Saturday, February 24, 2007

Greg Tito is a Stand-up Guy

The world of the stand-up comic in New York is a seedy, difficult and frustrating one to navigate. I know, my friend is one:

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Here he is performing at the Comedy Cellar this past Thursday. He was pretty funny. I taped a bit and posted it on You Tube for the world's enjoyment:

Any shakiness of the video is due to my chuckle. But let me just say a few words about being a stand-up comic from not actually being one myself, but having a friend that plays one on TV. It is hard. Greg works hard to book gigs and is then usually required to bring a certain amount of "guests" to be deemed worthy enough to go on stage.

It get's worse.

Usually these comic clubs charge you anywhere between $5 and $15, sometimes as high as $20 just to get in, and that doesn't include the usual standard of a TWO drink minimum, and overpriced drinks at that. This is a racket my friends, but what's a comic to do? They need practice, they need time on stage to hone their craft and perform in front of an audience filled with live people.

I've been to more than a few and have noticed some trends. First, there is always an MC who is "keeping the show moving." Sometimes they are funny and sometimes they suck. So, the MC introduces the comics. If the comic has recently aired on TV or played somewhere with a reputation, they will mention and embellish this fact. But if the comic is of the "beginner" status they get a canned intro...."this next comic plays all around town...." Which is code for "just another new comic." I find this insulting to the comic and audience. They could say at least a few words about WHERE in town they play, or something interesting about the actual comic.

In going to these shows you also start to hear the same jokes. There is a joke, that Greg tells me originates from a David Cross bit, that I have heard more than a few times. It's about the misuse of the word "literally." I've just heard it so many times that no matter what they use as an example, it's just not funny.

After Greg's set we went to a restaurant around the corner:

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Don't go in here unless you finagle a free glass of wine from the "host." We got a free glass of wine for everyone, that alone made this place worth it. I wonder if they only do this on week days. The food was good though. I had Penne Ala Vodka, Greg had some kind of Chicken and Sausage and Peppers in a Lemon Sauce that was very tasty, his wife had a wonderful Egg and Bacon pasta dish that she barely touched. My better half had a Polenta dish with Mushrooms, I didn't care for it, but I don't like Mushrooms, nor really Polenta that much.

But what they DID have, was the best TIRAMISU I have had in the City to date and that alone makes this place worth it's weight in gold, as far as I'm concerned:

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Ever since i discovered this dessert in 1996, I became obsessed. For years I even made it myself and sold it at a restaurant (for no profit, just re-imbursed for cost). It was pretty popular, but maybe that's because I pushed it and it was home-made. But anyway, If there is a Tiramisu on the menu, you can bet your butt I am going to try it, even if I'm full. And while Ciao's had a lot of whip cream on top, the custard was perfect, and the ratio of espresso and brandy in the ladyfingers was well-balanced. It was neither sopping wet, nor dry. It was pretty darn near perfect. And a generous portion as well.

I highly recommend you stop by and give it a whirl.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Do you remember?

Do you remember a toy, that had a magnetic wand and you could move these iron shavings around and design hair styles and facial hair? I don't remember using this one in particular, I remember it being yellow and red, but this one is the same idea.

I like to do this for REAL, when I'm shaving my beard off. I wouldn't normally be shaving it off when it's still cold, but seeing how we are going to Aruba, and I have sensitive skin, I need to give my face some time to adjust, sans beard, before we head to the tropics. I'm guessing a lot of people do this:

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Romance Week : Reheated

We finally got around to watching the movie that was intended for Valentine's day:

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Which we watched while eating some defrosted and reheated Beef Wellington, which was amazingly still delicious:

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The movie was very sweet. Some interesting ideas about Time Travel and a great ending. This is the original "Back to the Future." I watched a brief special feature afterwards that cracked me up. There is a fan club called the International Network of Somewhere In Time Enthusiasts, INSITE

The Film came out in 1980, and the "fan club" began in 1990. What was interesting and amusing to me, was the founder relating that he was coming across other fans that "thought they were the only ones" who loved this film, so he posted an ad on a popular movie fan site of that day and received.....this is amazing....50....LETTERS from all over the world from people who felt the same. FIFTY....LETTERS? This is how our times have changed my friends. The club now boasts 1,600 members worldwide. Does anyone else feel the odd impact of this? Today, a hot chick on You Tube can get several million views in a snap. But back in 1990 people were still writing letters....on PAPER....with a PEN probably. Weird.

