5 posts from November 2003

Oldies: Sunday, November 23 - Saturday, November 29, 2003...

Tuesday, 25 November 2003: This one kinda caught me offguard. I was checking out a review on Yahoo! Movies yesterday and, in the right column, they list the top 10 most read movie pages on their site as well as the top 10 most accessed celebrity profiles. While checking out the latter list, I saw the name Jonathan Brandis. I remember the guy because I used to be a junkie for the TV show SeaQuest: DSV back about five or six years ago. So I was wondering why his name was suddenly back in the spotlight. I mean the guy's been languishing in B-movie hell ever since SQ was canceled.

Turns out he's in the news because of this "languishing in B-movie hell". Brandis, 27, was found hung back on November 12. I hadn't heard a thing about it until I looked him up on IMDb to see what was up. And, just today, they officially ruled it suicide. He hadn't left a note or anything so people were wondering if it was, in fact, suicide.

In case you don't recognize the name, he played Lucas Wolenczek on SQ. He was the only teen on board the ship and was the one who became best friends with Darwin the dolphin. He also costarred in such films as Ladybugs about a girls' soccer team with Rodney Dangerfield and Sidekicks about a kid trying to get a bit of vengeance on some bullies which also starred Chuck Norris as his imaginary best friend. Neither were particularly memorable. I think I gave pretty close to the lowest possible rating on Sidekicks on the film portion of this site.

But, suicide, regardless of if you're well known or not, is still unfortunate. I wish it didn't have to come to this Jonathan. But, you knew what you were doing.

Monday, 24 November 2003: I'm sorry that I tend to have stretches of a few days here and there when I type nothing. I'm still getting used to this new Dreamweaver MX program (well, it's new for me). I've been using DW 4.0 to design and maintain this site for so long that you kinda fall into a rhythm. Then they throw an upgrade at you and, since it's the only version that works properly with your current operating system, you kinda have to get used to it... or else. Things should be better now, I hope.

But I am debating a minor change to the look of this website and it involves ditching the mouseover menu options on the left. I think I might revert back to a textlink format that will still incorporate mouseovers. But it will be much easier to add new links to the bar. We shall see.

Oldies: Sunday, November 16 - Saturday, November 22, 2003...

Thursday, 20 November 2003: Interest in the Movie Critique section of this site has yet to wane. I've been measuring statistics for different areas of this site for quite some time. I've been monitoring the homepage since November 15, 2001; the book site since April 25, 2002; the movie site since July 3, 2002; and the photo album since August 15, 2002.

For a long time, the numbers on the three peripheral sites (movies, books, and photos) have been pretty pathetic. Just a few here and there. The photo site is lucky if it gets a single hit on each day of the week. The homepage (the one you're reading right now) has it's spurts depending on what my current topic is and the worldwide interest level in it. Discuss something personal, of course the numbers are pitiful. Discuss something with greater overall appeal (the 2002 Winter Olympics and the first Joe Millionaire) and my readership goes through the roof.

Well, for some inexplicable reason, about six months ago, my movie site really started to take off. It seemed like it was a fluke at first. I was actually reaching double digits on a semi-regular basis. Then I broke 20... then 30... and it kept going. Over the course of the last 28 days, I've averaged 40 hits a day with my high points being 91 and 86 hits in a single day. And it hasn't let up. Unlike before, when I would think it a miracle to hit double digits on that site, it's become a letdown if my site gets under 20 hits a day.

I've become a hit whore.

Wednesday, 19 November 2003: Okay, so I'm curious about something. Tonight is the decision episode of The Bachelor. Big Bob has to choose. No, I have not been watching it, but when you do watch several shows on ABC, it's hard to avoid the suffocating levels to which this network is promoting the show.

What I find interesting is that they are having the actual finale to the show — the "After the Final Rose" special — tomorrow night. This is where they all get back together and discuss how the show turned out. After all, the show was actually taped way back in July. So, does ABC really think it can make a dent against Survivor and Friends by playing in that time slot? Isn't that tantamount to broadcast suicide? Or do they just not care?

