I know you are, but what am I?

This may be of interest to Jaquandor. I know what a fan he is.


Well, it looks like Jaquandor made a trip to Home Depot for some paint and new wall paper. Check out his new look.
Well shit.


We saw Return of the King this weekend with some friends. I loved it. As with most everyone else there are things that I wish had been included, but nothing significant enough to sour the movie for me. Of course if I had my way, there would have been six five-hour movies to tell the tale, but alas that could not happen.

On the positive side, the visuals were outstanding as expected. The battle scenes were wonderful, and the landscapes breathtaking. The actors turned in wonderful performances, particularly Sean Astin. The Oscars are the one remaining major awards presentation in which I have any faith left. If Astin is not at least nominated, all hope is lost. Elijah Wood was also wonderful, and Peter Jackson did an excellent job conveying the burden the Ring was to Frodo.

Of the three movies Return of the King may have presented Jackson with his biggest challenge. Fellowship and The Two Towers had a fair amount of material that could be easily stripped away. ROTK has much less of this type of material. A good case for inclusion can be made for much of the material that Jackson chose not to include, or gloss over, but a good case can be made for the material that was included. So, all in all, I really can't complain. Here are some of the things I do wish had been included.

*The Mouth of Sauron. This is the one item I feel would have added quite a bit of drama and emotion to the movie. The Mouth of Sauron presenting Frodo's armor, and the despair that it brought would have been wonderful. I also think that it could have been done in a way that would have made the audience question the fate of Sam and Frodo (at least for those not familiar with the books).

*Saruman. I expected the scene at Isengard to be abbreviated, but I was hopping for at least some confrontation and the breaking of Saruman's staff.

*More Gimli! I agree with Jaquanor's wish to see more of the dwarf's hand to hand combat prowess.

*The Rangers. I don't think it would have been too much to include the Rangers arriving with Elrond, and follow Aragorn through the Paths of the Dead. This would have added to the uniting of the Men of middle earth.

*One complaint about the visuals. All four of us who saw the movie on Saturday agreed that the scope of Minas Tirith was lost in the attack on the city. The orcs' catapults appeared to decimate (yes, reduce by one-tenth) the city.

*One big MISTAKE come during the crowning of Aragorn. In the shots of the four hobbits, Sam is the tallest. Um, Merry, Pippin? I honestly cannot believe that Peter Jackson missed this one. It would have been fine if no reference had been made to their growth, but to include the Ent Draught in the special edition of TTT, and forget it at the end?

As I said, overall, I loved the movie, and I expect that I will like it even more after seeing it again. I hope that some of the things I mentioned make their way into the special edition DVD.


If you have any interest in Berlioz (yeah, I know we hate the French) get your bad self over to Byzantium's Shores. Jaquandor has a great series of posts in honor of Hector's big two-oh... oh.


Need last minute gift ideas?

Shy away from these. The AV Club just announced their Least Essential Albums of 2003. While I hope I never accidentally hear anything off the Creed tribute (hell I try not to accidentally hear any actual Creed), I may have to see if I can track down a copy of the Chuck Barris album on vinyl. For a friend. Really.


Research Volunteers Needed.

I have discovered an odd phenomenon. In the rap backs for at least one of my posts, there are two sets of comments. I think it has to do with the type of browser. But I'm not sure. I am also not sure if it is an ongoing problem, or has been fixed by BlogOut.

So here is what I am asking of you, yes both of you. Please leave a comment for this post giving your OS, and Browser info.

For your participation you will be compensated with a free one year, on-line subscription to this weblog, and a fee of $0.25 will be paid to you. To collect your fee, please e-mail a self addressed stamped envelope to the address at the bottom of your screen. Please allow four to six years for delivery.
Most excellent.

This story has been pissing me off from the get-go. First Janklow claims that he had to fly through the intersection at 70+ miles per hour because of a car in the oncoming lane. Excusemewhat? He maintained this story, despite his passenger never seeing this "phantom car." Then it turns out that he has quite a history of reckless driving, including almost hitting someone else running the same stop sign. Oh, did I mention this is not the first time he has blamed a phantom car? Then the judge decides that his driving history will not be admissible (with the exception of the incident at the same intersection). Why? How is it not relevant?

His story changes as the trial nears, and he claims that his running the stop sign was the result of low blood sugar. He claimed to have not eaten for 18 hours (he forgot to eat). At the time of the crash he was returning from a barbecue. Several witnesses testified that they had not seen him eat. Although at the time of the crash he told EMTs that he had eaten. OK, lets assume that he hadn't eaten, and his blood sugar was low. This still does not make him any less guilty. It is his responsibility to be sure he fit to drive. A tired driver is not absolved because of lack of sleep. A drunk driver is not absolved because of the alcohol.

Janklow will be sentenced in January.
OK, who decided that it was a good idea to let this guy drive anything?


Phneh indeed!

I was meaning to comment on this issue, but Jaqandor beat me to it. It seems that the are some individuals that are offended by the use of the terms "master" and "slave" in computer jargon. This has to do with having more than one device on a particular bus. One has its jumpers set to master and one to slave. But it appears that we should remove these words from the lexicon because someone has chosen to be offended by their use. These words are not racial slurs. Sure they could be used in an offensive manner, but we are talking about computer hard drives here. I don't think that hard drives are able to be offended, at least not yet.

While we are at it, can someone suggest a new word for me to use in describing the color of my car? A while back Krista, in her handling of all manners of office work for the music school for which she teaches, received a call from a parent who had a complaint about one of the teachers. It seems that this teacher was referring to the chalk board as a "black board." It was an actual black chalk board. This offended the woman (I cannot recall all of the details of this incident, so maybe Krista will rap at us). This made me crazy. To appease this woman are we no longer allowed to use the "black" as a descriptor? My car is black, Krista's is silver. When talking about our cars we refer to them possessively rather than by their color. But if we did refer to them as "the black car" and "the silver car," would somebody be offended? If they were, I think that might offend me. I'm not joking about that either. If someone were to claim that I were "racially insensitive" by using the word "black," I would not only be offended, I would be royally pissed-off. My friends and coworkers are not offended by the use of the word black, even in the context of race. Most refer to themselves as being black, not African American.

So why are some people offended? I think Jaquandor nails it. They choose to be. Read his relating of an episode of days of yore where one individual became offended by a word devoid of meaning, and it's manner of use devoid of context.


Bench Favre!

So, I wonder if the cheese-hat-wearing fans across the border are clamoring for Favre to be yanked after that wonderful Thanksgiving Day game.

