Monday, December 21, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Voice in My Pocket

Monday night I had about an hour between my flight and our monthly Aero Club safety meeting, so I decided I had enough time to go to City BBQ and get a pulled pork sandwich. I've never been a real BBQ fan until a friend took me there a couple months ago. As you walk in, the entire place smells like smoke and meat. I had been getting the chicken, but it hasn't been as smokey-tasting lately as I remember in the past, so I started getting the pulled pork.

None of this has anything to do with the point of my post. On my way back to our meeting, I had the radio on WHIO. I don't actually listen to any radio stations that play music, since I can pick my own playlists by having CDs in my car. Yes, I still listen to CDs, even though I have an iPod. 99% of my music listening is either CDs in the car or mp3s on computer speakers. On the flip side, 90% of my iPod use is listening to podcasts. Since it was about 10 after 6, Clark Howard was on the radio and I was about 2 blocks away from the meeting when I realized I could hear another voice faintly coming through underneath and between the one on my car speakers. At first I thought WHIO was letting another show sneak through on the airwaves, so I turned up the volume knob trying to hear this mystery voice, but of course that only made Clark Howard louder. So I tried to turning it all the way down to see if it would go away. No luck, it must not be coming from the radio at all. I checked the cell phone laying in the passenger's seat, but it was dark, and the keypad was locked. I was starting to worry and feeling a bit like Truman Burbank, and getting a little distracted from my driving.

Did somebody plant something in my car? Were my dental fillings picking up secret Air Force transmissions? Wait, I've got my iPod in my inner jacket pocket with the ear buds still plugged in. I guess the slider lock must have gotten turned off. Peter Kreeft was giving a lecture on C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. How long had it been playing? Just about 10 minutes, apparently, so about the time I got in the car at City BBQ, somehow pressed just right by the seatbelt. A rather anticlimactic explanation, but thankfully innocuous.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


While I was in St. Louis for an all-too-short duration last weekend, I found myself in a mall candy store when this found me.

I should have put something up as a size reference, but for the record, this is nearly 4 times the volume of a standard tube of lip balm, clocking in at .58 oz compared to the usual .15 oz. It's probably as close to a Reese's cup as you could expect a petroleum-based product to taste/smell, but suffers from a truly unfortunate color, which luckily doesn't show up when applied.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oh, it's Zero

I heard a radio commercial today for the Jitterbug cell phone, marketed as a simple, easy-to-use phone. One of the features they mention is the ability to "dial oh and be greeted by name by our operator". Um, okay, last time I checked the letter O was located on the number 6. So in the interest of keeping things simple, are they really telling people to dial 6 to get the operator? Or perhaps they actually mean ZERO? Saying "Oh" is not an acceptible substitute for zero, ESPECIALLY when talking about buttons that serve as BOTH numbers and letters!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sigh of relief

Apparently the source of my rant yesterday was bad information:

We're pleased to inform you all that Sony's confirmed that the BD release will actually be Leon: The Professional, and will include BOTH the much-loved international cut as well as the U.S. theatrical version. This is in addition to the extras we mentioned yesterday, which should include 3 featurettes (10 Year Retrospective: Cast and Crew Look Back, Jean Reno: The Road to Leon and Natalie Portman: Starting Young), as well as a BD-Java Fact Track.

Monday, September 14, 2009


DVD has truly been a revolution over the last 12 years in the way we watch movies at home. A lot of us don't even own VHS-machine technology any longer. Blu-ray, while a huge improvement, isn't really a revolution. Nevertheless, it's still incredible the amount of information one disc is able to hold. Some studios have used Blu-ray to give deserving films a royal treatment. Blade Runner was released as a 5-disc set for under $30 with 5 versions of the film, 3 of which are on the same disc using seamless branching. However, this same studio (rhymes with Warmer Covers) failed to do justice to the 1984 Best Picture Academy award winner, Amadeus.

