November 2007

In Chicago, despite $27M in taxpayer money for lawsuit payouts from cops shooting civilians zero cops have lost their job, EVER, for an improper on-duty shooting. License to kill with impunity, plain and simple. Meanwhile, as if Comcast couldn’t suck even more, they succeed. And, as usual, cops: beat the fuck out a of hispanic kid in his own driveway (and threaten to taser his mom), and pepper-spray a late-night Church group while shooting Church video. Do Americans care? In Canada, one improper death (the RCMP airport tasering of a foreigner there to visit his mother) has caused people to egg egg cop cars. Where’s the backlash here? (more…)

Porn. Rape. Tasers. (more…)

x10 switches we used to have over our bedThe one cool side-effect of the addition being finished is that the additional wiring seems to have made X10 home automation modules again functional for the upstairs. Sometime in 1999 or 2000 or so our house suffered “x10 death” upstairs, where everything stopped working. The wireless 4-switch light-switch we had over our bed (which we kept re-arranging, and moving the switch with us, which was so damn convenient) stopped working and everything.

x10 lamp module - lets you dim lamps - only 2 prongs requiredThat was around when we started implementing The Clapper for the bedroom — 2 claps = lights on/off, 3 claps = fan on/off. But that recently blew in a thunderstorm (new wishlist item!). Thus the need for an extra X10 2-prong lamp module vs the 3-prong appliance modules — most of our plugs up here are only 2 prongs! Plus, the lamp modules let you dim non-dimmable lights, which is really good for ambiance.

But anyway, the best part of all this is is — the automatic, motion-sensing hall-light is back. (more…)

You know, diabetics just aren’t getting a good rap in this country! But at least they don’t have neighborhood parents creating fake MySpace profiles and inducing them to commit suicide, huh? Meanwhile, I read a story that made me go “WTF! Overly-Harsh Punishments!” but then it made me question myself a bit. Is the media putting a chink in my armor? Either way, what I care about the most is that Tim Burton is starting 2 new projects!!! (more…)

Family Guy will continue without Seth MacFarlane. So who the hell is going to do the voices? [UPDATE: Voices are generally pre-recorded as Step 1, so we’re fine.] Fox News hosts were actually disappointed that there’s a very low likelihood of suitcase nukes existing. And Toronto cops are caught in their lie, but only after someone filed a lawsuit to get the videotape released. How many people can’t afford a lawsuit, and have their lives ruined, even though there is evidence that they can’t get to? How many more have their lives ruined when there is no evidence at all? Cops have motive to lie. (more…)

I mean, really, I was only “paid” in the sense that I pulled a salary that day.  But I was paid for that day’s work, and I was an actor.  I was in the scratch video, and everybody knows my lines and has seen the video 100 times because it’s the default thing that comes up during development a lot.  It’s basically me playing a disgruntled guy who works at home, complaining about “spam spam spam”, “junk junk junk” mail (“nobody sends real mail anymore”)l, telemarketers, oh and now the door rings!?!  Goddamnit it!

Oh sorry, just getting into the role there :) … When I re-did that scene as real video (vs. scratch video), I think we did 5 takes.  I remember during take 3 I was actually angry at the end.  I was reminded of Mr. Spock and his ability to basically dictate what he believes.  In the OK Corral episode, the vilain only worked if you believed in him.  Only Mr. Spock could decide to not believe, and actually not believe, at which point it ceased to exist for him and via the great virtues of Making Shit Up (great link), they saved the day or whatever.

So anyway, the real deal was having to go “on location” to the company president’s house. Got to get paid to play with a kitty. Waiting for the real shot. There was about a 9-person crew, including a cute-but-strange-looking girl who ran the teleprompter. I was mic’ed and everything. Their camera tripod alone was $15,000.  I played opposite a professional actress, a black woman in her 50s.  She commented, “What kind of character name is Wakenya?”

Of course I didn’t really study my lines in advance, heh heh. I’d heard them… And I’d even memorized Robert Frost’s “The Road Less Traveled By” in 1 period in high school, and could recite it for 10 years afterwards.  But lines? With people? When we’re allowed to improvise/rephrase it a bit?  Meh.  I would only study them while being paid, and I had other things to do while being paid. Besides, whatever delay I might create would be offset by the fact that they didn’t have to hire another professional actor.

Anyway. It started, and, uh, I wasn’t working out.  Even though I had run lines for a few minutes in my head, I just wasn’t recalling them in the moment, with all the attention on me and such.  Production stopped. Teleprompter set up. Teleprompter technical difficulties.  I’m burnin’ money! Maybe that does offset things if you count the 9-person crew, hmmm?  Finally in 10-15 minutes or so they had it set up.  I had to talk to someone right in front of me, but look at the teleprompter.  It was hard not to look back and forth between the teleprompter, and this lady I was talking to. Then I realized I was moving my eyes left and right with the words, despite basically knowing the lines and mostly just needing… prompting. I mean, that’s what the damn machine is called!

Once I got rolling, we took a few takes.  Later, we did takes that were on her, so what I said didn’t matter.  I began to forget my lines, and sort of improvise a bit.  This definitely disrupted her rhythm a bit, but hey, she’s a professional.  And she had this one line, “affect important policy decisions”, that we had to re-do more times than anything *I* had to re-do.  So, it wasn’t too horrible on my part. It was just damn weird and surreal.  Being in Old Town Alexandria, a stone’s throw from the old HQ of my 1st company in 1997, in sight of my car, with 9 people’s attention trained on me, while getting paid, and being in the house of the president who pays me (and she wasn’t there).  Very strange.  A welcome change of pace, though, and a good memory for my leave of absence.

