My friends at Motion Over Time have come out with a new Flash holiday
game. It's pretty cute.
Just a few shopping days left until Christmas... It's very wet today, but I think I'll brave it.
We're off to see Lord of the Rings tonight. Before that, we'll have a nice Italian meal at Grappa. Yum!
My brother got a good
review in Cincinnati CityBeat for his production of the 8 Reindeer Monologues by Jeff Goode:
This is a well-acted, terribly naughty and thoroughly entertaining evening,
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues embodies the freeform, sly, take-it-or-leave-it
attitude of Off Broadway theatre....
Director Lyle Benjamin has helped his cast find all the outrageous, tasteless,
humor in this Jeff Goode script and even peppered the evening with vocals
by Natalie Bolan.
to the Rescue or How I Caught a Counterfeiter with a Little Help from my Friends
- An interesting story about catching an eBay scammer.
Here's a pic from the second photo shoot for the jewelry site.Getting better.
We figured out that we can drape some material right over the lights and get
most of the diffusion we want, without the trouble of trying to tent the thing.
That's especially useful for arrangements like this. I'm still having a little
trouble controlling what the CoolPix will focus on. I think the product on one
of the shots came out way too soft. I'll have to research my options.
There's a "freeview" on DirecTV tonight: Eric Clapton in concert. His keyboardists are two of my favorites: Billy Preston and David Sancious. I don't think either of them are recording these days. I'm very happy to see them looking healthy, and probably paid pretty well for the gig. Billy even got to do "Will it Go 'Round in Circles?" I've always loved that tune.
"Star Trek: Nemesis" is a good movie. The premise is interesting. The cinematography and special effects are first-rate. Visually, parts of it remind me of a vampire movie, with maybe a little "Dune" thrown in. The pacing is slower than many popcorn movies, and even many of the other Star Trek movies. But overall, I liked it. The idea of essentially two clones also adds a lot of dimensions to the plot. It was cool to see a writing credit for Brent Spiner.
Denise sent me an great link this morning. Micheal Moore poses an interesting question on his website: What Does a 99-cent Bic Lighter Tell Us About the Bush War on Terrorism?
...Then came December 22, 2001. Richard Reid, on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, attempted to light his shoes on fire, using matches. His shoes, the police said, contained a plastic explosive and, had some passengers and flight attendants not taken quick action to restrain him, he would have been able to blow the entire plane out of the sky. But his lighter would not light the shoes fast enough, and everyone survived.
I was sure after this freakish incident that the lighters and matches would surely be banned. But, as my book tour began in February, there they were, the passengers with their Bic lighters and their books of matches. I asked one security person after another why these people were allowed to bring devices which could start a fire on board the plane, especially after the Reid incident. No one, not a single person in authority or holding an unloaded automatic weapon, could or would give me answer.
My simple question was this: If all smoking is prohibited on all flights, then why does ANYONE need their lighters and matches at 30,000 feet -- while I am up there with them?!
And why is the one device that has been used to try and blow up a plane since 9-11 NOT on the banned list? No one has used toenail clippers to kill anyone on Jet Blue, and no one has been blowing away the leaves in the aisle of the Delta Connection flight to Tupelo.
BUT SOME FRUITCAKE DID USE A BUTANE LIGHTER TO TRY AND KILL 200 PEOPLE ON AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT #63. And this did nothing to force the Bush Administration to do something about it.
I began asking this question in front of audiences on my book tour. And it was on a dark and rainy night in Arlington, Virginia, at the Ollsson's Bookstore a couple miles from the Pentagon that I got my answer. ...
"I work on the Hill. The butane lighters were on the original list prepared by the FAA and sent to the White House for approval. The tobacco industry lobbied the Bush administration to have the lighters and matches removed from the banned list. Their customers (addicts) naturally are desperate to light up as soon as they land, and why should they be punished just so the skies can be safe?
The lighters and matches were removed from the forbidden list.
...Would they really put Big Tobacco's demands ahead of people's lives?
...Yes, of course, the answer has always been YES but not now, not in a time of national crisis, not NOW, so soon after the worst domestic mass murder in U.S. history!
Unless there was no real threat at all. ...
What if there is no "terrorist threat?" What if Bush and Co. need, desperately need, that "terrorist threat" more than anything in order to conduct the systematic destruction they have launched against the U.S. constitution and the good people of this country who believe in the freedoms and liberties it guarantees?
Do you want to go there? ...
A week ago, the New York Times Magazine posed a series of questions on its front cover about why the Oklahoma City bombing victims didn't get money, but the WTC victims did, and why some people are getting a LOT more money than others. You might have heard, for example, that the families of some of the wealthier victims (among the top 2% of money earners in the country) were suing to make it possible to collect even MORE money from the funds set up to compensate the familes of the victims, leaving even less for the families of the "ordinary people" who can't afford to lawyer-up and fight.
You know, I don't know if Al Gore has what it takes to succeeed in a run against Bush in 2k4, but I'm really concerned that there doesn't seem to be any viable candidate to oppose Bush right now. That's particularly disappointing, given that Gore won the popular vote. The system is badly broken, but no one seems to be talking about it...
... Meanwhile in New York, we hold our breath and wonder if there will be a transit strike.
I doubt whether the "man in the street" is sympathetic with the transit workers' union. The strike threat seems like the outcome of a cycle of greed that 's likely to play out every 3 years for the foreseeable future. On the radio this morning, one of the talk show hosts was talking to a transit union worker saying that it wasn't fair for the transit workers to be harping on the raise that was given to the Police, when city hall is talking about closing fire houses. He went on to ask the transit worker how much the transit workers' union president is paid. The worker refused to discuss the president's salary. Yesterday, I overheard a woman talking about Mayor Bloomburg's recommendation that strangers get together to form carpool groups. "I'm gonna let some stranger in my car with me? So they can say 'hmmm... this is a nice car' and hit me over the head and take it from me?! No, uh uh!"
Another of the Mayor's suggestions was to bike to work. Normally aware of the image he sends, (he's more likely to be photograhped holding the $1 variety convenience store coffee, rather than a $3.25 Starbucks' tall latte, for example) Mr. Bloomberg was shown feebly mounting a $2000 bike on the front page of several newspapers this weekend.
I still haven't heard anything about Governor Pataki in all of this. He skated to reelection, having ducked a bullet when Andrew Cuomo asked where George was in the days following 9/11/01. Now it seems he's M.I.A. again.