Category Archives: rant

Fun Video Friday – 3 Minutes with Curtis & Dean Doctor Who Edition

Since a new Doctor is coming to Doctor Who I thought it might be a good idea to go back into the archives and pull out one of the most popular episodes of 3 Minutes with Curtis & Dean, our Doctor Who episodes. We shot this at the beginning of Matt Smith’s term as the Doctor and now it’s hard to remember a time before he played the character.

I’m really looking forward to the 50th anniversary show and who the new Doctor will be!

My buddy AJ has started campaigning for the role, he has a Facebook page about it.

Let me know who’d you like to see as the new Doctor in the comments! Oh and for those of you who may want to grab the Matt Smith years here are some links to Amazon:

See you next time!

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Never Again, United! Never Again!

I will never fly United Airlines or any of their affiliates ever again.


Rene and I recently flew United as part of a work retreat to Hawaii and it was the third and final time we will ever use them. Hell, the only reason we’ve flown them the last two times is because someone else purchased the tickets. I could re-hash the story for you, but I feel that my complaint letter will do better:

May 9, 2013
United Airlines Customer Service
To whom it may concern and that should be anyone who is related to the customer service department all the way up to the corporate executives.
My wife and I recently traveled on your airline for the last time. Ever. We have never experienced such consistently bad customer service, and these recent flights were not the only times. The last three times I have flown on United, only once by choice, we have been extremely dissatisfied; not to mention yelled at, dismissed and watched as other passengers were treated as badly, if not worse, than we were. Frankly, I’m shocked that you remain in business at all.
While our flights to and from Hawaii were ridiculous and our treatment completely unacceptable, I feel that it is important for you to have some context as to how my wife and I have been treated by this company in the past and why, when we discovered that our flights to and from Hawaii were on United airlines, we were immediately put off.
My wife, Rene Bordelon, was a member of your frequent flyer program, Mileage Plus, from the late 90’s through the early 2000’s. She made multiple trips to Australia and has fond memories of those flights. She racked up a lot of miles.
In 2009 we cashed in some of those miles to fly to Utah to attend the Sundance Film Festival. On the morning that we were to leave my wife received a message that our flight was cancelled due to mechanical difficulties. We called in and when we spoke with the United representative she was only willing to put us on a flight that left two days later. Due to the fact that we had no place to stay, and no offer was made by your representative to help, we asked if we would be put up somewhere while we waited. The representative said no. Since we would be missing work in addition to now having to find a place to stay in Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival, an impossible task, we told her that was unacceptable. She told us that because we had used miles for our tickets we were not a priority.
That’s right, you’re representative told a LOYAL frequent flyer who had spent THOUSANDS of dollars on international flights and EARNED the miles that she used that she was NOT A PRIORITY! It took over an hour and her continued excessive attempts to try and make us stay two extra days we were finally re-booked for a flight that morning.
When we got to the airport there was only one ticket agent working for the whole United ticket counter. There were many people trying to leave that morning, and the lack of desk personnel meant that we were all running late. Thank God the employees at Salt Lake City airport were on the ball and professional. They are the only reason why many people were able to make their flights. Flights they were only late for because you failed to staff the ticketing desk correctly.
The real kicker of the whole 2009 experience, besides the fact the my wife’s loyalty to your airline was completely disregarded, was that after all the effort we had to put in to get the flight in the first place the flight was then DELAYED OVER TWO HOURS! When we got home we called customer care to tell them how horrible our experience was. They blew us off. That was the last straw. From that time forward we decided that we would not fly United by choice ever again.
There have been two times since when I have flown United, and each time it was only because someone else purchased the tickets.
In January 2011 I was flown to Connecticut for work. I was booked on United. Because of the memories of 2009 I was cautious. For my return trip I was unable to check in online. My flight was early, 5 in the morning, and I was unable to get anyone on the phone. When I got to the airport I was told that my ticket was returned and that I was no longer booked on the flight. No one would help me. I had a confirmation in hand showing that a ticket was purchased, but no one would help me. I was grateful that, finally, a United ticket agent, from the other side of the airport, was able to help me. Even she agreed that there was no reason why my ticket “vanished” and she essentially re-booked me on the flight and actually escorted me through security so I could make it on time. I wish I had her name because of all the people at the ticket desk she was the only one willing to help me. All the other agents just told me I was out of luck. ALL OF THE AGENTS! It was abysmal. Had that single employee not been working that morning I have no idea what I would have done.
