Mad Times

“To be sane in a mad time is bad for the brain, worse for the heart.” – Wendell Berry

October 25th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Lost gloves for sale

I got a nice email from a fellow in the UK recently pointing me at his groovy new web store where they’re selling random pairs of found gloves to benefit the non-profit Green Thing. Both the store and the non-profit are pretty neat. Check them out!

January 14th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

New lost glove site

For those lost glove fans who’ve stayed with me since I gave up the addiction, point your browser over to where a fellow is posting some lovely glove pictures along with little snippets of their stories written from the gloves’ point of view. Wonderful stuff. Go look.

January 1st, 2009 at 10:45 pm

2008 media review

In 2008 I read about 52 books which is pretty good compared to the last few years. There are a couple of reviews I haven’t posted yet. I’ll try to get those up soon.

We also watched a bunch of movies (about 80). Here’s a list of what we saw and what we thought of them.

The notes are about where we saw the movie and who saw it. “T” indicates we saw it in the theater (only 3 for me plus 1 more for Becky). Other letters indicate who attended. The default is Becky and me. If just “J” or “B” appear then only the one of us saw it.

rating Title Notes
**** Juno T
**** Young At Heart
***+ Away From Her
***+ Broadcast News
***+ Charlie Wilson’s War
***+ Enchanted
***+ Iron Man T
***+ Lars and the Real Girl
***+ Margo at the Wedding
***+ Me and You and Everyone We Know
***+ Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
***+ Nine Lives
***+ Women, The (Cukor) B
*** 10 Items Or Less
*** Appaloosa T B w/ Lorna
*** Atonement
*** Better Than Sex
*** Blades of Glory
*** Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
*** Bourne Ultimatum
*** Croupier, The
*** Dan in Real Life
*** Double Happiness repeat
*** Eagle vs. Shark
*** Grace Is Gone
*** How to Steal a Million B
*** Ira & Abby
*** Kamikaze Girls
*** Michael Clayton
*** Savages, The
*** Two Days In Paris
*** Visitor, The T w/ L&A
*** Wilby Wonderful
*** Yes
*** Zodiac
**+ Across the Universe
**+ Becoming Jane
**+ Blue State B
**+ Broken English
**+ Cake
**+ Control
**+ Darjeeling Limited
**+ Dying Gaul, The
**+ Gone Baby Gone
**+ Gotcha!
**+ How To Save A Marriage (and ruin your life) B
**+ I’m Not There
**+ Inside Man
**+ Jane Austen Book Club B
**+ Legend (dir cut) J
**+ Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The
**+ Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity
**+ Nancy Drew
**+ Ocean’s Thirteen
**+ Outing Reilly
**+ Recount
**+ Ruby in the Smoke, the bbc
**+ Somersault
**+ Strange Bedfellows B
**+ Transformers
**+ Tropic Thunder
**+ Trust the Man
**+ Who Killed the Electric Car
**+ Who Was That Lady? B
** Be Kind Rewind
** Bubble Boy
** Charlie Bartlett
** Cypher
** Happy Endings
** I Could Never Be Your Woman B
** I’m With Lucy B
** Italian Job, The
** Mr Magorium’s Magic Emporium
** My Blueberry Nights B: okay J: pretty good
** Sex and the City
** Sunshine
** Two Brothers and a Bride B
*+ Golden Compass, The
*+ Purple Violets
*+ Year of the Dog
* Jabberwocky J

That doesn’t include everything we watched that we’d seen before (a few repeats are included as noted). We don’t actually use stars when we rate movies, we use words. I’ve translated our “Don’t Miss” to ****, “Pretty Good” to ***, “Okay” to **, and “Don’t Bother” to * if that helps you make sense of this.

Seeing them sorted by rating like this always causes us to rethink some of our decisions, but what’s here is what we thought of them shortly after seeing them.

In other anal-retentive data mining, we returned 113 disks to Netflix this year. In July we bought a set-top box that lets us watch Netflix stuff on demand over the internet. Looks like we’ve used that for 160 items since then which seems like a lot until you know that it counts individual tv show episodes. Here’s a summary of the TV shows we watched (we still don’t do cable or anything, so these were all on dvd or on-demand):

  • That 70′s Show (season 5)
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
  • The Wire (still working on season 1)
  • Pushing Daisies (season 1) Love this show!
  • Criminal Minds (still working on season 1)
  • Heroes (season 2)
  • Coupling (season 1, 2, 3, & 4) LOVE this show!
  • 30 Rock (season 1 & 2)
December 24th, 2008 at 11:44 am


Very nicely written op-ed in today’s New York Times uses the famous photo of Earth taken by the Apollo astronauts to put our climate problems in perspective. (thanks to Alan Durning for pointing it out)

December 7th, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Toilet training your cat

Charles Mingus (yes, that Charles Mingus) tells you how. Hmm… (via Making Light)

November 30th, 2008 at 1:39 am

Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler

I was about to send this out to a bunch of people so I may as well post it here and save on the spam. I haven’t read it yet, but there’s an on-line collection of speculative fiction stories by Filipinos written in English called, oddly enough, the Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler. I just loaded the whole thing onto my Palm and will probably read it next.

November 10th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

It’s full of stars

Well, only 32, but they’re all the stars within 14 light years of home in a 3d animation so you can tell how relatively far away they are. The lines show whether they’re above or below the ecliptic. Nifty.

Whoa, I just noticed that if you point your mouse at a star it will tell you all about it.

via James Nicoll

August 6th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Book reviews

While I waffle over whether or not to post reviews of sexually explicit graphic novels on a blog that my mother reads (Just one of many neurotic reasons why I’m months behind in posting book reviews. This blog isn’t called “Mad Times” for nothing. ;-), you can get your book review fix over at Goodreads where Becky has been reviewing up a storm.

Here’s a sample, her review of Isabel Allende’s Zorro: A Novel:

I’m a Zorro fan, but not to the extent of obsessiveness. I remember watching Tyrone Power late at night on my grandma’s black and white TV, and I’ve seen George Hamilton, Antonio Banderas, and probably some other actors in that role, but I haven’t sought out everything-Zorro. When I saw Allende had written a novel about Zorro, I was thrilled. I even waited for a good time to read it. It tells the story of how Zorro became Zorro–a sweeping tale that is both chilling and fun, just as it should be.

Lots more behind the link up there. There’s even an rss feed for updates.

July 4th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Clever Cycles

Stoked bakfietsClever Cycles sells cargo and city bicycles and related gear in Portland. I visited them about a year ago just after they first opened the store. I just heard that they’re closing. Not for good, just for a two-week vacation. In the middle of summer. A bikeshop. Are they insane? Turns out it’s not lack of sanity, it’s lack of bikes. They’ve been doing so well they’re sold out of all their bikes. How cool is that?

April 25th, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Alice lolcatted again


Saw this while getting my lolcat fix at yesterday. The picture originally appeared here last year.

output here