I used to own the 2-sided disc of Amadeus until the 2-disc Director's cut was announced and I bought that one instead. It's a long movie and I've never done a side-by-side comparison, but I recall being told that not only were some scenes added, but one scene was actually deleted from the theatrical cut. It's the theatrical cut that won the Oscar, not the recut, now-with-75%-more-nudity version. While I have no objection to directors releasing different versions of a film, I insist on at least having the option to watch the original (George Lucas). So why have Yakko and Wacko refused to include both versions of the film on the same Blu-ray Disc using seamless branching?

Natalie Portman's first film, The Professional (Léon) is another interesting case. I've owned it on DVD 3 different times. The first time it was The Professional, then when Léon (the longer, international cut of the same film) came out, I bought it, only to find it had been recalled for faulty audio, so I returned it for the corrected copy. For this film, the longer version was not an extended version. Rather, the film released as The Professional was a shorted version of the director's original vision, the internatinally-released "Léon". Apparently the distributor wasn't comfortable showing too much footage of a 12-year-old girl learning to be an assassin, just some of it. Sony, the original backer of Blu-ray, has announced that the forthcoming release of The Professional will NOT include Léon, which again, could EASILY be done through seamless branching.

So I will continue to wait for the original versions of these movies. I refuse to spend my money on these while the possibility, or more likely, inevitability, exists of a Blu-ray release of my preferred version, or better yet, both in the same package.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Indian Cuisine in the Dayton area

I flew with a student early this morning, but had to cancel my noon flight, so I decided to check out the lunch buffet at Maharaja Indian restaurant in Beavercreek behind Sam's Club. One of my students had taken me there earlier in the week, and it was the first time I was even aware it existed. They don't have buffets in the evening, so I have terrific dinner serving of Chiken Tikka Masala and Peshawari naan. A month or so ago I had taken a friend on his first visit to Jeet India in Beavercreek. Towards the end of our time there, the line was nearly to the front door, so I was sad to see a restaurant with at least equal quality food that was completely empty at 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon. I can only hope the intense rain was keeping people at home.

I'm not very much into the lentil dishes, but there were plenty of vegetarian choices, including potatos and peppers in the same type of sauce as the Chicken Tikka Masala. The other chicken dishes were Chicken Curry, and Tandoori Chicken on a huge bed of onions. I have to admit, I prefer the spinach from Jeet India, but the naan at Maharaja is the superior of the two. Mahraja also offers a different cold bar, with fried cheese curd in syrup, a different flavor of "exotic" ice cream, and pineapple for dessert.

So now to the real reason I'm encourage anyone with a taste for Indian food in the area to give Maharaja a try. Both times I've been there the food and service have been terrific. The owner and staff are very friendly. "They" say when people have a good restaurant experience they tell just a few people, but then tell or 5 times that many people about a bad experience, so this is me telling as many people about a good place to because I'd like to see them do well, and selfishly want it to stay open, after having seen it so empty today.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can't Stop the Serenity

This past Tuesday night was Joss Whedon's birthday. I was never really a fan of his earlier, vampire-centered fare, but I got hooked on Firefly shortly after Serenity came out, but never got to see Serenity in the theater, so I jumped at the chance to go to a Can't Stop the Serenity charity screening in Yellow Springs (one of only two on Joss's birthday, according to the event calendar). There had been a bigger Serenity event Saturday night with a packed house, but I had to work, and don't like packed houses. It was the first time I'd been to the Little Art Theater and was really looking forward to seeing the movie with an audience and in 35mm.

Before the show started people were slowly trickling in. (Some guy took all day in a 1-seater Men's room.) Embracing my geekiness, I wore my Blue Sun t-shirt, and I wasn't the only one. I finally got a chance to pick my seat on the aisle, relatively close to the front of the long, narrow theater. A trio of filmgoers in their late 50's came in and took the seats immediately to my left, and I staked my claim to the armrest, but claiming something only does so much good when the stomach of the other guy spills over onto it. I knew I was going to have to move or be uncomfortable. Luckily for me (not so much for the women 2 rows up) they decided to move. There had been what looked like a mother and daughter sitting there. When the daughter went to the concession stand, the trio got up and took the middle 3 seats of a 5-seat row, forcing the mother to move. They appeared to remain clueless as to why she moved even as the daughter returned.