Hopefully the Vikings will have a good game this Sunday in St. Louis, and the so-called "fans" will lay off my man Daunte. Kudos to Mike Tice for getting pissed off, and basically telling these "fans" where to stick it. After one off game two weeks ago, and a mediocre game this past Sunday, fans were booing when Culpepper took the field in the second half. Culpepper is the top-rated QB in the NFC, and third overall in the NFL. And some fans want him benched.

The real problem seems to be the offensive line not playing up to their potential. Culpepper is being hurried, and the running backs have nowhere to go. The good news is the defense is looking good, so if the offensive line can get their act together we'll have a real team again. And that's the key. Everyone playing at the top of their game all the time. The Vikings have real talent in all areas, and if they play the way the can, I think they can win a Super Bowl. But what do I know.

Oh, and to all you whiny fans, lay off Moss too. There have been a lot of people complaining about Moss not making more out of short passes. I don't know if you have noticed, but in these short pass situations there are usually at least three defenders on top of him the second he hauls the ball in. Just making the catch is good enough for me. But again, what do I know.
Check one two, check one two...


I know I have been lax in posting lately, and it will likely continue for a few weeks yet. I just wanted to take this opportunity to point out a strange google search that brought someone to ABOHO. The fact that ABOHO turned up in this search is not strange, but I thought that the search words were a bit odd.


Way to go R2! Watch out for that HAL cat though. He seems a bit hinkey.


I hear what the singer sings. It is my gift, it is my curse.

Peter Watts to my Frank Black pointed out this 80's lyric quiz the other day. I scored a whopping 123.5 (point 5?). I was just talking about earbugs (ok it was a couple of weeks ago) and this quiz reminds me as to why I am so susceptible to them. I often can hear a song once, and have a substantial portion of the lyrics down pat. This is particularly annoying with those annoying pop groups. I have to work with the music at work, and I am stuck with it for days. At least I am able to force my wife to share in my agony through my horrendous singing...

By the way, I hope that Jaquandor answered number 73 correctly. And I take a twisted satisfaction knowing that Dan will correctly answer number 19.
A couple quick space links...

So long Voyager.

Biggest solar flare ever...
Please stand by. Posting will resume shortly.


Come On...
You should have that checked...

Well, the coronal mass ejection is on it's way. Hold on tight to your cell phones. I'm sure my comments will be affected in some way, they seem to go down with the slightest breeze. A few years ago, Krista's pager service was knocked out for a couple of days by a solar storm, and this one sounds like it is going to be a biggie.

It looks like we will have cloudy skies here in the Twin Cities, but if you have clear skies tonight, get out and look for the Northern Lights.

How about catching the aurora in Cuba? Well maybe not this time, and not just because it would involve illegal travel. But back in 1859 the biggest solar storm ever recorded allowed just that, as well as causing a bit of trouble with the high tech contraptions of the time. Read about it here.

The image above comes from SOHO (The Solar and Heliospheric observatory). Here is a screen saver that provides near real-time images of the Sun from SOHO.


"I Love It!" She Said

Krista's new ride.


Oops!.. I did it again

Ever get an earworm? You know, those songs that get stuck in your head, sometimes for days? For the longest time Ms. Spears had a strangle hold on my brain. Chili's jingles also often plague me. For the exorcism of these malevolent musical maladies, I usually try to get a more appealing song to force the worm out. Too often though this humming to myself will not work, and I am stuck with it until I can gain access to a more apt aural antidote. The most persistent may require a full dose of Beck's Odelay.

Most of the time though, I don't mind the infestations, as they tend to be songs I enjoy (Mitsubishi commercials usually fall into this category). They can even help when there is no stereo around. Friendly earworms are always welcome on long motorcycle rides.

So what are some of your earworms, and how do you get rid of them?

(cross-poted to Collaboratory)


A couple of days ago Jaquandor posted a link to a test you all should take. Provided are 60 album covers, minus the titles and band names. How many do you know. I scored but 20.


You are Neo
You are Neo, from "The Matrix." You
display a perfect fusion of heroism and

What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

This quiz brought to you courtesy A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy.


I Want to Tell You

Krista and I saw "Concert for George" last night. It was fab.

As a film, it was a nearly perfect mix of documentary and concert. It concentrated on the music, but threw in bits of interview at just the right time and of just the right amount. Eric Clapton did a wonderful job putting the concert together, and all of the performances were outstanding. Paul McCartney, Ringo, Clapton, Billy Preston, Jeff Lynne, a composition by Ravi Shankar, and many others. There were even a couple of appearances by Monty Python (minus John Cleese). One great moment was a shot of Ringo and Eric Clapton joking around during the rehearsal, but in the background was Dhani Harrison shaking his guitar in the air, top down, trying to get a pick out of the sound hole.

I smiled through the whole film. I don't think a recorded performance has ever given me chills before, but Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton singing "Something" did. If you love George Harrison, you must see this. If you are at all a fan of the Beatles, you should see this. And you can do so with my assurances that Jeff Lynne's heavy handed mixing is not present in the soundtrack.


Well, it appears my comments are missing once again... So any comments you have you can e-mail me, and I will make sure they make it up here.

Well of course as soon as I put this post up, the comments reappeared. If they go down again, you know where to find me.

Ok, real funny. As soon as I amended this post to note the reappearance of the comments, poof, gone again.


So, another week, another win. Just wait 'til November when both Daunte and Bennett are back. Normally I would avoid this sort of optimism for fear of a jinx, but the Vikings appear to be immune to my positivism.

I was not able to watch the game on Sunday, but caught most of it on the radio as Krista and I took in in the sights along Lake Superior's north shore (should "north shore" be capitalized with this usage? Anyone... Anyone...). Anyway, I am still no closer to solving my jersey dilemma. I was leaning towards Williams (Moe) or Chavous (and this weeks game did nothing to deter this) but last week at work someone made the comment (totally unrelated to any of this) that I seemed like a Kleinsasser kind of guy. This was the same coworker who's last words to me before my trip to Vegas this past spring were "Black 22." For those of you not in the know, my first night there I was tempted to bet black 22 at a $20 roulette table, but decided this was foolish, and I should save my money for the $1 blackjack tables. Of course the little ball landed on black 22, and I was spared the $700 pay-out...

But I digress. I need some input here folks. I know that there are at least a couple of you around here with some insight and opinions. Jaquandor offered up Chris Walsh, and that would have settled it, were not for the fact that he is no longer on the team. It appears that Jaq may get most of his Vikings news from this weblog, and that ain't saying much. Maybe I should alert him to The Strib...
Well, it appears that Adam is dissatisfied with the frequency of my posting. This has prompted him to promise the creation of a blog that is gonna blow our collective socks off. I await eagerly.


