Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A while ago, I heard that the largest demographic for motion pictures is teenage girls. After seeing the much hyped Twilight, I'm beginning to believe it. I have difficulty imagining that it holds a lot of interest for other audiences. Most simply put, I spent most of the film thinking, "this is pretty stupid."

It wasn't all bad though. The director did an admirable job of portraying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. It was almost a character in itself. The teenage characters were also portrayed accurately - they were very awkward and phony, constantly seeking the approval of their peers.

On to the stupid. I'm not going to spend a great deal of time on this, I'll just hit a few things. For starters, the vampire main character is over 100 years old, despite having the body of a 17 year old and yet we're expected to believe that he has anything other than a physical interest in a 17 year old girl? I don't think that anyone other than a teen girl would believe that.

Next, adding the twist to the vampire lore that they can't go into the sunshine because their skin gets all shiny and sparkly and blows their cover is stupid enough that it makes me angry. Maintaining their anonymity is the vampires biggest concern? Really?

The last point I'll mention is that there seemed to be several loose ends that were never tied up. One example would be that one of the female vampires whose name I can't recall (the hot blond one) expresses her disdain for the main character whose name I also forgot (played by the cute Kristen Stewart (I just checked and she turns 19 in a couple days so she's legal - whew)). This is brought up a couple times but nothing ever comes of it and no explanation is given as to why. It is simply dropped. And there are a few other plot elements which are also brought up and inexplicably dropped. It's as if there were a lot more in the book that was cut from the film, but the editing and screenplay was sloppy enough that these stray plot elements weren't completely removed.

Ultimately this movie is about what I expected of it - a crappy romance aimed aimed at a different audience. If you're out of high school or male, chances are this isn't the movie for you. If your love of Forks is strong enough though you might enjoy it. Although if your knowledge of Western Washington geography is good enough a few of the minor lines might cause a little irritation. At one point the sheriff, who is tracking the bad vampires, says, "they are headed east, it looks like they are Kitsap County's problem now." It is a loooong way from Forks to Kitsap County. And the Hood Canal is in the way.

In other news, I can't believe they keep making more Fast & Furious movies. Who in the world watches these? And how does Vin Diesel continue to get jobs? I really don't understand.

Happy Place

In December and January, my job satisfaction was at an all time low and I had days where I actually considered packing up my stuff and going home. Well, with the job market as it is, I'm pretty happy I didn't, but after some introspection and talks with a few people, I've managed to find a way to cope with the inevitable irritation that arises throughout the day. When the anger begins to rise, I have found it very helpful to stop what I'm doing for a few minutes, take a deep breath, and go to my happy place.

Sadly, the persistent folks back at Liberty Mutual HQ continue to find new and innovative ways to track down my happy place and trash it. The latest atrocity came when I found out today that a bunch of the people on my floor were laid off today. Worst of all, I think that among them was the drop dead gorgeous woman down the hall was among them. This is a woman so attractive that sometimes I forget what I'm doing when I see her walk by. Now I'll probably never see her again. Just one more level of escapism I've been robbed of. I don't know how I'll survive.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Heinous Investment Advice

Andy Borowitz strikes once again, this time with his investment advice. I won't paste the whole thing here, but I will give you the tantalizing first paragraph.

If you’re one of those people who’d rather hide their money under a mattress
than give it to an investment adviser, you’re ignoring a basic economic fact:
Mattresses are expensive. Let's say you want to hide $500 under a mattress. A
queen mattress capable of hiding such a sum could run you as much as, say, $500.
Do the math: By the time you've paid for the mattress, you'll have no money left
to hide under it. Smart move, asshole.
I could have used some solid advice like this 6 months ago. It probably would have saved me a lot of money.

Snack Time

Yesterday snack time rolled around and I did something I haven't done before, I headed to the cafeteria to use the trusty (I assume since I haven't used it before) vending machine. That's when, to my surprise, I saw a boldly named product - Effin Crackers. I thought to myself, these crackers are so bad ass that they are practically commanding you to eat them. It's like they are saying, "eat these effin crackers biatch!" Since I'm pretty bad ass myself, I feel like I need a bad ass snack to keep me going on those boring afternoons.

