January 30, 2010

I drift in a sea of emotion...but's a pretty small sea, kind of more like a biggish lake of emotion

Nothing much here today...just links...
And, seriously, Serena?  Over Justine?

That's just sad...

    January 29, 2010

    No real theme today...just, you know...

    Longer version of something I've posted before...

    Seriously, I'm not sure I could tell the difference between this and the clips from last week...

    January 28, 2010

    Checking the new site and bowing out

    So we're up and new and live here at Princeton High School's new website...

    We've been live and on the web since Friday of last week, and I'm still trying to get all of the content on the new website.  It's been a hectic few weeks since the initial training just before Winter Break when I was given initial access to start mucking about with the pages, but the beast is out of the cage at this point and there's nothing to be done but to deal with what it is.

    I've been living with the website for a month now, and there are a number of things that I really like about the site...
    • There's a searchable staff directory.  This is something that I've wanted to have for the past couple of years and that I simply didn't have any clue how to code.  A few years back, our AP computer programming teacher sent out an email asking if we had any projects that his kids could work on, and this was my one request 'cause I knew I was probably never going to be able to put the thing together on my own.
    • There's a massive and nicely complete site map.  This is also something that I think could be really helpful for anybody using the website in case they want to find a specific page.
    • There's the nicely integrated search function for the whole website (up in the top right corner) of each page - probably something that more people will use than the sitemap.
    • The whole thing looks awesomely professional and pretty slick.
    • The rotating photos on the front page of each school webpage can really be a nice addition
    • And the way that the website is updated is so easy for anybody to use that people from every club, every team, every whatever can make their own page with absolutely no formal, in depth training.
    It's a far more professional site than I likely ever would have created, particularly because it was designed by people who have skills far above my level.

    And I just send in my three-line letter of resignation from managing the high school portion of it.

    I loved the old site.  I took it over from a friend and saw how much it could be useful to the parents and students of Princeton and how much ownership they could take of the site if they were allowed to interact with it.

    For three years, the website was my personal sandbox, and I'd like to think that I at least entertained a bunch of students and parents and maybe made finding some information a little easier for them.

    But the new direction that the website is taking is toward more uniformity within the entire district.  Each school's pages are to look as identical as possible, and the links are to be as uniform as they could be, and that just isn't what I wanted to be involved in creating.

    My goal was always to have people think that my site - and I know it wasn't really my site - was the best in the district, that it offered something that the other schools didn't because of the time that I  - and at least a few other students - put into it.

    That wasn't the goal of the new site design, so I'm stepping out before it becomes too hard for me to do so.

    I remember when Bob Knight went on his final probation at Indiana University.  We all knew that Coach Knight was a man who wasn't cut out to live under a zero-tolerance policy, that it was just a matter of time before he was removed from his position.  "Why doesn't he just resign," I remember wondering at the time.

    In this case, I decided to simply step away rather than to continue in a situation in which I was fighting to hold onto any smallest scrap of the job and the product that I enjoyed so much simply didn't exist any more.

    So, hopefully I'll have more time to do the things that I do enjoy the hell out of - blogging, taking photos of school events - and might have a new project in the works to showcase the second of those things in the near future.

    To those of you in the Princeton community, I thank you for any kind words or thoughts that you might have passed along to me in the past few years regarding the website, and I hope that you - and I - end up with a website that someone else loves creating.

    January 27, 2010

    Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist

    I initially found Penelope Trunk's blog from her post about Asperger Syndrome in which she explained how she deals with her own sensory integration disfunction at her office.

    Rarely do I find a blog that is actually useful, but this one does a marvelous job of actually providing usable pieces of information that could help all of us in the workplace.

    January 26, 2010

    I hate Kroger and Wal-Mart...and don't know how I feel about Sprint

    Some days, man...some days...

    The campaign started today, the Pasta for Pennies campaign, that is.  We had students collecting at four or five stores around town - Krogers and a Sam's Club this weekend.  It would've been at a Wal-Mart, too, but the only one that had allowed us to collect canceled on us not even thirty hours before our first collections at that store were to begin.

