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Monday, July 31, 2006

Tales of the Stranger: Episode 7

So, here it is. The last chapter of the Stranger. Enjoy if you can, comments always welcome…

Worth Every Mile by Eaglewing

“Hey baby…it’s finally me. Been a long time.”

He stopped, took off his hat and ran his fingers through his hair. Then he took a deep breath. Some things were hard to say. He looked up at the sky, then focused back again on the granite marker.

“I miss you. I really do. Haven't been myself since you been gone. Kinda lost my way there for a bit and didn't know which way to go. But something...somebody...set me straight. Thanks for the message. I guess I always was a little thick about some things...”

Taking another deep breath, he carried on.

“I get it now, baby. Well, maybe I really don't, but I see something I didn't see before. If it hadn't been for you doing what you did, I wouldn't have had any reason to run. And if I hadn't run, I wouldn't have been there to save her. She was going to do what she was going to do that night, and it had to take someone walking on that road in a snowstorm to stop it. Imagine that. What a chain of events to put me there when someone needed to be. I don't know why it had to happen like it did. Why it had to be me...or why it had to be you. Why I couldn't save you. I should've...could've...done something. Something - anything.

He stopped and swallowed hard, fighting back tears from memories he'd tried hard to forget.

“I guess I just didn't see it until it was too late, and I'm so sorry. But now I do see something, and I pray I'm not too late this time. I lost you, but I found her, and it was you who put me on that road. You always were the giving kind, looking out for others that way.”

He paused and smiled at the good memories that came back. She had saved him from himself, way back when. It was only fitting that in her own unique way, she had done it again, one last time.

Then his smile faded as his thoughts returned to that time…the last time he had seen her, and how all good things had to come to an end. Pulling in another breath of air, he sadly shook his head and continued talking.

“I couldn't save you, and I have to live with that. I figure you had your reasons doing what you did, I just wish you had told me what they were. I wish you were still here, still fighting, and you know I'd have been right there fighting with you every step of the way. I don't blame you for doing what you did. I can't blame anyone for doing that - God knows I've thought about it enough times myself. But I can't quit, not yet, so I'm gonna keep going. I'm going back to make sure that gal I met that night is alright and I'm going to see if she wouldn't mind a beaten up cowboy hanging around for a bit. Maybe we can help each other fight to live again. God only knows if we’ll make it, but I gotta try.”

He paused for a breath, then kept going. He knew he was rambling, but he couldn’t stop. He had to get it out.

“Someday, I'll meet you again, but for now I have to let you go. I have to try to live what's left of me. It isn't much anymore, but for the first time in a long time, I don't wish I was dead and that's good enough. I'll always love you, and I'll miss you till the day I die. But I'm not dead yet and I can't live like I am. Thanks for the time and the love you gave me. I love you and I wish it had been enough to keep you here. But you aren't, and I still am, so I gotta go. But I couldn't leave without sayin' goodbye.”

He stood up and rubbed the back of his hand roughly across his eyes. Then he put his hat back on and pulled it down low.

Smiling sadly, he whispered, "Goodbye, baby...see you on the other side."

He walked back to the Cougar, got in, and started it up. He took one look back, then put it in gear and headed out the driveway. Turning onto the street, he caught the sign for the closest highway exchange, and went that way. In a couple miles he was on the interstate, where he got in the fast lane, put the hammer down, and opened it up. For the first time in a long time, he knew exactly where he was going and what he was going to do when he got there. There was no reason anymore to hesitate, and no more time to waste. There had to be better days out there – had to be – and it was worth the fight again to find them.


The county fair lights lit up the night and the air was filled with the sounds of those enjoying the entertainment. Robyn had decided to come out to the festivities for a little distraction. Sure, she felt it was a little sad going by herself, but there was the promise of cotton candy and the Ferris wheel, and it’d be enough to pass another evening alone.

She wondered what’d it be like to lose that lonely feeling and her thoughts went back yet again to a recent phone call and back further to a dark night in the middle of a snowstorm, where something special had started for two desperate people. At least that’s what she hoped, because for her it had. And maybe someday, she’d see him again and find out what had happened that night for him.

Looking around the fairgrounds, Robyn decided she’d take one more ride on the big wheel before calling it a night and heading home. She had taken only a few steps when she stopped dead in her tracks, gasping as her eyes went wide as saucers. There, in the middle of a parting crowd, was a tall man dressed in dusty denim blue and a black cowboy hat pulled low. He was a foreboding presence, and people were giving him room. He wasn't moving either, but he was looking straight at Robyn as their eyes met. Then his normal grim expression changed as the side of his mouth started to curl up in a slow smile.

