Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gene and Brak

Back in July, I confessed that one of the first songs I sang for little C.C. was a beer jingle. I've moved on to a greater variety of tunes since those earlier days, though they are just as pop-cultured as the first and far, far sillier:



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kenny Wayne Shepherd better look out.

After the recent attempted terrorist strike over the holidays, the usual gang of GOP idiots are calling once again for the use of racial profiling at airports.

Believe it or not, I can see both sides of issues and understand where the right is coming from on most of them even. For instance, when it comes to the whole wiretapping thing, they see the process as a genuine good that could help prevent terrorist attacks. And aside from the conflict with our inherent right to privacy, it's hard for me to argue against that.

But then we have something like racial profiling thing where we get suggestions like this:

"Radio host Mike Gallagher recently said, 'There should be a separate line to scrutinize anybody with the name Abdul or Ahmed or Mohammed,' and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) raised the idea of profiling people based on their religions."

These proposals I cannot see the motivation for because any rational human being can see that such things will not work. They make these statements to stir up the base and the deep seated hatreds that lie within the GOP. And that, my friends, is not constructive. It's purely malevolent.

My final word on this is courtesy of the News of the Weird syndicated column. They have a feature called "The Classic Middle Name" which would seem to make an effective case for restricting anyone with the middle name "Wayne" from both alcohol and firearms.

I'm sure Newt Gingrich would agree.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And some YouTube in your stocking.

As a final Christmas present to Mrs. Mosley (Yeah, we already exchanged presents days ago. We're zany like that), I present this nine minute documentary (via Metafilter). It combines three of her most favorite subjects: London, The Underground and History. Merry Christmas, sweetie... and the rest of you lot, as well!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Gorgeous Killing Machine

Neatorama says it best: "The last thing seen by many a field mouse."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Onion just made my day.


"I do not understand," reads an ancient line of pictographs depicting the sun, the moon, water, and a Sumerian who appears to be scratching his head. "A booming voice is saying, 'Let there be light,' but there is already light. It is saying, 'Let the earth bring forth grass,' but I am already standing on grass."

"Everything is here already," the pictograph continues. "We do not need more stars."
Full story here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Spitting in a wiiiiiishing weeeeeeell..."

Somebody put this old chestnut in my head today. Now it's your turn:

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Alonzo's Cinematic Fatherhood: Lesson One


So if I had to choose one scene from one film to represent my first five months of Fatherhood, it would be the stealing of the idol in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Why? Well, when you have spent night after night trying to oh-so-deftly pick up a sleeping baby and/or put down a sleeping baby without waking her, you'll know.

And just as the Titanic is doomed to hit the iceberg which will seal Jack and Rose's fate, and just as Hilts will never be able to jump that final barbed wire fence, you are always going to trip that damn giant boulder.

Monday, December 07, 2009

JapanVideoMangaGameBanzai!

Oh Metafilter, what have you introduced me to:



Fortunately or unfortunately, someone linked to a related video in the comments of that post, which I watched. I'm not going to embed it here but just provide the link. If your a fan of old school video games, have thirteen minutes to spare and aren't prone to seizures, you ought to check it out. Even then, you've been warned.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

*hint hint* (or maybe not)

I had previously told Mrs. Mosley that a new MP3 player might be nice for my Christmas gift this year. I think I may be changing my mind:



Ever since I blogged about the Warner Archive earlier this year, I've been determined to find a title to add to my collection (both to see what the disks are like and also to show my support for such an awesome program). None of the titles offered so far have really floated my boat, but this "Big Band, Jazz & Swing Short Subject Collection" comes close. However, it does violate the "sight unseen" DVD purchase rule I have. And at 40 bucks (even for a six disk set), I have to agree such a purchase is probably not in the cards.

Oh, well. I'll keep on the lookout over at their site, and you should too. If you're looking for some expert opinion of the disks themselves, the always excellent DVD Savant has been semi-regularly reviewing different Warner Archive titles, so please go check him out!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

In the same league as "Jews for Buchanan"

I just got a blind friend request today on Facebook by a (if the picture is to be believed) very attractive girl in her twenties looking for friendships and dating relationships. The woman had already racked up over 1,000 friends this way, but I decided not to be one of them.

I had to laugh, though, at her brief profile. This gorgeous young woman listed herself as a Conservative Atheist from Texas. I'm not saying that such a combination doesn't exist, but I'm more likely believe fallen Nigerian Princes in my email than this gal.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

"Hey, Joe! You Schmuck!"

It's December 1st, which means we're beginning to see the flood of articles listing the top ten of this and top twenty of that for the year 2009. In The Root's Top 10 Epic Fails of 2009, there's this gem:
When Joe Wilson yelled "you lie" during the president's health care speech, he should have been escorted out. During the election, Obama had to temper his temper because he couldn't afford to be labeled the angry black guy. Had he yelled out "You Lie!" during the debates, it would've been game over. I so wanted Obama to shut the South Carolina congressman down and say, "Come down here and say that to my face, Joe Wilson!" Yes, I know, Obama can't do that. And that is what I love about Obama: He doesn't have to. He's the president.

Roscoe Lee Browne Quote of the Month: December 2009

I saved one of the very best for last this time around. The following quote comes from The Cowboys, one of John Wayne's last great Westerns. In this scene, Browne's character (with the oh-so-awesome name of Jebediah Nightlinger) is about to be lynched by the bad guys. He uses his last moment before the noose to say a prayer:

Jebediah: "I regret trifling with married women. I'm thoroughly ashamed at cheating at cards. I deplore my occasional departures from the truth. Forgive me for taking your name in vain, my Saturday drunkenness, my Sunday sloth. Above all, forgive me for the men I've killed in anger... and those I am about to."

