Saturday, October 29, 2005

An Explanation and A Life Less Ordinary

Ok, I figured 3 things might have happened from my last post referring to someone's "trash novel".

1. No one would have read it. I see now that that didn't happen. :)
2. People would have seen the movie where I had placed the long quote from, therefore getting the humor of why I referred to anything as a trash novel.
3. The writer might have gotten offended - but I was hoping this wouldn't happen.

So, Cindy - my apologies for referring to what you are writing as a trash novel. I honestly hope what you write goes very well and I do hope you get published. Truth be told, I think even the thought of it came from trombonekenny's comment on your blog. - If you've seen "A Life Less Ordinary" and maybe you have, the running joke about Robert's "trash" novel I found hilarious at the time, because everyone seems to be able to predict the end of the book based on absolutely no information - even though he hadn't written it yet and he had given them about 3 tidbits of information. I guess looking back its just a running joke with myself - maybe Sarah will understand what I'm meaning too if she rents it this weekend and shares my sense of humor. :)

So, seriously, best of luck on your book. I was not meaning to offend at all and I could see how you might take it that way. I could never seriously write any book, especially a work of fiction. I'm just not creative enough.

So, for those of you who knew the movie - fantastic.....for those of you who haven't even heard of the movie I recommend renting it since it is fantastic. Truth be told, it is a romantic comedy in some respect - and it has some pretty big actors in it (Ewan McGregor, Cameron Diaz, Holly Hunter, etc). It is a little twisted, but an excellent movie nonetheless. I give it 4 stars.

Wendy and I saw "The Weather Man" which was a little slow but rewarding overall. I think almost entirely filmed in Chicago. I'll post something about it later tonight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Guess the movie....without using Google

Ok, everyone try to guess what movie this is from without using google or other means. I wanted to see who is l33t enough to remember this. (This should be easy). You get extra points if your wife is writing a trash novel (you know who you are), therefore the motivation for the clip. Tell her to worry about google's cache :) I'm totally kidding. Anyhow, on to the movie snippit:
ROBERT: She's the secret daughter...of Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy, right? I mean,that's why Marilyn was murdered.So,the young girl grows up in an orphanage...unaware of her incredible parentage. Years go by. She's beautiful. She's smart She's successful, OK?

MAN ON RIGHT: Then what?

ROBERT: Well,then... Then she gets sent to London as U.S. ambassador.

MAN ON LEFT: Where she discovers who she is...and also unravels the secret of the Nazi gold...hidden underneath the embassy.

ROBERT: Uh,yeah.

MAN ON RIGHT: It's kind of obvious, Robert.Of course it's obvious, guys. It's a trash novel.You buy it in the airport, you take it on holiday.

To prove you've actually seen the movie, tell me the profession of the men on the left and right. They are the same.

Big shout out to my sister Lana who turned 23 today. Happy Birthday Lana!!!
And here's your surprise - a picture of you on the internet...... :) Its the most recent one i've got.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Scottish Music

And I don't mean James Doohan in Star Trek II playing Amazing Grace on Bagpipes for Spock before he is about to shot into space and soft lands on the Planet Genesis.

Check out this song:

Its a free download from the artist's website for those who are superlegal. Its the full song.
The artist is David William - and he's Scottish. So - Scottish music. It still sounds fairly amateur and not overly produced but I'd say this guy definitely has got talent. I hope someone signs him so that he actually gets heard.

So how did I hear about him? Off of a podcast. I have 100% stopped listening to the radio. When I told everyone about mp3s when I first found them on the internet in August of 1996 - like the first week my freshman year in college - I know it would change everything. I've been listening to mp3s for over 9 years now. I'm saying right now those who are not listening to podcasts that you will eventually, one way or another. Some of the podcasts are being rebroadcasted on Sirius Satellite.

I don't care if you are in technology, you will one way or another be eventually affected by this. I can't see how this is a fad - there is enough different topics to listen to for everyone. I'm just glad there is almost zero advertising in it thus far. I open up iTunes, update my podcasts....and burn them onto a cd to listen to in my car for nearly a week.

So yeah, it is costing me like 10 to 15 cents per week - I have no problem with that. If I had an ipod - I'd be all over that.

