Monday, November 17, 2008

More California Earth Shaky Goodness

I'm officially a Californian. I was awakened by an earthquake at 4:30 this morning. I rolled over, noted the time, thought "Hm. I wonder how big that one was." and went back to sleep. Of course, once I was awake, I needed to get the details. So, I looked it up here. It was a 4.1 and was about 30 miles from us. Nothing was damaged and the kids didn't even wake up.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Quantum of 'Splosions

The question is, which definition of Quantum am I using? Do I just mean "a particular amount" or "a large quantity"? You'll have to see the movie to find out. Mostly, I was looking for a play on words and that was the best I could come up with. I guess I'm not feeling too clever this morning. But I am feeling like writing a movie review, so read on if you want to know what I thought of the movie...

Overall, I found the movie to be an excellent addition to the Bond Franchise. It continues the shift away from the campier Bond that was begun in "Casino Royale", but it still had a decent amount of depth to it. It's not as good as "Casino", but Daniel Craig continues to move Bond along the road to the detached playboy that other actors have made him out to be. He's also a more mortal Bond. He gets cuts and bruises and doesn't bounce into the next scene fresh as a daisy. He's also a good deal more brutal than previous portrayals. He's not glib immediately after a life and death struggle. He is brooding and intense for a bit before he relaxes. In short, Craig reminds us that double-0s are not spies but spies with a mandate to murder. Additionally, Judi Dench is superb as M.

The plot was not overly complex, but flowed well and was tight and smooth. I didn't feel it dragging at any time. And none of my vociferous coworkers were bored enough to shout at the screen. There weren't many twists, but the ones that were present were satisfying.

My list of negatives is going to seem long, but that is only because I didn't want to give any of the good bits away. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but had a few issues with the direction.

The biggest complaint is the jump-cuts in some of the action sequences. It was as though they were trying to cover up bad fight choreography by making it hard to focus on the action. I'm sure it was a stylistic choice, but I didn't care for it.

I also don't think they used a couple of the supporting characters enough. They were there for a brief moment and then suddenly gone for a long stretch. They could have been woven in better.

My last complaint is going to sound silly, but hear me out. I thought one of the action sequences stretched the bounds of the reality they had created for themselves. That's right. I'm dinging a James Bond movie for lack of realism. The problem is that they moved back toward realism with much of the action. Sure, the stuff is fantastical and in some cases probably impossible, bet it was believable in the world they created. If you see it, and I encourage you to, let me know if you can guess which stunt was too much for me.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blog Bling Goodness!

I got an award! I am officially a "Superior Scribbler". I'd like to say I earned it due to my journalistic integrity and excellence. But that's not really what this blog is about. In this particular case, I got it because I entertain and amuse my friends. And really, that is better than journalistic excellence in my book.

So, what is it? Read on...

The "Superior Scribbler Award" was created by a high school journalism teacher for exponential love sharing and recognition for our fellow bloggers. It came to me from one of my oldest, dearest, and coolest friends: Stickthulhu over at Cthulhu's Family Restaurant. He received it for his observations, both humorous and serious on the state of our society.

The awards creator also laid down some rules for recipients:

- Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

- Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

- Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

- Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

- Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

As you can see, I've met all the conditions except the passing them on part. I even used Mr. Linky to add myself. I'm recipient #274, by the way. So, upon whom shall I bestow this honor? This is not easy, because many of the blogs I read have already received the award. I feel like the last guy to get in on Amway.

That said, the people I am awarding should not feel like they are just leftovers. I would actually break the rules and only give two or three before I gave the award to someone who was not worthy.

1) My BIL Daniel has an interesting blog about city planning called Beyond D.C.. It's primarily about the greater Washington D.C. area, but not entirely.

2) A good friend aliased Kitten Herder posts over at Hearding Kittens. We helped each other survive a challenging workplace together a few years back. Give her a read for insightful perspectives on politics, religion, and society, with the occasional family rant thrown in.

3) Barbie2be is a net friend I have never met in real life. We 'met' during my crazy stunts for breast cancer fund raising a couple years back. She lent me the now famous Pink Tutu. Her blog is an interesting blend of politics, causes, food, and personal struggles. I don't comment often, but I always read.

4) Another worthy blog is Staring at Empty Pages. Barry Leiba is well-read, insightful, and diverse. He talks about Mathematics, Logic, and Politics, but he does it in such a clear and articulate way. I don't always agree with him, but I often do. And even when I have disagreed, I've never felt he was misleading or dishonest.

5) My last nod goes to Obsidian Wings. I first found this blog through writer "publius" who had his own law and politics blog. He has since joined forces with a few other bloggers. Obsidian Wings is a great place to go for moderate oriented essays on law, politics, and society.

So, there you go! Congrats to all you scribblers out there. Spread the love!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The kids pointed me to these weird cartoons. Clearly, Charlie needs some better ways to cope with his unicorn tormentors. It's hard to pick the weirdest thing, but I'm going to go with "Magical Leopleurodon".

Charlie I

Charlie II

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Friday, November 07, 2008


My friend James pointed me to President-elect Obama's transition web site. On there, you have an opportunity to share your story, your ideas, and your vision for America. This is what I submitted:

This campaign, for me, has been about Hope. Not little 'h' hope, but big 'H' Hope. The kind of Hope that we rarely see. The kind that motivates people to believe. President Obama made me believe that anything was possible. Now I look forward to helping make that change real.

I honestly think that the biggest issue facing our country, the one that could stop us from overcoming any of the others, is the hate and fear that we have been experiencing over the last eight years. President Bush claimed he was going to be a uniter, not a divider. But there was no true reaching across the aisle. He reached across to invite his opponents to come to his side, not to meet him in the middle.

We have become so polarized as a nation that the speaker of an idea has become more important than the idea itself. We need to heal those divisions and build trust if we are to end the war, protect the country, or restore the economy.

I don't have all the answers for how to do that. I'm just going to try to listen to people I know who have a different view and understand what their concerns and beliefs are. When I respond, it will be to address their concerns, not to express my fears. What is it that Covey says? "Seek first to understand, then be understood."

I look forward to the next four years and hopefully four more after that.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Les Misbarack!

This one goes out to my theater homies.

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