7-30-04 (02:33)
  • "As Grist revealed yesterday, energy -- or more specifically, the national-security and economic dangers of dependence on foreign oil -- is to be one of John Kerry's top four campaign issues.  Kerry has traditionally sided with the conservation folks against the drill-drill-drill folks, and that has included support for increased fuel-efficiency (CAFE) standards for cars and trucks.  However, CAFE increases are unpopular in the crucial swing state of Michigan, where autoworkers fear the loss of jobs.  So tonight in his speech at the Democratic convention, Kerry is expected to finesse the issue, passing over CAFE to touch on the component of his energy plan that would dedicate $10 billion to job-creating subsidies and tax breaks for automakers and consumers to encourage the manufacture and purchase of fuel-efficient cars.  It remains to be seen whether this tactic will win support in Michigan, but a positive editorial in the Detroit Free Press and the enthusiastic support of the United Autoworkers Union seem to bode well."
  • updated movies list.
  • going camping this weekend.
  • today was the last day that i worked with joe. got to meet the new manager and he seemed gruff.
  • fahrenheit 9/11 has been announced for october 5th. it'll be $28.95
  • bought "to have and to have not" tonight.

  • 7-29-04 (02:15)

  • through the end of june i had seen 11 films made in the 1940s. in july, so far, i've seen 10 films from the 40s. that's what a film-noir marathon will do.
  • updated movies list. i've watched a lot of really great films this month so my recommendations list is on the long side.
  • "MGM, being wooed by Sony and Time Warner, now appears to be leaning toward the latter, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The wire service quoted one source with knowledge of the talks as saying, "Time Warner has caught up and gone beyond Sony in terms of due diligence." Each media conglomerate is waving an offer of about $5 billion in cash and stock at MGM. NBC Universal, which for a time had also been considered a possible suitor, reportedly has dropped out of the courtship, after concluding that the $5-billion pricetag is too high."
  • i've been following the progress of that story for a while now. from a film-lover's perspective you'd like mgm to be purchased by warner because they know what they're doing with films and their dvd releases are consistently better than that of columbia. also, warner owns a bunch of mgm titles already, so they may as well get the rest. the bad thing about this kind of stuff, from a film-lover's point of view, is that warner isn't likely to invest in much extra staff to produce more dvds for the increase in their catalog product. ideally you'd have a warner executive who is also a film lover take stock of all the mgm titles that have yet to be released and aggressively get those to market. i hope they keep the mgm pricing schedules because mgm is pretty good about keeping prices reasonable.
  • "Fox TV's syndication unit, Twentieth Television, abruptly canceled American Idol host Ryan Seacrest's talk show On-Air With Ryan Seacrest one day after a broadcast group of 20 stations, Sinclair Broadcasting, dropped it. The show debuted in January, and has rarely risen above a 1.0 rating. In a statement, the syndicator said, "It was our desire that the program would appeal to a wide array of viewers, but unfortunately, the marketplace's response was not as strong as we had hoped.""
  • a renewed faith in humanity washes over my mind.

  • 7-28-04 (02:00)

  • updated movies list.
  • quite by accident i've seen three films in a row by three undisputed american greats - hitchcock, ford and kubrick. the two movies i have from netflix right now are also by great american directors - one is by orson welles and the other is by howard hawks. technically hitchcock started in the UK and moved to the US, while kubrick did the opposite so you could make the argument that those guys aren't "american greats" as i labeled them.
  • 2002 was an awful year for the academy awards.
  • my fantasy baseball team sucks.

  • 7-27-04 (03:03)

  • updated movies list.
  • watched the killing because it's kubrick's birthday.
  • it's very hot these days.
  • nothing has been happening of any note.
  • i applied for a couple more jobs last week.
  • somehow my cold has been able to cling to my body for a lot longer than i thought. it's just this lame post-nasal drip thing that bothers me mostly in the morning and at night. it doesn't affect me most of the time, but it does annoy me that i've been unable to get completely rid of the bug by now.
  • sports-wise ricky williams retiring at age 27 is the big news. most people seem to be upset by his decision because they see it as a self-centered move. i don't really care. even if i liked the guy i wouldn't be that broken up about it. when someone leaves on their own volition it doesn't bother me that much. i wish barry sanders had stuck around a bit longer to break the rushing record, but it's not that big a deal. it does bother me when a guy like jerry rice is pushed out of san francisco because of money. or when a player's career is ended prematurely because of an injury.
  • politics-wise the dnc is under way. lately i've been getting the feeling that there's been a cultural shift against bush. it's not a pro-kerry move so much as it is an anti-bush move. i've even found myself thinking that kerry has a good shot at pulling this thing off. i guess i have to stick with my prediction that bush will win though. he does have more money, is willing to be more dirty, and may have an october surprise up his sleeve.
  • i think p.t. anderson is my favorite contemporary director. his visual style and storytelling ability is more compelling than anyone else who is currently making movies. you could say that wes anderson is more entertaining or that the coen brothers are better filmmakers (i'd disagree in both instances, but it could be argued...), but for my money p.t. anderson is the most compelling and interesting filmmaker of my time.

