Thursday, December 25, 2008

Max...Sit. An Amuse Bouche Video.

Who says a Jack Russell Terrier can't sit still for longer than a minute?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Free TV on the Internet

Here are some of the ways I have watched free television over the internet.

Hulu is not only a destination where I went to watch television. It is also a hub from which NBC Universal and News Corporation distribute content either by allowing users to embed video or by partnering with other web sites. Due to the former, I can embed video in my blog for free. Because of the latter, there are a number of web sites on which I can watch the same content.

OPENHulu uses the embed code from Hulu just like I could on my blog.

Veoh works just like OPENHulu; that is, it uses the embed code just like I could on my blog.

Fancast aggregates content from CBS, USA Network, Sci-Fi, and from Hulu. (So is Hulu a competitor or a wholesaler?)

ABC has a great site for their own shows. You have to download a plug-in but it was painless and the player has great controls.

TV4U is a strange-looking little site replete with episodes of rare classic television shows from the fifties and sixties, commercials and movies. I think it is all public domain and very well done.

Public Domain Movies is another site for the titular films. Well-organized and official-looking.

TV @ AOL Video is similar to Hulu and, in fact, carries their content. The difference between them all is getting murky though - maybe this site carries Warner stuff in addition?

Joost is one I just discovered and haven't delved too deeply into BUT it has Divorce His/Divorce Hers, the ABC Movie of the Week starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Lookin' good.

Metacafe is similar to YouTube.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Go west on Route 66, take a few pictures and turn right.

Goodbye, Porpoise Spit!

Since that right turn, I've been driving around San Jose, California in my leased-for-Denver Toyota Tundra, a big honkin' truck with Colorado plates. It was never my intention to drive this big honkin' truck with Colorado plates in California which is why it was leased rather than bought. But here I am driving this big honkin' truck with Colorado plates on little Bailey Avenue with its one little driving lane and its one little parking lane. I'm the California cowboy.

GeorJet with whom I share an insurance plan.
We're pinned.

Walk proudly into Fry's (my least favorite store in the Bay Area) with my new moniker to return the Bluetooth ear phone I had bought to adhere to California's Hands Free Cellphone Law. As a technical writer I am applauded for my electronic acuity but the attempt to connect these two pieces of electronicity was so frustrating that the frustration soon eclipsed my desire to speak on the telephone while driving. So I am returning the earphone and calling from the side of the road (as others sociopathically flaunt their own law-breaking activities).

Excellent 1945 B-movie still playing in Barstow, CA in 2008
Watch it online here for free.

I had to give my telephone number to the sales clerk at Fry's to get my money back for the ear phone. After she punched it in the register, she spews names from the database.

Eduardo Caldez. Is that you?


Nancy Miranda.

No but her name comes up when I use my telephone number at Safeway also.

She looks at me.

Robert Prince.

No but your closer. He's an old roommate.

michael teger.

That looks right but it should be capitalized.

I said this jokingly but she clicked one more forward.

Michael Teger?

There you go.

Feline Conservation Center Rosamond, CA
with brilliant end-of-clip commentary...simply brilliant.

On the list of things I will miss in Denver is the Denver Public Library. This library system is Blockbuster and Netflix in one. You go online, reserve what you want, and it is transferred to your local branch. I would then pick them up and drop them off on one of my walks with Max. The only DVD I recall them not having was the 7 disc box set of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's German television series Berlin Alexanderplatz. And I'm not being high-falutin'.

Now I go to the San Jose Public Library. When I try to reserve something online I can't. After searching the site I found this answer to a Frequently Asked Question:

Due to staffing budget cuts, Library staff are not able to search for and hold entertainment videos (DVD, VHS or VCD) or music CDs for you.

Online or in branch. So I either search the online, see which branch has the DVD, drive to that branch and hope that, in the time it takes to drive, it was not checked out by another member of the public OR just go to my branch and hope for the best. Sure they have the 7 disc box set of Rainer Fassbinder's German television series Berlin Alexanderplatz in rotation but who has the energy? Thanks Governor Schwarzenegger.

