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Thursday, February 27, 2003  

Post From Cell Phone

Thisis a test post from my phone. Damn that was a pain in the ass...

posted by JMV | 2/27/2003 11:29:00 PM

I love Gadgets
I love gadgets. I always have. And the Japanese are the kings of cool-gadget-tech. For example: USB powered hot-plate. And I though USB fans were cool. And then there is this device. A hands-free headset from Nokia that also has a digital camera. Very close to the Transmet(warning site is Flash-tastic) photo-shades. The Nokia device would be killer if it was on of the "ear-clip" headsets (like this one) but had a forward facing lens with a voice-activated command to take the pictures. The "John-Index" says 9 months before we have one of those.

My newest gadget, the T68i cell phone is working out pretty good. As a cell-phone I'm very happy with its performance. Very clear calls, and good reception. As a gadget I'm still working on it. I have 2 flavors of Wireless Internet working on it (GSM and GPRS for those who care) but currently the only way that it works is if I connect though the Cingular gateway, which is pretty lame. I can check POP e-mail, but there is a better way to do it that I can't get to work. Evidently Cinguar doesn't support this feature. Which is BS all I need is the IP of the Cingular SMTP server, but the tech-support goons won't give it to me. I was able to play with the bluetooth at the Apple lunch event last week, so it was surprisingly easy to use. So I look forward to the point where my computer has BT capabilities. Once I get the camera-attachment for the phone things will get very cool very quickly. Mobile-photo-blogging baby!

posted by JMV | 2/27/2003 10:44:00 AM

Wednesday, February 26, 2003  

Pattern Recognition
I just realize that I never posted my thoughts on the new Gibson book. I really enjoyed it, probably more than anything since "Virtual Light." It was very odd, and very cool to be reading a Gibson book that took place in the present day, and not in the "near-future" realm of cyber-punk. It had all the elements of techno-fetishism that make his works so cool to read, but it was all centered around tech that, largely, is available TODAY. I don't even think that you could call the book Sci-Fi; it was more of a techno-thriller. And while I'm sure that there were lots of Gibson fans who were apalled by this, I didn't mind one bit. Gibson's language is probably the sharpest it has ever been in PR, and if I had my copy with me I could fill this post with kick-ass quotes. I'm hesitant to give a plot summary, as Gibson is never really about PLOT. But the basics are the heroine (Cayce) of the story is a member of an on-line community that follows mysterious and beautiful video-clips that are anonymously distributed across the web. She is hired by a big ad-agency to find the maker of the "Footage" so that said agency can harness the powers of the Footage's marketing genius. A globe-spanning adventure follows. All this is tied together with Cayce's e-mail correspondence with half a dozen supporting characters. The E-mail aspect sounds kind of lame, but Gibson pulls it off beautifully. Oh, and Gibson finally ends the book well. All of his other novels left me a little off-balance with there abrupt and (sometimes) bizarre endings, but PR ends very nicely. All the threads neatly wrapped up. Which made my finishing of the book much more enjoyable, as my "Gibson hangover" wasn't nearly as bad. For more reviews of the book, see: Slashdot, Doctorow/Mindjack, and SF Cronicle.

posted by JMV | 2/26/2003 01:38:00 PM

Tuesday, February 25, 2003  

More Wacky "Justice"
Continuing on the theme of the morning, this document on The Smoking Gun website details the Texas (again with TX) court-mandated punishment of a convicted child abuser. He has to spend a month in the doghouse. Literally. WTF!?

posted by JMV | 2/25/2003 11:23:00 AM

Kinda Creepy
As Andrew posted over on Comicnight.net the State of Texas has a page that lists all of its executed prisoners last meal requests from December 1982 until two weeks ago. The page is complete with a link to the details of each prisoners crime. I find this highly disturbing for some reason. The crimes are unthinkable ("A five year old Hispanic female was struck by two bullets, causing her death", "hispanic female was hit 18 times on the head... with a chrome-plated [motorcycle] chain"), but the listed last meal request highlights the humanity of each of the convicts. Disturbing stuff.

posted by JMV | 2/25/2003 11:01:00 AM

Monday, February 24, 2003  

More than I care to chew
After an inquiry to, and subsequent response by, Cory Doctorow about good tools for blogging from a mobile phone, I got all excited about moving Octopus Hat from Blogger to Movable Type. MT is much more feature rich blogging app that is used by many of the "big boys" in the Blogosphere. But after over an hour of trying, and failing, to install MT on Fuzzydice I've given up, and I will be sticking with Blogger until I actually NEED some of the cool features that MT offers. Or someone decides to install it for me.

