Saturday, January 30, 2010

Charlie Brooker - How to Report the News

Just to tie in with my recent rant about television news: watch this Youtube video. In less than two minutes time the cliched structure of any and all TV reporting is identified and skewered. It's more sad than funny, when you think of how many people
gobble up TV news as their primary source of information.

h/t Badger Blogger.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Party at the Fed! - Hayek vs Keynes

Ladies and gentlemen, and variations thereupon, F.A. Hayek vs John Maynard Kenyes - the ultimate rap battle.

Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist
- Keynes

Complete Lyrics:

We’ve been going back and forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No… it’s the animal spirits

[Keynes Sings:]

John Maynard Keynes, wrote the book on modern macro
The man you need when the economy’s off track, [whoa]
Depression, recession now your question’s in session
Have a seat and I’ll school you in one simple lesson

BOOM, 1929 the big crash
We didn’t bounce back—economy’s in the trash
Persistent unemployment, the result of sticky wages
Waiting for recovery? Seriously? That’s outrageous!

I had a real plan any fool can understand
The advice, real simple—boost aggregate demand!
C, I, G, all together gets to Y
Make sure the total’s growing, watch the economy fly

We’ve been going back and forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No… it’s the animal spirits

You see it’s all about spending, hear the register cha-ching
Circular flow, the dough is everything
So if that flow is getting low, doesn’t matter the reason
We need more government spending, now it’s stimulus season

So forget about saving, get it straight out of your head
Like I said, in the long run—we’re all dead
Savings is destruction, that’s the paradox of thrift
Don’t keep money in your pocket, or that growth will never lift…


Business is driven by the animal spirits
The bull and the bear, and there’s reason to fear its
Effects on capital investment, income and growth
That’s why the state should fill the gap with stimulus both…

The monetary and the fiscal, they’re equally correct
Public works, digging ditches, war has the same effect
Even a broken window helps the glass man have some wealth
The multiplier driving higher the economy’s health

And if the Central Bank’s interest rate policy tanks
A liquidity trap, that new money’s stuck in the banks!
Deficits could be the cure, you been looking for
Let the spending soar, now that you know the score

My General Theory’s made quite an impression
[a revolution] I transformed the econ profession
You know me, modesty, still I’m taking a bow
Say it loud, say it proud, we’re all Keynesians now

We’ve been goin’ back n forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Keynes] I made my case, Freddie H
Listen up , Can you hear it?

Hayek sings:

I’ll begin in broad strokes, just like my friend Keynes
His theory conceals the mechanics of change,
That simple equation, too much aggregation
Ignores human action and motivation

And yet it continues as a justification
For bailouts and payoffs by pols with machinations
You provide them with cover to sell us a free lunch
Then all that we’re left with is debt, and a bunch

If you’re living high on that cheap credit hog
Don’t look for cure from the hair of the dog
Real savings come first if you want to invest
The market coordinates time with interest

Your focus on spending is pushing on thread
In the long run, my friend, it’s your theory that’s dead
So sorry there, buddy, if that sounds like invective
Prepare to get schooled in my Austrian perspective

We’ve been going back and forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No… it’s the animal spirits

The place you should study isn’t the bust
It’s the boom that should make you feel leery, that’s the thrust
Of my theory, the capital structure is key.
Malinvestments wreck the economy

The boom gets started with an expansion of credit
The Fed sets rates low, are you starting to get it?
That new money is confused for real loanable funds
But it’s just inflation that’s driving the ones

Who invest in new projects like housing construction
The boom plants the seeds for its future destruction
The savings aren’t real, consumption’s up too
And the grasping for resources reveals there’s too few

So the boom turns to bust as the interest rates rise
With the costs of production, price signals were lies
The boom was a binge that’s a matter of fact
Now its devalued capital that makes up the slack.

