Saturday, December 23, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
If you like sports movies or Rocky movies or both do yourself a favor and go see Rocky Balboa. Make sure you stay through the credits, that was the best credit sequence I've seen in a long time.
Monday, December 18, 2006
On Friday I received a notice that the IRS wants $2200 from two years ago. They say I received an investment dividend and didn't report it as income. I never received any money. I know this because mainly I didn't receive a check but also because I didn't have any investments at the time, nor did I ever have any investments with that firm. The fun thing is that with the IRS and back taxes the burden is on me to prove I never received that income. Hopefully the investment firm will work with me, if not well I guess I get to pay an additional $2200 this year.
Today we had our first snag with our new company. We finally found out about our new 401(k) plan. The issue is two-fold both involve vesting. Vesting going forward with any new money and then what happens with any money that was previously not vested. The vesting going forward is bad but not bad for me since I'm only 20% vested. Starting January 18th everyone starts their vesting schedule over again but again not a big deal because it effects new money. Now the part I'm upset about. I'm 20% vested with RC2 so 80% of the company match and the dividends that money earned I don't have. RC2 has decided it wants that money back which is really nice of them. It only costs me about $5500 or so. What makes me even happier is that it was only two months later and I would have an additional 25% of that $5500.
The only hope I have is that we're done with this and the near exponential increase in money I'm losing doesn't continue tomorrow. I would hate to lose $11,000 tomorrow.
At least the Steelers destroyed the Panthers.
Monday, December 11, 2006
I bring this up not to pick on my newly formed company but to give a funny quote. The quote needs background or it isn’t funny. One of the things I’m helping with is migrating email from the old soon to go away server to the new hotness server. There were some things, not overly complicated, but complicated enough that everyone had to do to insure you wouldn’t lose any email. The designer person and I helped some people with the tasks. One day before I left I checked in with the head of the office to see if he had completed it or needed help.
Trevor - “Did you move your email over?”
Boss – “No.”
Trevor – “Do you need help?”
Boss – “No.”
Trevor – “Well, okay. You know it needs to be done by tomorrow right? I can help if you want.”
Boss –“I told him [the IT person] I wanted him to come do it. He told me to follow the instructions that were given out and it would work. I didn’t understand them nor do I have time to figure them out. He told me my email would go away if I didn’t do them and he said I should follow the instructions”
Trevor – “Again, I can help.”
Boss – “Nope that’s okay. I told him to do it. I dare him to delete my fucking email.”
Trevor – “Okay, sounds good.”
Boss – “Have a good evening, see you tomorrow.”
Thursday, December 7, 2006
I love my daughter more than anything, a lot more than even the Steelers. That being said why do you schedule her Christmas recital the same time as a Steelers game, that is just mean.
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Drinking Game Rules
You take a shot -
1. Whenever Peter adjusts his hair (duh)
2. Whenever Mohinder says "My father's research" (some also say that because we have only drank a few times to this, they also add that we should drink whenever he mentions his father)
3. Whenever Hiro makes a funny noise (This includes "YATTA")
4. Whenever Claire gets hurt/killed
5. Whenever Nathan grins stupidly
6. Whenever Matt gets a headache
7. Whenever Hiro fixes his glasses
8. Whenever Nikki/Jessica looks at herself in the mirror
9. Whenever you see the helix symbol
Monday, December 4, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
This rivalry just doesn’t exist yet except in the minds of the Steelers and Browns fans. We’re remembering the Steelers vs. Old Cleveland rivalry which still exists. In my lifetime (and really doesn’t football start when I was born) the Steelers are 37-23 versus Old Cleveland with 17 of those 29 seasons the Steelers and Browns/Ravens splitting the season match up 1-1. That is a real rivalry, the Steelers and the Browns/Ravens match ups are still always close, still could go either way no matter how good one team is compared to the other, basically great football. The Steelers vs. New Cleveland, that isn’t a real rivalry.
Just to rub it in for Old Cleveland, in those 29 seasons the Steelers are 2-0 vs. Old Cleveland in the playoffs with four Super Bowl appearances to one, three wins to one.
I’m sure the Steelers will eventually start to lose some to New Cleveland but until they do the Browns just need to shut up. A receiver who is averaging only 36 yards per game over the last six games and only have six career touchdown receptions really needs to shut up. Let Reuben Droughns or Willie McGinest talk some smack, they have actually been good for more than three games or so in their career.
I will say one thing, it is good to have something to get fired up over in a dead end 3-6, no playoff season. The two best things in the NFL could happen in one game this weekend, a Steelers win and a Cleveland loss. Bring on those Puppy Dogs!
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
MVP – Peyton Manning, that is if you like 6’ 5”, 240lb quarterbacks with a laser, rocket arm.
MVP Honorable Mention – Michael Vick, LaDainian Tomlinson, Tiki Barber, and Larry Johnson. LDT and LJ both started slow but have picked it up huge in the past few weeks, if they keep that up they could challenge Peyton. Tiki just doesn’t have enough TDs. Michael Vick is way too inconsistent to win the award but that could change with a consistent second half.
End of Season Prediction – Peyton with maybe Vick. There has only been one 3-time MVP and no matter how hard he tries this will not be Peyton’s best season statistically. If Vick plays close to the way he has the previous two weeks over the next eight he will win.
Defensive MVP – Brian Urlacher, the best player on the league’s best defense. In a 4-3 scheme the biggest key is the middle linebacker and Urlacher is a beast.
Defensive MVP Honorable Mention – Shawne Merriman, Troy Polamalu, Champ Bailey, and Julius Peppers. Peppers and Bailey could win the award, Troy and Merriman will not. Troy’s team is having an awful year and Merriman was suspended for using steroids. Peppers and Bailey just need to keep up the good work and have their team succeed.
End of Season Prediction – Champ Bailey. They aren’t going to want to give the award to the same person two years in a row. The voters do love linebackers but there is debate on who is the best linebacker. There is no debate on who is the best corner in the league.
Best Team – Indianapolis Colts, like Peyton Manning’s team, maybe.
Playoff Team Predictions
AFC North – Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
AFC East – New England Patriots (12-4)
AFC South – Indianapolis Colts (14-2)
AFC West – San Diego Chargers (12-4)
Wild Card – Denver Broncos (11-5)
Wild Card - Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)
Wild Card Round – Denver defeats Baltimore, San Diego defeats Jacksonville
Division Round – Indianapolis defeats Denver, New England defeats San Diego
Championship Round – Indianapolis defeats New England
NFC North – Chicago Bears (13-3)
NFC East – New York Giants (12-4)
NFC South – New Orleans Saints (10-6)
NFC West – Seattle Seahawks (10-6)
Wild Card – Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
Wild Card – Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
Wild Card Round – Seattle defeats Dallas, Atlanta defeats New Orleans
Division Round – Chicago defeats Atlanta, New York defeats Seattle
Championship Round – Chicago defeats New York
Super Bowl – Indianapolis crushes Chicago. Actually I feel if Indianapolis ever gets to the Super Bowl they will demolish whoever it is. Peyton will have a Steve Young type experience and just light it up. I also know it is cheesy of me to pick the two best records to make the Super Bowl but I just can’t see New England defeating Indy at home and I can’t make it the Manning Bowl so Chicago has to defeat New York.
As for the Steelers, they stink.
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Again, thanks for the concern. Over the past four or five days I’ve received a number of phone calls, emails, and IMs with friends concerned on how things were going for me. I appreciate it and things seem to be as usual. One nice bonus to all this was RC2 paid us 5/6th of our bonus now instead of having to wait until March to get it. That wasn’t bad.
Monday, November 6, 2006
Sunday, November 5, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
What is going to get me are the Studio 60 fans that are going to scream that NBC didn’t do enough or the average American viewer isn’t ‘smart enough to get it’. Well who knows what NBC is doing or not doing for the show but I do know that I get the show, I just don’t find it entertaining. I also don’t buy that Studio 60 suffers from the American public not being smart enough or getting it. A show like Boomtown or Arrested Development or hell even Firefly can make that argument. The American public gets Studio 60 just fine, they just don’t like it. They don’t like it but even more they don’t like being made fun of about Sorkin’s perception that they won’t get it. Amanda Peet’s Jordan McDeere says in the second episode “I don’t think the people who make tv shows are smarter than the people who watch them”. Well Sorkin step up and prove it, you’ve spent the entire season making fun of everything for reality shows to Columbus, Ohio. Just spend a little time making an entertaining show.
