Thursday, November 29, 2007

Return of Goofy shorts

Goofy Hooks Up with National Treasure Sequel

Instead of opening with Enchanted on Nov. 21, the new 2D Goofy short from Walt Disney Animation Studios, How to Hook Up your Home Theater, will make its theatrical debut with National Treasure: Book of Secrets on Dec. 21.
It's disappointing this didn't screen with Enchanted for a number of reasons. First, it seems a much better fit. I imagine the children I saw it with would've enjoyed it more than the audience for National Treasure 2 might, especially if the latter is as long as I think it'll be. Second, Enchanted performed spectacularly at the box office during the Thanksgiving weekend. And if Disney is as passionate about bringing back animated shorts as they say they are, that was a big opportunity missed.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Parrot

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music, and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up, and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot, and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. John, in desperation, threw up his hands, grabbed the bird, and put him in the freezer.

For a few minutes, the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.

The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said to John, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. Just as he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Marathon 2 on the XBox 360

Postmortem: Freeverse's Marathon 2: Durandal

In the golden days of the mid-90’s, there was only one word worth speaking about games on the Macintosh, and it was "Marathon". Practically everyone who worked extensively with Macs or in an environment with a good number of them on a network knew and loved the game -- a category which includes most Freeverse personnel. When we landed it, we were excited not just for the chance to revisit an old favorite, and not just to port it, but for the chance to truly bring it into the modern era.
How sad is it that this may be the most compelling reason for me to want an XBox 360?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Puffy AmiYumi at Slim's

Three long years after their performance at the Fillmore in San Francisco, Japanese duo Puffy AmiYumi were scheduled to return to the Fillmore during a brief U.S. tour promoting their new album Honeycreeper. And by brief, I mean their tour consisted of five total venues (Puffy AmiYumi creeps around the West). Strangely enough, the venue changed after tickets went on sale and the group instead performed at Slim's, which I've never been to before (although Zoo Station plays there occasionally). It's a much smaller venue than the Fillmore, which meant it was much easier to get close to the stage. I was less than 10 people back from the edge of the stage and I didn't even get there when the doors opened, having driven over from Stockton after work.

American fans are also unlucky because the new album has not been made available for sale here yet. Fortunately, they were selling copies at the show (which were also signed by the duo!). Unfortunately, all of them were sold within 5-10 minutes of the doors opening. If a record label doesn't want to sell the album in the U.S. due to the cost of pressing CDs, at least make it available on the iTunes Store. Sheesh.

As with their previous S.F. show, they rocked. Hard. Even though they're considered a pop group, they rock harder than any American pop stars (and shame most of them). Yet they also played their 'cartoon hits,' like the Teen Titans and Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi themes (which both also rock live). The two took occasional breaks to talk with the audience using English they'd written out on little steno pads; asking if we'd seen their photo in the current GAP campaign and noting how much warmer it was here than in the last two venues (Vancouver and Seattle). The show was a little short for my tastes (only one song in the encore?), especially considering they didn't play a few of my favorites ("Your Love Is A Drug," "Friends Forever," "That's The Way It Is") but they did play a number of songs from Splurge, released last year. But a surprising treat was a blistering cover of Green Day's "Basket Case," with certain song character's genders changed from 'she' to 'he.'

Hopefully they'll be back in the area before another three years goes by. And hopefully I can get a copy of their new album before then.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Guy Named Joel

Joel Hodgson has spent the past decade behind-the-scenes developing a variety of entertainment projects, but he will soon be returning to the silhouetted spotlight when he and the original cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 debut an all-new video project, Cinematic Titanic. In preparation for this new venture, Hodgson visited the offices of Lucasfilm, and was granted an exclusive interview.
If you're like me, and remember MST3K with fondness, you'll find this Q&A very interesting. And why isn't Comedy Central or Sci-Fi airing reruns?

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Although I uploaded the photos the day after I got back, I just now had the chance to write captions for most of them. Unfortunately, there were quite a few things I didn't get pictures of, such as kayaking, the Día de los Muertos political/musical performance, Santo Coyote restaurant, the boutique hotel and the podcast room. It was a great four days. Gracias, Noah & Megan!