The President says DAMMIT! Jack says a low dammit! The Fat Hobbit gets taken away- but he’ll be back, there’s still the issue of his keycard and the anorexic sister. The Russian go to LAX! They take the 118 to the 5 to the 110 to the 10. It’s an odd way to go but at 4pm probably to try and skip the traffic on the Sepulveda Pass, which is the way I would take. Good thing that Agent Pierce survives and blows up the guy wearing a flamethrower (as Holly noted- the kind of thing you would see on the A-Team or any other 80’s action show). ROBOCOP! And he’s evil…who was the girl on the phone he was talking to? Online chatter wants it to be Mandy…I say it’s Sandrine Holt. She’s gotta turn evil! I like the fact that Robocop was involved in the investigation that was hinted in the beginning of Season One when no one at CTU liked Jack. Plus the mention of Nina Myers and George Mason…ah, the memories. Kim’s back in the next episode! And she grew her hair long(er)! Where are the cougars!
Favorite part of the episode: the totally cool office politics at CTU. Working around the Fat Hobbit’s back and he knows and goes apeshit! That was cool. That and Agent Pierce kicking ASS!

On a side note: about the fire at my apartment complex- the news say damage was at half a million dollars, 3 units were burnt and 12 others suffered damage and everyone had to leave till they fix things up. The oddest thing was that they noted there was a delay in reporting the fire to the authorities. What the hell was that about?

“Dude, the couch is on fire.”
“How’d that happen?”
“Fell asleep with my stogie.”
“Should we call 911?”
“I don’t know- maybe it’ll burn itself out…”

Ten Minutes later…

“Dude- the wall’s on fire…should we call 911 now?”
“Nah- ain’t that bad yet…”

And so on…and so on…and so on…



The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire...


The oddest thing to happen this weekend? Well, last night as I was gong to bed I turn on the news to see if anything important happened this weekend. As soon as I turn on the TV they go a BREAKING NEWS! story about a two alarm fire in northeast Austin (hmm…that’s the part of town where I live) at the Anderson Springs Apartment complex (umm…that’s where I live?)…so I go outside and look. True enough, there’s fire crews, smoke and bystanders everywhere. AI YAH. At least it was on a different building that mine…but still, dude- it’s still where I live! According to today’s paper, the fire it was out by 9:30pm and that no one was hurt. That’s good at least.

There’s bet quite a bit of apartment fires around lately- from what I gather, most of it is from people who fall asleep smoking a ciggie.

Which just proves no one and I mean NO ONE ever listens or watches PSA’s.


Because you all KICK ASS!

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First, Last and Holly!

Special Guest Review of the Sisters Of Mercy Show by the Talented Holly:

