Thanks to Netflix’s ability to stream movies directly to my television using their Instant Streaming technology, I took the opportunity to check out a really interesting documentary called, “Google Me.” The film is a look at what happened when Jim Killeen looked up his own name on Google and decided to see what would happen if he met the other people around the world who shared his name. The movie is a fascinating journey as Jim meets six other men named Jim Killeen from all walks of life.
What Jim found was more than six other Jim Killeen’s but was only able to get six of them to agree to meet with him and be interviewed on camera. Additionally he also asked each to submit to a DNA test so that ultimately it could be seen if any of the family blood lines for any of the men are related. What he found in his Google search ended up meeting an Irish Priest, a retired cop, a father of eight, a Scottish traffic engineer, a sexual swinger, and even an Australian CEO. As Jim gets to know each of these men, he becomes inspired to take it to the next level and not just have the experience of meeting the other Jim Killeens all to himself, he gets them all together and using Google, found the perfect place to do it, Killeen, Texas.
In the process of meeting these Jim Killeens and looking to create a film about the experience we also see Jim go through the trials and tribulations of securing permission from Google to do the film, and even teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and winning money on a poker circuit to be able to finish the film. Ultimately, this makes Jim Killeen a lot more of an every man as you can’t help but emphasize with him with every minor setback in the process and celebrating the triumphs as we discover how seven Jim Killeens from around the globe who most likely would never have met without a little search engine called Google.
Continue reading Google Me – A Look Into One Man’s Experiences Googling Himself
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I think in large part due to the phenomenal success of “Mamma Mia! The Movie” last summer which was released shortly after last year’s San Diego County Fair concluded, the organizers of the San Diego County Fair thought it fitting to bring in an ABBA tribute band as a headlining act for the 2009 San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Fortunately the organizers picked what I consider to be the world’s best ABBA tribute band out there. That tribute band is Arrival, who like ABBA, also originate from Sweden and the show Arrival is touring under is called “The Music Of ABBA”.
Headed by Vicky Zetterberg (who portrays Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad) and joined by Jenny Gustafsson (who portrays Agnetha Fältskog), Arrival brought a wonderful touch of Sweden to San Diego, not once, but twice with two shows on July 2, 2009. The afternoon show began at 2pm and while the program states the afternoon concerts are hour long shows, Arrival played for a full two hours bringing a complete ABBA show to those down at the fair early enough to catch the afternoon show. I was personally fighting with traffic and the whole mess with parking so I didn’t make it to the Heineken Grandstand Stage until 2:30pm but I did get there. Arrival were performing “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” as I arrived.
Continue reading Arrival Brings A Touch Of Sweden To The San Diego County Fair
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PhotoSwap by Podadaz is a cool iPhone application where the premise is simple, you have to take a photo. That photo can be of anything, and it will get swapped with another person using the application anywhere in the world. They could be a mile away or half a world a way. The selection is completely at random. You never who will get the picture you send, and you never know who you’re talking to. You get two option when you get a photo back. You can take a new picture to go to another completely random person, or you can hit reply and send another picture with the same person. The key though is that you can only send another photo. You can’t call the other person, nor can you send a text message, just another photograph. The best you can do is add a little bit of info to your profile such as a couple of lines of text, like a nickname and a little about you or what you want to see.
In order to start a conversation, it requires a picture. You don’t get to see one until you’ve taken one and released it to the randomness of the world. What do you use to start a photo conversation, well, it could be anything, maybe some trinket on your coffee table or a close up of something on the ceiling or a close up of your shoe. It’s interesting because the picture needs to be something interesting to spark a response. If you have enabled the program’s access to your location, the recipient can click on the info button and see a map of the neighborhood where you’re at (without it pinpointing exactly where) on Google Maps. I’ve seen people take photos of their pets, the time on their watch, alarm clocks, logos on products, and of course, some even just take self portraits.
Continue reading PhotoSwap – Using Photos To Have A Conversation
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On the recommendation of Brian Hill, a friend who is part of a local scene podcast, mentioned trying this new chain of sandwich shops that has recently opened up a location in San Diego. This chain is called “Which Wich” and the premise of the chain is that when you step into the shop, you grab a sandwich bag that corresponds to the type of meat that you want on the sandwich and then from there, you use a red Sharpie marker pen to check off all the various options for the type of bread as well all the additional items from condiments to bacon and dressings that you want added to the sandwich.
All the sandwiches are the same price (unless you opt to add additional meats or try their signature sandwich called “The Wicked” which consists of five types of meats and three cheeses). At the bottom of the bag is a spot to write in your name, then you take the bag to the counter and they ring up your order then make it exactly as you ordered it. You can add additional items to your order such as a bag of potato chips. And they even make their own house potato chips too.
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On October 12, 2008, I had the opportunity to catch Arrival for the second time when they were performing at The Grove, in Anaheim. This time it was Arrival without the Austin Symphony Orchestra like the week before.
Prior to the show I met up with Los Angeles area ABBA fans, Rod, Fiona, and Pepe. We all met up before hand at the Virgin Megastore, nearby at The Block shopping center. It seemed to be an ideal meeting place with a few options to pick for dinner. We ended up getting a table at the TGI Friday’s restaurant that was in the outer rim of the mall parking lot.
By the time we made it over to the venue we had a small line to deal with at the box office for the will call tickets. The line was being held up by some guy who bought the premium tickets which included a dinner before the show, but he didn’t know it included the dinner and was trying unsuccessfully to get a credit back due to his inability to show up on time for the dinner. In the process of his arguing with the lady in the will call booth, he caused a lot of people behind him, including us, to miss the opening song. It was a good way through “Hey, Hey, Helen” before we were finally in the building and shown to our seats. Surprisingly the seating in the venue was very reminiscent of Las Vegas style showroom seating with tables basically designed for dining, but really lousy for looking at the stage. Despite the shortcoming of the venue layout, we weren’t there for that, we were there to see Arrival!
Continue reading Arrival Brings The Best ABBA Tribute Show To Anaheim
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Arrival is an ABBA Tribute Band that originates from Sweden. They are currently touring the US in a show entitled “The Music of ABBA Featuring Arrival” and I just had the pleasure of seeing them Saturday night in Austin, Texas where they performed with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. And Arrival were absolutely amazing. They definitely earn the title of best ABBA tribute band in the world that my friends at the headquarters of ABBAMAIL.com have bestowed upon this tribute band.
I was so moved by their performance that I opted to write about their show for my October column for ABBAMAIL.com and if you want to read a more in depth review of my experience, click here to read my ABBAMAIL column. If you want just a nutshell version, just keep reading here.
While there are many ABBA tribute bands out there, the one thing you’re guaranteed is a chance to see a bunch of people dress up in costumes and perform a concert of ABBA songs. However, the quality of that experience varies greatly. There are some very good ABBA tribute bands (such as Arrival and Waterloo) and some very bad ABBA tribute bands (such as Björn Again).
Continue reading Go See Arrival – The Best ABBA Tribute Band Ever
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