Whether it’s the late twenties or two thousand and five
Booming bad investments, seems like they’d thrive
You must save to invest, don’t use the printing press
Or a bust will surely follow, an economy depressed

Your so-called “stimulus” will make things even worse
It’s just more of the same, more incentives perversed
And that credit crunch ain’t a liquidity trap
Just a broke banking system, I’m done, that’s a wrap.

We’ve been goin’ back n forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No it’s the animal spirits

Thursday, January 28, 2010

'Rasslin Lessons

This afternoon I laid down for a short nap with Smiley and woke up to some odd news when Lisa announced she would be taking Smiley and LuLu wrestling that evening.

Wrestling? WTH? For several minutes there I actually thought I was in a dream, but no, it was true. Their school offers wrestling classes at a nearby high school, but turnout has been so low that one of the parents called us and asked the kids to volunteer.

A chance to do something different, learn a new skill, and get some physical activity on a day that featured bitter cold and a harsh wind? Okeedokee.

So at 5:30, Lisa took them down the road and let loose. Smiley was terrified beforehand, while Lu was eager for a fight. Go figure. By the time they got there both were gung-ho.




Mind you, Smiley isn't ready for the WWE quite yet. He was pinned during one game they used in training and promptly stood up, teary-eyed, and announced that the other boys were "all mean".

LuLu was matched up against a very good friend, a girl who just happens to be the daughter of an ex-wrestling coach.





LuLu did her best to pin her . . .


But that ended poorly - and quickly too!


When they returned LuLu had a headache and claimed she didn't want to do it again, and Smiley claimed he had a good time but was done for a lifetime. Nuh-uh. They're going back next week, and YaYa will be joining them too.

Anyway, for now - good job!

And now, our guest blogger - YaYa :)

This was the story I wrote for the Expo at my school. I hand wrote it in a hardcover book and drew pictures on each page and on the cover. I got an A (98%) and my teacher wrote:

"[YaYa] Your book is very neat. I can tell you worked hard on this and cared about your story. Maybe you'll be a famous writer someday!! :)"

* * *

"Ivana and the Blizzard"

About the Author: [ ] was born on ---. She loves animals and reading. Her Dad always tells her how you can be safe in an emergency. That is why I wrote this story.

* * *

"Are we there yet?" Ivana said.

"Almost!" her Mom said. Ivana, her little sister Eve, and their Mom were going to their Uncle Rob's house for a Christmas party.

"It is going to snow hard" Eve said.

"It sure is," Ivana said.

Then suddenly there was a big thump and the car stoppped. "Is everyone OK?" Ivana's Mother said. "Yeah" Eve and Ivana said together. "I bettter get out" Ivana's Mom said, getting out.

"Nothing is wrong with the tires," said Ivana's Mother, "Maybe the alternator is dead!".

"Better call Uncle Rob," Ivana said.

"Great. My cellphone is dead!" her Mom said.

"Are we going to miss the Christmas party?" Ivana said, looking up from her book.

"We will wait awhile and see if anyone comes" Ivana's Mom said.

Hours went by. "Mom I don't think anyone will come" Eve said. Just then, a car came down the street. "Sir!" Ivana's Mom called, but the car did not stop.

"Let's go in the car," Ivana said. "Maybe someone will come."

"Well for now, why not play a game," Ivana's Mom said. "Like In Gramma's Attic."

"OK, I'll start," Ivana said.

A long time passed. "This game is getting boring," Eve said. "It's so cold in here," said Ivana. After awhile, their Mom said, "Now we're out of gas." "It will get very cold fast," said their Mom. "Maybe if we walk for awhile there will be someone."

They started walking. It was very cold. Their teeth chattered. Then a house came into shape. "Maybe that's Uncle Rob!" Ivana said. "No," Ivana's Mom said. "I dont' think we're close to where he lives, but we can ask the person there for help."

When they were on the porch Eve went to ring the doorbell. A man answered. "Hello," he said. "Hi Eve, Ivana and Kate."

"Uncle Rob!" all of them shouted.

"Come join the party," Uncle Rob said. "Hi Ivana," their cousin Macy said.

