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20th October 2008

11:31am: Late nights and The West Wing

With the election right around the corner and a bunch of papers to sort out last night, I put on one of my favorite episodes from The West Wing. Toward the end of 20 Hours in America, Toby, Josh, and Donna get off a shuttle bus after being stranded in Indiana and trying to get home. Toby has been railing against the Republican nominee and his lack of gravitas. His speech hit a nerve so I share it here:

TOBY
If our job teaches us anything, it's that we don't know what the next President's gonna face. And if we choose someone with vision, someone with guts, someone with gravitas, who's connected to other people's lives, and cares about making them better... if we choose someone to inspire us, then we'll be able to face what comes our way and achieve things... we can't imagine yet. Instead of telling people who's the most qualified, instead of telling people who's got the better ideas, let's make it obvious. It's going to be hard.

JOSH
Then we'll do what's hard.

After hearing some disturbing things from around the Net, I think it could be harder than I originally thought. To crib another line from The West Wing, no matter who you vote for, be sure you get out and vote. Let's make sure all our voices are heard loud and clear.

30th September 2008

5:41pm: I know, I know, twice in one day..
But, I'm very excited!
 
My interview with the creators of Monsterpocalypse, my new crack, was just posted on Gaming Report. It's long, but tells you a lot about the game and how the game came about. Hope you'll take a look. 

http://www.gamingreport.com/article.php?sid=25737&mode=&order=0

9:38am: A Horrible Trend
Since Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog came out I've been noticing more mad scientist stuff out there. For example, at GenCon I got a copy of the game MwaHaHaHa! by White Wolf to review. It's a fun game, if a little light, where you assume the role of a wannabe villian and try to blackmail the world.

Another example is the book Soon I will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman. I was loaned a copy from one of the guys in my monthly game group. It's a fun read told from the perspective of a supervillian Dr. (wait for it) Impossible and a rookie superheroine. Both recount how they got to this point in their life with the Dr. working to gather resources for another shot at taking over the world and the cybernetic Fatale finding her place among the premier heroes of her world.

Both of these were already out there before Dr. Horrible hit the Net. Of course Mad Scientist's are nothing new so it's not surprising.

It's just amuses me to see these things. Like that episode of HIMYM where they all mention each other's foibles and see nothing but them afterwards.

But more Horrible! :)

23rd September 2008

10:12am: I so miss the West Wing
Maureen Dowd got Aaron Sorkin to write a meeting between Senator Barack Obama and President Jed Bartlet. My favorite part:

OBAMA The problem is we can’t appear angry. Bush called us the angry left. Did you see anyone in Denver who was angry?

BARTLET Well ... let me think. ...We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know ... I’m a little angry.

OBAMA What would you do?

BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

Wnat the whole thing? http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/opinion/21dowd-sorkin.html?ex=1379822400&en=94fb84cf08d27b33&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Or if that doesn't work the USA Today Pop Candy Blog is where I found it:
http://blogs.usatoday.com/popcandy/

11th September 2008

11:49am: The Pie Hole is coming
I am a fan of the show Pushing Daisies. Seems ABC is getting behind it with some real promotion muscle including a trip around the country with a mobile Pie Hole.

Here are some pics from the Sanfrancisco Stop:
http://thisblogisyourblog.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/pushing-daisies/

I'll likely take a half day to check it out in Chicago when it comes to town Sept. 24.

Later,

T

21st August 2008

10:39pm: Tra la la....
La la la.

www.icv2.com/articles/news/13127.html

Here's to hoping this recycling of my childhood doesn't suck.
9:12am: How the world has changed
I have a ten minute walk from the train to my office every day. I pass by a few resturants and hotels that play music outside their front door. Today as I was walking, I started tapping my finger to a familiar tune. Realized it was Radio, Radio by Elvis Costello & The Attractions. Wait, what? Who's... I look across the street and it's coming from the newly remodeled Cass Hotel, now a Holiday Day Inn Express.

