Friday, January 26, 2007

Lions for Lambs

My company's publicity department is providing the phones for this 2007 Robert Redford directed film. We have a department that specifically provides phones for "product placements" in movies, series, etc.

Lions for Lambs stars Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise. He's a senator in the film and according to the prop people a real monster if things aren't perfect on the set. Based on that whole Oprah incident I suspect he's a monster all the dramatic...... So we have to install the phones 3 days before to make sure they are correct.

The Washington, DC scenes will be filmed on the lot at Universal in the next 2 weeks. Apparently this movie has 3 different story lines that parallel one another, similar to Babel. How we are all connected whether we know each other or not. Unfortunately, due to a move in the shooting schedule I will be unable to put the phones in as I have a prior committment so I have to delegate it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Daylight Savings time Change

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub.L. 109-58) is a statute that was passed by the United States Congress on July 29, 2005 and signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 8, 2005 at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Act, described by proponents as an attempt to combat growing energy problems, provides tax incentives and loan guarantees for energy production of various types. The reason for writing this today has to do with Daylight savings time and preparing your computers for the change.

The bill amends the Uniform Time Act of 1966 by changing the start and end dates of daylight saving time starting in 2007. Clocks will be set ahead one hour on the second Sunday of March instead of the current first Sunday of April. Clocks will be set back one hour on the first Sunday in November, rather than the last Sunday of October. This will make electronic clocks that had pre-programmed dates for adjusting to daylight saving time obsolete and will require updates to computer operating systems. The date for the end of daylight saving time has the effect of increasing evening light on Halloween (October 31).

See the Microsoft web site for an explanation of what to do to your Windows machine according to which operating system you are running. For those of you with Mac's, you're on your own.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My bad

Some people use this slang term as a round about way of saying they are sorry, or "my mistake". I find it a very aggravating term in that if you screwed up, just say you are sorry. I have also found that over the last year or two, the teens, twenty somthings, etc are no longer really using this term but the 40 & 50 somethings are. Another source of aggravation for me. An apology goes a long way, "my bad" gets no where with me! Below please find some interesting history on the term.

This slang term originated in about 1970. At that time, i.e. pre widespread Internet use, slang terms often circulated at street level for many years before being adopted by anyone who felt inclined to write them down. That's clearly not the case any longer and any word or phrase that is widely known is dateable quite precisely via website blogs.

The first citation in print is C. Wielgus and A. Wolff's, 'Back-in-your-face Guide to Pick-up Basketball', 1986: "My bad, an expression of contrition uttered after making a bad pass or missing an opponent."

Shakespeare used the term with something like the current meaning, in his Sonnet 112:
Your love and pity doth the impression fill
Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow;
For what care I who calls me well or ill,
So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?
That's clearly just coincidence. It's also a world away from pick-up basketball. 'My bad' came into widespread popular use in the mid to late-1990s in the USA via the 1995 movie “Clueless”. This starred Alicia Silverstone and contains what seems to have been the first use of the phrase in the mainstream media. The 1994 'Green revision pages' for the movie script has a scene with the Alicia Sliverstone character learning to drive:
"Cher swerves - to avoid killing a person on a bicycle. Cher: Whoops, my bad."

Although a street term, it is virtually synonymous with the earlier Latin phrase, 'mea culpa'. It doubtless has as little of a direct descent from this as it does from Shakespeare's Sonnet 112. Regardless of its beginnings, it still bugs me......

Monday, January 15, 2007

An icy day of golfing

I knew we were in trouble when we walked up to the starter desk at the Encino Golf Course and they had started late due to frost on the course. I thought, ok, not good, they may be a little behind but it'll be ok. It seems to be warming up... Well the practice putting greens were closed due to frozen puddles on them. Ice, yes folks, I'm not kidding, patches of ice on the practice greens. As we drove from hole to hole yesterday our carts cruised over patches of ice all over the course. Some of the greens were closed and temporary greens were used. This was disappointing and a pain in the ass. Speaking of asses, Arlene has a chapped ass from the entire affair due to the cold and dryness.

