January 2013 - Chris Ullrich dot net
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January 2013

Back On Set Again


So yeah, I’m producing a movie. It’s called The Beautiful Ones and it’s written and directed by a good friend of mine, Jesse Johnson. We’ve got a great cast, including Ross McCall, Julie Warner and Ed Lauter, and a great crew. So far, things are going very well. I’ve posted some pics and such on my Twitter.

It’s nice to be back on set again and I’m having a great time. I guess I missed all the fun and excitement. I’m not going back to producing full time, as I’ve got other things I want to do, but it isn’t a bad way to spend 14 or so hours a day.

I’m also meeting some interesting people. In fact, there’s a couple of them in the photo above. I’ll post more on the movie as it goes along.

For the D&D Fan In Your Life


Okay, this is kinda cool. D&D fans, take note. The fine and generous folks at Wizards of the Coast, in conjunction with DriveThruRPG, have launched Dungeons & Dragons Classics.

What is this, you ask? Well, it’s an “online PDF store that features classic content from every issue of D&D, including fan-favorite supplement materials and iconic adventures.” Awesome, right?

As a true D&D geek, I still have all of my old rulebooks, modules, etc. Yes, I’m the guy who never gets rid of anything. But for the rest of you, or those of you who want new copies as PDF’s to put on the iPad (for example,) this is a great resource.

No, they’re not free. However, the prices are quite reasonable and if you really want the classic books in a much more manageable format, worth it. Check out all the fun over at the D&D Classics Website.

(H/T to ADD for the 411)

These Guys Look Familiar


I’ll admit it, I was a big fan of Tech TV and especially its flagship show The Screen Savers. Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton and the rest of the gang made computers and tech fun, interesting and entertaining. When The Screen Savers ended, I was sad to see it go, especially when it was replaced by something like Attack of the Show.

Although, to be honest, Attack of the Show kinda ended up growing on me . . . a little. Still, it was no Screen Savers. I don’t think anything ever will be again.

Recently, Attack of the Show ended its run on G4 after seven years. Fortunately, even at the end, they didn’t forget their roots and paid due and proper respect to those who came before.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVcBj_37Umg?rel=0&w=525&h=295]

Still More Useful and Interesting Things


Here we are again with another list of things I find useful and/or interesting. Yes, as you might have gathered by now, I’m going to be making this a somewhat regular thing.

Well, as regular as one can be when one has twenty or thirty things one has to do each and every day. When did I start referring to myself as “one”? I really can’t say, but I’ll stop now.

Moving along, here’s some more useful and interesting things I find, well, useful and/or interesting. Enjoy.

Mailbox for iOS looks really cool and I’ve already signed up to be part of it. I’m always looking for newer and better ways to manage email on the go. This could finally be “the one.”

• A guy made a movie at Disneyland and Disney didn’t even know about it. It’s called Escape from Tomorrow and it looks really cool and weird. I would love to see the whole thing, but probably never will. I blame the lawyers. Again.

• I’m considering a new vehicle purchase and to help me decide on what to get, there’s a website about various vehicles and their respective fuel economies, courtesy of the U.S. government. You can even compare hybrid versus non-hybrid to see if it makes sense to spend the extra money. Hint: it sorta does, if you plan on keeping the vehicle for longer than 5 years.

• Technology has come a long way in the last 18 years, but we’ve also got a lot of the same problems we did back then. For proof (and some fun nostalgia) check out the trailer for the cutting edge movie The Net.

Oh, in case you forgot, someone at the USA network must have liked The Net enough to make a TV series out of it. Remember those amazing 22 episodes from 1998? Yeah, neither do I.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46qKHq7REI4?rel=0]

So, We Found A House


Yes, that’s right. After much searching, in the practical sense and otherwise, we seem to have found a house we want to live in. More details on it will be forthcoming, but no, it doesn’t look like this. If only.

Instead, we found a different kind of house we like, sans moat, and we are now going through that extremely fun process known as “putting the deal together.” That was sarcasm, in case you can’t recognize it.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I’m going to enjoy this part very much. It all seems needlessly complicated and full of a lot of nonsense and endless paperwork. I blame the lawyers — and human nature.

I’m pretty sure almost every one of these pieces of paper was created because in the past someone tried to screw someone else and a lawyer stepped in to draft a document which is supposed to prevent it from happening again. Thus, we have a bunch of hoops to jump through and a metric crapload of paperwork to sign. Good times.

