Wednesday, March 07, 2012

24 hours of las vegas recap

24holv certainly was interesting.

on the plus side
  • the 20 minute intervals for flipping was perfect.  exactly the right amount of time between decisions.
  • the deuce is a natural for this kind of experiment.  a fun, easy, dependable ride.
  • both of our cell phones made the entire run on two batteries (so what if we did vampire some juice from the transit center?).
  • we beat every casino we gambled in, making this 24ho a net money winner.  huge.
  • twitter is well-suited for on-the-run work like this.
  • this was easily the most visual 24ho.
  • special K and i had the best conversations and interactions between us than we've had on any 24ho.
  • we flipped to stay on the bus 13 times and flipped to get off 12.
on the minus side
  • twitter doesn't lend itself well to longer/deeper analysis, which was mostly responsible for
  • there was very little -bordering on no- interaction between the K and myself.
  • we had far fewer followers and interest than we've had in the past.  in fact, suttonhoo and the sofa were entirely missing from the event (ultra ironic since they both consider themselves to be social media experts).
  • it felt like, maybe, i was too driven to get out, gamble, and get back on the bus.  it seems like maybe maybe we should have had more see-the-largest-gold-nugget moments.  i need to ask the K his opinion on this.
i do have to say that, on the whole, this was my favorite 24ho event.  we need to look more closely at the interaction component if we have an on-the-go-24ho in the future.  but what we had here certainly wasn't bad ... better than i would have reasonably expected.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

24holv gambling synopsis

here's the casinos and games we played.  totals include any tips that were made to dealers/cashiers along the way.

MGM
casino war
+$10

margaritaville (flamingo)
3 card poker
+$5

wynn
crazy 4 poker
+$10

encore
video blackjack
+$0.50

el cortez
craps
+$9

venetian
video keno
+$0.55 (includes a quarter found in the machine)
sports bet
+$0.60
total $0.90

monte carlo
computer assisted roulette
+$2.50

ARCO
video poker
+$0.30 (includes a quarter found on the floor)

bally's
big 6
+$1

fitzgerald's
video poker
+0.25

planet hollywood
slot machine
+$3.75

golden nugget
blackjack
+$10

4 queens
blackjack switch
+$9

cosmopolitan
virtual roulette
+$0.25

monte carlo
pai gow poker
+$7

mandalay bay
robo craps
-$21
blackjack
+$23
net $2

tropicana
blackjack
+$43

net +$114.45, including all tips.

all the more impressive when you consider that the list comprises 16 different games at 17 separate casinos.

we beat every game with the exception of the robo craps table at mandalay bay ... and the only reason we really didn't beat that was due to a shooter taking far-too-long to ultimately miss our point ... the remedy for that, was to step over to the blackjack table and play a single hand to completely cover the difference.  once we did that ...

we beat every casino.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

sports bet interaction at the venetian

the K has found a basketball game that can be bet on...loyola marymount versus santa clara .... loyola has a huge winning record versus, santa clara, an abysmal loser...

this will be our sports bet.

"hi.  what's the smallest sports bet I can make?"

"$5."

"okay I want the money line on loyola to win."

"the money line?  are you sure?  for that bet you'll only win...um....60¢.".

"yeah.  we're just trying to play winning bets at every casino.

laughs and shakes his head..."I've never taken a bet like this."

yes.  my work on this planet is done.

07:52

24HoTVS
Pretty. #24holv http://t.co/eJa8fMze
07:55
24HoTVb
flip to stay on the bus...this means we've entire strip, N -> S, 2x, without stopping. #24holv
07:57
samsalvodelli
@24HoTVb good job, Magellan #24holv
08:12
24HoTVb
coach swap. our great seats? gone. #24holv
08:12
samsalvodelli
The public wants to know, is there a restroom on the Deuce? Based on her experience in NYC, the instagator's wife says no. #24holv
08:16
24HoTVb
flip to stay on. special K "WHAT!" #24holv
08:16
24HoTVS
“@24HoTVb: coach swap. our great seats? gone. #24holv” > At least it's not Molinari Class (or was that good? I forget.)
08:17
24HoTVS
The Deuce is no Staten Island Ferry. #24holv
08:18
scottknaster
Approaching Paris. Sacre bleu! #24holv http://t.co/JD07nOVm
08:25
24HoTVb
exodus from the bus! back in front! #24holv
08:32
24HoTVb
the K is about 4" wider than the widest person you'd WANT to sit next to for 24 hours. #24holv
08:33
24HoTVb
.@samsalvodelli no bathrooms on the deuce...or at least, there damn well better not be. #24holv
08:33
24HoTVb
a plethora of southern accents on the deuce. #24holv
08:37
24HoTVb
advanced deuce strategy! one bus shields for the other in heavy traffic! #24holv
08:38
24HoTVb
flipped off at the venetian. #24holv
08:40

06:09

24HoTVb
SUPER crowded bus. we were the last 2 on. "YOU PEOPLE TAKE UP THE OPEN SPACE! DON'T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE!" #24holv
05:19
24HoTVb
"if it's in stock, we have it!" --slogan on the world's largest gift shop. #24holv
05:23
24HoTVb
1st yawn of #24holv. special K provoked it out of me.
05:30
24HoTVS
Downtown Las Vegas is similar to actual Las Vegas, but in a different way. #24holv
05:37
24HoTVb
http://t.co/pKZY0Cqq front seat view! 1st time on #24holv !
05:40
24HoTVS
Upper deck of the Deuce is made for people 4 feet high. #24holv #owmyhead http://t.co/xaYgh5VP
05:40
24HoTVb
flipped off our great seats. el cortez next. #24holv
05:43
24HoTVS
We are decadently sitting down and eating. #24holv http://t.co/X2SX63Ix
05:51
24HoTVb
food done. clock on! #24holv
06:39
24HoTVS
Large beer, please. #24holv http://t.co/vZ1R8tSG
06:48
24HoTVb
special K shoots dice for the1st time in his life....and shoots a losing roll...BUT WE'RE PLAYING DARK! +$10. tip 1. #24holv
06:48
24HoTVb
we're waiting for the next bus so we can regain our great seats. clock on pause. #24holv
06:51
24HoTVb
"WE'RE NOT LAB RATS! JUST REMEMBER THAT!" --special K #24holv
07:02
24HoTVS
“@24HoTVb: "WE'RE NOT LAB RATS! JUST REMEMBER THAT!" --special K #24holv” >> Right!
07:04
24HoTVS
It took us 4 hours to make our first round trip on the Deuce. #24holv
07:08

01:33

24HoTVS
The dude in the hat is very happy because he lives next to a McDonalds. #24holv http://t.co/R7vTgR5w
02:32

01:22

24HoTVb
I've left my free play chips at home! #24holv will have to start out of pocket!
12:16
24HoTVS
ALWAYS OPEN #24holv http://t.co/mbBXKBrl
12:20
barbaraknaster
@24HoTVS Where is this restaurant? #24holv
12:23
24HoTVS
@barbaraknaster Ar the Golden Gate Casino, downtown. If you scroll the tweet down you should see it on Google Maps. #24holv
12:28
24HoTVS
Running a little late. Enjoy this picture meanwhile. #24holv http://t.co/vaNSygRd
01:18
24HoTVS
It is, and we are, on. #24holv
01:37
24HoTVb
http://t.co/MpwQnO3t #24holv starts.
01:38
24HoTVb
#24holv my dragon bandana was bussed away from my table after eating...had to get 1 at walgreens.
01:41
24HoTVS
Now passing 9 bail bonds shops & county courthouse. #24holv http://t.co/j2Yx0WHt
01:43
24HoTVb
conversation with a hispanic mom and her 2 kids next to us, "you can't get a tattoo until you're 18. I don't care after that." #24holv
01:57
24HoTVS
The Sahara, where I stayed at age 7, is now sadly closed. #24holv http://t.co/lVBvNfEf
01:58
24HoTVb
1st coin flip...stay on the bus...K? disappointed. #24holv
01:58
24HoTVb
b1: "now that we're 1/48th of the way done, what do you think of the idea?

K: "I'm very happy." no smile.

