Saturday, April 14, 2007

Thereth Thomething Amith Here, I Can't Dethide What It Ith

I usually advise that if you're going to go into voiceover acting, it's be great if you had all 26 letters in your quiver.

But if you're hiring an actor, and you make SCANNERS, you really want to splurge on one that has a passing acquaintance with the letter "S."

In fairness, you can tell from the "performance" that this is not an actress at all, but probably Debbi from Human Resources, who was on her way to get a bagel when she was dragooned into the conference room by Marketing and told, "Here! Read this!"

I'm Guessing the Only Real Winner Here is Vanilla Ice

Friday, April 13, 2007

In Loving Tribute

I'm Calling for a Slippery Slope Ruling: If Saying "Nappy-Headed Ho's" is a National Outrage That Demands Action, Then Where Are We On This Thing?

Ohhhhh, Now I See Why He Felt They Needed a "Moderator"

Thank goodness later was heard the rarest of sounds in this day and age: the voice of wisdom, sanity and compassion:

File Utilities That Rock, and One Non-File-Utility That Rocks Hardest

The least glamorous activities you perform on your computer are also the most time-consuming. Working with files? Ugh. Over the course of a day the dragging and dropping and double-clicking and deleting and opening and closing of windows can get to you. At least it gets to me. (I'm fragile.)

If you have the time and energy, learn Applescripts and Automator. I'm starting to, and its a lot of fun. Not as intimidating as you might think, and it's already streamlined my work quite a bit. I even installed the Developer Tools and am starting to play with those a little. (Hence our brand new widgets. They're not fancy, but they work!)

Here are a few apps I didn't know I needed but can't live without. Some are even free; all are free to try.

Dragster lets you attach a bunch of favorite folders to its dock icon. Then just drag files to it and off they go to their appropriate destinations. Very Brazil.

Windows has very few advantages over Macs, but the contextual (right click) menu is one of them. FileCutter gives Mac's contextual menu Cut and Paste, Move To and other functions. NuFile puts you one click away from a new text document, Word document, Powerpoint presentation, etc.

Renamer4Mac is the best batch-renamer out there, IMHO. Just awesome.

GrandPerspective (pictured above) lets you see a drive or folder as a Mondrian painting, with the bigger files as the bigger blocks. Very handy for spotting the space-wasters when you're doing spring cleaning.

I've tried every file backup software out there, and oddly enough, I've found the ones that are supposed to be simple are usually the hardest for me. Mac's Backup is completely confounding, at least IMHO. But I have found true happiness, and it's called SuperDuper. Get this plain-English software now, and never worry again. It is fantastic.

And I know it's not a file utility, and I know I've written about it before, but I never want to miss an opportunity to plug VisualHub. I could not do the video for this blog, or the video for my work or my life, without it. It is powerful and crazy-simple to use. It lets you take any video and translate it into any other video format. iPod, PSP, MP4, DV, Flash... Even TiVo!

Even the dialogs are funny. You get your choice of buttons like "Pride" or "Inadequacy." And you know a program is user-friendly when you click the Advanced Settings and it tells you "Don't! You'll Screw Everything Up!" (You can still tweak to your heart's content if you know what you're doing, of course)

Anyway, perhaps I haven't made this clear: VisualHub is great.

I Forget: This is the Story Where a Young Mother Died, Right?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

If You've Ever Seen "The Big Picture" You'll Be Reminded of Martin Short

"Greg, [Imus] touched a nerve in this country that I have not seen since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and I'm not trying to be over-exaggerating."

--Rev. DeForest Soaries, to David "Greg" Gregory, on Hardball

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

American Idol: No Es Bueno

First things first: Jennifer Lopez is so radiant and beautiful that it's cruel to make the Idolistas stand next to her. It was bad enough to put them next to Tony Bennett and Gwen Stefani, but next to Jennifer they look like sliced lox. And not good lox either.

This group is just plain lacking in star quality. You can see star quality when you look at Tony or Gwen or Jennifer. You can see it when you look at Heather Locklear in the Loreal commercial. Hell, you can see it when you look at Ryan or Simon. They simply look more
alive on TV than other people.

Lakisha's dull features and dead eyes? Ain't got it.