Well, thanks a lot. I blame all of you. Well, maybe not you. Or you. You’re alright, I guess.

But the rest of you are now officially on my list. Don’t expect a card next Christmas.

More Useful and Interesting Things

galaga-bad-guys -1

It’s the weekend so many of you are probably out doing weekend-type things. Good for you. Enjoy yourselves.

In the interest of enjoyment, or in some cases entertainment or information to enhance your lives, here’s another list of useful and/or interesting things I’ve found this week.

• I don’t know about you, but I loved arcades as a kid. In fact, I worked in one for almost a year while I was in High School. Games like Asteroids, Missile Command, Galaga and Pac-Man helped shape my childhood. It also cost me a hell of a lot of quarters.

But that’s okay, it was great fun and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Sadly, it seems future generations may not have the same opportunity for fun as I did. The Verge spells out the situation in a must-read article for anyone who loved these places as a kid.

• Once again the folks at Lifehacker come through with some good info. This time it’s what to do before and after a disaster.

• Do you blog? Do you have an iPhone or other iOS device? If so, you may want to check out this great piece of software called Poster. I’m trying it out now and so far, I like it. You might like it too.

• Tired of paying through the nose (or other orifice) for a wireless plan and smartphone? If so, you might want to check out Republic Wireless. It’s a very interesting approach and something I’m going to be looking into in more detail soon.

That’s it for now. Once again, enjoy your weekend. I know I will.

The Latest ‘Man of Steel’ Trailer . . . Made With Lego


Occasionally, I really like something I find on the Interwebs. In those cases, I feel compelled to share what I’ve found with the three or four of you who read this site. Okay, maybe the eight or ten of you.

With that in mind, I bring you the latest trailer for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel — made with Lego. I loved Lego as a kid and obviously, the person who created this video still does. Kudos, I say. Kudos.

Enjoy. After the break.

Continue Reading

All Work and No Play . . .


For those interested, and I think I see one or two of you way in the back, I’ve started a new writing project. This is in addition to the several other things I’m currently working on.

Yes, I like to keep busy. Someone once told me, or it may be an actual “thing” people say, “Once you slow down, you die.”

I’m not ready to die just yet.

So, that brings me to the new writing project. It’s a bit different from what I normally write, so it’s challenging on that level. A large part of the challenge also has to do with the fact that, even after all these years, I’m not really sure if I’m any good.

I suspect I’m not alone here. I would bet most “creative” people, at one time or another, feel their work just doesn’t measure up. Or, that it just plain sucks. Or they’ve been told by others their work sucks.

It’s just the nature of the thing. But even if you or some other people do think your work (or my work) sucks, who cares? I don’t. Well, not that much anyway.

The reality is I’m not doing it for you. I’m doing it for me. I’m doing it because I don’t have any other choice. The words, images and such are in there, and they need to come out. So, I let them come out and whatever will be, will be.

You hear that? Time to come out.

Some Useful And Interesting Things


I guess I might reconsider the title of this post and perhaps change it to something like “Things That Are Useful to Me” or even “Things That Are Useful And Interesting to Me.” Although, because I’m the only one writing here (at least as far as I know), I guess it’s pretty much implied that anything I list in a “useful” or “interesting” post is, or has been, useful or interesting to me personally.

That’s not to say you won’t find these items useful or interesting too, you may. In fact, I hope you do. Anyway, here we go. . .

• Because everyone seems to be getting sick these days, Lifehacker has a no-nonsense, non-alarmist, essential guide to Flu and how to deal with it. Useful indeed.

• The California State University system is going to give online courses a big test and offer a lot of them online during a trial program at San Jose State University. This could save the state quite a bit of money. I wonder how it will go?

• Facebook unveiled a new search feature today which will allow users to search, well, Facebook. The new feature, called “Graph Search,” is designed to allow users to search for content on Facebook such as news posts, status updates, photos, locations and more within the Facebook Social Graph. Sure, why not?

• Over at Sprouted Kitchen, Hugh details his Chemex brewing method. If you like coffee as I do, this is a great way to make it. To make things even easier, he’s put together a video demonstrating the process. Check it out below.

[vimeo 48920310 w=500 h=281]

The photo above is also from Hugh’s article. Just wanted to mention that.