Thursday, September 25, 2008

Eats Shoots and Leaves

At the rate I'm going, I'm going to be posting California photos for years. On my most recent trip to San Diego I made it a point to wait in line for the pandas while at the zoo. For some reason one factoid from the panda narrator (the person narrating in the panda area, not the talking panda) sticks in my mind. That factoid is that pandas may poop up to 50 times a day. Maybe I remember that because it reminds me of me. Or not. I guess that's what happens when you eat so much roughage.

Sacked. out.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Muffin Man Dude

I made some green chile cornbread muffins this past weekend. One of my favorite times of year is when the Hatch green chiles come around. As usual I stocked up, and I used some of the "hot" ones for these muffins. They turned out pretty tasty, but I wish I would've filled up the baking cups a little bit more so they didn't come out quite so small. How do places like Starbucks make those gigantic muffins? Can you buy ginormous muffin pans and baking cups? I guess so. It's just something I've never thought about before.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm Not There

This weekend I watched one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. It's called "I'm Not There". You may have heard of it - it's the movie that's "about" Bob Dylan and has six different actors playing various incarnations of him. I know, some of you are rolling your eyes already. I was too before I saw it. The movie received a lot of critical acclaim, but I was kind of skeptical. It just sounded like it had the possibility of being too precious, or too clever for its own good. And I'm a Dylan fan. After seeing it I thought the movie lived up to the hype.

Over the years Dylan has inhabited a number of different personae. And while that in itself is not unique in the biopic genre, this movie takes it to a higher level (as some would say Dylan himself has done in real life). The movie presents completely fictional personifications alongside the more realistic ones. Such as an 11 year old African American boy who idolizes Woody Guthrie and rides around the country in boxcars playing his guitar and singing. This character represents the early Dylan who professed a love of Woody Guthrie and liked to tell tall tales about his origins. Another aspect of Dylan is that he is a highly mysterious figure, and this movie does a great job of presenting that aspect too. The movie suggests that all of these shifting personalities were a way for Dylan to maintain his freedom, rather than being stuck inside people's preconceived notions of what he should be, which seems to be key to his creative process.

There are some very interesting themes presented in the film about the nature of identity and reality, and I even think that it says some interesting things about American culture. The movie is really well-made too. The acting is superb, and the way that the different personalities are presented in thematically appropriate film styles is very interesting. There's some amazing imagery, especially in the Billy the Kid segment towards the end of the film. The way that Dylan's music is woven throughout the film is great too. It's used both as straightforward musical accompaniment and dialogue spoken by various characters. This all sounds like a bit much I'm sure, which is why I think my expectations may have been lowered. But it all comes together in a really compelling way in my opinion.

Having said all that, I'm not sure that I would recommend it to everyone. If you need a strong narrative in your movies then you probably want to look elsewhere. This also isn't a movie that you can just kind of watch while you're folding laundry or making dinner - it requires you to pay attention. I do recommend it for people who enjoy bold and unusual films.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Me No Likey Ikey

OK, so Ike Hayes got the most votes. I think that was my favorite one too - he looks so cool and benevolent.

Unfortunately the real Ike was more like Ike Turner. He smacked a lot of people around.

I feel really bad for all the people who are dealing with the storm and its aftermath. It even left a trail of destruction from Texas all the way up to New York. You can see some of the details here. Mother Nature can do some really fearsome things sometimes. Our own Cory weathered the storm in the Houston area, and came through OK! Where I live the storm passed just to the east, and thankfully we just got some gusty winds and a little under an inch of rain.
We're now getting an early taste of fall. I actually slept with the windows open last night, and it actually got down to about 55! Trust me, that's cool for this time of year around here.

Funny side note - My post with the hurricane Ike images got a few hits from the U.S. House of Representatives. I'm guessing that it was Ike Skelton's people using The Google to see if anything about Mr. Skelton had hit the Interwebs. They probably think I'm a mental patient. Hi Ike!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Vote For Your Favorite Ike

I thought I'd run a little survey here since Hurricane Ike is steadily approaching the Texas coastline. Please vote in the comments for your favorite Hurricane Ike representation. Use whatever criteria you want - what you feel best represents the spirit of Ike, best overall impression, or just your favorite Ike. You can even rank them if you want. Anything goes. And no, I do not have too much time on my hands! :P

A. Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower

B. Isaac "Ike" Hayes

C. Ike Skelton

D. Ike Broflovsky

E. Ike Turner

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sunrise 09-08-08


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Just An Observation

Last week before the Radiohead show in LA I wanted to get there a little bit early so I could go to one of my favorite places in LA - the Griffith Observatory. I just love the view from up there. And it was a beautiful day. I know you can still see the thin scum of smog, but you should have seen when I was there in July - I bet you would've barely been able to see those downtown buildings. The Observatory was closed for renovations the last time I was in LA before this summer, so it was good to finally be able to go up there again. Oddly enough, even though I've been there about 4 or 5 times, the building has never once been open when I've been there, so I've never been inside. This time was no exception - it's closed on Mondays.

The Observatory was featured in Rebel Without A Cause, as well as a bunch of other movies and TV shows (even MacGyver!).


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Blow Wind Blow

So we missed out on the rain from the hurricane Gustav remnants here. We are getting lots of wind and funky clouds though. By the way, "Gustav" is kind of a crap name for a hurricane, no?

During hurricane season this website is my first stop for all my hurricane info needs. This blog is my favorite part. He goes into more detail than the average TV weatherman if you're into that sort of thing. I've learned all about wind shear and ocean current temperatures and how they affect the development of tropical storm systems. And currently there are 3 more storms on the way!