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The Pecman

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Everything posted by The Pecman

  1. Most browsers have a "magnify text" option, usually with control/command+ to increase the on-screen text size. Do that and you should be able to read the text more easily.
  2. I agree, a memorable story. And here's the link: http://www.awesomedude.com/backwoodsman/holiday/index.htm
  3. Thanks for the story, James! And I agree 100% with your philosophy. If the police tell you to stop: STOP. Don't argue.
  4. You know what? This could be the core of a good story idea.
  5. You should! It never hurts to say "hello" to a friend from your past, assuming there's no issues there beyond the passage of time.
  6. It's a little weird, but I have heard it on rare occasions. A much more common one would be "you're driving me fucking crazy." The Dude remembers a UK writer who wrote an otherwise-fine gay teen story that took place in an unnamed city in California. I very lightly chided the guy for using the phrase "Father Christmas" in one section of the story, pointing out that we either call the holiday character "Santa Claus" or "St. Nick," and he went ballistic at me in email, insisting that Americans do so use this phrase. (And he was fucking crazy.) I think you have to be very careful using regional or national dialect in stories, because you never know who might be reading -- especially if they're far more expert at language than you are.
  7. Robin Williams' current wife issued a statement yesterday that the actor/comedian was in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease, and this diagnosis had contributed greatly to his ongoing bouts with depression: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/14/showbiz/robin-williams-parkinsons-disease/index.html?hpt=en_c1
  8. I particularly love the convenience of the coin pouch.
  9. What's incredible is that Robin Williams had already completed four new films which have yet to be released this year. It's going to be a huge blow to the filmmakers to not have him around to be part of their release. This is not the first time an extremely talented, famous, and wealthy celebrity suffered from depression to the point where they chose an early exit. I'm reminded by director Tony Scott, who jumped off a bridge here in LA rather than continue his life. Serious depression is not a trivial matter, and there is no simple "getting over it." I've had days where I literally have trouble getting out bed, because a lot of life's challenges seem so insurmountable. When I'm very busy, I'm so distracted I don't have time to dwell on my problems. God help me when things are boring.
  10. One gay tie-in: Robin's excellent performance in La Cage aux Folles. I worked on his (very bad) 2009 film Old Dogs, and can report that Mr. Williams was very funny, very nice, very cooperative, and a total pro. Very well-liked by the crew -- even in a terrible movie.
  11. I hope they're available in different sizes.
  12. Jesus, that's rough. I hope this gets a little sunnier.
  13. An actor/friend of mine once told me the cheat they often use in class is that the drunk person is trying not to "seem" drunk, which is harder to communicate. Great actors pull that off, and I think you could do the same thing in fiction by having the character insist that they're fine and only had a couple of drinks. I've seen cases where people's speech is slurry but their actions and movements are fine, and also the opposite. So there's more than just speech involved.
  14. Diving and gymnastics are both must-see Olympic events. Hocky... not so much.
  15. Not a big fan of baseball or football, either. I can stand tennis.
  16. I have to say, there are no doubt even English professors who would not be so bold as to ask, "From which door should I leave?" Too snooty, though it's correct.
  17. No thunder out here in Chatsworthless, either, but we did see some black skies on the extreme southwest horizon. The storm at the beaches was 30 miles away, so we didn't even feel it.
  18. Weird Al Yankovic just had similar advice in his new song...
  19. Yes, I would say that's kind of like a double negative: just clumsy writing. There's almost always a simpler and more direct way of saying the same thing. I don't dispute that ending a sentence with a preposition is grammatically wrong, yet is often used in everyday conversation. Anybody remember that old joke? "Excuse me, which door should I leave from?" "Ah, you should never end a sentence with a preposition!" "Sorry. Which door should I leave from, asshole?"
  20. Yeah, this was the lead story locally all day yesterday and today. Everybody really got freaked out about it. I grew up in Tampa, and that's well-known as the lightning capital of the world. I think more people die in that area from being hit by lightning than anywhere else, often as many as 10-12 people a year, usually on golf courses and other flat pieces of land. Everybody would always come charging out of the water the moment lightning was around, and if there were public lifeguards on the beach, they'd sound the bullhorns and gets us all out. They're a little more lackadasical and casual about this in LA because it doesn't happen nearly as frequently. In the 30+ years I've lived here, I don't think I've been through more than 5 or 6 severe lightning storms. In Tampa, that described a typical summer.
  21. The problem with file encryption is that if the file gets corrupted, the encryption may prevent many disk-recovery utilities from getting the data back. I have seen before where proprietary file formats get so splattered all over the place, because they don't follow the usual OS rules, it makes them very, very fragile in the event of a disaster. I'm not convinced that any encryption systems are necessary for most people. I have dealt with encrypted files and heavily-password-protected websites for studios accessing dailies for films & TV shows in production, but in this case, these are temporary files that are thrown away every few days -- not the actual movie itself. As to how to protect yourself: I'm just very careful, keep computer systems offline when necessary, and I don't keep anything on my drives I can't justify having there in the first place. At the same time, I accept that if "they" want to snoop at your email and stuff like that, there's little or nothing you can do to stop them at this point.
  22. One thing that gives me hope is that Matthew Burdette's mother later told an interviewer that more than 300 people came to her son's funeral, and quite a few kids came up to her and said that Matthew "didn't deserve what happened to him," or words to that effect. So I think most of the kids eventually realized what was done to him was wrong. But I agree with Cole in a sense, because I have seen cases where one kid drove another to suicide, and later on the bully was questioned and had an answer like, "well, that kid was weak and stupid, and he probably would've killed himself anyway." So the bully may try to shield himself from any responsibility with vague excuses, trying to distance himself from the situation and put all the blame on the victim. Maybe eventually, with enough psychological counseling (and jail time), the bully would begin to see, "oh... so it was my fault that all this happened." In this case, though, this was a popular, athletic kid who was bright and well-liked, who had his entire world completely crushed in one day. It's that stark contrast that I find particularly haunting and affecting.
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