I have a huge issue with the Columbus, Ohio thing. If you watch the show it was obviously a slap at middle America and who knows what actually middle America is. I do believe it is actually a slap at Ohio and the fact that the voters in Ohio are one of the main reasons Bush is our President. When Studio 60 isn’t making fun of its viewers it spends the rest of the time trying to illustrate how divided the country is, how partisan. I come from a pretty conservative background and I’m going to tell you the country was pretty divided in the 90s as well. The party that isn’t in power is always going to view things as divided since they feel their views aren’t being heeded. It seems worse now because the media is typically pretty liberal so there is a much louder outlet for the dissent. Sure Bush is a horrible President, you won’t find too many conservatives that disagree with you but the country is no more left/right divided than it was 10 years ago.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The Seahawks fans have spent the week complaining about the lack of Shaun and Hasselbeck. Sure it sucks to be without your two best skill position players but recent memory in our team isn’t going to cut them any slack. The Vikings lost their starting QB last year for the season, the Steelers lost theirs for four games last year and at least one this year, in addition to starting their 3rd HB for most of the year.
The topic of WR came up and it was brought up that a backup QB will really expose a bunch of mid-tier WRs, like what the Seahawks have. Well the Seahawks fan quickly defended that Darrell Jackson and Deion Branch were not mid-tier WRs, they were true #1 WRs. I wasn’t really going to argue, I couldn’t much, those two are pretty good WRs. Then as a continuation of the same service we went around the teams picking the good WRs, the #1s if you will. We get to the Steelers and I saw they have a #1 (Ward), two #2.5s (Wilson and Washington), and a potential #1 (Holmes, although not with punt returns). The Seahawks fan quickly counters that four time Pro Bowler, #1 on the Steelers all time receiving chart, Super Bowl MVP, Hines Ward is not a very good WR, especially not a #1. He continues to go on about how Ward has never put up very good numbers and only recently got good PR because he had one good game in the Super Bowl. Huh, did I just feel the gloves slapping me across the face? You’re going to spend time defending Darrell “I drop the ball even when it hits me in the numbers” Jackson and Deion “I’ve never had 1000 yards receiving” Branch and then quickly jump all over Hines? I will grant you Hines started slow and he isn’t fricking Jerry Rice but come on. Typical of the two Seahawks fans we have in the office, quick to offer their opinion without any real facts.
Let’s compare Jackson, Branch, and Ward. It is a little difficult obviously. They play in different systems, different leagues, and have had different lengths of their careers. But I will just put the raw numbers up and let you decide.
Deion Branch, 2002-2006
Played mainly with the Patriots up until this year
Led his team in receiving yards twice
Career Numbers, 228 receptions, 2960 receiving yards, 16 TDs
Top year, 78 receptions, 998 yards, 5 TDs
Years with 1000 receiving yards or more - 0
Top four years for receptions, 78, 57, 42, 35
Years with 10 Tds or more – 0
Super Bowl MVP
Darrell Jackson, 2000-2006
Led his team in receiving yards four times
Career Numbers, 411 receptions, 6012 yards, 42 TDs
Top year, 87 receptions, 1199 yards, 7 TDs
Years with 1000 receiving yards or more - 3
Top four years for receptions, 87, 70, 68, 62
Years with 10TDs or more - 0
Hines Ward, 1998-2006
Led his team in receiving yards six times
Career Numbers, 600 receptions, 7408 yards, 57 TDs
Top year, 112 receptions, 1329 yards, 12 TDs
Years with 1000 receiving yards or more - 6
Top four years for receptions, 112, 95, 94, 80
Years with 10TDs or more - 3
Super Bowl MVP
13th Best Season in terms of number of receptions
I think Ward stacks up pretty well. Ward has played two more years than Jackson and four more years than Branch so the career numbers can be misleading, even though Ward was a special teams player in year one and the #3 WR in year two. If you add two of Jackson’s best year (87, 1199, 7) and four of Branch’s best year (78, 998, 5), making all players have the same length career here is what they look like.
Receptions Yards TDs
Ward 600 7408 57
Jackson 585 8410 56
Branch 540 6952 36
The above numbers are of course junk also, who knows if Jackson or Branch will repeat their career highs, much less for a quarter or half of their careers respectively. Hell they could even get better. It does pretty clearly illustrate that Hines might not be Jerry Rice he at least stacks up well to the top two Seattle WRs. I guess the moral of the story is don’t rip one of my favorite players without being able to back it up.
But to the reason of the post, a nice PSA. NBC.com has done a really good job with their official website. It includes a download of the latest episode, a clip show recap, a suplimental web comic, some forums, plus the greatest thing Hiro's Blog. If you're a fan of the show the blog is just a trip, very funny from the best character of the show.
Remember, Save the Cheerleader - Save the World!
Monday, October 23, 2006
This of course comes following the aftermath of yesterday. I was at the game, 20 yard line, row 11, seat 10. It would have been one of the most exciting games I've ever seen if I wasn't a fan of either team. Being a diehard Steelers fan however it wasn't exactly a game I was excited about. They turned the ball over three times inside their own 30, surrendered 41 points, gave up 160+ yards on the ground, and rushed for only about 60 yards, I mean WTF! You're supposed to lose those games and they did. I'm not exactly excited that Vick choose yesterday to become Randall Cunningham but oh well.
One thing, that Hines Ward guy is good.
Friday, October 20, 2006
I know, three baseball posts in a row during football season, I'm trying to cut down.
Tigers in Five, how weird does that sound.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
• I really miss having a Tivo to watch football. It did limit me to one game usually but it allowed me to miss most of the commercials.
• Speaking of commercials, there are some awful ones this year. Very few are funny and even those are overplayed like the Peyton/Sprint one.
• I didn’t think the Steelers were ‘gone’ after three losses, I also don’t think they are ‘back’ after just one win.
• It was just one win but 45-7 makes for a fun game.
• I watched the first eight or so of Michael Vick’s pass attempts. Of the ones he missed, four or five I can’t remember, one was thrown out of bounds to avoid a sack, all of the others were dropped. Vick isn’t a great passer but seriously, that sucks.
• Not a great week for picks, too many away teams and upsets won.
• Old Cleveland lost!
• Cincinnati lost!
• An Old Cleveland and Cincinnati loss mixed with a Steelers win means the Steelers are only one back in the loss column. Which of course means jack, Old Cleveland has one more win and Cincy holds the tie-breaker over the Steelers.
• Steelers have two tough road trips in the next three games, @ the Michael Vick Experience and @ Mile High. Not exactly easy games.
• Did you know Terrell Owens plays football for the Dallas Cowboys? Apparently he doesn’t play well with others.
• I’m not a fan of addition by subtraction, especially when it means losing a Pro Bowl QB but man is Phillip Rivers looking pretty good in San Diego.
• I also thought the unnecessary roughness call was for LJ tackling Troy by the hair, which should and is legal.
• I really do not like much about the NBC telecast. I like the pre-game cast, all of them except maybe Peter King, but I dislike the format. I like John Madden to a certain degree but don’t like the on screen graphics and complete lack of any stats during a game. I also can’t stand the Pink intro, I mean seriously Pink?
• It isn’t a west coast/east coast bias but it sure is some sort of bias. In six weeks there have been 14 prime time games with 28 possible teams represented. The Steelers have had four of six of their games on prime time, the Broncos three of six. One of them won the Super Bowl, the other went 13-3 and played in the AFC Championship Game. The NFC gets a lot less love, the NFC Champion Seahawks only in one prime time game. The Raiders, 4-12 last year, and Chargers, 9-7 but no playoffs have each had two. I do understand the top five teams in terms of popularity, ratings, merchandise sales are Dallas, Washington, NY Giants, Philadelphia, and NY Jets but seriously, make an effort.
• Speaking of the Jets, did the 2-3 Jets versus the 1-4 Dolphins really need the #1 announcing crew for CBS?
• GET MORE HD CREWS. It really shows how much better HD is when one of the games you want to watch isn’t in HD.
• Did I mention the Steelers won 45-7!
