Octopus Hat
We have the technology!

Monday, March 31, 2003  

King Kiwi
Breaking news: Universal Pictures has just green-lit a(nother) remake of 1933 RKO classic "King Kong." Peter Jackson is set to helm. Actually it looks like the idea for a remake was Jackson's idea, it has been a dream of his since he was nine. I'm not entirely sure what to think about this as I'm not a huge Kong fan. But if anyone is going to do it, there is no better than Jackson (and a draft of his script is available here.) He is really in the position to do whatever the hell he wants now that he is at the top of the A-list.

posted by JMV | 3/31/2003 03:53:00 PM

Pictures Revisited
Looking over my digital picture library I found a shot that completely escaped me when I first saw it 5 months ago. I just thought, "hey its my dad." But when I enlarged the picture today I saw my fathers wisdom and pride (and a hint of sadness) in the photo. It is an image that captures the humanity of my father, something that I take for granted. We grow up thinking that our parents are more than people, and of course they are, but at some point we are forced into realizing that they are human too. Someone once told me that they measured their success by the happiness of their children. By that reasoning on the day this photograph was taken, my father was the most successful man in the world.

click to view full size (150K)

posted by JMV | 3/31/2003 03:05:00 PM

Simple Pages
A Harvard undergrad has written his thesis for his Social Studies degree on the "artistic value in rock and roll" using everyone's favorite geek-rock band Weezer. Take a look at his paper here.

posted by JMV | 3/31/2003 12:54:00 AM

Everything is Right in the World
Watching "A Cooks Tour" on FoodTV I discovered that a restaurant in the Mall of American in Minnesota has deep fired cheesecake!! In my wildest dreams I never imagined there could be such a food. Let me say that again. Deep. Fried. Cheesecake. Sign me the fuck up.

posted by JMV | 3/31/2003 12:03:00 AM

Sunday, March 30, 2003  

I Love Caffeine
OK. That last post was a little off-sides. Far too, "feel sorry for the sad, angst-filled, artist." After a marvelous Cafe Americano made to perfection by my wonderful and beautiful wife, my world-view is much more centered and rational. Cafine is a potent and remarkable drug. Good for so much more than giving one the ability to wade through a morning inbox, nocturnally littered with spam like some dew-laden lawn. And now for a less glorious, and far more insidious, drug. Nico-bliss...

posted by JMV | 3/30/2003 08:05:00 PM

Art is a Sham
Had a nice day out to lunch with my Cousin and her husband. Lots of talk of our impending move, which triggered a very sudden and very acute anxiety attack. They are picking up in frequency and intensity now, and I fear that in the coming months they will only get worse. But now isn't the time to go into that...
I feel the crushing urge to create. Like my creative energy is thrashing about my gut as if it were a long over-due child. Everything I look at has a glow, a magical intensity, that begs me to capture the moment some how. A dozen ideas for songs, poems, films spring into my head at once. All vying for the attention of my pen, lens, or tongue. I've had this feeling before, many times. It used to excite me as I thought it was a sign of an impending time of prolific production where my of my half-formed ideas would come to fruition. I now know that the feeling is as fleeting as a first kiss: wonderful bliss for the moments that it lasts, but quickly replaced by a longing for its return. I cannot escape the belief that art is futile. That no audience would hear my tales, no viewer would see my images. And why should I indulge myself? Sloth truly is a deadly sin, but one that isn't cast-off with the easy of confession and penance.

posted by JMV | 3/30/2003 07:16:00 PM

Friday, March 28, 2003  

I forgot to blog about the new Zelda game for the 'Cube, which I rented from Hollywood Video on Monday. Many good things have been said about the game, while a fair amount of criticism has been leveled at the games new visual direction. For those who don't know, Zelda: The Wind Waker, is all cell-shaded an looks, pretty much, exactly like a cartoon. It, in a word, is visually amazing. I have played it for maybe 2 hours total in the 5 days that I've had it, so i am by no means a fair judge, but it isn't really holding my interest. I'm only on the first "level", which is the infiltration of a pirate stronghold. The mechanic on this level is like Metal Gear lite. You have to sneak around spot lights and past guards while hiding under empty barrels. Fun, but it gets pretty old pretty quick. I don't know... I just don't have the attention span, nor the time, to dedicate to these types of video games any more. Sad but true.

