Friday, June 30, 2006

The Dome

Capitol Rotunda

Touring the US Capitol

Taking my favorite author, David Brin, on a tour of the Capitol.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My "Superman Returns" Review: AWESOME!

Let me begin by saying I LOVED THIS MOVIE.

I wanted to get that out of the way, because even though I’m going to get somewhat critical in this review, my love for the movie and character remain strong! And no, I don’t mean I love him. I just love the idea of Superman.

First, the good stuff (there was a lot of it). The movie starts out with the awesome, inspiring and (yes) patriotic theme music. I am extremely thankful that the director decided to keep the original John Williams theme. If it had been changed, this movie would not have been as great as it was. The music sets the mood for all that is to come.

Now, I was very timid about accepting a new Superman into my life. Growing up, I admired and idolized Christopher Reeve (notwithstanding his leftist politics) as the Superman. Since my childhood, I have seen the movies a million times (as has every other male in my age group), so whoever took on the role would have a tough act to follow. I am pleased to report that Brandon Routh did a positively superb job. He didn’t look funny, sound strange or act terribly. He was as Superman should be – just right.

The other characters were, with the exception of Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, fantastic. Kevin Spacey placed a convincing Lex Luthor, complete with witty one-liners and a penchant for real estate. The characters of Jimmy Olson and Perry White were well cast as well. Bosworth’s rendition of Lois Lane, however, was an abysmal failure. As annoying as Margot Kidder was in the original, as least she had verve (like I ever use that word) and panache (again, new words for this blog). Bosworth played the character with all the emotion of a tax attorney. She was no Pulitzer prize winning journalist, that’s for sure.

The eye-popping special effects in this movie were simply amazing. The opening action sequence (space shuttle, airline crash, baseball stadium) is worth the cost of admission alone. I nearly stood up on my seat in applause when Superman saved the victims in that scene! But it doesn’t end there. My heart was pumping during many-a-scene, either from excitement or heartbreak (the prospect of Superman dying, for example). I experienced a wide range of emotions to say the least.

Despite my overall approval of the movie, there were a few notable things that really ticked me off. First and foremost, I was offended and, frankly, dumbfounded to see that Superman’s famous core of beliefs was missing one important piece – He now only fights for “truth and justice,” completely ignoring the third part of that battle cry: “…and the American way!” What a personal blow to the nation that made Superman great. And for what reason? To appease a worldwide audience and placate the liberal America-haters in this country? Sad.

There were a few other annoying things as well. A beer drinking Clark Kent upsets me, as does Lois Lane’s love-child. Also, the lack of a good male sidekick (think Otisburg) for Lex Luthor was sorely missed. And while I mentioned at the beginning that John Williams’ original musical theme was still in place, the rest of the movie’s score was done by a guy named John Ottman. His music in this movie was utterly forgettable. He offered nothing new, no memorable themes and no inspiring interludes. In fact, the only time the music ever evoked an emotional response was when it incorporated the original Williams theme. Why Williams didn’t score the whole movie is beyond me.

So, having said all of this… I must reiterate how much fun I had while watching this movie. It was worth all $10 I paid for it (and the 3 hours of waiting in line). It will also be worth the additional $10 I plan to spend to watch it in IMAX later this summer!

Awesome. Totally awesome.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Alien Spaceships?

No, I'm afraid Independence Day isn't really coinciding with Independence Day. Instead, what you see here is a picture of a rare weather phenomenon called a "gravity wave." Taken by KCRG in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, these pictures show us something that is usually invisible - air moving up and down in atmospheric wave patterns.

Yes, I know that KCRG says that this phenomenon has no name, but I tell you it does! At least, according to this scientific site!

Gravity waves, not alien spaceships.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hawking Women

No, I'm not talking about the buying and selling of females, but rather, the women that seem to be surrounding famed physicist and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking. Like the famous "Bond Women," from Ian Flemings James Bond franchise, the Hawking Women surround a famous British man, only this time it is the size of his brain that is the draw, and not the size of his, err...gun.

Now granted, this example isn't as obvious as my previous post on the subject, but it establishes a pattern. And I must say, Hawk-man, I'm proud of your effort. And lest people think I'm making this up, they need only click HERE to read his latest quote: "I like Chinese culture, and above all, Chinese women... they're beautiful!"

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ah yes. The first day of the Nordstrom sale.

If you don't get here at 7am, the best ties and dress shirts are history! All said and done, 5 shirts and 3 ties for $425. Yikes! Now, as I edit this at 6pm, my wife is sending me back to the store to return half of it. :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Fertility Check

If you think its cool in the movies, its not.

A Brief History of Misogyny

So, Stephen Hawking, my favorite scientist, was recently quoted as saying that humans must travel to space if they are to survive. However, that's not what caught my attention. Instead, it was his blonde nurse... man, Hawking is cooler than I thought!

I wonder if Hawking perverts the laws of physics in choosing her outfits using the mathematical formula: 2xDD=36. Jeesh!

Monday, June 12, 2006

My Sushi Makin' Wife!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Happy Devil's Day! 6-6-6

People seem to be making the biggest deal about today being 6-6-6. Armageddon's coming, they say. And while that may be true (sometime), it certainly doesn't have anything to do with today's date. They seem to be forgetting the fact that we've seen twenty-one such dates since Christ was born. All of them seem to have passed without a hitch.

Others are taking today's numerical lineup in stride. Residents in Hell, Michigan are even throwing a citywide party to celebrate the date.

Remember the fun we had predicting doom for Y2K? What a bust that turned out to be. Well, the parties were fun, at least. Maybe the folks in Hell (Michigan, that is) have it right. Don't worry about an alignment of numerals, instead, why not party like it's 1999?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Heroes on the Window Sill

These brave guys clean my windows every month. Do they get the respect they deserve? Probably not!

Friday, June 02, 2006

June is Here!

Well, at least after my trip to the beach last week I'm going into the summer with a tan! But I still can't believe June is already upon us. It's my favorite month because it marks the beginning of summer without really being summer (not until the 21st anyway). So, from this point we have the longest possible time of good weather. Yeah, we get a few nice days in April and May, but they're generally unpredictable.

And now that summer is nearly here, the REAL countdown begins which gives me mixed feelings about the months ahead. See, my wife and I got tickets to Playa del Carmen, Mexico (50 miles south of Cancun) for September. So, while I want that trip to get here as soon as possible, September also marks the end of summer. So, I'm torn about how quickly (or slowly) I want the time to pass.

I guess I'll just forget about all of it for now and concentrate on having a great weekend!