Archive for April 2006

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

*Date approximate*
23. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Also known as “Chavez: Inside the Coup”, which is not near as catchy a name if you ask me. There’s no picture or Amazon link because it’s not currently available commercially, which is a shame.

The filmakers had been shooting a documentary about Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, for months when they found themselves in the middle of a coup. The film shows the takeover of the media and ensuing disinformation next to shots of what was really going on in the streets. Most disturbing, it shows how quick the US was to try and legitimize the coup and thus be rid of Chavez. About Chavez…

Chavez is all “power to the people”, going so far as to make one of his first acts a mass printing of the country’s constitution, along with a literacy campaign to teach the illiterate poor to read it so they can know what their rights are. The nationalized petroleum industry had been plundered for years by the elite before he moved to use the money for social programs. Things like this make the liberal in me swoon like a schoolgirl in love, but I had to remind myself (ok, really it was The Lovely Wife who had to remind me) that rhetoric, especially rhetoric you really want to believe in, should always be viewed with a critical eye, and this movie does seem to be pretty one-sided in it’s praise.

Watch the film, if you can find it, then do some research on your own. If it doesn’t necessarily make you a Chavez supporter, it’ll at least make you view our own administration a little more critically.

New Pictures, House Pictures

I’ve been crazy busy getting the new house ready for occupancy, so I haven’t been posting much here recently. I have, however, added a couple of destinations in the “Travel” folder and added a “Home” folder over in the gallery. Now at least you can see the house that I will eventually move into.

Veronica Mars, Season 1

*Date approximate*
22. Veronica Mars, Season 1
Veronica Mars - The Complete First Season

If a 2 hour movie deserves a place in this list, then so does a 22 episode TV series on DVD with a 935 minute viewing time that we devoured in less than a week. I’ve decided I actually much prefer to watch television this way, as there are no commercials, and your ability to find out what happens next is only limited by your ability to stay awake.

We watched this a couple of months ago, and I don’t even remember what got us started. I had seen one or two episodes on TV and don’t really remember being all that impressed, but, for whatever reason (I’m sure The Lovely Wife will remind me) we bought the first season. The show improves dramatically when you watch all the episodes in order. By the middle of the season there are so many different story arcs in play that if you just happened to stumble upon the show, you’d have no idea what was going on half the time. Highly recommended, especially if you’re a Whedon-ite who’s seen all the Buffy and Firefly three times and you’re looking for another show featuring a strong young female lead with superpowers. Ok, she doesn’t really have superpowers. But she’s crafty.

The Corporation

21. The Corporation
The Corporation (2-Disc Special Edition)

Based on the fact that you are reading this, you are probably in the top 5% of the wealthiest people on the planet. Does that make you feel good or bad?

The Village

20. The Village
The Village (Widescreen Edition) (Vista Series)

As I recall, people kinda panned this one. I saw most of the twist coming from a mile away, but it was a perfectly acceptable rainy afternoon flick. Joaquin was, as usual, excellent, and, while I was all set to not like Bryce Dallas Howard, she was really good.

3 Days.

In the three days since my last post we:

  • Bought a refrigerator. (Giant Discount Appliances rocks.)
  • Bought a washer and dryer. (Ditto.)
  • Planted flowers in the front porch planter. (Which, prior to our arrival, appears to have been the neighborhood litter box.)
  • Made a bed for more plants on the ground in front of the planter. (Of all the tasks I can claim very little credit for, this one would be at the top of the list.)
  • Cleaned the gutters, which were so full of junk there were plants growing in them. (Well, ok, this one is on top of the list. This was all Matt.)
  • Started a compost pile. (Really just a pile of organic junk in the back yard, but I’m optimistic about it’s future.)
  • Mowed and trimmed the lawn. (This was more fun than I thought it would be. I’m sure the novelty will wear off when I realize I have to do it more than once a year.)
  • Swept the front walk. (It was real dirty.)
  • Repaired the toilet. (All me!)
  • Repaired a window. (Also all me, but really ugly caulk work.)
  • Cut down a small tree and about 50 bamboo stalks. (Nature will be our bitch.)
  • Went to Home Depot about 873 times. (We will be Home Depot’s bitch.)
  • I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting, but you get the idea. A couple more weeks at this level of activity and I think we’ll be almost ready to move in.

    I own a house…

    It is done. Let the remodeling begin.

    Update

    Yesterday marked my 70th day without smoking, and I finally feel strong enough to go out and have a drink with all you people I’ve been not going out and having a drink with. That is, if all my time wasn’t currently being sucked up by our new house. We’re set to close on the 12th or 13th, and the next 2-4 weeks after that will be pretty full, what with the flooring installation and the moving and all. (Do you have experience installing engineered hardwood flooring? Do you have your own tools? Do you mind being paid with beer and effusive praise? Call me.) And of course there will be the endless pictures to document the whole process, some of which will undoubtedly find there way here. I’ll keep you posted, I have to go pack some stuff now.

    Inside Man

    19. Inside Man
    Inside Man

    Good performances, entertaining, we love Jodie Foster bitching it up in a power suit, but where’s the Spike Lee? Does this movie mean anything or make you think? Not really. But it’s entertaining.

    Days of the Week

    I always thought this one was pretty simple. Monday is the first day of the week, Sunday is the last. Monday you go to work, Sunday is the day of rest, the last day of the week-“end”, the Sabbath, at least in my predominately Christian surroundings. Of course there are variations around the world, differn’t strokes and all that, but here at home, right in the middle of the USA, I’m on solid ground… then The Lovely Wife tells me otherwise.

    “Just look at a calendar”, she says. Sure enough, it runs Sunday through Saturday. She even tells me a kid at school got a quiz question wrong because he said Thursday was the 4th day of the week, not the 5th. This all seems pretty inconsequential, except that it runs counter to everything I thought I knew about something as simple as the days of the week. So of course I turn to Google.

    WebExhibits has Calendars Through the Ages. Excellent, this will clear it all up.

    What Is the First Day of the Week?

    The Bible clearly makes the Sabbath the last day of the week, but does not share how that corresponds to our 7 day week. Yet through extra-biblical sources it is possible to determine that the Sabbath at the time of Christ corresponds to our current ‘Saturday.’ Therefore it is common Jewish and Christian practice to regard Sunday as the first day of the week (as is also evident from the Portuguese names for the week days). However, the fact that, for example, Russian uses the name “second” for Tuesday, indicates that some nations regard Monday as the first day.

    In international standard ISO-8601 the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has decreed that Monday shall be the first day of the week.

    So I’ve got the Commie Bureaucrats and everyone else is against me. How does this happen? Are you all S-S people, or are there other M-S adherents out there? Leave a comment and tell me which you think is right.