Build your own space-based telescope.
Here is a cool activity, if I had the time, I might build one myself. It's even got printable decals for the exterior.


Ok, we've got a good lead, lets go ahead and put in Frerotte.. Oh, never mind then.

Well, I was under the impression that there was a game at the Metrodome today. I showed up, bought my Dome Dog and beer, but where was the game? Actually, the first three quarters were a lot of fun, and as of my writing this, the Vikes are the only 4-0 team in the NFL (of course this will likely change later this afternoon).

And now for my yearly dilemma. For the past couple of years, I have been wanting to buy a Vikings jersey, but I never can decide on the player. I was down to Chris Walsh, and Tyrone Carter last year, and nearly decided on Robert Griffith the year before. Some close calls there. At this point the front-runners are Corey Chavous, Jim Kleinsasser and Moe Williams. And of course there is Daunte... Some help here people.

Oh, and someone might want to let the people at the dome know about the Segway recall. After the first quarter they had Segway races (no one was injured, apparently they are safer than sausage). At halftime, there was a game of Segway polo. It may have been the most boring halftime activity ever.



Jaquandor comments on his favorite time of year.

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year as well. I love the crispness in the air, and I love working outside, or in the garage in this weather. But the past couple of years I have had some mixed feelings. It is still warm enough during the day to get in a decent bicycle ride in, but not for much longe. And the eye-candy on the trails and beaches is covered up or gone. I also know that the time is not far off when the overnight temperature will dip to a point that is too cold to ride the motorcycle to work (36 degrees). On the flip side, this summer we purchased an out-door fire pit, and I think we may get to use it for the first time this weekend.


A couple of weeks ago I took Jaquandor up on on the Five Questions Challenge. Dan requested five of his own. As Dan doesn't have A Blog of His Own, I present to you my questions to Dan, and his answers.

1. You have at least a few nicknames (Shag, The Pizza Killer, The Panther). Which is your favorite, and what was the origin of the alias?

I'll throw in a couple of more: Sturdy Frame, Rude Nudie, Deadeye. My favorite, perhaps The Panther.

The summer of 96 I was training for the marathon, and on a particularly hot, tiring run (somewhere up in Long Lake Regional Park, I believe). In my delirium, I started chanting something about, "They can't stop The Panther. Panther's gonna get em. Here comes the Panther, etc." I can only assume it was that dormant Native American blood in me (my great great granddad was Fox Indian) conjuring up my animal sign during my time of trial. An unexpected Vision Quest.

2. You have a penchant for making lists and applying ratings to everything in sight. What is your most recent rating endeavor, and name your top five favorites of the items.

Funny, I can't recall a specific recent instance--though I am sure I was mulling over the most popular item about which to make a list: favorite musical artists. So here I go (and sorry, there's 6 cause of the tie): 1) Beatles 2)McCartney 3) U2 4) Prince 4) Paul Simon (tie) 5) Willie Nelson

3. Star Trek. TOS, or TGN? Oh, and your favorite episode from each.

TOG, and it's not even close. For TOG, the best episodes in terms of great all-around television are probably Space Seed, Trouble With Tribbles, & City on the Edge of Forever--and I might go with TwT, though I would be remiss if I didn't mention my campy favorite, The Savage Curtain (featuring Abraham Lincoln grappling with Genghis Khan and the infamous pants split).

4. You are currently (or soon will be) taking more classes to further your GIS training. For everyone that doesn't know, what the hell is GIS, and where do you hope to end up in the field?

GIS Geographic Information Science (though it can also refer to Geographic Information Systems--the tools the GIS person uses). The classes are for my masters degree. My goals are to a) Work in a geographic location that inspires me daily b) Do something meaningful to myself that benefits society c) Make enough money doing it that Sharon can quit
working if she wants (as in she has expressed an interest)

5. And this last one I am stealing from Jaquandor, because I just gotta know. If you could fly in any fictional air or spacecraft, which one would it be?

The Galileo 7! Actually, that's probably one you definitely WOULDN'T want to be on. I'd go with probably the Land Speeder. But Christ, WASH the thing occasionally, Luke!


Osama R. Kelly.

Courtesy Jaquandor.
About a week and half ago, at a small gathering on our patio, there was a discussion as to whether or not yellow jackets lost their stingers and died after stinging. I can report to you that they in fact do retain their stingers, and will sting multiple times.

Riding home from work today one of the bastards flew or crawled up the sleeve of my jacket. With the first sting I was forced to the side of the road, and (much to the amusement of passing motorists I'm sure) frantically started removing gear. First my gloves, followed by my glasses, so I could remove my helmet, so I could remove my messenger bag, so I could remove jacket. As I took my jacket off, my flying foe flew off. Not even the courtesy of sticking around so I could continue home with the satisfaction of knowing that the pesky vespidae was now just another grease spot on the Lake Street Bridge.
Via e-mail

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy,it deosn't mttaer in what oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanimg huh?


Another death that may have slipped under the radar of many was that of Larry Hovis.

John Ritter also died last night.
"I don't want no aggravation
When my train has left the station
If you're there or not, I may not even know
Have a round and remember
Things we did that weren't so tender
Let the train blow the whistle when I go."

Johnny Cash is dead at age 71. He died this morning at 1am of respiratory failure resulting from complications of diabetes.

Cash's career spanned nearly 50 years. He recorded nearly 500 albums. Perhaps more than any other musician, his influence and appeal remained strong throughout nearly his entire career, despite lack of airplay by country radio in later years.

With so much to say about this legend, I am not sure I can do justice in the time I have available. Instead, here are a few relevant links.


All Music Guide

A great compilation of Johnny's music up to 1983.

Of course there is "At Folsom Prison," and any of the American Recordings would be a good buy.


OK, count it off, a standard 12 bar B-flat blues... er blacks?

Hubble has taken advantage of the great view of Saturn, with its rings at full tilt. I really gotta get a telescope.
Well, it turns out that the myth of a duck's quack having no echo may have been built around a bit of truth.



Here are the photos from the Big Trip...

This was along Highway 35, which follows the Mississippi, in Wisconsin. One of several stops to take in the sights, and stretch the legs.

Hazards of the road. One stretch of tarmac had an unbelievably high concentration of bugs. This stop was forced by the large dragonfly in the middle of my shield.

Day two. Adam and I stopped at a scenic overlook near Guttenberg, Iowa.

My Dad, brother and I near Saylorville Lake north of Des Moines.

More Saylorville.


A while back, Jaquandor was mailed five questions by another blogger (Scott from Archipelapogo, and a fellow member of Collaboratory), these he answered on Byzantium’s Shores. He asked if anyone was game for five questions from him. I took the bait.

