Cool Blog Finds

When Blogger added the next blog button at the top of the blogspot page, I wasn’t exactly enthused but have recently recanted and find myself loving this roulette wheel of blog dom (doom?) that is the [Next Blog] button.

Two recent finds from a spin of the ol’ wheel:

National November Bloggers Month A blog dedicated to writers participating in the National November Novel Writing Month and are publishing their novel online.

Query Letters by managerguy, a “Hollywood insider” who gets tons of badly written screenplay query letters and movie treatments a month and has taken the unselfish act to publish them online for all of us to share in the horror that is the Hollywood studio movie machine. There is some real gold here. (this was on Metafilter yesterday as well, but it wasn’t how I stumbled upon it. The inter-web is a small world after all.)

Now don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of crap to be found via the Next Blog button and apparently, Blogging is very popular in Argentina and who the hell knows what those kookie kids are talking about. But patient clicking of the button will turn up some gems, that is certain.

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

– the post holiday delayed edition

1. Have you ever bought and/or sold items through an online auction (for example, eBay, Yahoo! Auctions, etc.)? Do you remember the first item that you ever purchased through an online auction (or at an online store)? Do you plan to shop online for the upcoming holiday season?
The first thing I ever bought on ebay was a video tape on how to play the banjo. Since then I have bought my sister some Goofy collectibles, a stereo, my digital camera, my cdr/rw player for my computer, a set of pots and pans, a vacume food sealer and the list goes on and on. I have a few gifts that I will be buying on line this year

2. What is your shopping style?
Head straight for a specific store and pick up the item that you’re looking for
Browse through everything and then narrow down your choices from there?
Do you enjoy shopping?

I am a haphazard browser. I don’t go aisle by aisle and instead tend to wander and meander. I don’t really like shopping and have to be in a very certain mood.

3. Is there someone in your life who is particularly difficult to buy gifts for? What do you usually end up getting him/her? Why are they so hard to buy gifts for?
The Rev Ed followed by Reid then probably my sister. Go figure. All of them have eclectic tastes and interests and generally those interests are all across the board. This year I am buying each of them a shiny new liver.

4. Do you prefer to shop at big-name department stores, small family-owned gift shops, or somewhere in-between? Do you tend to patronize local stores as opposed to store chains? Why?
Thrift stores and consignment shops is where it’s at baby! I make a salary of about $4,800 or so dollars a year and so I have to stretch the budget. This year, everyone is getting shiny tin foil hats to welcome in the second term of GW Bush.

5. When’s the last time that you bought something for yourself to enjoy? What was it, and when did you buy it? Do you reward yourself with gifts every so often? Why/why not?
I tend to buy for Roy quite often. He likes books and music and gets a lot of it from his benefector, R-Dub.

Gobble Gobble

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On the road and away from the computer until Friday or so. Have a great holiday and please fell free to enjoy the beer and sandwiches.

Turkey Day Road Trip Tomorrow

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Off to the ranch for some Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to it this year. The new house, the new family with all its members in full attendance and some nice down time – well except for a lap full of two, three and four year olds. But what is really wrong with that.

PS: Yes, this isn’t a turkey picture, it is an emu. Yes there are emus at the ranch. No, we will not be eating the emus for Thanksgiving. {burp}

(Oh, yes, there are pictures on the blog now. How much fun is that!)

AVG Update

Those of you I have convinced to swith over to AVG for you anti virus protection, take note. They have significantly upgraded their free to home users version and will no longer be supporting v.6 with updates after December 31.
Take a minute to download the upgrade. Uninstall your current version and install the new version, run the update and then a virus check. Think of it as a simple and easy Thanksgiving task and pass the turkey. PS: Adaware has also upgraded to a newer version for those in the antispyware, malware camp.