There was a drawing and several promotional videos, the one from Joss Whedon being particularly entertaining. As the movie opened by toying with the Universal Studios logo, I began to suspect this wasn't a 35mm print at all. My suspicions were pretty much confirmed when I began to see some color seperation as a result of the digital projector whenever something bright white moved quickly on the screen (like looking at the white light of a flatbed scanner and seeing an array of colors as it moves). When the playback menu dropped into the movie at the top left of the screen it was indisputable that they had a 1080i 60 Hz playback, apparently from a Blu-ray copy of the movie. The picture looked nice for the most part, except for the distracting color seperation, the audience laughed at all the right parts, and even clapped at the end. If I had known it wasn't a 35mm print, though, I probably would have stayed home and watched it at 1080p 24fps, which is a step closer to film, and without the rainbow effect.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Set list

Isis at 20th Century Theatre, Cincinnati, OH Setlist on June 10, 2009

Hall of the Dead
20 Minutes / 40 Years
Threshold of Transformation
Ghost Key
In Fiction
Hand of the Host

The Beginning and the End

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Live in person

I haven't been to a concert since last September when I went with friends to Columbus to see The Swell Season (or Glen Harsard and Marketa Irglova from the film Once, backed by The Frames). So, I've been looking forward to tomorrow night when my friend Andy and I will be going down to Cincinnati to see Isis and Pelican. These two bands play a genre of music quite different from anything else. It's an intelligent, complex, epic, heavy, ususally slow style of music that, to the casual listener, may sound rather repetitive. But upon further listen it's evident that this is a form of minimalism where lines and progressions incorporate small changes from one iteration to the next, and the tension continues to build over an 8- (or 12-, and even one 20-) minute song. Many people will call it metal music (and there are certainly metal techniques to be found in the riffs and percussion), others will call it sludge because of the slow pace. It doesn't really matter what you call it, since words are inadequate to explain the journey through their songs, although some of the song titles begin to give some idea: Mammoth, Pulse, Bliss in Concrete, Aurora Borealis (not all the songs are heavy), Hall of the Dead, False Light, Weight, Celestial (The Tower)...

Isis uses both yelling and singing vocals, while Pelican has perfected the instrumental epic. Both bands have an ephemeral other-worldly quality to them, perhaps Isis more than Pelican (listen to any song on the album Oceanic). Both lay down a masterfully intricate and well-crafted ebb and flow of sound, and though I've lumped them together here, they certainly go about it in different ways. One of my favorite things Isis does on occasion is build up tension over the course of 5 or 6 minutes, minor chords and yelling vocals, then after a quieter bridge, build the song back up and break the tension with major chords and singing vocals, only (after 8 minutes) to leave you wanting more, as in Hall of the Dead. On the less ephemeral side, Pelican is more apt to rock for awhile, then settle into some sort of groove which feels less like music that was written and more like something that we've all known always existed and was finally discovered, as in March Into the Sea.

It's an interesting side-note that these two bands and apparently other similar bands tend to release their music on limited edition vinyl which consistently sells out in incredibly short periods of time and becomes a valuable eBay item. But the vinyl is often a work of art in itself.

I was able to pick up this 180 gram vinyl record relatively cheap :

These bands certainly aren't for everyone, but are most definitely for anyone who can appreciate truly gifted musicians playing layered, complexly intense (without being extreme) music.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bad driver of the day, Monday edition

Brandt Pike southbound, under I-70, turning left to I-70 East:

There are 2 left turn lanes for each direction. One northbound car stops at his red light, initially ignorant of the fact that we had a left turn arrow. Nearly all the cars were in the left left-turn lane because of the semi-truck in the right left-turn lane. So northbound sees us turning left and stops, but then starts creeping into the turn, still apparently oblivious to the existence of the other left-turn lane. He continues to creep out, but never fully commits, so he ends up sitting somewhere he shouldn't be in the first place while blocking a tractor trailer, as I watch in my mirrors and shake my head in disbelief that Ohio will give a driver's license to anyone with a face and $50.

