Wednesday, January 31, 2007

BIFF-O-RAMA

It's a Youtube double-header today (beacuse it's easier than writing something). Tom Wilson (a/k/a Thomas F. Wilson, who played Biff, Griff, and Buford Tannen in the Back to the Future movies) has a couple videos up at Youtube featuring songs from his stand-up act. Great stuff.




TomWilsonUSA.com

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

BLOGOSPHERIC OBSERVATIONS

According to this guy, today is Pandy's second blog-aversary.  Happy anniversary, Pandy.

And periodic Nobody Move! reader, and frequent commenter Linda now has her own blog.  Welcome to the blogosphere, Linda.

SPAM

It's not just for breakfast anymore.  Thanks to armies of internet-savvy dirtbags, you can now get spam 24/7, delivered right to your inbox.  It's scary, but somehwere out there are thousands, maybe millions of people who are dumb enough to attempt to buy "cheap pharmaceuticals" from "Phinneas Q. Bushwacking."  In fact, the only thing goofier than the names these spamming assclowns use is the subject lines on their emails.  Here are some that I've received recently:

frustrating boy

(Isn't that redundant?)

familiar mating ritual

(Familiar to whom?)

false dust bunny

(The counterfeiting of dust bunnies has gotten out of control)

fw:Ann Getting HOT

(If she's not already hot, don't waste my freakin' time)

incinerated onlooker

(Is Ann an onlooker?  Incineration ought to get her hot.)

don't read it!

(OK, no problem. *delete*)

greasy debutante

(Paris Hilton in an oil wrestling match?)

10 cast members

(Are they doing a stage production of And Then There Were None, or has Gilligan's Island gotten three more castaways?  Hot female castaways, I hope.)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

MORE GOOD NEWS FOR METALHEADS

As if the VH reunion tour wasn't enough to make 2007 a banner year for rock and rollers, check this out:
Heaven and Hell to offer near-Sabbath experience

A Black Sabbath (tickets | music) reunion of sorts--with former interim lead singer Ronnie James Dio (tickets | music) filling in for the non-participating Ozzy Osbourne--will hit the road in March under the moniker Heaven and Hell (tickets | music).
Dio will rejoin the three founding members of Sabbath--Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward--for the third time, following stints replacing Osbourne in the '80s and '90s, when the singer was asked to leave the band to treat his drug and alcohol problems.

The tour is scheduled to kick off March 11 in Vancouver, British Columbia, with 12 stops on the calendar. The tour's publicist said that additional dates would be added along the way and that the band intends on touring throughout the remainder of the year. Aside from the tour's final stop, March 30 in New York, all of the group's currently scheduled shows are in Canadian venues.

Fellow metal icons Megadeth will offer opening support on the currently announced outing, with Down--featuring Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown from Pantera--providing additional support.

When the planned collaboration was announced last October, Osbourne was quick to issue a press release through his publicist, Lathum Nelson, commenting that "there is only one Black Sabbath," and that Osbourne's work with the band will continue.

"Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill will be touring late next year along with a new Black Sabbath album," Nelson said. "However, Ozzy wishes Tony and Ronnie much success in their project together."

Heaven and Hell takes its name from the title of the 1980 Black Sabbath album that was the group's first with Dio at the helm.

Yeah OK, Ozzy was the original. And I know Sabbath purists will always insist that he's Sabbath's one true singer. But I'd rather see them with Dio than with Ozzy. This is for two reasons:

1. Dio's voice has held up better than Ozzy's. Much better.

2. Dio's voice has always been better than Ozzy's.

And besides, Dio's mental faculties appear to be intact. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would make the same assertion about Ozzy. Hell, they'd be lucky if Ozzy could remember the words to the songs, let alone be able to sing them.

I've always been an Ozzy fan, and I always will be. But his time has passed as a performer.

Not that it matters for me anyway. It looks right now that the closest they're going to get to me is Radio City Music Hall. On the Friday before my Air National Guard drill weekend, no less. Oh well, I miss out on all the fun.

