bookmark_borderCry for Pixar

No doubt this will be covered in further detail elsewhere (and to my shame I can’t remember which blog I spotted it on) but this story, buried in the comments on a thread on Metafilter is amazing.

The short version is that, opening viewing one of the first trailers for Wall-E, a girl found herself bursting into tears as she was so moved. She video’d herself doing this, posted it on YouTube, and some Pixar staff found it and emailed her (this was all on a personal basis, not driven through the company at this point). Apparently word got round Pixar and ultimately ends up with the girl and her boyfriend being invited to the staff premiere screening, flown out and put up in a hotel, and then, before they showed the movie, being introduced to the staff as, by that point, everyone knew her story.

Schmaltzy? Yes. But to me it demonstrates the passion Pixar have for their movies.

Having read To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios the story certainly fits with the ethos that powers the studio and is a touching insight into how Pixar operates. Yes, of course they have a cold, heartless, business side, but there is no real reason why they did all of that other than because watching the girl’s video touched THEM. Pixar have given this story zero publicity (and yes you cynics, I’m sure they are happy it’s been revealed but they aren’t making a play on this I don’t think).

I never did write up my thoughts about that Pixar book but suffice to say if you enjoy their movies, and are a bit of a geek like me, you’ll LOVE it. It covers everything from business decisions (including why Steve Jobs got involved) through to their commitment to make good movies, regardless of technological barriers.

They are a unique company in many ways, as this story only goes to show.


I think I’m safe, for now. Wherever I go it isn’t long before they find me.

It seems The Mezin are connected to every aspect of humanity, from culture and religion to our most advanced technology

I have to be more careful contacting all of you. When I began I thought I could safely speak about his writings and perhaps save us all…

but now it seems I will have to find a more subtle way to share his visions.

If this is the first message you have received from me do not give up hope! There are others that have gone before you, the way has been found, you only need to search and you will find the answers you seek. We will all have a role to play. We are getting stronger, our voices will be heard!

I have more of Haas’s writings, once I find a secure way to transmit them I will leave you clues to find them.

The more I read the more I realize Haas was right………

Ethan Haas Was Right.


Continue reading “1-18-08”

bookmark_borderQuestions Answered #13

In a desperate effort to gain some weird form of validation, I stole an idea for a blog post and begged my readers to ask me a question. And they did. The buggers. Now I have to answer them.

My mate Keith sneaks in with a second question, “Daddy or Chips?” and because I specifically said ONE QUESTION each I refuse to answer it. Now if someone would just pass the vinegar…

Ohh alright then.

Daddy or Chips?
What this really comes down to is my love of potato-based products versus the love I have for my father.

So let’s break this down a little, one the one hand you have my Dad. He’s been my Dad for as long as I can remember and, yeah, he’s a pretty damn good Dad. He’s better than yours…

On the other hand, I LOVE potatoes. I mean I really REALLY LOVE potatoes. Apparently, this is due to the Irish in me, and whether that’s a direct influence or not I have to confess that sometimes, not often, I have a big plate potatoes for dinner. Take one large plate, one large pot of gloriously firm, waxy potatoes boiled to perfection (soft but solid), a large pat of butter and some salt (ohh shush, it’s not right if there isn’t any butter or salt!) and a large ice-cold glass of milk. Delish!

Double trouble if I get MacKie’s ice cream for dessert.

Of course that’s just one way to cook a potato, they are equally delicious roasted, fried, oven-baked, mashed, grilled, sauted, or stewed. And that’s before we get started on all the potato-based food items: chips, fries, crisps, rosti, croquettes, hash browns, to name but a few.

Yes, it’s fair to say I like potatoes no matter what form they come in, no matter what shape or size, and whether they are served as an accompaniment or as the main course all by themselves. I love potatoes. LOVE ‘EM.

But do I love them more than I love my Dad? Don’t be so bloody stupid.

In saying that, I AM looking forward to February 12th 2007

bookmark_borderXmas is here

This weekend we have mostly been finishing off our Xmas shopping (almost done, almost), carting boxes of stuff into and out of the loft, and converting our living room into Santa’s Grotto. Sort of.

I even postponed my Sunday morning run so we could hit B&Q early.

Well, that’s not true. I HAD planned to go for a run but, halfway down the road, I realised I’d left my running shoes in the house. I normally wear them to drive down to the park, taking a spare pair with me but, as I’d been for a run on Saturday (can anyone say 5.4k!!) they were a bit muddy, so I thought I’d wear my spare pair and change when I got there. I’m a diddy.

Still, it did mean that we got round B&Q and Au Naturale and were home again by 1.30pm. That gave me time to cut four pieces of wood (batons for shelves in the kitchen), cut a piece of hardboard to go down the back of the TV to hide the cables, paint two shelves, four batons, one piece of hardboard, hang up three set of lights, and generally return the house to some sort of order.