Now I'm just chilling at Greg and Christine's house. Enjoying the last evenings of quite before the students return. Drinking mojoitos and watching the Wives play "Circus Atari" on Greg's old 2600. Julie and I walked around Downtown after I escaped from work this afternoon to enjoy the gorgeous weather. I picked at the "Fischerspooner" CD from Borders which I am very interested to hear. I've only heard their one single and read a few articles and reviews about them. Sounds like it should be quite interesting.

posted by JMV | 3/28/2003 07:54:00 PM

Wednesday, March 26, 2003  

Saddam is Fucked
Because we now have Optimus Prime on our side! Thanks right, the leader of the Autobots is shipping off to the gulf to kick some ass. Well, ok, it is really just some National Guard member who had his name legally changed, but still. Optimus Prime! Fighting on our side. Ok, well, he is only going to be fighting fires, but still...

posted by JMV | 3/26/2003 12:54:00 PM

A server side issue was recent;y resolved. You can now get to Octopushat via www.octopushat.com. Yay! So re-update you bookmarks/links if you wish. Also I can now receive mail at john@octopushat.com.

posted by JMV | 3/26/2003 10:59:00 AM

Loose the Blogging Jurnos of War
Www.back-to-iraq.com is the home of Christopher Allbritton, formerly an AP and NYDN staffer, who has been collecting donations from readers on the net for six months to fund a trip to Iraq. He has collected over 10 grand and will be shipping out shortly to report the news directly to his blog. He has no boss, no charter, and no leashes. This could prove to be really exciting and groundbreaking. Or nothing could materialize and it could suck. Read some more history of his plan here.

posted by JMV | 3/26/2003 09:56:00 AM

Tuesday, March 25, 2003  

Hack the Airwaves
This link is an article from MSN(!) about how to use the internet to view video streams that the US Government/Mass-media deems unacceptable for our consumption. Be warned that you may see images that are graphic and possibly disturbing, and be doubly warned that a lot of these sources are spun just as much as US media, albeit to achieve different reactions. But This is way the internet, free information, and the new media revolution is ALL about. Using a proxy server in the Netherlands to view a video-stream of rebroadcast Iraqi TV.

posted by JMV | 3/25/2003 02:59:00 PM

Yet another reason that I love Gibson...
From his blog today talking about the growing internet phenomenon that is Where is Raed? and the controversy around Who the author actually is (And if it could all be a counter-intelligence ploy by the Iraqi Regime.) "I doubt that simple totalitarian dictatorships often mount intelligence operations manifesting great imagination and creativity. Probably because most of the local creatives are already dead, or pretending to be stupid." He goes on to say that in the next "Internet War" it will be much harder to discern if a blogger "behind enem,y lines" is real or simply a construct of the enemy.

posted by JMV | 3/25/2003 12:19:00 PM

My Brain is Oozing
I have developed this reputation around the office as a human Internet Movie Database. I guess working for a year at a video-store will do that for you. But honestly I don't really have that many connections in my head... And speaking of movies, I now realize I haven't mentioned the Academy Awards yet. I have developed a major love-hate relationship with the Oscars in recent years. I find them overly political (with Hollywood insider politics,) self-congratulatory, and frustratingly predictable. it has nothing to do with the best films, but rather the movies that people liked most. And not even people people, but rather HW People. The telecast itself has become a tiring barrage of montages and truncated speeches. If it wasn't for TiVo I don't think I could sit through it at all. And yet I watch it EVERY year. It is such a big part of our culture, and even a bigger part of MY culture as a filmmaker. This year was pretty standard fare. The highlights were a few of Steve Martin's Jokes, notably the dig at HW star worship, and the statement, eluding to the flawed system of ballots and nominations, that Miramax didn't have to buy the oscar this year (as they did with "Shakespeare in Love",) because they actually made a good movie that everyone likes. And of course, Adrien Brody's heartfelt acceptance speech. I'm a little upset that Scorsese didn't get the statue, and I'm REALLY upset that Adaptation didn't win in the screenplay category. But hey. What can you do?

