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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What's Up, Doc?

Ben Weber is a pitcher trying to make it on the Toronto Blue Jays roster. A few years ago he was a key part of the Anaheim Angels bullpen. Then he developed numbness in his pitching arm and it was downhill from there. He was pitching in minor leagues trying to make it back.

The interesting part of the interview I saw was that he went to something like 15 doctors to try to figure out what was wrong. It was a chiropractor that was able to finally diagnose a slipped disc in his neck. He had surgery and is pitching again and is now trying to make the Jays roster.

Just goes to show how frustrating wading through the medical field can be. I’ve had a particular issue with my ears that no doctor has ever been truly able to diagnose, let alone fix. Basically, all I’ve ever been told was that they didn’t know, and to live with it. Which I have. Needless to say, my faith in doctors is a lot lower than most. And yesterday’s checkup reinforced the notion that it is up to the individual to maintain their own records and do their own research.

It’s your body. You know it better than anyone else. Do your homework, keep your records, and have the confidence to go toe to toe (in a nice way) with doctors until you find the truth and what will work for you. There are a lot of good doctors out there (heaven knows I wouldn’t want the job), and a few that should have an attitude adjustment. But after wading through the medical field myself, I’ve learned two things: (1) learn, research, and keep notes on everything like your life depends on it – it probably does; and (2) if you really want to know something, ask the nurses. They’re the ones in the trenches everyday and have probably seen it all. Tap into that experience every chance you get.

This has been a public service announcement.

Say It Fast, Drink It Faster. Hold the Bubbles...

Here’s something I came across, a tongue-twister of sorts – thought I’d throw it up here for Blythe Lane should she happen by…

All I want is a proper cup of coffee
Made in a proper copper coffee pot
Tin Coffee pots or
Iron Coffee Pots,
They're no use to me;
If I can't have a
Proper cup of coffee
In A proper copper coffee pot,
I'll have a cup of tea...
Now, I can’t drink coffee or tea, but if I could, I suspect it’d be Tim Horton’s like every other self-respecting Canadian. You can’t beat the smell of a large double-double and an apple fritter on a cold morning…can’t drink the first, and shouldn’t eat the second, but sometimes a proper apple fritter or a honey dip or a maple dip or a tractor tire or a…um, where was I? Oh yes, sometimes you just have to “carpe donut”.

Then somebody told me about something called a bubble tea. The way it was described to me sounded really nasty. You suck the small “bubbles” of whatever is in the bottom (Tea? Tapioca? Milk?) through a wide straw so you can sip, chew, drink. Just doesn’t sound right…

Donuts! STAT!

Well, today did the quarter check up with the docs for the kidney thang…and it went well, all things considered. Kidney seems to be doing ok with it’s ongoing…um, “kidney-ing”. Numbers were in range. So that’s good.

A year ago they took a cholesterol test and it was high at 5.6. It didn’t make sense to me then as I wasn’t eating that out of whack and was in pretty good shape. Still, changed a few things and they took one today, and the bad cholesterol has come down to 2.9. So, yay me. All that not eating and exercise actually works. Who knew? (just kidding) They still want it down to 2.6. Picky, picky, picky :) Anyway, think I’ll go have a donut to celebrate my low cholesterol. ;-)

"Mmmmm, Donuts…Is there anything they can’t do?" - Homer

Another Good One Gone

Sad news here. Dennis Weaver passed away at age 81 from complications with cancer.

I don’t remember watching Gunsmoke, but I loved the show McCloud back in the early 90’s when they were showing reruns of it on A&E. The first season just recently came out on DVD around Christmas, I think. And of course, who could forget his performance in Duel. He will be missed.

More Ultraviolet

An article here about the training Milla Jovovich did for the role. Six months training and she does most of her own stunts. Pretty good. The other interesting thing was that the director had the stunt coordinator eat with her to make sure she was eating enough for the energy she was burning. You don’t hear that too often.

The bad news in the article is that the movie was initially intended to be R rated, but is now PG-13. To me, that means that some of the cooler spots will be gone from the movie, and I’ll bet that there will be another double dip on the DVD. Theatrical release, then the Special Edition, and then the Unrated Director’s Cut. These studio’s are getting so predictable. And they wonder why the box office is going downhill when they purposefully screw the pooch on the theatrical release just so they will have something more for the DVD sales.

Ahoy Ye Pirates!

Funny article here from one of the Monty Python crew talking about movie pirating. Best line: "If you're going to pirate, though, make sure the quality's good. Have some respect for what you're pirating!"

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Goodbye, Turin

Well, it’s over. They’ve snuffed the flame, partied like its 1999, and handed off the winter Olympic torch to Vancouver for 2010. A decent games, I suppose. Canada did really well with 24 total medals, finishing 3rd behind Germany and the U.S.

The big disappointment was not even getting a medal in the men’s hockey. What a lackluster performance by those guys. You’d have thought they sent the Toronto Maple Leafs over there to play. May as well have, with Quinn behind the bench.

The women won gold for out national sport, so kudos to them. Not to mention Cindy Klassen wracking up the medal count single-handedly.

Anyways, it over now, so the NHL can finally return for the playoff push. (If you’re Ottawa, though, you can’t be happy about the Olympics. Thanks for nothing.) And NBC can get back to their regularly scheduled, last place ratings, programming…

Odds 'N Ends...

Some TV Quotes that had me laughing:

A funny line from Corner Gas. Hank was building a LEGO model of the town, and Brett wasn't taking it seriously, so he ordered him out:
Hank: You're belittling my art!
Brett: It's building blocks! It's already little. It's pre-littled!

Lorne from an Angel Ep:
"Ok, unless anybody else has something to add, let me be the first to say: What The Hell Was THAT?!"

Lorne again from the Epiphany Ep:
"What's to understand? You think you're the first guy to roll over, saw what was lyin' next to him, and went 'GYAAAAH!'?"

And some anonymous quote from an anonymous show :) [No, I'm not saying which show]
(Guy and Gal talking that disolves into a fight while he's shoveling her walkway)
Guy: I owe you nothing!
Gal: Fine!
Guy: Nothing!
Gal: Fine!
Guy: And shovel your walk! It is a safety hazzard! And you can't just walk past it and ignore the fact that the snow is up to your ass!
Gal: You've got my shovel!
Guy: I loaned it to you three years ago!

Picked up my latest Amazon shipments today. Then traded in a bunch of DVD's and CD's I don't really have any use for anymore at the local used media place and between Amazon's sale and the trade ins, it worked out to a heck of a steal on a couple season sets. I now have the first three seasons of BtVS (yes, after watching the 7th season on TV reruns, I finally cracked and wanted to see this from the beginning :) and the first three seasons of The Shield to work through. I'm getting more and more convinced that watching the seasons on DVD is the only way to do it. Have basic cable for news and sports, and turn to DVD to watch the shows you want to watch, on your timetable. This is especially after I read an article about how the Networks and Cable companies are fearful of and trying to make sure cable doesn't move from "packages" to a "a la carte" channel selection service.

