Apr 30, 2006

Bad movies I love part 6. Coming soon to a theatre near you.

I blogged about The Boondock Saints a while back, but that was before I started the 'Bad Movies I Love' series. I'm surprised it took me this long to include it in my list. Like I said before it's the best bad film I've ever seen.

Set in modern day Boston, two Irish Catholic immigrants decide to take on the underworld with extreme vigilance. William Dafoe, in one of his strangest roles, plays an eccentric FBI agent who tries to track the mysterious, but popular vigilantes.

This movie has all the makings of your typical 90s crime film. Characters that seem to stem straight from a comic book, unbelievable action, and the constant use of the f word makes the movie fit right in with it's genre; however this movie is different. It reminds me of a superhero movie more than a crime film, sans the capes of course. This movie has real style and it shows in it's huge cult following. The Boondock Saints is not a good film, but it has such camp fun I love every minute of it.

Troy Duffy, the film's writer/director, is apparently one of the craziest self centered artists in recent years. With only a script he was given a dream contract by Harvey Weinstein, then co-chairman of Miramax. Duffy and his Safeco Field sized ego blew it all by being an asshole to everyone in Hollywood he encountered including his longtime friends. The deal fell through with Miramax and he became ostracized from Hollywood. The documentary Overnight, made by his scorned friends, chronicles the quick rise and fall of Duffy's short train wreck of a career. It's an interesting film that I recommend. It can be hard to watch given that Duffy makes Tom Cruise seem sane.

In exciting news The Boondock Saints will play on big screens on May 22nd and yes you bet your ass I'll be there. The website where I found this news doesn't have much information as to exactly where it'll be playing, but I'm sure we Seattle people will be accommodated.

Also the studio is releasing a special edition of the film on DVD for you Dogtown junkies.

Boondock Saints courtroom scenes.

"And shepherds we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee. Power hath descended forth from Thy Hand. Our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command. So we shall flow a river forth to Thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be, In Nomeni Patri, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti." - The Boondock Saints

The Boondock Saints. Only one night on the big screen.
The Boondock Saints.

Apr 27, 2006

I can't wait for the backlash.

Years ago buttrock ruled the charts. Bands like Cinderella, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, and Poison made millions off really bad ballads, somewhat catchy riffs, and enough hairspray that escalated the deteriaration of the ozone. Grunge changed all that and the people who rocked out to Winger are suddenly making fun of the whole genre. Kurt Cobain killed the career of many glam rockers and I say good riddance.

More recently Limp Bizkit came and for a short while dominated the rock scene. With somewhat catchy tunes such as "Nookie" the public seemed to really be taken with the band. All of a sudden they became a flash in the pan and it became cool to hate Fred Durst. I'm not sure why this happened, but it did and again most of the people who once listened to them are now ashamed of owning an album and mocking everyone else who still does. Limp Bizkit was not a good band by any means, but they weren't as terrible as Fine Young Cannibals.

Now the point of this post is my frustration in how slow the backlash against System of a Down is taking. I mean they are one of the worst bands I've ever heard and people are still buying their albums while radio DJs are constantly playing the torturous sound of the lead singer's voice. Why haven't people woken up and said 'fuck you' to that band and their record company? The time will come when they stop plaguing us with their horrible sound and I pray it's soon.

"After I heard System of a Down, I thought, I'm actually alive to hear the shittiest band ever. Of all the bands that have gone before and all the bands that'll be in the future, I was around when the worst was around." - Noel Gallagher

While gas prices surge do oil companies feel the pinch that we're experiencing?

In news that should come as no surprise to anyone, Exxon Mobile has seen record profits since January. Gas prices have been gouging personal incomes and yet Exxon, whose board of directors drink the blood of children, have posted the highest quarterly increase in history. They made $8.4 million off your SUV, which you feel you need cause you have 1 child and a gas saving sedan can't haul your simple load of groceries and give you the illusion of safety.

Sorry I got so pissy there.

"The Bush administration said today there is a lot of support for us to attack Iraq. Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, Chevron, they're all lining up." - Jay Leno

$100 gasoline rebates to help deal with prices?

Apr 26, 2006

Thank you for calling MarkAir. This is Mark. How may I help you?

Usually when Corey and I try to accomplish something things go awry. Granted we normally achieve our intended goal, but it's never without it's obstacles. Often times have we found ourselves breaking stuff, getting lost, and/or causing a scene that would later prove quite comedic.

In Corey's early twenties transportation was not his strong suite. Usually something would happen that would make you believe his arrival to any destination was graced by a divine and loving God. Such is the case with MarkAir.

Corey was living in Chicago while I was residing in Bellingham, WA. Corey was coming to the state for a visit and called me to pick him up from the airport.

"What airline are flying with?" I asked.

"MarkAir," he said.

"MarkAir?" I replied.

"Yes MarkAir."

"What the fuck is MarkAir?"

"It's worse than ATA and cheaper too."

"Shit never heard of them. Are you going to be riding in a cargo plane with barnyard animals?"

"Shit probably."

"Well whatever gets you here. Good luck."

"Yeah I'm sure it'll be fine."

On the day of Corey's arrival I ask my roommate Ryon to join me in the drive down to Seatac airport. It's about a couple hours on the road and I would enjoyed the company.

We pull into the airport and walk up to the terminal. We stop and gaze with wonderment at the sign at MarkAir's terminal that stated "Effective immediately MarkAir has postponed it's operations indefinitely. We apologize for the inconvenience."

The airline went bankrupt the day we Corey was supposed to fly out here. There was a group huddled around the sign staring at it and trying to comprehend the obvious. Some of them were glaring for so long you think they believed the sign would magically change to a more positive message right before their eyes. A man turned to me and said "Does this mean they're not flying anyone?"

"Yes I do believe that's what it is saying," I confirmed.

"So my wife's supposed to come in today with them," he stated under the mistaken impression that I gave a good damn. "You think she won't be able to make it?"

"Well not with MarkAir she won't." I said.

"So they're not flying anyone?"

I stared at him for a while wondering what caused his sincere lack of basic comprehension.

"As the sign indicates they will no longer be in the business of flying," I said. I tried not to sound too condescending.

"Jesus what am I going to do?" he asked. Of course I was the best source of giving strangers advice on how to deal with ambiguity.

"I suggest you call her," I said.

"Well I don't know where she's at," he moaned. Keep in mind this happened before cell phones were all the rage. I decided to cut the conversation there.

"Well good luck man," I said.

"Yeah thanks." He seemed genuinely irritated by the fact that I'm not a mystical guru that had all the answers to his dilemma.

The sign had a phone number you could call with questions. I go to the payphone, dial the 800 number, and listen to a recording loop saying "MarkAir has shut down it's operations today and will no longer be providing any air service. We appreciate your business over the years and apologize for any inconvenience." Thanks Mark. That was very helpful.

I called back to my place and got my roommate Carrie on the phone.

"Hey Carrie. Did Corey call?" I asked.

"No. Not that I know of," she said.

"Are there any messages on the machine?"

"Yeah I haven't listened to them."

"Could you play those for me?"

"Sure," she replied.

She hit the button and through the phone I could hear Corey's voice say "Yeah Erik don't come to pick me up MarkAir just went tits up on me. Sorry dude. I'll call you later." I could hear Carrie giggle in the background.

"Thanks kid."

"Sure thing," she said controlling her laughter.

