All Conned Out


Well, the big weekend is gone, and Marcon is over.  But had a fabulous time overall, meeting up with old friends from last year and making new ones,  even though my voice is almost completely gone, and I'm exhausted.  I have a new rule- when you're at the Ghostbusters room party...don't drink the yelllow stuff.  Seriously.

We had some trouble with the SG-7 booth- the location kinda sucked, unfortunately.  But, the big honkin Stargate we had setup at the table...was a big hit with people.  If only it hadn't fallen over in the middle of one our panels on Friday night...it took most of the morning on saturday wrestling with it to stay up.   But thanks to the help of the nice hotel engineer guy, who had a electric drill, I was able to get it back up, and it stayed this time *G*. 

Two surprising things did happen though.  One, and I'm not even all that sure how this all happened, but my two friends and myself managed to impress the director of the con with our panels, and the planning we had done, so that he invited us to be a part of of the official Marcon Planning Staff for next year.    Our main job will be planning, scheduling, and preparing all the programming panels next year.  It hasn't sunk in yet that means planning about 50-80 different discussion and presentation panels, and figuring out scheduling and rooms and making sure everyone has a place and equipment they need, etc.    So that should be interesting, even if it might be quite a bit of work over the next year.

And two- somehow, I've been sucked into something else.  By Saturday night, it was very evident by many people's attire, that the Pirate craze of the last 3-5 years has been replaced by Steampunk.    In a really HUGE WAY.  It was everywhere.  The dealer room was selling top hats with wierd goggle attachments, and victorian era dresses and corsets left and right.  And they weren't cheap, that's for sure. 

But the costumes are really impressive, and are way too fun.  Talking to many people, some of whom were traditional historic costumers, Steampunk represents total freedom- you can mix and match eras, styles, and even whole periods if you want.  And because the options are so vast, I could tell it has huge cross-appeal for people.  Goths can embrace the dark and mysterious steam power/device angle, while the historic and fantasy people can delve into modifying tradittional Victorian styles.  It's a win-win all around.  Many said most of the supplies they get just walking through the plumming aisle at Lowes or DIY. 

Soooo....as I am planning on going to Dragon Con for sure this year...I will definitely be putting together a costume.  I already started, as I found in the dealer room a perfect walking cane, with a metallic hound's head.   And twist the head, and it unscrews as a short sword.   As most everyone else was going for top hats with twin tailed long coats, I'm thinking more a classic bowler hat, with a sack coat/silk vest/pinstripe pants.  And I've already got the idea for a hand controlled monocle device, attached by control cables in a glove, going up the arm, where a push of a finger would raise and lower a set of monocles.  The character would be a Official Member of the Department of Unearthly Investigation and Elimination.  Yeah, a really fancy way of saying alien hunter.  *G*

Yeah, it's bad when it's already this far.  But really, walking around downtown Atlanta, in something like this...isn't really optional.  So it should be a fun time this summer putting this thing together.  And as I realized saturday night the trap I had fallen into, I explained to my friends....I hate them.  Seriously, for giving me the ideas.  Or then again, it might have been the yellow stuff....

Where Findle posts baby pictures...run for your lives!!!


So a very tiring/exciting/surprising holiday weekend has come and gone.   On Thursday morning my brother and his wife had an addition to the family...  Gavin Michael Boyd





All 19 inches and 7 lbs, 3 oz of the little guy- or henceforth known as the Geek In Training.

In one of those ironies the Universe loves so much, and which was even more amusing in that it was Mom who made the actual observation, but the fact that Tim's baby boy is so absolutely ADORABLE, when it is rather a family joke that pictures of Tim taken after only a few days old are...not very pretty. 

There was some kind of explanation around the fact that this was a c-section, and since he wasn't forced through the birth canal....but then I just started staring at the adorable guy again and lost all track of what they were talking about.

In any case, this was just part of a crowded weekend of easter dinner cooking, taking care of Mom's old cat (even longer story), and preparing Mom and Dad's taxes.  And something I found out- that babies just do not know how to follow any kind of schedule.  So this makes planning events and dinners and things rather problematic at best.   But Gavin, Mom and Dad are doing fine, and my brother is hilarious because he has just snapped into the role of Father of the Year.  And my Mom and Dad are still coming to terms with the idea of 'Grandma and Grandpa'.  Of course, I was still not quite getting it when someone addressed me as Uncle, either.    It's a lot of change to come to terms with.  And even harder when....did I mention he's so adorable as to cause staring and in general not being able to hear much of what goes on around you.  It's like if zombies all went 'AWWWWWWW' instead of 'GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR". 