Three stars, three negative stars, whatever....
This was our first show in Austin, the self described live music capitol of the world. And there were some differences from seeing a show like this in LA. The venue, La Zona Rosa, was really small (like the size of main room at the Hollywood Athletic Club) and very dirty. But strangely the utter disgustingness didn't stop some people from dropping their coats right on the floor and letting everyone else walk all over them. There was free parking and readily available free cold water. We weren’t searched when we entered. The crowd was diverse with a visible goth presence. There were also people wearing cowboy hats, baseball caps and jeans. The crowd was mostly casual, not very dressed up, not even wearing much makeup. The music before and after the live sets was eclectic and included a lot of reggae (?). The show, the actual show, started on time at 8:00 PM. (In LA we wouldn't have left home yet at 8:00.)
The opening band, The Warlocks, was entirely forgettable. Their music was repetitive, and they had no stage presence. They made no attempt to interact with or warm up the crowd. They let the guitar reverb for far too long, almost as if to punctuate the end of each song. Argh!
The Sisters of Mercy are a band that I’ve wanted to see for a long time, and honestly never thought I would. Big fan? Oh yeah. On this tour the band consisted of the lead vocalist and two guitarists. Joe said that live drums would have made a big difference, and I completely agree. With prerecorded synths and drums the show lost the spontaneity that usually comes with a live performance. Even the breaks between songs were artificial. If you read the Sisters of Mercy website http://www.the-sisters-of-mercy.com/home.html#index, you’ll realize that Andrew Eldritch is highly opinionated with a biting sense of humor. Unfortunately none of that was expressed to the audience. I expected more dialogue with crowd beyond “thanks for coming tonight.”
Andrew, Adam and Chris did put on a good performance, dance, and pose for the crowd a lot. Although I don’t know how many people got good photos, because there was a smoke machine on full blast that shrouded the entire stage and most of the audience. I was standing three feet from Andrew and could not see him through all the smoke half of the time. Andrew even did a wardrobe change about midway through, but I’m not sure why. The band accepted cigarettes from the crowd but didn’t go for handshakes or anything else.
Most of the audience just sort of stood bobbing their heads. Others appeared to be having a good time, dancing in their little personal space, snapping photos, or stabbing the air. There wasn’t the crush of people that we’ve experienced at a lot of LA shows. But there were the three people who were moshing. Some audience members would shove back when they got slammed. Others would just cast dirty looks, and get slammed again. A few times a fight almost broke out, and Joe even rushed in to pull two guys apart from each other. At that point some audience members who helped break things up positioned themselves around the moshers like a human barricade. (Joe said that he thought those guys were bouncers, but I don’t think so. There were security personnel on site who cleared us out immediately after the show ended, but they didn’t intervene with the moshers.) The moshers continued on through the entire show, and no one attempted to kick them out. The band didn’t react to them at all.
If the evening had just been like that, I would have had a good time. However, this show gets three negative stars because THE AUDIO COMPLETELY SUCKED!!!!! There was so much distortion, that any melody was lost. And the vocals were barely audible, even as I was standing so close to Andrew. I hate to say this but The Warlocks had clearer sound. The problem was obvious, but the band didn’t attempt to fix it or call for a break to make some improvements. I could barely make out most of the songs. I shouted to fix the audio, but no one else in the audience complained. Joe suggested that maybe they’re used to it. How sad, because if they’re used to it, then they’ve never heard what real live music should sound like. Maybe that’s why The Sisters’ set was only 1 and half hours with no encore. I really want to see The Sisters perform again to actually hear what they sound like live, because after that show I still have no idea. Very disappointing. So if someone who reads this catches one of their gigs, please bootleg it for me.

Vision Thingies


Sisters Of Mercy Review

Well, finally saw the Sisters of Mercy last night- while not the best show I’ve ever been to, it was still a good time. First the opening band, the Warlocks- they’re one of those bands that are good if only the singer would shut up. They had a slight rockabilly touch to them and they aped pretty well early Cure era guitars. Decent but like I said- if only the singer just kept his mouth shut.

The Sisters came on the stage on time- actually they were a couple of minutes early- something that Holly was astonished over. If this were Hollywood, they’d be on at least an hour later…anyway, I was never a huge Sisters fan (I only have one of their albums) but Andrew Eldridge’s visage is imitated all over Tim Bradstreet’s early vampire art, he’s got that quintessential Goth voice and the songs that I do know, I like.

They started the set with ‘First, Last and Always’ which I only knew because the crowd would shout it out. Then came a bunch of songs I didn’t know. And came the moshers. They weren’t really bad- mostly funny especially since one of them was a Freddie Mercury look-alike in a rainbow t-shirt. At one point however, they threatened to beat up a girl and I was part of a bunch of people who tried to break up a fight.

At this point- it seemed that a couple of bouncers came up and just stood watch…kinda funny, back home security would just come by and kick them out.

Highlights: Dominion and Lucretia (two of my fave songs from them) and an instrumental bit by the guitarists that sounded more like the Jesus & Mary Chain. The crowd (I love to people watch in venues and events like this).

Lowlights: No live synths and no live drums making the show sound pre-recorded. Too much smoke (both fake and real). And worst of all- they screwed up the sound so the vocals all sounded mashed up.

The show ended early and lasted all of 90 minutes. Decent show, but could have been better.

Three Stars!


Actually hung out with friends this weekend...

Big Louie was once lost in China...and apparently mistaken for the Buddha...


I love three day weekends…those should be mandatory…they give you enough time to recuperate from the week and enough time to forget about work and actually maybe catch up with the rest of your life and even have fun without worrying about anything else.

