Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm thinking of changing a flight next month and American Airlines is screwing me. There's a $150 change fee!!!! Crazy! I can get an entirely new one-way flight for less than that! Now I'm trying to figure out a way to not use my return ticket while also screwing AA out of giving away my seat.

(from a forum discussing whether King of the Hill makes fun of the South)
Drocket: Seriously, just look at the characters in Kind of the Hill:
Hank: A staunch Bush supporter, Hank is constantly misunderstanding just about everything that goes on around him because he's stuck in a fantasy-land of 'traditional American values.' Every other episode has Hank spend the first half failing to notice a problem until it smacks him in the face.
Peggy: A smarmy know-it-all who's a complete idiot.
Bobby: Also an idiot, Bobby wants to be an actor/comedian, which horrifies his father. Bobby regularly gets into 'liberal'-type situation, which cause Hank to freak out.
Luanne - a blond idiot
Dale - a paranoid idiot
Bill - a bald idiot
Boomhauer - unable to say anything even remotely comprehensible. May or may not be an idiot

Monday, June 27, 2011

I saw X-Men first class yesterday. I would have skipped on it and tried to see Thor instead but Kate Reid wanted to see X-Men. It was okay. Actually, I'll go ahead and say it was decent. Marvel comics movie tend to rely heavily on CGI and comic book fan pandering. Xavier makes a stupid joke about his hair, or Xavier and Magneto walk into a bar and Hugh Jackman (as an unnamed Wolverine) tells them to get lost, and the theater audience ate it up like a new episode of Seinfeld. That and there was a tedious 10 minute scene where all these characters are sitting together and they go around in a circle showing off "what they can do." Ugh, shoot me now. 10 minutes of bland "stand back!" dialogue and CGI, but luckily it was all inter-spliced with scenes of Xavier and Magneto actually moving the plot along somewhere else.

My biggest problem with the movie is this character called Banshee. He's sort of a weird looking guy, and I remember him a little from the comics but I never paid much attention to him. His talent is to make noise, and I guess he has some internal sonar too, okay whatever. But he can also fly by making noise at the ground. One of the characters says that so long as he makes supersonic sounds, it'll let him fly. How could you even think that is plausible? Supersonic means faster than the speed of sound. How do you make sounds of different speeds? Well, you don't. There is only one speed of sound. Unless you're controlling the air temperature/pressure. And how would a sound keep you afloat? Answer: it couldn't. The comic book writers have confused sound with wind, and the two are not at all the same. Sound is just a vibration, it won't push things over or kickback at you like shooting a gun. If your mouth was blasting the air that carried the sound in it, then it would take a noticeably long time to even hear the person talking from across the room.

So I didn't like Banshee. Beast's feet were super gross and they were heavily featured. Mistique's constant self-pity was boring, but I guess that was necessary to have her shift from Xavier's sister to working for Magneto. The whole "everyone's mutation is different" premise has seemed stupid since high school, as has having a mutation that lets you do physically impossible things like control magnetic forces or read minds. But the movie only threw these things in your face some of the time. And there were a few inspired moments, like with the Navy captains who are reluctant to start world war 3. So I'll give it a B for what it was, a comic book movie. I don't have high hopes for Green Lantern, but I still want to see Thor at some point.

(from a star trek forum)
Bryan: I still chuckle over a scene in the "Gambit" episode when the Enterprise detains and inspects a small Klingon transport on fairly flimsy legal grounds. At one point, Worf tells Crusher "we could claim [his] computer was generating unusual signals" as a pretext for a more thorough search than the law allows. It's nice to see situational ethics aren't limited to humans.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I watched Something the Lord Made, which I thought was going to be a Christian movie, but it's not. It's about doctors at Johns Hopkins. Some good acting by Alan Rickman and Mos Def and some decent dialogue. Nothing super memorable. For me, the most striking thing is how important it is to these doctors that they be referred to as "doctor".

When Mos Def is first talking to Alan Rickman he calls him "sir" a few times, and each time Alan Rickman says "call me Doctor." Mos Def couldn't be called Doctor because he hadn't gone to med school, and his honorary doctorate at the end of the movie was like the tear-jerker Rudy moment, because until then he could not be addressed as Doctor. Mos Def stuck out because that's how doctors talk to each other: "Hello Dr. _" "Dr. _, would you hand me that tool?" Never a first name. It's like a mutual ego-masturbation orgy when a bunch of doctors get together at the water cooler. "Hello Doctor!" "How are you, Doctor?" They kinda do the same thing in The Big Bang theory, where the PhDs all look down on Howard as not being a doctor. I get that it takes a lot of time and study to get a MD/PhD, but it seems very dumb to ascribe that much importance to your name.

I guess you can ascribe your sense of self-importance to anything you want. I know mine is entirely based on a combination of this full head of hair on my head and how good I am at Tekken. If all my hair falls out in the shower one day that will be exceptionally traumatizing. (I'd have to practice extra hard at Tekken to compensate.)

Puja said I could call her Doctor Puja if she ends up getting a phd. Funny, but I never will. I don't call anyone "Doctor" unless I'm talking about my doctor to other people, and it's because the function is more important than the name (in the context of the conversation at least), just liked I'd say "my boss" or "my mom" instead of giving out specific names. Nor do I call my coworkers "Examiner" though some of them are weirdos and insist on that when talking to attorneys. I've never been in the army, but they take their titles very seriously. I'm not sure how I'd handle that. There's a lot about the military culture I'd have problems with.