It's just like that.

Click on picture for more pictures.  Witness the evidence!

  • Current Mood
    tired tired

My Job


starfyre01  asked about my new job, and since I have something I meant to post in general about it, I thought I'd do a full post.  I work for Hyland Software, which makes the OnBase ECM (enterprise content management) software, as a tech support analyst.  I'm on a new Team that specializes in supporting the higher education customers.  They've had massive growth in the last five years, and given the nature of the products, really doesn't show any real signs of slowing down too much, even in this craphole of a economy.   And it's a tough place to get into, so I was pretty lucky.  But it's a awesome place, and one I can see staying at for a long time, and since they're talking about almost triplling in size in the next 5+ years, there will be a lot of advancement possibilities..  The turnover rate is insanely low for this industry as a whole.

Oh yeah, and Hyland is actually in this month's Saturday Evening Post!  They did a photo article about impressive and unusual lobbies in American businesses, and we're there for...the slide:

http://saturdayeveningpost.com/Happiness/Lobbying-Efforts.html

Scroll down, Hyland is second from the bottom.

  • Current Mood
    productive

Bring out your dead!

But I'm not dead yet!

Wow, I found a life somewhere in the last few months.   Forgot how nice those are.    The last few weekends been geeking out, and had some guys from the stargate group over for the weekend.  Lots of fun and geekery to be had.  (not to mention what seemed like half the Trader Joe's munchy section).   As well, we were able to get a lot of planning done for the big summer con season.   Very nice time.

It's also nice, and surprising, when I bring people over, esp who don't know my town, and they tell me how what a awesome place this is,  from my place to the surroundings.  And you can tell they mean it.  (all the guys were already making plans to come back this summer as a photography trip.    Even on a coooold weekend at the end of Feb.  Makes you go 'phewww' in regards to the major decisions I made when I moved here last year.

Of course what makes this all possible now is the new job, which is in a settling in phase.  It's a awesome place, but they won't actually let me DO anything except read and install stuff.  Even in the middle of some fairly large emergencies taking place in my Team.  But the nice thing is, when the dept is 40+ people, the jobs are separated and there is tons of backup should you get caught up on something that takes you off the phones for hours, or even days to handle the crisis du jour.  Still though, and even though everyone there warned me that it would be slow for a few weeks for me, it's still hard to be doing nothing that feels really productive, when other people are working around me.  Ah well.

On the health front, I'm running possibly better than I ever have, in terms of speed and distance at once.  I'm up to 3 miles non-stop now, and today hit it at 33:50. First time I ever broke 34.  Whooo.  I'm preparing because the company is having a '20 k challenge' this spring/summer, which consists of running 4 separate 5k events.   I'd love to start lifting again, but with some residial back trouble I had from last summer,  I'm too paranoid to start anything till my insurance kicks in, which will be the beginning of April.   So will just continue the heavy cardio till then, and worry about toning later.

Well that's it. Need to do a long post about all the awesome tv that's been on this winter, because there's been a ton of great stuff, IMO.
  • Current Music
    Ask DNA, Yako Kanno and the Seatbelts

Grrrrr....Mummy 3


So it started snowing yesterday about 3 in the afternoon.  It stopped...about an hour or so ago.   About 15 hours and and 19 inches on the ground later...it seems a really good weekend to chill out and watch some movies.  And lucky enough, I got Wanted and Mummy 3 from netflix.

Now, I don't get 'angry' at movies or tv shows.  I've always beleived- they make it, and I can either like it or not.  But getting 'angry' to me implies I have some sort of say or input into said creation.  Uh, no it doesn't work like that.  But having said that, I think I've come the very closest I've ever gotten to being 'angry' at a movie.  And it's SO bad, that I don't need to cut for spoilers because I don't know what happens, since I shut the movie off just when I learned THE PREMISE. 

