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Monday, May 26, 2008

Long Lost Video - Kermit the Frog helps write "Yankee Doodle"

Wow. I thought I'd never see this video again. I remember watching it when I was a wee lad. It was hilarious when I saw it 30-odd years ago, and all these years later, it's still pretty good. It's fun watching old Sesame Street things and seeing the adult touches that Jim Henson and Frank Oz and the rest managed to slip in. Nothing bad, but just stuff that would go over the head of a kid.

What's most interesting is that the majority of this skit isn't at all like I remember. But the ending and final version of the song is almost word for word as it is in my memory. Weird. Anyway, here it is, Kermit the Frog, deconstructing "Yankee Doodle" and helping the songwriter rewrite it to make it make sense.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Wire - The More Things Change... Season Three Review



Any fears I had about The Wire turning into standard TV vanished within an episode or two of Season Three. Having seen Season Four as of this writing (but not Season Five), I think Season Three is the strongest of the series so far.

At risk of spoiling the show for the five to ten people that might ever read this review, I have to share some specific details.

Like previous seasons, The Wire continued the threads of the previous seasons while adding an assortment of new ones. The main plot of S3 is the continuing investigation of the Barksdale drug organization. Despite kingpin Avon Barksdale's incarceration, he still runs the show, with partner Stringer Bell running things on the outside. The beauty of this show, and the epic, tragic scale of this show comes from these two characters interaction and season-long dance.

Avon is an old-school banger, and despite the massive amounts of money their organization has accumulated, he can't move past that thug mentality. Stringer, on the other hand, wants to take that wealth and move into more legitimate business, having taken business courses at college and buying up real estate. Increasingly, he has to do this without Avon's knowledge or approval.

It all is working okay until Avon works a way to get himself out of prison early. He returns to the neighborhood to get everything back in order, and that's when he and Stringer start to butt heads. Compounding everything is Det. Jimmy McNulty's personal investigation into the prison 'suicide' of Avon's nephew (and Season One main character) D'Angelo Barksdale. D'Angelo's death was ordered by Stringer (without Avon's knowledge) because D'Angelo was planning on flipping and turning all of them in.

So the amazingly tense conflict for this season ramps ever higher episode by episode. Our sympathies as the audience shifts from scene to scene, as we admire Stringer for attempting to move out of the drug trade. But we sympathize with Avon because of Stringer's betrayal and ordering the murder of D'Angelo. But we side against Avon because he can't pull himself out of the lowest-common-denominator lifestyle. But we like Stringer because he's the only person on the street with a plan. But we side against him because of how D'Angelo's mother was lied to about his death. But we side against HER because she is the one that convinced D'Angelo not to flip on the organization. And on and on and on.

I marveled constantly at the airtight plotting that allowed these shifts to occur and to be so powerful. And much of the conflict has its roots all the way back in the first episodes of Season One.

For anyone remotely interested in writing TV (or anything for that matter), this show is a masterclass on plotting and dialogue. It doesn't cut corners or go for the easy story at ANY time.

All the while, the good guys' story is compelling as well, but not nearly to the extent of Avon vs Stringer. These two kingpin's ultimate fates is pure Greek tragedy with a healthy dose of Shakespeare. Brilliant.

I could go on for days exalting this show. It just never makes a wrong step.

The ultimate compliment I can pay it is that I have to steal from it now. The Wire has the exact tone I was seeing and hearing and feeling in my head as I worked on "Going Nova". I want that kind of uncompromising honesty in my story, regardless of how unpleasant it might be or how bleak (for some characters) it might prove. Because if nothing else, The Wire has me thinking about drugs, crime, education, politics (and the News industry, I'm sure, after I watch Season Five) in a completely different light.

It's going to be hard watching regular TV ever again after experiencing this show.

Terry Tate - Office Linebacker - Part 7 - "Greatest Hits"

Fortunately, someone went and did a compilation of all the great Tate hits.

Enjoy

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Terry Tate - Office Linebacker - Part 5 - "Sensitivity Training"

They were starting to run out of steam a bit with this one, but it still brings the funny.

