Stephen King always has the potential to deliver on a good thriller. He didn't fully come thru with "1408", but I'm not going to hold that against him. "The Mist" is showing promise from this trailer so maybe there still is hope...
Internet is back in the house! It's been far too long coming. Ever since Mediacom made such a unceremonious departure, I had been feenin' for the convenience of having internet capability in our home. I had been hearing dissenting opinions about which is faster, cable or DSL. So far, it does seem like the cable modem has the edge on speed by a very slim edge. However, the difference is fairly negligible. We will see if I still feel the same way once I start back up with the online gaming. I will miss my occasional visits to the Cup. Maybe I will still have to stop by every now and then just to get a change of scenery. Seeings how they are clear over on the south side of town and I no longer work over there AND we have internet at home again, I'd say the chances of that happening are slim to none.
2. Lay's Kettle Cooked Jalapeno chips
It was purely accidental that I found these chips. I was in the store looking for something else entirely when I came across Lay's greatest creation to date. Someone in the store was genius enough to put them on an end cap so they were more readily noticed. The perfect spot for someone like me who has a tendency to think with his stomach first. A jalapeno-flavored chip?! You don't have to tell me twice. I started off getting them for sides for when I'm getting a sammich and/or making a barbecue. Eventually, they became self-fulfilling enough to where just the chips alone could be a meal. It doesn't matter that they're not very healthy for me (although it should). Or that I know how spicy food does my stomach. They're just so dang good...
3. Comic Life
This may be come as a huge shock, but E hipped me to this program. It only took me a few minutes to play around with it and I was immediately hooked. It's in the beta stage for Windows right now so hopefully, it will eventually be available permanently for us. I already foresee this being its own separate category once I utilize more of its capabilities. Check out what I've got so far...
We were about due for the requisite movie to cater to the "middle-age crisis" audience. Contrary to popular belief, that demographic does still exist. It just seems like the teeny-boppers are the only ones Hollywood likes to cater to. Although they do have a lot of spending power, it really is more than just about them.
The previews for "Wild Hogs" first struck me as something that wouldn't be worth my time. I did like the fact that it had four of my favorite actors in it (Martin Lawrence, John Travolta, William H. Macy and Tim Allen), but would that be enough? A film about for men hitting the road on motorcycles to escape their problems seemed a little passé. I was certain it would be filled with the same tired material we have seen in other similar movies. However, with the rental only being a dollar (thank you, dvd kiosks), I was willing to take a chance.
The truth of the matter is I'm not that far away from the whole middle-age crisis thing myself. It's not that it's around the corner, it's just that that neighborhood is now just over the horizon. Meanwhile, the teeny-bopper suburbs are too far in my rearview. Still, watching those cats rolling on their bikes did peak my interest a bit.
I like how they didn't try to play us entirely stupid here. We are given a glimpse into the guys' lives to see what inspired them to hit the road on their hogs. Fortunately, they do spare us an in-depth look at how and why they started riding in the first place. We join their lives in progress when the decision has apparently already been made. They are now at the next step of that evolution where the bike is a necessary distraction for them.
It was a clever touch having Tichina Arnold playing Lawrence's wife. She had played his nemesis on "Martin" for years where it was evident there would never be a chance of them hooking up. The funny thing about it in "Wild Hogs" is they are bickering constantly here as well. It is almost as though Gina and Martin did end up together and this is how their marriage is going.
In fact, the unheralded guest appearances are what helped make "Wild Hogs" a pleasant surprise. Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) once again comes thru as a not-so-closeted highway patrolman. Always reliable Ray Liotta entertains as a "rival" biker gang leader. The Sklar brothers (Jason and Randy) shine just enough to show they need more scripts brought their way. And of course, what would any biker movie be without a cameo from Peter Fonda?
