Monday, October 29, 2007

I Am Henry Rollins

I have 23 different things on my "to-do" list for today. How many of them did I get done?

None.

I know I'm going to pay for it dearly for the rest of this week. I'm going to have to put in a lot more hours in order to make up for it.

What did I do today when I should have been working? For the most part, I goofed off on my computer.

I also discovered that, when it comes to dating, I am rapidly becoming more and more like Henry Rollins.


I haven't gotten so far that I'm willing to kick a woman out of my car for reading Harry Potter (unless that's the only book she has read recently). But I am becoming more and more like that comedy routine every day.

My question is: just how worried should I be when it comes to this trend?

Annexing Canada

The Bush administration commissioned the folks at Disney to produce a seven minute video to promote the U.S. as a travel destination, according to a report from the Associated Press. I love the concept of doing this. Tourism is a great industry and it should be promoted.

There's just one problem.

One of the destinations that Disney included in this video is the Horseshoe Falls, which is in Canada. There are two other waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls and are on the U.S. side of the Niagara River. However, they weren't included at all in this video.

Yes, the Walt Disney Company and the U.S. Department of State has essentially annexed a portion of Canada.

I can't say I really blame them. There are several parts of Canada that I won't mind having in the U.S. (Most notably, whatever part Darling is currently occupying.) However, according to news reports, the Canadian government is just a tiny bit upset over this.

Besides, things didn't go very well for the Bush Administration the last time it tried to grab territory arbitrarily. Grabbing a portion of Canada, no matter how beautiful it is, simply cannot go well for the U.S.

I believe the lesson that can be learned from this experience is that the Bush Administration shouldn't have hired Disney to create this promotional video. They should have hired my production company.

I have never confused the U.S. with Canada, even though I live in a city that has had Toronto stand-in for it in numerous Hollywood movies.

I also wouldn't have used so much stock footage in the video. Just take a look at this promotional video that I did for Detroit, in advance of Super Bowl XL. There's not a single frame of stock footage in it.



Oh, and I wouldn't have had the only people who actually speak during the video be the ones standing in front of that brick wall. It gives the sense that the only Americans who are friendly are the ones who have their backs to a wall. I think it would have been much better to weave in a series of people saying, "Welcome!" throughout the entire video and to have it be at each of the different landmarks.

But that's just me. I'm just a guy who knows the difference between what is in the U.S. and what isn't.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Harmony Is Open!

Today has been one of those good news/bad news days.

The good news is that astronauts from Discovery added a new room onto the International Space Station today. It's been named Harmony.

My first thought was that they should have changed a few letters and named it after a Harry Potter character instead. In fact, I think every room on the International Space Station ought be named after a character from the Harry Potter books. That or one from a Mark Twain novel.

Anyway, the bad news is that they also found metal shavings inside of a joint that is needed to turn solar panels. I know it's bad when I forget to do the dishes and they get kind of crusty. It's a pain in the butt to clean them. I'm just imagining the challenges associated with cleaning metal shavings out of a metallic joint while traveling at 1,000+ m.p.h. in outer space.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

PS3 vs. Wii

Continuing with my series on things I found on-line while searching for other things (yeah, I should find an abbreviation for that or something), I give you a parody of the PC vs. Mac commercials. It's PlayStation 3 vs. Wii.

Now, if you'll excuse me, after watching this video, I have a desire to go buy a Wii.

Right after I remember what it was that I was searching for when I found in the first place.

My New Best Friend

After all the madness that happened last night, you'll find a photo of my new best friend to the left.

I saw some really cool Halloween costumes last night. The ones that I remember are:
  • Eric and his girlfriend came as an electrical plug and socket;
  • Kelly Fontes looked wonderful as Wonder Woman; and
  • Little Bo Peep and Strawberry Shortcake were well represented.
However, my absolute favorite was the guy who came dressed up as the one and only Alok Sharma - and no, it wasn't Alok who was dressed that way.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Friday, Friday, Friday

I'm not sure why, but this Friday is the day when it seems like everyone has some kind of an event planned.

The evening kicks off with Illuminate Detroit at Willy's Overland Lofts. This one is sponsored by Detroit Synergy and, since I'm on their steering team, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that I'll be spending the bulk of my time there. (The photo at right, by the way, is event organizer Liz Tintinali at the last Illuminate Detroit.)

The folks at CAID are also having an Illuminate after party from midnight to 5 a.m.

The folks at Detroit Fashion Pages then have their designer showcase, featuring Maisha Davis, in the Penobscott Building.

Plagues and Pleasues on the Salton Sea is showing at the Detroit Film Center. I really want to see this movie. I've heard nothing but great things about it. However, I'm not sure if I'll be able to squeeze it in. I might go see it if the DFP event doesn't seem like it's all it's cracked up to be. Otherwise, the movie goes into my Netflix queue.

I also have a friend's birthday party going on at Pulse, followed by another friend's Halloween party in the Kales Building. I already told the Halloween party organizer that I won't be there in costume, simply because I'll be bouncing in between all of these other events.

