dr_phil_physics: (lifesavers-winslet)
Regarding my last post on this week's writing progress (DW) (LJ), comment on Facebook:
Progress, darling, comes on little cat feet like the fog I noticed outside my windows last night. Keep it up. (Amy Ranger)
To which I simply could not resist commenting:
Progress comes on big CAT front end loaders backing up going BEEP, BEEP, BEEP...
Somewhere in that rock is the dinosaur. Sometimes it takes a palette knife and a soft brush, sometimes it takes explosives and drills.

That's all.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
In the last post (DW) I had the quote about fjords:
"Look at me - I design coastlines ... I got an award for Norway ... I've been doing fjords all my life ... for a fleeting moment they become fashionable and I get a major award."

-- Slartibartfast (planet designer)
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy / Douglas Adams
Before I eat my lunch, I thought I'd see if I could find a YouTube video. Oh, Bill Nighy of all people was Slartibartfast in the movie!

Alas, couldn't find the movie clip yet, but here's from the BBC serial:

Nobody natters like Douglas Adams...

Sigh.

Ooh and here's the movie version!

It was in the mosaic of links after the BBC clip. Clever YouTube.

Note: This does not imply that my YA trilogy is an absurdest comedy. I just think the fjords bit is funny.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (daenerys)
The other day I posted some links to some YouTube revisionist trailers/mashups (DW). And I forgot the one that had actually started me leafing through the bowels of YouTube, something I don't very often do.

So here, without further fanfare, is that the beloved fantasy of The Princess Bride... er... mixed up with Game of Thrones.

Princess of Thrones

You are -- eep! -- most welcome.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (lifesavers-winslet)
Oh let's mix up some fun with some silly YouTube recuts of movie trailers.

Because... why the hell not?

Darth L. Jackson
Star Wars vs. Star Trek
Willy Wonka -- Horror Movie
Batman Dark Knight -- Joker As Good Guy
Pixar's "The Terminator"
Wes Anderson's "The Fellowship of the Ring"
You're welcome.

Dr. Phil

20

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 14:32
dr_phil_physics: (good-gulf)
Some days it takes forever to get to the office.

Since I've been working late at night writing, I've been napping in the morning. But today was to be mostly sunny with reasonably dry roads and temps above zero, so it seemed a good day to go to the office and see what's up. Also use OUEST to work on the Fall Textbook Project.

Even though I actually went to bed early, I still napped after breakfast -- planning to leave around 10-10:30 so I could put in about half a day in my office. This I managed to accomplish. But it was also a gas day, and I needed to swing by the bank to nab some money. But then as I hit I-196 and went to use my windshield washers... nada. So I made an extra stop in Wayland at the Shell and checked to see if I had another gallon of blue fluid. I did. So I filled it. But now I was behind my time, so went ahead and used their restroom so I could make it into the office from the parking lot without exploding half an hour later. (grin) This is never quite a short procedure for me.

Anyway, eventually I got to Western and other than some wet spots, the place is plowed back and relatively free of snow. Yay.

But... earlier on this run when I got to the gas station, we discovered something.

Actually, let me back up and tell you this funny thing first. There I am, turning from 68th Avenue right to make a Michigan Left Turn and go east on M-45, when I noticed this truck getting ready to make its own Michigan Left Turn. Not a semi, but a long bed rigid heavy duty box truck. Maybe because it had a long frame, it didn't start from the left turn lane, but from the left lane itself, to swing around further.

Which is why I noticed it.

* Clear Cold * ARCTIC GLACIER Premium Ice

Man, you can just see the jokes coming. "It's not a delivery truck, it's coming from the mines here in West Michigan." I wonder how many times the last two winters the driver has gotten kidded about this. I almost asked him, because as I pulled into the Family Failure gas station on the west side, he was entering the station from the east side. And as I pumped gas, he was moving a big pallet of ice bags and loading them into the big white freezers outside the building.

Talk about shipping coals to Newcastle.

Anyway, that was the fun part. Now we're back at the gas pump.

For years the differential between Regular and Midgrade and Premium was 10¢/gallon, sometimes more on the premium end. A while back the differential started jumping up to 15¢/gal. Today, the three grades were:

$2.33.9/gal · $2.53.9/gal · $2.73.9/gal

Yup. The differential was now 20¢/gal.

