Thursday, January 31, 2008

Down To Two

I know this is a pretty jaded crew, especially as regards the two-party system here in the US. But if you're taking a Democratic ballot and haven't decided yet for whom you're voting in your primary/caucus, check out the CNN Democratic debate from earlier tonight. It was the most reasoned, civil, substantive discourse on the real issues facing the country that we've seen this cycle.

Granted, it was an intramural lovefest, not a debate between people with fundamental differences, but it finally made me feel that I would be comfortable with either of these two as President, my reservations on issues of pragmatism, experience, personality, dynasty, and Bill notwithstanding.

Here's the transcript.

And finally, neither of them, when asked directly, would rule out the Dream Ticket option. Could it happen?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

This is Where Spike Jonze Comes From

Skateboarding videos and music videos allow for short form experimentation that filmmakers with huge budgets can't afford and rarely risk. Spike Jonze came from both worlds, producing some of most imaginative music clips in the past 20 years and one of the most influential (and abhored) TV shows. Jonze started out as a photographer for BMX magazines, before moving on to skateboarding videos, music videos and, finally, feature films.

He's currently collaborating with Dave Eggers on a live action version of Where The Wild Things Are.

The above clip wasn't produced by Jonze. It's from the skate video Fully Flared directed by Ty Evans, but it's a good reflection of Jonze's influence in the realm where he cut his teeth.

The music, by the way, is by M83, who are straight-up awesome.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Nearly 20 Years

Fugazi performing "Waiting Room." Then go check out a surprisingly un-sucky glee club covering the song.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

GTA IV getting closer

Dave is in the process of rearanging his life for the release of GTA IV. He pointed me to this footage. I still don't care; but that is just me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Can't Beat Air Man

Civilization: Revolution

I've only bought 1 game this year due to Gamerang rentals, Halo 3. There are 3 upcoming games, however, that have potential for high multiplayer replay value.

Civilization: Revolution - Civ on Xbox live? With reportedly intuitive controls? Where do I sign up? Any why haven't you guys been barking about this one?

Lego Indiana Jones - I'm having visions of competitive Pitfall here. With blowdarts!

Culdcept Saga - CG/Boardgame with a magic feel. minus the collectible aspect. Sounds like a winner to me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Real Clear Politics

This the most engaging election since I've been of age, because

A. A minority and a woman both have a legitimate shot.
B. The republican race is a cluster
C. My guy has been rallying

Anyway, this has quickly become my source of daily analysis, opinions and polls:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Building A Better Enterprise

Here's a new picture of the ship in dry dock, I'm assuming prior to its maiden voyage. Can't wait for some hot Pike-on-Kirk action. The new teaser for the J.J. Abrams reboot is running with Cloverfield (which is great, take a Dramamine, though) starting Friday and should be online Monday.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Righty Superhero With the Power of Free Speech

Funny that I was coming to post this when I read Qhorin's post. This guy, Ezra Levant, has become a conservative hero.

Quick review, he re-printed the anti-Islamic, or whatever you want to call them, Danish cartoons in a Canadian conservative rag. Specifically two Muslims were offended and asked the Canadian Human Rights Commission to force him to apologize. Well he isn't going to and he is posting his case, full of established law and comments about 1984, for the world to see. Interesting real life stuff.

He videotaped the whole interview/'interrogation', his words, and put it up on YouTube. It is 90 minutes total but has some great one liners. Obviously this is all from his perspective so you will have to find 'balance' on your own if you want that. But check out this post where he points out the hyprocracy of his foe and then refrains from being a hypocrate himself where he says, "Let me be clear:"

Here is a taste of the mission this guy has put himself on:

Real Superheroes

I'm speechless

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Air War"

This Crystal Castles video made me homesick. In Los Angeles all the ice cream heads skip work and dig for old records at the thrift store.

Crystal Castles
isn't putting their first full length out 'till march (grab Alice Practice while you can). But they're touring and they'll be visiting our fair town on February 28th.

Listen close to "Air War." Any group that uses the sound effect of Mario walking across the girders in Donkey Kong is aces in my book.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I See Three...Red...Lights!

My Xbox froze up a couple times today in the middle of "Tom Sawyer" then three or four more times while testing other games. I called MS and while on the call the console stopped freezing and just lit up. Three red rings.

That's three coffins for me over two consoles.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Michael Cera Interviewed by Zach Galifianakis

F-15 one wing short

And she lands safely anyway. Here you go Andy, it was an F-15. All I have is the link:


Something like this doesn't need all the cuts for dramatic affect. Just show the chase plane or the ground camera view.

Monday, January 7, 2008

American Gladiators is back

No I am not kidding that it is back and no I am not kidding by pointing it out here. It was on for two hours last night and will be on again tonight at 7. Thank you NBC. Now just in case you need one more reason to tune in tonight:

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Game Room Finished

We had some time over the holiday break to set-up a game room. Here's a couple of pictures of the ongoing obsession:

Flickr pics

Cookie Dune

My friends made a cookie version of the Dune board game. See the Flikr set here. The photos were taken by Erica, who did most of the construction and is now keeper of the sugary game board. Last word was that Erica has not yet eaten Arakkis. Jason provided game board data while Julia, according to her husband, mostly sat on the couch eating sardukar.