1. You used to perform in a band. What do you do for creative outlets now?

Well, Krista and I are slowly getting our act together in putting together a home studio. As things progress, we hope to start recording our own music. Until that is in full swing I play my guitar, although not as much as I should. I also enjoy a bit of photography, and playing around a bit with my camcorder. I am also fortunate in that my job allows a creative outlet. Not on a daily basis, but I do get to work on a project that allows a fair bit of creativity at least once a week. A not so obvious outlet is working on our house. While not always creative per se, I have been surprised at how much satisfaction one can get from putting new collar ties in ones garage, or building new cabinets for the kitchen.

2. If you had to live anywhere other than Minneapolis, where would it be? (Buffalo is an acceptable answer. Dallas is not.)

St. Paul. OK, I guess that is cheating. I guess Chicago. Although if Krista and I were not secure in our jobs, and I knew we could make it work monetarily, I wouldn’t mind living in a number of places for short periods of time (6-12 months). Alaska (although I have not yet been) Iceland, Amsterdam, Hamburg, New Orleans, and maybe somewhere in California, simply for near perfect motorcycling weather.

3. What’s the last book that blew your mind?

This is a tough one. I’m not sure that I’ve had a book blow my mind. At least not in the way my mind was blown say, the first time I read about spooky action at a distance… Steve Thayer’s “The Weatherman” blew my mind… Because it was so friggin’ bad. The closest book comes to mind is Kerouac’s “The Dharma Bums.” I loved “On the Road,” but “The Dharma Bums” gave a much better feel for what Kerouac was searching. The truth he sought seemed unattainable, when in fact it was around him all the time. I’m not sure that it blew my mind though. Any suggestions that might?

4. What article of clothing do you think looks best on women? (Within the bounds of propriety, of course. This question is
partly a test to see if your wife reads your blog. Heh.)

Hip huggers. I love hips.

5. If you could fly in any fictional air or spacecraft, which one would it be?

Easy. Same as everyone else. Millennium Falcon.
Moving outward from Mars to Jupiter. The Galileo Spacecraft is set to be destroyed later this month to avoid crashing into Europa once it runs out of fuel. Europa is possibly the best chance for alien life in our solar system, and it is feared that Galileo could still carry microbial life from Earth that would contaminate any ecosystem that the Jovian moon might harbor. Here is a great article detailing the life of Galileo (the spacecraft, not the man).


I still don't see why some people think that senior drivers should be tested...


By the way, I was invited to join Collaboratory, and have. It is a group weblog, and I will be posting there occasionally now as well. My first post went up yesterday. It is a personal profile, as all of the members have posted at some point. You can Dig It on a daily basis by clicking on the link to the left.
There is an online petition to put the Star Wars Kid in Episode III.
What time is it?


Happy birthday to my niece Hazel, the hippest one-year-old in Madison.


Am I the only one who was unaware of The Star Wars Kid?

Variations here.



Groovy. Thanks to Dan for this Middle Earth related link (even though he misrepresented the content).
Well, it looks like someone may just need to cheer up.

Or maybe not. It seems that I am most prone to colds and flu when I am feeling great, and especially when I am looking forward to something.


Keep it secret, keep it safe...

Shhhh, don't tell anyone, but for all of you "The Lord of the Rings" fans, here is the "unofficial" official ROTK Trailer. Thanks to Jaq for bringing this to my attention.


Solar sails have been proposed as a means of propulsion for interstellar exploration. While acceleration would be very slow, top speed would be much more than that attainable from chemical propulsion. Maybe...

Will they work? Well, for the reasons stated above, certainly not like Count Dooku's sail (scroll most of the way down). But some contend that sails will not work at all. The disagreement is over what principles are in play. In theory, light photons (which are not matter, but do have momentum) would bombard the sail, and push it away from the light source (conservation of momentum). The sail would have a mirrored surface to reflect the light, and thus keep the sail from heating. This lack of heating is the very reason the nay-sayers believe the sail will not work. Since energy cannot be created or destroyed, if the sail doesn't heat, it doesn't move. If the sail does heat, it does move, until the temperature of the object reaches equilibrium with the radiation. The proponents of the sail say that thermodynamics are not involved, and that the sail depends in whole upon the conservation of momentum. But does conservation of momentum apply to light, or only to matter?

The answer seems easy enough to my unschooled mind. If the sail depends on conservation of momentum, momentum would have to be transfered from the light photons to the sail. Correct? If this is the case, the light photons would slow after reflecting off of the mirror. Is this the case? (Anyone, anyone?) I know that light appears to slow when passing through a prism, but then upon exiting returns to it's normal speed. Apparently this is not an actual slowing of light.

We will find out the true answer soon enough. A civilian team hopes to launch a solar sail for testing by the end of October. In the meantime, if anyone with a better background in physics than I can answer my question about light slowing after being reflected please do so.


Run away! Run Away!

While in Des Moines, we saw Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. This is the worst movie I have seen since The Lucifer Complex. The acting is horrible, the effects are mediocre, and the editing is atrocious. That is all I have to say about that.
I will be posting some pictures from the trip sometime soon, if anyone cares.
The Trip

Well, for those of you who were unaware (of my regular readers, I believe this constitutes one person) I spent most of last week in the saddle. Between early Tuesday afternoon when I rolled out of my driveway, and Saturday night when I kicked the sidestand down, marking the end of the trip, I put 1250 miles on my motorcycle. 480 of those on Saturday alone.

This was much like a trip from last summer, except Krista stayed home this time. From Minneapolis I headed to Hastings, and hopped over to the Wisconsin side of the Mighty Mississippi. I followed state highway 35 south along the river to Prairie Du Chien. 35 is a great motorcycle (or car for that matter) highway, with lots of hills and twisties, and many great views. My brother met me there Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning we crossed into Iowa. No matter what you think or have heard about Iowa, the north-east corner is beautiful. We hugged the river southward for a bit, passing though Guttenberg (pronounced by the locals as Gut-en-brg) down to Luxemburg. We turned west on highway 3. Still lots of hills and curves. About this time my brother experienced what is known as a tank-slapper. He apparently was trying to adjust his jacket, with both hands. He just happened to pick the spot where the road turned suddenly rough. His handlebars started flailing violently back-and-forth. Fortunately the laws of physics allowed him to stay vertical long enough to regain control. Perhaps he will relate a bit of what is was like in the comments. Hint, Hint.