#24holv
02:05
24HoTVb
@jacqulincanning your pic is driving @24hotvS insane...THAT'S A BOT!...OH COME ON!...IS SHE IN VEGAS? #24holv
02:13
24HoTVS
The Deuce is filling up. This is the upper level. #24holv http://t.co/NcXjQ5Um
02:22

Friday, February 24, 2012

24 hours of las vegas preamble

i remember like it was yesterday the first time i set my eyes on las vegas.  i was on the university's bowling team and there was a new year's eve tournament at the showboat ... we'd driven all night in a university van ... half of us were drunk and all but the driver and me were asleep.

day was beginning to break and by my insistence we were listening to college radio.  deteriorata was playing, and although i was intimately familiar with the poem that was being riffed, it was the first time i'd ever heard this record in my life.  at that age i couldn't sleep in a moving vehicle, so i'd been awake for the whole ride ... the fatigue crossed with the bizarre humor had me cackling like a hyena.

i woke up all but those with the very highest blood alcohol contents.

we were just crossing the northern mountain chain rim and BOOM! there it was.  las vegas.  at that very moment the radio said, "you are a fluke of the universe.  you have no right to be here."

and i was stunned.  the driver punched me.  "what the hell is wrong with you?"  (because this was before the days of social deterioration where the phrase would have been, "what the fuck is wrong with you?")

i believe there is no difference between signals from god directed at me and serendipity.  this was one or the other, it didn't matter which.  eyes fixed on downtown i said, "this is a significant event."

the whole car got real quiet because that's what you do when the sober guy starts talkin' crazy.

clocks forward.  it's more than 30 years later and i live in las vegas.  overall, i like it here ... but i really miss my friends ...

fortunately part of that is about to be temporarily fixed. 

in 24 hours special K and i begin 24 hours of las vegas.  two things are on the agenda: riding the deuce and gambling -- in that order of precedence.  originally we had talked about solely riding the deuce, but somehow the collective mind threw in gambling.

i'm a big believer that nearly every city of size has something that is paramount -- something so good, that if you only have half a day, and you can only do one thing, you should do that.  in san francisco, it's walking the golden gate bridge.  in denver, it's driving to buffalo herd overlook on I-70.  in las vegas, it's riding the deuce.

i ride the length of the strip on the deuce probably five times a year.  there's no better view of the country's second most famous skyline* than the front seat upstairs.  in fact, we may well start our journey in that spot tomorrow by waiting for the next bus.

but 24 hours is different than normal tourism ... the biggest factor is the anchor of technology.  we're doing cell phones only this go 'round, which i'm sure is right, but makes me nervous ... we've had technology problems in the 24 hour world before, and here, things could get out of hand.

i'm using an android now, which is small, tough, and has an easily changeable battery ... which is fine ... but better if the batteries i'd ordered as replacements had shown up at my house ... which they haven't.

also there's potential problem in the fact that the android is a far more immersive experience.  i'm not completely sure why this is true, but i think it's due to the fact there is no keyboard and i'm stuck in the world of swype.


RULES, SUCH AS THEY ARE
the plan is to flip a coin every 20 minutes.  if we flip off-bus, we go to the nearest casino** (no repeats, thank you) and play 'til we win, then get back on the bus.   we gamble in a window of 20 minutes.  if we win, we get back on the bus.  if after 20 minutes, we're behind, we play for 20 minutes more on a game that i consider to be more "winnable."***

there are dead spots on the ride where no casinos exist.  during those moments, we're putting the timer on "pause," restarting when we get back in gaming territory.

whenever we get "meal hungry," we'll just put the timer on pause and dine leisurely ... but that can only happen in conjunction with off-bus.


FEARS AND PROBLEMS
putting everything up on twitter is a new twist ... we'll be backing down to here in the long run (maybe even scraping-as-we go tomorrow -- i need to talk to the birdhead about that) but i've always really enjoyed the blog afterward and we won't be getting those larger "stop gap moments."  we'll see what the result is, but it's got me mildly spooked.

i haven't been sleeping well for a couple of weeks.  that could come into play.  a fundamental precept of 24 hours is it's fine to sleep ... and buses are good for that ... but you'll get rousted (quickly) in a casino if you try.


HOPES AND DREAMS
i'm thinking that we might try playing every casino game (craps, roulette, slots, keno, etc.), but the problem is there are a couple really tough games in the house.  house edge on big 6 is 11%.  keno is around 25%.  if you decide that you're just going to stand and play those things until you win, you may stand and hand over your whole wallet.  which means we'll have to take the "bigger" stance of just losing there and making it up elsewhere.


in any event, the K and i treat these events just like a christian kid thinks of xmas.  we're eager, anxious and keyed up.  we're both ready for the ride.  we were ready a week ago.

if you're ridin' along, with us, even virtually, that's swell.  #24HOLV on twitter.


*i'm not sure, but NYC has to be first, right?

** anywhere you can legally gamble counts ... there are gas stations with video poker machines here.

***you'll see.

Monday, February 20, 2012

24 Hours of Las Vegas Press Release

24 Hours of Las Vegas Announcement

After nearly a year and a half of stasis, the 24 Hour Enterprises (24HE) endurance-performance art duo of "Special K" and "b1-66er" have decided to once again push the limits of reasonable behavior with their newest project: "24 Hours of Las Vegas" (24HOLV). Beginning at roughly noon PST (20:00 GMT) on Saturday, February 25, the twosome will either be gambling or riding the Las Vegas Deuce for 24 consecutive hours. In a new wrinkle -and unlike previous 24HE events- the active repository for this event will be Twitter, using the hashtag #24HOLV.

Background
In February of 2006, 24HE was born with the intent of watching 24 hours of consecutive television, randomly changing the channel every 15 minutes. The surprisingly huge success of 24 Hours of TV (24HOTV) -especially given that the fundamental idea was based on nothing more than raw stupidity- encouraged the duo of Special K and b1-66er to move forward with other 24HE events. For an encore the twosome did 24HOTV 2 and then lept ahead with "The Entirety of the Planet of the Apes" -- a super-marathon of 48 hours where the totality of Ultimate Planet of the Apes DVD Collection was viewed. In 2010, 24HE moved off the sofa and onto mass transit for a complete day with 24 Hours of Staten Island Ferry.

Las Vegas, The 24 Hour Way
On the surface, 24HOLV may seem like a ideologically cheap and intellectually sophomoric concept -- only because it is. But digging deeper into the concept brings out the subtle wrinkles that will allow you to abhor it even more.

b1-66er puts it this way, "I don't typically watch television, so 24 Hours of TV has always felt like watching a car accident ... You want to take your eyes off it, but you can't ... And a bigger problem problem for me, the viewer, is I feel as though I'm actually in the car that's wrecking. 24 Hours of Staten Island Ferry was liberating, not only because I got to get up and move around, but also because there were quite a few more hot chicks -not to mention transit zombies- than a normal 24HE event."

 Special K views it somewhat differently. "I love mass transit. I love Las Vegas. Mass Transit in Las Vegas? That's a no-brainer" (a category for which the K is especially well-qualified).  Mr. K continues, "Lots of people pull all-nighters in Vegas, but it's nearly always for senseless hedonism and debauchery, no one ever does it specifically with misguided intent for posterity." Borrowing from "Videodrome," he adds, "24HE beats others who are technically just as clueless solely because we have a philosophy."

The Ticket, the Coin Flip and the Underlying Goal
In a city known for its come-ons, one of the least talked about deals is a ride on the Deuce -the double decker bus running the length of the Las Vegas "Strip," connecting Mandalay Bay Resort to Downtown Las Vegas. $7 gives you a 24 hour pass -- when the duo buys theirs this coming Saturday, 24HOLV officially starts. (Do note that Special K is quick to point out that in mathematical terms the Deuce is infinitely more expensive than the Staten Island Ferry, which is free.)

With a nod to the random nature of the original 24HOTV, a coin will be flipped every 20 minutes deciding nothing more than whether or not to stay on the bus. If the pair is "flipped off," they will go to the nearest casino, gamble until they win and then get back on the bus.

Using his degree in Applied Mathematics as a backstop, b1-66er puts it this way, "We don't have to win a lot, just a little. And really, you can martingale your way out of just about anything." Stealing from Citizen Kane he adds, "Winning isn't hard, if all you want to do is win a little."

Special K, however, expresses doubt. "I don't want to lose my ass on this," adding with a mumble, "believe me, I have more than a little ass to lose."

 b1-66er lays out the bigger plan. "In the 1950s sense, Vegas is all about the wise guys and the suckers. Insiders always have a line, outsiders are always trying to find it. I live in Vegas -- if I can't find the line, no one can." In complete bravado, he continues, crowing, "at the end of 24HOLV, I have every intention to have more money in my pocket than when I started ... and you better believe I'm not stopping at the ATM, nor committing a crime for money, to get more. For Saturday breakfast, we're going to have pancakes at Du-par's in the Golden Gate ... I have some promotional play-til-you-lose chips that I can use on the dice table -with no money out of my pocket- and that will be our starting stake for 24HOLV."

Special K adds with only a minor amount of hesitation, "I'm not sure what b1-66er means, but I'm sure he's right."

Twitter to the Front, Blogger to the Back
Special K talks 24HE communication philosophy. "Mobile phones are so powerful -and we're going to be running around so much- that we simply can't justify using anything else for 24HOLV. Twitter is far better suited to the mobile environment -- we'll just back the whole event off to the Web on 24hoursoftv.com when we're done." Showing where his true morals lie, Special K adds, "I'll beg for a power outlet from an $80 hooker before I schlep a laptop and a bag of batteries up and down the Strip a dozen times."

As Always, Watch or Join In
24HOLV will start on or around noon this Saturday, February 25 and run 24 hours.  On Twitter you can search for the hash tag #24HOLV, as well as following
 Special K @24HoTVS and b1-66er @24HoTVb. If you happen to be in Las Vegas and would like to partake in any portion of the event, you are certainly welcome. Call Lou Kije on 1-512-RUBY-RED (24 hours, of course) and leave a detailed message, Polterzeitgeist personnel will get back to you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

too much TV linked to earlier death

http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20412077,00.html

comment from special K:
Correlation is shown but not causation. This is sloppy research and
writing but it's ALWAYS done this way.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

PS

Two more things.

1. B1 is the finest creative mind to come from the outer nebulas since Krendor the Shaved. I'm thrilled he chose me to be his co-lunatic for this event.

2. We didn't tell you about one of my favorite conversations:

K: So what caused the disastrous ferry crash?

B: Bad transformer.

K: Megatron?