Tuesday, 18 November 2003: I now have something to fill my lunchtime at work. While cleaning up our office bookshelf at home last night, I came across an old copy of Railroad Tycoon II for Mac. I bought this way back when I first got my PowerBook in 1999 and never actually installed it. So I brought it to work and threw it on the new Mac. Turns out the game CD also doubles as an audio CD with a pretty cool blues soundtrack to it. Anyway, I don't think system requirements will be an issue with this piece of software. Check this out (the system reqs are listed first and what my computer has is in parentheses to the right)...

  • PowerPC 132 or greater (I'm running a 1.8 GHz G5 processor)
  • 16 MB RAM (512 MB RAM)
  • 4x CD ROM (SuperDrive CD-RW/DVD-R - not sure of the exact speed)
  • 800x600 capable video card and monitor (I'm "capable" of 1280x1024 res)
  • 130 MB free hard disk space (approx. 160 GB hard drive)
  • Mac OS 7.5.3 or later (hmmm... Mac OS 10.2.8 Jaguar)

Well, I think I've got it just about covered, don't you?

Monday, 17 November 2003: Why does it seem like nobody wants to keep the good cop shows on TV? First, NBC nixes Boomtown and now ABC is putting Karen Sisco on hiatus due to low ratings. Sisco rocks! C'mon! That was a great show that both Katie and I were really enjoying. Seriously, though, it's got Bill Duke (Predator) and Robert Forster (Jackie Brown). And the star... Carla Gugino (Spy Kids)... need I say more? It's very cool. Very well written. Great acting. And it's got all the hipness and cool factor that you would expect from an Elmore Leonard project. Bastards.

Until today, NBC was a shoe-in for the Kapgar.com Primetime Award for Most Unfair Nixing of an Underdeserving Show. Now it goes to ABC.

Sunday, 16 November 2003: What the heck is this?!?! The Second Coming of Joe Namath?

As anyone who follows the NFL knows, Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals (a perennial loser) made the grandiose claim that his team, which was 4-5, would beat the Kansas City Chiefs this week, who were 9-0. Absolutely ridiculous claim, eh? Well, they did it. I dunno how, but they did it. The last of the undefeated goes down to... the Bengals. It almost hurts to say it. I never thought this would happen. Not Cincy. Wow. If they can pull that off, then this season is even more up for grabs than it seemed in the beginning of the season.

Oldies: Sunday, November 9 - Saturday, November 15, 2003...

Friday, 14 November 2003: A very big congrats go out to Katie who just nailed an economics exam with a 100%. For a girl who's done nothing but gripe about taking the class, she sure pulled this test off in grand fashion.

Thursday, 13 November 2003: Yesterday afternoon, while here at work, I received a call from Katie. She said, very businesslike, "hello, I would like to schedule a date with you for tonight." At first I thought she was kidding. Especially since she was going to be at work until 9 p.m.

She wasn't kidding. So we went to see Runaway Jury. There's not a whole heckuva lot else open that late at night. And it was a movie we both wanted to see. And it was a chance to spend time together and get the heck out of our apartment for at least a little while.

It was a damn good movie and she and I had fun going out and doing that. When you're as busy as we are with two jobs each and classes on top of that for her, you gotta take advantage of the little time you have left in a day.

I had fun, hon... thanks.

Wednesday, 12 November 2003: Do you remember a little while ago when I posted a blurb about having read two pretty intense books, so I decided to read something a little simpler. To that end, I chose Louis Sachar's Holes. Remember that?

Well, the two "intense" books I had read were David Saliba's Wounded and John Lawson's Witch Ember. Both of the books were request reviews by the authors who had individually come across my website.

So yesterday, I receive an e-mail from David saying that he had been checking out my archives and found that particular post, and this was the rest of his e-mail to me...

Did you know that John Lawson (author of "Witch Ember") and I are friends and that John used to work for me?

Apparently, neither of them knew that they were both requesting reviews from me. What are the odds? They've gotta be pretty slim.