Remember my Keys of Responsibility? As of today I marvel at my increased key weight. Thirty Two keys in total:

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Yesterday I saw TWO movies during the day. I wanted to tell you about them, but first I want to ask you something. Has this ever happened to you?

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The theatre is prectically empty, ok. There are HUNDREDS of places to sit. So WHYYYYY, why in the name of GOD, would you choose to plop your fat head, directly in the seat in front of me? WHY? Are you kidding me? It's not just the fact that there are several other hundreds of places you could have sat, but you said to yourself, well, my ideal seat is front of this guy who has been sitting there for about 20 minutes unobstructed. He could have sat just ONE seat to the left and I wouldn't have minded. But NO. This Jack-off decided to sit directly in front of me. One of these days I am going to confront someone about this, I just know it. What goes in on their fat heads I wonder?

So first I saw:

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This website claims that it's the "#1 Family movie in America." Really? I thought it was terrible. It made me cry, twice, yes it did. The performances by the two kids and the Dad were pretty solid. Especially Josh Hutcherson. But come on! The power of Imagination, that's it? That's all there is to it? I believe in the power of imagination, but I wanted more. Maybe the preview should not have led me to believe that it was going to be jam packed awesomeness and rip-roaring special effects. It deals with the loss of life at a young age, which is a great lesson and theme, but then it throws in there some random and blatanly out of place statements on religion. BOOORRRIINNNGG. When I step into a theatre I want to be entertained, I want to be totally immersed in what I'm watching. In this, I was let down.

Then I saw:

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I "hear" it's getting bad reviews. That doesn't bother me, because I put Zero stock in reviewers. I'm told I just need to find the "right reviewer." Like picking out fruit at the grocery store. Find the reviewer that mimics my own tastes. And while I think that is probably true, I still don't care. The best reviewer is yourself. Go see it, and make your own informed judgement, that's what I say. Was the movie great? No, it wasn't great. Ahhhhh, but did I find it entertaining? I did. But that just comes down to my own personal tastes. I like demons and legends, action and special effects. The performances were luke warm at best, and the story weak I'm sure in comparison to the depth of the comic. Some people and I'm sure there are thousands will agree. But for me, if I find myself praising anything, an iconic shot, a well composed frame, an edgy action sequence, a climax of music at the right time, a cool effect, and my brain says, "cool." or "that was really nice." if I can accumulate a few of those moments, it will always tip the scale for me in it's favor, even if there was crap in there as well. But hey, that's just MY two cents on the thing.

Now, I want to be so bold as to give you something that I will say GUARENTEES entertainment. I can not stop watching this web series:

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if you haven't seen this yet, step out of your cave, sit down with some snacks, put your feet on your desk and prepare to laugh yourself silly. I cam across this article today, which links to a piece in the NY Times about generating revenue through various sites online including Revver, Metacafe,, Brightcove, DivX Stage6, and Cruxy.

Here is a great Interview with Askaninja creator, Kent Nichols that i found very informative into the nature of How do you do this. He goes on to name a few free sites to host the bandwith that might acrue if you do hit the big time like, ourmedia, feedburner, sitemeter and freevlog.

They also released a new Vlog called which I haven't watched yet, but will.

On a final note, Sheila and I will be going on vacation in nine days. I can't even express to you my excitement for this jaunt into a warmer, care-free world. And for once, it will be a vacation with no stress and no worries but, "should I have a Pina Colada or a Rum-Runner?" The island boasts a similarity to Mercury's winged heel, and i would have to agree. The island of Aruba:

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So you can look forward to some Blogs on that during our stay, March 3 to the 8th. Or you can spit in disgust because you are not there, either way is fine with me.

Monday, February 19, 2007


This movie looks terribly bad-ASS!

I have decided I will see it in I-Max theatre and I-max only.

There is a very large pothole on the Deegan Expressway

And by weekend, I mean an almost 24 hour time period off from work and (mostly) seperated from my Blackberry.

