Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Credibility, Part I

I've been working far too long on a larger post about credibility, relating the the Bush Admin, James Frey,, and bloggers in general. Alas, it always gets too long winded, so I'll keep it down to occasional brief posts...

I saw An Inconvenient Truth. I thought it was pretty good. I also followed up by surfing the net to back up the some of Gore's claims. My largest problem is his insistence, along with his supporters, that there's nothing to debate: global warming is created by humans, it will destroy the earth, and its up to us to stop this from happening.

I find it insulting when anyone says there's "nothing to debate", which discourages people from looking deeper into the issue. While I don't think this is a political tactic, as some right wingers insist, but is just Gore being overzealous with his research and beliefs.

However, I find this recent critique by the US Senate Committee on Evironment and Public Works to support Gore's view that humans can destroy the environment more than the pieces intent to partially discredit Gore.

Gore’s claim that global warming is causing the snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro to disappear has also been debunked by scientific reports. For example, a 2004 study in the journal Nature makes clear that Kilimanjaro is experiencing less snowfall because there’s less moisture in the air due to deforestation around Kilimanjaro.

In short, it isn't emissions that are altering the enviornment, but the chopping down of trees.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Why Bill O'Reilly Lost My Respect

I think I've mentioned this before - I used to respect Bill O'Reilly, even though I disagreed with him often, until this interview with Jeremy Glick. Any other news network would have fired O'Reilly for the way he treated this guest.

The video enough is bad alone, let alone O'Reilly later spinning/lying about what Glick said on the program:

"on this program, Glick said President [George W.] Bush and his father [former President George H.W. Bush] were responsible for his [Glick's] father's death. He said George W. Bush pulled off a coup to get elected. He implied the U.S.A. itself was a terrorist nation. And he called his father's death at the hands of an Al Qaeda "alleged assassination." He said America itself was responsible for the 9-11 attack because it is an imperialistic, aggressive nation. Glick was dismissed from The Factor because he was completely off the wall. Security actually had to take the guy out of the building, he was that out of control."

Glick never said the U.S. was a terrorist nation or even came close. And O'Reilly's view that Glick was a madman is rather ironic, considering Glick remains amazingly calm throughout, while O'Reilly appears to be about to jump across the table and launch a preemptive strike of his own on Glick.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Will Blog for My Soul

Once again, I pipe in to point out that I am, indeed, blogging quite a bit... albeit at

I recently added a tool bar on the right that offers an easy way to see my most recent posts there. The Los Angeles-centric, but sometimes still fun. And if they inspire you to come visit, all the better.

I'm particularly proud of my most recent entries, part of a series called "Six Six Six Days of Satan" that focus on Satanism in Los Angeles and the impending date of 6/6/06 -- which is tomorrow. In short, the Dark Lord will rise from the Abyss, spread Hellfire, destroy us all, make sweet love to Sadaam Hussein, and then have a latte.

That said, if the prophecies are all correct this will be my last post. So, hugs and kisses to everyone.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Video camera + pooper scooper = ???

Gene Garcia, another Group 101er from my team just made and posted this fun MasterCard spec commercial.
If you're a sucker for puppies in video like I am, you'll enjoy.

Also, our group mentor, Nick Towle, recently invited me to help out on a reshoot for a short he made (actually, he invited my camera and I just tagged along). Some pics from the set
can be viewed here... interesting to note that the reason some of shots look great is due to the amount of smoke (from a fog machine) that was used on set to give a natural filter to diffuse both the light and the camera lense...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dear Richard Laymon fans...

A little over a year ago I adapted and shot a short film based on the Laymon short story "The Worshipper". This was actually supposed to be the first of three Laymon shorts I wanted to adapt for my director's reel, and I chose "The Worshipper" mainly because I knew I could shoot it with little or no budget (actually this was secondary - I really liked the story, too).

While I still have the footage, I've been struggling over the edit for the past year. As with most no budget films, sometimes crucial directorial errors are made - this short being no exception. Alas, trying to find a way to edit around some errors while still turning out a quality product befitting of the Laymon audience is a challenge.

I hope to have this finished in the next few months, and promise to let the Laymon fan sites have an exclusive first look.

In the meantime, I'll use this opportunity to push a couple of my other short films:

Asstoids (right click and "save as")- A commercial for a helpful new product. Just what are Asstoids? "They're for your ass."

Magic Wand - Find out what happens when a guy tries out a home pregnany test.

Choke - For anyone curious about Ouija boards, this is required viewing.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I've been eliminated.

I'll post the whole story in the next couple days, but in short one lucky shot under my front door wettened my feet, thus eliminating me from Street Wars.

In the meantime, CNN will be covering Street Wars tonight on The Situation Room at 7pm EST.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Oh, Bullocks...

If you're wondering what the hell I was talking about with Sumner Redstone coming after me, check out this article for a clue...

LA Times: "Assassin Game Is A Hit, Man"

In the meantime, I think I was a little paranoid at the time. A newsvan was parked outside my apartment and, really, who wouldn't think they were anything but assassins?

