Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I just finished watching Poltergeist, and despite looking quite dated, wasn't too bad. The house built on a burial ground thing is kind of cliche, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't back then. I will say though that there is nothing more terrifying than a crazed, irrational mother repeatedly screaming, "my babies!" - something the movie exploits. Wait, did I say terrifying, I meant annoying. But despite these drawbacks, the movie is tolerable.

Sports Pickle

For those of you unfamiliar with Sports Pickle, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Similar in nature to The Onion and The Borowitz Report, Sports Pickle prints fake news stories, but different from the other two, specializes in fake sports stories. Usually they are hit and miss, but some of them are quite funny. Check it out.

Trick or Treat

Well, it's now 9:15 and I have had no trick or treaters this year. I know there are no children in my building, but there are plenty in my complex, so I'm a little surprised I haven't had any. Now I've got a Costco sized bag of candy with no one to feed it to.

Halloween Movie Guide: Part 2

Since I've put this off too long and it is now Halloween, and I don't feel very verbose today, this will be mercifully brief.

Haunted House Movies:

13 Ghosts - I thought this movie was ok the first time I watched it, but seem to like it more and more with each additional viewing. Plus the bonus features on the DVD are pretty good.

House on Haunted Hill - Not great by any stretch of the imagination, but watchable.

The Haunting - Same as above.

Amityville Horror - Very unrealistic for a movie that claims to be based on a true story, but still kind of creepy. Watch the original version, not the terrible remake from a couple years ago.

The Shining - A true classic and probably the best known haunted house movie of all time. Jack Nicholson is fantastic, plus it led to one of the best Simpson's parodies of all time - Treehouse of Horror V. I can't believe it hasn't been on tv this year.

The Haunted Mansion - I had high hopes for this movie after the success of Pirates of the Caribbean, but despite top notch special effects, first rate set design, and great ambiance, this still fell short. The story was not very cohesive, and it just seemed kind of aimless. And I'm not sure Eddie Murphy was a good choice.

Frankenstein movies:

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is really the only version of this story that I thought was any good. Robert DeNiro turned in a great performance. I had initially thought he was an odd choice, but was pleasantly surprised.

Mummy movies:

The Mummy starring Boris Karloff was very good. I've found that a lot of the old monster movies are a bit boring and corny, but this one turned out great.

The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser is a little on the goofy side but is still good fun.

Bubba Ho-Tep - Completely different from any other movie you'll ever see. Bruce Campbell is great as Elvis, and Ossie Davis pulls off a quality JFK. More comedy than horror, this one is a must see.

Werewolf movies:

Underworld - this one could also have gone in the vampire category, but the werewolf category is a lot thinner. Underworld and Underworld Evolution are both good movies about the ongoing battle between vampires and werewolves.

Harry Potter and the Werewolf - I can't remember which movie had the werewolf in it, but it was pretty good.

Wolf - a little slow, but gets good at the end.

Miscellaneous movies:

These movies don't really fit in any other category.

Army of Darkness - I don't have enough superlatives for this movie. One of my all time favorite movies of any genre, I absolutely love it. Bruce Campbell reprises his role as Ash from Evil Dead 1 and 2 and in this one is transported to the middle ages by an evil force where he must battle the 'deadites' - an army of the undead - for the possession of the necronomicon - the book of the dead. Hands down the best B movie ever made, go out and watch it right now.

Frailty - Bill Paxton is visited by an angel who tells him he has to slay demons disguised as humans with an axe named Otis. Naturally, this is somewhat disruptive to the life of his 2 young boys. This one also comes highly recommended by me.

Sleepy Hollow - Tim Burton is one of the best directors for creating ambiance, and this is some of the best cinematography I've ever seen. Johnny Depp also turns in a great performance as does Ray Park who played the headless horseman - at least while he doesn't have a head. Better know for being Darth Maul, he is better with weapons than any other actor in history. Except maybe Bruce Lee.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - the Disney cartoon narrated by Bing Crosby has always been one of my favorites. Perhaps it's just nostalgia.

From Hell - Not really a Halloween movie, but still scary. This movie about Jack the Ripper is outstanding. One warning though - I haven't met a woman who liked this movie, I assume because of the subject matter.

The Sixth Sense - more psychological thriller than horror movie, I love this movie.

Red Dragon - again, technically not a horror movie, in my opinion this is the scariest movie ever made. I find serial killer movies scarier than monster movies. Red Dragon has it all, a great story, incredible acting all around although I'm particularly fond of Harvey Keitel's performance as special agent Crawford, suspense, and of course Hannibal Lecter.

and finally...

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Wererabbit - just good fun.

Google Video

I just found out that not only does Google video have some full length movies on their site - I just downloaded the 1931 version of Dracula - but they now offer the option of downloading their videos to your ipod or PSP. That will make my commute more bearable.

