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Archive for May, 2010

Monday MUD Day – 5/31/2010

May 31, 2010 1 comment

Today’s selections include:

* Merentha
* X-Men: Retrograde
* Ghostwheel
* Return of the Shadow

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Time for a little fun

May 29, 2010 2 comments

I went into this movie with expectations below those I had for Gemma Arterton’s last movie, Clash of the Titans. In the case of Titans, I had low expectations and found that movie fell shorter than I’d anticipated. With Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, however, I discovered something that was surprisingly enjoyable, if relatively mindless.

The platformer video game homage action does get a bit tiresome after a while, though. Seeing Jake Gyllenhal bounce from wall to wall or make death-defying leaps across open spaces starts to become like an endless rerun of the last five minutes of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – complete with a moment where the hero stumbles on a few pretty girls with whom to flirt during the chase.

But it’s a fun movie, Ben Kingsley is wonderfully evil, and I spent a lot of time wondering who the hell played Prince Tus. For much of that time, I thought it was this guy:

However, it turns out that it was THIS guy!

Jeff, from the British TV series Coupling! He was my favorite character on the show.

Anyway, I thought I’d hate Prince of Persia. I didn’t. Go figure!

New nemesis!

May 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Back when we lived in a duplex in Winter Park, Huck’s foes were the ducks living on the shore of the lake behind our place.

After we moved to Underwood Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge, the deer who roamed the woods became his arch rivals.

We came back east in early 2006, living in the Oaks at Weston apartment complex. There, Huck’s single greatest enemy was a black and white cat who never failed to show up during our walks – lurking in nearby bushes, scurrying between cars, and generally demonstrating a bad attitude.

Now, we’re down the road a bit in a complex called Century Preston and, yet again, Huck has found a nemesis to trouble our walks.

It’s this guy:

We were walking along the sidewalk, this bunny was perched near the bushes and bounded into them to escape Huck.

We were strolling along a hill near the complex’s playground, this bunny was hopping along in the grass.

When we come back home, the rabbit’s often right in front of our building, hanging out next to the shrubs and giving Huck the stink eye.

Huck assures me: The coney’s days are numbered!

Categories: Out and About Tags: , ,

Talking end of the world with Massively

May 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s a podcast in which I’m interviewed by the folks at Massively.com about the recent Fallen Earth “State of the Game” post. Enjoy!

May 25: Happy Towel Day!

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Wessed Up History – 5/23/2010

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment

More catching up to do! Man, I’ve been bad at this lately:

* May 3: Adherents of Discordianism celebrate Disco…Discoflux. Try your lux! Don’t be a clux! Disco…Discoflux.
* May 4, 1910: Royal Canadian Navy off to inauspicious start with failed launch of “pontoon moose.”
* May 5, 1921: After failed efforts with perfume that smells like steak, wet dog, frog spit, and hot feet, Coco Chanel scores with No. 5.
* May 6, 1940: John Steinbeck wins Pulitzer Prize for “The Grapes of Wrath.” Disappointed not to win top Napa Valley wine prize, though.
* May 7, 1962: USSR announces it shot down U2. Demands that Ireland take back Bono AT ONCE. “He just won’t shut up,” Kruschev complains.
* May 8, 1940: Infant Peter Benchley spends 9 mos. going “bum-bum-bum-bum-bum-bum” until mom fishes him out with tongs and a snorkle.
* May 9, 1874: Archaeologist Howard Carter is born and wrapped in swaddling clothes. Looks into mother’s eyes and says: “Mummy!”
* May 10, 1999: Shel Silverstein finds out what’s beyond the end of the sidewalk. We’re still waiting on the book.
* May 11, 1997: Supercomputer Deep Blue defeats chess master Garry Kasparov, who pioneers use of the term “HAXXORZ!” to protest the loss.
* May 12, 1950: Baby Bruce Boxleitner zooms around the maternity ward on a light cycle while singing “The Gambler.”
* May 13, 1880: After finding the world’s longest extension cord, Thomas Edison conducts the first test of an electric railway.
* May 14, 1971: Director/actress Sofia Coppola is born to a family she can’t refuse. Her acting ability, on the other hand, is stillborn.
* May 15, 1718: London lawyer James Puckle patents world’s first machine gun, which he calls “The Closing Argument.” (Tweet No. 7,000!)
* May 16, 1955: A white-uniformed man cradles Debra Winger as he carries her triumphantly from womb to the cheering of maternity ward nurses.
* May 17, 1955: “PREGNANCY OVER, MAN!” proclaims baby Bill Paxton as he pops from the womb to a maternity ward full of acid-drooling aliens.
* May 18, 1910: Earth passes through tail of Halley’s Comet, sparking the first zombie apocalypse and cowboy rodeo!
* May 19, 1944: With a raucous Wookiee roar, actor Peter Mayhew is born. He rips the arms off a couple of attending doctors on the way out.
* May 20, 1896: Six-ton chandelier at Palais Garnier falls on crowd. Phantom later tweets: “LOL, IT IS 2 B WARZORZ!”
* May 21, 1937: A Soviet station becomes first outpost on Arctic Ocean drift ice. It’s eventually the Russia that Sarah Palin can see.
* May 22, 1910: A nurse yells into the womb – “Johnny Olson, COME ON DOWN! You’re the next contestant on The Price is Right!”
* May 23, 1934: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow learn the true meaning of “road rage.”

LOST’s last note

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment

So, here’s the thing:

No matter what, the series finale of LOST couldn’t hope to live up to the hype that preceded it. The problem, I think, is that Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse bought into the hype, played to the hype, and nothing but the hype when the creative team laid out the ultimate episode that presented us with the solution that Jack Shepard died on the island and then met (most of, but not all) his pals in some nebulous, multi-denominational “purgatory” before they all went on to Nirvana, Valhalla, Wal-Mart, heaven.

All in all, I enjoyed the final season – particularly the episodes that gave us more about the history of people like Richard Alpert and his island masters. The series finale itself, for the most part, is undeniably well-crafted and full of engaging, moving moments. But the last five minutes in the church, with the apparent dismissal of Jack’s mom, Walt, Michael, Lapidus, Alpert, plus the ham-handed “we’re all dying now/a while back/eventually” zen thing just didn’t work for me.

Endings are so difficult. I loved The Sopranos, but I didn’t like the cut-to-black during Don’t Stop Believin’. I enjoyed Quantum Leap, but I hated that last episode with God as Sam’s time pilot.

I didn’t hate this finale, but it left me disappointed. If it’s all about Jack’s journey and his demise, then why are we meant to care about Sun and Jin? If we ARE meant to also care about Sun and Jin, then why not Michael and Walt? Charlotte and Faraday? Widmore and Junglestrike Tina Fey? And if this is supposed to have been a spin on “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” with everything transpiring in Jack’s mind as he’s dying from a stab wound, why are we getting points-of-view from other major characters?

In the end, it just felt like six seasons of rationalizations tied up in a sloppy package.

I’ve been running the same fundamental story on OtherSpace for about 12 years now. A day’s going to come when I have to shut down the game and end the story. It’s my aspiration to strike as many emotional high notes as the LOST finale managed, without the mawkish missteps that plagued this TV show from time to time.

But as disappointed as I was in the conclusion of LOST, I found many bits to enjoy in those final hours:

* Hurley’s Star Wars references (as usual)
* Sawyer and Juliette at the snack machine
* Charlie’s reunion with Claire
* Locke and Ben outside the church
* Desmond and Jack both playing “Wrath of Khan” with the island drain plug
* The shot of Jack’s closing eye (after Vincent came to sprawl on the ground next to him)