- You know you've been watching too much Arrested Development when you find yourself humming Europe's 1986 single, "The Final Countdown". (Yes, this has actually happened to me.)
- You know you've been watching too much Buffy when your girlfriend---I mean, fiancée---points out that your own dialog has become Whedonesque. (This one's happened, too.)
- You know you've been watching too much Firefly when you exclaim "Gorrammit!" after being frustrated or angered. (This one's purely hypothetical. Yeah, hypothetical; that's it.)
- You know you've been watching too much Red Dwarf when you suddenly realize that all your friends are entirely human, and you find that boringly disappointing. (Yep.)
- You know you've been going to krav too frequently when you catch yourself thinking you can solve any problem by beating the snot out of somebody. OK, this isn't DVD-related. Unless...maybe it was all that Buffy. (Oh, and this one happens all the time.)
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
I don't anticipate having the time to do full-length reviews for all of the products I've just recently first used or been reminded of. So, here are my conclusions in rapid-fire format.
Music on CD/DVD:
- Anywhere but Home. This volume includes both CD and DVD recordings of an Evanescence concert in Paris. And no, Nick, they aren't a Christian band. 9.0 out of 10.
TV on DVD:
- Arrested Development, entire series. This show is extremely original and creative, not to mention hilarious. I sometimes find it difficult to watch, though, since almost all the characters are jerks or fools or both. It probably has been or will be prematurely canceled by Fox. I give it 8.5 out of 10.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, entire series. This Joss-Whedon-created fantasy series has hilarious dialog and fascinating characters. Unfortunately, the supernatural elements are handled inconsistently, and there are significant plot holes. If you can pony up the dough for all 7 seasons, do it. 9.0 out of 10.
- Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffon: The Untold Story. Enh. It's not as good as the first 3 seasons. 7.0 out of 10.
- Firefly, entire series. This sci-fi/western/asian dramedy has more of that unique Whedonesque dialog and characterization, and it is one of my favorite series of all time. The premise is a bit silly, but I'm willing to overlook that. Guess what; it was prematurely cancelled by Fox. Go buy it. 9.5 out of 10.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion, series only. The show starts out as a more-or-less generic mecha anime; then it tries (and fails) to become philosophical. 5.0 out of 10.
- Red Dwarf, entire series. No one does sci-fi comedy like the Brits. 8.0 out of 10.
- Wonderfalls, entire series. This hilarious mild-fantasy dramedy was prematurely cancelled by Fox. (Are you noticing a pattern?) You should own this show. 8.5 out of 10.
Movies and Movies on DVD
- Serenity. This is the film adaptation/sequel of/to Firefly, so of course I love it. Buy this one, too. 9.0 out of 10.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This film is a pretty faithful adaptation (as far as I can remember) of the C. S. Lewis novel, which was written as a Christian allegory. The realization of the animals on the screen was superb. 7.5 out of 10.
Toys, Hobbies, and Exercise Equipment
- Seven Cycles Axiom. Seven offers very custom 3/2.5 titanium bicycle frames for prices not much higher than mid-line Litespeeds. In absolute terms, Sevens are pricey, but you get what you pay for. 9.0 out of 10.
- Traxxas Revo. This nitromethane- and methanol-powered R/C monster truck has a very innovative and highly tunable suspension system. The model is mostly easy to wrench on, and many hop-up parts are available. Unfortunately, the differentials are prone to leaking and hard to get to. It's only available in RTR form, not as a kit. 8.0 out of 10.
Well, that's all for now. But never fear, gentle reader, I'm sure I'll have more unasked-for opinions soon.
Note: This blog entry does not constitute a legal contract. Any failure to deliver new entries entitles you to exactly bupkis.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Anyway, "Yay!". There, I said it.
Thank goodness people won't have to buy these for their kids now!
This story is all over the net (and even the non-net media) today, so I won't rehash all the details. Suffice it to say that the judge in the
Monday, December 19, 2005
Alison and I also hosted a winter-holiday-movie-watching party this weekend. In attendance were Nick-and-Amy and Lisa-and-Greg. They are a lot of fun. I feel bad for them that they had to spend their evening with me. At least they got Alison out of the deal.
We watched the original, animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Tim Burton's first stop-motion feature, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Here are few things I noticed for the first time that night:
- The Grinch's dog, Max, totally steals the show.
- Cindy Lou Who seems to represent the larval stage of the Who. I mean, she has no legs; somehow she just hovers from place to place.
- The Grinch's plan really isn't that nefarious. Lisa came up with a much more sadistic (and effective!) plan that revolved around cutting all the Who's hands off. I've said it before: she's an evil genius.
- Chuck Jones' hand is quite obvious in HTGSC; the sight gags would all be at home in a Warner Brothers cartoon from the 1940s or 1950s.
- Christmas Town in TNBC is clearly a visual quotation of Whoville.
- It appears that Jack Skellington and I wear the same size suit jacket: 20 extra extra extra extra long.
