Archives For entertainment

It’s a holiday mix

December 4, 2011 — Leave a comment

it’s been a while since the wife and i put together a mix but based on the success of the last one, we decided to put our own spin on a holiday collection.

Track Listing:
Ice – Shelleyan Orphan
That Was the Worst Christmas Ever! – Sufjan Stevens
Christmas Card from a Hooker In Minneapolis – Neko Case
The Christians And The Pagans – Dar Williams
The Rebel Jesus – The Chieftains
Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues
Father Christmas – The Kinks
A Christmas Duel – Cyndi Lauper, The Hives
Christmas Tree’s On Fire – Holly Golightly
Outsourcin’ Christmas (The Unemplyed Little Elf Song) – The Canadian Dollars
Christmas Reindeer – The Knife
St. Stephen’s Day Murders – The Chieftains
All I Want for Christmas – Timbuk 3
Merry Christmas From The Family – Jill Sobule

click here or on the image above to download, hope you enjoy.

seven words

March 16, 2009 — 1 Comment

it`s hard to pick a favourite book.

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yesterday marked the beginning of moustache may and that signaled the end of six months of beard growth. yeah, i hadn’t shaved since whiskerino began, it was kind of nice. anyway this year moustache may has partnered with fund-a-stache, which allows participants to raise money for the charity of their choice.  i’m raising money for galaxy star drug awareness program, i’m not asking for much, i’m just trying to raise $500 in the next six months. click on the fund-a-stache link to donate.

oh yeah, here’s yesterday’s picture
day one
would pay to see me keep it or would you pay to see me lose it?

it’s the day before christmas and there is still no end in sight to the writers strike. although some of the talk shows are heading back without their writers, the next year of television looks to be bleak with reality tv and mid-season replacements. 

for those just joining us, the Writers’ Guild of America is on strike following a breakdown in contract negotiations with the media companies over royalty payments for digital distribution. basically, in their current contracts the writers get paid for writing the shows and then a predetermined percentage for syndication and dvd sales. the writers want a cut of the digital pie, ie shows that sold on amazon’s unbox, aol, itunes, walmart, xbox marketplace, mobile phone viewing and services like comcast’s on demand, the media companies are claiming that there’s no way to determine the value of the online/digital model and that they’re not making money from that particular business model, but as this youtube video by some of the writers of the daily show point out there seems to be a disconnect somewhere. the last writers’ strike happened in during March and August 1988 and cost the movie and television industry approximately $500 million and was over reduced residuals and overseas re-airs.

with no resolution in sight, most of the shows that have gone on hiatus over the holidays are not likely to be back before late 2008, possibly 2009 and there isn’t  likely to be any new scripted television before 2009. new shows are pitched during the middle of the year at the dog & pony show called the upfronts, where the networks show advertisers and affiliates, how well their shows have done during sweeps and present what their ideas are for the coming year, but unless the writers’ strike is resolved quickly there isn’t going to be time to write and shoot pilots before the upfronts. with tons of money on the line most people are wondering why the media companies don’t just settle with the writers and get on with the business of television, the answer interestingly lies with the Screen Actors’ Guild, whose contracts are up for negotiation in June 2008 and are likely to be requesting the same concessions as the writers’ guild thus cutting into the ‘dwindling profit margins’ of the media companies. 

according to this list, there are only a few scripted series with episodes left to air and most of the soap operas are likely to run out of new episodes by the end of January which may sound the death knell for the genre with reality programming, game shows and daytime chat filling the void. with the exception of talk shows, prime time programming is likely to follow the same path, it’s going to be interesting to see how viewers respond, particularly during the sweeps.

don’t forget to read mark’s take on Babel, here.

the thrill of victory

October 26, 2007 — Leave a comment

last weekend saw the last race of the 2007 formula 1 season and it was fantastic. i’ll rarely watch sports on TV, if it’s on i’ll watch enough to keep track, otherwise i don’t generally set out to specific sporting events other than the Olympics and recently NFL football. but my one true sporting passion is formula 1. i’ve stayed up until the wee hours to watch races on the other side of the globe, i’ve been late because of qualifying and best of all, i’m made my family fans.

at the end of the 2006 season when 7 time world champion Michael Schumacher retired, i wondered what the 2007 season would bring. new drivers, new teams and a whole lot of title contenders. the 2007 season was not a disappointment, despite all the off track shenanigans, it was just amazing. at least two races decided by the weather, spectacular crashes and the drivers’ championship down to the wire, what was there not to love?

