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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

January
20
2010
7:30 am
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I was reading one of the recent Geeks of Dune, er Geeks of Doom newsletters when I hit a quote from the new director of the upcoming new Dune movie translation.

From the article, quoting Pierre Morel:

Like many people, I was not fully satisfied with David Lynch’s movie in 1984. I do respect David, and I think his interpretation and vision was interesting, but not what we [fans] expected. And I thought I’d give it a chance, try to do this, make it faster and more modern. I think that now, in 2010, we have the technology to achieve much more than David could do twenty-five years ago. I think it will be cool to try something different.

Say what?

Who are these “many people” who were “not fully satisfied”?  What’s WRONG with them? Did they not see the same movie I did at 14 years old? 

I MEAN COME ON! LOOK AT THIS!

irulan

And that’s just how the movie started.  It proceeded to include awesome alien beings, huge-scale artwork, sound effects that blew my mind, spaceships, fighting (both technological and hand-to-hand), killer beasts in the desert, Ming the Merciless, flying fat bastards, STING!!!!, blue-within-blue eyes and was interwoven delicately with complex overarching concepts I wouldn’t come to understand for many years later.

To say Dune transformed my love of sci-fi cinema is an understatement of pre-folded-space proportions.  I didn’t read the books until after the movie, and I especially enjoyed the books that came later by Herbert’s son (some of them were enjoyed as audio books).

Now I feel like reading the whole thing again.

June
3
2009
4:23 pm
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I don’t do too many movie review posts.  The biggest reason for this is that I like most everything.  I’d be like the critic who never had a bad thing to say, always pointing out the positives and generally being very happy most of the time. 

Who wants happy, anyway?

Happy is so 20th Century.

I mean, think about it.  Which blog posts out there do you comment on the most?  I’d wager that more often than not, it’s probably about someone complaining about something.  The complaint probably resonates with you, and so you agree with your comiserating comment.   And if it’s not a complaint-post, then it’s probably something really controversial, like semi-agreeing with raping conservative women.  Stuff like that gets a ton of comments.

But I see so many things in life (politics aside) that make me feel good, I don’t concentrate on the bad stuff enough to actually write about it.  To me, that just spreads more negativity.

Being home with my wife almost 24-7 for the last ~2 weeks, we’ve watched a lot of TV and read lots of books.  There’s not much more you can do when one of you is stuck to crutches and either needs to be in bed or in a La-Z-Boy recliner.  So I made sure our Blockbuster queue was filled up, and it seems I got on a Gary Oldman kick, because we got three in a row: Basquiat, Interstate 60, and Prick Up Your Ears.  Basquiat didn’t do it for me (well-acted, sure, but the lead character annoyed me), and we haven’t watched Prick Up Your Ears yet. 

But Interstate 60? I absolutely loved it.

I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of this movie.

  1. It’s very funny.
  2. It’s quite thought-provoking.
  3. Unique plot.
  4. Lots of great little cameos, like Michael J. Fox & Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future tie, I’m sure).  Kurt Russell did a good job too.

We’re looking for more movies that fit the first 3 items above – got any recommendations?  Or have you see/heard of I-60 before and I’m just sheltered?

April
14
2009
3:11 pm
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My new favorite cartoon movie character is Rhino from Disney’s Bolt

I can’t find a clip of my favorite part, which is somewhat after the above scene, where Rhino does something very cool and fakes humility for a second and then when asked if he did actually do said cool thing, responds

“Yes I diiid.  YOINK!”

It’s.  fully.  AWESOME…!

It was so unexpected.  So semi-random.  His head tilts just right.  Body art ensues.  It’s So. FULLY. AWESOME!

I want to record this little clip as a sound effect on my blackberry so I can play it with a single shortcut key.  That way, instead of *me* having to manually do my Rhino Impression every time someone asks me a question if I did something that’s fully awesome, I can just hold down the ‘R’ key of my blackberry and WHAMMO!

“Yes I diiid.  YOINK!”

I might even do the body art piece.

