June 5th, 2005


Scatter Gather II

Another in an occasional series of short subjects -- these were going to be weekly, on Fridays, but that sure didn't happen after the first one (grin).

Trailers at Cinderella Man

It's been a long time since I read Well's The War of the Worlds, but the longer trailer of the Spielberg/Cruise venture shown on Saturday does not have very much recognizable to me. Looks more like a cross between any of the End of the World movies with the World Series Earthquake of 1989. They will still have to go a long way to sell me on this "version" of the story, even though I shall probably go see it.

One Year Ago

A year ago -- Sunday 6 June 2004 -- I came in with the second load of my gear to the sorority house at Michigan State in East Lansing MI, had some dinner with lots of new people and stayed for six weeks. Yes, the start of Clarion 2004.

It's hard to believe it's June anyway -- May was very busy getting ready for some things at the end of May and the whole month of June. Then the trip over to Madison for WisCon 29, watching the Indy 500, Memorial Day. And suddenly it is being hot here in West Michigan. Peaked at 90degF earlier, now it's heading into summer thunderstorms. Not really ready for it (grin).

It's Easier to Take Care of Cats

When a cat gets sick, assuming you can find them (grin) all you have to do is scoop 'em up and stuff them into the cat carrier. Patients which come equipped with handles. With 86-year-old fathers, it's a different matter. Found out on Memorial Day that he'd been throwing up for no good reason -- no fever and pretty much ate the same things as my mother. You gotta love the logic: He feels too bad to get dressed to go to the doctor's office. Hmm, seems to me that a bathrobe, a coat and a taxicab solves that problem...

So I nudged and nudged, as best as I could from six states away. Finally decided on Thursday to try and see the doctor on Friday. Sigh -- at least I get my stubbornness legitimately, from a double-genetic dose.

Other Trailers

They had a lot of trailers at Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. When I posted the other week, I forgot to include: Batman Begins, yet another reprise of the Caped Crusader, and another chance for a graphic novel to get the film treatment. Just sent an e-mail to our local paper -- they're doing a drawing for 40 pairs of tickets to see Batman Begins in IMAX for Tuesday 14 June 2005. It'd be cool to see it in IMAX for free (grin).

From E3 '05

Forget the video games. We want to see Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a second CGI film from Squaresoft. (Not counting the Squaresoft contribution to the Animatrix series of shorts.) The couple of clips I saw on G4/TechTV's coverage of the E3 trade show the other week, included some wonderful high speed motion shots -- shutter speeds and motion blur acting together is something a lot of special effects people didn't understand for a long time -- as well as all the Beautiful People you'd expect from the more recent Final Fantasy games and incredibly majestic cities. Due in September, they said.

I may be one of three American fans of the CGI movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Come on, how many scientist action heroes are there in the world? I've got Dr. Aki Ross and Dr. Sid action figures keeping me company in my office. If only my grad school adviser had had Donald Sutherland's voice...

Digital Divide

It is clear that TV is increasingly digital. It's the digital stuttering and breakups. I'm sure the telecommunications geeks have technical terms for this, but lately it is getting to be really annoying on "broadcast TV". Don't know if its the stations or the cable company doing the glitches, but it's substandard and I have to imagine it's going to get worse before people complain and raise hell, and they figure out how to buffer these things and smooth out any data dropouts.

Weather Update

Ah... temp has suddenly dropped to 70degF with the rain. Dr. Phil, by the way, is not built for high temperatures and high humidity. I like fall and winter. Jacket weather is always fair game, but cold down to -10degF is fully acceptable. We tend to sleep with a window okay in the wintertime -- if the bedroom is 55 to 65degF inside, you can heap on lots of nice heavy blankets and make a nice nest. Mmmm.

The Dr. Phil Mailbag...

... last week contained a plea for money from a Baptist ministry in Massachusetts. And another plea to help lose weight from a 56-year-old woman. The unintended irony of anyone asking this Dr.Phil for help losing weight borders on the cruel, but then these people aren't really writing to me, are they?

Hey, Kate!

There's a new American Express ad -- odd and dreamlike, much like the one shot in Tribeca with Robert DeNiro. Only this one features the wonderful British actress Kate Winslet. I was editing a document and missed it the first time it was on our TV. Then I caught it partway through during 60 Minutes -- someone reading Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility, looking at boats and picking up a large shiny hook... and a Kate magazine cover on the back of a bus as Kate walks along a London street. And they just featured Kate's Amex commercial about twenty minutes ago on the Tony Awards on CBS.


Dr. Phil
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