(if you're asked to log in to read the article, try:
password: bugmenot
or click here for other options)

Comforting News If You're Considering Cutting Off Your Own Penis To Use As A Weapon

Dr. Greg Bales, associate professor of urology at the University of Chicago, said severed penises are uncommon but surgery usually works. "As long as the penis is placed on ice and reattached within a few hours, the success is usually pretty good," Bales said.


Although if it was MY penis it would have been an effective weapon and taken out an entire SWAT team, unlike this guy who was easily subdued with a tazer gun:

Chicago Sun Times: Man severs own penis, throws it at officers

PS: Check out the URL for this entry:

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sumner Redstone is after me...

But no, he will not get me.

Too Little, Too Late

My biggest problem with the US invading Iraq, isn't that we shouldn't have never ousted Sadaam, but that deceiving the public about the threat of WMDs was the wrong way to go. I know my right wing readers will say we weren't lied to, and more on this in a bit, but first I was to stress that I think Sadaam did need to be kicked out, and personally I would back removing almost any dictator or government that engages in genocide. Had we been honest about our reasons for removing Sadaam, it may have been a tougher sell to US citizens and some international allies, but I think our integrity would still remain, and our mission in Iraq would be going much smoother as a result. Most of the time, the Bush Admin has to defend itself against accused lies, instead of merely being an aggressor.

My personal story about supporting the war on Iraq. Like many, I was on the fence whether we should invade or not. There were countless reasons to remove Sadaam, even though many of the accused atrocities had happened long before 2003. But the moment it became about WMDs, and the UN was sending in inspectors who kept coming back saying they were not finding any evidence, I was skeptical... why make it rest on WMDs if an international investigation couldn't determine if they didn't exist? I was encouraged by the like of Colin Powell, who I respected and trusted. When he presented evidence that WMDs were being hidden around Iraq, I was open to the idea. But after studying the issue rigorously, online, on TV, and in print, only one thing eventually made me change my mind.

My Uncle Skip.

A few months prior to invasion I was visiting Toledo and having dinner with him and my brother and sisters. The topic came up about the sketchy intelligence that substantiated the existance of WMDs, and I asked Skip what he thought. His reply was along the lines of, "The President and his staff wouldn't go to war unless they were absolutely sure there were WMDs, and they probably have a lot more intelligence supporting this than what they're revealing to the public."

And with that, I was pro-war.

Now, I kick myself. There was no additional good info. The intel was all bad. Maybe this is why they say you shouldn't argue religion and politics with family...

(and the part that burns me is that the same right wingers who blame the bad intelligence on Clinton's handling of our spy agencies are the same right wingers who cling to hope that the intel wasn't bad, but just that the WMDs were moved...)

So, back to my main point, which is best spelled out by a New York Times article... (remember, the same pansy New York Times that was pro-war and was spreading the same bad WMD intelligence that the right wingers still believe)

A Bush Alarm: Urging U.S. to Shun Isolationism


The president who made pre-emption and going it alone the watchwords of his first term is quietly turning in a new direction, warning at every opportunity of the dangers of turning the nation inward and isolationist, and making the case for international engagement on issues from national security to global economics...

...To his critics, the internationalist approach is too little too late — the price Mr. Bush has paid for a foreign policy that seemed relentlessly focused on building defensive walls and hunting enemies. A search of the White House Web site confirms that Mr. Bush, who in the days before he took office kept the take-no-prisoners speeches of Teddy Roosevelt on a table at his ranch, made little mention of "globalization" for much of his first five years in office, even when European leaders brought it up.

Asked once, several years ago, about his aversion to the topic, one of his senior aides said Mr. Bush associated the word with "mushy Clintonianism."

"It ranks up there with 'nation-building,' " he added...

Bryan Adams: Loved by Islam

Here's one strike against Dubai and the UAE: they're genuinely excited by an upcoming concert by Bryan Adams. A Canadian.

However, I find it pretty damned telling that not only is this concert apparently selling out a Dubai stadium, but the sponsors include Virgin Megastores, the Hard Rock Cafe, and Hallmark greeting cards.

I know that the main stream media and especially the right wing blogs won't point this out, but the UAE is pretty damned Westernized, and not the hotbed of terrorist activity many would lead one to believe.

For further updates on whats happening in the UAE from a locals point of view, check in on Metroblogging Dubai now and again...

Monday, March 06, 2006


I visited an interesting internet/computer convention/fest/thingy called BarCamp on Saturday night, mostly because I heard a bunch of reputable bloggers would be attending. It was also put together in part by Sean Bonner from, and I thought it might be great material for my first vlog.

The concept and execution for BarCamp is fascinating, and the subject of the video I made about it you can find here. In short, a bunch of programmers, web designers, bloggers, and others with an interest in internet communications simply decide to meet up for a couple days and whip together a conference from the inside out. Anyone can present on whatever they want. And the whole thing is free.

I met Marc Brown, who created Buzznet (the site where I host my photos in my sidebar) and he made a great observation that BarCamp is a great way to show that Silicon Valley isn't the only center of the internets. In fact, also in attendance were folks who created such sites as Deviant Art, Weblogs, Inc., Technorati, Boing Boing, and more. The concentration of genius in the room was overwhelming. If only I was seeking a career in the field it would have been a networking bonanza. Nonetheless, as a mere "blogfucker" it was a very cool experience.

