From December 2007

Hitchcock rocks my socks

Not to be outdone by SciFi’s Twilight Zone Marathon, HDNet Movies has been playing nothing but Hitchcock movies. What a frickin’ genius. I finally got to watch The Birds – even though the effects don’t quite hold up over time, that’s still one scary movie. For the best experience, make sure you have a parakeet in the room. It adds a three-dimensional effect to the sounds – that sparrow attack freaked me out man…

One of the all-time greats, Rear Window, is coming on, but we’re on our way out to toast the New Year in the presence of actual friends – a rare occurrence these days. That’s also why I’m not doing any sort of year-end wrap-up right now. Yeah, I’ll stick with that excuse. Tomorrow will be time for house cleaning on this site along with moments of reflection. That sounds way more serious than it will be.

Hope you all have a great frickin’ New Year!

Things I’ve watched in HD

A few months ago, courtesy of some gift cards and a sale, The Woman and I had the opportunity to procure a beautiful new TV for our viewing pleasure. Specifically, this 42″ LCD from Vizio – a set I can’t recommend enough. And now that we have HD service courtesy of Verizon FiOS, there’s little reason for us to ever leave the comfort of our coach.

These days, we’ll stay on a show simply because it looks great in HD regardless of the content. In the past few weeks, I’ve watched significant amounts of the following in HD:

  • A moose, standing in a lake, eating.
  • Two moose, standing in a lake, eating.
  • A herd of buffalo, standing in a river, eating.
  • A snowy field, set to music by Enya.
  • Krull.
  • A show called “Nothing But Trailers” that features… well… nothing but trailers.
  • Every NFL game that didn’t involve the Patriots, and even a few that did.
  • Madagascar and Ice Age.
  • An actual glacier.
  • A dog show.
  • Loverboy.
  • An NBA game.
  • Curling.
  • “Secret History of the Bra”.

Of course I’m kidding – I never watched an NBA game. But you could probably have a championship game on the Grass Growing Network, and I would be glued to it as long as it were in 720P or better. The beauty of HD and its effects on content probably goes in the following order:

  1. Sports
  2. Nature
  3. Other educational shows
  4. Computer animation
  5. Recent movies
  6. Recent TV shows
  7. Older movies
  8. Older TV shows

And that’s how I decide my viewing these days – not by what’s actually playing but by where it ranks on the awesome scale…

My fifteen minutes continues

What can I say about fame? It’s fleeting – but at least I can milk it for a few more entries.

– I was interviewed by my local paper Sunday night. Much to my surprise, I opened their webpage last night to find my goofy grin smeared across the front. Since most of you probably don’t subscribe to the West Orange Chronicle, you can read the article here. Thanks Debbie. Phone interviews are tough, but you did a great job with the article.

Meagan (one of my fellow contestants) did a big write-up of what it was like behind the scenes on her blog. I really wanted to do this, too, but I think it might be overload at this point. If anyone is interested, let me know. Otherwise this will probably be it for me.

– Humorously, while googling myself for fun… yeah, that’s never not going to sound dirty… I already found references to the show on the first page. There’s Game Show Newsnet’s Shortshots for the 12th – I’m not sure that they archive it, but the summary of my show is at the bottom. Then there’s Game Show Kingdom’s take on it, too. I also made it on that blog’s list of big winners for the week.

– I’ve topped my previous record for contact with a long lost friend, as an acquaintance from junior high (we didn’t hang out in high school that much) sent me a message on Facebook after seeing me on TV. I’ve been most curious about the possibility that people I haven’t spoken with in well over a decade seeing the show and recognizing me – and this makes one confirmed hit!

– I’ve also been wondering if people might recognize me around town – especially considering my picture is in the paper. But that’s pretty doubtful considering I’m in full-blown winter-mode: 3-4 extra inches of hair and a beard.

Drink your milk

Sometimes, when you’ve had a crummy day and you just dread the following morning because you’re sure it’s going to be more of the same, you need a little pick me up. For those days, YouTube helps so much – because where else can you find a copy of one of the greatest commercials ever made:

You’ve got to feel better after that…

Quick thoughts on my fifteen minutes

- Holy crap, is it over already? After the months of waiting and not telling people what happened suddenly, BAM! That’s that. Sure, there’s still the actual money to look forward to, but the show itself just went so fast.

– I looked pretty decent on TV. Until I smiled. I seriously hate my smile. It looks like I went to a blind dentist with a set of busted power tools as a kid.

– Could I have giggled a tad more like a little school girl?

– My mouth was DRY. That seems like a pretty good excuse for why I kept making those weird faces. That’s what I’m sticking with…

– Meredith and I shared some nice moments – alas, I’m already spoken for…

– My best joke was cut out. I was surprised because everybody laughed pretty well at it, and it was a good closer.

– Overall the editing definitely helped me come off as far more cool, calm and collected than I was – even if they trimmed my awesome reasoning that netted me my final question. I did zoom through the early questions rather fast, but not with the ease that it appeared.

– I’ve watched it twice now, and it’s still a tad unreal.

There’s more to come, as I really need to do a breakdown of every question. Thank you to everybody who watched and cheered me on.

T-minus one hour…

Wow. It’s finally going to be on TV. And here I am without a TV. Turns out the cable TV to my company was never really tested. Surprise! It doesn’t work. So now I’m trying to stream it from home. Only that keeps stopping. ARGH! At least I can watch it when I get home, but I wanted to watch it “live”.

At least the stress is killing my nerves…

UPDATE: Thanks to the magic of UltraVNC, VLC, and Hauppage I am now streaming ABC to my company’s conference room. Who needs cable?

Maybe social networking doesn’t suck

I’ve really been torn of late as to whether or not social networking actually works. I mean, I know it works, people are out there using sites to connect – but is it worth it? I finally gave up on Classmates. After 7 or 8 years on that site I’ve been contacted once or twice – and they wanted me to pay in order to respond. That’s just ridiculous. I also gave up on MySpace. I don’t know why it took me so long, but I finally realized that site sucks beyond belief for anyone over the age of 14.

So I actually deleted my accounts, and decided to move on to greener pastures. One friend pulled me into LinkedIn, which might be some sort of Ponzi scheme, but at least I haven’t lost anything yet. Seriously, if I’m in the market for a job sometime down the line, it’s probably a good place to start. I should probably take a look at it as I look for another SA at work, too. Since I haven’t been looking for business contacts that much, my profile has stagnated at a rather pathetic 10 connection… oh well.

On the social side, I’ve been playing around with Facebook just like everybody else. Hey, if you’re coming to this blog for cutting edge tech, you’re coming to the wrong place. My profile ain’t exactly thriving over there, either, but I have made contact with a couple old friends already. All of the bombing and pirate attacks can be a tad annoying, so I still have to figure out how to wade through the cruft to just get the good stuff.

Regardless, it’s paid off multiple times. Most recently, one of the other contestants from my first day of Millionaire taping (she’ll be on tomorrow) found me and we’ve been able to exchange a few messages. Then I connected to another one of the contestants (he went on Friday and carried over today) through her.

I lost interest in trying to remain completely private on the Internet the first time I wanted to share anything real about my life. It’s more a matter of trying to control what information gets out there. And when it comes down to it, I like having enough information out there so people from my past can re-connect – and having something like a Facebook profile makes that much easier. Try Googling “Thomas Slattery” – I doubt this site is going to be anywhere near the top. But social networks give a more refined search method when it comes to people.

I dunno, maybe I’m just babbling. Actually, at this point I’m just fishing for more people to be my friend – 14 people? That’s just sad…