One of the most useful skills I picked up in marching band was the ability to walk without moving my upper body. Sure, all the discipline and leadership skills I gained have served me well, but it’s the practical things — like being able to take a drink from a glass of water while walking around my apartment — that I really appreciate on a regular basis.
Monthly Archive for July, 2001
Either my brother is either the master of the subtle Instant Messenger tell off, or I read way too much into his enthusiasm for Silence of the Lambs. You be the judge:
Benjy: How do I want to set up my gear ratios in GT3?
Aaron: I’m busy… Ooh, Silence of the Lambs is on!
Benjy: You’re saying that, because I’m an aries, which is a ram, which is related to a lamb, that I should shut up, aren’t you?
Aaron: *blinks* sure, if ya wanna look at it that way
Contrary to popular belief, Street Fighter was not Raul Julia’s worst movie. Overdrawn at the Memory Bank was. I’m not sure whether to thank or curse MST3K for revealing this to me, but it was so bad that I had to stop skipping commercials with my TiVo to get a break from the madness. “I guess this movie was kind of like watching casablanca, while having a small child use your groin as a punching bag.” Of course, Street Fighter is still more tragic, because it was his last movie, but good god Overdrawn was bad. And sadly, I actually saw Street Fighter at the theater.
I haven’t been watching much Simpsons since I got my TiVo, but I’ve been recording them anyway. “Seen it, delete.” But sometimes, it’ll be a “Oh, seen it, but there’s a few dang funny moments…” So I’ll watch an episode of Simpsons on fast-forward and laugh just as much as I would if I were watching it. I’ve seen it, so I know what’s happening, and I can still laugh, and it saves a ton of time.
I’m generally of the opinion that a sequel with a subtitle is just bound for trouble, and a subtitle at all is a questionable tactic. So Jurassic Park III was inherently better than it’s predecessor thanks to its distinct lack of a subtitle. And that’s really where I’d place this movie: Better than The Lost World, not as good as the Original.
And this movie really entertained me. A lot. I left the theater laughing and smiling, and was happy I’d seen it. It’s not a high quality movie, and if I felt like picking on it, I would have no end of material to tear apart, but I went in hoping to see a quick little dinosaur adventure, and that’s what I got. Briefly, a few points:
- The prologue was absurd and contrived, but it got them onto the island quickly. Give a reason to get them onto the island, suggest that Raptors could communicate, and put them on the island. I laughed at it, but I didn’t care, because what I went to see was the escape from the island. They could have all been dropped onto the island with parachutes for the sole purpose of escaping and I would have been satisfied.
- If I were a woman, I would probably be a little irritated by my representation in this movie.
- There are actually a few interesting sequences of dialogue. The most interesting of which, in my mind, was an interesting comparison between the Astronaut archetype and the Astronomer archetype.
- And finally, it’s a movie for the attention span of a three year old. And the movie knows this, and it admits this, and it makes a great joke about it. You’ll laugh yourself silly.
It was by far the most mindless fun I’ve had in a long time. Better than The Mummy Returns or Swordfish or even Atlantis. But all it gets is a 3/5, sandwiched between the 4/5 I’d give the original and the 2/5 I’d give The Lost World.
I was halfway to playing my Saxophone this afternoon, when it thankfully occurred to me that my surgery probably hadn’t entirely healed. And so, imagining how much the pressure in my mouth would have hurt, I packed my Saxophone back up.
Ah well, I guess this gives me another chance to get it repaired. Every time I try to play it, I eventually get frustrated with my leaky squeaky F-Key and put it away for another month or two.
I just spent about half an hour cleaning my shower. That I can now see through the plastic doors disturbs me, not for fear of someone seeing me through the door. Rather, it disturbs me because it leaves me wondering just how much disgusting who knows what had built up on the shower door to make it as opaque as it was.
- “Touch one of the rods, Bowler!”
– Brisco County, Jr, trying to use “the orb” to save his friend
“Not that rod!”
– my roommate Michael, playing MST3K
Since I got my TiVo back in May, I’ve been catching up on a lot of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and Star Trek: Voyager episodes that I didn’t see during my TV hiatus in High School and early college. Of course, earlier this summer, those bastards stopped showing DS9 for some reason (though down around the last paragraph of this article this article may explain things)
So anyway, I was watching the episodes of Voyager that my TiVo had recorded while I was gone for the weekend… And I saw the first half of a two part episode called “Year of Hell.” I rather enjoyed the premise (though all the Voyager alternate universe episodes do get kind of old), and I was looking forward to the second half. But when I pulled up the next episode on my TiVo, it was the second half of an episode called “Workforce.” This irritated me, because not only did I miss the second half of “Year of Hell,” but I missed the first half of “Workforce,” which according to this article, was very good, and received several Emmy nominations.
Ugh. Thankfully, Star Trek.com has very good episode summaries of every episode of Voyager. So with that site, I read about Workforce, Part 1, and Year of Hell, Part 2. Not quite the same as watching the episodes, but I guess it shaved a couple of hours off of my evening.
So I was rather upset with the network scheduling. But then, about 2/3 of the way through Workforce, Part 2, there was a commercial saying “Next time, on Star Trek Voyager… Year of Hell, Part 2!” So, then I figured out what happened. Voyager is on every week night at 10 pm, and also on Wednesday nights at 9 pm. Year of Hell 1 was on Tuesday at 10. Year of Hell 2 should have been on Wednesday at 10pm, but my TiVo records South Park before it records Voyager. And last week, Ed was recorded instead of Workforce 1.
