January 7 - 10, 1999
It's like a drinking game for the Vikings game:
Did a search on "Neil Gaiman" on startribune.com to see if we had any mention of his upcoming signings in the paper . . . didn't find any. Instead found a review of Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors by Colin Covert, that I somehow missed back in December:
Yes! James Lileks on all this fuss over dates:
Al Roker on witch hazel and memory.
TV Alerts for This Weekend:
Bizarre news from the Guiding Light front (I used to watch the show and still keep up with news so I can keep my Mom up-to-date, forgive me):
I laughed far too long and loud at some bits in this new teevee piece. Others were a bit cruel (but I probably chuckled anyway, it's been a long day already). Funny predictions galore.
I've been having some problems ftp'ing this logfile to it's proper place, so if it's sometime truncated or it seems like I'm doing "phantom updates," that's why. Sorry about that.
Further geekiness: the February 1999 issue of Vanity Fair has the cast of that Star Wars movie on the cover. And a 15 (or so) page spread of pictures of the cast and behind-the-scenes stuff (pics by Annie Leibowitz). Supposedly on newsstands now, I've yet to see it in the flesh (saw some of the pictures online already, but they've since been removed from servers). Do you think the issue will sell out? (I do). (I know I'm going out on a limb with this prediction . . .).
Moriarty of Ain't It Cool News reviews the script for Episode 1 (of you know what):
Master plan for the marketing of Episode 1 revealed:
Lots of interesting stuff about marketing plans for toys (and lego sets), promotions with Pepsi and a bunch of others:
A decent timeline/chronicle of the Legion of the Underground vs. China (from Hacker News Network).
Here's a link to the website for Lojo Russo and Funks Grove. A mighty cool band (some of you may know Lojo from her stints with Cats Laughing or Gallowglass. Or maybe you've caught her vocals on Boiled in Lead or Flash Girls albums) . . . Her solo albums are fabulous. I know the live album rocks 'cuz I was at the show (don't have the album yet, oops).
Neil Gaiman will be signing books at the Barnes and Noble in Edina, Minnesota (Galleria mall) this Friday evening (7-8pm). He's also at Dreamhaven Books on Saturday afternoon (2-4pm). One can hope he reads some of his work, he does it so well. Of course there'll be the usual long lines for autographs. If you aren't in the Minneapolis area, have faith, this is part of a big signing tour to promote Stardust. Go see Neil Gaiman if he's in your area (if not for an autograph, just to say "hi" and "thanks" if you know and like his work). (Please don't stalk him). If you want stuff autographed by Neil but are wary of lines or can't get to a signing, you can always order autographed books or comics from Dreamhaven Books.
More Neil info to be had at The Dreaming.
This is a good time to mention the fabulous Flash Girls and their internet mailing list signal-to-noise (whose webpage I updated slightly for the first time in two or more (!) years). Writer Emma Bull and the Fabulous Lorraine make fabulous music together, with some songs written by that Neil Gaiman guy. Fortunately, at least one album is still in print. Witty folk music, with guest appearances by members of Boiled in Lead among others.
(I'm getting all nostalgic, I used to do a lot of promotion of The Flash Girls online. Pity there aren't concerts to promote these days, since the band is broken up 'cuz Emma is in L.A. and Lorraine is in MN).
I am a big sap, I got a little misty-eyed reading this account of a Homicide-fan's first viewing of the early episodes of the show (during the Court TV marathon):
Any excuse to see another picture of Gates with pie on his face:
TV Alert for Thursday: Lisa Kudrow on Late Show with David Letterman, new episode of Friends (in which Rachel finds out about Chandler and Monica), Cupid moves to the 8pm CST slot on ABC, and what looks like an incredibly lame episode of ER (maybe bad enough I'll be amused?).
Also, Melina Kanakaredes appears on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Don't know Melina? You might recognize her, she's been in a bunch of shows that haven't quite made it a full season . . . not 'cuz she's not incredibly talented, they just didn't make it. She stars in the new NBC show Providence. She's had bit parts in movies and memorable guest spots on Due South and NYPD Blue. I've followed her career for years, one of these days she'll be a big star.
A fine essay on the last days of Twin Cities Reader, the loss of a job, and the death of a Dad. [via obscurestore]
An interesting (not entirely original, but good to see someone in the media voice it) suggestion from David Bianculli of the New York Daily News:
It has potential.
A review of the "Bruce Campbell as a demon" episode of The X-Files (a.k.a. "Terms of Endearment") has this gem:
It's not as if Scully is a medical doctor or anything . . . Argh. Sure the writer who wrote the episode is new to the show, but didn't anyone else look at the script? Wouldn't the actors have to read the script to learn their lines? Good grief.
Jon Carroll posts TV-guide synopsis for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Amusing:
I surely hope the guy has his priorities straight.
