RIP, James Garner

James Garner passed away in July, 2014. I know he was in many good movies and tv shows, but I’ll always remember him in The Rockford Files. Every episode had at least one car chase, cigarette smoking, a phone call from a pay telephone, and drinking. In most episodes he was helping a “damsel in distress,” in which he often held her elbow (or upper arm) as they walked. I won’t say it was a great show, but for some reason (him), you just watch it. It was one of the first shows I watched when Netflix came around.

Death in Paradise: Is “Harry the Lizard” real?

I started watching Death in Paradise recently, and at times I’d watch it and wonder, “Is Harry the Lizard real?” He seems very real, which had me wondering if it was possible to train a lizard in the way people train other animals for tv shows and movies, or if he was just created as a special effect.

Great tablet stand

If you like to watch movies and videos on your tablet, this tablet stand is very cool. The up-and-down rotation is nice and stiff, so you can set it at any angle, and it has rubber cushions in the right places to keep your tablet from sliding or getting damaged. I just bought this a few days ago, and it’s a definite “thumbs up.” It works great with my Nexus 9, and an old iPad 2 (that I only use for music these days).

(I show it next to an apple because the shiny images on Amazon may give you the impression that it’s larger.)

Gone, gone, totally gone, totally completely gone

“There is always a Netflix to your Blockbuster. Nothing is static. Keep learning, or face the consequences.”

That’s a good quote from this Twitter link. It reminds me of the text in The Heart Sutra that says, “Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha.” I read once that the first part of it can be translated as, “Gone, gone, totally gone, totally completely gone.” That reminds me of Blockbuster.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on strategy

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on strategy (from

“The thing that most people don’t understand about strategy is that strategy is pain,” said Hastings. “And if your strategy is not profoundly painful to you and uncomfortable, you’re not very strategic. … Really, strategy is a list of all the things you’re not doing.”

If Facebook owned Netflix

Note: I originally wrote this article in 2012.

For a long time I’ve thought the Netflix UI/UX sucks. Their designers don’t seem to understand how I want to use their service, they just seem interested in promoting their “You might like this tv show or movie” algorithm. I keep thinking about buying their stock (which just tanked again to $60), but then the thought comes into my mind, “They’re enamored with their algorithm and architecture, but they don’t understand UX or social.”