Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Post of 2006

First off, thank you to everyone who posted or emailed me to express your support after the accident I was in last week. I still have the bruises, some soreness and a persistent ringing in my ears. However, I am getting better.

I'm heading out to enjoy the New Year with some friends soon. However, I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Here's to hoping that 2007 brings the world peace, love, prosperity and laughter!

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Tale of Two Parties

I was at the Old Shillelagh in downtown Detroit recently for a friend's birthday party. I don't actually remember a whole lot about the party except that there were a lot of people there and some great Irish music. I don't even remember leaving the party.

The next thing that I do remember is feeling very sore as a man in surgical scrubs told me that I had been in an automobile accident and that I was at Oakwood Hospital.

I later learned from my brothers that on my way home from that party, my car was rear-ended by a drunk driver. According to the police accident report, this woman was traveling at a speed in excess of 100 miles per hour when she collided into me.

The aftermath of this is:
  • My car is totaled, which leaves me without transportation for the time being;
  • I have a lot of muscle soreness in my neck and shoulders, which the doctors tell me will clear up in a couple of days;
  • I have a persistent ringing in my right ear, which should also clear up on on its own eventually;
  • I also have several bruises on my torso that, strangely enough, match up perfectly with the size, shape and location of the seat belt I was wearing; and
  • I have at least some short-term memory loss.
I also got to experience the unique joy of spending all of Christmas Eve and most of Christmas Day in a hospital. (For those who have never experienced it - trust me - it's not fun.)

It's both sad and ironic that I would always make such a practice of knowing my own limit when it came to drinking, and allowing my body time to detoxify before getting behind the wheel, only to get rear-ended by someone who obviously didn't care. (The hospital, as it turns out, performs a series of blood tests on all motor vehicle accident victims. My blood work confirmed that I had no alcohol or drugs in my system at the time of the accident.)

It's frustrating as all hell to have this happen to me.

Oh, well! The aftermath of this is something for me to work out with my doctors. (And a lawyer or two, perhaps.)

Anyway, being laid up for that long gave me a chance to think about a lot of things. I thought I'd share them with everyone, in no particular order.

I learned that I.V. needels are strategically placed to make sleeping in any position but on your back unbearable. I'm not sure whether this is deliberately planned or not. But I do know that it's true.

Clement Clarke Moore got the description of Santa Claus totally wrong in his famous poem. St. Nick, I've come to learn, looks more like a nurse - one who helped me score some really good cheese cake from the cafeteria on Christmas Eve.

Also, the interior of an M.R.I. machine is a lot more cramped than what one might see on House - or at least the ones at Oakwood are that way. The M.R.I. technician, by the way, is convinced that they use M.R.I.s way too often on that show - sometimes pretending that they reveal things in patients that the machine can't really detect.

One of the things that they did get right about M.R.I.s on House, however, came from the show's second season. L.L. Cool J's character had to undergo a M.R.I. that was extremely painful because he had prison tatoos that were done with a metal based ink. The powerful magnet in the M.R.I. really will try to pull the metal in that tatoo ink right out of a person's skin.

Reportedly, this is also a problem with elderly folks who got tatoos back in the WWII era. Tatoos back then also used a metalic ink.

It's also very weird how memories are a part of who we are as human beings.

I saw this print on the hallway wall as I was waiting for one of the dozen or so medical tests that they subjected me to. I didn't need my memory to know that I liked the painting, that was purely a matter of instinct.

There was enough of my memory intact to know that it was a rather famous painting; I might have eventually recalled that it one of Claude Monet's works, but I have to confess that I saw his signature.

In spite of everything that I could remember about this painting, I sat there in the hallway feeling frustrated that I couldn't remember of this painting. I was positive that I knew it a few days earlier and was quite perturbed that this fact had changed.

By the way, the painting is entitled Wild Poppies.

I wasn't able to remember that fact on my own. I had to look it up when I got home, simply because I was wondering about the name of it over and over in my head for ever since I saw that print in the hallway.

I also got to see several movies while I was confined to a hospital bed. I've come to the conclusion that colorized version of Miracle on 34th Street is little more than graffiti on a masterpiece.

Love Actually
is a really wonderful film that never got as many awards or nominations as it deserved. (It was adored in Europe, but basically ignored in the U.S.)

A Perfect Day, starring Rob Lowe on TNT, was suprisingly good. I was expecting something amazingly melodramatic, but it was actually a sweet, powerful drama.

Anyway, it's getting late. I should end this entry.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tara Conner to Keep Her Crown

I'm glad that Tara Conner won't lose her title as Miss USA because of her drunken antics in New York last December.

It's not that I'm a huge Tara Conner fan or even a fan of the Miss USA pagent in general. I just think that if women were ever penalized for dancing on a table while drunk or kissing another woman, well - my life would get very boring, very quickly.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Technology Is So Cool Sometimes

One of the great things about living in the 21st Century is the simple fact that cool things keep happening that one would never have expected 20 years ago. Sometimes those are very big things (like the International Space Station) and other times it's very simple things just blow me away, like an on-line music video that is customized according to your location as well as your local time and weather conditions.

The Unseen Video is a music video for You Make Me Feel by Mike Milosh that does just that. The web site automatically determines where you are visiting from, retreives current time and weather information about your hometown from the internet and then adjusts the music video from there.

Welcome to the 21st Century!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

RIP - Peter Boyle

Peter Boyle, the grouchy father on Everybody Loves Raymound and the tap-dancing monster in Young Frankenstein, has passed away after a battle with multiple myeloma and heart disease. He was 71 years old.

I loved his character on Everybody Loves Raymound. I don't think there's another actor who could have played it better and very few could have even matched his performance.

I was also impressed by the pure depth of his experience as an actor. His filmography on IMDb.com lists 93 different roles that he had played over the course of his career.

In fact, even at age 71, he was still working on different projects. At the time of his death, he was in pre-production for a romantic comedy called Chatham and in post-production for drama called Shadows of Atticus.

It is truly impressive how he always kept going.

Peter Boyle will be deeply missed.

Cereal Bowl Light

The folks at Wanderlust Designs came up with a really interesting idea: a Cereal Bowl Light.

Touch the spoon and your bowl of Fruit Loops lights up like what you see at the left.

It seemed really odd at first, but the more I think about it - the more I want one.

Oh, and those are real Fruit Loops in that cereal bowl. The whole thing is just kind of cool.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Brilliant!

Merriam-Webster selected "truthiness" as the Word of the Year for 2006, having beat out other entries such as:
  • google (as a verb; not as a company);
  • decider;
  • war;
  • insurgent;
  • terrorism;
  • vendetta;
  • sectarian;
  • quagmire; and
  • corruption.
I can't help but feel that the selection of nominees for Word of the Year underlies a certain amount of cynicism within this country. The most positive selection on that list is "google" and that's simply because its connotation is a neutral one.

It's kind of scary when you think about it.

Anyway, kudos go out to Stephen Colbert for the way that he promoted "truthiness" as the way he used its selection in his show. (Check out the clip on Comedy Central's Mother Load.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Space Shuttle To-Do List

I was surfing on-line and found NASA's press kit for the current space shuttle mission (officially known as STS-116, which is the 117th mission for the space shuttle program). Included in this 135 page press kit is the to-do list (or as they prefer to call it "mission priorities") for the current flight.

