Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Leave a Comment... Por Favor!

Por Favor is Spanish for, "I'm on my knees begging."

Hey, we want to know if your reading the blog, we want you to engage in the process on a formal basis, by leaving comments. See at the bottom of this page, you will see a little link called 'comments'. Just click that and you will zoom over to a page where you can leave message. If you are a fellow blogger, you will be able to leave your profile link, so people can check out your blogs as well.

So, .... start a dialogue... start a revolution... start organizing your taxes because April 15th is six weeks away... SNAP! Don't use Turbo Tax, I've got a sweet tax guy. If you live in L.A. let me know, I'll hook you up!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Only Reason to Watch the Oscars Last Night

Well, I'll be a monkey's step-uncle, the Oscars got something right. Last night, I deliberately missed the Oscars... I know... How could I? Well, it's okay, because I consider the show to be a bloated self aggrandizing mess... HOWEVER! Despite my cynicism, every once in a while the Academy and Television Producers get something right. Last night that was the world wide audience being allowed an opportunity to watch Marekta Irglova and Glen Hansard play their little song, "Falling Slowly" to millions and millions of people. I cannot believe what I am about to write, but... I agree with Colin Farrell. ONCE was the little movie that could last year. Shot on an independent budget in 17 days, this Movie really is the dream for any independent film maker. No, it did not win best picture, but I will be darned if it was a key part of last nights festivities and the fact those two actors were on that stage speaks volumes to the pursuit of art and story as you want and wish it to be. Congratulations from Art of Function to these wonderful artists. Enjoy the clip above!

Remember The Milk

Okay, the cartoon above really has nothing to do with the subject of the posting. I just wanted to clue everyone in to a pretty cool Web service, I've been using called "Remember the Milk" or www.rememberthemilk.com. Basically, we all create 'To Do' lists, right? Or at some point, you have been so bogged down by what you had to do, you had to create a list. Well, there are tons and tons and tons of software programs devoted to Task Management. However, if you are like me you bounce from computer to computer, and much of your key resources (like email) are on a web based program. So, why shouldn't your TASK management be also web based?

Enter the aforementioned website. This clever site, allows you to be as detailed or non detailed as you want with your tasks lists, while also separating tasks by personal or work oriented tasks. You can also set weekly tasks, with reminders, due dates, and the best feature of all... a NOTES section. So, perhaps you have to call 'so and so'. You task that out for today. You just leave a message. You can update the due date to tomorrow and leave a note, called and left a message. This way you can get all your head space clear and not need to remember every little detail, or spend hours jotting down notes in a note pad. Currently, I've been using this FREE resource for about a week, and it has really been a fresh update on my constant note pad use. There is also a mobile web application for the website, which allows you to use it from your phone or PDA. There are plenty of GTD geeks out there using this service as we speak, and as always, if its on the blog, I recommend it too.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Inbox Zero w/ Merlin Mann

You will probably begin to hear more and more in regards to the term "GTD" this year, than you have ever before. I really think that GTD will be this year's version of "The Secret". For those of you reading this, who have no idea what GTD is, it stands for "GETTING THINGS DONE" the title of a book written by David Allen. GTD is a set of concepts and systems designed by Mr. Allen to enable the user to be as efficient and stress free as possible in their work habits. Currently, I have been studying the book and implementing some thoughts and ideas from it into my work life and personal life, and I must say, it is quite useful. I recommend everyone check out the book. Or Download the audio book on iTunes.

Many 'disciples' of GTD are fervently out there spreading the good word about GTD while also building cottage industries around the ideas in the books. One of the biggest 'expounders' on GTD is a gentlemen named Merlin Mann. He is the founder of the GTD website www.43folders.com. I recently visited the website, and I am digging through the gold, and at the top of the page is a link to a Google Tech Talk, Merlin did in regards to managing your email.

