Friday, May 30, 2008

Poll Results

There was a 3 way tie between: Scully, McCain and Credit Crunch...so that means the poll is invalid.....but never fear, I'll do a poll on each of those in due time,when I'm not baptizing my dog.

Lost

First there was "Twilight Zone", then "X Files" and now we have "Lost" The best show on network television.  With the Finale of Season 4 last night, the show has once again given us the perfect amount of answers while creating new mysteries.  What other show could portray the "rescue" of the Oceanic six as not even that big of a deal, and not even close to a complete resolution to the series.  Lost is fairly unique in that it is  show that you CANNOT just casually sit down and start watching an episode.  This is a show where you MUST watch all the episodes in order starting from season 1.  It is similar to "24" in that respect.  I did not start watching it until right before season 2 came out, I picked up disc 1 season one at blockbuster and decided to give it a shot.  From the first frame I was hooked, the pilot alone was like watching a feature film.  So I encourage anyone who hasn't watched it yet to do themselves a favor and go pick up season 1.  I did 3 years ago, and then I showed Tasha the first episode, and I have never seen her so hooked on anything.  And since then, we watch all the episodes together.  ABC did something unheard of for the series, they gave it a definite end point.  The writers know what the ending will be today, and we know that there will be 32 more episodes and 2 more seasons, and then Lost will be over.  

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dog Baptism

UPDATE!!:  DOG BAPTISM HAS GARNERED OVER 200 VIEWS ON YOUTUBE IN JUST ITS FIRST 24 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Police


The morning after they announced  their world tour and kicked off the Grammys, the police played a one off at the Whiskey.  While I did not have a ticket, I drove over there and waited for one hour outside the door along with other diehards....Then one by one they emerged......


This is me sticking my digital camera inside Stings SUV (How Fragile we are) while a security guy is grabbing my arm...I managed seconds after this was taken to yell at him, "Sting you rock!" where he then made direct eye contact with me, leaned over and shook my hand.  I was as giddy as a schoolgirl.

Andy Summers left and walked directly to his car, and I was blocked from doing anything more than taking this picture of him, where he is sticking out his tongue at another fan taking his picture.

Stuart Copeland came out and talked to the fans for about 5 minutes, I was in a stupor and could do nothing other than say, "Stuart your awesome" a la Chris Farley.  He responded, "Well thank you very much"  I took this picture of him as well as about 20 others....(People don't realize that the Police were Stuart Copelands band, it was he who discovered Sting and brought him in,  Stuarts subtlety on the cymbals and his deft technique, along with Andy's sparse atmospheric guitar, combined with Sting's undisputed genius, made the Police what they are)


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We Are the Police and We're Back!!!!!

It had been nearly 25 years, but one of the greatest bands in rock and roll history finally embarked on a world tour that started in May of 2007 in Vancouver.....I have been listening to all five classic Police albums as well as all of Stings solo albums since about 1987.  This means that since that time, I have had them in the rotation.  I know the music like the back of my hand.  I have seen Sting in concert solo about 6 times beginning with his Soul Cages tour.  Since the Police "suspended" their activity, there has been almost constant demand for a Police Reunion tour, so when one was finally announced I was so excited, that I bought a ticket to Seattle, WA, and two shows within one week of each other at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.  I saw them first with my friend and debate partner Brett McNeill all the way up in Seattle!    Next with my friend Ty Nakagawa at the Staples Center, and finally with my friend Mark Nowlin, and brother Matt Riley at Dodger Stadium.   Oh wait and now I have just returned mere minutes ago from my fourth and final Police concert ever, where I went with my wife and best friend, the beautiful Tasha Riley, it was at the Hollywood Bowl.  The concerts were everything I wanted and more, from the awesome version of "Wrapped Around Your Finger"  To seeing Stuart Copeland drumming live.  Hit after Hit after Hit, you sit and watch them and think, "Oh yah here comes another awesome song!"  The Police changed up their set lists a little bit, and now I would like to let everyone know that I believe I have heard almost every song played live on every Police Album......What songs have I heard played live?  Here We Go!