Friday, January 4, 2008

George R.R. Martin Update

There's a new post on his site. I'm beginning to feel sorry for the guy. He's trying to write an awesome book and must be inundated by people pestering him to finish the goddamn thing. Anyway, some points:

  • Potential for a Fall 2008 release (not in stone, of course)
  • New preview material from Jon Snow's Perspective
  • There will be a chapter written from the perspective of a character who has never had their own chapter, he gives a fairly explicit hint about who it will be
Make it good, Martin. I don't mind waiting.

CMP -or- how to get UPS to bing you a garand

I figure I'd throw up a bit of info on the CMP garand, where the government lets you buy surplus military rifles and has USP or Fedex drop them at your door, as we discussed earlier this evening. (Dock wisely choosing this as the best weapon of the allies in pretty much all WW II games)

You'll get a nice box like this.

Inside it will be something like this

BUT, you do have to go through some hurdles.

1. Show proof you are a US citizen

2. Show proof you are 18+

The FBI will then use this info run a check on you to make sure you are not a nutcase or criminal.

3. Show proof you won't shoot yourself in the foot (hunter safety course, or being a SEAL)


3. Be old. Somehow if you have lived to the ripe age of 60 they figure you are smart enough to be careful. They are probably right.

4. Belong to one of a long list of clubs, including some, like the Garand Collectors Association that you can sign up for online, pay $25 and get a monthly magazine.

Sign it in front of a Notary (like Tim) and you are all set.

Prices run from $450 for a beater that still shoots to $2500, I also see they are still selling IBM M-1 carbines as well.

And if you disagree with Dock and think the Mosin-Nagant the Russians were using was a fun one, well, you can get them cheap. I hear Mills Fleet Farm has them for roughly $120, or for a $25 transfer fee from a local sporting goods shop plus a $20 shipping and handling, you can order them dirt cheap off the net such as but your local shop is still going to make you jump thorugh all the legal hoops, that's why he charges the $25 fee.

UMM....dirt cheap soviet goods, makes me want to drink some vodka and eat some potatoes and starve some peasants...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Drunk History

The End of $120 Monster Cables at Best Buy?

Wireless HD is on the way. Added to cell phones, microwaves, wireless speakers and internet, our brain cells should be thoroughly cooked. Seriously though, I'm pumped for this - the rear of my entertainment center always looks like someone barfed up metallic spaghetti on it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Beware of Furries

The Minnesota Zoo has just released WolfQuest -- an education game that lets players create their own wolves and participate in typical behaviors like hunting and joining packs. The game's first chapter is called Amethyst Mountain. Grab it here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The New York Times on Joybubbles

Local phreaking legend Josef Engressia made the grey lady's list of most interesting people who passed in 2007. Story here.

Great Movies 2007

There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men are like a one-two punch to the gut. American filmmakers haven't produced work this great in a long, long time. See both of these movies as soon as you can.

Folks who don't hack their DVD players and nab movies from Yes Asia had to wait a year to see Korea's The Host -- a flick that somehow manages to meld Spielbergian family dramady with Korean cinema's inate talent for the dreary. And, yeah, it's an awesome monster movie.

My most anticipated, hyped and flogged-to-death movie this year was Hot Fuzz. I wouldn't shut up about it. Because, no matter what flaws it bears, it's a movie made with genuine love for trash cinema and it was executed with serious chops.

Screener season has allowed me to catch up on some of the better small pictures out this year. Michael Clayton is a laid-back legal thriller that never panders. If Hollywood continues to crank out small, smart movies like this the world will be a better place.

Into the Wild has been divisive. I come down on the side that sees its worthiness. The flick is a two-hour suicide -- we watch Christopher McCandless opt and flame out in a spectacular, selfish way. But it's hard not to admire the kid for the sheer force of will it took for him to walk away from all the love he found his way down the drain. I've admired Emile Hirsch since his role as the troubled skateboarding pioneer Jay Adams in Lords of Dogtown. He's in touch with the broken part of the contemporary teenage soul.

Rescue Dawn and Bug slipped past most folks' radar. Rescue Dawn is easier to recommend, because the story of survival and escape is so universal. But Bug (the first really good movie from William Friedkin in ages) deserves a look because it got such a raw deal. The studio sold the picture as a horror flick, when it's really the claustrophobic (after five minutes you can tell it was based on a play) story of two addicts going insane in a hotel room.

The more Zodiac sits with me the more I admire the restraint David Fincher exercised in adapting Robert Graysmith's books about the killings. Okay, so the movie is around three hours long. But look back at all the cinematic tricks Fincher has been known to pull in flicks like Fight Club, Panic Room and Se7en. Zodiac is his most mature work and one that relies not on instant gratification, but prolonged engagement.

I'm a card carrying member of the Cult of Apatow. Movies like Knocked Up and Superbad take me back to the times when comedies were smart, dorky and lewd -- a healthy mix of the high and low brow. I can't wait for Apatow to make his Ghostbusters.

It saddens me that Ratatouille barely grossed more than Toy Story and A Bug's Life (it's number eight out of ten in Pixar's string of hits). It feels like the most personal movie the studio has made. I guess asking audiences to get down with a kids movie about making art is a lot.

My favorite flop this year was Grindhouse. I'm glad I caught the movie as a double feature with a rowdy (frequently confused) audience. It's obvious that America is not yet ready for cinema experiences this meta. But damn if they didn't laugh at the trailers, cringe at the gore and gasp ever time Zoe looked as if she was going to lose her grip in that final car chase. Why do so few movies give us this wide range of emotions any more?

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