The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

The Big Movie Weekend

Posted by David Leslie on August 4, 2012

This was a big movie weekend:
TDKR = Saw it on the Imax which is worth the up charge. There is an emotional wallop you just don’t get with other superhero movies here. Yet there are some unusually big plot holes for a Nolan Bros script that will nag at you when you get over that wallop.

The biggest is in the third act…that’s all I’ll say except that this is the first time I’ve seen an almost 3 hour movie and thought “It needed another hour..”

Total Recall = Better than expected aka better than Arnold’s. Worth catching on the big screen with some nice stunts and effects. Still would have liked for to be more like PKD’s vision for Quaid.


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Thoughts on the Surface from Microsoft

Posted by David Leslie on July 30, 2012

After the hyper about the being Microsoft’s first PC not counting the Xbox or the ATT U Verse Set Top Box, The future of the Surface all boils down to price point and apps in that order.
It’s gotta be cheaper that the iPad and have enough major apps at launch to help keep the platform going til 3rd party developers get interested. Office will help (the new beta for 2013 is rockin) but I don’t think its enough.

Really, this thing should have been out 4 years ago when HP showed off their tablet only to cripple it with WebOS. Heck they should have released the Courier 3 years ago! 

I think that’s when Microsoft had enough especially after watching their OEM partners blow MS’s 10 year head start with Touch Screens and Tablet PC support within Windows XP!

But this thing has to be a hit our else Windows 8 won’t have the hype support its going to need to avoid being Windows BOB. Even at $32 for the upgrade, the cheapest price very from MS for a major upgrade, I can’t see myself leaving Windows 7 for it.

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How Georgia Southern cost LSU the BCS title

Posted by David Leslie on January 10, 2012

On Nov 18, 2011 Georgia Southern came into Bryant-Denny Stadium and did three things:

  1. Put 21 points on the nation’s best defense and the most points the Tide gave up all year
  2. Ran for 7.7 yards per carry ending the contest with 302 yards
  3. Convinced LSU that Georgia Southern handed them formula to beat the Tide 

The Eagles under head coach Jeff Monken attacked Alabama using an option pitch play that forced the 4 Tide Linebacker in the 3-4 to move sideline to sideline. The result was that Georgia Southern was able to beat the Tide to the edge consistently…something no one else had done.

As the BSC standings lined up for a rematch with Alabama, I’m a certain as the day is long that LSU looked really hard at that game film and thought that they could beat Bama to the edge with the option pitch. 

As the game showed, LSU attacked the Tide with the option pitch but forgot that Kirby Smart and the Alabama Defense committed to winning the edge again the Tigers. This is one of the things that made this year’s team so great. They were willing to learn from the Georgia Southern game and tighten up their pursuit of the option pitch to the point they held LSU to 96 yards of TOTAL offense for the game.  


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Rob Bell test

Posted by David Leslie on April 18, 2011

Interesting video from Pastor Rob Bell

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2010 Vote for 4 Ground Game

Posted by David Leslie on November 6, 2010

This year I worked on the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Vote for 4 campaign as a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) volunteer. I helped with poll greeting, poll checking and working with the board of elections to get the format for the registry of voter list. Before the election, I would attend the weekly meetings of the campaign committee often with my son in tow. Below is my log from Election Day:

6:30 – Good Samaritan Reformed Church
It’s Dark and cold and there is a full parking lot when I pull into Good Sam after a turkey sandwich and tea for breakfast. I set up my table by the McCutcheon Rd. driveway leading into the church then I place a sign at the uncovered Hines Rd entrance in the public easement. During my time on the drive way a few times people stop to ask me if they needed to check in but other than than, I got lots of thumbs up. As the sun came up, the traffic at the poll started to slow down. One man stops to ask how could people try to take the schools and the library from the kids. While talking, someone tried to go around and peeled out in the wet grass.

Later in the morning, I’m joined by a college student from OU who was doing GOTV for the democrats by passing out the county sample ballot. It was his first campaign and he wasn’t dressed for the cold wearing a hoodie and a Marylyn Brown t-shirt. As we talked, we watched skirmish in a ‘sign war’ no more than 50 yard from us. First, Nancy Garland’s signs are taken down by a guy with his hood up and sunglasses on as if he didn’t want people to know who he was. Next, someone came by and put the Garland’s signs back up but this time bracketing the Matt Carle signs (putting up two signs so close as to cover the 1).

With frost on my table, I see an old friend from childhood just before heading back to HQ.

9:30am – HQ:
After a quick meeting with our campaign manager and volunteer coordinator, I head out to Berwick Alternative School.

11am – Berwick Alternative School:
Pulling up, I meet another democratic GOTV worker who is by the flag poll where I set up my table. He said he was from the mayor’s office and had to head back downtown for a meeting but that he would be back in the afternoon. The poll is steady and get lots of thumbs up. Crystal Boyce who’s husband Kevin was running for Ohio Treasurer stopped and asked if I was the Democrat GOTV person for that poll. She asked if I would pass out some sample ballots. I had been asked 4 times if I had any so I said sure. She also offered me some water and a snack but I decline. I only hand out 2 or 3 and later I give them back to the replacement democrat GOTV volunteer when they cam over.