Sheila and I took a jaunt to good ol CT to wish a friend of hers a Happy Birthday. I had a really good time. Here is Frank, determined to use the remote, completely disregarding the balloons attached to it, which I thought was amusing:

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Frank is one of the people who robbed me of about $55 at the poker table that night. Now, not really. They were just playing some new games that I had no idea even existed. They were very fun and I considered it an even trade to have lost the money and gain knowledge of new poker games. The hosts had a large fish tank:

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Which I became immediately obsessed with. Take a close look at those fish. They are looking at me, no joke. Some of those fish are over 10 yrs old, which was pretty inpressive. Sheila and I are thinking of trying our hand in the aquatic sciences. It was very soothing to space out and get lost in that little tank.

I went sledding with Sheila's nephews, which was a blast. Definitely the highlight of the weekend, playing air hockey, providing a personal soundtrack for a giggling girl, and just barreling down a snow hill without a care in the world. We grabbed some hot chocolate afterwards and headed back into the city.

The City did not want us to return:

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That's me changing a flat tire on the Deegan Expressway, just before the Triboro Bridge. We hit a pot hole and the tire exploded. I am pleased to report that THIS guy knows how to change a flat (as well as his oil, if he had a car) and the exchange of said flat and spare went smooth.

Until I lowered the jack and the spare tire crumbled like a little girl. Those "donuts" aren't meant to keep too long, and once they are no good, they are NO GOOD. So there we were stuck on the side of the highway with a flat......AND a flat spare. So I locked Sheila in the car and took off in search of a place to purchase a new tire. The story is too long to tell word for word, I will just say i searched for an hour, and was finally making headway, when I returned to the car (via taxi) to pick up the rim of the flat, to bring to a place, to get a new tire on it, to find the car being hooked up to a police tow truck. Good thing i came back when I did, because the police officer was NOT sympathetic to the fact that I wasn't there and was going to tow her to a place to get the tire fixed, WITHOUT ME. Thus, I was close to being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

But it all worked out in the end. Tire fixed, made it to work only 1 1/2 hours late. We are going on vacation in two weeks, and I tell you, i can't wait. Got to get out of this city and think of nothing. Absolutely nothing, just for a few days.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Burning the oil

You ever been up so long, and then you get really tired, but your over tired and you can't sleep. It is now 5:13 in the am and I can't sleep. So I decided to fire up all my computers and work on each one at the same time to increase morning productivity. Look how nice my monitors play well together. Look how they all glow so nice in the dark:

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Romance Week Day 6 : It's a bust

I've been up since 6 am and it is now.......11:34 in the pm. I've still got maybe an hour to two here in the office, maybe another hour of work at home.

Alas, RW Day 6 is a bust. That's three nights in a row with no "great love story" movies watched. But we're going to finish off RW tomorrow with a brunch and a matinee movie on the couch! Whoopee! Then we're heading off to CT for the day. I'm looking forward to a 24 hour block of time not surrounded by steel.

I have never put together a piece as fast as I did this morning, it was record time for me. The piece got nixed, but I liked it so much, I changed the titles and put it up on my You Tube. Part of the reason it got nixed had to do with copyrights, which of course don't apply to me personally, as I am not personally a commercial entity (phew). The footage of planes and inside the plane is mine, and the stills I grabbed from google Images. The footage of lightning and tornados I snaked off of You Tube using a program called Snapz Pro 2.

Comments and ratings are always appreciated:

Romance Week Day 5

So again, Thursday's RW 2007 festivities were thwarted by work. But we expect in a few years the entire nation will take RW off. Sheila donated blood and I went to film a video that i've done a few times now for the Lesley Heller Art Gallery. A gig that I really enjoy, check out her "Meet the Artist" links and you can see my handiwork, I've done the last two.

Sheila took me out to dinner, we went to Houston's. It was a bit corporate, but the food was pretty good. The loud frat boys, not so good. But my hearings not that great, so what do I care.

I also wanted to mention this guy....I met him at the Toy fair and he's one of my new best friends:

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THIS guy is gonna hook me up! He designed a home karaoke machine that not only connects to a standard DVD player, and is wireless, but god damn, it downloads all your I-pod stuff to! I had this idea 4 years ago, but just never followed through on it. I could be a millionare.....but at least he's gonna cut me a deal and sell me one, even though I'm not a wholesaler. He was a very nice guy.

Romance Week Day 4: Valentine's Day

Wednesday was the climax of Romance Week and we had a doozy of a mess outside for it. Alas, that did not stop us from enjoying more festivities.....other things did.

