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May 29, 2007

Movie Review – Bug

Filed under: Movie Reviews — sbj @ 10:48 pm

I’m going to do this review in reverse and start out by saying it gets a 2 (a weak 2 at that) on the 1 to 6 o’meter.

Now for the caveats.   First of all, that 2 of 6 is based on entertainment quality and does not necessarily mean the movie was “bad”.  What it means is that the movie did not entertain and it left (I imagine) everyone in the theater going “huh”?  In the half filled theater I was in, there were at least 8-10 quite boisterous “huh”s.  The rest I’m sure were doing the same thing, more quietly or in their minds.  Many (including me)  stayed through the credits thinking something would be revealed there… don’t waste the time, it will not be.  Secondly, please do not take away my “guy card” because I said a movie with several minutes of nude Ashley Judd was not entertaining. I like Ashley as much as the next guy… in fact more than a lot of guys I suppose, but a little nudity here and there is not going to make this movie entertaining, nor its story line compelling.

This movie is a story, a particularly sad story.  Not what you typically expect from a horror movie, but, this is not a horror movie, any more than Schindlers list was.   Its sort of like one of those “based on the life of” stories, that is limited by reality and therefore lacking in the type of “excitement” and drama todays movie goers have come to expect… only, as far as I can tell… its not based on a true story.

Having said all that, if you have the stomach and  apreciation for movies that are “good”, despite a lack of improbable, overly  choreographed car chases, fight scenes, and plot twists; this movie, as a work of art, is better than decent.  It is a fictional (I think) account about things that really happen (hello… Tim McVie and Columbine, etc.) .  It does not gloss, nor does it preach, it simply shares itself with the viewer and lets them make up their own (in most cases, bewildered) minds.

If you are a person who appreciates movies for the art they can be, go see this movie.  If you are a movie goer who is looking for a nice escape from the 10 o’clock news and the rest of every day life,  this movie will leave you saying “Well, that’s two hours I’ll never get back” (that or, perhaps more likely… “huh”).

May 25, 2007

Kids…

Filed under: Conversations,Just life,Observations — sbj @ 2:53 pm

Had an interesting conversation at the Y yesterday.  I was sitting with a few guys, all a bit younger than me with children between 1 and 2.  The topic was the “terrible twos” and they were bemoaning this “era”.  They asked me if it was better when they get older, and I had to give some serious thought to whether to tell them the truth or not (these guys were clearly looking for a confidence boost, not a reality check).

I went the honesty route, and said (in my best old beer commercial voice), “Boys, it just doesn’t get any better then this” (this being what they were going through).   they looked at me like I was crazy, especially when I told them of how the boys largely took care of themselves (Preston handling much of what Shahien cannot yet handle).  However, the truth is, as I told them… when you are dealing with a temper tantrum, you are dealing with the here and now.  Its like having one of those cool jobs we all had in High School… when you punch in you are working when you punch out… work ceases to exist (gads, remember that!!!!).  Once they get older, its a different ballgame.  The issue are “real” ones, decisions and actions taken will effect the rest of their lives.  Of course, it is a lot more rewarding as well.

As I told them, its the best, most intimidating, most rewarding, most terrifying, most delightful journey you will ever take.  Make the most of every minute of it, as you cannot get any of them back!!!

May 24, 2007

Zero Sum game…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 9:54 pm

Here is what I think, as of now.  Use this thinking for comparison, my thinking will almost certainly vary!

I think all people (*all*) people when taken completely objectively, soup to nuts, A to Z, are equal.  Meaning that their attributes and deficiencies net out to the same “value” as any other person.  Some of these people may appear to be lacking, when evaluated against the very bias canvas of our society (or any other society), however, I do not believe there are any truly extraordinary people, nor are there any truly deficient people.