My video is far from ideal - lights were very, very low at the warehouse, and I arrived after the majority of attendees had left. Still, I think it at least partly answers what BarCamp is all about.

Monday, February 27, 2006

By the way...

I'm actually blogging frequently, but not here...

Keep an eye on where I've been posting at least once every other day. (Its largely Los Angeles themed posts, so my out of town readers might be bored... )

My theory gets a boost on Drudge Report

So, yeah... my theory that Cheney will quit or get dumped by the Bush Admin so Condi RIce can become VP was given a little more credibility after the Drudge Report linked to this article:

Insight Magazine: Cheney seen retiring after midterm elections

Senior GOP sources envision the retirement of Mr. Cheney in 2007, months after the congressional elections. The sources said Mr. Cheney would be persuaded to step down as he becomes an increasing political liability to President Bush.

The sources reported a growing rift between the president and vice president as well as their staffs. They cited Mr. Cheney's failure to immediately tell the president of the accidental shooting of the vice president's hunting colleague earlier this month. The White House didn't learn of the incident until 18 hours later.

A few months ago I was out of town when I got a call from someone I'd hired on another event. An attendee at one of the events had a heart attack and died. I received this call within two hours of the incident as a casual heads up. In turn, I called the heads of our company.

18 hours to report to your boss, the President of United States, that you shot someone seems ridiculous. So ridiculous, I'm not certain if this is accurate. But if it is, anyone who doubts that the Cheney camp wasn't discussing how to spin the incident and likely cover-up portions of it are removed from the reality of not just politics, but the world. Cheney isn't an idiot, nor is he clumsy. The time gap in reporting this to the press or the President was not a mistake or lapse in judgement. Maybe the incident happened exactly as he's claimed... but his actions following the incident would lead me to believe he didn't want his staff or anyone to reveal details to anyone for a reason.

In the meantime, Bush needs a fall guy to blame everything that is tainting his Presidency, from Plame-gate to Halliburton ties and now this shooting. A vp slot filled by a single black woman, and one with qualifications to boot, could keep the GOP in the White House solidly for another four years, if not longer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Interview with former cop, current hunter, Republican, fellow Markland, on the whole Cheney shooting

In press lingo, the Cheney shooting story certainly has legs. Not so much over the actual shooting than the VP's office repeated delays on informing the public, and perhaps even the White House, of critical details. This, of course, raises many questions and suspicions, and highlights the concerns that people opposed to the Bush Admin have been saying all along: its secretive to a fault. Why did the news of Cheney shooting a fellow hunter take more than 24 hours to reach the press, and certainly hours before even the President knew? What was the VPs office frantically trying to spin or cover up? Was Cheney under the influence of alcohol? Was their discussion of having someone else take fault for the shooting? And why was their another extended delay in reporting that the shooting victim, lawyer Harry M. Whittington? At worst, if Cheney was found to have been negligent, or under the influence of alcohol at the time of the shooting, he could be charged with manslaughter if Whittington dies as a result.

Trying to gain some insight into this story I contacted my Uncle Skip Markland, retired Toledo policeman and a State of Ohio Certified Hunter Safety Instructor. He's also a diehard Republican. While some good points, he did actually inadvertently call me a moron.

I'm not certain I agree that they were thinking about claiming someone else did it, but one never knows. Unfortunately, this is what you will be reading in some left-wing moronic blog site.

Like mine.

Besides that, though, he offers some great common sense perspective on the issue, and put me in my place with my stereotyping of hunters. Here's some extended excerpts:

To blame anyone other than the VP is inappropriate. One thing that aggravates me is the stance of our political spokepersons when they claim that it "isn't all that serious" and that it "happens all the time". The Hell it ain't serious and it does not happen all of the time. Factually , hunting accidents are very rare with only a few incidents in each state per year so compared with all of the time that sportsmen spend in the woods hunting, a hunting accident is a very rare occurrence. That's why hunting is one of the least dangerous outdoor activities compared to many others including tennis and bicycling. When they say it isn't a serious incident, what they are saying is that the victim's wounds are not life threatening. It's only sheer luck that the man wasn't killed and I suppose it would take that for the Washington spin meisters to consider it serious.

On the delayed public notification:

From my history as a public servant, it is a very serious and newsworthy incident. I believe they would have been better served to release the information immediately. Accidents happen and our VP obviously did not do this on purpose. I think they made a serious mistake by delaying the press release and added to their PR problems on this one. There was nothing to hide and it isn't something that's going to go away. Do a press release and let the political chips fall where they may. It would have been in the headlines for a couple days and everyone would have forgotten it by the next month, except David Lettermen and Jay Leno but that's their job.

