2-28-07 (17:55)
  • not pleased by the fact that my back hurts. driving across the country and then moving will not be pleasant if this persists.
  • which is better - 1 or 2?
  • one thing i really won't miss when i leave this place is the smell of bill's microwave dinners which are generally followed by the smell of shit and "air freshener" wafting from the bathroom.
  • below is an example of a poorly designed console. in particular the heating and cooling controls (which are separated into three dials on the bottom) could have been laid out more intuitively. the dial on the left controls air flow, except for when you want air flow to be off, in which case you have to use the right most dial which is usually used for location of airflow. rate and location have no connection to each other so far as the end user is concerned. while this may make sense for the engineers, i don't think it suits most customers very well. i also don't like the inclusion of a/c and max a/c on the location dial as sometimes it is preferable to determine where the a/c is coming from (at my feet, towards my face, or both) and this configuration does not allow for that level of control.
  • i would also point out that the integration of the radio and air conditioning controls probably makes it more difficult for aftermarket upgrades of the radio. controls on the upper right hand corner for bass, treble, balance and fade would be better located within a single, integrated control, perhaps the seek button which can be found under the volume knob. this allows for a more sightly console and is equally user-friendly. this kind of sloppiness is one more reason why ford isn't doing so hot these days.

  • this photo was taken from a ford taurus wagon.

    a mangled sugar maple, my favorite tree in cuyahoga valley national park:

    found this is a book of colonial games. considering the many names by which it is known and the picture at the right, i find this to be a fairly dirty game.

    photos taken outside my window at no particular interval:

    2-26-07 (18:53)
  • just a few more days left here.
  • saw this on a shirt the other day: "there's no such thing as too much bling." thought it was pretty stupid. oh, the shirt also happened to be on a dog.
  • back still hurts. it had better get better in the next couple days. being on the road with a bad back would hamper my plans quite a bit. sleeping on the floor tonight.

  • 2-24-07 (21:13)

  • just ran the trip through my trip planner. if i made it a straight shot it would be 2,461 miles, but the way i have planned it, it'll be 3,850 miles. both were more than i thought. oh well. the road trip dictates my life, not vise versa.
  • here's the itinerary, though i won't take these exact roads.

  • 2-23-07 (23:58)

  • tonight i planned the stops on my trip back. not sure about how i'm going to space them out, and thus how long the trip will take, but i know the places i'm planning to go. they are: parkersburg west virginia, blue ridge parkway, great smoky mountains national park, knoxville, mammoth cave national park, nashville, memphis, little rock, hot springs national park, tulsa, oklahoma city, armarillo, sante fe, great sand dunes national park, black canyon of the gunnison national park, salt lake city, great basin national park, mono lake, yosemite national park, oakland. after that i'll probably head to la for a short while to see friends/family and get the last of my stuff.
  • those places were picked because they are either mentioned in johnny cash's "i've been everywhere," are state capitals, national parks, or places of personal interest.
  • i wonder how they work out the linguistic differences when drafting treaties with north korea or other non-english speaking languages. there are a couple reasons why this is important. 1) a lot can be lost in translation and 2) unlike translating the spoken word, say at the u.n. or something, the written word is binding. in brown vs. board the use of the word "deliberate" caused quite a bit of trouble, from my understanding. when they wrote "with all deliberate speed" in the decision they meant that integration and equality should be pursued quickly, but some states interpreted the word "deliberate" to mean slowly. there's more to the foot dragging than that, but i've heard that the wording was part of it.

  • 2-23-07 (12:33)

  • in the recap of the ucla/cal basketball game last night yahoo sports said that cal "dominated the first half." this, despite the score being 35-34 with ucla leading at the half. from what i've read cal dominated the first half of the first half - by "opening with a 14-4 run for its largest lead." i suppose it's possible that ucla didn't play as well in that first half, but still was able to make some big shots and thus were "dominated" yet somehow managed to be in the lead in the first half. sometimes that happens, so i'll concede this point to yahoo. however, i cannot concede this line: "Josh Shipp scored 22 points and Mata added a career-high 14 to lead a second-half comeback in an 85-75 victory Thursday night that extended the Bruins' home winning streak to 19 games." how can a team stage a second half comeback when they're winning the game after the first half? answer: they can't. especially when they opened the second half with a "14-6 spurt" and went 25-5 after that. in other words, they were up by one at the half, up by 9 shortly thereafter and up by 26 with 7 1/2 minutes remaining. this rules out the possibility of even a comeback within the second half to account for the phrase "a second-half comeback." this is all pretty typical of reporters, though. it's about making the story interesting, rather than giving the facts. see: obama/clinton for more on that. here is the link to the original story.
  • speaking of being overly critical, i was thinking about taking www.theconsummatecritic.com and making into a site that featured all my observations about stupid things in the world. whether it's the above diatribe or a picture of a restroom hand dryer that shows a graphic of someone drying their face, rather than their hands, as if the predominant use of the dryer is going to be people in the movie theater who come there to wash and dry their face.

