May 29, 2003

The Greatest Mistake Ever

One day, many months from now, after Movie has had its premiere and I'm on to the next one, if you ask me nicely I will tell you about HOW I MADE THE BIGGEST DIRECTING / PRODUCING MISTAKE OF MY SHORT UNPROFESSIONAL MOVIE CAREER one day while shooting an important scene, and how this one simple thing has haunted the post-production of this movie like the ghost of Marley, and how it is taking all my powers of creativity to dig myself out of this hole.

Posted by Chris on 05/29/03

Buttal the Second, Sort Of

Oh Jesus. We're talking about protocols over at It's Not Your Fault. This is what I'd expect from a website hosted in West Samoa - degenerating into sordid talk of PROTOCOLS. Am I going to have to study the OSI model again to understand this? What's that mnemonic? My Very Eager Mother Just Transported Nine Pizzas to the Session layer...? No, that's not it.

Shame is now cast at me for continuing to use the Blogger interface. Sorry - I can't be bothered with Moveable Type, as I am one of the Rest of Them that must be PLACATED WITH A PRETTIED UP GUI.

I'll have It's Not Your Fault know I was writing DOS batch scripts back when he was wearing... well, pretty much what I was wearing at the time too. I HAVE NO FEAR OF THE COMMAND LINE.

I notice there is no rebuttal about the Mac keyboards.

Posted by Chris on 05/29/03

Buttal the First

And so it begins. The good folks one blog over have heard my little rant and have responded with a long post full of links and facts that it will take me all night to parse. I know I've hit a nerve over there when I am sent not only instructions but hyperlinks.

But let me jump to the end and respond to the swipe at my choice of hosts for this blog. Yes, Blogspot is full of molasses, so here we are at precious handeye. I beg of It's Not Your Fault to not only update his external links, but provide some context for the name of his site. Now, to get back to Transferring Files over the Internet (FTP and such) - Part the first.

And who knows what FattyFattyFatFat will have to say? BECAUSE YOU KNOW IT WILL BE SOMETHING. Tune in.

Posted by Chris on 05/29/03

An apology and then a rant

My friends forgive me my absence from the Apple Cert study group so that I could work on Movie last night. They DO forgive me, don't they? DON'T they? If it makes it any better I am doing the editing ON A MAC.

If it makes you feel better all the PC chores I do during the day, I do with a grim expression and with the occasional mutter of how this would be SO MUCH EASIER, or if not easier than at least with a SLICKER INTERFACE, if I could do it on a Mac*.

I enjoy learning about the mysteries of OS X and networking, but know that if I did that last night instead of editing, I would be grumpy and irritable today.

I estimate 3/8ths of the movie is solid now. And it is probably more; I am working straight through now, instead of going to random scenes, so that when I come to something that's wrong I stop and fix it then, even if it means going to digitize more footage and then maybe logging some I didn't log before. I came to the "breakfast" scene last night and for some reason it took two hours to get straight. But I also suspect that it's going to pick up faster now, since a lot of the big random scenes I was working on before are in the last half of the movie.

*Except having a built-in way to FTP on OS X. And before you BLITHELY POINT OUT that one can hit Apple-K and type in an address in the format ftp://username:password@hostname, let me sigh heavily, roll my eyes, and tell you that I have tried that. No joy. It works quickly and easily on IE on PC, though.

I should also point out that since I do the HTML for my site by hand, it is also easier to do THAT on a PC, with Notepad. "Download BBEDIT, you fool!" they will say. "And also drop into the command line to do your FTP, HOW CAN YOU RUIN THINGS THAT ARE SO EASY?" Sigh. It WOULD be nicer, as all the image creation I ever do is on the Mac.

Now if only I could learn how to write things on the Mac, it could be my ONLY platform. But their keyboards - what is up with them? What's wrong with having a delete key and a backspace key? What's wrong with a way to CTRL-arrow to the end or beginning of words or paragraphs? "You need to get the extended keyboard," I will be told. Sure, let me add that to the list under "ftp client" and "BBEdit."