Download the new AVG Antivirus version 7.2

Masked And Anonymous

Attention Cohen Brother’s fans. Attention Netflix fans. Attention Bob Dylan Fans. And others I am sure. I just finished watching and rewatching Masked And Anonymous via the good people of Netflix. This is a fun film that apparently all of Hollywood showed up for – Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, Val Kilmer, Christian Slater, Christopher Penn, Luke Wilson, Penelope Cruz, John Goodman, Ed Harris, Mickey Rourke and of course in a rare cinematic treat, Bob Dylan, who plays a misunderstood, aging,mythic troubadour. (That’s not typecasting, is it?)
This is a funny, poignant, jumbled narrative film that is still, after two viewings, difficult to fully explain. It is almost like trying to explain what a Dylan song is about. You are delighted byt he fancy wordplay (the screen play is manic and magical) and your follow the plot easily enough but at the end, you are stuck trying to explain exactly what it is about. Dylan plays Jake Fate, who is broken out of jail by Uncle Sweetheart to play a benefit concert of the disenfranchised political victims of a recent US civil war. Jessica Lange plays Nina Veronica, the network TV executive who is trying to get the benefit concert televised. The rest of the story reads as an adapted version of the Passion Play, but who is the Christ figure? Uncle Sweetheart, Jake Fate, reporter/journalist Tom Friend (Jeff Bridges) or Fate’s friend, confidant and protector Bobby Cupid (Luke Wilson)?
This is a fun film and highly worth a rental, or for Dylan fans, a purchase. The soundtrack is phenomenal, including Dylan covers by Jerry Garcia and the Grateful dead along with some international styled covers in Spanish (Los Lobos) , Italian and even Turkish, not to mention some new and old gems by Dylan and his touring band, featuring 80s mini star, Johnny Sexton.

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

1. What would you absolutely *love* to do, if only you weren’t terribly afraid of doing it?
Riding a motorcycle. I love everything about motorcycles. They way they look, the sound, the freedom of moving on down the highway. I love everything about them except for the part where they kill people. Once they solve that part, I will be a motorcycle riding fool.

2. What’s the sexiest piece of clothing that you own? [Let’s exclude lingerie.] How do you feel when you put it on? Where do you usually wear this clothing?
My diamond studded, sequined thong. I wear it to work on interview days so that inside, I can feel pretty.

3. Do you remember the very first time that you used the Internet and/or e-mail? What was that experience like?
Yup. It was in 1990 at the Gunnison Country Times and we had a freelance stringer, Emerson, who was a real early internet embracer. He let me use his AOL account for a day or so to see what it was like. In 1990, AOL was still a young child and the internet wasn’t close to what we have now. Microsoft Internet Explorer hadn’t even been developed yet and everyone was trying to surf using some new fangled browser technology by Netscape or something. Maybe it was even as old as the original Mosaic. Looking back, it was like playing an old Atari video game. Fun at the time but hardly worth my time today.

4. What words in the English language do you think are completely overused? Do you find yourself saying any of them? If you could ban particular words from the English language, would you? Why? What words would you choose?
Overused/misused: Irony and ironic. It is not ironic anymore when everything is ironic. Words to ban: Orientate (the simple word orient will work fine.) I also hate forced contractions, like ‘scripts for medical prescriptions and ‘stats for statistics. It lessens the language and makes us lazy.

5. It’s cold and flu season, unfortunately. What things have always helped you feel better when you’re under the weather? What remedies do you remember being given when you were a child?
Zycam, zycam, zycam. Orange juice and lots and lots (I am talking doses of 7 or 8 grams) of vitamin C. And BAM, the cold will up and leave, making you a conqueror. Mom was a big applier of Vicks Vaporub, a vile smelling mess that mucked up my pajamas and sheets. And she also was big on the power dose of Chloraseptic and Dristan.