  • 7-26-04 (02:40)

  • updated movies list.
  • ren and stimpy season one coming october 12th.
  • today (the 26th) is stanley kubrick's birthday. i don't think i really need to rehash the myriad accomplishments of kubrick as a filmmaker or gush about my love of his work. it should mostly go without saying.

  • 7-25-04

  • went to vacaville today. went shopping with melanie and watched dodgeball at the cheap theater out there. also went to digger's deli which is where jon, vern and i would eat most of the time when we were painting in the area. good times.
  • updated movies list.

  • 7-24-04 (03:12)

  • went to sleep at about 4 last night. nothing unusual about that, but at 8am this morning there were some tree trimming people in front of the house making a silly amount of noise. that went on for an hour or so. noise pollution is always the last form of pollution a person hears about (pun intended), but it's the one that i experience most consciously most frequently. obviously other forms of pollution are more detrimental to one's longterm health, but noise pollution is the most annoying. one more reason that i want to live in the country.
  • i've been watching a lot of films that deserve "B" ratings lately. it makes my grading look too easy, but the films that have been getting "B"s really do deserve that grade.
  • updated movies list. watched three movies in the theater today. melanie paid for one, which turned into two. and i saw the other for free at the tower theater. i'm spoiled.

  • 7-23-04 (02:19)

  • updated movies list.
  • my wrist hurts.

  • 7-22-04 (22:56)

  • i did this and came up with 270 for kerry and 268 for bush. my guesses were based on: current polls, 2000 results, and my gut feeling. basically i had kerry winning the midwest (except IN and OH) because of the outpouring of manufacturing jobs, the northeast because it's kerry/democrat country, and the west because CA and WA generally go to democrats, OR was a little tight last time, but i gave it to kerry. i had everything else going to bush.
  • here's a similar site. on that site they have a quiz that asks "Which state is most over-represented in the Electoral College? CA, MA, WY, or TN" here's the answer (which, i can happily report, i got right):
  • "Every state has Electoral Votes equal to the number of Senators plus the number of Representatives. (These Congressional and Electoral totals, by the way, are adjusted with each ten-year Census). Since every state has 2 Senators, and at least 1 Representative, the minimum number of Electoral votes any state can have is 3. Therefore, Wyoming with the lowest population (493,782 in 2000 Census) has the greatest number of Electoral Votes relative to its population.

  • Conversely, even though it has 55 Electoral Votes, California is the most under-represented state. With 12% of the U.S. now residing there, California would have about 65 Electoral votes if it was just based on population. The other two states that you could choose from, Tennessee and Massachusetts, are actually the two states that are closest to having the "correct" number of Electoral Votes based on their population. "

    7-22-04 (16:25)

  • what lance armstrong is doing right now is just as incredible as what tiger woods did a few years ago.

  • 7-22-04 (00:48)

  • updated movies list. reached 300 movies today. also, there was one movie that i watched on sunday that i forgot about and added to the list.
  • last year i didn't watch 300 movies until december 9th. the only other time i watched 300 movies in a year was in 2000 (the first year i kept track). i watched my 300th movie on december 30th that year.
  • i think my cold is pretty much gone at this point.
  • tomorrow is my friday.
  • if it weren't for that whole pedaphilia thing michael jackson would be a poster boy for all the people who laud those who question gender roles. not only does he question gender, he even questions race which puts him like 20 years ahead of his time.
  • "Convicted perjurer Martha Stewart has received a pardon from People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA), just months after declaring her one of the world's worst dressed celebrities. The animal rights group was incensed when Stewart - who faces five months in prison followed by five months under home arrest following her trial earlier this year - wore what appeared to be a fur scarf when she appeared in court. In a recent interview with ABC News correspondent Barbara Walters, Stewart insisted, "That was faux fur. My daughter doesn't allow me to wear fur, Barbara. We don't wear fur. Maligned, maligned, maligned. Soft and cuddly, that's all it was." PETA president Ingrid Newkirk has now written to Stewart to apologize saying, "We're writing today to say we've taken you off the worst-dressed list and are advising our members that you, like your vegetarian daughter, believe that fur looks best on its original owner.""
  • peta really does make itself look stupid sometimes.
  • i took all my movie reviews for the year and pasted them into a word document. the resulting document was 77 pages long.

