Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm a TV Star!

Most of you know what I do for a living: I'm a TV news producer for a local station. I occasionally make it on air in some capacity. Sometimes it's just my name; the anchors will ad-lib about something. For example, when I write a goofy or funny story, one of my anchors will sometimes say something like "our producer, Max Power, really likes this story." Other times, I get to appear as an anonymous "guy" in video. Today I was running a story on new guidelines on how to clean your ears. Really hard-hitting medical news. As you might imagine, we didn't have any file video of ear wax. So I had one of our photographers shoot close-ups of my ears, along with a couple of unfortunate coworkers. By the way, it turns out, I need a haircut. This isn't the first time I've been on TV. Here are the highlights:

- Just a couple weeks ago, we did a story on how nobody reads printed newspapers anymore, so I got to flip through the paper. It didn't really make sense to me, though. Shouldn't the video have shown me putting the paper in the recycling bin and logging onto the internet?

- I was part of a dramatic Monopoly game, used in a sweeps piece on a real estate scammer. We dramatically threw down money and property cards, while moving our game pieces dramatically around the board. I think I won, in dramatic fashion.

- My work softball team highlights made the sports segment a month ago. Naturally, the only highlight they showed was our sports guy hitting a triple, but before that, they showed a shot of O. and I screwing around in front of the camera, saying "we're number one!" and so forth. Not my finest moment.

- Another sports highlight to mention here is the 3 on 3 media tournament the Rose Garden held last year. Our sports photographer got shots of our last game, in which I had a sweet reverse layup. But I also had been up all night because I was still working overnights, badly needed a haircut, and was wearing a nasty t-shirt. I should have thought about it ahead of time, I guess.

- Finally, I got to play a terrorist recently. We did a story about how the airport has a new security system in which guards are trained to spot suspicious behavior. To illustrate, I demonstrated how terrorists get nervous before blowing stuff up. I bit my fingernails (extreme closeup), darted my eyes around nervously (extremely extreme closeup), and tapped my foot anxiously (I did my best Larry Craig impression). Now that's not just being in the video, that's ACTING!

I give my news video experience about eight seconds of uncomfortably close camera shots.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tecmo Bowl and Renting Movies

I recently was able to reconnect my Wii to the interweb, after months offline. It was mostly laziness. I didn't want to connect the laptop to the wifi router to write down the codeword. Anyway, Nintendo offers cheap downloads of its old games directly to the Wii hard drive. We got Tecmo Bowl and Super Mario Brothers for $5 each. I forgot how much fun Tecmo Bowl is. I've played a few games now, rediscovering how sweet Walter Payton really was. I am hesitant to be anyone other than Chicago, but I should branch out. I used to do okay with the Vikings, which I used to pick because they were my favorite team. The only bad thing is that the player names are gone. I'm not scoring a touchdown with Willie Gault, I'm scoring with an anonymous wide reciever.

I'm also amazed at how short the levels are on Super Mario. I remember playing it for hours, struggling to get through the levels. But on replaying it, I'm surprised at how quickly I'm able to get through levels. It's funny, too, that I remember exactly where every hidden extra life or hidden tube is, years after last having played it.

I rate discovering the joys of old video games one blistered left thumb.

On a completely different topic, we rented a movie at Blockbuster last night, "Son of Rambow," which was a gently enjoyable little film. But what I'm writing about is the incredible cost of renting movies. Blockbuster is advertising 99-cent rentals, which only applies to the oldest of their collection. To offset these savings, it's now charging a whopping $4.99 to rent a new movie. $5 for a rental! If you buy 4 used movies there, it costs exactly the same as renting 4 movies. I don't see how it hopes to compete with Red Box and Netflix.

Blockbuster gets 4 dollars signs, and little repeat business.

Friday, August 22, 2008

M-V-P! M-V-P!

So the softball team played its last game last night, losing 4-1 against CBS Radio. It was the lowest scoring softball game in the history of the sport. We played 7 innings in less than an hour. It was a good season; we got better as the year progressed, and were very competive toward the end of the year.

