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    Wednesday, December 05, 2007

    Digital Headroom

    Warms my cockles to see him again.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    Just in case...

    ... you were wondering where the strike stands this week.

    LOS ANGELES -- The following message was issued today by the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) regarding Contract 2007 negotiations:

    "Thursday morning, the first new proposal was finally presented to us. It dealt only with streaming and made-for-Internet jurisdiction, and it amounts to a massive rollback.

    For streaming television episodes, the companies proposed a residual structure of a single fixed payment of less than $250 for a year's reuse of an hour-long program (compared to over $20,000 payable for a network rerun). For theatrical product they are offering no residuals whatsoever for streaming.

    For made-for-Internet material, they offered minimums that would allow a studio to produce up to a 15 minute episode of network-derived web content for a script fee of $1300. They continued to refuse to grant jurisdiction over original content for the Internet.

    In their new proposal, they made absolutely no move on the download formula (which they propose to pay at the DVD rate), and continue to assert that they can deem any reuse "promotional," and pay no residual (even if they replay the entire film or TV episode and even if they make money)."


    [unitedhollywood.com]

    The following letter was written by Carlton Cuse and sent today to members of the WGA. His candor and honesty are deeply appreciated by all of us here at UH. The AMPTP is counting on us becoming more divided as time goes on. But we believe the opposite will happen -- is happening, right now. We are staying strong.

    Joss Wedon responds to the offer by informing his fans why he's in it for the long haul.

    "The studios mean to starve us out. They can't. We know what's at stake. We take care of our own, and those around us who aren't our own. We dig in. And eventually, if after months of deadlock we still can't make an equitable deal, you will start to see real change. Change in the way we entertain you, change in the essential structure of America's most popular export. (Unless it's corn. Is it corn?) The fact is, the studios have been robbing us for twenty years. (Actually, it's been much longer, but the statute of limitations says I should let 'em off easy.) This grotesque insult of a negotiation is the end of an era. It will be remembered as the stupidest move the conglomotainment empires ever made. WE ASKED FOR PRACTICALLY NOTHING. And they..."

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Happy Thanksgiving!



    Ceci n’est pas una dinde

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    Writers Guild Strike Swag

    Found these shirts through unitedhollywood.com and bought a few just in case. Support the strike by sporting one of these swell shirts.

    From the site:

    "Profits will be donated to the WGA's Union Solidarity Fund to help non-WGA members affected by the strike."


    November 26th

    Well, it would seem that as of now the talks between the AMPTP and the WGA will resume on November 26th, after everyone recovers from giving thanks. I can't wait to see how this pans out.

    In unrelated news I get to talk to the City of LA Tax Franchise Board this week to figure out if I owe city taxes on top of everything else. The way my luck holds I will, but hopefully I'll be exempt.

    I put together the letters and envelopes this weekend to mail out to all of the tenants concerning the noise pollution but put that on hold as it seems some other tenants are fighting cancellation of lease due to unpaid late fees they didn't know they had. Rumors are going about that the owners of the building are trying to get as many people out of their lease so they don't have to pay relocation fees, but I do not know. I do know that the exterior hallway lights have been out for two weeks as well as the Washer and Dryer being "out of order" and the secure garage gate having been tied into the "open" position so our secure parking garage is no longer secure.

    I think I'll hold off on my plans until I figure out what's going on.

    UPDATE: It would seem the "Notices to quit" were improperly delivered by the building management. It would seem it's all just a big scare tactic on their part to get back late fees. Tiresome.

    But, at least I got a new cell phone.

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Noise Pollution

    In an effort to address a noise pollution issue at the apartment complex I posted a copy of the below letter and a petition to be signed by any tenants believing that the property management company should address our concerns before I sent the letter off could sign it. After posting it in the elevator I went back to my apartment for about half an hour. On my way out I was happy to see that there were already 3 signatures. When I returned 3 hours later it had been completely removed from the elevator. What's odd to me is that this noise pollution issue isn't caused by any of the tenants of the building but by people using the ground level parking illegally after hours. I am completely confused why someone would remove it. Oh well, so much for democracy. I'm afraid a firmer hand must now be used.

    Property Manager

    [redacted]

    RE: Noise Pollution and Quality of Life Issues

    Property Manager,

    We the undersigned of the attached petition, residents and tenants of [redacted] Westwood Blvd., respectfully ask that the management of [redacted] Westwood Blvd. address the noise pollution issue stemming from the improper use of the ground floor parking area as late night overflow parking for surrounding businesses. While we realize that Property Management cannot control, nor are expected to, the activities of surrounding businesses, we do believe that steps should be taken within the grounds of this property to stem this activity. It is quite common for patrons of surrounding businesses to use the ground floor parking area as overflow parking leading to excessive noise pollution during the hours of 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM. This activity is not the direct result of actions by either residential or commercial tenants of this property.

    It is not uncommon to be woken by loud music, emanating from parked cars, yelling, screaming and general partying during the hours of 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM especially on the weekend. This is a grave quality of life issue for all tenants and especially for those tenants who must wake early for work. We ask that steps be taken to control improper use of this parking area.

    We extend our thanks and appreciation for any assistance that can be provided pursuant to this concern by building management.

    Respectfully,

    Tenants of [redacted] Westwood Blvd.

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    In pictures

    For those that are interested, but less inclined to actually read about the reason the Writer's Guild is on strike, a handy video has been made available. Found via Unitedhollywood.com.

    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    At the office

    Well, another poor soul got the ax last night after I left. I knew it was coming. The individual was about as useful as a tea cozy in War Time. That now brings the grand total of people who have quit or been fired since I arrived in Late May of this year to 6. Basically one person a month comes through these doors, gets trained, and leaves or is let go. We are at capacity right now with 9, make that 8 people. Although the month of August it was just 3. Yeah, I get to do more work today. I love it.

    Nastiness insues

    It's not getting any better out here in the third day of the strike. Unfortunately the only interaction I have with it walking past the Pico Blvd. entrance to Fox, usually in the last half hour of that day's striking, as I make my way home from work. I want to help, but I'm not sure how yet. I could ask for a sign as I walk by, but then I'd only be there for maybe ten minutes as they wrap op the days protest. It's odd watching all of the people strike both for themselves and also for the future of people like me. I'd thank them all if I could.

    The spin this morning:

    From Variety:

    FULL COVERAGE HERE


    Strike could run through Next Year:

    "Hopes for a quick resolution of the writers strike are fading fast.

    Back-channel efforts have resumed to avert what's now looking like a long and painful work stoppage. But those moves aren't gaining much traction amid continued hardline public stances by both the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.

    Worries have risen that without reviving the WGA talks, the scribes' work stoppage could easily bleed into the middle of next year."


    Showrunners Take Sides.

    "As showrunners start to flex their muscle with plans for a major rally today, sitcom and drama sets are going dark -- in some cases sooner than the nets and studios had anticipated.

    Laffer "The New Adventures of Old Christine" could conceivably produce a seg this week -- but exec producer Kari Lizer shut the show down, as star Julia Louis-Dreyfus hit the picket lines in support of the scribes. Fox's "Back to You" was set to return from hiatus today, but that table-read was scrapped, and it appears the show won't return until the writers do.

    Also already dark: Fox's "'Til Death" and CBS' "Rules of Engagement." And it doesn't appear as if much is getting done over on NBC's "The Office" either."

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    WGA Strike

    In case you were curious, information can be found here, and here.

    And the Variety Article.

    John Rogers does a nice bit of distillation here. He also provides a number of ancillary and informative links.

    I am supporting in spirit since the file clerks at immigration law firms have yet to unionize.

    Saturday, November 03, 2007

    Billingsgate Language

    Completely found via Neil Gaiman's blog and for which I am both grateful and now fully immersed. While I won't really be using it in what I'm writing about via 1889, it is none the less intriguing and wonderful.

    Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue


    job’s dock - He is laid up in Job’s dock; i.e. in a salivation. The apartments for the foul or venereal patients in St. Bartholomew’s hospital, are called Job’s ward.

    rabbit catcher - A midwife.

    paw paw tricks - Naughty tricks: an expression used by nurses, &c. to children.


    You get the idea.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    California reminiscent of Hell mouth

    Here's a round-up of some information links concerning the SoCal fires currently tearing through the area like Sherman.

    Most of it was taken directly from [Boingboing.net]

    Google maps of inflicted areas

    And another one

    San Diego Fire Blog

    Charity Links and info

    Red Cross "Safe and Well" list

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    The New[ish] office


    This is the most recent configuration of the office. Note the ever distracting TV that both informs my work and keeps it from getting done.

    Remember Kids...


    ...steam is not your friend.

