I do my best Nicolas Cage voice (for like three seconds) and we reference "Wait (The Whisper Song)" in the latest Trailers Without Pity. It's about the movie Knowing, which looks genuinely creepy. It's probably awful, but that's all right since I have no intention of going to see it. You can check out the video here (if you can't see it embedded below).
There's also a new Smallville recap up, for the Lana-centric episode "Power." I'm told the next episode after this one is the last-ever with Lana Lang and I wish I could say I'm sorry to see her go. But after recapping this episode, I don't know if I could stand another round of episodes with a character that was never, ever written well.
A Squirrel Riseth -- Lana Lang -- the same Lana Lang who's not even supposed to be on the show anymore -- connives and whines and needles until she ends up with a super skin suit that gives her the same powers as Clark. Then she says they're equals. It's all right, Superman fans: you can leave the room and scream now.
It's been years since I've done serious research into HDTV antennas, multipath and digital tuners, but I had to bone up on the subject again for today's NPR "All Tech Considered" segment on the digital TV transition.
I mostly answered questions from listeners, but I sort of had a feeling that no matter what I said, it was going to be wrong to somebody. (Check out the comments on the segment page for evidence of that.)
Picking up digital signals with an antenna is one of those horrible, inexact sciences that causes frustration and anger for people who live too far away from stations (believe me, it was a pain in the ass to get stations over the air out here in New Braunfels) and those who've had a bad experience are going to bemoan what they consider a boneheaded transition to an inferior TV broadcasting standard. (At least inferior in that they can't pick up some of the channels).
So, stepping into this kind of emotional minefield (people LOVE to argue about TV) is why they pay me the big NPR bucks (not really). I'm happy to do it. Just give me a flak jacket next time.
It's probably been close to two years since I started hearing about the book Getting Things Done by David Allen, which created a whole online productivity cottage industry and in some fundamental ways got me more organized. (Not organized. I still keep large stacks of clutter around me, which is a terrible habit, but I at least have my e-mail under control and have a neat set of labeled file folders at work and at home; that's some kind of progress, at least).
That book was released at the end of the year (with surprisingly little publicity; I haven't heard a thing about it anywhere). I read it over the Christmas break and my review of the book appeared in Sunday's Austin American-Statesman.
Reading the book didn't inspire me the way the first book did, but it did remind me of some habits I've let lapse, like keeping a fairly comprehensive to-do list for home, office, freelance and everything else.
A lot of people who have an online to-do list use a site called Remember The Milk, but I've been perfectly happy with the free and very reliable Tracks. I use the version at tracks.tra.in and still love it. I just learned recently that if you already use Tracks there, you can access the mobile version by just adding "/mobile" to the URL. Now I've started using it more often with my iPhone.
It really is a Jedi mind trick to convince yourself that the information you need is in its right place and that you don't need to panic or freak out. I'm not a methodical person, but having a good to-do list and better e-mail habits at least helps me pretend that I have some methodology going.
The new book also forced me to think a little bit more about my horizons and where I'll be in a few years, which I never, ever do. It's not that I'm afraid of the future, I just don't like dealing with my life that way. I'm more of the school of jumping on opportunities as they come, which is really not proactive at all. So I'm going to try to think ahead a little more, cut bait on things that are no longer fulfilling or fun and try to come up with a plan. I'm sure my kid will be happy to hear that. Hey, we might even start a college fund! (Or a bail-out-of-jail fund, at least.)