Friday, July 22, 2005


That down there was post number 150!

Jeeze, shouldn't I have been working all that time?


Just got back from a dinner with a colleague from long-ago who is teaching off in the land of Far Far Away. He’s back in the States briefly before heading back, and we got together for Mexican food and a couple of Dos Equis. He’s a very interesting guy, but he’s infuriating at the same time. I can’t believe all the stories he tells, because, well, they’re just completely incredible, but at the same time, I know this guy has lived through some really strange things. So, I’m generally at a loss when I talk to him. Case in point – The story about the daughter of the mob boss and the politico at the bordello? Tough to buy.

He’s also become very anti-American, which I can understand, but don’t agree with. When you live ten years overseas, and you have to explain why Americans vote Bush and seem to enjoy invading others, it’s tough to keep a positive outlook on the States.

The other thing he mentioned is that America has a lot of fat folks. The funny thing is that neither he nor I are particularly skinny, but I know what he’s talking about. The last time I came back from living overseas, I was stunned when I came back by number of overweight folks here. This reminds me that I need to run more and eat less (particularly Mexican with Dos Equis).

Reminiscing over old colleagues:

1. divorced the idiot, hates the new job, but it pays well

2. retired, thank goodness

3. still ruling with an iron fist and the kindest smile that fools everyone

4. headed home and got a real job

5. awaiting sentencing (probably will get 3 years from what I hear, but could get up to 10)

6. moved away to go to school

7. Trying to become a XXXXian citizen, but the wife will be furious

8. No idea what happened to him, but no one ever really liked him anyway

9. Moved to big city waaaay down south (borrowed money from friend – probably wont be repaid)

Wow, what an interesting bunch of freaks… er... folks… I’m sure I was the only normal one there. :)

Buzz Buzz

There is a bee in my office. I'm thinking of taking measures.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Load "Run",8,1

10.94km - 1:06’51”

It’s getting way too hot for this nonsense…

It's More Than Waffles They've Got There.

Oh, I almost forgot, thanks to the fish, the weird flash movie was recovered. It was Belgian, not Dutch, hence my failure via google. So, I present to you, with all due reverence, the Belgian farting pig.

Jane Austin Sings!

I seriously need to see more Bollywood movies. My brother introduced me to Lagaan a while back, which was great, and last night there was a screening of Bride and Prejudice, which is the Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice (big surprise there). It was absolutely hilarious. Basically, what is so wonderful about it is that it’s like the old Hollywood musicals. Think Singing in the Rain or Brigadoon. Think sappy romantic stories with huge song and dance numbers.

This ought to sum it up nicely – the leads are walking along the beach in LA, and a song starts up. The camera follows them to reveal that there’s a gospel choir on aluminum risers on the beach singing the song. It’s so visually incongruous that it’s funny, but because it’s built into the genre, it doesn’t detract at all. The movie is poking fun at the type, but without stepping outside of it.

It’s just a riot.

I will say that although the movie is trying to play against some of the gender and racial stereotypes, there is a lot that they end up playing into by virtue of adapting P&P, and by virtue of the genre itself. I wasn't too bothered by it, but it might be because I'm a sucker for this kind of sap.

Bride and Prejudice – 7/10

Oh, yeah. I’m also madly in love with Aishwarya Rai.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Thus It Begins

I was told that I should be getting in touch with prosepective PhD departments and the folks I would like to work with, so I've started sending off emails to my heroes. One of the profs here told me to 'look for a person, not a school,' and I think that's pretty good advice, but I feel a little awkward just coming out of the blue and asking them about their programs.

Dr. 'wrote a book that I would have loved to write' would probably be choice #1, but she's at a uni that I don't think would accept me. Well, ya don't know unless you try, right? and what's a hundred bucks or so for the application fee among friends, right?

Dr. 'wonderful researcher but at a uni that I'm not terribly fond of' would be great to work with, but I've heard that grad folks just get completely ground up over there. I think I would be more happy at a less 'prestigeous' school that one of those big name cutthroat schools.