At the time I was a starving student making minimum wage and could barely afford a trip down to Seattle so I was a little perturbed, but mildly amused. I wanted to see Corey, but alas I figured he'd be out soon anyways. I shrugged my shoulders and Ryon and I decided to head out.

We pull out of airport parking to the ticket booth where I pull out my wallet. Oh dear lord I left the cash home. The attendant sighed and had me fill out numerous forms which resulted in the cars behind me honking and yelling various profanities. After what seemed like an hour the attendant let me go and billed my home for the parking fees.

I get home and find Carrie laughing her ass off.

"Corey called again," she said.

"Oh what did he say?" I asked.

"He asked to speak to you and I told him you already left to go get him. He said you were going to be really pissed," she said with a bubbly smile.

"Yeah it was a shitty time. Thanks for relaying the message kid." I was really amused at this point.

Not five minutes later the phone rings.

"Erik," Corey said.

"Thank you for flying MarkAir," I replied. We laughed for a while about this.

"MarkAir. Mark speaking," he said. More laughter ensued.

"Okay, okay. What the hell happened?" I asked.

"Well I went to the airport and went to check in and I see a sign saying that they shut down," he said.

"Yeah we can relate."

"He he. I was pissed at my travel agent so I called her and asked her why she didn't tell me MarkAir went under. She had no idea it happened. Apparently it folded today. Shit man."

"Wow. Couldn't they have done this tomorrow for fuck's sake?"

"No way dude. They had to do it on the day I want to come to Washington."

"Well you get what you pay for."

"I sure do."

Let this be a lesson to you all. It sometimes doesn't pay to fly cheap.

"MarkAir shook up Alaska Airlines and other competitors in December and January by adding new passenger and cargo service within Alaska, including Southeast, and making a bid for the Anchorage-Seattle market. MarkAir's Rogers concedes the company will have to prove itself on the Seattle run." - Jeffrey Richardson, May 1992. MarkAir shutdown in 1995.

Apr 25, 2006

Call centers - outsourced. Technology - outsourced. Motherhood - outsourced.

Yes they've finally done it. They've outsourced surrogant mothers to India. Indian women are willing to carry your child for the low low price of $5000.

Forget the "save the jobs for the US" ideology. Aren't we going to get really tired of exploiting overseas markets? Are we so morally bankrupt that we have women carry our children for a discount price? Is five grande enough for the pain and time spent in childbirth? Wouldn't adoption be a better option than already contributing to the over populated planet? Am I just blowing this out of my ass?


"On jobs, Republicans have failed to pass a long-term highway bill, failed to end costly trade sanctions on U.S. goods, failed to enact tax cuts for U.S. manufacturers, and failed to end tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs, even with a 1.7 million private sector job deficit." - Sheila Jackson Lee

Growth industry: Surrogacy

Apr 24, 2006

Bride and grooms show real distaste for their wedding guests.

I used to be a wedding photographer for many years. Most of the weddings I attended were pretty uneventful, but there was always something irritating about most of them. The one thing that would drive me nuts about that job was the music I had to endure.

Now remember I was at a wedding at least once a week during the season. When I first started shooting weddings in high school there was a constant song that played at at the majority of receptions. That song being Bryan Adam's sappy Robin Hood Prince of Thieves theme 'Everything I do I do it for You'. Many times was this the setting for the couples' first dance. I would stand back with my camera taking shots of the moment while people in attendance would cry. I would over hear such comments as "Oh isn't that lovely? It's their song." Yeah them and about every other couple getting married that year.

About a year went by and the song "I Swear" became the hit of the wedding season. This was more interesting in that fact that you would hear different versions of the horrible song, but it didn't make the experience less painful. What was even more disturbing is that a few couples invoked this tune into the actual ceremony. Every single time this happened I looked at the face of the minister who always had that forced smile that said "If only I weren't a pacifist".

Next up we had Whitney Houston or Dolly Parton belting out "I Will Always Love You". Not only was this one of the most overplayed songs ever, it sent chills into every wedding party. When this song came blaring always too loudly over the simple sound system churches use groomsmen as well as bridesmaids would look at me and give a half grin. I guess my fake smile could not hide my disgust. People in the congregation would often bury their heads in their hands praying that it would be over soon.

What was really funny is the customers who chose the Dolly Parton version felt really proud of their choice. A few times they came to me and commented about how cool they were choosing the Dolly Parton version. When I asked why they told me that everyone was selecting Whitney Houston and they felt like they were the only bride and groom on the planet to choose the busty country singer. I didn't have the heart to tell them about the reality of their chosen Whitney rebellion.

The years went by and those songs slowly died out. What followed was quite possibly the most annoying trend in my short career as a photographer.

The Faith Hill/Leann Rimes/Trisha Yearwood song 'How Do I Live' was a huge success and was destined to be played at the weddings of simple minded folk. This time instead of hearing the version made famous by the record label couples would have a bridesmaid/cousin/sister-in-law once removed stand up in front of the congregation and belt out the tune.

Ye Gods we were brought into the age of the karaoke weddings. Kicking and screaming I went. Given the song was so simple most couples must of thought anyone could sing it well. They were oh so painfully mistaken.

The problem with this song is that it was played mostly within ceremonies so the congregation had no chance to sneak out. When a bad song plays during a reception you'll see a mass exodus take place. Brides and grooms for some reason felt obligated to make the audience endure such American Idolness. They must hate their families.

What's worse about that season is that during every reception the DJ would play the often requested 'Macarena'. Oh how I hated that song from the first day I heard it in a club. I thought at the time "This song is really bad. It's going to go nowhere." A soothsayer I am not.

Everyone would do the simple line dance with glee. Laughter was struck when watching old people try to follow along. Adults would try and teach their children the awful dance. I considered calling Child Protective Services, but I don't think it would fall under their abuse criteria.

Everytime that song came on I would glare at the DJ and he/she always gave me a shrug. Sometimes they would come over and ask me to join them for a smoke and a bitch session about how we loathed everything about the frenzy that was the 'Macarena'.

I left that career shortly after the Spanish duo infested the pop charts with their annoying dance craze. I did learn something from my experience as a photographer. I love my family and friends and if I get married I will never make them suffer through the latest horrible, but popular, pop song. They hear them enough without even wanting to. It's bad enough that some of them endure this blog.

"Are the Democrats going to dance the mandate macarena?" - Dan Rather

Apr 22, 2006

Thank you for contacting your Congressional Representative. Kindly fuck off.

I used to work as an email customer service representative. Numerous people would write to our software company with questions and/or complaints about our products. Many times have I been tempted to write back what exactly I thought of them and their asinine message, but as the good little employee I was I typed words of empathy to the often cerebal impaired.

But oh do I wish I would have that one chance to say what ever I desired. "I'm sorry mam that your internet browser is functioning improperly. It's probably due to the fact that your husband secretly downloads gay porn and consequently infected the system with numerous spyware and viruses. I know you blame us for the error, but really it's the fact that your pig fucking husband would rather see images of male genitalia than look at your old, frigid self. Your lack of attention to proper grammar leads me to assume you are a mindless bitch who loves to abuse customer service representatives with emails that contain foul language, cause you of course are never the problem and the world does in fact owe you a living. It's always somebody else's fault that you haven't changed the oil in your car since the Clinton administration, or the fact that your 17 year old has had carnal knowledge of the entire local college wrestling squad, or the fact that your husband likes viewing man loving on your computer. Please accept my apologies for the bleak life you must lead. Your email leads me to believe that you're on the brink of suicide and I do suggest that you put your whole head in front of the shotgun. Thank you for contacting Erik."

