Saturday, April 17, 2010

One Hundred and Counting

by Chris McGinty

There will be people who totally get what I’m doing, and what I’m ripping off and/or paying homage (see Season 1 Episode 1 for pronunciation) to, with this article. You will also know that this kind of article only comes up once about every two years with a weekly column, but would come up three to four times a years with a daily blog.

So what am I doing? I’m going to go back and read the first 100 posts to this blog, and give a short synopsis and/or review (pronunciation is pretty straightforward on this one folks) of each. Because of the nature of what it is, it will be longer than the average blog we post up to the daily. I will also use the same 5-star rating system; tweaked just a slight bit. It works as follows:

***** (5 stars) – Whimtastic! If you want to read some of the older posts, but only the best of the best, then go straight to any blog assigned this rating.

**** (4 stars) – Amazing to Whim. Probably not a life changing post, but you might still be hard pressed to skip it. I always say I’m my harshest critic, and this might apply to my peers as well. These might be more worth reading than I’m letting on.

*** (3 stars) – Whimable. I’m suggesting with the descriptive that this post is passable. It’s either indifferent, slightly better than indifferent, or slightly worse than indifferent. Worth reading, maybe.

** (2 stars) – F, Marry, Whim. More than likely to be your least favourite in just about any match up between three posts. Nothing special here. Still not as bad as it could be.

* (1 star) – Whimtrocious. Just shitty. If I wrote it I’m embarrassed. If someone else wrote it, I’m still embarrassed.

NOTE: I’m not going to be judging based on technical merits, though I will take this opportunity to do some editing where needed. What I’m mainly looking at here is how compelling the subject matter is, and how entertaining it reads. If anyone else involved in this blog goes back and reviews any of these I will place their score at the end of the review.

Post #1 (July 27, 2009) – “Rock N Roll Church” by Nathan Stout (****)

This one feels like Nathan was still writing his Skipping Blog Frog. Not a bad thing. Many of the early posts have that feel. We later wrote about the show more. This review might be as long as the post, but for a couple of inside jokes, it makes me laugh.

Post #2 (July 29, 2009) – “Hollywood is so full of a-holes” by Nathan Stout (***)

Just a quick commentary on someone’s left leaning opinion. The last line makes me laugh.

Post #3 (July 29, 2009) – “The turd that is 'The Happening'” by Nathan Stout (***)

Almost want to give this one 4-stars, because there is a little bit of insight included in an otherwise straight forward movie review, but in the end I went with 3-stars.

Post #4 (July 30, 2009) – “ChrisMcG-I-NTY-5's First Blog.'” by Chris McGinty (***)

This starts out pretty strong with a pretty funny bit about conservatism, but sort of tapers off from there. It’s good information wise, but not entirely compelling unless you’re looking for something to watch or read.

Post #5 (July 31, 2009) – “Disney promotes Tron Legacy...” by Nathan Stout (***)

This probably would get 2-stars for it’s brevity, except that the links make it worth looking at if you’re a Tron fan.

Post #6 (July 31, 2009) – “Grinning Evilly He Started to Type” by Chris McGinty (****)

This post started a shit storm to come, and I want to give it 5-stars because it’s pretty good, and doesn’t meander too much, which I tend to do sometimes. I think that if I had thrown in a couple of funny quips, as I do in a couple of the later parts of this debate, then it would be worthy of 5-stars. I do wonder if “shit storm” should be one word like snowstorm or rainstorm. Maybe hyphenated.

Post #7 (August 2, 2009) - “Just got screwed over by the credit card companies” by Nathan Stout (****)

While I was very unsympathetic to Nathan’s issues with the credit companies, I felt that his telling of his side of the story was entertaining, if not a little frustrating at points. This might have gotten 3-stars but for the conversational bits, and the overall format of compartmentalizing facts and dates, which makes it an easy read that is clear and concise. I could learn a little from Nathan here about how to write an essay

Post #8 (August 4, 2009) - “Why haven't you watched American Movie yet?” by Nathan Stout (**)

About as good as the Tron blog without the links to back it up. Not poorly written by any means, but short and limited. Informational at best.

Post #9 (August 5, 2009) – “A Quick One Before I Head Off to Work” by Chris McGinty (***)

A little bit of a hodge podge of thoughts. I want to give this one 4-stars because there are only five paragraphs, one and three are quite funny, and two four and five can be read through quick enough that they don’t drag down the piece. It still deserves 3-stars, but if you said you weren’t going to read anything below 4-stars, may I suggest an exception to your rule with this one?

Post #10 (August 6, 2009) – “Chris and Lewis Cannon” by Nathan Stout (**)

Without the link this would probably get 1-star. It wins a point or two for being brief and to the point, but loses them for being sofa king short.