I'm sure this is all related to the sub-three-buck gas prices we've been rolling around in for months. And a way for the oil companies to try to recoup part of this until the price of oil goes back to the Old New Normal, as opposed to this "unreasonable" New New Normal.

It does beg the question as to how much it takes to make a gallon of 89 octane or 92 octane, versus the 87 octane Regular. Is it a fixed cost per gallon or a percentage? If the former, then what's changed? If the latter, how come the differential jumped from 10¢ to 15¢ when gas was approaching four bucks a pop the other year?

Me? I figure that, like extra airline fees, it's a way to skim some extra money from the those paying more. And yeah, yeah, I know there are going to be a bunch of you tsk-tsking about how I'm wasting money using anything but the cheapest stuff. But the Blazer is a 1996 and is closing in on a third of a million miles. Runs better on Midgrade than Regular.

So it's just a little bit more expensive to run an older vehicle today.

And why oh why am I still complaining about gas prices when it's still just $2.53.9/gallon? (evil-grin)

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

Cat Waxing

Monday, 5 March 2012 13:09
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-and-sam)
A Time Honored Tradition

Writer Elizabeth Bear waxes eloquently on cat-waxing on the Tor/Forge blog. Don't know if the first comment is real or mock umbrage, but well done by all.

Cat waxing is, of course, a nonsense term. Though I shudder at the possibilities vis-a-vis show cats, I can personally say that my special Sam, one of the shiniest cats ever, accomplishes his splendor with cat spit. However, that's immaterial.

The important thing is that writers -- like other mortal human beings -- cannot produce 24/7. In particular, you need prep time, and I'm referring to neither research nor turning on the computer and loading Microsoft Word. It can be summarized in Dr. Phil's Theory of Optimized Procrastination.

This post, for example, has been your example. (grin) While watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations classic show on Cleveland. (double-grin) Oh look -- it's time for lunch. (triple-word-score-grin)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (att-purple-creature)
A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas



This is, of course, a loving tribute to Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes comic and Calvin's endlessly "inventive" use of snowmen.

And then I was alerted the other day by Vince about this artwork of Calvin & Hobbes grown up as master spies.

Everyone should have a tiger.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (minions)
Despite The Rain

We needed to get out of the house and rack up at least one movie this holiday weekend. We've been known to do double-features on Thanksgiving Day itself, but this year I was catching up on sleep after my Atlanta road trip.

It was time for Muppets.

The Muppets [PG]
Holland 7 Theatre #2 4:05pm


Totally wrong -- there's no way a 10 gauge wire is sufficient to power... Oh wait. Never mind. It's a MUPPET MOVIE! Ya-aaaaay!


It's been a long time since we've enjoyed the Muppets and they have a lot of history. As a result, we get a lot of cameos of both Muppets and humans. If your favorite Muppet isn't on screen much, don't worry, it's a bewildering array of colors and felt and joy -- no problem. It's like any great franchise, like Star Trek -- they don't have to explain everything.

And it's a musical. Great gobs of wonderful, happy, sad and sometimes self-referential musical numbers. The story is mostly immaterial. We have Walter, a young boy in Muppet form who yearns to meet Kermit & Company. His brother and his girlfriend. A pilgrimage to the Muppet Studios in L.A. A devious oil baron played over-the-top by Chris Cooper -- does he ever play really nice guys? A plot to bulldoze the place. A contact and an out clause. A quest to "get the band back together" and "let's put on a show", where we throw in Jack Black for the former and Mickey Rooney for the latter. And, because it's Muppets, things don't quite work out right, except they do.

I was impressed by the vivid sharpness and color of the digital projection. We've never seen Muppets like this before. The theatre wasn't quite full, but it was a big happy crowd with lots of little kids. If the Muppets in the movie were worried about being forgotten, this love letter to Muppet fans will charm the new generation and keep the Rainbow Connection alive.

