Saturday: 31.January.2004

Mystic River

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced its NOMINEES for the 76th Oscars, to be held 29February (Sunday). Before then, I'll try to see all the films nominated for BEST PICTURE. (So when they choose the wrong one, I can gripe with authority.)

Saw Mystic River last night, staring Sean Penn (nominated for BEST ACTOR). Well-made film. Worth seeing for that aspect alone. Directed by Clint Eastwood (nominated for BEST DIRECTOR). More disturbing than I expected. Not a "feel-good" flick by any means. The theater was packed.

Haunting story set in Boston. I liked the way it takes you deep into the neighborhood. It grabs you from the git-go and moves along at a strong clip. No time to get bored. You continually learn little secrets about the characters. Wasn't until the very end that I had trouble with plausibility. They tried to pull a surprise ending out of their, um, hat. Good acting by everyone, especially Penn. Strong cast.

••• continued •••

I noticed Lawrence Fishburn (who played 'Whitey') picked up on the nuances of communication in New England. I grew up there and detected many subtle mannerisms. I would wager he spent time there studying the people. For me, his performance added a surprisingly genuine feel to the film.

There was one line, where Lawrence Fishburn and Kevin Bacon exit a coffee shop (Starbucks?), both carrying a to-go cup of coffee, and Fishburn says, "You like this stuff. Tastes just like Dunkin Donuts, but costs 15 times as much." The whole theater erupted in laughter.

Rotten Tomatoes reviews for Mystic River are posted here. I could recommend this film if you don't mind seeing a disturbing film with a contrived ending. If this film has a weakness, it is that it pushes the limits of believability regarding the number of coincidences that occur to make the story work. Most viewers are willing to overlook these contrivances because the acting & execution are done so well.

I already saw Lord of the Rings and Seabiscuit. So that leaves only Lost in Translation (maybe tonight) and Master & Commander on my 'to-see' list.

Here in SoCal, in the shawdow of Hollywood, the Oscars represent a reason to get together and party. And this year we have new flat-screen high-definition TV to watch them on (Panasonic).

Friday: 30.January.2004

Ice Czar's Internet Security Linkfarm

Ice Czar (from Boulder, Colorado) updated the links to Project Honeynet papers in his Internet Security Linkfarm. Learn the tools, tactics & motives of the blackhat community. Makes for fascinating reading. What is a honeynet, you ask? See here.

Posted by Rad at Friday: 30January2004 | Comments (0)

Wednesday: 28.January.2004

Creativity, Sleep & Entropy

A new German study (at the University of Luebeck) found that sleep is essential for creativity & problem solving. Duh. I could have told them that. I thought this was common knowledge.

I've been interested in the subject of creativity for some years now. While working in an industry where adhering to prescribed procedures is necessary (& boring), and where creativity is viewed as dangerous, I decided to explore new horizons, beginning with Julia Cameron's book: The Artist's Way, considered by many the bible of creativity.

Here in Laguna, an artist's community, you can overhear people on the street talking the creative lingo. If you visit the RADIFIED splash page, you'll find this quote posted there:

Against the ruin of the world, there is but one defense:
the creative act.
Be creative, save the world.

I like that quote because it references the notion of entropy (the second law of thermodynamics), which contains the idea that the universe is in a state of continual decay (from order to disorder). There's even a philosophical argument for the existence of God (the teleological argument) that employs the concept of entropy as its premise. It goes something like this (the Radified version):

••• continued •••

1. We notice that we live in an orderly world. For example the sun rises & sets on a predictable schedule. Likewise, the moon circles the earth, the tides rise & fall, the seasons follow each other, year after year, etc.

2. We also notice our world in a state of continual decay, proceeding from a state of order to disorder (entropy). If we landed on a deserted island (signifying nature) and found a shiny, gold pocket-watch (signifying order, with all its intricate gears) lying on the beach, we wouldn't assume it "just happened". No, we would know that someone created it.

Likewise, if you park your new car in the backyard, and expose it to wind, rain & sun, and return 50 years later, it will have magically transformed into a rusted pile of junk (continually decaying over the years, thereby exhibiting the notion of entropy).

3. The order & precision we witness in our universe, combined with the continual decay (entropy) we observe, lends itself to the necessity for some great creator who set the universe in its orderly motion .. and that we call God.

I've also been interested in the subject of creativity as it pertains to a Film school student, but discovered that the craft of filmmaking is more about long hours (sleep deprivation) of grueling work than the actual creative process.

