Friday, February 8, 2008

How Stella Got Her Chicken Back

Stella begs for chicken

We recently taught our dog, Stella, a new trick. She can now beg for food, which we find very amusing. You don't normally see 70 pound German Shepherd begging for food. Actually she's a mixed breed, she's primarily German Shepherd and Chow Chow. But Stella is probably a mix of all different kinds of breeds, we really don't know. We adopted her from the Humane Society when she was about 1 year old and most people think she's some kind of expensive dog or a dingo when they see her. Some kids thought she was a wolf one day I was walking her.

She's quite a clever dog when she wants to be, so we treated her with her favorite food while we were training: CHICKEN. This dog will do your taxes for chicken. She also likes steak, pepperoni, fish and pretty much everything else that isn't a vegetable. But for some reason chicken makes her go crazy. She's even started learning the word "chicken". She knows the word "walk" and "cookie" too, it's really cute when her ears perk up at the sound of "walk".

Stella waits for chicken

I thought this was quite entertaining and that these pictures of our dog would entertain the world. And yes, she was fed chicken after taking these photos. She can hold that position for as long as it takes to get chicken shoved in her snout.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Westinghouse TV and Radio Events

Mark keeps it real with a Chessie System mug

Here's a short list of upcoming Pittsburgh television and radio interviews that I will be doing in February and March about the Westinghouse film. This list will be expanding as we approach the DVD release date in April, but this is what I have for now. The times are approximate. If it's one thing I can talk about it's George Westinghouse and why he rocks.

- KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live: 2/15/08 (8:30 am)

- KDKA Radio – Carol Lee Espy Show: 2/16/08 (9:30 pm)

- KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live: 2/18/08 (8:30 am)

- Blog Talk Radio: 3/19/08 (9:00 pm)

- KDKA Sunday Business page: 3/23/08 (am)

- KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live: 4/8/08 (8:30 am)

Thank you to KDKA and Carol Lee Espy and everyone else! By the way, Carol Lee Espy narrates the film Westinghouse, and if you like her voice you'll dig her performance on the film, she can be heard on the Westinghouse trailer below:

The DVD is available for pre-order at and other locations.

Damn right it's TOPS in value!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sega Genesis on HDTV and Interview

Herzog Zwei on Sega Genesis 16-bit

Mark Bussler Interview with HERE.

I get a lot of traffic on my blog and some emails from people wanting to use their Sega Genesis on newer HDTVs and and projectors. Although you can probably get more technical information from the website, the bottom line is that this IS possible and can look great, but it will NOT output a high-definition signal, only standard def.

I'm an avid "old-school" gamer and a complete Gen-X nerd, therefore I have a NES, an Atari 7800 and Sega Genesis all hooked up to an HDTV. I read up on some articles about how to get the Sega Genesis to output component video (which is supposedly possible but seemed expensive and tricky) so I passed on this. Since I knew it would output a better quality video signal than RF or Composite I opted to have my Sega Genesis modified with S-Video. You can read about that on an older blog post HERE.

Xbox 360

Although the modded Sega does not look as good as HD games on the Xbox 360, the Sega Genesis with S-video does look much sharper and more vibrant than composite or RF. This will of course depend on how your tv handles standard def signals though. Not all HDTVs are the same. I have an LCD screen and it looks really good, so I'm pretty pleased. But you may not be. You may have to experiment.

Atari 7800 Pro System

That's my Atari 7800 Pro System above, note the gleaming stainless steel finish. Futuristic! Not sure what is Pro about it though.... can you make money playing Atari 7800 games? If so count me in for a Joust tournament.

The only way that I can think of actually "upconverting" the Genesis to an HD signal would be to run the s-video (or composite) output through an HD upconverter like i-Scan or something. I have not tried that and if you can afford one of those things you can probably pay Sega to manufacture you a new Genesis with HDMI (although I doubt they'd do that but you could ask...?)

I think my NES looks good on composite, it won't do s-video or component no matter what you do to it. You can modify an Atari to output s-video but I haven't gone that route. Maybe someday.... someday. One can dream. Berzerk and Yars' Revenge in glorious s-video clarity.


I borrowed a friend's PS3 while he was on a job and played through Resistance Fall of Man. It's a good game, is it up there with Bioshock and Yars' Revenge? We'll, that's a whole different blog post.

Incidentally you can read an interview with me on the website HERE. Thank you to Tom Briggs and everyone at Sega-16 for supporting my film, Classic Game Room: The Rise and Fall of the Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show. I hope that a few classic gamers out there enjoyed the film and our adventures back in the year 2000.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Westinghouse Release Update 2/5

Westinghouse documentary film from Mark Bussler

The Westinghouse documentary film will be released on April 8th, 2008, on DVD. After a week and a half off I'm back at the "shop" working on some trailers for the film and upcoming PR events.

We're all very excited about the initial reaction to the documentary which has been very positive. I've heard from some engineers that it is "fun", and I'll take that as a compliment. I made the film to be fun, because George Westinghouse was a very technical guy and not much is documented about his personality, so I didn't want a slow technical film. The film is fun, fast paced and really digs into who this guy was and what he did for the world. I think the trailer shows this, click HERE to see it.

He wasn't an extravagant celebrity by today's standards, he was married young and stayed with his wife his whole life. He didn't lead the eccentric lifestyle of Howard Hughes. In fact, much of what George Westinghouse did is buried beneath the legend of Thomas Edison (which is a huge part of the film). Westinghouse, is in my opinion the most important American lost in history. If you are reading this blog it is only because of George Westinghouse and his drive to bring alternating current to existance! AC power is running your computer and was used in the construction and development of your computer. Alternating current was made possible by his invention of the air brake to generate capital to start Westinghouse Electric, and his ability to work with people like William Stanley and Nikola Tesla.

Westinghouse Alternating Current Advertisement 19th Century

The Westinghouse documentary has a run time of 112 minutes and tells the complete story of George Westinghouse, his life, legacy, companies, battle with Thomas Edison and partnership with Nikola Tesla. It was made to be entertaining and informative and most of all enjoyable to watch, and I think we succeeded. I take the film up to the modern age and was very happy to work with some Westinghouse appliances like the Westinghouse roaster, Westinghouse radio, Westinghouse Baconer, Westinghouse Greenhouse, Westinghouse Dog-O-Matic and of course the Westinghouse Twins. The 1939 World's fair is also particularly interesting to me. Westinghouse stole the show with Elektro the robot, the fountains at the Lagoon of Nations and the Battle of the Centuries.

Westinghouse Dogomatic ( Dog-O-Matic )

Coincidentally the film is being released at the same year Pittsburgh is celebrating its 250th anniversary. Many people think I planned this but I assure you it just worked out this way! Westinghouse was born in New York but remained a resident of Pittsburgh for most of his life. He companies like Westinghouse Air Brake and The Westinghouse Electric Company were started here (in Pittsburgh) so I think it is fitting that native Pittsburghers made the film.

The trailers for the film can be viewed HERE.

More information on upcoming Westinghouse release events and PR to come.