Review: Whale Rider


Cam and I have been putting some long hours at work over the past couple of nights. On the plus side, work paid for dinner tonight, so that was nice.
Now, some people *cough*Amy*cough* accuse me of staying at work late to play this (via übersecret), but do you honestly think that something so simplistic could keep me occupied for hours on end?
By the way, I bet you can’t beat 593.
Last night I watched Whale Rider. I recall some folks had some opinions about this movie, and I remember the folks, and I remember the opinions, but not which correlated to which. One such opinion was that the movie was tediously slow, and that they’d never be able to get that part of their life back.
WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD


To that, I say “pffffffffft!”. It was an excellent film. True, it wasn’t action-packed. But the themes of honour, love, rejection, and triumph are universal. The way the film juxtaposes traditional native eastern-New Zealand customs against a contemporary setting is also quite well done.
The only part I took issue with is when our protagonist Paikea (played superbly by kiwi Keisha Castle-Hughes) didn’t actually disappear for good while riding the back of the whale. All signs were pointing in that direction.
Given the film was attempting to celebrate a culture rather than paint an uncertain future, it probably couldn’t have gone any other way. But I still felt as though the film took a right-angle turn there. All-in-all, though, a good, uplifting film with an ethereal, perfectly-fit soundtrack.
END SPOILER
Off to bed now — here’s to a good Friday everyone!!

Pirates of the Carribean, Goodbye Flatland, Ulti in the news, Cam gets new cam


So lots has happened since Monday — watched Pirates of the Carribean and got a copy of 54-40‘s new album Goodbye Flatland. Since I bought it from 54-40 directly — they recently parted ways with Sony Music — they sent along an autographed copy of the liner notes. How cool is that?

Last night, in addition to our regular Ultimate practice, we had a reporter (Mary) and a photographer (Rod) out there doing research for an article for the local paper. Rod got a fantastic shot of Cam laying out. I’m going to have to track down his email address and get it from him. Melissa took a few shots alongside the photographer — have a look — in an effort to get accustomed to the Powershot G3, which she and Cam just purchased. Congrats guys! You’re gonna have a blast. 🙂

Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K


Total runners: 5917; female: 3245, male: 2672.
Remember that run I was going to run?
Amy and I made the hour-long drive from Bradenton to Tampa during the small hours of Saturday. We arrived in the nick of time; day-of registration closed three minutes after we got through. After some hassle regarding not getting pins for our race numbers, we attached our ChampionChip (a unique-ID tracker for your shoe), checked our bags (I kept my camera), and made our way from the conference center down to the street.
There were thousands of people! The entire 5-lane width was filled, for a few hundred metres. We were at the back. A cheer drifted its way down from the front of the pack, and we were off.
Or maybe not. It took four minutes to cross the starting line.
About a 1/2 mile into the race, we came up on some energetic music. At first I bopped along, thinking, “Hey, neat, this race is going to be pretty easy if they put speakers along the whole route.”
And then, as I turned the corner, I heard the lyrics: a gospel chorus singing “Praise!”, and saw the banner: “Jesus loves you!” and some smaller signs “You’re all winners with Christ”. A local church was taking advantage of the fact that the race was going right by their front door. Felt a little cheated — before I turned the corner, I thought the music was being put on by the race coordinators.
At about the 1-mile mark, a woman with a microphone and a big speaker shouted words of encouragement at us. We passed two water stations, went around the halfway-point loop, passed another water station and a contraption blowing water mist on runners as they went by, and back past microphone lady. She was still at it, encouraging stragglers to keep on movin’. “Well, self,” said I, “if she can keep that up, I can definitely keep this up.”
We finished in just under 28 minutes. I came in 102nd out of the 281 males in my age group [25-29]. Considering I wasn’t running for time I think it’s okay. 🙂 [Stats for all runners — you’ll have to use my last name, if you know it, they messed up punching in my first.]


After the race it was over to Amy & Erik’s with Cam and Melissa for some tasty chicken fajitas. We watched Confidence at Erik’s recommendation, which was excellent. I think I’m going to add it to my “to buy” list of DVDs.
By the way, my lack of entries in the past week or so is a reflection of an increased number of deadlines that will be coming up over the next month. The balancing act still needs some work — I’ve had three borrowed movies sitting on my desk for the past week, that little utility I was cobbling together could use some work, and I have some books that need reading. But — I still managed to squeeze in a pickup Ultimate game beside a full workday Sunday, woot 🙂
Next up: the local paper is coming to photograph my Ultimate team at practice tomorrow night!

On the iPod and Car stereos


So my iPod is back up and running. I haven’t totally figured out what went wrong yet (seems to be related to the use of the dock in combination with the iSight), but I’ll sort that out later. For now, I’m happy about the possibility of getting rid of this:

All I need now is a decent way to get the sound into my car stereo. I don’t have a cassette deck in my car, so (of course) a cassette adapter is out of the question.
I’ve all but given up on using an FM transmitter after doing some research [example]. Sounds as though the, uh, sound would be iffy at best.
So right now I’m looking to see if there’s any sort of line-in for the Kenwood KDC-315S the previous owner installed in my car…. and the manual says there is, so I’m going to google and keep my fingers crossed.
Anyone else dealt with this sort of thing before?