I use many "tricks" to help foster creativity, such as drinking choline cocktail (tastes like Tang). To help explore the creative process, I "created" this web site .. speaking of which, it looks like RADIFIED will set a new record this month for site usage, breaking the 1.5-million hits-per-month mark. We still have a few days left, so we'll see what happens.

As a student (where I had many classes in thermodynamics .. talk about putting you to sleep), I quickly learned that the best way to prepare for an exam was to get a good night's rest, and not stay up all night cramming (or drinking tequila). I find it interesting that this follows yesterday's post about a new espresso machine, which represents the primary source of inspiration for millions.

Monday: 26.January.2004

New Espresso Machine

Ordered a new espresso machine today: the Solis 70. Currently have the Saeco Classico, but after several years of heavy use (abuse), it's plum worn out. Been having to drive into town for our daily fix at the local coffee house. I've actually begun to sound like one of those coffee-snobs: the kind they make fun of on television, telling the girl exactly how I want her to make my capuccino. But no one can make a capuccino as good as you can make yourself.

The Solis has a larger (9- vs 5-ounce) & more powerful boiler (1088 vs 930 watts), and a more powerful pump (50 vs 41 watts). Supposedly, it also has better reliability, which is nice, cuz we abuse our machine on a daily basis. This way, I'll be able to compare the two models, which are two of the finest semi-automatic units designed for home use. Might even write up a little review if I find the time.

Not surprisingly, the Saeco looks more stylish, since it's designed & built in Italy. But the Solis (designed & built in Switzerland) comes with a more powerful & reliable engine under its hood. You can probably tell from looking at this site that I favor function over form. Whole Latte Love offers free shipping, no state tax (California) & a free can of Illy espresso. This web site was *built* on Illy espresso: one capuccino at a time.

Update 29jan2004 - The Solis 70 arrived today (UPS ground). Altho we ordered it from Whole Latte Love in New York, the unit was shipped directly from the manufacturer (in Bellevue, Washington .. we live in Southern California). I can easily recommend this unit over the Saeco Classico. The Solis has "quality" written all over it. When you turn the pump on, it even *sounds* more solid. The Saeco rattled & made a racket. When I purchased the Saeco, it cost US$229. Now it goes for $300. To be honest, I don't feel this machine is worth $300. If problems develop with the Solis in the months ahead, I will return and update this page.

Posted by Rad at Monday: 26January2004 | Comments (0)

Wednesday: 21.January.2004

The Sperm Effect on Driving

I don't know about where you live, but here in SoCal, people drive strangely. By that, I mean they will drive at a regular speed, until you try to pass them, at which time they'll speed up. You can watch the speedometer climb: 45, 55, 65. Soon as you take your foot off the gas and let them keep the lead, they will slow back down: 65, 55, 45.

I've been studying this phenomena for many years. I even applied for a government grant to document it (but they told me to get lost and stick to my web site). Anyway, after many years of exhaustive research, I have discovered what I believe to be the cause of this bizarre driving behavior. I call it: THE SPERM EFFECT.

You see, we all began as little sperms. Now I know some girls refuse to admit they were ever a sperm. But it's true. Ask your sex education teacher. And, when you were a sperm, the only thing you cared about was being in the lead position. Because the sperm who came in second place got no prize. No cigar for that boy. All of us were *first* to mommy's egg. If we weren't, we wouldn't be here right now.

So, my theory (the sperm effect, patent pending) states that, on some deep, unconscious, primeval level, we all have an unexplainable complulsion to be first in line. And we find it disconcerting whenever another sperm, uh, I mean, car, tries to pass. This explains the behavior of drivers here in Southern California, and maybe where you live too. Think I'll win a Pulitzer?

Tuesday: 20.January.2004

Touching the Void

This Friday (the 23rd), the movie Touching the Void is scheduled for release. True story, based on the book (hard to find right now) of the same title, by Joe Simpson. Two guys climb a 21,000-foot peak (6,400-meters) in the Peruvian Andes, when things go bad. Very bad. Trailers posted here (but they suk).

BBC review here. Seems that *everybody* likes this film. In fact, I have never seen a film reviewed at Rotten Tomatoes without a single negative comment.