The corporate giant co-opting another anti-establishment anthem. I know it's nothing new. But, I was still smiling about it on the rest of my walk in. May have to put in my Best Of album when I get home tonight.

GenCon was a good time, but I'll have to wait to post on that.

Later,

T

25th July 2008

9:07pm: Like games? Read this book!
One of my favorite things about travelling to ALA conferences for work is visiting the exhibits. There are publishers giving away lots of books. Last show I got Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and I got to meet the author this time in Anaheim.

This show, my favorite book has to be Hobby Games: The 100 Best edited by James Lowder and published by Green Ronin. It's essays written about the best hobby games by luminairies in the field. It's illuminating to read what games inspire designers and what made them stand out. I haven't heard of a lot these games.
I'm glad I'm reading this now because I can make a shopping list for GenCon.

7th July 2008

3:40pm: My Google-Fu is weak
Cory Doctorow spoke at a panel at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California on Saturday June 28. I have run a couple Google Searches hoping for notes or possibly video. No such luck.

I searched Cory Doctorow with ALA, and Anaheim and struck out. Any suggestions on better searching (either site or query construction) would be appreciated.

Oh and check out his new book Little Brother. I just read it (my new signed hardcover) a second time and it's still one of my favorite books in a really long time. Check out this review: http://rhynndavrie.livejournal.com/16064.html

As I've said to a few people. I want to be Cory Doctorow when I grow up, then I realized that he's a year younger than me. Huh.

Later,

T

26th June 2008

4:47am: Being a tourist the conclusion
But the commercial breaks are fun as Drew riffs with the audience. One guy in the audience was on a show with Drew 15 years ago. Really fun. Didn't get called up, but had a great time.

Now I'm sitting in a hotel bar before doing a tourist lap on my way back to the airport to grab a shuttle up to Anaheim for my trade show.

Of course it being LA the hotel bar is Gordan Ramsey's at the London. :) Having sushi and risotto. Then a drive up to the Hollywood sign and maybe sunset on the Santa Monica Pier.

Managed both and took the scenic route through Beverly Hills and Bel Air.

Man long posts are a pain on a Palm...
Current Mood: tired
4:38am: Being a tourist part 2
waiting for my interview with the production company.
1130 were shuttled down in a group of 10 and the Producer asks a few questions. Where are you from? What do you do?
I thought I was engaging. But he didn't follow up. So I don't have my hopes up.
We pass through security. No mo phone, ack.
1215 Hungry. Another snack bar run Coke pretzel and an ice cream Drumstick.
1240 We're going in. Seems there are 316 for this show.
Up the two flightd of stairs and a HUGE mural of the logo greets us on the landing. Wish I had the camera.
The decor.... yikes. The background you see behind the crowd is a pastel chiffon and above the stage is a curtain of the CBS eye logo in silver on maroon. It has to be as old as the show if not older.
They warm up the crowd with a few songs. Dancing Queen, some others and a techno remix of the theme music.
The room is a LOT smaller than I expect.
The show will air on July 8 and I should be visible in my "Wash" Hawaiin Shirt.
The show is what you see.

25th June 2008

11:50pm: I like being a tourist occasionally
This is a little stream of consciousness but here's my Day off in LA.
After a smooth flight into LAX then an hour wait at avis, I drive up to Hollywood and grab a 40 of MGD and some hotel cable.
So many channels. nothing on.
Sleep ain't coming till 1 am.

445 phone on vibe alarm didnt work glad my drain thought it was 7 am.

On line for The Price is Right at 5:30. Good thing too as the line doubled by 6

620 got Order of arrival #131 so I'm feeling pretty good about getting in.

Got a bagel sandwich accross the street interesting place.

they line us up agin at 745 .

8 am I'm in the waiting area. there are nicer tix @ booth as a momento.

830 they mark my ticket (twice, could have been you Ammy)
Leaves me half an hour to hustle back to the hotel check out and solve a work snafu then get back to waiting area by nine
buy gifts for people who fixed snafu read a couple papers. (stil bummed about carlin, WALL-E looks good, and I had no idea 100 miles per gallon was possible. But I'm not turning the engine off while driving to get it.)