Afterward, the team went to a pizza and beer thingy, paid for by our employer. Our coach/rightfielder handed out awards, and I got Most Valuable Player. It was nice. I put the award on my desk at work, right next to Perry Mason and a picture of Midge.

I give the softball season 4 for 5 with 2 doubles and 7 RBI.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Computer Update

Alright, let's all calm down here. The computer situation appears to be turning around. Last night I was able to install most of my programs, which was key. Only 2 wouldn't work, and only one of those is one I really want. My copy of Photoshop Elements is too old for Vista, so that's too bad. I got my iTunes working, and all of my audio editing programs kicked on with no fuss.

I did have to return my wi-fi router, but was able to exchange it for one that works well. I happened to buy the only one in the store that wasn't Vista-compatible. It's not like I went for the cheapest model, either. Anyway, I'm now online, and my blood pressure is returning to earth.

I give my new computer a thumbs-sideways. Not down, not up, but okay.

On another note, my work softball team plays tonight in the second round of our tournament, after we crushed the Blazers on Monday, 21-11. We came back from a 9-1 deficit in the 2nd inning. We lost our second game 19-9, to those doucheloafs from Entercom (just kidding, they were nice people). It poured rain the entire second game, and games were cancelled on Tuesday and Wednesday. We may not have enough players tonight against CBS Radio, though, because our start time is kind of early. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Computer Problems

I was about to type how the problems I'm having with my new HP computer are unbelievable, but then I realized how utterly believable they really are. I got a new computer on Sunday (see previous post), and it's been kind of a bitch to get started. Did I say "kind of?"

First off, what kind of brand-new computer doesn't come with a wi-fi adaptor? It's a desktop, but still. It did come with a fucking dial-up modem. There's cutting edge technology. I didn't even check when I bought it to see if it had wi-fi, I just assumed because it's the year 2008 that it would come standard. It didn't help that I got it at Office Depot, where there is no customer service. In the instruction manual, it said I could hook-up with either a modem, LAN, or via wi-fi. It said I needed to go out and buy a wireless antenna to hook up to the wireless card. So I wasted an hour and half of shopping and driving in rush hour traffic to get one at Office Max. Again, zero customer service. I get home, only to discover that there's no wireless card at all. I was presumptuous when I read the manual. It simply says I can go online with any of those three choices. It doesn't say the computer actually has the equipment to support them.

Next, I try to install the wi-fi card which was in my old computer. It neither fits nor does the software work with Windows Vista (more on that in a moment), so I buy a wi-fi adaptor that plugs in via USB at my local Fred Meyer.

I follow the instructions to install it, only to have it repeatedly fail. Finally, I realized, this brand-new product does not work with Vista. This blows my mind. Again, I did not check to see if it was Vista-compatible. That's my fault, but come the fuck on... why would they even sell a product that does not work with the only operating system available in new PCs for the last year and a half? WHY? (spare me your Linux comments, I'm thinking about it)

So now, here I am, at the crossroads. My plan is to attempt to install the many other programs I use on my old computer, to see if they work on Vista. If they do, I return the wi-fi adaptor and get another. If they don't I'm going to downgrade to Windows XP. I still have an original copy. I'm a little nervous to do that, since I'm no computer expert, but I'm going to give it a try.

While I'm on the subject, I would whole-heartedly advise against purchasing Belkin brand products. We have a wi-fi router that periodically refuses to broadcast a signal, which requires us to completely restart the router. It just so happened that happened again last night, on top of all the other problems. The previous time, I had to call for tech support. The guy was from India (not unusual, I know), and didn't really understand the English language, which didn't help. He then hung up on me before solving my problem. Now, this wi-fi adaptor fucks me over. I'm never going to purchase anything from Belkin again.

