When I bought my first home computers we got a coupon for a free CD. I wondered why that was so. Maybe it was to promote CD sales in this box appliance store or maybe they were prescient enough to know that having something to listen to while figuring out how to get on the Internet would be helpful to my mental health. Either way 'Garbage Vol 2.0' was that album that saved my sanity in those early days. It's one of the few albums that I can listen to straight through and each song reinforces memories in my mind of those first heddy days on the net. The girl I met in Winnipeg and all the cool mail we would send to each other, the sheer depravity of Japanese porn and anime and of course, all the songs I could steel off Napster until the joy that it bit torrent came along. So today we present 'Special - by Garbage'
Very seldom do you meet someone who turns out to be both a mentor and a hero at the same time. When I was in teacher education at the University of Alberta they had us attend a talk by Jamie Escalante, a teacher who worked in the inner city barrio's of Los Angeles. His talk was inspiring and has influenced how I taught ever since.
I have his autograph on my trapper keeper and have a letter he sent to me after graduation that basically reminded me that everything I did in the classroom must be about the kids and never about me. My dad had the same kind of advice.
If you have seen the great movie 'Stand and Deliver' then you know his story.
Jaime Escalante, the East Los Angeles Math teacher made famous by the movie Stand and Deliver, has died after a battle with cancer.
The subject of the 1988 film “Stand and Deliver,” Escalante died at his son’s home in Roseville, Calif., said actor Edward James Olmos, who portrayed the teacher in the film. Escalante had bladder cancer.
“Jaime didn’t just teach math. Like all great teachers, he changed lives,” Olmos said earlier this month when he organized an appeal for funds to help pay Escalante’s mounting medical bills.
Escalante gained national prominence in the aftermath of a 1982 scandal surrounding 14 of his Garfield High School students who passed the Advanced Placement calculus exam only to be accused later of cheating.
The story of their eventual triumph — and of Escalante’s battle to raise standards at a struggling campus of working-class, largely Mexican American students — became the subject of the movie, which turned the balding, middle-aged Bolivian immigrant into the most famous teacher in America."
It is easy to find hero's in movie stars or pro athletes but it's the simple people who do the 'good' work, necessary work more often. Who with love, elevate others and not just themselves. These are the true heroes to me. Goodbye Mr. Escalante. I will be sure to turn out the class light when I leave. Clink on the link below for a more detailed story.
I made a pilgrimage to the 'Toys R Us' today to get my 'Night Fury Toothless' figure today (which I got and he is beautiful) and I noticed that all the other toys were of the 3 3/4 inch variety. I assume this was so that they could all ride the dinosaurs in scale (My Toothless measures about 7 inches or so high with a 12 inch wingspan).
I really don't like this. I hoped they would make a BIGGER Night Fury that a five inch Hiccup could ride complete with leather saddle and manufactured tail fin (like in the movie). Include 6+ inch figures of Hiccup's father Stoic with all his Viking Gear and an Astrid, also to scale. They don't have any figures of the other vikings and the ones of Hiccup are dumb. Where is Hiccup with saddle so that he can properly ride Toothless??? Even at the smaller scale he doesn't exist.
The other tiny figures from the Dragon movie have tiny parts and will not play well with my other figures in the Cave of Cool collection, where most of them are the 6 inch or bigger variety. Lots of people like the small GI Joe figures or the new Marvel 3 inchers but I prefer the larger Marvel Legends dolls. They just display better on the shelves.
Also the Mego-like dolls with the cloth clothing also look fantastic on display next to their plastic DC counterparts.
I hope this scaling down of figures is not going to be a trend. They still do have the larger figures out for the superhero themed movies and I don't want that to change.
Online the figure cost $26.99 but I got it for $11.99 - wtf? That is a huge difference.
They are remaking all the great GI Joe vehicles so I am hoping these sell well enough that they make the GI Joe hand glider and the Iron Wolf submarine. I had all these as a kid until...the time of the 'Great Lose' when we moved back from Europe and all my toys were lost forever. Probably today they are in that same giant warehouse that the 'Ark of the Covenant' currently resides in.