And so here is your video of the day, courtesy of Google: Drowning Pool - Soldiers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Raiders Cut Mike Williams

Today the Raiders cut former first round draft pick Mike Williams. Despite the fact that he's been nothing but a fat, slow, lazy, unproductive bust in the NFL, part of me still hopes that the Seahawks give him a shot. I can't help remembering how dominant he was in college and thinking that in the right situation he could rekindle some of his former glory. But the realistic part of me thinks he's too lazy to ever make it. Still, he's worth a spot on the practice squad.

Bigfoot Photo?

Has Bigfoot been spotted in Pennsylvania? Some 'experts' think that this picture taken by an automatic camera did capture a juvenile sasquatch. I remain far from convinced, but will admit two things. I don't know what this thing is, and it does look like a primate of some sort. I don't know why nobody has estimated it's size, but it doesn't look very big to me. Since I can't conceive that bigfeet exist, all I can conclude is that this is either a primate that somebody illegally brought into the country as a pet and then released when it got too big, or it's a hoax.

Halloween Movie Guide: Part 1

I'm going to go out on a limb here and start out by recommending Plan 9 From Outer Space. Universally considered the worst movie ever made, and directed by Ed Wood - the worst director of all time - this is the pinnacle of the bad movie arts. In addition to the b-movie standards of bad plots, bad acting, and bad special effects, this movie has so much more. Flying saucers dangling from visible strings, cars that change make and model during the same chase scene, scenes that change from day to night and back to day again inexplicably, an astroturf graveyard, and my personal favorite, since Bela Lugosi died during the filming, during the remainder of the film his part is played by Ed Wood's dentist, who attempts to conceal the fact that he is not Bela Lugosi by holding a cape in front of his face in all of his scenes. And it is precisely these things that make this movie so unintentionally funny and enjoyable. And to steal a line from Chris Rock, I've seen better acting from tough acting Tenactin.

From here I will move on to actual good movies. Today's category is vampire movies:

Unquestionably the best vampire movie I've seen is Bram Stoker's Dracula directed by Francis Ford Coppola. I've seen many other versions of Dracula, but this one has the best acting (despite Keanu Reeves), screenplay, special effects, and general ambiance. Way better than the Jack Palance Dracula.

Also worth watching is the first vampire film ever made: the 1922 silent classic Nosferatu. Movie making has come a long way since then, but this one is still worth a look.

A fictional story based on the filming of Nosferatu, Shadow of the Vampire is one of my favorites. The basic premise is that FW Murnau found a real vampire to play the role of Count Orlock, the vampire in his film. Naturally, this didn't work out quite as well as he had expected. I think this is a very unique and enjoyable film.

Interview With The Vampire was also pretty good, although a bit too long and it drags at points.

Stay tuned for more!

Ode To The Macadamia Nut

Is there anything in this world more delicious than a macadamia nut? Actually, yes, but that in no way means that macadamia nuts aren't also exceptionally delicious. The 2 main drawbacks, however, are that they are a bit pricey, and that once I start eating them, it's nearly impossible to stop. And today I am in good spirits thanks to the macadamia nut, for you see I just picked up a big can of them from Costco and hopefully I won't empty said can in mere days. Hopefully this can will provide me joy for a couple weeks.

Movie Reviews

Having seen and enjoyed the House on Haunted Hill, I decided to rent Return to the House on Haunted Hill when I found out about it. Let me give you a piece of advise: don't watch this movie. The plot was terrible, the acting was terrible, the music was terrible, the dialogue was terrible, the special effects were terrible. If I had to describe this movie in one word, I would have to say it was horrible. I know you thought I was going to say terrible, but I was over my quota on that word.

I started to question whether or not I'd made a mistake renting it about the time the opening credits ended. By the time they made it to the house, my worst fears had been confirmed. The barest of pretenses was provided to get the people into the house, and once there, the movie was reduced to disgusting blood and gore, cheap scare attempts, and completely stereotypical thug villains who did nothing but swear incessantly, point guns at everything and everybody, and generally pretend to be tough. Throw in some ghost T&A and you've got yourself one bad movie. And unlike other B horror movies, this didn't even make any attempts at being campy leaving absolutely nothing to like about it.

From there I moved on to the Transformers. I had been pretty skeptical about this one based on the previews I'd seen, but was pleasantly surprised. It had more story to it than the none I'd expected. The special effects were outstanding, except the transformation animations you couldn't really tell what was going on and while in robot form, the transformers looked too complicated. More like modern art than robots. It could have done without so much attempted humor though. John Turturo's character could - nay should have been eliminated entirely. A more serious movie would have been preferable. But these are relatively minor complaints in the grand scheme of things. After all, at it's core, this is a big budget movie about cars and airplanes that turn into giant robots and battle each other and destroy buildings in the process. And it delivered on what you want in such a movie. Great special effects, competent acting, a couple of super hot women, one of them even a genius, and just enough plot to tie the whole thing together and keep the cheese to a minimum. This one gets the Scott seal of approval.

Quote of the Day!