Okay, so Mummy 3 starts out really well actually.  They open with the full setup narrative that explains the full backstory to Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh's characters.  (And O. M. G.  Michelle gets more and more breathtakingly gorgeous the older she gets.  Her in that ornamental red chinese dress....).   And IMO it's a very Hong-Kong style story, using many classic themes from that genre, and provides what I thought was a really clever explanation for the Terecotta Army statues.

Alright, so 10 minutes in, and suddenly I'm feeling pretty good.

And then- they re-introduce the main Mummy characters.

Now, I read lots of stories about them making this.  Especially concerning Rachel Weisz's roller coaster status.  First- she wasn't in it.  Then she was. Then she...wasn't.    Now I know that since she won the oscar, she can be wayy more particular about what roles she takes.  She doesn't NEED to do a lot of movies.    But, even though there were the usual 'disagreements over character and creative direction' explanations, my jadded brain just translated that to mean...they just didn't want to pay enough cash for Rachel to do it.

But now I get it.  It's the single DUMBEST premise for a returning character in a movie series EVER.   They simply take Eve O'Connel and replace her with someone who had their brains SUCKED OUT.  What was Eve's biggest  passiona, those  things that drove her her entire life- archeology, and history.  She had dedicated every second of her life to study and field work in her quest for knowledge.  Okay, so having said that,  it's been 10 years since Mummy 2.  So where would you expect Evelyn O'Connel's life would take her in that time.  Head Curator of the London Museum of Antiquities?  Maybe a professorship at Oxford in Anthropology or Archeology?  Perhaps she's decided to take it easy, and just relax and study all the amazing artifacts she found on her adventures with Rick? 

Buzz.  Wrong.  The brilliant anthropologist and archeologist Evelyn O'Connor now...writes pulp adventure novels based on her adventures.

Er....what?!  I mean, if I took ANYONE and showed them the first two movies, and esp the way Rachel presented the character, and asked them to tell me what she'd be doing 10 years later....NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD COME UP WITH THIS SHIT.

So yes, I apology to Rachel Weisz.  This had NOTHING to do with money.  This has everything to do with taking a established, strong character and evicerating her to the point that she's barely recognizable.  Rachel is a great actress, but even she could never take this crap and make it 'work'.  I mean, they show her trying to write, and she's blocked, and to 'inspire herself' she thinks of the 'grand adventures' and she jumps around the room with a sword.  Which then gets her horny to the point where she goes to find Rick and seduce him wearing a flimsy night gown.    Did ANY of the writers that came up with this actually WATCH the first 2 movies?  Evie didn't LIKE the adventure, and would just assume not have it.  She's the ACADEMIC.  She only became the fighter in Mummy 2 because A) her child was in danger and B) she had discovered it was part of her past reincarnated self's history.   But NO WHERE did she ever show any enthusiasm or desire to find more death-defying adventures.  It was always a side effect, and the fact that Rick did love the adventure, whereas all Evie wanted to do was build her knowledge and care for her family, made them the perfect opposites as a couple. 

(And I wont even go into how incredibly STUPID it looks to have casted a mid 20's something actor to be Rick's 'son', when they look like they could be BROTHERS. )

It was at that point that I disgustedly shut the movie off.  I'm very torn now, because I love Jet Li, and , OMG Michelle....but to put up with the pure crap writing and characterization to get far enough to care?  Oy.

I've never done this before, but I think, had I actually gone and paid money to see this dreck in the theater, I'm pretty sure I would have just walked out at the same point 15 minutes into it that I shut it off today. 

I also saw Wanted which confounds the hell out of me.  A summer action movie that wants to be a Indy character movie?  And then it decides in the last 3 minutes that it's neither, and something else entirely?   I should do a review of that one too, but I think I'll wait till after the Mummy 3 anger is out of my system.  *G*
  • Current Mood
    cranky cranky

So my new company is kinda, really, amazingly cool.

