Tuesday, December 01, 2009

YouTube Meetup at Oakland's Lake Chalet Saturday, December 12th

There have been YouTube Meetups, but never one in America's most exciting city, Oakland, California. The Oakland YouTube Meetup at Lake Chalet at 1520 Lakeside Drive in Oakland, and is on Saturday, December 12th 2009 from 2 PM to 5:30 PM.

What's the plan?  To meet, eat, and video!  But the idea is to meet YouTubers from all over and especially Oakland, San Francisco, and Northern California.   But it's also a party for non-YouTubers to learn more about how YouTube and YouTubers can help promote their business; you learn by watching us in action and mingling! 

It's also a YouTube contest with prizes for the person who uploads their video the fastest. 

Join me and other YouTubers like Sarah Austin for a cool event in a really awesome place: Lake Chalet:

Visit our Facebook page here.

More information to come, but contact me Zennie62 at zennie@zennie62.com

President Obama's Speech makes case for war

Tonight, before an audience of well-dressed and metallic blue suited West Point cadets, President Barack Obama gave the first speech calling for war in his young career. It was an Obama Afghanistan speech of 35 minutes time that turned this still skeptical observer from mild opponent to supporter.


Because President Obama reminded me of America's unique place in the World. It's something all too easy to forget in a time of massive job loss, outsourcing of industrial capacity, and decreased wealth. It's all to easy to believe that America's just another country rather than the leader of the free World. Obama gave me a wake up call.

Obama said we do not seek to occupy Afghanistan or to target a religion or an ethnicity. Obama explained that he wants to rid Afghanistan of the terrorist cancer in its culture (my words) and cause the country to become a partner with the industrialized World.

Obama also gave a picture of a region that's producing terrorist enemies who try to enter America at a regular rate. That was new information for me and caused me to place Obama's decision in another perspective: Obama wants to go to the source of these terrorist attempts and stop it.

President Obama did what few other Presidents have done: place the act of war in an overarching framework that fits within America's ideals. Unlike President George W. Bush, who said he wasn't an advocate of nation building, then sent America on a mission to do just that in Iraq, President Obama insisted that a long occupation was undesirable, then explained why. Obama assembled the intellectual and emotional framework for a troop surge and did so in fine fashion. The lingering question is will it work?

The one part of the grand scheme is  Afghanistan.  Will they Afghan people be able to take over and run their affairs in 18 months?  Will we stay if that's not the case, or leave according to timetable?  Can Afghanistan be trusted to do its part in this effort, or is the culture so intermixed with Al Queda that such expectations are folly? 

Those are the questions I have, but I'm ready to go forward because this President reminded me of America's place in the World.

Tiger Woods car accident and Elin Nordegren argument animated

A friend sent this video above from Taiwan news which has the two versions of the Tiger Woods scandal in cartoon animation. The first part of the video contains an animation of Tiger Woods driving into a tree, then wife Elin Nordegren saving him using a golf club to smash the window of his Cadillac SUV.

The second part of the video is more dramatic. It features an animated version of the alleged argument between Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren, and has Elin slapping Woods, causing him to run away and to the Cadillac SUV, then turning to see her give chase and taking his eyes off the road, causing him to crash into a hydrant and then a tree. Below is the original title of the video in Taiwanese:

【蘋果動新聞】伍茲深夜撞車 老婆破窗救夫 疑點重重

Which roughly translates to:

[apple moves news]Woods late at night has a collision the wife broken window to rescue the husband questionable point layer on layer

Jaimee Grubbs releases alleged Tiger Woods texts, fails to prove affair

A Jaimee Grubbs / Tiger Woods update: Jaimee Grubbs released the alleged Tiger Woods texts to RadarOnline.com. The online celeb site reports that there were just two texts, which read...

“I will wear you out...when was the last time you got (bleeped)?”


“Send me something very naughty…Go to the bathroom and take (a picture).”

But this does not provide evidence of an affair. Also missing are the dates and times of the texts. What's interesting is RadarOnline starts the post off with a link to seven pictures of Jaimee Grubbs. Grubbs is or was a San Diego cocktail waitress, who's San Diego-based Facebook page is down where she calls herself "MissBluesky".

I think that's a reference to Blue Sky Vodka, which commonly hires young, hot women to pour vodka at events. Here's an example from my SF Giants Opening Day video:

Grubbs claims she met Tiger Woods in Las Vegas in 2007.

If this is all she's got it's terrible. So far there are holes big enough to drive a truck through here. It would be one thing if she had a photo of the two of them, but a text message without identification information is a joke. Still, it's caused an Internet frenzy as four of the top ten Google Trends as of this writing have the name Jaimee Grubbs.