Getting past it


Remember how I’ve been feeling a little dazed at work? Well, yesterday afternoon the daze lifted. I put my faith in an assumption about how things should work, gave it a shot, and it turned out to be correct!
Thus ends a task which has been plaguing me for the last two weeks. I hate being so vague, but the important thing is that the mental wall I’ve been staring at is behind me, and damn does it feel nice.
Off to Cam and Melissa’s for movie night! Hope you’ve had a good week so far.

Victoria makes the news

January 19, 2004 – 16:41 EST   “Mike Rowe, a 17-year-old from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada has angered Microsoft by registering a Web site with the address MikeRoweSoft.com. The software giant has demanded that Rowe give up his domain name. According to AP, he received a letter in November from Microsoft’s lawyers informing him he was committing copyright infringement. He wrote back asking to be compensated for giving up his name. Microsoft’s lawyers offered him US$10. He replied asking for $10,000. Last week, he received a 25-page document accusing him of trying to force the company into giving him a large settlement.”
(story via the always-excellent MacMinute)

Roses are red, Violets are blue; I love Spectre…


It’s been quite some time since I last saw a movie by myself, but I did tonight. A very short spring 2004 Ultimate organizational meeting gave me lots of time. It’s late, so this will be short (and besides, I seem to be having trouble finding words): I liked Big Fish a lot. I think you should go see it. The film is an exploration of a father-son relationship, and was, at times, touching, epic, and surreal.
And funny. The square dancing scene killed me.
You know how, when coming out of the movie theatre, you sometimes feel disoriented for a little while? Isn’t that supposed to wear off?

The Weekend


Well, it was a fun weekend. Friday night, went out to the famed Indian Restaurant to celebrate Amy and Erik’s birthday. Got the chicken saag, mmmmmm good. Dared Cam to try the vindaloo — and well, Cam’s not one to refuse a dare. Let’s just say he had food for the next day.

Erik falls off the wagon, hard
Speaking of the next day, on Saturday I was up at a local park with Eric J, Sonia, Eric J and Sonia’s dog Melvin, Eric G, and Rob, where we threw the disc around for a bit. The field was great, much better than our current field (read: rectangular rather than baseball field-shaped). And the lighting is better too. So I’ll be looking at that after our lighting contract expires at the end of the month.
While driving home, a flash of yellow caught the corner of my eye. I did a u-turn, made a left at the light into the parking lot and parked. Must have been over six-dozen school busses! And gas pumps, too. “For refueling the busses,” I guessed. Snapped a few quick shots and turned around to leave. Turns out it’s also where the police refuel their cruisers.
The officer explained that even though the gates weren’t locked during the day, I was trespassing. D’oh. Whoops. I apologized. He asked to see my license, took down my name, asked me if I live in the area, if I was employed, where I work, what I do, my home number, my work number, and radioed in a check on my license plate. He went on to explain that sometimes kids run around at night and vandalize the busses. I told him I hoped nothing got vandalized that night. And that was that. Except I’m kind of wondering how many databases my name was added to.
Made the best of the rest of the day when I got home. Cleaned up a bit, ichatav’ed with mom and dad, and, having been bitten by the bug the previous night, whipped something together for dinner.
Woke up at 7:30am Sunday to the sound of thunder crashing, decided to stay awake. Spent the morning cobbling together a little utility that crossed my mind the night before, ripped 10 cds into 128 kbps AAC — the equiv of 192kbps mp3, according to my ear. On a side note, my iPod currently isn’t being recognized by my computer. At the very worst, it probably means formatting and resyncing with the library on my computer. Guh. Some things never change. While we’re talking hardware, the backlight on my LCD flatpanel is still functioning beautifully after its two-week dim period ended a couple weeks ago. I think it’s just grinding down my warranty.
Sunday afternoon was Ultimate proper instead of just passing around; we had five on five, and afterward it was over to Jeff’s for another installment of his famous BBQ sessions. We half-watched Tomb Raider and its sequel. And Jeff made cookies! Fun times indeed, but I was exhausted by 9pm. I think someone’s getting old!

Mainframe Haiku


So I’ve been a bit out-of-it lately. The project I’m working on right now has few intermediate goals by which I can judge my progress — either I get it working, or I don’t. I’m not making the progress I’d like to make, so it’s meant extra-long nights.
On the upside, I made the decision to run a 5k race on the 24th. My fastest time for a 5k is 21:09, but that was after a couple months of training. And the paramedics had to hook me up to oxygen afterwards. I haven’t gone jogging — just for jogging’s sake — for at least a year, maybe a year and half, so if I get within 2 minutes of that time, I’ll be more than happy. I think the first time I ran a 5k (I’ve run three, none of them recent), I was taking it easy and aiming for the 28 minute mark. I ended up coming in around 24:30, and I wasn’t winded at all. There was a huge difference in effort required just to cut off those 3 minutes, so I’m thinking it might be a while before I crack the 20-minute barrier.
The CD above is from experimental electronic music producer Charles Paul. I got to see him spin on resonance back when I was in Victoria over Christmas. Unfortunately it’s one big track, so it’s not easy to share, but think soma.fm‘s cliqhop idm stream. Bleepy, melodic stuff, pretty good actually.
In other news: my friend Jim just launched his new website, Extrametrical, and I think he’s done a bang-up job. Plus, he said a few kind words about me, which is pretty nice, too. 🙂 Check it out if you have a chance, I think you’ll like it.