Friday, February 29, 2008

Cooke-ing with Gas

I just finished listening to Darwyn Cooke's commentary on the Justice League: The New Frontier DVD. I know I've probably bored everyone to tears about this movie already, but Cooke's commentary was just terrific. I loved he how expressed what he liked and didn't like about the film as well as letting us know how the story process worked for turning his book into a movie.

Okay, last post about New Frontier for a while. I promise.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Troubleshooting Thursday

Had some Internet trouble here at the homestead tonight and had to call tech support. Ever been on hold so long you figure you might as well do something like go to the bathroom? And of course, once you're "in position," that's when the tech comes on the line ready to help... with the Internet problem. No, not help with the bathroom stuff. That's just sick, people.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Missing in Action

I really miss having the ability to blog from work. Sure, I can pop a quick entry on Twitter using my mobile phone but typing an entire entry using the tiny keyboard gets really old really fast. I thought about snagging one of those wireless modems from one of the mobile companies but they all have a ton of stupid restrictions while charging you out the nose for it. Feh, I say.

In an effort to provide a modicum of content, here are a few quick movie reviews from my Netflix viewing over the weekend...

Stardust

A fun fantasy romp quite reminiscent of The Princess Bride. Lots of fun characters make this coming-of-age/chick flick a delight to watch.

Futurama: Bender's Big Score

Futurama's return did not disappoint in the least. The concept of time travel is turned on its ear and kicked mercilessly to hilarious effect.

The Astronaut Farmer

While I appreciated what it was trying to convey, this film unfortunately trots out the same, tired Hollywood cliches to sappily manipulate the audience. While there are some fun moments, you're better off watching the movie this tried (and failed) to be -- October Sky.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Not Dead Just Tired

Hey everybody (as I speak in my best Dr. Nick voice). It was a long weekend (and not the good kind) followed by a long day. I'm going to hit the hay if that's all right. In the meantime, check out this Wikipedia entry on the Blinovitch Limitation Effect.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Certain Doom Thursday

The DC area will be getting snow and ice and probably some kind of pestilence beginning around 10 tonight and going strong all day tomorrow. The Bread-Milk-Toilet Paper Alert has gone out and my fellow Northern Virginians have heeded the call. It took two hours to come home tonight and the pizza joint where my dinner waited was packed to the gills. The real fun will be tomorrow morning when all the local news channels will proclaim it to be the Twilight of Armageddon with a Ragnarok chaser.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Job Wednesday

Hi folks!

I started my new job with the Red Cross today. While my occupation is to work with documents all day long, I never realized that I'd have to do so much reading. Okay, that didn't sound right. What I mean is that I have to read a ton of legalese about federal regulations, FDA guidelines, and genuine Department of Justice findings (none of those fake findings, buddy). Oh, and I have to read all this before I can edit stuff about computer software. The fun is just beginning, my friends!

One of the unfortunate aspects is that Internet use is highly restricted there, so no blogging at work anymore unless I find a Wi-Fi hotspot somewhere for the Cheese Factory. Yes, I named my laptop Cheese Factory. I had a moment of weakness that involved Wendy's Baconator and a six of Bass Ale.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blu Monday

The high-definition media war is over.

Nacho Libre!

Remember that gift I hinted about last time? Behold!

Hey baby, wanna wrestle?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Viva Los Luchadores!

Hey everybody. Just a short note from the Farpoint convention as I enjoy a moment of peace before the Masquerade Presentation panel. (That reminds me, I need to grab the mixing board out of the car.)

Anyhoo, my pal Dana visited Cabo in marvelous Meh-heek-o last month and brought back one of the greatest gifts ever. I'll tease you with that for now, in the meantime check out Dana in full Planet of the Apes mode:


You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Found at a comic show


The title is pretty hilarious but not $10 hilarious in its present condition.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Commute from Hell

Holy crap traffic was a nightmare. I just got home about a half hour ago. Watching Jericho then I'm going to bed. Nerves are a bit rattled thanks to the douchewaffles flying down the icy roads.

The Week Ends, the Week Begins

It's been a while since I've written one of these, but it was a fairly productive week.

DVD

To use a term employed by the legend that is Siskoid, I flipped Clash of the Titans over the weekend. For a $5 disc, this was a pretty good value. The video quality isn't bad for a nearly 30-year old film that relied on a lot of blue-screen trickery. A Blu-Ray release of this film was planned for later this year but was postponed because Warner Home Video was worried that the primitive (by today's standards) visual effects wouldn't match the current expectations of high-definition. Feh, I say. Ray Harryhausen achieved some truly awesome stuff given the limitations of the medium at the time. Speaking of Harryhausen, the DVD includes a short retrospective with him involving the film's production and several mini-segments about the design and execution of the film's monsters.

While I flipped the disc long ago, I watched V: The Original Miniseries again as a refresher for reading Kenneth Johnson's sequel (see Books below). I must have seen this at least 20 times now and it's still incredibly powerful stuff.

I'm currently in the middle of watching the supplemental material for The Karate Kid. The film itself is just as charming as I remember it despite the somewhat formulaic structure of "underdog becomes empowered." I'll be watching the film again shortly in order to listen to the commentary. For a really odd look at Karate Kid nostalgia, check out the No More Kings video for "Sweep the Leg" and be amazed that Billy Zabka agreed to take part—I sure as hell wouldn't have.

