Archive for February 14, 2008

It’s CloudBook Eve

February 14, 2008

The Everex site still says tomorrow’s the day.

But if you go to Wal-Mart’s site, here’s a tip: do not use CloudBook as the search term! I just did and got — books! Use Everex instead. As of 8:34PM EST CloudBook Eve, there were six results. Not one was a CloudBook.

No, I won’t be getting one tomorrow. Even if I had the money. I am not one of those crazed people who must have something first first first. I let others get it and shake out all the bugs and deficiencies and then decide if it’s safe to buy.

Besides that, even if I had the money, I’d hold onto it. I still believe an iPod Air is coming soon.

That D Word

February 14, 2008

Depression risk might force U.S. to buy assets

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fear that a hobbled banking sector may set off another Great Depression could force the U.S. government and Federal Reserve to take the unprecedented step of buying a broad range of assets, including stocks, according to one of the most bearish market analysts.

That extreme scenario, which would aim to stave off deflation and stabilize the economy, is evolving as the base case for Bernard Connolly, global strategist at Banque AIG in London.

This article is two days old. I ran across it today.

I have to wonder how this reporter came to speak to this person. What was the original discussion supposed to cover? Did the subject happen to mention the hypothetical steps of an economic meltdown — and the reporter ran with that, discarding everything else that was discussed?

I have no faith in Bernanke. But I have to wonder about the motives behind this story. This is a European talking. A European financier. They like their strong Euro.

Illegal Blue

February 14, 2008

This is What A Police State Looks Like — embedded MySpaceTV video

policestate.jpg

I can’t embed a MySpaceTV video here. Go and see this. It really is chilling. Apparently a filmmaker sued to get copies of video recordings police have made at peaceful, legal protests. You can hear the police singling out people to capture on tape. They are especially interested in people who are hiding their faces!

I think it should be illegal for the police to tape citizens.

Why not? The police try to make it illegal to tape them!

Whose country is this?

And who are the police supposed to protect and serve?

Previously here:
YouTube Justice: Officer Rivieri Suspended
Well Now. Look Who’s Being Searched For!
Steroid Rage? Viagra Failure?
I Hate Nazis

Reference: iPod Smart Podcasts

February 14, 2008

100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better

If you think that iPods are used just for listening to music, you obviously haven’t been keeping up with the latest technology The Apple-developed music player now features all kinds of accessories to help you study better, and now other companies are in a rush to get their designs in sync with the iPod. Pre-teens, college kids and even adults are taking advantage of the educational benefits an iPod affords them. From downloadable podcasts to just-for-iPod study guides and applications, learning on the go has never been easier. To find out about the many different ways you can transform your iPod into a learning device, check out our list below.

Writers Guild Strike: End Notes

February 14, 2008

Why I Feel Good About What We Won
Strike Notes from a Screenwriter

Women played an especially important part in the strike as captains, coordinators, pickets etc. That’s a whole article in itself.

Really, those two sentences brutally summarize the low awareness-level of that column. Next!

THE CIEPLY SCENARIO
A New York Times reporter turned the Hollywood writers strike into a battle between good and evil. But was it true? David Blum doesn’t think so.

For the previous three months, Cieply—the Los Angeles–based New York Times reporter covering the strike by the Writers Guild of America against the Hollywood studios—had been watching with increased disgust as the union failed to see the error of its ways. In Cieply’s view, the chief WGA negotiators had taken an excessively hard line on its demands, showing a lack of understanding of how Hollywood was supposed to work. He was annoyed by the strong-arm tactics of the union’s West Coast executive director, David Young, and the seeming intransigence of the WGA’s leadership in the face of management’s clear willingness to compromise.

Why couldn’t these labor leaders see how close they were to a deal? All they needed to do was to play ball with management. Executives like Peter Chernin (chairman and CEO of Fox) and Robert Iger (president and CEO of Disney) were reasonable men; he knew that, he talked to them all the time (off the record, of course), they wanted a peaceful resolution to the standoff and were prepared to give up some ground—provided the union was willing to stop making some of its unrealistic demands. Cieply [pronounced SIP-lee] had originally thought more highly of WGA West president Patric Verrone, but he was starting to wonder whether he or his colleagues truly understood the Hollywood way of working things out.

Whoa! A long article that deconstructs the New York Times’ coverage of the strike. Could Cieply’s make-believe reporting have demoralized the Writers Guild, weakened its resolve and bargaining position?

Previously here:
Harlan Ellison: Writers Guild Got Screwed!
Quote: Nikki Finke
Writers Guild Ends Strike. Regret Begins Now.
They Haven’t Suffered Enough
Quote: WGAW President Patric Verrone
Writers Guild: Something Stinks
Harlan Ellison
Blog Notes: Modified Title Banner
Hollywood’s Worst Nightmare: Obsolescence
The Horror Of The Minisode

How About, Like Giving Blood To A Bleeder?

February 14, 2008

Bloomberg Ridicules Washington On Economy
‘Cash Rebates Like Booze For Alcoholics’
U.S.Resembling A ‘Third-World Country’

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) ― Mayor Michael Bloomberg has unleashed another flurry of jabs on Washington, ridiculing the federal government’s rebate checks as being “like giving a drink to an alcoholic” on Thursday, and said the presidential candidates are looking for easy solutions to complex economic problems.

The billionaire and potential independent presidential candidate also said the nation “has a balance sheet that’s starting to look more and more like a third-world country.”