About this time I see something that stuck with me. It was a kid, about kindergarten age on a playground that I could see from my table who would take some mulch in his hand and shake it like I Ching sticks while making an ‘eekeekeekeek’ sound. I watch him do this almost the whole recess in his little blue and green coat.

After talking with one of the poll observers and then watching the electricians drive in a lift to work on the lights. An election judge comes out with the 100ft string and asked me to move by the tree some 30 ft. away from where I was located. 10 minutes later someone from the school with a bullhorn telling me I needed to be off school property.

Standing on the sidewalk, I’m joined by Whitehall Library Branch Manager Shirley Freeman and then Michelle Mills from St. Stephen’s stops by to say hi. Shirley knows everybody in the neighborhood around Berwick. People would stop their cars or walk up to talk with her. Shirley would stop voters with kids to tell them about CML’s kids programs. She has a great knack for connecting with people. I had a great time talking with Shirley and stayed longer than I was supposed to Just before heading out, Michael Bevins came by. I graduated with Michael and he was running for judge. He was checking on volunteers so after some quick ‘how have you beens’ Michael headed out and I left for HQ

2:30pm – HQ:
I get stuck in the Hamilton Rd construction and get back to HQ later than expected. As I walk in Executive Director Patrick Losinski greets me and tells me how much he appreciates my help. Yet I’m too busy to talk with him as I want to get a 4pm poll check (to see how many of our supporters have already voted) in. I head to Whetstone after making a stop at Chipotle.

2:30pm – Whetstone:

I met up with the guys who were greeting the voters by the main driveway. I see at least two other GOTV poll greeters for some other campaigns but I can’t tell from which party or candidate.  Tons of horn honks thumbs up. There is a fire truck playing swing music for one of the judges. At 4:30 I head in to check the list. Inside, there are 4 checkers all over the voter list who are doing GOTV for democrats. I’m a half hour late (list posted a 4) and their still checking. I wait for them to finish up and then it takes me till 5:10  to finish up. On my list over 70% of our voters had voted already. I head back to the HQ so they can call the 30% who hadn’t voted yet.

5:30 pm – HQ:

When I drop off the sheets, the HQ is buzzing with people making calls. However, they were starting to run out of numbers. 5 people split up my Whetstone sheets but were bummed to see how few names there were.

5:30 pm – YMCA/Good Sam:

First I check to see if the YMCA needs greeters but they are good. I stand at Good Samaritan until I find out that we already had a greeter there (he was taking a break). I then head to the biggest polling place in the city, Aladdin.

6:30pm – Aladdin Shrine Temple:

The fire truck is back so I stand by it and talk with its owner who is a friend of Ron Pylmale. I talk with some of Clarence Mingo’s supporters who leave as the sun goes down and it started to get cold. As the day started in the dark and cold, it will end in the dark and cold. Inspired by Shirley, I tell people with kids leaving the polls about the library programs. I also talk with the gentleman who owns the fire truck (a 1959 International Harvester that was in service until 2009)about the swing music he has playing from a boom box in the back of truck and kicked around ideas where to store it for the winter. At 7:30 when the polls closed, I leave for the HQ.

7:30pm – HQ:

HQ is packed. I had never seen as many people there at one time. Channel 4 and 10 are there along with a ton of Romeo’s pizza. I grab a few slices and hang out over by the computers as we wait to get the early vote. I tell Lara and Jessica that we need to get together our lessons learned from this election.The think I’m joking. After Lara is interviewed by channel 4, she declares "I’m having a beer!"

Early vote numbers hit and we are looking good with a 62% yes vote. Still I’m stunned that issue 5 for the Gahanna schools is losing. As happy as I am for the library is as sad I am for the schools.

Around this point, I notice a man with a New York Yankee’s 2009 World Series Ring but I couldn’t place his face from the years I worked for the Clippers. Finally I had to introduce myself and ask how he received the ring. Come to find out the gentleman’s mother was an investor in the Yankee’s along with Mr. Steinbrenner. He had kept the shares in the family and was awarded the ring as an owner. He let me hold the ring. If I had been thinking, I should have ask him to take my picture with it using my phone. This was the first time I ever got to hold a ring. Bob Ojeda on a rehab assignment let me look but not hold his 1986 Mets ring.

Later when the numbers from the voting machines roll in and look good, I start to say my goodnights to Ryan who lead the campaign, Lara who organized the volunteers and Jessica who ran the data. I also say goodnight to Dewitt, Steve and Pat from the CML leadership and thank them for letting me help out. Pat was kind enough to remember that my son tagged along to the committee meetings. I told him that Mary, who gave John some gliders made to look like birds along with some cars to play with during the meetings hooked him up with another set of gliders.

Walking out I introduce myself to Alison Holm from WCBE who is there covering the library’s reaction to the results. She was very kind to talk with me about my theory on the parallels between libraries and public radio plus how the public radio landscape in central Ohio. 