  • 7-21-04 (01:41)

  • "Also coming from Columbia TriStar in November (finally) are the first two seasons of TV's Seinfeld, complete with extras featuring all of the show's cast members."
  • updated movies list.
  • "Criterion's edition of Edward Cline's comedy classic The Bank Dick, starring W.C. Fields, will be available only through August 31, 2004. This title will be out of print and unavailable come September 2004." i think that this is going to be offered as part of a w.c. fields boxset later down the line, but through universal instead of criterion.

  • 7-20-04 (02:14)

  • updated movies list. a lot of updates since i've watched a lot of films and haven't had the energy to update until now.
  • hopefully today was the worst my cold had to offer. i called in sick and felt crappy most of the day. i think tomorrow will be a bit better.
  • added a couple movies to the recommendations list. i've been trying to keep the list on the short side, but i've seen a lot of great stuff this month. some of it most people have probably already seen anyway.

  • 7-18-04 (01:10)

  • thursday joe told me that the supervisors are going to have their schedules changed so that we "don't have to work the same shifts all the time." i knew it was coming, but i figured it would happen after he left.
  • updated movies list.
  • melanie was sick the last few days and just yesterday i went to the doctor and happily reported that i hadn't gotten a cold all year. well, today i started feeling the rumblings of a cold. tomorrow it should be full blown. i hate being sick.

  • 7-17-04 (16:23)

  • updated movies list.

  • 7-17-04 (03:13)

  • learned today (here) that dick cheney actually had presidential powers for about a day on june 29 2002 because "george w. bush declared himself incapcitated while undergoing colonscopy."
  • went to the doctor today. not much actually happened...they took my blood, weighed me, took my bp and that was about it. i talked with the doctor about the problem with my arm last week and mentioned the fact that my legs are always tired. basically she reaffirmed my belief that it's a combination of not working out and having to stand for 7 hours a day. i told her that i lack the motivation to work out and she said that i need to find my passion in life.
  • updated movies list.

  • 7-16-04 (03:31)

  • updated movies list.
  • going to the doctor tomorrow. i have all sorts of small problems with my body. hopefully i can start taking an assortment of drugs that will introduce new problems because i'm tired of these old ones.

  • 7-15-04 (03:07)

  • updated movies list.
  • forgot to mention yesterday that my boss is going to another store so i'll be getting a new boss sometime in the near future. we don't know who it is yet. even though i don't really like joe all that much, he's generally a decent person and i know what to expect from him. a new person could come in and fuck up my schedule (like joe did when he came) or cut my hours (joe did this for a brief time by converting to 7 hour shifts) or who knows what. in other words, i think more bad could come from this than good.

  • 7-14-04 (02:22)

  • "The U.S. EPA has announced it will levy a substantial fine -- perhaps the largest environmental fine in U.S. history -- against chemical giant DuPont, charging the company with illegally concealing evidence that a chemical used to make Teflon endangered its employees and the public.  The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has caused developmental and other problems in animal studies, something DuPont was allegedly aware of as early as March 1981.  PFOA was found in the blood of almost all of the 1,500 Americans recently tested for it. Scientists believe exposure comes not through cooking with Teflon but through a manufacturing process that leaves traces of the chemical in soil and groundwater.  The EPA was spurred to action by complaints from the Environmental Working Group and will negotiate the exact amount of the fine -- potentially hundreds of millions of dollars -- in the coming months."
  • updated movies list. at my current rate i'll have likely reached 300 movies by the end of july.
  • so apparently the phillipines had only 61 troops in iraq so that was even lower than my guess of 100. pretty pathetic "coalition of the willing" if you ask me. but we already knew that.
  • "Also today, the great B-movies-on-DVD website DVD Drive-In is reporting that MGM's August batch of Midnight Movies double-feature discs will be Best Buy exclusive titles. Yes, that's right... you'll ONLY be able to buy them at Best Buy stores, which is certain to piss lots of people off. Check the website for the complete list."