Emphasis added by me.

Bloomberg is the mayor where I live. He would not get my vote if he ran for President.

Quote: Steve Salerno Valentine’s Day Cards

February 14, 2008

And Steve invents a new line of Valentine’s Day cards

Sometimes I want to just stab you
and stage it to look like a home invasion
but the forensics people are so damn clever these days….

And:

It’s been 25 years, honey, and to this day
there are times when I still think of you while we’re having sex…

HarperCollins Tries Free eBooks — World Laughs.

February 14, 2008

hccoelho.jpg

What you’re looking at is the actual size of text in the “free” ebooks HarperCollins is offering online.

Yes, the text is that small and that gray.

And no, you cannot make the page larger or the text darker.

HarperCollins: Showing The World Book Publishers Are Still Retarded.

Harlan Ellison: Writers Guild Got Screwed!

February 14, 2008

Thanks to Warren Ellis. Everything between this framing sentence and the Previously here links are the words of Harlan Ellison:

HARLAN ELLISON ON THE WRITERS STRIKE SETTLEMENT

YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO RE-POST THIS ANYWHERE:

Creds: got here in 1962, written for just about everybody, won the Writers Guild Award four times for solo work, sat on the WGAw Board twice, worked on negotiating committees, and was out on the picket lines with my NICK COUNTER SLEEPS WITH THE FISHE$$$ sign. You may have heard my name. I am a Union guy, I am a Guild guy, I am loyal. I fuckin’ LOVE the Guild.

And I voted NO on accepting this deal.

My reasons are good, and they are plentiful; Patric Verrone will be saddened by what I am about to say; long-time friends will shake their heads; but this I say without equivocation…

THEY BEAT US LIKE A YELLOW DOG. IT IS A SHIT DEAL. We finally got a timorous generation that has never had to strike, to get their asses out there, and we had to put up with the usual cowardly spineless babbling horse’s asses who kept mumbling “lessgo bac’ta work” over and over, as if it would make them one iota a better writer. But after months on the line, and them finally bouncing that pus-sucking dipthong Nick Counter, we rushed headlong into a shabby, scabrous, underfed shovelfulla shit clutched to the affections of toss-in-the-towel summer soldiers trembling before the Awe of the Alliance.

My Guild did what it did in 1988. It trembled and sold us out. It gave away the EXACT co-terminus expiration date with SAG for some bullshit short-line substitute; it got us no more control of our words; it sneak-abandoned the animator and reality beanfield hands before anyone even forced it on them; it made nice so no one would think we were meanies; it let the Alliance play us like the village idiot. The WGAw folded like a Texaco Road Map from back in the day.

And I am ashamed of this Guild, as I was when Shavelson was the prexy, and we wasted our efforts and lost out on technology that we had to strike for THIS time. 17 days of streaming tv!!!????? Geezus, you bleating wimps, why not just turn over your old granny for gang-rape?

You deserve all the opprobrium you get. While this nutty festschrift of demented pleasure at being allowed to go back to work in the rice paddy is filling your cowardly hearts with joy and relief that the grips and the staff at the Ivy and street sweepers won’t be saying nasty shit behind your back, remember this:

You are their bitches. They outslugged you, outthought you, outmaneuvered you; and in the end you ripped off your pants, painted yer asses blue, and said yes sir, may I have another.

Please excuse my temerity. I’m just a sad old man who has fallen among Quislings, Turncoats, Hacks and Cowards.

I must go now to whoops. My gorge has become buoyant.

Respectfully, Yr. Pal, Harlan Ellison

===========================

Previously here:
Quote: Nikki Finke
Writers Guild Ends Strike. Regret Begins Now.
They Haven’t Suffered Enough
Quote: WGAW President Patric Verrone
Writers Guild: Something Stinks
Harlan Ellison
Blog Notes: Modified Title Banner
Hollywood’s Worst Nightmare: Obsolescence
The Horror Of The Minisode

Stopping My Statin

February 14, 2008

I’m on 40 milligrams of Simvastatin (the Zocor generic).

I’m stopping it tonight.

I see from my records that I first reported cognitive side-effects less than six months after beginning Zocor (I was taking the brand name at the start). After telling my doctor (who did not mention the possibility of any mental effects!), I went off it for two weeks. I saw no difference — that is, my mind functioning did not improve — so I went back on.

But the memory and cognitive deterioration has been accelerating these past 2-3 months. For example, this morning while in the shower, I couldn’t remember if I had shampooed my hair. I also forgot something else — but have since forgotten what it was I forgot.

This is not the mind I used to have.

November 27 of last year was the first post I did that hinted at something wrong. I’d been feeling just like that for months.

My bad cholesterol level is incredibly low. I believe it must be too low. My brain cannot function without a certain amount of cholesterol coming in. Meanwhile, my doctors are more concerned about my arteries.

Well, they’ll have to come up with some other way of making my arteries happy because I refuse to live with an evaporating mind.

In other words: If staying on a statin means I can have ten more years of life as a zombie, I’d rather die in five years as a non-zombie.

I intend to stay off the statin for at least six months now. And I’m going to do something I did not do during those prior two weeks off it: boost my cholesterol.

For anyone out there in a similar situation: the above is not meant to be advice for you. Don’t be an ass who blindly imitates someone else.

Previously here:
Give Me Back My Mind!