Friday, March 28, 2008

The next ten...

...were actually far more interesting:

11) Nico On The Night Train - Bedouin Soundclash
12) Stolen Land - Bruce Cockburn
13) Faithfully - Journey
14) Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream
15) Hummingbird - B. B. King
16) Let's Make It - AC/DC
17) Big Ego's - Dr. Dre
18) Call It Democracy - Bruce Cockburn
19) What's On My Mind - Kansas
20) Yibo Labo (These Are The Guys) - Ladysmith Black Mambazo


Friday random ten

   Here's a meme that's been around the blogosphere so long it has pretty much petered out. So it's fitting that I'm doing it now. The idea is you are supposed to put your iTunes on random, and list the first ten songs it plays. Of course, that requires one to sit and listen to (or skip past) ten songs. Instead, what I'm going to do is update and refill my iPod on Fridays, and list the first ten songs iTunes randomly loads onto it.
   Here is today's list.

1) Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam - Nirvana
2) What Do You Do - The Proclaimers
3) Sieze The Day - Avenged Sevenfold
4) God Save The Queen - Queen
5) The Voice And The Snake - Enigma
6) Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) - Nickelback
7) To America We Go - Ashley MacIsaac
8) Caroline - Fleetwood Mac
9) What wW're All About - Sum 41
10) Soledad - Jesse Cook

   There you have it: the first ten songs on the list of 125 that will be playing in my car for the next week. Take from it what you will. I guess the idea is that the reader might glean some little insight into the personality of the blogger through an examination of their musical tastes. That, or it's another form of cat vacuuming.



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A meme from Dawn

Here's another meme I found at Dawn's journal.

edited 5:50PM - Oops! I have been informed that I missed two answers. I intended to come back to those later, and publish this entry after dinner, but accidentally published it immediately. That's what happens when you rush through something on your lunch hour.

Your best friend tells you she is pregnant. What is your reaction? "I thought you had your tubes tied, Honey."

When is the last time you wanted to punch someone in their face? So long ago I can't remember.

What is the last thing you spent money on? Coffee and a muffin.

Do you think you gained or lost weight this past month?
No idea. I never weigh myself. Probably gained, though. That seems to be the general trend these years.

Crunchy or Puffy Cheetos?
No Cheetos. I'm more of a chips guy.

Congratulations! You just had a son. What's his name? Beowulf! No, maybe not. Our child having days are long over, so I haven't thought about new baby names for years. I'm all out of practice. I'll have to give this one a pass.

Congratulations! You just had a daughter. What's her name? Well, we had a girl's name all picked out for if we had a daughter, but never had to use it, so I'll give you Branwyn Marie. (My Mother-in-law has never been able to pronounce that, so it's probably for the best that there wasn't a girl.) We never did decide on whether to spell it Branwyn, or Branwen, or Bronwen.

What are you craving right now? Heh. Nevermind. Next question?

What was the last thing you cried about? Probably the last time I watched ET, or readThe Fionaver Tapestry. A while ago, I guess.

When you buy something and your change is 2 cents, do you keep it or tell the cashier to keep it? Sometimes I keep it, and sometimes I leave it. I don't think there's any conscious criteria for my decision.

What color is your tissue box? My tissue box? Well, the nearest tissue box to me is kind light bluey, with purple flower petals on it, but I wouldn't really call it my tissue box.

Do you have a ceiling fan in your room, and if so, is there dust on that fan? There's a ceiling fan in our dining room. It gets dusted at least once a week, so I'm gonna say no. 

Scariest thing you've experienced in the last year? Yeah, all of you are right. I was pretty confident that things would go well with the wife's surgery, but deep down inside, that fear was there.

Do you wear a name tag at work? Yes. Mr. Ho, the manager of the Kwik-E-Mart keeps telling me he's going to get me one with my name imprinted on it, but it hasn't happened yet. Until it does, I'll keep wearing the one I found in the back room that has the name Raoul on it.

Have you ever had a garage sale? No. The previous owners of the house must have sold the garage before we moved in. We've had yard sales, though.

What color is your iPod? They come in colours?

What is the last alcoholic beverage you had? Ryan Coke.

Are you happy right now? Sure.

Who came over last? Who came over last? What are you, twelve? Nevermind, you probably are. (No, not you, gentlereader. The person who wrote this quiz.) So, uh, I guess it was my parents, and my Brother-in-law and his family. We celebrated Easter, and Matthew's fourteenth birthday Saturday night.

