June 2013


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: Woman tries to hold on to her love, despite multiple witch’s curses working against her.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Witches kill men.

PEOPLE: Nicole Kidmanat her HOTTEST –, Sandra Bullock, and Aiden Quinn (The Handmaid’s Tale).

QUIRKS: Based on a book. Witchcraft. Nicole Kidman acting slutty and looking the sexist I’ve ever seen her.

…They really got drunk during that scene.

VISUALS: Nicole Kidman acting slutty and looking the sexist I’ve ever seen her.

SOUNDTRACK: Well, they used “Always On My Mind”. That’s one more song than I recognize with most movies.

MORALS: True love prevails, even over witchcraft.

GOOD STUFF: Nicole Kidman acting slutty and looking the sexist I’ve ever seen her.

BAD STUFF: Chick flick about love.

CONCLUSION: Better than your average chick flick.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 5.8/10. (A lowish 6/10.)
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. She liked it more. Makes sense, since it’s a chick flick.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.5/10 — less than both of us (which is normal), Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (higher than both of us–odd). (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 2.7/5 stars, which is pretty damn close).

RECOMMENDATION: Watch this if your like chick flicks, or if you REALLY like Nicole Kidman. Or if magick interests you. But beware, it’s a total chick flick. Better than most chick flicks, though.

SIMILAR MOVIES: I don’t care to think about it.

MOVIE QUOTE: Aunt Frances Owens: My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage!
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Here’s a story. The time I may have almost died. You see, we didn’t know that the boiler had to have its chimney swept from time to time, just like a normal fireplace chimney.

house_gutter-51

must also be cleaned from time to time

One night, I was sleeping downstairs. The year was around 2001 or so.

20051008 - camping rained out again - party at Clint & Carolyn's - 100-0029 - Stacy, Clint passed out

this story happened about in this exact spot here

The music that is normally playing 24/7 in our house stopped.

I awoke to the beep of a carbon monoxide detector going off. It took awhile to wake me up.

I woke up, and the house was full of smoke. Sick, choking fumes. Burning heating oil (which is the same thing as diesel truck fuel).

Freaked out, opened up the door, ran upstairs and turned the thermostat down so the boiler would turn off. Possibly used the emergency cut-off switch (red light switch), but probably not.

20051113-party-downstairs-1513

This is the room I was in (sans addition), and it was about this smokey.

We had to call a chimney sweep and have them service our boiler’s chimney before we could use it again.

And the reason I heard the carbon monoxide alarms? Simple: The smoke had gotten thick enough to obscure the laser on the CD player.

house990204Mvc-634fboiler

angry old boiler from 1930s wants you fucking dead

In fact, the CD player never worked right again. Not Carolyn’s 100 disc changer, not my 200 disc changer. Best Buy fucked me on the warranty too, refusing to replace it on the 4th repair by retroactively declaring the three previous repairs to simply be cleanings. $400 CD player + $30 warranty, and it had only lasted 4 or so years.

199811 - Clint's room - before moving out - hardware stuff - b4c7

This seems to be my only picture of my 100-disc changer, which is the bottom black component on the huge stack of hardware on my TV here. I think the VCRs are the only things still alive in 2010 (when I wrote this post).

This experience saved me some money. I permanently stopped patronizing Best Buy, except for that time I did something that profited me and screwed them. Can’t say what it is. I permanently stopped buying CD players. I decided I’d never purchase a standalone hardware player again. This experience is ultimately what moved me to mp3s.

And mp3s? Way more rewarding than CDs. You actually get statistics, you get instant access to everything, you get amazing playlists. Nine years later, I’ve finally created the proper programs, infrastructure, systems, and best practices to get the most out of my mp3s. It took a decade, but I got used to doing things the mp3 way. I now feel I have more control over what I listen to than ipod users, or even other people who have mp3s. Explaining the whys and hows would be kind of boring.

But anyway, out of the ashes of our boiler’s stinky oil smoke, rose a new way of doing things. We have a heat pump now, too. This story can never repeat itself–for multiple reasons.