Friday, January 26, 2007

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE



"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

-Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

VH--TOGETHER AGAIN?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
VAN HALEN Tour With DAVID LEE ROTH To Launch In Las Vegas?

According to Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, it's "looking good" that the VAN HALEN reunion tour, with David Lee Roth back in the fold after 22 years, will launch in Las Vegas. A late April date at the Palms' new venue, The Pearl, is "99 percent" likely, a source told Clarke. It would be the latest coup for Palms owner George Maloof, who will open the 2,500-seat venue with a lineup that includes TOOL, EVANESCENCE, GWEN STEFANI along with VAN HALEN, all in the first month. Many critics consider VAN HALEN the greatest party-metal rock band of all time.

Billboard.com reported yesterday (Wednesday, January 24) that a deal was to be signed for a VAN HALEN summer tour that would include 40 amphitheatre shows.

Will it finally happen? And if it does, will they come to Albany? Or even near Albany? I hope so, but I'm not holding my breath.

OF BROKEN VOWS AND PENGUINS

Well, I survived my midterm.  I was really nervous about this one.  It's the first one I've taken since the program went to a totally online format (using Moodle, in case you were curious).  I think I did alright.  A solid "B," at any rate.  Which probably wouldn't blow the "A" average I have in the course.

As you may recall, I had vowed to make the rest of the evening homework-free.  Well, it didn't happen.  Not my fault, though.  I didn't do any of my homework, but I did wind up helping my daughter with hers.  She had this project on penguins she had worked on with another kid.  They had to make a brochure with facts about penguins.  So they got their draft done, and the other kid's mom helped her daughter make a final version with the computer.  And it was f'd up.  I'm talking formatting, spelling, all that.

It was done in MS Publisher, which we don't have on our computer.  So, the wife took a hard copy and made a new one in MS Word.  Then I scanned the hard copy and copied the pictures from it so we could import them into the Word doc.  Fun stuff.  Fun like a root canal.

I finally had that beer I had planned on having when we finished the project.  And pizza, too.  I never got around to watching a movie, though.  A friend of mine called at 9:00, and I didn't get off the phone until almost 11.  Oh well, there's always the weekend.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

CRAM CITY

Down to one day before the midterm, so tonight I'll be studying my butt off. I'll probably skip watching TV. I worked the online self-tests last night until I had the material down cold. I'll probably work them some more tonight, as well as reviewing the assignments from the first half of the course. I'm also going to have to brush up on problem-solving using the SARA model, since there are going to be two case study analyses on the test. After the test, I'm designating the remainder of tomorrow evening a no-school-work holiday. I'll have to think of a good movie to watch. What movie goes well with beer?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

OUT STRAIGHT

It's been a busy weekend. Between chores around the house, kid-oriented activities (a foul shooting contest on Saturday, and a basketball game today), and homework, I've been out straight. To make matters worse, I have my midterm on Wednesday. That means I have to finish up the lesson I'm currently on today, so I have time to study on Monday and Tuesday nights. If I get done with the lesson in time, I may even start studying tonight. A head start will make it less stressful to take an hour off tomorrow to watch 24.

The weekend hasn't been all work, though. We found some time yesterday to get an early dinner at the Red Lobster. When I got home, I went back to work on my next assignment. Once I finsihed that, I decided to break for the night and unwind a little. And what better way to unwind than to watch Bruce Willis kill a bunch of terrorists? Since I couldn't think of any, I watched Die Hard on DVD.

Well, I'd better get back to work. If I get done in time, I may have time to watch another movie tonight. But what to watch? Either a comedy, or something with action. Maybe something from the 80s. I'll have to think on it some. During my breaks, of course.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

SHORT FICTION--"PASSWORD"

"Password," my latest bit of short fiction to find a home online is now up at Defenestration.

Friday, January 19, 2007

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE



"That's no moon. It's a space station."

-Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guiness), Star Wars (1977)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

DEFENESTRATION: AN ACT OF THROWING SOMEONE OR SOMETHING OUT OF A WINDOW

My short story "Password" will be appearing in the January 20th issue of Defenestration. Thanks to Andrew, Eileen, Genevieve and the Defenestration crew for publishing it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ANOTHER GREAT THING ABOUT APRIL

As if the release of the Payback director's cut wasn't enough, on April 6th, Grindhouse hits the theaters. April's gonna rock. Tax day notwithstanding.

Monday, January 15, 2007

MARK YOUR CALENDERS



According to Amazon.com, April 10th marks the DVD release of the director's cut of Payback.

You can check out my previous posts on Payback: Straight Up for some background on the movie:

PAYBACK--STRAIGHT UP
REVIEW FOR PAYBACK--STRAIGHT UP

MORE VIDEO CRACK FOR MY TV ADDICTION


I watched the first two hours of 24 last night. My opinion on the start of the sixth season was generally favorable, until near the end of the first hour. That's when Jack Bauer scored his first kill. At that point I went from "I think I'm going to keep watching this show," to "Oh hell yeah!" Looks like it's going to be a helluva season. I guess I have another must-see show on my list. As if I needed another reason to blow off school work and my other obligations.

And to make matters worse, USA Network starts airing new episodes of Monk and Psych again on Friday. That's OK though, it's not like I have a social life anyway.

WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD

Well, I did it. I made the switch to the new Blogger. As it turns out, it was relativley effortless and glitch-free. So far, at any rate. My template remains intact, and my Haloscan comments are still accessible from the blog. Thanks to everyone for their advice. I always like to know what I'm getting into before I get into it.*

*Not that that has always prevented me from making bad choices, but at least I made 'em with my eyes open.

Friday, January 12, 2007

24?

Once upon a time, I was a big fan of 24. For the first two seasons, I wrote my whole schedule around it. I never missed an episode. When episode 1 of season 3 aired, I was in front of my TV, ready to live through another eventful day in the life of Jack Bauer. By the time the episode ended, I had lost all interest in the show. I haven't watched it since. I don't know why, but I just didn't want to. Maybe the EMP from the nuke detonated at the end of season 2 knocked out my interest. Maybe I just thought there was nowhere else to go plot-wise once you've tackled the big enchilada of all terrorist threats (a nuclear explosion on US soil).

Anyway, lately I find myself tempted to start watching the show again. The premiere of the new season is Sunday night. I know that many folks in the blogosphere are big-time 24 fans, so my question is this: Should I start watching the show again? Bear in mind that I missed seasons 3, 4, and 5. And there's no way I can acquire and watch those seasons on DVD before Sunday night. Will I be totally lost without all that backstory?

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE



"Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?"

-Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson), Pulp Fiction (1994)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

IT'S GINA GERSHON DAY!


Why? Because I said so, that's why. Happy Gina Gershon Day.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

QUESTION(S) FOR YOU

Several questions, actually. I have yet to switch to the new version of Blogger. I know that some people have had problems making the switch. So for those of you who have successfully--or even not so successfully--made the switch:

It says you need a Google account to use new Blogger. How complicated is that? Can you use your old Blogger user name and password?

Does switching have any impact on the structure of your blog? Your links? Your sidebar?

How easy is the new Blogger to use? What are the advantages to using new Blogger?

Any input, including anything you've had to deal with that I didn't cover in my questions, would be appreciated.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

GUESS WHO MADE IT INTO THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME

Van Halen.
Van Halen is preparing for a reunion. Whether they like it or not.

The notoriously splintered rock band was tapped Monday for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, joining alternative rockers R.E.M., hit-making girl group the Ronettes, punk poet Patti Smith and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the first rap act to ever make the cut, in the class of 2007.

Now, we just have to wait and see which members of Van Halen put the animus aside and show up to collect their plaques and play a set.

Virtuoso guitarist and band cofounder Eddie Van Halen is sure to be there, as is his drumming brother, Alex. But original flamboyant frontman David Lee Roth was bounced from the band. His replacement, Sammy Hagar, departed under bad terms. Bassist Michael Anthony became persona non grata with the brothers Van Halen since taking up with Hagar.