Everyone who has ever had cable has wondered the same thing. Why can't I just pay for the channels I want to watch, instead of these damn expensive package deals? I wanted to have the US Superstations (for baseball games), but not the movie network channels, but with Rogers it's a package that they won't split, so I had to cancel the whole thing on my budget.

Obviously, it all has to do with money, but these networks better figure out other options fast. With the internet making shows available to download and the video iPod coming on strong, the future of TV is going to have to change.

I also got my books on learning sign language from Amazon, so that's going to take some time to see if I have any aptitude for learning it. The one book came with a DVD, so that will help. And even with the shipping, they were cheaper than Chapters. Figure this is the most economical way to start into it, instead of paying one or two hundred dollars on a coarse right out of the gate. We shall see...

You Are Medium...

Found this blogthing quiz - a five point personality test. Came out surprisingly close, though it was off on a thing or two. Apparently, I'm low to medium on all the scales :)

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.


You have medium conscientiousness.
You're generally good at balancing work and play.
When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.
But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.


You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is medium.
You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.
But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.
You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Bruce Willis Rants


Click on the link to read Willis' rant on a number of subjects when he was supposed to be promoting his new movie 16 Blocks. Some funny stuff and some true stuff too.
His publicist wasn't happy: "After 30 minutes or so of Willis' blunt rants, the Hitlist was left with one indelible image: Willis' longtime publicist, Paul Bloch, covering his face with his hands in disbelief. Bloch was most likely thinking "I pray that they don't print this stuff." Ah, too late..."

And isn't it about time that they just come out and say this is a remake of Eastwood's The Gauntlet? Anybody who's seen the trailer knows that already. And I'm betting that Clint's movie will still be better. How many remakes are ever better than the original? Besides, as cool as Mos Def is, I'd much rather look at Sondra Locke...

Sheryl Crow Has Surgery

Was surprised to read this. Sheryl Crow underwent successful breast cancer surgery. To quote from the article:

Crow called the surgery “minimally invasive” and said she will be undergoing radiation treatment as a precaution. She said she benefited from early detection, and urged other women to have themselves checked.
It also states she plans to reschedule March concert dates as soon as possible.

I like some of her music, especially the great album C'mon, C'mon (that whole album was good - one great track after the other starting with the cool Steve McQueen tune). Here's wishing her a speedy recovery.

Friday, February 24, 2006

New UV Clips Up

Some new images and clips available here at Yahoo! movies for the movie Ultraviolet. Click on the More Trailers and Clips and you can get to a clip of behind the scenes stuff too. The action looks good. One quick clip of a motorcycle stunt was cool in the fact that the buildings behind were all painted green for the green screen effect. That's a lot of paint.

First movie I actually want to go to the theatre to see this year. January, February, and April are duds at the box office, but March is looking stacked. I want to see Ultraviolet, 16 Blocks, V for Vendetta, Don't Come Knockin', Inside Man, Brick, A Scanner Darkly, and Lucky Number Slevin. Wow, three out of four months are dead air, then they pack 8 movies I want to see into one month. What's the matter with Hollywood?

Bear crashes hockey game, mom saves kids

ESPN Outdoors -- Bear crashes hockey game, mom saves kids

First heard of this on The Colbert Report (funny show, and great follow up to the Daily Show). This woman was walking her kids past a street hockey game when the kids started shouting and she saw a polar bear sizing up her kid. She told the kids to run, and proceeded to fight the bear. Another man saw this, ran to his brother's home, and grabbed a rifle. He fired some warning shots to distract the bear, then put 4 shots into it to and killed it. The woman was swatted by the bear a couple times, but remarkably lived through it.

It's amazing what one can do when the need arises. Just be sure when fighting a bear, to kick in a bicycle-pedaling motion :)

A Big World

Some interesting points being raised on Blythe Lane's blog about being single. In one particular post, there was a link to an article exploring the question "So, Why aren't you Married?". I happened to read it, and while there were good points about it, something in it didn't sit right with me. See the comments section to see what I had to say.

It did get me extrapolating thoughts, however. Do people get too wrapped up in the state of their own being? I know everyone's got their problems and it can seem bad. But I think people tend to lose sight of the bigger picture all the time. They get wrapped up in the details of their own existence, and make mountains out of mole hills.

I remember when I was on dialysis and things were not going well with it, and the job I had at the time involved customer service. I always dealt with the people's issues as they came, but I remember thinking as people got wound up and belligerent about small details, "Is that your big problem for the day? You lucky #$%&! I'll show you problems." Then I'd get to the dialysis unit and look at the suffering people around me and realized that as bad as I thought I had it, there were people sitting right next to me that had it worse. A woman who had been on dialysis for 20 years. A man that had no hope of a transplant because of other health issues. So, they could have said the same thing to me as I thought about the customers earlier, and it all comes back around. It's all a matter of perspective.

Like the one guy on an episode of Third Watch said: "You want to be compassionate? Try putting yourself 2nd, or not at all. But start there, and the rest will take care of itself." Imagine if we all did that, what kind of a world it would be. The downside is, imagine how brutal four way stops would become :)

There is a bigger picture and a bigger world out there. The irony is that to help a big world, we have to work on the small things. Maybe if we all just concentrated on helping other's through their problems, ours would seem smaller. Not only that, the world would be a better place. You can't save the world, but you can help the guy next to you.

Reminds me of that fantastic story arc of the first part of season 2 of Angel where at the end of the Epiphany episode he and Kate are talking (would have to know your continuity to get the double epiphany impact of it, but still a good speech):

Angel: It doesn't.
Kate: It doesn't what?
Angel: Mean anything. In the greater scheme, the big picture, nothing we do matters. There's no grand plan, no big win.
Kate: You seem kind of chipper about that.
Angel: Well, I guess I kind of...worked it out. If there's no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters...then all that matters is what we do. 'cause that's all there is. What we do now, today. I fought for so long for redemption, for a reward, and finally just to beat the other guy. But I never got it.
Kate: And now you do?
Angel: Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I want to help because I don't think people should suffer as they do. Because, if there's no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness, is the greatest thing in the world.
Kate: Yikes. Sounds like you've had an epiphany.
Angel: I keep saying that, but nobody's listening.
Kate: Well, I'm pretty much convinced, since I'm alive to be convinced.
Angel: You know, you don't have to be --
Kate: I'm ok. Anyway, I'm not headed towards another pill-a-thon. I'm very grateful. I never thought you'd come for me, but I got cut a huge break and I believe. I don't know what I believe, but I...have faith. I think maybe we're not alone in this.
Angel: Why?
Kate: Because I never invited you in.
There is no big win. But we need to show kindness, to help others, and to keep fighting the fight. However, we're not alone. There is a Higher Power, with a plan, that will help us, but it is up to us to make what we will of this life and to help each other through it.

