Friday, December 26, 2014

Hunger games part 3 part 1 review

Okay, a couple of big caveats...

1) I haven't read any of the Hunger Games books. I'm not even familiar with them. So I won't have any "this was left out" or "they should have included this part from the book..."

That's not necessarily a disadvantage. Films shouldn't depend upon a lot of outside knowledge by their audience. If you can't portray something that was in the book that's a fault of the movie, not the moviegoer. Ya know, provided it's not a Bible movie or Sherlock Holmes or something.

2) this'll never be a movie blog. To really dissect a film you probably oughta watch it multiple times. So outside of the occasional Star Wars rant or my House of Cards binge, you won't see much "Men on Film" here...

That's already more preamble than this movie got... and that's a shame. It's full of characters making reference to past events Katniss "missed", and it's never shown to us, occurring or in flashbacks. 

That wouldn't be so bad, except what we get instead is about 1/3 a film of Katniss sorrowfully surveying the leftover rubble and about 1/4 a film of her buckling under the pressure of everything that happened (offscreen).

There's always a bit of watering down the punch when a trilogy is stretched into a... ummm... quadrilogy (is that a thing?). Suffice it to say this is a 90 minute movie that feels like it had 40 pages of script that just said "Katniss looks sorrowful."

There's a weird bit where the Rebel Alliance blows up The Emperor's hydroelectric dam (I'm just gonna go ahead and use Star Wars terms here because reasons). And so the ENTIRE Capital city is 100% dark. Not one generator, hell, no one lit a candle or started a fire. The Rebels in their Hoth base seem to all have lanterns and such and even use them freely when the base's oxygen is cut to 14% (which itself seems dodgy), so apparently they're not in short supply.

There were occasionally episodes of 24 or Hpuse of Cards where at the end of think "Well, shit... Nothing really happened. But then I guess someone can't die EVERY week. Sometimes you gotta have one that is really just moving chess pieces into position." 

So I guess ultimately that's what this was. A movie Millard Fillmore. Not good, not bad, just sorta caretaker to get you along.

It's just frustrating. You don't start Jedi by having your characters chat about Luke getting his hand chopped off and Han getting frozen, then show 30 mins of Leia mope. Throw the audience a bone.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

How about a Jar Jar Binks prisoner exchange?

So, Sony is quashing The Interview in response to terrorist threats from interests in North Korea.

If they really wanted to get some international heft, the North Korean government shoulda blocked Matrix Reloaded. I think we could have given a Nobel Peace Prize for intervening there.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

So my letters that they honor Demolition Man remain unanswered

So apparently Time's Person of the Year is "The Ebola Caregivers" or some such collective.


I never care for it when they get cute and do something other than have the Person of the Year be, ya know, a Person. They've done this with increasing frequency recently... the person of the year will be "Earth" or "You" or some such vaguery.

It seems to be an attempt to be clever, but I think once they broke the seal by not having it be an individual they've since gone to the well too many times (how's that for a tortured mix of metaphors?)

Though to be fair, a bit of Wikipediaing (is that a verb yet?) sees apparently their first time being cute was 1950 with "The American fighting-man". What would a 1950 equivalent of "Meh." have been?

Also on the final list, apparently, was "Ferguson Protestors". I'm just glad at least they didn't pick that. Not for any haughty political or racial reasons... just that awards like this seem to suffer sometimes from a bias of recency. Whatever is freshest in our minds is the "biggest" thing that happened in the year. Apparently last year they very nearly gave it to Miley Cyrus, who "coincidentally" had just had the fococta twerking thing on MTV. At least cooler heads prevailed there, with his Popeliness just beating out the first woman who ever shook her ass while dancing.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

They should make the whole plane out of the turkey

Blah blah after the turkey something something a-NAP-polis!!!

Wokka wokka

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Red state, blue state...

We survived the silly season of a lot of talk of red states and blue states...

And then there's this.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Don't Go Vote

Your social media channels are presumably clogged up like 836 in an afternoon rainstorm... though instead of 2004 Honda Civics that don't signal right or left you're lost among political comments that do nothing but signal right or left. Today, it's dominated by one message: "Go vote!"

My sentiment is a bit different. I say Go vote**!

** Unless you are the kind of low-watt bulb that votes based on something like "Which candidate you'd rather have a beer with", which one looks better, for/against "The Hispanic-sounding name", or some other such inanity. 

I'm not just saying "Go vote, unless you're an idiot" (well okay that's actually most of my point). There's a bit more nuance here though.

If you haven't voted until Election Day but always planned to go out today, and you read up a bit --- or ask a friend you know who's really into politics, or even just print out the endorsements from a likeminded organization, then please go vote.

If you have a friend on Facebook who says "Go vote", and your response is "Oh that's right, that's today isn't it?" then do us all a favor and stay the hell home. Vote for America's Next Top Voice Can Dance With The Stars and leave the republic to people who won't go in and Christmas Tree the Scantron.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


"Uhhh yes I'd like to exchange this LeBron Heat jersey for a Dolphins jersey.

