Monday, December 31, 2007

stuff that sucked and soared in 2007

soared - tekkonkinkreet
beautiful, touching anime with a dark side. i think it came out in 2006, but we discovered it this year walking through the aisles of blockbuster. paprika was superb as well, but with more psychedelia and less heart.

soared - the shins "wincing the night away"
best album of 2007 in my book. it never left my playlist since doug introduced me to them right after the new album was released. having gone back and listened to their previous efforts this album was easily their best to-date. their live performance wasn't quite as good when we caught them at kcrw's evening becomes eclectic, but it wasn't nearly as bad as say, lily allen's performance was that evening.

sucked - windows mobile-based phones
maybe mobile 6 is better, but what an absolute piece of garbage 5 was. i could tolerate my palm treo 700w for all of 2 days and the Q i had was little better. symbian is a million times better.

soared - radiohead's "in rainbow"
versatile album that ranged from sophisticated breakbeats to gorgeous, wistful tracks like "reckoner" and "faust arp". oh yeah, and it was *free* to those who did not want to pay as radiohead tried to advance the music industry economic model (along with prince, saul williams and others this past year)

sucked - beowulf
not even pseudo-naked angelina jolie could save this stinker. the real 3-D was cool, but got old quick as you realized the plot was wafer thin.

soared - interface flor
need a cool rug but don't want to pay through the nose? interface flor let's you create yer own rugs by using their carpet tiles which cost about 10-18 bucks. i did 1/2 our garage and our dining room rug for around 400 bucks. just a decent 5x8 would have put us back about $700.

sucked - home warranties
who buys this stuff? this is the 3rd time i've had one that came with a home purchase and they make it impossible to actually make a claim. and then when you finally break through, it takes forever to get something authorized. pretty lousy business model when you're whole premise is to make it as difficult as possible to please your customers. the web-based submission form for my current provider doesn't even work. bleccch.

soared - cleveland browns
my brownies finally pulled off a solid, winning season going 10-6 while missing the playoffs by a whisker. for a team where very little was expected, what a pleasant surprise to see the boys in orange crank out a good season for once.

venice street art, take I

the shot below was taken with my nokia e61i while out and about yesterday morning on a saturday walk with jane. thought i'd capture some of the very groovy street art in our neighborhood and play around with mobile blogging. this is a mural done by "chase" who has done a number of installments around the neighborhood (and well beyond). check out his site:

Monday, December 17, 2007

and the sign says...

it's always a little too easy to take a shot at my jumbo-sized company. everyone knows that when an organization gets really big, dumb things happen on a pretty routine basis. the overwhelming mediocrity of most people drown out most of the best efforts of the well-intentioned, striving few and what you end up with is either just so-so. or occasionally, pretty damn funny if you keep an open mind.

i snapped the foto to the right during a meeting recently in the *finance* department level. while you might consider this a call-to-arms to embrace the culture of security required to create market-leading protection products, it might also mean...

a) "adopt the incarcerated way of life"-- ah yes! rock on prison-style finance team! i could of swore i saw the accounting team playing dominoes for cigarettes on my way to my next meeting.

b) "interweave thyself in harmonious union, like links of a joined chain" -- i don't recommend this at all. not only does it make company picnics uncomfortable, someone will poke an eye out before too long. and that's to say nothing of the HR implications of this ill-fated encouragement. i recommend the following strategy: "distance thyself with well-timed aloofness". not only will this free you from an possible social entanglement, people will assume you're smarter than what you are. this simple tactic has worked for *ages*, but can be instantly negated by things like fanny packs and wearing pants to short to cover up your leg hair.

c) "go ahead, chain yourself up. and when you're done, help your neighbor" -- this is sort of the obvious one. yikes. heard what they found in britney's secret room in her house? double yikes. even though she's kinda fat and tarnished, i'd still rather think of her in her naughty place than struggle with the thoughts of the finance department engaged in some act of sado-masochism. think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts...

alright now onto the just plain funny. we have this goofy checkpoint in our new office where you have to scan your badge before you walk up the stairs. there's no door, no barrier to get past, just an invisible "fence" of sorts that makes a low-pitch ambulance sound if you blow past it without paying your proper respects by swiping your badge. in order to better enforce this, they have stationed a security guard nearby during the day who scurries over to collar offending employees if they don't swipe. sooooooooooooo.... in light of all this silliness, someone broke it down vanilla-ice style on the poster board, calling out that you should not only stop, but also collaborate and listen before you pass the checkpoint. nice! in respects to the man who "flow(s) like a harpoon daily and nightly", i offer you the rest of the verse and salute the person who smacked the star on the sign.
Ice is back with my brand new invention
Something grabs a hold of me tightly
Then I flow like a harpoon daily and nightly
Will it ever stop? Yo - I don't know
Turn off the lights and I'll glow
To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal
Light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

current playlist

the dominatrix sleeps tonight - dominatrix - fabric live 33, spank rock
3 strange days (extended version) - school of fish - school of fish
indian ocean - west indian girl - 4th and wall
girl/boy song - aphex twin - richard d. james album
banged and blown through - saul williams - niggy tardust
got you (where i want you) - the flys - 25 cents
tea leaf dancers - flying lotus - reset
star 6 & 7 8 9 - the orb - adventures beyond the ultraworld
glad i ate her (original mix) - cass and slide - white label
reckoner - radiohead - in rainbow
ridiculous wobble - bassnector/nibu - underground communications
hey son - the black seeds - kiwi dub collection (private compilation)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

venice xmas run

the venice xmas run is hands-down one of my favorite holiday traditions. i started running it when i first moved to california, prompted by my new pal big jason at deloitte & touche. i can't remember what i ran it in (something in the 50s?), but this is what got me started with running in LA, and soon beyond.

when i moved back to the westside a few years ago, we resurrected the tradition by inviting a few folks over for mimosas afterwards. it's been gathering steam over the last couple years and we had 10+ people join us this past saturday at the new casa. i finished a little over 46 mins, not bad for a guy recovering from a cold.

a few shots of the runners below.
happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

sprinting to xmas

just got back from wednesday evening hockey. we lost but i poked in a goal and notched an assist, not a bad evening o' stress elimination and exercise.

i've bumped into a few things that are pretty funny lately. if you've never read the register, it's worth checking out. here's your chance: they tormented MSN's santa bot and got it to crack under the pressure, talking about oral sex and calling the person a dirty bastard.

this one was surfaced by digg once again and is priceless; it's 5 of the worst high school senior pictures that ever graced a blog.

on a more serious note, i ran into this quote lately which i think is really poignant:
Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.
John le Carre (1931 - )
"The Chancellor Who Agreed To Play Spy", The New York Times, May 8, 1974
i'm sure everyone has felt like this at some point, but was unable to find the exact words to articulate the alien feelings upon re-entry to their normal existence. i get this sentiment on the tail-end of a long, intl biz trip at times.

i wanted to share 2 fantastic ways of wasting time online. the first is to spend hours playing around with interface flor designs. hands-down, you can make the coolest and cheapest rugs using interface flor. below is a shot of a couple designs i was playing with. i ended up buying a green version of the orange one of the left for under our dining room table and am very happy with how it turned out (and spent under $250 on it!)

interface flor
the next is my newest addiction: the puma mongolian shoe bbq. you can design your own special flavor of pumas by selecting different colors and materials, all for about $130 bucks (not cheap). it beats the pants off the nike version of the same concept which is less flexible and intuitive.

i've been practicing on especially boring conference calls and when i have a coupla extra minutes. i've polished my skills over the last couple weeks and i think i've gotten pretty good :-) check out my latest creation below, which i'm thinking of ordering for xmas .