  • 2-22-07 (23:05)

  • just got back from the cavs/bulls game. quicken loans arena is nice enough. good seats. it's better than the coliseum at oakland, or whatever they call the warriors home. it's also newer and bigger than arco arena. arco gets a lot louder though. the fans heckled a bulls fan that was in my section and not in the fun east coast sort of way. there was a shirt give away and they'd use the jumbotron to guilt people into putting them on. they'd find people who weren't wearing the shirt and put them up on the screen with text like "orange you going to put the shirt on?" or "it's free...put it on" or "are you too yellow to wear orange." stupid group-think shit like that. most of the time the people would comply, the other fraction of the time people would just stupidly wave at the camera, happy they were on a big tv. i was wearing my kings sweatshirt and usc t-shirt underneath that, so, had they put the camera on me, i planned on flashing those for the crowd.
  • the cavs team wasn't all that impressive either. their offense is what i'd dub an "isolate and watch" offense. that is, they isolate a single player and allow him to work against his man. when that doesn't work he'll pass it to someone else and they'll do the same thing. as time runs out they'll take whatever shot they can get and then get back on defense. the bulls play a more conventional style of basketball - more passing, reliant upon the jump shot and solid defense. they're not great, but they're definitely better than the cavs. without ilgauskis (sp?), the starting cavs center, they were exposed inside. ben wallace had about 19 rebounds and several tips to his teammates which don't count on the stat sheet, but retain possession for his team nonetheless. got to see scot pollard (ex-kings backup center) play. to me, he was the cavs' best interior presence, but he's not a scoring threat and he's not real athletic so he doesn't get many minutes.
  • lebron was shitty at the free throw line, per the usual of late. he's got a mental block, i could see it from one of the worst seats in the place so presumably he recognizes that as well and will start seeing a shrink about it. he takes too much time at the line and the recent failure just makes him think about too much. he was most of their "offense," too. they actually had a more team oriented offensive look when he was on the bench. his number indicate his unselfishness and i wouldn't consider him a ball hog, but mike brown needs to develop an offense that incorporates the team more. it can't be "give lebron the ball and get out of the way, maybe he'll pass it to you." that's just not going to work in the playoffs.
  • one clever thing they did was when bulls players were at the free throw line they would sometimes put a michigan "m" (as in the college) on the jumbotron. of course this incited the ohio crowd to boo loudly. capitalizing on the osu/michigan rivalry apparently has no bounds. btw, this was not employed strictly for michigan alumni who play for the bulls. in fact, no one on the bulls roster went to michigan, so it didn't have any connection in that way.
  • during one of the breaks a local weatherman gave the forecast for the night and started his intro with the following line: "hey cavs fans. did you know that cleveland has a higher yearly wind average than chicago? so cleveland is the real windy city." i actually did know that because i had recently consulted that portion of my almanac. off the top of my head chicago averages something like 12 mph and cleveland is somewhere in the 14 mph range.
  • saw the new commercial for windows vista at a movie theater recently. not a fan of the theater commercials, but i digress. the commercial shows things like a beautiful mountain landscape or the berlin wall being knocked down and in each instance people say "wow," to what they are witnessing. the last "wow" comes when some goober turns on his computer and sees windows vista. what a fucking joke. i'm not a windows hater, but from what i've seen and read, vista looks pretty much like xp, but more pretty and with some add-on programs that are now integrated. integrate a touch-panel screen, voice-recognition (using both audio [hearing your voice] and video [reading your lips] to make it more accurate), and a wii-like controller and i might say "wow."
  • made a couple minor changes here and there to the site. the "about my reviews" link on the movies reviewed pages is now a java popup, i now have a feedback form on the millersmovies site, etc.
  • today sees the end of my movie watching streak. went about 30 days straight. tomorrow i'll see my 100th movie of the year which will make it (by far) the fastest i've ever gotten to 100 movies. i'm on pace for over 600 movies this year, about 100 more than any year in the past. but when i get home and have a life the pace will decrease greatly. sometimes having a life is lame.

  • 2-21-07 (00:39)

  • didn't want to be home so i went to see a movie tonight. bought a ticket for the newest installment of the hannibal lecter series and walked out after about 45 minutes. it wasn't very good. turned out to be a bad choice because that led to my watching ghost rider and norbit. early front runners for the worst film of the year award.

  • 2-19-07 (20:19)

  • haven't been enjoying work or home lately. just want to leave ohio.
  • i wonder what situation brought me closest to my own death. what i mean is: we all have those moments when we're driving or climbing a tree or whatever when we barely miss hitting another car or falling. i wonder how close i've actually gotten.
  • fixed sidebar link issue, thanks to jon for the heads up.
  • the millersmovies.com page probably won't undergo any changes for a while. thanks to meryl for the feedback on that.
  • norv turner isn't a 49er coach anymore. singletary could have been the one to go, but san diego chose turner instead. pretty bad for the niners. i'll probably be a packers fan soon enough anyway.
  • speaking of teams that are thinking about moving...the kings could very well be on their way to vegas. this has been in the works for a little while now, but the all-star weekend in vegas and stern saying that the gambling issue wouldn't prevent vegas from having a team, have made it closer to a reality. i won't be a kings fan anymore if that happens.
  • one reason why i like bob knight
  • completed the next two rounds of the best year in film page. only the championship round is left.

