no-frills ain't it? | Home | Movie-List | email me: ckarath @
Key: NSFW=Not safe for work

December 2003

<-- Previous Month | Next Month -->

This page is closed,
for new content... go to my blog home page and click "Current Blogging"

Wednesday December 31, 9:59pm

Wry observation from George Carlin's site:
"In comic strips the person on the left always speaks first."
Let's go surfing

Article that postulates that There are only four things that people do on the web. The 4 things that the author puts forth that people are using the web to: learn, feel, connect, and trade.

Humor collumnist, Dave Barry's very detailed (5 page) 2003 year in review

Fark Link: Woman has heart attack on plane. Luckily 15 heart surgeons are on board in-route to a medical conference.

Quote of the Day: "See you next year!"

Monday December 29, 11:44pm

Word of the day:
inimitable a.- Not capable of being imitated, copied, or counterfeited; beyond imitation; surpassingly excellent; matchless; unrivaled; exceptional; unique.

Random non sequiturs

I got into a conversation about comedians with my Great Aunt over the Christmas holiday. She was talking about a George Carlin bit on "stuff" so I did a Google search. I pulled the below off of some random site but it is also copied below.

An excerpt from an AIM sesion I had this evening...

Me: If you type in Green Lantern Blog into Google I am the 4th hit, above any other page that you would actually want to go to if you really wnated to find that information.

Me: I'm the 5th hit for the phrase "Pasta Pot Blog"

Me: Google considers me the 5th most inportant source of information on the world wide web for the phrase "Pasta Pot Blog" How cool is that ;-)

Other Person: we all have our calling i guess.

Me: There are ten plus pages of links for the phrase: "cat swallowed a power ring" but my site comes up first :-)

Quote of the Day "I'm interested in learning more about the history of femine heigine products..."
Quote of the Day, runner-up "Maggie the first was an unfortunate victim of my grandma's dog's lust."

Sunday December 28, 6:02pm

Life is good.

Sunday December 28, 1:26am

Below is a pic from the Meijer in Cascade which I popped into Christmas Eve afternoon to pick up a couple things. It was a very busy checkout-- the lines kept going and going and...

Saw the Ben Affleck/Uma Thurman/Philip K. Dick/John Woo film Paycheck Friday (packed theatre complex-- I had to park on the grass) Click on the link for the review on my movie site.

Saw below over the Christmas break on Comics Continuum

Smallville star Tom Welling made the publicity rounds in New York City on Monday to promote his new film, Cheaper by the Dozen, but also spoke briefly about Smallville.

"I think there's a little bit of that in everybody," Welling said about Clark Kent's journey of self-discovery during an appearance on ABC's The View. "We're all trying to figure out who we are. At least in my 26 years on this planet, I've learned that growing up you have these things that are different about you and you just want to fit into this norm. And as you grow up, you learn that there is no norm and that everyone is crazy.

"And you've got to take these things that make you an individual and you use them to plow your way through life."

It's probably just spending time with my family the last couple days and the timing of that quote that struck me as interesting ;)

I was going to buy one of those nifty HP Portable 4x6 photo printers today, but instead I bought some High Gloss Inkjet Photopaper for my full size inkjet printer and tried that first. The results from that were pretty good, so I shall delay getting that tech toy once again :)

This week's new toys: 3 pairs of DC Pocket Heroes to add to my growing Pocket DC Universe display.

Quote of the Day "TOM!"

Tuesday December 23, 10:37pm

Only 2 more days until the day after Christmas!

$100 Apple mini-iPODs on the horizon.

Pics of the Day

1. 2.

1. Rockwell Cookies. 2. Work Whiteboard.

Quote of the Day "It's fun until she yells CCCOOOOBBBBBRRRRRAAA!

Monday December 22, 11:06pm

The Onion urges you to Drink responsibly this holiday season. My personal favorite:
"Don't mix alcohol with stereotypes. If you are Irish, drink rum. If you are a pirate, drink whiskey. "

New Jargon from the Current WIRED magazine:

Rationing by Hassle - Health Insurance company practice of denying services, then making the appeals process so convoluted and onerous that patients won't follow through with claims.

Not much interest in checking out Napster's new service, but their ads have a really cool Masculine Hip Hello Kitty Vibe going on:

Quote of the Day "Is that my bite mark?"

Sunday December 21, 3:20am

Word of the day
Obligation n. - A social, legal, or moral requirement, such as a duty, contract, or promise that compels one to follow or avoid a particular course of action.