As we can all agree, email has become the cornerstone of work management for many of us. For me personally between my work and personal email accounts, and counting MySpace and Facebook somewhere around 200 emails a day. Yeah, I know it is a little daunting. However, here is the scary part. I am not alone. I once shared with a relative, who was so email illiterate she struggled to cope with the 70 or more emails she received a day, and managing all the data was so overwhelming she had almost completely abandoned her inbox. I believe many of us can identify with the fact that our email inbox can become an indomitable mess. How many of you have over 300 emails in your inbox right now, as you read this? If you do, and you hate it, then I have the video link for you.

Merlin has a concept for email management he calls "Zero Inbox". The tips he gives in the video shown below are very useful and worth checking into. Some of you may already be doing this in your own life, but do not know it. However, for all of us who have used our inbox as a to do list, calender, file back, whatever... catch all... mess... this video will help you sort out this most basic of functions in our modern life. Enjoy! It's highly Functional.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Let's All Get Arrested!

Recognize the Photo above? If you do, then you are going to be tickled blue that Will Arnet recently confirmed, at an event with Will Ferrell, that the Arrested Development movie is indeed in development as we speak. This is happy, happy, happy news to fans of the show, which won an EMMY its first season, but was canceled after what amounts to two and a half hilarious seasons. I loved this show so much, I watched all three seasons on DVD in the span of five days. Rumors of a movie about the much loved television show have been going around for years. Hopefully we see something by 2009. I miss me some Buster!

If you want further proof, just play the video below... keep in mind it takes a while for the topic to come up, but eventually a college students asks Ferrell if he would fund an Arrested Development movie for Arnet... then the good news spills out like a golden magic milk shake.

Everything is coming up Bacon!

Bacon, sweet salty meat product of the gods. Bacon is one of those food staples that every culture has a version of. From Italian Pancetta, to the European Lardon, who doesn't enjoy a slice of heavenly wonderful bacon... or if you are in New Zealand, a "Rasher" of Bacon. Well, I know I'm not the only person devoted to Bacon.

Website, The Grateful Palate, has come up with something you may enjoy, if you are a fruit of the month club kind of person. They call it "The Bacon of the Month Club". Now with your $150.00 dollar purchase you get a membership card, Pig Toy, T-Shirt, and the most important thing of all a pound of bacon delivered to your door step every month from some artisan bacon purveyor from all different regions of the United States. The flavor of cures range from traditional Hickory Smoke to 10 Clove Garlic, as well as different bacon cuts including Shoulder and Jowl. Former Article subject, J. David Carlson, and a friend of mine was the first to tell me about the B.O.T.M.C. He told me that his year of bacon may have been one of the best years of his life.

If year long committments scare you, but you still want to get as much out of that slab of bacon in the crisper as you can, then maybe you should purchase The Bacon Cookbook by James Villas. This handy dandy cookbook is clearly crafted with love for the pork fat phenom. It allows the reader a wide array of uses for bacon outside of frying it up and serving it next to two fried eggs.

Lastly, for you blog enthusiasts who would love to add a blog devoted to bacon to your RSS feed, then go visit International Bacon Day. It is a blog that celebrates... what else? BACON!

Do you know who also likes bacon? Jim Gaffigan!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random Tid Bits Issue #3 - Movie Edition

Hey, there, folks! Time for the weekly installment of Random Tidbits. I like to call Issue #3 the movie edition, as we approach Oscar Time! All the bits and pieces in this issue are loosely if not directly tied to movies! Are you going to watch the Oscars? Check out our Poll Question to vote on Best Picture.

1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: I managed to catch this over the weekend, and I really, really enjoyed it. The cast is superb. Casey Affleck truly shines in this film in one of the title roles. I would not classify this film as a western, but more of an interesting Bio-Picture set in the failing embers of the Old West. Director Andrew Dominik makes a few mistakes with his approach to the film, but as a whole the third act of the film is really quite breath taking. I definitely recommend this film, if you have not already seen it.

