26 February 2006

$260 Pierced Tablespoons?

Now I'm as happy as anyone for the newly-engaged couple, but one can learn quite a bit from the items Zach and Mandy have put on their Tiffany wedding registry. Dinner service for 24? No problem with that, I'm sure they've got a lot of friends. It's not even that exorbitantly expensive a pattern, if a bit stark for my taste. Mario Batali would approve, though.

Where I start to wonder is the line-item for 6 decanters. Not even Larry Miller could drink that much, and he's the only Jew I know of who ties one on regularly (yes, I know this will be a mixed marriage, but I don't see Mandy downing single-malt whiskey on a regular basis, either). Then there are the $260 pierced tablespoons. 24 of them. Twenty-four spoons with holes in them. The only use I can think of for spoons with holes is for sugaring your Absinthe. Sounds to me like the home of the happy couple is going to be party central.

So this toast is to you, the future Mr. and Mrs. Braffmoore. Let it be each other, and not the thujone, that drives you both insane.

Anyhoo, I thought that registry was random and entertaining enough to post here. Enjoy.

22 February 2006

Filthy? Check. Obscene? Check. Gottfried? Check!

Clearly Jillette and Provenza read my email (and, I imagine, the emails of many, many others). After seeing The Aristocrats (click to read my review), I had one wish: that the DVD would have the entire, uncut version of Gilbert Gottfried's telling of the titular joke.

The DVD is out. The joke is there, along with Saget's telling and two hours of additional filthy, filthy love.

Now who's going to buy it for me?

18 February 2006

Another solid effort by Berendt

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
Reading Berendt is like reading one of those old hypercard stories. He starts off with a central story, and then he just weaves from tangent to tangential character, occasionally wending back to the main tale, and he does it so skillfully and colorfully that it's hard to believe it's nonfiction. Another solid effort. I hope they get Cusack for the movie, as he did such as good job in the movie of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

12 February 2006

Ten Inches Deep

That's how much of the ol' white stuff we got last night here in Olney. I'll leave my measuring technique up to the reader's imagination. Excepting the icy mix we got about ten weeks ago, this was the first time I've shoveled snow since probably 1991. I can't say I missed it, but at least it was truly the best kind of snow...dry, light, and fluffy...made me wish I was out on skis. Barb's lucky she got to witness a quality snowstorm, as we only get them here maybe once every 3 years. Still, I'm glad we didn't get the blizzard they got up in NYC and Boston.

Roscoe, after some initial trepidation, seemed to enjoy frolicking in it; although not being much taller than the snowline, he took some convincing to get himself out of a few crevasses (admittedly, I tossed him in). Some nice pics:

Tentative Steps

End of the driveway...he ran off down the street right after I took this.

Surrounded by snow, all he could do was turn 'round and 'round.

Now what do I do?

You gonna help me?

Anyone out there?

Screw it! Here I come!

Full speed ahead!

11 February 2006

Glow in the Dark

The Radioactive Boy Scout by Ken Silverstein
This book would've been much better if Richard Rhodes had written it, but it would also have been about 600 pages longer, which is probably more of a treatment than protagonist David Hahn really deserved for his truly idiotic radiation experiments. I'd've liked a bit more hard science in it, but I'm an Atomic Age junkie, so that usually goes without saying. Good book, but I'm glad I didn't buy it. Thank you, Olney Public Library. Now if they only had We Almost Lost Detroit....

Epson loses its luster

My Epson CX6400 died today. I loved that printer. I was an Epson evangelist after I got that sucker, and then it just started printing a whole lot of nothing. Cyan and Black were nonexistent. Yellow and Red were sketchy. Fortunately we didn't have any extra ink cartridges, but these things should last longer than 2 years.

Dumped it in the trash. Gettin' a new one tomorrow. Looks like it'll be another Epson, but only because it's inexpensive, not because of the brand. I'm a printer free agent again.