  • 2-18-07 (21:42)

  • didn't get to watch the all-star game because the restaurant closes early on sunday. forgot about that.
  • our method for determining the two (only two?!) candidates who will run the country is incredibly inefficient and not all that great at producing quality results. i think a better, but still severely flawed, method would be simply entering all the eligible (age and citizenship) and willing graduates (with a 3.7 gpa or better) from top 25 universities into a lottery. from that lottery you pick two names, give them $50 million of public funds, and let them campaign as usual. i think this method would yield candidates who are far less corrupt and just as capable as the ones we get in 9 out of 10 elections.
  • i wonder what single thing i've done makes me the most unique. for example, hank aaron's accomplishment of hitting 755 homeruns would make him the only person in human history to have done that, at least at the major league level. you get the point. at first i thought that hopping onto a train that later derailed would be mine, but that's sorta two things since it includes both hopping onto a train and being on a train that derailed. either way, not a whole lot of people have done it. i've lived in a national park, which is somewhat uncommon.
  • i think the most important attribute of a president is the ability to be a decerning decision maker. under that falls the ability to ask good questions, change their mind when the facts warrant it, having a keen wit, etc. other than eating pretzels, this might be the thing that bush is worst at. joking aside, i do think that this attribute, which people tend not to talk about (they talk more about views on issues and personality), is the most important thing to consider in a great president. ideas are nice, having similar (to me) views on issues is also important, but i see the president as a judge and administrator. they have to judge what ideas and programs are best based upon the facts as they understand them. because so many people surround the president, and so many more send him research and arguments for one side or another, he basically has unlimited research power. coming up with ideas and historical support isn't a problem, so long as the president is willing to seek it out and make a solid decision based upon those facts.
  • being a supreme court justice is similar. obviously you need to have an excellent grasp of the law and precedent in order to become a supreme court justice, but since so many think tanks and lawyers are willing to give their opinion, you could essentially just adopt one point of view or another. being in a high position has that advantage. naturally that can act as a disadvantage as well because organizations will lie and manipulate the truth and will incessantly give you their opinions, whether they're asked for or not.
  • off the top of my head, there are a couple reasons i think hilary clinton could be a good president. she doesn't have a family. it's funny that we don't think about it in these terms, but the presidency is a 24 hour job and you need to be committed to it completely. her daughter is out of the house and her husband probably is too. ha ha. thus, she would be able to commit herself to the job completely. personally, i don't want "a good family man" as the president. i want an asexual bachelor(ette) who is obsessed with the job. secondly, i think she has a great deal of experience. perhaps i'm being naive, but i view the presidency as i do any other managerial job. if you get to constantly look over the shoulder of a president for eight years, then i think you have a great idea about how the job is, and is not, performed well. in this way i view her almost as someone who was once a vice president. i also think having bill around, especially after he's had some time to reflect upon his presidency, could be of great use. obviously they're well-connected which helps in politics, and he has plenty of advice to give. i think ex-presidents are quite a bit more wise than they were while they were presidents. just being separated from the day to day grind of intelligence briefs and minor daily decisions allows them to look back on their term with greater perspective. i think that many of them have feelings of regret because of the things they didn't do for political reasons. perhaps bill's mentoring could have a positive impact on hilary's presidency, should that happen.

  • 2-18-07 (19:44)

  • went to see a movie last night, but breach was sold out. bought a ticket to factory girl instead and then ended up sneaking into the theater to see breach. sat in the front row all by myself. after the film was over i went outside of the theater to see what time the other movies started and i saw that factory girl was playing in about five minutes. went back into the theater by zipping past a couple who was getting their ticket torn. as i passed them i pointed to the bathroom and mumbled something like "oh, there's the bathroom" and got in without a second glance. watched about 30 minutes of factory girl and determined that it was not worth watching.
  • going to watch the nba all-star game tonight.
  • what's worse: an 11 year old giving a blow job or getting a nose job? to me it depends upon the circumstances. if the nose job is reconstructive in nature, as a result of some birth defect or accident then it's always preferable. conversely, it is always worse if the blow job is being given to daddy, or someone older than, say, 13. but if the blow job is between two consenting 11 year olds, then i'd say that the nose job is worse. the thought of an 11 year old getting a nose job for purely aesthetic reasons, and what that means for our culture, would depress me much more than the thought of an 11 year old doing something a few years earlier than most. i don't know how many people would agree with me on this one though.