2. Definitely Maybe: Call me a girl, but I think this may have been the best romantic comedy to be made since Love Actually. Coincidentally the same producing team made both films. I had to watch three or ten of these this past weekend due to the fall out from Valentines day, but this film definitely had a solid hook and a very interesting approach to the Modern American love story. Isla Fisher is fantastic in the film, and I could for once finally tolerate Ryan Reynolds.

3. HD-DVD is a Big Fat Loser: I'm really glad I bought an HD-DVD player. Especially since all the major studios finally jumped to Blue Ray and Toshiba announced they are abandoning the product line entirely. I wonder how many players will be on eBay this weekend? So, it looks like format war is over, and we're all finally looking at the future of HD tech in the DVD world. The question remains, will the studios start turning out more titles to Hi-Def? Will they stop making Standard Def DVD's?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's Over... Greed is Bad.

Well, it happened.
Word spread early last week that the amongst industry insiders that the strike was ending. Back door whispering turned to online blog postings and then Michael Eisner decided to scoop everyone and blurt out that a deal had been reached. Tuesday it finally came out for sure, that the Strike was ending.

With abhorent disgust I watched the WGA leadership gloat over how great their accomplishment was. Patrice Verrone (who may have the most girlish name, I've ever heard for a man) puffed his chest and claimed that this was the single greatest victory for Labor in almost 30 years. This would have been an achievement if they had managed to do this without a strike. That would have been something to stand up and applaud, Mr. Verrone. If you and your cronies had managed to actually negotiate a deal. Instead you just piggy backed the work of another Union.

So, instead of clapping, Mr. Verrone, please accept my one finger salute.

The reality of this strike was that our economy in California lost two billion dollars in revenue, people lost their jobs, people lost their homes. True it does go to show you how important writing is to the industry. However, I will contend that this strike was about greed, not about fairness or just pay scales. It was about greed.

I included the photo above, because to me it represents how 'serious' the writers took this strike, and its impact. While dozens of people lost salaries, benefits and struggled to get by, the writers played dress up and made clever signs. For them this was simply an extended vacation.

I can do nothing but shake my head.

Note To Hollwyood: "KNOCK IT OFF!"

I have but one thing to say to those who are called "Hollywood Executives". STOP RUINING MY CHILDHOOD! The video above is a trailer for the new Knight Rider made for TV movie, which is double talk for here is a video of a piece of your youth being twisted and distorted for the sake of selling Ford Mustangs.

Here is a brief history of how this plague of idea re-hashing came about! They managed to destroy the classics like "The Beverly Hill Billies" and "The Brady Bunch" and the "Flintstones" with re-makes in the late 1990's. Despite the blatant destruction of the legacy of those shows, idiots in states called Iowa turned out in droves to watch them. This translated into dollar signs. Somewhere along the line, a top Studio Exec carved a new commandment into the stone. RE-Make = Money! So, they've been screwing things over for the last ten years with re-make after re-make. When we started to catch on around the time it was announced Jessica Simpson would be in a Dukes of Hazard re-make (yes, the very thought makes me dizzy) they stopped calling them re-makes and started calling them re-inventions in order trick us poor dumbies into watching. The bottom line is, they've run out of ideas, and so they are going through their back catalog hoping to find something that will force us to take some interest in what is on Television. It's like watching Michael Jackson unveil a new nose with his fingers crossed hoping we will not notice that he resembles a glass of milk. Maybe it's just me, but I would watch more TV if they stopped pulling shows like Arrested Development in lieu of shows based on the Cavemen from the Geico Commercials.

However, this time they have gone too far... A new Knight Rider??? NBC, did you learn nothing from your Bionic Woman series... you are incapable of making this work or interesting... you already tried a Knight Rider re-boot with Knight Rider 2000 and guess what... it failed? Why, because my Uncle Jack had a talking Nissan 300Z in 1986! Talking cars are about as amazing to me as... let's see... a phone that doesn't need to be connected to the wall with a chord and yet it is fully functional and I can use it to talk to people whenever I want... and oh, wait, I have one of those? It's in my pocket? Really? The future is amazing!