I have my own to-do list for the day (pay a few bills, a half dozen or so phone calls to make). Their mission priorities, however, kick butt.

It's interesting that I have three college level physics courses under my belt as well as a semester of Air Force ROTC behind me
and I only understand about half of what they are doing on this twelve day mission.

For the curious amoung us, here is their list. It consists almost entirely of things that are happening on-board the International Space Station.
  1. Perform inspection of space shuttle heat shields and downlink sensor data for evaluation on the ground;
  2. Document space shuttle tile during rendezvous with station using imagery resources on the International Space Station (ISS) during the rendezvous pitch maneuver, followed by docking with ISS;
  3. Complete ISS crew member swap (Expedition 14 Flight Engineer Suni Williams for Expedition 13 Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter);
  4. Install the Soyuz seat liner, known as the Individual Equipment Liner Kit;
  5. Check out the Russian launch/entry suit, known as the Sokol suit;
  6. ISS safety briefing;
  7. Transfer mandatory crew rotation items: oxygen (~100 pounds) and water.
  8. Transfer and return Elektron;
  9. Install the P5 truss segment onto P4 using the shuttle and station robotic arms;
  10. Remove P5 inboard launch locks (required for mating with P4);
  11. Install four truss attachment bolts to structurally mate P5 to P4;
  12. Remove P5 grapple fixture and relocate to P5 keel (will allow P4 beta gimbal assembly to rotate);
  13. Deactivate P6 2B loads and reconfigure U.S. segment loads to receive power distribution from P4 2A and P6 EB via main bus switching units 2 and 3. This includes establishment of active cooling for channel 2/3 MBSUs and DC‐to‐DC converter units via external active thermal control system loop B;
  14. Retract P6 4B solar array wing to one bay and initiate P3/P4 solar alpha rotary joint tracking;
  15. Remove P1‐3A DC‐to‐DC converter unit‐E thermal covers;
  16. Deactivate P6 4B loads and reconfigure U.S. segment loads to receive power distribution from P4 4A main buss switching unit 1 and 4. This includes establishment of active cooling for channel ¼ MBSUs/DDCUs via external active thermal control system loop A. (P6 4B channel configured to dormant/parachute mode;
  17. Remove S1‐4B and S0‐4B DC‐to‐DC converter unit‐E thermal covers;
  18. Uplink the D1 patch to portable computer system R9;
  19. Transfer critical cargo items per transfer priority list;
  20. Transfer Zvezda Service Module debris panels and adapter to pressurized mating adapter‐3 aft grapple fixture;
  21. Relocate both Crew and Equipment Translation Aid carts from the starboard side to the port side. (a) Perform contingency spacewalk to complete primary mission objectives. (b) Perform late inspection of Discovery’s wing leading edge and nosecap;
  22. Perform minimum crew handover (12 hours) for rotating crew members;
  23. Perform the Oxygen Recharge Compressor Assembly and Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly removal and replacement and return removed hardware via shuttle;
  24. Perform utilization activities to support experiments, including midodrine, ALTEA, Latent Virus, Sleep Short, and PMDIS;
  25. Perform daily ISS payload status checks as required;
  26. Transfer remaining cargo items per mission rules;
  27. Perform external wireless instrumentation system power connections between P5 and P4.
  28. Remove and replace External Television Camera Group Camera Port 3, Starboard 1 Outboard Lower;
  29. Transfer the adjustable grapple bar from inside the station to the flex hose rotary coupler on external stowage platform;
  30. Perform P6 4B final retraction and latching of the solar array blanket box;
  31. Install power cables for S0 channels 1/4 2/3;
  32. Perform payload operations to support STP‐H2 (ANDE, MEPSI, RAFT). 21. Perform the following to allow return of on‐orbit hardware: a) Treadmill gyro removal and replacement and b) Charcoal bed assembly;
  33. Respiratory support pack checkout
  34. Transfer nitrogen from the shuttle to the ISS Quest Airlock high pressure tanks.
  35. Perform U.S. and Russian payload research operation tasks.
  36. Perform an additional four hours of ISS crew handover (16 hours total).
  37. Perform imagery survey of the ISS exterior from shuttle after undocking.
  38. Perform payload operations to support Maui Analysis of Upper Atmospheric Injections and Ram Burn Observations;
  39. Reboost ISS (altitude TBD based on available shuttle propellant);
  40. The following tasks fit within the existing spacewalk timelines; however, they may be deferred if the spacewalk is behind schedule. The EVA will not be extended to complete these tasks;
  41. Install station robot arm force moment sensor insulation;
  42. Install the starboard and port fluid quick disconnect bags on the Quest Airlock;
Oh, and one other thing for their to-do list: retun home safely.

Of course, I think one of the most intersting things about this shuttle mission is something that no one else has touched on. The shuttle crew consists of two women, two Blacks and one Latina and this fact isn't considered to be "newsworthy".

We have finally reached the point where those individuals are just astronauts and they are making news because of their ethnic background or gender.

And that is just plain cool.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lift-off of the Space Shuttle Discovery

NASA lauched the Shuttle Discovery into space tonight at 8:47 p.m. from the Kennedy Space Center.

The whole launch just looked so darn cool!

It was America's first nighttime launch in four years; the lastest step in NASA's rather ambitious schedule to finish the International Space Station.

Best of luck, guys!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Go west, young gal (Metro Times Detroit)

Go west, young gal (Metro Times Detroit)

Sarah Klein, the venerable culture editor of the Metro Times, announced in her column yesterday that she is leaving Detroit for the sunny climate of California - joining the ever increasing tide of Detroit expats. I dealt with Sarah a couple of times on a professional basis, most recently when I was promoting my documentary on the Book-Cadillac Hotel. I have always been impressed by the quality of her work.

If you asked me three or four years ago, I wouldn't have even hesitated in joining the mass exodus of young folks out of Michigan. After all of the folks that I've met through the FoBC and Detroit Synergy, however, I would be hard presed to do the same thing today. There's just too much cool stuff going on.

Regardless, I wish her the best of everything in the Golden State.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Goofs for Star Wars (1977)

Goofs for Star Wars (1977)

I was surfing the web today and came across a list of goofs for Star Wars. I couldn't help but wonder just how many times someone had to watch that movie in order to notice all of those errors.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Now Appearing in HOUR Detroit

My latest literary masterpiece is now available in the December issue of HOUR Detroit magazine (page 86, to be precise). It is an article on the historic Book-Cadillac Hotel in downtown Detroit and why the place is so cool.

My article appears with a set of amazing photographs by Roy Ritchie. He took some very cool fashion shots that contrasted nicely with the Book-Cadillac in its current, raw and undeveloped state.

The issue officially doesn't appear on bookshelves until Friday, December 1. However, a few bookstores around town already have it out.

