02/28/05 - Damn this East Coast!

After eight months of being back east you'd think I'd have caught on. Nope. I just checked what time the Academy Awards® were going down this afternoon, and I was shocked to see that they were on at 8:30 EST. Didn't last year we watch them in the afternoon?

Duh. Live events like this are live across the country, and obviously California is three hours behind Maine. But still, earlier this month I was surprised how late the Suberbowl was. Sometimes it's better to live in the PST.

The one real advantage to being East Coast is seeing Saturday Night Live ... well, live. Of course last October I missed the best gaffe of the year with Ashlee Simpson screw up lip-synching and dance a little jig. So I had to download it like all of the West Coasters. But at least I could have watched it live ...

02/26/05 - Did you see this foolishness??

Check out this article I saw yesterday:

So I say we get a bunch of us together and rename the Center the Kerry Konrad is a New York Asshole Center.

On second thought, let's save the two-thousand dollars and just drive to New York and kick his ass.

02/25/05 - Air Show

So tomorrow I have the chance to make history. Yes, that's right, history. See, there's this air show in Raymond. Yes, that's right, air show.

How many times in one's life does one get the chance to have his or her own amateur video of an air show disaser shown on every local 11 pm news broadcast across the country? Not too often.

And it's on a lake, too, did I mention that? The ingredients are all there. Is there a special Oscar for "best amateur video of an air show disaser"? Or would that fall under an Emmy? Golden Globe perhaps ...

So I might have to brave the cold and the (shudder) Raymondites (Raymondians?) tomorrow. Watch your local news tomorrow for the footage ...

02/23/05 - Spin-off to The OC

I saw this about a month ago, and totally forgot to mention it. One of my friends just reminded me. (She and I are watching the full backlog of the first season of The OC on DVD.)

They're giving Kaitlin Cooper her own show.

And here I was thinking she was going to be the next Chuck Cunningham.

I'm cool with this and all, don't get me wrong. But you know the spin-off from The OC that I really want to see?

"The Anna Show."

Samaire Armstrong is so cute, and her character of Anna Stern was so sweet and funny. I'd watch her in adventures in Pittsburgh or wherever she was from any day...

02/22/05 - Count Me Blue

I found these online, kind of like the yellow Lance Armstrong Foundation bracelets. But these blue bracelets express dissent from the Bush Administration.

Check them out at Count Me Blue.

02/21/05 - Happy Presidents Day

Well, I don't know if it's happy per se, but it is Presidents Day. So here's a look at our fearless leader ...

02/20/05 - This Week in Goldfinger

Goldfinger is one of my favorite bands. You might remember them from the mid-1990s ska/punk upswing. Their songs "Here in Your Bedroom" and "Mable" got some airplay. And hey, the drummer made it into Trey Parker's "Your Studio And You" short film for Universal. They weren't huge, but they weren't nobodies.

Today the band is (sadly) known more as the opening act for bands such as Good Charlotte, The Used and Story of the Year - all of whom are produced by John Feldmann of Goldfinger, and all of whom are much more popular and more successful than Goldfinger.

Over the past six years I've seen Goldfinger something like nineteen or twenty times. Living in Southern California, they would come through several times a year. Sometimes stopping in Orange County one night, then a club up in Hollywood the next. Yes, we'd usually go to both shows.

So I was pretty excited on Tuesday of this last week because their new CD "Disconnection Notice" came out. Sadly, it sucks. I really hate it. If I lost it today I would not be sad.

It doesn't sound like Goldfinger. It's wussy. There's no rock. No loud rockin' guitars.

Instead? Mandolins. Seriously. And Mandolins sadly do not rock.

This didn't make me too excited to drive down to Boston on Wednesday night to see Goldfinger live in concert. But hey, I already had the tickets, so Daniel and I jumped in the Jetta ... and promptly ran into a huge rainstorm. Foreboding? I hoped not.

We made it down to Boston in an hour and a half, not record time, really, but not bad for a rainy rush hour. Had some dinner at Boston Beer Works, got to the club at about 9 pm. Buttressed against the backside of Fenway Park (the Green Monster to be precise) I was feeling a little better about the night. The clubs of Lansdowne Street always seemed so super-cool and impressive to me when I was in college. Now it all seems so quaint. Not that going to SkyBar is a feat, but it's certainly a step above the Cask and Flaggon. Still, Lansdowne has a familiarity to it. A comforting feeling.

