Friday, June 16, 2006

The Cars Movie and Steve Jobs

I haven't been to the movies since I went to see Narnia, and that was some time ago. I saw a trailer and made a snappy little comment, throwaway to me, that Andrew's front teeth were featured in a starring role. The little pick up!

The movie received great reviews on the radio. No TV coverage in this house anymore. Radio is a wonderfully socialising and engaging medium. I feel I have an intelligent companion concealed in a snazzy little Sony box (NPR). I was made aware of the release date and excitedly hopped in the car and took the boys out for a movie night.

They wanted to see "Over the Hedge". I thought of dropping them off and going to see "The Da Vinci Code". Needless to say, we all saw the movie "Cars" together.

What a joyous movie. The personification of the characters was so well crafted. You were engaged and made to think about the price of progress, the cost to people and to relationships. It was emotional. I looked across at Christopher during the movie and he said "fluff from the ceiling got in my eye"

The cute little blue metallic car, a lawyer from LA hiding out, was the weak link in the whole thing. Oh my, the patronising privilege of wealth. It almost got away with hawking the idea that it is OK not to "play the game" in this so"driven" economy and workplace.

The message was so Steve Jobs' message to his employees. I can't remember verbatim what Kevin's 5 year Achievement Award signed by Steve himself, said exactly, but it was something along the lines of "Working at Apple is about the journey...... thanks for being on board" 3 months later is was "Overboard" for Kevin and not the movie with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell for me! For me it was "Up Shit Creek without a Paddle" That is one movie I wouldn't recommend!

I really think this is the message that he brainwashes all the Apple faithful with. That works to his obvious advantage. Spell bind the suckers with charisma.... The shares go up and the party faithful are happy. I think Apple could have gone either way business wise... the ipod was the Second Coming for the company. Anyway, that's just an aside really.

The "Journey" for Jobs is about winning and always has been....

This little movie is a sentimental story of getting lost and finding yourself on the road to self discovery. And not least, it is about figuring out who the important people are in your life.

Steve Jobs has managed to weave his entire fantasy into this movie and it is there for posterity. The problem I have is that he really doesn't like to lose and he pretends winning doesn't matter.

Andrew reminded me of the off the cuff comment about his teeth. He grinned broadly at me. The grin then broke into a fabulous smile. There were no tire tracks... only wire tracks! They are coming off soon. I recommend Phelps and Cohen in Santa Clara.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Marks Brothers win a movie competition

MAKE: Blog: Make Movie Festival:

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


My Power Book lost a foot ages ago and we paid $15 for replacement feet which were lost before we could attend to the job... some would say "par for the course".. not me though.. anyway, quickly as I don't have much time, my battery died and needed to be replaced for the excessive amount of $129. But guess what .. it came with a foot attached to the battery itself for the bottom right hand corner! Now who would have thought it!

What are the chances of that! Some would say 1 in 4. I think it is a bleedin' miracle. It did soften the blow of the $129. It took all night and practically all day for the battery to discharge itself. I love this new battery!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Heard about my new sidekick II?

This tale is a long time coming. I need to write it now lest I forget all the funny little details. Darling K trod on his old phone and mashed it into oblivion. I thought it would be so easy to acquire a phone to replace the old one and have a spare for the kids. Ha Ha! My expectations were based on past experience with ATT. I managed to get a replacement the last time this happened for the grand old cost of $20. (What a deal that was with hindsight)

I had half an hour to spare one morning in my busy insane schedule and popped into Cingular on Steven's Creek in Cupertino to get a replacement. I can hear all those voices out there saying... "er... not so fast lady... the times they are a changin' " Well thanks for that.

The scenario went like this:
me: I need a replacement phone for this one.
sales creature: ah.. no can do. We don't sell those anymore. (Monty Python's Cheese Shop skit comes to mind)
me: OK, what is the story?
sales creature: We can sell you two new phones on the new *gsm* system and it will cost you $40 plus tax plus $69.99 per month.
me: I need one phone and I pay $59.99 per month. Why should I pay an extra $10 per month for ever for what I get for $59.99?
sales creature: (silence)
me: Do I look gullible, stupid or mad? Just give me a new phone and I'll be off. (The boys cower in the back of the shop..)
sales creature: Your contract entitles you to two new phones and the new plan.
me: I don't have a contract do I?
sales creature: (silence)
me: Can I have a phone please?
sales creature: I don't have one I can sell you
me: You are trying to pull a fast one. No phones in this phone shop.... please!
sales creature: Call this number they will get you a second hand one.
me: oh really...

20 mins later down the road in Cupertino

me: I need a phone to replace this one
new intelligent person: I can get you one but it will cost $80
me: $80 for second hand and imminently obselete.. I don't think so!
pause for thought...

