Monday, December 31, 2012

I Was Here First.

So my wife has started blogging.  How dare she?  I've been trying to get her to blog for over 4 years and then, on a whim, she suddenly starts.   I guess I should be happy?  And I guess I am.  But it's more of a shock than anything else.  You see I'd given up trying to persuade her.

Over the years I've tried so many methods to try to persuade her to blog.
  • I tried basic argument...which was never going to work lets face it.  We're married, so I am the last person she's going to listen to. 
  • I tried the 'build it and they will come' method creating a wordpress blog site at  Lynn showed no interest.
  • I tried to shame her into blogging by posting inane photographs on  This achieved a modicum of success, in that she liked the pictures of abandoned LA couches and soon started sending me more and more to post.  In fact, as back then I was driving her to and from work everyday, I would slow the car for her to photograph more shots of LA's eccentric couch positioning.  But still she would not type a word and I was sent the pictures by email to upload.
  • Then I had a revelation.  I should write a blog and either she'd see how easy it was....or more likely, my inability would get her frustrated to the point of action to 'show me how it should be done.'   Hmm, that sounds like Mrs T is errr... difficult?  Well she's not, and here she proved it.   Lynn loved my blog.  Encouraged my writing.  Helped me improve and gave me nothing but support...  Although, as lovely as that was and still is, she still didn't start writing her own blog!
  • Every so often, Lynn would rant about something or other in the news or on Facebook or Twitter and I would suggest that she wrote about it. The silence of her keyboard was deafening.
  • I thought I'd be devious.  While we were discussing how media was changing, I suggested that she start video blogging; become a vlogger!  This was met with 'some resistance' and could be said to have either backfired or created a beautiful thing...depending on your point of view.  Our ThisDayToday YouTube channel emerged from this discussion...but still not a blog or even a vlog.
So I gave up trying to persuade her.  I began a new life, accepting that Mrs T might write beautiful scripts, monologues and stories but she would never write a blog.  The wordpress site lay fallow and when it got hacked, I removed it and pointed to our new YouTube channel.

So what prompted Mrs T to start blogging?  A bunch of things, not all pleasant, including the passing of 'Stripes' our pet hamster.  But mainly it was because Lynn wrote her feelings down in a Facebook status and felt that she wanted to write something longer.  Simple really.  Facebook's failings must have surely prompted many wonderful things.  

I pretended not to be interested, but set up her new blog as fast as is physically possible. 

She gets many more views per post than I ever get.  She writes so much better than I ever do.  I could be very jealous and so I joke that I am.  I feign ambivalence and tease her for checking the view statistics.  I poke fun at how long it takes her to write each post and grumble when she asks me to proof read [Yes, if you spot errors in her blog the faults are all mine... I'm told it's part of the role of a husband to graciously accept all blame]

But I'm actually pleased, happy and most of all proud of Mrs T.  But what ever you do this New Year, don't tell her!

I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Guns n Curry n Friendship.

A good friend of mine organized an evening for his Scottish friends living in LA to meet up over dinner.   Sort of a Scottish gentleman's club, without the implications that the phrase "gentleman's club" might have.

The premise was simple.

Why not have an evening where everyone was understood, and their accents were only an issue to the restaurant staff.  We had a shared understanding of humor and a strong cultural link.

I could call someone an eejit and not only would they know what I meant, they'd know I was just having fun.

We had a great night, which included suggestions about what to do when we meet up next time.  I suggested we go to a gun club, as this is one of the most alien aspects of American culture to me.   And let's face it, it would be both exciting and relatively safe in such a controlled environment.  We  decided we should also add a particularly Scottish activity - and there are few things more Scottish than going to an Indian restaurant.

We agreed to call the next evening "Guns n Curry" - which sounded to us like the name for a Scottish "Guns n Roses" tribute band.  We predicted that we'd be singing "Sweet Japati of Mine" by the end of the evening.

I've just sent out an email and we've all agreed that we're not going to a gun club anymore.  We don't need a gun experience right now.

There's a lot of talk right now about gun control and new laws and services.  It's good that there is and I hope that something good comes of it.  However, I think we need to act as individuals as well. 

