June 30, 2008

Hinted world

While in Canada Connor and I spent a lot of time together. We travelled the city on foot and by Bus to the City park, the Mall, and the local park.

The public transit system in Kewlona BC has a wide variety of Buses, Double Decker, Hybrid, Electric, Small and slinky middles long ones. Gas being around $6.00 a gallon and knowing that Connor enjoys various forms of travel I delved into the website and found that the local stop was just at the end of the block. As with most bus lines they have the overhead straps for standing passengers. You may not realize this, but, to a kid like Connor these are the greatest thing in the world!

Getting Connor to talk about something that has already occurred has been a challenge. Unprompted is downright miraculous. The inertia feeling as the bus stopped, started and took corners was amazingly exciting for him. I had to pay very close attention to the road and the route to anticipate any problems. There were none and when we arrived home he ran upstairs and related the tale, best he could, to Tina and Omi.

June 26, 2008


http://www.wikipedia.com/ is a really wonderful thing. It is an online encyclopedia that is a group effort by everyone. It is self correcting in this way and the bottom of the pages there are links for more information.

In high school my kids were not allowed to use Wikipedia as a resource, however they could use the links. Most of the information they were looking up was more accurate or more complete then using archaic resources (like Britannica). The reason the teachers would not allow wikipedia is because the information is gathered from everyone and not people hired to write and research.

As such Britannica is considered a more authoritative source.

Of course Wikipedia has a corrections page for Britannica

June 23, 2008

pulling kids outta water

Oddly as it may seem, pulling kids out of water is something I find myself doing. Yesterday Connor and I were running around Mission Park here in Kelowna, a couple were watching their two year old (guess at age there) running around. The park has a three foot channel that is about a foot deep that has something to do with fish breeding. As the mom turned to talk to the dad, the little tyke, made a quick left and ran right towards the water. I was able to blurt out, "Hey little kid stop" thinking the adult voice would make him pause... It didn't He hit the drink and went under like the proverbial rock. So I find myself in a headfirst dive on the bank and fishing him out with my right hand. If I hadn't been there the parents would have been in another second.

So, go back a few years and my nephew Aaron is playing in a jacuzzi at a local hotel and he steps into the middle and sinks. Again I find myself up and reaching for him, not being able to grab him I jump in sweats and all (man those things are heavy when wet, sweats that is...).

Go back prior to being married, Tina and I are at a pool party with people I am meeting and should probably be able to relate how Tina knows them, but I cant. We are sitting chatting whilst various kids are frolicking in the water. I noticed one little kid not quite making the side, her second grab fell short, and again I find myself on the other side of the pool grabbing her wrist and pulling her up and out.

In each of the cases the kids were not in danger for their lives, I just seemed to be the closest. So either I have been in the right place at the right time, or my subconscious, on occasion, can make kids submerge, I prefer to assume the former.

George Carlin passes this mortal coil (adult language)

One tribute came to mind:


This isnt TV or Radio so it falls short.

June 18, 2008

It's not what you do its how you felt at the time?

There is a story on CNN about some students who plagurized and got caught. Thier parents went to the school board and got the teachers decision of failing marks for that assignement overturned, the reason being 'They didn't intend to cheat'

This reminded me of a Woody Allen joke: "I got caught cheating on my metaphysics final, I peered into the soul of the boy next to me"

Cheating as with crime needs access, availability and motive. Intent is not a factor. If you intended to talk to someone and ended up murdering them, I am pretty dang sure you 'intent' will not factor into an aquittal.

"Your Honor we find the defendent NOT Gulity of murder because he did not intend to do it"

June 13, 2008

Movie Award shows duex

I happened to click onto the MTV movie awards. What a fun romp!

Mike Meyers was a great host, it was irreverent and edgy. Great movie spoofs as well (most of these make it onto the actual DVDs of the actual movies.)

female\male performance, fight, breakthrough performance, best kiss, best movie, best summer movie (so far), etc.

Categories that make you smile with winners that click with what we have seen on the screen.

