I haven't been everywhere, man

The Broken Road found this cool online map which colors in where you’ve been. After inputting my stops, I find I have only seen 29 percent of this great country. I wonder if that’s high, low or pathetic. I do think you should get extra points based on where you were and what you did in each state, such as drinking margaritas in The Gap in New Orleans or seeing the Macy’s Day parade in NYC.

Thanks mjd!

– I just finished reading Dan Brown’s “Angels & Demons.” It was pretty good. If you liked The Da Vinci Code, you’ll like this one – primarily because it’s the same book. All the DVC elements are there – character Robert Langdon, some hot chick (who Robert bags), old guy in a wheelchair, evil Catholics, European art, random riddles, a sexually-deviant killer and a mythical religious-based conspiracy group. My only real complaint it what appears to be a major oversight. Toward the end Langdon reflects on the televised speech given by the camerlengo when he “surrendered” to science. Yet, while the camerlengo was talking, Langdon was trapped unconscious under a sarcophagus with a beeping Mickey Mouse watch. Or did I miss something?

– Speaking of books, a couple of years ago I was mesmerized by the audio book version of Flags of our Fathers. It’s the story of the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. I’ve always meant to read the print edition. It is a moving tale, tracing those men’s lives from birth to death. I see today that Clint Eastwood produced a movie on the book. It’s coming out October 20.

– Speaking of movies, next summer is making my wallet sweat. Spider-Man 3, Shrek 3, Fantastic Four 2, Harry Potter, the Simpsons …. Has there ever been a grander popcorn summer?


Random robservations – LOST, headaches and divorcing ESPN

You know what to do– If you’ve been anywhere near a cable channel recently, you know how to use “HeadOn.” You apply it someone stick a nail in my ear directly to the forehead. This commercial is so annoying, yet so perfect. breaks it down.

– My television viewing habits follow one simple rule – if it ain’t on FOX, I ain’t watching (sole exception, these guys). I broke this rule recently when a friend gave me as a present the first season of LOST on DVD (they have a DVDR and record every episode). I was immediately hooked. I watched the entire first season in a week’s time. I begged for the already-aired season two episodes. I got ’em. That took a few days. I was then ready to watch the shows as they aired. Wednesdays at 9 p.m. I was ready. I was then introduced to ABC hell, as the network repeatedly screwed its audience with endless repeats broken occasionally with a few new episodes, then back to repeats.

Well guess what? According to USA Today, season three of LOST begins with six new episodes then … wait for it … a 13 WEEK BREAK! WTF? Geez, someone pass me some HeadOn.

A blogger over at files for a divorce from ESPN. He sums up aptly every nuisance the network inflicts upon its viewers, including my biggest gripe:

The continual prostitution of air time.The silver bullet 6 pack of questions. The Budwiser hot seat. The Miller Lite moment of dead air. What next, today’s beaning brought to you by Advil ? Webgems by Spiderman 3 ?

I loved you for a long time. I was devoted and caring. And now even your MLB gametracker is Inside. Well I don’t want to go Inside, frankly it scares me.

At least PTI still rocks.

Random robservations – Spider-Man, fans and Agassi

He has Al Gore's teeth

– Raimi reveals the first photo of Venom .. kind of. Link to the wallpaper here. More details from Comic Con here. First impression – love the teeth! Second impression – this is just how it should look.

– It seems like 15 years ago the revisionist money whore marketing genius George Lucas promised an animated AND live-action Star Wars series. Cinematical reports both are on the way. The former is coming 2008, the latter 2010. Expect the special edition of both by 2022.

– Would it kill K-Mart to price its items? I went to buy a fan Saturday. They had a wall full of eight different types. No prices in sight. I am still unsure why I went there (ed. – because there’s only one other place in Boone to buy a fan, and they didn’t have what you wanted.) That’s a winning sales strategy – when Wal-Mart doesn’t have it, we will! (prices not included)

KLo is right. This was a pretty depressing read. I am unsure the meaning of life, but I know it’s more than collecting trinkets and awards.

This is even more depressing – 10 dumb ideas that made someone filthy rich. Who knew letters to Santa could be so lucrative?

