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Showing posts from February, 2009

Comic Book Movies

As all my friends and family know, I'm a huge comic book/super hero fan. I love super heroes. I've been playing City of Heroes for nearly 5 years now (57 months and counting), I read comics, and am passionate about them. I love comic book movies, even the bad ones, because it brings one of my passions to another medium I love-- movies. I have blogged at great length and with great frequency about various aspects of comic books and super heroes.

With those caveats out of the way, I have a startling thing to say: I wish there were fewer comic book movies on the way.

I'll let you catch your breath.

Yes, that's right-- I'd like to see fewer super hero movies on film slates in the coming years. And here's why-- too many properties are either not handled right (i.e., Catwoman, Elektra, first Hulk, etc.), many are produced just to jump on a bandwagon (i.e., Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four, et al), and too few are handled in a serious manner that is both faithful t…

Recession, What Recession?

The NFL head office released about 200 staff and the Commissioner and others at the top all took a 25% decrease. They fixed their salaries for this year at last year's rates, too. The NBA, NHL, and MLB all are axing jobs, salaries, and scrambling around, as the poor economy hits the main revenue streams for the sports-- those who advertise with them. The NFL even voted to keep ticket prices at 2008 levels (which any fan can tell you is way over what the average American can or wants to spend in the first place, but it is a start).

But I'm reading about Albert Haynesworth getting a $100 million contract from the Redskins in the NFL. I'm reading how Manny Ramirez, a 37 year old player, is rejecting a $25 million one-year deal and a $25+20 million two-year deal.

If the respective clubs can afford to offer one player on their roster this much money, how can we be in a recession? Or, why not keep that $25 million and save approximately 625 jobs in the MLB instead? Or 2,500 jobs…

Mini or Series?

My wife and I have discussed this a few times recently. It seems like a lot of TV shows and ideas suffer from being continuing series. We lament the loss of the '80s style mini-series.

Take Heroes, for example. Tim Kring had an awesome and inspired idea for a show. He crafted it and honed it over years and finally was able to sell it to a network with the huge super-heroes tide. And season one was just that: awesome. It had a great villain, it had a great cast, and the storyline had a strong beginning, middle, and end. It was like seeing a favorite comic book literally come alive week to week.

But the problem was, it had a season two. And now a chapter three and four (season three). None of these new chapters/seasons has come close to living up to the first, because Tim Kring didn't have years to write a good plot, story, work out the problems, and then shop it.

If the networks weren't so greedy and stupid, they would have done season one as a maxi-series and then told Tim th…

Snow Pics

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We have a winter storm here. It arrived about the same time as the Oscars last night and continued to dump superfluous snow on us long after the Oscars stopped doing the same.

Here's the mound-o-snow that is on our deck. I have actually hit the right side of this mound twice in an attempt to minimize the weight and area of snow. You can't tell I've done anything.


This is out the front door. I've highlighted the top of a three-foot tall driveway marker. It is the only one of the many driveway markers that can be seen. Now, I'm not implying we have had three feet dropped; just that we've had enough snow drop and drift and not melt that we are to the point of having a solid three foot base available for skiing. also note that the snow is right up to the top of the stairs on our front porch. Anyone who has been here knows how tall that is.


Note: The snow is still falling. We've got around 35 cm (not quite 14 inches) so far.

Er... What?

A cartoonist recently drew a political cartoon making reference to two high-profile news items, the escape and rampage of a chimpanzee from a zoo and the fact that the stimulus plan was poorly written. The cartoon showed two policemen (or game wardens) shooting a chimpanzee and one of them saying, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

My first thought when seeing this cartoon had a couple of components:

1. Good tie together of recent news.
2. Funny reference to the fact that many politicians act like monkeys.
3. Slight reference to the old adage that if you put a million monkeys in a room with a million typewriters, sooner or later one of them will write Shakespeare.

However, someone, somewhere, decided this was a racially pointed attack on President Obama. Someone decided that the cartoonist was referencing the fact that blacks were often compared to monkeys and apes by those who wanted the continued segregation of the races. Someone decided th…

Too Trusting

It's a good thing I try hard not to be Evil. Since moving to Canada I have seen a variety of ways in which Canada does things that just wouldn't fly where I'm from.

For example, my doctor called in a prescription to the Meditrust down the road. Jennifer from the pharmacy called to confirm some things, as I was not in their system yet. When she got to the "Do you have prescription insurance" I answered affirmatively and she responded with, "Is it under Melissa's name?" and I again said yes.

When I just now stopped by the pharmacy to pick up the meds, the woman ringing me out did not even ask to confirm who I was with a photo ID or the pharmacy insurance card.

Now, let's say I was Melissa's ex-husband and we had a very bitter divorce. I would now be getting drugs on her account at a great reduction of cost.