I'll cut right to the point. I ruined Valentine's Day. NOT Romance Week mind you, but Valentine's Day. Sheila will tell you I'm being too hard on myself, but this is what happened. The editing suite at work decided to not work. I was forced to head home and edit from there, after grabbing all the equipment and doing some last minute V-day shopping, I got home and started editing. I was done with a cut by 7pm. Then the feedback, game of chance on a phone call, and uploading / exporting times began. This is typical for an edit session, it was all just last minute and began to collide with my plans for the evening.

We were able to still cook a fine meal together:

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Sheila took care of the apetizer:

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And the Salad:

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And she got me some wonderful gifts. All made by her own hands and very personal, so I'm not going to tell you what they were, but I will show you this one, which was really sweet of her:

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I got her some freshly made perfume that I dubbed "Essence of Sheila."

But at the end of the night I was exhausted and had been drinking wine all the while. Like an ass, I fell asleep at midnight. Oh, for shame on me, FOR SHAME.

Romance Week Day 3: A special gift

Romance Week is all about the love. We watch a movie together, a love story, a new one each night, and we take turns cooking dinner for each other. Another aspect of Romance Week is that we can give gifts at anytime. Yesterday I presented my lady with a new DVD player, as her old one was constantly skipping and having trouble reading DVDs. But today, she got a very special gift.

I was working that day for Rocketboom, covering the American International Toy Fair. Here you can see the completed piece:

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I saw a lot of fun things, but when I saw this, I REALLY wanted to give her one:

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Sheila is the only one, other than the creator, that has one of these hearts. You can get them mind SUEDE, but the fleece ones are new and not out yet. The Creator is a friend of a friend. So once I told his girlfriend about Romance Week, that let me get one. The heart beats. When you are stressed or are having trouble sleeping or just need to relax, you hug the heart and your heart begins to match the beating heart inside the pillow. The heartrate of not unlike the heartbeat of aBuddhist monk or a person in deep sleep. pretty neat if you ask me...not to mention terribly romantic....RIGHT?!

This evening Sheila made dinner and it was delicious, recipe linked to image:

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And we watched a classic that we had both seen, at least most of it, before we fell asleep:

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If you haven't seen this, for shame, and if you don't own the soundtrack, FOR SHAME!

Romance Week Day 2: Crisis Averted

It's been a LONG week my friends. Work has been running me ragged, I have wanted to keep you updated on Romance Week everyday, but your just gonna have to be happy with several posts in one day. So here goes, Day Two of Romance Week started with a bang, literally. You guys ever see that Geico commercial about the tiny house?

Well, my ladies kitchen is just like that...except SMALLER. I do not exagerate. Her cupboards are the equivalent of a labyrinth like puzzle, where every bowl, cup and tool fits EXACTLY inside something else, in something else, in something else. You get the idea. So when we need to use the stove, we pile the ohhhhhh...let's say a dozen or so things that live in the stove when it's off, on top of the toster oven, which sits on top of the refrigerator. This system has obviously worked for a long time. But in the midst of cooking my girl this delicious dish of Beef Wellington WITH Borderlaise Sauce:

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I opened the door to the fridge and the stack came crashing down onto the stove, uprooting the boiling pot of water and breaking a pizza stone. It was a mess, and could have been a disaster. If either one of us was standing in front of the stove, we could have been seriously burned.

The movie for RW D2 was:

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It was a nice Love story, but quite sad. We decided the next night we would watch something more uplifting.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Romance Week

Sheila and I have dubbed this week to be "Romance Week." Instead of just celebrating on Valentine's Day, we are celebrating Romance Week from Sunday to Sunday. Each night we watch a romantic film, on Wednesday we will watch a film that niether of us has ever seen, but the other nights we watch films that the we have picked as some of our favorite love stories on film. The film last night was Steven Spielberg's, "Always." A wonderful love story, by one of my fave directors:

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Another element to Romance Week, is that we take turns making each other dinner. Our great love makes you vomit, I know, but I don't care, I'm sharing with you anyways. Speaking of sharing and food, check this out:

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Now tell me that's not just EGGtastic! On Saturday we celebrated a close friends 30th Birthday. It was a Martini Party and fun was had by all. I brought all the fixins to make Espresso Martini's. If you follow this recipe, you can't go wrong. Check out these fun photos of the evening, where we all tried on Erin's big sunglasses:

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And finally, here is a REALLY funny series I found on You Tube, Mr. Deity:

I loved every episode.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Space Updated

I just updated my personal My Space page:

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I changed my "Pick of the Week" to a "Pick of the Month." It is more realistic. I'm going to stick to updating those things on the first of the month from here on out.