I will be at Shop Detroit 3 this Saturday. I'll be happy to autograph copies of the article for anyone. :-)

Oh, and speaking of the Book-Cadillac Hotel, my friend Liza Lagman-Sperl sent me a photograph that she took the other day. This is a billboard along I-75 in Detroit that advertises condominiums in the Book-Cadillac being for sale.

This is a very, very cool thing!

That sign is the result of a whole of effort by numerous people over the past few years. My documentary was just a very tiny part of the whole thing.

Now if someone would just send me a half million or so dollars, I could actually buy one of those condos.

Oh, well - at least the folks who are buying those condos have given me a standing invitation to visit them.

Believe me - I will accept those invitations.

Frequently.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Yahoo! Music

Yahoo! Music

This is the coolest darn thing I've seen on-line in weeks.

It's the guys from Bowling for Soup doing a cover of London Bridge by Fergie. I swear, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it.

Okay - that's not totally true. The guys from BfS are so strange that I'm not sure if there's anything that they wouldn't do.

Now, I just have to make up my mind as to which version of that song I like more. LOL

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The (Foggy) Day After Thanksgiving

There was a dense fog throughout Detroit when I woke-up yesterday morning. It was the day after Thanks- giving so there really wasn't much work to do.

I, therefore, convened a special meeting of the entire board of directors for Prince Igor Productions, Incorporated. We decided to close the office for the day so I could spend the day taking pictures and having fun.

(There are days when it really is a blessing to work for yourself!)

Anyway, I started with the streets near my house. Photographing them in a foggy condition with different exposures and different setting on my camera. After a little while, I decided to move on to River Rouge Park. That was where I shot this cool close-up of a cannon along with a bunch of photos of the baseball diamonds and trees.

You can see all of those photos over on Flickr.

Once I got those shots, I decided to head downtown so I could shoot some more photos along the Riverfront.

The fog was still fairly thick there, but slowly starting to lift. I thought it was so darn cool to snap this photo of a freighter just as it was coming out of the fog.

I snapped a few more photos of the Riverfront in the fog and then made a quick phone call to Amanda. We made plans for lunch and I discovered that her friend Rita was also heading downtown. She was doing the Motown's Downtowns tour that day and was bringing Andi (an exchange student from Germany) with her.

Anyway, I had a few minutes before everyone was ready for lunch so I stopped by the Compuware Building and checked out the Festival of Trees. It's a benefit for the Children's Hospital of Michigan and featured a couple dozen really cool Christmas trees.

Of course, I snapped more photos. (I swear, Flickr is becoming the new crack. You can find the Festival of Trees photos on this page.)

Anyway, the four of had lunch together. I only snapped one photo of everyone because, for the most part, we were too busy talking to even bother thinking about my camera. That's Amanda with her eyes closed, the back of Rita's head and a little corner of Andi's face. (Not one of my best photos, I know).

When we were done, Amanda had to go back to work. I would rag on her for having a boring corportate job, but there are moments when boring corporate jobs are things I dream about. Usually this is when one of my clients is taking longer than expected to pay me. But that's a subject for another post.

Oh, wait - I forgot. That was the subject of an earlier post.

Anyway - Rita, Andi and I had some time to kill after lunch so we went back to snap even more photos along the Riverfront. By now the fog had lifted. It was a bright and sunny afternoon so that made for an interesting contrast to the earlier set of photos that I had taken.

When then did some shopping. I picked up a cool "Cadillac" seatbelt belt at Pure Detroit. It's a seatbelt buckle from an old Cadillac that was reused as a regular belt. I thought it was kind of cool.

We checked out all of the cars inside the Ren Cen (GM's global headquarters - for all of you who read this thing, but don't live in the D.)

Yes, Darling, I was talking about you with that notation. LOL!

Anyway, the Saturn Skye is actually a pretty cool car. Too bad they wouldn't let me take it for a test drive around the building.

Oh!

And the three of us even managed to get out photos taken with Santa Claus. He was in the building. I suppose he was trying to give folks at GM a profitable fourth quarter or something.

Anway, when we were done shopping, eating and photographing - Rita and Andi headed back to Ferndale. I headed over to Southwest Detroit. Amanda mentioned that there was this market there where you could get Coca-Cola from Mexico.

Coca-Cola from Mexico is cool because they still use real sugar there instead of high-fructose corn syrup. I've heard a lot people rave about the difference and I've been wanting to try it.

Not badly enough that I'd head all the way to Mexico, but I still wanted to try it.

Anyway, I found the place. Honey Bee Market on Bagley.

And they did indeed have Coca-Cola from Mexico.

They even had it in old-fashioned 12 ounce glass bottles, no less.

I picked up a few bottles of it. I learned a couple of things in the process.
  1. Coke really does taste better when it is made with real sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. Why the folks at Coca-Cola aren't making this stuff in the U.S., even as premium brand or something, is beyond me.
  2. Because of it's longer, skinnier size - a glass bottle of Coke will not stay put in a conventional automobile cup holder, at least not when you make a turn.
FYI: I lost half a bottle of Coke learning that second lesson.

Oh, well - lesson learned. It was still a fantastic day.

Now, if everyone will excuse me. It's 7:30 p.m. so I have to figure out what I'm going to do this evening.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I Saw Myself in the Comics

It's weird. The other day I was reading through the comics section of the Detroit Free Press and I saw myself.
Not literally, mind you. Rather, I saw a comic strip that made me say aloud, "Oh, my God! That's totally me."

Yes, I am Jon Arbuckle and Garfield all rolled into one package. (Although, I'm not totally thrilled with Wikipedia calling Jon a "fictional character". He seems all too real to me.)

Anyway, if you excuse me - I have to go meet up with Pooky the Teddy Bear. We're going to play "Guess the Burp."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse

TIME.com: Exclusive: Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse -- Page 1

Oh, this is just priceless.

First, Donald Rumsfeld resigns as Secretary of Defense.

Then, not to be outdone, the German government announces that they are seeking criminal prosecution of him, and several other officials within the Bush Administration, for their involvement in torturing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Priceless. Truly, truly priceless.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Two Important Notes

::: MOZELLA :::

I have two important notes for everyone.

First, go vote! You have to live with the results of today's election for years to come. You may as well make your voice heard.

Second, when you get back from the polls, log back onto your computer and listen to some music from Detroit-native Mozella. Her debut CD I Will hits stores and iTunes today.

If her song "Love Is Something" doesn't get your toes tapping, please consult a physician immediately.

Monday, November 06, 2006

W.C. Fields Goes to Vote

W.C. Fields once remarked, "Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against." With a pivortal election happening in less than 24 hours, I can't help but think about that.

Of course, when the election is over, I'll undoubtedly go back to repeating my other favorite quote from W.C. Fields:
It was a woman who drove me to drink. I never had the courtesy to thank her.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer - New York Times

U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer - New York Times

Okay, I've learned over the years lot to expect very much from the Bush Administration when it comes to basic competence. But sometimes they manage to suprise me.

Like by posting detailed descriptions, in Arabic, of how to make an atomic bomb on the internet.

I mean, really - what were they thinking?

How did they ever win not one but two presidential elections?

Oh, yeah - I forgot. Al Gore and John Kerry each dropped the ball in a major-league way.