posted by JMV | 2/24/2003 04:04:00 PM

Eye Candy
Just ran across the teaser trailer for an Korean animated movie called "Wonderful Days." I can't find much npho on the film, but it looks... well just watch it. A blend of CG, Models, and traditional cell-drawn animation, the film has a very distinct visual style. It hits Korean theaters in April, so god-knows when it will come to these shores.

posted by JMV | 2/24/2003 01:51:00 PM

My brain is too fogged with fatigue to come up with any sort of intelligent (in fact it just took me 4 attempts to spell intelligent) post this morning, and there is nothing too exciting on the blogosphere either. I'm kinda at a loss for what to write about, so how about CDs. Julie, for better or worse, joined the BMG Music Club one of those ever-present "get 12 CDs for the price of 1" scams. Though this one actually seems to WORK. I don't know it is all pretty complicated. Regardless, Julie joined and I got a bunch of CDs out of the deal, and our first shipment arrived on friday: Coltrain's "Blue Train", Thelonious Monk's "Brilliant Corners", and Queens of the Stone Age's "Songs for the Deaf" as well as Kid A to replace my long lost copy. Blue Train is, as expected, insanely good. I am simultaneously angry that it took me 25 years to discover Jazz and ecstatic that I have this new world to explore. I'm slowly beginning to like Jazz Piano, and so I figured Monk would be a good entrance. I've only listened to "Brilliant Corners" once or twice, but it seems oddly familiar to me. I can't quite place it, but I KNOW that I have heard the album before, and enough to really KNOW the songs. The QotSA album was bought off the strength of the single, "No One Knows" and the fact that Dave Grohl is on the sticks for the album. I'm listening to it for the first time now, and it is hard to tell. Much heavyer than I usually listen to, but there are some KILLER hooks on the album, but there is also a large number of lame little vignettes . Which reminds me. www.allmusic.com is a great resource for anything music related. There is simply a crazy amount of information on that site.

posted by JMV | 2/24/2003 12:44:00 PM

Friday, February 21, 2003  

Insert coins, turn knob to left.
I ran across o cool little blurb about vintage cigarette machines being turned into Art-Vending machines. The idea is you pay about 5 bucks and instead of a pack of smokes, you get a small piece of artwork. Sounds nifty. I can't actually link to the article because of some stupid log-in prompt, but there but you can check out the site for the machines. I think it would do very well in Santa Cruz, it would be a perfect addition to the Saturn Cafe.

posted by JMV | 2/21/2003 02:44:00 PM

You Dig it the Most
I usually don't go for the whole "Wacky Flash Movies" internet phenom, but not since the terrible days of "All Your Base" have I enjoyed one as much as this one. I'm not sure if it is a corporate advert or what, but DAMN! it is funny.

posted by JMV | 2/21/2003 09:49:00 AM

Wednesday, February 19, 2003  

Jumbo Shrimp...
...and I mean JUMBO. Yummy.

posted by JMV | 2/19/2003 04:26:00 PM

Mmmm Jello
I added the pics from san Francisco that I wasn't able to FTP last night. This one is cool. I'm also excited to see that people are actually using the comments. That makes me happy.

In other news. Greg and I were discussing our next batch of beer and decided on a coffee-stout. And while talking about different ways to get the coffee flavor into the beer we began scheming to crate a caffeinated brew. I realize that we would not be the first to do it, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't ROCK. It would be like a little miniature speedball. (especially if we can get the gravity of the stout up near 7%). My calculations show that it would take FAR too much actually coffee to do the trick. So of course i turned to Caffeinated water for the solution. just imagine Jello made with this shit. The possibilities are next to endless...

posted by JMV | 2/19/2003 04:03:00 PM

Tuesday, February 18, 2003  

Movies, Tech, and the City
It was a rare weekend. One that seemed longer than it should have instead of flashing by in an eye-blink like most these days. There was much sleeping, and even more stuff being done. Friday, being the day for lovers and greeting-card writers, was spend enjoying a pitcher of tequila flavored lime-juice in a downtown mexican food joint. We discovered the error in beginning this pitcher at barly 6:00 when Jules and I were fighting to stay awake at 10:30. Saturday brought another day at the movies, where we saw "Chicago." I'll save you all the long-form review and sum it up thusly: It was entertaining enough, and I think it will sweep the Academy Awards, though in no way do I think it deserves to. Katherine Z-J is H-O-T, and Renee Z is N-O-T. After the film Greg and I put our newly fermented beer into bottles. And in another 10 days we will be enjoying our Cisco style Lager (name still pending).