Seven Things - Tagged

Apparently I was tagged by Blythe Lane. I didn't know what this was, but from the looks of it, it is a topic or several questions that get answered on your blog, then pass the questions on to other bloggers and so on. So in the interest of not breaking what appears to be a bloggers chain letter, here goes:

Seven things to do before I die:
1) Skydive
2) Take a train trip out west through the Rockies
3) Get something published. Something. Anything.
4) Learn sign language.
5) Drive a ’69 Dodge Charger
6) Own a ranch.
7) Have some fun.

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1) Watch eye surgery on the Discovery Channel. Anything else from autopsies to brain surgery, ok, but not eye surgery.
2) Algebra the right way. I got my own system that got me through high school, but it ain’t pretty or explainable.
3) Keep my finger straight while bending the top tip. (I’ve seen it done)
4) Drink coffee. Not because I don’t want to…
5) Watch Titanic. Still haven’t seen it – the streak lives! (that’s for you Bruno if you’re reading this.)
6) Speak French. C’est la vie.
7) Dance. (Everybody do the chicken!)

Seven Things That Attract Me to My Mate:
1) She’s quiet.
2) She doesn’t hog the remote.
3) She doesn’t steal the covers.
4) She’s quiet.
5) No In-Laws.
6) She doesn’t make me watch chick flicks.
7) She doesn’t exist. Duh, I’m single, so this one doesn’t apply. And before y’all start flaming me, it was just a joke :)

Seven Things I Say:
1) Works for me.
2) Cool.
3) Make hay while the sun shines.
4) Ah. (Benton Fraser’s reply that works for dang near anything.)
5) Good enough.
6) Good to know.
7) Talk to the hand. (Kidding, people. What a stupid phrase.)

Seven People Tagged:
I’m too tired to work out the HTML and follow up with the tagging posts, so here’s some blogs I find interesting…

Blythe Lane: Corner of the World
Jill Pole: Shadow of the Real World
Swine Lair
Looks like I need to hit that "next blog" button a bit more...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Some Movie News:

Trailer available to watch here or download here for the movie Ask the Dust. Looks interesting. I like the 30’s setting and the noir feel to it. Looks a little slow paced, but hopefully there’s a twist and a payoff…

This is disturbing news. Mark Wahlberg is set to star in the movie Shooter, based on Stephen Hunter’s novel Point of Impact. The story is of a double crossed ace marksman who tries to find the truth after being setup. I loved the book, but I can’t see Wahlberg in the role. I don’t know if he can bring across Bob Lee Swagger’s savvy. Not to mention them renaming it Shooter doesn’t bode well either. I hope they keep the “thinking man’s hero” elements to it and not just turn it into a mindless shoot’em up…

As a public service for X3 fans, I provide this link to a 6 part article from ComingSoon.Net on their visit to the X3 set and conversations with the actors and people behind the scenes. Personally, I don’t want any spoilers till I see the movie (or probably more accurately, the next trailer), so I haven’t read it. But feel free to check it out if you must.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Stick A Fork In 'em...

...They're Done. Canada has been eliminated in men's hockey at the Olympics by losing to Russia 2-0.

Raise your hand if you didn't see this coming. Yeah, that's what I thought...

I'm slightly depressed, but in no way surprised. They just didn't have it this year from the get go. Brodeur did what he could, but he can't score goals. Maybe next time they'll get someone who can actually coach too...

I think in the games in 2010 are in Vancouver, so they better not botch the next one...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oh Well, Why Not

I took a shot at making a wallpaper with some of the recently released images from the upcoming X-Men 3 movie.

Well, it didn’t quite turn out as well as it looked in my head. Cropping the pics was ridiculously difficult as the backgrounds were almost the same color as the leather suits, so some of it was guess work. Not to mention having to re-draw Wolverines foot by hand. Oh well, more could be done, but there’s only so much you can fiddle around with something. I did learn some cool tricks about layering in a picture layout, so that was good.

Anyway, it was just for fun, so it doesn’t matter. You can download the full sized image here if you really, really want to. It’s not exactly 1280 X 1024. It’s more like 1289 X 958. (That’s something else I have to get right next time.) However, the widescreen look gives it more of a cinematic flair, if you ask me. (No, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature :-)

A Good Intention Gone Too Far?

There was an article in our local newpaper outlining Ontario’s proposal towards new organ donation rules. I scanned the article, and you can read it here. Apparently, it would be a “negative registration” kind of thing. Basically, you’re an organ donor unless you specify that you don’t want to be one.

This is of special interest to me as I am a kidney transplant recipient from a cadaver donor. If some thoughtful and generous soul out there hadn’t taken action and signed the donor card, my quality of life would be nil by now. I know how important it is to sign the donor card, and have signed my own of course. Still, I’m not sure what to think of this proposed plan.

I think more needs to be done to further organ donation, but I don’t think a plan this extreme is called for yet. I am always against a “negative billing”-like scenario. Too much power. There are other avenues to consider first. The first of which is to remove the “family must approve” designation. If someone has signed their donor card, that is a decision made by that individual and shouldn’t be overturned by other people. We always honor the wishes of the deceased in everything else, why not this?

Also, when was the last time you went to your doctor for anything and they mentioned organ donation? It should be brought up all the time, pushed to the forefront of society’s consciousness, and the means to be an organ donor should be made simple.

I had to search the internet to find out what to do to be recognized as a donor and to get a donor card. I even asked certain health professionals about it, and they couldn’t provide concrete answers. I think these are areas that need to be addressed before going to extremes.

What about marketing it like anything else? We all know about Cialis and Viagra and genital herpes because there are commercials on TV for these medications every other commercial break. If the information was readily available, and pushed to the masses, maybe people would start thinking more about it and realizing the good they could do by signing the donor card.

It’s a personal choice, and I can’t argue with anyone’s view of it – for or against. All that should be asked is that everyone thinks about it seriously and actually makes a choice, one way or another, rather than being unaware and not even realizing there was a choice to be made.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Off To The Races...

How can you tell the year is marching right along and that we’re headed into spring? When you look outside at snow and then turn on the TV and watch the Daytona 500 and hear reports on baseball Spring Training. Is it that time of year already? Where did January and February go?

I’m not a devoted fan, but I do enjoy watching NASCAR races. It’s got it’s entertainment value. (Not to mention they called me the "Jeff Gordon of the Forklift" at a job I used to work at years ago - so I gotta cheer for him :) Still, I can’t help thinking while watching these cars go in circles the amount of fuel and money being wasted. The weather of late would certainly indicate problems with global warming and other earth related issues. They’re trying to push fuel efficient vehicles and cut down on emissions. Then you see these car races and think: “That can’t be helping any.”

Now, I understand that no one would pay to watch SMART cars running around Daytona (well, maybe the first time, just for the laughs.) But why do I have to pay for meaningless Drive Clean programs and emission testing and high fuel prices when these guys blow away more ozone in an afternoon than I probably do in a year? And I’m not even getting into how the money that is spent on one of these events could probably feed a lot of hungry people or sponsor important medical research to save lives…

Maybe it's just me, but the world's priorities do seem to have order management issues...