    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    Something Rotten

    My friend Alan, the one in the photo, has a new YA book out today called SOMETHING ROTTEN. You should all buy a copy even if you don't read. He's a poor destitute living in rural North Carolina. He needs shoes, and of course someone to show him how to tie them. He also has a wife and a daughter who need someone to show him how to tie his shoes. He gets a penny for every case of books sold, so dig deep and give a copy to all of your friends for the Holidays.



    FROM THE SITE:

    "Denmark, Tennessee stinks. Bad. The smell hits Horatio Wilkes the moment he pulls into town to visit his best friend, Hamilton Prince. And it's not just the paper plant and the polluted Copenhagen River that's stinking up Denmark: Hamilton's father has been poisoned and the killer is still at large.

    Why? Because nobody believes Rex Prince was murdered. Nobody except Horatio and Hamilton. Now they need to find the killer before someone else dies, but it won't be easy. It seems like everyone's a suspect. Hamilton's hot, tree-hugging ex-girlfriend Olivia Mendelsohn is determined to clean up the river-and the Prince family that's been polluting it for decades. Hamilton's mom, Trudy Prince, just married her husband's brother, Claude, and signed over half of the plant and profits. And then there's Ford N. Branff, Trudy's old flame, who's waging a hostile takeover of Elsinore Paper. Motive, means, opportunity-they all have them. But who among them has committed murder most foul? If high school junior Horatio Wilkes can just get past the smell, he might get to the bottom of all this."


    OK, so he isn't destitute, but he could be if this book doesn't sell. He just built half a house.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    Bid Penis

    OK, favorite sentence in a spam for the day. I'm afraid it's NSFW, but it is being quoted, so really it wasn't like you went looking for frighteningly accurate anatomical words.

    "watch her jaws drop when you roll out your bid penis"

    Now I can only assume that the "bid penis" is the penis used solely for negotiations and deal making and not actually the one used for closing said transaction. I'm also curious to know if the "bid penis" is demarcated with a number so that multiple bidders may participate in the auction. However, the use of the phrase "roll out" does show promise as well as inspire confidence. Confidence one will need when dealing with a woman possessing multiple jaws.

    Saturday, October 13, 2007

    The Darjeeling Limited

    With The Darjeeling Limited, Wes Anderson has created a film that is his richest visually, simplest story wise and unfortunately his least affecting. Utilizing the inherent visual grandeur of India as the backdrop, Anderson's story of alienated brothers reconnecting in an effort to move past the loss of their father is at times both charming and whimsical, but seldom emotionally accessible. Truth be told, I reacted quite differently to the accompanying short film, which can be downloaded for free from itunes, which sets up the back-story of one of the brothers. In The Hotel Chevalier, Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman give off the quirky hurt vibes of Anderson at his best. After watching it I started to think that what I'd like to see from Anderson at some point is a film composed of these small vignettes, related or not by characters, possibly constructed to give a feel or tone of a place, be it a city or just a building, such as the hotel.

    Schwartzman, Wilson and Brody all give good offbeat performances, but none of them are given moments to excel, with the exception of a moment when they attempt to save three Indian boys from an overturned river crossing raft. On the other hand, Angelica Houston's short cameo is quite revealing and I believe it is completely because of her presence and performance that we come to understand the three brothers more fully, but ultimately too late. There is a superfluous cameo by Bill Murray that does nothing but make you want to see more of him and wonder why you don't. The two major native rolls played by Amara Karan and Waris Ahluwalia are in many ways the most enjoyable to watch.

    Don't mistake my issues with The Darjeeling Limited as a statement that I do not think the film worth seeing, because I do. Like The Life Aquatic, it is a film that I will need to revisit before I can truly form a solid opinion of it. His last two films, Darjeeling included, have felt like albums from a favorite band that have digressed somehow from what is expected and need more time to be accepted. There is a possibility I'll feel the same way upon subsequent viewings, but something tells me that I'll get more involved the second time around.

    There are few American filmmakers whose movies elicit an instant need in me to see them. In his own right, and in my personal estimation, Anderson shares company with the Cohen Brothers, Alexander Paine, Spike Jones, The Polish Brothers, and eventually Sophia Coppola and Miranda July (I'm sure there are more, these are mine) as the contemporary bearers of the American auteur in film.

    Saturday, October 06, 2007

    Clean Shaven

    I finally shaved my head again. It has made me very happy. I had hair down to my collar and it was starting to be a pain. I liked the way it looked in the morning, but by afternoon, having walked home it was a useless mass. Simplify.

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    TV SHOWS

    What I think is worth watching this season, in alphabetical order. Also what I watched this summer and think is worth a look if you get a chance. All in all, there aren't too many new shows I'm watching, unless I think of another one later.

    New Shows:

    Californication (Almost over for the season)
    Life
    Pushing Daisies
    Reaper

    Returning Shows:

    30 Rock
    Boston Legal
    Brothers and Sisters
    Dexter
    Heroes
    My Name Is Earl
    Stargate Atlantis
    Supernatural
    The Office
    Weeds

    Looking forward to the return of:

    Battlestar Galactica
    Dirt
    Dr. Who (UK)
    Lost
    Torchwood (UK)

    Summer shows I enjoyed:

    Big Love
    Burn Notice
    Damages
    Entourage
    Eureka
    Jekyll (UK)
    Mad Men
    Meadowlands (UK)

    Still haven't seen:

    Journeyman
    Tell Me You Love Me

    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Pushing Daisies

    Here's the catch from the last post. The show they did do right in picking up and broadcasting was PUSHING DAISIES. It premieres tomorrow night (Wed) at 8:00 PM. Watch It. It is the most original, whimsical and heart-warning fantasy in years.

    Commercial Failure

    One of the saddest things about the new ABC show CAVEMEN is that it's even less enjoyable than the commercials upon which it's based. The commercials were only mildly amusing the first time the first one aired. They became stale fast. The second sad thing is that people think that a sitcom is a great way to talk about race relations in America, "Desmond Pffiefer" anyone?. The third is that they chose Neanderthals to be the stand in for African Americans and wonder what the hubbub is all about. If I think about it though I'd have to say the saddest thing about it is that combined with the equally dismal CARPOOLERS they take up an hour of air time on ABC. This is exactly the amount of time needed to air the pilot I worked on that, while not groundbreaking, was at least more enjoyable than these two flops. So, not only do they suck, but they stole a nice employment opportunity from me. So, in an effort to make myself more acceptable to the new rage here in THE GREAT MACHINE I present the following ideas.

    New show possibilities:

    The Animated fluffy Charmin Bears who seem to do nothing but shit with nice toilet paper. - One is red and one is blue, so it's a sitcom about the Red/Blue differences facing us all, and the shit it's put us in.

    The Geico lizard as an MI5 agent who is most successful in warm climate situations.

    Never mind, making commercials into shows is a really F^@&ing stupid idea.

    Monday, October 01, 2007

    Hmmmm.

    Well, as seems to happen on a regular basis, for reasons you are all probably familiar with at this point, there is little to no internet waves I can currently access at home. So, it'll be quiet for a while. You should take a vacation from the blog, or simply wonder off never to return. Then again, just with me posting this the waves might magically return. Who knows. Seeing as how I'm not there at the moment though I can not say for sure.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Eastern Promises

    A quick review I wrote to a friend who'd not only begged me to see the movie, but paid for it as well.

    I just saw EASTERN PROMISES. I enjoyed it. However, it felt a bit uneven to me and I really got thrown out by the voice over at the beginning, and I love voice over, but the first few just weren't grounded. I didn't know how it was I was privy to the information at that point. It wanted to be a love story, and a thriller, and an indictment of human smuggling/enslavement, and etc. It also wanted to be both her story and his story and I'm not quite sure it pulled any of that off. That being said, it did pull something off. What it was exactly, I'm not sure I have words for yet. I think for me I'd need to see it again without whatever expectations I had going in. It's definitely more European in story style and pacing. The fight in the steam bath will go down in cinematic history as being one of the most daring and realistic fight scenes ever filmed. I think Viggo was outstanding and same with Stahl, but I really don't think any of the other characters were given much to do, so I really can't blame the actors. They all did fine, I just wanted more from their characters. Truth be told, the movie I want to see, most likely because I've been overly corrupted by American cinema, is the movie that begins with the last shot of this one. I actually think it's worth a sequel of sorts, because I could watch Viggo's character all day long and I want to know how the story ends. I'd also like to see what scenes were cut out, because I felt once it was over, that I was somehow not watching the best edit of the film. I think somewhere along the line there was a slightly longer better edit. I actually think there's another ten minutes or so that should probably be in there, but I don't know what it is.

    Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, just not as much as I had hoped to. What I am glad about is that I think Cronenberg's shift both in style and content of his films that he's making the best work of his life.

    Friday, September 21, 2007

    I just figured it out

    The new Flash Gordon is actually the best Saturday morning TV show since 1982. I knew there was a reason I was drawn to it, and it had nothing to do with the acting/story or special effects. It was a longing for a childhood that was lost to Saturday morning live action TV. Sleestax anyone?

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Kitchen Nightmares

    Fox - Wednesday Nights 9:00 PM PST

    One of the shows I loved to watched but cringed while doing so was HELL’S KITCHEN with Gordon Ramsey. His “in-your-face” style of teaching/mentoring/judging seemed less genuinely effective and more a show for the cameras. With his new show KITCHEN NIGHTMARES I think you actually get a better idea of who he might be. By trying to help floundering restaurants turn themselves around, even at his most aggressive, it seems a genuine necessity to be brusque. The most interesting moments are actually watching him cringe during moments of conflict between both the owners and staff and outside agents such as bill collectors. You see a business savvy in Ramsey that didn’t come across in his previous efforts. His concern for the future of the places seems genuine and refreshing. Truth be told, I think he has probably come across more truthfully on his UK shows than his American ones, and it’s nice to witness this side of him. It’s nice to see someone other than Ramsey tearing the kitchen apart. I’ll be checking back into this show.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    SciFi Friday

    The through line of the new series FLASH GORDON is, “How can we take the really interesting bits of Flash Gordon and make it filmable for ten cents?” We have the technology to not repeat the serials of the 40s and 50s. Why can’t we pull it off? Might as well dig Buster Crabbe up and make him into a marionette. It’d be more interesting. I’ve come to this based on many things, but solidified it on the portrayal of the “Hawkmen” as testosterone laden idiot cape gliders. FLASH GORDON gives shows like HURCULES and XENA a bad name. At least they knew what they were, and we loved them for it.

    The Friday Sci-Fi line up is antithetical in that it begins with the new DOCTOR WHO and ends with PAINKILLER JANE. It’s basically telling the audience to tune out after the good stuff. They should have done it in reverse order, so people would suffer through two hours of crap to get to DR. WHO. When was the last time anyone said that about Dr. Who, and I’m the biggest Dr. Who fan I know?

    On a good note, Sci-Fi has finally found HAUNTED and is premiering it Wed, Sept 26. Watch this show, of course knowing it will never fully evolve. I’m pretty sure it never even made it to 9 eps. But what I remember, it was solid, honest and scary in ways no show has been since. Plus it’s Mathew Fox of LOST being righteous in a completely new and interesting way.

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    test

    test post via e-mail.

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    Saturday

    I have much laundry to wash today and should have RSVP’d a Columbia Alum get together that is occurring tonight. I couldn’t bring myself to drive an hour and a half round trip to take part in the thing even though I think it could possibly be of use to me in the future. I’ll see what the e-mail update brings with regards to how they all decided to help each other get ahead in the industry. Saturdays are odd for me. The whole weekend is really. It’s the only time during the week where if I want I con devote the whole day, or two, to working on my stuff with as few interruptions as possible. Of course other things happen on the weekend that I should do, but I usually don’t. Sometimes on Saturdays I walk to the mall in the morning to see a movie. Nothing really to see today except for 3:10 TO YUMA, which I’ll probably see next weekend, and I woke up too late to care about trying to get there before 10:00 AM.

    I should really drive around in my car and try to find a place to recycle all of the recyclables I’ve built up both in the trunk of my car and next to the door to my apartment. Every time I’ve tried before the places have either not existed where they were supposed to or were closed on the weekend. It’s starting to look like I’m a hoarder and soon I’ll have to build a tunnel through the debris just to get into the apartment. So, I think they’re going down the trash chute today. I’ll feel bad about it, but maybe a few homeless can profit from my lack of any further motivation to recycle. Lucky for whoever finds them that they’re already rinsed out and separated into convenient plastic grocery store bags. I’ll take care of the trunk load at some later date and may just keep those packed in as extra cushioning should I get rear-ended on the road.

    I finally opened a checking account here and found that the thing it is most useful for is getting rolls of quarters for bus and laundry. Up till now it’s either been steathful use of the change machine at the laundry mat down the street or begging and pleading the bartenders for quarter love.

    During the week I’ve been working my way through MEADOWLANDS and really enjoy the show. I’ve mentioned it here before. It’s a BBC show via Showtime in the states. I’ve also been waiting to finish watching JEKYLL, which I’ve only seen the first ep of so far. I’m not sure they know what tone they want, but it’s completely enjoyable and hopefully as it continues they’ll settle in. The thing I love most about the BBC is the risks they take with new shows. Of course they limit seasons to 6, 8 or 12 eps, which is great because then a show can mature slowly and if it doesn’t come back, there’s a nice short arc that doesn’t have to end with a major story cliffhanger. While I don’t think the first season of ROBIN HOOD was as solid as it could have been I’m still looking forward to the second. There’s also a show called AFTERLIFE I want to check out. As usual, it looks like the BBC has done a nice twist on the “I see dead people,” trope. There have really only been two shows of this genre I’ve really liked. One was HAUNTED, which was killed after 5 or 6 eps and the other was THE OTHERS, which lasted half a season I think.

    Oh well, warmed the keys with the blog and no reason to bore you further.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    Sunglasses

    It would seem that I left the house without my regular glasses, so today shall be conducted with sunglasses only, making me seem more cool all day than I actually am.

    Monday, September 03, 2007

    Labor Day Weekend

    I’m driving to Bakersfield today to see a friend who was supposed to be coming to LA, but got sidetracked for “Logistical” reasons. Of course Bakersfield is in the middle of a heat advisory, so it should be 110+ degrees there. It should be a fun drive over the most dangerous stretch of the 405, better known as The Grapevine. My tires have odd wear on them and actually need to be replaced, but I don’t currently have the funds. Hopefully nothing will blow as I travel north into what most people in LA believe to be an actual Hell dimension. Nothing like spending Labor Day weekend sweating in an air-conditioned car with one eye on the road and another on the temperature gauge for the engine. Ever since I had work done on the car, long drives elicit a small burning of radiator fluid, which exits from under the hood on the drivers side as white smoke.

    10:30 AM – I arrive in Bakersfield having survived the road and did a bit of shopping at Target. I then went across the street and walked around in the mall to keep cool. I called my friend to check on progress of the Volunteers Cruisin’ crew who are riding motorcycles from Berkeley, CA to Knoxville TN in a fund raising effort in support of Breast Cancer research. As of noon, all she could say was that they were hours away but had no idea beyond that. She suggested I go see a movie, which wasn’t a good sign.

    Luckily for me there was a theater behind the mall so I caught the 1:15 TRANSFORMERS. The film was actually enjoyable before the Transformers began to talk. For some reason the screen writers though that at that point the movie should diverge from action film to an action film geared toward 12 year olds. I’m an old fan of the original cartoons, but there was no reason this movie could not have been dead serious. There’s a scene where all of the Autobots huddle outside the protagonist's house while he retrieves the “important object”. The thought of putting a robot driven slapstick scene into this movie made me cringe. But, at least the air conditioning was working in the theater.

    After the film I called to check on their progress, but had to leave a message. I called three more times over the next two hours, but to no avail. I was starting to get a bit worried. I drove to the hotel where we would be staying but they weren’t there so I parked my car in the shopping center lot in front of the hotel and sat sweating for another forty-five minutes or so.

    At 5:15 PM I gave up and went into the BLACK ANGUS restaurant in the lot of the shopping center and left one last message warning that I was beginning to drink and they’d better arrive soon. About a hour later she finally called and told me there’d been no cell range. I was greatly relieved and it took the edge off the building anger that I’d wasted an entire day, 8 hours at this point, in a place I had no reason to be.

    They finally arrive around 8:30 PM, which put me about five beers in. I got some dinner and then finally had about 5 hours to catch up and talk before going to bed around 1:40 AM. Woke up this morning with the wake-up call at 5:45 and then finally dragged myself into something resembling alive around 7:30 AM and joined the crew outside as they geared up for their second day of cross country travels.

    I got back to LA around 10:30AM this morning and that was pretty much my Labor Day.

    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    The Day The Earth Stood Still

    I need someone to stick cigarettes in my eyes and I need them to F@$king do it now! Just this announcement alone made a great deal of the Earth Stand Still while they collectively wondered why the Gods hate them.