From "Outlandos D Amor"
Next To You
So Lonely
Roxanne
Hole in my Life
Can't Stand Losing You
Truth Hits Everybody

From "Regatta De Blanc"
Message in a Bottle
Regatta De Blanc
Bring on the Night
Walking on the Moon
The Beds too big without you

From "Zenyatta Mondatta"
Don't Stand So Close to Me
Driven to Tears
When the World is Running Down
Voices inside My Head
De Do Do Do Do DA Da DA

From "Ghost in the Machine"
Spirits in the Material World
Every Little Thing she does is Magic
Invisible Sun
Demolition Man

From "Synchronicity"
Walking in Your Footsteps
Synchonicity II
Every Breath You Take
King of Pain
Wrapped Around Your Finger
Murder by Numbers

Number one song I wish they would have played...."Synchronicity I"
Interesting note....this tour will have grossed 350 million when it ends in august in New York, and will be one of the most profitable tours ever.  

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day








Saturday, May 24, 2008

Keith Olbermans Rant

I have a love hate relationship with Keith Olberman, I hated how he didn't stick up for Don Imus for making a bad joke.  Also I didn't like his inconsistencies in attacking Petraus.  But this is the rant of all rants!  And I think it deserves a prominent place on my blog.  I do believe that Hillary implying she is sticking around just in case Obama is assassinated, is perhaps the worst thing I have ever seen in American politics, it goes way beyond the silliness of the sniper fire mispeaking, or the "swiftboating" of John Kerry.    As Olberman says at the end of this (You gotta watch all 10 minutes)  Anyone who implies that they are sticking around in a presidential race just in case their opponent gets shot, has no place being our president.

Olberman absolutely tears her a new one in this clip, I can't remember seeing anything like it before.




Harrison Ford


Amazingly after George Lucas nearly killed the idea with his numerous script objections, The new Indiana Jones movie is in theaters.   I predict this will be Harrison Fords Swansong unless he swallows his ego and understands that he has to change his stripes.  Lets look at Harrison Ford in his first 17 years....Star Wars, Blade Runner, Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Witness, Return of the Jedi, Mosquito Coast, Frantic, Regarding Henry, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Presumed Innocent, Patriot Games, The Fugitive, and Clear and Present Danger.  Now from then on to present lets compare...Sabrina, The Devils Own, Air Force One, Six Days Seven Nights, What Lies Beneath, Random Hearts, K19 The Widowmaker, Hollywood Homicide, and Firewall.  So basically it has been 15 years since Fords last true must see movie (Air Force One was OK too to be fair)  But now he has to be a character actor, he has to swallow his ego and no longer be the leading man.  He is a screen presence, who is solid, but will never be mistaken for Phillip Seymor Hoffman.  He needs to try something different, like Tom Cruise in Magnolia, I hope Indy 4 is not his last good movie.  

BTW I have not yet seen Indy 4!  This proves I am getting old, and remember that I hate going to movie theaters now.  I am sure I will see it in the theater, but it might be far off in the distance.  I am the same guy who waited in line for 5 hours to see Batman (1989)  Stayed up to watch the midnight showing of Matrix Reloaded, and has always seen these movies the day they came out.  My Dad wants to see Indy with Matt and I but Matt has already blown it since he went to see it last night.  Oh well.

P.S.  Harrison Fords best movie is Raiders of the Lost Ark.  His second best is Witness

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Video of our Trip to Vegas

video

Exclusive folks, this masterpiece is not available anywhere else!!!

