Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

7/18/2014

Photography Link Grab Bag

Filed under: Art,Fun,Movies,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Since I start my new day job this coming Monday, I’m slacking a little and just sharing some kind of random links about basic photographic technique.

One of the things you see a lot of photographers do, especially if they want to “go pro” and shoot portraits, is something called “seamless paper”.  Basically, it’s a huge, long roll of colored paper that you tape up to a wall or hang from a pole to get a smooth, uninterrupted, but still plain…
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10/19/2012

Under Costumes

Filed under: Art,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Movies,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:21 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

What do  you wear under your Halloween costumes?

So, yeah, Halloween is just around the corner and that has me thinking about costumes.  Well, to be honest, costumes for adults, because, let’s face it, in all our repressed, Puritanical, American, adult bodies, live crazy hedonists that just want to dress up in silly, or sexy, costumes and parade around like the goofballs we all pretend we are NOT.  And, maybe because I have a girlfriend for the first time in ages, I’ve been thinking about what one wears underneath that superhero costume.

As it turns out, DC Comics has just the thing for that; sexy, adult superhero underwear and swimwear.  (And, if the number of times “adult” has appeared so far in this post isn’t a clue, some links here may not be completely safe for work, if you work in a repressive enough environment.)  And, yes, there are options for the guys as well as the ladies there.
For you Marvel fans, they have something more along the lines of sleepwear.  (And, apparently, only for the ladies to wear.  Sorry!)

So, now you have something to think about this weekend.  And, hopefully share with your significant other without getting into trouble!

9/21/2012

Cards as Weapons

Filed under: Art,Fun,Movies,Red Herrings,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:35 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Pretty much anything can be turned into a weapon.

Regular readers here will know that I’m not only security and safety conscious, but into, well, some of the stranger aspects of culture.  If there’s an obscure method of self-defense, or a strange sub-culture, I probably know about it.  I tend to be that way with obscure and rare books, too.  But, when all three of these things overlap?  It’s like nerdvana for me!
And such a confluence of material and subjects exist: Cards as Weapons by Ricky Jay.

You probably have seen Ricky Jay in the movies, believe it or not, even if you may not have recognized him.  He’s been in a number of movies by David Mamet, but as a character actor, you may not associate his name with his face.  Either way, Ricky Jay is quite well known in the stage magic world and is one of the best card technicians who’s ever practiced the art.  His book, which retails for an amazing sum on Amazon, on the deadly art of card throwing is well known in some of the circles I’ve brushed up against in my varied and misspent youth.  But, it’s been so hard to find and expensive that few of us have ever actually read it.  Now, thanks to a, possibly pirated, copy that’s up on Scribd, you can download the entire PDF for free.  Free!  So, if  you like magic, or cards, or Ricky Jay, or obscure books, or strange self-defense weapons, or even just knowing cool, strange things, then download this book!  While you still can!

Besides, it’s Friday and you’re reading my blog.  What else have you got to do?

6/22/2012

Five Hundred Free Movies

Filed under: Art,Fun,Movies — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:07 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Yes, you read that right.

Clearly, I’m an internet junkie.  Those few brave readers who know a little bit more about me, know that I’m also a movie junkie.  I really, really love movies.  Not just the new ones, either, but the classics, too!  I love movies that, frankly, people would not necessarily associate with me.  I mean, I like everything from Westerns to Noir to Comedies to, yes, classic science-fiction.  Pretty much, if there’s a genre of movie, I’ll watch it, though I have to admit, I’m not a huge horror fan.
But, in this age of austerity where everyone is cutting back, and cutting the cord to the cable companies, how can you get your  movie “fix”?  Easy, check out the Open Culture list of 500 Free Movies Online.  Yes, you’ll have to stream these, but other than having an internet connection, they’re all free for your viewing pleasure.

So, hey, it’s Friday, right?  Go pirate yourself some wifi from the neighbors and stream a free movie!  You’ve earned it this week!

9/9/2011

Apocalypse Moby

Filed under: Art,Fiction,Fun,Movies,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:36 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I’ve never been a huge fan of Moby Dick.

But, I have to admit, the idea of mashing Moby Dick with Apocalypse Now seems like a pretty killer idea to me.  And, that, dear readers, is just what Apocalypse Moby is; an amazing mashup of these two very different stories that comes out amazingly well.  In fact, it almost had a science-fiction feeling to it.  Or maybe that was just my personal experience leaking through, but, either way, it was pretty cool.