Friday, November 27, 2009

A little snark with our movie night

Observation's from myself and Mrs. Mosley early into our viewing of X-Men Origins: Wolverine tonight:
Mr. Mosley (Upon seeing mutant "Zero" in action): "Apparently his mutant power is being a living, breathing John Woo film."

Mrs. Mosley (watching Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson): "I'm not buying him as a bad ass. He's cute enough although a little pasty in romantic comedies, be here he just looks gay."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Caveat Emptor!

Looks like there's a whole new reason for the buyer to beware (and it's the perfect season for it, too).

There's an outfit called "Alphascript Publishing" that are, among other things, selling a book on MST3k over at Amazon. Sounds good so far, but someone took the time to look at the fine print on the book and discovered that all the material was simply reprinted from Wikipedia.

The first thing that comes to mind is: Is this legal? I'm not quite sure if it is or not, but the fact that there is an article on Alphascript in Wikipedia that spells out what it is doing, I'm guessing Wikipedia doesn't give a flying fig.

I suppose I wouldn't give a flying fig myself if it weren't for the fact that (a) they're doing it very badly and (b) they're charging pretty high prices for these books.



Never mind the questionable veracity of articles on Wikipedia. According to the above sources, these guys didn't even clean up grammatical or font errors before they published. And look at that cover! I mean, other "unofficial guides" manage to give it some art that evokes the subject without violating any copyrighted images. These guys just grabbed a generic image off the NASA website and called it a day. And they have the balls to sell these measly 84 pages of half-assed effort for forty dollars?!?!

It's all very corporate and impersonal. If some MST3k fan had happened upon this Wikipedia loophole and took it upon themselves to put together a volume, they probably would have put forth a lot more work because of their love for the subject. There's no love here; Only greed.

Form when you get sick of your family tomorrow

Online Atari, from the Atari folks themselves (via Metafilter).



C'mon! You know you want to see a square kill ducks with an arrow!

Monday, November 23, 2009

And all without a drop of rum

Once upon a time, Mrs. Mosley (right before she became Mrs. Mosley) and I chose to move into our first our house and get married in the same week. It would seem we haven't learned our lesson, as we are currently moving again during the busy holiday season (and all while taking care of our teething infant).

Suffice to say, it's a busy time for the Mosley transitional household. And to sub for multiple future posts, please enjoy the greatest tap dance routine of all time:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You can actually see the one on the left trying to produce an original thought.

Yeah, nothing gets my librarian outrage up more than small-minded schmucks like these two:


Here is the story (found via the invaluable Metafilter):

Sharon Cook, 57, above left, and Barbara Boisvert, 62, above right, basically colluded to keep the book out of circulation — Cook, who had become disturbed by the book’s imagery, checked it out for a year, meaning no one else could check it out. However, when an 11-year-old girl put it on hold, Cook was unable to continue her delaying tactic — and Boisvert stepped in, removing the hold, and keeping the book out of circulation.

Both were fired for their actions.

Yeah, don't let the door hit you on the way out. I love a happy ending.

I was also relieved to read a correction at the top that stated these two were not librarians, but rather "library workers", which makes more sense. Not that there aren't librarians that would pull this kind of crap, but no librarian with any sense of self-respect or duty would.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Feasting on the bones

The slow death of Blockbuster continues unabated. The most recent development is the closing of multiple stores in town and having clearance sales of anything and everything in store (including the shelving).

The pricing of the DVD's are not yet at the levels that it's worth a damn to search (not with Movie Stop around), but the stores are worth investigating for the non-DVD materials. This includes, of all things, quite a few books. I don't know where Blockbuster got them, but they are shipping them to stores and marking them down in order to offload them. I picked this one up last week for four dollars:


Let's see: Alternate realities, inter-dimensional travel and war gamers. Sounds like a party to me. At any rate, they're going to be adding new stuff to sell in the stores weekly until they shut down for good in January, so don't forget to stop in.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Open... and discover!

Presenting my favorite picture of the day (and, no, it's not a cat. Click here to find out what it is):

Friday, November 13, 2009

Before Monty Python...

Earlier this week, I received a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate in the mail courtesy of my credit card company. I knew right away that $41.99 of it would be going to an advance order of the next MST3k box set (complete with mini Tom Servo!), but I would have to find something else to use the remainder on.


These days, with my DVD shelf space shrinking, I generally don't buy DVD's blind. On this occasion, however, I decided to with the purchase of The Best of... What's Left of... Not Only... But Also.... Never heard of it? Well, have a read at the history of this DVD (courtesy of DVD Talk):

As with most British TV series from that time, all the studio segments of Not Only... But Also were shot on video, with any location work shot on 16mm film (because video cameras were far too cumbersome and inconvenient for such work). Then, the entire show was transferred to two inch quad videotape for transmission over the airwaves. These master tapes were then stored by the BBC for future reruns, if deemed necessary...until such time as the expensive two inch tape was needed for new programming - whereby the old program was wiped from the tape, and a new program taped over it. End of story. Gone forever. Now this thoughtless (some say criminal) practice wasn't relegated to just England - it happened everywhere, including here in the States, as well (infamously, almost all of Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show episodes prior to 1970, were wiped). It's hard to imagine, with the cost of videotape and blank discs so incredibly cheap today, that those bulky two inch tape cartridges would be so expensive, but they were, and the networks used them over and over again, hundreds of time. As well, nobody in TV had quite figured out yet (with the possible exception of Lucille Ball, Desi Arnez, and Jackie Gleason) just how lucrative those old TV shows would prove to be one day. TV back then was largely thought of as a disposable art form: a show aired once, and except for a few reruns, it was gone for good. And why bother with something old? New programs were being produced all the time to satisfy viewers.