WHOA - where did all that come from? This little footnote turned into... well, a RANT! Should I post this to a blog or nail it to someone's door?!?

Posted by Chris on 05/29/03

May 28, 2003

Blog Relations

Hey! Two friends with their own blogs:

John Kepler's It's Not Your Fault. (Although I suspect that it is.)

Michael McFall's FattyFattyFatFat, although there's his older site here for now.

Posted by Chris on 05/28/03

Sisyphean Filmmaking

What is the name of the character in Greek mythology that offended Zeus, or maybe it was Hera, and as punishment they set him to work editing his first feature film, but they removed that part of his brain that allowed him to be finished with it? He just kept EDITING AND EDITING AND EDITING.

What's that logical paradox that states you can never get from A to B because first you must go half the distance, and then you must go half the remaining distance, and then half the REMAINING distance, and then half the REMAINING distance, so therefore you can never arrive?

That's me.

The first twenty minutes of the movie is basically done. But the more I let it play out, the more tiny things I see that need fixing or tweaking. It's as if, the more you work on something, the more fine and focused your vision gets. And as the level of detail grows, so do the imperfections.

Posted by Chris on 05/28/03

May 27, 2003

Those aliens

Those aliens that are waiting on the dark side of the moon, to give us the anti-gravity technology and the cancer cure? I think they also require us to STOP IRONING OUR CLOTHING. Is there anything more medieval?

I'd also like to think they are waiting for us to STOP SENDING THANK YOU NOTES. But maybe that's just my own peeve.

Posted by Chris on 05/27/03

Matrix vs. Star Wars, sigh

Saw the Matrix Reloaded this weekend. Nifty fun. I feel sorry for those that can't just sit back and enjoy the ride. And I didn't feel it was too talky! It's Existentialism 101 in pop-art, of course it's going to have big speeches.

Still not sure why Neo doesn't just fly away when all the Agents Smith come out of everywhere - and if you want to see the geeks tapdance, just ask one why that is - but then I remember that the Wachowskis are clearly big big Kung Fu fans. What would Enter the Dragon have been like if Bruce Lee could just fly away? He wouldn't have, even if he could.

What cool flying effects, and what great fight scenes. I give it an A, or maybe a B++.

All my irritation for the first movie went away when I saw it for a second time at home. The fans were just taking TOO much glee in eviscerating Phantom Menace and holding up Matrix as SO MUCH BETTER. At the time I felt this was apples and oranges, but now I feel more like it's naval oranges and blood oranges.

Matrix WAS more fun than Phantom Menace. The irony for me is that the original three Star Wars films adhered to a sort of pop-amalgam of various philosophies and spiritual beliefs, then seemed to discard that with the mitochlorians of Phantom Menace. Then Matrix comes along with its OWN amalgam of philosophies and picks up some sort of mantle that Star Wars seemed to discard. Oversimplification? Certainly. More explanation required? Of course.

NOW who's the tapdancing geek, you may be asking. In which I case, I respond with naught but an icy glare.

Posted by Chris on 05/27/03

May 23, 2003

The Call of the Crab

I'm not sure when I turned into such a crab, but I now have a reputation for it amongst the people I speak honestly to. I suppose it's possible that I was ALWAYS a crab, but just dealt with it better.

UPS enrages me. Any time we get a package from them, we have to add 3 - 5 days onto the delivery time, AT LEAST. The driver leaves the notice, then you have to reroute it to your daytime address. Usually they won't do this, so you check off the box on the form to have the driver leave it at the back door. The driver then ignores this, so you have to wait the three attempts out, then an extra day for it to go into Package Limbo, which is big warehouse over in a crappy part of town with no parking. There's a tiny hot room with three chairs and all the other people that got packages from UPS last week, where you then wait an hour for your package.

And my company has just made UPS their Carrier of Choice. Goodbye Fedex, with your simplicity, your efficiency, with the annoying way you got the job done. Gone also is Mailbox Etc., which I used to love because you could take your item there, and they'd package it up, send it, do everything! But now UPS has bought them out.