(warning: Mildly Not Safe For Work)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Terry Tate - Office Linebacker - Part 4 - "Office Athelete of the Century"

As always, it's the little details that put these videos over the top for me.

"Like many children, Terry was born."


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Terry Tate - Office Linebacker - Part 3 - "Vacation"

This has some good moments in it. My favorite is the guy photocopying his butt on the copy machine. He's just enraptured.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Terry Tate - Office Linebacker - Part 2 - "Draft Day"

The first Terry Tate video was perfect.

"The restroom's a privilege, not a right, PUNK!"

And the re-enactment of the classic NFL "helicopter hit" was a brilliant touch.

Well done, gentlemen....

Monday, May 19, 2008

Terry Tate - Office Linebacker - Part 1 - "Terry's World"

Ah... Terry Tate... For me, this was the first true "Viral Video", in that it was easy to find, and easy to send to other people. And it was hilarious. And looking back on it now, I can even see some of the tone that would ultimately turn into "The Office" (disclaimer: I'm not sure which one came first).

The number of brilliant touches to this video can't be counted. But "You kill the joe, you make some mo'" became a fun catchphrase for a while.

Enjoy...

(warning: Mildly Not Safe For Work)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Penguins 6 - Flyers 0 (Pens win series 4-1)


Again, they made it look easy. Watching the game, it seemed like the Flyers were playing at half-speed. The Penguins always seemed a step ahead, a step faster.

But... based on the talent of this team, a berth in the Stanley Cup finals is the only logical end result for this season. None of their opponents in the east were remotely at their level. The teams most likely to give them problems, Montreal and New Jersey, got knocked out early.

Now we only have to await the winner of Detroit-Dallas. Detroit stormed out to a 3 games to zip lead, but Dallas has won the last two to make it an interesting series. While the better matchup would be Detroit, I'm kind of hoping for a Dallas miracle comeback, just because it would allow the Penguins to retain home ice (Detroit, by virtue of the best record in the league would host the Finals should they make it), but also because it would allow me the outside chance at securing some tickets to a game in Dallas. VERY slim chance I'd be able to get tickets, but I have some connections that MIGHT have a way to get me into the arena for one of the games.

We'll see.

But a Detroit-Pittsburgh Finals would be one of the most compelling since New Jersey-Colorado or New Jersey-Dallas. It seems like just about every year over the past decade or so that at least one of the two Finals participants didn't really deserve to be there in the grand scheme of things. Usually, they way overachieve and end up not even making the playoffs the next year and certainly not making the Finals again anytime soon. I'm talking to YOU, Tampa Bay, Calgary, Anaheim, Carolina, Buffalo, Washington and Edmonton). Detroit-Pittsburgh is the first recent series I really think could become an annual event for the next few years.

Seinfeld / Superman team-up. Part 7 - "Behind the Scenes"

I believe this is one of the videos on the official website, but here it is for your easy digestion. Fun stuff...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Seinfeld / Superman team-up. Part 6 - "Saving Lois"

I'd never seen this commercial before. From the looks of it, they got a different animation house to do Superman. It lacks most of the Curt Swan/Superfriends charm of the other spots. But it still has Seinfeld and Patrick Warburton, so it still works.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Seinfeld / Superman team-up. Part 5 - "The Today Show Interview"

I'd never seen this until today when I was searching for all the commercials. Pretty good stuff, even if Matt Lauer plays it up just a bit too much. I'm curious to see if Patrick Warbuton was actually on the couch and they just animated over him, or if Matt and Jerry were acting to empty air.

Anyway, enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Flyers 4 - Penguins 2 (Pens lead series 3-1)

I totally missed this game, as I was at a preview screening of the new film "Son of Rambow". But it looks like if I had to miss one game, this was the one. I kind of didn't expect them to sweep, because I think they would rather wrap up the series on home ice (and I'm sure the team and arena owners don't mind the revenue an extra home game gives them). Not that they threw it, but that losing one game (and only one game) on the road wasn't the worst thing that could happen.

