just procrastinating

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

United 93
We checked out United 93 over the weekend. I wasn't sure if I wanted to see this because I knew how it ended, but it was the only real option on Charlottesville's downtown mall this weekend. But they did a great job with this movie. Even though you know what is going to happen, the movie was filled with suspense. I felt like I got a workout because my heart was racing so much during it.

The directors did a great job of capturing the confusion on the ground. They mention at the end of the movie, after all 4 planes were down, the military finally got the OK to shoot down any hijacked airliners. Whoever received that order decided not to pass that along to the pilots in the air, because there was so much confusion that he was worried that they might make a mistake. Great call by that guy.

If anything it made me think about the real people who were on that flight, and I spent the rest of the night googling people like Thomas E. Burnett, Jr., who seemed to be the real leader of the effort and Jeremy Glick, the judo champion, who took it upon himself to attack the guy with the bomb and confidently stated that he would just break his arm. Just normal, everyday people who wake up one day and find that they have to do something extraordinary.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

American Idol
I didn't watch much of American Idol this year, but I had to watch last night. Here is my uninformed commentary: I can't believe that Jay Leno-looking dude won. He probably was a better singer, or at least had a more unique sound, but who would vote for a pear-shaped gray-haired guy to be the American Idol? I guess you can't judge a book by it's cover, but when you have cover as appealing as Katherine McPhee, you'd think she'd win on looks alone. Guess not. Oh, and why did Prince agree to be a part of this?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

MS Tour De Vine
I'm going to be participating in the Multiple Sclerosis Tour De Vine, which is a 150 mile event over 2 days, June 10-11, here in the Charlottesville area that will raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. I'm planning on doing the whole 150 miles even though I only recently put air in my tires and checked to see if I could still ride a bike. (I can!)

If you are feeling in a giving mood, know that your donations are likely tax deductible, and you can donate to a great cause right here.

Too Many Criminals?
This from Andrew Sullivan has been kind of bugging me lately:
Land of the Jailed

King's College, London, just out put their latest PDF report on rates of imprisonment in the world. The rates are given as the number of prison inmates per 100,000 people in the population at large. It's pretty staggering that by far the highest rates of imprisonment occur in the U.S. The U.S. rate is 724 for every 100,000 people - up from 505 in 1992. Of major countries, the only close competitor is Russia with 581, and Cuba at 487. Iran and Israel, to give examples of countries with internal conflict, clock in at 206 and 209 respectively. Most major U.S. allies are in the 130 range or lower. I'm not sure what any of this proves. But this much we can say: the land of the free is also the land of the unfree. Millions of them. Texas, by the way, has an imprisonment rate of well over 1,000. There's no country on the planet - no dictatorship on earth - as confortable with locking people up as the state of Texas. The detention policies of the current administration may be more understandable in this context.

Is there something about Americans that make us more criminal? Of course not. We've got too many cops with nothing to do and too many bullshit laws (i.e. War on Drugs) that have prison sentences. People should be more outraged about this kind of thing.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Clean Windows
Twice a year or so they wash the windows of the building where I work. I'm on the fourth and top floor and they are up there making a big racket today. They wash them "old school", which is my own term that means with the ropes and the swing-like seat, not the lame scaffolding thing that moves up and down the side of the building. These guys are the elite of the janitorial staff and they know it. No averted glances or sheepish "Hi" from these guys when you walk by them in the halls.

One of them walked by me earlier all harnessed up and kinda looking like fighter pilot and it made me feel a little inadequate, as I headed back to my desk to sit at my computer and click away, while he was out risking his life to bring a little more sunshine through.

King Kong
We rented King Kong this weekend. I liked it enough to sit through all of it, but my wife gave up on it 2 hours into it, realizing that there was another hour to go. This is another movie that probably played a lot better in the theater. It appeared to be visually stunning, but that just doesn't have the same impact when it is shown at home on my 27 inch screen in widescreen. (I'm real close to getting a new TV for this reason, by the way.)

Anyway, you might get the feeling that you have seen this movie before and it's not because of the original in 1933 or the remake 43 years later. The beginning of this movie is very Titanic-like and the middle is a combination of Jurasic Park and Indiana Jones' Temple of Doom. I can't think of what the ending reminds me of, so that part might be original. Naomi Watts is great in this. She is year older than me and looks like she's still in her 20s.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I just crossed paths with some guy in lobby who made me do a double take. I was walking in and he was walking out carrying an office chair, and he looked exactly like this guy I knew in college. I was sort of friends with him and he ended up transferring after a couple of years and that was last I'd seen or heard from him. Except, this guy looked exactly the same, and hadn't aged a day. That was almost 17 years ago and he looked exactly the same.

Anyway, that reminded me of the movie the Highlander ("There can be only one"). In that movie, there were a bunch of people throughout history who became immortal for some reason and they would all have to fight it out in the end, since, well, there can be only one left. The immortals don't age so they can't really sustain relationships with other people for very long since families and friends die off and they are left alone. Is it possible that this guy is actually an immortal, doing a stint in Charlottesville delivering office furniture?

A quick google finds that person aging and balding, so no probably not.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The job I have currently will likely cease to exist come August, so I've been interviewing here and there. I had a long all day interview with a company in Richmond, and while I was there, it looks like someone googled me and found my blog. Hi! There was a search for my name that made it here. So it looks like companies do google their candidates. I suppose that doesn't really matter since this blog is quite tame, or lame maybe, and now merely existing until it can become reborn as place to post baby pics in mid-June. But it's always kind of interesting when someone cares enough to look for dirt.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My wife's due date is 6/15/06, but if she happens to go 9 days early, that could be a problem:
For one group of expectant mothers, their due date holds an extra dimension of dread. The prospect of giving birth on June 6, 6/6/06, has prompted talk of spawning devil children on Armageddon day.

That would end up being a bit of a bummer; being all excited about having a baby, and then it turns out you spawn Satan and the world ends. All those cute girl clothes would go to waste.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

George W. Carter
Andrew Sullivan hits on something that I've been thinking for awhile. Bush is Carter:
Both Gallup and CBS now have Bush at all-time lows in approval numbers; and the ratings for the GOP appear to be way below the water-line for November. Things can change. But I have a feeling that Bush has now become Carterized. It is very hard to see how he can regain his footing at this late stage. After six years or so, the public knows who you are; and they have come to a judgment.

It's a shame too, but you reap what you sow. I still like the guy though, and that bit he did with Bush impersonator Steve Bridges solidifies that. But he's just in over his head here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Dog Weekend
We moved into a new house last year and were the only house on the cul-de-sac, so we kind of just let our dog out and she had free reign. She usually stayed in the yard and came back when she felt like it. Well now the cul-de-sac is filling up with houses and theses houses have kids, and we have to do something to make sure that she stays in our yard, especially because we aren’t going to have as much time to look after her once this baby comes next month. She has no idea what she’s in for.

So I spent the better part of yesterday trying to install an electric fence for my dog. Like most household projects, I enter them optimistically thinking that I should be able to take care of them in a couple of hours or so. You know, 1000 feet of wire to bury, figure I can do about 10 feet per minute, done in a couple of hours. For whatever reason, it never seems to work out that way. There are so many rocks around here and the ground is so hard from lack of rain that I was lucky if I could get 2 feet of it buried per minunte. We got about a quarter of it done and decided that maybe it would best to put the rest of it off until after the next rainfall.

My dog was watching the entire time and I kept telling her, "This is all for you." But it really is all for us. She isn't going to like it one bit, but it will put us at ease to know that she isn't out getting hit by a car or terrorizing the neighbor's kids.

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