What is the difference between UPS and USPS, anyway? How does such a company stay around? At what Bilderberg / Pentaverate / Electoral College level are decisions being made to preserve this company but Kosmo is now gone?

Needless to say, UPS is not included in my idea of the Future. So today I go to work and every time I pass a UPS truck or "service center" - HAH - I grumble. For that is the call... OF THE CRAB.

Posted by Chris on 05/23/03

It would be useful to add that the secretive and immensely powerful Bilderberg Group not only support 'globalization' but sees it ad an ESSENTIAL pre-cursor to their liberty-shattering 'New World Order'.

For more on the Bilderberg Group and its annual, secret and heavily-guarded Bilderberg Conferences, see:

These meetings are attended by select members of the US and British politcal and financial elite, among others, and the decisions taken THERE annually decide what the world will think of America [and Britian] thereafter.

There's an excellent selection of other articles from the 'New World Order Intelligence Update' ( archived at and also mirrored at

Well worth reading for insight into how the world REALLY works [politics included1].

Posted by: Peter Atkinson at March 20, 2004 9:00 PM

May 22, 2003

More Requirements for a Future

5) Universal Handheld Device

Why am I schlepping around a PDA, a cell phone that doesn't work, and an iPod? Why is that not all one thing?

Don't tell me how if it was all one thing then the MP3 player part would be great while the phone part sucked. DON'T TELL ME THAT, LEST I REFER YOU TO MY NOTES BELOW.

It must be modular so that when new functionalities are discovered that I need later (an OCR scanner, a complete functioning computer, a laser gun, and handheld video game system, whatever) they can be added easily.

Posted by Chris on 05/22/03

My Requirements for the Future

Is there any sensor as sensitive as the dollar-bill reader inside this Coke machine? If the dollar bill has ever been folded, spent, or minted longer than two months ago, it's a REJECT. NO COKE FOR YOU! UNTIL YOU FIND APPROPRIATE HARD-EDGED MONEYS!

Shouldn't this thing be used somewhere more important, like the military or in a hospital? When will I be able to just wave my Universal Card in front of this thing and have it just deduct the .65 from my Government Account? And at the same time perhaps access a record of my last ten purchases and display the appropriately enticing advertising on its surface? What else is the Bureau of Homeland Security for, if not to assemble and parse data about me into its Terrorist Database and then use it for marketing?

Here's my list of things I require to truly be living in "the future:"

1) Universal Card.

It will hold all my account info and balance, and any info needed to authenticate me to any gatekeeping device or complete any transaction. Or maybe this should be a ring I wear, or an implant. Either way it can't be stolen and used against me, as some sort of biometric check is built in.

And spare me all the crap about security issues and why this can't work and who's tried it and why they failed. My request for this technology presumes all those bugs have been worked out.

2) Cars that ride on magnetic rails.

No more combustion engines. "But what about the big automotive companies?" you ask. "What about the oil-based economy?" I TOLD YOU MY REQUEST IMPLICITLY INCLUDES THAT THESE ISSUES BE RESOLVED. They do not concern me.

3) Computer monitors that weigh less than 2 lbs.*

Wait - no, I want to be able to project my computer display on any surface in my house.

4) *Conversion to the metric system.

I think there are aliens just waiting to give us the anti-gravity technology waiting just behind the moon. But they won't make a move until we prove that we can handle changing the way we think, and at LEAST get our system of measurements standardized to base 10.

The list will continue...

Posted by Chris on 05/22/03

Aid to China

Once more I have done my part in ridding China of its plague of Orange Chickens. I may need to rest for a while, but that's one more... DOWN.

Posted by Chris on 05/22/03

IM Apologies

Apologies to anyone who's ever IMed with me. The sad fact is that I get most of my writing done and ideas generated from IMs. Something about the quick interplay, but in WRITTEN format, not verbal, is optimal for me. So I tend to overwhelm anyone who dares fall into a conversation habit with me with a flood of thoughts. I killed three people on Yahoo that way in the last five years.

