Thursday, 21 August 2008

Need To Extend The Trophy Room...

...because this blog has been honoured with this award:

And not once, but twice - by Chris over at Exquisitely Bored in Nacogdoches and by triple-recipient (!) Becca at No Smoking In The Skullcave. The Skullcave is of course home to a veritable plethora of pop-culture pinatas, Becca's own delightful artwork and the weekly Movie Quote Quiz, which I have indeed been fortunate enough to win once or thrice.

And check out Chris's site for his striking and evocative photography of small-town America - well, mostly Texas - as well as his appreciation for certain movies of Frank Sinatra. Also has a thing for Orion Slave Girls, but then, don't we all? I remember the first time I met Rina - I was returning from a patrol out by the Betelgeuse sector when...

But I digress.

As usual, in accepting this award there are duties and obligations to be considered, including the publishment of the rules.

These are they:

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winners and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) To show these rules.

But now to the awards - here goes:

To PJ - Urban Recluse, Bronte procrastinatrix and nemesis of JD;

To Tom the Dog, pop-culturist, who knows what I like;

To the curiously-named Me Against Them over at, er,
Me Against Them, a commentary-free collection of cartoons and images guaranteed to raise smiles and eyebrows;

To Mr C. Parker, operator of the Starlet Showcase - self-explanatory once you get there;

And finally, to Bai Ling (yes, indeed), who says Hello.

Congratulations to you all - the jury's off to bed now...

What I Thought Of Clone Wars...

Okay, let's try for positive:

The animated Anakin was less wooden than Hayden Christensen...

The minimal involvement of C-3PO made it almost worth the price of admission...

Christopher Lee and Samuel L. Jackson lent gravitas and cool, respectively...

No evidence of Jar-Jar...

Aside from that, what it lacked in story in made up for in animation. Okay, it was stylised, but I liked it - it was never going to be Pixar-quality, but it didn't suck.

Oh, hell - who'm I kidding?

Baby Hutts and annoying Padawans?

Could have been worse - there could have been singing...

So, Like I Was Saying - ATM Queues...

So there I was on my way to meet my sister, who was dropping off my nephew so I could bring him to see Clone Wars, but had to tap an ATM for funds on the way.

No problem, you say.

There's a bank at the end of my street with two machines, one of which is invariably out of service. The other had a queue of about eight or nine people waiting to use it, so best case, I was going to be in line for about ten minutes or so.

I had plenty of time - twenty mins to meet Ray and Mitch, forty mins before the movie, no worries.

Until the guy at the machine decided he wanted a mortgage or something...

I mean, it's simple - put card in, take money out. There's no negotiation, nothing difficult about it - the whole thing should take no more than 45 seconds max, and yet there's always someone who doesn't get it.

The guy (young, well-dressed, professional-looking) spent the better part of ten minutes trying to get the thing to respond; his card went in and came out about four times before he finally got it right, and then the machine wouldn't give him any money. You'd swear he was playing slots in Las Vegas...

And meanwhile the queue's getting bigger, and you know you can't go and look for another one because there isn't time and oh good! finally he's given up and the woman with the Waterford GAA cap who's been hopping from one foot to the other with her ATM card in her hand and ready 'cos she's off to the match in Croke Park steps up to the machine, inserts it and keys her number and - nothing.

Card out. Wait. Card in.

PIN number.


Card out. Wait. Card in.

PIN number.


Card out...

Realises it isn't going to work, she leaves.

Next contestant please.

Gets a little better from there; the next guy knows what he's about, the one after him has a seeing-eye person even though he's not blind and then yes! - I finally get to the terminal. It'd be just my luck if it was out of cash, but no, and 45 seconds later (see above) I'm away.

A Joe Pesci moment if ever I (almost) had one.

But there was popcorn and a movie later, so that was okay...

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Back On The Air - Shortly...

Avé, all...

I'm still picking up the pieces after the apartment repairs - be back with commentary, photos, reasons why I hate ATM queues, what I thought of Clone Wars, acceptance speeches and a variety of stuff.

In a day or so...

Sunday, 10 August 2008

It's Finally Happening...

After eleven years of dreading the next rainstorm, it's nearly over.

My builder is sending in his reinstatement crew tomorrow at 0900hrs (or 9 a.m., if you prefer) to repair the water damage in my bedroom and living room and redecorate both. The external problems have been fixed and yesterday's freakish monsoon (no kidding) failed to break through. I remain optimistic.

I've spent the last few days putting stuff in temporary storage and moving into my living room, where I'll spend the next few days working from home while the work goes ahead.

It's been a long time coming...

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Every Once In A While...

I like movie soundtracks.

I always have.

So today I picked up a copy (or so I thought) of the OST to The Dark Knight. When I got home and opened the (sealed) case I found not one, but two CDs.

"Strange," I thought, "I didn't know it was a 2-CD set."

Indeed there were no indications to that effect anywhere on the case. Thinking about it, I figured maybe one disk was by Hans Zimmer and the other by James Newton Howard - a clever (Two-Faced?) marketing ploy, perhaps?

But no - somehow I'd ended up with two copies of the same disk in one CD case!


How cool is that?

What makes it more bizarre is I picked from the middle of the stack...

I Rock - At Calvinball...

Your result for How good of a Calvinball player are you?...

Your Grade= A++ Amazing Calvinball knowledge and strategy!

86% Game_Knowledge and 91% Game_Skill!

Amazing. You are part of the 2.1% of the population that landed in this category.* You are an expert at the game and its history, and you did incredibly well when it came to playing Calvinball strategically.

This suggests that you definitely have a natural talent in Calvinball. You have learned that the trick to doing well in Calvinball is not brute strength, but quick wit. If you wanted to, you could conceivably turn professional right now.

You are definitely already talented enough to beat Calvin. A match versus the quick-witted tiger would be closer. Still, your infinite knowledge of the game and your brilliant strategy would surely propel you to victory.

* This is a made up number.

Take How good of a Calvinball player are you? at HelloQuizzy

Just thought I'd say...