That brings us to this most recent flight. We were flown to Hawaii with the confirmation code ATR9CP. Originally my wife and I were booked with seats together. Our flight was changed three times! No reason was given. When we got our final confirmations we were no longer seated together. We were on flight 670 April 28, 2013. Online we were unable to move our seats back together without paying an upgrade fee for “economy plus.” I don’t understand why our seats, that were booked together, were suddenly no longer together. The flight was booked with my wife and I on the same reservation. You, United Airlines, changed our flights multiple times and yet somehow got us separated! And let me be clear, I do not want the same excuse that my wife received when she filed her complaint. I do not want to hear that I am merely guaranteed a seat on your flight, I want my booking honored. I expect that if you are going to make changes to a flight you do your best to make sure that my experience isn’t modified. It is already hell to fly, so the additional problem of you not being to handle your seating correctly is not only disappointing but unacceptable.
Not being able to make the seat change online we made sure that we were early to speak with a ticket agent. When we arrived at the airport the check-in line before the security check point was chaos. There weren’t enough real people and the do-it-yourself terminals were not helpful – especially in regard to changing our seats. When we got to the gate my wife and I watched as the ticket agents were rude to the five customers ahead of us, most of them with similar complaints of – “we were separated from our parties”. The agents wavered between being disinterested and downright rude. There was one traveler, it was clear that English was not her first language, and she was trying to get clarification on something having to do with the flight. What got my attention was the yelling from the ticket agent, I tried to get her name but her name tag was covered and she was not forth coming with it. She kept repeating “Sit down, ma’am” with a raised voice, even though the woman was far from being rude or aggressive. When I approached the counter I was pleasant and respectful and when I asked if we could be sat together I was dismissed and told that my best option was to trade with another passenger. This was repeated with at least three other sets of couples. As I mentioned, there were seats available – the economy plus seats and other regular economy seats. We did not expect an upgrade, but there’s no reason why these seats couldn’t have been offered to Mileage Plus members allowing my wife and I to sit together. It was not a full flight. Several stand-bys were able to be seated and there were empty seats on the flight. We were fortunate enough to find a single traveler who was willing to upgrade from a middle seat to my wife’s aisle seat, but why did we have to do it at all?! Our seats never should have been separated in the first place! Watching all the separated families made it feel like United made it a point to separate everyone. It was ridiculous and embarrassing to see a company, who’s return business relies on happy customers, treat everyone so poorly.
This put a sour taste in our mouths for the beginning of our vacation, a honeymoon for us.
Our return flight also had us separated, by nine rows. We came back on flight 1215 on May 6, 2013. Since we had very poor luck getting our seats changed on our arrival flight, we weren’t holding out much hope for the return. It’s sad that we had to dread the flight home before we even got to the airport and not because we were leaving an island paradise, but because we knew that we’d have to deal with United personnel.  When we arrived the ticket agent at check-in flat out told us that the flight was full and no seat changes would be possible. He was at least polite about it, but it didn’t set us up for a good flight. When we arrived at the gate we were told that that flight had been oversold and that they’d require two volunteers to take a different flight to San Francisco. No mention was made of any kind of offer to cover the inconvenience, just “Hey, we need to people to go to San Francisco.” I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear that no one was jumping up to take the flight. Again we watched as family after family tried to get their parties put back together, including ours; each time being met with a “no.” Seriously, and I’m actually asking for an answer, why is it so hard to keep groups together? Clearly you are re-seating people on the plane when you change a flight. Wouldn’t it make sense to re-seat according to reservation? There is no reason why my wife and I shouldn’t be able to sit together on a 5-6 hour flight.
Once on the flight the attendants were grumpy and surly, muttering things under their breath as they passed by about other passengers. We heard them, even though they were trying to be quiet. And I’m not even going to bring up how ridiculous it is to charge $25 per checked bag and that your food choices do not make up for the fact that I must purchase food on a flight over 3 and a half hours long. If you can’t afford to treat your customers with respect and train your employees to at least act like they care then maybe you don’t need to be in business.
There’s an old corporate adage that every time someone complains you lose eleven customers. Well I’m complaining, and I’m holding you to a higher standard. I’m telling everyone. I want to turn eleven into 11, 000. I’m telling anyone I can about our experience. I’m posting it online. I’m writing articles about it and I’m throwing it out on all the social media. I’m sending this to the Better Business Bureau and anywhere else I can file a complaint. I want everyone to know that people that fly your airline are merely cattle so they can make better choices in their air travel. Other airlines manage to get it right. JetBlue has always been wonderful to fly; I’ve loved my trips on Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic; so I never need to travel on your airplanes again. You have continued to drop the ball repeatedly in terms of customer service and it doesn’t take much of a Google search to find so many other people who have had similar experiences.
You failed, United. I’m telling everyone. I’ll never fly you again.
Curtis Andersen

Turns out we are far from the only people who have had problems with United – there’s a whole Facebook fan page dedicated to how much they suck: United Sucks.