posted by JMV | 3/25/2003 12:07:00 PM

Sunday, March 23, 2003  

POWs Interviewed on Al-Jazeera
In war-news, the shit has evidently hit the fan... I'm sure everyone has heard about the captured and killed "Coalition" soldiers. I can't get this link to work, it is getting pretty hosed, but if you want to see the footage of the POWs being interviewed you can try this link. Good luck though. If anyone wants to e-mail me any links you might have to video or photos of stuff that US media isn't showing I would love to see it. Also, I can't get this to work either, but evidently it is a live stream of Al-Jazeera in Windows Media format.

posted by JMV | 3/23/2003 10:00:00 PM

Slaying the Dragon
Finally got the iBook back up and running earlier this afternoon after fighting with it for all of last night. I had some weird OS X boot issue where it would hang during the progress bar part of the boot sequence. I tried everything from "zapping the pram" to all kinda of single-user-mode tricks. What finally worked was either trashing the OS 9 font directory or removing all the Norton Utilities start-up items. I'm pretty sure it was the Norton stuff, and I'm not even sure hoe Norton weaseled its way onto the 'book in the first place. But everything is working now... I think I'll back-up and format/re-install on Tuesday for good measure.

In beer news Greg and I tried the coffee stout that (I think) I blogged about previously. The idea for the beer was to have a stout with enough of a coffee kick to actually be caffeinated. We added around a half pound of Santa Cruz Roasting "ZOOOM Brew" coffee, coarsely ground, to the mash just after adding the aroma hops and let it steep for about 5 minuets. And after sampling the brew on Friday I'm happy to say that we succeeded! And how! It is probably our tastiest effort so far, and each bottle (at 6% alcohol by volume) probably has about the caffeine of a cup of coffee. So after one or two you experience a truly odd, not all together unpleasant, high-low speedball effect. It could probably benefit from another week or so of aging in the bottles, but I doubt there will be any left by then. But as soon as the Raspberry-Wheat beer is out of the fermenter we are going to whip up another batch... Mmmm beer.

posted by JMV | 3/23/2003 09:48:00 PM

It's Official!
No more of that http://eds.org/~ crap! You can now simply point your browsers to http://octopushat.com! So be sure to update your bookmarks and links! For those interested I registered through Domainmonger.com for considerably less money that Verisign or anywhere else that I found. Set up was a snap, thanks to Steve (Admin of eds.org) who handled all the server-side configs. Now I just have to get the octopushat e-mail up and running.

posted by JMV | 3/23/2003 05:35:00 PM

Friday, March 21, 2003  

War on the Homefront
Ok, ok. I know that I just said that I would stop war-blogging, but I just found some shit that is really scary. I knew that shit was going down in San Francisco, but I had NO idea it was this bad. it just goes to show you that mass-media doesn't cut it. First, here is a story and video from downtown yesterday that shows how the SFPD were randomly attacking people. Then there is this which is more eyewitness account of the "battle for San Francisco." At the bottom of the page are a bunch of photos showing the police presence and the ad-hoc barriers erected by the protesters. These images seem unreal to me. I'm going to troll for more street-level reports of the protests around the country. Please e-mail me or leave a comment if you see any other stories along these lines.

posted by JMV | 3/21/2003 12:09:00 PM

Let Loose the Dogs of War
I'm trying to steer myself away from constant war-blogging, but I have to throw in this one last item: Get Your War On is a web-comic by the guy who brought you "My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppable" and uses the same clip-art montage style. It has been around since the war on terror began in '01 and truth be told I didn't really care for it too much in the beginning. I felt that it meandered too long before the punch-line. But the newest strip is pretty fucking great. In contains the line: "You don't need to tell me who to 'raise a glass to,' I raise six glasses every night just to get drunk enough to love this country like I did when I was a kid..." I seem to remember there we some other equally vitriol-y lines in some of the earlier strips, and you might want to head over and check out the archives.