Of course, it’s a play, stage-play or screen-play, depending on your bent, which may make it a bit challenging to read, but, I think it’s worth it.  And, trust me on this, it works surprisingly well.  Honest.
It’s just the thing to read on a weekend when you’re too hot to do anything else anyway.  So, go ahead, it’s free!  Go download it and read it!
And have a great weekend!!

5/20/2011

Star Wars Dioramas

Filed under: Art,Fun,Movies — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:50 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

If  you read my blog, you love Star Wars.

Well, if you don’t *love * it, you at least know it and appreciate it on its technical merits.
But, you should love it.
And, it’s Friday, so you know I’m going to link to something pretty cool, right?
So, yeah, go look at these insanely detailed Star Wars dioramas at Kotaku.

No, seriously, it’s been a long week and that’s all I’ve got.
Also?  It’s Friday and you have nothing better to do anyway, so go look.
Seriously.

5/13/2011

Cthulhu Sex-Ed

Filed under: Art,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Movies,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:29 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I can think of nothing more appropriate for a Friday the Thirteenth post.

Are you a fan of H.P. Lovecraft?
When I was in Junior High, I found H.P. Lovecraft and read him all the way through High School and even college.  But, because I found him when most people are getting sex ed for the first time, when our bodies are going through enormous, almost supernatural changes, I found this short film, via Boing Boing, called “Late Bloomer” quite funny.  Be warned, it may not be entirely safe for work, depending on your workplace and their standards, but it’s worth watching!

So, happy Friday the 13th!  Enjoy the video and have a very lucky day!

4/8/2011

More End of the World Stuff

Filed under: Fun,Movies,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:25 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Yeah, I know.  I’m way too obsessed with the end of the world.

But, just you wait!  When you’re out there wandering the blasted wastelands, you’ll wish you knew me THEN!
In the meantime, why not check out what the Air Force has to say about the end of the world from the Perlinger Archive via IO9.com (Incidentally, that link will bring you to a movie that’s so old it’s in an internet archive.  Yeah, that’s old.)

But, don’t worry!  I also have links to yet another collection of information that will help rebuild society!
Oddly enough, this archive is brought to you via Lifehacker.  It’s the CD3WD, which is an archive of “CDs” for the Third World, actually.  Originally intended, according to the site, as an archive of information that would be useful to the “Third World” and “developing nations”, which, apparently, is also just like what we’ll need after the end of the world.  So, you know, you may want to make friends with someone from one of those places now.
Turns out, they may be pretty useful when the apocalypse arrives.

 

8/15/2010

Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Filed under: Art,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Movies,music,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:56 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent


ScottPilgrim

Originally uploaded by Network Geek

The movie so good it got me to blog a review after months of slacking.

Yeah, I loved it.
So, right, this movie is based on the award-winning and very popular independent comic series of the same name. The comic, and the movie, follow the love-life of the title character, Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera as he tries to avoid his under-age Chinese stalker, Knives Chau, played by Ellen Wong, and date, instead, the girl, quite literally of his dreams, Ramona Flowers, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The only problem is, to date Ramona, Scott has to defeat her seven evil ex’s in a battle to the death. But, nothing is quite as easy as it seems, and each ex is more difficult to defeat than the last, much like a video game.

In fact, as Scott defeats each villain, he’s rewarded in video-game fashion with a glowing numeric display of points and then they burst into coins. Yes, coins. Oh, and there’s plenty of video-game themed music, too. But, don’t think you have to be either a gamer or a comic fan to “get” this movie! I mean, if you’ve participated in pop culture at all and are under the age of 60, you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping up.
But, speaking of music, the sound-track on this film rocks! Literally! For starters, a significant contributor to the soundtrack is Beck. Not only as a solo artist, but also as part of Sex Bob-Omb, the band to which Scott and his friends belong. And, that band participation is significant to the plot as they battle other local bands to get a recording contract and a big gig at a big club. Seriously, though, the music is all great and adds a lot to the film. At least, I enjoyed it. Mostly a rock soundtrack, but with the addition of video-game tunes, which enhance the movie.

The whole thing was fun.
Sure, it was sort of a chick-flick, but not in a bad way or as much as you might imagine. I mean, yes, it is about dating and romance and the trials and tribulations of ex’s, but it’s far more fun than it sounds. Because, it’s a comedy, in case Michael Cera being in the cast didn’t give it away. Frankly, the whole thing is just fun and, wow, I can’t remember the last time I saw that in a Summer movie! Seriously! I mean, that’s what Summer movies are supposed to be all about, right? Well, this one actually is! Honestly, I wish I were dating someone so I could have taken her to see it, because it was such a cute, fun film that I’m confident it would have gotten me laid. Seriously.

