June 30, 2008

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful

Found the image below via the lovely and talented Rachel Lucas. I sent it to every woman I know. They are all somewhat less fond of me today.


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June 27, 2008

I still want to believe

Some clips from X Files: I Want To Believe are now available online.

I watched the pilot when it first aired here in the US and then again in Australia a few months later (my present to myself for finishing grad school). I watched every single episode, including all of the craptastic ones from the last two seasons. There isn't any way that I won't see this movie in the theater. Maybe it'll suck, but it will still be better than most of what's in theaters this year.

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Neglecting my duties

Okay, it isn't a duty, but rather a pleasure. As it turns out Steve at Hog On Ice has released a new version of Eat What You Want and Die Like a Man, complete with a new cover and more artery clogging goodness. Since I already own a copy of the first version, I might as well ad the second one to my bookshelf. You should, too.

I guess that I need to update my sidebar ad and replace the old cookbook image and link with the new one. It's long overdue because I believe that the first version has been out of print for a while.

Sue me. My life is very busy.

Anyway, Steve has been relegated to a place of insignificance and obscurity, better known as the sidebar on my blog. I'll leave the ad up until or unless he puts out a 3rd edition. Here's the 2nd ed. cover:


Update: Looks like the endorsements are already rolling in.

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June 26, 2008

Get strong

Via Joe Carter comes this: The Hundred Push Ups Training Program. It's a pretty good 6 week program to get you ready to, umm, perform 100 pushups. I'm fairly certain that I can squeeze it in, although my fitness time is kind of tied up right now training for the Richmond Half Marathon (it's been a decade since I ran that distance).

Anyway, check in at the website in 6-7 weeks. You might see my name listed among those who successfully completed 100 pushups.

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The first two cast members

Earlier, I posted about Wizard's First Rule becoming an extended TV mini-series. Now we know a little bit more:

Richard Cypher'Rahl: Craig Horner

Kahlan Amnel'Rahl: Bridget Regan

Zedd, Chase and George Cypher have been cast, but I'm not at liberty to release just yet....something about finalizing contracts or some such legal mumbo-jumbo....

But its getting closer!

At first blush, Bridget Regan looks like she could, physically, play the part of Kahlan. Not too many photos exist on the Innertubes right now, but I expect that to change once she dons the white Mother Confessor's robe.

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June 25, 2008

Still a long way off but...

Over here at the Coldhearted Truth is a possible outcome of the EC this fall. He currently has it at 289-249, Obama over McCain. While looking at the at pickup states, I saw something that I found interesting: if Virginia and Iowa hold for the GOP, and ChT is correct about the rest, we'd have a 269-269 electoral split. No big deal, of course, since the Democrats own- and will own- both the House and the Senate and will vote accordingly. However, it would be quite entertaining to see the president selected, rather than elected.

In truth, I have trouble feeling that interested in the projections right now. The election is still a few months away and past polls around mid-June haven't proven that useful as a means to forecast the election. Either that, or I slept through the Gore and Kerry presidencies.

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June 24, 2008

It's official: Hollywood is out of ideas

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the movie theater, Hollywood proves you wrong. Again. I give you the following:

1) 30 Upcoming Movie Sequels You Didn't Know About. Excerpt:

We've spent days of our lives scouring the world for news of sequels that you may not have heard of. And here are 30 films in various states of production...

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder: Casper Van Diem is back, but it’s still going straight to DVD, as the piss-awful second film did. It’s due out later this year.

Pink Panther 2: Oh dear. And I’m a Steve Martin fan. It’s out on 13th February 2009.

Ace Ventura 3: No Jim Carrey though, and no chance of it seeing the inside of a cinema. Head to Blockbuster later in the year if you want to catch it.

War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave: Another straight to DVD sequel, but this one’s of note because it’s directed by Soul Man/Hitcher star C Thomas Howell. Blimey.