And for dogs, try to watch this movie. It has been pretty heavily linked to today, and I think the server is taking a pretty heavy hit. But it is a video of the Sony AIBO being mauled by a real dog. Sounds pretty entertaining. [edit] So I finally saw the clip. Yeah, it is kinda disappointing. Don't stress if you can't get it to work... [/edit]

posted by JMV | 3/21/2003 11:53:00 AM

Thursday, March 20, 2003  

Vegas Pics
Finally got around to putting up the few pictures that came out from Vegas. There are in the "Pictures" section to the right. Enjoy, and e-mail me if you would like any of them in their full sized glory.

posted by JMV | 3/20/2003 02:45:00 PM

Robespierrean Guillotine Politics
Warren Ellis' "Bad Signal" E-mail rant was quite good this morning. Talked briefly about the way war will be reported with "new media." Now if I could only get the video-stream that he mentioned to work. Speaking of war and new media Portland activists have created a SMS/e-mail network for informing protesters of where to go and what to do. This has alot of potential for serious civil-disobedience and underground organization. Mmmmm Smart-Mobs. This site is popping up all over the blogosphere recently. And for good reason. It is the blog of a Baghdad resident and student that is updating often with news directly from the front. I also ran across this which is the blog for BBC war correspondents to post short updates from the Middle East. Enjoy!

posted by JMV | 3/20/2003 11:05:00 AM

Wednesday, March 19, 2003  

Conventions of War
Here we go... Bush gave the order, and the hammer has dropped so to speak. Expect a long, drawn-out, and bloody conflict that will be poorly covered by the typical media outlets. Evidently the first strike was ment to be a "decapitation strike" on Iraqi leadership. I'm not quite sure what else to say about a conflict that nobody wanted but everybody knew was coming. I look towards kevinsites.net for my war-jurno fix. Let me know if you find any other web-based news sources that may have unique perspective on the war.

posted by JMV | 3/19/2003 07:24:00 PM

Because. For a while it seemed that some aspects of Wi-Fi tech (bluetooth, etc) was a solution with out a problem. There were BT devices but really not any applications for them. Now we are at a point where cool new ideas are popping up that use wi-fi. Today I saw this story about a pub in England that uses a combo bluetooth and .11b access point to allow patrons to display photos stored on their camera-phones on a big-screen TV in the pub. They can also send IMs and SMS that get displayed on the screen, as well as receive SMS from the bar to their phones. Pretty limitless possibilities for new social interactions, not to mention the ability to order another pitcher in a crowded bar via your phone.

posted by JMV | 3/19/2003 12:00:00 PM

Tuesday, March 18, 2003  

Best Kind of Future
I just love it when things go right (even in the face of everything else going to shit). I feel that the blog is a powerful tool, especially when used to disseminate information that mass media wont. And in out thought-crime, Office of Information Awareness, Orwellian nightmare world mass media just doesn't cut it. So here comes Kevin Sites, veteran War-Jurno in the CNN camp with his very own blog. Kevin is out there blogging the war. This is technology used for good, not evil. I'm probably just easily excited from my weekends antics and the news from this morning, but DAMN! I think we are riding on the cusp of a paradigm shift. And I say, "Bring it!"

posted by JMV | 3/18/2003 01:46:00 PM

Another One Bites the Dust
I discovered this morning as I tried to sift though my e-mail backlog that my dearest and longest friend, the best man at my wedding, and quite possibly the smartest man I have ever met, is getting married! And it is to a wonderful woman no less! Words cannot express how happy I am for Matt and Meli! They are one of those couples that you just KNOW are meant for each other, and it rocks! Not sure what else to saw about it. but check out his site and leave him your best wishes!

posted by JMV | 3/18/2003 01:02:00 PM

Sunday, March 16, 2003  

White Line Fever
Back in westwood after nearly 8 hours on the road from Vegas. Julie smacked the house around in BJ, and we left up over-all (not counting the room). Cheapest Vegas Trip EVER... Road-lunacy set in during a bout of gnarly traffic on the 58 (after we bailed on the 15 since it was stop-and-go from Barstow to LA.) We very nearly left Paul on the side of the road in the god-forsaken high-desert. We'll make the trip back to Santa Cruz in the AM. I have no concept of the real world so you get no links.

posted by JMV | 3/16/2003 08:46:00 PM

Friday, March 14, 2003  

and we are off

horrible traffic. But on the road. Vegas Baby!!

posted by JMV | 3/14/2003 03:03:00 PM

Thursday, March 13, 2003  

Arrived in Westwood at about 9:30. Off through the desert early afternoon tommorw. This is my last oasis of stable (kinda) 'net access for the weekend... Maybe I can fanagle Paul's Uber-Clie into using my phone's GPSR for net access in the desert. Rock.

