Gmail Invites

September 29th, 2004

Link: http://gmail.google.com/gmail

GmailI am now up to five (5) invites left for Gmail. If you happen to live under a rock and are unfamiliar, Gmail is the new browser based e-mail solution from the good people at Google. Gmail is targeted towards the e-mail user who appreciates convenience; the service comes with a 1 GB, or 1000MB, inbox that is designed to be digital picture friendly. Gmail is still by invitation only as they are in beta stages of the product's infancy. If you are interested in being one of the few, one of the proud let me know. Just leave a comment to the post and I'll fork 'em over.

NFL Week 3.

September 29th, 2004

Unlike week 2, I was able to sit at home with nothing better to do than numb my brain with football on TV. What this did was offer me the ability to see why there was no offense last week and also in a few games this week, too. The explanation was simple: Peyton Manning was hording all of the offense. He must have created some type of wormhole to the other players and sucked out all of their offensive ability and then fused it with himself. Indianapolis v. Green Bay was an offensive showdown...for awhile at least. Peyton just threw too many touchdowns in the first half for Green Bay to be able to come back in the end.

There were a few games that actually came down to the final play(s) which is always nice. These games entertain anyone, not just fans of the teams playing.

I think it's safe to assume that Seattle was glad to have Shaun Alexander healthy. The nice thing was that he didn't feel the need to score all of the touchdowns himself and spread the offense around a little.

I hope Kansas City doesn't win a game all season. They get more press out of offensive comments made by the coaching staff to the players than they ever did about winning games. Who believes "KC wins again" is more entertaining than "Coach says to take the diapers off?" Gimme a break.

No one should be surprised that the Dolphins are yet to win a game. I would like to see them scrape one victory out though. Future highlight films will be boring when they have to talk about the year Miami went 0-16 after showing clips of the 16-0 season.

Next week's post will not be enjoyable. It will merely contain my rants about how I would actually stand a chance in my fantasy league if Minnesota didn't have a bye week as I go head to head with the league's point leader.

Tony SiragusaWas the biggest NFL news this week Tony Siragusa's comments about Joey Harrington? That's too bad. I hope Fox's lawyers had their way with him. Nice to see Mitch Albom fight back.

Quick disclaimer about the now 2-1 Lions. No one got ahead of themself and actually expected an NFC championship out of this team after beating the Bears and the Texans, so suffering a big loss to the Birds wasn't a sobering event. Our feet have been firmly planted on the ground, we're not celebrating....yet. You'll know when we are, trust me.

The Shawshank Redemption

September 27th, 2004

Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000399WI/petespage01?dev-t=mason-wrapper%26camp=2025%26link_code=xm2

The Shawshank RedemptionI find the discussion of a single favorite movie to be unfair as often times it is difficult to select one above all others. So many movies can be favorites for different reasons; why force someone to choose? Instead, ask someone what would be a few of their favorite movies. Though, if I had to pick one, my favorite movie would be The Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.

Last night I was faced with a very difficult decision. Do I sit and bore myself to tears watching a horribly boring Sunday night NFL matchup? Or do I peruse the select few other channels I ever watch for a reprieve? Luckily I opted for the latter as I flipped to AMC and caught "Shawshank".

This is a feel good movie. Though some of the subject matter is not the most upbeat, the overall theme of the movie is hope. The movie portrays life in a prison in the 1940's as Andy Dufresne (Robbins) befriends Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding (Freeman). The movie stresses perseverance in the face of adversity and emphasizes how we can better our lives by focusing on the little things, the simple pleasures in life. Obviously the movie takes adversity to an extreme through prison life as it's vehicle, but the message is clear.

Interestingly enough, this movie was adapted from a novella by Stephen King, though do not expect a horror film when you watch The Shawshank Redemption. And you should watch The Shawshank Redemption...

| Forum |

The Black Echo - Michael Connelly

September 25th, 2004

Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0446612731/petespage01?dev-t=mason-wrapper%26camp=2025%26link_code=xm2

The Black Echo by Michael ConnellyFor maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival insticts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.

Author Michael Connelly has now written 10 books about detective Harry Bosch, The Black Echo was the first.

Harry Bosch is a loner. He has been in and out of institutions his entire life and seems to have never developed the ability to get close to other people. He is very good at what he does, arguably one of the best, but he is forever chastized for not being part of the police "family." This makes for a very interesting perspective on a mystery; Bosch solves his cases with very little direct help from others.

This is yet another mystery novel that I was unable to put down until I was able to find out "who dunnit." Until the very last pages I was still learning details about how the case was solved, there were no slow moments.

| Forum | Also by Connelly: Void Moon | The Poet

Wil & Katie Morris

September 24th, 2004

Link: http://www.privatjokr.com/images/eos/997

Wil & Katie MorrisFirst off I would like to begin this post with a very sincere congratulations to both Katie and Wil. It is a congratulations to you both for now being married, but more so than that, congratulations for finding each other. You make each other so happy...don't think it goes unnoticed by the rest of us...that we can't help but be happy for you.

The wedding on Saturday was beautiful. Despite my attempts to capture the animal within Wil on digital film, things went wonderfully. I can only imagine what the photographer was thinking as she was having you pose outside prior to Katie's arrival and behind her is some clown with a camera saying things like, "Show me naughty," and "Ok, now you're a tiger." Whoever thinks a solo shot of Wil in his tux posing as he's about to pounce doesn't scream "Christmas card" is out of their mind.

Katie looked incredible in her gown, which reinforced the question in my mind of, "How did Wil land himself a girl like her?" I'll even be kind enough to leave out the part about the flower girl stealing the show...