As you've probably already guess since you're probably not so racked with hunger pangs and caffeine deficiencies that you can read properly and see the Keebler elf on the package, these were in fact elfin crackers. Fear not, the story had a happy ending. As luck would have it, the crackers were tasty, if not bold, and my stomach was satisfied.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Woot Off

Public service announcement: Woot off in progress. Unfortunately, every time I refresh, the next item is already sold out. That's why I missed out on the Homer Simpson 4 port USB hub. It's just as well since I don't need a USB hub. This does remind me though of what I stated in a previous post: The Simpsons will shamelessly slap their name on any piece of crap to make a buck. They have become a self parody, like the Krusty the Clown merchandise in the show. Hopefully I won't miss out on the Simpsons home pregnancy test or the Simpsons crowd control barriers.

It's Too Cold

Do you know at what point you realize that the winter has been too long? For me it was when I saw an ad for a greenhouse and my first thought was, "hmmm, I wonder if that will fit on my deck? I could go outside and still stay warm. Not only that, but after society's inevitable collapse, I'll need somewhere to grow my own food since I don't have a garden." It's only 6' x 8', that might fit. Well, I'll spare you any more suspense. After looking around for my tape measure and realizing it wasn't where I thought it was, I managed to locate the box it was in. I don't remember putting it there, but no matter, it turns out my deck is only 5' wide. I didn't bother measuring the length at that point, but it is easily twice the required 8'.

Here are some other random thoughts for you. Were this crazy plan to work, it would also provide a convenient place for me to roast coffee without setting off a smoke alarm. I am also amused by some of the required tools for assembly. A partner - I'd have to borrow one of those from somewhere. Tape measure - I'm in good shape here now. Lubricant - I'm a little confused about what the lube would be used for. Work gloves - always a good idea when working with lube. Large hammer - I'm pretty fond of hitting things with a hammer, and a large one is more tempting. Yes, I'm pretty sure I couldn't assemble this without assistance.

Cliches That Need To Go

At the top of my list today is a cliche that was never clever to begin with and I thought had been retired a long time ago but apparently I was mistaken. 'Take a chill pill' just seems to keep popping up lately and really needs to go. I'm convinced that an eighth grader came up with it and thought he was brilliant for finding two words that rhyme, but I keep hearing adults using it. Only adults with no self respect by the way. That's why we need to get together and decide that today is the day it will officially be heard no more.

Next up is another one I've been hearing with increasing frequency: 'it is what it is'. I don't know that there is a more meaningless phrase in use today. It is simply a way for somebody to make noise without saying anything. A way to say, "hey, I don't have anything to say but pay attention to me anyway."

Last on the agenda for the day is not so much a cliche as a double play of buzzwords. The more time I spend in the business world, the more often I hear the words proactive and paradigm. As in, "Excuse me, but 'proactive' and 'paradigm'? Aren't these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?" This is one of my all time favorite Simpsons quotes, one which was immediately followed by, "I'm fired, aren't I?"

Monday, March 23, 2009

King Corn

I enjoy a good documentary as much as the next guy and so decided that today King Corn was the film for me. Two recent college grads decide to move to Iowa for a year, rent an acre of land, and become corn farmers. In the process of growing corn, they examine what corn means to this country.

The evils of high fructose corn syrup are well known, but the extent to which corn has pervaded our diet is pretty amazing. It's almost impossible to get beef that isn't corn fed in this country, and the sad truth is that to fatten up cattle, they are placed in feed lots where their movement is severely restricted and they are fed corn which fattens them up before the slaughter. As a result, corn fed beef is higher in fat and saturated fat than grass fed beef. And when you consider that corn syrup is in everything from bread to soft drinks, and that fried foods are often times fried in corn oil, a large percentage of America's diet is comprised of corn, particularly fast food.

It also turns out that over the years, corn has been cultivated to get higher yield strains, sacrificing nutritional value in the process. So the more corn we grow, the worse it is for us, and since it is in almost everything, it is contributing to obesity and all the illnesses that go along with it, particularly diabetes.

The interesting thing about this is that to a large extent, this can be traced to government subsidies originally created by Agricultural Secretary Earl Butz in 1973. He implemented a plan to pay farmers to produce as much as possible. This drove down prices to the point that farmers can no longer make money without subsidies. As a result unhealthy food containing corn and corn syrup are cheaper so people buy and eat more of these unhealthy foods. In a round about way, we are subsidising the poor health and obesity of America. We're subsidising low cost foods with taxes and medical bills.