Random non sequiturs

Simple Plan-- Perfect, Outkast-- Hey Ya!, Kelis-- Milkshake, Britney Spears-- Breathe On Me.

Watched a Robin Williams bad guy movie double feature. Reviews of One Hour Photo and Insomniac are on my movie site (there short short reviews... as to not give away any plot)

Let's go Surfing Because of Bono's "F*cking Brilliant" comment, now you can say F*cking on Television. (just use it as an adjective. Using it as a noun is still a no-no.) Personally I think the headline should have been along the lines of:
Now U2 can say FU on TV!

A humorous depricating glossary of Comic terms from Ninth Art.

Friday December 19, 2003 11:37pm

Word of the Day
Fatalism n. - The doctrine that all events are predetermined by fate and are therefore unalterable.

Random non sequiturs

It did not seem to be as busy as it should be out in retail land for the last Friday before Christmas.

The TV Capture Card, Laptop combination introduces a whole new way to kill time at lunch. Today I had another episode of The Simple Life running on the laptop, while I ate a Roast Beef sandwich and read the day's headlines off the Pocket PC. I was definently the most wired individual at Arby's.

Illustrator CS and Acrobat 6 continue to rock at work.

Still deciding on whether or not to do a Lord of the Rings Trilogy Marathon on Sunday.

No interesting Links today.

Wednesday December 17, 2003 9:10pm

Quote of the Day "I never much cared for robots"

Wednesday December 17, 2003 7:16am

From JMS's (J Michael Strazynski's: Creator of Babylon 5) email discussion group. The story highlighted in the middle is pretty good.

From: (Jms at B5)
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 20:41:50 +0000 (UTC)
Lines: 46

>So, just wondering what your opinion is on the trilogy taken as a whole? If
>seen as the one picture it sorta is, do the first and third parts make up
>for the middle, or does Two Towers drag the whole package down?

There's a story about an old woman who's walking her five year old grandson along the beach one day, and a huge wave comes up out of nowhere and just sweeps the kid out to sea, disappearing.

The grandmother is frantic, pleads with god to give her back her grandson, just bring him back and she'll never ask for anything again.

Suddenly there's another huge wave, and bang, the kid is deposited at her feet, safe and sound.

She embraces the boy, hugs and kisses him, then looks up at the sky and says, "He had a hat."

To overly criticize the second part is pretty much along the lines of, "He had a hat."

That the LoTR adaptation has been done this well, or even half this well, is a boon to everyone who's ever been a fan of the books. Is the middle perfect? No, there are some bits I'll always kind of fast forward through...but where was it written that it had to be perfect? Perfect, to be honet, is the enemy of good.

Part two is quite good. Parts one and three are wildly sensational. And, to be honest again, if you're watching 10 hours of a story, you or the story are inevitably going to fade a bit toward the middle.

No, on balance, I think that the LoTR films will stand the test of time as a true classic, whose importance will only grow as years pass. It really represents, more than the Star Wars films -- which have sadly fallen by the wayside creatively -- the Everest of films in this genre, and it's certainly to be considered one of the major edifices outside the genre as well.



Famous beautiful women's faces Page SFW, not sure about the site though.

This Phillip M. Torrone guy's site is always interesting. Is there a gadget he doen't own?

Tuesday December 16, 2003 11:39pm

I started working with Illustrator and Photoshop CS today.

Nothing revolutionary in Photoshop CS although there are some neat features such as match color and lens blur, and some useful new automated tools.

Illustrator CS however really rocks! If they could add multiple page support I think I could completely drop Freehand 10 (Fh MX alas sucks worse than pre-CS Illustrator). Illustrator CS's new typographic controls and Fit-to-Page printing option finally catch Illustrator up to Freehand in critical usabillity areas for me.

Let's Go surfing

The Spider-man 2 movie trailer is posted It's really good but, Why's he wearing the glasses?

March DC Comics and DC Direct products are up. The Green Lantern Power Battery Bookends go on my to-get list.

Boing Boing has some really good Links today:

First these really cool poetry images.

This Catapault wristwatch is pretty spiffy. I wonder if can you load it with firey spit wads?

This is a neat link to a project to combine running around in a field or parkinglot with 1st person shooter gaming. With Video to watch.

Painted Naked Chinese people. Artistic but probably NSFW.