Yesterday, Executive Blvd. and Troy Pike:
There are 2 left turn lanes and one straight/right turn lane. I'm patiently awaiting the green light several cars back. When it changes, a woman from the right left-turn lane floors the gas and cuts into my lane so she can cross Troy Pike in the correct lane, only to then get into the left turn lane across the street. Since I was turning right and she had incorrectly stopped at the bottom of the hill at a place where incoming traffic is not supposed to stop, I slowed down to give her a stare and make sure she knew I knew she was clueless.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bad driver of the day

Actually, this post will cover 2 days.

At Wright-Patt they've put in removable steel posts to replace the previous orange traffic barriers. There are two lanes going through the gate. As you turn from the light, the right lane is blocked off, then the left lane, then the right lane again at the guard post. Obviously you have to drive slow and zigzag to get through them, which is the point. Not too long before I got there, one driver apparently didn't see the 3rd set of posts (and was in the right lane despite the fact that the guard post is on the left). She managed to ruin one of the posts by attempting to drive through it.

I was stopped at a red light on 202 at Executive heading South when another car pulled up on my left. The light for the cross traffic turned red and he started to creep into the intersection. Opposite-direction traffic obviously had a green arrow, as they were turning in front of us, but he continued to creep forward until he was fully half way into the intersection by the time we got a green light. He passed under 70 and pulled into the center lane, apparently to turn into Waffle House, but instead did a U-turn to head back onto 70 at the point where he could have turned left. Apparently he's much too important to wait for the left turn arrow, or to follow things like, I don't know, Ohio traffic laws, which apparently don't apply to him. I guess my question is, why did he feel an illegal U-turn is less offensive than an illegal left on red?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Faking it

Today, on my way to Chick-fil-a, I stopped by Best Buy to pick up the new Devil Wears Prada album (even heavier than the last, without sacrificing songwriting or melodic structure), and I happened to park next to a large pickup truck. There was nothing special about the truck, but my attention was drawn to the gas cap door. I'm sure everyone has seen a chrome gas cap cover like this:

This particular vehicle owner apparently thought he could get away with not spending the money on a real one (and really, why would anyone want to?), and instead had a silver reflective sticker (!), designed to look similar to the above photo, affixed to his gas cap door. It was rendered even more absurd by the fact that it covered only about 90% of the surface of the door, and it was a flat sticker that could not be made to lay flat against the convex lip of the door (again, as above).

I really need to do better at having my camera with me whenever I leave the house.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Burn in Me

The Glorious Unseen - Burn in Me

Fire of God
Burn in me
Capture my heart again
Pull me through
Make me clean
I'm reaching for your love

Come carry me now
I'm crying out
For someone I can not see
Come carry me now
I'm crying

How I long to be broken
How I want to be near you
How my heart skips beats when
Your love accepts me as I am

Breathe of God
Breath on me
Hold me in your hands
Take my life
This offering
And use me where I am

Come carry me now
I'm crying out
For someone I can not see
Come carry me now
I'm crying

How I long to be broken
How I want to be near you
How my heart skips beats when
Your love accepts me as I am

How I long to be broken
How I want to be near you
How my heart skips beats when
Your love accepts me as I am

Come burn in me
Come burn in me
Come burn in me
Burn in me

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Once again, for the first time.

There's an article linked from today where people list movies or TV shows they wish they could experience again for the first time without knowledge of what is ahead. I decided to make my own list.

The Office U.K.
Fight Club
The Usual Suspects
The Shawshank Redemption
The Matrix
The Time Traveler's Wife

I could probably come up with a few more, but I'd rather read yours, so what are they?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Blind spot

Ohio Revised Code
(B) No person shall drive any motor vehicle, other than a bus, with any sign, poster, or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, sidewings, side, or rear windows of such vehicle other than a certificate or other paper required to be displayed by law, except that there may be in the lower left-hand or right-hand corner of the windshield a sign, poster, or decal not to exceed four inches in height by six inches in width. No sign, poster, or decal shall be displayed in the front windshield in such a manner as to conceal the vehicle identification number for the motor vehicle when, in accordance with federal law, that number is located inside the vehicle passenger compartment and so placed as to be readable through the vehicle glazing without moving any part of the vehicle.

