03/31/05 - Photo Tour of Los Angeles

As soon as I got in to LAX and got my rental car, it was as if the Gods of Los Angeles wanted to exact punishment against me. Why? "Fuck if I know," as the quote goes. Maybe for leaving? Maybe for not calling ahead? Either way, they were pissed - and they took it out on me in the most evil manner ...


Wednesday - The 405 wasn't moving at all.

The 405 was a standstill. It took me from 4 pm to 5:45 to get from the airport to Burbank - a drive that shouldn't even take an hour.

Would Thursday be better?


Thursday - rain in LA.

Thursday the Gods added a new twist - rain. Here I am stuck in traffic in Westwood, about lunchtime. It was raining. No beach morning for me!!

Thursday - surface streets weren't any better.

Going from Culver City to Hollywood was no picnic Thursday afternoon, either. God, I totally forgot there were this many people in Los Angeles. Where are all of these people going at 3:30 on a weekday?!?

Friday - Mudslides ahoy!

Friday was better weather-wise, but, as you'll see from this shot of the PCH, horrid traffic-wise. At this point I've ditched the rental car and am in my buddy Mike's Jeep Wrangler.

"Take me back, take me back, take me back ... San Simeon!"

Lastly, this shot isn't really from Los Angeles - it's a sunset near San Simeon in the Central Coast area. I wanted to end on a good note and a pretty picture. And boy, the scenery up the coast was amazing.

The traffic was lighter, too ...

03/30/05 - "California Sun Has Sunk ..."

So I'm back from Los Angeles ... and I'm super tired. But know that I survived and had a great time. More tomorrow, I promise!!

03/21/05 - My Life: The Series

Every once and a while I like to imagine my life is a TV show. Granted, some of the events and characters are too goofy, even for TV, and sometimes the language is a little rough for a network or basic cable show, but for the most part I think my life would make a fine show. Sometimes new characters are introduced, sometimes old characters are spun-off into their own shows, and sometimes there are massive retoolings, like when Drew Carey stopped working at Winfred-Louder and started working at the internet site (my life equivalent? Moving from home from Southern California last summer).

Something struck me the other night, though. We were over at these friends' house playing cards. The married couple is a friend from high school who I've known for a really long time. While I was away he married this new woman who I just met when I returned to Maine. I hadn't really seen the husband in years, but in the past eight months they've become two of my best friends and I hang out with them all of the time. In TV land this would be the equivalent of that biker chick Tori who was on the early episodes of Saved By The Bell and then who disappeared coming back and having some random new guy as a husband and he and Zack Morris become best friends.

So the other night the wife was doing some stupid voice and it hit me how much she's like my former best friend in Southern California. We worked together and were always in each other cubicles, she always listened to my dumb girl stories, and she did stupid voices, too. This new best friend listens to all of my girl issues, we're always e-mailing each other (we work in different offices, but the end result is very similar) and again with the voices.

It's weird that in my TV show life I have two married women who, aside from a decade's age difference, are pretty much the same exact character. It's not really realistic, but then again, neither was Screech and he was on three different serieses. (Serii?)

03/19/05 - Right-to-Die.

This whole Terri Schiavo case lately has me really scared.

Many grave issues face the United States today. Issues of the environment, health care and of our ability to support our retirees in a few short years. Senate Republicans subpoenaing a brain-dead woman purely to shelter her under federal law protecting Congressional witnesses ... that's just wrong.

I can understand Schiavo's parents not wanting to let go. Hopefully all of our parents would be the last ones to give up hope for us. And yes, it might seem odd and slightly wrong that her husband has moved on with his life and has children with his new girlfriend. But you know, these are all issues for her family to work out. When United States senators from Tennessee or some other God-forsaken state start in on morality - that's where I take offense.

Honestly I can kind of see where religious people have issue with abortion. If you think that "Life Starts at Conception" then that's your belief. Don't get an abortion yourself. But don't start telling other people how to live their lives.

I mean, can we go back and write an 11th Commandment, "Thou shalt live thy life as thy sees fit, just as long as you leave other people alone, dammit!" Heck, let's just get rid of the one about "graven images". I never got that one anyway. Isn't a painting of Jesus a "graven image"? Are all Catholics sinners now? Shit.

Anyway, back to the woman which court-appointed doctors describe as in a persistent vegetative state. Did you see the quotes were from her husband / guardian's lawyer? He said the congressional subpoeans were "nothing short of thuggery" and that it "was odious, it was shocking, it was disgusting and I think all Americans should be very alarmed about that."

It's true. We should be. But while this is all going on in Jeb-Bush-Land® how many stupid Americans aren't even aware that this is going on? I mean, concerned citizens should band together and buy air-time for a commercial during NASCAR, just to inform the masses that all of these frightening old men in Congress are altering the rules by which we govern our country.