20081231 - 2008 music graph - top 15 - OVERVIEW / LESS DETAIL - 2wk - min zoom

only possible with mp3s -- you can't do this with analog music listening habits. No automatic data logging!

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 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: Like the last movie, but relating to the Civil War instead of the War Of Independence.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Guy kidnaps president; bad guy dies because of his own lies.

PEOPLE: Same as the last movie, but with the addition of Jon Voight‘s character’s ex-wife Helen Mirren (Inkheart, The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover, 2010, Caligula), and a new bad guy: Ed Harris (A Beautiful Mind, Christof from the Truman Show, Creepshow 1).

QUIRKS: See also: National Treasure 1. Treason, treasure, lies, conspiracy, all that jazz.

MORALS: Treason is sometimes necessary!

BAD STUFF: Mom & Dad relationship: Corney. Both generations having relationship problems: Totally contrived, so that the events of the movie could be related to a romantic subplot that gets solved. Pffft.

And definitely more plot holes than in National Treasure 1.

CONCLUSION: Still an entertaining popcorn movie, but, like many sequels, it did not live up to the original. Less interesting history, too. And more made up: The Mudd story is just wrong.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (a low 4). IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.5/10, Netflix: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.4/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: If you need a generic popcorn action movie, or liked National Treasure 1.

SIMILAR MOVIES: National Treasure 1 :) And 3 is coming out in 2011.

MOVIE QUOTE: Riley Poole: So, what’s new with you?
Ben Gates: Well, my girlfriend kicked me out, I’m living with my dad, and my family killed President Lincoln.
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 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: A “treasure protector” history buff has to steal the [highlight for spoilers] Declaration Of Independence from the U.S. government — before the bad guys do.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Government property stolen, damaged.

PEOPLE: Starring Nicholas Cage (who we just saw in Kick-Ass), Diane Kruger (Bridget Von Hammersmark in Inglourious Basterds, Helen from Troy) (she did most of her own stunt work in the car chase scene!), and Justin Bartha (Doug Billings from The Hangover) as the good guys. Bad guys played by Sean Bean (Boromir from Lord Of The Rings, Zeus from Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Silent Hill, Odysseus from Troy, Equilibrium), David Dayan Fisher (3 eps of 24), Stewart Finlay-McLennan, Oleg Taktarov (Predators).

Also with Harvey Keitel, Jon Voight (Transformers, Four Christmases, Zoolander, Deliverance), and a bit part by Christopher Plummer (Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus, 9, General Chang from Star Trek 6, Van Helsing from Dracula 2000, 12 Monkeys, Wolf, Dreamscape).

QUIRKS: A history action-adventure movie. By Disney — so expect them to use a taser where other movies would show one getting shot to death. And expect some corniness. History. Riddles. Mystery. Chase scenes.

The initial cut was 4 hours long. Wow. I wonder what that was like…

Also: Watch carefully: Good guys use Google, bad guys use Yahoo. Funny!

VISUALS: Some neat sets. Treasure.

MORALS: Sometimes you have to do the wrong thing for the right reason. Or, more accurately: Sometimes what would be considered the wrong thing is really the right thing.

POLITICS: Freemason/Knights Of The Templar conspiracy!

GOOD STUFF: They made history interesting! I mean, it already is; but it’s very easy to forget that. History typically doesn’t drive an action-adventure movie, unless it’s The Mummy or Raiders Of The Lost Ark. And those movies are really more on the mythology side than the history side.

BAD STUFF: It had a few corny moments. It’s kind of to be expected, what with it being a friggin’ Disney movie and all. The very ending was kinda corny. There was an embarrassing emotional outburst or so. The very idea of a history-driven adventure is automatically a terrible idea as far as some people are concerned.

CONCLUSION: I’m always a bit hesitant with Disney movies, but this movie actually made history interesting. (Of course, history is already interesting, and a lot of the history in this movie is made up. That definitely helped.) If you don’t mind something family-friendly and occasionally corny, this was a decent action-adventure.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (a low 4 stars). IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. That 7 sure was difficult for her to decide on :) “As interesting as The Da Vinci Code.”

