The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.


MOVIE: The Blind Side

This movie, retelling the rise of a (very recent) football star, was a movie I had put off seeing for weeks. My son, Chris, was not very interested in seeing it. But when Chris, Daniella and I went to see it together, it ended up being a very awesome, touching story. I was not aware it was about a series of events "so recent" (until I started hearing references to MTV Cribs and other recent items). I'm the first to admit that Sandra Bullock was hot in this role (maybe I have a thing for her, I don't know, because I also liked her in The Lake House...), but regardless of that, the story was great. If you do not like this movie (judgmental Tony speaking here), you have no feelings or emotions in you. :-P

I could care less about sports for the most part (they're enjoyable to watch on occasion, that's about it), but that was not the focus of the movie, rather the struggles that the star went through to overcome learning shortcomings and a horrific family history (not sure how doctored that was?). See this movie, people.

Oh Captain, My.. Sir Captain

Patrick Stewart has been knighted.


Malena Cruise 2009 - Post Mortem

The cruise is over, it's been a few days, and so I thought it time to post my thoughts.

Chris and Kevin (my son and his friend): They were a blast. I rarely had to rear the "dad" figurehead during the trip. I was able to be "one of the guys", thanks mostly to these two. Their youthful presence and antics kept things moving nicely. On the ship, they took advantage of all the things available to them (and a few not meant for them as they were under 18, but... anyway...).

The ship: Carnival's "Glory" was a great vessel. After getting used to where you did and did not have the ability to "get through" on certain decks, it was easy to navigate. A floating 12 story building with everything you needed to survive and enjoy time away from reality. Food everywhere, fun events for various age groups, and sushi (I took advantage of this almost every night, oh yeah).

Excursions: With very little in the way of "problems", we had a ton of fun at our ports.

Cozumel: We took a taxi ride to a tiny dock and after some brief shopping, went to our boat (upgraded from the small one we were scheduled for - I believe they just consolidated two tour groups - we lost the glass-bottom in favor of a large catamaran and an extra stop on the tour). We snorkeled at three locations, including over a US Destroyer that was part of the coral infrastructure. We got a ton of photos and videos during the stop (my new underwater camera worked quite well, definitely worth the $149 investment for the photos and video I got from it!).

Belize: We were wisked away in a van (which could not drive in a straight line, but the guy was speeding the entire way anyway... ugh) on a ONE HOUR DRIVE (good Lord!) to a preserve where we proceeded to cave tube (after a long nature walk) and then zip line through the forest (after a high staircase hike, ugh!). I was and am out of shape, so the walking and hiking killed me, but after I revived, it was very fun. The cave tubing was odd, as it was many times in less than 6 inches of water, so we got stuck several times. The zip lining's last leg ended up with about 20 people on the last tree, waiting to get down via rope tether (took about 20+ minutes standing there to get down). This was probably the "least run" leg of the trip, but it was not "bad", just a bit tedious.

Isla Roatan: We walked a couple hundred yards to just outside the cruise ship terminal area (a brand new one) to meet with our tour guides. As we were the first ones there, we were given the smaller vehicle for just the three of us, which ended up pretty awesome (the rest of the group was in a bus). We ended up chauffeured around by a nice woman who gave us details about their tiny island, economy, points of interest, etc. We started by petting the monkey (you need to see the pics), were driven up a "mountain" (large hill) to the top of the jungle "canopy" where we walked to the top of a tree (thank you!!) to begin our zip line adventure. This was 10x better than Belize in every way, even when my foot hit a branch (nice scars!) and I lost a water shoe on the next leg (one guide went back and got it for me, awesome). I took some good pics and video here. It was very fast paced, and we could do it one-armed so I could use the camera more freely. The boys and I could go upside down, twist around, etc. The zip lining could have been all we did and we would have been happy. But then our guide took us to two private beach resorts (both were very vacant so we were either alone or with very few people). Swimming, snorkeling, discovering what appeared to be a sand dollar not yet "flat" (see pics - I brought this sand dollar turtel shell looking thing home with me...), and a brief stop at an internet terminal to contact family were the events for the afternoon. Then we were taken to a couple shopping areas where we bought gifts and momentos. This was an awesome excursion!!

Grand Cayman: Our last cruise stop began with a bus ride to the northside marina on the island, where we took a boat out to the open ocean... where we ended up at a 4-foot deep sand bar. It was very weird being so far from shore, and standing in the middle of the water. But more importantly, we were surrounded by stingrays, which was truly awesome. They swam (or swarmed?) around us, and we picked them up, fed them, kissed them, watched the tour guide stick one of their barbs into his mouth (stupid) to prove we weren't going to be "Steve Irwin'd", and generally just had a blast interacting with these awesome lifeforms. Having your thumb almost ingested by one of these was intersting as well (they didn't just want the squid I was feeding them...). One tour guide had his nipple "bit" by one which was very funny! Then we went to two more snorkeling stops (found another sting ray by itself which I filmed). The snorkeling was fun, and probably the best visual features of all the excursions. The boys were "freezing cold" on the way back (poor guys). This was a great wrap up to our cruise stops.

The cruise home: Food, fun, sun, whirlpool to loosen up the overused muscles... it was great. More sushi. Overeating at dinner (we thought). I ended up losing 8 pounds on this trip, so obviously food intake (as much as we were eating) was superceded by the exertion on our excursions. I mean, I would order plentiful appetizers and main courses with extra portions ("yes, I'd like two lobster tails with that"), and the boys put me to shame, yet we came out ahead.

The boys whined/"cried" multiple times during the drive home from Miami (playfully, but still... it was pretty pathetic... in a good way). I told them I had a Visa and we could turn around and go again... but alas, logic prevailed. We got home and were content with our memories.

For pics (and eventually video), visit my family website and click the Media link.

MOVIE: Avatar (in 3D)

I really don't feel that this requires a long post, so...

Story: It's "Dances With Wolves" crossed with "Fern Gully".

Music: Very nice soundtrack by a long standing movie music alumni.

Special Effects: The crowning achievement of the movie. Very well done generally speaking.

If it had been something of an original story idea, I might have given this rave reviews. But I find it to be a "good movie", not necessarily something that needed to have SO much promotion (I'm really tired of all the commercials).


Malena Cruise 2009

Chris, his friend Kevin, and I, are about to take off for Miami to board the Carnival ship "Glory" and cruise for over 7 days in the Western Carribean! Dude, I'm stoked. So's Chris and Kevin. Packed, electronically equipped (including duct tape for the video camera to be attached to my helmet while we zipline, and waterproof digicams), excited and only frustrated that the rest of the family ended up not going for various planning and random reasons (but we're looking at doing the whole family next summer now).