Battlestar Galactica Jumps the Shark

That's the problem with being the best show on TV...all you can go is downhill. Last night Battlestar Galactica killed off one of their best characters, Presidential Advisor Billy Keikeya, so his girlfriend Anastasia Dualla (the lovely Kandyse McClure of Jeremiah fame) would be freed to romance Captain Lee Adama.

Whatever happened to knowing your audience? You've got a planet full of hard-core sci-fi fans watching a shy, slight dorky dude romancing an hot little petty officer and you kill him off? It was a friggin' low-level subplot from the original movie fercrissake! You worked so hard to set them up to fall in love, and then you replace him with a fighter jock?

I'm not really all that upset about this, mind you, but this sort of tinkering screams that they're quicking running out of ideas on the show. The shark has been jumped. Watch the decline.

07 February 2006

Why, you slimy, double-crossing, no-good swindler!

One of these days I'm going to have to add Scrubs to my Top 5 Sitcoms list. The humor, the heart, the music, the acting, and the nouveau Parker Lewis zaniness makes it the best sitcom easily in the last 5 years. I'm glad they didn't cancel it, especially with tonight's Lando cameo.

It's the one that says bad m#ther f#cker on it...

So I read somewhere that Samuel L. Jackson's combined film library now has the highest combined gross (unadjusted for inflation) in history. Apparently someone out there actually went and did the math, and it's true.

I'd've thought Goldblum would've been higher on the list, but numbers don't lie.

Actually, numbers do lie, frequently.

For example, this list is only for domestic grosses, so I contend it's not really authoritative. It's strange, since his dataset includes worldwide grosses, but he chose only to list the domestic and average domestic grosses.

Odd, but somewhat interesting, as Anthony Daniels averages over $311M per film. Not too shabby an average.

06 February 2006

Hustle 'n Flow

Season 1 of BBC's Hustle, starting Adrian Lester, the beautiful Jaime Murray and the great Robert Vaughn is showing on AMC (yes, AMC) right now. I recommend it. It's only six episodes; you can spare the time. Season 2 (already broadcast) will follow shortly, I'm sure.

Some more books injested...

His Dark Materials 3: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Kaufman
The end of Philip Kaufman's anti-religious saga ends with a battle royale between man and the Authority. I think this series really peaked with the first book, and I can't say I was wholly satisfied with the conculsion, but it was still a pretty solid read. I don't think I'd really recommend this for kids, though, despite all of the little British boys and girls being brought up on it. I wonder how many of their parents know about how blasphemous this book really is. Not that I have any issues with blasphemy, mind you. I encourage it. I suspect, however, that I'm in the minority.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
If you like your cyberpunk mixed in with a few pre-monotheistic history lessons, this is a book for you. If not, this may not be your cup of tea. I loved the start, but the story started to fade after a couple hundred pages. This was pretty ahead of its time for 1994, I think. Still, start with William Gibson's Neuromancer before you hit this one, just to get in the right frame of mind.

A little bit of '05 and a little bit of '06

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: 4 Stars. Before I begin what will be my best-reviewed film of 2005, I have to preface it by saying that I saw this digitally projected onto the IMAX screen at the National Museum of Natural History. I freely admit that seeing it in that format may have colored my opinion of the film. Having said that, WOW! Most of my friends gave fairly lackluster reviews of this film, and I am frankly wondering if we all saw the same movie. This was the sort of sweeping, grandiose telling of J.K. Rowling's boy wizard that I've been waiting for since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (I refuse to acknowledge the American dumbed-down title...I even bought the Canadian DVD with the proper title. I also only own Brit- or Canadian version of the books without the edited Americanized text). This was a real tale of the magical war pitting good versus evil. This was also mostly an action film, with a little bit of humor (and, of course, classroom time) thrown in. I'd call it fairly Star Wars-esque in tone and tempo. The effects were gorgeous. The acting was spot-on. The heartstring-tugging was effective. An almost unrecognizable Ralph Fiennes was amazing as Voldemort. The only negative I can give this film (and I don't penalize it stars because it's hardly fair) is that Rita Skeeter, Severeus Snape, Fleur Delacoeur, and Viktor Krum really don't get enough screen time. At 2.5 hours, though, I can hardly blame Mike Nichols. I also would've like to have seen Snape's exit to rejoin the Death Eaters at the end of the novel, but that doesn't really affect the flow into the next film. Thanks for finally getting it right, and please release the next in IMAX as well.

