Wednesday, July 30, 2003

This Is SportsCenter

It was an interesting hour of TV last night as ESPN aired their behind the scenes look at the SportsCenter franchise. Although Felicity Huffman and Sabrina Lloyd were nowhere to be found in the control room, nor Josh Charles on camera, it was a glimpse into the chaos of putting a live TV show on the air every night.

Having spent a part of my college edumacation in a control room, that's about what it looks like -- you have to have the ability to focus on three or more conversations at the same time while calling camera shots while telling the talent that the rundown has changed and you're now 20 seconds short.

One of the funniest moments (after Kenny Mayne wiping out in the hallway while running a tape to the control room) came when the producer said almost as an aside "were dumping the WNBA scores." -- this was in leiu of getting Bill Mueller footage after his pair of Grand Slams from opposite sides of the plate.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Music Update

I just updated my music site with some links to recently uploaded material, so here are the links...

A couple of new links to some music -- the latest Microsound project "City Of The Future" (based on a audio clip from Tarkovsky's version of "Solaris") has been released and contains my piece "divided highway" (mp3).

An old(er) piece finally made it to the web, called "Osaka At 48 Frames Per Second" (mp3) which can be found along with other remixes of the same piece.

There's two other .microsound projects up -- John Watermann Memorial Project and Stone and Ripple Project. As always, a great collection of artists and tracks...

Friday, July 25, 2003

Put Another Nickle In...

We had the day off, the kids wanted to see "Spy Kids 3-D", and $37 later I'm exhausted...

That's $21.50 for two adults and two kids, $13 for a large popcorn, Skittles and two large sodas, and another $3 for video games afterwards. Now I know why I stay at home, rent an occasional DVD and cook at home 99% of the time.

Damn, I'm starting to sound like my father.

The movie itself was an extended PS2 video game with a moral at the end (forgiveness=good, revenge=bad). Wait for the credits for some outtakes w/ Stallone doing Rocky with a confused Ricardo Montalban -- and yes, there is a Rich Corinthian Leather joke. George Clooney does a pretty spot on Stallone impression as well...

Also noted -- the clever promotional 3" CD wedged bewteen two plastic soda lids. Too bad I won't play it...

NP: Gravity Kills "Guilty"

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Waving, Not Drowning

Three years ago, my son was visiting one of neighbors who had a pool. It wasn't a huge pool, but did have a shallow (4ft) end and a deeper (7ft) end. The kids were jumping into the pool splashing around and having a good time sitting in the inflatable inner tubes. About the time we were ready to leave and walk home, my son (who was six at the time) wanted to go over to the deeper end, which was partitioned off by a floating barrier line. He had been telling us over and over how good a swimmer he was (never having been in a swimming pool that deep before that day), and as he is want to do, did not listen to my "advice" and started to float over there. As he manuevered under the line, he slipped out of the tube and went straight to the bottom.

There are times in a parents life when time slows to a crawl -- this was one of them. He dropped straight down, hit the bottom and bounced straight back up. The look of abject fear in his eyes when he broke the surface scared the hell out of me. As it happened, I was standing right next to the pool, I leaned over stuck my hand down into the water just before he started down again -- my hand slipped down his arm, finally grabbing by the wrist, then I pulled him out in one big motion. After spitting out the lungful of water he had inhaled and coughing for 30 seconds, he began to shake and shiver like it was 30 degrees below zero outside. He knew just how close he had come. He never bragged again about what a good swimmer he was.

So, over the last three summers we have taken the kids to swimming classes at KSU (we also have a big lake -- mentioned below -- about 80 feet from the back door). Even if it's not really learning how to swim, as much as it is learning not to drown, it was important for both of them to learn. Today we finished a two month program for both my son and daughter -- congratulations to both of them for completing the class -- my son in particular worked very hard this time out, passing onto the next level and my daughter for getting comfortable in the water -- it was a long, but rewarding two months for all of us...