Then why are so many people driving around Ohio with their disabled parking permit hanging from the rear-view mirror, especially when the placard has this printed on it: "IMPORTANT: REMOVE BEFORE DRIVING VEHICLE"?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Banana burger

Yesterday I had a really unique pairing of flavors on my lunch sandwich, and wanted to share. T.G.I. Friday's has a "Chipotle Grilled Steak Sandwich". Nothing unusual about that.
"Tender Cajun–rubbed skirt steak served on toasted ciabatta with a blend of Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses, lettuce, tomato, onion & Chipotle mayo. Served with beer–battered onion rings."

Since I despise mayonnaise and tomatoes, I skipped both, but there's one very important flavor to this sandwich that I left out. Roasted plantains. Much more colorful and tasty than bananas, and it worked surprisingly well on the sandwich. If the steak was a little more tender it would be outstanding.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Play it again.

The person at work who has the shift before me on Saturdays had the computer logged into his XM account, which allows him to stream the same channels online that he can get in his car (this was news to me). He left it logged in for me, especially since it looked to be a slow afternoon. I landed on channel 54, "Classic Alternative Hits". It seems weird to me that this music is called classic, since pretty much everything on the channel is mid-90's music like Weezer, Collective Soul, Counting Crows, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Matthew Sweet, Nerf Herder, Oasis, etc. Anyway, a lot of this music I haven't heard for 10 years or so because it's nothing I own on CD. It's really interesting to be hearing it again, kind of like being able to turn on the on a radio station from 1995 as I'm driving home from high school. I don't know how much of the music is actually good and how much just takes me back to that time period.

I experience something similar when I dig out older CDs I haven't listened to in a long time. It's like listening to an album for the first time again, but with all the appreciation that comes from familiarity and without that period of listening to an album several times, getting used to it before you really understand how good it is.

A couple of weeks ago I was using the Genius feature on my iPod and Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode came on. I found myself wondering what people hearing it for the first time on a jukebox in 1958 would have thought. Could they appreciate the fact that what they were listening to would become a sonic icon?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Check, please.

Thursday night I got away from work in time to get to the library 4 minutes before they closed and pick up a book that was on hold. Afterwards I drove across the parking lot to the bank to deposit a check. I shouldn't have had this check in the first place. I accidentally sent it to myself using online bill pay, instead of who I was trying to pay, so I was surprised when it showed up in the mail. I wanted to get it back into the account as soon as I could.

Chase recently installed a new ATM that doesn't use envelopes, but has one slot for checks and another into which the customer can put up to 100 bills for deposit, which will be counted by the machine. When they installed the new machine they apparently installed a new plastic front that goes all the way around, attached to the wall, and with decorative lights along the bottom to create a glow. There's about a 1/32" gap between this plastic moulding and the machine. I pressed the check against the machine to sign the back and it slipped out of my hand and fell straight through this tiny crack. That's it, it was gone. No way to get it back. I called the bank the next day and was told it's essentially in the wall and inaccessible until they replace the ATM front, but that she would put a work order in to have the crack sealed off. Especially since I wasn't the first person to whom this had happened. Not even the first person I know! My mom had the ATM receipt fall into the very same crack, and apparently someone else lost their ATM card. Anyway, they say they're going to solve the problem and I was able to get a stop-payment on the check at no charge.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's Electronic

Last night I went to turn on my TV/DVD combo, on which I usually watching something as I fall asleep at night. I've been watching LOST Season 1 because I knew the Blu-ray was coming out this year. I had already sold the DVD set and just wanted to finish last disc before shipping. I hit play, which resumes where I left of. The power light came on and then went right back off. No matter which button I pushed the result was the same. I decided it was dead, but I had to get the DVD out. The drawer wouldn't budge no matter what I tried. Finally I took the back off the TV with a screwdriver. Then I had to unscrew the circuit board/DVD player and slide it out from under the CRT. The only wires I had the luxury of disconnecting were the internal speakers. Then I had to remove about 10 screws from the DVD player cover. I could see the DVD easily, but the player itself was clamped onto the disc from top and bottom. I had to pry up the top stabilizer of the player to get the disc loose, but it scratched the media side as it finally slid out. The disc played fine so I shipped it. Put the TV back together to put it on Craiglist as non-working. Plugged it in one more time and it worked normally. The DVD tray opened and closed every time I tested it. Of course now I'm not comfortable watching DVDs on it.