I would probably get fired, if not arrested, for penning such an email. A Congresswoman's staffer though decided to use a rather insulting closing in a letter to a local constituent. In the closing of the letter he writes, "I am honored to serve as your Representative in the U.S. Congress. I think you're an asshole."

Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo) promises to get to the bottom of this and is highly embarrassedsed about the incident. I for one salute the staff member for having the courage to tell someone what they really thought, diplomacy be damned. We need more honesty in politics.

"China is not only formidable, it is also aggressively building its own economic infrastructure. Just a few years from now, China will rival the U.S. and the European Union in global market power. It already has surpassed us in population." - Jo Ann Emerson

Emerson puzzled how obscenity appeared in letter to constituent
We Love Jo Ann Emerson

Apr 21, 2006

I'm no doctor, but I would recommend against this.

People try to smuggle devices into places in very creative ways. Many stories are told about people smuggling drugs in various human cavities. Smugglers swallow condoms filled with smack and collecting the contents after it passes through the digestive system.

This story tops them all. A woman decides to smuggle a live 10x4 inch grenade, as well as some pot, into a jail in El Salvador. She was trying to accomplish this by hiding the items in her vagina.

Yes I know the female genatalia can pass a child, but still this can't be comfortable. I'm not a woman, but I would never put an explosive device near my genatils, much less in it. Perhaps I'm different.

"Police who inspected the M-67 grenade said it was in working condition." - AP.

Prison Visitor Allegedly Uses Vagina To Smuggle Live Grenade

Chinese president heckled.

The visit by the Chinese President to the White House was largely uneventful from a political standpoint. No new agreements were made in spite of many issues that concern the world such as trade, human rights abuses, and Taiwan.

The only news to come out of this was a heckler as well as other various protests outside the White House. During Hu Jintao's speech to the public reporter Wenyi Wang started yelling in Engrish. She voiced her displeasure about Jintao'soppressivee regime stating "President Bush, stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong" and "President Bush, stop him from killing". Her protests were in reference to the reported detention and torture of Falun Gong practitioners.

She was also heard demanding that "Donna Martin graduates" as well as "love is a battlefield." Okay I made that up.

The visit was interesting in the fact that China, with it's brutal human rights violations as well as their staunch opposition to basic freedoms, is being given the red carpet treatment and handled with kid gloves by the US. If China had nothing to offer economically we'd be handling them like we do South Korea or the former Soviet Union. I firmly believe this century will belong to Beijing and our current foreign policy seems to indicate the State Department is well aware of this.

"Democracy in China is like Viagra; no such thing as free elections." - George Montgomery

Bush, Hu agree to disagree as friends

Apr 20, 2006

Blast from the past: Food edition.

If you've ever been to college, or been poor, or both, you probably remember eating ramen noodles. I ate it on a regular basis ever since high school. I remember my famous concoction of shrimp flavored ramen/tuna casserole. It was brilliant, or so I thought.

Most cheap ramen (is there expensive ramen?) has the texture of squid and flavor packets that contain so much salt you yearn for your cholesterol. Ramen is one of the few foods that has the distinct honor of causing malnutrition and indigestion at the same time. After a few months of eating the stuff you are dehydrated, skinny, but alive.

Once my income got better I tossed the 8 for a dollar meal aside slowly upgrading to a seemingly normal diet. I do sometimes miss the hard times spent in my teens to early twenties and how much more I enjoyed dining out on the infrequent basis. When you live on Hamburger Helper and ramen noodles Denny's becomes a delicase.

For all of you that once dined on the meal that's only nutritional fact was keeping you alive, barely, this taste test article of all that is ramen is for you.

"I had Ramen noodle soup today for the first time. On the plus side, it costs 5 cents per serving, which is amazingly cheap. On the down side, it contains more salt than the Atlantic Ocean. If shipwreck survivors in lifeboats drank Ramen noodle soup, they would go crazy and jump overboard." - Bill White

Revisiting ramen, an Asian staple but an American afterthought

Apr 19, 2006

I got my 15 minutes.

My blog was noted in a Time Magazine article back in October. Yep Erik's Ramblings was made famous by Time. My readership probably increased to 5. Click the link below to read the article.

"And ERIK'S RAMBLINGS warned of more carnage, imagining a PETA ad with "the Care Bears being shot by some mad hunter drunk on lite beer."" - Time Magazine

Time Magazine Blogwatch
My post the article was referencing

Bad movies I love part 5.

Keanu Reeves has had a blessed career. Starting off with the role that was meant for him in 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure', followed by a lackluster sequel, he graced the screen with good looks, charm, and a boyishly naive nature. Speaking in monosyllabic dialogue he took on roles that seemed perfect for him (Parenthood, My Own Private Idaho, Speed) and appeared in movies that made you believe he gave great oral to the casting director (Much Ado About Nothing, Bram Stoker's Dracula).

Recently audiences flocked to the highly overrated Matrix trilogy enjoying the special effects and thought provoking concept while overlooking the ridiculously bad dialogue and acting. That trilogy made Keanu a huge star and we'll be seeing more of him in the future. Few fans though remember the movie that cemented the belief that Keanu was nothing more than a pretty face.

'Point Break' is a horrible movie by all standards, but yet when I'm flicking through channels with nothing to do and come across it I will watch it to the end. 'Point Break' has the dubious honor of having some of the worst actors of it's time such as Patrick Swayze and Lori Petty. Even Anthony Kiedis has a hard time delivering such banal lines and he plays a drugged out beach bum. The direction seems almost nonexistent and the plot is just damn silly.

'Point Break' starts off with a rookie FBI agent (Reeves) partnering with the crazy, but always entertaining, Gary Busey. After a series of bank robberies Busey believes the criminals are in fact surfers. Since Reeves already has the accent it only seems logical to send him undercover to infiltrate the band of heavily armed wave riders. Reeves soon befriends Patrick Swayze, a local surfing legend who takes Reeves on a wild ride showing him the spiritual side of hitting each wake all the while hiding his identity as gang leader in the bank robbing spree.

This is where it gets confusing. Reeve's character having never surfed before enters the film talking like a surfer whereas Swayze, who's the guru of the ocean, talks the same as he did in 'Roadhouse'. How the hell did this happen?

Oh and Reeves falls in love with Petty. Why I'm not sure. I guess there had to be a love interest somewhere.

I remember watching the film for the first time with my high school sweetheart. She absolutely loved it while I sat there wondering if it was a comedy or an action drama. I was hard pressed to think that some of the scenes weren't deliberately funny. She educated me on where I shouldn't have laughed, which was almost the entire film.

And that's why I enjoy 'Point Break'. It's just damn funny; however unintentional. The action is fun. The surfing scenes are well done. The biggest attraction I have for this horrendous film is the breath taking skydiving sequence. It was one of the reasons I finally chose to jump out of an airplane.

Point Brokeback:

"It's basic dog psychology, bro. If you scare them, get them pissing down their leg, they submit... you control them. If you project weakness, you draw aggression... that's how people get hurt. Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true. You project strength to avoid conflict." - Bodhi, Patrick Swayze.

Some people don't deserve the right to breathe.

