August 2011

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Ralph Bakshi!! In 720p!!

PLOT SUMMARY: Insert generic fantasy plot here.

HAIKU REVIEW: Good vs. Evil.
Epic fantasy battles.
This is not our earth.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] White people fight wars using oppressed black people.

PEOPLE: Directed by master animator Ralph Bakshi (Fritz The Cat, The Lord Of The Rings, Cool World, Spicy City)!

Voice actors include Susan Tyrell (Powder, Tapeheads), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders/Helen Lovejoy/Miss Hoover/Milhouse’s Mom from The Simpsons) as Teegra, Stephen Mendel as Nekron.

Not worth mentioning except on a personal note — this movie stars a voice actor named “Big Yank”. Why is this funny? When Carolyn & I honeymooned in Las Vegas in February of 2000, I forgot all my underwear. Had to stop at a local store to buy some for the week. The brand they were selling? “Big Yank”. It’s been a joke for us ever since — So seeing this name in the credits made us laugh a lot.

QUIRKS: Fantasy war on a fantasy world. Fire vs Ice — with fire being the good guys, and ice being the bad guys. This world seems like it was cut from the same cloth as other great fantasy worlds, such as the worlds depicted in Conan The Barbarian, or Krull.

VISUALS: Ralph Bakshi animation — but rotoscoped. You can tell that it’s all hand-drawn, due to the “shimmer” given by the slight inconsistency in the thickness of lines between frames. I commented several times that the movement seemed very organic and fluid, but now that we found out it is rotoscoped, this makes sense: The movement really was based on real, organic actors moving. Thus the realism.

The backgrounds were very interesting. They were all hand-painted by famous fantasy painter Frank Frazetta — who had done cover art for Conan The Barbarian comics. They were NOT detail oriented at all, and lent a kind of abstract feel to the landscape. The lack of detail is most certainly more obvious in the blu-ray/high-definition version of this movie. Samurai Jack‘s painted backgrounds definitely seem to have been influenced by the look and feel of this movie; Samurai Jack plays like a modernized and more cartoony (no rotoscoping) version of the animation style used in this movie.

And Teegra? She is one of the sexiest cartoons ever. She is wearing an itsy-bitsy see-through bikini. She was originally animated naked the entire movie, but they went in and added the bikini later.

POLITICS: Most battles and grunt work are performed by the “sub-humans” — who are basically racistly-drawn black people who speak in animalistic tongues. But by calling them sub-humans, there is the implication that they are a different species on this planet than the white humans (or the purple “Ice People”). Since man evolved from apes, and was originally black — it would make biological and evolutionary sense that “sub” humans would be black, since white people did not emerge until homo sapiens mutated. Despite this fact, a LOT of people are going to simply see racism — and nothing else — when they watch this movie. Of course, most of Bakshi’s stuff has been pretty racially charged, and this could actually be a social commentary about our planet — where expendable people, often of color, are frequently controlled and exploited for the gain of the wealthy elite. This topic is heavily discussed on this IMDB message board thread.

BAD STUFF: It is a very cliche fantasy movie: Good vs evil; The princess is kidnapped; The lone, unaffiliated anti-hero saves her; A final epic batttle ends the war of good vs evil. The dialog and characters are not very well developed. This movie is more about style than substance. It could definitely be considered cheesy by people who demand cutting-edge, modern animation and plot.

CONCLUSION: This movie is more about style than substance, but definitely succeeds in painting a uniquely visual, unearthly fantasy world, full of epic battles between good and evil. Any fan of the Heavy Metal cartoon would probably enjoy this. Just don’t get offended by the racist overtones–this is fantasy!

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.4/5 stars (3.5/5 stars for people who rate like me), IMDB: 6.5/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Animation and fantasy lovers should check out this cult classic.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Heavy Metal. Conan The Barbarian.

QUOTE: “He was going to pound that guy’s head in with a rock…but he got a kiss instead.” -Carolyn
“That’s like, the most metal thing ever.” -Clint

TRIVIA: In a cut scene from the script, Darkwolf was revealed to be Nekron’s father.

/yard sale sign/ Got up around 8AM, made it out driving by 8:34AM, ate during 9:14AM-9:38AM, and went out until 12:19PM, for a total yardsale time of
3 hours, 21 minutes.

Spent $19.35 plus ~$11.46 gas for 43.8miles of driving (14.9 mpg @ $3.90/G), for a total cost of $30.81.

We bought 27 items – 39 if you count separate hangers, cookies, camping forks – for a total estimated value of $317.33, leading to a profit of $286.52. To earn that much after taxes you’d really have to earn $409; money saved (by not having to spend it) is actually worth more than we realize when the government’s cut is taken into consideration.

Anyway, this works out to a “wage” of $85.53/hr as a couple or $42.76/hr per person.

Someone was asking for $30 for a used toaster oven!? I had just recently checked, and that’s the price for one new at Target! People trying to sell stuff for retail cost at a friggin’ yard sale need to learn the hard lesson of hauling all their un-bought junk back into their house after nobody bought it. Have fun burning in the sun, you fucks!

