November 2009


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We went Saturday. It was good, but not as good as last year’s show.

My description of the concert is posted HERE.

Some pictures are posted HERE.

To see every concert I’ve ever been to, go to my List Of All Concerts page.

Also, check out my songkick profile, which is a site devoted to cataloging what concerts one has gone to. (more…)

Well, first and foremost the obvious reason is: It’s a movie. If you want to get pedantic on paradoxes, then you may as well kiss almost every time travel movie ever goodbye.

But here’s my real explanation:

I don’t even consider such situations paradoxes. Time is a river. Sometimes that river is diverted (time travel/alternate realities). If you add a specific amount of energy to the water (say with an electric pump, which would be analogous to the actions a time traveler uses to affect the past), you can divert a river so that it flows upstream and runs back into itself, affecting itself earlier in the stream and changing the ultimate outcome.

Eventually this will create a backlog of water, as the river is now carrying its normal load, plus what you pumped upstream. This backlog will overpower the energy required to divert it back, and it will no longer be able to all be diverted back. This is analogous to the self-correcting aspect of time. Another analogy: Eventually the diversion mechanisms (the electric pump, if you will) will erode away due to affects of time and mechanical failure, leaving no trace that it ever happened in the first place. But the flow of the river (time) was changed nonetheless — even though the original cause is no longer visible.

Eventually we will have a river that looks the same as it did before it was ever affected by the water pump (time travel). Time (and the river) has corrected itself, and events that “cannot” happen have happened in such a way so as to affect things, but as to leave no direct evidence. Corrective alternate realities only exist until the corrections are made in the past. But the system was affected, and is not the same as it would have been without the original diversion.

[A CGI animation custom-made for me would really help explain this!]

One example is the movie Timecrimes .. After everything happened in this movie, the paradoxical timeline actually no longer exists. How did he go back if he was never there in the first place? Because he did. And then he didn’t, because the timeline was fixed. But anyone sitting outside the timeline — say, in the 5th dimension — would have been able to watch these events occur. But only while they were happening. Timecrimes is not paradoxical at all; people who look at it that way are thinking [at least] one dimension lower than they should be.

My brain hurts. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] With a title like College (tho that has been used in movies before, but not since the 1970s) it’s kind of hard to avoid watching this. We love college party movies.

PEOPLE: Directed by Deb Hagan (her first full film), written by a couple unknown actors (one played a clerk in what may be my favorite action movie ever: Crank). Starring a bunch of nobodies…

QUIRKS: Your standard college party movie — except that the main characters were highschoolers visiting a college. This one possibly gains the distinction of having the most on screen minutes AT a party out of many of these, as well as having the least well-known names attached to it.

And possibly the coolest fictional-party-that-would-never-happen-in-real-life that we’ve ever seen in any movie!

VISUALS: Well, there ARE some attractive ladies in this movie. But it doesn’t center on that as much. You wont see naked chicks walking around inexplicably like in Sex Drive.

MORALS: It’s better to be yourself, than someone else. Oh, and frat boys are douchebags.

BAD STUFF: A lot of people said this was full of gross-out humor and a really poor movie, and that the fat kid would never, ever get laid with a girl like that. Who cares? It’s a frickin’ fiction movie. The gross-out humor wasn’t constant like some of the naysayers said. Yet they did manage to make BOTH of us gag at points. (Making Carolyn gag == easy. Making Clint gag == hard.) This was actually a good thing in my book; you’re supposed to gross your viewers out at least once in any college comedy.

CONCLUSION: After having such incredibly low expectations based on everyone’s comments, I was very very pleasantly surprised. I probably liked this more than Carolyn. Gave it 3/5 stars on netflix, and 6 on IMDB (would have given a 6.5, tempted to give it a 7). I consider this a bit better than our average “generic pass”. Not as good as Sex Drive; more comparable to Van Wilder 2 (which shared some similarities). This movie could be best described as Superbad meets Van Wilder 2/Revenge Of The Nerds.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like college comedies somewhat unconditionally, don’t believe the anti-hype. This is as good as any of those kinds of movies. One might argue they’re all the same movie anyway; you either like it or you don’t. I did.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Superbad. Revenge Of The Nerds. National Lampoon’s Van Wilder 2: The Rise Of Taj. All somewhat similar to this. Superbad because of the highschool “bros” trying to get the girls (Morris is as clueless as McLovin). Revenge Of The Nerds becuase of the douchey fraternity trying to oppress everyone else. And Van Wilder 2 for similar reasons: A snobby frat that sucks oppressing a few people who might not belong there as much. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] [Ian’s DCIst review]

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Murderer sacrifices self to help save humanity. (Okay, not a very good one, sorry.)