I give Vista (so far) 1 tiny Bill Gates head on a stick, and I give Belkin one giant "limited or no connectivity" message.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Computer

Lordy, I'm excited. I got myself a new computer yesterday. I have been using the same PC since 2002. My dad made it. I couldn't even surf the net with it anymore. It can't handle wi-fi. I really wanted to get a Mac, but I can't afford it. I caught a good deal, too. I saved more than $200, if the mail-in rebate comes through. They don't always, so I'm not holding my breath. Anyway, it should have no real effect on this blog, but I thought I'd share. I now must begin the arduous task of transferring all of my files and software to the new computer. Wish me luck.

On another note, I think I finished my first draft of the song I've been obsessively working on (see earlier post). I've sent it out to a select few, hoping to get some feedback. It needs to be edited a bit. I'll hopefully unleash it on all of you soon.

I give my new computer six flat-screen monitors and a laser mouse.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"I Used to Fuck Guys Like You in Prison"

I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I saw the movie "Road House" last night for the first time. For years I've heard about this Patrick Swayze cheese-fest, and last night I finally had a slice. Overall, I kind of liked it, in the same way you like Velveeta. It's kind of gross, but it slides down nice and easy. It's as if the film-makers (can you really call this a "film?") tried to cram in everything they could think of to make it "cool."

The checklist:
- A tough guy who doesn't blink when challenged
- Feathered hair for both the hero and heroine
- Lots of bar brawls
- At least one fistfight every 5 minutes
- New Age philosophy
- Lots of hot 80's chicks and titillating shots of their underwear
- Hints of nudity (I watched the TV version)
- Karate
- One man's mission to stop a corrupt villian
- And murders... you betcha!

And last but not least... a ton of quotable lines. The title of this blog was my favorite, but you've also got:

- "Pain don't hurt."
- "That gal's got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that."
- "My way... or the highway."
- "I'll get all the sleep I need when I'm dead."

And so many more...

I give "Road House" six flying fists of justice.

One more thing... Locke's dad from "Lost" owns the bar. He's a good guy! I can't believe it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Death to Perry Mason!

My new gig puts me opposite Perry Mason in the ratings, as well as other news shows. But I've picked up the gauntlet from Mike, who used to have this job. He didn't really care what the other guys got, just as long as he did something Burger couldn't... defeat Perry Mason. I never, ever check the ratings, but I've picked up Mike's enthusiasm for defeating the unbeatable Perry Mason. My father-in-law is an avid Perry-watcher, and I've begun with him. Also, I inherited Mike's framed 8x11 picture of Raymond Burr. Unfortunately, it's a shot of him acting in "Ironsides," but it will certainly do.

This is the same picture I stare at everyday.

Death to Perry Mason!

I give this photo six pencil-stuffed pistols!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

So, It's Been a Month or So...

And I haven't written anything. Not that nothing's happened. I played some softball and basketball, we went on a one-week vacation, and, oh, I had a sex-change operation. Midge says I've been making jokes about being a woman lately, so I thought I'd keep it up. Anyway, I plan on posting some pictures of the vacation at somepoint, but those are at home, and I'm at work, so none for now.

So here's what I'm going to do instead: talk about my latest obsession. As most of you know, one of my main hobbies is making beats and such. I have in my head that I'm going to make an EP of instrumentals. Not just my normal hip-hop beats that require lyrics to really sound like complete songs, but stand-alone songs that can be appreciated on their own merit.

For the past several weeks I have been slaving on a new song about sex. I've been hunting for samples in my record collection, and I have to tell you, I have some priceless ones. It's odd, because this whole thing started with an attempt to turn samples from a Howdy Doody record into a goofball song. Suddenly I had about 4 distinct song ideas within one project. I split it up, and now have these separate projects. And while one of them has more promise, the sex one is the one I keep coming back to. The song is linear (at this point)... boy meets girl, they make out, they start fooling around, there's some light bondage, they start makin' babies, and then it's over. I can't wait to finish it. So far there's at least 4 dozen different musical or vocal samples in the project, altough I haven't used them all yet. I've worked on the song every free moment, trying my best not to ignore my wife. I'll tell you when it's finished, and post it somewhere.

If you are interested in any of my past stuff, check them out here.

I give my sex song, so far, a pair of blue balls. So close, but not quite there.