Showing posts from November, 2005

Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Whitney and I ran out to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire matinee at Georgetown Theatres yesterday, and I'm of two minds about it: On one hand the acting, individual scenes, effects, and "wizard world" are all stunning, but on the other, the movie is unsatisfying. I attribute that dissatisfied feeling to the underlying book itself. "Goblet of Fire" transitioned the series from the Harry story-arc to the rise of Voldemort, and the movie makes a briefer trail through the same ground.

The movie's disjointed, long, but magnificent in parts:

The Yule Ball digression was great! It developed all the characters, provided needed comic relief, and provided the "debut" for the 3 actors as young adults, not kids
The underwater challenge. Wow.
The entrance scene of the two competing houses.

Overall, as with the books, Prisoner of Azkhaban remains my favorite.

The Rally that was...

Last weekend, Whitney, Joey, and I ran in Phil Schneider's 60+ mile TSD rally south of Lexington. Whitney tried her hand at driving, I navigated, and Joey held court in the back of the Pup.

It was a very intense rally, but Whitney and Joey were both magnificent. We ended-up with an aggregate score of only 230 after 60 miles, which was good enough for second place. But for an error on my part, we would've won :-)

Whitney seemed to like Rallying alot, so I'm on the look-out for more rallies over the winter.

Why VW sucks...

The new Golf and Jetta weren't just late to the U.S. they were several model years late. And to make matters even worse, VW dealers were fending-off irate customers who were saddled with quality problems from the get-go. And those customers rewarded VW for their callousness by abandoning the brand in droves - never to come back.

taken from: Peter's latest Rant

I am Volkswagen's ideal customer. Or, at least, I used to be. I really wanted a BMW, but I couldn't afford one. (I argue no one can really afford a new one, but that's another topic for another day!) The VW Jetta Mk.IV was like a baby 3-series, solid, serene, teutonic, and just snobby enough to be above the rice-burners from Honda and Nissan.

So, I bought an 01 Jetta and had nothing but issues with it. Windows wouldn't stay up, it stalled constantly, pieces of the complicated turbocharger failed, it leaked cosmoline rust-proofer at the door sills, and, most damningly, it just WASNT ANY FUN TO DRIVE!


Busy morning...

Waking up at 7 is early for most folks, but when you're due to pick-up a pal at 7 and you wake-up @ 7 on the dot, it's dead late...

I was supposed to get Gary at Nolan Ford this morning, but I ended-up 20 minutes late after a panicked, flight-of-the-bumblebee race around my house.

Didn't shave, and that just feels icky...

* * *

News: I've got my own office. Sort of. My perennial office-mate, Patrick, moved up to the 3rd floor, leaving his side of the office empty. I soldiered-on in the old furniture configuration for a couple days:

(ascii art:)

| ---- |
| |X / door
| --/
| |-| |-||
| | | | ||
| |-| |-||
| |-| /--| 12'
| |-| / |
| |-| |---| |

Basically, envistion my stuff on the left there (with the big 'X'), on a triangular corner computer desk, with a combination desk table to my left, and a metal locker/drawer thing in the corner. Patri…

I expect better than this from 'Nature'


The whole process confirms that the laws of nuclear physics worked just the same 2 billion years ago as they do today.

So, you mean things like Gravity, Electromagnetism, the Strong Nuclear Force, and the Weak Nuclear Force existed before people?!!

Fascinating article, but that conclusion is LAME...

Jumping the Shark

"Jumping the Shark" v. To achieve a moment where people realize "it's all downhill from here".

On ER two weeks ago, they treated a chimp. A CHIMP. ugh. John Leguizamo's character is awful, and Kristen Johnson is trying hard, but her character makes the show suck. Luca and Abbey are the only decent characters remaining.

For more details Jump The Shark


Man, what a week...I've been up, down, depressed, happy, joyous, and exhausted.

Now I'm just mad.

When there's someone you've worked with the whole week, someone who's taken-up your time, put you through an emotional roller-coaster, and generally made your job miserable, it sucks. What sucks even more is when you've gone above and beyond to help that person and they look at you and say, "You've oversensitive. I've come to you with honest concerns and you've taken them the wrong way. Perhaps I am too harsh here, but I just wanted you to know that."

I hate this job sometimes.


Quote for today: "Whenever I see this guy, I throw-up a little bit and part of me dies."

First good writing from

I hate're verbose, unprofessional, and they don't know passive voice from active voice (a particular annoyance of mine, thanks to Dr. Barbara Burch).

Article on why small cars rock

27. Yay, me!

Today is my birthday, and I feel like crap.

I don't know if this is the yang to my normal yin, the depressive to my normal mania, but I'm pissed off.


* Money does actually suck. After trying to convince Whitney for 3 years that it's neat, fun, green stuff that you convert into food, hobbies, etc., I've given up. It's the stuff you pay other people to leave you alone. It's the stuff you hemorrhage because cars break, people get sick, and houses Eighty percent of personal finance is behavior, and the remaining 20 is accounting. Unfortunately, the 'behavior' part of me is really reaching for that 'blow' part of the budget that just isn't there. Don't get me wrong--my family and I are fine, but we're not going to get to have any fun for the next decade or so. How the hell do people maintain the lifestyles they do these days?

* On the way to work today, I passed an accident at the I-75/I-64 split …

My morning on Lextran

After dropping-off Whitney's Intrigue at the Don Jacobs body shop at 6:30, I didn't have a ride. I could have waited until 7:45 for the Don Jacobs shuttle van, but why do that, when I have Lexington's fabulous Lextran

After hoofing it about 1 mile towards downtown, I boarded the bus for the transfer station and met a nice lady who worked at the UK College of Pharmacy. At the transfer station, waiting 1/2 hour for my next bus, I met Serge Steshenko, my co-worker on my team who rides the bus everyday. He made sure I got on the right bus (#2 North) and we kept one another company until we go to the Northside Walmart, right beside Lexmark.

It was a very pleasant experience overall, though I wish I'd planned it better so I could've gotten to work earlier. I made it by 8:45, but that's very late compared to my usual 6:30.

Our trip to hubers

New Tires for Sharkey

I love buying tires. I imagine I feel the same way about buying tires that women feel about buying shoes. Each tire has its own engineering qualities, balancing wear, noise, cornering, bad weather, and price.

After consulting ConsumerReports, I chose the Yokohama AVID TRZ, 225/60R16, with an 80,000 mile warranty and good ride, noise, and bad weather characteristics. Not a performance tire, but why do you want one on a regular sedan?

This makes the 6th set of tires I've bought in the last 3 years (most of which are on this blog!)

Kumho Victoracers - Autocross tires (04)
Continental CH95 Touring - came for free when I bought my 15x5.5" autocross wheels.
Yoko Geolandar truck tires for the dearly departed Big Red
Kumho V710 - Autocross tires (05)
Bridgestone Potenza G009's -- Performance All Season for the MINI 195/60R15
These puppies

Dr. Bud, his former self...

Before being emasculated by Miss Jolene, Dr. Bud had a firecracker named Nadine whose Dad was a Texas oil tycoon.

Read here for a little escapism, and plain fun about about Gulfstream IV's, UT Longhorns fans, and the redhead's new Mustang Cobra.