Monday, February 28, 2005

Movie Reviews!

I am 3/4 through my mini-experiment. Namely, watching the original and remade versions of two movies, The Manchurian Candidate and The Ladykillers. I have seen all but the 2004 Manchurian Candidate, but I feel I'll forget this before it arrives.

The original Ladykillers was slow and dry, it was probably good for 1955. Despite its containing Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom [Dreyfus from the Pink Panther movies], it just didn't think it "gelled". I think. Because the new one, by the brothers Coen, outshined it. Same plot, most elements are different. Strangely, there were a couple of elements that were copied word for word and shot for shot, which had no bearing on anything and I didn't understand why it was done that way. But it was much funnier, I highly recommend it for rental. Even Tom Hanks, who I generally consider to be pompus, did a good job as the creepy professor. Marlon Wayans (as Gawain) stole the show as "the inside guy". Plot outline for both: professor (Guinness/Hanks) concocts a complicated plan for stealing money, gathers a group of na'er do wells to assist in completeing the plan, and the ensuing comedy afterwards. The remake did not do as good of a job transitioning from the 'plan' half of the movie and the 'after' half of the movie, but it can be forgiven. The cat: wait for it.

The Manchurian Candidate
also lived up to its hype. Well done top to bottom. I can both see how it creeped people out at the time, and why Sinatra removed it from circulation until 1988. It was released in 1962 (from the book by the same name published in 1959), and ended up eeirly foreshadowing the events of late November, 1963. Frankly, *I* was a little unsettled by it, seeing how easily certain aspects of it could be laid out in real life. (And could have been.) Another high reccomendation. Watch out for an excellent performance by Sinatra, who we forget, having known him mostly as aging crooner, had some fine acting chops and probably had his finest performance in this movie. Angela Lansbury was also outstanding as the mother. There were a couple of unexplained things that weren't particularly meaningful to the plot, unless you want to get weird about it, that might require a re-watch or reading of the book. But absolutely watch this film.

DAMN!

Electric drag racing. And I thought I had invented this in my imagination a year ago, as a daydream of a future hobby (creating an electric muscle car). Actually, it was a hybrid muscle car, so I'm copyrighting the idea. Right... NOW.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Get ready for ridiculous

The numa-numa dance. This song is just stupid enough to be the dance club hit of the spring. It takes a while to download, I recommend the "with subtitles" version.

Stupid criminals

Just goes to show you, criminals are stupid. How hard must that have been for her?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Baby, please

I loves me some Condi. You know that. But I'm not sure if we need her as president, do we? Although wouldn't it be something in 2008 to see Condi versus Hillary? I honestly don't know who I would vote for. Probably whoever looks prettier...

Damn, baby

Lookin' fine!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Dude...

I feel qualified and obliged to respond to this. Dell is being class-action sued in California for the standard deceptive practices, bait and switch type behavior.

Maybe they do it? Who knows. All I know is that every dealing I have ever had with Dell has been nothing but straightforward and above board, and I cannot say that about any other existing computer manufacturer. I have bought two computers from them, and as a authorized warranty repair person for them, deal with them quite often. Sales end when they are advertized to, prices are what Dell says they are, parts show up when they say they will. Of course there is the fine print, and if you don't read it you'll be shocked at the credit card bill, but it was there before you said OK. Like every piece of electronics sold "on sale" since 1997, there are rebates. Get used to it.

Having known first-hand the wrath of the Average American Consumer when the Big Mac stops being on sale, I can safely opine that these people are idiots.

Huh?

I'm going to have to call bullshit on this one. Author Regrets Secretly Taping Bush Talks If you regret something, I don't think you write a book about it and then nationally publicize that which you regret. That is a the main problem I have with that Re-Born Christian club- you can do pretty much anything you want, as long as you regret it and appologize to Jesus later. Maybe you say "we're all sinners" to redirect the blame away from yourself.

Suicide is painless?

They are now saying that Hunter Thompson had planned his suicide, fearing the indignities of age. I have to say, though, that there would be worse paragraphs to have written about your death than this:

The family is looking into whether Thompson's cremated remains can be blasted out of a cannon, a wish the gun-loving writer often expressed, Brinkley said.

