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Thursday, August 26, 2004  

Mothers and Chemical Warfare
This is news to me. Evidently "Hot Saucing" has become a popular, and controversial, form of disciple for unruly kids. The idea is, when the kid is bad, the parent deposits a single drop of hot sauce on the kids tongue. I'm very curious to see what everyone thinks about this. I think it is far worse than a spanking or the ruler treatment. It lets the parents feel detached from the violence of striking their kids, but still inflicts (possibly terrible) pain. I also imagine that the kids that have been given the sauce treatment will grow up to hate spicy foods, which is a horrible tragedy. I am, by no means, an expert of child-discipline, but this sounds like a pretty bad idea, and I am very interested to hear what some of you think as I know you have some unique perspectives on the subject (Meli, Greg and Christine, and JF I'm looking at you.)

I just realised a whole 'nother aspect to this issue. Evidently the whole thing was started by southern-Christians, and was first made popular by that chick from "The Facts of Life" in her book that backs up creative disciplinary practices WITH SCRIPTURE. I'm really sorry, but I hardly think that the Bible is the best manual for bringing up kids. If it was, there would be a lot more parents telling their sons that an angel told them to take them to the mountain top AND KILL THEM if they don't behave...

posted by JMV | 8/26/2004 10:46:00 AM

Scrape, Scrape, Scrape
In case you missed it, here is a Quicktime movie of John Kerry's appearance on the Daily Show from Tuesday.

posted by JMV | 8/26/2004 09:40:00 AM

Tuesday, August 24, 2004  

A Year in the Life
Today is the official one year anniversary of the Big Move. One year since we packed up our lives and drove to this city of dreams (both broken and realized.) Twelve months since we left our dearest friends and family to forge new lives. Three hundred and sixty five days since we abandoned the hamlet of Santa Cruz, nestled between the ocean and the mountains, for the hard concrete desert.

I'm having difficulty dealing with the usual duality of time (it went by REALLY fast, and yet seems like we have been here forever,) and as I try to wrap my head around the milestone I'm remembering how much of a struggle it had been. Leaving my friends and family and home was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and without the (ample) support of my family, my friends (even the ones I felt like I was abandoning) and especially Julie, there is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't be writing this post today. (So thanks everybody!)

We have come a long way in the last twelve months and, there is a long way still to go. But now that we have found the stability and have developed the necessary support-network we can keep-on moving towards our dreams.

posted by JMV | 8/24/2004 11:55:00 PM

Sausage for Thought
This article, about fiscal negligence and misappropriations of funds during the Iraqi war, comes from Alternet.org (a notoriously sensationalist liberal press site.) I haven't read more than the opening few paragraphs, but I thought some of you might enjoy it. (or at least be infuriated by it.)

posted by JMV | 8/24/2004 04:01:00 PM

Wednesday, August 18, 2004  

Adapt or Die
According to an a rticle onCnet in the current Internet environment, a new and virginal PC will only last an average of 20 minuets before it is forcefully sodomized by Malware and made to spew V1@kkrA ads across the Internet. Even for a proficient computer user this is nowhere near enough time get the machine up to date with the latest patches and prevent a hideous infection. The article goes on to say that the environment is getting so bad that the whole idea of issuing security patches for machines in response to new threats is a flawed and doomed concept; the researchers liken this to the human immune system, and they hope to develop a way for computers to be able to adapt to threats of infection instead of just getting totally compromised. To quote the article quoting the researchers, "If the human body did patch management the way (companies do), we'd all be dead."

In other news I fell victim to a similar attack when I tried to watch "KIll Bill Vol 2" last night. I booted the DVD in the new player and before I knew it Tarantino's gargantuan ego was farcing its way into my living room. You may know I was no fan of the first volume of QT's masturbatory opus, but i have to say that Vol1 is WAY better than Vol2, which ended up being a disjointed and boring experiment in how many styles of 70s cinema can one man forcefully shove into 130 minuets of runtime. It was extra frustrating because the film almost had something cool going on with the different visual styles for each of the "chapters" but they didn't seem to be motivated by anything. I couldn't help but think that a lot of the time the film felt like a student film (if an extremely well shot and beautiful student film,) in the way that so many cinematographic "tricks" were employed on top of flashy camera moves and dialogue that seemed to rip-off Tarantino. Julie mentioned that she felt like the film was made by a "Tarantino Impersonator" or alternately "QT doing his best impression of himself." And maybe that was the point. But somehow I doubt it.

posted by JMV | 8/18/2004 11:22:00 AM

Monday, August 16, 2004  

Ya know that old footage of teenage girls screaming, and crying, and fainting at the sight of the Beatles? Yeah, that just (very nearly) happened to me.