At that, Robyn found her legs and was moving. Fast as she could go, she closed the distance, and if he hadn't braced for it, she'd have knocked him over. She wrapped her arms around him without even thinking about it, and he did the same.

Finally finding her voice, she spoke, "You came back!"

He chuckled, "I said I would."

Then she pulled back and looked at him before adding in a breathless whisper, "For me?"

"Yes." He didn't hesitate.

Her smile would've solved the world's energy problems if they could've bottled it up. Then a thought struck her. “How did you know to come here tonight? How’d you find me here?”

“Hey, I found you out of nowhere once before, didn’t I? Apparently, it’s what I do. Second time around wasn’t really difficult. I just kept putting one foot down ‘till I found you again.”

"And thank God you did – both times.” Remembering the first time, a sudden sense of panic made her blurt out, “And don't leave like that again, ok? I have so much I want to say, ask, know about you."

"Sounds good to me, and there's a lot I want to know about you too. If you don't mind this old wreck of me hanging around, I'll be happy to stay. I ain't no bargain, but hell, a little touch up and a little paint..." He smiled as his voice trailed off.

"I can do that…um, with a little human touch.” His eyes widened in surprise as she caught the reference. She laughed and the sound of her voice felt like cold clear water on the dry land of his soul. It was a real change of pace and it felt good.

“Hey, I’m a fan too,” she continued, “and that's something I know about you now." Still smiling, but growing a bit more serious, she asked the one burning question she had. "If I know nothing else about you though, I have to know this. What do I call you? Frosty? Stranger? I have to know that much..."

He didn't say anything for a few moments, and she started to worry as she saw something intense flash through his eyes. Then he calmed and pulled her closer and her worries faded away as he spoke.

"Can't say as I've told anybody my name in a long time. Figured that part of me was gone, but it wasn't. And darlin', I don't ever want to be a stranger to you."

She had a soft look in her eyes as he leaned in even closer and whispered in her ear, so as only she could hear. "My name is -"


Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin away
Yeah, just sittin' around waitin' for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin away.
I’m tired of waitin' for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin' round the bend.
I got a new suit of clothes, a pretty red rose
And a woman I can call my friend

These are better days baby
Yeah there's better days shining through
These are better days baby
Better days with a girl like you

Now a life of leisure and a pirates treasure
Dont make much for tragedy
But its a sad man my friend who's livin' in his own skin
And can't stand the company
Every fool's got a reason to feelin' sorry for himself
And turnin' his heart to stone
Tonight this fool's halfway to heaven and just a mile outta hell
And I feel like I'm comin’ home

These are better days baby
There's better days shining through
These are better days
Better days with a girl like you

from "Better Days" by Bruce Springsteen


Well, there you have it. Seven stories, and a ‘happy’ ending. Not my usual style, but there you go. I also found out that it’s easy for me to write the dark, gritty, reluctant hero stuff – but try to write a happy ending that doesn’t come off as pure cheese is hard to do. Don’t think I quite did it either. Hopefully, I got the point of the story across though.

As I previously noted, I did write a couple other endings, but couldn’t figure out a way to do it and end with the same line. Plus, anything other than the happy ending would’ve led to a sequel, and since I don’t know if I’m going to write it, I thought I’d end it here – self contained. I can always start the sequel up if I want to, but to leave it hanging for a while wouldn’t have been right.

There’s an obvious prequel and sequel here too. There’s one line from the first story that just begs for a sequel to be written – did anyone catch it? Maybe I’ll get to it, but for now there’s some other stories and characters I want to write, so we’ll see.

If you did hang around to read them all though, thanks. Hope you enjoyed it.

Me Mini Movie Reviews: Cop Land

Well, the other night I watched Cop Land. The movie stars on overweight Sylvester Stallone, along with other acting stalwarts Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel, and Ray Liotta, in what the director called an ‘urban western.’ A fitting description, and an excellent movie all around. Anyone who says Stallone can’t act, should watch this (and Get Carter, a personal fave of mine of Stallone’s movies). He’s capable of more than the typical action hero he’s been typecast as.

