Thursday, August 12, 2010

Friday Thoughts 8/13/2010

1. One week down while I man the household at home while the wife stays with a friend until our move on the 28th. Good week so far, as I've managed to juggle the work and watching of the daughter for the whole week and have managed to do her hair everyday. For someone with none and a previous head of hair/mop that was untameable, that's a fair accomplishment.

2. While the wife is away it's always an excellent time to catch up on movies she would have no interest in. Which means action, science fiction, or any other type of fantasy movie that doesn't appeal to her. I managed to rent District 9 yesterday. I had wanted to see it last year when it was out, as the buzz on it was very good. After watching it, I'm sorry that it took me so long to get to it, as I think I have to put it in my top 10 of all time. The direction of the movie was outstanding. The documentary aspect the director started with created a chilling sense at the beginning of the movie, which in addition to the fantastic story line set the tone. By the middle of the movie the director moved to a more standard cinematic approach which was by that point welcome and necessary and the story unfolded beautifully through the rest of the story. Given the film was made on a 30 million dollar budget by a first time feature film director and a lead who had never starred in any production film before the achievement was incredible. Even if you aren't a science fiction fan, and I'm not a huge one, I would highly recommend this movie, as it uses the genre to examine very real social issues. As much as I loved Avatar, there were some issues with it that I forgave given the amazing technical accomplishment that it was. District 9 suffers from none of those issues and I'm very excited to see what director Neill Blomkamp and lead Sharlto Copley due in their next movies.

3. Who knew Dolph Lundgren had such an impressive resume? http://movies.yahoo.com/photos/collections/gallery/2805/by-the-numbers-the-cast-of-the-expendables#photo7 I mean really, 7 languages, a MIT scholar, and former special forces member, what the hell is this guy doing acting in crappy movies? They could have been making movies about him and his life if he had chosen to use those credentials.

4. I have a bit of a perfectionist streak in me. I took up baking as a hobby about 10 years ago and during that time have made a number of batches of chocolate chip cookies. They've always sucked. While the taste hasn't been bad, they've always flattened out to paper thin crisp cookies. I've never been able to get an fluffiness out of them. I refuse to use shortening on cookies which I know would help due to it's melting temperature being different from butter, I'm just not a big shortening fan though, as I believe it lacks taste even in the butter flavored variety and I'm not particularly fond of the thought of putting pure fat into something. (I realize it's sort of a joke since butter is just milk fat). Anyway, a couple months ago I was making some sugar cookies and since I cannot stand rolling balls of cookies and then dipping them in sugar, I decided to wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it and then cut it, using Bronwyn as a second set of hands to dip the cookies in sugar. Anyway, it worked great, as chilling the dough did wonders for the puffiness. I've recently begun doing the same thing on my chocolate chip cookies and the results have been fantastic. I confess that part of my failure here was simply due to laziness as I was well aware that chilling the dough would go a long way in getting the results that I wanted. So, another lesson learned, putting aside my stubbornness allows me to achieve something I had desired.

5. Has there ever been a more perfect example of '15 minutes of fame' then the Jet Blue flight attendant?

6. Dan Gilbert who owns the rights to the Cleveland casino has made a deal with Harrah's entertainment to run the facility. ( http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2010/08/gilbert_reaches_preliminary_de.html#incart_hbx )

7. Harrahs running the facility is both good and bad news for NE Ohio. The good news is they know what they are doing, Gilbert as a new casino owner absolutely needed big guns with experience to open the property, this will help ensure he gets off the ground running. The bad news is that Harrah's reputation is fairly bad for offering fair gaming or for area development around their properties. While I'm still hopeful that the casino will foster downtown development, the fact is in most cases it doesn't. The best I think the city of Cleveland can hope for is that the casino acts as a hub to downtown's positives. I think they have moved away from wanting a Flats location, which I think is a good thing. A hotel/casino that provides access to things like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Playhouse Square, the warehouse district, Jacob's (err Progressive) field and something like the House of Blues Cleveland might do a lot for downtown.

8. Tomorrow's the day for signing the lease at the townhouse, the home is filling up with packed boxes and it's getting to the point where day to day life is affected. Meaning, oh I need this from this drawer, oh damn I packed it.

9. The 1000 mile challenge for biking this summer was cancelled due to the move. Since we got the news that the move was on, my workout schedule has gone kaput. I did make it to 450 miles and I'll probably get another 200 or so before the weather becomes too bad. I can live with 650.

10. Advice for the day: Perception is reality. Remember that when viewing that statement there is a significant amount of value in understanding someone else's 'reality' or perceptions.

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