– Whenever Sports Illustrated has a really long, in-depth story, I’m tempted to skip it but fight the urge. I’m often glad I did. Last week’s issue included a profile on Andre Agassi. I was struck by how he was able to become as good as he was. Almost from the day he was born his dad forced tennis upon him, going so far as to tie half a ping pong paddle to his infant hand to strike balloons. It’s kind of a sad story really, but it made Agassi a tennis legend and multi-millionaire who bagged both Brooke Shields and Steffi Graf. At what price is a father’s obsession to high? If you can find the issue and you’re a parent, it’s an interesting read.

Random robservations

AHHHH! You scared me.My new favorite song – Time 4 Bed. It’s been ruling the airwaves in my head all week. (Favorite lines – “People says its smelly like a fart in a trash can. But I think he smells like a dandelion.”)

– Is it just me, or does Hardees have a policy against employees wearing a clean shirt to work? I can understand some grease stains if you’re behind the grill, but working a register? It kills any desire I have for a biscuit. I really need to stick to the drive thru.

Hot news from ComicCon – Peter Cullen, the man who was Optimus Prime in the cartoon, will be returning for the movie!

– Someone with way too much time and genuis editting skills has reset the character of Darth Vader. Take the first Star Wars. Instead of hearing the classic James Earl Jones lines you expect in the movie, you hear classic James Earl Jones lines from other movies. Sweet .. and very well done.

– One of the highlights of my day is checking the stats for this blog (tells you how sad an average day can be). I seem to be getting a few hits daily off the phrase “rock a bye baby” thanks to this post. I popped into google. Popcorn Dreams comes up on page two. Behold the power of WordPress!

A postscript to that lullaby post – there is one other odd song I find myself singing regularly to Gabrielle. Or at least, the tune of one song. It’s from an old Popeye cartoon. It’s “If I was president,” as sung by Olive Oyl. The ditty has always stuck with me and, without really realizing it, I morphed it into this.

I love Gabrielle.
Yes I love Gabrielle.
She’s real nice … she’s real sweet.
I love her from .. her head to her feat.
Oh yes I love my little Gabrielle.
My Gahhhhhab .. re-El!

Random robservations

– I had my first exposure to the famous iTunes store Tuesday. It was disappointing. she's my sunshine ... and she's so fine ...I went looking for a music bed for a project at work. I came across one song with the word “sunshine” in the title. Suddenly I had lyrical flashbacks to that classic (for me) ’80s hit “She’s My Sunshine” by Dino. I hadn’t heard that song in a decade. I became obsessed to hear it. Sadly, iTunes has no Dino. Bastards.

Here’s a report on plans for a Burger King movie. I can imagine the opening scene. It’s early one sunny morning. A tired father rises to prepare for work. He rubs sleep from his eyes as he lumbers to the window. He casually pulls the cord to lift the shades. He’s greeted not by the warm rays of the rising sun but the cold odd smile of a big-headed king standing inches away. The freak just silently smiles before him … with a blood-drenched labrador hanging dead from one hand and two empty buns in the other. Cue violins! It’s grillin’ time! …. I’d go see it.

Today’s evidence that the Internet is just too big. I know somewhere there has to be a similar site dedicated to fan worship surrounding the Rancor keeper’s outfit.

“DC feels very Windows. Marvel feels very Mac.” Agreed. Nice article.

Ooo! Ooo! I got one. “This is a book about the most admirable of human virtues.” (The only book I’ve ever detested. Visions of ninth-grade English drip in my head.)

Random reads I love

Swinging to 70s porn music– I love 70s Spider-Man. While the storylines were pretty sad, the soundtrack rocked.

– I love the Japanese. Only they could improve on Spider-Man by adding Voltron as his sidekick.

– I love Ultimate Avengers. I’ve never read the actual comics, but enjoyed the first movie. Now online is the trailer for the next one. Sadly, it features Black Panther. Booorrrring.

– I love Marvel movies. Well, most of them anyway. (Punisher stunk). The Motely Fool warns that the stakes have now changed for the future of its movies. The trend begins May 2008 when Iron Man is released.

– I love Aliens versus Predator. Actually, I really liked the books. They were well thought out. The movie, on the other hand, was pretty awful. Nonetheless, Part II is coming to a screen near you.