Post #11 (August 6, 2009) - “Money Advice from an (not an) Economist” by Chris McGinty (*****)

This is probably some of the best writing on this blog. I already know this isn’t the only one I’m giving 5-stars to. I have one of Nathan’s in mind too, but we’ll get to that much later. The only drawback to this post is that if you’re not into economics, you’re not going to care, but I’m being consistent with saying that if you like Tron, or whatever. The fact is the construction of the blog is smooth, the humour is well used, and the discussion is compelling. There are good points made, even if you don’t fully agree. I don’t give myself this kind of praise too often, so enjoy it.

Post #12 (August 10, 2009) – “Credit Crunch America... The Result” by Nathan Stout (**)

Seems very disjointed and hardly makes a point. The problem with this one is that it’s more or less and epilogue to another post, but rather than kicking it up just a little, it just feels forced and rushed.

Post #13 (August 11, 2009) - “Let Me Slip Into Something a Little Less Mainstream” by Chris McGinty (****)

I’m leaning towards 3-stars here, but the fact is that it’s a decent read that barely squeaks by, in my mind, into 4-star zone. Perhaps without the playlist I included I would have gone 3. Thems is some greatly music they is.

Post #14 (August 12, 2009) – “Credit Crunch Nathan… The Denial” - by Chris McGinty (****)

More economic self sufficiency banter. This was a little more pointed at Nathan who comments about how I suck. Don’t worry about reading Nathan’s comment, cos I use it in the Quotes Blog. What lacks here is the smoothness of the one I gave 5-stars to three posts back. And while humour isn’t necessary, it might have helped.

Post #15 (August 15, 2009) - “Quotes – Nathan and Miguel, Read This Anyway” by Chris McGinty (***)

Being mostly quotes, this could have easily scored lower, but the quotes are somewhat engaging. Further, there are a few paragraphs that are original that make it closer to a real blog post. Nothing special here.

Post #16 (August 20, 2009) - “Every little bit helps?” by Nathan Stout (**)

Not incredibly interesting, and I may be biased against the subject matter…

Post #17 (August 21, 2009) - “This is interesting...” by Nathan Stout (**)

Again not so interesting, contradicting the title, and very short. I should clarify that this kind of blog can be interesting from an informational standpoint, and I’m not trying to discourage it. I’m just attempting to judge based on my interest when rereading them. This one might have been pushed up to 3-stars if when Nathan put the app up on our site anything cool had happened. Then the link to the homepage would take you to the app, and you’d get to see and hear the wonders. But it didn’t happen.

Post #18 (August 25, 2009) - “Happy days are here again...” by Nathan Stout (***)

Don’t want to give Nathan too many 2-stars in a row. Besides, this one says a little bit more than “Hey link” or “Hey app” or “Hey quotes.” Four months later Nathan should have written a sequel to this one discussing how I quit my job again, finally reducing my employment to zero. Later I write about getting this particular job back. Much later.

Post #19 (August 30, 2009) - “Things I wish existed #1” by Wade Childs (*****)

At risk of seeming like I’m just giving everybody a 5-star rating, I really liked this post. To be fair it’s leaning toward a 4-star rating, but I could see this one stirring up discussion if we had a larger readership. But it’s funny, which helps. My one thought about it (aside from agreeing wholeheartedly about late night trips to Wal-Mart) is that Wade makes a point about indie films, and I’d like to expand on it to say that a theatre could probably at the very least make a little revenue from showings of that nature overnight. I think what keeps this from happening are those wee hours between 6 am and noon when no one would ever want to be at a movie.

Post #20 (September 2, 2009) – “Walmart People” by Nathan Stout (***)

Gets an extra star because while it’s another short, mildly informational post, if you haven’t been to the website it promotes yet, you’re in for a treat.

Post #21 (September 10, 2009) – “Why I don't want Obama's Universal healthcare) by Nathan Stout (***)

This one gets counted off for factual errors. It’s not a poorly written piece, but it suffers from not being well thought out. I get where Nathan is coming from, and I do agree with Nathan on some things, I just think he was in a conservative radio stupor when he wrote this. Factual problem #1, which he pointed out in a later post, is that he discovered that you cannot use time worked for charity as a tax deduction. Factual problem #2 is that when put up to reason and scrutiny he says, “I’ve never had an insurance company drop me because of a medical condition leaving me unable to get new insurance because of a pre-existing condition, but if it ever happens I’ll just get new insurance.” Factual problem #3 is something I think I dealt with in one of my posts, which is that he skews his view, and therefore the reader’s, of government efficiency by pointing to the worst of the worst of government programs and ignoring those that have worked well. This is a strange post because I simultaneously want to give it 2-stars for poor execution and 4-stars for compelling subject matter. I think it’s that division in my mind that makes it such a tough read.

Post #22 (September 14, 2009) – “A bedtime story” by Wade Childs (***)

Mildly amusing, more for the bits before the story than the story itself. I sort of counted off because while he was retelling the ending, 50% of this post was unoriginal. You’ll note that I said the same about my quotes post.