Reminders of home this past weekend- Big Louie was in town and finally was able to hang out with fellow So-Cal expatriate Andie. They’re cool people. Big Louie and his brother, for example- first of all, they’re clones and about the biggest people I’ve ever met (and I’ve run into Shaq- these guys could spit him out for breakfast). But they’re also some of the smartest people I know and one of the few people I know who do not mind going to a book store. And Andie’s just cool people- I love talking to well traveled people. So many stories, so many different points of view.

Finally sampled the Sixth Street nightlife…kinda. Walked up and down the streets, went to a bar or two and got drunk like crazy (or not). It was nice to catch up with old friends and nice to share stories with another person who did the crazy drive from So Cal to here. Didn’t get all homesick like I thought I would…but fond memories of home did come by. It was a nice change of pace…

More reminders of home? Last night’s 24- DAMMIT! Short clips of the Northridge Fashion Center, Mayall Street- which was just behind my old apartment and mention of the 118 and 5 freeways. Sigh…other than that last night’s episode kicked ass. Too bad Nick Knight didn’t last longer. Lynn McGill and Chloe say DAMMIT! Lynn McGill’s slow and eventual breakdown. Russian Assignations. Crazy sisters. Jack bringing down a helicopter with his tiny gun. President Logan…and who is the (other) insider in the White House? I say it’s Sandrine Holt…but it could be Mike Novick…


Also finally saw Mirrormask this past weekend too. Totally awesome movie- but I’m biased as Neil Gaiman is my favorite writer and Dave McKean is the artist I would most like to be. The kind of movie that inspires you to go out and do something.


Oh well…anyway, Big Louie- you’re welcome in Austin anytime and Andie- we’ll hang out more often…it was cool to hang out with you guys.


How do I sleep when my bed keeps burning?

The Beautiful Chibi From the Birthday Massacre
So now what?

Short story contest came and went- guess I had too much imagination for them…oh well.

Another potentially icy couple of days coming up. Wonder if it’ll be as bad as last time- at least it’s the weekend…but who knows...

SXSW is coming up…I’ve heard of this for years. Not 100% sure if I’m going to get a wristband for the music festival yet or not…some great bands, but either they’re playing at the same time or they come on at 1am.

Morrissey? I was thinking about it but Echo and the Bunnymen are playing at the same time and for free.

I’ve been listening almost non-stop to The Birthday Massacre- a Canadian band I found on a Metropolis Records sampler. The last time I fell in love with a band like this was with VNV Nation. These guys are good. I was worried about the nu-metal guitars but it kinda fades away and is overpowered by the synths and the beautiful vocals of the unfortunately named Chibi. She’s hot too by the way. Their album Violet is wonderfully short- about 45 minutes in length. There are a couple of short instrumentals and the songs go from dark melodies not unlike Switchblade Symphony all the way to upbeat 80’s inspired poppy. I’m thinking I’d better get a second copy because I’m going to wear this one out…

They are playing SXSW but are also playing San Antonio the night before…undecided as to where I would prefer to see them; hopefully neither venue is sold out by the time I decide.

Also got their self-released DVD. It’s totally awesome as well.

Their second album better come fast.

New job at work- one that actually forces me to use my college degree and do some writing and thinking- I still think I’m a bit under-qualified but hopefully I’ll learn the ropes quick.

Marathoning seasons 1, 2 & 3 of ST: DS9 with Holly. I used to watch this show semi-regularly when it was on the air and is still my favorite Star Trek show. We’ve seen season 4, 7, 6, 5 (in that order) & now the first three. Interesting to see stand alone episodes when story arcs are so popular on TV nowadays. But in the second season’s hints of the Dominion are totally awesome. Little do they know what’s coming to them…

Bettie Page movie coming in April…can’t wait to see that one…


DAMMIT! I'M IN NORTHRIDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



A very special episode with a very special guest star. The Northridge Fashion Center guest starring as the Sunrise Hills Mall. A mall where I spent many a day just people watching, hanging out at the Borders reading magazines, doing homework or just to find a cool place to escape the San Fernando summer heat. Nice to see a place so close to home on TV. Pretty much overshadowed the show…almost.

Nice surprise that Jack didn’t get captured- he was undercover. And the best way to end an episode- with a very loud DAMMIT!