Hoodwinked: 2.5 Stars. This was a cute little film with a fun premise. Some folks have complained the animation looked to plasticine, but I'm willing to give the animators the benefit of the doubt and call it a stylistic choice. I really liked the concept of deconstructing Little Red Riding Hood, but it was long on style and short on substance. On the flip side, anything with Patrick Warburton is, by definition, work watching. I'd've loved to have seen him play a Jedi in RotS.

Bleeding Black and Gold

What I really liked, apart from the reverse flea flicker, were the championship Steelers caps. Monochrome, with a color "Steelers" circle logo. Very sharp.

What I didn't like: the game. Fairly dull, mistake-laden affair.

What I love: Former XFL and UCLA star Tommy Maddox now has a Super Bowl ring. Duce Staley, too. Gotta pull for those former Eagles. Perhaps the 'Hawks should've kept Bobby Taylor, hmmm?

I'm not saying Marino would trade his career for Touchdown Tommy's, but I' d bet he'd consider it.

The Eagles will be back next year, hopefully with another starting WR and a reworked O-Line. The Super Bowl's in Miami, so at least I can stay with my brother.

Last Word: There were two disgruntled WRs at the beginning of the season: Hines Ward and Terrell Owens. Ward held out a few days, then showed up at camp, as he didn't feel right not being there. Owens showed up and was such a disruption they sent him home. Ward got a new contract, a Super Bowl ring, and a Super Bowl MVP trophy. Owens got the second half of the season to work on his fadeaway jumper and may have cost himself a spot in the Hall of Fame.


04 February 2006


Screw iTunes...the thing's a resource hog and overly complex for what it needs to do. Much like my mp3 player. Although I like my mp3 player, I prefer Barb's, since it just plays things in file order, rather than messing with ID3 tags. Waste of time and needlessly complex, if you ask me.

But, sadly, no one does.

So, what's in my mp3 player these days?

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not - Damned Good
Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism - Pretty Good
Emiliana Torrini - Love in the Time of Science and Fisherman's Woman - Overrated
Flogging Molly - Live Behind the Green Door - Damned Good
Green Day - Bullet in a Bible - Damned Good
Gorillaz - Demon Days - Overrated (although Feel Good, Inc is phenomenal)
Gunther - Pleasureman - Damned Good, check out his website
Hal - Hal - Pretty Good
KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope - Solid debut (Suddenly I See is amazing)
Kaiser Chiefs - Employment - Pretty Good
The Shins - Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow - Both Damned Good
Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise - Damned Good (In spite of trying too hard)
Robbie Williams - Advertising Space EP1, EP2, and DVD - Robbie can do no wrong

03 February 2006

I love my Sirius Satellite Radio

Planned Superbowl broadcasts:

Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports 4:00 PM 124
Japan's NTV Feed (Japanese) 6:00 PM 107
SMG (Mandarin Chinese) 6:00 PM 110
TV 2 Denmark (Danish) 6:00 PM 117
BBC Radio (UK) channel 6:00 PM 126
Canal + Spain (Spanish-Spain) 6:00 PM 131
BeTV (French) 6:00 PM 143
NTV + Russia (Russian) 6:00 PM 147
Westwood One (Spanish-Latin America) 6:00 PM 181
Seattle Seahawks 6:00 PM 123
Pittsburgh Steelers 6:00 PM 125

12, count 'em TWELVE, different broadcasts, including Spain-Spanish, Americas-Spanish, US-English, British-English, and frickin' Danish.

What a world we live in.

What I'd like to see: Steelers by a field goal, 31-28.
What I think will happen: Seahawks by 10, 27-17.

Sorry, Chris...I'll be pulling for the Steelers, though.

Where is NH, Part II

Apparantly we have our own "Where is NH?" site as well.

Both have their perks, although the updating .gif from the other site is pretty sweet.