TM GNR Publishing all rights reserved

John McCain is forced to see the light

John McCain has rejected the endorsement of the hateful John Hagee.   This is the same man who said that Hurricane Katrina was Gods righteous punishment for homosexuals, the same man who said that the Catholic church is the famous "Whore of Babylon" mentioned in the psychedelic and wacky book of Revelation( he also called the catholic church a 'false cult system' ).  The same man who earns over 3 million dollars a year from his 19,000 strong congregation who willingly "give to God"  The same man who has a sprawling mega million dollar ranch, also built by people who "were giving money to God"    Anyways......John McCain had to reject the endorsement because John Hagee believes that God told Hitler to kill 6 million jews because it was all part of his plan to build the state of Israel.  (John Hagee is an end times wacko who wishes to spur God along and initiate the appocalypse)   I guess maybe Hagee didn't consider that an omnipotent and omni benevolvent God could perhaps have chosen a less evil and harmful way to spur along his appocalypse, but oh well, he works in mysterious ways right?   

One of my biggest disappointments in McCain is that he had originally denounced such hateful hucksters such as James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell as "agents of intolerance" , but for political reasons he had to reach out to them and apologize.   McCain even called Hagee "one of our greatest leaders."   It is only now after an audiotape surfaced of Hagee delighting in the holocaust as part of Gods plan, that McCain has to distance himself.   

Meanwhile, millions of people continue to donate their hard earned money to carnival barkers like Hagee.  Tax Free of course.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Failed Prophecy Wednesday

I grew up hearing about the ka zillions of prophecies in the bible that were "fulfilled" In Josh McDowells Book "Evdience that demands a verdict" he mentions there are 61 old testament prophecies that mention the coming messiah.  The fact that Jesus was never "the king of israel" or was never called "immanuel" not withstanding, I thought we would have some fun and point out a few Old testament prophecies for everybody.  

Jeremiah 49:33 tells us that the city of Hazor will become a land inhabited by no one except for dragons. (King James version)  Yes folks dragons....needless to say this one has not happened..

Isaiah 17:1  Damascus will cease to be a city it will be a ruinious heap  (Of course that is nonsense as well as Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth)

Zechariah 10:11  The Nile River will dry up  (Hasn't happened in the 4000 of so years since the writing)

Eziekial 29  The land of Egypt will be laid waste by Nebuchadnezzar, all it's people will be killed and all the rivers will dry up.  It won't be inhabited for 40 years.    Whoops, This did not happen!

I write these things occasionally because I want to be provocative and stir up debate amongst the people who read them.  Maybe I am wrong, if I am I will be the first to fly to the middle east to see these dragons (:


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mike Piazza Retires


Yes now I feel old.  Today Mike Piazza formally announced his retirement.  He finishes his career with a .308 batting average 427 homeruns, and 1335 RBI's.  He is a surefire hall of famer and the best hitting catcher in baseball history.   And he could have been all ours.  Yes he could have been alongside such Dodger greats as Sandy Koufax and Jackie Robinson, but Chase Carey from Fox traded him to Florida in 1998.  And it still hurts.   Oh well, one of my favorite memories of him was when I met him in 1994 at the health and fitness center in Redondo, he did a grip test and I watched his muscle pop out of his forearm like a suitcase handle.  And then there was the time when he hit the homerun at Dodger Stadium that was hit so high and far that I thought it would hit Diamondvision.  And later at a game I was not at, where he actually did hit the ball over the left field pavillion.  He was awesome.  But unfortunatly he will not go into the hall of fame as a Dodger.

Ted Kennedy




Sad news today as Ted Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.  This is someone who would be right at the top of my list of someone I would like to have a drink with.  And of course for my brother, he is definitely at the top.  If it wasn't for an extremely poor decision one evening, he could very well have been President.   Even though I disagree with almost everything he stands for politically I like this guy very much.  As everyone knows he had to endure the brutal murders of both of his older brothers within the span of only five years.  For lesser men, that alone would have driven many to reclusion, but Ted fought on as a tribute to his family and what he personally believed in.  

Ted, you have all my best wishes.  

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Turn off your mind relax and float downstream

That quote is from the Beatles Song "Tomorrow Never Knows" Off the album 'Revolver', which they intercut with "Within You Without You" I couldn't see part of that part of the performance because a giant sheet was being dragged over my face and Tasha's face.  You wanna find out more go see the "Beatles: Love" at the Mirage in Las Vegas.  The show was awesome, the next best thing to seeing the Beatles live.  Or maybe better because I hear when they did their concerts no one could hear them anyway.  