They have a tendency to kill dogs on their flights. These two garnered national attention.

And they break guitars:

He has multiple songs about this and a nice statement. He’s Canadian and here’s his YouTube channel: Sons of Maxwell.

I want to take comfort in the fact that other people have had trouble too, but unfortunately every story has a very similar ending – United doesn’t care and won’t do a damn thing to make it better. So, as far as I’m concerned, they need to go out of business.

That’s why I hope you’ll join me by saying Never Again to flying United. Maybe, when the airline is shut down, the employees who are able to get new jobs in the air travel industry will get proper training from a better, more customer conscience carrier.

Go to hell United.

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Filed under advocate, boycott, never again, rant, rene, travel

Doctor Who – I Knew It!

This is not to claim that I knew where the story was headed, I didn’t even with my spoiler knowledge of what’s on the way for the 50th anniversary. What I did know was that they would not reveal the doctor’s name.

Of course they won’t! 
I’ve seen so many Whovians freaking out about this and the whole time all I could think was, “Moffat you did it. It worked. You got everyone so worked up everyone is talking about it. Good job.”
And, really, it was a genius move to title an episode “The Name of The Doctor.” Even just using the title! Even now, I just did a search to confirm the episode title and there are STILL loads of articles being written about it. Really, go look!
I really enjoyed the episode, but I’m bummed that it looks like the bad guys won’t be back. I think they had a lot of potential. 
This is just a rant post, no deeper meaning or life lessons learned, with the exception of the lesson that smart marketing that triggers both positive and negative responses has its place and needs to be used appropriately and especially when you have a large event to promote. 
See you next time.

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The People vs. George Lucas, Cultural Ownership & Questioning What All This Means As A Content Creator


I recently watched the documentary “The People vs. George Lucas” on Netflix. In it the filmmakers explore the rise and fall of the public’s perception of George Lucas especially through the eyes of Star Wars fans and their reaction to the prequels. I could identify with the people shown in the film. For a long time I was a die hard Star Wars fanboy. If you knew me from the years of 1977 until the release of the prequels in 1999 you would have seen my shrine to Yoda, whose teachings were very important to me even though I knew that he was a fictional character spouting phrases that were highly influenced by Eastern philosophy. The original trilogy was memorized and could be quoted on demand. I knew obscure facts that couldn’t even be referenced directly by only watching the movies, it required research into the development of the films and the original drafts of the screen play. I have read the “Journal of the Whills” that is now getting a comic book adaptation – and I did it in 1993 BEFORE THE INTERNET! The expanded universe, novels, toys, video games, toys, the Christmas Special, toys, posters, concept art and toys. I was committed and baptized in the church of Star Wars and, as Rene likes to point out whenever my geek cred is challenged, held court in public on the subject. There wasn’t much wool more dyed in the universe of Star Wars than I and so when the prequels came out it and they ended up being what they were…

The fall was hard and the disappointment was… I can’t even think of a word.

But I was willing to give it another shot. This universe had been a backbone of my childhood fantasy life and I couldn’t give up just because one film was terrible.

Episode 2 came out and, even though Yoda kicked a lot of ass, I was, again, very disappointed. Seriously, is any wonder the Jedi were killed off? They didn’t know their ass from their elbow.

By the time Episode 3 came out I was far from enthusiastic. I really only saw the movie to complete the story. But then Darth Vader screamed, “No” and I was out.

I’m not even going to mention the whole “Han shot first” thing. But he did and my children will not grow up in a world where Greedo shot first. Check out this video where I embarrass myself by mixing up the whole Han/Greedo thing. So embarrassing!

Anyway, I have friends who are still committed. A director friend of mine runs a Star Wars RPG with select members of young Hollywood. Others still collect the merchandise. Most fellow geeks I know own a light saber or two.

I completely gave it up.