Jurassic Park 4: It’s taken them ages to sort this out, but the latest is that Laura Dern is still attached, and that it’ll be released in 2009. Don’t hold your breath though, as shooting would need to start really very soon...

2) 28 Sequels Later: more films you didn't know were coming.

Lots more sequels to films are on the way - and we've uncovered new adventures for Rambo, Jumper, AvP and a whole lot more. Get ready to be happy. And depressed.

Cliffhanger 2: The Dam
With Rocky and Rambo revivals bringing home the bucks, the once-mooted Cliffhanger sequel has popped back onto the radar. No news if Renny Harlin would be interested in going back to the series, but here at Den Of Geek we reckon it’s a fair bet that Sly’s up for it. Will he ever consider a Demolition Man sequel, though?

It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World: The Sequel
Stanley Kramer apparently approved the idea to this before he died, although no cast or crew have been announced. Don’t expect it soon.

The Ring 3
Okay, that sound? It’s the dead horse, coming back to life, begging not to be flogged anymore. Hideo Nakata is attached to direct the third American film in the series, albeit with nobody you’ve heard of in the cast this time. Expect it next year.

3) 22 sequels and remakes you didn't know were coming.

The Da Vinci Code 2: Angels & Demons
Just who asked for this, exactly? Originally delayed by the writers’ strike, Dan Brown’s book will is being readied for a 2009 release, and both Ron Howard behind the camera and Tom Hanks in front of it are returning. It’s not like they need the money.

Sex & The City 2
It’s not out yet, and we don’t want to see it, but it seems that there’s a plan to bring further Sex & The City adventures to the big screen. This is not a thought that thrills us, particularly.

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder
The one that returns Casper van Diem to the franchise, even though it’s still a straight to DVD affair. The film is in the can, and currently in the editing stages.

4) 38 Planned Movie Remakes You Didn't Know About .

A planned remake of the 1984 movie The Last Starfighter, which remains popular today. Nick Castle is currently attached to direct the project (he did the original as well, although his biggest hit as director is the 1993 kids’ movie Dennis). We fear this one may get lost in development hell. Hope not.

The Evil Dead
Sam Raimi is attached to the remake of one of his most loved films, with both he and Bruce Campbell on producing duties. Set for release at some point next year, they’ll have to get their skates on, as there’s no sign of cameras being turned on just yet.
[editor's note: Okay, this one I'll have to see.]

5) 23 TV shows heading to the big screen.

Tom Selleck and his moustache are absent from the planned cast list of the big screen Magnum movie right now, with Matthew McConaughey in the running for the lead role. The script is written, and now it’s up to director Rawson Marshall Thunder (Dodgeball) to get it filmed for a planned 2009 release.
The A Team
The movie is still pressing ahead, with John ‘Shaft remake’ Singleton in the director’s chair. Latest casting rumours: Woody Harrelson as Murdock and Ice Cube as B.A. Take with pinches of salt. The film’s due in 2010.
Ready for a big screen bout of Chicago Highway Patrol? Warner Bros is developing the project for possible release next year; writers are attached to the film now, with Wilma Valderrama (from Party Monster and Fast Food Nation) reported to be interesting the casting team.

Since retreads, remakes, and unwanted/unneeded sequels are apparently what Hollywood wants, I'll offer up a few ideas of my own:

  • "Showgirls 2: Search for the Diseased Cooch"
  • "Thelma and Louise 2: Gravity Does Its Work" [low budget and a very, very short film]
  • "Brokeback Mountain 2: I Still Know What You Did With the Soap On a Rope"
  • "Carnosaur 3: Suckage On an Epic Scale "
  • "Godzilla 2: Size Does Matter. Also, a Plot"
  • "Tombstone 2: The O.K. Corral Falls Apart"
  • "Fantastic Four 3: Come See Jessia Alba's Tits" [ed.: Okay, that's the same as the first two FF movies, but you know what I mean.]