...Hey, Jeff Gordon is running 19th?! I was a better forklift driver than that...come on Jeff, I've got a reputation to consider...put your foot to the firewall and get going ;-)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Deluxe Action - Let's Blow Things Up

Bit late with this news, but it's being reported that Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are going to finally be in a movie together. It's supposed to start filming as soon as the Governator is done his term in California. The movie is to be called "Brutal Deluxe."

This is great news. Sure, their movies weren't always gold, but they were always entertaining, and I love me some good action flicks. I've watched movies these guys did many times over - Rambo, Cliffhanger, Daylight, Cobra, The Specialist, The Terminator, Eraser, True Lies, Total Recall - the list goes on. In fact, I'd rather watch one of these than anything currently at the theatres right now. Looking around these days, there's really nobody that has carried the 'Action Movie Hero' torch like these guys did. (Vin Diesel and some of Nic Cage's movies probably come closest).

Can't wait to see these two together on screen, just wish it would have happened sooner. I just hope it keeps up their tradition of good action flicks and that the title doesn't refer to the quality of the movie.

Oh, and by the way, even if The Specialist gets slammed in reviews and you're not a Stallone or Stone fan, watch it for James Woods who almost steals the movie and has some great over the top moments.


Switzerland 2, Canada 0 - Turin 2006 Winter Olympics - Yahoo! Sports

Ok, so nobody saw this coming either. We lost to the Swiss? I've been having a bad feeling about this year's Olympic hockey squad (and no faith in coach Pat Quinn - look what he's done in Toronto this year - not much), and something finally happened to equal it. The only hope from this is that a bit of adversity brings the team together a bit and they play better as a result. In 2002, after they started rough, things turned around and they went on to win the gold, so a kick in the ass might be what they needed. Have to wait and see how the game on Sunday goes...

On a different note, nice to see Paul Dipetro get the goals for the Swiss. He was a sparkplug of a player for Montreal the last time they won the Cup...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Olympic Hockey

Nobody saw this coming. Sweden beat the US in Women’s hockey in a shootout, thanks mostly to Swedish goalie Kim Martin. This is the first time the US or Canadian women’s teams have lost to anybody but each other. Should set up an interesting gold medal round. And as of the time of this post, Canada's Women's hockey team is leading the Finnish team 4-0 halfway through the 2nd period, so it's looking like it'll be a Canada vs Sweden final.

Everybody saw this coming. Dominik Hasek has pulled out of the Olympics for the Czech Men’s Hockey team after an injury. That’s a blow to that team losing their star goalie, but what people on this side of the pond are thinking about is the rest of the NHL season. If Hasek goes down with a serious injury, that’s going to really hurt the Ottawa Senators, who look like a powerhouse team that could win the Cup this year. You knew an injury had to happen to a star player at some point at these games. Imagine being the general manager of an NHL team and watching your star player go down with an injury while they weren’t even playing for your team.

Canada picked up more medals yesterday, and as of right now, we’re in a three way tie for second (with Germany and Russia) for most total medals so far with 11. Go Canada! By the way, Norway leads with 13, US has ten...

Rockin' Family Reunions Ahead... Celebrities: Lisa Marie Presley Marries!

I don't really know why I'm posting this, but it's kind of intriguing. I do like LMP's music, (some solid songs on both albums - Lights Out, High Enough, Dirty Laundry, etc) as it stands on it's own and doesn't feel like she's just cashing in on her name.

However, it's the wedding story that's interesting. Imagine being part of a wedding party where the ex-husband is the best man (?!) and the father of the bride's children. The daughter is the maid of honor. The groom is the musical director (read: boss) of the bride's band where the ex-husband plays in. Apparently, they all get along and are happy with it, but that's just a bit weird...

"Bond, James Bond - No Really, I'm Bond"

Yahoo! Top Stories - Bond Hot for Eva, Mads About Baddie

Well, they finally have all the characters in place for the next Bond film - Casino Royale. They actually started filming before they had the Bond girl and the bad guy cast, but that's been done now. I've had the same response to each of the casting reveals - "Who?" What does it say about a 100 million dollar Bond movie when the biggest (or best known) "name" of the movie is Judi Dench?!

Actually, it might work out for the best. Not having seen the actors in much else, you can just enjoy their performance in that role without any preconceived ideas. (some unknowns would have worked way better than Denise Richards or Halle Berry). It worked well in Goldeneye (with the exception of the well known Brosnan), and maybe that will apply here. Goldeneye was always one of my favorites, and the same director is back for Casino Royale, so there is hope this will be done well...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Canadian Hockey

Canada 7, Italy 2 - Turin 2006 Winter Olympics - Yahoo! Sports

Go Canada, Go! They won their first game nicely, and they currently lead Germany 3-1 halfway through the second period. Let's keep the momentum going boys!

Late Night Olympics...

Watching some womens’s Olympic speed skating here. Interesting to watch, but even more interesting when they wipe out. (“It’s called ice, and it gets a little slick!”) This one skater just touched the other girl, and they both slid out and proceeded to crash into the padded walls around the rink. Actually, it looked kind of fun…

What doesn’t look like fun are the downhill skier’s wipeouts they’re replaying at the moment. A couple women wiped out in spectacular fashion – ouch. The one is actually back and going to ski anyway with the help of some painkillers. They say it’s so cold the snow squeaks when you walk on it causing the skiers a lot of difficulty on their runs.

Here’s hoping I get some more sleep tonight. Sounded like they were building the Taj Mahal or something in my building today. Of course, I already knew they were shutting the water off for 7 hours today (that’s what the notice said), so I figured they were up to something. Then we finally got cold water back 8 hours after they started, and hot water back 11 hours after they started. (yeah, color me surprised. It’s par for the course with them.) 4 hours over what they said it was going to be was rather disappointing, but still, I’m just glad to have water…

More Bourne - Please Get A Better Director...

Well, this is hardly a shock. Apparently, they’re looking at more than 3 Bourne films with Matt Damon. Possibly 5. It was very, very apparent from the last one that they were looking at spawning a franchise as opposed to being faithful to the books. Within the first two movies, they have systematically killed off everyone that mattered from the books except for Bourne. I assumed they did this not for the story, but to get rid of continuity and recurring actor’s salaries so that they could build a faceless franchise akin to Bond. I really, really liked the first one – the Bourne Identity – and really, really disliked the second one. The direction the writers went with the story was bad enough, but the director change and subsequent addiction to “shaky cam realism” absolutely killed it for me. Oh, and I still have no idea what Julia Stiles is doing in these movies, let alone getting a key role in the 3rd one...

