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November 27, 2005 - December 3, 2005 Archives

November 27, 2005


Here it is, unedited, raw footage of the rarely-seen Incredible Fetching Cat- click on the picture and live the magic:

"Harry Potter," my ass. This one has action, plot, and an adorable animal. You'll overlook the lack of production values.


November 28, 2005


Two thoughts at the end of a busy day:

1. I gotta give plaudits, kudos, and props to the folks at Sling Media for the Slingbox, a gadget that may be needed by few people but is working like a charm for me. The thing looks like a large silver candy bar and connects to your computer network and to your cable or satellite box or DVR or whatever. And all it does is allow you to watch whatever's on that box wherever you may be, as long as you have a broadband conncetion to the Net or are on the home network.

My need for it was because I can't, for various reasons, add a satellite receiver in my home office. I get the NBA League Pass through Dish Network, and most games start at 4 or 4:30 pm PT, while I'm still working. But I wanted to have access to Sixers games here. Solution: Slingbox on the least-used Dish receiver (the one in the kitchen- yes, there's satellite TV in the kitchen here). Now, I can pop the Dish picture up in a window on my office monitor and watch whatever game I want. I can also get those games and whatever else is on the satellite via my laptop wherever I travel. If and when they do software for the Palm Treo and for Macs, it'll be perfect. As it stands, I may be one of a handful of people for whom this thing is worth $250. plus the network-via-electrical-wiring adapters, but I'm very, very pleased, about as pleased as I've been with any gadget lately.

2. I am powerless over my addiction to Sudoku.

I know, it's a stupid number puzzle and I'll get bored with it soon enough. And it's weirdly hyped by newspapers as some sort of worldwide craze- I remember it in Dell puzzle magazines years ago, and it apparently spread to Japan, then back to the UK and US. Now, it's in all the papers, and there are a zillion Sudoku book collections. I'm on my second. Yeah, I'm an old fart doing pencil puzzles like I'm on the porch at the assisted care facility. But it's addictive.

And when all else fails, I can always just use this and cheat.


November 29, 2005


I watched and reported on most of today's Senate Commerce Committee indecency dog-and-pony show- er, "open hearing"- and if I never have to see another one of those besuited drips again, that'll be fine with me. Everyone performed to expectations, with only Jack Valenti- Jack Valenti!- raising the question of why everyone lost their bearings when Janet Jackson's breastette came up for air for a split second. Predictably, nobody had any answer for that.

The NAB's Bruce Reese and Clear Channel's representative both whipped out the "if we have to be regulated, crack down on satellite, too" card, the coward's way out- instead of fighting back, they tell the bully to hit that other undeserving guy while he's at it. Everyone else from the entertainment industry tried to pass themselves off as paragons of virtue; Joe Pantoliano had the best statement but, shockingly, gave absolutely the worst cold read I've heard in ages. Poor guy was shaking with terror. He did better with questions, but he got out-acted by Preston Freakin' Padden.

And you expect the Christian Coalition and Trinity Broadcasting folks to be a little scary- the Christian Coalition woman seemed to be pining for a return to the days of "Leave It to Beaver" in prime time on all channels- but the scariest was Lisa Fager of something called "Industry Ears," a left-wing "hip-hop media watchdog" who went the furthest in wanting anyone edging anywhere near indecency to be fined, their license taken away, drawn and quartered, that sort of thing. (Well, OK, just fined and having their licenses taken away, but you get the idea) She at one point said that racially offensive terms- I assume she means the N-word- ought to be banned as indecent. Frankly, she's not wrong in decrying misogyny and self-hatred in rap, but she seems to want the government to crack down and she doesn't quite grasp the dangers of censorship, but considering her political leanings, I suppose censorship isn't a negative if it's targeting something you don't like.

The result of this thing is that everyone congratulated themselves on "doing something" and went home. The biggest news is that the FCC will try to force cable and satellite to sell channels a la carte, which means that you can kiss a lot of smaller cable networks goodbye- they only exist because they can be sold as part of the larger basic or expanded basic tier. All you'll get is the biggest channels. This will be portrayed as a victory for the consumer, when in fact it'll be a victory for a few cheap or overly sensitive consumers and will raise bills for the rest of us.

Gee, and they got it all in before the holidays, too.


November 30, 2005


What do you call it when your head hurts, like, right here (points to left side of forehead), and it feels like a buffalo has crawled into your sinus cavity and is trying to chew its way back out through your eyebrow?

Yeah, like that.

Been that way all day. It hit me shortly after waking up, got a lot worse just before we had to leave for an appointment, responded a little- just a little- to a Benadryl infusion that also left me a little sleepy/dizzy, and has me now sitting crosseyed and dazed in front of the computer.

