The Man Who Wasn't There was easily the most beautiful Coen Brothers movie to date. It looked as if they had Ansel Adams as their director of photography. The movie was typical top quality stuff from the Coens, as they create wonderfully interesting characters and plunge them into a twisting tale of murder. Billy Bob Thorton was also perfectly cast in the lead role.
Now I have to figure out how they got such great lighting and created such a high contrast look.
Ever since I visited a Krispy Kreme for the first time a few short months ago, I've thought about them a lot. Peter brought up a recent industry article about them, which provoked me to finally write down my thoughts on their branding strategy. I love the doughnuts, but the store design, logo design, and brand positioning has always impressed me more.
Some photos from the past week. They're a bit out of order. The first seven were taken on Tuesday, around the Golden Gate Bridge on a rare sunny, fog-free day. Then there are shots from Thanksgiving at Kay's brother's house, then some shots from the SF Car show the next day, and lastly a couple more pics from yesterday. I really need to take a look at my photo system's sorting mechanism.
Right now at the Castro Theater here in San Francisco, 2001 is playing a limited run in a remastered giant 70mm format. It's only being shown on a few screens in this country (I believe it has gone through Seattle, will go to LA and NY and that's it) so see it while you can.
I hate to admit it at this late age, but it was the first time I saw the entire film.
I stumbled upon an article at the Sacramento Bee site the other day, and I was struck with how beautiful, simple, and functional the design is (here's an article page). They use mostly CSS and text for the interface, so it loads fast, and the dhtml toolbar offers quick visual customization and common tasks for readers. It's a nice adaptation of recent technologies to make a site both better looking and more useful for users. It's just plain smart design.
It's a far cry from the old days of using technology for the sake of technology on sites (much like Flash is still used on many sites today). I hate to say it, but I like the Sacramento Bee site more than the International Herald Tribune (although I think John Weir is a genius, some of the technology/interface elements distract from reading the articles at IHT, like the sliding top bar).
I've gotten about 15 virus loaded messages today and I think I figured out a way to filter them directly to the trash without harming my normal mail. The messages all look identical to me in Eudora, they're completely blank except for a multipart inline attachment of some sort. You can't contact the infected person because the virus, as it propigates, rewrites the From line to be the user's first name and last name preceded by an underscore. That's how I found a way to filter it out, by searching for that initial "_" character.
Create a new filter, and look for "
I taught everyone a lesson tonight, and now I pass it along to you: never play Monopoly against the unemployed.
After I quietly got two corners built up with hotels, I started making Monty Burns look like UNICEF. The other players had to mortgage something just to tell time. I counted my hundreds of dollars with glee and by the end of the game I owned the whole board less 3 properties.
Never mess with the unemployed.
I am MetaFilter Man.
It's a pretty brief bit on how MetaFilter came to be. Although I'm a fan of Todd Hido's work, the magazine picked a fairly lame pic to use for this. Though it's always fun to get in a mentioned in a magazine, especially one you like. Bonus points for Todd getting the t-shirt in the shot.
The meteors were pretty good, even though it was cold, damp, foggy, and kind of bright where we watched them. If I would have known farther in advance, I would have headed out a few hundred miles to fully enjoy them. We probably saw a hundred or so while we were out. It was hyped up to be a once in a lifetime event, but last night's experience was about on par with a few other nights I've spent outside watching meteors.
Probably the most shocking thing that night was this:
The first ten minutes of Iron Chef USA were epic. Shatner doing an over-the-top Chairman Kaga impression, wacky catch phrases (turn up the heat!), and an assortment of goofy iron chefs. But it was downhill from there, very downhill. I'm glad to hear others agree.
When a movie or a show is a cult hit and has a certain weird draw, let it be. Don't by any means try to copy it, removing all the weird little bits of context that make it great. All the great parts of the original Iron Chef that were changed, changed for the worse. Putting microphones on the chefs? bad idea. Putting someone down on the kitchen floor that doesn't seem to know what is going on? bad idea. Putting nothing but celebrities on the judgement panel? bad idea. Having commentators that know nothing about food and were probably a couple of football announcer dropouts? bad idea. Putting fake applause claptracks in the background and peppering the audience with fake signage as if they were really into something that was just debuted? really bad idea.
The original Iron Chef is about food first and competition takes a back seat, but the american version is one big stupid showoff affair that came off as nothing but horribly fake and contrived.