24:00 ft -- fin

Well, well, well.

Despite all the technological turmoil on my part, we made it. Fortuitiously, my favorite interior seats are open ... Bow seats on the bridge of a Molinari class ship.

From here I see the statue of liberty ... Since I can hear my freedom ring, I bid you adieu.

Super thanks to special K. Big big thanks to the accomplice, @girlonferry And mr. Crypto. Thanks to everyone who read, commented or tweeter.

There'll be another 24 hour enterprises event ... We just don't know when.

22:59

May I have your attention please.

Welcome to the Staten Island Ferry.

This will be my last regular report. I feel I have been remiss in telling you things about the ferry and Staten Island itself. So here goes.

The Staten Island Railway is 14 miles long. Sometimes they put the ferry on the railroad for fun.

Staten Island is home to the fourth longest boardwalk in the world.

Staten Island was the site of the first tennis court in the US.

The thing about the ferry on the railroad is made up.

In 1871 a boiler explosion aboard the Staten Island ferry boat Westfield II killed over 125 passengers.

Staten Island is the only borough in New York City that does not share a land border with another borough. Sharing is generally a good thing.

You can walk across the Bayonne Bridge from Staten Island to Bayonne, NJ. Let me know how that works out for you.

In 2010 two people rode the Staten Island Ferry 46 times in a row over a 24-hour period. They were never seen again.

Goodbye,
S.

22:25

This is maybe the busiest ferry we've been on. And yet the Barberi just swallows up the huge crowd.

Little-known fact: the Staten Island Ferry is made entirely of chickpeas.

There's a good chance we're going to complete this successfully.

For some reason, where we're sitting the ferry is sort of bouncing. First time for that.

-S

I think it's the ferry bouncing and not me.

22:15 ft

Special k may be a zombie but he caught the super-subtle trick and gains heavy NY insider cred ...

On the bridge deck of he Molinari class ships, there's a layout ... One end of the ship is labelled "staten island" the other is tAped over to say "manhattan" -- it said "new York" underneAth.

Why the change?

Staten island IS NY ... There's a fairly deep prejudice against SI by he other boroughs ... This clearly was intolerable.

I
M stunned with the condition special K is in that he caught it.

21:45 ft

Truisms of the SIF

They move an unbelievable number of people through the boarding area in a very short period of time. Impossibly short. I bet it borders on fastest possible.

There is a wide range of ferries ... From the swanky Molinari class to the ultra crappy Andrea dorea class.

A huge percentage of people on our ferries have "recircUlated" (gotten back on)- maybe as many as 15%.

SI terminal is better than manhattan.

My favorite ferry seat iS center bow on the bridge deck of a Molinari class boat.

Security truly could not care less if you ride for 24 hours straight.

I'm glad I did this. I will be glad to have done this. I will not do this again.

My feet hurt.

When in NYC, I drink Poland Spring water.

Thank you for your attention.

-Spesh

20:37 FT

Here's the thing: the Staten Island Ferry gets no respect because Staten Island gets no respect. Even the ferry itself has signs that show the "Staten Island" end of the boat and the "New York City" end, although Staten Island is part of New York City. That's just crazy!!!!

We just saw a group of orthodox Jews and B1 is trying to tell me they're not Jews, they're "Hooterz" from Montana. He must think I'm really tired. Which I am.

7 rides to go.

20:10 ft

A steady stream of people kept he new service ferry at. He dock and we made the connection. We're back on the senator mirachi, and with the exception of using the crap keyboard on this fucking iPhone, I couldn't be happier.

Special k is dangerously far gone now ... Like brain damaged scary.

One example

K, "did I tell you about my tour guides in Hungary?"

B1, "yes."

K, "what?"

B1, "yes, you told me."

K, "see! I told you I told you!"

B1, "what the hell? I just told *you* that.". No response. He's sleeping micro sleeps. "hey man! I told *you* that"

K, "what?"

B1, "about your translator."

K, "we were talking about that? -<mumbles something> did you call me 'Scott' just now?"


4 hours left. He may cronenberg by then.

In other news, we're on the hurricane deck. The ship was pulled before we could ride it before.

19:45 ft

Back on publishing schedule and I'm using k's device ...

Coming off the last ferry a short, thin black woman started singing in (very good) full on raspy gospel style ... For the life of me, I don't know what she was trying to impress on the audience as a whole, but I sure liked the sound of her voice.

SpeciAl k, in his attunement to humAnity, burbled, "she musta missed the three AM ferry."

We're riding with the biggest crowd we've seen ... The big race that all the firefighters were in is over and the crowd as a whole seems beat.

Crowded calm rules the ferry.

Coast Guard escort for us

Both sides. Big guns.

18:56 FT

I have one regret about 24 Hours of Staten Island Ferry: we won't get to see the weekday commute. This was necessary because we had to find a time when All You Can Jet intersected with when I could get away from work. Oh well.

I have fallen asleep in the middle of typey typing a bunch of times now. Three times B1 has grabbed a nearly falling iPhone from my sleeping hand.

In general neither of us can recall which terminal we're headed toward at any given moment without lots of thought and a look out the window.

The lower deck of the MV Andrew J. Barberi is almost empty. We hungrily gobble power and potato chips.

5 hours to go. Go. Go.

-Special Decay

16:25 ft

Here's the deal ... My Hiptop ate 2 consecutive posts ... The first 1 talked about the ever increasing # of people; the second, about the raw numbers of everything we've done.

If I was wide awake, I would be piSsed. Instead, I say the things that don't kill me make me stronger ... Mostly because I'm too goddamn tired to come up with anything more clever.

Special k is full-on hallucinating.

Which is a very long-winded way of saying "all is well."

16:53 FT

After a couple of very-near-misses, we're a little more cautious now about making it onto the ferry. This last trip around was like a video game, with obstacles strewn in our path. First was the kid who couldn't get the door open. Next was ---

Oh look! There's the Statue of Liberty. Again. IT DOES NOT GET OLD.

--sorry. Next was the young woman who stood lost in her own world, blocking anyone who tried to get into the ferry waiting room. Finally, we had to get past two girls who lined up a photo right across the main pedestrian thoroughfare.

We defeated them all. Because we're not done yet.

16:23

I like day. Day is good. Day is our friend.

Vignettes on the Staten Island Ferry:

Dude with guitar.
Dude with eyepatch unpacks his McDonalds breakfast.
Dock tender yells "Go Red Sox" at Yankee fans as they board.
9 Indian guys behind me talking loud.

I'm so tired. I'm in sleep free-fall. I might quit if I could. But there's nowhere to go! Hey, what are you looking at?

16:10 FT

back on the andrew B and that means *power*.

that goddamn andrea dorea practically totalled my hiptop battery *and*
in the process wiped out my 15:30 post. the verbage was shakespearen
(now lost forever), although the picture sucked. good riddance, i say.

we're full-on day timers now. kicks soccer groups. kids attitude
camps. kids enthusiasm workshops. kids hair braiding practice. and on
and on.

chatter chatter chatter. clap clap clap.

i haven't seen this much enthusiasm since that kid was selling magazines
at my door and if she got just *one* more subscription, she'd go to walt
disney world!

seriously, where the hell does all this come from this time of the
morning. it's 08:00 bloody o'clock ON A FRICKEN SUNDAY.

no wonder that guy sits over there with that iphone on muttering to
himself.

still, i'm glad we're on here ... and special K ALMOST missed it because
of the ship change ... literally last man on.

Our new pet

14:55

As the day breaks over New York City, the plaintive cry arises: "Hey guys! Help me get this guy up! He ain't movin'!"

Yes, the long night produced one more drama before it ended (the guy was OK; "All in a day's work," said the NYC cop). But now...

Cheerleaders.
Race runners.
Moms.
Dads.
Canadians.

Who let all these normal people onto our ferry? Dammit.

I can only assume they read our blog and decided to join the fun.

-Special K

I got some sleep during our 50-minute layover in Manhattan. I'm sure my flopping head provided great entertainment for my neighbors.

The riders at this hour are boringly normal. It's possible that none is an escaped convict or homicidal looney.

I'm having trouble staying awake as I type. I'll have to deal with that.

-Spaced case

13:48 PT

While we wait for the next ferry, let's discuss the origin of the name Staten Island. "Staten" is from the medical word "stat, or "quickly", and the sevenup word "en", or "un", meaning "not". "Island", of course, is derived from the English "is land". Putting it all together, we see see that "Staten Island" means "Place that is land, but getting there is not quick -- takes about 25 minutes."

-Specialist K

13:30 FT

and it's right about here that things get complicated ...

special K's device has given up the power ghost ... in moments of
extreme duress and tiredness, the K has the ability to come up with
gems; pearls of wisdom holding a clarity that his otherwise TV addled
brain is not capable of. he said:

"it's better to 'blog and not ride; than to ride and not 'blog."

the main reason he says this is that when any 24 hour enterprises event
finishes -- long after it's done, in fact -- the most important thing is
the most enduring, namely, the 'blog. the bits and pieces of what we've
written.

as i was leaving the boat i saw a power outlet tucked in an
out-of-the-way spot near the bow ... i mentioned that we could split up,
one person re-boarding and trying the outlet ... the other camping at
the terminal ... but the K is fairly sure he tried it before ... and
with our level of fatigue, that's good enough.

for the next hour we'll be camped by the 24 hour mini mart in the
manhattan ferry terminal.