I watched all of the episodes of Firefly now - and I am wanting more. Go out and see Serenity folks - it is worth watching and convinced me to watch 14 episodes of a show that was cancelled midseason. Poor marketing destroys some real talent from doing well. Maybe Serenity will allow this to be furthered.

I also had done a 3 paragraph tirade about "Proof", which was distributed in the poorest fashion I've ever seen. Great promotions back in August/September, and then it doesn't play in but a couple of spare theaters nationwide.
To recap my unposted post - good movie - a lot of parallels to A Beautiful Mind. I like this better. Gwyenth Paltow's acting is amazing in this. Everyone else is ok, but she is fantastic. After View from the Top I figured she had a screw loose, but this was fantastic. And it is set in Chicago.

And to anyone reading this - is adult life anything like you thought it would be growing up? I'm 27 now and realize my 20s won't last much longer. Is life just about going to work and daily activities? I'm sure everyone is thinking this. Reality has to hit each of us in a different way.

Maybe I should watch Office Space again.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Saw "Proof"

Last night Wendy and I went to see "Proof". I'm imagining a lot of people have seen trailers for this back in like August. I'm not even going to bother figuring out who did the distribution for this movie - but they are awful. This movie is only playing at one theater in the Raleigh area (we have like 10 movie theaters). Considering that I saw trailers all over the place before movies and on tv - why do all that work and don't do a wide release? It wasn't even available until the end of September at the earliest.

So anyhow, the movie. Gwyneth Paltrow - whom in general i'm not overly fond of, but don't have any serious issues with. Maybe it was "View from the Top" or something else, but she's definitely done movies I haven't been overly fond of. But there's definitely a lot of movies she's done that have been great as well. I guess the jury's out.

I don't want to give a lot away about the plot - you can go to IMDB for the basics. But overall I'd say the movie was quite good but had a lot of similarities to A Beautiful Mind. I liked Proof better though. The best part of the whole movie was Paltrow's perfomance. The plot was okay but thin at times. I've never seen here act better in my whole life. Anthony Hopkins was good as always, but not a huge departure from what he normally does.

I'd say go see it if you can. This movie is not going to do well in theaters, because well, it isn't in very many theaters.

Spreaking of the theater - instead of standard concession stand it had a Starbucks like thing and had options of getting wine or beer. I think you can get coffee at the theater. Didn't Kramer used to sneak coffee into the theater? :) How weird is that?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Carving Pumpkins Like a Pro

Apparently Dremel has got a tool for carving pumpkins. Here is a link to it on Amazon

Hey. I thought it was cool. If it wasn't out of stock I'd consider getting one.

And there's a new James Bond. I've got mixed thoughts about this. Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery are the only realy true Bonds to me. Obviously Connery because he was the original and he's just so damn cool, but Brosnan because the first Bond move I really saw was Goldeneye and still my personal favorite.

I heard a lot of people who were being cast for the role as Bond - Ewan McGregor was my personal choice even if he wasn't right for the role. Just because I want to see Ewan McGregor in as many movies as possible because he is so awesome.

For those of you that are running Exchange 2003 standard and need a larger information store Exchange 2003 SP2 is supposed to be out tomorrow October 18th. It might be available for download here. There's a mess of new features and fixes and if you are coming here to get your tech news I'd be really surprised.

Does anyone know had to add an RSS feed to blogs? :) I'd like to put up my netflix queue so people can see what I'm watching right now.

Monday, October 17, 2005

I'm bad luck, but its okay

So, for those of you who haven't heard (and live under a rock or don't live around Chicago) - the White Sox are going to the World Series for the first time since 1959. Now, I'm a die hard Cubs fan, but when one my home town teams is going to the World Series, I have to take notice.

Here a picture of me and Wendy at a Cubs game that Rich took us to in June. Amazing seats. Thanks again Rich!

And by a die hard Cubs fan I mean that if I were going to watch a baseball game - that would be it. But I'm no sport fan by any stretch except when home town teams are doing well.
And I can live with this. Besides, there are no major league teams in North Carolina.

To my point - I'm bad luck. Nearly every game I've gone to in my life the team I'm going for loses - seriously. Its almost 100%. Now, it hasn't been that many games in my life and it always is a good time, but still.