On a different note, uou can check out the new French one sheet poster for Pirates of the Caribbean 2 here. It looks good. This is just a hunch, but I have a feeling this just might be the hit of the summer and blow both X3 and Superman Returns out of the water at the box office. The first one was a complete sleeper hit, so if it’s even half as good, there are a lot of people who’ll go to see this…

I Aim To Misbehave (& So Did the HTML)

Found this quiz via Jill Pole's blog, and being it was remotely related to Serenity, I had to take it. I could tell some questions were skewed towards different shows, but I wasn't sure I'd wind up on Serenity, but I did! YES! (I tried to answer honestly...honestly!) Interesting that there's only 7% difference for me between Serenity and Deep Space Nine...
Nice HTML from that site, by the way. Wouldn't recommend it. I had to edit it a LOT for it to look this good, and it was a might unpredictable...

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with

You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to say you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Moya (Farscape)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Whedon Wonder & Other Stuff...

Some news from WonderCon. A good interview here with the man, Joss Whedon, and some info on Serenity, Wonder Woman, and X-men. Be warned – a big spoiler from the movie Serenity is talked about, so avoid if you haven’t seen the movie yet. And if you haven’t seen the movie yet – what are you waiting for?!? Go see it, then come back and read the interview…what, you still here? Go see the movie…now!

I don’t really know a lot about the back story of the Wonder Woman character or have a lot of interest in the old TV show or a movie version. However, being Whedon is behind this, I’d have to check it out. If he brings his trademark humor and character twists to it, it’d be worth seeing. It sounds like he’s almost done the script, so pending approval, the casting rumors will be the next thing to heat up. Any suggestions?

An early review for V for Vendetta is over at, and it’s actually a good review. My hopes for this being a good flick are starting to go up…

Sin City 2 will not be coming out this year. Looks like an early 2007 release. As much as I can’t wait for the sequel, I’d prefer they push it back and do it right than do a rush job on it (cough, cough, X3, cough, cough). The other rumor about the sequel is that Rodriguez wants Angelina Jolie to play the part of Ava from ‘A Dame To Kill For’. That’d be quite the remarkable casting should it happen…

Also, this is a bit of old news, but there are stories popping up all over the ‘net about Netflix and their “punish the high renters” policy. Basically, the more you rent, the quicker you’re shunted to the end of the waiting lists. Apparently, this is called “throttling”. It has something to do with profit margins, of course, but it’s a shady thing to do after advertising unlimited rentals. Netflix isn’t available to us Canadians, but since I have a Blockbuster practically outside my door, I haven’t felt the need. Still, interesting how that old saying applies – “If something’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

I finally got a chance to watch an episode of House – great show. I’m usually working Tuesday nights (and forgetting to set my computer to record it), so haven’t watched much of it. He’s a unique character, especially for a doctor, and the one liners are brutally funny and sarcastic. I saw season 1 DVD’s available at my local Blockbuster, so maybe I’ll have to rent those and catch up on this series.

I’m also watching through the first season of The Shield on DVD. Heard nothing but good stuff about it, and it’s as good as they say. Morally questionable characters you’re interested in, and fast pacing to keep the various story lines moving. Of course, can’t see this show in Canada (thank you CRTC for nothing), so DVD is the only way to go. Actually, as far as TV in general goes, I’m starting to think TV on DVD is really the only way to go, period.

Funny Business...

Oh, did I call it. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart went right after the Cheney shooting incident, and it was hilarious. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. Not to mention he picked right up on that “getting out of the car to hunt” thing, just like I did. They even worked in a bit with the old Nintendo video game Duck Hunt and a great headline pun on the old Aerosmith song, “Cheney’s got a gun.” Absolutely priceless.

I’ve mentioned before I really like the internet, and I really like I had downloaded a fan made X-Men music video from someone called DutchXFan, and they used a song in it by Ilse Delange. Good song, and a good voice, and a country style to the music. I know most country artists, and wondered how I hadn’t heard of her. So I did a little ‘net searching and found out she’s a country artist from the Netherlands, who had recorded in Nashville. A bit more searching and I quickly found out I wouldn’t be finding the album at a local store around here (no surprise there). Jumped over to trusty Amazon, found the album, and ordered it. It took a couple weeks, but I got it the other day, and it’s really good. That’s kind of remarkable. I found out about an artist on the other side of the world via a completely unrelated item, managed to find out all about the artist and her music, and was able to purchase the album and support a singer from another country and never even leave my computer. That’s pretty cool…

Same goes for some books I wanted to buy. I went to the local Chapters to see what was available. It wasn’t easy, but I found what I was looking for. I read through them, and wanted to buy them. However, the prices seemed really high. So, I left them there, came home and went to Amazon. Sure enough, I could get the same books for less money even with dollar conversion and shipping. What in the world?! I want to support Canadian stores, but I’m not going to pay $10 a book more than I have to. Two of the books were instructional, but the one was a novel just recently released. Amazon listed it for $14.53US (about $16.85 CAN), the Chapters website listed it for $20.77 CAN, and when I got to the store it was selling for the $31.00 CAN printed on the book! I didn’t have the patience to ask one of the clerks about the discrepancy, but are they actually trying to discourage people from coming to the store? Seems like bad business to me.

Monday, February 13, 2006

He Shoots, He Scores!

Gotta post some highlights of home grown talent Dennis Wideman. He's finally made the NHL for the horrid St. Louis Blues, and he's actually doing quite well for a bad team. Tonight they played my favorite team, the Edmonton Oilers, and they beat them in the shootout, so I wasn't happy about that. However, I was happy that Curtis Sanford got the win in goal (I've been pulling for him the last couple years) and that Dennis Wideman scored the winning goal in the shootout. This makes up for his embarrassingly hilarious wipeout a couple weeks ago on a similar breakway…

Here’s how it looked:

He Dekes!

He Scores!

He Does the Post Game Interview!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Friendly Fire Ain't

I can’t wait to hear what The Daily Show is going to do with this. Apparently, Vice President Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter while they were out quail hunting. Whoops! I wonder how that fellow feels about gun control now.

Here’s a quote or two from the article:

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets.

Sprayed with shotgun pellets = Ouch! Gonna feel that in the morning…

Armstrong said she was watching from a car while Cheney, Whittington and another hunter got out of the vehicle to shoot at a covey of quail.

Ok, so how does this work – they drive around looking for birds to shoot? “Pull over Dick, there’s some birds over there I think I can hit!”

Each of the hunters was wearing a bright orange vest at the time, Armstrong told reporters at the ranch about 60 miles southwest of Corpus Christi.

Huh. You’re out hunting with a guy who couldn’t find proof of WMD’s in Iraq and went in shooting anyway and you think a little thing like a Bright Orange Vest is going to stop him from pulling the trigger?

The good news is that it sound like the man who was shot is going to be ok. He’s apparently alert and doing well.

You know, this whole thing reminds me of a great quote from Clint Eastwood in the movie Pink Cadillac - "I'm a firm believer in gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be the one in control of it."

Little Willies?

Norah Jones and Co. express love of country - Yahoo! News

This could be a good album to look for March 7. Apparently Norah Jones and friends are fans of Willie Nelson and other country classics, and have put together a band called the Little Willies. They're keeping this low key, according to the article, as this is more of a labor of love and not a commercial album selling move.