Zip lining in two countries, snorkeling in three, tours of rain forests and tubing inside caverns are among the excursions we have planned. This is going to be a BLAST!!!

Be back in about 8 days!


Alcohol And Minors

I don't care if you are a pastor's daughter, a long time friend from high school, the MOTHER of a life long friend, or a parent... if you are giving a person (UNDERAGE especially) alcohol for ANY reason, you deserve to be castrated, sewed shut, thrown onto a penal island, and generally just excommunicated from society.

Did this happen? Apparently so, and frankly, I wipe my hands of the person(s) involved, and hope that my offspring does the same. Opening that "pandora's box" is something, like virginity, like a first kiss, like being exposed to the horrors of real life, that can never be taken back. Damn you!


New (to me) Car

The Taurus is starting to make odd sounds, and at 225 thousand miles, it's probably not going to last long. So I did some (very brief) car shopping, and ended up with a 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse. I'm quite happy with it. It's an awesome car at a VERY awesome price, in mint condition with an awesome sound system and a stick shift (exactly what I wanted). Pics soon.

MOVIE: The Boondock Saints 2 - All Saints Day

What a GREAT MOVIE! The first Boondock Saints movie was awesome. This movie measured up in almost every way. It was different, yet it maintained the great pace, storytelling technique and outrageousness of the first movie. I'd say the original was SLIGHTLY better, but that's not saying much -- they BOTH are awesome. The final scenes were pretty amazing as well, with a relatively unexpected cameo, and sequel-requiring "cliffhanger". It's too bad that it's been in severely-limited release mode since it came out about a month ago. It really deserves a wider audience.

MOVIE: The Twilight Saga - New Moon

If you are male, run. Sprint. Do anything necessary to avoid the theatre. You are invading a very private female moment if you are in the theatre watching this movie.


Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving 2009, made tons of food, took pictures of the cats, laid around a bit, watched Star Trek 11, then went to see The Boondock Saints II (which was as awesome as the first one). A good day, overall.

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Saints Preserve Us

Sony Pictures must really be tightening it's belts, because they are only slow releasing "The Boondock Saints II" movie every couple weeks. I keep watching the web for news on this, and apparently it will finally be in the Central Florida area on Wednesday, November 25th, in the following cities:
  • Aventura

  • Miami Beach

  • North Ft. Myers

  • Orange Park

  • Orlando

  • Sarasota

  • Sunrise

  • Tallahassee

  • Tampa

  • Vero Beach

  • West Melbourne

  • Winter Park

I'm anxious to see what the good Irish boys have been up to. ;-)


I Am A Murderer

I killed my son's fish. And snail. I feel horrible. :-(

Updated Sunday night: Okay, I made good and he now has a new fish, which is bigger and stronger and hopefully lasts. May need a new tank though. :-P

MOVIE: 2012

I have to admit that this was a very fun movie to watch. The waaaaaaay over-the-top disaster scenarios (which is all there really is in the movie, as the story is pretty bland) were funny and enjoyable. The outcome was completely predictable, the side-plots likewise nothing to shock you with. Woody Harrelson plays another nutjob (seems to be his forte) but isn't searching for Twinkies this time. So all in all, go for the visual effects, and put aside any expectation for a memorable story.

MOVIE: The Box

Wow. What a horrific waste of my time this movie was. Badly directly, horribly acted, and a potentially cool story was massacred by whomever adapted it for the screenplay. Avoid this movie like the plague. It's a complete waste of money!


DARPA Wants To Give You $40k

Check it out, fellow geeks and those who think they're social networking experts... here. Just find 10 red weather balloons on December 5, 2009.

The winner will "almost certainly" be a group of people, unless someone is slick enough to get people to reveal locations of these balloons without those people wanting part of the prize (the balloons will be at random, static locations in the continental United States).


DVD: Battlestar Galactica - The Plan

I had been looking forward to this new 2 hour movie for quite some time. Syfy (cough, the SciFi Channel) had decided to not show it until next year, but now that it's available for purchase, and I've watched it, I'm content with the "full circle" which it brought us to. Number One, Cavil, is even more evil than I remember (a final act a the end of the movie, done with a passive, almost non-caring effort, was actually pretty chilling). Dean Stockwell's "One" character is the focal point of the entire movie, but all primary characters are represented. Many new relationships are revealed, and background stories that were created just for this movie.

The final dialogue between two copies of Number One was pretty interesting, just before they... well, go get the DVD for yourself. It's not "must see" material, but if your a BSG fan, you'll probably enjoy it. If you are NOT a BSG fan, you'll probably scratch your head through most of it.


iPod Touch. Thank You, Steve Jobs.

I am now an iPod user.

I spent the past several years berating the iPod based on many facts, and some personal quibbles I had with functionality, storage and the entire iTunes Application concept. I actually still have many of these issues, but the iPod Touch (3rd Generation, 64GB model) finally won me over, especially for the WiFi connectivity and "massive" solid state storage.

I was disappointed that it did not include actual GPS (instead a "maps" service based on your WiFi connection which I knew would be a joke - apparently I work in "Chicago, Illinois, Florida", for example). :-P But frankly, I'm very happy with my investment (because that's what an iPod is any more... an investment).

After dumping 26GB of music on it to see how it would handle it (I already knew it was going to defy my conventions of folders for music-types), I've been using it daily, and have made $3 in purchases on iTunes (one game and a scribble app for when I need to take a lot of quick notes - I don't know if I'll ever type "fast" on it since I am 6' 4" and have the hands to match). I did find I was easily able to use the virtual keyboard so far, which was a pleasant surprise. I wish it had (virtual) left and right arrow keys for simple text corrections, though.

I have since removed the music and redumped it all back in but am organizing my FOLDERS as "ALBUM" references so that I see my "folder" on the iPod. I really don't need to hear a Oration by Leonard Nimoy mixed in with Dance Dance Revolution tracks, Duran Duran, Avril and then some Holst followed by the Halo soundtrack, topped by Star Wars "Anakin vs Obiwan". Get it..? As for "playlists"... I'm not on board with that yet. I probably will use them eventually, but not for CATEGORIZING my music. Why they allow you to put Pictures (which includes Videos.. what?) into Folders and then SEE THOSE FOLDERS but not your MUSIC is beyond me. It's like it's either over-idiot-proofed or someone at Apple is sadistic (the latter, I'm sure).

I've already set it up for VOIP so I can make phone calls as long as I've got WiFi near by, using my Google phone number (626-81-SCIFI). Not a cell replacement, but nice to have just in case.

