Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rita Patio Update

I think my Unlce down in Texas has just about the right idea. As Texans packed highways fleeing Hurricane Rita, he spent the day battening down the hatches and rewarding himself with some beer on the patio - it was 90 afterall, and a pretty nice day he reports.

He's been sending out some pretty amazing email blog posts and I hope everything will turn out okay at his place. It seems Rita is now down to a category 4 as winds fell to 145 mph.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sipping Merlot, Waiting For Rita

My Unlce down in Texas is preparing to ride out Rita. He tells us that he's doing it while sipping a good Merlot. We'll let the Merlot slide, but really enjoy the fact that he's glad his mayor and Gov. ain't the same ones as in Louisiana:
  • This amazing hotel in Copenhagen has 21 rooms, each designed by seperate people to coincide with the launch of VW's Fox. [Hotel Fox, via Gmac]
  • Martha Stewart Apprentice, what up? Corporate vs. Creative theme - too bad the creatives are just insane. Jim the ad executive is a terrible wacko and Jeff is a total waste of space. Special guest "Chip" from Random House was truly amazing. The "Dear Jeffrey" letter at the end - truly amazing.
  • Ryan the Temp from "The Office" blogs. [TV Guide, via AD]

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Celebration of French Surrenders in Canada Day

Who knew September 18th was such a bad day for France in this country:
  • Like most things Brando, his posthumusly released first novel "Fan Tan" sounds quite mad really. [NY Times]
  • It looks like the conservatives may have pulled one off in Germany today. Or as Chris Christner calls it, "Bush 7, Axis of Weasels 1" [Instapundit]
  • Ah, September 18th. Back in 1759, the French finally surrendured Quebec five days after the Battle on the Plains of Abraham. Ah, September 18th, 1762 the French surreder St. John's Newfoundland. [On this Day in Canadian Military History]

Mussolini's Armpit Juice

Maybe it is some sort of a secret or lost dictator/utopian weekend. Last night at I was at our 15th wine evening and we tasted some Mussolini wine that Daniel's father had kicking around for a while. It tasted vagueley of Mussolini's armpit on a hot day I would imagine, leaving about the same taste in my mouth as he left Italy.

I brought a bottle of Mad Dogs & Englishman Jumilla which was fairly good I thought. The label with the Jack Russell terrier on and the backing of the same marketing winos who brought us Fat Bastard are behind this peppy Spanish diddy.

To add to the surealness of the weekend, The New York Times has an article on America's utopian communities. That's a lot of crazy hippies.

Back in the USSR

Wow. I can't believe it. My internet's down, and I'm up the street steeling the web at a coffee shop. A couple beside me are passionately talking about how "beautiful" Marxism and the Communist Manifesto are. I think it is because the girl is reading this book. Really, in 2005? That's amazing. You rock on commies.

Update: The couple just talked for 5 minutes affectionately about Tito. Ahhhh....Tito. Apparently Mr. Tito "may have been a little corrupt." Bwhahahahaaha. I love that people like this still exist. They should be on display in a museum.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Smoke On The Water

Out of the frying pan, into the fire was the word of the day at my work. And Vancouver still had this amazing scent of smoke in the air from the fire at Burns Bog. Deep Purple what up:
  • Back to the 1990's. Spin Doctors are getting back to the music after 11 long years. Wow. [Via Golden Fiddle]
  • October Esquire is out - at least I got a copy - and it has two great things. First, Keira Knightley is on the cover. Joy. And second, there is actually an article saying why men should watch Gilmore Girls. Double Joy.
  • How do you find time to keep up with: 1. Curbed Food blog, Eater? Another Gawker Blog, Deadspin? Google Blog Search?
  • This is quite literally the absolute dumbest thing I heard in the past 24 hours. Actually that's a bold face lie, but still. The New York Times and The Washington Post share front pages sneaks every night. Isn't that like the Yankees and Red Sox previewing each others teams the night before a game. [Editor & Publisher]

