June 30, 2006

Still True

The Atlanta Rhythm Section said it best:

The rats keep winning the rat race.

Not Gonna Let It Bother Me (Tonight)

Posted by: Ted at 09:52 PM | category: Waxing Lyrical
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June 29, 2006

Don't need to be no zen master for this one

From Diane, via Dustbury:

If Gore invented the Internet, why do so many Internet addresses start off with Dubya, Dubya, Dubya?

That's easy, it's because karma is a bitch.

Posted by: Ted at 07:33 PM | category: Links
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June 27, 2006

For the record

Fred the rabbit loves spinach and kale.

He's only 'eh' about parsley.

He doesn't like mustard greens.

Posted by: Ted at 07:46 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Cultural Moment

Not really, just something I saw on a bulletin board:

"'alice' was a very important show to the hip-hop community, that show had mad flo"

I'm sure that somewhere there's a college offering a degree in that.

Posted by: Ted at 05:07 AM | category: Square Pegs
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June 26, 2006

Oh man, this is too funny (more Chris Pronger crap)

Rocket Jones is now #1 on Google if you search "Chris Pronger Hate". Go me!

One of the other links on that page led to an article in the Edmonton Journal that gives 28 reasons to hate San Jose. I was raised in San Jose, so as a native I'll have to say that a lot of it is wrong, although some of it sounds like the crap that convinced me to move away and never go back.

Here's the best of 'em. The ones where he doesn't sound like a whiney little bitch.

1. That song. You know, the one with San Jose in the title and chorus? You know, the Dionne-frickin'-Warwick song from 1968? I hate that song.

2. But no matter how much we hate that song, it pales to how deeply they despise it in San Jose. They're ashamed. Just mentioning it makes them cringe and squirm. Oiler fans should belt it out in Game 3.

3. All together now: "Yesss WEEEE Know the WAAAY to Saaaan Jose." That will mess up those Josers.


This is priceless. "Josers"!!!! I love it.

I hate to break it to him though, but people from San Jose don't hate that song. In fact, we seldom even think about it. Now, Edmonton had a song written about it too, called "I shot a bear rootin' through my trash cans (or maybe it was Chris Pronger)". Regional hit.

4. San Jose wants you to spell its name with one of those accent things over the letter E. Talk about pree-tentious.

If so, I agree. I'll also state that no native son would do that, so it's probably those immigrants. You know, those rich millionaire dot-commers. Pretentious pricks, all of 'em, so it wouldn't surprise me.

5. Sharks fans like to photoshop pictures of Chris Pronger and post them on the team's website. One such photo makes it appear as if Pronger wears panties. Another puts the rugged Oiler defenceman in a pink leotard and blond wig. This is outrageous. This is hockey blasphemy.

6. Sharks fans also like to call him Chrissy Pronger. No, this is war.


ROFLMAO See my post below. I wonder how much Edmonton loves Chrissy now?

9. The first commercial broccoli farm was in San Jose. You hate broccoli, right? Blame San Jose. Get angry.

I thought that was Bush (Sr's) fault?

11. Hockey fans in San Jose think it's the height of wit to post pictures of great white sharks in the process of eating some Oilers player or another.

Oh please, it's the silicon valley. They post CGI clips of great white sharks eating Oilers players.

20. San Jose averages 300 sunny days a year and has a Mediterranean climate. Wimps.

ROFLMAO

The rest of 'em get rather personal and he takes some cheap shots at America and Americans in general. Whiney little bitch with an inferiority complex.

Posted by: Ted at 06:11 PM | category: Balls and Ice
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Did I mention that I hate Chris Pronger?

Word is that he quietly sold his house in Edmonton before the playoffs, and then after they lost in the finals he took a vacation in Mexico. While there, he had his agent demand a trade.

What a man.

More here (much more).

Thanks to Off Wing Opinion for the pointer.

Posted by: Ted at 06:24 AM | category: Balls and Ice
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What a mess

Almost 6" of rain over the weekend. Trees are down. Basements flooded. Roads flooded. Train tracks flooded.

Scattered rain predicted for the rest of the week.

Yay.

Posted by: Ted at 06:15 AM | category: Square Pegs
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June 25, 2006

Six Two Haunted Tales

The other night I scored a movie collection titled Hostile Hauntings, and since it rained all weekend I was able to view most of them. According to the box, these were indie movies, which wasn't quite accurate. I'm going to concentrate on two of the films, the other four ranging from complete crap to only mildly interesting.

