Monthly Archives: June 2005

Not half bad

A colleague insisted I give this a try. It’s not half bad. The F/X are lightyears ahead of anything they ever did on the original series, as is the writing.

ConQuery

Well, this is a neat little tool! When you highlight a term and right click on it, instead of it just searching Google, now you can pick from any of the search plugins you have loaded. There are also specific conquery plugins you can install. I rather like the ISBN search myself.

Once you pop, you can’t stop?

Not too long ago, I was watching an episode of The Guiding Light and out of nowhere a character offers another character Pringles (holding the can so that the logo clearly visible and naming the product). The recipient likes the potato chips and comments that he can’t seem to stop eating them. Whereupon, yet another character laughs and remarks, “once you pop, you can’t stop.”

It used to be that shows went out of their way not to mention any brand names. Now it seems every time I turn on the TV there’s Tony Soprano talking about the safety of SUVs or some starving reality show contestant enthusing about Mountain Dew. I didn’t mind so much when it was just visuals, but I hate how product placement is now entering into the plots of my shows.

I think we have the VCR and services like TiVo and Replay TV to blame. Since people either fastforward thru or skip over commercials entirely, advertisers have had to get sneakier. Personally, I’d rather watch the commercial, knowing that it was a commercial, then to put up with this garbage.

Fun with Punctuation!

My recollections of being taught how to properly punctuate are so dim that I’m beginning to wonder if anybody ever bothered to cover the subject. I do own a copy of The Elements of Style, but I think that’s because a college professor suggested that we all get a copy. I’ve read it and I like to think I’ve learned from it. At the very least, I’ve learned that I have several deplorable tendencies:

1. I don’t use commas properly.
2. I’m over fond of the dash.
3. I like overly long and complicated sentences.

All that said, it’s not easy to learn how to correct those faults. Then I got a copy of Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

If anyone had told me a year ago that I’d be howling with laughter at the Laundromat over a book about punctuating, I’d would have thought they were crazy.

Let’s see if I can take what I’ve learned and make use of it.