Friday, August 29, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $2,700, Alex

Has Chad Johnson actually changed his legal name to "Ocho Cinco?" That's bizarre, and just plain funny.

SI offers up their writer predictions on the college football season. Dawg-related:
  • 7 writers, only 2 see UGA in the title game. 3 see us in the Sugar. Only Andy Staples predicts a Dawgs national championship ("They may be a trendy pick, but the Bulldogs have all the elements of a championship team -- including the brutal schedule.")
  • One picks ASU as a "flop," citing a porous O line. That bodes well for Willie's boys.
  • Beanie Wells and Jorts Jesus seem to be the Heisman favorites, but one writer throws this in there: "Trocchi: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia. The Bulldogs' signal-caller has the weapons he needs to fulfill his enormous potential."
  • In "Next Household Name," no one mentions AJ Green. I hope they're wrong.
Before the first ep of the second season has aired, NBC picks up the full season of Chuck. Hell yeah!

Speaking of the Chuckster, here's a fantastic interview with creator Josh Schwartz.

One of my most anticipated new shows of the fall is HBO's True Blood. Check out this interview with Alan Ball.

ESPN's Chris Low on the 25 things he's looking forward to about SEC football. Nice touch to start the list with Munson.

Biden is even further left on taxes than the chosen One. For all the people getting quivery over this, who the hell do they think creates and sustains the jobs for the middle class? Oh yeah, the folks that the Donkeys want to tax into oblivion. I'm sure that will work out in the long run. (and in order to be "fair and balanced," I loathe the theocratic flat earthers on the right, too. They just want to steal less of my money. Yikes. This whole two party system is making me nauseous. Thank Zeus football season is here for a distraction).

I had no idea that the "new" James T. Kirk is being played by Robert Pine's son. I knew the names were the same, of course, but didn't realize they were related. Robert Pine is a veteran character actor that's been around doing good work forever, but I remember him most as the Sergeant on CHIPS.

Top 10 fictional sports.

Tidbits about Woody Allen at the box office. I saw Vicky Christina Barcelona this week, and it was fantastic.

"Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone!" Great title for an article about awful fictional educators. Features many recognizable and touchstone characters, including Synder from Buffy.

This take on Dancing With The Stars cracks me up. And if they actually go through with having Ted McGinley, does that mean the show will get cancelled before they crown a winner? Only casting the adorable Paula Marshall could doom it more.

The Dude still abides.

Recap of Mad Men's "Three Sundays" episode. Money Quote: "I want Sally to make all of my drinks for me. 9% tomato juice, 91% booze. " Perhaps the only valid argument for reproduction I've heard.

Battery update!

As of 6:12 AM this morning, the CrackBerry battery is at a "destination sorting facility" in Baltimore.

Related: And is there a chance that it only has to last 14 days?

And people wonder why it picked up the appellation "Crack" Berry.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tonight, tonight

I've heard there's some historic event going on tonight, with some dude talking about how he's going to raise your taxes. Whatever.


Blind Fucking Panic

For the past few days, I've noticed the battery performance in my 2-year old CrackBerry declining. In its salad days, I could charge it overnight, and have 3, 4 or even 5 days of email, browsing, writing, texting and chatting without worrying about the battery charge. However, this past week, the power meter would drop faster than a Columbus schoolgirl's knickers. I would charge during the day for an hour or so at work, and then later that night, after just a few random emails, it would be back around 50%.

So I charged it all night last night, before heading off on a business trip. During the meeting, I was getting the familiar vibration of the 50 or so emails popping in. No problems. However, after the meeting, I started using the phone on my drive back home, and after about 15 minutes of talking, it was down precipitously. Hmmmm. I was right in the middle of leaving a voice mail for a friend when it just shut down. Uh Oh. I took the back off, popped out the battery and then popped it back in. When it started up, it showed 40% life, worked for about 60 seconds, and then died again. Damn. I went through this exercise a couple of times, and was engulfed with panic. What if something was wrong with the CrackBerry itself? I wouldn't get back "home" until after business hours, and I'm heading out on a jet plane tomorrow to spend an extended weekend back in the motherland. Can anyone possibly imagine me without access to email, phone, internet and every other handy piece of information stored in my hipside oracle? For even a few minutes -- much less a holiday weekend back in Georgia?

I plugged in the car charger and started her up again. This time, everything worked and continued to work as long as it was plugged in. I called the ever helpful AT&T customer service, and after about 20 minutes, we determined that it's a "battery problem." Gee, thanks, tech wizards. The bad news? They don't carry the battery for my no longer produced phone. Nor do any of their stores. Nor does Best Buy. Nor does Circuit City. Nor does Radio Shack. Nor do any of the other dozen retail outlets I called, desperately trying to find a battery so my fucking device will work all weekend, without having to employ the world's longest USB power cable. Since I was driving, I didn't feel comfortable googling online battery merchants on a 2 inch screen. Fortunately, I found a helpful soul at work to do some googling for me, and one phone call, one $29 battery and one $25 expedited shipping charge later, I'll (*hopefully*) have a new battery first thing in the morning. If it gets lost before I get on the plane, or doesn't work, or doesn't solve the problem, look in the news for a string of murders between Maryland and Georgia on the newscasts.

The sad part is, I'm just a few weeks away from getting a new phone. The "you're eligible for an upgrade" light has gone on, but I'm anxiously awaiting the release (any fucking day now, AT&T and RIM) of the new Bold. This little gal has performed admirably for a while now, and I have no complaints, but sometimes ya just gotta get the new goodies, right?

Please work, new battery. Please work.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Around the Dawgosphere

Less than a week before kickoff. Still time to bask in the preseason #1 ranking. Lots of nuggets floating around the interwebs the last couple couple of days:

SI's Stewart Mandel makes an unprecedented drop of UGA in his "Power Rankings." (Normally, they mirror his AP vote. In which he had UGA #1. However, after Sturdivant went down, he petitioned his editors to allow him to drop the Dawgs to #3 for this week only, after which he will recalibrate and publish his Power Rankings in tandem with his AP ballot).
Nonsensical Raving: I know Mandel gets a lot of shit from fellow Dawgs, but I've typically found him fair-minded and a good writer -- with the notable exception of his whole "Kings and Barons" bullshit. And honestly, if the injury had happened BEFORE all the ballots were cast, I think most voters would react similarly. No matter how good the replacements, this is a big injury, and yet another thing -- in addition to a flaming gasoline bath of a schedule -- for the Dawgs to overcome this year. Also, I'll be reading his book by the pool on Friday and on the flight back to the motherland.