Post #23 (September 16, 2009) – “Walking and Chewing Gum – and – Typing and Thinking” by Chris McGinty (*****)

Reading back through this, it was better than I remember. It lacks the humourous tone that I normally write with, but I remember I was sort of in a foul mood back then and didn’t think a whole lot was funny. In retrospect, I also think I was a bit personal with my attacks. This is a flaw of mine. When a simple “Nathan I feel you didn’t do good research” would have sufficed, I’m all like “This is the dumbest shit ever!” I almost want to count off for that, but it is a well written post.

Post #24 (September 17, 2009) – “Help Obiwan-Bush-obi youre my only hope.” by Nathan Stout (****)

Not a bad response to my previous post, but what it does suffer from is being a really long post that repeatedly says, “I don’t care about the information you presented to me, because I don’t care.” Who knows maybe Nathan’s rebuttal wouldn’t have been so angry if mine hadn’t been so personal to begin with.

Post #25 (September 18, 2009) – “I'll Make Everyone Happy and STFU” by Chris McGinty (****)

The best part of this blog is probably the theme: Liberals presume I’m conservative, conservatives presume I’m liberal; not because what I’m saying fits into those categories, but because what I’m saying disagrees with what they believe. This one suffers from almost the same thing as Nathan’s last post except that mine just says, “If you don’t care, I don’t care.” Nathan more or less apologizes in the comments, but I was rather frustrated, so I just let it go.

Post #26 (September 18, 2009) – “According To Whim... The Legend” by Nathan Stout (***)

Informational about the show. Good not great. A quick update: we did finish the Chris at work scene, and the club scene is not fully edited at the time of this writing.

Post #27 (November 13, 2009) – “Update” by Nathan Stout (***)

After a couple of months, this blog had sort of died. Nathan posted up this update, and it is again just informational. He mentioned some things that could have been linked to, but as of right now aren’t.

Post #28 (February 4, 2010) – “A Conversation with Chris and Nathan” by Chris McGinty and Nathan Stout (*****)

Very entertaining, as seems to be the case when we work together, which I guess is why we do. It’s mostly silliness, but that makes it fun. As a quick side note, it is the first post of 2010, three months after the last post of 2009. It is also the first post after making the decision to go daily. I guess we get to find out now if the quality has improved since we started posting each day, or if this move was executed as a shark came up out of the water trying to bite our feet off.

Post # 29 (February 5, 2010) – “The Professor of Dirt - Episode 442 by Nathan Stout (****)

This is a good one. Kind of what our blog should be about, the making of the show and stuff. I am actually leaning toward 5-stars on this one, and if Nathan had posted up the original footage as a supplement to what he wrote, I might have gone that high.

Post #30 (February 6, 2010) – “ATW: where all are accepted and none are rejected.” by Nathan Stout (****)

Again a pretty good one. The video of the other public access show makes this one worth looking at.

Post #31 (February 7, 2010) – “Germany hates us, YouTube loves us.” by Nathan Stout (*****)

Maybe I’m overreaching this one with a 5-star rating, but I like this article. It has a marginally compelling story, which Nathan does a great job of telling.

Post # 32 (February 8, 2010) – “George Thorogood makes good” by Nathan Stout (****)

An amusing tale. Only thing I have to add to this is that at one point, and I believe it was on that excursion, I won on a split with 8’s I think, which they say you’re always supposed to split, and then in the same hand I split another set of 8’s won the whole hand cos dealer busted. The only screwed up thing is that I had to pull money from my pocket (a no-no) to cover the split, and even after winning such a glorious hand, I was still down by about $60.

Post #33 (February 9, 2010) – “Planning Season 3” by Nathan Stout (***)

Just sort of an update. Not a bad read by any means, just feels kind of so-so, so I went a little lower on my rating.

Post #34 (February 10, 2010) – “YouTube - Uploading Tutorial” by Nathan Stout (****)

Informative without being just informational. It’s funny because if this was as short as it should have been, I would have probably complained about its brevity. The saving grace is that even as a shorter piece it would be meant for a certain kind of reader and that kind of reader will probably enjoy the whole post.

Post #35 (February 11, 2010) – “Chris Participates in the Daily Blog; Film at Eleven” by Chris McGinty (****)

Some mildly humourous bits make this a worthwhile read beyond the show related information.

Post #36 (February 11, 2010) – “Unhealthy TV watching” by Nathan Stout (*****)

Nathan originally set a few of his drafts to auto post not expecting me to post anytime soon. Then when I did it threw off his whole system. He tried fixing the time signatures on the post made around this time, but somehow we have two for February 11 and none for February 12. This is one of Nathan’s best posts. I’ve never watched MASH as much as he has, but he speaks of history (both actual history and his own) in compelling way that gets you to thinking. I guess there are those who might argue that his observations aren’t the deepest ever written, but those people probably suck. Nanny nanny boo boo, yo.

Post #37 (February 13, 2010) – “Proposed Season Three Format” by Chris McGinty (****)

I’m sort of torn on how to rate this one. It’s as good as my last one as show related information goes, but it’s sort of rehash. It’s also not quite as humourous. Nonetheless, it does speak of what will likely be a big part of ATW history. Eh, I’ll err on the side of a higher rating this time.

