Phoenix

Have you been wondering where my blog disappeared to? I have! Fifteen is an eternity in the Interblogs, but thanks to the until-today-unbeknownst-to-me Worpress app for iPhone, the long dry spell may be at an end. MAY be. Stay tuned.

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An Open Letter To Joss Whedon

Dearest Mr. (Joss) Whedon,

Allow me to start by offering my sincere congratulations for the highly successful release of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Once again you’ve hit it out of the park, much to the great delight of fans like myself. I hope that you are ultimately able to both pay the crew and reward yourself handsomely for such an excellent product.

While the method of releasing Dr. Horrible is obviously successful, it still relies on “push” production: you develop, create, and package entertainment, and then push it out into the market, where it is hopefully eagerly consumed. The risk must be borne by yourself, and the market has little opportunity to provide you (and any intermediate parties) with direct feedback, other than after the fact through grassroots fan movements.

I would like to propose a new paradigm of entertainment delivery that could provide more benefit to both yourself, the people you work with, and your fans. It is a model based on agriculture, of all things; specifically, Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA). A typical farm operates on “push” production: a crop is grown, and pushed into the market to be sold. A CSA farm, on the other hand, operates on a “pull” production method, in that it has a membership that is allotted a share of the yields of the farm on a weekly basis. Instead of trying to find the best method of pushing the farm’s yields into the market, the market is already there, waiting for the yields to come to them.

Applying this sort of paradigm isn’t unheard of in entertainment. I personally know a musician, Bryan Moyer Suderman, that has successfully adopted the CSA model to music; he produces music on a regular basis and distributes it to his membership. You can read more about how he, and others, are using this model at CommunitySupportedArts.com.

By now it’s probably no surprise that I propose that Mutant Enemy Productions embrace a Community-Supported Entertainment model. We, your loyal Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Dr.Horrible fans, will pay UP FRONT for entertainment you produce. This summer, it was Dr. Horrible via iTunes. Perhaps in the winter you’ll send us a comic book via PDF. Later you could send us some songs you wrote. Maybe Firefly could live on again as monthly episodes. That’s the beauty of it – we get our Whedon fix direct and undiluted, and you have the freedom to create, balancing distribution between traditional marketing and Community-Supported Entertainment.

Please, Mr. Whedon. Allow your fans to support you. Thank you for your consideration.

Regards,
Andrew

P.S. If anyone has the means to forward this on to Joss or his agent, please do so with my blessing.

Joss Whedon rocks, yet again

If you have not yet heard of, let alone gone and watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and you consider yourself even a remote fan of Joss Whedon’s work, GET OFF YOUR BUT AND CLICK NOW NOW NOW!!!

Seriously, folks. He’s put up a 3-part Internet musical that is free for viewing until Sunday the 20th. Acts 1 and 2 are up now, with Act 3 (oh GOD I can’t wait!) coming on Saturday. Later you’ll be able to get it off iTunes or buy the DVD, but this is FREE right now, and it’s GOOD.

Go watch it. Seriously, don’t make me whip out my hammer.

Remedial Telemarketing

1) If you call and they are interested, by all means call back.

2) If you call back and they have changed their mind, do not call back.

3) If you call back again and they ask to be put on your Do Not Call list, comply.

4) If you don’t comply, and call them back again and they yell at you and again demand to be put on their Do Not Call list, better do it this time.

5) If you don’t comply again, and call them back again, and they scream at you and threaten to call the police, DO NOT CALL BACK EIGHT MORE TIMES AND BE VULGAR WITH THEM.

Unfortunately, the company I got to deal with this evening did not offer remedial telemarketing to their callers. So I had the pleasure of calling the local police and having them deal with the company. The constable in charge of this was very helpful, called me back quickly, found the company’s phone number (which had been obscured from *69), talked to a manager, and said the manager she talked to assured her it should not happen again… but if it does, to call her back to escalate the issue.

Fine and dandy, but we’ve already told these folks not to call… and they’ve called back 10 times. From my research, that should be ten $15,000 fines.

Fuck you, Toronto-based duct cleaning company. You’ve gone from irritant to target.

what a CRAZY two weeks…

Gak, what a fortnight it’s been. Our offer was accepted, but then it took almost the entire following week to confirm financing. Once that was done, we set a date for ourselves to get our home on the market (via ByTheOwner.com) and have some open houses.

MAN, what a lot of work. In two weeks we’ve filled a 5×10 self-storage place, cleaned, organized, and staged an entire house (while simultaneously living in said house with three kids – no small feat at all), just in time to show it off today, our first of two back-to-back open houses. This past week has been a lot of stress… I sure hope we can dial it back a bunch this next week.

So for all that, what do I get today? Four visitors. Yup. One of those visitors was a neighbour with the same model townhouse that is also thinking of selling. One of the other visitors called about an hour later and offered a real lowball number. Disappointed? Yeah, a bit… but we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Right now I just want to catch my breath and have something yummy and alcoholic. 🙂

it will be the Summer of the House

As of Thursday, we will be moving. After some fine-toothed combing in regards to the financing aspect, we’ve been approved, and thus removed our last (and only) condition on our offer. So at the end of August, we’ve moving!

Time to panic.

There is SO MUCH to do. First, we have to get the house ready to show. That means paint touch-ups, painting 3 bathrooms (which are still original “builder bone”), finishing the basement (putting up the drop ceiling), decluttering the WHOLE house, and staging and cleaning it. Our goal is to have back-to-back open houses on June 28 and 29. It’s going to be a very busy two weeks.
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MUCH better, thankyouverymuch…

I’m pleased to announce that yesterday ended at midnight, and I was asleep nearly two full hours before then. So the day that started badly at least ended well enough.

As for my car… well, the good news is that it only required $1400 in service. The bad news would have been a LOT worse. See, turns out the timing belt slipped, thus throwing the engine way out of tune, ensuring it wouldn’t run. However, on TDI engines, if the timing belt breaks, valves slam into pistons and you’re looking at a new cylinder head, if not a new engine outright. That, my friends, would set me back about $4000. So $1400 is good news indeed. And at least I get quite a bit for my money; a new timing belt (so we’re good there for another 120k or so), a new water pump (ditto), and a new EGR valve. With those taken care of, the big nagging worry is gone (the timing belt) and the minor driveability issues I’d been having should be cured.

Of course, I still need to deal with the exhaust issue, but that’s something else entirely.

House: dammit, we’re SO close… the lender wants to do some due diligence because I’m still in my probationary period at work, but otherwise we have it. Until they give the all-green, however, our financing condition stays. And here I thought we’d have it all put to bed on Monday. Silly me…

To end off on a positive note: the kids went to bed without much trouble, and it’s going to go down to 9°C tonight so the house will get nice and cool. (Too bad all the neighbours can’t seem to figure that out – I’m listening to the hum of air conditioners as I type.) It’ll be nice to have a good, deep, cool sleep. Yeah.