It's why I fight the good fight. Especially when we discover their Hybrid Queen who sits on the Golden Octopus throne. It's just wrong, this perversion of nature with megalomaniac tendencies. oooooooooooo, I sense a 15 part pulp steam punk serial in the works starring Buster Crabbe Jr. III as Kal.
I have been avoiding all reviews or references to this movie because I really wanted to enjoy it without any of the hype that usually destroys one of these pictures.
It was also one of those first pictures that was so blatantly made for 3D. Not two seconds into the picture the water is splashed towards us to let us know we are in for a 'special' viewing experience.
The story takes place on a remote viking village that has a variety of PESTS that threaten their lives and livelihood. These are unique pest though. They are DRAGONS and they are making the village miserable.
I actually kinda felt sorry for the Vikings living there. They do seem to be having their butt kicked daily by the dragon menace. Like Hiccup says, "Living in this place seven generations - all new buildings though."
First of all the animation is fantastic. Simple enough to not be distracting but a perfect backdrop to the tale.
The story is also fantastic. Somebody here really knows how to keep the action moving and set characters without any extra filler. The script really gives voice to the characters too. Just like I imagined they actually would have talked back then. Not movie talk but general day to day bitchin' about life in general. Chalk that up to the great vocal work by Gerard Butler as Stoic, Hiccup's Father and Craig Ferguson as Hiccup's mentor and teacher on the subject of dragon slaying.
Hiccup is a great hero too. He's got a very practical sense of his place in the village and can actually joke about it. He is modern and can accept change much better than the others. He may be the runt and joke of the village but they love him - they just take no effort to understand him.
He is given the chance to be trained as a dragon slayer but he prefers to be a 'bread making viking' or a 'home repair viking'. The script is full of cute little moments like this and has many geek references (like the fat teen viking who keeps calling out power levels of dragons like he's a home gamer).
After shooting down one of the great dragons with his net throwing contraption, Hiccup can't bring himself to kill it after looking in it's eyes and this starts his relationship with the Night Fury, one of the many species of cool dragons that inhabit this world.
The Night Fury Dragon (Toothless) that Hiccup meets is one of the great animated characters of the modern age. He is not a cute talking animal and his way of communicating his needs and wishes is both elegant and hilarious. He is like Stich in that way and shares Stich's curiosity and bravery. The first interactions between Hiccup and Toothless made me smile from ear to ear.
And their relationship is hard fought and hard won which only increases the enjoyment for the audience. With every interaction between Hiccup and Toothless, the boy learns more and more about the nature of dragons.
In fact it's the RELATIONSHIPS that make this picture as great as it is from the way Hiccup interacts with Toothless, Astrid, his father, his teacher and everyone in the village including his very funny teen posse.
I won't say anything else but to express my utter love for this picture. It's the best animated feature 'Dreamworks' has very made and I am so hoping there is never a sequel that will drain all the life out of the characters and the story. It's perfect the way it is.
Just to let you know how MUCH I love this film, I am making a rare trip out of the Cave of Cool tomorrow to run errands, one of which is to find me a cool Toothless figure. You think there is any chance they made a big puppet one?
One of the things I hate about radio is that they play the same 200 songs over and over again. We all know songs on albums that are great but never became hits because they were never exposed to anyone not already a fan.
I can't even include one of those songs because there has never been a video made of them.
So here is a song whose title sums up my point - "Black Eyed Peas - Where is the Love?"
There was nothing cooler than watching wrestling with my Baba (grandmother). She could not be convinced that it was anything but completely REAL. A battle of titans for the fate of the planets. I miss her.
I am not a fan of wartime propaganda but I understand it. Combine the vile octopus with a vile characterization of the Japanese and you have a very memorable and effective message. There is no mistaking what side you want to be on. So what if few octopus get killed in the advancement of liberty, right? Ah, to go back to a time when we actually believed that our side could do no wrong.