    Then I got news today that at least one of the Kroger stores at which we had scheduled store collections notified our kids that they were cancelling our second two weeks of collecting - because of the frickin' Girl Scouts.

    It doesn't matter that I have a form signed by one of the store's customer service folks saying that PHS students are allowed to collect for the LLS on all the dates listed (Saturdays and Sundays from today through Valentine's Day).  Nope, the Girl Scouts decided to get started a little early this year, so our kids are going to get chucked.

    And if one store is forced into letting the Girl Scouts in at the start of February, then I'm guessing that there are a bunch of Krogers that are going to kick our kids out - nothing to do about that tonight, though.

    Of course, calling the Forest Park Kroger and effectively yelling over the phone at the manager on duty didn't help my mood, leading me to close the conversation and send my cell phone buzzing across the room into the sliding doors where it flew apart into a half dozen pieces - two major ones and a bunch of smaller ones.

    So, off to the Tri-County Sprint store because the cell phone has become a necessity in my life - particularly as I'm likely to be getting more and more phone calls on the next few weekends.

    "Nope, you aren't eligible for an upgrade yet.  Not 'til June.  Let me see what I can do."

    Turns out that with a little creative finageling, the customer service person was able to add a third line to our account - costing us $10 more a month - but then offer us a 15% discount, bringing our previously $80 bill per month down to about $77 per month (before taxes and stuff).  In the process, I got a phone that is supposedly $249 for only $50 - and I can send in a rebate form to get all by $2 bucks back.  The new third line had to have a new phone number, but once the accounts got activated, my new phone was switched so it's on my old phone number.

    So, I shattered my phone, got a new phone, (and a third line - 226-5041, in case anybody wanted to know, though the only thing attached to that number is a destroyed cell phone), and will end up paying slightly less money per month than I was beforehand.

    The business world - as I have said before - make no sense to me at all, and I want as little to do with it as humanly possible.

    January 25, 2010

    Everything is terrible...but fascinating

    I dig the Everything is Terrible blog because it's filled with totally entertaining train wrecks from YouTube.

    For example, there's these recent posts...

    January 23, 2010

    Header issues

    I'd forgotten that the headers here were stored on the old PHS website.

    Since that website went down for good on Friday, I'm going to have to come back and somehow reload the header images.

    Give a few days.  They'll be back and hopefully better than ever.

    No Elvis...now it's Highland Heights

    Check the week's fun links...

      January 22, 2010

      In the Limelite

      This is why A Mighty Wind hit a little too close to home...

      As a later lineup...

      January 21, 2010

      Back in a bit

      Sorry, folks...swamped by making the new PHS website all ready and stuff (rollout on Friday, check this link on Friday), rocking Pasta for Pennies preparation, getting a new garage door opener, clearing out the fridge that died in the middle of the night, and fearing how bad the repair bill will be for the circular water stain on the basement ceiling under our shower, and grading a whole bunch of tests tonight.

      I love being a homeowner, really I do.

      In the meantime, let me just say Jenna Kufeldt.

      And to hold you over, here's a comic that I found by hitting the magic Stumble! button.

      January 19, 2010

      Frickin' cool science - two things

      I have two frickin' cool science articles to point out. The first one's simple and elegant. The second one is a little tougher to grasp but kinda awesome once you get it.

      First up, a new mug that is designed to keep hot stuff hot - no keeping cool stuff cool here. It's based around the idea that materials hold their temperature during a phase change, and it's the same idea of the cool suits that mascots wear on the hottest days.

      They start with something that's a solid at room temp and liquid at something just above cool body temp.  Once they 'freeze' the materials (just the equivalent of a refrigerator temperature), it stays solid near their skin and starts to absorb energy.  Once the material hits melting point - something near a comfortable temperature under the suit, the material will maintain that temperature for a fairly long time.

      This group has designed a coffee cup filled with a material that has a melting point near that of comfortably hot coffee.  Once the coffee cools to that temperature, the mug stays at that temperature for a much longer time than would a typical ceramic coffee mug.  They've also worked on similar mugs designed to hold other beverages at cool or even icy temperatures.

      Frickin' neat.