I am *so* excited to see this movie that I can hardly stand myself. I don't know why I get so excited by the idea of mountaineering. I mean, I have never done it. The closest thing was hiking to the top of Half Dome. But that involved no haress. Maybe it's because I'm so terrified by the idea of hanging off the the side of a mountain, a thousand feet up. Yet, every night, before bed, I read a little of Freedom of the Hills (reviews posted here): the mountaineer's bible.

One of my favorite things to do when vacationing in Yosemite is to hike to the base of El Capitan (a 3,600-foot wall of granite, like 3 Empire State buildings stacked on top of each other) and watch climbers ascend. I can sit there for hours.

I don't want to ruin it for you, so I won't describe the story, but what happened is pretty amazing. When asked what kept him going, Joe answered, "I didn't want to die alone." He was interviewed on Real Sports last week.

Another great mountaineering book is Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer. Someday, I would like to rope up and give it a try. But for now, I continue to read, and learn, in the safety & warmth of my bed .. and then dream. You can bet I'll wear my hiking boots to see that movie. I hope it screens somewhere local, so I don't have to drive up to LA.

Saturday: 17.January.2004

Did the Native American Indian get screwed?

In keeping with the ongoing theme of 'debate' from these last few days .. I was invited to a dinner party last night. A guy there mentioned seeing the movie The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise.

I told how him I thought it was interesting how the film alluded to a parallel with the native American Indian, how both groups of noble people got screwed (wiped out) by their respective governments .. not intending to start a political/philosophical argument, mind you. (I have already discussed some of my thoughts on this topic in the post dated 29december.)

This guy's wife immediately chimed in, saying to him, "See! see! I'm not the only one who thinks that." It was obvious they had already discussed the issue, and disagreed. He claimed to be a Political Science major, as if that somehow qualifies one to make such judgments. We did not discuss the issue long, not wanting to ruin the party for others, but I was genuinely curious about how he arrived at his conclusion.

His two, main premises were:

1. This was nothing new. Nations have been conquering other nations for thousands of years.
2. The Indians were fighting amongst themselves for hundreds of years before we arrived.

I tried to point out that precedent is never a valid justification, and is even listed as a logical fallacy known as the Appeal to Precedent, or Appeal to Tradition or Appeal to Common Practice. (If I were king, I'd require every student to take a class in Logic.)

Then I mentioned that the Indians were fighting amongst themselves with bows & arrows & tomahawks, while the government was raining cannonballs on their heads, as cited in the well-documented Massacre at Wounded Knee, where unarmed women & children were also attacked.

To be honest, I am not surprised that our technologically advanced nation had their way with the native American Indian. What surprises me is how badly we treated them. I mean, we could have easily given them land equaling a few states, such a North & South Dakota, and even Montana and Idaho.

Chief Joseph had a saying that captures this idea more eloquently than I could express: "If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect he will grow fat? If you pen an Indian up on a small spot of earth and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented nor will he grow and prosper. I have asked some of the Great White Chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They cannot tell me."

Anyway, as we all know, you can never talk someone into seeing things your way. Usually it just ends up angering them. So we moved on to more innocuous topics, such as football.

Thursday: 15.January.2004

Two Sides to Every Story

Yesterday's post, which referenced the French publication Le Monde diplomatique, generated a number of comments, not all of them nice as this one:

Wonderful. I’ve found yet another European publication that comments on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from a skewed mirror upon a celestial perch. No thanks, Rad. I prefer articles with a solid foundation in actual historic events rather than holier-than-thou rhetoric and biased ideals. I was hoping LMD would be a source of refreshment but it is yet another site that panders to the Arab/Muslim view of Israel. Thanks for the interesting source of this morning’s error-riddled reads.

Unfortunately, this reader did not recommend a more enlightened publication. And I hasten to add that there's nothing intrinsically wrong with exposing yourself to positions and arguments with which you disagree. Personally, I find it helpful. There's an old adage that says: "God bless our enemies, for they tell us our faults."

First, let me say that I do not recommend LMD, specifically. As I stated, I was merely mentioning the two mailing lists I subscribe to, and that I feel those of us who reside here in the States, where the little guy has no control over the media, nor its content or expressed opinions, should expose and avail ourselves to non-US perspectives .. WHATEVER that source might be, in order to understand how the rest of the world feels about various topics.

Secondly, I freely admit that I am *not* well-informed on the subject of world politics, especially the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I mean, people much smarter than I (including several US presidents) have already tried to unravel that political rat's nest (and failed miserably).