And while it has many important duties, morality is not for the government to decide.

03/18/05 - Mmmm ... Toasty.

So in January I meant to write and say that Portland finally got a Quiznos Sub shop. (Side note: Ironically its location? The former C.J. McThirsty's!!)

But now this is totally out of date - because North Windham is getting a Quiznos!

Its location? Next to Mobile, across the street from D'angelos Sub shop. And man, they must be pissed. Of course, that was the shop that Zak worked in for all of two weeks during college, so everytime you drive by it with him he always has to talk some smack. Yet he always ends with, "But they're still good sandwiches".

Homeboy's got his priorities. Granted, I personally prefer Quiznos.

WIndham really is growing by leaps and bounds, though. Since I've been back these scant few months Windham's also gained an Applebees and a Tim Hortons.

I haven't eaten at either yet (the faux-neighborhood crap doesn't sit well with me, and as I don't drink coffee I have no need for the Canadian Coffee Chain) but it's nice that Windham is getting some better quality shops. But the real kicker is the new Chinese buffet over by Smitty's movie theater. Yes, Windham will have two Chinese restaurants soon. And that's how you know a town has officially made it ...

03/17/05 - Happy St. Patrick's Day

Wanted to wish you all a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Next year in Ireland!!


03/17/05 - Pibbidy-doo-dah!

Y'all know my obsession with Mr. Pibb by now, and so do my new friends in Maine. One of them saw Pibb Xtra at the Subway in North Windham and alerted me ASAP.

"Sweet," I thought, "I can get Pibb-juice in Windham! Joshy like soda!" (Yes, I always talk baby-talk to myself, you got a problem with that??")

So yesterday I was feeling crappy in the morning and got up late and didn't pack a lunch. I decided to hit Subway on Congress St for lunch.

I get there, and notice the cute young worker - excuse me, sandwich artist is pregnant. Well, no more flirtin' with her!

Then I see they have a Coke soda fountain now, instead of a Pepsi one. Didn't even really think much about it. Until I went to get my soda.

Piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiibb ahoy!!!!

How about that?!?!

03/16/05 - Mr. Skipperdoo.

If you didn't see one of the ten-billion commercials on TV or the internet, The Incredibles came out on DVD yesterday.

The movie is worth the price of admission alone, but the extras ... genius.

The best part is Frozone (voiced by Sam Jackson) getting irate in a commentary track to a really lame 1970s cartoon. Freakin' genius.

Go buy it now and we'll discuss later.

03/15/05 - LEGO Death Star

How cool is this?!?

Yes, technically it is the Death Star 2 from Jedi.

But listen to this: it has 3441 pieces - is 25 inches high and 19 inches wide with stand. $300 in September. Start saving your change ...

03/14/05 - Familiar Voice on the Radio

Yesterday I went skiing at Shawnee Peak here in Bridgton. It was awesome. See, it started snowing on Friday afternoon and pretty much snowed through to Saturday night. Without joking we got about a foot and a half of snow. That is a ton of snow.

So I skiied for a little bit on Saturday, and then got there first thing Sunday. They had groomed, but there was just so much snow that by noon my legs were just busted.

As I left I had to listen to the radio, as the iPod shuffle batteries were spent. Portland's "New Rock Alternative" WCYY was on - some generic whiny singer, blah blah. The worst thing about moving to Maine is seriously the quality of the local radio and TV. All of the radio DJs have that accent, and don't get me started about Shannon Moss on Channel 6. 'Gorgon' is an appropriate term. Gah!

Anyway, radio, CYY, shitty - then the DJ came on.

Wha?? The DJ sounds terribly familiar. He ... he sounds like Jed the Fish from Los Angeles' KROQ!!!

Yes, his name is "Jed the Fish" - although the quality of radio in Southern California is much better than the rest of the country the DJs still have lame names - Kevin and Bean, Lightning, Stryker, Sluggo, Jimmy the Sports Guy, Tami Heidi, etc.

Still, it doesn't explain what he's doing on shitty little CYY in Portland, Maine. So I looked it up on the internet - apparently in addition to the afternoon slot for KROQ Jed also has his own nationally syndicated countdown show "Out of Order".

Sweet. Now I won't have to miss his "Catch of the Day". Although, how does that work if it's weekly?

03/13/05 - iPod Shuffle's guts

I found this website that's really disturbing. Some dude totally ripped open his iPod Shuffle to see what was inside.

There are a few surprises, a few mysteries, and mostly little electronic bits.

You should check it out - as opposed to ripping open your own or your friend's iPod.

