High Definition Corn: Mark Cuban Style

Well, at least Cuban's HDNET is coming to Iowa Speedway to produce unbelievable HD coverage of the NASCAR Grand National series at Iowa Speedway.  I find myself watching HDNET more and more since they run excellent movies, have great live concerts (they U2 a while ago...my fav), and run lots of homegrown content in the best HD quality I've seen. 

Of course, I'll be at this race in person and to my knowledge, HDNET cannot produce the smell of gasoline and little rubber bits flying into the crowd.

Here's the piece in the Des Moines Register with more detail.


Spam Spamalot, the broadway edition of my MFM (Most Favored Movie) Monty Python & Holy Grail, is coming to the Des Moines Civic Center and I've just procured my tickets and my valet parking pass.  I'll have to rewatch the movie (the one that during college, I could recite fully including the credit text that whizzes by quickly) to refresh my memory.

For me, this movie represents wonderful times in my life including fraternity days, top ramen, and really cheap beer...but you know life was good.  I formed many lifelong friendships during those years, many of which still flourish today.  Leave it to me to have key life experiences referenced by a Python film.  That says a lot about me, my sense of humor, and my outlook on life huh?   

You're Invited: First Annual BlogBQ!


You are formally invited to attend the first ever global blogging BBQ (held in Iowa...the center of the blogouniverse)!  Details, RSVP form, and all the particulars can be found by clicking this link but it's being held on March 17 starting at 3PM.  I encourage you to spread the word and I'll do my part by spreading the Mexican BBQ fiesta!  Kids welcome, etc.

I'd like to share in fellowship with you all so please come by and grab some tacos at the very least.

New Movie About Iowa

I think I'm going to make one and post it on GooTube soon.  I only have the title right now.


Bugger It's cold out there.  Still sub-zero.  But my glass is half full.   We don't have 9 feet of snow, the sky is clear, and its forecast to go up overnight into the 20's and into the 30's (with snow) by the weekend.  Should be a winter wunderland.


Radio Garage Class 1 - Finding My Character Voice

I just finished up class #1 (it's really class 2 but ignore that) of my voice classes at Radio Garage in Urbandale, IA.  These guys are the real deal and wow...what a cool thing to be "In Studio". 

We spent a good portion of the class reading a script in normal voice, and in "character voice".  That character voice was different for everyone.  Some sounded completely different than themselves (think Valley Girls and Brooklyners).  What I found most interesting was the nervousness and tension that many of us felt "letting go" with our characters.  We didn't plan for this and unless you've been practicing an alter ego for most of your life or doing impressions, you had to figure out who you wanted to be on the spot.  We read in regular voice, then character, then back to regular to notice what "carried over". 

Then, we went into the recording studio.  This part was so COOL.  There I was standing in front of a multi-thousand dollar microphone with studio quality head phones on.  I could HEAR MY BRAIN WAVES!  Every wrinkle of my shirt was audible and even the slightest dry mouth resonated through the mic like a cow chewing its cud.  But even more magical was the transformation that I underwent.  The separation from the others and the isolation of the room seemed to unleash my inner monologue voice...the one that I annoy my wife with.  Until I have post-able MP3's, let me lay it out for you visually.

What do you get when you mix the following?

Don_la_fontaine_1  + ShatnerStone_phillips
Don La Fontaine            Bill Shatner           Bill Curtis            Stone Phillips

You get my alter ego and voice over king of all media:

Doug LaShatStonis!
"In a worrllllld where space and forensic evidence combine to form a truly cosmic tv show."

I'll just leave you with this and count the hours til the next class.

Top 10 "Must Watch If Found While Flipping Movies"

Inevitably, on a Saturday afternoon (Sunday's are NASCAR), if my wife is enjoying some down time in front of the TV, I'll find her flipping the channels...then in an instant, I hear "You're the one that I want....you are the one I want...wooo hooo hooo".  Yes...It's Grease.  I've been telling her for years that there's a certain group of movies that guys and girls will stop and watch on TV even if they own the DVD and have 7.1 surround...and commercials, who cares!  Here's my choices for the top 10 lists from the home office in Des Moines, Iowa.  I'm sure there are many more that can be included and I welcome your comments. Be certain that these choices show my biases.

Top 10 "Found While Flipping and I'll Always Watch" Girl Movies

  1. Grease
  2. Dirty Dancing
  3. Selena (maybe this is just my wife :)
  4. Ghost
  5. Beaches
  6. Steel Magnolias
  7. Pretty Woman
  8. Breakfast Club
  9. 16 Candles
  10. My Cousin Vinny

Top 10 "Found While Flipping and I'll Always Watch" Dude Movies

  1. Any Terminator Movie
  2. Any Star Wars Movie
  3. Any Will Farrell movie (Talladega Nights and Old School are tops)
  4. Any Harrison Ford Movie
  5. Any Python Movie
  6. Any Mike Myers Movie
  7. Any Chris Farley Movie
  8. Any Al Pacino Film.  I mean ANY (especially Carlito's Way and Heat)
  9. Any God Father Movie (deserves it's own category in spite of Pacino overlap)
  10. Any Star Trek Movie (Wrath of Khan rules supreme but they're all keepers no matter how rotund Shat became)
  11. Honorable mention to The Usual Suspects...it just doesn't get old to me.