Check it fools!

Perfume, Trouble and Bloodshot Eyes

Last night Sheila and I went to see a movie. I have wanted to see Perfume: The Story of a Murderer for a while, since I had finished reading Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins which was recommended to me after I finished filming This Rocketboom episode

I just became a bit obsessive in regards to perfumes and smell:

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The movie is 147 minutes long, and for the first two hours I was really liking it. Little dialogue but heavy in visual story. I was following everything just fine and enjoying it. But the last half hour made no sense whatsoever, and thus, ruined the entire movie for me. I mean, Tom Tykwer, what the HELL were you thinking. From the moment Jean Baptiste steps out of the stage coach and on to the chopping block, to the last drop of the perfume falling out of a bottle, it just made no freaking sense. None. It hurts my feelings and makes me sad, for I was enjoying it and there is no doubt the story is good. But not on screen. Performance from Ben wishywash was good, as was Dustin Hoffman.

Take a look at this peeper:

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have you ever seen such a bloodshot eye in your life? Also, I've recently come across a cool site where you can Download a new picture from the cosmos everyday. That's where I got this one, which has a nice home on my desktop background:

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You REALLY must click the pic and see it large, it's a composite of three photographs, just really awesome. And finally, I snapped this yesterday hanging out my window, I was SURE something big was going to happen:

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But alas, all 30+ people eventually dispersed. Nothing but a lot of yelling and puffing of chests. I'm glad nobody got hurt, but it was amazing, you could actually feel the tension in the air.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

what the HELL...ahhh...what the hell.

It is now...... 7:10 in the AM. I have been up for an hour. WHY? I don't know why. I just woke up, was completely awake, and felt completely refreshed. This is strange, for I am never ususally up BEFORE the sun:

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SEEEEEE! The sun wasn't even UP yet. Oh well, snapped this shot of the street, which was being dusted with a light snow, it's stopped for now:

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I figure I might as well do some work, so here I am, posting a fresh blog nugget for you.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

New Nephew

I have a brand spankin new nephew. I mean NEWWWWW. Like two weeks new. Check him out:

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God DAMN aint he feakin so cute. This is as close to a smile as I believe he can achieve right now. Other than eating, sleeping and pooping, with an occasional spit up or bought of hiccups, that's about all a newborn can do for the first month. I find it crazy that they can only focus on things that are within 8 to 12 inches from their face. Being new must be hard. I was also mildly obsessed with the size of his fingers:

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He was born while I was in Park City, Utah, so I went ahead and got him a present. What could be cuter and MANLIER, than this:

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That's RIGHT! A fur bomber hat, complete with matching booties. Sheila also got him his first pair of work boots, also mean MANLY!

For a rocketboom episode the next day, after seeing him, I had to create a T-shirt for Joanne to wear. I went to staples and picked up a packet of these nifty things. I needed to test them before I used it for the show and that's when i got this brainstorm:

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Pretty funny right? I was overly impressed with the ease and simplicity of creating your own shirt. Very pleased with the end result. It was less than 12 hours after the photo was taken and the actual process was about 5 minutes altogether, once I had the photo ready.

And finally for today, I invite you to behold a sight that I had never seen before:

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An EMPTY PLANE. It was very weird I tell you, to be sitting on the plane, just about four of us witnessing the forbidden ritual of cleaning and sweeping and re-stocking the food. We looked around and luckily there were no snakes to be found. phew.

Click on the photo to see more of our last night at Sundance and our ride home.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Video Blog

So I'm really into You Tube these days. I have started a "Vlog," otherwise known as a Video Blog on my page. I'm going to try to put as many videos up there as I can. Short form, only a minute or two, on a regular basis.

So far one of them has over 300 views. I know, I know, that's nothing in the You Tube world, but I'm just getting started. Here's my most recent post:

They make ME chuckle anyway.

So Sundance is over. The sixth episode is up at the Daily Reel. With the last and final installment of the series on it's way soon. I'm glad I got to go and experience Sundance.......locked in a room editing for up to 18-20 hours for seven days straight. It was a HOOT!

No, seriously, it was a blast, a lot of work, but a blast nonetheless.