prospect of how I'm going to spend my weekend is the realization that I can't export my posts to the new site. Blogger doesn't provide this option. So the irony is that with all this amazing technology, I may end up doing a crapload of copying and pasting in the next few days. It will probably be a work in progress for a while. But in the long run hopefully it will make blogging (which I love doing) a lot more enjoyable, flexible and stree-free. Also, from what I've seen, I'll just be able to do a lot more fun stuff with the blog on Typepad. Wish me luck!
Sign of the times
With this in the news I found it interesting while picking up lunch today at El Pollo Loco on Vine and Fountain (which back in better times was the site of the Hollywood Ranch Market) that the guy standing in line behind me was a uniformed Department of Homeland Security officer. It's so surreal to think that if the US and UK security forces hadn't caught on to the plan (good work guys, and thanks) we'd be reliving 9/11 again this time next week. And with stuff like this going on, we could very well find ourselves reliving it again sometime soon anyway. I don't know what it's going to take to protect ourselves from these maniacs, but whatever it is I'm all for it. Nothing is too drastic at this point. On a cheerier note, my plans for the weekend involve getting DSL and moving the blog to Typepad. Anything beyond that is gravy. And I've been lucky so far today - it's turned out to be a quiet Friday at the office. Hopefully it will stay that way and I can head into the weekend in a good frame of mind.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Everything's coming up roses
Liz poked me with a stick (via comment/email) and as a result moving the format-afflicted blog to Typepad is now at the top of my weekend to-do list. I care about both the blog and my sanity too much to continue on like this. Not to mention this probably means no more of what I'm fond of referring to as "eyesore pink" and that can only be a good thing. Also, interesting career-change type stuff finally discussed this week and all systems appear to be go, eventually. Yeah, I know that might come across as ever so slightly cryptic, but it's good and makes me happy (and makes the office job bearable for the time being) and it has to be cryptic for now because I don't want to count any chicks before they are hatched. But at some point in the near future people who accidentally stumble across this blog may be spared from my online whining about my soul-killing office job du jour, number whatever in a lifelong series. Oh, and Season 1 of Prison Break? As of this afternoon, I own it. Have I mentioned lately that Wentworth Miller looks like my brother? They have the same nose. Life is good. For the moment, anyway.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Me, Ameoba, Season 1 of "Prison Break" on DVD available August 8 and my debit/credit card. What do these things have in common? My lunch break tomorrow. This time Tuesday night I am totally reveling in the first part of Season 1 I missed in the first go-round. And reliving the part of Season 1 I've seen. Buy it, Netflix it, I don't care. If you're not watching it, it's your loss.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Dude, you've been Reutered!
In a world where "google" and "netflix" have gone from being brand names to verbs comes a new action word: reutered. This has just come into being because Reuters released a Photoshopped (as it was previously known) picture that they presented as vetted and unquestionable fact but were later forced to acknowledge as manipulated thanks to the work of intrepid blog little green footballs (whose story was quickly picked up and disseminated by other bloggers). And don't fool yourself - Reuters only copped to the fakery and recalled the picture because these bloggers brought it to the world's attention. They would never have done it on their own. This stunningly lame work of art was committed by supposedly professional, world-class Reuters photographer (and crappy Photoshopper) Adnan Hajj. No agenda there, nope. Love or hate the right wing blogosphere, agree or disagree with them, they have made amazing progress the past few years in calling out the mainstream media (now known on the net as the MSM, not to be confused with MSN) on their slanted approach and shamelessly manufactured examples of indisputable "proof" that they foist upon us, the public, with the dated smug self-assurance that we're too dumb and trusting to question anything they stick in front of us. Well, welcome to the new technology. Dumb and trusting is a thing of the past. The sooner the likes of Reuters figures that out, the quicker they rejoin the real world and avoid making themselves objects of derision and taking hits to their once unquestioned credibility. Like it or not, the MSM needs to understand and respect that there's a new power structure in the game and ignoring it is not going to magically make it go away. We're called bloggers. And any one of us can sign up for a free blog and instantly become one. We are worldwide, we are legion, and we are limited only by our imagination, diligence and intelligence. In other words, only by ourselves. Other than that, the sky's the limit. How that must irritate the establishment. In fact, it's pretty much their worst nightmare. Key moments in the elevation of the influence and importance of bloggers are documented by Hugh Hewitt in his terrific book Blog. They include, most importantly IMO, a pre-2004 election segment run on 60 Minutes in which George Bush's Vietnam-era cowardice and privilege were supposedly and damagingly substantiated by a memo said to have been written by Bush's superior...a memo eventually proven to be a complete work of fiction by some guy who identified himself as "Buckhead" on the avowed Righty site Free Republic. But Buckhead wasn't posting in his capacity as an avowed rightly, he was posting in his capacity as a guy with lots of experience in the field of printing and typesetting. Because his review