I will probably get the actual app for the website I use for remote server/desktop access (thanks to how things have gone at work, VPN is a joke and now circumvented by people like me). Testing VNC to my server from across the house yielded looks of awe from at least one of my kids. "You're doing that with your IPOD?!"

So if you can't tell, I'm pretty excited about it. I obtained a nice leather "Star Trek communicator" type flip case with belt clip for it, and I will probably stay with that (despite my desire to get something that protects it like a 3 day old child - you really don't want to get these things dirty, or scratched, or ANYTHING, I find).

So... there you have it. I've done my annual bid to the Tech Lords, after my last venture (the quad-core system I use, very helpful for my multimedia work). Getting it to work with Windows 7 was.. not fun (as it was not yet officially supported since W7 is still a few days away from release) but after that, it's been good. Now I have a bunch of family videos to convert to MP4 (thank the Lord for NERO).


Mars ETA: 39 Days

Wow. I first saw this in Slashdot today, and found it very exciting! The heck with paid trips to the space station. I want to visit Mars before my time's up, now! :-)


Star Wars Remake... By You And 471 Other Fans

Yes, it's true. There is a website ( that is putting together a remake of the original Star Wars movie (episode 4). Check it out, because it's actually pretty damn cool.


MOVIE: Couples Retreat

This was pretty much what I expected... sort of funny, had it's "moments", but I was also finding myself a little to "reflective" on my failed marriage and several points in the movie where it was "overly serious". I wanted it to be funnier, more often. Oh well. Matinee showing so not a huge hit on the wallet, thankfully. I did not beat up on my daughter for telling me that the character played by Jason Bateman was me... (but I still have time)


MOVIE: Zombieland

I went into this movie knowing exactly what I was going to get: A fun time with people making jokes every 60 seconds while killin' zombies. That's exactly what I got. Thought it did, of course, require tons of vulgarity (sigh), it did NOT require any over the top sexual themes. That's such a rarity any more. I'd pay to see this again just because it was simply FUN to watch and enjoy. Don't expect to exercise your grey matter at all, but do expect to laugh out loud.

MOVIE: Surrogates

So take some old scifi ideas and mix them together, add Bruce Willis, shake, then.. well. Enjoy, I guess. It was not stellar by any means. I'd put it on par with Tom Cruise's movie about the people living fantasy lives (forgot the name now), though his had more special effects I'd say.

I wouldn't spend more than matinee price to see this movie (and I did). :-P You can tell I'm not that into a movie when I can't find much to say about it. I think it's because I've seen so many over my lifetime that I'm constantly, just like my father did, comparing them to those stories they are ripped from originally, as this one was. Oh, for want of more movies with at least semi-original themes...


MOVIE: Jennifer's Body

The kids wanted to see it. I had a free pass for myself. It was something to watch for a while. I laughed a couple times. It was really dumb, for the most part. Someone give Transformers Girl an acting lesson. Popcorn was good.


An Employee's Prayer

Dear Lord,

Please grant me the wisdom never to feel I need to "assert myself" repeatedly and endlessly with those around and/or below me in the chain of command. It would make him.. I mean me.. look stupid.


ROM has arrived

The first of two ROM's arrived yesterday, in surprisingly better condition than I could have dreamed considering the ridiculously low price I paid for him. Just waiting to get a mint ROM in the box now. Yay.


Orbiter Online - 15 Years

I was reconciling disk space on the primary server here at the Malena home -- the one which houses the websites I host for me, my family, several local school and non-profit entities and others -- and came across a few texts from Orbiter Online's history that are still technically online (though not directly linked via Orbiter's pages currently). It was a pleasant stroll down memory lane... Orbiter existed in BBS and Internet form from 1994 to 2004, then becoming a host for non-profit endeavors until this very day.

Fifth anniversary text

"About Us" text

Ten Year Page (after we were offline briefly - the beginning of the end of Orbiter's BBS and gaming)

I still get occasional requests to put MajorMUD or TradeWars back up. Hmm.


MOVIE: The Final Destination

More of the same. It was a yawner. My son asked me if it scared me at all, and I said now (neither did it scare him). It's worth a matinee if you're really bored, that's about it.

Burning Retinas Out

I was told today that if there was not enough light in a room, certain monitors can actually burn your retinas out (because it's a "high contrast" monitor?!). I was amazed at hearing this 'fact'. I *must* contact my eye doctor about this to protect myself.

(I'm not sure if this is a joke or not; just thought I'd share, just in case) :-P


MOVIE: The Time Traveler's Wife

Of the last four movies I saw in a week's period (this being the fourth and final I am posting today), this was probably my favorite, which is hilarious. I knew going in that it was a chick flick with science fiction mixed in, but I *really* enjoyed it! My kids enjoyed it! You'll enjoy it! (I think). I think I've seen enough of Eric Bana's buttocks for my lifetime (though perhaps not enough of Rachel McAdams' - when did she suddenly grow up and get truly foxy?!). I've seen this twice, actually. I expect to get it when it's released on DVD/etc.

MOVIE: District 9

I of course had to see this scifi flick. It was certainly under-advertised (which intrigued me - so many movies these days OVER advertise, for months before the movie comes out). I had heard barely anything about it, and the commercials only give you a slight glimpse at the really awesome CGI-to-reality immersion that the entire movie gives you. The special effects were truly awesome, and the story was basically an old story (racial hatred) turned futuristic (species instead of race). Pretty neat story. I'd bet mainly scifi fans will go see this, but that's a shame because the fact that it stars a bunch of CGI aliens is really secondary to the actual story. It could have just as easily been about "black vs white" or "east vs west" or other such human silliness. Check it out...

MOVIE: Funny People

My mother hated this movie - probably because it was about someone who is in the slow process of dying - and though it ran a little long for the type of movie it was, I still found it funny. My daughters were ga-ga over Seth Rogan (whatever...). It was not exactly an "uplifting" movie but of course it did have it's funny moments since it stars Adam Sandler. Don't see this movie if you want something peppy or to get out of a funk, that's for sure. But it's still worth seeing otherwise.

MOVIE: A Perfect Getaway

I went to this movie with Chris on the advice of my daughter Amanda. I thought the commercials were ho-hum and had no interest in seeing it. I'm glad I did, though. It had a pretty massive twist (even though you were expecting a twist as the movie progressed) which was hard to predict (I certainly didn't). For simple shock-value of having a relatively unpredictable story and ending, I'd suggest people see this thriller-mystery. It also stars the woman I base my Mass Effect personas on ('cause she's hot, okay?).


GAME: Mass Effect

Lately, I've been taking it easy physically after having some "minor eye surgery" (I'm not supposed to be exerting myself and popping my eye which actually has three stitches in it -- yum).

