Sushi Cam

Here’s a fun video I discovered a couple of months ago. I’m not sure why I didn’t share it before. At a sushi bar in Japan, the dishes are served on a conveyer belt. Patrons take the food they want as it comes to them. Here, a young woman has placed her digital video camera on the conveyer to let it make its 7-1/2 minute trip through the restaurant. The result is strangely mesmerizing:

As I say, I watched this a few months ago, but dismissed it as a novelty. But I’ve thought about the video many times since. I love the way it captures so many small moments.

It’s enthralling.

Beam Me Up, Scotty

The reviews for the new Star Trek film are glowing. They’re positively glowing. I’ve read every one so far, and they’re beginning to bring tears to my eyes. I’m not joking. I’ve waited so long for a Star Trek to make me rekindle my love for the franchise. Rumor has it, this is it. This is the one.

It’s only Tuesday afternoon, I know, but Rotten Tomatoes is showing 100% of 32 critics giving favorable reviews and an average score of 8/10. That’s pretty damn good. Meanwhile, Metacritic tallies a 94% rating on eight reviews. That, too, is pretty damn good.

I’ve told both Kris and Paul J. that I’ll see this with them. And I think it goes without saying that I want to see with Dave and Andrew (right, guys?). Plus I want to see it in IMAX. And on opening night. I don’t really care, to be honest. I’ll watch this over and over and over again.

But what I really hope is that this isn’t just a one-shot. I want for this to be the beginning of something grand and glorious, a brand new journey to brave new worlds. I want to see these folks boldy go where many have gone before.

p.s. Just for fun, here’s the original trailer for what is still the best Trek film, The Wrath of Khan.

p.p.s. I just checked Fandango. Have you seen how many screens this is playing on? With this wide distribution and the rave reviews, it has a chance to set a record for box-office opening…

Songburst: Playing to Win

While we were in Sunriver, the group played a marathon session of Songburst, the “name that tune” game. Steph read song titles and lyrics to us, and we tried to guess the next words. This was the “70s and 80s” edition, so it hit the sweetspot of our childhood years.

We were all surprised at how skilled Kristin was at Songburst. She nailed even the most obscure songs. It’s as if she’s spent her entire life curled up, listening to K103 on a transistor radio.

Part of the fun was singing the cheesy songs of our youth, and discovering who loves which artists. Kris stunned us all with her Stevie Wonder impersonation. Jenn is a big fan of Olivia Newton-John. Kristin can sing “Brand New Key”. And I like the Little River Band.

Because I was a little tipsy (though not nearly as tipsy as Jeff, who was very happy), I downloaded three albums during the game: Toto’s Greatest Hits, Paul Simon’s Greatest Hits, and Little River Band’s Greatest Hits.

This morning as I was working around the house (trying to recover from this damn cold), I was playing Little River Band at full blast, bellering, “Have you heard about the lonesome loser, beaten by the queen of hearts every time?” Then a song came on that I cannot recall having heard before. It was rocking. And then it wasn’t. And then it was.

“Oh my goodness,” I thought. “The video for this has got to be awesome.” I meant that ironically, of course. And yes, yes the video is awesome. Ironically.

My friends, I give you “Playing to Win” by the Little River Band, circa 1985. Enjoy.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go download Dan Fogelberg’s Greatest Hits…

A Night on the Town

I’ve been promising for months (years?) that foldedspace would come out of its shell. Perhaps I should stop promising that.

One way for me to get more material to write about is to actually do stuff…instead of writing. The truth is that most of my day (every day) is spent on the computer, writing for my many sites. This is profitable, no question, but it means I have little personal experience to share.

To remedy that, I’m going to make a point of going out and about, hanging out with friends. And, in fact, I did just that last Friday night.

I joined a bunch of old friends from high school (Dawne, Tom, Jonathan, Tami, Dagny, Cassie Castle, Dusty, Karin) to eat, bowl, and sing. Well, I didn’t sing, but I had a lot of fun listening to everyone else do so. I’d never experienced karaoke before, and I thought it was a lot of fun.

I had the foresight to bring my camera, so I can offer two videos for my fellow Canby alums. First up, here’s Jonathan McDowell singing George Michael’s “Faith”:

This was the first time I’d seen Jonathan since high school. It was great to chat with him and to hear his laugh. It was also great to see Tom Stewart again, who blessed with a performance of Neil Diamond’s “Forever in Blue Jeans”:

Great stuff, gents. Great stuff. Maybe I’ll polish up my Paul Simon or Johnny Cash so that next time I can join the fun…

10 Top Motivational Ads from Nike

I don’t like advertising. Marketing is more powerful than the average person suspects. Marketers are armed with million-dollar budgets and decades of research. We defend ourselves only with our experience. It’s not a fair fight. I wince every time I hear somebody brag that ads don’t affect them; it’s my guess that ads affect these people most of all.

