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Thursday, June 27, 2002

Ox is dead. I hope it wasn't you-know-what. What a sad thing, almost spinaltap-esque, to die in Vegas (Vegas!) on the eve of yet another "Who rocks America (despite the fact that we are not very relevant)" spectacle. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean any disrespect; he was a one of the great bassists. Just the fact that he was abe to solo in "My Generation," when the song has almost no chords to speak of. And everyone should own Who's Next, it's wonderful, and he played all the horns on "My Wife" himself!

It's just sad, that's all.

This (warning: Shockwave) is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. I want to learn how to do that kind of thing in dhtml, just because I'm reluctant to rely on 3rd party stuff. Then again, what's a browser, but "3rd party stuff"? Or a compiler? Or a script engine? Unless you're writing on stone walls, there's always a 3rd party. [link from Caterina]

Kate added that Pi is an "almost" (like Cast Away), since it has those rabbis, and there's the woman who lives next door to the guy. And the guy has a mentor. But the idea is that the film depends on one actor.

So a friend at work said to me, "I was thinking about how Cast Away is really Tom Hanks, with some other actors at the beginning and some at the end, but it's a one-actor movie. Almost. The question is, are there any other single-actor movies?"

Here was my answer:
::There's Stevie with Glenda Jackson It's not all one person, not 100%, but the other roles are literally walk-ons; otherwise she's talking to the camera.

::The Belle of Amherst has one actress.

::there's Swimming to Cambodia but that's kind of "filming a concert" which is more or less cheating. (Richard Pryor had a few and Eddie Murphy, so you can probably make a long list...)

::The Designated Mourner has only three actors in it.

But now that I think of it, all of these were plays that were made into movies. I can't think of one non-play movie that was "let's follow one person." Derek Jarman's Blue has no actors onscreen. It's just the color blue, with voices. But that's pretty out there.

Jay adds: "Well, I don't think you can count Blue; there are lots of animated and 'abstract' films out there with no people onscreen, but I would thing that you have to have one actor onscreen to qualify. And there probably are more filmed monologues out there too, but ... I was gonna say Robinson Crusoe On Mars which has only 1 actor (and a chimp) onscreen most of the time, but I checked and there are 2 other actors in the credits. Duel is essentially one-actor but there are other people with lines besides the lead, as I recall. Repulsion has Catherine Deneuve onscreen alone for most of the film, except for a few people whom she kills before they have a chance to say much."

Still thinking about it ...

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

I liked this op-ed piece by Krugman, it touches on Bush's frightening tendency to see himself as someone with a brain.

Funky coolness has reached a new level in handbags. Ok? Almost makes me wish I were a girl.

Monday, June 24, 2002

So Minority Report (warning: Flash) was pretty good. But it was way too long, and near the end Spielberg couldn't resist the Big Speech About Family. I didn't mind that I spotted the secret bad guy in the second time he appeared (you may notice that the very same scene played near the beginning of Peter Weir's Witness, where Harrison Ford unknowingly confides in the heavy... that's all I'll say); and I didn't mind that there were logical lapses so big that Nicole Kidman could walk through them. But I did mind Samantha Morton's horrible speech.

Went swimming yesterday, and it was great. I need to swim a lot more. I'm sore!

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Yeah, it's pretty hard to swallow NPR telling people they can't link to NPR unless we get a note from the teacher that says it's ok. Pretty insane, actually. I thought site traffic was... desirable. And Linda Wertheimer and Robert Seigel are always saying I can reach them at npr.org. As if!

The Washington Post reports that the Christian right has forged an alliance with conservative Muslims. But a rightwinger pundit admitted, "We look at them as allies, not necessarily as friends." Weird wild stuff. Why is our country getting so weird?

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Q: What was it that the old man said in It's a Wonderful Life?
A: "Youth is wasted on the wrong people."

Monday, June 17, 2002

I'm getting horrible "cannot be written to such-and-such memory location" errors. I think it's Klez, it really messed on my computer. Life is bad.