Sunday was spent in San Francisco with Matt and "the girlfriend." We had a very nice day wondering around in the wake of the big protest. We found ourself in chinatown which was exceptionally exciting for me as I had never ventured there before.

Dinner at the Stinking Rose and drinks at some bar on the top floor of the Bank or America building. The view was pretty friggin cool. Monday we decided that we needed some shlocky cinema and saw Daredevil. It was better than I expected. Cool fights, cool sound design, really bad dialog. But the REALLY exciting thing was getting to see the trailers for X-Men 2 and LXG. X-Men 2 looks really cool. Nightcrawler's "BANF" effect looks killer, and the more Ian MacKellen the better in my book. But LXG was the most interesting. For those not "in the know" LXG is "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" adaptation starting Mr Shawn Connery. But I guess the Hollywood marketing dudes decided that no-one was going to see a Comic-book movie about a Victorian super-group in a year of Hulks, mutants, and blind ninjas. SO they "extreme-ifyed" the Alan More comic and came up with LXG. The trailer is all fast cars (fast cars?! WTF?) and machine-guns. I must say it looked like it will ROCK your SOCKS. But I'm nearly positive it is going to suck. If your interested, you can watch it here.

The other big news item of the weekend is the Google buyout of Blogger. I'd link to some articles about it, but Boing-Boing is down, and that is where the links are. SO just got there and look. I'm not quite sure how this is going to effect the "Blogosphere", but I am still determined to move Octopushat over to another server and start using Movable-Type, Grey-Matter, Blosxom, or some other "respectable" blogging software. I also spent WAY too much money on a new Cellphone. The Sony-Ericsson T68i. A super-phone with bluetooth, and a color screen, and a nifty camera attachment. Cool shit.

posted by JMV | 2/18/2003 09:31:00 PM

Double Post Deleted

posted by JMV | 2/18/2003 09:31:00 PM

Thursday, February 13, 2003  

Mmmm Pie...
This made my day. Evidently Bill Gates doesn't care for cream pie.

posted by JMV | 2/13/2003 03:48:00 PM

CSI, L&O, and YOU
Ran across an interesting link on Boing Boing this morning. It is called the "CSI Effect" and is about how the jury-pool is slowly being corrupted by TV cop dramas into thinking that every crime is solvable. Fun stuff. It reminds me of the script that I was working on a few years ago about the group of college kids that watched way too much forensic science shows on the Discovery Channel and decide to commit the "perfect murder". Yeah it sucked.

How about Korea and their Nukes? Supposedly they can hit the west coast of the US with a missile. And supposedly they have 2 nukes. This whole situation is making Japan pretty nervous. How many times have they invaded Korea? And now there is a new Bin Laden tape? How fucking convenient. Twenty bucks says another tape will "surface" in a week or so that "proves" an Iraqi-Al Qaeda connection. And then Bush will have all the reason he needs to start dropping 2000 pound bombs on Baghdad. All this is causing quite a bit of US paranoia, which I find entertaining on some grim level. Lots of "how to build a bomb shelter in your back-yard" shows on TV (well not quite that bad but...) And now that we are on "Orange" alert we are supposed to have 3 days of food and water in our house. WTF? The administration is just trying to cause low-level panic among the populace so that it can have a carte-blanch to deal with the "terrorist threat." If you get everybody so worried about Anthrax, Small Pox, and Serin that they fucking tape shut all their windows and don't leave their house, then they won't care that your fighting an unjust, illegal, and immoral war.

posted by JMV | 2/13/2003 11:06:00 AM

Tuesday, February 11, 2003  

What the hell? I was browsing the apple.com/trailers site this evening and came across this. I'm just not sure what it _is_. I got all excited thinking it was a kick-ass new CG movie, but it looks like it is just a short/proof-of-concept about a sci-fi artbook. Very odd that it has next to NO web presence that I have been able to find. After watching the first teaser I have the desire to re-visit Asimov. Mmmm Robots. I also tired to watch "Reign: the Conquer"on Cartoon Network tonight. Yeah. It was weird. My attention span was WAY too short to sit through it. It is by the guy that did "Aeon Flux" back in the day of MTV Liquid Television.

posted by JMV | 2/11/2003 12:40:00 AM

Sunday, February 09, 2003  

Saturday at the Movies
Once again we caught a matinee on Saturday; this week it was "Adaptation." I enjoyed the quirkiness of it, and especially enjoyed the portrayal, by Nic Cage, of an ultra-neurotic writer. The script and Nic Cage were really the hight point of the film to me. Well that and the really cool sequence that starts at the formation of the earth and takes us all the way to the 1960s, and the neat-o time-lapse ending. The script was full of little in-jokes for writers that I loved, and I left feeling hopeful for my future as a writer. So, all in all worth the $5.75.