  • $3.00: waffle maker (EV:$12)

  • $2.00: four deer warning alarms (EV:$9)

  • $2.00: jeans, blue, carpenter’s (EV:$10)
  • $1.00: shirt, tank-top, black, built-in nursing bra (EV:$25)

  • $1.00: mouse, optical, 2-button, wheel, Logitech, model no. M-BT96a (EV:$10 refurbished)!BjZ8fGwB2k~$(KGrHqUH-CsEs-R1)8iDBLTeF,THZw~~_35.JPG

  • $1.00: mouse, optical, 2-button, wheel, HP/Logitech, model no. M-UAE96 (EV:$8 USED)

  • $1.00: mouse, optical, 2-button, wheel, IBM, model no. MO28UO, SN 23-212373 (EV:$16)
  • $1.00: Huntington’s flip-it mitt, for pet hair (includes Jr. Mitt too) – actually works really damn well! (EV:$13.87)

  • $1.00: shoes, baby, hiking (EV:$4)
  • $1.00: shoes, baby, sneakers (EV:$4)
  • $1.00: water filter, Brita (EV:$1, It costs $8 to get this, but the replacement filters cost $7 or so, and the $8 filters COME with a replacement, and this didn’t, thus, it’s really only worth $1.)

  • $0.75: Elmer’s Craft Bond spray adhesive (EV:$3)

  • $0.50: orange wastebasket, plastic, 10.75″ x 8.5″ x 8.5″, does not really glow in the blacklight like we had hoped (EV:$4)
  • $0.50: camping forks, 4 (EV:$2)

  • $0.50: cookies, chocolate chip, (2 @ $.25 each) (EV:same)
  • $0.50: hangers, plastic, white, (8) (EV:$2.56),0,1500,1500&scl=3.75&fmt=jpeg&id=_qqpi3

  • $0.25: pan, skillet, Cuisinart, GreenGourmet GG22-30H 12″ V#22418 (EV:$59.95)

  • $0.25: pan, skillet, Cuisinart, GreenGourmet GG22-24 10″, V#22418 (EV:$49.95)

  • $0.25: ashtray, Harley Davidson (EV:$7)
  • $0.25: rug, runner (EV:$10)
  • $0.10: mirror, “Bob’s Bar”, 17×9 with .5″ wooden frame (EV:$20)
  • $0.10: action figure, Thundercats, Cheetara, 6″ high (EV:$10)$(KGrHqZ,!gwE29ZuLd4DBN5ul(mqV!~~_1.JPG?set_id=880000500F

  • $0.10: pez dispenser, Garfield, 4″ high (EV:$5)

  • $0.10: toy, Simpsons, Maggie, riding turtle, 3″ high (EV:$20)$(KGrHqIOKpsE3t1KNEcuBOCezGySOw~~0_1.JPG

  • $0.10: toy, Inspector Gadget, 3.5″ high (EV:$3.50)$(KGrHqQOKjIE3vIwCOPhBOBng0SJ!g~~_35.JPG

  • $0.10: toy, Gargoyles, view-finder, Burger King Kids Club, 4″ high (EV:$6)

  • $FREE: floss, mint – went straight into my car! (EV:$1)

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings.

* EV stands for “Estimated Value”, which I estimate by looking things up in Google Shopping/Google/Amazon/Ebay. I don’t always deduct for an item being used, unless it’s actually in worse condition in a way that matters. For example, I estimate books at the cover value. I also try to only count shipping if it’s the type of thing that would need to be shipped, and only if the price isn’t “fixed” (i.e. 1 cent items that cost $10 to ship would not be $10 in person).


So I’ve run Windows 7 for a few months now. I really like it. But I dislike having to run it. I dislike being forced to endure change. The flux of computers actually makes me like computing, as a hobby, less. I get tired of spending time creating the same solution over and over again. To me, most of these problems have been solved.

[[[ I often have problems with the fact that I’ve solved a certain problem before most people ever realized they had it. For instance, I was tagging my photos in 2000. It was awhile before web sites like flickr popped up (2005ish) and got into tagging more. So while new people got to go straight to tagging in flickr, I had to figure out a way to programmatically import tags from my pre-existing system into the existing one. Another instance: Playlists. I have playlist generation down pat. My music is strictly managed on a per-track basis, with me making adjustments on a daily basis. The problem is solved. But then iTunes comes along. They don’t let you import your music directly. So I can’t just take a playlist, and have a program copy all those songs to an iPod. Nope. I’d have to write an apple-approved app, even though I already have a program that works just fine (on Android phones, non-Apple mp3 players, etc). I’m actually penalized for having solved the problem before it became trendy to do so. This situation is another one: Somebody just starting to edit audio today would choose from a choice of modern programs, and would hopefully choose one that lets you edit one file while saving another. I don’t have that choice. I’m locked in to what I know and am experienced with. To learn something new would waste more time than this blog post…]]]

So anyway… one thing I do is I run CoolEdit to edit audio. I RUN IT TWICE. I actually copy the folder to two instances, and run each EXE separately with cooledit1.bat and cooledit2.bat. Why? That way, I can be editing on 1 while the other is saving the last file I edited. Some people buy 7200RPM drives and brag about how much faster their files save, but I kept all the money and never had to wait for a file to save anyway, because I’m in the other CoolEdit, clipping away that annoying 10 second trailing silence… while the other cooledit is saving. Or perhaps I’m looking through files and realizing they don’t need to be edited at all, while the other cooledit is loading more files. Either way, running two definitely helps. And you couldn’t just run it twice.