      But not as neat as this article in which scientists found a way to have an inanimate object make its way through a maze based entirely on chemistry.  No computer chips, no circuits, no robotic doomahitchies.  Just chemistry.

      They took an acidified oil drop and placed it in a maze.  The oil drop found its way through the maze toward an acidified gel that was placed at the 'exit' of the maze.  I'll let the article explain the science behind the whole thing as it's frickin' awesome...
      Over the course of a minute or so, each droplet found its way to the end of the maze. The reason they move in the right direction has to do with basic chemistry. Acid from the highly acidic gel slowly leaks into the potassium hydroxide solution that fills the maze, creating a gradient: Solution near the exit becomes more acidic, whereas solution near the entrance stays more basic. This basic solution interacts with the acidic droplet, causing the part of the droplet facing the exit to become more acidic than the part of the droplet facing away from the exit. The disparity increases the surface tension of the side of the droplet that faces the exit--and it's this difference in surface tension between the two sides of the droplet that propels it toward the exit of the maze.
      It's all impressive and stuff, but getting a droplet through a maze isn't anything to get exited about unless there was some way to make the process useful...like finding cancerous tumors which turn out to be more acidic than the environment around them.
      Grzybowski notes that cancers are more acidic than the rest of the body, so--like the maze droplets--one could potentially design drug vehicles to follow the acid-base gradient toward the cancer cells.
      Man, every now and again, science blows my mind.

      January 18, 2010

      Time waster morning

      Today's time waster is an equisite little design of a game.  Simplest possible graphics, but a wonderful mechanism to get you to explore the four or five gorgeous little worlds.

      Block off about thirty minutes and give Small Worlds a try.

      And I'm not providing a picture because it would give away the joy of the visual style.

      And if that one's not for you, give Fragger a try.

      January 16, 2010

      These are a few of today's favorite things

      Wanna watch basketball...gonna watch Elvis...

        Jimmy Kimmel FTW

        Outstanding...Jimmy Kimmel's looking like he's going to come out the best from the Leno-Conan flap.

        I really wonder whether Leno and he got together to go through Kimmel's answers in advance or if Leno just got hit this hard without advanced warning.

        And, in case the above gets yanked, here's the same thing...

        Or just the highlights...

        January 15, 2010

        Alphabet favorite places & times

        I didn't think this one would be tough at all, but I'm totally stumped on Y, and I had to kind of cheat on V.

        Can anybody think of any place or time that I've raved about that would fit the Y category?
        • A - Aberdeen's beach, 1994-1995
        • B - Bardstown Road circa 1991
        • C - Clifty Falls pretty much any summer, especially before they closed under-fall access
        • D - Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, summer 2006
        • E - Eagle Ln, 5571, most any time
        • F - Frontier Restaurant, brunch, Easter Sunday
        • G - Glendale Square 'round noon on the first Saturday of March
        • H - Hot tub, Gatlinburg, whichever chalet, Presidents' Day Weekend
        • I - Iroquois Park Overlook circa 1991
        • J - Jeff Ruby's (Cincinnati's top steakhouse) after nearly fasting all day long
        • K - Kaibab Trail, South...'round 5:30 am, just after the sun's come up but before it's toasty and the mules crowd the trail
        • L - Locust Grove, April 22, 2000
        • M - Miami University disc golf course any summer day with good weather
        • N - N'Albany High School's gymnasium, 1990-1992
        • O - Observation Deck, Willis Tower
        • P - Princeton, most of the time
        • Q - Quail Run Dr, after sunset, winter snow storm, 2009
        • R - Rave Theaters pretty much in the middle of any movie
        • S - Santa Fe, mid summer
        • T - Turkey Run State Park, late spring, 1996
        • U - University of Aberdeen, High St, across from the Auld Toon Cafe, 1994-1995
        • V - Vacation, pretty much any one
        • W - Wabash even still but especially during my years there
        • X - Xavier's arena during Princeton's graduation ceremony, May/June
        • Y -
        • Z - Zoo, Cincinnati, Manatee House, when it's not crowded but when there are manatees
        Others in the running
        • A - Assembly Hall, late 80's and early 90's and again November 12, 2005
        • B - Barnes & Noble, comfy chairs by the graphic novel section
        • C - Chrysler Arena, Hall of Fame tournament
        • D - Dunnottar Castle
        • M - Madison, WI - summer, 2007
        • P - Phantom Ranch, July 4th parade
        • S - Seymour High School basketball gym, regionals pre-class basketball 
        • T - Thornview Dr, early spring when the trees have just flowered
        • W - Waffle House, Cincinnati-Dayton Road, after the normal dinner time but before late night guests arrive

            January 14, 2010

            Two things...neither is right

            Pat Robertson is a moron...

