Month: June 2003

My Favorite Movies

I added a list of my favorite movies to the Links page. It’s far from complete and I’ll be adding more films to it when I think of them. All titles link to pages in the Internet Movie Database.

Ice Cream and Orchids

Yesterday, Annie and I walked up to Our Lady’s Parish Festival for some ice cream and heard something very wrong when we arrived. Pumping out of the DJ’s speakers was Nelly’s Hot in Herre. As in, “It’s getting hot in here, So take off all your clothes…” Yeah, that seems appropriate for a parish block party.

Later, we rented Adaptation starring Nicholas Cage. I really liked it, in part because it was one of the strangest/most original movies I’ve ever seen and partly because its subject matter focused on the joys and pains of writing. I can’t help but identify with the character of Charlie as he justifies all of the reasons why he’s putting off actually writing something. The stream of consciousness voice-over is wonderfully used in the movie to detail the weird workings of Charlie’s mind as well as a running commentary on the bizarre nature of the screenplay itself.

Interstate Crazies

I went to Lowes today to pick up something for my dad and saw something really bizarre on the way home. It was a Subaru Outback with its front and back windshield wipers turned on. That’s not strange except for the fact that it wasn’t raining! The driver wasn’t just cleaning the windows either; I was traveling alongside them or behind them for about two miles on the Interstate. By the time I exited, he turned off the front wipers, but the back one was still happily cleaning a dry window. C-razy Subaru drivers.

Noah and His Floating Zoo

I actually like a little rain every now and then but the horrible weather is really starting to get to me. It’s rained almost every day for the past two months, which doesn’t make sense. If I lived in Seattle or the Amazon I would understand that they’re soggy places and you get a shower every day, like it or not. But Pennsylvania is supposed to be ungodly humid and mildly hot in late June, making it just as unbearable as the current weather. At least if we had normal summer weather, I could complain about the heat and hope for autumn.

Oh, yeah. It would help if the weather forecast actually forecast anything with a shred of accuracy. The weather forecast on the Weather Channel changes several times a day. If they’re going to be wrong 99% of the time, they may as well resort to reporting the current weather. “Right now it looks like it’s raining outside, but it may clear up. Or maybe, God will break His covenant with Noah and kill us all in a flood. Your guess is better than mine.”

St. Anger is an Answered Prayer

Metallica: St. Anger

I bought Metallica’s new album, St. Anger, on June 8 and I’ve been listening to it non-stop ever since. It was somewhat of an impulse buy because I didn’t realize it was out until I walked by FYE in the mall. At $15.99, I couldn’t argue with the price considering that it covered the CD, a DVD of rehearsal performances of each song, and a special code to unlock live MP3’s and other exclusive stuff online. Not bad for a band scorned for being greedy enough to kill Napster.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the album. I read an early review that stated the album was a return to the Old Metallica, but with a brand spankin’ new bassist how could that be? What I heard when I listened was a totally new Metallica that didn’t sound like the first New Metallica. In a sense, it was a return to their old style, with quick rhythms and growling vocals, but there was another layer of sonic depth that wasn’t there on much of the early stuff. The songs are nice and long, nothing that most radio stations would play in their entirety, yet they never get boring. The lyrics are nothing extraordinary and occasionally, the words are somewhat repetitive as in “Shoot Me Again.” However, all of the songs rock in a way that’s pure Metallica.

In a sense, St. Anger spells redemption for a band that has seemed lost for quite some time. Metallica lost quite a few Bay Area Bangers with Load, essentially isolating thousands of their most dedicated fans with an album that at its hardest was alterna-metal. Having lost many old fans, Metallica then seemed to target their new ones by setting their sights on Napster’s demise. With special features for the new crowd, and furious rhythm and liner notes for the old, St. Anger can’t help but reestablish Metallica as the gods of rock.

It’s Payback Time

They can’t say that it’s unfair. For years, spammers have been hated by just about everyone who comes near a computer. With the exception of the spammers themselves, most people would be happy to watch the little devils devoured by vermin, or perhaps just beaten with keyboards by an angry group of server administrators. Too bad there’s nothing equally vicious that the average user can do to a spammer.

But now you can kill them with kindness. All spam wants you to visit a web site, so why not visit it a million times? That’s the premise behind FriedSPAM, a great web site I found listed on Idle Type. All you have to do is type in the spam site’s URL and FriedSPAM will visit that site as many times as you specify. “That’s what the spammers want, isn’t it? After all, why else would they stuff your mailbox with such tempting invitations?”

My Car is Feeling Old

However, it seems like the car is turning into a money pit this week. To start off the week, I didn’t get my vehicle registration in on time so I couldn’t get the car inspected. Then I noticed that a fog light was burned out. While I was waiting for my sticker, my car was just sitting in the rain that we have almost every day now. When I went to move it on Thursday, I noticed that there was some water sitting in a tiny puddle on the dashboard, which means that the windshield is still leaking a bit. The car also needs a new battery because the old one is just kicking around the grave at this point. Then, the garage where I took it to be inspected called to say that I need a new tie rod for the front end and a rear brake caliper. So a quick inspection that would have cost ten bucks will now be running close to two hundred. If anyone would like to own my piece of automobile history, I’m willing to trade for a late-model BMW or Nissan 350Z.

A New Beginning

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything with this web site, but hopefully I can finally break the trend. My plan for this version is to update when I have something interesting to say. It won’t be a blog that is constantly updated like InstaPundit, nor will it be a diary of boring details. Will I keep up to date? Anybody’s guess is as good as mine on that issue.