On hunting mistakes:

Keep one thing in mind. . . although we can all criticize the other hunter who makes a mistake, it can happen to the best hunter out there including me or you if you ever take up the sport. None of us are immune from making mistakes as hard as we try to avoid them. In hunting, one of the biggest problems that can lead to accidents is "tunnel vision". You are focusing so hard on making the good shot that you ignore everything else. This shooting is a classic example of that. I have even found myself guilty of this but fortunately I have never shot anyone or come close. It just happens so I do sympathize with the VP and any other hunter who causes such an accident. I have seen many interviews with hunters who have shot someone accidentally and these were truly unfortunate accidents. The hunters were good and safe hunters for the most part but made a tragic and very regretable mistake. (That's why hunting accidents are generally not prosecuted as crimes as I have heard some of our liberal media morons suggesting be done today)

Isn't it the norm for hunters to go hunting carrying a cooler and a couple six packs? Isn't it likely Cheney was drinking, if not drunk, when he shot Whittington?

It is possible but let me say this. You, in suggesting this, are accepting a common stereotype and myth that all hunters are drunk or have been drinking every time they go afield. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many hunters drink. Many hunters do not drink. The ratio of drinkers vs. non-drinkers is nothing different that the general population. However, very few hunters go into the field after or while they are drinking alcohol. So when you ask "How many hunters go quail hunting without some beer?" My response is "very few." Although I and many of my hunting friends enjoy our beer, we do not go into the field after we have been drinking. Do some hunters go into the field after they have been drinking? Of course. It certainly happens but once again they are certainly in the minority. And yes, they are the morons that create and advance these unwarranted stereotypes. So, we will never know if the VP had been drinking or they were trying to cover up his involvement unless someone comes forward or other evidence proves it.

In closing:

By the way, I went grouse hunting last Friday and never had a beer all day. Imagine that!! I did not shoot anyone either.

Now for the next theory to add to my left wing moronic web site: will this result on Bush asking Cheney to resign so Condoleeza Rice can become the Vice President, and thus possibly cement the Republican hold of the White House for another term?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dick Cheney Blows Cap In Attorney's Ass (or face and neck)

I know how horrific it is to laugh at someone else's misery, but I can't quit chuckling at Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of attorney Harry Whittington.

As a Constitutionalist (the political party I just made up, I think) I believe in the right to bear arms. And I have no problem with hunting at all.

But Cheney and the NRA Republicans who talk about how safe a sport hunting is, and that firearms are perfectly fine in trained hands, are going to have a hard time attacking gun control lobbyists after this.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I'm About To Jump On the Impeach Bush Bandwagon

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Leak Classified Information (02/09/2006)

Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, testified to a federal grand jury that he had been "authorized" by Cheney and other White House "superiors" in the summer of 2003 to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq, according to attorneys familiar with the matter, and to court records.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The N word

Again, I'd like to bring up the focus at Reverse Vampyr's blog about the cartoons of Muhammad causing protests, rioting, and deaths in Europe and the Middle East.

I think that it goes without saying that the violent reaction is simply inexcusable.

However, the American perspective on this is a bit wrong - the usual argument is that you don't see Christians reacting this way to art such as "Piss Christ", or Jews over holocaust denials.

As a result, many bloggers are posting the offending cartoons on their sites in defiance. I completely understand.

Now, if you really want to draw a comparison, try this:

Post photos of black leaders and celebrities on your blogs, in our newspapers and magazine, and on TV, and under their faces place the label: NIGGER.

Then wait for the reaction.

I'd defend this as free speech. I'd also argue it as irresponsible. But I doubt these same bloggers would rush to the defense of the actions.

Is anti-Muslim bigotry becoming accepted in mainstream America?

Reverse Vampyr recently posted a quote from the Face of Muhammed blog that I believe is bigoted, hate mongering, and promotes religious intolerance. Here's the quote:

It is suddenly coming to our attention that Islam is not, cannot, and will not be integrated or assimilated to the values of freedom and democracy. Islam is not only a religion; it is a totalitarian and expansionistic political ideology.

Am I over reacting to this?

Monday, February 06, 2006

McCain vs Obama!

My favorite Republican, John McCain just sent a clean and solid blow to my favorite Democrat, Barack Obama in the form of an open letter.

Painful to me, as I respect the apparent honesty and bipartisanship of both men. But in the letter, McCain disputes Obama's efforts of trying to be non-partisan with regards to lobbyist reform, and shuffles his feet without going outright and calling Obama a liar.

"I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere," is how it all begins.

I haven't dug into the background on this particular issue too deeply, but I sincerely hope these two can work it out. In the dreamland of Offline Adventures, I see a President John McCain with Vice President Barack Obama in our near future.

Friday, February 03, 2006

To All the Girls I've Loved Before

UPDATED 2/6/06: Susan Natalie doubted my original lineup was complete (see comments) and jogged my memory... I added two more (starred) and filled in details for #6.