The folks at the Creative Energy Alliance are having their Howl-O-Ween Bash that evening, too. It's at Stage 3 in Warren, which makes it a lot farther away that the other five events. I doubt I'll be able to squeeze that one into the mix as well.

So many events. One short evening.

Quick Update

Anita's funeral was last week. Her husband and children seemed to take her passing as well as anyone could reasonably expect.

In other news, my concerns about becoming the third sudden death have been greatly alleviated. The doctors say my heart is in the same condition that it was last year.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Granholm Endorses Round Earth

Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced her endorsement of U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic party's nominee for President of the United States today.

Immediately after making her endorsement public, Granholm announced that the Earth really is round and that Paris Hilton really isn't all very talented.

You'll have to excuse me not regarding this endorsement as news worthy. It's been rumored that Granholm would support Clinton's presidential campaign since before she was even a candidate.

Again, nothing news worthy here. I could have easily forgotten about this before I even finished reading the email that announced - if it weren't for this line:
"Hillary Clinton's proposals and track record are evidence that she is clearly the candidate best prepared to lead the nation and be a champion for Michigan," Granholm and Cherry said. "From her commitment to ending the war in Iraq, to her positions on..."
I'm sorry but praising Clinton for her "commitment to ending the war in Iraq" is like congratulating Britney Spears for winning the Nobel Prize in Physics. Clinton hasn't made such a commitment, she publicly ridiculed those who propose attacking terrorists and she refused to commit to bringing our troops home from Iraq by the end of her first term, if elected.

How in the world can any of this be construed as a "commitment to ending the war in Iraq"?

I think it's time for Michigan to institute a policy of mandatory drug testing for all elected officials.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

RIP - Anita Kramer

Some folks have heard about this one already, but my cousin passed away over the weekend at the age of 29. She leaves a husband and two small children behind.

Her cause of death hasn't been determined, pending an autopsy. She was at a garage sale when she collapsed suddenly and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

She and I weren't especially close. However, losing someone that young - and losing them so suddenly - is always disconcerting to say the least.

I think it's even worse since this is the second person this month that I know who has passed away suddenly. It makes me think about something that my grandmother used to say, that things like this always come in threes.

And that, in turn, had me wondering who the third person would be.

And worrying about that, in turn, made me think about a heart murmur that the doctors found when I was in the hospital this past December. My doctors concluded at the time that is was a harmless murmur and nothing to worry about. However, after my cousin passed at the age of 29 and with my this being the second unexpected death in as many weeks, I would a little worried.

In fact, it was at that moment that my cell phone slipped out of my handing, hitting a concrete floor and breaking into two pieces.

After the panic subsided, I made an appointment with the cardiologist who treated me last year - just to make sure that everything is still okay. Intellectually, I know that I'm almost certainly still fine. However, I also know that I wouldn't have been able to sleep very well until I at least made an appointment.

Anyway, Anita's funeral is Thursday. She will be missed.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy Holiday

Today is a double holiday. In the U.S., it's Columbus Day - complete with a Presidential Proclamation about Christopher Columbus sailing across the Atlantic Ocean; discovering the Americas for Europeans.

For our neighbors to the south, it's Thanksgiving Day.

My New Coffee Table?

I've been thinking that I need a new coffee table and I found a kit that you can use to build your own interactive LED version. My only issue with it is the kit will cost $420.55 and that's just for the for LEDs, boards and sensors. I'd still have to get a boring coffee table to build it into.

It's cool, but I'm wondering if it's $400 cool.

Anyway, after the car repairs from last week, it'll be a couple of weeks before I can buy this thing. That gives me time to think. As always, thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wow!

It's both weird and sad when a major anniversary passes you don't even realize it until it has passed.

This past Thursday, October 4th, was the 50th anniversary of the Sputnik I launch. It was one of those moments when history itself was changed forever.

Americans, and the rest of the world, woke up, realizing that the Soviet Union had a huge technological advantage over everyone else. The United States launched its own space program with an unprecedented fervor. Shortly after that, President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to send a man to the moon and return him safely home.

It's just sad that an anniversary like this didn't get more attention in the news media. I did a quick Google search and only found one published news article from any of the major media outlets that talked about it. (Kudos, by the way, to everyone at USA Today for not dropping the ball.)

Oh, and I realize that this makes me a total geek, but I got a huge thrill out of listening to a recording of Sputnik's telemetry broadcast on NASA's web site.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Free Month of Netflix for Anyone Who Wants It

The folks at Netflix know I'm a movie junkie. They gave me these cards to pass out to folks that I know who might be interested in a free month of the Netflix service so they can try it out for themselves. The problem is that I'm usually so busy with one thing or another that I haven't had a chance to hand them over to anyone in the week or so that I've had them.

As a result, I thought I'd post the relevant information here. Anyone who is interested can collect a free month with Netflix.

If you're interested, click here. Enter the priority code of M84954834575 to collect your free month and to learn more about Netflix. This offer expires on October 31, 2007.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have Matt Damon in The Bourne Supremacy waiting for me.