Highly Recommended... for those in the know.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (grand-rapids)
30 Minutes Or Less [R]
Holland 7 Theatre #3

We don't do most American comedies. It's a combination of not our cup of tea and the trailers show all the most potential jokes, which usually fall short. But... 30 Minutes Or Less is the first film shot in Grand Rapids MI that didn't go direct to DVD. Really. So we had to go on opening day last Friday.

The big question when we saw The Social Network was whether the star was really that geeky or just the perfect actor for the role. We now know it's the latter. Harold (we're not using the real characters' names here if you haven't guessed) is a geek but in a totally different way. And the opening pizza delivery run is great fun and we've driven on those Grand Rapids streets. (grin)

The central plot is very disturbing. Dumb & Dumber kidnap pizza delivery driver Harold and stuff him into bomb vest. When Harold comes to they explain he's got a deadline to steal $200,000 from a bank. This is so horrible, as real terrorists have done this and I shudder at the idea of real copycats. And given what happens at the very end, what happens to the Other Bad Guy strikes me as either racist or just an abandoned script page. Like I said, we don't watch many American comedies.

But... this is a buddy romp. Harold somehow -- and in a comedy you just have to go with it -- gets Kumar to abandon his elementary school class and help him rob the bank. They are incompetent bank robbers -- what they know about bank robbing is from movies -- and even worse at stealing a better getaway car. And thank goodness they both had NOT seen The Hurt Locker. Fortunately Harold is the luckiest sad sack in the world. Kumar's sister is the one successful person in the whole movie and she's too good for Harold. Then there's Dumb & Dumber, who want Dumb Dad's money. Thing is, Dumb thinks he's a mastermind genius, but he's just a lazy neverwasbeen. His poor abused buddy Dumber actually CAN build a working bomb vest or a flame thrower.

What we really appreciated in this movie is all the dialogue. Yeah, it's foul mouthed -- everyone uses the f-word to excess, but in a crazy way it works. The geeky people I know banter all the time.

Of course we stayed for the credits to see the Grand Rapids mentions. But we were the only ones left in the theatre to see the Dr. Phil Special at the very end. Like the DPS at the end of Super 8, it's silly and over the top, but it works stupidly well in the context of Dumb & Dumber.

Fact is, there's a lot of twists in this one and we had a good time and that's pretty weird.

Recommendation... uh...?
Oh hell, just go see it, especially if you're from the Midwest


Trailers: Included another real Harold & Kumar movie, this one for Christmas. We've seen all the funny bits now.

Dr. Phil

Intentionally Bad

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 18:00
dr_phil_physics: (lifesavers-winslet)
Award Winners! And Not...

The 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest winners and runners-up and dishonorable mentions have been posted. There are some real howlers here, along with some that try very hard.

They actually have a lot of categories these days, including SF, fantasy, westerns, romance, historical, bad puns, etc. Of course this is all in honor of someone who wasn't trying to be funny...
"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

--Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

Cue the writings of that epic novelist, Snoopy. "It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon..."

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (nu-logo)
Father's Day Weekend In Evanston

Basic cable's second most popular fake news host Stephen Colbert, both of him, gave this year's commencement address at Northwestern University.

NOW, AS YOU HAVE EXPLAINED TO YOUR GRANDPARENTS, MY NAME IS STEPHEN COLBERT, BUT I ALSO PLAY A CHARACTER ON T-V WHO IS NAMED STEPHEN COLBERT. AND I DON'T ALWAYS KNOW WHICH OF US HAS BEEN INVITED SOMEPLACE. WELL, TODAY, I'M FAIRLY CONFIDENT THAT I'M ME. BECAUSE I WENT TO NORTHWESTERN AND MY CHARACTER WENT TO DARTMOUTH. SO HE WAS THERE FOR GRADUATION LAST WEEKEND AND HEARD CONAN. IT WAS A GREAT SPEECH. BUT HE WAS HOPING FOR LENO.


You can read the full text here. And here's a video clip:

Alumnus Stephen Colbert Addresses the Class of 2011 from Northwestern News on Vimeo.



And remember -- brothels.

Dr. Phil

And Another Take...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011 22:20
dr_phil_physics: (30-something)
... And This Is A Public Performance!