I was sitting at my temporary desk here at work (which is right inside the main door and overlooks the parking lot) when a cab pulled up. No big deal, our darkroom tech (who is blind) cabs to and from work everyday. But who should step out but John Flansburg, followed by his Brother in Rock John Linnell. They Might Be Giants just stepped into my fucking office. I knew that their new DVD was being cut in one of our suites upstairs, and that they have a couple of shows in the LA area this week, but it never even crossed my mind that they would come in to check with the editor.

Just to give some background, I've been a TMBG fan since 1986. Their fist album, was in fact, the very first CD I ever owned. I've seen them live 6 or 7 times. And here they are asking me if there is any coffee. I somehow managed to speak and tell them that I'll put a fresh pot on, and show them up to the suite. As we walked up the stairs I stammered, "I would normally not say anything, but this is too much. I've been a huge fan of yours for pretty much my whole life." They were very nice and thanked me. Before they entered the editing suite.

I still can't believe it. They came back down a few minuets later for the coffee and thanked me again. Julie and I have often talked about seeing celebrities, and who we would actually have to say something to if we saw them (as we usually have to do the "cool LA" thing and at they very MOST say "hey" at the famous people.) Steven Soderbergh was sitting one booth over from us at dinner on Friday night I can did nothing more than smile at him, but seeing John and John was like seeing mythic figures step into reality from some extra-planar realm.

So much for having a shitty day!

posted by JMV | 8/16/2004 04:00:00 PM

I've been trying to no scrape BoingBoing as much as I used to since you should all be reading that anyway, but I couldn't NOT post this! It went a long way towards banishing the rainy-cloud that was hovering over my head.

posted by JMV | 8/16/2004 09:20:00 AM

Friday, August 13, 2004  

Just a Wha??
A quick note to remind all the LA locals that Wil Wheaton will be reading from and siging copies of his new book Just a Geek at the Hollywood Borders on Sunday at 2pm. Julie has put a lot of B,S,&T into getting this event off the ground and promoting it and it would be great if it is a big success with a huge turn out. I had the plesure of meeting Wil back the the SENT show opening and he is a hell of a nice guy and a really great writer, and I'm sure his reading will be enjoyable! So if you're availible on Sunday afternoon, stop by to say "hi!"

posted by JMV | 8/13/2004 02:23:00 PM

Wednesday, August 11, 2004  

Thats It!
I have been slacking on the updates and ignoring the blog for TOO long now. It isn't that I don't have things to say, but rather that I'm having some difficulty in sitting down and getting them out. It is a pretty frustrating situation, but I'm resolving to fix things, starting with the post.

Sometimes I think my lack of updates is because the "thrill" of blogging has waned. It doens't hold the magic and rush that it did in the beginning. But my dear friend John Forrest (previously of JFP3 fame) recently started up a new blog that is still radiates the heat of newness. John is doing everything right over there. Frequent updates, a clear voice, and lots of pics (plus a kick-ass sidebar.) I REALLY should have linked to his site weeks ago, but I suck.

If things do change around here soon, if I can't manage to being the spark back to the 'Hat then I'm prepared to shutter things and move on. I can't stay silent for too long though, so something new and exciting will be born to take up some more cyberspace.

posted by JMV | 8/11/2004 04:51:00 PM

Thursday, August 05, 2004  

Good story on Slate about how big-ass SUVs are actually ILLEGAL to drive on many streets in Cali. It turns out that in whole swaths of some cities (or in some cases, like Santa Monica, WHOLE CITIES,) vehicles over 6000 pounds are prohibited. And almost all of the larger SUVs are over 6000 pounds (the hummer is upwards of 10,000.) "Absurd," you say? Maybe a bit. After all the law banning 3-ton trucks from neighborhoods was really meant to keep commercial vehicles from rumbling through your quiet street. But the thing is, one of the reasons SUVs are so popular is they carry HUGE tax-breaks with them. If you declare that your new "Canyon Arrow" will be used "mostly" for your business then you can immediately write off THE ENTIRE COST (up to $100K) of the vehicle. And that is just on a federal level; the state of California also offers a $25k tax break. So it begs the question, if people are using their "business" as an excuse to get deals on their trucks, shouldn't their trucks be held accountable as business vehicles?

I realise that this law will never be enforced. No denizens of Beverly Hills will get fined for driving upto their houses, but it is fun to think about.

posted by JMV | 8/05/2004 10:23:00 AM

Sunday, August 01, 2004  

Happy Birthday Jubilee
Another 40 minuets of birthday goodness. Had a great, whirlwind, weekend filled with friends, and festivities, and falafel, (well, ok there wasn't any falafel.) and now I'm exhausted and ready to begin year number 27!

And this year, Jack will make some waves!

posted by JMV | 8/01/2004 11:17:00 PM
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