Tuesday December 16, 2003 7:02pm

Now that I've seen three episodes, I can admit that I am enjoying The Simple Life

You may be asking yourself, "What possible redeeming value could be contained in viewing the above disaster of televised 'entertainment'?"

I'm glad you asked.

Y'see I'm watching the above show as a comparison study between Traditional American Values (the Arkansas family) and the Exaggeration of the Present American Dream embodied by Hilton and Richie. On one side you have the hardworking, respectful, down-to-Earth Arkansas Family, which I see as an early 20th century representation of the American Ideal. On the other side you have the attractive, unearned wealth, actions devoid of consequences, and complete self-absorption of Hilton and Richie, who could be argued to be living, from this cynics standpoint, the Present American Dream.

Watched with that in mind, there is actually quite abit to ponder after each episode-- and the bikini scenes aren't bad either.

Quote of the Day "Are you showing agreement, or are you just not sure I'm going to finish my sentences?"

Sunday December 14, 2003 11:57pm

Obligitory blog mention: Sadam Hussein captured... check any web site or turn on your tv.... yadda yadda yadda.

It doesn't seem that the major News Channels actually REPORT the news, so much as they show you the discovery process of gathering the news. Watching fairly inept onair reporters ask question after question, not even so much as to gather information but instead to direct "respected" authorities or more capable field journalists to make sensational statemnts to support their already preconcieved ideas on what they want to hear. Does any of this really matter and or if so to what degree? Who knows.

Let's go surfing

Ron Marz, the guy who replaced Hal Jordan as Green Lantern with Kyle Rayner talks about it

Here's something I should probably hit the buy-it now button on: a Flying Green Lantern. So far I've only seen the Superman one in the stores.

This blog post on social capital is probably a bit over the top... but some of it (quoted below) makes for an interesting discussion starting point:

I frankly think that social networking is close to a zero sum game. We can only maintain a relatively small number of strong contacts and a somewhat larger number of weak contacts. Relationships are maintained through interaction -- we call, email, have lunch, etc. Such intense relationship take time and energy -- perhaps we can keep up with a few dozen people that closely, but certainly not hundreds. Moreover, given the sustained nature of close ties, any attempt to increase the circle of strong contacts will either weaken all of the strong relationships or marginalize some relationship that would otherwise have remained close. Similarly, attempts to increase one's circle of loose relationships will either weaken all those relationships to the point of having little value or replace old relationships with new ones.

Check out this Ferrari (as in the car) Olympus Digital Camera.

Reality Show featuring Mini-me

This seems like a neat art tutorial news item... you get to watch a master comic colorist work in Photoshop. Disks are available at their site as well as sample movies in the upper right hand corner of the disk detail pages. I may get one of these.

So if a corp like Viacom is bailing on Blockbuster. Maybe the death of video rental stores is on the horizon? Will the mythical broadband delivery system, buying cheap DVDs at Walmart, or Kazaa style P2P eventually prevail?

From Scott McCloud's Morning Improv:

As a parent of two precocious daughters, I have to answer some interesting questions like "what is school for?" At first I told them that those 18-22 years of our lives are basically devoted to learning how to learn (adding that 80% of what I know, I've learned since leaving college). Lately I've been more practical, talking about how rare it is to find jobs that we truly love (like this one) and how school can help prepare us for finding them. In the broadest sense, though, I suppose the primary purpose of a decent education is simply to learn how to use the world to our benefit. Coming in at a distant second (at least here in the States) is to use ourselves to the benefit of the world. But put the two together and I think that pretty well covers it.

Where things get interesting, of course, is when those two interests, and their various proxies, come into conflict. A benefit to ourselves causing harm to our families. A benefit to our families causing harm to our community. A benefit to our nation causing harm to our world. If I can help my kids to understand those relationships, maybe I can do them some good in the long run.

I know, I know... Civics 101.

That's one course I didn't take in college, so I have to figure this stuff out on the fly. I was an illustration major, so it wasn't as balanced an education as it could have been. Still, I learned how to learn, so I've been gradually playing catch-up since.

Silent Bob's Overcoat only $399

Not a deep article but I love the headline: Powerpoint makes you dumb

Saturday December 13, 2003 10:32pm

Tonight's Justice League: Comfort and Joy The Christmas episode. Eh. Not a terribly tight story... in fact it was kindof all over the place. There were some GL construct hands and even a large boot kicking construct at one point. It is neat to see GL constructs (beyond force shields and beams) continue to show up more in the episodes. Overall it was pretty two-dimentional characterization-wise. And the Ultra-Humanite scenes were actually quite bad.