And such was the fate of Not Only... But Also, with the final twist in the story perhaps more cruel than other similar incidents: Peter Cook was told of the BBC's intentions to wipe the tapes, and he offered not only to buy them back, but also replace the prohibitively expensive two inch cartridges...with the BBC politely replying, "No, thanks." Why they refused is anybody's guess, but all that remained of Not Only... But Also were scraps here and there of kinescope versions of the series that had been sent all over the world for foreign TV markets. Thus, complete episodes have been reconstructed from these various sources, but more than less has been lost forever (until more stuff turns up in dusty closets and attics). In 1990, the BBC cobbled together various segments of these remaining pieces, and edited them (in no chronological order, nor with regards to keeping the segments together as they were originally produced and broadcast) into these six episodes that appear on the The Best Of... The Rest Of... Not Only... But Also... disc.
Now I did fib a bit before. Though the DVD is sight unseen, I have listened to a number of these skits on an audio tape that a friend gave me years ago. I also have read a number of the skit transcripts from the Peter Cook book Tragically I Was an Only Twin. The material is priceless, and well worth the risk of $17.99. It's a small price to pay for a piece of history.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fortuna smiles down on me.

A quick shout-out to my darling Mrs. Mosley for allowing me to leave her with little C.C. for the evening as I went to see Carmina Burana performed by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night.


It was an incredible experience to finally see it performed live. Awesome stuff.

Friday, November 06, 2009

"They're playing soft-ball (but not in Maine or San Diego)"

Well, the news is out: Sarah Palin's upcoming book tour is going the (cough) maverick route of bypassing big cities in favor of medium-sized ones such as Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne and, yes, Jacksonville.

The CNN article also points out that these are more conservative towns than such liberal bastions as New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. It's the FOX News effect: If you can't defend yourself from facts and rational arguments, then choose your venue with care. That's why Chris Wallace interviews Rush Limbaugh. That's why O'Reilly cuts off anyone who is making sense. And that, more or less, is why Sarah is coming to Jacksonville.

In my recent post about morning shows, I mentioned how these folks are not hard hitting reporters. Their job is to do comfortable segments and keep things mellow. So when Katie Couric (who once said an example of "important" news reporting was the Runaway Bride), completely stumps Sarah Plain with the simplest of questions, it was clear Sarah needed a thicker bubble than most.

So welcome to Jax, Sarah. We'll try to keep the IQ down for you.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thugs and Harmony (sort of)

I'd been looking for something all week to put a smile on my face, and by golly I found it (via Metafilter).

Apparently, the gangster characters in the video game "Saints Row 2" sing along with the radio as they drive. There are six different characters you can play, and some enterprising Youtuber took the audio of each of the six singing along with "Take on me" and layered it into one track. The final result is pretty awesome.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Fizzgig

Fizzgig:

That is all.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Roscoe Lee Browne Quote of the Month: November 2009

Dear God really is just a blip in the career of Browne. Coming between his gigs on the two Babe films, he's given a role in which he and his voice are criminally underused. He plays Idris, who is a sort of the Roger Murtaugh of the Post Office: He's too close to retirement to be screwing around with the crazy new guy who might mess it up. The new guy here is Tom Turner (Greg Kinnear), who is assigned a year in the dead letter office as punishment for his crimes as a con artist. Idris quickly gives him the lowdown:


Idris: "I'm two months away from my 20th year, and then I'm out of here, gone."

Tom: "20 years?"

Idris: "Yep. I couldn't raise my family as a musician. Couldn't raise myself as a musician."

Friday, October 30, 2009

FOX and Enemies

Here's the thing about the whole "Is FOX News biased" thing: There are two aspects of the bias.

The first one is choice of coverage. I once read a newsman state that all journalism is biased because you can only cover so much with limited resources (so many pages of newsprint, so many hours of broadcast time). A choice must be made what to cover based on the public interest and what the journalists themselves think is a worthy story. Obviously, by those two criteria, FOX News is doing no wrong when their morning show "FOX and Friends" mentions ACORN 23 times in a single broadcast but mentions a historic growth in the GDP twice. The journalists think it's right and the audience think it's right; Therefore, it is right ("Right" being the operative word here).

The other aspect is more clear (and more icky), and that is the expression of individual opinions on issues by the journalists themselves. To take the example of the aforementioned "FOX and Friends", this is the network's morning show, which means that it is supposed to be in the league of the Today show or Good Morning America. That is, it's a fairly pleasant mix of fluff and news stories by friendly people sitting on couches and comfy chairs. Well, ideally that's what "FOX and Friends" is supposed to be, but every time I have caught footage of that show and their hosts, I have always been repulsed by their transparent tone of smugness and acrimony.

Yet even having seen this in action doesn't prepare you for when they have a good laugh over someone yelling about Nancy Pelosi burning in Hell. I don't have a ready archive of broadcasts at hand, but I feel relatively safe is saying that nowhere in their history of any network morning show do you have Matt Lauer of Charles Gibson laughing about a politician's eternal torment. This is the key, FOX: Of all the programming on your channel, this is supposed to be the lighter stuff. You can go on and on about O'Reilly and Beck being opinion shows and not reflective of the network as a whole, but when you have stuff like this going on in your morning show, then it's not longer a debate about choice of coverage. It's about pure bile.

A guide for your Halloween night

Wondermark's comic today is all sorts of awesome:


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Whack-a-mole

Ever since Mrs. Mosley and I got back Sunday from a trip to the mountains, my laptop has been infected with popups. Even with repeated security scans and the popup blocker placed on the highest setting, they continue to appear. The final straw for me was this morning when, as Mrs. Mosely and C.C. were sleeping, a popup with audio appeared while I was in the kitchen and blared out it's loud and irritating spiel for a good fifteen seconds before I could silence it.

Fortunately, they weren't awoken by "Kevin Hoeffer", who is the make believe schmuck who appears in the ads. Actually, he's one of many make believe schmucks that are used, but the ads are virtually the same.


