Sep 2006
They're back
As most of you know, I work for K-6 school in Woodbury. As of this past Wednesday, all of the children have returned for another glorious school year. Can you tell I'm excited? Actually it hasn't been too bad so far. I've got all the teacher and student computers setup and I've made it through the first week of school without anything blowing up. Well. sort of. I added rules to the mail server filter the other day to help block some of the junk mail. Unfortunately they were a tad too aggressive and some actual email was blocked. I've adjusted some of the settings and it seems to be doing better. I'll have to keep an eye on it this week to see how it does.

Things are going well at home. I finally had to mow the lawn. The thing I hate about that is now I just have to mow it again. I swear one day, I'm going to pave the yard and paint it green. The only thing stopping me is that I hate painting more than mowing. other than that it's been a fairly uneventful month or so.
Camping (again)
Heather and I returned safely from our camping trip to Gooseberry Falls. No major problems. But a few minor ones. Pictures are, as usual, on the Vacation Photos page.

The first day we were up there was cloudy and drizzly. We were glad our tent had a screen porch that we could sit in instead of having to sit in the tent all day. The tent had some minor leaks but nothing major. We just need to seam seal some of the seams.

The rain also gave us a chance to go into town and do the little sight-seeing that Two Harbors, MN has to offer. Basically we went down to the harbor break wall and browsed the lighthouse gift shop. We didn't remember to bring the camera but we stopped quick on our way home and took some photos here.

Fortunately, the second day of our vacation was much nicer, sunny and upper 70s. We took advantage of this by hiking on the paths along the falls. I took many pictures. Heather eventually gave me crap about all the pictures I was taking of the falls, uttering things like "Another waterfall picture." Well yeah. You go to Gooseberry Falls, you are going to take pictures of the falls. It's not like I'm wasting film or there is any chance of me running out of space on my memory card.

Anyway, after our hike we needed to run into Two Harbors again. Heather needed coffee. So if anyone can recommend a good camping coffee pot, I'd appreciate it. You know how to reach me. Happy Actually I've been looking to find one that would plug into the cigarette lighter in the truck. I'm trying to avoid having to build a fire in the morning and we don't own a camping stove.

Our afternoon consisted of reading down by the lake. I have to say that Lake Superior is one of the most beautiful place on earth. I've always loved the endlessness of large bodies of water. They just aren't very common in Wisconsin. But back to our reading, I must say that the first 50 pages of The Tale of Despereaux are quite intriguing. I really should finish the book one of these days. Heather was reading The Birth of Venus. She says it was very good. Although she was also giving me crap about reading a book from the library at my K-6 school.

That brings us to our next minor problem, our neighbors that night. They were probably about 5 minutes out of high school and I could have swore the one girl had Tourette's Syndrome. She'd just scream randomly. After a while I realized she was just one of those people who talk really loud all the time. The worst part was that they must have said/screamed "a dingo ate my baby" about 8 THOUSAND times. They finally shut up (kind of) around 10:30 p.m. Of course it was a short night as they woke us up at 5 a.m.

That was our last night though. Good thing too. The lady in the camping office said they were staying another night. She told me that after I suggested that if they were staying another night, that a ranger go talk to them about their volume and when quiet hours begin. Yes, I'm getting old. But I don't think being young entitles you to behave like a complete tard.
Motherf'ing Snakes on a Motherf'ing Plane
Snakes on a Plane - Yes, I went and saw this movie. How could you not? I mean when the title along was enough to sign Samuel L Jackson onboard, how could I not go see it?

Actually the movie wasn't bad. The thing I thought it lacked was consistency. The acting was surprisingly decent and I thought that the special effects were well done. The consistency issue was related to what type of horror movie it wanted to be. The movie started off with as a cheesy, but tolerable, B horror movie. Something you would see in the late 70s. Basically, all the build up and little to no gore. That changed part way through and they went to the other extreme, Gore-fest 2006. This actually felt very forced. Like they were trying too hard to show as much gore as they could in as short a time period as possible. Then they switched back for 20 minutes and then Gore-apalooza returned.

So while I recommend the movie, I don't recommend it for the weak stomached.

The Brothers Grimm - I believe I liked it better the first time around when it was called Sleepy Hollow. That said, I didn't by any means hate the movie. It was, what it was. A two hour movie with a bunch of fairy tale references. Matt Damon and Heath Ledger do a decent job, but I think the supporting cast show more depth, specifically Monica Bellucci, Jonathan Pryce and Peter Stormare. If you don't know who those people are, go look them up on IMDB and check out some of their previous work.

Silent Hill - Another horror movie. This one is based on a video game. Odd as it may be, I've never played the game. That may be why I enjoyed the movie. I've heard other reviewers who've played the game say that it wasn't very true to the game. I don't dispute that but I don't think that makes it a bad movie. As a horror movie I think it does quite well. It uses some of the classic make-up techniques reminiscent of Hellraiser. Of course they look 100 times better than Hellraiser ever did. Between that old school horror movie feel and a plot (another rarity these days) that moved along well made this a very good movie. I would have said great, but the writer for some odd reason decided to go with a more Japanese style horror movie ending. For those of you wondering what I mean by that, rent this movie, then go rent The Ring, The Grudge and Dark Water. They actually talk about the style in the special features of The Grudge. Obviously I'm not a fan of the style. But it's a great movie if you can get deal with the "epilogue".
Madden 07
I picked up Madden 2007 for the PS2 the other day. I've discovered it's not as hard as I thought it would be to tune Madden out. I've actually been having a lot of fun with this game. For some reason, I haven't purchased a football game since Tecmo Super Bowl for the original NES. So i figured it was about time. Plus I've heard good things about Madden 07.

I'm happy to report that it is a very good game. Play control isn't half as bad as I was imagining, although it can be a little temperamental in some of the mini-games. The only issue I've experienced is that the game "pauses" during some of the cut scenes after plays. One of my coworkers has the game for PS2 also and she has the same issue, so i know it's not my system. Oh well as long as it isn't during play it's only a minor irritation.

So far I've just been playing exhibition games. As I wasn't sure how quickly I'd pick up the controls, I've been playing the Packers vs the lowest rated team in the game. I won the first game 70-3 and the second game 97-0. i think it's time to try a harder opponent.

I also picked up a copy of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of memories for the Gameboy Advanced, but I've only just gone through the basics and explored a couple of rooms. Nothing to really report yet.

I believe that about it. I posted a couple of newer WoW screenshots, but I haven't actually played in just about a month. I'm amazed I'm not shaking in withdrawal.