Weird and Wacky Stuff

Posted in Film, Music, Observations, Pop Culture, Television on November 6th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I saw The Matrix Revolutions today. It is fun to watch and confusing as hell. The effects are at times overpowering, and the dialogue as offbeat and odd as in the other two movies. There is not as much martial arts this time around, and yes, the story does resolve itself. At least twice in the movie I wanted the reel to stop, rewind, and play again so I could try to understand what just happened. I did notice that most of the people in the audience were guys in baseball caps, and when they were in groups of two or more, all sat with an empty seat between each of them.

:: A report and review of The Beatles’ forthcoming, Let It Be…Naked, from the Globe and Mail’s James Adams.

:: I was not surprised to learn that NBC canned Coupling after four episodes (although the website says it’s returning in December.) Despite the fact that the scripts were almost word-for-word equal to the originals used in the British series, the Americans couldn’t seem to capture the Brits’ sensibilities, timing and delivery.

:: Microsoft has created a $5 million US fund to help track and convict virus creators.

:: Napster announced a deal on Thursday with Penn State University, in which students are given access to music funded by student fees, thereby reducing the number of illegal downloads. However, some of the students are criticizing the deal, saying it is an inappropriate use of their student fees.
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Stuff ‘n’ Such

Posted in Miscellaneous, Mixed Bag Special, Observations, Random Thoughts on November 5th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I’m off work this week, taking some holiday time. The weather has been cold, snowy and dull. I want to clean up my house, a task of major proportions at best. I started cleaning one room last night, so can report some progress. I’ve worked out in the morning the last two days, and it’s been a major struggle to get the body to accept this change, even for a few days. Normally I exercise after work. I don’t know how the morning people do it.

:: Derryl sent along this gem: examples of some of the worst album covers of all time.

:: You might think it odd to get upset over soup, but…Safeway sells hot soup every day, two varieties. All the soups sold are made by Campbell’s. My favorite is Italian-Style Wedding soup. I had never heard of it until Safeway started selling it in their deli. I haven’t been able to find it lately, so I spoke to someone there, who told me that a “new soup program” is imminent, so the other choices have been removed, permanently. The manager of my local store verified this, saying that it’s happening in all Safeway stores in Canada and the USA.

Italian-Style Wedding soup was one of Safeway’s most popular hot soups; the deli worker with whom I spoke confirmed this, noting that other customers have expressed their dismay as well. Why mess with success? It’s a decision made by suits in an office in a Big City somewhere far from here. Idiots.

:: If you are interested in the recent solar flare activity, check out the SOHO site: Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. There are some great pics and mpegs of what the sun has been doing (blasting the Earth with ionizing radiation as a result of exploding superflares.) Here in the Great White North, we’ve been missing the spectacular aurora activity because it’s been cloudy for days.

Bless The Weather

Posted in Observations on October 28th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Two days ago it was 55F/17C in Edmonton. Tonight there are a couple inches of snow on the ground, and the temperature is -3C. Such is life in Edmonton. A personal mantra of mine is, “every day after Hallowe’en in which we do not get permanent snow is a blessing from God.” Maybe not this year. I suspect, however, that what we are receiving right now in amounts of white stuff will melt or sublimate in the next few days. Nonetheless, I forgot to remove my outside garden hose, so arrived home tonight and stuggled to get it off its rollup on the side of my house.

:: So Tim Horton’s doughnuts aren’t so fresh after all. Krispy Kreme, please come to Edmonton! (KK will be in Calgary next February.) Here’s an interesting take on the story from Thunder Bay.

:: This afternoon, Heavy G and I ran through our forthcoming presentation on biblioblogs for GELA. I thought it went rather well, and I bow in Geoff’s general direction for designing a great-looking visual style for the slides.

Take Back Your Time Today

Posted in Observations on October 24th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Today is Take Back Your Time Day. This is something we could use in Canada too, if only to get people talking:

    THE TIME IS NOW – TAKE BACK YOUR TIME DAY, OCTOBER 24, 2003

    Seattle, WA— Americans are working too much, according to 85% of the 7800 Americans who participated in a recent CNN money.com poll. 4 in 5 Americans wish they had more time to spend with family, according to a poll commissioned by the Center for a New American Dream and half of all Americans even say they’d trade some of their pay for more time off. Their concerns are buttressed by the fact that barely half of all Americans took a week’s vacation this past summer, and that while millions of Americans have lost their jobs to the recession, many more are working longer hours and more mandatory overtime than ever.
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Some People’s Kids

Posted in Observations on October 6th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I had a strange run-in with a woman at the YMCA today. After my workout, I did a few stretches and such on the large mat, and when finished, proceeded to spray the area I was on with the cleanser found in bottles throughout the workout centre. However, there was no cloth, usually with each spray bottle, that I could use to wipe the mat afterwards. I looked to my right, where this woman was working out vigorously on the mat, and noticed two cloths. I stepped behind her (she was on her back) to grab one of the cloths, and she stopped and said to me, “that was really rude.” I started to apologize, and she interrupted me, saying, “Get lost, and don’t talk to me.”

I was more nonplussed than anything, and mumbled a couple things under my breath. I was finished anyway, and left to go shower and get dressed.

A friend of mine has an expression she applies to people like this, and it goes something like, “Gee, who sh*t in your cornflakes this morning?” Yes, her reaction rattled me a bit – certainly I had no intention of being rude or getting in her way (which to me, I didn’t do anyway.) Afterwards I thought of a witty retort, but at the time, just decided to walk away and leave things be. But to me, in her own way, she was the one who was rude.

Why do people react the way they do? We can never really know.

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!)