Incredible Stop-motion Animation

I really don't have words to describe this. The older you get, the more you think you've pretty much seen everything. But this... this is amazing. I never would have thought to do something like this, and this guy (these people?) not only did it, but set the bar so high that I shudder to think anyone else even trying.

Enjoy.


MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Seinfeld / Superman team-up. Part 4 - "Oh Yes, Wyoming!"





And somehow, after all of the brilliance of the videos, the website gave us this nugget of goodness-- The full version of "Oh Yes, Wyoming!"

Click on the image below, and once the flash animation of the screen setting up finishes, you'll see the Playbill cover below. Click on that, and you'll be rewarded with the catchiest show tune you ever did hear!



(update: 8-8-08 Flash page seems to not have sound.)

Here's a new link to the song.

Here are the lyrics if you'd like to sing along.


Oh Yes Wyoming!
With the tress and the horses and the rocks and the sheep

Oh Yes I’m Going!
Through the plains and the trails and the streams and the hills

Oh No Nebraska!
Is there a plainer state I ask ya

Oh Yes Wyoming!
There’s no place I’d rather be roaming

With the geysers and the canyons and the watering holes
With the geysers and the canyons and the watering holes

Oh Yes Wyoming!
With the mountains and the lakes and the plentiful fish

Oh Yes I’m knowing!
This land will fulfill my every wish

Oh No Dakota!
Doesn’t interest me one iota

Oh Yes Wyoming!
There’s no place I’d rather be roaming

[spoken]
Hey Zeke!
What is it Antelope Joe?
You know I love them girls back in Wyoming
I heard you like the geezers too
It’s geysers and anyway that’s just a rumour
I’m talking about my special girl Daisy
I call her ol’ faithful
I heard she ain’t that faithful
She sure is old though
Ha ha ha ha

Oh Yes Wyoming!
With the cabins and the camping and the bakin’ beans

Oh Yes I’m Glowing!
With the bison and the banjos and the wily raccoons

Oh No Ohio
I can hardly wait to say goodbye-oh

Oh Yes Wyoming!
There’s no place I’d rather be…
Ends with m-i-n-g…
Shout it out loud with me
W-Y-O-M-I-N-G

Oh Yes!



Join us next time for the final chapter of this retrospective, as we bring to you a little-seen Today Show interview with Matt Lauer, Jerry Seinfeld, and the Man of Steel himself.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Seinfeld / Superman team-up. Part 3 - "It's the Green Lantern!"

This one's a shorty, but it's still pretty good. It's a payoff to some content from the website.

On the flash website, there's some other phone messages you can listen to (click on the phone), but here's the fun followup teaser commercial.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Wire - Trouble on the Docks? Season Two Review



Thanks to a really bad cold that confined me to my bed this past weekend, I managed to burn through all of Season Two of The Wire in just two days. You could say I was watching them feverishly.

I haven't had much luck with Season Two's lately. Dexter S2 totally let me down, to the point where I don't think I want to watch Season Three. Heroes S2 lost me only two episodes into the season. It totally jumped the tracks. Lost had a bumpy S2, as did Battlestar Galactica (although both of those recovered well enough over the short term).

I'm not sure what it is about second seasons that prove to be such bugaboos for the creative teams. I guess it's that during the successful first season, they never really had time to analyze what they were doing, and just reacted on pure instinct, which turned out to be right. After S1 ends, they sit back, and TRY to figure out what audiences liked about the show and try to break it down to the point where they believe they can construct the second season using only the good stuff, and none of the fluff. And almost every time, they're wrong. Recent movies have shown the same tendency. The Matrix sequels and Pirates sequels were wrong wrong wrong on just about every level. Utter disasters. Peter Jackson guessed wrong with King Kong, figuring that if we loved the cool Legolas scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, that we'd LOVE a whole King Kong movie filled with nothing but those wildly over-the-top sequences. What worked beautifully ONCE per film became mind-numbing in King Kong. And I even have a personal example. The first Addy Awards we did in 1995 was received amazingly well (or so we're told, since we were too chicken to go to the show to see if anyone laughed or jeered what we did), leading Don and I to approach the 1996 show with a bit of over-confidence, and the belief that we could 'nail it this time'. Didn't work out that way. While it was received well enough, we knew almost right away that we'd missed the mark.