Next day:
And now it's broken again.


I usually have a frozen Lean Cuisine for lunch at work, but I don't think I've lost any weight. Maybe if I start eating two Lean Cuisine's for lunch, they'll work better...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Snack time

When I was about 9 or 10 years old my brother and I used to make a snack that normal adults probably wouldn't even consider eating. We would take a piece of bread and add a slice of Kraft cheese. Microwave for about 10 or 15 seconds to get the cheese soft. Now comes the interesting part. A layer of peanut butter. Then cinnamon and sugar. The optional finale: Reese's Pieces.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Volatility of the Internetz

I like books. The problem is that I'm not a fast reader. I don't mean I have to sound out words or anything, I'm just easily distracted and lack focus much of the time when I try to read something. But I like books. I've bought them faster than I can read them ever since one summer in college. I bought four more this weekend at thrift stores in St. Louis. Four dollars, four books. A couple of times I've had to purge used books I had sitting on the shelves on in boxes because I realized I'd never get around to reading them...also I currently have 3 magazine subscriptions, at least one of which I'm probably going to allow to expire.

What does this have to do with the Internet? I've noticed in more and more magazine articles and current events-type books (global warming, politics) cite specific web articles as sources and references. I haven't gone and looked at these (literally) hundreds of urls, but a person has to wonder how long these references will remain valid. In the past, sources cited would be other books, or newspaper articles that a person could find in the library. Solid. Physical. Even microfiche was something a person could hold in their hand. Internet articles are fragile, volatile entities that may or may not be around tomorrow. I realize most major news outlets are going to archive their articles for future reference, but even those may change. Christopher C. Horner, in Red Hot Lies, makes note of global warming articles changed multiple times within 24 hours due to outside pressures, often without even a note recording the edit.

They say that whatever we put on the internet never really goes away. Even if I delete this post, it's supposedly archived on a server hard drive somewhere. Who knows? That could very well be. My inane ramblings preserved forever (hey, if this guy [] can do it...).

I read an article online about a year ago (that I now can't find) about the exponential growth of information produced and saved and the need for new ways of saving it, but it's not all being saved. Anyone who has done an online search knows that some results will be a bad link because something has been taken down. I dealt with this last week when I was trying to find audio for a theology debate I know existed, but the first four or five links I tried yielded no results.

Short story long: I imagine a day when someone reads a book and wants to dig deeper, looking up the references cited, and can only find maybe half of the referenced articles because information stored as zeros and ones never required ink to touch paper.

St. Louis

My weekend in St. Louis ended up being something like our own episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

Dewey's Pizza - All fresh ingredients. They don't own a freezer!

Ted Drewes (In STL since 1931)- Local frozen custard icon. There was a line at 8PM on a Monday night in 40 degree weather.

Chuck-A-Burger (Since 1957) - Classic diner.

Crown Candy Kitchen (Since 1913!)- The line never let up the whole time we were there, which was about 2 hours. We had roast beef and shakes...but no candy.

Sen Thai - Top reviewed Thai restaurant in the city. I usually get Massaman curry, but I had Japanese-style "Stew" curry which was thicker, like gravy.

Jennifer's Pharmacy and Soda Shop - I had a delicious coconut phosphate (carbonated soda water, flavored syrup and phosphoric acid), and some Gus's Pretzels. I wanted to go back for a Lime Rickey. I'll just have to wait.

Fitz's Root Beer - Had to pick up some of the local favorite for my brother.

And of course I have to mention Ericka's store, The Cupcakery. Two words: Buttercream Icing.