So maybe it's time to end farm subsidies. At the very least I've been convinced to eat healthier. I gave up soft drinks several years ago, but if I could find grass fed beef I'd be willing to pay more for it. And if I cold find more foods that didn't contain corn syrup I'd pay more for those too.


I'm quick to complain about companies that rub me the wrong way, but today I'm here to heap praise on a company that took care of me. I've owned this wireless mouse for about a year and the receiver started working sporadically and eventually stopped working altogether. I took it apart and discovered it had a broken wire. I went to the Targus web site to buy a replacement. I couldn't find the receiver by itself and emailed them to ask if I could purchase one since the mouse part still works fine. Since I don't remember exactly when I bought it and certainly don't have the receipt anymore I didn't expect it to be under warranty, but within a day received an email response that a replacement receiver was in the mail, free of charge. Less than a week later I received it and in back in business. In my opinion, they went above and beyond the call of duty and I can whole heartedly recommend them. It certainly moves them up my list of preferred companies.

Congratulations Japan

Congratulations Japan on winning the World Baseball Classic. I don't know how they can justify calling it a classic after only occuring two times, but the game against South Korea was certainly memorable. After surrendering the tying run in the 9th, Japan rallied in extra innings. Ichiro made me proud by hitting a 2 run double in the 10th. He lad Japan with 4 hits in the game. Undoubtedly the brilliant leadership from coach Yoda made the difference. I'm only disappointed that I can't find his first name anywhere.


I haven't seen Memento in several years, but since it is free on demand right now, I recently watched it again and may have enjoyed it even more than the first time. It is an absolutely brilliant script about Leonard Shelby, played by Guy Pearce, who suffered a brain injury preventing him from making new memories when he catches a man raping his wife - this is the last memory he has. Every morning he wakes up, his only thought is of catching the man responsible.

Since Leonard can't make any new memories, he has to meticulously keep track of everything he learns and everyone he knows with notes and photographs, and the clues to finding the man that raped and murdered his wife he tattoos on his body.

This is the film that initially introduced me to Christopher Nolan who went on to direct Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Prestige. Memento is every bit as good as any of these and the story is told in reverse, starting with Leonard killing the man who raped and murdered his wife. The film then slowly backtracks, occasionally throwing in some flashbacks, creating a sense of confusion similar to what Leonard feels. As you realize that a lot of the people he associates with are pretty sketchy, you can't help wonder if he's being used.

Guy Pearce does an amazing job and Carrie Ann Moss and Joe Pants are wonderful in supporting roles. Movies don't get much better than this. I command you to watch it as soon as possible.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

International Talk Like William Shatner Day

Today, 3/22/09, has been named international talk like William Shatner day by famed voice actor Maurice LaMarche. Known for voicing Kif Kroker, Morbo, Lrrr, Calculon, and other Futurama characters, and roles in other movies and shows I'm less interested in, he gives a brief tutorial on how to properly impersonate Captain Kirk. So grab your camcorder, web cam, or other video recording device and post a video of your best Shatner impression for all the world to see and we'll all have a great time.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ponder This

As you labor through another Friday, take some time to consider the following question: is the toaster the most humorous of all small appliances? The waffle iron has it's moments, but I think any comedy writer will agree - if you need an appliance related punch line, the toaster is your bread and butter. Also it's one of the few appliances you can put bread and butter in. Well, maybe not butter.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Land of the Lost

Let me begin by explaining to those that haven't heard of it yet the Scooby Doo effect. This is when, as an adult, you see a television show or movie that you loved as a kid only to realize it is horrible. I first noticed this phenomenon while watching Scooby Doo, hence the name.

What does this have to do with Land of the Lost you ask? Well, after being swept up by a wave of nostalgia, I decided to have Netflix send me the series. Over the past week and a half I have slowly been making my way through the old episodes and find myself struck by a bad case of the Scooby Doo effect. If you haven't seen the show, you can probably deduce that a low budget children's show filmed in 1974 has some spectacularly bad special effects. I'm not even sure they were good for the time, but they look horrific now. I've been trying to get past that and try to enjoy the stories on their own, but honestly, they aren't that good either. And even the brilliant casting of NBA legend Bill Laimbeer as a Sleestak can't save the show. This quote nearly makes it all worth while though:

Laimbeer went from menacing Marshall, Will, and Holly as an
adolescent to menacing the entire
as an adult.