The collection starts off strongly with The Shunned House, a 2003 straight-to-video offering from Italy. Two word review: Kicks. Ass. The story takes it's name from a tale by H.P. Lovecraft, and the actual plot is an amalgam of three Lovecraft stories: the title piece, The Music of Erich Zann (although the Erich character is a woman in the movie) and Dreams in the Witch House.

I've said it before: I adore Lovecraft. I have a fairly complete collection of his works. When I go on a Lovecraft binge, it perceptably darkens my mood. Powerful writing.

The director here concentrated on mood and atmosphere. There is quite a bit of gore, but not enough to squick me out (well, except for one horrendously memorable scene that will forever be in my all-time top 10 greatest movie scenes). Instead of telling the three stories in serial one-after-another fashion, the stories intertwine and interelate and are sometimes opaque and confusing, much like Lovecraft's work itself. Yet also like Lovecraft, the imagery is original and chilling. These are not terribly faithful story adaptations, but they remain true to the spirit of the originals.

An occult researcher and his girlfriend/photographer visit an old building where mysterious happenings have been going on for over one hundred years. The researcher has an extensive collection of old writings and documents related to the place, including photographs of some of the victims. The girlfriend thinks that they're there to investigate three mysterious deaths, and they are, but she freaks out when she finds out that there have been hundreds of odd suicides and murders done over time. This story is used as the framework to tie the other two plotlines together, even though the three original stories are completely unrelated to each other.

From what I've read, this film was shot entirely on location inside the actual building, complete with attached chapel. I've seen nothing to indicate that the building is other than ordinary in real life.

If you can handle the gore (and the heavy Italian accents), I can't recommend this one highly enough. Fair warning though, you're going to absolutely love it or absolutely hate it.

The second film that I'm going to talk about is an indie titled The Somnambulists (sorry, no link available). According to the box, it's 75 minutes long, and I was rather ticked off to find that the total time includes a "making of" special and *two* "premier night" features. The film itself is rather short, yet very intense.

Dialogue is sparse, and the acting is above average (with a couple of glaring exceptions). It all comes together nicely in the end, including a semi-surprise ending.

Granddad winds up with the best lines, including one chilling little exchange where he explains that "there is no heaven, there is no hell. The dead go into our dreams, and it's the ones with a grudge that you have to watch out for."

I can't say more without giving the ending away. Worth a view.

Posted by: Ted at 04:59 PM | category: Cult Flicks
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June 24, 2006

Tripping the Rift: Pilot

Tripping the Rift is a riot, but you may not have seen the *original* pilot episode. Six looks a lot different, gets naked, and almost has wild sex with an evil space clown.

If you've got a high-speed connection and a twisted sense of humor, then check it out!

(the 26mb version is much better quality)

Posted by: Ted at 06:47 PM | category:
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June 23, 2006

Completely out of character

In addition to the crazybusy schedule at work lately, I've been immersed in a couple of rather involved home projects, and some rather unusual (for me) time-eaters.

I'm not much on computer games. I'd rather program 'em than play on 'em, it's just always been my style. But a couple of years ago, I overheard my daughter Mookie talking about playing Starcraft online, and when I found out we could play each other over our home network, I had to give it a try. I liked it, and played pretty steadily for several months, both with and without Rachael. Eventually the phase passed and I hadn't played for better than a year.

Until a couple of weeks ago, that is. I got a bee in my bonnet and reloaded it onto my machine and I've been going through the opening scenarios to relearn the game.

Tonight at a store, I saw the StarCraft Anniversary Set, containing the original game, the BroodWar expansion and some other goodies. For $20, I picked it up. Fun-ness. I'd been playing on a copied CD-ROM, which may have been my backup from the long-lost original. Or it may have been a bootleg, I dunno. Anyways, I now have strictly legal versions and am basking in my law-abidingilityness. That and blasting those Zerg into bloody puddles.

The other time eater is Myst. Rachael and I had it on our PC way back when and enjoyed several hours tootling around and figuring things out. We never got very far, but we never cared all that much. The version I have now is for my iPaq PDA. I bought it to treat myself, and I'm enjoying it very much.

I wonder how long it would take a pack of zerglings to level Myst Island?