  • 2-17-06 (19:38)

  • busy busy day at work today. eight times more busy than it's ever been, literally.
  • got a new roommate today. that's four that i've had so far, as opposed to the zero that my boss thought i'd have.
  • note that i did make some changes to the academy analysis since i saw the illusionist and half nelson yesterday.
  • looks like the font issue is only an issue on my desktop, but not the laptop. not sure why that is. might stick with the old font after all.

  • 2-16-07 (22:25)

  • strongly considering changing fonts again. i like the way this one (microsoft sans serif) looks when i'm editing the page, but it displays differently in internet explorer. when i preview the page in ie it looks too bold and crunched together so i'm thinking about changing to arial.
  • when i first learned the words fiction and non-fiction i was a bit confused. it seemed clear to me that reality should be "fiction" and that non-reality should be "non-fiction." that is, that the terms to describe whether or not a story was real should be relative to reality, rather than make believe. reality should be the base and anything that isn't reality should have the "non" attached to it. this is similar to my dislike for the term "outdoors." it's as if doors are somehow a natural thing and that nature (aka "the outdoors") needs to be distinguished relative to our natural (enclosed) state. to me, it makes more sense to refer to "indoors" as "ex-nature" or "outnature" or something, not vise versa.
  • on the recommendations page i've started giving reasons to watch the film, or "if you liked x, then you'll like this" style one-line descriptions, rather than simply listing it.
  • looking forward to getting out of here.

  • 2-16-07 (10:45)

  • the pac-10 is competitive this year, and i'm hoping it's not because all the teams are mediocre. when i see stanford upsetting ucla and cal upsetting oregon and all sorts of other lower ranked teams beating the best in the conference, then it makes me think the conference is weak, rather than great. especially when they lose to non-conference teams...ucla loses to west virginia, usc losing to kansas, arizona being destroyed by unc.
  • it's amazing how much we allow greatness or, more accurately, talent to dominate how we view a person. someone as crazy or difficult to manage as daniel johnston or vincent van gogh is characterized euphemistically as a "troubled genius," instead of simply "a crazy fuck" just because they produce some nice art.
  • heard on the news that some guy hit all five lottery numbers two days in a row. the lottery officials said that the odds of hitting it once are 170,000 to 1 and the odds of hitting it twice "are virtually incalculable." i thought all you had to do to figure that out was multiply 170,000 by 170,000. which would be 28,900,000,000 to 1.

  • 2-15-07 (17:17)

  • "Lauren Bacall, who made her starring debut in the film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's To Have or Have Not 63 years ago, said Tuesday that movies have fallen victim to "mediocrity" over those years, "and I think it's too bad that's happened." Appearing at a news conference at the Berlin Film Festival, where her latest film, Paul Schrader's The Walker, is being screened out of competition, Bacall, 82, blamed television for the decline of quality filmmaking. "I think there are still good people who want to do good work and think that's all that matters," she said, "and I think unfortunately in television sometimes they want to do good work, but a lot of the time they're doing terrible work and I think that has affected movie making badly. ... It's all about ratings now and everything. It should be about the work, and it's not." As for herself, she said, "what [appearing in films] means to me mostly is staying alive. I have too much energy to stop working. I don't believe in retirement. I love working.""
  • there was so much snow at the visitor's center today that i didn't get it open until 11:30. had to wait for the plow guy to come and do his job. all the plowing for the park is contracted out and it doesn't seem like anyone is real pleased about that.
  • "your friendship is a fog, that disappears when the wind redirects." -zach de la rocha
  • added a recent updates feature on the sidebar. perhaps that'll be a good place to post updates. it'll also help fill the large void left in the sidebar frame by the new-ish menu.
  • you'll also notice a link in the lower right hand corner of some of the larger pages like my movies reviewed pages and my best of film page, which will bring you back to the top of the page without needing to scroll.

  • 2-15-07 (00:29)

  • went out and watched a movie. the worst part about driving in the snow was coming back home because our driveway is on a hill and i couldn't get much traction when trying to drive up. five movies on the day.
  • updated movies& index. i have a pretty good movie watching streak going, dating back to january 22nd.
  • updated double features page.
  • new judd apatow film coming out with seth rogen and some of the freaks and geeks/40 year old virgin crew. i'm glad that apatow is getting the opportunity to make films, he's a funny guy and a good writer. freaks and geeks was a great show and i'm actually grateful that it only got to be on tv for one season.
  • next thursday i'm going to see the cavs play the bulls. bought a ticket for myself last week.
  • made some minor aesthetic changes to the millersmovies page. added a temporary contact link at the bottom as well. hope to get a better one up eventually.
  • what's with kids these days watching so much damn tv? actually, it's not the kids who are watching so much tv. stat of the day: the group that watches the most tv, or at least did in the sample month, are women over the age of 55 who watch almost twice as much as children. of course one could argue that, as a percentage of their free time, teens and children watch more than people over 55, many of whom are presumably retired and thus have more time to waste in front of the television. i was surprised to see that men aged 18-24 watch tv less than any other group. i guess they're busy not voting or something.

