Tag Archives: Reviews

Hi-res Garbage

Well, it would appear my fears were unfounded after all. It didn’t happen right away (and I haven’t left Columbus yet, so my fingers are crossed) but it looks like things are going to turn out just fine.
In other news, I saw Garbage on Monday! And thus fulfilled a desire to see them live, ever since I bought Version 2.0 seven years ago. Shirley Manson ran the show. I’d expect nothing less, of course. I gotta say, at first I wasn’t sure how I was going to get back into the Garbage headspace — it’s not the easiest place to be… but the way they came on stage, with the lights off and Johnny Cash’s incredible cover of Hurt playing, whoa man. It all came rushing back, it was so perfect.

The show was awesome, but it was a bit surprising, in that for a tour which was supposed to be about their new album, Bleed Like Me, they played a high percentage of classics (including, among others, “Queer”, “When I grow up”, “Hammering in My Head”, “Push it”, and “Only Happy When it Rains”.)
And, well, the more I think about it, the more I can’t help but think there might be some credence to this review, which suggests this might be the group’s last tour together. That would make me sad 🙁
<time passes>
Okay, enough with the sad, after searching around for a bit, I found this interview with Garbage drummer Butch Vig about the new album, and their breakup in 2003 which I didn’t even know about.. I figure if they broke up so recently and are back together touring, that makes the odds of their breaking up now quite a bit lower. Not to mention that their latest CD is their best-debuting album ever.

Shaun of The Dead, Ultimate, No Baby (Yet)

So it’s been a fun couple past days. Last night I hung out at Amy and Erik’s with Nora, Cam and Melissa. We watched Shaun of the Dead, a spoof on the zombie genre. Definitely worth a rental, if you get a laugh out of that kind of thing. I know I did. Must… eat… brains!
Thursday night’s Ultimate game was great; we took halftime 8-0 and it was 10-0 before they got a point. A comeback was made in the second half, but it wasn’t enough, and we ended up taking the game 15-5. I’m pretty sure we just had experience on our side. We were playing New Colllege, and their team was about four or five veterans, plus a bunch of players who had only been playing for a year or so. Contrast that with our team, where all the players had played for at least two years, and some for much longer than that. Still, I think all involved had a good time — even New College — and Monica brought out chips (about 60 28-gram bags!), cookies, brownies and beer for the entire field! How cool is that?
Other than that, life’s been full of excitement surrounding the upcoming birth of Cam and Melissa’s little one. Yesterday was Melissa’s due date, but no baby yet. Contractions — of the real kind — are nowhere to be seen. But I’m sure she’ll be going into labour in the next few days. Cam’s been keeping everyone up-to-date on a daily basis via his blog — go check it out. Tonight his brother Kurt arrives; I can’t wait to meet him.
That’s it! Have superawesome weekend 🙂

Beauty in the Breakdown

Time keeps on slipping, slipping… into the future…
I think I’ve been going slightly batty trying to get everything ready for next week’s big brouhaha in Tampa. Cam, too. Worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday — there before 9am and not back home before 10:30pm. We all really pulled together for this one. It wasn’t just the worker bees doing their thing, either — a couple levels of management were there as well, working right alongside us.
I feel so out of it — I haven’t had a chance to keep up with anyone’s blog in the past week, let alone my own, so if you notice me commenting a bunch in the local blogosphere over the next day or two, it’s because we just met a major milestone and I’m trying to catch up 🙂
On the tooth front, the molar is mildly sensitive, but it’s more of a tickle than anything I’d classify as pain. I am a little alarmed at how much lower it is in height than the others; I wonder if it was necessary to grind the tooth down a little bit so it could be worked on… or if it was just naturally ground down: when I opened my mouth for the first time for the dental assistant, Jennifer, she said, “wow, you sure grind your teeth a lot”, to which I replied “Oh, I’ve heard that before — I don’t do it consciously”. So I guess I grind my teeth! Ack. Need to stop that, I really need all the tooth enamel I can get. I wonder if it’s a plot so that I have to get a crown. Hmm.
I rented Garden State last night, thanks to Zameer reminding me about it over MSN Messenger. That was the second time I’d seen it; it didn’t have quite the same effect as it did the first time. I’m sure that was part me having already seen it (no surprises), part watching it by myself (vs. with my peers), part watching it on my computer (rather than at the theatre), and part starting the film at 11pm. But by the end, it really recaptured me and god I can’t get over how beautiful and perfect the Frou Frou track at the end is. There are two commentaries from Zach Braff included on the disc; I’m going to return the DVD without listening to them and simply go BUY the film instead.
That’s all for now.