posted by JMV | 3/13/2003 11:16:00 PM

on the road
driving south on the ONE, should be in LA by 10:3O

posted by JMV | 3/13/2003 03:50:00 PM

Genology of the Blogosphere
An interesting site that attempts to map the blogosphere by connect a blog with the blogs that directly influenced and were influenced by the submitted blog. Ok, that was confusing. but if your blogging, why not stop by Blog Tree and register.

posted by JMV | 3/13/2003 02:15:00 PM

Mommy, can I live in a police state?
Ah the Patriot Act. One of the most blatant affronts to the rights of Americans since the US run concentration camps on WWII. (Not that I'm trying to lessen the horrors of Japanese internment, but rather use hyperbole to emphasize my uneasiness towards out current administration.) One of the provisions of the Patriot Act gives the FBI the ability to have the records of a citizens library book check-out history. And the Santa Cruz Public Libraries began posting warnings about this last week. Now people in Santa Cruz are all up in arms about it (which is really no surprise.) Read the Chronicle article here. It is stuff like this that makes me see the darkside of tech and the future. We have the technology to make a wonderful faux-utopia (or at least get closer than we are now), but we also have the technology to create a dark-future vision of the world. And the scary thing is that the choice between utopia and distopia is in the hands of the people that we don't want making that decision. I have no doubt that the leaders of the world would not hesitate to plunge their people into the grim darkness of some Orwellian nightmare if they knew they could get away with it. Which leaves US to combat our quickly approaching doom. it is upto the hackers, phreakers (do people still phreak?), cypher-punks, bloggers, and artists to rise up and combat the ruling warrior-politician-CEOs in the coming guerrilla war. It will be fought in the media, in the very houses and televisions and PCs of the world's population. And we have the technology to win.

posted by JMV | 3/13/2003 11:03:00 AM

Wednesday, March 12, 2003  

"A straight out burn through the desert..."
Tomorrow Julie and I leave for Vegas by way of LA. 6 hours to Westwood as soon as I'm off work, and then to Sin City once the posse is formed on Friday afternoon. Pretty damn excited, and even though it isn't the best timing for the trip, I can certainly use the break from work! It is going to be quite an intense party for the 40 hours that we are there. Bring It. So I expect the post will be few, if any, and posted from my phone.

posted by JMV | 3/12/2003 11:14:00 PM

War. Driving That Is.
On Sunday Julie and I walked downtown to meet some people for breakfast, as as we crossed Chestnut St I noticed a smallish, pink, chalk hieroglyph on the sidewalk. I had seen the symbol before on a downtown street pointing towards LightSurf's HQ. And we decided that it was some kind of non-standard war-chalking symbol. But for some reason, on Sunday I didn't put it together than this war-chalking symbol was pointed directly at my apartment. I've been Chalked. Neat.

posted by JMV | 3/12/2003 09:55:00 AM

Tuesday, March 11, 2003  

Welcome to the 21st Century
Cnet has an article about how to set up your very own Wi-Fi hotspot. Not just an wireless access point but an net access sharing public hotspot. Ah Cnet. Fighting the good fight. The best link off that article is to this one to an O'Reilly Network article about how to make a super-directional Wi-Fi antenna out of a Pringles Can. Finally, Phone Scoop has a story about some new Motorola concept that involves a distributed wearable computing platform based around Bluetooth. The future is going to be damn cool.

posted by JMV | 3/11/2003 11:08:00 PM

You (may have) Asked For It!
I'm very tempted to get my rant on this morning, but I'm going to try and avoid that. It seems that the only feedback about what direction to take the site was "I don't care," and "keep reporting on the details of life." So I'm not really sure what to do with that, but I'll do my best. First the details.

The weekend was interesting, especially the impromptu birthday celebration for JFP3. We discovered that gin mixes remarkably well with the aforementioned Red Twist soda and that our bathroom can evidently hold 4 drunk freshman girls. There were lots of drinks to follow (I vaguely remember Jager and some concoction called "liquid cocaine" that involved 3 different whiskeys... Needless to say Saturday was spent in a hung-over haze of pain. Sunday Mr. Flores and I saw "Cradle 2the Grave" which was a very passable action flick whose title makes NO sense. Its standout sequence was a cage-fight that started out with Jet Li and one other dude and progressed to a Kung-fu fighting Dwarf and then like a 12-on-1 melee. It was pretty sick. In the PM of Sunday Mr. Flores and I proceeded to bottle the 3rd batch of beer. This time an Irish Stout that was HEAVILY flavored with coffee. Lots of coffee. It is black as night, and our preliminary taste-tests are promising. We'll see in 2 to 3 weeks.

