Category Archives: Entertainment

All things movie, video and music….

Kayaks and Infographics

Another week, and more spam… one in the can (presented here), and another to come over the weekend.  Today’s tale begins with a simple request to use your humble author’s humble blog as a springboard for advancing someone else’s agenda, and implying that they would gain permission to post it on my site.  Really?

Here’s the opening salvo…

I move at the speed of a snail, so I got a second request, just a couple of days later…

Well, with that kinda pressure, I felt compelled to respond… and watch for a reappearance of the fighting nanobots!

Out of curiosity, why again do you think this would be appropriate for my site?  I don’t remember having mentioning camping, but I’m such a mess — in over fifteen years of writing my blog, I coulda said anything!  To paraphrase my buddy Robby, “Questions!  Questions!”

Looking at the website your email was sent from, it redirects to something called Kayak Critic run by a dude named Alex.  I’m guessing there’s not really a website called …  and that’s probably because Alex stole it!  I looked at the Whois info for the fixable great outdoors domain, and it appears to be hiding in Panama somewhere, while Alex’s domain is in quiet, steamy Arizona.  It’s a long, long way from Panama to Arizona, but I’d bet someone whose charter seems to be to fix the great outdoors could muster up the power of eagles to travel to Arizona to pop Alex right on the snoot!!

What do you know about camping with nanobots?  I’ve got a whole league of them — The League of Fighting Nanobots! — and sometimes, they seem a little off their game.  There’s a lot of pressure in the teeny weenie octagon, and I wonder if their constant training schedule — and all that battery charging! — causes them to get cross.  I’ve lost a ton of Q-Tips breaking up itty bitty nanofights lately, and the cost is those is getting to be a drag!  Any thoughts on how to survive a camping excursion with the itty bitties?  And, where would be best to go with them?  They produce an incredible amount of pollution given their size, and it’s not uncommon for me to have to post signage concerning their noxious output.  Ever seen the camp fire bean sequence from “Blazing Saddles”?  Well, if so, you get the idea.

(If not, you should watch it… Mel Brooks is a genius!)

I wish you well on your impending quest for Alex!

Your pal,

Running with Spam!

I love to find fun spam in my inbox.  I’m also the same guy that likes playing with the robocallers.  Yeah… I’ve got an illness!  🙂

Today, I got an incredibly personal email from Jen Miller, that I felt compelled to respond to.  Here’s what I got:

And since I love stuff like this, I had to respond!

Hi Jen!

Thanks for the nice email!

I’m glad my blog showed up on your radar as you searched the world over for information on running.  Of course, the great post you noted is actually a site tag fronting well over a hundred posts!  I think your automaton that generates (Jen-erates?) emails like this may have gotten confused as it tried to speedily dive into the trials and tribulations of a real person, writing about their real running journey.  Of course one post in a hundred is actually created by flying monkeys typing randomly — can you spot that post?

And your automaton saw my single link to The Oatmeal website from eighteen months ago — neat!  I’m not entirely sure why mentioning that site would put me in the hunt for your detailed, 7,000 word guide on health benefits of running, but it’s cool that automation has forever married The Oatmeal and your article… it’s like a match made in silicon!

Looking at your site, I see very little about you and your family.  To borrow a phrase I’ve seen on Twitter a lot recently, “sad.”  I love to see the folks that are recommending things for me, understanding their motivations, and learning what their automatons eat!  It’s things like this that make this kind of exchange much more human, and less bits and nybbles (sorry automatons!).

I dug into your site, and noticed that your “Only the Best Reviews” page on the Blog tab shows a buncha pretty cool stuff.  I mean, when our automaton overloads take over, that article about “How to Drive a Car” will be crazy important to them!  They’ve likely never avoided deer in the highway, stopped to collect beer from an overturned beer tanker, or pushed a car off a cliff to collect the insurance money.  These are hugely important topics, and I’m sure you’ve got them covered!