  • 7-13-04 (02:14)

  • updated movies list.
  • i think the rule changes for the tour de france are pretty blatantly anti-lance armstrong. there are more mountain stages (jan ulrich, his closest competitor last year is good in the mountains), there's only one individual time trial (he excels at the time trials), and in the team time trials there is a maximum amount of time a team can lose. so if his team gets first place by 1:30 they can only gain 20 seconds on the second place team, 30 on the third, 40 on the fourth and so on. in previous tours this was not the case. it's pretty lame. no one has ever won six tour de frances, much less six in a row. miguel indurain is the only other person to have won five in a row.
  • i've seen a trend in shirt designs lately towards being more upfront and direct. in the past you'd see a shirt that had a picture of bob marley on it and it might say "bob marley" under the picture. the implication of the shirt is that i like bob marley and you should too. or i like marley's music so check him out. now i see shirts that say simply "listen to bob marley." i've seen a lot of shirts that are quite skimpy and say stuff like "if you're cute, i'm single." i think it's an interesting trend to be more honest about the intentions of the person wearing the shirt. in this instance i think a person a few years ago might have worn a skimpy shirt that shows off their stomach with the implication being - i'm attractive and looking for a mate. now the shirts just come right out and say it explicitly. i think it's funny and i also think it's cool because it acknowledges what a lot of shirts have become - billboards for a person's musical, sexual, political thoughts/feelings/etc. i like it because it's honest, not because i like bob marley or want to hit on some chick.
  • speaking of shirts...i saw a great one the other day that said "property of no one." i thought that was also a good idea since i see far too many shirts that saw "property of abercrombie and fitch." or "property of gap swim team" or something equally inane. then i looked closer at the shirt and saw that underneath the "property of no one" text there was a nike swoosh. if i was in charge of shirt design for nike and some underling said "hey let's make a shirt like this" i'd fire them because i'd think it was the dumbest idea ever. no one's going to buy a shirt that says property of no one, but then has a nike swoosh underneath - everyone will understand the contradiction and will therefore opt to not purchase the shirt. i guess i would have been wrong.
  • Philippines are getting their troops out of iraq. i suppose it looks bad for the administration, but how many troops do they have there anyway? 100? 200? no more than a couple hundred i'm sure. the reason it gets publicity is because the terrorists are using the threat of beheading, in this case, effectively.
  • some time last year the rolling stones struck up an exclusive deal with best buy to sell a dvd of theirs. it meant that no other retailer could sell the dvd without going through best buy which effectively gave them a monopoly on this particular item in the rolling stones catalog. everyone in the music industry whom i talked with had an adverse reaction to this for obvious reasons. in response to this several independent chains pulled all rolling stones product and let their customers know why they were doing this. recently lenny kravitz has decided to do a similar thing with target. his new album is available in a limited edition through target only. tower decided to stop selling his new album as a result of this decision. i'm pleasantly surprised by tower's initiative on this issue.
  • "Video Store is reporting that Warner is indeed quietly phasing out its much-derided Snapper packaging. This is due to internal research conducted by the studio that discovered (surprise!) "a portion of consumers do prefer the Amaray-style packaging." Amazing that it only took, what... SEVEN years to figure this out? You just have to scratch your head sometimes."
  • apparently moore's "the big one" will retail for 19.95, guess i was wrong.

  • 7-12-04 (01:01)

  • johnny got me excel the other day and i've been messing around with that for a little while. i've never really used spreadsheets because i've never seen any reason to, but excel is fucking crazy.
  • updated movies list.
  • allmusic.com is getting upgraded and it looks pretty nice. the upgraded version is not available to the public yet, but it will be pretty soon and i think people will like it.

  • 7-11-04 (03:04)

  • updated movies list.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 7-9-04 (02:20)

  • updated movies list.

  • 7-8-04 (16:05)