PEOPLE: Directed by McG (Charlie’s Angels). With Christian Bale (Batman from The Dark Knight/Batman Begins, American Psycho), Sam Worthington (Avatar), Moon Bloodgood (why have I heard of her?), Anton Yelchin (Checkov from the 2009 Star Trek) as a younger Kyle Reese, Bryce Dallas Howard (Gwen Stacy from Spider-Man 3, Lady In The Water, The Village), Michael Ironside, and a small role by Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter, Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride).

QUIRKS: The first Terminator movie to completely take place in the post-apocalyptic wasteland hinted at by previous Terminator movies.

VISUALS: Great futuristic robot battles. Reminds me of The Matrix meets Transformers meets Mad Max.

MORALS: It is our hearts that make us human. Kind of a corny moral.

BAD STUFF: Every Terminator movie has been pretty action-focused, but this one has even more action and less story than the previous three.

CONCLUSION: Although this is perhaps the worst of the 4 Terminator movies… It’s about friggin’ time that one take place completely in the future. Cool robot battles; lots of action. This was still a really good action flick — and I’m hoping for a Terminator 5 in the future. The story’s not over until Skynet’s destroyed.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.7/5 stars (4.0/5 stars for people who rate like me), IMDB: 6.9/10.

RECOMMENDATION: All 4 Terminator movies are worth watching. This one is no exception.

MOVIE QUOTE: John Connor: I knew it. I knew it was coming. But this is not the future my mother warned me about. And in this future, I don’t know if we can win this war. This is John Connor.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Ian didn’t like it (see review link at top). I agree with some of his criticisms, but not with the opinion that they made the movie bad. (more…)

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yard sale Yard saleing season is over, yet Carolyn said she’d seen a sign on a local road indicating a sale today. Rousing out of bed past 11AM, we figured this would give us an excuse to get in a car, thereby making a taco bell breakfast trip more worth the effort. Turns out the idiots with the sign didn’t even have the sale their sign was advertising, but we ran into another.

Total spent $2.00 plus ~$0 gas (we were already going to Taco Bell) for a total of $2.00. We bought 1 item – for an estimated value of $28, leading to a profit of $26. We only spent about 10 minutes detouring to the yardsale, so technically we made $156/hr as a couple or $78/hr per person. And to earn $26 after taxes you’d really have to earn ~$37; money saved (by not having to spend it) is actually worth more than we realize when the government’s cut is taken into consideration.

$2.00 – Vick’s vaporizer made to put Vick’s VapoRub (VapoSteam) into the air. A $48 product, but it’s sold on sale for $28.

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Carolyn HAD rated this 2 stars on Netflix and didn’t remember it from being a kid. I *think* I may have seen it, but absolutely NOTHING in it rang a bell, so I COULD be wrong. Parthena said it was one of her fave movies as a kid, so she got to watch it with us.

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a fantasy called Willow.
A baby found floating in a river — D’oh!
Keeping it alive was a pain.
To the queen, it was a bane.
A sorceress is quite a formidable foe.

HAIKU REVIEW: Willow’s a midget?!?!?!
The things you forget with age!
Nice to revisit.

PEOPLE: Directed by Ron Howard (the narrator from Arrested Development!), written by George Lucas and Bob Dolman. Val Kilmer certainly makes the ladies happy, but he was still better in Real Genius. Did you know Joanne Whalley (Sorsha) was a groupee in the Pink Floyd movie? Her career is still going, but I don’t think she’s done anything as well-known as Willow since then. Nor has she ever looked as good, judging by her IMDB pictures. Maybe that’s why Val Kilmer divorced her? (OHHH, I totally went there.)

The baby (Ruth/Kate Greenfield) was actually the best baby actor I’ve ever seen–which really just means they spent many hours photographing it until it did the right things. And they were never in a movie again… And little people. Tons of little people, and some of the standard familiar faces. This is the most little people in any movie since The Wizard Of Oz, and they had to advertise nationally to get that many. (Some trivia: At a party, I once saw a little person smoking pot, asked around, and she was friends of some friends and had been an Ewok in Star Wars episode 6: Return Of The Jedi. So I’ve seen an Ewok smoke pot! Who else can brag about this?)

