Friday, December 31, 2004

"[A]sk for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man."

Look for me tonight and you shall find me either: (a) at a party, drinking rather heavily, or (b) passed out in my apartment somewhere. I would say "passed out in my bed" except there's no guarantee I'll make it that far, especially since my couch and floor are both quite comfortable. (Though one is certainly cleaner than the other. The couch, damnit!)

Happy New Year's!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Sexy Beverage Container Designs

CNN: So much for the school milk carton -- Children drink more out of bottles, so schools switching. The punchline?
Several years ago the milk industry decided its boxes were not visually competitive when sold alongside the relatively sexy bottles of juice and soda increasingly common in schools.
I think the writer or editor who chose that adjective should be fired. Or lauded. It's an even split. (A sexy split!)

Rest in Peace Detective Briscoe

Actor Jerry Orbach, best known for his long-running role as New York police detective Lennie Briscoe on "Law & Order," died of prostate cancer Tuesday night. (Excellent CNN article.)

I'm not a huge L&O fan but Orbach was a good actor. As the CNN piece so aptly explained:
"Law & Order" and its spinoffs are all filmed in New York, and Orbach was so identified with the city that he was declared a "living landmark" by the New York Landmark Conservancy in 2002.
Farewell Detective Briscoe, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Quick WoW Note

That's World of Warcraft for the absent-minded.

My character is now up to level 39.3 and 210 Blacksmithing. This means in approximately 0.7 levels (or 55k exp) he will get a horse, a host of upgrades to his spells and abilities, the chance to select either Weaponcrafting or Armorcrafting and the ability to wear plate armor. Truly exciting.

For the record, whatever record or phonograph that may be, I'm reporting my character's (or characters') progression more for myself than anyone else. It's kind of neat to be able to look back and say, gee, he rose 10 levels in the past 8 days.

Ciabata, ciabata everywhere and not a drop to drink!

Lunch today: Bologna on Ciabata vs. Smoked Turkey on Baguette. In my opinion, smoked turkey beats out bologna any day of the week. Even Mondays. However, ciabata beats out baguette likewise. So the question comes down to which is more important, the meat or the bread? Which will be the deciding factor that dictates which sandwich I consume?

Today, the ciabata won. That's not to say it will always win in such circumstances, though I give it the odds-on favorite over the meat distinction. Rather, I found I would willingly suffer the bologna since it came with the ciabata which in and of itself would be quite tasty and scrumptious. 'Lo and behold, the ciabata lived up to its name and provided a tasty counterpoint to the mildly-nauseating bologna. In fact, it performed so well that at some point I opted to finish the bread while leaving the remaining meat, lettuce and tomato uneaten. In an interesting twist, the bottom piece of bread, the one upon which the bologna had been directly resting, retained a hint of the bologna flavor. While I did not enjoy the hint of a taste, even finding it disconcerting at first, I appreciated its presence and wondered if there might not be a market for meat-flavored bread products. Nothing too strong or overwhelming, just a mild hint of a suggestion of a certain noteable meat-flavor. (But preferably not bologna.)

Also, I wonder what the etymology of the the word "bologna" is. After consulting a "knowledgeable dictionary," I learned a few things. "Bologna" is pronounced similar to "baloney" and the latter may be considered a variation on the former. In addition, apparently there is a city in Italy named "Bologna" and apparently pronounced similarly. (Though foreign pronounciation, at least of Italian words, is beyond my knowledge and honest capability.) Curious. I wonder if the meat "bologna" isn't originally from Bologna, Italy or tied to it in some manner. Also, I wonder where "bologna" devolved to the "slang" term "baloney." I assume it occurred on this side of the Atlantic as part of some ritualistic American bastardization ceremony. So many questions and so few answers, especially as I am currently reluctant to troll the internet and Google for information.

Still, it was one tasty sandwich largely due to the ciabata. When in doubt, I say go for the ciabata and never look back.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

"It's the time of the season..."