No Penn and Teller on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on Wednesday night after all. Instead: Al Roker and George Brett. No, they aren't a new comedy team (heh). Much better than Penn and Teller would've been (IMHO), Roker was really on (i.e. funny). And Conan was flirting with Brett's wife and waiting to get beat up by Brett. Cool.
Whoops! Fixed the below link (to my fave Opera trick) so it's not password protected. D'oh. I'd been working on some webpages that weren't finished yet, forgot that I'd password protected that part of my site. Sorry. Thanks to Steve Bogart (of [nowthis]) for bringing it to my attention.
Another oops, kinda: Jesse James Garrett (of the fab weblog at jjg.net) says he remembers 4800 baud. Must've been around briefly, I guess. Still, it seems odd to mention 4800 and not 2400 . . . 2400 was the standard for a long time.
It's cool to know folks are reading this stuff and to get feedback. Thanks!
I just wrote up my favorite trick using the Opera web browser-- a way to save multiple windows/URLs that you can return to any time you want to. It's how I browse my favorite sites, I select "weblogs" and my favorite weblogs open in a bunch of different windows in my browser. I haven't heard of similar ways to do this with other browsers or utilities (if you know of any, let me know).
The steps aren't numbered and I don't have any screenshots or anything fancy there, but hopefully the page does the job anyway.
City Pages' Terri Sutton interviews Neil Gaiman (weird/cool, it's like Sutton and City Pages just discovered how many cool writers happen to live in the area). Plenty of cool bits I could quote, just read it already. Need I say that I highly recommend Gaiman's stuff? And Bujold's, too (mentioned earlier in this log). Good stuff written by cool people.
Salon magazine on the death of Hayes:
4800? Huh? I remember 110 and 2400, but not 4800. Did anyone have 4800 baud modems? I don't think so. I had a 300 baud vicmodem (actually I now have several, they aren't heavy enough to make good doorstops). I had a 1200 baud modem. I remember when 2400 seemed really fast and I was proud that I could read messages on BBSes at 2400 much of the time. 1200 no problem. 4800? Someone at salon just lost credibility with me. (If someone remembers 4800 modems, I'll have to eat my words or something).
I didn't read past the sentence with 4800 in it.
Jon Carroll considers cats: Do cats remember weather? Lovely.
The scary thing is, now I want an iMac more than ever. Yeah, 'cuz of the pretty colours. In fact, I think it'd be cool to have a couple of colours. I'm not sure what kind of geek this makes me. Does this place me in the target demographic? 'Course I do care what's under the hood, I wouldn't buy a computer 'cuz of it's looks if it was a shoddy piece of equipment . . . unless it was a classic and darn cheap (hey, I like my Commodore Plus 4). (I don't know where I first heard of the new colors, seems to be in every weblog today).
Hmm. Interesting possible convergence of Web TV, Satellite dish, and digital VCR-like thingies (a la replaytv). Worth following to see what happens.
TV Alert for Wednesday: Lateline returns to NBC (8pm CST) with an episode that
has guest appearances by Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter.
I somehow missed this article when it first appeared, so I'm glad it's featured on [hlotslinks] as their Vault Spotlight of the Month. Boy do I relate to this one . . . Katherine Dahlsgaard on her love affairs with TV shows:
I suppose I need this: CD release of expanded Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack and companion CD of Inside Star Trek (which is basically an album's worth of Roddenberry interviewing Trek cast members, it's never been released on CD before).
<mini-rant> FDA approves anti-depressant for dogs:
Call me crazy, but wouldn't it make more sense for people who are away from home for more than a couple or a few hours at a time to not own dogs?
I love dogs. I really wish I could adopt a Scottie of my own, I miss having dogs as pets (much as I love my two cats). But I live in an apartment sans roommate and my job is such that I'm away from home for at least 9 hours at a stretch each weekday (with no way of getting home even for a little while in the midst of that). So . . . much as I'd love to adopt a dog, I don't. Some day, when my circumstances are different and I'm ready for that kind of commitment, I'll adopt a dog.
When humans suffer from clinical depression, anxiety disorders, and such things . . . it's bona fide disease. Something out of the ordinary, that can often be treated with drugs and therapy. When dogs get upset when their humans aren't around, that's to be expected (to a greater or lesser extent depending on the breed of dog, and how a dog is raised). Which is why most dog-owning humans like to stay home with their dogs or take breaks from work to go home and walk their dog or bring their dogs to work (if they can). Or work out a schedule so someone is around to be with the dog. I even know folks who co-own a dog, so the dog can spend time at either household and between all the humans someone's always with the dog. And you can work to train dogs to accept absences or cope better with them. I would hope that no one would be allowed to get this drug to use on their dog until it was clear they'd tried all these other options (yeah, I'm living in a fantasy world . . . it's much easier to just slip pooch a drug. Grrrrr).
I think people should have to take a test and receive some sort of license before being allowed to adopt (or purchase) a pet. (I spotted the article on the front page of the [startribune] but I've linked to it at the L.A. Times 'cuz that's where the story originated (I think) ). </mini-rant>