On the way home I check the numbers at the Gahanna YMCA (win) and my home poll. I’m stunned to see that we lost ward G-1 by 6 votes. Then again G-1 killed all three of its levies.

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The Guggenheim Grotto and Ingrid Midenteldon

Posted by David Leslie on October 23, 2010

Last night I very unexpectedly got to see The Guggenheim Grotto along with Ingrid Michaelson at the Newport Music Hall. My wife’s best friend is a huge Michaelson fan and wanted to catch the show. It was to be girl’s night out until a ticket came open.

I heard a little of Ingrid’s stuff but I really want to see The Guggenheim Grotto as their song “Fee Da Da Dee” has burned itself into my head. After quickly getting the boy squared away with his aunt, we make for the Newport.

I haven’t been there in 10 years when I saw Bruce Hornsby. It hadn’t changed. It’s still mostly covered in black paint and I can never look at the ceiling without wondering how great it must have looked back in the day.

We got there about 1/3 of the way thru “Fee Da Da Dee” so I sprinted inside to catch what for me was the one song I knew and could sing along with (it’s a perfect sing along song). After the Grotto’s set, I hung out by the merch table trying to decide if I wanted to grab the disc while also watching Kevin from the Grotto meet and sign for folks after the set.

I will give Michealson credit. Girl’s got some stones as she used Led Zeppelin’s The Immigrant Song as her walkout music complete with her and the band wearing hooded robes. She even cranked out a good cover of Plant’s wailing. Nothing like breaking with the quirky girl mold that going with Zeppelin.

But the highlight was her cover of REM’s Nightswimming using just her voice and a looping pedal.. You can check it out over on YouTube.

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Outstanding slide deck on HTML5 from The

Posted by David Leslie on June 15, 2010

Outstanding slide deck on HTML5 from The Chopping Block. thanks to @jnack for blogging it.

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Back Surgery try #2

Posted by David Leslie on September 7, 2009

Since February I’ve been battling two really nasty herniated discs in my back. The pain has been mostly down the left gluteus and all the way down my leg following the sciatic nerve. It’s been so bad that its impacted my right side (in compensating for the left).

I’ve done a round of oral steroids, a single direct injection of steroids, a round of PT, a double injection of steroids plus two rounds of acupuncture. Only to be back with the first option put on the table, surgery.

My first attempt was canceled on Friday Sept 4 due to a nasty cold/flu thing that the night before. I had never had something roll in so fast and hit so hard that this thing did. I was OK when I went to work, felt like my allergies were kicking it at lunch only to come home at 5 with a temperature that would hit 103 before midnight. Throw in a hacking cough which made the Doc cancel my surgery for fear of what I’d feel like with this mess after anesthesia. So I spent the rest of Friday, almost all of Saturday and part of Sunday in bed.

Tuesday we’re trying again. The cough is what could be again the deal breaker. You don’t want to risk adding anesthesia which you have to clear out if there is crap already in there.

Now its off to scrub up the back with a soap that has as a warning not to get it in your ears or eyes because the stuff can cause both deafness and blindness. And I get to use it twice before surgery..

I’ll be good just so long as they don’t use that blue antibacterial on me and forget to tell me I won’t be able to move something for 24 hours which also happens to be covered in it.

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My Day at PodCamp Ohio 2009

Posted by David Leslie on June 28, 2009

So after about a week of simmering, here are my impressions on PodCamp Ohio 2009.

  • I pretty much met my pre-camp goal to learn how to use the envelop tool and other tricks with Audacity
  • Got a ton of great resources for finding background audio for Jean’s medications thanks to Kim Fox from WOSU
  • I got a better feel to how to use Twitter and why people are drawn to it thanks to MarryCricket.
  • Learned more about high end mixers, microphones and digital recording devices than I could ever use. I needed some USB love cause that’s all I gots!
  • Got to catch up with one of my former colleagues, Dave Z plus meet Chris and Chris over the lunch provided by the good folks @ Qdoba Mexican Grill
  • Last but not least, if you need to be present to win the door prize, its best to draw the winners from a pile of post event surveys filled out at during the closing session. 🙂

Many thanks to all the sponsor, speakers and volunteers who made all this possible.

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The joys of being a Southeastern Conference Fan

Posted by David Leslie on January 14, 2009

So I’m volunteering at my son’s school for COSI on Wheels. I’m rockin the colors with my Nike Alabama coaches’ polo working the bugs and microscope table when I see a 4th grader come in with a Gator shirt on. Now if you’re an SEC fan, you know what’s coming but for those of you who are not, here’s what happened.

During the COSI guy’s intro to the stations, the kid is eyeing me. As soon as they get the OK to go to the stations, the kid all but runs my table popping the shirt’s Gator logo, flashing the #1 sign as he heads over but drew short of giving me the Gator chomp. He musta forgot.

See SEC fans make it a point to remind each other who’s got scoreboard regardless of age. I had a 4th grade hit me which smack but I rolled with it.

Besides I know the line having lived in Gainsville for 2 years “If you ain’t a Gator, you’re Gator bait!”

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