The Big Lead discusses #1 UGA. Not "picking" UGA, but pulling for them.
Nonsensical Raving: Hey, we need all the help we can get.

ESPN Experts weigh in with preseason predictions. Highlights and Lowlights: 5 pick UGA to win the East. 5 pick UGA to win the SEC. 5 pick UGA to reach the national title game. 2 pick UGA to win the national title.
Nonsensical Raving: Much love for Schlabach and Maisel. Fuck you Cowherd, Davie, Davis (et tu, Rece? I always liked you), Donnan (settlement money's run out, eh?), Feldman (who are you?), McShay (Kiper wannabe, sans hair) and Ware (couldn't beat out Rodney Peete or Erik Kramer -- and listed by his employer as "biggest Heisman flop of all time").

ESPN's resident Ken doll, Kirk Herbstreit, awards his "Herbies."
Nonsensical Raving: Knowshon behind Beanie Wells? Maybe we'll see 'em head to head in January. No Caleb King in the "Next Wave?" We'll see about that next year. No Dawgs in "Best Wide Receiver?" Uh, hard to argue that. Let's hope MoMass steps up and AJ Green is everything he's purported to be. Best QB, "Old School" dropback: There's #7 at #1. "Sack Masters?" Lomax, who hasn't gotten a lot of the preseason pub, gets a nice mention at #3. Same with Atkins at #4 on "D Tackles." Ellerbe makes an appearance at #5 for "Inside Linebacker." AJ Green tops the list of "Top True Freshmen -- From High School To The Big Time." He puts Bobo as #4 on the list of "Top Playcallers," (behind 3 "spread freaks" from Oregon, Mizzou and yes, the Jorts). Willie Martinez (remember when we were all wanting his scalp a couple of years ago?) shows up at #2 in "Top Defenses And The Geniuses Behind Them." CMR is #4 on the list of "Coaches Whose Teams Will Shine." Behind the usual douchebags at 1 - 3 (but of course, admittedly, they all have rings). How can UGA not make the list of "Best Student Sections?" Maybe the frat boys are more interested in getting drunk and laid? (Not that I would know anything about that, of course). The "All-Uni Team -- What A College Football Team Should Look Like" is a misnomer, since it's NOT about the unis. Some of those things are football and sartorial disasters. Hey, at least Herbie puts us #1 someplace: "Sites "GameDay" Must Get To (I'm not quitting until we visit)" 1. Georgia Enough is enough. Can we please get to Athens? We haven't been there since 1998. That's WAY too long.

Speaking of ESPN, resident Dawg-Hater Extraordinaire and Mister Potato Head blowhard, Mark May, just picked USC to beat Florida in the national title game. He managed to get out his prediction while snowballing Tebow. (and his partner in crime, Lou Holthz, didn't pick an SEC school to get to the title game, either).

Who needs a stinking network that we'd have to fight Cable companies to carry? CBS and ESPN ponying up $205 million per year, for the next 15 years? Yowza. Rightfully, Westerdawg compares those numbers to the recent Big 10 deal, and those folks who take orders from the dude in the funny hat in Rome.
Nonsensical Raving: Good for the SEC, which gets all the money (and probably more) that they would have gotten from a startup network, with none of the production cost and hassle, and even more widespread and consistent exposure. Which is good for recruiting and national profile (stick that in your "Barons and Bishops" pipe and smoke it). And also good for people exiled to the hinterlands, who don't want to listen an internet radio connection on those rare, previously untelevised games.

Sporting News "Two Minute Drill" on UGA.

Orson Swindle on Deadspin, welcoming Tebow's throbbing jackhammer of pure christian love into his tender poopshoot of sycophancy for another year. And he moves UGA up to "most hated rival" status.
Nonsensical Raving: In all honesty, after the last couple of decades, it's nice to be hated again, even by the fan base that looks most forward to the "cock" in the "Cocktail Party."

Barnhart is continuing with the AJC through the CF season. Good news for football fans. Even better? He picks the Dawgs to win it all.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $2,600, Alex

Remember "Wendy & Lisa" from Prince's band? They're now doing the music for Heroes. Here's an interview. (and they're BSG fans, as everyone should be).

Wil Wheaton links to a fantastic article about the glory days of Atari. Today's video games have too many damned buttons (okay, I'm old) and I fondly recall the joy of the Atari 2600. And yeah, I had just bout every game mentioned there.

An AV Club writer gets on the Watchmen bandwagon, for the first time. Money Quote: "Watchmen is such a monumental achievement that it makes Moby Dick look like a flaming pile of horseshit by comparison."

I think I need one of these for rainy days.

Tony Bennett, Joe Montana recoil in horror as the Empire invades San Francisco

Warp drive may be a possibility. Now accepting applications for the United Federation of Planets.

Could there be a Veronica Mars movie? Hey, Serenity got made, so why not.

She's always been considered one of DC Comics "big three" (along with Supes and Batman). But "gender equity" issues aside, does Wonder Woman really work?

Jenna Fischer not "hot enough" to play Sydney Bristow? I love Jennifer Garner, but damn, Jenna's plenty sexy.

Another great interview with Mark Sheppard (Firefly, BSG -- and soon to be on both Dollhouse and The Middleman!) Love this guy.

Only time will tell if these things should be handled sober

Remember last year, when I thought my fantasy football draft was a bloody mary soaked debacle?

This year was different. Instead of 27 pitchers of bloodies and panicky trades, I approached this year's draft loaded up on nothing but 3 pots of coffee. I'm not sure that the results will differ that much, as many things need to break my way to have a successful season, but I'm reasonably pleased with my team, given my drafting position.

At the end of the 2007 campaign, my squad (dubbed Area 51) won the "AFFL Bowl" head to head championship, and I finished fourth overall in total points, just a c-hair out of the money (3rd place: 579.78; me: 579.44).