So on the input of a co-worker who has similar game tastes to me, I decided to seek out Mass Effect for the XBox 360. K-Mart was going out of business in Port Orange, Florida, so I bought the Platinum Edition with extra content for $15 there brand new. Good deal.

So far.. I've put over 85 hours of recorded game play into this game. No joke (because it shows your time spent). If you are on XBox Live, look my family up as "Malena Family" and you'll see that I've gotten most of the achievements (and an debating getting the rest of them). This game is totally full-on addictive! If you liked KOTOR (Knights Of The Old Republic) at all, you'll probably(?) love this game. My kids love, and hate, it (because they see me hogging up the giant screen TV all weekend and occasionally cursing out the scenario I might be playing -- currently I'm finishing up the Insanity level with a brand new character, so I can experiences the absolute hardest game possible with the lowest level character possible).

Anyway, I highly suggest this game to people who enjoy strategy/RPG type games.

The sequel is due out in 4-6 months, which is only slightly depressing (as the game itself is already a couple years old). You get to pull your character(s) forward to the next game (and/or start from scratch if you need/want to).

This game, if I were giving ratings, gets a FULL five stars (out of five), definitely.


I had told my kids I was not very interested in seeing this movie, because the commercials really made it look baaaaaaaaaad. I was convinced the way the commercials were presented that all the "Joes" would have Master Chief (a la Halo) exoskeletons, and that the movie really should have been called "Halo meets BioShock". We ended up going to a Matinee showing, and I have to admit that thankfully I did not allow myself to judge the movie by it's commercial.

It was actually a fun movie, though of course, for a movie made about toys that kids play with, it just *had* to be riddled with random curse words (sigh). But that aside, I found myself laughing and enjoying much of the flick.

I actually would recommend this movie if you're into action/adventures. It blatantly ends on a cliffhanger (which was expected) as well.

William Shatner - What A Liar

"I have not seen the new Star Trek movie," the old guy that used to play Captain Kirk said. (yes, said with much disrespect).

What a liar. The link I've posted also shows him acting like he's "confused" about the difference between "youtubing, twittering and emailing" someone. What is wrong with this individual? He "writes" a bunch of novels (thanks to those who did most of the writing based on the ideas he gave them) and is just "so clueless" (trademark eye roll courtesy of my mother inserted here).



MOVIE: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

Made the trek to Regal here in Port Orange to see Harry Potter's latest adventure. I didn't realize just how much this was going to be about teenage angst, love triangles and the like, though. To be bluntly honest, it was not a very good movie. It was nice and long, and it continued the story, especially with the revelations about the primary bad guy and how he's made himself virtually immortal, but... really it was a huge soap opera more than anything. Most good stories HAVE elements of a soap opera in them, but this was overkill.

I'd honestly say go to a matinee to see this movie. If the book were to be judged by this movie, I'd say that the series had already ran out of steam way before book 6.. but I did not read them, and assume that per the norm, the books are much better than the movies.

Oh well, now that they're milking the movie series for TWO movies out of the last ONE book, we'll just have to wait and see.

MOVIE: I Love You, Beth Cooper

I was in the mood for a funny movie a few days ago, and went with Chris to see this.

It was actually enjoyable, not as "overly" raunchy as so many "teen" movies are these days. Yes, it did have a couple items which were pushing it, but frankly, I enjoyed the movie. It gave a sobering dose of reality to the life of so many "popular people" in high school who go on to (GASP!) lead average everyday lives. I guess it was near and dear to my heart since I was, and am, and will be, the geek (of which I'm forever grateful in most ways). I thought it could have used an extra scene at the end... (for those who have seen it)... a glimpse of the ten-year reunion. Unless it was after the credits (which I did not stay for)?

Cool flick to take your teenage kids to, in my opinion.


MOVIE: Transformers - Revenge Of The Fallen

I'm a bit mixed on my thoughts on this movie. I attempted to discuss it with someone last night, but there were mitigating factors which forced the conversation to halt. I've thought a bit more about it, and here is what I came up with.

It's a very fun action flick, that I will say for sure. A lot like the newest "Star Trek" movie in that you are frequently hurtling through action sequences.


The storyline, I can't really give much praise for at all. It's got a story, of course, but there are a lot of things that are just dumb, or don't make sense, or are just too "cutesy" for my tastes.

* Bumblebee "crying" - dumb ("aw, but it was so CUTE!")

* Blatantly ethnic stereotyped robots (with horrific grammar and cursing) - dumb (why expose your core audience, the younger crowd, to yet more of this stupidity than they already are in real life?)

* So many Transformers with little or no backstory, little or no depth provided to make you ever care about them, and pretty much no effort to make them likable at all.

* Three words: female Terminator ripoff.

* Resurrection?! Key device disintegrating and then reintegrating at just the right moment to finish off the story?!

* Optimus Prime is still (once again) alive - I really would have preferred that he die and be replaced (in fact, I would have found it pure gold if we would have ended the movie with... wait for it... Bumble Prime! Maybe next sequel...)

* Megan Fox's first scene, bent over a motorcyle - again, why? Are the people of America (especially our kids) not sexed up ENOUGH yet?!

There is SO much more. No explanation of the Constructicons, the alteration of elements of the mythos which were not well handled (the device found to help bring Optimus back, which really should have been with Optimus all along), shard - no, shardS - of the Cube still in existence and now suddenly being relevant... need I go on?

Poorly developed story. Great action. It's like a Jim Carrey movie in that, if you turn your brain off, you can enjoy it.

(shrug) I really hope they do better next time. MORE CREDITS-SCENES next time!


The Old Debate Renewed - Picard vs Kirk

Wired Magazine posted a modernized article on the old geek debate of who the better Starship Captain is, Picard or Kirk. It's amusing, and I tend to agree with the results.


Yay, Los Angeles!

Sorry Orlando. Maybe next time.

LA Rocks. ;-)

Thus speaks the Cali-Native living amongst the Floridians.


Credit Where Credit Is Due

My company has, of course, been hurt by the economic recession, and has taken different steps every few months to help combat it. I give them high credit for what they've done so far (I guess if I were someone who actually lost their job, I'd feel differently, but...) and the latest move (three days unpaid Furlough to be taken one day per month in June, July and August) is the latest move. I feel highly confident that things are going to rebound in the long run, and have faith that the Executives are doing the best they can to keep things rolling, keep clients happy, and keep productive staff employed, that they can.

Family Vacation In December

The final touches are being put on our Family vacation in December (though as of now, both Daniella and Amanda have opted out, which saddens me).