After he started his heart pumping again, we hit the road. We stopped in Waverly (home of our alma mater) for sandwiches at The Other Place, and had a look around campus. I ran into my old advisor and mentor, and we had a good long talk about the state of television news. After a couple of hours in Waverly, it was time to motor on to Des Moines.

We snaked our way through the corn fields toward Marshalltown, where we would have the promise of a straight shot of four-lane the rest of the way to the 'rents. But it wasn't that simple. Just north of Marshalltown, I noticed that things looked a bit hazy up ahead. It had been overcast all day, and I quickly realized that it was raining up ahead. We pulled onto the shoulder, I jumped off and was getting my packable rain jacket out of my bag when I felt the first drops. By the time I had unpacked the jacket from it's pocket, I was drenched. With no shelter in sight, we continued on through the rain. The rain didn't last too long, and we were mostly dry by the time we reached Des Moines.

We did some riding over the next few days with our Dad, who just this summer bought a new bike. Our Mom and sister also tagged along for some of the riding. There are actually some decent motorcycling roads around Des Moines, particularly around Sailorville Lake.

Saturday it was time to head home. Dad tagged along most of the way to Waterloo. We followed generally the same route that we used on the way down, but we used highway 20, rather than highway 3, to cut down on travel time.

Back in Prairie Du Chien, my brother headed off to Madison, and I continued back to Minneapolis. At Lake Pepin, I could see rain on the Minnesota side, but soon lost sight of it as the road moved away from the river and the trees blocked my view. Rounding a corner, I could see the tell-tale haze up ahead, but was able to stop and throw on the rain jacket in time. The rain was short lived, but the road was wet for quite a while, so my shins got a good soaking.

The road between Hagar City (not really a city, more a group of houses) and Prescott is really, really nice. It has the best hills and the highest concentration of squiggly road signs of the whole trip. Unfortunately the opportunities for passing are almost nil. I found myself stuck behind a train of four cars for this entire stretch of tarmac. The leader of this hellish caravan found a top speed of 45 to be prudent, 30-35 where the squiggly signs suggested 45. 65 would have been my speed of choice, even in the curves, as the road is nice and smooth, and lines of sight are good. So I spent most of the last hour and a half of the trip singing songs of the lead car's horrible end.

All in all it was a fun trip. Next time I am pretty sure I am going to need an iPod for some tunes...


Well, it appears that my commenting is really pretty screwed this time. I will try to find a new system Sunday night or Monday. I will also try and recover all of the comment to old posts if I can. Until I have a new system up and running, feel free to e-mail me with any comments, and I will post them once everything is OK.


This I am openly stealing from Jaquandor, but he stole it first.

Anyway, if you enjoyed that, try this, and this, and maybe this (if you like The White Stripes and kittens).

It's all Rather Good.
Whenever I am preparing for a road-trip, looking over maps and guidebooks, one image always springs to mind...

Krista and Jaquandor trying to find a place for us to eat.


OK, just time for a few quick links.

Poor Lurch.

Poor Pelusa. Another photo here

And finally thanks to Dan for this one. Eric emulating Eric emoting. Or something like that...


This started out as a comment over on "Enough with the whales!" but quickly grew into its own post here. Jaq was responding to this post from Michael Lopez. It bothers me too, so here is my take.

With budget problems abounding, school budgets keep going up. Districts are calling increases in funding "cuts." Granted the increases aren't as much as expected, but they are INCREASES.

Recently Jaq complained of the cliché "We can't keep throwing money at it," but it is partly true (the problem, around here at least, is that the people uttering the words were offering no solutions, only that "Test scores aren't up, so, no more money 'till they are"). Are these computers really the best use of the schools funds? How about using that money to keep more teachers, and keeping class sizes smaller?

In efforts to raise money through referenda, more than one district in the Twin Cities recently raised the rallying cry "Say yes to kids!" No shit? Who is going to say no to kids? Who hates kids? Not even republicans (They may sit around and hate homosexuals and not give a shit about the environment, but I have a hard time believing that they get together and say "Know what I hate? Kids."). We need to figure out why test scores are low, and maybe re-direct current funding away from technology in the classroom, and not send in the ergonomics expert to completely re-furnish the Dean's office to the tune of $5,000, when all she wanted was a new desk chair that had functioning casters (true story).

I never used a computer before college. Well, except the Apple IIe at the library to play some fantasy game, the name of which I cannot recall (Adam?). In my journalism classes, we used triplicate layout sheets to design our yearbook pages. We crop-marked the photos with Sharpies, and sent them back to the photo lab. We TYPED (as in typewriter) our copy onto triplicate forms. All of this was outdated at the time. Important were the layout and design principals, the journalistic ethics (don't get me started on this) and the writing principals. Translating these skills to a computer came quite easy. Learning the technology is a cinch, it is the underlying base that should be the focus. Besides the technology will be out-dated by the time they enter the "real world."

I hope this is somewhat coherent, I've not had nearly enough sleep.


Well put.

Over at Stuff About Whales, Jaquandor brings up the issue of some countries wish for an increase in commercial whaling. The fact that any still goes on pisses me off.

I am quite shocked and disappointed with the people of Iceland (one of my favorite places to have been) on this issue. From a nation that is otherwise quite progressive, this just renders me speechless.

Well almost. Iceland passed laws allowing gay marriage in 1996. Reykjavik recently became the first place in the world to open a hydrogen re-fueling station, despite the fact that there are only three fuel-cell vehicles in the country, all busses. Iceland also has the attitudes (and resources) to ensure that the production of the hydrogen fuel is also pollution free. Whaling though, I just don't get it.

As far as the cultural argument goes, well, it is a load of crap. It would be akin to the US telling Canada to quit whining about acid rain, because polluting is part of our culture.



OK, it has been brought to my attention by my wife (who is always eager to point out my mistakes, she has gloated both times) that I have mis-quoted the Bard. The quotation from the "Scottish Play" is actually "Double, double, toil and trouble." Oh well.

Speaking of that play, Check out the film "Scotland PA." if you haven't already. I enjoyed it. Many people hated it, but I liked it. That's right I liked it. Whaddaya gonna do?



Forced perspective is cool. Courtesy Mindles H. Drek.
The window of opportunity was not missed by Opportunity. The second of a pair of NASA rovers is now on its way to Mars. Once there, the pair will search for evidence that there was once (or still is) enough water to sustain life on the red planet. Sprit and Opportunity join Japan's troubled Nozomi (hope) atmospheric probe, and the ESA's Express/Beagle 2 orbiter-rover combo (which is having some problems of its own) in an interplanetary convoy. Lets hope they get past the Martian defense systems.



What has 58 million transistors and 400 meters of copper wire? Oh, and its just 118 square millimeters.