Which one? Oh... Is Jason Taylor still on the team? Wait no I heard he might go to the Jets or something."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

First Church of Bacon: Confession

Bless me fryer friar, for I have sinned. It's been like 12 hours since I last had sausages.

So, there's this whole cottage nerdherd industry that's popped up around pointing out that eating bacon is a damned fine idea.

There are shirts proclaiming the love of bacon. is a store site entirely dedicated to all the products you can get, including a not-small page called "Bacon Beverages" (which apparently is distinct from the "Swine & Wine" section). Jim Gaffigan has a whole shtick in his standup routine about bacon in all its awesome glory.

Here's my penance. I love bacon. I also am a (sadly increasingly) big fan of ham. And sausage. And pepperoni. And pork chops. See, it turns out that pork can often be prepared into a variety of tasty dishes.

So, why are we treating bacon like it's something we just discovered and named for the first time ever?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gimme a million dollars and I'll call her whatever you want

So have you picked a name?


Nunya? That's unusual. What is that, Russian?

Short for "Nunya Damn Business."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ebola? More like SHEbola! Am I right? Huh?

Gonna launch a new app, specifically for people who want to get the latest stats, profiles and news on today's professional bowlers.

I'm calling it E-bowla.

I'm hoping it goes viral.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The ability to eat your meat AND have your pudding.

I've been hearing a lot of discussion about how Jameis Winston is killing his NFL career options because of college chicanery.

I dunno, it's worth pointing out that the two longest careers for Noles from the previous championship were Lavernaeus Coles (who got kicked off the team) and Sebastian Janikowski (who was supposedly nearly kicked out of the country).

I'm sure a lot of teams are really thrilled they passed on Dan Marino because he mighta partaken in the ol' devil weed in college. Randy Moss and Warren Sapp probably are just fine with how their careers turned out, thanks.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Man code confession....

I regularly forget which one is the Big Ten and which one is the Big 12.

I'm sure this is partially my brain rebelling against the fact that there are now fourteen teams in the Big Ten and ten teams in the Big 12.

At least I know which teams are generally grouped together... I just seem to have a block against which stupid moniker they're clinging to.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Also... Army uniform now comes with sneakers.

This blog has received EXCLUSIVE VIDEO of how, exactly, the Obama administration expects to honor its promise that it can confront ISIL in Iraq and Syria without introducing any boots on the ground.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review of I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

I, Alex Cross (Alex Cross, #16)I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

You can give this one a pass, and you won't be missing much.

There isn't much in this book that could be considered thought-provoking or even especially challenging.

When a man who's readily recognizable and highly connected in the White House is committing sex crimes, and then the author makes a point of saying it's not the VP and the president is a married woman, well... it weren't the butler.

I saw another reviewer here bring up an excellent point as well. Alex Cross doesn't actually UNCOVER much of anything in this book. The Brit (Nicholson?) hands him a video of the crime, and Generic Agent X hands him another video of the crime. A witness tells him who did it, and they go off to arrest the guy. Cross doesn't actually DO a great deal in this, at least in terms of investigative work. It all drops in his lap.

Once you get past a small handful of characters (Cross, his central casting grandmother, and to a lesser degree Bree), there's almost no description or fleshing out of characters. The various elected officials & staffers are all interchangeable and pretty one-dimensional, as are any other cops. I guess it's unfair to criticize a thin central character in the middle of what's a serial of books but it's also telling that at the end when Cross proposes to Bree... to that point I had no idea she wasn't his wife.

It's largely inoffensive, and I pushed through the CDs relatively quickly. I'd say it's relegated to beach reading, but it doesn't even have the benefit of a lot of dramatic tension or suspense that would make it light yet entertaining fare.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Have you thought about not sucking?

I listen to a lot of sports radio. I guess it's a "guilty pleasure" of sorts. It's really pretty ticky-tacky content sometimes. But you do get good updates and some of the hosts are pretty entertaining and/or humorous.

Since I'm generally listening to the Miami stations, I hear a lot of Canes callers. It occurs to me these fans pretty much fall into one of two camps (no, NOT alumni and the other 95% of the fan base)...

Caller I: "It's really disconcerting when I see the UM offense relegated chiefly to screen passes and dump-offs to the safety valve receiver for short gains. Starting a true freshman is a gamble. Even when trailing against a team like Louisville, the vertical threat seems to be almost completely eliminated, which of course means the box gets loaded up to shut down the run as well. Is this concern being sufficiently addressed?"

Caller II: "We're BAD. We used to be GOOD. We lose now. We should not lose. Other teams should lose to us. We had SWAGGER! I want swagger. This coach should go away and instead there should be a coach that is GOOD."

Interestingly, I suspect it's more of the FIRST category that actually goes to the games when UM plays FAMU this weekend... and more of the second that has a UM logo tattoo (and, okay yes... went to FIU.)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Theory of Everything That Is Convenient To Plot Device?

