IndieWriter2007 - a Bogus Scab Writer
As some of you may know, the Writer’s Guild of America, the union that represents television and film writers, is on strike. There have been many good explanations of why the writers are striking, and why they are in the right, including here and here.

In yesterday’s Daily Variety, a full-page ad appeared which purports to be a writer looking for work who is willing to cross the picket lines. The text-only ad, in courier font (the favored font for screenplays), read:

Need a good Writer?


“Talent For Hire”

Feature rewrites
Feature specs

Is this a sign that the writers are breaking ranks and crossing picket lines? I don’t buy it. More likely, this is a bogus ad placed by a studio, producer, or even the AMPTP itself. Why? Well, an ad like this costs at least $15,000, a fairly large sum for a writer desperate for work. But more significant, an ad like this would be pointless. Surely even a moderately intelligent would-be scab writer would know that all the ad would generate is a bunch of hate mail. And who would be stupid enough to create an electronic paper trail that could result in them getting barred from WGA membership in the future?

Looks to me like the studios and producers are getting desperate.

New Links - Laserdiscs, Laserdiscs, Laserdiscs!
I've added a couple new sites to the links page. The main one is an exhaustive site dedicated to the laserdisc format. An old friend referred to them derogatorily as "78s," but I still have a bunch of them. They look like DVDs except they're the size of an LP record. The video is almost as good as DVD, but the sound quality is actually better. The site, Laserdisc Forever, tells you everything you need to know about them. Check it out.
RSS Feeds
For those more tech-savvy readers, I have now added a link for RSS feeds. See the bottom of the menu to the right. Also, I have begun "pinging" blog directories to make this a bit more visible. If you're a member of Technorati, you can go to this page to "favorite" the blog.
Virginia Tech
My heart goes out to the students of Virginia Tech, where the lives of a lot of very smart people were cut short.
Happy Easter
Happy Easter, all. It is a beautiful day in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is where I happen to be at the moment. It's in the low 60s, no wind, with the sun breaking through the clouds. Come to think of it, why I am I sitting in front of a computer? Goodbye.
Where Have I Been?
Ok. It's been a full month since I've posted anything here, or done anything with this site. What is my excuse? Well first, my hard drive died. Read below to learn how to avoid wasting a bunch of time like I did if your hard drive dies and you have a Mac. Then, my wife and I moved, not a great distance, but an arduous process nonetheless.

Hard Drive Failures and How to Make Them Relatively Painless. I had been religiously "backing up" my powerbook's hard drive, using a program called Retrospect Express with a Western Digital USB external hard drive. I thought this meant that when my hard drive died, all I would have to do was simply dump everything from the backup on the external drive on to the new hard drive installed on my laptop. I was wrong. I have now learned that in order to do that, you need a program that creates a "bootable clone" of your hard drive. That means an exact copy of your hard drive created on an external drive, which you can use instead of your computer's hard drive, booting from the external drive. In contrast, what I had to do with my drive failure was reload all my programs, configure my email accounts, and load all my data, which took two full days. Aside from the wasted time, the impact on this site was that I had to reload the program I used to make this, reload all the add-ons that I purchased separately, and change various things because my iPhoto albums had changed.

So how do you avoid this? If you have a Mac, you should use
SuperDuper! This program creates a bootable clone of your hard drive. So assume a worst case scenario of your laptop being completely destroyed, hard drive and all. As a temporary and immediate solution, you could by an inexpensive used apple computer, such as a G3 iBook, which you could then use to boot the clone of your hard drive which you created with SuperDuper!, and continue your work where you left off. Or, let's say your hard drive died, like mine did, and you are waiting for a replacement to arrive. You can use your Powerbook without your hard drive, using the clone on your external drive instead. You can get this peace of mind for $27. I now have the program set to back up the hard drive every night, so that at most, I will only lose a day's worth of data. I wish I had this procedure in place before. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a power pc mac, you will need an external drive with a firewire connection. Because of some shortcoming in the Mac operating system, you cannot create a bootable clone using an external USB drive.

Moving is a Pain in the Ass. I hate moving. First, it means cleaning, which I hate to do. Second, it means throwing things away, which I also hate to do. Finally, the worst part is that it disrupts everything, diet, work, exercise, sleep, everything. The good news is that (hopefully) you're moving to a more comfortable place, which was true in our case. Also, the benefit of all your cleaning and trashing is that, in theory, you become more organized. I hate to admit it, but that was the case for me. HOWEVER, it still meant a full two weeks where everything else was put on hold.

Things to Come. I feel like saying "I have some exciting things planned for the site." Well, I guess that depends on your definition of the word exciting. I am planning to do two things in the near future. First, I will add RSS feeds to this blog. That way, you can be notified of any updates without having to check back to the site. Second, I will add links on the music pages to Amazon, so you can purchase the CDs I mention. Of course, this adds a commercial dimension to the site, but I would like the chance to at least cover the hosting cost of the site.

So that's about it. I'm back.
Happy New Year 2007
Here's wishing everyone who has taken the time to visit this site a safe, happy and prosperous 2007.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. That's all I have to say.