Post #38 (February 14, 2010) – “I Can't Believe It's Not Yahtzee” by Nathan Stout (****)

Going with 4-stars on this one because if you play the game, you will likely enjoy it. This is one where it gets a little more rating because of what it offers beyond the post. As of this writing Nathan or I need to go in and clean up the rules a little bit, like for instance add the point total for a straight, which is 1,500.

Post #39 (February 15, 2010) – “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Sunday” by Chris McGinty (***)

Amusing in its own way, but it just doesn’t really say anything. Well it alludes to what I was talking about earlier with the two posts on the 11th and none on the 12th.

Post #40 (February 16, 2010) – “Robotech Fanzine: Protoculture Addicts” by Nathan Stout (****)

Almost 5-stars for this one. It’s funny that not using half stars can push you to give out ratings that might go a bit higher or a bit lower. When I’m doing my edit, I might change some of the ratings. In the end I decided this was more nostalgia than information, and went with 4-stars.

Post # 41 (February 17, 2010) – “BluRay Review: Watchmen Motion Comic” by Nathan Stout (****)

This is a good review. I’m not saying so because Nathan had a favourable opinion of the subject matter, but because it’s helpful. If I saw that this DVD existed, and wanted to know what a fan thought, reading Nathan’s review would tell me more than enough to decide whether or not to buy it. My choice would be to buy it by the way. Of course, I don’t actually have to, because I can borrow it from Nathan.

Post #42 (February 18, 2010) – “Tonight’s Meeting” by Chris McGinty (***)

I said that I would tell you if one of my posts wasn’t very good which is why I’m giving this post 5-stars! Nay! 177-stars! Ok, this isn’t a horrible post, but it’s kind of bland. Very take it or leave it. But nonetheless 1,298,734-stars!

Post #43 (February 19, 2010) – “According To Whim: The Audio Show” by Nathan Stout (****)

Nathan was sort of on a roll early on in the daily blog process. While many of the 2009 blogs were almost sound bite in quality, he seemed to have found better subject matter in 2010. And this one has a few laughs in it.

Post #44 (February 20, 2010) – “Chris's Poem: Photo Affects” by Chris McGinty (*****)

This is just a very good work. I write a lot of poetry, and some of it is really good while some of it is crap. If I used the 5-star rating system on my poetry you would fine a lot of 1-star ratings. Still given that I decided to write a poem that day for the blog with only a basic idea of what it would be about, I think this turned out well, even rereading. It’s a rarity for me to use rhyme by the way, and that’s about as close to metered as I get. I just think it portrays some interesting images, and speaks unexpectedly at times.

Post #45 (February 21, 2010) – “A Windy Day for Season Two” by Chris McGinty (*****)

Yeah, I’m being generous to myself now, but this one not only tells a good show production story, but it does so well. What more could you want from a blog that is largely about the show?

Post #46 (February 22, 2010) – “Sunday, Rainy Sunday” by Chris McGinty (****)

Gets points for being kind of funny, and for linking to the first of two Farmville articles I’ve done at the time of this writing. I’ve explained to a few people that just because the articles have Farmville in the title that you don’t actually have to play the game to enjoy them. Not the way I write. The articles are that good, that an extra star bonus was gifted by one of my neighbours for use on this blog rating.

Post #47 (February 23, 2010) – “The Thing About Doing A Project...” by Nathan Stout (***)

I’ll be honest, I walked away from this post with the feeling that Nathan had forgotten to take his martyr medicine that day. The reason I’ve dubbed Season Two “The Nathan Show” is because he more or less took over the whole thing in a micro-managing kind of way. He gives a list of things he did, but fails to mention how much of it was self-imposed. He didn’t inform me that he was writing the whole of Season Two. He dropped it down on me to trump an idea I had. If we were simply getting together once a week for four hours the scheduling would have been less demanding. The issue was simply that he had to figure out everything that needed to be done in one of six days that we had to shoot it. We all were actors. We all were directors to an extent and if he felt he was more of a director then it’s because he didn’t step back enough to let the rest of us help. We all ran camera. Encoding the footage is the one thing he can claim, but as we were using his camera that was to be expected. And finally with the editing he was all like “Hey Miguel! (not Chris, not Miguel and Chris) I’m gonna give you some of this footage. I want you to help me edit. If he had so much trouble getting Miguel to show up for the shoot, I’m not sure why he even tried to get Miguel to help with the editing. Even when I offered to help with the editing he ignored me. You know what? This gets 2-stars. I’m going to give the extra one to one of my bad posts.

Post #48 (February 24, 2010) – “Idea Generation” by Chris McGinty (*****)

I was remembering this as a 4-star article, but you know what, it’s good. Good enough for a fifth star? You know, I’m thinking so. It has sound, though unoriginal, writing advice, and it relates some experiences and discusses a part of writing that I think gets largely ignored.