For an hour and a half straight we were hit with a cacophony of sound, colors, performance, the likes of which I had never seen before.  The sound was so perfect that it drove an audiophile like myself to the verge of tears, and during "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"  I did play the part of the guitar.  They intercut real tapes of the fab four doing soundchecks, and it was done so well, you thought they were actually in the theatre talking  to you.  I would have paid my ticket just to hear the sound alone in that 100 million dollar state of the art setup.   

The performers were just what you would expect from cirque de soleil, the best in the world.  Choregraphed acrobatics that are beyond description.  I think after seeing Blue Man Group, and now this, in my opinion the best part of Las Vegas is the shows.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Las Vegas



(best picture of card flickers I could get off Google images)

Two ways to look at this:  Number one: this is sad and pathetic...Number two: This is a tolerable absurdity.  And maybe number 3.  I love that I am an american citizen with a college education!  There are people literally dying to get into this country so they can stand on the strip for less than minimum wage to place smut cards into the hands of vegas tourists.  For those of you that have never seen this phenomenom, on certain places in the vegas strip (the slivers that aren't owned by the casinos) there are groups of Hispanics wearing flourescent shirts that say "Girls direct to you 20 minutes".  They snap and flick their stack of cards to get your attention, and attempt to place a card in your hand.  The funniest people are the middle aged hispanic women, wearing these types of shirts.  

I look at Vegas and smile at the spectacle of it, and I am glad that we have a place like this in America.  I am also glad that it is in a city 280 miles from my house, because I would be betting on the dodgers too much (10 dollars here 20 dollars there--it adds up)If you ever wonder about recession, high gas prices, times are tough mentality.  Come to Vegas!  The strip is bustling with people pouring their money away in a numb haze.  A real recession is India and Haiti where people live in trash and eat dirt for breakfast.   Those people have never enjoyed a Filet Mingion at "the Palm" like we did last night.  You only live once right?  

I have 50 bucks on the Lakers tonight moneyline bet, which means I will win 77.50 if the Lakers win since they are the underdogs.  Of course if I lose, then bye bye 50 bucks.    I haven't been to the tables yet, for some reason I don't have the blackjack itch yet.   Maybe tonight after seeing "Beatles:Love"   

This afternoon is the pool after I get out of this meeting, "I want this whole thing rearranged, I can't see the pool!"  Warren Beatty in 'Bugsy'

I grabbed two beers (two for 6 bro!) for me and a margarita for Tasha yesterday and we walked from the Flamingo (where we are staying) to Ceasers and the Bellagio, Tasha said "Can we walk around with these?"  I said, "Sweetheart, this is Vegas!"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Favorite Poem of all Time

Whose woods these are I think I know. 
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year. 

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake. 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. 


This is my favorite poem of all time, it was written by Robert Frost, and it is called "Stopping by woods on a snowy evening"

It brings up a range of emotions: foreboding, calm, peace, menace, macabre, darkness, beauty...all in one.  Here is my interpetation of it.....The woods are the siren song of quitting and ultimately death.  When the journey of life gets too hard we all have a thought of giving up, quitting, retreating from life in a cocoon of numbness.  The darkest evening of the year is a point of despair, like when you are awake at night with your own thoughts of sadness and regret...the things we think but don't tell others.  The horse snaps him out of it with the shake of his bells.  He knows he can't give up in life, takes a last reflection at the temptation of giving up, but he chooses not to.  He thinks of his family and friends and his obligations....and then like a mantra he repeats that he has "miles to go before I sleep"  multiple times, almost like a meditation.  

Super Mario Galaxy



I beat the game!!  Yes indeed ladies and gentleman after earning 62 stars I was able to fly to the center of the universe and do an epic battle with Bowser on 4 different planetoids.  And finally after multiple attempts I was able to defeat him, rescue Peach and fly back to the peaceful meadow which is now restored to it's eden like beauty.  Zach and Kevin were shocked and awed as I completed this epic task with them watching me all the way on this four month saga.  Now I must take my knowledge and shepherd Kevin and Zach through the same journey.  Kevin has six stars, Zach has one, they are on their way..........

