Friday, February 27, 2009

James Bond and Experiments in Boredom

I just spent the better part of the past week ill at my homestead, hepped up on Percocet and antibiotics. To quell my boredom, I watched numerous movies using the On Demand system. For starters, On Demand kind of sucks. There’s really nothing on. Yes, between HBO, Showtime, Encore, Starz, and The Movie Channel, I was at a loss of what to watch, and that includes the new and free movie selections that are part of On Demand. Granted I did manage a few useful shows after all was said and done.

HBO—I watched the entire current season of Big Love. This show rocks. I recently caught up on Season 2 and was very much looking forward to Season 3. It’s not disappointing. I also watched all of the current episodes of Flight of the Conchords. They rule. Don’t let me catch you checking out my Sugar Lumps.


Back to the Future—Classic goodness.

21—The movie wasn’t so great, but I enjoyed the true story that was turned into the movie. The guy who wrote the book “Bringing Down the House” was featured on History Channel a couple years ago when they did a series about Vegas cheats. If those shows didn’t motivate you to cheat the casinos then nothing will! Now if only I understood basic math. . . A couple years ago in Vegas I had 2 separate dealers at different casinos tell me I’m the worst blackjack player they’ve ever seen. C’mon. I’m sure there have been worse. Maybe.

Then there’s Bond. Encore has been airing Bond movies all month. Lots of Bond movies. So I decided to see a few I haven’t seen and some that I love.

Casino Royale—this movie has eluded me for a while for some reason. Probably cuz I don’t get out to the talkies too often. I enjoyed it overall. This is not your mother’s Sean Connery Bond! Connery would have never said, “The bitch is dead.” Good action. Now I need to see that movie that qualifies for the stupidest title in history—“Quantum of Solace.”

From Russia, With Love—Classic Connery. Exotic locales. What’s not to love.

For Your Eyes Only—Longest ski sequence in a film. Probably longer than the ones they showed on “Ski Patrol.” The young love stuff with the figure skater was a bit weird, but what are you gonna do.

A View to A Kill—Walken at his creepy finest. Grace Jones. Yeah, she’s got quite a sack.

The Living Daylights—This movie stars Maryam D’Abo, (she’s the first cousin once removed of Olivia D’Abo a.k.a. Karen Arnold from “The Wonder Years”) as Kara Milovy (she plays a cello in the movie). I believe Kara is one of the dumbest Bond girls that existed in the Bond pictures. This is not to say that D’Abo was dumb: her character was. Some of the shit she pulled in the movie was so lame. Witness the scene when Bond was trying to take off with the plane loaded with opium. Kara drives a jeep down the runway to catch up to him and starts screaming and waving at him. WHY??? What did she hope to accomplish? Even Bond has a look of annoyance on his face. Then when she drives the jeep onto the plane, she parks it and goes to hug Bond while he’s trying to fly the plane!!! Stupid move again. She goes on to commit other dumb moves throughout. Though I want to love Kara, I can assure you she’s no Pussy Galore or Melina Havelock. Melina had balls. That chick could rock the crossbow like nobody’s business. AND she was smart enough to leave an oxygen tank on the bottom of the sea, thereby facilitating an escape when it was needed.

So what? Well, Bond movies are as known for their action as they are for the Bond Girls. Hell, Maryam even wrote a book about the Bond Girls! Usually, the girls are strong. Kara wasn't weak (she was supposed to be pretend to assassinate a Russian general), but I just think they made her too dumb. For a great bit of Bond Girl sputtering, witness Sick Boy's wee rant in "Trainspotting" by Irvine Welsh.

Ursula Andress, the quintessential Bond girl. That's what everyone says. The embodiment of his superiority over us. Beautiful, exotic, highly sexual and totally unavaiable to anyone apart from him. Shite. Let's face it. She can shag one punter from Edinburgh, she'd shag the whole lot of us.