1045 am they take our tickets get our info on a perforated numbered identifier card (w the same number as my hotel room last night) and our name tags (glee). And I realize it's 2 hours to go. Snack bar Hot dog to the rescue. Hoping for time to score another soda.

24th June 2008

10:23pm: What happened to Chicago Pride
I'm at O'Hare for a flight. Gotta get some gum so pop my ears up and down. There's no Wrigley's Gum at the newsstand.

Grrrrr.
Current Mood: irritated

21st June 2008

4:16pm: I am smarter than a tailpipe
So, I don't drive often. I know that isn't great for exhaust systems. But when got in the car last night to go to Taste of Randolph and my car sounded like I added a glass pack I thought I had a day or so to deal. No such luck.

Dropped the pipe on the way home. Luckily there was a spot to slot into. 11 o'clock at night is no time to disconnect three rubber hangers then attempt to twist the tail pipe from under a car. So after half an hour we flagged a cab and called it a night. Next morning it was much easier with sun light (and sobriety) to get the pipe out. Then we had to find a place that could get a muffler on the car on a saturday. That's a story for another time.

8th June 2008

11:52pm: My smartphone saved my head
lunda and I headed down to the Printer's Row Book Fair. We got a tip on some cheap parking and on the way out of the lot I was finishing checking my email when 2 x 5 piece of plywood dropped at feet and a 4x5 piece fell just the other saidr of that. The heavy winds before the big storm blew them right off the sign. If I'd been walking at a normal pace, one of them would've hit me.

That excitement over, lunda and I checked out the fair. We felt a little rain and I suggested, as I am wont to, that we find a bar. We fould Kasey's Tavern and got the second to last table as the skys unloaded. We enjoyed a pleasant pint as David and vampirefan joined up with us and we waited out the storm. Then it was off to Orange for a bite. I can honestly say that I will eat Green Eggs and Ham. Those the Fruity Pebble Pancakes we shared as an appetiser were less than thrilling.

30th May 2008

8:41am: So far, so good
Things started off pretty good this morning. When I checked the Drive-In listings it's still an Indy/Iron Man double bill. Woot!

It just got better as the rain stopped long enough for me to walk to the train. The kicker?

I heard the train pulling into the station above me, hustled up the stairs, saw the doors closing .... and the doors reopened. The conductor must have seen me. Nice.

Now if those rainstorms will clear out so lunda and I can enjoy MayFest tonight, it'll be even better.

9th May 2008

1:16pm: When you satisfy a craving

So for like a week, I've been vaugely wanting a noodle dish. But I couldn't figure out which one. Not just spaghetti, or fettucini alfredo, or pad thai. Finally I realized I wanted Trader Joe's Peanut Satay. Luckily, there's a TJs two blocks from the office. Of course, noodles alone are not going to get it done. A little precooked chicken to toss in before heating though, does the trick nicely. Man does that hit the spot. It's like when you finally scratch that itch you didn't realize was bugging you. 

On with the rest of the afternoon.

8th May 2008

8:48am: Wow. That was fun.
So lundaand I caught Iron Man last night and I gotta say, that was the most fun I've had at the movies in quite a while. I'd have to put Iron Man up against The Incredibles as my favorite superhero movie yet.

The film did an excellent job of overlaying the Iron Man mythology over current events and making them modern. And the way they showed the tech, wow. To crib a line from another movie's promotions: I do believe a man can fly. (yup, I'm old school) I thought the acting was dead on, Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark. The supporting cast was excellent. Though I have to admit I wasn't entire sold on the Pepper Potts/Tony Stark relationship. I was expecting more of a Bond/Montepenny thing for at least the first film.  

I also enjoyed the shout-outs to the long history of the comic. I won't go into them because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who might not have gotten to see it just yet. Now I just might have to find the DVDs for the '60s animation they did from the original comics.

And yes, if you see it, stay through the credits.  