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Things not to bash the man over.
- Inability to pronounce the word "nuclear". Seriously, is that really that big a deal.
- Belief in God. I'm not sure where this comes from, 95% of the rest of world's population does, he should be different why?
- Being in Texas instead of Washington during Katrina. Really the President, even this one, doesn't really take vacations. If I can work effectively from Germany or Los Angeles with just a laptop and cellphone with the travling circus that goes with the President he can work fine from Texas.
- Cory Lidle flying a plane into a building. Yeah I don't get this one either. I've seen at least four articles or snipits about comparing to 9/11, valid, and then bashing Bush somehow. Can we at least agree that terrorists flew airplanes into building five years, one month, and one day ago?
- Mark Foley.
There are plenty of things you can get mad at him for, he has been a horrible President. I'm not going to list them all, frankly I don't have enough time.
- Illegal wiretaps. The difference between using a secret judge and not using a judge at all, even though the judge approves 99.9% anyway, well two differences. One the judge doesn't work for the President and two using a judge is LEGAL.
- Blame. I work in the real world. If my product doesn't sell I get blamed and feel the repercussions, it doesn't matter if it is my fault or not. Both 9/11 and the Katrina clean up debacle happened on his watch, fault lies with him.
- Settling instead of getting the best. I don't want to go through with what a President has done and look for things that are okay or 'well not that bad', damn it I want the best. Almost six years and you're spending your time going, well maybe that isn't so bad. Unacceptable.
- Iraq. I believe there are reasons to go to war. I'm a peace loving guy, I really am but I also know there are times when war is necessary. The young men and women in our Armed Forces know that as well. Made up reasoning put there for political gain is not one of them, ever.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
1 - Steelers win
2 - New Cleveland loss
3 - Old Cleveland loss
4 - Cincinnati loss
Well with Cincinnati off this week only three things could happen on the list. With Old and New Cleveland losing it does take the sting off the Steelers loss just a little. Well I'm lying, nothing takes the sting off a loss when you've had three in a row and you've look like crap during those three games.
Monday, October 9, 2006
Where exactly does the time go? Eight years ago tonight I was on the eve of starting my new life with my beautiful bride to be. Tonight I spent an hour reading and working on math problems with my beautiful seven year old daughter. I don’t really know where the time goes but I do know that I’ve really enjoyed the ride.
Well this is it, my top 10 movies. There isn’t much to write about these movies, if you’re reading my blog you’ve seen at least 9 of them. By glancing at 11-100 on Friday Pretty Bird was able to pick all 10 of these, very close to the correct order.
10. Return of the Jedi (1983, Richard Marquand) – This is the one that was my favorite when I was young. It was the one where Luke becomes a Jedi and defeats Vader plus the good guys win. The space battle still stands up today versus some of the more advanced special effects spectacles that have been made. The Jabba’s Palace/skiff sequence where it is Luke against a ton of non-Jedi, how good is that. You get a see a Jedi take out a bunch of people with very little effort. Obviously this movie doesn’t quite stand the test of time compared to the other two, it isn’t near as good a movie. This is also the one that I dislike the special edition changes the most, the additions only subtract from the movie.
9. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, George Roy Hill) – A western with very little shooting, how much fun can that be? Other than the rather boring bicycle scene I can watch this movie over and over again. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are just brilliant. And to think I really don’t like westerns.
8. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989, Steven Spielberg) – About 10 of us went to see this movie opening night and we got the most horrible seats possible but did we have a great time. This was one of the most laugh out loud movies I can remember at a theater, the crowd was just rolling in laughter and this really isn’t a comedy.
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001, Peter Jackson) – Even if I didn’t love this movie this would be in the top 10. This movie as much as even Star Wars is directly responsible for what I do for a living. I liked the movie and picked up the game and actually enjoyed it more than previous TCGs and got involved and well you know the rest. Back to the movie, I like beginnings more than endings and I like this novel much more than the others, that is why it is here. I really think Two Towers is a crappy story compared to the other two which is why it isn’t even on the list.
6. Toy Story (1995, John Lasseter) – This movie helped me really get to know Pretty Bird. I love animated movies and Disney in general, this movie helped me know that same information about her. It is a laugh riot, still looks better in some ways that a lot of the CGI movies released today, and introduced the world at large to Pixar which changed movies as much anything else.
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Steven Spielberg) – One of the only movies I love that my parents also really enjoy. A lot of my ‘dorky’ life is devoid of approval or interest from my parents except for this one. I don’t need my parent’s approval in my life but it does make it easier when you share some interests. This is such a great movie, so much fun. Just please don’t call it Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, that makes me sad. Let me waste a little bit more time and talk about changing movies. I work in a creative, intelligential based industry. I think a creator should be allowed to do whatever they want with their work, I really do. The fanboy side of me though really doesn’t like it when you change the Star Wars Trilogy, E.T., or the name of Raiders. They have every right to do it without explanation, I just don’t have to enjoy it.
4. The Matrix (1999, The Wachowski Brothers) – The subpar sequels to this incredible science fiction story do nothing to tarnish how much I love this movie. Actually I think the sequels suffer because of how good this movie actually is, I mean it is so good. I think it is basically about as perfect a science fiction movie can be. Plus it took everyone by surprise, the ads didn’t do it justice at all plus it had Keanu Reeves in it, how good can it be. This movie also didn’t help Phantom Menace score any points. Just remember, there is no spoon.
3. Aliens (1986, James Cameron) – One of the only sequels that in my opinion is clearly better than the original. Ridley Scott’s horror, suspense movie original is very good but man is this movie great. A Vietnam War movie set in space against aliens, so much fun. I love just about everything about this movie. With this movie at #3 I guess it isn’t hard to figure out the top two.
2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Irvin Kershner) – Probably the best of all six Star Wars movies, the only one directed by a real director. This is the first movie I can remember seeing in a movie theater, I’m sure it was pretty intense for a four year old. Hell using intense for a 30 year old who’s seen it over 100 times wouldn’t be too much a stretch either. Despite it being the best, I do love originals more so that leads us to our next choice.
1. Star Wars (1977, George Lucas) – When you started reading this list did you really think anything else was going to be #1? So much of what I have become, what I do, what I enjoy comes from Star Wars. I went through times in my life where I was in denial about that or I tried to think how lame that sounds. I’ve come to realize it might not be the most noble thing in the world but it isn’t lame, no one gets onto Bob Costas for watching Mickey Mantle and wanting to announce baseball games. I watched Star Wars and wanted to do dorky stuff and here I am today, doing dorky stuff for a living.
I hope you enjoyed the list and the brief write ups. I do recommend any movie on the list plus the additional 50 or so movies that I so wanted to put on my top 100.
After the Jacksonville game I just wanted to brush Ben’s poor play off to rust.
After the Cincy game I just wanted to brush Ben’s poor play off to just a few bad throws.
Against San Diego, he didn’t look awful except on a few throws, two of them leading to an INT. I am going to say that something seems not quite write. San Diego is a very good team but good players play well against good teams not the reverse.
If they can get the special teams and turnover problem fixed they would be much happier. Every single game has had poor special teams play and too many turnovers.
Outside of just the Steelers, football is a lot of fun to watch this season. There are some very good games and I do enjoy it in HD.
They do need to get it going or it is going to be a long year.
Friday, October 6, 2006
Now we’re getting to some really tough choices.
20. The Incredibles (2004, Brad Bird) – Pixar doing a superhero movie, sign me up. This movie is so good at just about everything, telling a great superhero story, making fun of superheroes, showing how good Pixar actually is at what they do, I could go on for days. It is very impressive that the bar for superhero movies was raised by a children’s cartoon.
19. The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola) – Um, yeah, this is a good movie. Like move ‘great’ movies I have a hard time writing about it without just rehashing what other critics have already said. Like I said with To Kill a Mockingbird, you’ve seen it, you know how good it is, you don’t need me to tell you.
