Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jurassic World

is a big fun way to spend two hours provided you check all knowledge of science at the door and never require anyone in the film to behave sensibly.  Seriously.  You have to be willing to jump on this ride and let it work its magic on you.

Really, you go for the dinosaurs.

Nothing about them is quite right:  not the names, not the science, not their behavior, nothing.  Nonetheless, dinosaurs are so inherently awesome that watching them on the big screen is a huge amount of fun.

Chris Pratt turns in a suitably swaggering performance but adds a little sensitivity from time to time; this role will cement his status as a leading man.

Bryce Dallas Howard, the female lead, by contrast, was simply awful, proof (as if we needed it) that the fact that you're pretty has nothing to do with whether you can act.

If you've seen the trailer, you know the plot.  Hell, if you think hard for three seconds, you know the plot.  That doesn't matter.  As I said, you go for the dinosaurs.

I enjoyed the movie, and I recommend it with the huge caveat above.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Who is my designer?

I stumbled across a site that purports to identify my designer.  Now, I accept that most people who visit this site are probably women, and the questions it asked seemed to be aimed at women, but I answered them honestly.

The site concluded that my designer was--drumroll, please--Gianni Versace.

Hmmm.  I now had to go to the Versace site.

I learned there that I disliked pretty much everything I saw.

I cannot endorse this quiz site.

I thought you'd want to know.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Losing two stars

When I was a kid, and in fact until well past college, I indulged frequently in two guilty viewing pleasures:  Hammer horror films and professional wrestling.  Today, I learned that one star from each of those worlds died recently.

Christopher Lee, a fine actor who was also willing to take a very wide range of roles, passed away Sunday in London.  Whether he was being the Dracula of the Hammer films, Bond foe Scaramanga, or Saruman in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films,  Lee always delivered the goods.  His IMDB page lists 281 acting credits that stretch from 1946 to a film that is in pre-production and won't appear until next year.  At the age of 93, he was still working; good on him!  Lee served in both the RAF and the British Special Forces in World War II, and as you would expect, the experience heavily shaped him.  A recent Rolling Stone article on his death repeated one of my favorite comments of his:

"When the Second World War finished, I was 23 and already I had seen enough horror to last me a lifetime. I'd seen dreadful, dreadful things, without saying a word. So seeing horror depicted on film doesn't affect me much."
R.I.P., Christopher Lee.

Earlier today, the other star of my youth, Dusty Rhodes, aka The American Dream, died at 69.  A large, fat man with hair died white (check out the pics in this CNN article on his death) and a voice that wasn't always easy to understand, Rhodes nonetheless managed to garner and maintain a huge fan base in a sport that came to be dominated by men with amazing physiques.  His bionic elbow was a signature finishing move; I must confess I might have practiced (with suitable care, I will always maintain) my own version on my brother and sister a time or three.  

R.I.P., Dream.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Onward, Drake!

Have I mentioned this book?

I thought not.

Well, I'll be telling you a lot more about it as we draw within a couple of months of its publication, but for now, know that is coming, and that it will be very nifty indeed.

You need to pre-order one now.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Working all day and all night and all the next day

until deep into the night is not as much fun as it used to be.

That's all I got.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The next time you're having one of those days

when nothing is going right, or you're feeling down, or you're cranky, or you're just not quite right, try watching these two videos.  It's hard to do without smiling and feeling a little better at the wonderful silliness that the world sometimes grants us.

First, from the '80s, a video with nothing correct about it, but one it's hard not to smile, if not laugh, at.

Skipping forward a couple of decades, SK and the Sixers bring it Shady Esperanto style.

And now we return to our regularly scheduled work.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Farm to Fork: one of the year's don't-miss events

You drive out into the country, to the Breeze Family Farm in Hurdle Mills.  You see signs only just before you have to turn off NC 86.  You go about a mile and a half, and suddenly you're in the middle of one of the tastiest food events of North Carolina's year, Farm to Fork.

This year marked the third time I've attended this delicious festival, and it was the first time that my company, Principled Technologies, was one of the event's sponsors.  The giant picnic takes place in a big field, with white-topped tents ringing a large central area.  Inside the tents are 30 food selections that pair a local restaurant with a farm in the area; 10 beverage providers; and, in a special, extra large tent, 14 local food artisans.  You buy a ticket in advance, and then you spend the three hours (or however long you choose to stay) wandering around and eating whatever you'd like, as much as you'd like.

Each year, I try to sample everything, and each year I fail.  I certainly tasted a good three-quarters of the offerings, but I ran out of steam way before I could eat them all.  My favorites were probably, in no particular order, the pulled pork barbecue and green onion slaw from Pig Whistle and the Green Button Farm; the local mushroom, Providence cheese, and arugula tart from Mandolin and the Goat Lady Dairy; and what may have been the strongest dish, for my taste, of the group, the homemade egg pasta with fresh herb pesto from Crook's Corner and the Bracken Brae Farm.  The Lady Edison extra fancy country ham from The Pig, which cured it and aged it for 1.5 years in Johnston county, was also an amazing treat all on its own, as were the four artisanal cheeses from Box Carr Farms.

At a hundred bucks a pop, this picnic isn't cheap, but in addition to buying you an exceptional afternoon of eating, the money also and more importantly helps fund new farmer training programs at the W.C. Breeze Family Farm and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEPHS) farm in Goldsboro.  So, you can eat well and do good, all at the same time--a most delightful combination.

If you can afford it, I highly recommend Farm to Fork NC.


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