"...for loving." While that has nothing to do with the topic of this post, it came to mind.

I like winter. I'm not such a huge fan of "the holiday season." Why? Well for one, I'm Jewish. That is, I don't celebrate Christmas. Never have. So "everyone" getting in a tense uproar about the upcoming long weekend and Christmas shopping and the like means absolutely nothing to me (other than possibly the long weekend). In addition, though I often don't mind Christmas songs, they do tend to grate on me after a while. As does the impression that I dare not set foot within a few miles of any mall since they are bound to be overwhelmed and utterly obnoxious. It all combines into one mishmash of loathing. I don't get togther with relatives. I don't sit around a Christmas tree opening presents. I don't enjoy a huge, family-based Christmas dinner. I don't roast chestnuts by the warmth of an open fire. I also don't resent any of that but if that's what the holiday season means to the majority of Chirstmas-observers, understand that it means absolutely none of that to me.

Channukah (my preferred spelling) was always a fun time at home. Since the time I went to college, though, it's become less-observed as finals tend to inevitable run into the observance/celebration, meaning I almost never observe or celebrate it. Again, I don't resent that, it just translates to the month of December holding less meaning for me other than the end of the semester.

Likewise for New Years. Like Valentine's Day, I can't think of a single New Years in which I actually and thoroughly celebrated and enjoyed the holiday. Very few of them have I drunk much if at all. Very few of them have I spent in the company of people other than family members. Very few of them have I actually enjoyed. The vast majority of the time, it's been something like "okay, yay, it's the next year. I saw the ball drop, guess I can go to sleep sometime in the next hour or so." Seriously. Hell, one of the few I remember is the one from 2001 --> 2002 and that's because I spent it playing Dark Age of Camelot (an MMORPG) on my computer! And the reason I remember it is because a box popped up wishing me a happy New Year from the game operators! If that's my most memorable New Years, you can tell I haven't truly been celebrating them.

Yes, I know I could probably really celebrate New Years if I wanted to. Go out and find a party, have a party, hit a bar, do something. But I've never truly felt the push to do so. Bars generally aren't my scene as I'd prefer being with friends and people I know. And then, most of them have their own plans for New Years that generally don't include me. To quote Calvin & Hobbes: "It's a vicious cycle that took years to perfect."

All of the above is also not to say that I get depressed or down-trodden this time of year. I don't. It's nice to have a festive atmosphere on the air and people generally happy and/or content for a while. Both are rare occasions and I appreciate the generally positive sensation that overrides most things. It's nice. It's also infectious. And that's probably why I don't get depressed or despondent. I mean it's Christmas time and New Years and all that. How could anyone get too upset? (Especially since the semester is over and we have at least 3 weeks until the next begins.)

So in this festive time and merry atmosphere..

I wish everyone a very merry and happy holidays!

Judge Halts Guilty Plea in Anti-Spam Law Case

Judge questions anti-spam law:
Judge halts guilty plea by ex-AOL employee who sold e-mail addresses, questions new anti-spam law.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge has refused to accept a guilty plea from a former America Online employee accused of selling the Internet provider's customer list to a "spammer," saying he was unsure a crime had been committed.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein stopped a Tuesday hearing at which Jason Smathers was to plead guilty to conspiracy and interstate trafficking of stolen property, saying he had a "technical question" about the alleged crime.

At issue, the judge said, is whether the actions rose to the level required by a new anti-spam law, which states that spam must be not only annoying but deceptive.
The case by federal prosecutors charges that Smathers, of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, stole a list of 92 million customer screen names from AOL, a unit of Time Warner Inc. (Research), and sold it to an Internet marketer. CNN/Money also is a unit of Time Warner.

The marketer then allegedly used the list to promote his online gambling operation and sold the names to other spammers, according to prosecutors.

Smathers, 24, faces up to 15 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and interstate trafficking of stolen property, but was expected to receive a sentence closer to 18 to 24 months.