18. Batman Begins (2005, Christopher Nolan) – Talk about a movie that just gets better and better each time I watch it. Like I mentioned I love comics and for the most part Batman is my favorite comic book character. While not entirely true to the comics this view of Batman by Christopher Nolan and David Goyer is pretty damn close. Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Tom Wilkinson, Cillian Murphy (Scarecrow), Morgan Freeman, all just nail their parts. Even the bit players Ken Watanabe and Linus Roache (Thomas Wayne) are intriguing and well done. The only character I don’t enjoy is Katie Holmes which has very little to do with her and more to do with a Bruce Wayne love interest, they just always seem blah to me. The best in the movie however is Michael Caine, what a great version of the ever important Alfred. Man I do love me some Batman.
17. Saving Private Ryan (1998, Steven Spielberg) – The highest placing ‘serious’ movie on my list. Most of the buzz about this movie is the ultra-violent first 30 minute, D-Day sequence but this movie goes so far beyond that. Like Glory this movie gets me every single time I watch it, I know it is coming but I can’t avoid it. When the elder Ryan falls down in tears asking his wife to tell him he’s lived a good life, I mean come on. Even if every critic in the world wasn’t telling me how powerful this movie was I would have known it based on the audience. During the days we would have multiple groups of WWII vets and their wives come to see it. Virtually every single one of the men would leave the theater in tears on the shoulders of their wives. These are men in their 70’s who’ve lived more shit than I can imagine, from a generation that doesn’t allow men to show emotion, in tears, in public, having their wives help console them. Yeah I would say that is powerful.
16. X2: X-Men United (2003, Bryan Singer) – I like the Batman character better and I think the original X-Men and both the Spider-Man movies are great movies but this one. Oh man, is this a great comic book movie or what. I read the X-Men comics for about eight or so years, reading probably 20 years of their stories, and this movie gets it all, every bit of it.
15. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988, Robert Zemeckis) – The 80s were a very down period in US animation but this movie really makes up for it. It is so funny, so well down, so timeless, so brilliant, and even groundbreaking. It has a piano competition/duel of Daffy Duck vs. Donald Duck, it even has Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse on the screen at the same time. It has the most attractive cartoon in history and has spawned a great ride at Disneyland.
14. Superman (1978, Richard Donner) – The one that made you believe someone could fly. This is the first big budget superhero movie and one that will probably remain the most timeless. I attribute that mainly to Christopher Reeve, he is Superman and always will be.
13. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986, John Hughes) – Ferris Bueller is probably the coolest high school student in history. When I was in middle school this was the cool movie, hell it is probably one of the cool movies now.
12. Spartacus (1960, Stanley Kubrick) – I think I had three separate history classes that we watched this movie in. It is a movie I can watch almost anytime, it is so good and I really enjoy it. It was one of the first DVDs we ever purchased.
11. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003, Peter Jackson) – Probably the best of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy but not my favorite and definitely not the most important. I do love it, what a spectacle and how good was Sean Astin in this movie.
Thursday, October 5, 2006
30. Superman II (Richard Lester with a little Richard Donner) – I love Superman on film, big screen or small screen, that character was made for film more than the comics. In comics the character doesn’t quite work, he is too god-like and too hard for the reader to like or identify with. On film he comes off more personable plus the grand battles work because film is less frequent then four comics a month. Superman II is surely grand, the superhero/villain battle is what makes me really enjoy this movie. I am very much looking forward to the Richard Donner cut of this movie, aside from the super battle the theatrical release actually isn’t very good. Trivia for the day, Gene Hackman actually didn’t film any scenes for Superman II directed by Richard Lester.
29. The Godfather: Part 2 (1974, Francis Ford Coppola) – I’ve seen quite a few lists that have this as the best movie ever made, better than the original. I think the original is actually better but this is an incredible film. I enjoy crime dramas and mob movies and this is the Godfather so of course I enjoy it.
28. Ghostbusters (1984, Ivan Reitman) – “Where do those stairs go?”, “They go up, Ray”. How can you not like this movie, it is so funny. It is still something I need to watch every six months or so.
27. Dazed and Confused (1993, Richard Linkletter) – “That’s what I love about high school girls, you get older and they stay the same age”. I’ve never been into the pot lifestyle, I’ve actually never done any drugs not prescribed or alcohol based, but I’ve had plenty of friends who were. Mix that with great acting, a fun script, and a funny movie in general, you’ve got a classic.
26. The Wizard of Oz (1939, Victor Fleming) – How much does it suck for this movie and winning best picture, you come out the same year as Gone With the Wind. Talk about a movie that helps define a generation, there are so many women my parents age, children of people who were kids when this came out, with the name Dorothy and even Glenda. Plus everyone knows someone who has had a dog named Toto. Also very timeless, I loved it when I was a kid, some 45 years after it was released and my daughter loves it.
25. Jurassic Park (1993, Steven Spielberg) – Unlike Batman I was able to stand in line for the midnight showing of this one, me and a buddy when to see it. My word, when you first see the dinosaurs you’re tempted to pass out along with Dr. Grant. Movie making and special effects had truly changed with this one, mostly for the better, some for the worse. Also this is the only good novel by Michael Crichton, although it isn’t much like the movie.
24. The Silence of the Lambs (1991, Jonathan Demme) – If you talk about a movie being made as close to perfection as possible this is probably the movie you’re talking about. This movie is so good, disturbing, yet so good.
23. Schindler’s List (1993, Steven Spielberg) – Like I said I sorted movies but different criteria and one of those was how re-watchable a movie is and that put this move in the 50’s. I’ve seen this movie four times, it is so emotionally draining it is hard to watch very often. Taking away how much I like a movie or how many times I can watch it, this is probably the best movie I’ve ever seen.
22. The Truman Show (1997, Peter Weir) – Having just suffered through the worst period in US TV history, the reality TV age, this movie is even better. I think Ed Harris and Jim Carrey just nail their parts and help this dramatically underrated movie. Pretty Bird and I were working at a movie theater when this was released, it amazed me how polar this movie was. People either got it and loved it or people didn’t get it and hated it. Well that and the people who say the photo mosaic of Jim Carrey on the poster and thought it was going to be a comedy.
21. Back To The Future (1985, Robert Zemeckis) – My buddies and I just couldn’t believe it ended on a cliffhanger, we didn’t understand how you could do that. Everyone also had the idiot buddy who tried to tag along on his skateboard behind a car. We all also wanted to own DeLoreans and be rock stars when we grew up, well it’s not like we didn’t want to do that before.
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
40. Rounders (1998, John Dahl) – I would like this movie a lot even if I didn’t like playing poker. John Malkovich and Edward Norton are so good.
39. Spider-Man (2002, Sam Raimi) – When I was a child Spider-Man was my favorite, Amazing Spider-Man was the first comic I read on a regular basis, so I was hyped over an actual Spider-Man movie and this didn’t disappoint.
38. L.A. Confidential (1997, Curtis Hanson) – This movie only gets better and better each time I watch it. I don’t think Titanic ‘robbed’ this movie, it was much to grand not to win, but this movie is definitely the best movie from 1997.
37. Clerks (1994, Kevin Smith) – I mean honestly, where else on the list would Clerks belong than #37. Working 10 years in the service industry and I will tell you Kevin got so many things right.
36. The Fifth Element (1997, Luc Besson) – For some reason when this movie was released I didn’t enjoy it much. The more and more I watched it however the higher and higher it moves up on the list. Science fiction can be so much fun when done correctly.
35. The Great Escape (1963, John Sturges) – I love World War II movies and I love Steve McQueen, what else do you have to say.
34. Braveheart (1995, Mel Gibson) – Even if this movie stunk it would be pretty high on my list. This is the movie when I decided I wanted to date and first start flirting with Pretty Bird. I had to watch it a second time because the first time was busy with me and my buddy talking about stuff like “man what if you just dropped the Hulk into the middle of that battle” or “you know, maybe guns aren’t that bad”. If it wasn’t that it was flirting or embarrassing Pretty Bird in front of her mom. Oh yeah the movie, pretty damn good.
33. Love Actually (2003, Richard Curtis) – Funny, romantic, Keira Knightley, great soundtrack, an actual date with Pretty Bird, I mean what is there not to like about the movie. One other thing, next time you travel take Hugh Grant’s advice, look at the other people. Other than the few tired business travelers or people who’ve missed their planes it is full of people happy to be somewhere or happy to get home. The world might not actually be so bad after all.
32. Sneakers (1992, Phil Alden Robinson) – It is really hard to put into words how or why I like this movie so much. I think it good, not great but good, and has a great cast but that doesn’t explain why I like it, I just do.