  • average u.s. television viewing time, november 2005
    Total per week
    All Viewers
  • as taken from world almanac and book of facts 2007.
  • i'ts 1:30 and i'm not tired yet.
  • "a mass of tears have / transformed to stones now. sharpened on suffering / woven into slings." -zach de la rocha

  • 2-14-07 (13:03)

  • normally i'm not a fan of movie trailers or teasers, but one caught my attention recently. the 30 second teaser for the sequel to the hills have eyes. actually it's the sequel to the remake of the hills have eyes. at any rate, it's great because of its simplicity and the song. i wasn't a fan of the original, but i still might give the sequel to the remake a shot.
  • i've been told that we've gotten over a foot of snow over the last 24 hours. roads are still a mess and my car is buried. in spite of that, if there were any movies out that i hadn't already seen, i'd still probably watch a couple today.

  • 2-13-07 (17:06)

  • snowing like crazy outside. supposed to get 7-15 inches in the next 24 hours. the roads are a mess and it looks very gloomy outside. usually we get lake effect snow that comes as a result of clippers from canada. this, though, is an actual storm from the gulf of mexico. lake effect snow, at this point, isn't going to happen anymore because lake erie is frozen over. so, this could very well be the last snow that i see while i'm here.
  • other things i'd like to do for my page: have links to previous viewings of the film at the end of each review. in other words, if i see die hard tonight then at the end of my review for 02/13/07 i would like to have links to reviews from the other dates on which i saw it: 1999, 5-Feb-00, 5-Sep-00, 19-Apr-01, 23-Dec-03, 22-Oct-04, and 7-Dec-05.
  • forgot to add a movie that i saw in january to the list. did that today. also noticed that on my post for 2-1-07 (18:38), i wrote that i watched 51 movies in january when i actually watched 57. one that i forgot (and added today) and five that i watched on the last day, but didn't figure into that post. also forgot to add a movie from november of 2006. that was a stressful time, though, so that one is more forgivable than this recent one. adjusted film viewing stats page accordingly. what a pain.
  • finished the academy awards analysis. will upload when the roads clear. there are still a couple movies that i'd like to see, but i don't know that i'll get to see them before the show.

  • 2-12-07 (19:45)

  • updated movies & index.
  • completed first two rounds of the best year in film showdown.
  • academy award analysis will be complete at the end of the night. i have two movies in the cinematography category to watch. one i'll watch tomorrow and the other i'm not sure about. either way i should have the coverage uploaded within the next couple days.
  • good stuff.

  • 2-7-07 (23:39)

  • finally got around to watching dreamgirls. wouldn't want to miss the review for that brilliant and underrated opus.
  • updated movies& index.
  • got about 20 dvds in the mail from "our man in amsterdam," to quote pulp fiction. actually they're from a guy i know who works for ryko distribution. good thing i got them, too, because i'm running out of movies over here. i have two that i own that i've yet to see and the library always has some, but their selection is starting to bore me.
  • got a lot done today. got the oil changed for $20. under the table, i'm pretty sure. the guy said it would be $33 with a credit card and $20 with cash. the posted price was $29.95 so i went to the atm and got him a 20. i suppose this could make a bad person in some eyes, but i don't really have a problem with it.
  • it seems like the ones who are out doing and advocating the killing are the ones who remember the dead the most. it seems like it should be the other way around.

  • 2-7-07 (11:13)

  • what's the allure of spelling things incorrectly? you see it a lot in rap musik and, unlike many rap conventions, i don't understand it.

  • 2-7-7 (00:36)

  • updated movies & index.
  • something about watching kurosawa films makes you want to just watch all of them again. well, not all of them, there have been a couple that i haven't loved, but after watching seven samurai again today i wanted to watch ikiru, red beard, high and low, rashomon, yojimbo, sanjuro, and stray dog again. of course i don't have any of those with me right now so it's not even an option.
  • i think when i get home and unpack all my stuff i'm going to have to take a couple months to just watch all my movies and read all my books and look at the liner notes to all my cds. i've missed all that stuff. my chair and desk and all that other crap is just that: crap. but all my art work/entertainment/information is essential.
  • through eight episodes of the sopranos so far. it's decent, but not amazing. there are a lot of little filmmaking issues that annoy me. things like people closing the door to go outside to their motorcycle and within 2 seconds of the door closing the motorcycle is started and speeding away, or the bad acting of tony soprano junior, or the nasally voice of tony soprano senior, or mother soprano being annoying, or christopher being a little shit yet being a soldier...i have to assume that the show gets better since everyone seems to love it. i like some of the references, whether it's the godfather or w.c. fields. i'm giving it through the end of the first season. curb your enthusiasm is better.

