Goodbye Jericho

Jericho Image

Farscape, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly.

All wonderful TV series I’ve watched into cancellation. Last night marked another wonderful show ending, Jericho.

I started watching Jericho after it had been going for awhile. I watched because it was a show about survival, specifically about surviving after a nuclear attack. The thing I thought interesting was seeing what things the inhabitants of Jericho had to overcome in order to stay alive. The subplot about the bomb wasn’t really that important to me.

I defended Jericho to the hardcore survivalist crowd both because they were overly picky and because people do do stupid soap opera like things even in the worst of times. I also like the show because this was small town America and we are still comfortable with nobility in the small town. Nobility of character is in short supply these days on TV. All characters have to be tragically flawed.

Jericho got canceled, but CBS brought it back because of a fan campaign. Alas, it wasn’t enough in the long run. TV doesn’t work on quality of fans – or the work – only quantity. Jericho ended up with too few viewers by a long shot. Now it is gone.

The final episode was very good. Taking the story big with fighter planes and nuclear bombs, and keeping it small with ordinary people burying their dead, getting married and decided it was better to do the right thing than win.

Jericho I’ll miss you as will all of your die hard fans.

Twitter as a Microblog

Twitter Logo

On the internet there are lots of ways to publish yourself. There are different things about each of these publishing mediums we could use to categorize them, but for the sake of this post I’m going to use level of detail.

Why is it important to understand in your own mind what level you are working at? Because not everyone wants every bit of information about you. For instance the firearm enthusiasts readers of my blog don’t necessarily want to know everything I do during the day. But they do want to know what I post related to firearms, and generally would like a substantial amount of information related to what ever subject I’m addressing.

I’m breaking down my layers using two criteria. The amount of information in an update and the frequency of that update. So here are my takes on the levels, or at least how I see my levels in the future.

Lifecasting – Amount:15 frames per second, Frequency: 1/15th of a second. I have no intention of becoming a life caster, but it is the most intense form of publishing your life. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, lifecasters literally strap a camera to their head and broadcast everything they do live over the internet. A lesser version of this it to broadcast certain events in your life and is growing in popularity with the advent of services like qik.

Twitter – Amount: Up to 140 characters, Frequency: Generally pretty often, at least several times an hour. Twitter is a service that lets you publish little one line post about what you are doing right now, or about a website you just found, or a link to a photo you just took. There are similar services including Jaiku which Google just bought.

Blogging – Amount: Pages, Frequency:Can be very often, but works best no more than a few times a day. Obviously blogging lets you write very long posts, include photos and videos. To me it doesn’t work very well with very short posts, though Instapundit generally posts just links and sentence.

Other places – Amount: Lots of different things, pictures, videos, comments, Frequency: For any individual site, rarely. For all of them together, much more. I post pictures to my gallery. I post pictures to my myspace page. Other places I post things, video sharing site (5), flicker, various forums.

So as I redesign Reactuate.com to be the central site for all things about Ron Davis, I’ve decided to use Twitter as a microblog. It is where I’ll posts links I think interesting. I’ve set up delicious to automatically post any new bookmarks I make. Twitter is the short form of stuff, and hopefully more a way to say “Look what new thing Ron did just now.”

The blog will be for longer form articles. As a matter of fact I’m really thinking of it as a repository of my deeper thoughts on things. The focus is on writing articles that have a long lifespan and that will be searched for and used in the long term.

But Reactuate.com’s home page is going to be the place where everything comes together. It will have the recent blog posts, but it will also have my twitter feed in a side bar. There will be links to photos and videos I create. Hopefully it will be very cool and useful. Reactuate Photography will also probably be rolled into the main site as well.

Wish me luck. I think I’m going to need it. 🙂

Review: Southland Tales

If you follow my twitter feed you know last night I watch Southland Tales on DVD. I’ve been wanting to see this movie for a few months because I like a lot of the cast, Sarah Michelle Geller, The Rock, Seann William Scott and many more. Plus I’d heard good things about the director from a filmmaker POV, but by the time I’d heard of the movie it was almost out of theaters and not on DVD. So it went into the top of my Netflix que.

It came in yesterday and I was thrilled. Here were my twitter in the movie comments.

Watching southland tales. So strange. But SMG is hot in stripper heels.
Goth national athem was kind of cool. Not really goth but cool
I could never come up with this. Thus stuff is too weird.
Is SMG married.
You Got To Be Kidding Me!!!!!
Movie is over in case you couldn’t tell. That last tweed was the ending.