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tuesdays with Rory

Yep. Mitch Albom call your office, that was the worst headline ever. Enjoy:
  • Somehow everyone at work laughed when I said I was watching the Gilmore Girls if I ever got home tonight. I did. One word: Zima. And this - Paris: "That Christopher Atkins wannabe is the reason she's Blue Lagooning it out of Yale."
  • New Chistopher Guest mockumentary is filming. "For Your Consideration"
  • Toyota ad out of Saatchi & Saatchi Toronto. Yes, of course, transvestites, that's genuis! That is how you sell cars. Unless you pay Madonna $8 million I guess. [Boards Magazine]
  • Have you seen Vancouver's newest city blog? Beyond Robson. Yes, this is what the city needs, more left wing cranks, cat blogging, and ridiculously long posts rarely interupted with a link. Have they seen Gothamist or anything like that?
  • It's only week two of the NFL, and quite frankly I hate football season. And no, that surprisingly doesn't have anything to do with the first point above.

Back Wednesday. Maybe.

Time to Break out the Reallty Big Mouse Trap

After a some preproduction and two days of shooting, we wrapped another ad. Let me just say, that after being on set, it's completely obvious why I left the film business. It put a kink in posting too, so now I play catch up:
  • Thank the maker for Drudge saying this: "Debut. Communist Mickey Mouse." [UPI]
  • Bush is addressing the nation Thursday. Is he going to appoint someone big to take care of business?
  • Brian Mulroney. And you're telling me this guy isn't the man compared to his successors, and the Tory leader today. Gosh. We should be so lucky. [Globe And Mail]
  • I certainly think John Roberts answer here is appropriate: "I will remember that it is my job to call balls and strikes, not to pitch or bat." [Boston Herald]

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Maybe Stephen Harper is just an older Jerry O'Connell?

Discuss:
  • Wow. Thanks a lot Stephen Harper. Honestly of all people should you even be talking about revisiting NAFTA? I just looked up "bad idea" on the internet and this came up. I like my conservatives with at least a side of not-crazy. Apparently Harper ate too much meat on the BBQ circuit and got really really soft. Thanks. [National Post]
  • Get out of Vancouver Rebecca Romijn. My goodness, you scored points for ditching Uncle Jesse but dating Jerry O'Connell while eating raw veggies in my home town. Stop it. [National Post]

It's All About the Nano

Whats new in the ad biz and other media news:
  • Earlier this week it was VW. Now it's the $44 million Sprite account. Nice little Wednesday, nice little week. Cripsin Porter strikes again. Two questions: 1. Will this finally be end that absurd puppet "Miles Thirst"? and 2. After that lame Coke Zero "Chilltop" adventure that CP+B did, how do they get this one? [Ad Age]
  • And speaking of agency's gobbling up accounts, Strawberryfrog snatched up the Heineken account and is planning on delivering a huge 154 country TV blitz featuring :180 second spots. And I though :60's were the new ad black. The account is worth $75 million in the US alone. Wow. [Media Post]
  • Two days in row the Globe and Mail has been nowhere to be found. Granted it is the 5:45 - 6:30 range. But what up?
  • More CP+B. Thanks to GMac we have the amazing new Burger King Spot featuring the King completing a touchdown. Creepy & Amazing. [NFLyourway.com]
  • Chachi - sorry Scott Baio - is to play the Bluth's attorney on Arrested Development. [TV Squad]
  • Nano. Discuss. [Apple]

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Final Word

What is it like inside Stephan Harper's office? Well today it sounds like it is a lot like being in Trump's boardroom. Except that they are firing 'em 5, 6, or 15 at a time. [Macleans]

I'm not sure what I find disturbing. That only five or six Harper staffers were canned, or that there may be 10 or more still hanging around. Enjoy.