            And Princeton High School now has a Facebook page...

            January 13, 2010

            Top Five: The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus

            I would provide a review of The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, but there's not much to say there.  It's bland, occasionally pretty, but ultimately boring.


            My five favorite Terry Gilliam-directed films
            1. Time Bandits
            2. Brazil
            3. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
            4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
            5. Twelve Monkeys
            My five favorite Heath Ledger films
            1. The Dark Knight
            2. Brokeback Mountain
            3. Lords of Dogtown
            4. 10 Things I Hate About You
            5. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
            My five favorite Christopher Plummer films
            1. Inside Man
            2. Up
            3. Syriana
            4. The Insider
            5. Dragnet
            My five favorite Tom Waits films
            1. Short Cuts
            2. Mystery Men
            3. Dracula
            4. Coffee & Cigarettes
            5. Down by Law
            My five favorite Colin Farrell films
            1. In Bruges
            2. Minority Report
            3. Intermission (pretty much the last good film here)
            4. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
            5. Dardevil
            My favorite Johnny Depp Films
            1. Once Upon a Time in Mexico
            2. Donnie Brasco
            3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
            4. Edward Scissorhands
            5. Sweeney Todd

            My favorite Jude Law films
            1. Gattaca
            2. Road to Perdition
            3. Cold Mountain
            4. Closer
            5. Alfie

            January 12, 2010

            Check 'em before you buy 'em

            I'm leaning toward buy on both of these, but feel free to use NPR to stream the full new, single-word-titled albums from Vampire Weekend (Contra) and Spoon (Transference).

            January 11, 2010

            A nice litte ring to it

            I'm trying to figure out if I want one of these folks' rings or not.

            They're reasonably priced and very attractive.  Kinda digging them...

            If I do want one, I have no clue which.one it would be...so many choices...

            January 10, 2010

            Update: Continuing the decade

            Not necessarily a "best of the decade" but a list of 21 songs about 21st century politics.

            I'm partial to the Richard Thompson entry, of course.

            I'm thinking that this is the end of the "of the decade" list.

            Update: Just one more to Zilch

            One more award won in Zilch.  Just one more to go, and I'm not even halfway there (need 500 games, have completed 233 games).

            January 9, 2010

            Make with the freakity freakity

            And one more video...they're hot ya hurr, they're exothermic..

                January 8, 2010

                Museum Plaza?

                I like the Louisville skyline.

                It's not New York or Chicago, sure, but it's got a few tall buildings that stand out nicely against the lowerland around them.  And it's got the classic advantage of having water off of which the reflections make for great photos

                But the above photo  (it's photoshopped, of course) would throw that whole skyline right out of whack - big, contemporary monstrosity all on the far right messing everything up.

                That monstrosity - which I'm guessing Ame and the rest of my family already know - is called Museum Plaza and is a building proposed to be developed in the River City over the next few years.

                It's a freaky building that is composed of a number of separate towers that would house a hotel, office space, a museum, private residences, and public park space a third of the way up .  Check out the architecture firm's explanation of the plans.

                Thankfully, it looks like there were some problems with the financing, and the newest update suggests everything is solidly on hold.

                Generally, I'm okay with contemporary architecture, but this one just looks awful.

                It's a contemporary turd, and I'll be happier if it gets flushed.


                January 7, 2010


                Two things...

                Highlights #9 and #3 both came from the last six seconds of regulation in the Celtics-Heat game last night, and the ending is amazing.  Catch them both.

                Secondly, it's interesting to me that ESPN's top ten plays of the day rarely include all ten when I catch them online.  I wonder whether they have some sort of rights issue to show the highlights on cable but not over the internet.