    Keanu Reeves lands on 'Earth'
    Actor to star in classic sci-fi remake
    By MICHAEL FLEMING
    Reeves

    Twentieth Century Fox has set Keanu Reeves to star in "The Day the Earth Stood Still," its re-imagining of the 1951 Robert Wise-directed sci-fi classic.
    Reeves committed over the weekend to play Klaatu, a humanoid alien who arrives on Earth accompanied by an indestructible, heavily armed robot and a warning to world leaders that their continued aggression will lead to annihilation by species watching from afar.

    Erwin Stoff is producing, with Scott Derrickson ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose") directing from a script by David Scarpa. Reeves' commitment puts the picture on track for a late fall or early 2008 production start. Studio sees it as a tentpole.

    The Klaatu role was originated by Michael Rennie. The 1951 film's premise, a response to the rise of the Cold War after WWII, is being updated, and the film will use advances in visual effects.

    It also returns "The Matrix" star to his strong suit in the sci-fi realm and puts him in back-to-back films for Fox. He just completed the David Ayer-directed "The Night Watchman," for Fox Searchlight/Regency about police corruption based on a story by James Ellroy. Forest Whitaker, Chris Evans and Hugh Laurie also star.

    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    It's always something

    While implementing edit changes to the first hour of CA, FINAL DRAFT decided for some reason to change the element designations for everything in the second half of the script. So, I just spent an hour and a bit changing everything back to what it should be: dialogue to dialogue, characters to characters, etc. It was very annoying since I was hoping to get back into it by making the changes then spending all day tomorrow rewriting the lost act so I can spend most of Labor Day weekend pushing forward. I've never seen FD make this sort of formatting mistake so I hope it's a one off and won't happen again. I think I may have contracted carpal tunnel in my right hand doing repetitive highlight maneuvers with my trackball. I, however, shall not be undone by this small set back. If it does it again though, I may have to resort to pen, paper and crying.

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    Old Habits

    I’m currently trying to get back into good habits. While the computer was down I got out of the habit of working on my stuff every day after work and went back into old non-productive habits. Amazing how short of a time it takes to fall back. Otherwise, I’m just watching the days pass as I continue to organize the firm I work for with little things like file labels and cabinet labels and pack up old files for storage. I am the master of a very boring universe.

    Saturday, August 18, 2007

    Back Up and Running

    Picked up a new USB keyboard at the apple store. I'm now installing software and getting what I had backed-up back onto the machine. Everything should be back to normal by the end of the weekend.

    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    Not wuite there

    Well, I replaced the hard drive yesterday and loade4d the OS only to find out that half of my keyboard isn't working. This is either due to me not reseating the track pad ribbon all the way or the fact that it may have been damaged when I reassembled the machine the first time and didn't get it fully threaded through the bottom bit. Also, the holding pin or whatever for the track pad ribbon broke a bit since the instructions said "gently pull up" when the should have said "gently pull toward you." Oh well, I'll take it apart again tonight and see if I can't resolve this. It's a bit frustrating since the track pad and top half of the keyboard works, but the bottom half does not. Sigh.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    Almost there

    Drive and tools have arrived. Surgery shall be attempted this evening. If successful, I should be back up and running tomorrow sometime.

    Monday, August 13, 2007

    Plans are afoot

    I've ordered a new drive and the tools necessary to crack my lovely laptop open. Drive and tools should arrive before the end of the week and then I will install it. After that it will be business as usual, unless I mess-up on the install and fry my computer, but for $20.00 for the tools, I couldn't pass up the possibility to save my self $80 on the install.

    Back to work.

    Saturday, August 11, 2007

    RIP: Hard Drive

    The Hard drive on my laptop died. Don't know when it will be replaced. Such are the consequences of squeezing an extra year out of it. I'll only have access at work now, so silence will probably be the pattern for a bit.

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    Review: Pushing Daisies

    Pushing Daisies

    Where: ABC
    When: Wednesday nights at 8:00/7:00c beginning on October 3, 2007

    I don't know how much real input Barry Sonnenfeld had in the script development of this new series, but visually he's left his fingerprints all over it. What is most refreshing is the "fairy-tale" visual quality. How the series itself will pan out is hard to tell from the pilot, which is strictly an origin story that merely hints at the episode-to-episode possibilities. In an age where pilots do little more than jump immediately into the action, forgoing any real character building, this one starts at the beginning, like all good fairy-tales should, and brings you up to date with the winning trifecta of story, character building and emotional context; even if the emotion is whimsical and not solely grounded in reality.

    Of all of the pilots I've seen so far this is definitely the most original. Its tone is actually reminiscent of WONDEFALLS, which is probably due to the fact that Bryan Fuller, who was one of the creators of WONDERFALLS, created this show as well. It also reminded me of DEAD LIKE ME, one of my other favorite shows, which was also created by Fuller. You can see what I'm getting at. Hopefully it will not suffer those show's fate. but if it does it at least it has a 13 ep initial order, which will make for a nice addition to the DVD collection should it fail to attract enough viewers. I will even place it along side WONDERFALLS should that happen to keep that modest collection from getting lonely.

    From the ABC site:

    Once upon a time, Director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men In Black, Get Shorty, The Addams Family) and Writer-Producer Bryan Fuller (Heroes, Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me) created an unprecedented blend of romance, crime procedural and high-concept fantasy. It is a love story about a young man with a very special gift…the ability to return someone dead briefly back to life with just a simple touch.

    Ned, a mild-mannered baker of fabulous pies, discovered his gift as a child. Now he puts his gift to good use, working with his only friend, a private investigator, to crack murder cases by asking victims to name their killers. But the tale gets complicated, as all tales do, when he saves his childhood sweetheart and she miraculously stays alive. Each week, she encourages him to use his powers to solve mysteries and help others. Life would be perfect, except for one cruel twist: if Ned ever touches her again, she'll lose the life he gave her, for good this time. There's always a catch…

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    Earthquake Cherry

    At just a little before 1:00 AM PST, my earthquake cherry was greedily taken from me by the Tectonic Thunder Gods as I slumbered. It lasted only about 10 seconds; at least that is how it seemed. I awoke to a mild shifting to and fro and thought to myself, "Oh Shit, it's an earthquake." But as it quickly subsided and I rolled over to make sure my 4D Mag light was where I could reach it, I thought to myself, "Well, maybe not." I then fell back deep into slumber while trying to come up with escape and survival plans should it recur. By the time I awoke I had completely forgotten that it had happened until an e-mail of inquiry as to whether I had felt it or not arrived in my inbox. I feel alone now as the Tectonic Thunder Gods have themselves gone back to sleep and I wonder if they'll ever call. They said they would as they left. I bet they don't even remember my name.

    (4.5) - 34 miles north of LA

    Light 4.0-4.9 Noticeable shaking of indoor items, rattling noises. Significant damage unlikely. 6,200 per year (est.)

    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    LA Traffic Facts

    Little known LA traffic facts about HONKING:

    Honking, while you are in a line of cars trying to turn left at a light, even before the light turns yellow, will realign all of the cars through sonic vibration allowing you to magically control the car at the front of the line, so you won't miss the turn.

    Honking will also cause the car 30 yards in front of you to Parallel Park smoothly, so you don't have to slow down or break courteously while they finish parking.

    Honking is a great way to let that pedestrian, who is using a legal crosswalk, know that you don't give a damn about pedestrian rights or the rules of the road.

    Honking, while you drive faster than the speed limit, will cause other cars to move safely out of your way so you don't have to slow down during your long 5 mile commute.

    Honking can be a great way to express complex emotions such as: frustration, anger, entitlement and loathing.

    Honking is a great way to say "HI" to all your commuting friends.

    Just remember honking is always more fun when everybody does it, so lean on it.

    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Review: REAPER

    Show: REAPER
    Production: ABC Television Studios and The Mark Gordon Company
    Network: CW
    Premiere: Tuesday September 25, 2007 @ at 9:00 PM EST.

    It’s Sam’s 21st birthday and things are about to change. During the course of one fateful day he will successfully ask out the girl of his dreams and then blow it. He will be stalked by a pack of dogs hell bent on attacking him. He will discover new telekinetic powers. His parents will tell him that they traded his soul to the Devil before he was born, so his father could live. The Devil will assign him the task of returning escaped souls to Hell. He will do this with "vessels" supplied to him; the first being a rechargeable Dust Devil mini Vac.

    The series, based on the “monster an episode” trope is refreshingly imbued with a wonderful slacker point-of-view that you can’t help have fun watching it. Is it something new? No. But, it is a delightful twist on the old formula. Using a directionless anti-hero was a great idea. Imbue him with self-confidence through bounty hunting for the Devil. In an odd way it’s a comedic SUPERNATURAL. It tries not to take everything so seriously although there are moments of adult emotion that are fairly seamlessly interweaved with the comedic elements. The choice of Kevin Smith to direct the pilot was a great idea due to his slacker cred. While I can’t say I felt him behind the camera, the pilot is solid and moves fluidly.