The movie centers around a fictional “Cop Land,” a rather peaceful town populated mostly of police officers and their families. The cops police the big city of New York across the river, but live in relatively crime free peace away from it. Stallone plays the Sheriff of this town. He’s overweight, a little slow on the uptake, and generally spends most of his time wishing he was one of the ‘real cops.’ He can never be though, because when he was younger, he jumped into the river to save a drowning girl and suffered hearing damage to one of his ears. Because of that, he can never pass the tests to become NYPD blue. So, the other big shots of the town basically gave him the Sheriff job as a consolation prize. What’s worse is, he knows it. He’s got a shit job doing not a whole lot and spending his life wishing it was different. Not only that, he has to watch the girl he saved and fell in love with married to another cop and living in the same town. Here’s a character that’s basically just killing time until something happens to force him to take a stand.

One night, a cop is involved in a suspicious shooting of two youths on the New York Bridge. Then he apparently jumps to his death to the river below. This sets off a chain of events leading to corruption, cover-ups, and power struggles as the town of cops closes ranks to protect what they’ve built. More than one will have to choose sides, and Stallone’s Sheriff winds up in the middle of it and being forced to make a difficult choice.

All the actors give fantastic performances, as most of the characters aren’t really black or white in what they’re doing (though some clearly are), but more shades of gray. Stallone gives the best performance, and it was really intriguing for me to see a character in a movie that’s half deaf and has to live with it. He doesn’t read lips or do sign language; he just can’t always hear what’s going on. There are some neat audio tricks done to give the viewer the sense of what its like to be in his shoes. When the alarm clock goes off and he’s sleeping on his good ear, you only hear a faint ringing noise before it comes on full as he rolls over. In the final shootout sequence, the audio is tweaked again to give the viewer the feeling of being in the Sheriff’s shoes and not being able to hear. The odd tone of bagpipes is used as an effective duplication of the buzzing tonal distortion he’s hearing. Then there’s the great line of dialogue where he puts on an old record of Springsteen and the girl he’s with tells him that he could get that on CD now in stereo sound. He looks at her and says sadly “It wouldn’t matter much to me” as he only hears in mono anyway. It’s a well played character aspect that isn’t ignored and becomes an integral part of the movie.

Overall, it’s a good story well told and well acted. You’re not exactly sure as you watch it who’s going to come out of it alive and what choices some of the characters will make. It even throws in a twist or two you may or may not see coming (depending how movie cynical you are). I watched the director’s cut DVD, so that’s what I’d recommend as well.

Verdict: Highly recommended.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Stop the Presses...

Well, ep 7 of The Stranger is finally pretty much wrote and finished. Just got to come up with a title and a graphic. And of course, leave it for a bit before rereading it again and see if its any good. Probably not, but I'll post it anyway :)

Wrote three different endings, but I think I decided which way to go with it, which turned out to be my first idea back when I wrote episode 3. Like Jason Bourne said, "Consider all your options, but always remember your first instinct. It's usually the simplest and best." Maybe if it's a hit, I'll include them on a "Super Duper Special Platinum Director's Cut Edition" like they do with DVD's right before the crappy cash-cow sequel ;-)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Some Movie News...

Some movie news…

Just watched the new trailer for the movie The Black Dahlia over at Yahoo. Good looking trailer, and it’s from the author of LA Confidential. One of my faves, I thought the movie LA Confidential was great, and this looks to be in the same vein. Set in what looks like the ‘40s era and based on real life events, it focuses on two cops investigating the death of an actress – aka “the Black Dahlia.” One of the cops is played by Josh Hartnett, the other by Aaron Eckhart. Now, I haven’t really been a huge fan of Hartnett, but his stock went up considerably watching him play the hitman in Sin City. I have yet to see Lucky Number Slevin, but I heard he was really good in that as well. He seems to get the tone right here too. Maybe he should concentrate on these noir-ish movies with gritty voiceovers instead of romantic comedies. Oh, and by the way, Scarlett Johansoon and Hilary Swank are in this movie too. Should be good. Yahoo says its opening September 15th.

Elsewhere, it’s been announced that X-Men will come to DVD on October 3rd. Of course, it’s coming in several editions. There’ll be a collector edition that includes a 100 page commemorative book with a new story penned by Marvel legend, Stan Lee. The big news, however, is that the DVD will include 3 (THREE?!) alternate endings. I knew there had to be a better ending…or at least that’s what I’m assuming :) The different endings will also have commentary by director Brett Ratner. There’s also going to be 10 deleted scenes included as well. (how could they have any deleted scenes from a movie that short?) Should be an interesting DVD…though I’m still waiting word on the inevitable double dip from Fox…

And now for something different from Will Ferrell. Sure, his goofball comedies are his bread and butter, but lately he’s trying other stuff too. (Although I did laugh at the trailer for Talladega Nights where his two sons names are ‘Walker’ and ‘Texas Ranger’, most of his comedies aren’t my thing) There’s a new trailer you can download here (and I don’t think its QT7) for his movie Stranger Than Fiction. It’s pretty unique – basically about a guy hearing a narrator in his head commenting on things he does or is about to do…but there’s a twist. Looks really good, and it’s one of those ‘man, I wish I’d thought of that’ stories…

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Read Fast...

Ever tried turning your Closed Captions on when watching TV? With my ear problems that come and go, it’s of interest to me. Watched a DVD movie or two with them on, and it helps. If I miss some dialogue, I can just read it and keep going.

Obviously, the DVD’s get better CC editing than TV, or that’s just my guess. I watched an episode of House with CC on, and it was really well done. It said at the end that it was done by CaptionMax, so I’m guessing they’re a good company.

Then I watched the Daily Show with CC on. Not as good. It lagged behind and had misspelling to boot. Now, that kind of show has rat-a-tat dialogue and the comedic timing between what you hear and see is crucial. So that was a little bit harder to follow, but still somewhat effective.

The other surprise was that some commercials had CC, while some did not. It seemed that movie trailer commercials and TV show promos did not come with closed captions. Most, but not all, of the product commercials did have them. You’d think CC would be across the board by now.

It’s an interesting test for yourself – I’d recommend everyone trying it. Turn the volume off and CC on and see what it’s like to have to live like that. It’s not easy…

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Do It Again

Got some new comments on my X1 vid I put up on YouTube, so I went back over to check it out, and was astounded to see my vid has passed 550+ views in a month and half. That's nothing in the grand YouTube scheme of viewerships, but for my one little video, that's pretty damn cool.

I've got some more vid ideas cooking now, so if my computer can chug through the compression and editing data, I want to put some more up there and see if I can rack up the viewing numbers :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What Do Your Movie Picks Say About You?

Cool article here about date movies, the selection process, and what the movie picked says about the person. I’m obviously not part of that crowd, but the article and comments were very interesting and proves what I totally agree with Rob from the movie High Fidelity where he says that WHAT a person likes is very important.

Regardless of what the person would bring for a 3rd date movie as the article is mostly about (there’s a lot to choose from), I do think I have a movie trifecta that would be the perfect test:

  • Grosse Pointe Blank (Ok, any Cusack flick would be an easy pick for a date movie, but that one would be my pick – humor, romance, cynicism, one liners, and violence. Perfect ;-)

  • Serenity (Gotta find out if she’s a Whedon fan. Points for that, plus it’s a really good sign if she can bring the humor with the drama – will make life a whole lot easier)

  • Sin City (here we go – how much does she really want to get inside my head. If she loves it, digs the dark edge, and sees what the stories are really about, we’re in. If she’s asking to plug in her copy of the Sleepless in Seattle DVD five minutes in, it’s over ;-)

Of course, there’s a bunch of other flicks that would be good too:

X-Men 1
Lost in Translation
LA Confidential
Almost Famous
Any Kevin Smith movie (of course, if she picks Chasing Amy, I’m gonna wonder…I’m just saying :)
Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves (or Men in Tights…either or, really :)
Flesh and Bone
While You Were Sleeping (if she insists on a rom-com, I can stand that one)
Pure Country

And of course – would she like the best piece of cinema ever made: Harley Davidson & The Marlboro Man. That movie is genius. And since we’re talking about dating, may as well quote a line from it – “Never chase buses or women; you’ll always get left behind.”

Note – just reread the movies I’ve put together here. That’s some kind of eclectic list, eh?

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Watching a football game here...CFL - Winnipeg vs Montreal. The last minute or so of the first half was pretty good. Winnipeg was up 15-9, when Montreal coach goes for the onside kick, Montreal keeps possesion, then they get what looks like a touchdown. However, the refs ruled it incomplete even though Montreal challenged it and they went to instant replay. Of course, no ref is going to come out of the replay booth and say - "Oops, sorry, I goofed. It was a touchdown...carry on." So the ref stuck to his story of incomplete even though every replay they showed on TV looked like a touchdown. On top of that, Montreal got a penalty and gets bumped back 10 yards. But with seconds left on the clock, Montreal went for the endzone again, and this time Winnipeg got called for interference. So, with even fewer seconds left on the clock, Montreal gets bumped back up to the 1 yard line. On the next play, they pushed it in for a touchdown with 1 second left in the half.