(Imagine a vein on my forehead the size of the Panama Canal!)

Nothing is sacred in the face of advertising.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Random Tid Bits Issue #2

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I present to you, Random Tid Bits Issue #2! Random Tid Bits is our little catch all for different things from around the net and in the media, that I think are worth checking out!
And to start things off... here's a video clip from Tim and Eric: Awesome Show: Great Job!

Item #1: Mass Effect:
This little Gem from Bio Ware will definitely satisfy your urge for a role playing game. It may be the deepest RPG distributed yet for the XBOX 360. Fans of games like Oblivion and Star Wars: Knights of the Republic will love this game. In fact for a non MMO, it may be the deepest role playing game out there. Basically, it's a space adventure game mixed with political and economic intrigue with a little genocide thrown in for fun. Think Star Wars meets Michael Clayton. The also brings in elements of First Person Shooter and Squad Based Tactical games into the mix as well, which gives the genre a nice refresh. You follow the efforts of Alliance Navy Officer Shepherd, as he or she (depending on your pre-sets) uncovers an inter-galatic conspiracy that may threaten the entire human race with extinction. As Shepherd, you guide a squad of aliens who accompany you on missions and level up with you as you go along. While I feel the first person shooter engine could be stronger and the squad tactical commands more robust, the basic RPG elements are very strong, and definitely make this game a purchase, not a rent.

Item #2: Cinema Diabolica:
Podcasts are great! There I said it. If you have an MP3 player, or you are married to your iPhone and you have not delved into the Pod Cast world, do yourself a favor! Start downloading them... it's super easy! Anyway, if you are a movie fan, of the euro-crime, horror, exploitation or cult cinema, then do yourself a favor and check out Cinema Diabolica! This may be the best podcast out there for this kind of thing! DZ and F13 (the hosts) go out of their way to put for a high quality podcast. This little show is only 11 episodes in and already they have risen to #1 in their genre on PodCast Alley. That is incredible. So, check it out!

Item #3: The Savages:
I will not go into too much detail, as I do not want to deliver a full blown movie review, but I recommend this film. It is well done, and well performed. Laura Linney (who gets way too much criticism from the cinefiles) is definitely worthy of her Oscar Nomination for her portrayal of a sister past forty and struggling to reconcile with her family, passion for theater, and her status as mistress to a balding creep going through a mid-life crisis. I do not think this movie is a ground breaker, but it is a well told story. Besides, with Phillip Ceymore Hoffman on board, how could you go wrong?

The Ladies Are Going to Flip Out!

Okay, Ladies, you've had a rough day. Right? Maybe, your boss told a dirty joke, and when you didn't laugh he embarassed you in front of your co-workers by telling you to 'stop being a prude.' Or, maybe, you had a great anniversary dinner in mind with your boyfriend, and he called to blow off for a Clippers Game his ex-girlfriend gave him tickets to. Maybe your kid punched another kid at daycare, and the supervisors asked you to find another facility for your child to receive care at, preferably one with wrist restraints. Whatever it is, the folks at HEAVY CHOCOLATE have something for you!

Imagine washing your cares away and indulging in a rich delicious candy bar that weighs... 10 FREAKING POUNDS! Yep, this company makes the only known 10 Pound Candy Bar. 10 pounds of dark, brown, sweet or bittersweet, creamy goodness! And guess what, they make it in different types of designer flavors of chololate: Old Dutch, French Vanilla Semi-Sweet, Gourmet Bittersweet.

However, nothing with crunch clusters in it. I like crunch clusters in candy. I used to dig through my Halloween Bag for the Crunch bars first. One year, I grabbed 27 in one night... it may have been the best night of my life.