I also noticed that every article I saw — and I didn’t look at ‘em all! — had just about 20,000 views.  That’s a clue, isn’t it?  That’s how many automatons are reading your site, instructing the other automatons on how precisely to take over!  Oh, it’ll be a sad, sad day in the world of human affairs once they take over.  But that likely will stop all the robocalls.  I mean, why would robocallers need to pester automatons, right?

Well, Jen, I hope you’re having a great day from what I can only assume is an underground bunker somewhere.  Hopefully it’s sunny there, and you’re keeping the little automated beasties at bay!!!

Best of luck!  (And “boop beep boop” to the automatons!)

Your pal,

P.S.  Do you know anything about indoor nano-octogons?  That might make for a neat article for your website!  Finding the best nano-octagon out there for little nanobots to duke it out is a real pain!  With the advent of 3D printing, that’s gotten easier, but it’s still a struggle.  The little nanobots get all excited, and sometimes leak oil on the floor as part of their excitement!  That makes it slippery for the other nanobots, and that’s a challenge.  Thanks in advance!

P.P.S.  Do automatons dream of electric sheep?

We’ll see what comes from this!  🙂

The Nano-Octagon

Well, the spambots are at it again (as they always are!), and once again, I’ve selected what appears to be a real-human-at-the-helm spambot delivered email to respond to.

Stephanie McGlauflin, from Funding Fastlane, dropped me a note to offer some funding for my business, presumable Canapeel, since that’s where it was sent.  I’m still not entirely sure I understand how folks are coming to think this is a business, but for now, that’s creating some entertainment opportunities for me!

Steph sent a note on Tuesday (click to enlarge):

And since I didn’t respond fast enough, just about 28 hours later, I got another prompt from Steph (click to enlarge):

I guess she was truly concerned about me!  I hate to let someone that concerned about me go without a response, so I put my hands on the keyboard, and replied as only I might.

Hi Stephanie (Steph?) —

Thanks for the follow-up! I don’t know how I missed your email, but I’m sure it had something to do with the heat generated by My Industry. You see, the heat affects the wi-fi inside My Industry’s building, and, well, that leads to missing emails from folks! I also can’t play PokemonGo on My Industry’s factory floor, which is a bummer. I mean, if you can’t collect ‘em inside My Industry, you can’t collect ‘em all!

Fifty millimeters of funding in My Industry? Jeepers! I had no idea that the size of My Industry was so vast! I mean, 50mm is about two inches, right? That’s just about enough space for a nanobot-scale Battlebots arena, something My Industry has a certain amount of “guilty pleasure” interest in. I mean, who doesn’t love watching itty-bitty robots duking it out in the tiny octagon for their human overlords? You can’t find that kinda devotion just anywhere. To that I say, “Domo arigato, nano-roboto!”

Aside from the metric nano-scale funding for My Industry, I appreciate your offer of capitol for My Industry. My Industry has long held that we need an extra capitol, just in case. I mean, what if Hurricane Sandy had gone a little more east, and our primary capitol in Washington was swept away … or worse, covered in barnacles from all the sea water! Having a spare capitol would be an ideal thing, and likely keep us afloat (get it?) until Washington was dried out, fumigated (think of the dead sea creatures!!!) and made respectable to host state dinner parties again. Of course, we could just build a wall around our capitol to keep the water out, and that might keep us from needing a backup capitol, but that’s probably getting too far into politics. Think about it… What would the 49 states (I count Virginia and West Virginia as one state) think if suddenly there was a wall separating them from a lowly district? I’m sure it wouldn’t go well. Then again, given what happens in Washington, maybe it would! Am I right?

My Industry is pretty secretive about how long it’s been around, but I’m not sure how that relates to how fast it spins. You mention something about 15k revolutions a month. That’s a lot of spinning! If I take into account the spin of the Earth on its axis (about 30 spins in a month), the spin of the Earth around the Sun (about 1/12th of a revolution in a month), and the spin of the Sun around the galactic center of the Milky Way (an infinitesimal amount of spin in a month’s time), I come up with being just about 14,969 full spins short of 15k/month. Now, my desk chair can spin, so if I do the math… that’s about 500 spins in my chair daily (assuming an average month — stupid February!), or about 62 spins an hour during my industry’s normal workday. That’s assuming that My Industry is busy seven days a week — and we are! After all, someone’s gotta feed the nanobots and train them for their bouts in the octagon, and that’s a daily mission.