After the hearing was unexpectedly cut short, an attorney for Smathers said "everything has been thrown open now" by the judge's refusal to accept his client's plea.

"This is a new statute," the attorney, Jay Goldberg, said. "He is questioning whether the conduct here met the standard of deception."
I iwsh had time right now to research this case a bit more. I'd like to know what exactly the statute says, especially with regards to deception. If the anti-spam law only tackles deceptive spam, in my opinion that ignores the vast majority of spam, which is not deceptive in its subject line. If I did explore and learn a bit more, I could comment on the Judge's position because, based on this unsupported article, it seems a bit fishy.


Chia: The ultimate cult holiday gift.
Over the past two decades, the Chia Pet has grown beyond its marketer's expectations to become a classic kitsch gift.

The company began marketing Chia Pets -- the Chia Ram was the first -- around Christmas 1982 after purchasing a variation from a man who happened upon the idea in Mexico, said Michael Hirsch, vice president of Joseph Enterprises Inc.

The company kept the trademark name, but revamped the product and packaging and began advertising on television. The hokey "Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia" spot shows children applying the seed mixture to the terra cotta planter.
"I can remember specifically when Chia Pets came out on the market," he said. "We thought they were so cheesy that they were cool," he said.

New Chia products are added every couple of years and there are about a dozen varieties, including Shrek, Scooby-Doo, an assortment of animals and an herb garden.
This article actually made me want to run out and find a chia-thing of my own. I can't grow anything. At the moment, I inherently dislike anything which would require attention and time on my part in order to grow or live. This includes but is not limited to: plant life, fish and other animal life. Seriously. If its life is dependent on me providing it something on a regular basis, no thank you. But a chia-something could work. I could probably handle watering it and watching it sprout growth-like green things. Heck, I have old bread products and old oranges that have sprouted green growths, why not do it deliberately?

So maybe I'll look around online and order one online. Sit it on the ledge over my couch maybe. Who knows, the possibilities are endless!

Also, I was contemplating chia-things one may not expect to hit the market any time soon. After discarding the first few which were far too uncouth to put into print, I put the list on hold pending some time to sit and thing about it at greater length. There may be a follow-up post involved at some near time in the future.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Gilligan Strikes Again!

I'm watching the season finale of The Real Gilligan's Island on TBS while I wait for the WoW Update download to finish. (Only 2% more to go!) This reality show is like a train wreck. You know it's going to be bad and you know you shouldn't be watching yet you can't seem to peel your eyes off it. I'd say the only redeeming feature of the show is Mary Anne Kate. (And that's because Movie Star Rachel Hunter was voted off last episode. By the way, what the Hell was Rachel Hunter doing on a reality show?!? She's a model/movie actress for cryin' out loud! Then again, the same could be said for Movie Star Nicole Eggert.)

Anyways, the WoW download will hopefully finish soon. It's only been downloading for 2.5 hours now.

WoW Patched

After surfacing from my brief nap, I learned that WoW has been patched. (Patch notes here.) I know this probably doesn't mean too much to any of you but from my perspective it's nice to see. A little over one month since release and Blizzard is obviously hard at work fixing broken things and balancing others. Rather encouraging. The one item notably missing, however, is a fix to the 20th level Paladin quest. (One of the early NPCs doesn't, or didn't, respawn when a Paladin strayed too far from the NPC.) Anyways, hopefully Blizzard fixes (or has fixed) that particular bug.

Btw, I'm downloading this 39.31 MB patch at record-breaking speed: 6-8 k/s. Note that I have a cable modem capable of speeds up to at least 360 k/s. Yeah, I'll be downloading this patch for the next.. few hours or so. ::sigh::

The Aftermath

Well, that's it! Crim. Pro. is over. The final felt easy which means one of two things: (1) It was easy. (2) It wasn't easy and I missed the parts that weren't. Only grades will tell.