We'll be going to Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, then Isla Roatan in Honduras, then the country of Belize, and finally Cozumel, Mexico, on a cruise. Thanks to having the right days off of work, we ended up with an insanely fantastic deal for the trip. Next step is to pick out Excursions for each stop, then it's just sit and wait for December to come around.

I'm really excited! The boys and I are sure to have a ton of fun!!



What a great little movie! I did not see it in 3D, but the story was just "cute" as anything. From the beginning montage which probably brought some people to tears, to the interesting cast (including talking dogs which were done "semi-believably" so much so that you accept them by the time the movie's halfway over) to the absurdity of a house being floated across the planet via everyday balloons. It was a very beautifully animated movie, and I actually saw it twice this past weekend (took one of my sons to see it Sunday). I highly recommend this movie to anyone and everyone!

Windows 7

This week I make the jump to Windows 7. I've already downloaded it and received my key. Should be an interesting journey, as they lock me into getting used to it, then a year later I'll have to purchase it or downgrade (and since it's the "Ultimate" version they're giving people, I'm sure they love that idea).


HP Acting Stupid

If the computer comes with an Nvidia 9500 GS (includes VGA, DVI and HDMI outs) and the monitor packaged with the system comes with VGA and HDMI ins... it should include an HDMI cable, not just a VGA cable.



The Dream Begins

Today, I took the first step toward a lifelong dream. For literally decades I've been toying with the idea, since I was in my teens. It's something that many have told me I should do (or even be doing full time) and I am now ready to put my full effort towards it. I've had what I needed to do this since I was a kid. I was hesitant to even say anything to anyone, so I've decided to make one post about it right here, then be done talking about it.

I'm writing the screenplay that I was destined to produce (since the age of about 12). I'm already well underway with the "bible" for this idea (as it will in fact be a series of screenplays) and if I stick to my guns, I think I have a shot at being the next Spielberg or JMS. I've had this "in me" since I was a kid, revisiting it and refining it and even jotting down ideas and such over the years, even in the incarnation of a very short lived comics group (R&M Comics) that my friend John Rigali and I toyed around with in the eighties. I still have sketches from that brief brainstorm and it's always bugged me that I did not pursue that life... but no longer.

I'm really excited about this. I've already recorded a ton of background information for characters and situations. I need to get my laptop serviced quickly so I can work on this uninhibited.

You heard it here first. And believe it or not, my kids were indirectly responsible for this resurgence of creative energy. I hate that they're growing up and getting on their own so quickly. :-/ But they'll always be my inspiration.


Anthony's Graduation Ceremony

Today we go watch Anthony graduate officially from high school at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. I will, per the norm, be running around shooting video and taking pictures instead of relaxing and watching the festivities. (this is my self-prescribed lot in life)

Then apparently we're going out with Anthony's mother and grandparents for dinner at Crabby Joe's or The Crab Shack or I've Got Crabs or something like that (I'm honestly unclear what the name of the place is). It's free dinner, so that's cool. :-)

Anthony got his graduation gift last night, and has been using it for many hours since, configuring mail server settings, downloading software and setting up IM accounts and the like. I'm sure he's happy not only to be in a laptop, but also to be in a "modern computer" that can actually handle modern software without any hassle (he's been using an HP Brio that I received free and I doctored up to the max, which is not saying much as it's a very limited machine to begin with). Now he's on an AMD-based dual core several-gigs large system with all the typical bells and whistles.

Next stop, college and a career rivaling Chef Ramsey! >:-)


MOVIE: Terminator Salvation

Went to see Terminator 4 (aka "Salvation") last night. Here's my take...





CGI Arnold? I was thinking it would be a literal cameo... but for him ("it") to have an actual starring role in the finale of the movie was pretty insane. He no longer looks like Arnie soon as "it" is damaged and so on, but it was still an interesting move.

Christian Bale is certainly a different "John Conner" than we've seen before, and he's not really in charge (yet, has "faithful followers" who defy orders in deference to his wishes). The whole gotta-save-daddy-who-is-still-a-teenager plot was not exactly Oscar material. I actually would have been comfortable with the death of Conner and Reese in this movie since it can be explained away and/or cause more time travel stories in future iterations, but alas, they chose the safer route.

The cyborg Marcus was by far the star of the movie in my opinion. I fully expected to see him as the "last man standing" ready to take the reigns of the series. His fate is not clear to me (despite his apparent sacrifice at the end of the movie). There are several ways to explain away his continued existence.

Was that another Will Smith child breaking into movies playing as the mute child? I couldn't tell and didn't watch the credits long enough to check. There were no post-credits videos (as I came in at the end of credits of the previous showing).

Overall a decent flick. I'm not going to go see it again, but it was a nice update to the aged Terminator franchise.


Wettest Day On Record In Daytona Beach?

I just heard this morning that we had the wettest day on record (I assume Wednesday May 20 2009). What?! After the hurricanes and such that I've been through, that was the wettest day? Wow. It *was* very wet, but I remember flooding and lakes forming in streets on other days in the past. Hmm.


Mandi Is (Officially) Engaged!

Amanda and her longtime boyfriend Marcus are now "officially" engaged (though it's been unofficial for several weeks now). They went out and bought a very nice ring for Mandi's finger. I haven't taken a pic yet of it, but will soon 'cause I know all the females who know her will want to see, etc etc. :-P I'm happy for them, and hope for a good engagement and marriage. She's just returned to school and changed her course of study to Dental classes, which is also cool, attending UCF currently.

Another Year With Spruce Creek Band

So the 2008-2009 school year here in Volusia County, Florida, is quickly coming to a close. Last night (it's now early morning the next day) was the yearly Musical Performing Arts program banquet (or "band banquet" as it's usually called). The usual mix of awards, videos and "Gunkie rights of passage" took place. It was a relatively fun evening as usual. Then some of the students stayed for the dance afterwards. It was good to see both Anthony and Christopher (at his girlfriend's behest) let loose for a bit. The boys (ahem, young men) and I along with Amanda, Chris' gf, went to Steak 'n Shake afterwards. Overall a good end to the band's school year. I took a small handful of pictures, but doubt they'll go online (not sure yet). Also played with the HD digital vidcam during the dance to see how well (if at all) it performs under poor lighting, which is still the bane of my photographic and videographic existence. :-P

Next year (and the following one) I will only have Chris at the high school and in band. Doesn't really alter my responsibilities, but will make it easier to "choose" who gets attention for this or that event. (yay)

Anthony's still looking at the possibility of either going directly to Jacksonville School Of The Arts for Culinary training, or possibly starting at Daytona State College first. We'll see how that works out after we're sure what's going on with his scholarship eligibility with Florida Bright Futures, et al.