Further extending that math, 15,000 revolutions per month yields about 50 millimeters of growth for My Industry. So, if we suddenly had a need for a second nano-octagon, it stands to reason that I could set up a second chair, and have someone else spin around in it each day to gain another 50 millimeters of growth. It’s not hard to see that My Industry could build a whole army of nanobots, spinning in nanochairs, fueling the growth of more nano-octagons to create the world’s tiniest largest nano-dojo for the training of nanobots in all the skills they’d need to please the human overlords of My Industry. What a thrilling dream!!!

Since My Industry is really focused on nanobot fighting machines, the only real outcome from our work is spare micro-parts, snipped off loser nanobots in the micro-heat of micro-battle. To be honest, I’m not sure what My Industry would do with a sudden influx of one-to-two times the number of itty bitty damaged robo-arms and robo-legs. I mean, we have a janitor-nanobot, Rufus, who sweeps up the nano-octagon after the nanobot battles, but I just can’t see paying him the overtime to sweep up even more damaged itty-bitty-bot-body-bits. Unless, of course, you’re talking about sending intact, ready-to-fight-ready-to-die nanobots that can enter the octagon for the pleasure of us human overlords, as we really enjoy watching them whack each other to pieces. In that case, you have My Industry’s attention!

Sadly, I think My Industry’s lust for nanobot fighting is likely singular, and not really ready to come out of its teency-weency shadows at this time. If we can get this country past its nano-robo-stigma, the world will be a better place, and My Industry will conquer the world!

’Til then, I believe My Indsutry’s itty-bitty-Italian-stallions will be limited to the dark nano-back-alleys and nano-gin-joints, where they’ll conquer the world, one nano-fight at a time.

Have a super itty-bitty Thursday!

Your pal,
CFO (Chief Fighting Overlord)
My Industry

P.S. Do nanobots dream of electric nano-sheep?

P.P.S. I suppose that last post scriptum implies some religious and philosophical overtones about the sentience of nanobots. I can assure you, we have a tried and true process to exorcise the soul from any nanobot used in the nano-octagon. Having a nano-conscience gets in the way of the nano-robo-mayhem, and that just doesn’t make for good nano-entertainment. We ensconce our nanobots in a cube farm, taking tech support calls and sending out bulk emails to unsuspecting businesses in order to drive out any soul our nanobots may have acquired during their robo-studies. I mean, cube farms are described as soul-sucking, so My Industry figured that’s the best way to get rid of that pesky soul.

P.P.P.S. Except the Godfather of Soul. All our nanobots have a healthy reverence for James Brown. They even jump back and kiss themselves. It’s part of their basic programming.

P.P.P.P.S. But not David Soul. There was a dubious flirtation with David Soul back in the 70s, but the nanobots pretty much got over it after Starsky and Hutch went off the air in 1979. However, we still carry a line of Zebra Three nanobots, a leftover tribute to that adolescent dalliance.

I have no idea what the response will be, but it could be microscopically epic!

Reap What You Sow

I love silly things, and one of the sillier books I’ve read is Idiot Letters by Paul Rosa.  I think it’s out of print, but it’s well worth the read if you can find it.  Essentially, the author initiates conversations via postal mail (!) with corporate America, offering up fine, well-reasoned suggestions for their products and services.  Needless to say, most of the suggestions are a little … bizarre … and aren’t things a company would really wanna do.  As funny as his letters are, the bewilderment from those whose job it is to respond to the public is every bit as entertaining!

Recently, I had one of those moments.

I got a bit of spam from someone named Robert Powers representing a company named Ocoos.  I like playing with the spam telemarketers that call the house, and I thought this was an opportunity to have a little fun along those lines.  Here was Robert’s email:


Obviously, this website ain’t a business!  With that in mind, and tongue in cheek, I set about to reply to the kind offer of help for my business website…

Hi Robert (Bob?) —

Did you even look at my website?  You should.  It’s pretty awesome, using the latest technology and plenty of industry-leading tools and secrets.