Dr. 'Young and full of incredible new ideas' would be ideal to work with, but he's also at a very top tier school, and is doing so much right now that I probably wouldn't ever see him even if he were my advisor.

Then there are the departments that have two or three people I'd like to work with. Problem is that so would every other PhD applicant.

Then there are the schools that look really great, with really nice departments, but with faculty that don't quite cover what I want to do. I think that's the kind of place I'll end up. It's not such a bad thing. What I'm doing is relatively new, and the kind of mentoring that I need could be done by someone who isn't doing exactly what I'm doing.

The fact is that in all honesty, I would happily anyone's anything for a fully funded PhD slot. Pathetic, but true.

Link Dump-eroo! Err... Literally.

Ok, cat stuff first:

This really should be on epinions. It's a product review of a kitten. Written by a geek (should I even need to say that?). I thought it was hilarious, and the pictures are funny, but hey, I'm a geek too.

Tut the barking cat. This is just odd. Funny, but odd.

Non-cat stuff

Very difficult web-based adventure type game.

Everybody Poops, sure, but have you ever seen such a peppy Flash video?

which reminded me of another Flash video via the Fish. Some people really love eggs.

A cute rabbit singing about how unexperienced he is.

There was one other Flash thing about a farting Dutch (?) boy and the chickens that farted into their eggs. Or something like that. Be glad I can't find the link :)

Who would have thought that this blog would end up as a dumping ground for links that I would otherwise forget about. Is this the beginings of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? If so does that mean I will finally clean my office?

Moon Day!

Happy Moon Day!

36 years ago, man first set foot on the moon. Go outside and take a look at it today and allow yourself to get lost in the awe of that.

I’m sure that everyone who would go to this site (from the good folks at Google) already has, but I’ll link it anyway. The Fish would like to request that you make sure to zoom in to the closest level.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Oh Crap.

quoting Josh Marshall, "Bush swings for the fence."
10.96 km - 1:07'00"

The time ended up a lot faster than I thought it would. It felt like my legs were completely dead after only one lap. It's really hot out there too. I think I dropped 5 pounds in liquid weight. Eww... This was another run where I started out really slowly, so I ended up running long. I got a more consistant km pace time throughout the run though. I think that's a good thing.

That, and Sting and the Police might need to be moved to the bottom of the running music list.

I actually listened to the radio for after the first lap. It was weird. I can see what my sister says about commencials since she's gotten TiVo. It's just really odd to hear commericals again. That, and when they play something crappy, for some strange reason, the button that should send me to the next song doesn't work. Very odd.

Also, there were two kids out in the trails, maybe 12 or 13. One of them kind of jumped when I came around the corner, and then he turned around, back toward me. Their conversation stopped. On the next lap around, the kids were gone, there was a big wet stain where the stood, and the entire area reeked of beer. I wonder if they got caught by the roaving parental groups that keep blocking my trail, or whether they poured it out and went elsewhere of their own accord.

Monday, July 18, 2005


I did finish Harry Potter, but I won’t say much about it here.

Basic take:

  • I liked it quie a bit
  • I'm angry that I read it too quickly because now I have to wait for the next one.
  • I'm angry that all the women in the books have become complete two dimensional cut outs, not that they were much more than that before.
Finally, much spoiling and thoughtful pondering is going on over at the Scribbler's Pixie Hut. Everyone else is linking there, and I want to be cool, so I will too.


Ok, first off, Wedding Crashers.

It’s not a good movie. No one really expected it to be, I guess, but over at Rotten Tomatoes, I was surprised at its score. It looks like it’s doing better than I would have thought. I’m not going to give a full review, because anyone who has seen the trailer already knows as much as you’ll ever need to know about it.

It is funny, but only in the way you expect this kind of movie to be funny – you’ve got your sex jokes, and your jokes about sex. Then there’s some sexual humor, then there’s a lighthearted moment during sex. Later, there’s a man who falls in love with a woman under false pretences. The woman finds out the truth and is hurt, and the man tries all he can to get back together and they do (can we please lay off of this plot for a year or so? It's been working so hard for so many, I think it needs a little rest). And there’s some jokes about sex in there.