Post #49 (February 25, 2010) – “Man, Why You Uh, Uh, Uh” by Chris McGinty (***)

Amusing in its way, but it was typed really fast because neither Nathan nor I had the foresight to post something before the meeting.

Post #50 (February 26, 2010) – “Editing... not as easy as you think.” by Nathan Stout (***)

This one sort of feels like part two in the Nathan is a martyr series. It’s not as bad as the one where he said “I had to do everything because I never learned to delegate”. As this goes, there is an actual point in the article, but he neglected to make it. Why do we do this? When you see the people on the You Tube they probably didn’t take quite as long doing their videos because they have a static camera angle, and their biggest problem is probably flubbing the lines. And since you’re mentioning it, sometimes that doesn’t stop them. The thing is that there are shows and videos out there that are as funny, or funnier, than our stuff, but the sad truth is that they could make it look a little bit better by putting just a tad more effort into it. The reason for everything Nathan writes here is because we care enough for just a tad more effort.

Post #51 (February 27, 2010) – “Some tips this time” by Nathan Stout (***)

This blog is probably useful, and it’s not a bad read, but I think it’s just not quite enough that I would put it on the recommended list. Nathan seemed worried that it was about painting his house and not something show related. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal really. If it could be a subject for the audio show, it can be a subject for the daily blog.

Post #52 (February 28, 2010) – “Movies Recently Watched” by Chris McGinty (****)

This is good for a review blog. I’m not sure if it would be “helpful” the way Nathan’s review of The Watchmen Motion Comic was. Still it gives reasonable opinions about the movies and seems mildly entertaining about it.

Post #53 (March 1, 2010) – “What is this Ten-Weeks Goals You Mentioned?” by Chris McGinty (****)

This one is important just because we talk about the ten-weeks goals so much. I would give it 5-stars if we were talking about strictly importance. It’s a good read, but not fantastic. Has a little humour in it.

Post #54 (March 2, 2010) – “According To Whim Live” by Nathan Stout (***)

A good read, but kind of irrelevant at the time of this writing. We did two shows using the technology and then stopped. I’m not even too sure why. I would say it’s my unpredictability of what time I show up at Nathan’s each week (i.e.: 4:30 pm, 6:30 pm, the following Thursday) but we’ve never scheduled a show, so it hardly matters. Who knows, maybe soon.

Post #55 (March 3, 2010) – “Thursby Meading” by Chris McGinty (****)

The funny thing about this one is that it probably gets 4-stars for a couple of inside jokes that the average person wouldn’t get. The thing that I realized though is that anyone who listened to our shows enough (and certain specific episodes) would get it. So I’m blaming the audience for this one, and going with 4-stars.

Post #56 (March 4, 2010) – “Chroma Key” by Nathan Stout (****)

Want to give this 5-stars, but I’m only partially sure how helpful it is, though it seems very helpful.

Post #57 (March 5, 2010) – “Vomit” by Nathan Stout (****)

If I stole a star from Nathan’s last post, I gave it back here. It’s very short, but it apparently amused Miguel, and we did actually get a lot of mileage from my misfortune. He should have linked to the uStream show, but he still can.

Post #58 (March 6, 2010) – “Today’s Symptom: Dizziness” by Chris McGinty (****)

Hmmm. I was about to drop this down to 3-stars, because it’s not particularly engaging, until I got to the dream at the end. Given that I’m actually at a guard post assigned by said job, I find it sort of interesting. The only other thought I had on this matter is that a friend of mine from one of the other local bands remembered that I liked Smokey Robinson and thought he had sent me a message on My Space (and he may have, but I didn’t get it) offering to pay my way to go see Smokey. Not because of some holiday or birthday obligation, but because he’s a good guy who thought of another good guy. If someone had bought me a ticket, I would have either insisted on Nathan taking me, or braved driving while dizzy. It’s too bad I didn’t get the message.

Post #59 (March 7, 2010) – “The Academy Awards is crap” by Nathan Stout (****)

This is a weird case in which I think I enjoyed reading this more than it is actually good. This is also a weird case in which someone else finds out something I’ve known for years. I’m not sure I feel the same disenchantment that Nathan does, but I can totally get where that disenchantment might come from. The only thing I can really say is that if you were to get any group of X amount of people together and ask them to pick the best movie of the year, the results would sometimes be markedly the same and the results would sometimes be drastically different. Miguel and I know not one, but two, people who believe Grease 2 to be the best movie ever. Just saying.

Post #60 (March 8, 2010) – “Why Nathan is crazy for Rosa's” by Nathan Stout (*****)

This one also fits into the “some of the best writing on the blog” category. This is a very good post. Even without the links I would give it 5-stars, but they do add to the overall experience. Fact is, Nathan tells a good story here in an engaged and entertaining way. Somehow though, I’m willing to bet that if he entered it into a writing contest, it would just get honorable mention. There is something else to say about this, but I’ll get to it in a little bit.