If you had, you’d realize pretty quickly it’s *not* a business.  I mean… Canapeel?  Really?  Who would come up with a nonsense word for a business!!!  (No offense!)

Nope, I have no customers, no referrals, and no advertising (mine or anyone else’s).  Pretty plain jane website, lived like a hermit lives, including a stream o’ consciousness about life, the universe and everything.  Sometimes, there’s even something useful there!  (I try to minimize those flashes of brilliance in order to curb expectations, however.)

And most of all, not being a business means I have no real need for spammy-spam-spam-and-spam like this.  (Did you notice the Python reference?)  Whoever sold/rented you the mailing list that included my website fed you a load of bull-squirt, and you should try to get your money back!  I mean, if it included my non-business-website-that-you-never-vetted-before-sending-out-an-email-blast, there are probably other non-business-websites-that-you-never-vetted-before-sending-out-an-email-blast included in the list that you paid for.  Your kind offer to do… something… fell on deaf ears with me, and it probably did with many others on your rented/purchased list of contacts.  I hate to see our economy impacted by peddlers of bad goods, and it looks like you just paid for a big one!!!

But, me being a good guy, and seeing you’re interested in doing the neighborly “business” to “business” thing for my benefit, I thought I should return the favor, and offer up my advice above, free of charge!  Yep, I’m not gonna send you a bill for my awesome suggestion.  I sure hope you recoup a load o’ dough from that list.  Maybe you’ll donate a little bit of that to some deserving business — like a microbrew! — this weekend.

Have a great, and prosperous Thursday!  (Or, if you’re across the international dateline in Ceylon or Burma, or some other far off land, Happy Friday!  [And yes, I know, those should be Sri Lanka and Myanmar, but I’m an old fashioned kinda guy!])

Your pal,
(not a business)

P.S.  Ocoos is a cool business name.  How do you pronounce that?  I kinda think it oughta sound like an owl… “ocoo”.  (And you’d be lying if you told me you didn’t just hear an owl’s voice in your head!)  Of course there’d have to be more than one owl in order for it to be “Ocoos”, hence the trailing “s”.  I guess that’s a flock of owls.  Or would that be a herd?

P.P.S.  BTW, while Flock of Owls isn’t a band I’m aware of, I am a big fan of Flock of Seagulls.  How much hairspray do you think Mike Score had to use to get his hair to stand up like that?

I fully thought this would land in some spambot’s lap, and I wouldn’t hear anything back.  I was wrong!  Apparently, the real Robert Powers responded with a simple answer:

Thank you for the kind suggestions

Of course, being a fine correspondent,  I had to have the last word:

You’re very welcome Robert!  Enjoy that microbrew!

Yes, I now have my own Idiot Letter!

Route 66 Blogger’s Forum

I know I don’t have the biggest blog following, but I know that the folks that do read my stuff — via the blog, Facebook, or Twitter — are diehards.  Despite me being like Grandpa Simpson spinning yarns about the lemon tree, y’all keep coming back for more.

Well, there’s a chance to get even more.

This weekend is the Route 66 Marathon race weekend, and anyone who’s been around me over the last six months knows I’m going.  I’m running in the 5K and Fun Run on Saturday, and am going after my first half marathon on Sunday.  (GULP!)  I think I’ve been telling folks about this so much just so I can steel my resolve to cross the finish line, and add this to an already crazy year of running.

But wait — there’s more!  The folks at Route 66 and Social Media Tulsa have decided to put me on the stage Friday (that’s tomorrow!) at the #RT66Run Bloggers Forum.  This is a huge honor for me!  Friday at 5:15pm, I’ll be sharing the stage with Sarah Mohler (@Run_Ginger_Run), Amanda Boyer (@cupcakesnmiles) and Angie Whitworth-Pace (@AngieRunsSLC), and we”ll be talking about running, blogging, and who knows what else.  I guarantee, I’ll make some doofus comment along the way, and that alone is worth the price of admission!  (Which is free, btw.)