Maria Ramoutar witnessed a firery car crashed. Does she:

a) Immediatley call emergency services.
b) Try and assist the occupants of the car.
c) Pull out her cell phone and video the horrific event.

If you picked c you are correct. The woman whips out her phone and plays journalist, probably hoping to sell the footage. The story gets better as the next day Maria learns it was her sister that died in the wreckage. Now all of a sudden she wishes she would've done something to try and save her. After all strangers deserve to have bystanders stand idly by and watch their gruesome fate without a pain in the ass good Samaritan trying to mess with destiny.

"One of the ill effects of cruelty is that it makes the bystanders cruel," - Thomas Fowell Buxton

Woman Unknowingly Videotapes Sister's Demise

Apr 18, 2006

Our fascination with things that don't matter.

Today is a huge news day. China's President Hu Jintao has arrived in the US meeting with large corporations as a sign the dictator will open more trade with us. Six retired generals are still calling for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation to which he not surprisingly declined. Iran has threatened force against any nation who opposes their nuclear program. Their President was quoted as "cutting off the hands of the aggressors." The White House is currently making a large change of staff, which they hope this PR stunt will make it seem they're willing to change and thus may make voters less weary of voting Republican in the upcoming election. After the recent suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel is considering escalating retaliatory strikes in the region and it's parliament is reconsidering the wisdom of scaling back it's borders to the British accord.

What news story do you care about though? Yes it's the birth of Tom and Katie's baby. Or the Duke rape case. Or a missing blonde. These headlines have dominated almost all major news sites and you insist on clicking the links for more details. Sigh.

"I didn't become an actor to have power, but it just happens that I have it and so I have a lot of opportunities." - Tom Cruise

Hu arrives in U.S. ready for business
Rumsfeld says he hasn't considered resigning
Bush chooses Portman as next budget director
Bush: All options possible in dealing with Iran

Overrated films part 14.

I was sitting around with friends this weekend talking about movies. We debated the end of 'Apocalypse Now' and discussed the merits of the career of John Ford. We turned to the now seemingly old discussion of 'Brokeback Mountain'.

None of the friends have seen it nor did they share any interest in doing so. They all agreed that they were tired of the supposed cliche that if you haven't seen it and enjoyed it you are somehow homophobic. They seemed proud of their rebellious stance against anyone who accuses them of being gay bashers. I've never met anyone so simple minded to make such accusations and I hope not to. Most guys are simply not into love stories period. I'm one of the few that do enjoy them and I make no apologies for it.

I did feel similar accusations when 'The Passion of the Christ' came out. There was this "if you don't see it and like it you're not a good Christian" mentality. I find the statement ridiculous, but I do find it funny that conservatives who preached this found themselves under similar attacks from the left recently.

'The Passion of the Christ' is a good movie. It has great elements. The acting is superb. The cinematography is fantastic. I've never seen a better representation of Satan nor Mary on film. It sets an amazing mood for the gospel adaptation, but it really doesn't have any plot and that I find frustrating as hell. I understand that Passion plays are only about the trial and crucifixion, but to release a major film and not tell your audience anything more about the main character than showing him get an extremely violent flogging is disingenuous to the narrative. The end is also weak and should have been cut to director Gibson's original intended ending of a recreation of the Pieta. Sorry if I spoiled it for you.

The movie is told through Mary's (the virgin, not the plot point of a pulp Dan Brown novel) eyes and it's powerfully executed (no pun intended). That's only if you know the gospels. I took my then girlfriend to see the movie and she left the theatre thinking 'well it sucked to be him.' Yes she's never been to a mass in her life.

The controversial film opened to huge box office success and is considered one of the most successful movies ever. Numerous people were claiming instant conversions to Christianity. It was amazing how a subtitled film that wasn't directed by Ang Lee was packing the auditoriums. Controversy was abound as numerous media sources were reporting it's alleged anti-Semitic slant. Critics were split on the quality of this film and it's vocal proponents, including it's director, staunch Catholic Mel Gibson, were quick to defend the story flaws expressing the critique was due to anti-Christian sentiment. My walk with Christ should never be called into question because of my enjoyment of a Hollywood film.

Passion of the Christ clips with introduction by Mel Gibson:

"A film so narrowly focused as to be inaccessible for all but the devout." - Kenneth Turan

Apr 17, 2006

Is chivalry dead? Should it be?

I read an interesting article talking about chivalry and how it's dead amongst us. The author sees to feel that men will no longer do simple chivalrous acts, such as give up a seat on the bus and/or subway. Unlike those men who gave up their seats on the lifeboats of the Titanic so that women and children may live, modern man will no longer settle for sacrificing a simple convenience for woman nor child.

Why did this happen? Many men seem to be using the asanine excuse that women want equal rights they should be treated as equals in every way. While this can make sense to some degree I have something to say to those guys.

You candy ass. You bitch and moan and use the lame excuse if she's getting paid as much as me I won't give up my place in line at the local Starbucks because I can't afford any time I spend waiting to pay for an overpriced coffee. You are not men. You have gone soft in your consumer lifestyles and I hope some girl kicks your pansy ass when you knock her over to grab a place in line for some mind numbing sporting event. You claim your masculinity by watching porn, drinking really bad lite beer, and storing useless sporting facts in your feeble brain, but you can't change a bulb without calling tech support. You need your hand held and your scared. You're scared of women. How does that feel you worthless pile of monkey shit? You can't simply thank women for carrying on mankind by simply opening a door?

Of course I've never done any real chivalrous acts except for maybe opening a car door or smashing a huge bug and making it look like I just fought off Vietcong guerilla fighters, but I'll be damned if I will somehow be lumped with the middle class pricks that call themselves men nowadays. They couldn't even start a campfire.

"I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophists, economists and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is gone forever." - Edmund Burke

In Search Of Chivalry

Apr 16, 2006

And in this corner weighing in at infinity pounds. Give a big round of applause for....GOD!!!!

Vince McMahon, chairman of the WWE, seems to be running out of ways of pushing the boundaries of good taste. Not content with using story lines of people mounting corpses, racially charged stereotypes of Arabs, porno actors posing as wrestlers, and officially giving the title of a group of his female employees (wrestlers) hoes, he now has brought on a new athlete...cough...cough...actor into the ring. The new person to be grazing the ring is none other than the almighty.

Yes Jehovah will be throwing down in a tag team match. What's strange is that this time no seems to be raising a huge fit about it. Either no one watches that crap anymore, which I believe to be true, or no is surprised by how low that man will go to create something he deems "fresh". Maybe the radical right has finally taken the point of letting the man dig his own grave rather than start a huge controversy that'll only up his ratings.

As shallow a man as McMahon is I don't believe we'll see Muhammad in the ring any time soon. Maybe it's because he really does care about the Muslim world. Then again he may just be freaked out by the possibility of someone blowing themselves up in an arena during a Wrestlemania event. Not that any peace loving Muslim would do that. Only extremists would do that. (Insert any other disclaimer about how I just didn't lump the majority of Muslims with Hamas here...)

It would be so cool if the apocalypse came right when "God" stepped into the ring. I'm kind of strange that way.

"And Jehovah hath given commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image; I will make thy grave; for thou art vile." - Nahum 1:14

Forgive them, Father

Hear ye. Hear ye. Nathan is with us.

Crystal has sent pics of her and Jason's newborn baby Nathan. Aww isn't he adorable.