QUIRKS: Most of your standard fantasy movie tropes apply here. Formulaic to a tee; yet exceeding expectations and out-doing many of the similar movies that came out in the early 80s. More of these quirks are discussed in the “SIMILAR MOVIES” section below, where I compare it to Lord Of The Rings.

There are two Wilhelm Screams in this movie.

And some mis-treatment of babies.. always a plus. lol

And some comic relief from the 2 “very tiny” people, the Smurf-sized “brownies”. They really reminded me of the worms from Worms 3-D (the X-box version, not the PS2 version).

VISUALS: The fantasy world here is much richer than most 1980s fantasy movies. Closer to the caliber of the Lord Of The Rings movies in terms of having a rich world filled with many different kinds of creatures. Special effects have come a long way since then, but they still did a good job.

MORALS: Even reluctant tiny people can be heroes. But we all knew this when we read Lord Of The Rings

BAD STUFF: The only thing bad about it is that it was kind of “generic” in the sense of following many established tropes for Fantasy movies. But this movie didn’t win out (versus the others) in uniqueness of ideas, it won out by executing these ideas in a better way. It doesn’t get boring like Legend. Solutions to problems are, as usual, “conveniently convenient”, but not as badly as in other movies.

CONCLUSION: I think by re-watching it I bumped it up from 3 stars to 4 stars on Netflix, and up to 7/10 on IMDB. After seeing so many sub-par fantasy movies like Legend and Krull … It’s nice to see one that is better than a “generic pass”.

RECOMMENDATION: Fantasy lovers and 80s movie lovers should definitely watch (or re-watch) this.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Lord Of The Rings!!! I was cracking jokes the whole time about how ever character was almost directly analogous to a character in Lord Of The Rings. The Nelwyns are the hobbits. Willow is Frodo. The baby is the ring. Bad people in horses come after them like the Nazgul. A “fellowship” is formed. Cherlindrea is “Galadriel” and gives “Frodo” (Willow) a magic wand instead of a strand of her hair, and then gets really creepy just like Galadriel talking about how horrible she could be if she had the ring. The Brownies are the “elves”, only 2 inches tall but still able to take you via bow & arrow in the middle of the forest. The “orcs” are simply a human army. Val Kilmer/Madmartigan is Aragorn. Bavmorda may as well be Sauron (and didn’t land another movie role for 12 years, until she was “The Queens” in Monarch). Nockmaar may as well have been Mordor; Tir Asleen may as well have been Minas Tirith. And there’s even a dragon, like in The Hobbit.

It is also of course somewhat similar to a lot of the 80s fantasy movies that came out, like Krull, Legend, The NeverEnding Story, or Labyrinth. And has parallels to Star Wars as well.

MOVIE QUOTE: Cherlindrea: Elora Danan must survive. She must fulfill her destiny and bring about the downfall of Queen Bavmorda. Her powers are growing like an evil plague. Unless she is stopped, Bavmorda will control the lives of your village, your children, everyone. All creatures of good heart need your help, Willow. The choice is yours.

COINCIDENCES: Supergirl, Willow. 2 1980’s movies in a row with love potions.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Christie and Chris H/Lisa loved it. Ian & Tatiana really liked it. Christian H & Jordan & Benj liked it. Chris Z didn’t like it. Becky hated it. (more…)

  • Whaaaat? Apple fanboys told me that if I bought an Apple, all my problems would vanish. It would never crash, it would mow my lawn, and it would cure my dog’s cancer. But the reality is: Apple laptops are only the 4th best. And people herd to them like sheep because they respond to B.S. marketing rather than actual data. Of course, as Ian pointed out, 3 other brands are selling better, so aren’t those people even bigger sheep? That could very well be, but Windows users aren’t typically as brand-loyal to specific hardware brands as Apple users. After all, during the evolution of Windows, many hardware manufacturers have risen and fallen. So I tend to think of these people as less sheep, and more aimless wanderers — zombies or fools, if you will. Which I find slightly preferable to sheep. The real people who get my respect are those who spec out individual parts and build their own machines. However, I’m not sure how one would do this with a laptop…

     

  • Hahahaha. Too bad the format for the page requires waiting for each click, though. Made me not look at them all.

