Thursday, July 29, 2004

very Very brief complaint about comparing Superman to Spider-man movies

I'm not sure what lunatic can say the Superman movies a superior to the Spider-man movies.  The Superman movies were deliberately campy and one-dimensional.  Spider-man makes a determined and successful effort to develop characters with depth and complexity.  The two sets of movies are in different classes. 
If special effects of Superman were put on par to the 2000's, then a modern equivalent to Superman would be X-Men, as both have average special effects for their time, and both are plot driven stories of similar depth. 
IMO, the Spider-man movies are easily the best comic book movies ever made.  They have excellent production quality, good to great acting, awesome action, well developed characters (the ones we care about), etc.  It's a refreshing reminder that movies (even an action-flicks) shouldn't be non-stop action when handling characters that the audience cares about; and that a balance can be reached between plot and character development. 
Superman, X-Men, first couple Bat Man movies are a tier lower.  They are still great movies, but they do lack the story telling of the Spider-man series.  Just watch the first two Superman movies again.  Although they have similar plots to Spider-man, they are pretty flat when held up to the two Spider-man movies.

Monday, July 26, 2004

"Bring me back something French!"

What is the origin of the line "bring me back something french"?  The line was used in `Home Alone`.  I heard it in a British sitcom from the late 70's called `Are You Being Served`, and in a couple of films since.  I have the impression it is a reference to an older film or book, but don't know where to look.   This is one of those rare cases where the Internet doesn't help.  Anyone have any idea?

Friday, July 23, 2004

Reviewing the Movie Reviewers

One thang I’ve been noticing about movie reviewers in widely distributed periodicals is that they happily show-off what little they happen to know.  The most recent example of this is the review by J.M. in the Wall Street Journal.  He reviewed the Borne Supremacy.  He starts off with glowing statements about the movie.  Then he starts comparing it to the director’s previous movie, Bloody Sunday.  Bloody Sunday is a political film about how British Soldiers started shooting N. Irelanders.  So, J.M. compares a political docu-drama with a big budget action flick, simply because both are directed by the same person.  Huh?  So, I’m guessing that J.M. did see that little non-Hollywood film?  Or maybe he did just five minutes of research on the internet, found some reviews that said it was good and then decided to make his review another big-budget-soul-movies-have-no-soul article.  Is something wrong with a film just because it has a high budget and is from Hollywood?  Review the damn movie you are talking about, J.M.!  If you must compare, then pick movies from the same genre, and compare apples to apples. 

I can just imagine if J.M. was around when 2001: A Space Odyssey came out.  J.M. might say something like “Although this is a wonderful, technically accurate film, I find it is missing the creepiness Kubrick so cleverly weaved into the classic Lolita.  This is what happens when talent like Kubrick gets a big Hollywood budget.  I sure wish they made more movies about perverts instead of science fiction.  Kubrick has failed his fans.”  I just have one thang to say to you, J.M, “Get real.”

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Here's the truck after it rolled off the overpass and into the freeway exit.   Maybe the fire burned through the brake lines, sending this huge truck rolling off the road and through the trees and brush.  My coworkers had just finished passing through this exit when the truck started falling behind them.
Copyright © 2004 Matthew Lorono Posted by Hello

Garbage Truck Ablaze on Caribbean Dr on the overpass over Freeway 237, Sunnyvale, CA
Copyright (c) 2004 Matthew Lorono

I'm Sailing, I'M SAAILLING

More sailing practice today...well, not really more cuz it's the first time the Spitfire crew has practiced this year.  It turned out to be pretty fun, without the pressure of the run.  Our first race of the Summer Series is this Friday.  I think we are ready!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Four Problems with California Politics

Item 1:  There are too many laws which mandate spending.  This creates two problems.  Well over 50% of the California budget is locked up by these laws that prevents the legislature and governor from putting money were it is needed on a yearly basis.  Second, they create government spending that cannot be eliminated.  We need to not pass any more mandated-spending bills, and scale back on such laws already on the books. 
Item 2:  We have this ridiculous requirement for a 2/3rds supermajority vote on the budget each year. This is a democracy, where the majority rules, but the rights of the minority are protected. How is a supermajority vote requirement for something as mundane as the yearly budget supposed to do either?   When used on something mundane as the yearly budget, supermajority actually allows a very small number of powerful legislature members to mandate their own personal desires onto the entire body.  Supermajorities should be reserved for when they are most useful, as in cases of political crisis (impeachment) or changing winds (changes to the constitution). To use them for anything else is antidemocratic! We need to get rid of the supermajority vote requirement for the state budget. 
Item 3:  Term limits in the state legislature is leaving our leadership in shambles. Any experienced members are lame ducks, and the rest are rookies. There's no accountability because no one is around long enough to care! Originally, term limits was supposed to help minorities and women get into government, but now it is having the opposite effect. We need to get rid of term limits. 
Item 4:  Single-minded religious centric people and cooperate egomaniacs have a stranglehold on the Republican Party in California.  This has hampered its ability to put up electable members to the legislature.  Coupled with term limits, this has created a scenario where the Democratic Party has an unnatural majority at the state level.  The Republican Party needs to put more socially and secularly minded conservatives or moderates up for election.  Again, term limits would also need to go.  These two actions would hopefully bring more balance back to the legislature.  