                Tonight, for example, there's no #10 or #4...weird...

                In honor of The Prestige...

                My favorite Hugh Jackman films...
                1. The Prestige
                2. The Fountain
                3. X2 (major drop in quality after this one)
                4. X-Men
                5. X-Men: The Last Stand 
                My favorite Christian Bale films...
                1.  The Dark Knight
                2. The Prestige
                3. 3:10 to Yuma
                4. Batman Begins
                5. Henry V
                  American Psycho
                  doesn't make the cut.  I'd like to see I'm Not There.
                My favorite Michael Caine films...
                1. The Dark Knight
                2. The Prestige
                3. Deathtrap
                4. Children of Men
                5. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
                  Hell of a list of Batman Begins doesn't make it on.  And I need to see Victory.
                My favorite Scarlett Johansson films
                1. The Prestige
                2. Lost in Translation (Tough call between #1 & #2)
                3. The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
                4. Ghost World
                5. The Island (This film is horrible, but at least it's better than Match Point.)
                  Hell, I was tempted to put Iron Man 2 in here at #3 just because of the anticipation, but Jeff Bridges story about #1 soured me a bit.

                My favorite Christopher Nolan films
                1. The Dark Knight
                2. The Prestige
                3. Batman Begins
                4. Memento
                5. Um...Inception just because it looks cool?

                January 6, 2010

                Free stuff

                Okay, who wants this box of toys?

                I'm a clearing off some of my shelves and weeding the crap that was on them.  The Girl actually let me get rid of some books, so I'm balancing things out by sending away some of the tchotchkes on those same shelves.

                And my clearing could be your gain.

                The box of toys is a combination of inaction figures from Kevin Smith's sales machine and Kill Bill action figures (a gift from Calen a few years back - sorry, Calen, but the toys are moving onward).  To see just which ones there are, check 'em...



                For total honesty, I will warn you that Steve Dave's ponytail is cracked off (but the missing piece will be included) and that the Flying Silent Bob's left arm has come unglued - but is included, as well, as are a bunch of the other hands and swords from the Kill Bill action figures.

                So, if you want the full box of toys - and I'm fully willing to ship 'em within the country (sorry, Lakes) - just be the first to drop a comment saying that you want 'em and telling me your favorite Kevin Smith movie.

                January 5, 2010

                Media intaken

                There have been a bunch of comics in my recent past, but not many of them have been worth noting.  If I were to review them, it would mostly be a big, long series of two stars out of four, nothing to write home about at all.

                There have been some video and movie stuff, however, that was a little more noteworthy.

                First up was the video of Romance & Cigarettes, John Turturro's directing and writing debut.
                • Basic summary - Gandolfini is cheating on Sarandon with Winslet.  His three adult daughters (Moore is the youngest) all live at home and are just weird - as are pretty much all of the other people in the film.
                • Impressive cast - James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Steve Buscemi, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Christopher Walken, Eddie Izzard, Amy Sedaris.  I'm guessing a bunch of them signed on because it was Turturro's gig more than that he was a great director.
                • Clear first director stuff - interesting shots here and there but nothing that really flows from one scene to another.  The first two-thirds of the film are light-hearted, quirky, wacky stuff.  The last third, though, is drastically different, far more serious, and fairly jarring from the first part of the film.
                • Winslet does a hilarious, thick cockney accent and seems to just be here to enjoy reading thoroughly (and often hilarious) lines.
                • It's quirky, but its not a good film, and the two disparate parts don't fit well together at all.  Weirdly, though, I actually found the final third of the film touching and a little moving in spite of not having any connection to any of the weirdo characters through the first two thirds of the film.