Now I'll just sit back and wait for that crazy movie money to roll in. Any. Minute. Now.

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June 23, 2008

She's baaaacckk

So Mary Katharine Ham is blogging once again, this time at her new digs at the Examiner. Welcome back, MKH.

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June 22, 2008

Windows' games on Linux

I don't actually play Heroes of Might and Magic 5, but some people I know do. And now you're not stuck if you're using a Linux front-end. David Stenberg gives you step-by-step instructions for installing and running the game under Ubuntu 8.04 with Wine. There are links at the bottom to other game installations using Wine which, by the way, had its first stable 1.0 release this past week.

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June 19, 2008

)$*$&%($*& on a pogo stick

I just checked out a link via Nealz Nuze and it's a good thing that I don't suffer from high blood pressure:

House Democrats responded to President's Bush's call for Congress to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling. This was at an on-camera press conference fed back live.

Among other things, the Democrats called for the government to own refineries so it could better control the flow of the oil supply.

I could make some snarky comment about a refinery being run with the efficiency of the post office and the compassion of the IRS, but I think that I'll go with my gut response here: FUCK YOU, DICKHEADS!! Maybe next you can own the fucking grocery stores to better control the flow of the food supply to us fatties who vote for you.

Oh, you don't want to do that? Why? Are you afraid that there'd be a swarm of people wielding pitchforks and torches and carrying tar and feathers? You're right, of course, but don't assume that screwing with our food is the only thing that will piss off us stupid little voters enough to come throw the lot of you into the Potomac.

Update: McQ uses less colorful language, but his point is essentially the same.

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June 18, 2008

Lovely plumage

Ah, to have such a wardrobe as this.

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I want to believe

This would explain a lot, wouldn't it? And now I must submit my status report to the Great Big Head.

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June 17, 2008

And now for something completely different

I'm not much of a runner. Okay, I do run, but I'm kinda slow. I can disguise that fact a little bit by running long distances, such as the half marathon, which I've run 6 times in the past. However, when Suntrust became the sponsor for the Richmond Marathon, they dropped the half, for reasons which continue to escape me. As it turns out, marathons with sister halfs are pretty popular these days, so Suntrust is, at long last, bringing the half marathon back to Richmond. And I'm going to run it. Again.

Things are a bit different for me now. I injured my knee some years back after my daughter was born, which prevented me from running without pain. After rehab, I continued to not run without pain, although with some new unwanted pounds that slowly took up residence in and around my midsection. So I started running again in January 2007 and have run in a few races, mostly of the 5k and 10k variety, although last week's James River Scamble added some brutal hills into the mix. Now I want to get ready for the 13.1 miles that I'll have to run and I don't want my time to be too slow. For me. I don't really care what other people think. My best time in a half marathon is around 1:48, which time I don't expect to beat this year as I'm really, really slow now. I can run 9-10 miles right now, but I'd like to add a little speed to the mix. I started searching around for some training tips and stumbled onto this 9 week training schedule over at Runner's World. Excerpt:

Presenting a can't-fail nine-week program for beginners, experts, and everyone in between. For some time now, the half has been the hottest race distance out there, with dozens of new events springing up all across the land. Here's why: For newer racers who've maybe finished a couple of 5- or 10-Ks, the half offers a worthy-yet-doable challenge without the training and racing grind of the marathon.

For more experienced athletes, training for a half bolsters stamina for shorter, faster races, plus it boosts endurance for a full 26.2-mile challenge down the road. In fact, the half is the ideal dress rehearsal for its twice-as-long kin. And unlike a marathon, which can leave your tank drained for a month or more, you can bounce back from a hard half in as little as a week.

So find a flat, friendly half a few months out. To get you there primed and ready, turn the page to learn about the three can't-fail schedules we have on offer.

Four Training Universals

Rest means no running. Give your muscles and synapses some serious R&R so all systems are primed for the next workout. Better two quality days and two of total rest than four days of mediocrity resulting from lingering fatigue. Rest days give you a mental break as well, so you come back refreshed.

