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Friday, September 30, 2005

I could not have asked for anything more from Serenity. Simply awesome.

Go see it or the *insert beloved item* gets it!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:46 PM in Movies

Thursday, September 29, 2005
"Did we lose a war with Nerdistan?"

Time has a good article up on how geek culture has been assimilated into pop culture.

There was a time--yes, my children, the legends are true--when J.R.R. Tolkien was not cool. Really. Very much not cool. Also video games, and Spider-Man, and the X-Men. There was a time, not even that long ago, when you could get beaten up by jocks in the woods behind the backstop for being down with the X-Men. Not that this happened to me personally. Friend of mine. Friend of mine's cousin, actually. Lives in Canada. You wouldn't know him.

The point is, things like that don't happen so much anymore. Over the past few years, an enormous shift has taken place in American culture, a disturbance in the Force, a rip in the fabric of space-time. What was once hopelessly geeky--video games, fantasy novels, science fiction, superheroes--has now, somehow, become cool.

It's as if the economic hegemony of the geek in the 1990s, when high tech and the Internet were driving the economy, has somehow been converted into a cultural hegemony. Rappers and athletes trick out their Hummers with Xboxes. Supermodels insist in interviews that they used to be losers in high school. Jon Cryer--Jon Cryer? Duckie from Pretty in Pink?--has a hit TV show. Did we lose a war with Nerdistan?
It's not hard to see how this happened. It's partly good business: nerds are highly employable, bursting with disposable income, and the entertainment industry has discovered them as a prime demographic to be marketed to, the same way it discovered teenage girls after Titanic. On a deeper level, there's something about the nerd's principled disdain for (or inability to abide by, same difference) ordinary social conventions that strikes Americans--a nation of nonconformists--as noble.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:21 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Boy, the Reds radio promo people aren't even trying anymore

Heard on the radio: "Tonight at 7:35: The Red and Brewers play 9 because the schedule says they have to."

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:04 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati

Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The DDN: Not so good with the "hush-hush"

From the Dayton Daily News:

City officials held a closed-door meeting on Wednesday to discuss proposals to offer Cox Ohio Publishing to get the company to keep its Dayton Daily News editorial offices in the downtown core.

The hush-hush nature of the deal was damaged somewhat when a city delegation tripped an alarm in some of the Dayton Arcade buildings when they took a tour without telling the Arcade's owner.


Gee, I wonder how a 300+ word article in the city's only major newspaper will affect the hush-hush nature of the deal.

Though to their credit... the publisher of the Dayton Daily News would not comment to the Dayton Daily News for the story published by the Dayton Daily News about the secret negotiations between the Dayton Daily News and the city of Dayton to keep the Dayton Daily News downtown.

Can anyone follow the thread of logic in that last sentence? I can't.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:17 AM in Dayton

Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Some quick Monday night TV thoughts

Arrested Development:
Last year wasn't as good as the first but it was a strong effort out of the gate this year.

Kitchen Confidential:
I think this one has some real potential. The premier was funny (though not the funniest in its time slot) and there seems to be some real depth to it. It's not a cookie-cutter sitcom where they just assemble some funny characters and stick them in a workplace, there seems to be some real emotional depth behind it.

How I Met Your Mother:
The strongest premier of the night, despite Bob Saget. I had my doubts going in. The premise that it's a father telling his kids the story of how he met their mother seemed awfully limiting and I kept thinking back to other sitcoms with premises so limiting that they basically just ended up ignoring them (ie 8 Simple Rules..., Cursed) but the twist at the end gave me some hope that they'll be able to pull it off.

And premise aside, it was VERY funny and quite well cast. The show wasn't flailing around out of the gate trying to get its feet under it and figure out its style, I got the feeling that this is a show that knows what it is.

Prison Break:
I have to say this episode was good but for some reason this just isn't grabbing my attention as much as I feel it should and I just can't put my finger on why.

Las Vegas:
Last night's episode was really quite a departure from what Las Vegas has been in the past. I'm hoping it was just some business they had to get out of the way in resetting the show and that next week they can get back in the swing of things and recapture the energy the show's had in the past.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:45 AM in TV

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Ok, can anybody explain this to me?

I moved last Friday. Stove doesn't work but other than that it's going ok.

I ordered my phone line from SBC on Monday and it will be installed on Friday. So far so good. But I also want to order their DSL service. (It's $14.95 a month if ordered online.) I try doing it online but because my new phone number won't be live until Friday and the very first question they ask online is for your phone number I can't order online until Friday.

Ok, since I CAN'T order it online I'll try ordering it over the phone. I call them up.

"I ordered a phone line on Monday and it's being installed Friday. I'd like to see if I can order DSL before then."

"Ok, let's see if it's available, what's your address?"

I give her my address.

"Ok, it is available there and we can go ahead and get that added. It's normally $49.99 a month but you qualify for a $20 discount so it will be $29.99."

"Online it's $14.95 a month, can I get that?"

"That's if you order online. You don't have any qualifying long distance so I can't give it to you here."

"But I can't order it online, it won't take the phone number yet because it won't be live till Friday."

"Well, you'll have to wait till Friday night, then if it still won't take the number then give us a call and we can do it."


This conversation has established two things.

1) They can take my DSL order before my phone number goes live. They're more than happy to do that and charge me $29.99 a month.

2) The can give me the $14.95 a month price over the phone. If the web won't take my number on Friday they'll be happy to do that.

So they can do both of the things I want them to do for me, they CAN let me order my DSL before my phone number goes live and the CAN give me the $14.95 a month price over the phone... they just WON'T!

What kind of messed up, bureaucratic logic leads them to do stuff like this? It just makes no business sense!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:41 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, September 2, 2005
Ok, I think this needs to be said

I think a lot of people are vastly underestimating the complexity and the difficulty of the rescue/recovery/relief efforts going on New Orleans. I keep hearing unfavorable comparisons to other hurricane responses or to the Tsunami response. These are not comparable. This isn't even comparable to a future terrorist attack.

What is going on in New Orleans is not a standard hurricane response. In a standard hurricane, or with the Tsunami, buildings are destroyed... people are killed... but afterwards the ground is dry. People can move around, they aren't stranded where they took shelter. Relief trucks can roll in.

This is a unique situation. A major American city is under water and will stay that way for quite some time and there are scores of thousands of people stranded there. You can't simply roll in a convoy of relief supplies and tell everybody to come on down to the town square and pick some up.

To try and cram the relief efforts into the same box as standard hurricane relief is to simplify things far too much. New Orleans is a situation all its own. Recognize it for what it is.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:00 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, September 1, 2005

The scale of the tragedy is truly mind-boggling. It may not rival the Tsunami in the number of deaths but sooooo many people have been displaced. New Orleans is a... was a.... city of almost 500,000 people and it will simply be shut down for months.

If you're looking to give I'll just offer up that this is the group I gave to.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:04 AM in Miscellaneous


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