ShellyBlog Shelly Brisbin's life consists of several long tails. She writes about them here.

July 24, 2007

Flickr the Driveway

Filed under: Random Personal Nonsense — Shelly Brisbin @ 3:24 PM

Frank continues to work on the driveway, while I sit inside earning money to pay for it, occasionally popping out to take photos.

Follow the driveway pictures or the podcast.

In driveway news, we’ve been hampered quite a lot by rain of late. Frank checked the week’s forecast before renting a tractor, but since he rented it, we’ve had a couple of rain days, and the chances for the remained of the week have been doubled. He was able to work through today, just getting the tractor onto the trailer as the thunder started rolleing in.

July 20, 2007

It Does Not Rain in July!

Filed under: Random Personal Nonsense — Shelly Brisbin @ 7:27 PM

Two years ago, we remodeled our house. The roof caved in while we were replacing it, and I got tons of podcast material. As I’ve been relating on my show, this year’s project is to dig up the asphalt driveway, add pavers and install a garden. But we are once again slowed down by July rains. I should mention here that it isn’t supposed to rain in July in Austin.

Here’s the beginning of the driveway dig, which was done to protect the roots of the adjacent tree.

Next is what happens when a pit that can’t drain gets rained on.

Oh, the hose has a syphon attached. That’s how we get out the water.

July 17, 2007

U can haz Shellys Podcast

Filed under: Podcast Appearances — Shelly Brisbin @ 2:53 PM

I made a new episode. That’s two podcasts in two days.


This took 19 minutes?

July 16, 2007

Harry Potter and the Cameo Characters

Filed under: Random Personal Nonsense — Shelly Brisbin @ 5:05 PM

Frank and I went to the Alamo Drafthouse to see Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. We’re both big fans of the books, and we’ve seen (though not in order) the four previous movies. Having sat through the other movies, we were both completely prepared for the fact that large hunks of plot and character from the book were absent. I also knew that this was the shortest HP movie, made from the longest HP book. Not a good sign. The thing I was not prepared for was how Order of the Phoenix confirmed all of my negative feelings about modern moviemaking.

This movie is almost completely impossible to follow if you haven’t either memorized the previous four films, or read the books. And because it employed standard action movie quick cuts, even within dialog scenes, you have to be pretty fast-thinking to connect the dots, even with a lot of HP background. And that’s the crux of my problem with this film. Who decreed that any film with action scenes must be highly tense and overly-drmatic at every single moment? The characters do not behave like real people. The scenes are too short, and the action sequences are shot through with fie and smoke and that high-pitched metallic sound that so many filmmakers use as a crutch. These things make a film unwatchable for me, unless I’m willing to completely ignore the plot and just gaze the fireworks. Sorry, ‘m not. I enjoy the Harry Potter world because I like the story, the conflict, the characters. None of these things seem very important in the films, and it’s getting worse with each production.

As we were heading home last night, I was thinking that perhaps I’m just too stuck in the old movie world I love. Realities are different, and people expect those fireworks. But Frank reminded me of at least one recnet film epic that featured plenty of action and plenty of character development and good dialog. Any guesses? OK I’ll tell ya, it’s Lord of the Rings.

Maybe there is hope. Peter Jackson did a pretty good job with furry-footed people and villains who catapult heads over the castle walls. Why can’t the HP filmmakers take a lesson from LOTR and remember that these stories are about people and their journeys, not just the smoke created when you set of a patronus charm.

July 15, 2007

Hollywood on the Radio #24

Filed under: Podcast Appearances — Shelly Brisbin @ 1:52 PM

Hollywood on the Radio episode 24 features Breakfast in Hollywood, a crazy little show from the 40s. Go get it!

July 8, 2007

New Shelly’s Podcast Posted

Filed under: Podcast Appearances — Shelly Brisbin @ 8:17 PM

Check out the new show. Download or subscribe at the show site.
Juicing the ratings by tearing up my driveway.

  • News: Pimpin the blog, tante Shelly, headed for Chicago
  • Coffee ESP
  • New home improvement project/podcast material
  • Lighting Round
  • Listener feedback
  • Need your help with a special show. Email if interested.