I felt betrayed, and so did so many of the people interviewed in the film. The Special Editions are supposed to be the new definitive versions of the original trilogy and, while I actually like many of the adjustments and additions, this is also the same set of movies that have the abysmal Han/Greedo problem and the terrible extra Jabba the Hutt scene. Lets not even mention the fact that two key songs were cut: Yub Nub and the Sy Snoodles song. For me, personally, I could even rationalize all this with my inner raging fanboy if the original version were somehow available somewhere. Somewhere! Here’s hoping that Disney does a little market research and sees that there is a whole lot of niche money in releasing the originals *fingers crossed

These are the ravings of a lost fanboy, but these feelings, and the film, both raise a very valid question: where does private ownership end and communal cultural ownership begin? When do we as the public, who have loved something and made our own contributions to it’s mythos, get to claim a piece of the entertainment we consume? I’m not even talking about a monetary piece – that’s a whole different can of worms – but a little corner of the universe that fans can claim as their own.

It’s not like fans are kept from doing things. Fan films are practically their own genre, some are even famous on their own right (see Troops and Batman: Dead End). Novels are the printed fan-fiction of recognized authors and if you’re a Whovian you have a whole set of radio dramas to help build the list of Doctor Who adventures with a variety of different Doctors to choose from. Will and passion become the fuel that generates whole new chapters to the stories that we love. Whether you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, Potter-maniac, Whovian, Trekkie, Star Wars geek or Bronie, the Internet now connects you to like-minded individuals, many of whom may have a podcast or enough amateur film equipment to create new content.

And that’s when I start to question what that might mean for the future and for the content I like to create. There are movies and narrative film ideas that the team and I have been working on, but I’m only really getting to a point where I’ve stated to develop the ideas for new characters, worlds and stories that I hope to publish and capture on some sort of video media. While it would be hubris to think that anything that I write would become anything as big or as beloved as any of the universes I mentioned above, I have hopes that it might. And you kind of need to think of the “the morning after the night before” to be prepared for the “just in case” scenario.

With crowd sourcing and Internet community becoming not only common but typical and growing and more and more a part of our lives, it’s interesting to think about how that can integrate into content creation. I want fan support (I mean, duh, that’s kind of a given) but I also want participation. Sometimes fan ideas take your ideas in places you can’t imagine on your own and they challenge the preconceptions that you develop for yourself. It’s exciting and it’s scary and its the future.

What do you think? How did you feel about the Special Editions and the prequels? What are you a geek for? Tell me in the comments. Let’s keep this conversation going!

See you next time.

By the way, want to own the movie on DVD? You can find it by clicking on the picture below.

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Filed under business, Disney, doctor who, fanboy, geek, Han shot first, history, Hollywood, random facts, rant, star wars, videos, YouTube

Late November Update – Released in December – About Toddlers & Tiaras – And Stuff

I was going to do an update, be boring and awful mostly because the last few times I’ve sat down to write I’ve just been completely empty. I’ve had nothing. All my juice has been used working – and that’s a VERY good thing! Things are really kickin’ and I dig it.

And not just for me, but all the people around me too! Sometimes I think the good stuff gets lost in the shuffle, but it’s all there, the signs of cool shit popping up everywhere and I think that this can all be illustrated by the new season of “Toddlers & Tiaras.”

You heard me, “Toddlers & Tiaras.”

Say what you will about the show, the parents on the show, whatever damage you believe the children will have but this is some serious quality television.

And by television I mean high end performance art where the artist is an editor and director and the subject is a focus of glamour that society strives to achieve against any kind of reason.

You might think I’m kidding or trying to be ironic or funny – but I’m dead serious. This show is a microcosm of a society that allows Kardashians to be celebrities and TMZ to be a syndicated hit.

Programmers and studio executives always want to know what’s going to “sell” or “work” in middle America and the cynical of us kind of always knew that, when dealing in lowest common denominators, this is it. Keep it young, dress it up and cover it in so much paint it’s unrecognizable and you have something that people are ready to watch.

As content creators I truly believe that most want to do the work that challenges an audience and is smart and  effects people emotionally…

…but when you need a paycheck suddenly principle and creativity take a backseat to what you can sell and then the self-fulfilling prophesy takes hold and suddenly you are making the very content that just last week you were railing against in your blog.

That last line sounded really biographical but it wasn’t. I was trying to make a point. I’m in a much more satisfying place creatively… which is probably why I’m broke.