Since we play in a keeper league, of course I retained the services of the visored one, Fantasy Hall of Famer LaDanian Tomlinson, with my first pick. After that, it was a crap shoot. Here is this year's team:

2008 Area 51

QB Carson Palmer Bengals
QB Matt Leinart Cards
RB LT Chargers
RB Kevin Smith Lions
RB Ray Rice Ravens
RB Andre Hall Broncos
WR Laverneus Coles Jets
WR Roddy White Falcons
WR Santana Moss Redskins
TE Jeremy Shockey Saints
TE Kevin Boss Giants
D Seahawks
D Texans
K Jason Elam Falcons
K Mike Nugent Jets

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Morning Dawg Bites

5 reasons why the Dawgs will win it all this year. Frankly, about the only decent response to the murderous schedule is "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

We're number 19!

Hopefully, the Dawgs won't be on this list next year. (Though the last game for the coach referenced in #5 still makes my blood boil).

Best line in this post:
No more College GameDay road trips to Tallahassee for you, Lee. Then again, since Mark Richt went to Georgia and took all the brains with him, there hasn’t been much call for it.
The AJC's Mark Bradley ranks obnoxious SEC fans. Westerdawg responds. My take? Kentucky, Vandy, and the Mississippis don't really move the needle. Bama fans have a lot of history to crow about, but their allegiance to the snake-oil messiah will start to grate quickly. Maybe it's the interrelated history and connections between Auburn and UGA, but I don't think I quite hate them or find them obnoxious as much now as I did as an undergrad. Chicken fans have the highest (or lowest, depending on how you look at it) ratio of "smack talking obnoxiousness" to "actual football achievement." And taking pride in the increasingly impotent Darth Visor certainly adds to that. But you know what? I actually admire their tenacity and loyalty and support, especially considering what a dismal and laugh-inducing history of mediocrity they have. When I made my only visit to Hogland, I found the Arkansas fans passionate and not all that confrontational. I guess they're only truly obnoxious if you're Mitch Mustain's mom or Houston Nutt's cell phone provider. That leaves us with a top 4:

4. UGA. Yeah, we're passionate and unruly, and do tend to bark and get quite drunk for the games. (In fact, how many other schools have a song distinctly about "drunk obnoxious" fans? "Nothing finer in the land" indeed). And some of the fringe elements of obnoxiousness turn out to be the fans who actually never received a diploma from the school. But all things considered, I think we're behind the Top 3.

3. Really, you can split hairs here. But I'd have to go with LSU at 3. (Knowing that several of my buddies, particular Dr. and Miz M, would put them at #1 with a bullet based on their personal experiences). I've known a few of the hard-drinking cajuns, and they seemed like alright folks. And in my SEC Championship and 'tween the hedges encounters, they were batshit crazy. But I admire the fact that they start partying first thing in the morning and last until and through regular night games at Death Valley. Gotta earn some respect for that.

2. Florida. Yep, you could easily put them at number one, especially since they seem to take on the personas and unctuous smugness of their eminently hatable head coaches. And of course, there's always this: JORTS.

1. But I have to go with the roadside trash pickup color wearing, inbred morons from Tennessee. Their humorless coach. Their humorless fans. The tiny seats in the stadium that they all try to pack their fat asses in. That checkerboard end zone. That fucking song. And that fucking color.

A "Hater's Guide to the Top 25." If the worst you can say is that REM and the B-52s came from there, and we worship a "topiary," then I think it's okay.

And finally, a (signed!) preview of next week's activities.

Lost in the middle

Other than the occasional link and pithy comment in the weekly "potpourri roundup," I rarely blog extensively about politics here at TNRLM. Not to say that I'm not interested, as I have dozens of blogs and news sources that pour into my RSS reader, and I also keep up with newspapers (remember those?), magazines and virtually all the talking head shows on the cable news networks. I'm just disgusted by the two party system, since both sides have such firmly drawn and intractable positions, and I can't really identify wholly with either one. I used to live in a traditional "red" state, and now I live in a totally "blue" state, so how I voted in each in election didn't really matter in the big picture. I feel like what I think and want and believe doesn't have a voice -- at least one powerful enough to affect change -- and it's deeply frustrating. Every choice, whether it's for a representative, senator or president, is all about a compromising of integrity and selecting a lesser of two evils.

For example, (and I know these are broad strokes on the various positions) the Dems get a lot of things right. They want to ensure a woman's right to choose. They want to keep the superstition, supernatural and theocracy out of our schools and government. They're more hesitant to interfere in the business of sovereign nations (unless, of course, it's to give them more of our money). They don't look to a book of fiction to define who should marry and divorce each other, or adopt unwanted children. However, they're also hysterical about the "environment" and "global warming." They believe in quotas, affirmative action and tend to base things on gender, race and identity politics rather than pure merit (and let their guilty liberal consciences overcorrect for long-past transgressions). They're distinctly anti-capitalism and free market. They believe the most inefficient and ineffective organization ever created -- government -- is the solution to all the world's problems. They don't believe in holding individuals responsible for their own choices and decisions. They believe that government should fund (from money stolen from you and me) things that are better left to the free market. And most importantly, they create class/success envy, and consistently believe in punitive and escalating taxation and income redistribution.

On the other hand, the Republicans get a lot of things right, too. Primarily, they believe in a free market economy. That people deserve to keep what they earn without the government taking it at gunpoint and giving it to others who didn't earn it. That hiring, firing and appointments should be based on qualifications, not on grievances that are hundreds of years old. That people and companies can come up with the best solutions, not government. That you can choose what school you send your kids to. But they're also equally frustrating and odious in they way that they try to legislate their version of morality. They want to create a theocracy, and control every citizen's life based on a group mythology that has ZERO basis in provable fact or science. They've recently strayed from strong defense and protection of national interests to a nation building interventionist policy. While they don't typically legislate based on pure quota and gender and racial identification, they do give excessive breaks and preferences to those who choose to spawn, instead of just worrying about the rights of individuals (no matter their sexual, reproductive or marital status). They believe the "6,000 year old earth" nonsense should actually be included as a viable option in textbooks.

So what's a guy to do?