Agreed, Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder in "Dr. No." Hell yes, she rules the Bond school. That's a Bond Girl you can set your watch to. And the recent addition of Dame Judi Dench as M brings forth another tough cookie who won't take any shit from Bond. And now to bring it full circle. Jonny Lee Miller played Sick Boy in Trainspotting and he loves to talk Bond. He's the grandson of Bernard Lee, who played M in the Bond films until 1979. Irvine Welsh uses "Dame Judi Dench" as a euphemism for flatulence and stench in his book "Filth." And now she plays M. Think about that for a while.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Social Media and Branding News for today

Sad day today. There's something that makes a tragedy worse when it befalls your hometown. (Plane crash in Buffalo in case you haven't been reading news today.) Still awaiting full passenger manifest to be posted to know my friends and family are safe. Anway, say a prayer.

On with the news. So many stories, so little time. Read them all here!

Survey: Consumers Prefer McDonald's Over Starbucks? Very random study by Pew.

NCAA Backpedals on Banned Substances in Vitaminwater
Says Normal Consumption Doesn't Put Athletes at Risk for Positive Drug Tests
Never knew that anything in Vitaminwater was considered banned. Now I know.

Sports drinks scratching surface of mainstream potential - Powerade
Powerade is gaining traction in the sports drink market. At least they don't have a letter for a logo!

Starbucks introducing instant coffee. Seattle coffee company spends 20 years on patent to make instant coffee.

"Hey! How 'bout a Sanka?!?"

Social Media and Blogging Ethics and a Code of Conduct

Great read if you need to create strategy or educate leadership at work about social media.

Getting Social Media Approved by Your Boss

This is something near and dear to my heart. I work on this type of issue almost daily. I'm still processing Geoff's ideas and will respond with my own experiences soon.

Social Media for Your NonProfit. Tweet or Not to Tweet. (Thanks to Son for providing link)

Good rundown of some basics for incorporating Social Media for nonprofits (or work in general)

Blogs from the U.S. Government

Partial list of some official Gov blogs. Good for research.

Alright. That's enough reading for today. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Three packs, Detroit Red, Redd Foxx, and random stuff

As I continue to waste way too much time on Twitter (for work, school and personal reasons) and Facebook, I'm still torn on blog consolidation. That said, I figured I'd try to get myself back into a blogging routine (outside of what I do for work). That said, here's random thoughts for today.

Today's Lesson:

If you didn't watch "Make 'Em Laugh" on PBS a couple weeks ago, do yourself a favor and try to find reruns. It was a 6-part series hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. The show covered different aspects of comedy throughout American history. Overall, it was an amazing series. I was also amazed when I realized how much my own comedy stylings were influenced by the likes of Abbott and Costello, Paul Lynde, and W.C. Fields. Oh, that's right, I don't have comedy stylings. No matter, I did watch a lot of the classics when I was younger and they probably shaped something in my life. Anyway, I was catching up on part 5, "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break: The Wiseguys" on TiVo last night and was cracking up on the segment about Redd Foxx. I learned that 1) his real last name was Sanford (as in "Sanford and Son"), and 2) he was called Chicago Red to distinguish himself from Detroit Red, a.k.a, Malcolm X, who was his friend! Who knew?? Amazing. I also never knew that "Sanford and Son" was based on a British comedy (though what American show isn't based on a British comedy?!). I wonder if the Brits will ever base a show on an American comedy. Probably not.

Anyway, it gets better. On the way into the office this morning, "My Favorite Mutiny" by The Coup comes up on the iPod. At the beginning, I notice the lyrics

"Out ya mouth, I'm not concerned/Cause y'all got the nerve/It's y'all turn like Detroit Red/When he said he had an ultra perm."

Say whaaaa??? If not for "Make 'Em Laugh" I wouldn't have known that they were giving a shoutout to Malcolm X! And now you know too.

Another lesson:

Washington City Paper reports that some liquor stores in DC are selling 3-packs in light of the recent ban on single beer sales!!! That pic looks like a 3-pack of tall boys. I like it!
My final thought for the day. I caught some of the TV interview with that lady who had all those kids in California and is now up to 14. I gotta say, she's an idiot. Then I read this article. Gets me even more fired up. I just hope the kids do OK.