Organic milk: what’s the deal?

Not sure which I should be afraid of: the hormones and chemicals in regular milk, or the super-long expiry dates on the so-called organic stuff.

Saw Blade: Trinity tonight. I loved it. If you liked the first two, you’ll enjoy this one. It continues the cheesy, B-movie nature of the first two films. One-liner fans, rejoice: there are plenty. 🙂
Also rented Dodgeball on Friday night. The plot, from imdb:

A group of misfits enter a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament in order to save their cherished local gym from the onslaught of a corporate health fitness chain.

I was really hoping to like this movie — the premise was so ridiculous. While I definitely laughed a few times, it came across as trying just a little too hard. Ah well. Not a bad first-feature film effort from Office Linebacker director Rawson Marshall Thurber. If you’re looking for a good goofball movie, however, I recommend Napolean Dynamite. I haven’t laughed so hard in months.
Tomorrow I head back to San Antonio. It’s a four-day trip, a quick hop there and back. Should be fun, unfortunately the junior hockey team for the Florida Panthers — the San Antonio Rampage — are playing 1/2 an hour after I land and two hours after I take off, so I’m going to miss both games. *grumble*. Ah well — if you’d like a postcard from the home of the Alamo, just email me your address.

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?

Fear Factory

It’s late, so this is gonna be quick, but I wanted to say two things. The first is about the previously-viewed Bowling For Columbine DVD I bought two days ago from Blockbuster: tonight I watched both sides of it, and the scuffs I feared would cause a playback problem, didn’t.
The second thing is about the Bowling for Columbine DVD. If you watched this movie in theatres like I did, and haven’t seen the DVD yet, go rent it. The special features are great. Michael Moore returns to Denver/Littleton six months after the release of Bowling, and gave a great speech to a packed house of 6000 about the film, and the intent he had with it. And although the Academy wouldn’t give him the rights to show the footage from the 2002 Oscars, he describes the whole experience to DVD viewers in wonderful detail. In response to the criticism for his non-traditional (some say “inappropriate”) Oscar acceptance speech — where he publicly criticizes president George W. Bush — Michael Moore explains why he thinks his speech was entirely appropriate.
Oh, and there’s a bonus thing, and it’s something I haven’t fully explored yet: you know how DVDs usually have an audio commentary track you can lay over the film while it’s playing? And how those commentaries are typically done by the director, or an actor, or a costume designer, or someone like that? Well, on the DVD for Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore gets the folks on the lowest rungs of the ladder in the film production — the interns, the secretaries, the box-movers — to do the narration. I’ve only listened to about 20 minutes of it so far, but I’m really looking forward hearing the rest. I think a big reason I find the commentary so interesting is because these are people around my age, and — although this may be oversimplifying things — I think most people in my age group feel a degree of apathy about their ability to effect change. I know I’ve been there before. So I’m curious to see if there are hints of that in there. Are you twenty-something? Are you apathetic about politics? Is it just me? What causes violence in America?

Review: Chicago and Weekend (Text)

Well just a quickie tonight — watched Chicago tonight at Cam and Melissa’s, what a blast. The plot outline (also from imdb): “Murderesses Velma Kelly (Who blanked out and killed her cheating husband) and Roxie Hart (Who killed her boyfriend in a jealous rage) strive for fame at any costs including scandal and lies in 1920s Chicago.”
Pretty amazing film really. Everything was totally larger-than-life; all the characters bold. Subtle like chainsaw!
Defintely worth the rental.
My weekend (in words):