Point is, it's tough to catch lightning in a bottle twice. And that was the mindset I was going into for Season Two of the The Wire.

I'm happy to report that The Wire mostly safely navigated the dangerous waters of Season Two. My review? 8.5 teeth out of ten.

Some specifics- I loved how they continued everyone's stories, even the street characters, even though their stories seemingly came to an end after S1. We got to follow Avon and Dee in prison, and Stringer Bell as he attempted to hold together the crumbling pieces of the Barksdale empire. We got to meet a few new street characters that promise to feature prominently in seasons to come.

Omar became the Boba Fett of this series. It took me a while to figure out what made his character so appealing and interesting (besides the fact that I've never before seen a homicidal gay thug as a sympathetic main character). He doesn't have a whole lot of airtime, but like Boba Fett, the time he's given he makes the most of. He's decisive, he has a strict code that he sticks to (he only robs people in "the game"), and most of all, he moves easily back and forth between the worlds of the good guys and the bad, working with whoever serves his purpose at the time.

The cops story had some interesting turns. It took until the eighth (of 13) episodes until the whole team was actually back together. They ways they managed to keep them all together, even though they were all working in different departments, was pretty clever, but a weeee bit TV-ish, which is where I docked a quarter of a tooth.

Where the show lost most of its points was in the overall Port Murders plotline. The mystery itself was excellently done, it's just that a few of the aspects of the Greeks, the bad guys of this season, were a bit too fiendishly evil. Season One's drug lords and street thugs all had believable motivations for doing what they did. but The Greek, and Vanos were evil with no balancing good traits to make them human. The one thing that really confused me was the FBI leak. I'm still not sure how that guy worked, but the whole time, it felt very much like just a plot device to eventually lead to betrayals and twists, which is exactly what happened.

The Dock workers themselves were pretty good and I can't dock them any points except for a half-tooth for some cheesy dialogue late in the season. Especially good were the actors that played Ziggy and Nico. They had very tough roles with very fine lines they had to walk. But they were given strong parts to play. They were on the opposite side of the law, but were made human by making all their decisions, especially the bad ones, fit perfectly within their worldviews.

We got one major new character, Beadie Russell, played by Amy Ryan, who was really good, and who I hope they bring back in the final three seasons (early word is that she does return, but probably as a love interest rather than a member of the team). Prior to this, the only place I knew Amy Ryan from was her amazing performance in Gone Baby Gone. As it is, I didn't recognizer her at all, so different is this character and her portrayal, and in fact, I only knew it was her by looking it up on IMDb.

One of the things I like so much about this show is its unrelenting bleakness. There's no way for the Law to slow down or make the endless wave of Crime even NOTICE. The cops know they are only putting band-aids on the problem. But they go to work knowing that for a while at least, they can fractionally stop the bleeding. While it would be nice to think that The Wire offers up a far too pessimistic version of the war on drugs and crime, I tend to think that it portrays it pretty accurately, bleakness and all.

The Wire S2 missed the mark a tiny little bit, but as far as second seasons go, it is easily the most successful according to ME. I was riveted from first frame to last. I'm invested in these characters and mourn the loss of those that unexpectedly didn't make it to the end, including my favorite character, the one character who seemed primed for a nice redemption arc. But...his act of reaching for redemption is what ultimately cost him his life. Rest in peace, dude...

And with that, I get ready to fire up Season Three. I have no idea what it's about, and I love it. But from everything I HAVE allowed myself to read, it seems that Season Two was the show's only bump in the road and that it only got better from here on, with Season Four being a masterpiece. We'll see...

