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01.29.08 | Permalink

The ol’ personal blog has been pretty slow as of late, and I’ve been feeling the need to provide an update so I thought I would throw up a hefty post to cover some odds and ends that I’ve been putting off. I’m bringing back the long-play format for this one, so if you don’t care to read my extended ramblings you can just skip to the “bytes” below.

We launched the new Film Junk website last month and I’m pretty stoked about how Kevin’s new design turned out. We’ve still got some additional ideas that we’re going to try and massage into place over the next little while, but one thing we still want to do is put some emphasis on our video content.

Jay did another great job with our Year End Video Podcast, and we had a lot of fun putting it together (at least, those of us who weren’t editing until all hours of the morning did). I’ve been brainstorming ideas for a quick 5-minute video podcast that would be easy to produce on a regular basis, so that maybe we can get on board the whole video podcasting wave that is continuing to gather steam out there. Some people are predicting that the internet will officially kill TV within the next year or two. Consider me among the believers (although it won’t be just because of amateur podcasters like us).

Speaking of which, the writer’s strike is currently decimating my regular TV viewing schedule, so I’m finally starting to put a dent in that intimidating stack of DVDs that I’ve been meaning to watch. For a while there I never thought I’d catch up. I’m doing my best to log just about everything I watch over on Flixster, so if you’re at all interested, you can add me as a friend or just check out my short reviews in the sidebar widget I’ve added on this site.

Recently I stumbled across C. Max Magee’s blog and reading queue, and it connected with an idea I had a while back. I’m pretty bad for trying to read a whole mess of books at once (and effectively taking forever to finish any of them), so I thought I might try setting up a reading queue for myself, and do my best to stick to it. From there I thought, why not set up a queue for all of my media consumption? I’m a complete junkie when it comes to seeking out cool new things, so much so that I sometimes forget to actually sit down and experience them afterward. I’m looking at a couple possible plug-ins for WordPress that would allow me to manage something like this and include it on the site. I’m still not 100% sure I want to commit to such a geeky project, but it might force me to focus my attention, and hopefully give me more substantial stuff to write about too.

The last thing I will mention is that sometime this week I am going to start posting my del.icio.us bookmarks directly on the site, one link per post. Consider it an experiment at this point, but hopefully it will help keep this blog a little more active. I just want to avoid flooding the front page with short links and no real content. I will probably be a little bit more picky about what links I decide to share on del.icio.us.

Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man comic series comes to an end this week with the climactic issue #60. I’m still a few issues behind, but Chian just reminded me that I had better get caught up in time to experience this massive grand finale at the same time as everyone else. I want to savour the home stretch as this has been my favourite running comic series and now I’m not quite sure what I will replace it with. On the other hand, the best thing about the series has always been the fact that it was working toward a definitive end, and considering that there were some parts of the storyline that kind of dragged, it’s probably for the best.

If you’re into Facebook and you’re also into music blogs, then I’ve got an app that’s going to change your life (sort of). The Yahoo! Music Blogs Plug-in allows you to add feeds for all of your favourite MP3 blogs (like Muzak For Cybernetics!), and it will scan the posts and stream all the MP3 files for your listening convenience. It’s a pretty decent way to sample a lot of music without having to download a ton of audio files from bands you’re not even sure you’re going to like.

Speaking of music, I’m pretty stoked to have tickets to see From The Jam next month in Toronto. For those who don’t know, this is Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, former bassist and drummer for The Jam, touring and playing their old songs — without the band’s original frontman Paul Weller. It’s a strange situation, because on one hand, they can’t be The Jam without Paul Weller, but on the other hand, this may be the closest fans ever get to a proper reunion. All of the reviews I’ve read online say that they sound great, and the energy and atmosphere is comparable to seeing them back in the day. If they can even come close to matching what this band used to be, I’m sure I will be a happy man. (YouTube videos like this and this also have me convinced it will be a great show.)

Friend and fellow game junkie Shaun Hatton recently launched a video game review site called Toronto Thumbs. He also collaborated with his wife Leslie on a nifty little pop culture fanzine called Popshifter. Both sites are very cool and I urge you to check them out now!

For all you people who have been playing Rock Band and thinking to yourself that something is missing, let me introduce you to the official Rock Band Stage Kit. No longer will you need to imagine yourself inside the game, you can actually have a real light show and smoke machine in your living room with you. Your parents will be so proud! The truth is, no one knows if this Stage Kit thing is real or not — it was apparently spotted on the Gamestop site before it was mysteriously taken down. I have my doubts… I certainly hope it’s a joke, anyway. Then again, with stuff like the official Guitar Hero Belt Buckle out there, who knows where the madness will end.

A track runner with prosthetic legs was denied a shot at trying out for the Olympics last week because the IAAF decided that his mechanical limbs give him an unfair advantage over regular humans! Amazing… a disadvantage has, in this day and age, actually become an advantage. Stories like this blow my mind. The merging of man and machine is happening faster than we are willing to admit, and mark my words, it’s only a matter of time before all athletes are enhancing themselves with technology. It may sound crazy, but if you’re smart, you’ll start start saving up money for your inevitable bionic makeover now.

This fun little Flash game allows you to create random Jackson Pollock-inspired artwork on the fly. Ever since I saw My Kid Could Paint That I’ve been wondering whether or not I could do some cool abstract painting of my own. Now I know the answer is yes… and I don’t even need to get a drop of paint on me.

Have you ever read a humourous rant out there on some anonymous internet message board and thought to yourself, someone really should be documenting this because future generations will want to know about it? No? Okay, maybe I’m the only one. At any rate, bash.org houses a strange archive of random yet amusing IM dialogues and internet discussions that can be submitted by anyone, apparently. It seems unlikely that all of them are real, but there’s no denying that many of them are flat out hilarious.

I sure hope I don’t develop Alzheimer’s when I get older, because you wouldn’t catch me wearing one of these helmets if my life depended on it.

Are you excited about the season premiere of Lost this Thursday? I am, although apparently they’re doing everything they can to bring new viewers on board at this point. Not only have they put together a rapid fire recap of the first 3 seasons that runs just over 8 minutes, they’re also re-airing an enhanced version of the Season 3 finale on Wednesday with special pop-up trivia bubbles pointing out hidden clues and backstory. Great, just what we need… all the mystery stripped away in exchange for higher ratings! (Okay, I promise to keep my cynicism contained, for now.) In other J.J. Abrams news, it sounds like his new show Fringe is going to be the closest to an official X-Files successor we could have hoped for. Hey, I’m sold already.

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