The girls told their Uncle Rob all about what happened. "But why didn't you just walk here earlier?" he said.

"I thought you lived on Arthur Ave, not Elm" Ivana's Mom said.

"I do, this is Arthur Ave, you must have made a wrong turn!"

They all laughed. "Merry Christmas!" Ivana said.


Posted By PrincessYaYa to The Monkey House at 1/28/2010 04:36:00 PM

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My take on the Nightly News - an unpublished (read: rejected) column

Here's an odd personality quirk of mine – one of many, but who's counting? I'm a news junkie, one who combs the Internet daily for obscure stories from around the globe. Politics, sports, science, crime – you name the story and chances are I've linked to it on my Facebook account.

But at least once a week a friend will try to discuss something they saw on a local newscast and I won't have a clue about what they're talking about. That's my fault. I tend to avoid TV news whenever possible. Madison could gift me a million dollars, and if the announcement was exclusive to TV, I'd march off to work the next day counting my pennies.

I'm not proud of this admission. I'm not a intellectual twit who turns up his nose at the TV (my DVR is a very dear friend), or a Luddite who prefers his news delivered on parchment. No, I'm afraid that in my gut I just agree with the perception that TV news amounts to a blistering montage of the worst of human nature. Murder, rape, abuse, shooting and theft, repeated for half an hour.

Interrupted, of course, by sports, weather, and a series of commercial breaks.

This aversion started when, as a teenager during Operation Desert Shield, the distinctive ABC Nightly News jingle became a harbinger of grim news. I agree, I was a bit on the wimpy side back in the day, but the damage was done. Later, as an adult, I just decided TV news was too focused on the dark for my liking.

It's not that newspapers and their online equivalents favor rainbows and unicorns. There's plenty of murder and mayhem, and the lead stories are usually tales of woe. But there's also space – space to discuss a dozen of mankind's darkest tales, but with room left over for an interview or two, a few inches on the latest scientific discoveries, and the human interest piece about the little old lady with the world's largest porcelain cat collection.

Then again, sometimes I'm reassured that we're all still so fascinated by the ghastly and the bizarre. After all, news is only news because it's something unusual, a break from the routine. You don't call someone each and every day at 6 o'clock and tell them about how you woke up, brushed your teeth, had breakfast, etc – unless, of course, you happen to be my mother-in-law. No, you call them to share the break from the routine, the spice, good or bad, that makes 'this' day different from all the rest that came before.

When an experience saturates our existence, we grow oblivious to it. It's human nature. Drunk driving arrests are so numerous here in Wisconsin that individual cases rarely deserve headlines. Childhood obesity is a major concern now, but it managed to stay under the radar until it was epidemic. No telecast or newspaper will ever trumpet news of an everyday citizen cited for pot possession, any more than they'd report on the sun rising in the east.

Bad things are always going to happen in this world, but when they become so commonplace as to go unnoticed and unreported, then we've truly got a problem. I guess, when you look at it that way, I should be grateful that the nightly news iss so morbid. It's a sign that our everyday life isn't as dark as it sometimes appears.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My January (continued) . . .

January 23rd: FYI: a short bio of me (under 100 words) should be appearing in Sunday's Crossroads section of the Journal-Sentinel. Feel free to add it to your Danny scrapbooks. I'll even autograph it if you send me a SASE and $1.99 for processing and handling (no COD's).

Grant Desme was a 2nd round draft pick in 2007, won MVP honors in the minors, and was a 30/30 player (30 homers/30 steals) in 2009. Now, he's decided to quit baseball and enter a Catholic seminary. Good for him. I wouldn't do it, but good for him for doing what he feels is right.

Ok, I was sent this link and assumed it would be tasteless, but it's actually pretty damn ROFLMAO. For the record, it DOES NOT equate Hitler with our President (in fact Bush and Obama are both insulted by Hitler - by name), and is part of a string of videos that use this clip to express outrage at events. Watch and LOL, if you have a sense of humor. [Hitler finds out Brown won in Mass]

This one (Hitler finds out there is no Santa Claus) is truly funny! "Bull-hit! You are allergic to chocolate!"