Books

I finally finished The Bionic Book: Reconstructed and I'm afraid the verdict is pretty much a thumbs down from me. Aside from a ton of egregious typos and poor editing, the book reads like an effort not unlike staying up the night before to compose a term paper. In one particularly odd example, the author credits the success of today's superhero films to the success of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman based solely on the notion that both series portrayed people who were more than human. That's quite a stretch considering repeats of either series are incredibly hard to find in this day and age (in the United States anyway). While there were some very interesting parts, the overall product seemed like a half-hearted effort. I recommend you save your money and keep an eye on the Bionic Wiki for what's shaping up to be one of the definitive information sources for classic bionic goodness.

I'm still reading V: The Second Generation and hope to finish it this week. The story is okay so far; I'm finding the most interesting stuff to be the current ecological state of the planet under 20 years of Visitor rule. Pretty scary stuff.

Events

For a couple of hours, the legend that is Smacky and I attended a local comic book show at the meeting hall of the Dunn Loring fire house. Among the purchases made were some back issues of The Unknown Soldier, bootleg DVDs of The Zeta Project and Primeval, and the entire Day of Judgment miniseries. After shopping, Smacky and I made our way to Chevy's for some decent chain restaurant Tex-Mex fare.

This weekend, I'll be attending the Farpoint convention to perform with Luna-C and moderate a few panel discussions. If you're also attending, stop by and say hello.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Relieved

About an hour ago, I received a telephone call from my recruiter telling me that I will indeed be gainfully employed after next week. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Train of Thought Thursday

I had two interviews yesterday. The first one did not go very well. I told the guy over the phone that I probably wasn't what he was looking for but he insisted I come in and talk to him. Fine. However, I get there to find not only the guy I talked to but one of the company's vice presidents! They grilled me like a farm-raised salmon on stuff I had already indicated I was only vaguely familiar with. The winning moment of the session was when I asked if they validated parking and was sternly told, "No. We do not." Yeesh, it's not like I asked for a threesome.

The second interview went much better. I got along with the two managers easily and we talked about a variety of subjects related to the tasks at hand. One of the managers was pleasantly surprised that I brought up an issue she had attended a meeting for just a few hours prior. The conversation flowed like the mighty Mississippi and time just seemed to melt away. While I hope to be considered for this spot, I'm not going to get my hopes up. I've found it's easier to accept the sting of disappointment that way.

Today's interview was with a rather prestigious firm that surprisingly had zero processes in place for documenting how they developed stuff or how their products worked. The spot would entail building these processes up from nothing and tackling about 30 documents to start with more to follow. This reminds me a lot of a previous position where I essentially gave my summer to a company working 15-hour days, seven days a week only to be laid off a couple months later. And the kicker is that the spot lasts six months with no guarantee of a follow on. I'm not entirely sure I would accept this spot if offered but I am going to think about it because if nothing else, this might be the job I have to take to stay afloat financially.

So that's what I've been doing the past couple of days. Oh yeah, Kenneth Johnson's V: The Second Generation came out on Tuesday. I've already read over a third of it. Trust me, there will be a review by the end of next week.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Found on the urinal wall


Somebody thought they'd be clever at my local Barnes & Noble. And no, it was not me.

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Homework

I have a couple of job interviews tomorrow and had to do a bit of research for both tonight. One involved reading a white paper on the Rational Unified Process (a software development methodology) and the other required reading a treatise on cataloging biological samples. Hopefully, my reading of such topics will land me one position or the other.

In the meantime, I've been updating the Unofficial G.I. Joe Index every weekday. Check it out because knowing is half the battle.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Live, Charlie McCarthy -- LIVE!!

It's fairly rare that I do anything on a Saturday that requires eight hours of my attention and doesn't involve a paycheck. However, this past Saturday saw Em and yours truly attending an eight-hour First Aid/CPR class for which I'll be receiving my certification in a couple of weeks.

Everyone has been asking why we took the course. Em needs it to be a Girl Scout leader and I wanted to take it because it had been so long since I had gone through the training (back in 1992) and figured it would be a good skill to have.

Thankfully, the class was just Em and I along with a pregnant woman named Julie and a Montessori teacher named Mary. Mary was a bit on the older side and a little weird. Our instructor was an EMT who has been doing the first responder thing for 20 years.

The training videos aren't nearly as bad as they used to be, but still had plenty of laughable moments. For instance, there was a character who happened to be around whenever there was trouble, even if she was calling on the phone. The demonstrations were also good for a guffaw or two with dead-pan deliveries of "The area is safe" and "You, call 911" before they got to the good stuff.

The CPR part of the course was pretty exhausting. We must have been beating on the chests of those practice dummies for a good half hour. The practice baby dummies looked pretty damned creepy, like something out of It's Alive. Thankfully we were able to escape intact.

Friday, February 1, 2008

No Job for De (Yet)

This morning I interviewed with a nice company for a technical writer slot. The interview felt an awful lot like a "going through the motions" sort of thing and I'm pretty sure my answers weren't entirely compelling either. About an hour afterward, the recruiter calls to inform me that an offer was made to another candidate with more recent training manual experience. Le sigh.

There are 12 more calendar days left on this project so I remain hopeful something will turn up before then.

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