May 29, 2004

More Black and White

I was having fun with the black and white. This one made Becky laugh:

sign on Pickering Trail

I was looking for stuff that actually had black and white in it even though I'd set the camera to shoot in grayscale. It amuses me to take assignments overly literally.

35 MPH: Troll's eye view

Theo moved right after I shot this one or I would have tried again without the flash.

big cat in small box

Posted by jeffy at 01:00 AM in Photo Log | Comments (2)

May 28, 2004

PF: Black and White


Photo Friday

Posted by jeffy at 11:12 PM in Photo Log | Comments (0)

May 23, 2004

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

montecristo.jpgThe IMDB lists over a dozen adaptations of this Dumas classic. Not having seen any of the others in recent memory, I can't be sure, but I don't really think this one has much to commend it over past versions. (It would be, perhaps, an amusing exercise to view as many versions as might be available in search of a favorite.) The principal cast members (James Caviezel as the titular Count, Guy Pearce as the friend who betrays him into prison, Richard Harris as the fellow prisoner who teaches him the skills he needs for his revenge, and Luis Guzmán as the Count's pirate turned valet) all give energetic and earnest performances, but they're not enough to elevate the film. It's been a month or so since I watched it, but I recall the script as being lackluster. The sets, costuming, and makeup look like sets, costuming, and makeup despite (or perhaps because of) the lavish sums of money obviously thrown at them. Overall there's just no magic here.

Posted by jeffy at 06:47 PM in Movie Reviews | Comments (0)


neverwheredvd.jpgNeil Gaiman wrote the teleplay for this BBC miniseries. Richard Mayhew is an everyman Londoner with a psycho fiancee. On his way to dinner with the aforementioned shrew, an injured girl stumbles across their path. Richard defies his date and takes the girl home. And his life is never the same. The girl, Door, gets him mixed up in a strange political battle going on in a supernatural underworld existing beneath and alongside the mundane London. Many of the characters and locations are puns on different stops on the London Underground (when the stops aren't actual locations).

The story is your basic plot coupon adventure (the characters have to find some thingamabob so they can get through the next trial where they learn that they need another thingummy to survive the next one). This works because Gaiman writes great characters and the actors are clearly having all kinds of fun bringing them to life. Especially entertaining are Mr. Vandemaar and Mr. Croup, the creepy sadistic villains of the piece.

The production has BBC written all over it. It's actually kind of refreshing seeing these shows where the producers didn't let a lack of state-of-the-art visual effects keep them from telling a good story. (Mists of Avalon was another one.) I get spoiled by reality-bending special-effects blowouts like The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix and forget that enjoying a fantasy is about suspension of disbelief, and some of the pleasure comes from engaging your imagination rather than having everything made to seem objectively real by effects wizards.

The overall running length is three hours split into six episodes. This is actually a good thing because it gives you ample opportunity to enjoy the trippy title sequence created by Dave McKean with music by Brian Eno.

Posted by jeffy at 01:41 PM in Movie Reviews | Comments (0)

May 22, 2004

Lost Glove #18

striped and spotted glove on an antique vanity

Saw this in a local antique mall. Neither price tag nor mate was in evidence.

Posted by jeffy at 11:28 PM in Lost Gloves , Photo Log | Comments (0)

May 21, 2004

PF: Macro


I took this a couple of years ago with my Largan Chameleon (super-cheap 640x480 fixed-focus digital camera) and inadvertently left the macro mode switch on. I liked the impressionistic effect and have used this as the background picture on my laptop ever since.

Photo Friday

Three weeks with nothing but Photo Friday posts. Sigh. I've got a bunch of stuff to write up, I just need to get off my duff. Soon.

Posted by jeffy at 11:00 PM in Photo Log | Comments (1)

May 14, 2004

PF: Parts


Photo Friday

Posted by jeffy at 09:42 PM in Photo Log | Comments (1)

May 07, 2004

PF: Play


Photo Friday

Posted by jeffy at 10:07 PM in Photo Log | Comments (0)

Mistakes were made

The pundits made a big deal about Bush hemming and hawing in a press conference a couple of weeks ago where he was asked to name a mistake he had made in his tenure in the oval office.