Penguins 4 - Flyers 1 (Pens lead series 3-0)



And then there was one. One more win to advance to the Finals. It's funny how doing this March of the Penguins has really made it seem like the championship is just a formality. 11 wins and one loss... not too many teams have put up that kind of string. There's still five wins to go, but it really does seem like Crosby and Malkin and Fleury will be among the new names inscribed on the Stanley Cup in a few short weeks.

Time marches on...

Seinfeld / Superman team-up. Part 2 - "Hindsight is 20/20"

Yes... it was a mere four years ago that Jerry Seinfeld was still considered funny. Before the Dark Times... Before... "Bee Movie". These Superman/American Express commercials hit at exactly the right time, when nostalgia for Jerry was at it's highest (before we realized he wasn't funny anymore), and when anticipation for a new Superman movie was just starting to build (before we knew how bad that film would turn out). Ahh.. the naivete' of youth...

Anyway, here's part two of the series of commercials and other assorted associated elements. I love how even Superman's suitcase is animated.





Here's a link to the American Express/Seinfeld/Superman website. Click on stuff. Have fun.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Seinfeld / Superman team-up. Part 1 - "A Uniform Used to Mean Something"

Back in the olden days before "Viral Video" and YouTube, way back in aught-four, a herald of things to come emerged on our computers. It wasn't the first web-only video advertisement, but it was the best, and all these many years later, it's still one of the best.

Jerry Seinfeld teamed up with American Express to produce a series of brilliant videos teaming Seinfeld up with an animated Superman (played to perfection by Patrick Warburton). It's all live action, but Superman is animated. And Superman's portrayal is right out of an episode of "Seinfeld"

Brilliant concept, brilliant execution, and brilliant tie-in. I'll have to do some research to see how this whole thing worked for American Express. Here's a link to the the website (or at least to the company that created the website that still has a working link available on their site)

There were three official videos, a sing-a-long flash video, and a Today Show interview. I'll be doing a retrospective on one of them every day this week. But without any further ado, here's part one.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Penguins 4 - Flyers 2 (Pens lead series 2-0)



Man.. I sure picked the right horse this year, didn't I? The Penguins become the first team since 1995 to win 10 of its first 11 games. I only got to see the third period of this one, but over the last 16 minutes or so of the game, and nursing a 3-2 lead, the Penguins only allowed one scoring chance. And this against the team that was the offensive leader in the postseason.

The next couple of games in Philly should be tough. But the Flyers are down a few key players, so the home ice advantage probably is cancelled out.

As you can see, six wins away from hoisting the Cup.

The Wire - Best TV series ever? Season One Review


I'm a TV and Movie curmudgeon now. I freely admit it. I go into every bit of filmed entertainment looking for, and waiting for, that point in which a show or movie jumps off the tracks. For me, there's no excuse for any TV show to get lazy or silly or fall into cliche'.

My favorite TV shows of late (notably "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica") seem to eventually not have any idea what they are doing. Until "Lost" got its act together late last season, it was on the verge of my declaring it the most disappointing show ever produced. This season has restored nearly all of my anger towards the show, but ultimately, I can't forget that for a while, "Lost" was unfaithful to me. You can forgive, but you can never truly put it out of your mind. As such, "Lost" and "BSG" will forever be "almosts'.

Earlier this year, I wrote reviews of "Dexter", both season 1, and season 2. That show had an amazing first season, and then completely jumped the rails in the second season. I was convinced that finding "The Best TV Show Ever" would prove to be a pointless endeavor.

So, it was with that mindset that I sat down to finally watch "The Wire". Not sure what prompted me to pick up the first disk of season one, but there I was last week, putting the disk in the DVD player and sitting down to watch.

And I have to say, that season one delivered, 100%. I don't have a single bad thing to say about season one. I normally don't even LIKE cop shows, finding the procedure tedious and cliche'd.