  • With Darren, Cam, and Melissa, drove downtown to the Hollywood 20 movies theatre complex.
  • Because the box office had been closed for the past hour or so due to a faulty air-conditioner, there was a mad rush to buy tickets when it finally re-opened. In order to guarantee ourselves a spot, Jeff bought a block of tickets for the Matrix, and we paid him later. What did I think? By now, I’m sure you’ve all the reviews, and if you haven’t, let me summarize: most critics think the movie blows, leaving many questions unanswered and creating more of its own. I’m here to say that I think the movie probably *did* answer most of the questions. They’re just not handed to you on a silver platter. But that’s all I’m going to say on the topic for now, since (a) I’m still digesting it all and (b) I know not everyone has seen it.
  • Vodka Melon.
  • Chocolate
  • Choc-Marg-Choc-Jeff
  • Kemp
  • Cam in motion
  • Me
  • Jeff and Margarita
  • Melissa
  • Bailey’s and mint
  • Some sorta mixed-up Jeff margarita.
  • These used to be full
  • Got up, bought lunch and a pair of shorts for less than $10 total at a nearby Super Walmart, and proceeded to throw around a disc with Cam in high winds for extended periods of time.
  • Got home, all I wanted to do was relax — this is my Barq’s.

What is it good for?

Well, over the past couple of days ‘net access at home has been flakey at best. I think it’s a sign from the broadband god. “BUY YOUR ACCESS”, booms His voice. “But this is free!” “YOU’LL BE ABLE TO SEND FILES VIA IRC AND INSTANT MESSAGING PROGRAMS, IT’LL BE GOOD.” “Keep trying.”
pic of simon's overloaded subaru impreza
Sunday Simon saddled up the Subaru and sped out of Sarasota
Simon’s fiance, Janice, flew down to help him pack and keep him company on the way back up to Winterpeg. And to take a little 1000-mile detour to Houston to visit her family.
simon, janice, and mattress
Simon and Janice hang out with their last piece of furniture (which is, incidentally, now in my couch)
Everything was in that little car. Let me tell you, an Econoline 150 it ain’t. Things were packed in there so tight the windows were popping out of place.
bits and pieces from simon
Well, almost everything. Some stuff ended up back at my place.
Simon and Janice left in a hurry because they were late, and ended up arriving at their destination early. Figures! As I was doing a final check of the place before handing in the keys on their behalf, I discovered a whole bunch of dishes still in the washer. I offered to mail them to him, but he said Cam and I should split ’em up. Fine by me!
Ended up working pretty late tonight — till 7:30 actually — so I missed 1.5 hrs of Ultimate. Good thing we usually play for three. 🙂
George Acosta: Touched
George Acosta’s 5th mixed album on Ultra, ‘Touched’
Jeff lent me a double-disc mix set he picked up while in Boston last week — George Acosta’s Touched — and oh my god is it ever good. I just about went deaf in the car tonight. Even though I knew it probably wasn’t good for my ears, I just kept turning it up. I couldn’t help myself. It’s sooooooo good.
A while back my friend Scott in Regina sent me a burnt copy of one of George’s previous albums — I can’t recall the title of it right now, but I do remember it was trying to do the megamix thing — 22 tracks in 74 minutes or something like that. I wasn’t very impressed. It was a gazillion tiny little slices uber-trance, just enough time to get the taste of a song, but never enough time to actually enjoy it.
But “Touched” is completely different. Each CD contains just 12 tracks; the first disc is called “Epic Side”, and that’s completely what it is. It’s the one I had cranked in the car. In particular the first real track (Track 1 is a 40 second intro) is an absolute killer: Armin Van Buuren Featuring Ray Wilson “Yet Another Day” (Riva Remix). I’ve had this song stuck in my head all night. My other favorites include Driftwood’s “Freeloader” (Green Martian Remix) and (of course) Gouryella’s “Ligaya”. The second disc — labelled “Darc [sic] Side” — I can’t recommend it, but not because it isn’t good. It may well be better than the first disc. Problem is, I haven’t heard it cause I keep on playing disc one over and over again.
Anyway, buy it if you see it! It’ll make you tingly all over!

Cam, Good Feedback, Ultimate and Drive-thru Everything!