                Up in the Air
                •  I agree far more with these three reviews than with all the glowing reviews that are out there.  Just fair warning if you've seen this and love it.
                • Up in the Air is enjoyable.  It's slick.  It's smooth.  It's almost moving in a couple of scenes, and it threatens to be a great film.
                • From the third review up there...""Up in the Air" doesn't even risk that degree of frustration: Any potential bumps or irritations have been smoothed over; the picture glides right by, a zoned-out, turbulence-free ride."  Yeah, that's about right.
                • I love George Clooney.  I'll go see just about anything he's in and have been impressed with a bunch of his films (Oceans 11; Good Night, and Good Luck; Syriana; Michael Clayton; Three Kings; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; South Park; From Dusk 'Til Dawn), but this one just relies too much on his smooth without taking true advantage of it.
                • Spoiler here...highlight to read if you wanna...The ending sucks.  I mean it sucks big time.  Sure, there was no way that Ryan and Alex were actually going to end up together - too neat, too tidy.  And I kind of figured something had to go wrong in Chicago - I was leaning toward boyfriend not family.  In the end, I just don't like movies that don't provide some sort of wrap up, some sort of conclusion (good guys win, bad guys win, whatever, but gimme something).  Here, our character seems to go on doing exactly the same things he had been doing but just with a slightly different attitude about things.  He ends up as stupidly groundless as he began the movie, just seems to realize that he was groundless, probably making himself more miserable in the process.  What the hell kind of ending is that?  I want growth or death or change in some fashion.  All we get is the hope for change, the writing of a phenomenally bland and crappy and anonymous letter of recommendation, dashed hope for change, hint of desire for connection with family - by a donation MADE ANONYMOUSLY as far as we know, and a suggestion that nothing really changed - except maybe that our hero lost his side gig giving payed speeches.  Dumb last third of the film.  Blech.
                • It'll win a whole bunch of awards, but the next one is the better George Clooney movie.

                Fantastic Mr. Fox
                • Odd pacing at first, took a while to get used to.  Made way more sense once I figured out it was a Wes Anderson joint.  I've only seen two of his previous films (Tenenbaums and Zissou), but both were slow builds for me that turned into great films by the end.  This one matches those.
                • Here, Clooney's slickness is an asset around which the entire movie is built.
                • Great use of the stop motion, apparently filmed as half speed (12 frames per second) so you can see all the details more clearly.  (Maybe so they only had to do half the work, too, not mine to say.)  
                • The film is gorgeous, the voice work is spot on.  The laughs are well timed.
                • Excellent, kid-friendly stuff.
                • The use of 'cuss' to represent all bad words is entertaining, too.

                The Men Who Stare at Goats
                • Oddly, the last three movies I've seen in the theater have all been George Clooney joints.  Not intentonal, just happened.
                • This one is the weakest of the three and could probably be viewed as having the best cast (Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Root).  It's also, by far, the most boring of the three. 
                • Basic set up...McGregor as small tow journalist interviews a wacky guy (Root) who mentions that he had been trained as a military psychic.  McGregor goes to Iraq when he's dumped by his girlfriend.  Stumbles into Clooney (who Root had mentioned by name) and begs his way into the country.  McGregor finds himself with the remnants of the psychic army project.
                • Jeff Bridges is appropriately wacky in a weird mix of The Dude and a multi-religious shaman.  Kevin Spacey is wasted but sporting a spectacular mustache - as does Clooney, by the way, for those ladies out there who prefer their men a little more hirsute. 
                • The one moment of drama - Spacey holding a gun to McGregor and Clooney (sorry, I'm spoiling it so you won't see this film) - is resolved by Spacey just looking away because he's on LSD that Bridges put in the water and eggs.
                • Generally a boring film...the best moments are when Clooney speaks of being a jedi warrior, trained to use his mind and McGregor seems skeptical.  Its funny, see.

                 The Way of the Gun
                • Horrible film...bad, bad film...a couple of well written scenes amid a whole lot of horrible movie...
                • To quote the SF Chronicle, it's a "[r]otten, pretentious movie full of minimalist dialogue and self-consciously arty cinematography."
                • Even if Katydid loans you a DVD three pack with this movie and the following two films in it, do not think "oh, I'll just watch this one, too".  
                • It's bad.
                 American Psycho
                • Christian Bale in an outstanding performance.  Make himself out to be totally vapid, stylish, psychopathic, cold, amoral.  Has a great quote in the 'making of' special feature in which he says he really enjoyed the change of not having to think of his character's motivation, not having to consider how his character related to the other characters at all, how freeing the was.
                • Also dug Willem Defoe's detective.  Never could tell just what he knew - and the trivia on imdb makes so much sense about that.
                • I'm down with the violence, even, especially as most of it takes place off scene so we just get the splashes of blood, the bodies left over, the aftermath of the violence rather than the violence itself.
                • But I don't get it.
                • Spoiler coming again...get used to it...I don't get the ending at all.  I get that it's intentionally vague - is this really Bateman?  Did he really kill those people?  Did his lawyer really see Allen in London?  Did Defoe really believe Bateman's alibi?  I just need some modicum of clarity in the thing.
                • Interesting social commentary on the vapid, materialistic world in which Bateman travels.