So it wasn’t the TV scheduling that’d messed up… My TiVo had worked against me! Ach! Oh well.
While watching Voyager, though, I saw the new teaser for the new Star Trek series, Enterprise. The teaser did it’s job very well, showing just enough footage to really peak my anticipation of this new series.
And while poking around Star Trek.com, I came across this article talking about the writer of the Xth Star Trek movie (It’s all about the X’s these days, apparently), and it sounds like a really promising movie. The article rather leaves me wondering how all this promised Star Trek content is going to be packed into an hour and a half movie. Oh, the writer is the same guy who wrote the screenplay for the two and a half hour long Gladiator. I’m not sure that I could deal with a two and a half hour Star Trek movie, even if it was as good as Gladiator, though I certainly wouldn’t complain if were as good as Gladiator.
Speaking of unique signs, I can’t go very long without mentioning a certain sign in the canyon. (I might talk a lot about Bakersfield, but my parents actually live in Wofford Heights, near Lake Isabella, which is some 45 miles from Bakersfield. Highway 178 connects the two, and runs through the canyon, which has been carved out over the years by the Kern River (Famous for it’s motto “Stay out, stay alive,” or alternately, “Bakersfield: A riverbed runs through it”))
Highway 178 is a curvy, two-lane road, with a cliff along one side, and a drop to the river on the other. Persuaded by gravity, rocks have been known to fall onto the road. To make things more interesting, the canyon is free range land, and it’s not entirely out of the question to come around a sharp corner only to found a cow (or a hell of a lot of cows) in the middle of the road. And occasionally, cattle can be seen standing at impossible angles on the cliffs above the highway, mindlessly grazing.
To account for these interesting features, there are warning signs. A yellow sign with a black cow on it. A picture of a car tipping on it’s side. A picture of a car with rocks falling towards it. Among others.
And some clever fellow modified one of the falling rock signs to include a black, bovine shaped blob, falling towards a black, car shaped blob.
I’ll see about getting a picture next time I’m down that way (or my mom might already have a picture).
Oh, and a bit of friendly advice: If you ever hit a cow on highway 178, don’t report that you did it. Yes, report that there’s a dead cow on the road, so that they can clean it up, but do not report that you hit it. It’s free range land, so the cows are kind of allowed to be there. Your insurance probably won’t pay for the damages, and the farmer certainly won’t pay for them. In fact, he’ll probably want you to pay for the cow, and cows are expensive.
It was windy, blowing my mom’s little SUV around on the road more than I would have liked, especially considering that I’d only been awake for about five minutes. I pulled the wheel through a curve, and glanced in my rear view mirror, and a thought occurred to me.
“54 mph? What an odd speed limit… oh, stupid mirror.”
But boy did I notice that funny speed limit. It penetrated my drowsiness, and distracted me from fighting the wind, and in general, did a very good job of catching my attention. Because it was different. Of course, if they tried to get people to notice all the “we really mean it” signs (Take this turn at 25 mph. we really mean it.) by making each of those signs unique, people would eventually become habituated to the uniqueness, defeating the purpose.
This was posted right on slashdot, but I found it an interesting read: GNOME Desktop Usability Study. It did a good job of highlighting a lot of GNOME’s problems, but I also found it unsatisfying, because it only addressed the symptoms of GNOME’s deeper interface issues, rather than delving into what GNOME’s real problems are.
I had one plan for my weekend of surgery recovery, but it’s gone nothing according to plan, leaving me recovering in a completely different, but equally acceptable way.
Here’s what I planned:
Completely on the recommendation of a reader, I ordered Fishing With John. And completely of my own free will, I ordered Gran Turismo 3. I was going to lug my PlayStation 2 home with me, watch Fishing With John, and play Gran Turismo 3.
This did not happen, because I apparently haven’t learned my lesson about ordering things before trips yet. I placed both orders on the morning of Thursday, July 12th. I ordered GT3 from EB Games, while I ordered Fishing With John from Amazon.com. I was more concerned with getting GT3, since I knew my brother really wanted to play it (and he doesn’t have a PS2), but I didn’t think there would be a problem, because EB’s default shipping was called “second day air.” I did the math, and figured there would be all kinds of time for my package to get there before I left on Wednesday the 18th. It was the DVD from amazon that I was concerned about getting on time. But I didn’t want to pay for extra shipping, and I knew I could cope if I didn’t get to watch the DVD this weekend, so I just left it at that.
Here’s what happened:
Well, of course GT3 didn’t come in, but Fishing With John came in without a problem. And as is always the case with my shipping woes, GT3 arrived Wednesday morning, when I was on the way to catch my train. But without GT3, there was no way I was going to lug my PS2 home. And yet, I brought the Fishing With John DVD anyway… So I got stuck here with a DVD without a player to watch it with. Oops.
So I knew Tuesday night that my GT3 plans had fallen through, so I quickly tossed together alternative weekend plans — Reading! I’ve had a couple of books in my queue for awhile that I hadn’t gotten around to reading, because I tend to get so caught up in books that it really disrupts my sleep schedule. What better time to disrupt my sleep schedule then when I’m already going to be knocked out off and on because of pain killers?
So I’ve already finished The Science of Discworld, and I’m well into American Gods. And I have GT3 waiting for me when I get back to Berkeley. It wasn’t what I had planned, but it’s certainly not a bad way to spend a restful weekend . More in depth reviews of all of the above are coming later. Right now, I need to get back to Shadow’s tale.