March 2007 - Chris Ullrich dot net
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March 2007

Fixed

Ok, this is odd but now, simply by changing back to default style of permalinks, all the catagory and archive links have fixed themselves. Interesting. I really need to learn more about this stuff. I know quite a bit about some things but always relied on others for most of the web stuff. Now, I am going to learn it if it kills me — and it might.

New Post — Same as the Old Post

Just want to see if this thing is working. There are one or two odd things that I am dealing with but everything else seems ok so far. I guess we’ll see what happens as we go on, won’t we?

Moving Again

No, I’m still sticking with WordPress but I’m moving to a new host that will give me better control over the site. WordPress is a great program and I will continue to use it over at the new host.

For the next day or two we may experience some issues as the URL of this here site changes hands to new hosts. I appreciate your patience and promise that this will be the last time I move this site around. Well, probably the last time anyway.

In the meantime, check out my article at LAist concerning the new AppleTV. Should you get one? Read and see.

Obama or Clinton? Chris Rock Helps You Decide. Plus, A Great Commercial

It’s not a secret how I feel about our current President. If you’re not sure, let’s just be polite and say I think he’s not doing a very good job at all. In fact, I think he’s probably one of the worst Presidents we’ve ever had and will go down in history as one of the key reasons this country went from world leader to world joke. Well, maybe ‘joke’ isn’t the right word (we are still well-reagrded in some circles) but we sure don’t look as good as we used to.

The real question on my mind now is who the heck do we get to be our next President when we have our election in only eighteen months or so. We need someone who can help restore the world’s faith in our country and help us reagin our standing as the world leader we should be.

I pretty much know how I’m going to vote but its always good to hear other opinions. Following that logic, here’s what Chris Rock has to say on the subject:

Also, if you’re a fan of interesting commercials (and great ones from the past), politics and the Mac as I am, then this next bit of video should be right up your alley.

I really like some of the more subtle updates to the add — especially the inclusion of the iPod on the hip of the hammer-wielding woman. From a technical standpoint, also very well done. (Actually it occurred to me later that the person making this video probably used the updated version of the commercial already featuring the iPod and didn’t add it himself/herself. Still, a great job.)

Lastly, I’ve been thinking about how to reform our government and the election process and have some ideas. But for now, just enjoy the video. We can get into massive change later.

Video Questions, SXSW and the Busy Tony Pierce

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Oddly enough I can’t embed a video here from a site called Jumpcut. Even though the video is an interview with WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg conducted by LAist head honcho and all-around cool guy Tony Pierce. You would think they would make an exception this time, but no.

So, I can only link to LAist where the video is for you to have the opportunity to enjoy it. I find the whole situation pretty ironic. Oh well, at least Matt seems like a nice guy even if I sometimes don’t quite understand the rules around here — as in why YouTube videos are ok and Jumpcut videos are not. Still, glad to be here and: Go WordPress!

Tony was very busy and also got several more interviews while attending SXSW in Austin this week. Some of them include the guys who started Web 2.0 “it” site of the moment Twitter as well as and interview with Mary Colvig of Mozilla. Some interesting stuff — especially if you love the tech like I do and are also super-jealous of Tony for being able to attend SXSW this year. Next year, dammit, I’m there for sure.

Oh, the picture has basically nothing to do with this post at all. Its just something I used over at LAist for a recent Tech News post and I liked it. Happy weekend all.

300: Made on a Mac + The Screaming Death Monkey

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Over at this site they have an interesting bit of info on the film 300 and how the Macintosh was a very big part of getting the film done. Some of the Apple tech that was used to make the film possible include Final Cut Pro, Shake and Quicktime. Even though the film was primarily edited on an AVID system, the filmmakers said they prefer to use Macs running Final Cut instead of AVID. Interesting bit of info. And, if you want even more, head on over to the FX Guide site. Even more bits of interesting info there including the above mentioned ‘Death Monkey.’

While we are on the subject of 300, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the film. As I usually do these days, I went in with almost no expectations and as open a mind as I could possibly muster. Fortuntely, the film more than lived up to the hype and I was rewarded with a great experience. Sure, the film isn’t perfect but its a visual treat that should not be missed. Obviously, I’m not alone here because the film made over $70 milion in the first weekend — the third biggest opening weekend for an R-rated film of all time, btw. So, get a babysitter and go out and see the movie if you haven’t already.