Saturday December 13, 2003 8:24pm

In an attempt to "Merry" up my Christmas Season this year... I went out and bought a hat and a small tree (it is on a table-- shown below).

The spaceman in the the picture was given to me by my Grandma Karath and I've had it ever since I can remember. When I was a kid it was always the last ornament that I would put on the tree (with all the importance given to putting the star on, in old Christmas movies). Normally, the Christmas spaceman has a year-round place of display in my studio, but for the next month he'll be decking my new tree in the living room.

Only about 90min to the Justice League Christmas Episode: Comfort and Joy on Cartoon network.

Saturday December 13, 2003 11:32am

Listen, have sincere intentions, be nice to people. Repeat.

Random non sequiturs

Wow... I'm already absent from Google, they must not cache blogs very long.

Winter has hit Michigan

Quote of the Day "Closest Relative?"

Thursday December 11, 2003 6:37pm

Quote of the Day "I should just have you taxonomied, so that I can just look at you"

Wednesday December 10, 2003 11:17pm

The below is completely lifted from Emerald Dawn
On his website, Christopher Priest has reported that he will be returning ot the Green Lantern Corps, writing a trilogy of hardcover Green Lantern novels next year to be published by iBooks.

Priest writes:

I have been working closely with iBooks editor Howard Zimmerman and DC editor Paul Kupperberg to develop this trinity out of a galactic (well, what else would it be?!) tale spanning nearly all of time and space, and involving, principally, Kyle "Crab Face" Rayner, Alan Scott, and, yes, Hal Jordan, back in the saddle again as Green Lantern (albeit temporarily and for the purposes of our arc). The working title is "Green Lantern: Sleepers," and each book is a full-length, drop-it-on-your-toe-and-you'll-be-sorry Harry Potteristic novel. All three are plotted by me, with fan favorite writer Mike Baron ("Nexus") and Real Writer Guy Michael S. Ahn writing Books One (Kyle) and Two (Alan) respectively. I will (salivates) write the Hal book. Expect fun and games with a new vision of Sinestro, the Weaponers of Qward, Lord Malvolio, Lord of the Green Flame (remember him?), Star Sapphire and guest appearances by Green Arrow, Guy Gardner, The Justice Society and more. The story takes place in present day as well as in the far flung future and during the second World War, here on Earth, in outer space, on alien worlds, and in the Anti-Matter dimension of Qward.

It's an adventure that would take 900 pages of comics to tell, so instead we got two really tremendous writers and me to tell our own kind of lords of the rings space fantasy. More on this project and previews as it develops, Green Lantern: Sleepers will be shipping second and third quarter of 2004 by Simon & Schuster Inc. under an agreement with iBooks, Inc.

Wednesday December 10, 2003 10:53pm

This was interesting. A co-worker of mine linked to my blog and because of that one link there is now one entry for my name in Google

Quote of the Day "I thought you were in a car accident!"

Tuesday December 9, 2003 12:51pm

Watched both parts of the Battlestar Galactica TV Movie. The second part was much better than the first. There are some neat ideas in the show. Hopefully it becomes a series. Despite a slow start, it has potential as entertainment.

Random non sequiturs

It seems unlikely that as a country we can become a service economy... anyone who has tried customer service at any large corporation (like above mentioned PHONE COMPANY) should agree on that. If you disagree please email me, I'd love to know how it's going to be done.

I've had this thought on the concept of *becoming* that I've wanted to get out of my head. Basically this *becoming* preoccupation comes from observing a prevelence, of many people I know, on focusing on *becoming* something other than what they currently are and being *focused* on being somewhere else than they currently are. While "focusing on becoming" this or that is not inherently bad in my view, and a little "focus on becoming" is a good thing (Afterall what is Hope other than the belief that things can and will change or *become* better in the future. Who can argue against Hope?). I do think that focusing too much on *becoming* can be detrimental to the subtle bliss that can be occasionally had in just *Being*. And while the results of *becoming* are always a gamble. Enjoying *being* is not. Perhaps the key (if there is a "key", since it's been said "there is no spoon") is being and becoming at the same time, but I think it's a small number of people that pull that off.

Related but veering slightly in another direction: It's amazing how much of life is just a collection of shared definitions.

Quote of the Day "What do you think the Death of Superman is worth?

Sunday December 7, 2003 9:32am

Added a review of Jerry Seinfeld Comedian on DVD to my Movie-List.

