Thursday, May 29, 2008

A lazy backpacker's dream!!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Dentures

I took the family out last night to watch the new Indy film (that is my photoshop handywork by the way... it occured to me though that I could have just left Harrison Ford's face in there to get the same effect). As you can see I did have a problem or two with the movie but I also enjoyed it quite a bit. The main and obvious problem was getting used to the idea of an "old" Indiana Jones. The movie takes place in 1957, so Indy is supposedly 21 years older than he was in Raiders. I will admit that after the first scene Harrison really got back into part and you mostly forget that he's an old fart. Marrion Ravenwood on the other hand really failed to come close to the younger, tougher Marrion of Raiders. It isn't that she looks older (which she very much does), she just didn't act the part as well... and there were a couple scenes where they are both just acting goofy (the scene where they first meet... hhhhhhhhhhh... ) and not at all in character. You could say that people change as they get older, but Indiana Jones as do most icons has certain character traits that define him and should really NEVER change.

The premise of the movie is no more far fetched than any of the other three films so you won't hear me once complain about the plot. It was actually about on par with the first three movies and from a plot perspective I was very pleased and indeed entertained. The effects were well done but hard to get used to... I had the same trouble with watching the Starwars prequels because it is obviously a completely new world when it comes to movie effects and when the originals were made, stop motion capture was the device inspired directors used to bring fantasy to life. This movie was (aside from the afore mentioned stumbling blocks) pure Indiana Jones though. Exhilarating chase scenes, exaggerated natural dangers and of course lots of BAD guys are all incorporated into every Indy movie and this one does not lack. The supernatural/religious theme which features in the previous three films though is now replaced with an alien theme, but it works the same and just as effectively. Again the biggest thing that feels different with this one is that it takes place in a newer more modern world, but it still works I think.

So 4 out of 5 stars for me. It is worth seeing in theaters, but you might try catching it on a week night at AMC since you only have to pay $5 a ticket.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Old wounds have been opened... ranting proceeds forth...

With the release of a new Narnia film, discussions of screenwriters' license arise with it and the bitterness of past releases inspires me to look back.

Return of the King... Just one example but a sad one. An example of arrogance. The arrogance of one Kiwi who felt that he was a great enough director to literally rewrite a great book in his own image. This blog could take days to write if I were to cover every travesty of dialog so I will force myself to post only one example.

Here is Peter Jackson's version of one memorable scene in the story... the gaps are filled in with CGI:

- WITCH-KING: "Feast on his flesh!"
- EOWYN: "I will kill you if you touch him!"
- WITCH-KING: "Do not come between the Nazgul and his prey!"
- WITCH KING: "No man can kill me . . . Die!"
- EOWYN: "I am no man!"

Here is J.R.R. Tolkien's lovingly crafted prose from the same scene in the book:

'Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!'
A cold voice answered: 'Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.'
A sword rang as it was drawn. 'Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.'
'Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!'
Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. 'But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.'

You be the judge.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Two uninvited guests joined me on my bike ride...


Get it? I had a charlie horse... in my foot! Fortunately it was only for the last mile and a half of a 12 mile ride. I slept in this morning so I got the miles in this evening, which was very nice. Weather was perfect! Cool but not windy with full sun. I noticed something about my neighborhood though; wild onion is apparently a very common weed (technically a herb, it is considered a weed by many home owners) in Raytown. I smelled it strongly at at least 8 different places in my 6 mile loop. Most were yards of the unkept variety.

Another observation I could make is that I've discovered a third type of driver when it comes to bicycling. I was already aware of the annoyed/hostile driver who is offended that you would dare take up their lane without a combustion engine. The other type (my favorite) are the drivers who actually seem to understand that we bikers have a right to the road and will politely drive behind until they have a chance to pass, which they do giving ample room. Now there is a third type... the "Oh dear it is a bicycle... what do I do?" driver. These people will drive 10 feet behind you all the way down the block and sometimes will not continue on until I wave them by. These are 100% of the time older folks. Now perhaps they are just honestly not in a hurry and remember the days of horse drawn carriages... who knows, but it irritates the crap out of me when some car is tailing me. Makes me nervous too.

To all drivers... give bikers a break. Wait until you can pass and then do so without trying to run them off the road. Older drivers, please follow the previous advice and do not stalk innocent bikers.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Better than a sea bass...

- "You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here! What do we have?"

- "We have a mutated, ill-tempered AC-130 Hercules!!!"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New drumheads

I'm anxious to get these installed on my church's drumset. I bought a new set of top and bottom heads for all the drums. The old heads have to be at least 3 years old and sound like, well... 3 year old drum heads.

For anyone who cares... I am using Aquarian Response 2 for all the top heads except for the bass drum which has a Super Kick II with Classic Clear heads on the bottom. I also put a set of new wire snares on my brass piccolo snare.

Tonight I ought to be able to get all the drums tuned up and ready for Sunday. Hopefully people will hear the difference... I know I will!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


12 miles today but it was chilly. 50 degrees = 40 degrees downhill!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tetris fans (but who isn't?)

And now I have work...

What a difference a day (and a powerbar) makes...

I jumped up to 11 miles this morning! I am still toast , but not the scored carbon kind of toast; I'm more of a light to mid-dark toast. I won't have to scrape myself with a butter knife for instance. Now that is likely a good example of how to take metaphor too far.

So anyway my big question is: Was I just having an off day yesterday or did the powerbar really make that big of a difference? If time were not a constraint I could have gone another couple miles today I think. I have to conclude that it was the powerbar because yesterday I just went out with a bottle of water and whatever carbs I ate the night before. As a thank you to the powerbar people... here is my free advertisment:

Powerbar Harvest! Wholegrain goodness, providing energy for the short run and nutrition for the long run. Available at Hy-Vee, Wal-Mart, Price Chopper, Henhouse and try our new variety pack at Sam's Club!

**These are actually a good deal if you get the 24 pack. The bars come out to about $.80 per bar which is a bit cheaper than Clif bars (and these are just as tasty).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

6.5 miles and toast

Actually perhaps if I'd had some toast beforehand I wouldn't be toast right now. Apparently it has been a long winter and if you don't excercise you lose things like... endurance, stamina... fatlessness. Last Fall I was doing 12 miles easily and my longest ride was just shy of 26 miles. I am not boasting since I am an amateur and real bikers achieve far greater distances... but like I said, I am noob.

- This is my Fuji bike. Again nothing to really boast about, but it does the job for me (and mine is actually blue and white).

So six and a half miles completely wiped me out and I am a little sad about that. It is actually a little hard to type right now and you'd be surprised if you knew how many typos I have already corrected. Well enough with the pity party. I have to get back into shape so I can start riding to work to save the planet from CO2 poisoning. Just kidding... although I will say my motivation to start taking the bike 11 miles across town each day IS almost entirely green. And that of course would be the green of hard currency remaining in my pocket rather than filling the already extremely large coffers of big oil. The other portion of my motivational drive is the afore mentioned fatlessness I wish to attain.