Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Prestige

We went to see The Prestige (*** Good) this afternoon.  It was good.  The story could have been written by Poe, but it was co-written by Christopher  and Jonathon Nolan, and directed by Christopher Nolan.  The Nolan brothers were also responsible for the movie "Memento".

The story reminded me of the movie Amadeus in spirit, but not in detail.  Two men (Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman) are good at their art, but one is not quite as gifted as the other and therefore the lesser illusionist is jealous of the other.

Their competition lasts a lifetime, and the story revolves around one great trick that involves disappearing from one spot and reappearing in another.  This is a darker story than "The Illusionist", but a better one, I think; although, Edward Norton in The Illusionist gave a much better performance than either Christian Bale or Hugh Jackman did in The Prestige.

The NY Times liked it.

Persy in the sun with attitude

Now that the days are growing shorter, all the kitties seek out sunny spots.  Persy stretches out in the sun and looks over her shoulder to see if you notice how wonderful she looks.

Persy Rollover Maybe that's how she maintains her happy outlook.  If I tried basking in a sunny spot without giving a thought to skin cancer or West Nile virus, I might be happier too :-)

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Dilbert Blog

I'm a big fan of Scott Adams' Dilbert Blog, as well as his comic strip.

When he's funny, he's just my kind of funny, and when he's serious he is not irritating.  What more can one ask from an almost every day read?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

If I had a son


If I had a son, I'd want him to be like this boy.

Work In Progress

Image Image I like to work identical things, that is, things that should be the same size when finished, at the same time.  So, two socks are worked at the same time, and two sleeves are worked at the same time.

The socks one the left are finished through the heel flap and are ready to have their heels turned.  I'm liking this Trekking XXL sock yarn (mfd by Skacel, Zitron brand).  It feels good and the colors are certainly bright enough :-)

The sleeves on the right are part of the Gentle Breeze Tee that was supposed to be done in time to wear this summer.  I guess I should say "last summer", since the weather man tells me we are now officially experiencing Fall (and a very nice Fall it is).

Image Image I have never made set in sleeves before, so I'm experiencing a little Fear of Finishing the sleeves.  When I lay it out on the floor (left) I can't picture in my head how these sleeves are ever(!) going to fit into the armhole.  When I pin the sleeve next to the armhole (right), I have hope.

I have asked the lovely Joann at Heartstrings for encouragement, and she says as long as the perimeter of the set in part of the sleeve is the same number of inches as the armhole, then it will fit.  The folks on my knitting email list offered methods for doing sleeves from the top down, so if these sleeves look awful when finished, then I can always rip back and redo from the top down.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Departed

The Departed
We saw The Departed (**** Very Good) today.  It's a Martin Scorsese film based on a Hong Kong movie, "Infernal Affairs".

The acting, especially Leonardo DiCaprio, is very good.  The setting is Boston, so the actors all have Boston accents or try to have Boston accents.  Matt Damon's accent from "Goodwill Hunting" has been dusted off and fits here very well.  Jack Nicholson is a bad man who runs his little corner of the Mob with a heavy hand.

Matt Damon is a Mob guy who works for the Massachusetts State Police.  Leonardo DiCaprio is an undercover cop who has infiltrated the Mob.  During the coarse of the movie you can see each of them come apart from the strain of having two identities.

There are some unanswered questions that come to mind, so it looks like some plot twists are there for convenience instead of to serve the story.  There are surprises right up to the very last second of the movie, and they aren't pleasant surprises.  It's a Very Violent Movie (rated R for violence, language, and sex).

If you are in the right frame of mind, so that the violence won't bother you, then go see the movie.  It's good.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Couldn't have said it better myself

Samantha's blog entry today says it better than I could.

Have a nice weekend.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

iPod Shuffle Whining

For days - Days, I tell you - I have been trying to update my iPod Shuffle so I can listen to the rest of an audio book (The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho).

It's a long story, Days long.  Apple put out some software updates which change the way the Shuffle is updated.  Now the software that updates iPods is included with iTunes.  It used to be a seperate piece of software called the iPod Updater, or something like that.  I updated various pieces of software, more than once, and probably in the wrong order.  Then... my iPod Shuffle would not update and iTunes told me it was corrupted, or it couldn't find the files it needed, or it just plain wouldn't recognize the shuffle (as if it wasn't plugged into the USB port).

I tried the 5 Rs as suggested on Apple's help information (reset, retry, restart, reinstall, restore).  I was able to get to the Restore step a couple of times, but the restore step always failed... the progress bar just kept going and going and going, like the Energizer Bunny.

I ordered a new iPod Nano, for lots of $.  Then I read a bit of information which implied that the iTunes library files might be the problem and I should restore the library to an older version.  I did that, and then restarted my Windows PC with the iPod plugged in.  When I started iTunes, it recogized the iPod and filled it with random songs from my music folder.

But that wasn't good enough for me.  Oh no, I still wanted the rest of The Alchemist on the iPod.  When I tried to add switch the random contents for the audio book, I ran into the same problem again!  This time it ran out of space and started giving me error messages.