By the way, ever feel like you're in a zombie movie? No, not as the gun-wielding hero but.. as a zombie? I feel rather like a zombie today. Usually such sensations stem from a lack of sleep the previous night. Today is no different. After lunch at The Half Door with a friend, I believe I shall retire to my apartment and hibernate a bit.

The Morning

I read (perused?) the entire Crim. Pro. E&E (Examples & Explanations book, for the laymen) in about 2.5 hours (including two 5-10 min. breaks to pause and watch brief portions of The Chronicles of Riddick).

I currently have a mild cold/the flu. This is to be easily distinguished from my previous bout with a viral infection. Nonetheless, this morning I feel like crap warmed over. Not death, just crap. This does not bode well for my exam though I am hopeful.

'Lo and behold, I have the book (Laurell K. Hamilton's Blue Moon) I was seeking. Considering the current disorganized state of my apartment, it's a minor miracle that I found the book before purchasing a second copy of it.

I go now to watch more Riddick, eat breakfast, shower, shave and pray (not necessarily in that order).

More Ideas

Bad Idea: Not studying more for my Crim. Pro. Final which, as is ever the case, is tomorrow morning at 9am. Should be fun. Fortunately it's my last exam for the semester though I still have 1-2 papers outstanding.

Bad Idea: Not wearing gloves or a hat when I went out in the afternoon. My car said it was 12 degrees outside but I'm sure the +10 mph wind brought that number to single digits if not lower. Oh joy for a winterous wonderland. But only if I don't have to drive in it.

Bad Idea: Finishing my book instead of studying more for Crim. Pro. I'm hooked on Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Just finished Burnt Offerings only to learn I'm missing the next in the series (but not the three after that). Guess I'll be hitting a bookstore tomorrow.

Monday, December 20, 2004

It's a bit chilly outside.

Bad Idea: Clearing the two inches of snow off my car while wearing boat shoes.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Of Bus. Org. and Cars

Just got back from the exam. Wasn't too bad. I'm pretty sure I did okay on it.

Excellent! 'Wayne's World' car for sale.
The Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Ill., is auctioning off about 100 items, including 25 to 30 cars, from its collection in order to make room for new exhibits.
Apparently there are some other, actually decent cars for sale too:
Besides the robin's-egg blue Pacer with a "flame job" on the front fenders, the museum will also be selling a 1951 Studebaker painted to portray a Gotham City police car for the "Batman" movie series, the Gadget Mobile from the movie "Inspector Gadget" and a wrecked 1970 Dodge Charger used in 2001's "The Fast and the Furious."
The most valuable item to be auctioned is a prototype Shelby GT-500 convertible Mustang once owned by race driver and engineer Carroll Shelby. The museum is asking $1.2 million for that car.
::Sigh:: If only my bank account could withstand the hit...

"Where we're going, we don't need roads."

Rather quickly because I'm so far out of time that it's like I've gone back to the future.

Business Organizations Final in about an hour. Am I prepared? Hehe. Yeah, that's all you get as an answer to that one.

My Criminal Procedure Final is next Tuesday morning. My plan is to read the relevant portions of Examples & Explanation. If I can do that, I may be able to handle that final.

Fortunately there are no other finals for me. Unfortunately, I have a long-term paper for Forensics to deal with. (Not to mention the unfinished Special Research Project that never quite got off the ground.)

But enough. Time to study for 20 more minutes then go face an exam that will be slightly less than fun.

Oh yeah, my WoW Paladin is now at level 31 with 160 Blacksmithing. Whoo boy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Acht! It's cold!

Yesterday: Low 40's.

Today: Mid-20's but with wind it feels like mid-teens.

Can anyone explain this to me?

Browser Security Article

Who Profits from Security Holes? -- an article from Benjamin Edelman. Worth a quick read, as is his site.

It's like there's a party in my mouth!

During my grocery shopping yesterday, I snagged some "Entenmann's Donut Shoppe Glazed Popems." They closely resemble glazed hole-like donut creations of a coffee shop who's name might perchance rhyme with "Punkin' Hoenuts." (I'm just saying.) Good lord these things are good. And addictive. And tasty. And good. Seriously, it's like there's a party in my mouth. Just concentrated goodness. And I think it's time for another.