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.9/10, Netflix: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.3/5 stars). Netflix seemed to have thought that we wouldn’t like this as much as most people (i.e. the “Disney audience”?) In a sense, they were right, especially with Clint’s 3.6.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like history, and don’t mind family-friendly adventure, this is a decent popcorn flick.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Da Vinci Code, The Mummy. And of course, National Treasure 2 and 3 (2011).

MOVIE QUOTE:

Ben Gates: If there’s something wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.

Ben Gates: A toast? Yeah. To high treason.

Ben Gates: Of all the ideas that became the United States, there’s a line here that’s at the heart of all the others. “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for their future security.”

Riley Poole: Who wants to go down the creepy tunnel inside the tomb first?

COINCIDENCES: (National Treasure 1, Flapjack #301B:Mayor May Not) 2 videos in a row involving the main characters taking control over important historical documents that founded their nation-state.

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/yard sale sign/

SUMMARY:

Got up around 7:25AM, made it out driving by 7:54AM, and went out until 12:57pm for a total of 5h3m hours (AGAIN?!) (3h24m spent driving, 1h39m spent at sales).

Spent $26.25 plus ~$15.52 gas for 56.6 miles of driving (14 mpg @ $3.84/G), for a total cost of $41.77.

We drove to 40 yard sales, stopping at 25 (62%) of them.

We made 17 purchases (31 items) for a total estimated value of $320.02, leading to a profit/savings of $278.25.

20130525 - yardsale booty - our booty - IMG_5179

So in essence, we multiplied our initial investment by 7.6X.
(Also, if you think about it, the profit counts for even more when you consider that we have to earn $317 on the job, pre-tax, in order to take home the $278 in cash that we saved here. How long does $278 of disposable income take to earn, vs the 5 hrs we spent here?)
Anyway, this works out to a *post-tax* “wage” of $55.10/hr as a couple or $27.55/hr per person.

COMMENTARY/ANECDOTES:

Clint’s back hurt, so Carolyn drove this time. Clint did the navigating, gathering of stats, and counting how many yardsales we hit and drove by. Usually the situation is the opposite.

Twice, Carolyn took 4 seconds to notice the light turning green (left turn green arrow, the rarest of all greens!). She needs to pay more attention. I’d have beeped if I were behind her :)

20130525 - yardsaling - Silly Boys, Jeeps are for Girls - 20130525_093743

We saw the solar system floor puzzle we bought last year.

“Yardfishing” looked like an interesting game, but we didn’t buy it.

We passed on some items, too: Simon & Garfunkel vinyl, a banjo that was also a tambourine for $3, smallest cello ever (it seemed way smaller than a normal cello). We also almost got a gavel after talking about how we didn’t have a gavel during a recent hangout, but decided against it in the end.

Carolyn missed $20 “cat walk” thing because she wouldn’t get out of the car, sitting in it, for like TEN minutes. Carolyn… If I’m at a sale that long, that means its good… So get out and join me! (She does this sometimes.)

“He puts the kid in skid.” – Clint’s comment about a kid who was running towards the street, who skidded and fell over. Carolyn was laughing for awhile about that comment.

Every year, we are reminded that “If the signage sux, so does the sale!” Particularly true today. If there is a mis-spelling, or a lack of arrows creating an ambiguity — it’s a virtual guarantee that the actual stuff at the sale will be shitty as well. Stupid people don’t have good stuff. Smart people do.

Awesome kitty cat pet session interupted by rustling in the bamboo. (It was a seal-point himalayan.) That cat was so friendly. The old lady told us how the cat was missing for 3 years and then she got it back because of its microchip. Her house was built in the 1700s, before Mount Vernon. Some of the windows did indeed look old.

THE BOOTY:

  • $5.00: throw, electric, red plaid, Sunbeam, M85AP E23623SP (EV:$29.96) – We already have one of these, but sometimes we had fought over who gets to use it, so it doesn’t hurt to have another.