However, "The Wire" did everything right.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, "The Wire" is a police drama set in Baltimore. Season one centered on drugs and featured both the law and the street. It's hard to say if there truly are 'main' characters, as the cast is a couple dozen deep, all given major screen time. They range from the lowest of the low (homeless drug addicts), to the top (police commissioners and judges). And what's most remarkable is that more successfully than any movie or TV show has dome, "The Wire" has given every character both good and bad qualities. One of my favorite characters was one of the drug dealers. The ostensible 'hero' of the series, Jimmy McNulty, is a completely screwed up mess. These are all real people who exhibit the best and worst of humanity.

Part of what makes this show so good is that it never once compromised the logical next step of the story for a cheap Hollywood cliche'. No character was ever put in false danger for the sake of drama. Even the non-case related situations (such as the home lives of some of the characters) was handled perfectly and added to the overall tableau.

This show has been described as 'televised novel', and I'd have to agree. None of the episodes have forced themes or situations. They all form once chapter of what feels like a book.

Best of all, it seems obvious that each season was intricately plotted and planned prior to filing, so that there doesn't seem to be any abandoned plotlines, or abrupt changes in direction. And best of all, no filler episodes.

What makes this show even more gritty and realistic is that it is 100% realistic in its portrayal of these characters, especially the language. This show aired on HBO, so make no mistake, the language is pretty raw. I learned a few dozen new ways to use profanity. Every once in a while it seems a bit gratuitous, but for the most part, it seems pretty authentic to the characters and this world. It really stands in stark contrast to typical, neutered TV language. I have no problem with keeping the language clean on broadcast networks, but at the same time, when the language is authentic to the story, I have no problem with excessive profanity.

Adding to the authenticity is that "The Wire" casts many of its minor roles with local people who have little or no prior acting experience. Some of them are painfully obvious to point out, but even those ultimately work, making everything feel more like it's a documentary rather than a fictional drama.

Again, the acting across the board was uniformly brilliant. Every actor is interesting, and no matter what character they switch focus to, it's always exciting to see what happens next. Proof of this is that as I stated previously, even all the bad guys are sympathetic.

I could go on writing for hours about this show (and will probably return to it at some point), but I simply have this to say-

SEE THIS TV SERIES AT ALL COSTS.

It's that good.

Ten teeth out of ten.

(Coming soon, review of season two)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Penguins 4 - Flyers 2 (Pens lead series 1-0)


I've said it before, and I'll say it again. These guys are starting to be 80's Oilers good. The only problem (that the 80's Oilers didn't have) is a salary cap that will prevent the Penguins from keeping all of their budding superstars.

Anyway, here are the highlights of the game.




Thanks to the NHL Network for tonight's video highlights.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Penguins 3 - Rangers 2 (OT) (Pens win series 4-1)


I was in the midst of attempted computer repair, so I missed most of this game, but out of the corner of my eye, I did get to see the last part of the third period and overtime.

DVD Review - No Ending For Old Men

I more or less liked "No Country for Old Men" when I saw it late last year. I was confounded by the ending, but still thought it was okay.

Well, my wife and I watched the DVD last night, and on second viewing, it just makes me more angry that the film denies us a proper ending.

The acting was uniformly great, and Bardem's Oscar was well-deserved. But the presentation of the film ultimately failed for me.

I know how the film is SUPPOSED to be about the path everyone takes to get where they are, and how it's about the senselessness of violence and greed, but that's not what the movie gave us for the first 95% of its running time. We had a well-plotted, clear, concise film, with incredibly tense scenes. But then the Coen Bros abandon this over the last ten minutes or so, and decide that telling a cohesively-plotted story isn't what they were doing after all. The movie ends with (spoiler alert!) the main character getting killed offscreen by people who we didn't see until moments before the shootout took place (offscreen). And then we don't learn for sure if Chigur did indeed end up with the money, then we're only given the implication that he kills Josh Brolin's wife, and then we don't find out what ultimately happens to Chigur after he walks away from a car crash.

Some people loved that this film went against convention and turned the ending on its head, but it didn't work for me. And I also don't care if that's how the book ended.

But... it won Best Picture, so I guess someone really liked it.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Woo Hoo! I won a book in an online contest!


