Jul 2006
We're back from the "Camping with the Katie's" trip. It was an interesting weekend. I now know to ask if shower access is included with my site. Apparently at the Cascade River State Park, if you rent a group site, showers are not included. My hair was pretty nasty by Sunday evening when I finally got to shower. You can tell in a couple of the photos. It's not a pretty sight though.

The tent worked wonderfully. It is well vented so it was cool for afternoon naps and yet quite warm when you zip up all the windows at night. We didn't really get a chance to use the screen porch. I'm guessing that we'll use it more when we go to Gooseberry Falls in August. Heather got bit by quite a few mosquitos. I don't think I have a single mosquito bite on me. I have a fly bite on my ankle, but that's it. She doesn't think that is very fair.

Anyway, as I said there are photos up in the Vacation Photos section.
Heather and I have seen a few movies lately and I thought I'd post my 2 cents for you to do what you may with it. I'll try not to spoil the plot for you.

King Kong - Okay i know this has been out forever, but if you haven't seen it then there is still time for me to save you from wasting 3 and a half hours of your life. No really, it's that long. But it will feel twice as long. At one point I literally exclaimed " We get it. Everything on the island is really big. Now get back to the plot." A cry that fell on deaf ears. The movie is at least an hour too long. AT LEAST. Seriously if you want to see King Kong, go rent the original.

Dark Water - Another one that's been out for a while that I just finally got around to popping into the DVD player. I wish I could sing its praises as I think it has a great cast. I think that Jennifer Connelly is one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood and doesn't get enough roles. Unfortunately, this is basically a scary movie that isn't scary. The "climax" isn't because there was no real build up. I don't want to give away the ending, but I almost think that ending at the climax would have been better and saved the film makers a little extra money.

Thank You for Smoking - I can't say enough good things about this movie. The movie is the perfect balance of humor, thought provoking dialog, and political commentary. Aaron Eckhart does an excellent job and gets wonderful performances from his supporting cast. I laugh everytime I hear William H Macy say "The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese." Between Macy, Rob Lowe, Robert Duvall, J.K Simmons and even Katie Holmes, this movie can do no wrong. It is well worth the rental or purchase when it comes out on DVD.

V for Vendetta - I'm always skeptical of movies based on comics, but I wasn't disappointed by this one. I can't say the same for the rest of the people in the theater though. I think many were expecting dialog along the lines of "Hulk Smash!" instead of the fast paced verse to which they were subjected. Despite the puzzled looks of my fellow patrons, I managed to enjoy the movie from start to finish. And yes for those who need it, there is plenty of action and explosions. Be prepared to follow some fast paced dialog though. Coming to DVD on August 1st. I can't wait!

Superman Returns - I've don't my best to examine this movie from every angle. I want to be able to say it was a superb film but the best I can manage is adequate. After how much money and time has been poured into the movie I expected more. What I got was the original Superman movie with a slightly different plot. Perhaps I've been spoiled the past 5 years by Smallville but I expected something new and fresh. I didn't get it, but the movie is decent. See it in theaters or wait for DVD if you have a big screen TV.
The MN Zephyr
So Heather and I had our trip on the Minnesota Zephyr a couple of weekends ago. It was a good time. I was dreading the thought of getting stuck sitting with another couple but it turned out ok. We ended up sitting with a nice 30-something couple who were celebrating their 4th wedding anniversary.

The train ride itself was nice. Although, I must say it wasn't the most scenic ride most of the time. Unless of course you consider golf courses and people's yards scenic. Actually some of it was very nice, tree and such. And now that i think of it, i do find golf course scenic. There was one that was really nice. Now if I could just golf decently.

Anyway the real treat was the meal. You certainly don't starve and it's very good. My favorite part of the meal was of course the slab of cheesecake for dessert. Heather's favorite park was getting to see the engine. Well more specifically, she got to blow the whistle. Pretty much made her trip right there.

So I would definitely recommend going. But go with another couple. Otherwise you roll the dice on who sits with you.
More WoW than you can shake a stick at
Well I've been making a push to spend a bit more time in game during the week. I missed out on last night's Black Rock Depths (BRD) group last night. Oh well. I do need to make a few runs through there though. I'm slowly but surely getting around to doing my Molten Core (MC) attunement. Not that our guild is prepared for that yet. We have a had time getting enough people online for a 5 man group to BRD. But our numbers are growing and so are their levels.

Speaking of which, Gnick finally hit level 40 the other day. Thanks to a generous donation from his big sister, Hedana, he is the proud new owner of a red mechanostrider. While it is nice that he doesn't have to walk and blink everywhere now, I must say the thing is quite annoying. I really don't know how to describe it. Let's just say that I'm almost revered with Stormwind and I might work towards getting exalted just so he can have a horse. I've also decided it was time for Gnick to leave his guild, Conquerors of Armageddon. They were a great group, it just didn't end up working out.

I've posted a bunch of screenshots to the WoW page in the Pictures section. It's been a while so there is everything from an ill-fated solo run in the Sunken Temple (ST) to the Scourge Invasion. I submitted one of the shots to Blizzard to be considered for Screenshot of the Day on their site. As I look back there are a couple others that I should submit too.

No other gaming news. I still haven't gotten around to trying the new Tomb Raider demo. I've seen a couple other games out there that I may need to test drive and I'm still waiting for a couple to drop in price before I pick them up.

One final note, I've added a new section to the website called My WOW Roster. Basically it's a list of all my characters, their armor, abilities, etc... It uses an addon called Character Profiler and a php/mysql interface called WoW Roster. Very nice and very helpful for keeping track of who has what gear.