Enter Windows 7. But now I have a new motherboard with multiple “soundcards”, one per each jack. These cooledits don’t seem to be able to share audio. Let’s try setting one to SPDIF digital audio. Let’s try setting the other to the speaker analog audio. Maybe I’ll still be able to hear it from the downstairs speakers (which are hooked up to the “2nd soundcard”)? I am NOT fucking editing files listening to speakers on another floor! Maybe I can set one for Microsoft Sound Mapper and the other for SPDIF. Goddamnit. Okay. I think I got both sharing sound finally. But no. They crash a lot. Which 20 files did I have open in them again? Arrrgh! Keeps crashing! WTF! Damnit. Let’s try compatibility modes for the EXE files. Let’s set them for coolpro.exe in both folders. What a pain! Still crashing.

Finally, I realized something: I was assuming I needed 2 folders at all anymore. Sure, that was the case from 2000-2011, but maybe that isn’t the case from 2011-present?

I ran cooledit1 twice. And I got 2 instances of it, even though it’s the same folder and same EXE file. WTH? And they share sound with each other perfectly too!

Apparently Windows 7 has improved the way things run, allowing you to run multiple instances of certain programs that could never do this before? Praise Peter Quistgard! I can finally dump that second CoolEdit folder! Next time I re-install Windows, it will be nice to not have to set up my hotkeys and preferences TWICE. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] A low-rated spoof movie? Sounds right up our ally.

PLOT SUMMARY: Kids try to go to a Halloween party, but have to make a delivery first. Everything that could possibly go wrong does.

PEOPLE: Steve Howey (Van Montgomery from Reba) as Stan Helsing. The amazingly-hot Diora Baird as Nadine. Do a google image search for her. You wont regret it, I promise. She was also in Fifty Pills and Young People Fucking. Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live, Snakes On A Plane, Kenan & Kel, All That, and the black female principal in the awesome Sit Down Shut Up cartoon) as the black guy. Desi Lydic (Not Another Teen Movie) as the ditz.

…And Leslie Neilsen. As a woman (I guess).

Also, a brief role by Darren Moore, who shares the same name as a friend of mine. That’s the only reason I’m mentioning him.

QUIRKS: A spoof-genre comedy movie that spoofs horror movies in the form of a “Saturday Night road trip adventure”. Spoofs include Hellraiser, Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th, Child’s Play (Chuckie!), Van Helsing, and others. For instance, in the opening scenes at a video store, they have a special line for people returning the movie “The Ring”. A pile of dead bodies is next to the return slot. If you’ve seen The Ring, that’s pretty funny.

They pick up a copy of The Garbage Pail Kids movie and joke about watching it with the lights out. Sadly, we have actually watched that actual movie with the lights out. And yes, it’s pretty bad!

VISUALS: Diora Baird. Hot damn. I thought Rachel Bilson from Jumpers was hot, and then we watched this on the same night. She’s like Rachel Bilson with bigger boobs.

BAD STUFF: With the exception of Scary Movie 1 and 2, people seem to really really hate these kinds of movies. Every time they make one, there are comments saying “worst movie ever”, “piece of crap”, “why do they keep making movies like these?”. Really, I think there are not enough comedies in the world, and I dislike when something makes me laugh and people complain about it. If you don’t like these kinds of movies, stop watching them.

CONCLUSION: A better-than-average spoof-genre comedy, and one quite appropriate to watch during Halloween season. This could have simply been titled “Horror Movie”, in the same fashion as “Date Movie“, “Epic Movie“, “Disaster Movie“, “Not Another Teen Movie”, etc etc. People either hate those movies, or don’t. We like them all. They certainly aren’t the greatest comedies in the world, but most of them make us laugh enough times to be worth it. This one was actually better than average, and definitely served us up 1.5 hrs of decent laughs.

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6.5/10.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 2.6/5 stars (/5 stars for people who rate like me), IMDB: 3.7/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you are very forgiving and enjoy all the spoof movies everyone else hated — then watch this. This one is actually better than most. But try to watch it around Halloween season.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Scary Movie, Extreme Movie, Disaster Movie, Date Movie, etc, etc.

COINCIDENCES: (Stan Helsing, Sit Down Shut Up) 2 videos in a row with Kenan Thompson. (more…)

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