Enough of that. My guess for the beginning of the war (Mach 5th) has come and gone, and now we seem to be stuck in some strange limbo of aggression: too committed to back down, but too wrong to actually start fighting. I still have no doubt that we will start fighting, and sooner more likely than later too. And when we do we will only have Government sanctioned "press" to report on it as the pentagon has said that they will fire on independent journalists. I'm serious. Yay! Soon we will have the Ministry of Truth to go along with the Ministry of War and Ministry of Starbucks... (Not that I'm implying any nefarious connection between Starbucks and the evils of our government. I'm not that paranoid...) But on more happy news, now even McDonalds is jumping on the Wi-Fi bandwagon. Thats right, coming soon to 11 Manhattan Micky-Ds (and then to another 300) is an hour of 802.11 goodness with the purchase of a combo meal. Dear god, what is next. IMO this is one of the biggest steps towards the future of blanket wireless internet. I've got a few ideas on start-ups that (I think) would work in the NWO of Wi-Fi America. Anybody have nay Venture Capitol that they wanna throw my way?

posted by JMV | 3/11/2003 12:03:00 PM

It Can Only Get Better
The second chapter of the Animatrix was released last week, and it is really cool. Quite different than the first episode, it is styled like a more traditional anime. And there are a couple of killer shots in it. At 143MB for the high-res file it is a bit of a beast, but I'm telling you now, it is worth ever bit. (Get it? Bit?) There are 9 total episodes, with 4 being released on the web, and another one (that is all CG) being shown before Warner's Dream Catcher starting the 21st of March. Then on June 3rd the DVD of all 9 episodes (+a whole mess of special features) gets released.

posted by JMV | 3/11/2003 11:13:00 AM

Monday, March 10, 2003  

Upon taking the bus up to campus this morning for work I noticed that the cows have returned, which I find odd because yesterday when Greg and I drove up to campus for some brewing supplies there were no cows. I even mentioned that I thought it was nearly time for the annual return of the cows. Then there they were this morning. So the questions is, how did they get there? Between 6pm last night and 9am this morning a herd of bovine invaders took control of the east field. My only possible answer is underground cow-tunnels. For all we know there could be huge networks of these underground cow passages all over Santa Cruz. Beware.

posted by JMV | 3/10/2003 03:30:00 PM

Gimme a Venti Triple Latte...
Gibson recently wrote about Starbucks and Coffee on his blog, and there is an interesting thread about coffee on his board. So I thought I would jump on the topic before i miss the blogosphere bus so to speak. I love coffee. And I'm pretty neutral towards Starbucks. Back during high school I scorned Starbucks (especially the early location on Culver and Walnut by the Trader Joe's) because I hadn't fully fell in love with the beverage but had fallen in love with the ideal of "Coffeehouse Culture" and thought that Starbucks was too "trendy" or too "yuppie" to provide a fulfilling coffeehouse experience. I remember frequenting a small independent shop before discovering the Orange County original Dietrich's and making that a regular haunt. Once I gave up on the utopia of pseudo-philosophical discussions, poetry, and and settled for just a place to hang-out I began to love the beverage. Santa Cruz is a strange place, and I was sheltered from the mass-Starbucks onslaught for a few years. I only recently fully realized the chains uber-penetration (spellcheck suggestion: "tuber-penetration")when on a trip to LA I drove by 3 in under 2 blocks (see this article from The Onion.) Even though I didn't subscribe to it, Santa Cruz's Anti-cotporate and loacl-pride sentiment insulated me from the Starbucks explosion. The only Starbucks in the city proper is on the main downtown street, but set back from the street and other storefronts seemingly hiding from the vandalizing, pretentious locals. Santa Cruz is a town pretty big on coffee, and this can be seen in the number of downtown coffee joints. On the central downtown street alone (which runs for 4 scant blocks) there are no less than 704 coffee joints. But I have no problems with Starbucks and its corporate infestation. Frankly, I find comfort in know I can get a good cuppa on any street-corner in America, even if have to pay 6 bucks a day for net access inside.