After yesterday's Samuel L. Jackson reading Go The F**k To Sleep, now we have Werner Herzog reads Adam Mansbach & Ricardo Cortes book "Go the F**k to Sleep":

Why is this so funny? I think it touches a nerve of understanding. And I am touched that Real Named People are embracing this. I mean, these are people I'd pay to hear them read the phone book -- and they're having this much fun? Delightful.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (30-something)
We Have No Kids

So maybe this is funnier for us -- and horrifying to others. Except some of the parents I know have been delighted with the "children's" book Go The F*ck To Sleep. And yes, it is a real book. But on Facebook, a friend let me know of a YouTube video... of a reading of this book... by the ONE person who, if I'd have thought of it, I'd WANT to read this book!

Go the F**k to Sleep - read by Samuel L. Jackson



Oh my. (grin)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (chicago-stuffed-pizza)
Mmm... Pizza

As regular readers and friends of Dr. Phil know, I am a huge fan of Chicago stuffed pizza. This is lovely stuff and a whole meal and food group unto itself. This is not to say that there are not other kinds of lovely pizza out there. In particular, we spent five years in White Plains NY, just north of New York City, so I know what real New York pizza is.

And how to eat it.

While using a fork may be required for Chicago stuffed, there is a proper technique for eating a lava hot New York slice. And here Jon Stewart manages to expertly show it. While, as he is wont to do, skewering some people involved in politics.



Ah. Wish I had a slice of New York pizza on a piece of waxed paper right now.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (kaylee-shiny)
... About TV Commercials

You know those commercials for the Off clip-on thingie for repelling insects? They came out last year or so, at least up here. But I don't know anybody who has actually used one. So I don't know if they work or whether they're so powerful or aromatic that they're worse than just slathering yourself in Cutters or DEET or whatever.



But...

The commercials make it look like those belt mounted personal shield generators they use in Dune. You know, project a hemisphere of shield protection. My problem with this? What if the mosquitoes are armed with knives and move in very slowly, so they can penetrate the shield? What good are those shields gonna do now?

See, this is why you need to be up on your genre literature. Because if you don't understand these SF/F references, why then you might make some terrible consumer choices. Unleash forces you don't want unleashed.

I'm just sayin'.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (us-flag-1776)
Saturday 30 October 2010 on the National Mall, Washington D.C.

God smiled on America yesterday, with a beautiful blue sky day and thousands on the Mall, stretching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. All to see two silly men pretend to hold a rally. Except, it really wasn't pretend. And except that even two silly men can be serious.


The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear came from Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and Steven Colbert of The Colbert Report, both from Comedy Central. An interesting group of entertainers lent their talents to the show and Jon & Steven went back and forth for three hours from noon to three in D.C.

The thing is, that Comedy Central has managed to become a political commentator of note. First it was their political convention coverage -- both irreverent and asking the questions which just weren't being asked. Hell, the President of the United States was on The Daily Show this week and Stewart didn't just lob jokes and softball questions at the man. Really.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Rally reached a wide demographic of people, who took time from their schedules to show up. And cheer. And applaud. And sing. And somewhere in all that people actually told the truth. Even some West Michiganders went to the Rally, both in DC and about 150 or so showed up at the Wealthy Theatre to watch it projected on a screen.

And as Robert Reich said on his website:
We’re better than this.

This is not respectful disagreement. It’s thuggery. It has no legitimate role in a democracy. And most Americans are fed up with it.

Sadly, we needed two comedians to remind us.

This election cycle has been brutal -- the most uncivil I can recall -- and lots of talk about Freedom and the Constitution and Us (versus Them). Except they aren't talking about any Freedom or our Constitution that I know about. It really is about their version of "Us" against all versions of "Them". And things which are known not to be true are bandied about as if they are the truth at rates which hurt my brain.

Sigh.

And we needed two comedians to let us know that We The People are not left alone and desolate and inconsolable in our own country.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (lifesavers-winslet)
After That Last Rant...

Here's a link to a page of redone Romance Novel covers... via a friend on Facebook.

Have a laugh.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (princess-leia-bikini)
Another Web Comic

Just another small Internet timewaster.

