Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fearsome Imperial Weapon Repurposed

Wookies have stripped the armor, weapons and associated systems and adapted an Imperial AT-AT into a forest canopy observation platform.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Macaroni Grill Crayons

I was surprised to see that they are real Crayola crayons. (Forest Green, Blue and Brick Red according to my 64-count box,)

Harry Potter is in the air

Someone named happyhufflepuff commented on this blog and I thought maybe I found one of Harry's toys at Value Village:

But then remembered that he graduated from Hogwart's before Bionicle came out and yes I know it's not real because he wasn't allowed toys. Or live in Seattle. But!
If Harry Potter was going to have a muggly TCG, I think he would prefer one featuring amnesiac robot monsters on a tropical isle over D&D seeing as one is fantasy and the other one is Fantasy otherwise it would be something of a workman's holiday sort of diversion, wouldn't it?

INT. BASEMENT Teenagers sit around a card table crowded with books, paper, pencils and Mountain Dew.
MUGGLE TEEN ONE: I've just rolled up a Chaotic good paladin. What are you, Harry?
HARRY POTTER: I'm a powerful wizard with a hidden origin.
MUGGLE TWO: Use the dice, dipwad.
DUNGEON MASTER: Role-play, Harry. Remember what we talked about about how imagination can seem real?
HARRY POTTER: (to dice) Rollio!
MUGGLE TWO: What's that work out as?
DUNGEON MASTER: (checking rule book): Huh. "Wizard. Unknown alignment. Level 12."
MUGGLE TWO: Every freaking time. What are the odds?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Salad spinner is clearly awesome ...

... but using one to prep homemade hashbrowns is the best thing ever. Unless it's said in German via Google translate:
Hausgemachte Rösti mit einer Salatschleuder gemacht sind die besten.

Monday, September 21, 2009

4-D Chess?

Referring to newspapers floating the idea of paid internet versions:

"This is like a four-dimensional chess game. It's really complex," said former newspaper editor Alan Mutter, who is now an industry consultant when he isn't writing "Reflections of a Newsosaur," a free blog.

As if traditional chess isn't hard enough, let alone 3-D chess. (Mr. Spock notwithstanding.) The problem of dying print news is only as complex as 4-D chess in the sense that it is impossible to visualize. If you are a newspaperman.

To the rest of us, the problem seems more along the lines of attacking Moscow in winter. Sure you can do it, but you will lose everything that matters in the process.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Major Matt Mason Major Motion Picture Maybe

from the Wiki article about the astronaut doll:
As of March, 2009, there are reports that Tom Hanks is planning to portray Matt Mason in a feature film, possibly as both a human and a toy version, the latter presumably a CGI animation.

And a screenshot from Destination Moon, just because I can:

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The President Lectures Students About Responsibility

Conservatives choose to opt out their kids. Wouldn't want the l'il cons to get mixed messages.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Extravaganza overwhelms thin scenario, but it doesn't really matter because the point of this movie is to wrap Claudette Colbert in a thousand yards of silk. At this, it is perfect. Title card is an extended wardrobe malfunction that probably created the Hays Office single handedly. Busby Berkley spectacles are interesting but a trifle silly. War montage is adorably hopeless. Claudette's eyes are bigger than anyone's except a Power Puff Girl.

'Twinkie King' wraps up sweet career | Seattle Times Newspaper

Nicole Brodeur | 'Twinkie King' wraps up sweet career | Seattle Times Newspaper
Her columns usually drive me up a tree but this one made me happy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Fascinating World of the Yellow Jacket

brought to you by Sterling international, Inc, manufacturer of fine insect traps.

From New Album 8/4/09 10:37 PM
There is no doubt that they work. Within an hour it had trapped a couple of Vespula vulgaris and attracted but not trapped V. consobrina. That's science-talk for bugs.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Terragen is still fun

First render:

Added different clouds, eroded rocks:

More erosion, different clouds altogether and random green:

Moved the sun:

Shrank world's radius as much as possible, raised camera:
Cool, but too time-consuming.

Stupid hand-eye coordination

I thought I told my drawing hand to make a picture of Raymond Burr, but instead it's clearly Jose Ferrer. Do I even want to know what neoronal transform was required to do that?

From New Album 8/4/09 10:37 PM

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tokyo Story

Country parents visit city children. Much of the goods are delivered wholly through the visuals so the subtitles are sometimes a distraction. Can't be helped, of course.

The Naked City

A basic pillar of cinema. Even the weaknesses are strengths. My favorite thread is the step-wise decay of Barry Sullivan's patience with a feckless suspect.