Welcome Nathan to this world. May life grant you the best. May you be strong, smart, kind, and happy.

I only wish I left you a better Earth than when I entered here.

"The boy's name Nathan is pronounced NAY-than. It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "God has given." - ThinkBabyNames.com

Happy Easter.

This weekend proved to be quite the Easter weekend. Usually Easters have been hit or miss for me. Some have been dull, some have been fun, and some have been down right weird. This Easter was fun, yet interesting at the same time.

Saturday kicked off with helping Joe and Megan move into their new home. The house is a nice one and the move was pretty painless. Upon arriving at the new house I found it to be painted in a lavender color with dark purple trim. It offended every fiber of my being. When the former owners came by to pick up mail I wanted to stab them in the eye just for making me look at it. I hate painting, but I offered Joe my services in getting a new color for his house.

Megan fired up what was the most beautiful grill I have ever seen. Completely stainless steel, it had a natural gas attachment that hooked up straight to the house. I offered to grill the burgers which made everyone happy, none more than me though. I love grilling. Every time I stand in front of a grill I want to rip off my shirt Hulk Hogan style and beat my hairy chest while screaming a battle cry that would make a Mongol horde flee in terror. As I cook the meat I get a sense of manliness not known to anyone that hasn't worked the steel tongs. Grilling beef is always better with a sense of danger.

Later that night Joe put on the UFC and we sat and watched people beat the living shit out of each other. There were some great fights that night and fun was had by all.

On the way home I decided to drop into the local grocery store to pick out an Easter gift for the Pretty Girl. I was standing in the floral section where I noticed two other guys were there by their lonesome. We all gave that man nod to each other, acknowledging the fact that there were about a thousand different places we'd rather be than standing in a floral department making the almost nonsensical quest of trying to make out significant others happy with gifts we know nothing about. That nod is used often by me in clothing stores, boutiques, etc. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I believe the man nod says millions.

Today was pretty uneventful other than the fact it actually didn't rain in Seattle. The Pretty Girl and I went to church followed by a nice breakfast. Tonight I go into work with too little sleep once again.

I'll tell my favorite Easter joke passed on to be me by Andrew:

What's the best beer for Easter?
Rolling Rock

Happy Easter from the folk at Erik's Ramblings.

"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there." - Clarence W. Hall

Apr 14, 2006


For the last two days I've been under the weather, drinking lots of orange juice, and eating chicken soup. It sure as hell isn't pleasant. I'll start posting more when I feel better.

"Every time I get the flu, with a really high temperature, I start to hallucinate," - Joshua Homme

Apr 11, 2006

Star Wars kid wins lawsuit.

Unless you're new to browsing you've probably seen the infamous Star Wars kid video. For those of you unfamiliar a 15 year old kid filmed himself having a geek moment. Holding a golf ball retriever the pudgy adolescent got lost in his own little world pretending he was a jedi swinging the retriever around with seemingly reckless abandon.

One of his schoolmates ran across the video and with a little computer work they added lightsaber effects and sound as well as music. This was distributed around the school and was then posted online. The video was so amusing it became a hit worldwide and the nerdy kid turned from unknown socially awkward teenager to internet celebrity.

The phenomenon raised by the video was huge. Web sites received numerous hits from people wanting to see the footage. I myself received many IM messages and emails from friends telling me that I must see it. The kid also saw himself characterized in a Tony Hawk video game. A petition led by Star Wars fans was created to have George Lucas cast the boy in Star Wars Episode III.

Now a lot of us have had our geek moments. Whether it be singing bad music in traffic or dressing in a ridiculous fashion for an upcoming sports event or sci-fi movie, many of us can relate, although we'd never admit we looked that ridiculous. I myself have swung a lightsaber toy in my day. As a 13 year old I brandished a toy gun pretending I was a Wolverine from the infamous communist hating film Red Dawn. Some of these moments we keep private cause with geek moments in sports it's acceptable, but the same does not hold true for sci-fi fans. The difference is while some of us may have been caught air guitaring to Metallica our nerdy displays have never become the object of worldwide ridicule.

While the pranksters may not have intended for this to be so huge the boy claims he experienced massive depression after his newfound celebrity. Everyone he knew teased him about the video; classmates, relatives, etc. He eventually dropped out of school claiming that everyone mocked him at every given moment.

His fame brought him angst and guaranteed he'd never have a prom date that wasn't his sister. For the rest of his life he'll carry that banner of being the Star Wars kid. Imagine trying to get a date with that credential. Close your eyes and picture him in his 30s working some job when all of a sudden a fellow employee outs his unintentional acting resume.

The guy sued the kids behind the distribution of the video, which was recently settled for an undisclosed sum.

I feel bad for the guy, but I still laughed when saw the video. I still do actually.

"There was about 100 people in those halls. It was total chaos . . . Any opportunity was good enough to shout 'Star Wars!' It was simply unbearable, totally. It was impossible to attend class." - Ghyslain Raza, Star Wars kid.

'Star Wars Kid' cuts a deal with his tormentors

Apr 10, 2006

Interesting conversations with random strangers.

Today started off good as I awoke to my phone ringing. Amy called and I haven't heard from her in a long time. We talked about her upcoming birthday gift which is always me taking her to a concert. I told her about Snow Patrol coming back to Seattle to which she sounded excited.

After the conversation I decided to hit the grocery store for some lunch in my work week. Since I work graveyards I almost have to make lunch as the only thing around here that's open at night is Jack in the Box. Since my diet I've sworn off most fast food and thus eat a steady influx of soup, salad, apple, and yogurt.

I was in the yogurt aisle filling my cart with strawberry cheescake flavor when someone taps me on the shoulder.

"Is that any good?" a female's voice asked. I turned to see a mid-twenties girl with jet black hair, blue eyes, and a shapely figure. I pause in shock that this hottie was talking to me. This is not a normal occurrence.

"Yes," I reply. "I'm a big fan of the strawberry cheescake yogurt. I often eat vanilla as well. Not a fan of the cherry flavor."

"You see I like Yoplait," she says. "But it's too expensive."

"It is expensive, but with Lucerne you can get 20 for $8 today and I really don't notice the difference," I say as I continue to fill my cart.

She seemed really torn as she eyeballed the products. Her purchase of fermented milk was a critical issue, one she needed help with.

"Do you eat yogurt a lot?" she asked.

"Yup," I said.

"I see you eat salads."

"That's right."

"And soup?" she says as she peers into my cart.

"Yeah I like soup."

"Mind if I look through your cart?" she asked. This kind of weirded me out. Not that I had any embarrassing prescriptions for anal warts in there, but I've never been asked this in my entire life.

"Uhhh...sure," I said. What could it hurt.

She pawed through the items pausing every now and then when looking at a product. She was intrigued by soup labels and the nutrition contents of rice.

"Thanks. I learned a lot," she said.

"Such as?" At this point my curiosity peaked.

"You can learn a lot about someone by looking at their groceries."

"What did you learn about me?"

"You are frugal, but not so much that you compromise flavor. You want to eat healthy. You like to do things yourself. By this analysis I decided to trust your judgment on yogurt." Wow was she way off the mark. I didn't have the heart to tell her though. She seemed very proud of her analysis.

"Wow you should market that talent. And for the record I don't always eat healthy and I'm not that great with money."

"I might just make cash off that and I do think I'm right about you."