  • $5.00: razor, electric, Philips/Norelco, 7145XL. (EV:$50.00) – We had recently spent $26.76 on replacement blades for Clint’s very similar razor

20130525 - yardsale booty - Iron Man Robot, Boba Fett bobblehead - IMG_5182//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

  • $4.00: action figure, Iron Man, walking, talking, shooting rockets, remote control for your wrist, large, 12.75″ tall, 9 joints, 2009, MVLFFLLC, ours is missing the two shoulder guns and 1 of the missiles (EV:$13.00, but ours has the remote and 3 missiles) – Here’s a review that is pretty accurate: “He falls and he falls a lot.” They even have a video. Theirs walks more than ours did. This thing is pretty funny, though.

  • $3.00: sheets, queen-sized, blue, 1 fitted, 1 regular (EV:$20.98) We needed a queen-sized fitted sheet because one of ours had ripped, and another is slightly too small for our bed.
  • $2.00: game, top bowling game, Mespi Kegelspiel Birilli Skittles Jeu de quilles, art. 14500, http://www.mespi.com/ (EV:$98.90 euros = $130.94) – really hard to believe this is worth that much, but apparently this game originally came out in 1920, and that may be the price for an original. Still, I couldn’t find this, and some niche person who really holds this in nostalgic value might actually pony up that money. I’ll call this $50 to be a bit conservative.

  • $2.00: vent/register covers (2), wood, 13.5×5.5″ (2@$1.00/ea) (EV:$19.99*2=$39.98) – Unfortunately, these were too big to fit in our vents. Who can use these?

20130525 - yardsale booty - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cups, Batman cups, VHS tapes - IMG_5181

  • $1.00: game, mystery game, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, still in wrapping, Sleuth Productions LTD, SL-100 (EV:$24.99, but ours is shrink-wrapped) – Could be interesting to host a murder party.

  • $1.00: game, Game Of Life: Indiana Jones version (EV:$19.99) – We got this with Steve in mind, but y’know what? This is a totally different game from the normal game. We’re gonna have to play this, actually!

  • $1.00: lightbulbs, (8@$0.12 each) (4 75watt, 4 100 watt) (EV:$4.37 for 6, so $0.73/each, so $5.83) – Not as good as the deal from Home Depot where the lightbulbs were $0.10 each, but still a good deal

  • $1.00: bobblehead, Star Wars, Boba Fette, Funco 2008 (6.25″ tall) (EV:$8.19) – Well, my name is Boba Fett, you know my shit is tight.

  • $FREE: toy, Pengiun, car, 1991, 3.125×2.375″ (EV:$0.99) – We already had this. Oops.

  • $FREE: toy, Batgirl, car, 1991, 3.625×2.25″ (EV:$0.99, but ours isn’t inbox) – We already had this. Oops.

  • $FREE: cup, Batman Returns, Batman & Catgirl, McDonald’s 1992, 5.625″ (EV:$8.99) This guy was getting rid of all his plastic cups from back in the day.

  • $FREE: cup, Batman Returns, Penguin & huge rubber ducky, McDonald’s 1992, 5.625″ (EV:$9.49)

  • $FREE: cup, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2), 5.125″, Burger King, 1990 (EV:$11.49, but we only have 2, not 3, so $7.66)

  • $FREE: ice trays (2) (EV:$2.00) We have enough ice trays now, but we thought maybe Clint’s work can use these, or Happy House.

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).

Have a random image:

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1 new photos uploaded just now (June 14, 2013 at 06:43PM).

If this post is fresh, take a look at my photostream here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/

If this post is old, look at the latest photo from this upload batch here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/9046146828

RELIGION: Catholic school fires teacher because she’s a domestic violence victim

Victim-blaming is one of the worst things about humanity.

Religion is pretty high up there, too.

Put the two together? And you end up punishing victims who dare assert their rights and speak up.

It seems the world, in general, wants you to just quietly skulk away if you are a victim.

LINK URL: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/13/catholic-school-fires-teacher-because-shes-a-domestic-violence-victim/

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