Prostitution is like a sewer in a palace. If you remove it, your palace will be full of sh**.
- Saint Thomas Aquinas

And in a rare double wammy, you also get a picture of the day as well.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Drinking Stories

Thanks to loyal reader Pat for sending me this list of the top 5 drinking stories of all time. My favorite is 'The London Brew-nami of 1814' which, in short, resulted in a flood of 1.3 million gallons of beer coursing threw the London streets, killing 9, inciting a riot, and more. Highly recommended reading.


I got to go to my first Husky game of the season Saturday fully expecting to see a win against the struggling Arizona Wildcats. Things looked great in the first half as the Huskies rolled up over 400 yards of offense, but went to the locker room with only a 28-20 lead thanks to 2 fumbles deep in Arizona territory. In the second half, however, the Huskies decided not to play defense. Tuitama put up a team record 500+ passing yards against the hapless secondary in what is one of the greatest chokes I've ever had the misfortune of witnessing in person. I am once again left wondering why the Huskies can't seem to play a full 4 quarters of football this year. They were tied with Oregon after 3 before coming unglued. They had a halftime lead over Ohio State before a second half mauling. Ditto USC and UCLA. I think I've got to start watching only the first half of games.

Special thanks to WSU for exacting revenge on UCLA. Also special thanks go out to one WSU alum (who will remain nameless for his own protection) who even admitted that Cougs are classless.

New Vocabulary

My hatred of the Red Sox and their fans has been well publicised. It should come as no surprise to you then that I was absolutely ecstatic listening to the guys on KISW rip into them. It was a good solid 10 minutes of raw hatred and made me so proud. Anyway, the point of all this is that I was introduced to a new term describing these people which will now be added to my lexicon and you can expect to hear with great regularity from here on out. That term is Mass-holes. Use it regularly.

Packet Loss

For a couple weeks now my internet access has been degrading, dropping occasionally and generally running slower than it should. This was all punctuated this week by extended outages (several hours at a time), which in turn led to temper outages.

I wasn't happy that the only time I could schedule a technician to come out and look at it was 8-10 am on Sunday morning - one of my important sleep in days. I was less happy when he didn't show up until 9:55. He turned out to be a nice enough guy though.

Well, after an hour and fifteen minutes, all he was able to tell me was that there was a degrading outbound signal and significant packet loss. He was able to tweak some things and get me back online, but somebody is going to have to come back out later and make some more repairs. At least it is something outside my building so I won't have to be home at the time. Long story short, I am once again able to bring you mildly entertaining anecdotes, and hopefully soon I'll be able to bring them to you much faster.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quote of the Day

"The hole's only natural enemy is the pile." - Bart Simpson

I don't exactly know why I find this so funny, but I do.

32" HD TV - $399

Fry's has the same 32" LCD HD TV (1080i) that I have on sale for just $399. It's tough to beat that deal. And I love my TV. If I had room for it in my bedroom, I'd get a second one.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


If you haven't yet seen the HBO series Rome, I highly recommend it. Like other HBO series, it's pretty violent, bloody, and full of bad language, so if you've got a low tolerance for that sort of thing, beware.

If, however, you aren't bothered by such things and have a healthy interest in history, you will love this show. Season 1 follows the lives of 2 legionnaires, as well as Julius Caesar, Octavian, Marc Antony, Brutus, and a few other fictional and historical characters. This gives a glimpse of not only the historical aspects of Rome, but also the day to day life of common citizens.

I just started season 2, and so far it doesn't disappoint. Julius Caesar is dead (I hope that wasn't a spoiler for any of you, if so you need to crack open a history book) and there is a power struggle between Octavian, Marc Antony, and Brutus. Who will win? Well, Octavian of course, but I haven't gotten that far yet. He is still an adolescent at this time and has yet to change his name to Augustus. At the moment he is still being bullied by Marc Antony, sewing the seeds of discord which will threaten to rip the empire apart.

Trust me on this one. You will be doing yourself a favor by watching it.

Not Waterproof

I just found out the hard way that my jacket is not waterproof like I had thought. Apparently it is merely water resistant for up to 2 blocks. That's about how far I got before I could start feeling the water seeping through. And the truly stupid part for me is that I have an umbrella sitting right here at my desk that I assumed I wouldn't need.

It was all worth it though since Starbucks had an unclaimed grande cappuccino that I got for free since they were just going to toss it if I didn't take it. I am not one to turn down free coffee, except the horrible free coffee they give us here in the building that tastes kind of like mud. But free Starbucks coffee I will gladly put in my stomach.

So I guess all in all it wasn't a bad trip. I don't mind being a little damp if I can get some coffee out of the deal. And I wouldn't have been able to hold my umbrella with a cup in each hand anyway.

Monday, October 22, 2007

And the ugliest people in the country are in....

Philadelphia according to a recent survey by Travel & Leisure Magazine. Seattle came in right in the middle (#12 of 25), but at least we're better looking than those ugly Philly jerks. And it looks to me like the east coast had a pretty poor showing in general with the exception of Miami. Just one more reason to stay away from the east coast.