Still, I can’t help but love certain ads. For example, there’s an entire series of Nike commercials that make me want to get off my ass and do something. In a lot of ways, I don’t care if these make me buy more Nike products. They make me motivated to improve myself. In fact, I have an entire playlist at YouTube composed entirely of Nike commercials. When I’m feeling sorry for myself, when I’m feeling lazy, when I’m feeling uninspired, I watch these. When I’m done, I’m ready to go do stuff.

Here are my ten favorite motivational Nike commercials. I suspect that if you watch even a few of them, you’ll have a more productive day.

Awake (how to start your day)

Move (one of my faves)

Training (motivation to keep going)

Courage (dare to pursue your dreams)

No excuses (there’s no reason not to try)

Leave nothing (good if you like American football)

Take it to the next level (good if you like real football)

Failure (Michael Jordan explains success)

A little less hurt (wow — just wow)

After watching these commercials, I’m ready to take on the world. (And the funny thing is: I don’t own a pair of Nike shoes. I have a couple of Nike shirts for running, but that’s about it!)

The Lovecats

“You know what?” I told Kris last night as we were getting ready for bed. “I finally have an idea for a long foldedspace post. Like in the olden days.”

“Ha!” she said. She didn’t believe me.

“It’s a story from when we were boys,” I said. “But there are a lot of different threads to tie together. It’s going to take some time.”

This isn’t that post. This post ties together threads of a different sort: YouTube, LOLcats, the music of my youth. Here, my friends, is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Some of you will laugh (Will K.?), some of you will cry. But most of you will just scratch your heads in bewilderment:

So funny it hurts!

I suppose some context would help many of you. “The Lovecats” is a 25-year-old song from The Cure. It’s a song I loved when I was in high school and college (and even today). And, of course, LOLcats are those (mostly) funny captioned cat photos. This video combines the two.

[Via Gina Trapani, of all people.]


One of Paul’s many virtues was that he pushed my comfort zone. Sometimes this was problematic, but mostly it was a good thing. In high school, I was very much a “play by the rules” kind of guy. (Mostly, I still am.) Paul sometimes liked to break the rules.

I did not skip a single class period up until my senior year, for example. But then Paul induced me to skip twice. On the first time, we joined a few other kids to watch music videos at somebody’s house. (Details are very hazy in my old-man brain: Tami and Kim J. perhaps? Amy F.? I’m not sure. All I remember is INXS.)

The second time, I remember clearly.

On the 09 March 1987, U2 released The Joshua Tree. When Paul and I entered high school, we were unfamiliar with the band. I heard them during the first week of my freshman year. I’m not sure if I introduced them to Paul, but I believe it’s likely. In any event, by the end of our senior year, he and I were both hooked on them. We owned all their LPs and many of their rare singles.

So when the new album came out, it only seemed natural to skip school to buy it. After lunch, we hopped into my dirty old Datsun 310gx and drove to Tower Records. We each bought a copy of the LP, and I picked up my first “cassingle” — “With or Without You” on cassette tape. We were back to school before the final bell.

I’ve always treasured the memory of that day. It seems to typify the Paul and J.D. relationship.

Here are two songs from my favorite U2 album, The Unforgettable Fire. Both have been in my mind lately. First up, the best U2 song ever: “Bad”. This is the amazing Live Aid performance that I’ve shared here before: “If I could, through myself, set your spirit free, I’d lead your heart away, see you break, break away, into the night and through the day.”

And then there’s this, which is doubly-apt since today is MLK day. I’ve been singing it to myself all morning: “Sleep, sleep tonight, and may your dreams be realized. If the thundercloud passes rain, so let it rain, let it rain, rain on me.”

I’ve held back the tears until now, but watching these videos…so cathartic.

There’s a memorial service for Paul in Eugene this Wednesday afternoon. If you’re interested in attending, please let me or Tom know. Paul’s parents are trying to pull something together for Portland this Saturday, too. I’ll post when I know more information.

2009 Mini Cooper S Convertible

Why do I torture myself. I’ve spent the evening watching YouTube videos of the 2009 Mini Coopers. Videos like this:

Boring? I think not. Expensive is more like it. Every time I let myself get into a Mini Cooper reverie, I come close to buying one. Make no mistake: my next car will be a Mini. But I’m going to be good, and either save until I can afford it, or wait until my Focus dies.

I just wish the Focus would dies soon. Like tomorrow.

(Note: I’ve never been a “car guy”. But I have a deep and driving passion for the Mini.)