Do you drink beer? Yes.

Have your brothers or sisters ever told you that you were adopted? No. Sounds like something I might have said to my sister when I was being petty and spiteful, but I can't remember if I ever did.

What is your favorite key on your key chain? People have favourite keys on their keychains? Doesn't that seem a little...odd to you?

What was the last movie you watched at home? We're currently watching the new Battlestar Galactica TV series on DVD, but that's not what you asked, is it? The last movie we watched would have been Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring when Matthew was home sick a couple of weeks ago.

What is in your pocket? A toonie.

Where do you hurt? Oh, the knees are a little sore right now.

Has someone ever made you a Build-A-Bear? Um, no.

What's something fun you did today? Well, I got up, had a shower, and went to work. Now I'm home. I guess the funnest thing I did so far was listening to my new iPod in my car during the drive. Woo hoo!

What is your favorite aisle at Wal-Mart? People have favourite aisles at Wal-Mart? Doesn't that seem a little...pathetic to you? I don't even go to Wal-Mart. If I did, that would have been the scariest thing.

When is your birthday? Last month. You missed it!

Is there anything hanging from your rear view mirror? No.

What kind of milk do you drink?

What is something you need to go shopping for?


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Irony of ironies; all is irony...

   I've never been an iPod person. Heck, I've been around long enough to remember when 'Walkmans' were new and cool. I've never been a Walkman person either. I don't really like listening to music on headphones to start with, and when you make them those crappy little headphones that come with personal music players of whatever description, well, count me out. I'll just go downstairs and fire up the stereo, OK? Let me know if it's too loud.
   Still, I'm not one to reject something out of hand, either. So, when Matthew got his new super-giga-iPod-nano-electro-fantabulism-player last year, and generously gave me his old one to use, I didn't scoff. I just put it on the shelf of my armoire, and let it sit until it spoke to me.
   We have iTunes on our computer, because Matthew has had iPods for a couple of years. I haven't felt any need to put any of my CDs on it. I wasn't using an iPod, and I don't listen to music on the computer, so what was the use? Matthew had copied several of my albums for him to listen to, but beyond AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, the computer was pretty much an exclusive Three Days Grace - Rise Against - Billy Tallent zone.

   And then I got a new car stereo.

   My old one had become just a radio, after the CD player stopped working. I lived with it for a long time, but an opportunity came up to grab a new CD player a an absolute steal, so I took advantage. I got one that had a jack on the front that would allow an iPod to be plugged in. And whaddaya know, but I had an iPod sitting, unused, in my bedroom armoire. Cool!
   I took it out, hooked it up to the computer, clicked on 'random autofill' and loaded it up. It held about 120 songs, or so. I took it out to my car, plugged it in, and enjoyed. I could drive for hours and hours, and never hear the same song twice. And no talking, or commercials. I was a convert. I came home and started loading CDs onto my version of iTunes. I also copied Matthew's music library for my use as well. There were a few CDs I skipped, but not many. Over two or three days, I went through my record collection from A up to E. The last CD in the "E" category was Europe - The Final Countdown (shut up), and when I had finished uploading that one, i had exactly...


...on iTunes. And that only represented about one third of my Cds. I had a long way to go, but I had made a good start.

   Excited, I brought the iPod in from the car in order to reload it from my new, expanded selection of music, but when I plugged it in, I got an error message saying it was corrupted, and that I should reformat it by clicking on the 'restore' button.

   So I clicked on the restore button.

   It fitzed and fiddled around for several minutes, and then said this:


   I broke my iPod. :(

Update: A little bit of Google-Fu led me to this: iPod reset utility for Windows. Fixed it up in a snap. I'm rockin' again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

100 movies - "The Eighth Day"

   Well, you know... I've been avoiding continuing this series since discovering that I have to come up with one more movie to replace The Fugitive (which has appeared twice owing to an administrative oversight). It was far easier to just put off the whole thing, than to think about what movie to add back onto the list. Finally, I decided, "hey, I don't have to make a decision yet. This is just the third to last entry in the series. I have two more to go after this one before I actually have to make up my mind." So, here I am again, recounting for you another ten movies that I really, really like. Enjoy.