I guess as far as baseball goes, I have to leave the state for things to go better. We'll see if they win the series. I'm sure they will now that I'm gone!

If you haven't gone out to see it, go see Serenity. It is Sci-fi and pretty good. Its not amazing by any stretch, but its convinced me to watch all of Firefly, the now cancelled series it was based on (same characters, continued storyline, etc.). I'm off to go watch that on the treadmill now.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I'm back and New Digital Camera!!!!

Ok, I know its been forever since I've really blogged anything and I'm sure that no one is reading this, but the reason I haven't been around is -

1. My internet connection is been whack lately. Ended up being a problem with signal strength - and while it is working now, who knows who long it may be up.
2. I'm lazy
3. I forgot what 3 was for.

So - I posted earlier about the coveted Canon Powershot A620 - a 7.1MP point and shoot from Canon that is what i'm considering to be their top of the line point and shoot model. At least in the category I'm looking at. Digital SLRs are nice and I'd get one if it was in my budget. The Canon Digital Rebel XT is my personal choice for one of those, but I'm happy with what i've got now. I am coming from using a Canon Powershot A70, which I purchased in July of 2003 and has been a great camera and I still love it.

First of all I got it for $329 shipped - I'd like to see someone find that price right now on it. I got it from Dell with some coupon codes from It came to $304 (normally $399) - but after tax and shipping it was $329. I ordered it on Monday the 10th. With 3+ weeks estimated for shipping I was not expecting anything soon. I was surprised when it it showed up at work on Friday October 14th. Wow Dell, not bad.

I immediately noticed 2 things about the camera when taking pictures - The response time is like 3 to 4 times faster when taking pictures than my A70 - and the swiveling LCD is nice for all kinds of reasons. Lets reviews some spec of where I was coming from and where I went to with key features -

3x Optical Zoom/4x Optical Zoom
CF Memory/SD Memory

I'm sure there are more additional features, really too many for me to list in my quick review. Things like additional scene modes (fireworks, indoor, kids and pets, foliage, etc) , a movie mode at up to 60fps, etc. The biggest things I can saw is it's ability to focus isn't necessarily better, but tons faster. Even reviewing pictures on the LCD is tons faster. Also, for those of you who haven't seen this - the LCD can swivel out so lets say you are taking a picture of yourself and another person - who hasn't done this on a vacation? - you can actually see yourself on the LCD as you are taking the picture of yourself. And since the LCD folds back in completely it is protected from scratches when not in use.

I'm also really excited about taking some shots and being able to actually crop them and still blow them up and look good. Thats the only reason I went for the 7.1MP version as opposed to the A610 which I think is 5MP and somewhat less costly.

Ok, on to some sample shots. I'm sure that these won't show off all the features of the camera, but its still a good way to show some of it.

Note: I don't think any of these shots are actually at full res - so take it with a grain of salt. I don't blogger will not muck with any image you upload. You should be able to click on the picture to get something at least slightly higher res. Checking after I posted this images that were 5MB were uploaded and are now 200kb, so clearly you aren't seeing the image in all of its glory. Maybe I'll hit up Rich for some real hosting soon. :) I really have to start blogging more to justify that.

This first shot is the only one that blogger actually let me put up with the "large" picture setting. Its a picture of my backyard (yes, this is really my backyard) facing back towards the house. You obviously can't see the house obscured by the trees. Does anyone else feel that crazy lens thing happening when the eye of Sauron is looking for Frodo in the Fellowship of the Ring and he tells everyone to get off the road right before the Ringwraiths show up? Ok, just me.

A shot of the front of the house as taken from partly up the driveway with my trusty(or is that rusty - kidding) 1995 Pontiac Bonneville! I've actually been pretty happy with the car other than air conditioning issues and other minor things that have come up. Lets hope it lasts a couple more years!

The next two shots are to show its macro ability. I know the coin isn't in focus from top to bottom, but I was taking it an angle in a relatively low light situation on my desk. The 2nd picture was also somewhat low light, but it was outdoors before the sun had completely set. Neither of these photos have been cropped - this is how close I was to the objects.