This show gets a much higher rating and share then the Oscars. However, the awards do not seem to have that much prestige (or do they?). There appeared to be a box office and search engine jump for the winners. So its a nice bit of marketing at the least.

check out the spoofs when you can. http://www.mtv.com/ontv/movieawards/2008/spoofsvote.jhtml

June 11, 2008


New Mini Ice age signs "In the past, they observed that the sun once went 50 years without producing sunspots. That period, from approximately 1650 to 1700, occurred during the middle of a little ice age on Earth that lasted from as early as the mid-15th century to as late as the mid-19th century."

Excellent news for Skiing, the SLOPES ARE OPEN! "Aspen Skiing Co. said it will open the top of Aspen Mountain for skiing this weekend because it still has so much snow available"

Speculation-valuable social function "Financial speculators reap profits from global hunger."

Worst Presidental crop since 1972 "Not since 1972 have we been presented with two such painfully inadequate candidates. When Election Day came that year, I could not bring myself to vote for either George McGovern or Richard Nixon. I stayed home."

Some of the better stories I found yesterday.

June 10, 2008

Wotta Weekend

If you check out Tinas Blog you have seen all the Diana accolades around her graduation. Having two kids graduated from High School is quite a milestone for Tina and I, 2007/2008 has been quite a ride, and its not over yet.

As parents we have been getting quite a few kudos as of late, if great kids are a direct result of parenting I suppose its deserved. I would chaulk it up to being very consistant and working as a team.

With the recent passing of Wolfgang, my father-in-law, I found the gathering of family very comfortable and enjoyable. We came together in grief and still celebrated the life of a great man. I really do have love for my in-laws and enjoy the time spent.

On Sunday, my 'side' of the family came to celebrate my daughters graduation. This too struck me as a wonderful time. Seeing the support and commemoration, hearing the laughter and striking up important and trivial conversations with family and friends.

Often you hear horror stories about family's. I am grateful to say those are alien to me. The Lord has seen fit to bless me with wonderful relatives, to which I am humbly grateful.

Inspirational Obama

Obama's speaking to crowds are so inspirational.

June 09, 2008

Jet Travellering

Fifteen hours of flying last week and four airports updated me on the state of travel in the US. The last time I climbed on board a flight the kids were pre-school and homeland security was still a tragedy away.

My longest flight prior to this week was going Florida to LAX with my Mom, Pop and sister. It took six hours and we got some hot food on plates with entertaining coverings (read, not stretch wrap). There was no in flight movie no LCD like optical media (Cd's DVDs) were just being invented. There was a definite pampering of the passenger and most of the commercials focused on comfort in flying. You got a headset that was rubber tubing that allowed you to listen to eight channels of rotating music and comedy. My sister and I would listen for the song 'Nothin from nothin" to come back around.

LAX was an interesting but sterile place, United Airlines had moving walkways, TWA, Northwest, Eastern, BOAC, Braniff all had big shiny jets out on the tarmac and you could go to the boarding gate to see your traveling friend depart. You could then head to the observation platform on the roof and watch them taxi and take off. There was that big spider looking restaurant, which served poor food with lousy service for a high price. Likewise all the eateries were run by the airport and run badly.

This time around we took off from Eugene airport EUG. Which had a Pacific Northwest flavor, a fairly nice looking pub and various museum like displays of the local area. You had to put everything into grey bins, including your shoes. Toothpaste had to be on top, readily viewable. No one wants to check luggage, they all have roller bags that are designed to just fit in the overhead storage. There is an imposing set of uniforms glass mazes and queue tape that makes saying goodbye seem a bit final. More like your sending someone off to be 'processed'

The International Airport next was more friendly and plenty of recognizable places to nosh. The little lunch bar I ate breakfast in had a fairly good egg and potato platter for a reasonable price. I am not sure how I feel about Wendy's and Panda Express being in the airport food mall.

On board the plane, in this case a 737, it had tight uncomfortable chairs that leaned back just enough that you thought you hadn't leaned it back. They charged me a buck for a headset uniquely designed for that particular aircraft. There are little LCD screens that came down from the roof every other seat or so and it played clips a TV show and a movie (spiderwick cronicals). The music stations were fairly esoteric and aside from a Peggy Lee tune, not much I could get into. Improvisational piano Jazz for 30min is a bit much when your feeling claustrophobic.