Be it ever so humble

Further down the list, we had a 2900 square foot house, three printers, and a dishwasher in Denver. In San Jose we have 900 square feet, three printers in boxes sitting in the carriage house (and I'm not being high-falutin' - it's a carriage house) and are considering the purchase of a portable dishwasher because it's really hard to go back to using your hands. I now feel that one of the last vestiges of uncivilized behavior is washing dishes by hand. And I am being high-falutin'!

There's no place like home

I think the infamous season-ending episode of the 1980s drama Dallas illustrated it best when, it turns out, Bobby Ewing woke up and discovered that he had dreamt everything that had happened during the year. I feel that sensation as I walk Max around our San Jose neighborhood again and think of Denver. Who knew the Dallas writers were on the cutting edge of clinical psychology?

I won't be the California cowboy much longer. I have to register the big honkin' truck in California come January. After that I'll be just another California resident driving a gas guzzler to his home in San Jose. What a feeling.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bad DVD Cover Art: Day of the Dead Edition

When I first reviewed the 2008 reimagining of Day of the Dead, I had found the DVD in rotation at the Denver Public Library with this DVD cover art.

I investigated further and found out about the movie's straight-to-DVD status. Fast forward to San Jose, I decide to buy the movie (sometimes you have to) but the copy I bought had this DVD cover.

It also came complete with a slip case that simulates the motion of the zombie vomiting.

I knew something was amiss but didn't put together that this was not the same cover I had previously seen until I went to the Day of the Dead page on Amazon and found the movie advertised with this cover.

Further investigation unearthed this Kiwi version I found at the Day of the Dead Bad DVD Cover Art board.

Why bother?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Harbor Green Goes to Biltmore Shores

A reunion of sorts for some of the kids from the subject Massapequa neighborhoods.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

George Zhen Releases Dust of the American Pixel CD

My brother-in-law George Zhen is releasing his new CD, Dust of the American Pixel. Here's the first video for the song The American Pixel Part Two. It features my nephews Jeremy and Cameron and a nod back to music history.

Here's the 80s history - INXS's Need You Tonight/Mediate.

Here's the 60s history - Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Michelle O Meets Chrissie H

When I saw this picture of Michelle O...

...I thought of the iconic photo of another lady in red, Chrissie H.

Too bad W. and his aunt are not positioned differently - that subtle touch of irony would have been classic.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keith Olbermann's Flag at Half Mast

I like Keith Olbermann but...couldn't he have handled the flag just a smidge differently in this picture?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Get Out of Denver

The invasion of the POD was Monday. The day on which the POD finished swallowing all our belongings was Wednesday. (That's 6600 pounds of food.)

The day on which the POD was met by it's keeper was Thursday.

Today is Friday. George and I signed the papers and deposited the check. Now we return to no-longer-our home, pile Max and Lucy into the truck and well, I guess Bob Seger said it best.

We'll be driving to San Jose, California, where it all began, via route...well, I guess Nat King Cole said that best.

With Election Day and Moving Day, this has been quite a week.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

John McCain Gracious?

A gracious man would have said more than Please in an attempt to calm his supporters when they booed the mention of Senator Barack Obama's name during his concession speech. A gracious man would've stopped his speech and directly addressed the haters in his audience that night and at his previous campaign stops. A gracious man would have said that the type of derision they were demonstrating towards the next President of the United States will not be tolerated. A gracious man would've used words to that effect and the real Americans in his audience would've cheered loudest, drowning out the cries of negativity from the likes of him and her.

Instead, John McCain read his words as written - words that, in any other context, might be considered gracious. But, by not directly addressing the fundamental failures of a core section of his supporters, McCain displayed the same failure he referred to in his speech - and I quote - The failure is mine.

John McCain, you are no Barack Obama.

President Barack Hussein Obama

Vice President Joseph Biden

Sounds so nice.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Going Once, Going Twice...

By this time next week, our new President will be Barack Obama (fingers crossed) and there will be a check in our bank account (fingers uncrossed and then recrossed) from the sale of our home in Denver.

We'll also be on the road back to California, the state of my reality and (for the last three years) my dreams.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

McCain Supporter Denies Candy To Children

Even more shocking than what this lady did on Halloween was that it was reported objectively by a Fox News affiliate!

