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Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

Archive for October 2006

If it’s not one thing…

Something always keeps popping up. I really do want to read “Flyboys” and report on it.

Yesterday I finally devoted some time to fulfill a promise I made to Robert the director. He’d asked me to write a logline and a brief synopsis for his latest short, “Killing Hostage”. The challenge lay in his request that I not reveal any of the film’s twists – which are at the heart of the film itself. On the other hand, avoiding weasel words that obfuscate points makes for stronger writing. I came up with four possibilities that I’m reasonably happy with (See, there’s a weasel word: reasonably.)

When I turned in my latest Reader’s Digest report Friday, I learned that the author had written a new ending. That’s annoying. Now, I have to call back everybody mentioned in the new paragraphs, and verify new information. I hate working on items I’d already mentally filed under “done”.

Today and tomorrow I’ll be correcting papers and possibly updating Alex’s Blog Fu.

So why post today at all?

Remember my obituary for Jim Baen? If not, go read it, or take my word that his project showed that releasing books for free online will increase sales of those same texts in hard copy.

Slashdot points to a similar conclusion (from Reuters) reached by publishers who have let Google Book Search archive their publications.

Some quotes from the Reuters article:

“Google Book Search has helped us turn searchers into consumers,” said Colleen Scollans, the director of online sales for Oxford University Press (who) said that sales growth has been “significant.”

“We suspect that Google really helps us sell more books,” said Kim Zwollo, Springer’s global director of special licensing….

“When we looked at the first six months of stats, we saw that 30 percent of Google Book Search clicks went directly to our site, while roughly 40 percent went to Amazon,” said William Shepherd, Osprey’s managing director. “Our sales through the Web are steadily increasing in proportion to our total sales, and we’re confident that Google Book Search will accelerate this growth.”

The article has more meat and anecdotes, but I’ll stick to the rule of three.

Evidence continues to mount that free e-books do lead to an increase in paper book sales. Does the same hold true for music or video media? That remains an open question.

Scans o’ fun

While I do some Reader’s Digest work instead of reading “Flyboys”, here are some scans for your entertainment.

First, the invitation to the “Borat” preview screening, above.

Next, a wonderful typo from this morning’s Gazette. Peavy may have had a sub-par outing, but calling him a POS only adds insult to the injury of misspelling his name in the subhead.

(Allow me to explain for non-baseball types: Peavy is a member of the San Diego Padres, sometimes shortened to “Pods”, which is what POS was supposed to be – I assume. That doesn’t excuse the misspelling of his name, however.)

One page intermission

Red Right Hand has issued a call for one page written in the last year. We writer types are supposed to supply it as is, without context or other comment. Here’s a small piece of “72 Virgins” – which, by the way, has attracted the interest of Robert the director.

Franco and Bassil glare at each other.


I can’t leave.

Julia looks sadly at Havah. Julia rubs Havah’s arm.


I can’t go through the door. My children need me. I will not leave them.


Maybe they’ve…left before you.


If I pass and find them there, it will tear my soul in two.


You can’t undo what’s happened, Havah. Whether your children are alive or not, you can’t change that.


But if they’re not…. My faith ignores the issue of an afterlife. If I go through that door, maybe that’s all.


We’re all here, so there’s some sort of afterlife.


Maybe, maybe not. You saw me in the hospital. I’m not dead yet.

Julia chokes back emotion.



Julia prepares herself with a deep breath.


Havah, staying here won’t bring your kids back. You don’t want to be stuck here forever. If you go through, and they’re alive, maybe you can watch over them. You know, like a guardian angel.

Havah holds her head in her hands as if to block out Julia’s comments.


You might still be able to care for them that way.

Bonus procrastination:

Still plugging away at course work. “Flyboys” by the end of the week, maybe.

And the winner is…

All of us. No one. The Irrational League season ended in a three-way tie.

Although, had Sportsline applied the scoring correction to Greg Maddux’s stats, I would have been in first place alone.

Still plugging away on coursework….

Bonus observation on television:

On DMcG‘s recommendation, I gave Showcase’s Rent-A-Goalie a go.

Let me steal from my own comment on DMcG’s blog: I watched – half the episode, anyway.

I was bored. Maybe there were just too many goalies hanging around. I liked Shorts, but Lance was cardboard. The squirrel-catcher seemed like an inconsistent mix of nut and understanding. The situations seemed forced.

Maybe there were just too many goalies hanging around. Maybe a more expensive set would help. It just doesn’t compel me to come back.

Here in Canada, we get “Studio 60” on Sunday nights, and it followed the timeslot of “Rent-A-Goalie”. You know what I noticed is a major difference between the shows? Foley artistry.

Sounds odd, but when Matt looks through papers in his writing office at Studio 60, I hear him look through papers. When Cake serves coffee at the cafe in “Rent-A-Goalie”, I only saw him serve coffee. The sound, if there, was insignificant.

Is sound a key to attractive TV? Couldn’t hurt.

The wire

The GIF shows Irrational League standings at the start of the day. I’m the Angels. Frank is House$$Money. Franks and the DJs are battling others in batting average. I’m battling in ERA, WHIP, and Frank for the league HR title.

As I write this, John Smoltz just pitched a run-free inning, and now I’m alone in first. It’s tight, sports fans.

I watched “Flyboys” last night. I’ll post my thoughts after I read the script, which will be after I make up a class quiz and grade class papers. My teaser: it’s better than “Pearl Harbor”. But then, so is finishing third in fantasy baseball.

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