26 May 2009

Random Music Tuesdays: I Got Nothing

Sorry, kids. The past two weeks have been far too busy for my liking and I haven't had time to post what I've wanted to post. So next Random Music Tuesday I will have something special for you ... a whole album review.

Ooo! That sounds so epic for you!

Well, yes. It is. I haven't reviewed an entire album before so I plan on taking a few days writing it. I want to do it all good and proper like.

But I won't leave you wanting for music. Nosiree, not on Random Music Tuesdays. Enjoy!

The Washington Post's 2009 Post Hunt

If you've been a long-time reader of this blog, you will remember that I did The Post Hunt last year with a few friends. If not, you can read about it here.

Well, I did it again this year as well. Three of the original four members of Team Awesome were present. Member number four moved far, far away and so wasn't available. Instead, we incorporated four other people to join in our quest of solving this year's Post Hunt.

I'm not going to go into too many details. Anything about the Hunt, including answers, can be found on the official Post Hunt page. (Though it should be noted that one of our teammates is prominently featured on the video explanation for The Human Statues Puzzle.)

I wasn't really into the Hunt this year. Perhaps it was because of the size of our team. Perhaps it was because I felt disconnected from everything. Perhaps it was because of the overcast, clammy, cool day. Perhaps it was because of the boring-ness of the puzzles this year. For whatever reason, this year's Hunt didn't do it for me. But I still plan on Team Awesome (perhaps capped at five people) pursuing the fame and glory in solving next year's Hunt.

Oh, in case you're wondering, we didn't solve it again this year. And we got one of the clues wrong. So yeah. We'll do better next year, I hope.

12 May 2009

Random Music Tuesdays: "Say" by John Mayer

This week's song is a lesson for us all to learn. Yeah, it's John Mayer, King of Shmaltz. Yeah, this song was featured in The Bucket List. And, yeah, the song is sappy enough to cover several dozen stacks of flapjacks. But the message is true ... say what you need to say.

Say - John Mayer

So True

10 May 2009

Star Trek - The Spoiler-Free-ish Review

*** WARNING: While I won't be going into plot details, I may spill a hint or two about the movie. If you haven't yet seen the movie and you wish to be surprised when you do, you might want to stop reading this review now. But if you don't care, by all means, read away. ***

Star Trek has been a major part of the American psyche since 1966 and has permeated our lives in ways many of us don't even realize. Cell phones, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), speech translation devices and web sites, and GPS are all technologies that we have today thanks to the vision of Gene Roddenberry. Quotes such as "Live long, and prosper", "I'm a doctor, not a ...", "That is illogical", "Are you out of your Vulcan mind?", "He's dead, Jim", "There seems to be no sign of intelligent life anywhere.", "Beam me up", and "Space, the final frontier ..." are part of our American vernacular. Everyone knows that the unfamiliar red-shirted security officer accompanying the main characters on an away mission will be the only person to die.

I said all of that to say this ... if you profess to know nothing of the original Star Trek universe, you're an idiot and a liar. The original series (and movies) set the tone, the pace, the humor, and the rules of interaction for its other Star Trek children. If you've seen Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, or Star Trek: Enterprise then you've seen the original Star Trek series.

And I said all of that to say this ... the Star Trek of J.J. Abrams universe is not the Star Trek you've come to know, not completely.

In other words, forget about 90% of everything you've come to know about Star Trek. That universe has forever been altered.

I'm not going to go into details about the hows and whys because I would like to keep some mystery for those of you who have not yet seen the movie. Suffice it to say that time traveling is involved. Now I'm not fan of time travel as a plot device. I think it's lazy writing. Write yourself in a corner? Time travel! Run out of ideas? Time travel! Want to relive the past? Oh, now that's too easy. But this movie, this plot, this time travel ... these writers have incorporated it in a way ... the only way I've ever seen ... that says, "Yeah, we did this. And it will change everything." And, boy, does it ever!

Of course, there are things that will not change. The Kirk-Spock-McCoy ménage à trois bromance is not in full bloom, but the seeds have been sown. The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will become the close-knit family we've always known. And our favorite characters will continue to spout out those oh-so-famous catch-phrases we've come to know and love.

Trekkers and Trekkies, or anyone who is familiar with the original series, will be severely rewarded with little here-and-theres sprinkled throughout this film. Abrams, his writers, and his cast have tons of hat-tips to the original series and cast. Watch for nods to Star Trek: The Wrath Of Kahn, Star Trek: Enterprise, the original series pilot "The Cage", the TNG double episode "Unification", and the original series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles", to name a few. Also, the new actors pay homage to the original actors without becoming parrots or caricatures.

As a hardcore Trek fan (though far from being a Trekker/Trekkie), I'm pretty well versed in all things Trek. I've seen all the various series (except for that horrid Star Trek: Enterprise). I've seen all the movies. I get upset with things are not right or out of line with Roddenberry's vision.

Until this movie.

It's so well written, so well directed, and so well acted. And SO MUCH BLOODY FUN! Abrams has resurrected this dying franchise and is poised to shape it in his own image. And that's not a bad thing.

Do yourself a favor and go see it.