There are two things that I have found more irritating than the popups themselves. First, when Googling about these ads, I find all sorts of message board and blog postings talking about how these things are a scam, but absolutely none of them address how to get rid of the popups themselves. Sorry, maybe I'm a bit jaded, but if you have to be told these things are scams, you might be a little too gullible to be on the Internets in the first place.

The second thing was how the ad had a comments field like in a blog post in order to provide "testimonials" from every day folk who made big money through this process. When you scroll down to the place where a text box should be for more comments, this is what you find:


In case you can't read that, it says "Comments disabled due to spam". Yes, Kevin, ain't spam just awful?!?!?!

So what's the solution? Well, it may be what my wife decided to do earlier this year with her laptop: Uninstall Internet Explorer. I've never been of the anti-IE mindset that a lot of other people have been. It's always worked just fine for me. But after this, I may have to move to Firefox (which has not been experiencing these popups).

Boy, saying goodbye to both Internet Explorer and Geocities in the same week? The Nineties really are over.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

As if the title wasn't long enough.

Oh, enough already!

Please put a moratorium on these cutesy names for special edition DVD releases, because it's gotten ridiculous. When they're short, they're more palatable (such as the Clueless "Whatever" edition), But when you start using entire quotes, it begins to be ungainly.

Worse, it might just reek of desperation. Although I know Planes, Trains and Automobiles has lots of fans (I don't happen to be one of them), could the use of the most famous quote be a way to remind people of what movie this is? Hey you thirtysomethings out there: Remember that scene with John Candy and Steve Martin in bed together? Yeah, it's from this movie right here, so don't forget to buy the right one!

And on one final note: It's my considered opinion that Edie McClurg gets the best line in the movie. But as short and concise as it is, It probably wasn't a likely contender for the name of this edition.

Give him a survival knife and some MRE's and lets see how he does.

I saw this headline on the First Coast News website this morning:


As much as I love Obama, I must respectfully disagree. I think it's an excellent decision to send Rush Limbaugh to Afghanistan.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Dogs"

OK, all you Moral Majority folks out there. Those of you of the wailing and the gnashing of teeth during the whole Terri Schiavo circus. The Grand Old Party that you know and love are doing their best to make sure the Health Insurance companies get their way in this Health Care reform effort. And this is a taste of "their way":
Legally barred from discriminating against individuals who submit large claims, the New York-based insurer simply canceled lines of coverage altogether in entire states to avoid paying high-cost claims like Mr. Pearl's. In an e-mail, one Guardian Life Insurance Co. executive called high-cost patients such as Mr. Pearl "dogs" that the company could "get rid of."

A federal court quickly ruled that the company's actions were legal, so on Dec. 1, barring an order by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Pearl will lose his benefits.
Conservative Christians need to get it in their head that the bottom line for the GOP is nearly always money and rarely what is right morally.

In other words, when it comes to "Death Panels", the Democrats aren't the ones you need to worry about.

Games, Music and LEGO.

My birthday on Monday was a good one. We ate tons and tons of food and Mrs. Mosley got me two fine presents:


Ticket to Ride was a board game we had our eye on for quite awhile (I first heard about it on Defective Yeti). It has been great fun playing it, though Mrs. Mosley has warned me that if I continue to defeat her time and time again, her interest will quickly lapse. Point taken.


The second was a long standing item on my Amazon wish list. It's a great CD, and it helps build the Jazz collection I want little C.C. to have access to when she gets older.



Finally, I purchased a gift for myself. Having determined to get a LEGO set, I was surprised at how underwhelmed I was at the choices available. Nothing seemed to really spark my interest until I revisited their Power Miners series. Perhaps it's that great color scheme. Perhaps it's the incredibly cool wheels. At any rate, I'm seriously thinking of pursuing this line further.

And it doesn't hurt that the two sets I now own in this line have a combined set instructions on the LEGO site.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nice present.

The trailer comes out on Monday, my birthday. Pixar, how did you know?!?!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A pair of mustache twirlers if ever there were some.

It seems that I'm coming across a number of stories lately with one common element: out-and-out villains. You know; People who you are naturally inclined to boo and hiss at.

First there was Tim Langdell, who I wrote about earlier this week. Here is a guy who copyright a simple company name two decades ago and then decided to torment dozens of folks in his industry instead of, you know, actually making something useful. On that final note, a small update: Some bloggers decided to call his bluff on a recent claim to have created a new video game (and all it took was twenty-five bucks).

The latest bit of outrage falls in my own bailiwick, as it were. Boing Boing and Metafilter both highlighted today the story of Constantine "Connie" Xinos, who states proudly that two of his chief hatreds in life are poor people and libraries. I'll let Boing Boing sum up:
He dislikes being near poor people (he successfully blocked a permit for a senior's home, stating, "I don't want to live next to poor people. I don't want poor people in my town"). He reportedly worked to elect an Oak Brook village council who would shut down the town library, which he also campaigned against. When local kids showed up at town meetings to ask that their library be left open, he is quoted as saying, "I don't care that you guys miss the librarian, and she was nice, and she helped you find books;" and to the library staff to "stop whining."
Words fail, folks. But there is justice in this world. Just as Electronic Arts will likely hand Langdell's ass to him on a platter, so too will "Connie" get his just desserts at the hands of the Teamsters Union. It may not be spiritually healthy, but sometimes Schadenfreude can't be beat.

Stealing from... well, not the best, certainly.

Speaking of DVD cover ripoffs, I came across the TV movie Crusader in the bargain bin the other day. Look familiar?


Another piece of advice for those who would rip off DVD artwork: If you're going to steal a movie's art, at least steal it from a good movie.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

They went thadaway!