One of my favorite blogs is "Pat's Fantasy Hotlist" that covers, you guessed it, all the fantasy book news (and some sci-fi) that's fit to print. Tons of great reviews as well. This guy is a reading machine. Anyway, from time to time, he holds contests to win books that he is given by publishers. I've been entering the contests for the books I've been interested in for a few months now, and today, it finally bore fruit.The book I'm winning is called "Bloodheir", which is the sequel to "Winterbirth".

This is a new fantasy series by a new author, Brian Ruckley, that's been given loads of praise. The books and world-building are being compared to George R.R. Martin, which is heady praise indeed. Of course, everything is compared with Martin nowadays, as it has become the defacto standard for modern fantasy. If he'd only write a little faster, I'd feel a bit more confident in that declaration. The longer he takes to write each book, the less confidence his fans have that he will actually complete the "Song of Ice and Fire" series (he's writing book five of seven right now). Anyway, that's a digression for another day.

I've been looking forward to reading "Winterbirth", and now winning "Bloodheir" with this generous contest, I'm even more excited about tackling this series.

Yay me.

Stunning Aerial Photos of Africa

By this time in my life, I'm pretty jaded when it comes to nature photography in that I think I've seen it all. But then I see something like THIS. I looked at every one of these photos and was amazed and awed at each one of them.

Handy tip if you go to this page- It's a Flash page, which means you can zoom in on it and the overall resolution should increase to match your zoom level. The default of the page is that you get a relatively small photo, but if you right-click anywhere on the page, you'll get the option to 'zoom in'. Do so as many times as your current screen resolution will allow you while still letting you see the navigation buttons. Refreshing the page, or right-clicking and hitting 'zoom out' will put it back to normal at any time.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Weakness Will Be My Downfall

I'm SO angry at myself! My timidity and indecisiveness cripple yet another perfect plan.

After leaving home early this morning for work (on a 'shoot' - HA!), I made quick time to Lake Charles. Stopped at the Amry Surplus Supply store on Hwy 90 on the way in to see if they had anything new. Nothing really, but I did get a cool new black ski mask. Had breakfast at Pitt Grill in Sulphur. Read the Lagniappe (that Pierre... what a character!).

Then I made my way to the TV station and just waited on the roof of the building next to the parking lot. Around lunch, Jim attempted to slip away secretly in his vehicle. There was NO ONE else around. The streets were empty, the parking lot was empty. It was PERFECT.


But I couldn't do it. Something held me back yet again. Curse my weakness!!

He drove off moments later and that was that.

I raced back home in time to pick my son up from school and now here I am, being eaten up from the inside by my shortcomings.

I am in a dark mood...

Astronauts Suffer Agonizing, High-Pitched Death After Helium Leak

My heart goes out to the families...


Astronauts Suffer Agonizing, High-Pitched Death After Helium Leak

Rangers 3 - Penguins 0 (Pens lead series 3-1)

You figured there had to be one of these games coming for the Penguins sooner or later. Jagr had two goals in what was probably his last big game for the Rangers. I wouldn't be surprised to see Jagr sign with the Penguins next season to finish out his NHL career.

In the meantime, here are the highlights (And I'm posting this WAY late, as I didn't even get to see this game, being in Louisiana for that weekend)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sidney Crosby - Gatorade League of Clutch commercial

I love these commercials that Gatorade has been running for a few months. Amazing imagery, incredible intensity. They all tell a story and present both the player and the sport in the most dramatic light.

I'm not yet exactly sure how they accomplish the commercials on a technical level. If I had to guess, I'd say they took frame grabs of High Definition images and cut out the athletes then recomposited them back over other still images. Whatever way they do it, I'm impressed.

Anyway, here's the latest one, featuring Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, my current favorite sports team (yeah, I'm one of those guys that doesn't have an entrenched loyalty to any one team or city or region. I go with the best story, and for the next few years, that will be the Penguins).

If I Didn't Know How Right I Was, I'd Think I Was Paranoid

This whole Jim thing has me a bit on edge. My mind can't stop thinking about the horrible things he has planned for me and my family...

I've gotta do something...