For the record I later remember she is married to Freddie Prince Jr. Not sure why I wondered during the show.

The Bad

You want the bad news first, right? The story isn’t completely explained and you wonder what is going on for a long time. Then it is over.

It is very, strange.

It is somewhat political, with the bad guys the Republicans. They are the bad guys, but I’m not sure anyone is the good guys. So take that as you want.

Abilene does not have that many trees. I lived there and really don’t think the opening scene was shot in Abilene. Plus a nuke would take out the whole town. There is a major AFB there, where all the B1 bombers are based. I also doubt people would stand in their yard looking at the mushroom cloud – which would have to be way away from town for what they showed. Plus everyone outside would probably be blind and have flash burns at that distance. OK, enough survivalist nitpicking.

The Good

I can’t get this movie out of my mind. I sent it back this morning, but I’m thinking I may want to watch it again. My rule is pretty much to buy any DVD I want to watch again, so this may be a buy.

It is beautifully shot. The animations all through the movie are very interesting and well done.

The Rock is awesome, giving a great performance. I’m more impressed with him every time I see him in a film. As I said in my Tweet SMG looked hot in the stripper shoes and I hate stripper shoes. Forgot how short she is, even in those 6 inch heels.

The idea behind he story is very ambitious. The kind of concept you rarely see attempted in film, but more common in novels where you can spend 10 pages setting it up. The voice over at the beginning tried, but didn’t really seem to cover it and took you out of the movie.

Overall I have to say I liked it even though it was uber strange.

Twitter In Plain English

This is a video that explains what use Twitter. My comments after.

It seems to me that if you really do tweet about everything you do people get bored with it. I know I’ve stopped following people who have too much minutia. And it is a cliche that tweeting you went to the bathroom is a “poop tweet” and frowned upon.

Low Carb Diet

I’ve been trying to talk less about myself in the last few days since I read Jason Calacanis’ post about not blogging about yourself and what you are promoting. But, this post will be at least a little about me.

I crossed over the 220 lbs mark right before SXSW. I’ve known for a while I’ve gotten fat, but kept waiting for that little threshold to trigger and give me the motivation to do something about it. I guess 220 was the magic number. I actually lost some weight at SXSW because there was just no time to eat.

Then I read an article on Tom Ferris’ blog titled “The Science of Fat-Loss: Why a Calorie Isn’t Always a Calorie“. Most of it was written by Dr. Michael Eades, who along with his MD wife, wrote Protein Power. The article must have triggered something in me, because I almost immediately decided that was the diet I was going to do. I didn’t want to wade through page after page of why low carb works and it’s good, so I bought The 30-Day Low-Carb Diet Solution. I’ve been on the diet since Sunday. I’ve done South Beach and Atkins in the past and so far I like this one better.

There are a couple misconceptions about low carb diets I want to address.

Low carb diets are high in fat

Not necessarily. South Beach is pretty low fat. Atikins, not so much. Protein Power doesn’t really worry about it, so I guess it can be if you want. For me Protein Power has been higher in fat, I don’t worry about how much or what kind of fat I have in my food. At least not at this point. Right now I’m focused on getting over sugar cravings. Which leads to…

Low carb diets are easier because you can eat what you want.

People who say this really generally mean since you can eat all the fat you want you get to eat things they, on a low fat diet, can’t. But trust me, I’ve never had a fat craving on a low fat diet, but I have to fight the desire for sugar.

There is a phenomenon I call “mouth hunger”. This is what happens when you fill hungry and full at the same time. You don’t need food, but you want it. And what you want is carbs, or more specifically sugar. You’re addicted to the stuff.

Even without the carb cravings, which will probably go away in a few days, the same way they would on a fast, low carb isn’t easy. I quit Atkins after 3 weeks. Why? The food choices sucked. You get tired of meat and cheese all the time. Protein Power has a lot more carb choices added into it.

So the Mrs and I are on the diet and so far, so good. I learned some new cooking stuff which I plan to blog. Including YouTube videos that have some cool recipes.

One thing I do worry about though. Other than the Tim Ferris, all the low carb dieters I’ve seen – mostly on YouTube – don’t look fit, hard, and healthy. Just because you lose weight, doesn’t mean you are in shape, or have muscle. I hope having muscle isn’t a problem on Protein Power, but I don’t see how it could be eating that much protein.