Seeing the movie was novel and fun as I knew you would be doing that. The food was less then special. They give you lots to drink and two tiny bathrooms...

All in all not a 'fun' experience, but an adventure. The flight back was superior. Better seats and they handed you a dictionary sized player that gave you a bunch of selections and let you use standared earplugs. Jumper and the Bucket list with an episode of Raymond.

There was enough good experiences, if you could get them rolled into one, it would have been quite enjoyable. Some of the annoyances, however do seem to stand out.

Then you get to pricing. I overhear eveyone talking about thier tickets and what a deal or ripoff it was. The cost of flying is the price of the fuel, the Jet, the crew and however much airports charge for rent. Jet, crew, and rent can be fixed costs. Fuel depends on the current market prices and the amount consumed by the passenger.

There are other items, like marketing dealing with Government regulations, International regulations etc.

So if your going to set a price to fly someplace you should be able to determine your cost, add to it your profit and boom, good to go. Right?

June 06, 2008

Ina New York Minute

The Big Apple, first visit! First off there is an overall noise rumble, a cacophony that permeates everything. Plenty of light but all diffused so everything is a muted palate, in the air is a odd confusion of smells, pizza, bread, coffee, perfumes and body cologne, oddly enough Subway Sandwich shops are easily identified by nose. Energy though, lots and lots of it, your sense kick into overdrive just to keep up, your heart rate is increased and the feeling not unlike your late for something vibrates your core as you walk through midtown.
We left our all too comfortable house in the wee hours of Tuesday Morning and drove the hour fifteen to the airport (PNW hour driving means 65 miles.) Sans shoes we appeased homeland security and made it to our turbo-prop commuter plane that took us to PDX, for a wait and breakfast. Nice options to choose from, seeing as how my last plane flight was fifteen years ago things have changed some. Continental Airlines flew us to Newark in five hours 30 minutes. Now in a warmer bleak unfamiliar place we had to locate a car that was being sent. There were three levels to choose from. I went for the one near baggage claim, good choice. About the time we started calling a black Lexus with our last name on a card in the window pulled up.
We had to convince the driver and then we were off across Secacus, via the Jersey Turnpike, through Weehawken and then into the Lincoln Tunnel. Lots of bathroom tile and amazing dynamics to get that many vehicles into that small of a tunnel.
Now we are in midtown Manhatten and get dropped off at 42nd street between 7th and 8th. All locations in NYC are easy to find as long as you have three points of reference. We go upstairs and meet the post production people and Diana gets set up to do her voice overs (VO). I get some really bad directions from a well meaning guy and head off to check into our hotel.
Throngs of people receive its proper definition in my mind. Tall buildings, lots of distractions and I see where the TGIF web cam is located, various other landmarks. At one point I decide to cross the street and notice that I am in times square. that spot where 7th and Broadway create that triangle you have seen so often. That's when it really hit me, no longer surreal.
I keep walking and looking and about the time I see Carnegie hall (I made it without practice ma!). I talk to one of New York's finest and I am told to head back the way I came 25 blocks. *sigh*
So I turn around and head back, again marking mentally what I see as I go. My feet are feeling the fatigue as I see Macy's and just a block past that, my hotel!
The Hotel Penn is across the street from Madison Square Garden, which is cool to see. Inside there is a queue of about thirty people and the check in folks seem surly. Oh, if your in a line waiting for someone, stand at the front and wait to be recognized. If you just walk up to the next available person, they will ignore you and walk away. There was the poor couple of ladies who did that twice. Nice clean room, a tad sparse decorum wise but large enough with views of the sides of buildings.
The hotel was quite clear about anything you do outside of a limited list would be charged to your Credit Card. This included picking up the phone and dialing anything over four digits. My brief rest did not do much to stop the aches in the various joints of my apparently aging body. Still I had formulated a plan, I would get my daughters cell phone and they could call me when it was time to retrieve her. So I headed over a block and went up 8th Street to 42nd and back to the studio. As it turned out Diana was all but done with the VO, they did need to shoot some additional footage and planned on using Central park as a substitute for Oregon. No, it didn't work for me either but it was about as close as you could get I guess. I grabbed a couple slices of NY pizza and we hailed a cab.
I got to tag along and run around the area watching an adult kick-ball game, seeing the playground and Wollman Rink. I stayed a strong desire to head deep into the greenery. Oh yeah, Lots and lots of People, jogging riding, walking, sitting.
A taxi ride (wow) back to 42nd street and we headed back to the hotel. By now it was apparent that I needed some pain relievers and we were just both so damn tired that it made perfect sense to fall asleep around 9:30PM NYC time
It was a decent nights sleep, I awoke around 6:00 AM, and showered and watched the morning commuters lined up for the Bus. There is a definite respect for lines and personal space. An order to chaos. You walk with a stream of folks heading your direction. You wait your turn in line with detached patients. On an escalator you stay to the right unless your walking down as you ride.
We headed out in search of various locations that Diana wanted to see. Mostly stores that have Manga. First off, I wanted to get a fresh NYC bagel, I wanted something that the locals recommended. 'Bobby' the doorman at the Hotel instructed me to head down into Penn station and make a left. Sure enough a little alcove with lots of fresh bread and bagels. When you enter the store you are in line for the cashier, you have no other route to take. Someone behind the counter asks if they can help you and you damn well better know what you want. When you hit the front of the line you tell the lady what you ordered and pay. She never sees or seems to care what you ordered. We got our bagels and headed back up to the sunlight.
Mmmmmm, fresh bagels with cream cheese...
Book store next, then to midtown comics, which was not opened, so we hit Burger King for some soda's. Diana took advantage of free wi-fi, until the store opened. Nice comic shop. Diana found a book on using Flash.
We went for lunch at the Hard Rock, as the studio did not need Diana until 3:00. We got Tina a shirt and gawked at the various cast offs by musical entertainers.
Next we headed over to sixth street to a store that has manga in its native language. Diana got very excited at this point and bought some stuff that she couldn't read. Bryant park was across the way and the Empire state building was looming high into the air. Someplace along this journey we went into Macy's up to the 9th floor and took some old wooden escalators back down. Stopping for a brief look see at each level.
We headed down to Rockefeller Center, this is a confusing inner maze of starwells and guys in uniform that really are not that helpful. We found the rink and the big golden guy and got some pictures. That put us 10 blocks away from the studio and about 15 minutes to get there.
We went to 8th street for a change of pace, hit the M & M's factory store, along the way. Got to see a bunch of theaters with shows that will, no doubt, make it to Eugene at some point in time. Finally back to 42nd and up to the studio. I went to the lounge while they got a final few VO pieces together. We got a phone call for our car to the airport and sure enough another black Lexus took us back to Newark.
So if you need a guide through Mid-town. I'm your man!!!