I Saw The Sun

No, it's true. I know it's late October, but when I went down to Jimmy John's to get me a sammich for lunch, I saw sunshine and blue skies. And what's more, I was jacketless and yet remained both dry and warm. I almost didn't make it back to the office.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

History of Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays despite the fact that I don't get a day off work for it. That's why I was delighted to find this info on the History of Halloween. It's good stuff. Trust me. And if I could be a monster of some sort, I think I'd go with vampire despite the fact that I don't think I'd enjoy drinking blood. Being able to turn into a bat or a mist would be pretty cool. Sure, turning into a wolf would be pretty cool too, but then you might get fleas. But you could also go out during the day, so werewolves have that going for them too. But I think I'd still go with vampire so I could fly.

The 300 Spartans

After watching the 1962 film The 300 Spartans, I can't help but notice that despite the complete lack of special effects, the somewhat hokey dialogue, and the sub par (by today's standards) fight choreography, how much more I enjoyed it than the much bigger budget special effects spectacular 300.

I guess having a coherent plot - including a reason why they were fighting (freedom for not only Sparta, but all of Greece and western society), decent acting, and some historical accuracy means more to me. And the lack of ridiculous crap like magic ninjas, cyclopses and other monsters, and homo-erotic images of greased up half naked men throughout proves that sometimes less is more.

Sadly, though, the History Channel special on the battle of Thermopylae (which oddly enough happens to be on right now) is far more entertaining than either. Perhaps the moral of the story is that quality stories are better told by a narrator than hammy acting.

HD Is For Me Part 2

I finally made the leap to HD DVD today and am thrilled. Based on my previous highly scientific poll which clearly stated that the HD DVD format will eventually win out over Blu Ray, I decided it was time. And with the current offer from MS of 5 free HD DVDs as well as the HD version of King Kong packed into the box if you purchase the Xbox 360 HD DVD player, I couldn't resist any longer. I also picked up an HD copy of Army of Darkness. Feel free to contact me for viewing times.

Stay tuned this week for my Halloween movie watching guide. Army of Darkness is a must see. The rest will be revealed in time.

Made From Milk!

I picked up a package of string cheese today because, well, it's tasty and makes for a convenient snack. I was a little surprised to see "Made From Milk!" plastered across the front of the package in rather large letters. My first reaction was the most obvious - 'well, duh, what do you think cheese is made of?' except of course for American cheese (possibly the most unfortunate product that America has ever had it's name attached to) and Velveeta, which I believe are made from plastic and, uh, velvet respectively. As well as various chemicals. But shortly after this reaction, I began to grow concerned as to what the other string cheeses I have eaten in my lifetime have been made from that didn't tout their milk origins. Wax? Rat droppings? Gasp... Velveeta? I just hope I can sleep tonight without recurring nightmares about what unknown horrors I've ingested.

Pink Controller

While at Best Buy today, I discovered to my horror, that pink Xbox 360 controllers can be purchased. And while I was initially dismayed, I soon began to think about getting one for the sake of psychological warfare against anyone who comes over. If anyone wants to beat me at my ow game, they'll have to do so with a pink controller. Although I guess I'd have to institute a check your controller at the door policy to keep people from bringing their own.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Comcast Gets Hammered

Big thanks to Kristi for sending me this article. A 75 year old woman was fed up with the lousy Comcast customer service and decided to take matters into her own hands. She grabbed a hammer, went down to the local payment center, and smashed a keyboard, monitor and phone. I now have a new hero.

According to unhappy customer Mona:

"I smashed a keyboard, knocked over a monitor ... and I went to hit the
telephone," Mona said. "I figured, 'Hey my telephone is screwed up, so is
yours.'". . . "It's totally not like me to do stuff like this," she said. "But
it is so irresponsible and so disrespectful [what they did]. I can't think of
any company reacting that way. It's like they got you in their clutches and
they'll do what they damn well please."

And while Comcast claims that their customer service isn't that bad, that it's just a matter of perception, Comcast's subcontractors in particular have been consistently in the news for falling asleep, murder, digging in the wrong yard or blowing up laptops, dishwashers or homes. Is that an issue with the media, perception or Comcast's subcontractors?

I could expound upon my frustration with Comcast, but will spare you since it's well known by now anyway. As much as I don't want to have to get a dish or change my email address, I get one step closer DSS/DSL every day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Where Did It All Go Wrong

I hit Subway for lunch today, and while I was there, saw a nervous new sammich artist who looked unkempt, long gray hair sticking out everywhere, not cleanly shaven, shirt untucked, clothes wrinkled. I would guess he was in his 50's. I couldn't help wondering what series of bad decisions led a guy his age to working at a fast food joint. I assume drugs were involved at some point. Possibly some jail time. Maybe he went through a bad divorce and his ex took everything and he's now working the lowest paying job he can find to avoid paying alimony. Whatever the story is, I'm half tempted to go back some time when it isn't so busy and find out.