  • 2-5-07 (21:37)

  • thought the super bowl was crap. probably the worst super bowl i've seen. 7 turnovers, neither team lived up to the hype, etc. the bears were out-coached.
  • my mind has always had a tendency to rush, especially when writing (or typing). for example, for the sentence "the motherboard comes with the computer case" will often be transcribed or typed by me as: "the mother board comes withe computer case." since "with" contains the first two letters of "the" my brain thinks that i'm already onto the next word so i just add an "e" to "with" to form the compound non-word "withe." that's the most common example, but it happens with many other words and in many other ways.
  • tablized the characters section of my movies i love page.
  • first round of my best year in film project is almost done. there are two films from 1954 that i'd like to revisit before making a final decision on the 1954 vs. 1957 matchup.
  • i'm also working on a somewhat historically based analysis of this year's academy award nominations. i'll have my predictions, thoughts and wishes on that page within a week or so.
  • one superbowl commercial caught my eye. the gm one with the unemployed robot wandering the streets as if it were depressed because it lost its job. in the end, it turned out to be a nightmare and the robot was able to return to its job of high quality auto assembly. this commercial got to me for a couple reasons. the personification of robots theme isn't exactly my favorite thing. i dislike the anthropomorphism that occurs with animals, much less with fucking robots. the other thing that got to me was seeing the robot depicted as the primary worker in the assembly plant. what's the message there? just a reminder that gm has laid off thousands of its american workers and replaced them with overseas labor or, in domestic plants, robots. it recalls images of flint, as seen in "the big one" or detroit, as seen with my own eyes.  yay. really makes me want to buy one of their shitty cars. no thanks, i'll stick with toyota or honda. both have a commitment to stay in north america. from what i hear, the camry is actually made of more american labor and parts than the ford mustang. not sure what the breakdown is for gm cars.
  • frankly, i'm torn on the ford/gm problems. i'd like to see them do well because i feel bad for places like detroit and flint and because i'd like to see american workers have good jobs. at the same time, the big three were, in their heyday, one of the worst cartels i know of. working with oil companies to buy up street cars in cities like los angeles, using political clout to undermine the efforts of visionaries like preston thomas tucker, fighting safety regulations tooth and nail, etc. part of me wants to see them go down in flames, but the other part of me knows that if that happens the people responsible for it won't be the ones to suffer. they'll have their golden parachutes and have all made millions (or are dead) by now anyway. the death of ford and gm might foreshadow the death of the u.s. perhaps the same reasons that led to their downfall will lead to ours. hubris, solipsism, complacency, etc.
  • rage against the machine is getting back together. there was a time when i'd care, not anymore. i've seen them twice and loved the performances, but i realize that they're over the hill. their best work is behind them. it's ironic and sad that they were most active in the years 1992-2000, aka the clinton years. 1992 was a g.h.w. bush year and that saw their first, and best album, but all their other albums were under the (relatively prosaic) clinton regime. for the record, i still have to count that first album as one of the best ever. brilliant, raw and timeless. belongs alongside the best punk and hip-hop albums of all-time. took everything that was good about the stooges, mc5, the entire punk movement and, like anthrax, mixed it with hip-hop. it's really too bad that they weren't active under bush jr. and were liked mostly by idiotic young guys who saw "rage" in the title, and nothing more.
  • thinking of rage against the machine makes me think of a name that was once a dirty word at our dinner table: seth freeman. he's the guy with whom i got expelled from elementary school for slashing a teacher's tires. it was actually all my idea, and my knife, but he was more than willing to help. i can laugh about it now. he also had this ancient old mac computer (the monochrome kind that had a dark green background and a light green foreground). on it he had some extremely low-tech comedy/porn program. it was line graphics back then so it wasn't even close to anything we have these days. the setups were fairly basic - a guy licking envelopes and a girl comes along and has a better use for his tongue, etc. because of the graphics it was actually more funny than pornographic so.
  • it's actually nice being part of this generation because i remember what it was like before computers were really a part of society, yet i'm young enough to have gotten into computers on the ground level. i have an understanding of dos and i remember windows 3.0 and all the pain of configuring irq and com settings when building a computer from scratch, so i don't take windows xp, usb, and plug and play for granted. i'm also old enough to have established the habit of buying reference books so i can always have, within arm's reach, access to player stats (in my basketball or football encyclopedias) or a director's filmography (in one of my many film books) or the population of a country (in one of my many almanacs), etc.
  • dad got me an almanac (and other stuff) for xmas. luckily he got me the one published by time, because i already have the world almanac version. so i actually have two almanacs for 2007. in storage i also have a sports almanac for 2006 and world almanacs from 2005, 2006 and a nice big one from the 70s. i like reading the almanac because i have trouble focusing on a single book for any longer than a few minutes. the almanac presents data the way i write, which is also the style i like to read. short sentences that get to the point. plus, i like facts and numbers and learning about things that i might not otherwise be exposed to. you can flip to a random page and learn about any number of things from business to politics or the environment. maybe i should look for a job working for information please or some other almanac producer.
  • stat of the day: hate crime attacks on persons in u.s. in 2004 - (in descending order) anti-black 2,221, anti-white 704, anti-male homosexual 624, anti-hispanic 458, anti-other ethnicity 405, anti-jewish 297, anti-homosexual 180, anti-asian 148, anti-female homosexual 145, anti-multiple races 131, anti-islamic 114. there are many other categories that have under 100 incidents: anti-native american, catholic, protestant, other religion, atheism, heterosexual, bisexual, physical disability and mental disability. they also have a breakdown by crimes against property. blacks are still number one in that category, but jews are #2 whereas they are #6 on the attacks on persons list. this makes sense given their predominant stereotype.
  • it's been bitterly cold lately. 0-7 degrees with wind at 10-20 mph. that brings the wind chill to as low as -22. my hands get numb after about 20 seconds outside if i'm not wearing gloves. they issued a wind chill advisory through about midday tomorrow.