There’s also another bloggers forum Saturday afternoon with another collection of fine folks.  You can see the whole schedule here.

If you’re in Tulsa this weekend — either running, or just hanging around — c’mon downtown and root us all on.  And if you notice some old, bearded guy sitting in Andolini’s Pizzeria Sunday afternoon after the half marathon, munching on a pizza, having a brew, and mumbling to himself about lemon trees, stop by and say howdy.  I promise, I don’t bite!

Unless, of course, you’re the unfortunate pizza pie that I’ll be scarfing.  In that case, I’ll definitely be biting, and I’ll apologize in advance for the unspeakable gluttonous things I’m gonna do to you!  🙂

Favorite Christmas Commercials 2014

Three Christmas commercials really impacted me this year.  Only two aired in the US, but all three captured important elements of the season for me.

Sainsbury’s (in the UK) launched this one that reinforced the peace of the season:

Kohl’s brought the magic of the season:

And Apple… well, Apple emphasized the importance of family, and what’s more important than that:

Waiting for the Show to Begin

A gazillion years ago, when I was a kid — around 1970 — I was a big listener of AM radio.  I’d sit in front of my folks’ ginormous ol’ console system, and listen to the local stations — WDXB, WGOW and WFLI.  This was well before FM radio represented mainstream music, and so I got to hear popular music, not the talking heads that seem to own AM nowadays.

I can just remember listening to The Beatles on the radio.  I knew who they were, and some of their music.  When Paul McCartney formed Wings shortly thereafter, I was a little older, and they became a huge part of my listening experience.  When Wings toured America in 1976, I can remember talking with my friends about how much we wanted to go see Wings at the Omni in Atlanta (the closest venue to Chattanooga).  That never happened for me, but I did do the next best thing.

I bought Wings Over America.  On vinyl.  Probably with money earned mowing yards.  🙂

This was a huge set, on three records, and had many of my Wings favorites, along with some Beatles tunes.  I listened to it a ton, wearing the grooves out.  I could tell you every moment in that live recording, every comment by the band, every high and low.  It was one of those recordings that got in my DNA, and I loved listening to it.

Fast forward a decade or so, and I finally found Wings over America on CD.  Once again, I listened to that thing like crazy in its digital perfection.  (Yeah, yeah, I know there’s a whole argument out there about the warmth of vinyl, and the harshness of digital.  I get it, but the convenience of digital music has made it the right answer for me for a long, long time.)

Fast forward again, this time to this year.

Somehow, someway, I got wind of Wings Over America being re-released in a uber-special box, with extra tunes, video, books, etc.  I hounded it on Amazon for months, perpetually having it in my wish list, occasionally moving it into my shopping cart, only to pull back.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want this newly refreshed edition, and it was certainly within my finances.  I’ve just grown a little weary of all the re-releases of the music of my youth.  It seems like every month, there’s some other musical crustacean re-releasing a newly updated or re-mastered edition of seminal music from our shared youth.  And some of those are amazing (like the recent Pink Floyd Immersion Editions), and others aren’t exactly all that.

This was different though.  This was Macca.  He’s “big-three” territory for me, with Kraftwerk and Pink Floyd being the other corners of that triad that formed the foundation of my musical tastes in my youth.  So I finally pulled the trigger, and waited for it to arrive.  (How did we ever get by without Amazon Prime?)

I watched my phone to see when Brown Santa (aka UPS) delivered it, and dashed upstairs to grab it off the porch practically before the truck sped away.  And like a kid at Christmas, I tore into the box, and retrieved my wondrous new arrival.

And it was wondrous.

Packed inside was a really amazing-sounding version of the concert I knew so well.  Plus eight tracks from the concert in San Francisco in ’76.  Plus a DVD of Wings over the World.  And if that weren’t enough, there were four books included:  a retrospective of the tour, a scrapbook-like book, a book of photos from the tour taken by Linda McCartney, and a fourth book that collected sketches from the tour’s official artist.  I climbed in my comfy chair, and devoured those four books.  It was amazing to see that tour through “grown up” eyes, but reflected through the eyes of my youth.  It just blew me away.