Also, got some new stuff up over at Cinematical — including details on Frank Miller’s career aspirations, Michael Eisner’s new venture and the YouTube saga — as well as a brand new ‘Ask the MACist‘ over at LAist. Plus, I should have a couple things coming out at CBR in a few days as well. And, possibly something new and cool I’m not at liberty to discuss just yet too. You’ll just have to chcck back to find out, sorry.

Trying Something New

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As people who know me well can attest, I’m pretty much the kind of person who likes to do the same things pretty much all of the time. I like to eat at the same restaurants, go to the same bars, drink the same beverages, see similar kinds of movies, read similar kinds of books and comic books, etc. You get the idea.

Another thing I usually do has to do with my writing. When I leave the house to write out in the world I almost always go to my particular Starbucks to do it. The reasons for this are simple. I know the place, I know the people and I know what I’m getting when I go there. That can pretty much be applied to the other things I do pretty much all the time. I’ve been around long enough to know what I like and like what I know. No harm in doing what you want to do, is there?

Even though I’m what you would call a “creature of habit” every once in awhile I like to mix things up. So today, instead of going to my usual Starbucks to write some stuff for Cinematical and work on the pilot that can’t yet be discussed, I decided to try something new today. I threw caution to the wind and went not to Starbucks but instead, to a place called LuLu’s Beehive in Sherman Oaks. That was a couple hours ago and so far, so good.

When I first got here I was privy to an interesting argument between what could best be described as a few “disgruntled” writers. There were three middle-aged dudes arguing about how various studios around town don’t know what they are doing, that executives and development people are “idiots” and how the hole business of show i basically a blight on society. Of course, in the next minute they bragged about their upcoming projects and the stuff they had in development and their upcoming deals so they can’t hate the business too much as they are still hip-deep in it. Its funny to hear these kinds of conversations because that’s what showbiz does to people.

I like to think of showbiz as being like chocolate cake. Its one of those things you know is bad for you but its also so good you just can’t help yourself. And really, as I’ve probably said before, the worst day on a movie set is still so much better than the best day working at a bank or some other “real” job type job. Yes, showbiz and I have had our share of issues. But like any dysfunctional relationship we have also had our very good days as well so I can’t say its all bad. Plus, as anyone who knows me will tell you: I love cake.

photo “borrowed” from my former boss at LAist jason toney

Star Wars and Making Stuff Up

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Today, some friends of mine and I took some much needed time off and went to the California Science Center to see the Science of Star Wars exhibit. It was fun and they had quite a few very interesting exhibits including several models from the movies — the Millennium Falcon, Star Destroyer, X-Wing — and also the full-sized Landspeeder used by Luke Skywalker during the filming of Star Wars.

Plus, a whole bunch of other stuff well worth the price of admission. More, in fact, because the exhibit is actually free. Yes, I said free. The place was mostly filled with school kids on field trips but there were a few older kids around (like us) who had also decided that Star Wars was more important than work today. As we walked around I wondered if the kids looking at all the exhibits felt the same way about the Star Wars films as I did when I first saw them.

Many of the kids were probably close to the same age I was when i first saw Star Wars. Although, Star Wars probably wasn’t their first exposure to the universe. It was probably Phantom Menace or the other of the the newer films. If that’s true that’s kinda too bad for them. To me, the first trilogy will always be the best one and the subsequent three films will always be sub-standard.

Even Revenge of the Sith, which is by far the best of the three left something to be desired when I saw it. I just had to wonder as I looked around today if any of those kids had ever seen the first films or had only seen the second trilogy. If they had only been exposed to Star Wars by watching the second three films I hope someday they find out what they’re missing.

Fauxnews

In a completely unrelated story (except that Fox was the studio that released the Star Wars films) I love it when Fox News just decides to make stuff up instead of reporting the actual news. Seriously, what passes for “journalism” these days, especially at places like Fox News, amazes me. How do these people sleep at night? Sadly, probably better than I do.

iPhone – Yes or No?

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Over at LAist I’ve written a little piece answering a question from a reader who asks if they should get an iPhone or not. As an unapologetic Apple and Mac fan, I think my answers were put as well as I could put them. There are a lot of other pros and cons but I tried to settle on the main ones that I feel are worth it to normal cell phone users when considering an iPhone. Anyway, the piece is up so if you get a chance, feel free to take a look.