This daily pic site has been my favorite daily read for the past couple weeks. It's brain-dead simple in format and layout. A single image is shown each day, showing something random, but interesting in one guy's life. There are occasional captions to explain images or give context, but the images are what keeps me coming back. Quick digital camera pics of someone's journey through life, and usually it's the funniest goddammed thing I see all day.
I just saw Mulholland Drive. Or I didn't, I'm not sure.
If I see a thousand more movies and think of the past thousand I've seen, this is the only one I can accurately say left me disheveled. It probably didn't help that after leaving the movie, I was in a sort of bizarro world for about a half hour.
First, while waiting for Kottke to return from the restroom after the film, I looked up and saw an old man walking out and towards me, but just as he got to me, it was Jason. As we walked through downtown San Francisco, we heard classical music blaring from the streets. When we got to the Muni trains, the outbound was only leaving from the opposite, inbound side, and it was full of an odd assortment of characters. After the train, I stopped at the pet store to get cat food, and while I was in line to pay for it, the store felt as if it began moving like a muni train. I had to grab onto a doggie toy display to keep my balance. Then I almost got lost walking home the same way I've walked hundreds of times before.
So, uh, I guess it was a good movie, though I don't have the faintest idea what it was about.
In Jason's praisings of the google-weblog connection, he neglected to mention a downside. Tonight I was looking for the prime number shitting bear site, because I wanted to share with someone that would find it as funny as I did. However, when you search for the phrase, the first nine results are weblogs pointing to it, and the actual site is tenth on the list (as of midnight Monday morning).
Now, to an end user, they'll still find it if the webloggers in position 1-9 linked to the site, but it requires an extra step for them to reach it. It also makes me wonder that if Google indexes things by link, why isn't the real site number one? Were that many people pointing at someone else's post about the site? Is Google following "(via some weblog)" links and indexing those as more pertinent than the original source?
I took some shots in the park today, mostly doing more experimentation with my camera, but there are a few good ones.
I fear for the health of Tivo, the company. They sold out some prime real estate, sending me a Lexus commercial, adding a top level menu option for Lexus (with a star, as if that was necessary) and tossing a Lexus message in my Tivo inbox. It smells like desperation on Tivo's part.
I saw everything you see in the screenshots linked, hopefully there is a way to disable it.
I received an email written in Italian, sent to info@metafilter for some unknown reason. Here's the babelfish translation, it's kind of nice:
Deanna beloved, already yesterday evening I had sended a message to you, but it is returned to me behind. Many embrace, Deanna, and thanks for this beautifulst news. I hope well that you are and and that it is resuming to you completely. As far as the anxieties, creed just that they are normal, I ne had to iosa!! About me I will speak to you in an other moment, why I do not have still meaningful news approximately my situation, that I can dirti be truly difficult. The moral is to earth. Tant' is. Fammi to still know of you and your child. A river basin to Mark and a salute to Pedro, neobabbo, that I imagine will be veremente happy. Still I embrace. RosalbaI've got to remember to use "a river basin to you" as term of endearment more often.
A server-side bookmark manager called b. is a great app for managing bookmarks in one space. It's a sort of do-it-yourself Deepleap, and works wonderfully on my unix server. Now I wish I only knew some perl so I could customize it.
I've officially been blabbling about myself for two years now (that's an archive of my first personal blog from 1999).
I found a gem while reading the old page. There was an old disney cartoon I saw when I was a kid about anthropomorphic cars. It was about a car being born, then growing up and being sold. Eventually it gets a lot of miles on it and is retired to a depressing wreckage yard. Later on, some 1950's teens buy and turn it into a street rod, and the car is finally happy again. I have no idea why I still remember this cartoon, or what the lesson was supposed to be, but I got the same feeling tonight after finding photos of my old car all spruced up. Here's what it looked like when I sold it two years ago, and here's what it looks like today under new ownership.
The D were pretty good; part of why it wasn't great was the acoustics of The Warfield were terrible and everyone was over-mic'd, but a big part is their rising fame. For many of the same reasons why I wasn't entirely happy with their CD, their brand of comedy relies on projecting a delusion of grandeur. It was funny when I saw them sing "The Road Song" a year and half ago at an LA club, because they'd never done a show outside of Los Angeles. Now that they're on a national tour, the humor is lost. Though, their stage show is still goofy and will make you laugh.