serving brain food since 1998


Comments Off on High Time on DVD

High Time on DVD

I have got to say that Almost Famous, a comedy which chronicles the journalistic travels of a young Rolling Stone reporter, is a well executed and entertaining movie that’s full of laughs, even if it’s senseless 70’s nostalgia. Having only rented it because I thought it was something Liz would not want to see (she’s supposed to be studying for finals.), I was a bit surprised when we both sat down to watch the entire story play out. It’s not all that complicated, but it’s done well enough to keep you entertained and makes you feel just the right amount of compassion for the characters (compliments of a stellar

Not to mention some early bonus points for references to Bowie, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop — my own personal favorite trio of rock superegos.

Now, since this is my second movie review in a row, let’s see if I can end this with a cheezy movie critic’s recommendation —

“Almost Famous is top-notch quality entertainment, with a hilarious latitutde, that’s neither high-brow Zep, nor in your face Sabbath. Just a stereophonic rockin’ good time!”

Man, I did that a little too well. Let’s stick with “Way better than Cats.”


Comments Off on Spinning Out of Control in Public

Spinning Out of Control in Public

I was shocked and amazed to find my name in the May issue of Macworld Magazine (page 19). Apparently, a rant I wrote filleting the editor’s for their inaccurate portrayal of my favorite text editor, Pagespinner, was found worthy for the reader feedback column. They made the mistake of calling it a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, which fueled a burning fire of rage in me so hot that it could only be extinguished with the swift stroke of my keyboard (see actual article). Not too long after I sent my nasty-gram, I received this from David Weiss, the Senior Editor of reviews at Macworld:

We didn’t mean the term “Quasi-Wizzy” to be critical in any way, and I’m sorry that the review came across that way. We meant to suggest that PageSpinner is ‘sort of’ like a WYSIWYG editor, insofar as you can get a preview of how your fonts will display on the page.

And we certainly didn’t mean to pan the product—I’m sorry if you got that impression. Although we had one or two criticisms, in general we gave a strong buying recommendation, as summarized in the buying advice, and reflected in the 3+ mouse rating.

Okay, so maybe I feel a little guilty, but the point is most people will spot the caption in the picture of a magazine first, and there lied the perceptual blemish of their article. I hate to see a powerful resource like Pagespinner, which just happens to be an underdog application on an underdog platform, damaged in any way. So, I thank the editors at Macworld for voicing my opinion and I encourage them to keep making great reviews… for me to poop on!!!!


Comments Off on Loaded


Say it REALLY IS so!!!

Today was like a bizarre mixture of Christmas and the Twilight Zone for me and, as I can imagine, for a lot of other Mac users. March 24th was the day that Mac OS X, the legendary new UNIX operating system, officially showed up at my doorstep. This was also the day that the future of a minority computer company was quietly launched. Only the future will tell of today’s real significance to the world at large. For me, though, it was like anticipating the birth of a child.

And, yes, I did have my moments.

  1. 10:00 am : My wife, Liz, answers the doorbell in her pajamas. A delivery man drops off Apple’s future, waves goodbye, and continues his long day of deliveries.
  2. 10:05 am : I open the box, glance over the
    Welcome to Mac OS X booklet, and pull out the multiple CD’s. I find one that reads Mac OS X Developer Tools. I explain to Liz that Mac OS X is the only major OS to ship with
    Java 2. She gives a look of not caring less and I start to think about what a tremendous geek I’ve become in the past 5 years.
  3. 10.15 am : In the middle of playing
    Dues Ex
    I ask Liz if she’d mind me loading a completely new OS on our home computer. She becomes concerned with not being able to play her game afterwards. There’s nothing I can guarantee her so I start thinking about the alternative.
  4. 11:00 am : I find documentation that says Mac OS X does not support external firewire drives. I was hoping that the final release would, unlike the Public Beta. There goes the alternative.
  5. 1:00 pm : I finish up a complete backup of my files. I hit the
    Mac sites to see what people are saying about the new OS. There are a lot of complaints. Some people are calling it
    slow. I take the complaints with a grain of salt but…
  6. 1:30 pm : I sit on it.
  7. 4:00 pm : Liz goes to the store. I pop in the Mac OS X installer CD and go through the steps right up to actual install. I lose my nerve and eject.
  8. 7:00 pm : Realizing that I may want the entire Sunday to either play with the new OS or return things back to normal I load the CD, go through the 12 minute installer program, enter all my personal settings, and experience
    Mac OS X for myself. It is, in parts, amazing but very new to me. It doesn’t appear to be slow, as some were saying, or at least as slow as I imagined it to be. I sit back, relax, and start playing with Aqua, the Dock, and establish an Internet connection. This is great!
  9. 7.30 : I am officially loaded.
  10. 10:00 pm : I set my start up disk to reboot from Mac OS 9 system folder. Everything is as it was before I loaded Mac OS X. All I have to do to go back to either one is point my start up disk to the right system and reboot. I sit back again and relax. I start to compose the news for my webpage. All is well and I start thinking about investing in Apple.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.


Comments Off on Not Dead Just Yet

Not Dead Just Yet

Having not made any updates for 10 straight days, one might wonder if something happened to me. Well, the truth of the matter is I ain’t dead just yet, but I was sick for a very long time.

But not a minute too soon, Liz and I got a new DVD home theatre system to keep us entertained. Wonder what I watched while I was out of health? Here’s a hint. Maximus! Maximus! Maximus! Cough! Hack!

I’m such a baby.


Comments Off on Blow


Blow Someone once told me that pity is a sign of disrespect; that the emotion itself insinuates the person being pitied is of lesser value to the person making the judgment. In a way, it is to suggest a feeling of, “Oh, you poor, horrible, wretched thing, you.” In no way, though, does pity emote the desire to help the “victim” out of their deprived state. This is advice I’ve had little need for in my life. I don’t tend to pity anyone. That is until I saw the movie Blow.

Somehow that chunk of knowledge got pulled out of my memory drawer and put into use by the end of this film. The movie tells the true-life story of George Jung, an opportunistic drug trafficker who exploded onto the scene during the 1970’s and 80’s. In fact, this pioneer of sorts and his partners were so prolific during their time that the character, played in an embarrassingly accurate wardrobe worn by Johnny Depp, in one part boasts, “if you did coke at a party sometime in the 80’s, chances are it came from us.”

I don’t think this movie tries to sell its main character as noble. That’s probably too far a stretch for anybody to believe. But the filmmakers do unexplainably try to make you feel sorry for him by the end of the story.

And there lies the critical flaw of this movie.

Without going into too much detail, let’s just say the film tells a story of greed, love, friendship and ultimate betrayal — with the main character, George, getting most of the punishment in the end. It’s a sad story, but one that’s not without some justice. After all, there really is nothing more despicable than elevating yourself at the expense of others, without a single thought towards the consequences.

This movie never addresses a fact that is obvious from the very first snort. The main character is a low life, self-serving simpleton, who willfully profits himself by inflicting harm on others. And on top of that, he’s arrogant about it. “I’m good at what I do,” he says to his father, played by Ray Liotta, “Really good.”

Of course, he didn’t personally murder anyone, or force anyone to try cocaine against their will. But he did make many deaths, whether they be related to overdose or a byproduct of a violent drug subculture all possible. With all of this unexplored, the filmmakers still have the gall to provoke sympathy for the unfortunate circumstances that befall George.

I know they wanted me to be shedding a tear for him. There were no clues otherwise, save for some unintended laughter from the audience.

All I could feel, though, was pity.

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