09 May 2009

Random Joke Friday! (One Day Late)

A drunk and a preacher were driving up a mountainside in different vehicles. The drunk was swerving from side to side; the preacher was driving straight and true. All of a sudden, the preacher lost control and drove off the edge of a cliff. The drunk noticed the preacher going off the edge, so he stopped his car and went to see if he was all right. He noticed the preacher was climbing up the hillside. He yelled down at the preacher, "Are you alright?"

The preacher replied, "Have no fear my son. I had the Lord riding with me."

The drunk then yelled back, "You had better let Him ride with me next time, 'cuz your gonna get Him killed!"

06 May 2009

A Belated Birthday Wish

I so totally missed this, but it's not completely my fault. I don't drive as much as I used to and so didn't get the memo. In any case, happy 40th birthday, WTOP! Here's to 40 more!

Another Site That Occupies My Time (EXPLICIT)

I have several sites that I frequent to escape the mundane reality of ... um ... reality. One of them is Zero Punctuation, a "groundbreaking video review series starring Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw". It's called "Zero Punctuation" because the reviews go by so quickly that you get the sense he did it in one breathless take (which we all know he didn't, thanks to modern technology). I get so much joy out of his reviews mostly due to his wicked sense of humor. But you have to listen carefully or you'll miss it.

Below is his most recent video game review. It's quite funny. But be sure to listen to it in a place where swearing is encouraged. If you like it, go check out his other reviews.

05 May 2009

UPDATED - One Step Closer

The D.C. Council voted unanimously (until they didn't) to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. It passed without debate (until it did).

I was equally pleased and confused that there wasn't at least one vote against. But then again, the change to the marriage law was added as an amendment to the "Disclosure to the United States District Court Act of 2009". I can see how one could be confused.

UPDATE: What did I tell you? I wasn't joking about Barry. From the article linked at the beginning:
UPDATE: D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) has now asked that the gay marriage bill be reconsidered. He didn't realize what he was voting on before.

He just gave a speech saying he is going to vote against it so it won't be unanimous vote. The council is now debating the bill.

UPDATE: I am always amazed at how my councilmember can find a way to play both sides of any issue.
Although he has been a longtime supporter of gay rights, Barry said he voted against the bill to satisfy his constituents in Southeast Washington.


But Barry said he disagrees with the ministers' antics today at the Wilson Building, saying the chaos "sets the movement back."
At least Mr. Barry "disagrees" with "antics". Good thing these Bible-thumpers were protesting in an orderly fashion or the police would have had to have gotten involved ... oh, wait.
After the vote, a large crowd of opponents, led by local ministers, began yelling, "Get them off the council!" referring to the members who supported the measure. The crowd caused such a ruckus that security guards and D.C. police officers had to be called in to restore order.
Additionally, it would be nice if the one dissenting voter would help to keep order instead of using inflammatory language that could be misconstrued (I'm sure) as advocating violence.
Barry predicted today there could be a "civil war" in the District if the Council decides to take up a broader gay marriage bill later this year.

"All hell is going to break lose," Barry said while speaking to reporters. "We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this."
"All hell is going to break lose." "We may have a civil war." Fine calming words for a city that is still known for its violence.

Random Music Tuesday: Bonus Video: "Stand By Me"

This was sent to my by a good friend. The link he sent me is here and I fully agree with it's title - this is the best video I've seen today.

Playing For Change: Song Around the World Stand By Me - Watch a funny movie here

Random Music Tuesdays: "Now I Can Dance" by Tina Arena

This week's song is as random as it gets. I had no idea what I was going to feature this week until just a moment ago, when this song started playing on my computer as it shuffled through my music library. It mostly reminds me of Basilio, since he was the one who introduced me to this song. To him, the song has literal meaning ... beginning, discovering, and living a new life far from family and long-established friends. To me, however, it has taken on a more symbolic meaning ... beginning, discovering, and living a new life far from the one I had lived for most of the past decade. I haven't physically moved but I have embarked on a new journey mentally and emotionally. I hope that you can pull some personal meaning from this song as well.

Now I Can Dance - Tina Arena

Happy Cinco De Quatro

Thank the gods that we no longer have a bumbling idiot for a President anymore!

UPDATE: Welcome, peeps from Bore Patch. Thanks for dropping by. Feel free to browse around. Mi casa es su casa. Mind the shoes, though.

01 May 2009

Random Joke Friday!

Things to do at Wal-Mart (or Target, for you foo-foo types) while the Significant Other is taking his/her sweet time:

1. Get cans of cat food and randomly put them in people's carts when they don't realize it.
2. Set all the alarm clocks to go off at ten minute intervals throughout the day.
3. Make a trail of orange juice on the floor leading to the rest rooms.
4. Walk up to an employee and tell him/her in an official tone, "I think we've got a Code 3 in housewares," and see what happens.
5. Tune all the radios to 98 Rock or DC 101; then turn them all off and turn the volumes to "10."
6. Challenge other customers to duels with tubes of gift wrap.
7. Put M&M's on layaway.
8. Move "Caution: Wet Floor" signs to carpeted areas.
9. Set up a tent in the Camping department; tell others you'll only invite them in if they bring pillows from Bed And Bath.
10. When someone asks if you need help, begin to cry and ask, "Why won't you people just leave me alone?!"