Later,

T

5th May 2008

4:37pm: Adventure is waiting just ahead
Go Speed Racer!
Go Speed Racer!
Go Speed Racer, Goooo!

So, they're releasing Speed Racer on IMAX along with the theatrical release. If I'm gonna pony up for the movie, may as well blow my eyeballs. Who else is interested? I really don't have any plans for this yet. I can go 'Burbs on the weekend or Navy Pier after work. It depends on who I hear back from on this. Let me know if you are interested and we can work out the details.

Later,

T
Current Mood: excited

24th April 2008

6:42pm: shooting
Seems some one is making a movie on the Wabash bridge. Saw them this morning on the way in and again at lunch coming back from the periodontist (deep root cleaning with stiches to look forward to). The clapboard on one persons hip said something about a "tower."

Didn't see any big stars or anything. There were two distinct groups of actors in both scenes so I'm not sure what it is.

Later,

T

25th March 2008

7:33pm: I like Minnsota already
So I'm in Minneapolis MN for a show. I've found The Local an upscale Irish pub which not only serves Finnegans Irish Amber (more about that in a minute) but they serve a sausage and cheese plate appetiser. Four kinds of cheese and two kinds of sausage. I could do without the picked onions, but hey nothing is perfect.

Finnegan's is a local company that contracts brewing from Summit and donates their proceeds to worthwhile causes. Which ones I don't know. But that will come.

21st March 2008

10:32am: About this boycott
I've been reading about the boycott. Yep. I'm breaking it. Read some interesting comments. First, for the boycott to work, you can't just not post. Everyone has to stay off the site. Completely. Then maybe they see the traffic numbers go down.

I've also read a couple of good posts from people who have given it a lot more thought than I have:

http://zoethe.livejournal.com/591747.html

http://users.livejournal.com/jer_/

However, I am also against Censorship. Now, LJ owns their site and if they feel they have to remove things to protect themselves, I don't have to like it, but I also defend their right to make that decision about their business. Just like any media outlet has the right to apply discretion to what they publish.

I'm also not a fan of complaining without offering a solution. You don't like what LJ is doing, here's an option: www.tumblr.com

My neice Kate is a much better blogger than I am. She had a blog I really enjoyed reading, you can see her last post here:

http://loggedhours.blogspot.com/

Yup, last post. You can read her reasons for yourself. She's gone to tumblr. I might too. If you really don't like what LJ is doing, you can do the same. Will it have all the features? Will your friends be able to find you? I don't know.

But, as Jer says in his post, if you are just boycotting to make yourself feel better, have a nice day. If you want to see LJ change their policy, best of luck to you. If you want an option, you have it.

Later,

T

12th March 2008

6:09pm: It's Firefly Week
Sick days are not fun. But at least I have something fun to read. Steven Brust wrote a Firefly Fan Story called My Own Kind of Freedom. It was recommended at a panel at Capricon so I downloaded it and gave it a read. I'm not one for fan fic usually as I prefer my stories to be canon. But this is well done and only misses on a couple minor points that conflict with the comics. But Joss was involved with those so they win. I don't have exact URL, but it's an easy search away.

Speaking of the comics, the next series of three starts today. I'm really looking forward to it.

4th March 2008

4:57pm: Who's going to ComiCon?
http://www.privateerpress.com/company/default.php?x=press/news&y=monsterwatch

MonsterPocalypse is a new game from Privateer Press that I'm pretty excited about coming out this year. If anyone knows someone going to ComiCon and they could stop by the Privateer Press booth and pick up a copy of this, let me know.

3rd March 2008

8:46am: Reminded of the kindness of strangers
After picking lunda up from the airport last night, I parked on the street. What I didn't realize was that my front tires were on a big block of ice. Kind of silly consodering there was a BIG thaw all day yesterday.

So there I am trying to push the car out of the groove the tires created while Lunda drove. Not quite getting there when not one but two men stopped to help push. We were out in no time.
So, those who say there's sense of community in the big bad city don't know everything
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