I remembered the abandoned Sidekick II hanging about at home (for no good reason) and pondered the possibilities.. wonderful new gadget for same price as the old two phone system ... mmmm?
For those of you who know me old is good... oh yes really!

Anyway, in no time at all it was all discussed and figured out that I would take my old number with me to T-Mobile, ho ho. I promised I would return the next day with the new phone and set it up, which I duly did.

The process was a pain in the butt, time consuming and immensely irritating. The person helping me was charming. What a voyage of discovery it became. My phone had been "previously owned" It had a record and was encrypted with someone else's information and bleedin' passwords. The minutes in the shop ticked by while I was on the phone to customer service trying to sort it out. I had to be somewhere else and was late..... and I completely missed the point of the whole mobile phone concept.. hard to believe I know.

Anyway, I have spent my entire life supporting the notion " why have a dog and bark yourself" I am so techno unsavvy for the "naughties" I should be shot. Hey, I wasn't so bad in the 90's but ... well that's another story. However, not everyone on the planet has Kevin Marks for back up and in my case back rub to boot and re-boot!

I dropped the kids at Math Club and waited in the car on the phone with customer service reps at T-Mobile for 45 minutes. The young man in technical blah had to talk me, of all people, through how to revamp this machine. Oh my oh my. I didn't even know the first thing about the machine... what button did what etc.

Anyway, never one to give up, I persevered, conscious all the time that my old phone's battery was about to fade on tweeking the new machine into being friendly to me. It went so well I was fluffed up with pride and then he said after 90 minutes "and with a pin press this this and that and that together simultaneously and pow you're done. I said "about this pin .. where is it exactly?"

Well, after being on the phone for an hour and a half, this was not going to be the hurdle which brought me down! ... oh no!
I calmly removed my expensive Italian stampato gold earring and inserted the prong into the hole.. in the nick of time. I haven't felt such a sense of true accomplishment since I gave birth to my first child.

And yes I was fully connected and on the internet WHAHOO!

.... and then came the saga of dumping Cingular...

Part II

I noticed my previous phone had not been disconnected. I was told my service would be terminated with the transfer of my old number. What a load of bollocks.

I phoned customer service at Cingular and they said they'd send me a final bill which would include the whole month for which I wouldn't be using the phone or needing it. Then ensued the fight... " Your contract states...." "er ... there is no contract"

We agreed on a fair and final bill. They sent it and they also sent a letter saying they would convert our two phone plan to a one phone plan if they didn't hear from us before November 6th. Needless to say they did hear from me and Katrina assures me that I will not be billed for this month. I'll let you know if she fulfils her promise to ring me on November 21st to cancel outstanding charges.

In the meantime T-Mobile's coverage with my Sidekick is patchy to say the least... but when it works, well it rocks!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

On the subject of being poor

I read these blogs yesterday:One definition of poor and another definition of being poor. I definitely thought one blogger was trying to outdo the other... and I started to laugh when I remembered.... "and now for something completely different" another description of being poor with an interesting add on.Monty Python's Flying Circus - "Four Yorkshiremen" One extra comment worth noting...

I was happier then and I had nothin'. We used to live in this tiny old house with great big holes in the roof." There will be many who are new to being poor, having moved from the "have" category to the "have not" as distinct to the characters in the skit.

This is very interesting subject. Thinking you are poor is very subjective. Being poor is relative and how a person defines being poor depends on what they aspire to. And then there is poverty. My thirty years of experience in the Pawnbroking business taught me that what defines being poor has changed beyond recognition over the decades. Pawning Sunday Church clothes on a Monday, including shoes, helped raise funds with dignity for food in the sixties and seventies. In the eighties there were no sheets or bedding on the shelves in the warehouse. Luxury electrical items began to fill the space. The safes filled with jewellery items. The pledge money was used for gambling and drink among other things, including food probably.

And then there is spiritual poverty. Did I miss that aspect of being poor in the other posts?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It is official-wives and children make you poor

BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Polygamy no fun, admits Ethiopian

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Theatre reprieved

From the Willow Glen Resident, June 22nd:

Theater program is saved from cuts

The San Jose City Council voted on June 14 to retain neighborhood watch programs and the Young People's Theater at the Kirk Community Center.

"Our neighborhoods are at the core of San Jose's community policing effort," Mayor Ron Gonzales said.

The council also voted to save the Young People's Theater by increasing parent fees and volunteer participation. Willow Glen resident and program parent Rosemary Marks, who has been fighting to save the program, is relieved, but says there is still a lot of work to do.

"The parent group is getting together to work out the necessary strategies to make the program succeed," she said.