So, I'm now about halfway through season 1 and am intent on finishing this season, but I don't think I can stomach future seasons. I do think that the nostalgia makes it more tolerable and am pretty sure that if you haven't seen it before you won't be able to sit through it. But Scooby Doo effect and all, it still transports me back to a simpler time. A time when I was young enough that even badly animated dinosaurs captivated me. And I should also mention that it was this picture of Posh Spice which initially prompted me to rewatch the series. Not until after laughing until tears came to my eyes though.
And I guess I would be remiss if I didn't mention the upcoming Land of the Lost motion picture, hitting theaters June 5, 2009. I'm not a big Will Ferrell fan so I don't hold out a great deal of hope. You never know though, it might turn out great.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I just learned a wonderful new word: fictionary. This is an imaginary compendium of made up words. Where would you find the meaning of the word tenawesome? Why, in the fictionary of course. Don't want to appear stupid when someone mentions taking a staycation? By consulting the fictionary, you'll discover that this is when you can't afford to go anywhere on your days off. Yes, the fictionary is a completely cromulent resource that will enrich your life.

Coffee Cologne

Today's brilliant marketing idea is aimed squarely at Starbucks. The only brand I can think of that is more willing to shamelessly whore itself out and slap it's name on any piece of junk they can is the Simpsons. And since Starbucks is so shameless, I think this idea is perfect for them. I love the smell of coffee and got to thinking this afternoon that I'd enjoy smelling like coffee all day long. Hence, coffee cologne. And you can talk about pheromones all you like, but for my money there is no more powerful aphrodisiac than good old java. This is sure to be a big seller. So here's to hoping that one day in the near future, I'll see some Starbucks cologne on store shelves.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th Part 2

Today is Friday the 13th for the second consecutive month. That got me wondering when the last time that happened was. And perhaps it's because it's the end of a week in which daylight savings time robbed me of an hour of sleep, not to mention that I got up half an hour earlier than normal today, but I've been many a stray thought has crossed my mind today. I can barely concentrate.

Anyway, I saw that South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has announced that he will be rejecting nearly a quarter of the federal money headed to his state as part of the economic stimulus plan.

"I have come to conclude that it would be a mistake to simply accept the money as offered," Sanford wrote to state legislators in announcing his decision. "When one is in a hole, the first order of business is to stop digging."

I have to agree that increasing government spending is not the way to fix the economy, but I'm sure that many of the intended recipients of this money are going to be none too happy with him. The typical response that you'd expect from the opposition - that it is political posturing - was quickly leveled. Who knows, maybe it is political posturing, but at least it's interesting to see a politician literally put his money where his mouth is rather than decry the stimulus package only to accept the handouts whole heartedly. I'll be interested to see the ramifications.

The other interesting quote for me was this:

"Every state should be laser-focused right now on one issue: jobs, jobs, jobs," said O'Malley, vice chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

All I can think after reading that is that I thought the majority of the stimulus package was earmarked for extending unemployment benefits. How exactly is paying people not to work supposed to increase jobs? The other lingering question for me is, if Sanford does follow through with this and reject the money, what will become of the funds? Will they go toward paying down the national debt, or will they simply be reallocated to some other government program. Who knows, and I'm honestly beginning to lose interest already.

One last bit of advise before I call it a day, if you're going to put a dummy in your car so that you can drive in the HOV lane, make sure to buckle him up so that you don't get pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. The Washington State Patrol will give you a $124 ticket and confiscate your dummy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


For Jamie:

By the way, I feel compelled to say that most of the people who comment on youtube have got to be the dumbest people in the world. I try my best not to read any comments but sometimes it happens anyway and I think I lose an IQ point with each comment I read.

Open Letter to "No Stank You"

If you haven't seen the "no stank you" commercials that seem to be on constantly, consider yourself lucky. If you have seen them, then I'm sure you can relate to the sentiments I'm about to express.