"You could be a grocery psychic. Sort of the Miss Cleo of Safeway."

"I could do that. Thanks for the idea. I'll let you know what I think of strawberry cheescake yogurt."

"Great. I also demand a percentage of the profits if you do that. Have a good night."

"You too. Bye now darling," she said in a fake Jamaican accent.

I walked away having no earthly idea of what just happened.

“I opened-up a yogurt, underneath the lid it said, "Please try again." because they were having a contest that I was unaware of. I thought maybe I opened the yogurt wrong. ...Or maybe Yoplait was trying to inspire me... "Come on Mitchell, don't give up!" An inspirational message from your friends at Yoplait, fruit on the bottom, hope on top.” - Mitch Hedberg

Someone stole my idea.

Some entrepreneur in the UK opened up a car wash. While this is normally not something that's very interesting the unique twist he gave to it lends the car bathing establishment to make headlines. A customer can pay bikini clad women to wipe down their automobile. For an extra fee the girls go topless.

The Sun, a source which is not known for it's stellar journalistic integrity, reported that the business, entitled Bubbles and Babes, makes up to 900 GBP a week. That's over $1500.

As with most 'exotic' establishments this one is not without controversy. Locals are complaining that the car wash is attracting peeping Toms and accusing the business as promoting a prostitution like atmosphere.

Now I understand the opposition, but which is worse, having adults taking off their clothes for horny males who want to look at boobs or have high school cheerleaders wearing skimpy clothing wash cars for perverted 40 something males? Now if you'll excuse me I have to go to the parking lot to get my dirty VW scrubbed.

"Oh my gosh. I had to work out six days a week, two and a half hours a day. I was on a South Beach diet. I cut sugar out. Trust me, when someone tells you you have to be in a red bikini on a big screen, every single girl in my place would go to the gym." - Jessica Simpson

Lather at topless car wash

Apr 9, 2006

Belated birthday, complete with plunger.

The Pretty Girl gave me the impression that we were having dinner with Brandon and Casey on Saturday night at the Claim Jumper. She kept talking about craving a meal from there and if Brandon and Casey, who live 2 1/2 hours a way, couldn't make it we could catch a movie at the Redmond Town Center.

We pull into the restaurant and she asked that I drop her off while I find parking. I told her if a table wasn't ready to find someplace at the bar. I walk into the place immediately heading into the bar and couldn't find her anywhere. I got back to the waiting area and see her who said she already had a table. This surprised me as the waiting area seemed pretty full.

We walked to the back and I saw a table filled with Paul, Joe, Megan, Noah, Shari, Corey, The Jiggaman, and Russ. I had no idea what was going on and was shocked to see The Jiggaman as he told me earlier that day that he was playing cards that evening.

The Pretty Girl announced that this was my belated birthday dinner as I spent mine in North Carolina at Shari and Noah's wedding. Everyone gave me a funny look as I probably had a puzzled face. We sat down where I received gifts and drank car bombs. Dinner was excellent as always and good times were had by all.

Elli and Friend (yes that's his given name) showed up with a jewel encrusted plunger. This was in honor of the time I almost destroyed her toilet. After spending hours with her plunger I gave up. I plugged it up so bad she had to call the apartment maintenance group and a guy with a huge snake tool finally got it functioning again.

Later that night we went to a dive bar and drank and listened to bad music. After I got home I laid my head on my pillow and realized that life has been great to me and I owe a lot of it to some of the people that were at that table.

Today I woke up late for 9am church so The Pretty Girl and I went to the 11am service. I've had little sleep this weekend as I was trying to live the life of a day person while I work graveyards through the week. I sat in church and started to nod off. I was prodded to stay awake, which proved difficult cause I wasn't sure where the pastor was going with a lot of his stories. I'm sure he noticed. Poor guy.

We had lunch later with Brandon and Casey, who couldn't make it to dinner last night. They brought the little one Wyatt which was a treat. I handed Brandon and Casey a learning toy which Brandon first remarked, "This looks really loud." Yeah I'm kind of evil that way.

Tonight I sit at work, sleep depraved as all hell, wondering how in God's name I'll make it through the night, but happy.

"You do live longer with bran, but you spend the last fifteen years on the toilet." - Alan King

Apr 7, 2006

Playboy Indonesia, complete with no nudity.

MSNBC dons the headline "Playboy sparks excitement in Muslim Indonesia." The major news outlet failed to note that Playboy also sparks excitement in 13 year old boys hiding under the covers with a flashlight as well as in the bathrooms of amateur bloggers.

Indonesia has instituted pornography laws which clearly goes against the Playboy philosophy. In a clever turn the magazine decided to release a naked free issue to the most populous Muslim nation in the world. Militants in the area are threatening to use force if necessary to have the publication removed from news stands.

"According to our commitment, if they (Indonesian government) don't withdraw it then we will act in our own way, the forceful way. Our crew will clearly hound the editors ... We even oppose the name Playboy," said Tubagus Sidiq, a leader of a militant group.

What's interesting about the article is given the thriving black market sex industry in Indonesia the fanatics seem to hate Playboy more because of it's ties to the west, not because of any nipples.

What's even more interesting is how MSNBC goes out of their way to paint the Indonesian government as moderate. Given their foreign policy, especially with the US backed genocide displayed in East Timor and their small factions of ultra-conservative Islamic driven police force this seems absurd. Would MSNBC consider the Bush administration moderate?

While most of the countries Muslims practice a non violent form of Islam are they enough to stand up to the brutal groups that dominate the headlines in Asian media? Are peace loving Christians enough to stop the Republicans? Is it even fair to compare the two? Am I just blowing this out of my ass?

"Different or not, Playboy is Playboy. It is a porn magazine. Those are the words of the businessmen. The magazine will damage the morality of the nation." - Irfan Awas

Playboy sparks excitement in Muslim Indonesia

Put it on paper.

Yesterday I walked to the post office to find a rather large woman with the fashion sense of a Motley Crue groupie. Dressed in tight jeans, jean jacket, and a low cut Poison shirt, this woman had a sense of madness in her eyes. She had the look of a deranged Hamas soldier and this lady had a mission. She walked, or actually waddled, up to me with a presence that made me knew she was hell bent on getting her way.

"Put it on paper," she yelled to me as I kept walking. "Put it on paper. Put it on paper."

I had no earthly idea what this woman was talking about, but I decided not to ask. Crazy people are sometimes best ignored, especially if you get the sense that they may be armed with bowie knife. Prozac and cutlery do not mix well and if acknowledged the results can turn ugly.

"Put it on paper," the woman kept yelling as I sped up my pace. She seemed to not care that I wasn't paying attention to her.

"I want your name, business card, and laptop," she suddenly chimed. I was taken aback by her change in demands. I had no business cards or laptop on me. She stated this a few times. Finally I snapped.

"What the hell do you want lady?" I asked the woman. She paused and gave me a look that showed half insanity and half stupidity. She wasn't sure how to respond at first, but as most people who are talked into a corner she soon found a retort.

"I want your name, business card, and laptop," she repeated.

"I'm not giving you my name," I said. "Nor do I have a business card and do you see a friggin laptop on me?"

"I want your name..." She was getting insistent.

"...No. Why the hell do you want those?"

Her look changed from rabid to confused.

"Put it on paper," she replied.