  • well i don't have to go to work tomorrow because we finished inventory early. yay.
  • here's a website dedicated to highlighting some of the more awful reviews of great art (books, cds, films). most of it's really funny and all of it makes me quite sad because it's one more indicator of the level of ignorance and stupidity in the world... here are some of my favorites:
  • re: lawrence of arabia "I bought this DVD as a way to show off my new DVD player to my family. I had seen the movie several times in the theater, and knew its bright colors would be beautiful on my TV screen. To my horror, I saw that Columbia had seen fit to alter a masterpiece. Yes, the film came complete with those horrific black bars at the top and bottom of my screen, which obscured about half of the picture. I've seen those bars on the "artsy" videos on TV, and I sometimes enjoy them. But this is a classic work of art! You don't try to make it "hip" and "relevant" with modern touches. It would be like adding a moustache to the Mona Lisa. Until Columbia drops the act and releases "Lawrence of Arabia" without those bars, letting us see all of the picture, stay away. "
  • re: Seven Samurai "Save your money and time by not watching this badly made kung-fu movie. The guys in this movie do not know martial arts at all."
  • "This movie seems to be a scene-by-scene copy of one of my favorite movies-"Magnificent Seven". Magnificent seven is a classic movie that has been copied many times, but I didn't know westerns were popular enough in japan to be copied."
  • "no special effects at all. This movie could learn some tricks from the recent movie "The haunting"."
  • re: Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon "Britney will be criticized now, but she will be around forever and follow the path of the total musical genius Madonna."
  • re: Schindler's List "we watch this every christmas eve before we put the children to sleep. it is a wonderful family oriented comedy."
  • "I'de Rather Die than watch that boring movie again, A shame for a Steven Speilberg Movie."
  • "Oh the poor jews and those awful, evil white people. Where's my violin? Oh, I don't need one: Itzak Perlman plays his for the score. This movie is another pathetic, boring, piece of propaganda about those 6 million (a grossly exaggerated figure) deaths during WW2."
  • "I cant believe that Spielberg is so sick that he actualy tried to make a comedy out of the Holocaust. I'll admit I laughed but I wasn't proud of myself for laughing. "
  • re: Casablanca "I'm pretty sure I will enjoy it a lot more when Warner Bros finally gets around to releasing the colorized version, the way this movie needs to be seen - the world is not black and white, why should our movies be?"
  • okay that's enough. it's getting depressing.

  • 7-8-04 (00:06)

  • tomorrow would normally be my friday, but this week we have inventory so i have to work tomorrow and the next day. what's worse is that i have to be at work by 5:45am.
  • i won't be able to sleep for at least another hour so that means less than five hours of sleep tonight.
  • updated movies list.

  • 7-7-04 (02:00)

  • this is from www.thedigitalbits.com which is one of the bigger (and better) dvd websites out there: "Finally, we've got a little information on those Michael Moore DVDs we mentioned yesterday as well. According to the latest issues of Video Business and Video Store, it's still unknown who will be distributing the DVD of Fahrenheit 9/11 (apparently, Lions Gate does NOT have the DVD release rights which will likely go to one of the major studios, possibly even Buena Vista). However, word is Moore's production company has already completed many of the special features for the disc. In addition, Bits reader Chris M. recently had the chance to speak with Moore in person, and learned that the director has recorded a new commentary for The Big One, due from Miramax on 9/28. Chris also learned that the DVD rights for Moore's only other unreleased project, TV Nation, belong to Sony, but the studio is sitting on the title at the moment (we'll keep you up to date on plans if and when they develop)."
  • that's me with the insider info. pretty cool.
  • got three noam chomsky albums today. also got a five disc film noir set (out of the past, asphalt jungle, murder my sweet, gun crazy, and the set-up) for only 35 bucks.
  • i've glanced at a couple of reviews for fahrenheit 9/11 and found some people claiming that moore isn't a good filmmaker. no matter what you think of his politics, you must acknowledge his skill as a filmmaker. it's just beyond me.
  • updated movies list.

  • 7-6-04 (03:55)

  • updated movies list.
  • the big one is coming to dvd on 9/28. finally! when i talked with michael moore he said there would be a commentary track for this film. it's through miramax so i'd expect it to be 29.99.

  • 7-3-04 (02:17)

  • updated movies list.
  • updated recommendations list.

  • 7-2-04 (02:45)

  • updated movies list.
  • a few days ago i said that june went by quickly. i take that back. june took forever. it feels like it's been a long time since the nba finals, for example.

  • useful information: "Teen star Mary-Kate Olsen is furious two magazines have refused to retract claims she is being treated in rehab for cocaine addiction not anorexia. American tabloids Star and the National Enquirer published front page stories about Mary-Kate's reported drug problem this week, with photographs apparently showing the 18-year-old checking into Utah's Cirque Lodge clinic. Representatives for Olsen and her company Dualstar have threatened legal action - but American Media, who own both magazines, remain unmoved. Spokesman Stu Zakim says, "If they were going to sue us, they would have done it already. Nothing has come forward and that only reinforces the validity of our reporting. We knew how explosive this story would be, and it's been fact-checked and fact-checked and fact-checked. We have all the confidence in the world that our reporting is on the money." Olsen's representative Michael Pagnotta argues, "If (the Enquirer) is the same kind of reporting as in the Star, which we consider to be false, then it would likewise be evaluated by our attorneys. The bottom line is that Mary-Kate was not admitted for drugs, period.""