It reminds me of the young L.A. rapper who claimed he was the father of Bristol Palin's daughter. I and others then speculated that Bristol's man just may be black so we turned up the heat on him and it all turned out to be a hoax. About the only thing it did was bring attention to his awful MySpace music.

Stay tuned.

Miley Cirus hates Twilight: New Moon, calls it a cult

While Miley Cirus is the teen singing sensation that doesn't mean she buys into the whole Twilight: New Moon craze. According to The Manila Bulletin, Miley Cirus, who earlier this year caused an Adam Lambert-sized PR buzz with her Teen Choice Awards stripper pole dance number and then with her concert crouch grabbing routine,...

Is far more conservative in her view of the hit film series, the Manila Bulletin records her saying:

"I don't believe in it," said Miley in an interview.. "I don't like vampires. I don't like the wolf that pops out of the screen when I'm watching my TV at night. I don't like it. I don't want anything to do with it. I don't like the shirts. I don't like any of it...“I think it’s a cult. I think it’s bad. I think it’s, like, just people get too [much] into it. I feel really lame because everyone is so excited and I’m like, ‘Don’t even talk about it.

“For me, I think it’s like when guys look at supermodels and they’re like, ‘That’s the perfect girl.' That’s what those kinds of movies do to us.

“They’re like thinking that’s what girls should be like and not everyone is going to be Edward [Cullen], hate to say it."

Cyrus then went on to say that she thinks actor Johnny Depp is hotter than Twilight: New Moon star Robert Pattinson, or..."way hotter for sure."

Right now, Robert Pattinson's got the hot film, earning over $230 million at the box office.

Parkway Theater update: no new news

If, like me, you're wondering what the newest information on the Parkway Theater is, well, according to the "i like the parkway" website forum, there's no news - but that's news.

If you need a refresher, this video explains what happened to The Parkway Theater:

And this video covered the first community meeting:

And this is my video interview of former Parkway owners and founders Catherine and Kyle Fisher:

This is the communication that was released recently:

Dear friends of the Parkway Theater,

We hope you're well. We've missed you. It's been a while since we've given an update on the status of the Parkway, so we'd like to share the information we have about the on-going efforts to get a new business opened there.

As we approach the time of year where friends and family are a central theme, the organizers of I Like The Parkway are reminded that we have found both in the eclectic group of movie-lovers united through the loss of the Parkway. We know that this theater will re-open because of your support, your passion, and as time has told in the 9 months since it closed, your patience. For this we are thankful. Happy Thanksgiving.


The Parkway building is still empty. Yes, yes, we know. Not cool. The Motion Picture Heritage Company is no longer looking to open a theater there - we don't have the details, but it seems the cost of building repairs has been a big hurdle.

As most of you know, the first potential operator (Motion Picture Heritage Corporation) that made a serious effort toward re-opening the Parkway did not end up signing a deal. Since then, several groups have shown interest, put together business proposals, and worked on their plans with the theater building owners and/or the city. Some have since moved on; some are still somewhere in that process. Unfortunately, nobody has gotten to the point of signing a lease on the space, so we don't anticipate the theater opening up before the year's end. From the consistent activity of potential business operators, we are optimistic about a 2010 re-opening.

Because of your collective enthusiasm for the reopening of the Parkway, potential operators have recognized the benefit of working with the community to understand our needs and concerns. To date, multiple parties have reached out to begin that dialogue with us. What has become clear is that there is no shortage of interested parties who would like to re-open the theater in the spirit of what it once was. The challenge is crafting a deal that is agreeable and fair to both the would-be operators and the building owners and in demonstrating the financial viability of such a business to banks or investors. Until the reality of a deal presents itself we will continue to act as we have, fostering relationships throughout our community and throughout Oakland that we believe will lead to a better home for all of us and the re-imagination of the Parkway. Our primary objective is to ensure that anyone who reopens the Parkway has a clear business plan that reflects the ideas and concerns of the community, while balancing the requirements of a profitable business.

** WHAT NOW? **

As I Like The Parkway continues to grow, there are still people that love the theater and have no idea what happened. If you know people that love movies (that's most people, right?) and want to bring back a great place for movies and food, send them to http://www.iliketheparkway.com this week. Forward this email to 5 of your friends for eternal good luck!


Have you driven by the theater recently and noticed the mural? Thanks to Ras Terms and Desi W.O.M.E. If you're at Woody's across the street, be sure to thank Steve or Robert for coordinating with these artists.

