21 September 2007

Late night, last minute post addendum:

The Beatles Smell Faintly of Garam Masala
An invaluable maxim of the entertainment industry is "know your audience". Fortunately this is a blog, and has precious little to do with entertainment, so I feel at liberty to post a link to some reading which I honestly consider to be one of the funniest things on the internet, but that also is probably quite boring to the casual or uninterested reader.


The Shrine of the Mall Ninja

And for a slightly easier-to-chew version, that still is painfully funny (though not as classic as the above thread by Gecko45, grandfather of all mall ninjas, for whom the term was coined):

Return of the Iron Fist of the Mall Ninja

I freely admit that these are chock full of jargon and have a narrow appeal to their humour, but they are just so bleeding magnificent I had to post them.

20 September 2007

So this news story caught my eye:

Hillary Calls Cheney "Darth Vader"

Hillary exercised immense skill in narrowly avoiding Godwin's Law by masking a Hitlerian comparison in Star Wars language. Deftly played, Senator! Now as for why I found this so delightful, allow me to bore you with some background. On a forum which I frequent I managed to win a caption contest for a photo of the esteemed Senator and her current opponent in the primary. Here it is:

OBAMA: What is thy bidding, my master?

CLINTON: Send the fleet to the far side of Endor. There it will stay until called for.
OBAMA: What of the reports of the Rebel fleet massing near Sullust?
CLINTON: It is of no concern. Soon the Rebellion will be crushed and young Skywalker will be one of us! Your work here is finished, my friend. Go out to the command ship and await my orders.
OBAMA: Yes, my Master.

It STILL amuses me. Apparently Darth Chenu, Sith-Lord and Vice-Emporer, amuses Mrs. Clinton too. I feel validated!

15 September 2007

So, tonight, accompanied with the creature comforts of a spicy pepper/broccoli stirfry with rice noodles and Momokawa sake (nihonshu), I watched Sanjuro (not to be confused with Sanjaya, the talentless South Asian androgyne), Akira Kurosawa's sequel to Yojimbo, the film that inspired Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars.

Basically this has led me to post a comparison of the two consummate bad___es of both films.
First, Clint Eastwood:

Clint, after finally sitting down and seeing the Hallowed Triumvirate of the Wopsterns (A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), is admittedly the consummate bad___. And to all who I've just offended by inventing the term "wopstern", I'll just say that I googled the word "wopstern" just now and received no hits, so I feel rather proud of my inventive conjunction of an ethnic slur and movie category. But anyway, Clint is the man. I felt the need to go out and get a poncho, but I have thus far resisted. It certainly made a nice cover garment for CCW.

But anyway, on to his original counterpart, Toshiro Mifune:

Toshiro Mifune, star of practically every Akira Kurosawa film, or at least very many of them, is the lead in both Yojimbo and Sanjuro and does an exceptionally good job portraying the original "Man With No Name". I give him special credit for the fact that my introduction to him was as the interminably annoying young Kikuchiyo in Seven Samurai. I honestly could not have pictured him as a collected, potent, and wise samurai after that performance, but Yojimbo quickly changed that preconception.

Anyway, if Clint fought Toshiro, I'd still have my money on Clint. We know that Toshiro beats the pistol-wielding Unosuke in Yojimbo, but bear in mind that Unosuke with a pistol is the equivalent of me with a paintbrush...Clint's character is a regular Leonardo. Once again, the technical superiority of the West wins out.

But that said, the points for style and originality go to Kurosawa's films and Mifune's character. You can't help liking both, though. I now find the need to put both Kurosawa's and Leone's "No Name" films on my short list to acquire.

Random Reference Time!

As I believe I mentioned earlier, saw Mr. Bean's Holiday and rather liked it! This following scene was particularly good (the latter opera-based portion of the clip). I thought it was worth passing on. Something about Rowan Atkinson's acting makes me think he could bring someone to tears from the opera stage if only he didn't look like, well, him, and if only he could sing like that. Very, very funny. To me at least, but I'm one to see humour in bally everything.


13 September 2007

Take the following ingredients:

1. High-interest Mastercard
2. 15lb seedless watermelon
3. Nine .32 caliber lead balls

Combine them abruptly at a rate of somewhere around 1100 feet per second.

What do you get?

A Dave Ramsey "plasectomy" demonstration video

11 September 2007

I must say, this blog has gone downhill, eh? Once a haven of firebrand rhetoric and visceral diatribes of ideological evaluation and debate where the greatest minds of an entire generation congregated to collectively solve the world's ills, now a pallid and limp exposition of whatever shallow observations and opinions I find fit to trot out before the masses, typically entertainment reviews (revues?) spiced with the occasional priceless pearl of wisdom from the grab-bag of Neufish Insight. Rather like Thom Jefferson, fresh from writing some really cracking stuff about courses of human events and such in the Declaration of Independence, starting a column in the Philadelphia Gazette where he talks about the unparalleled excellence of his supper the previous night, how much he loves to read the works of Danielle Steel, and his personal picks for the finalists of Commonwealth Idol. But as President Jefferson would be likely to say if such a downfall was pointed out to him, yah boo, sucks to you!

There's something very comforting in P.G. Wodehouse's writing. I was sitting outside last night while some beef ribs cooked over smoking embers of mesquite and apple wood, and to pass the time I picked out "Life with Jeeves" and started reading a chapter at random. While the plots are well devised, the real appeal of these books is in the style and language. Perhaps it was the respite of cool (almost cold) weather, but sitting outside (in the occasional spot of drizzling rain) reading that book was surprisingly relaxing and palliative after a day of mass hysteria at work.

I've been bitten by the 10mm bug. There are a number of loads that exceed 700, even 750 foot pounds in muzzle energy. Compared to, say, a .380ACP, which will be closer to 200 ft/lbs. .40S&W and .45ACP are more around the 400 range. The 10mm even beats out the .357 Magnum in most loads in muzzle energy. Somewhat dwarfs my previous favourite "performance caliber" .357SIG, which attempted to duplicate the muzzle energy of a .357 Mag but always fell a little short. The Tanfoglio Witness line of pistols, developed from the classic CZ-75, includes a stunning little compact steel 10mm, that has my name on it. It will no doubt be recoil-icious...750 ft/lbs one way is going to equal a decent amount of force in the opposite direction (into my hand). Still, I'm young, and you can always buy 10mm loaded to lighter pressures, similar to the .40S&W, derisively known as the .40 Short and Weak. As a little background info to those of you that are not gun geeks, the .40 Smith and Wesson is basically a shortened 10mm cartridge that was designed as a compromise because 10mm Auto was considered too powerful in recoil for FBI agents to handle...probably making allowances for smaller framed and female agents. Thus .40S&W took off (and is now one of the world's major handgun calibers) and 10mm Auto is a historical cartridge that is rare but retains a small but rabidly loyal enthusiast fanbase.