Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Did someone spike Boston P.D.'s drinking water with stupid juice?

So, you may have read my previous post about Boston police freaking out about a viral ad campaign and blowing up Lite Brites because they might be a terrorist attack. Well, they're at it again. This time it seems they blew up a traffic counter because it was chained to a light pole and therefore looked suspicious.

I wish I had some kind of punchline or better commentary, but I think this really speaks for itself.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Brief movie review, and being a good samaritan

So last night, I went to a late showing of "The Number 23". Obviously continuing to attempt to rid himself of the "funny man" typecasting, Jim Carrey stars in this thriller loosely based on the "phenomenon" of the number 23.

The movie was "ok", and that's about the best I can say for it. It did a good job of building tension in the first two acts, but the third blows it all on a weak explanation and ending. I could have written a better ending. I'd say if you're interested in this one, wait for video. If you want to see Carrey do something other than comedic mugging and pratfalls, you're better off with "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Although I will say, if you watch "The Number 23", you're likely to come out of it counting damn near everything and adding up every series of numbers you see, looking for a 23.

As I said, I went to a late showing, so there were very few people in the theater. As I was walking out and heading toward the car, a guy holding jumper cables flagged me down. There were a grand total of three other people in the parking lot, and one of them was gone before I could even get over to the guy. I drove over and was going to try to jump-start his car, but upon opening the hood of the Mini (I was driving the wife's car for various reasons) I discovered I could not find the battery. It was nowhere to be seen. I quickly got back in the car and zoomed over to where the other couple were pulling out, and got them to stop for a minute.

They were driving a BMW. The guy said BMW makes their cars "unjumpable". I have no idea why this would be, but it certainly helped explained why I couldn't find the Mini's battery (modern Mini Coopers are made by BMW). I drove back over to the poor stranded guy and told him what the other guy said. He asked if I could drive him a couple miles to his girlfriend's place to get her car, and I said sure. He went back to his car and was talking to somebody, and I realized for the first time he was with his girlfriend - I couldn't see her before because the hood of the car was up. I asked if he wanted to bring her along too, but he said she would be fine as it would only take a few minutes. I zoomed the guy home. He thanked me as he was getting out, and said, "I don't know if I owe you anything, or...."

"Oh heck no," I said, "I just hope the rest of your night goes better." I shook his hand, and away we went our separate ways.

So yeah...I can be helpful and a nice person. Just don't tell anybody, ok? I have a reputation to keep.

- Mattbear out.

Friday, February 23, 2007

My current fascination

I recently have become fascinated with all things Steampunk. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's a genre of fiction based in the Victorian era, but with sci-fi like technology, albeit powered by chronologically sensible sources. So, for instance, their tanks are steam powered; robots wound up like clocks, etc.

Mostly what I like is the visual aspect of Steampunk, with lots of gears and cogs and brass. There is a great deal of Steampunk art out there, including animation, comic books, novels, music, and - best of all - homemade mods and art. I found a great blog called Brass Goggles (which I've linked to on the side there) that posts about all things Steampunk. The best post, in my opinion? The guy who made his home theater the interior of Captain Nemo's Nautilus.

If you read Jules Verne when you were a kid, like I did, or if you're fascinated by Nickola Tesla and Charles Babbage, you'll like Steampunk stuff. If you're "too cool" for such nerdy stuff? Screw you. This stuff is cool.

Mattbear out.

Monday, February 19, 2007

On the Hunt...

...for a job.

A year ago, I quit my full-time Microsoft gig, with all its comfort and security, to pursue contract work as a Technical Writer. I wound up right back at the Evil Empire with far less job security, the same pay, and a lot more hapiness. But at Microsoft, there's a year limit on a contractor's employment. My year limit comes up this Friday, and I can't be assigned to Microsoft again for 100 days.

As much as I would like to just take 100 days to chill out, then try to get a new assignment at Microsoft, I cannot afford to. So I've been on the job hunt. So far, no bites, but a few nibbles. A number of recruiters have contacted me about possible contract jobs. We will see how it goes.

Anyway, I don't want to think about that too much right now. Here's some interesting tidbits for you:

"An Inconvenient Truth" has apparently become Paramount's number one money-maker, ever (it's buried in that article somewhere).

Kevin Smith is going to be directing the pilot of a TV show titled "Reaper". Hopefully it will be better than "Clerks 2".

A new item marketed to gamers: one company didn't want to compete in the energy drink arena, so they're making a gaurana-filled toffee bar called HeadShot to market to gamers. Great. I can wash 'em down with some Bawls (which, by the way, I recently was amused to see ring up at the grocery store as "gaurana drink" rather than the brand name).

I really dig this clock. Anyone want to buy me that for my birthday?

- Mattbear out.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Boston: poster child for over-reaction

So, for anyone who doesn't read Boing Boing, I just wanted to discuss the fiasco in Boston yesterday.

News reports rolled out in the morning that there were "devices" hung from various locations around Boston that were suspected of being bombs. A highway was shut down; panic ensued. Bombs? Was al-Qaeda out to blow up Boston? No. Cartoon Network was running a viral ad campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. A couple of "artists" were hanging what amounted to battery-powered Lite Brites up with Lite Brite images of various Auqa Teen Hunger Force characters on them.

What did Boston do? Say, "whoops, our bad, we panicked"? No. They arrested the guys. Their jackass mayor called the viral campaign "outrageous" and said he would take "any and all" legal action he could against Time Warner (owners of Cartoon Network).

On any day, I would call that an overreaction. But I call it absolutely ridiculous, since this same campaign happend in New York, Seattle, and several other cities where the authorities didn't panic, didn't arrest the "artists", and generally didn't make a big deal about it.

So yeah. Boston. What a bunch of fucktards.