- The vampires who live in Halloween Town don't seem to be very sensitive to sunlight. They do carry those swanky parasols, though.
- Greg does a creepily accurate impression of the elderly pedophilic newspaper subscriber from Family Guy.
By the way, it seems like almost all my friends are couples now, and most of them are married. (See the hyphenated guest list above.) I'm not sure how to feel about that. Should I feel old? I think I should feel old. And stuffy. Any minute now, I expect to become more politically conservative, start wearing my pants around my armpits, become unable to operate electronics, and begin going to bed around 7:00.
For the extra-girly girls in the audience, here's an entirely inaccurate recounting of the sincere and meaningful sentiment that accompanied the hardware at the time of its deployment:
Alison, do you accept this token of longstanding affection, and, by doing so, agree to enter into a socially and legally recognized state of cohabitation, optionally resulting in the production of offspring?
So, of course she answered in the affirmative. Who wouldn't, after being walloped with that much purple prose?
Lastly, I should mention that I am thankful to Lisa, Tom, and Shuaib for serving as sounding boards while I worked out my evil plan. I'd also like to thank Nick for his extremely amusing reaction to Alison's unveiling of the ring. It's like he just isn't programmed to see jewelry. Or maybe there's an SEP field that only affects him.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
By the way, "savvy" is great fun to read, don't you think?.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
- Nick recommended it to me. Nick has also suggested other series I've enjoyed, including Wonderfalls , Arrested Development, and, possibly my favorite science-fiction series of all time, Firefly. (By the way, the big-screen adaptation/sequel, Serenity, comes out on DVD December 20. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.)
- It was created, executive produced, frequently written, and frequently directed by Joss
- Whedon. Whedon was also responsible for the aforementioned Firefly and Serenity.
- There are significant inconstancies, plot holes, and plain-silly plots.
- Some periods of the show are better than others.
- The characters are both well developed and dynamic.
- The Whedonesque dialog alone makes the series worth watching.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Last weekend, Alison and I did remarkably little other than watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so we managed to finish off Season 7 late Sunday night. Having seen the entire series, I feel reedy to pronounce judgment on the characters. So, here are the Michael Awards for Excellence in Whatever He Darn Well Feels Like, Buffy Edition. (Note: this list contains spoilers.)
Update: I've added a few more categories because, well, I feel like it.
- Favorite vampire: Spike.
- Scariest vampire: Angelus.
- Scariest creatures: Bunnies.
- Favorite big bad: the Mayor.
- Least favorite big bad: the Geek Trio.
- Favorite principal: Quark...I mean Snyder.
- Least favorite Scooby Gang member: Cordelia.
- Favorite couple, heterosexual: Willow and Oz.
- Favorite couple, homosexual: Willow and Tara.
- Couple that made the least sense: Xander and Cordelia. (Lots of competition here.)
- Best-introduced character: Dawn.
- Most touching death: Joyce.
- Actor with the best singing voice: Amber Benson. (Honorable mention to Anthony Stewart Head.*)
- Actor who does the best job of playing multiple characters: Allyson Hannigan.
- Funniest character, early seasons: Xander.
- Funniest character, late seasons: Willow.
- Funniest character, normalized to word count: Oz.
- Most attractive character: Vampire Willow.
And, the moment you've all been waiting for...
- Favorite character: Willow
I'd like to read your comments on this topic.
* Perhaps that should be "honourable" in his case.
Cetologists have long struggled to understand the function of the narwhal's tusk. (Narwhals are artic toothed whales that grow to body lengths of about 5 m. Most males and some females have an unusual tusk that grows from the left side of the upper jaw, has a clockwise-helical shape, and reaches lengths up to 3 m.) The mystery has finally been solved---and by a dentist. Martin Nweeia, a practicing dentist and a lecturer at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, has found that the tusk is densely innervated and is used to detect temperature, pressure, salinity, and other parameters, in both water and air. Nweeia also has one of the most fun-to-read names I've ever encountered. I mean, it starts with "Nw" and then ends with 4 consecutive vowels. Hunh?
Check out the Live Science article for more crazy narwhal facts and the NPR story for the pronunciation of Nweeia's name.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Oh, and Das Keyboard has another neato feature, the key-return springs do not all have the same spring constant. The springs are have 5 different weights corresponding to the strength of the finger used to type. Nifty, eh?
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
For the record, though, I'm still voting against Sasquatch.
Friday, December 02, 2005
You may ask, "What's Travolta got to do with all this?" Well, he is a Scientologist, as are a number of Hollywood freaks...I mean stars. (Tom Cruise is another well-known example.) Travolta headlined and produced the universally panned Battlefield Earth because of his affinity for Hubbard, who authored book (of the same name) on which the film is based.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Oh, and P.S.: Pulp sucks, Michael! If you ate cookies you would probably dip them in your milk and get it all crummy! (Crumby? How do you spell that in this sense?) Blech!