It is a little boggling that he didn't come prepared for one of the most overused questions in the history of job interviews. But then he probably hasn't ever had to interview for a job.

Anyway, the Center for American Progress has provided a handy crib sheet for Mr. Bush in case he has to answer that question in the future.

100 Mistakes for the President to Choose From

You can hardly be president of the United States without making some mistakes, I'll grant that, but this list is pretty damning. And none of them is trivial. There's no "shouldn't have slept with that intern" minor transgressions here, instead these are all botched decisions with real costs for the American people.

The folks who came up with the list might not have had too many job interviews either because none of these could be construed as the positive negative that is the ideal answer to the "what are your weaknesses" question. Bush will have to come up with one of those on his own.

Posted by jeffy at 03:25 PM in Soapbox | Comments (0)

May 02, 2004

Lost Glove #17


A non-Issaquah glove. Down the street from the Crest movie theatre in Seattle.

Posted by jeffy at 11:42 PM in Lost Gloves , Photo Log | Comments (0)

May 01, 2004

Caucus II

Today we went to the legislative district caucus for the 5th district.

I was a Dean delegate from the precinct caucuses, and Becky was an alternate (though she ended up being promoted to full delegate status along with all the other alternates since there were a lot of delegate no-shows).

Despite having fair warning this time that there would be a bunch of people at the caucus, the game was still pretty sadly disorganized. There was hit-or-miss adherence to parliamentary procedure or Robert's Rules of Order or both or neither. There were some parts of the process (especially the balloting and election of delegates to the state convention) that didn't scale well. Despite the fact that it was obvious that 90% of the delegates had never been to a caucus before, there was virtually no effort to explain the process. It felt like the party members had become completely accustomed to performing the caucus exercise as a low-key social meeting with the same couple of dozen participants for years and just couldn't quite figure out what to do with the 500 people who showed up today.

But while it was disorganized, everyone's heart was clearly in the right place. With only a few exceptions everyone was pretty patient with the day's program which ended up running from 9am until a little after 2pm.

The 5th district is having a big election year. In addition to the presidential race, we'll be electing a new governor, a new attorney general, a new congressional rep, a new state senator, and two new state representatives. And we heard stump speeches from hopefuls for all those offices.

Christine Gregoire spoke about her gubernatorial campaign and promptly scampered off presumably to talk to other groups.

Heidi Behrens-Benedict who's running for Jennifer Dunn's soon-to-be-vacated House seat gave a brief speech.

Mark Sidran gave a rousing speech in support of his campaign for state Attorney General.

We also heard from the three candidates for the 5th's three state legislative seats: Kathy Huckabay, Jeff Griffin, and Barb DeMichele.

After initial delegate counting, the only two candidates with the necessary 15% to send delegates on to the state convention were Kerry and Dean.

There seemed to be a lot of confusion about why anyone would still be supporting other candidates than John Kerry now that his nomination is a foregone conclusion. The answer lies in the fact that the purpose of the caucuses and conventions is two-fold. The most visible purpose is to elect delegates to the next level of convention and eventually to annoint the party's candidate for president, but the caucuses are also the venue in which the issues that are to become part of the Democratic Party platform are presented and argued. By electing delegates who support a candidate who is no longer viable, the hope is that the issues and ideas supported by the defunct candidate will find their way into the party platform, changing the nature of the party going forward.

After the initial delegate counts, when delegates for candidates with less than 15% found out that their candidate would not be represented at the next level, everyone had an opportunity to switch allegiance, and representatives of the different candidates gave speeches to try to convince the switchers to choose their candidate. The first couple such speeches were forgettable, but then Kayne McGladrey got up and gave a rousing speech singing Dr. Dean's praises, charging up the crowd, and, in the end, netting Dean another delegate. Nice job, Kayne! You can read the speech on Kayne's blog, Pleasing To Remember.

It took another couple hours to elect delegates to the state convention with most of that time taken up by one-minute speeches from all the hopefuls.

The day was tedious at times, and the school gymnasium was not the most comfortable place to debate politics, but it was great to see so many people getting involved in the process and it was great to be one of those people.

The next opportunity to be involved is the King County Convention on May 8th at which the county platform is to be hammered out. I hope I can make it to that meeting.

Posted by jeffy at 10:13 PM in Soapbox | Comments (1)