Which is why you see no political-based guides here. I limit my comments to things for which I have first-hand experience. Want to know about the best way to partition a hard drive? Hey, I've done that many times. So I know what I talking about in that area. Want to know about ripping & encoding CD audio? What a coincidence! I've spent considerable time researching that topic.

I do however, have friends who spend considerable time (too much, IMO) researching the issues surrounding world politics, including the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I have seen them "go to work" at parties. They obviously know what they're talking about. They come armed with with more facts, dates, statistics and trivia that I care to clutter my brain with. Sometimes, they try to engage me in debate. I refuse. Why? Because I know that I am not informed in that area.

But I do know there have been times when our country voted *against* the rest of the world (including our friends & allies) on various United Nations resolutions. So it would *appear*, on the surface at least, that our political leaders might be taking an extreme position on certain issues. Note that I ascribe no "value" factor to whether our position was right or wrong (too complicated) .. only that it was *different* from that of the rest of the world. And naturally, being the curious fellow I am, find myself wondering, "How can this be?"

There are two sides to every story. If Mr. X has a beef with Mr. Y, and you listen to each person tell their side. The truth is likely to fall somewhere between the two extremes. Altho not necessarily in the middle.

In college, I had a Chemistry class with a beautiful, dark-haired girl. After class, we would go get a capuccino together at a coffe house up the road a ways. She was the sweetest girl you ever met. Truly a gentle creature. Intelligent. Hard-working.

Turns out she was a Palestinian who had grown up in Palestine. When I learned this, I immediately had a negative reaction toward her, as if she were somehow inherently a bad/evil person. Someone to be feared and suspected of subversion. Where did this prejudice come from? As we continued to chat over the semester, it was obvious that she did not fit my idea of what I expected a Palestinian to be like. On the contrary, I found her to be a beautiful, gentle soul.

Moreover, she had many first-hand stories to tell from her years of growing up there in the Middle East. Sad stories. Stories that would break your heart.

Might be worth noting here that I also have Christian friends who feel that WHATEVER Israel does is justified and right because of some special-divine-favor God bestows upon that nation. Now, since all people are human, and all humans are fallible, and fallible people make mistakes, I am inclined to belive that EVERYONE, including those in God-blessed nations, make mistakes .. yeh, even the most well-intentioned among them.

The point I'm making here is that there are two sides to every story, and it can be interesting and enlightening (fascinating, even) to learn what the other side is, and why they feel the way they do. Fortunately for us, the Internet now makes finding and learning these alternate perspectives easier by making the information more readily accessible (click). In an age where the Internet offers a truly global perspective, the national news media has become provincial.

Wednesday: 14.January.2004

Another Perspective

I loathe mailing lists. They're easy to get on & difficult (or impossible) to get off. Well-meaning friends include me on their massive Joke-of-the-Day mailings and other such nonsense. Next thing you know, one of the recipients adds me to their own mailing list. And so on & so forth.

Now, people who I have never met are sending me daily emails containing their political tirades. Netiquette dictates that names on a mailing list (other than close family & friends) go into the blind copy (bcc) box .. to protect the privacy of those on the list.

I use several different email addys, and have to change them periodically due to spam and similar nuisances. I only subscribe to two mailing lists (both free):

• Merriam-Webster Word-of-the-Day to help build my fledgling vocabulary (daily)
Le Monde diplomatique, a French-based political news letter (monthly)

I think it's important for us here in the States to be exposed to political insights from abroad. Not that we would agree with everything we read there, but to get another perspective. It's like looking at yourself in a mirror. Sometimes you can see yourself more clearly if you take a step away from yourself. It's not like we can dictate what the media here feeds us.

Speaking of Le Monde, they recently published an interesting document titled Gaps in the Net. It mentions how, last month, the *first* world summit on Information Society was held in Geneva, at the request of the United Nations.

I prefer a French-based perspective because the French are known to be arrogant, and tend to speak their minds in a direct manner. They don't mince words, and I appreciate that. Less BS to wade thru. Some quotes from the article:

The internet became available to the public only a decade ago. In that short time, it has revolutionised political, economic, social and cultural life to such an extent that we can now reasonably speak of a new internet world order in telecommunications. Nothing is as it was before.

But this remarkable transformation has largely been to the advantage of Western countries, already the beneficiaries of previous industrial revolutions. It is now exacerbating the digital gap between those who have an abundance of information technologies and the many more who have none. Two figures give a sense of the inequality: 91% of the world’s users of the internet are drawn from only 19% of the world’s population.