13:00 ft

Our witching hour ... Traditionally the hardest thin in all 24 hour enterprise work is getting to the 12 hour mark ... Things get easier after you're over the night hump and day breaks ...

But here, we're having juice problems ... This isn't so much 24hosif as it is 24 hours of trying to find a power plug.

The corse is definitely bigger here on the 05:00 than the 04:00. We're starting to see that cross of early risers and late night nesters. For the most part people just want to see the ride over.

I'm not far away from feeling that myself ... I'm tired.

12:30 ft

We keep hoping they'll retire the ferry we're on, but that may not come soon enough ... The iPhone only has 10% left.

There's definitely q commute here ... Counters come off manhattan and are loud bordering on obnoxious ... We're seeing all the guys we weren't seeing before ... I guess they hang on longer hoping something fortunate will happen.

From the SI side, the crowds now are very small ... 65 on the lastima bota ... And they're ALL remarkably Subduded.

I Look like a genius saying the lowest ridership time would be 04:00 ... Now I'll push my luck and say it only goes up from here.

-- b1

11:57 FT



This is Alice Austen, namesake of our boat. Sorry about the lack of AC plugs, Alice. But really, get with the program.

Just when I thought the creepy crawlers had gone to bed, here's Aunt Hagatha looking through the trash.

B1 predicted the 4 AM boat would have the fewest people. So far he's right. Approximately 65 on this quiet voyage puts the lie to our previous prediction of "never fewer than hundreds".

And we're halfway done.

-Special K

11:36 FT

Your attention please. This is a Manhattan to Staten leg. And speaking of leg, these young girls returning from the clubs are wearing the shortest skirts I've seen since our last boat from Manhattan an hour ago.

I'm not seeing many wackos on recent trips. Just loud kids coming from the clubs, sleepy commuters, and. That's it. There is no third thing I'm seeing. Bite me.

Also, I slept a bit, and didn't see anything at that time.

Things I saw on the floor of the terminal waiting room just now:

A binky.
A puddle. Probably not nasty.
A NYC Metrocard.
A black bra.
A small brown bar that was probably a Baby Ruth but still might clear the terminal and anyway the Smails kid would eat it.

Typing is getting harder. Letters keep reversing themselves and going the other way.

A guy just looked right at me and said either "Hey buddy" or "Hey Scotty".

And now the club kids have quieted and are beginning to pass out.

-Spec K

11:10 ft

"fatigue" is the word of the less thAn 100 people (including crew) on this vessel.

But the people who are here are interesting ... An albino lack woman and her daughter ... A heavy-set white guy talking to a fully flames gang banger about computing ... A Chinese-mexican guy next to me who is deep deep in thought on some extremely perplexing problem -- and he's obviously making headway.

The rattle, hum and throb of the ferry creates and underlying beat that holds he pulse of this small body of people ... It keeps them together and that's a good thing ...

I think this is the calmest crowd of size I've ever been in in NY.

-- u2

Saturday, September 25, 2010

10:45 ft

It's very possible that 24hoSif has killed my battery. Some wicked combination of differing ship voltages and sporadic charging has done it in. The new ferry also doesn't seem to have any active plugs ... So we are where we are ... Using only special k's Device ... And even then with only half a charge.

My posting from 2 rides ago got et when I lost power ... I won't try to recover that now ...

Instead I'll tell you about my dream of 2 seconds from last trip ...

I walk into a bank to ask for a loan.

The end.

Short, sweet and open to interpretation.

The crowd now is the loudest per capital that we've had. Many woman in short black dresses that have to continually pull them down over their buttS in various states of drunkenness. And what's weird? No clubbing guys, or at least, none that I recognize as such:

I feel good, better than you would guess for typing on a fricken iPhone.

If we don't get live plug, we may have to sit 1 ride out ... Or something.

10:06 FT

This is how we do:

We get off the boat, because everybody has to get off. And they enforce that. Then we have to walk alllll the waaaay around and reenter the ferry terminal. And they enforce that too. This makes 24 Hours of Staten Island Ferry the most physically challenging 24 Hours event ever, by a factor of infinity.

But we decided we're glad we have to get off and walk around. Because otherwise we would just sit here. And without TV, that would suck.

For the first time, the crowd is small enough that we had to hustle to make it back on. The penalty for missing a boat is one hour in the slammer, aka the terminal.

Every single trip, I'm surprised to notice that we're already moving. I guess subconsciously I expect to hear an announcement, or feel something. But the ride is very smooth, luckily. So far.

Some dude noticed we were riding back and forth and asked me about it. I was kind of noncommittal and obnoxious to him. I was trying to figure out if he knew about 24HOSIF, but he didn't seem to, and he was serial killerly creepy enough that I didn't want him to be my little buddy. Eventually he just walked away.

And we're getting majorly into Night of the Living Dead now. Rules are ignored. Music is played out loud. People stretch out across multiple seats. And the whole shebang is just smelling worse than it used to.

B1 is asleep, like I hope to be soon.

-Spatial K

09:35 FT

Just us now. Our wise visitors have wisely departed. The Ferry has become a much smaller boat, the Alice Austen. And we curse that we are unable to find where she gives us electricity for our electro devices. Curses. Bastards.

The combination of small boat and hourly schedule combine to oh forget it.

We have an INSANE CLOWN POSSE dude.
We have a dead ringer for Grace Jones.
We have seats with scary stains.
We have no bananas today.

You get the idea. Don't you?

I wonder when my body will allow me to sleep. 2 hours sleep in the past 42 is pretty much unprecedented for me. Also it's never happened before.

Spock out.

-Special K

quote of the moment

"the ferry runs 24-hours a day, so there will ALWAYS be a ride back to
manhattan for you."

-- visitstatenisland.com propaganda flyer

(i'm reading it as i'm currently stranded in SI terminal)

08:15 FT

now in tomorrow. the hell-monster ferry has been retired so we're
waiting for the next one.

the accomplice of @redelvis has essentially gone quiet and/or comatose.
in the meantime, mr. crypto was saying that he was considering buying a
lighthouse ... for the low-low price of US$35k, he coulda bought a light
house somewhere out in the general NY harbor.

the zombie factor is starting to ramp. as we wait for the next ferry
there is one guy with a slack-jaw who is clearly muttering to himself --
the plain white t-shirt helps as a costume of bewilderment. on the boat
special K said, "things aren't getting too bad" and i pointed to a stunt
double of boris karloff's saying, "what about that guy?" and K couldn't
even respond ... "oh, oh oh! OH!"

there're two sniffer dogs in the terminal here ... i don't know what
they're looking for. one of them just piped up and the cop told it to
shut up -- making me feel ever-more secure.

there was a plaque on the wall of our last ferry to the people who lost
their lives on it (in the recent ferry accident). K *loves* the fact
that they talk about their accidents, although i'm not sure exactly
why.

i'm sure there's more to report ... right this second, i'm not sure what
it is.

-- b1

07:40 FT

the crowd is fairly lubricated with alcohol now, except for the
professor type immediately across from me who is heavily studying his
most recent copy of "recorder" magazine.

mr. crypto has joined us, which i was going to say was a "good thing,"
except right this second he's being a penis. i can't be too hard (if
you'll excuse the expression) on him, though, because i have to stay at
his place after being up for 24 hours.

the man with recorder magazine just left ... i think it was because i
said "penis" out loud.

but with smoked tuna loin sandwich and barley and mushroom soup from 2nd
ave. deli, i'm doing damn good. expect a carbo-load crash in about 90
minutes.

07:07 FT

Still a few tourists on the boat. They must be insane. Like us.

This ride is officially the "Jersey Shore Season N Tryouts". God help us.

Mr. Pukeyguts was seen staggering onto our Manhattan-bound boat, still wearing his business suit. We gave him a wide berth. Or Bertha. Whatever it takes.

The Accomplice has joined us with delicious food made in the manner of the Hebrews. We are forever grateful. Wherever did she find such food in New York City?

In front of me now are two Japanese women, 40-something, tourists. They are carrying shopping bags from The Strand Bookstore, Victoria's Secret, and Wendy's.

And if that doesn't say Staten Island Ferry, then, well, gosh.

-Special K

06:35 FT

I am an immigrant.

Staten Island is my Ellis Island. I carry with me all my belongings. The ferry is my steamship. I am excited and nervous about the new world.

Of course, almost none of this is true.

The ferry is now for the always-awake, the partygoers, and still, against all odds, at least one tour group.

And one older Asian guy puking his guts out in a trash can at the Manhattan terminal (red wine, I'm guessing).

And now: corned beef. I'm eating, I mean.

-Special K

06:05 FT

the title of this ferry is "drunk german women with heavy perfume and a
side-order of already-mostly-drunk club women"

it's a cheery place in a singing-and-laughing women sort-of place,
unless you've forgotten your german roots and then it feels mildly
suggestive or aggressive depending on your disposition.

i'm starting to feel the burn, but i've still got some run in me.

having said that, i forgot to take pictures this time, didn't i?

technical 'blog detail

special K noticed that whenever either of us use the email interface
that it always assigns it with my byline ...

for clarity's sake, we'll start signing what we write individually.