Technically, I'm probably more of an objectivist, and am actually a card-carrying member of the Libertarian party (though they have their fringe elements that don't exactly jive with my worldview, either). So each and every election, I face the same dilemma of holding my nose and casting a vote for the party/candidate which offends me the least. In order to do this, you have to prioritize your needs and principles, which leads to a lot of internal anguish and disappointment. Always, my highest priority is reducing the excessive and progressive amount of money confiscated from me by the government and given to those who didn't earn it, or don't deserve it. And I can proudly say that I've never voted for a candidate who espoused raising taxes of any kind, on anyone. So I usually wind up voting for Republicans, even though their increasing fealty to the supernatural and fairy tales, and tendency toward legislating their version of morality (and restricting the liberties and choice of individuals) makes me want to vomit. It's a gut-wrenching Sophie's choice every election, and just makes me loathe the whole process and the puppets who participate in it. Why can't there be a D who is anti-taxation and who wants a limited government, but is intent on protecting individual freedom without excessive social engineering? Why can't there be an R who stops developing policy based on mythology and treating fiction as fact, yet still gets government out of the way and lets capitalism work unfettered? Sadly, I don't think I'll live to see the day when we have a candidate who is openly agnostic or atheistic, wants to abolish the current tax code in favor of a flat or consumption tax, protects a woman's right to choose, gives all citizens equal civil rights (no matter their race, religion, marital or sexual preference) wants a strong defense but eschews foreign intervention unless it specifically threatens our interests, and truly believes that the ONLY role of government is to protect the life, liberty and property of individual citizens.

Sigh. Didn't mean to get off on a rant there. But here are a few news tidbits for you to help the morning go down better:

Hybrid drivers get better parking spaces. Ye gods. "global warming" hysteria reaches new levels. I understand closer parking spaces for the handicapped. But for hybrids? Or mothers or chicks who are knocked up? Aren't these personal choices? Still, as long as individual companies do it willingly as a unique selling proposition or customer differentiation strategy, I'll support their right to do it, even if I personally find it stupid. However, if government starts the same shit, let's dump tea in the harbors.

I always though Victoria Jackson was kinda cute. I didn't realize she was insane. Did the "good book" reveal that C-List SNLers would reveal the anti-christ?

It gives me hope that a majority of Americans are now smarter than they were in 2004.

"Fair" = "punishing success" for some.

Quotes from the orchestrator of last weekend's flat-earth minstrel show. How does this crap enter the mainstream? Sigh.

Geeks apparently lean conservative. I think I agree with Catwoman.

Has Bush done anything right? Mostly an acknowledgement of correcting horrific initial mistakes, though it doesn't mention the REAL thing he got right: tax cuts.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I can't remember how my finger works

Okay, you have your right hand on the computer mouse. To click on something, you use your index finger and the left button. However, if you want to "right click" on something (to get to "properties" -- or print, or delete, or whatever), what do you do:
A. Keep your index finger on the left button, and "right click" on the right button with your middle finger? Or....
B. Slide your index finger over and use that to click on the right button?
I have no idea where I created this ponderous existential dilemma for myself. I right click probably 20 times a day, but never ever thought about it until Wednesday. Then suddenly, I started wondering "how" I actually do it. I tried it both ways, and they both felt simultaneously comfortable and normal and yet awkward and strange. Since then, every time I right click, I wonder how I've been doing it for years, and if I've even been doing it the same way every time up until I started thinking about it. (This reminded me of a movie or TV scene along the same lines, when one character asks another something similar -- perhaps if they breathe in or out when they perform a task -- but I can't recall what the show is to save my life. Perhaps the whole "index or middle" question has so discombobulated my mind that I can't retrieve a file from the typically expansive and accurate mental trivia database).

Sheesh. So what is it? Index or middle?

Get Spaced

There's just no other way to put it: if you haven't seen Spaced, the British sitcom starring and written by Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, and directed by Edgar Wright, you should. Right now.

Like many Britcoms, it only lasted a "relatively" few episodes (compared to traditional US sitcoms which can easily run a hundred or more), but I would stack this 14 episode series up against some of the greats of all time for sheer quality. In fact, after plowing through all the DVDs last weekend, I would put it just behind Arrested Development, and right there with Seinfeld, Cheers, Frasier, 30 Rock, The Office, Soap, SportsNight and NewsRadio as one of my favorites.

Basically, it's about two twenty-something slackers who pretend to be a couple in order to rent a nice flat. But rather than lots of Three's Company shenanigans about the ruse, it's more about the geeky central characters and their circle of friends, replete with an avalanche of pop-culture references and homages, whip-smart dialogue, surrealistic vignettes and sitcom on acid direction by Wright.

At the behest of regular TNRLM reader and commenter Jen, I watched a couple of eps on a BBCA marathon a few weeks ago, and instantly went to Amazon and bought the recently released Complete Series (which you can find here, and should order). If you enjoyed Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, you know the kind of smart, character-driven pop-culture insanity you have in store. If you haven't seen those, first, you should, and second, Spaced stands on its own as a funny and terrific sitcom achievement. Highly Recommended.

Bonus: here's an AICN interview with Simon, Jessica and Edgar. Money quote to put the show in context: "A TV reviewer in the UK once said it was like Friends directed by Sam Raimi, which we all took as a high compliment."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm not a killer...

...or maybe I just hide it well.

I took the Dexter "psycho therapy" ink blot test, and my results:
Your killer instinct is 38%.

Your responses indicate that you are either very normal, or that you are very good at hiding your deadly instincts. Keep up the good work.
The stellar (and Emmy nominated!) second season of Dexter arrives on DVD today, and the third season starts on Showtime September 28th.

Speaking of Dexter, Julie Benz is the subject of Pop Candy's latest podcast. Check here or the iTunes store for more details.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

More nerdware for the closet

Just got the latest in my line of geeky t-shirts:

I'll take potpourri for $2,500, Alex

Science proves that "beer goggles" are real. Everyone who went to college goes "duh."

It seems like every week, I find some reference to a retro toy and say, "yeah, I had that one too." Here's an Enterprise bridge playset from 1975. What's odd, is that this would have never happened in today's marketing climate. Can you see some guy sitting a board room, and saying "Let's introduce a line of action figures for kids based on a TV show that got canceled 3 years ago!" When I was a kid, my dad was indifferent to the gazillions of action figures I had (except maybe the early, militarily "accurate" GI Joes), but he took a noted interest in all the Trek toys. I definitely credit Sam for inspiring and encouraging my Trek fandom.