I think there’s something wrong with me.  Allow me to present a few key pieces of evidence.

I didn’t really enjoy Batman: Dark Knight that much.

Bale’s sinister voice seemed stretched and overdone, whats-his-name-dead-guy’s rendition of the Joker didn’t seem gifted like everyone claimed, and the movie didn’t make me oh-so-glad-I’d-seen-it like the movie Batman Begins did.  But I know everyone else loved this movie.  What’s wrong with me?

I loved Xanadu, Abba, August Rush and Dune.

I would expound on this some, but come on.  Do I really have to?

Watchmen didn’t do much for me

This might be the biggest indicator since everyone else and their brother love this particular movie, this Watchmen.  I loved the special effects; the acting was noticeably good (for an untrained observer such as myself); I didn’t get lost during the telling of the story.

I should point out that I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I went out by myself to Alamo Drafthouse (where they have every other row of seats taken out and replaced with tables and wait staff comes by and services great food/drink, and they’re hilarious) and watched a decent movie.  I had a great time.  Really.

But I would have had the same great time with just about any movie.

Which is my point.

And if Watchmen and Dark Knight are your all-time favorite movies and I just offended you somehow, I have something for you.

I got an invite recently from a technical vendor looking to get on my schedule, bribing me with Dinner and a Movie at our local Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to see the first-run Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the The Crystal Skull

indiana jones vendor-paid movie dinner

The bribe worked.  I’m going tonight and will listen to their speil and have a nice night with the spouse and actually see a movie the day it comes out.  When I asked the vendor if I could bring my wife and they said yes, I was ready to agree to give them some of my time.

I usually reserve seeing a premiere for those that are real important to me – like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Matrix, etc.  There hasn’t been anything in the last few years that made me need to go see it on opening day.  Indiana Jones is something I’m very much looking forward to (who can’t hum the theme song and get all tingly?) but I wouldn’t otherwise battle the crowds to see it when it first comes out.  I can wait for a matinee for most movies.

Anyone familiar with Alamo Drafthouse knows it’s a great experience – theatre seating but with every other row taken out, and dinner tables put in front of you.  Waiters serve great drinks, appetizers and very very good food.  Good humor on the screen before the movies. 

What movies have you NEEDED to see on opening day?

It’s April 1st and I don’t have any pranks for you. Or do I?


August Rush is my new favorite movie

august rush movie 

I have so much to say about this movie, but I think I’ll keep it to myself for now. Suffice it to say, I was completely taken and enraptured by this movie.  Maybe I’ll do a full Movie Review in a few weeks when I’ve composed myself (no pun intended).


Taxes in two weeks

Have you done your taxes yet? I haven’t.  Are you starting to think the Fair Tax might be for you?  I am.

Neal Boortz has an informative 1hr webinar about it.

fairtax.org

You know, I wouldn’t care if the Fair Tax saved me money or not on my own taxes.  In my opinion, the best thing about the Fair Tax is that the people who are currently skating by will finally have to pay taxes (drug dealers, tax evaders, illegal immigrants). Maybe that’s where they get the word ‘Fair’ from?

Why not read up on it and possibly sign the petition?  Like, before April 15th, people!

fair tax petition


How to Deal with Difficult People

I’ve been inadvertently pissing people off lately. Even when I’m agreeing with people, my words, tone or body language is seen as argumentary or contrarian. Now, I *am* a natural contrarian normally, but in these cases I’m not trying to be contrary or cause a conflict.  Someone will say “I make point A” and as far as I can tell, I’m agreeing with them, but the person I’m talking to hears “point A is stupid and point B is better” but really I’m saying “point A is right” but then I add some other stuff that isn’t important (I guess) and that’s what’s seen as an opposing view.

I’ll be discussing something with someone and BAM they’re pissed off at me and when I investigate further into why they’re pissed off, it’s because they see me as disagreeing with them OR disagreeing with them in a way that’s offensive.  It baffles me because I don’t recall disagreeing with them and I definitely don’t mean offense.

Since it’s happening with just about everyone, I have to assume it’s me.

