Category Archives: Insomniac Non Sequitur

A blog by smile from The Lower East Side.

The Story Behind My Logo

This is an image that has been associated with me or characters I’ve played for the bulk of my career. It’s a still from the first film I produced, Death Fish, which was shot in August, 1997. One of writer/director Carlos Sanchez Lopez‘s influences was Sergio Leone, especially the film A Fistful of Dollars:

Still of Clint Eastwood from A Fistful of Dollars

When I was a kid, A Fistful of Dollars was on television a lot because westerns were still popular and Clint Eastwood was at the height of his superstardom in the 1970‘s. Also, it was only about 100 minutes long without commercials, so it fit perfectly into a two hour prime time TV slot. If Clint had a new movie out in theaters, Fistful of Dollars would be on The Million Dollar Movie all week, so I saw it a lot.

– Carlos Sanchez Lopez, writer/director
Continue reading The Story Behind My Logo

Get tested for COVID-19

If you have yet to be tested for COVID-19, you should make every effort to do so. There are many test sites throughout the United States now offering tests at no cost. The test itself only takes a few seconds. Check out the video to see a mobile test site set up by CORE in action in The Lower East Side to get a sense of what’s involved.

If you’re in New York State, you can find a local test site here.

CORE is also providing free testing at various locales across America.

Check with your local health department for the information most relevant to your area.

I just didn’t feel like it

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I haven’t worked on my podcast, or posted a Song of the Day, even though I was fully intending to. I started recording episode 4 of #smileSays, and took a break because I needed to do some fact checking online. This was on late Monday night, May 25 (early Tuesday morning, May 26). When I went online, this was when I learned:

George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin.

Continue reading I just didn’t feel like it

Serving The Lower East Side

Some of you may know that I have been a Team Leader for New York Cares for a while. The last couple of years I’ve been leading projects with seniors and kids. When the pandemic shut everything down earlier in the year, my projects were included in those shut downs. I continued to volunteer from home, making wellness checks on seniors and vulnerable populations via telephone, and providing tech support to students who received iPads from the New York City Department of Education for home schooling. (Full disclosure: I wasn’t actually able to provide tech support to students due to technical issues, but I tried and others did). For the last few weeks, I’ve been leading a project delivering groceries and PPE go bags to tenants at The Vladeck Houses on The Lower East Side.

smile and his Team deliver go-bags and Vladecks’ Residents’ Association President Nancy Ortiz explains the project

If you watched the video, Nancy mentioned that CERT also answered the call, and you saw how we coordinated our efforts nicely. I was invited to tag along and observe a similiar operation that CERT was running on Roosevelt Island this past Saturday. I didn’t take any pictures that day, but others did, so I’ll post pictures here when I get them.

Farewell, Sarah Jane – a Doctor Who short

Today marks the 9th anniversary of the passing of Elisabeth Sladen, who was best known for playing Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures and various spinoffs. The video below was posted today. Written by Russell T Davies, it plays like a short audio drama enhanced with visuals, telling the story of Sarah Jane’s funeral and some of her family and friends eulogizing her. It brings the feels.

If the embedded video doesn’t load, click to watch
Farewell, Sarah Jane
at YouTube.

WWE is essential. You are not.

That’s probably the subject of the email a bunch of wrestlers got this week. After being deemed an essential business, WWE resumed live television broadcasts in an empty arena, then fired a bunch of their roster in the interest of budget cuts. Hopefully they’ll be able to find work elsewhere; AEW has been running their own empty arena shows the last few weeks, and Impact Wrestling joins them on Tuesday with what would have been their Rebellion pay per view. I’m kinda bummed about the Impact one, because I had ringside seats for that.

It’s more like Predator than Harry Potter

Read this post at Ars Technica about the research into clothing that will trick facial recognition systems, the idea being that rather than disguise one’s face, the clothing would have a design that would exploit the features of the software and confusing the system. This quote in particular leapt out at me:

“I have a full belief that we actually probably all own things that may exhibit some of the principles that we want to see in blocking image detection, or gait detection, or even facial detection,” she continued. “And if you give people the ability to test it by themselves at home, and to do a sort of trial and error on their own, it can make them realize that they’re smart enough to figure their stuff out. So we don’t have to rely forever on experts to be the people that save us from surveillance.”

Kate Bertash, https://adversarialfashion.com

The whole thing is worth a read.

Source: Some shirts hide you from cameras—but will anyone wear them? | Ars Technica

It’s always something

Since most of America is stuck indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was going to start working on this site some more, since I now have time on my hands. Wouldn’t you know, a couple of weeks ago my computer’s battery swelled up and I had to send if off for repair? I knew the battery swelled because the clamshell wouldn’t close all the way and when it wasn’t plugged in, it would randomly shut down.

I contacted Apple Support and they were able to get me squared away. Since everything is closed, they had to ship me a box with packing materials and I had to send my computer off to them. Turns out the battery problem was a known issue, so even though my Macbook Pro is out warranty, the repair didn’t cost me anything. The turn around time was great too, considering the current circumstances.

Macbook Pro Clamshell after repair
It’s possible to get a computer repaired these days (at least by Apple)

I’m restoring my computer now (I wiped it before sending it off), so hopefully I’ll be up and running by the time you read this. Once I am, I’ll be upgrading the older posts to the new WordPress format and adding some new stuff. I’m sure everyone could use a Song of the Day or whatever nonsense I come up.

Update on What an Institution!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on the Police Academy documentary. Got an email update yesterday from the team:

We finally got Steve Guttenberg on board and his 3-hour interview was amazing, but really reshaped the narrative of the doc. We tried to insert him in where he was needed but in the end, we felt we needed to start the edit from scratch. We strongly believe that this was the right decision and now the doc is shaping into something very special. We will have a more detailed update soon!

Team Cult Screenings UK Ltd. – March 8, 2020
Steve Guttenberg in a Police Academy T-shirt

So that’s that.