Dear $%&*)#s,

Your "no stank you" commercials are so &^#)@# annoying that mere words cannot begin to express the rage I feel when I see one. You are all evil @%%^#s and I hope you die a slow and extremely painful death. Extremely. I swear, if I see that piece of @&$* one more time, I will track you down, shove a red hot ^&^#$%& up your fat @#$& while &(**&^ing you in the @#^^ until your @#^^$@ turn black and blue. I will then proceed to beat you with a crowbar until your own mother won't recognize you. I now plan to take up smoking simply out of spite.

Best wishes,
Your worst nightmare

Homer Wisdom

After receiving a fortune cookie reading, "geese can be troublesome" Homer Simpson decided to become a fortune writer. He then came up with the following gems:

The price of stamps will climb ever higher

You will invent a humorous toilet lid

You will find true love on Flag Day

Your store is being robbed Apu

And my personal favorite: You will be aroused by a shampoo commercial

It's so true. Now I really want some Chinese food....

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Midlife Crisis

After learning on Friday that a friend of mine is quitting his job without having another lined up, mostly because he turned 30 a few months ago and has been asking himself if this is where he really wants to be, I've been thinking about the Faith No More song Midlife Crisis. I absolutely love this song and was pleased to find a cover by another band I like - Disturbed.

Disturbed is no stranger to covers. They've done a decent version of Land of Confusion by Genesis, a surprisingly good version of the Tears for Fears classic Shout. I really didn't think that one would translate well to hard rock but boy was I wrong. All that considered, I was pleased at the quality of Midlife Crisis. I always thought the original was more of a pop song than a hard rock song, with some sampled and electronic sounds and an upbeat drum line. I may be in the minority on that since on more than one occasion I've had it cranked only to have someone walk by and express shock that would make you think I was listening to death metal.

Anyway, Disturbed removes all of the pop elements and makes it a full on head banging rock song. It works well, but still fails to match the original. David Draiman does a good job with the vocals but doesn't have the feeling or versatility of Mike Patton. It also drops the multi layered vocals of the original - the harmonies and canon aren't there. The drums are also less pronounced, which I see as a bit of a detraction. All in all though, a great cover that I will listen to repeatedly. Unlike a lot of covers which are made as close as possible to the original, Disturbed changed it enough to give it a different feel, to put their own trademark on it, but not so much that it sounds like a completely different song (like the horrific cover of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal by some terrible punk band that I don't care to be reminded of).

For comparison/contrast, here is the original. Running neck and neck with Falling to Pieces as my favorite song by the band, I love it and even after all these years can't get enough of it.

New Logo

As you may have noticed, a new logo has been designed and special thanks go to Wayne for creating the kick ass new logo. It epitomizes everything that is Craw Fu, combining terrifying bad assery (yes that's a real term) with side splitting humor. I'm particularly fond of the three stooges inspired eye poking U.

Wayne actually created several preliminary logos, all good, and narrowing it down to one favorite was a difficult job. This one narrowly edged out the fist of fu.

For your enjoyment, below are 2 more polished logos with the same theme.

Thanks again Wayne, these turned out better than I hoped for.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

New Phone

I've got about a month until I can upgrade to a new phone and have started looking at my options. I will be glad to get rid of my out of date Razr. I like the slim, compact design, but compared to newer phones, the functionality is really limited. I would like a phone with a full keyboard since I've got a couple friends who love to text and composing a message with a standard keypad is a nightmare. I'm also looking for a phone that will allow me to access the internet and will still be compact enough to easily fit in my pocket. And since most of the pictures I take are with my phone since it's almost always with me and my camera isn't, I'd like a quality camera.

I'm currently with Verizon and plan on staying with them, and after some preliminary research into what's available, I'm leaning toward the Samsung Omnia. It's got a good camera, it's compact, and it's fast. It's also got some of the highest reviews, not just from professional reviewers but from users too. I looked at a few blackberries, and I wouldn't use all of the features, and most of them are bigger than I want. Plus I can't see myself turning into one of those tools who is constantly hunched over his blackberry, poking at it like a fascinated and confused monkey. I actually saw a super geek on my bus this morning who spent the entire ride swapping back and forth between 2 different blackberries. I suspect he was emailing himself to try to make himself appear important. But I digress, point is I don't think the blackberry is for me. I checked out the Google G1 which Cnet says is only available with T-Mobile, but I'm pretty sure is available through Verizon too. I like that it's expandable and that it's got a keyboard instead of just a touch screen, but like the blackberry is just a little too big and for some reason they designed it with the bottom angled out so that it makes it a little more cumbersome and harder to fit in my pocket. A friend has the AT&T Tilt, which I kind of like the design of, but I would have to switch to AT&T. Not to mention that it's a bit pricey.