This sounds like a winner. Alien abduction story by underpraised director Whit Stillman? Cool.

I never realized this. Longtime character actor Matt Winston (Enterprise, John From Cincinnati) is the son of recently departed special effects pioneer and guru Stan Winston.

Sadly, this would attract me, too. As would the t-shirt they reference.

TRON's lightcycle race Sweded. Astonishingly effective.

For those who haven't yet become part of the Lost cult, here's your chance. Skiffy will begin airing the show from the beginning in Monday night 4 hour blocks, starting September 15.

CBS wants all the SEC it can get

How many of the most common 100 English language words can you guess in 5 minutes? (I only got 35).

The Woodman talks about 12 of his previous flicks.

Awesome movie quiz. Guess the flick by poster font. (I got 38).

Awwww. Loyal dog story. (I'll fill up the feeder and fountain, and empty the litterbox and send out a twitter message before I decide to end it all).

So Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip didn't work because of post 9/11 anger? And I always thought it was because we had kidnapping and hostage stories in a show about TV sketch comedy show. And because it wasn't funny. Here was my take on the initial pitch meeting with the NBC execs. Despite all of Sorkin's misguided pomposity, I still have an undying love for SportsNight.

Robert Downey Jr. is a Marvel "company man." Fuck DC Comics.

This makes me sport wood.

A guide to all the pop-culture references from last Monday's episode of the best show you're not watching
. (and I mean "you're" as in Nielsen families, apparently. Not brilliant readers of TNRLM, who I'm sure have taken my exhortations to heart and regularly tune in). And a critic makes the case for this unique, wonderful show.

Sadly, I've known vapid, hypocritical skanks like this, too.

And people say that West Virginia is full of backwards, uneducated hicks
. Yeah, the DMV is a circle of Hell, but this is just stupefyingly asinine.

Sigh. Why can't the government let you keep more of you own money, regardless of whether or not you subject the world to a mewling infant?

Any chance this won't suck?

Play Star Trek, 20 Questions.

An awesome Fred / Illyria image.

A very good analysis of Mad Men's "The Benefactor."

Darth Vader and stormtroopers do "Thriller." And Boba Fett does Flashdance.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I don't think this would make it past the ticket takers and security

But I take pride in the fact that the makers chose Red & Black for such an important contribution to society.

(H/T: Gizmodo)

Well, at least it should be easy to type on

I've made no secret about my lust for the new BlackBerry Bold. So you can imagine how disappointed I was when I realized that all that technology and functionality wouldn't be packed into the usual tiny, handheld package:

Hey, at least you'll be able to give PowerPoint presentations from it. Without the aid of a projector.

Actually, that's just an advance promotion kit for a Canadian cellular provider, who is getting the Bold before we are (dammit). Click on the image for the real story over on Engadget.

More watching The Watchmen

Remember those cool character posters from The Watchmen movie? Someone has put together an awesome comparison of the posters to images from the original tome. Check them out here and be amazed. (Just mouse over for the changes).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday leftovers

After an amusing guest spot last year, Sara Gilbert will be joining the cast of last year's best new sitcom, Big Bang Theory. Great addition to an already well cast show.

Two character-oriented trailers for the new Coen Brothers movie
, Burn After Reading. This looks very funny. Brad Pitt is underrated for his ability to play dimwits, though with the release of Pineapple Express, his turn as a honey-bear bong smoking slacker in True Romance has been getting some ink.

I caught this on TV, but you can also watch online: Alan Tudyk subs for Leonard Maltin on Reelz Channel's "overlooked gems" show, Secret's Out. His guest? Nathan Fillion.

Interview with Mad Men creator Matt Weiner
. (Hey, he likes Burn Notice, too!)

Great Summary of "fake American accents" in sci-fi. Obvious: Jamie Bamber is fantastic (Hugh Laurie-like in his ability to suppress his natural Brit-ness) and Michelle Ryan is awful.

What kind of a world do we live in when Tony Barnhart gets a pink slip and Terrence Moore keeps a job? Sheesh.

CEO of the former talks about how to move on from life changing mistakes. Sounds good in theory, but years later, I'm still bitter and disillusioned. Maybe I need a sock puppet dog to talk me through it.

The Breck Girl fesses up
. Remember all that "two Americas" bullshit?
"Today, under George W. Bush, there are two Americas, not one: One America that does the work, another that reaps the reward. One America that pays the taxes, another America that gets the tax breaks. One America - middle-class America - whose needs Washington has long forgotten, another America - narrow-interest America - whose every wish is Washington's command. One America that is struggling to get by, another America that can buy anything it wants, even a Congress and a president."
Maybe we should add "One America where you can use your cancer-ridden wife for political gain while assuming the faux mantle of populist everyman and getting $400 haircuts, and another America where you can bang and probably knock up a mistress paid off with campaign funds."

Nice tribute to the dearly departed Skip Caray.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New fire hydrant hopefully won't destroy mankind.

Just saw a picture of UGA VII's new fire hydrant. Maybe it's because I just caught up on the multi-part (and mostly excellent) Doctor Who finale, but the first thing I thought of was the Red Supreme Dalek.

If that thing gets pissed on and becomes homicidal, I hope some knows how to reach The Doctor.

OCD Movie Heaven!

Remember this post, about wanting a DVD cataloging application? Well, after some research, I settled on one: DVD Profiler.

Holy shit, is this thing awesome. Once you install the app, it draws from extensive online databases to populate virtually everything you would want to know about each DVD. Actors, writers, directors, genres, ratings, special features, packaging, suggested retail price, easter name it. You can conduct searches by every conceivable variable to find exactly what you're in the mood for, too. It even has a "library" feature, so you can keep track of DVDs that are loaned out to friends. Unreal.

Entering movies into your library is unbelievably easy. Just punch in the UPC code from the back, and it recognizes the DVD quickly. (And if that doesn't work -- which only happened once or twice for me -- just enter in the title and choose the release edition you have).