As we entered Axis the second opening act was finishing. Not perfect timing, as we then had to wait for an hour to see the band. But when Goldfinger came onstage everything fell into place. They played for an hour solidly, and only did two of the songs from the new CD, thankfully. But the songs that they played weren't as bad live as they were on the CD.

Yes, Ironically the CD is massively overproduced. Ironic because John Feldmann is probably better known to the world as pop-punk producer extrodinaire than lead singer of a rockin' band. That's sad, really, and I'll have to wait for a live CD to fully appreciate the new songs.

But overall I was feeling pretty good as we left the show at 11 pm that night. My deepest fears that the band increased in suckiness since I left LA last June isn't true. I'll just blame the lameness of the new CD on the production efforts of John Feldmann.

But then on Thursday I made a horrid discovery. Not only has Feldmann produced all of those new psuedo-punk bands, but he's also co-written and produced a track for 2005's biggest musical joke.

Actually the biggest joke from Saturday Night Live this year, too.


Ashlee Simpson.

Yep. Go download Track 11, "Giving It All Away". Generic pop-punk, but you can totally imagine one of Feldmann's disciples in Good Charlotte or Mest singing it.

Granted whether Simpson is really singing it, who knows ...

02/16/05 - You have to love Apple

My computer's back! And it works like a champ!

As I told you last week, the screen died, but it was covered by Apple's Expanded iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program. I called them on Wednesday night, they had a box shipped to me on Thursday, I sent it back Friday, and it arrived at my house on Tuesday, good as new.

That's pretty crazy customer service, eh?

No wonder they're the number one brand in America for 2004 ...

02/16/05 - Ossie Davis died

It happened last week, I read about it this weekend, forgot to mention it here until now.

We'll miss you, President Kennedy ...

02/15/05 - iPhone

I'm not one for trendy things, really. Sure, I got an iPod Shuffle, but that's mostly because my commute of damn near three hours a day is killing me. And yes, my Jetta is pretty sweet, but I got it because I needed a new car. Not to impress people.

The same with my cell phone - it's fun - but I still got it mostly because it was a good deal. I'm a practical bastard.

That being said - I want this phone.

The Motorola E1060 has a 1.3 megapixel camera and 512 MB of ram for photos or ... mp3s / AACs.

Yep, it's a mp3 player!!

Motorola and Apple have been working on an iTunes compatible phone for the last year, apparently you can go online right from your phone. How cool is that?!?

True, the press release is hokey - they say the Motorola E1060 is "guaranteed to steal the spotlight in both your social and professional circles". That's almost as bad as the US Cellular ad that's playing right now where the dude is thrusting his cell-phone-adorned pelvis into everyone's faces. Yeah, like that is going to make me buy a new phone.

But throwing in 120 songs and a fair camera into one phone ... well that makes me drool ...

02/14/05 - Rafik Hariri

This doesn't fall into the preternatural realm or anything, but it's still weird. At Boston University during my first three years they were building a new School of Management building. Yes, it took them three years. Not that they were slow or anything, the building is freaking immense.

The School of Management building at BU
(photo taken fall of 2004)

It was named after some huge donor to BU, Rafik Hariri. I always wanted to call it the Rafiki Hariri Building, after the monkey from The Lion King. Anyway, for some reason this morning on my drive into work I was thinking about that building, and who exactly Hariri was, and how he kind of sounds like a villain that Jack Bauer might squash on "24".

Then I got to work and saw this title on Yahoo News: Huge Car Bomb Kills Lebanon's Ex-PM Hariri

Turns out that Rafik Hariri was Lebanon's former Prime Minister and a billionaire who masterminded the country's reconstruction after its civil war.

And now he's dead.

That's kind of weird, at least, weird for a Monday morning ...

02/12/05 - iBroke, the sequel

So my iBook broke again.

It wasn't my fault, it's actually part of Apple's Expanded iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program. So I mailed the whole computer back to Cupertino (actually, just Memphis) and they'll mail it back when it's fixed. So my updates are going to be even MORE sporadic than they were before.

