Friday, May 19, 2006

Flashback Friday: The Princess Bride

There are few movies that I can watch more than once that I truly enjoy; The Princess Bride is one of them. This movie really has something for everyone, action, adventure, some comedy, and romance. Now you may not recall watching it when it was first released back in 1987 but I’m sure you remember watching it more recently…Yes it still qualifies for Flashback Friday…

A young Fred Savage pre-Wonder Years offers up a little child like humor to the movie as his grandpa reads the story. With every mention of a kiss the cut seen would come up with a cringing face of Fred Savage groaning eeew.

There are so many moments in the movie that you just have to stop for a moment and laugh, like the part with the Sicilian who thinks he could outsmart anyone in a game of wits. The Dread Pirate Roberts quickly pops out poison in the form of white powder and Vizzini provides the wine. Needless to say he was mistaken to think he could outsmart the clever Dread Pirate and the poison ended up in his cup.

The Ending of the story is what I would recall as a happy ending putting everything in it's place where it needs to be. Inigo has his date with revenge, Westley his duel to the pain, and he ends up with the girl. I won't go further into the details incase you would like to relive memories.

With the memorable moments abundant and the popularity of the movie still gaining with new generations watching the tale of The Princess Bride will always be pleasurable. The movie to me as well as many others will remain a classic in our media libraries for many years to come. So since I probably piqued your interest why wait? Make Friday a movie night and watch it today!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Driving Manners

All too often I find myself wondering why people are so anxious to get from point A to point B, C, or even D. In the midst of the swerving, finger waving, and general taunting we make our ways to our destination sometimes more frustrated than relieved. The unfortunate circumstance of over crowded areas and lack of general mannerisms taught.

There really is no good reason why you should not respect other drivers, in other countries this isn’t a problem however in America this seems to be a growing issue. One look at the news from Los Angeles and the threat of road rage is all too apparent. It’s an unfortunate circumstance when tempers run high and patience runs low. It’s true everyone has somewhere to go, hence the reason why they are on the freeway but wouldn’t it be a more pleasurable journey if others exhibited decency and mannerisms while driving?

I’m one to think that there’s just too much stress and people get detached from knowing what relaxation is. Everything nowadays seems to ultimately say hurry up and stop. If we were to stop for a moment, take a deep breath, relax, and just appreciate things for a moment, I know things wouldn’t feel so hectic.

Perhaps we just need more time off, as it is in other countries there are more break times and vacation days available for working. Is America comprised of a bunch of work-a-holics? It quite possibly could be, but it’s important to know your limits both mentally and physically. Take a break once in a while, enjoy the finer things. As Bruce Lee said “It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Yes Wednesday is here, it’s halfway to the weekend and in some cases it’s the start of your weekend…College maybe? What better to talk about on Wednesday than something exciting, something controversial, something like…Responsibility.

Don’t you wonder sometimes when you go to places and you see someone who blatantly breaks the rules just because they know they can. It concerns me in a sense knowing that it’s happening all too often in society and perhaps degenerates good will to others because it happens rather frequently. If everyone was to break the rules would that make it right? No, it would make you irresponsible.

Being responsible isn’t exactly limited to following the rules; it also could be a responsibility to yourself to follow your dreams. Within certain boundaries and limitations (I.E. not harming others and such) you should do something to fulfill your dreams, you are here for a short time so make every day count. Not always will you have a second chance so do the best you can with what you have and don’t give in.

I may not be that old but I do know something about responsibility or the lack there of in some cases. All too often we see people who disregard responsibilities for selfish gain and utterly hurting others in the process. In other words, it’s your responsibility to be…well responsible.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


It’s funny how I look back at all the changes in technology in the past 5 years or so. I’m studying a bit for an A+ exam (just something I want to get for the heck of it) and have found myself thinking back upon all the new innovative things that have come to pass recently.

I’m sure many of you recall your first computer, perhaps it was a 386 SX with a whopping 4MB of RAM. At the time that was pretty good. Maybe it was a Cyrix chip computer? Needless to say that was maybe 15 years ago and it really puts things in perspective as to how fast computer technology develops.

I recall about 5 years ago we were just breaking into the 2 GHz barrier with Intel chips, AMD was up and coming, and 512MB of RAM was more than adequate for most applications. About that time was also when the graphics wars started to heat up with ATI and Nvidia.