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bill O Reilly Freaks Out

For Everyone who loves Bill O Reilly and the Factor, keep in mind he used to be a anchor for the tabloid journalism show Inside edition....enjoy this classic clip I just about fell out of my chair laughing!  Warning don't watch this at work or with kids present.

Update: I just watched the Factor and got a textbook snapshot of what he does. He had a body language expert on to talk about Alec Baldwin's interview on 60 minutes, then he teased"coming up next" what is the real connection between William Ayres and Barack Obama.....and finally "Selling Sex?" he flashes a picture of almost naked prostitutes very saliciously on the screen with a tease about a new book that talks about prostitution. Everything about his show is right there in a nutshell.

Update #2: Break.com pulled the video after no doubt getting a C&D from the Fox News Channel...sorry guys, trust me the video was hysterical!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gay People



If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.  They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
Leviticus 20:13

Charming verse right?  

Cousin Dean told me that he enjoyed my "controversial" blog and Mr. Dole2Obama suggested that I write about Gay marriage.  Well I thought I would write about my overall views on homosexuality.    I used to think that it was "wrong" to be gay, and I was repulsed by gayness in general.  I thought that A.I.D.S. was perhaps God's punishment because I was taught that in my church and from some of my christian leaders and friends that I looked up to.   Once I shed the mind virus, I had to reassess my views.  So here they are.  Gay people are born gay and there is nothing they can do to change that fact.  Instead of making them feel guilty about their natural state, why not encourage them and love them?  Not make them feel guilty and stigmatized.  They are not hurting anyone.  If a person in born straight, they cannot be turned gay, according to all our best and most current science.  Homosexuals are in the minority and they are not going to influence your children and make them gay despite what James Dobson says.  I know of multiple kids that I grew up with who are gay.  One in particular grew up in a very loving "christian" home.  He is gay and that is fine.  They are adults now and they deserve the best possible route to their own happiness.   I wish them all the best.  I have a coworker now who is openly gay, and I like the guy a lot.  He is kind and funny, and I am glad that he is on my sales team.  

I still have feelings of repulsion of course for the "act" itself, because it is contrary to the way I am wired.  And I am sometimes repelled by ostentatious displays.  I am glad that we are evolving towards more acceptance.  Atheists, and homosexuals remain two of the most despised groups in America, so perhaps I feel a certain kinship to them.   Not in a gay way of course (:

P.S.  I am for Gay Marriage!

Update: Gay Marriage is now legal in California.  Only a matter of time before we see religious kooks trying to get a constitutional marriage amendment passed.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I live right by Magic Mountain



"Shockwave" The worlds first 'stand up' roller coaster




The "Colossus"



