Monday, October 31, 2005

ROBBERY 101

I've always been fascinated by tales of well-planned heists. But I don't think this qualifies:

Albany police arrested three people who they said were involved in a bank robbery on Monday.

Police said at around 9:30 a.m., a man went into the Citizens Bank on North Pearl Street and demanded cash. Two other suspects were waiting in a cab outside.

All three jumped out of the cab at the corner of State and Lodge after a dye pack exploded. The man was caught in front of City Hall, while the other suspects were caught on Green Street.

Albany Police Det. James Miller said, "Handed a note, never showed a weapon. [He] made the implication of a weapon and notified the bank tellers that they were robbing the bank and from there got the money and jumped back into the cab."


OK, taking a cab to a bank robbery is slightly smarter than taking the bus. But not much. They ought to tack on an extra ten years to the prison sentence of anyone this dumb.

Update: Albany PD has released a name. Aaron Williams, 59, was arrested in connection with the robbery. The other two passengers in the cab were released. They were just waiting in the cab while Williams was allegedly robbing the bank. Apparently you can be arrested for being a getaway driver, but not a getaway passenger. I looked up Williams at the NYS DOCS inmate info site. There is a 59 year old Aaron Williams (born on Christmas day 1945, no less) who did two stretches in the state prison system. I don't know if it's the same guy, but this guy maxed out -- meaning no early release or parole -- both times he was in. If it is the same guy, maybe he was homesick. Wouldn't be the first time.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

WHAT A DIFFERENCE TWO LETTERS MAKE

File this one in the "you can't make this shit up" category (click image to enlarge):



For those of you still confused, you can get a more precise definition of "camel toe" here.

Hat tip: Froggy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

EVERYONE'S A CRITIC

I saw this over at the Jake Magazine Blog. The Morning News has compiled a list of one star reviews from Amazon.com of classic novels. Here's a few of my favorites, along with my reviews of the reviews:
Lord of the Flies (1955)

Author: William Golding

“I am obsessed with Survivor, so I thought it would be fun. WRONG!!! It is incredibly boring and disgusting. I was very much disturbed when I found young children killing each other. I think that anyone with a conscience would agree with me.”

Killing each other?!?! Can't they just screw each other over for cash and valuable prizes?
The Lord of the Rings (1954)

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

“The book is not readable because of the overuse of adverbs.”

I wholeheartedly, enthusiastically and emphatically agree. Oh, and that was very succinctly put.

1984 (1948)

Author: George Orwell

“Don’t listen to anyone who tries to distinguish between “serious” works of literature like this one and allegedly “lesser” novels. The distinction is entirely illusory, because no novels are “better” than any others, and the concept of a “great novel” is an intellectual hoax. This book isn’t as good as Harry Potter in MY opinion, and no one can refute me. Tastes are relative!”

War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. And tastes are relative.

The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

Author: J.D. Salinger

“So many other good books…don’t waste your time on this one. J.D. Salinger went into hiding because he was embarrassed.”

Embarassed. OK. Another mystery solved.
Tropic of Cancer (1934)

Author: Henry Miller

“This book is one of the worst books I have ever read. I got to about page 3-4.”

Make that "almost read."

Friday, October 21, 2005

OTAY!

Sad news for fans of the Our Gang/Little Rascals franchise:
Gordon Lee, the chubby child actor who played Spanky McFarland's little brother Porky in the "Little Rascals" comedies, has died. He was 71.

Lee died Sunday in a Minneapolis nursing home after battling lung and brain cancer, said Janice McClain, his partner of 13 years.

Lee played one of the younger members in the "Our Gang" shorts in the 1930s, appearing in more than 40 of them from 1935 to 1939. The comedies, produced by Hal Roach, became known as "The Little Rascals" when shown on TV in the 1950s.

Among the films Lee appeared in were "Bored of Education," which won the Oscar for best one-reel short subject in 1937; "Our Gang Follies of 1936"; "The Awful Tooth"; and "Roamin' Holiday."

A sad day indeed. But at least Lee lived a long and productive life. And he wasn't shot to death in an argument over a hunting dog.

Monday, October 17, 2005

NEVER MIND THE LICENSE TO KILL, I'LL NEED TO SEE SOME PROOF OF AGE

The entertainment media is abuzz about the choice of Daniel Craig to play James Bond. The fact that Craig is blonde seems to be somewhat controversial. I'm not sure whether that bothers me. I'm also not sure whether Craig will make a good Bond since I'm not familiar with his work. One thing I haven't seen mentioned in all the buzz is the fact that Craig will be the first actor to play the superspy who was born after the death of Bond creator Ian Fleming. Not only was Craig born almost four years after Fleming's death in 1964, he was born a year after Sean Connery quit the Bond series -- the first time he quit (after You Only Live Twice), not to be confused with the second (after Diamonds are Forever) or third (after Never Say Never Again) times. Actually, come to think of it, Craig is also the first actor to play Bond who is younger than I am. Holy shit, I'm actually older than James Bond. Damn.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

THE X STALKER

I taped Night Stalker Thursday and watched it over the weekend. I'm still not sure whether I like it or not. I was afraid that Frank Spotnitz would stray from the original too much, and that the series would be a poorly done remake of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. As it turns out, the show isn't really a remake of Kolchak. It appears to be a remake of The X-Files.