Here's a screen shot of the basic app (click the pix to embiggen):

It also features a cool "scroller" gadget, where you can breeze through all the DVD covers:

And you can print reports to keep handy, in case you're too lazy to walk over to the PC to see what's in the library:

And you can run various reports about your collection. Here are a few from mine:

All movies listed by genre. Hmmm. More comedies than I would have thought. I wonder if it counts that last Matrix movie as one?

By rating. No surprise about the "Rs."

Apparently, I'm very fond of movies produced in 2003.

According to the SRP, I've spent over 8 grand on DVDs. Damn.

All in all, a very worthwhile and user friendly accessory for the OCD movie geek. Two thumbs up.

I'll take potpourri for $2,400, Alex

Have y'all seen the early concept and make up tests for The Joker? There's some creepy stuff in there, but all things considered, I think they wound up with the best possible result for Heath's look in The Dark Knight.

Brad Pitt is officially on board for QT's Inglorious Bastards, and the rest of the cast could shape up nicely.

Casting for Lost.

Sci-Fi Wire's Top 10 Brilliant But Canceled*. 1 and 2 are just fine in my book. (And by "just fine," I mean that they deserve to be at the top of the list -- not that it was fine that they were euthanized because the drooling masses just didn't get it).

*"Canceled is one of those words I always want to misspell. Doesn't it seem like there should be another "l" at the end? Cancelled. Doesn't that look better? Like "judgment." Shouldn't it be "judgement?" I remember seeing T2 in the theatre, and when the credits came up, I was like "holy shit! They misspelled the title!"

Time article about the Jamaica Bay plane crash
-- a real life event that played a prominent role in last Sunday's brilliant Mad Men.

Hamlet: The Facebook news feed edition. Fucking Funny.

Seized at a traffic stop. Can't we just kill ourselves cheaply? Christ on a cracker, I hate this state. Better yet, wouldn't it have been cool if this van had wrecked, and I had been behind it in traffic? "Help me. I'm pinned under the van. Can you call an ambulance?" "Sorry dude. I'm just picking up some free smokes." (on a related note, I hope no one inspects my duffle bags coming back from GA next month).

Speaking of smoky treats, on a lark I signed up for some online promotion Marlboro was running. I didn't win a grand prize or anything, and forgot about it. However, when I got home last night, I found a package in the mailbox. It was a delightful "thank you for killing yourself slowly" gift.

The creator of the awesome summer show, The Middleman, talks to IO9. The season finale is going to feature an alternate universe, complete with goatees! And if the unthinkable happens, and the show is not renewed, what can fans do? Hmmmmmm. Plus, more appreciation for this hard to define treat.

Great extended interview with the creator of House.

Charles Van Doren, of the infamous quiz show scandals, opens up in a first person essay.

A very interesting look at the "Top 20 Albums of All Time."
I think I have them all, except for Metallica.

Wait, if something is 55 million years old, does that make it older than 6,000 years old? Huh. Speaking of which, this made me giggle. Too bad I've already devoted that same automotive real estate to my alma mater.

And talking about the alma mater, welcome to the Bulldog portion of our broadcast:
7 and 24 seem to have their heads screwed on straight.

Will AJ Green live up to the hype? CMR seems impressed (and tells some interesting FSU stories). Also, Green outrunning Stafford's arm? Really? Was it a post pattern to Lawrenceville?

Uh-oh. Stewart Mandel opens up the can of worms again.

Carson Palmer says that 7 will be the first pick in the draft next year
. Let's hope not. I want another year 'tween the hedges.

Online chat with Coach Richt.
Battlestar Galactica movie is officially happening. Jane Espenson writing, EJO directing, and the focus will be on the cylons. Awesome.

An amusing and fairly comprehensive run down of "Artificial Intelligence & Human Buddy Comedy Pairings."

A clip has surfaced from the Buffy animated series concept. Cute. A few years ago, I ordered a coffee mug with this image:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dewey Decimal for DVD?

Anyone ever used a software application to catalog their DVD collection? Back in the salad days, I had glorious built in shelves down in the theatre room and kept every DVD organized alphabetically. I had thought about making a "list" of all my flicks in Word or Excel to keep handy. So when it comes time to watch a movie, you could just browse through a directory and say "Oh, I'd like to see that one." I never got around to it, mainly because I didn't want to sit in the basement typing movie titles for 3 weeks. (and if you add in other information, like primary actors, directors or genres, it could take forever).

I ran across a post on Lifehacker about this very subject, and there seem to be several apps that would work. My primary criteria:
  • Windows-based.
  • "Autofill." Or whatever you might call it. For example, if I just typed "Godfather" it would give me options to select all three of the movies and fill in the rest and format it. And once the movie is selected, the app would update the entry with the stars, director, writer, etc.
  • Work well with TV shows, too, since I seem to have a lot of those on DVD as well.
  • Export to a list that you could keep handy, beside your movie collection.
Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bowl game urinal, now front and center

Remember this post? How I was worried about my alma mater, the Number One Fucking Team in the Land, succumbing to the dreaded "SI Cover Jinx?"

Well, I got to the mailbox today, eagerly anticipating seeing my beloved Dawgs on the cover, and what do I find but this:

Ohio State? Perennial victims of violent SEC date rape in BCS games? When UGA is number one? I understand that fantasy mags and CF preseason rags alter their covers to sell in the local markets, but you're kidding me, right? I'm only about 12 hours north the motherland, and I get subjected to this?

On the upside, I can now easily talk myself into the theory that this acts as an "Ennervate." (Also known as a counter-spell to "Stupefy" -- possibly comparable to the SI Jinx -- in Harry Potter lingo).

Live long and prosper......'tween the hedges

A personal note for my far-flung tailgate compatriots.

Many find my twin obsessions (as evidenced in this post) incongruous. How can you on one hand, own hundreds of geeky sci-fi DVDs; blog incessantly about nerd TV; not shy away from a youth spent building models, reading, writing and illustrating comics and playing D&D in your basement; work out listening to Harry Potter audiobooks; and proudly wear "Dharma Initiative" and "UC Sunnydale" tee shirts to company functions? And yet on the other hand have more UGA football memorabilia than will fit into a tiny temp apartment; cash in millions of Delta miles just to return to home games 'tween the hedges; tailgate like a frat-boy version of Keith Richards; consider "Larry Legend" to be famous for Athens, not Boston; do a dance of joy when the season tickets arrive (to blur the lines, that would be Numfar's dance of joy) and proudly wear UGA logo shirts to company functions?