How do I analyze myself and determine what I’m doing wrong? How do I fix this?

I’m thinking the answer is to just reduce the amount of talking. I don’t think I have a lack of listening ability but maybe I do.


LOLcats

Hey Dave2 and Avi!  There’s an iPhone app for LOLcats so you can get ICHC on your iPhone.  Like, every day even!

 

 

I love each and every one of you like you were a well-worn song on my MP3 player.  On repeat.


Once Reviewed

Once movie

Didn’t like it that much.

I liked the music, but the movie took a LONG time to get to it, and I didn’t like that first song he sang on the street that got her attention.  I think I’ll go check out the guys music.  I really liked the girl’s accent – can’t get enough of that.  More than just plain sexy, it’s… fetching.  It draws me in and makes me listen to every portion of every word, because I don’t want to miss a syllable.  And the storyline seemed to be real and not all hollywooded up.  The guy did a good acting job too.  It didn’t fall into a typical romantic struggle camp.  I felt like this could have been an actual story.  I got chills when they started singing together for the first time in the music store, and that’s common for me with musicals.  I’m the biggest hetero fan of musicals in the entire world.

Ok, maybe I did like it and just didn’t know it.


Exercise and weight management

For me, this isn’t just a New Year’s Resolution. While I don’t currently have a “medical monkey” on my back, I won’t live forever and I should pay better attention to this temporary vessel I like to call “my body.”  Unless, of course, scientists figure out how to extend my life before mine is used up, thereby buying more time until scientists can extend it further. 

In other words, (and I will summarize by using Led Zeppelin song names)

In my time of dying, I want to be over the hills and far away with my friends, thank youThat’s the way I am, and it’s nobody’s fault but mineYour time is gonna come, too, so don’t let yourself get sick again and ramble on wearing and tearing for your life.  To help us both, I’m gonna crawl in the evening, listen to rock and roll, and eat some custard pie with the living loving maid in the light down by the seaside.

I’ve decided to become serious about getting in shape. For the most part, it means doing actual exercise, instead of my usual of jumping to conclusions, running my mouth and sweating about taxes. Fortunately, our exercise equipment was recently moved a lot closer, so I can more conveniently abuse it.  I’m currently about 20 lbs lighter than my heaviest weight during 2007 (and my entire life) and hope to keep it up.  Wait, I mean down.

If you’ve done a weight management program or discipline, what worked? Was it keeping a log or journal? Was it publishing the log and success? Was it diet and exercise?  Personal Training?  Keeping a plain old fashioned scale in the bathroom?


Best of the LOLcats

There were a few chuckles this last week or two. One thing I’ve gotten into the habit of is when friends come over who haven’t been exposed to LOLcats, I just go my lolcats blog tag on my blackberry or my Wii at home, since I’ve already filtered out the not-so-funny ones. So far, it hasn’t backfired on me like that time I kept showing everyone [insert favorite cult fascination that too many people sell you on, like Amway, Jesus, Nickelback].

lolcats get in mah bellah

lolcats invisible segway

lolcats inigo

lolcats is she writing a check

December
28
2007
11:16 am
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What an absolutely fantastic movie Stardust was!

stardust movie poster

We sat and watched it last night – actually, I was very very tired and ready for bed but was convinced to stay up to watch it, and therefore my expectations were already low, thinking I’d fall asleep during the movie.

This has now become an all-time favorite movie – probably up there with The Princess Bride.  It’s funny, has tons of unexpected twists without being campy, and is filled with great acting (who could ignore Robert DeNiro, Rupert Everett, Peter O’Toole, Ricky Gervais and Ian McKellen as supporting actors?  What does that say about the main cast?)

I vaguely remember seeing a trailer for it once, and I don’t recall seeing it on the theatre marquee.  Seems weird, given that it was such a good movie.   This seems like a perfect movie to watch in a group vs alone.

Have you seen it?  Have you even heard of it?