Tuesday: 13.January.2004

Shoutcast Breaks the 100-K Listener Mark

Shoutcast listeners on 13jan2004 I noticed that Shoutcast topped the 100-K listener mark today. This statistic can be found in the site's upper right-hand corner. I'm sure they topped the 100-K mark before, but I never noticed until today.

When I posted the article on Internet Music back in 2001 (January), there were less than 1-K listeners. So you can see there has been exponential growth (similar to the increase in how fast rain forests are being destroyed, or the increase in the federal deficit).

I traded a few emails with the folks who run some of these "streams", such as DJ Ari at Digitally Imported radio. He says peak listening time is around 12:30 Pacific time, which would be 3:30 Eastern, and speculates this time corresponds to the lunch break at Silicon Valley. Most of these guys assert that the growth of Internet music mirrors the growth of broadband technology, which continues to grow at a rapid pace.

If you listen to Internet music, you're probably familair with StreamRipper. Today, you can even even get commercial-free satellite radio in/for your car (US$12.95/month).

Monday: 12.January.2004

Disneyland Birthday Tradition

Went to Disneyland yesterday: Happiest Place on Earth. I go every year to celebrate my birthday. It's right up the road, about 30 minutes drive. If you stop in City Hall when you get there, and show them your ID, they'll give you a special name tag to wear, so that all day long, everywhere you go, people greet you by name with a rousing "Happy birthday!" People you don't even know .. from all over the country. Happy people.

While waiting in line for one ride, I met an adorable 6-year old girl, who was also there to celebrate her birthday. (It could be argued who was acting more maturely.) I usually try to go mid-week, when it's not as crowded, but yesterday wasn't too bad. And the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Last year it was bone-chillingly cold. (Here in SoCal, that means the temperature dropped below 60-degrees.)

I never go to Disneyland on the weekend during the summer. Not unless I want to wait 90 minutes for each ride and sweat my butt off standing in line next to stinky people. Did that once. Big mistake. Winter, mid-week is much nicer. Short lines, not much waiting.

Security was tighter than I can ever recall. At each entrance point, they designated one person solely to check you out, looking for b0mbs and such. This is the first time I stayed into the night. The place is gorgeous after nightfall. Spectacular. So many colorful lights. I never realized so many people stay after dark.

First ride of the day: Indiana Jones Temple of Doom (front seat for the birthday boy). Last ride: Star Tours to Endor.

Posted by Rad at Monday: 12January2004 | Comments (0)

Sunday: 11.January.2004

World Religions

Had a discussion today with some friends about world religions. (It's Sunday.) What are the three taboo subjects one should never discuss? Religion, politics and money? Anyway, we noted how there exists many different world religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism & Christianity. And how, within each of these, there exists many different denominations and sects.

Regrettably, I never took a class in World Religions. But I have friends who have. And I like to pick their brains about what they learned in these classes, just to be better informed.

Most interesting is not that there are so many different "belief systems" or that most people remain in the particular belief system they were born in, as if the roulette wheel of birth was kind to them and few others .. but rather that most people never learn anything about other belief systems, and that most people believe their particular belief system to be the "one, true" belief system, and other people are going to a bad place (hell?) when they die, for not adhering to their particular belief system. Talk about ego-centric.

Simple mathematics will tell you not everyone can be right. It's this universal exclusionist policy I find so interesting .. and so presumptuous. If you ask most Christians what a Hindu believes, they can't tell you. If you ask most Catholics how their belief system differs from that of a Baptist or or Methodist, they can't tell you. All they know is that what they themselves happen to believe is undeniably true, and what the other guy believes is unfortunately wrong.

It's like they are saying, "I'm right, and the rest of the world is wrong. What else is there to know?" Or, "If you're not in with our little group, so sad for you, hombre." The problem (it seems) is that most of the world is saying this same thing (I'm right; everyone else is wrong), and (obviously) not everyone can be right.

Anyway, I have no answers today. Merely a humorous observation. And I doubt I am the first. I ordered the PBS special titled Islam: Empire of Faith to learn more about that religion, since all of the terrorists who crashed planes into the World Trade Center claimed to be Muslim.

Posted by Rad at Sunday: 11January2004 | Comments (3)

Saturday: 10.January.2004

LOTR - The Return of the King

Finally saw Lord of the Rings last night: The Return of the King .. on the giant IMAX screen at the Spectrum. They made a big deal at the beginning, about how this film was being displayed using *regular* 35mm projection equipment, and was therefore *not* representative of a "true IMAX experience".