of the "memo" produced this observance (from Hewitt's "Blog"): Every single one of these memos to file is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman. In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts. The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction of laser printers, word processing software and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's...I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old. This should be pursued agressively. And it was pursued - not by the MSM, and certainly not by CBS News until their hand was forced - and eventually proven to be a forgery and long story short even the mighty Dan Rather and CBS News were forced to admit it. Because while the mighty machinery of CBS News may have failed to spot a forgery - or even worse, accepted and played along with it - it only took one guy out in the blogosphere, one little guy with an expertise in printing to hurl the stone that brought down the giant. And as someone who goes back far enough to know the drudgery and lack of artistry afforded those of us who toiled on the likes of the IBM Selectric (it was a beautiful day when you scored one with self-correction, wasn't it fellow oldsters?) it's amazing to me that some smug asshole really thought so little of the American public, of the audience tuning into CBS News, that they really believed no one would figure out their crappy forgery. Which kind of brings it full circle to the crappy Reuters/Hajj Photoshop scandal, and really there isn't any other word for it. Hopefully Reuters will have the decency to be embarrassed by this, but somehow I don't think so. There will be more before the MSM wises up. Right and left are just that heavily divided these days, that even common sense is tossed by the wayside without a second thought. Still, I love the fact that we live in a day and age where David can once again stone Goliath. Whether it's Bill Clinton, George Bush, Dan Rather, Adnan Hajj, CBS News or Reuters, Republican or Democrat, the big guys no longer have all the power. Whether the MSM admits it or not, they can all be brought to bear and be held accountable by a little guy with a web presence. They can lie and manipulate all they want, but in the end they no longer have the final word. They can no longer count on us as a captive and obedient audience. We're talking back now, and judging by how often they continue to arrogantly ignore this fact by letting crap like Hajj's poorly reutered picture(s) to be presented as fact without regard to reality tells me that they're going to have to learn a few - or maybe even a lot - more lessons the hard way before they start to show us, the consumers, the respect we deserve. Imagine what a shock that has been, is, and will continue to be to them. For years, hell for decades, viewers and readers couldn't question the information being fed to them. Now not only can we question them but we can also trump their reporting with out own. How galling that must be to them, this new world, this new reality. No wonder politicians are trying to wrestle control of the internet away from us. And now I'm gonna let my immature inner twelve year old loose to snicker over how close "reutered" resembles "neutered". LOL OMG. And yet how strangely fitting. If the dumb animal can't control its urges, perhaps it needs to be fixed.
End of a Southland era
Matriarch of In-N-Out Burger dies. RIP, Esther Snyder. One of the things that always blows me away about In-N-Out is how damn happy their employees always are. Like they sincerely couldn't imagine anything more enjoyable than being on the job and serving me, the consumer. Maybe I should go work there. There's one just a few blocks away. Damn. That is a thought.
Format woes kind of solved
But only by pulling down a couple of lengthy posts, which isn't really a solution. Seriously, shouldn't Blogger be able to create a fix for this crap?
Friday, August 04, 2006
Forget the so-called summer blockbusters
August and September are going to be serious movie months for me, especially since I tend to wait for DVDs unless I can snag a screening. I may have to actually spend some time in theaters in the next couple months. Opening today: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. I loved Anchorman, so I'll probably love this one too. It's playing at the Cinerama Dome, I think I'll probably skip the weekend crowds and see this next week after work. August 18: Snakes on a Plane. I really hope this one is at the Chinese. The big theater, not the 6-plex. September 8: Hollywoodland, about the death of George "Superman" Reeves. The trailer for this one looks fantastic. Let's see here: Noir, check. Historic Hollywood, check. Mysterious, unsolved death that may have been suicide, may have been murder...check. I'm in. I'm also going to go out on a bit of a limb here and say this film is going to get Ben Affleck's career out of the seemingly permanent black hole it's descended into the past few years. He's not a great actor, but I think it's perfect casting. Based on the trailer I totally buy him as Reeves. September 15: The Black Dahlia. Hmm. Noir, check. Ellroy, check. Historic L.A., check. Mysterious, unsolved murder, check. I am so there. Not thrilled about the Josh Hartnett factor, he didn't seem terribly expressive in the trailer I saw. Hopefully he'll prove me wrong. September 22: Feast. I won't actually see this one (not a big fan of the genre), but this release is noteworthy to me because it was the winner of Project Greenlight 3, of which I was a judge (via my then-enrollment in Writer's Boot Camp). It was a great experience and out of the twenty scripts I judged, there were about four or five that in my opionion were very greenlight-worthy (and one that was hysterically bad - the "writer" must have had his friends bombard the Greenlight website to get it voted into the top 1000). "Feast" was not among my twenty, but it's neat to know it was somewhere in that room when we were picking up our big box-o-scripts, just waiting to make someone's filmmaking dream come true.