Let's see, a male/female team investigating the paranormal. She's a skeptic, he's a true believer. He has suffered a personal loss in his past and there appears to be a conspiracy at work. The conspiracy seems to play a role in some of the cases they investigate. Hell, even the theme song is eerily reminiscent of The X-Files. If this show was any more like TXF (which Spotnitz worked on), I might invoke the "P" word. One thing is for sure, it's almost nothing like Kolchak.

Oh yeah, the good news is that the original series was released on DVD last week. Another one for my Xmas list.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

SOMEONE PLEASE ISSUE ME A LICENSE TO KILL

Last week, my computer picked up some spyware from somewhere. Damn shit keeps trying to take me to a site for "Winfixer" and download the program. One of the things that Winfixer is supposed to do is eliminate spyware. Talk about an ironic marketing strategy. Yeah, like I'm really gonna trust someone who put spyware into my computer in order to hijack my browser to their site so I can buy security software from them. Fat frickin' chance. Damn hackers. They all ought to be horse whipped. Or maybe tied up, covered in molasses, and dropped on an ant hill. Fire ants, that is.

I've tried running anti-virus scans, spyware scans (Spybot S&D and MS Antispyware), HijackThis, and Ad-Aware. No dice. Apparently, these little bastards have developed the spyware equivalent of a stealth bomber. Oh well, I guess all I can do is keep looking for a solution. In the meantime, I downloaded the Firefox browser this morning. So far, so good. Apparently the hackers haven't gotten around to writing a lot of malicious programs for Firefox. Yet.

Friday, October 07, 2005

FEATHERED HOOD ORNAMENT

I was out driving in the rural areas of Albany County today looking for an accident scene. As I was driving along, a pheasant ran right out into the road in front of me. He turned, saw me coming at him, and what did he do? He sped up and ran out of the way. Ran. Can't pheasants fly? If I found myself standing in the path of a Chevy sedan going 50 MPH, I'd sure as hell fly if that were an option. Dumbass bird. I should have sped up and run his ass over.

DAMN GOOD SAMMICH

I gave the new chicken parmesan sub at Subway a try today. Not too shabby at all. Try it, you'll like it. Unless you're a vegan. In which case, just eat some celery or somethin'.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"WE'RE GONNA BE MEAT WAFFLES!"

AMC is running Point Break this month. Cool freakin' movie. Hard to believe it came out fourteen years ago. Man how time flies. PB was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who also directed Blue Steel with Jamie Lee Curtis, and the cult classic vampire movie Near Dark. Also cool freakin' movies. Especially Near Dark. She's a damn good director. I wish she'd do more movies.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

GREAT NEWS

I was perusing the message boards over at IMDB during my lunch hour when I saw a post about the DVD release of season 1 of the Rockford Files. You can get the details here. Tentative release date is December 6, 2005. That's convenient. Just in time for my birthday and Christmas.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

MUST SEE TV

I just finished watching my favorite new TV show of the fall season. Actually, it's the only new show I watch. It's called My Name is Earl. Jason Lee stars as Earl, a ne'er-do-well who decides he has to right all of the wrongs he has done. Armed with a list of his past misdeeds and thousands of dollars he won in the lottery--he had lost the ticket in an accident, but found it right after doing his first good deed--Earl and his brother (Ethan Suppley of Mallrats) search out the people he lied to, cheated, stole from, and picked on. It's stupid redneck humor, so naturally I like it. Not a bad way to spend 30 minutes on a Tuesday night.

The one other new show I want to see is Night Stalker. It's an update of the classic TV series from the '70s. I'm not sure if I'll like it or not. Remakes of popular movies or TV shows are not always easy to pull off. I guess I'll give it a look, see if it's ok. Apparently it premiered last week, but I missed it. It's on opposite CSI on Thursday, another of my must-see shows. I guess I'll have to fire up the VCR and tape it.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

WEEK WITHOUT END

I have reserve duty this weekend. We have a training exercise going on and I'm freakin' exhausted. Man, I just want a day off. No work. No wife. No kids. I just want to sleep late, and then sit around all day and drink beer and watch violent movies. Maybe listen to loud music for awhile. Won't happen anytime soon. My days seem to belong to everyone else; work, military, wife and kids. Oh well.

All I can do right now is sit here listening to an MP3 of Drivers Seat--Sniff'n the Tears' only hit--and think about going to bed. Shit, it isn't even 9:00 yet. Pathetic.