January 24th: I'm sitting here listening to Lisa play Uno with the girls . . giggles and singing galore. A great moment.

@2am last night I sat on my front porch listening to the corner house across the street. Wickedly loud, but it's hard to get angry at a party that's blasting the Eurythmics and Culture Club. I was on my porch because Lisa, returning from a visit up north to her friend Jolene, called to say she needed help getting the sleeping girls into the house.

Sure, I'm with Coco [Conan], but the best, funniest talk show host out there: Graham Norton. Laugh-out-loud, pee your pants hilarious.

Congrats to Indy and the best QB of this (or any??) era on their victory over the Jets. Now, it's time to root on the Saints.

YaYa is seven boxes shy of her Girl Scout cookie goal. If anyone is interested in closing that gap, let me know. Her goal is 150 boxes @ $3.50 a pop. We've gone door to door twice, including that day.

RE: NFC Championship Game Tied at halftime, thanks to Brett's lousy handoff - and just as they were about to step on NO's throat too. ('tho I think it was more Peterson's fault myself). 2nd half should be good.

Again w/ the prepared script. Brett does something stupid on the field and IMMEDIATELY he's in pain, wincing and carrying on. But hark! Moments later, after the TV crew has time to laud his [fighting back from] injury and gloss over the INT, he's fine. Imagine that. Douche.

Hey Joe Buck - get over your man crush on the Vikings and pretend to be objective, Mkay? I cannot believe Troy Aikman is the voice of reason in that booth. My word.

Booyah! Once again Brett chokes in the post-season and goes home empty handed. My phone is ringing with friends calling to bask in the gloat - - and I've already called my traitorous sister to rub it in! Whoo-hoo! Enjoy your one and ONLY ring!

From a FB friend: "Last two NFC Championship games Favre played in, his last pass was an was bitter the first time, it's sweet the second time." Amen!

* * *

A few random, non-Facebook notes: Smiley's favorite phrase: "Diarrehea!"

We are pleased to announce that Ginger is potty-trained, meaning we're out of diapers until the grandkids! She's really got the knack, and wears panties throughout the day (we put a diaper on overnight). Congrats little girl!

We had to take Smiley in for an evaluation with the principal of the school he'll attend next year. Never mind that he has two sisters there or that they never ask for a meeting - she'd heard rumors of Smiley's speech and development and was craving a "No!". He was so jittery in the office he wouldn't make eye contact with her, which seemed to support her beliefs, but we put the kibosh on any plans to reject him. Screw that - he was just scared. We then toured his future classroom where he fit right in and joined the kids at the table and did an art project. He'll do fine!

What have I been up to - well, let's take a look shall we?

This past Sunday the local paper included a short bio of me as I began a second term as a community columnist. Since it described me as a 'prolific blogger since 2004', I'm a bit embarrassed to see that it's been three weeks since my last post.

Let's see, what's happening in my world . . I'm still poor, there's that . . . I had some (very) minor outpatient surgery just before New Years, so minor only a handful of people were aware of it, and all would have been fine if the stitches hadn't made a habit of re-opening in the weeks since . . .and I've facebook'ed a lot. I don't prefere the site over a blog, per se, but I do enjoy the "get in, get out" nature of the beast.

Anyhow, for the time being let's get you up to speed with a summary of my Facebook updates.

* * * * *
New Years Day: Listening to the Glee soundtrack on the computer, with Joe Mac's new album playing in the dining room, while Dance Your Ass off is on the TV and the Twilight Zone and Doctor Who marathons are recording on the DVR . . how I ever got laid, much less married, escapes belief.

Our turtle tank was just shattered, sending water across the floor. Franklin is OK, but I guess I'll have to spend my morning looking for a cheap tank to replace his home

[on the firing of Texas Tech coach Mike Leach] The link includes a blunt interview with Mike Leach, where he tells it like it is about the James' family. Here's hoping Texas Tech has deep pockets, because Leach is going to take them to the cleaners.