I wondered if I could sum up every first kiss I've ever had, in order, in just a few words. No offense to anyone here...

first kiss, open mouth, holy crap that was hot
second kiss, way too easy, don't think i want to be a man slut
third kiss, most erotic ever, hope her boyfriend doesn't walk in
fourth kiss, sweet and subtle, a nice summer fling
fifth kiss, on a dance floor, with the first girl i meet in L.A.
sixth kiss, said she wanted to see stars - I thought she meant celebrities
seventh kiss, freakaholic, didn't call me the next day
eighth kiss, a-list model type, my inexperience and clumsiness scared her away
ninth kiss, again on a dance floor, later claimed she was too old for me
tenth kiss, seemed like fun at the time, big shot producer
eleventh kiss, heavy connection, but she never saw it til much too late
twelfth kiss, spring break raver, my mtv credentials finally pay off
thirteenth kiss, during a lapdance, she asked for my number (and then she called...)
*fourteenth kiss, IM flirting with old friend led to pumpkin carving date, wouldn't let me take off her bra
*fifteenth kiss, said she'd had a crush on me, how could I refuse?
sixteenth kiss, attracted by erect nipples that made the A cups look much bigger
seventeenth kiss, never happened, damaged a friendship, but who's to blame?
eighteenth kiss, my favorite, a redhead... haven't kissed another since

(I dedicate this post to Helena, who's shared many of her hot first kisses with her readers)

Muslims are to Iraqis what Looters are to Finders

Am I the only one who's noticed that some right wing bloggers will refer to people in Iraq differently based on their actions? When they're voting, or saying good things about the United States, these people are Iraqis? But when there are bombings or other violence, the people committing these acts are just Muslims?

LA Voice looking for writers

After posting news that had recruited a handful of new writers, Mack Reed at the LA Voice encouraged anyone wanting to post at his blog to give him a shout. Mack's a power house blogger, and if he were posting a handful of different nicknames he could fool anyone into believing his roster was larger than than of's. But I think the guy deserves a break and some well earned attention, so I'll repeat his call:

If you'd like to be part of LA's second greatest community blog, check out LA Voice. You can submit news/opinions/rants/etc. at any time (which are posted pending Mack's approval), or email Mack directly if you'd like to be considered as a "topic voice" focusing on angle of L.A. culture or news in particular, or as a "featured voice."

In the meantime, I recently made my first rash of posts for - to keep up, check out the site periodically, or click here to see what I've been whining about.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A nice crunchy outside and a chewy center

Its a cake. A real cake. A yummy cake. For real.

Now I must vomit.

(thanks, I guess, to The Sneeze for pointing this out... now, who's got a birthday coming up?)

Oh, How I Love Fact Check

If you're sick of the partisan bullshit and muckraking as I am you should always keep an eye on Fact Check (that's dot ORG not dot COM, as Dick Cheney embarrasingly mistook it for). They site readily slams inaccuracies from Democrats as it does Republicans. Fact Check's statement is that they are "a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."

I'm mostly giddy by their disection of last night's State of the Union Address... here's the rundown of what they found Bush omitted or altered:

* He proudly spoke of "writing a new chapter in the story of self-government" in Iraq and Afghanistan and said the number of democracies in the world is growing. He failed to mention that neither Iraq nor Afghanistan yet qualify as democracies according to the very group whose statistics he cited.
* Bush called for Congress to pass a line-item veto, failing to mention that the Supreme Court struck down a line-item veto as unconstitutional in 1998. Bills now in Congress would propose a Constitutional amendment, but none have shown signs of life.
* The President said the economy gained 4.6 million jobs in the past two-and-a-half years, failing to note that it had lost 2.6 million jobs in his first two-and-a-half years in office. The net gain since Bush took office is just a little more than 2 million.
* He talked of cutting spending, but only "non-security discretionary spending." Actually, total federal spending has increased 42 percent since Bush took office.
* He spoke of being "on track" to cut the federal deficit in half by 2009. But the deficit is increasing this year, and according to the Congressional Budget Office it will decline by considerably less than half even if Bush's tax cuts are allowed to lapse.
* Bush spoke of a "goal" of cutting dependence on Middle Eastern oil, failing to mention that US dependence on imported oil and petroleum products increased substantially during his first five years in office, reaching 60 per cent of consumption last year.

The whole piece can be read via their website - I'd offer a direct link to this article, titled "Misstatement of the Union", but I think its important for the die hard right wingers to look at the site and realize they aren't Bush bashers by any means.

I have additional thoughts of what I thought were completely incredulous statements by W last night, but I think the pointers above are enough to digest for now.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

CNN Pipeline Rocks

Right now, CNN Pipeline is airing on one of its four channels the 2004 State of the Union Address, to be followed, presumable, by the 2005 speech, leading up to live feed of this years's address.

Yes, a snore fest, but for a newshound like me its a godsend.

CNN Pipeline isn't perfect, but its one of the greatest web services around. For $2.99/month you get live streams and archives videos from CNN 24/7. At its best, it offers a choice from four simultaneous streams of live news at once. I was in heaven when last week I could switch between TWO high speed police chases in Southern California happening simultaneously... best of all, I was listening to the helicopter chatter, not the sanitized comments of a news anchor. During the mine disaster drama that unfolded a few weeks ago I was getting most of my news from live correspondent feeds... including dialogue between the journalists and cameramen while they weren't on air.

And the video quality is surprisingly awesome.

Unfortunately, CNN Pipeline will occasionally lack live streams at all... usually in the late hours. But for the most part, there's always something happening, even if its a static shot of the White House front lawn, traffic going over the Golden Gate Bridge, or live doppler radar.

The obvious benefit is being able to watch the news anywhere you can find an internet connection... but I tend to have it on even when I'm switching my TV between Fox News and the actual CNN.