MOVIE: Star Trek

See this movie.
See this movie.
See this movie.
See this movie.
See this movie.
See this movie.
See this movie.
See this movie.
See this movie.
See this movie.
(see this movie)

I'm not kidding. Star Trek has been brought to the "next generation" (pun not intended). My kids loved it. My mother loved it. I loved it. Dad would have loved it.

See this movie.


GE And Holographic Storage

A co-worker of mine sent me this link which sounds pretty intersting (after I read it a couple times to convince myself it wasn’t some hoax or spam)...

GE unveils holographic disc breakthrough


Spruce Creek High Spring Concert

Spruce Creek held the Spring concert featuring all the bands and orchestras and a couple combos tonight.  It was a nice send off for the year, plus as a bonus, the seniors sang the school Alma Mater which is no longer a tradition at the school (shame).


MOVIE: Fast And Furious

Not having been one to "rush out" and see the previous iterations of this movie franchise (I vaguely recall seeing the "Tokyo Drift" installment, and I've seen bits of another one on TV recently), I saw this movie with one of the kids because I was told by two of the other kids that it was both fast paced and "actually had a story line".

While it's not exactly Oscar material, I did enjoy the flick. Fast moving, not too much in the way of profanity and gratuitous sexual silliness (but yeah, it's there - especially Vin Diesel liking to make feline references to people in a derogatory manner - am I'm being vague/clear enough?). Vin Diesel gets his "just desserts" at the end, though. It was worth the trip.

Books, Covers, Judgements

I got wind of a woman (47 years of age) in Britain who appeared on one of their reality talent shows ("Britain's Got Talent") and how she had wowed Simon Cowell and company with her fantastic voice... after everyone rolled their eyes at her because of her otherwise "plain" appearance and speech patterns.

This video clip of her performance is simply awesome. She completely stunned everyone present (no exaggeration). It's a really good lesson for those who have a tendancy to not judge books by their covers (which, let's face it, we all probably do daily).


Anthony's 18th Birthday Party

Anthony and his friend Bennett Miles spent the day today celebrating their 18th birthdays here at the Malena household. Lots of Guitar Hero and Rock Band being played, that's for sure. I participated in a few sets (drums) as well. Fun fun. Pics are online.


MOVIE: Monsters Vs Aliens

Mom didn't want to go to a movie unless it was funny. So we went to see this. It was "cute". I was happy to see ONLY ONE slightly sexually suggestive moment in the movie (at least, the only one I found)! All the kids in the audience had a ball, that's for sure.


TV: Battlestar Galactica (finale)

So BSG is over. (sigh) The best current scifi show on television ends it's run with a very good final two hour and eleven minute episode full of action, drama, revelations and just enough religious-mystic overtones to satisfy all (I believe).


I had predicted since the first season that Baltar would end up being a pseudo-goodguy in this revamped BSG universe, and, well... prophecy fulfilled.

Kara apparently played the part of God-sent angel to help BSG along to it's final destination only to disappear (literally). For a split second I thought maybe she just ducked Lee quickly so there would be no temptation to "be together", but no. She was obviously "sent" by "God" to help deliver everyone to their destiny.

That destiny was also what I'd predicted in the first season, with BSG and Cylon groups joining with early man (I'd said cavemen in my original thoughts) to begin anew.

Roslyn's passing was sad, but completely predictable, as was Adama's reaction. But still poignant and true to the story.

Not getting more information on how Kara's father knew this song was a bit annoying (and I was beginning to think he was the boxed cylon that we'd never seen). At this point, we don't know. I don't think Kara was a hybrid at all, though. Maybe the new movie "The Plan" will reveal this boxed cylon we never met (or never knew we met..?).

Galen should have popped that wench's head like a zit, I think, for killing his wife.

How "cool" it was that Tigh and his wife had a love that ended up transcending multiple lives. The marital problems she brought into their lives was a typical scenario in too many lives today where a perfectly loving wife is driven away by her husband's work/ambitions (not giving her an out, but there is, as usual, blame on both ends).

All in all, a good episode, and a good ending. I am content.

Oh, and for those who are so inclined:

1 1 2 3 - 6 5 3 6 - 5 3 2 1
- A G E A - G E D C


Programmers And Those Who Like To Think They Are

Recently, I discovered that there is a big problem with those who don't have the proper "sense of urgency" when it comes to computer programming (even something as simple as survey programming).

There are those who wish to spend lots of time making pretty, re-usable code, when it is there job to push out programs ready to use in very short time frames. They don't want to use blocks of "identical" code with a value changed in each block, because it's not "pretty", it's not "re-usable", it's not what they think is proper programming.

I've got news for the world: Sometimes you get to spend the TIME to make things nice, pretty, easy to re-use, and other times you've got to throw things together in such a way that perhaps NEXT TIME, if you're re-using code, you can THEN make it nicer and easy to alter.

I like to say it this way now: It's M*A*S*H, not Grey's Anatomy.

Call it "meatball programming" (another reference that only those who have watched a lot of M*A*S*H can appreciate) or call it what you want. You can't always make perfect end-products, no matter WHAT the industry is, when you are in a time crunch.

Some people are just not fit for urgency-based daily time schedules.



Today I had one eye treated with a laser procedure, and they had to literally "disable" the eye (two injections right below the eye, thank you very little). It was pretty interesting, disturbing, bizarre. My right eye, for several hours, looked only straight ahead, while my left eye moved normally. I took some pictures, but am not sure if I'll put them online... the kids thought it was pretty funny. :-) Next Tuesday they do the other eye. Yay! :-P


Daniella Turns 20

Daniella, danigurlll, Dani-rific, turned 20 last week.


So, as my gift to her, I'm taking her up in an airplane and pushing her OUT of it. Then I'll jump out after her.

Should be fun. There is going to be someone attached to each of us (not interested at this time in being fully trained to skydive on our own yet). :-)

Bars Leak Destroys Van

My van now sits in the driveway, a victim of over-the-counter repairs.

I noticed I was slowly leaking water out of the radiator a couple weeks ago. I had been filling it every other day without incident. Then I purchased some "Bars Leak" and antifreeze (pre-diluted). Read the directions carefully, put it in (after work), and drove home.

Made it to within a mile of home, too!

First, the van started sounding like there was water in the cylinders (so I assume the head gasket broke). That caused it to slow down, so I pulled over. I noted as I pulled over the the temperature was pretty high as well.

About five minutes later, after I made a phone call to Triple-A to be towed the rest of the way home, as I sit in the back of the van reading, I here a muffled "pop" sound, and then I notice FLAMES coming out of the hood. I guarantee you've never seen me jump out of a van so fast in any lifetime.