January 2nd: I'm proud that my two oldest are sad (and a bit concerned) that David Tenant's time as the Doctor is coming to an end tonight.They know far more about the show and its characters than I ever could have guessed, even ID'ing an episode after seeing one scene. Nice to know I've done something right.

The Ginger's Godfather, who we haven't seen in over a year, just called to say he's on his way over to drop off a gift for her. Yikes - and us, with a turtle in the bathtub and Chinese takeout half-eaten in the living room. [He brought over a wonderful gift - an annual family pass for the zoo, including parking!]

Worked until midnight, came home and watched the very well done Tennant finale and the premiere of Demons (yawn), then had to crawl into Smiley's bed for 5 hours of sleep because my two youngest girls were sprawled next to Lisa in our bed- and rule #1 is, and always will be, never wake a sleeping baby/toddler. Ever.

* * * *


Me (to the kids, quoting one of David Tenant's favorite phrases): "C'mon, hurry up. Allon-zee! [sic]"

Lisa: "Don't you mean 'Geronimo?"

This was a good-natured barb, using the new Doctor's catch-phrase to ram home the point David Tennant was gone.

* * * *
January 4th: The Journal editor just called my cell while I was grocery shopping and asked me to stay on for another year, through the first part of 2011! Hot dog!

After school I took my two oldest girls to help organize my Godson's nursery, as he's due to arrive home in less than a day. My girls were poite, helpful, eager to work, and kept their cool. I was very proud of them both!

QUOTE: "To days to come, and all my love to long ago"

January 5th: Not the greatest afternoon. The girls were pissy that a kibosh was put on their chance to see the newborn and it went straight downhill from there, plus Smiley was in a mood. Still, we sat down to french toast for dinner and Family Game night continued (3rd week in a row now) but it was stressful, very stressful.

BTW, for anyone unsuccesfuly calling our house: no, the home phone isn't disconnected. The fourth-born dumped a whole jar of pickle juice on the telephone base/answering machine, ruining it. It's replacement will have to wait until payday, if then.

And a royal %&* to the White House. The ABC Special Report on the photo op, er, 'security meeting' today wiped out the last third of a great Dr. Phil epidsode. What nerve! Any chance I'd ever vote for that guy is now sooooooo gone. ;)

January 6th: Tonight, in the course of half an hour we moved YaYa and the Ginger into new rooms; very half-ass results but whataya gonna do in 30 minutes? YaYa and Lu are now roomies, while Ginger's on her own in YaYa's old room. I objected to it because it feels like rewarding Ginger for making nights hell, but she's actually the new digs as a punishment - screaming her head off as we speak.It's actually gone well since then, with all parties adjusting quickly.

January 7th: "The Ginger" - woke up today proud of "my 'oom". Good. Maybe she won't cry and scream until 10:30 like she did last night. Like all my kids she's used to sleeping in a dark room, but the new surroundings scared her.

Saw two movies last night, "Hangover" which I loved, and "Paranormal Activity". For the latter, what Lisa said: it's not half as scary as a day with our kids. Yawn. Aside from the Danny-girl lead, there was no reason to watch - and she not only remained clothed, she wore a bra to bed each night :( A waste of a rental.

January 8th: Still stuck @ home, w/ 14-15 inch snow drifts up and down the alley. We're mid block, and it'll take a while to dig out. Mucho thanks to Anne U. for picking up my girls and getting them to school today!