They should start making up titles for more things. People who have run a marathon should be granted a "Marathonus" title. And people who are better than me at Tekken should get a "King of the Iron Fist" title. (In the game story, the "king of the iron fist" is the belt you win when you beat the tournament.) King of the Iron Fist that will be the best title, obviously, because it takes good reflexes and a lot of years of practice to get this good at Tekken, and we could use the prefix "King" for short. -King Schell

(from Zombieland, caught this on tv today on Encore, which I didn't know was part of my cable tv package)
Tallahassee: I'm not great at farewells, so, uh, that'll do, pig.
Colombus: That's the worst goodbye I've ever heard, and you stole it from a movie.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I sure hope the beeping noise that the tractor across the street makes when it's put into reverse has saved lives somewhere. The beeping is louder than my alarm clock and the driver is just sitting with it in reverse, not even moving. If I had a knife I would stab something.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I watched the first two episodes of The Killing. I had read some good reviews but wasn't totally sure what to expect. The first episode was good and the second episode was decent, when it's actually about the murder investigation. For some reason they devote a major subplot to a mayoral candidate rooting out disloyalty among his staff. It starts out totally unrelated, becomes potentially slightly related, and then becomes totally unrelated again. But we keep following his campaign drama for like a third of each episode. And it doesn't amount to anything and it's boring. I also feel like the show's just getting asymptotically slower to drag the murder investigation out over an entire season. It's like the movie Mystic River, but in Seattle and 10 times slower.. and 1/3 of it is about this random unrelated guy running for mayor.

Also the main character lady detective is a smiley near-albino that you have to kinda squint to determine that she actually has eyebrows. But I won't let that affect my score.

Episode 1 (two parter, so technically the first two episodes): 7/10, Episode 2: 6/10. I'm not gonna watch any more of them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I wish I could smack whoever decided that every single desk in my office has to have a little pull out keyboard tray. That thing sticks out uncomfortable far, provides no wrist support, and kinda shakes because it has a flimsy hinge attaching it to the desk.

I would also lecture whoever decided that it needs to be 68 degrees in here. I know it's 90+ and humid outside, but we're inside! And we sit all day. I would be comfortable if I was 50 pounds heavier and on a high-sodium diet.

My final complaint: the permenant workers here have leeched all the good chairs from our temperary offices. I come into the office and end up sitting in something that has broken armrests, or today my chair has a back that's about half as tall as a normal chair. I don't mind it too much because it keeps me from falling asleep, but it's still not right to be only given the chairs that nobody else wants. I should take the worst chair down here up to a random office upstairs and switch it with a good one each evening.

I haven't written anything here in a while. Some quick movie/tv reviews:

127 hours - Pretty good movie. 8/10. I was worried it would be like Buried, but it turned out much better. Mostly because somehow the main character never broke down in dispair. He was like Hatchet, methodically going about surviving and trying to free himself.

I am Number 4 - This movie was terrible. Though the title is terrible and the preview is stupid, so what were you expecting. It's based on a series of kids books, and you can tell. Even Timothy Olfant cannot save it from its premise. The only good thing I can say is that things kept exploding and I didn't fall asleep. 3/10.

Tangled - Unmemorable but not bad. The male lead is the charming rogue, sorta like Aladdin, and the girl is like the little Mermaid or even Princess Jasmine. She doesn't really have much character. Neither does the guy actually, he's no Gaston. It had a few funny bits though, and I liked the horse. 6.5/10.

Star Trek 1 - I fell asleep watching this. Too many sweeping shots of, what in 1978 were probably good graphical effects, but are pretty terrible by today's standards. And the original Enterprise has to be the least asthetically pleasing thing floating in space. The plot felt like 2 or 3 episodes squished together, none of which were very interesting. 2/10. 4/10 if you're a star trek fan or 6/10 of you're a ToS fan. I've heard that only the even numbered star trek films are good, and that might be true.

Justified - I really enjoyed this show. It's like Nash Bridges, or even Walker, Texas Ranger, but Timothy Olfant plays the main character as being so smooth and friendly. Even the people trying to kill him like him. The first few episodes where he talks about having killed a guy as "It was justified" in that southern drawl will win you over. Season 1 is too episodic but season 2 is much better, and I liked the support characters in season 2. Season 1: 8/10, Season 2: 9.5/10.

I was looking through Amazon reviews of the movie Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and found one guy who game a detailed, positive review. And he sounded very reasonable and convincing. Then I click on his "other reviews" link, and find 12 pages of super long reviews of ANIME! Okay, I take it all back, clearly he and I have nothing in common. I'm not going to take movie advice from an anime fan. It's like getting tv show advice from someone who loves soap operas. I don't mind people watching anime, I just wish they would stay off the mainstream internet.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I've been watching Workaholics. I caught an episode a couple weeks ago because I was watching something else on Comedy Central and there was a commercial for an upcoming episode where the guys visit a gathering of Juggalos. I have a tender spot in my heart for ICP so I set my dvr to record the show and watched it later.

The show is surprisingly good, in a very crude, juvenile sort of way. It's like Aways Sunny in Philadelphia but the characters are slightly less malicious and much more focused on drugs.

I'm not really seeing many clips online but here is a really short one. If you can get past the super annoying, super loud comedy central ads. (Rogain ads for me, clearly not being seeded by my google search history.)

(forum about Achron, a strategy game where you can issue commands into the past)
Vexing: “After a classic pincer movement from 50 seconds into the future and 10 seconds in the past, Red counterstrikes with Aerial… no! The factory was destroyed 20 seconds ago, annihilating the future assault!”
Murray: As long as I get to say “Marty, you’re not thinking fourth-dimensionally!!” multiple times while playing
Malibu: The only winning move is not to play?
Daiv: Actually the only winning move is to already have won.