"The optimal, best-case scenario is the ashes will be shot out of a cannon," he said.

On getting old...

I complained about this briefly earlier, but I honestly think I'm developing some slight arthritis in the typing fingers. Old people often deride us, with a seriousness we don't usually see from them, that getting old is no fun and that it should be avoided. Could this be the beginning of beginning to understand that?

Or it's time for a new keyboard.

Alright, I just switched keyoards. I don't like it. Perhaps I should actually buy anew keyboard instead of using the 10 year old IBM clicky ones.

Spend!

I, as perpetual follower, have also added ads to the site. Buy shit from me!

SCORE!

Pop onto Google and type in "kenmore reverse osmosis noisy". This humble website is the first result. Fantastico!

And, should the person who is searching for answers for their noisy water filter be reading this, I would suggest disconnecting the water, relieveing the pressure, removing the cover of the filter unit, and finally opening the valve body. There ought to be a rubber flapper dealy in there. Clean that up with a little CLR maybe, and reassemble. Probably will be fixed. If not, gently lube the rubber thing with a food-grade lubricant.

Apple!

I loved this paragraph in The Chicago Newspaper Sun Times:
The place was mobbed with shoppers reverently examining the various white squares and cubes and friendly products of the Apple world. I should have known that by the time I become interested in a certain piece of electronics, it is a genuine mania. No Shuffles were in sight, and when I asked about one, I was led, not to a display, but to an employee, wearing the requisite strange clunky eyewear, who had a Shuffle on a string around his neck.
It perfectly (*) distills why I generall dislike Apple and their ilk. I can deal with nerd/geeks (as I generally am one). And I can deal with people who "think different." But combine both of those with a little religious-style fervor, and you've got the recipe for annoyance.

* Not exactly perfectly, because it fails to convey their odd behavior regarding repairs and warranty. You'd think a company that has a whopping single digit percentage of the PC market would try harder to satisfy their customers. Especially a company that attempts to cater to the electronic artists of the world. Yet stories abound of people missing their computers for weeks because Apple can't manage to fix them speedily. And then there's the allegations (also in the linked story) that they behave weirdly toward their franchisees.

They hake fine products, but seemingly at every turn they manage to make self destructive decisions.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The good doctor is out.

In a move that probably surprises no one, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson committed suicide yesterday. I was a fan of his work, despite the fact that his reckless and abusive lifestyle was abhorrant to me.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Movie Reviews

Catching up on some Netflix action. "Mullholland Drive". This is the worst piece of shit I've ever seen. There is nothing redeeming about it. Acting forced, cinematography hackish, story contrived, etc. Not one character acted in a rational manner, ever. And I knew what I was getting into with a David Lynch film, don't get me wrong. I just thought he'd have gotten better over the years. There's no more rationality in this film than there is in any thirteen year old boy's notebook drawings of the samurai-dinosaur monster with tank treads for feet, 15 steel-plated arms and a machine gun head horn.

I also watched "Fear" last weekend. Starring a svelt William Petersen. You might know a puffier version him as the woodenly portrayed Gil Grissom of the worst crime drama currently on television, CSI. Knowing that, you might think he sucked in Fear also, but he was pretty good. One line plot synopsis: two dudes go equally nuts in two very different ways, exploring the depths of certain male instincts. Not a bad film. Also starred Marky Mark as the bad guy. Horribly acted, but it actually quite suits the character, so maybe he's a genius?

Up next? The new and old versions of "The Ladykillers" and "The Manchurian Candidate". Stay tuned.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Check the water supply

Be on the lookout for a Burger King commercial. It features a rhinestone cowboy character singing "Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar" to the tune of "Big Rock Candy Mountian." It is the craziest thing I've seen on television in a long time.

The Future!

We're doomed.

Getting some stuff done

I had three calls to make.

1- To ask a technical question of Dell for work.
2- To return a call from Sprint, because I filed a BBB claim against them.
3- To cancel delivery of The Pennysaver here at the condo (the free classified weekly).

Dell wasn't home. Seriously. The message was "The Department you are trying to reach is currently at a staff development meeting. Please try your call again later." Good thing it wasn't any kind of emergency.

The Sprint person took today off. Good news, I have an actual contact person. Bad news, she's talking a mental health day.