I wouldn't mind hearing this, as the duet of Norah Jones and Dolly Parton on the song The Grass is Blue on an awards show last year was quite good. I like some of Norah's other music too, and she seems to have a country flavor to some of it as well, so this could be interesting...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Some Movie News Links

X3 - Take A Stand: Here’s a look at some of the 4 X 6 foot bus stop posters that could be won at WonderCon in San Francisco on Saturday (Wish I was there). You can look at the big JPG here, or find more details via here. They look really cool – except for the Beast one. Something just doesn’t look right about it. The red uniform is all wrong and his legs look awfully short. However, I wouldn’t mind owning that one of Rogue…

The official website is up for Ultraviolet. It’s a little Flash heavy, but it has some neat stuff with an animated graphic novel game and some wallpapers and synopsis…

I’m not a huge fan of Will Ferrell, but this looks funny and the trailer actually got some laughs out of me (his two son’s names – Walker and Texas Ranger ;-) It’s for his new movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in theatres August 4. A NASCAR comedy. I guess it was only a matter of time, and it does provide a good backdrop for some over the top moments. You can watch the trailer at the link above, but be advised it is in Macromedia Flash…

Friday, February 10, 2006

More X3 Pics Hitting The 'Net!

Dark Horizons has a bunch of new X3 pics. Be forewarned that there are some spoiler-ish pics there, and possibly some disappointment or elation depending on which side of the Wolverine and (Rogue/Jean/Storm) movie-verse fandom you’re on…(there are huge internet followings for all three variations, so I figure the warning is due).

They all look really good, and have me even more intrigued in the direction this movie is going. The Wolverine pics are cool, of course, but there is also a really good shot of Colossus in metal form and the Jugs character is starting to grow on me as not looking completely ludicrous.

It looks like at least some vibes of the internet ‘leaked’ script are coming through, which may not be a good thing. I still can’t see how they are going to do a Dark Phoenix storyline right without featuring a lot of screen time for Cyclops. Obviously, from the plot summary, they are also working in story points of Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men comic, on top of the Phoenix story. It’ll be worth seeing this just to see how the heck they think they’re going to do the plot and characters justice without a King Kong like running time…

Oh well, I can’t think about it too much – just going to have to try to avoid spoilers and go see it and enjoy it for what it is. Then afterward go to the comic forums and read through the thousands of posts from venting fanboys on how they did it all wrong…

Tales of the Stranger, Episode 4

Well, here is Episode 4 (of 7, at last count) of the Tales of the Stranger series. Enjoy if you can, comments welcome...

Destination Nowhere by Eaglewing

That was a mistake.

He leaned his head against the window of the Greyhound bus he was riding on and stared out into the night at other passing cars, telephone poles, and the glare of lights shining off the rain slicked streets. It had started raining shortly after the bus had rolled onto the highway, and he for one didn’t mind at all. It matched his mood.

The earlier memory-erasing attempt hadn’t gone well. He had a feeling it wouldn’t, but he had been feeling the edge just a little too sharp, and figured he knew what would dull it. Then, between the horny blonde and the nosy bartender, the plan had failed miserably.

You should have known better, he thought, chastising himself. However, the upshot of the deal was hearing himself actually say the words and try to convince someone else that he wasn’t into adding more weight to an already heavy load. Maybe there was something to that; but then, maybe not.

He often wondered just what would happen to him, what would he become, if he actually found a way to shed the weight of the past. He had lived – well, survived – so long with it that the thought of being without that dark feeling always on the edge of his mind actually scared him, and he didn’t scare easy. Things aren’t right for me unless they’re wrong, he thought, and he didn’t know if he could be…well, happy. Or free. To not wake up in the morning wishing he hadn’t. Even if there were a way from the past to a better future, would he know how to learn to live again?

He shook his head. The drinking hadn’t intoxicated him, but apparently it had made him philosophical. He hated thinking about these things, because not once had he come up with a good answer to a solitary question. Still, he couldn’t help admitting that lately there was a light burning through the darkness around the edge of his mind and the questions it was bringing with it were confounding to say the least. But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t find answers. I might be pretty far down, but I’m not entirely out yet.

He turned his neck to work out a kink, and looked around at the other passengers. They were mostly sleeping or listening to their iPods, so he pushed himself further back into his seat, turned back to the window, and silently wished it was something other than half worn fabric and steel surrounding him.

What was that? He looked up and ahead. Something akin to a flash had caught his attention, but he couldn’t place it. Nothing looked out of the ordinary – the driver was doing his thing, and the few people ahead of the stranger were sleeping. Then it hit him. It was something from behind. He had a view of the driver’s rearview mirror and the flash had come from that angle, via the mirror. He straightened up and took another look around. Nothing was obvious, but that old feeling in his gut told him something wasn’t right. Then his mind told him he was being paranoid, but then his gut told him it had never been wrong yet. Then he told them both to shut up.

He seriously hoped nobody was stupid enough to cause an incident on a bus to nowhere, as he had been having enough clichéd incidents happening around him as of late. He was in no mood tonight to battle more foolishness. Still, out of habit, he took one last look around as he pretended to stretch his neck, and then he saw it. A glint of steel from a small revolver tucked under the sweatshirt of a guy who was too old to be trying to look like a punk, but was going for the look just the same.

The stranger sighed. No good could come of this. He kept himself sharp, but did nothing as he hoped the punk wasn’t going to try to pull something on a moving bus. But then, if wishes were horses, I wouldn’t be riding a Greyhound, he thought absently.

The stranger saw the punk nod and move, then everything happened fast. Another punk, younger, on the front seat jumped up and clubbed the driver over the head before grabbing the wheel. Old punk stood up and pulled the gun. The stranger had no idea what was going down, but he wasn’t going to wait around to find out. He moved at the same time old punk did, and he wasn’t ready for that. They hit the aisle together and the stranger grabbed the punk’s gun hand, tearing the revolver away in a quick twist as he hit him with an uppercut with his free hand, knocking him back a step. The dazed punk looked up and saw the stranger’s boot come in hard with a kick to the midsection, sending him several feet down the aisle and to the floor. Gun in hand, the stranger turned to the younger punk, now a young bus driving punk, and aimed the weapon.

“Stop the bus!” he yelled. Young punk didn’t, so he pulled the trigger and stopped him instead. The bullet went through his right shoulder and out the front window as he yelled in pain and slumped forward, still clutching the wheel. The stranger was moving with the shot and reached the wounded young man, grabbing the wheel just as the tires rolled onto the shoulder of the road.

Stuffing the gun into his belt, the stranger used his free hand to pull the hurting youth from the seat and tossed him down the steps into the door well. Then he slid into the seat and took a firm hold of the wheel, slowly guiding the rolling shooting gallery to the side of the road, putting it in neutral and applying the parking brake. They wouldn’t be moving again soon.