I don't care who wins the game, but that was fun to watch. They get robbed of a TD by the refs, and then go right back at it and score anyway with 1 second left.

Sure, football can often be 90% sheer boredom, but you get down to the last couple minutes of a half in a close game, and it suddenly can get really interesting...

How Do You Choose What To Watch?

Serial Dramas Prompt Questions for CBS

The proliferation of quickly cancelled serial dramas on TV led to a questioning of CBS Pres Nina Tassler on Saturday. When shows get repeatedly cancelled without tying up loose ends, what are fans of the show to do? You're left forever wondering what would have happened.

Well, reporters were asking about that and rightly so. Why should you take an interest in a TV show when there is such a high percentage chance it'll be cancelled before the first year is over? These questions led to the following:

Asked if viewers might start to sour on such programs if they're repeatedly disappointed by cancelations, Tassler dismissed it as irrelevant, saying she didn't think audiences made viewing choices that way.

Reporters then asked if Tassler was saying the viewers didn't care about being left in the plot lurch. After taking a couple of stabs at the question, the network executive said she recognized that viewers do care.

Her assertion that viewers don't weigh the possibility a serialized drama could be yanked in deciding whether to watch prompted a disbelieving question from one reporter: "Are you serious?"

Network execs certainly are out of touch with today's market. They've burned they're own viewing audience so many times, that most don't bother tuning in for new shows. Personally, I can't remember the last new show debuting that I was really excited about and followed from the beginning. Certainly my change to working night shifts and different days of the week over the past year and a half has worked against it, but I could always record something if I wanted to. However, in the last couple of years, there's been so little to do that for. Besides, thanks to the DVD market, TV shows are much better that way anyway.

It is too bad that they're so quick to cancel. Most shows take a season to find its legs and really get firing on all cylinders. Anyone who's re-watched the first season of Seinfeld knows that show would never make it to season 2 in today's market. It took a season or two to really get going and then look what happened - best sitcom of all time. Imagine all the good shows we've been deprived of by itchy trigger fingers...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Happy Trails...

A really funny line from Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report tonight as he was interviewing Tony Hawk and they were sitting in uncomfortable bean gab chairs instead of the usual studio chairs:

"I'm wearing Indian underwear, and they're creeping up the trail here." :-)

Not That Bad...

Calif. man makes bad writing judges cringe - Yahoo! News

An annual contest in San Jose for bad writing awarded the following passage the winner (or loser?):

"Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean," Guigli wrote."

Sure, it's a little over the top and convoluted at it's attempt at noir cynicism...but lose the burrito bit and the last part about licking the shovel clean and it's not too bad.

Oh well, I guess if I don't ever win awards for good writing, there are awards for bad writing to shoot for :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rocky 6 Trailer

Well, I’ve seen the official trailer for Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky 6 that is now online, and it actually has me interested in seeing this. (Stupid Yahoo – changed their settings and I can’t download and save their trailers anymore). I haven’t even seen Rocky 1-5, but know enough of the basic plot lines. Still, when they announced Rocky 6, I wasn’t too interested at all, but this trailer may have won me over.

They are definitely going about the storyline right, in my opinion. Showing the clear age issue of Rocky, and whether he has one more bout left in him, and if he even should fight. Some of the lines in the trailer are great too (Pauly has one of the best with “What, you haven’t peaked yet?”)

It’ll be young vs old, speed vs power, and one more Rocky bout – coming this Christmas to a theatre near you…

Monday, July 10, 2006

Size x Distance + Price - Common Sense = Braincramp

Matsushita to sell record 103-inch plasma TVs - Yahoo! News

A 103 inch TV? That'd be cool, for sure...however, just how far back would you need to be for optimal viewing distance? Running it through an online calculator, it comes to a little under 26 feet. So get out those tape measures and save your quarters - this won't come cheap...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pirates 2 Breaks Records

Depp's 'Pirates' plunders record $132M - Yahoo! News

Wow. Everyone knew this was the 900 pound gorilla of the summer movie season, but a $132 million opening weekend is mind blowing. Everybody - and I mean everybody - is apparently going to see this. I knew there was a reason I stayed away from theatres this weekend ;-)

What's even more surprising is that this is in spite of some pretty lackluster reviews of the film. Obviously, the surprise factor of the first one is gone, but some reviewers didn't like it anyway. However, I don't know what it is as I haven't seen it yet, but I've read that the ending is worth the price of admission alone and I think I read somewhere to be sure to stay through the credits too.