posted by JMV | 3/10/2003 12:15:00 AM

Friday, March 07, 2003  

Infinate Complexity
Just finihsed a very interesting post by Dave Hyatt (the man behind the new breed of web-browsers: pheonix, mozilla, chimera, and safari) that expalind alot about his thoughts on the implementation of tabs. He talks about the "Power User" and what implementation of tabs works best. If you are into this kind of stuff check out the post. If you aren't, or you don't know what tabs are, and this whole post is starting to bore you, go here instead.

posted by JMV | 3/07/2003 06:38:00 PM

Nature of the Beast
I've been having difficulty recently deciding on what voice and approach to take to this site. On one hand I want to distance myself from the blogs that serve as on-line journals of the authors ever exploit. I find it exceptionally boring to read about some schmuck in cyberspace detailing the events of their day at work. I would really prefer to have actual thoughtful CONTENT on the site. well, really commentary on other peoples content would be ideal. But then I think about who actually READS the site, and it is all close friends pretty much. Which pushes me in the direction of a blog that keeps all of YOU updated about what is going on with ME. Can a balance be struck? I would love to hear you thoughts either via e-mail or the comments function. My main objective with this site it to let other people know about the col shit that is out there. Both on the web and the "real-world". Mini reviews of movies/books/Albums, and links to cool sites/videos/etc. So yeah, let me know in what direction I should take the site.

On a personal, "some schmuck in cyberspace," note: Julie and I went grocery shopping last-night. We typically do this about once a month. We blow 200 bucks and get a shitload of food that lasts us most of the month. Three interesting things came out of this shopping trip. First it made me realize how domestic I have become. Earlier in the week Julie had bought a GALLON JUG of milk from the 7-11, and this freaked me out because it seemed SO grown up. We were actually going though enough milk to warrant buying gallons of it. Then at the grocery store we bought like 3 dozen eggs. But as I realize how domestic it all was I also realized how much FUN I was having shopping with Julie. True love is when you have fun with someone in the grocery store. Second, it dawned on me just how much CHEESE we buy. I love cheese. It is really one of the greatest things about this world. And Julie and I eat ALOT of cheese.

Thats is seven and a half pounds of cheese. We've got 2 types of parmesan, 2 types of cheddar, cream cheese, mozzarella, baby swiss, gouda, and 2 shredded blends. DAMN do I LOVE cheese. And thirdly we discovered one of those products that can only be described as an abomination of god.

Thats right Safeway Select Red Licorice Soda. It is too red and smells exactly like Red Vines. Oddly enough it TASTES exactly like Red Vines as well. So it achieves its goal of being red licorice soda, but I'm not sure if that is good or bad. I certainly don't enjoy drinking it, but maybe some gin will help in that department.

posted by JMV | 3/07/2003 01:19:00 PM

Thursday, March 06, 2003  

Mmmm Cheetos
I'm not quite sure why but this story has been making the ROUNDS across the net today. Some guy found a giant cheeto in his bag of fried-snacks and then put it on ebay. It has spawned a HUGE web-cult. Even bigger than that carrot with the genialia from a few weeks ago(anyone still have a link?). There are shirts and probably a friggin web-ring. Three separate people mailed me the link, and then I saw it on CNET. What the hell is it doing on CNET? The man who discovered this wonderful anomoly donated it to some movie theater where it will be displayed. The small town that will soon be home to the world's largest cheeto hopes it will drum up tourist revenue. Sounds like a fool-proof plan. Why did this giant fried glob get SO much attention?

posted by JMV | 3/06/2003 01:59:00 PM

Wednesday, March 05, 2003  

Speaking of PoMo
This might be the coolest thing I've seen all week. The first episode of the "Animatrix" Was released last month with the 2nd episode to follow this month. The "Animatrix" is a series of anime-style shorts set in the "Martix" universe. The first episode tells the story of how the machines became the dominant power of the earth. It is REALLY cool. Great animation and some really cool sequences. There is a montage of the first Machine uprising that visually references a bunch of films/images that have become part of our mass-culture. The exicution of the South Vietnamese officer from "Hearts and Minds," the tanks rolling on the protesters in Tiananmen Square, and the bulldozers filling graves from "Night and Fog." Some of it is pretty gruesome but between the news-footage montage and the opening long-shot it is some of the best animation I've seen since "Spirited Away." You can check it out Here.