We checked out Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix over this last weekend (wife and daughter saw it in theatres but I missed out) and I really liked it a lot.  I could wax poetic on how the special effects were great, the acting was definitely top-notch, and the story line seemed appropriate for the situations presented, but mainly what I got out of the movie was a happy, pleasant feeling.

I felt warm all over.

In fact, it was indeed a bit tingly.

I’ve finally watched a successful movie targeted at kids and WASN’T made sick by political agendas.

That’s right,

harry potter dumbledore says guns are ok

WARNING: the rest of this has some spoilers in it, so if you haven’t seen it, you might want to click away.

SPOILER ALERT!

Ok, now that I’m done with that spoiler alert part, I have to say how refreshing it is to have some common sense in kids movies every once in a while.  In the movie, Harry defends himself against a vicious attack by the Dementors with his magic wand (a “terrible WMD: weapon of magical destruction”) and then faces charges because he did so in the presence of a muggle.  The whole courtroom, Ministry of Magic, the new character Umbridge, and the incredibly pompous and liberal attitude of those in charge boiled my blood and for the screenplay writers to actually write in and display how ludicrous it all seems when faced with a dangerous situation deserves my sincere applause.

*applause*

When I asked my 13 yr old daughter how she felt about the court proceedings and how Harry was being persecuted for his actions, she agreed that he did what he had to do to protect himself.  It seemed common sense.  And she even got a little mad that the Minister moved the hearing up 3 hours in the attempt to make Dumbledore miss it – YEA AGAIN for the writers!  And who didn’t love Dumbledore’s response?

Dumbledore: Witness for the defense, Albus Percival Wulfric…Brian…Dumbledore.
Fudge: You, you got our message that the time and place of the hearing had been changed, did you?
Dumbledore: I must have missed it. But by a happy mistake I arrived at the Ministry three hours early.

Heh, “happy mistake”.

I did a little googling to see how many others caught this parallel between the script and gun control ideology and there are plenty.  Maybe this world isn’t going to hell in a handbasket after all – at least, as long as us gun-toting freedom lovers keep some common sense around.

If you’re wondering where I sit on the gun control debate, you can take a look at my bumper sticker collection

right to keep bear arms bumper sticker dictators prefer unarmed citizens

right to keep bear arms bumper sticker guns are outlawed outlaws

right keep bear arms bumper sticker if guns cause crime women cause prostitution

never shoot to kill, always shoot to live

 question authority, don't ask why, just do it!

we can fire politicians because we can fire guns

 

Almost half a year!  Now if only I could make GOOD habits last that long…


XMAS Tree, round 2

Last week I posted a picture of our almost-done XMAS tree, and now it’s finished.  Here it is with a complete bottom AND top:

hall xmas tree 2007hall xmas tree 2007 full

and this picture has 100% more Jaden for your viewing enjoyment.


Live Free and Die Hard ROCKED

Sure, it took me three sittings to actually watch the whole thing because I kept getting interrupted left and right, but I really really liked this movie.

live free die hard

It was funny at the right parts, had PLENTY of action, was superbly acted and it was somewhat believable (the “fire sale” part and many technical plot devices).  You can say Bruce Willis has this character down pat.  I liked most of the technical stuff in the background and paid attention to most of it, looking for mistakes.

Of course, it didn’t hurt to have the “PC vs Mac” guy turn from a gutless wonder to someone who actually could do what he needed to do to save the day.  His comedic contribution to the movie was priceless.

justin long live free die hard


Celtic Woman XMAS Special

Tonight I received a call letting me know that Celtic Woman was on TV again but this time it was a Christmas Special

celtic woman XMAS

WOW! I started my DVR recording late, so now I’ll have to go find where to buy it because I love Christmas music over almost any other kind of music, and I love Celtic Woman almost as much, so when they’re combined it just blows me away.

And I saw across the top of the screen that they’re coming to Austin!  I saw them in San Antonio earlier in the year and it’s easily one of my all-time favorite concerts ever.  Well, except for Schoolhouse Rock of course.

celtic woman tours austin texas

You can check me out on twitter on that night and you’ll be sure to get some full-on appreciate for Celtic Woman.

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