What is Nick Knight up to next episode?


Haven't been blogging much...new job, less time. Miss it because I just like rambling. More writing soon but in the meantime a cut and paste:


Bloggers: an army of irregulars
By Paul Reynolds World Affairs correspondent, BBC News website
For many in the "mainstream media", as bloggers call us, weblogs are at best a nuisance and at worst dangerous.
They are seen as the rantings and ravings either of the unbalanced or the tedious.
My experience over the past few months has led me to an opposite conclusion.
I regard the blogosphere as a source of criticism that must be listened to and as a source of information that can be used.
The mainstream media (MSM in the jargon) has to sit up and take notice and develop some policies to meet this challenge.
Most big organisations, whether in news or in business, have no policy towards blogs.
They might, as the BBC has, develop a policy towards their own employees setting up such sites (no political opinions etc), but they have nobody monitoring the main blogs and have little idea how to respond to any criticism on them.
Alternative sources
First, here are a few examples of how the bloggers have, for me, become a useful source.
Only this week, they tracked down the origin of a fake cartoon which has been fuelling the furore over the characterisation of Muhammad in a Danish paper.
One of the pictures being circulated, a very fuzzy, grey photocopy, apparently showed the prophet Muhammad with the face of a pig.
It was quickly pointed out, by bloggers and others, that this was not one of the 12 Danish cartoons.
Nobody however knew the origin of this portrayal.
Then I received an e-mail from a reader passing on a link to a blog called neandernews.
And there it was.
The picture had nothing to do with the prophet. It was a photo of the winner of a "pig-squealing" competition held last summer in the French Pyrenees. It had first been published on the MSNBC website in August.
Another example came after Hurricane Katrina wrecked New Orleans.
There was a lot of discussion about who was to blame for the failure of the relief effort.
Then someone sent me a photo that had been circulating on blogs of yellow New Orleans school buses inundated in their parking lot.
They had clearly not been used for evacuation as they should have been according to the city and state plan.
This showed that the mayor, praised without much stint until then, had something to answer for.
It was part of the evidence upon which I concluded that blame should be shared at all levels of government.
I also benefited from the Daily Kos site when the issue of the use of white phosphorus by the US military in Iraq was under discussion.
The Pentagon initially denied its use as a weapon but the bloggers were able to link to an article from an embedded reporter who had watched marines using it as such and to a report in an army magazine about its use in Falluja.
The examples show the collective strength of blogs.
They have an army of what Sherlock Holmes called his "Baker Street Irregulars," that is an almost unlimited number of people around the world, many of them expert on the subject under discussion, scouring sources and sending information in to an easily accessible central site which can disseminate it instantly.
Power of blogs
The other role of the blogs is to criticise and attack.
And here they have shown their power in a way that ought to make big media organisations also take notice.
Bloggers have already helped to bring down or damage two very important media figures in the United States.
One was Dan Rather of CBS News, who came a cropper after a report on "60 Minutes Wednesday" in September 2004.
The report, compiled mainly by producers with Rather in the role of the front man, alleged that President Bush had been given special dispensations when he served as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard.
The allegations were based on supposedly original documents.
However, the first crack in the case came when a blogger (from freerepublic.com according to a subsequent inquiry set up by CBS) questioned the typeface used in those documents.
It had not, he said, been available on typewriters at the time.
(Update: this claim has caused its own mini blogswarm with two readers saying that there was such a typewriter and that freerepubic was not the first. I will have to leave that to history. But the case illustrates how a vulnerable story can be unpicked.)
The whole story unravelled.
The other major scalp was the Chief News Executive at CNN, Eason Jordan.
He had made some remarks at a discussion in Davos in January 2005 about journalists being possibly targeted by US troops.
There was a semi-official blogger at the session (i.e. one invited by the organisers) and he set a ball rolling which gathered pace as other bloggers then accused Jordan of blaming the military unfairly.
It ended in Jordan's resignation. He was the victim of a "blogswarm".
Opinion varies as to whether this was justified or not.
Blog agendas
Of course, one has to remember that most blogs have political agendas. Many of them are on the right of the spectrum. But it is not that hard to discount the opinionating and pick out the facts.