 

  • I had to save this link, because MULTIPLE times I’ve brought this book up in conversation but not been able to remember what it is called. Hilarious stuff.My favorite is the Wilford Brimley letter, but the first review reminded me of my OTHER favorite part:

    “One of his letters is to the m&m company, in which he complains that their slogan “Melts in your mouth, but not in your hands” is discriminatory and insensitive to those who don’t have one or more hands. He then goes on to explain how he lost his arms in an encounter with a grizzly bear, and suggests that they change their slogan to “Melts in your mouth but not in your hand(s) (if you have any).””

  • I agree.How about addressing renewable energy now, rather than playing the rationing game with people?

    I don’t want crooked people at the power company to be able to tell their burglar associates when my wife & I are out of the house by looking at electricity consumption graphs.

    Such breaches of privacy DO occur… More often than people realize.

    This also makes marijuana grow houses more likely to be discovered… Which is a bad thing to anyone who is against prohibition of victimless crimes.

    Getting warrants for excessive electricity use is routine in USA (see links in comments).

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this is an example. In the name of the environment, we’re going to sacrifice our privacy. Bad.

    Someone commented that our only choice is to remain Luddites, or join the Hive Mind. Hell, I’d rather sacrifice electricity entirely than join any fucking hive mind. We’re not goddamned insects.

  • Am I dick for the fact that the first thought that comes to mind is, “Saddam Hussein gave free college to whoever wanted. It was state sponsored.” These riots are a result of our anti-socialist obsession with capitalism and everyone being responsible for only themselves. A real society would freely educate its citizens SO THEY AREN’T SO FUCKING STUPID. After all, that’s why we have public K-12. But why does it stop there? Sure, private schools are always better, but the rich who can afford them can afford higher taxes too.So now we have riots over inflation and tuition.

    I recall reading something that in 1970, a college degree meant you’d make 50% more. By 1995, a college degree meant you’d only make 15% more. Meanwhile, the cost in inflation-adjusted dollars had tripled.

    It’s almost like there’s no ROI on college investment. It’s no wonder people get fucking pissed when it goes up 32% in 1 year. And this is in Beverly Hills! Imagine how bad actual poor people must feel.

  • The corporations ARE our government. (That’s actually one of the signs of facism.) Here’s another example. According to the article, this guy played an instrumental role in introducing genetically modified milk and known carcinogens into the U.S. food supply.
    What a great adviser for the fDA!

Jesus, that was a pain. I noticed a bunch of my wordpress flickr-embedded videos were no longer working — such as my awesome post of my college video experiments — despite me following embed instructions.

1) I sent notes to WordPress support, who basically told me it was Flickr‘s problem. I was pretty damn convinced they were wrong, as I had changed nothing on my side. They kindly investigated further at my behest, and it turns out that Flickr had set my account to not be in public searches — which had the undocumented side-effect of making my embedded videos no longer worked.

2) I had to send a note to Flickr‘s help. I then waited 5 business days after they said to wait 3 business days — they had escalated my issue up the chain, according to them — and sent another email, which was also ignored. Finally on day 6 I opened up a 2nd ticket with reference to my 1st ticket, and was rewarded with a prompt response a couple hours later:

[Flickr Case 1368805] Other issues
Hello,
I have classified your account as “public”/”safe”.
Regards,
-Terrence

What?!?! My account wasn’t “public”/”safe”???? Greeeeat.

By examining random photos from my FlickR, I see that most do not have the “hide from public searches” checkbox checked anymore! Yay! But does this mean that the pictures *I really want hidden* are no longer checked? I don’t know! I had tried to avoid the wrath of various corporate entities by hiding selected photos that are otherwise public.

Anyway, I always thought my stats were pretty good… But I had noticed a dropoff to about 2500-5000 views a day, whereas in the past I got closer to 7500. However, despite being hidden from public searches, I still got a lot of referral traffic from both Flickr and Yahoo Photos [Yahoo owns flickr], so it seems like “hide from public seraches” still leaves you open to plenty of other referral methods. Anyway, hopefully these stats improve now that my account is no longer censored:

And yes, it bugs me to be a paying user and to be censored. But if I were to make my own photo album off of flickr, nobody would view it. Sort of how my blog gets read through Facebook a lot, but hardly anyone actually goes to it directly. People need to get over their technical laziness. Our technical laziness funnels us into social sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr — thereby putting us under the umbrella of corporate and community censorship. If only we could all just run our own stuff on our own hardware, nobody could censor us! But it would be much harder for us to all stay together. Maybe that is an issue that Web 3.0 will address. . .
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