And like Wonka with his Golden Ticket, there was a little extra something-something inside.  I found a little card in the set.  This card contained a code to visit Macca’s website, entitling me to pull down ultra-high resolution 24-bit/96khz versions with almost no sound processing.  It’s just about as close as you could get to the master tapes… and they’re glorious!  The sound is bright, uncompressed, and simply astonishing.  There is so much depth — things in the background, subtleties in the foreground — in these recordings that I’d never heard before.

I vaguely remember seeing Wings over the World in the late 70s.  The books indicate that CBS aired it back then, but for some reason I have a memory of seeing it on PBS in Chattanooga.  No matter — it was here, and I reveled in seeing film from the tour I never got to visit.  (And yes, I know Rockshow is out now, and it’ll be hitting my door soon.)  I was transfixed, riveted to the screen, watching this crazy second chapter in McCartney’s career unfold through live concert footage

This box set was a time machine for me, carrying me back almost forty years, and giving me a little door through which to crawl every now and then, and re-experience a really significant part of my musical youth.

And now I hear that Wings at the Speed of Sound and Venus and Mars are being released in similar editions next month.  I guess Amazon and I have a little more dancing left to do.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

This year marks thirty years since Ghostbusters hit the big screen.  Odds are, if you’re under 40 or so, you probably haven’t seen it on the big screen, but on a 60″ or smaller screen.  That’s a shame, ’cause this thing was big.  Not Star Wars big, but big.

I first saw this in Chattanooga, and remember thinking that it had to be one of the funniest films I’d ever seen.  I literally fell out of my movie seat cracking up at the reveal of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

And quotable.  Man, this has gotta be one of the top five quotable films for me — Airplane, Spaceballs, and Stripes also come to mind.

Today, Darla took me to see the 30th anniversary re-release of Ghostbusters on the big screen.  I hate to say it, but it was sparsely attended.  We settled in, and waited for the magic.

And the first thing I noticed was how incredibly grainy the print was.  I hadn’t thought about how much film has changed in the last three decades.  I think almost everything nowadays is created on digital media, and film has kinda fallen off the map for most studios.  This was shot on real film, and it really looked it.

The film was still funny, although the impact of hearing and seeing it the first time is a one-time gig.  What was funny was to hear some folks in the theatre for whom this was apparently their first time seeing it.  They were definitely getting that “first time” experience!

It was odd, though, to see some of the cultural changes.  One of the moving men at the university had a cassette-based Walkman on.  There was a portable video camera used by one of the Ghostbusters, with a camera separated from a tape deck the size of a briefcase.  Sigourney Weaver’s character had a trimline phone in her apartment.  (And to further hammer home how old that reference is, my Mac has “trimline” flagged as a typo.)

So now, I wonder if this anniversary re-release is the beginning of a new trend, allowing us nostalgic geysers a chance to recapture our youth, while demonstrating just how cool this old stuff is to the young’uns out there.  We’ve got a theatre here in town that regularly holds “retro” film nights.  While this isn’t new — I saw The Graduate on an anniversary release back in the early 80s — it seems like there’s a lot more of it going on.

Maybe we’re just too busy looking backwards.  Maybe some films from my youth really have become classics.  Regardless, I really enjoyed seeing this one, and can’t wait to see the next “old geezer” flick at the nickelodeon.

A Return, and a Farewell

For the last year (and change), I’ve been pretty silent around here. It’s not for lack of having anything to say, but I’ve really just been numbed by so many things… life, the universe and everything, to steal a phrase from Douglas Adams.  My mother taught me that if you couldn’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  Blame my Southern upbringing for roaring silence then, for there’s not been much nice to say.