Yeah, I'm alive.  The last two months- not really good for the whole 'keep your head clear enough to actually write shit' thing.  And then this week I started my new job.  And after 5 days, I still want someone to pinch me to wake me up.  Tonight the QA dept held a Bond themed 'after hours' night in the main building areas, which consisted of dollar beer and wine, 5 dollar martinis (or 'bond girl martini' cosmos if you prefered), and let me tell you- they didn't skimp on the vodka.  And they had a 10 dollar buy in black jack and texas hold em,  with all money from the night going to charity, various bar appetizers and Golden Eye N64 on the giant screen, along with Jame Bond trivia, etc.   So after work I got a martini and some sliders, played a couple hands of poker- all without needing to walk more than five minutes.  Yeah, awesome.

And today at lunch, at the diner the company runs, I got a giant bbq grilled salmon and fried mashed potato cake for 6 bucks.

Yeah, whatever this is, I just hope I dont wake up from it.
  • Current Music
    Tomorrow Never Dies in my head.

A Plethora of reviews

Okay, maybe not a plethora, but I like the word.  I recently signed up for netflix, since one of the really cool things about the latest xbox live update is you can stream the ‘instant watch’ movies from netflix right to your tv.  And also, I caught some things on cable recently that was things I had been meaning to see for a while.

 

Xmen 3: The Last Stand

Okay, surprising enough, this was not as horrible as I expected it to be, mostly based on the comments I saw people make when it came out.  It’s not a bad movie per say, but you do get the feeling that someone at Fox realized that this would be the last x-men movie, but zomg, they had 2 script treatments waiting to be done.  Because it just felt like this was two movies cut down and spliced together to make one.  There’s just so many things that they start, and don’t do anything with.   Of course Jean is one of the big things, but she more or less just disappears for a large chunk of the last half.  And while I didn’t have the visceral reaction to Rogue taking the ‘cure’ as other people did, they sure didn’t do much with it.  I mean I can see why she’d think about doing it, and then she leaves and…we never see her again till the end?  That was setup as a journey, to watch Rogue come to terms with a decision.  And, like Jean, she goes…poof.  It just felt like we were missing HUGE chunks of the actual STORY.  But it wasn’t terrible, and enjoyable none the less.

 

Hoax

A movie I have wanted to see for a long time.  This is the true story (mostly) of how a writer attempted one of the greatest con jobs of all time, writing a ‘fake’ autobiography of Howard Hughes.  Richard Gere plays Cliff Irving, the writer in question, along with Alfred Molina, who steals the show as fellow author Dick Suskind, who helped Irving pull this off.  The movie is best when it shows how Irving fooled all these people, from the Charirman of the board at McGraw Hill to handwriting experts, to the Editor in Chief at Time Magazine, and even a journlist who was ‘the last known reporter to interview Hughes’.  They totally bought into it, to the point where McGraw Hill gave Irving over 600 thousand in advances.  These scenes are really played more as comedic, given the absurdness of what they were doing.  The one real downfall of the movie occurs in the last third, when you realize that what the purpose of the story is, as it was written by Irving after getting out of prison, is to basically try to give this whole scam some higher meaning or importance, by attempting to prove that the Watergate break in was actually DUE to this book.  It’s self aggrandizement on a celestial scale, yet somehow it seems just the thing this guy would do.

Oh, and the best meta irony ever?  Irving had a affair with a woman who was a actress and wife to some rich guy, and helped blow Irving’s story when the whole thing came unraveled by admitting it to the press.  Oh yeah, and that real life woman was later in a movie called American Gigalo.  WIth Richard Gere.

Even though I think some of the conclusions they try to prove are complete bullshit, I highly recommend the movie.

 

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

Wow, did I enjoy this.  This doesn’t fall into the trap I’ve seen a lot over the last few years, where the sequel of a movie tries to go out of its way NOT to be a sequel.  Here you have the same characters, and the same things that made them so darn fun to watch in the first movie are back in this one.  Tons of witty and sarcastic banter, word and logic puzzles woven into a crazy story based on even crazier history, combined with crazy heist and chase scenes, and wrapped up with some above average character romances.  It’s just the kind of thing that makes you smile a lot.  And I loved casting Hellen Mirren as Ben’s mom, and her and Jon Voight made the Best. Bickering. Couple. Ever.     The only weakness I found was that it felt like a lot of this was cut out, because Ed Harris’ role seemed to be bigger than it was in the end, and the motives for the initial plot events turned out to be really shallow and felt kinda cheap.  But those were minor faults, given how much fun the rest of the movie is.