Post #61 (March 9, 2010) – “Why EB is the best game in town” by Nathan Stout (****)

Also really good. In a strange way, the issue with the rules he ran into with this contest was more devastating in it’s clarity of why the winning video shouldn’t have won, but from a story telling standpoint the rules confusion present in the Rosa’s contest was a tiny bit more compelling, cos your head is spinning trying to figure out why they did it that way.

Post #62 (March 10, 2010) – “DFW is the heart of North Texas” by Nathan Stout (*****)

This post can keep you busy for almost an hour with all the videos linked to. While I realize that that’s not ideal for the low attention span, it is a great read for those willing to take a bit of time with it. As you may be able to tell by now, Nathan went through and wrote up his experiences with video contests, and by some sort of luck posted them all in a row starting on Monday. This gave me the idea to do a theme week. I quickly brainstormed how we could fill in the next four days and set about writing the next day’s post which responds to Nathan’s posts.

Post #63 (March 11, 2010) – “Why Nathan Is Just Crazy” by Chris McGinty (*****)

While this only adds a little detail here and there about my involvement (or lack of involvement (or attempted lack of involvement)) I do so with great wit. I’m not tooting my horn so much here. There is some funny stuff in this article. There have been plenty of these posts where I’ve read what I wrote and thought myself dry and uninteresting, so give me my moment. Oh, and look forward to my post on being philosophically one sighted (as of this writing unwritten, but all the clues are here as to what I’ll write it about.)

Post #64 (March 12, 2010) – “Summer Project 199Hate” by Chris McGinty (****)

If I could attach Miguel’s telling of the making of Summer Project ’94 to my rating, this would easily be a 5-star rating. Sadly, when Miguel was writing the history of the show he did a great job of it. Otherwise, this article is sort of limited in what it could do without retelling. I think there is a good point made about unified sense of purpose, which I revisit in a written but as yet unpublished piece. But I may still get that in before post #100 (yeah this one) so it’s ok.

Post #65 (March 13, 2010) – “Sony Contest Part Dupe” by Chris McGinty (****)

Again, if you go and read Miguel’s account of Summer Project ’95 you’ll be far more entertained. And again I make a good point about self media. Basically, about as good as the last one.

Post #66 (March 14, 2010) – “The Whimmy” by Nathan Stout (***)

This is a dry piece (that I admittedly told Nathan to write to round out the theme week) that is only made less relevant by the fact that we haven’t done anything with the concept yet. If I could get internet out at this post, I could search all night for Whimmy content, but it ain’t happening.

Post #67 (March 15, 2010) – “Spring Break” by Chris McGinty (***)

A dry report about what was going on that week ATW wise.

Post #68 (March 16, 2010) – “The big gig that never was” by Nathan Stout (****)

This was a good one. The only thing I remember about this other than it being an enjoyable read was that Nathan jumped back and forth between past and present tense so much that I went over to his house and looked for the time machine. I know, I said I wasn’t going to count off for technical issues, and I didn’t. It’s just an observation. At our weekly meeting that week I went through and did some editing to clean it up a bit. Even reading the edit, I still missed some.

Post #69 (March 17, 2010) – “NetRunner: The Collectible Card Game” by Nathan Stout (****)

I’m trying to think what I was doing on St. Patrick’s Day this year. I bet I was wearing purple clothing though, because Nathan was certainly wearing Runner green! I know that sometimes I don’t make sense to you, but it’s ok. The thing is I somehow missed this post, which is sort of amazing cos I read all the posts, and Net Runner is my favourite game. I note that on Thursday we did a joint post, so I never had a reason to sign in that day and see that I missed a post. There is a heavy tone of comparison of prices when Nathan bought his collection and today, but mostly this is a good read.

Post #70 (March 18, 2010) – “Oh my blog... what's this?!” by Chris McGinty & Nathan Stout (****)

Not as good as the first joint blog, but a few good parts. It’s sort of interesting because we wrote this together where one of us typed and then the other. It flows pretty well with only a little bit of manipulation of what we say.

Post #71 (March 19, 2010) – “My Weekend Alone - Day One: Dealing with Setbacks” by Chris McGinty (***)

I’m leaning towards 4-stars on this one because it has a couple of good jokes at the start, but one of them would only be understood by a handful of people. What I can say about this one, and articles that are similar, is that having even the slightest format to play with can improve your writing. In this case, it was to write a post for each of the three days my roommates were gone.

Post #72 (March 20, 2010) – “My Weekend Alone – Day Two: Setting Aside Time” by Chris McGinty (***)

Not really that entertaining. Maybe format backfires sometimes.

Post #73 (March 21, 2010) – “My Weekend Alone – Day Three: The Snowstorm I Created” by Chris McGinty (****)

The best of the three. It tells an otherwise boring tale pretty well. One paragraph sort of even rewards those who have read all the blogs, though the jokes aren’t so funny that you need to change your approach to what you’re reading.