I've had friends who could recite episodes of Buffy chapter and verse, yet didn't know who the hell Herschel Walker is. And friends who could tell you Frank Sinkwich's collegiate stats, but didn't know what craft is captained by James T. Kirk. You know, in the words of Popeye, "to thine own self be true." Or was it Polonius who said "I yam what I yam?" Whatevs. The point is, I don't find it all that strange to spend all day woofing and drinking and screaming and analyzing the finer points of a no huddle offense and then get to another friend's house after the game, and rejoice because they TiVod the BSG movie "Razor" to watch with me.

Case in point: a few years ago, I was all psyched to attend DragonCon and spend a fantastic Labor Day weekend reveling with my fellow nerds. Of course, that's also the traditional opening kickoff weekend for the Dawgs, but I was bound and determined to leave the hotel in downtown ATL early Saturday morning, tailgate with the best of 'em, go to the game and then leave shortly thereafter to return in time for the geeky merriment that evening. However, the Friday night before the game was the "Buffy Horror Picture Show" party, where they show the classic ep "Once More With Feeling" and dress up and sing along (a la Rocky Horror). We stayed up late getting hammered, and when it was time to drag my ass out of bed, I was moving slowly (it takes a while to get back into tailgating shape, ya know). I decked out in black and red, packed the backpack with radio, media guide, flask, Crown and all the requisite accessories, got in my car and tried to depart the hotel parking garage. As I rolled up to Peachtree Street, my exit was blocked by the DragonCon parade and the troops of the 501st. I watched the stormtroopers go by, and realized there was no way I was gonna make it to Athens. "It's only Western Kentucky (or some other directional school)" I told myself. So I turned the car around, went back to the Con, and spent the afternoon listening to Larry and Lorne and Scott in one ear, and Farscape and Trek panel discussions in the other. When I got back to the tailgate for the game the following week, I caught a lot of shit ("can you say 'Go Dawgs!' in Klingon?"), but did so with a smile on my face. This year, I'm making the Sophie's Choice to follow the Number One Fucking Team In The Land from the get go, and happy about that, too.

However, I'd like honor my geeky heritage while following the Classic City Canines at the season-opening tailgate, and risk crossing the streams.

To that end, I'm proud to announce the

First Annual Dawg-Geek Tailgate Trivia Challenge.

For all our regular tailgaters, the rules are simple:
  1. In rapid fire fashion, I'll fire off 20 questions from the disparate worlds of UGA football lore and nerdly sci-fi/fantasy/superhero arcana.
  2. First contestant to "buzz in" (method TBD) with the right answer gets a point.
  3. A wrong answer earns you a shot of our legendary BullDawg Bites.
  4. Contestant with the most points at the end of the Challenge receives a Grand Prize.
  5. Contestant with the most points in the UGA category receives a prize, and contestant with the most points in the Geek category also receives a prize.
  6. Ties broken by sudden death (hopefully, not from an overdose of Bites).
A perfect way to be firmly planted in one world, yet feel like I'm a part of the other.

Tailgaters, bring your thinking and drinking caps, and I'll see you in Athens. Games begin at 10:45 AM.

Glad we cleared that up

Found an interesting little "web tool" that does an analysis of your websurfing history to offer a guess on your gender. Check it out here (scroll down a couple of grafs, and hit the "start analyzing" button).

Despite the fact that I've been known to read an item or two on Jezebel or Perez Hilton, my results came back:

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 0%
Likelihood of you being MALE is 100%

Statistically emboldened, I think I'll wear a pink shirt today.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"You got peanut butter in my chocolate..."

", you got chocolate in my peanut butter."

Saw this tidbit about S3 of Heroes on EW this morning:
Question: What is up with Kristen Bell and Heroes? It’s been ages since we’ve heard anything. Steven
She's back on the set shooting her multi-episode arc as we speak! Woo-hoo! In other Heroes news, look for the action (or at least part of the action) to shift to a comic book shop in Athens, Georgia around Episode 11.
Don't you love it when three of your interests come together? Not quite the perfect syzygy of having a UGA transfer student looking for Cylons on the campus of UC Sunnydale, but I appreciate the forthcoming geeky shout out to the motherland.

Sadly, I think episode 11 may run too late in the real football season for a subplot where Sylar opens up Phil Fulmer's skull on October 11th, only to be disappointed when he doesn't find any brains to eat.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Howdy, y'all!

Welcome Park Benchers and Whedonesquers. While Liz, the maven of the "nerd girl" blog "The Park Bench" is on vacation, she's asked a series of guest bloggers to step in for her. I penned today's entry, about the singers featured in the Joss Whedon projects "Once More With Feeling" and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Regular TNRLM readers can check that out here. For those visiting for the first time, thanks for stopping by, and feel free to stick around and make yourself at home. There's beer in the fridge. But please use a coaster.

RIP, Skip

Longtime Braves broadcaster Skip Caray has passed away.

People often talk about how a particular album or band provided the "soundtrack to their lives." For me, the voice of Caray (along with that of Larry Munson) was about as close as I would come to having a familiar sound guide me through the years. We moved back to Georgia in the mid 70s, and I remember going to bed at night, being able to pick up the radio broadcasts of Braves west coast games. Shortly thereafter, when we got cable, the best thing about it was being able to watch the Braves, in all their early ineptitude, every single night. Skip, along with Ernie Johnson and Pete Van Wieren (and later, Joe Simpson and Don Sutton) were a welcome presence in our home every evening, even as Ted Turner managed the team for a night (!) and Pascual Perez made endless loops around I-285. Skip called 'em as he saw 'em, and brought a wry levity to games the home team could just never seem win. I was as gratified for Skip and the gang as I was the long-suffering fans when the Braves embarked on their historic run of postseason participation in the 90s, because you could feel the emotional investment in the team that had been there since the first time we turned on "Channel 17." When you were out and away from the tube, it was always gratifying to turn on the radio and hear that familiar voice telling you how the boys were doing.