Now when you look at what technology we have available to us it’s simply mind boggling. 4 GHz computers, 2GB RAM, dual core everything…even my toaster is dual core. Well you get the picture, we’ve made some serious leaps and bounds.

I even look at the internet and see how it’s grown. We have high speed internet all over the place with new technology such as FIOS sitting there on the wing just waiting to take over. FIOS if you haven’t heard is a fiber optic network set up by Verizon that promises extremely fast network speeds, I’d wager it’d be faster than a T1 network.

Wondering what the next 5 years will bring? Who knows, but I’m along for the ride…right after I install my RAM drive that is…

Monday, May 15, 2006


Avast matey, ahoy, and all that other pirate jargon that I’m still getting a grasp on. I’ve found myself on a history binge as of late and with the resurgence of the “Pirate vs. Ninja” debate I found myself looking more and more into both from a historical standpoint.

Now ninjas are great you know…mystery and stealth, but in all honesty I’ve read more on ninjas than I have on pirates so I needed to catch up. There is however an elegance about the pirates that I find astonishing, living on the high seas, going where the wind blows, and taking what is needed from those who pass by.

Pirates in media seem to be popping up all over the place as well. This could be caused by the upcoming Pirate’s of the Caribbean movie, or it could be caused because you got a little “Capn’ Morgan In Ya”. Heck even the WWE has their own pirate, yes I do watch from time to time.

Pirates have an interesting history, and the fact remains there are still pirates today only they don’t seem so grand anymore. I’m still reading up on the history of pirates mind you and I’m waiting on a shipment from Amazon but there’s some great information on the internet if you’re truly interested in pirates. I’ll write more on pirates in a later blog and after I read a bit more on them.

Did you hear about the new pirate movie?
Yeah…it’s rated “Arrrr!”

Sorry…had to leave you with a corny pirate joke…

Friday, May 12, 2006

Flashback Friday: Nintendo 8-bit

Seeing as how we’re enjoying all the things that have been going on with E3 I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate Nintendo on this Flashback Friday. This console was what got me really into gaming so let’s take a little trip back.

We all know that the Nintendo Company was around before the consoles however 1983 was the year that they got their hit product the Famicom on the market in Japan. 2 years down the line in 1985 Famicom production went world wide, only under the name of Nintendo Entertainment System or NES as it’s affectionately known as. The design of the system also changed to suit a more global market and thus my addiction to gaming would truly start.

I’ll be honest here; I was a Super Mario Bros. junkie. I would spend an eternity mastering the nuances of all the levels in Super Mario Bros. I still recall sitting for hours in stage 4 hopping on the turtle on the stairs at the end of the level for pretty much unlimited lives. Mario 2 soon followed, as did many other games.

I even recall the movie specifically made to plug Super Mario Bros. 3 called “The Wizard”. The movie starred Fred Savage, known for the kid in “The Wonder Years” and “The Princess Bride” among other things. I still watch that movie from time to time just because it makes me smile.

There were some great games that my buddies and I would play till the end of time. Let’s see, Castlevania, Contra, Double Dragon, Double Dribble, Excite Bike, Final Fantasy, Ice Hockey, Metal Gear, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, The Legend of Zelda, RC Pro Am, and so many others. Remember the Konami code? Yeah that’s right, I brought it up…UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, START.

The Nintendo really started it all for me as well as many others, I’m sure. It’s good to remember your roots, especially when you see the freakishly real graphics that are available on the next gen consoles. It really does make you appreciate where you have been and where we’re going, especially when you see the pixilated images of Link saving Princess Zelda.

Recall some of the Nintendo past with these links of NES related goodies:

Game Genie
NES Advantage
Power Pad
Power Glove

….And don’t forget to blow on the cartridge.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Note And A Song

I don’t know what it is about music that brings your spirits up with a rush of memories of times long passed. I suppose it’s the memories of what you were doing at the time when that music was playing. The anthems of summer, the ballads of the fall ball, and so on, all bring back some sort of memory both good and bad.

When I think of some of my favorite songs that I frequently play it’s almost like a time machine taking me back in time. Although there are some great newer songs that I listen to on my iPod I have a wide array of older songs from my teenage years that get a bit more listening to than the new. Perhaps it’s that whole reminiscing thing that I can’t get over but then there wouldn’t be stations dedicated to 60’s, 70’s,80’s, and even 90’s music if I were the only one that felt this way.