January 10th, the day the Packers lost in OT in the playoffs: That was a great 2nd half to watch, even if it was interrupted by Smiley throwing up Hot Fries for about two minutes (wicked to watch - A+ for effort little dude!) and the Ginger peeing on her Elmo couch. I no longer care who wins it all, so long as Hillbilly is sent packing next week. Oh, and memo to my sister - howsabout not giving a four year old an entire package of hot fries before sending him home to his pa :)

January 11th: In this article Mark McGwire admits steroid use, to which I say . . . Yawn. Not only is it old news, I'm damn sick of folks blasting MLB for steroids while conveniently giving the NFL a pass

Later, Goose Gossage called for steroid users to be banned from the Hall of Fame:
This, from the yahoo who thought it was a good idea *not* to walk Gibson in '84. If you want all the 'cheaters' out of Cooperstown, start w/ Gaylord Perry and Don Sutton for mucking w/ the ball. And make sure to stay off my lawn, you young wippersnappers!

Later, Ferguson Jenkins got in the act: Take your own advice. Seeing as you pitched high on coke, speed, weed, etc. go and apologize to all the hitters you 'wronged'. Better yet, how about you just STFU.

January 13th
: Thank God American Idol is back, or I'd be stuck with only a 100 hours of DVR'd TV per week . . I joined the Facebook page of Andrew Fenlon, the guy who pissed off Kara, btw. Nice to see Posh Spice, aka longtime member of my List of Five, is a nice human being. To which my wife's cousin Delaura responded: REALLY? Your list of 5? Would you feed her first?

As our culture and our nation continues its slide into full Suckassyness, one bastion of our grand past still stands tall: The Match Game. Where have you gone Gene Rayburn, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you (woo woo woo). To which my wife's cousin Brian responded: you know...i thought I was a dork. I'm passing the torch my friend...passing the torch!

January 14th: Vanessa Wolfe's time on American Idol was enough to break your heart. She's very attractive, talented, and down to earth, but was so beaten down and low on confidence I could barely watch. That line about not wanting the judges to 'look down on her' was gut wrenching. I hope she's not eaten alive in Hollywood. I'll be rooting for her.

January 15th: Wednesday Lu called from school saying her stomach felt 'mushy', and w/in a day all the kids were down w/ it. It seems to be a quick 24-48 bug (3 are over it) but YaYa just puked all over my newly cleaned dining room floor. Dangnabbit.

True, the top two designs were great, and the group seems much more talented than the horrific LA season. Still, I wasn't very inspired by the season premier of Project Runway, even if it does feature a Milwaukee native. Has it jumped the shark, or was I just in the wrong Mood (nudge-nudge) when watching the episode?

January 16th: Happy Birthday to my stepfather-in-law Jaspare, who turned 72 today, and Lisa's friend Chris. Also - congrats to the Colts, and a thank you to the Saints for knocking off the Cards. It was a crappy day and included being called off of work and losing a day's pay. But at least I got to attend Jaspare's very nice birthday party at Paulo's pizza!

January 17th: Not much time this morning, but I needed to make my position clear: for the first (and hopefully the last time) in my life, I'm going to be rooting for a Cowboys win. And, if in the process, Hillbilly winds up with a wee bit of an owie, I'm cool w/ that too. I'm just sayin' The Cowboys got creamed.

A nice day so far. My cousin Mary and her husband stopped by to see the house and visit over lunch, then @ 4 we had bunk beds delivered and set up for the girls (yay Craigslist!). Sure the Dark Side won the NFC game today, and the Chargers are down 10-7 right now, but I'm sure we can end the day as nice as it started . . . The Chargers lost.

January 18th: I posted a very cocky status update on how I refused to come to YaYa's aid w/ her missing book report. It turns out I was wrong. She did it, Lisa took it to proofread, and the Ginger used it as an art project. So . . .yeah. I threw my kid to the wolves.

January 19th: Worst. Headache. Ever.

I took my two oldest to the dentist this morning. LuLu was very dramatic &the dentist asked me to leave the room so he could scold her w/out a 300# man glaring at him. YaYa, vet of many stiches, bore her cavities with stoic defiance. & good news: the 2 teeth loosened in a stumble at her Godfather's house are due out an...yhow. I'd been worried they were adult teeth.

Call me dumb here, but when Mountain Dew 'Throwback' heavily advertises "Made with Real Sugar!" . . WTH is the stuff in the 'normal' can?

