Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Fever Break

Yesterday and today Kelly's been home sick with a fever, coughing and generally feeling miserable. I have stayed home with her in the morning, working late to compensate while Jean spent the latter part of the day with her. I was going to take her to the doctor tomorrow if her fever hadn't broken, but Jean took her today. She had a cold, and got an ear infection as a result, which was causing the fever. They prescribed amoxycillin, she's had two doses, and her fever is dropping. I'm quite relieved.

Tokyo Raiders

Okay, I saw this one on sale at Fry's for $7! At that price, I figured, it would be hard to go wrong. All the reviews I read said it was heavy on action and light on plot, but that's my bread and butter. I'll go one further, and say it's about pretty people saying clever things while fighting in fashionable jump-cuts and slow-mo.

I'll just include a quote from this review:

"I’ve said this before, but I relish the chance to say it again: I love Hong Kong movies where you can spot the bad guy because he’s unshaved and Japanese!

"I hope you love those too, because this film is one of them. This is also the kind of film where a bunch of little Asian chicks in black leather show up, beats the crap out of everybody and saves the day! In other words, we’re in the shallow end of the pool here."

Monday, March 28, 2005

Back Porch Vipers

Arrived in the mail today, Light Up:

Back Porch Vipers

  1. When I Get Low, I Get High

  2. Jack, I'm Mellow

  3. Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens

  4. If You're a Viper

  5. He Don't Care

  6. Caldonia

  7. Light Up

I heard the first song in the SXSW Sampler, of which I've still got 590 to listen to. But I've heard some good bands, and this gives me a chance to support indie labels.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter 2005

So Kelly once again partook of the homestead ritual, searching for eggs so that we wouldn't have to suffer the odor of orphaned ova in the coming days. She also got to do a treasure hunt, deciphering clues in verse supplied by her own esteemed mother. Here she is after a particularly satisfying discovery.

More candid snaps are available at my Flickr account. Just follow the 'next' links...

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Bloodmobile

This one's for my friend Tom:

A Flash-based music video created by Dave Logan based on They Might Be Giants' The Bloodmobile. Enjoy, Tom!

Friday, March 18, 2005

A Little Song, A Little Dance...

Yesterday evening was Kelly's annual school musical production. Typically, it lasts about an hour, and has a theme of sorts. This year was Go America, or something like that. I don't know if they buy these programs prepackaged or if they write them themselves, but they are generally pretty cloying. Anyway, Kelly didn't have a speaking part, and her singing was limited to the chorus. She did get a walk-on part as a runway model, and looked quite cute.

I took my camera, and snapped a few pictures, which I'll try to get online in a day or two. I used the kit lens since it is a few stops brighter than my Sigma. Unfortunately, it's about one quarter the zoom length of the Sigma, so Kelly will tend to be 'tiny'. But even with the somewhat brighter lens, my auto-ISO was hitting 1600, so say tiny and noisy. Well, you get what you pay for, and I didn't pay for prime telephoto lenses, lacking the six or eight thousand dollars.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Free and Legal Music Sampler

Cool, I've managed to listen to the first 28 songs from the SXSW Music Festival Sampler! Only 728 more to go.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Fiddler on the Roof

It's been years since I last saw this movie. Jean and I finished watching it last night, after 'the news'. It's a wonderful musical, with lots of great numbers. I hadn't remembered the more unrelentingly depressing aspect of it, but it doesn't gloss over the history of the period.

So I guess as a counterbalance, I'll have to break out my copy of Singin' in the Rain!


It's practically summer here. It was, I dunno, sixty five degrees out, with bright sunshine and a mild cool breeze yesterday. I'd already done a bunch of my weekend chores, so I went into the garage, pumped up the tires on my bike, lubed the chain, cleaned the water bottle, and took it out for a spin. I don't like riding on wet roads or in serious cold, so this is the first time for me since last fall. I didn't push myself, instead taking a ride of random turns, discovering (literally) new roads, out by Ibach Park. I even discovered a new garden store, ensconced among trees, with grand opening banners fluttering at the roadside. I didn't bike in, I was enjoying my ride too much, but I'll note for later that it's The Garden Corner.