Pipeline currently offers a two week free trial, as well as .99 cent daypass, so its worth giving a shot even if you think you'll only use it on occasion. But for $2.99 a month, for me its a better deal than the $20 I spend for Netflix.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

In Defense of Tom Cruise...

I'm currently working on a couple different posts to debut at, considering I've officially been a writer there for three days but have yet to post a thing. But, with a readership in the thousands, I feel a little more pressure to make sure the info is a. interesting and b. grammatically profound.

Not that I don't respect this small crowd here... although this post won't be indicative of that.

Film gossip site JoBlo's Movie Emporium has a pretty solid defense of Tom Cruise, and why you should forgive him. Well, maybe "solid" is a little extreme of a word, but for a guy named JoBlo its as good as its gonna get.

Here's some snippets:

We forgave Hugh Grant for getting a hummer from a hooker quicker than we've forgiven Tom. And we forgave Meg Ryan and Brad Pitt for cheating on their spouses. Why can't we get past Tom's bad summer?

He's 43 years old and he's sleeping with one of the most beautiful women in the world who happens to only be 24. If I were sleeping with Katie Holmes, I too would dance on the couches of every talk show host I could find.

And don't say you don't like the guy's movies. Of the roughly 25 movies he's been in, he pulls in an average of $101.5 million per picture. That puts him number 2 all time behind Harrison Ford for actors with more than 20 films to their resume. And Tom doesn't have the Star Wars movies to boost his numbers.

At the end of the piece, Jo Blo wonders why everyone thinks Tom Cruise is gay. And he's right, why should it matter? But, between friends and all... c'mon... dude dumped Nicole Kidman and at one time wanted to be a priest...

On a side note, Blogger appears to be down, but if you're posting with external software like wbloggar you won't be kept down...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

No, its the other way around: Disney Sells Its Soul to Steve Jobs

I spoke to God once. It was a few years ago, and I was housesitting for his long lost sister. The phone rang and the voice asked, "Is Mona there?" and I said no, but offered to take a message. "Just tell her Steve Jobs called." I knew who Steve Jobs was, but at the time had no idea why he'd be calling the house I was staying at. Mona was a bestselling author, so maybe she was interviewing him. A little research revealed that Jobs was Mona's biological brother, but while they were children he had been put up for adoption. It was only until many, many years later did they seek each other out - that Steve had become a gazillionaire genius, and Mona a hugely successful writer, completely on their own was pretty amazing. Nature over nurture perhaps?

Anyway, the press is all abuzz with the news that hell froze over and Disney caved in and bought Pixar, the Steve Jobs run digital animation studio. Over at BankofKev's blog he ponders the same thoughts everyone else interested in the movie business are thinking: "Question remains how much control Pixar retains in the deal...Let's wait and see."

But looking at some of the details reveals the question is better put as, "how much control will Disney retain?"

From Dark Horizons:

Disney on Tuesday agreed to acquire Steve Jobs' Pixar for $6.3 billion in stock plus $1.1 billion of the company's cash. The deal also gives Pixar and Jobs unprecedented access into what is perhaps the world's most renowned entertainment brand.

Jobs, who doubles as chief executive of Apple Computer Inc., will take a seat on Disney's board. He also becomes Disney's largest individual shareholder. Further, several Pixar executives will oversee Disney's animation unit along with their own operations.

On a side note, if you haven't bought stock in Apple yet, now's the time. Exclusive Disney content for kid iPods could hit the market before next Christmas...

What I've been saying all along

Dear my partisan minded friends...

Sploid: Study shows Left and Right equally dense

Unfortunately, this doesn't indicate of the more centrist among us are any smarter...

I'm now considered "fresh meat"

I so don't rock enough to have been accepting as a contributor for, but I was.
An open call was issued on Saturday for new writers to one of my favorite blogs, I applied, and well... its time to start conspiring what my first post will be...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blog for Choice Day

If abortion were murder, I'd be charged and convicted a willing accomplice. I'd also be friends with countless other killers and their co-conspirators. And if you think abortion really is, indeed, murder, if you still like me then you've got a crap sense of character.

Bottom line is while abortion may be ugly and foul, it isn't the same as murder. More importantly, what happens to anyone's body is their business and should not be regulated by the state. Anything less is completely and utterly fascist.

Today, and I'm running way late on this, is "Blog for Choice Day"...

In tribute I repost the rough cut of my short film "Magic Wand."

Click to watch

(click image to watch)

sideways trucker cap tip to Tony Pierce

Why Bush is to blame

Martin Garbus has an excellent piece at the Huffington Post entitled "How Close Are We to the End of Democracy?".

It clearly lays out the argument that Bush's abuse of power is unprecedented and an offense to the Constitution. In summary, "No President In Over 200 Years Of Our History Has Ever Before Claimed The 'Unitary Powers' That Bush Claims", not during the Civil War, Vietnam War, or Cold War.

Trilogy of Terror?

Bloggers Shane Nickerson and AJ Gentile's postings have come to a screeching halt around the same time that Jessica Stover announces that she may not be online so much...


Friday, January 20, 2006


I decided to give this site a new look, and instead of spending the time designing it myself I snagged one from this site.