Eight Things About Me

Filed under: Random Personal Nonsense — Shelly Brisbin @ 12:10 PM

It seems I didn’t look carefully at my inbound links. Way back on June 20, I was tagged. So here are eight fun facts you might not know about moi.

  1. I made my first and only “bargain with God” when I was nine. Mom said I was too sick to go to school on the day my class was going on a field trip to the first indoor mall in Austin. The bargain was that if God let me feel well enough to go to the mall, or convinced my mom that I did, I would always do my homework. I stayed home that day, unfortunately.

  2. I have “spent time” in 19 US states (the interesting part is not the number but the fact that I’ve counted). Spent time means I’ve slept at least one night in the state. I have had layovers in three states. Utah, Illinois and Georgia, I’m comn’ back some day and will hopefully be allowed to leave the airport.

  3. I met Lyndon Johnson at the opening of his presidential library. My mom insisted that I tell him my birthday was two days before his. I was so embarrassed! I did it, though, and received a gold pen with a presidential seal, and an autograph. Later, he wrote me a letter, which is still in my parents’ safe at home.

  4. I was on the high school debate team. That probably does not surprise you. It might surprise you to learn that I first made the finals in a tournament reading a poem called “A Woman to Her Dead Husband”. I came in fourth out of 100 or so.

  5. When I was 15,, my dad broke his leg. He was in the hospital on the night that John Denver came to Austin. My mom had gotten us tickets for the show, so we visited my dad (the hospital was a block away) and went on to the concert, which was my first. (Inspired by Steve.)

  6. When they brought a baby to my mom in the hospital, she looked at the kid and said “That’s not mine!” They brought her another baby, same reaction. On the third try, they brought me. She took one look and said “That’s mine!” I look like my dad. At least, I think he’s my dad.

  7. When I was in college, I spent most of my meager discretionary income on books about classic film. I still have a rather large collection of movie books, mostly acquired from the three bookstores I haunted during those years.

  8. I have been to one college football game, one college basketball game (women’s) and no pro sports events.

Let’s see. I think I’ll tag Joe, Aaron, Carolyn and Bruce.

Feelings and the iPhone

Filed under: New Media and Tech — Shelly Brisbin @ 9:47 AM

It’s been ten days and I still haven’t seen an iPhone. I’ve been inside a few AT&T stores, where circumstances and extremely dim clerks have conspired to prevent my laying hands on the thing. Getting to an Apple Store, while possible, takes a long time, and I just haven’t been able to spare time for the two round-trip bus rides that would be required.

Early on, I read the iPhone reviews. It was interesting to see if people who had been persistent enough to stand in line would be anything other than fanboys or fangirls. But I quickly began wanting a real user’s perspective–the point of view of a person who isn’t conversant in phone terminology like EDGE, GSM and so forth, and someone who would never ever, under any circumstances, use the word “converged”. I haven’t yet found much of that (I’m probably reading the wrong blogs) and I really do wonder if anyone, anywhere, has even thought about the digital divide the iPhone symbolizes. I mean good grief: a world in which people line up to spend $500 on a phone as the cameras roll, while people are dying in wars, and the president it flouting the law of the land is really hard for me to square up. To be sure, that’s a totally false equivalency in terms of political argument. All I can tell you is that something feels wrong about it. Our priorities as smart, educated people are screwed up when we obsess about technology we don’t need. And feeling wrong about tech excess in the face of looming political injustice is just as valid a construct as feeling that you desperately want a $500 phone.

Still, I want to see one of the damn things.

July 6, 2007

Listen to Me!

Filed under: Announcements — Shelly Brisbin @ 10:38 AM

I’ll be on Ken Ray’s Technocracy Radio tomorrow (Saturday) at 12 PM Pacific. The show appears on San Francisco’s sorta podcast station, KYOU. You can also listen to the stream, or subscribe to Ken’s podcast version of the show.

July 1, 2007

You Know What’s Wrong with Live Video?

Filed under: New Media and Tech — Shelly Brisbin @ 2:02 PM

I watched a lot of the video of people sitting in line for iPhones on Friday. And now, two days later, I’m tempted to check those sites to see if anyone’s still out front of an Apple Store. What’s wrong with me?

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