There was also a touch of weirdness seeing Lawrence in this group. Mainly because he and I are right around the same age. Of the four, he was probably the "baby" of the bunch. You can't go thru that type of phase in your mid to late 30s, can you? I would have to attest to that. Instead of the open road, my release is thru my writing. Ride on!
The best all-female group of all-time. Period. Sorry, Destiny's Child. I don't care how many millions of records you sold. No disrespect, The Supremes. I know you all helped to lay the foundation for groups like these. It just so happens that in spite of all that, En Vogue has no equals when it came to what they brought to the table.
From the minute they hit the scene with "Hold On", it was on like Donkey Kong. That acapella portion that kicks off the song showcased their vocal ability that was unparalleled. What was even more amazing was whenever they performed it live, it sounded twice as good. They could have sang that whole song acapella and even that version could have went to number one.
What made En Vogue stand out was they were substance more than anything else. Sure, all four of them were very attractive women and that certainly didn't hurt. However, each and one of them could flat out SANG. Unlike the aforementioned all-female groups, there was Not a weak link among the four of them. They were essentially four soloists brought together to form a group (thank you producers Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy) and they had the discipline enough to know how to mesh their voices for harmonies.
The only problem I ever had with them was when they started to try too hard to cross over. That whole "Free Your Mind" fiasco was a terrible decision. They attempted to appeal to a rock audience in not only the sound but also their look for the video. It was the one song where you got very little sense of their true vocal talents because most of the song sounded like they were screaming.
As with all groups, they eventually split and did their own things. They never really had a true lead singer (although I always thought Cindy Herron was best suited for the role), but somehow Dawn Robinson was pinpointed as the alpha female. She tried the solo thing and didn't fare so well. Her biggest success came when she teamed up with Raphael Saadiq of Tony! Toni! Tone! and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest to form the short-lived super-group Lucy Pearl.
I'm surprised Herron and Terry Ellis never had solo careers that got better legs. At the very least, both of them could have attempted the movie route. Instead, they almost seemed to fade into oblivion. That is until 2006 when they reunited for a VH1 Honors show to perform with Salt n Pepa. Unfortunately, Dawn still wasn't with the group and some lady named Rhona Bennett was in her place.
I will never understand why they didn't get the full props they deserved. All we ever hear these days is Destiny's Child and Beyonce when it comes to the mold all-female groups want to be in. Maybe En Vogue should have had an obsessive father-manager shoving them down everyone's throats to make them bigger. They didn't need it though. Regardless of how unheralded they may be for what they brought to R&B, they will continue to be one of the most vocally gifted groups-- male OR female -- of all-time.
You know I had to do this one. I never really thought of what my superhero name would be if I were one. For this to be based off something simple like just asking your name, I do like how the weakness and mode of transportation actually do coincide with my personality...
Your Superhero Profile
Your Superhero Name is The Flash Savage Your Superpower is Electrocution Your Weakness is Reruns of the Cosby Show Your Weapon is Your Prototype Foam Your Mode of Transportation is Cable
In one of the best movies ever made, "Armageddon" (sorry USA Today, but you were dead wrong), Billy Bob Thornton's character wanted desperately to go on a space mission but couldn't because of his bum leg. He was finally able to make that dream come true in "Astronaut Farmer". No, it's not the same character and it's not "Armageddon II"; however, it is Thornton in a space-related role. Plus, Bruce Willis even shows up so it is an "Armageddon" reunion of sorts.
Charlie Farmer (Thornton) is not your typical farmer as he has lofty aspirations to man a rocket ship into space. Unlike most people that just dream about it, he takes it to the next level by building his own ship. What started out as one man's fascination turns into a national infatuation. What started out as a burden on the family turns into a dream to bring them closer together.
There were some obvious flaws in logic to which this flick falls victim. It is a movie about a farmer that builds a space ship so right away, you already know there are going to be issues. I'm not a rocket scientist, but doesn't the average space vessel set the government back several millions of dollars? I'm guessing even on the low side of quality and without overpriced government contracts, the average civilian could never afford to build their own.