Just some more cr*p from McCain supporters.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Hug from Michelle Obama

I was waiting for a PDF to generate when I clicked play on the video of Michelle Obama's interview with Jay Leno. As I was watching I flashed back to an episode of Seinfeld in which Elaine interviews for the editor job at Doubleday which had formerly (and famously) been held by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis - Jackie O.

Shockingly I couldn't find a clip online so here are a few lines from the script I found at Seinfeld Scripts.

LANDIS: Of course, Jackie O. was a great lady. Those are going to be some tough shoes to fill. Everyone loved her. She had such...grace.

ELAINE (gushing): Yes! Grace!

LANDIS: Not many people have grace.

ELAINE: Well, you know, grace is a tough one. I like to think I have a little grace...not as much as Jackie -

LANDIS: You can't have "a little grace." You either have grace, or you...don't.

Michelle O. has grace. In the interview she also proved she has humor and intelligence. It was then I decided to close the work computer and drive to that bastion of Colorado conservatism, Colorado Springs (home of the zealous Focus on the Family) to see Michelle O. speak at the Early Vote for Change Rally.

Colorado Springs is an hour south of Denver. I arrived 15 minutes before the doors were to open and walked around the building to the end of the line. It wasn't looking good for our entrance to the indoor Colorado Springs City Auditorium but the excitement was invigorating and those of us on the line bonded in our hope to make it.

By the time we passed the McCain supporters, laughed at the 9/11 conspirator, feared the anti-choice protesters, and got to the front door of the auditorium, the doors were shut.

Don't worry. There are speakers in the parking lot and you can listen to the rally there.


But we walked our excitement over to the parking lot and stood at the waist-high barricades, listening to the local politicians and volunteers, and watching the news trucks setup a microphone and dais. I just hoped that when Michelle spoke she would give a shout out to those of us who couldn't get in.

As I stood listening to the wife of a soldier who had devoted herself to electing Barack Obama, and Jan Martin, Republican Colorado Springs City Council Member who has endorsed Obama, I glanced over to the other side of the parking lot and watched a woman walking towards us, flanked by three men in dark suits. As the woman got closer, I grabbed the arm of my line friend and said, "There's Michelle O." At that point, others had noticed her also and the cheering became cacophonous. Michelle walked up to the microphone and her first words that night were, "And this is just the overflow?" The crowd went wild.

Michelle thanks us for being there and said she had to get inside but she wanted to go around and shake some hands - which is exactly what she did. Having been 20 people from the beginning of the parking lot line I had an excellent spot holding on to the barricade.

Michelle walked down the line, shaking hands with some and hugging others. She got to my line friend and said, "Thank you very much." Then she looked at me and before she could say anything I said, No, Michelle. Thank you very much.

Maybe it was my tee shirt adorned with a huge picture of her husband. Or maybe it was the I Voted sticker that was stuck on it. Or maybe she just liked what I said but she stopped and hugged me before moving on down the line.

The woman behind me grabbed my shoulder and said, She just hugged you. I gulped and nodded my head.

Oh, I wish she had hugged me, she said.

Quick, hug me. You can have a Michelle hug by proxy.

And we hugged each other which excited her to no end. And me? I'll never wash that Obama shirt again - not that I've washed it in a long time. Since I early voted and put that sticker on, the shirt hasn't seen the inside of a washing machine.

Michelle O.: a graceful successor who is sure (fingers crossed) to be the next First Lady of our United States of America. You go, girl!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Obama: Colorado Ain't Swinging No More

Over 100,000 people joined me in welcoming Barack Obama back to the Mile High City. This is three times the amount that showed up to welcome Bill Clinton when he campaigned for President in Denver in 1992. (1992 was the last election in which Colorado swung for a Democratic nominee.) Civic Center Park takes up three city blocks (not counting the Capitol steps mentioned by Obama). Before settling in the center of the milling throngs, I walked the outskirts. It was amazing and invigorating to feel the excitement and see the diversity.

About three hours later, Obama spoke in Fort Collins, Colorado (immediately south of the Wyoming border) in front of a reported 50,000 people.

Here's the Denver news story with photo credits. The ones I took didn't do justice to the expanse. Next time I'll bring my crane.

And lastly, this little one couldn't make it to the park but decided to join in the excitement anyway.