the coverage this season was lot better than the last. in the us, Formula 1 is broadcast on Speed TV, the practice sessions, the qualifying and with exception of four, all the races of the 2006 and 2007 season. in an effort to bring the sport to the masses, CBS tried in 2006 and Fox in 2007 to broadcast races on their respective networks. good idea, bad execution. both attempts boiled down to one fundamental problem, by forcing the broadcast team to explain the sport to viewers unaccustomed to it, they were alienating the core audience that knows how it works and really just want watch the race. the constant explanations, the firm grasp of the obvious was just irritating. combine that with trying to cram what is normally a three hour broadcast into two hours and broadcast times that fit network schedule and not necessarily a live broadcast, the recipe for disaster is complete.

Formula one returns to Speed TV next March (hopefully). 

find the other half of the cable guys here.

it’s been a while since i posted and there have been a lot of things on my mind and hopefully i can manage to get them out in some cognoscent order here.  in the last week, i enjoyed a child like glee as a number of things that i desired, fortuitously came together. on sunday i got my wii and friday night i got my iphone (for free, sometimes working retail pays off in interesting ways) and then the final harry potter book. which in itself was a conundrum, do i read, then activate my phone or activate my phone and then read. i chose the latter and less than 15 minutes after i got home my phone was activated and i was on my way with The Deathly Hollows. i really enjoyed the book and i think it was a tremendous ending to a fantastic series and i will be the first to admit that i got teary at the end. as for the iphone it’s beautiful piece of hardware, of all the features, i love the phone the most, it works better than any phone i’ve ever had. on to other things besides my retail obsessions.   

we took a road trip in early july, just after the holiday to des moines to see friends and i was making the blog rounds on the 4th i came across a re-posting about ‘Why I love America’ and while i didn’t agree with some of the reasons, i had no real objections until i came across this paragraph:  

“I love that America was one of the very first nations in the world to put an end to slavery. The story of slavery in America was no different than anywhere else except that we stopped a lot sooner. That needs to be mentioned whenever the topic comes up.”  

this was so inaccurate and untrue i felt the need to post a comment and that’s where i began my slide down the rabbit hole. i learned three valuable lessons:
1. there’s a class of people that believe that factual information is untrue when it doesn’t agree with their point of view, 
2. the same class of people have a scary sense of entitlement as evidenced by this quote
    “… the US MUST act on what is in our countries interest at the time. The carribean is in our back yard, so it is fair game.”
3. the reason the country is in such a mess is the inability to have open discourse without rhetoric.

then there is this administrative order, which allows the administration to ‘block bank accounts and any other financial assets that might be found in this country belonging to people, companies or groups that the United States deems are working to threaten stability in Iraq.’ 

i don’t know about anyone else, but with the major betrayals of trust and power abuses from this administration, you begin to wonder if you’re paranoid enough.

learn to swim

June 18, 2007 — Leave a comment

there are blurry photos of my bonnaroo experience, here.   

i drove to manchester on friday to see Tool and when they were done jumped in my car and headed home. i’d planned to go back on saturday with vic to see The Police, but plans didn’t quite shake out with vic’s ticket so we didn’t get to see them. c’est la vie.

bonnaroo.JPG  

going to see Tool tonight and hopefully the Police tomorrow. i’m not up to spending three days camping out. wish me luc

it’s may 25, not as i write this at my house but in another time zone and in some places for at least half the day is done. it is also towel day, a tribute to douglas noel adams. and why a towel you ask? to quote the hitchhiker’s guide:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth;  wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast  of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds,  win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

In the Beginning

July 20, 2005 — Leave a comment

i`ve been listening to a lot of blues lately, not because i`m unhappy, to the contrary i`m incredibly happy these days. it`s like my fasination with the roots of words, listening to the blues is like having a historical education in popular music.

i got a chance to further my education by watching Lightning in Bottle — A one night history of the Blues, that featured performances by people like Clarene `Gatemouth` Brown, Solomon Burke, Robert Cray, Dr. John, Buddy Guy and of course, B. B. King. watching that dvd and listening to the performances you can hear where rock & roll, jazz and swing all started. sometimes as it`s obvious as Hound Dog and other times it`s just a nuance.

i love music, i`ve always said if i could pick a new career path, i would choose sound engineering for live shows. i`ve never had any real aspirations to be a musician, but i love listening to something and hearing the work that was put into it to achieve something that touches you every time you listen to it. at a live show there are so many variables to take into account and no opportunity for do overs