    I’m an unashamed lover of this sort of show, be it the more serious kind like SUPERNATURAL or X-FILES and the less serious like BRIMSTONE or even the comedic, albeit short lived, shows like DEAD LAST, which this show has a feel of. I’ve just figured out why by looking up Tyler Labine, who plays Sock, and he was one of the principles in that show as well.

    I’m definitely going to keep up with REAPER and hope it levels out and finds its groove. It’s the kind of show that you don’t have to watch religiously, I’m sure the creators and writers would take exception to that, but it’s one of those shows that can really make your day when you wonder across it. The initial order is only 13 episodes, so one can only hope the writers have built in an overall story arc to tie the individual eps together just in case 13 is as far as it gets. This will at least make an eventual DVD set worth having.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007

    THE DETECTIVE [PART XI]

    PART XI – 13 HOURS

    It was time for coffee. Kris poured a cup and kept the Irish out, while The Detective sketched out what his next step would be on a bar napkin. When he finished, he stared at it until he was sure he’d hit all the right points. He then lit the napkin with his lighter and let it burn out the ashtray. It was more ritual than necessity.

    “I need another favor,” he said as he made his first tentative upper lip temperature test of the coffee.
    “You’re startin’ to rack up one hell of a tab.”
    “You know I’m good for it. I need you to give me a call in about an hour and a half.”
    “What for?”
    “I’m going to dinner with one of the lab techs and need an out.”
    Kris shook her head and laughed. “You’re such a bastard.”
    “That’s the idea,” he said returning her smile. He dialed the tech’s number and set the date, then he made a reservation at the nicest restaurant he could think of.

    Somehow the tech had had time to spruce herself up. She looked good. The Detective almost rethought what he was doing. She waited until the wine arrived to give him what he wanted.
    “Ran the DNA.”
    “No match.”
    “No match.”
    “There’s something deeply wrong here.”
    “I hope you mean with the DNA,” she said, giving him a sad look that turned naughty as her eyes rose back above the rim of the glass.
    The Detective swallowed silently, “How deep is the sample pool?”
    “It’s limited to tests taken for forensic reasons. If they think you’ve done something wrong, or you have then we have a sample.”
    “Military?”
    “Have you ever seen me wearing boots?”
    “No, but I’d like to.” He throws her a suggestive eyebrow. She giggles and takes another sip of wine.
    “We don’t have access to that.”
    “Who does?”
    The Tech gives him a look like he might not be as smart as she’d always thought. “The Military.”
    “You’re just being smart.”
    “There seemed to be a vacuum for a moment. I felt obligated to fill it.”
    The Detective almost chokes on his wine as he feels her foot trying to crawl up his pants leg. The situation was getting out of hand fast. Luckily the waiter arrived, just as The Detective felt it necessary to place his napkin in his lap.

    Kris called halfway through the calamari ala planche appetizer. “Fine,” he faked being annoyed. “Yeah...yeah, I’ll be there. Thanks for the interruption.” He slammed the phone off and gave her a sorry look.
    “Duty calls?”
    “Yeah, I’ve gotta’ go.”
    “I understand.”
    He got up and dropped his napkin in the chair. “Look, you stay and finish.” He pulled some bills out of his pocket and dropped them on the table. “I’m really sorry.” He left without looking back.

    The Tech watched him go and then looked toward the bar. A woman had turned around and was looking her way. She got up from the bar and walked toward the table with a glass of wine in her hand. She picked up the napkin and fluidly seated herself and placed it in her lap.
    “I thought you said he’d leave before the appetizer.”
    “Quit whining, you get a free meal don’t you.”
    “Yeah, but I wanted squid.”
    “There’s still some left.” The tech pushed the plate across and picked up the money.
    “What’s for dinner?”
    “You’ll be having the squab. Now be quite and drink your wine while I feel sad about being right.”

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

    Monday, July 30, 2007

    THE DETECTIVE [PART X]

    PART X – 17 HOURS

    He checked in with the receptionist as he drove toward the bar. He needed to think and he always did his best thinking when his brain was primed. Something about the threat of impending cellular genocide always brought out the best in his grey matter.

    The receptionist picked up on the third ring. “Homicide,” she answered in her lilting tone.
    “It’s me. Anything?”
    “I’ve gotten 43 auto vacation responses, 12 bounce backs for non active addresses, three “No’s”, 1 threat of legal action for Police harassment, and a the filtered junk mail doubled in the last hour.”
    “You do understand that when I asked if you had anything I meant anything useful?”
    “Yep.”
    “So you’re be overly efficient to punish me for making you sit there and watch the screen until your eyes bleed.”
    “Yep.”
    “Call me if you get anything,” he hung up before she could answer. He then dialed the bar.
    “Last Call,” said Kris, sounding bored to tears.
    “I’m coming in hot. Prime the pumps and clean off my stool.”
    “How far out?”
    “Two minutes.”
    “Got it.”

    He hit the parking lot without slowing down and rolled right into his favorite spot. He slapped the breaks and his bumper blew a kiss at the wall. It was starting to get good. With a spring in his step and a radioactive grain of rice in his pocket he hit the front door. His irises went from pinholes to gun barrels so fast he went blind for a second. He took his sunglasses off and the familiar shapes returned. Kris was smiling large with a fresh glass of beer in her hand. He made it to his Stool before she dropped it on a coaster.

    “You must really be flummoxed to be thinking this early.”
    “I was, but it’s getting more clear with each passing hour.” He took a sip from the beer and let it settle on his tongue for a minute. His brain woke up and he smiled and swallowed.

    The bar was almost completely empty. He’d thought it would be, which was what he wanted. He needed Kris to help him lay some things out. She was good for that. His mind was non-linear, but hers was a straight line. She’d open a mental file and as he’d talk she’d slot everything into order and read it back to him without writing anything down. While he’d be digressing, she’d keep it on track and ask him questions to fill in the gaps. None of it seemed to bother her either. She liked playing detective as much as he liked being one. If he ever quit and put up a shingle, he’d make sure she was pert of it.

    “Ready?” He asked, knowing full well that she was.
    “Go.”

    It took three beers and a few paused moments for her to attend to other customers before he was finished. She seemed to chew over it for a minute and then he saw the click in her eye as the line finished coalescing. But then her eyebrows dropped and he could see a question building.
    “Why you?” She asked slightly concerned.
    “What do you mean?”
    “Why you? Why did they choose you?”
    “Luck of the draw, I was the one who answered the phone.”
    “Then they must have called more than once, because they wanted you.”
    “What makes you think that?”
    Kris shrugged her shoulders, “it’s in the line. They’re making a statement. They’ve set the table for homicide, yet there’re no bodies, just teeth. You telling me they just lucked into the only detective in the city who wouldn’t have already thrown it down from Homicide to make some beat cop cry. They wanted you. They knew you wouldn’t be able to let it go.”
    “That’s not what I wanted to hear.”
    “No, but you’ve felt it the whole time.”
    The Detective dropped his head, “I need another beer.”
    He pulled out his cell phone and called the receptionist. “Nothing,” she said.
    “How’d you know it was me?”
    “I hooked in a caller ID display so I could harass you directly.”
    “Thanks. I need you to get an incoming call log and match the number from the primary case call to any calls made from the same number to the precinct in the days preceding.”
    “It’ll take a while.”
    “You’ve got time. While you’re at it go ahead and pull a reverse look up on the number as well.” This time she hung up first.

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

    Sunday, July 29, 2007

    Iron Man First Gen suit

    A Couple of shots of the IRON MAN first generation suit from the film.

    Nerd Prom

    Well, I had a good day at SDCC (Nerd Prom) yesterday. I’m hoping next year I can spent more days. I drove down at 6:30 AM and got there around 9:00. I found parking after about twenty minutes and walked the short distance to the Civic Center. I got my badge amazingly quickly. They have a room of about 100 people on laptops checking people in and printing up badges.

    My fist stop was to locate my friend Joe in Artist’s alley. I’ve known him for about 20 years, but haven’t seen him in 15. I call or e-mail him a couple times a year to keep in touch. It was really good to see him and we chatted on and off as I came back around to his table every two hours or so.

    With that done I found Warren Ellis just as his first signing was beginning and got my copy of CROOKED LITTLE VEIN signed as well as the first issue of DOKTOR SLEEPLESS, of which I purchased the special SDCC edition.. He was exceptionally gracious. I actually think it was because it was only noon and he was still stunned from having to wake up and wasn’t quite working on all fronts. There were only two consumed Red Bulls near him so he was probably still asleep.