-- b1

05:35 FT

a bottle gets thrown off the boat as we enter the harbor from the
manhattan side ... special K says, "it takes a special kind of dumbass
to do that" and he's right.

we've got 'em on here now. groups of kids howling. groups of people
chanting in spanish. groups of miscellaneous people howling in spanish
and chanting in english.

our kindly day ferry has been swapped for a yellow and red seated night
monster with a third more capacity and running 1/2 as often ... if you
were from denver you'd say this is the lakeside amusement park of
ferries ... and you'd be right.

-- b1-66er

Dog without a face

I told you it was getting weird.

05:11 PT

We've descended into the slowest portion of the SIF: one boat per hour into and through the dead of night. Ah, but we have our new boat, and it's the big one: the MV Andrew J. Barberi, largest passenger ferry in the world (capacity 6000) (except B1-66er says there's one in India that seats 150,000 or so).

I think he's kidding. OR DO I???

The seats on this boat are ketchup and mustard in color. They're hard plastic and gaudy.

Not one single word of the minutes-long public address announcements are comprehensible.

I love you, Staten Island Ferry.

04:19 FT

MV Guy V. Molinari, you were good to us. But now you're sleeping for the evening, and after no fewer and no more than 7 trips across New York Harbor on you, we await a new ferry boat. And await. And await. And once it gets here, we can resume our regular programming.

03:46 FT

The sun went down and it got weirder fast. Examples:

- Crazy-haired Rorschach/Belker looking dude screaming into his cell phone.
- Women yelling in restroom line.
- People in blue Governor's Island shirts acting drunk.
- Garbage getting smellier.
- Man speaking Estonian.

I hereby raise the NOTLD quotient to 2.3. I also predict the NOTLDQ will tend to be higher on runs to Staten Island.

The number of tourists is falling fast. Into the harbor (not really).

On our 7th leg, somehow it's been the same boat every time. Thanks, Captain Criss Angel, Mindfreak.

03:05 FT

darkness falls on the SIF. from here things could, and most likely will,
get stranger.

special K is still making tons of sense, but looks bad bad. i'm
forgetting things like which side of the passage i'm on.

things to note about the bottom ride from the bow specifically:

"the most authentic ferry smell." -- special K

the best night city/water combo view.

02:40 FT

starting to see some variety in passengers on the ferry ... a younger
woman going to something like a fancy birthday party (it'd be a formal
if she was older), groups of people with the same shirts promoting
social causes.

the crowds are getting pretty big, but once you get on the ships seem
fairly open and accomodating ... i don't know how many people this
thing'll take when it's full, but it's a LOT.

the sun sets behind the statue of liberty giving @redelvis a stunning
pic for his travel 'blog.

special K has already said a couple of sharp/jabby things to me, so i
expect his writing to take a big jump forward here soon -- he claims,
and i agree, that his best work is seated in raw fatigue.

mine, on the other hand, is nearly pure decay ... and i suspect that's
why he likes me.

02:05 FT

We've been on the same boat all 4 trips so far, even though sometimes we dashed to get on and sometimes we waited. I'd like to explain how this works. But it involves quantum mechanics, fluid dynamics, and pepperoni pizza, which I don't have yet.

We have so far explored 3 decks of the ship. There's at least one more, the "hurricane deck". THAT sounds fun.

The lowest deck has the highest NOTLD* quotient. I'd say just a 1.9 right now.

By the way, when I scrambled through lower Manhattan to get here on time, I got the opportunity to be pissed off at slow-walking tourists. Just like a real New Yorker!

Guy V. Molinari is my friend.

*Night of the Living Dead.

01:40 FT

Boats sometimes make me queasy, but not the SIF (so far). Big boat, smooth water, nice ride. If you sit in the middle, you don't even know when you start or stop. A little creepy.

We've scoped out plenty of AC plugs. I don't think that's gonna be a problem.

There was a crazy guy yelling at the waiting passengers in Manhattan about how they're going to hell. But he's gone now. I guess his shift ended.

There are a few Night of the Living Dead type folks around. I wonder if there will be more at 3 AM. And if they will want to eat me.

Overheard: "You can tell he's an Albanian because he got that fuckin' nose."

It's going fast so far. So fun. So many stories to tell.

Jersey City skyline cut by sunlight

quote of the moment

"i'm beginning to think that the staten island ferry schedule is a scam
... or just a suggestion."

-- special K

00:35 FT

@redelvis's accomplice put me on the wrong train out of JFK (jaimaica
instead of howard beach), forcing me to do a couple of train switches.

and then?

the subway stop i wanted was closed.

and then?

i rode to a further stop and went to the surface.

and then?

i had to use advanced cab tricks to catch a taxi, but catch a taxi i
did. met the K and rushed to make the doors closing at 16:09 on what
must have been the 16:00 ferry (a guess).

spectacular day here ... if anything, a little warm, but we'll be
needing that later.

the ferry's big, smooth and graceful for its size. everyone on board
seems happy.

on the other end we weren't able to jump on the immediate ship back, but
that didn't stop me from buying philly pretzel bites -- or keeping the
nerdy-hot vendor from calling me "hun."

as we waited a string duo played the theme to the godfather and "puttin'
on the ritz."

high hats and arrowed collars, white spats and lots of dollars.

i type this to you on the return trip -- tapping the ferry power
outlet.

spectacular day.

from the K: "no hotdogs. spicy sausage."

00:10 FT (ferry time)

One of us took the wrong train.

Both us were routed to a subway station that's closed for repairs.

One of us is very fat and yet had to walk far on a hot day.

DID THAT STOP 24 Hours of Staten Island Ferry from starting on time, squeezing in literally as the gate was closing?

IT DID NOT.

We're here for us, and we're here for you. And we like you. A lot.

Liberty Island

IT'S ON

And so are we.

24HOSIF begins

Our thanks to @girlonferry

When it comes to the SIF, there is no one more vocal -and possibly no
one more expert- than Twitter stalwart @girlonferry. She has provided
us a wealth of information, inspiration and insight both in postings and
in private conversations. (I mean, come on, how many people will call
strangers to talk about things like power plugs on ferries for 30
minutes?)

At best, 24HOSIF would not be nearly as good without her input -- at
worst it simply would not have happened.

Thanks very much to you, @girlonferry. Know that 24 hour enterprises
reserves a sunlit window seat for you in the mass transit system of our
hearts. (But please, please, don't try to eat anything you drop on the
floor.)

-- b1-66er & Special K

all thumbs down on 24HOSIF

i glanced on this at my last post, but it's worth going into more detail
here ...

we made the decision to do the entire 24 HOSIF experience by smart
phones for a few reasons.

* they're light weight, small and easily transportable. our
understanding is that *all* people *must* clear the ferry after every
run, which means we'll be continually getting off and back on. the
smaller, the better.

* they're the most rugged choice. although smart phones are *far* from
robust (try dropping yours in a puddle, then using it), they're a step
up from all but the most hardcore laptops. when i rode my bike across
the states 10 years ago, i eventually "lost" *every* piece of electronic
equipment i was carrying with me.

* the SIF doesn't have wifi, but does have cell signal ... if we used
laptops, we'd have to tether them through our cells ... a proposition
that's always dicey in practice, may or may not ramp up our cell bills
and requires yet more equipment.


due to our choice one downside is that all our entries will be done with
our thumbs (including this one). i touch type 32 WPM with my thumbs
(the same speed as did with ten fingers when i graduated from typing
class in 8th grade) so it's not *that* bad ... but it's still a hassle.

also, blogger challenges your entries with a captcha after 50 postings
in a 24 hour period ... if your entries are by email (as this one is),
blogger simply drops it on the floor without posting it and doesn't
offer you the captcha option ... that means you have to use a web
interface BUT for unknown reasons the captcha response string isn't
properly recognized from my hiptop (e.g. it says to type "cat" -- i type
"cat" -- and it doesn't think i've entered the right string) ... so i'll
have to use special K's iphone.

battery charge could be a problem as well, although we've heard from
@girlonferry that plugs can be sniffed out on many (if not most) of the
SIFs.

if we both lived in NYC we'd do a dry run first ... we always do with
24HOTV, but that's a luxury we're not afforded.


but it all doesn't matter. special K flew the redeye out from SJC last
night. he's going straight from the SIF to the airport to fly back
home. in the 24 hour enterprise world, it gets no harder core than
that.

everything else is details and dumbness. we know how to ignore
details. and with a combined history of 192 hours of marathon TV
viewing, you better believe we know how to deal with dumbness.

[this post written @ 12:25 ET, 39,000' above SC. when this post
appears, it means i've landed at JFK and 24 HOSIF is imminent.]

24HOSIF pre-sail

i'm currently pacing the floor of MSY airport to fly to NYC for
24HOSIF. i haven't been getting enough exercise during this year's all
you can jet (AYCJ 2) ... so nothing like a pack on your back to bring up
the heart rate.

the 24HOSIF idea happened a few months ago when we were talking about
cool mass transit in the US and special K mentioned the ferry.

in its favor ... it's free. it's 24 hour and it's cool.

working against it is the fact it's on the other coast, and to my eyes
(although not K's), it's filled with new yorkers -- a city which always
feels to me as lacking patience at the least ... and tolerance at the
most.

i *think* i've ridden the SIF once in my life ... a decade ago when i
rode my bike across the US, i struck up a friendship with 2 NYC area
women ... after prolonged discussions of my views of the E coast, they
invited me out. we went driving golf balls on staten island, or
somewhere similar. i'm fairly certain we took the ferry. memories dim
when you're being paid attention to by a cute girl -- especially if
you're me.

which i am.

moving 24 hours enterprises off the couch is an easy choice. after all,
there's only so much TV you can watch (actually, only in my case, not in
K's) and we've collectively lost over 50 pounds since EPOTA, so a little
motion seems in order.

i'm looking forward to this, although i have no idea what it'll be
like. special K thinks it'll be boring, but it'll be anything but
that.

some subset of family crypto and the person who shall never be mentioned
will definitely be making guest appearances. the fireplace and his moll
may do so as well.

i've got several surprises for the K. most of which i'll probably
spring on him early tomorrow morning.
but right this second i'm in MSY. i've got hundreds of miles to fly
before i step on that boat.

and we've gotta start soon, or special K will miss his flight back.

wheels up!

key to 24HOSIF

everything will be recorded in ferry time (FT) ... so a posting reading
...