Do you ever have that feeling, "Man! I should have just waited a few more months..."


OK, in accordance with the rules of the New Blog showcase, I am voting for at least three other entrants. I say at least three because I am re-reading a few, and may add another one or two if I feel so inclined. I would vote for my own entry, but it wouldn't count anyway. These are in no particular order.

First, Norbizness talks about the smoking ban in bars in Austin. I know the feeling, there are some issues that make my head spin, this is actually one of them. The same thing is happening in towns around Minnesota. I won't get into it any further now, or maybe ever as far as A Blog of His Own goes.

The next entry has to do with the lack of venues for independent film makers. Now that more and more content is being produced thanks to the DV revolution, Brian Flemming wishes that there was a set of graduated venues (filters) for these films, similar to the theatre system for stage. I agree. A friend and I are currently in the development stages for a short. I will be looking into possible outlets in Minnesota, and around the midwest. If you know of anything, let me know. Of course there are always the internet outlets such as AtomFilms.

And lastly at truck808, Robert tells the story of Rex and Angel.


Congratulations are in order for Jaquandor. Today marks the publication of his first paying gig.


I am shocked that A Blog of His Own is the number one result for this search.


Jaquondor the headbanger?
The New Blog Showcase

Well, thanks to relaxed rules this week, I am able to give another shot at the New Blog Showcase at The Truth Laid Bear. The post I have entered this time around is the one directly below, "The French Method." So, if you have a weblog, vote for me! To do this, simply link directly to said post from your blog (general links to A Blog of His Own will not count). The link must be on your main page come Sunday night/Monday morning.

Note: Somehow the link to my entry has gotten screwed-up on TTLB. If you plan on voting for me use this URL: http://ablogofhisown.blogspot.com/2003_06_15_ablogofhisown_archive.html#95773001

Woo Hoo! With some help from N. Z. Bear I have fixed my perma-link problem. He has also fixes the link in the New Blog Showcase. All is well.
The French Method

It is amazing what you find when you move into an new house (about 50 years old, but new to us). Especially when the previous owner lived there for the entire history of the house. We originally found the item in question when we moved in, but we were so amazed by it that we kept it around to show and amaze visitors. We recently came across the bottle of Putnam Dry-Cleaner (The French Method) again while cleaning our basement in preparation for drain-tiling.

When we first came across it we thought, "That's interesting, an old home dry-cleaning solution." As we further examined the box, and the bottle contained within, we thought "That's VERY interesting, and a bit scary."

As you can see, the brief directions on the front of the box instruct the user to dilute one tablespoon of the cleaner in one quart of GASOLINE OR NAPTHA.

The more thorough directions on the back go on to instruct the user to rinse the article with pure clean gasoline. It also advises that kid gloves may be cleaned while ON THE HANDS. I have occasionally dripped gasoline on my shoes, hands or gloves, and that smell is with you for days. Did these people walk around smelling of gasoline? Was this preferable to a slightly soiled garment?

I would have to imagine that working in gasoline, standing that close to an open container for the time it would take to clean your kid gloves, your nose and throat would start to burn. Your hands aren't exactly soaking in Ivory Liquid either.

The box also lists as a tip for successful cleaning to first warm the gasoline. Thankfully the makers saw fit to warn users to keep it away from flame.

As a bonus we get a vocabulary lesson for the day (at least I did). The box warns that both the product and gasoline are very inflammable.

I have always thought (incorrectly) that inflammable meant not-flammable. It in fact means flammable. The "in" is not the negative latin prefix, but instead the intensive latin prefix, related to enflame. Who knew? Maybe The American Heritage Student Dictionary should add inflammable to this list.

Note: Damn permalinks! Fot the information on the vocabulary list go to Collaboratory, it is under the entries for Monday, June 16.
WTF? Courtesy Michael Lopez, via Jaquandor.
When someone has a passion, they can develop an emotional attachment to an object related to that passion. A musician to his instrument, a photographer to his camera, a writer to his pens. But a vacuum cleaner?


Well, here it is at long last. I finally took the time and created the time-lapse of last month's lunar eclipse, as I promised nearly a month ago.

The file is about 1.5 MB, so if you have dial-up it will take some time to load. The poor quality image quality is due to the amount of compression I had to use to get it to a manageable size. It really looks much better uncompressed.

Oh, you will need QuickTime.
Of all the things to bring traffic to this page, I never would have figured that one of them would be this Google search.


He gets down, he gets down,
He gets down all the way.

Excuse me while I gush. The Beck show was out of this world. The concert further cemented one thing in my mind, that Beck has no (current) peer in the world of popular music. He is the truly eclectic musician. He takes Bob Dylan, Prince, James Brown, Beastie Boys, every conceivable genre and niche, bestows upon it his own substantial element, purees the whole damn mess, and serves it up for our delectation.

He also is the latest, in a long line of rockers, to prove one undeniable fact, jumpsuits are cool.


Hitching a ride with the bleeding noses
Come into town with the briefcase blues

Beck concert tomorrow night! WoooHooo!
Atari was so cool.

This very cool link comes to us courtesy Sean.

I want them all!
Another big list of songs

I'm less enthused about this new list from VH1 than I was about the 100 greatest country songs. It lists what it claims are the 100 best songs of the past 25 years. There are only a couple of songs on this list that would crack my top 100, most probably wouldn't make it in to my top 1000. I have no problem with Beastie Boys being on the list, but not for "Fight for Your Right." And what, no Elvis Costello?
Third Time's the Charm

Spirit has blasted off successfully after the launch was delayed twice due to weather. Later this month Opportunity, Spirit's twin, will start it's own journey to the red planet. One of my favorite things about launches such as this, is when NASA places a camera on the rocket to provide a live look back at earth as the spaceship races away. It's soooo cool.

These missions will look for geological evidence of liquid water, indicating the possibility that Mars was once hospitable to life of some type. Or even that it is currently supporting life, this is unlikely though, those Martians are crafty...


And, the award for Mother of the Year goes to...

Jacqueline Allerton.
Well, I hope Jaquandor's ego will survive. I have added to my "blogroll" at the left, and added other links as well. These will be expanding as time goes by. Hopefully soon I will be revamping the look around here as well. If you would like me to link to your site, you may submit it for consideration.
Over at Interact Sean has collected and posted a list of web-logs with a Wartburg College connection. If you are aware of any more, let him know.


More profanity!