There is this story of the Virgin records owner Sir Richard Branson who has bankrolled the first civilian mission to accomplish that feat. He's a world known billionaire though. For him, to build a vessel like that would barely dent his bank account. And that's just the financial part of it.
Let's just say a person has the funding to make something like that possible. What person could do that on their own? "Astronaut Farmer" would have us to believe that Farmer used to fly jets so that already gives him some working knowledge of at least some of the technology to make it possible. Nevertheless, it would still take a team of engineers to construct something safe enough to withstand the rigors of space. Apparently, a couple of Farmer's friends and his son were all capable enough to achieve the same goal.
Once you look past the absurdities, you are still left with a very engaging movie. You start to empathize with the Farmer family as they experience one setback after another. The journey to space becomes more of a spiritual release of sorts that the entire family needs. Just as Neil Armstrong took one giant step for mankind, Charlie is taking a similar symbolic gesture for his family.
If I had the means (and technology), I wouldn't mind doing the same thing for my family. Of course, unlike Farmer, I would at least take a camera with me. You just don't NOT have something to record that type of journey.
Fortunately, with this being my last week at the corporate ball and chain, I have a little more flexibility than usual. Instead of leaving at 4:30ish to 5pm (or 7ish on my late nights), I can leave at 3pm. The boss is gone all this week too so that helped in making that executive decision. The main reason I have to is because of G's school hours.
We never did get G signed up for Metro Kids again this year, opting instead to rely on Brandin picking him up. After just one day of that experiment we decided that wasn't going to work. So now this week I will leave directly from the office and pick G up at his school. Waiting there with what seems like hundreds of other parents reminds me of the scene from "Mr. Mom" where Jack (Michael Keaton) about gets cussed out for driving the wrong way in the pick-up line.
We came to the conclusion that D was going to find another job that offered "mother's hours". I didn't even know such a term existed and until she told me about it. It's basically working at 9am and getting off at 3pm. It allows mothers a chance to drop their children off, get to work on time and still be able to pick them up.
You would think that after being with her company for so long, they would have worked with her so she could do it there. In fact, they are a Fortune 500 company who just recently won an award for being a haven for working mothers. Yet when she first asked them about part-time hours, they refused. That left her with no choice but to put in her two weeks notice.
The minute D notified her sup that she was leaving, he immediately started the boot-licking. He went on and on about how they didn't want to lose her and he would be personally talking to HR about making an exception so they could keep her on board. Within a couple of days, she got the word it was approved. Starting next week, she'll be doing the mother's hours thing and we have the ride situation for G permanently fixed. You gotta love it when a plan comes together.
The next Bill Gates is always just right around the corner. Not in terms of net worth (at least not yet anyway) but as far as intelligence. There will always be that next boy genius who is years beyond his age in IQ who will have discovered the next best thing. Or in George Hotz's case, unlocked the next best thing.
In case you haven't heard yet, the 17-year-old boy wonder figured out a way to unlock his iPhone so it can be used with cellular networks other than AT&T. It only took him 500 hours to figure it out. Most kids his age are dedicating that much time to unlocking cheat codes on video games and he's actually utilizing his time constructively.
That's not even the best part of the story. It's what recently happened.
Hotz reached a deal with CertiCell, a Louisville-based mobile phone repair company. They allegedly have traded him a new Nissan 350Z and 3 8GB iPhones for his modified phones. I say "allegedly" because this news came from what was reported on his blog so he could be just blowing smoke. I wouldn't doubt it being true though.
Getting a $27,000 sports car for hacked cell phone is a pretty good swap no matter how you look at it. Unless you also figure that the company is getting privy to some ground-breaking technology they can potentially make millions from and all he gets out of it is a sports car. Then it looks like he got shafted.