    After that I noticed an old friend from high school, Ben Garant, was doing a signing for his new movie BALLS OF FURY, for which I had not obtained a wristband earlier in the morning, so I sat outside the room and waited for him to emerge. It was funny because the Paparazzi, about 5 camera laden professionals, lost interest before I did and left without shots. I wasn’t sure what his reaction would be, but he hadn’t changed a lick even though he’s now quite famous in the world of TV and Movies. He gave me his e-mail so hopefully we can get back in touch. He hadn’t changed at all and it felt really natural to talk to him again even for the few minutes he had to spare.

    I hit the exhibit floor a few more times, but by 4:00 I was pretty much done. I wanted to stay for the Warren Ellis talk but it wasn’t until 9:00 PM. without a hotel room and nothing to really do for the next five hours, since most of the panels I was interested in were “sold out”. I’d never been to SDCC, so I wasn’t on my game with regards to getting the passes required earlier when I’d arrived. So, since I had to drive back to LA and I couldn’t go and grab a few drinks, I went ahead and left. I got back to LA around 7:20 and then went out for a few drinks.

    All in all it was a really great day. It would have been better if I’d known more people so I could hang-out, but what are you going to do. I took a few pictures, but most ended up slightly out of focus. So I’ve added the few that turned out OK.

    Weta Ray Gun Display:





    RANDOM SHOTS:

    More photos can be found here:

    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    The Detective [Part IX]

    PART IX – 19 Hours

    It wasn’t something he’d really thought about before he did it, because if he had he would have talked himself out of it. Destroying evidence was not really his style. The tooth made a nice cracking sound as the butt of his gun hit it. He’d taken out the bullets before he’d used his gun as hammer. He knew a guy who’d added an air vent to his scrotum trying to crack walnuts at a bar. Luckily the bullet had missed his testes, but they fell out into the crotch of his pants. Everyone called him “lint balls” after that.

    As the tech looked on, The Detective brushed aside the pieces of tooth until he found what he was looking for. He wasn’t sure what it would look like, but he’d read enough Sci-Fi as a kid to imagine it having a blinking red light on it. It didn’t of course. What would be the point? It’d been in a tooth.

    It looked like a piece of double thick black rice. “We could have just dug out the amalgam and pulled it out,” said the tech looking over his shoulder.

    “Where’s the fun in that?” The Detective picked up the grain with a pair of tweezers and stuck it in a small glass vial.

    “What are going to do with it?”

    “Find out who put it there.”

    “Aliens. Your perp is probably a rogue Man in Black.”

    “You’re an idiot. Get the rest of them pulled apart and document everything the best you can. If any more come through here, repeat as necessary. And don’t start passing this around. I may have just stepped in some deep stink. You want to try and keep it from rubbing off on you.”

    The Detective walked out wondering which branch of the military it belonged to. It was all starting to come together. His friend The Dentist said he knew something. He’d been in the Army. Maybe he’d been involved and could give him a list or something of the poor guinea pigs who were now getting their teeth ripped out. Then again it was getting awfully easy, really fast.

    Outside he lit a cigarette and looked up into the sky. What the hell was a low-level radiation source doing in these teeth? It wasn’t even strong enough to be tracked by satellite. What good was it for? He took a drag and walked to his car. It was electronic entry. He pushed the button and the car unlocked. As the clack of the door lock disengaging entered his ear, it set off a firestorm of neuron activity. He didn’t know what it was for, but he was willing to bet the black rice was a key. Screw fingerprints and iris scans, a lock with a sensor designed to detect a specific type of low-level radiation didn’t sound implausible. It was the best idea he’d had all day.

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    That's right, they work for us

    From the Washington Post via the BBC via questionable sources:

    Each Wore a Tiny Trench Coat

    Also in the animal world . . . From the BBC translators, an editorial by Saleh Eskandari headlined "spying squirrels," published July 10 by the Iranian newspaper Resalat.

    "A few weeks ago, 14 squirrels equipped with espionage systems of foreign intelligence services were captured by [Iranian] intelligence forces along the country's borders. These trained squirrels, each of which weighed just over 700 grams, were released on the borders of the country for intelligence and espionage purposes. According to the announcement made by Iranian intelligence officials, alert police officials caught these squirrels before they could carry out any task.

    "Fixing GPS devices, bugging instruments and advanced cameras in the bodies of trained animals like squirrels, mice, hamsters, etc, are among modern methods of collecting intelligence. Given the fast speed and the special physical features of these animals, they provide special capabilities for spying operations. Once the animals return to their place of origin, the intelligence gathered by them is then offloaded. . . ."

    Always thought there was something squirrelly about those folks.

    Spam Subject Line

    This is my favorite spam subject line for the day.

    "She will love you more than any other guy"

    There is something perfect about it. You can read it so many different ways.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    HP 7 and Nerd Prom

    100 pages into HP 7 and one familiar is dead, one member of the Order is dead, and one Weasley has lost an ear. I'm wrapping up the week by traveling to San DIego on Saturday for a fun filled day of Nerd Prom (SDCC). It'll be my first time, to Nerd Prom, or anything even having the name of Prom. I'm going to try and get a Warren Ellis autograph as well as try and get into the Joss Wheden session. Now all I need to do is find a parking spot in San Diego. It's looking like the best option is parking outside downtown and taking the shuttle. It's all that's keeping me going this week.

    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Spam subject line

    This is my favorite spam subject line for the day.

    "Get a visit from the big dick fairy."

    There is something perfect about it. You can read it so many different ways.

    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    MAD MEN

    It's been a while since I've seen as solid a dramatic pilot as MAD MEN on AMC. I highly suggest you check it out. Don't forget your Lucky Strikes and your hat.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    The Detective [Part VIII]

    PART VIII - 24 HOURS

    24 hours, 1400 minutes, 86400 seconds and he’d just wasted 7 minutes smoking a cigarette. 1393 minutes left. The Detective lit another cigarette. He still had time. Back in the squad room he wrote a letter of inquiry and gave it to the receptionist. Then he had her pull up a list of all the registered Dentists in the city. She was going to be here late. He had her send it to every one of them with an e-mail address. Then she had to watch to see if any of them replied. If they did, he wanted to know, no matter what time it was. While she got started he went in to the break area and started her a pot of coffee.

    The letter was simple, written with as much official aplomb as he could muster; he even threw in the Police department logo. The probability was that few of them would answer. Police don’t use e-mail. It couldn’t be trusted to be official. Yet, somehow people believed phone calls. The ignorance that surrounded and penetrated society made him angry sometimes. It wasn’t because people believed everything they were told, it was because what they did believe was rarely something they came to on their own. It was worth a try though.

    After that he flipped back through the four lab reports. The DNA didn’t match, nor did the amount of work down on the teeth. One appeared pristine, two had small fillings and the third had a whopper of a filling on the crown. Then it hit him. There wasn’t a single X-ray of the teeth. Everything that had been surmised had been done on the exterior. It was worth a shot. He called the morgue then headed over. He needed to get a look inside.

    On the drive over he called the antiques dealer who was helping them identify the cups and saucers. He picked up on the fourth ring and sounded like he’d already had a couple of cups of tea himself, Irish tea.

    The call didn’t last very long but he did find out a few things. The cups were 18th century bone chine and painted by hand. Each set was worth around a $1000.00, but the dealer seemed to forget where they came from and started complaining about how they could have been split from their original sets. He’d narrowed it down to two British porcelain makers but was waiting for word back from overseas before he said which ones. The Detective thanked him and hung up while the dealer was mid sentence on proper care techniques.

    The X-ray was a great idea, only problem was that they’d tried four separate times and each time the X-ray came out fogged; a fog that completely obliterated the image of each tooth. When he enquired what could have caused this kind of fogging, the tech didn’t hesitate.

    “Only thing that could cause that would be radiation exposing the film.”

    "X-Rays are radiation."

    "Another radiation source."

    "In the tooth?"

    "In the tooth."

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

    Lagging behind

    Sorry, I've been lagging behind posting here this week and now that this STRONG BUCKS thing has gotten rolling, it's taking more time than I thought it would. 134 hits in one day and 10 e-mails to be posted of people getting ripped off and I have a funny feeling it's just started.

    Sunday, July 15, 2007

    The Strong Bucks

    So, there's been enough reaction to the post about the bogus check pulled on my account, so I've started a separate blog for that. It's at <http://thestrongbuckssucks.blogspot.com/>. So, if you've found your way here from that original post, make your way over there. You can e-mail me your story about being ripped off by these people to me and I'll post it on the blog.