Posted by: Ted at 09:10 PM | category: Square Pegs
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brief update

I've got a couple of posts ready to go, but they contain images and for some reason Movable Type is being stubborn about actually displaying them.

Minx... Minx... Minx... Minx...

Posted by: Ted at 05:36 AM | category: Square Pegs
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June 21, 2006

Can't you see? It's all about the fish oil!!!

From California Yankee:

Fred Krupp, head of Environmental Defense, says the President's plan to designate the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve as a National Monument creates the world's largest marine protected area.

All together now: How big is it?
About the size of California, the national monument will be 38 times larger than Yellowstone, and larger even than Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It will consist of 139,000 square miles of largely uninhabited islands, atolls, coral reef colonies and seamounts, starting 160 miles west of Kauai, the remote 1,400-mile long string of islands extends to Kure atoll, west of Midway Island.

Now if Halliburton comes through on that idea to extract oil from coral...

Posted by: Ted at 05:37 PM | category: Links
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Daydreams of Synergy

From Dustbury:

Boral Bricks' newest plant is in Union City, and when its test production run proved to be up to industry standards, Boral first thought about selling the bricks at a discount.

But no, you can't buy them: instead, Boral is donating the entire run to Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, enough to build 54 houses.


Every time I hear "Habitat for Humanity" I immediately think of Jimmy Carter, and this time, because of the brick aspect a certain Edgar Allen Poe story came to mind right after...

Posted by: Ted at 11:45 AM | category: Links
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Kicking off Summer with a contest

Since beginnings are important, I thought it would be a good idea to officially start Summer 2006 with something personally positive. Fill in the blanks:

Rocket Jones is better than _________________ because it's _______________.

For instance, you might say:

Rocket Jones is better than bondage because it's top-rack dishwasher safe.

That example was totally random. If you want to win, you should give it some thought.

That's right, I said "win"! There will be a prize awarded to the person who submits the best entry. If you've been around a while, you know that my contest prizes don't suck, although if I had a lawyer he'd tell me to reserve that right, so I do.

Leave 'em in the comments.

Posted by: Ted at 05:48 AM | category: Square Pegs
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June 20, 2006

Meanwhile, back at the hanger

The European aviation consortium Airbus has hit some serious turbulance over its new A380 super-jumbo. Parent company EADS staked its future on the A380, to the tune of 11 billion Euros in development costs. Now major investors are bailing, causing the value of EADS stock to drop by a third in just one day.

What's the problem?

The electrical systems are described as "a shambles" and "hundreds" of problems remain unresolved. The aircraft is so overweight that the landing gear cannot safely handle the load. To compensate, weight is being trimmed wherever possible. Embarrassingly, a wing snapped off during stress testing because of the reduced thickness of the metal.

And of course, all this redesign-on-the-fly means that paying customers have to wait longer for their aircraft.

Just nine of the $300m double-decker whales will be delivered next year instead of 20 to 25, with a backlog of delays and penalty clauses cascading through the decade.

At a minimum, the blunder will cut profits by €2bn over four years, the company admitted yesterday.

But that's not the end of their troubles. Also taking a hit is their "new" mid-range A350, which is based on an older model airframe. So far they've gotten orders for less than half needed for break-even. The head of Emeriates Airlines likes the A350, but says:

"Unfortunately for Airbus, two things happened: Boeing came up with an even better plane and the price of fuel went through the roof."

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner (which I first talked about here) is higher-tech and more fuel-efficient, which has recently become a much bigger factor in purchasing decisions.

The economic impact of the super-jumbo also reaches areas you wouldn't normally consider:

The wake turbulence from the A380 may be such a threat to other aircraft on take-off and landing that the International Civil Aviation Organisation is imposing a barrier of 10 nautical miles, twice the distance for a Boeing 747.

The rule, temporary at first, changes the cost calculus for airports such as Heathrow, which depend on constant traffic flow for profit margin.

Even the German author of a book on Airbus is down on the A380:

"The A380 may have a future as a cargo freight plane."

Ouch.

Thanks to Transterrestrial Musings for the pointer, in a post on a semi-related subject.

Posted by: Ted at 11:39 AM | category: SciTech
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Carolina Captures Cup

Congrats, Champions.

Posted by: Ted at 05:13 AM | category: Balls and Ice
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Pigeon Bukkake

Yesterday morning, while driving to work, my car was... splashed... with bird poop. I used "pigeon" in the title, but from the amount of it I'd say it was more likely a pteradactyl or a flock of golden eagles. I had to run my windshield washers for quite a while to get most of it off, and when I got to work, I could see where it started halfway up the hood and continued on across the roof almost to the back window. Definitely pteradactyl.

