Saturday, December 27

Why I don't carry a gun

I don't advocate shooting people for talking during movies but I do understand the feelings.
Phila. man shot because family talked during movie
My favorite part is definitely:
"After exchanging words, Vanore said Cialella allegedly got out of his seat to confront the family when the father got up to protect them. That's when the victim was shot once in the left arm, sending others in the theatre running to safety.

Cialella then sat down to watch the movie."
I would also like to point out to people out there that texting or even checking your phone can be as distracting as talking.  When I'm sitting there and suddenly in the corner of my eye there is a sudden flash of white light... I start reaching for the weapon that I am luckily not carrying.

Forward looking

Listening to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on NPR this morning, I've been reminded on another reason why I am glad we'll have a President Obama.  The episode was a clip show of election related material, both from this year and years gone by.  The last third was a series of Obama segments.  And, god damn it, it's nice to have a Head of State that has a good sense of humor.  Not a simple jovial, one of the guys humor, but a good natured cutting cynical humor.  Self-depreciating and sharp.  (Yes, I will say it.  He is someone I would actually like to have a beer with.)

Two highlights that stood out:
• When during the campaign, a young reporter showed up at an Obama event.  He had brought along a young woman he wanted to impress.  Obama mistook the reporter for a student and then proceeded to make comments about how baby faced he was.  The reporter wrote that Obama had ruined his chance with the woman.  Obama called the reporter to apologize.

• When Obama was an actual guest, he was discussing how the drawers in the desks in the Senate had the carved names of all the Senators that had sat there.  When they made jokes about vandalism and such, Obama joked that he thought about doing it with spray paint... you know, being the only black senator and all.

Friday, December 26


Here's my feelings about the weird rescinding of the Presidential pardon yesterday:
There are three possible reasons this happened, none of which are good.

(1) The Whitehouse didn't vet Isaac Toussie and he never really deserved a pardon but they were too clueless to realize it. They weren't doing it because of donations but realized after flag were up that he shouldn't have been pardoned. So they were passing out pardons with no real checking.
(2) They gave the pardon BECAUSE of the money and influence even though they knew it was undeserved and stopped only when caught.
(3) He deserved a pardon (at least in the Whitehouse's eyes) but they took it back when it looked like it was because of the money. Meaning a man they believed should be pardoned isn't.

So, yes.  Whacked no matter how you slice it.

State Quarters: The Critique

Years ago, I started to review the aesthetics of those state themed quarters. I haven't given it much thought since then. But I just noticed Montana's which made me realize that perhaps it was time to cover them in more detail. Then I realized that they all have been released now that Hawaii is out there. So I am going to tackle them year by year is a series of posts.


About as dull and traditional as they get. Oh-so-colonial. Given that they chose to celebrate Caesar Rodney... Wait a minute. Who the hell is Caesar Rodney? Oh, right signer of the Declaration of Independence. How very New England of you, Delaware. Anyway. Given that they chose to celebrate Caesar Rodney, they placed him on a horse... which makes him so tiny he could be anyone. Okay, fine. Then put the horse the least attractive position possible. A horse just standing could have been majestic (perhaps alluding to Rodney's position as President of Delaware during much of the Revolutionary War). A horse running could been exciting (playing off Rodney's military position during the war). But they froze the horse in that awkward all legs forward pose, making it appear the horse is about to fall on its ass (calling forth allusions to Rodney's poor health).

The phrase "THE FIRST STATE" makes Delaware out to be an internet forum poster on Ain't It Cool News. "F1RST!!!1!!"