Tuesday, 11 November 2003: I have a new addiction and its name can be summed up with a two-digit number... 24.

Yes, the TV series starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counterterrorism Unit (CTU) field agent Jack Bauer. I never really watched it during the first season because I never figured out when it was on. By the time I did, it was too late to try to decipher what was going on, so I didn't bother. During season two, I watched an episode here and there but never committed despite enjoying what I had seen. This year, however, I have watched all three episodes that have aired thus far and I'm loving it! God, I can't believe I didn't tune in regularly in the past. Thankfully both of the first seasons are available on DVD. Gotta check them out.

If you have time on Tuesday nights (8 p.m. CST), tune in. This show is great and it's still early enough that you can jump in and not have to worry about playing too much catch up.

Suffice it to say that if Sutherland keeps up the way he's going this season (dealing with the heroin addiction and all his other crap), he's the first strong competitor for the Best Veteran Actor in a Drama category for this year's Kapgar.com Primetime Awards.

Monday, 10 November 2003: Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.

That line cracks me up. Allow me to explain why... I was watching Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring extended edition yesterday and I was watching the scene where Frodo wakes up in the elf village of Rivendell. After talking to Gandalf for a bit, the head of that particular order of elves, Elrond, welcomes Frodo by saying, "Welcome to Rivendell, Frodo Baggins."

Well, the guy that plays Elrond, Hugo Weaving, is the same guy from The Matrix films who plays Agent Smith. In those films, he always refers to Keanu Reeves character by his human world name of Mr. Anderson, refusing to acknowledge his matrix moniker of Neo.

One day, on a web message board, a guy I talk to said that a friend of his went with him to see either LOTR: The Two Towers or maybe it was Matrix: Reloaded and blurted out the line "Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson" when Weaving's character first appeared on screen. And it's been stuck in his head ever since whenever he sees Weaving. So seeing Weaving intro himself in Fellowship like that made the line pop in my head. It kills me.

Sunday, 9 November 2003: Okay, the Bears are a losing cause (I say that in the present tense because they could still wind up above the .500 mark). However, when all things looked their bleakest, you always had the kicker to count on. Bears fans could always rely on Paul Edinger.

Until today, that is. Before today, I think el Kicker Extraordinaire was either 16 for 17 or 17 for 18 with field goals which is a damn impressive number. His one miss came two weeks ago against the Lions in which the special teams line broke down and Edinger's kick was blocked. Today, the King booted one low that was blocked and he completely missed on another. This is so unlike him. God I hope he comes back strong next game because if we don't have Edinger, then we've got absolutely nothing. 

Oldies: Sunday, November 2 - Saturday, November 8, 2003...

Thursday, 6 November 2003: I love it when I see big, expensive cars that don't run properly. I don't mean that they've been in an accident and are all twisted and mangled. I just mean that I like when you see some pricey Mercedes Benz, like I did this morning at the gas station, whose owner couldn't get it to start. The guy kept trying to turn over the engine and it just wouldn't catch. I was wondering how many more times he could do it before he completely flooded the engine. The thing is, you can't blame the cold because, obviously, his engine had already warmed up enough to get him to the gas station. I just wanted to laugh at him, but I didn't. I just drove away in my easy-to-start and far less expensive Ford Ranger.

Wednesday, 5 November 2003: Did anyone else out there watch the return episode of "8 Simple Rules..." last night? Talk about absolutely heartwrenching. It was painful to watch as they were dealing with John Ritter's death on the show. Katie and I both had trouble watching it. She was bawling her eyes out. I've never seen the need to keep a box of Kleenex by your side while watching TV until this episode came on.

What made it even worse was that they still put in a few jokes here and there, which you kinda need to do. But, since they had no studio audience and no laugh track going, the jokes were followed by complete silence. Katie and I laughed at them, but I noticed that our laughter was very quick because we both felt kinda guilty laughing at them when "nobody else" was, if you get my meaning. It was just empty laughter. And it was extremely awkward.

