Thursday, August 09, 2007

Attack of the On Call Rotation

I'm pretty tired today. I was tired yesterday around 7:30 and decided to make it an extra-early night. On my way to bed, the page came through. Of course.

After dealing with one issue for two hours, the next one came up. That one took four hours before I tried to wash my hands of the issue and go to bed. half an hour later, just past that point of wakefulness when you slide dreamily into the abyss of sleep, the next page came. This time, I had to sit on a conference call for another hour, contributing nothing but a groggy presence since the problem was far removed from my team's processes.

By 2:30 am I had enough. I told the call that I was out, hung up, and fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.

On Call is fun!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Moblo to Show...Yo?

I had intended to post a short entry showing what an awesome and sweet wife I have. However, Comcast is working in my area, installing fiber (YES!) and so I have no cable and thus no Internet access. I only plan on dialing in if I get paged tonight.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention, I'm on call for the first time this week. I've already had a couple of calls. I'm hoping the rest of my rotation is quiet.

Anyways, now I'm moblo-in' and I can't upload the pic of the cool Cookies by Design basket that Stacy sent me. It's full of cookies in the shape of pagers, computers, PDAs, and cell phones. "One for every day until we fly back," Stacy tells me. It was a nice way to start out the morning. She's awesome.

Update de la Excellente:

It appears that the pic I attached to my email was posted along with the entry. That's pretty dang cool.

Update de la Poopoo:

No such luck on the paging front. I was paged just as I pulled out of my neighborhood on the way to see a movie with a bunch of the guys I know from church. It figures. Luckily, it was for something my group doesn't support, so I got out of the call quick. It made me only a few minutes late for The Simpsons Movie. I think I'll get over it, somehow.

The Identity of the Supreme Bourne Ultimatum

Casey and I went to see The Bourne Ultimatum opening weekend. We decided to check it out the latest and last installment in the Bourne series during a matinee to avoid evening crowds. We went to the new Fox Theatres about midway between our two towns. The new theater is huge and very nicely appointed. The seats are comfy and have a fair amount of recline. The stadium seating gives you plenty of viewing space above the head of the person in front. The aisles could be a bit wider, but with the reclining seats, something had to give. Owing to the opening weekend, school break, and weekend timeframe, the theater drew a big crowd, but it wasn't as bad as primetime.

I came into this movie with the knowledge that there would be little to no relation to its inspiration, the book of the same title by Robert Ludlum. The departure of the first movie from the printed work made that possibility moot anyway. There was no way they could tie them together. However, for those of you that enjoy the movies, I highly recommend the books. Same action, better plots and cohesion. Plus, Marie doesn't get ganked in the second book like she did in the second movie.

The movie had plenty of action with Matt Damon performing most of his stunts. I heard him mention in a recent interview that he's getting too old for this @#$%. Wait, that was Murtaugh, sorry. He did say that at 36, he was finding it harder to recover after a day of filming fight scenes and rooftop chases. Personally, I'd be glad to be able to do half the stuff he does in this movie and still be able to wake up in the morning.

Opposite Damon is a cast of decent actors that make a good backdrop to the intrigue and action that is this movie's staple. Julia Stiles reprises her role from the first two movies. There was a romance between Jason and Stile's character Nikki threatening like a thunderhead looming on the horizon for a moment. Thankfully, the weather cleared and that bit of unnecessary fluff didn't make it on the screen. Bourne is pitted against Pamela Landy, played by Joan Allen from the previous movie as well as a whole stable of spooks led by David Straithairn, who is just dreamy according to Michelle at Albert Finney, who has been around forever but only really managed to claw his way into my memory after his role on 2003's Big Fish, makes an appearance as well. I see from his imdb entry that Finney portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1970 film Scrooge, which may or may not be the version that makes its way to the airwaves every year. I can't be bothered to remember. Either way, those named did an excellent job providing a murky conspiratorial atmosphere. I was less than impressed by Scott Glenn's scenes, but they were graciously few.

The Bourne Ultimatum gets high marks for some intense, personal action scenes (no cars versus helicopters or Bourne versus jets in this one) and good old fashioned spook conspiracies. I did not like the shaky camera style, however. I found I had a headache after about a half hour of the jittery camera work. The kid kicking the back of my chair throughout the entire damn film didn't help that much. I still found myself enjoying the movie though, so it gets points for that as well.

I give The Bourne Ultimatum four out of five amnesiacs kicking government agency ass on a scale I just made up that doesn't mean anything.

The Simpsons Hit the Big Screen

Not a timely headline, obviously, but since this post isn't timely either, it is fitting.

I caught a showing of The Simpson's silver screen debut solo last week on a slow day. I thought of calling Jon and inviting him, but he'd already seen it a few times while in Michigan and I didn't think he'd want to schlep all the way to Manassas to see it again in the rundown theater down the street.

The movie is funny. It's got a lot of the elements that make the television series amusing, including celebrity cameos, appearances from Springfield's non-Simpson residents, quirky gags, physical humor, etc. In fact, the list of things that The Simpsons Movie had that the weekly television show does not is surprisingly short. Jon and I discussed our surprise that the creators did not take advantage of the format more than they did. For example, one (not so shocking) difference was the inclusion of nudity. I'm not going to give away the variety of nudity for those of you that haven't seen it, but I will say that it's not salacious or shocking in the least. This may reveal me as a horrible parent, but I wouldn't care if my daughters saw it, it's that harmless. Other additions were the widescreen format and the extended time. That's about it.

So yes, to see The Simpsons Movie is to pay money for something you can get free, which is pointed out by Homer himself within the first few minutes of the movie. It's still fun to see America's favorite yellow family up on the big screen, popcorn and soda in hand. If you're a fan of the Simpsons, check it out. Otherwise, you could easily wait for the DVD and subsequent television release.

Perhaps my only real complaints about the movie was the lack of more scenes with the non-Simpsons. The television show is entertaining not just for the Simpsons' antics, but for the townspeople's reactions (or lack thereof). While we got to see quite a few of the other players, I felt there could have been more.

I give The Simpsons Movie three out of five naked unnamed Simpsons characters performing unspecified antics on the silver screen on a scale I just made up that doesn't mean anything.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Yeah, I'm Still Here, So What? You Wanna Fight About It?

It's been weeks since my last post. If asked, I don't think I could come up with a satisfactory answer to the question why. Perhaps it's because my trip to see my wife and girls in Utah was harder on me than I thought it would be. It did signal the half-way point in my quasi-bachelorhood, but coming home also meant it would still be another 3 weeks before I saw my family again. Since then, I've had plenty of time to blog, but no inclination. I expect I will get a couple of entries in some time this week. I've been to see The Simpsons and Bourne Supremacy so I'll have a couple of entries about those. I've had some major computer problems, so I've got a bit to write about that. Then there's the trip to Utah itself. I'll see what I can get up here on all of that within the next few days.