Posted in Television on September 30th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: What makes you nuts? You know, the little things? Bloggers who blog about blogging on their blogs? (That one was for Keith). Bad drivers? Rude people? The provincial government? Taxation? That annoying neighbour? Tonya nicely synthesizes three things that drives her batty, and I can find some empathy in her words.

:: So the Twins beat the Yankees, and the Giants beat the Marlins already today. Now if the Red Sox beat Oakland and the Cubs beat Atlanta, all will be right with the baseball world. I grew up in Winnipeg cheering for the Twins in the 1960s. When they won in 1987, it was the first time one of my favorite baseball teams took the World Series. This time around, I’m hoping for the fantasy series: Cubs and Red Sox. The problem is, if the Cubbies and Red Sox meet in the WS, it means the world will end shortly thereafter. There has been concern expressed in years past that if the Red Sox and Cubs played in the WS, the result would be “complete and total armageddon.”

:: Proving once again the belief that the Internet is a mecca for people with way, way too much time on their hands, check out this list of every single expression Dr Zachary Smith used to describe “the robot” on Lost In Space. My favorite will always be, “you bubble-headed booby”.

:: Speaking of television, has anyone seen CarnivÓle?

:: Update: Cubs win, Cubs win!

Kubrick and Other Stuff

Posted in Film, Photography on September 29th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I’ve been immersed in Stanley Kubrick fare of late. The last two books I read were Eyes Wide Open by Frederic Raphael, who co-authored the screenplay to Eyes Wide Shut, and Moonwatcher’s Memoir – A Diary of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Dan Richter, the mime who Kubrick hired to choreograph the Dawn of Man sequence and play Moonwatcher in 2001. The Richter book fascinated me, bringing me behind the scenes of the making of this now famous sequence in my favorite movie of all time.

Tonight I watched Vivian Kubrick’s 35 minute documentary, The Making of The Shining, filmed when she was 17 years old. Stanley is featured in many scenes, including some startling scenes with Shelly Duvall. Together with these two books and the recent documentary about him, made by Jan Harlan, his long time executive producer and brother-in-law, Kubrick seems much more human to me now than he was when he was alive. The documentary is included in the DVD version of The Shining, and includes a second track with commentary from Vivian, added 23 years later, when she was 40. You can watch 90 seconds of her documentary here (requires RealOne Player). BTW, for those of you who remember 2001 well, the scene in which Dr Floyd calls Earth from the space station and speaks to his daughter, “Squirt” – she was played by Vivian Kubrick.

:: From the Life Magazine publication, 100 Photographs That Changed The World, 28 of those pictures can be seen here.

:: Are those 92″ computer screens I mentioned earlier a hoax? If so, it’s a brilliant and elaborate one, because beyond reeling me in, it has fooled Forbes (which has withdrawn the story already), and by extension, Roland Piquepaille. Piquepaille became suspicious, though, after he received a comment from a reader, and began an investigation, concluding that the site is a fake. Then again, Lisa Ciesniewski, the PR Manager for Liebermann, gave an interview a few days ago in which she said the company has 30 employees and plans to open two showrooms in LA and NYC.

What do you think? Hoax or for real?

:: My thanks to those who sent comments about my two recent posts, including those who wrote privately.

And The Oscar For Best Emoting Goes To…

Posted in Miscellaneous on September 28th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Me, given what I wrote below. I returned from the Y, having thought about the last entry while I was working out on the cross-trainer machine. I thought about the lyrics to Grey Day (gotta love Madness), and then H´┐Żsker D´┐Ż’s These Important Years (by Bob Mould). Then I thought of the baseball playoffs, and of the delicious possibility that the Red Sox and the Cubs could end up in the World Series, which would be infinitely more interesting than the Yankees and Braves (bor-RING!!!!!) I also gave consideration to removing the entry below, but noticed that Derryl offered a comment, so it will stay.

The left-click function on my mouse isn’t working well, and I want to pound sand. Hey you, yes, YOU, tell me what is important to you. I’d love to know. Then tell me why it’s important to you.

The Things I Miss The Most

Posted in Observations on September 28th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: It’s not these things necessarily (I still have my ’69 Tele, never had a ’54 Strat), but on days like today…it’s a Sunday, I always hated Sundays, and it’s dull and grey and dead and claustrophobic and suffocating in Edmonton today, and Sundays exist to remind you that you need to go back to work tomorrow. I was shopping at Costco just now, and every person there seemed to be in my way. We can’t relive, we can only move forward, but all too often I miss the early 70’s, which for me was the last age of innocence in my life. It’s hard to describe, but it was a time when I didn’t need to be aware of much beyond my immediate surroundings, and I didn’t have to deal with everything else that comes with being a damn grown up.

I love being able to write about “stuff” on my site, but there are also things about which I can never write. I guess that’s where a diary serves its true purpose. Today I’m smoldering with residual anger about this and that, and it gets compounded as I deal with the hearing aid (which is terribly tinny and not too useful in a movie theatre), the stuggle with the eating plan and workout regime, family issues, finances, loneliness, perceived injustices (personal and otherwise), turning 50 and staring into the virtual abyss, and so on. It’s a moment when I want to say, f*ck it all, to hell with the planet.

Yesterday I learned that someone close and important to me was beaten regularly as a child by an older brother, until she was 20, as were three of her other siblings. I think of something like that, and consider how good I had it as a kid, and how good things have been as an adult. I try to reconcile that with how empty I feel inside right now.

Despite the foregoing, I maintain a rock solid awareness and appreciation for how good things are in my life. A balance needs to be struck somehow. I’m working on it, despite feeling like it amounts to a waste of effort.

And how peachy is your weekend? (And I laugh, because as I finish this, the sun snuck through the clouds and shone on my hands and keyboard. OK, God, you win!)

Derryl Sells #20

Posted in Friends on September 27th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Derryl Murphy has sold his twentieth short story. This is not a trivial accomplishment, but one worth celebrating. I met Derryl in 1987, when I was dating his sister’s best friend. The rest is history.

His story, Island of the Moon, will be appearing in Neo-opsis. Read a “brief snippet from the beginning of the story” here.

This Movie is Real, and Watch That Segway

Posted in Film, In The News on September 27th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Robert sent a note about The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. At first I thought it was a joke, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t appear to be real. Check out the trailer on the official site, or watch it here. The FAQ clears up a few issues. I checked the IMDb, and sure enough, there’s an entry for it. One of the stars, Fay Masterson, was in Eyes Wide Shut (sorry, the WB site doesn’t function these days). The first question I have is, what took anyone so long to make such a spoof – it’s a no-brainer. Second question: will it be funny? My favorite line from the poster: “This was the day the Earth was disembowled in terror!

:: The Segway, invented by Dean Kamen, is in a bit of trouble. 6,000 of the units are under voluntary recall because of a problem with the battery that may result in the rider falling off the unit as the battery nears the end of its charge. (From: The Gothamist)

I haven’t seen a Segway yet, and don’t know if any are in Edmonton. Personally, I’d like to see DEKA develop the Stirling Cycle Engine, which doesn’t require gas or oil to function, into something that could be economically viable so that it could be used in mass market applications (like automobiles and other gas powered vehicles, which at the moment isn’t feasible) and present a direct challenge to the oil industry (which will have to happen eventually, anyway – we will run out of oil someday). Here’s an analysis of one of DEKA’s patents on the Stirling engine by the American Stirling Company.

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