Present day with Revolution, Tatsu and The skytower



Redondo Beach 1986.....a young 12 year old becomes enthralled with a commercial on tv where a guy with cool looking shades is riding on a revolutionary new roller coaster...for the first time in history there actually was a STAND UP coaster......its name "Shockwave" The location, "Six Flags Magic Mountain" in Valencia, CA (may have been the other side of the world)  I had to get to Magic Mountain to ride Shockwave.....it took me a while, but finally I convinced one of my sets of parents to take me and a friend named Mike Borden.  In fact, maybe it was Mike Borden's dad who took the two of us.  (Memories are not perfect)  Finally I was there, and of course wanted to go straight to Shockwave, and maybe even get enough courage to ride "Colossus"  The biggest rollercoaster in the world.  I had seen glimpses of Colossus on the way to Kings Canyon, and any other time we rode up and over the grapevine.  When Mike and I got to Magic Mountain we were disappointed to learn Colossus was closed.  
But Shockwave was open.....I remember the giant sleek black metal coaster, and couldn't wait to see how you actually did ride standing up.  Mike Borden and I got on the ride, and I remember the feeling of going on a loop while standing up, which was incredible!  I remember going on "Revolution" "The Log Ride" "Gold Rusher" "Freefall" (watching a penny float) and basically all of the midway themed rides, and the bumper cars etc.....My adrenaline was pumping the entire time, I was feeling so happy and having so much fun!  I couldn't believe I was old enough to go on a ride like "Shockwave" As it was getting darker, we got the word that Colossus was finally open, we hiked over to it, but the line was at least an hour and a half, and Mike Bordens' dad didn't let us get in line for it....it was getting late and we had to go.   Riding home I remember feeling much older.  And I thought how much better Magic Mountain was then Disneyland!  I mean how could it not be?  Magic Mountains smallest coaster is at or better then Space Mountain.   At that time, if you would have told me that I would be living 4.1 miles away from the park 20 years later I would not have been able to believe it.  
        So fast forward 20 years..here I am living in Valencia, the home to Magic Mountain.  You know the old saying "You can never go home again"  Well lets apply that principle to this park.  At age 34 I have come to a lot of different realizations in my life, I am bald, I don't believe in God or Jesus, and I hate Magic Mountain.   If you visit this park nowadays, look closely just below the surface...the place isn't very well cared for.  The rides are impressive looking for sure, but most now make me physically sick.  I can still ride Colossus, and I confess, that is the ONLY part of Magic Mountain I still like, just because of the fond memories of riding it in my teens.   I still get a kick out of that first drop.  Other than that, the park isn't run very well, the lines are way too long when they need not be....and it is infested with foul mouthed minorites dressed in gang attire.  They love to come up from Panorama City, and Cudahay with their season passes and hang out at the park.  They cut in lines, they are rude.  The problem is so bad that they have installed metal detectors, and they actually have a police substation right there at the park!!  At all times, there is a sheriffs car wating outside to transport anyone to jail.   
Was this element there before?  I have no doubt...the metal detectors weren't and the substation is fairly new...but maybe I just didn't notice it before, I don't know.  I do know that I still smile when I sit outside of Chipotle, with a perfect view of the park.   But what's changed?  Me...I now will only go to Disneyland, and I doubt I will return to Magic Mountain anytime soon.  And what became of Shockwave?  They dismantled it in 1989, and they now have multiple coasters that far surpass the novelty of Shockwave......but for me, nothing will surpass that initial thrill.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Freethought Monday

Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to freethought monday.  Todays topic is philosophical arguments against the existence of God (Judeo-Christian version that we are all somewhat familiar with)    Try some of these donkeys out for size.....

1.  If God exists, then he is perfect
2. If God exists, then he is the creator of the universe.
3. If a being is perfect, then whatever he creates must be perfect.
4.  But the Universe is not perfect.
5.  Therefore, it is impossible for a perfect being to be the creator of the universe
6.  Hence, it is impossible for God to exist

Or how bout this one......


1.  If God exists, then he is trancendent (i.e., outside space and time).
2. If God exists, he is omnipresent
3. To be transcendent, a being cannot exist anywhere in space.
4. To be omnipresent, a being must exist everwhere in space.
5. Hence it is impossible for a transcendent being to be omnipresent.
6. Therefore, it is impossible for God to exist.

and finally..

1.  If God exists, then he is nonphysical
2.  If God exists, then he is a person (or a personal being)
3.   A person (or personal being) needs to be physical.
4.  Hence it is impossible for God to exist.

Thoughts?  Comments?  

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Down the stretch they come!

Horse racing is a very silly thing if you think about it.  You have a 3 year old horse getting whipped so that it can run faster for the pleasure of the people watching it and gambling on it.  If the Horse gets a broken foot, then it has to be killed.  Gee maybe you can stop all of these horses from getting killed by not racing them!  And you have the jockeys, these guys are free to do whatever they want and the rewards can be great, but there is a dark underbelly.  At all racetracks there is a special toilet that is just for purging so that the jockeys can throw up their food in order to make weight.  I think they have to be less than 110 pounds or something like that.  

