cough, cough jeeze it’s dusty in here. But where else am I going to rant about things that don’t matter?

This Lego video is super cute and twee but I couldn’t help but notice the part where this is a terrible idea. The woman in the video says “We started looking at all the different ways people organize things. And we tried to invent something new that we could use to organize ourselves in the studio.”

Apparently what they learned from looking at all the other tools in existence was that they were all too easy to use. So they devised the worst organizational system ever created.

  1. First of all they wasted god knows how much time (days? weeks? months?) creating this system instead of doing real work.
  2. You can’t edit the calendar on your computer or phone. Unless they have a monkey with wires in its brain that automatically updates the Lego version when changes are made. Though I really wish they’d have shown that monkey in the video if he exists.
  3. Every time you need to see the latest calendar online, someone in the office has to go take a picture of it. Sounds easy. Once. But then again, every. Time. It. Changes.
  4. There is a 100% chance that the photo capture tool is not 100% perfect.
  5. You have to remember a color code which apparently was difficult enough that they created a key that sits in a drawer.
  6. Every month someone has to manually move the lego pieces up without making any mistakes. (Maybe they can move each panel as a whole but still, someone has to remember to do this. Every month).
  7. The online version only presents blocks of time with the name of a project. There is seemingly no way to add, “Meeting with Client A on Friday.” How are anonymous blocks of time even valuable? Oh look, Jan has 3 hours of “Work” on Tuesday and on Wednesday Lee has 4 hours of “More Work”. We’re being productive!
  8. Eventually they’re gonna lose some Legos and forget to order more and need a blue Lego but there won’t be any blue Legos and then what? Someone will use a post-it note instead or just won’t add it and it all crumbles to the ground.

Hey, maybe this is perfect for these guys. And if it is, awesome. But a good organizational system is one that is easy to maintain. That “just works” and doesn’t require added effort on top of simply using it. This system seems to maximize maintenance and minimize usefulness.

I’m certain there are better ways to organize that haven’t been invented yet. This is not it.

(But they got everyone to talk about them didn’t they?)

Sometimes the LA Times gets it just right.

Big ice cubes »

A few problems with this article. First, despite what many might claim about big ice cubes and their cooling or dilution I think the biggest appeal of big ice cubes has always been aesthetic. A big ice cube just looks better sitting in a rocks glass than a bunch of pedestrian cubes from the ice cube trays that came with your fridge. Is this important? Not to everyone, and not for every drink, but presentation in food and beverage can have a huge impact on taste and enjoyment. There’s a reason we don’t just put all our meals in a blender and drink them down.

Second, the purpose of ice in a cocktail aside from aesthetics isn’t to bring the drink from room temperature to cold. That’s what shaking and stirring do. The ice cubes are just to keep the beverage cold. And for this purpose, any ice shape will do, but one that doesn’t dilute as much could be superior for drinks where that matters (The Old Fashioned for instance).

Also, at the end of the day if your cocktails are sticking around long enough that you need the ice cubes cooling power to keep them cold, what the hell is taking you so long?

Maniacal Rage Podcast: Episode 35 »

The cool thing about taking four years off is when you take 6 weeks off it doesn’t even count as a hiatus.


Shawn has issues with his sleep behavior and pitches his next amazing Hollywood script, Garrett goes postal on the US Postal Service and worries about his kid’s future, and we flirt with the possibility of some amazing format changes. Thanks to Bill Griesau for his brief appearance.

Subscribe in iTunes or subscribe to the feed.

Maniacal Rage Podcast: Episode 34 »

I failed to mention it two weeks ago, but the podcast is back. And we just released the 2nd post-hiatus episode:


The bowl cut and awkward shampooings make for uncomfortable haircut experiences, Shawn details one of his childhood dreams that has been partially fulfilled and we discuss a rare, new disease related to candy that might one day be named after Garrett.

Subscribe in iTunes or subscribe to the feed.

A Manhattan

Dear Bartender,

A Manhattan is a delicious drink.

A Manhattan is not served on the rocks. If I wanted a Manhattan on the rocks I’d have ordered a “Manhattan on the rocks.” It is ok to ask, however.

A Manhattan is stirred, not shaken. I am not James Bond, this is not a James Bond movie. Please stir my Manhattan.

A Manhattan is not made with sugar syrup. If I were a nine year old child I could order a “Sweet Manhattan” but when a grown adult orders a Manhattan the only thing sweet about it should be the vermouth.

I’m not going to even give you shit over the garnish, honestly, I don’t care about the garnish. Put a cherry there, an orange peel or no garnish at all. You can even put one of those neon Maraschino cherries as long as you rinse it off first. Get the above right and you can garnish it however you damn well please.

Thanks for listening.


Read 30 2012 Oscar Hopeful Screenplays »

For aspiring screenwriters, this is a goldmine.

Pointless Rant: Automagically

Please stop using the annoyingly cute word “automagically”. I have no problem with made up words but this one makes zero sense. When you say “automagically” what you really mean is just “automatically”. There is no case where using “automagically” adds more meaning than simply using “automatically.” You’re just being cute. And stop being cute.

Only if you are literally referring to magic may you use “automagically.” If you invent a machine that turns farts into gold bricks you may say, “And it automagically turns farts into gold bricks!” Cause yes, that’s magic.

Everything else is just “automatic”. Thank you.

It’s not a TV

The biggest mistake people are making when writing about the supposed upcoming Apple television set is thinking about it as Apple improving the television. This is not what Apple does. When Apple made the iPhone they didn’t make a better phone, they made a computer that fit in your pocket that happened to make phone calls. The reason that first iPhone keynote in 2007 was so mind-blowing was because they managed to run OS X on a phone that ran great mobile apps. But we were all screaming “Look what they made a phone do!” The phone part was just one app.

So the Apple television set won’t be a better TV it will be a great living room computer. (I’m going to assume Apple won’t release it unless it’s actually great). The “TV” will just be one app. FaceTime will be an app. Weather will be an app. Similar to the iPhone or iPad app ecosystem but tailored for the living room.

There’s been speculation that Siri will be the primary interface for the new TV and I think this makes a lot of sense. Siri on a TV means more than voice controlled channel changing. It brings the assistant functionality to the living room. Instead of needing to take out your phone and long-press the home button Siri will be there for everyone to use at any time. I suspect it will be possible to activate Siri without touching a button. (Perhaps something akin to Star Trek’s “Computer, how long until we arrive at Rigel IV?”). It could do everything from play video content to show your upcoming calendar week on the display to executing home automation tasks. “Siri, dim the lights and play Parks and Rec.”

The imagination is really the limit. Especially when you think about how it will integrate not with today’s useful but limited Siri but to the Siri two or three generations down the road.

The interesting debate to me isn’t how Apple can improve the TV experience. That seems really obvious. The part I care about is what else this thing will do and how we will interact with it.

Forever’s Not So Long

If you’re going to watch (or re-watch) one short film about the end of the world on the day the world ends, make it this one.