Will someone please wake me when it's January of 2009?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

This just cracks me up

One of my friends, Jessica Jones, is constantly sending around jokes via email. The one that she sent me yesterday is my personal all-time favorite.
Three rural ministers met for lunch and naturally talked shop. One complained about his church's squirrel infestation. "They bother the congregation coming in, they chatter in the attic, they even gnawed through the insulation and ruined our sound system. But what can I do? They are God's creatures."

The second minister had the same problem. "They moved around the rafters during services and distract the congregation. My congregation gathered them up, drove them far away, and released them deep in the woods, but they were back within weeks. But, you're right: they are God's creatures."

The third minister said, "My church has also been afflicted with squirrels, but we found the perfect solution." The other two listened attentively. "We baptized them and made them full members of the church. Now we only see them on Christmas and Easter!"
I think the reason why I love that joke so much is that I've been working with the Michigan Historic Preservation Network and a group out of Philadephia called Partners for Sacred Places to create a training video on how to preserve historic houses of worship. There are three ministers that I've met through that who I can totally imagine having that conversation. LOL

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Coming Soon to a Radio Near You

I wanted to let everyone know that I'll be on Front Row Center with Celeste Headlee this coming Sunday to talk about my new movie The Sleepy Guy. I'm not sure when the segment with me and Mary Abraham will air, but the show itself runs from 11 a.m. until noon on WDET 101.9 FM.

If you not in the Detroit area, you can also listen to the show via the station's web site. http://www.wdetfm.org/listenlive/

Monday, October 30, 2006

Good News/Bad News

I'm afraid I have some good news and some bad news to share with the world.

The bad news is that there are now two more newly minted lawyers in Michigan.

The good news is that they are Matt and Kim Clayson, two good friends of mine from Detroit Synergy. Congrats on passing the bar exam, you two!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Garnier Fructis Hair Care

I was in my local CVS the other day, picking up some stuff. I used my ExtraCare card because I think getting those "Extra Bucks" every quarter is darn cool.

Anyway, the system also spits out these coupons with every transaction. This time around, I got a coupon for $1 off any Garnier Fructis hair care product.

I mean, really now?

Does it look like I'm likely to buy many hair care products any time soon?

Yes, I know. I could give the shampoos to someone else.

But really now.

Can you imagine me walking up to some woman in a bar and saying, "Hey, baby - would you like $1 off your next purchase of any Garnier Fructis product?"

Somehow, I just don't see that happening.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Winter is Fast Approaching

If there was any doubt that summer is over and that Old Man Winter is getting ready to make an appearance in Detroit, it's definite now.

I was downtown yesterday afternoon. While there, I noticed that workers were busy setting up the ice rink in Campus Martius Park.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Overtime for a Rock Star

There's only one thing better than seeing one of the hardest - rocking women in Detroit's music scene - and that's seeing her twice in one weekend.

I saw Mary Abraham of Mary Abraham and the Lincolns on Saturday night. They were playing for Battle of the Bare Naked Ladies at Memphis Smoke in Royal Oak. She totally rocked the house in an effort to be lucky one to open for the Bare Naked Ladies when they play in town next month.

(More photos from that evening, by the way, are on my Flickr page.)

Why the folks at 96.3 WDVD didn't pick her band for the gig is beyond me - but that's a subject for another blog posting.

Anyway, when I left Memphis Smoke that evening, I thought it was over.

I thought I had my Mary Abraham fix for the week.

I went downtown the next day to watch the Detroit Tigers beat up the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 in Game 2 of the World Series. An impromtu World Series party broke out in the streets of Detroit after their victory.

Let's face it: Detroiters love their Tigers and we really, really love the fact that the Detroit Tigers are playing in the World Series.

I started snapping some more photos of it for my blog and Flickr page. I figured that a few World Series party photos that didn't involve a fire of any kind would definately be a good thing.

And then I recognized one of the people who were cheering for the Tigers in front of a television camera.

Yep, it was Mary Abraham again.

Because - let's face it - rock stars like the Detroit Tigers, too.
Kevin Federline gets Body Slammed

Oh, this is the funniest things I've seen in months. I haven't watched wrestlings since the days of Hulk Hogan & Andre the Giant, but this makes me want to watch again.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Moral Dilemna

Okay - so I have this moral dilemna of sorts.

Mary Abraham - who is this incredibly talented musician; super wonderful person and who contributed music to my short film Sleepy Guy - is in a battle of the bands this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Memphis Smoke in Royal Oak. The winner of this gets to open for the Bare Naked Ladies.

However, at almost the same time that evening, the Detroit Tigers are in game one of the World Series.

The World F-ing Series!

Something that I've waited 22 years to see the Tigers play in again.

22 years.

Plus, Detroit will now officially be the first city to ever host the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year.

But then there's Mary.

Amazing musician.

Super wonderful person who helped me out when I needed music for my film and never asked for anything in return.

It just kills me as to what I should do. I mean, I don't have tickets to the game - but there are going to be so many amazing parties downtown near Comerica Park when that game happens. It's going to be insane.

But again - there's Mary who has a coolness factor that pretty much does rank right up there with the Tigers in the World Series.

Ugh! What am I going to do?

Any comments or suggestiongs are greatly appreciated. (Click the comment link below.)

Suicide car bombing in Mosul kills 12 - Yahoo! News

Suicide car bombing in Mosul kills 12 - Yahoo! News

There was yet another suicide bombing in Iraq; one that targeted Iraqi civilians at a gas station. It almost wasn't news, because bombings like this happen all of them. One line in the story, however, struck me.
Lines outside gas stations are routine in Iraq because of persistent fuel shortages.
Iraq has one of the world's largest oil reserves. Little to none of their oil is coming onto the international market - yet they still don't have much fuel in their own country.

I have to ask: what is happening to the oil?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rolling Stone : COVER STORY: Time to Go! Inside the Worst Congress Ever

Rolling Stone : COVER STORY: Time to Go! Inside the Worst Congress Ever

It's almost odd that the most revealing expose about the U.S. Congress this year came not from anyone in the mainstream media, but from Rolling Stone.

I say "almost odd" because it should be odd. In reality, however, most of the news media has given up on actual reporting and prefers to simply parrot out a few lines from time to time from some press release.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Oh, what a weekend

Saturday started out with a rather momentous occasion in my life - I finally got to go inside the Book-Cadillac Hotel.

The place had been boarded up since 1984 and I wasn't allowed in when I was filming my documentary on the place. Going inside the place where Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. met for the first time; where Lou Gehrig collapsed; the place that the late-Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to as "a peril in a sea of turmoil" - it was simple and magical all at the same time.

The folks from Hour Detroit were doing a fashion shoot there. They brought me on board to write an article about the place and allowed me to join them inside.

I'm truly indebted to them for those moments that I got to spend there.

When I was done there, I went to "Studio Seen, Take One" - a party that my friend Lee Runchey hosted to celebrate the launch of her new public relations agency. It was an eclectic mix of art, fashion, music and martial arts. (Her clients are artists, fashion designers, musicians and a fight cheoregrapher for independent films.)

