Archive for February, 2012

#Grace & #Talent

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Tessa and I love the movies. They carry us from our routines into our dreams nearly every evening. For me, they recall the atmosphere of the Saturday matinees at the Poplar Theatre in New Orleans and the high school dates downtown, when there was a sort of town down there. I think now that the action and the people have floated across Lake Pontchatrain to a settlement annotated as the North Shore. Amidst the late 60s bonanza of challenging films including MASH, Bonnie & Clyde, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, I was able to maintain my concentration in my plots to casually put my arm around Gerri Rotanti. Que bella figure! Then I shipped out with the Navy.

I may be getting older and the Academy Awards are certainly aging in its quest for a thrilling narrative that appeals to everyone, everywhere simultaneously. Is its loss of allure due to the multiplication of entertainment sources, like every mobile phone, or maybe because we no longer need to identify with the actors as the stars because its second nature to us or the young of us that movies are technical achievements more than acting achievements. Why did the Oscars include a Cirque du Soleil interlude?! In case you thought you are a performer…… Kind of like having an NBA dunk contest at the half-time of a college basketball game. “Oh, are those the guys at the next level?!”

I replayed Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech as Best Actress – yet again shining in an imperfect movie but not as wonderful nor as imperfect as the Devil Wears Prada – 3 or 4 times yesterday. Maybe prepared. I doubt if rehearsed. I was attracted to the keen concentration of her audience as she spoke. She was no inside joke. Acting can be an art and a gift to the audience. It doesn’t matter who you are wearing or what demographic needs to be boosted.

I enjoyed Jean DuJardin’s acceptance remarks if only for his exuberance. A befitting agent 117. This clip is from the bravura scene of the film and includes the adorable Berenice Bejo. Avec plaisir.

20 Gigabytes and $515 per share

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

It seems little noted that Apple’s share price rose over $140 in less than three months. It’s nearly $515 today. We should either be talking about the bubble that cannot sustain itself or rushing to seminars entitled Be Like Apple. Appears that the common sense is that they just think so different that they can only be admired, not emulated. Such is not my opinion and excellent simplicity takes lots of hard work. Sort of like Mark Twain’s impromptu five minute speech.

The impetus for this post is the vintage 2003 iPod 20 GB -wow! way back 8 years ago- that I bought for Tessa’s birthday back then that we uncovered in the back of the wires and screens section of the office closet. Slighter larger than an iPhone, it held 20 gigabytes of music. Not bad, even by today’s standards. It cost $400; white; with the bygone Click Wheel; Firewire adapter for battery recharging; and a mechanical attachment, the size of a Shuffle, for remote operation such as running or walking. It has more in common with a Walkman (remember?!) than an iPhone. Speaking of iPhones, my British friend’s eleven year old daughter removed the phone icon from her iPhone. She only accepts texts and Facebook updates! Have we reached the moment where we can say, “remember when mobile phones used to make phone calls?”

This is short walk down memory lane. Could you guess what was the music promoted in the enclosed flyer for then just launched in April iTunes Store? ABBA, Jewel, Fleetwood Mac, Kiss, The Flaming Lips, Count Basie, Elton John’s Greatest Hits, Sting and Steve’s favorite…coldplay.

Stock hit $68 in early 2004 and Mr. Paul La Monica of of CNN Money recommended ‘you cash-in if you can.’

Blue Pane Studio delivers its 1st calculator app; for USDA WIC Program

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012