I stood there amazed at what was happening. "What do I do," I wondered. I remembered that I still had a quarter-gallon of anti-freeze fluid, so I carefully felt the hood (the flames were only peaking through at this point) and opened it cautiously. I really didn't want the van BLOWING UP, especially in my face. I saw that basically all of the hoses and wires on top of the engine (including the one leading to the carburator) were on fire. I sloshed the liquid onto it, while at the same time trying to keep my distance. The fire goes out, and that's it.

So, my van, which I've had so much fun with, including the mounted laptop, the "MALENA" license tag, the dual subwoofers and MP3-player soundsystem... is dead. I am certainly NOT going to attempt any repairs (it's a 1996). I am now down to my one vehicle, my 1997 Taurus (which runs very well, knock-on-wood). Worst part is that now I need to find a second vehicle so that Anthony, and then Christopher, will have one to use during their first few months of driving. (sigh)

And that is how Bars Leak destroyed my van. I wonder if I could sue them for the destruction of my van..?


MOVIE: Watchmen

Where do I start... let's start with my overall feeling about the movie. It was very good. It was probably a little better than I expected it to be. (to be clear, I am an original Watchmen reader from the eighties; I know what the Watchmen is supposed to be)

Spoilers abound in this posting, so if you've not seen the movie and/or read the original story and don't want it partially ruined, turn away now.

The characters were portrayed well, especially Rorschach, with my least favorite being Dr. Manhattan (he was constantly in slow motion, annoyingly so, and his voice was just too "high pitch" to be logical to me). The Comedian was good, though I'd almost say the actor playing him was not every seasoned because it was not the best acting job in the world. Silk Spectre (II) was fine (didn't think she was very pretty, honestly). Nite Owl (II) was also spot-on and basically perfect in my mind. Ozymandias was played well, basically a cross between Bill Gates and BatMan.

The Owl Ship was absolutely awesome. I read somewhere someone whined that they added chain guns to the ship... and to such people who will nitpick the movie to death for details different from a 20 year old story I say "don't be silly". The "changes" made to the story were in most cases minor, not taking into account the heavily altered ending, and I was fine with them.

So much of this movie, however, did come directly from the visuals in the original comics, and that was excellent. The various inkblot and "who watches..." texts found painted on walls and elsewhere, the newspaper clippings, photographs; you were fully immersed in this alternate timeline (Nixon's nose was a bit much, though). And seeing Bubastis was pretty nift (the genetically engineered Lynx seen during the final scenes).

I remember thinking "wow, some parents are going to be PISSED" when their children get them to see this movie, and mom's the world over scramble to cover their younger kids' eyes during the very animated sexual encounter in the Owl Ship. Good lord! There are also, I'm sure, many people who probably saw the movie (not having read the original) and thought "what the heck... this isn't a super hero action movie... it's a DRAMA!" And they're right. It is a drama. Advertising should probably have gotten that point across better, but then again, they did what they needed to get butts in the seats, I guess.

Not including the "Black Freighter" storyline was probably wise (it's being released as an animated feature just days after the Watchmen was put out to the cinema). But I at least would have liked to see the young boy's interaction with the newspaper peddler. Oh well.

Probably one of the big things that many Watchmen "purists" are/were/will be up in arms about is the ending. It's only vaguely like the original.

Original:   Ozy creates a fake, giant space alien "squid" the size of skyscraper and teleports it into the heart of the city, causing the deaths of millions. This causes the world to halt it's advancing hostilities and consider the possibility that they (the various nations) should unite and prepare for extraterrestrial intervention, bad or good. Then later, we see signs that the plan, though temporarily successful, is not permanent, in the guise of news bits on television that show hostilities slowly beginning again.

Movie:   Ozy uses Dr. Manhattan-type energy blasts to kill millions in multiple cities around the world, making the world believe that the Doctor is to blame - a god-like being that even the entire world could not defeat, most likely - and the threat that he may attack again is supposed to keep hostilities at bay. Plus, there is no "ironic" ending showing hostilities continuing (in my mind, a huge part of the ending).

Truthfully, I think the ending worked fine for a movie. If a giant squid appeared in the middle of the city at the end, I'd bet the audiences (more non-purists than others) would be like "okay, yeah, that's... dumb". I think this altered ending (except the missing "irony" that it really didn't end hostilities) worked well.

Truly an R-rated movie (very graphic violence, sexual content at one major point, and a bit of raw language). I'd almost have expected there to be NC-17 on this flick, after having watched it twice.

So, I really liked the movie. There was no expectation that it would "the actual comic story" without alteration, and yet they were very true to the original material. It doesn't seem like it's making as much money as I would have hoped/expected, and that's unfortunate, but I really think non-comic people are scratching their heads about it, thinking it's Spider-Man with a dark tone, but getting Days Of Our Lives in spandex.


Journey's Continuation

With the deposit of a letter into the US Mail Box outside my employer's office this morning, I decided that I'm not going to take a sabbatical from my journal and start a new one later this year as originally planned. I'm continuing this one. I'm finding that I am not ready to STOP the flow of information. The small dose of emails I got about my last entry made it clear to me it was a dumb decision. I'm tired of making those... and though I'm sure I'll continue, I'm hoping the flow will lessen as time goes on.

There's too much to share for me not to continue. I'll probably start with the Watchmen movie...


Birthday Number 41 - Journey's End

It is my birthday. Here is a generalized catalog of what I thought about today....
  • I'll go to work a half hour late today (which means, a half hour early instead of an hour early)... and I did.
  • I wonder if anyone will surprise me with some "big to-do" which a small part of me would enjoy but a larger more visual part of me makes clear would embarrass me. No one did. One co-worker gave me a card (she was sweet); Vesta gave me a teddy bear with balloons [EDIT] (she and I had just "agreed" to not talk to each other, so this was confusing to me, however now I'm wrong for having said a co-worker was sweet with what they gave me and not saying something positive about Vesta - it's an unfortunate catch-22 that I'm used to now) [/EDIT].
  • Do I feel "old"? I decided I did not, but was "feeling older", mostly I think because dad died exactly three weeks ago at only 63 years of age. Feelings of mortality, et al.
  • Am I going to have to wear this retainer on my upper teeth forever?
  • Oh please, not ANOTHER software change at work!!! (GROAN)
  • Will I be a lonely old man like my mother's father ended up?
  • Oh Lord, Amanda brought a big bouquet of balloon with her and made me walk in with them to La Fiesta for my birthday dinner. Funny!
  • I miss Rumble.
  • (random sexually charged thoughts)
  • The pants I'm wearing a really old and tattered, in truth, and should be only for around the house or used as rags... but I hate to shop for clothes, so keep 'em
  • I need to post the minutes to previous meetings to the SCHS Band website. Done.
  • I need to work on the CD Order Form for the new MP3 CD we're offering at the Lakeside Jazz Festival (only a rough draft so far). Not done. Also supposed to create a form for people to buy "notes" in the now half-sized program for Lakeside Jazz. Not even started yet.
  • I need to post an entry online since it's my birthday.. and the pics from dinner with Amanda. Done.
Wow. A truly momentous birthday in the annals of history. The "whole family" has a minor birthday get-together planned for me. Everything seems "muted" to me currently. Dad's death and ongoing "issues" not fit to post, as I'll have I'll be asked to remove them if I do, are making it hard for me to want to do much at all.

