Wal-Mart rules the world, and other stuff

Posted in Observations on January 30th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

Possibly on the verge of WW3, should we be concerned that Wal-Mart is the world’s largest employer, with 1.3 million workers, and that it has an enormous impact on the US economy? Are Canadians on the verge of turning into a Wal-Mart Nation, like the US? There’s one down the road from my house, and I do shop there too.

From Derryl‘s site comes this bloody brilliant way to deal with junk mail, including credit card applications.

I had acupuncture on my tennis elbow today (which, contrary to a previous entry, is on my left arm.) This was my first time, and it was interesting. It was administed by the physical therapist working on my injury. Tonight it feels a wee bit better.

I’ve been in a crabby, poopy mood for a few days. (What, you’re saying? Is that any different from any other day?) Anyway, I think the planets converged and All Things Annoying hit me at the same time, heightened by the constant pain in my left arm. I’m looking forward to drinks after work tomorrow with BAWK (Bi-weekly After Work Club), and on Saturday, a full body massage at noon, and friends over in the evening for an Outer Limits Pizza Party. We’ll be watching episodes from the original series.

It warmed up here today for the first time in weeks. By warm, I mean 4C. And it felt great. Tonight I’m as restless as ever.

What th -? A National Geographic Swimsuit Issue??

Posted in Pop Culture on January 30th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

I was minding my own business, scanning other blogs on my list, noting the intelligence and wit of the entires therein, compared to my latest missives about mostly nothing. Then I see an entry on Chris’s site that catches my eye: word that National Geographic is issuing a special one-time-only issue on 100 years of swimsuits. Er…um…d’oh! What the hell is going on? I’m thinking, nah, this must be a joke. So I go to the National Geographic web site, and damned it isn’t true. And what’s with “100 Years”? Have the NG photogs been secretly photographing models in bathing suits since 1903?

The larger question is: is nothing scared anymore? The answer is: of course not, nothing ever was. Duh. Sports Illustrated: yes, and I’ve bought every one since 1975. But National Geographic, and to boot, issuing it in February, within the same week or two of SI? Cash grab, anyone? (Yes, I’ll buy a copy…)

Now I’ll go back to reading interesting and thought provoking entries from my friends.

Controversy erupts over final Lord of the Rings movie!

Posted in Film on January 28th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

Fans of the Tolkien series, Lord of the Rings, are predictably upset over the news that a new character, outside of the Tolkien universe, has been added to the final movie, The Return of the King. I’m wondering if this is a move to generate even more dollars at the box office in December 2003. Personally, I think Peter Jackson and George Lucas have gone just a bit too far this time.

Do you live in Canada, and watched the Super Bowl last Sunday, missing all the US commercials because the Canadian stations refused to run them, being the dorks that they are? You can watch the ads here.

The Weekend

Posted in Film on January 26th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

I saw two recent films this weekend: Chicago and Frida. I enjoyed both of them. To appreciate and enjoy Chicago, go knowing in advance that you will see musical numbers every ten minutes. Richard Gere, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones do their own singing and dancing in the film, and it is very impressive. The production numbers are outstanding, with the best being one in which Gere plays a ventriloquist with Zellweger as his “dummy”, and the press gallery are puppets – it’s a brilliant presentation and delivery. The only negative thing I can say is that the website Sucks Big Time.

Frida explores the life of Frida Kahlo, a controversial Mexican painter who was twice married to Diego Rivera. In 1925 she was in a bus accident that injured her severely. She had many operations, body casts, corsets, etc. She poured her soul into painting, was determined to walk again, and eventually approached the famous Rivera for criticism. It was a defining moment in both their lives, and the movie follows her life from that point onwards. Salma Hayek gives the performance of her career, and she is surrounded by an excellent supporting cast, including Alfred Molina as Rivera, Geoffrey Rush as Leon Trotsky, and appearances by Edward Norton, Saffron Burrows, Ashley Judd, Antonio Banderas, Mia Maestro, and Valeria Golino. Highly recommended.

We have had a month of cold, snowy weather. But when I stepped outside to drive to the theatre to see Frida, it was -10C and raining! I drove there, fighting the rain on my windshield, which kept turning to ice as it hit. I used all my windshield antifreeze to keep said windshielf clear until I got there.

The tennis elbow condition in my right arm is still bothering me considerably. I’m doing exercises with a 5 pound weight, and will visit the physical therapist again next Thursday. Acupuncture and cortisone shot may happen next.

Kill Bill – The Trailer

Posted in Film on January 22nd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

Check out the trailer for Kill Bill the forthcoming Quentin Tarantino movie. It’s very cool.

Jessica Owen – BUY THIS ALBUM!!!

Posted in Music on January 22nd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

OK, this is a blatant plug for the new album, ever-so-slightly rearranged, by my wonderful friend and brilliant musician, Jessica Owen (formerly Schoenberg – love you lots, girl!). After some delay, the record is now available for purchase from CD Baby.

jess1.jpg

This is Jessica’s fifth album. I was fortunate and priviliged to have played on and arranged most of her first offering, Sounds Like A Plan, recorded and released in cassette in April 1994. Since then, her talent has blossomed considerably, her songwriting and playing improved geometrically, and her incredible, powerful voice continues to amaze and demand your attention.

If you have hi-fi broadband access and Windows Media Player, listen to 2 mins each of four of her new songs. Low-fi dialup access is here.

Trust me, this is worth the effort. Yes, I am totally biased in her favour, but I can also tell quality music and effort when I hear it. Please consider buying a great product in support of a musician whom I respect enormously and love unconditionally, but more importantly, buy it because you’ll enjoy it for a long time to come.

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