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981. That’s a new record. Read on for why, and some pictures of the SubGenius Baltimore Devival. (more…)

Dead black kid. We need an “811” for “soft” 911 calls, where they wont shoot you on a [cowardly] hair-trigger. If you’re too scared to NOT shoot a kid who wants to commit suicide, you probably should be a security guard and not a cop. Garbage men and taxi drivers die at a greater rate than cops (source:CNN), and they do so without shooting their threats. Meanwhile, the whitehouse is ordered to perserve all email–of course they stopped archiving in 2003. Part of the TECHNOLOGY WAR is that the authorities get to use technology in certain ways, while the people cannot. For instance, cops videotaping their stops, but people who videotape the cops being arrested. Or, in this case, AT&T snooping our emails on behalf of the NSA, but hypocritically the whitehouse doesn’t want IT’S emails snooped. Federal Records Act, bitch! Don’t volunteer: It will get you tased. Read on for the links. The people getting tased for cleaning up an oil spill really says a lot about the state of america. You can’t even clean up oil for free; SOMEbody MUST make a buck! (more…)

At what point do we come out and tell our kids they are much better off eating marijuana brownies, than doing any of this shit? Pun intended!

U.S. brainwashes 840+ detained Iraqi childrenpolygraph tests given to ensure they accept a more moderate version of Islam. So are we winning yet? The guy in charge of the program says: “If these kids pass the test, that goes a long way toward facilitating their release. With respect to the ‘irreconcilables,’ those whose views cannot be moderated, he proposes to put them away in permanent detention facilities.” I’m not saying these kids are good people, but this is no way to win a war. It’s not actually winnable. The more people killed, the more people angry, the more people want to kill, the more people killed, repeat ad infitum. (more…)

    Read on for the links. Technical difficulties today; I’m going to have to underachieve. (more…)

    Well, I just packed up about 3+ trips of stuff to my car, went through all my files, caused people to not be able to toast their lunch (I took both toasters back–they’re both mine), and exchanged info with several co-workers.  The President just came in, and she had a wide-eyed talk with me to make sure I’m still on board, and to understand that I am only at client site until I basically tell them it is time to replace me with an Instructional Designer.  I’m still not sure that I’m staying.  I will if things go without a hitch at client site — but I’m not currently willing to go through all the rigmarole of a security clearance again. Not for this particular client. Not with so much left to do at Casa Clarolyntopiastan to get to House 2.0.  Not with our current success level.  I’m not in a position in life where I currently need to deal with that crap.  But I’ll try it out and see.  But anyway, a signal has been sent, and the theatrics are working. They’re on edge, just like me.  Keep ’em guessing–that’s always been my strategy.

    Las Vegas honeymoon - Clint's BORG pic - borg_cl-700cI just noticed I’ve commented on flickr over **7,200** times.

    RSS allows me to instantly know if anyone responded to any of these comments (it’s maybe 5-10 a day, not always directed at me).

    Just wanted to say: Flickr kicks some major ass.

    And Flickr + PicLens on a 52-inch LCD really kicks ass.

    The End.

    Did anyone else love the X-Men Animated Series as much as Carolyn & I? It was one of the best things to ever come out of Fox Kids productions, along with Gargoyles, The Tick, & Batman. But this is not a review. :) I’ll try not to get into the great stories, incredible voice acting (for a kids’ cartoon!), and amazing character development. :)

    I have provided some major assistance in obtaining rare archival footage to Blast From The Past, so the site owner Scott contacted me to let me know he’d conducted interviews with 3 of the major players involved in the X-Men animated series. The interviews are all about the X-Men series, but many other Fox series are mentioned. The people interviewed were Margaret Loesch, President of Fox Kids (1990-1997), Sidney Iwanter, Vice President of Fox Kids (1990-1998), and Eric Lewald, Executive Story Editor. This page talks about all 3 interviews in general, and technically should be read first. It’s the 15th anniversary of the premiere series (19971031), which is why all this is happening.  I’d love to interview people involved with every show I’ve watched! Thanks, Scott! (more…)

    Remember, remember the 5th of November.
    The gunpowder, treason, and plot.
    I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason
    should ever be forgot.

    Thanks to everyone who said I’d love this film. You know me well. (more…)

      Paramount to sell $3 DVDsCcowardly cop, dead black kidCharges dropped against 110-pound kid beaten so hard the cop broke his hand.   Tased 10 times and thrown through a window (23 stitches) for smoking a joint. (more…)

      Many cities are removing the ability to contest parking tickets in person. Meanwhile, a mother is charged — for talking about the birds and the bees with her children. Read on for details about these two egregious violations of our rights. America is only getting worse, and I’m open to suggestions as to where else to emigrate. (more…)

      So, last Friday (20071102) was one of the stranger days in Casa Clarolyntopiastan. My co-worker Pam came over to hang out for the first time ever, bringing a friend. Then, Glen & Meagan came over, bringing Meagan’s friend Ryan and a girl named Erin(?) who was very quiet. Then, Susan came over and brought her friend “J”. who I’d met at DC Lauren’s party the same night I met DC Lauren :) So, at this point, I had 3 strangers over, 1 person who’d never been in the house, and another who’d only been here during parties. The familiar were more-or-less outnumbered by the unfamiliar. So anyway, my co-worker (read on for more) (more…)

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