I'll still be tweaking it, but the most important improvement to note here are the additions of "permalinks" and an xml feed in the side bar.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Friday, January 13, 2006

Bad Trend Watch 2006

People wearing the slogan "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy" t-shirts and hats.

I want to shove a pair of Uggs down each one of these people's throats.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Why do I keep coming back to Woot!?

Woot! is a highly addictive website that features one item for sale a day, usually some electonic gizmo, at sometimes outrageously low prices.

They don't hide too much that they sort of suck - products often misrepresented, they double, triple, or quadruple bill people for orders, and their site can be embarrasingly glitchy. While they may be honest, I often question why I return as a customer. The answer, however, is simple: great product descriptions.

For example, right now they have a Roomba on sale for $119. Its refurbished, so I'll steer clear. However, check out part of the their product description:

Simply punch the appropriate buttons on the Roomba's exoskeleton or the included remote control. Then gaze placidly on while your new mecha-maid greedily slurps up all the crud, soil, and filth generated by your unsavory lifestyle. Dorito crumbs, short curly hairs, stray granules of cocaine: all vanish into the Roomba Discovery's voracious maw, and still it begs for more...

In the meantime, if you're as obsessed with customer service and good deals on crap as I am, take a gander at The Consumerist, a new blog from the Gawker media folks.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Now Hiring: Stormtroopers (experience preferred)

Just found this on CraigsList:

NEED - Two to Four STORM TROOPERS for an event Feb 10th & 11th

I'm looking for two to four Storm Trooper's to attend a two-night event to be held at an art gallery in Hollywood. Members of the 501st preferred...

The event spans two nights, it's for an art opening - where many of the pieces on display are Star Wars themed/inspired.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Only Worthwhile End of the Year List You Need to Read

Actually, there's no worthwhile end of the year list, but if there was, this would be it:

retroCRUSH's 100 Most Annoying Things of 2005

Some highlights:

Getting advice on being a star from Paula Abdul is like getting driving lessons from Lindsay Lohan.

Really want kids to stop smoking? Stop showing commercials with kids saying how uncool it is, and have Bea Arthur in a thong smoking a pack of Newports exclaiming how cool cigs really are. Either that, or stop making cigarettes.

I just don’t get the fascination with movies like Cheaper By The Dozen 2 and the not to be outdone 18 kid remake of Yours, Mine, and Ours. Look for Disney’s upcoming, Sweet Lord, My Uterus Exploded! (starring Dakota Fanning, of course) to come out next summer.

While much was made about the black “looters” and white “gatherers” in the media’s coverage of the Katrina flooding, why wasn’t there any outcry about the unfair portrayal of failed lesbians as the source of the flooding? And calling them “dykes” on national TV was pretty harsh.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ouch! David Letterman smacked down by Bill O'Reilly

While its fun to watch these clips of David Letterman sticking it to the man (Bill O'Reilly), and telling the Spinmeister, "I get the feeling that 60% of what you say is full of crap", its a shame that the clips leave out the rest of the exchange...

"Halfway through the exchange Letterman got himself into a corner, conceded he was not smart enough to argue his case but darted out, through a wall of O'Reilly noise, that he thought 60% of the Factor man's usual speechifying was 'crap'. O'Reilly demanded proof. Letterman found no better answer than: I don't watch your show. He was toast ever since."

Surprisingly, this comes from the uber-liberal Talking Points Memo - read the rest here.

To be fair, I think I could better argue that only 10% of what O'Reilly says is crap (a good 2% comes from whenever he tells a guest he'll give them "the last word", but adds a line of commentary after).

The three hour gap

Not since 9/11 have I been so emotionally engaged in a news story.

For the past couple days I was mostly ignoring the news of the miners trapped in the mine. It seemed like a story I'd seen a dozen times before, and always somehow ending in survivors being pulled to safety.

I gained a bit of morbid interest later on Tuesday evening when they discovered that one miner had been found dead... obviously a bad sign for the fate of the remaining 12 men.

So, I was happily surprised as I watched Anderson Cooper being told that there were "12 Alive... 12 Alive", and the survivors families were rejoicing and celebrating nearby. As I scanned online news sites I found a number of headlines repeating the same news.

Three hours later, though, again Anderson Cooper was interrupted by a family, live on TV, telling him that the reports were wrong, the coal mine owners had lied... there was only one survivor. The remaining eleven miners had been found dead.

In the meantime, newspapers have gone to print reporting of a miracle that never happened... the first major soundbyte and news quote, "12 Alive", a total inaccuracy.

Unfortunately, now the news isn't about the tragedy of 12 men being killed in the mine disaster and one lucky survivor. The focus is now on the three hours where the mine owners withheld notifying the families and and citizens of Upshur County, as well as the entire world.

No real commentary to add... just a horrible story to see unfold overnight.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Exceptions to the Rule

Over at the BankofKev's blog is a post about the supposed demise of short films on the internet, which I highly disagree with. The basic point Kev tries to make is that "the idea of putting up a short online and getting WB to fund you 30 million and distribute your opus is most likely not going to happen." Which is largely true, but so is the idea that any random script is going to be produced (or even read), or that going to film school means you'll land a studio deal. Kev is correct in pointing out that a first time director will most likely need to go the "normal" route by getting investors, making a feature independently, exhibiting it at festivals, and then hoping a studio will take notice.