2. Has someone ever told you they would be with you forever?
Yes, after I asked her to marry me then three days later she gave me the ring back and told me that she couldn't do it and I have not seen her since 1991
3. Last person you were in a car with?
My mother. I drove her to church but did not go in.
4. Any plans for tomorrow?
More bad moods for the bad dream I will have tonight - why should any other night this week be any different?
5. How long does it take for you to take a shower?
15 minutes. I am not an animal. I know that it's important to be clean.
6. Best friend or close friends?
They have all abandoned me and believe it, I was never so evil or terrible to warrant that. They just thought I was beneath them because of how I looked.
7. Is tomorrow going to be a good day?
Tomorrow I take a gun and some flaming monkeys to the top a a water tower - then I shoot till I am no longer mad and then it's media interview time.
8. Did you kiss anyone Friday?
What do you think. No woman would ever kiss me.
9. Ever thrown up in public?
Sure, at the fair and when I get sunstroke so tomorrow is big sun hat and ice chest day.
10. What's on your mind RIGHT NOW?
Releasing my rage in slow, effective bursts that do the most damage.
11. Who was the last person you talked to?
12. What is the WORST subject they teach at school?
Lifestyle or Religion so that we can be properly indoctrinated.
13. Have you seen anyone lately that you don't get along with?
I don't get along really with anyone.
14. What is your favourite colour top to wear?
Crimson or Goldenrod (like Charlie Brown)
15. Have you ever been in a car accident?
Yes...some punk smashed into the side of my car at the mall then drove away but chased him and did damage to his car until he stopped. Then I held him for the police because he fled the scene of an accident/
16. What's the closest thing to you that's green?
My envy - my sweet delicious envy.
17. Where would you like to be right now?
18. Write down some lyrics to the song you're listening to?
"The clock is another demon, that devours our time in Eden."
19. How many dogs do you have?
Don't do dogs. They are suck-ups and way too needy. They give up their love far too easily and willingly so their affection can't be trusted. They gossip.
20. Is anything bugging you right now?
Bugs. Bugs bug me.
21. Is life going right for you now?
No I am grumpy. Can't you tell?
22. Is there someone you care about more than yourself?
23. What made you laugh today?
24. What was the last movie you watched?
25. Whats the last conversation you had about?
I muttered to myself.
26. What were you doing at 7:00 this morning?
Listening to the Stephanie Miller show on radio.
27. Do you like your hair long or short?
I have no hair - shaved bald
28. Do you want to see somebody right now?
29. Do you like the rain?
I love to sleep in tent during the rain
30. Did you have a valentine this year?
Nope, just like every year.
31. The last person you kissed needs you at 3 am, would you go?
No, even if I could find her. No
32. Would you honestly say you'd risk your life for someone else?
To die a hero, sure. I always got that to look forward too.
33. Honestly, if you could go back 1 month and change something would you?
I would have had a drink.
34. How do you feel about boys smoking?
They get all the dates in Junior High...ooooo look at me. I can inhale.
I read this post about geeky gadgets to allow you to grow 'plants' indoors. I love how in none of the advertising do they mention 'pot' which would be probably the only thing a geek would use this technology to grow. Well maybe cat grass or mint but that's just me. Like porn on the Internet, the perfect home grow system that is reliable and certain to produce some tasty bud is the holy grail for the shut-in.
I love this little robot guy that can talk to me and find the optimal light conditions throughout the house while wearing the little greenhouse on it's head. That is what I need. Idiot proof gardening but I fear the whole 'taking over the world like Skynet thing. The toaster I can deal with. He is going nowhere. This little guy though is MOBILE and just sneaky enough to hide and ambush me.
I like this improvement on the window 'herb' garden. I can find oregano and basil anywhere. What I need is a system like this to control the 'special herb' (and cat grass) process. The fish I would just be keeping so I could put 'frickin' laser beams on their heads' but that is something I really shouldn't be telling you about.
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.