I'm Going Extinct

According to this story, redheads will be extinct by 2100. Scientists blame it on a recessive gene, but I blame it on all the women who don't want to go out with a redhead. I don't know about anyone else, but I can't envision a world where our grandchildren will have to look in a history book to see red hair. Please help avert this tragedy by sending some single women my way.

And while you're at it, feel free to visit Realm of Redheads for everything you ever wanted to know about redheads.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ministry of Melodic Mayhem

I don't write many music reviews, so bear with me on this one. With any luck I'll eventually refine my technique, but for now this is what you get.

Today the Chuckman was kind enough to bring in a copy the latest CD by Ministry of Melodic Mayhem for me to listen to. My first impression was that that was too many M's for one band name. That aside, I decided to listen to Flame In The Distance anyway.

The band features a lot of minor key, single note, acoustic guitar riffs which I found reminiscent of Days of the New and Tantric. Thrown into the mix are a couple of violins which I found to give the music a Celtic/Irish feel. The vocals I would describe as balladesque, and on more than one occasion reminded me of Billy Joel, not in terms of the sound of the voice, but more in terms of cadence and general flow, and in particular I kept having flashes of the song The Downeaster Alexa. It's kind of an odd mixture but it seems to work. It is kind of a new age/soft rock mix. If you're looking for some mellow music that you might hear on an adult contemporary station, then this is for you.

The web site is listed as under construction, but check back later for updates. The album art I had initially thought was a picture of Atlas holding up the Death Star, but upon closer inspection was disappointed to find that it is just a stylistic planet earth with some zodiac references drawn on. I could have given this a much higher review if it was the Death Star.

WGA Strike

It's looking like a strike is imminent for the Writers Guild. You all know what that means. If they can't hammer out a new agreement very quickly, we will all get to see and explosion of reality shows and game shows.

Maybe this will turn out to be a good thing for me in that I will be forced to find something more productive to do with my free time than watch tv. Or maybe I'll just watch more sports. Although many major sporting events appear scripted these days, I don't think that they are covered by the Writers Guild.

Risk Tolerance Quiz

I had always thought of myself as a pretty conservative investor until I found the risk tolerance calculator on the Wells Fargo web site recently. According to the way I answered the questions (and yes I did answer them honestly) I am a more aggressive investor than average. I didn't fall into the high risk investor category, but was still surprised by the results. I don't know if this says more about my self perception, or my perception of others. Either way, I hope it pays off for me.

Useless Trivia

It's been a while since I've had any useless trivia, but it's back with a vengeance today. And today's trivia is brought to you by the letter Z.

What is a zyzzyx?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Guitar Video

I don't have any videos up on youtube yet, but when I do, they will look something like this. I won't look so much like Nigel Tufnel though.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Next Great American Band

Fox is relentlessly pushing this show. I think it's a step up from American Idol in that actual bands are involved as opposed to glorified karaoke. My reasoning is that real musicians playing real instruments should have at least some knowledge of music. Granted that's not necessarily true as no doubt there will be loads of crap pop-punk bands who don't know anything about music and can barely play an instrument, but in theory it's a better idea. At least that's what I thought until I saw that Johnny Rzeznik is one of the judges. If they can't find any better judges than a completely talentless hack, then I don't hold out much hope for the show. If he wasn't a pretty boy that made young girls swoon, then he and the horrible Goo Goo Dolls would never have had a musical career at all. So there you have it, this show is doomed.

For The Alexander Haters

Today's quote of the day goes out to all of you Shaun Alexander haters out there, and comes courtesy of Emmitt Smith:

Shaun Alexander needs to step it up and be a man and run the ball like he's
supposed to.

Coming from a hall of fame back, I think that carries a little more weight than your typical commentator.

I personally think he's going to have a big game against the sub-par Saints defense, especially since it's a nationally televised game. He has a history of big games in the spotlight, so I'm going to go on the record and say that this will be his biggest game of the year to date, which, when I think about it isn't really saying much. But still, I expect something in the neighborhood of 150 yards and 2 touchdowns.


After reading about the big fish's ongoing nightmares a couple days ago, my first thought was that I rarely remember any of my dreams anymore. I honestly can't remember the last dream I had, until last night that is.

I wouldn't really call this dream a nightmare, but it was surprisingly unsettling. In the dream, I came home to find 3 people packing up all of my belongings. After several minutes of arguing and threatening, the only information I could get out of them was that they were hired by my landlord. There was no reason why they were moving me out. I found it very upsetting that for absolutely no reason, and completely out of nowhere, I was suddenly homeless.