In response to my preceding post of about an hour ago, no. In the month of November, no Federal Court handed down an interesting decision relating to Intellectual Property. Zilch, zip, none, nada, ain't happenin'. What does this mean? I won't feel so bad for preparing a moderately-uninteresting presentation since there's really quite little of interest to present.

And yes, a hearty "thank you" goes out to all you Federal Courts for providing me with absolutely no material. Hopefully I can do the same for you at some point in the future. Errr... on second thought, scratch that last one.

Didn't someone do something noteworthy?????

After searching through my IP blogs, I have determined that very little of interest has happened in the IP legal realm during the month of November. This does not bode well for the monthly presentation I have to give at noon at my firm. Mind you I usually have these things prepared well in advance, not so today. To Westlaw, and more specific (and slower) searching, I go!

And you haven't had any recent posts because of World of Warcraft. (Which will serve as my explanation except for last night when my final Antitrust paper monopolized my time.)

Bad News: It may appear to others as if I've fallen off the face of the planet.

Good News: It's Finals time so they don't notice.

Bad News: I have fallen off the face of the planet.

Good News: My Paladin is up to level 29.5 and his Blacksmithing is up to 151.

Bad News: My Paladin is up to level 29.5 and his Blacksmithing is up to 151.

Good News: Yesterday I had lunch at Bertucci's with a friend and went grocery shopping.

Bad News: My Bus. Org. Final is this Thursday and I haven't studied much as yet.

Good News: I'm not feeling sick at all any more.

Bad News: Though I need to get A LOT more sleep. And stop posting to the blog instead of working on my presentation for today. Because I have to finish it. And I have little time left in which to do so.

Yeah, that's about the rundown for now.

Friday, December 10, 2004

"I smite thee!"

As I was doing some catch-up blog reading, I came across this post over at Energy Spatula's Will Work For Favorable Dicta:
Anyway, the point of the post was to relate the latest gem from Prof. ConLaw.

Context: Talking to us about religion and schools allowing sports teams to pray before games.

"Boy, that must really suck if you pray and then you lose. Not only are you losers but you know God wanted you to lose. It's like you're smitten by God. Smote? Smoten? Smoted? Smited? Well, whatever."
I shall consider myself "smoten."

What if WoW were more "lawyer realistic?"

As I was walking from my car this morning, I thought that to myself. Actually, it began with me thinking of a personal ad for my Paladin and digressed from there. So here are a few things (including the personal ad) that would make the game, in some sense, more "lawyer realistic."

23rd Season SWM Human Paladin tank ISO sexy Night Elf for fun, TLC/healing, buffs, maybe more. Must supply own potions and armor. Message Belic.

The humanoid monsters should occasionally drop a special item called "Complaint." This item would be a mandatory pick-up and function like a quest-based long-duration curse. It would start with the target's Spirit being reduced by half (Spirit -50%). Then, while still holding this document, the player would have to find an "Answer." This in turn would reduce the players Strength by half (Strength -50%). Next, the player would have to find a "Discovery Request and Interrogatories." Agility -50% and Armor -50%. Next, a "Motion for Summary Judgment." Stamina -50%. Then a "Ruling on the Motion for Summary Judgment." Intellect -50%. Lastly, a "Lawyer's Bill." Hit Points -50%. Having collected these 6 items, the player would take them to an NPC in the main city and turn them in. The reward would be: a high fee (player must pay it to the NPC to end the quest), a weapon permit (allowing the player to wield his weapons against the humanoid enemies), a cloak with very nice stats called "The Lawyer's Bane," and a choice of a new weapon (i.e. a hammer called "The Gavel," a dagger called "The Letter Opener," a staff called "The Lawyer's Aid," a sword called "The Sword of Justice," an axe called "The Equalizer," a wand called "The Quill," etc.).