Grade: D+

A bit of a yawner. I do appreciate the quarters that utilized the smooth blank cleanness of the metal. What we get here is the classical image of the statue that sits atop PA's state capital dome. (Note: The ribboned mace symbolized "justice." It comes from the old saying "May justice be swift as a ribbon dance.") It's at least a nice image. The composition holds up with the addition of the state outline... which many quarters ended up doing... which I find ridiculous. If you are trying to celebrate your state, is the 'shape' the best you can do? Especially if you are basically a lumpy rectangle like PA? "Come to Pennsylvania! We've got a nubbin in the northwest corner!" As said, it the state shape at least had a nice composition what with the lady centered and all... until they cluttered it up with (1) the Keystone and (2) the words. I realize the Keystone is PA's grand symbol and all but in this design it looks like it was slapped on after the fact by a committee. It also makes it look like an product packaging button, as if it should say "NEW & IMPROVED!" or "NOW WITH MORE FIBER!" I appreciate the motto or whatever of the "Virtue, Liberty, Independence" on the right except that those are the such boring hyper USA mottos. Yeah yeah. I realize they are cliché American because PA was right there in the beginning. It is like saying "In the beginning" is a clichéd way of starting the Bible.

Grade: C-

New Jersey
While the composition lacks a bit, the over all simplicity and directness is excellent. Chose a recognizable image (Washington crossing the Delaware River) and don't clutter it up much. And "Crossroads of the Revolution" is much catchier than "The First State." What bothers me about the composition is more of an issue with the size of the phrase. Made slightly smaller it wouldn't dominate the whole image... although it would make an awesome album cover the way it is. I might have not kept the unconnected chunk of ice below the right end of the boat. It looks like a random dump in the river. Sidenote: I'd guess that if you asked most folks what they first thought of when they thought about Delaware, they'd say this image of Washington. Of course Delaware couldn't really have used it on their coin since it was about Washington crossing to fight on Trenton, NJ, and then Princeton. Sucks to to be Delaware.

Grade: B+

Okay, Georgia gets points for getting away from the historical. But let's first discuss the motto. I love that they illustrated it instead of just using whatever the quarter font is. The ribbon is a bit hard to read and looks like it should have two doves holding it up, but they at least went a different way. I also like "Wisdom, Justice, Moderation" for being so nicely pragmatic. "Smart, fair and not too extreme." The live oak springs don't do tons for me but it is the first quarter to utilize the circular nature of the medium. Georgia also when with the state shape thing ("Look! We have a nubbin in the southeast!"). Yawn. Now to the central image: The peach. Admittedly, it is the first thing I think about when I think about Georgia. (That or Atlanta... which immediately makes my thing ting of the Atlanta Olympics... which makes me think of Richard Jewell... which would probably be a poor choice of quarter image.) There's not much you can do with the image of a peach. The problem is the similarities to a well formed rear end. It does not come across greatly just looking at a picture, but when you have one of these coins in your hand and can see the raised gentle slope and the sharp cleft... Anyway, may be the most erotic of the quarters. The over all effect of the design is a bit slapped together.

Grade: B-

This as always been on of my favorites. Simple, dramatic and uses the form and medium extremely well. The Charter Oak has an interesting story that most people don't know. Its shape fills in the circle. The fine work of the branches creates a fascinating texture in relief making it more than just image (and doesn't invoke butts). It doesn't try to do too much. No slapping on of the state motto (which is "Qui transtulit sustinet" - He who transplanted still sustains... okay, I definitely understand why they didn't). Great quarter.

Grade: A

Wednesday, December 24

I actually remember seeing this.  I had fond memories of it.  Just goes to show that... hell, I have no idea what that shows.

(via Wonkette)

Xmas Eve in the P.Heights

Just kickin' back in at Soda Bar in Prospect Heights.  Had a very very tasty lamb burger.  Tomorrow I am making my way to Hoboken, Nj, and then a train to Pearl River (which may or may not be in NY) to have Chritmas dinner with Katey and Nicole and Nicole's family.  Should be levels of adorable that one can't find outside of a puppy farm run by kittens.

I hurt my shoulder yesterday.  I have no idea how.  Feels like I slept with my right elbow tied to my left ankle with a 12 inch piece of barbed wire.  (Okay, no real reason for the barbed wire.)

I am definitely enjoying seeing people I know in movie trailers.  Take a look at I Love You Man.

Since I had to get a new hard drive for my lap top, I am trying to put ONLY the things I want onto the new drive from the old one.... Man, I collect a lot of digital grabage.

Happy for...