Wil stayed both conscious and standing throughout the entire ceremony and only managed to burn his finger(s) one time before we left the church. I don't know where you come from, but in my neighborhood that is a successful wedding.

I feel like I'm skimping on the details, but I must move on to the reception. For anyone soon to be married, my first piece of advice to you is not to seat anyone next to the gift table who would tell you afterwards that there might...or might not be a fork in the envelope/card box. The bride and groom were serenaded with love ballads all night so we could see a little action. If the lucky couple thought they'd be kissing less by enforcing the rule that we had to sing instead of clinking glasses, I hope they realize now how wrong they were. Today I go on record stating that for generations to come, the story of DJ Playboy's Eye of the Tiger (Morris remix) will live on in infamy.

Watching Wil and Katie dance together for the first time as husband and wife was very touching, though not as much so as Katie dancing with her Dad. Next to that, dancing highlights do include Josh's mom doing the sprinkler and Dan using his aunt's scarf to swoon both family and friends alike.

The day was an incredible amount of fun. So a hearty thank you to you both for letting me be a part of this special occasion. You have set the bar high. You are the perfect example and I hope to find the happiness you bring to each other.

Click HERE for more pictures from the wedding...

The Apprentice

September 24th, 2004

Link: http://www.nbc.com/nbc/The_Apprentice_2/

I watched this show last night basically as an assignment for work. My boss watches it and loves the show. She tells me that there is not an episode that passes where she isn't able to learn something, no matter how small. She told me that apparently business schools around the country are beginning to assign the show was homework. I guess some people think they're doing things the right way. So I checked it out, and I did find she is correct about being able to learn from The Apprentice.

Last night the two teams were competing to create the biggest hype surrounding a new toothpaste product extension for Crest. Two executives from Procter & Gamble were to judge the contest.

Off topic this is a fantastic venue for marketing your product if you can coordinate with "The Donald" so that the two teams will compete to peddle your goods. Well done, P&G.

I generally have no desire to ever watch reality TV. I think the idea behind reality TV is quite stupid, though this show was pretty interesting. Watching Survivor you can sit on your couch and guess who's getting kicked off due to who didn't play well in the sand box, who didn't join the alliance. In The Apprentice you can actually learn from one of the most successful businessmen in the world as to why people don't cut it.

My only question is simply, do all participants get as defensive as the women in the boardroom last night? If yes, then maybe they should work on improving their contestants. I obviously cannot guarantee that if I were across that table from Donald Trump having just gone over budget on my project I would be calm and collected. It seemed to me that there wasn't a single person who accepted the responsibility for any aspect of a project not going as planned. I guess I would have to see a show were things go well and then see how people defend themselves against harsh criticism where Trump tells people they're lousy.

My only problem remains that I watch so little TV that I will have a hard time dropping whatever I'm doing and making sure I'm home and sitting in front of a television every Thursday at 9pm (except next week when the show's moved to Wednesday).

| Forum |

Robin Hood Men in Tights

September 23rd, 2004

Mel Brooks, where are you!?!?!

It is downright criminal that this movie is not available on DVD. Arguably the greatest comedic mind the film world has ever seen has almost his entire resume on DVD, yet no Robin Hood Men in Tights. This has bothered me for so long. I check now as often as once a month, though before I would check once weekly in hopes of finding one day that there was a release date.

Robin Hood Men in TightsWhen will the madness end? The point was made to me by another person tonight that the movie is not available on DVD as if it was news to me. I now know I am not the only one in search of Robin Hood Men in Tights.

What does it take to begin placing requests for it's production? Who must I write?

I pride myself on my DVD collection. Without Robin Hood Men in Tights, my collection is incomplete...



Mel...help me out.

NFL Week 2.

September 23rd, 2004

Cincinnati BengalsThis will be a much shorter post about week 2 than I made about week 1. I was able to sit down and watch the majority of the goings-on in week 1. I missed the majority of week 2. My thoughts are primarily from highlights...

Ugliest Jersies in the NFL - Cincinnati Bengals

I <3 Roy Williams...in that strictly platonic fan and to-be superstar type fashion.

Lions are in first place? I wish someday that will no longer be a surprise.

Were defenses that good in week 2? Where was all of the scoring? Or was it due to the crazy amount of TURNOVERS!!! Perhaps it was the injuries to every key player in the league. The NFL could be headed for a rough season if players keep getting hurt at the pace they are currently through two games.

Jerry Rice's 20 year record has come to an end. He had gone 274 games in a row with at least one reception. Week 2 Rice caught zero passes. Sure this is his new role as Tim Brown moved on, but no one wanted it to really happen, I'm sure especially J.Rice.

Book of the Month - October, 2004

September 22nd, 2004

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian JungerIt was the storm of the century—a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm."

When it struck in October, 1991, there was virtually no warning. "She's comin' on, boys, and she's comin' on strong," radioed Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail from off the coast of Nova Scotia. Soon afterward, the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace.

The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller, a stark and compelling journey into the dark heart of nature that leaves listeners with a breathless sense of what it feels like to be caught, helpless, in the grip of a force beyond understanding or control.

Buy The Perfect Storm $6.99

| Forum |

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

September 18th, 2004

Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0347246/

This movie was crazy. There is no other way to put it. I've never been more impressed and more confused and liked a movie so much. I'm not sure I can even call this a movie. The term animated poetry seems more appropriate. They drop some knowledge on you in Innocence. The animation was unbelievable, thought at times it looked that they were just showing off. There were a few cut scenes that did not need to be 3d rendered, but at a few points they will take your breathe away with the detail. Though as the credits roll you stay in your seat stunned as you try to figure out what just happened, there is no negative feelings toward this movie. It was great. Batou was a beast, maybe a little more of him fighting would have made me a little happier.

Check it out.