And the Pennysaver was disturbingly easy to cancel. I anticipate getting even more of them now.

Suddenly, I'm getting finger fatigue from typing. Nothing from trying to write the book, of course.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Freaky

Random number generators predicting the future? If time runs backwards, I was a monkey's uncle.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Nirvana

The Trader Joes Nirvana Veggie Burgers are delicious. Actually, if you smash them up and sorta stir fry them they're even better, sort of like a nice veggie pilaf. My standard discalimer: I eat things like this to try new things, not as a rejection of meat. And as a good flavor disguise for vegetables.

Groan

Justice is served, nonetheless social conservatives will flaunt "the Zoloft defense" as evidence of why society has gone to hell.

COLD MEDICINE EDIT: nonetheless social conservatives for years to come will flaunt "the Zoloft defense" as evidence of why society has gone to hell.

Alan Keyes

This was 'out' during the campaign, but nobody really made an issue about it. What is missing from the article, that I heard on another news source, is that she was kicked out of the family's home last week.

Stern!

He had Deborah "Debbie" Gibson in the studio promoting her new Playboy spread. I haven't bought that magazine in years, and I think I might this time. It reminded me (when she was singing with a tape of drunk Artie singing "Always on My Mind") that she has a fantastic voice, and her voice has now matured into something very sultry and sexy. And this is just a personal fetish, but she has a little of the sibilant 's' when she talks.

Then they did 10 minutes of people calling in saying they knew a guy who banged Debbie back in the day. I'm going to miss his show.

Monday, February 14, 2005

I am ill

The standard cold. And frankly, I'm a little upset since I just had one in October. It's a good thing I don't get sick more often, or more severely, since I'm quite a little baby about it. I'm miserable. Screw you all.

EDIT: The sinuses! Argh!

Spring's a-bloomin'

Hurry to get dibs on the best gift for the lovely couple. Wow. Welcome to crazy town.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Craziness

A school in California is implementing RFID tags in their student IDs. The standard outrage ensues. I just don't see the problem. It would be one thing if every citizen were required to wear GPS tracking devices. This ain't that- you have to be in fairly close proximity to the readers, and all it is is a number. It's Mobile SpeedPass. What extra information is garnered by the school administration by doing this? Nothing. It simply makes a system more efficient and less error prone. And why do I think these parents would be even more outraged should their little precious skip school and befall some harm, and the school didn't know it?

Finally, the problem isn't the technology, it's what is done with it. Make sure your school administrator isn't a Nazi, and the problem is solved.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Future!

http://www.virent.com/technology.htm

Why not?

Another quiz brought to you by your pal, Lore Sjöberg.


Porn star or my little pony
?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Love her or leave her?

Seems some of the folks who threatened to leave the US after a second Bush win are actually trying to do so.

The article says it takes about 18 months to make it happen. First of all, after 18 months Bush's term will already be 3/8s over with. Secondly, wouldn't it be more effective to spend the same amount of time serving the country you claim to love? Run for something. Recruit a candidate. Attend meetings. Guide the discussion. Be vocal about the things you care about. Write letters. Etc.

Lamenting and running away never accomplishes anything. Does it?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Why people like W

People often say that they like him for no reason.

He looks exactly like a young Johnny Carson.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Oh my

http://web.newsguy.com/anttrax/soundboard.html

Friday, February 04, 2005

For the Chicago folks

http://www.grobber.com/

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Slashdot nerditry

Wow I thought Star Trek ran all their ships on Linux, and most of the problems on the Enterprise was that Scotty ran everything as root. -- found of Slashdot

1- I'm a geek because I get that joke.
2- That's a pretty good joke.

To lighten the mood

I present the following in light repose. Share and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Glutton for punishment?

Or glutton for delicious? Today is 59 cent cheeseburger day, and while I can usually fight the urge, today I could not. I had to have four of them. I LOVE the McCheeseburger, and I rarely have them because of their bizarre pricing in relation to the Double Cheeseburger. It is truely amazing how different a single, double and triple cheeseburger can taste. The only difference is meat and cheese. It's one of those tastes, like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, that is ageless to me. I instantly remember being four and tasting the same thing.

Finally, http://www.i-am-asian.com/. There's something insidious about it!