He got back up and turned towards the aisle, expecting the usual post incident cleanup. What he found was young punk down and out, and old punk on his feet with what must have been a backup gun in his hand. This night just keeps getting worse, he silently cursed himself, the earlier shots of liquor and the slow down effect it must be having on him now. It would have been worse in others, but for him it was a small effect, just enough to make him not the best. Normally, he’d have made sure the other guy wouldn’t have been able to get back up.

Then realizing his attacker also had a gun, the old punk grabbed the nearest person – a young teenaged girl – and used her as a shield. The stranger was too far away to stop him and too close not to try. He just wasn’t entirely sure how.

“Lose the gun!” Punk yelled out at the man who had interrupted his plan. He didn’t, but he didn’t draw it either.

“Look,” the stranger started, “I don’t know what possessed you to try to hijack a bus in the middle of nowhere, and I don’t care. How about you let her go, we get some help for your friend here, and then we all call it night, ok? Nobody else has to get hurt.”

Before the offer could be accepted, a young boy, maybe 10 or 12, sitting a row back of the girl, launched himself at the gunman, screaming, "Get away from my sister!” and the courageous, if thoughtless, move surprised everyone, causing chaos. The girl dropped forward into the seats next to her. The stranger moved forward towards the gun. The boy more or less bounced off the more solid gunman, but the old punk was thrown forward from the boy’s momentum and he threw out both arms to brace himself, causing his gun hand to bounce off the right side seat.

The stranger saw the flash, heard the shot, and felt the pain. An invisible fist slammed into his left arm, throwing him off balance, but he didn’t fall. Reaching the gunman, who had fallen forward, he tried to grab the gun with his left hand, but it wouldn’t seem to listen. So instead, he grabbed it with his right, kicked the man in the groin, and proceeded to coldcock him with the butt of the gun. Looking around, it appeared everyone who counted was down now, in one way or another.

Then his vision blurred a bit and he felt rather tall all of a sudden. So, before the floor could rush up to meet him, he decided to sit down.

By now, other people were moving. Pulling out cell phones and calling 911, rushing to the aid of the unharmed brother and sister, and then someone’s hands were on the stranger’s arm yet too.
“It’s not that bad, buddy,” he heard someone say to him. Then to someone else, “He’s losing blood, but keep pressure on it here, ok?”

Sitting there bleeding, he marveled at how complete strangers could quickly come together to help out in an emergency. Why was it that only extreme emergencies brought out that cohesiveness in people? Any other time they all just ignored each other. How ironic. People got good when things went bad.

He started to laugh as a different kind of darkness closed around his eyes.

It felt peaceful.

It felt like a relief, and he let it come.

Then he saw the face of someone he didn’t expect in his mind’s eye. A memory, another’s eyes, and words said, all rose to the surface and kicked his survival instincts into gear.

But the darkness continued to close, voices faded, and he started to wonder…

Is it finally over?

The End.

Check back for Tales of the Stranger, Episode 5: Getting to Tomorrow. Coming Soon!

Theatres vs DVD

Lots of talk lately about the fast turnaround from theatre to DVD releases, and if that is going to kill the theatres. Makes sense to me. It’s certainly not helping the theatres.

Take for instance the movie Walk the Line. Now there is a movie I really want to see. However, due to various reasons, I didn’t make it out during its initial run (though it’s still playing now thanks to the Oscar noms). As more time passed, the less I felt like going to the theatre, because I knew the DVD release had to be coming along. And sure enough, a 2 disc collectors edition will be hitting stores February 28. Even over the last two weeks, I was mulling over possibly going to see it, but now that I’ve heard a confirmed date, I’ll just wait. The thing is, that’s only about 3 months between theatre and DVD. Of course this title is different because of the Oscars.

However, most movies are being fast tracked at this rate, and it certainly takes away the urge to go to the theatre. I think in their efforts to maximize DVD profits, they’re skewering themselves on the box office take. I’d much rather watch a movie in the comfort of my own home, even on my 17 inch computer screen than go to the theatres and deal with the people and the costs. Of course, I like to avoid people at all costs, but that’s another topic for another day (to quote Linus: “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.”) I went and saw Sin City on opening night, and that was the first and last time I will ever do that…

Back in 2000 when the first X-Men movie came out, I went and saw it twice and had to wait 6 or 7 months before it came to the home video market. Nowadays, unless it’s a movie I’m really, really pumped about seeing (Sin City, Serenity, Brick, X3, etc), I don’t feel a rush to get to the theatre. Last summer I missed Batman Begins in theatres, though it was due to health issues and stress, but even then I didn’t feel I was really missing out because I knew I’d just wait for the DVD.

As Hollywood’s originality well keeps running drier, there are less and less movies I feel like going to the theatre to see. More often than not, I hear of a movie that interests me, watch the trailer, opening day comes, and I’m still thinking “rental.” Unless I can talk someone into going with (and then it’s not about the movie, it’s about spending time with someone I actually like), I much prefer watching movies at home. And if I had a 50 inch LCD widescreen TV and surround sound system, it’d be even harder to get me to a theatre with their $12 popcorn, sticky floors, and people blocking the screen, kicking your seat, and making you move as they disrupt the aisle for the umpteenth time........but I digress. I'll have to elucidate on that great Linus quote in another post...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Censors, Science, & Bull

I love the Internet. Thanks to this global web of computers, I was able to watch the Superbowl commercials that the CRTC here in Canada won’t let us see in all their wisdom (read: stupidity). And there were some classics too – the touch football game, the “That Killed Him” spot, and the hilarious “Magic Fridge!” By the way, head over to to check them out…

I’ve mentioned this before, but I never get tired of the TV show Mythbusters. A whole lot of fun to watch, and I always learn something. On this one show they did, they tested the “driving a pickup truck with the tailgate down will save fuel” myth. Here’s the absolutely surprising part – driving with the tailgate UP actually saves fuel. They did several tests and proved it. They even explained what the vehicle designers know. There is a “pillow” of circulating air that develops behind the cab of the truck that keeps the harder, faster flowing air moving over the vehicle and tailgate. When the tailgate is dropped down, that “pillow” of air is spread out, resulting in the faster moving air to move over the cab and then directly down onto the opened tailgate resulting in more drag and using more fuel. This is totally counter-intuitive and it surprised them as well. They even showed the effect using a model truck, oatmeal, and a water tank. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it…

Watched some “plays of the week” highlights here and you’ve heard of basketball players going into the stands and fighting. Well, like they said on the show, it could be worse. They showed a bull jumping the wall and going into a crowd at a bullfight. Some people were bruised, but remarkably no one was seriously hurt. I just couldn’t believe the bull cleared the wall…

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Are You Sure About That Date?

So, the movie Ultraviolet, which was one of the only movies I was looking forward to seeing during these first few months of dead air at the local cineplex, has now been moved into March for it's release date. And that was its second move within a day.