What really surprised me was that it woke me up and I couldn't let it go. Even though I knew it was a dream, I couldn't go back to sleep because I kept wondering why they would be evicting me. I always pay my rent on time. I'm quiet. I keep the place clean. I kept going over these things in my head for about half an hour (although my ability to judge time in the middle of the night isn't very good) before finally convincing myself that it was just a dream and I could go back to sleep. At least I didn't have to get up for work today and could sleep in.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Adrian Peterson Showdown

This weekend we've got a momentous occasion in the NFL. When the Bears play the Vikings, we will get to see who has the better Adrian Peterson. My money is on the real Adrian Peterson of the Vikings. The Bears Adrian Peterson is an imposter and will be exposed as such soon enough.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I just played the demo of Bioshock and I would have to describe it as super cool. Set in a 50's era undersea utopia, it is now filled with mutants and monsters, the result of unethical medical experiments gone awry. The demo wasn't very long, so it was hard to get a good feel for the gameplay, but what I saw I liked. The graphics are absolutely gorgeous, and the atmosphere is really creepy. It was like stepping into a Steven King novel.

The real novelty of the game is that you can find "plasmids" - injections that will manipulate your genes and give you super powers. I found the electricity plasmid that allowed me to shoot bolts of lightening from my hands like the emperor. I also found the incinerate plasmid which allowed me to set enemies on fire. I saw a short video that said there were also teleportation and telekinesis plasmids and others.

After playing the demo, I'm dying to play more. I just hope the rest of the game is as good as the beginning.

Stupid Injuries

I have been limping around all day today thanks to one spectacularly uncoordinated move I pulled off yesterday which left me with a sprained knee, ankle, and toe. I know it's not easy to do that much damage all at once, but I pulled it off. All of this occurred while practicing a leg sweep in the dojo (nage-no-kata shodan #5 if you're interested, it even looks like some youtube videos pop up if you google that). Anyhow, imagine, if you will, that I was standing with my right leg in front of my left, and when my right leg was swept, my left foot got stuck on the mat and I fell straight back onto my own leg. My toes turned to the outside of my body, twisting both my ankle and knee at the same time. Well, that hurt like hell, but at this point I'm just glad I didn't tear anything. I'll gladly take limping around for a couple days over blowing out a knee. It no doubt looked quite graceful and I'm glad only a few people were there to see it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Constant Hunger

I have started a new experiment this week. I've given up eating lunch. In an attempt to save money and lose weight at the same time, I came up with this crazy idea. Plus it's hard to find anything halfway healthy in the U district. Well, so far I have saved money and I have lost some weight, but in the afternoons I can feel my stomach digesting itself. I don't know how much longer I'll keep this up. I can only fight the urge to eat gyros for so long. I want to get down to the 170-175 range, and once the holidays come around it's going to be that much harder, so I may try to keep it up it for another week or two. We'll see. It's getting harder all the time though.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Based on my unscientific poll, I have determined that HD DVD will win the format war hands down over Blu-Ray. And remember, you heard it here first.

Hayden Panettiere

Heroes has become my favorite show, and at the risk of sounding like a dirty old man, I am going to publicly admit that Hayden Panettiere who plays the role of Claire Bennet aka 'the cheerleader' has to be the cutest girl in the world. It's sure a good thing they saved her. But wait, there's more! As luck would have it, she's a quality actress as well. Plus she's really got that sweet, girl next door thing going. So do yourself a favor and tune in to Heroes, enjoy the show, and enjoy the adorable young Hayden. You'll thank me later.

Fill in the blank contest!

This is an exciting new contest I've thought up. Yes, the exclamation point should have tipped you off about the upcoming excitement. This is a pretty straight forward contest that probably needs no explanation, but for it's debut, I'll include the rudimentary instructions: I will type up a sentence with one blank in it. You provide the word that best completes the sentence. The winner will receive copious amounts of free praise. So here we go.

I finally got home at about 10:30 tonight and the long day combined with the lack of sleep I've been experiencing lately have left me damn tired, and nearly incapable of typing correctly. I'm as tired as a _____.

There you have it. Multiple entries are acceptable. This contest will remain active until I declare a winner.

People I Hate

Today's rant is dedicated to those lazy people who make me stop on 2 extra floors on the way up the elevator because they refuse to walk up 1 flight of stairs. I hate you people.

Good Bye Mack

It's a sad time for Seahawk fans as long time FB Mack Strong announced his retirement after suffering a herniated disc. I will miss having him in the backfield, but not nearly as much as Shaun Alexander is going to miss him. This is going to make the Seahawks struggling running game that much worse. So it is with sadness that I say goodbye to Mack Strong and wish him the best of luck with whatever he has planned for his post football life and sincerely hope he has no lingering effects from his injury. I feel like I should send him a card or something.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Monster Showdown

Ever wonder who would win in a battle between Dracula and Frankenstein? Godzilla vs. King Kong? Alien vs. Predator? I was thinking of ripping off this poll, but it turns out it's too much work. God bless the good people over at AMC who fill up my tv with horror movies every October. I love Monsterfest.