14:15 FT

... means 14 hours and 15 minutes into the ferry ride, not 2:15 PM.

we will attempt to post midway through each ride, or every half hour,
whichever is more often.

all postings for 24 HOSIF will be done from mobile devices (a t-mobile
sidekick [which i helped to develop]) and an iphone (from a company we
both used to work for).

inconsistencies will show up in posting formatting. pictures will
almost certainly be blurry. we consider these to be part and parcel of
the wabi sabi nature of 24HOSIF. as with everything in life, you should
love them for what they are, not hate them for what they are not.

we're also using the hashtag #24HOSIF on twitter if you wish to follow
along.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

24HOSIF is coming

24 Hour Enterprises is expanding ... This weekend, from roughly 16:00 on
September 25 to the same time on September 26, Special K and I will be
riding the Staten Island Ferry in New York for 24 hours straight and
writing about it right here.

24 Hours of Staten Island Ferry (24HOSIF) is a bold push forward for 24
Hour Enterprises. Off the couch and onto the water, the event is
forcing us to re-think the nature of humanity, the limits of personal
endurance and the true definition of the word "stupid."

Special K is worried that it'll be boring and redundant. I'm outraged
that he could even think that way ...

That means the stage is set for 24HOSIF. Hope to see you here.

-- b1-66er

Sunday, March 28, 2010

48:00 Behind the Planet of the Apes ... and Completion of EPOTA

Roddy McDowall takes us through the end of the POTA stuff ... Showing us everything we've seen or slept through in the last 48 hours.  Great ending for the onslaught.


***

I'll write much more than this in the next day or so but for now let me say it's been interesting ... Better than 24HoTV2, maybe equal to 24HoTV1 ... I've enjoyed the streaming ... The UPA boxset has been *great*.

Many thanks to the EPOTA hardcores: Momma K, Lil' Person K, the Grumbler, Radioactive Dave, suttonhoo, solid G, the person who shall never be mentioned and especially Rich Handley

Special K, I've told you I love you more than any other man in the world, including all my relatives combined.  Never wonder why.

***

Special K adds:

It was ... it was ... it was ... beyond my greatest imagining of ... um ... fun and strangeness ... and I uh, wanna thank you, but I need to do that myself.

48:00 It's over

I thank the crazed mind with attached body that thought this up: B1-66er. I might have dreamed up 24 hours of TV, but without him, it would have just been an idea, like pretty much everything else I think up. And I never could have imagined 48 hours of Planet of the Apes. No indeed. He is the Mort Abrahams to my Arthur P. Jacobs, or something like that. Thanks, B1.

Let's do it again super soon. But not tomorrow.

47:40 Behind the Planet of the Apes documentary

"We couldn't afford makeup for the mutants, so we just took everyone's skin off."

Hasslein is back. HASSLEIN!!! You dirty dog!

PotA movies always have unhappy endings.

Natalie Trundy did not want to play an ape, because she is smart.

Conquest was filmed at Century City, which was on land formerly owned by Fox. I'm guessing that's where the "Century" comes from.

Super super lame redoing of the end of Conquest. Not only is it worse, but they DIDN'T EVEN REFILM RODDY. They just recorded new dialog and COVERED UP HIS MOUTH.

When Arthur P. Jacobs died after Battle was made, he was one year older than I am now. Wow.

I made that part up about taking off the skin.

I believe that sleep deprivation is good for creativity. Thank you, and good day.

observation of the moment

In certain circumstances, Special K is almost indiscernable from Ricardo Montalban.  I think that happens primarily when he's had six hours of sleep in 48.

47:20 Behind the Planet of the Apes

The making-of doc continues to be great ... and the one thing I know for certain, Frank Capra, Jr. knows all about how to do #2.

quote of the moment

"if an ape talks, a woman faints."

-- special K

EPOTA Hits the 48 Hour Mark

Running crippled, but at full-speed.

47:00 Behind the Planet of the Apes documentary

As B1 said, we saved this doc for last because we thought it would be cool, and we did right. Only problem is that we've already seen some of this stuff in previous extras.

The people in ape makeup had a helluva time eating lunch. And it was super hot in there.

The trial scene most reflected the work of screenwriter Michael Wilson, who had been blacklisted. (Google it, kids. It was bad.)

Producer Mort Abrahams said they were making a political movie (obviously), right after Fox studio head Dick Zanuck said he's sure it was just pure entertainment. They put one over on you, Dick.

We started this thing 48 hours ago. It seems like only yesterday yesterday.

46:40 Beneath the Planet of the Apes

The documentary is super-great and I'm so-so glad we chose it for the final item ... We're getting tons of great trivia and behind-the-scenes shots ...

For the first time in EPOTA we have some discussion in the streaming room

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/roomzo

suttonhoo and solid G are both there.

special K ...

... is super-crispy ... but LOVING "behind the planet of the apes."

46:20 Behind the Planet of the Apes documentary

Arthur Jacobs prepared a 130-page merchandising book for PotA before it was greenlit. Anybody know where that book is now?

Rod Serling wrote 30 drafts of the script in his attempt to get it right.

They wanted to do a modern ape society, but they were worried about affording it, so they changed the apes to primitive. Damn money!

The hike across the desert after the spaceship crash was in a location so remote that some equipment was brought in by mule team.

The waterfall where the astronauts swim is fed by "two dozen carefully hidden firehoses".

46:00 Jerry Goldsmith Commentary "Planet of the Apes" -- "Behind the Planet of the Apes"

Jerry, you're a sound guy.  It's fine to have quiet moments in music, but not in film commentary.  talk, goddammit.

just starting "behind the planet of the apes."  the K and i are really up for the last installment of UPA.  you should be too.

we're beginning the last item being viewed ...

... in EPOTA.  "behind the planet of the apes." 

streaming on http://www.ustream.tv/channel/roomzo

quote of the moment

"the forebidden zone was once a paradise.  your breed made a desert of it ages ago."

-- dr. zaius

Ultimate Planet of the Apes unboxing photos

45:40 Planet of the Apes -- Jerry Goldsmith commentary

Yet another disappointing commentary. I wanted more talk about the orchestration, instrumentation, et al. No.

Jerry, I still love your music.

I hope watching Planet of the Apes movies for 48 hours doesn't turn out to be some form of mind control.

quote of the moment

"this one uses a lot of the bass slide whistle."

-- jerry goldsmith

45:20 Planet of the Apes - Jerry Goldsmith Commentary

Mr. Goldsmith spends 10 minutes trashing modern film ... and then says "i don't want to put down modern filmmaking."

oh yes you do.

45:00 Planet of the Apes -- Jerry Goldsmith commentary

Jerry points out that when they "give" Nova to Taylor in the cage, the movie's "love theme" plays on the score.

And Jerry has gone out for a latte.

44:40 Planet of the Apes -- Jerry Goldsmith commentary

A l-o-n-g gap in the commentary made us think that maybe things weren't working quite right (we like to watch commentary with subtitles and thought that maybe it'd killed the stream -- they should add an undertone or a "no commentary for N minutes" to keep the over-driven and under-worked like the K and i from freaking out).

Mr. Goldsmith's comments are good but too far between.  If I'd known you were gonna say this little, I would've put you on instead of Mr. Elfman when I was sleeping.

44:20 Planet of the Apes - Jerry Goldsmith Commentary

Jerry reminds us that there were essentially no special effects in this movie, so everything you see is done with the camera. And that's why the score is so great.

Jerry needs to TALK MORE.

the mac crashed ...

running the ustream source.  we're re-booting it.

44:00 Planet of the Apes - Text and Jerry Goldsmith Commentary

The text commentary had some great trivia -- especially the Felix Silla tidbit.

The Jerry Goldsmith commentary is just starting.  Too early to have an opinion.

(This begins EPOTA's last full viewing of POTA.)

quote of the moment

"what's the name of that thing that i can't remember?"

-- special K

the other, other official drink ...

... of EPOTA

43:40 Planet of the Apes - Text Commentary

Much of this commentary points out how the filmmakers knew what they had: lots of sensitive and political stuff hidden in science fiction because it's apes and humans instead of different races, etc.

Is Pierre Boulle's the only name that appears in the credits of all 6 Ape films, the TV show, and the cartoon series? I think so.

Taylor, who hates humanity, ends up as its last defender.

chocolate caramel matzah and boiled peanuts ...

... the official foods of EPOTA.

43:20 Planet of the Apes - Text Commentary

I actually haven't been reading the commentary because I've been catching up on my email and watching the movie occasionally.