Mare Costello was there to showcase her art. Her work is done with laminate so she wore this dress that was made out of white laminate. My first thought was that it looked a little silly, but the more I saw her in it - well, it just seemed cooler and cooler - especially when she was standing near her artwork.

It was a great evening spent hanging out with some great folks. My photos from the evening (mostly of the martial arts demonstration) are on Flickr here. Lee has some photos over it on her Flickr page.

And while we were there, the Detroit Tigers managed to win game 4 of the American League Championship Series. This means that Detroit will now become the first city to ever host both the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year.

Then on Sunday, I spent the afternoon and evening in Southgate with the legendary Tony Dee as we filmed promotional spots for a new reality TV show that he is launching this January. It's called I Too Want to Be a TV Star.

In the show, 12 contestants will battle it out over the course of the season for the right to host Metro Detroit Entertainment Television. This should be one very cool project.

There are more photos from Sunday's shoot here and from previous shoots on Flickr here.

And - not to be outdone by the Tigers - the Detroit Lions managed to score their first victory of the season while we were filming those segments.

I'm not sure how this weekend could have been any better.

Saddam says Iraq 'liberation is at hand' - Yahoo! News

Saddam says Iraq 'liberation is at hand' - Yahoo! News

*sigh*

And folks wonder why I thought that invading Iraq would be a really bad idea?

President George W. Bush: The man who made Saddam Hussein into a "liberator".

Saturday, October 14, 2006

RIP - Gerry Studds

Studds, 1st openly gay congressman, dies - Yahoo! News

Former Congressman Gerry Studds died this morning at the age of 69. For any readers who don't recognize his name, he' s the man who was caught having a sexual relationship with a 17-year old congressional page in 1983. When Congress censured him for his conduct, he turned his back on them as they read the resolution.

This may sound really weird, but when I heard about his death - the first thought that came to my mind was, "I hope they bury him face down so can keep right on turning his back on the world."

Psychoanalyze that thought as much as you'd like.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

DREW SHARP: Roarin' home!

DREW SHARP: Roarin' home!

Thanks to last night's win by the Detroit Tigers over the Oakland A's, Detroit is now only 2 wins away from being the first city to ever host both the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Media Guy's Pop Pick: Foreign Press-o-Meter

Advertising Age - MediaWorks - Media Guy's Pop Pick: Foreign Press-o-Meter

Sometimes I read someone else's blog and find something so silly or off-base that I'm amazed that they are able to figure out how to establish an internet connection, let alone write a full-fledge blog.

And then there are moments when I read something that's so timely and on the mark that I simply wish I had written it first.

Simon Dumenco's recent post regarding "sentiment analysis" for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security definately fits into the later category.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Another Cool Wedding Cake

I posted a little over a month ago about wedding cakes that are made out of Twinkies and how they looked so cool that I had a sudden desire to get married, just because of the cakes. (Yes - armchair psychologist, or full-fledged counselors, feel free to opine on that one).

Well, I've since seen another really cool wedding cake. This one is inspired by the Discworld books.


Check it out in more detail at Boing Boing while I debate the pros and cons of logging on to GetMarriedNow.com.

(Yes, concerned readers, I was kidding about GetMarriedNow.com).

Studio Seen, Take One

A friend of mine, Lee Runchey, is hosting a party next Saturday to celebrate the launch of her new P.R. firm, Silver Media Group. It should be a blast and I will be there.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Check Out MyDomainPain.com

One of the unique things about running a political blog (or any kind of a web site, for that matter), is that your constantly bombarded by scam artist who send you phony bills – and if you pay those “bills”, you soon discover that someone else is now hosting your web site or controlling your domain registration.

Third parties will purchase or steal domain names and resell the Internet site to an interested party for a higher price. Through the U.S. Department of Commerce, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) regulates the domain registration infrastructure. ICANN has been criticized for not enforcing the illegal transferring of domain names to another registrar (a practice that’s commonly known as “slamming”).

The folks at MyDomainPain.com have launched their own effort about this – a grass roots campaign to demand Congressional action.

Please take a moment to check out MyDomainPain.com.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hillary Clinton's challenger attacks

Hillary Clinton's challenger attacks - Yahoo! News

You know, it just amazes me. In 1998 - 99, the Republicans were criticizing President Bill Clinton for doing too much to hunt down Osama bin Laden.

Now, after closing down the C.I.A. Unit that Clinton established to hunt him down, the Republicans are criticizing him for not having done enough in 1998-99 to hunt down Osama bin Laden.

And when U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton questions the whole insanity, her Republican challenger attacks her for it.

I just have to wonder: does anyone on the right ever get dizzy from spinning so much?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Detroit Tigers : News : Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers : News : Detroit Tigers News

Every single one of the voices in my head is singing and dancing this evening, now that the Detroit Tigers have clinched a spot in the playoffs.

Bring on the Blue Jays, baby! We're going to win the division.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ten Things to See at the London Design Festival

Cool Hunting: Ten Things to See at the London Design Festival

The London Design Festival. Two weeks when I really wish I had more cash, enough to jump on an airplane, rent a decent hotel room and hang out for a couple of weeks.

Oh, and some of the coolest events of the entire festival are held in an historic brewery that been adapted for reuse. These are truly my kind of people.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

RIP Governor Ann Richards

Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards dies - Yahoo! News

I met Governor Ann Richards at an event for the Democratic Party almost 10 years ago. As wonderful, charming and intelligent as she seemed on television, she was even more amazing in person.

She will be truly and deeply missed.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Big Moo

I owe a big debt of gratitude to Eric Cedo of Create Detroit. He's the one who turned me on to one of the coolest non-fiction books I've read in a long time.

The Big Moo

It has a simple mantra: stop trying to be perfect and start being remarkable. It's about knowing that a risky idea might fail, but a boring idea will definately fail.

It's the first book I've read in a long time where, when I finished, I wanted to buy a couple dozen copies of it and just start handing it out to everyone that I know. Tackling them and say, "Read this book!"

In fact, the last time I felt that way about any book, it was about my own novel.

Anyway, just take a peek inside this book. If you feel like you've wasted your time, you're welcome to kick me in the shins if you like.

The Big Moo

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Paris Parked by DUI Arrest

Paris Parked by DUI Arrest - Yahoo! News

Each time there was a new season of "Simple Life" coming out - a "scandalous" video of Paris Hilton would make its way onto the internet. And coincidentally enough, each time it was a Rupert Murdoch owned newspaper that broke the story.

(Murdoch, of course, also owns the Fox Television Network, which is the network that "Simple Life" showed on).

My grandfather used to say, "Once is chance, twice is a coincidence but three times is a conspiracy."

And yes, the whole thing with Paris' sex tapes happened three times for each of the three seasons that the show was on the air.

And now she gets arrested, right around the time that her new albumn comes out???

I got $100 that says it, as she was leaving this charity benefit, her publicist picked up the phone and phoned in an anonymous complaint about her driving erratically. At that point, the police had to pull Ms. Hilton over.

What's the old adage? The only bad press is when they spell your name wrong?

Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP - Steve Irwin

Mate tells of Irwin's last moments | NEWS.com.au

Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter from Animal Planet, was killed by a stingray earlier today.