31. Gladiator (2000, Ridley Scott) – Russell Crowe is incredible in this epic movie, you can’t not watch him on the screen. This, like most good movies, just gets better and better each time I watch it.
I list the directors for each film but I should probably list the writers as well. A movie lives and dies with a good script and a good director. Writers just don’t get the fame, harder for me to remember them off hand.
72 –Directors I was able to pick without looking them up.
10 – Movies that have been director by someone named John (or Jonathon)
8 – Movies that have been directed by someone named Steve Spielberg.
11 - Movies made before the year I was born (1976).
0 - Movies made the year I was born.
24 - Movies made after the year the Little One was born (1999).
33 - Movies made between when I first started working at a movie theater (1993) and when I last worked at a movie theater (2000). I worked at a movie theater four different times, once in high school through some college, once full time as a manger for two years, one for two days as a manager trainee for a shitty theater, and once as a part time manager after the Little One was born. During that time I probably saw on average a movie every two weeks.
6 – Highest numbers of movies in a specific year, 1989 and 1999. I guess 2009 should be a good year for movies.
1 – Movies I’ve seen on a first date (not Pretty Bird).
1 – Movies when I decided I wanted to date Pretty Bird, she still does like Milk Duds.
3 – Movies I consider Pretty Bird and I to actually have been on a date.
25 – Movies that have made over 200 million dollars, the measure of a blockbuster, or so they say.
9 – Movies that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture, the measure of a good movie, or so they say.
78 – DVDs that we own.
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
50. Toy Story 2 (1999, John Lasseter) – What a fun movie, in some ways even funnier than the first one. I am still pretty impressed that every single movie that Pixar has released with Disney I’ve enjoyed.
49. Jaws (1975, Steven Spielberg) – Where to begin with this movie. It was the first true summer movie and the first to make $200 million dollars, it has the scene that has been imitated by many a flick, the soundtrack is incredible, and you almost never see the star of the movie. Just brilliant.
48. The Goonies (1985, Richard Donner) – Hey you guys! What great family fun.
47. Bull Durham (1988, Ron Shelton) – My favorite baseball movie and for the record, candlesticks do not make a nice gift.
46. Big (1988, Penny Marshall) – The role that first showed Tom Hanks was actually an actor. So much of this movie is just great, what a good time. And honestly, who hasn’t wanted to do that in a limo or eat mini-corn that way?
45. The Sixth Sense (1999, M. Night Shamalyan) – I said before with Unbreakable that I figured this one out and I did but not much before it was revealed. Even with that this movie is incredible.
44. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982, Steven Spielberg) – My favorite part of this movie is the fact it is shot almost entirely from the perspective of someone four feet high. I’ve lost some of love of this movie over the years but I guess I’m not four feet high anymore.
43. Galaxy Quest (1999, Dean Parisot) – One of the absolute funniest movies I’ve ever seen. It isn’t universally funny like Big, you must like science fiction to get this movie but boy is this funny. “Whoever wrote this episode should just die!”
42. Reservoir Dogs (1992, Quentin Tarantino) – Two words for the idiot groups that want to blast Tarantino for being too violent, SUCK IT. I watch Rambo (who the President of the United States used in a speech as an example of an American tough guy, a hero if you will) and see someone who kills people and it is made out to be cool. I watch Reservoir Dogs and I want nothing to do with guns, Tim Roth’s character is in such pain for almost the entire movie.
41. The Shawshank Redemption (1994, Frank Darabont) – This movie you have to watch a few times to get how good it really is. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins are very good, the script is awesome. Just a great movie.
Monday, October 2, 2006
60. X-Men (2000, Bryan Singer) – This movie along with Blade showed Hollywood that you could make bigger budget, quality comic book movies and have the audience show up. Director Bryan Singer and scriptwriter Tony DeSanto along with an all star cast provided a great intro movie for X-Men and comic movies in general. I don’t enjoy it nearly as much as some other comic movies but it is still pretty good.
59. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkahan (2004, Alfonso Cuaron) – To say I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan would be an understatement. I do enjoy the movies and the novels but not to the levels I enjoy comics or movie franchises like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. They are still very enjoyable and this is far and away the best one of the group, at least so far.
58. The Terminator (1984, James Cameron) – Very much an indy film, this is a great science fiction film that I still enjoy very much today.
57. The Sting (1973, George Roy Hill) – This should probably be much higher but for whatever reason it isn’t. You gotta rank movies, everything can’t be in the top 10. Still this movie is out of the world good.
56. Spaceballs (1987, Mel Brooks) – “I once saw a parody of Spaceballs, they called it Star Wars. I couldn’t believe it, they cast Harrison Ford in the Bill Pullman role”, thanks Space Ghost.
55. Pulp Fiction (1994, Quentin Tarantino) – Still don’t know what was in the case but I do know it was the best film release in 1994 and still Quentin’s best work.
54. Glory (1989, Edward Zwick) – Not that most guys would ever admit that they cry during a movie, this one still gets me chocked up at the end and I’ve seen it about 10 times.
53. Bowfinger (1999, Frank Oz) – What a great, underrated comedy. If you haven’t seen it do yourself a favor and watch it.
52. Top Gun (1986, Tony Scott) – Like everyone else the ages from 10 to 20 when this movie came out all I wanted to be was a fighter pilot.
51. Full Metal Jacket (1987, Stanley Kubrick) – It is like two movies in one. One of my stoner roommates would watch this over and over again.
Friday, September 29, 2006
70. Batman (1989, Tim Burton) - I so wanted to stand in line for the midnight show but I wasn’t allowed. I ended up seeing this one two weeks after it was released, my parents didn’t want to wait in the long lines. It was great although upon reflection I don’t really love Tim Burton’s view on my favorite comic book universe now as much as I did in 1989.
69. Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country (1991, Nicholas Meyer) – This spot on the list probably should be reserved for Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure but that didn’t even make my list. Anyways, this is far and away my favorite Star Trek movie.
68. Apollo 13 (1995, Ron Howard) – Being from Florida the US Space Program is pretty important to me as I’ve referenced in previous blog entries. The cast is incredible and Ron Howard did a great job with this. Much like Cameron with Titanic it amazes me when a director can create drama for the audience when they already know the outcome.
67. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991, James Cameron) – He said he was going to be back and this one is a good bit of fun.
66. The Princess Bride (1987, Rob Reiner) – My college roommate forced me to watch this movie and like just about everyone else I really enjoyed it. Not sure why I didn’t watch it before then, I do know Pretty Bird will be upset it is this low on the list.
65. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997, George Armitage) – What a fun, quirky movie and a great soundtrack.
64. True Lies (1994, James Cameron) – Like I said I love James Cameron’s movies and Tom Arnold in this is a riot. Still waiting for a decent version on DVD because I love re-watching this movie.
63. A League of Their Own (1992, Penny Marshall) – I went to see this with my grandparents, both of who were huge baseball fans. All three of us really enjoyed it.
62. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962, Robert Mulligan) – I’m not going to use my feeble skills to describe this incredible movie. You’ve seen it and read the novel, you know how good both are.
61. Major League (1989, David Ward) – This used to be my favorite baseball movie until I watched Bull Durham a few more times. I will still watch this about every chance I get when it is on.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
80. The Untouchables (1987, Brian De Palma) – “Mr. Ness, I do not approve of your methods” “Well you’re not from Chicago!” I say I’m not a Costner fan but man a bunch of his movies are on my list.
79. Superman Returns (2006, Bryan Singer) – Would probably make the list based on the teaser trailer alone.
78. Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind (2004, Michel Gondry) – What a really interesting movie. Pretty Bird and I both think Jim Carrey deserves a lot more credit in dramatic roles.
77. Minority Report (2002, Steven Spielberg) – I still can’t believe I was surprised how good this movie was, it was a science fiction movie by Spielberg. Trust me, after seeing the whole list you’ll know how much I love both of those.
76. Red Dawn (1984, John Milius) – Man how dated this movie is but boy did me and my friends love it when I was a kid. Still something I will watch when I see it on one of Turner’s many stations. Plus the answer the trivia question what was the first PG-13 movie.