So there's (another?) movie coming out about Stephen Hawking's life. I can see how it could make a pretty compelling drama. I can also see how it could make a virtually bulletproof anti-abortion argument, but that's SUCH another topic for another time (which may be the twelfth never).

It seems the story chiefly focuses on his illness and precipitous decline, but presented as a love story. That might get a bit tricky since he apparently left his first wife for one of his nurses (and subsequently divorced #2 too.)

Hopefully they don't pull too much out of their ass like they did with A Beautiful Mind... I think that'd be hard because Stephen Hawking's certainly better known and documented than John Nash will ever be. Nash ain't gonna get calls from Star Trek, Simpsons and Big Bang Theory to swing by.

I'm hoping for more of a Walk The Line-esque "warts and all" kind of approach. It's funny that in the trailer they drop in the bit about the voice of his speech system being "American" even though he's a Brit. I've read before that he's said (perhaps as humor) that's the one thing that bothers him about his condition.

I wonder, only half-seriously... if the system were designed today instead of 40 years ago, would it be built for things like linking YouTube videos instead of picking words from menus?

 I think I could probably go an entire day just responding to people by clicking on YouTube links. (Depending on my stubbornness and licensing restrictions I might be able to do it with just lines from The Godfather). I don't particularly intend to try that anytime soon, though.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

As Irish as French fries

Gonna start a band specifically built around lip synching songs for Riverdance albums. It's gonna be called Sham Rock.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Review of Farside by Ben Bova. Ugh.

So apparently I can now post my Goodreads reviews to my own blog. So I will, because...reasons. FarsideFarside by Ben Bova
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I just hope reading this doesn't sour someone out there from trying similar entries in the genre that are a bit more daring like The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.

If there's a vehicle in this book, prepare for it to "trundle" across the surface. Thesaurus be damned. You may have trouble remembering that Dr. Ulrich, the facility's research chief, is interested in the Nobel Prize --- because it's only mentioned about 18x and sometimes there's a full three lines between this fact being brought up again. The main "character", Trudy, has a face that's round. Grant wants to know if the nanobots in his body could have been responsible --- then he is going to go ask IN PERSON if the nanobots in his body could have been responsible. Then he's going to ask okay REALLY this time...

After sections on nanomachines being able to bore into things microscopically, there's a great deal of dithering about as these scientists try to surmise what might be responsible for microscopic pinholes appearing in things. One of the big reveals is: But what element are they eating? It's the vanadium!! (I don't know what, exactly, as a reader we're supposed to do with that information. It doesn't exactly unlock any other doors).

The story hints at what could have at LEAST been a good - if paint by numbers - horror/mystery by having a confined space where a pinprick could kill dozens of people and nobody knows who's toting around the pins. Sort of an Alien minus the alien. Instead, when people are quarantined on the far side of the moon and a couple of people suddenly die, everyone seems... I'd call it "inconvenienced"?

Similarly wasted opportunity: We think that planet out there might be similar to Earth. We build (at great expense and loss of life) a telescope. It detected there are indeed signs of being like Earth! Aaaaaand that's all you'll hear about that. I mean introducing an Earth2 is kind of "Chekov's Gun". You really should DO something with it once it's established. The reaction on Earth1 if they looked through the 'scope and saw, say, signs of ancient cities over yonder... well now maybe THAT could have been an interesting story.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

No me gusta.

Someone totally Typhoid Mary'd us at one of the July 4 parties. TLMS and I are pretty laid out. She's barely left the bedroom since Friday. Ugh.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Another new article

From my entirely too infrequent blog...

The firm of Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Crist, a-phoneys at law. (via

“I couldn’t be consistent with myself and my core beliefs, and stay with a party that was so unfriendly toward the African-American president, I’ll just go there. I was a Republican, and I saw the activists and what they were doing; it was intolerable…

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A PSA you'll never see

Two guys in a high school parking lot.

Guy #1: "Dude... you don't want to get a Chevy Volt, that car's kinda gay."

Girl off to the side: "Guys! It's really lame to use the word gay to refer to something you don't think is cool! It hurts."

Guy #2: "Really? Because it seems to me like the people fighting the redefining of the word 'gay' are the same ones that changed its meaning in our parents' generation. Actually, come to think of it you just used 'lame' and 'cool', both of which are slang that have evolved through common usage. That's how English works."

Girl off to the side: "Gay kids are subject to ridicule and abuse and violence all over. It has to stop!"

Guy #1: "See now it's weird that you'd use that adjective. Kids of any kind shouldn't be abused and hurt... why do we need a classification more than that?"

Girl off to the side: "RACIST!"

Monday, April 21, 2014

Shed a tear for hipsters....

...for they won't be able to drink this beer before it was cool.

That's Nerdalicious: "Curious About What a 3,300 Year-Old Beer Tastes Like?"

Monday, April 14, 2014

An Act of Parliament

I dreamt I was talking to Bootsy Collins in 1969 when he was coming up (which I'm not sure he was), told him I saw him in concert in the late 1990s (which I'm not sure i did), and to take comfort in the fact that he's still relevant even today in 2014 (which I'm not sure he is).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cuz you gotta have dreams. And class.

