Villagers With Pitchforks

The flaming torches were delayed in transit, sorry.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Operation Spam Zombies!!!

Right when I think all of the fun has been sucked out of the federal government, the Federal Trade Commision comes up with this crazy name:

Operation Spam Zombies

I just love saying it. Spam zombies!!! Sounds like a movie you'd see on Chiller Theater back in Pittsburgh in the old days.

This operation doesn't have anything to do with eating too much canned meat. It's a campaign to let ISPs and other operators of servers know what they can do to keep their server from being used as a relay for junk e-mail. And it's worldwide. This is good.

Friday, May 20, 2005

With improved Jedi action!

If there was half as much Jedi action in the last two Star Wars movies as there is in Sith, I would have had to buy my tickets a month in advance.

As it was, I got into a sold-out Cine Capri on no notice because there were cancellations. Alert readers will note that I bought tickets online last Friday. Well, alert readers are far more alert than Harkins' computer systems. I complained to the assistant manager, who sold me two tickets on the spot. Now I gotta check the transactions on the card to make sure I wasn't double-charged.
Just saying.

The movie was fine, a good roller-coaster ride with shiny objects in the background.
Go see. Again. Digital, unless Harkins owes me two more Cine Capri tickets.

UPDATE: Harkins never charged me. That's twice this has happened. The first time, I didn't get in to Fellowship of the Ring. I'll drop them a line, though hopefully they're already on the phone with their supplier.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

El Tovar Turns 100

I spent most of 1989 working at the Grand Canyon, and I can still give a pretty good tour of Grand Canyon Village. However, I completely forgot that the crown jewel of the Grand Canyon hotels, the El Tovar, turns 100 this year.

Travel hint: Even if you can't get a room for the night, have lunch at the ElTovar's restaurant.

Link via dangerousmeta!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Still not standing in line for Star Wars.

Have reviewed past episodes of this trilogy: Where are the bloopers, George? Where is the unabashed joy of the Stormtrooper bonking his head on the open door in the Death Star? And why didn't Han Solo just shootGreedo? It was funny; now it's just weird.

Have read the special-effects articles: Where's the masking tape? Where's the bad mattes?
(I spotted a dodgy one in Episode I the other day. I'm not telling you where; old George would just fix it.)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Dark Side: Shiny!!

I caved and bought tickets online to a showing opening night at a reasonable hour.

Darn you Lord Sidious!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Okay, call your Congresscritter. Now.

RealID is going to be signed into law, because it's attached to must-pass legislation. Perhaps it's already law as I write this.

So let's get it repealed on its lack of merit:
  • Security expert Bruce Schneier points out that RealID will actually make our licenses less secure.
  • RealID is a de-facto national ID card. Whether we want a national ID card - there are arguments pro and con on this issue, it should be debated on its own merits. Many people do not want a national ID card. Such a card would not have prevented 9/11 as it occurred.
  • If an issue is likely to lose in Congress because it won't withstand debate on its own merit, it's probably bad law. Passing laws is supposed to be hard.
  • RealID was not debated on its own merits. This alone is reason enough to repeal RealID as passed.
  • RealID as written is another unfunded mandate to the states.
  • RealID will make our licenses less secure.
  • RealID does nothing to get unlicensed illegal immigrants off the road or license them. It is therefore counterproductive to safety. Living as I do in Arizona, this is a big deal to me.
Useful tools:
Go to it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Anakin Gets His

No spoilers, don't worry.

Despite being geeked-up about the new Star Wars movie (ooh! Shiny!) I'm not gonna go see it at midnight screenings on opening night. I'm over that, kids. I don't stand in line nearly as well as I used to. It's a work night, anyway, and I used up all of my vacation on a nice cruise last fall. So about the latest I'll go would be a 10:00 PM Friday show, after a nice dinner. Probably not opening weekend either: my car's due for some minor work, I'm committed to go filk at Nancy's, and I have to go to Tucson for a family reunion the next day. Anyway, standing in line, I might unintentionally utter a spoiler and ruin some fan's life (or at least their evening.)

No, I haven't read the novelization. But after the last movie, I had a fun discussion or two about what this movie would be like. I knew that to set things up for the Luke Skywalker trilogy, certain things had to happen in this film. I made a list. And while I haven't read the novelization, I am a special-effects geek - been reading Cinefex since issue 1 - so I bought the Making of book, which has spoilers galore. My list was right on the money. I suppose I could hide my list on the Web somewhere, but if you know Star Wars you can easily duplicate the list yourself.

Odds are, I'll like the pretty pictures and I'll go see it a couple-three times just for the pretty pictures. I went to see the last one a time or two just for the visuals - my cat could write better dialogue. I already know the basic story; I worked it out three years ago. It'll be a fun ride anyway.

Maybe they'll show the Serenity trailer...

Monday, May 09, 2005

Possible New Names for this Blog

  • Cat on the Drapes - proud of all the wrong things
  • Surely I Must Have Work To Do
  • Villagers with Flaming Torches
  • Spam Processor
  • They Made Me Play Elvis
  • Attention Deficit - Ooh shiny!
Or perhaps I'll just dig up some dirt and publish it. Whatever.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Why I Buy Chinese

  • By accident. My last two computers, an H-P and an Apple, were both made in China. The Apple packaging says "Designed in the USA"
  • I like the food.
  • Politics. I don't want to accidentally spend my hard-earned money in repressive places that pretend to be free. Like Kansas or Texas. China is what it is, baby.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Busy. Sick. Busy again.

I am, however, nearly caught up on Firefly and the Star Wars movies.