So today in Kentucky, everybody dresses up in their silly hats and drinks their mint juleps and watches the big fast horseys race past then for 2 minutes with men riding them and whipping them so that they will run faster.  I'll probaby tune in as well, but I don't know of any other "sport" where the "athletes" who don't quite make the cut have a bolt put through their head and then are hacked up and put in dog food.  Well maybe NASCAR.




>>>>>>UPDATE!!!!  One of the horses "Eight Belles" broke both of its' front legs after coming in second place and they immediately killed the horse.....that's it folks, that is the last one of these stupid races I am ever going to watch....I am sick of these idiots racing these beautiful animals and every freakin time one of them dies.  It is cruel, it is assinine and it is flat out stupid, I don't care how "exciting" it is.  

Friday, May 2, 2008

"A bit of the old Ultraviolence"



There has always been one movie that I have been very intrigued by.  I had heard things about it, that it was very disturbing, and dealt with violence.  I have always put off seeing it for one reason or another.  Maybe because I wanted what I perceived as more lighthearted.  Or maybe I knew that there was this one scene where they hold a guys eyelids open and force him to watch terrible things.  Just the thought of that alone, that kind of torture, put me off.  
But I knew that it was directed by probably the greatest director of all time Stanley Kubrick.  And no matter how disturbing it may be I knew that it had to be good.  So I finally watched it, remastered in full HD of course...It wasn't quite as disturbing as I thought it may be.  It deals with a group of young british hooligans, who enjoy beating up homeless people and raping women.  Not exactly lighthearted fare.  But did it have a point?  Was it good? Meaningful?  Yes.  It was absolutely brilliant.  Kubrick gives us iconic images once again, there are so many modern movies that copy directional techniques from this film.  And once again this movie leaves you in a thought provoking mood, and it is a movie that you have to see again.  Each frame is like a moving portrait, because the director is a genius.  

So "A Clockwork Orange" is not for everyone.  But for me, I am glad I finally saw it.  And now it's time for "A bit of the old Ludwig Van"

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I don't like going to movie theaters



I am a huge cinephile but it is beyond me why movie theaters still exist.   I can't stand the movie going experience anymore.  The tickets are very expensive.  The snacks are expensive as well.  You have to sit with people making noises all the time, in uncomfortable chairs.  I remember in 1997 I was in Chico at the El Rey Theater, in a packed movie theater getting ready to see "Saving Private Ryan" During the opening scene where the old man walks across the graveyard in france in present day there was a ruckus.  People behind me were talking to each other.....I knew that this was an emotional movie and one I had to see in a different enviornment..so I walked out, knowing I would be miserable if I stayed.  I think I saw it 3 months later at a matinee when I knew it would be less crowded.  So flash forward 11 years......I now have.

1.  A 42 inch Plasma TV with full 1080P Resolution
2.  A Blu Ray Player outputting crystalline sound and images
3.  A 5.1 speaker setup


Why would I ever want to go to another movie theater again? The films come to DVD and Blu Ray 3 months after they are released in theaters, and I can wait!  The only movies I will see in a theater now are the big action summer flicks, because I don't really care if people are talking that much.  But the movies that come out in the fall for Oscar season?  I don't want to miss a second of them.  I recently having seen "Atonement" saw all 5 best picture nominees, from the comfort of my own home, with picture quality and sound quality that exceeds the movie theater experience.  Go ahead doubt me!  I'll give you a demo anytime!  The only thing the theater has is "size of the screen"  

I love not having to hear the sound of people crunching on popcorn next to me.  I love being able to pause and go to the bathroom if I need to, without missing a second of the film.  And I don't have to leave my house!  Call me Garrett "Howard Hughes" Riley 
'come in with the milk, come in with the milk'

Here is my vision of the future.  Lets say the next Batman movie comes out....instead of going to the theater as the only option, lets say you can buy a 24 hour screening pass for say $50 (to protect the studios profit)  And have first run movie delivered to your house On demand over the internet day of release.  How awesome would that be!  You can have movie parties at your house, and with more and more people getting home theaters, folks, this just makes sense.