All I have to say is - Why? Apparently, the studio decided to move it from Feb 24 to March 31, which made no sense at all considering it would then be up against Ice Age 2 and Basic Instinct 2 and Slither. Then they realized their folly, and moved it to March 3rd, which puts it up against 16 Blocks. Now why would they do that? The Bruce Willis movie will open strong, as most of his do, leaving Ultraviolet in the dust. And all along they had Feb. 24 to themselves and could have owned that weekend.

Now, I'm not saying Ultraviolet will be any good, as I don't really know anything except from the trailers which look really cool. It just boggles the mind why the studio execs would move it around like that. Picking the right weekend to open a movie can make or break it. Take for example, the movie Serenity. I still think they lost money on it by moving it to the end of September. By then, people were back in school, moving on with busier lives, and the summer movie dollars had been spent. Burying it in the middle of fall didn't do it any favors. Just like when The Punisher opened against Kill Bill 2 - what were they thinking?! The Punisher would have done a whole lot better on a different weekend.

As a movie fan, when a movie comes along that you actually like and may have the legs for a sequel, you can only hope that the studio doesn't screw it up and put it in the wrong weekend which kills the box office and therefore kills the sequel hopes.

Just goes to show how out of touch Hollywood is with the rest of the world. It's a shame its never about the story - it's all about the money. Speaking of which, the movie Basic Instinct 2 (which I have no intention of seeing), recently downgraded it's rating from NC17 to R. As soon as I read that, I thought: "What a blatant money grab for a future Unrated Directors Cut of a triple-dipping DVD sale." The funny thing is The Movie Blog posted the news later and he said basically the same thing.

It's all about the money - and they're not even trying to hide it anymore. At least they're starting to be honest about their greed and the fact they're going to try to rip you off...

Plan A or B?

So much for plan B - it's back to plan A. They weren't joking about the "temporary" part of temporary fulltime, as I have now been bumped back to my regularly scheduled programming. Suits me fine. It was a good test run for me though, and the extra cash will come in handy...

Weird weather continues around here. Last night fog rolled in and when I came home it was still spring like out there. Then I went to sleep and woke up to a winter storm - snow had dumped down everywhere. They even had to get the snowblowers out to clear the parking lot. I guess old man winter can still kick a little - spring isn't going to take over so easily. Glad I didn't have to go anywhere...the roads looked like a mess...

Superbowl Sunday is here, and I couldn't care less. Thanks to the ridiculous CRTC censorship - I mean governing - body, we don't get to see the cool Superbowl commercials, so what's the point of watching? On top of that, ABC is putting the thing on a 5 second would you like the job of sitting in the booth watching for wardrobe malfunctions? Remember the halftime show where Kid Rock came out and performed wearing an American flag with a hole cut out of it as a poncho? Try slipping something like that past the thought police now...

Well, let's try to post this and see how long Blogger lasts this time around...

2 Days?!

Well, well, well...Blogger went down for 2 days, more or less. Couldn't post or even view my blog. Kinda weird - you get used to blogging on a semi-regular basis, then suddenly there's nothing there. Oh no! I can't post my mundane thoughts for the world to ignore...oh, the humanity...

What surprises me is the 2 days. This is Blogger we're talking about. It's not like it's some small time company starting out with some new technology. Blogger is backed by Google, who continues to try to take over the world - laws and copyrights be damned. It's not like they couldn't afford a new hard drive or server or whatever caused the meltdown. What was worse was absolutely no comments or posting anywhere advising what was going on or why. That's pretty sad. Not only that, but from what I was able to find out on a blogging forum, their "Status" site is on the same, so it was quite useless at the same time as Blogger was down. You'd think you'd keep your status site somewhat serparate...

Oh well, it looks like the Eaglewing is flying again, so on with the show...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Weather, Movies, & Razzies...

Well, after a January that was more like spring than winter, I’m looking out my window here at actual snow falling. Big white flakes that started slow, but now are coming down with more and more insistence. Maybe winter is going to try to make it’s mark again. However, if the temperatures they’re predicting for the rest of this week are true, it’s not going to have much luck. It’s not even supposed to go below freezing tonight. This has been a very weird winter around here…

I really like the new Brad Paisley song, When I Get Where I’m Going. (See my review of the CMA awards.) However, when I heard him sing it on the CMA show, I thought the background vocals sounded like Alison Krauss, but it’s actually Dolly Parton. Don’t know how I confused the too, but Brad and Dolly sound good together. The video shows a series of people holding pictures of loved ones who they obviously miss, and Dolly makes an appearance near the end of the video too. By the way, that picture of Johnny and June says it all…

The Razzie nominations were announced, and they’re more fun than the Oscars. Ah yes, the Razzies – “celebrating” the worst Hollywood had to offer over the past year, and there was a lot to pick from. No big surprise that the Deuce Bigalow sequel and the Dukes of Hazzard movie got a lot of noms, but I was surprised to see Tom Cruise get a nom for worst actor in War of the Worlds. Sure it wasn’t the greatest movie, but I thought he did ok. It was one of those movies where if you didn’t think about it too hard while you watched it, and just enjoyed the ride, it wasn’t too bad. ‘Course, if you thought about it, it got a lot worse…

Of course, the Oscar noms were announced too, and it was the usual list of movies I’ve never seen over the past year, though this year there are few I want to see as soon as they come to DVD. Walk the Line, History of Violence, and Good Night and Good Luck will be rented. Wanted to see them in the theatre, but didn’t make it. Of course, if I were picking nominees for the Oscars, movies (and actors from them) like Sin City, Serenity, Hitchhiker’s Guide, Batman Begins, An Unfinished Life, and The Interpreter would be making the list. I mean, come on! How could you not nominate Mickey Rourke for Best Actor for his performance as Marv in Sin City?! When I first heard they were making a movie of Sin City, I couldn’t think of anyone doing that role right, but he absolutely nailed it. Not to mention that Serenity should have been nominated for Best Original Screenplay…

Saw this coming – they’re already planning against regular DVD, in an effort to force people over to the new high def versions. Read on the Digital Bits site about a new release of the Superman movies coming in a box set (probably in November) that will include a Donner’s Cut of Superman 2. Donner was the original director of the sequel, but wasn’t involved with the final theatrical version for various reasons. However, if I read it right, the Donner’s Cut will only be available in the box set for regular DVD, but will be released on HD-DVD. What if I don’t want the whole box set? So here we go – they’ll be bringing stuff out that will force you to upgrade if you want to see it. I guess it all depends on how bad you want it. Me – not very much…

Elsewhere, this was funny (from Yahoo Odd News): ZURICH (Reuters) - Around 100 police officers staked out a suspected armed robber at a Zurich bank for nearly seven hours Monday, only to find the man had already fled minutes after the alarm was raised, police said......In fact, the employees, a male trainee and woman, had locked themselves in rooms the gunman could not enter and did not know he had already fled. They were found uninjured but traumatized by the stake-out. Oops!

Oh, and by the way, the snow stopped by the time I've written this and the sun came out. Back to spring, I suppose. Not that I mind - not at all. I like winter, I like spring. As long as it doesn't turn to summer, I won't mind at all...