I think really my secret deepest goal is someday to be rich enough and connected enough that I can make donations to legislators just to get them to put random shit out there on official record.

Like, giving a state senator a thousand bucks to find a way to legitimately use "#SimpsonsDidIt !!!" from the floor.

Or tossing a congressman $10,000 to say "Mr. chair, I'd like to take a moment of personal privilege if I might. Ahem. MONKEYS!!!!!!!! Thank you."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

House of Cards, Season 2, ep. 12

So, Frank's finally done what he was tipping his hand to all along. He's warming up the "get rid of the president in front of me" bus. WELL, I'm sure that'll end with him unemployed and doing the speaker circuit or going on Schmox News, and not at all in his oh-so-shocking turn on this president. I suspect the final episode will have the president bleat "I thought I could trust you! I was a fool."

The FBI thing is messily wrapping itself up. The guy whose name no one can probably remember who was the deep plant in the deep web has access to the AT&T grid so the FBI won't... oh who cares.

The Remy vs. Major Dad thing is playing out interestingly because it's not entirely clear just what role Remy will play... 12 ended with him trying to keep a door partially open to Frank, and Major Dad being rightfully upset to learn Remy Martin VSOP was keeping a line in to the guy he was supposedly burying. One can presume this means Remy will toss a juicy steak to Frank and get back in his good graces.

House of Cards, episode 2, season 11

Not gonna say too much about the Meechum scene... It wasn't precisely where I thought they were going, but still... Meh. The similar thing from the service academy reunion last year seemed a bit in your face-ish, and this did too.

 It overshadows what happened towards the beginning, but we're somehow supposed to remember that the guy Remy Martin VSOP is talking to in the beginning is the... former majority leader? whatever it was... that whimpery Marine chick congresswoman destroyed by telling the world he had a developmentally disabled daughter that he was bankrolling but not visiting. (Which seemed a really dodgy storyline to begin with... Expecting us to recall it 10 show hours later is really a bit much)

I like the way the special independent prosecutor is going... While I don't know how realistic this setup is (I doubt they'd ever have the VP and his chief of staff testify together), at least it's logical and a good way to show Frank both trying to plant seeds AND adjust to what's coming at him.

I made the mistake of seeing something when doing a quick bit of looking something up that May have spoiled the end of the season for me... But then they're also tipping they're hand a lot. Frank suuuuure does seem to have a situation where his "superior" the president, could get in trouble instead of him. But that's ok, we know he never has power or self-preservation in mind.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 10

Oh sweet Jesus let this be the end of the Remy Martin VSOP and whatshername congresswoman marine chick's relationship. The upside is in this episode it goes in the shitter. The downside is not until a painfully slow scene of him asking about her tattoo while they're in bed together. Ugh.

The "not-at-all-overly-complicated" Raymond Tusk / casino owning Indian / Chinese investor thing is coming out thanks to he Wall Street Schmournal starting to sniff around it. Frank, it seems, tossed them the scent. Shorthand is it means foreign money's coming into campaigns. The thing seems silly (there are ways to get in of rowing money that are perfectly legal, after all). At least is is moving along some, and with the Schmournal digging it's not as if you can just lean on the next guy at the Washington Schmost. Speaking of which, this seems like several episodes since we were supposed to give two figs about the original paper's investigation, or the guy rotting in "Too Many Characters To Have Moving Around State Prison"

There's a storyline about Stamper guy liking it when the Kristen Stewart chick reads to him. Soooooo that's a thing.

Frank tells the president not to worry when he says he's worried, and the president is apparently back to being Jedi-mind-tricked.

I think this is the first time we've seen a real assassination / terrorism threat in the show, unless I'm forgetting. In a twist, it's someone pissed at Claire rather than Frank.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 9

I don't know what happen to the WaPo recaps, but here's a Baltimore Sun one.

Things went south for Rib Shack Guy, collateral damage in shots taken at Frank Underwood (not literally, at least not yet.) You know he was el doomedo when he reached out to bring in the troubled ex-con son who didn't want anything to do with him and had a hot temper and was only one strike away from going back in the clink... I'm sure there's some name for this meme, but it always reminds me of Goose's wife showing up to surprise him right before the big flight in Top Gun.

Still, they actually handled it well. In retrospect they had to do something with this character, because the alternative was that he was becoming a bit of the "Kindly Wise Poor Black Man" one-dimensional character, and this show's been good about zagging when you expect it to zig... and yet zagging still actually makes sense. Cutting the legs out from under a friend of Frank hurts Frank deep... on a couple of levels: 1) Frank feels powerless to help a friend, and being powerless really bothers him... and 2) The few people he genuinely cares about he does in fact care about.

The other main storyline is that the artsyfartsy photographer guy released a photo of Claire in the shower, and Claire's reaction / response is to hire a model to cut her hair similarly and say it was her. This plan seems kind of fragile --- my guess is the wheels are gonna come off it.

This was the Jodie Foster-helmed one. I kinda braced for it, but it was actually not particularly annoying, which was a relief.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 8

Another case of having waited a bit too long since having watched it (and I seem to be ahead of the Washington Post summaries now), but here are my thoughts...

Love that the Indian reservation gambit isn't necessarily breaking easily or well for Frank. I suppose he'll finally get (most of) what he wants, but especially for those who aren't surprised by his character, such as Raymond MajorDad Tusk, that he's not automatically fooling them or outflanking them is a nice change.

Someone referred to the Remy the Lobbyist and House Majority Whip Whasername "romance" as being high school. I think that pretty much sums it up, it's really a yawner.

Rachel gave solace to her friend from the church and let her crash at her place... and in Hollywood sure enough if two attractive women are sharing a place and not fighting, well surely that's a recipe for the ol' lipstick lesbian thing. And we get a bit of that. At least with Rachel it makes a bit of sense as she's got such a sordid personal history. Still... meh. And her obsessive overseer guy who's also eerily into her told her not to have anyone over --- I hope that's not going to net out how it's being telegraphed (he finds out and beats her up. Or if they want to go the new Hollywood cliche route he starts beating her up which leads again to sex.)

The counterpunches coming in against Claire and Frank now are interesting too... this episode ended with word getting out of her having cavorted around with the photographer for a while.

This makes at least two total episodes where they've completely skipped the journo who's in federal prison but might know some of Frank's really shadier stuff. They'd better get back to that soon or else it'll be too far gone to call up again.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 7

There's a lot of moving pieces in this... Like I've said before the WaPo blow by blow helps.

This was probably one of the better episodes for President CardboardCutout, though I still wonder how someone so vacillation could be at that level of success. Still. The scenes with him and Frank were engaging, and I liked the whole punching bag thing. It's not entirely clear what the Underwoods (well, chiefly Claire for now) are gunning for by sticking thorns into the prez marriage and to making Russo's ex-aide/gf into a sore spot. It might just be to loosen one of the legs of the stool on the guy standing a bit higher than Frank.

The story of Rib Guy gives story about how much veep likes his ribs, Rib Guy gets offered endorsement deal is unfolding nicely. It's realistic yet compelling. I hope it they unfold that one well.

Too much on the Chief of Staff's sighing over the HookerWithTheHeartOfGold. I hope they wrap that up.

They seem to be offloading the PR guy they brought in with such promise... but that's just as well, if you keep introducing new characters every so often you have to write one into a coma or else it just gets messy. The other... umm... aide? looks too similar anyway so it was hard keeping them straight.

Good setup and delivery with the casino Native American guy who isn't immediately swayed by Frank's bull, esp. when he already has a sweeter sugar daddy in Major Dad Tusk. They're shrewd in that these situations only stay interesting if Frank's plans don't always play out as cakewalks. 

Sometimes you wanna see someone tell him he's playing too weak of a hand. Kudos that this Lonnigan or whatever it was did so.

The "you want the bridge, you can't have the bridge..." Is it over the McGuffin River?

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 6

Energy prices? Meh. I know it's a big concern but the way they played it seemed very 70s. Of course, not as 70s as the green screen background they used for Underwood "at" the Orioles game. I did like Frank being concerned about the pitch looking bad.

The editor who was following up on Zoe's amateur gumshoeing got thrown in the clink as part of a plan to shut him up... But he's not being kept from calling other editor buddies and telling them the whole story. So it'll just (presumably) shift again to the next editor guy because they don't seem to have a handle not he "shut him up" aspect of this. I guess you could argue Frank and his Franklets can't just go around whacking reporter after reporter after reporter... but it sure does seem like they need to doa. Better job occasionally having someone "fall down an elevator shaft onto some bullets".

We get another "go intimidate Rachel in her squirreled off life" thing. I do like that she's finding some solace in a community church thing, not just because it's actually a respectable portrayal of a positive community group, but because I legitimately can only hazard guesses as to which direction they'd ale things from there.

I feel like this review is a bit more negative than my reaction was... I dunno that that's fair. But the energy thing did have a real "monster of the week vibe"... And oy the green screen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

If you don't know what JFGI means, JFGI.

There are two types of days... days when I can successfully tell someone JFGI and days that aren't worth getting out of bed.

Monday, March 3, 2014

ANOTHER New German Word...

Clockensqueel --- The euphoric feeling on those rare occurrences when something wakes you up in the middle of the night and you roll over to look at the clock thinking "I bet it's almost 6:30. Please don't be almost 6:30 I'm still so tired." and it's only like 12:45 AM and you still have plenty of time to sleep.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, episode 5

So it seems most of this season's episodes fall into one of two ends of the pendulum... "OMG I can't believe it" and "then the story moved along some"... It's fair, I mean these people aren't Jack Bauer they're not wrestling a nuclear bomb with their bare hands at the top of every hour.

It was good to see Claire up against it inasmuch as she threw out a story that had some inconsistencies in connecting her abortion to the sexual assault (the timing is off because it was a lie, and even our secret reptilian overlords don't have five year gestational periods). But the conference to review and criticize military policies on disclosing assault after the big public shocker seemed a little like  a class discussing the physics of nuclear fission the day after Nagasaki.

The Washington "Herald" reporter has gotten caught in the FBI net so... That happened. The story moved along some.

I'm not sure I love what appears to be setting up Claire's new press secretary to fail. The idea that he didn't find a 60 year old journal and quash it... Meh. Your hairdresser is not your plumber.

Onward and upward.

House of Cards season 2 ep. 4

It's been a little while since I watched this one...

Firstly, wow. This was clearly the best Claire episode of the season. Do you suppose she really did decide on the fly that she was going to use the public acknowledgement of her abortion as a chance to get out word of the past rape? Or was it a plan?

I suspect it was a bit of both... She was waiting for what might be the right (calculated) time to strike back and saw the scope lined up perfectly.

The Frank / anthrax story was kinda interesting too. I expected them to wrap with a wink that he set up the whole situation so he'd be guaranteed a quarantine with that rep he was trying to move, but they didn't. Makes sense though, it's not as if he could have known for certain when the mail room would get, open the package.

The reporter / secret cloak and dagger stuff... Meh. At least it's progressing. And it's something different from "oh I'll get the bill passed... MY way. Mwahahah"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 3

The stories seem to be hitting its stride a bit. There's a neat scene here where Frank needs to get a certain bill through the Senate, and the GOPpers are absent so as to throw off quorum. It's about social security age and entitlement reform, and the Republican Party is of differing minds not he degree to which to cooperate. (The WaPo write-up indicates a lot of people online see one of the dissenting delayers is a Ted Cruz pastiche.

Things this episode got right:
Star Wars Phantom Menace famously flubbed the idea of building suspense in something as wonkish as parliamentary procedure. Simpsons really nailed them on this in Cosmic Wars: A Gathering Shadow. This HoC episode did a neat job of making "how do we break this gridlock" interesting without being too much of a departure from reality. There may have been some "I'm not sure it'd work just like that", but that's okay. That's different from "Shenanigans!!" Five years ago we might have said nothing like rounding up the absent senators under threat of arrest could happen, but with some state legislative factions getting cutesy over the past couple of years this seems much less far-fetched.

Very well done --- this episode managed to contain both tea party legislators AND someone (the resurfaced Rachel, re-re-re-stashed and threatened ex-hooker that knows too much about the late PA rep's fall off the wagon) being invited to a local Christian group and deciding to go there in search of a little solace when beaten down and confused.  Amazingly, both are presented not with the usual Hollywood straw man ridicule but actually in a relatively straightforward way. Kudos for that.

The guy applying to be the Underwoods' new press officer also got a great intro, in terms of saying actual astute press officer things. Hope they keep with that.

The male RIP-Zoe-ex-bf journo editor gumshoeing about seems a bit meh. It's good in that it's suspenseful  and you really don't know who's behind the "deep web" info he's getting with tantalizing promise of records on Frank... But I came out of it a bit when he gets a burner ipad (helluva expensive way to connect with someone), complete with a magazine cutout note with the completely unnecessary instruction to turn it on (what else did you think he might do with it, lacking that helpful instruction?) They also seem to be doing the "I asked you if you're an undercover cop so you have to tell me by law" thing, which is of course fertilizer.

The Frank vs. Major Dad Warren Buffet thing is played much better this time. That ol' buddy warns the prez against Frank shitting the bed, and then Frank (for the...6th time in a dozen episodes?) gets the bill he wants through a step, to which Major Dad sez "I said all along you had this on lockdown"... Frank nicely calls BS. For maybe the first time I'm genuinely interested now to see how that dynamic rolls.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 2

So, this take will be much shorter. Impressions from the second episode.

It's great to see frank have an actual human reaction and even get emotional about something. When Claire shares that the soldier Frank has to pin a star on assaulted her when they were in college, he's furious and ready to go kick the guy's ass and/or destroy him. Good for Frank. He has to be somewhat believable and "real world", after all.

We're some more setup of stuff... like a house of cards I suppose, go fig. Frank (sneakily) gets the president to go against his Warren Buffet-esque chum and broach the suubject of cybersecurity with the Chinese delegation. Frank (sneakily) works tog et his preferred unqualified person in for House Majority Whip, getting her to ultimately let the world know that congressman-with-the-developmentally-disabled-daughter has a developmentally disabled daughter. This one seemed a bit cumbersome, in that how exactly is that going to "break" someone these days? But anyway we seemingly have our surrogate Peter Russo "Gee thanks for getting me in over my head" guy/gal.

Zoe's boyfriend / former editor obsessing over her death is fairly interesting. That's the best thread they've had with the journos for a while. I also like the fact that Franks evens to have underestimated what a pain in the ass it would be to turn a regular house into the VP residence.

The president still seems a little non-descript. I think if he was I a scene that wasn't in the Oval Office I might need someone to remind me that's the prez. Maybe he'll do something soon besides being the other other other older white guy Frank acquiesces to and then tats (sneakily).

WaPo spoiler free review is here... kudos to them for good cliff's notes...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

House of Cards Season 2 Ep 1

So I'm gonna try to blog my reactions to episodes of the new season of House of Cards, which cam available 2/14. Spoilers abound, of course.


It really would have helped if they've started with a bit of a "Previously on House of Cards" or somehow worked in a refresher. Like most people it's been quite a few months since I binge watched the 1st run. This jumps right in with a lot of "They're going to speak to Rachel!!" and I was left trying to remember who the hell Rachel was and where she'd been left in the story. As a result, maybe half of this episode seemed a bit scrambly. Of course with a show like this you don't want to go pause and look stuff up because you're liable to inadvertently stumble across someone being tossed off the show prematurely.

Course, on the subject of someone getting the old heave-ho, it was a shock to see The Chipmunk Zoe bring a new meaning of "press" to the MTA train. In retrospect it shouldn't be a surprise, I suppose.... The intrepid cub reporter unraveling the twisted baddie's web is a pretty perilous role to be in. But whacking a featured player out of the cast in the middle of 2.1 is impactful.... Err maybe impactful isn't the word to use. Kudos to those involved keeping that twist secret somehow.

It wasn't till I read the WaPo blog ( that I even realized there was some explanation in the whole Claire/ former business partner gal suing for wrongful termination thing. I missed that the drug Claire asked the doctor about was the same that the other gal needs to get for her pregglet, and Claire only got the information to... somehow see what specifically could be done to twist the knife on her? I dunno I put this in that column that really could have benefitted from a refresher course as well. I never got that emotionally invested in the fired ex-business partner at the NGO storyline, so the nuance seemed lost. I didn't even get til perusing the article that's (probably) why Claire went to the doc to begin with and the point of her canceling future visits.

In retrospect that whole thing seems a bit of a miss. Going to a doctor under a fake ruse you set up and act out to ask of he knows about a certain drug... I dunno, even if she couldn't find info online like they said, it seems you could just ask  a doctor friend contact if he knows anything about what it is and what they do.

I dunno if they really 100% know what they want to do with Claire, though. Is she a female Frank? She's certainly not his conscience. The whole boring thing with the European photographer presumably was to say she has some humanity and femininity Frank doesn't, but it seems inconsistently applied.

I suspect there are some seeds that were planted in episode 1 that for now I didn't even recognize as seeds. Let's hope some good fruit bears out. 

We got one good plum already with RIP Chipmunk Zoe.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy trails to you....

So I was researching (aka stumbling around on Google) to make a larger point, and came across the fact that if you search Miley Cyrus you get 35 million news stories.

I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New piece in

I'm not much better about posting there regularly than I do here on my own blog... however, por favor check out this piece I just wrote a piece about the Coca-Cola / Super Bowl thing.

Also, Coca-Cola is short for COmmunist CAbal COnspiracy… ummm LA. (via

I’m going to do something here nobody else has done anywhere else on the Internet… talk about Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl ad. I’m of course employing a bit of sarcasm. (Also something no one has ever done on the Internet.) A quick Google News search…

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Maybe Bradley v1.1 can post some

Maybe I'm missing something. It seems 7 or 8 years ago there was suddenly a lot of discussion about human cloning... ethical concerns, issues of rights, a bit about the march of technology, etc.

There was a lot of "what do we do, and what does it all mean?" There were well-publicized but ultimately bullcrap claims by groups saying they were already doing it.

Then a couple of governments passed laws that said "No! We disapprove."

... and... that's that? We just figured set it and forget it?

No scientist is ever gonna work on something that would change the world and make history so long as it's... federally disapproved of?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What blog? This is a... wording!

No one ever shook their ass suggestively when dancing before "twerking" in 2013.

Technology allowed "selfies", the amazing new phenomenon of taking a picture of yourself.

"The Knockout Game" introduced the never-ever before seen occurrence of delinquents finding fun in randomly beating the crap out of somebody.

I think 2013 might have been the year of pretending something is new because we just agreed to call it something else. I drove by Barnes and Noble yesterday, and I noticed it was full of, umm... "pagies"

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lines in Star Wars That Make Absolutely No Gorram Sense Thanks To ThePrequels

I'm sure I'm not the first one to do this. I'm probably not even the first person to do it on blogspot. 

But Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is on, and I find myself wondering if George Lucas paid any damn attention at all to his own movie when he was farting out the prequels that are supposedly tied to this series. 

This is kinda low-res, but it has the part of the movie I want to look at. It's also one of the very few parts of the original trilogy that tells us the backstory.

This is from the shooting script, lovingly stolen from I'll offset my comments in red... 

Well of course, of course I know him. He's me! I haven't gone by the name Obi-Wan since oh, before you were born. Or, ya know, soon thereafter actually. (Mind you, there's no particular reason for Obi-Wan to lie about this, and certainly wouldn't be mistaken.)

 Then the droid does belong to you. 

 Don't seem to remember ever owning a droid. Very interesting...Well, okay actually I spent many years not only with a droid but this very same one.
He suddenly looks up at the overhanging cliffs. 


 INT. KENOBI'S DWELLING The small, spartan hovel is cluttered with desert junk but still manages to radiate an air of time-worn comfort and security. Luke is in one corner repairing Threepio's arm, as old Ben sits thinking. 

No, my father didn't fight in the wars. He was a navigator on a spice freighter. 

That's what your uncle told you. He didn't hold with your father's ideals. Anakin's ideals were --- autocratic dictatorial rule would make things run a lot more smoothly. Oh, and his uncle's last experience with Anakin was his slaughtering an entire village singlehandedly and one-by-one.
Thought he should have stayed here and not gotten involved. He didn't leave because of his ideals, he was taken from Tattooine as a tiny kid (by Obi-Wan).

You fought in the Clone Wars? 

Yes, I was once a Jedi Knight the same as your father. 

 I wish I'd known him. 

He was the best star-pilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior. I understand you've become quite a good pilot yourself. And he was a good friend. This may be true, but really we just see the scenes of Anakin being douchey and bitching to Obi-Wan.
Which reminds me... 

Ben gets up and goes to a chest where he rummages around. As Luke finishes repairing Threepio and starts to fit the restraining bolt back on, Threepio looks at him nervously. Luke thinks about the bolt for a moment then puts it on the table. Ben shuffles up and presents Luke with a short handle with several electronic gadgets attached to it. 

 I have something here for you. Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it. Or, ya know, he had no idea he even had a son and never said anything of the sort. Let's look at this one for a minute. If Obi Wan is NOT honoring Anakin's wishes here, there's only one other reason he could be handing Luke a lightsaber. It's to get him started on the path to being a Jedi, under the false pretense of it having been what his father wanted. And if this was Obi-Wan's agenda he wouldn't have been hiding OR waited until Luke was so much older than Jedis begin training... and must unlearn what he has learned.

 He feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damned-fool idealistic crusade like your father did. Again, Anakin didn't follow Obi-Wan crusading 

Sir, if you'll not be needing me, I'll close down for awhile. 

 Sure, go ahead. Ben hands Luke the saber. 

What is it? 

 Your fathers lightsaber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Also of jedis that aren't masters, and of Sith. I really should explain those too. But I'm sure I'll get to them later... or, ya know, not.   
Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster. 

Luke pushes a button on the handle. A long beam shoots out about four feet and flickers there. The light plays across the ceiling. 

An elegant weapon for a more civilized time. For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.  

Luke hasn't really been listening. 

How did my father die? 

A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct. Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force. 

 The Force? 

Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. MIDIfreakingCHLORIANS. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. 

Artoo makes beeping sounds. 

Now, let's see if we can't figure out what you are, my little friend. And where you come from. 

 I saw part of the message he was... 

 Luke is cut short as the recorded image of the beautiful young Rebel princess is projected from Artoo's face

 I seem to have found it. Luke stops his work as the lovely girl's image flickers before his eyes. 


General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars.  
Or, ya know, what you were doing during the Clone Wars had nothing to do with her father.
Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father's request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack and I'm afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.

Is this overly dissecting one scene? Probably. But this is basically the only thing the prequels had to jive with --- this and a bit of Yoda's explanation in Empire. So why have basically everything Obi-Wan explain be contradicted?

Later on after Jedi they even make the point that Obi-Wan's misleading information about Vader killing Luke's father is true from a certain point of view... and ignore the fact that apparently everything else he said at the time was also off.


Saturday, January 4, 2014 article - Your 2014 Resolution: Stop Using These Phrases in Politics

Your 2014 Resolution: Stop Using These Phrases in Politics (via

As 2014 dawns, here’s a list of some expressions you can help by leaving in 2013 alongside the unfortunately indelible memory of “twerking”.   THIS: “Well at least he did something. He should get credit for doing something about the issue.”…

Friday, January 3, 2014

The problem with most TV advertising today

"You know that commercial where the guy in a suit is talking with a bunch of kindergarteners and they say cute stuff?"

"Of course, those are great commercials. I love them, the kids are so cute and the ads are always so memorable."

"Yep, that's it. What's it an ad for?"

"Ummm.... I wanna say a bank? Or is it some kind of insurance? A lot of those are insurance."

(For what it's worth, they're for......


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Maybe it's an elaborate marketing ploy by Poli-Grip?

So Tim Tebow's gonna be a guest commentator for ESPN. Seems a good choice, he speaks well and can offer some insights, seems generally likable.

 Hey, here's an idea... How bout they swap him in instead of mealymouth Lou Holtz. Or Mack Brown, I hear-tell he has some time on his hands. Hell, let Gallagher on there with his sledgehammer... His insights will sounds just as silly, and the studio won't get any wetter than it does from his schhhhlober flying around.