Found this via a Facebook entry from friend Jim Wright: Star Wars as it might have been. The link is to the first panel in the series -- just click Next to keep going. There's a wee bit of revisionist stuff in "Episodes 4, 5 and 6", based on the dreaded Prequel Trilogy. (evil grin)

Enjoy.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (rose-airplane)
Out Of South Africa

Dr. Phil's Sister sent an email that's been going around and I decided to do a little research. Turns out that Kulula Air is a budget airline, but cheap doesn't you can't have fun. After all, in the U.S., Southwest has earned a lot of loyalty from its customers by maintaining a sense of humor and poking fun at their own stinginess with peanuts, as well as their competitors. Be sure to check out Kulula's special aircraft, including their camo plane (no one saw us coming) and their Flying 101 plane:


Their FAQ page is full of helpful chatter, too:
How do I book my ticket?

Easy, simply give us a tinkle and chat to one of our friendly helpers at our Contact Centre, or give your mouse a tour of our website and book online. Don't forget that booking with our Contact Centre is a bit more expensive than booking online. Lastly, you can just take a stroll over to your local travel agent or one of our airport offices.

And definitely check out the humor of Kulula's staff, pilots and advertising here, including this gem actually recorded from a flight:
"Now Ladies & Gentlemen, you know me and my wonderful team, so could you please introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. Come on, don't be shy, they're not going to bite. Ladies & Gentlemen we are going to be taking you through our safety procedure on board this aircraft. We ask that you please pay attention. Before the touch down your tray tables need to be folded away, your armrest down, blinds must be opened with your lazyboys in their most uncomfortable upright position. And those seatbelts fastened low and tight around those gorgeous hips. Now unfortuanately due to load-shedding there is no aircon on board this aircraft so we have provided you with your own fanning device which shows pretty pictures on escape routes, oxygen masks and flotation devices as well as the all-important brace-position which you must use in the event of an emergency - that's just basically when we all bend over and kiss our arses goodbye. Jammer om te hoor. There are 8 emergency exits on the aircraft and the crew will do the macarena and point them out to you now - there are 2 at the front 4 overwing exits and 2 at the back. Please take a moment to locate the nearest exit to you bearing in mind that it might be behind or on top of you at the time. To guide you to the exit we've placed floor-lighting in the aisle - disco style. Now in the unlikely event of Julius Malema ever speaking sense or we do have a loss of cabin pressure, free oxygen will be provided - masks will drop from the right and left service panel above you. Scream softly and pull the mask down with a sharp downward jerk to activate the flow of oxygen, cover your nose and mouth and breath normally or just simply dial 911. Now on our way to Slaapstad we should be flying over a few swimming pools, 4 rivers and a large sewerage pond, so in the case of a water-landing you have your own life-jacket under the seat. On instruction from the crew, fasten the life jacket tightly around your waist and pull down the red tags to give you that wonder-bra look. There's a red whistle for survivors and a light to shine in the shark's eyes. We are a smoke-free flight and the toilets are monitored by smoke detectors & video-camera'd for the captain's entertainment. But if we do catch you smoking the Civil Aviation Authority can fine you up to R6000; and Kulula fans, for those prices you could have flown SAA today and got yourself a free bankie. All those fancy phones - those blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, iphones, uphones, mephones all interfere with the aircraft's system. We ask you now to relax and enjoy the ride."

I'm not saying that flying commercial in South Africa is any better or worse than flying commercial in the States. But gosh, whenever I've had a "live" fun flight crew, it doesn't hurt to fly with a smile on your face.

Now if we could just get the airlines to give us actual information about delays and gate changes in a timely fashion...

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
Oil Is Black, So Oil Humor Is Black Humor... Right?

From scientist Sarah Goslee's blog:
I’d like to write something about the oil spill: the greed and neglect of safety regulations and common sense that led to the explosion, the lack of contingency planning, the destruction of the ecology of an entire region, the tremendous potential long-term effects, the complete lack of viable and immediate alternative to oil.

But I can’t. So instead, you get kittens. I don’t mean to make light of anything involved in the oil spill, but sometimes black humor is all there is.

The BP Oil Spill Re-Enacted By Cats In 1 Minute (Parts I and II)





I fear that with just a slight change in the audio track, I could make this do for the Kalamazoo River oil spill. (sigh)

Dr. Phil

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