But I will take this opportunity to tell Special K how much I love him.

quote of the moment

"it is scientific heresy that is being tried here."

-- dr. zaius

43:00 Planet of the Apes - Eric Greene Text Commentary

John Chambers, who created the ape makeup, also did Spock's ears. Chambers won a special oscar for makeup for this movie.

The first scene in the movie, Taylor talking on the ship's bridge, was the last one filmed.

Sammy Davis thought PotA was the best film ever about race relations, and he got one of the big Lawgiver statues to put in his backyard.

GIANT REVEAL! Felix Silla plays the little kid who says "Look, a man!" when Taylor is escaping. Silla also played Cousin Itt on the Addams Family. WHOA.

42:40 Planet of the Apes - Text Commentary

This is actually an interesting way to watch a commentary ... How/why it got here is a mystery to me, but I'm guessing this guy wrote a book that they've sliced and diced into pieces.

I'm back in the game and will be awake for the remainder of the EPOTA.

42:20 Planet of the Apes -- Eric Greene commentary

Eric Greene wrote "Planet of the Apes as American Myth" and his text is turned into a commentary track on the original film. Seems like they could have hired an actor to read it, but no. It goes by really fast, so make sure your reading skills are up to par.

Things we learn:

- Arthur Jacobs bought the rights to Planet of the Apes before its publication in English. It started out in French.
- Charlton Heston said beards should grow in suspended animation. But nobody thought about hair growing.
- The budget for the makeup test scene was about $7000.

41:50 Planet of the Apes (2001) -- enhanced

We like much of the ape behavior in this version: fighting with their whole arms, running on all fours. But the super high jumping looks too crazy.

The dust in the movie just apparently made me cough. Now that's a good effect.

Sculptor dude is talking about how they made Ape-raham Lincoln.

The final shot of the movie, when 10 zillion cops are closing in on Mark Wahlberg, is known as the "You are so busted" shot.

And we bid farewell to the land of Burton.

41:20 Planet of the Apes (2001) -- enhanced

More enhanced mode with infrequent enhancements. There hasn't been one for awhile.

I don't think I'd heard of Estella Warren before. Now I've seen a lot of her on Google Image Search.

The apes can run really fast on four legs because they're actually on moving sidewalks when being filmed.

41:00 Planet of the Apes (2001) -- enhanced

Enhanced mode pretty much sucks. Nothing ever happens.

We learn that the place where Thade lives with his father (played prone by Charlton Heston) is called "Chuck's house".

"Not many people do have relationships with chimpanzees." -- Helena Bonham Carter

"Tim decided that there had to be one moment in the movie where an ape went apeshit."

40:40 Planet of the Apes (2001) -- enhanced

I'm not sure we've had any enhanced features in the last 20 minutes ... I'm hatin' on this enhanced thing ...

I also realized last night that I would like this movie a lot better if it didn't have a POTA name, nor any kind of relationship to the franchise.

40:20 Planet of the Apes (2001) -- enhanced

The computer graphics they're showing are now 10 years old. They look ancient. I think the CG guy is using an SGI workstation.

Enhanced mode features show how smart film nerds do things like make the hair dryer spacecraft crash and set things on fire without burning up Marky Mark.

I like almost every movie better on repeat watching. Maybe that's because it has then become my friend.

Tim Roth absolutely consumes his part as the chimp Thade. He might as well live as a chimp for the rest of his life. The few times I saw him prior, I didn't notice evidence of that kind of acting.

40:00 Planet of the Apes (2001) -- enhanced

I've never played with enhanced viewing before but it leaves a lot to be desired.  Here's some problems with it:

1. You can't have captions and enhanced mode going at the same time.  Problematic because forced screen animation comes over the top.

2. You need to hit the remote for some enhanced items.  They should just drop you into all of this stuff automatically -- you did, after all, choose enhanced mode.

3. Once you're done, you get jumped back before the appearance of your remote cue prompt.  That makes you more likely to choose it again.

So far, the features are good, but the experince of getting to them is lacking.

39:40 "Don Taylor directs 'Escape from the Planet of the Apes'" et al

We're down to the dregs of features on the original movie (except for Behind the Planet of the Apes, which we're saving for later). And who better to eat every crumb than me.

Don Taylor directs Escape. It's the same clip of Armando's Circus that we've already seen like 3 times. Lech Walesa is there as assistant director. Don has an animated discussion with Ricardo Montalban. Nobody says "Khan!" Nobody says "The plane! The plane!" except me.

Question: when they decided to have another sequel after destroying the earth, did they tell Paul Frees? DID THEY????

J. Lee Thompson directs Conquest. Pretty quick little piece here.

Costume sketches. Buncha stills. Whoa, topless human women! Filmmakers wanted that. Fat chance.

Still gallery. Charlton Heston playing Frisbee on the beach in his loincloth.

(hidden feature) Action figures: Taylor, Zaius, soldiers. Japanese windup toys.

Ape collections. More costumes, mostly.

Movie posters. In different languages. Bully.

(hidden feature): TV commercial for action figures. By Mego. "Oh no! I'm trapped by the apes!" Music is "Also Sprach Zarathustra", as in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but not that performance, because then they'd have to pay a royalty.

39:35 hidden chimp commentary of 2001 POTA

if you go into the commentaries of the 2001 POTA, there's a hidden chimp feature that has only the test chimp speaking in chimp-lish when he appears and fast-forwarding through the rest of the movie.

very funny and better than spike lee's review of bamboozled.

39:10 "planet of the apes featurette" "a look behind the POTA"

starting to see repeats of earlier stuff ...

the odd thing here is in look the announcer says there'll be three more films while showing scenes from conquest ... but from conquest there are only two films. 

hmm.

39:00 "1967 N.A.T.O. presentation"

This piece is listed on the DVD as "1967 N.A.T.O. presentation". So B1 and I are watching, waiting eagerly to learn how world leaders in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization could use Planet of the Apes to bring peace to the middle east.

We're watching. It seems to be a condensed version of the movie. Oh fun, there are a few cut scenes and some cut dialog.

Pretty much the first 75% of the movie is presented in about 8 minutes. Still nothing about world peace. We're wondering what the hell is going on.

Then Henson speaks out of character to the audience about the movie. Introduces the actors. Shows them in ape makeup and normal. He finishes by saying the movie will be "entertaining and exploitable". The end.

What the hell?

We check again to see how this was billed: "1967 N.A.T.O. presentation". Then it hits me. N.A.T.O. = National Association of Theatre Owners.

We laugh and laugh.

With 6 hours of sleep in the last 2 days, I impress myself by being able to come up with this. I am easily impressed.

quote of the moment

"We think this will all add up to an extertaining and exploitable film."

-- Charleton Heston

38:40 "Dailies and Outtakes"

All silent dailies and outtakes from the original POTA with no sound.  Interesting stuff but the thing you really take away from it is that Charleton Heston got the crap beat out of him while filming this movie.  Whip his neck.  Drop a net on him.  Drag him down the stairs.  Wear a red robe between shots.

Thanks for all that, Chuck.

38:20 Roddy McDowall's home movies

AWESOME artifact. Roddy runs around with a state-of-the-art handheld home movie camera and films various goings-on.

Ape actors had to use cigarette holders to smoke.

There's a great sequence of John Chambers putting Roddy's facial appliance on, with pauses to see it partially applied. Roddy's mugging and demoing what he can do with the makeup.

Then there's film of Roddy being helicoptered to the set.

Chuck Heston from behind wearing nothing but his tiny underthing.

Lots and lots of fun shots of cast and crew sitting around between takes.

Zira gets a shpritz of hairspray.

Super duper excellent fun piece to watch.

37:55 EG Robinson Make-up Test from POTA

WOW. 

A mini-featurette with a series of DisneyLand-like paintings telling the story of POTA up to a culminating scene with Dr. Zaius and Taylor.  Zaius is played by Edward G. Robinson.

This scenario was written by Rod Serling in an attempt by the studio/company to show proof-of-concept.

The story is close to the scene with Zaius and Heston in the court.  Robinson's acting is surprisingly good (he doesn't strike me as a Zaius, really).  Heston feels very African-explorer.

James Brolin and Linda Harrison (who would play Nova) show up as apes to move the plot-line along with the same prop doll from the end of POTA -- looking suspiciously zombie-like.

The acting is full-on, not half-assed.  The entire production works well as a 1-act.

And perhaps the best thing of all ... PAUL FREES DOES THE VOICEOVER.

So very great that we're able to see something like this.

{Special K is still reeling.}

37:40 Planet of the Apes - Actor Commentary

"Today they can use all kind of electric whatchamacalls with a battery and get animation. Or they can use a computer." -- John Chambers on modern makeup technology.

Roddy says Frank Schaffner, the director, was a lovely man. And I believe him.

Trivium of the Moment

Casting directors for the original POTA selected all ape characters as short people and all human characters as tall people to help differentiate obvious differences between the two species on film.

37:20 Planet of the Apes - Actor Commentary

Uneven commentary here that's been spliced from several independent interviews ... Not like that's a bad thing, since I just woke up after a couple of hours of sleep and am weaving in-and-out of consciousness.

Still, you've gotta love waking up to Charleton Heston and foam houses and Special K hammers away on his laptop.


Oh and here's a guess ... "Why is it called the 'Forbidden Zone?'"  How about, "Because it's forbidden to go there"?