I know there’s a radio in your car for some reason, and with the recent boom of satellite radio stations focused listening to your tastes are much easier. For what it’s worth focused listening to what you really want to hear seems to make for a more enjoyable experience much more than simply listening to top 50 music on the local pop station, or the random oldies that brought the house down…before your time. This seems to be a good alternative route to throwing down cash for an iPod or any other iDevice of the sort.

It’s also interesting that music is something that can even bring back bad memories, remember that one song you dedicated to your “Ex”, but that was when you were together yet now it brings back things that you would have rather forgotten. Subliminal messages? Maybe, but it seems more of a trained thought with association.

I like to think of the better times, crank up the volume to “11” and relax. I know you do the same thing no sense hiding it, so put on your favorite tunes and just smile.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


All too often we tend to find a way to say things in public arenas and then think we can get away with whatever we say. Next thing we know what we have said has been squelched one way or another, then next thing you know we’re crying that our first amendment rights have been violated. To that I say it depends…

Many times you’ll see people go on a tirade about one thing or another, it’s ok to do that in most cases but when it crosses certain boundaries then by all means it should be censored especially when what’s being said is on a privately owned and operated service.

We (as in the general masses) put up blog reports here and there on different services and in all people can choose what they want to talk about and all is well. We even go to different forums and newsgroups across the internet’s far reaching boundaries and talk about varied topics.

Key word here that we need to consider is that you’re using a service and they have a “Terms of Service” agreement that you usually have to agree to prior to using their service. So if someone talks about something that violates a “Terms of Service” agreement on one of these services, that company has every right to squelch what’s being said. No first amendment backlash there, period.

Now on the other hand if you have your own server, and make your own forum or blog I’m pretty sure you would be free to say what you want to say and not violate any agreement. This is where you do have a right to say what you want. Heck even standing on a soapbox on the corner you have that right.

If you would like to learn more about freedom of speech feel free to check out this link.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mind Over Matter

Every so often we press ourselves to the limit of what we feel is humanly possible, then we get a second wind pushing us farther than we thought we could go before. The mind and its abilities are something we tap into when fatigue sets in, it’s the mind that helps get us that next mile or that extra weight repetition. What we’ve seen recently by magician David Blaine is a true testament to what the mind can accomplish.

David Blaine has an impressive internal fortitude to say the least, without the proper mindset I doubt that he would be able to accomplish the things that he has been able to. Imagine yourself encased in a block of ice, how long would you last? I know I probably couldn’t last very long…He lasted 61 hours 40 minutes. That’s an incredible amount of time, a little more than 2 and one half days…very impressive.

How about hoisting yourself on top of a pillar 90 feet in the air, now once you get over your fear of heights you realize you have nothing more than 22inches to stand on. I’d try to balance up there, but I’m sure I would fatigue in 3 hours which is a pretty reasonable amount of time. He did 35 hours without food or water, and without anything to lean on. Again that’s pretty darn impressive

Now what if you decided to fast for a day, or maybe there’s the prom or some other social event that you need to get in shape for so you fast for a couple days. How about 44 days? Not possible you say, well you guessed it he did that too in the confines of a box smaller than a prison cell. He also lost about 54 pounds.

His latest feat is also a true testament to one’s mental stamina, staying submerged in a sphere of water for more than 170 hours. I can’t stand being in water for more than 1 hour let alone 2, my hands look like raisins and it just gets a little uncomfortable. He did have a nightcap for this accomplishment as well, trying to hold his breath for 9 minutes. He fell about 2 minutes short of his goal but 7 minutes is not shabby by any means.

In all this is the extreme of what mental stamina can do, we use it in daily tasks to overcome adversity in different ways. Having a healthy mind can help you overcome many obstacles and having a calm inner being truly does help.

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Family Dinner

Now and again I think back at things that at the time didn’t seems significant but now I wish that these occurrences happened a bit more often than they did. Family dinner for one is something that I wish happened more often way back when and I think it’s something that many people, kids and adults alike take for granted.

We’re fortunate enough in this country to more or less have dinner every night in one way shape or form. All too often though we see the kids grab some grub from the stove and head off to sit in front of the TV while mom and dad munch away off on the side.

Why is it that families don’t sit together more often and just be a family? I’m not so sure, everyone’s agenda is always pressed, and everyone always has something to do. Family dinner is something that as a kid you can care less for, I mean it’s not cool to sit with the old folks and eat, right? Well when you get older you start to appreciate that time that you got to spend with your “old folks” because it’s time that you can’t really get back once they aren’t around any longer.