And we haven't even mentioned ex-Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone, who piloted VH to one disastrous album that the band never fully recovered from. (Cherone didn't make the cut for Van Halen's Rock Hall roster.)

While Van Halen has been sidelined by turmoil and turnover since 2000, all those years running with the devil have certainly paid off. The band is only one of seven Hall of Fame acts to have at least two albums sell more than 10 million copies in the U.S., ranking alongside the immortal likes of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Eagles.

Van Halen scored their biggest sustained success with "Diamond" Dave at the helm, issuing one rock hit after another, including "Everybody Wants Some," "Panama," "Hot for Teacher," the chart-topping "Jump" and covers of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" and Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman."

Van Halen has always been one of my favorite bands. And while I liked Sammy, David Lee Roth will always be the one true lead singer of VH.

I got to see them in concert in 1982 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY (during the Diver Down tour). Not an easy trick for a guy going to college 3+ hours away and who had no car (and not much money). I went with three of my friends from high school. Great show. Man, what I'd give to go back and relive that part of my life. Not likely, unless I get my hands on Doc Brown's Delorean. Oh well, there's always Youtube, I guess.

Monday, January 08, 2007

MONDAY BLUES

Damn, I'm beat today. Last weekend was drill weekend for the Air Guard, so I'm in serious need of a day off. Thankfully, next weekend is a three-day.

Drill was OK. There was a lot of ancillary training, though. That's a type of training that doesn't relate directly to one's career field, but is required of all airmen. All of the stuff I had to do was computer-based. I don't mind it, but they keep adding more and more stuff every year. The new one this year is "Combating Trafficking in Persons," which is an annual requirement. The basic gist of it is "don't patronize prostitutes overseas." It takes 45 minutes on a computer to tell me that? My wife can tell me that in less time than it takes me to eat an oreo cookie.

One of the guys in my unit had a big announcement: he's going to be a grandfather. While I'm happy for him, I still found the news a bit of a shock, as he is about a year and a half older than I am. Of course he did marry right out of high school, but it still seems weird to me for a member of my age group to be a grandparent. I guess it's a sign I'm getting old. Just in case the gray hair wasn't enough of a hint.

Due to drill, I missed my daughter's basketball game on Saturday. Her team trounced the other team 39-18, and she was high scorer with 10 points. She's getting more confident and it shows in her performance on the court.

Oh well, lunch is almost over and I'd better get back to work. Maybe if I keep busy, the week will go by faster.

Friday, January 05, 2007

"NOW WITH ALMOST NO P0RN AT ALL"

Author Victor Gischler has a new blog. It's called Victor Gischler's Blogpocalypse. That may be a reference to his upcoming book, titled Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse. On the other hand, it may just be a sign of the end of the world as we know it. Do you feel fine? Michael Stipe does.

h/t: Gerald So

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE



"Go back to Jersey, Sonny. This is the City of the Angels and you haven't got any wings."

-Captain Dudley Smith (James Cromwell) L. A. Confidential (1997)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR

OK, OK, I know, it's January 3rd. So make it Happy belated New Year. This last week or so, I've been too busy to read blogs, let alone post on one. Here's the wrap-up of my New Year's Eve/Day:

New Year's Eve dinner consisted of Chinese take-out. For the wife and me, anyway. The kids had Burger King, as they hate Chinese food (pathetic, aren't they?). We watched Lady in the Water on DVD. Good movie. That was followed by two episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter. We switched over to ABC in time to see the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Rockin' Eve with Dick Clark. I tried to watch A Night at the Opera on Turner Movie Classics, but started falling asleep, so I hit the sack before 1 AM. Pretty exciting night, eh?

New Year's Day was spent reading Lemons Never Lie, by Richard Stark (great book), and writing a paper for a criminal justice course. I watched the remake of Miami Vice on DVD that night. It was OK, but a little disappointing. I guess I expected more from a movie directed by Michael Mann.

Yesterday it was back to work. There was a ton of stuff piled on my desk awaiting my attention. I hate that. As of this very moment, I have the pile pared down to about half a ton.

So that was my exciting holiday. How was yours?