CertiCell also went as far as to promise Hotz a paid consulting job. I'm sure that gig will easily be 6-figures so let's just assume its $125K/year. They STILL come out with the better end of the deal. Not that I'm mad at Hotz for making a deal like that. Heck, I'm over twice his age and I'd take a deal like that. I still have issues figuring out my simple little Sidekick though so its safe to say I won't be unlocking any cell phone secrets anytime soon.
I really don't know if it was in the hood or not. I was just reaching to find some type of clever title to try to make light of a serious issue.
Director John Singleton was driving his Lexus sport utility vehicle on August 23rd in LA's Jefferson Park neighborhood when it struck and killed a female jaywalker who stepped in front of the car. Constance Russel, 57, was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
It's always difficult to find a silver lining in unfortunate instances like this, but there is a semblance of one here. Singleton stopped and waited for the authorities to arrive. Not only that, it was determined that he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In a time when celebrity OWIs seem to dominate the news, it's refreshing to hear an example of one who is law-abiding in a car accident.
This reminds me of an episode of "CSI" where a man tried to commit suicide by jaywalking. Whenever I see an instance like this, that's what comes to mind. Those Lexus SUVs are fairly nice-sized so it's not like a person shouldn't be able to see one coming. It is a pretty gruesome way to off one's self but if a person is desperate enough, anything is possible.
Everytime I see these folks doing their late night walking and/or jogging in dark clothing, I think of situations just like this one. They are all just a few inches away from being roadkill because they are not taking the proper precautions while being a pedestrian at night. As bad as situations like these are, I can't help but think in most cases, the pedestrian could have done more to avoid it.
Haddaway owes a lot to "Night at the Roxbury" for giving their song more legs than it deserves. Never has an 80s one hit wonder sounded so good. Or I should say never has it been utilized so effectively. Thanks to the team of Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan, hearing that song now creates an entirely different image in my head.
"Night at the Roxbury" is the film that gave birth to the big screen version of Will Ferrell. He had already established himself as a permanent fixture on Saturday Night Live by that time. Every skit he was in had become an instant classic. There could have been more than a few that could have been made into movie scripts and this is the one they chose.
It seemed for a minute that Ferrell and Kattan had the possibility to be the next great comedy team. I would say they had a chance to pick up where David Spade and Chris Farley left off but there was one difference. Farley and Spade were in the vein of Martin and Lewis where there was one straight man and one clown. With Ferrell and Kattan, they were both the clowns. That meant twice the funny and with those two personalities, the chemistry was pure magic.
The funniest thing about "Night at the Roxbury" was it unintentionally tapped into something that is so common and made it funny. That trademark head-bob dance that the Butabi brothers do whenever they hear Haddaway's "What Is Love". Even before that skit came out, that was the sarcastic move that guys do when a good song comes on. At least I know it was for me. That's what made it even more hilarious when the skit surfaced.
There are so many scenes in here that were my favorite that it was hard to pick just one. Several cause me to laugh all over again just thinking about them. Doug (Kattan) busting out the window of the car from doing the head-bob dance too hard...Doug outside Steve's (Ferrell) window the day of his wedding emulating the infamous "Say Anything" scene...everytime the two of them relive their Emilio Estevez sighting...
I meant to have this flick make this weekly feature quite a while but kept forgetting. My girl Creole reminded me of it when she inadvertently slammed it. Make no mistake that you have to be a fan of down right stupid comedies to appreciate this. You have to go in expecting that they will be taking goofy to another level. "Roxbury" pretty much helped to lay the foundation for the template of future Ferrell comedies to come.
It's just too bad that Kattan wasn't able to springboard this opportunity into more roles for him. He very much deserved it too. Contrary to popular belief, I think his "Corky Romano" was entertaining. However, he hasn't had near the stellar career that Ferrell has had. Maybe he should call up his buddy and see about teaming up for another buddy flick. I know I wouldn't be against the idea of a "Night at the Roxbury Too". And I know I'm not the only one.