[EDIT]This post was modified 2009-02-27 @ 10:25am as I was berated for being insensitive (my interpretation). My apologies. This is the last entry I will ever put into this journal. Thanks to those who shared with me over the years, as I've trekked from 2000 through to 2009.[/EDIT]


Anthony John Malena, Born Feb 2 1946, Died Feb 5 2009

My father passed away early this morning after a months-long battle with what appears to be ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

He is survived by my mother and his wife (Ann), four grand children (Daniella, Amanda, Anthony and Christopher), and me, his only son, Anthony.

He passed on very peacefully at home with his loved ones around him. He will be missed very badly, but also be celebrated for his life and his passage on to the next phase of being. A memorial will be held at his home within the next few days.



Water-Powered Jet Pack

Okay, I wanna ride! Pleeeeeeeease?? All the fun of a flying jet pack and pretty much no risk... it fails, you fall into the water. :-)


MOVIE: Underworld - Rise Of The Lycans

For an "Underworld" flick, this was okay. I enjoyed how it literally linked into the beginning of the "first" movie (since this was a prequel to it). It's nothing to write home about, but it was fun. Definitely had some gory moments, but you'd expect that from a Vampires versus Werewolves movie, wouldn't you?

MOVIE: Slumdog Millionaire

While watching a portion of the Golden Globe awards, I saw that this movie (a "Bollywood" production) had received many accolades, and decided I'd watch it to see what's what.

I was pleasantly surprised. This was a well-produced flick, with a concrete storyline and a healthy dose of "reality" (I am unclear how "exaggerated" some things were such as the terror depicted between rival religious factions and such). The idea of a young man playing "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and then tortured (by the local police) to try and coerce a confession out of him because it was assumed he was cheating worked well. I had read elsewhere that it was "too convenient" that each question he was answering had it's response based on real-life experiences the boy encountered... but it's a movie for criminy's sake. It was both depressing and uplifting at the same time, as it teeter-tottered between moments of despair and moments of triumph.

I'm very happy to have seen this movie, and would recommend it to everyone.


Dear Idiot...

I want to thank you for stealing from WalMart. The copy of Turbo Tax Deluxe I purchased which is completely devoid of any CD or paperwork delighted me to no end when I went to install it and do my taxes. I've reported the serial number from this box to Intuit, in the hopes that perhaps they can block you from using the free e-File services offered with the product that you stole.

Anthony Malena


MOVIE: Valkyrie

I wasn't overly impressed with this Hitler flick. (shrug) It was basically "ho hum". Maybe I was expecting Tom Cruise to rewrite history, I don't know. Oh well. He dies at the end. Hitler does not Oh, did I spoil it for someone? Oh well.

Bowling Night

The boys and I went out bowling late Friday night (Fred and Amanda joined us later) in Ormond Beach, and had a blast. Though I could barely hold my ball, it was still fun. No one broke 120 that night (sigh) which is pathetic, but none of us had bowled in a long time, and I think my parents were probably sadistic when they bought my ball for me when I was a teenager, as it seems to weigh more than every ball at the bowling alley. Hopefully in a week or two when we go again, I'll be in a little better shape and might actually be able to bend over properly next time. :-P


Utility Bills That Do Not Suck

Just a few months ago, I was paying between $420 and $440 a month in electricity. Now, I'm only paying between $165 and $200. All thanks to simple adjustments like not leaving lights on, leaving doors open, etc. It's amazing (though not, really - it's just being logical and caring enough to watch what we do around the house - you could say it's a "respect" issue, too, with those who affect the bills being major contributors to this success). The water-and-trash bill took the same dive, as it's now half (and less) than it was just a few months ago as well.

This has been very helpful since I'm still recovering from spending a lot of (credit) money on things last summer involving my wedding and subsequent separation. With my company dealing with the current US economic crisis as best as it can, I'm happy to have my job and the level of stability I do have; being able to have hundreds more dollars to support the family with each month is an added bonus.

Everything evens out eventually, I guess.


MOVIE: Gran Torino

Wow. Clint Eastwood was a pretty cool cucumber in this movie. And disturbingly enough, made racism an almost laughable issue (which I partially admired). No one was safe. This flick really made you think, and laugh at times, about racial stereotypes, and the fact that even the most smug race-supremecist (whatever race they may be) can actually come around, and many times, it really is "upbringing" (or programming, let's say, from fighting in Korea or Vietnam) that makes you have the attitudes you have. A sobering thought as I think about my own children.

In any case, I enjoyed this movie immensely. Clint Eastwood "singing" during the credits was an unexpected treat, too.


Weak Women

...are as frustrating as the Men who cannot stand up to them when they are out of line.

Let the rock hurling begin.

With the events of my life and the four women who have had impact on my life, I'm surely the biggest wimp, the most unfeeling person, and the most undesired man on the face of the earth. I'm pretty certain I should have chosen to be gay (news flash, it's a choice people), or more appropriately, just not to get involved. Thanks to this, I am divorced, separated and not able to see my dying father. Frankly, I'm beginning to contemplate wiping the slate completely clean and moving on with life with a fresh start. Were it so easy as wiping memory clean on one of my computers. (sigh)


MacBook Wheel... NOT

I find it funny that there are certain news outlets (some of which I respected) actually advertising the MacBook Wheel as a real product (a video posted on If you watch it, watch it ALL. It starts stupidly, and then gets insane by the end. :-)


G-Force... NOT!

I thought I was going to get a teaser video of actual work on an actual G-Force movie (known to many Americans as the cartoon "Battle Of The Planets" which starred the voice of Casey Kasem, but which was really a Japanese show called "Gatchaman"), but was appalled to see that Disney thinks it can simply rip off the name from a long standing franchise and use it for a really stupid looking kids' movie... (sigh)