We finally quite on the 15th hole at 4:30p as the temperature was plummeting. We just couldn't take the cold anymore. Morning temperature at Encino golf course: 29 degrees. BBBRRRRRR!

Friday, January 12, 2007


It's hard to believe I'm old enough to have memories from 20 years ago. I never really think of myself as that old. I guess I walk around all day in my mind thinking I'm 19.

So the other day, I was remembering about when my friend Marcy and I used to work at this law firm, Irell & Manella in Century City, CA. This was probably about 1987. This was a large law firm that occupied 5 or 6 floors in one of the large highrises in Century City. They were big babies. We did everything for them from a voicemail perspective. We recorded every greeting and name for every attorney in the joint and when the summer associates came, we did all their names and greetings, then deleted them in the fall. This was great $$ of course for the company we worked for.

They had many demands as far as message waiting lights and this is what occupied much of our time there. I remember Marcy and I strutting around with our tool belts hanging from our hips. I think we must have been quite the site. Marcy even got in trouble one day for wearing jeans that had rips in the knees and ass. This was before it was the "style". She was styling before it was stylish. I remember marvelling at the rich looking (and heavy!) desks with the piles and piles of paper surrounding them. Sometimes there was only a little path to the desk in the office, the rest was stacks of papers. It was so unlike the law shows on TV. We'd sometimes work late and steal candy and beer from the personal "executive" fridges on the floors. Those were the days....

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Country loyalty

Dena and I were at a Los Angeles Kings game the other night. It was the Los Angeles Kings vs. the Edmonton Oilers. A US - Canadian matchup of 2 rival teams since the Gretzky days. As we nestled into our seats trying to stay warm in the cold arena the people around us started making comments. They made comments that Canada should be the 51st state and other disparaging remarks about my country. They whined about having to listen to the Canadian Anthem but as I proudly sang it I could hear the other Canadians in the arena singing just as loud. The female singer then sang the US anthem, no one sang, the players fidgeted and people chatted and snickered. Perhaps the players were fidgeting because 50% of them were Canadian on the Kings team. You see, when I went into the game that night I couldn't decide who to root for. It didn't take long to recognize where my loyalty lay.

We had incredible seats and I had phoned my family in Canada to see if they could see us on TV. All Canadian team away games are televised in Canada. Its not extra, its part of the package. Perhaps the cable companies in Canada are loyal too? My brother-in-law remarked that it sounded like the place was quiet as a library. I realized that it was. It was very quiet. Way too quiet for a hockey game. People in Canada scream, shout and cheer. The guy behind me yelled at some guy for standing up.

Are Americans as patriotic and loyal as the republicans make them out to be? Is patriotism only a badge worn when convenient? I never really understood why Americans don't sing their National Anthem at sporting events. It's a beautiful piece of music with a great story to tell. I've seen more than one Canadian moved to tears upon hearing it sung at a game. Perhaps Americans are just tired of it all.

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More Dodge Transmission issues

What a hunk of junk Dodge makes. In the beginning of November I took my 2006 Dodge Magnum into the shop for warranty repair on a significant transmission fluid leak. It took 2 days to repair and it was a known problem. For the last month my transmission has been leaking again, although not so bad, so I was sort of stalling. You know, with the whole Christmas/New years thing going on, I just didn't have time. Now I'd like to get it repaired before our trip to Palm Springs.

I called CarMax by LAX, you cannot schedule ANY car repair appointments until January 23rd. The first available appointment is the 23rd. That's insane. So I thought I'd be smart and call another dealership, Glendale Dodge. I got an appointment on January 17th, the earliest you can see the transmission guy. You see, there are so many transmission problems with new Dodge vehicles that they are terribly backed up. Her words, not mine. Do American car manufacturer's actually wonder why people buy Japanese brands?