So, funny, but probably worth waiting for. By that I mean that it’ll be on expanded cable in less than a year. 6/10

Also, for all you gals out there, is Owen Wilson sexy? Why is it that beat up pug-men who can’t seem to comb their hair are in? Please tell me we aren’t going to do the 70’s all over again. I don’t think any of us needs that.


I went to a Digital Workflow seminar in the city in place of the photography lecture. Wow, was it bad. At first, when the guy started talking, I thought he was mocking the Chris Farley ‘down by the river’ guy. Seriously. At the end of the seminar, I think he ran out of material, so he just started rambling on about CMYK and sRGB. For about 30 minutes.

Another example of another type of badness – he tells us that opening, altering and recompressing a photo in JPEG doesn’t really degrade the file, even if you do is several times. Ok, good information to know, right? But then he decides that he it would be better to show us. So he hooks up the camera, takes a picture of someone in the audience, downloads the file, moves it in from RAW to JPEG, makes an alteration, closes the file, opens it up again, makes another alteration etc… he did that four times.

Ye gods.

There was some good information, but it could have been delivered in a pamphlet. I think I was the only one from class who made it through the whole seminar, and I didn’t even win a door prize. None of this was helped by the fact that I only got a couple hours sleep, thanks to Mr. Potter.

Papercut - Check


11:00am - work
4:00pm - Wedding crashers
6:00pm - Harry Potter book bought
7:00pm - dinner with book in hand
2:30am - sleep

Got to run to class (a photo workshop in the city - woohoo!), I'll report more on all of the above when I get back.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I've Got A Golden Ticket!

The other thing I did yesterday was go to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I loved it. I remember watching and loving the original, but, as I’ve said, I’m used to Hollywood co-opting and abusing my childhood, so I tried to go in to the film with an open mind. I should say that I have always liked Johnny Depp, so I’m biased there too.

Some folks have said that this movie is darker and weirder than the original, but I don’t really think that’s true. It’s not true only because the original was a very deeply odd movie. It’s true that this is very much a Tim Burton movie, and that is a very good thing, but it also means that the weirdness of the movie is a la Burton. If you’ve seen his other movies, you’ll understand.

I was a little worried about the Oompa-Loompas, because I thought that would be the most difficult to translate. They set the Oompas’ songs to very modern tunes, which I think is probably a good thing, but sometimes didn’t seem to mesh well. This may be an age thing though, because I liked the hard rockin’ Oompas just fine.

Johnny Depp is a wonderful Wonka. He’s not Gene Wilder at all, but many of the things I liked about Wilder are still there in Depp. Charlie is well-cast and fittingly enthusiastic and empathy inducing. I didn’t know her but for the graces of IMDB, but Missi Pyle, the mother of Violet Beauregarde, was just amazing. She’s the super-pushy mother of the must-be champion child. I can’t tell if she’s a good actress or maybe she just has her shtick down well, but I just couldn’t keep my eyes off her. Like a car wreck. Wonderful. (I was also happy that they kept the line "Violet, you're turning violet!" I'm a sucker for that line)

Highly recommended, especially for fans of Burton or Depp, but hey, you were probably going to go see it already, right? 8/10

Oh, one big negative – the CG was ok in general, except when Violet turned into a violet. That looked bad. Just bad.

Also, you get a new trailer for Corpse Bride, Tim Burton’s next stop-action film. It looks incredible. Can’t wait for that one.

Amazon and Otters and Wizards, Oh My!

First, there are more zoo photos over at flickr, if you are interesting in such things as yawning otters.

Next, much sadness. I ordered the Harry Potter on, but I forgot to pick the correct shipping option! So no Harry Potter for me! What’s worse, is that when I came home, there was an Amazon box waiting for me, but it was filled, not with wizards and danger, but alas, with thesis fodder. So sad. Maybe I can fit Harry into my thesis somehow… In any case, the fine folks at Giant Megaconglomocorp Book City say that they are going to be releasing some of the reserved Potter books at 8 tonight. So, I’ll try that. If that works, I can read all night, be groggy and confused all day tomorrow!