Or so I’d think.  But there’s nice things to write about.  There’ve been Jeep things and Jeep events.  There’s been my music… refuge, voice, and savior.  (Note the lower case “s” — I know the real Savior, and I’m on the right side of Him.)  Of course, there’s my wife and family and nutty canines, and the new life my niece and soon-to-be-nephew will begin this weekend in Virginia.  And no matter how much war, rioting, looting, plague and just plain ol’ evil is out there, there’s always something nice to say about something.  And that’s something I need to remember on a daily basis.

I’ll try to do better.

And despite the nudge toward the positive, what strikes my muse tonight is a farewell.

I can’t imagine what kind of demons one has to endure or house rent-free to drive you to give up one of God’s greatest gifts — your own life — but Robin Williams obviously found them, and succumbed to them.  I never met the man, and don’t know much about his life, aside from what’s been reported over the last few decades.  He genuinely seemed to be a kind man, albeit with his own struggles.  What I have seen is his work, across more than half my lifetime.

I can remember first seeing him, like so many others, in Mork and Mindy in the 70s, and falling in love with his quick, lunatic style.  To a teenager, that was the right speed, the right topics, and just silly enough to stick.  Your brain would barely get finished chewing on one gag before the next one was hitting your ears.

Oddly enough, it’s not his comedic work that ranks as my favorite parts of his film legacy.

I never saw What Dreams May Come in the theater, but somehow decided to buy it on DVD years ago.  It’s not a film that a lot of folks seem to like, but for me, it really captured a torturous afterlife in which a man whose life is taken too early struggles to come to grips with his own death.  It’s brilliant visually, and includes Williams’ character finding not only his family, but his dog, in the hereafter.  You can’t go wrong with that, and you’ll be emptying the Kleenex box before the thing is done.

My other favorite Williams film is Bicentennial Man.  I’d read the Isaac Asimov story in my teens, and was thrilled to see it come to live, but I couldn’t figure out how in the world someone like Robin Williams could possibly do justice to such a serious tale of a robot finding his humanity.  But he did, and made it a wonderful film.  Williams is appropriately funny, and appropriately serious, and by the end of the film — spanning nearly 200 years of human time — you’re just flat sucked into the tale.  It’s wonderful, and one of my half dozen or so “go-to” films when I just wanna watch.

Another favorite — this time more comedic — was his singing of “Blame Canada” from South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut when the song was nominated for an Oscar back in 2000.  There’s nobody that could’ve danced the line between the humor and bawdiness of that song and film, and bring it all to life on live television.  I remember thinking there was absolutely no way that could be done live.  It was, and it was Robin Williams that did it.  Google the interwebs to watch it.  It’s worth it.

But now he’s gone, and far too early.  I think I’ll miss that ear-to-ear smile of his most of all.  It was a smile that just seemed to engulf you, was infectious, and never seemed to end.

Farewell Mork, Andrew, Teddy and so very many others.  There’ll never be another Robin Williams, and I think the planet was a little better for having had him riding along with the rest of us.

Spam, By Any Other Name

So, yesterday I started getting some very peculiar emails from the GoToWebinar folks. The messages implied that I’d signed up for a webinar for “The New $2k+ Per Day Method” and that it was to start later in the day. Apparently, I must’ve really been interested, as I was signed up several times, complete with countdown-like notifications telling me was about to start, had started, and was underway.

Needless to say, and despite what anyone from “Platinum Millennium” (the hosts of this funfest) might say, I’ve never signed up for any such thing. (It appears to be some kind of deal to make money playing music, so I suspect my information was sold to them from some guitar/music site or list.) Sorry Ty Cohen — the apparent mastermind of this opportunity to “see money being made live, in front of my eyes”… I ain’t that gullible. Frankly, at first blush, this guy has an awful reputation out there on the wild and wooly internet.

The funny thing is that the emails are legitimate, and really do look like I subscribed to the Cohen webinar-of-the-hour club. Bravo to GoToWebinar — there’s a way to unsubscribe from this wild man’s spam assault through the GoToWebinar site.

I’ll give him credit for this — this certainly is a different level of spam attack, leveraging a perfect legitimate site to do his awful bidding.

Asta la see ya, Ty! 🙂