Saturday December 6, 2003 11:05pm

Tonight's Justice League: Wild Cards Joker terrorizes Las Vegas with bombs and a new version of the Royal Flush Gang. At the end, GL takes off Hawkgirl's mask (a first for the series) and they begin making out. Hawkman's gonna be pissed ;) Great narration throughout by Mark Hamill as the voice of Joker.

Next week the half hour Christmas episode.

Saturday December 6, 2003 9:32pm

Random non sequiturs

Went shopping today.... among other things got the below Justice League Mission Master Green Lantern:

Which can really be better described as "Special Education" Green Lantern. (I'm not too sure about the headgear!)
As long as I'm commenting, parents should not buy these for their kids unless the kid is dying to have it.... they don't move very welll and they don't stand well either (even worse now that they've added elbow and knee articulation). But I do like to keep my Green Lantern collection complete.

Also picked up a Kingdom Come Kid Flash, shown below with the Flash figure I picked up earlier in the week.
The comic store completely sold out of these on the first day, so I picked this up at Suncoast.

In the amusing category is the packaging from a pasta pot set I bought today. Now, normally a pasta pot set would not be blog worthy-- but I really liked this logo.

Not "As Seen on TV" but "Similiar to Items Seen on TV" because y'know this aint the "official pasta pot"

I got a membership and rented a couple DVDs from a New video rental store, across from the Grandville Meijer, Grand Video. Very convienently located. Also very very deeply colored red walls. Creepy actually, but it is a great location across from Meijer. $3.25 for a new release. 65 candy.

Pic of the Day

Full Moon!

Saturday December 6, 2003 10:16am

Just purchased tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld at Devos Hall in February. I will have to have a big bowl of cereal before the show and bring some pez to snack on during the routine.

Wednesday December 3, 2003 11:14pm

Word of the Day
wry - Dryly humorous, often with a touch of irony.

Random non sequiturs

The difference between 1 and 0 is monumentally different than the difference between 1 and 2. There are many many words that distiguish the difference between once and none... but few that distiguish between 1 and 2... and even fewer words once the number gets past 4. One can arguably be the most important and most disastourous of all numbers.

Two new action figures in this weeks comic take: Jim Lee style Kyle Rayner Green Lantern (and power battery) and Wally West Flash (with springloaded costume ring)

Do see Uma Thurman, on the cover of this months WIRED and GQ.

Let's go surfing

Y'know I have no interest in fishing... zip... nada.... so this may be the first and last fishing link that I ever post...(Sorta NSFW)

Bush to announce return to the moon? Cool.

While were out in space. Take a look at this link about the new Battlestar Galactica, picturing a "humanoid model of a Cylon" named "Number Six". Well at least they didn't name her 6 of 9 and now there is something worse than the Catwoman costume to look forward to. Battlestar Galactica premieres next Tuesday night (12/8) on the Sci-Fi Channel.

Very cool video of Alex Ross making of the JLA: Justice and Liberty comic cover.

Do watch "Behind the Typeface" the story of Cooper Black. Good Graphic Design Humor.

Pic of the Day

I think my cat swallowed a power ring.

Quote of the Day "JK? oh Just Kidding"

Tuesday December 2, 2003 11:14pm

Word of the Day
grok - To understand profoundly through intuition or empathy.

Random non sequiturs

Outkast's The way you move is a damn catchy song.

I saw a 1 hour Hardball with Howard Dean last night. Not bad as far as polititans go.... his concept of trying to bring in and mobilize younger voters is a brilliant strategy. Since the last several elections have been 50/50. Trying to bring in young voters who generally don't vote and when they do are more likely to vote Democratic is as good a strategy as any.

The 3rd issue of JLA*Avengers was brilliant. Marvel refashioned as Earth 2. Brilliant.

The word brilliant is also brilliant.

Are 500 channels and the internet a good thing? It seems like the more options available for information and entertainment, the lower the denominator has to go to collect anything close to mass audience. Is pop culture dead? Are we entering an age of niche cultures? Is that a good or bad thing? Can you type anything and make the voice in your head lilt up just by putting a "?" at the end? Is that just me?

Lets go surfing

Here is an interesting sci-fi quickie There is a potential new Babylon 5 project in the works.

Quote of the Day "Theif!"

<--Previous Month | Next Month -->

I don't spell check! Most of the time the Quotes of the Day are by someone else... and they are taken out of context. I also state all my opinions as facts. It's really annoying isn't it?