Losing The Mojo

So you work hard all day long without checking into the ad news and here is what you miss:
  • Wow. VW drops an account bomblet in US/Canada as they move the $400 million creative (with no review), to who else, Crispin Porter + Bogusky. [Ad Week]
  • Speaking of VW. Thier insert in this week's New Yorker with a spoof subscription form is simple and pretty cool. Oh well. And the one for Starbucks on the same issue, with a coffee filter is interestingly cool too. Inserts are so the new black. [Note:apologies for really bad Dispatches late night photography]
  • PS: For no particular reason, I am growing a full beard - playoff style - until our next two TV ads get sent off to broadcast. Don't ask why. It's gross.
  • Adrants & Boing Boing note why there is no science whatsoever on why viral ads work or don't work. Some seem to make no sense at all. See also: snickerssatisfies.com
  • Yankees win, again. This time for all-time best sports logo. [Ad Freak]
  • Judging by this post, suggesting that the repetition of spots during the US Open was excessive, I would think that either the media strategy worked or it didn't. One things for sure, people are both in awe and in contempt of the Amex ads featuring Andy Roddick's missing mojo. But they reached them and made an impact. Maybe the creative was the problem? [tvsquad.com]

Curse of the Colonel

Now that I've posted about the Hanshin Tigers I suppose I have to post this. Of course those Tigers are the only team with a very crazy curse - not of the Babe or a goat, but of the Colonel - that's right the Curse of the Colonel - he of beloved Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. So what, you say?

The New York Times' Jane L. Levere was all over the biggest KFC ad campaign ($25 million), ever. So here is a taste of the TV camapign by Foote Cone & Belding: "people in different work situations - an office, a factory, a construction site - who eat Flavor Station chicken and shout, 'with KFC's Flavor Station, I'm in charge.' The tagline is, 'Be the boss, choose your own sauce.'" Really?

The kicker might be The Office-lite chooseyoursauce.com which is worth a visit simply for the coffee drinking contest. This branded entertainment is much less tired than chicken virals. And be sure to click on the robot. Definetly click on the robot. On the other hand $25 million to tell people about chicken that is basically pre-sauced? It is the year of the chicken. Let's see how much this drives to the bottom line. [YUM Brands Inc. Stock Price: 47.75]

Year of the Chicken

I was already having a really good day. But seriously, in the mail today, my friend Sonja sent me a really sweet Hanshin Tigers mouse pad. It's ridiculous cool. The insane note pad with two dogs playing some sort of one-card stud against a monkey wearing a red mask. I'm not even sure what it means.

Speaking of Japan, even though the mouse pad is from Taiwan, the best political hair in Pacific Rim politics looks like he is cruising to victory. Koizumi. What else can you say. You cannot vote against a man with that hair, that would be...how you say..."crazy".

Monday, September 05, 2005

Ranting & Roaring

More hours pass. More infomation leaks out:

  • Here is the real scandal of New Orleans and Katrina. In July 2005 local officials were already pretty much telling the poorest of the poor that they would be on their own. [Brad DeLong]
  • I still can't believe that there are people who just won't leave New Orleans. [Breitbart.com]
  • Meanwhile the amazing Mark Steyn writes about why after almost five years New Orleans wasn't prepared for anything, and what really needs to be done to prepare cities like Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston. [Chicago Sun-Times]
  • Daneil Drezer adds that Katrina has caused some juggling on the September agenda of The White House. With Katrina, a full foreign policy push, and 2 SCOTUS nominations not to mention Iraq. [Daniel Drezner]
  • Bonus Rant: I think Bud Selig should seriously consider that unless a team actually finishes above .500 in the NL West they should be excused from playoffs. Pressure is on Padres. [MLB Standings]

Boots on the Ground

Over at NRO, Rich Lowry points out some damn near incredible feats by the US Miliary and some boneheadedness by others in the effort:


There will be 50k troops there by mid-week, a combination of active duty and National Guard. Including elements of 82nd Airborne Division, First Cavalry Division, and two Marine brigades. That's in just over a week. That's amazing. But no one realizes it. They had to trot General Honore out this morning to try to explain to the media how you move troops. There were National Guard pre-positioned in the north part of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana two days the storm, watching the storm, seeing which way it was going to go, and once the
storm hit, moving troops in immediately. There was a flow-plan that's been working since. [And Lowry also thinks it's working all thanks to Rumsfelds creation of the Northern Command in 2002.]