All that aside I am looking forward to the rest of this T&T season.

Should we live tweet the next episode?

See you tomorrow!


Filed under rant, toddlersandtiaras, update

Wanna’ Know what Makes Me Crabby?

No air conditioning and not eating.

Two very simple things to maintain in our modern age and yet there are times when either one or the other will not work or happen and then I am a rage fueled death machine who would rip out your throat as soon as look at you!

Today my AC in my car crapped out 20 minutes from home. It’s been a bit spotty in it’s reliability for the last month, but I haven’t really had the time or means to get it looked at, much less fixed and every time I think it’s dead the darn things works like a charm again.

It doesn’t help that i’m also feeling fatter than I ever have in my whole life.

Just a rough day and I’ve lost the gumption to write anything else.

See you tomorrow!

EDIT: Ha! To add to the list of “things-that-didn’t-quite-work” this post was suppose to go up yesterday but clearly did not. yay.

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IT’S A TRAP! With Cheese.

OK, so I’m not the most loyal Star Wars fan anymore. The prequels killed my joy and all the changes without the availability of the original cuts of the original trilogy ignite nerd rage in me that burns with the white hot fire of a thousand burning suns…

…but I like this:

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under awesome, rant, star wars

This is not a blog.

I’m sitting on the couch exhausted.

The house could use some picking up. The dog could use a walk and a bath. There are a few dishes that would appreciate a scrub. And there is laundry that needs to be put away. But I’m not doing any of that. I’m writing clipped sentence fragments and being horrified by the commercial for the Smurfs movie.  Geez, that looks bad.

I got my newly re-ordered headshots today. They spelled my last name wrong. We sent emails back and forth correcting the name, but they arrived today with the wrong last name. I’ve fired off an email informing them of the situation and if I weren’t so tired I’d probably care a lot less, but it got me all annoyed.

There is no real point to this blog so I think I’m going to grab a nap.

See you tomorrow!

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I, Literally, Saw A Meat Sack… And Joss Whedon

I have been powering away at a new blog for a few weeks now.  It’s still cookin’, I’m working on my endings since then tend to peter out at the end, but it’s not done so in the mean time I thought it might be a good idea to tell you about other things.  Things like what I saw today while shooting the documentary. We can ignore the fact that I ran into Stan Lee in the parking garage (even though it was frickin’ cool!) because what I saw today was pretty gross and shouldn’t be remembered in the same brain cells.

As you probably already know we’re working on a documentary about plastic surgery and a part of that is filming surgeries. Today we got to see two of the original breast implants from 1983 removed from a woman.


Twenty-four years!

From what we were told today, and later saw, those old implants were never designed to last that long.  They were intended to be placed for ten years and then replaced – like tires.  At least that’s what we were told. The scary part is that both implants had burst.

That’s bad.

It was kinda’ ok though because her body had formed scar tissue, called encapsulation, around the implant completely containing the leaking silicone.

Except that encapsulation is bad too.

Her body has been fighting the implants and trying to heal for almost thirty years!

When the doctor removed the scar tissue it looked like really thick placenta filled with sand, crumbled egg shells and cottage cheese.  It was awful.  The implant had discolored and the silicone looked like baby poop or diarrhea.

It is relieving to know that modern implants are built to outlive the person they’re in because this was a very unfortunate sight to see.

On a happier note, new “3 Minutes with Curtis & Dean!”

See you tomorrow!


Filed under 3 minutes with curtis and dean, documentary, new media, plastic surgery, rant, update, video, Wiggy VonSchtick, wiggy webs

Blog Writing When I Should Be Searching & Star Wars

I have a headache, I’ve lost a log book and I can’t find a printout that I need to read.
Instead of doing anything about those things I’m writing a blog, not because I’m particularly inspired but because I can’t think of another place to look for these things.  We had a bit of a leak in the office and in the rush to place tarps to keep everything dry I remember seeing the log book and the print out.  I moved them to keep them safe and I forgot where I put them.  I’ve been looking most of the afternoon and I’m at a point of frustration where I’m too tired to tear the house apart and I’m hoping that they will just magically appear.

So far they haven’t.

It is possible that I threw out the print out.  I can live with that, but I want to know what happened to the log book!

Well this is a boring rant kind of a blog so here’s a link to an article about going a year without Star Wars that I think is great and important for creatives of my generation to read: A Year Without Star Wars

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under business, documentary, making movies, rant, star wars