...successful surgeries.

Not happy for...
...unexplained shoulder pain.

Tuesday, December 23

Happy Holidays... sigh

This is about as much enthusiasm as I can get going this year...

(via Arborath)


Fan made. Fun to play spot the movie they grabbed from, Nice top see that the Garfield movie finally has a reason to exist.


Celebs slumin' but smellin' good

Maybe this happens every December and I just miss it but there seems to be a LOT of A -list celebrities in commercials this year.  This used to be such a no-no (at least on American tv).  Of course all the ads are arty looking weird perfume ads that celebrate their celebrity instead of exploiting it.  Okay, that may be a very thin, basically non-existent distinction.   The old wisdom was that doing commercials would taint the image the the personality.  Perfume ads tend to be flattering and 'stylish.'  Like a classy magazine photo shoot.  Also, since perfume is a smell which (so far) can't be presented even in HD, you never actually have to see the celeb actually use the product.  In fact perfume ads usually fall into the format of "Beautiful person looking mysterious and sexy... and then 2 seconds of a funky shaped bottle named after an adjective."  So perhaps the allowable displacement between product and personality makes it all okay.

But I do wonder if this is yet another sign of the economy going to crap.

Monday, December 22

Cake Wrecks

This site has been getting a fair amount of coverage but it might has well get more.

Unrelated, the table behind me is playing cards.  I miss playing cards.  Oh Hell anyone?

Prospect Heights

I adore my neighborhood.   I plan to spent more time here.  Join me.

Things the make me cringe

Okay.  I'm back.  While I can't say I have gathered a bunch of experience in the last month+, there are tons of things that have made me fearful (most of which are tv related).  Here are just a few.

• I am pretty sure The Secret Millionaire is the worst possible sign of where the world is right now.  Emotionally exploitative.  But, hey, it plays off the dream that someone will hand you $100,000.
• Burger King's Whopper Virgins ads is probably the other one.  I have NOT watched the web ads.  I am waiting for the "We placed starving 3 orphans in a room a Whopper and two loaded guns" ads.  However, Flame by BK makes me laugh.
• While we're talking about fast food ads, the wedding cake made I've seen recently.
• Snow and ice.  Actually snow is fine. I don't mind shoveling snow.  Ice however... oh, so much suck.
• I saw The Day The Earth Stood Still.  All I learned it is the the tunnels under bridges in Central Park can safe you from anything (also learned from Cloverfield).
• I also saw Quantum of Solstice.  It was not as horrible as I was led to believe.  The over arching story and the thematic points were the right ones to hit.  In effect, it and Casino Royale are one movie, telling how Bond becomes the asshole that he is.  And there are a lot of little moments I loved.  Too bad they blew it overall.  And I honestly can't remember on single action set piece except in the terms of "there was that chase in cars... and I think something with boats."  And (SPOILER) the final fight in the burning/exploding hotel in the desert... "Hey, we should have a scene in an exploding and burning hotel or something.  Let's just say the place runs on fuel cells... that way ONE runaway car crashing can cause the whole place to blow up."
• Why I insist on watching reruns of CSI Miami is beyond me.  Horatio Cane is the worst written/performed cop since... God, I can't come up with something.  Normally, police procedurals have a goofy cliché pattern (see Law & Order) but they really out do themselves on CSI:M.  H.C.'s scene ending one lines aren't even on liners.  They're just random silly threats. "Well, officer Cane, I didn't even know that girl."  "Well, you will."  What?

• On the other hand, my insomnia has shown my Da Vinci's Inquest (in NYC on at 1:30am Mondays on ABC).  Very (and wonderfully) Canadian police procedural. So so Canadian (reminds me a lot of Minnesota).  So low keyed.  For example, passive-aggressive apologies by the police during interrogations.  Last nights episode opened with a ten minute one-shot on the street... in a mild wet rain.  Imagine being an actor delivering 10 minutes of dialog on the street (covering many topics but mostly rants on public surveillance cameras) while slowly having your trench coat get soaked.  Pretty amazing.

Anywhozits, good to be back.