** FOR THE DOGS... **

For those of you interested in the neighborhood immediately adjacent to the Parkway, there is a group of residents that recently proposed creating a fenced, off-leash dog area in the small green space bordered by Park, E. 22nd, 5th, and E. 21st (see the map here). Councilmember Pat Kernighan is soliciting feedback through a survey on her site. Please visit her survey to share your thoughts.

Until next time, we hope you have a happy holiday, get to spend time with family and friends, and, as always-

We won't give up if you don't.

Thank you for all that you do,
I Like The Parkway

Stay tuned.

December is film awards nominations month - here's a list

With such events as The Sprit Awards and The Annie Awards as well as the National Board of Review Awards, its hard to keep up with all of the award programs that are about to announce their nominations this month. To make it easy for you, and me for that matter, here's my list of dates that nominations are expected to be announced for each event based on several sources:

December 1: Annie Awards, Sprit Awards noms
December 3: National Board of Review Awards noms
December 7: Washington Area Film Critics Awards noms
December 13: American Film Institute Awards noms
December 14: Broadcast Film Critics Association Critics Choice Awards noms
December 15: Golden Globe Awards nominations noms
December 17: Screen Actors Guild Award noms
December 20: Satellite Awards
December 31: Online Film Critics Society noms

That's just for those awards where the dates were confirmed. As I get more information I will update the list. There are almost 30 award nominations that will be released in December.

Annie Awards has Coraline, Disney dominating nominations

The Annie Awards come up February 6th and the nominations are in and listed on the awards event website starting with Best Animated Feature:

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs — Sony Pictures Animation
Coraline — Laika
Fantastic Mr. Fox — 20th Century Fox
The Princess and the Frog — Walt Disney Animation Studios
The Secret of Kells — Cartoon Saloon
Up — Pixar Animation Studios

Disney has a total of 17 nominations, including eight for The Princess and The Frog and nine for Prep and Landing, according to the LA Times. Both movies have not yet released, with The Princess and The Frog set to screen December 11th and Prep and Landing airing on ABC Television December 8th.

From a film perspective, Coraline leads with 10 nominations. Here's the list of nominations held by the leading animated feature film contenders:

(10) Coraline
(9) Up
(8) The Princess and the Frog
(4) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
(3) Fantastic Mr. Fox; Monsters vs. Aliens

Jaimee Grubbs claims Tiger Woods affair; another woman, too

Wow, first the National Enquirer claims that Rachel Uchitel had an affair with Tiger Woods (she denies it)...

... Now, after the story of the alleged Thanksgiving fight with his wife Elin Nordegren surfaced, we have two more women coming forward to bask in the black-lit glow: Jaimee Grubbs and another yet unnamed.

Jaimee Grubbs

The two sources are US Weekly (via TMZ) and Radar Online. At USWeekly, Jamie Grubbs claims that she had a 31-month affair with Woods that started April of 2007 when she was 21 years old. TMZ reports:

The magazine, which comes out tomorrow, claims Grubbs had 20 sexual encounters with Tiger. Us Weekly has photos, racy texts from Tiger, as well as a voicemail from November 24, in which Tiger suggests his wife might be on to the alleged affair.

If Elin Nordegren did go upside Tiger Woods' head with a golf club, I can see why she did it. But, and this is a powerful "but", stories like the one Tiger generated are bait for any woman trying to make a name in entertainment and Jaimee Grubbs certainly fits that mold. She was on VH1's Tool Academy.

The question is, why wait until now to come forward?  Did she want "hush money" from Tiger Woods and he refused?  If so, and that's a question someone should ask, it doesn't make her look good at all.  Coming forward in this way says nothing good about the character of Jaimee Grubbs.

Meanwhile, Radar Online claims "several other women" are coming forward to claim they had sexual affairs with Tiger Woods, but the online mag explains it has no names and has not seen or listened to any evidence, but does write:

RadarOnline.com also exclusively learned that ANOTHER woman has voice mails from Tiger and is in talks with a national outlet to reveal her sexual affair with the golfing great.
 Ok, let me see.  It's a recession.  People are looking for whatever marketing edge they can get.  I'd just bet the voice mails are innocent on the part of Tiger Woods or even doctored and the women are in the entertaiment industry.   Like  Jaimee Grubbs, if they do step forward they have a lot of explaining to do.  

I don't think this is going to harm Tiger Woods as much as it will show the dark character of the women talking to the media.  I can't help but wonder what Rachel Uchitel thinks of all this.  

Stay tuned.

Notre Dame Football Press Conference on Charlie Weis

Yesterday the Notre Dame Football program announced that Charlie Weis was no longer the head coach of The Fighting Irish effective today, December 1st. Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick held a 20 minute press conference to talk about what was his decision and moving forward.

The video presents 15 minutes of that 20 minute event (provided by CBS Sports Online and The University of Notre Dame) including the question and answer session with the press and my commentary.