– I love lightning. We’ve had some cool storms here recently. They remind me of my childhood when I’d sit and stare out my window mesmorized by the forked flashes. Here is a collection of lightning photos I occasionally steal for wallpaper.

Random reads

One of these three do not belong

Here’s a purported review of the upcoming Wolverine movie, starring Hugh Jackman. Sabertooth and Blob figure into it, as well as the Stryker character from X2. It sounds pretty well thought out:

The whole Weapon X experiment has a much larger role in this script and in Stryker’s overall plan, we get to see Logan in berserker mode, the origin of his name, the eventual rematch with Creed, and of course his eventual memory loss, which is handled here and quite nicely I might add.

RIP Moose the Dog. I never watched Frazier, but I enjoyed “My Dog Skip.” Interesting note at his IMDB page – “Received more fan mail than any of the other ‘Frasier’ cast members.”

– Something for the wresting fans – if only we could actually see this on an upcoming Smackdown.

– You know … there are some aspects of NASCAR best left unseen. Leave it to Deadspin to offer some examples.

– A trailer is now out for the Michael Bay Transformers movie. It’s pretty weak. Granted, the movie is not due for another year, but still. Some crumbs would be nice.

– I generally hate spoilers, but here are some possible-spoiler thoughts on the Spidey 3 trailer. Here are a couple tidbits that aren’t really spoiling much if you’ve kept up with casting:

The final fight, the four-way rumble with Spidey, The Sandman, Venom and Harry as the Green Goblin, takes place in a construction site.

The extra villain that everybody has been speculating about makes only a fleeting appearance, and then only in a very off-hand but amusing way. Bruce Campbell’s character this time around is Quentin Beck – known to fans of the comic as Mysterio.

Summer 2007 can’t get here fast enough


Finally – The Spidey 3 trailer is online. It’s every bit as sweet as I’d hoped. Sandman. Venom. Hobgoblin(?) Gwen Stacey. A goth Parker. Gollum’s personality redux. It’s gonna be a loooonnnng wait ’til next summer.

Here’s another reason time will melt slower than snails. My money is on Snape and Ron. Or maybe Malfoy. But it couldn’t be Harry. Could it?

– Ever wonder what would happen if the Enterprise D took on the Empire? Me neither, but these guys did. It’s understandably choppy but done with love.

This may just be one of the greatest commercials ever made.

– On the other hand, this one is just … weird. And yes, Joe Lieberman did approve that message.

*SIGH* I miss you too, Berke.

Today’s Random Reads

action figures

– Well done. A great scene from The Empire Strikes Back re-enacted with Hasbro and Kenner action figures. Very well done.

Matt Damon as Captain Kirk? I could see it.

If you ever want some cool wallpaper, check this place out.

Create your own work of art in the style of Jackson Pollock.

– Rolling Stone reports the environment at Duke University turns its female students into sex slaves willingly turning more tricks than that silly rabbit. Difficult to gauge the accuracy of the report, given who published it. Still .. wow. A sample (near end of page 3):

She explains: ”When you’re in a relationship with somebody, especially with somebody in the frat scene, you’re lucky to be with him.” It’s never the other way around, she says — no matter how smart or attractive the girl.

Which is upsetting, she adds, because she and her friends tend to look down upon the boys at Duke. ”I’ll see this beautiful model-type girl walking with this little scrunchy five-foot-two guy, and it’s like, ‘Oh, she’s so lucky that she got him,” says Kasey.

Rob’s random reads for a Monday

canes mania

– Stanley Cup mania lives! I was so shocked to see a Hurricanes car flag in Boone Saturday I stopped and snapped a photo. Of course, some people have gone a bit too far … at least for now.

– For the cat lover who needs a reason to hate cats – Hitler cats!

– I keep meaning to check in with this guy’s updates. A writer at Slate is “Blogging the Bible.”

– If you’re a fan of LOST and the summer repeats have ya down, pay this guy a visit. He has way too much time on his hands and carrys a chip of conceit on his keyboard. Still a fun site.

– I’ve tried to watch the World Cup. All I see is this.

– *SIGH* I miss your work Bill.