I mourn their loss, but on the other hand I got some good writing done.

Posted by Chris on 05/22/03

No Pink Floyd...

DURING THE DAY. And especially not at work. It makes me feel ooky during the day.

Posted by Chris on 05/22/03

Dixie Chickery

I'm actually OK with people booing them, because after all, everyone has a right to express themselves, even if they are idiots. But when people start burning records or petitioning labels or radio stations to drop them from playlists? Come on. How about a little respect for dissent? Have you EVER looked at a picture of people burning records or books, and thought "Boy! Thank God someone had the courage to do THAT!"

I have to say, though, I wish the Chicks would respond in kind, and not get upset and apologetic. I KNOW people have threatened their families, and that must be terrible, but how about a nice fuck-you country song along the lines of "Goodbye Earl?" That would push me from being a casual fan to a dedicated one.

Shame on them for expressing shame about their president?!? How about shame on our President for creating and allowing an atmosphere where citizens under his protection could be demonized to this degree. Can you imagine the President standing up and saying "No, no - leave the Dixie Chicks alone, they are expressing their opinion, which is, after all, what we're fighting for over there."

Nope, me either.

Posted by Chris on 05/22/03

My Precious Files

Been in the process over several days to finally, finally compile all those dozens of ideas on random post-it notes and scraps of paper and several notebooks into a big Word file. The Word file has turned into four - it's filled with entries ranging from things as fragmented as "that one idea about the secret life of the notary - and also there's a Bible that talks" to big outlines of future epics covering several pages.

The pupal stage of the fragmented Idea is that it starts in the big random wash with all its other orphan siblings; then, if it seems interesting enough, it's expanded into a little Collection of ideas and moved to the top of the file under a header; then, if it gets enough momentum going, it's moved into the coveted Projects file, where it has its own special collapsible section (because that file is viewed in Outline mode, don't you know); and if it makes it past that, it becomes its OWN SPECIAL FILE.

Good Lord.

It's been a grand obsessive task, and also good to do - because I've made myself finally exercise judgment over all those little sentences I thought were important enough to write down, and not let each and every thing be precious. The ones that are still good to me immediately take me back to where I was and what I was doing when I wrote them, the ones that are just "enh" have little resonance at all.

Gathering all the like ideas into sections is when I learn - or remember - that, for instance, the secret life of the notary idea has been kicking around for years, as I kept leaving myself notes about it everywhere.

I hope I don't have to go through this big housecleaning chore before EVERY screenplay from now on.

I love the tradition of jotting down things in a notebook, and I hate not having one with me at ALL times - but for me, doing that just makes it that much harder to find ideas later. Because then all that has to be copied into a computer. And what do you do with the notebook once you've copied it all? Throw it away? Put a stamp (a NOTARY stamp!) on each page, certifying it as - ugh - CAPTURED? Because not only is all my writing going to be done on a computer, so is all my organizing of ideas. I haven't written anything out longhand in years. Although I did take about a gross of legal pads from the lawfirm when I left, so maybe I SHOULD.

Posted by Chris on 05/22/03

May 19, 2003

Arcus Defies Me

Why is the Arcus man defying me at every turn? Why won't he give me his signature? Why is this day so unrelentingly gray in every direction? Why is no band called "Various Artists?"

Posted by Chris on 05/19/03

The Skeptics' Annotated Bible

The Skeptics' Annotated Bible.

Posted by Chris on 05/19/03

May 16, 2003

Get it On

Lest we forget how cool it is:

Get Your War On.

Posted by Chris on 05/16/03

Worst Title... EVER

Harry Knowles of "" has been named one of the 100 most powerful people in the movie industry? By whom? Based on what? Being a pushy uber-Comic Book Guy fan-boy whose website is in serious need of a redesign? Is this all it takes to become an "authority" in the movies?

Why do I picture him as laying back on a huge plush throne, eating cereal, with a cardboard stand-up of Princess Leia on a chain and one of the frozen Han Solo stuck to the wall, chuckling to himself in a rotund basso?

