Friday, November 25
Word is that Pat Morita has died. While I pretty much only recall Morita in his memorable roles as Mr. Myagi in the Karate Kid films and Arnold in "Happy Days," this CBC Arts story revealed parts of his career that I didn't know about. I didn't even know he was nominated for an Oscar for Karate Kid.
I last saw him playing himself on the Adult Swim series "Robot Chicken." It was funny that he was poking fun at himself.
He will be missed.
Saturday, November 19
Just got back from seeing Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices at the Pageant Theater. It was an interesting film -- they had a lot of ground to cover and I don't know how effectively they navigated it.
Before landing on some towns that successfully fought off the discount retailer, the film bounced around from how Wal-Mart is against small-town businesses, the employees, the customers and the workers making their goods. They were interesting in their own rights, but they could've been tied better into the film's overall message.
Anyway, there were at least two errors in the film that I'm interested in.
1 - What U.S. map were they using? It looked to me that the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula was missing. Not cool, especially because the map looked pretty good otherwise.
2 - During the segment where the film detailed the number of violent crimes occurred in store parking lots, they listed a number of crimes that they said happened in the "first 7 months of 2005" (which drew a response from the audience).
Unfortunately, one of the listed crimes may not be accurate. I saw a knife assault at the Houghton, Mich. Wal-Mart listed. I remember when the assault happened and it wasn't in 2005.
According to a Jan. 27, 2005 item from The Associated Press, the knife assault on the 92-year-old man occurred on Sept. 28, 2004. I recall the assault's brutal details -- the man's throat was allegedly slashed in broad daylight (the man survived).
So if these details are inaccurate, how reliable are the film's other details?
UPDATE - I was checking the list of parking lot crimes on WalMartMovie.com. Houghton isn't currently on the list. I distinctly recall seeing it on the big screen (and I'm fairly certain I saw it on the on-screen list).
I'm also seeking a better name for this "Missing U.P." segment. I would welcome ideas for something catchy and memorable. Drop me a line, ryan -at- rtomedia.com
Saturday, November 12
In a post last month, I commented that I wasn't able to view Adult Swim's "Friday Night Fix" online streaming episodes. I couldn't even easily determine what technology Williams Street used to for the service.
I tried to get the "fix" on my work computer Friday. I was able to tell that [as] wants a newer version Windows Media Player. That's something I'm not going to be able to get until I upgrade my home computer. Bummer.
Another bummer is that "Arrested Development" had its full-season order cut to 13 episodes -- again. Many critics see the writing on the wall for this show, which is a bummer.
It looks like the show is "monday-d" for good. At the same time, it's nice the show got three seasons.
This is something I've been meaning to start for a long time. For four years, I lived on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Michigan is a state consisting of two large peninsulas jutting out into the Great Lakes. The Lower Peninsula is more well-known because the bulk of the population lives down there (including Detroit).
Map from Google Local
Now, one thing that I've noticed in recent years is that some people don't include the Upper Peninsula in maps of the United States or Michigan. Sometimes they clump it with Canada or associate it with Wisconsin.
I don't know why they do it -- whether it's an oversight, design error or just plain ignorance.
Here's an example from FOX's "Family Guy":
The screen cap is from Planet Family Guy. I didn't see the episode in question, but the character of Ollie Williams is clearly in front of a U.S. map missing the Upper Peninsula.
Some Yoopers get offended by these errors, and I think I can understand where they're coming from. The U.P. isn't a relatively tiny island like Long Island (which is often dropped from maps of New York). This is a large landmass about a third of the state andthe size of Denmark.
So to chronicle these goofs, I've decided to create a special section on my.RTOmedia.com. Under the "More" section, you'll shortly be able to find examples from the Internet and TV of the missing Upper Peninsula.
I've got a ton of examples saved on my computer from The Los Angeles Times, TextAmerica, the U.S. Weather Service and more. I can't wait to share them with you.
If you've got some examples, zip a message to ryan -at- rtomedia.com
Saturday, November 5
My two friends currently living in Connecticut happened to be in the audience of the episode of "Late Show with David Letterman" that aired Friday.
I was trying to spot them in the audience throughout the episode, and I quickly grew anxious. The show was dragging quite a bit.
Who cares about whatever the heck guest Billy Crystal was talking about? Where's the handsome -- and possibly sexy in places -- audience? Show more of them.
After the broadcast, I went back to the one (one!) time the audience was shown on the screen and spotted them.
The show was recorded a week prior and it showed -- the delaying tactics were really obvious. How can they do a "Week in Review" segment and not talk about Supreme Court nominee Alito? No Scooter Libby mention either, but they had plenty of time for the "wacky" antics of Letterman and his cast.
It also seemed like Crystal's segment lasted 700 Sundays. OK, it wasn't that bad, but it seemed much longer than it needed to be -- the whole show did.
I also wish I was a bigger Ryan Adams fan, but nyeh. I just got very anxious during the song too and took a short break. I did tap my feet watching the segment the next day, but only a little.
However, it would be fun to be in a live television studio audience one day. I can either sit quietly or use my patented guffaw (patent pending).