posted by JMV | 3/05/2003 01:49:00 PM

How PoMo is This?!
A $25 old-school Atari controller that hooks up directly to you TV via RCA cables and allows you to play any of 10 games stored on the controller. The official site is down as I write this, but maybe it will work for you. If not try this, a dedicated Atari site with some reviews of the 10-in-1. Or this UK site with alot of good pictures. It comes with Adventure, Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, Circus Atari, Gravitar, Missile Command, RealSports Volleyball, Video Olympics, and Yars' Revenge. Missle Command and Asteroids being the big draws for me. i also find it odd that Circus Atari is included as the true Circus experiance is only achived via the Paddle controller. Are you ready for the pain?

posted by JMV | 3/05/2003 11:18:00 AM

This isn't Pretty...
A Story about the Mexican Screw Fly. And it isn't as enticing as it sounds. "The screwworm larvae can kill their victim -- human or animal -- in five days."

posted by JMV | 3/05/2003 10:40:00 AM

Tuesday, March 04, 2003  

I Think I Broke It...

posted by JMV | 3/04/2003 11:25:00 AM

Gilliam Back in the Saddle
Everyone's favorite Python-turned-director has announced his next project, and the first since the disastrous filming of "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote." "The Brothers Grimm" will be a tale of the fable-writing authors' adventures in a fantastical Germany. Evidently Robbin Williams, Heath Ledger, and Matt Damon have been tapped to star. Gilliam has 75 Mil and backing from Bob Weinstein for the project. A Fall '04 release is planned, but I will bet dollars to doughnuts that the film will come in over budget and late. This is Gilliam we are talking about...

In other entertainment news: Michael Jackson is a nut-job. According to a story broke by "Vanity Fair" yesterday (and covered by Reuters today), Jackson once paid a VooDoo Priest 150 large to curse Steven Speilburg, David Geffin, and "23 other people on the entertainer's list of enemies" in an intricate ceremony that involved the sacrifice of 42 cows and Jackson himself taking a "blood bath." The article also mentions that Jackson wears a wig and a prosthetic nose. A "source close to Jackson said that, without the device Jackson resembles a mummy with two nostril holes."

Also, the Geek Oscars were held on Saturday in LA, where Kate Hudsun hosted and presented the awards for achievement on the technology side of the Film Industry. Can you even imagine the scene in that building? Hundreds of the biggest and brightest tech-minds in the industry being presented awards by Goldie Hawn's daughter. This article from reuters is a pretty entertaining synopsis of the event, though does not mention who won for what. Poor Geeks...

posted by JMV | 3/04/2003 11:17:00 AM

Monday, March 03, 2003  

We have the Technology Indeed...
Cell Phones are hot in the US right now. They are omnipresent and their penetration is growing... But there are many other countries of the world where the mobile is even BIGGER. And one of the biggest draws of the mobile revolution is Text Messaging, or SMS. I'm really not sure why SMS hasn't caught on in the US like it has around the world. We are starting to see carriers pushing the SMS services in their advertising, but it isn't being used with the same creativity in the US. Take, for example, the Philippines where the mobile phone is even more common than in the most swank Hollywood lunch spots. Catholic youths had begun texting in their confessions! It evidently caught on so much that a Bishop had to come out and say that Confessions via SMS, E-mail, or FAX, but must be done in person (story here).

One reason that the SMS is still struggling in the US, I'm sure, is the thumb-typing issue. It really can be a pain to type out those messages on the increasingly tiny phone-pads. But, of course a whole new dialect has sprung up from SMS use that minimizes the amount of key-strokes. In fact, a student in the UK recently turned in a paper that used SMS short hand, "My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 : kids FTF. ILNY, it's a gr8 plc." The teacher was worried that this signals a threat to the literacy of British youth. I'm all for SMS. And on Friday night discovered one reason it beats a voice-call: noisy bars. I was trying to arrange a meeting with Andrew while in a very noisy bar. TXT was the only way that I could communicate my location and intent.

If you have a cell-phone, and are in my phone's contact list, don't be surprised if you get an SMS from me. And if it is that big of a deal, I'll give you the dime you _may_ pay for an incoming SMS. If you want, send me an SMS.

posted by JMV | 3/03/2003 11:23:00 AM
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