He will be missed by many, including myself.

Oh, and to whoever it was that defaced his entry on Wikipedia.com, I'd simply like to say that you're a callous ass.

IBreakUp.net

IBreakUp.net

Okay, so I know that there are lots of couples who meet on-line. But for some reason, the very idea of breaking up on-line just seems wrong.

Very, very wrong.

This makes me worry about the folks who would use a service like IBreakUp.net, which allows you to dump your soon-to-be ex via email.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

PIRACY AT MOTOR CITY: DEALERS CHARGED - NEWSARAMA

PIRACY AT MOTOR CITY: DEALERS CHARGED - NEWSARAMA

Back in May, I wrote about what it was like to be at the Motor City Comic Con when a bunch of vendors got arrested for selling bootleg merchandise.

This evening, my friend Joe sent me the link above. The county prosecutor has finally entered an indictment against all of the vendors involved.

All I can say is, "it took you long enough".

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"State of the Union" on DVD

When I was putting together my documentary on the Book-Cadillac Hotel, one of the great challenges that I faced was tracking down a copy of one of the films that was filmed inside the B-C. State of the Union with Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Angela Lansbury was a great film, but it was out of print when I was putting together my documentary.

For a couple of weeks, I literally did nothing but search for a copy of this film. Now my documentary is complete and Universal Studios decides to pull the film out of its vaults and release it on DVD.

I'd love to be able to say that my documentary, or at least me searching far and wide for a copy of the film, had something to do with their decision to release it on DVD.

But somehow I doubt.

Of course, that won't stop me from taking credit for it with anyone who might believe that I had something to do with it.

This just cracks me up

Moon landing 2 - shoot your own video to help NASA

Okay, so it turns out that NASA lost the original footage of the first moonwalk.

But thanks to some good ol' American ingeniuity, it can be replaced - by shooting it all over again.

Check this out -> http://moonlanding2.blogspot.com/

One Year Later

HBO: When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall.

And the area is still a mess.

How the Bush Administration manages to sleep at night is beyond me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Younger generation more anxious

Younger generation more anxious

This is troubling. The younger (college-aged) generation is significantly more prone to anxiety and depression that their predecessors - and researchers don't know why, other than they've ruled out their parents.

I have to ask, what's going on?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Headless Body in Topless Bar (1995)

Headless Body in Topless Bar (1995)

Okay - forget about Snakes On A Plane. I was browsing through IMDb.com and found what has to be the greatest title for a movie I've come across.

Headless Body in Topless Bar

It just sounds so darn cool! I'm adding it to my Netflix queue, even though the plot summary sounds so melodramatic that it's probably a lame movie.

Photos from "Sleepy Guy"


I got the photos that Paula Turner took while she was on the set with us as we filmed my new short film, Sleepy Guy.

She took 113 of them and they all look spectular.

More of them will be posted soon. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy 25th Birthday to the PC : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

Happy 25th Birthday to the PC : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

Today is my 36th birthday (yeah, 36 complete trips around the sun - it's been a blast).

In other news, the PC turned 25 recently.

Post-It Note Art

UCSC Engineering Building Gets an 8bit Upgrade

It amazes me what some people will think of doing with office supplies - like construct a 4-story homage to Super Mario Brothers.

Or a mosaic of Elvis Presley constructed out of Post-It Notes.

It looks cool, but I really hope these guys stay away from my office supply cabinet.

Friday, August 18, 2006

1731 Seminole – Detroit, Michigan

1731 Seminole – Detroit, Michigan

It's official. Jack White's house in Detroit's Indian Village neighborhood is up for sale.

It can be yours for only $930,000. (Where's my wallet?)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

The 9

The 9 for Monday August 14th

There's so much cool stuff on the web these days that it's hard to find very coolest of them all. Luckily, Maria Sansone has come to the rescue with the 9 - her daily pick of the 9 coolest things on the web.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Twinkie Wedding Cakes

Twinkie Cakes

Okay - for some strange reason - seeing all of these examples of wedding cakes that are made out of Twinkies has me feeling the sudden urge to get married.

Or at least the urge to host a kick ass reception and serve a huge cake made out of Twinkies.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Germans Look at the B-C

Restored Grand Dame of Downtown Detroit to Become Westin Book-Cadillac Detroit Hotel | Nachrichten |

When I started looking at the Book-Cadillac Hotel as the potential subject for a documentary, one of the things that really peaked my interest in the project was how wide-spread the press coverage was about the hotel - folks from as far away as Seatle and Tallahassee were writing about this deal.

Anyway, now it turns out that the Germans have gotten into the act and are starting to cover the hotel's redevelopment in a positive fashion. The hyper-linked article is largely verbatium from a press releast that was issued several weeks ago. I think the important issue, however, is the simple fact that folks in Europe are interested in what's happening here.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Neatorama » Blog Archive » Awesome Egg City Art.

Neatorama » Blog Archive » Awesome Egg City Art.

Okay, what is up with the Chinese?

First, they build the world's largest skatepark.

Then I read in Wired that the world's most popular blog is from a Chinese actress.

And now, they build this huge sculpture that is constructed entirely out of eggs.

I swear, the Chinese are acting more and more like Americans every day.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Background Info on Dick DeVos

I was surfing the web this afternoon. I found some interesting background information on Republican gubernatorial nominee Dick DeVos and what he did before assuming the presidency of Amway.

It would appear that Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and her campaign are in for a considerable amount of trouble this November. http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/devosff.htm

Ding, Dong

wfsb.com - Politics

With 84% of the precincts in Connecticut reporting, Ned Lamont is ahead of the incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman by 4 points.

Ding, dong - the witch is dead.
The wicked witch (or U.S. Senator) is dead.

Lieberman will unquestionably run as an independent candidate to hold onto his seat. Which fine by me - it simply gives the good people of Connecticut one more chance to tell him that he's been an ass these past few years.
The End of Suburbia promo trailer

This looks like a kick-ass documentary.

And it's one that's showing this Saturday at the DFC.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dwelling on "Dwell"

I was having lunch with a pair of friends last Friday when I rather disburbing thought ocurred to me.

I got to the restaurant a little before them and was passing the time by leafing through a recent issue of Dwell. I realized that I've reached that point in my life where a magazine about homes and home furnishings excites me almost as much as Playboy does.

I mean, it's a different kind of excitement, of course. But still...

Oh, and I've also realised that I get a similar thrill by walking through my local Home Depot that I do walking through my local titty bar. Of course, the really, really weird part - the part that I never thought I'd ever say is that I actually prefer hitting the titty bar because a trip there usually isn't as expensive as one to Home Depot.

*sigh*

Really, people. What does all of this say about me?

Comments are greatly appreciated.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Technology Makes Me Proud

There are moments when I see some new technological gadget that just makes me so damn proud to live in this world. I've seen a lot of it this past week, in fact.

It started when I saw a report about the new Nike + iPod in the Free Press this past Monday. The very idea that my shoes and my iPod could somehow work together to make me a better person (or at least a person that is in better shape) is so damn cool.

After that comes news that GM, Ford and Mazda will finally intergrate the iPod into their cars. (I mean, gee, the folks over at Volkswagen only did this - what, 2 or 3 years ago?)