Sorry. But hey, at least your computer still works ...

02/04/05 - Glendale

I had a retarded day at work today. Actually, I had a retarded week at work. (Note the complete lack of updates here lately).

So as I left after 10 1/2 hours of straight, balls-out work, I was pissed and stressed and just done. Done for the day, done for the week, done. And you know that's always a great way to start a good hour-and-twenty minute drive.

So I put in Trevor Rabin's Armageddon Score. It's pretty awesome. In fact, it's easily the best thing about the movie. (Ben and Liv's animal cracker scene is a distant second. Third? Steve Busemi riding the atomic bomb like Buck Turgidson.)

Anyway, the score is a little bit rock and a little bit relaxing, so it's good to drive to. But it always reminds me of this one day in the fall of 1998. I had moved to Los Angeles a few months earlier, and everything was still new and different. And I was still pretty amazed at work. One fall day there were these crazy fires in the hills of Glendale. I was helping in the Effects Animation Department at work and the TV was on. Lots of animators live in Glendale, it's kind of an old-school ritzy part of town. Anyway, one of the effects animators was watching the TV rather intently. The fires were right near his house, and he was getting a little freaked out.

The thing was, I was in awe of this man. He was an amazing artist. Everything he drew was perfect. And the way he carried himself was very old-school Hollywood. He had this whole Sean Connery, Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights beard, he drove this crazy cool car, he had the sweet house in the Glendale hills. He was the personification of Animation. In fact, he started at the company when Walt was still alive!

He would have been Grandfatherly, if he wasn't so gruff. He was kind of like your great uncle who was always nice to you and gives you candy, but was still so stoic and dignified that you were a little scared of him. The man who drinks strong drinks, lots of them. Plus the man was a legit contemporary of Walt!

Beyond that, he had further entrenched himself in animation lore by leaving with Don Bluth in September of 1979. In fact, the Fire Day of Memory was probably around September / October - nineteen years after the day Bluth and a dozen of his friends quit Disney and formed the studio that made "An American Tale" and "The Secret of Nimh".

Anyway, I had always been in awe of this man. It was almost like he was the personification of animation. Yet here he was, watching the TV, worried about his house. It's kind of like when you see a really hot chick on the side of the road with a flat tire. You're like, "Wow, shitty things actually do happen to everyone!"

Back to the Armageddon score. It's got that faux-chorale feel to it in parts, right? So I was driving home that night, I lived in Glendale off of Glenoaks, at the base of the hillside. And I turned the corner and the trees parted the entire mountain was on fire. It was ... spectacular. Amazing. Unreal.

And it was all set to the chorale of Armageddon on my CD player.

It was really like a movie.

The animator retired about two years ago now. Through a common friend I became very close to him. A bunch of us even went to Florida on vacation at one point. But to the last day I saw him I was always still in awe and ... reverence? towards him. It was almost like he was the mountain of Animation. Sadly animation, in that form, is gone. Animators are no longer hard-drinking, fast car-driving, fun-loving.

But the mountain is still there.

02/02/05 - Wrong President

I was expecting to watch The West Wing on NBC tonight, totally forgot about the State of the Union. Instead of Bartlet, I get Bush? Ugh.

02/02/05 - Success!

So this weekend I upgraded the memory in my parents' iMac DV SE. They've had it for five years, and have been very disappointed in it. The hard drive did tank, so the computer guy at the school my dad used to teach at had to fix it for them. And their dial-up internet is pretty slow, and never connects on the first try. Plus that hockey puck mouse is just so annoying! I guess I'd be disappointed too.

So I stole the computer away from them this weekend and upgraded the memory from 128 MB to 640 MB. Put in an Airport card I got on eBay. And upgraded them from System 9 to a sleek 10.3.7.

Yep, Panther is running on my parents' 400 mHz G3. I honestly didn't think it would work, I thought it would be slow and lame. But so far it's worked like a charm. And iTunes sounds sweet on the Harman/Kardon designed sound system! I gave them a bunch of Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead mp3s.

All-in-all I'm pretty impressed that it worked. I hope they are impressed with the computer now, too. We just have to get them a better mouse and they'll be all set ...

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Last Updated on: February 28, 2005

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