I happend across a link detailing all of my brother's spelling errors on the shitpienet message board. Sorry Adam, this was just too good not to share.

spelling mishaps for adam . . . weblog weblog brotha i'll axe er'body hoodied elvinkind packin mufuxxer sportin dan evan dipshit pic ander HHI anticon evan pic madison fred ross pic moscow vancouver internet wisconsin headbutted evan shite moscow lisa labrats lp adam shitepie jim wisconsin evan dan garek aaron hippy san migaueauiuael LZ elton madison beatdown recieved dan taff's muddin moscow icehouse shitfaced garek's monday aaron hah pics adam ya'll idaho evan's garek mfin jones aaron monday wisconsin adam garek moscow aaron garek evan's moscow evan adam canadian ander dan taff jim geltabs vancouver dan vancouver dan ander arby's jim ander dan pussys vancouver jim ya'll adam trippy retrievedis pics pics anneli evan ben dan dan lapdance lightbulb helen keller evan i've patchouli greatful cd's dancin doin ok woohoo lisa cd eyedea ali cd minneapps beatbox feelin mic evan da sensai i'm copywrite cd adeem cd adeem paul roseanne barr mr t's Adeem steve erkel fav holmes fuckin fuckity fuckin beeotch herbert kornfeld's derek theonion satoris karl watson's hippyed midwest eyedea madison evan moscow bacheolor higoodbye eyedea musab holla ya'all labrats i'm eydea dio markie da birfday jim SLug Murs christina ricci minneapps cds cd aesop eyedea aaron cuban emo moscow moscow cd beleive hatin cd jim herpesgonnasyphaclaparea DL dawg kickin kevin gettin skateshoppin hangin cd evan Queada I'Sheet M'drawrs warday ya'll jenn cadillac escalades seperate portland pics marshall sprux evan's funer jim shitepie cheeseheads Eyedea moscow greece definitly francis pissin shitter shitter preshow sooo tootin Wi stileproject i'm marshall aaron midwest madison ya'll marshall moscow jenn's greece jenn jim aaron jenn moscow jenn jim elzey doin dan taff moscow evan lisa's garek druss dan taff christmas dan jim marshall christmas avoidin christmas santa's i'll cellie shizzilate bithday url snoopalized i'm sayin madison milwaukee murs definitly midwest

Jaquandor was commenting on his favorite sounds of spring, and one of them is that of which I dream all through the long cold Minnesota winter.

He writes:

"But one of my favorites is the unmistakable rumble of ten or more Harley bikes and choppers as they come down the main drag and zoom by."

While I find Harlies to be over-rated (I found the one I rode had a heavy clutch, and handling that left much to be desired, so I'll stick to my Shadow for now), over-priced, and great many of them not appealing to my visual sensibilities, I have to agree. There is little that gets me going like the thought of motorcycles, and nothing puts the thoughts of motorcycles in my head like the rumble of a V-twin engine.

When I am in my cage (car) and I see riders out on the road, a jealousy wells up inside me like that of a grade school kid listening to the radio on a winter morning and hearing the magical words "snow day..." for the school up the road.

As far as Harley Davidsons go, while they would never likely be my first choice, when that feeling stirs within, any bike would do. As that girl behind the counter at Barnes and Noble said "All bikes are special." Maybe I will have to add a section of motorcycle links when I re-design this page.
It appear I am in peril of becoming a wiggly worm. Only a few days ago I was a lowly insect. Obviously I am going to have to work harder to come up with posts to convince people to link to me...


Enough with the political debate. Now for something really important!

Yesterday Jaquandor was posting about the American Film Institute's 100 greatest heros and villains (50 each). And now Country Music Television has come up with their list of the 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music.

Right off the top they got it wrong. Number one, by virtue of being number one, would have to be a "perfect song," right? (back me up here Dan) The first perfect song appears at number three, with "Crazy," recorded by Patsy Cline and
written by Willie Nelson. Number four, "Ring of Fire" recorded by J.R. and written by June, would be my choice for number one. I could allow for a tie with "Crazy."

"Stand by Your Man," and "He Stopped Loving Her Today" are fine songs (although I must say that Lyle Lovett's version of "Stand by Your Man" is a far better performance). From there on I know most all of the songs, and most every song is a winner.

I would rank "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Walk the Line" higher. I am pleased to see that there is plenty of The Man in Black on the list.

"Friends in Low Places" does not belong in the top ten, if on the list at all.

Glad to see John Denver in at 18.

But how is it we do not hear from Marty Robbins until number 42?

And "Back in the Saddle Again" deserves better than 99.

I look forward to everyones comments. (That was me begging)

**Oh, one more thing, can Mr. Greenwood PLEASE get a new song?**
Ah... memories of college. Jaquandor reminisces on what transpired when boredom took over with only credit card applications on hand to amuse, the unexpected result, and the humorous (and surely felonious) follow up. He also links to the website which sparked this trip down memory lane.

This post brought to you by Discover.

**Edit Note** I mentioned before that the ablove link wasn't working. Now it is, enjoy.


Damn It! Just Knock It Off!

Seriously. This shit pisses me off. Whenever the issue of flag burning comes up, I feel like my head is going to explode. If this makes it all the way, I may just go out and burn one myself. Normally I think burning the American Flag is just plain silly. The fact that you are legally able to burn it makes the whole act a bit ironic. But banning flag burning would be more of a desecration of that for which the flag stands than burning it. If this passes (I really don't believe it will) everyone that votes in favor of it should be found guilty of violating the law. Voting for it shows disrespect for America, defaces the spirit of the flag, and will contribute to the country's gradual decline Mr. Chabot and Mr. Hatch.
Jaquandor posted a short work of fiction the other day. Take a break and give Graveyard Waltz a read.


**Table Saw Safety Tip No. 2**
(No. 1 of course being don't touch the blade)

The other day, I was using the table saw, and I didn't have the rip-fence quite square, and the piece became wedged between the blade and the fence. So, being a total dumb-ass, I stepped behind the saw (instead of walking around) to turn it off. As I did this, the piece of wood dislodged, and traveling at a speed somewhere near that of light struck me in the gut, right below the sternum.

Thank God for my abs of steel...


I've got nothing today. Fortunately, Jaquandor has some interesting posts.

First, an interesting theory on why The Phantom Menace, and Attack of the Clones are so reviled. Now, the majority of people I know actually like, or even love the films, so head on over, and share the love.

Jaq also has a great picture up of Mt. Everest. As you may already know, today is the fiftieth anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reaching the top of the world.


**WARNING!!! Profanity ahead**
(Who am I kidding, nobody reads this anyway)

Don't cry, everything is going to be OK. David Cross has a new comedy album out on Sub Pop Records. While I have yet to hear Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! I am going to strongly recommend it.