Good News - I'm Not Losing My Mind.....Yet

I got home from my flag football game to discover that my gate key to get into my parking lot wasn't where I knew I had put it. I was absolutely, 100% certain that I had put it in my center console while I was playing football, but after pulling everything out, it was nowhere to be found. I even opened up the CD cases I had in there thinking it may have slipped inside one of them, as unlikely as that might be.

Well, my next step was to go inside, find a flashlight, and see if it had fallen down between one of the seats and the center console, under one of the seats, or perhaps even have made it's way under one of the floor mats. After an extensive search of my car, I found the following items left for me by a previous owner: a pack of gum, a barrette, a pen cap, an air freshener, and what appeared to be a cheeto, but I'm not entirely sure since it was lodged in it's hiding space so well that despite my best efforts I was unable to extricate it. I also found $1.45 in change (I can do a load of laundry now!) that I assume a good portion of, if not all of, fell out of my pockets.

At this point, I had performed a thorough search of my car and was still empty handed. Out of all other options, I once again searched everything in the center console to find that my gate key had, against all odds, slipped into one of my CD cases, but not just that, had slipped into one of the pages in the insert which had prevented me from finding it earlier. So after 15 - 20 minutes of frustration and thinking I had lost my mind, it turned out to be more or less exactly where I was sure I had put it.

One last important note: no profanity was used in the creation of this story. I know this may be difficult to believe, but it's true.

Upconverting DVD Players

Lately I've been intrigued by the phenomenon of upconverting DVD players. Basically they take a standard DVD and convert it to an HD signal for your HD TV. I've seen some reviews that suggest I can't live without one of these in my home theater, but I'm not entirely convinced. Has anyone out there seen one of these in action? Are they as great as advertised? Are they worth the price, or am I better off saving up for an HD DVD player? Do they make HD DVD players that upscale standard DVDs? Answers to any of these questions would be appreciated.

Bought a beat up six string in a second hand store

After hearing some Foreigner today, I can't help wondering why Juke Box Hero never made it into any Guitar Hero games. It seems like it's taylor made for that game.

Matt Hasselbeck Sucks

I have tried to remain positive about Matt Hasselbeck this year, even arguing with people who have criticized him, but after seeing him play what has to have been the worst game of his career today, I can't stand behind him anymore. Today's game can't be described as anything better than an embarrassment. The line gave him great protection most of the game, and all he did with all the time they gave him was throw the ball away, miss open receivers, throw into coverage, or just dance around looking like Rick Mirer until he got sacked.

Combine that with the pitiful effort by Shaun Alexander, and nearly every drive ended with a 3 and out. The defense was pretty solid for most of the game, but they can only be on the field for so long before they tire out. I don't know the actual stats, and I don't think I want to know, but I would estimate that the D was on the field for approximately 90 minutes.

I think it is now time to sit Hasselbeck out and let Seneca Wallace get some starts. I think we're stuck with Alexander though. Even with Alexander running like a pansy, he's still a step up from Morris. We really need to get a bruising running back who will just put his head down and plow for the tough yards. Alexander is great at cutting back and finding holes, but on days like today when there isn't anywhere to cut back, he really needs to just put his head down and take what he can get. I can't stand to see him lay down in the backfield anymore.

Van Halen

After seeing a few of these videos on youtube, it kills me that I couldn't get tickets to go see Van Halen.

There's nothing like a trail of blood to find your way back home

And with that, here is your video of the day. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I can't afford that

I just got my mail today and found an advertisement for The Villas at Carillon condos. Now according to the flyer, these condos start at the low low price of just $800k. Now don't get me wrong, these look like very nice condos with a beautiful view of Lake Washington, but what I can't figure out is why they are sending it to me. If I'm currently renting a condo that I would guess is valued at about $150k, what in the world would make these marketers think I could afford $800k+ for a place? And if I could really afford that, why wouldn't I just buy a house instead? I really don't get it.

But if you're interested in some way overpriced condos in Kirkland, here you go.

Cheap DVDs

I really am a sucker for cheap DVDs. Whenever I'm at a store that has some cheap DVDs displayed somewhere I have to stop and take a look, and usually pick up one or two. It doesn't even have to be a good movie. If I can find a decent movie for $5 or $6 that I figure I'll watch more than once I'm powerless to resist. I have even picked up movies I've never seen before just because I figure it's not much more than renting it. That's how I've manage to wind up with some pretty mediocre movies in my library.

Target seems to be best at this. I can't seem to go to Target without coming home with at least 1 DVD. My last trip I came home with the extended version of Stargate, Secret Window, and the real gem of the deal, a 2 disc package with Big Trouble in Little China and Flight of the Phoenix for just $5.50. I may never get around to watching Flight of the Phoenix, but I absolutely love Big Trouble in Little China. I guess I should just be glad that the closest Target is on the other side of Redmond and I absolutely hate driving through downtown Redmond or my DVD library would soon grow out of control. Best Buy usually suckers me in too, but again, not conveniently enough located to be a real threat.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I Think I Hate Meetings

After sitting through a particularly gruelling 1:45 minute meeting, I've come to the realization that I think I hate meetings. Particularly on a Friday afternoon when I haven't gotten enough sleep all week. No real point here, I'm just hoping for some sympathy.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Comcast Blows

I'm sure I've said this before, but Comcast has absolutely the worst customer service in the world. Every time I have to deal with them they piss me off. I don't want to rehash any old material, so I'll stick with the latest episode.