Perhaps I ought to put an end to that. Excuse me.


December 1, 2005


Time's at a premium. Time's going to be at a premium for a while, and we're resigning ourselves to the fact that we're going to be spending a lot of time at appointments and going to and from them every weekday for a while.

So we will. And while we do it, I'm still determined to keep at this thing, despite the likelihood that I'll be severely distracted. Apologies if the quality varies or if I don't have time to develop my thoughts the way I'd like- already this week, I've wanted to write something about an article about "Simpsons" guest stars that ran in the Times the other day, but I'm finding it hard to carve out the time. Maybe tomorrow, maybe not. Hey, I don't get paid for this.

In the meantime, I reserve the right to post fragmented thoughts, like this one: after a day of listening to the new satellite version of CBC Radio 3, I gotta say, maybe there's more decent Canadian alt-rock than I thought. Not too bad. Or maybe it's just hearing new, unfamiliar music- from various genres, including Canadian hip-hop (!)- juxtaposed with the more familiar like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club that makes it interesting (more interesting than the Iceberg channel next to it- Bachman-Turner Overdrive may contribute to the CanCon requirement, but that doesn't make it different). There's a sample online- it's a stream, but it's not the same as what's on Sirius- here.

Enough for now.


December 2, 2005


I'm sitting in the very back of the Panera Bread near the hospital, working (free WiFi!) and killing time before I have to go back and provide my Friendly Prompt Shuttle Service, and the guy next to me is taking full advantage of this place. He's a senior, and his total purchase seems to consst of a sngle cup of coffee, but that doesn't mean he isn't living large and eating well. No, he set his coffee down on the little table/chair combo next to me, and a cup of complimentary water with complimentary lemon, and his book, then went back to the counter and returned with a handful of the complimentary sample slices of olive bread slathered with mounds- quarts- of complimentary cream cheese. He could have gone skiing on the mounds of cream cheese piled on those bread morsels. He's sitting here contentedly munching on the free vittles and reading his book, perched by the window looking out on the Bank of America and the Jack in the Box and the stop-and-go traffic on PCH and Crenshaw. Life's good for him.

And that's not a bad thing. You get older, you reach a certain age, you want some freebies, so why not? The staff doesn't seem to care. And it beats sitting home in the same old room with the same old walls and the same old atmosphere. Here, the price of a cup of coffee gets you a comfortable chair, a floor-to-ceiling view, tasteful beige-and-brown decor, classical music playing softly in the background. And I remember my dad at the Borders in Boca, sitting in a comfortable chair, contentedly perusing another World War II book, and, well, yeah, someday, when I don't have work to worry about and I'm just looking to while away the days, I hope there's a comfortable chair and a bunch of free food samples with my name on 'em.

It's one goal, I guess.


December 3, 2005


USC was destroying UCLA, and it wasn't all that interesting to watch, so I changed the channel, and KTLA was showing the Hollywood Christmas Parade. This was the one that used to be called the Santa Claus Lane Parade, and when I was a kid WPIX in New York would show it and it was a festival of who's-that and I-thought-he-was-dead and I'm-firing-my-agent-on-Monday-morning.

It's nice to see some things never change.

Look- it's the KTLA news crew on a float! Mark Kriski and Sam Rubin and Carlos Amezcua! Ha ha! And here comes the Toms River South High School Marching Band! And another band! And someone called Lil Romeo and ... er... another band, and now it's Antonio Sabato Jr.! And another band, and the Star 98.7 DJs on a float, and another band, and... er... some guy from "Out of Practice" (the commentators said something like "it's a show with the lovely Stockard Channing and, of course, Henry Winkler, and from the show, here's..." When you're introduced as famous by proximity to Stockard Channing, that's not strong, although he could always say "hey, how many sitcoms have YOU starred in?" And then more bands, then Partick Warburton and Eartha Kitt on the same float, then David Hasselhoff and family in a car, and... hey, didn't Antonio Sabato Jr. already go through once? And then there was Fritz Coleman, and I gave up.

I'd have just sent the same three floats around the block repeatedly to see what people would do. Hasselhoff, Fritz Coleman, the KTLA guys, then Hasselhoff again, then Fritz, then KTLA... I'd want to know how many times a crowd can see Fritz Coleman before they get violent.

My guess: third time around and the mob sets Hollywood and Highland on fire. Admit it, you'd watch that.


About November 2005

This page contains all entries posted to PMSimon.com in November 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 20, 2005 - November 26, 2005 is the previous archive.

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