Now, I'm no Slashdot guy (for someone learning C++, I'm really un-techy), but lately I've been liking windows less and less. My boss is an old Unix pro, and often espuses the beauty of the old Unix way: each user is part of a group of users; each user accesses the system (and its apps) as a group; users are granted priveleges, and no one has the right to hurt the system. The system is fast, the core is strong. Sort of a pre-RedHerring way of looking at things. Ok, so you can't have a local copy of MusicMatch, that would be bad. But otherwise, what is really the upside of windows, at least in a corporate setting? I guess the UI cannot be underestimated. (Heck, it's why I'm here!)

More Ashcroft: This was so gratifying to me: "Ashcroft's High Profile, Motives Raise White House Concerns" (via Altercation)

Went out of town over the weekend, and it was great. I never do that stuff, I never go on vacation. I was reading the other day that Warren Beatty also does not go on vacation. And when you think of it, you never did see me and Warren Beatty in the same place at the same time, did you?

The beach in Carmel was nice, and the food was pretty good, but the stores were ridiculous and the people sort of cracked us up. (The guy in the pinstripe Polo dress shirt and khaki shorts, holding two cocker spaniels to his chest as he crossed the street: he was my favorite.) I think we saw a total of two black people. Mostly it was old pink men in white slacks and women looking for Native American pottery.

But the town is very dog-friendly, and looking at the fools in wetsuits gave me the itch to learn surfing again.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Had a run-in with the Klez virus. It was bad mojo: it ate Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Visual C++ 6 and other, smaller apps. Kind of a monster.

I thought my pda would change my life, make me much more organized and effective. In actual fact it points to the limits of my effectiveness, without really changing those limits. I still put off what I don't want to do. And I have a much longer list of things I'd love to do but can't find the time to do (actually pulled from my Neo):

-- more hiking!
-- practice guitar scales
-- learn DHTML animation
-- use geometry w/ DHTML
-- really record those songs
-- write in notebook once a day
-- learn math (e.g. trig, calc)
-- practice chess
-- learn more photography
-- write about movies, submit it to some journal

To be fair, I am remembering to do more things. My calendar is self-organizing, and thus consistent, which has been a problem for me in the past. And I'm able to write code snippets during particularly dull meetings! So the potential is strong. But the Neo doesn't change the distance from which I can see "potential" and know that time has constraints that aren't remedied by technology and really never can be. It's like Robert Fripp's old aphorism about becoming rich and famous: if you don't do your own laundry anymore, you are really losing contact with something essential, even if you gain time.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Ashcroft 2008? More on the Ashcroft tip... read the New Yorker piece by Jefferey Toobin and it was pretty weird. I mean, Toobin is so journalistically "fair" he rarely sticks it to Ashcroft. Of course, Ashcroft is so thoroughly ideological in his political bite that asking the tough questions would not really matter anyway, would it? The best moment was when Ashcroft took a moment set the record straight: he does not like brie.

To be fair, conservatives dislike Toobin a lot more than I do. I do think that the earlier piece, the celebrated "Wrong Man" piece form 2001, is right-on. I think we are in a dangerous time. And the whole Reagan-stalking-Cal-Students-and-Staff brings it uncomfortably home.

And I'm not even talking about Eldred, baby.

Listening to Michael Penn, copying the image map on Aimee Mann's site. Kind of weird.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

I was wondering when guns would enter the discussion of the War on Terrorism (New York Times, registration req.). The Bush Administration has been lucky insofar as the White Supremacy/militia/anti-IRS movement of 15 years ago pretty much died. Americans favor some sort of gun control; eventually this will bite GW (or rather, John Ashcroft) in the ass. But as long as the "terrorist threat" can be laid at the feet of Muslims or people with darker skin, we're not going to see much debate about guns. I think Ashcroft is one scary mother.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

So I said that I wanted to do something, but when I got cold feet and decided I preferred to not do it, I didn't speak up. The smart person would speak up and say what's on his mind. But I am not smart. Sometimes I am afraid of disapproval and will do anything to avoid it.

Uh, haven't blogged in a while. Been working a lot, studying, that sort of thing. In fact my life is terribly dull. I have been learning a heckofa lot more VBscript lately, mainly creating DHTML pages and using them to interact with scripts. Pretty nifty.

By the way, my blogger code: B5 d- t- k s- u- f- i-- o+ x-- e- l- c++

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