They have been advertising the Showtime free preview weekend that was supposed to be last weekend. Well, when the weekend arrived, I didn't have any Showtime. I sent an email off to them asking what the deal was and about 14-16 hours later got a response telling me that I had to go to the Showtime section of On Demand. Well, as politely as I could, I responded that if they had read my email, they would have seen that I said I tried that already and just received a message telling me to call Comcast to order Showtime. Several hours later I received a short response that said that they didn't know enough details to resolve the issue. No questions asking for specific details. No offer to help work it out. Not even a number to call for further assistance. Basically an email version of giving me the finger.

Well, as you can imagine, this immediately pissed me off. My first inclination was to call them up and complain, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that spending 5 minutes pushing buttons on the phone before I got to an actual person would only make things worse, and verbally abusing some poor phone jockey wouldn't really make me feel any better. At least not in the long run. Sure I'd get some temporary satisfaction, but I would feel guilty later. And by this time the weekend was almost over anyway, so I let it go.

At this point, I'm still considering sending off an email telling them that they have piss poor customer service, but I really don't think it will do any good. I can tell you from experience that I still think back fondly on the day I received a letter from a customer with just one thing to say: Safeco blows. That really made my whole week, so I know telling off Comcast isn't going to do any good either. The other option is to vote with my wallet and go to direct tv/dsl, but I really don't like direct tv, I'd have to pay more to get the HD channels, and I don't want the hassle of switching to dsl and having to change my email address. I don't know if there is really any option left for me but to downgrade my service so that at least I'm not giving them as much money. And perhaps if I emailed in the request in conjunction with a note saying how dis-satisfied I am with their service, it might actually get something accomplished. Probably not, but it's possible.

If anybody else has any better suggestions, I'd like to hear them. Until then, I'll rant away.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Movie Reviews

When I started this stupid blog, I really thought I would be filling a lot of it with movie reviews, and I've come to realize recently that I've hardly reviewed any movies. And so today I'll give you two to try to make up for it.

The first is The Flying Scotsman. This is based on the true story of Graeme Obree, who built his own bike and then raced it to set a new world record and win a world championship. I looked at this and thought it has a lot going for it. It's got a Scottish guy. It's got a true story. It's got the inspirational aspect of a man persevering against overwhelming odds. It's almost the bicycling version of The World's Fastest Indian which I really liked. This should be something I enjoy, but I just found the whole thing unsatisfying.

I guess my biggest problem with it is that the directing is kind of a mess. There is no real cohesive story, and it ends kind of abruptly with no real resolution to anything. Plot lines are introduced that never go anywhere. For example, a few times throughout the movie it is alluded to that Graeme suffers from depression, and yet we never find out if he ever gets any treatment or if he ends up killing himself.

Also, what seems to me like it should have gone into more depth about was his home made bike that he rode to beat guys on half million dollar custom built bikes. They mention that it is made from spare bicycle parts, washing machine parts, padlock parts, etc and even discuss some of the ideas behind why it's design was revolutionary, but really didn't go into enough detail for me.

Finally, Graeme is just annoying. Perhaps that is authentic, but it is difficult for me to have much sympathy or emotional investment in a character I don't like. Skip this one and rent The World's Fastest Indian instead.

Next up is Dynamite Warrior. I didn't go into this movie expecting much. I thought perhaps something similar to Ong Bak - some good action and stunts, but not much story. Well, this didn't even have much story. The acting was terrible, the music offensive, the story goofy as hell and fairly nonsensical. I could have tolerated most of this if it weren't for the fact that the action was just bad. Full of magical nonsense with characters punching nothing and hitting someone 20 feet away and sending him flying. Plus a lot of wire work which I don't like at all. There really isn't anything good to say about this movie. Avoid at all costs.

Looking over my Netflix queue, it looks like it could be a while before I write a positive review. Recommendations are always welcome though. Speaking of which, thanks are due Shelvis for recommending Idiocracy which turned out to be pretty funny.

Toughman Contest

While flipping past FSN tonight, I found out that the Toughman Contest is back. I haven't seen it for years and thought it was all over with, but apparently not. I couldn't really tell you why I find it so entertaining, but I enjoy it way more than watching professional fighters. Maybe it's just that most of those guys are so bad I can't help thinking I should enter and win some money. There aren't any events scheduled anywhere nearby, but I think if they ever come to the Seattle area, I'd seriously consider entering. And I've already decided the music I want them to play as I'm walking into the ring. Why Can't We Be Friends.