Old Man and the Sea

I had no idea how klutzy this is. Spencer Tracy is a fine actor, but he is badly cast. Sturges' direction is uninspired (he did more with spaceship models in Marooned than he does with amazing locations) and the score makes me want to slap Dmitri Tiomkin and I like Dmitri Tiomkin!
The fundamental problem is that it is all tell and no show. An illustrated radio play.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jed is to Zeus as Granny is to

... Rhea. Jethro is obviously Hercules and Ellie Mae is a reasonable stand-in for Aphrodite. I don't know why this never occurred to me before. For the interested student: Solve Petticoat Junction for Dionysus.
Update. It turns out that Granny is Daisy Moses, Jed's mother-in-law and Jethro is, as I ought to have recollected, a Bodine. This throws things into a somewhat different light if I am strict with the family relations. Jethro's notable strength really does point to a Herculean cognate, though. Fiddle-faddle, I have no enthusiasm to look up Greek gods' cousins.
Update to the update. I propose that Jethro is a Titan, Epimetheus, a notable fool. But where is Prometheus? Perhaps the interested student could search for him in Petticoat Junction or Green Acres? The possible mother's-in-law for Zeus is a pretty wide field but Ellie Mae / Aphrodite's mother is Dione whose father is Epimetheus. Yes, Jethro is Ellie Mae's grandfather and I defy anyone to prove me wrong. Why shouldn't Bugtussle, Tennessee be every bit as inbred as Olympus.?

Smarter than the average bear.

They are doing it wrong.

Mr. Hogan is working on a prototype of a new model, the 550, for next year. State officials have agreed to test it by filling it with aromatic food and depositing it on Yellow-Yellow’s turf. “She’s the whole reason we’re doing this,” he said.

They are not building a better container, they are building a better bear. Sooner than is comfortable there will be a cadre of Adirondack bears selling derivatives to insurance brokers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Seeds In My Yard

Colt .45 (aka Thundercloud)

Stupendously inept in almost every way but plenty of fun. Too many gaffes in front and behind the camera to even start to list.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spencer's Mountain

Wholly inferior first stab at Hamner stories. Not even a journeyman cast of family-movie troupers can overcome numerous debilities. Redeeming trivia: Wally Cox was discovered to voice Underdog via this dreck.
UPDATE: DVD extras include press tour interviews with Henry Fonda who is either exhausted, distracted by some calamity or just bored out his ever-loving skull delivering loopy yet cutting remarks about the movie.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Statement

Several pluses: Unoffensive performances throughout. Michael Caine has adopted several new tics of the highest quality which serve one aspect of the film very well: the anti-thriller. His character is so old and decrepit that killing him is just gratuitous (and is not explained in the movie.) Decent photography. Not boring exactly.
Minuses: The telegraphing of events is so frequent and obvious that they almost start piling up on into each other creating a reverse echo chamber of meta-telegraphing. An inadvertent Memento. There is a very bad stretch where flashbacks, even more unneeded characters, and narration all happen in close proximity. Adequate dialogue but the plot is stupid.
But the biggest complaint is that it's just the Odessa File without Elie Wiesel. And also without the Dickensian reveal. One of the production companies is Odessa Films. Coincidence?
I find myself in complete accordance with this review.

Sudden Outbreak of Common Sense

Congress gets pay bill as bank bonuses swell | Reuters

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Scientists' Field Trip to the Idiot Preserve

Paleontology and Creationism Meet but Don’t Mesh - NYTimes.com There's a paleontologist / Palin joke in there somewhere but I don't feel like digging it out from the surrounding matrix.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

NASA Betrayed by Microsoft Product

"Most detailed map" data can't be accessed due to what is probably a slashdotting and a poor implementation of an obstreperous database shackled with a punishing licensing scheme.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Man of the Year

Unwatchable train wreck that has all of Wag the Dog's flaws plus lots of new ones. Christopher Walken's character, created in spite of his dialogue rather than through it, is the sole redeeming characteristic. I actually started skimming at about 45 minutes, which, if you know me, I don't do. I didn't skim Kristin Lavransdatter, for example.

Preachy But Timely

WayLay | Salon Comics

Buzzword Bingo with a Side of Techno-Babble

ElasticVapor :: Life in the Cloud: The Day the Cloud Died
This why the real world hates blogging.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Last Hurrah

I just watched The Last Hurrah which is chock full of great character actors but is drivel, and was going to make what I thought was an original observation about the finale but I was totally skunked by Time in 1958. Snow White, cf.

I Can't Believe I Am Giving This Stuff Away for Free

I am Carbunicle.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Overloaded Power Strip Starts Fire

Fire guts U-District copy shop
If you have to use a power strip, use one with a fuse. And don't daisy chain them, for God's sake! Looking at you, former workplace with the low regard for fire safety.

SC gov resurfaces after mystery trip to Argentina

His politics are not the same as mine but I cannot condone all this fuss and upset. Is he required to be reachable all the time? If this was the first time, it would be prudent to worry, but he has done this before (with far less panic from the blog-nuts) and he announced to his wife and staff, in effect, "I'm taking off somewhere for a while. Be back soon." Get off his neck, already.
The only people who might have an issue are his life insurance underwriters.