Large & In Charge

It may be a holiday, but the news isn't taking a break. Heavy news keeps coming:
  • Chrenkoff contrasts the situation in Mississippi and New Orleans and the difference, even though Mississippi was the true ground zero of Katrina, comes down to leadership. Mississippi found a pretty decent leader - Haley Barbour - in charge. Meanwhile the Gov. of LA is still resisting even efforts to federalize the National Guard. [Chrenkoff]
  • Bush has retooled John Roberts SCOTUS nomination into the big tamale - The Chief Justice. [The Washington Post]
  • Walmart - one of my favorite institutions - is kicking off a pretty good response to Katrina. Already $23 million has been donated, and all workers from closed stores will get work at open stores out of states. Additionally they will establish mini-Walmarts in affected areas. [Walmart]
  • Kaus wryly notes the most insane reaction to evacuees going to Texas. An electoral College plot by Karl Rove. [KausFiles]
  • Sean Penn boots on the ground. Boat leaking. Not really helping at all. [Herald Sun]

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Making Sense of Katrina

This relatively short post from National Review's Jonah Goldberg makes about the most sense I've read thus far on hearing the constant blaming for what's happening in Katrina's aftermath:
I've got to say, I'm begining to revise my views on the Bush response. I do think Bush missed an important political opportunity. I don't mean this in a partisan sense (however the partisan benefit for him would have been obvious). There was a window of opportunity for Bush to seem like he was out in front of this and I do think that window was missed. He's played catch-up admirably, but the political problem he created for himself will endure. That said, it's becoming increasingly less obvious that more first responders etc, would have made an enormous difference in the aftermath of this unfolding calamity. The disaster zone after 9/11 was less than 40 square blocks. Rescue vehicles shot straight down Broadway, Fifth Avenue, the West Side Highway etc. The disaster zone, as the President mentioned, is the size of Great Britain. Would relief
vehicles have made it to the center of Ground Zero on 9/11 immediately if the rim of the disaster area was deep inside New England? All of the truly damnable mistakes were made before Katrina hit land. Why weren't more people evacuated? for example. Such mistakes are legion and fall disproportionately at the state and local level. And whatever criticism I stil think is valid for the President, the hysteria about how Bush doesn't "care" about black people is as stupid as it is disgusting.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

American Venice

Finally getting caught up with what happened in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I still can't believe what has happened and how poor the response has been thus far:

  • Seems like today, finally, was a bit of a breakthrough day in New Orleans as people continued to be evacuated, and order started to be restored. [AP]
  • The Big Easy might be completely shut down for the next nine months. A 480,000 person city abandoned. That is truly amazing. [Independent]
  • David Brooks has an interesting piece in the NY Times today. Suggesting that there will be huge political culture changes in the wake of the events between 9/11 and Katrina.
  • Bush should appoint Guiliani to oversea the federal efforts. Period.
  • Micheal Ledeen writes about New Orleans being America's Venice. "New Orleans is one of a handful of cities that are defined in large part by the recognition that it can all come to an end most any day. Joel Lockhart Dyer wrote that 'New Orleans is North America's Venice; both cities are living on borrowed time.'"
  • Last but not least, 22 reasons to love New Orleans. [New York Times]

Weekendz

Here's a selection of things to keep you occupied on this long weekend:

  • Trump is invading Toronto. I'm not 100% sure, but that flash intro is potentially very smug. Can the Donald make it in TO? Certainly. Will the cultural wasteland that is Ontario be ready for this?
  • In Madrid, The Hotel Puerta America, designed by 19 of the world's hottest designers seems decidely cool. [Via Newstoday]
  • Another really lame magazine bit the dust yesterday as Razor closed up shop. [Gawker]
  • Matt Welch makes his pitch for the greatest baseball player of all time. Martin Dihigo. [Hardball Times]

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Terry Fox Limited Edition Shoes

The first ads featured only Adidas tagline "Impossible is nothing" with a small photo of Terry Fox. The next day it was two full page ads featuring a photo of Fox's shoe and the of one of the brand new, 6,500 run of replicas to help raise money of cancer research. It was an amazing marketing initiative by the Terry Fox Foundation and Adidas who was an early sponsor of Fox 25 years ago. One that by 10:00 am had apparently seen all 6,500 pairs sold. Great shoes, for a great cause.

A group of us from work all went out and got them - they are great shoes indeed. The only question was whether or not you should wear them? Naturally, that was a resounding yes. You have to, that's the whole point.