The main reason we were in B&Q was to buy a set of outdoor Xmas lights. Louise would LOVE to do the house up like something out of an American movie (think Home Alone), but thankfully common sense prevails… or at least I roll my eyes and refuse to buy 100m of rope light. However we did both spot, separately, a set we liked. If you’ve seen the B&Q advert on telly you’ll know what ones – a small set of Xmas pressies that would sit nicely under the tree in the front garden. Not flashy, TOO tacky or ‘gaudy’. Ideal.

Except B&Q don’t sell them. What the feck is the point of that!! So far my google-fu is failing me but I’ll find ’em!

Plenty to do though… I’ve still to move the elliptical trainer into the garage, move the reindeer into the front garden, install an outside power junction and get the Xmas decorations up in the hall. However that’ll all have to wait as, and I’d kinda forgot about this, tomorrow we get a new front and back door!

Currently, and it’s especially telling on days like today where it’s blowing a gale, we get a bad draft coming from the hall. This is likely because you can see daylight between the door and the frame. Not good. So we’ve splashed out some savings to get a new front door and, while we were at it, we’ll get a new back door too. Why not.

So, that was pretty much my weekend. We’re ALMOST all Christmas’d up, and I’m ALMOST able to forget about it until after the 5K fun run next week. Almost.

How was yours?

bookmark_borderLOVE ME!

Popularity contests, I can’t stand them. All that gushing for verification, all that competition… sorry? I’m 10th??!! …

Popularity contests, I LOVE THEM. Aren’t they great!!!

For those that missed it, there was a mini-furore (a fure?) recently when a new site launched with the aim:

… not so much to create a fuss about viewing figures, because popularity isn’t everything, but to provide a convenient and interesting place where new UK blog readers might start from.

It lasted less than a month. Why? Well because finding a reliable source of statistics is almost impossible, I have access to three sets of stats dedicated to this site. One offered by my hosting company (which I consider the most accurate), SiteMeter (added recently, I’ll explain why in a minute) and ExtremeTracking which I’ve used since April 2002. One thing that came up during the short life of Best British Blogs was the discrepancy between stats, something I can now vouch for as SiteMeter and ExtremeTracking rarely, if ever, agree.

Of course popularity ISN’T everything, in fact I was quite surprised that I only read, passingly at that, two of the first ten sites listed on Best British Blogs. The main problem, of course, that an accurate site title would have to be “Best British Blogs that have publically available stats that are on the radar of the author of the site”. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it.

I think it’s fair to say that, when it comes to blogs, ANY site that dares list a Top ANYTHING list is at the whim of the bloggers within the target circle. If you choose not to opt-in then obviously the list won’t be complete and shouldn’t be regarded as such. With that in mind then, I do think that the “Top of the British Blogs” list (which, thankfully, is accurately named) may be a bit more opt-in accurate. As it isn’t relying on external stats packages but collating the figures itself it should be considerably more accurate and, more importantly, consistent than any other method.

And to answer a recent comment which stated: “Since it requires voluntary registration, it can’t really be a good measure of weblog popularity. Or perhaps just a measure of those people who crave popularity.” I point you to the Orwellian post, particularly the first section “Sheer Egoism”.

Of course, all this has nothing to do with the fact that I’m currently 10th in the list. Honest.

Related links
The British Blogs Top 10 (and now Bottom 10 too).
BritBlog Roundup is probably the best of the bunch as it links to the best (in the opinion of the author, obviously)(correction: as nominated by you dear reader) posts from the past week. Great idea and has already uncovered a few gems.
Slightly further afield there is Top European Blogs which grew out of the Best British Blogs and is based on site stats. However a pinch of salt is required as your site must be using SiteMeter and be on the author’s radar. In other words, if you want listed let him know.
And finally I’m adding in a link to You are hurting us and On the Absence of Women (sent on by Adrian) as they touch on the impact “Top 10” lists (and blogrolls) can have and is a fascinating read. More thoughts from me on that, later. below.

Further update
Probably an entire post in itself but let me say this. A Top 10/100 list isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For those NEW to blogging it gives them a frame of reference which they can use to either aim for or rail against. Both are equally required. Equally for those who have been blogging for a while (let’s say 2+ years) they’ll also realise that these lists carry, for them, little meaning or value. Anyway, as I said, this is better suited to it’s own post, more on THAT later.


I forgot one other thing that I promised myself this year. More concerts. I’m toying with going to see Ed Harcourt in February, already got tickets for R.E.M. at Loch Lomond (couldn’t NOT go as it’s my spiritual home) and then U2 announce their dates. I’d LOVE to see them again but £45 a ticket is a bit steep if you ask me.

Or is it? God, I just don’t know. Anyway it’s academic as I’m completely skint and the tickets will be gone by the time I have enough money for one.