If you have a gun, I believe it is your obligation to reconsider whether you should have such a weapon.  Your gun(s) will probably never protect you and your family.  In fact, it is more likely that they will be used to inflict harm on you or your family.

I believe that it is the actions that we make as individuals, that will ultimately make lasting change.  And so I hope that you personally decide to get rid of your guns.

The Glasgow Garam Masala evening will now take place in early in the New Year...without the risk of any  rock anthems being badly sung with Scottish accents.

I'd love to get your comments
  -Do you have a gun and think I am wrong to ask to you to consider getting rid of it?  If so, why?
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tubefilter #PayToPlay Meetup Review.

Tubefilter #PayToPlay Meetup Dec 4, 2012
This is my first review of this type.  Actually, come to think of it, my first review of any type.  Why write it?  Because this was one of the best and worst panel discussions I've ever been to.

In my view Tubefilter's meetup last night wasn't really a panel discussion.  The format was somewhere between a sales presentation  and 'an audience with.'

From a technical point of view it met the definition of a panel discussion, in that there was a panel and there was some discussion.  That's where the similarity ends though.
The panel were:

Brian Norgard -  CEO and Co-Founder of Meetup sponsor Chill.
Dan Dobi - Director of "Please Subscribe" a movie being released on Chill.
Michael Urie - Ugly Betty star, who's made  "Thank You for Judging", a movie to be released on Chill.

The proceedings were moderated by Drew Baldwin from Tubefilter and they were sponsored by Chill and SAG/AFTRA New Media.

So I knew before I went, that the discussion would be Chill-focused and Chill-biased, but I've often dabbled in the space of pay-per-view and I was happy to hear their perspective and context.

What I didn't expect was that both Michael and Dan knew virtually nothing about this subject.  They'd separately stumbled upon Chill, by making an interesting movie and not having a distribution channel readily available for their niche markets.  So the best and most relevant information was being imparted by Brian, hence why in parts there was a feeling that we were attending a different event called either "An Audience with Brian Norgard" or "Chill's Emerging Dominance of Community Driven Direct Online Video Revenue"

The whole feel of the meet up could have been that a promotional talk....however, right from the start the panel was hit by a curve ball from Dan Dobi.  He mistakenly tried to justify that he never goes to movie theaters and watches movies for free using bit torrent.  Nice!

Drew, a skillful moderator, let Dan continue his rather odd confession to include using bootleg copies of all the software he uses...including Final Cut Pro and other tools that he no doubt used to create his movie...

Oh and did I mention, Dan would like you to pay $5 to watch his movie "Please Subscribe" on Chill?

Dan did however also impart some quite useful information, when he told us that you need to be quite technically knowledgeable to make bit torrent work.  I wouldn't know, as I've never used it, and won't... well not until his movie is available. ;-)

Do you like comedy that plays on uncomfortable situations?  I do.  So, I particularly enjoyed when Dan was confronted by an audience member question. His discomfort and embarrassed looks were a joy to experience.

Can I add to this comedy of discomfort?  This was a SAG/AFTRA union sponsored event where a panelist had admitted that he steals from pockets of SAG/AFTRA members... and would like you to pay him for something he produced using stolen software.  Surely the discomfort couldn't get any better?

For me though, I had a force multiplier sat next to me.  Before the event started I had been chatting to the guy next to me.  He was really knowledgeable and interesting to talk to... and he is a SAG/AFTRA New Media representative!  We didn't manage to talk after the 'panel discussion' which was a shame.  He seemed... well... quite busy.

It's often said that the internet is like the 'Wild West'; full of pioneers, adventure and risk.  Well I think I may just have had an audience with modern day version of Broken Nose Jack McCall

**Update:  Having written this, I then sent it to all of the panelists via Twitter.  I got a response from Brian saying he'd hoped for a fiery debate and a response from Dan asking for my email address.

Swapping emails with Dan was fun.  He is clearly not the serial pirate that he came across as and merely wanted to make the point out that there are significant numbers of people out there using bit torrent and other services.  Dan hopes that these same people would perhaps forgo those services, if they were offered the movies that they want to watch at a more realistic and affordable price.  After all it's got to be a lot easier to pay a couple of dollars and click download, than to use bit torrent and then worry that you'll be caught out legally later.  I hope he's right.