Again, there are people that excel within our societal structure, and those that you would be hard pressed to get past their lesser qualities to even begin to evaluate their strengths.  However, I do believe they are there.  The “golden boy”, smart good looking etc. is in most cases an ego maniac (and if not that something else) .  The complete ass hole with no redeaming social qualities to speak of, is a genius, or the most logical or practical individual alive, etc. etc. etc.

Its probably not the most original thought in the world, and most of the people I have floated it past do not agree anyway.  But it is my thought… at least for the moment!

May 23, 2007

Full Code Press

Filed under: Cool stuff — sbj @ 9:24 pm

Every once in a while, the internet produces something I think is really quite cool.  Enter fullcodepress.com (http://www.fullcodepress.com/about/).   These guys are having a contest in which web teams from different countries (New Zeland and Australia in the first annual edition of the contest, more planned for ’08) compete by completing an entire web site (soup to nuts) for a charity in 24 hours.  What a fun and great idea!

Blogroll…

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 8:44 pm

Okay, just getting started with this, but over the next week or so, I intend to get my blogroll up to speed, so… stay tuned!

Random thought for the moment…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 8:34 pm

Having read this for the 20,357th time (give or take 20,257):

“Young writers often suppose that style is a garnish for the meat of prose, a sauce by which a dull dish is made palatable. Style has no such separate entity; it is nondetachable, unfilterable. The beginner should approach style warily, realizing that it is himself he is approaching, no other; and he should begin by turning resolutely away from all devices that are popularly believed to indicate style–all mannerisms, tricks, adornments. The approach to style is by way of plainness, simplicity, orderliness, sincerity.”

–Strunk and White, “The Elements of Style”

I am, again, left with the idea that this advice, properly applied to life in general would serve mankind very well.

Lucky You – Movie Review

Filed under: Movie Reviews — sbj @ 7:40 pm

Note… this entry has a spoiler near the end!

First of all, if you are a poker fan and think you will see some cool poker footage, save the $8 (or 10 or 12 or whatever you pay for movies where you are) and watch poker on ESPN or something.  The poker is uninspired, predictable, and cliche (but good other than that).  The use of poker terms in everyday life is overdone (at least compared to anyone that I know that plays poker regularly).  Having said that, Drew Berrymore’s  (sp?) derisive use of “I’m making a good fold” was a good line.  Anytime an outsider can use someones inside terms against them in that type of setting, it makes for good repartee.

Most of this movie was predictable, down to the “big finish”… but there were a few nice turns to even it out.  I was quite pleased with the end <spoiler coming here> where after losing on purpose so that his father would have a chance to win it all, his father fails to do so </spoiler>.

D.B. was “eh” in her role and I did not like the male lead at all.  He’s the kind of guy I usually want to (but do not) punch and his personality matched his look to a T (which I guess makes it a good bit of casting).  You never really got behind him, wanting him to succeed.  In fact, I was actively rooting against him during his golf bet.

I see no reason to pay theater prices for this movie… but it should not inspire a “thats two hours I’ll never get back” if you rent it some night (especially if you have other things to do while watching).  I’d give this one a 3 out of 6 on the 1-6 scale of movie life.

Poker…

Filed under: Just life,Poker — sbj @ 3:10 am

So, I could get used to this poker thing. I have won the last three times I went and, combined, have brought in a full months salary. There was an interesting conversation at the table last night. One person after another was stating what they thought was the key to good playing. At which point, one of the dealers said, the key to good poker play, is being aggressive. If my last week is any indication, I would have to agree with him. I have decided that in order to win, I have to treat other peoples dollars as though they are not equal to my own. Their dollars are worth 10 cents to me, or so. In doing so, I become the aggressor, my bets become tools, not money I am attached to, and as such are free to fully work for me. It seems to be working for me thus far… we’ll see how it goes.

Medical Tests

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 3:05 am

Well, I can now say I have had an EEG and an MRI… two more things to cross off the “must do before I die” list.  Unfortunately, the top of said list is no worse for wear… oh well.