The routine continued. I got home, put together my food and miscellaneous items for the work week, and drove them down to my office. After working awhile, I arrived home to the smell of apple pie. I grabbed a glass of water, tapped the keyboard of the kitchen computer to check the email, turned around to look at something, I don't even remember what. Because there on the screen, in the list of new emails, was an email from my sister. Title: Dad is in the hospital. I remembered the day my Dad had called my house and told me my Mom had died. My heart jumped, and I sat down immediately to read the email. He had burning pain in his chest, went to the hospital, is on meds. A phone number.

So I called him up. The time between the arrival of the email, 6:09pm and the time I read it, about 6:25pm. Just sheer coincidence that I read it so soon. So the phone rings, I get put through to his room. The short story is that he seems in good spirits, though bored. He has to sit in the hospital room, deal with all the business of nurses coming and going, making it difficult to sleep. He is on an IV of nitroglycerin and heperin, and won't be seeing the specialist until Monday, when he will probably get an angiogram. Depending on the results, he may get a stent. I'll call him again today to try to break up the monotony for him somewhat.

This is one great cosmic joke, as he had only last week broke the news to me that he and his wife Betty were thinking about taking an Amtrak tour of the West which would include a stopover here in Oregon. I was all excited about that, and now this. Of course, my sister Brenda's husband Ted has had heart surgery, my father-in-law has had two stents, my brother-in-law Tom has had four bypasses, so nowadays heart surgery can be practically an outpatient procedure. I still hope to see Dad this summer. It's just a little bit of a shock.

More news as I learn it. And thanks, Brenda, for letting me know so soon, along with the contact number.


I got email from Brenda (my sister), and spoke with my Dad after work, before taking Kelly to her dance class (tonight, Monday). He isn't discharged yet, but he's had his angiogram. One vessel is 20% to 30% occluded, but they don't want to put in a stent. Instead they are changing his prescriptions, and I think reviewing diet and exercise habits. He seemed to think this was not too big a deal, but I still want to encourage him to take action where he has control (diet and exercise). I'll try talking to him again on Sunday.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

The Tiny

All praise to the MP3Blogs! I don't know which of my rotation of music blogs pointed to this tune, but indie record label Eyeball Records is making a high quality mp3 of one of their artists available on the web, and I have listened to it maybe ten times today. Closer, by Stockholm band The Tiny is quirky, quiet and unlike anything I've heard in years. An elfin-voiced Ellekari Laron, backed almost exclusively by a cello and a violin (spare piano and occasional guest instruments notwithstanding) lullls me into a mood I can't quite describe. I feel like I've entered an alternate reality. The last time I listened to a group that was so unrelentingly downtempo and avante garde was when I originally discovered Van der Graaf Generator. Now I'm just debating whether to buy the song, or the whole album.

Some of the reviews I've read say that the album is deeply repetitive ("As each song flows into the next without much of a change in tone, tempo or arrangement..."), and once you've heard one song, you're done. I went to CDBaby, and they have sample streams of the entire album, 2 minutes per song. I can see the point about repetition, but careful listening reveals subtleties among the songs that make me think I might enjoy them all. I'm pretty sure that I'll be buying Closer and Across the Bridge. Guess I'll just have to dig into the sample streams a few more times.

Monday, March 7, 2005

Kung Fu Hustle

Okay, I have to take Kelly in to school tomorrow, so I'll forgo a long, rhapsodic review. I watched this non-stop tonight, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I would have loved to see this on the big screen, but even on a television screen it is a visual funhouse. The humor is pure Stephen Chow, from the dumb slapstick, the word play (most of which I'm sure is lost in translation) and the over-the-top visual effects. He started playing with this last in earnest in Shaolin Soccer, and here he has perfected it.

Leung Siu Lung as the Beast was my favorite character, though Yuen Qiu as the Landlady was really cool as well. Oops, I'm starting to outline everything I liked, and before I know it it will be morning! So just give it four or five stars and leave it at that. Thanks for loaning this one to me, Tom!