Archives for: December 2005


Permalink 01:47:10 am, Categories:, 36 words  

NHL Shootout Stats

I have added a new section to my website on NHL shootout stats, since I couldn't find a good place for them anywhere else online. Check it out and feel free to leave me any suggestions.



Permalink 10:39:04 pm, Categories: Movies, 498 words  

A couple more movie reviews

Saw a couple of movies recently. I've been going to the theatre a lot more recently, not sure exactly why, but there seem to have been some more watchable ones around these days.

Saw Syriana, which I rate a 7. Overall it was okay, but when you have a movie with intertwining stories, you need a bit more of a payoff that you get with this movie. I'm not too sure what the message of this movie was supposed to be, something along the lines of "the oil industry is very complex and important", and if that seems banal, well, that's what I got out of the movie. Also, I'm not sure I really figured out who I was supposed to be empathizing with in the movie. Some people seem to think the movie is apolitical, but I can't agree with that. It may not be exactly the usual tedious left/right politics, but it's got a fair amount to say about a significant political topic. There are a number of stereotypical American "fat cats", but it's not like anybody in the movie is really portrayed to be wholly good.

I learned one thing from playing Civilization III, which is that if your civilization doesn't have access to the Oil strategic resource, you do anything to get it. Maybe in a roundabout way, this is the message of the movie, that oil is so important that our actions are almost predestined because it's so crucial to our society. Who knows. Anyway, if you don't mind slower movies, and if watching George Clooney have a couple of his fingernails extracted with pliers doesn't bother you too much, it's worth a rental. Think Traffic-lite, except about oil not drugs.

Saw King Kong a couple of nights ago. Since I only rate movies on how much I personally enjoyed them (since I don't believe in "art", "artistic integrity" or any such thing), I gave this movie an 8. Frankly speaking, this movie is a total disaster. It's too long, there are a lot of unresolved subplots, there is a massive overuse of CGI effects, there are multitudinous completely implausible action sequences and about a zillion other problems (including an absurd ice skating scene with King Kong and Ann Darrow in a park in New York City in which I was fully expecting Kong to bust a Triple Salchow). I understand that there were dinosaurs in the original King Kong, but unfortunately, the middle third of this movie was nearly indistinguishable from Jurassic Park. I was inappropriately laughing numerous times in the movie because of the complete stupidity of the scenes, although, hey, laughter is laughter.

That all said, I just found it to be a fun movie to watch due to the cool 1930s' setting, manic action sequences and, of course, King Kong. If you want to see this, definitely catch it at the theatre and get a huge bag of popcorn (adding a cheesy topping would be appropriate) for this popcorn movie.



Permalink 01:36:07 am, Categories: Movies, Food, Miscellaneous Rambling, 265 words  

Narnia and other miscellany

Just got back from spending a little time at a local bar and grill with the badminton crew, which was fun. It's one of those immutable laws of nature that a few "tasty beverages" brings out a certain risqué sense of humor in people. Unfortunately I had read el nanO's post on poutine recently and had to order one for old times' sake. I should have bought some heart attack insurance with it, and to make matters worse it wasn't even that good. Oh well, can't win them all.

Saw the Narnia movie last weekend. I hadn't read the book, but I probably walked by it in the library a thousand times as a kid (probably not even an exaggeration). Not sure why I always dismissed it (I'm not much into fantasy, I guess that is probably the reason) but I very much enjoyed the movie regardless. I gave it an 8 on IMDB (-1 for talking beavers). From what I've heard it's fairly faithful to the book and overall the effects were terrific and the story moved along at a good pace even though it was longish at 2 hours 20 minutes. Tilda Swinton did a great job as the, uh, titular witch (that would be a good name for a punk band).

Have been working on the Sonic Normal and have pretty much gotten it down pat. I'm not at near-100% success rate yet but it is getting more consistent and I can probably do it 7 or 8 times out of 10. The trick still feels a bit forced, even when it's successful, but that will improve with time.



Permalink 03:03:43, Categories: Movies, Computers, Miscellaneous Rambling,, 247 words  

First post in nine months

Well, I haven't posted since March, so I figured I would do some random rambling. A couple of my friends have launched blogs recently (Klopzi's Mediocre Poker and Evening Tipple) so I guess I have some catching up to do.

Installed Ubuntu a couple of days ago. The whole installation process was very easy. Installed GnuCash and some other software. I want to get back into the good habit of using a personal finance manager. I used a very old version of Microsoft Money for a few years, but due to a meltdown of my old computer that slipped. I think this will be a good New Year's resolution.

I need to find some new blogging software. I like b2evolution but I need a fresh start. There are thousands upon thousands of spam comments in the database and it's not practical to delete them all. I might give Wordpress a shot, we'll see.

Added a new page to my website on dexterity tricks. And I'm practising my poker chip shuffle with 10 chips in each stack as I type this...

Might as well do a quick movie review summary of the last three movies I've seen while I'm here:
* Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 8. Enjoyable, but we've seen this movie three times before.
* Walk The Line. 9. Terrific performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. Highly recommended.
* A History of Violence. 8. A strange movie by a strange director. Close to being a classic but too implausible.


Mark's Blog

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