I’m fortunate enough to have both my mom and dad still around but I’m not able to have a simple meal with them any time I want since they are far away. I do however remember how nice it was to sit with them and just talk about how my day was, even if it did stink.

So please, put down the remotes and gather around the table. Sit with your ma’ and pa’, just for dinner. It’s time that you will remember later on, and it’s time that you can’t get back once it’s passed.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Flashback Friday: Inspector Gadget

Imagine that you’re a lanky sort of fellow, grey suit, mechanical body parts, obsession to save the day but you aren’t too coordinated, what does that make you? You guessed it, Inspector Gadget. Cut scene to the shadowy image of Dr. Claw stroking his pet Madcat after another foiled plan …”I’ll get you Gadget”… Who can forget that?

Now what would Gadget do if he didn’t have his mission, and none other than Chief Quimby would give him the mission on an exploding piece of paper. Gadget would quickly read the message which at the end would always state “This message will self destruct…”. Gadget would then turn and toss the paper away only to blow up the Chief, poor guy.

Inspector Gadget didn’t solve his missions alone, heck he never really solved the problems but somehow managed to get credit for the save. Gadget was fortunate enough to always be accompanied by his too-smart-for-her-own good niece Penny and trusty dog Brain. The combination of Penny and Brain usually led to the problem being solved and the troubles investigated, while Gadget’s hijinks only led him astray from the real problem until finally stumbling his way into the solution or nabbing the bad guy.

Now Gadget did stop the villains, however he wouldn’t be so effective if he didn’t have his slick gadgets that popped out of every place imaginable. Magnifying glass, pen, laser, you name it he had it available in his arsenal. You never know what he would pop out with next.

There was also a more recent resurgence of the Inspector with some movies that appeared in 99’ and 03’. The movies looked ok but neither of the movies translated the original cartoon just right.

You can check out that famous intro music in the follow link.. Inspector Gadget TV Intro.

Until next time…Go Go Gadget Copter…

Thursday, May 04, 2006

American Phenomenon

It almost seems as though you’d be living in a bubble if you haven’t at least heard of American Idol. This rating juggernaut was something I tried to avoid for one reason or another but have found myself smitten by this years cast of singer hopefuls.

From the beginning of the show season I was checking out the hopefuls from the different cities. I guess what captivated me most about this portion of the show was the awkward and brutal way Simon would violate these contestant’s confidence when they couldn’t “bring it” when they had their chance. Thankfully there wasn’t a “William Hung” guy in the show this time around, it’s cheesy enough that he actually had an alblum and we don’t need another…please.

The following 2 rounds after the city search leave something to be desired really, it’s just a waiting game until you get to the real meat of the show. The big stage as it’s been billed is the better part of the show since you’re saved from hearing karaoke renditions of songs you once thought were good, but not so much anymore because you can’t look at it in the same light after watching the show.

It is rather interesting to see the big stage in full effect mainly because the “idols” can train with some of the world’s best singers and for the most part it does show. Some of these idols can actually sing pretty well and it’s enjoyable to see those you feel did well succeed as well as hearing those who didn’t up the ante get ripped for not leaving it all on the table. It makes for a good show and the elimination factor does put an edge to the “must see TV” moniker.

I typically don’t buy into the hype and just watch what I enjoy watching. Now I don’t know why I didn’t really enjoy watching Idol before, perhaps it was the fact that I didn’t care to watch it that made me indifferent to the show. Needless to say I’ve changed my tone this year and find a good amount of entertainment in watching.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Internet Fads

We’re in the information age and sooner or later you’ll get smitten by the latest internet fad that’s sweeping cyberspace. Faster than a boy band gets shown the stage the fads are here and gone. What’s the deal with all the crazy fads? All your base are belong to us? Chuck Norris? You’re the Man Now Dog? Leeroy Jenkins? Star Wars Kid?...There’s just too many to list but we’ll go ahead and break down a few.

Ok now some of the fads are funny, All your base are belong to us now that’s just tacky. It’s just a bad translation that someone thought would be funny to show the rest of the world. It was only relevant in the UK since US never saw that horrible translation of Zero Wing for the Sega Genesis. It’s a bad translation no more no less, watch a dubbed Kung Fu flick and get over it.