Real IMAX films are shot on 70mm film and cost $2 more to see than regular films. I guess this is why they only charged me the regular admission price ($9.50).

I've been looking forward to seeing ROTK since it first came out. But every time I asked someone if they wanted to go, they had already seen it. So I went by myself. 3˝ hours. Dang. It was almost 1AM when we finally got out.

ROTK got rave reviews. It is the first movie in a while that I felt like I got MORE than my money's worth. By now, most of you have either seen it already, or have no desire to. So I will simply say that my favorite line was by the Ork: Certain chance of death; small chance for success. What are we waiting for?

Those flying things were impressive. Reminded me of this image (148-KB, 1152x864, from Digital Blasphemy), which I used as my desktop for a while.

I wonder if Tolkien, while writing LOTR (mid 1950's), was aware of Lord Acton's comment (1887) that "Power (the ring) tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Seems that is the message behind the story. If there is one.

Tuesday: 06.January.2004

Cold Mountain

Saw Cold Mountain last night. It was good. Very good, even. But didn't knock my socks off. Maybe because my expectations were too high going in, after reading all the glowing reviews.

Some parts seemed slow, especially in the beginning. The last third was the best. Cinematography in the last third of the movie was absolutely gorgeous. Especially after the snowfall, when the scenes contained a mix of white snow and dark buildings. It almost seemed as if they brought in a new cinematographer to film the end. I like it when movies end strong, and don't peter out.

I usually don't like Renee Zellweger, finding her bland. But I liked her in this movie. She played someone with spunk. [Come to think of it, I liked her in White Oleander, too.] Jude Law probably brought the most raw acting talent to this film, with Nicole head-lining. Indeed, the film sported many familiar faces you would recognize.

Some parts were downright disturbing, showcasing man's inhumanity against his fellow man (and woman). I mean, they certainly didn't shy away from the uglier side of life. For portraying this so courageously, I give them high marks. But they didn't build the story around it, thank God.

Nothing in the story seemed contrived. For some reason, I am sensitive to elements of story that seem contrived. You know: the cat that makes a sound at just the right/wrong moment, so the hero is alerted to the schemes of bad-man and doesn't get shot, and winds up saving the day. In other words, stuff that would never happen in real life.

It felt as if the writer had acquired personal experience from that period. I know this is a drama, and not a documentary, but I still value historical accuracy.

Most interesting was the story's take on the Civil War from the perspective of the south. Everyone spoke with a southern accent. Growing up in the north, the Civil War seemed like ancient history to me. It wasn't until my first trip south that I learned some people down there are *still* upset over how that all worked out, wanting to kick my @ss for no other reason than I was "a yankee". You can imagine my surprise when I heard people say, "The south is gonna rise again!" I thought people only talked like that in The Beverly Hillbillys. I enjoy stretching my mind to understand how the other side feels, and why.

They kept the theater chilly, so the movie (Cold Mountain) seemed a little more realistic than I prefer. The guy sitting directly behind us had the most horrifying breath imaginable. Every time he said something, a noxious plume would drift out of his mouth. Eventually had to move.

Thursday: 01.January.2004

Happy Twenty-oh-Four

Happy 2004! I noticed some news commentators calling it "twenty-oh-four" .. instead of "two-thousand-four". I kinda like that. Doesn't make me feel as old.

RADIFIED set a new record last month, with over 1.4 million hits. (See here.) It wasn't long ago when the site didn't get that many hits all year.

The *real* news here in SoCal today is the Rose Bowl game: pitting the USC Trojans (ranked #1 in the nation) against Michigan (2PM PST). Everybody is talking about it. In the cafes downtown, it's all the buzz. We were running the beach yesterday at Crystal Cove (a New Years eve-day tradition) and you could hear guys discussing it as they ran by.

If you've read the Film School Chronicles, you know I spent some time at "SC" the last few years, and have grown fond of the university (home of the world's best Film school). Tickets to the game are impossible to get. I can usually find someone with a spare tik. But not for this game. People aren't even returning my calls.

And if you've read the entry from the 28th of December, you know I just got back from a Christmas trip to Michigan. Had to bite my tongue there. Lots of blue fans .. wearing the colors & everything. They are ranked #4. Can hardly wait for the game to begin. What I wouldn't do for a ticket.