If you look at enough video covers (as I do), you start to detect patterns. "Patterns" is a nicer way to phrase it. "Rip-offs" is probably more accurate (as I illustrated in a previous post):


But I can appreciate more subtle forms of the art that doesn't just scream "Rip off". Take, for example, a semi-obscure James Coburn movie from 1966 titled Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round. For film buffs, the movie was primarily notable for featuring the first film appearance of Harrison Ford (at the tender age of 23). That's too bad, as the movie is a serviceable caper film all on its own. When I looked it up on the IMDb, however, I was taken by the DVD cover art it displayed:


I did some quick searching and found that, like the DVD covers of most older films, this was new art manufactured from original ads. Two of the original posters are below, the second being where they got the image of Coburn for the DVD cover:


So the thing that interested me most was those arrows pointing left and right. Where did that stylistic choice come from? Well, let's look at the plot. The main character is a con-man and thief who assumes multiple identities and travels back and forth across the United States in the course of the film. All the while, the authorities are in pursuit and doing things like staking out airports to try and apprehend him. Does that plot sound familiar? It should:


It would appear I'm not the first to notice this. DVD Savant beat me to it (smart little bugger that he is), but I can still admire the effort. The DVD of Dead Heat was released only a four months after the DVD for Catch Me If You Can. The release dates are not quite close enough to capitalize on the film's popularity, and the artwork is too subtle to fool people into confusing one for another. No, this is more a subliminal work, and one that I applaud. If only more DVD cover art had such finesse.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Forgive me Kirk Christiansen, for I have sinned.

Well, sinned may be too strong a word, but I am having some regrets for my inaction. Let me explain.

Two weeks ago I was in Target with little C.C. strapped to my chest. I was killing some time while Mrs. Mosley went shopping. As is my habit, I proceeded to hit two sections: LEGO and DVD's. LEGO came first, and as I turned into the aisle, I found a mother, father and son there looking at the sets. Their verbal exchange was a familiar one: Son wants a set and mother is telling him they aren't buying him one today. What wasn't familiar was the reasoning the mother gave. I'm paraphrasing here, but this is the gist of what she told her son:
"I'm not buying you another set. You never build the kits anymore. You build them once and then use the pieces to build something different. You don't need any more bricks."
As I stood there looking at sets of my own, a part of my brain said "Did I just hear that right?". I didn't say anything to the child or either parent. Most of this was because of an already established rule I have formed for such situations. Although I might think it would be cool to discuss LEGO with a kid and show that you can be grown up and love LEGO too, there are two possible reactions from the parents: Either they will think you are a child molester, or they will become irritated by a complete stranger interfering with the "I'm not buying you that set" argument by seeming to take the kid's side.

These aren't the only two possible reactions, of course, but they're likely enough to give one pause before jumping into the conversation. Still, the utter nonsense of the mother's argument should have spurred me to do something.

While doing all of this eavedropping, I didn't look directly at them. Therefore, I didn't see the kid's face to see if there was genuine dissapointment there when his mother made this argument. The mother was, for all intents and purposes, arguing against creativity itself. On the other hand, the kid might have just completely ignored his clueless mom after possibly hearing this inane argument before.

I comfort myself with the likelyhood that it was the later. Shortly after the exchange, they left the aisle after agreeing that the new Space Police line was "stupid" (speak for yourself, kid). He'll probably be fine, and it's a reminder for me to be understanding of such things with little C.C. Don't worry, little girl. I got the Duplos all ready for you.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The "Eye of the Needle" bit? Pitched.

Thank you, Metafilter, for alerting me to this story:
"Writing at Belief.net, Rod Dreher highlights a new initiative on the religious right: the Conservative Bible Project. The effort aims to rewrite the Bible to remove its notorious liberal bias and clarify the gospel basis of free-market economics."
I am fully in support of this effort. These folks have been saying that their party is the party of God for years now and that liberals are all godless. Well, now they're inadvertently fessing up that Christianity as currently drawn from the Bible is liberal. I guess they got tired of all the "forgiveness" and "giving to the poor" and "blessed are the meek" and all the rest of that pinko garbage. What do you want to bet they somehow shoehorn an eleventh commandment in there about homosexuality?

Incidentally, the comment thread at the Metafilter post is a great read.


UPDATE: This comment is in the running for my favorite:
"I'm perfectly happy with any distractions that keep these "conservatives" from their attempts to rigorously buttfuck the rest of us. Hell, I'm in for ten bucks towards a fresh pack of crayons, have at it jackasses."

Know your temporal rules.

Despite being totally removed from the current video gaming world, I tune in religiously to the weekly Zero Punctuation reviews, which are consistently hilarious. The latest one had a nice breakdown of time travel in film:



"When your dealing with time travel, its important to establish whose rules are in play. Is this 12 Monkeys rules where you cant change shit. Or Back to the Future rules where you can change shit but the time line is kind of easy going about it. Or Terminator rules where you can change shit but then maybe you can’t change shit and then you make a god awful TV series and Christian Bale yells at someone."

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Honest wages? Foreign concept!

I just read this story over on Metafilter, and I have one message for Tim Langdell: Suck it!


And, of course, a side question for KKC: You ever hear about this yahoo before?

Random LEGO mecha post

Hadn't had one of those in a while, but after coming across this one recently, I had to post it:

Friday, October 02, 2009

The end of the world done wrong and done right.

Ever since I found out about the movie 2012, I've had conflicting feelings about it. Witness this movie clip from 2012 that was just released on YouTube:



This clip manages to upset me more than the trailer. The trailer showed this destruction and more, but in viewing it I was more just absorbing the violent and horrible end of all that we know. This clip isolates us into one city with the main characters as thousands upon thousands die around them and we are supposed to be having... fun?

Roland Emmerich's biggest hit, Independence Day, handled the destruction differently. CGI wasn't nearly as advanced, so most of the more notable destruction (such as the White House) was model work. The new technologies allow not only multiple skyscrapers falling over but also the level of detail that shows individual bodies and cars being tossed around. Also, the method of destruction in ID4 was by alien weaponry, which was pretty much instantaneous death. Cities get wiped from the map pretty quickly. Here, it is a loooonnnnnggg drawn out death that is rendered so vividly that you want to look away (or at least I did).

