Monday, June 30, 2008

Y’all Tube

[migrated from myspace blog]

I thought I had a great idea today: A hillbilly Youtube called Y'all Tube. Turns out it's already been taken, but it's a site for Hip-Hop and Dance videos. Now I know how Elisha Gray felt.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Coen Brothers

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Anyone who has seen more than two Coen movies knows they like to use the same actors. Frances MacDormand and George Clooney are probably at the top of that list, but it turns out there's another very strong commonality in their films. Maybe I'm the last to figure this out, but after watching the trailer for the new Coen Brothers movie, Burn After Reading, it dawned on me that nearly every movie bearing their name can be boiled down to one basic plot point, or to borrow Hitchcock's term, MacGuffin. "Get the money." The money isn't always real, but it's nearly always the motive.

Think about it:
No Country for Old Men (drug money)
The Ladykillers (casino heist)
Intolerable Cruelty (alimony)
The Man Who Wasn't There (blackmail)
O, Brother Where Art Thou? (treasure)
The Big Lebowski (fake ransom)
Fargo (ransom)
Hudsucker Proxy (stock scam)
Miller's Crossing (prohibition $)
Blood Simple ("hit" $)

and now, back to blackmail

(Not safe for work - well, depends where you work)

Maybe, in a way, it's actually an impressive commentary on their films that it took me this long to see a common thread. Most of their movies are not all that similar, although a couple are similar in tone, but nearly all of them are very good. I'll leave it to the reader to decide which ones don't fall in with the good ones.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

1911 Wright "B"

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I worked the evening shift instead of my Friday morning shift today, so I was there when the 1911 Wright "B" look-a-like housed at Dayton-Wright Brothers airport landed and taxied up for fuel. One of the pilots is a fellow flight instructor at the Aero Club and took this picture.

It's not the first time I've had my picture taken in a plane at the Aero Club.

It would later overfly the Air Force Museum for the Tattoo, as would 4 Aero Club planes. After our planes got back, an F-15, F-16, and F-22 all departed from the runway right in front of our hangars for the Tattoo.

(I didn't take this one either. I was on the ground.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Road Trip

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I had to go to Columbus this morning for a friendly visit to the FAA. Mostly I just had to drop off my paperwork to renew my flight instructor certificate for another two years, but I also had message on the answering machine yesterday from someone in Operations that wanted to speak to me about an incident involving one of my students. So I combined those two things and also stopped into Sam's Club to get some New Mexican salsa with flame roasted green peppers. It's shipped from Albuquerque, but I don't understand why only 3 stores in the whole state are listed on the 505 website as carrying it. I bought four 40-ounce jars.

It's only about an hour drive, but when you consider that the Columbus skyline can be seen from an airplane flying over Xenia at 3,500 feet, it leaves a person wishing it was quicker. There's actually quite a lot of farmland between Dayton and Columbus and at one point I saw a field with tall grass and just hovering there above the top of the grass was a deer's head. That doesn't sound right. I'll clarify. The head was still attached to the deer, but she was standing in the tall grass so that's all that could be seen.

I paid $3.97 to get gasoline before I left, so there was no way I was going to waste gas by going over the speed limit, and there were plenty of people on the road thinking the same thing. Here's what I don't get, though. Does the state of Indiana require people to actually do anything to earn a driver's license, or do they just mail them to people automatically? I lost count of how many cars with Indiana plates there were driving 70 in double-fine, 55-mph construction zones, weaving in and out of traffic without using turn signals. Why do Indiana drivers act like they own the roads in Ohio?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Easily Amused

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I'm fairly easily amused. As such, I get a kick out of this picture of Tom and Colin Hanks at a ball game together, inadvertantly sitting exactly the same way. Genetics? You be the judge.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Re: Pens

[migrated from myspace blog]

On a bit of a whim, I decided to get a space pen. Mostly because of the design, but come's a space pen. Not only will this one not leak in airplanes, if I'm ever under water and upside down, in space, with nothing to write on but grease-smeared paper, I'll still be able to write.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pens and blogging

[migrated from myspace blog]

As a flight instructor, it's important that I always have a black-ink, fine-tipped pen handy for filling out student logbooks, etc. Lately I've been using a Pentel EnerGel .5mm because a 4 pack was much better priced than a 3 pack of that the ones I was using before. They work well enough, but I felt more comfortable with the Uniball Vision Elite .5mm because they guarantee on the package that they will not leak in flight. I was contemplating switching back today after finally throwing out a couple of old empty Vision Elites I found laying around, and came across an entire web site devoted to "the quest for the perfect pen." Penquest isn't really a website, but a blog, with several pen reviews, and even an article about the pens used on the Daily Show and Colbert Report. I guess there's nothing left to add to the internet. It's all here, already.

I'm wondering what it is about writing a blog that allows people to share things with the entire webernet which they might never be able to say aloud to one person? It's not as if there's a lot of anonymity. That's my actual face at the top of the page. I didn't borrow someone else's for the picture. Even if someone doesn't know me, they could still figure out quite a bit about me if they were the least bit observant. What once may have been written in a journal, perhaps never to be read again is now just out there, archived on an unknown numbers of hard drives just waiting for some 23nd century cultural anthropologist to find and analyze "how they really lived back then." If they can't figure it out given the petabytes of information we're leaving behind, they should maybe get a new job. It's never too early start looking.