  • 2-2-07 (23:07)

  • one webpage upgrade i've thought of would be several "subject" tabs above the space that normally occupies my updates. writings would then be sorted by subjects like "sports," "society," "film," "updates," "miscellany," and "all." it would be the same concept as an excel spreadsheet and each "sheet" tab would include updates for that particular subject. if you only wanted to read what i said about film then you'd click on that tab and get all the sports-related updates for the month. the default would be "all" which would present things as they are currently presented. but by clicking on those tabs you could filter out any rants about fullscreen vs. widescreen dvds or the bush administration and get straight to the far more interesting posts where i mention that i've "updated movies & index." doing this manually wouldn't be a huge undertaking, but maintenance of it would be time consuming. if i could find some way of making it easy then i would implement it. having each bullet point (<li> in html) have an assigned subject code, and then creating a script that filtered to those codes, probably isn't all that difficult, but i wouldn't even know where to start. if you know how to do this then lemme know.
  • it's funny how often i think about making upgrades to the site considering i've had no more than half a dozen regular visitors since its inception 8-9 years ago. my site administrator assures me, though, that traffic is "just about to explode." he's a good guy. he also got me a great deal on some beach front property in oklahoma so i'll keep him around for a while.
  • speaking of oklahoma. stat of the day: executions 1977-2005 by state: texas 355, virginia 97, oklahoma 79, missouri 66, florida 60, n. carolina and georgia 39, s. carolina 35, alabama 34, everyone else is under 30. california has had 12. 17 states have had no executions during this period. i know this is fucked up to say, and i'm anti-death penalty, but considering there have been "only" 1,004 executions between 1977 and 2005, why is it such a huge issue? to me, the idea of the state sponsoring the killing of one of its citizens is morally wrong, but considering how infrequently it is actually carried out these days (except for in texas) i wouldn't make this an issue that determines my vote for/against a particular candidate. in general i think it's stupid to be a single issue voter, but especially when the actual effect is so much smaller than the noise the issue generates. to put it in perspective, on august 31, 2005 in baghdad 1,000 people died in a stampede out of fear of a suicide bomber on a bridge. that's in one day because of a stampede, not a bomb. 500 more people died on the titanic. what about the number of people who die every year because of drunk driving (over 15,000 in 2004 alone) or homicide with a firearm (11,800+ in 2002)? these are also preventable. of course the principle of the death penalty is immoral, but perspective is needed.

  • 2-2-07 (20:34)

