Birthday irony

Filed under: Nuages — olivander March 24, 2009 @ 9:39 am

It’s my birthday, and I received an ironic item in the mail this morning. Folded in along with a birthday card from my mom was a recent newspaper clipping, an obituary. It seems that Dr James Anderson, the doctor who delivered me, has died. He was a pilot in his spare time, and there’s a great picture of him from I’d guess the 1950s wearing a bomber jacket and looking a little bit like Sky Captain.

Thirty-eight years ago to the day you helped bring me into the world, Dr Anderson. On behalf of me and the over 5,000 other babies you delivered in your half-century career, thanks for literally everything.

Biggest marketing backfire since New Coke

Filed under: Newsworthy, Rants — olivander March 17, 2009 @ 10:29 am

“Siffy”? You’ve got to be frakking kidding me.

SCI FI Channel to become Syfy; “Imagine Greater” is new message

Building on 16 years of water-cooler programming and soaring ratings growth following its most-watched year ever, SCI FI Channel is evolving into Syfy, beginning this summer, Dave Howe, president, SCI FI, announced today.

By changing the name to Syfy, which remains phonetically identical, the new brand broadens perceptions and embraces a wider range of current and future imagination-based entertainment beyond just the traditional sci-fi genre, including fantasy, supernatural, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure. It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and nonlinear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.

If you can get past the buzzword BS, it says, “We’ll be rerunning all of NBC’s shows that have failed to syndicate to TBS, TNT and A&E, and maybe Wife Swap. And we’re gonna license the fuck out of ‘em.”

“Imagine Greater” will become the new brand message and tagline, inviting both consumers and advertisers into a new era of unlimited imagination, exceptional experiences and greater entertainment.

What? That doesn’t even mean anything. It makes “Think Different” sound positively Shakespearean.

“Without abandoning our legacy or our core audience…”

Wanna bet?

Syfy—unlike the generic entertainment category “sci-fi”—firmly establishes a uniquely ownable trademark that is portable across all nonlinear digital platforms and beyond, from Hulu to iTunes. Syfy also creates an umbrella brand name that can extend into new adjacent businesses under the Syfy Ventures banner, including Syfy Games, Syfy Films and Syfy Kids.

Corporatespeak gobbledygook. Translation: We could care less about our audience so long as we can get kids to buy our logo-emblazoned shit.

We all understood that the Sci-Fi Channel as we knew it was dead the moment they inexplicably canceled “Farscape” and began airing pro wrestling. This only proves that the marketing droids have taken over completely and are burning the last vestiges of what once was a great channel.

Letter to Mayor Daley

Filed under: Rants, Typecast — olivander March 13, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

See here for what triggered this letter.

Typewriter: Sears Tower Challenger

Machines of Loving Grace updates

Filed under: Machines of Loving Grace, typewriters — olivander March 10, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

I’ve made a slew of small updates to Machines of Loving Grace over the past few days. The old Errata page that had lingered since the previous facelift has been folded into the Resources page and replaced with a Contact page. The Resources page itself has been fully updated and restructured to be a little more helpful. A new “Typewriters as Inspiration” link has been added under Special Galleries; it ties into a typewriter-themed album in my photo gallery. I wanted a place to include my more “artsy” typewriter photos, which are much different than the documentary photos throughout the rest of MoLG.

EDIT: I just now dumped my Smith-Corona serial number prefix quick-reference list into HTML and made a page for it.

Lastly, I’ve added or updated photos for several machines. Either the existing photos were too crappy, or a typewriter never got added at all because it needed to be cleaned or I just plain forgot.

Here’s the new stuff:

Remington Portable #1

Remington Portable #1

Monarch

Monarch

Monarch Pioneer

Monarch Pioneer

14

Royal #10 with 14″ carriage

Royal HH

Royal HH

Royal Empress

Royal Empress

Underwood De Luxe Quiet Tab

Underwood De Luxe Quiet Tab

Penncrest Caravelle 10

Penncrest Caravelle 10

Tower Chieftain

Tower Chieftain

Adler J4

Adler J4

Caligraph No.2

Caligraph No.2

Caligraph No.4

Caligraph No.4

New and improved retrotech

Filed under: Newsworthy — olivander March 5, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

Here’s a headline you don’t see everyday:

Pneumatic tube system upgrade planned for Saint Marys Hospital

This summer, the 4-inch black pneumatic tube system at Saint Marys Hospital will be upgraded to provide faster, more reliable service. To perform this upgrade, the tube system will be taken out of service for approximately four months. The red pneumatic tube system, 4-inch by 7-inch pneumatic tube system and Electronic Track Vehicle (ETV) will be unaffected.

The new black pneumatic tube system will include three hubs that provide greater capacity and expedite deliveries. All 128 tube stations and 60 transfer locations will be retained, but upgraded.

How many places can you think of that are expanding their pneumatic tube system?

Louis CK on Conan O’Brien

Filed under: Diversions — olivander @ 7:32 am

My sentiments exactly.