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December 20, 2006

links for 2006-12-20

December 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 19, 2006

Feeds moved to FeedBurner

I'm switching my RSS and Atom feeds over to Feedburner. This may cause you to see repeats of items still in my feed that you have already read or marked as read. If you see any repeats that don't match that, or are having trouble with the new feed, please e-mail me.

December 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

links for 2006-12-19

December 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 18, 2006

Don't miss Weird Al's current album

Weird Al Yankovic
Originally uploaded by Frank Steele.
I got Weird Al's Straight Outta Lynwood for my birthday.

It's awesome. Highlights include: “Trapped in the Drive-thru”, his parody of R. Kelly's unintentional hip-hopera self-parody “Trapped in the Closet”; "Do I Creep You Out?", based on American Idol Taylor Hicks's hit “Do I Make You Proud?”; and, of course, “White & Nerdy,” the parody of Chamillionaire's Ridin'. It's become the favorite “driving-around” CD for the family.

Also, I see Al did a parody of James Blunt's monster hit “You're Beautiful” that couldn't get permission to be on the album -- you can download it here.

Weird Al's site is here.

I shot the picture at right with my iSight camera off a TV screen, and uploaded it with the new FlickrBooth tool, a plug-in for PhotoBooth.

December 18, 2006 in Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

You'll shoot your eye out

Christmas Story HouseI've always been interested in filming locations. When I worked for Coca-Cola, I moved into a recently renovated building across from world headquarters, previously owned by Graybar, and learned that it had been used for interiors in Robocop 3. When I first moved to Atlanta, classmates told me stories about parts of Smokey and the Bandit shot along the Chattahoochee between Roswell and Parkaire Mall, and I once parked in the parking lot where Burt Reynolds pulls in to the fair at the end of that film, at Lakewood Fairgrounds, south of Atlanta.

So when I read that a fan of the movie A Christmas Story had bought the house used for external locations and renovated it to its movie-shoot condition for tours, I wanted to check it out.

The house is an utterly conventional 2-story wood frame house. It sits at Rowley and 11th, just west of downtown, on the edge of a gentrifying neighborhood called Tremont. It overlooks Cleveland's Industrial Valley, close enough that part of the steelyard is visible from the backyard. Adjacent to the steelyard is a site being developed as Steelyard Commons, offering the incongruous sight of a Home Depot and Target, in their typical big-box strip mall, backed up against an enormous factory, smokestacks and all.

Christmas Story house sideI arrived too late for the last tour of the day, but took some pictures and walked through the museum/gift shop, which itself appears in the movie -- it's the white house across the street in the movie's first scene. The interior of the house has been rebuilt to resemble that in the movie, but none of the movie's interior scenes were shot here. Interiors, exteriors of Ralphie's school, and the Christmas tree shopping scene were shot in Toronto.

The parade scenes, scenes of the boys walking to school, Ralphie's encounter with Santa, and the Chinese restaurant scene all were done in Cleveland. The parades are on Public Square, adjacent to Higbee's, which was the department store for the display windows and Santa scenes. Higbee's has been closed for years, but there's some sort of construction underway there, as well. The Chinese Restaurant, which looks somewhat different today, is the C & Y Chinese Restaurant on St. Clair Avenue, just east of downtown.

The house features a Major Award in the front window, of course. The man who bought the house is building a cottage industry on the movie -- he also sells leg lamps.

The only other Flickr user to geotag their Christmas Story house pics is leanore, who had the good fortune to get pictures with snow on the ground. Director Bob Clark, fresh from making Porky's, wasn't so lucky -- his crew had to manufacture most of the snow in the movie.

There's also a fairly active "achristmasstory" tag, from which I found this picture of a Flickr-er with Ian Petrella, Randy the little brother of the movie, and Scott Schwartz, Flick, the friend whose tongue got stuck to the flagpole. And here's the Major Award from inside.

Favorite newly-learned A Christmas Story trivia: Yano Anaya, who plays Grover Dill, the bully-parroting toady to Scut Farkus, had one other Hollywood role, as the paperboy who chases John Cusack through most of Better Off Dead, trying to collect his “Two dollars!”

December 18, 2006 in Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2006

TiVo hasn't, so community builds TiVoToGo for Mac

Zatz Not Funny! TivoToGo On Your Mac

Every few weeks, I do a quick web-scan checking to see if TiVo has made any new announcements about a Mac client for TiVoToGo, the client software that lets you move TiVo'ed shows to your computer and then to iPods, PSPs, etc.

And every few weeks, I'm disappointed. Despite a Mac client that was demoed at CES in January and announced for “mid-2006,” then just 2006, there's been no more announced progress on this.

But earlier this week, I read that some wily hackers had figured out how to decrypt TiVo's files, which was really the only technical hurdle. Eventually, we'll get all-in-one tools with an actual user interface, but I've now used the command-line tool to grab three files off the house TiVos, converted one with iSquint, and viewed some of it with iTunes with no problems (the unencrypted files are MPEG2's that can be read by VLC).

December 6, 2006 in Apple | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

links for 2006-12-06

December 6, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2006

links for 2006-12-05

December 5, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 04, 2006

Urban Jungle

It's my first submission to JPG Magazine, for their theme “Street.”

I like the contrast of organic and (mostly) inorganic forms -- there's almost nothing “natural” in her surroundings.

Shot on Public Square in Cleveland, back in June. If you like it (or hate it), you can vote for it to go into (or not to go into) an upcoming issue of the print magazine.

I'm going to start posting some of my favorite shots out of the multitude over at Flickr onto my page at JPG.

December 4, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

links for 2006-12-04

December 4, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack