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5/27/08 11:45 am - What's the opposite of 'Seven Year Itch'?

On this day, seven years ago, I got married.

And today, I couldn't be happier.

Looking forward to another seven hundred. (More or less.)

5/7/08 10:23 pm - Tuesday Dinner

Leftover caribou meatloaf. Because we are still frugal, and we had leftovers. And we had caribou in the freezer.

Champagne (OK, Prosecco) because we are celebrating. I start my new job on May 19th.

2/6/08 11:21 am - I guess this is what 'transition' feels like.

I started working at Epilogue Technology on January 2nd, 1996. Stayed on through two mergers (Integrated Systems in 1996, Wind River Systems in 2000), twelve years and a month. And not quite a week.

But I guess it's time for a change, since my entire team just got laid off.

So what's the drill? I have fourteen years of network programming experience, twelve in embedded systems.

I am on the market.

This is transition...can't say as I'm a big fan.

And nods to kirkcudbright and frobzwiththingz, who are also in the same boat.

6/1/07 09:35 am - Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my lovely wife.

link

(I had the card on time...the LJ acknowledgement somehow took a bit longer. I blame society.)

3/29/07 10:46 am - General stuff

In the past several weeks, I've managed to watch quite a few movies. Some were very good. Some were good. Some were, well...less good.

The Chorus (Les Choristes):  A French movie about a failed composer who goes to work at a boy's reform school and finds new inspiration while setting up a chorus there.  A very sweet movie with some great music and singing.  Five stars.

The 300
:  I think that this is a case of needing to set your expectations appropriately.  If you go expecting an extremely bloody comic book brought to the big screen, well, you won't be disappointed.  It's not historically accurate, the characters are...limited, there are some issues that people may or may not be offended by.  But...it has two hours of heavily muscled guys in leather g-strings and red capes cutting off arms, heads, legs, really whatever they can reach.  And buckets of blood.  Geysers, even.  It may not sweep the Oscars, but it was a lot of fun.  Four Stars.

Superman Returns:  I liked the new actors quite a bit.  I liked the parts of the storyline that were actual plot.  I didn't much care for the parts of the storyline that attempted to keep this movie in canon with Superman and Superman 2.  Were those movies so great that they needed to continue that plotline?  (Well, they were good...but then they spawned Superman 3 and 4...)   So I liked it, but didn't love it.  Three Stars.

Brick:  A most excellent noir-style film set against a high-school backdrop.  Very stylized, but the juxtaposition is pleasing.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great as the lead, and a strong supporting cast as well.  Five Stars.

Unknown:  Some reasonably good actors in a film with an interesting premise that nevertheless never seems to really go anywhere interesting.  A bunch of guys wake up locked in a warehouse with nobody having any idea who they are or how they got there.  But clearly something is going on, some good guys, some bad guys.  Joe Pantoliano, Barry Pepper, Greg Kinnear, Peter Stormare.  I wanted to like it more.  I really did.  Two stars.

Dodgeball:  Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.  You probably don'\t need to know much more than that.  It's funny -- most of the humor is to my taste, although there is the occasional 'was that really necessary?' moment.  Fun, unassuming movie.  Four Stars.

Near Dark:  A sweet little movie about redneck vampires and their adventures in Texas.  Bloody and violent, but not overly so.  Adrian Pasdar (who many will know as Nathan Petrelli in Heroes) has the starring role.  Pretty good.  Four stars.

Hard Candy:  This one is kind of awful to watch.  The opening scene is a 30-something guy and a 14-year-old girl agreeing in a chat room to meet at a coffeeshop.  What happens next is...unexpected.   Only these two characters have more than 60 seconds of screen time, and the suspense and violence are almost entirely of the psychological variety.  That said, I can't say I really enjoyed it, although I'll acknowledge that it was well-done.  I'm giving it three stars, but with some reservations.

The Curse Of The Golden Flower:  This one might be more interesting if you have a grounding in Chinese history, or possibly drama.  As it was, I spent a lot of time distracted from the pretty colors by trying to figure out just what the hell was going on.  I've been a fan of Zhang Yimou's films up to this point (within reason), but this one did very little for me.  Two stars.


That is all, for now.

3/29/07 10:44 am - Well, whatever

Ever have one of those times where you don't post for a long time, and then you feel like you can't post again without going over everything that's been going on? Because doing less feels like, well, dishonesty.

Sort of like right now.

9/14/06 04:31 pm - Sad day

Sad day.

4/3/06 12:02 pm - April 2nd has come and gone, and with it...

Thank you, Cheese Weasel!

3/23/06 11:18 am - two very different kinds of fantasy

Books:

Baudolino, by Umberto Eco -- This book is interesting in that it's entirely unclear how much of it is true, even in the context of the story itself. The main character, Baudolino, is telling the story of his life, first as a sheepherder, then as the adopted son of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, then as on older man questing for the legendary kingdom of Prester John, supposed keeper of the Holy Grail. Baudolino has two traits in particular that make him exceptional: first, he seems to possess the gift of tongues -- he can learn any language after a short time of hearing two people speak it to each other, and second, he is a pathological liar. He invents stories, fabricates relics, writes letters from known historical figures...and, most interesting, is widely believed, even by those who know that he lies all the time. The first half of the book could easily be read as a piece of historical fiction, but the second half chronicles Baudolino's search for the kingdom of Prester John, and includes all manner of fantastic creatures and locations, such as a rushing river made up entirely of rocks. This creates some interesting room for interpretation: Is the book really a fantasy story, or is it just Baudolino telling his most fantastic lie? The book is very enjoyable, although I thought the first half was more interesting than the second half. Eco, as usual, knows his history, and makes the characters fit into established history in a way that makes you want to know what actually happened. I listened to this as an audiobook -- the subject matter is occasionally dry, and I can't say that I would have enjoyed paging through it as much as I enjoyed listening to it, but I did like it alot.

Judas Unchained, by Peter F. Hamilton -- The second half of the story begun by the Pandora's Star. Hamilton writes excellent space opera, although his previous efforts have been marred by some disappointing endings. (The Night's Dawn trilogy is an excellent read, but you'd think that after 3500 pages of story he'd find a better way to resolve everything.) In this book, humanity suddenly finds itself thrown into a war with an alien race that is powerful, relentless, and utterly merciless. Not going to provide much more detail for fear of spoiling some of the revelations from the first book. Hamilton does a good job of portraying numerous different characters with varying motivations, and he wraps up the story pretty well. Viewed as a whole, I'd say this is his best work yet (although I have to admit to enjoying the process of reading Night's Dawn a bit more). Highly recommended.
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3/22/06 09:49 am - ew

Well, that's something of a first. I just had to stop listening to an audiobook because the contents were so disgustingly nauseating that I feared for my driving ability were I to continue listening to it.

I have a pretty strong stomach and a fairly high tolerance for...disturbing imagery. But the first chapter of Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted had me literally cringing. I've forged ahead, but I think I can safely say that this book is not for the faint of heart or stomach.
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