I guess one of the things that I haven't looked at yet is battery life. The battery in my Razr is terrible and I really don't want another phone that I have to charge every day. So, all things considered so far, the Omnia looks like the phone for me, but if somebody has some information I've overlooked or another phone I haven't considered (there's no way in the world I'm jumping on the iphone bandwagon), I'd like to hear it.

**Note: damn blogger and their occasional weird formatting problems. Why must it be so difficult sometimes?**
**Further note: I conquered your formatting weirdness blogger. Bow down before your new master.**


While flipping around on the television this evening to try to find something to have on in the background while I made dinner and took care of the various other minutia before getting side tracked chatting about the draft online, I stumbled on channel 661. This has been one of those channels that they have been playing musical stations (pun intended) with. It is now Palladia, apparently part of the MTV family. Not holding that against it, I tuned in to see the end of an HD Duran Duran concert (repeat showings 3/6 at 3pm, 3/20 at 5pm, and 3/21 at 11am). I couldn't help thinking that even as old guys, they still put on a great show. I was actually watching a bunch of their old videos on youtube over the weekend, marveling at how many great songs they had, and seeing the concert reinforced that.

How they are not thought of as one of the great bands in history is a mystery to me. I'm not sure any of their contemporaries pumped out more hits. And while most of it was pure pop, they did have some songs with a little more edge like Wild Boys and also could slow it down and produce a great ballad like Save a Prayer. As the 80's wound down and they started changing line ups, the hits started drying up. But for about a 7 year stretch, there was nobody better. One interesting fact I just discovered is that none of the 3 Taylors - Roger, Andy, and John - were related. That seems really unlikely.

Anyway, after the Duran Duran concert concluded, a show on U2 started up. Throughout, all I could think was what happened to them? How could they have gone from writing amazing songs like Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride, and With or Without You to churning out garbage like Lemon and Discotheque? Hitting their peak at the Joshua Tree, they seemed to do an about face. Rather than fading into anonymity, on subsequent albums they seemed intent on destroying their image of having a social conscience and instead sold their souls for fame and fortune. They have become a caricature of band that hit it big and didn't know what to do. Putting on ridiculously over the top stage shows to hide their increasingly sub par music and publicly making asses of themselves to keep their faces in the news. It's sad really, particularly when you consider the people they used to be. But ultimately, no matter how far they've strayed, they are still the band that used to write great songs and since the show didn't venture into the new garbage, it was enjoyable. Particularly in glorious high def.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

New Logo Contest

I need a new logo at the top of my page, I've grown tired of the current one, and since I'm not known for my graphic design skills, I'm going to need help. Anyone who can come up with a kick ass logo will be handsomely rewarded. And by that I mean you will receive a sincere thanks and public recognition. I will not limit the parameters other than to say that any logo would hopefully make you think, "that's what Craw Fu is all about" when you look at it.

In other news, I would like to publicly say happy square root day to one and all. As I'm sure all of you are aware, today is 3/3/09, and looking at that date I'm also sure that everyone can see that 3x3=9, hence the name square root day. Equally obvious should be that this phenomenon only occurs 9 times per century and the next will not occur until 4/4/16. So live it up while you can. Armageddon may come before the next square root day.

Also, Pi Day (3/14) is less than two weeks away. Begin your preparations now. Right now I'm thinking about eating an apple pie to celebrate.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Sure, times are tough and all of my investments are going in the tank, but at least I'm not at risk of being evicted from a cave. That's when you know you're close to rock bottom. (pun semi-intended. I don't find it terribly amusing and tried to think of something else but quickly gave up.)

Anyway, the above article is pretty superficial, but after a little more research, this whole saga is getting more interesting. I found this article with a lot more information. For starters, they are victims of signing a stupid loan - a 5 year loan with a balloon payment at the end. So after buying the house for $160k and making a 50% down payment, $83k is due on May 1. And after spending $150k in renovations in that time, the owner didn't have the forethought to set aside enough for the remaining payment.