Also did a little bit of shopping at Vintage Vinyl.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shut it down

There have been rumors for months that Air Force Services is trying to shut down the Aero Club. They spent a million dollars on a golf course that loses money, but they don't want people to fly...the Air Force doesn't want people to fly. In their aggressive demands of budget cuts, they've caused us to lose our assistant manager who was the glue holding everything together. I believe they don't have the guts to pull the trigger on closing the club, so they're trying to bury us in paperwork until we collapse in on ourselves. In addition to dispatching airplanes today, I had to work on trying to get VA benefits for some pilots, and try to get some others of us paid (already a week late), only to find out that the forms we have aren't in the new specified format, which the assistant manager had been refusing to use, apparently. So I have to redo payroll and part of the VA benefit paperwork tomorrow.

I want to set something on fire.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin's 200th birthday (and Abraham Lincoln's)

With an estimated 10,000 pastors preaching compromise to evolutionism from the pulpit this weekend, it's up to people to educate themselves on the truth about evolution as a scientifically bankrupt theory and its total incompatibility with Biblical authority. Evolutionary beliefs have driven countless notable figures to atheism, while Creation Evangelism draws a growing number back to truth in Christ.

“Today it is perhaps the Darwinian view of nature more than any other that is responsible for the agnostic and skeptical outlook of the twentieth century.”
Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (London: Burnett Books, 1985), p. 358.

Darwin and Lincoln - The Race Connection

Ghost of Darwin

The Vanishing Case for Evolution

Do Species Change?

Natural Selection - Theory or Reality?

Couldn't God Have Used Evolution?

The New Answers Book

The New Answers Book II

Evolution Exposed

Refuting Compromise

In the Beginning Was Information

Not by Chance

Darwin's Black Box

The Edge of Evolution

Persuaded by the Evidence

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

P&P & Zombies movie?

According to the Sunday Times, Hollywood studios (I quote) are already fighting for the rights to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a Jane Austen rewrite that injects a little undead action and is due to hit bookstores in April.

Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel apparently makes liberal use of Austen’s original text, so far out of copyright that anybody could do anything they want to it with only the hordes of rampant Austenites to worry about. “About 85% is the original” says the author.

Grahame-Smith provides a sterling explanation of why the novel works in this brain-eating rerendering. “Why else in the original should a regiment arrive on Lizzie Bennet’s doorstep when they should have been off fighting Napoleon? It was to protect the family from an invasion of brain-eaters, obviously.”

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

[migrated from myspace blog]

I just had to laugh...and then laugh some more at the absurdity of the concept when I heard the description of this book being read on the radio this morning:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 10 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice), this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen's classic novel to new legions of fans.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Béla Fleck / Edgar Meyer show audio files HELP!

[migrated from myspace blog]

I'm hoping someone stumbles across this and can help. A few years back I had downloaded a live Béla Fleck / Edgar Meyer show from (it's not there anymore) in lossless FLAC format:
Bela Fleck & Edgar Meyer
Benedict Music Tent
Aspen, CO

Apparently when I moved all my media to a new hard drive, it got lost, because I can't find the show at all.

If ANYONE has a lead on where I can find this recording in FLAC, please let me know.

Also, if anyone is aware of a recording of the November 2005 show in Mesa, AZ, I was at that one and it would be nice to have a recording of that as well.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Pushing Daisies and Blade Runner

[migrated from myspace blog]

What in the world could Pushing Daisies and Blade Runner have in common?
Valid question. When I was watching one of the Fall episodes of Pushing Daisies, there was a scene where the two main characters walk out of their respective apartment doors near the corner of what appeared to be a hallway. However, as the camera panned, the view was something like this.

Despite being well-lit, Blade Runner fans will immediately recognize this as the interior of the Bradbury Building in L.A., although it may be a little more recognizable like this.

This building has been used in quite a few movies, especially noir films...and now you're probably waiting on me to get to the point. Unfortunately I don't actually have one. It just caught me by surprise to see this building, which I'm most familiar with from the darkly-lit film Blade Rrunner, show up on the bright and colorful TV show Pushing Daisies (R.I.P. ...ironic).