  • boss left for ski instructor training for the weekend.
  • roommate frank left for atlanta.
  • have two programs this weekend. the high on sunday is supposed to be 7. tonight it's supposed to get down to zero, but we'll see about that. i just went out and it's as cold as i've ever felt.
  • people on the local crazy radio network were talking about global warming. they said it was a crazy left wing plot and that it's all about: 1) the need to have some big crisis (funny coming from right wingers who KNOW that the apocalypse is right around the corner) and 2) money. they talked about all the money that can be made on selling wind mills and solar panels. kinda funny since 1) just because there is an economic incentive doesn't mean that that's what drives an idea and 2) solar and wind power are renewable, and thus less profitable than coal and oil. also funny because exxon just posted the largest profit of any american company in history. hmmm. also, i guess they assume that all the world's scientists are either 1) stupid or 2) major stock holders in some windmill manufacturing corporation that i haven't heard of. he also made some offhand remark like: "if you really want to stop global warming then you should outlaw chilies." he went on to explain that human flatulence contributes more to global warming than private automobiles and that "gas is gas, people." while he's right that methane is a greenhouse gas and is of some concern, though mostly from livestock, he's wrong about everything else. i happen to consider the almanac my favorite book and i was looking at this section of it just recently. i can recall off the top of my head that methane gas accounts for less than 10% of total amount of carbon dioxide that comes from the private automobiles. further, not all of that methane gas comes from livestock or humans - much of it comes from landfills and coal mining, which have nothing to do with chili peppers. also, while CO2 has been rising (20% in the u.s. between 1990-2004) methane has been decreasing (-10% in that same time span). in other words, the assumptions their arguments made were all flawed in at least a couple different, significant and provable ways. these people don't want facts, though, they just want god to save them and to continue in their willfully ignorant and reprehensible ways. assholes.
  • on this same station they talk (quite frequently) about the recent law which bans smoking in public places, including bars. i've mentioned before that the rest of the country is about 10 years behind california and other liberal strongholds. ohio, in this case is 9 years behind california. texas, i hear, is looking at adopting a similar public smoking ban. so i guess i was a bit off in my "10 year" statement, forgive me. there is one major argument they use against this new policy: it'll hurt the economy. ohio is in a bad place regarding the economy so i can understand their reticence to do anything that might adversely affect the fragile job market and tax revenues. however, again, the facts indicate that in the case of california and new york and other early adopters of this policy, the economy isn't affected in any appreciable long-term way. further, this is same lame argument bandied about by pro-slavery and anti-gay marriage forces. it's not about what is good for the economy, it's about what is right. if it were really about the economy then there would be legalized gambling (this issue has come to the ballot several times in ohio and has been knocked down every time by the voters, despite being vastly out spent by the pro-gambling lobby) or prostitution (like nevada, aka the cradle of civilization). one caller gave the hypothetical situation that there are 15 bars in a town and that after the ban 8 of them will close and all those people will be without jobs and the tax revenue will be lost, etc. firstly, as i've discussed, this just isn't true; second, what's more important: a few lost jobs and some lost tax revenue, or the health of the citizens? what about the end cost of helping hospitalize or care for the people who are adversely affected by the secondhand smoke? or the days lost to sick leave? oh, right, that's another lie by the money hungry scientists (who own stock in nicotine gum or some such nonsense) out to make sure the poor, innocent tobacco companies never do business here again.
  • fuck the world.

  • 2-2-07 (11:41)

  • when i looked at the ucla game time i neglected to remember that i'm on east coast time now. i instinctually subtracted three hours from the posted time and when i arrived at the restaurant i realized my mistake. for as much as i've gone from time zone to time zone lately, i have been pretty good about not making that mistake. oh well.
  • stat of the day: during the four years that jimmy carter was president the minimum wage increased four times (not 400%). during the eight years that ronald reagan was president the minimum wage increased.........yup, zero times. to be fair, though, the carter increase may have been part of a larger package because the min. wage increased once a year from 1974-1981. i have to assume that this was the result of some single increase over time, rather than new bills that were accepted every year. it's one of those stats, though, that could be used in a debate and would be tough to counter. it's very unlikely that someone is going to look it up and it's equally unlikely that they'll know, off the top of their head, that the increases under carter were likely part of a previous min. wage package. pundits use these kinds of obscure facts all the time to make their case and no one calls them on their bullshit. so, while it doesn't necessarily say anything about carter, the stat does (i think) say something about reagan.
  • back to work.

  • 2-1-07 (18:38)

  • going to watch the ucla/oregon game tonight. hopefully ucla wins after the loss to stanford.
  • updated movies & index.
  • watched my (and the) first ever episode of the sopranos today. i think i'm going to have to watch the entire first season in a day or two. stretching it out will just take too long. if they were 22 minutes like most shows (30 minutes minus the commercials) then it wouldn't be an issue.
  • watched 57 movies in january, a january record. watched five movies yesterday and four the day before. this is bringing back memories of 2004.
  • as a film scholar i respect andrew sarris, but i don't necessarily like his tastes. in 1997, for example, he had boogie nights as the 19th best film. his top ten english-language films for 2001 is equally pathetic. i found a summary of his top ten lists since 1958 here. one should note that he (the compiler, i assume) incorrectly labeled collateral as having been directed by anthony mann, not michael mann.
  • andrew sarris' top ten of 2006:

    01. The Departed (Martin Scorsese)
    02. Notes on a Scandal (Richard Eyre)
    03. A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman)
    04. Flags of Our Fathers / Letters From Iwo Jima (Clint Eastwood)
    05. Blood Diamond (Edward Zwick)
    06. Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris)
    07. The Painted Veil (John Curran)
    08. Find Me Guilty (Sidney Lumet)
    09. Casino Royale (Martin Campbell)
    10a. Flannel Pajamas (Jeff Lipsky)
    10b. Come Early Morning (Joey Lauren Adams)


    01. Army of Shadows (1969, Jean-Pierre Melville)
    02. Volver (Pedro Almodóvar)
    03. Water (Deepa Mehta)
    04. L'Enfant (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
    05. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Marc Rothemund)
    06. Climates (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
    07. My Brother's Wife (Ricardo de Montreuil)
    08. Le Petit Lieutenant (Xavier Beauvois)
    09. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu)
    10. La Moustache (Emmanuel Carrere)


    01. King Leopold's Ghost (Pippa Scott & Oreet Rees)
    02. 49 Up (Michael Apted)
    03. Wordplay (Patrick Creadon)
    04. Cowboy del Amor (Michèle Ohayon)