After looking at some more pictures of the cave and finding out that prior to being a private residence, it served as a concert venue for the likes of the Motor City Madman - Ted Nugent, Bob Segar, and Tina Turner, I can't help thinking it would be a pretty cool place to live. If only I was willing to move to Festus, MO. Is there anything more manly than living in a cave, particularly one with electricity, plumbing, and internet access? That's a dream come true. Hopefully this family will be able to procure a more traditional loan and remain there.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Street Fighter

It should come as no surprise that the new Street Fighter movie currently has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only has there never been a good, or even a mediocre movie based on a video game, a movie based on a fighting game seems particularly dumb. This only enforces my belief that this movie was just made as publicity for the highly anticipated Street Fighter IV video game. Avoid the movie at all costs.

The Fall

Friday night, being too exhausted to do much else, I popped in The Fall. This has to rank as one of the best films I've seen in a while. Probably the best since The Dark Knight. I really didn't know much about the movie going in so I'll try not to give away too much.

The Fall takes place primarily in a hospital where Roy, a silent film stunt man, has broken his back and is paralyzed from the waist down. He befriends a young girl, Alexandria, with a broken arm who likes to wander around the hospital to relieve her boredom. Roy begins telling Alexandria a story and we view the story through her imagination. It isn't too long before we find out that Roy is suicidal and is only telling the story in the hopes of persuading Alexandria to steal some morphine for him to over dose.

It may sound a little bleak, but ultimately it is a story about hope. I'm a sucker for a fairy tale, and the story told by Roy comes across as very fairy tale-esque. It is a visually stunning - I watched it on blu ray, and if you have high definition available you should take advantage. There is more too it than amazing imagery though. The pacing is a little slower than your typical Hollywood fare and in my opinion is perfect. A lot of movies seem too rushed for me, but The Fall takes it's time and allows you to absorb the story and develop an attachment to the characters without being boring.

Some reviewers have called it self indulgent and shallow, but those reviewers are wrong. The story is captivating and unravels like a tapestry. The young girl who played Alexandria did a wonderful job and the rest of the cast was terrific as well. I'm starting to lose my concentration and before I get any more nonsensical I'll just say go watch The Fall. You'll thank me later.

This Is Why You're Fat

Thanks go out to Brandon for letting me know about This is why you're fat. If you haven't seen this site before, it's you're one stop on the web for all things gluttonous. If there is a food that has been wrapped in bacon, deep fried, or wrapped in bacon then deep fried, then this site has it. I'm not sure if the intended effect is to shock me with the calorie bombs found here, but I'm drooling over some of the concoctions. I wouldn't have a moments hesitation before devouring a Lankford's Gluttoneer - a half pound prime rib/sirloin/rib eye patty, american cheese, onions, maple bacon, hot link sausage, ketchup and honey mustard. But for me, nothing looks tastier than the bacon wrapped meatloaf with a layer of mac & cheese in the middle. Is there anyone out there who can honestly tell me that doesn't look delicious?

But this is only the beginning of my foray into the bacon arts. I can't remember if I mentioned the bacon explosion already or not, but I want to eat one of these more than anything in the world. I'm too impatient to make one myself, but I am really hoping that someone else will make one and be kind enough to let me sample the heart stopping goodness. 2 pounds of bacon and 2 pounds of sausage smothered in BBQ sauce and slowly smoked to perfection. I'm pretty sure that's what God eats for breakfast up in heaven every morning.

I also have found my new hero. I assume inspired by Morgan Spurlock in Supersize Me, Michael J Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame embarked on a quest to eat nothing but bacon for the month of February. Did his heart explode? Did he make it the whole month without eating anything else? As of now, those questions still have not been satisfactorily answered, but never the less, this is an ambitious undertaking. I can honestly say that I don't think there is any way I could limit my diet to just bacon, or just one food of any kind for a month.

Finally, my journey of bacon discovery led me to bacolicio.us. As demonstrated here, this fine web site will put a succulent strip of hickory smoked goodness across any web site of your choosing. This brilliant creation allows you to make even the most offensive web site palatable.