"No. Go home and take your meds and leave me the fuck alone," I yelled. I started walking towards the post office and found her strolling behind begging me to place something on paper. As I approached the doors a postal employee came out and yelled at her to get off the post office grounds or he would call the cops. It was amazing how quickly she bolted out of there.

The employee's actions led me to assume she's been there before, at least that day demanding people put something on paper. I'm kind of curious as to what the paper was or what exactly she wanted down on it. Maybe it's best I be ignorant.

"The edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." - Hunter S. Thompson

Apr 6, 2006

Overrated films part 13.

This post may make some of you question my film taste if not my sanity.

Quentin Tarantino has had a dream career. Starting off as a video store clerk he made the wildly successful indie film 'Resevoir Dogs' followed by the mega hit 'Pulp Fiction'. Those two films changed cinema in the early to mid 90s as Hollywood produced a slew of small budget crime films. Already established actors, such as John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Harvey Keitel, saw a much needed career boost and became household names again, if not for the first time. Quentin established himself as an elite director who seemed to do no wrong in his fans eyes.

Then came 'Jackie Brown'. It opened as a disappointment to most, but some Tarantino apologists went to great lengths to praise the film's very few strong points.

After a long abscense, Tarantino brought us Kill Bill Vol 1, which was a great tribute to the films that inspire him. Mixing doses of Hong Kong cinema, spaghetti westerns, 70s music, and many other sources, the film was a welcome addition to his body of work. Audiences loved the fast paced action, witty dialogue, and stylized photography. It's a simple revenge story with nothing really deep going on, but I kinda enjoyed it. It wasn't great, but it was a fun, unpretentious romp.

Kill Bill Vol 2 came out a year later to much hoopla. Critics were praising it right and left calling it one of the best films of the year. Most of them were claiming it was better than Vol 1. Geek movie sites, such as Ain't it Cool News, gave it such rousing kudos that you'd think Harry Knowles lost his mind. Most of those sites will apologize for any film bandwagon though.

I found Kill Bill Vol 2 the most overrated film of recent years. The movie, unlike it's prequel, has a ridiculous slow pace. The dialogue is pretty dull with the exception of the now famous Superman speech. What made the movie a downer for me is that they gave away the ending in it's first hour and I had to wade through often boring dialogue for it to come to a close. The training sequence is the only reason to watch the film as the ending lacked any sort of suspense or urgency. I know a lot of people would disagree, but I don't get how they sat in the theatre and truly felt they had no idea what was going to happen. My buddy Joe actually woke me up in theatre.

The film does have it's merits, such as a great action sequence, an amusing soundtrack, and decent acting. While Kill Bill Vol 1 mostly used elements of Hong Kong cinema it's sequel decided to borrow mostly from spaghetti westerns, a genre I'm mostly unfamiliar with nor do I even care for.

The movies were intended to be shown together as one long picture. I have to agree with Miramax to cut the films in two as I could never sit through them back to back. Given the fun and excitement the first one delivered, Vol 2 was a real let down.

Kill Bill trailer:

"For those seeking the vibrant innovation of Tarantino's first movies or the sheer rush of Kill Bill, Vol. 1, Vol. 2 feels like a dulled blade." - Mark Caro

Apr 4, 2006

Yet another story that makes me want to laugh and cry.

I use to support an online multiplayer role playing game here at work. Customers would call in and complain about the billing or and/or comment on the game. Most of the time I would get calls from people who would want to cancel their kids or spouses accounts claiming they were either spending too much time with the game and neglecting school, work, and their families.

I've never played any of these games, nor do I have any interest in them. I prefer to play multiplayer games with friends while they are physically present, basically within striking distance. It's more fun for me that way and the banter that is raised during gaming like that can be hilarious. For many hours my friends and I would play Mario Kart or Goldeneye taunting each other with phrases that would mean nothing to anyone outside our small gaming circle.

I heard a lot of messed up stories from online gamers while supporting the game. Many customers would complain about their significant others leaving them for someone they met while playing the game. Parents would bitch at me about their children skipping school to play. I even had someone's boss call me and ask me if I could cancel the account and make sure his employee could never play again.

These gamers seem to be creating their own reality and enjoy the social interaction. They get to meet various people all over the world as well as hide behind the threshold of anonymity. They can be anyone they want to be in the online world and in extreme cases it can destroy their lives.

Recently a player in World of Warcraft (WoW) died in real life. A friend of his logged into his account and set up a funeral in the game where players can pay respects to their fallen friend. While this seemed silly to me at first look I actually think now this is kind of touching. There are many people I communicate with on this blog who I'll probably never see or talk to in real life. If one of them died I would have no means of attending a real memorial service seeing as I have no method of contacting their families. Even if I did it would seem kind of strange showing up and telling their friends that I only knew them through the computer. I probably wouldn't even be aware that they did pass on thinking that they just stopped blogging. Players in online games seem to form a strong bond with each other so I guess a memorial service is not so ridiculous.

Many players showed up to this online funeral and mourned the player as best they could. In a stunning display of jackassery another large group of players ambushed the service catching the mourners with their guards down. They proceeded to kill off every character in attendance.

Now as stupid as this online funeral seems I would be pissed as hell if I were mourning someone and some jackass decided to somehow disrupt this. To the online gamers this must seem as despicable as the Rev Fred Phelps. The assholes made a video of this, which you can see hear.

As sick as this is maybe the mourners learned something. These games are taken way to seriously and they cannot expect the anonymous world of the web to respect each other. Anyone who's done any amount of simple communication, such as newsgroups or blogging, would know this. Perhaps funerals are best held in real life. Know where to draw the line between fantasy and reality, cause really it's just a game.

"I hope azshira's dad dies of a heart attack, then at that funeral some guy runs in naked and pushes the coffin over and runs around slapping people screaming LOL OWNED then releases a video of it." - Anonymous critic of the ambushers.

WoW... An Online RPG Funeral Gets Ambushed

Update: Apparently these funerals are nothing new. Here's one for a girl who neglected her health to play WoW and payed the ultimate price.

Funeral in World of Warcraft

Microsoft to malware victims: Nuke your system from orbit. I'm not making this up.

Malware, commonly known as spyware, has become a serious problem for online users. While spam can be simply annoying, malware can infect your system and compromise your data as well as cause the machine to perform eradictly. Your operating system can get malware by simply browsing to a site or downloading an attachment.

Today most spyware designers have as much respect as neo-Nazis. Many of our customers scream and moan about their infected systems and wish they could view porn more easily. I mean after all why should someone risk their computer's security when they want to view images of celebrity nipple slips and the latest amateur Asian gang bang.

Microsoft Security expert, Mike Danseglio, states the best thing to do when infected is to wipe the system and start over, which is annoying since most people find malware on their machine on a weekly basis, if not daily. His admission to malware being unbeatable is strange at best. The following quote from him is priceless:

"In some cases, there really is no way to recover without nuking the systems from orbit."

I'll tell my customers to get right on it Bill Paxton style.

"Malware has reached epidemic proportions today: Only focused and coordinated efforts will help the world computing community to oppose the computer underground effectively." - Natalya Kaspersky, CEO Kaspersky Labs

Microsoft: Often, Malware is Unbeatable

It was only a matter of time.

I'm surprised when I hear reports about grown adults soliciting sex to minors online. Not only do I find the practice sick, but I can't imagine anyone doing this knowing that so many people get busted. It was only a matter of time before someone really high profile would get nailed.