Update: He went to Argentina to see his mistress. And made a big weepy to-do about it. lame. Now he sucks for keeping secrets from his wife and then being a big baby. Lame. On the other hand, why is his personal life more important than his political acts? Why?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Well - How the Food Makers Captured Our Brains - NYTimes.com

or: In Praise of Snickers. To which I will testify. If given a choice, it's always Snickers.
update: on the Thursday Daily Show, Cameron Diaz told Jon Stewart that Snickers are sugar crack.

Banking broken, consumers need help: U.S. watchdog | Reuters

Although the barn door is indeed open and the horse is gone, this will have to do. Alternately, just nationalize the banks already and finish the job that Hamilton started.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Too late to reboot when in the air

Miranda Devine: "Too late to reboot when in the air"
As usual, bad news for Airbus is good news for Boeing. Although the "cheaper" pilots discussion is alarming.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fun With Words

As the brain winds down into its September stage and the demands put upon it strain its dobbin back, perhaps a crutch becomes needed. Or in this brain's particular case, one of those little carts for dogs with weak hips. An example is vocabulary software when trolling through the thesaurus becomes a chore.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Economy is Not Fine

"For Crabtree the coffee shop literally was home. He and his two daughters, their two boyfriends, and his two infant grandchildren lived in quarters attached to the Grand View (topless coffee shop)."

Unemployed Nerds Leave Basement

Amid hard times, an influx in real superheroes - CNN.com
I'm not arguing against volunteering or cosplay but I'm not sure it's two great tastes that taste great together.
On the other hand, the image of Ravenblade and Xtreme doing a Walk for Babies is charming.

David Carradine RIP

Suicide in a fancy Bangkok hotel.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

After Before and Before After (In Progress)

Posted by Picasa

When I replaced the wax ring under the toilet, some of the old linoleum came away and I decided to pull it up, which led to the state in the first picture. One trip to Ace Hardware later I had a heat gun and a scraper to use against the linoleum which I figured would be a snap because that center bit came up so easy.

Not so.

The rest of the floor can be revealed at about one inch every 5 minutes. Aaaaaagh!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Homo Sapiens Astronauticus

"Another possibility is to select astronauts based on genetic factors that would make them more resilient to the effects of space radiation."
In space no one can hear you being naturally selected.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

More Nutty British News

I am supremely bored by stories of visions of (jesus,mary,che) in (some_physical_object) but this one is not only silly it is also clearly Billy Connolly.

Men Chasing a Rolling Cheese Down a Steep Hill

Apparently this hill is very steep and broken arms and legs are not unusual. The running of the bulls is foolhardy but this is just foolhardier. It's all fun and games until blah blah blah cheese.

In other Gloucestershire cheese-related news: Stinking Bishop is deemed the smelliest. Congratulations, I guess.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wacko Optics

I know it's just the wide-angle lens, but look at the size of that guy's hand!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When Did Prince Valiant Become Totally Awesome?

A giant lizard (not a puny dinosaur) has tongue-snatched a horse. I've always admired the art, but the plots were frequently soap-opera-ish.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Automatic Public Restrooms Worked So Well, Why Not Automatic Trash Cans?

Trash cans removed from more parks in Seattle: "The city also is experimenting with a $4,000 trash can that uses solar power to compact trash. The cans don't have to be emptied as often, so they may reduce costs."
Look for them on ebay in the near future.

Friday, May 22, 2009

U.S. Unemployment Rate May Soon Top Europe’s

Can we please, please, please tar and feather George Bush now? And as long as the firebrands and hayforks are out, we may as well dig up Ronald Reagan's down-trickling corpse and burn it to avoid any complicated zombie issues.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

IRS says focus on wealthy individuals, companies

IRS says focus on wealthy individuals, companies | Reuters
Although my first reaction is a dope-slap on behalf of Congress, this is a good thing. Although it is not only closing the barn door after the horse is out, it also a day late and a dollar short.
If I ever found a political party, it is likely to be symbolised by crossed firebrands and hay forks.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ridiculous, Amazing Excess

Batman: The Cake of the Game of the Toy of the Movie of the Comic Book

Beavers 2, Trees 0

The beavers at Matthews Beach did return to the tree but apparently lost interest in bringing it all the way down. There were a couple of smaller logs floating nearby - these guys are busy. Another large tree at the other end of the beach is also girdled.

Best premise ever

"Fleeing an interstellar war, Kainan crashes on the shores of Norway during the Iron Age." I haven't seen the associated movie but I am guessing it is 1% as delicious as that sentence promises.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Beavers vs Trees at Thornton Creek

This tree is a goner. I may go back tomorrow to see if the beavers finish the job. It probably happened last night, the chips were still moist.

Ugly Brute of a Spider

Found this guy under a pot. About half an inch long. Short, stubby legs and nervous manner.

Wren House Disaster

Something, the wind or more likely, a predator, knocked the wren house down. The fluffy bits were extracted by whatever happened (no evidence of wrens). I removed the bottom half (twigs, moss) of the nest and resecured the house. There's always next year.

Mystery Bug

I am sure it either utterly benign or a vector of some exotic environmental disaster. Looks disastery to me.

Canada Goslings

Shamelessly doctored pic:

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