David Cross is that guy that when you see him, you will go "OH, THAT guy." He is also one half of the HBO series Mr. Show. If you have never seen Mr. Show, I suggest, no, I demand you rent it now! For the uninitiated, Mr. Show ran for four seasons on HBO. Mr. Show was a sketch comedy that starred David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, and featured other recognizable faces such as Jack Black, and Brian Posehn. What follows is my feeble attempt to describe the genius that was Mr. Show. "A modern, American, more vulgar Monty Python."

I only lament that I've only seen the first two seasons, because the last two have yet to be released on DVD, and I have always been too cheap to pay for HBO. However, season three will be released in August. While my birthday is in July, a pre-order would make a fine gift...


Matthew over at Killing Time With My Fingers relates some very funny resume excerpts. There is also a humorous conversation in which he was involved regarding Attack of the Clones. He doesn't have permalinks, so just scroll down to yesterday's entries (May 22).
NASA/JPL think they're so hot. It seems My pictures of Jupiter and the four Galilean moons inspired the folks running the show at Mars Global Surveyor to point their camera towards Jupiter and snap a few. While they were able to also capture Earth, and our own Moon, it seems they missed Io. Ha! What a bunch of hacks.


The other day, Jaquandor was commenting on the pure evil that is a cat. Well, I'm not sure if stupidity is a trait of all felines, or just mine, but either way, this is one area where she excels.

Today a crew started drain-tiling our basement, which entails jack-hammering the floor around the perimeter. Needless to say this freaked the cat out a bit, nothing too bad, she just hid under the bed in the bedroom. Around noon or so, the crew took their lunch break. Soon after they started back to work, Krista realized that the cat had disappeared. At first we thought that she had slipped outside, as the door was propped open as the crew hauled the concrete out. After looking around the block, we asked the crew if they had seen her. One of the workers said that he had seen her in the basement when he came back from lunch. As it turns out she was still in the basement.

Because of the mess involved with tearing up a cement floor, we moved all of our stuff in the basement to the center, and covered it with drop cloths. It seems that this is where the cat headed once the workers returned. That's cool, I can respect that. Great place for a cat to hang, under a big pile of stuff, lots of things to check out and all. Here is where our cat showcases her incredible stupidity. I assume when the jack-hammering resumed, the cat freaked again, and not being able to return upstairs tho her under-the-bed sanctuary (this would have involved being seen by strangers, gasp!) she delved deeper into the pile of stuff. When we found her, she had managed to get under a set of industrial-style shelves we have. There is more room under the bottom shelf, but the opening she had to squeeze though can't be more than three inches. With some coaxing she managed to get her head back out, but her body was still stuck under the shelf, and now her head was stuck outside the shelf. With quite a bit of effort, I managed to tilt the shelf (keep in mind that this shelf is at the center of the pile, so I was lying under the workbench, wedged between quite a bit of junk trying to tilt a seven foot shelf loaded with more junk that is tightly surrounded on all sides) just enough that I was able to pull her out.

Stupid cat.

Now I was able to go back to sleep. Oh, wait, the jack-hammering...


A new proposal is sure to spark renewed debate on the subject of evolution, But where does Grape Ape fit in all of this?

Please excuse my brother, he is obsessed with ninjas.


Courtesy Jaquandor a really cool site that compares the size of all of your favorite TV and Movie spaceships, along with some real-life structures.
Well, I didn't even come close to starting that time-lapse of the eclipse I promised. I will try to get to it in the next week or so. We are having our basement drain-tiled, and there was a lot more crap to move out of the basement than I thought. In the mean time, continue to enjoy the photos below.


I stayed up late to see the lunar eclipse. I video-taped the event, and will hopefully be able to post a time lapse by the end of the weekend. Below is a vid-cap from the footage I shot.

I also received a completely unexpected bonus view. Looking around the completely clear sky, I decided to point my camera at what I thought was likely Jupiter. I turned on the digital zoom, set it for maximum exposure, and zoomed in. As I was zooming in, one by one four dim points of light appeared, in line, two on either side of the gas giant. I was dumbfounded. With the aid of my video camera, I was viewing the Galilean moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto (which is which I have no clue). I soon confirmed that it was indeed Jupiter with the help of this really cool website.

Despite getting about two hours of sleep before work, it was a great night.


The masses are asses.

Just yesterday Jaquandor was complaining about pre-movie ads. I couldn't agree more, but it seems we are in the minority. I don't mind an ad that is well done, in fact every year, we attend a screening of the British Television Advertising Awards. A well done ad is much like a short film. The problem is that most, if not all, of the advertising I have seen before movies, is mediocre at best. I haven't seen any of the 20 minute behind the scenes productions that are mentioned in the article, but it seems these occur before the movie start time, so I don't think these would bother me as much. Unfortunately, this survey seems to indicate that we can look forward to more pre-movie advertising.


OK, OK... Jack Horkheimer I'm not. I screwed up. The Eclipse is THURSDAY night into Friday morning. In my defense, working my schedule really can screw up my sense of what day it is. The links in my previous post still apply though.

Oh, remember to keep looking up.


I may just try and sleep most of this afternoon, so I can stay up late (very late for me) and catch a glimpse of the lunar eclipse. Here in Minneapolis I should be able to see all of it that is visible to the naked eye, providing it stops raining by then. Here is a page that will tell you just about all you need to know about tonight's eclipse.


Maybe I shouldn't be, but I am amazed this kind of thing still goes on...


I will be making changes to the template, adding more links and so on, but this will do for now.
First day, and I already have something to say. I was recently lamenting the death of the independent film. Lo and behold, it's not just me. It seems recently that apart from foreign films, there there have been scant few "small" films. This niche has been taken over by divisions of the big studios. I have not seen the recent batch of big-studio "art-house" films ("Adaptation," "The Pianist," "About Schmidt," etc.) so I can't comment on these directly, but other such films have lately seemed to fall short. This seems to come from too much studio involvement. There are notable exceptions of course, films from the Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, Christopher Guest and a few others. But these are almost a gimmie. I miss the unexpected, unknown gems. Where are the "Walking and Talkings," "Trees Lounges" and "Stranger than Paradises?" I'm sure they are out there, but why don't I hear about them?

Many people say that the independent films started to die with "Pulp Fiction." I disagree. There have been a great number since then. When it really started, I think, was with "American Beauty." This also marked the end of great Kevin Spacey roles. If anyone has some recommendations, let me know.
Ok, here it is. Under much pressure, from a person we will simply call Jaquandor, to get a blog of my own, I have. What will I be posting? Beats me. I promise nothing. Not regular posts, not proper spelling, not timely thought provoking insights, or that any of it will be in the least bit interesting. Let the experiment begin.