75. Usual Suspects (1995, Bryan Singer) – I didn’t figure this one out either, what a really good movie. I’m surprised also how much Bryan Singer is on this list as well.
74. Empire Records (1995, Allen Moyle) – Having worked retail, at a movie theater, and a fast food place, all full of slackers, this movie is as much a work place movie as Clerks or Office Space.
73. Die Hard (1988, John McTiernan) – This is our annual Christmas movie. Of all the 80’s action movies this one is the best.
72. GoldenEye (1995, Martin Campbell) – I do love Connery the best but Bond is all about tongue and cheek and they don’t get better than this one. This one they actually make fun of previous Bond movies, greatness.
71. 12 Angry Men (1957, Sidney Limut) – Simply one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
90. The Muppet Movie (1979, James Frawley) – One of my favorite movies as a kid, still one of my favorites now. I mean really, who doesn’t love Jim Henson’s Muppets?
89. Beauty and the Beast (1991, Gary Trousdale) – My favorite of the hand-drawn Disney cartoons and the only one to be nominated for Best Picture. It is also Pretty Bird and the little one’s favorite as well. I’ll watch this about once a month or so with the little one.
88. Star Trek: First Contact (1996, Jonathan Frakes) – The Next Generation is my favorite Trek and this is far and away their best movie.
87. True Romance (1993, Tony Scott) – This was actually the first Tarantino movie I watched and is probably my favorite. It is the one I probably will re-watch the most, I just think Quentin has some much better work out there that placed higher on the list.
86. V for Vendetta (2006, James McTeigue) – I love the update on Alan Moore’s work and I think Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving were great.
85. Dead Poets Society (1989, Peter Weir) – Capre Diem. I took two years of latin in high school, my teacher would have us watch this at the beginning of every semester. He also had a coffee mug that said Capre Diem when it was empty (cold) and Seize the Day when it was filled (hot).
84. Field of Dreams (1989, Phil Alden Robinson) – It reminds me so much of how important baseball was to my grandfather. Not to mention I love baseball movies.
83. Office Space (1999, Mike Judge) – Probably should be higher there is just something about it that makes me feel it should be pretty low. Very quotable and definitely has aspects about office life that are correct.
82. Thunderball (1965, Terence Young) – I love James Bond, I think Sean Connery is the best Bond and it has a boat the splits in two and becomes faster!
81. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003, Gore Verbinski) – A great summer movie ride. I remember seeing the teaser poster and having Pretty Bird complain about a movie based on a ride at Disney. Now it is one of her favorite movies.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
This list isn’t solely based on how much I like a movie. I rated each movie on four criteria and then came up with an average score to help place the movies and eliminate the extra 150 movies. How much I liked the movie, obviously I like every movie on the list but I like Star Wars more than 12 Angry Men. How good I thought the movie was, Godfather is obviously a higher quality movie than Red Dawn. How important a movie was to me, this meant importance in a variety of ways, Die Hard and Love Actually are movies that Pretty Bird and I watch very often together so they are important that way. Fellowship of the Ring and Star Wars are indirectly or even directly responsible for the line of work I’m in. The last quality was how many times I could watch a movie. I love Schindler’s List, think it is very important, and one of the best movies ever made but it isn’t exactly something I would watch over and over again, at least not the level of Spielberg’s other 1993 masterpiece Jurassic Park.
I’m going to do this in ten parts with and then post the entire list to be referenced later on. I want to do this so I can write about the movies and waste more time on the blog, I’ve gotta blog more often and the easiest way to do that is to force yourself to blog. So now onto to the list, starting with the bottom 20.
Trevor’s Top 100 Movies - #91 - #100
100. Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (2005, George Lucas) – This movie obviously rated very low on my quality list. It does finally have the Anakin vs. Obi Wan duel, provided other quality action sequences and is the little one’s favorite Star Wars movie.
99. Titanic (1997, James Cameron) – Sappy love story, huge hype, transparent ending, blah, blah. It was fun to open this movie at the theater I managed when it released, we sold it out for weeks. Pretty Bird would get bored and come up to see it and hang out while I was at work. I think it is one the most well done movies ever. I also heard it made just a little bit of money.
98. Transformers: The Movie (1986, Nelson Shin) – Next to the Star Wars Trilogy this used to be my favorite movie for the longest time. I can still watch it today.
97. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991, Kevin Reynolds) – This movie again just isn’t very good but for some reason I really enjoy it. My friends at the time and I really enjoyed it as well. Pretty Bird and I really enjoy it and love quoting it. “Why a spoon cousin…” “Because it’s dull you twit, It’ll hurt more!”
96. The Rock (1996, Michael Bay) – It really pains me to have a Michael Bay film on my list but this movie is mad fun. This was another movie we had a great time watching while I was working at a movie theater. The movie is even better if you look at it with Sean Connery’s perspective, what if James Bond was caught and imprisoned for 30 years?
95. Unbreakable (2001, M. Night Shyamalan) – Unlike The Sixth Sense which I figured out (only like 10 minutes before it was revealed) for some reason I didn’t figure this one out at all. It is also incredibly well done and I love superhero stories.
94. The Blues Brothers (1980, John Landis) – Man do I love this movie, great soundtrack, very quotable, good cast plus Carrie Fisher and Steven Spielberg as cameos, what more could you want.
93. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993, Bruce Timm) – I love Batman and this is better than all but two of the live action movies plus based off probably my favorite TV show of all time.
92. Abyss (1989, James Cameron) – This is one of the first movies I can remember being surprised on how much I liked it compared to what I was expecting. My parents dragged me to the movie and I didn’t want to see it but I loved what I saw.
91. Spider-Man 2 (2004, Sam Raimi) – Probably better than the first Spider-Man but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. It feels more like a forced sequel than something I really enjoy watching. It is still a based on Spider-Man and well done so I still enjoy it.
Stay tuned to see the remaining 90 movies.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Steelers 28, Dolphins 17 – Like I mentioned above that game was incredible. We stayed at the Pittsburgh Hilton which is right on the apex of the three rivers. Basically it goes Hilton then Roberto Clemente park, then three rivers. We had a Hines Field view room which was great. I’m going to have to make it a habit of going to a game in Pittsburgh at least once a year, it is just a blast. You can just feel the emotion in the crowd and the games are a blast. It was also a great to be at the game where the fans welcomed their Super Bowl Champion team home. They haven’t played a real game since the Super Bowl and even then all of the playoffs were on the road. The championship banner, Jerome coming in on a bus, the pre-game show, everything was insane! They’re now 1-1 in games I’ve been to in Pittsburgh, winning is better than losing.
Diamond/Alliance Summit – This was a quick trip to Baltimore right after my trip to Pittsburgh. It was only a two day show but it was in Baltimore. I really like the inner harbor area of Baltimore, lots of great places to eat and what not. I won’t really talk about the show, work stuff is boring to talk about.
Mitral Valve Prolapse – I normally don’t talk about my health issues, in print or otherwise. I do know some of my friends know I have a heart condition and others don’t. I actually have an offshoot of Marphan’s Syndrome which is what causes almost all of my health issues. Since I don’t talk about them I don’t think I will now, you have google, look it up. Either way I also know that some friends and family know that I went to the hospital last week because of it. I’m only talking about it because I want everyone to know that I’m doing fine. I missed a few days of work, had some pain killers, rested a lot. I have multiple follow up tests because I’m starting to get up there in years and I’m not in great shape so they want to make sure nothing has really changed. I have intermittent condition which apparently is very rare so it takes more tests than normal to check on it.
Star Wars Legos 2 – OMG is this game made fun. I loved the first one and this one is even better so far. Oh wait, I started this wrong. I should ramble on about how much I dislike Star Wars and George Lucas, damn him, he ruined my childhood!!! Joss Whedon and Peter Jackson are gods, Lucas and Speilberg are hacks. Screw that, I love Star Wars, why let any crap like how some hippie in San Francisco wants to change the movies bother me. If it is good Star Wars stuff (there has been a lot recently, Clone Wars, Potato Heads, Legos, the SDCC exclusive figure) I will buy it and enjoy it. If it is crap I will leave it alone. The reason I didn’t buy the Star Wars DVDs recently release has nothing to do with me hating Lucas and his ploy to get more money, it had to do with a new format on the horizon. Blu Ray and/or HD-DVD will be the standard, at least for people who own a TV like I do, and I don’t want to buy archive stuff. New stuff I don’t mind buying on DVD because it is usually pretty cheap and I really enjoy it. I will buy TV shows because they aren’t set up for HD anyways and very cheap archive stuff. I’m not going to buy something at normal price that I plan on buying again on the new format. Very few things do I plan on buying again if I already own it anyways but Star Wars is obviously some of them. Anyways back to Star Wars Legos, it is great! A great waste of time.