The Coalition of the Willing

The Coalition of the Willing

The assault on Fallujah that began almost immediately after the US elections this month is rapidly turning into a fiasco and the outcome is appalling. The military is virtually leveling the city in an attempt to bring it under control and to dispel the insurgent Iraqi’s who have taken up arms against us while trying to defend their homes, families and culture from total anhililation.
Recently, an AP photographer stationed in Fallujah told stories of trying to escape. He couldn’t leave the city as any men leaving were turned back. Only woman, children and elderly were allowed to leave the city as refugees. All the men are suspected enemies and most of them are being shot – unarmed civilians shot by US troops – their crime – being Iraqi citizens living in Fallujah. The AP reporter relates a story of trying to leave the city by swimming across the Euphrates river. But he changed his mind as he watched US helicopters patrolling the river and shooting anyone in it. He watched a family of five gunned down by airship – an unarmed civilian family shot dead for the crime of trying to peacefully leave the war torn city.

This war is spiraling out of control and I still don’t quite understand what we are there for or what we have accomplished.

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

1. Who is the most overrated actor/actress/celebrity in showbiz? Presently? Past? Four years ago?
Paris Hilton. Pauly Shore. Dennis Miller.

2. At what point do I get to roll up my sleeves and kick some ass?
Improper use of turn signals will result in an ass kicking. Applying make up while in the car will result in ass kicking. Eating other people’s food out of the break room refrigerator will result in ass kicking. Smoking will result in ass kicking.

3. Describe your favorite movie in 15 words or less.
Casablanca is about making the choice of love and country or self preservation.

4. What’s the most inappropriate theme/reason to hold a party? Send a card. Buy a present?
Party: The destruction of Palestine? Card: Hey, congrats, you have cancer. Present: You’ve lost your house and family in a cataclysmic hurricaine. Here is a housewarming gift- a blender.

5. Provide a link to The MOST boring website you can find. Mind numbing, poke your eyes out boring is what we are looking for here. Bad design helps, certainly, but content of the most dull order will be the goal.
Well, my first inclination was this but is a lame cop out. There is always this doozy, but it seems for formulaic and intentional (and actually funny and kind of hypnotic.) Then I immediately remembered Zombo which is dull in a room-full of clows sort of way. Eventually, however, I settled with this. A thoughtful, deliberate and erudite discussion of geophysics. Not for the laymen, I suppose.

Things I Should Be Blogging About

The election – Bush won, his base turned out. I got sucked into the online hype that the Democrats were gonna win but in the end, a bunch of web bloggers spend more time on line than they do getting of their butt and voting. Democracy isn’t point and click. It is the ground game and the GOP beat us at that. I still support a paper trail ballot system to coincide with electronic touch screen voting. But I don’t believe that Bush won because all the precincts had “fixed” or fraudulent votes cast with electronic ballot systems.
Cryptonomicon – I am just finishing up reading this massive book by Neal Stephenson. Wow, it is great. Funny, convoluted, post modern and epic (at 1130 pages, I would hope it is epic. If you are telling a small story in 1100 pages, you are not doing a good job.)
WilcoI saw Wilco over the weekend at the Fillmore (Yea! Ed!) What a great show. For a primadonna reclusive drunken pain killer addled rock star in recovery, Tweedy puts on a show! And he highlights his whole band. Once he gets on stage it isn’t all about him, it is about the music. And a polished, if not a little “buy-the-book” performance it was.
Mozilla – Get on the bus kids and kick Internet Explorer to the curb. Mozilla Firefox, the true blue internet browser competitor with all the bells, whistles and “chrome” has released version 1.0. The beta testing stage is over. The nightly builds and nightly bug patches are gone.
The browser has arrived. Open sourced and free.
Download it here.
Install it. (4.7 mb is all – so even you dial up types can download it in minutes) (you don’t have to do anything with Internet Explorer, just install firefox and learn how the internet can really be.)
Adware? never get it.
Pop ups? what are those?
Malicious Explorer based trojans and Active X security holes? Never happens.
Crashes and system hog issues? Left that behind when I switched to Mozilla two years ago.
Customizeable skins? Only on Mozilla. Import all your fun and fancy IE bookmarks? Sure. Just point and click. (For added fun, you can figure Mozilla to open two, three, four or more homepages at once. Now that is surfing.)
Customizable plugins and addons? Free and as easy and pointing your mouse and installing.