However, I think Kev misses a couple marks here. First, to believe short films on the internet are a thing of the past is short sighted - now that cel phones and the iPod can download and stream video, the market for short bits of entertainment I believe are just getting started. Besides, people with high speed internet connections have been sharing shorts and video clips online for years. Indeed, companies like iFilm and AtomFilms have largely been money pits for their multimillion dollar investors, this is likely more due to the fact that they launched when the vast majority of internet users were using dialup. This is a sting still being felt by people wary of investing more in internet sites featuring shorts. On the flip side, now that there's cheaper bandwidth costs and just about anyone who grew up in the 90s either has web development skills or knows someone who does, indie filmmakers can host their shorts on their own sites.

The second, larger point I think Kev misses is in his claim that those few filmmakers who do get a deal based on their shorts are an exception to the rule... with all due respect to Kev I say, "no duh". Anyone who is able to have a film widely distributed is an exception to the rule. Almost every director has a unique story of how they were able to get noticed and given the helm of a production. Some went to film school and built a reel strong enough to land a deal (or feature film backing) straight out of school, others are screenwriters with enough clout to gain studio support to direct a major film, and others are homegrown filmmakers who've never had a breath of LA smog but managed to make a low budget film that was accepted in the festival circuit, and this gained the attention of the studios.

(some real world examples from some releases in the top ten: Peter Jackson (King Kong) made films since a small child and didn't even go to film school - a friend of his convinced him to try and get a low budget feature he made to be screened at Cannes, which garnished him notice... "Narnia" director Andrew Adamson worked in special effects for years before being given the opportunity to direct an animated film called "Shrek"... Adam Shankman, who directed Cheaper By The Dozen 1 and 2 was a film and music video choreographer prior to directing The Wedding Planner... Thomas Bezucha was a creative services exec for Coach and Ralph Lauren, and an interior designer for Sharon Stone, before writing and directing Big Eden and most recently The Family Stone...)

Back to the original point, posting a short film on the internet and then kicking back, hoping it will gain enough popularity that a studio will notice it and toss you a ton of dough for a feature is indeed beyond realistic. But the internet has proven a realistic approach to gain attention and street cred. While the makers of internet hits like 405, George Lucas In Love, and Troops may not have ended up with a feature after their shorts gained worldwide attention, they did gain face time (meetings) with studio execs and potential investors, which is nothing to scoff at. And it isn't unusual for assistants to convince their bosses to meet with the makers of a random internet short that caught their eye.

As for a personal experience, a short I produced five years ago called "Arrowhead Beer" cost less than $300 to make (mainly spent on food, parking, renting a small dingy, and production insurance), ended up with over 60,000 views on iFilm, "bootlegged" copies on countless other sites (at one time including a Korean translation), beaing featured in Maxim Magazine Online, DVD distibution via TromaFilms, and finally being paid a small amount for exhibition on British television. While a far cry from a studio deal, represents at least one resume bullet point for the director, Jeff Bacon (pictured above).

What was my point? Oh, yeah... internet shorts are just one avenue to approach landing the coveted studio deal, or a the backing for a first feature. Not the only avenue by any means, but one tool accessible to anyone with a computer and a video camera.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The John Hinckley Jr/George Bush Connection

Some interesting items I'm surprised liberal conspiracists haven't been blogging about, especially in light John Hinckley Jr.'s recently relaxed prison terms (allowing for overnight visits with his parents)...

-Hinckley is the son of a mighty Texas oilman who was a top backer of George H.W. Bush's first bid for the presidency. Hinckley's brother Scott actually had dinner plans with Neil Bush (the career-criminal son of Bush Sr. and brother of George W.) in Denver the night after Reagan was shot.

-The would-be assassin and George W. Bush were even neighbors in Lubbock, Texas.

-George W. had run a failed race for Lubbock's congressional seat in 1978... Ronald Reagan endorsed young Bush's opponent -- Texas state Sen. Kent Hance, who was a Democrat at the time. Hance dismissed George W. as a rich-kid Yalie pretending to be a Texan, and it worked.

-The Bush and Hinckley... families are actually related: Both clans descended from Thomas Hinckley, who died in Massachusetts in 1706 and was governor of Plymouth Colony from 1658 to 1681.

-Reagan smashed Bush in the early primaries and seized the GOP nomination. Along the campaign trail, the personable and idealistic Reagan developed an intense hatred of George H.W. Bush, the cold-blooded Yankee CIA boss who made a fortune on the Texas oilfields. With behind-the-scenes maneuvering by Texas & Middle East oilmen and the intelligence agency elite in Northern Virginia, Bush Sr. seized the vice-presidential slot even though he claimed not to want it.

On March 30, 1981 Hinckley shot and wounded President Reagan in a failed assassination attempt that most people believe was an effort to gain the attention and love of Jodie Foster. Now just waiting for Oliver Stone to read the above and come to a different conclusion: the Bush family hired or manipulated Hinckley to do it out of revenge...

source: Sploid!