Archive for December, 2006

The Good Shepard

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

We also went to see The Good Shepard on Monday. I was curious about it, because (among other things) I had heard that Robert De Niro was directing it. I was unaware of him directing anything previously and thought it might be interesting, especially considering the subject matter. Well, I now know about his other 2 forays into directing courtesy of IMDB, but one of those is uncredited, so his work is still fresh. Immediately I noticed the likeness to a Scoorsese’s directorial style. It takes a lot of effort to copy it so well, but De Niro certainly has plenty of experience working with him. It is a very interesting film. It is certainly long, but not in such a way that I felt it was very long. There is just so much in it. Now, De Niro said on Leno that he has been working on this project for 10 years, so with that much work I’d expect the details to be as precisely worked out as they were. My curiosity is to that De Niro as an author is stating. I have some ideas and many of the clues were quite subtle. I should watch A Bronx Tale to see if I can find some more. In short, this is an excellent film, that requires a great deal of thinking, and probably multiple viewings. I need to see it at least one more time. Highly recommended.

Night at the Museum

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

We went to see Night at the Museum on Monday.  That’s a fun family film.  I never saw Jumanjii, but I imagine some of the animations (and of course having Robin Williams) were familiar to those that had.  The movie itself was full of allusions, so it’s to be expected.  Actually, there isn’t a lot to discuss about the film after watching it.  It was quite transparent.  That’s not to say that it was bad, or dumb.  I quite liked it.  It just didn’t appear to be much more than a film to take at face value.  Good for the family, good for something light to watch.  Classic Hollywood happy ending, the whole deal.  Bread and butter stuff for Hollywood.  Go see it, or rent it.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Staying busy

Monday, December 18th, 2006

It’s been pretty busy since my last post.  There is a lot going on.

First thing is the weather.  It has been a Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde thing.  We had a pretty cold streak that lasted about a week (cold enough I actually turned the heater on) followed by a heat wave.  It hit 70F-something today.  It’s December; it’s not supposed to be that hot.  I’ve turned the A/C back on.
Kitty is losing some weight.  I’ve put her on a restricted diet with Shinta gone and when she came back she said Kitty looked skinnier.  I’m not starving her by any means, but we’ve cut back from giving her food at every meow to something much more structured and regulated.  When she gets down to “healthy” we’ll increase the flow a bit.  I bought a bag of the “light” food too, so hopefully we can up the volume enough that she doesn’t feel as hungry.  We’ll see how it turns out.

I’ve been out to the airport 3 weekends in a row now.  It’s kinda nice just sitting there watching the planes and listening to the traffic on the scanner.  I’m gonna be real used to radio traffic again when I start back flying.  Heck I might even get to know “the guys” fairly well by then too.  It’s cool to have such an active little airport so close to home.

With Shinta gone, I had to occupy my time more than normal.  I decided to go ahead and try listening to a podcast I’d seen postings about, but just never gotten around to listening to.  It’s BSD Talk (http://bsdtalk.blogspot.com/). Somehow, I managed to listen to ALL of them.  Yes, an entire year’s worth of podcasts in a little over a week.  I’m caught up and loving it.  Will does a really great job covering the BSD’s and related things.  I find myself checking for more postings daily now.

The TV show season is winding up.  We just watched the Survivor ending tonight.  It’s cool that Yul won, but really any of the final 4 was fine with me.  I’m a little disappointed in the Amazing Race ending.  I really didn’t want any of the top 3 teams to win.  I’d have liked the Alabama team to win from the 3 that got to the top, but I really wished Kentucky or the Cho brothers had made it.  I think the Cho brothers had more of a chance, but they shouldn’t have played so stupidly.  It’s one thing to help the other teams in the “six pack”, but to constantly draw themselves down in order to help the others was just dumb (in my opinion).  Oh well, it could have just been how the producers edited things.  I’m looking forward to the Amazing Race All Stars coming next year.  I’m starting to wonder when Stargate is going to pick up again.

I took a couple of work buddies shooting.  Introduced them to “the dark side”.  It’ll be interesting to see if they want to go again.  I think they enjoyed it.  It’s hard not to enjoy blasting 5.56 down range.  No recoil, lots of noise, and an evil looking toy.

I finally added a slide show to my photo gallery.  It’s certainly not the most full featured slide show.  It’s not pretty, very intuitive, or even that elegant, but it functions without javascript.  That’s a big deal to me right now.  Maybe when I code some sort of AJAX solution, but not right now.  Right now I want it all done in a way that supports a wide set of browsers without the need for javascript.  I’m about ready to write the captions parser, but I may wait and redo the entire back end first to make it a bit more of a media asset manager with web browser accessibility, than just a dedicated photo gallery.  We’ll see.

Work seems to be kind of winding up for the year.  Looks like there are a lot of people disappearing for vacations and our last release of the year out the door.  Time to start working on some infrastructure changes for next year.

First weekend ‘packing’

Monday, December 4th, 2006

Well, my holster came in Friday, and so I tried my first weekend of ‘packing’.  As I’ve been told, it’s a little work to get used to, but I’m just barely starting to get to the point where I go for a while without noticing ‘it’ there.  I decided to just go for it and didn’t tiptoe.  First day out, I went to dinner, clothes shopping (trying out pants, no less), and electronics shopping.  There wasn’t a single sign of anybody staring at me funny (well, any more than some people tend to anyway).  I picked up a radio scanner to start listening to aviation traffic and just as I was walking in the Radio Shack I started to wonder if the shoplifting-prevention-scanner-things would go off based on a large chunk of metal.  Not a peep.

Sunday turned out even better.  I was a little more used to things, so I gave it another go.  Went to the airport (didn’t pack in the airport, that’s what the car safe is for).  I tried out the new scanner sitting out on their picnic table by the FBO.  I also picked up a FAR/AIM and Memphis sectional to start studying up for getting my license current again next Spring.  There was a decent bit of activity despite the cold.  The helicopter guys apparently were teaching a student.  That was kind of neat to watch.  I think I even saw an auto-rotation.  I’m not a 100% sure, because there was a Cessna 172 nearby that was taxing on out making enough noise I couldn’t tell if the helicopter’s engine was at idle.  It did come down quick, and it struck me as more of an auto-rotation than a normal landing.  It was a bit too much fun just sitting there than I should probably admit.  No warbirds this time; several Cessna 172′s, a couple Piper Cherokee’s, a Super Decathlon, a Cessna 208, and that helicopter (Eurocopter maybe).  I might do it again next weekend.  The scanner worked really well.