Mostly, I can’t go into the plot too much, because it would be 100% spoilers, but it’s all about Scott and Ramona, and dating, and love, and music, and the band, and defeating evil ex’s. But, the basic plot is, well, that last sentence pretty well sums it up. I mean, Scott trying to get Ramona and make music with his band and, well, again, defeat those evil ex’s, is pretty much everything that happens in the movie, but, somehow, that paltry description doesn’t capture the fun and adventure of this movie. Trust me, though, when I tell you that it was fast-paced, filled with action, and romance and even a life-lesson or two.

Long-time readers of this blog know that I rarely see movies more than once in the theater, so, they’ll get the impact of this statement; I would happily see this movie again, at full price. I loved this movie that much.
Seriously.
If you like pop music, or if you’ve ever been in love, or if you’ve ever fought against impossible odds to pursue the companion of your dreams, you will love Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Go see it.
Trust me.

Update: Want to see what I’m talking about with the music?  Check out some selections from the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Soundtrack.

4/1/2010

Review: The Bounty Hunter

Filed under: Fun,Movies,Personal,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:18 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous


TheBountyHunter

Originally uploaded by Network Geek

I saw The Bounty Hunter Friday last week.

I know, I’ve been bad about letting things go between updates here, even though I’ve mostly reduced things to just doing movie reviews. I’ve been busy.
In any case, I did get out to see The Bounty Hunter staring Jennifer Anniston and Gerard Butler. They star as a formerly married people. He was a cop and she was a cub reporter. Now, she’s a very successful reporter and he’s a bounty hunter. The funny thing is, while she was working on a story, she got a little tangled up with the courts for a minor altercation that got a little blown out of proportion. Well, now, she’s working on another story and, as she’s about to go into court, she gets a call from a source, so she misses her court date. Naturally, what that means is that her bail gets revoked and a bench warrant for her arrest. Can you guess who gets the job?

Right.
And you can pretty well guess where the comedy goes from there. Of course, it is funny. I mean, really, it is. But, it’s a romantic comedy, even though these two start off divorced. At first, the movie is about him chasing her and trying to bring her back to jail. But, her story quickly becomes a problem as the people she’s investigating try to kill her. And, mayhem ensues.

I don’t have time for my regular, in depth review this morning, but let me say that this movie was far funnier than I thought it would be. I mean, look at the actors playing the two leading characters. No, really, just go look at them. They’re simply beautiful to look at, both of them. I’m pretty sure that’s all we were meant to do, anyway, was look at them. But, it turns out, their on-screen dialog is pretty funny, too. Okay, perhaps not the most brilliant or subtle comedy, but, still, funny enough that for most of the film I was laughing out loud. The last third of the movie, though, they really step up the romance content and it kind of over-shadows the comedy. It’s still there, but, frankly, I think at this point we’re supposed to be more interested in them as pretty people than actual people.

Now, I’ll grant you, I had pretty low expectations for this film, but they were certainly all exceeded. It was a funny, comedy romp that was grown-up without being particularly blue.
Oh, and also, there was some action, so that Gerard Butler could show off his 300 physique. And, yes, for those of you who care, he does still pretty much have it. Damn him. Also, Jennifer Anniston was pretty damn hot, too.
The plot is nothing new, really, and the surprises were few, but the movie was fun enough, and the stars attractive enough, that it really didn’t matter much. And, let me hasten to point out, in spite of some weaknesses in the plot and action, and romance, I was still quite entertained. Though, yes, I do have to agree with other reviewers that the two stars lacked on-screen chemistry. At no point did I suspect they were banging each other off camera, and that’s okay. It doesn’t take anything away from the film, really. I doubt I’d have much chemistry with my ex-wife, even if I had to drag her back to jail, so a certain friction instead of chemistry in this movie actually kind of works.

So, in short, it’s not a bad film and if you’re in the mood for something light, fun, and not overly challenging mentally, in short, if you’re looking to be entertained, then this movie is a great choice for you. If you can’t stand one of these co-stars, you might want to wait until it hits DVD, but otherwise, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this film. I wouldn’t see it again in the theater, but I’d rent it again, just for fun.

And, now, with that, I have to sign off and head to the airport. Vacation has officially begun and I’m off to WonderCon in scenic San Francisco. I’ll try to do a couple of updates while I’m gone.
(Oh, and don’t get any ideas about coming to rob me. My vicious guard dog is still here and people will be checking on my house throughout the weekend.)

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