Then there is the manner of escape. To be sure, ID4 had escapes both plausible (the White House staff on the helicopter) and ridiculous (Vivica A. Fox and her immortal dog). Yet having Cusack and family perpetually inches away from collapsing earth seems too much. They also try to get too cutesy with the driving through a glass building and (heaven help me) that damn rolling doughnut. Add to all this their choice of a limo to escape in. A limo?!?! Not exactly the most spry of vehicles. I suppose that's part of where my anger comes from: It's OK for a movie to say that these specific people will survive out of millions because they are the main characters, but at least give them an escape that doesn't insult those poor schmucks in faster and more agile cars.

So what do you get when you have this level of technology but a far more somber treatment of the subject? You get Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds. I've already gushed at how incredible I thought that film was when I saw it in the theater. In a way, the beginning of that film very much mirrors this scene: The main character runs home after witnessing the beginning of the destruction, rounds up the family quickly and gets them all into a vehicle to get out of the city. Yet, Spielberg handled it with so much more depth and sensitivity that it's almost an insult to compare the two.

In the end, the escape from New Jersey in War of the Worlds was an exercise in terror and suspense. The scene in 2012 is a theme park ride with people being killed by the thousands all around you.

Steven, I find that I appreciate you more and more with each passing year.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Roscoe Lee Browne Quote of the Month: October 2009

The miniseries King follows the life of Martin Luther King from his first recruitment into the civil rights struggle all the way to his death at a motel in Memphis. Browne is only in one scene but, as always, he steals it. King's first trip to the White House is as part of a group of Civil Rights leaders, the most vocal of which is Philip Harrison (played by Browne). The end of the scene has Harrison and Robert F. Kennedy (Cliff De Young) going back and forth until Harrison finally challenges RFK to confront the one man that has all the information:

Philip Harrison: "I've been in this office many times, and I have talked with many men sitting in that chair. The best of them was Roosevelt, and I had to threaten him with a mass march on the Capitol before he would issue decrees prohibiting job discrimination in the war industries on the basis of color. Just so he would do –"

Robert F. Kennedy: "Yes, that's all very well, but you see, I am the Attorney General of the United States, and right now, at this very moment, there is a group of your freedom riders in a church in Montgomery, surrounded by a mob that wants to kill them! How am I going to get them out of there?!"

Philip Harrison: "Let them kill them." (pause as everyone looks at him) "Let them kill them!" (pause) "Churches have been bombed. A minister's been beaten to death because he wanted to give support to black people. Children have been on the verge of starvation. What do you give a damn about those people in that church for? Because some newspaper stories have been written about them?"

Robert F. Kennedy: "Well, why don't you get proof for me, and then we can prosecute. Because we can't prosecute without proof."

Philip Harrison: "The FBI gets proof every day of beatings, rapes, and, yes, murders! But those reports are suppressed- or destroyed. There hasn't been one single conviction! But you won't do anything about that, will you? And I'll tell you why. Because you don't want to have a confrontation with J. Edgar Hoover! Do you?!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

From the mouths of world leaders

An anecdote from Barack:
"I was up at the G20 -- just a little aside -- I was up at the G20, and some of you saw those big flags and all the world leaders come in and Michelle and I are shaking hands with them," the president said. "One of the leaders -- I won't mention who it was -- he comes up to me. We take the picture, we go behind.

"He says, 'Barack, explain to me this health care debate.'

"He says, 'We don't understand it. You're trying to make sure everybody has health care and they're putting a Hitler mustache on you -- I don't -- that doesn't make sense to me. Explain that to me.'"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

With a name like Honeysuckle Weeks, she should have been in a James Bond film by now.

Yeah, I've been blogging a lot about stuff I'm buying. Just call it my little contribution to helping the economy.

Soon to be deposited it our mailbox is the DVD box set "Foyle's War: Series 1-5 - From Dunkirk to VE-Day". Mrs. Mosley is eagerly anticipating its arrival, but in the meantime she can read today's DVD Talk review of the set.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A little Fiona is better than none.

I've been missing a lot of new releases lately. First, I'm blindsided by a new Wallace and Gromit short. Now, I find out that Fiona Apple contributed a few tracks to an album just released last week (entitled "The Best Is Yet To Come: The Songs Of Cy Coleman"). Needless to say, I'm ordering both of these this week.

Here's a nice little slideshow a Youtuber put together to the track "Why Try to Change Me Now":

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"High-Resolution Graphics": Try not to laugh.

A little story for those of you who can remember back far enough.

It was determined one Christmas that my parents were getting me a Commodore 64 for my big gift that year. Whether they told me early or I just weaseled it out of them I can't recall. At any rate, I convinced them to take me on a trip to the Orange Park Mall before Christmas so I could get my first game to play on the Commodore. So off we went to the "Electronics Boutique" (what an awesome store) for me to do some shopping.

What I ended up getting was "Adventureland: Saga #1"!



Now here's the thing. This post isn't so much a fond remembrance of my Commodore 64 in general or this game in particular (I remember a lot of my games fondly, but this one barely registers). No, this post is to demonstrate how much of a computer-ignorant dumbass I was.

When we got back to the car, I sat in the back seat and opened the thin plastic package holding the manual and the 5 1/4 floppy disk. Having not even gotten my hands on an actual computer yet, I didn't know how disks worked. Seeing the black plastic covering for the actual disk, I thought the purpose was to remove the covering to get at the disk. I recall being in that back seat at night with my parents driving home up Blanding boulevard and using my fingernails to pry at the tiny flaps and rivets that held the plastic case together.

Fortunately, I eventually discovered the true nature of floppy disks before I succeeded.