Last night we had a thunderstorm with a nice hard, driving rain. Car looks sparkly clean again this morning.

Posted by: Ted at 05:05 AM | category: Square Pegs
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June 19, 2006

Finding Fathers

Nancy Kenney was 2 years old when she last saw her father. He never returned from his final mission aboard the submarine USS Lagarto during WWII. The boat was lost with all hands in the Gulf of Thailand in May, 1945. The wreckage was rediscovered only last year.

Navy divers on Friday completed a six-day survey of the wreckage site. They took photos and video of the 311-foot, 9-inch submarine for further analysis by naval archeologists.

The divers found twin 5-inch gun mounts on the forward and rear parts of the ship - a feature believed to be unique to the Lagarto.

They also saw the word "Manitowoc" displayed on the submarine's propeller, providing a connection to the Manitowoc, Wis., shipyard that built the Lagarto in the 1940s.

Eighty-six sailors died when the Lagarto sank in May 1945. The Japanese minelayer Hatsutaka reported dropping depth charges and sinking a U.S. sub in the area, though it was never known what ship it destroyed.

Ms. Kenney is relieved and at peace, because after 60 years she now knows where her father rests.

The Navy considers the sea to be a proper final resting place for "our people who are killed in action," according to a Navy spokesman. The wreck will not be disturbed.

That's one heck of a Father's Day present.

Posted by: Ted at 04:22 PM | category: History
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Rabid, mouth-frothing, spittle-dripping hatred in every word

Yep, it's another hockey post.

Tonight is the last game of the NHL season. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

I'll be watching, but I could really care less who wins because I hate both teams. That's not quite accurate, for although I hate the Carolina Hurricanes in their entirety, the only Edmonton Oiler that I really hate is Chris Pronger.

I absolutely understand that my feelings toward Chris Pronger are a manifestation of BDS. No, not that one, the other one: Bonds Derangement Syndrome.

Chris Pronger is and has always been a great player, but in his youth he was a dirty player. This opinion is offered up as viewed through my visceral dislike of him, so don't be emailing me facts and opinions. They mean nothing.

Nature is balance. Just like when Florence Nightengale was alive the Brooklyn Dodgers were created. Her goodness shone so brightly that an entire *team* of evil had to exist as a counterbalance. Wayne Gretzky is another example. Multiple winner of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player "who displays the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct in addition to playing ability", Gretzky was so good that nature created the Philadelphia Flyers. Even that crew of goons wasn't enough, and players like Tie Domi, Eric Lindros and Todd Bertuzzi were caused to exist.

And yes, Chris Pronger.

Chris Pronger played for years for the St. Louis Blues, which until recently meant automatic playoffs and then a quiet exit in one of the early rounds. It's a good thing that he's gone deeper into the playoffs in his first year with Edmonton than he ever got with the Blues. He's matured, he's not the big-mouth hothead that he was in his youth, he's a team leader in Edmonton. And yes, I can admit that he's still a very very talented player. But he's still Chris Pronger, and I hate him.

So tonight I'll be watching game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, but no matter who wins, it's going to be bittersweet for me. I actually am rooting for Edmonton, because Chris Pronger deserves to carry that Cup around the ice. Whoa, did I just say that? Must be the guilt talking.

Posted by: Ted at 05:11 AM | category: Balls and Ice
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June 16, 2006

Mocking the random commuter

To the elderly gentleman seen on my drive home,

Sir, you are a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma (to paraphrase Churchill).

Your hair is white. Not gray. Not silver, but that dingy white that makes one think of yellowed old bone.

Despite the color, you have that odd youthful haircut that no one can miss. Maybe you think it reminds people of the Beatles. It made me think of Moe Howard of the Three Stooges.

You drove for most of ten miles with your right blinker on.

Yet you drove like a young bobsledder, seemingly immortal as you were weaving in and out of traffic, going so far as to straddle two lanes for long stretches as you decided which side would give you an advantage measured in seconds. Bonus points for using your turn signal, even though it was only correct half the time.

Finally, a word about your car. The Scion isn't cool. It looks like the box a Mini-Cooper came in.

Posted by: Ted at 04:19 PM | category: Links
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