I really must get a chair like the one in the EEG room, I could have slept all day in there.  I’m quite sure I’ll be washing the sticky stuff out of my hair for a week however.

The MRI was interesting, it was not as loud as advertised, and I fell asleep in there as well.  The Doctor was getting massage while doing the tests (they have a mirror right above your head so you can look out of the tube), I want that job!!!!

Now I hurry up and wait for a call I hope never actually comes.

May 21, 2007

$250 million just to fix mistakes…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 9:12 pm

I’m really not sure where to begin with this.  Here is the link:

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9019950&source=NLT_PM&nlid=8

Here are a couple of clips:

The bipartisan immigration reform plan that was announced in the U.S. Senate this week would mandate the development of a national electronic employment verification system affecting every worker in the U.S.

… predicted that the government would have to spend $250 million over the first five years of a verification program compensating employees who lost jobs because of system errors.

I read that a couple time to make sure I had it right.  They are guessing $250 million, just to fix mistakes.  Mistakes that would result in legal, legitimate workers being displaced from jobs.  This is not the cost of the program, it is the predicted cost of fixing the predicted mistakes… in the first five years.  Ignoring the “big brother” aspect of all of this, and the clear and present danger of the slippery slope to a national ID card, are you serious… this is the best way you can think to spend public funds?

So, we have a nation of immigrants, trying to keep other immigrants out of the country.   So desperate, in fact, to do so, that they are willing to incur a little “employment fodder” (talk about taking one for the team) within their own ranks and $250 million in “repair expenses” (not idea what the ticket for the actual program is… too scared to research it!!!).  did we run out of intelligent people to run for office, or am I just nuts???

I’m never sure when it is or is not appropriate to write your congress(wo)man… but this seems like a good time to me.

Stomp the Yard – Movie Review

Filed under: Movie Reviews — sbj @ 8:09 pm

Note – there will be a couple of these coming in rapid succession, I had time while sick to take in a few films

Stomp the yard was in many ways not what I expected, but the plot line was exactly what I expected, I’m not sure why it is so impossible to think up a new way for this type of movie end… perhaps there is a bit of work for some clever soul there???  I expected a dance movie, ala drum line, but with dancing.  I did not get what I expected.  Refreshing, the kid was not as stereotypically “ghetto” as they usually are in these movies.  One of the best scenes is when his uncle is lecturing him.  His Aunt interrupts to ask the uncle to lighten up and the kid interjects “no, its fine, I’m listening”.  Nice to see that level of respect, and, he stayed withint that character throughout the movie.  He still had the temper and pride you would expect, but generally in a very respectful way… if that makes any sense.

The dancing was not what I expected at all… but it was certainly interesting.  There was also less dancing and more plot than I expected (if you are into calling that particular formula “plot”).  I was hoping for more dance… so this was a touch disappointing, but it was fine.

Overall, worth seeing… a 4 on the 1-6 scale (I expected to give it a 5… so not as good as expected, but still well worth the 3 bucks to rent).

I’m back!!!

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 7:54 pm

Well, it has been a few weeks and while I’d love to say it has been recreational or educational or something cool like that, it has not.  It has been sick time.  I have missed more sick time over the past few weeks than at any other time in my life (I missed two weeks in a row!!! I’ve never missed more than three days before, ever!).

Tomorrow I go in for an MRI and EEG.  They are going to try to prove the impossible… that there is nothing wrong with my brain.   It appears that these fine folks and their good intentions have never met me, I have not been right in the head since day one!

I do need to say this, I love Dr Asher.  He was patient, complete and informative.  He also went out of his way to give me as much information and strategy as possible, so as to reduce the need for repeated office visits.  In the unlikely event you ever need yoru head examined… this is your man!!

This is my ghetto fabulous son rock’n the living room:

It’s a camera phone, so it is a little fuzzy… but he’s pretty darn cute anyway!!!

As for me, as for now, its back to trying to catch up on two weeks of forced “vacation”.

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