Why 15 minutes? To control the video file size and get this out as quickly as possible. You can read the full transcript at the Notre Dame Football website here.

At the press conference, Swarbrick said that told Weis of his decision not to retain him Saturday night, after Notre Dame's loss to the Stanford Cardinal 45 to 38. He had not talked to any other coaching candidates before releasing Weis. My impression is that, indeed, how the team performed in that game impacted Swarbrick's choice to look for a new coach. After the game, Weis did not talk to the press.

Charlie Weis leaves with a 35 win, 27 loss record and was just 16 wins versus 21 losses over the last three years.

Swarbrick said that he believes the program has the right ingredients to take the next step and return to a level of prominence is a leadership issue, and "turning the corner" is a matter of finding the right person. Swarbrick believes that having a team with a great defense is a must in a pursuit of a BCS bowl bid.

I think Swarbrick should have given Weis one more year with a strick objective: 8-4 we retain you, less than that we get rid of you. At 8-4 a BCS bowl bid would take care of itself.

But now, Notre Dame has to start over again.

After some thought I do believe Notre Dame can return to football competitiveness, but not prominence. The reason is that talent and the knoweldge to develop that athlete is more spread out and communicated via the Internet. Also, new schemes work for one year, then because of online communication, answers for those approaches are developed rapidly.

I think Weis gets that now. When he came to Notre Dame he was confident he had a "schematic advantage" but as I told anyone who would listen it would take about two years for college football to develop a "book" on his offense, then we would see how well he could coach and recruit. We did; Weis lost to Army 31 to 17 and that started the league of pissed off Fighting Irish fans. Some of them think a return to the days of Knute Rockne is possible, and Swarbrick's one of them.

Notre Dame can be competitive, but to think the program can get talented players to come and perform under the amazingly rigorous academic standards the school has established is just plain unrealistic. The main problem is Notre Dame refuses to change with the times: to come into the 21st Century. I'm not saying it should relax its standards, but make a choice that if its going to maintain them it should expect to field a competitive football program and be happy with that.

But as long as Swarbrick and other Golden Domers think they can "wake up the echoes" Notre Dame will be in for more coaching failure for years to come. What Swarbrick should do is sit down and craft a numerical performance standard for the next coach to follow that reads like this: if your team posts an 7-5 or better record for four years, we will extend your contract after year five. Simple.

That standard may not be "national championship level" but it does make sure the program establishes a competitive ethic first, then, maybe, that national championship will come.

Stay tuned.

Tiger Woods update - neighborhood on lockdown

Tiger Woods update in brief because it's been a long Monday for me here in Georgia.

First, the neighborhood Tiger Woods lives in is on "lockdown", making it sound like its a candidate for the MSNBC TV show of the same name. According to TMZ.com, Isleworth Florida security has it so tight that people who live there can't go from place to place freely. It's so bad that security took the memory card of one person's camera away and confiscated it.  Part of the reason for this is that it's turned into a makeshift TV studio with a 24-hour presence of TV trucks and and "three dozen vehicles".  

And TMZ itself is under attack as having inaccurate information according to the Orlando Sentinel. Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol told the newspaper none of their reports were accurate.  But given that the FHP has not talked to Woods or Elin Nordegren either, how would he know? 


What is known is that on Monday, the Florida Highway Patrol was snooping around the hospital Woods entered for treatment on Friday, in search of more information. They still do not have a search warrant, but want one to basically confirm if it was Tiger's wife Elin Nordegren who hit him. I hope they never get the search warrant.

On the matter of the hospital, injuries, and Woods golf tournament, it seems he's so badly banged up he can't play in the Thursday event.

A new account of Woods and Elin Nordegren has surfaced at RadarOnline.com. It has the following:
Tiger Woods told his wife that she ruined their Thanksgiving and stormed out of their house before crashing his car early Friday, RadarOnline.com is reporting exclusively.

The golfing great had been arguing with wife Elin Nordegren for quite some time Thanksgiving night, according to a source familiar with the situation.

When the argument escalated, Tiger left the house and according to the source told Elin: "You've ruined our Thanksgiving! Are you happy

Tiger, 33, had pulled out of his driveway at 2:25 am Friday when he crashed. He has not offered any explanation about where he was going. He released a statement Sunday taking responsibility for the crash but not addressing what happened prior to the accident.

Given how large the Woods home and compound is, how the hell could someone hear all that? I'm just wondering. 

In all a sad tale, now with people taking bets on the future of his marriage and pulling for him to get a divorce. I'm not one of them; The Woods' have two kids who need them together. I hope they get through this.

Stay tuned.