And then I find out that the folks at LG have introduced a new line of cell phones that include a built-in breathalyzer. (Oh, the shame of drunk-dialing this will save a fortunate few from.)


Plus, since it's a handy part of your cell phone - something that most Americans carry with them at all times - you can not only save yourself, but it's easier to keep your friends from doing really studid things as well.

I am so glad that I live in the 21st century!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Science of Sleep

The Science of Sleep, from Warner Independent Pictures - The Official Site

I am looking forward to this movie sooo badly. It won't be out until September - and even then it will only be in limited release - but I am so going to have to see this one.

No word yet if Detroit will be one of the cities where it's shown. But if it's not - this movie looks like its worthy of a road trip.

Lance Bass: I'm Gay | Lance Bass : People.com

Lance Bass: I'm Gay | Lance Bass : People.com

Earlier this week, People magazine reported that 'N Sync singer Lance Bass was gay. CNN was quick to refer to this as a "boy band bombshell" in their on-air news coverage.

I was flabbergasted when I heard that.

Not the part about Lance Bass being gay, mind you. It was more the fact that anyone considered this to be newsworthy that was so downright shocking. It's nothing more than an official confirmation of what we've known (or at least strongly suspected) for almost a decade.

All of this means that in another 6 years or so - CNN will start reporting that President George W. Bush misled the American public about Iraq weapons of mass-destruction.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Detroit woos Hollywood filmmakers - 07/24/06 - The Detroit News Online

Detroit woos Hollywood filmmakers - 07/24/06 - The Detroit News Online

About a year ago, Matt Clayson (then of Detroit's Tourism Economic Development Corporation) and I sat down and discussed ways in which we could lure more Hollywood film projects to Detroit. One of the things we talked about was forming a regional film office that would be modelled after the Detroit Metro Sports Commission.

And now it looks like it's starting to happen.

Thanks for auditioning

Oddly Enough News Article | Reuters.com

Okay - having held a few open casting calls as a director and received a few dozen unsolicited resumes and headshots from various aspiring actors, I have to say that I'm really, really glad that nothing like this has ever happened to me.

A gun-toting actor, clad only in swimming trunks?

Just when you think that things can't get much more bizzare.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Weird. Truly, Truly Weird

Okay - so I got mugged last week. I lost a camera and my cell phone.

I was at my local police station the other day; going through mug shots and looking for the two guys who assaulted me. While there, I was suprised to learn two things:
  1. A woman that I had a crush on way back in the 8th grade is now a cop (and married);
  2. A shocking number of suspects manage to have their mug shots taken while wearing a D.A.R.E. t-shirt.
It's just weird. Truly, truly weird.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

4th Friday Film Festival - Twice As Good

The 4th Fridays with Ford are always good. The 4th Friday Film Festival is always a great change to see some great indie films that are made right here in Detroit.

This month, however, the 4th Friday Film Festival is going to be even cooler because folks also get a change to win a walk-on role in an upcoming movie.

That's right, one lucky person who stops by the 4th Friday Film Festival table in Campus Martius this Friday will win a walk-on role in the upcoming film, Sleepy Guy.

Of course, even if you don't win the movie role, you still get to see some great locally made movies - ones that you simply can't see anywhere.
  • Demonology – directed by Brooks Tomlinson and Chad Schaffer of Canton and starring Jonny Victor of Novi. Demonology is short comedy about why it’s a really bad to summon a demon in order to solve your money problems. It was a crowd favorite at both the Mitten Movie Project and the Planet Ant Film Festival.
  • Kill the Scorpion – directed by Jay White of Detroit and featuring Chloe Greenfield, who played Eminem’s little sister in the hit movie 8 Mile. Kill the Scorpion is a short action film about a young man who discovers that the entire world really is out to get him. The producers of this film are currently in negotiations with Dimension Films to transform this short piece into a major Hollywood production.
  • End Call - directed by Tim Krynicki of St. Clare Shores. End Call is short science-fiction piece about an attack on a distant space station.
  • The Route – directed by Steve Horn of Detroit and starring Ken Jackson of Pontiac. The Route was honored as “Best Urban Feature” at the NewYork International Independent Film & Video Festival. It is a feature length drama that asks the question, “How far would you go to get what is rightfully yours?”
The 4th Friday Film Festival will happen this Friday (July 28) at 9 p.m. in the upper level of Biegas Gallery (35 E. Grand River in downtown Detroit) Tickets are only $5 for all 4 films and available at http://igorfilms.com/4thFriday or at the door on the day of the show.

Me and My Friends

There are moments when I absolutely adore my friends and am tempted to kiss the very ground they walk on, like when they bail me out of one jam or another.

There are moments when I get such a kick out of being around them, like when we head out and do some of the darnedest things.

There are moments when I'm downright proud of them, like at any of the weddings or bachelor parties that I've been to lately.

And then there are moments when I am so incredibly jealous of them.

Like when they get to have their photo taken with the Stanley Cup, just because they work for Compuware and their boss owns the Carolina Hurricanes.

*sigh*

Hey, Amanda! Please tell Mr. Karmanos that he needs to commission a documentary or something - and, of course, hire me onto Compuware's staff to do it. LOL

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Microsoft's "Argo" / Xbox wireless portable media player - Engadget

Microsoft likes to think of "Argo" as an iPod Killer - but looking at what was leaked, I have to say they must be dreaming. The screen size is nice and I'll assume that it has decent memory & processor.

However, the control wheel is seems too small to be operated on the fly. This is especially true if you're doing something else like walking, roller blading, or making a mental list of all of President George W. Bush's screw-ups.

They'll probably tweak this a lot before it gets released. My suggestion to any Microsoft techie who finds this post - give us a larger, easier to operate control wheel.

Oh, and Apple's decisions to allow you to a) get it in black as well as white and b) get your iPod engraved were both inspired. If you're going to mimic the iPod, don't forget to include those two things as well.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Casting Call Meets the Sundance Festival Deadline

I had a casting call for my next movie over the weekend. It was kind of odd to spend the day with Marc-Antoine Serou (a French filmmaker who is part of this project) and then head over to a Bastille Day party at Francis Grunow & Claire Nelson's home, where I stayed until well past 2 a.m. - just drinking and talking.

Anyway, the casting call itself was impressive. The quality of talent that came out of my casting call was seriously impressive. It basically ranged from "good" to "why the hell aren't you on Broadway?"


I had a lot more women try out for the parts than men - even though the ratio of male to female roles was about equal. I may have to juggle a couple of things around in the script in order to include as many of them as possible.

Principal photography is tentatively set for Friday, August 11 through Saturday, August 13. We have a deadline of Thurday, September 14 to have this complete so I can overnight it to the folks at the Sundance Institute by their recently announced deadline of Friday, September 15 for the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

This kind of a shooting/editing schedule should make for an interesting month.

CEOs to look for synergy

newsobserver.com | CEOs to look for synergy

I have to admit that I get this weird thrill when ever anyone uses the word "synergy", especially when they use it connection with anything that's going on in and around Detroit.

