The Snoozeletter @

Double Secret Probation.

Starting a new job today. Very hush-hush. Working for the government. Our government.

Had to get fingerprinted and pass a background check. Assess my security risk status. See how much I'd blab during the hot-lead enemas.

From highest to lowest, the three normal security clearances are: Top Secret, Secret, and Confidential.

Luckily, us flunkies can get by with an even lower clearance: Bottom Secret.

No hot-lead enemas for this camper.
See? Marijuana DOES lead to harder drugs. ;-)

(Your first click plays the whole song. Each click after that plays a 30-second sample.)

One Toke Over The Line by Brewer & Shipley

Don't Bogart Me (Don't Bogart That Joint) by The Fraternity Of Man

Coming Into Los Angeles by Arlo Guthrie

Cocaine by Eric Clapton

I'm Waiting For My Man by Lou Reed
F*ck Diamond Shamrock.

Most gas stations set up their pumps in logical order: Regular on the left, Mid-Grade in the middle, and Premium on the right.

Well, Diamond Shamrock (a/k/a Valero) evidently thinks it's a good idea to reverse the normal order.

You can tell where this is going.

Yup, I mistakenly filled up with Premium, rather than Regular.

Three bucks down the drain.

McCain Terrorism Spot.

I just heard a radio ad by Senator John McCain, in which he advocates denying due process to accused "terrorist" suspects.

I couldn't believe my ears.

So, I hereby accuse John McCain of being a terrorist. Let's see how he likes it.
Aaron Sorkin & The Facebook Movie: group is kaput.

When Aaron Sorkin was hired to write The Social Network in August 2008, he asked his researcher, Ian Reichbach, to create a Facebook group, so that Aaron could actually use Facebook to interact with Facebookers. Since Aaron is one of my heroes, I took full advantage of this unprecedented access to a talented, Emmy-winning writer.

During the last 18 months, he has told a lot of behind-the-scenes anecdotes about The West Wing, A Few Good Men, Sports Night, etc. In return, I told a few stories that he liked. Wow, I actually made Aaron Sorkin laugh... what a FanBoy I am.

Lately, he's been sending dispatches from The Social Network locations. But the movie is now wrapped, and Aaron recently posted his final message (courtesy of Ian, who was kind enough to email it to me):


We wrap photography in a few hours and while it was my intention to keep this page up until the premiere in October, I think the better part of wisdom says I should take it down now. As some of you who have been here from the beginning know, this page gets covered by both the entertainment press and the Silicon Valley press and because of the recent events I'd be exposing the movie, the 200 people who've been working on it and the studio (and Ray Liotta) to an unnecessary hassle.

I've asked Ian to take the page down at 6pm Pacific time to hopefully give people a chance to exchange personal contact information.

With all the words available to me in the dictionary, I still can't find the right ones to express how grateful I am for your support, intelligence, generosity of spirit and good humor. I'll be thinking about you and wishing you the best of luck and good health in all your endeavors. For the writers who've come here, I'll be expecting great things from you.

And speaking of writers I expect great things from, I want to publicly thank Ian--both for setting up this page and for all the great and hard work on The Social Network. It'll be in the can in a few hours, brother. A job incredibly well done.

Thank you all.



Snoozeletter posting update: Facebook movie opens NY Film Fest.
Jack Hamilton Bailey (1923-2010).

JackI never met Jack in person, but he was an inspiration to me and many other writers at I can't stop thinking about him.

From the Los Angeles Times - February 5, 2010:

Jack Hamilton Bailey
May 7, 1923 - January 28, 2010

Jack Bailey, 86, died at home in Studio City after a battle with cancer. Happily married for 56 years to his devoted wife, Wanda, he also leaves son, Matt, and daughter, Madeline.

An Oregon native, Jack joined the Navy at 17, and served in WW II aboard the aircraft carrier Lexington, until she was sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea. He graduated from USC with a BA in English and then spent 16 years in aerospace during which time he wrote two novels loosely based on the industry. Critically praised, they unfortunately cost him his career.

A lifelong car enthusiast, Jack later went into the automotive repair business and continued writing, earning distinctions in... [more]
Google dumps "Don't be evil." 

[Re: Google's motto.]

I just received an email from Google (which owns Blogger, the service that publishes this blog), and it contains a nasty bit of news: Google intends to shut down FTP (file transfer protocol) service sometime before the end of March.

To the casual reader, this probably doesn't seem very earth-shaking. But for me, and millions of other FTP bloggers, this decision will cause major disruptions and precipitate a lot of unnecessary work on architecture, links, etc.

And after all that effort, our blogs still won't work right.

For example, if you've installed a link to a particular posting in this blog, it will probably generate an error message after March 26, 2010.

I've published all of my blogs with FTP for the last six years, and the system has worked reasonably well. Google justifies this drastic FTP move by saying that "only .5% of active blogs are published via FTP." Hm, .5% sounds like an insignificant number... but it actually represents millions of blogs.

Google also complains that maintaining the FTP service "would require that we completely rewrite the code that handles our FTP processing." Aw, those poor overworked Googlers. Maybe they need to take a few days to: leave their dogs at home, step away from the foosball tables, and stop guzzling so many free sodas... then they might be able to actually do a little work for a change.

I design free add-ons for Open Office Writer, an open-source word processor. I don't get paid for creating these Screenwright(R) extensions; I do it because I want to help other writers. There have been only 85,927 downloads to date, so my formatters don't serve nearly as many people as Google's Blogger does. But if I announced to my users that the next release versions of Screenwright(R) would not be backwards compatible, they would start calling for my head. And if I whined that my reason for flouting this basic tenet of good software design was because I would need to "completely rewrite the code," there would be a lynching party on my doorstep in ten minutes flat.

It sounds to me like Google needs to work a little harder at that "not being evil" thing.

Doppelgänger Week on Facebook.

Should I: (1) be offended that MyHeritage thinks three of my doppelgängers are chicks, or (2) be flattered that they're HOT chicks? [Shh. I'm trying to imagine Portia de Rossi with a mustache.]

Celebrity Look-alikes

STATS: Nicholas Brendon (72%), Patrick Swayze (64%), Joey Fatone (62%), Robert Patrick (61%), Jodie Sweetin (60%), Maura Tierney (56%), Portia de Rossi (55%), Aidan Quinn (55%).