Post #74 (March 22, 2010) – “Exaggeration and Limitation” by Chris McGinty (****)

This is pretty good. It examines idea generation again but in a slightly different way. The only real problem is I felt directionless when I wrote it, and it shows.

Post #75 (March 23, 2010) – “Knowing your place” by Nathan Stout (*****)

Nathan jokes at the end of the article about how good it is, but the truth of the matter is that I think this may be Nathan’s Finest Hour, and if not that it’s at least Nice. Kidding and semi-obscure references aside, upon reading this a second time, I do realize that it is a very well written piece and that I wasn’t merely swept up in temporary fascination when I first read it. Strongly recommended.

Post #76 (March 24, 2010) – “Not Burying the Past so Peeps Don’t Have to Waste Time Digging it Up” by Chris McGinty (****)

A response to Nathan’s previous post. It’s pretty amusing, but it’s a bit sporadic, or I might have ridden Nathan’s coattails on the 5-star train.

Post #77 (March 25, 2010) – “News Story: Wife Wins $9 Million From Mistress” by Miguel Cruz (*****)

Yeah, you read that right, Miguel snuck in under the wire to have inclusion in this review. The odd thing is that unless he posts something up really soon that is just not that good, he will have a 100% 5-star record. I’m not going to tell him this, because while now he probably won’t post because he’s lazy, if I told him he wouldn’t post claiming it was to keep this record in tact. Also, I may still give his other post 4-stars. I’ll deal with it when I get there. I plan to write a rebuttal to this one day, maybe before this review to trap Miguel into wanting to be argumentative. (NOTE: I did and it made Miguel argumentative, but he was too lazy to post it.)

Post #78 (March 26, 2010) – “Season 3 - Like Gone with the Wind...” by Nathan Stout (***)

This one feels like how my writing would feel if I wrote it on a day when I had nothing to write about, so I presume Nathan wrote it on day when he had nothing to write about.

Post #79 (March 27, 2010) – “Accidentally Becoming Employed” by Chris McGinty (****)

I sort of want to give this one 5-stars, but again I don’t think it’s focused enough. By the time I get to the good points I make you sift through a lot of meaningless detail. What prompted this writing was I was somehow told twice in less than 48 hours that I shouldn’t be smug about a previous employer, impressed by my work ethic (his words), calling me and handing me a job when others were struggling to find a job. This article is simply why I have every right to be proud of myself for being able to find work. And as an added bonus, I since picked up some self-employed work hanging fliers door to door. If you read the post you’ll understand why I feel a bit “smug” about that too.

Post #80 (March 28, 2010) – “Old Man Defends His Wife's Honor” by Miguel Cruz (*****)

Miguel starts his second entry by discussing that if this blog still exists he will know that this situation transpired on March 27, 2010. All I can say is he doesn’t truly understand redundant backups. Here’s the thing about this. I would probably give it 4-stars for the fact that like my discussion of employment it meanders a while to get to the good stuff. Placing these two separate stories in the same piece only really works for journal writing. I give him the benefit of the doubt that this more or less was, and he just happened to post it up here as well. Also, what he wrote about his family conflicts was amusing enough. Finally, Nathan seemed to have loved this one. And I’m thinking that since Nathan might put it in the best of the best category for this blog, then so will I.

Post #81 (March 29, 2010) – “Review: Valley of the Pharaohs” by Nathan Stout (****)

As I said in the Watchman Motion Comic review, Nathan does a good job here of giving a helpful review. If I was considering buying the game, I think I would have enough information after reading this review to make my decision.

Post #82 (March 30, 2010) – “Alpha Player” by Nathan Stout (*****)

I know you’re thinking this is a post about Scott macking on Marlene, but it’s not. It’s a half story, half review of Nathan becoming an Alpha-tester on one of his favourite game franchises. I think the enthusiasm is infections. A quick note: I agree with Nathan’s belief about 2D as opposed to 3D on simulation games, but not on open-world style games (GTA 3 and beyond). He refers to The Sims but he is really referring to The Sims 2 and The Sims 3. The Sims was 2D.

Post #83 (March 31, 2010) – “About to Go to Work” by Chris McGinty (*)

Yeah. 1-star. Go read what 1-star means. Nuff said.

Post #84 (April 1, 2010) – “Saving the Daily (Don’t Put Off ‘til Tomorrow What You Can Do Todaily)” by Chris McGinty (****)

A few funny bits sort of save this. I actually mention this review in there. It’s April 8, 2010 as of this writing, so I’ve been reading all these and writing my thoughts on them for a little over a week now. I did immediately get a couple of standbys uploaded to the blog, one of which is pretty good, so I need to get two more up there to push one out of the dugout, and out of the warm up box, and let it get it’s turn at bat.

Post #85 (April 2, 2010) – “Christopher McGinty - Heir Apparent” by Nathan Stout (****)

All I can say about this is, “Awwwww, how sweet!”