Ah, memories. Anyway, in case you're interested, there's a Javascript version you can play online (minus the graphics). The simulation is pretty good and downright fool proof... even for this fool.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wallace and Gromit in 'A Matter of Loaf and Death'

How did I miss this?


The damn thing was released in Britain last year and I had heard nothing about it. Now it's coming out on DVD in the States next Tuesday. I only have a handful of entertainment sites that I monitor, but a new Wallace and Gromit short should have come across my radar on at least one of them by now.

Suffice to say this is getting purchased next week, post-haste.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Glen Beck's own "Little Red Book"

Sunrise confession time, folks.

This past weekend, Mrs. Mosley, CC and I took a trip to Tallahassee to see some old friends and visit some old haunts of ours. It was a good weekend up until our final stop at Barnes and Noble before leaving town. This was the spot Mrs. Mosley and I first met, so it should have been a nostalgic reverie. Instead, I walked past a display featuring Glen Beck's latest book: "America's March to Socialism : Why We're One Step Closer to Giant Missile Parades".

Heaven knows I come across enough of this type of bile through my hours on the Internet, but somehow this singularly absurd and offensive title (that will none-the-less probably sell quite well) was the straw that broke the camel's back. It nagged at me all the way back to Jacksonville and really put me into a depression by that evening which lasted all the way to the following night.

I suppose the real reason why this title (and it's author) did this when the Coulters and the O'Reillys before it only annoyed me, is because that he fancies himself the head of a movement. It doesn't matter that the movement is minuscule compared to the force that elected Obama. As the summer's protests proved, decibel level sometime matters more than actual numbers. Beck considers himself some sort of modern day Howard Beale, and 50% of ad revenue be damned, he isn't going quietly.

Then I read an article over at Salon titled, "Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck's life". I urge you to read it now as it delves into the ten tons of crazy that Beck has immersed himself into. It's the McCarthy era all over again, folks, as Beck has patterned himself after a Red scare relic named W. Cleon Skousen. The man became so vilified in his time that even J Edgar Hoover and mainline conservatives couldn't stand him, yet Beck has taken up his banner and made his life's work his own.

Why did this cheer me? Perhaps because McCarthy's movement eventually fell to common sense, so history may repeat itself. Perhaps because, like I said about Dubya five years ago, this linking of the Republican party with Beck's movement will become an albatross in time. Perhaps I just want to see possible Republican front runner Mitt Romney asked about the movement and Beck's inspiration since Romney's own church has definitively rejected him.

Things will get worse before they get better, but they will get better, folks. Hang in there.

Once bitten, Twice shy.

I just saw a banner ad for the release of the seventh season of CSI: Miami on DVD. Wow. That show has shown remarkable longevity. There will come a time, however, when David Caruso is going to have to pack it in and quit the show. When that time comes, I would hate to be the interviewer who asks him, "So, what are your plans? Spend more time on your movie career?!?!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Housekeeping

As you can see, Acrentropy has undergone yet another cosmetic change. Everything else will be staying the same.

In related news, I have finally ceased publication of the "Diesel Powered Nuns" blog. After not posting in over two years, I decided it needed to give up the ghost. My lack of attention there is mirrored in the La-La Land site, however that one is not being deleted. I have plans on going back, changing those final four pages to the new design, update all the links and then call it done. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Turnover

When the Sears "Blue Team" commercials first aired, Mrs. Mosley and I (and I'm sure many geeks) got a kick out of seeing Felicia Day in them. They recently continued their trend of great casting with this latest spot:



Though it works even if you have no idea who the customer is, it's just oh-so-much better if you do. Here are the outtakes:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tarantino's head just exploded

Ladies and Gentlemen: Black Dynamite:



That's a thin line this film is trying to tread, but it looks like they might pull it off.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Soaring Sidney

Weezer's new album is going to feature a photograph that recently won a National Geographic photo contest.


What's even cooler is that I know the photographer. Before he moved up North, Jason Neely was a librarian at JPL. I worked with him for several years and found him to be an awesome librarian as well as an awesome person in general. Jason, my hat is off to you, my friend.

Obviously, he's not a golfer.


So there were two big finales in my TV universe last Spring: Lost and Supernatural. On Lost, the big reveal was that we finally met Jacob, a shadowy presence ever since his name was first mentioned way back in season two. At the end of the finale, Ben is convinced by Locke (who is actually an entity who has had a long rivalry with Jacob) to kill Jacob, though it remains unclear if Jacob is really dead and what will result from Ben's actions. Though their actual characters are still up in the air, most fans believe that Jacob is God and the entity that took possession of Locke's body is the Devil. Lost comes back in January and hopefully we'll learn more then.

On Supernatural, the boys were conned by Heaven and Hell alike to bring about the Apocalypse. As the finale ended, the portal that would allow Lucifer to enter this realm was just beginning to open. On the season premier last night, he gets through (though we don't get to see him). We're later informed by one of the angels that Lucifer has to take possession of a body in order to get things started. The person he chooses for this is a man who is very distraught at the recent loss of his wife and child. By the end of the episode, Lucifer's silver tongue along with the man's grief convinces him to allow Lucifer to take possession of his body. We'll find out next week what he does with it.

What is all this TWOP-light banter leading to? Just that Jacob on Lost and Lucifer on Supernatural are being played by the same actor: Mark Pellegrino. The man really struck gold by getting to play such important characters on two popular shows. Add to that the fact that the characters are God and the Devil and you have a very impressive resume (Only Max Von Sydow comes close).

Congrats, Mark. You've come quite a long way from once playing "Blond Treehorn Thug".

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"I love hugs"

Yeah. New father. Busy. All that.

So here's the mandatory baby picture in lieu of post. Enjoy!



Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Best. YouTube Comment. Ever.