Easy runs mean totally comfortable and controlled. If you're running with someone else, you should be able to converse easily. You'll likely feel as if you could go faster. Don't. Here's some incentive to take it easy: You'll still burn 100 calories every mile you run, no matter how slow you go.

Long runs are any steady run at or longer than race distance designed to enhance endurance, which enables you to run longer and longer and feel strong doing it. A great long-run tip: Find a weekly training partner for this one. You'll have time to talk about anything that comes up.

Speedwork means bursts of running shorter than race distance, some at your race goal pace, some faster. This increases cardiac strength, biomechanical efficiency, better running economy, and the psychological toughness that racing demands. Still, you
want to keep it fun.

The novice schedule looks a little underwhelming, while the intermediate schedule looks a little taxing. I'll probably shoot for somewhere in between. Regardless, it will add some structure to my training, which is probably a good thing.

In case you're wondering why I'm trying a 9 week training program when the Richmond half marathon isn't until November, I'll simply state that there are other halfs between now and then which I'm thinking of using as a yardstick for my progress.

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June 16, 2008

It's where the beer is

Every year at the GABF, some moron says to me, "You mean that you come all this way just for the beer?" No, I come each year because it's legal, for the duration of the Great American Beer Festival, to slap people asking stupid questions.

Yeah, the conversation tends to go downhill after that.

Anyway. Fresh meat Another friend is making his first trek to Denver with me this, bringing our total number of drunken idiots beer lovers from Virginia to 4, which is what it used to be before the other two guys wimped out. If anyone wants to stop by for a chat, let me know in advance and I'll tell you where you can find me. Maybe we can grab some more beer afterwards. I plan to, regardless, but YMMV.

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June 15, 2008

Whistling past the graveyard

I've long predicted that if McCain garnered the GOP nomination he would lose in a landslide of epic proportions. Turns out that I'm not the only one who feels that way. Excerpt:

“McCain shouldn’t win it,” said presidential historian Joan Hoff, a professor at Montana State University and former president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency. She compared McCain’s prospects to those of Hubert Humphrey, whose 1968 loss to Richard Nixon resulted in large part from the unpopularity of sitting Democratic president Lyndon Johnson.

“It is one of the worst political environments for the party in power since World War II,” added Alan Abramowitz, a professor of public opinion and the presidency at Emory University. His forecasting model — which factors in gross domestic product, whether a party has completed two terms in the White House and net presidential approval rating — gives McCain about the same odds as Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and Carter in 1980 — both of whom were handily defeated in elections that returned the presidency to the previously out-of-power party. “It would be a pretty stunning upset if McCain won,” Abramowitz said.

While I agree with this analysis, predetermining the fate of a presidential election still 5 months away seems, shall we say, a bit suspect. At this point in 1984 , Reagan trailed Mondale by a wide margin, only to end up kicking Minnesota Fritz's ass. And I have a suspicion what the overall political party affiliation would be if you took a poll of these oracles historians. My guess is that a majority of them wouldn't be rooting for Team Elephant, which gives some sort of nagging doubt that some people-maybe lots of people- out there are trying to win this thing in advance. That makes me question my political prognostication abilities a bit because you don't try to create such a self-fulfilling prophecy if you're confident in your candidate's ability to win it on his or her own. Instead, you try to convince your opponent that he's already lost, so he might as well not even try. There is a danger there, though: if everyone on your side is already convinced that victory is at hand, many of them might be tempted to coast along smugly. Smugly, that is, until someone hoists a paper containing the headline "Dewey Beats Truman" and makes them look like complete and utter jackasses.

I still think that this election won't be decided on issues, but rather personalities. McCain will come across as a crotchety get-off-my-lawn sort of guy and Obama will come across as the Second Coming. The contrast will be striking, and the nimrods who make up their minds in the voting booth will poke the chad for the younger, prettier guy, which means McCain loses. However, I will state for the record that some of the pre-ordained victory articles that I've seen the Democratic aides MSM writing lead me to believe that they aren't nearly as confident as they let on. It should be an interesting 5 months.