A Knight's Tale - The recent passing of Heath Ledger makes beginning this entry with this film rather more poignant than it might otherwise have been. Ledger was a fine actor with a brilliant future ahead of him, and his loss was a tragic one.
   So, too, recent events might serve to make Heath alone the focus of what made this movie so much fun, but please allow me to take a step back, and also give credit to the many other talents without whom A Knight's Tale would have been a lesser film.
   Credit to Brian Helgeland, the Writer and Director, and his friend, and co-writer, actor Paul Bettany, who together came up with the concept of paralleling the historic jousting tournaments with modern, professional sports. Credit, also, to Bettany for his excellent interpretation of how Geoffrey Chaucer just might have come up with some of his stories.
   Credit to Mark Addy and Alan Tudyk, for their portrayals of squires Roland, and Wat, whom the audience come to love even more than the main characters.
   And credit to the many horses, horsemen, and stuntmen who gave us such a realistic experience of the joust. This is a straight-up fun movie to watch, and I do so on a regular basis.

Serenity - Did I say Alan Tudyk? If you were to do a poll asking who was the respondant's favourite Firefly character, Wash would be right up there at the top. Maybe even number one. Coincidence? I think not.
   Serenity was a highly anticipated continuation of the much loved, but short lived television series, Firefly. Part of what made the TV series so attractive, to me at least, were the tight scripts. Not a moment was wasted, and no line of dialogue had only one layer of meaning. Some of that was lost in the transition to the big screen, I thought. Meh, given a special effects budget, and two hours to fill, that'll tend to happen to a production, I guess. Still, though I didn't think it quite lived up to the promise of the series, Serenity was a good movie, and a satisfying conclusion (sort of) to the narrative.
   Also, Summer Glau can kick your ass!

Hard Core Logo - It has been said that if you liked This Is Spinal Tap (which I mentioned earlier in this series), you'll like Hard Core Logo, the mock-doc story of the last Hurrah of a Canadian Punk Band. That said, Logo goes farther than Tap, taking the story of Joe Dick and Billy Tallent's last grasp for the gold ring to its somewhat unexpected, but in hindsight inevitable conclusion. Hard Core Logo surprised me, and it made me think. I recommend it to you most highly.

Die Hard - What can I say? "Yipee-ki-yay, moth..." No, I can't say that.

Scrooged - Bill Murray again. None of you are surprised, are you? My favourite Christmas movie, bar none. A great turn by Bobcat Goldthwait as the put-upon Elliott Loudermilk.

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - While I still think The Fellowship of the Ring was the strongest of the three films, The Return of the King picks up after a somewhat disappointing middle chapter, and sweeps us, carries us, drags us, pushes us, and lifts us to an ending worthy of the material. Well done, Peter Jackson.

Aliens - Very different in tone from the first Alien film, but hey, that's OK. Sometimes you just wanna watch highly trained military professionals torn to shreds by a brainless, instinct-driven monster from outer space, don't you? Well, I do.

Shakespeare In Love - Three words. Clever, clever, clever. In the finest tradition of British bawdy theater.

Gattaca - Whatever happened to Ethan Hawke? This is another odd one out on this list, because I can only say that I want, very much, to like this movie. I can't say outright that I do like it, because I've never actually seen it. At least not all in one sitting. I've seen this bit, and that bit, and another little bit over there...all at different times, and all out of order. Still, the parts I've seen seem well done, and the idea of the story appeals to me. One day I will remember to rent this, and watch it all at once, and in order. And then we'll really see.

Spiderman - Some comic book hero movies are done well, and some...not so much. Spiderman falls firmly into the first category. Tobey Maguire absolutely nails Peter Parker. I was worried about Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane, but that sweater-in-the-rain scene erased all doubts. Pretty much all coherent thought, actually. Was that my spider-sense tingling?

   And with that, there are only twenty remaining films to come in this series. Twenty, that is, plus one. One yet-to-be-determined movie that I really like is to be added, at some point in the hopefully not too distant future, to replace the double mention of The Fugitive. Hey, do you think I could get away with saying that I listed The Fugitive twice because I really, really, really like it? No, I didn't think so.
   Stay tuned.

P.S. The Eighth Day was the original working title for the film that was eventually renamed Gattaca. Just so's you know.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Arrrr, matey!

   It has just been leaked to the media. There is a secret propaganda video for an upstart religion that displays exactly what it's all about. If you want to know just what being 'touched by his noodly appendage' entails, click here to see it.