Firefly/Serenity – I finally finished watching Firefly. I bought the DVDs over a year ago and tried to watch it a few times. The first few didn’t quite do it for me so it was hard to watch them or at least make time to watch them. I had quite a bit of time being at home for 5 days not allowed to do much, even drive so I watched them. I then was able to catch Serenity on HBO HD on Friday. I enjoyed the series and the movie I don’t quite get the dedication however. Well that isn’t true, I know exactly why the fans are so die-hard, I just don’t think it does it for me. Anything that is viewed as having been wronged by the ‘man’ or anything that ends prematurely is going to always have a more dedicated following that something similar and Firefly has both going for it. Plus the Joss Whedon built in following and bam, the Firefly phenomenon. It did get Serenity made however and like I said I enjoyed both, so keep up the good work ‘browncoats’.
Jaguars 9, Steelers 0 – Not much to say other than shit. They played like crap the first half on the offensive side of the ball, beating themselves. The Jags played awesome on the defense in the second half and bam you have zero points. I hate the Jags, we always bring out the best in them and they bring out the worst in us. Next week in Cincy and a possible two game deficit by Week 3, ick. I hope you guys work hard this week, beat those loud mouths from Ohio.
Well back to your lives.
Monday, September 11, 2006
On September 11, 2001 I do remember where I was (for the record ready to go to sleep after an overnight shift at Toys R Us) and I will never forget it. I just want to say that I will always remember the tragedy, the loss suffered by the entire country, and the repercussions that have endured and will endure for years to come. To the many men and women who serve this country and their communities and the one who've given the ultimate price to make it safer or better for me and my loved ones, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Thursday, September 7, 2006
I don’t hold out much hope for the Steelers to have a season that can match any sort of comparison to the previous two. In the last two seasons counting the playoffs the Steelers are 31-7, in games not started by Tom Brady or Tommy Maddox they are 30-2. They’ve played in two AFC Championship games and won one Super Bowl. I’m not really sure how much more you can ask of the Steelers and the Football Gods.
Since I’m still going to have to wait for another hour or so and I’m inspired by Jdub I will do my football picks for the upcoming season. Everyone else has an opinion, everyone who knows me knows I have an opinion, let me share mine.
I’m really not sold on the Dolphins but I’m also not sure the Patriots have enough magic to do it again. They have a tough schedule and are missing a lot of pieces and the Dolphins have some real talent. Either way it is going to be close all year. The other two teams just aren’t very good.
I would like to think Peyton and Crew won’t be great again but they will. They are really good and can score points. The “Tampa 2” defense is a regular season monster, not that good in the playoffs, but they should win an easy division. I don’t think the Jaguars are that good at all but I know they will beat the Steelers next week, stupid Jags. I still can’t believe the Texans didn’t pick Bush or at least trade the pick but I think they win more games this year. The Titans just aren’t good yet, sorry Joe.
Man I want to Pittsburgh on top and no Jason it has nothing to do with the Football Gods. I think Ben is going to be out until the bye (three weeks) and that they will probably go 1-2 at best if that is the case. The Bengals can sure score points and force turnovers. Against actual good offenses, more importantly good QBs, the Bengals D will get their ass kicked, they are far too aggressive and get smoked. Still they win 11-12 games and Carson probably wins the MVP, man he is good. Old Cleveland is overrated but again I’m sure the Steelers will be lucky to go 1-1 against them, man I hate Old Cleveland. Plus I still have plenty of nightmares from playing against Steve McNair twice a year but then the Titans weren’t in our division anymore! Well now he is back, damn it, at least he is older and more broken now. New Cleveland and Charlie Frye with a hurt O-Line, in this division, good luck.
I think Shanahan is the best coach in football, Jake Plummer isn’t good but they will still win. I mean hell you can put them down for 7 wins at least for just the home games. Then they only have to win 3 or 4 on the road to get in the playoffs. The Chargers are too good for Rivers to matter much plus I think he is actually pretty good. I had earlier thought the Chiefs would win the division but too many injuries and too conservative of a coach. I like Herm don’t get me wrong but the press has it wrong. Going from Dick Vermeil to Herm Edwards isn’t an upgrade, Vermeil was really good. Sorry Triple G but the Raiders and Shell just don’t have it. They could win some games they shouldn’t however if they start using the Randy quotient.
AFC Wild Card Teams
Remind me again why there isn’t three wild card teams. I hope the Football Gods don’t mind me picking the Steelers to make the playoffs but they are really good and young. Tom Brady will steer the Patriots to enough wins to play in January.
Eli is going to join his brother as an elite QB this year, probably only behin him, Brady, and Palmer. Tiki should have won the MVP and they have a decent D, should easily win the division again. I think Dallas should be fine with the TO fiasco plus that D is awesome. The Eagles will rebound with an easy schedule and the Redskins are the second most overrated team behind only Old Cleveland.
Probably the division that will have the most exciting games. Michael Vick, Steve Smith, Julius Peppers, and Reggie Bush all in the same division, fun, fun. The Panthers are probably the best team in football and should coast to the NFC Championship game. The Falcons could also win the division just depending on Vick, that guy can take over games if he would just figure it out. I think Tampa overreached last year. The Saints are still a year or two away but I will be watching some games, that Bush guy is nuts.
I think the Lions have enough talent and coaching to make the next step. I think the Vikings are a year away, sorry Jdub but Brad isn’t going to win championships at this point in his career for you. The Bears, I just don’t buy the offense plus now they have to play winning teams. The Packers, well Brett it was a pleasure to watch you for years but this will be a tough year. This should be the gimmick division, three teams, Bears, Vikings, and Packers run a version of the West Coast offense, Lions run the crazy Chargers offense from the 80’s, more recently the Rams and all but the Packers run the “Tampa 2” defense. At least they will know how to play against it.
The Seahawks should buck the curses, both of them, and win 12-13 games again. The Rams with a ball control offense and improved D should bounce back. Unlike the Lions I’m not willing to go with the Cardinals until I actually see it. The 49ers, well this is what you get for cheating.
NFC Wild Card
Not really much to add other than I think those are the two best teams who don't win a division. I still think there should be a third wild card team.
Well I'm ready for some football (and for my mom's flight to get here).
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Well maybe not ever but at least the greatest thing I've found in the last 20 minutes. Before I continue on my blathering about Steelers Football and how great it is I have some other greatness to share. SciFi.com is running 10 'webisodes' of Battlestar Galactica, two a week, starting this week running up until the beginning of season 3. If you haven't seen the end of the season 2, well shame on you (I know two readers who are waiting for DVD) but either way do not watch these. The first one is online now, the next one due up tomorrow. Check them out here!
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Yup, one week from today I will be in Pittsburgh ready to see the Steelers defend their Super Bowl title. It should be great time. The Steelers haven't looked great in pre-season but that doesn't matter. They return 19 of 22 starters, not bad.
Yesterday was also my last day on the infernal 'summer hours' at work. The only problem is that we aren't going back to 8-5 we're going to 7:30-4:30. Most of the office lives 10+ miles from the office and wants to avoid traffic. I actually think I'm going to prefer this change but I do love my sleep.
I'm also off to Dragon*Con today. Since 1993 this will be my 11th Dragon*Con. It has changed a lot over the years and morphed into basically just a big party. My first passion, comics, have really been removed from Dragon*Con yet it is still a pretty strong show for gaming. With us being based in Charlotte it makes sense for us to come down and run some tournaments.
Monday, August 28, 2006
This year I’m in two leagues, one had an ass late draft and I auto-drafted. If I do well so be it, if not oh well. The other league is the one I set up with friends from work and a few from outside. This one I wanted to take a lot more seriously, it would be nice to do well. Here is the team I ended up with.
