Saturday, June 26, 2010

Jonah Hex

Yes, I went to see it. Of course, I realize that such an action requires justification. After all, with only 13% positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and nearly universally bad reviews, most people are staying far from this stinker. Here's why I went:

* It's a comic book movie, and I'm a sucker for them.

* Steampunk imagery.

* The team from Crank 2 made it, and they're a good kind of crazy.

* I'd heard rumors that they'd managed to cast Megan Fox's lips on their own, without the annoying rest of her.

Well, okay, I hadn't heard such rumors; those were just dreams of mine. Still, I entered the theater with that hope in mind.

After watching the flick, I have to say that it wasn't as bad as most critics say. I've certainly seen worse. The steampunk ship and weaponry were lovely to watch. John Malkovich chewed the scenery with great vigor. Megan Fox was a black hole with lips attached, but that's to be expected.

There were even a few good lines. My favorite came when Hex was staring at the dog that followed him around, a creature that was easily the mangiest animal I've ever seen. As Hex was leaving him and heading toward possible death, he shook his head and said, "I don't even know what to say to you."

We've all had friends like that.

I can't recommend you go to the theater for this, but when it hits the Wally World bargain bin, it's three a.m., you're there hoping to find that desperation bag of Cheetos, and you're so wired you might as well watch something because if you fall asleep the fake cheese you're about to consume might well kill you on the spot, go ahead and pick up Jonah Hex and give it a go.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ever wonder what Kyle does for a living?

Well, now you can see the results of his labors as a videogame developer working on a major upcoming title. To learn about the game on which he's been a key technical contributor for a couple of years, check out these three videos. The narration isn't always great, but the graphics are the fun part.


If you like the looks of it, help support his work by buying F3AR when it appears later this year.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alternating realities

I'm so tired I often dream of sleeping.

I'm so bursting with energy that on the morning walk in the blistering heat it's all I can do to stay with the others.

I stare into the mirror and see every gray hair, the white beard, the lines around my eyes, the fat body I've accreted.

I stare at the world and want to kick its ass, my mind pulsing and my body quivering with the rage of youth.

I listen, nod, and do my best to be wise, caring, helpful.

I listen, nod, and inside scream, want to kill, want to run.

I yearn for solitude, dream of flying to an island I've never visited and hiding in a hotel that will accept cash and never ask my name.

I wish I could love better all those who matter most to me, who deserve more and better than I have ever given them.

It's like that inside me, all the time, all the time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Guess where I'll be on Saturday, September 11?

San Francisco, that's where. More specifically, I'll be one of the two writers, along with Amelia Beamer, performing at the monthly SF in SF event. I've long wanted to catch one of these gatherings, and now I get to participate in it! I've also been interested in reading Beamer's upcoming novel, The Loving Dead, so I'm looking forward to getting to meet her.

As I understand it, the evening will include readings, a Q&A, and perhaps an impromptu paintball tournament. Okay, maybe not the last bit, but it should still be big fun anyway.

If you're in the Bay Area that weekend, please come by and say hi.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How big explosions begin

This full, wrapped pallet, which stands over seven feet tall and weighs over a thousand pounds, is most--but not all--of the fireworks that we will blow up on the Fourth of July. We're talking more than half a ton of colorful, explosive goodness. Twenty-eight boxes (twenty-four here, four that came loose) crammed full of fireworks. Over 90 devices--not counting the small stuff we'll light to explain fireworks safety to the kids and to warn the crowd that we're starting. With them, the count is right around a hundred.

Oh, hell, yeah: we are serious about our fireworks.

The first step in creating the show occurred a while ago, when we ordered the 'works. Today marked the second milestone, as they arrived and we moved them inside.

I'm already excited about doing the show.

If you live in this area and are interested in attending our giant Fourth party, drop me a line (there's a contact form on my Web site), and we can probably work it out.

It'll be a (literal) blast!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3

I quite liked the first Toy Story movie, but the second was mediocre enough that I was prepared to skip the third. The reviews were so overwhelmingly positive, however, that last night we went to see it at our local megaplex.

I'm glad we did.

Michael Arndt, who wrote Little Miss Sunshine, one of my favorite films of the last five years, was the lead writer on Toy Story 3, and his ability to deliver both humor and genuine emotion, as well as his wonky plotting style, were on full display. I don't want to spoil anything, so let me just say that both his handling of the main bad guy and the final scene were pitch perfect.

The animation won't blow you away; you've seen this quality level before. That's not a problem, though, because the film is consistent with the Toy Story look we've come to expect.

Toy Story 3 is not a movie for any one particular age; everyone can enjoy it. Definitely do not miss this one.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My company is still hiring

We're seeking three people:

technical marketing writer

This person should be able to understand both the marketing dreams of our clients and the highly technical work we do, then translate between the two to create marketing collateral that speaks to specific target audiences.

If that sentence sounds like gobbledygook to you, I don't blame you--but you're not the person for the job.

Web developer

This person should be skilled at a broad range of back-end and ecommerce technologies. From online forums to client portals, from ecommerce systems to ebooks, this person should be comfortable tackling complex challenges.

Again with the gobbledygook comment.

junior admin

This person will be interested in an entry-level position but have some familiarity with QuickBooks, intermediate skills with Excel and the other Microsoft Office programs, and be good with people.

We're not willing to relocate for any of these jobs, so if you're interested, you have to be in the RTP area.

If you're interested or know anyone who is, the right contact point is


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