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Ark Building

Well, now that the torrential rains have subsided (it's only raining normally at the moment), I can put away the sandbags, shop vacs and water pumps.

We got off easy, considering we were in the worst hit area (over 7 inches in some parts, about 6 in our backyard alone). The lake in our backyard came over the banks for the first time in 12 years, flooding the newly created beach and ruining the grass seed that had been planted two days previously. It also washed away some of the stones around the front perimiter of the lake as all the water came down the hillside like a mini-runaway creek. The house itself survived unscathed, but some of my friends basements had up to a foot of water (plus raw sewage).

This has been one of the wackiest July's I can remember -- between the big storms two weeks ago (which, I neglected to mention on the blog, knocked down a 40 foot section of tree in my driveway, just missing my car by 20 feet) and the sheer volume of rain this week has made it seem more like April...

Friday, July 11, 2003

Marketing 101

First we had the lawsuit by Spike Lee vs. Viacom over the use of the name "Spike" -- now crawling out of the woodwork is a stripper who claims that they stole the idea for Pamela Anderson's new animated cartoon "Stripperella" (Stripper by night, Crime Fighter by later in the night).

Either it's an incredible run of bad luck for Viacom -- or a brilliant marketing strategy designed to jack up brand awareness. Get a couple of high profile lawsuits, "settle" out of court, and it's all the free publicity you can eat.

Having said that, "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge" is pretty funny...

NP: Valdis Krebs, "Drone 1"

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Mergers Suck

Two of my favorite things are not the same as they used to be:

Nike buys Converse -- now in the grand scheme of things, this may not appear to be a giant story -- but Converse makes the one shoe that I wear, namely Chuck Taylor All-Stars. This isn't because they're considered retro, I've worn them for 20 years now -- more importantly, they're made of canvas -- not leather (I don't eat or wear any animal products). I may have to do what I did 10 years ago when they looked to be going out of business -- buy a dozen pairs and hope they don't screw it up (I still have three more pairs left from the original buying spree).

E-xpedient buys APK -- my ISP since 1993, which in internet years is two lifetimes. I understand why they sold, but it doesn't make it any less traumatic...

NP: Jet Chamber (Atom Heart and Pete Namlook)

Monday, July 07, 2003

Doppler This

I almost felt sorry for Mark Johnson and the vaunted "Doppler 5000" radar -- I lost count after the fifth or sixth system crash... Mark was overheard muttering -- "Bill Gates will be getting a letter" But that's what you get for still running Win95 ;)

Oh wait -- I'm still running Win95...

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

While I'm catching up on wine related matters, here the link to the tasting we did Saturday night with Markko Wines...

Post Five Star Tasting

Man, I completely forgot to do the write up for this event (held June 22 @ the Vintage Wine Warehouse).

In addition to some fabulous wines, we also got to meet and take pictures of Bob and Monica with Andrew Firestone.

The best wines: Volker Eisle (99 Cab), St. Supery (Dollarhide Cab -- went back twice for this -- big, big tannins), Silver Oak (99 Alexander Valley Cab -- not released yet), Signorello (99 Cab, with the velvety tannins), Runquist (Not just the Z Zinfandel, but the Primitivo, Barbera and killer Syrah that I tried twice), Regusci (99 Cab and 2000 Merlot -- Jim makes some of the most unique wines I have had in a while), Grgich (99 Cab that was overpriced at 63.50 retail) Fife (Max Cuvee, Syrah, Zin and Merlot), and Gary Farrell Vineyards (Zin Ricci and Zin Dry Creek as well as Pinot Noir Russina River).

Jeff Runquist had a interesting theory on how Primitivo got to Italy -- namely that not all of the immigrants who came here, stayed here -- many went back to the old country with vines from the new country, namely Zinfandel cuttings. He plants his side by side and except for a few minor variations on the leaf and the dates on the maturity of the grapes, they're almost identical.

NP: Blotto "I Wanna Be A Lifeguard"