Sunday, November 30, 2008

Alternate Thanksgiving

Since I didn't go home this year, and all of my friends are either deployed, deploying, or out of town, I stayed home and busted out the grill. Here's what was on it:

a big fat porterhouse, seasoned with EVOO, sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and a two (should have been one) cream cheese stuffed, maple bacon wrapped Poblano peppers. Had an Amber Bock in the fridge, so I macked that, too. I had some garlic and rosemary potatoes and some old fashioned potato salad, but I couldn't get to that stuff. It had to wait for Saturday afternoon. Managed to stuff some Phrench Silk pie down my neck, too, but didn't get a photo of that.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Solemn Holiday Post

My buddy Justin sent this to me today.

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University .

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Went and saw Quantum of Solace yesterday with my bro M4Guru. While disappointed in the $4+ Coke that was not really a Coke, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I may end up dropping some spoilers in this post, due to my stream of unconsciousness writing style, so caveat emptor. I don't know if that applies here, but the only other Latin I could remember off the top of my head was "Otium cum dignitatum", which means "leisure with dignity".

The important thing with this movie, and Casino Royale that precedes it, is that the New Bond is a much better couple of movies than any of the previous iterations of Bond movies. Bad attitude, loose cannon, ass-kicking-sans-gadgetry Bond is miles better than the more recent, gadget dependent Bond characterizations. The constant references to Bond goin' haywire and killin' ever'body are both comedic and apropos. The only drawback is that they've got him running a Walther PPK/S mouse gun, rather than the "They finally get it!" P99 of previous movies. That's really my only complaint; I'd much rather see him running a Glock or MnP. A custom tuned 1911 is probably beyond the realm of possibility with Bond, but a man gun would be schweeeeet.


The other thing that I really liked, and a number of people have said they didn't like, was the new bad guy organization: Quantum. Its sort of an economic Al Qaida, an organization with a cell-style structure and even more secretive than anything we know about now. MI-6 didn't know a thing about them at the beginning of the flick, so its gonna be interesting, over the next couple films that Daniel Craig is signed on for, to see how this group becomes exposed and taken down.

There were still a couple things that I didn't "get", as I saw it only once so far, but I think it's entirely possible that those questions will be made clear later on. They did a nice job of conveying the sense of "everywhere and anywhere" with Quantum; they have a very, very long reach. Its going to be interesting to see how they are developed over the next couple of movies. Its all very sinister, but Bond will kill 'em all if the film calls for it...which, of course, it will. Which is, of course, why I'm such a fan. lol!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Quarrantine. It could have been good...

I'm not gonna bother with post election rants right now; both of you who read my blog have a pretty good idea where I stand on that However, that's not to say I'm not gonna be ranting!

Spoiler follows.

I went to see Quarantine with Matt E. and Paul J. about a week ago, partly because it looked cool and partly because there's not much else of interest in the local theater right now. It looked like an interesting take on the zombie genre, and it proved to be that...and less, in a couple of areas.

Starting back with Blair Witch Project, the Bouncing Handi Cam (BHC) technique was born as a new and creative way to film a movie. It was innovative at the time. Unfortunately, several other movies have taken it up as a plot device, such as was done with Cloverfield. Now its getting tired and isn't creative anymore. And there's more that goes with it, too.

Despite what directors may think, you don't have to wave the camera around like a spastic drunk for me to remember that there's a guy with a hand held camera that's giving us his perspective on what's happening. It may come as a shock, but if the same dude has the camera throughout the movie, its not all that tough to remember who he is and what he's doing. People, in general, can keep track of such things. Do us a favor, director-type personages: bounce it a little at first to give us the effect...then quit it. I'm not willing to get motion sickness just to watch your damn movie.

An additional, equally irritating corollary to the BHC style of filming is the absolute stupidity of the people who are getting filmed. There are cops at the apartment building, who have 15 in the gun and a couple reloads each. If there are three of 'em, that means there's 135 available rounds, and there were maybe 20 people in the whole building. Call me crazy, but if you have to shoot an infected body, chances are you're gonna have to do that for everyone else that gets infected. You know from recent experience that the building is sealed, and that the paramedics can't do anything about the infection. That being the case, kinda seems stupid to feed your neck to somebody you know has been bitten, doesn't it?

I'm getting sick and tired of people who should know better, acting like morons. If you can't have 'em act like they would be trained to act, DON'T PUT THEM IN THE DANG MOVIE! That ranks in Stupid right up there with backwards sights on rifles and endless magazines. There are tons of people that can be experts for movies that can fix the Stupid if the director is smart enough to pay attention to what they say. Most of the time, they aren't. Its getting to the point that directors are the cause of everything that irritates me about movies. If I find another director that gets it right, I'm gonna go see every damn thing he does. At this point, it looks like Ridley Scott comes closest...but he's smart enough to listen to his advisors. I'm thinking there's a trend to be seen there...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hell Yeah I Voted Today

Got my ballot cast this morning before work; just barely before work! The line was pretty impressive. I'm glad to see people getting out to vote for a change. Not "vote for change", but voting rather than not voting.

And, since this is my blog and I can say whatever the hell I want to, I'm gonna state this as clearly and succinctly as I can: if you voted for Obama and voted for democrats in the House and the Senate, you've ruined America for many generations to come. That inexperienced spacktard of a junior Senator's moronic ideas are going to drive America's economy and standing as an economic, business, and military power into the ground. The buzzword of "McCain is Bush's third term" doesn't mean nearly as much, or be anywhere near as damaging as Obama being Carter's second term. If that's how you voted, you screwed up and I will blame you long after Obama's impeachment has forced him from office.