Meta_kate and I went to see Lord of the Rings last night. Summary: it was good, but not as good as the first. That was probably to be expected, considering it is “Act 2” of a show in 3 acts. The character introductions and complications are complete. The denouement has not yet arrived. It's the middle. Nothing super-exciting happens in the middle except for a lot of epic CGI battle scenes and Orcs riding wolves that looked more like non-green He-Man Battlecats.
Kate got slammed in the face with a beach ball before the show. It made part of her face swell up a little and came close to breaking her new glasses. I remember when beach balls in theaters were fun, but I guess it depends on the crowd and the time. At a midnight showing of “Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation Festival” or Rocky, the theater is populated by some pretty geeky people–people who are not so great at sports and were probably slammed in the face by a volley-ball at some point in time. At the 8pm showing of LOTR on opening night in Newport Beach, there seemed to be a much higher turnout of bro's and jocks than I would have expected. This caused a lot of beach balls to be jump-set-SPIKEd directly into the faces of other audience members. It kind of sucked.
A New Yawkah in the row behind us said that the mean-spirited beach ball action, and I quote, “shows a lack of disrespect.” In other annoying quote news, I was in a meeting with the big technical guy behind RosettaNet (the buzzword in business-to-business transactions and such today). He's the main guy behind some pretty intense and profitable technology. Every other sentence seemed to contain the word “alls.” “Alls we need to do is this….”
My car was supposed to be ready yesterday afternoon because the rain interfered with shipping a part of Atlanta?! It was supposed to be ready tonight because they were running a little late. It is supposed to be ready tomorrow morning because its taking longer than they expected.
I dropped my emusic subscription because my special-They-Might-Be-Giants-year-long contract thingey expired much earlier in the year. After some demos, I decided to sign up for audible.com. Instead of music, Audible basically has the entire catalog of Random House (and other) audiobooks online. It also has a bunch of periodicals. The downside is that it encodes files in a proprietary Digital Rights Management format. (Why is it that when they use terms like that they always mean the exact opposite? I mean, really, it is Digital Restriction Management.) The plus side is that you can take this proprietary format and dump it onto a plain-Jane audio CD. Converting this CD back into a standard MP3 is an exercise left for the reader. Sure, there is a little extra work to do and I go through a few more CD's than usual, but I get an online audiobook of my choosing each month for free (book of the month club, anyone?), an audio periodical for free, and online audiobooks at a discount. In case you have not already figured out, I really enjoy audiobooks. I have found that I also really like audio periodicals. I used to be subscribed to a large number of magazines (Science Weekly, MIT Technology Review, etc.) but discovered after the first month or so that I no longer had the time to read them. With the audio, I can listen at work (which I cannot really do with a magazine without getting in trouble). The whole thing integrates pretty darn well with iTunes and the iPod, too. On the PC you supposedly need a special funky player thingey to get the whole thing to work.
Kate and I started watching the TV series “24” on DVD. It is kind of nifty to see they are using Macs and Handsprings. In fact, they are using actual Handspring software (SplashPhoto to view satellite maps out in the field). I am just wondering if any money changed hands for that product placement, since you could only see the SplashPhoto logo for a split second. The multi window/screen 70's style transition effects are a little annoying, but the real-time filming and modern-day-spy-like concepts are wicked-cool. I mean, that whole exploding jet parachute thing was wicked-cool. Hiding secure documents in the unused portion of digital keycards, the very same keycards that get you in and out of secure zones, is wicked-cool. (Of course, you would have to figure out how to get the card writer into the secure area to begin with, but that's beside the point.) Spy shit is cool!