Leave it to CNN to elevate someone to "Subject Matter Expert" status simply because they need a talking head for some filler.

Listen, I have a small (very small) reserve of admiration for anyone who carves themselves a niche by just doing what they do. It comes from the same reserve I use for anyone who pushes their way to the head of the line by sheer force of their own gravity. (Not a line I'm in, though.) And isn't one of the cool things about the web that you can have a successful site without having a professional design staff?

But let's not feed these guys' fantasies TOO much. He's the worst kind of rabid fan - the one with a sense of entitlement. He's a little Caesar, clapping his pudgy hands once, twice, THRICE, daring the court-jester filmmakers to entertain him.

Shame on you, CNN - I always thought the kids that cried if they couldn't be the Dungeon Master wouldn't amount to anything, but now you're rewarding him for it.

Posted by Chris on 05/16/03

Good Enough for 2003

Oh My God. This device is one of the few things around right now that makes me feel like we're actually living in the future. It's not a rocket car, but it's good enough for 2003.

And now you can RENT ONE?!?! Perfect. I've always wanted to see Spokane, anyway.

Posted by Chris on 05/16/03

May 13, 2003

My Precious Child

Let's all agree that not all babies are adorable. Some, in fact, look like tiny, angry old men. They look like mishappen, tiny, angry, red old men. It's fine with me if you need to think your baby is adorable, I understand, you have to live with it, so naturally some self-delusion will be needed. NAY - required! But don't make me comment on how cute your baby is, unless the baby can do some cool trick.

Me, I'll never have kids - this blog will take the place of a child for me.

Posted by Chris on 05/13/03

The Flying Dutchman Blog


Posted by Chris on 05/13/03

Absolut-ly Too Loud

I love Salon but these Absolut ads with the sound - PLEASE. Where's the "no sound" button? Does it occur to them that I might be reading their site at work and don't want an airplane sound suddenly coming out of my speakers? Or maybe you only get the airplane sound if you choose their "watch one ad" option - maybe it's mute if you send them a check.

Which reminds me of my idea for the Salvation Army at Christmas time - for every dollar they get in the tin pail, they have to stop the annoying clanging for 10 minutes. I think that's a good idea. Tell me what could possibly be wrong with that.

Posted by Chris on 05/13/03

Initial Aspersions

Don't believe anything you read over at the FattyFattyFatFat Blog. It is filled with Damnable Lies. Those people are the ones that broke the New Economy. That's right! If it weren't for them, we'd all be taking our weekends in Disneyland and connecting back to our cappucino makers over the internet while we were away.

Thanks for ruining everything, FattyFat.

Posted by Chris on 05/13/03


My friend Michael the bully claims I broke the Internet and that is why I can't FTP this to my own site at Join me in calling him a bully-bully.

Posted by Chris on 05/13/03

Geek review of "The Program," the animated samurai episode

I didn't like it - it reminded me of all that I didn't like about the whole "Matrix" story. It's the same problem as all those Star Trek - Next Generation stories that centered on something that happened on the Holodeck. I never feel anything is really at stake in a place where you can be or do anything. Sure, you can die in "real life" if something happens to you in the Matrix, but if you can download how to be a super-mega-Ju Jitsu artist in a second, or how to fly a Huey chopper, or have any weapon at all at your command, what are the chances of dying? You'd actually have to be a big uber-klutz to die. I choose to download the "superhero" program - there. Now you can't hurt me. Nyah.

The overriding point is, really one shouldn't be questioning it that hard in the first place. And I didn't question it during the other three episodes for some reason. I was just totally into their story. The samurai one brought nothing more to my mind than some geek that wanted to see a hot chick fight with swords.

Also, I didn't get the logic - the warrior wanted to go BACK to the Matrix with her? Where were they? I thought the Matrix WAS the shared multi-user illusion where you could do things like fight skimpily-dressed women?

And another thing - no one likes an "It was only a dream" ending.

Posted by Chris on 05/13/03