But on to the individual performances:

First up is Mrs. Potato Head with "Sway." I swear to God I felt just like Robert DeNiro in
Jackie Brown, watching Simone sing "Baby Love." The difference is I knew there'd be no phone call from Odell to end my suffering.

Then it's Fauxretha with "Conga is Gonna Get You" or some shit. For the love of God, does the Miami Sound Machine have a mute button?

Next is Buzz Haircut ("To Suckdom... and Beyond!") with "Smooth." Nobody makes Rob Thomas look better than Buzz. This is the most joyless performance of a fun song ever. I mean, I haven't smiled once and it's
Latin night, ferchrissake.

Then Haley, the only one I like, let me down. As much as I hate when women wear shoes they can't walk in, I
really hate when they wear them for dance numbers.

In general, her outfit, hair and makeup were as bad as it gets. She looked like a hooker the morning after laundry day. I've never understood loud animal prints; they seem like the definition of tacky, no? And why would a woman with nice cleavage wear a cleavage-revealing top, then
cover up the cleavage with another top? Can anyone explain that to me?

As for her singing, she was strangely out of breath. Probably from the struggle of wearing two tops.

Then Phil came out, still sporting that look that he thinks says "I am streetwise" but which actually says "I was an extra in

Phil, Michael Stipe called: He wants you to get some sun and eat something.

The big surprise of the show is why McDonalds is advertising its Angus Burger to Angelenos by showing us Boston assholes making fun of us. Is that supposed to
please us? "Put down your surfboards?" Hey, fuck you, too.

On a side note, the Angus Burger is fantastic, except when you order the Bacon and Cheese with Bacon and Cheese only, it's about a 50-50 shot whether you will
get Bacon and Cheese only. Why must every burger come with untold piles of crap? Why can't there be a default burger that comes crapless?

Anyway, I digress. Back to
American Idol: The Search for the Person Who Will Sell 10,000 Albums Next Year.

Then comes the girl I always forget is in this thing. She looks like a tube of toothpaste, and sadly, it's a new tube. Also, she seems to comb her hair with buttered toast. She also sang that awful "Come On Do the Rhythm Conga" song Lakisha did, which is not good. And right near the beginning she made a hammy, "you slyboots" face that is only appropriate if you have snuff in your cuff. I was sure she didn't, so I went to get a soda.

Then came the Human Defeat Box. He's wearing one of those hats tools wear, but that no one has looked good in since Der Bingle.

Next up is a particularly-unwashed Sanjaya. He sucks. Donkeys.

The judges like it. They are clearly drunk.

I am going off to get the same.

If Any of the Soul Survivors Are Reading This

I'm sorry, but the song "Explosion in Your Soul" is
exactly the same song as "Expressway to Your Heart." I mean, exactly.

They're both awesome, but still, I demand satisfaction. Unless, of course, there are no surviving Soul Survivors. In which case, my condolences to the Soul Survivors' survivors.

Jesse Jackson is Pulling a Bill O'Reilly

Regardless of how one feels about this Imus business, ya gotta cry foul when Jesse Jackson starts using Fox News tactics.

Last night, on Hardball, Jackson complained that MSNBC has no shows hosted by African-Americans. Obviously, this is untrue: Alison Stewart hosts The Most, and is the usual substitute-host for Keith Olbermann on Countdown.

So David Gregory politely corrected Jackson. And Jackson ignored him and made the claim again. So Gregory, assuming he hadn't heard him, gently pointed out that Alison Stewart is an anchor at MSNBC. Jackson said, "Yes, but she doesn't have a show." Huh? How does one get to be an anchor without having a show?

Besides, The Most is one of only five shows on MSNBC. Twenty percent of MSNBC's shows are African-American-hosted. Hard not to notice.

Yet Jesse kept on making that claim again and again. And then this morning on Today, he said it again! Surely he knows by now it's not true. Why does he keep saying it? Because he learned from Fox News that something doesn't have to be true as long as it sounds good?

Come on, Rev. Jackson. You're better than that.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Google Offers Free Directory Assistance

The insanely useful Google SMS now has a cousin that works on POTS lines, too.

"Google Voice Local Search has emerged from the Google Labs to provide free directory assistance. A call to 1-800-GOOG-411 connects you to a pleasant automated operator who asks for your city and state. From there, you can narrow your search by business or category. When Google finds your business, it offers to either connect you for free, or text the details to your phone. The service does not currently support ads."