But then again, as public relations co-chair for Detroit Synergy, I probably am biased in that regards.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tax Cuts & Cops

Detroit hopes tax cut slows flight from city

According to an article in yesterday's Freep, 25 different neighborhoods in Detroit are slated to get a 20% reduction in their property taxes. Warrendale is not one of the lucky neighborhoods.

Quite frankly, I'm not concerned about the fact that someone else in Detroit is getting a tax cut while those of us in Warrendale are not.

However, what I do wonder is this: If a cash-strapped city like Detroit can find a way to give a 20% reduction in property taxes to some of their residents then why can't they also find enough money in the budget to ensure that there's always a cop available when I call 9-1-1?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dating in your 30s

I was chatting yesterday with my partner-in-crime from Detroit Synergy, Paula Turner. She said something that I thought was incredibly profound.

She said that dating in your 30s is a lot like shopping for luggage. Everyone in their 30s already has a certain amount of emotional "baggage". The whole dating process at this point is really about finding someone with a matching set.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Japan may postpone North Korea resolution - Yahoo! News

Japan may postpone North Korea resolution - Yahoo! News

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the United States is wasting its time in Iraq. The real threat that we need to worry about is North Korea.

They're highly unstable, they have nuclear weapons and they're working on a missle that can hit the United States.

With all of that in play, one really has to ask why we're keeping our military tied up in Iraq.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The New York "Terror" Plot

I was going to log-on and write a pithy response to the news coverage over the "terror plot" to blow-up the Holland Bridge in New York City. But then the folks at Gawker.com beat me to the punch and posted it before I could.

Dang, it! Foiled again by those cursed New Yorkers.

All I can do now is post a hyper-link to their post at http://gawker.com/news/top/another-day-another-terror-plot-185759.php

Instead, I'll just point out how ironic it was that this "plot" was broken up the day after The New York Times reported that the Central Intelligence Agency has disbanded the unit that was charged with hunting down Osama bin-Laden. (If you haven't read the story already, click here).

Because folks with no weapons or means of carrying out a terror-plot are far more dangerous than the guy behind 9/11.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Casting Call - Be In My Next Movie

Knemonic Productions, LLC (http://www.knemonic.com) in association with Prince Igor Productions, Inc. (my production company - on-line @ http://www.igorfilms.com) and Roaring Kitten Studios, LLC are looking for actors to star in two short films being shot in and around Detroit during the month of August, 2006. "Eve", a drama, is about a Polish immigrant haunted by a relationship from his childhood. "Sleepy Guy", a comedy, is about a guy who has extreme difficulty waking up, but with a twist.

Auditions will be BY APPOINTMENT ONLY on Saturday, July 15 in Troy, MI. Directions and details will be given along with your scheduled audition appointment time. Both films are non-paying projects up front, but contingent compensation will be available. Also, food and beverages will be provided for actors and crew during principal photography.

We are interested in viewing resumes and headshots of actors of ALL shapes, sizes, and races. However, we do have specific needs for the following types for "Eve":
  • Attractive African American Female* (mid 20s through early 30s);
  • Attractive, Pale-skinned Caucasian Female* (mid 20s through early 30s);
  • Pale-skinned Caucasian Male* (early 30s), preferably with European accent;
  • Elderly Caucasian Woman (50s though 70s), preferably with European accent;
  • Male (mid 20s through mid 30s);
  • Female (mid 20s through mid 30s)
  • Young girl (ages 12 through 15), preferably of European descent;
  • Young male (ages 12 thought 17), preferably of European descent
NOTE: The script for "Eve" does contain tasteful/artistic sexual scenes. Actors wishing to read for parts marked with an asterisk (*) must be willing to appear minimally-clothed (no graphic nudity) and feign sexual intercourse on camera.

Interested actors must send a headshot and acting resume to casting@knemonic.com or post both to the Knemonic Productions Actor's Lounge forum (http://www.knemonic.com/forum/) before Midnight US Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 12 in order to be eligible for this audition.

In addition to the script excerpts that will be provided with directions to the audition, actors should come prepared with a monolog of their own choosing. If possible, please also bring a copy of your demo reel.

I Can't Believe I Forgot to Post This

I was talking with my friend Joe the other day. He asked me why I had never posted that photo of me with the ladies from Hell's Belles.

My first inclination was to think that Joe had lost his mind. I mean, obviously I had to have posted a photo that was that cool, right?

Well - I went back through the archives for this blog and it turns out that I didn't post it. Without futher ado, here are the ladies from Hell's Belles and I at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak.

Joe: Thanks for reminding me about this one. And I'm sorry for thinking disparaging thoughts about you, even though it only last a few seconds.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Summer Reading List

It's almost the 4th of July weekend. That means lots and lots of holiday trips to the beach and so on. Since I am a published author, it seemed only appropriate for me to mention a few books (other than my own) that I think would be great to take to the beach or on vaction with you.

With that in mind, here is Frank's Summer Reading List for 2006.

My first pick is The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst. This novel is set in the late 1930s is about a journalist who fights the Mussolini regime by working for an underground newspaper. When his editor is killed by the Italian secret police, he tries to keep the newspaper going while also trying to stay alive as the secret police turn their attention to him.

Alan Furst is, without a doubt, one of the best novelists writing today. If you haven't picked up any of his work before, this a great one to start with.



My second pick is Lost & Found by Carolyn Parkhurst. This modern tale focuses on a series of characters who are competing in a reality TV show. At first glance, the very idea of using a reality TV show as the setting for a novel made me want to gag, but the fact of the matter is that it's so well written that I couldn't help but fall in love with it.

Her characters seem very real and it's those characters, more than anything that would happen within this fictional TV show, that drive her story.



Telegraph Days is the latest novel from Larry McMurthy, who also wrote Lonesome Dove as well as co-writting the Academy Award-winning screenplay for Brokeback Mountain. I was never a fan of westerns growing up, but McMurthy writes them so well - with characters that are believable as well as dialogue and a plot that is compelling - that it makes me want to read more and more them.



John Updike's latest novel, Terrorist, is my fourth pick. It's about a teenager - the product of an Egyptian father who left him when he was 3 and an Irish-American mother - who grows up in a New Jersey mill town and becomes entralled with an Iman who preaches against all that is "corrupt" about American culture. The teenager - Ahmad Mulloy Ashmawy - becomes the homegrown terrorist that many have quietly feared ever since 9/11.

Updike's writing is tight, gripping and - above-all-else - believable. It's definately worth a read.



We Are All Welcome Here is my fifth recomendation. A polio victim and her 13-year old daughter are the focus of this novel by Elizabeth Berg that is set in Tupelo, Mississippi during the summer of 1964. All of angst and frustration that one could expect between a single mother and her teenage daughter play out in the midst of the unrest that was the civil rights movement.

Well worth the read!



Last, but certainly not least, the final spot on my list of recommended summer reads is reserved for Killing Molly by Eric C. Novack. His book comes from a small, independent press so you won't find it on Amazon.com. However, one look at all of the glaring reviews this book has received should be enough to persuade anyone as why this book is so worth your time.

http://www.elitistpublications.com/km_reviews.htm