While I agree with my Canadian friends and family that Canada is a nicer place to live in regards to how people generally treat one another, I…

Harry

I recently watched all five Harry Potter movies in a marathon (well, not a true marathon-- I watched four one day and the fifth the next morning-- misjudged how long it would take).

These are really good movies that show what can happen when you stick relatively close to the source material. While staring child actors predominantly and with special effects so prevalent, they could have easily gotten out of hand or had such poor acting that they were laughable. Which leads me to...

Chris Columbus was an absolutely inspired choice for the Sorcerer's Stone. I know many people find his direction of this movie a little pedestrian, given the content, I think that is exactly what was needed here. In the first film, you are introducing everyone to the visual world of the cinematic Harry Potter universe. You have a ton of effects, creatures, people, and story lines to get people into and used to. By having someone like Columbus directing it, the audience is not additionally burdened with odd…

Mmmm... yuck?

I have often been noted as saying that everything tastes better with either chocolate or Italian dressing. Well, I have found at least one thing about which that statement is wrong.

While out doing some shopping on Valentines, my wife and I went by the Laura Secord shop. We stopped to get some chocolates, because we both were craving a little. And wife had an old card with some credit still on it.

I noted both milk and dark chocolate ginger treats. My mind immediately did a "what the fuck?" when it thought of ginger and chocolate together. My hesitancy prompted some questions to the assistant manager (who claimed she didn't like chocolate-- which makes me less likely to buy from them in the future) and she provided me with a sample.

One small bite of the gooey ginger center and the dark chocolate coating was enough to turn me off of this "treat" forever. I like ginger in many asian foods. I love chocolate. The two together were a horrible assault on my senses! The…

A Little Rest

One of my favorite shows is South Park. I now own many seasons (but not all) of the show, and I look forward to new episodes on Comedy Central.

Lately I have undergone watching each of the seasons I have in order. What I have found is that I can make it through two, sometimes three, before falling asleep. I have fallen asleep while watching South Park the last four times I have attempted to watch it!

M and I have joked that maybe this is the cure to my frequent insomnia. Head out to the couch, put on some South Park, and fall gently asleep until the morning (or the DVD ends). I have yet to try it with any seriousness, but it seems like a solution in the offing.

Awhile back, when I first got the original Godzilla, I had the same problem. Every time I put it on I didn't make it more than 10 or 15 minutes into it before falling asleep. It took me three weeks to finish the film. Again, a case of something I enjoyed yet couldn't stay awake for.

Luckily, M has her own Achilles' heel…

Rain

I like the rain. It has always been a comfort to me, and a sound and weather that I love to experience.

This was, of course, while I lived in the desert. The rain there is sparse, short, sometimes powerful and angry, and always welcomed, even in too-great a quantity. Here, however, the rain is not such a happy event, I'm finding.

Our house is at the end of a cul-de-sac. Directly in front of our house is a storm drain. However, our position on the block means two things in relation to that all-important storm drain-- a) most of our property is at or below the level of the storm drain so, if water gets past it, our house gets it and b) the snow plows pile up the majority of the snow right at the drain-- clogging it with layer upon layer of ice.

I've been out trying to break up the inches-thick layers of ice around where I believe the drain to be. I'm wading out into inch to two inch deep pools of water. I have dug now four holes in areas I believe the drain to be in, one about …

Physics in Action

I was driving home from an enjoyable day spent with Stew and decided to take the "back way" home. The road (don't ask me the name of it-- has the Martello Tower and the school on it) is narrow to begin with, but with the ice and snow piled up on one side was even narrower.

As I drove up the road, around the bend came... a public bus. Large, square, many-ton piece of steel, rubber, and glass. A quick mental calculation of the amount of room it needed and the amount of room I needed and the amount of street available indicated that there was not enough room by far for the two of us.

Thinking fast, I cautiously applied the brakes and drove up onto the snow/ice bank, which happened to (luckily) be wider and flatter in that area. By doing so, the bus driver had just enough room to squeeze by on the other side of the road, and I cautiously drove back down onto the part of street that was clear. I'm not sure what we would have done had I not thought fast enough and determin…

Evolution

When human beings were ignorant of the world, fearful of nearly everything around them, and had no way to explain what was going on, man had many gods. There were gods in the lightning, in the trees, in the streams and oceans. Gods were the wind, the sun, the moon, and the stars. When gods were angry, fires raged, eclipses happened, floods occurred, and people died. When gods were happy, man caught fish, had a clear, sunny days, and did not get eaten by predators. During this time, man's fears and greatest threats came from all sides-- food, shelter, and procreation were the main focus of life and there was not time to worry about the future or how the world worked or man's place in it.

As human beings advanced, a little bit of understanding of the world crept into the mix and man's gods coalesced into defined pantheons. These pantheons had gods in charge of specific areas of influence; Thor was the god of thunder and the storms, Ares was the god of war, Ra was the god of k…