Post #86 (April 3, 2010) – “Stoutkiller's Card of the Day: Death from Above” by Chris McGinty (****)

I think this is a fun read, even if it’s just about a Thursday meeting. I’d like to note that Nathan is saying he’s sick and not likely to get together for this week’s meeting. I’m willing to bet the editing isn’t done either. (NOTE: As of finishing the edit to post this in about two and a half hours, Nathan has begun work on the editing.)

Post #87 (April 4, 2010) – “Sound is important” by Nathan Stout (****)

Nathan discusses audio issues after picking a very noisy public park to shoot in. I guess this does make me wonder about “Chris and Miguel: A Hate Story.” I discussed in one of my posts about how I thought we had a decent video that was being treated like it sucked. If audio is really 50% of the experience then maybe that’s what happened with our video. Miguel and I did shoot in the same very noisy public park after all.

Post #88 (April 5, 2010) – “Herbie the Love Doodad” by Nathan Stout (*****)

An enjoyable piece, and somewhat informative to start with. I had wanted Nathan to do a documentary when he had the first Beetle showing the rebuilding of the car, but he never really worked on the car. Unfortunately, there is really no documentary to be had with the second one since it was running and someone else is doing the work on it. Although I may have to brush up on my KITT voice for our next standalone sketch Stout Rider: A lone figure in a shadowy world and a man who doesn’t exist with a car that talks. I’m thinking KITT will be disgruntled from being put into a German car, when the sleek black design was nice enough.

Post #89 (April 6, 2010) – “Herbie the Love Doodad Jr.” by Chris McGinty (****)

I literally state that I wrote this post because I had more to say about Nathan’s post than should go in the comments section. Even still it is a pretty entertaining read.

Post #90 (April 7, 2010) – “Script writing” by Nathan Stout (****)

To me this one doesn’t seem as informative as it is since I already know most of what Nathan has to say. I guess I wonder how useful someone who is just starting down the road of movie and TV scripts would find it.

Post #91 (April 8, 2010) – “Tips for Door to Door Fliers” by Chris McGinty (*****)

While I don’t deal with how to find clients, which may have been useful information too, this is a pretty useful tool for someone getting into the business. I thought of a lot of it while I was out doing a job, so I was able to be pretty detailed.

Post #92 (April 9, 2010) – “List Five Things You Want” by Chris McGinty (****)

A prompt exercise gone… right! Compartmentalizing the different reasons I have for doing the show allowed me to make good points that I hadn’t realized I even needed to find words for. I can only hope that in going through my other prompt exercises I find material as good to work with.

Post #93 (April 10, 2010) – “A Rebuttal: Why I Shouldn’t Be Trying to Get on Your Wife’s Buttal” by Chris McGinty (****)

As the title states this is a rebuttal. No trick meanings there. It’s really a rebuttal. What makes this good is more the points made than the execution. While my argument is clearly better reasoned (I’m not kidding) Miguel’s initial writing is more entertaining.

Post #94 (April 11, 2010) – “Halfway Point and a Prompt Exercise” by Chris McGinty (**)

Not very good. Just trying to fill the screen at that point, and to dump a limited prompt exercise that I didn’t think I could expand much on.

Post #95 (April 12, 2010) – “Acting is for fools” by Nathan Stout (***)

Sort of a weird plea for others to join us in our misery (read: good times and mega fun.) Short. Yeah, short.

Post #96 (April 13, 2010) – “Lesser Talk about a Laptop” by Chris McGinty (***)

This one isn’t a total loss, I guess. I did get a battery, and it’s working fine.

Post #97 (April 14, 2010) – “I am not a robot!” by Nathan Stout (***)

This is pretty much Nathan’s Manifesto. I’m a conservative not a Republican, Washington is messed up, and politicians suck. I agree with much of what he has to say, but there is something missing in the execution. I can’t really put my finger on what to be honest.

Post #98 (April 15, 2010) – “I Am Robot, Hear Me Whirr” by Chris McGinty (****)

This is pretty good. I feel sometimes like I’m not writing clearly, and I’m happy when I read over something and find out it was clear. The title popped into my head in a couple of stages, and it made me laugh.

Post #99 (April 16, 2010) – “Are 'birthers' so crazy or do they just scare you?” by Nathan Stout (***)

I’m not sure if it’s fair to give Nathan 3-stars on this one. I don’t know a whole lot about the issue, maybe because it’s probably not an issue. I’m also sort of coming in under a deadline here, so you know. I might research this topic and write a response. If I change my mind about the rating, I’ll drop it in there. If I don’t write it… my opinion didn’t change.

Post # 100 (April 17, 2010) – “One Hundred and Counting” by Chris McGinty (****)

I think this turned out alright. I’m simply hoping it fits on Blogspot. I don’t know if they have a limit. I’m also hoping that the links remain in tact. I copied them from the blog, and it copied the link too. Anyway, this is 18 pages of pure reviewedness. Sometimes it is interesting, and sometimes not, but it is informative, and I enjoyed reading through everything and writing this.

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