Round One – Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams
Round Two – LaMont Jordan, RB, Oakland Raiders
Round Three – Anquan Boldin, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Round Four – Julius Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Round Five – Jevon Walker, WR, Denver Broncos
Round Six – Todd Heap, TE, Baltimore Ravens
Round Seven – Jake Delhomme, QB, Carolina Panthers
Round Eight – Pittsburgh Defense
Round Nine – Tatum Bell, RB, Denver Broncos
Round Ten – Laveranues Coles, WR, New Jersey Jets
Round Eleven – Isaac Bruce, WR, St. Louis Rams
Round Twelve – Phillip Rivers, QB, San Diego Charges
Round Thirteen – Jon Kitna, QB, Detroit Lions
Round Fourteen – Santonio Holmes, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Round Fifteen – Jeff Reed, K, Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m not overly excited with this team. That doesn’t mean shit of course, I was excited over my fantasy baseball team that is going to finish in the bottom third. The stupid java program Yahoo uses kept crashing out on me and caused me two issues. I don’t think it will cost me much but it was annoying to constantly have to re-launch the program. In the round 1-2 turn, I had the 9th pick in a 10 team league I really wanted Willie Parker. I was worried that #10 would draft him but he didn’t. Well the app crashed out and drafted me LaMont Jordan instead of Fast Willie. I don’t think it will cost me too many points, I think Art Shell is going to run Jordan a good bit and I’m still not certain Fast Willie is an every down NFL back yet, still I wanted Willie! The other issue was when I reloaded it around round 11 or 12 I couldn’t get it to sort players properly, it kept not showing players remaining. By this time I had my queue set up to auto-draft so we don’t have a Jordan for Parker issue and I only had Phillip Rivers and Santonio Holmes in my queue and I picked Rivers. I didn’t see Kitna still on the board, I love me some Mike Martz QBs or I would have picked him. It isn’t the end of the world, hopefully Delhomme helps me out.
I do like that I have some Pittsburgh things to root for, defense and Jeff Reed, and who knows Santonio could actually see some playing time and Ben might actually throw some. I do find it odd and neat that I have three ex-FSU WRs, go Seminoles! I think Todd Heap is going to have at least the second best TE year, McNair loves the TE and I couldn’t resist Tatum Bell. I was an idiot and drafted Jones who has the same bye week as one of my starters so I needed a 4th running back and maybe Mike will give him some carries that week.
All of this really means though is that I’m ready for some football! Kickoff is one week from Thursday when I will be in Pittsburgh to see the Steelers take on the Fish.
As for the awards themselves, I was really suprised at the number of nominations and as it turns out wins for shows that are no longer on, well that and any nomination for Two and a Half Men. I can understand it for shows like West Wing or Will & Grace that are just done but for shows that got canceled, well it proves yet again viewers, voters, and network execs all have different opinions than each other. As for Two and a Half Men, wtf. Sometimes the top rated comedy show is actually a really good show, All In the Family, M*A*S*H, Seinfeld, etc. or even others it is really good fluff, Friends or Everybody Loves Raymond but in this case the show is just awful. It stars Charlie Sheen, wtf.
With Alan Alda's win the West Wing tied Hill Street Blues as the drama with the most Emmy wins. I really would have liked to have seen West Wing win another award last night to give it the record all alone. I guess I most would have liked to have seen Martin Sheen win the award. I love Kiefer as Jack and 24 in general but to think of all the awards West Wing has won and none of them going to the Martin, oh well.
It was great to see 24 win. I agree a little with Dr. Heimlich that the past season wasn't the best or at least my favorite. I do think however the current, non-stop format really helps the show with more viewers. For people have a 24-rich office environment it isn't hard to keep up the hype even with delays but for most people they need to the ride to continue as quickly as possible. Having the show run 20/21 weeks in a row just helps make the show seem 'better'.
Now hopefully we can get the actual shows started.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Ugly - The only major problem (other than they actually are pretty expensive) with HDTV is they actually are incredible resolution, both good and bad. Incredible high res shots of John Madden, Jon Miller, Joe Morgan, Al Michaels, let me just say I could live my life without seeing that much detail of old white men. Squeamish or not, you can literally see random hairs, pores, you name it.
Bad - Well the cost. The other bad is the quality of education involved with the people who work at Direct TV. Now I love their service compared to cable and I almost always get a person who can help me. The problem is the first person you talk to on the phone. OMG, I'm suprised they know what a TV is much less how to help me solve my problem. They are obviously working from a script and rarely offer any useful information. The nice thing is they usually offer a higher level of person quickly and then I don't stay on hold very long. If you can get Direct TV over cable I highly recommend it.
One other bad is the guy who set up my receiver. He didn't tune but four of the five satellites which means I'm missing three HD channels. He also set my TV and the receiver up for a non-HD feed, I spend the first 10 minutes watching HDTV thinking my extra money was not being spent very well. If both of those things were done correctly then I wouldn't have spent 15 minutes on the phone fixing it and setting up a follow up appointment to get the 5th satellite. The nice thing is Direct TV offered me six months of the HD programming for free to make up for it.
The HD selection does leave a little to be desired. Right now I get HBO, Universal, HDMovies, ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. Some channels have very limited HD content like TBS or the NFL network. I also should be getting ESPN2, Discovery, and TNT but I'm missing them. My Sunday Ticket will also be HD and I can get pay per view HD as well.
Good - Where to start. Almost everything is good. The picture auto-resizes depending on the feed. HDTV is usually filmed widescreen so no black bars or distorted pictures to eliminate the bars. Like I've mentioned before the image quality is just off the charts good. You can make out individual blades of grass at the PGA Championship yesterday or the astroturf in the RCA Dome. Pretty Bird watched Prisoner of Azkaban today and was flipping over the detail that she'd never noticed before. To make out the texture of the Green Monster at Fenway to the paint chipping on a bench on the Colts sideline, good lord it looks good.
Battlestar Galactica. Universal HD runs the new BSG series everyday it seems and man it looks good. I can stand to look at close ups of Six all day long. To see the stiching in her dress probably meant I was looking to hard at her but it was still worth it.
The channel selection is a majority of my most watched channels. I got all the broadcast shows, football, Sportscenter, and HBO in HD. I just need SciFi and life will be good.
It will be fun to go through football season in HD or watch Jack Bauer beat up some Chinese guys. The quality difference between HD and my DVD player is making me hoping that the BluRay/HDDVD thing gets over soon, and of course for them to drop their price. $500 (or $1000 for BluRay which I think is going to win) is just too much.
I wonder if Reggie Bush will look any faster tonight in HD? Of course I probably won't be able to tell since most of the camera work will probably be TO pouting on the sidelines or me getting upset that they are focusing on TO and changing the channel.
I guess that brings me to my next rant, this stupid lack of even an unofficial comp time policy. This is my fourth salaried job and the only one without even an unofficial comp time policy. The theatre and Taco Bell both had an official comp time policy for extra days worked, you got them off later. Straight up one for one. You got zero time for extra hours worked in a day and the theatre had zero official holidays so you couldn't make those up. Decipher had an unofficial comp time policy, apparently Warren didn't like comp time but every department I can remember had the same policy. You got half a day later for any weekend you worked and a full day for any holiday you worked.
We have nothing, zip, nada. It wouldn't be that annoying but I will work an additional 21 weekend days, three holidays, and six half days in 2006. My favorite reply while I was complaning about it was "It isn't fair to the other employees if you don't come in on Monday because you worked all weekend. They don't see that you worked all weekend so it would be seen as special treatment." Um...what? That doesn't even make any sense. The other response is that it is made up on your bonus. Well my understanding is the bonus is company decided, by department, and position. Every manager level person I've talked to in my office got the same bonus percentage. I also don't like being lied to.
I'm not asking for an even trade here, not even close. I'm just asking for a little make up here or there. If I ran a company with salaried employees my policy would be pretty simple, you earn half per one extra required day worked. If you have to come in on Saturday because you can't get your workload done during the week that is a different type of conversation. If you have to come in on Saturday because you're required to be there that is different. Salaried jobs aren't 9-5 so I would not give, nor do I expect, any extra make up for when someone stays late or comes in early.
I didn't really want to turn this into a rant, I'm just upset about having to work more days than my counterparts.