With changes in the marketplace, and TBS's shift to sitcom repeats, you couldn't catch Skip on Braves broadcasts anymore. But when I moved up here, I got the MLB Extra Innings package to follow the games, and frequently listened in my car on XM Radio. Not too long ago I was all alone, driving around in a strange town, and hearing Skip lament the latest one-run loss made me feel more at "home."

So long, Skip. You'll be missed.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Who wants some leftovers?

A few things I didn't get to in Saturday's potpourri post:

Has anyone taken a gander at's list of the "Top 50 Sci-Fi" shows of all time? Boston may have a stranglehold on professional sports championships, but they obviously don't know quality geek TV worth a damn. When you compile a list like that, you should probably have a good working definition of what "sci-fi" really is. Do you include "supernatural" shows? They did, but inexplicably had Buffy ranked at 27 (you mean there are 26 better "sci-fi" shows? You've got to be fucking kidding me!) and Angel not ranked at all. And Firefly at 17? Lost is ranked 11, which seems low, all things considered. But then you click the "next" button and see that they have Sliders at 10? Sliders? Ahead of Lost? And ahead of Buffy, Angel and Firefly? Holy shit. At least their top 4 is respectable and somewhat defensible: X-Files at 4, Star Trek: The Next Generation at 3, (new) BSG at 2 and Star Trek (Original Recipe) at 1. Feel free to peruse the list and gnash your teeth.

Nice article on crime shows, from someone who is not particularly a fan of the genre, singling out The Closer, Burn Notice and In Plain Sight. Last Monday's Closer was the best of the season, and one of the best of the series. Burn Notice also gave Sam a chance to participate in some gleeful interrogation, and against my better judgment, I'm actually starting to like Mary's trampy sister on IPS (though I could still watch an entire hour of Marshal Marshall's droll line readings).

Video interview with Rebecca Mader, Lost's Charlotte. No real spoilers, of course. I didn't find her particularly alluring on that lawyer show with Spy Daddy, but when she uses her true English accent, she's all kinds of adorable. (I wonder if focusing so hard on maintaining the "American" accent drains all the charisma? For example, Michelle Ryan was dreadful on Bionic Woman, except for the one ep where she played an English exchange student, and got to speak in her own voice).

Another day, another trip down toy memory lane. Yep, my family built models of all kinds (cars, planes, name it) and we did have a NCC-1701.

Anyone else looking forward to Chuck returning? Here's some kinda crappy video of the extended 6 minute preview shown at Comic-Con.

Well, that only took 16 years

So let's see. You're building a huge new domed stadium, that's going to house the local NFL franchise. The NFL team's colors are red and black, with some occasional accents of white and silver/grey. Oh, and the flagship university in the same state has the same primary color scheme, too. So back in 1992, what hues do you use to adorn your new multi-million dollar facility? Mauve, teal, and peach, of course.


I realize things sometimes take a while to get to the south, but Miami Vice was canceled in 1989.

For comparison's sake, peep the new Cowboys stadium. Jerry Jones isn't doing his shiny new toy in mustard, avocado and periwinkle.

Now, after 16 years, the Georgia Dome will be unveiling a slick new paint job that actually reflects the color palette of the primary occupants. Check out the glorious red and black here.

Could this be good juju for a certain university's run toward an SEC Championship, which just happens to be played in the same (now red & black) building?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $2,300, Alex

Joss talks about "nurture vs. nature" on Dollhouse. And here's a more extensive interview with him from The Hollywood Reporter.

If "dogs and cats living together!" is a harbinger of a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man apocalypse, then the big guy may be on his way. This is just too damned cute.

Remembrances of being a spoiled only child. Every time I see one of these "retro toys," I always go "I had that one."

Speaking of GI Joe, have you ever wondered what a remake of John Carpenter's The Thing would look like filmed using GI Joe toys? Well, wonder no more. Awesome.

A Wonderfalls character (and maybe more than one!) will turn up on TV again. Damn, I loved that show.

An excellent summary of Mad Men's S2 premiere. After all the anticipation, it certainly didn't disappoint. And all the good buzz paid off: the show doubled last year's average viewership. Here's a video interview with the unbelievably gorgeous Christina Hendricks.

Al Gore's son will only date chicks with the initials "LL."

Along those lines, calculate your Ecological Footprint!
My result:
"If everyone lived like you, we'd need 8.1 Planet Earths to provide enough resources."
"To support your lifestyle, it takes 36.1 global acres of the Earth's productive area."
And that's before I've purchased a new home here, opened up a new paper mill or told the checkout clerk at Harris-Teeter to use 1 sack per item with my groceries.

In praise of Dana Scully.

As if we needed another example of the theocracy's idiocy.

Here's a great podcast interview with Mark Sheppard (Romo Lampkin from BSG, Badger from Firefly). Funny, prickly, insightful dude, and he talks about the brilliance of BSG, complete dysfunction on the set of Bionic Woman, and an upcoming appearance on my favorite summer show, The Middleman. (Which, like me, he compares to the sadly short-lived The Tick).

The Jorts Jesus won't have his reputation sullied by Playboy
. Because, of course, he wouldn't want to sully his reputation by associating with anything risque. So I guess he'll just have to drop out of school and go give circumcisions in third-world countries, now that this list has been published, right? On moral grounds?

Damn, Whoopi gets around. She should move here, where they would just call her "amateur."

More AV Club recaps of Buffy, S2, including an appreciation for the darkly ambitious and heart-rending "Passion."

Matt Stafford: "Overrated" or "The Truth?"

Is DJ Shockley making strides in Falcons camp? (No word from Lou Holtz on how JD Stokely is performing).

Picture This

Random personal pix:

The kids playing nice.

Packed up for a trip to the pool. Remember this note from "management?" As you can see, I really took that seriously. Hint: that tupperware jug contains something more than just ice cubes and lemonade.

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's a beautiful day

Grabbed my USA Today this morning, and what headline in the sports section should greet me? Try this on for size:

That certainly starts the weekend off on a good note. While this is all well and good, I think I can safely say that it's more important to see the same headline in January of 2009.

Feed the hungry

Anyone having problems with the RSS feed to this here blog? The feedburner reporting is doing some hinky things, and I can't tell if the feed has completely stopped working, leaving faithful subscribers out in the cold, or is doing just fine.