 If Californians took these bold steps to correct the problems mentioned here, I feel the state would have much few budge crises and we'd have more resources to tackle older problems that just keep getting worse, such as the detoriation of our public school system, fire departments, road system and other urban infrastructure.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Bumble Bees and Cows

If you glued a million bumble bees to a cow, you'd have a flying cow.

(a saying I came up with over ten years ago)

Monday, July 12, 2004

So, why do I recycle?

I'm confused as to why I recycle. As a Californian, I'm stuck paying a ridiculous 5 to 10 cent deposit for buying plastic bottles and aluminum cans. If you bring in your saved cans and bottles, you only get a percentage of that back. Additionally, each major city has set up a recycling collection program in which they expect you to hand over your recyclables to them. Instead of getting your CRV back, home owners actually have to pay for the service! What the hell? It's no wonder that recycling has dropped a bit in the past 5 years.
Ok, so I actually attempted to save my aluminum cans. I've been saving them for 3 years now. You might think, "Man, that's a lot of cans." Not really. I had only 4 kitchen garbage bags full. The first problem I encountered is that it is not easy to find recycling centers. Where the hell are they? I found one by accident last month, so today I brought my cans to it. The place was closed in the middle of the morning on a Monday. So I came back at lunch. Finally, I was able to offload these cans...for the tremendous sum of...16.54 (including a few plastic bottles). 3 years worth of saving netted me an amount that is substantially lower than my hourly income. Yeah, so tell me again why I'm supposed to recycle?

Saturday, July 10, 2004


Dave, his g/f Miriam (no relation to the other Miriam I talk about here), Nate and I paintballed today.! Outdoor, of course. We went to Bearcreek (backup link) in the hills outside of the Los Gatos area. It's only a 30 minute drive from my place. We got there around 8am, but didn't get started til 9:30 cuz of sign-in and orientation. By the second game, I was hella tired, but I got past that and came back strong. This one game I ran up the hill up the middle. Some how I got to the enemy base, ran right around their main bunker and took four guys out before I was hit. At the end of the last game, after lunch, I moved to the center of the field and held my position for the whole 15 minute game. I ran out of ammo about 6 minutes into the game, but kept myself from getting hit. I had two snipers come up at different times to my position. I would stand over the barrier, yell, and fire blanks in order to draw fire, then duck. The sniper was able see who shoot at me and take them out. The second sniper eventually got hit and passed off the last of his ammo to me...which I promptly used up. Finally, an opponent got around our rear, taking out a nest of our guys. He was so focused, he didn't notice me running right up to his position. I took him out just before the whistle blow to end the game. I got 8 minor welts around my body. I'm sore. Damn I had fun.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Weekends special ...ahhh

My g/f and I have been enjoying some fun and pleasant weekends. Last weekend, we took thangs easy, just enjoying each other’s company. We did go to Great America for the fireworks display on the 3rd. We also had good dinner with her folks on Sunday. We saw Stepford Wifes too. It’s an OK movie…coulda been a lot better. It may be sick, but it’s nice just spending some time with my g/f. :)

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Errands and Bank Hours

Doesn't it suck that everyone has pretty much the same business hours? To take care of any real personal business, you hafta take time off from work. I took all of last Thursday off. Got my oil changed, got my new license plate tag down at DMV (lost my original before I put it on my car), had lunch, got a Police Office at the Sunnyvale station to sign off on the fix-it ticket I got for not having the current license plate tag on my car, mailed off a bunch of bills, etc. I didn't even have time to finish up my errands when the business day was ending. Arg.

There was a time when banks had dreadful hours. I think it was something like 10am to 2pm. Then it was a big deal when they started staying open til 4pm. Then it was a big deal for a bank to be open on Sat. Now, they are open from 9 or 10am til 5pm everyday, 6pm on Fridays, and 10am to 1 or 2pm on Sat. Even with all of these changes, their hours still suck. At least banks have made an effort to be available during some of the time that the average person has a free time.