I'm looking forward to seeing this movie, but with crowds like this, it'll be a week or two before I brave the high seas adventure known as the awful movie theatre going experience...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A New Tune...

Huh...everytime I'm ready to write off Toby Keith as a one-note singer and a one-trick pony with radio friendly but ear bleeding 'nothing' tunes like "Get Drunk and Be Somebody", he comes along with a helluva good country song out of nowhere. This time around it's his new song "A Little Too Late." Love the song, hate the video though. It's fine and all, but plenty stupid. Regardless, the song is good and perfect for the 2am truck drive home...

It's a little too late
I'm a little too gone
I'm a little too tired of this hangin' on
So I'm lettin' go
While I'm still strong enough to
It's got a little too sad
I'm a little too blue
It's a little too bad
You were too good to be true
I'm big-time over you, baby
It's a little too late

No, I don't wanna talk about
What we can do about us anymore
Only time you will be wastin'
Is the time it takes
To walk right out that door
Yea, talk about water under the bridge
You should know by now, girl
That's all this is

There was a time
This heart 'a mine
Would take you back
Everytime, don't you know
That's been two packs of cigarettes
A sleepless night
A nervous wreck
A day ago
Hey, you ain't got no business
Comin' around
I'm closin' up shop
Shuttin' us down

I'm big-time over you, baby
It's a little too late

A Little Too Late by Toby Keith
(Toby Keith/Scotty Emerick/Dean Dillon)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Stranger Things...

Yep, still working on Episode 7 of the Stranger series. I've still got to write the front end (its basically already done in piecemeal in a text file on my hard drive), but I've written the original ending thought I had. Then I wrote another version. Decisions, decisions...Do I want to setup the obvious prequel/sequel or just end it? Did anyone even catch the one-line sequel storyline seed? Do I want to write more of these characters? Who knew the last chapter would be the hardest to write, but not for the reasons you'd think? No wonder comic book writers miss deadlines :)

On a different note - I'm not a fan of the daytime hours...I prefer the night. But I always loved the early morning light. I'm watching it get light here and the sky is a beautiful red/orange/blue mix of cloud, light, and sky. Very, very cool...

Oh Canada, Don't Tax Break My Heart...

Well, Happy Canada Day...for yesterday...or something like that. We get a huge, mega tax break too! Oh thank you, oh noble, honest, and generous Government for bestowing us lowly working minions with a whole 1 percent off the GST. Bet you politicians felt really good doing that too, thinking it was something special. All the while, every Canadian who read that in the paper wound up thankful for national health care as we pulled muscles we didn't even know existed from laughing so hard. That's called a tax break?! Get real. Abolishing the GST altogether - now that would have been something special...

Anyway, what else we got? After that great Spider-Man 3 trailer, I spent a couple hours reading the comic history of Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, MJ, and Venom on the Wikipedia site. I least now I know what some of those shots in the trailer mean and where they come from. Here's betting that Spider-Man 3 will be bigger next year than Superman Returns is this year...should be a great flick...Want to go see Superman Returns too...but will have to make sure I've got close to 3 hours for it. It runs 157 minutes. That's the kind of time X-Men 3 should have had.

Got my Walker Season 1 DVD set from than around here. Fun watching the early shows again in quality DVD. They spared no expense on the set too - not one special feature or extra, and not even animated menus or music on them. You get the shows and thats it. I wouldn've liked to see outtakes or something. With all the karate chops, there has to be clips of things going wrong :) The first couple seasons were good and a lot of fun to watch. They even embedded some story lines that would have been interesting to see play out (except for Larue, they never did.) Somewhere along the line things changed, and the show eventually wound up being a parody of itself near the end. At any rate, I can now watch the early shows whenever I want...

Speaking of which, I wish I could come up with an economical system where I could convert and store seasons of these shows digitally and be able to pick from them and watch a show at a moments notice...without getting out the DVD and wading through the opening FVI warnings and logos crap. It be nice to have a season of Rockford, Miami Vice, Walker, Angel, Firefly and so on available on a hard drive or something with a TV output and just be able to quickly pick an episode and go. That and have the DVD quality. I don't want to rip it and lose quality in the process. That'd take some massive Hard Drive space, I bet. Maybe it's time to dig a little deeper into Myth TV...sounds like that might have potential...