37:00 Planet of the Apes - actor commentary

Here's how bad this commentary is: it's the 18th-worst commentary track of all time on ratethatcommentary.com. Apparently it's made up of edited, separate interviews of the four. A comments from that site:

"Absolutely terrible. Consisting of snippits from interviews with the longest gaps in between. Will eventually drive you insane."

But we soldier on.

"I finally gave up eating altogether". -- Kim Hunter on the difficulty of eating while wearing the ape makeup.

Heston really takes a beating in this movie. Muzzled, netted, watercannoned, whipped, choked, stoned, and physically beat down. That's gotta hurt, even if you are Moses.

During the chase scene, right before and during the museum sequence, you can hear an ape ooking as part of the score.

McDowall says he was able to sleep during the hours-long makeup application process.

36:40 Planet of the Apes - actor commentary

This commentary officially sucks. Our commentary foursome hasn't said a word for more than 30 minutes. What a ripoff! I'm glad I didn't pay for 3D.

One of the reasons this movie works so well is the near-perfect progression of disclosure:

- We're on a planet. It looks barren.
- There's a weed.
- There's plenty of vegetation.
- There are people.
- There's food.
- There are hunters.
- The hunters are APES.
- The apes can TALK.
- The talking apes have a CITY.

All done with a nice script and great direction.

At last, some commentary. "We chimps were a little jealous of the orangutans because they didn't have to wear (appliance) ears." -- Kim Hunter

36:20 Planet of the Apes - actor commentary

We now resume our normal broadcast day.

I like DVD commentaries but I rarely make time to listen to them. This one seems strangely disjointed. I don't think all 4 participants are in the room at the same time. And they don't talk all that much.

We learn that Roddy McDowall called Heston "Charlie Hero". We can only imagine what Heston called Roddy.

Program Note

We're now starting the original Planet of the Apes, commentary by Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Natalie Trundy, and makeup artist John Chambers. B1-66er is still out for now.

And my captcha for this post is hoozoopi.

34:50 Planet of the Apes (2001) - Elfman Commentary

I just woke up, and it was one of those panic wakeups where you have a not-so-vague sense that something is wrong, but your brain hasn't started up enough yet to help you figure out what it is. Once I realized that there was no immediate threat to my life and I recalled what I was doing here, the last bit of the panic was wondering where the hell B1-66er was. I couldn't see him, but then I heard a gentle snoring. Grabbed my glasses and I saw him, not 4 feet away, stretched out on the couch sleeping. Without my glasses, he was invisible. I think it's a Jedi mind trick of the dark.

Reaction to being asleep for 5 hours: first disbelief, then denial, then gratitude. I needed that. It's bizarre that I hardly slept before that.

So now I'm listening to Danny Elfman talk about how he writes a score. He never writes down early ideas, because they never come to fruition. He doesn't have formal music training, so he needs a keyboard or guitar in order to work. He was on a plane from London in the middle of the night when the Batman score came to him, and he had no instrument, and everybody was asleep, so he had to keep going to the bathroom and making "verbal notes to himself". Yes, he's talking about the Batman score on the PotA commentary.

"At the end of it I may be a writhing torso without a face, but I will survive." -- Danny Elfman on the scoring process.

There's a weird chilly draft in the house just now. It's absolutely pitch dark outside and only Danny Elfman is talking. Only Caesar is illuminated. Charlton Heston is dying in an ape costume on the TV. My dog is passed out next to me. I'm having a short dark DVD commentary of the soul.

Soon it will be light out, and that will feel good.

My Cheater EPOTA Trick

You can ignore Special K's little posting from an hour ago ... He wasn't really awake (and I'll bet he doesn't remember posting that, either) ...

So this is a combo note to you, dear reader, and to Special K.

The second "special" disc of Burton's POTA is done (I've seen all the video on there).  BUT, I also need a nap AND Special K has been asleep for five hours ... If I just fall asleep now, we're both asleep simultaneously during 24HOTV which is not only a first, but also keeps us from finishing UPA in a more timely manner ...

My answer is I've just put on the Danny Elfman commentary for the Burton POTA.  It'll run for two hours.  I already know from ahead-of-time research that it's pretty bad (I think there's just not very much of it), so if I fall asleep while it's on, it's not that big of a deal.

I seriously doubt I'll sleep through the whole commentary, but if I do, I'm nearly certain Special K will wake up ... he'll read this posting ... and then he can select stuff to continue pushing EPOTA forward.

Cheater?  Yes.  But also still well within the rules -- we don't have to be awake for all of any 24HOTV event ... it just so happens that we're both asleep for a bit this time.

We'll see how it goes.

Oh, and welcome back, Special K.  As I type this, you're snoring and your goofy little dog is barking in its sleep.

33:35 "HBO Special -- The Making of the Planet of the Apes"

A piece that feels somewhat fluffy compared to the other hardcore stuff on this disc ... a lot of repetition of other things i've already seen.

33:05 "Swinging from the Trees"

A lot of wire work, including the crazy "quadrapedding" (running on your hands and feet simultaneously).

32:55 "On Location, Lake Powell"

The take-away trivium from this one is they actually used propane heating on a large outdoor pond (the one where Marky Mark carries Helena Bonham-Carter on his back).

32:35 "Chimp Symphony, Op. 37"

An orchestra with Danny Elfman working on the same sound stage where the first POTA score was also done.  Technical and interesting.

(He always does his own synthesizers and percussion.)

32:45 Costume Test

Various Burton Apes talking and yelling. Bully for them. The makeup is so much better in this movie, it's incredible.

I'm back from visiting Morpheus. No heavy machinery right now please.

32:30 "Make-Up Tests," "Costume Tests," "Group Tests," "Stunt Tests," "Movement Tests"

Huge assortment of visual look-and-feel and behind-the-scenes tests, many with sound.  All of the tests listed here are in a 4x4 arrangement -- each one giving you a choice of the soundtrack you'd like to hear ... really nice use of some of the multi-track capabilities on DVD.

One, make-up test, in particular, has a gorilla reciting a piece of poetry that is truly striking.  The other stand-out is a Rasta Helena Bonham Carter.

31:35 "Face Like a Monkey" -- Disc 14 UPA

A half-hour extra about how the ape make-up would work.

A big hint: you want people with small noses and long upper lips.

It looks unbelievably claustrophobic as they work up the casts.

On the primary masks, every hair is laid individually.

"A lot of rubber.  A lot of hair.  A lot of dental acrylic."

The most sophisticated modern make-ups for this movie take about four hours to apply and one hour to remove.

31:05 "Simian Academy"

25 minute movie on the burton specials disc (disc 14)

Lots of shots of chimps putting their thumbs up as they get closed into a capsule.  A real, real good example of why you'd never want to become a chimp trainer.

The shots of the apes drilling for the final battle look great and like fun/hard work.

The top guy who'll train you to be like an ape really seems like a guy who'd be a world class penis and you'd never want to know.

30:20 Planet of the Apes (2001) - Burton Commentary

Mr. Burton has spent a great deal of time in the last 20 minutes talking about how much Japanese film -especially samarai movies- have influenced this movie ... especially from the aspect of motion.

30:00 Planet of the Apes (2001) - Burton Commentary

Even though HT puts this in the 51st century, Tim Burton thinks of this movie as pre-dating the original POTA.

29:40 Planet of the Apes (2001) - Burton Commentary

The thing that strikes me the most when listening to Mr. Burton here is how normal he seems on the whole ... His movies and vision are fairly whacked (this POTA is less-so I think), but he comes across as a fairly normal guy.

He's against film revisions (ala Star Wars updates).  RIGHT.

special k is trying to nap ...

... if he can "get there."

oh, he'll get there all right.  sleep tight, special K.  you've been an animal to this point.

quote of the moment

"Spirituality is a feeling, it's not something spoken as a zombie."

-- Tim Burton

quote of the moment

"we tried to design the city so it was both horizontal and vertical."

-- tim burton

29:20 Planet of the Apes (2001) - Burton Commentary

Tim Burton is probably not the best commentary guy. He strikes me as someone who communicates best by making a movie rather than explaining by speaking to you. He's fun to listen to but sometimes I have no idea what he meant or if what he said was insightful.

"Orangutans have always been kind of perverted to me." --Tim Burton

Tim Roth is super apey and amazing in this movie.

quote of the moment

"my favorite versions of all my movies are dubbed."

-- tim burton

Saturday, March 27, 2010

All Features of UPA Are Done

The next several hours will be working our way through the extras in the boxset.

29:00 Planet of the Apes (2001) - Burton Commentary

We're watching all of UPA, so for about the next 18 hours or so we'll be watching extras ...

First up is Tim Burton's commentary on his version of POTA -- mainly because I didn't feel like switching the disc ...

I like to watch commentaries with the captions on because often times directors will refer to lines being uttered on the screen, but you can't hear them because the director is talking over the top of it.

Commentaries are telling.  Sometimes excellent, sometimes unbelievably lame (Spike Lee's commentary on Bamboozled was so poor that I actually turned completely against him and no longer watch his films).

There are a bit more gaps in his commentary than I like, but the quality is good here ... He's spending a lot of time talking about how important he felt it was that his POTA not be a re-make and have a circular story line.

He just made reference to the flying monkeys attacking in the Wizard of Oz.  I was going to mention that the opening had reminded me of that earlier, but was too tired to remember to write it down.