June 05, 2008


30 Rock

Midtown comics

Faded shot of Empire state building
Fly into Newark take Lincoln tunnel to midtown.
Stay in a Hotel across from Madison Square Garden
See Central Park, Bryan Park, Times Square, Broadway, Macys, New York Times building, the Fashion district, basically everything between 6th and 8th by 31st through 60th.
Free of charge! SWEET!

June 02, 2008

Entertainment media

I was thinking about the oscars. At one point in time it was a much see program that garnered good ratings. The last telecast was dismal.


First off, seeing the 'stars' isnt a real big draw anymore, E channel, TV Guide channel, Reelz, are all dedicated 24hours to the 'stars'. All the news outlets carry Entertainment info. Not to mention the scores of magazines and websites out there dishing out info on any celeb you can name.

Second, few people care about anything beyond Best picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and ocsar count. So having two hours to find out something that will be news saturated the next day.

Third, the Academy appears to get it wrong Alfred Hitchcock being up six times and never getting one for directing. Citizen Kane loosing to 'How Green is my Valley"? The original King Kong not being nominated for anything, Peter O Toole nominated 7 win's zero. (Short list btw).

Personally I think the old time media outlets are due for retirement. The obvious bias, incorrect reporting, trivializing need for flash over substance is driving them into the muck end of things.

As for the Oscars, stop making it a show and just have it a ceremony and let the various networks cover how they want.