But I will admit that it was very well done. They dealt with the issue effectively. Almost all the previous guest stars made their token appearances (John Ratzenberger, Patrick Warburton, and Larry Miller) and had pretty poignant lines for the brief moments that they were on screen. The addition of James Garner and Suzanne Pleshette as Katey Sagal's parents was a good bit of casting. Overall, it was definitely a good episode. I'm just curious how they will segue this show back into the situation comedy that it was meant to be.

Tuesday, 4 November 2003: You wanna know what I consider the best days at work? Those days when I get to travel up to the Lake Geneva campus of my university and spend the day up there. God, it is so beautiful and laid back there. Talk about my cup o' tea. A college campus surrounded on one side by a lake (Geneva Lake), the opposite side by a golf course, and the other two sides by forest. Heaven, I tell ya.

Monday, 3 November 2003: Here's a hoot for ya. I opened up some of my mail at work today and I got a letter personalized to me from the AAUP (American Association of University Professors). So I opened it and this is how the first paragraph of the letter read...

At the beginning of a new term, I write to welcome you to your new faculty position. Perhaps you're new to the profession, or maybe you are starting the year at a new institution. In either case, I hope you will mark this beginning with membership in the American Association of University Professors.

When the hell did I become a professor? Am I missing something here? Did I forget to attend all my PhD courses as well as my own doctoral graduation ceremonies? Wow. I'm better than I thought. Time to talk to the higher ups about that pay raise.

Sunday, 2 November 2003: Doth mine eyes deceive me? Dideth the Bears actually win a second game in a row? Mine eyes doth not lie. They did.

Okay, so it was against the team with the worst offensive ranking in the NFL. But, at this point in time, a win's a win. I'll take it.  

Oldies: Sunday, October 26 - Saturday, November 1, 2003...

Friday, 31 October 2003: Happy Halloween to you all.

Yes, this is supposed to be a "scary" day, per se. But Halloween has been so weak for about the last decade, it's pathetic. In fact, the scariest thing I saw today was when Katie and I went to the local mall to see Scary Movie 3 (which, I might add, you shouldn't waste your money on). After the flick, she and I went windowshopping. Throughout the mall, there were "corpses" set up. One such corpse was just a figure made out of straw and hey and, from a distance, it looked like it was splayed out on a cross. Intrigued, Katie and I walked up to it and, indeed, laying out on the ground was a wooden crucifix with a straw Christ nailed to it using railroad stakes. To make matters weirder, there was a little sign above his head written in Halloween-style font, "King of the Jews." Maybe it's just me, but isn't that getting a little racy for Halloween in a big commercial center like a mall.

Thursday, 30 October 2003: I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the computer from which this page is currently emanating... my brand new Mac G5 tower. I am running OS 10.2 Jaguar with an ungodly amount of RAM and a processor speed I never thought was possible and it is a beautiful thing. Furthers my already firmly rooted belief that PCs are inferior in every sense of the word.

Go Mac.

Wednesday, 29 October 2003: I was listening to the radio on the way in to work this morning and I heard something pretty interesting. Bon Jovi is releasing what they call a greatest hits album "with a twist" next Tuesday. The album will be entitled This Left Feels Right and features remixes of many of their best loved songs. So the station played the remixed version of "Wanted Dead or Alive" and, let me tell you, "a twist" is a bit of an understatement. This was one funky remix. Most of the time, it sounded like Jon Bon Jovi was singing through a tin can. You know, that distant, kinda tinny sound? I'm not saying it was bad. It was actually kinda cool. I just hope that they clearly mark on the package that this album does not contain the songs you love in their original studio recorded versions or you're gonna wind up with a bunch of fans who are exceptionally pissed and feeling quite misled. I may have to check this album out just for kicks.

Tuesday, 28 October 2003: Today was the birthday of evil incarnate. Mr. Bill Gates (of Hell), the founder of Microsoft, Inc. turned God only knows how old. Well, Katie was listening to a radio station this morning and they asked the question, "what do you get for the richest guy in the world for his birthday?"

My answer... a Mac.