After the movie I gathered a Posse and we sauntered over to the Rush Inn for a bout of drinking. When we arrived we got nasty looks from the six or so patrons sitting quietly at the bar as they realized that their evening of quiet drinking was over and the tide of "UCSC refugees" was about to break against the bar like some horny tsunami. It was after buying the second round that Greg and I decided that they just make up the prices there. we ordered a mis-mash of shots, beers, and mixed drinks, 7 or 8 total, and paid 22 dollars. After much drinking and smoking we trekked back across downtown, steeled against the cold by a thick layer of booze. Good times. Good times.

posted by JMV | 2/09/2003 05:32:00 PM

Wednesday, February 05, 2003  

Greg and I brewed our second batch of beer last-night! It is a long process involving lots of boiling and waiting, but the wort is happily fermenting away now; tasty malt-sugars being consumed by a ravenous clan of San Francisco Lager yeast. Yummy. The beer is a "Pre Prohibition Lager" that we are using the aforementioned "San Francisco yeast" to ferment the beer at room temperature instead of the chilled environment that a true Lager needs. We added a secret ingredient (Ok, it was dried lemon peel...) to the mash to give it some high-notes besides the hops. So now we must wait a week before we can bottle the brew; in the meantime we need to come up with a name. Any suggestions? I neglected to take any pictures of the brewing process, well, because it isn't very visually interesting. In fact the process is MUCH more interesting to the nose than the eyes; the boiling mash runs the olfactory gauntlet from hamster chow to hot grape-nuts, to a weedy-herby stink. I quite enjoy the smell, but the wives present during the brewing were disturbed.

In other goings-on, Eds.org has been up and down this week. I really have to get around to migrating the site to another server and registering the domain name. But I'm a lazy bastard so...

posted by JMV | 2/05/2003 01:24:00 PM

Sunday, February 02, 2003  

Jules and I took a strole downtown and checked out a showing of Spike Lee's "25th Hour" yesterday. I was excited to see the film pretty much on the strength of the cast (Ed Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Brian Cox, and Anna Paquin) alone, which tends to get me into trouble. "Road to Perdition" comes to mind as a film with a super cast that doesn't rise above all of its parts to become a film that stands out. But I feel that "25th Hour" does stand out. The script is a wonderful example of what doesn't happen in Hollywood much anymore: A simple story with great dialog, and an engaging cast of characters. Spike Lee takes a group of actors at the top of their game and gives the room to move around in their characters and settings to produce some wonderful interactions. Edward Norton played the quiet rage and despair of his character on his last night of freedom before leaving his beloved New York to serve a 7 year prison sentence. But Philip Seymour pretty much stole the show with his portrayal of a thirty-something high school teacher who lusts after one of his students (played by a sweaty, sleazy Anna Paquin.) While the film can be heavy-handed at times, I feel that this is Spike Lee trademark. He is first and foremost a New Yorker and his films have the rough and rude attitude of New York in fused in every frame. All and all the film lived up to my expectations, and surpassed them in nearly every department. One thing that I thought was odd was in reading a few reviews of the film it was mentioned that it was the first film to "directly deal with the events of 9.11." But I didn't feel this to be true at all. It was simply set in a post 9.11 New York and contained some of the sentiment and anxiety of the times. Julie isn't sure if she liked it or not, but did say that she felt it was very topical and she feels the film will feel "dated" 4 or 5 years down the road. I agree with her, and feel that it will have a kind of "time capsule" feel when it is viewed in the future. If you are looking for a fresh and challenging film to see I can recommend "25th Hour" with confidence that even if you don't immediately like the film, it will at least make you think.

In other new of the weekend...
...the loss of the Shuttle Columbia saddens me. Much like the inverse of the feeling I get when I see sci-fi tech being realized, I am saddened when I hear news of something that will set back the progress of technology and science. The loss of another shuttle is a tremendous blow to NASA and the space-program, and probably the death blow to the international space station. The ISS was something that excited me very much. What is more Sci-fi than a friggin space-station? I can only hope that the recent news of a Chinese space program will keep the US interested in pushing the boundaries of human explorations into outer space. Perhaps it is time for new re-designed reusable space craft.

In happier news, Gibson's new book streets tomorrow. I'll be heading down to Borders after work to pick it up. I am quite excited! I have also updated the Projects section of OH with some new ideas, both for the site and some film projects.

posted by JMV | 2/02/2003 05:38:00 PM
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