Oh, and if you think I'm a McCainiac, you should wade through the comment threads over at Rachel Lucas' site to prevent you from making a fool of yourself. Just a friendly FYI.

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June 13, 2008

Not that anyone cares, but...

Ever since his Dumbasscus road conversion, John Cole has become increasingly hard to read. I thought it was merely that our opinions on certain subjects had diverged, but after wading today into the morass of inanity, insanity and moronity that Batshit CrazyBalloon Juice has become, I've come to the conclusion that the DU has simply moved its website. Not the regular DU, though, but rather one reserved for those whose idea of a coherent comment is to sputter "ChimpyMcSmirkyHitlerburton", all while giving the special DU/Indymedia high sign. I've got a high sign for them myself ::pantomimes jacking self off::

Yeah, I could remove him from my blogroll, but I don't like being mean to the mentally incompetent. And there is something to be said for having an automatic point-and-laugh website handy.

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June 12, 2008

The science is settled

Check out this 1993 article from the NY Times:

To the astonishment of climate specialists, an analysis of ice extracted from the full depth of the Greenland ice sheet has shown that except for the 8,000 to 10,000 years since the last glacial epoch, the climate over the past 250,000 years has changed frequently and abruptly.

The findings suggest that the period of stable climate in which human civilization has flourished might be unusual, and that the current climate may get either warmer or colder much more quickly than had been believed -- in spans of decades or even less.

The data are likely to bolster concern that future changes in climate might not be spread over many centuries, allowing farmers to adjust to altered growing conditions and coastal cities to deal with rising sea levels, for example.

Scientists have speculated for years about the effects of climate warming. Even a rise of a few feet in sea level would flood many food-producing regions and populous areas.

Commenting on the new research, Dr. Andrew J. Weaver of the University of Victoria in British Columbia said that if the climate became colder Europe would be covered with snow much longer. As glaciers advanced, he said, they would reflect more of the Sun's energy back into space, chilling the climate even more. Warmer and Colder Periods

The scientists said their data showed that significantly warmer periods and significantly colder periods had occurred during the last interval between glacial epochs, about 115,000 to 135,000 years ago. They said they could not tell whether that meant similar changes were in store. Their findings were reported today in two papers in the journal Nature.

Previous studies had shown that there were abrupt changes in climate during glacial epochs, but the new results show that the same was true in the periods when glaciers had retreated. In one "catastrophic event" during the last interglacial period, the average temperature plunged 25 degrees Fahrenheit to ice-age levels for about 70 years, the scientists reported.

The authors said they did not have an explanation for the rapid shifts. They also said it was a mystery why the climate of the last 8,000 to 10,000 years had been "strangely stable."

Thanks to Neal Boortz for the link.

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June 11, 2008

Bad taste

You want to enlarge/shrink your own body parts? Fine. Want to wear something that makes you look like someone who lost a bet? Great. But this? This is screwed up. I'll give you one example below the fold:


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And I thought I was geeky

Okay, I am, but this little Roomba modification here surprises even me:

Turn a Roomba into a Ghost Sucking PacMan

This guy added 448 yellow LEDs to a Roomba so when it progresses forward, it gobbles up dust, dirt, and the occasional ghost and fruit too. When it starts up, it plays the PacMan intro and when it shuts off, it plays the dead PacMan noise.

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June 08, 2008

Prayers and well wishes requested

I just noticed that Rachel Lucas had a post up about her boyfriend Rupert's dad, Joe. Looks like Joe had a nasty collision while riding his motorcycle. For those of you who pray, please add Joe to your prayer list. And if you're not the prayin' kind, at least send along your well wishes. All will be greatly appreciated.

Update: More here.

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