03/12/05 - Red Sox trivia

Last season Manny Ramirez batted .308 with 43 home runs and 130 RBIs. David Ortiz batted .301 with 41 home runs and 139 RBIs. That made them the first American League teammates since Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth to each hit .300 with 40 HRs and 100 RBIs.

03/12/05 - Three-for-three!

Wow. So far this week I've won three free songs on iTunes from Diet Mountain Dews - all from the same store!

Yes, the CVS on Congress Street loves me. Or maybe Pepsi just loves the CVS on Congress Street?

Either way, now I'm at a crossroads. This promotion goes on for another month - until April 11. Do I stop buying 20 oz bottles and leave my streak at 3-for-3? Or do I keep going back to my Congress Street friends at CVS?

The odds of winning are 1-in-3, so that means realistically the next eight sodas I buy could be losers. And that would suck.

See, this is why I make a shitty gambler. I totally want to quit while I'm ahead. I don't get playing the odds - what, do you think that you're smarter than math?! I could never understand my compulsive-gambler ex-girlfriend who could just sit at a video poker machine for the entire day, fooling herself by saying the next hand would be different. Unless, of course, she was on a streak, and then the next hand would be exactly the same - perhaps even better! Nope, for the record she was not smarter than math. Not by a long-shot.

So yeah, I'm done. 3-for-3. Batting one-thousand. Perfect game.

Now I just have to figure out what songs to buy ...

03/10/05 - Big winner.

The other day I won a free song on iTunes from Pepsi. Actually Diet Mountain Dew.

While, yes, it's always nice to win something, it's a little bit like winning nothing, since I download lots of songs from LimeWire, you know?

But then I saw that Garbage has a song from their upcoming album up on iTunes!

Why Do You Love Me - I've only listened to it a few times, I don't love it, but hey, it was free ...

03/09/05 - Be a Pepper, too.

Oh man, I forgot all about this! Over the weekend two of my buddies found Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper for me. You know my interest - okay, complete obsession with new sodas (such as the Dews Pitch Black and Baja Blast, Mr Green, Pepsi Blue or Pibb Xtra.) So I had to try it.

It's not bad, not Pibb Xtra or Mr. Green, but not bad. It's really as if you mixed a Cherry Coke with a Dr. Pepper. The Vanilla flavor is pretty light. Maybe it was just the cold I was nursing (and we all know how it turned out last time I reviewed a soda with what I thought was a cold!)

Of course it struck up the age-old discussions "exactly what is the flavoring of Dr. Pepper?" and "in exactly which field does this 'Pepper' hold a doctorate??"

Anyway, when this adjective-hogging soda goes the way of Pepsi Clear or New Coke I'll be sad, but not crushed. For I know that a whole new crop of sodas are on the horizon ...

03/08/05 - Maybe my Film Degree is more useful than I thought?

This was in Sunday's New York Times. Sweet!

03/06/05 - The Return of The Garden

Late last week they announced the new name of the FleetCenter in Boston - "The TD Banknorth Garden".

This is cool for a variety of reasons. First and foremost the FleetCenter replaced the historic Boston Garden back in the fall of 1995 (yes, almost ten years ago now!!) So having the name "Garden" back in the title is pretty neat. Second, I'm really, really glad it's not the Bank of America Center (as BofA bought Fleet last year.) There are already too many Bank of America branded buildings out there - the Charlotte Panthers play in the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, the Bank of America Arena in Seattle hosts the University of Washington teams, and the Bank of America Centre in Boise is the home of the Idaho Steelheads ECHL Hockey team. Lastly I think this is cool because Banknorth is from Maine (albeit now is a majority-owned subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank Financial Group - hence the "TD").

Of course, Boston is known for name-changing stadiums. The FleetCenter originally was named the Shawmut Center when it was under construction. But then Fleet Bank acquired Shawmut and the name changed. And Gillette Stadium, home of the Super Bowl champs the New England Patriots was originally named CMGI Field - until CMGI went bankrupt and Boston company Gillette stepped in to save the day.

The sad part of this whole deal is the other property in Boston that Banknorth already has naming rights to. Yup. The tollbooth on the Tobin Bridge. I looked everywhere on the internet to find a photo but I couldn't. But seriously, how budget it is to have your company name on a state-of-the-art arena ... as well as a shitty, low rent, three dollar bridge tollbooth??

03/04/05 - Big-Time Bridgton

So I live in Bridgton, Maine, right? It's a little one stoplight town. Literally. We have a movie theater, albeit seasonally, and a few banks, shops, a Subway, and of course, a grocery store - Food City.

I've meant to write about the grocery store before. See, everytime my brother or I go in, they're playing rock music. Noticeably loud rock music. Moby. Weezer. Linkin Park. Things you wouldn't expect in a grocery store. Unless it was that one from "Go" that Sarah Polley and Katie Holmes worked at.

