Category Archives: Bit of the ordinary

Something from everyday goings on.

Roger Ebert Said things Better Than Anybody Else

With Roger Ebert‘s passing this week, I find myself looking back at his writing like so many others I am sure. Growing up, his was a constant voice in our household. Like the opening credits of Masterpiece Theater or Mystery!, there were some shows that I always remember watching. At The Movies was one of those. Seeing new movies every week, being discussed by Siskel and Ebert was a constant. Seeing the reviews in the papers was always there too.

As I got older and moved away from Chicago, I still found reviews of Ebert and Siskel, either in newspapers or eventually on the web. Roger Ebert was a great writer.

Here are some collections of what he wrote:

13 Things Roger Ebert Said Better Than Anybody Else.

Roger Ebert’s 20 Most Epic Movie Pans

Beautiful Time-Lapse of Earth

I saw this linked to, and could not pass up sharing it. Shot from the International Space Station, the viewer passes over the earth during day and night, over storms and volcanos, over recognizable terrain (East Coast at night time!) and unfamiliar ones. Truly a treat to see and a humbling experience for those orbiting over the earth once every 90 minutes.

Time-Lapse | Earth from Bruce W. Berry Jr on Vimeo.

Time-Lapse | Earth on Vimeo on Vimeo

via Time-Lapse | Earth on Vimeo.

Newly Printing

I got a new 3d Printer recently, and looking back it was really time. I bought the Makerbot in April of 2009. Thinking the average lifespan of a computer is 4-6 years, it shouldn’t be too far off to have a 3d printer be a 4 year lifespan. It basically is a blend of computing and mechanics. And lately the Makerbot has been out of commission more than it has been printing.

The new machine is by Afinia and it was rated by Make Magazine as one of the most reliable and a great initial user experience. I have to agree with them. Everything was just like it said in the user manual, easy and straightforward.


It has been easy to print multiple pieces. The picture above is a copy of a sculpture of the face of Alexander the Great. Only a couple more pieces to print and then I will be trying to give it a faux finish and patina more like the original.

Fun times again!

Twitter, Backupify and the legacy of the Web

As I sometimes do, something occurred to me and I posted it on twitter:

Someday my youngest will no longer say 'pisketti for spaghetti. On that day I will be sad.

Then days, more than a week actually, later i was reminded of the fleeting nature of childhood (as one only can in adulthood) and wanted to remember what I said exactly. I couldn’t find it one my Twitter feed and found Facebook to be clunky to search thru. Luckily I have both services signed up to Backupify. It creates a separate backup of online web services (Twitter, Facebook Flickr etc…) that is searchable. So not only do you retain your information outside of the website being used, but it is also easy to search thru.

Which struck me as lucky. Lucky that I was able to find it and not have it lost. Because if childhood is fleeting, how is it going to be remembered or documented in the future? Will my kids be interested is what I was saying when they were little? Will I be interested in what I was saying? I think I will at least. So having backupify for everything out there on the Internet, and my own database backups of this site will give me some piece of mind. So that even if I am the only searching back to find my frame of mind,at least my mind circa 2012 could be found.

Mary Zimmerman

I was looking for a copy of the script for Mary Zimmerman’s The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. I am looking for a script for a project next year. I was bummed to find out that she isn’t releasing the script for publication, and by extension performance.

Just a few years ago, Zimmerman would probably have said that she didn’t really write scripts so much as sculpt productions with a particular group of actors.

“I think when we first started out as kids just out of Northwestern, it was unthinkable on an emotional level for us to consider replacing cast members,” Zimmerman said.

But after “Metamorphoses” went all the way from Lookingglass to Broadway in 2001, Zimmerman began to see that actors could replace other actors and other directors could bring their own take to her adaptations.

Zimmerman says there will always be one exception: “The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci.” “I won’t publish that piece,” she said. “It still feels like all of its meaning came from that particular staging.”

I can totally respect that position, I was privileged to see it on stage at the Seattle Repertory theater in 1997. It was a beautiful production. I have found a picture from it and included it at the top of this post.

There was another bit from the same interview really struck me:

“Great love springs from great knowledge.”

That is brief quote from an interview of Mary Zimmerman by Bill Moyers.

It stems from Ms. Zimmerman talking about how a love for something grows out of learning about it. That the striving to learn more about a subject increases the love of the subject. I really find this true. For parenting, my work in theater, in so many ways. That the more I know about something, the more I appreciate it, love it and want to learn even more about it. It just resonates.

Inside Adam Savages Cave: Indiana Jones Bullwhip – Tested

Inside Adam Savages Cave: Indiana Jones Bullwhip – Tested.

I have only recently discovered But most of the videos I have seen are pretty interesting. The one above is just fascinating. Adam Savage is becoming a bit of a personal hero. His level of craftsmanship, and the desire to learn new skills are totally admirable. PLus listen to him explain the process of making a leather bullwhip just like Indy’s. It is epic.

Measure in cups of coffee?

Seasons of Love.

How do you measure a year in the life? Someday I will be lucky enough to do this show. This song came up on iTunes tonight, and it always has a special connotation for me.

In 2005, my dear friend Michael Gorman passed away suddenly. And it hit me pretty hard. Thoughts of him only brought up tears and sadness. After a time, I heard this song on iTunes and a lyric reminded me of Michael, and made me smile.

Michael loved coffee. He drank it all the time and would sometimes leave his empty ( and half empty) cups lying around. Eventually he would pick them up, but not before some of them grew mold and had a layer of sawdust. Totally gross and vile right?

But I heard this:

Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee

Can you believe I was wistfully thinking about the sawdust covered moldy cup of coffee at that moment? Absentmindedly left around the theaters and the shop. His superior organizational skills didn’t translate to used coffee.

I have been thinking about Michael lately, because of the opening of the new dance studio. He would have been so excited about this. He kept dance alive at W&L single-handedly while he was here. Stage managing the W&L students’ dance concerts and doing their lights. Handling their publicity. He would have loved the creation of the dance minor. He would be proud of this new studio. In so many ways this would not have been possible without his hard work.

So many days when I am about to take the lazy way on something, I think about Mike. What would he do? Would he wuss out? Would he mush on without organizing things? I hope he would approve.

There are always bad stuff in life. Measure the love.