Not a great night post-dinner, as Family Night gave way to tons of homework (although Lis taught Lu Uno). We've got plans to watch American Idol on the DVR, Pandorum on DVD, and hopefully cheer a Brown win in Mass., but I'm not holding my breath for any of it.

Whoo-hoo! Multiple sources are now calling the Massachusetts race in favor of Scott Brown! Ted Kennedy's old seat now belongs to a Republican!

January 20th, news of Robert B Parker's death breaks:
The Times has a much better obit for RBP than the Globe. "Robert Brown Parker was a large man of large appetites that were nonetheless satisfied with relative ease. He was as unpretentious and self-aware as Spenser. All he needed to be happy was his family and writing,” she said. RIP

Wife Swap would be a better show if they actually 'swapped' wives. Just an observation.

So it's official, Leno will resume The Tonight Show in March. Yawn. Make no mistake, he'll still have a sizeable audience, even after being (re)outed as a douche. It'll be an ancient, gray haired audience that is the bane of advertisers, but they'll still tune in. (I'm a Conan O'Brian fan and am proud to say I saw both the first and last Conan Tonight Show episodes)

Anyone from St. Adalbert's remember Gilly? Until a few mintutes ago I hadn't thought of him in (easily) 20 years. Apparently, they did. I got quite a response from my grade school classmates. Gilly was a toothless old man in a knit cap who served Mass and did odd jobs around our school. He spoke in pure gibberish and was unintelligible at the best of times. He passed away sometime around the end of my years there (1988)


Monday, January 4, 2010

From the "Why does he keep such stupid lists? Department" - Some (not all) the movies I've seen in a theater

La Bamba
Terminator II
Terminator III
The Whole Nine Yards
Karate Kid
Karate Kid II
Source Code
Honeysuckle Rose
The Village
Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo
District 9
Three Kings
Sixth Sense
The Happening
The Untouchables
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars (reissue)
Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan
Star Trek III The Search for Spock
Star Trek VI The Voyage Home
Star Trek: First Contact
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Bullets over Broadway
Die Hard
Die Hard III
Mississippi Burning
Grease II
The Wall
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Project X
Major League
Jerry Maguire
Son of the Pink Panther
Back to the Future
Road to Perdition
The Dead Pool
The Gift?? the one with M. Douglas and S. Penn
Forrest Gump
Pirates of the Carribean
Pirates of the Carribean II
Saving Private Ryan
We Were Soldiers Once
Resident Evil
The Apple Dumpling Game
The Pooh Movie
The Professional
Pulp Fiction
Top Gun
Lost in Translation
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
a Sesame Street movie
Monsters vs Aliens
Mrs. Doubtfire
Good Morning Vietnam
Godfather III
The Quick and the Dead
In the Line of Fire
The Dead Pool
Snow White
Where the Heart Is
Higher Learning
Pearl Harbor
Look Who's Talking
not Big, but the wonder years kid version of the story
Schindler's List
Terminator Salvation
Pay it Forward
Passenger 57
The Truth about Cats and Dogs
What Women Want
The Patriot
The Santa Clause
Bad Santa
World Trade Center
The Last Season
Ramona and Beezus
Six Pack
some movie w/ Gary Coleman, where he hid stuff in a public locker
The Pledge
Mortal Kombat
Seven Alone
The Mask

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

I love the Brendan Fraser movie The Mummy and consider it one of my ten favorite movies. Note I said 'favorite', not 'best.' It was fun, it was exciting, and it was enjoyable beginning to end.
This one . . not so much. Not at all actually.
The Mummy: Curse of the Dragon Emperor is the third installment in the Mummy series, although I'll be danged if I can include the bad guys here under the banner of "mummies".
I'm going to skip the plot, of which there's little to begin with. The premise is stupid, the action ho-hum, and the holes in the story are vast enough to house a pyramid.
Plus they replaced the woman who played Fraser's wife with a stilted, utterly out of place Maria Bello.
Avoid this.
2.2 out of 4