    Friday, July 13, 2007

    Odd week

    It has been a rather odd week. I've been leaving work and walking home and then brewing a large pot of coffee and sitting in front of the TV writing or editing. It doesn't matter what gets done as long as something gets done. I've managed to do a pretty final edit on the first hour of CA and started fiddling with the second hour. The odd part is that I haven't had a drink all week and I'm not sure exactly how I feel about that. I've replaced beer with obscene amounts of Java. I've also watched an increasing amount of TV. I mute it to work and un-mute to refocus. Most of the watching has centered on BRAVO, FOOD NETWORK and then various shows on other channels. Monday nights I catch up on ENTERPRISE from the beginning with four eps back to back. Then SUPERNATURAL on Thursday nights. My laptop has much goodness in it was well, but I'm saving that for when I'm not trying to work at the same time. Hopefully this will become my new schedule. It saves me an ungodly amount of money I don't have anyway and at least I get something done every night. I'm a bit worried about having a drink this weekend and falling back into my bad habits. I do miss my brew though.

    Sunday, July 08, 2007

    Affidavit of Forgery

    Finally got the Affidavit of Forgery from the bank on Friday. That made it a full week just to get this to then mail back. My problem was that I thought that it would be filled out when I got it and all I would have to do is initial, sign it and get it notarized. Nope, it was a blank affidavit, which means if they were the least bit computer savvy at my bank I would have been able to simply download a .pdf of the affidavit and fill it out and could have mailed it the same day. I've also lost a bit of confidence in the process from looking at the envelope it came in. I needed the return address and happened to look at my address. This is how they spelled Los Angeles "LAS ANGELOS". Whoosh, there goes the confidence. Hopefully at this rate I’ll get my money back sometime in September.

    Saturday, July 07, 2007

    Maybe

    I need a leather clad dominatrix to whip me when I don't write. Sure, I'd write less at first, but then I think it might motivate me. Trying to get second half of CA and an actual screenplay done by the middle of August. You'd think my living conditions would be motivation enough. I think I need more depravity...I mean destitution. Maybe I need more of both. Maybe I need something all together different. Maybe I need to stop writing this and start writing that. Maybe I don't. It's very confusing.
    I now have a microwave thanks to generosities. I heated a sandwich to make sure it works, and it does. Too bad the freezer isn't big enough to hold many frozen things. This is the second thing I've gotten for free from people I've met in the bar. Too bad I can't frequent it as often now.

    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    Signal Loss

    No signal in the apartment, so I may be silent for a while. Don't feel right posting from work except to say that I won't be posting from work.

    Saturday, June 30, 2007

    I almost forgot

    About a week ago, someone from the bar I frequent gave me his old TV. So, after a year and a half, I finally know what's going on again. It doesn't seem to have changed too much.

    Friday, June 29, 2007

    Bogus Check

    Behold the BOGUS check that the bank thought was good enough to process. Note how my signature is obviously not mine. Of course they say it is an Internet transaction because that allows people to write checks with your name on them and run them against your account without your signature. Thank God they got my Zip code right, otherwise it might not be so obvious. They also didn't know enough to know which Branch is my originating branch. Thank God the Market St. Branch was good enough. BTW, I've blurred the routing and Account numbers so no one else can rip me off. I took down the image of the back of the check, mainly because it wasn't right for me to condone stealing from them.

    I Curse You

    So, I was checking my bank account today to make sure I had enough to pay all of my bills and of course what do I find but a BOGUS check on my account that went through yesterday for $99.75. This isn't the best time to be stealing money from me. So, I called and the bank is sending me an Affidavit of Forgery to sign and get notarized and mail back. I've lost the money until then and there is nothing they can do to stop it from happening again, at least until the Affidavit gets processed and then that "company" won't be able to do it again. Of course by the time that happens the company will have a new name and bank account. What's most annoying is that the bogus company has a Bank of America account and when I lost my First Tennessee ATM card while doing sign surveys, it was at a Bank of America. All anyone who found it would have needed is a card reader to pull the info off the magnetic strip. Sure the card itself was cancelled, but the address/account # was all preserved on the magnetic strip. So, whoever is out there taking money from me for a company called THE STRONG BUCKS, I hope you die horribly. I curse you and all of the offspring of your tepid and cowardly loins. May the money bring you nothing but suffering and pain.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    The Detective [Part VII]

    PART VII – Morning

    Morning hit like it always did, abrupt and painful. The Detective rolled off the sofa and stood up. Two cups of coffee, two cigarettes, a shower and a shave and he was driving to work. The Sun was just beginning to hate the world.

    He arrived at the Precinct just as the shift was changing. It was painful ritual requiring him to pretend that he actually liked the other Detectives in the Squad. Handshakes and pats on the back were exchanged freely, worthless currency. Eventually he made it to his desk with a cup of coffee in his hand.

    He had nothing, four crime scenes, four teeth, and all of it a dead end. If something didn't break, well that wasn't an option. He couldn't even think of a motive. The worst part was that there were no bodies. Without bodies, there wasn't any homicide. Without proof of a homicide, it was a waste of his time. For all he knew these people were still alive sans a tooth and completely unaware anything had happened to them.

    He needed a body. The thought would have been disturbing to most people, but it was what he needed. It was what he required.

    He picked up the phone and dialed his friend the Dentist.
    "Hello."
    "What's shakin' Doc?"
    "You got my message."
    "Yeah, and it opened a world of possibilities."
    "You got nothin'."
    "Bupkiss."
    "Maybe I can help."
    "That's why I'm callin'."
    "Where are you torturing your liver these days?"
    "Where am I not?"
    "I'm in town at a convention on Wednesday. Good enough?"
    "It'll have to do."
    "What's the bartender like?"
    "She's the only thing that gives me hope."
    "That'll do."

    They made plans to meet and The Detective hung up. That gave him 24 hours to find out something everyone else didn't already know. That was 24 hours closer to the phone ringing again. He got up from his desk and walked out side for a think and a smoke.

    [This is an experiment. I don't know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It's about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we'll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It's still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    The Detective [Part VI]

    PART Vi – Home

    For all intents and purposes, he hadn’t been home for two days. The cat was pissed. As soon as The Detective walked in the door Mr. Squigmyre showed him his ass then sauntered off, probably to pee in his shoes. The Detective picked the mail up off the floor where it landed from being shoved in the slot in the door. He needed to get a mailbox. What genius thought people wanted to walk in their door and trip on their mail?

    There were six messages on the machine. Two were automated loan scams, one was from his Mother, and the other two were from people calling him back with information about the case. He was one of those cops that’d rather have the information as soon as he could, so he gave out his home number. He used his cell phone for personal calls. Anything that went through the switchboard to his desk phone got routed to his cell when he was out. He felt bad about not giving his mother his cell number, but he always called her back and she knew that if it was an emergency she should call the precinct.

    One of the messages about the case was from a friend who’d been a Dentist in the Army. The Detective had sent him a package with the details of the case. It wasn’t something he was supposed to do, but he did it anyway. He was supposed to use the experts on retainer through the city. They’d say what you wanted, even if it wasn’t the truth. His dentist friend was a mystery nut and until now he’d not had a reason to use him. The message was simple. He wanted to meet.

    The second message concerned the china. The tea sets were all bone china. They still hadn’t found any maker’s marks on them but they were going to run the patterns by an expert at an auction house. They’d probably been picked-up at estate sales. The Detective wouldn’t be surprised if the perp had been collecting them for years. The good ones always looked ahead. If the perp had been real smart he would have paid cash and not bought them in the last few years.

    The last message was from Kris. She was calling to let him know she was sick and had switched shifts. It looked like he was staying in. He went into the kitchen and opened a can of food for the cat. Then, he poured himself two fingers of Knob Creek and picked up the phone and called his Mom.

    He fell asleep on the sofa watching a Western he’d seen a thousand times. The whiskey made the sleep come faster. Just before he completely went under he felt the familiar weight of Mr. Squigmyre jumping up onto his chest. He went deep to the warmth and the sound of the cat purring on his chest.

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

    Sicko Sneak Previews

    SICKO is rolling out early for a series of sneak peaks on Saturday night. Unfortunately none of them are in TN where the majority of the six of you that read my blog reside, but they're in the big cities for the rest of you. CLICK HERE to see where it's showing. I really do think it's worth seeing. Don't worry, I'm not getting anything to plug it. That's how strongly I feel about it. After seeing it I wondered if my monthly payments to KP would be better going into an ING Orange account instead.