There could be a special dungeon of lawyers called "The Court House." The enemies would be humans ("lawyers") wearing suits and wielding briefcases and security guards. The lawyers could shield themselves with their briefcases while they blare loud, annoying chatter-like sounds over the player's speakers, in an attempt to scare the player away. The boss of the place could be a judge. His main weapons would be spell-like abilities such as "Demoralizing Glare" (a stat-reducing curse), "Constitutional Argument" (a DoT spell), and "Precedent Citation" (a DD spell with a snare component). The reward for defeating the judge could be some cloth armor ("The Judge's Robes," +Intellect, +Spirit, +Agility, chance to proc a freeze-like slow effect when struck) and/or a 1h hammer ("The Judge's Gavel," +Strength, +Stamina, chance to proc a 2 sec. stun) and/or a special off-hand item ("The Rule of Law," +Intellect, +Spirit, +Stamina, chance to proc a ).

Make a new class in the game called "Attorney." This would be a combination pet-owner/spellcaster class. The pet would be a summoned one called "Attorney's Aide." Upgraded versions could include "Summer Intern," "Expert Witness" and "Paralegal." The Attorney's spell repertoire would primarily consist of debuffs, that is spells that reduce the enemy's attributes or have other non-damaging negative effects. The Attorney would have to also have some damage-based skill, either damage spells or, my preference, weapon proficiency with daggers, hammers and staves. The class' armor capabilities would be leather and the class would be able to wield small shields. The Attorney would also have a few unique group-based buffs to offer, not to mention a few decent self-only buffs to increase the class' fighting skills. The Attorney would also have access to a special item-based spell-like tradeskill called "Drafting." This would enable the Attorney to make some very powerful buff, debuff, crowd control (mez, stun, root) and damage spells. Only a few of the documents (e.g. The Will) could be used by non-Attorneys.

Enough for now. Do you have any suggestions for including lawyers and/or "the law" in computer/video game worlds?

Where have I been? Azeroth, of course!

Apologies for the lack of posting. I have been spending every "free" minute (and some that are not so "free") playing World of Warcraft (WoW). I'm hooked. I thoroughly enjoy the game and absolutely love playing it. This is equated not only to fewer blog posts but also less sleep and less consistent meals (e.g. a quickie dinner so I can get back to playing). I'll try to use the blog updates as a method for weaning myself off this incredibly addictive and wonderful enterprise.

I have 3 stories to link up later on. Watch for those.

There's also a new chapter of As The Gavel Strikes still in the works. No ETA other than "hopefully soon."

Watch for a humorous follow up post on WoW. Also, I reiterate my offer from before. If you're looking to give it a shot or are already playing, I'm on Argent Dawn (nee USEast), Alliance Faction. My main char is Belic (a now 23rd Season Human Paladin) and my secondary is Lymirae (a just 6th Season Night Elf Priestess). Give me a holler!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Librarian a Bore, But Tolerable

I caught TNT's Librarian: Quest for the Spear on TNT tonight (8-10pm EST). It stars Noah Wyle (ER) and features Kyle MacLachlan (Sex and the City, Twin Peaks), Sonya Walger (Coupling, The Mind of the Married Man), Jane Curtin (Our Town, 3rd Rock from the Sun), Kelly Hu (X2, The Scorpion King), David Dayan Fisher (Jerry Bruckheimer's National Treasure), Oscar® winner Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck, Steel Magnolias) and Bob Newhart (Elf, The Bob Newhart Show). Peter Winther (The Tag) directs the cliffhanger written by David Titcher (Around the World in 80 Days).