But wait, it just happened. Press Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security Brian J. Doyle was arrested for allegedly soliciting favors from a 14 year old online. The 14 year old turned out to be a cop. According to police, Doyle sent explicit videos to the "girl" as well as chatting in a sexual manner.

The dumb bastard also gave her information such as his government issued cell phone number, which led authorities straight to his home. Judging from his pic I don't believe the guy will do well in prison. Broom handles will bring on a whole new meaning to him.

"Doyle later had a telephone conversation with an undercover deputy posing as the teenager and encouraged her to purchase a web camera to send graphic images of herself to him, the sheriff's office said." - Fox News

DHS Press Secretary Arrested on Child Seduction Charges

Prep school girls wanting to end women's suffrage.

Some stories make me want to laugh and cry at the same time. A high schooler seemed to be having difficulty coming up with ideas for a video project. After much thought he decided he would go to a local all girls prep school and see if he could get any of the students to sign a petition ending women's suffrage. Surprisingly, or not for your cynical bastards, many females thought it would be a great idea to place their signatures on it. Some were actually very vocal about their support in ending suffrage. You can view the video here.

Prep schools seem to be overrated. If you're not familiar with what women's suffrage really is, please punch yourself in the face multiple times.

"Suffrage is a common right of citizenship. Women have the right of suffrage. Logically it cannot be escaped." - Victoria Woodhull

Padua students ‘furious’ after prank video shot at school airs on the Web

Apr 3, 2006

Let the joyous news be spread

Tom Delay is no longer seeking reelection for Congress and is making his plans to leave the hallowed halls of the legislative branch. I for one could not be happier.

I guess he'll be busy with his pending legal troubles in Texas and possibly with the feds. If anything good has come out of the Abramhof scandal it's this. One hopes that Delay may take up crime fighting in a pink leotard with the scarlette A embroidered on his chest. Or not.

"Howard Dean is a cruel and extremist demagogue. And Howard Dean is as ignorant on John Ashcroft as he is on national security. If this cruel, loudmouth extremist is the cream of the Democrat crop, next November's going to make the 1984 election look like a squeaker." - Tom DeLay

DeLay won’t seek re-election

Bad movies I love part 4.

Teen comedies for me have a few hits followed by numerous misses. 'Can't Buy Me Love' is one of those hits for me. People who know me may be surprised at my enjoyment of this flick, but I do hold it dear.

The movie stars Patrick Dempsey as Ronald, a nerdy high school senior who wants nothing more than to be popular. Rather than taking the normal routes of kissing ass, having rich parents, being hot, and excelling at a particular sport, Ronald sees a strange opportunity while shopping for a telescope. Across the mall Ronald spots Cindy Mancini (Amanda Peterson, who's smoking) trying to exchange a wine soaked leather outfit, which happened to be her mom's. The clerk was less than helpful to which led Cindy into near tears considering she wasn't supposed to be wearing it anyways.

Seizing the moment Ronald intervenes and makes Cindy and offer. He will pay for a new outfit if she agrees to pose as his girlfriend for a month. She reluctantly agrees and a fake relationship ensues. While Ronald pseudo dates Cindy he finds himself sitting at the cool table, making friends with people who didn't know his name, and being invited to parties he would normally get beaten up at.

The agreement comes to a close after a month and Ronald becomes everything he despises. He alienates his friends, his studies, and any kind of dignity he had. True to the 80s teeny bopper cliche, Ronald becomes a monster once he gets what he wants. Once the ruse ends he finds himself alone, despised, and miserable.

Of course the film ends happily with everyone learning some life lesson that I guess is supposed to be important, but really the movie is trying to make fun of the high school caste system. The film doesn't exactly hit upon any point of originality nor does it set the bar for teen comedies high, but it does it's job without any pretension. Unlike 'Election', which is a far superior film, 'Can't Buy Me Love' sometimes resorts to be as shallow as the jocks they portray, but while the jocks v nerds rivalry is exaggerated there are some truths as to how superficial and sometimes cruel teenagers can be in trying to simply fit in. The script does insult teenagers and how easily manipulated and trendy they can be, but really adults can be worse. I've never seen a high schooler read Entertainment Weekly or a tabloid.

In high school I was simply average, like most people, which is one social caste that Hollywood largely overlooks. 'Can't Buy Me Love' is not high art by any means, but is a witty look into the often ridiculous cliques people create for themselves. Sure the movie is no 'Lucas', but it does have a very young Seth Green. I guess that's supposed to make up for something, maybe for the lack of gratuitous nudity which is expected in 80s comedies. I don't know where I'm going with this really.

"Nerds, jocks. My side, your side. It's all bullshit. Its hard enough just trying to be yourself" - Ronald Miller

Apr 2, 2006

A mysterious beer.

This weekend involved me going up to Bellingham to a) get fitted for a tuxedo for Andrew's wedding and b) watch Andrew get drunk on his birthday. The tuxedo fitting went well as I'm pleased with the style and colors we groomsmen are wearing. I did see some interesting cufflinks there, such as one pair that was styled after football helmets. They did have a cane that looked like something out of a Gene Kelly film which I really wanted, but I don't think it would be appropriate for the nuptials. It would even be cooler with a tophat.

I think when (if) I get married I want to dress my groomsmen in completely inappropriate attire. The best man will be wearing a muscle shirt along with hammer pants. The next groomsman will be donned in parachute pants and will have fingerless leather gloves. The ringbearer will have a members only jacket and moon boots.

After the fitting Kyle, Jason, Holly, Shelby, Jessica, Andrew, and I had pizza and beer at Andrew's place. For my birthday Andrew picked me up a bottle of beer. This beer was interesting in the fact that it came in a gray ceramic bottle and it had a bizzare name, one that eludes me now. Andrew claimed I bought a bottle for him years ago and that I loved it so he thought it would be a great idea to get me one. I have no recollection of this event and swore up and down that it never took place. He thought otherwise and proceeded to tell me about the when and where's of this alleged beer purchase. Starting to doubt my own memory I opened the bottle of beer and poured myself a glass. I sipped a taste of the beverage to which I found a close resemblance to Mickey's. It was the nastiest beer I've had in a long time. I'm still sticking with my story that it never happened.

After playing some games, eating birthday cake, drunk dialing old friends, and threats of nudity I decided I should take my leave and visit the folks, who had my nephews up for a visit. I walked into the place where mom told me the boys were excited to see me. I went to talk to them and Gabe walked up with a timid look and asked, "Uncle Erik can we go to Tube Time?"

"No Gabe. Tube Time's closed," I said.

"Oh," he frowned. He really looked sad at this news. "Can we go tomorrow?"

"Yes Gabe, but only if you and your brother behave yourselves."

Gabe ran and snatched his brother Corbyn and demanded that he promise to be good so they could go to Tube Time. Corbyn promised he would watch his behavior, which made me think if there was a time they ever said "no we won't be good boys, but we want to go anyways." After playing a game of Old Maid and reading them a bedtime story they finally hit the hay. The next day we went to Tube Time as promised and slid down the often waxed slide. A fun time was had by all.

"If I were wearing a tuxedo I'd want to wear it with satin Converse sneakers. I'd want my tuxedo to be shrunken and ill-fitting, so I'd look like one of the John Holmstrom cartoons from Punk magazine. It's the idea of imperfection, of being awkward." - Marc Jacobs