    Thus concludes the advertising portion of today's blog.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007

    The Detective [Part V]

    PART V – The Lab

    The lab was the antithesis of the Precinct house. It was spotless and didn’t smell like last nights meatballs. It had a welcoming open architecture of glass and the natural light poured into the access corridors. The labs themselves were more controlled. The Detective liked it here. No matter what the temperature outside was, The Lab was a constant 68.

    He signed in and then took the elevator to the third floor where he hoped they could fit the sequencing of the tooth’s DNA into the queue so it didn’t have to wait another week. He was pretty sure that if it went that long he’d end up getting the report just as the phone rang telling him it was time for another tea party.

    The truth was it’d take too long anyway. The Lab didn’t actually do the sequencing anyway. Like everything else these days it got outsourced, sent off to be processed at an industrial for-profit lab. However, they could give it priority nudge. And if he played his cards right they would. The girl who ran the check-in desk had a thing for him. He’d have one right back for her if he thought it’d do either of them any good.

    She smiled as he walked through the front doors. She always did. Then again it was easy to smile in a bright place like this. He wondered if she still smiled when the lights went out at night. She gave him a playful once over then asked, “Did you bring me something nice?”

    The Detective pulled the jar from his pocket and set it on the counter. Somehow that single tooth grinned. “I hope you got a sweet tooth,” he said. She laughed a little. Then she noticed the blood on the tooth and got to work.

    “What is this, number four?”
    “Lucky number four.”
    “I bet you need a rush.”
    “I bet you’re right.”
    “Only if you buy me drink.”
    “I’ll buy you whatever you want if I get the results back in three days.”
    “You’re on.” She grabbed the jar and dropped it into a padded envelope as the label printed out. She’d been typing away the whole time.

    Just then the FedEx Guy walked through the front door. She buzzed him in and she handed him the envelope. He put it with the pile in the corner and started running his magic box over each label.

    “Would you have bet me if he’d already picked-up for the day?”
    “Yep. Then I would have driven it to the airport myself.”
    “Call me in three days and we’ll see where we stand.”
    “Why don’t I call you in two?”
    “Why don’tcha?”

    With that he turned and didn’t look back. He felt a little bad about the fact that even if he did get the results back in three days all she’d get was a drink. He’d have Kris call him and make an excuse about the case and leave her sitting in the restaurant just before the food got there. He’d drop enough money to cover the meal and an after dinner bottle of wine so she could hate him in the morning. Then he’d go to the bar and get good and drunk for being such a bastard. But, she had a thing for him, and he’d have one for her too if he thought it’d do either of them any good.

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Sicko

    I just got done watching Michael Moore's new documentary SICKO. It's been torrented and seems to be spreading faster than a pandemic across the interwub. There seems to be a bit of fear it'll be seized since it contains footage, and a pretty significant bit of narrative that occurs in Cuba and Homeland Security has said he entered the country illegally and might move to seize the film before it's been released. This won't happen of course, especially not now, and probably wouldn't have anyway, but the bringing of charges against him and his crew is still feasible. It's his best work. I've had issues in the past with bits of his films where he integrates himself into the narrative and have thought in the past he sometimes took things well beyond documentary. Not this time. See it. Make your own decision about what it says, but see it. I oddly hope that his next subject is immigration. It was fascinating without an audience, but would be ten times more so with one. This is the kind of film you see with friends then go have a cup of coffee and talk about.

    The Detective [Part IV]

    PART IV - The Street

    The street was hard an unrelenting. Even the few blocks from the car park to the lab made his feet hurt. If he wasn’t walking he was driving and if he wasn’t driving he was sitting. Most days he wished he could teleport. Maybe in the future they’d figure out away to let cops teleport. That would be the shit.

    A block from the lab, The Detective watched as an all too familiar scene played out in front of him on the sidewalk. A homeless guy in a wheelchair sat outside a bank hitting up the customers. It was a smart play, make them feel guilty just after they’ve gotten money or deposited some. Sure, some people were inside the bank arguing to keep their house, but they had some change too.

    The Detective wasn’t interested in the panhandler. He’d seen plenty. What he enjoyed was watching the mark. He didn’t care about the ones that gave money and cared even less about the ones that just walked by. He looked for the guilty. Studying the body language of the guilty was something he enjoyed more than almost anything but beer, cigarettes and talking to Kris.

    Just before he made it to the wheelchair he got what he was looking for. A young guy in his mid to late twenties walked out of the bank and right into the line of fire of the homeless man. Almost before the homeless man said a word, the kid’s hands were in the air and he was shaking his head saying that he was sorry he didn’t have anything, making too big a show, then walking on.

    The Detective was about ten paces behind the guy and watched closely as the real nervous dance of guilt began. As the kid got about twenty paces beyond the homeless man his right hand instinctually went for his pants pocket. Schrödinger’s pocket The Detective liked to call it, because just after saying he didn’t have anything the kid realized that the statement may not be true. So, to keep the wiley homeless guy from seeing anything he waited until he’d walked far enough away to have a possible real reason to check his pocket. Until his hand hit coin, there was an equal possibility he hadn’t lied. If he discovered he hadn’t lied, he’d start to bounce, maybe pick-up the pace and look around enjoying the walk,

    He’d lied, The Detective could tell. The hand went into the packet, then stopped as it hit coins. Then it felt around and made sure the amount was what he now remembered to have on him. All the excuses for why there might be less money now. The homeless man could have magic powers and teleported the money from his pocket, or maybe he’d hypnotized the young man just long enough to reach into his pocket and take his change. Homeless people can make money disappear. Of course they can.

    Then came the guilt. As his hand had hit the coins his shoulders had dropped slightly, then they had relaxed as he realized he still had all his money. Then in the final stage of a process that took less than thirty seconds, the kid sighed and pulled his hand out of his pocket and let his shoulders fall the extra 1/4 of a inch that signaled defeat and therefore guilt.

    The Detective smiled. People were so beautifully susceptible to guilt. What was wrong with just not wanting to give someone else your money? Absolutely nothing. As he walked on toward the Lab, he smile to himself, his right hand was in his pocket cradling the jar with the tooth in it.

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    The Detective [Part III]

    PART III – The Morgue

    The Detective walked into the morgue and found himself smack dab in the middle of a beer and pizza party. It was the monthly reward for the scrubbing down of all surfaces with anti-bacterial foam and the taking of a full inventory of bodies and parts. They even made sure every one was dead by pulling a quick rectal temperature of all of the corpses.

    It’d started three years earlier after two bodies went missing and a vicious staff infection almost wiped out two precincts and most of the hospital staff. The staff infection had come from a stiff that turned out to still be alive. The infection was brought under control just before it mutated into a nasty flesh eater. The detective wasn’t sure why they had the party after though. He was pretty sure he could smell fresh vomit and urine just starting to push its way through the thick stench of cleanser. But, that wasn’t his problem.

    His problem was that even though there was only a tooth at each of his crime scenes, they had to be kept here until the lab had time to process them. It was a bunch of red tape bullshit left over from the last Medical Examiner who had run the place like his own private museum and had enough clout to have the city codes changed to suit his needs. The Medical Examiner had died of a coronary while cleaning between the tiles of the morgue floor with a Q-Tip and alcohol.

    So, all body parts not actively checked out as court required exhibits, or on their way back to whatever family claimed them had to remain under lock and key. This greatly slowed down lab work, since the Lab techs refused to fill out the 27 forms required to check the bits they needed out. They waited until the Primary Detectives got so pissed they went and filled them out themselves. This was why The Detective was here.

    His guy on the inside was a narcoleptic former Sysadmin who’d gotten tired of working with warm bodies. Warm bodies had a way of opening their mouths and letting words fall out. The Detective spotted him across the room where he’d fallen asleep with a beer in his hand. It must have just happened since the two people he’d been talking to were still waiting for him to finish what he’d been saying. He’d still talk to “The Warms”, as he called them, once he had a few drinks in him. He could also produce all 27 forms needed to check something out of the morgue by typing a few specifics into a GUI interface he’d designed that’d process everything and spit it out of the printer in triplicate. It cost $100. It was worth it. The program was on his personal laptop only. He gave discounts to those who were directly capable of firing him. They got it for $25.

    It took the Detective a few minutes to rouse his guy. The Detective hoped his guy wouldn’t have a hypnopompic hallucination when he woke up or The Detective would have to wait until he came to his senses. Then he’d have to hear about Alien Abductions again. Luckily his guy’s reaction to waking up this time was just a split second of not being able to breathe.

    Ten minutes later The Detective was out the door $100 lighter but with a small Jar containing the tooth and a copy of the release order. It’d been almost 36 hours since they’d hit the scene and he’d have to wait another 48 before he had a sample for a DNA match. He wondered sometimes why he even bothered.

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]