Well, best ever for one of my videos, anyway. This was posted by YouTube user cokittedelarge on my original video 100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers:

"Over two years ago a man posted this video in my MySpace. I thought it was brilliant so I paid attention to him since he had such good taste in youtube videos. We met in person and bam, we have been married for over a year. I hold you accountable! Great great job :)"

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Roscoe Lee Browne Quote of the Month: September 2009

Babe: Pig in the City is a vastly underrated sequel. Most of the people who went to see it in the theaters expected a rehash of the original film. What they got was a much darker story with those same characters we had grown to love (which made it all the more effective). I won't say much more about my admiration than this statement: It's a testament to it's craft when one shot of an orangutan putting on a jacket strikes more emotion than many human acted dramas.


As with the first film, Roscoe does service as the narrator. Whereas his voice was kindly and sage in the first, it takes on new qualities with this much different material:

The Narrator: "Something broke through the terror - flickerings, fragments of his short life, the random events that delivered him to this, his moment of annihilation. As terror gave way to exhaustion, Babe turned to his attacker, his eyes filled with one simple question: Why?"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"You're under arrest, you little squirt!"

I remember only one detail from the dream I had last night: a TV spinoff called "Eddie Haskell, F.B.I." (and I can't say how much my own blogger name influenced this).


"Good morning, Mrs. Cleaver. I'm afraid young Theodore has been running a baseball card counterfeiting operation out of his treehouse."

Friday, August 28, 2009

"A Targ Adventure"

This is what it would look like if David Lynch had abandoned Twin Peaks in 1990 in order to create video games (via Metafilter):



Apparently this is an actual game. I would download it myself, but I'm afraid the surreal-ness would seep into my laptop.

Monday, August 24, 2009

There is no top.

I once told Mrs. Mosley about what I tend to do when I start getting bored at meetings and training classes: Basically, I picture the architectural layout of the building I'm in, then I try to imagine what would happen if the gravity changed to a given sideways direction. How would I navigate around the building? Which long hallways would become sheer cliffs?

Well, all of this came to mind when I saw the teaser for Christopher Nolan's upcoming Inception. It looks like old Christopher is getting his Matrix on, but in a good way.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Avatar

One thing is for sure: James Cameron does nothing small.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A splinter in my cinematic brain.


For decades now I've had a dim memory of a movie I watched on cable as a little kid; a movie that was clearly not for my age group but I managed to watch anyway (Mom must have been doing laundry). I could only remember two details: Lots of car crashes, and a scene where a woman was locked into a closet-sized oven and the heat turned way up. That was some ripe nightmare fuel for my young mind, and that imagery has stayed in my mind all these years. In fact, it might just be the first movie image to have done so.

I've desperately tried to find out the title of this flick. Even with the power of the Internet, I had a lot of trouble here. I had an 80% certainty that the word "Crash!" popped up on the screen during the film. However, I could not be certain if this was the title, if it was some pizazz during a trailer for the film, or if it was some kind of tribute to the styling of the Batman TV show.

There was a 1977 film called Crash! directed by Charles Band (long before he went on to produce dozens of the most memorable direct-to-video fodder of the Eighties), but there wasn't enough evidence to prove that it was the one I remember. Sure, it had automotive carnage, but then again so many movies did after Smokey and the Bandit hit it big.

Finally, finally I came across a review of it at the Dread Central website. The reviewer, Foywonder, did a blow-by-blow of the plot and included this nugget of information: "The old cripple tries killing her again by locking her in the sauna and cranking up the heat". BINGO!

I am indebted to Foywonder (and I sent him an email telling him so). The final note, however, is a bummer: The movie is not on DVD and is extremely rare on VHS. I may not ever see this film again, but at least the mystery is solved.

Monday, August 17, 2009

With all due respect: None of these guys aged very well.

I came across this photo on the The Litter Box by Johnny Cat blog, and I have to second the blogger's reaction: "Utterly cool".


All it's missing is Alec Guinness. I guess he was too busy off making some child cry somewhere.

But I kid, Alec.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A note to the Town Hall protestors...

...though they will never listen: These two things do not go together.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Cat Returns

Bless Mrs. Mosley's heart. She can be rather timid when buying me gifts because she's horridly afraid she'll get the wrong thing or get something I will be absolutely indifferent to. Well, on her trip out with her cousin last night, she picked up this at the local Barnes & Noble:



Her decision on this title was based on my previous statements on wanting to pick up Porco Rosso for little CC. And though I still plan of getting Porco Rosso (and maybe Princess Mononoke for when CC is old enough for the scarier stuff), this is a fine intro title for her.


Thank you, sweetie.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Birthright"

I'm bookmarking this for two years from now.

Hi-ho, Hi-ho... you know the rest.

After six weeks of paternity leave, I started back at work today. And as I slog through the backed up emails and paperwork, I think about Mrs. Mosley and CC. Below is currently my favorite picture of the little tyke:



That certainly makes the day go easier.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I'd love to tell you I've never known people like this, but...

I really have nothing to add to this. Be sure to check out the website.


At the very least, this picture motivates me to post more often so the picture moves further down the page and I don't have to stare into the eyes of the father every day.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Roscoe Lee Browne Quote of the Month: August 2009

In honor of our newborn, the next two movies in our "Quote of the Month" series are from a movie and it's sequel that are wonderful films for children. Babe is an enchanting film about an orphan pig who tries to fit in and please his new master. The film has a gentle pace (a rarity in kids films these days) and is structured like a fairytale. Our narrator for this fairytale is, of course, Roscoe. The result is one of his more memorable roles. Here is his introduction to the story:


Narrator: "This is a tale about an unprejudiced heart, and how it changed our valley forever. There was a time not so long ago when pigs were afforded no respect, except by other pigs; they lived their whole lives in a cruel and sunless world. In those days pigs believed that the sooner they grew large and fat, the sooner they'd be taken into Pig Paradise, a place so wonderful that no pig had ever thought to come back."