The photo of the unused school buses in New Orleans came by way of a site called the USS Neverdock, so-called because it is always in action, I suppose.
It is run from Scotland by Marc Landers, who once served in US Naval Intelligence. He still fires with all guns.
"My motivation is to expose the bias in the BBC's reporting," he told me. "We are at war unlike any we've been in before and facing an enemy who wants one thing - to wipe out western civilization. The BBC, through its biased reporting, has sided with the enemy."
USS Neverdock is one of three main sites in the UK that monitor and usually attack the BBC from the right.
Another is called, simply enough, Biased BBC. One of its leading lights, Andrew Bowden, says that one of his major complaints is "the politically-correct institutional group-think (and sometimes plain ignorance) that comes across in a lot of the BBC's news and current affairs output."
He also opposes the compulsory licence fee that funds the BBC.
A third site, which specialises in detailed textual analysis of BBC and other media reports, is called The American Expatriate, who is Scott Callahan, a banker living in London.
"Since moving to Britain I've noticed that coverage of America is especially poor, not just in an opinionated way (eg America is an ignorant place, full of bible bashers etc) but even at times in a strictly factual sense. As an American living in Britain with a rather different take on Americans, American life and American politics than that of the media here, I thought that I was in a position to provide some corrective commentary," he said.
There are some leftwing sites, the main one perhaps being Medialens whose motto is "correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media."
Run by journalists David Cromwell and David Edwards, Medialens has "media alerts" on the big issues of the day as it sees them. A recent one concerned the reporting of climate change.
It criticised, among others, The Independent [British newspaper]: "The Independent is feeling the heat from public criticism of its adverts pushing foreign travel, cars and endless consumerism."
In fairness, it also quoted an Independent editor who dismissed such critics as "a curmudgeonly lot of puritans, miseries, killjoys, Stalinists and glooms."
So, unlike some sites, it does seek debate.
I have taken to intervening in some of these sites if and when I am personally criticised and sometimes to defend the BBC in a general way.
Otherwise the comments go unanswered. I found that one rapidly develops a very thick skin and I can now understand how politicians can cope with criticism.
If the mainstream media does not respond, it will suffer. The same is even truer of businesses, whose products can be disastrously damaged by web-based attacks.
The principle is: the broader the attack, the less the effect.
It is when the criticism is detailed and pointed that it can hit home.
And with the growth of blogs, such detailed criticism is being made more and more often as the sniper fire from the bloggers targets individual stories and interpretations.
If the MSM does not respond, it will suffer. The same is even truer of businesses, whose products can be disastrously damaged by web-based attacks.
If the criticism is fair it must be answered, directly to those making it. Remote, computer-generated responses are counter-productive.
And mistakes must be quickly corrected. If the criticism is unfair, then the MSM has to know about it early on and develop defensive tactics.
Richard Sambrook, head of the BBC World Service and Global News Division (who runs a blog himself) accepts that the BBC needs to do more.
"The BBC should proactively engage with bloggers. This is a new issue for us. Some departments look at blogs, though haphazardly. But it pays dividends. The BBC is a huge impersonal organisation. It needs to come out from under its rock," he says.
As for using blogs as a source he says: "The key is careful attribution. It would be a big mistake for the MSM to try to match the blogs, but they can teach us lessons about openness and honesty. The MSM should concentrate on what it can do - explain, analyse and verify."

24 Power Hour Review


Apparently, no one we know...but she did predictably kill the bad guy, predictably Lynn has some bad skeletons in the closet that now has his pass cards and predictablyJack is going to be captured by the bad guys next episode...oh- and predictably he's back working for CTU again.

Predictable. 24 has episodes like this every now and then- a set up for the next leg of the season, a filler episode. But it was still pretty exciting episode- the John Woo gunplay bits were short but sweet. Where was Nick Knight this episode? Also cool to see Channon Roe and Patrick Bachau from the cancelled show Kindred: the Embraced- too bad not sharing scenes. Too bad they both died.

Three Stars out of Four.

DAMMIT! (no one said it this week...and is the first lady going to slap her husband once every episode now?)

Less From Me...

Pic of me in my new job...


Started a new position at the agency I work for. Less Blogging until I learn all the new stuff I have to learn.
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