Monday, February 18, 2008

the nowhere woman

At Nortel Networks we had this thing called a "Chyron" in our video studio. It was an absurdly expensive and primitive digital box for overlaying text and graphics onto video. All keyboard commands, almost no GUI. About $30,000 I think.

They hired a woman to run it. She was a Chryron specialist. At every opportunity she would moan about how our Chyron wasn't as good as the Chyrons she was used to using on "the network" jobs she did.

Anyway, since it didn't create graphics on its own, she tasked one of our print artists to create some icons and bars to lay text on. When they imported them to the Chyron they all had a halo around them and they called me in to look at them.

I said they'd need to have a proper alpha channel to look right and proposed the workflow that she could do to get that. She would have none of it however. She knew nothing about CG, nothing about channels, nothing about file formats, nothing about R, G or even B, and she didn't want to know.

She ended the conversation with "well, I'm going to call my friend who works at the CBS affiliate in Phoenix. He can solve this. He's a real professional."

Other co-workers who had contact with her had similar experiences. She wouldn't know what to do and insisted that it was someone else's lack of knowledge that was the problem.

So no one missed her when she got laid off after about a year.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Beyond Thunderdome

The Chicago Cubs new player says his first goal in America is to learn english. No rush, guy.

And of course his new manager, Jim Hedry, had to say "He really fills a big hole for us."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Collective Cluelessness

Behold, a living, breathing definition of "cluelessness":

If you weren't on board yet, I'll just note that "One Toke Over the Line" was a substantial hit in 1970 for the original performers, Brewer & Shipley.

I recall about the same time, there was a "current issues" TV program for kids on Saturday mornings called "Take a Giant Step", with two teenage hosts. One week they had the artists on and earnestly asked them if it was true that this song was about smoking marijuana cigarettes.

"Oh no, not at all" the singers insisted. "One toke over the line" could refer to anything done to excess, such as "eating one too many cheeseburgers."

The man with the baton at the end of the clip is, of course, Lawrence Welk. Don Jackson, my college jazz band director told us this story:

The Lawrence Welk Orchestra was out on tour and five minutes before a performance was supposed to start he looked down and saw one of his saxophone players was missing.

"Where's Sam?" he asks.

"He went to the bathroom, he'll be back in a minute." someone replies.

"He just thought of going to the bathroom now?!? This concert was booked two months ago!!"