Oh man! So Cam arrived last night around 8pm. After a downing a couple of BEvERages and making my now-classic carribean jerk-chicken fajitas (soo good!), we watched Bend It Like Beckham [imdb] [trailer].
Bend It is about an Indian girl in England battling a generational and cultural divide. If you’ve been paying close attention, you know this is the second time I’ve watched it — and it’s just as good the second time through! Having Indian heritage, many parts of this film resonated with me. But you don’t need to be Indian to enjoy it — it’s very good storytelling and manages to be serious and funny and uplifting all at the same time. Go see it if you get the chance [worldwide release dates].
After the movie and fajitas, Cam did the Right Thing:

Made Hungry Jack for breakfast, and we were on the way to Starbucks for a pre-interview caffeine injection, but we ran out of time. 🙁 Forgot about the 8 o’clock traffic jams on Fruitville.
Cam was in Sarasota for less than twenty hours. The flight-time alone is more than that. I can’t really say much here about how the interview went. Suffice to say I’ll be finding out more in about two weeks! 😀
Apart from the inteview with Cam, work today was fantastic — got loads of feedback from the trainers that teach folks how to use our product. Although we had them in to basically get their stamp of approval for our new features, we also got a ton of feedback on things that would be easy to change in the software and would increase overall usability. So that ruled. Hopefully I’ll be getting some time budgeted in this year’s software plan to incorporate some of this most-excellent feedback. I’ve got my fingers crossed anyhow. The master plan ™ should be unveiled sometime in the next week or so.
And of course, what Thursday evening would be complete without a little Ultimate with the Sarasota Slackers? We played *three* games tonight!

Here’s something neat: Scotty brought organically-grown leafy veggies to the game and gave them away.

It was a big hit. Just ask Jeremiah!

Not sure who this guy is, but he was sure grinning like an idiot!
I also met Emily tonight. She had been standing on the sideline the whole night, so I had to ask her her name. Turns out her coworker Thomas brought her and that she’d never played before — but she’d like to learn! Very cool. Here’s another cool thing: I told her I was from Victoria, and she already knew I wasn’t from the US. She overheard me speaking before I came over to talk to her, and she noticed I didn’t have an American accent. How cool is that? On top of this, she’s from Nova Scotia. A fellow Canadian! And she’s got an Aunt who lives just minutes from Victoria in Sidney! Crazy.
After ulti I had to get my traditional post-game coffee. You know what? I’m not sure the tradition extends very well. It used to be that I would get the coffee after playing on the beach on Monday nights. Because we stopped playing when the sun went down, that meant I was getting my coffee at around 6:30pm. Now that I’m playing under lit-fields, I’m at Ultimate until much later than before; today I got home at 10pm. So perhaps I’ll have to link my weekly grande vanilla latte to something else. 🙂
Got to Starbucks and the parking lot was full, so I decided to use a feature of Starbucks that’s totally alien to me: the drivethrough.

I’ve got to admit, it was actually pretty convenient!
And the photo of the night? How could I pass this sign and NOT take a picture?

Ultimate Pictures & iPhoto 2

So I promised you guys some pictures from Ultimate, and they’re ready for you! Be forewarned, this is one largeass JPEG — click at your own risk!
Wow, whatta day! Work was, um, a little less hectic than normal. We were focusing on getting the product we’ve been working on for the last 6 months out the door this week. My main job for the past few days was to create the upgrade CD — but a core piece of documentation that needs to go on the CD has been being reviewed for the past few days, so I’ve been pretty much blocked. So I’ve been tasking myself with things I think would be useful. Not very stressful, and as a bonus, it means there’s absolutely no pressure to leave late (though I almost did today by sheer force of habit). Today was a whopping 7 hours and 50 minutes, and I was home by 5:30. Beautiful.
In other news, today Apple released iPhoto 2 today. Why is this noteworthy? Well, I’ve used the previous version with my Powershot G3 since December, and it’s worked pretty well. This new version brings in a bunch of new stuff, like the ability to archive selected photos to CD, some pretty nice re-touching tools, expanded support for emailing photos, and a whack of other good stuff. And it’s free. No cashola. All I do is go to Software Update, and click “Update Now”. Pretty slick. Thought I’d provide you folks with some screenshots you just won’t see anywhere else. 😉 These only appear the first time you run iPhoto2:

Just an “OK” button? What if I disagree?

Ah, the price of progress.

Took about 2 minutes for the whole process; I’ve got 523 photos in my library.

Okay, I admit, it’s possible to see this one again easily enough. But come on! This shot is mandatory!