Thursday, September 30, 2004

Half-Life2 is near!

Almost here!

At least that's what the trade mags are saying and from what I can gather from my friends it's really close. Counter-Strike Source will be available to play next week and the November gaming magazines are leading with their Half-Life 2 reviews. This means that soon I'll be having marital trouble as my new love (for 20-40 hours at least) will be headcrabs, crowbars, and striders (Oh My!).

Here's the first news:


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow



I should not have to say anything more...the movie is worth the price of admission to see Angeline Jole in a leather dominatrix outfit and to hear her utter the immortal line "Alert the Amphibious Squadron"

I actually liked the movie very much...it started out a tad slow but by a third into it I loved it...very Buck Rogers, very Saturday Matinee Serial Film and very good. It's worth the matinee fee I paid for it.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Tornado!

Last night was interesting...it started with leaves falling from the sky, then larger parts, then the rain picked up intensity moving left to right across the sky (east to west) as I stood on my deck. I glanced left, over the lake and in the distance; over the Giant Food shopping center I saw It. To the south east was a large, amorphous blue and black mass moving south-to-north at high speed along the route 28 corridor just north of IAD (Dulles International Airport). I saw several large bright blue and green explosions in the mass which I took to be transformers blowing as the trees took out power lines. At that same time my daughter calls me from just outside Lowes, near the Dulles Town Center asking my wife if there's a tornado...she looks right (to the west) and screams with "I SEE IT!"...she saw the same mass from the opposite side of the storm from where I was. She started crying and the phone went dead...so of course I had a moment. Ivan was upon us.



This picture was taken of the tornado a few moments before I saw it. Our house is several miles to the right. The buildings you see here are at the intersection of route 28 and 606 north of Dulles Airport.

She and her friends had lost the cell due to the storm and retreated to the Dulles Town Center where they rode out the rest of the evening. At that time I went back out on my deck and I heard it...a metallic groaning sound...like an old bridge straining under the weight of too many years. At that very instant, within four or five seconds, the rain shifted 180 degrees and went horizontal. I heard the wind increasing in intensity. We really don’t have anyplace to go; our three-story townhouse is all above ground and there’s no real interior room on the bottom floor large enough to hold us and also be away from windows. But fortunately for us we were lucky that day because this particular tornado blitzed by us, hopped the Potomac and eventually lost its energy somewhere in southern Maryland. There were 20-something tornadoes on the ground in Virginia on this day and that one was ours. Things started to calm down and other than my nervousness over my daughters whereabouts the weather stabilized. I've never felt as helpless as I did then. It was the sound that was really unnerving...I'll never forget that sound.

So...how was your night? :)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Television

The 2d Golden Age of TV has arrived.

I'm convinced, after watching a boatload of TV over the last year, that we are in a revival of sorts towards better TV. Sure...we still have loads of Fox crap on TV and the usual daytime drivel that passes for entertainment but recently I've been seeing TV that actually engages. Here's a list of some of the shows I watch and why:

The Jon Stewart Show: The best news, news comedy, and interview show on television...it doesn't make a difference if you're a right winger or a left winger...he gives both sides equal-opportunity smacks.
The Amazing Race: The best of all the reality shows and you get a geography lesson at the same time.
Meet the Press: Never better and better in an election year
Rescue Me: Vulgar, sexy, fun, dramatic, sad...you name it and it's in this show. Dennis Leary is as good a character actor in a starring role that you'll ever find on TV.
Jack&Bobby: First show was on this week and I love this show...great acting by all the actors and if they do this one right...you'll get to see the events in a young mans life that shape a fictitious presidents future...I love that concept.
Smallville: Once again strong acting and solid stories.
The 4400: Great, great mini-series that I hope becomes a TV series. It was a fresh take on alien visitation-type themes but it did it in a way that crossed the aliens-as-benign beings (Close Encounters) concept with movies that show mans ability to destroy himself (Soylent Green) plus it has a solid and plausible ending.
Tom Brokaw: Everything he does (except mangle "r" words) is golden...I could listen to him read a telephone book.
Band of Brothers: Enough said.
Tom Hanks: Ditto
Without a Trace: Anthony LaPaglia...every show is strong, emotional, and the good guys sometimes carry the scars of what they do...heavy emotional stuff going on here.

There are more but it's late...I'll add to this list as I go along. BTW...go buy Bruce Hornsby's new CD Halcyon Days...it's really good.