Thursday, December 31, 2009


Comics books, technology, blowin' stuff up, crazy laser whips, AC/DC soundtrack in the trailer: How much cooler can IRON MAN 2 get?  And the movie has that guy from SNAKES ON A PLANE and PULP FICTION.

Looks like someone is out for revenge and we should see plenty of crap get blown sky high, and smart alack remarks. Hopefully, our star won't get too cool for his own iron skin.

Iron Man 2 Trailer

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The new Super Mario Bros. Wii is a big old B. Yes indeedy, it is a hard game, at least for us. The wife, daughter and I have been playing it since we got for Christmas. Well, "playing" is a bit of a soft word. A choicer way to describe our interaction is more kin to inspirational hollering.

  • "Go! Go! Go!" (sometimes you have to hurry)
  • "Don't jump on me!" (it's so irritating when you are trying to beat the level)
  • "Wait! Don't go so fast!" (you die if you get left behind)

When the level is over we are all high five-ing and saying how we knew we could do it. But in the middle of the jumping, you'd think we didn't like one another very much. A podcast would be a great idea if it weren't so embarrassing.

We finally beat the level we were on, usurping the monster in the castle. He, of course, flew away to occupy another castle and we must now make our way across the land to fight him again. It's hard but quite satisfying.

The biggest (and nicest) change made over the old school game is that four people can play simultaneously. This is both a boon and a curse as there are times the other players hold you back. Still, it's more of a family affair that way, even if you do yell your inspirations. Santa brought us the wii the first year they came out and I can say that our family plays it together often. It's simply a lot of fun.

And don't get me started on Wii Sports Resort. That game kicks butt. My three favs are frisby golf, archery and table tennis.

Keep in mind that you are required to have a Wii motion adapter for every remote in order to play Sports Resort. That also works on Super Mario Bros. and I am assuming that all the new games will require it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Everyone likes a good New Year's Eve party. Personally, I think mixing Christmas and New Years is a wonderful idea. This is easy to do by drinking several bottles of Evan Williams Egg Nog the last night of the year and then hurling into your date's lap. If you are really dope, then you'll French kiss her afterward. Yeah, I know a story.

Before you do, you might want to check out the 5 Drinking Myths Than Can Kill You from your friends at Just in case you wondered you absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt cannot eat your underbritches in a dillweeded attempted to beat a breathalyzer.

In case that was not enough comedy to soak your socks, you might try click over to the blogger that rohrs and read his Top Ten Predictions for 2010. Want to know my personal favs? No? Well you can suck it. I'm going to list them anyway. That's how I roll.

  • Jesse Jackson's love child will ghostwrite John Edwards' love child's tell-all memoir
  • Sarah Palin will become the first victim of Barack Obama's first death panel
  • Dick Cheney will preemptively invade a 4:30 buffet
  • George W. Bush-era nostalgia will reign as folks remember the Good Times when you used to could mortgage your house to put gas in your Hummer. Now we are all just living in our cars.

Happy New Year and be sure to take a cab so you don't kill my baby. Jerk.


I have every intention of watching a boatload of movies this week. I am managing a movie a day and hope that trend continues.


Four Christmases
This didn't get great reviews, but I liked it. Typical Christmas comedy with some drama and character change at the end. It was fun nonetheless and some of the quotes were hysterical.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
I've been looking forward to this one since it came out. So much praise for this installment of the series. I was surprised at the pace of the story. It was unusually slow going for a Potter film. It took it's time developing the characters and the plot, not rushing things. I liked that. I was surprised the daughter stuck with it. I stopped often and explained things to her like back story and horcruxes. That helped her a lot. It's been a long time since I read the book, and my memory may be faulty, but I remember a huge battle scene in the end between the students and the Death Eaters at Hogwarts. Am I mistaken or did the movie leave that out? Didn't kids die in that battle? Anyway, I enjoyed it a good deal.

I love Tim Burton and cannot wait for this gem to hit the mailbox. I should get it tomorrow.

Terminator: Salvation
Big fan of sci-fi. The wife ... not so much. I'm going to watch this one while the wife and daughter are out shopping and doing girly things. The second in the series was the best for me, followed closely by the first one. I wasn't too impressed with the third one. Who knows what this one will turn out like.

District 9
This is the big dog for me. I wanted so badly to see this in the theaters but never got the chance. I have heard so many good things about this sci-fi flick.

Inglorious Basterds
I've had Quentin Tarantino's WWII film on my Netflix queue since the movie hit screens, but it has a very long wait on it. Dang. Double dang. I am salivating at this one as I am a huge fan of Tarantino. I consider him to be the greatest filmmaker of my generation.

Cloudy with a Change of Meatballs
Oh why not? The kid will love it. I want to see what they are going to do with it. So interesting, this one is.


The wife, 'rents, kids, cousins and siblings all traversed the Branson strip on Christmas day to see James Cameron's AVATAR in 3D. I'm not a fan of 3D and really wanted to see it in 2D, but everyone else was jazzed about the glasses. So I did it anyway, thinking it would give me the headache of a lifetime.

Skinny Kitty gave me three ibuprofen before going in. She's good like that, always carrying the right things in that suitcase-like purse of hers. Here are a few thoughts:

  • Obvious Oscar winner for best special effects, hands down. Dang!
  • 3D was the most righteous 3D I've ever witnessed. Didn't bother me at all. Nadda. 
  • The 2:45 run time went by like greased lightning. 

It's a habit of ours to see a movie after ripping into presents. We look forward to it, planning the best move, time and screen to see it. Sometimes we take kids and sometimes we do not. We've seen all three LORD OF THE RINGS movies on the Imax, which was wicked cool.