                The Prestige
                • I was surprised at how dark this one was.  Wow...nothing cheery to see here.
                • Loved the Bowie cameo.  Outstanding to see the old man getting some work since his dismal turn in Labyrinth.
                • I'll admit to having a serious weak spot for anything with Scarlett Johansson.  Her British accent is atrocious.  She can't act to save her life, but she stands so well that I'll watch pretty much anything with her in it.  It's pretty much been downhill since Lost in Translation.
                • Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman are outstanding as the two magicians trying to destroy each other back and forth in a giant game of "top this".
                • Excellent film...really excellent.
                • The Best Man had told me the ending a while back, but even though I knew where the movie was going, there was a ton of suspense as I had no idea how it was going to get there.  I can't imagine the shock in trying to understand and digest the whole thing unless you knew what was coming.  Even still, there were scenes throughout that had me floored in how well the knot tightened throughout the film.
                • Seriously, I don't know how I missed this the first time through.  Major thanks to Katydid for this one.

                The Wire
                • The Girl and I are currently halfway through our third season of The Wire on DVD, all coming for free from the library, and I'm more and more drawn into the show as we go along.
                • The more I see shows in their entirety on DVD, the less inclined I am to watch television in the drips and drabs of broadcast schedules.  Between DVDs and online television, I can understand by broadcast television is suffering more and more.
                • It's tough to say which is the greater series from the 00s - The Wire, The Sopranos.  Newsweek says The Wire, and I'm inclined to agree.
                • Man, Stringer Bell and Omar are just fascinating characters, as is pretty much every character on the show.  Wow, wow, wow...
                • Finally saw the actor playing McNulty break his American accent in the last episode (season 3, episode 4).  Outstanding little easter egg for those of us in the know.
                • The 'current' season is starting pretty slowly, but I'm assuming that it'll build like the others have.

                January 4, 2010

                XO 3

                Holy crap, the new One Child Laptop concept looks awesome.

                The brief description - "As announced in Tuesday’s  press release, after our upcoming releases of our 1.5 and 1.75 models next year, we are looking at the XO-3, a thin touchscreen tablet." - sounds like it won't be out until late 2010, at least.

                But I'll certainly be paying attention to when the new one is available.  'Cause it looks awesome.

                January 3, 2010

                Today's one interesting game

                If you're not doing anything at 4:15 today, feel free to check out the Tennessee-Seattle game on CBS.

                Here's why, according to Adam Schefter
                Records are on the line Sunday. With a 70.62 completion percentage, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has the chance to break Ken Anderson's season completion percentage record of 70.55. But the air record is secondary to the one that can be achieved on the ground. Titans RB Chris Johnson needs 128 yards to become the sixth running back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. He also needs 233 to tie Eric Dickerson's single-season record, the most worthwhile pursuit remaining in a disappointing Titans season.

                But the mark that has not garnered anywhere near the same attention, but might be even more significant, is the number of total yards Johnson has gained from scrimmage. In addition to his 1,872 rushing yards, Johnson also has 483 receiving yards, giving him 2,355 for this season -- 74 short of tying the record that Marshall Faulk set with the Rams in 1999. So Johnson can become the newest member of the NFL's 2K club, possibly reach and surpass Dickerson's single-season mark, and shatter Faulk's record. Talk about a good day at the office.

                Update: More decade lists

                Continuing with the "of the decade" lists...

                January 1, 2010

                Words, words, words

                Sometimes they're just words, and sometimes they're really well put together series of words.

                Enjoy the new year, folks.