Did you know Chuck Norris can divide by zero? No not really, but in the magical world of internet phenomenon people believe he can. I don’t want to dispel any myths or rumors about Chuck Norris but it seems as though Chuck knows of his new found internet fame and posted a response on his website which can be found here. Although, if you want to see where all this crazy talk came from you can check it out here

Leeroy Jenkins, probably the most famous online game player this side of Fatal1ty. Best known for his antics while in a group in game and on team speak. The group is devising their master plan in order to combat a difficult area and he just rushes in without rhyme or reason. It’s one of those scratch your head moments but I suppose it got enough people’s attention since Leeroy is a fad in itself. Heck he was even featured on Jeopardy in a question. I don’t know about making heads or tails of it but I did get a laugh out of watching the famous clip…once…

In all, the internet gives society a new ground to base our information assaults on the masses. Sometimes these trivial thoughts, ideas, and concepts turn into huge fads because of the mass of people who think it’s the new hotness. Thankfully just as the boy bands faded into obscurity these fads will as well….And not soon enough…

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Everyone Is An Immigrant

I woke up Monday and finished my normal morning routine, got on the road and it just felt different. The roads in San Diego were quieter than normal, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. I looked at the calendar when I got to work and realized that Monday was “A Day Without An Immigrant” day dubbed by immigrant right activists against the planned immigration bill.

The reasoning that I have been hearing all too frequently is that illegal immigrants work the jobs which no Americans will work. I don’t believe this to be true at least not 100% of it, there’s too many homeless, starving, and unemployed people in the United States to say this is true. People who are in those types of situations, who are U.S. citizens should get a first chance at jobs that illegal immigrants work (farming, food service, etc.).

If I recall correctly, Mexico has a free border into the States. People can come and go as they please and we don’t exactly stop those who are illegal from entering our States. Why is it that if we see a boat full of Chinese coming from abroad we intercept that boat and turn it around? That sounds like a double standard if you ask me.

Now it’s everyone’s right to immigrate to any country, humans are almost nomads by nature but if there are rules, regulations, and prerequisites prior to earning your right to be in a country then those rules should be followed. Some may feel that these rules are unfair and unethical but in reality everyone had to go through it at some point in time.

It’s an inalienable right that everyone should be treated with decency and respect legal or not. The line is crossed however we point fingers at those who are illegal, however those who are illegal however should respect the country which they are trying to be a part of and get proper paperwork to allow their stay in the United States

We’ve all had to go through it at one point or another, maybe not you in particular but someone in your family. Allowing anyone who is in the country to stay illegally and gain legal status on a whim as many propose just isn’t acceptable. It discredits the things that our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, and so on believed in when they worked their knuckles raw to get an opportunity for a better life in the United States.

Everyone in the United States migrated here at some point in time. I don’t recall looking in my history book and hearing of human civilization in the Americas prior to the land bridge allowing Chinese and others from the Far East to cross over. So we’re all immigrants in some way shape or forum. It’s ok to be an immigrant, just follow the rules and do it the right way.

I'll leave this entry with a quote...

"Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them." - Washington Irving

Monday, May 01, 2006

Summer’s Breeze

Spending the weekend in mid 70 degree weather and partially cloudy skies reminds me that summer isn’t too far away. With that in mind I have to mention that summer is an enjoyable part of the year that many of us look back on with fond memories…

Summer’s rolling in so let’s go down the checklist…



Alcoholic Beverage…CHECK

It’s a great time to get an early jump on some of the must haves for the summer, but I’m sure that many of you have these items already. And let’s face it, what’s summer without the BBQ. The beaches littered with the sizzling sound of various meats and veggies on the grill with plumes of white smoke sending signals of “come and get it”.

Summer grilling is one pleasure few can pass up. Gathering around the pit with the resident grill meister (I.E. Me), some friends and occasionally a beer or 5 isn’t a bad thing. Spending time with friends and summer seem meant for each other, it definitely feels like a social time of the year which could be attributed to the weather. Although in Southern California we’re blessed with mid 70’s weather all year round there just seems to be a different aura about summer in So. Cal.

As I recall some of the most fun I’ve had in summer hasn’t actually come from being outside per se, but in a car. No not in that way. I mean road trips, yeah you know…the ones that send you countless hours in a direction that you don’t quite remember but you just keep driving anyway. I think it’s the camaraderie that occurs with friends after the countless hours behind the wheel that’s the best. Put in those songs of summer that you remember so well and just drive…

So be safe and put on some sunscreen because I already got burnt…