Unaccustomed As We Are

The world over - A wife loves to have her husband bring a friend home to dinner - As a surprise.

Production Notes

Starring

Released on May 4, 1929

..to Public Speaking

This is the first Laurel & Hardy Short talkie (or - has audible speech). The title of this short makes the point of pointing out this new technology, and their lack of experience - "Unaccustomed as We Are", a reference to the old saying:

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking...

The Story

Ollie is bringing his friend Stan to his apartment for a nice cooked meal by his wife. Before they enter his home, they are met by Hardys' neighbor, Mrs. Kennedy and they exchange some nauseatingly curteous pleasantries, where it is revealed that there is a Mr. Kennedy.

Once inside, we find that Mrs. Hardy is far from excited to serve Ollie and his dim friend dinner. In fact, she is "not going to take it anymore" and she leaves him.

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Rather than call it a night, Ollie stubbornly insists on making dinner for his buddy. You can imagine how this progresses. Let's just say there are enough explosions and chaos that startle our favorite neighbor, Mrs. Kennedy, enough for her to check out what has happened at the Hardys. Within a few minutes, she is on fire and is disrobed down to her undergarments. Guess who arrives.

Mrs. Hardy is unhappy about the way she treated Oliver, so she returns home to make peace. Ollie hide Mrs. Kennedy in a trunk and decides that it is far more risky to admit that there is a half-clothed woman in the home and explain everything than to risk his marriage. He acts as if Mrs. Hardy has hurt him beyond repair and that he and Stanley are going to leave for good (with the trunk). Guess who else arrives.

Mr. Kennedy - who we now see is a police officer upon arriving home, hears the commotion next door and checks on the Hardys. An emotional Mrs. Hardy calls Stan a home wrecker tells Mr. Kennedy that he is taking his husband away from her.

Mr. Kennedy has a talk with the boys and finds out that there is a woman in the trunk. He reveals that he likes to play around (with Mrs. Kennedy listening) and counsels that they are too sloppy. He talks the boys into leaving the trunk with himself and sends them back to the Hardys.

The Hardys are eating dinner with Stanley as they hear the battle at the Kennedys' home. Mr. Kennedy, now bruised and disheveled, takes Ollie out punches him. Next, he calls Stanley outside - and has he winds up to punch him, Mrs. Kennedy shows up and knocks her husband out cold. This looks, to Ollie, that Stanley stood up to Mr. Kennedy - and he is shocked.

"Goodnight Mr. Hardy", says Stanley. On his exit, he then falls down the stairs.

Favorite Moments

The dialogue between Mr. Hardy and Mrs. Kennedy is wonderful. It's almost like the boys had been holding on that joke for a long time. Thelma Todd is delightful in this scene.

Mae Busch also is wonderful in this short film. As she is complaining about having to put up with her husband and his dead beat friends, Ollie passive-aggressively turns on the radio. She begins chanting her complaints along with the rythm of the music. Stanley starts dancing and Ollie taps his fingers to his hand. This scene is fantastic. I could watch it over and over.

The kitchen scene is also terrific. You get the sense that each of these characters wouldn't survive well in the world. But when together, they rapidly self-destruct. The timing is brilliant, and each of their dim facial expressions add to the circus that results.

This is a real classic. The talkie format became available just in time as Stan and Ollie were in their prime. You must watch this film.

Overcast

I've been using Overcast as my full time podcasting app for the last week. So far I really like it. Like Marco, I really love podcasts, and I have a hard time keeping up with the good ones. This app helps you discover and organize good episodes.

The gorilla occupying 33% of the room over there is Apple's Podcasts app, which syncs with iTunes. And it's not a bad app. So, in order to make this a regularly used app in place of Apple's app, it has to be pretty good. It is. Of course, it's not perfect.

Twitter

This app does a nice job utilizing Twitter. If you have an episode you'd like to comment on, you can post to Twitter within the app, and it provides a link to a nice looking Overcast shell displaying the episode.

Also, within the "Add Podcast" portion of the app, there's a "Recommendations From Twitter" that looks at your Twitter stream to find podcast you might like. That's cool.

Playlists

I didn't really care about playlists before I used this app. Now I feel like I need them. When I take a walk, I like to start listening to an episode at the point I left off the last time I listened. In past, if I had 10 or 15 minutes left of "The Incomparable", I wouldn't even bother trying to finish up the rest on a walk. So I would end up with 4 unfinished episodes sitting there.

With playlists, I can finish up an episode, and it will continue to the next show. I love it.

Overall Design

Marco Arment shows good taste in the design of this app. While adhering to the typical iOS design standards, there are some delightful touches he provides in the product. For example, to give a tell of which show is currently playing, there's a nice little EQ animation (using actual FFT) which also gives you something nice to look at.

Also, when looking at the currently playing episode, you have the "album art" displaying - if you swipe up on the art, you get a wonderful animation which uncovers the episode notes. This is beautiful.

In Conclusion

I think think this will be my Podcasting app of choice for a while. There are a few annoying things in the app, for example some inside jokes like "Turns Out" themed podcasts, which is the 5by5 circle's way of picking on the type of podcasters and writers who attempt to discredit common opinion. The links to the competitors within the app appears to have been added for the sake of praise, and that's fine I guess.

Up until I have preferred to stream my podcasts (I only have a 16GB iPhone). I was a bit irritated that this isn't allowed in the current version of Overcast, yet I have adapted. In fact it eliminates the major frustrating interruptions that come from streaming over cellular data. Now I simply allow the app to delete the episode once I have finished listening.

I don't really care much about "Voice Boost" and "Smart Speed" - new affects added to the app. I've tried them out, and don't find that it adds anything to the experience. I actually find "Smart Speed" a bit annoying. Pauses are there for many reasons, and I hate removing them.

These are all minor annoyances, which can be overlooked with the satisfaction and enjoyment I get from using the app.

O'Reilly Book Review - Enterprise Web Development

Written By:

"Enterprise software never changes. Consumer software changes daily."

This is how many people feel about the state of software these days. The fact of the matter is that many new devices are showing up in the work place. Your company's web apps need to change.

Many new developers know how to scratch that itch with Javascript and HTML skills - using these tools out in the publishing world. But how do these skills translate in the enterprise?

Building a cross-platform application may not be the best approach for your enterprise application. Perhaps every one of your users is sitting in a cube with a Dell pc running Windows 7. However, if it does fit your interests, if you will need your app to work well on pcs, Macs, smart phones and tablets this book will help you make decisions on your best approach.

How?

Following along in this book, you're going to build a non-profit application using a couple of methodologies.

What's in the Box

This book has a lot of information:

  • Where to embed Javascript
  • How to use JSON and AJAX
  • Working with JQuery
  • Using Ext JSON
  • Node.js, NPM, Grunt
  • TDD with Javascript
  • Using the WebSocket API
  • Web Security
  • Mobile Hybrid platforms like PhoneGap

The interesting thing is, the focus is on using these exciting technologies in the crusty old enterprise environment.

Delivery

This book - like most O'Reilly publications makes great use of code examples and diagrams to help you get involved with the ongoing narrative. It utilizes a real-world project to help you grasp the principles.

I felt that the authors were quite honest about the pros and cons of HTML5. It's pretty messy out there right now. Demand for HTML5 is very high now, however. This book will help you dig through the absolute mess of tools, standards and libraries and get you on the right track.

Link