Avatar was worth it, and despite my general disgust for 3D, I recommend the glasses. The kind we had were wide so as to fit over my glasses. Much appreci-o for that one. Made the experience much better.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Andy Cline, a journalism professor at Missouri State and the head dude at Rhetorica dropped his Springfield News-Leader subscription calling the local daily "toxic". He cites the opinions page as a significant factor.

It's one thing when a local yokel like myself chooses not to take the paper. It's another thing when a journalism professor stops his subscription. I don't think it will make any difference to the paper, but I find it all very interesting.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Being the non-traditionalists we are, my wife and I are serving French Onion Soup for Christmas rather than turkey and trimmings that the world expects. The reasoning is two-fold: 1) We are non-conformists and like to do things differently, and 2) it is much healthier.

The fancy way is to make the soup served with toasted French bread in the soup and then broiled with cheese on the top. We are opting for the more hillbilly style of grilled cheese sandwiches that one may just dunk in the soup. The whole idea makes me laugh, but it is great.

Here is my recipe, which is really just an amalgam of two recipes totally ripped off from The Food Network's Paula Dean and Ina Garten:


6 yellow onions, halved and sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup brandy
1 1/4 cup white wine
9 cups of beef stock
1/2 teaspoon thyme

Saute onions and bay leaf in olive oil for 20 minutes on medium-high heat until golden brown. Add flour and continue to brown for another 10 minutes or so. Deglaze the pan with brandy. Add white wine and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add beef stock and thyme and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

I make mine ahead of time and refrigerate over night. I think it tastes better after it chills and is reheated. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches on the side. We choose hearty whole grain bread and shredded cheese, but one could use any bread/cheese combo.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Today I managed to hold my ground against a beastly buffet of holiday foods. I ate my grocery store sushi and lightly salted almonds while amidst a mouth-watering and crisco-covered holiday delicacies. I rarely have that kind of will power. Rarely. I must admit that my inner fatty was hollering quite loudly that "one little bit of that egg quiche would not hurt anybody."

It would and I refrained. I finally left and went back to my business in another room. Catastrophe avoided ... for now. I do not promise to have such wherewithal to do it again, but I celebrate today.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I'm back on the track again. The fat doctor continues to insist that exercise is some kind of important detail in the weight loss journey.

Ooooh, I hate that guy so much.

I pass by a treadmill every day. I finally got tired of looking at it and hid it behind a decorative tri-fold screen. That way I don't hear its taunts so often. Bastard machine.

This week I started getting up a 5:30 a.m. and walking the confounded beast before getting ready for work. Lo and behold it has worked pretty well. I either listen to the iPod or read a book with fairly large print. I even did it on Saturday although I did sleep until 6:30 before I got busy.

Yes, yes. I do feel better. It's still hard to do. Bad habits and all that.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Uganda is considering a new law that not only makes the practice of homosexuality illegal (it's already illegal in Uganda anyway) but they are considering a law that will put gays in jail for life or execute them.

Christian and Muslim religious leaders have strongly supported the measure. Check out this bill of sale from CNN:

  • Gays and lesbians convicted of having gay sex would be sentenced, at minimum, to life in prison
  • People who test positive for HIV may be executed
  • Homosexuals who have sex with a minor, or engage in homosexual sex more than once, may also receive the death penalty
  • The bill forbids the "promotion of homosexuality," which in effect bans organizations working in HIV and AIDS prevention
  • Anyone who knows of homosexual activity taking place but does not report it would risk up to three years in prison

"Love the person; hate the sin" say many Christians. I'm not sure what that means and none but one have ever attempted to site specific examples of this mantra being used appropriately. Maybe someday. Until then, the persecution of gays will continue, and all in the name of Jesus and apparently Mohammad.

Friday, December 04, 2009


G.I. JOE did not suck. For me, that's a glorious statement for several reasons: 1) Tthis was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid. I had the toys (still have some of them) and I played the wheels off them. I relished the war element of the soldiers defending our country. 2) I like mindless action flicks. 3) Snake Eyes was so cool.

The trailers killed any interest in seeing the movie in the theaters. I knew better than to waste good money on it. The review simply secured my belief that the movie was flotsam. As it turned out, that low expectation worked out well for me. Knowing full well it had a 30-some percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes I was prepared for a horrible script and worthless action. What I got was a bad script with decent action. Some of the action was too long and pointless, the characters cardboard cutouts, stupid disability stereotypes (i.e. people with facial scaring always turn out evil and hate the world), and a poorly thought-out script. The good side was that it exceeded my tanking expectation enough that the movie did not suck ... too much.

So I enjoyed it, even if it was a goofy movie. It did occur to me that the current generation might see this movie as I saw PREDATOR. I look back and see quite a bit of stupidity there, but it is a movie that appeals to my childhood fantasies. It had that cool rotary 50 caliber Gatling gun. Perhaps G.I. JOE is the same?

So I watched it. Don't hold that against me. I didn't spend much money on it (thank you Netflix) and I didn't drag my wife and daughter to it. I waited until they had something to do before watching it. I might be inclined to give it 3 stars for entertaining me throughout most of the movie; the ending was too long. Script might get 1 star – maybe 2. It could have been worse. I could have watched  TWILIGHT or some damn romance movie with Hugh Grant. 

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Hollywood is not known for its accurate portrayals of historical, scientific, religious or psychological events or conditions. Can I get an amen? The movie machine can sure butcher a good book. has noticed this revelation as it applies to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM IV-R) which deals with mental disorders.

For you psychie types out there, you might enjoy reading about the load of BS that Hollywood continues to propagate all for its convenient plot lines.