TNT's Plot Outline:
As THE LIBRARIAN: QUEST FOR THE SPEAR opens, brilliant 30-year-old student Flynn Carsen (Wyle) is kicked out of school by his professor because he believes Carsen, after earning 22 degrees, lacks life experience and thinks it would be a disservice to him to continue on. While Carsen's mother, Margie (Dukakis), is haranguing him about finding love and setting him up on blind dates, Carsen receives a mysterious invitation to interview for a job at the Metropolitan Public Library. After a bizarre but successful interview, Charlene (Curtin) and library head Judson (Newhart) reveal to Carsen the true nature of his job, a secret job that has been around for centuries. He is charged with protecting the greatest treasures of history, which are being kept in a secret section of the building. Among the treasures housed in the library are the Ark of the Covenant, the Mona Lisa (the one in the Louvre being a replica), Pandora's Box and Excalibur, to name a few.

Carsen finds out the job is more than he bargained for when members of the malevolent Serpent Brotherhood (Fisher and Hu) break into the library and steal one of three portions of the Spear of Destiny, an ancient holy relic that grants its owner control over the world's destiny. He must now track down the other two portions to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
First and foremost, the reason I watched this made-for-TV movie is because it stars Noah Wyle and the plot (what little I'd heard) sounded mildly interesting. Why did I finish watching it after the first 60 min.? Well, I'd already watched the first half, it wasn't that bad, the female lead "intrigued me" (read: she's pretty attractive, as is the female baddie), and I honestly had nothing better to do (except perhaps spend another 2 hours in World of Warcraft).

So, my review of the movie? In a word - cheesy. Cheesy as only cheesy can be. Like putting American cheese on a pizza a la Domino's. Cheesy. TV Guide calls it "[a] poky Indiana Jones knockoff" and they're not too far off. Parts of the movie feel very much like an Indie ripoff or, in movie parlance, an homage to the series.

Specifically, I have a number of observations. The few CGI (computer generated images) pieces are overdone and far too clearly fake. Not unlike the green screen portions. Or the fight scenese which, too, are a bit over-the-top and unbelievable. As for the plot/story, it, too, is not a little fake and very predictable. Not completely involving but not uninteresting either. If you can deal with a plot, CGI, fight sequences and a movie of made-for-TV caliber (and not much more), then maybe you won't be disappointed.

Personally, I didn't think it was a bad movie. It wasn't very good but hey, what can you do. I'm glad it starred Noah Wyle as, IMHO, he is well-deserving of good movie roles. Unfortunately, this was not a "good movie role" per se. Nonetheless, it's a step. He himself did a fine enough job acting. It's just everything around him, you know - little things like the plot and budget, that really showed as lacking. I'm hoping that as opposed to holding him back, this movie serves as a stepping stone to better roles, better characters and better movies.

ALAN'S MOVIE RATING: Watcheable. If you want. But not mandatory.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

*Cough* *Cough*

I would have entitled this *Viral Infection* *Viral Infection* except that just sounds stupid.

No posts since Monday due to a trip to the hospital late Monday night. I only left said hospital this afternoon and am spending the next few days in restful recuperation at home not in Hartford. The theory is I underwent a viral infection of some sort. Of course to get to that determination I also underwent a lumbar puncture (aka spinal tap) to rule out bacterial meningitis and other bacterial infections, an infusion of an antibiotic named Rociferin (sp?) that may have set off an allergic reaction (we're not sure), and all sorts of varying symptoms including but not limited to a fever, dizziness, nausia, generic ill-feeling, and locational onsets of achiness.

It was not fun. At all. But I'm feeling better although still relatively weak and fairly tired. Good things I've learned include: I still don't have MS (I'm at risk since I've had optic neuritis and colitis); my MRI looks fine as does my CAT/CT scan; Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford is without a doubt the nicest, cleanest and best hospital I've ever seen (if your insurance covers it, I highly recommend St. Francis should it be necessary); and I could start a new career as a human pincushion. (All they want to do in hospitals is take blood samples!) All in all a rather (unforunately) exciting Tuesday.

Now if only I could dislodge this piece of cashew that has stuck itself halfway between my mouth and my collar bone... (And I'm not kidding either. I can breathe fine, the piece just won't go up or down. Damnit.)