I'm not complaining, I just think it's odd, you know?

But that's not Food City's only show-biz connection. See, before it moved down the street to it's new location, Food City was already a star ... of a Stephen King short story.

I guess King was living in Bridgton in 1976 when he wrote "The Mist". I've actually never read the story, but now I need to find a copy. I guess something weird happens ... in a grocery store. I have a pretty good idea how it's all going to play out, but still the fun is in the details.

Or I could just wait for the movie. Yep, that's right. I just read online that Frank Darabont is going to adapt it for a movie. Darabondt's worked with Stephen King short stories before ... perhaps you've heard of The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile?

I'm looking forward to this, but it will be weird to see my town on the big screen. No doubt it'll really be shot in Vancouver or something, and won't look anything like the real Bridgton.

That's cool though, as long as they get the loud rock music right ...

03/03/05 - Great Movie Trailer

This is the best movie trailer I've seen in a long time. It's an Internet exclusive trailer for the The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that's coming out next month.

I wasn't too excited for this movie - I think I might have read the book when I was little (isn't it horrible that I can't remember?) Sure, I've enjoyed Mos Def in most of his performances I've seen. And I think the design of the little white robot is pretty cool.

But this trailer strikes a great tone. I assume that it's the same tone as the movie, but even if it isn't I'm hooked.

Plus Alan Rickman as the voice of the robot? Awesome.

03/01/05 - Coincidence? I think not!

Okay, one last post on this snow day of mine. For some reason last month I mentioned Ashlee Simpson a few too many times. Honestly, I'm not that familiar with her work - although, yes, I have seen a few episodes of "7th Heaven". I mean, I wasn't controlling the remote at the time - it wasn't my choice to watch. Not that there's anything wrong with the show, or anything, it's just not the kind of show a single late-twentysomething dude would TiVo, if you know what I mean.

That is, since Jessica Biel left.

Anyway, I read this tidbit in the Washington Post the other day. The director of the Saturday Night Live with Ashlee Simpson's lip-synching was Beth McCarthy Miller. What else is she famous for directing?

You guessed it, the other live-TV gaffe of 2004 - the Super Bowl halftime show with Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction".

Isn't that awesome?!

03/01/05 - New Nickel???

Have you heard that there's a new nickel in town?

A new, legit, United States of America five cent piece.

It's the "American Bison" Nickel - part of the Westward Journey Nickel Series. I guess it's just a rip-off of the Mint's 50 State Quarters® Program. You know how they're minting five new quarters a year for each state in the order states were admitted into the Union? I guess that's been huge for coin collecting, so now they're tampering with the Nickel.

As far as I can tell, this is the third of four redesigns in this Westward Journey series. But I don't think that I ever saw the first two. Do you remember getting a 2004 nickel with a "Keelboat" or a "Peace Medal" on it? I don't. I'm glad it's a snow day, though, I can go check my change drawers!

Anyway, there's a big shindig in Washington today with a real live bison and a bunch of Native American speakers and such. Yesterday the coins shipped to the twelve regional Federal Reserve banks, where they started distributing them to the local banks.

The nickel hasn't been altered since TJ was added in 1938. Before that the nickel had a Native American head on one side, and a buffalo on the reverse.

03/01/05 - Snow Day

Yep, I have a snow day today. It's a freakin' blizzard out, and it's only supposed to get worse. And since my commute to work is so lengthy, we all decided that I should take the day off. Seriously! I'm not just playing hookey.

But it still feels great. I haven't had a snow day in such a long time. You know the last time? April 1, 1997. We had a huge storm in Boston and the college - heck, the whole city - closed down for a few days. It was great.

Anyway, with this unexpected day off I have plenty of time to write here, which I know I've neglected lately. And you know what I want to write about? Logos.

Yup, logos. See, recently I've seen a few ads on TV and in magazines for Michael Jordan. But they don't actually have Jordan in them. Just the old Air Jordan Jumpman logo. Other sports celebrities such as asshole Derek Jeter are actually in the ads. And that's weird to me - they're turning Jordan into a brand.

But that's cool, I've always liked that logo.

Remember when Shaq had a logo back when he was in Orlando? Whatever happened to that one? And have you seen that action sports skier Jonny Moseley has his own logo, too? It's not even sports stars. Shit, even Tom Clancy has one.

And thus my point - I want a logo. I want a little silouetted man logo. I want brand recognition. Hats and shirts and commercials with my logo on it. What do they call it in The OC? An "aspirational brand". Josh Edwards should be a brand.

True, I have no idea what my little logo man would be doing ... how do you personify "purchasing" or "sourcing"? Not that my job is my life, it just kind of is for a good fifty-something hours a week.

Maybe a little sarcastic guy.

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Last Updated on: March 31, 2005

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