09 January 2008

Couple updates, and a rant.

First off, FedEx delivered the last part of my computer order yesterday...a widescreen 22" LCD monitor. Now THIS is impressive. To give you perspective, it was a bit of luxury when we bought our 17" monitor for home, and at work I've been using a 15" monitor for all of my 5 or 6 years here (feeling no need to upgrade) (well, at least until we start having Call of Duty parties here). This monitor is huge, and combining that with a nice graphics card, a much better speaker system, and a computer that can actually handle COD4, it is rather immersive!

Side note: The embedded FireFox spellchecker tells me, in its supreme insolence, that "immersive" is a misspelled word. Bollocks I say. Hah, it thinks that is misspelled as well.

Secondly, I have a surefire recipe for grilled Italian sausages, tried out last night. Not so much a recipe as a process or method. First, take chunks of hickory or mesquite and light them in a chimney starter. No charcoal, just wood. After they are well let and evenly burning, put them in one section of the bottom of your grill. A drip pan under the opposite side works well to keep the coals from moving over there. Then place some Italian sausages (preferably good locally made ones) on the grill over the drip pan, and close the lid. Adjust the vents so the fire is no longer flaming but the coals are still burning and putting out a heavy smoke. For my grill this is wide open on the bottom and half open on top, but yours may vary. Then let it go for an hour, turning the sausages at 1/2 hour. Finally, open the grill, and move the sausages over the coals. I like to char them a bit with the open flame and then close the lid to smoke them a bit more directly, then flip them and repeat, but I would say cook them until done according to your preference. Very nice on buns with BBQ sauce and pickles.

Lastly, the Promised Rant. We got the first disc of Band of Brothers last night; we'd heard lots of people talking about how great the series was. Honestly, other than how it boosted our adrenaline levels before we went off to sleep, it was great. My beef came with the casting.

So I put the disc in, click for the first chapter, and on the first chapter submenu, I think, I know that guy.

No, I know that guy.

Debra says, that's David Schwimmer.

I say, no.

That isn't possible.

They did not put "Ross" in "Band of Brothers". I mean, I could see "Joey" typecast as the essential Italian guy (notice how WWII movies always have Italians and Vietnam movies never seem to?) and I would even buy Matthew Perry as a green lieutenant, but David Schwimmer? I laughed it off and started the movie, feeling safe in the assumption it was just someone who looked like him.

Getting into the episode, there it was in the credits. I groaned. Also featured prominently was that guy from Office Space (his name will never be widely known, he will forever simply be "That Guy from Office Space"), who I saw as a good example of casting...he fit right in naturally and you bought his character. Then the flashback scene starts, and good God, it is David Schwimmer doing his entire "Ross" schtick...high whiny voice, the whole thing. He was good at his role of playing an unlikable character, but to me at least it was enormously distracting. Imagine Rob Schneider or Adam Sandler playing the same sort of role in a serious drama and you get my point. Schwimmer himself is not deserving of criticism as he did decently well, but the casting was poor, I thought.

I mean, if you are going to cast a comic actor for that role, at least cast one that will be more amusing and less annoying. Jon Lovitz! Although I still want him cast as Mister Darcy in a remake of "Pride and Prejudice". The words of Jane Austen would be but putty in the hands of the master. Imagine the following scene, text borrowed from an online source:

Jon Lovitz: So this is your opinion of me. Thank you for explaining so fully. Perhaps these offences might have be overlooked had not your pride been hurt by my honesty...
Elizabeth Bennet: My pride?
Jon Lovitz: ...in admitting scruples about our relationship. Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your circumstances?
Elizabeth Bennet: And those are the words of a gentleman. From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry.
Jon Lovitz: Forgive me, madam, for taking up so much of your time.

But still, "Band of Brothers" was great!


Percussivity said...

You see, we're putting new covers on on ALL the MREs now... did you get that memo?

Oh and if you could just remove the shrapnel from my left leg... that'd be greeeat. Thanks!

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Now THAT guy would have made a great company commander.

Private Waddams, we're gonna need to go ahead and move you up into Foxhole B next to the artillery battery. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could just go ahead and pack up your rifle and gear and move it up there, that would be terrific, OK? Great.

Shane Par-Due said...

Jon Lovitz as Mr. Darcy baffles my mind. He would put Colin Firth to shame!

Shane Par-Due said...

Oh and this blog doesn't show titles in iGoogle's rss setup, FYI.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Not sure what "iGoogle" is really (unless Steve Jobs bought the search giant and decided to append their infamous monosyllabic prefix) but my blog doesn't have post titles by design.

Thanks for the spelling correction, btw, noted and fixed.

Shane Par-Due said...

iGoogle = cheesy name for Google's personalized homepage.

So your blog is setup to defend against cheap rss readers who don't want to give you a tick on the web counter? ..keen

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Possibly, but not by my intent. The absence of titles is more due to recognition that any blog posts that may erupt here are highly unlikely to be remotely coherent in such a way that they could easily be reconciled with a briefly summarizing title.

Shane Par-Due said...

Why can't you put the date as the title? That way I can see when you update and not go to your website every hour to hear the eloquent words you have for me.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Well, probably a constraining reluctance to viciously shatter four years of precedent.

Shane Par-Due said...

That's a shame. I really wanted to keep track of your blog religiously, but it doesn't seem to align with my methods. Maybe next time!

The Angry Coder said...

I read the book Band of Brothers several years ago, before the show and before it got all popular. If Schwimmer plays Sobel then he's probably a good pick. From what I can recall, he drilled the guys hard and was not well liked. He came across as a whiney know-it-all. Once they got to combat they were very relieved to lose Sobel for Winters. The book is great, probly better that the shows as is usually the case for most book-to-films. I have it stillif you want to borrow.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

He does indeed play Sobel. In some ways he was a good pick, because like you say, he has that sort of unlikable whiny arrogance and contempt. I was a bit afraid that it was going to end with a story of an "accidental" friendly fire incident, something that according to my reading happened with unfortunate regularity in Vietnam especially when lieutenants were strongly disliked.

But seriously, if I had never seen an episode of Friends (a claim I would wield proudly were it true, but alas, shame on my manhood, it is not) I would probably see it as a great fit, but the guy was playing a perfect, exact replica of his "Ross" character. If Ben Stiller was cast for the role, and he played "Derek Zoolander" to a "T", or to whatever letter he chose to play to, that would be about equivalent, except he would be less annoying.

Certain people will never outlive their greater roles. I doubt Peter Sellers could ever have pulled off a serious role as a character with a French accent, after his masterpiece creation, Clouseau. The Guy from Office Space will always be The Guy from Office Space (in fact I think that is how he is credited on his new Cop Drama show).